Category Archives: Blog Award

Today is a Woman’s Day

Darn.  I wish this post was sitting on a Tuesday.  Then I could title it Tuesday’s Newsday.  Clever, huh?  Not very often you get a catchy title that just jumps out there.  Ah, well.  The above title will have to do. 

 

Back when I was in college, I happened to be on the phone with a classmate from my painting class.  There were three of us that were pretty tight, and we hung out together after class quite often.  As soon as I answered the phone Annie said, ‘So, who do you think Linda’s bridesmaids will be?’  She was obviously eager to talk about Annie’s recent engagement.  I didn’t know how to answer that question.  Mainly, because   I didn’t know anything about it. 

“Annie’s getting married? How?  When?” I asked while trying to keep my voice within a pleasant range. I didn’t want to give away my bewilderment as to why she hadn’t shared this news with me, although now that I think about it, the subsequent interrogation of questions probably gave me away.  All that night I wondered why she didn’t tell me this news. We’re a team, I thought.  Maybe she was waiting for me to notice the ring on her finger. That was a possibility; still, it would have been nice if she’d told me herself instead of finding out the way I did.

I can understand why some people don’t share things right away.  I remember one occasion when someone mentioned to me that she needed some design work done on a model home. Would I be interested in painting a mural in a child’s bedroom?  ‘It would probably generate a lot of business for you,’ she said.  We shared some details and I went home to tell everyone I knew that my tiny painting business may have just had its ‘big break.’  I was so excited.  Then, the company decided to go into a different direction. 

“Whatever happened with that job you were supposed to get?” I’d get asked. 

*Cough*  “Uh, well….that didn’t work out.”   I’d say, before having to answer umpteen questions as to why the company went another way.  Awkward.   I realized that I shouldn’t have said anything until I was sure it was going to happen.  Lesson learned. 

Fast forward to mid-April of this year.  I was drinking my morning tea and checking email and noticed a message from Woman’s Day Magazine.  It appeared to be from the editor of the Health and Fitness section who wanted to discuss featuring me in an upcoming article.  Yeah, right, I thought. It’s probably Spam Mail; just like the people from Nigeria who want to deposit a bunch of money into my bank account. 

So, I cross-referenced the email address from where it came.  Huh….it’s really from Woman’s Day Magazine. 

Shortly after that email I responded to the editor’s email (deciding it best not to tell her that I originally thought she was a fake) and since then have been interviewed a few times.  I’ve also sent in countless before/during/after photos of my weight at various stages during my loss.  And finally, I was given a date for the release of the article – September issue, 2012. 

Note to self:  I think it’s now safe to share the news. 

As part of my team, I wanted you to know a long time ago, but also wanted to be sure I had something to tell. 

Apparently however,  I didn’t tell my mother enough, because she keeps saying, ‘Oh, Good Lord – I keep telling people you’re going to be in Family Circle.’    Then, one of my mom’s friends called yesterday and asked, ‘So, when are you going to have that article in Cat Fancy Magazine?’ 

Okay, no one called thinking I was going to be in Cat Fancy Magazine.  I made that part up. 

I don’t even have a cat. 

Who’s On Fire?

 

You may remember that I received the Blog On Fire Award from my friend the lovely Teresa, the other day.

So many of you are doing a lot of great things right now and it’s always hard to pick just one person to give an award to, but I think this one is just aching to be passed on to Tim from Fat.Boy.Thin and I’ll tell you why:  This man has really and truly been on fire these past several months. Not only is he now in ONEderland, but each week that he weighs in, he celebrates a loss. He’s currently only 4 pounds away from his goal, making his loss thus far a whopping 66 pounds.  On top of all this, he is still aiming to finish his 15 million steps challenge and has already logged in at 5,477, 712 steps as of this writing.  And if that wasn’t enough, he’s also hosting a worldwide blog giveaway. Whew! Stop on by if you don’t know Tim already. He’s a great guy.

OK, as per my passing this award along, I am to share 7 things about myself that you don’t know. I’m afraid this is going to be pretty boring since you know pretty much all there is to know about me. Still, here’s a few things I was able to dig out of the cobwebs in my mind.

1. I am in the middle of a creative idea that I hope to incorporate into this blog within the next few weeks. Four hints for you: Handmade. Motivational. Artwork. PayPal. That’s all I’m going to say right now, because it may or may not work out and I don’t want to make a big deal out of it just yet, but I am feeling a serious need for an artistic outlet.  This is a good thing because is means that I’m coming back to my creative roots willingly and easily.  I will keep you all posted as this idea progresses. 

 

2. I am currently addicted to Groupon. They keep sending me these hotel deals for Chicago that are beyond cheap. I think I’m going to score one for a trip there near Christmas as one of our new ‘holiday traditions’.  I’ve never seen Chicago during Christmastime; I hear it’s very Wonderlandish.  I just hope we get to go; This time of year makes it very difficult for my husband to ask for time off work.  We may not know until just a few days before whether or not we will get to go.  While in Chicago for my jean quest we noticed that Tori Amos was coming to town and my husband, knowing how much I love her music suggested we go back then, but tickets were sold out a while ago :(  That’s OK though.  We’ll find plenty of other things to do if it all works out. 

 

3.  As I type this I am germing up my entire laptop with cold crud.  I felt completely fine on Monday morning.  I even went to breakfast with a friend of mine and had a great time.  But, then around 1 PM, I felt a tickle in my left nostril and started sneezing.  By 6:30 that night I had a full-blown miserable cold, complete with achy body parts and a nose that leaks bad enough to require a wadded up tissue shoved up there.  I’m home from work today just so I can catch up on some much needed rest.  The dogs are taking good care of me, too.  Kind of…

 

3.  My fever has taken away my entire creative ability.  I can’t think of anything else to share about myself.  *Sigh* 

You know it’s going to happen – I’m going to publish this and then think of a bunch of things I could have shared.  Or maybe, I’ll wander up to bed and pass out.  Yep.  I think that’s the plan. 

 

Congratulations to Tim, and to everyone who is plugging away at their weight loss goals.  I know it isn’t easy this time of year, but that’s why I’m especially grateful to all within this community because we have each other to lean on.  Have a fantastic Wednesday, everyone.  Keep well.

 

XO,

~Ellen

Holiday Decisions, Upcoming Challenge and apparently, I Am On Fire!

Three things on the Monday Agenda today.

First, my husband and I sat down to read all of your responses to my holiday dilemma post on Friday.  I know I’ve mentioned this before but it never hurts to remind you that this blogger feels so deeply lucky to have the readers she does.  Many good ideas were given along with loads of support and encouragement.  What more could I ask for? 

The one thing I’ve realized from your comments is this:  I have been giving these holidays too much power over me.  It took me all this time and my last post to realize that my anxiety and depression stemmed from the fact that I was relying on others to give me something that deep down I knew I’d never receive: expectations of having a normal, happy holiday season.   Now I see that it’s up to me to carry out that desire, and it doesn’t have to mirror the slightest resemblance of a Martha Stewart Season.  It can be whatever my husband and I want it to be.  We’re currently throwing around some ideas and are also preparing ourselves for consequences; I’ve come to find that some people react negatively when others around them don’t act the way they’re expected to.  In other words, we may not be the most popular kids on the block this year. That will be a challenge, but I already know that no matter what we do, we won’t please everyone, and after trying and failing to do just that all these years I think it’s time to start aiming at making ourselves happy.

Thanks everyone.  Big hugs to each of you.

 

 

Next on the agenda:  you may have noticed a new grab badge on my sidebar.  If not, direct your eye off to the right for a moment or take a gander below:

Hate-Loss Challenge 2012

For those of you who were with me at the beginning of the year, you already know about my Hate-Loss Challenge back in January.  It began as a counterbalance to the Weight-Loss Challenges that many bloggers like to host after the New Year rings in.  Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot about it lately and re-reading the entries from the participants.  After it was over I received numerous emails from people who’d missed it, asking if I was going to bring it back at some point during the year.  It brought me such pride and joy to see so many people embrace that challenge that I decided to host it again this coming January.  Yes, I know I’m a little early, but I’m hoping my badge gives off a ‘Can’t Wait!’ vibe…doesn’t it kind of trick you into believing that something HUGE is coming??  Oh, and in case you’re wondering why the peacock? Ever heard the saying, ‘proud as a peacock?’ Well, this challenge is all about taking pride in ourselves, so it just made sense to me. 

If you would like to know more about the significance of this challenge and why it’s different than any one you’ve ever considered, just click on the Peacock badge off to the right and it will take you to the information page.  Scroll down to the title Hate-Loss Challenge.  If you decide that you’d like to participate, you can grab my badge on the sidebar and help me spread the word.  The code appears below the badge.

 

 

…lastly on today’s agenda is my email from Teresa at Good Day to Diet who honored me with the Blog On Fire Award:

 

 

It always makes me smile when a blogger peer honors me with an award, and for Teresa to think of me with this particular award is very kind.  She’s such a beautiful person inside and out and is such an important part of this community so I’m doubly thankful.  I will address this award and pass it along very soon!

I’m off to visit with a friend of mine this morning, then on to work.  I hope you all have a great Monday.

 

XO,

~Ellen

A Blog Award and The Chocolate-Bar Truck

 

When my blog crashed a couple of weeks ago and I lost my theme, I also lost all of my blog awards.  After some hunting and pecking around I was able to recover most all of them, including one that my dear friend Michele over at Healthy Cultivations gave me.  Then I realized I accepted the award but never passed it along.  Oops!  My bad.  Better late than never, though, right? 

So, it’s my pleasure to pass this award along to some well-deserving blogs and list a few things about me that you may not know. 

 

A Few Things About Me

1.  In general, I do not like horror movies. I have enough anxiety, you know?  But for some strange reason, I LOVE zombie flicks.  Especially post-apocalyptic zombie films.  They are a guilty pleasure of mine.  No idea what that’s all about.

2.  I think I must be a farm girl by heart, even though I’ve never lived on or near a farm.  For some reason, the older I get the more I really want to have chickens roaming around in my yard.  Not just any chickens, either.  I want those fancy chickens.  Of course I would name them, and probably never, ever eat chicken again for the rest of my life.  These are the kinds you’ll find in my yard one day:

 

 

3.  My grandfather was such a bee charmer.  Whenever we’d go to visit my grandparents during summer vacation I never missed him tending to his bees.  I’ve always thought about being a beekeeper, and in fact, just sent off an email to our local Ivy Tech College about holding a beekeeping class in January so I can learn how to do it properly.  

4.  I am a sucker for snail mail.  Ever since I was little, getting a piece of mail from the postman or (gasp!) a package with my name on it, had me more excited than if it were Christmas.  I’m still that way, today. 

5.  When I was seven or eight years old, my brother Ron convinced me that the UPS trucks which drove around our neighborhood contained nothing but chocolate bars.  “If you go out and sit on the curb when you see one driving down the street,” he’d said, “they’ll stop and give you a chocolate bar – for FREE!”  You wouldn’t believe how much time I wasted sitting on the curb of our house, wondering why the man in the chocolate-colored uniform never seemed to see me sitting there, waiting for my free bar of chocolate.  Brothers!

 

…and the award goes to: 

Munchberry at I’m Just Puffy.  I dare you to leave her blog without giggling, chuckling or downright laughing at least once.  She always has something surprising to share on her blog (who else would ask how to gently tell one’s neighbor that he’s eating dog treats, NOT beef jerky?)  She has a great writing style, is honest, and always has an interesting perspective on life in general.  Great blog.

Jenn at Cooking Aweigh The Pounds.  She is completely deserving of this award because aside from being downright adorable, her blog is a great read and I enjoy it very much.  Her recipes are all fantastic, by the way.

Teresa at Good Day to Diet is such a faithful and kind reader of mine and I love the photos she puts on her blog where she and her daughter are doing something fun and imaginative together.  They are both adorable!

Roz at Weighting for 50’s Blog always has such wonderful photos to share.  They make you feel like you’ve just returned with her from wherever she’s been;  and she always accompanies her food photos with little figurines, from pigs to polar bears to my personal favorite: a not-so-mean troll. 

 

Congratulations to these deserving ladies.  I am off to sign up for yoga classes today, and yes – I am letting you know so that I actually do it and NOT chicken out.  Wish me luck with this huge comfort zone challenge.  I’ll post more on Wednesday. 

XO,

Ellen

Honestly Speaking…

Honesty.  I’ve been thinking a lot about what that means as it pertains to this blog.   When I officially launched back in September, I thought I had things all figured out.  For those of you who have been my loyal companions since the early days you will remember that I used to post theme-style: each day of the week was  dedicated to a specific topic.  As one of the new kids on the block, this was a good style of writing for me and provided the comfort in knowing that I always had something to write about. 

A few days before launching, I debated whether or not to let my family and friends know about my blog.  My first initial thought: well, it would be nice if someone read it.  Still, I wasn’t 100% sure, mainly because there were quite a few people I had reconnected with from high school who never knew that I’d become heavy in the first place and I found myself feeling a bit vulnerable.  But, because of the easy-going topics, I bit the bullet and ended up offering my new web address for every family member, friend and long-lost acquaintance I knew on Facebook.  A quick answer to the always pressing question What’s on your mind? and suddenly, I was public.

For me, the only downside to blogging like this was that over time, I realized something about myself: I had developed a rhythm; a voice.  I became more comfortable in allowing myself to be understood by others.  Instead of writing about the proper way to lace ones running shoes and how to successfully order at a restaurant, I began blogging about loose skin and deep insecurities.  Therapeutic?  You bet.  Feeling a bit like Big Brother is watching?  Most definitely. 

It’s been interesting these past few months, altering my blog to include topics that some people would only dream of sharing with their diary or a good therapist. When I hit publish I sometimes forget that I really don’t know whom of those that know me in person will be reading that days post: my brother?  Maybe my neighbor; perhaps the boy I had a crush on in grade school, or (and this is a sobering thought) even my ex.  

I think that for most of us who publish on the web, we can only walk so far before coming to a point where we must make a decision: either draw a line in the sand and keep things cordial and pleasant, or take a deep breath and just keep on going – for better, or worse.  I chose to keep going for one reason:  because of the countless times in my life where I would have given almost anything just to know that I wasn’t the only one who occasionally felt like the oddball, the insecure one, the fat girl, the wallflower, the failure.  It isn’t our successes that bring us together; it’s our honesty; our ability to relate to one another.

Late last week, my blog friend Karen bestowed upon me the the Honest and Real Blogger Award and like a cherry on top, wrote some very kind things about me and my little blog as well. It made me realize that even though my decision to go public sometimes leaves me feeling a bit restricted, I’m grateful that it hasn’t compromised my ability to share my best and worst with you.   Thank you, Karen.

Passing this award along to the right person was an easy task for me.  There is a blog that I read where the author really pours herself into her words.  I’ve been there with her as she’s shared sorrow, heartbreak, self-doubt and triumphs which were once unimaginable to her.  Mary from A Small Loss, is very real and honest and truly deserves this award.  Congratulations, Mary.

So, how about you?  Have you allowed your blog to become public to those you know outside of our blog community or do you write anonymously? Does it affect your writing style?

Versatile Blogger Award

I was honored with the gift of receiving the Versatile Blogger Award from the lovely Lynn over at Learning Curves.  If you haven’t had a chance to read her blog yet, stop over and check her out; she’s one of my faves. 

I couldn’t remember the rules of this award, so I’m using ignorance as a reason for creating my own (and again hoping that the Blog Police don’t find out)  I’ll list oh, how about six things about me and then pass along this award to five other bloggers whom I think are pretty great, although all of the blogs I read are fantastic…you know you are!  :)

Jan at THF Girl runs a great blog that is a newer read for me.  She posts topic style and always has something interesting and informative planned.  A heads up: as of this writing she was having a little trouble with WordPress, so don’t get discouraged if you can’t leave a comment – she’s working on it!

Greg at Transformed and Scaled is remarkably dedicated to becoming healthier and figuring out the best way to get there.  I read his blog because I admire his perseverance.  He posts some great looking dishes and recipe links for the culinary impaired like me; plus, he’s an all around good guy who’s always ready to lend advice when I need it.

Laura over at LauraJayne is an amazing woman who has lost over 120 pounds and is now striving to be her best self (and doing a pretty darned good job at it, too).  She’s so supportive, such a sweetheart and I know you’ll love her blog.

Ellie from Ellie Unzipped is always around for emotional support and a kind word. She holds herself completely accountable on her blog (which takes a lot of courage) by posting weekly pics of her progress, complete with stats.   She works hard at keeping her goal always in sight and I really admire her dedication.

…and then there’s FAB over at Fat Angry Blog.  Over the past few months I have watched (and read) as she’s literally transformed herself before my eyes.  She’s losing it, doing it her way, and I’m so proud of her.

Five things about me that you may or may not know:

1.  I’m 41 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  I’m grateful every day that I have a job that I find fulfilling but if I ever lost it, I’d have a lot of soul-searching ahead of me.  I’m good at a lot of things, but not really great at any one thing, hence my lack of direction.

2.  I am an expert in keeping Spider plants, but little else.  If I even look at a fern it’s like I gave it the stink-eye and will be dead within a week, but I have the best looking Spider plants around.

3.   In a couple of weeks I will taking a few days vacation.  I’ll be less than 15 minutes from Disney World.  I have never been, nor do I have any desire to ever go to there.  The Happiest Place on Earth in my opinion should be on a beach somewhere in Hawaii.

4.  I am – and I mean this in every sense of the word, terrible at math.  If I had been stronger in mathematics I would have studied architecture in college.

5. I think I must be one of the few left on Earth that doesn’t have cable, TiVo, or Satellite TV.  Of the little television I do watch, there are four shows that I don’t miss:  The Office (did you know that Will Ferrell is joining the cast?), The IT Crowd, The Big Bang Theory and Rules of Engagement. 

6.  My husband is SCUBA certified and likes doing crazy cave and/or wreck dives.  I’ve taken a class to try and become certified but have serious ear trouble underwater; I could never clear my ears past 4 feet (and have tried every piece of advice from the best divers in town), so no diving for me.  Just as well, because you couldn’t pay me enough to go cave diving.

Enjoy your Humpday, everyone.

Totally feeling the love..

This past week I received two awards from 4 different blogs: Healthy Cultivations, Fat-Angry-Blog, Girly Girl, and Sunshine’s Heart.  I am truly flattered by your thoughts of me and of this blog and I accept these awards proudly.  Thanks to all of you!

I am going to break the rules a bit and I hope the Blog Police don’t find out: I will answer the questions asked of me per each award, but will only pass along one of the awards.

So, the rules of the Stylish Blogger Award says that I have to list 7 things about myself.  Here goes:

  1. I’ve written two children’s books, and have sent the second one to numerous publishers (they were correct in rejecting the first one – I was in my early twenties and inexperienced at the time and reading it now makes me cringe a bit).  The second book is about a girl and her golden retriever. 
  2. I performed in a lip-sync contest with my friend Beth in high school, complete with a dance routine and everything.  Since then I’ve always wanted to perform in front of an audience but have never attempted it.
  3. I am absolutely horrible at all sports.  I used to fake injuries in school so that I didn’t have to go through the agony of being picked last for teams in gym class.
  4. Someday I want to go hiking over an active volcano. (I know what you’re thinking – being in front of an audience causes you anxiety but the potential danger of an active volcano sits fine with you?)  Sorry, I can’t even explain that one.
  5. While in college I designed a wedding ring for the assistant dean of sciences. 
  6. Whenever I’m depressed, the first thing I want to do is whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough….and then eat it. 
  7. Gustav Klimt and Van Gogh are my favorite artists. 

Now, for the Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award I have to list 5 sinful indulgences.  This part will be easy:

  1. Philosophy products.  I love the shower gels that smell like desserts (gee, go figure).
  2. Donuts.  I could eat a donut with every meal, every day for the rest of my life.  Which is why I keep away from them.
  3. Athleta clothing.  They carry a lot of really cool yoga clothing (and I don’t even DO yoga) that looks great and is so comfy but really expensive.  I’m always looking for the ‘drastically reduced’ sales on their website…then I pounce!!
  4. Baths.  Nothing reduces my anxiety/stress more than a hot bubble bath.  And we haven’t had a working one since we moved into this house 6 years ago, so I have to ‘pretend’ when I’m showering.  This year though, I think we’ve saved enough to redo the bathroom – good lord I hope so!
  5. Hammocks.  I love being outside in a warm breeze just swaying back and forth in my hammock.  Best place to be in the summer. 

Now, I will pass on this award to these 3 deserving  gals: 

The Fat Mom truly is irresistible.  She is smart as a whip, has a wicked sense of humor and I just love her to death.

Lori over at The Run of It has a wonderful blog and she inspires me to push on like she does every day.  Always a great inspirational read.

Steph over at Thoughts From Cali is as sweet as pie and she’s got a good heart to prove it; when she’s having a rough go of things she still keeps up a positive attitude. 

Have a restful Sunday, everyone.

My very first Blog Award, and other news…

This week has really been something. 

Since the beginning of the week snow has been coming down in golf ball sized flakes while Hoosiers have clearly forgotten how to drive. 

Then my husband tells me that the catchy little phrase I created for my Hate-Loss Challenge (the one atop my badge on my sidebar which said: Grab the Peacock) sounded really dirty, so I had to change it. 

Then there was the Christmas shopping -  absolute madness! I have been stressed out all week which means one thing:  I needed me some cookies.  And cake;  and donuts.  Actually, I think I would have considered sucking on a big chunk of brown sugar if I hadn’t received that first email.  There waiting for me was a comment from Shannon who runs Girly Girl.  She had nominated me for my very first award!  That really helped to put me in the right frame of mind, and I felt instantly better.  Then, before I knew it I was nominated again by FAB at FatAngryBlog.  Well, I’m here to tell you that no sugar passed my lips this week and I have these fine women to thank. 

Now, I must pass along this award to 5 deserving bloggers, which is not an easy job, let me say.  Everyone has something of value to offer (I’d never make a good judge on American Idol, would I?)  However if I must stick to 5, then here are five deserving women in no particular order:

1.  Shannie over at In Search of my Thinner Side has such a good attitude on her weight and her life in general.  She floats through bad days, knowing that good ones are around the corner and has the attitude to prove it.  She really deserves to be recognized.

2.  Leslie over at Grownup University has been having a hard time blogging lately and really needs to know that she’s missed in this community.  Her site is fantastic, creative, and was the very first blog I started following.  Hopefully this award will motivate her to keep blogging and not give up on herself.

3.  Dani, who runs Battle of the Bulge is one of those warrior gals.  She’s a member of Weight Watchers, has oodles of information on keeping focused and has lost over 60 pounds and better yet, has kept it off.  She’s incredibly inspirational.

4.  Next we move on to Mayhem Mama who blogs at Seeking the Gift of the Moment.  She is witty and writes beautifully.  When she posts about something she’s passionate about, I hang on her every word.  Plus, she’s so supportive and a lovely person all the way around. 

5.  Sasha at Eat the Damn Cupcake! recently lost her one hundredth pound, and she has an incredible sense of peace about her weight loss journey: she lives her life the best way possible, knowing that it will come off when it comes off….talk about patience!  Plus, she’s running and loves to hike and, well…she’s just pretty awesome in general.  

Congratulations ladies!  I hope you feel as appreciated as I do in receiving this award.  Hope to see you all back here on Sunday.