59 Candles, 59 Things – part forty

Forty eighth thing – On my latest entry about things that make me happy, I have to share one of my new favorite things – Skechers!

You might be thinking, hmmm really? Are you running out of things?

My sister has praised Skechers for some time and while we were away for a recent girls weekend, I’d commented on a pair she was wearing.  We talked about the pain I have in my toes – so much so that I can hardly bear to wear closed toe shoes, live in UGG’s all winter and then my Merrell sandals and flipflops in summer.  I even bought a pair of seamless socks this winter, made for folks with diabetic nerve pain.  I have one pair of tennies that I can wear but they are getting a bit old and beat up. I knew the time had come to try Skechers.

I went to Amazon, my go-to shopping addiction, where I’m a PRIME member.  This gets me 2 day delivery, free shipping/free returns and great prices.  Wearing a size 11 makes it challenging to walk into a retail store so from the comfort of my living room, I scrolled through the selection and read reviews.  I settled on two pair and placed my order.

Straight away, I thought they were super cute, light-weight and tried them on.

“Oh no” I cried “This is NOT comfortable!”  Then I found a piece of cardboard packing in the toe……

After that, it was heaven.  I loved both pairs and wore them around all evening.  It may seem silly or as though I’m exaggerating but if you’ve never had terrible shoe-related pain, you can’t imagine my bliss.

I’ve been breaking in my first pair over the last two days and have been complimented more than a few times.  Which also makes me happy!

And pair number two, waiting for their first day in the sun!

 

This series, “59 Candles, 59 Things” was started on my 59th birthday to reflect on those things that make me happy! Spence keeps reminding me that May 12 is now less than one month away and I need to stay on track…..for more entries, check “59 Things” under categories.  And let me know, what makes you happy!

 

59 Candles, 59 Things – part thirty three

Forty first thing: The next thing that makes me happy is one that I wouldn’t imagine being on the list when I started this series on my 59th birthday last May.

Weight Watchers makes me happy. 

On December 28th, when Oprah spoke to me (and millions of others) I heard her message “if not now when?” and it resonated.  Loving to cook and eat with the additional freedom to travel since retiring 2 years ago, I’ve seen the number on my scale inch upwards.  I was having so much fun that I’d become complacent. With 2016 on the horizon, I got online and signed up that evening.

IMG_9294
True that….
My expectations were that the first 5-10 lbs would come off with mindful eating and more movement – and that happened.  What surprised me is that I’ve lost 19 lbs in just two months while enjoying food. In fact if I’d been a bit more disciplined with choices when dining out and traveling, I’d have lost more by now.  Part of my success has to do with not depriving myself by having foods I love but in moderation and the other part is being more active.

Purchasing my FitBit has been integral to my acceptance that I’ve been living like a sloth.

IMG_9292
No offense intended, I once held a baby sloth in Costa Rica and it was adorable.
Accepting that I can’t change my past, I’m now tracking every step via the FitBit which syncs to my WW and FitBit apps on my iphone and MACBook.  It also means that if I’m running behind on my daily goal by bedtime, I fire up my ipod to a couple of my favorite tunes and “dance it out” in the kitchen.

Thank you Oprah for getting my attention, to Weight Watchers for an awesome program and great tools and to Spence, your encouragement and support are endlessly appreciated.

____________________________

For more of this series, “59 Candles, 59 Things” – click on “59 Things” under Categories.  And I’d love to hear what things make you happy.  

IMG_9295
A bit more animal/diet humor because seriously, haven’t we all been there? 
IMG_9291

 

 

 

My favorite pantry items

2015/01/img_4328.jpg

  • Miracle Blend Seasoning (truly a miracle, made in Michigan)
  • 21 Seasoning Salute (Trader Joes I salute you!)
  • Slap Ya Mama (I use this daily, gives a kick to everything imaginable)
  • Garlic & Wine Seasoning (a Melting Pot product that is not just for fondue)

If I were on a desert island but had the ability to cook I’d hope my tiki-hut kitchen would be stocked with these items!

Recommended by Spence’s Girl

My pretty Uggs

For years I’ve heard raves about Uggs. Now retired and living a casual clothing existence designed with intent to seek out all things comfy, I made the investment. I already own soft, fluffy snow-bunny style boots in white, tan/grey and black. So when I saw these in my size (11) in a lovely navy with free shipping, I was seduced. They arrived yesterday, like a belated Christmas gift. I tried them on. Oh bliss! Worth it!

2015/01/img_4367.jpg

2015/01/img_4368.jpg

A new toy for the retiree!

Roku 3500
Roku 3500

So several weeks back, my stepson presented a Roku to my oldest granddaughter as a birthday gift on her 19th birthday.  I quickly took an interest in this as both stepsons are techy guys and I knew they’d give me the low down on what it was and why I should have one.  If there was ever a time in my life to discover this – a streaming stick with hundreds, no probably thousands of movies and TV series that I could stream through a dozen or so sources, this was it.  Not one to shy away from technology (though admittedly I was among the last of my friends and family to learn to text after I realized it wasn’t just a fad), I hopped on Amazon, got out my $50 gift card (Christmas gift) and ordered via my Amazon Prime – incidentally one of those aforementioned streaming sources that I’ve had access to via Prime but was unable to tap into!  Oh joy, oh bliss.  Oh crap!  I couldn’t get it to install on the final step.  The booklet was more of an insert and didn’t talk about error code 011.  After trying to search out the answer online or via their LIVE CHAT channel (68th in line) I just called India (I’m impatient).  I spoke to a nice gentleman who explained that I needed to have my router set to a special security code and my encryption setting needed to be tweaked as well.  “Okay” I thought.  So I called Comcast/Xfininty and was connected to Clayton (coincidentally the name of my first love, but I digress).  Clayton was friggin’ brilliant and within minutes had changed those settings remotely and viola!  I had a working Roku!  Now the choices, the choice were…..infinite.  What to do, what to watch first?

IMG_4176

I started with “Orange is the New Black” and LOVE IT.  Spence and I are retired and in the midst of a cold Michigan winter and with our little pal Roku, have so much to watch.  Put a fire in the fireplace, pour a glass of wine and snuggle with the cats and hunker down as the snow fall.

“Bring me a bottle o’ wine por favor!”

For the love of a Kindle and my first book recommendation

cover225x225

I had resisted getting a Kindle even though my mom and sister had raved about them.  What’s the big deal I thought?  I love the feel of a book and have a library full of books on my shelves, many as yet unread.  So when I retired and they gave me Kindle with a book light and cover I was grateful but wasn’t sure how it would work for me.  Well, it goes to prove that there’s something to this new-fangled (okay not that new) technology.  Now I wonder how I lived without it.  I’ve always loved reading, though usually only found the time when on vacation. Within days of retiring, I packed up to escape Michigan and the Polar Vortex of 2014 and headed for my mom’s in sunny Ft Myers Florida.  I took the Kindle so she could hook me up with her knowledge.  The first book I downloaded, at her recommendation, was the Rosie Project.  She was well into the book at that time and I quickly caught up and passed her.  The story is unique, endearing characters and scenes so well crafted that you feel as are a part of it. There were parts that made me laugh aloud (don’t you love when a book can do that?) And parts that were poignant.  As I neared the end, I slowed down, not wanting to part company with these characters.  The book was originally slated as a screenplay. I can only hope that it will make it’s way to the big screen.  This is the type of book I aspire to write and if you haven’t discovered the Rosie Project, please buy the book…..or download it to your Kindle!

Roomba, My New Toy

I-Robot Roomba

I’ll admit, I’ve secretly coveted something my sister has for awhile now.  I never let her know how I felt, trying to take the higher road and knowing, someday, I could have it too.

As fate would have it, last week the stars aligned when my 30% off Kohls coupon arrived, coupled with a sale price, $30 in Kohls Cash and free shipping.  The universe sent me permission. And so, I did it. I bought an I-Robot Roomba.  Now admittedly, convenience was a factor.  After all I’m busy blogging now, taking yoga, traveling, meditating, creating gourmet meals for Spence but let’s not gild the lily. I’ve seen the youtube clips of cats, no smarter than my own, riding these Roombas while their owner’s floors were being cleaned.  The first time out of it’s docking bay, I was so fascinated that I didn’t have a camera at hand and missed Tipper and the Biscuit’s initial reaction.  And no, they didn’t hop on it. But it was hilarious, take my word for it.  Today, I decided to unleash it in my kitchen/yoga space/pop-up dance floor (that’s a story for another day) and it did a fine job.  The Biscuit was a bit less apprehensive this time out but when I suggested “hey kitten, hop on for a ride”, he shot me a look like “lay off the wine woman” and walked a safe distance away.  I decided not to force it. For now…

Biscotti checking out the Roomba
The Biscuit checks out the Roomba. “You don’t scare me you little alien”
The Biscuit observes and protects as the Roomba hovers near his food dish. “Not gonna ride it” thinks Biscotti.