Friday, August 29, 2014

21 Days of Gratitude - September 1-21, 2014

Last night, I was reading the September issue of Better Homes and Gardens and came across a short mention about World Gratitude Day on September 21st.

I LOVED the idea of expressing gratitude at a time other than Thanksgiving when, as Michelle Bommarito (@MichelleRoseFit on Twitter) shared, "usually people are only really thankful for food."

I then got to thinking back to my friend, Angie, and her 100 days of happy she shared during the summer months.

With all of this in mind, why not celebrate 21 Days of Gratitude leading up to World Gratitude Day on September 21st?

I will be expressing my gratitude September 1-21 in a variety of ways. I invite YOU to join me. Below are some ideas to get you and me going.

Share how you are expressing gratitude. OR Keep it to yourself. The most important thing is to express it.

Useful Links

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Losing Weight on a Cruise - Coming Back New INDEED!!!

Last week I was on a cruise with my boyfriend and his fabulous family on an Alaska cruise with Princess Cruises.

I had the audacity to declare that I was going to lose weight on the cruise. Everyone told me I was crazy and encouraged me to take on maintaining my weight instead. 

Now, maintaining your weight on a cruise can be a very challenging goal when the average weight gain on a 7-day cruise is 5-10 poundsI was bound and determined to play big. I wasn't going to be average. 

Thanks to the strategies below I came back 3.8 pounds lighter!!!!
  • Stairs - elevators on a cruise ship can fill up quickly, especially when it's meal time, with our cabin being on the 5th deck and the gym and buffet being on the 15th and 14th decks respectively, we got a lot of stair time
  • Soda Card - club soda is included with the soda selections, instead of spending a fortune on bottled still water, I filled up on club soda which equals zero calories and zero Weight Watchers Points Plus
  • Cut fruit - it is such a luxury to have pineapples, mangos, papayas, watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew melon and more cut and cleaned, I indulged at breakfast and lunch
  • Buffet Strategies
    • "Take a lap before committing to a location"* - I took a tour of the entire buffet BEFORE putting anything on my plate.
    • 1/2 spoonfuls - cruise ship buffets are VERY efficient, I only took a 1/2 a spoonful of anything (or 1 spoonful of fruit) knowing that if I wanted more I could go back, usually when I was done eating the portion of what I got, I was full or really didn't want any more
    • omelette station - order scrambled egg whites or an egg white omelette loaded with veggies
    • fill 1/2 plate with fruit or salad - the fruit and salad will fill you up in a very good way
  • Activity
    • Gym - EVERY cruise ship has a gym and top notch staff, I took spin classes and did 2 of my own work outs taking full advantage of the facility and equipment
    • Excursions - one of our excursions was a kayak tour in Ketchican, a combination of activity and sight seeing
    • Dance Dance Dance - we did ballroom and club dancing and even the occasional line dance

  • Dining Room Strategies
    • Appetizer portions - on one lunch menu there were 2 pasta options, I requested to have an appetizer portion of each so I could enjoy both dishes, I also only ate 1/2 of each portion
    • Salad with every meal - skip the creamy soups
    • Eat 1/2 of what is given to you - even when you are looking at appetizer portions, they can still be a little large so I only ate 1/2 of what was given to me
  • Play the "Food Snob" card - just because they have unlimited desserts in the bakery/patisserie doesn't mean you have to eat 2 or 3 of them at at time multiple times a day, I only picked the desserts that looked absolutely AMAZING and then I would only eat 1/2 of what was on the plate or in the bowl
  • Skipped the Creamy "Drinks of the Day" - I stuck to wine with dinner and had Grand Marnier after dinner, I did have the occasional beer but I never finished them
  • Indulged smartly - I enjoyed the occasional small indulgence to keep my sanity. There's nothing like dipping a fresh dinner roll into the leftover butter & garlic from escargot.
Cruises don't have to be gut-busting. With planning and smart strategies, a cruise can be gut shrinking.

Bon Voyage!!!!

*Bonus points to whoever can name the movie connected to this quote.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"Do You Think I Have Too Many Emails?" If you have to ask.....

There's an old saying about asking about the "market price" for lobster, "If you have to ask for the price then you can't afford it." 

The same holds true for emails in your email box. "If you have to ask 'Do I have too many emails?' then you probably should purge your email box."

Last week, a great friend of mine asked for help with her email. She shared that she wasn't able to receive any emails. She also shared that she got a few "your mailbox is full" emails. 

I knew right way that some purging needed to be done. I was on her iPad and started deleting emails about 5-10 at a time. I had a feeling quite a bit needed to be deleted. 

I switched to a web browser and opened up her email account. I gasped at the total number of emails....


I asked her if there were any important emails that we needed to keep. Fortunately, she was "over" all of the emails and said, "Delete them all." 

Additional fortune came our way when I saw the "Delete All" button. I asked a second time "Ok to delete all?" I got the thumbs up, I clicked the Delete All. My friend gave a big sigh of relief.


Now that my friend has shed all of the excess emails, it's time to enter maintenance mode. I shared with her her new mantra, 

"Unsubscribe, unsubscribe, unsubscribe." 

When an "extraneous" email comes in, be sure to click the "unsubscribe" link in the email. Be ruthless or that 42,000 number will show up again. It's all about maintaining the clear email box.

Do you have too many emails?
If you need to Delete All from your email box here are some steps I found for Gmail, Yahoo Mail, AOL, Hotmail and Verizon Mail.

Oh, and don't forget to Unsubscribe from all of the "extra" email lists that no longer apply or serve you. Maintenance is key!!!!


Step 1 - Select All
-click the Square with the downward pointing triangle
-click "All"

Step 2 - Trash
-click the trash can button

Yahoo Mail

  1. Click the checkbox next to the delete "trash can."
  2. Click Delete.

AOL Mail 
(see this link:


  1. Go to your Inbox. 
  2. Click Sweep.
  3. Click "Delete all from..."
  4. Select "Inbox."

Verizon Mail

  1. Go to your Inbox
  2. Click the Empty button.