Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Top 10 Things I Hate About Halloween

  1. The Need To Make Everything Sexy
  2. Feeling Uncomfortable with Myself
  3. Not Feeling Sexy Enough
  4. Trying to be Clever with my Costume
  5. Spending Money on Something I'll NEVER WEAR AGAIN
  6. The Pressure to Have a Blast
  7. The Pressure to Drink and Drink and Drink
  8. Did I mention turning ridiculous things 'sexy'?
  9. Having to Pay for EVERY Bar in NYC
  10. Feeling Self-Conscious ALL NIGHT
These are my pet peeves about Halloween. It kills me. Every year. I think the worst was my freshman year of college (the first time I REALLY saw the sexy-anything), and it hasn't gotten much better yet. I can't wait to have kids so Halloween will be about trick-or-treating again.

This year, friends and I are going as Gilligan's Island characters. They are hilarious, and want to make us zombies (we did it last year with the Peanuts gang as well). Which is fine, but I still manage to feel pathetic and self-conscious. Even in my own clothes.

What is your most creative Halloween costume? Do you dress up as sexy-______? What are you being this year?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Prior Fat Girl

One of my favorite blogs, PriorFatGirl, is looking to add bloggers to share their journey. The nomination process ends today, and after thinking about it over and over since it was announced, I decided to throw myself into that process. I'm not sure if it will get me anywhere, I wrote a stream of conscious, but it was a real one. Re-reading it, I think it describes so much of my thought process in my healthiness journey. So I'll share it with you, and I'll keep you up-to-date if I hear anything beyond this process. Even if I don't, I'm proud of myself for being willing to at least throw my hat into the ring. I'll conquer my fears of sharing the nitty-gritty details with a real audience (because is anyone even reading this now? *crickets*) if and when it comes to that.

My name is also Jen, and I have been on my weight loss journey for just over a year now. I joined Weight Watchers about a year ago (although that was my third attempt) and I've been on this and on, ever since. I'm 25 years old (26 in just a few weeks!), just graduated from law school in June, unemployed, and engaged. Needless to say, this is the perfect storm for depression, emotional eating, and weight gain. And you know what, I did that for a time this summer. That was when my original weight loss of 19.8 pounds (I never quite hit that 20 pound mark...) shrunk to just 12. How quickly it comes right back on! Since trying to get back on track, I’m at about 15 pounds lost, and I’m hoping for another 30 pounds or so. I don’t aim to be thin; I’m aiming to be healthy.

Now, I'm not upset with where I am right now, but I know I can do better. Women in my Weight Watchers meetings are constantly shaking their heads at their little losses, but I’m learning to appreciate them. I’m certainly glad to not be where I was 15 pounds ago, and every pound and fraction of a pound counts, but I have other goals as well.

I want to become that person who shrugs at chocolate and cookies, who can scoff at even the thought of overeating, and who doesn't first react to stress by shoving food in her mouth. That is where I aim to be. Because when I get there, no matter the number on the scale, I know I will have succeeded. Time and time again it’s been said, but it is SO TRUE: this is about a state of mind and a way of life. If you get there, you win. And that is what it really is about for me. A state of mind, a way of life, looking forward without having to look back.

I'm facing some challenges right now with my exercising, as I was training for a half marathon this summer, and have been diagnosed with tendinitis. That means no running, jumping, twisting, elliptical-ing, etc for TWELVE WEEKS. Sure, the doctor said I can swim in a pool. But I'd like you to find me a pool, which I can swim in, for free, in the middle of Brooklyn, NY. So yeah, there are some challenges coming up in my journey. But I'm ready to face them head on. I’m finding great ways to get out and “exercise” that may not leave me drenched in sweat in twenty minutes or less, but I’m doing something. And that is what counts.

I also am trying to educate myself about food generally. Where it comes from, what it’s made of, how it was treated before it got to my table. I’ve done some reading, and I hope to do some more. If I were a billionaire, I would eat local and organic all the time. But I’m not…not even close. So I’m trying to also find ways to feed my desire to be organically vegetarian without spending a million dollars at the local farmer’s market. Sometimes I’m successful with that, but a lot more often, I’m not. But it’s part of my journey. Because I could probably lose 30 pounds a lot quicker on Slim Fast, but then I’m shoving my body with chemicals, and I’d rather eat a delicious piece of real cheese made on a farm in Upstate New York.

Reading other people's blogs has always inspired me. They don't always succeed. They don't always work out. And yes, sometimes, they shove their face with cookies when the going gets tough. Because that is real life. This journey is not about perfection or guaranteed success. It’s about learning to deal with life. And so, I'm hoping that being on the reverse side, as a blogger, can show me that learning will come from showing people my imperfections, my slip-ups, as well as my successes. I will become accountable, truly accountable, for the first time on this journey.

I'll be honest, I have delayed sending you this. I waited until the last minute because I am nervous and scared. Not about not getting picked. If I don't get picked, I'll still be on my journey no matter what. But about sharing. I'm scared for the world to see my weaknesses, to be able to freely judge my imperfections. But I'm hoping if I open myself up to that, it will make the rewards that much sweeter.

You can find my blog at It’s a bit of a mix of everything. I’ve got some healthy tips there, as well as things for my wedding, and a teeny tiny bit of my everyday life. I’m a first time blogger (unless you count my LiveJournal from high school…but dear Lord, I definitely don’t!) and I’m really enjoying the process.

Thanks so much for considering me. I have to say, I really really enjoy your blog. I don’t know if I’ve ever even commented…I do most of my blog reading in my Google Reader, but you are a great blogger, and you keep it real. Thanks for sharing your story and your journey, and thanks for considering me to be a part of it!

Have you ever blogged for another person's site?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Update: Winter In New York City

Well, I shared with you here about a contest for a winter engagement shoot in New York City. The five finalists went up today...and I wasn't one of them. Sad! But once I saw the other entries, they were far more creative and involved then mine was.

You can vote here for the winner. Even if I can't win, I'm hoping it's one of the out of town folks who can come enjoy the magic and romantic feeling that is Winter in New York.

Wedding Guest

I'm attending a wedding this weekend as a guest of one of the bridal party. Unfortunately, he just informed me, I will not be seeing much of him. Normally, this wouldn't be such a big deal, if you're friends were all in attendance, or you knew the groom's family well. But for me, I will date. And the bride. I've never even met the groom.

(Source. BusyBee is Bored?)

So, I'm sort of on my own. Has this ever happened to you? Did you just become BFF with your table?

Also - obviously I'll pay attention to all the wedding details, so I'll update you on that as well!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Invitation Brainstorming, Part I

Although we're still a little far out, my amazingly talented MIL has offered to assist us in making our invitations. She's a Stampin' Up demonstrator, and her cards are unreal! We get one sent to our apartment for almost any and every holiday...and fake holidays, and for no reason at all!

But the moral of this story is, she's going to help us with our invitations and I need some inspiration. Stat.

I started with Wedding Paper Divas. I took some inspiration from there. I began my search with my favorite color from our palette - orange.

I loved the lanterns and birdcage here. Actually, way back when we first started looking, I was seriously thinking about a birdcage theme. I saw them all over the place when I traveled to Beijing, and I love how they can look all dressed up. But I'm hesitant to commit to this theme in an invitation, as I'm finding that it would probably be expensive to carry through the decor.
I absolutely love this invitation. I love the monogram, I love the design along the side. Unfortunately, this just doesn't go with the atmosphere of our wedding.

This invitation is simple, with just a touch of that something extra. I think I need a little something more.

Be still my heart. This invitation is stunning. But again, really not our style, and probably out of our reach for DIY-ing.

(All these invites found here.)

So I found all these, and tried to decide what I really loved about all of them. There is some sort of extra pizazz in each. Either a lace design or some sort of scroll pattern. But I needed to be sure that MIL would have either a stamp or other cool tool that would create that for me. That led to my Google search for "scroll stamp" and "Stampin Up wedding invitations." That led me to this:

Ohhhh! Scrolly! (Is this a real adjective? Full o' scrolls?) And even better, I sent this picture with some others to my MIL, and she already owns this stamp. Bonus!

So up next, I'll show you the rest of my inspiration, and let you know what MIL thinks about all this (plus, I'll also get to see her this upcoming weekend, and talk about some of these things in person!).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Winter in New York City

So, I know it's not even mid-October, but I just read about this contest over on Snippet & Ink, and I had to enter it! The Busy Bee household LOVES winter in New York City. The tree, the shopping, the's the about the only time I don't want to punch a tourist. I don't think there is any place that is quite as cheery or quite as lit up as New York at Christmas. So here's the entry I sent in. I'll let you know if I hear anything!

Winter in New York City is unlike anywhere else. My fiancee and I will be here for our fourth winter, and every year, it gets better.

Our first winter, we wandered down by Rockefeller Center and enjoyed the tree, the people, and the happiness you could feel coming from that babbling mass of people. We tried ice skating, but we were poor, recent graduates, and decided we should try in Bryant Park, which we heard was free. That didn't work out either, but we were happy enough to wander through the Christmas market, cold on our noses, but warm hands as we held on to each other.

Every winter since, we've done something wonderful and Christmas themed as soon as we got the chance. The Rockettes? Saw them. Ice skating? Did it. Cider and Christmas markets? Check, check.

We love winter in New York City. And you can tell everyone else does too. No matter how messy it gets outside, no matter how many "snow piles" end up being puddles that soak my feet, December in New York makes me smile through any inconvenience. The holidays are on their way, and everyone knows it. So no matter how cold, wet, rushed, or busy we are, we smile, and we enjoy it.

I would love to win this contest because, for once, it would be amazing to have our annual Rockefeller Christmas Tree picture taken by someone else. Maybe both of our heads will make it in the frame, and even some of the tree!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Back on Track: Weigh-In!

You can probably assume from the blog post title...but I finally, finally, finally saw what I wanted at my weigh-in this week...negative!

I lost a pound this week, and what did it take to achieve that? Surprise, surprise, it required me to stay within my points limits, workout, track, drink water, follow the Good Health Guidelines, and more. Oh, what's that you say? Oh yes, it's the entire Weight Watchers program.

I think this just goes to show that when you are diligent, you stay on program, and you really monitor yourself, you will absolutely have success.

While doing this though, I did find some problems with my own self on program.

  • Boredom. This topic is often brought up at weekly meetings. Because it is so rampant in the program! The same foods, the same routine, the same (or barely different) results. Now, if you are good about program, then the same-ness of this probably really works out for you. But I couldn't even survive one week of strict-on-program-ness without feeling desperate and trapped. And switching things up is TOUGH. Any suggestions with how to conquer this?
  • Working out. Ugh. I hate it. I hate working out. There, I said it. I don't have to like it, I don't have to pretend to like it. But, I still have to do it. Even the 20 minute at home workout really puts a damper on my day. I will find any excuse NOT to do it.
  • Watching everyone else. They don't have to count points, they don't have to exercise regularly, and they LOVE to eat. This. Is. Tough. I'm not going to give up going out with or hanging out with how do I get rid of food envy?
So even with a good week on program, I found myself struggling. Mostly emotionally...which is ok. I think that is 99% of this journey. My emotions and my mentality. My body will change if I decrease its intake. That is pure science. But I have to change my head to get behind this, so that I want to limit intake (far beyond "I wish I was skinny" to "I don't need/want/desire/even like that food").

Let's not talk about what this past weekend was like then...yikes. But that's ok. I have Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to be good again. Sure, the loss won't be as big as last week when I stayed on track, but hopefully I can at least stay somewhat in the negatives!

How was your weigh-in this week? I hope you were successful!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My Bum Knee

So it happened back in June. The fiancee was out of town, I was going crazy alone at home studying for the bar, so I packed my bags and headed to Mom and Dad's for a bit. This way, there was free meals, free laundry, and someone to entertain me when the crazies struck.

The other great thing: my mom is a gym-going-wild-woman. She loves her weekly classes, she loves the muscle conditioning, the ab workouts and her Zumba. This makes her a really good companion who keeps me consistent with my workouts while I'm home.

This fateful day, I was at the start of my half-marathon training. Yes, that is right. I had set my mind on running a half-marathon in October. According to some websites I found, as a novice runner (I literally had taken up running a few months before this, and it wasn't so long ago that I couldn't run a solid mile) it would only take me 12 weeks to be prepped for the half. Sure, I wouldn't be the fastest gal in the race, but I would finish it. And that was all I was shooting for.

At this point, my running had been all throughout my Brooklyn neighborhood, and although running outside had its downsides, I was really comfortable doing it. But now being in the 'burbs, the lack of sidewalks didn't seem as conducive to my outdoor training. So I hit the gym with my mama.

I was shooting for a 5-mile run that day. My longest at this point in the training (yeah, yeah, I wasn't that far into the training after all). So I'm running along on the treadmill. I'm trying to get a feel for it, trying to keep up with the pace I had set, and shooting to be done with the 5-mile run and a 1-mile walk by the time my mom was out of her class.

But then...something didn't feel right. My knee was...twitchy. It felt a little sore, it felt a little wrong. But I didn't twist or fall or bend funny. So I ignored it, laughed it off as paranoia (as both my mother and Brother M were in the process of recovering from their recent knee surgeries) and kept running.

I didn't hit my five mile mark that day. And two days later when I tried again, I barely made it to three. Two days after that? After 1/2 a mile I had to stop, the pain was so bad.

So other things got in the way (namely: the bar!), I just stopped the running for awhile, and hoped the pain would subside. But it didn't. It got worse! Even without running! My bike made it ache, the elliptical made it ache, and forget the spinning class I attempted to take...oy!

I saw a doctor a few weeks ago, and THANKFULLY the diagnosis was not one that required surgery. But I do have tendinitis in my knee. This means no running (for twelve weeks! ugh!), physical therapy (as soon as my bone-headed health insurance company stops being so bone-headed), anti-inflammatorys (fancy term for taking Advil three times a day), and a sad, lacking in cardio, Busy Bee.

So what am I doing now? Well, I'm consistently forgetting to take the Advil, and I'm fighting with my insurance company to pay for physical therapy. I've been using an at-home 20-minute fitness video, and I've been walking. I'm trying to shoot for what I can do without re-injuring or stressing my knee, but I'm also focused on my goal to lose weight, and that requires exercise! Sure, a mid-20-something gal should probably be able to do more than a 20 minute video and walking and call it exercise, but hey, sometimes life gets in the way, it throws you a curve ball or two, and you have to adapt! Most important, do NOT give up. So I won't use this bum knee as an excuse to sit on my couch and mope (at least not everyday), but I will use it as a great chance to get creative and see what else I can do for that extra cardio boost!

Have you ever had an injury that prevented you from reaching your goal?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Walking the Brooklyn Bridge

As I mentioned in a previous post, I have a knee injury. It really cuts into my fitness goals and it can be SO incredibly frustrating. I'll give you the backstory on that soon.

So on Columbus Day, it was a beautiful day here in Brooklyn, and I knew I should not be inside doing my typical unemployment pouting. Instead, I wanted to be outside, enjoying the weather, getting some exercise, and appreciating this beautiful city I live in! So I headed for the iconic Brooklyn Bridge.

I get chills every time I see the Bridge from afar (usually it's when driving over the Manhattan Bridge in a cab on a late night out or when driving back into the city after being away for the weekend). It reminds me of how beautiful and diverse this city is, and how lucky I am to have an opportunity to live here.

So I gchatted a friend (Bridemaid S, actually!) and we met on the Brooklyn Heights side and set off toward Manhattan.

It was a great excuse to be outdoors, catch up with a friend, and get some exercise. Although we ended in Manhattan and each had a glass of wine and shared a sandwich, I did decide to turn around and walk back to Brooklyn. So I got my fair share of fitness in today. And did it without even really noticing!

Not only that, but walking back alone, I really was able to take in the sights and sounds as I walked across the bridge. Mostly, this included seeing just how many different types of people must cross this bridge everyday! And I heard so many different languages. It's fun to see people marveling over the place you live. It makes me smile. I'm a lucky girl, and sometimes, I'm not so good at remembering that!

Do you have a place that reminds you of how lucky you are?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Wedding Inspiration Road Block

I don't know what it is lately, but I have been relatively uninspired about my wedding! Maybe it was Sister J's wedding as a distraction (/stress-inducer/project to worry about) that made me not want to think about my wedding for awhile. Maybe it was feeling how far away the wedding is (375 days according to my desktop countdown). Maybe I had just read too many freaking blogs and was getting an inferiority complex.

Whatever it is, I'm uninspired as of late. I don't want to think about dresses. I don't want to think about color schemes...or favors...or venues...or any of it!

Now, don't get me wrong, I still love that man I'm engaged to. But sometimes, the planning is stressful. And uninspired.

Maybe a list will help. To see exactly what we HAVE accomplished:

1) Venue. Sigh. It is SO freaking beautiful. I do get a great big tingly feeling when I think about dancing and romancing in there. So that's a good sign!

2) Photographer. I'm excited about having David Barnes photograph our wedding! He also did a friend's sister's wedding, and her album was the sample album he showed me in his studio! i think it was a sign.

...Um, is that really it?! Hmmm, maybe this list will inspire me to get my butt in gear! Things need to be done!

What do you do to get over a mental block that is cutting off your creative juices?

Monday, October 11, 2010

WW Weigh-In: Post-Wedding


Recognize that? It's a plus sign. That is what I saw this week at my Weight Watchers meeting. It's not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last. So the important thing is to understand the week that came before my Thursday weigh-in, what I can take from it, and how I can change this week to get this instead:


Negatives! I'm excited to start seeing numbers go down, rather than up. Haha! Wouldn't that really be effective in my weight loss journey?

So here is what I know I can constructively work on this week to try and see more positive (ergh...negative) outcomes on the scale:

  • Exercise: Although my gym membership is expired and although I can barely do any cardio (due to a knee injury) I can keep working on the exercise video I have from Netflix (I'll let you know more about that video when I have done it with more consistency). Also, the weather will be beautiful, so I should pull my bike out more and enjoy it while I can!
  • Tracking: I did not track at all last week. Although obviously I was busy with wedding bonanzas, I'm not going to allow myself to make excuses. Why do I have the most expensive, inconsistent phone on the planet (ahem *iPhone*) if not but for the convenience of tracking? I will track. Every bite. Even the bites I'm not quite so proud of.
  • Attitude: Shockingly, I think my attitude will make a big difference. Positive thinking will lead to a negative weigh-in. On the scale, I will see negatives if I think positively.
So that's where I'm at now. I'm going to take these thoughts, apply them this week, and hopefully, there will be a big fat NEGATIVE in my book when it's back in my hand.

Anyone else doing their weekly weigh-ins? Did yours go better than mine?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sister J's Wedding

My beautiful Sister J got married this past weekend, 10/2/10. She looked absolutely beautiful and we all had a fantastically awesome day. It started bright and early at the hair salon. J, Mom, BM K, and myself all had our hair done. Sister J and Mom were pampered extra special and had their makeup done as well.

We were there for about two and a half hours, and then went back to Mom's house for a quick bite to eat, and then it was time for the big dress-putting-on-moment. That's when things got a bit hectic...

But we got the bride in her dress and she looked absolutely stunning. So then it was on to the church and time to make our way down the aisle!

That's me, the busy bee, walking down the aisle. (I had a little problem with tearing up. I focused straight ahead to avoid crying). And then, with a beautiful ceremony and a beautiful homily, Sister J and (now) Brother D were married!

We moved on to take some photos in our town center, photos at the venue, and then partied the rest of the night away. My speech was (based on the opinions of others) a success, the first and parent dances were lovely, and the food was delicious. And above all, Sister J was married!

It was a very exciting day, and I must admit, it made me VERY excited for mine to come in just over a year!

Have you ever participated in a sibling's wedding? Was it exciting for you?

All personal photos.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Necklace


I just wanted to share with you a quote from this book I'm reading. I'm actually not quite done yet (give me a break, I only started it 26 hours ago...but I do only have 8 pages left...). But I found that this quote was something I could relate to entirely right now. The more I grow up, the more I realize how many people I actually do need in my life, and what I need them for.

In the past, Priscilla had always though that the smarter and more successful you were, the more you didn't need other people, the more you could do it all yourself. Priscilla had never asked anyone for anything. Now she was starting to think differently. Maybe the smarter you were, the sooner you recognized you were in trouble and asked for help. (The Necklace, Cheryl Jarvis, page 163, emphasis added)

I just felt that was so fitting with everything I'm going through right now. It's important to stop, and to know when you need to ask for help.

Is this something you recognize in your life? Are you any good at asking for help when you need it?

I have never been in contact with the author or the publisher of this book, and just wanted to share with you because I enjoy it so much! Here's where you can buy the book if you are interested:,

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Sister J got married!!

Sister J got married this weekend! It was an absolutely wonderful weekend and I am STILL recovering.

But I'll share the details with you soon...for now, the bride and her MOH.

Photo by BM K.