Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blame it on the blog

So there's no getting around it. I am quite the chubby girl these days. The weight gain has been happening over the past few years. I can't hide from it any longer.

I know everyone says they used to be skinny but I truly was. In high school, I was stick thin. I weighed ninety seven pounds and I was 5'5' tall. In my 20's and 30's I was still underweight for my height. It was fun to buy clothes and I received compliments like, "How do you stay so slim?"

Now I can hardly fit into anything from last Summer. And as my friend Jan says, "Who put my head on someone else's body?" I dread buying clothes. I don't even know what size I am anymore.

Naturally, I tried to come up with excuses for my weight gain.  You know, my life is stressful, I'm getting older, I have no time to exercise.  Here's my latest excuse, I had to photograph the food and then eat it because of my blog. I can't just get a black coffee, I have to get a mocha with a lovely design on the top. Or I tell myself I should check out that bakery so I can tell my readers about it. Well the truth is I am fat because I lack self control and I don't organize my time to include exercise. And I can't blame anything or anyone but myself.

Last week I took steps to correct the problem. I joined Weight Watchers. I am fortunate to have a supportive workplace that organized a Weight Watchers group. We go to meetings during lunchtime and health insurance reimburses all but $36. of the cost.

So my world will now consist of counting points and making healthier food choices with a little bit of exercise on the side. I am motivated to lose the weight I've gained and wait til you see the clothes I'll be buying in the Fall!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Is this what they call sweat equity?

My friend Jeanne is renovating this house. I asked her if I could blog about and she said yes. I do enjoy watching the renovation process, just don't ask me to help. So I am helping her by doing the before and after photos.

At first, the house may look menacing but it does have it's charm.. It could probably look really creepy at Halloween. If you thought the outside was bad, come on inside with me.

Here's the view of the living room and hallway.  An ugly water stained drop ceiling with missing tiles, a damaged hardwood floor, and years and years of smoke which attached itself to the mouldings and walls and made the place reek of nicotine.
Jeanne is one brave girl.  With temps in the 90's and humidity to match, she set out to make this place sparkle and shine. By the way, I took this with a wide angle lens. Jeanne is not this wide. I hope she won't kill me for using this shot!

Oh yes, a lovely shot of the ceiling and the absolutely filthy woodwork. The smell in the place stings my nose when I go in there. Perhaps we should call the hazmat team.

Jeanne assesses the situation. What tools are necessary for the job? Jeanne owns a hair salon and is also a realtor so the renovation is sandwiched between jobs. Plus she has a husband and two kids. Quite the full plate.

Despite it's obvious imperfections, the house has character and some very nice features. The fireplace is cool and there is actually one very similar in Jeanne's hair salon.

Here's a closer look. Interesting don't you think? The house was built in 1800.

This stained glass window is coming out so it can be cleaned and the frame repaired.

This is one of the bedrooms. Oops, someone put a fist through the wall!

Another view of the bedroom. You can see what a wreck the floor is.

And this is the kitchen. I should mention that this house is a two family and Jeanne says the other unit looks worse.

The ugly kitchen floor has already been restored and repaired and looks great.

The kitchen will be updated too. This needs a serious facelift and the cabinets are pink?

This room is going to be an office possibly. Love the built-in. And that door is going to be my new desk if the measurements are right.Jeanne does not want the door so I can take it if I want it. I am going to make a room in my basement into an office since I now work from home some of the time.

Here are some of the improvements from last week:

The living room- walls painted, floors redone, drop ceiling removed and stained glass window was taken down.

The floor is gleaming.  The stained glass ready for transport to be cleaned and restored.

The office has been cleaned, painted and curtains hung,

Jeanne brought in a stargazer lily because it is so fragrant. She wanted a few pretty things in the space to motivate her to make the rest of it pretty as well.

Here's the kitchen, the cabinet doors were removed and the remaining section was painted. I think it makes the kitchen look more spacious. Some work still needs to be done here.

It's reached a point where this kind of work is done, just a distant memory.

And this is finished too. At least on this apartment. Say hello to Phyllis , a very helpful friend of Jeanne's who offered to help with the demolition, etc.

When I left Jeanne tonight, there was caulking to be done.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of the house. I hope you are as anxious as I am to see the finished product.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Breakfast at Wimbledon

It's that time of year again, time for the Wimbledon breakfast.  I was really busy last week so not a lot of planning went into this party. I mean look I didn't even use a proper tablecloth!

I did remember to bring my trophy to Pondview Florist in Winchester so they could make a dazzling floral arrangement for the centerpiece. They always do a great job and they are super nice there.

I brought a tea tin to the florist as well. This small arrangement was switched with the bigger one when the meal started. That way we can all see each other when we are eating.

Here's a closer look at the big arrangement. I asked for purple and green flowers as those are the colors of Wimbledon. The trophy is from an antique store.

The bottom plates are new and the smaller plates on the top are from an estate sale. They went perfectly with the tennis theme. The green glasses you may recognize from my Easter tablescape.
They are from Brissonte of  North Reading, from the owner's personal collection and now they make their home with me. Most of the time they reside in my grandmother's china cabinet which is in the dining room.

What was on the menu you ask? Baked french toast, bacon and potato frittata, coffee cake, fruit salad, and blueberry scones with mock devonshire cream, lemon curd and strawberry preserves.  We had a fruit tart and cupcakes for dessert and of course tea and strawberry lemonade. The breakfast is kind of a potluck, everyone brings a dish.

The match was quite exciting and Roger Federer won again but Andy Murray gave him a run for his money.  It was another fun event at Cafe Chatelaine!


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