Monday, August 24, 2009

Wednesday Book Blog: Julia's Chocolates

Julia's Chocolates

Cathy Lamb

My sister recommended this book to me while we were on vacation in Aruba and I ran out of books to read on the beach. She had just finished and thought I might enjoy it as she had.

While this is not the typical book I would normally read, I loved it. I could not put it down and I read it in less then 2 days (not hard to do when all you are doing is sitting on the beach reading)

It tells the story of women breaking out of her abusive relationship and unhappy life and how she rebounds and makes a new and happy life for herself. But it was not one of "those" books. It was very uplifting and fun and happy and I actually laughed out loud on the beach a few times.

It was one of those books that you just don't want to end. You want it to keep going and you want to keep living with the characters of the book. Yet another book I highly recommend! Fun, happy and quick read. I don't think you will be sorry you picked this book up.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Andrea: Taking me time

Even though it is sticky today and I have a TON of work to do. I have a friend coming into to town to visit and I am taking the day off and taking some me time on the beach with my friend! I am not going to worry about all that I have to get done before my trip next week, I am just going to enjoy the moment I am in and enjoy spending time with a friend I don't get to see often. Oh and I am going to enjoy the beach and rejuvenating my tan!

Enjoy the good moments today I plan on it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wednesday Book Blog (on Friday): Sepulchre, Kate Mosse

Kate Mosse

This book was recommended to me by a fellow reader and I was attracted to the book because the story line revolves around a deck of Tarot cards, and being that I am studying and reading Tarot Cards now, it piqued my interest.

However, while interested, I was also hesitant at first because I attempted to read one of Kate Mosse's earlier books, Labyrinth, a few years ago and had a hard time getting through the book. I actually did not finish it which is rare for me. But since the subject matter of this book interested me I thought I would give it try.

Lucky for me, it worked out in my favor. The story line was very interesting to me and kept me guessing and turning pages. I also enjoyed how the book would go back and forth between the past and the present, but it was done in such a way that you were not confused as to what was going on and which time period you were in. As you get further and further into the story, the past and the present start inter-twining and connecting and coming together. I found I could not put this book down and was very glad that it was not only recommended to me but that I gave the author another chance.

I think now I am tempted to pick up the other book I have by Kate Mosse and see if in another time and another place that book will interest me this time around.

Happy Reading!

Andrea: Beautiful Morning

I am by no means whatsoever a morning person. I am that person that hits snooze for a good half hour period before I even think about getting out of bed. When I eventually emerge, I have only one eye open and a snarl on my face. And don't even think about talking to me - even to say good morning - for at least an hour after I have gotten out of bed.

But lately, to maximize my time and get a jump on my day, I have been scheduling appointments earlier in the morning. Yesterday morning I had an 8am My Time For Me meeting. Yes you heard me, 8am - luckily we had our meeting at Starbucks so that I could get some caffeine in me to help with the morning sluggishness. I also arrived 10 minutes early for my meeting just to make sure all the morning grump was out of me before the meeting started so I could be nice, and participate intelligently in the conversation.

Once there, sitting outside in the morning sun, I really was happy to be up early. There is something calming and serene about being up and out in the early morning sun. I actually enjoyed it and have gotten so much accomplished by starting my day early. I think I am going to continue to try to rise early on more mornings. Well at least while it is warm and sunny out, I think I will have to reevaluate this practice on the cold, gray winter mornings, but until then, I look forward to more sunny early mornings when the World is just starting to wake up and everthing is fresh and new and the possibilites endless for a great day.

Andrea: Shoe String Summer Continues

So last week, and please forgive me for not writing about it sooner, I embarked on another shoe string adventure and lunch with my Gram.

My Gram is such a great lunch date that I decided that it would be great to have her join me on my summer quest. So Gram and I are now embarking on Shoe String Summer Lunch Dates together! We are having a blast enjoying each others company as well as the fine fares of the area at the great prices.

Our adventures last week took us to the Mansion Clam House in Westport. We actually allowed my Mom to join us too and the 3 of us had a great lunch. I must admit, we did veer off the prixe fixe menu and order off the regular menu, so while it started out as a shoe string lunch, it did not end as one. But the seafood was delicious and the splurge was worth it. Gram had the tilapia, Mom had the famous fried clams and I had little neck clams. Yum Yum. Just writing about it makes me want to go back right now!

But back to my original reason, shoe string summer - yes they do have a prixe fixe menu, I believe it is lunch for about $12(give or take) and you get a starter and a meal. They really had some great choices on there (of course now I can't remember them -shame on me). They also have a great porch room that is sort of outside and sort of not, we could not sit there due to a private party but the table in the window was just as nice.

The Mansion Clam House also offers a happy hour special of free shrimp cocktail during happy hour if you are sitting at the bar. I have not tried out this shoe string summer deal but I plan to soon, especially after writing this blog and remembering how good the food was.

Oh and My Time For Me is in talks with The Mansion Clam House to do an event with them....stay tuned for that information!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Andrea: Good For You!

Last week a colleague of mine sent me an email with this most wonderful quote:

Taking time for yourself should never be seen as a burden.
Not on you, and not on anyone else.
~Elizabeth Franklin

What a wonderful quote and what a great sentiment and thought for My Time For Me. I immediately put the quote up on our website and replied with my thanks and that I has posted it.

Her reply to me was: And I just sat out by my fountain on the patio with a cup of coffee and did nothing-- guilt free!! Thanks for being a good influence!"

What a wonderful way to start the day with a great quote and a thank you and knowing that we influenced someone to take me time and enjoy it guilt free. I hope that everyone can take the time of a cup of coffee out of there day to take me time and enjoy it and rejuvenate their day and relish in the peace and the gift of taking me time.

Thank you to my colleague for sharing your experience and I wish the same for the rest of us! Happy sipping and happy me time!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Andrea: Shoe String Summer Lunch

This week I had lunch at Centro in Darien and without even realizing it, lunch fit right into my Shoe String Summer Plan. Centro offers $9 lunch special options, perfect for both the wallet and the palate. The offerings consisted of 1/2 pizza, 1/2 Caesar Salad plate, 1/2 sandwich and a cup of soup, a pasta special and a fritatta special.

I had the 1/2 sandwich, cup of soup and my Gram had the 1/2 pizza, 1/2 Caesar salad. Both portions were extremely generous for 1/2 portions and tasted great. The atmosphere there is also very nice which I find very important to my dining experience. I will be back during Shoe String summer and beyond.

The adventure continues......

Andrea: Happy Birthday Gram L

Yesterday was my Gram's 94th birthday, but of course we told everyone it was her 49th birthday. She had lots of fun putting strangers on the spot and asking them if she looked old for 49! It was my honor, privilege and my enjoyment to get to spend the afternoon with my Gram on her birthday.

We went out to lunch together (and wow for skinny little "elderly" lady -as she calls herself - she sure can eat!) and ran a few errands and scratched a few lottery tickets together - we won $4 on her 94th birthday!

During lunch I started thinking about all the stuff my Gram has lived through and we started talking about it. I have actually had this conversation with her before, I even wrote a paper about it in college that got me an A, but I still find it so interesting to talk to her about it. My Gram was born in 1915 and has lived through so many historical events including 16 presidents, Pearl Harbor, the depression - the list goes on and on with that many years under your hat. When she was born, not every house had electricity. She still has the actual Iron iron that they used to iron clothes with, to get it hot you had to put it on the stove! She uses it as a door stop these days. They had touring cars back then and not everyone had them, she told me that when it rained you had to attach across the top a tarp, but that it did not do much by way of keeping the rain off of you. She also told me about the time her dad once took their family in their touring car from Bridgeport, CT to Lexington Ave, NYC and it took 3 hours. Post Road all the way, when my eyes bugged out of my head at this she said, well remember there was not the Merritt Parkway or Interstate 95 at that time.

So many things have changed in so many years and she has seen so much of and kept up with the time as well. My Gram has always been and still is a forward thinker, she moves with the times and keeps up with the way of the world today which I think is very cool. She is happy to talk about the past and what was going on when and what her life was like but she lives in the present. Oh and she is still sharp as a tack (both in her memories and her wit), she remembers everything including dates from the past as well as keeps up with current events. We should all be so lucky at 94!

I am very blessed to have my Gram still here and get to spend time with her. Happy Birthday Gram, looking forward to celebrating 95 with you and everything between now and then!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Andrea: Shoe String Summer Continues

This week, as I a mentioned previously, is Restaurant Week in South Norwalk with participating restaurants offering 3 course lunches for $16.40 and dinners for $29.95pp. On Monday night I took advantage of the great Prix Fixe deals that is being offered. Hey it fits right on in with my shoe string summer plan!

What I also found out was that on Mondays and Tuesdays, Strada 18 offers wine flights for about $15. There are 3 wines in the flight and they offer one flight with a theme. This week it was Rhone wines. They are very generous with their tastings and will explain to you the wines. We had ours with dinner and unlike most flights, they poured ours one at a time, instead of all three at the same time. It was very exciting to know that once you finished the glass in front of you another one was coming to try.

And of course not only was the wine deal great, but the food and the prix fixe was wonderful as well.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Andrea: Dish Pan Hands

In keeping with not only my shoe string summer mission but also my quest to live more healthy, I have been cooking and eating much more often at home. This is great for lots of reasons, I enjoy cooking, I am eating healthier and saving money, however it seems as if I am constantly doing dishes! Every time I turn around, there is another fork, dish, cup or something that needs to be washed. It seems endless and well for me, not so enjoyable but considering the good that comes out of it, I guess it really is not all that bad. Maybe I should just consider my dish pan hands a badge of honor for my efforts and proudly display my chipped finger nail polish an water pruned hands. Um okay maybe that is going a bit too far.....oh well, a cooking and a washing I will keep on doing, dish pan hands and all....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Andrea: Shoe String Summer

What is Shoe String Summer? Exactly what it says it is. The mission I have chosen to accept is to have an adventure and fun filled summer on a shoe string budget. Something I am sure that most of you are doing as well.

Just because we have to watch our wallets, it does not mean that we should not have fun and enjoy ourselves! A few ways that I have been enjoying shoe string summer is too check out all the deals that are being offered around Fairfield County. In an answer to the problems of the economy many of my (and I am sure yours too) favorite restaurants are offering happy hour specials, prix fixe meals. And in case you have not heard yet, this coming week is restaurant week in South Norwalk with 3 course lunches for $16.40 and dinners for $29.95.

Another great way I was able to pamper myself on my shoe string budget was to get a massage as the Connecticut Center for Massage Therapy. A couple of times a year they offer massages at a very deep discount so that the students finishing up the program can log practice hours. It was great, $35 for a 50 minute massage.

As mentioned in a previous blob, I have been using to get books so I can keep up with my summer reading while sitting at the beach - another great way to enjoy Shoe String Summer!

As summer is just beginning, although you can't really tell by the weather, this adventure is just beginning as well and I will keep you posted on the great Shoe String Summer Adventures!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog

So a few weeks ago I wrote about Map Of Bones by James Rollins and I enjoyed that book so much I started reading more books by Mr. Rollins in his Sigma Series. Since that book I have read Sandstorm - a prequel to Map of Bones and Black Order the book after Map of Bones.

I also have the next book, The Judas Strain, on it's way to me via - just a side note - for all of you readers, is a very cool site. It is a swap site for books (duh, hence the name). How it works is you post your books on the site for people to request and for every book you send to someone, you get a credit. For every credit you have, you can request a book. The only cost to you is the cost to send one of your books to the requester. The media rate for books is something like $2.44(give or take a few cents). It is a great way to get rid of the books you have read and don't want to keep and a great cost effective way to get the books you want to read. I just love it, especially for me with how much I read and how many books I have.

Now back to the books - they are great adventures that are based on scientific and religious fact and history. Very similar to the Dan Brown books but I think better and more fun. There is lots of action and I will admit, lots of stuff that I have trouble understanding in the scientific realm, but that does not affect the enjoyment of the book. So if you like adventure and you like following the same characters from one adventure to the other, I think you might enjoy these as well.

So happy reading and happy swapping until next time!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Andrea: Practicing what we preach

boy you would think someone who likes to talk as much as I do would be better at this blogging thing huh.

So this past weekend, Tracy and I had a planned strategy meeting for My Time For Me. You know the type of meeting, talk about growth plans, strategy, what events we want to have in the fall. However last minute we needed to be in Long Island for the weekend so we decided to keep our scheduled meeting and have it in Long Island. It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon so we set up shop outside on the deck by the pool.

I know I know, you are thinking, how can you get anything done sitting at a pool in the sun on a Saturday afternoon. Well the list of things we had put together before hand really helped to keep us on track and surprisingly the great weather was a good motivator - especially since we have not been seeing much of that lately.

Then we realized we were practicing what we preach and being true to our My Time For Me culture. For us working on MTFM is taking me time since we love and enjoy what we do. We also realized how great it was to be able to be sitting outside, catching some rays and still be working and accomplishing our plans.

So the meeting was a huge success and we have some great plans in the works for the fall including another A Day For Me, a visit to the shooting range again, a wine dinner and much much more. Be sure to visit the My Time For Me website for updates to the calendar so you can plan for your me time this fall!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Book Blog: The Big Leap

The Big Leap
Gay Hendricks

Today I have not much to write in my book blog because I am still reading this book. I am half way through chapter 3 and I just love it (Do I say that about every book?)

I am going to get back to reading the book and will write about it as soon as I finish it. But for those of you who think you have something limiting you from reaching your full happiness and/or potential - this book just might be for you.

More soon! Happy reading.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Andrea: GCT Tour

This weekend My Time For Me took a tour of Grand Central Terminal. I have always loved GCT and whenever I take the train into the city, I take a moment to look up and gaze at the beautiful ceiling up above. It takes my breath away and if not for possibly getting run over by the folks walking through I would stand there for hours and just stare up.

Aside from that and a few other minor tid-bits that I have learned over the years about GCT, I did not really know too much of the history or of the less visited parts of the terminal. The tour on Saturday, while only a little over an hour long, taught me so much that I did not know or even think about. It was great and I look forward to learning more. Of course hearing our tour guide talk about the history made me want to get a book about GCT, but I refrained, I think I will just put that book on my wish list for now.

After the tour we went to not widely known Campbell Apartment located in GCT for drinks and snacks. It was such a cool little bar. It had once been the office of John W. Campbell and it was called apartment instead of office so that during prohibition, Mr. Campbell could entertain clients and offer them alcohol in his "private residence". Awesome place to grab a drink but a bit pricey and they do have a dress code, so no sneakers if you want to visit this establishment.

After the tour I put my new found knowledge of the subways to use again and did a few errands around the city. What a great day exploring new places and learning new information and all so close to home!

Check out the MTFM website this week to see pictures of the tour.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog: Run For Your Life

Run For Your Life
James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

I am a big fan of anything written by James Patterson and I look forward to his books coming out because to me they signify a good, captivating quick and enjoyable read with action and twists and turns.

Run For Your Life follows detective Michael Bennett in NYC as he chases down a crazy serial killer. This book does not differ much from the format of all the Patterson books, especially the books of the Alex Cross series. There are many similarities in the characters, the family members, the plot line and the bad guys. It follows the same pattern pretty close with new details and people in a different city. Alex Cross is in DC and Michael Bennett is in NYC.

However, having said that, I still did enjoy this book. It was a quick and entertaining read. It even kept me from going to bed while reading it. I would finish a chapter and think to myself just one more chapter and then lights out, but one chapter would lead to 10 (another great thing about the Patterson books - short chapters, great for a reader like me that can't put a book down mid chapter)

For fans of Patterson, you might feel like you are reading the same story, but different people and place, but still an entertaining read. For someone new to Patterson, a good quick and enjoyable read.

Happy reading!

Andrea: I'm a big girl now!

Yesterday I had a meeting with a fellow entrepreneur in NYC about her company called Stiletto Spy School. So I got myself up earlier than my usual time, packed a bag of essentials (umbrella, book for train, lip balm, pad of paper and music) and headed for the train. Once in the city, I walked the 10 or so blocks to the meeting and found myself in an area not far from Grand Central Station but where I had not really explored before. I am looking forward to the next time I am in the city checking out 2nd Ave a bit more.

After the meeting I wanted to go to Union Square but it was too rainy any my heals were way to high to walk, so I found the subway and bravely walked down the stairs. I had no idea where to go once down there or how to get to the right platform, but hey I had done it before with friends, I was sure I could do it by myself. So I got myself a metro card, stocked it up with the $7 deal they had, swiped the card and walked into the maze of tunnels. Luckily Tracy had mentioned that I wanted the 6 train and I knew enough that i was going downtown to I found the 6 heading downtown, hopped on, checked the map at the top of the car and made my way to Union Square! I did it, I really did it. I could not wait to do it again for the way home.

While there I visited a great store called East West Living. Very cool place I recommend you give it a visit if you are in the area of 5th and 14th. But anyway I digress. When it was time to head back to Grand Central Station, I found the subway again, got on the train and headed back uptown. It was great, saved me walking time, getting wet in the rain and cab fare. So convenient and not so intimidating anymore.

I think I may have to plan an excursion on Saturday afternoon after the MTFM Grand Central Terminal Tour and Private Reception and take the subway again.

Happy traveling and remember to keep hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wednesday Book Blog: Map Of Bones

Map of Bones
James Rollins

I am not quite sure how I came across this book, but I saw it somewhere and put it on my B&N wish list. Last week I was ordering books and decided to get it and I was not disappointed.

This is book 2 of the Sigma Series (yes I have now ordered book 1 and 3) and it is a fast paced mystery based on historical facts and information. It is very much a DiVinci Code-esque book so for those of you that are fans I recommend this book. It had great action, great history and mystery and very interesting facts, twists and turns. I really could not put it down. I was taking a red eye home from the west coast last week and I was reading the book instead of sleeping! I could not put it down.

With the Angels and Demons movie coming out next month I am sure all the hype is going to start again and this book is a great way to stay in that genre. I will let you know if the other books are just as good.

Happy Reading!

Back Again

So I have been very remiss and have not been writing blogs at all! Not even my Wednesday book blogs. Shame on me! But now I am back and going to try to get back into blogging. Where have I been you ask? Hmm I am not quite sure I even know, things have been so busy and in a very good way.

My Time For Me had our first A Day For Me on April 5th and it was a great day. We had so much fun and got to try out all kinds of fun new things. It really was a dream come true as we have been wanting to have a "big event" ever since we started MTFM. Check out some great pictures from ADFM and see all the fun. We plan to do another one this fall so be on the look out for that information.

Oh and for the first time ever in my life I walked the Brooklyn Bridge this weekend. That was great, it is beautiful and you can see so much and well let's be honest. The people watching is top notch. I look forward to doing it again soon, I think I am hooked now. Anyone up for a stroll?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Beach Music
Pat Conroy

This book tops one of my all time favorite books. I do not re-read books but I think that this is one that I will soon pick up and read again. It was not a short book and actually it took me an entire summer plus to read this book. I would pick it up, read a few chapter or read it for a few days and then put it down for a few weeks (of course I would read something in between) The more I got into the book the more I did not want it to end so the slower I read it. I felt as if I was apart of the book and the lives and I just wanted to keep living it.

I can't tell you what it was about this book exactly, maybe it was the style of writing, maybe it was the content of the story or the lure of the characters or of the descriptions if Italy. Or maybe it was a combination of all of that, but whatever it was, I found this book very moving and it has a very fond place in my heart.

The story is of a man and his daughter and their life after the death of his wife. The story explores family life, secrets and love. My description of this story could not do it justice so I will let you either check out the description online or read the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog: Eclipse and Full Moon

Book 3 and 4 of the Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer

Eclipse and Breaking Dawn

Sorry to have missed last weeks book blog, but I was on vacation and did not have access to the Internet. Yes it was wonderful to be liberated from technology for a few days.

This week I am going to talk about both Eclipse and Breaking Dawn. Mostly because I can't keep track of what happened in which book and it just seems like the right way to do it.

Eclipse, the 3rd book in the series took me longer to read than the first two. For some reason, I personally was not as captivated by this book as the first two, however it could have been a bunch of things, including reading the books all in a row - I may have just needed a bit of space from Bella, Edward and Jacobs world, and I was pretty busy with not as much time to read. But the book was very good and really set up things for the 4th book.

As you can see, I read the 4th book while on vacation. As I looked around the beach, I saw more sunbathers than not with one of the books from the series. One woman saw me reading Breaking Dawn and even stopped to talk to me about the book. Funny how a book about vampires can cause conversations with complete strangers.

Breaking Dawn was by far my favorite book of the series and as with the first 2 books, I blew right through all 700 and something pages in a few days (okay so being on vacation with nothing to do but read helped). So much happened and came together in this last book and the story is told a bit differently from the other books. In case you have not read it, I am not going to spoil it for you because it was a pleasant surprise for me. Reading the last book made the first three all the more better. These are books I wish I could read again for the first time. I can't wait to see the movie when it comes out on DVD on the 20th.

Until next week, happy reading.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Andrea: I did it!

I did it and I am so proud of myself. I just completed the 28 day detox and I have never felt better. My body feels cleaner and lighter and my clothes are fitting better than ever. I actually got into a pair of jeans I have not comfortably fit in for 2 years.

Aside from the wonderful health benefits, I am most proud of myself for not only sticking with it but sticking with it strong for 28 days. I did not cheat once, I kept to the proportions and serving sizes and did almost all of the recommended things to help with a detox (brushing my skin, lymphatic massage, exercise) and I learned so much, not only about healthy eating but about myself. One of the best things for me from this detox is proving to myself I can finish what I start and finish as strong as the day I started. No slacking and no giving in.

Go me and all the women that did the detox with me. Now I am going to go celebrate with a vacation for a few days on a sunny beach!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Andrea: Book Blog: Law of Attraction

Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't by Michael J. Losier

One day I was listening to an Oprah show on xm radio and I heard Michael Losier taking calls from listeners about how to practice the Law of Attraction. Now I have read The Secret and I find the Law of Attraction fascinating and have found that it really does work the more I put it into practice. However sometimes I felt like maybe I was missing something. Was I, in practical ways using it correctly? After listening to the show for about 20 minutes, I realized that Mr. Losier was giving people advice how to practice the law of attraction, not just the principals and the success stories, but he was actually giving advice as to how to practice it and the correct ways to think and say and live what you want from the universe.

I immediately ordered the book and could not wait for it to get here. A few days later it arrived and I picked up the book and did not put it down until I finished it. After learning the principals of the Secret, this book went one step further and taught me how to practice it. It even gave examples and you can download worksheets from the books website to help you. It took the mystery out of the law of attraction and gave me what I needed to use it more effectively. I definitely think this is a book worth reading if you have read The Secret, it takes it one step farther and I also think this is a great book to read if you want to learn about and how to practice the Law of Attraction.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog: The Necklace

The Necklace: Thirteen Women and the Experiment That Transformed Their Lives
By Cheryl Jarvis
A wonderful friend gave this book to Tracy and I for Christmas and said we had to read it. And she was right! This book was fabulous. I picked it up at 10pm one night with the intention of just reading one or 2 of the women's stories and stayed up until 1am reading this book. I could not put it down.
I highly recommend this book to any and every woman who wants to be inspired.

This book is the story of 13 women who purchase a diamond necklace together and share it throughout the year. It is utterly amazing how one necklace can bring a group of women together and what they were able to accomplish because of this necklace. Each chapter is the story of one of the necklace owners, what was going on their life before the necklace, why they bought into the necklace and how being apart of this group affected their lives.
I can't say enough good things about this book and I think that every women should read this and be inspired to find a group of women to bond with and to do something bigger than themselves with.
Thank you Kristen for sharing this book with me.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Andrea: Emptying the Wallet

You know the song It's Raining Men? Well it has not been raining men for me but I certainly have been bleeding money! In my head I hear those words to the music of it's raining men, and let me tell you when my head sings I am bleeding money, the next word is not hallelujah.

The last 2 weeks my wallet has seen an out flux of cash like it has not seen in quite some time. Of course like everyone else lately I thought I was trying to watch my money, and not watch it go out but watch it stay in. But for some reason that is has not been the case for me. When I look back at all the money I have spent, none or not very much of it has been frivoulous. Visits to doctors, car maintenance, joining a gym, so that helps, but geez, that is alot of money going out. One good thing I can say is that I did pay off my credit card, so I got that going for me.

At least I can know my money going out is going towards my February is For Me goals and I like to think or rationalize that all my spending is helping the economy. Okay off to buy a lotto ticket now. Cross your fingers for me.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Andrea: I am doing it!

I am doing it and I am so proud of myself. I joined the gym AND I went three times this week. I reached my goal my first week! Now to some of you that may not sound like a big deal or it may sound crazy, but for me that is big. Typically I do not enjoy going to the gym at all. But this time is different. Well so far, and I have high hopes it is going to remain different.

The first day I went, I went with Tracy, that helped too, it was my first time going to a new gym and I was definitely nervous and intimidated. Having a friend to go with really helped. I even found myself enjoying it. I think the new mix I put together on my ipod really helped as well.

The second day I went, I had my free consultation with a trainer. You know the one they give you whenever you join a new gym to try to convince you that you should hire a trainer. I thought cool, someone to show me how the machines work so I can use them eventually but no way am I spending the money and getting a trainer. I had it secure in my mind that I was not going to be "sold:. Well half way through the free session, I had pretty much made up my mind that I would get a trainer. I enjoyed the work out so much and knowing myself, I know I would never do any of the things shown to me on my own again. Despite the fact that I had it set in my head I was not going to do it, and it is an expenditure I had not planned on, I am really excited about it and look forward to the new, fun exercises as well as having a motivator and someone to help guide me. And I have to admit, thinking about bathing suit season looming on the horizon is definitely another motivator.

The third day, today, I was very tempted not to go. Tracy was not going and I did not have an appointment with a trainer and heck it is Saturday, but I made a promise to myself and I decided to stick with it, so I went. Of course I felt much better for going and for keeping my promise to myself. Week 1 success, week 2 here I come and looking forward to it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Andrea: I did it!

Yes I did it. After three years and in sticking with my goals for my February is For Me Month I joined a gym. Of course I joined yesterday but did not work out, I wonder how many other people join and don't work out the day that they join? Anyway, my first work out day will be today and I know I will definatley go on Friday since I have the complimentary session with a trainer.

With my new membership, I have set 2 goals for myself 1. continue to go after my For Me Month is over and 2. to go 3 times a week. I figure start off with an attainable goal, I don't need to jump headfirst and crazy into the gym. So I plan to go 3 times a week and do cardio and build up to machines, classes and weights and maybe 4 - 5 times a week at some point. I think that this is a good game plan and one that does not intimidate me or feel overwhelming. I am actually looking forward to going tomorrow. I think that might be a first for me!

So tomorrow, my new gym mix on my ipod, my water bottle and me, will be off to the gym for the first time in a long time, for the first time FOR a long time.

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog - New Moon

New Moon, by Stephenie Meyer, the 2nd book in the 4 book series, had me captured just as much as the 1st book and I read this one in a couple of days as well. Luckily this time, I had the 3rd book on deck and did not have to wait to start that one, but I jump ahead.

I know these books were written for young adults, and much to my dismay I no longer qualify in that category but I am still enjoying them and while I find the read very easy I do not find them to be too young at all for any age to read.

The story has taken a turn that I will not spoil in case you have not read the book, but it is very interesting and I think I am going to be torn to what I want to happen just like I think Bella - the main character - is going to be torn at some point.

If you liked the first book, keep reading the 2nd one, it is just as good! Okay off to get some work done so I won't feel guilty picking up book 3 in the middle of the day today to read a few chapters. Happy reading.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tracy: Flying High

This past weekend Bryan and I went to Vermont to ski/snowboard. It was a learning day for him on the board and a day for me and my college-friend Tanya on skis. We flew up on Friday morning, in a Dash 8 plane, the same type of plane that had crashed the day before near Buffalo. I usually don't let that stuff bother me. Last time I flew was the day after the plane crashed into the Hudson. But, it does start you thinking about what's important to you and how quickly your life can change. I want to be sure that I am living my life each day. I am in the starting stages of another detox and hope to gain some clarity over the next few weeks. With this detox I plan to make some significant changes in my mindset. I want to stop thinking in the negative about myself and my body image. I have a lot to live for-my family, Bryan, Andrea and all my best friends, my future, and most of all, myself. I don't want to have any regrets when it is finally my time. My time is now to be present and accounted for in my own life.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog - Twilight

So I finally did it, I read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. The books and the movie have gotten so much attention and I do enjoy a story with a supernatural twist to it, that I thought it was about time to find out what these books were all about.

I must admit, I was not disappointed, I was sucked in (no pun intended) from the very first chapter and I could not put the book down! I started the book on Wednesday night and finished on Saturday night. I was away for the weekend and when I got back to town on Sunday night, I ran right to B&N and bought the 2nd book in the series New Moon, which I am sure to finish in the next day or 2 as well. Luckily I have a trip planned to B&N on Thursday so I can pick up the next 2 books in the series.

I am glad that I waited to read the books because it is nice to be able to read all the books at the same time instead of having to eagerly await the release of the next one. I enjoy the characters and their story and although it sounds funny to say, the sweet love story between Bella and Edward. Let's be honest, is it not every high school girls fantasy to be able to have her boyfriend sneak in her in window everynight. I can't wait to find out how the characters develop and where the story goes. Lucky for me, I really have no idea where the storyline goes and what happens to the characters and that is very fun to look forward to with 2.5 more books to go in the series. Off to continue reading........

Andrea - February is For Me!

Back in December I checked out my calendar for the coming year and gratefully realized that I had a "quiet month" in February. Being who I am, I am always flying off somewhere(literally), scheduling this, doing that and as much as I love doing everything that I do and being busy, having a schedule such as that can catch up with ya. So I decided to keep my calendar unfilled as much as possible and to dedicate the month of February to me, doing all things that are for and about me to better my mind, body and soul.

So during this Month for Me I am catching up on all the Dr. appointments that I seem to keep putting off, dentist, eye dr. physical etc. I am doing a 28 detox to rid my body of toxins and yes a few unwanted pounds. During this detox I am also going to learn more about eating healthy and taking care of myself past my month for me. I am going to start meditating again and get a massage.

I am taking time to focus on projects to grow my business that I never seem to have time to tackle and I am going to read all, ok some, of the books that have been piling up in my "to read" pile and I am going to pay off my credit card and get my finances in order.

I am even going to join a gym, gasp - join a gym, that is a big one for me. Okay I admit, that one remains to be seen, but hey at least considering it is a big thing and a step in the healthy direction.

I am going to clean out my closets and all the corners and crevices where I put stuff I don't know what to do with. I am going to replant my plants that need it and I am going put my pictures in photo albums.

And I am really going to do all of the above, okay maybe except join the gym, that one is still a wild card in my plans, but I am going to do all of the above and just thinking about it gets me excited and feeling good. February is For Me and in March I am going to celebrate all I accomplished in my month for me with a few days on the beach in Aruba! Life is good!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog

The Wednesday Letters

by Jason F. Wright

This is not one of my "normal" types of books for reading, but when I read the review of it somewhere, something spoke to me and said "you have to read this book". So I listened and I bought it and I read it and loved it!

It is such a sweet sentiment, starting on their wedding night, the groom writes a letter to his wife promising to write here a letter every Wednesday. The story is told from the perspective of the bride and groom's children when they find 39 years worth of letters.

I always know a book and/or a movie is a good one by 2 things, 1. I don't want it to end and 2. after, I can't stop thinking about it. This book was both for me. It was sad, happy, full of love but not mushy and sweet. An easy and quick read but one that made my heart happy and I will admit brought a few tears to my eyes. A great touch is in the back cover of the book there is an envelope and inside is a Wednesday letter.

Andrea: Wednesday Book Blog

Almost every year around Christmastime Patricia Cornwell publishes a book from her Scarpetta series. This year under the Christmas tree I found the 16th book in the series that started in 1990. The latest book is entitled Scarpetta after the main character Kay Scarpetta, a private forensic pathologist.

I did not start reading the series in 1990, I think I discovered these books a few years later, but since discovering them, I have read all of them and each year I look forward to the next book. Although when I finish the book I don't like having to wait a whole long year for the next one. This book, to me, was again no disappointment. For me it is an easy and interesting read. The book has 4 main characters that are in every book and I love seeing the development of each character and how the relationships evolve amongst the group. I am not always happy with what happens but I see, as the story line progresses this is where it has to go.

So if you are a Scarpetta series fan, you will probably enjoy this book. If you are not a fan but are looking for a new author/series, I recommend these books. You can pick up any book in the series and follow what is going on, but I think it is better to start at the beginning and follow it through for the sake of the characters. I will warn you though, the books are suspense and mysteries and the main character is a pathologist so if you scare easily or don't like a bit of gore or murder, these books might not be for you. If you like mysteries, Law and Order and CSI, these books are for you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Finding the Happy

We all make lots of resolutions in December and on New Years Eve for the year is about to start, and we make them with the best of intentions. But usually by now, only 17 days into the new year, we have already slipped up on well, maybe half of them.

So this year I made only 1 resolution (but I also made lots of intentions, it might be semantics here but it works for me). My one resolution this year is to be happy. Now I have written about this before and those of you that know me, know I am a pretty happy person but we all have our times and more and more I see my happy slipping and the grouch coming out and well frankly, I just don't like it or me when that happens, so I am focusing on being happy.

For me the way to do that is to just focus on the moment, be present and see the good in the moment I am in. When things overwhelm me or when someone gets under my last nerve, I take a deep breath and exhale it out and try to find the happy in the situation. It takes constant practice but I have really found that it has been working for me. Things that normally get to me, start to creep in and then I change my thinking and I find the happy.

This is not something new and profound to me or to anyone else for that matter, but it is a conscience effort and it is one that has been working and one that for me needs constant reinforcement and reminding. But I have noticed that the more I do it the easier it is and the less conscience an effort it is and more an automatic.

Coincidentally for Christmas I received from a very good friend the book "The Art of Happiness, A handbook for Living" by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler M.D. I am only about 90 pages into it but I have found it very interesting and very helpful in reminding me of my resolution, my quest and my happy. I do recommend this book even though I am only 1/4 through it.

So my happy for this moment (and at 1:46pm today I have had many already) is that I had hoped to have time to write this blog today and I did with some time to spare in my packed agenda today! Go me. I am happy.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good Things in Life

Last night I had dinner at one of my favorite places with some of my favorite people. My family (well part of my family as I am lucky enough to have a large family I love very much) at Fat Cat in Norwalk. The dinner plans were last minute for me as I had other plans for the night that got postponed. So when my aunt called in the late afternoon to tell me the family dinner plans I jumped right on it excited for the unexpected dinner.

I was the last to arrive and as I walked into the restaurant I saw one of the greatest and happiest sites - My family filling up the whole back part of the restaurant (there was 13 of us) smiling, laughing, eating and generally enjoying each others company. And to make it even better, their faces lit up with hellos and hugs as I walked up to the table, even if I did not get to eat my favorite pizza, I would have been very full and satisfied right at that moment. I wish I had my camera with me to capture that moment forever as one of the best moments to start my new year.

The rest of the evening was wonderful, we ate delicious pizza, sipped on some vino, celebrated my aunt's birthday (happy happy again Aunt Patty), spent time with my cousins visiting from NC (good luck Jerry), caught up with my local cousins and tried to learn the game the kids were playing.

Even though it was a rainy, icy evening, the sun was shining last night in the smiles of my family as we enjoyed each others company. What better way to start the new year and even though I did not have my camera to take that picture, it will forever be in my memory as a great night.