100 Things That Make Me Happy

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  1. New Books
  2. Being in Love
  3. Writing
  4. Fresh Flowers
  5. Beach Days
  6. Spontaneous Trips
  7. Singing at the top of your lungs
  8. Vitamin Water
  9. Ice Cream dates w/my girlfriends
  10. Family
  11. Boyfriend ❤
  12. Friends
  13. Barnes & Noble
  14. Apple Picking
  15. Traveling
  16. Pretty Pictures
  17. Home Decor shopping
  18. Shopping in general
  19. Yankee Candles
  20. Puppies
  21. Baby Bears
  22. Cookouts
  23. Picnics
  24. Feeling appreciated
  25. Being silly
  26. Cute little boutiques
  27. Venetian Moon Martini’s
  28. Date Nights with my Love
  29. Date Nights with my Girlfriends
  30. Bud Lite or Blueberry Beer (with blueberries)
  31. Rainy days in bed
  32. The Ocean
  33. Naps
  34. Britney Spears
  35. Trivia
  36. Jeopardy
  37. Tony’s Pizza
  38. Making Lists
  39. Organizing
  40. Taking Pictures
  41. Bookshelves
  42. Nashville
  43. Dancing
  44. Completing a project
  45. Going to the movies
  46. Anything sparkly
  47. Flowers Unexpectedly
  48. Vegetarian Sushi!
  49. Chapstick
  50. New Makeup
  51. Ulta/Sephora trips
  52. Lovely Words
  53. Poems
  54. Jokes
  55. Games (Monopoly, Cards Against Humanity)
  56. Venti Iced Caramel Macchiato
  57. Halloween
  58. The entire month of October
  59. Fall Fashion
  60. Fall Weather
  61. My Birthday
  62. Everybody’s birthdays!
  63. Giving gifts
  64. Cards
  65. Scrapbooking
  66. Pretty Coffee Table Books
  67. Home made chicken noodle soup
  68. 411 ❤
  69. Christmas
  70. Watching Clueless repeatedly
  71. Fishing
  72. Laying in the sun
  73. Reading
  74. Sharpies
  75. Coloring books
  76. Accomplishing goals
  77. Summer
  78. Iced Coffee always
  79. Baby Lavie
  80. Scary Movies
  81. Carbs
  82. Buzzfeed Quizzes
  83. Elite Daily Articles
  84. Blogging!
  85. Learning new things
  86. Mastering learning those new things
  87. Growing
  88. My compassion
  89. Cute/Silly coffee mugs
  90. Browsing The Paper Store
  91. Anything apple scented
  92. Childhood memories
  93. Ashley Graham
  94. Feeling pretty
  95. Eating Healthy
  96. Scratch tickets
  97. Living with my Love
  98. Central Air (LOL)
  99. Comfy night tee’s
  100. Clean Sheets

What makes you happy?

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HEALTHY SELF -HEAL THY SELF

My (Very Long) Weight Loss Journey

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I have struggled with my weight since Sophomore year of High School.  It probably started before that, since I was anxious and self conscious during my Middle School years (who wasn’t?)  My friends were skinny – all of them.  I was never a “skinny” girl – I’m not built that way.  But I certainly wasn’t fat when I weighed 140 lbs. Though, I thought I was.

I’ve always been a “comfort food”eater when I’m feeling down.  The Summer after my parents got divorced, I remember eating lots of Lipton soup with noodles.  (Soup has always been my go-to comfort food, FYI.  It reminds me of when I stayed home sick from school when I was little at my Grammy’s house, she always made the most amazing home made Chicken Noodle Soup ever.)  So many carbs.  So much sodium.  I was young then, and I really wasn’t aware of how terrible I was eating.  I was aware, however, when I went back to school shopping in late August and my normal size no longer fit me.  When I stepped on the scale I was devastated at how much  weight I had gained.  And that’s where it all began.

Over the years, I have tried every diet, every fad, you can possibly think of.  I tried lots of diet pills – Stackers, Xenadrine – I convinced myself that they worked, but in reality, they just made my feel anxious.  I would take diuretics and then a really hot bath to shed my water weight/bloat.  I tried the “starve yourself” diet – 500 calories a day, 12 fat grams.  How I managed to do this for almost two months is beyond me.  I was about 17, and I lost 30 lbs so quickly.  Obviously, I gained it back, and more, just as fast, if not faster.  I tried Weight Watchers.  This was back when Weight Watchers kind of sucked.  I remember being baffled by the points system.  My grilled chicken salad with lite Italian dressing and a half of a pita pocket was 12 points.  A Big Mac was also 12 points.  Why the Hell would I want the salad?  An apple was 2 points, but so was a nutri grain bar. Which one would I choose?  I lost about 20 lbs, but I quit that as well.  And gained back my weight.  The same with Jenny Craig.  I lost 20 lbs, but really, can you live on pre-made, frozen meals, forever?  Of course not.  I never stuck with that either.  For a few years, I maintained my weight.  My good friend, Amaritta, taught me a lot about eating healthy.  I started shopping at Trader Joe’s, and made healthier choices.  I really wasn’t losing weight though, probably because I would eat whatever I wanted on the weekends.

It was not until this past January, that I realized I really needed to do something – something that worked.  And it finally clicked.  I had to stop thinking of eating healthy as a “diet”.  I didn’t want to be on a diet, I needed a serious life-style change.  I did join Get in Shape for Women in January, with Greta’s encouragement.  I didn’t know enough about it. Yes, I lost 10 lbs that month, and I was very excited to be down 10 lbs before my vacation to Punta Cana in February, but I quit that as well.  I knew I would never stick to their “diet” for life. It wasn’t reasonable for me.  I don’t want to drink protein shakes.  If I want a cheese stick, I’m going to have a cheese stick.  (Also, FYI for anyone else contemplating joining, I really disliked the owner.  At my first weigh in, I was a little shocked because I had gained weight over the Holiday’s.  I remember the owning asking me, “Do you feel like a failure?”  Ummm, no I didn’t, but I do now.  Bitch.)

I tried eating healthy, and I have maintained my weight since February, give or take a pound or two.  I thought back to my past “diets”, and I realized that what I did like about Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig was that I could go to the meetings and weighed in once a week.  It held me accountable.  So I decided to join Weight Watcher again.

I joined last week.  It’s very, very, different than I remember.  Fruits and vegetables are zero points, which is amazing.  I had my first weigh in today (well, second.  I don’t count the first week because it’s just my starting weight) and I lost 7.4 lbs!  I was shocked and thrilled.  I’m not starving myself.  The first two days were definitely the hardest.  I used to snack mindlessly, so I missed snacking the most.  The first night I went to bed and all I wanted was a vanilla frosted donut from Dunkin Donuts.  Yes, I have to count points, but I can eat whatever I want. Your point value is based on weight, height, age, gender, and physical activity.  So what I eat may not work for someone else, obviously. This week was a little bit of a learning week, figuring out what I like and don’t like, and what is worth the point value and what isn’t.  I was going to post my food journal, but it’s a little bit redundant, seeing that I eat the same thing almost every day.  But I will list some of my favorite finds!

 

Strawberry.ashxeliquid-strawberry-flavour-250 (4 Points)

43000009505eliquid-strawberry-flavour-250 (1 Point! You can have 2 tbsp’s.)

 

8b2dc6b9dfc1c211402119cddf07b98a (5 Points! My favorite.)

squash spaghetti 2 (Green Squash noodles.  I bought it pre-made at Stop & Shop. ZERO POINTS. I mixed them in with Peppers, Onions and Squash.  It was delicious.  And I used spray butter in the pan, so it was all zero points!)

index (4Points.  This was worth 4 points for me.)

shady-brook-farms-93-7-lean-ground-turkey-20-8-oz_3115484 (4 oz is only 2 points.  Great for a turkey burger.)

dd_egg_and_cheese_english_muffin1 (Egg & Cheese on English Muffin from DD. 7 Pts.)

Pasta_Primavera2 (This is really good for a frozen meal.  6 Points.)

 

Wish me luck on my journey!

 

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GETTING TO KNOW YOUR BLOGGER

I decided that for my first blog post, it makes sense to tell you a little bit about myself.  So here we go. 🙂

25 Facts About Me

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My name is Erica. I am 27 years old, and I was born & raised in the suburbs, about 15 minutes north of Boston.

I am a Medical Administrator. (At least, I think that’s what my title would be.)  I work for an orthopaedic spinal surgeon, in a private practice.  It’s a small office, and we are a very tight knight group.  I really enjoy it.  I book appointments, MRI’s, CT scans, etcetcetc.

I have always wanted to be a writer. I’ve been writing stories since I was a little girl.  Granted, I never seem to finish these stories.  Half way through, I tend to get bored and lose interest.  I always come up with a new, better sounding plot and characters.  My goal is to really sit down and focus on finishing some of my work.

You may be wondering why I am in the Medical field when writing is my passion. Two reasons – one, unless I become a J.K. Rowling overnight, I would not have true job security or financial stability.  Secondly, I like what I do.  I like to help people, I always have.

I started working straight out of high school. ( I was not the greatest student in the world.)  I got a job in childcare, and I ended up staying in that field for the next seven years.  I became teacher certified in the state of MA, and I eventually had my own classroom.  I truly loved it.  My co-teacher was one of my best friends.  I taught all age groups, from infants to Pre-K, but I realized that preschool was my favorite age.  I met so many wonderful families, and I bonded with so many children.  I felt as though I was making a difference in the world – teaching is extremely rewarding.  However, I reached a point towards the end of my seventh year teaching where I no longer looked forward to coming to work anymore.  It wasn’t the children, it was more how the childcare industry operates in general.  I was stressed out and became exhausted.  It was time for a change.

I think of 25 as my “quarter life crisis” year. I was miserable at work, my anxiety had reached an all time high, and I could not handle having any more panic attacks.  I decided to make a career change.  It was the scariest decision I ever made.  I felt like I had no other skills – childcare was the only thing I had ever known.  And now I was trying to branch out into an office.  I went on countless interviews.  For this, I am grateful, because it helped me realize that I wanted to pursue something in the medical field.  It also helped with my anxiety immensely.  I went from sometimes skipping interviews because I was so anxious, to being able to breeze through them.  Sure, I got nervous, but the more interviews I went on, the easier it became.  I think that’s why I got hired when I did – I finally had faith in myself.  I believed that I was worthy of the position, and it showed.

As I’ve just mentioned, I have anxiety. Diagnosed.  It’s not something I shared with anyone for a long time.  I was embarrassed about it.  Ashamed even.  I didn’t think anyone would understand.  My friends all thought I was such a jerk when I bailed on plans.  I would agree to do something, and then I would back out at the last minute.  It’s not because I didn’t want to go – yes, I wanted to celebrate so and so’s birthday in Boston, dammit! – but my anxiety controlled me.  The thought of big crowds terrified me.  I feared having a panic attack in public.  With the right help, I’ve been able to get my anxiety under control.  Don’t get me wrong, I still live with it every single day.  It’s just more manageable now.  It took me a long time to get to this point.  I talk myself through moments of panic now.  I tell people when I’m feeling a little anxious.  I’m not ashamed or embarrassed by it any longer.  I would make it go away forever, if I could, but I can’t.  So instead, I do whatever I can to ease my mind and calm my fears.

I am in a relationship. My amazing boyfriend’s name is Saul.  He’s so much more than my boyfriend, though.  He’s my best friend.  He’s my favorite person.  My life is 100% better because he is in it.  Saul is caring, he’s loving, he’s silly.  He’s also very logical.  (I, on the other hand, am not very logical.  I’m all emotions.)  There’s a Modern Family quote that I really like – I can’t remember the whole thing, but Cam says it about his relationship with Mitchell.   How the Dreamers and the Realists are good for each other, because the Dreamers help the Realists fly, and the Realists ground the Dreamers.  Something like that.  It reminds me of our relationship.  In October, it will be three years since our first date.  We live together, and it’s amazing.  It’s like having a sleepover with your best friend every single night.  I couldn’t be happier.

My birthday is December 10th, which makes me a Sagittarius.  (AKA, Worlds Greatest Astrological Sign.)  I’m really into astrology, I find it fascinating.  Anything mystical, spiritual, or otherworldly interests me.  Ghosts, psychics, mediums – I believe in it all.

My Mom, Greta, is my Best Friend. We’ve always been close (minus some of my bratty teenage years).  She’s amazing.  She is selfless, thoughtful, and generous.  She does so much for everyone – sometimes I wish she would just slow down, relax, and only worry about herself.  If anyone deserves relaxation, it’s Greta.  We always joke that she doesn’t know how to just “do nothing.”  She’s constantly on the go, even when she is exhausted.  She’s the only Mom I know waking up at 5AM to make sure she is on her treadmill.  I admire my mother so much.  She inspires me.  I hope that I can be even half of the woman and mother she is one day.

My family and friends mean the world to me. My Dad, Jim, is a total goofball.  He’s constantly making jokes and acting silly.  My Brother, James, and I have had our share of sibling rivalry.  We had a love/hate relationship for a long time.  I think because we are both older now, and growing up, we’ve been able to connect differently.  I love my brother, he’s really funny and he’s very fun to be around.  It also helps that we no longer live under the same roof! LOL.  Then there is my cousin, Melissa, who is basically my sister.  We have done everything together since she was born.  Mel is one of my best friends.  She’s so sweet and silly, and absolutely gorgeous.  We seriously buy each other “sister” cards on our birthdays.  Her boyfriend used to always tease us about it.  Mel is like my twin.  We have very similar personalities.  She understands me like no other – my anxiety, my sense of humor.  We just get each other, honestly.  My favorite childhood memories all involve Melissa and her two brothers, my cousins, Richie and Steve.  I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.  (Hampton Days forever, Mel.)  Melissa is fabulous.  I love her a latte. (Insert silly Starbucks picture here.)  My friends are amazing friends as well.  I have a few true, they know who they are!

With that being said, my best friend, Jenalynn, get hers own spot. Jena has been through it all with me, through thick and thin, she’s always been my voice of reason.  Jen is beautiful, fun, and a great therapist.  She is also the best interior designer you will ever meet.  Seriously, her house should be featured in Architectural Digest, it’s fabulous. And her dog, Boo Johnson, is the cutest pup in the world.  I have no idea where I would be today without Jen.  Through all of the fake friends, crappy guys, and career changes, she has all been my constant.  We have fun doing anything together.  She is one of the only people I can travel with and not want to kill.  (She may not say the same about me, I’m a lot of work at the airport!)  We have inside jokes that even we don’t remember because they’re so ridiculous.  When you get myself, Jena & Amaritta together – forget it. Our silliness has no limits.  We used to drive Jena’s brother, Bobby, crazy.  We probably drove everyone around us crazy, actually.  It makes me smile just to think about it.  (Sorry God, seriously.)

I have only been out of the country twice. The first time I was 18, and I went to Canada with basically all of Stoneham High.  The second time was this past February, to Punta Cana.  It was pure paradise.  I want to travel more.  My travel wish list includes: Italy, Greece and Aruba.

I love love love to read. I will read anything.  Currently, mysteries are my favorite.  I just read The Luckiest Girl Alive, which was an amazing book by Jessica Knoll.  Nicholas Sparks used to be my favorite author, but I’m kind of over those mushy romance books (though Dear John will always be one of my favorites.) I also was on a huge vampire kick after I discovered my love for Twilight.  If you asked me right now what my all time favorite book was, I don’t think I could answer.  There are just so many to choose from!  Jackie Collins is/was (RIP) my favorite author ever.  I’ve read every single book she’s ever written, and Lucky Santangelo was one of my favorite literary characters.  I recently read Jane Eyre, which I surprisingly loved.  The Great Gatsby is another favorite.

I dye my hair very often. I’ve been brunette for a while now, but there was a time when I was platinum blonde.  I’ve contemplated going back to lighter hair, but I don’t think I will.  I change my mind too often.  I think I look better with darker hair, too.

I love to nap. I obviously don’t have time to nap during the week, because adulting gets in the way, but I would if I could.  Napping on a rainy day, or after a long beach day is amazing.

I love dogs, but I’m super allergic. It’s weird, because I never used to be.  I had a dog when I was a teenager (Lilly, my sis forever!) and I wasn’t allergic to her.  Now when I’m around dogs I break out in hives.  Taking Claritin helps.  I just really want a cute little Weiner dog, who I would name Ollie.  I follow this really cute dog, Ringo, on Instagram.  He’s from Spain.  I want a puppy who looks just like him.

Britney Spears is my favorite celebrity of all time. I’ve been obsessed since I met her at the Kiss 108 concert back in 1999.  She is such a beautiful person, inside and out.  She’s talented, she’s hot, and she’s a fabulous mama! I’m dying to go see her in Vegas.

I went to Nashville in 2013 with Jena, and I absolutely fell in love. Nashville is just so pretty – the houses in Belle Mead are literally breath taking.  It’s like a different world there, everyone is so friendly.  Nothing like Boston, that’s for sure.  I had a blast going to all of the bars on Broadway and listening to live country music.  It was magical.  (I sound so corny, but I’m so serious!) I would love to go back.  And soon.

You now know that I am a Britney fan, and a country music lover. Some of my other favorite artists are: Drake, Rihanna, Miranda Lambert, Selena Gomez.  I love Lana Del Rey.  Sometimes I think I relate to her on a spiritual level.

I get genuinely upset when/if I miss Jeopardy. (Saul and I do not have DVR, we live in the stone ages.)  I like watching it faithfully every night.  It’s more fun to watch it with someone, too.  No one really seems to like to watch it with me, though.  I like to keep score. 😛

Some other TV Shows/Movies I enjoy are: Pretty Little Liars, The Real Housewives (OC & Beverly Hills), Law & Order SVU. (Liv & Stabler forever.) Movies: Clueless, Mean Girls, Legally Blonde – your typical basic white girl movies.

I love the ocean. I may have been a mermaid in a past life.  I don’t care how cold the water is, I am going in, and I am dunking under.  It’s so refreshing!  It’s also very soothing.  I feel very peaceful and serene when I’m at the beach, watching the waves crash against the shore.  (Until I start burning like a Lobster, which always seems to happen, no matter how much SPF I use.)

I believe in the Law of Attraction. I love to make “Life Boards”, or Vision Boards, as other people call them.  I like to see what I want all mapped out in front of me.  I look back on past life boards I’ve made, and it’s funny, because a lot of the stuff on there has actually come true.  (Clearly, not everything, because I still do not have the body of Britney.)  Enough has happened though to make me believe that putting my goals and wants out in the Universe can actually work.