Thursday, August 30, 2012

Food, I Come In Peace

Now that summer is winding down and things for me begin to slow down a bit, I am ready to move on to Principle 3 of Intuitive Eating, Making Peace With Food.

Is food that enemy that is out to get you at every corner? When you are keeping away from one food, do you tend to want that 1 food tin times as much?

When I am told I can’t have something, I want it ten times more. My parents told me, when I was a kid, that I was NOT going to have the cookies when I asked. So instead of having a cookie or two when I asked, I snuck into the kitchen and stole 10 cookies and ate them in secret.

I am tired of being told or telling myself that I can not have this food or that one. It makes me want it more and I will get it.

I am walking down the snack aisle at the local grocery store and I see chocolate chip cookies. No, I can’t have cookies. I don’t trust myself. I’ll eat the whole box! in one sitting! But that did not happen with the last box of CheezIts I had in the house. They actually lasted through the week and not in one sitting. Imagine!

I didn’t feel that ever present guilt over buying the CheezIts. I wanted them. I got them and I did not eat them in one sitting.

I am going to take off from the CheezIts and get something that I want but never would have.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Out and About

I have a few obsessions lately that I can’t seem to shake. Most of my obsessions revolve around eating the same things over and over. I am obsessed with steak taco salads from Viva Burrito, near work. Every time I go there, and it is a few times a week, I get them. I will probably stop one day and never have it again.

I have been reading obsessively. Last weekend, I did nothing but read, take a 5 mile walk and start to transfer my blog from Blogger to Wordpress.  While I love to read,  my psyche is probably better getting out and seeing people. Even going somewhere, like Starbucks, to read, would have been better for me.

I just do better when I am with people. I am one of the most social loners. I am much happy when I have live contact with people. When I went to work yesterday, I was in such a funk that a massive amount of coffee did not even lift me up. I could have stayed in bed all day.

Luckily, I went to the Boston Blogger Meet & Greet, which was held at the Mass Ave Tavern on Mass Ave (duh) in Boston. I had a great time meeting some bloggers, whom I have been reading a while and some new-to-me bloggers. It was just what I needed.

I have been reading Molly from Wicked Cheap Boston for a while and it was great to meet her. I met some new to me bloggers like Kristin from Bishop&Rook, Ginny from GinntasticAlanna from Tactile Travel and many others but unfortunately I left my book with all of the bloggers listed at the bar. If you are local to Boston, you should come to the next one, it was a fun time.

It is restaurant week in Boston and tomorrow night I am going out to dinner with a few friends to No. 9 Park Street, a restaurant that normally I would not be able to afford. I will try my best to remember to take pictures.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Jen Reads: The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman

I have a slight fascination with colonial times so when I saw that The Orphanmaster by Jean Zimmerman was coming out I put it on my to be read list and read it, I did.


The book takes place in New Amsterdam, which is present day New York City, in 1663. It is a Dutch colony surrounded by English colonies. It is a prosperous place with a thriving merchant class. One of those merchants is a Dutch woman named Blandine von Couvering. She is an orphan building a trading business with the help of a very tall former black slave, Anthony Angola.

The English are vying to take over New Amsterdam. They send a spy who is to find the killers of Charles I after Oliver Cromwell is killed and Charles II has taken over the English throne so that they can be killed. Edmund Drummond  is a handsome aristocratic British spy.

Something has been killing orphans in New Amsterdam. Blandine, an orphan herself, is concerned and is working with the orphan master, Aet Visser, whose job it is to place orphans in households and farms in New Amsterdam.  The orphans have been stolen out of their home, taken from the African village of Angola and has the settlement on alert, talking of witiki, a cannibalistic beast in Native American lore. Drummond sees Blandine as he gets off of the boat and actively seeks her out. She seeks a friend to help her find an answer to the mystery.

This book does have some really taboo topics and can be quite gruesome. Some things go a little to well for the hero and heroines.  

I recommend this book if you love American history with a little romance and mystery.

Speaking of colonial times, I have walked past this memorial a lot but never stopped to look at what it said.


In 1625, British Captain Wollaston established a trading post in 1625 across from:


I did a little searching on the Captain and his partner in trading and there is a sordid story there full of debauchery and backstabbing. Fascinating that it happened in little old Quincy.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Calm My Crazy: Chilling Out

According To Denise

This weekend I want to chill. I want to relax, do some fun stuff and just not worry about it. Sometimes chill songs make me happy. This song came out the year I graduated from high school, 1991. The fact that it was over 20 years ago does not make me chill but this PM Dawn song has to be one of my favorite of all times.  To chill out, Set Adrift on Memory Bliss by PM Dawn does it.

Just to show some nerdy awesomeness, if you were a kid in the 80s then you remember Ghostbusters. Someone had the time to put this together and well, I will let you see it. I totally remember floppy disc drives.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Depressing Dreams?

Since I took the day off today to take my Dad to the Heart Center at MGH (the appointment went well), I had most of the afternoon to myself. While I was flipping through the channels and landed on a Nova show on dreams.  I happened to stop on the channel when they said that people with depression spend most of their sleep time in REM sleep and how that is bad.

Can dreams contribute to depression?

I almost never remember my dreams. The only time I remember if I happen to throw a pillow because it is filled with snakes or some other thing like that. Or if I dream during a short time sleeping. Then I wake up in the morning I am all confused on how that pillow ended up on the floor or how I ended up in a strange position. Those dreams can’t be good. Since I sleep alone I don’t know if I do stuff like that often.

Do have depression and notice you have a lot of nightmares? Or think you do? I wish I remembered my dreams. I would love to see if that is contributing to my feelings of hopelessness and depression.

Anti-depressants work to reduce REM sleep thus cutting down the time you are dreaming, which helps with depression.

And some good news…..

Today while I was driving my Dad into Boston, we talked about my moving. My friends are always trying to get me to move to the North Shore of Boston. Here in Boston, there is the North Shore and the South Shore and the two shall not meet. I am a South Shore gal.

I mentioned to my Dad that I want to move, whether it be to Denver or to the North Shore or Boston or where ever. My father said I should go to Salem. That should make my friends smile. He also told me not to let him hold me back from moving away. I am so torn.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Low Tide Prettiness

I had a post in my mind tonight. I had planned on getting photos from my phone to my computer and well, technology is failing me tonight. I can’t get them transferred. I did get to post one on Facebook so I will save the post I have in my head for tomorrow but here is some low tide prettiness that I saw on my walk tonight.


I am off tomorrow to take my Dad to the Heart Center at MGH. Hopefully that appointment goes well.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Reading Away Depression

Can a book help with depression and anxiety? This Huffington Post article talks about Bibliotherapy.


I would be a perfect case study. I love to read and have not hidden my love of books. They take me away when I long to get away. Along with this blog, it is one of the big things that helps me to get out of bed and up and about each day. I long to read.

I have been reading as long as I have been able to read.  I carry a book or my Kindle with me all the time.  I read before bed and on the way to work. Why I am I still battling the shadow of depression at every turn.

While reading has not cured my depression, this Psychology Today article linked in the Huffington Post article talks about reading helping to change the negative thoughts in your head. On average we think about 25,000 to 50,000 times a day.  If the majority of your thinking is negative, you are more likely to be depressed. The negative thinking is the depression taking over. Reading helps you get rid of those negative thoughts.

I am less likely to dwell on the negative if I am reading. My mind is distracted. Unfortunately, I can’t read 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. (That would be awesome if I could!)

So while books can temporarily help me to stop those thoughts from depression, they still come back when I put that book away. I can say though the books have helped me through some hard times.  Writing has as well. I think they both help me be more aware of my thoughts.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Falling Back

Where do weekends go?

The week drags on, especially today, Monday then in a blink of the eye, the weekend is gone. I am really looking forward to the Labor Day weekend coming up. I don’t think I have plans for Labor Day but any long holiday weekend is a good weekend, in my book.

As for this weekend, I had a killer migraine on Saturday and that cancelled my plans for Saturday night.  I just did not feel like going out and my migraine was totally effecting my mood so I just gave up and stayed in.

This week is quiet for me and I am looking forward to it. I already booked 2 classes for the week at Life in Synergy, one Abs and Arms class and one all over workout class.  The days I am not going to Life in Synergy, I will take a walk down to the beach.  I have actually put everything in my calendar. I am trying to be organized.

The weather here is supposed to be really nice this week but I have noticed that at night, it is a little cooler. Fall is on the way.

I was actually was talking to my friend about my lack of excitement to Fall. I hate it because everything dies. Yes, I love apple cider or pumpkin everything but when the leaves fall off of the trees and the grass becomes brown and the days get gray, it just brings me down. I think everything is blah.

Does the weather and change of seasons affect you? It certainly affects me.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Calm My Crazy: Comeback Kid

According To Denise


It is Friday! You know what that means.

I need some fun music to kick off the weekend. This song really shares how I feel a lot of the time. I have to drag myself up and be a comeback kid. That is what I need this weekend because well, I need it.

He shares a last name with me and I wonder if he is related.  He sort of looks like me.


Hopefully this puts a little kick into your weekend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Planet Fitness?

I can’t believe that it is almost Labor Day! You know the symbolic end of summer, not in my mind but it is the beginning of the end summer wise. Though, some of the nicest weather is in September leading into October, then it goes downhill.

I don’t like walking in the cold weather so it is time to start to think about joining a gym. I want to continue to go to Life in Synergy twice a week but on the days I walk, I would go and work out at the gym.

I am thinking of joining Planet Fitness. The plus side of Planet Fitness is that is right around the corner from where I live. I could walk there.  It is also inexpensive, which would mean I could keep up the classes I love so much at Life in Synergy.

The downside is that it has no other cardio classes.  I guess I could continue to find discount sites workouts and go from there.

I think it will be Planet Fitness.

The other day I had planned a walk. Unfortunately when I got home, it was absolutely pouring out. If I had a membership to Planet Fitness, I could have gone there instead.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Six Months

I just realized that it has been over six months since my mother died. Six months!  Where does the time go? I still find it hard to believe that I have no more nursing home visits for a long time, I hope and I don’t have to go to hospice meetings about Mom’s care. I feel like outside of traveling, I have done nothing in the past six months.

That may explain why I did nothing but feel depressed and read all week. I did take a couple of walks but that is it. I am lucky I got in the shower. I suppose I needed a quiet weekend after the madness of Blogher last weekend and my busy weekend next weekend.

It didn’t dawn on me until this morning that Mom died March 2. It just seems that time flies and I have nothing to show for it. I am still single, still working a blah job, still here……

The plus side is that I had a box of CheezIts. I love CheezIts. I could eat a box in a one sitting but it lasted 5 sittings. That is progress! I think I am ready to try Phase 3 of Intuitive Eating soon.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Jen Reads: The Silver Linings Playbook

Ever read a book that you liked so much that you just had to pick it up again and read it?

I finished reading The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.

I loved it. I have lacked hope in my life. I am the glass half full type of gal. Not to say I complain a lot but I am not know to think life has a silver lining. I am waiting for things to go wrong and they usually do.

What I loved about this book is the hope it gave me.

Pat Peoples has spent 4 years in a neural health facility after something bad happened with his wife. He believe he is being temporarily separated from his wife in away time. He is taken out of the institution by his mother, who takes him home.  In order to stay out of the hospital, he must attend weekly therapy sessions and take his medicine.  All the while he works out obsessively in hopes that his new buff self will help his cause if when his away time is over.  His best friend invites him to dinner and meets Tiffany. Tiffany is also depressed and she hooks on to Pat, running with him. She proposes a plan to get his estranged wife back.

As a single woman, I definitely sometimes am worried about telling a man that I might be dating about the battle I have with depression. Do I tell him about the daily cocktail I take? When do I tell him? Do I talk about my past? Am I scaring him away?

I never thought that I could possibly meet some that is like me. Someone who would understand and I would not have to hid myself, which is what happened in previous relationships and probably why they failed.

Reading this book just brought a glimmer of hope. Something that has sorely been lacking in my life. The author of this book got it right. I highly recommend the book.

The movie based on this book comes out November 21st and I can’t wait to see it!



Friday, August 10, 2012

Calm My Crazy: Cheating Kitties

According To Denise

I was sitting in traffic tonight in the tunnel on the Southeast Expressway and I heard a report on the radio about cats and their secret lives. It totally made me smile.

Have you seen this?

Enter video caption here

I can be assured that Boots does not have a secret life! He is not cheating on me since he is trapped inside this apartment. I love this report though. Who knew these kitties got around?

On a positive note, I was contacted yesterday by the people of Arm & Hammer to apologize for the way I was treated in their booth at Blogher 2012. Finally, a company that listens! It also made me happy today.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

BlogHer 2012: Wrapping It Up

Now that it is a few days past BlogHer, I can get to the ugly truth about it. I should have taken a day off or three to recover from BlogHer.

I have slept late every morning since getting back. Now, there is nothing unusual about that, but it is later than normal and I am not hearing my alarms. I used to be such an early bird. I fear I have left those days behind.

I am in this cool video at Samsung but I do not like how I look! I am at about 2:20.  It is wicked cool to be featured.

Some of the other ugliness at the conference:

1. The food – Curried egg salad or shrimp salad sandwiches? Runny eggs? When couldn’t they just have a ham and cheese sandwich. Something that could not go wrong. The best thing I ate during provided during the conference were the McDonald’s cheeseburgers at CheeseburgHer and the macaroni and cheese at the Come as You are Party.

2. Hydration – You had to hoard the water or soda at the meals because there was none available during conference otherwise. There were hydration stations at the 2010 conference but not this one. We want water!

3. The Lobby Bar at the Hilton – The service in that bar was horrible. They forgot my food order one time and it took forever to get the attention of the bartenders. For $23 for a small pizza, I would expect better service. 

I had a great time hanging out with friends, making new ones and meeting with brands and other bloggers. I am debating whether or not I want to go to Chicago next year. I am also thinking about going to the EVO conference. We’ll see.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

BlogHer 2012: The Bad

 BlogHer is a conference for all bloggers. Women and men attend. It does not say that one has to be a Mom or single or whatever. The Expo is supposed to be a welcome place to all bloggers.  Not every company in the Expo was for everyone, but it was pretty clear that a company that caters to electric toys for preschoolers is one, that being a single woman with no children, that I will most likely skip over.

Arm & Hammer makes toothpaste for everyone. When I approached their booth, I was asked how many kids do I have? When I said none, the representative walked away. I was standing near a display of adult toothpaste. I brush my teeth. I blog. I may blog about brushing my teeth. Arm & Hammer will not be a company I talk about based on my experience at their booth.

Sponsors, if you advertise at a blogging conference, not every woman is going to be a mother. If you have an adult product, expect to maybe talk to bloggers, who may or may not be parents.

I do okay in crowds. They tend not to bother me but before Martha Stewart, I had one bad experience with crowds. People were lined up to go to the talk. People were waiting all over the outside area of the hall it was to be in. They were not letting in so the crowd got larger and larger.

I was on the escalator going up. Now, at some point, you generally have to get off of the escalator. There were people behind me and I needed to get off. There were people standing in front of the escalator exit. When I got off, they decided that I did not need to get off that escalator.

I had no where to go. I started to make way through and was yelled at. I had no choice to but get off. If you are standing at the top of an escalator base, you are in the way and people will be bumping in to you. It is in your best interest to move. If you choose not to, then well people will run into you.

Once I got through the escalator area, I decided that the crowd was too much. Getting through the crowd was tough, but I am good at scooting through. Once I got near the exit, I cut through the line to get to the exit. I was getting through to the exit, when I heard, “I don’t know why people have to cut through here.” Ah, well, the only exit is right next to you.

I ended up going up to the Serenity Suite to get away. I was feeling like I would cry if I did not get away. Since lunch was served at the meeting, I gave up lunch to avoid the crowd.

All in all, I did not feel like I did not fit in. There were times where I did feel like I just did not deserve it and no one would want to talk to me. I tried not let that overtake me. I would go sit and read.  That helped a lot.

Tomorrow, one last wrap up and observation post.

Monday, August 6, 2012

BlogHer 2012: The Good

Where should I begin? BlogHer was awesome and crazy at the same time. I am going to go through the good, the bad and the ugly of BlogHer. Today, the good!

Seeing my friends for the first time in the year was great. Over the last two years, I have known some great women, who I met during the other conferences. It was really awesome to hang out with my friend, Laura.


I made a lot of new friends. I hope to get to know them through their blogs.

I got to see Katie Couric give a really good motivational talk.


I had the opportunity to see this demonic looking cool unicorn cake.


I had a great restaurant week dinner at Marseille, a restaurant on Ninth Avenue.


I had an opportunity to meet with some brands. I especially liked the Wholly Guacamole booth. I love their product because it comes in smaller individual servings, which lasts longer then the big packages that go bad fast.


I had my picture taken with the Jimmy Dean Sun!


I loved the first session of the Self Care path on Healthminder Day.


It was about The Last Taboo in health blogging. We talked about how much to share. I share a lot on this blog, but that is just me and if it bites me in the butt, then oh well.  The panelists were just so lively and the moderator was witty and funny. It made the session fly by.


I got to spend a lot of time on Sunday with my long time friend, Anne, who I had never met. We roamed about the MOMA and had a great brunch at the Eatery, a restaurant on Ninth and 53rd Street.

Tomorrow, more of the background and how I dealt with events, not all of it good. More tomorrow!

Friday, August 3, 2012

Friday Happiness: Driving All Night

I love this band and this song in particular.

The lead singer of NeedtoBreathe is named Bear Rinehart (I have not heard of a cooler name lately) and I would call him baby.

Just because, I give you a bonus song.

I think this song totally has a point. We need to get back to wooing. This band has some awesome music experiments.

I don’t know how the conference is going but I will be back Sunday night!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What Made Me Start?

When this posts gets posted, I will be getting on a bus to go to Blogher. Since I didn’t think if I brought my laptop, I would actually open it while I was there so I decided to some pre-posts.

I get asked a lot what made me so open with my struggles?

The more I write about the strange way my brain thinks, the more I think I do my part to end stigma. I am just your average thirty-something single woman living the Boston area. I am often amazed that anyone reads my rambling and if it helps that it helps someone get through some hard time, it makes me happy.

I did not feel like hiding anymore. I was always told that I looked sad. When people would tell me to cheer up, I wanted to yell and say that that is about as successful as me losing weight after telling me I am fat.  I felt holding things in for such a long time and chewing over it in my mind was driving me crazy. I probably would be a lot worse today if I had not had this blog through the struggles with my Mother, dating disasters, family squabbles and general life wearing me down.

I am so happy to have this blog.