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What 2019 Taught Me

In July of 2019 I set a goal for myself: lose 100 pounds in a year. Sounds a little crazy, yes, but in 6 months I have lost 87 pounds. Once I reach that goal I’m going to continue losing until I’m a healthy weight.
Losing weight is really trial and error. What works for me may not work for you. You have to have willpower and that’s one thing I never had until July 2010. I woke up one morning and decided that it’s now or never and I haven’t looked back since.

I don’t claim to be a weight loss expert or a health care professional. I’m just a single mama from the South who swore off soft drinks and fried foods. (Gasp! That’s blasphemy here in the south) I only drink water and my foods are either baked, broiled or boiled. I’m still learning as I go. The biggest thing, I believe, that’s helped me is using an online food diary that calculates the calories I take in as well as the ones that I burn through exercise.

Here are 10 things that I learned in 2010 that will hopefully help you too.

Only YOU are responsible for your actions, habits, words, etc. It’s so easy to put the blame on someone else but when all is said and done you’re the only person that is reflected in your “life’s mirror”. You don’t have to put butter on everything. Excuses are only excuses and only sound good or reasonable to you. “Can’t” should be struck from your vocabulary because it equals “won’t”. Soda isn’t a necessity. It’s a crutch that contains the drug caffeine. Caffeine is what keeps you addicted to it and it’s just bad for your blood sugar, heart and kidneys. Water CAN and DOES help your diet (aka lifestyle change). I had a friend tell me that their doctor said that water helping your diet is a myth. Hello! Water has NO calories or caffeine. If you’re drinking it with meals and throughout the day you’re not filling yourself with empty calories the way soda does. Exercise is fun and necessary. If you’re not moving, you’re gaining.

You can’t expect to lose weigh without breaking a sweat. You have to MOVE. I’ve learned that just because someone says they’re your friend doesn’t make them a real friend. If they’re not a positive influence in your life, you don’t need them. They’re like empty calories. Wheat isn’t a bad thing. IF I eat pasta, it’s wheat pasta and if I eat bread it’s Nature’s Own 12 Grain bread. I’m doing this lifestyle change for the right reasons: my 3 children. I can already tell that I’m not as tired when I play with them. I have more energy to play with them and it’s a lot easier to get up and down from the floor when we’re playing trains, cars, Power Rangers or whatever. I’ve learned that I can do this. I am stronger than whatever gets thrown my way. And so are you!
Here’s to a new year of lessons learned!

Web Sites that Contain and Inspire Classic, Trendy, Edgy, Indie and Progressive Design

Have you ever had a day where you’re just yearning for what’s new, fresh, and just plain different in design? Well I’m going to promote my favs when I have the free time and/or money to browse, peruse, shop and feast on some nice eye candy.

1. Topman

This British online store has just opened an actual store here in the United States a couple of months ago. Because their viewpoint is across the pond and because we Americans love everything British, their sense of appeal for mens’ fashion is extraordinary. From bold colors to classic cuts and fine trimmed wear, their range is spectacular for creating an outfit that’s old yet young, fun yet conservative, a perfect blend of all. Though I’ve only found out about them within the year, their content always puts a smile on my face and motivates me to do financially better in life in order to purchase their great merchandise!

2. Design Within Reach

Design Within Reach has all of the classic and modern furniture pieces that have made interior design culture fantastic. You may have have seen many of these pieces in movies and TV, as they constantly use the furniture of Eames, Philippe Starck, Arne Jacobsen, and many more. Design Within Reach has kept the standard for manufacturing the original designs and is the number one source for showcasing these pieces in one of their showrooms. Design Within Reach is exactly what it says in it’s name, great design is within reach for you.

3. Ben Sherman

Another great English design resource, as you can tell I love the quirky and fun styles that come out from a few select designers in the UK! Ben Sherman is spectacular at his finesse in using pattern, color, and texture to create elegant pieces that you love to put on yourself. Since my growing interest last year, I own at least 3 pieces from Ben Sherman including a great brown and beige argyle vest, and dark blue and light blue slight v-neck sweater, a checkered white and blue shirt which I wear every 3 days, no lie! Every time I put one of his creations on, people complement me left and right. Although I know I accept the complement and smile for choosing my selection, the real props goes to Ben Sherman for being fearless and strong in taking what’s in his mind and turning that into action for a fan like me to wear.

I hope you decide to check these out as I’m sure that products from here will give you a different viewpoint, even if you don’t end up wearing or sitting in them. I believe these three sites have some work from the quirkiest and greatest of our time. As I grow and nourish my interest in design, these will be a solid constant to harness energy and creative action for me.

Weapons in The Weight Loss Battle

Losing weight is a battle. To win the fight, you need to use weight loss tools like weapons. This free diet plan will help you keep a fighter’s attitude to motivate you towards success.
Understanding the Mind-Body Connection

First in your arsenal is an understanding of the way your mind affects your body. If you include both your mind and body in your diet plan, you can lose weight and sustain long-term success.

Weight gain is mainly a psychological condition that results in problems for the body. When the mind repeatedly fails to recognize the damaging effects of unhealthy foods, makes excuses to avoid physical exercise, and disrespects the body’s need for proper nutrition, weight gain is the result. Understanding that your thoughts influence your physical being will defend you from the pitfalls of mindless eating.

It is important to practice self-awareness. When you begin to notice yourself slipping into poor eating and exercise habits, it is helpful to remind yourself that your body cannot succeed in weight loss if the mind is not on board. Remember what it is that you wish to do and take time to recognize the reality that decisions you make every day will determine your success.

Knowledge is Power

The second weapon is knowledge of healthy eating habits, including proper nutrition and frequent eating. While eating often may seem against logic, consuming small frequent meals tells your body that more energy is coming soon. The body responds by spending energy instead of storing fat. Frequent meals also prevent hunger pains, which is a common deterrent to weight loss.

When you eat well, you will not need any diet pills or potions. Forget Atkins, Zone or South Beach. These diets cost you more than just money. They take enormous amounts of time and energy to maintain. Instead, stick to a simple eating plan, based on healthy foods.

What to Eat

To educate yourself about healthy foods, spend some time on research. While the USDA pyramid is one place to find good information about healthy foods, you may find the Harvard School of Public Health more credible. The Harvard School of Public Health compiles information solely from a scientific perspective. Political trends and lobbyists can color the USDA’s recommendations.

Take time to read the labels of the foods in your cabinet to understand the nutritional content and correct portion sizes. While not universally agreed on by nutritionists, below is a guide to the basic food groups and the serving recommendations for each. A serving is usually ½ cup.

  • Whole grains: six servings
  • Vegetables: five servings
  • Fruit: three servings
  • Dairy: three servings
  • Meat/ Fish: two servings

Fueling your body with the proper foods will have many benefits. You will enjoy higher energy levels and decreased food cravings. When you satisfy your body’s nutritional needs, your mind will be less likely to ponder sweet or salty snacks.

Fat is Not the Enemy

While fighting this battle, you should remember that fat is not the enemy. Many dieters avoid fats, resulting in frequent hunger, low energy and dissatisfaction. Instead of avoiding fats, focus on eating healthy fats like those in olive oil, tree nuts, flax seed and salmon.

Stay Hydrated

Many people worry about drinking enough water. Because studies dispute the recommended daily intake, you should simply drink when you are thirsty. Water is favorable because it has no calories and rehydrates your body better than any other liquid. Some believe that it also helps you lose weight, but there is no logical or proven connection with this assumption.


The final weapon in weight loss is exercise. While understanding the mind-body connection and proper nutrition account for 90% of your program, exercise will boost your success and reduce the time it takes you to achieve your goal.

The mind-body connection plays an important role in your exercise program. While the body loves exercise, the mind often becomes bored, making exercise unenjoyable and therefore unsustainable. To create a long-term program, you must find exercises that keep both your mind and body engaged. Try playing a portable video game, or maybe reading, while you ride a stationary bike. You might like to walk a treadmill while watching your favorite television shows. Yoga is another effective way to entertain the mind while strengthening the body. Until you find the exercise that stimulates both your mind and body, keep trying something new.

Fight, Fight, Fight!

Now that you have armed yourself for the battle, you are on your way to more than a just slim waistline. Your healthy lifestyle will defend against hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, diabetes, stress and depression. Thinking of these weight loss tools as weapons will inspire you to charge forth and win the battle.

Water Storage Tanks Used For Rainwater Harvesting

There are a number of water storage tanks that can be used for harvesting rainwater. Once we understand the advantages and disadvantages of the different styles of water storage tanks we will be able to decide which one is best for our use.

Polyethylene rain water storage tanks are one of the most popular for collecting rainwater. The polyethylene tank has the most advantages and that is why they are so popular. They not only can be place above ground but can also be used as underground rain water tanks. These water storage tanks are less expensive than some of the other types; they are light weight, easily carried, and are resistant to UV rays.

The fiberglass water storage tank is also very popular. Their biggest advantage is a resistance to chemical corrosion and rust. The fiberglass tank is also able to tolerate extreme weather conditions. Fiberglass rainwater collection tanks are very popular due to these advantages but they are more expensive to purchase.

Metal water storage tanks are constructed of stainless, steel, or copper and can be coated with a color polymer. These tanks will last a long time and generally are rust proof. Another big advantage to these metal tanks is they also hold up during extreme weather conditions. Another type of water storage tank is constructed of concrete but carries a couple of disadvantages. They have a tendency to crack over time and you will have to drain the tank to repair it. Another disadvantage is it attracts algae in the sunlight.

In order to harvest rainwater you will need rain gutters attached to your roof. A downspout diverter will also be needed so that the rainwater will go directly to your water storage tank. A debris screen should be installed on the rain barrel in order to filter out pine needles, tree leaves, and other types of debris that can come from your roof. If a screen is not used all the debris will collect in the bottom of storage tank and clog your outflow. You can use a wire mesh screen placed at the end of your downspout or you can place one on the storage tank itself. Placing it on the end of a downspout will require a little maintenance periodically to remove the debris. The lid on your water storage tank should be fitted properly to protect children from getting in or falling in. A tight lid will also prevent mosquitoes from breeding in your rainwater.

You can install a standard water spigot near the bottom of the tank or you can use an on/off valve on a length of hose so gravity can do the rest of the job. A longer hose can also be used if your garden is close enough to the water storage tank or just reach inside the tank and fill up a watering can.

Rainwater harvesting is a big part of life in many sections of the world for the garden and also household use. If your home has a 1,300 square foot roof, and you receive about ten inches of rainwater a year you can harvest over eight thousand gallons in a year. That is a lot of free water that can be used even if you are in a drought.

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