Sunday, August 28, 2016

New York! New York!

Hello, dear friends.  While I was on my blogger hiatus, the Mister and I enjoyed a weekend in NYC.  We lucked out with clear, cool weather.

Cute little Mister with his backpack.  He looks like a boy scout doing a good deed waiting in line for coffee for his fairy princess so she won't be crabby on the 3-hour ride.

I love taking the Amtrak to NYC.  It is so relaxing.  We always sit in the quiet car - which means no loud conversations in person or on the cell.  It's like sitting in a rocking library.

No sign of Jerry.  
Guess he's in the Hamptons with all the other celebs.

My guess?
A swimming pool that's gone rogue.

Meanwhile, while I am scrounging the city streets for movie stars...

... my petsitter at home ran into this guy down the street.
That's what she said.

We always like to try new restaurants when we are in NYC.  I did some research and chose Michael's on West 55th.  It did not disappoint.  The food and service were exemplary.

After some cardio shopping, we headed back to the hotel and got ready for dinner.  Our dinner reservations were at 9PM, so we stopped for a cocktail at the King Cole Bar which is rich with history and ambiance. 

We walked across the street to the Polo Bar and enjoyed a glass of wine and waited for our table to be ready.  It's a charming, small bar that will not let you in unless you have dinner reservations.  

Great wine and bar snacks.

Unfortunately, no star sightings.
I wasn't as lucky as last time.

But one dapper gentleman picked up my dinner tab.

That dapper gent told me to put my phone away after I took this pic.  Take my word for it - the food and service were superb.

The next day we headed to Bryant Park.  

This gentleman was looking for a challenge.
My middle name is challenge.
Too bad I don't know how to play chess.

While we were people watching and waiting for the restaurant to open, our #1 called to check in and remind us not to spend her entire inheritance.
I've got news for #1 and it's all bad. 

We sat on the terrace of Bryant Park Grill and enjoyed a delicious lunch.

Next stop was the theater.  The Mister and I smiled from beginning to the end of An American In Paris.  We both said that it was the best play that we have ever seen.    The music, acting, set design, and costumes were beyond exceptional. Granted, we have yet to see Hamilton.  We'll have to take a second mortgage on the house to see that one.

We caught the early train home which was practically empty.

These two hooligans were waiting for us.  We got a good report from their sitter, none of their usual shenanigans this weekend.

As my dear departed Mother used to say, it's nice to go away but even nicer to come home.

Until next time...

Proudly linking up with:
Amaze Me Monday
(I'm being featured!)
Blue Monday
Dishing It & Digging It

Friday, August 26, 2016

Sweatin' Off the Pounds with Pinterest

Hello, dear friends.  I bet you never thought in a million years that you would see a work-out post on this blog.  Believe me, neither did I.  

I have a wonderful surprise for you today.  I have a guest who has agreed to share some tips on how to lose pounds as well as inches.  Kathy went to school with my Sista at Mount Vernon College and I got to know her on Facebook.  Kathy mentioned on one of her posts that she has lost weight with the help of Weight Watchers and exercises that she found on Pinterest.  Some of the illustrations are not as clear as they should be so I included the links.
Take it away, Kathy...
My name is Kathy and have battled with fluctuating weight since giving birth to my daughters. I’ve tried the Atkins diet, counting calories via MyFitnessPal, and eliminating everything “white” from my diet. I’ve bought into gym memberships, fitness videos (Hip Hop Abs and the 21-day fix), Zumba classes, Jazzercise, and yoga. But, with the onset of turning 55 this summer I decided to give the new Weight Watchers Points Plus program a try. I began my journey in late May and as of today I am down 13 lbs. I could/should be down more but I spent my summer off (from teaching) traveling and enjoying LIFE. With each trip, I would gain 1-3 lbs. back but with support and encouragement from my daughters, I would lose it. I incorporated exercises I found on Pinterest into my daily schedule and supplemented them with swimming, cycling, and walking. I utilize my Fitbit religiously! The Pinterest exercises (arms, abs, and thighs) have helped me shed some much-needed inches while increasing my muscle mass.
The following are the Pinterest posts that I found to be helpful.  

This is the set of movements that I told you about. My knees are not that great (must be because I turned 55)! I have been doing these activities for 4 weeks every other day. (I alternate my arms with my lower body). This set of activities is what helped me reduce that extra "flab" around my mid-section. It also has helped to tighten my butt! When I am finished with this activity I do 150 "high steps". This is where you lift your knee up high enough to meet the palms of your hands. I usually do this walking from my bedroom into the kitchen to get a drink of water. The puppies look at me like I'm CRAZY. If I do a set of the high steps in the AM I try to do another set in the PM. The butt muscles and hips really get a great workout.

I have NEVER lost that little pooch area of my tummy. I began doing this group of movements this past week. I waited to start this because I previously had too much "flab" around my middle and on my hips. That extra "flab" really made it difficult for me to even pull my back up off the floor. These activities have helped with the pooch a bit (just 1 week) and with my flexibility.

Because I've already adjusted to the 6 lb weights, I like this AB workout. I find myself doing this while i"m watching TV (Today Show or Evening News). I've even begun to do the Wood Chops (Dumbbell Side Bends) in the kitchen without the weights. I engage my core section (suck them in!) while I'm waiting for the microwave to go off! I find that I'm really more attuned to my movements and how I can work different groups of muscle throughout the day.

I added a couple of the movements (photos 1-3) from this mini-workout to the other workout, using the same amount of sets and reps.

I began using this workout about 4 weeks ago. There was another Pin that recommended doing this activity every other day, so I applied this info to this activity. I began with 6 lb weights and I can actually feel the burn once i get to the 3rd set. Each 30 sec. set is equal to about 10-12 reps.


This is the last exercise routine that I have been doing. Like I stated, I love the activities that I can do on the floor because my knees aren't so hot! My thighs were rather "soft and giggly" and I didn't like the way I looked in jeans. This workout has helped "slenderize" them and although my husband can see the results I still feel that I have a long way to go.

Thank you, Kathy, for a wonderful post.  
You are a true inspiration!

Until next time...

Chili:  Hey Chow, does this collar make me look fat?

Chowdah: Yup.

Chili:  MOMMMMMMMMM!!!!!!