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Shoe Lovin’ Saturdays: Weigh in #6

Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah

 Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah

Zip-A-Dee-A

My oh my, what a wonderful day
Plenty of sunshine heading my way
Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah
Zip-A-Dee-A

Nina Keiko Lime Colored Beaded Clutch www.6pm.com
#1 – Nina Keiko
www.6pm.com

For those of you who remember this wonderful Disney song I apologize if it’s now going to be stuck in your head but if misery loves company what about pure unadulterated joy? Uh oh, now I’ve Got the Joy In My Heart and I must stop this before I start singing Pharrell Williams’ HAPPY and yes, I had to go there. In case you haven’t heard Happy you absolutely MUST take a listen click HAPPY. This song will have you clapping your hands, snapping your fingers and just make you want to dance.

So how is it that I can be so deliriously happy on such a chilly overcast day? Allow me to fill you in.

The Stars are Aligned

Orion, my favorite constellation, (probably because it’s the only one aside from the dippers, that I could find when I could still see), also happens to be the name of my little grandson. Orion is here with me today and will be spending the night with Gigi (my self-appointed grandma nickname). I never thought anything could top the births of my own children until this little guy arrived last year. He has stolen my heart and being that I’m no stranger to little children I am still constantly amazed at everything this little boy does.

Breckelles Blush Colored dOrsay Flats from www.ModCloth.com
#2 – Breckelles 
Alternate ModCloth

Orion is the cutest, sweetest most precious grand baby in the whole world. When he was born he was completely bald and as his hair began to grow in it was bright red. Today, his head is covered in these long, curly, ringlets and he has the longest eyelashes and sweetest smile this side of the Mississippi. Even when he cries it’s cute!!

Spring Forward

Aaaaaahhhh, Spring Forward, the mere words had me breaking out in song. I know, I know, it’s only March and in this neck of the woods a blizzard or two wouldn’t be unusual but I’m feeling like we’ve finally turned the corner and it won’t be too long before we can send old man winter packing, bid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) a fond farewell, and embrace a long-awaited rebirth of longer days and flowering blooms.

Michael Antonio Driver-BR Women's Shoes www.6pm.com
#3 – Michael Antonio Driver-BR Women’s Shoes
www.6pm.com

I long for lush green trees, the cheerful sound of birds singing, flowers, warmer weather, the smell of fresh-cut grass and the overall awakening of life. To be outdoors soaking up the sun and enjoying a cup of hot coffee on the balcony in the morning hours is where I want to spend my daily devotions.

1st Milestone

The scale told me I was 157 this morning – music to my ears as this means I met my first goal. The hard work is beginning to pay off in great dividends. For the first time in my life I have energy and I feel more clear-headed. My asthma still bothers me first thing in the morning but it’s nowhere near as bad as it was about 1 month ago and as long as I stay on target it will continue to improve.

157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014
157 Pounds March 8, 2014

157.7 was my first goal and I vowed last week that I’d get here by weeks’ end. Here’s todays’ total numbers:

  • Weight:          minus 9 pounds
  • Thighs:           minus 5.5 inches
  • Arms:              minus 1 inch
  • Bust:               minus 0.5 inches
  • Waist:             minus 2 inches
  • Hips:               minus 1.5 inches

My main personal colors for the upcoming spring and summer 2014 are coral and turquoise. Last year I began incorporating more of these two colors into my wardrobe and I wanted to continue the trend this year because of their loveliness.

Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag www.lulus.com
#4 – Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag
Lulus

Coral reminds me of a beautiful sunset sky over the ocean with a mixture of reds, oranges, and yellows. The warm tropical color of coral evokes the sound of waves gently lapping the sands on the beach. You can almost hear the calming caws of the last of the sea gulls as they soar overhead to their resting place for the evening. This is such a mellow color that both calms and incites happiness inside me.

Alternatively, turquoise is soothingly cool and I can envision myself against the railing on a yacht in a flowing gauzy white dress with the wind blowing my hair from my upturned face. On a steamy, hot summer day sitting next to a fountain and feeling the spray of the water softly caressing my face also reminds me of turquoise.

Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandals from www.lulus.com
#5- Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandals
Lulus

I do not have a lot of clothing in these two colors however I have some jewelry, shoes, scarves and handbags that I’m going to have fun with. One other color I really like but will not be making too must use of this year is mint or lime.

The topic of mint brings me to one of my favorite newly acquired items that I got from 6pm.com. This lime colored beaded clutch (picture #1) is so cute and roomy at 11 inches wide and 5 & ½ inches high. The silver detailing, chain and magnetic snap closure really make it pop. This will go real nice with my lime colored sleeveless top and a couple other printed ones that contain various shades of green.

CORMACK - handbags's satchels & handheld bags for sale at www.aldoshoes.com
#6 – CORMACK – handbags satchels & handheld bags www.aldoshoes.com

The blush colored d’Orsay flats (picture #2) are from ModCloth and I’ve been eyed them for several weeks before snapping them up. Because of their neutral color these shoes will go with just about anything although I can’t wait to pair them with some coral.

The remaining pics 3 through 5 are sandals and handbags I found online.

  • #3 – Michael Antonio Driver: Natural colored gladiator-type 1/2 inch heel sandals with zipper at the heel and braided strap to go between the big and second toe.
  • #4 – Brights Out Bright Yellow Handbag: “This colorful structured tote bag has a lightly textured exterior with gold hardware, plus an interior separated into five sections for all the room you could ever want. Carry from twin tote handles with a 5″ drop, or clip on the adjustable shoulder strap. Purse measures 14″ wide, 10″ tall, and 5.5” deep. 100% Polyurethan”e
  • #5 – Chinese Laundry Kalifornia Pink and Brown Ankle Strap Sandal: “A strip of shiny gold rounds the edge of a pointed peep toe with a neon pink snakeskin-textured toe strap nearby, while a chic brown ankle strap secures with golden closures. A 4″ heel zipper offers up even more sparkle with a gold pull above a 1.5″ stacked wood wedge heel. Smooth insole. Non-skid rubber sole.”
  • #6 – CORMACK – handbags: Mini bag in medium blue with gold accents including a decorative lock & key. This satchel has a double handle and shoulder strap with top zipper closure. Measurements are 10.7 inches wide, 8.3 inches high and 5.2 inches deep.

Have a fantabulous weekend!!

“All of us have wonders hidden in our breasts, only needing circumstances to evoke them.” ~Charles Dickens

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Fatmatta Wurie

Maono Ya Chini

Fatmatta Wurie
Fatmatta Wurie

Maono Ya Chini or low vision is a blog created and maintained by Fatmatta Wurie, a young woman, who was one of the first bloggers I interacted with after I launched Bold Blind Beauty. Fatmatta, a college student majoring in Information Technology (IT) and I connected as we share a mutual understanding on the loss of vision.

When I first saw the words Maono Ya Chini, which means low vision in Swahili, I was intrigued by their exotic sound and beauty. Since the word beauty is seldom associated with vision loss I was struck by Fatmatta’s personal story and her approach to handling that loss. “Seeing life through different eyes,” the tagline of Maono Ya Chini, seems to be the path Fatmatta has chosen to pursue her dreams.

Like so many of us who lose our vision, Fatmatta went through stages of disbelief, fear, denial, exploration to understand, acceptance and finally the desire to help others. Her diagnosis of the hereditary macular dystrophy caused her to make significant adjustments in her life.

I want to change the face of Information Technology for the Blind and Visually Impaired community. And once I do that, it is nothing to change the views and ideas of society. ~Fatmatta Wurie

Diseases of the eye that affect the macula, impact central vision which interferes with a person’s ability to perform daily activities including, but not limited to, recognizing familiar faces, grocery shopping, reading newspapers, menus, ATMs, currency, and watching TV, just to name a few. Safety concerns centering on the risk of falls, disorientation, medication-related errors, crossing the street, cooking, and bathing are real issues seldom considered until one has to face the prospect of living with the loss of vision. Add to it coping with the emotional impact of losing sight and independence it is a true life-altering experience.

After researching her diagnosis and following up with a retina specialist Fatmatta found that she had Stargardt disease. To be a 19-year-old at the beginning of her professional career one can only imagine what she went through upon receiving this news.

Being an Information Technology student, I am immediately drawn to being innovative, inventive, imaginative and creative. ~Fatmatta Wurie

The thing that impresses me most about Fatmatta is that it’s only been three years from diagnosis to the launch of her blog and she has chosen to advocate on behalf of herself and others. She’s volunteering in her local community and has proactively reached out and connected with other people experiencing vision loss to build a community of like-minded go getters.

Fatmatta shares lots of low vision and disability awareness resource information in addition to some of her personal thoughts from her journaling and re-blogged articles of interest. Being a full-time college student and blogging can be a challenge simply because of the demanding nature of school and life but she manages well.

Fatmatta you are an inspiration and I am hopeful that you will indeed change the world!! Your youthful zeal and enthusiasm is contagious. Keep up the good work friend.

“Our ordinary mind always tries to persuade us that we are nothing but acorns and that our greatest happiness will be to become bigger, fatter, shinier acorns; but that is of interest only to pigs.  Our faith gives us knowledge of something better: that we can become oak trees.” ~E.F. Schumacher

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Budget Friendly Brother

Sibling Rivalry

It was nice growing up with someone like you – someone to lean on, someone to count on… someone to tell on!  ~Author Unknown

My brother, Robert, and I are so different I sometimes wonder if there was a mix up at the hospital before our mother brought him home. Weighing in at almost 3 pounds, he was a preemie who was quite fortunate he survived since the technology that allows such tiny babies to survive today, was not present in the early sixties.

For three years life was good and then the interloper a.k.a. little brother arrives. I have to admit that he was a cute little squirt and when I wasn’t beating him up, I was very protective of him. No one else was allowed to touch my baby brother.

I’m not quite sure when the animosity started. Possibly it had something to do with him being the favorite or since he was a natural extrovert and therefore very popular maybe I was envious. I can tell you one of the things that drove me nuts about him was his miserly ways. Even when we went to our local newsstand to buy candy I would share mine while he hoarded his until mine was all gone the brat!!

Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring – quite often the hard way.  ~Pamela Dugdale

Having very little when growing up in the same household, it’s understandable that my brother and I had an appreciation for stretching a dollar. My loathing of numbers could be the thing that set us apart because by comparison, my brother makes Scrooge look like a spendthrift. I mean, it can be embarrassing shopping with him because he does not believe in paying full price for anything and I pity the sales representative who is on the opposite end of the haggling process.

To give you an example, about a month or so ago he inadvertently bought the wrong cookies that were on sale for $2.00. What’s he do? He takes them back, exchanges them for the correct cookies and when the clerk tells him an additional 20 cents is owed, my brother explains that he bought the originals on sale and that he should be given the sale price for the exchange. The situation reminded me of that hilarious Indiana Jones scene where Indiana’s opponent brought a knife to a gun fight. End result, my brother won and didn’t have to part with 20 cents. It took about 20 minutes but he felt it was 20 minutes well spent.

If it were me in the same scenario, I would have told the guy keep the cookies, just give me my money back. I don’t have the strength to make a federal case over 20 cents.

I may not completely agree with Robert’s methodology when it comes to money but I have taken some of his advice and have fared well. So today I want to focus on a few money saving tips:

  • Membership Warehouse Clubs – A few years ago my ex-husband bought me this fabulous full length suede faux fur-lined coat at Sam’s or Costco for $40. It was absolutely gorgeous and talk about warmth. I never owned a winter coat prior to or since that has been able to withstand the frigid Pittsburgh winters. You can come across some great finds in these type stores that you may not necessarily find at the average retailer.
  • Keep Your Receipt – This is something I’ve seen work first-hand by a good friend of mine. She’ll buy something on sale and hang onto the receipt. She checks back within a few days or a week and if the price has come down she takes the receipt back to the and usually the store will give her the difference. Sometimes this doesn’t work depending on the store’s policy but when they won’t give her the difference she returns the items and buys it at the lower price. As my grandmother used to say “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” sometimes all it takes is a little ingenuity.
  • Punch Up Your Wardrobe – If you’ve already built your classic wardrobe you’re already ahead of the game and will only need, if you so desire, to add a few complementary pieces. For example, let’s say you have a pencil skirt, LBD (little black dress), white button down shirt, khakis, black pants, black blazer, jeans, assorted tee shirts and camisoles/tank tops. You might want to add a cute trendy top, shoes or a handbag to make your outfit pop. Earlier this year I said I was not buying any new clothes since my goal is to fit into my existing clothes. So what I’ve done is added a couple different styles and colors of shoes and jewelry to punch things up a bit.
  • Handbags – There are so many different types, sizes and colors from which to choose it will literally make your head spin. But this is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make your ensemble pop. Not too long ago I got this really cute fake leather bag that one of my friends was gaga over. Of course she wanted to know where I got it and was floored when I told her it only cost $13.
Khaki Colored Stylish Laconic Women's Tote Bag from SammyDress.com
Stylish Laconic Women’s Tote Bag
SammyDress.com

The thing is, you can spend a boat load of money on clothing and look nice but it takes a little finesse to spend less and look just as nice. My motto is “I wear what I like and like what I wear.”

I invite you to leave a note below with questions or comments or if you prefer you can send an email directly to me at boldblindbeauty@gmail.com.

Have an awesome day!!

“God wisely designed the human body so that we can neither pat our own backs nor kick ourselves too easily.” ~Author Unknown

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Unrealistic Expectations

Superficial vs. Health

 “Even at my thinnest, I never felt completely confident and comfortable in my own skin. I bought into the hype and set the wrong goals based on false images and faulty measuring sticks. And I bet I’m not alone.” ~Marie Osborne

This morning’s devotional from www.ibelieve.com, titled When Fitness Goals Hurt More Than Help written by Marie Osborne spoke volumes to me. When she talks about buying into the hype and setting the wrong goals based on the superficial, well, I too could relate.

Elliptical Machine found on Pinterest
Pinterest

“I wish I weren’t so skinny, I wish I could lose weight, I wish I weren’t so short, I wish my hair was longer…” On and on the litany of self-deprecating thoughts swirl in my head and not one of them focused on my health, rather the emphasis was placed on physicality.

One of my favorite words to live by has been “if it sounds too good to be true…,” yet knowing this it still hasn’t stop me from wanting to believe what I know to be nonsensical quick fixes. The ‘lose 10 pounds in 10 days’ or like claims are not based on healthy medical facts. While it could be possible to achieve this goal there are 2 things to keep in mind – are the results lasting and more importantly is there a healthy benefit?

Unfortunately it didn’t take a short amount of time to get to the point where I was on January 31 (the day before I decided to get healthy) and it’s going to take considerable time to reverse the effects of my negative lifestyle. This includes the wishful thinking because the one thing that has become very apparent to me is that seeking the elusive image of perfection is akin to allowing someone else to define me.

Eating right, drinking plenty of water, exercising my mind and body and getting enough sleep all contribute to good health. An added benefit that I didn’t realize until this morning is becoming and inspiration for others. Here I’ve been going down to the gym for my daily workouts, not realizing that other people were taking notice that is until Marty and I began chatting.

SPRI Elite Xercise Balance Ball (Red, 65cm) Sports & Outdoors
Pinterest
SPRI Elite Xercise Balance Ball (Red, 65cm) Sports & Outdoors

Marty, the apartment complex maintenance Supervisor, told me that he’s following my lead then he proceeded to tell me about his Mike and Ike candy addiction. This opened the door for me to share my personal battle with candy obsession and by so doing it allowed Marty to know that he’s not alone but he also has the power to make a change if he so desires.

When I started this journey to good health I did it mainly because I literally didn’t feel good. The extra pounds were beginning to take its toll on my asthma, I had no energy, just about everything hurt and I can’t even talk about not being able to fit my clothes. Just a little over 4 weeks in, now I’m starting to feel better and I have far more energy than ever. I still have the candy cravings but I do not keep any at home and don’t eat it when I’m out.

Fitness Gear 1 lb Neoprene Dumbbell - Dick's Sporting Goods
Fitness Gear 1 lb Neoprene Dumbbell
Dick’s Sporting Goods

As of this morning I’m able to do 30 minutes on the elliptical machine at an intensity level 6. Previously I considered myself lucky to do 10 to 20 minutes at level 3. On the treadmill I’m averaging 2 miles within 25 minutes on an incline of 3 percent and increasing the speed isn’t as difficult as it was a few weeks ago.

It may sound strange but while I’m working out I envision what’s going on inside my body. I can almost imagine seeing my muscles contracting and expanding. I can visualize how hard my heart is beating, how fast the blood is pumping through my veins and subsequently how each of these things improves the capacity of my lungs.

Following Weight Watchers by inputting what I eat, drink and exercise really helps to keep me on track and I can make adjustments as needed. I’ve been looking into other exercises that don’t rely on gym equipment and over the course of the next few weeks I’ll share this information with you. If you are considering an exercise regimen I recommend following up with your doctor first just to make sure there won’t be any issues.

“We have to learn to be our own best friends because we fall too easily into the trap of being our own worst enemies.” ~Roderick Thorp, Rainbow Drive