Archive for the ‘blog’ Category

After giving this a lot of thought, I’ve decided that keeping up two separate blogs is a bit too much for me right now.  Since my main focus (and much of my free time) is spent thinking about and practicing weight loss, Bella on the Beach is going to be the blog that I concentrate on.

As many of you can tell, I’ve been writing less and less frequently on this blog, and writing on an almost daily basis on the other one.  So, for now (until I’ve completed my weight loss journey, I guess) I’m only going to keep that one going. I’ll still leave this up so that new visitors can read the archives, and I’m sure someday I’ll be back.

This was the blog that started it all, and it will always be close to my heart.  This is my 327th post, and I’ve poured a lot of my heart out onto these pages.  I’ve also made some great blogging buddies, and I appreciate everyone who’s commented.

I wish you all the best, and look forward to seeing you on Bella on the Beach.


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I’ve noticed recently that when I make comments on Facebook, other people’s blog posts, etc. I am using a ton of exclamation points.  It’s sort of worrisome, because exclamation points are not something that should be overused, and as an English teacher, I should know better.

On the other hand, maybe my use of many exclamation points just shows how energetic and passionate I am? When I use them, it’s usually after writing something supportive, encouraging, or congratulatory.  Or, to show how much I enjoyed something I’ve been doing.  I don’t use them a lot in my “normal” writing (emails and letters), but I do use them quite a bit on the blogs.

I know this isn’t hard-hitting stuff I’m writing about today, but I’ve been noticing it, and thought I’d write about it.

What’s your take?  Do you use a lot of exclamation points when you write?  Do you think they’re overused?

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Ever since I started my weight loss blog, I’ve been writing much less frequently on this one.  Because weight loss is my main focus (almost like a part-time job), it makes sense that I have more to write about that topic than any other.  Still, sometimes I feel badly that this blog, the one I started blogging with, gets pushed back to second-class citizen status.

One thing that seems appropriate to write about here is how I’ve been doing on my quest to “get a life.”  Last August, I wrote a post where I vowed to take back my life and stop living to work instead of just working to live.

I’m happy to report that I am now a reformed workaholic.

It wasn’t easy.  At first I felt like I was really sloughing off on my duties at work.  “I really should go to the play this weekend.” “The students would really like it if I went to that football/basketball/soccer game,” etc.  Instead of feeding into this guilt trip I was laying on myself, I just said no.  I took myself off of the numerous committees I had been serving on and kept only those that I felt were the most important.

Did I feel like I was out of the loop?  Yes.  Did I crave being “in the know” the way I was when I served on lots of different committees and attended tons of school events?  Sure, sometimes.  But that feeling of being slightly out of the dialed in group was well worth the time and energy I found now that I wasn’t spending so much time and effort at work.

It was a strange year for me because CTLB, my best friend at school and one of my best friends in life, left.  I felt a lot lonlier than I had in the past 4 years, when were were “joined at the hip.”  But before you start feeling too sorry for me, I do have an amazing group of friends at school, and we all eat lunch together every day, so it’s not like I sit alone in my classroom and grade papers while I eat a stale sandwich.  (That would never, ever be me, by the way).  We also had a new principal this year, and that made for a lot of changes.  Good changes, but still, there were a lot of things going on this year that left me feeling out of sorts a lot of time time.

But my life outside of the work day was fantastic!  I found that I had tons of free time, and I used it to try new activities, reach out to old friends and make some new ones, spend lots more time with my family, and just enjoy myself by doing whatever I wanted to do – riding my bike, reading a great (or trashy) book, watching movies, cooking, etc.

It seemed idyllic until the school said they were looking for someone to teach a “summer school after school” class.  I saw dollar signs and knew that if I taught the class I would have the money I needed for a down payment on my new car AND I wouldn’t have to work this summer.  So, beginning after February break, I gave up 60 hours+ of free time and taught the class.  (This may not sound like a lot, but this is on top of teaching 5 other classes.  Not to mention grading and prepping for 6 classes).  It is something that I’m glad I did (for the money), but will never do again.  It’s just not worth giving up that much of my life.

All in all, I loved having my life back.  I felt like I was a better teacher because I could look at things from a well rested, happy point of view.  I plan on doing more of the same this coming school year.  Actually, it should be even better because I’m only teaching one honors class, which will dramatically cut down on my paperload.  Can’t wait.

Ok, enough writing, time to get out there and LIVE!

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Regular readers of this blog may be wondering why my writing has been so infrequent.

Last year (December 2007), I started a weight loss blog as a way for me to write about my journey.  What began as a secondary blog to share my weight loss stats has turned into a primary blog with a community of weight loss bloggers who offer me amazing support and encouragement.

Living a healthy life has become the primary focus of my life.  This encompasses weight loss, exercising, trying new recipes, attending WW, and celebrating all the little victories that add up to huge success on the scale and beyond.

I guess you could say that taking care of myself and losing weight have become a sort of hobby for me. But the word “hobby” doesn’t even begin to cover what embarking and continuing on this journey means to me.  It’s all-encompassing, and it feels amazing.

Which means that if you want to read my writing on a daily (or almost daily) basis, you should bookmark Bella on the Beach, my weight loss blog.

I’ll still be writing here, but it will be less frequent.  I want to save this blog for truly amazing, inspiring, funny, and poignant things that happen in my life. Sometimes, these things happen several times a week; other times, they may happen only a few times a month.

Life is good, and I couldn’t be happier.

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I have tons of grading to get through this weekend, so I won’t be writing until Monday  at the earliest.  Do you have any idea how difficult it is to grade when the weather outside is in the 70s?  HARD!!  Between wanting to do just about anything but grade and all of the procrastination possibilities online and around my house, I’m going to need to work hard to keep focused on the task at hand, let me tell you!

Please send me good grading vibes this weekend.  I’m definitely going to need it.

In the mean time, check some of the fantastic bloggers in my blogroll.

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I know I haven’t written a real post on here in a while.  Not sure exactly why that is, other than the fact that I’ve been writing a lot more on my weight loss blog, and sometimes it’s hard to come up with content for both.  Or, the other obvious reason, because there hasn’t been a whole lot worth writing about going on in my life. 

So, I thought I’d do a quick recap/update of some of the things I’ve been doing

  • I’ve been sticking to my Back to School Plan of staying 2 hours everyday after school to get my work done, rather than grading at home, on the weekends, and pulling all-nighters.  So far I’ve been really successful.  We just had grades due on Monday, and normally my weekend would’ve been stressful and I would’ve spent hours and hours grading.  Instead, I only spent about an hour grading my last 10 book reports that I hadn’t finished. It’s so nice to get home around 4:30 or 5pm everyday knowing that I have left school at school.  I know I have the entire evening stretched out ahead of me, and I can do whatever I want to with the time.  Weekends too.  It’s been great!
  • On that note of having more free time, I really need to get some hobbies.  The last two years I have had almost no free time, so this idea of having idle time is sort of getting to me.  I know that I could/should use the time to workout, and I want to do that.  It’s just that reading a book on the couch sounds so much more fun than working out, ya know?  I think I’m going to tell myself that once I’ve been going to the gym or doing some other form of activity (bike riding, doing exercise DVDs, going for a walk, etc.) at least 5 days a week to start, then and only then can I entertain the idea of doing some other hobby.  Because the main goal I have in my life right now is to lose weight, so I feel like most of my efforts should be focused on that, if at all possible.  Ok, this bullet point was a good little pep talk for me.  🙂
  • I joined eHarmony, but so far, the results have been nothing to write home about.  Or write a blog about.  None of the guys that are my “matches” are people I would want to go out with.  Not that they have anything wrong with them, per se, but they either live too far from me, are too old for me (11 years older is too old, I think), and seem to be in a different place in life than I am.  I paid for 3 months, so I’m hoping some diamond in the rough stands out and he and I decide we want to at least go on a date.  So far, I haven’t even entertained that idea with any of my so-called matches.  Ugh. 
  • Any ideas of other places I can meet a nice guy
  • The library has become my new favorite haunt.  I’ve been going at least once a week to return books and pick up new ones.  I’m like a reading machine.  I’ve always been an avid reader, but over the past two years I didn’t have as much time to devote to reading for pleasure, because I had so many things to read for my Masters program.  It’s so nice to read anything I want again.  You can click on my Goodreads link in my sidebar to see what I’ve been reading lately.  Mostly chick-lit because sometimes you just need to get lost in the fantasy, right?
  • Now that I joined Weight Watchers, and I’m  eating real food again, I’ve been able to start cooking!  I’ve come to find out how much I really love cooking.  I want to start spending more time pouring over recipe books, creating meals and showing off my culinary creativity.  So much fun!!
  • I’ve been enjoying spending time with friends and family.  Every weekend since school started I have been able to spend time with my parents, my sister, my nieces, and/or my friends.  It’s been great.  I’ve spent spa days, had cocktails, hosted a book club, gone to several dinners, and had lots of quick coffee/catch-up sessions.  I love reconnecting with all of my favorite people. 

So, that’s what’s been going on with me.  Nothing overly exciting, but all good things.  I’m enjoying the quieter side of life right now.  I’m learning to live life at a bit of a slower pace and enjoy each day.

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I got home at 2am on Thursday night/Friday morning, and I was too tired to think.  I was so happy that I had spent all that time cleaning the house before I left, because there’s nothing better than coming home from a trip to a spotless house.

I dragged all my bags into the house and was about to get changed for bed, when a thought occurred to me.  I was about to get into a welcoming bed with wonderfully clean sheets, and I was feeling less than fresh.  Spending more than 13 hours in airports and on planes can do that to you.  So, at 2:30am, I decided to take a shower and wash the day away.

It was the best decision I could’ve made.  As I crawled into my clean bed at 3am, I knew I was going to have a wonderful night’s sleep.  And I did.


As much fun as I had on my 10-day trip, I am so happy to be back home.  It’s so nice to be surrounded by the familiar comforts of home after being gone for an extended period of time.  I spent most of Friday and Saturday unpacking, doing load after load of laundry, and uploading over 450 vacation photos.  Oh, and blogging about the last part of my trip.

I had an amazing time on vacation, but it’s always nice to be back home.

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