Thursday, March 31, 2011

Awkward & Awesome Thursday!

This post is just kinda out there... which is exactly where I'm at today...


The Awkward
{cred}
  • Forgetting what you wanted to write for your Awkward & Awesome post.
  • Oh yah... I remember... 
  • Running out of your happy meds.... it makes you very awkward to live with, upsets your stomach and can even cause you to miss work. 
  • Falling asleep on the toilet. AGAIN! 







The Awesome
  • Not that toilet - though it is kinda awesome actually... and pink. I love pink..
  • Bryzzy imitating how his Bobblehead works.
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Music For The Morning

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Happy Thursday Monsters! 




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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wednesday Is Sponsor Spotlight Day!

I'd like to introduce you to some of my amazing March and April sponsors. They are wonderful, talented and inspirational women - I hope that you gain as much from visiting their sites and blogs as I have! 


This lovely lady is the fabulous Ms. Lindsay over at Scenic Glory

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She is the one responsible for the new look around here - and I am proud to say this blog was her first venture into "colorful" instead of the "vintage" style of designing she is accustomed to. And she nailed it!

When I began my search for a designer to help me with a custom design for this site - I stumbled upon her through connections at FTLOB and I believe it was fate. She has helped me make this blog into something unique and perfect.

Lindsay - in addition to being an inspirational blogger and talented artist - is also a newlywed! I highly recommend you take a few minutes to check out her blog and especially her wedding photos. 
AH-MAZING!!! 

Start at the beginning though - you don't want to miss anything!!!  

I visit her site daily - it's so calming and tranquil. Much like I imagine Lindsay herself to be. 




Now please allow me to introduce you to my Chrissy from Whimsical Poppysmic

I have come across so many awesome bloggers since I started this whole venture into bloggyland - Chrissy and Linsday are two bloggers I am happy to now be able to call "friend".

Chrissy is quite talented and artistic - I hope you'll take a few moments to browse through her Etsy store and check out the adorable handmade goods she has for sale:

The Yotes Diva Sponsor Area

I recently purchased one of these adorable little phone cases from her shop and I LOVE IT!!!

 Every time I look at it - it makes me smile!



Chrissy also was my sponsor for my Grand Blog Redesign Celebration - and if you haven't had a chance to enter to win the giveaway she is donating for the occasion - GO NOW! You only have a few days left! :) 


And last - but far from least - I'd like for you to meet Shah Wharton from WordsinSync


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Shah is 38 years old, married and lives in Dubai with her husband works for Emirates Airlines as a Pilot. She and her husband both originate from the West Midlands area of the U.K. 

Shah is currently working on her first novel and also writes short stories. She has completed around 30 of them! She has been writing poetry for years, for catharsis more than anything. Her dad turned her on to poetry as a child, writing his thoughts and feelings to her in poetry form.

Shah is living with a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, which runs in her family. She was diagnosed in 2005. Her husband and medications keep her largely balanced now, and she's learned a lot over the past six years about how to manage her moods effectively.

As a counselor by profession, I am glad that I have found Shah and her blog in our little Blogiverse. She is an inspiration to those who are living and dealing with such a difficult diagnosis. I have thoroughly enjoyed checking out her blog, reading her thoughts and words and learning from her. I think that you will too.

Well my little Monsters, I think I've given you enough reading material to last you for a bit! 

I hope you enjoyed my first Sponsor Feature and will take a few moments to visit these lovely ladies. I promise it will be well worth your time!

Park it back here next week for the 2nd post of my Sponsor Feature Series and I'll introduce you to the brains (and beauty) behind the brawn - the lovely Hockey Wives....

The Yotes Diva Sponsor Area
The Yotes Diva Sponsor Area

For information regarding sponsorship opportunities here at Belle Of The Desert - please visit my Sponsors page. Email me for information on special packages and discounts!



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Music For The Morning

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Oh how I love this song... Isn't it just wonderful???

I love the tempo - it makes me happy. I hope you all have a wonderful day!!! It's hump day - which means I'm half way to BESTIE WEEKEND and my niece's 5th birthday party. YAY!



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Monday, March 28, 2011

Tasty Tuesday: Cookin' With Coconuts - Blogisode 7: Gluten Free Strawberry Coconut Muffins

{google images}
It's that time again! 

I'm so happy that I found all of these user submitted recipes on the Tropical Traditions website! They have been quite helpful. I'm on a quest to eat things without flour, wheat or ingredients that are otherwise not necessarily good for you. I have a theory that I've got myself a bit of a wheat allergy - but it has not been proven yet...

Anyway, here's a recipe I found and wanted to share. The muffins are made with coconut flour - which is nothing but the fiber from the coconut meat after most of the oil has been extracted to make Virgin Coconut Oil. 

I'm currently pouring through tons of coconut flour recipes and this one caught my eye. I'm headed to Sprouts tomorrow for the ingredients. I'll share pictures of my attempts once I'm done! 

For now - here's the recipe:

Gluten Free Strawberry Coconut Muffins

Servings: 6-12 muffins
Preparation Time: 10 minutes


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Muffins:

Cream Cheese Topping:
  • 1 cup homemade or store bought cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1 - 3 tablespoons raw honey

For the muffins:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine coconut flour, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl mix the eggs, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until well blended. 

Mix dry ingredients into the wet, blending with a hand mixer or by hand. Gently fold in strawberries.

Place batter in paper lined muffin tins OR oil small individual glass bowls and pour batter in about 1/2 - 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Take them out and let them cool and serve topped with Strawberry Cream Cheese.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

Place everything in a blender or food processor and blend till smooth. 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge. 

When muffins are ready, generously top each muffin and enjoy!





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I'm frustrated...

and fed up... and pissed off... and hopeless... and helpless... and just f'n DONE with this whole mess right now.
{bing images}

And I want to go to that Mexican restaurant at Westgate and pig out on their lunch buffet IMMEDIATELY! I want cheese enchiladas, rice, beans, chimichangas, flan and some goddam DEEP FRIED ICE CREAM. 

I'm gonna need someone to talk me out of this please.... 

{from bing images}

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Music For The Morning & Monday Hopping

Ugh... Is it already Monday? How did this happen...? Well let's make the best of it!






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I chose this video because... well I just love it! 
Oh Enrique... I'd completely forgotten about this song/video! 

How could I?!?! 

He is so hot - and so is this video! 

LOVE IT! 

Enjoy...


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1.  Crunchy or soft tacos?
Crunchy - if I even eat them at all. Tacos aren't really my fav.


2.  Do you scrapbook?
I tried it once - I don't have the patience for it! My sister is a pro at it however...

3.  Do you take any daily medications?
What do I NOT take...? About a zillion daily vitamins, pills to keep me from going crazy, pills to keep my feet from swelling up. My pile o' pills at night is getting ridiculous. 

4.  What is your favorite sound?
My niece's laughter

5.  Where were you born?
Thomasville, GA


That's about all I've got for ya on this lovely Monday morn. Have a good one ya little Monsters!









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Sunday, March 27, 2011

30 Days of Truth Blog... Thingee. Day 01: Something you hate about yourself.

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By now it's no secret that my weight is not my greatest feature...  But I won't say I hate that - or anything about myself really. There's no sense in hating your physical attributes. 

There's no sense in hating your nose, your eyes, your feet or the color of your skin. There's not much you can do about it - unless you want to spend all of your money on expensive surgeries. It's a senseless waste of energy and life is too short.

I have a gap in my front teeth. I hated it as a child. I went to my dentist and he wouldn't put braces on me to "fix a little gap". He said there was nothing wrong with my teeth - they were perfect. I just had that little gap. No braces for you! 

So I went home with the thought in my little brain that I was just going to be ugly and have an ugly gap in my front teeth for the rest of my life. 

I struggled with that for the better part of my teenage and young adult years. Couple that with the weight I've constantly struggled with carrying around, my constant need to please everyone (I've since gotten over that one...) and what do we have? 

A recipe for social disaster. 

It wasn't until later on in life that I realized my fat and my gap weren't going to be my demise. Know who else has a gap? 

Madonna. 


And Georgia Jagger. 

{photo creds}
I could be in worse company.

So I'll keep my gap. And if I can't get rid of all the weight - I'll keep that too. As long as I am at a point where I'm comfortable in my own skin. 

That's my goal. 



In case I ever forget though - I have this Marilyn Monroe quote on my bedroom wall to remind me to always....





And just for kicks... 

(don't worry - it's not the official video again)



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30 Days of Truth Blog... Thingee.


Inspired by the lovely Marni over at Marni's Organized Mess, I've decided to participate in the 30 Days of Truth... blog... thingee. It's not a blog hop, not really a project - just a blog... thingee. So.... yah. Works for me! I will do random posts on this until I get to the end of the list. It will likely not be a daily thing - here's the topics that will be covered in the different posts:

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{P.S. I kicked my diet cheat day's ass yesterday - and today it's apparently going to kick mine. Oy... French fries, margaritas, pretzels, pizza and crepes... to name a few of my indulgences. Yep. I totally showed that cheat day who was boss! Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to spend the remainder of my day in the bathroom. Blech...} 

The List:

Day 01: Something you hate about yourself.
Day 02: Something you love about yourself.
Day 03: Something you have to forgive yourself for.
Day 04: Something you have to forgive someone for.
Day 05: Something you hope to do in your life.
Day 06: Something you hope you never have to do.
Day 07: Someone who has made your life worth living for.
Day 08: Someone who made your life hell, or treated you like shit.
Day 09: Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.
Day 10: Someone you need to let go, or wish you didn’t know.
Day 11: Something people seem to compliment you the most on.
Day 12: Something you never get compliments on.
Day 13: A band or artist that has gotten you through some tough ass days.
Day 14: A hero that has let you down.
Day 15: Something or someone you couldn’t live without, because you’ve tried living without it.
Day 16: Someone or something you definitely could live without.
Day 17: A book you’ve read that changed your views on something.
Day 18: Your views on gay marriage.
Day 19: What do you think of religion? Or what do you think of politics?
Day 20: Your views on drugs and alcohol.
Day 21: (scenario) Your best friend is in a car accident and you two got into a fight an hour before. What do you do?
Day 22: Something you wish you hadn’t done in your life.
Day 23: Something you wish you had done in your life.
Day 24: Make a playlist to someone, and explain why you chose all the songs. (post the titles and artists and letter)
Day 25: The reason you believe you’re still alive today.
Day 26: Have you ever thought about giving up on life? If so, when and why?
Day 27: What’s the best thing going for you right now?
Day 28: What if you were pregnant or got someone pregnant, what would you do?
Day 29: Something you hope to change about yourself. And why.
Day 30: A letter to yourself, tell yourself EVERYTHING you love about yourself.


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Music For The Morning - I've Made It Past 100 Blog Followers!!!

THANK YOU!!!! 

You're f*n PERFECT Lovies!

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Enjoy your Sunday!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Music For The Morning: IT'S SATURDAY!!!!!

WE MADE IT TO THE WEEKEND!!!!!

I hope you all have something wonderful planned - whether it be a big game (me!) or just being lazy and enjoying lazing around all weekend - and that it's a wonderful weekend for you! 

Now here's some Music For Your Saturday Morning:

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Friday, March 25, 2011

Well I Guess I'll Talk More About The Diet...

As I told you in a previous post - I've started a new diet. I was debating as to whether or not I'd share the details of said diet with you here on the blog. I didn't want this to become a "Diet Blog". But with the success I've experienced on this diet in just a week - and the numerous requests I've gotten from you lovely readers and Tweeters - I've decided to share with you my progress and a little bit more about the diet I am on every now and then. 

I started this diet last Wednesday. In 9 days I've dropped 13.7 pounds! Now - before you get all excited about that - I have a lot of weight to lose. And prior to starting this diet I was eating HORRIBLY. We're talking apple fritters, (I told you they'd end up being trouble), huge Bear Claws stuffed with cinnamon sugar and butter, deep fried anything and well... just pretty much anything I wanted. I've been on so many diets in the past I had gotten to the point where I was resigned to my fate: I was going to be fat for the rest of my life. With every new diet came temporary weight loss - then regain and then some. I was also going to be single and childless - because no one (at least no one I'd actually WANT to date) wanted to date me. I've never been willing to compromise my standards - and dating is probably the biggest one I won't compromise on. I don't feel the need to be in a relationship to make me "whole". I like the person I am quite a lot. Anyway - to read more about my life as a fat person, you can read this post. I'll move on here...

The Diet:
Inspired by a blogging buddy and her recent adventures in dieting, I decided to look into a diet she'd mentioned. It's called the 4 Hour Diet - or the slow carb diet. There wasn't much on the interwebs about it so I purchased the book from Amazon and got to reading. It also contains some information on "becoming super human" and "having the best sex of your life" - or something of that nature. Neither of which interest me at the moment. I am not having sex with anyone nor do I care to be super human. Regardless... I bought the book and set a date to start the diet.

What Do You Have To Do?
Well - instead of trying to relay all the information to you from the book - I'll give you The Belle's Condensed Version (not to be confused with the Reader's Digest Condensed version). I have tweaked a few things in the diet to suit me - so I can't exactly say I've followed it 100%. But here's the main things I'm doing.

  • NO WHITE CARBS: For six days a week I am restricted to eating nothing but low carb veggies, organic, grass fed meat and beans. (I've discovered that I actually enjoy lentils quite a bit...) You have to stay away from most dairy products, hormone filled meats and anything processed or starchy. Beans contain carbs - but they are processed slowly and therefore provide energy for you and help you feel fuller longer.
  • NO FRUIT: This may be a hard pill for some people to swallow. Fruit is good for us right? Sure - but it's also full of sugar and spikes up our insulin levels - which screws up our weight loss. 
  • A typical day for me looks something like this: Breakfast: egg whites, spinach, black beans and a little (cilantro free) organic salsa. Lunch may be a "taco salad" with only refried beans, chicken, lettuce and a small dab of sour cream. Dinner may be grass-fed steak, organically grown asparagus and organically grown lentils and onions (which - come to find out - is DELICIOUS!!!) I can eat as much of these foods at meals as I want. I am finding now however, that my appetite is starting to suppress and the addition of beans to every meal has helped me to stay full. My first few days on this diet caused... how shall I put this... a lot of gastrointestinal distress... But I'm happy to say that is no longer an issue. But if it does become an issue - Beano Meltaways are my friends. I'm also allowed 2 glasses of red wine per day - which makes me happy... :)
  • I have one cheat day per week. This is what drew me to the 4 Hour Diet in the first place: A cheat day. You can eat however much of anything you want. ANYTHING! Nothing is off limits on this day! For my first cheat day, I had 2 of those large cinnamon sugar and butter filled bear claws - one for breakfast and one for lunch - orange juice and spaghetti with meatballs and cheese sticks for dinner. I felt HORRIBLE all day! I actually welcomed my breakfast of stinky egg whites, spinach and black beans with a touch of salsa the next morning! However, the cheat day is necessary to spike your insulin levels once a week so that the weight loss starts all over again when you start the diet back the next day. It sort of tricks your body into losing weight, I guess you could say.
  • I take supplements. Lots of supplements. The book recommends what is referred to as the PAGG Stack. This consists of Policosanol, alpha liopic acid, garlic tablets, Green Tea Extract & Vitamin B Complex. I take those daily. In addition - I take a high quality daily multi-vitamin, a high grade fish oil supplement and a pro-biotic to aid in digestion (this is what has helped with the gastrointestinal distress I mentioned above.) I also take Organic, Extra-Virgin Unrefined Coconut Oil tablets 3 times daily as well. This is in addition to the coconut oil I incorporate into my daily diet anyway - just to make sure I'm getting enough. 
  • I don't exercise. At this point, I'm not able to. I'm dealing with some heel spurs that limit my mobility greatly. I do intend to incorporate this into my daily routine once the heel spurs start feeling better - which should happen now that the weight is melting off. 
So that's the gist of what I'm doing right now that has gotten off 13.7 pounds in 9 days. It's likely that this rate of weight loss will not continue. That's ok. It's a huge motivator for me right now though, so I hope it at least continues at a steady pace. This diet may or may not work for you - I think everybody is different and we all have to search and find what works best for us. Some people can't stand the thought of giving up fruit. I'm not a huge fan of fruit anyway... Some people freak out at the thought of giving up milk and other dairy products... Milk upsets my stomach anyway so it's not that big of a deal for me either. I can have a little organic butter with my food. So that helps. 

It's hard to sit there with my lentils, my steak and my asparagus and watch family and friends devour baked potatoes dripping in butter, pizza covered in pepperoni and cheese, cake, cookies, pretzels with nacho cheese, french fries, burritos, etc... Each time I have to I get angry... and then I just keep eating. I make a mental note to have that on my "cheat day" and then I finish my dinner. By the time I step away from the table I'm feeling better and satisfied. I had to realize that just because I had to be on a diet, I couldn't expect everyone else to eat what I eat too. No one is going to do this for me and it's no one's fault but my own if I give in to temptation. 

So... what to you think peeps? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this diet. 

Now Let's Get Into Some Weekend Hopping!!!


A Mommy's Sweet Blog Design Friday Blog Hop

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