25 October 2006

And now for a completely different Halloween experience

I think I've mentioned it before, but in case I haven't, I love Halloween. As a child, I never had very nice costumes because my parents didn't like Halloween and didn't go in for buying (or making) us costumes. Most years, my costume existed of a plastic mask and clothing I already owned. Since becoming an adult every year I'd dreamed of the things I'd like to dress up as, but in general, I was very limited to what I could wear because of my weight.

In 1999, I dressed up as a mop from the Sorcerer's Apprentice to compliment my husband's Mickey. You can't really tell it from this photo, but I bought one of the cheap brown sheath-like costumes (I think it was supposed to be a monk's costume) to make myself the handle and attached a couple of hula skirts just below my knees to make the mop head. In my hand, I carry a bucket painted to look like an old wooden bucket and filled it with iridescent wrap to make it look like water. Pretty darn creative, huh? But, can you see that I'm wearing something over the gown thing? Well, I was a bit uncomfortable with how tightly the gown thing clung to my body (surprise, surprise), so I wore a brown t-shirt over the gown ... not that it made me look any better. But, it did make me feel better!

Last year and the year before, I dressed up as the spider woman. In 2004, I had to put on the "one size fits all" skirt over my head (instead of stepping into it) because the elastic wouldn't stretch out enough to fit over my hips and abdomen. So, when I wore it last year and easily slipped it on, I was thrilled. But, when I look at myself from then now I know I never would have even considered what I'm planning on for this year ...

I am going to be Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's! I found this vintage dress on eBay, an Audrey-style wig, long black gloves, some pearls and even the long cigarette holder! Oh, and even though the wig I bought comes with (what I'm sure will be a rather tacky) tiara, I'm going to add the tiara I wore on my wedding day to top it all off! The only thing I lack now is shoes. Sad that I don't have a pair of appropriate low-heeled or flat black shoes, but I don't. So, I'm still on the hunt! The caveat is that I don't wear a lot of black, so I don't want to spend more than $20 on the shoes since I know they won't get much use. Anyways, I'm very excited about it (even though I know I'm no where near as skinny as Audrey always was), and I plan to take photos. So, be on the lookout for them soon after Halloween! What are you all planning on dressing up as?

16 October 2006


About friggin' time! I read the scale with amazement this morning, 135.0 lbs!! Yeah, I've finally reached my offical goal weight, 1 year, 4 months and 2 days after WLS!! I haven't been all that stressed about not reaching this number because I'm happy with how I look, but now that I'm here, it's really nice to have achieved it. Now, the next goals are to run, not walk, the Disney 5K in January and the Nike Womens' 1/2 Marathon in October of next year. I doubt I'll become one of the psychos (like my sister, so I mean that with love) who runs marathons all the time, but these are two physical goals that I'd like to be able to achieve.

I've got more photos from NYC that I'd like to post, but Blogger's photo upload stopped working on me this morning. So, check back again for more in the near future!

12 October 2006

Back to normal ... thankfully!

My weight this morning was 136.0 lbs, so I was able to lose those extra 10 lbs of water weight in the last week. Thank goodness! I'm sure the resumption of the med that I'd run out of and the start of my period helped significantly. And, on top of that, I got my butt walked all over NYC this past weekend!

NYC building at nightA friend and I drove down Friday morning (mostly uneventful with the exception of part of the muffler flying off about an hour from home). We arrived in Chelsea at my friend's brother's apartment (where we were staying) at about 4pm and almost immediately set off. We first hit Tiffany, Bergdorf, Henri Bendel, Takashimaya and Zara in midtown before returning to Chelsea for dinner. I was on the hunt for a new winter coat (since the one I wore last year is a 14 and way too big!), so most of where we shopped throughout the weekend was to help me toward that end. Although, Bergdorf's, Bendel's and Takashimaya were only for the experience of going there. 5th Ave Train Station Mosaic

After exploring Chelsea with my friend's brother and his boyfriend for a little while, we found a Japanese place where the ladies from Sex and the City enjoyed dinner at some point during the show's run. From there, we headed toward the meatpacking district in order to kill a little time before we were to meet a few friends at the Maritime Hotel for drinks. I had 1 Bellini because I was trying not to spend an absolute fortune, and I didn't want to get too drunk either. We got back to the apartment at about midnight. Unfortunately, my night, in effect, did not end. My friend's brother has a studio apartment, a rather large studio for NYC, but still a studio. So, no privacy ... for anyone! My friend slept w/ her brother in his bed, and I slept on the couch not 3 feet from their feet! And, within 2 minutes of turning out the light, my friend's brother was snoring, loudly! And, I kid you not, it went on for most of the night. When my husband snores, I just wake him up and ask him to turn over, not exactly something I could do in this situation. I'd brought ear plugs, but unfortunately, they were completely ineffective. I heard everything, even over my white noise machine. Suffice it to say, I got no more than 4 hours sleep that night and none of it was very consecutive. All this lack of sleep really stressed me out because I knew we had major plans for the next day ...

Our first stop of the day was Le Bergamote, a French patisserie. I enjoyed a fabulous, authentic almond croissant and a non-fat latte, and I got a Brioche to go knowing that what little of the croissant I would end up eating and the latte wouldn't hold me for long. From there we caught the E train to its last stop, the former World Trade Center stop. I'd never seen the site (either when the buildings were there or after 9/11) before, so I wanted to take time to look around. There were images taken on 9/11 displayed throughout a small memorial that were so incredibly powerful I had a difficult time staying there to look at them. And, I sensed some uncomfortableness in my friend, so we kept moving ... across the street to Century 21 in my continuing quest for a coat! I tried one on that I liked, but it was a bit too snug to fit a bulky sweater underneath. So, I left with just a couple pairs of tights. We walked north toward City Hall until we came upon a Papyrus. Papyrus is my all-time favorite stationary store, so we had to go in. I found an anniversary & birthday card for my husband, a birthday card for my sister, a couple of cute beaded rings for my nieces and Christmas cards. Yup, Christmas cards! We don't have a Papyrus anywhere near us, and I found some I loved. So, I just decided to go ahead and get them.

TriBeCaFrom there, we walked up (and over I think) to TriBeCa, a fabulous neighborhood made famous by Robert DeNiro and more recently the What Not to Wear studios. I, sadly, was not able to figure out which door led to the studios even though I was standing on the correct street and block, but it was cool to see it. What Not to Wear StudiosWe hopped back on the train uptown and ended up back in the meatpacking district for brunch at Pastis, yet another favorite of Carrie and the girls. We both had the Omlette aux Fines Herbes w/ French Fries, and despite feeling a leetle guilty about the French fries when ordering them, the guilt flew right out the window (oh, wait, we ate outside on the patio) when they arrived! I typically don't care for eggs, but this omelet was so well prepared; it was light, airy and just completely delicious. Pastis omelet & friesI couldn't stop raving about it, and oh, my, gosh, the French fries! I promise I ate only a quarter to third of the fries they served me, but dang, were they phenomenal! If you go to NYC, you must go to Pastis for the fries! I mean it!!!

We did so much that the details have become a leetle bit hazy, but I think what follows is what we did. :) From Pastis we caught the E train again up to Midtown in order to retrieve my jewelry and to meet up with a friend. While the cleaning did cost me about $35, it all looked amazingly as if it were brand new, so I was thrilled. I have a very good sense of direction, so when we headed north toward Central Park in order to catch another train down to the Union Square area I, at first, got very confused. But, once we found the station, we were headed in the right direction, south. One of the things that amazes me most (now that I'm back at home) is that with the exception of this situation, my friend basically knew where all of the train stations were and we always managed to be on the correct side of the tracks upon descending the stairs. It was sooo fabulous not to have to worry about consulting a map every time I wanted to go to a different place. Once in Union Square, I managed to spend almost $85 on MAC makeup (all stuff that I needed and would have bought online if I hadn't been going to NYC), and I found a very cool scarf at Lucky Brand Jeans. At this point, we were so loaded down with packages that we decided to make our way back to the apartment to drop off our acquisitions and to rest for just a few minutes before heading back out. (So much shopping to do!)

Shop front in the meatpacking districtOur next stop, SoHo and the East Village, were my most successful shopping venues for the day. Upon ascending the steps from the station into SoHo, we entered an entirely different world, to me at least. The streets were much more narrow, and the streets were filled on all sides with quaint shops. We turned up Thompson St. so that my friend could check out a shoe shop, and just before it, I discovered a fabulous high-end second-hand shop. There, I found two absolutely fabulous winter coats from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Yves Saint Laurent. I, of course, loved them both; although, I didn't bother trying either one on after seeing their prices, $850 & $1200, respectively. Ouch!! After dejectedly leaving the store, we continued up Thompson St. toward the heart of SoHo, but then I saw it, The Hat Shop. I had to go in even though I had no coat with which a hat could accessorize! I tried a few more traditional wool hats on, but with their prices at about $200 each, I couldn't seriously look. My new hatBut, then my friend found a basket of lovely knitted hats with fabulous touches of feathers adorning them. I found a brown one, and fell in love. It didn't matter that I had no coat; I had found my hat! I left the store with my hat lovingly packaged inside a hat-box giddy over my find. And, while I was still in search of a coat, I didn't mind not being able to afford the two previous coats I'd found so much anymore. After that, we hit the most awesome Apple store, FCUK (where I found another coat I liked but wasn't sure about spending what it cost for it), the flagship Prada store (featured in the Sex and the City episode when Carrie took Berger there) where we oogled an $11K men's suit-coat along with a myriad of other significantly over-priced but gorgeous shoes, handbags and clothes and two different H&M stores within 2 blocks of each other! While my feet (thankfully!) weren't bothering me, my lower back had seriously begun aching by this time, and due to the significant lack of sleep the night before, I had seriously begun to fade.

We returned to the apartment by way of a local Chelsea bar where we briefly dropped off the friend we picked up in Midtown who met another friend who would later join us for dinner. I was so freaking exhausted at this point that I considered not joining everyone for dinner, but I didn't want to be ungracious to my hosts. So, I changed my clothes and did my best to re-energize myself before heading back out. Because of my back pain, it was decided we'd take the train down to the restaurant (even though it really wasn't that far), so our walk to the restaurant was only 1/2 a block.

Doggie inside a TriBeCa shopThe restaurant was an authentic Spanish Tapas bar full of a very lively crowd of birthday celebrants. They were so loud, we had to shout ourselves in order to be heard across the table, so thankfully, the food made up for the ambiance. (I'm sure on a more normal day of smaller parties the ambiance would be amazing.) I can't remember what all we had because there were soo many things that were ordered, but all that I tried I loved. Unfortunately, though, because I couldn't eat as much as the other 6 people there, I ended up getting a bit screwed in the end. The bill was split evenly 7 ways (even though some had espresso and dessert and others didn't), so couple the extras with the significantly smaller quantity of food I know I ate, there's no way I consumed $37 worth of food. But, oh well! There was no way I was going to say anything!

After a bit of a detour getting back to the apartment, I did my best to settle in for what I feared might be another sleepless night. Thankfully, though, my friend had a different type of earplug that, instead of being inserted into the ear canal just covered the outside and part of the ear canal, allowed me to sleep rather soundly throughout the night. I woke up happy and refreshed! I had a 4-5 hour drive ahead of me afterall!

After leisurely getting ready, we walked down to The Park restaurant where I enjoyed part of some fabulous Ricotta Pancakes with Tangerine Marscapone sauce and some apple chicken sausage. From there, we walked down to the Chelsea Market to pick up some sandwiches for the trip home, and there, I found some of the most fabulous bread at Amy's Bread, some cookies at Eleni's and then some pastries to share with my husband back at the French patisserie we ate at on Saturday morning.

Packing the car was a breeze because my friend's brother brought just about everything down on a cart, and we set off on our drive back home. Neither of us really wanted to leave the city (despite wanting to get back to our own things), but with the help of fabulous weather, the trip back was a breeze making it that much easier to say, when are we going back again?!

02 October 2006

Title revisited (feelings of largeness ... to put it mildly)

I didn't think I'd get to this point again and so darn quickly too, 145 lbs! Yes, you read correctly, one-hundred forty-five pounds. According to the scale, I have gained 9 lbs in the past week. How on earth that is humanly possible, I do not know ... especially when nothing's changed in my diet or my exercise regimen (non-existent). But, what has changed is that I'm totally PMSing and thus retaining water, and I ran out of one of my regular meds about a week ago. And, while this pill isn't taken for this purpose, it acts as a diuretic. So, while I'm happy about my breasts being a bit fuller (such that I can lean forward and not have them fall flat from the sides), I'm not happy about this huge weight gain. But, I'm still wearing my size 6 pants, so it can't be too significant. The meds arrived in the mail today, and I should be getting my period soon. So, here's hoping the pounds start dropping off soon; I can't take a 9 lb gain!