Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Husband & His Brownie Points!

Good evening!

On my way home from work this evening, my sweetie texted me to let him know when I got home. When I got here I texted:

“I am here”

“OK, Baby, go straight to your favorite seat in the living room, and sit down.” I read.

“ok.” I replied. “why???”

No response. “Hmmm…”

I got into the house, dropped my things off in their respective homes, let the dogs into the living room, and then headed over to my favorite living room seat, and what did I see???

A beautifully wrapped package!! What a NICE surprise!!! Inside was a lovely box of French chocolate mint truffles – my FAVORITE!!! The movie Tangled, which is something that I am VERY EXCITED to watch!! and the SWEETEST card!! Talk about a man making BROWNIE POINTS!!!

Then he walked in with his arms full of groceries, which means he took care of that HUGE chore without any prompting from me, and then proceeded to give me another item to go with my gift!! The newest InStyle magazine!! YEAH!!! He knows the way to this girl’s heart!!! When I asked him what the reason for all of this goodness was, he simply replied,

“You needed to know you’re worth it!”


I love you so much, Baby-Jay!! I can’t wait to spend some time this evening hanging out with you, having fun, being silly, and have a blast laughing!! YOU ARE MY WORLD!!!


Have a FABULOUS evening!!! 😉

Getting to Happy!

Good morning!

I am up REALLY early this morning!! I think my body and I are finally starting to work together!!! I take my tired self to bed earlier, and my body can then get me out of bed with my first alarm that goes off at 5:30 am. AAAH!! That feels GREAT!! What a novel concept! If I take care of my body, it will take care of me!!

So, here it is, 6am, and I am dressed and ready to go to work! I have stopped to take a mental check of how I am feeling this morning, and I have to confess, I am happy! Like consciously, in the know happy! What a FABULOUS feeling!

This morning, I thought I would start something different for me. I would LOVE to post an interview once a week from someone who interests me. Just to get the ball rolling, and really because I am still yet a big chicken, I decided that just to break the ice, I would interview MYSELF first!!

Interview: Christina Basso-Lenz.

Christinaville: What’s a simple activity that consistently makes you happier?
Christina: I always feel absolutely rejuvenated after getting together with family and friends. It doesn’t matter if we are getting together for a cup of coffee, the holidays, or just a random Tuesday! When we get together, we re-energize each other through laughter! You can’t help but leave their company feeling happy!!! I love my peeps!! 😉

What’s something you know now about happiness that you didn’t know when you were 18 years old?
I don’t think I gave any thought to happiness whatsoever when I was 18, I just assumed I always would be happy. Not that I was happy all the time, I was plagued with insecurities and doubt, but I assumed happiness was something that I deserved – like it was going to be given to me.

Now that I am 35, I am much more comfortable in my skin. I now realize that happiness isn’t something that I am entitled to, happiness is an active choice. Barring anything catastrophic, I will be happy if I choose to do/be/have the things that I deem make me happy. I am the deciding factor in my own happiness, and if I want it, I have to go out there and get it. No one is going to give it to me.

Is there anything you find yourself doing repeatedly that gets in the way of your happiness?
Dreaming big and then not taking action. This has been something that I consciously struggle with. I have this little bubble of fear that has a tendency to hang over my head, and I worry about being a failure or disappointing the ones I love. I have to constantly remind myself that this is the only life I ever get, and if I am going to get out there and do it, now is the time!

Is there a happiness mantra or motto that you’ve found very helpful?
I have a strong foundation of faith and I like to remind myself that God has a bigger dream waiting in the wings for me then what I can see right in front of me. Whatever troubles or struggles are going on right now they will pass. It is up to me to look for the lesson in whatever it is that is going on in my life at any given time so that I am ready for the bigger blessings heading my way.

Has there been a book that has been particularly useful?
A helpful book for me is any great fiction that can whisk my thoughts away to distraction. My favorite for that is probably something like Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café, or The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. I love the idea that I get to step into other women’s lives, and get to share some of their adventures with them. I have become infatuated with the idea of the southern belles.

If you’re feeling blue, how do you give yourself a happiness boost? Do you have a comfort activity? (like reading children’s books).
There are a few things that do this for me. Purchasing a new journal, or a good quality pen – I love writing my thoughts down on paper. There is something about fine paper, a smooth-writing, heavy pen, and large swirly penmanship that are immediately calming to me.

I also love getting creative whether that is doing some interior design, creating jewelry, or handcrafting a little something for a friend. I love seeing the joy that something I can make can bring to someone else!

Do you have a comfort food that adds to your happiness?
I do have a few of comfort foods that I love to partake in when I am feeling blue – all of them from my memories of my mamma’s kitchen; her fried chicken, baked pork chops, lasagna, those are all foods that can whisk me right back to being a happy little kid in her kitchen!! YUM!

Is there anything that you see people around you doing or saying that adds a lot to their happiness, or detracts a lot from their happiness?
My husband and I have been married almost 16 years, and because we don’t have children of our own, I really notice peoples’ parenting skills, or lack thereof. In my observations there are so many parents who don’t actually take the time to raise their children. They seem to think that great adults just happen all on their own. It makes me sad knowing that those parents will miss out on knowing what great adults their children could have become with some healthy and consistent guidance.

Have you always felt about the same level of happiness, or have you been through a period when you felt exceptionally happy or unhappy – if so, why? If you were unhappy, how did you become happier?
I have always generally been a happy person, but there have definitely been dark periods in my life. My darkest times have been during those periods where I have lost loved ones, but the most difficult was when I lost my mamma, 11 years ago. I have been able to get through those times by surrounding myself with a bunch FABULOUS family and friends – the ultimate support team. They remind me why I work so hard at living my life to it’s fullest; because life is short and yet so very precious!

Do you work on being happier? If so, how?
Yes, I try to live consciously, to be in the moment. One of my hobbies is photography, and sometimes I have to remind myself to get out from behind the camera and see what is going on in real life, not just through my lense. I have a tendency to live my entire life that way – through a lense, as if all of this is make believe and I will get another chance to live my real life.

Have you ever been surprised that something you expected would make you very happy, didn’t – or vice versa?
Yes! Growing up in a family who really didn’t have much materialistically, I was sure that if I acquired this certain thing or that particular object, then I would be happy. I have since learned that is an American myth. Matter of fact, the more stuff that you own, the more bogged down your life can feel. Happiness is all about the people you surround yourself with and the experiences that you choose to partake of. All of this other stuff is just fluff.

Anything else to add?
Get out there and go find your ladybugs! (Under the Tuscan Sun movie reference: “Listen, when I was a little girl I used to spend hours looking for ladybugs. Finally, I’d just give up and fall asleep in the grass. When I woke up, they were crawling all over me.”)

Have a FABULOUS morning!!! 😉

The Chunky Dunker’s Club, Week 5

Good evening!

Welcome to week 5, of the Chunky Dunker’s Club!!! Can you believe it has been Five weeks already??

Every week I post a new Chunky Dunker’s article ever Wednesday evening, and you have the opportunity to comment, and cheer each other as you each go through your journey to get fit and healthy!!! We will discuss hints, tips, and ideas on losing weight, staying motivated, and achieving your fitness goals, whether that is to lose 5 pounds, to do 10 sit-ups, or just incorporate some healthy habits into your daily life!!

Before I get on tonight’s topic, I am VERY HAPPY to report that I have lost 7.2 pounds since our very first week!!!! YEAH!!!

Tonight’s topic: Tracking Your Way Towards Progress

By no means am I an expert in this area, but I am coming to realize that tracking your journey could be the key to your fitness success. The primary benefit of logging your diet and exercise is motivation. It is much easier to stay on track if you can look back after sticking to your program for a period of time and see that you’ve lost several pounds or shaved a few seconds off your routine neighborhood run; and if you should keep your weekly weight on a simple chart, then you can see that descending line or the ascending graph of your weight loss progress. These visual cues are reminders that you are taking small steps each and every day toward your larger goal and it’s working.

Having your diet and exercise plan in writing greatly increases your chances of sticking to them versus simply trying to “cut back” on unhealthy foods or “exercise more”. Defined goals and plans to reach those goals will ensure that you achieve what you wish. Sometimes your mind will tell you that you’ve been exercising regularly when you can look back at your training log and see clearly and definitively that you’ve only averaged one workout per week for the past month. I find that when I track my food, I actually have eaten more than what I thought I had, or eaten more of the wrong things, then what my memory could recollect, which is why writing it down has become key for me.

Whether your goal is to lose 10 pounds by next summer, lower your blood pressure by 5 points, or shave 30 seconds off your weekly club 10k time trial, you will need a plan. By tracking your exercise times, distance, diet, measurements, feelings, and any other thoughts or goings on a daily basis you will be in a much better position to understand what you need to do to reach your goal.

There are many ways you can start tracking your progress. There are many online tools that you can use, my personal favorite is Thier . Or, you can keep your details in a journal, spiral notebook, or some other paper-based device – the choice is yours. I personally track my food and exercise using’s My Plate (which is free, btw) and I journal for the most part either on paper, or on my daily blog, which most of you already read. 🙂 I weigh and measure every Wednesday morning, and I LOVE keeping that progress in a simple Excel graph! Being visual it is GREAT motivation to keep doing a good job!
So, tell me what you think?? Is tracking your progress something that you might want to do? If so how, and what are you going to start tracking? Also, how has your Kaizen assignment been going from last week? Also, I want to know what is working, and what isn’t working with our Chunky Dunker’s Club. Do you have any ideas that might help us make our group more successful? I am always up for suggestions!!
With that, I am going to wrap it up, and we can open up our discussion in the comment section of this posting!
Have a FABULOUS evening!! 😉

A Tired Tuesday Evening!

Good evening!

I think my body is still trying to recuperate from being so sick this last week, because for some reason I am really achy and if I were to close my eyes right now, I would be out like a light!! So, I am going to keep this short! 😉

I wanted to make sure I posted my Kaizen activities for today:

  1. Got up on time
  2. Brushed my teeth
  3. Walked 2 blocks from parking lot to my office
  4. Walked up 3 flights of stairs
  5. Had a healthy breakfast
  6. Tracked my breakfast
  7. Walked down 5 flights of stairs
  8. Walked 2 blocks to lunch and then back again
  9. Had grilled chicken instead of beef at lunch
  10. Requested extra veggies with my lunch
  11. Walked 2 more blocks to get from office to parking lot
  12. Drank about 2 liters of water today
  13. Had some extra vegetables with dinner tonight
  14. Ate an orange for dessert
  15. Started reading a health/nutrition book this evening
  16. Doing kegals while blogging! 😉
  17. Brushed my teeth again
  18. Flossed
  19. Will do a stress relieving meditation before bed
  20. Took some time to stretch before bed

Today was a day about hope, love and gratitude. There have been a lot of stressful things going on in my life, at both work and at home. Today was a day that I chose to change my perspective and focus on all of the blessings that come my way everyday!! There are a lot of things and changes going on at work right now that we are hoping will really help make our jobs more enjoyable, and less stressful. My home is clean, and my husband loves me like crazy, and I love him right back! We have every need taken care of, plus some for helping others with. We are blessed!

We are blessed! We are blessed!
and today, I am just soooo thankful!!!

Before I go for the evening, I wanted to remind you that tomorrow is our Chunky Dunker’s Club meeting!!! I will try and post by 6:30 tomorrow evening! Don’t forget to hop on so I can hear how everyone is doing!! I am excited to weigh in the morning and let you all know how I am doing too!! 20 pounds is the goal!!!! YEAH!! 😉

Have a FABULOUS evening!!! 😉

A Taxing Kind of Morning!

Good morning!

Having meditated before bed last night, which in turn caused me to fall asleep faster, I woke up early this morning raring to go!! I’ve decided that I needed to gather my tax papers so that I can file my taxes! I was sure I had a fail-safe plan when I chose a location to “stash” all of the random incoming papers, so as not to lose them, but unfortunately there must have been some kind of a hiccup in my plan, because I am missing two very important papers! Dang! It is going to cause me to have to serious spend some time this evening looking for them!! Oh well, that will teach me!

As I continue to think about where I could have placed those tax papers, I look around and see a couple of stacks of things that just need to be donated, or even tossed in this room! I am sitting in our spare room, which has kinda become a craft room/office/mini library. As you may already know, I go through phases of cleaning/purging/using this room, and other times this room stays completely closed up and unused all together! Sad, really! and what a waste of square footage!! My office is talking about having us telecommute on a more permanent basis, since desk space is becoming a rarity at work right now, which means that this would be the room that I would have to work out of. In it’s current state, I am not sure that would be possible! Not to mention, this chair is not meant to be sat on for long periods of time!!! I think what I am trying to say, is that I have got to keep making this room more of a priority to get FINISHED!!! This room could be such a SWEET spot!! I will get on that!! 😉

As for work today??? Well, I am going to have to be a little more focused in my tasks otherwise I will have a repeat of yesterday, where I had gotten a lot of work done, but they may not have been the BEST use of my time! I have some big assignments that a lot of people are waiting for! I am hoping to knock one of those out of the ballpark today and into the hands of one of my customers!!! That would make for a GREAT day!! 😉

I am going to run and set myself up for a LEVEL 10 day!!! as for you…

Have a FABULOUS day!! 😉

Spending the Night With Ruby!

Good evening!

I am needing some chearleading to stay on the straight and narrow with my fitness plan this evening, so I am spending some time watching some Ruby!! I love that girl! She is just such an inspiration to me, and I just hope that I can finally start seeing that blasted number go down on that scale. This episode is the one where she realizes her dream of going camping for the first time! I love this episode, and I just ADORE camping!!

I must tell you, Jason makes camping soooo much fun! I love the zen, the quiet, the peace, and being in the great outdoors! I just love the whole experience of camping!!!

Anyway, back to Ruby and getting back on my own wagon of getting fit! I did do some Kaizen actions today, and I really do want to share them with you today!!

Kaizen actions:

  1. I have drank about 2 liters of water today
  2. I had a healthy breakfast
  3. Walk two blocks to and from lunch today
  4. I had a very vegetable heavy lunch today
  5. I literally took a break just to breath when things got a little stressful at work this afternoon
  6. I did some extra walking after work today
  7. Had a large salad with dinner
  8. I took some time after work to have a really GREAT laugh with my sweetie – a few times tonight!!
  9. Throughout everything I have done today, I have really tried to keep perspective and remain thankful for the blessings that I do have
  10. I did some stretching before going to bed
  11. and I did a 10 minute meditation to get me ready for going to sleep.

So between seeing this list, and the inspiration of watching Ruby making progress, I know I can do this – little by little. Ruby reminds me to not give up on myself – that I AM WORTH IT!! and that I can wake up every morning and find it inside of myself keep taking my baby steps!! God bless you, Ruby!! You keep going girrrrl!!! I know I will!! 😉

Have a FABULOUS evening! 😉

Note to Chunky Dunkers: If I can do this, so CAN YOU!!!! Don’t give up on yourself!! GO CHUNKY DUNKERS!!! 😉