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Attitude is everything.

Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product. You achieve happiness by doing for others.
~my father.

Everything changes or dies – even this blog

July 29, 2009

This blog started out as a place to showcase my sewing. I still love to sew. The only problem is that my life has changed so dramatically in the last 18 months that I rarely sew anymore. I feel like the name of my blog is a misnomer. It’s also a pun and I know at least one person caught that when they first saw my blog title. 🙂

I’ve found that more and more I want to write and share about things other than sewing. (I know, you’re like, duh!) I want to talk about weight loss, running, walking, bicycling, decorating, style, philosophy, and life events. I feel like the format I’ve created on Little Miss Sew N Sew doesn’t work for that, even though I’ve been doing writing about all those things here. I have this weird guilt feeling every time I post about something that’s not sewing. Silly, I know. I guess that’s just the web designer in me – I feel like my website needs to reflect who I am and correspond with the purpose of the site. Also, there are a huge number of really good sewing blogs out there, and those whose skills are far better than mine, that I don’t feel a need to compete or create a sewing blog that gets thousands of visitors and comments.

Consequently, I’ve started a completely new website, with my own domain. Ta da!

My new website still needs some work and tweaking on the visual format, and for now, I’m double posting here and there. Some of my favorite posts from this blog and other blogs I’ve started (and let lapse) will be moved over to the new site and my goal is that my new site will be the sole place where I post and provide a more comprehensive journal and resource for anything related to living my life. I don’t want to feel limited by guilt that I’m not posting about just sewing.

What will happen to this blog? I’ll keep it as a place to document any sewing I do. Maybe over time, I’ll blog about sewing on my new site and let this one go completely. I haven’t decided yet.

I believe that everything in life changes and grows, or else it withers and dies. The same goes with blogs. I’m changing and growing too, and I want to reflect that properly in my new website.

I hope you’ll follow me over there too. I appreciate all my bloggy friends and readers – even those who lurk and don’t comment. I hope that you continue to find something useful (here or at that you can use and take with you.


Things to do when starting to lose weight

July 26, 2009

Some of my family and friends have started their own weight loss journey, and I’ve offered my support, of course, and encouragement. There are three things I recommend doing at the very beginning of this process that I didn’t do myself, and I regret not doing them right away. These things are well worth the effort in the long run.

Start a weight loss notebook. I used a three ring binder and in this I put my Weight Watchers materials, favorite recipes I’ve printed from online, notes, goals, inspiring pictures from magazines, and such. I prefer a binder with page protectors, but you could also use a computerized notebook, such as Microsoft One Note, or any other software.

Take your picture. Take a full length picture and a side view picture, perhaps even a back view. This will be your “before” picture. It won’t be your most flattering picture. The point is to take an honest assessment of your starting point.

Measuring Royalty Free Stock Photo

Take your measurements. This will be, if you are like I was, very painful to do. To really know what those hip, thigh, or waist measurements are when you start isn’t going to be pleasant, but trust me, down the line you’ll wish you had done this. And don’t go squeezing the tape measure to get the smallest number, either. (Been there, done that.) You want an honest measurement, remember?

I recommend taking the following measurements:

  • Neck
  • Under arms (just above bust)
  • Full bust
  • Under bust
  • Waist
  • Hips – 4” from waist (this is called the high hip)
  • Hips – 7” from waist – or the fullest part of your hips
  • Thighs (fullest part)
  • Above knee
  • Calf (fullest part)
  • Ankle

Retake your picture and measurements every four to six weeks. Why? At some point in your weight loss journey, you *will* hit a plateau. It happens to everyone. Your weight loss will stall at the scale. You won’t be seeing any forward (downward) progress and you’ll wonder what is wrong. (Usually, you’ll need to recheck what you’re eating or increase your activity – that worked for me.)

When this time hits, you will be able to go back and see the progress in real numbers and pictures, not just in the fact that your clothes are looser or smaller. For me, this has been a huge incentive at those times to keep on going. When you can go back and see three or four inches lost from your hips you feel energized to keep doing what you’re doing.

Keeping a record of your entire journey this way really helps you to see how far you’ve come and, for me, is inspiration to not slide backward along the way. When I hit my goal, this will also serve as a record of just what I’ve accomplished.

Hope this helps!

Managing Stress when Life Happens

July 25, 2009

How does the saying go? When life hands you lemons…? Well, sometimes I think life throws a fast-pitch or life jerks on, but doesn’t pull out, the rug under your feet so that you can test your balance and reflexes. I don’t believe in the notion that life is full of misery or that life just sucks. Entirely the opposite. However, I do believe that because we are all interconnected, choices other people make in life affect us and force us to check ourselves, our motives, our philosophies, and our faith.

This week has been one of those weeks for me.


At the beginning of the week, my youngest daughter came home with some news that really rocked my world – and I’ll probably share those details later, but not now. I have been processing this internally all week, and how what’s going on with her affects me. I’ve been happy, sad, doubtful, faithful, confused – probably every emotion possible. One thing it did surface for me was an appreciation for my parents and what they must have felt when I was a young adult making choices and decisions that they really had no control over. They loved me and only wanted the best for me and had to let go and have faith that God was looking out for me. I am doing the same for my daughter. She will find her way in the world, and hopefully she will know that all along the way, she has her mother and sister by her side.

In addition to my-world-rocking news, I have had a rough week at work. I’ve had to do my job of editing and managing a small team of writers plus cover for my boss who has been on vacation. I’ve had to manage a phase of our project through to publication not knowing much about the company’s tools or processes, and had to learn on the fly. This, coupled with worrying about my daughter, has stressed me out beyond belief.

How have I managed the stress? I had set a goal at the beginning of the week to do some sort of activity every day this week. Early in the week I walked and ran three miles each day, and then a four mile walk (no run, so it was easier) on Wednesday. Thursday was another walk (easy one) and yesterday was a lot of yard work (mowing, pulling weeds). This all counts for activity.

I have learned that activity and exercise really helps relieve stress. That, coupled with eating right – which I’ve been trying to do also – really reduces the impact stress has on my body. In previous years, this level of stress would have caused a flare up of my fibromyalgia to the point that I would be unable to do anything for a couple days. Not so today. For this, I am extremely grateful.

I also try to focus on the positive. The more I practice focusing on the positive and finding the blessing in things, the easier it becomes to feel it in my bones and to know that no matter what, I’m always going to be okay. I have a deep faith that life is meant to be good and that God never gives me more than I can handle. This doesn’t mean I don’t cry, don’t get hurt, don’t feel angry or frustrated at times. I do, because I’m human. I just don’t let myself get carried away by those emotions. The more I act as if life is always happy and joyous – even if I don’t 100% believe it in the moment – the more it truly turns out that way.


Life isn’t always smooth waters – sometimes you have to jump the wake, or ride it, and in doing so, you feel the blessing of life – living, feeling, experiencing, creating memories.

It’s all good.

All work and no play makes a very boring blog post

July 19, 2009

It’s been very quiet, I know, on my blog this last week. That’s because all I’ve been doing, pretty much, is working. I had a deadline last week at work and my boss was on vacation so that meant very long days for me. All that work following the prior weekend of running and hiking means I’ve been a tired girl. Plus, I’m fighting either very bad allergies or a low grade cold. I’m hoping its the former and will respond to the allergy meds I just took out a loan to purchase (not really) since I found out I apparently don’t have very good prescription coverage.

I have had a social life, however. I went to a dinner party on Thursday for some friends who were having anniversary celebrations of a sort, one of those being my mother. We do this every month – meet at a favorite restaurant and celebrate life and each other. There are usually anywhere from 10-20 of us, but since my mom was the guest of honor this time, it was even more special.

And, since I’ve lost nearly 75 pounds now, I have no clothes to wear. And yes, I know, I could be sewing up a storm, but I’m not. I’ll talk about that in a minute… Instead, I went on the hunt for a new dress for the dinner party. I wanted something summery and a little on the flirtatious side. I think I found the right dress because I got a lot of compliments on it. That, or my hard work on weight loss and exercise is paying off – or both.

Here is a self portrait I took before I headed out.


Now, about sewing. Yes, I could have sewn up that dress so easily. It’s a knit with a tie back around the empire waist. However, being as busy as I have been with work, Weight Watchers, and summer activities, I just haven’t had time. And this year, we’ve had remarkable warm, sunny summer weather starting in May (unusual around here) and it’s still going strong. There will be plenty of time to sew when the weather turns cold and wet.

In addition, now that I’ve pretty much reinvented myself and my shape, it is much easier to fit into store-bought clothes and when I can find a dress ready made, off the rack, for the same price or less than it would cost me to make it (fabric & pattern, not to mention my time), the choice is easy.

What about activity? Yesterday I did get in a nice four-mile walk with a friend in the heat of the 85 degree afternoon. (Love that hot sun!) Today, I plan to get in another four miles by hooking up my Zune (MP3 player) and doing my running/walking route which I like. I’ve noticed that a whole week without activity and I get a little out of sorts. Chatting with my friend yesterday helped me figure that out, as I couldn’t quite figure out why during the week I was just a tad restless,, irritable, and discontent.

Ok, I’d better get moving…

Have a great day, my bloggy friends.

Photos from the 5k Run

July 13, 2009

Here are the pictures my daughter took from my 5K run on Saturday. What a great weekend this has been.




Getting ready to go!


Coming in for the finish. Check out the eagle flying overhead. Do you suppose my father was around in spirit cheering me on? (I’m the pink speck way out there.)


Hot and sweaty, but feeling fantastic.







Now to rest my body, work, and get ready for Weight Watchers tonight.

My First Day Hike in Years

July 12, 2009

I tried to remember the last time I went on a hike. I think it was about six years ago up on Orcas Island when some friends and I hiked up to Mt. Constitution and back. Prior to that, I think I was about 17.

Today a friend and I went on a hike up near Granite Falls. Because, you know, I didn’t get enough activity yesterday with my 5K run. We went to Lake 22 which is up around the North Cascades in Washington. Round trip, this hike is 5.4 miles, with an elevation gain of 1,350 feet, and the highest point was 2,400 feet.

After a hot day yesterday, today’s weather was a complete change – cool, rainy, and there were thunderstorms last night, and again tonight. We went anyway – I’m not going to be kept indoors from a little rain. In fact, I welcomed the feel of rain cooling me down as we hiked up the switchbacks, over river streams and waterfalls, and through the wet smell of forest. Yummy.

Normally, I’m told, this trail is quite popular, but I think we were lucky because with the weather there weren’t too many people out. It was just a gorgeous day to me – rain or not – and my body is totally amazing me. It seems to be doing better and better. I did fine with the elevation climb and the return. I”m told I have good endurance. The only thing tonight I had to do was ice my back a little bit.

The best part? Sharing all this with a friend and enjoying the combination of sharing and silence. Just being in the moment – totally in the moment.


Getting started.



I could sit and listen to that rushing water all day long.


Some good hiking boots and a backpack are on the list to get – soon!



Nearing the top… and into the clouds




The view from our resting spot up at the top before heading back down.


What a glorious life I’m living. I have no complaints, whatsoever.

My First 5K Run – A Success!

July 12, 2009

I had the greatest time in this run. Wow, the energy, the people, the excitement. The one thing I didn’t expect to feel was the energy of the crowd taking off after the gun start. I just seemed to flow right along with them. I ran nearly the entire 5K with just a few pauses walking briskly – usually up a slight incline, but even one of those I ran. It was quite hot, and I tried to find the shady spots to run in, but even with that, this route was quite easy, really. I think the training route I’ve been doing on my own has helped, which has some extended hills.

Another observation – anything goes in these things. Seriously. There are all kinds of participants. There are serious runners, family runners, teams, walkers, walkers or runners with dogs or strollers. I even saw one little boy about the size of my 4 year old grandson who ran the whole way with his mommy.

My daughter, her husband, and my two grandsons were there to cheer me on and take pictures and were there when I crossed the finish line. I didn’t see them when I came back because there were so many people. (Stay tuned for a later post with pictures.)

My daughter told me that she cried when I started the run – that she was so proud of me and how far I’ve come. I cry just thinking about how proud she is of me.

And I’m proud of me – check out these results? How cool is this that I came in about middle of the pack for my first race ever. This is just awesome for this 49 year old woman with fibromyalgia. Goes to show with determination, perseverance, prayer, motivation, healthy choices, and the support of a loving family and friends, a person can do anything.

Oh, and after the race I felt GREAT! No sore feet, no sore legs or back – only a slight ache in one muscle, but that’s going away. Just feeling great.