Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Three Years Ago Today

Today's post is going to be a bit different than my last post. To read a bit more about the back story behind the following words, here is my original post about where I was in my life 3 years ago. I also did a follow up to that a year later, in September of 2010. And now, a bit about where I am on this gorgeous Wednesday afternoon in Baltimore.

Three Years ago today...

I woke up in a hospital bed to the sound of a blood pressure machine at my bedside. I got my finger pricked for an iron test, and felt dizzy as I stood up because I was so weak.


I woke up in a warm, cozy bed and felt a light kiss on the forehead from a man who truly loves me.

3 years ago today....

I struggled through breakfast, too weak and defeated to even calculate the calories and how many pounds I would "immediately" gain because of it. A nurse sat beside me and watched every bite, making sure I finished what was on my plate.


The only thing I contemplated was whether to have eggs or pancakes, and I had enough energy to start a load of laundry and take out the trash, all before having my morning cup of joe.

3 years ago today....

I was sitting in group therapy on a hospital inpatient unit, swapping stories with other men and women who were starving themselves, stuffing themselves, purging themselves. I had dropped out of college because I couldn't concentrate on anything other than running until it hurt and counting every calorie of every crumb that entered my mouth.


I am on the other side of the table...I am working with my patients to help them in their recovery from opiate, cocaine, benzo, and alcohol addiction. It may not be exactly the same, but the similarity is often uncanny. However, 3 years later, the similarities no longer bother me. I can draw from my past without dwelling on it, and I am a better therapist because of it. I have more than enough energy to get through a full work day, plus errands, happy hour, and family events.

3 years ago today....

I had the strength to ask for help, and the strength to willingly receive it. Maybe it didn't seem like it then, and maybe I thought things would never get better.

But today I can tell you: things are better. I worked hard, and I am still working hard every day, but in 3 years I have gained 30+ pounds and a hell of a lot of life. I am now confident in my own body, able to wear a bikini without panicking about "back fat" or cellulite. I can have my cake and eat it too. I can exercise without running myself into the ground, without feeling like I have to. Today, I can do some yoga if I feel like it, or take a brisk walk, but if I "miss" a day, I shrug and move on. I was probably doing something more fun anyway.

3 years ago, I learned a lot about myself and about the strength of the human body and spirit. Today, I am forever grateful to the past, but I am living in the present and planning for a healthy, happy, fun-filled future. Here's to many more years of success and happiness!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Five Favorite Fall Beers

Tis the season....for BEER! (Although in my opinion, it is always the season for beer.)
In all seriousness, though--autumn weather combined with pastimes like tailgating, football, pumpkin picking, and bonfires work harmoniously with a bold autumn brew.
I've come up with 5 of my favorite fall seasonal beers, although I could easily name 100.
The first 4 can be found almost anywhere in the United States (although in some areas more heavily than others), and the last is a Baltimore home brew that I just had to add because I love it all year round.

1. Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin Ale (8% ABV)
Weyerbacher Pumkin is what first got me on the pumpkin beer bandwagon about a year ago. It was on draft at a local bar, and on a whim, I ordered it, not sure what to expect. As soon as I took a sip of this hearty, spicy, bold amber ale, I was a believer. Just don't drink it too fast--it's a strong one, guys. At 8% ABV, this ale is much stronger than a typical light beer's 3 to 5%.
2. Dogfish Head Punkin (7% ABV)

A pretty little 4-pack of this brew was waiting for me on Friday when I got home from work (brownie points for the boyfriend!), and it is already gone. This beer is made with organic brown sugar & spices, and is the perfect compliment to a brisk fall day.
3. Southern Tier Pumking (8.6%)
Out of all the beers on this list, Southern Tier's Pumking definitely packs the biggest punch at 8.6% ABV. With hints of pecan, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg, you can't go wrong. This stuff is like crack.
4. Fat Tire Amber Ale (5.2% ABV)
Fat Tire has many seasonal blends, but I am a big fan of their Amber Ale, which consists of "toasty, biscuit-like malt flavors coasting in equilibrium with hoppy freshness." This brew is popping up on taps all over Baltimore, and I couldn't be happier. Plus, I will gladly endorse any company with the belief that "we're not only passionate about great beer, it's also important to us to try to be a role model of sustainable business practices." (check it out here).

Oh, and there's a snazzy red bicycle on the label. 'Nuff said.
5. Brewer's Art Ozzy (7.25% ABV)
This is a Baltimore exclusive. Located in the Mt. Vernon neighborhood, The Brewer's Art is a restaurant with amazing food, unique atmosphere, and of course, home-brewed beers. My favorite is Ozzy, a Belgian-style that is "Both rich and dry...this beer is
all too easy to consume in large quantities".
What are some of your favorite beers for the autumn season?

I am always up for trying new-to-me brews.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Kitchen Remodel: Before and After

In this post, I mentioned the fact that Sean and I were going to attempt a tile backsplash in our kitchen--all on our own.

A few weeks ago, we finally took the plunge. Here's how it went:

First: We picked out these tiles from Home Depot For only $5 per square foot. Since our kitchen space was fairly small, this didn't cost much at all. 

This is what our kitchen looked like before--very BLUE. We actually used to have different countertops, but we got the granite put in earlier this summer and we absolutely LOVE it.

Then: Sean did most of the dirty work--the tiles are peel and stick, and then you have to grout after 48 hours. Here is a photo of during....

Third: Once the tiles were dry, Sean and I added the grout. This is a photo of the tiles immediately after putting in the grout. See how they look kind of dirty? You have to repeatedly wipe the tiles over and over while the grout in between them dries. It was very time-consuming, but we are all about saving money with DIY!

Finally: Here is the end result! I think it looks awesome. It really compliments the blue walls and the brown in the countertops. What do you guys think?

For about $150, our kitchen is totally transformed.

What's the last DIY project you did? Was it a success? Feel free to link to photos--I love a good home project idea :-)
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...