Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Can Sex Help You Lose Weight?

A look at the effect of sex on weight loss, and the effect of weight loss on sex.

Sex and weight control have to be two of the most prominent thoughts that pass through everyone's mind. One or the other or both will be considered by most people frequently. Exactly what the substance of those thoughts are will vary from person to person. If the two could be tied together, it would be a very big discovery. Someone would get rich quickly.

Men would really like sex to control weight.

Everyone would like sex to help with weight control. Men especially would like this to be the case. Since women are more likely to agonize over a few extra pounds than men , this would make women want to have sex more often. Of course, for most men, this would be the ideal situation. She could trim up. He could be more satisfied in the bedroom. From the man's perspective, all would be right with the world.

Women would see this as an easy way to get rid of extra pounds.

Women would like this too. It would be a nice simple way to shed unwanted pounds without having to starve or be tortured in the gym. She could also learn how much sex was just enough to get rid of the weight. This would let a woman be able to determine when to start a program to drop a dress size of two for upcoming events.

Sex does not lead to automatic weight loss.

Unfortunately, sex does not usually burn enough calories to rate as a great exercise program unless you're able to perform sex while doing aerobics. It is the release of hormones and not the exertion of sex that makes people tired at the end of it. The rest may offset any extra calories burned by intercourse.

If either partner were to lose weight, it would most likely be men.

Men are normally the more physically active during most sexual encounters. This is even more true in marriage where most couples settle into a his and her role routine. But, science in this area suggests that while most people assume that they have done great strenuous exertion, most of the fatigue comes from hormones and not from the exercise.

Extra weight has an effect on the quality of sex.

The truth of the matter is, sorry to say, that extra weight affects sex more than sex affects weight. It can reduce stamina, create difficulty with certain positions, and even suck up extra hormones needed for strong sexual performance and desire. If it is weight loss you want, let your desire for good sex be a motivator for diet and a real exercise regimen. You will like the results more in the long run.

by Allen Teal contributor to Health Mad

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Prom & Promises for 2009

One of the local bars in town started an annual "Prom" for us older kids. Last year I didn't get the chance to go, but this year, even though the hubby wasn't into it, me and a dozen or so of my friends got all dressed up and headed out to the event this year. What a blast! (That's me posing with one of my bestest buds Barno at the little photo opt thing they had set up.) I did end up consuming some alcohol, but I didn't hit the buffet table at all, so I did save a lot of calories there. My blood sugars were actually pretty good when I got home, but I contribute that to all the dancing I did. I joked that I think there were only 5 songs in that 3 1/2 hour span I wasn't shakin' my ass too! LOL

People took pics galore, and while I'm shuffling through them, it really hit me on how just the 15 lbs I had gained since going back on insulin looked on me. I actually started crying as I was going through them. Seeing the weight back on me was horrifying to me. This photo was to me one of the more acceptable ones. My husband, hearing me sniffling from his room asked if I was okay, and I told him why I was crying. He told me he thought I looked amazing Saturday night, but he would love me no matter what size I was. To me, I felt like a failure. A failure to myself and to my health.

I've vowed to print out some of the more "unflattering" pictures people took of me dancing/posing from that night and pinning them in front of my treadmill and on the refrigerator. It may seem drastic, but I need to come up with some way to push myself harder. To want to keep going, so that I can look at pictures of myself and be proud of my accomplishments, not see what a slacker I've been. I have to promise myself that I will get back on track, and get more strict with my food intake and workout routine.

On a more positive note, we had a blast! Everyone looked so amazing, and damn do we clean up good!! hahaha! We're all getting geared up for Crusher's birthday bash this coming Friday, which I already know I can't have anything to drink because of a fasting blood test in the morning, so I'll be lil miss sober sister, and Crusher's designated driver for the evening.

I do hope this week I'll be able to see a change in my determination to get fit and love myself again. I need to do this for me! Nite folks.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Still No Magic Pill for Weight Loss

by Jillian Michaels - trainer for The Biggest Loser

Who doesn't want to be fit and fabulous with little or no effort? Well, as much as we'd all love to have one, there's no magic pill for weight loss. If all of the pills, shakes, and supplements that claim to work really did, everyone would be thin. And even then, we'd still maintain a steady diet of ice cream, chips, pizza, and candy. Let's not kid ourselves, people.

For now (and let's face it, forever), successful weight loss still comes down to a simple formula. You have to burn more calories than you take in. Calories are a measure of the amount of energy provided by the food you eat — the more calories you eat, the more energy you are giving your body. If you give your body more energy than it can use — well, honey, that's stored as fat.

Let's break it down. A pound of fat is equal to 3,500 calories. If you want to lose one pound in a week, you have to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories a week, or 500 calories a day. To lose two pounds in a week, you have to create a calorie deficit of 7,000 calories a week, or 1,000 calories a day, and so on. Get the idea?

There are two ways to create a calorie deficit — eat less and exercise. If you want to meet your weight-loss goals, start by comparing your calorie intake against your exercise expenditure. It's not a magic pill, but it's very simple. Find a way to cut and burn more calories and the weight will come off!

Too Good to Be True...

If you see some claim that is too good to be true, it probably is. All you have to do is look at the fine print on the packaging of most diet pills to see that they're completely bogus. You'll find that there is almost always a disclaimer that says something like, "This product can successfully help you lose weight when accompanied by a sensible diet and exercise program." Why does it say that? Because the product itself has nothing to do with your weight loss, and your "sensible diet and exercise program" have everything to do with it. The good news is that you're on my program, so you're already on your way to successful weight loss!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Ya Don't HAVE to Run!

How to Get a Good Workout Without Running
Tips on good exercise without running.

Running is one of the most popular exercises people undertake the world over. It became a big fad in the United States some years ago and hence the many joggers you’ll see in the public parks, streets and beaches all over with their I-pod ear phones as they jog along. But how beneficial is running? How safe is it?

Running for pleasure or competitively is indeed a good work out but certainly not for all. You need a high degree of fitness to run the distance that will result in some benefits to you and there are many who are just not up to it. So what can the ones who are unable to keep up do to keep themselves fit? Have no worries, it will please you greatly to know there are many ways of having a reasonable workout without running as many factors can disqualify you from running . Injury to the knees, ankles or any part of the leg. Being overweight and even lack of enough time.

Here are a few tips you can try to spike up your body on your way to being fit without running. If you cannot run, walk. Walking is much more gentle to the knees and ankles. It’s also kind to the heart and most can do it without serious risks. Start slowly and walk one step at a time. This means increase your distances every other day as you get fitter. If you can do the same distance but in a shorter time meaning increase your walking speed. If you live not too far away from home, leave your car at home and walk to and from work. Ensure though you have your bottle of water and I-pod if it pleases you to make the experience more pleasant.

In the office if you have a desk job, get up now and then and stretch. Walk around the office, up and down stairs whenever you have the opportunity. Avoid the lift and soon you will be able to handle the stair climb easily. If you are a housewife or work from home, do some gardening or loan mowing. These and many household chores will help you burn the calories and keep you fitter without having to run.

Include in your exercise routine some stretching to improve your flexibility. Flexibility will help you avoid injuries and that is also why one should warm up slowly before any exercise. Invest in small dumbbells to boost your strength. To start with, a thirty minute workout will be adequate three times a week. This could vary between a five kilometer walk or a brisk three kilometer one followed by cool down and stretches. Increase the intensity and sets as you get fitter. Raise the bar higher as you improve but don’t overdo anything. Be safe and do what you are able but bottom line, grow to enjoy the workouts.



You cannot avoid responsibility.

You can either suffer the painful consequences of ignoring it, or you can enjoy the outstanding benefits of acknowledging and accepting responsibility.

You are responsible for your life and for the world around you. When you feel the full extent of that responsibility, and connect it to your authentic purpose, you can do truly amazing things.

Why would you want to accept responsibility for circumstances that are not of your making? Because responsibility gives you the power to change things.

If something affects you, then you have the opportunity to be positively and creatively responsible for it. Even if you didn't create the situation, you can still make the very best of it.

Responsibility is not some burden that is heaped upon you. On the contrary, it is a powerful and effective tool for moving your whole world in the direction you choose.

Invest your awareness, attention, effort and commitment in the responsibility that is yours. And enjoy the dividends that come from truly making a difference in the world.

-- Ralph Marston

Read more: "The Daily Motivator - Responsible" - http://greatday.com/motivate/090326.html#ixzz0Arpo0aVV

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Feeling Depressed?

I found these posts rather informative, as I myself have battled bouts of depression, as well as watched friends and family go through it. This is information only. These posts are not intended to diagnose or treat depression, but possibly give more understanding to what can cause it, and how it can be avoided.

How to Recognize Depression

1. Depression can occur when one allows themselves to be unduly influenced by the negativity around him. Avoid people who project negativity onto you or want to use you. It may sound selfish but if you are going through rough times the thing you need is stability, not someone who wants to squander your resources for their benefit. Life is a two way street.

2. People who have unresolved couple issues are candidates for depression or anxiety. The best thing for them to do is to seek councelling or to talk about their problems so that they can be solved. I know of one case where the hysband is at odds with the wife because she is always inviting her brother over. The family is very close and obviously there is either some jealousy or the husband feels imposed upon. The wife thinks the husband is always hateful towards her family. Clearly they have to straighten out this issue.

3. I noticed that friends who have no clear goals are more likely to get depressed than those that do. One shopuld always be working towards some goal no matter how remote that may be. That is the kind of talk you hear in motivational speeches and the like.

4. If you leave yourself open to constructive criticism that is good but if you mull over criticism as though it is an arm to be used against you that is unhealthy and has to be addressed. Being too sensitive can lead to depression. Clearly one has to come to terms with what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to people who pass judgments and are harmful in their critical approach. So the person has to develop some kind of barrier, or make some positive resolution if he knows that he will be afflicted by counterproductive opinions. Maybe if he just says that everyone is entitled to an opinion, it can be accepted and he can move on.

5. People who lock themselves in time and do not move forward to accept a newer reality are also candidates for depression. This happens especially with the passing away of a loved one or the loss of a friend. Friendship is neither permanent nor was it it made to be but if it continues, it is a wonderful thing. Death occurs as does life does and is constantly around us. It should be viewed more as a means for relief, when there is a severe injury to a person who has no hope to recover, than as an enemy. This would help loved ones avoid getting depressed for long periods.

How to Avoid It.

Avoiding depression means having to decide what you want to do in life. If you are a person who waits for people to act for you, you might also be a person who is waiting for depression to set in. This is how I see it at a multi-talented person who has no time to think about people who do not know how to keep in contact or if they do, it done so in a way that irritates the soul.

If you are a person in constant search for company, that too can also lead you to depression. So many people are dissatisfied with the people they meet because of their instability and those same people might also be looking for Mr. or Miss Right. At that point I would not be judgemental about the person or allow a friendship to grow rather than cut my ties with that person, if I needed that company. But I think a certain amount of judging occurs causing depression especially if the chemistry is not right.

These days the number of my friends are fewer than before or the intensity of friendships has diminished based on a quote I read somewhere about keeping your friends away from you. In fact I have noticed that so-called friends only call when they need something and do little to console the friend in distress. I have noticed this among family members too.

One way to get around this is not to expect anything from anyone except yourself. Continue to excel in what you do. If you obtain satisfaction in those endeavours than hunting out consolation, will fall way behind and you will have less reason to be blue about the company of people that is shallow.

Smile and have a great hump day!!!!

Template DONE!

Finally, I found a tutorial that WORKED and was able to get my page into 3 columns!! I hated having so much info in one long ass column, so hopefully you like it!! Sure it's off an old blogger template, just tweaked, but I kinda like it! hehe More later!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Positively Contageous!

You know as well as I do, when we make positive changes in our lives and they are noticed, it makes us feel great, and keeps us motivated to keep going. The "have you lost weight?" or "wow, you look great!" comments are always welcome, and feed us with the positive energy we need to keep doing what we're doing, or maybe even push us to try and do better.

The great thing about it, too, is how we can be inspiration to others. People see the changes you are making, and positive energy like that can be contageous! With all the winter to spring colds and flu going around, it's nice to have something more positive passed from person to person! People ask what or how you are doing what you are doing is a great way to share your tips that have worked for you, and also the knowledge you may have gained along with the way. When you are healthy, you feel good, and that translates to the world a wonderful glow and energy about you.
True, the scale, or our clothes fitting better help that motivation, but when it's noticed outside of our own home, it can be a rush, and really keep us in check and.. what's my favorite word? Accountable!!!

Funny thing is, when you start on a healthy lifestyle, the more you are committed, it eventually becomes easier and easier, and next thing you know it IS your lifestyle, not just some "diet". The other nasty 4 letter word. Start slow, but START!! Have a great day!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Party, Pizza & Pounds

Well, since seeing my dietician last Tuesday, I've lost 2 lbs. I was surprised because Saturday I went over my calorie count a bit, and yesterday, although I probably didn't go over, I did eat pizza and cake at Piper's birthday party, but did it sparingly. Just one slice of pizza and one medium sized piece of cake. (One from the middle too, so I didn't get all the extra frosting.)

Although I wish it were more, this isn't the Biggest Loser campus, and real life. 2 lbs in 6 days is good for me, and they do say the closer you are to your goal, your percentage of weight loss might be the same, but the numbers on the scale are lower because you are closer to your goal weight.

Anyway, it was a low key weekend, and besides house chores, didn't go anywhere or do anything really except go to Piper's 1st birthday party. That's her in the pic. She looked so adorable!! The clothes she got, omg!! She's going to be one of the best dressed this spring and summer!

My workout schedule will be off this week because Liam's practice and game has been moved since his team made the semifinals. We'll see how it goes and when I will be able to squeeze in workout time. I know it's going to be an exhausting week as I'm in the office by myself this whole week, as my boss is off to New Zealand. (lucky bastard!! LOL) Have a great Monday!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Exercise Tips for Diabetics

Benefits and tips for exercise.

It is no secret that following a healthy diet and having an exercise plan has great health benefits regardless of your age, gender, or nationality. This is especially true in people that have been diagnosed with diabetes. Some of the benefits of exercise include lowering or maintaining blood sugar levels in those with type two diabetes. Exercise burns calories to maintain a healthy weight. It aids the body's response to insulin and can reduce the amount of medication needed to treat diabetes. Exercise can decrease cholesterol, blood pressure, stress, and the risk for heart disease. It can improve circulation which decreases the risk for amputation. Controlling your weight and sugar levels reduce the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack

To get the greatest benefits, you need to exercise at least three times per week for at least thirty to forty five minutes each session. You can split it up into two fifteen minute sessions, especially if you are just starting out. Start out slowly. Exercising at the same time every day helps to regulate the blood sugar levels. It is wise to keep snacks nearby or eat prior to exercising. Test your blood sugar level before, during, and after exercise. Try to avoid exercise if your sugar level is above 240. Pay attention to the way exercise makes you feel; you may need to sit down and rest or eat something high in carbohydrates if you begin to feel weak, faint, or dizzy. Always be cautious with your feet. Wear proper shoes every time you exercise. Check your feet and your shoes often, because diabetic patients do not heal as fast as non-diabetics. Because diabetics sometimes lose some of their sensations, they may not be able to tell if they are getting blisters or sores on their feet. Drink plenty of water or fluids, so that you do not become dehydrated. Know your limits and do not push yourself beyond those limits. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Always talk to your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program or if you have any problems while dieting or exercising. It is great to exercise and follow a healthy diet, no matter who you are. Be smart about it, by paying attention to you body and your needs. It is okay to rest or to to eat during workout or exercise sessions. Do not over-do it. Get moving America; your body will thank you.


I really liked this post. I know when working out at kickboxing one day with my friend Wendy, I was having trouble because my left foot started going numb on me during the routine. It's always essential to aware and honest with yourself about what you can and cannot do when it comes to exercising. For those that don't like traditional exercising, you can read Some Workout Tips For Those Who Hate Exercising.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Don't Like Water? Jazz It Up!!

This article, although educational, is from Beachbody® and references their own brand of fitness programs. I personally do not endorse their products or programs, but as a user of many of them, I did find this article helpful, as I've never been a big "water drinker", and try to find different tips and tricks to get myself hydrated.


"I never drink water. I'm afraid it will become habit-forming." ~ W. C. Fields


7 Great Ways to Freshen Up Your Water - By Denis Faye

Thirsty? You should be. If you're reading this, it probably means you're working your tush off every day with Slim in 6®, P90X®, ChaLEAN Extreme®, or another fine Beachbody® program. And when you do that, you perspire. And when you perspire, you need to replenish the water in your system.

Sadly, you may be one of those lost souls who can't stand the taste of water. Sure, you could hydrate with juice or sports drinks, but then you'd be adding a bunch of sugar or artificial sweeteners into the mix. Yes, these drinks can play a role in a healthy diet, but 8 glasses a day of orange juice would be far more vitamin C than you need, as well as hundreds of sugar calories that you shouldn't be consuming—calories completely unchecked by the fiber you get from eating actual oranges.

Actually, water is the way to go, so to help you get the stuff down, we've come up with a few simple tips. But before we get started, we'd like to make a preemptive response to all of you who will write in to "inform" us about that widely touted 2002 study in the American Journal of Physiology that discounts the old 8-ounce-glass-of-water, eight-times-a-day rule. According to the study, a normal, healthy adult just needs to drink when he or she is thirsty to stay hydrated.

Well, before you hang up your squirt bottle, keep in mind that the study includes a huge disclaimer: the light-and-easy hydration rule doesn't apply to people with medical conditions requiring fluid control, athletes, people living in extreme conditions, and people involved in prolonged physical activity. The way I see it, if you're doing P90X, that's going to put you in at least one of those groups, if not two or three.In other words, here are seven ways to make water more palatable. Use 'em.

1. Get fruity. A squish of lemon, lime, or orange goes a long way toward giving water a little zing. It's almost calorie free, and you get a bonus blast of vitamin C. Furthermore, if you happen to be doing our programs while you're out at sea, it can help with any unwanted scurvy.

2. Herbify yourself. Make yourself a big tub of caffeine-free, herbal tea, or "tisane," as the French call it. Technically, it isn't made from the Camellia sinensis (aka "tea") plant, which means it doesn't have the antioxidants of tea, but it tastes good and has no negative effects. There are hundreds of flavors to choose from. Mint and raspberry are a couple of our favorites.

3. Bubble up! According to a 2001 study out of the Creighton University Osteoporosis Research Center in Nebraska, the notion that carbonated water leaches calcium from your bones is completely untrue. So, if you want to hydrate with a big glass of Perrier, go for it.

4. Minty fresh. Crushed mint is another great way to liven up your water. If you want to get the most out of the leaves, put them in the glass first and grind them down. This will release a ton of flavor. Mint is also known to soothe upset stomachs and, more importantly, freshen your breath. Mix the mint with the lemon for a real taste sensation!

5. Filter flavor. It's a subtle shift, but sometimes the filtration process can alter the taste of tap water. Get yourself a Brita filter or similar brand and give it a go. Even if the flavor doesn't change, you'll be drinking purer stuff.

6. Brush your teeth. A good scrub of your teeth and tongue overpowers the taste of almost everything you put in your mouth for several minutes afterward. Take this opportunity to knock back a glass of H2O. You won't taste a thing.

7. Cuke you. This one is a little wacky, but if you like new tastes, give it a shot. Chop up a cucumber (yes, a cucumber). Add it to a pitcher of water and chill it for 2 to 3 hours so that the cucumber flavor can permeate. Serve the water with ice. It's the perfect refreshing drink for a hot, summer day.


Wednesday, March 18, 2009


The number one way people have success with weight loss basically comes down to one word. Accountability.

When people are truthful with THEMSELVES about the foods they eat, the exercise they do, they will achieve their goals. There are a lot of websites and programs that boast success. Not to discredit, but they are not for everyone. Each person has their own way they can succeed, but it all comes down to the choices they make day by day.

If you can't afford an online program, get with your doctor, and figure out plan. A great FREE website to keep accountability that I personally like using is FitDay.com. You can sign up for a free account and from here, you can track your weight loss, your daily calorie count, and so much more. You can record your moods, your exercise and how many calories you burned, as well as keep track of your BMI and journal about whatever you like. Sure there is a premium version of this program, but honestly, the free service offers so much as it is. As a diabetic, I'm supposed to keep my calorie and carb counts daily, and I do have a small notepad I keep in my purse to scribble down throughtout the day what I eat and the insulin I took. When I get a chance on the computer, I take about 5-10 minutes to enter it onto FitDay. It has a very extensive food list, but what's great about it this site is you can add things you eat frequently to customize and save your own food lists. Do some label reading and enter the foods, frozen or prepared, that you find yourself eating a lot, so that it gets easier and faster each time you enter your daily food journal.

Again, being able to see on screen exactly what you are doing, or need to do helps with your own accountability. Why aren't you losing weight? What days aren't you feeling well, or sluggish? You can look back and see your lack of exercise, or the days you went significantly over your daily calorie count allowance. It's about seeing through your weekly or daily charts on this site, you can see the days you weren't true to yourself, and that's when reality is going to hit. I'm a true believer that there are mo magical pills for weight loss. Get back to basics.

Be accountable. Be active and most importantly, be healthy!! Have a great hump day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Free Speech is Sacred

Pat Condell

Free speech is sacred

"Religion is the art of sugar-coating a turd and selling it as a doughnut. . . . "

Needing Some Luck of the Irish

Well, this morning started off with a visit to my dietician. I know that it wasn't going to go well, as I haven't stuck to my regimen and calorie counts, and even though I've started exercising, I knew that the scale wouldn't lie about what I'd been doing. In two months, I found the 6 pounds I had lost, plus one. That's right. A 7 lbs gain in two months. I can't even imagine what it would have been if I hadn't started exercising!! I waited a little bit before blogging about his, because I spent some of the time this morning crying when I got to work and after talking to the hubby.

I get so frustrated with myself. I'm such a fricken plethora of knowledge on what it takes to lose and maintain my health and fitness and my blood sugar readings, so why is it so damn hard to execute that knowledge?!?!

So, again, we sat down and wrote down some specific goals. She wants me to get more protein in the morning and at lunch. She feels this will help with late night cravings, which have been a terrible weak spot. We also agreed that at night if I feel the need to snack, try to divert it by doing an activity, little bit of housework, or even exercise. This will also help with trying to quit smoking as well. She wants me food journaling again, because she knows (and so do I) that my calories are not within what they should be. I have to kick up the exercise, and consciously make an effort at home, since I can't afford a gym membership at this time. I'll still do my kickboxing class with Wendy, but I have to start getting my ass up in the morning and getting at least 15 to 30 minutes before work, so that if life gets crazy after I get home, I've gotten SOMETHING in.

I have to admit, I felt like a failure sitting in that chair this morning. Leaving there, I felt so distant and down on myself. Really didn't want to talk to anyone about it. I know the changes that need to be made, and I know that I'm the only one that can do it. No one can do it for me. I have to want it. I have to recommit myself every morning, every day and make myself accountable for the negative I put my body through. Gotta be like NIKE and JUST DO IT!!

Monday, March 16, 2009


Americans who have lost their jobs can't afford healthcare, but AIG used our tax dollars to give out $450 million in bonuses to the executives who recklessly brought the company down.

Rep. Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, wants to try and recover these bonuses. On Wednesday at 10am ET he'll be holding a hearing about AIG on Capital Hill, and we'll be there to deliver your signature and comments directly to members of Congress.

Over 10,000 of us have already signed the petition. Can you help us get to 20,000 by Wednesday? Click here to tell a friend:


American taxpayers now own $80% of AIG after paying $173 billion to keep it afloat. White House economic advisor Larry Summers says the government simply can't break the contracts that AIG had with executives, but right now the Treasury is making the automakers break their contract with factory workers as a condition of receiving TARP funds.

It's time for Congress to use its subpoena powers to look at those contracts and try to get our money back. No more money for banks until they find out where all the money has gone restore some sanity to the regulatory system.

-- Jane, Christy and the Firedoglake Team

3 men and a baby shower

Saturday was mainly just a day of cleaning and laundry. I wasn't feeling good, and did my chores in little spurts, as I got tired very quickly. Due to last minute plans (per usual) I didn't get in my workout with Wendy and after dinner, just changed into my pjs, crawled onto my couch and vegged out. Crusher went out with everyone to 30-Something to see Bad Daze, and the rest of the crew was at Aldo's to see This Calling and Slacker Theory. I just felt like crap and didn't go anywhere. I started to watch the movie "Righteous Kill" and passed out.

Sunday I got up and ready and shopped for Kerrie's baby shower gift. Around 1pm headed up to the Olive Garden for the lil get together. It was really nice, and she received some really nice things. Her girls helped with the games and gifts, and she looked just great. She's one of those women that you actually have to do a double take to realize she's pregnant. It was a really nice time.

Crusher had texted me from Walmart as they didn't have any cheap tv stands and asked where Big Lots was. I told him, and said I'd meet him there since I was already on that side of town. I walked in, and there's Doug and Karen! They were bullshitting in the middle of the store, and Karen showed me a little video clip on her phone with this guy from the night before dancing, well more like jogging, all over the dance floor at Aldo's. It was hilarious!! We said our goodbyes and found Crusher a tv stand for $30. He's officially moved in now.

When I got home, again, changed into my pjs and hit the couch. All three boys where video gaming, or on the computer. I almost didn't go to the shower, but I did say I'd be there, and I always feel like a heel if I don't show up where I say I will be. I'm feeling a little better this morning, but the day has only begun, so we'll see. I gotta go drop off da hubby at his truck and head into work myself.

Have a great Monday everyone!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


The house is so quiet right now. It's 7:45am and da hubby, da roomy and da boy are all still sound asleep. Just me and Shamrock (my tiger kittybutt) are awake.

OMG does my body ache from all the workouts and cleaning I've done this week. Last night I got distracted making dinner, and rushed out to meet Wendy to workout. Once again I tried the elliptical, but for whatever reason, my body doesn't like the motion of the one I tried. Maybe another would work better. I did a little treadmill, then moved on to floor exercises for my abs, thighs and buns, then did some arm curls. I only got in 30 minutes or so from being late, but I'm glad instead of just blowing it off, I got in my car and went.

Crusher moved most of his stuff in yesterday. I think he still has his tv, gaming systems and some clothes to finish up with. We all just stayed in last night. Those guys gamed (told ya) and I watched SuperNanny!! yay!

Well, think I'm gonna get off this comp and head downstairs for a bit and see if there's anything I can quietly do whilst the boys sleep. Have a great Saturday!

Friday, March 13, 2009

some friday funnies

Best Mardi Gras Costume! Guess who!?!?!

A comfy bar stool for those kilt wearing Scots

Remember to laugh every day!!


Since this is public, I hope not only do those that read it talk about it, I hope they jump on their phones, text messages, computers, whatever and show the rest, that way everyone can see what I have to say. Get the family all a buzz, cuz this has nothing to do with my friends, so let me start by making that very clear. This is about one person, and if one day that person gets to see it, great, if not, oh well, I needed the rant anyhow. I don't backdown though, and that's a damn fact. So if it's brought up to me by you, the hubby's already been warned I'll go OFF!

It seems this person has a problem with Crusher moving in. (If you think my husband doesn't tell me what you say to him about me, you're in denial.) I'm his wife, darlin! You may enjoy having dysfunctional, abusive, deceptive relationships, and that's your choice. More power to ya, as I see that's worked out so well for you thus far. But as for me and my husband, we have a totally open, honest relationship and marriage. So, please remember what you say doesn't stop at him. Let me repeat... does not stop! And even if you tell him not to tell me.. guess what? He WILL! Especially if you have negative things to say about his wife. And that doesn't just go to that one person, that goes to everyone. He doesn't keep ANYTHING from me, nor I him, so keep driving that wedge you work so hard for, cuz we actually get a chuckle watching you try.

If you feel you have an opinion about my relationship with my husband, and us deciding to move a friend in, it's really none of your concern. You don't approve or think it's weird, fine. Great! But the things you said about me went OVERBOARD sweetie. But I'll smile and be pleasant because you are his family, and out of respect for my husband I'll always strive to keep the peace. But that doesn't excuse you. This isn't the first time, and sadly I know it won't most likely be the last.

You seem to think you know, but quite frankly, you don't. You don't know our situation, whether it's regarding our relationship, finances, choices, how we choose to live our lives, etc. You are barely involved in our lives, and what we do affects you in no way, shape or form. You do not live under our roof, you do not support us, you do not pay our bills and after almost 5 years, you should know that you have no control over what me, or my husband do. You didn't after the wedding (should narrow down who I'm talking about), and you sure and the hell don't now. You always seem to sit on your high throne and dictate to others your opinions on how/what they should do with their lives. Seriously. Have you looked at your own life? You honestly think we'll take your advice? That's entirely laughable! Or as they say ... ROFLMFAO!!

So basically this goes out to say that true, I'm the first to admit that how we choose to live our lives isn't for everyone. I don't force anything on anyone. Although I don't feel the need to explain myself to anyone, let me just say right here and now, this is a situation that was thought about and talked about for over a month, and at our last lil pow-wow with the three of us, we decided it's going to work out great for all parties involved. If you want to turn it into something disgusting and deceitful, again I say to you... you have no clue, and I pity your ignorance.

--end of rant--

SOOOOOOOOO!!! How's everyone else's Friday so far? hahaha. It's only going on 10am and I already can't WAIT to get to the gym with Wendy and sweat this frustration out! w00p!!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

one proud mama

Last night I was so proud of Liam. This past Friday I had taken him out to get some basketball practice in, and teach him some basics, and some one-on-one training, because I've been seeing some things in his game, and in his shooting that needed some correction. Well, last night, Mama's Basketball Bootcamp paid off!!

He was passed the ball, and made a layup shot- 2 POINTS! He was fouled coming down from his shot, and was given one foul shot from the free throw line. I shouted out, "Remember, planted feet, loose knees and off the finger tips!!" He aimed, and up... and SWOOSH!!! ALL NET!! The team and coaches cheered wildly for him. My baby scored three points right in a row! I was so excited for him, as they've been having games since December, and this was the first time, two times in a row even, that he scored any points. I was so proud, my eyes welled up, and even now my eyes are tearing up with pride, because he needed this SO so much. With all that's been going on with him in school, at home, and he gets discouraged so easily sometimes with things he's not really good at, and this just gave him the confidence he needed to continue to play with zest and determination that I've never seen in him before in past games. I had to call someone, as I had to step out at half time and dry my eyes, and called his step-mom, Dawn, and I just gushed over what had just happened.

I'm so thankful that his coaches and team saw the importance and significance of those shots, and cheered it up for him. I'm so proud of him!! They have another game tonight, but last night's game was definitely one for the books.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lobby for Equality in Pennsylvania

On March 17, please join our friends at Equality Advocates Pennsylvania and the Value All Families Coalition for a statewide lobby day and rally in Harrisburg. This is your chance to tell your elected state officials why equal rights are so important to you, your family, and your friends.

Your voice is the most powerful and effective tool we have in the fight for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. Whether or not you can attend lobby day, make sure you are heard today! Tell your state representative that Pennsylvania needs an anti-discrimination law that protects everyone.

Right now, there is no state law prohibiting employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

That means someone can lose their job simply because they are gay or transgender. That’s not right, and it’s time to change the law so that everyone is protected.

House Bill 300 would prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations based on sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Please RSVP here to join LGBT people and allies from across the state on March 17 to help pass House Bill 300 and protect LGBT people from discrimination.

Don't forget to take action by sending a letter to your state representative in support of House Bill 300!

Joe Solmonese
President, Human Rights Campaign

Pennsylvania Equality Day
Tuesday, March 17

Pennsylvania Statehouse
Harrisburg, PA

Free buses leave from Philadelphia and from Pittsburgh on March 17.
Please reserve a seat here

Whether or not you'll be able to attend, be sure to send a letter!

taking out the toxic trash

A friend of mine wrote something yesterday that sparked and inspired me to write about this subject. Toxic Relationships.

A lot of times when we hear this term, it refers to a couples relationship. You know, the kind of relationship that everyone seems to have an opinion on, like the whole Chris Brown/Rihanna thing in the gossip papers these days. But toxic relationships are not always in this category. A lot of times it's with relatives. The people that we didn't have the choice of being related to. Obviously this entry is just my own personal opinion, but it's what I've learned over the years from reading, and from my own counseling.

Time and time again I hear "but/cause their family", and to that I say... define family. If there is a sense of unity and commitment and love there, yes, they are family. In my life, blood relationships do not a family make. Relationships with those people are what make a family. I'm sure there are friends of yours that you consider family. There are also those, like my egg donor, who is no where to be found in my life, is not what I consider family. Am I obligated to be there for her, comfort her, require her approval in my life? Hell no!

For me, the same goes for blood relatives that are not a positive influence and presence in my life. This goes for anyone that has put me down, degraded me, or tried to push their opinions on me so much that it has damaged my own self worth. Just because someone has been present in my life makes them no more worthy of my love and respect than the person that was never there. Quite frankly, which is worse? Having someone not in your life, or someone always there that makes you feel like complete shit? Think about it.

To me, these are the toxic relationships in our lives that can be the most damaging. Mental abuse can be one of the hardest to overcome. I have a lot of "relatives", but few are "family".

Can it be harder to keep these people from influencing our lives? Yes, but at the same time, there are certain steps you can take to help you take care of YOU and help and heal your mind. I know when it came to my toxic relationship with my dad, I just stopped talking to him. My absence helped in a way for him to see the constant damage he was doing. This won't work for everyone, but it took me years to find myself worthy of ANY one or anyone's love because of the things instilled in my mind by my father. A lot of people may see this as blaming him, but as they say, takes two to tango, and I'm partially to blame for taking that information in and letting it influence me, my life, and how I felt about it.

Who's toxic in your life? Who makes you feel bad about yourself? Who makes you upset to the point of crying when you are by yourself, and never has a positive word to say to or about you? Blood relative or not... family doesn't do that to you. Time to make choices and changes to help you rid yourself of their constant negativity. As hard as it sounds, it IS possible.

Have a great day, think positive and love life!!

Barbie Turns 50....


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

RIP Maggie

Most in my area have heard the tragic story of 20-yr old Penn State student, Margo "Maggie" Davis. She was found in the truck of her car dead, and there has been an arrest. She was a friend of my roommate's sister, and I just wanted to take this time to honor her memory, and send out my condolences and heartfelt sympathy to all the family and friends of this bright and beautiful young lady. Rest in peace sweet girl!

Links to her story...

Monday, March 9, 2009

support H.R. 1324

Each year, the federal government invests billions of dollars in school lunches and breakfasts. Yet food sold in school vending machines, school stores and snack bars is not required to meet nutrition standards.

Please ask your U.S. Representative to support the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act.

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives introduced bipartisan legislation the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act that would improve the nutritional value of foods sold in schools.

Preventing diabetes is as important as treating it. The dramatic rise in the number of overweight and obese children is contributing to an increase in pediatric type 2 diabetes. In fact, one in three children born in 2000 will develop diabetes in their life time. The odds are even greater for minority children, nearly one of two of whom will develop the disease if present trends continue.

An estimated 35%-40% of children’s total calories are consumed at school during the school year. The sale of unhealthy snack foods and sodas in schools undermines the federal investment in school nutrition programs and is contributing to the rise in the number of overweight and obese children. And, shouldn’t schools model the behavior we hope our kids will adopt for long and healthy lives?

Click on Take Action Now to send a letter to your U.S. representative to support the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act (H.R. 1324).


Sunday, March 8, 2009

great nite out

What a blast! I got to see Liquid Violence and The Clover for the UGTV's St. Patty's Party. As they say, no one drinks harder than a Clover girl, and drink I did! LOL

What a blast, getting up on stage with Liquid Violence and then dancing to The Clover. The first band Subversion was cool, but I was there to see my other two bands. The people that hadn't been there for LV the first time they were there really got into it, and the girls were crushing on the bass player Andy 13. All in all, it was a great time with great friends. Crusher, Barno and I headed on over to Tigger's house with Bobbi for a little bit, and I must say, I kicked some serious ass on the Wii hula hooping. Bobbi was lookin like she was swinging those hips for tips, and who knew Barno could move like that! Very impressive my man! hahaha.

Anywho, probably gonna head to work for a bit, clean up some filing and do some grocery shopping if the mood strikes me. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

eat right on the run

Unfortunately eating healthy takes effort, and a lot of the time it is just easier to eat fast food (quick, readily available, and inexpensive), or it's the only thing available.

Trying to eat healthy at a fast-food restaurant can be a bit of an oxymoron, but there are few things you can do to lighten the fat, calorie, and sugar load that ultimately affects your overall health strategy.

1. Do your homework.
If you know you are going to be on the road, then read up online about your favorite fast-food restaurants. Today, most chains will provide nutritional profiles for all of their food options, arming you ahead of time with the best choices from each place, and helping you determine which chains to completely avoid.

2. Remove all the extras.
Avoid cheeses, sour cream, dressings, and spreads. I know it's not quite as exciting, but you will save yourself a lot of calories and fat.

3. Pay attention to how your food is prepared.
The answer may be right in front of you: If you see the words "fried", "breaded", or "creamy" then you know that's not going to work. Some places offer you a choice for how you want your food prepared; if it's available, always go for the broiled or steamed version.

4. Drink water.
You would be amazed how many calories and how much sugar are in sodas. Avoid all sugary drinks, and yes this means diet drinks as well. We drink about 20% of our daily calories, so you can eliminate 1/5 of your calories by simply drinking water. If you get really bored, grab a lemon and throw it in your water or go for an unsweetened tea.

5. No buffets of any kind.
Not seafood, salad, or any other kind of buffet. This is a set up to overeat, and there are way too many options for extras like sauces, dressings, and unlimited sweets.

6. Don't inhale your food.
If you are going to have a meal, then do your best to chew it, smell it, taste it, and enjoy it. You will eat more slowly and digest your food better overall. Plus, I think we have the tendency to eat less if we pay attention to what we are consuming.

7. If you love your buns, then get the bun on the side.
I enjoy bread just like you, but if you ditch the bun you will see how great you feel, and in time, how white flour affects your gut and butt. If you happen to be at the world's most delicious Italian restaurant, where they make their own baguettes, then go for it. If we are talking about a store-bought hamburger bun, then pass.

8. Your food is salty enough.
I am quoting Dr. Oz, but he said the number one harmful risk to your health is high blood pressure. Don't add any more salt to your already salty food.

9. Look into the future.
I mean this on a lot of levels. Continue to think about your long term health and fitness goals, and if you know you have a nutty week coming up that's a little bit more out of your control, then reel it in this week. Get even more disciplined about your eating and fitness regimens since you may not have that same luxury the following week. Help yourself where and when you can.

10. No super anything.
Don't "grande" or "supersize" any of your meals. Overeating is the only result from oversized portions. Control the amount of food you are eating before you have your plate in front of you.

Friday, March 6, 2009

teen commits suicide over ‘sexting’

Cynthia Logan’s daughter was taunted about photo she sent to boyfriend.

18-year-old Jesse Logan took her own life after a nude picture of her was passed around by e-mail. TODAY’s Matt Lauer talks to her mom, Cynthia Logan, and Internet safety expert Parry Aftab about the dangers of “sexting.”


This is just awful. I remember hearing about his, but it's so true that in this day and age, bullying, harrassment, and tormenting has become a part of technology. I urge parents to make sure to keep tabs on their kids, and even though you feel it maybe an invasion of their privacy, they are a MINOR. Discussing this issue should become a part of "the talk" with your kids. She was 18 when she took her own life, but just a teen in high school when she originally sent these pictures to her boyfriend at the time.

My heart goes out to her family and friends that lost a beautiful young lady to this.

still sick & lazy

After getting home from work, Liam and I decided we didn't want to go to his basketball game. I know he wanted to go back over to his friend's house, but I told him just to chill, and we'd watch a movie. We needed up watching My Best Friend's Girl, with three of my favorite funny people, Alec Baldwin, Dane Cook and Kate Hudson. I've never been a Jason Biggs fan, but anywho, it was definitley far too familiar when it came to the storyline. It did show how ironically women always go after the asshole even if there is a good decent guy in their lives that wants to be with them.

Other than that, I passed out after dinner. I didn't get much sleep the night before cuz of going to karaoke, so I'm sure my body was begging for it. I woke up this morning with a nasty sore throat. I swear it seems like I've been sick, with different things since Christmas. I woke poor Liam up completely forgetting they didn't have school today due to inservice for the teachers. Oh well, it's supposed to be a nice day out, so he better get outside with his friends.

Doesn't look like I'll be able to go to Ashley's party tonight at the End Zone, which I'm really bummed about, but hopefully I'll see her tomorrow night at the St. Patty's Bash at Aldo's.

Guess I'll actually try to do some work here.. LOL. It's so nice out, wish I could be out golfing with Steve damnit!!! Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

quote of the day

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong." ~Mahatma Gandhi

What freedom can you experience by forgiving today? I am a true believer of this, as when you do not forgive someone, you actually give them power over you. The power to affect your mind, spirit, heart and soul in a negative way. Don't let anyone do this to you!!

Keep in mind that forgiving is NOT forgetting. Just because you forgive someone does NOT mean you need to allow them back into your life to fuck up again. *wink*

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

totally stylin tattoos barbie or nikki?


You decide.. I'm partial to Nikki since I have dark hair.. hehe!!

for my birthday

I'm sure you all can rally together and get me this for my birthday!! hahaha. I'd be so grateful! :)

it's all about perception

I was so looking forward to going to kickboxing, but Wendy was sick, and had called off work. Heck, I have enough trouble getting motivated to exercise when I'm feeling great, let alone sick, so I totally understand. I figured I'd do something when I got home, but instead, I clean up the kitchen a lil, made dinner for the boy and myself, and then settled in to watch The Biggest Loser, per my usual Tuesday night routine.

Watching this show really gets inside my head, and really helps me understand some of the things I do to sabotage myself. Jillian confronted one of the players saying that she's "playing the victim". Is that what I do? Do I try to play the victim and do nothing just so I can whine about my weight and get attention? I sure hope not.

It's so true sometimes that when people are down on themselves, that's the way the world perceives them. I know a few people like that. They are down on themselves, feeling sorry for themselves, and since all they do is put out negative energy, that's how people perceive them. If you project your insecurities and how you'll never get this or that, guess what?? You WON'T! If someone finds you handsome or beautiful, and all you do constantly is point out your flaws (which I'm guilty of) in time, that's how others will pick you apart. People see you through their eyes only for so long, and then they'll start to see you through your own eyes.

The girl last night claimed she wanted to lose weight because she wanted love from others. You cannot expect others to love you if you can't love yourself. You cannot rely on others to tell you your selfworth. You have to know your selfworth and work towards loving yourself and being secure in who and what you are.

I think that's where my workout problems are. Somewhere while in the midst of empowering and inspiring others, I reversed and turned to playing the victim again. I'm being my own worse enemy in all of this, and I need to breakthrough and see myself as I want to be, and know I can be.

It's a neverending battle, and I have to keep winning the little wars.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

build-a-baby workshop

A fertility clinic with offices in LA and NYC is about to begin offering its clients the ability to choose their baby's gender, hair color, and eye color.

Dr. Jeff Steinberg has already let thousands decide their kids' gender. Now he says that within the next six months, the Manhattan and L.A. offices of his Fertility Institutes will let would-be moms and dads pick whether junior has blue or brown eyes or black or blond hair. "In the process of doing gender selection ... we've also uncovered the technology [to] characterize things like eye and hair color," said Steinberg, 54. Custom-made kids will be achieved through preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, the procedure used to weed out problem embryos and to allow parents to choose a gender. [snip]

In letting parents decide what traits their kids have, doctors will examine the genetic makeup of embryos created in the lab and implant the ones that have the best chance of giving mom and dad what they want. Some doctors question Steinberg's ability to give parents their pick of traits. "He's the only one offering this because you can't yet do it," said Sean Tipton of the American Society for Reproductive Technology. "Nobody can do this right now."

The Fertility Institute admits the procedure isn't 100% accurate yet and results are best for parents whose gene pools aren't "diluted" with other races. Right-to-lifers are going ballistic in advance because there's no law against the selective destruction of embryos who do not meet the requested traits.




help stop hate crimes

Have you heard that the hate crimes bill is coming before Congress again? I hope you'll join me in sending a message to Congress: we can't wait any longer for a federal law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans from violent hate crimes.

Take action at:http://www.hrcactioncenter.org/campaign/pass_shepard

rdinary people are living in fear for their safety and their lives every day, in small towns and big cities. Hate crimes against LGBT people are on the rise, but the federal government has no direct authority to investigate, prosecute or help local law enforcement crack down. We can't let this continue. We can't let friends and neighbors become targets for violence simply because of who they are. Congress passed the hate crimes bill in 2007, but because of George Bush's veto threat, it never became law. And now, right-wing extremists are once again making outrageous claims that the bill would criminalize preachers, end free speech, and so on. Will you help make sure their lies aren't the only things members of Congress are hearing about this bill?

Please click below to send a note urging Congress to pass the Matthew Shepard Act.


Thanks for your help!!


pamper yourself

You've been working hard lately, and now it's time to take a little pampering break. That's right, guys: I want you to take a break from your life! Forget about whatever it is you think you have to do and give yourself some TLC. To hell with the laundry, the dishes, the accounting, the errands, and even the Internet! Turn your cell phone off and try these tips for some tender lovin' care:

Take a bath. Nothing feels quite as decadent as a warm bath. Add bubbles or essential oils — such as lavender and rosemary — or just set some candles around the bathroom while you soak.

Take time out to read. Whether it's a book, your favorite magazine, or the newspaper, set yourself up in a quiet place and indulge yourself without interruption.

Set up a pampering appointment. Get a new haircut, go for a manicure and pedicure, or get a professional shave at the barber.

Order takeout. Splurge and order dinner in so you don't have to cook — but make sure to choose something that won't kill your diet.

Take yourself out to a movie. Think you don't have time to catch the latest flick? Think again. This is your downtime, kiddo. Go ahead and enjoy Hollywood!

Sleep in. Seriously, sometimes it feels so great just to turn the alarm off before you get into bed and let yourself sleep, sleep, sleep the morning away.

Enjoy it while you can — because tomorrow, it's back to work!

Jillian's Tip of the Day

Write Yourself a Love Letter

Stop and think about all of your strengths and weaknesses, and then pull out some paper and a pen and write yourself a love letter. (You can also in to my site and use your online Fitness Diary!) Make a list of all the admirable things about yourself, all the things worth loving, everything that makes you special. If you get stuck, imagine that you're your own best friend and think about the kinds of things he or she might say to you about why you're such a wonderful person.


Monday, March 2, 2009

new roomie n stuffs

This weekend was relaxing. Didn't do much Friday after work, except pick Ry up from work, and chill out. Saturday, did some laundry, and Ry ended up going out. Brantner (aka Napoleon, aka Dahmer, aka Crusher, aka the "other" Ryan) came over that night after getting ticked off at someone at the party he was at and leaving. In the morning we were sitting around watching tv, and talked it over with the hubby and Brantner is gonna move in with us for a while. Not sure how long, but at least for now, since his roomie's moving, he'll have a place to call home until he finds another place, or another roommate. Kinda works out for all of us, because now someone will be home when Liam gets off school. He works 3rd trick, so not like we'll see much of him except for the weekends, but financially it will be a good mix for all of us. Ry and him get along great and Liam likes having someone just as video game obsessed as he is.. LOL.

Sunday night headed out for a bit to Pellegrine's to see Vs The Earth with the girls. Was nice to get out, and wish I could have stayed longer, but I had to get home and take Ry to his rigg as he had to be somewhere at 7am.

Work was the same typical Monday routine, but things are gonna get hectic here in about 2 weeks when the boss heads to Vegas, and then off to New Zealand and Bora Bora. I hate being in the office by myself for a week, let alone 2-3 weeks. I did it last year, so I'm sure I'll survive. I'm going to take the time to do some marketing and followup calls I haven't really had the time to do. Hopefully get some new blood into the office and get some annuity and life appointments set up for the bossman when he gets back.

Well, I better hit the sack. I have to be up at at thy dietician's office by 7am. Fun! Fun! Can't wait to hear her lecture me about losing weight and eating right! I haven't lost anything since I saw her last, so I'm sure it will just be another hour long guilt trip that she gets paid for.. LOL. Ciao for now my lovelies!