Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cranberry Pumpkin GLUTEN FREE Muffins!

By request (and since I am dilly-dallying going out for my run since it's a lazy Sunday...), here is the recipe for the yummy muffins that I posted on Facebook 2 weeks ago! Happy baking!

Cranberry Pumpkin Gluten Free Muffins

2 cups Gluten Free Flour (I used Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose GF Flour)
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsps xanthan gum
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup softened butter (I used Organic Valley pastured butter, YUM!)
1 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar (C&H pure cane... non-GMO)
2 eggs (from a local egg farm, just sayin')
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup organic pumpkin puree (Trader Joe's is the best price)
1/3 cup soy milk (you can also use regular, almond, or coconut...)
1 cup fresh cranberries (you can break them up a little with some sweetener if you find cranberries too tart on their own...)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease 24 mini muffin or 12 regular sized muffin tins.
  3. In a large bowl, use a whisk to mix together GF flour, baking soda, xanthan gum, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and salt until well combined.
  4. In another bowl, use a mixer to cream the butter until its white and fluffy.
  5. Add the sugar and beat until fluffy.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time and beat.
  7. Put aside the mixer and stir in the pumpkin puree with a wooden spoon.
  8. Stir in half the dry mix, then half the milk, then half the dry mix, and the other half of the milk.
  9. Stir in the cranberries.
  10. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins. Tap the tin to settle the mix.
  11. Bake at 350 for 15-18 minutes.
  12. Let cool... if you want it more like a cupcake, mix together powdered sugar and cream cheese to make a cream cheese icing for them :)
Enjoy! I put mine in individual freezer bags so I could grab one in the morning and it would be defrosted by afternoon snack!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Freelance nails and wraps!

Hi guys! Longer post later... As you know, life at light speed! 

I am officially done with my time at Gene Juarez, and am doing some freelance nail appointments in addition to my wrap business... Around school of course! I am also able to do events like wedding parties and fill in at salons for event parties :) 


Talk to you soon! More to come!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

For those of you that aren't my "friend" on Facebook...

Just so you know, you don't have to be a facebook member to see my posts on Facebook... for the most part. The vast majority of my posts are set to public so that you can see without being a Facebook member. :) If  you want to look, this link will get you there, and then you can bookmark it. I put a lot of useful information on there because it is easier than updating my blog, most days.

Here is a copy of a lengthy post I just put up... I will expound more later as time goes on, but there are some really exciting things coming up with me, and you don't want to miss it!

REPOSTED FROM MY FACEBOOK PAGE: I know you guys may get sick of all the "It Works!" and "crazy wrap thing" that you keep hearing about. Let's face it, we all get inundated with everyone we know selling something! Let me explain to you why you should pay attention to this FROM ME- AND WHY I AM BETTER THAN THE PEOPLE AT PLACES LIKE GNC:

1. I have had a lifetime of experience dealing with weight loss, like many of you. I get it. We think we have heard it all... and many of us have. I can help guide you NO MATTER what your goals are.... read on...

2. You want health? I'm a junkie for it. I have now had a REAL Human Nutrition class, so I am aware of how what we put in our mouths affect our bodies on a cellular level. I can use what I know, combined with what you have tried, to come up with a custom plan that will get you maximum health benefits.

3. You want fitness advice? I have that too. In fact, I am considering taking a course to be a personal trainer this summer. And if I don't know, I know people who do. I can help you come up with a plan that will work in YOUR life- and I am not affiliated with a gym... no membership fees and no commitments. It all is a perk of being my customer.

4. You have tried everything, and you are healthy as a horse but are still gaining weight? Considering weight loss surgery? But maybe no insurance or your insurance won't cover it? Let's work together to get you where you want to be. Being a distributor for It Works could get you to the knowledge and income to get that surgery done... IT'S LIFE CHANGING.

5. You have made it to your goals, or close, but are not quite looking the way you want? I can help guide you to the products that will get you there, combined with the support to make it work for you....

IT REALLY WORKS... NOT JUST THE PRODUCT, BUT THE SUPPORT SYSTEM TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. YES, YOU. I get not having time for parties, I am working on a "virtual party" to make that happen where you get to wrap in the privacy of your home and watch my presentation on video. See, I am interested in your success and will do ANYTHING it takes to help you get there...

As a loyal customer you get to buy at my price, get rewards points for future shopping, and get free shipping on certain orders! Plus the convenience of auto-ship to your door every month of whatever products you want... doesn't even always need to be the same things!

I think I may get my Masters in Nutrition... I am the real deal. I have managed a team of people before, so I am not an "upline" who will sign you and leave you on your own... This is my business and this is my life... not my hobby. I will help you every step of the way.... Inbox me for more details. Share this with your friends on your wall. Help me help you and everyone you know. I have been a distributor since September and ain't going anywhere- this is by far the best product I've found. It just happens to be an individual distributor product not sold in store fronts! (Which is a better business model, by the way... take it from the former salon owner and business major, storefronts are expensive!!) Click on my "About" section and check out my blog, YouTube video blog, and It Works! personal webpage....

Inbox me... right now... let's get you to where you want to be... YOUR WAY.


<3 Michelle

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I'VE LOST MY MARBLES! And nutrition tweaking by the numbers...

Well, hello again! Here is an updated pic of me... no makeup, but I thought I would show you guys that I look much different than my 1 week post op video! It has been about 8 weeks since surgery now. Below, you will see my new visual aid... 115 glass marbles for 115 pounds to lose (more on how I got that number in a minute...) and there are 38 in the "LOST" jar and 77 remain in the "TO LOSE" jar. I am super excited about this! I am only recording my weight once a week now, so this is a good reminder of how far I have come in between weigh ins....

So, here is how I calculated my weight goal. I started out at 255 pounds which was a BMI of about 45. After doing some pounds to kg conversions, because us Americans can't seem to get on board with the metric system like EVERYONE else (lol), I determined that I would be happiest with a BMI at the upper limit of "normal", which is 18.5 to 24.5. I have always been a little "dense" for my height, usually "heavier" than other people my size, so I think this is realistic. So, at a BMI of 25, I should be about 140 pounds. That is a 115 pound difference from my beginning weight of 255. Since I have lost 38 pounds so far since surgery, that means that I am 33% OF THE WAY TO MY GOAL!!! ONE THIRD OF THE WAY TO THE FINISH LINE!!! How freakin' cool is THAT?!? My BMI as of today is 38.64. :)

However, my diet has needed some tweaking, so I am going to share those plans with you now:

The docs said to consume between 400-600 calories per day, and of that, I should be upward of 70+ grams of protein a day. Now, I won't bore you with the math, since you aren't in a nutrition class by choice I assume, but that all just didn't seem quite right to me. Time to listen to my body....

And my body is telling me I am WAY. TOO. ACTIVE. for that low of a calorie intake. I had next to zero energy at that level, and that seemed like too much protein to me. So, I have been closer to the 800 calorie a day range, and losing about 3 pounds a week. However, I have still been feeling very fatigued if I even exercised for more than about 5 minutes, and walking up stairs at school was putting the burn on my muscles. Time for that math now (because you know I am a "why" girl...)!

I calculated my basal metabolic rate to be approximately 2,264 calories per day. That is just about what my body needs, based on my current weight, to keep breathing and my heart beating etc. If I am eating about 800 calories per day, then I should be losing about 2.9 pounds per week just through calorie restriction. That seems about right. As I lose weight and my body composition changes, this number will go down, but no worries, because I have calculated activity level too. At 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity 5 times per week, at my current weight, I will burn an additional 1,950 calories per week for another .5 pound of loss. That puts me at 3.43 pounds per week, and I am perfect with that. Now about the energy thing.

I have been right about in "normal" ranges for fats, carbs, and proteins... but I am not normal. (Shush.) I am very active, and I need my muscles to have immediate energy storage for things like going up stairs and doing squat challenges. I determined I needed more carbs. And as much as I hate to admit it, that 70 grams of protein a day was probably closer to right for what my body needs physiologically right now. And fat? Yeah, I learned about FAT this week in nutrition. We all know that once your body makes a fat cell, it never goes away... it just deflates. As if that is not depressing enough, that empty fat cell is calling out for fat to fill it back up. Little assholes! And fat cells have a loooooong life, so they don't die off as often as we would like. Crap. Turns out that empty fat cells also send out a hormone to pull fat out of the blood to fill up their little tanks... so in the state that I am in, almost all dietary fat I intake will go directly into those little empty fat cells. There's some good news... :(

So, I had to tell you all THAT to tell you all THIS:


My diet of 800 calories a day will now be split approximately like this...
70 grams of protein a day for 280 calories---- approximately 35% of my calorie intake.
9 grams of fat a day for 80 calories------------approximately 10% of my calorie intake.
110 grams of carbohydrates per day for 440 calories- approximately 55% of my calorie intake.

I am going to try this for a little bit. I WILL get this damn post-surgery diet perfected so that I can tweak other people's post surgery diet to get them maximum health and weight loss! The 9 grams of fat is gonna kill me, lol, but I need those little asshole fat cells to STARVE! I need the carbs to fuel my muscles and give me some more immediate energy, and the protein to give my body the building blocks it needs to repair stuff so I don't lose muscle tone.

I started wrapping this week, so I took before pics the other day. I just did my second ab wrap this morning. After 4 wraps, I will put up pics of before and after. Only 12 days will have elapsed, so what you see will be mostly due to the wraps and not the other weight loss. I really want to keep my skin toning as I lose weight. Also, to keep my protein up and fat down, I am now mixing my PROFit shakes with half soymilk and half water, and making sure I get at least 2 a day. I take It's Vital morning, noon, and night, along with New You in the morning and night. I usually mix my Greens in somewhere with a fruit and protein drink to keep my body detoxed as my fat stores empty.... Seems to be working well so far! Don't make me bust out some Fat Fighter to keep those hungry little fat cells starving!!!!!!!!!! Don't forget you can get on my It Works! diet plan by ordering off my website <-- click here!

As soon as I can find a damn camera man, or can get to my friends to pick up a tripod they are giving me, I will get another video up! Sorry, but without Raingirl around to hold the camera, it is just too hard!

Well, peace out! I have a project on MSG due in 32 hours.... lol....

Cordes out! :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

YO! What is UP?

Hey yo! Things here are fantastic! I have been back to the gym and have started the process of jogging again. Tomorrow is my first day of Couch to 5k. Again. This time I am set up for success though... the surgery, my It Works!, and feeling the workout bug again.

Haven't gotten my post-op labs done yet, with no insurance anymore it just isn't in the budget this month. But as soon as I know, you'll know! However, as of this morning I am 218 pounds, down from a high of almost 255 before the surgery. My weight loss has slowed down now, but I am ok with that so my skin has a chance to catch up :) I am 45 days post surgery now, and feel better than I have in years!

I paid to promote a post on Facebook for the first time today. I am interested to see how it works out. I just had a lot of info on my post and I wanted maximum visibility. I am going to include the verbiage of the post here...

"Here is the dollars and sense of it... Weight Watchers is $40 a month, includes no food, and requires meetings that nobody has time for. Nutrisystem is $397 per month, has some food, but you still need to buy veggies and fruits, and does nothing for your health because it's full of crap. Jenny Craig, same story only more expensive yet: $500 a month, some food like Nutrisystem, and meetings that nobody has time for. A dietician will run you about $160 a month, no food, and appointments you don't have time for. Slimfast is convenient and cheap at $90 a month for the shakes, but they are gross (more chemicals than food) and no suppletments for your health, plus you still need ADDITIONAL food.... AND NONE OF THESE HANDLE SKIN TONE, CELLULITE, FITNESS AND DETOX!!

It Works "Ultimate Pack" is $279 per month, shipped directly to your house, and only has a 3 month minimum commitment to get that price (retail price totals $559!!!) MY IT WORKS plan includes one high quality shake a day of PROFit shakes, a snack bar daily in It's Essential, Greens for detoxing as you lose, Advanced Fat Fighter for blocking the fat and some of the carbs you eat at lunch and dinner, Thermofit for cranking up your metabolism, It's Vital to get all the nutrients you need for max health and weight loss, Defining Gel to help minimize the appearance of cellulite, and the Ultimate Body Applicator 4-pack to tighten and tone that skin as you lose. Complete, convenient, and 24-7 email support and encouragement from me with no meetings to go to!

What are you still waiting for?! and inbox me, call me or email me with your questions. Will you invest in a 90 day challenge with me? Let me show you how It Works! I'll even help you design a custom workout plan to enhance your results... I can't wait to help you achieve your goals!"

Of course, you don't have to do the Ultimate Pack to get started... get in touch with me on Facebook, by commenting below, or through my website to find out where is best to get you started with what your priorities are and what fits in your budget...
My personal products I'm using right now :)
I really hope some of you will take me up on this! If you are a Vision Quest member, we can even meet at the gym! My experience with diets and nutrition to date,
My tummy at 45 days... scars are getting better every day!!
and the Human Nutrition class I am taking is putting me on a path to becoming a diet and fitness coach I think. I love nails, but I can do that too... this is making people feel good and look good in a different way!! As soon as I can find someone to video me, I will be doing a new vlog....Gotta get back to calculus now (yuck)...

Hasta luego!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Misc. STUFF... Weight tracking, etc

Here is my weights as recorded since the 3 days before my surgery, a pic I sent Raingirl the other day, and my tummy as of today. I'm almost all healed from the rashes, the incisions don't really itch anymore, and I did some mini-Pilates yesterday. My tummy wasn't quite as ready as my brain was to exercise!! I will need to verrrrrrryyyy slooooooowly increase my activity over the next 2 weeks or so, or I will be a hurtin' unit! It is difficult to wait because my knees, ankles, and feet feel so great that I just wanna MOVE!

Gotta plan for a new video now... I think I need to find someone to record for me and a good place to do a new full body recording. Maybe Raingirl can do it this weekend... :)

Going to start tanning today... I look like the ghostess with the mostest!! I really want to start wrapping with my toning IT WORKS! wraps, but my fear is I won't be able to get enough water in yet. So that is my goal for this week, regulate fluid intake so I can start firming and toning this skin up!!!

On a side note: my entire application for my major (marketing at the Milgard School of Business at University of Washington Tacoma) is in! Should be about 4 weeks to a decision...*fingers crossed*...

Until next time... M.C. :)

Monday, April 22, 2013

In celebration of no GMO's

Today I got my It Works! order, and now I have the Creamy Vanilla PROFit protein shake... Yay! I had it today with Unsweetened Organic Silk soy milk and even added a little water... Saved 15 calories over the Original Silk with the flavor of the Vanilla Silk that has even more calories, with no sacrifice on protein! This is great!! I don't wanna lose my hair OR get any weirdo diseases from GMO food!!!

I have tried to incorporate real food back into my diet, but man, my tummy is small!!!! Lol... I need to take it back down a notch and stick with my one-egg limit. I keep accidentally getting too much food (apparently one and a half boneless wings is too much!) and need to go back to measuring out my portions.

Anyhoo... Order your PROFit shake powder today from my website... Http:/ No GMO's... No gluten... No added sugar- this bad boy uses STEVIA. 14 grams of USABLE protein in every shake for only 100 calories. Mix with milk or soy milk if you're looking to ramp up the protein and/or calories. Chocolate and Vanilla... Check it out! US company too... Bradenton, FL. :)

P.S. I'm down 30 pounds and am 4 weeks post op tomorrow! Who wants a videeeeeeeoooooo?? ;)

Ciao! Michelle

P.S. again... Today is boycott GMO day, so make sure you vote with your dollar today and choose non GMO if you can!

Friday, April 12, 2013


For Day 1 through 3 post surgery, it was all clear liquids. The usual. Broth, jello, juice, water... I am willing to bet the little bit of tequila I slipped in my ice tea didn't count as a "clear liquid" but whatev!

Day 3-17, it is all liquid. I have learned a lot of things, like most sugar free packaged food is crap. I could have pudding too, and I used sugar free with lactose free milk, but this week I will be making my own with stevia. The amount of aspartame and GMO's in these prepackaged things is mind boggling. I am using Unjury protein shakes right now, because I need the high protein, but I will be switching to mostly It Works! PROFit shakes over the next week as I can add soft food.

Fruit Protein Shake
8 oz. Silk Fruit and Protein smoothie blend
Unjury Vanilla protein shake
2 scoops Greens

This gives me a good chunk of protein, enough carbs to not burn out, and some micronutrients in a manner my new tummy can handle.

Creamed Chicken Soup
2 oz chicken breast, cooked
6 oz veggie or chicken broth
2 Tbsp. half and half
salt and pepper to taste.

Take all of the items and put them in a blender... I use the Magic Bullet blender. Process to a smooth consistency, remove the blade, and put in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir. Heat for 1-2 more minutes until desired temperature.

Chocolate Almond Smoothie
6 oz. Silk Unsweetened Soy Milk
Unjury or PROFit Chocolate protein shake
1 Tbsp natural Almond Butter (I used Kettle brand)
1 ice cube

Put all items in order listed into Magic Bullet. Process until ice is blended and shake is frothy. Enjoy!

AM Legal Mocha
1 packet Organo Gold Black Coffee
12 oz. Silk Soy Milk
Unjury Chocolate protein shake (I've used the Vanilla too... tastes like a latte instead)

IN a 16 oz travel mug, prepare the OG coffee with 4 oz. hot water. (I use my Keurig.) Add 6 oz of the soy milk and stir. Add protein powder to cup and stir until dissolved. Top off with the rest of the soy milk. This makes a to-go cup that I drink on for about 2-3 hours. There is very little caffeine in the OG coffee, and it is slightly alkaline vs the traditional acidity of coffee. I get a little kick from the Ganoderma :)

Just today, I am at day 16 and I am adding the pureed type food. I got Earths Best Organics baby food, some Tillamook yogurt (no rBst!!), and some Darigold 2% cottage cheese (no rBst!!). I also got some Stoneyfield Vanilla yogurt to make smoothies with my protein powder, and I had a scrambled egg earlier. It was amazing!! LOL... ah... the simple things... I will post my stevia sweetened pudding recipe when I get it perfected... :)

If you have any low cal, high protein shakes to share that have no fruits or veggies in them... Please share in the comments! P.S. the vitamins I have to take because they are chewable are full of GMO's and aspartame!!! ARG! I can't wait until I can go back to my It's Vital. Soon. Very very soon. I actually think it is making me feel a little worse because I am an anomaly and I am getting less nutrition than I got before the surgery!!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Since surgery...

Howdy y'all!

Well, I have learned a few things in the last 2 weeks. First of all, the mental part of this is pretty intense. It is very strange to never be hungry... to not be able to gulp down water when you are thirsty... to not be able to eat the healthy things you ate. For months. I can't have salad for 4 more months. I can't have fruit, like melon, for 3 months. Secondly, I have to find new ways to make things because the stuff that is recommended to eat is full of artificial bullshit and ingredients that I refuse to support if I can help it. I don't know if I am having difficulty with being excessively tired because I am actually eating crappier than I did before the surgery. So, like anything else it is a work in progress. Lastly, everyone told me I would be really tired for awhile after the surgery, but I am frickin' exhausted. All. The. Time. I will be excited when that part is over.

I have lost 25 pounds in 2 weeks. I am excited to be able to start exercising again. In two weeks, I am starting tennis lessons with Youngest Boy. We both need something that is outdoor exercise to do, so that seemed like a good place to start! I go out walking, as much as I can, but I am ready to CRANK IT UP. It feels so good to be down weight!! My knees don't hurt as much, my feet don't hurt, and I am excited to put the lighter me to WORK.

In the next post, I will show some recipes I have learned. That way, people don't have to stumble through my blog posts to find them. They would be good for people who haven't had the surgery too... :)

Gotta do a new vlog tonight too... so in the next few days, check out my You Tube channel if you haven't already... :) And subscribe. And share. I want everyone to see my journey!

Until next time, Hasta luego!
Michelle :)

Pictures of stomach... (graphic)

Here are pics of my stomach as it was healing... It really wasn't too bad, except for the rash from the tape. Ick.

This was the day I got back to the hotel. Thursday, March 28.

This was before I left Mexico...

Here was at one week...

And here is at two weeks...
See, almost all better now! Two weeks... not too shabby!!! -M. :)

Link to videos!

For those of you who have not seen the videos, here is the first one: March 26, 2013.

The rest of the videos can be seen on my You Tube channel.

There will a few posts rapid fire here... be sure to keep up! -M.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Not even enough going on to record!

Go check out my vlog stuff on YouTube... But in the meantime, there is really nothing much going on here. At the moment it's quite boring, and Raingirl is considering taking a nap!!! I got to the hospital this morning, got blood drawn, did some paperwork, and was taken to my room. Everyone is very friendly, although not everyone speaks great English. Language hasn't been a barrier though.
Now I am in my gown, IV in, some meds in... Kinda feeling loopy. My surgery is in like an hour or so. I'm still not nervous... I'm pretty bored. Lol... It will be nice to have it done. No liquids at all until tomorrow afternoon... But it's not bad now with the IV in. They gave me three of those lemon swab things. I think I'll keep those for after surgery... :)
I'll video as I can... Or when there is anything to show!! I am supposed to walk walk walk after the surgery. Maybe I'll be able to sneak in a video tour as I'm walking!
Hasta luego! M.

First vlog...

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

From there to here.

Well, shit. Where to even begin? :)

I was all ready to go. My gear for the hike all purchased, sitting in the living room in a pile. Trail companion book arrived. I was ready to rock and roll. But how many signs do you need before you start to go "Hey... maybe you should hold up here a bit, partner?"

First off, I found out my dad was finally going to have his hip surgery. For those who know me personally, my dad has been dealing with his hip being utter crap for about 5 years. (Since then, it finally blew out at work and now he is getting his surgery in a month or so.) But he is a pain in the ass, and I couldn't leave my Nana alone to deal with him during the process and recovery. I probably could have figured something out, but it was weighing on me. He has not been the greatest dad in the world, but he is the only dad I've got, and I didn't want him to go into surgery without me being there. I am one of the only people he trusts to really be assertive and make sure he is ok. That, and my Nan doesn't need the stress...

Second, Raingirl was not totally ok. In order for me to be able to go comfortably and focus on my trip, I needed to know she was good. She had a bit of an anxiety episode, her first one, and that gave me pause as well. I can't speak for her, but she didn't seem real excited for the idea of mom being unreachable. Away was ok, but away and unreachable was not. It seemed like it was all fine until I had a date and my stuff... then shit got real... I don't know. Maybe I had nothing to do with it. But I wasn't willing to risk finding out.

Thirdly, I went to a company meeting that told all of us the future plan for the business. I work for a large salon and spa company; I was leaving to go on my hike, and then see where life took me, but I went to the meeting anyway to see what was up. Well, I had some great meetings with some bosses, and decided I didn't want to miss the momentum going with the company right now! I also had always assumed that when I was done with college, I would go to work in the product and education side of the nail business; it was revealed to me that there may be the exact position I would love within the salon chain that I love... 3rd sign? Check.

And most importantly, my leaving was affecting my household more than I expected it to. I had the full support of The Ex, I had the full support of LTB's ex, and I thought the kiddos were pretty complacent about the idea of me leaving. They knew, and frankly, didn't appear to me to care. I couldn't have been more wrong. Now, I don't know that it had much to do with me, all I know is that Youngest Boy was not doing alright, not by a long shot. He has some issues and has endured some bullying, and he was breaking under the pressure of tweenage problems. If I would have left him and something would have happened to him I would never have forgiven myself. I just kept thinking that a long time ago, a very lovely Nana quit her job and raised me, forever altering the course of my life. I will never be able to repay her for the gift she gave me, but I can honor her by being a major role model myself in a child's life. The day that I found out how much my little guy was hurting is the day I realized that I no longer had one child... I have four. And there isn't anything that I wouldn't do for them. My life can wait. The trail will still be there. Heck, maybe I'll groom Youngest Boy into my hiking partner!!!

Sometimes the road that we take to get somewhere can seem really rough, and really kick our ass. I felt like life had punched me in the gut, but you know when to not push something into place that clearly it is not time for. And then sometimes... just sometimes... you realize that everything worked out for the best. What was one of the scariest kid things I have ever dealt with has turned into the best thing. LTB and I have finally started to be a family. Our relationship, while not perfect, is fantastic. (Who's relationship is really ever PERFECT?? Lol...) So we had to deal with some really shitty things to get to where we are now... that sucks. But we made it! This group has somehow formed a family, and that's the way we all became the Brady Bunch...

But seriously... I know that my adult life has been up and down and all over the place. For the first time in a LONG time, I feel that I am exactly right where I should be. I love my family, I love my job (which I am doing part time until that magical position becomes available), and I just love my life! No bullshit. I am taking some classes that I want to take to fill in this spring quarter at Tacoma Community College, and will be going to University of Washington Tacoma in the fall. And I think all of that is just fabulous!!

Soooooooooooooooo.... since I wasn't leaving now, and I wasn't leaving my job.... I had money burning a hole in my pocket. How to spend it.............. I know!! The one thing that I have wanted for over a year now but couldn't afford... WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY! I tried to do the insurance thing... no dice, they wouldn't pay for it. I tried to do the self-pay thing... couldn't get financed. Hi ho, Hi ho, it's off to MEXICO I go... for the gastric sleeve. Raingirl and I will be flying to Mexico next Monday, March 25th for my surgery! Yippeeeeeee! I start my all liquid diet tomorrow...

With that being said, I am going to be video blogging (aka VLOG) on You Tube the whole process! I will post the videos on here, but I really want to get my You Tube channel shared too, because I want to show people that are scared to go to Mexico for surgery that it CAN be done. Sometimes our biggest fear is of the unknown... So, watch my journey. Next post will be my first video... Now off to figure out how the damn camera works... <grin>

Thanks for taking the time out of your day to catch up with me!!!
Hasta luego! M.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


This is so exciting! I think I am officially turning into an eBay addict. I put some things up for sale: some too big skiing pants, some shoes that never got worn and probably never will now (getting rid of shoes hurts!), a few miscellaneous things and some Organo Gold boxes for 10% off. But the real fun has been in my shopping....

I scored a water filter by Katadyn with a replacement filter for $55. It is slightly used but the replacement filter is new, and it still has the box and everything. That just saved me about $40. Super cool.

I scored a pair of worn-once outside so technically "pre-owned" trail runners for the summer part of my hike for $16 after shipping. That saved me... oh.... somewhere around $80. Cool-er. :)

I ordered the solar charger for my iPhone (so I can keep blogging for all of you fine people) for the on sale bargain price of $14.99 with free shipping!! Just a good deal, who cares about the savings.... so coooool.

But the best bestest thing about my finds is an alcohol stove with a windscreen made from a guy in Texas for $12.85!!! It is about the size of a hockey puck, and uses denatured alcohol as fuel. I will take pics when I get it.... That seriously just saved me about $150 plus all the dealing with finding fuel on the trail. THE COOLEST!!!

I went to storage today and got my pack. I stopped by The Ex's house to get the bear canister. I don't know that I can afford the weight in my pack, but he hates the damn thing, and you know what I hate? Bear hanging a pack. Lol... so I just inherited it. Oh damn it... I meant to grab my sleeping bag when I stopped by my folks. Oh well, next week. I am shooting for a pack weight of less than 40 lbs... I would be happier with 35. So, time to start getting all this stuff in there and getting a weight.... and then cutting weight from there. Most of you think I am nuts for trying to do this anyway, never mind doing it with everything I need to live in a 35 pound pack on my back!!

I probably am a little nuts. Or adventurous. Or maybe a little of both. :)

I figure it takes a little of both to be successful.

Until next update, ciao! <3 M.

Friday, January 11, 2013

I hate the gym.

So, I have determined after years of trying that I hate the gym. I hate everything about the gym. I hate physically going there. I hate exercising inside. I have determined that I would rather run or walk outside in the rain than inside on a treadmill... Or elliptical... Or whatever.

I guess it's time to bring the gym bag in from the car (you know, in case I can go to the gym on the way home... Lol!) and cancel the gym membership. I didn't like personal training- I don't need outside motivation, I need motivation OUTSIDE! I will just have to walk to and from school (that is 3 miles round trip) and get some longer walks in on my days off.

Ok, I'm done bitching now! Time to go back to eBay shopping... I'm GONNA win my bid on that water filter ;-)

This was from my phone... Hope it posts right... AdiĆ³s!! -Michelle

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Time to catch up!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fantastic holiday season!  I had to handle some things personally, so it was not the right time for blogging. But now I'm baaaaaaaaaack!

Ok, so starting out with something old, but I have to get it in here because I think it is funny as hell. You may have seen it already by now; and even if you don't like President Obama, this is some good stuff. I also can't believe they could find a clip where the President said "homeboy"!

Good stuff, eh? Anyhoo, onward and forward... to my big announcement....

I am officially going to hike the Appalachian Trail in 2013!!! 

In 2002 (I think), I was at Clingman's Dome in Great Smoky Mountains National Park while on a drive down south. In walking from the parking lot to the view point (which looks a lot like a space ship if you have never seen it), you must walk directly across the Appalachian Trail with its distinguishable white blazes to mark the way. I looked at The Ex and said "We just crossed the AT! I am GOING to hike that someday!!" Well, someday is here...

A friend had a quote on her Facebook wall that sort of sums it up... to paraphrase, it said that if your goals aren't big enough to both exhilarate and terrify you at the same time, then you are not setting goals big enough. So, yeah, I have definitely found a goal big enough!! On my 39th birthday last July, I remarked to my dinner mates that 40 was not going to look anything like 39. I am leaving my life behind, and out of respect to my LTB's privacy, I will not disclose much about how that part is going down. Raingirl is supportive of my plans, although at her age I think the whole thing must seem sort of surreal to her. The Ex is going to make sure my nearly 88 year old Nana and my dad are taken care of in my absence, and I turned in my notice at work this week to make the whole thing official. I am so excited to be able to let the cat out of the bag!!!!!

Here is my plan... I am taking my SATs this month (gulp) and applying to MIT, Stanford, and UW Seattle. This is my last quarter at Tacoma Community College, so I will have the time off of school for the Spring and Summer terms. My last final is March 19th, I will work at the salon that one last weekend March 22-25 and then I will depart by car about March 27th. All I am taking with me is what I can fit in my mid-size SUV and my sense of adventure! I am driving to Bentonville, Arkansas to my besties house (DEFINE IRONY... I HATE HATE HATE WALMART AND I AM LEAVING HOME TO DRIVE TO THE WALMART CAPITAL OF THE WORLD!!!! UGH!), where I am leaving my car for the hike. After a brief visit, Bestie is going to drive me the 12 hours to the trail-head just north of Atlanta, Georgia. From there, I am on my own for approximately 6 months and the 2,200 miles that is the AT. I expect to be on the trail around April 2nd or so. It has been a LONG time since I have been backpacking, and I am not really in shape, so I am on my 85 day plan to fitness to get as ready as I can to go. I am taking my Organo Gold with me, my It Works! supplements and Greens On The Go, and my trusty albeit broken iPhone. THAT is why I need to get the dang Blogger app to work right!

Yes, I am going alone. Blissfully, wonderfully, amazingly alone. Yes, I don't expect most people to understand why I feel the need to do this! No, I am not going to die... I am not going to be eaten by a bear, die of hypothermia, be attacked or maimed, or get lost. If you really have no idea what I am doing, and you have Netflix, there is a documentary that is less than an hour long done by National Geographic about the AT. If you take some time to watch it, maybe you will better understand my craziness! This is not my first rodeo hiking in the woods with a pack on my back, sleeping in a tent or trail shelter, and cooking outside. I hiked the Wonderland Trail around Mt. Rainier in 2005 (100 miles in 10 days) and The Ex was with me, and he seems to think I can hike the AT, so I know I am not completely out of my mind.

I took this pic at Reflection Lakes around mile 90 of the Wonderland. See, I didn't die... and I saw bears, deer, elk, mountain goats, and a dozen other little creatures. Nobody killed me with a chainsaw (a fear of one of my coworkers!!), I slept outside, I was bitten by a zillion mosquitoes, and never got a tick stuck to me. I will be safe. And hey.... when hiking the AT.... THERE IS AN APP FOR THAT!!

That's right folks, there is an app for iPhone for the AT. Actually, there are 14, because they break it down into small segments. It uses the GPS in your phone to show you on a topographical map where you are are on the trail, major landmarks on the trail, and has a cut away to show you the elevation gain and loss over the mileage. What if my battery dies, you ask? There is even a solar charger for your phone available on eBay! See, I am not as crazy as I would seem..... :)

I will take you all on this journey with me... if you so desire, pass this blog on to your friends. Let's see if I can get a following as big as Gangnam Style! Ok, maybe not, but if it gets big enough, then I may get some advertisers, which will give my ass a paycheck while I am "Eat. Pray. Love."-ing out in the forest! ON a financial note......

In order to finance my voluntary homelessness and unemployment, I will still be selling OG and It Works!. If everyone could support my efforts by buying one box of coffee or one product from It Works! before March 25, that would go a long way towards helping my goals! Just one little box... and if you are local to me, I have some on hand and can save you the shipping. If you love the products, there is autoship... If you love it A LOT then please sign up to be a distributor under me. I will support your effort with your personal business despite being off adventuring! OG website is click here and It Works! is click here ... I am going to hold off on introducing Wildtree Herbs until I get settled somewhere. Which I won't know where that somewhere is until college letters start coming in May sometime.... so I literally have no firm plans for after the trail as of right now. So bizarre to me... I guess I am with Raingirl.... It is a little surreal.

Told you this would be long! Stay tuned as it progresses..... so for now, Ciao!

Michelle (who needs to come up with a trail name before April!!!)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Getting ready to go mobile....

Ok guys, big post with lots of information coming tonight! All I'll say is that I need to figure out how to maximize the blogger app from my mobile, because I'm gonna neeeeeeeeeeed it! We'll consider this a test run... Stay tuned.... :)