photo icon1_zpseff71810.png 365 Days With Sara Style

Friday, June 2, 2017

I'm a Loser

I normally wouldn't do a post like this because I don't like to sound like I'm "selling" something. But, I'm going to go out on a limb and share something that I have been doing that has really changed my life. 

I am just finishing the 5th week of the FASTer Way to Fatloss and I have already lost 12 pounds and 14 3/4 inches overall (and I still have one week to go before the "end" of the program). It's not a diet and there are no special foods or shakes to buy. I heard about it from a friend and researched this program really well before committing.  I read everything on the "official" site, googled and read every article/blog post that I could, and every word I read was a confirmation that this lifestyle is worth getting on board with.

You can be a beginner (like me), you can be advanced (if you already work out) or anywhere in between. You can do this at home (I do!) or in the gym - no equipment has to be bought though! Amanda has another round starting on Monday, June 12 - she only takes a limited number of clients each month - and I'd love to have some friends join me (feel free to mention me when you sign up so we can be in the same group). If you are hesitant like I was, just check out her website (or google her program), read some of the material she has available, and ask me anything! It's the perfect time to start!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Share With Me

For the last few years I have picked my "One Word" that is my focus for the upcoming year, and this year is no different. (I posted about it last only post last year?!) As the year starts to wind down, my mind starts to go to the next "One Word", but  I always start to really think about this after Christmas has passed. My mind does go to a few different options, but by New Year's Eve, I seem to land on the true "One Word".  This is the one I want to emphasize during the next 365 days (and to be honest, none of the words "ends" at the end of the year, they are a permanent part of me even as I focus on a new word).

This year, 2017, I have chosen the word that, for me, is exactly right and perfect in what I want to see and do in the upcoming days and months...SHARE!

Now, there are a few different meanings to the word share, but the manner I am going to focus on this word, is as a transitive verb.  (Huh?)  Going back to my English major days, a transitive verb is one that takes a direct object - meaning it is done to someone or something.  (didn't know you would be getting a grammar lesson today did you?!).  So you have a subject, a verb and then you can answer the question to what/whom?  (Example:  She filled the cup.)

So back to the matter at hand, I am going to focus on sharing with someone or sharing something in the upcoming year.  I want to experience, enjoy, and talk with others!  I want to listen about thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others!  This may even involve more blog entries so that I am "sharing" with you!

If I am scrolling down Facebook and I start reading an article I love, instead of just hitting "like" or "love", I am going to SHARE!  I am going to SHARE my heart, my time, my interests, my skills, my money, my thoughts.  I am going to be sharing with others and hope that others will see my sharing as a chance for them to share their passions and love too!

Friday, January 1, 2016

One On One

If you look to the right of my post, you will see that I have been choosing One Word every year since 2013.  I got this idea towards the end of 2012 from some blog post I read, about not making New Year's resolutions, but instead choosing One Word that you wanted to focus on for the entire year.  I loved the suggestion of deciding a word that would become the direction you wanted your year to go.  So, instead of an unrelated and overwhelming list of things I didn't like about myself and wanted to change, I started to pick my One Word.

Every year I have attempted to pick a word that I wanted to be committed to - to see a change in my life in relationship to that One Word.  Each year I have seen my One Word showing up in my life in various ways, even though I don't have to physically see that One Word in print every day.  Maybe subconsciously, that word is always on my mind, while a list of things I have to change is overwhelming to me.

This year my word is Simplify.  I think this word means so many different things to people, I want to see how much more I can enjoy my every day when this word makes itself evident in my life!

I'd love to hear if you are a person who makes New Year's resolutions, who avoids making them, or if you have also tried the One Word method.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Food Glorious Food

If you follow me on Instagram, you will quickly see that I could be considered a "foodie" I don't just look at food as something I eat out of convenience or hunger.  I consider food a hobby.  I like to try new restaurants. I like to read restaurant reviews on Yelp.  I like to cook at home. I like to try new recipes. I also like to post photos of what I eat.  

When my boys were young, I started an easy way to make dinner plans for the month.  Starting with the youngest, I asked for five meals he would like to have for dinner. Then I asked my oldest, my husband, and finally added my own choices.  The one rule was that you could not duplicate anything already on the list.  With 20 meal ideas now on paper, I was able to use the four lists and have an idea from each person each week of the month.  In a typical month of 30 days, having 20 meal ideas on my list made figuring what things to make the other 10 days seem like a breeze.  I would always add one new recipe every week (and many times these became family favorites).  Typically we would plan on eating out or getting carry-out/pizza one time a week, so I was now up to 28 days out of 30 days with no stress of "What's for Dinner?".  It made grocery shopping easier, it made meal preparation easier, it made sure we had a variety of food every single week, and it made sure we didn't get in a rut of having the same thing every single week.

Do you meal plan?  If so, do you plan a month or a week at a time?  Do you prefer to figure out what you are going to eat for dinner that morning (or maybe just decide what to eat when you are ready to eat)?  Do your family members help in figuring out what you are going to do each night for dinner, or does one of them do the planning and preparing and you just eat what they fix?

One of the meals that I added in as a new recipe one month became a family favorite.  There are several reasons I like this particular recipe.  Of course it tastes great, but it also is a great meal in the hot summer months and cold winter months too. It is easy to throw together in a few minutes, makes the house smell fantastic, and it is good as leftovers (if you have any!).  I hope you try this and enjoy it.  Please let me know if you do!

French Dip

3-4 lb chuck roast
2 cups beef broth (I like to use the lower sodium version)
1 package Au Jus Gravy Mix 
1 package Italian Salad Dressing Mix

Place the roast in crock pot.  Warm the 2 cups of beef broth in microwave for 30 seconds, add the two mix packages to the broth and stir. When the powders are mixed in, pour over the mixture over the
roast.  Turn on low for 6-8 hours.

When ready to serve, take the roast out of the crock pot and place on serving plate.  Shred the meat with two forks, and place on submarine buns.  Serve with a side of the juice from the crock pot.  Dip the sandwich in the au jus to eat.  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Work of Art

In the hills of the Berkshires, known for its picturesque small towns, there is a rich art scene where you can browse cutting edge art, music, dance, theater, film and video exhibits at Mass MoCA, the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (, in North Adams.   Mass MoCA has been open since 1999 in what was once a factory, but now houses memorable artwork that is both fresh and thought-provoking,

A street map outside of the museum shows what delights await in North Adams.

As you walk towards the museum, you will be struck by one of my favorite works, "Tree Logic".  "Tree Logic" is Natalie Jerimejenko's tree 'experiment' and is located at the museum entrance.  One of the original displays at Mass MoCA, Jerimejenko's six trees have hung upside down since 1999, growing downwards and upwards at the same time.  Over the years, Jerimejenko has continually collected data about the trees' growth. 

Currently on display, Jena Priebe's installation, "The Secret Lives of Books" is part of the exhibition "Bibliothecaphilia".  This particular piece is another of my favorite things at the museum (so go soon so you can see it!)  This particular piece is about the books we read and their potential.  A book has so much power with an endless supply of knowledge and adventure.  I really felt this work related how we can experience many lives through the pages of books, and that was part of the attraction of this piece for me.  

No mention of Mass MoCA would be complete without a nod to Sol LeWitt's  "A Wall Drawing Retrospective".  Opened to the public in 2008, it will be on view for 25 years.  The exhibition consists of 105 large-scale wall drawings that LeWitt spent nearly 40 years creating.  Taking up nearly an acre of specially built interior walls that were installed per LeWitt's specification, this is the closest thing that MASS MoCA has to a permanent collection. 

Walking up the ramp toward the LeWitt exhibit

Just a part of one of the pieces

For the first time ever, all six of artist Francesco Clemente's exquisitely detailed, embroidered, hand-painted canvas tents have been assembled in one single and dynamic exhibition.  "Encampment" is only up until January 2016.


Ran Hwang "Untethered" was one of the most gorgeous installations at MASS MoCA.  Using thousands of buttons and pins to create a 140-foot sculpture, the representation of birds was simply stunning.  

A visit to Mark Dion's "Octagon Room" is the chance to browse through an abandoned office.  But not just any office, this installation is equal parts Victorian sitting room, military bunker and a cabinet of curiosity.  The 19th century mania for octagon buildings was the inspiration for this work, and you could visit this room over and over and see something new every time.

Marko Remec:  "Totally Totem" is one of the outdoor installations that MASS MoCA is known for.  Over 500 convex mirrors wrapped around a massive water tower.  

What looks like part laboratory and  part library, Michael Oatman's "All Utopias Fell" gives the appearance that an occupant stepped away for a minute, but now it's 30 years later.  Although you can see part of the work from the ground, you really need to climb the stairs in the old Boiler Plant so that you can enter and take in the entire piece.

Depending on which way you enter the town of North Adams, one of the things you will possibly see is Franz West's  "Les Pommes d'Adam".  An outdoor sculpture that takes it's name and inspiration from Adam's apple, most of the public takes it as a different part of the male anatomy.

The Anselm Kiefer's exhibition at MASS MoCA includes "Narrow are the Vessels", a sculpture made of cast concrete, exposed rebar and lead that looks like waves, and "Velimir Chlebnikov", 30 paintings that deal with nautical warfare.   

Hopefully you have made it this far, because I have saved my favorite thing for last. An installation that combines video, sound and text, "Eclipse" by Susannah Sayler and Edward Morris is about species extinction.  It was one of the most intense art experiences I have ever had.  I can't even begin to describe it, but if you ever have a chance to see it, make sure you do!  It was fantastic!

If you have a chance to visit the Berkshires, and I would recommend you find your way there, definitely make time to visit North Adams, Massachusetts and stop by Mass MoCA.  What museum have you been to that you would recommend to others? 

Sunday, July 26, 2015


I attended a training class for work this past week.  I have always had a love of learning and getting paid to go to class seems like a dream come true!  (Of course, it's only a dream if the person conducting the training is good, and fortunately I thought this person was good).  I  especially like those times when I learn something new, or I hear something that really makes me think.  This type of learning makes me happy.

One thing I made a note of during my class was a question the trainer asked about complacency - 'Does anything great happen when you are complacent?'  I felt I knew what complacent meant, but I wanted an accurate definition. Just in case you were wondering, the best definition I found for complacency  was "...a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better."

After looking at the definition, this question is one of those things that I really thought about a lot more. Some of those thoughts include:

"Being satisfied is not a bad thing."
"But, wanting to make things better is also a good thing."
"What's wrong with being satisfied?"
 "Why isn't satisfaction a great thing?"
 "Are people ever satisfied?"
"How can you make things better if you aren't satisfied with the way they are?"
"If you are trying to make things better, but fail, will you ever be satisfied with what you already have?"
Being satisfied and being content don't necessarily mean the same thing.

So, even though I think my teacher simply meant to get people to try to achieve more (it was a work related training after all), the more I thought about what she asked, the more I have thought about what she said.

I'd love to know what you think!  I'd love to hear your thoughts on being satisfied.  Is it a good thing or is it not challenging you to be better?  What do you think about her question?  Does anything great happen when you are complacent?  Is being satisfied different from being content to you?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Trainwreck of Emotion

Trainwreck, the movie, is by no means the disaster implied by its title. A raunchy romantic comedy written by "it girl" of the moment, Amy Schumer, Trainwreck is somewhat of a traditional romance movie with a happy ending.

Rated R (and deservedly so), this rom-com is anything but old-fashioned, with unapologetic sexual humor.  Amy Schumer not only wrote, but also stars as the adult daughter of a father who taught her that monogamy was unrealistic.  Taking his advice, Amy has become as promiscuous as her father, while her younger sister took the opposite path, marries and wants to have a family.

Working at a men's magazine that is exploitive and sexist, Amy, who has no interest in sports, gets assigned to writing an article on an important sports physician.  It turns out that this physician (played by Bill Hader) is charmed by Amy with her uninhibited spirit.  He is even more intrigued when she has no idea who his best friend, Lebron James, is.  Despite herself, Amy finds that she is attracted to this decent guy as well.

The developing relationship, how Amy grows up and learns to love herself is at the heart of the movie, but the story of Amy's father,  Connor (Colin Quinn) ends up giving emotional depth to the film.  In a crude and blunt movie, the touching story of having an ill parent gave the movie a chance to show a sweeter side.

The movie does get off-track toward the end, but like any good happily ever after story, the finale does give the movie goer the ability to leave with a smile.