Healthy Lifestyle, Life, Women

My Dorky Island Life

My Dorky Island Life

Thirty years ago, on our honeymoon, two teenagers (my husband and I) came down to the Texas coast and had a dream of one day living on this beautiful island.  Fast forward to today, and we’ve been living that dream off and on for 4 years now.  My husband (from here forward MSP or Mr. Sexy Pants) and I, along with roughly 15,000 other like-minded souls, have the absolute pleasure of waking up on, or near, the water every single day.  Winning!

I’ve made some wonderful new friends over the past year, and just realized that I need to update the “About Me” portion of my blog for those new to my world.

My blog is called “Housecat in Paradise” because

#1  I nap a lot just like my 4 beautiful kitties, and

#2  I live in Paradise

I’ve never been an overly “neighborly” neighbor.

Example one.

I’ve tried the giving of gifts to introduce myself with horrible results.  There I am, holding a plant for lack of a better idea, with my biggest hello smile on my face only to be met with wide eyes, a quick plant snatch out of my hands, and something mumbled as the door closed in my face.  I never even got her name.  Maybe I’m just not meant to be a welcome wagon.

Example two. 

I walk my beloved pooch Willie up and down the streets surrounding our home, and met the cutest older gentleman named Bob.  Bob and his dog are adorable so I approach and introduce myself.  Bob is so happy that we bought our house and is delighted to meet us.  I’m pumped.  I’m being neighborly.  Several times later, Willie and I are out walking around and I see Bob again so we wander over to say hi.   With excited eyes Bob is again so delighted to meet us and wonders if we just bought our house.  I don’t have the heart to tell Bob that this is the 4th time that we’ve met. 

Another delight of the island is riding my bike.  Boy, I haven’t ridden a bike since I was an unlicensed teenager and I don’t remember it being such a workout.  I remember riding for hours, every day, and the pure joy of it.  Now I’m using Map My Ride so I can not only find my way back home, but to also just make it a little longer of a ride than last time.  Progress is key!

Last December I was feeling the spirit of the season and decided to just share my joy by taking the “Great Banana” out for a spin.  My first bike in over 30 years!  MSP wants me to wear a helmet, but I won’t tell if you don’t. 

The kicker was I wore a Santa hat, my “Don’t Stop Believing” t-shirt and had a huge Bluetooth speaker in my cute little basket blaring Christmas music as I went.  Sunny and 70 degrees, I caroled my way through the streets surrounding my house, and made a few people smile.  Mission completed.  Later on Facebook I posted my route and how much fun I had and was pleasantly surprised by comments of those who said I had made their day when they heard me and wondered where that music was coming from.  Yearly tradition created!

Girl Time

Around 5 months ago I decided that I needed some girl time.  One cannot live on dog walks, and bike rides alone so I researched island activities and joined a personal training studio PLUS a Womens Empowerment group.  2021 is my year y’all!

LifeFit Personal Training Studio was my first attempt at putting myself out there.  Not only am I determined to make 49 years old look like 29 years old, but I’ve also met some of the most amazing women ever within those walls.  Tasha, the owner, Nicole, and Amanda have already transformed my body, mind, and mentality in just 5 short months.  The other ladies I work out with are real life inspirations to me, and I’m so happy to have met them all.  I wear funny t-shirts like “Shut up legs, you’re fine”, and “Suck it up Buttercup” to help me laugh through the squats.

Next, I was accepted into Padre Islands Women’s Empowerment Group by the amazing Jolynn.  JoLynn started this awesome group almost 3 years ago, and it has an astounding 818 members.  Every month roughly 30 of us meet to “empower” each other and/or discuss how we can make the world/our island a better place.  Let me tell you something.  You want to talk about empowerment?  These women are incredible.   Mothers, teachers, nurses, professionals in their fields, retired, big-hearted, and powerful each in their own way.  How much fun to spend time with all of them.  My heart is full.

Everyday I have an adventure on this beautiful island whether it’s right off of my back deck jumping into the boat with MSP, or out and about discovering new things.  One thing for certain is that I will continue to try to be a great neighbor, always have coffee if you want to stop by, and you may or may not see me out on the “Great Banana” singing a song, or walking Willie introducing myself to Bob.  Again.


Dream Body, Dream Trips, Empty Nesting, Healthy Lifestyle, Travel, World Ventures

I found myself in the jungles of Costa Rica

I dream of traveling.  So many of us do, I know.  I have a bucket list of places to visit that is so long I fear that I will never get to the end of it.  Well, I started checking places off of my bucket list last week, and thanks to what I learned while I was gone, I’m now very sure I will get to the end of my list with no problems.



My husband and I spent 6 days, and 5 nights in Costa Rica at the amazing Amatierra Retreat and Wellness Center where we started each day with the sounds and views of the Costa Rican jungle as we participated in our very first yoga classes.

After yoga we ate breakfast overlooking the hills and jungle, watched iguanas run around, and listened to and watched the most amazing colorful birds fly all around us.

Each day was a new adventure both at the resort, and off site.  At the resort we had daily massage’s, nutritional consultations, and beautiful hiking around the resort.  Off site we took beautiful excursions, traveling on skinny mountain roads, one lane bridges, and winding roads with scenery that just took our breath away.

We went to the top of an active volcano.


We went to an animal sanctuary surrounded by 5 different waterfalls.

We hiked deep into the jungle and had our own private waterfall to climb up, jump off, and swim around in.  The water was perfectly cold, and so pure you could drink it.


And all the while we ate delicious organic foods prepared for us from plants and animals mostly grown, or raised on site.

Topping it all off we met a group of fellow travelers whom we have now formed great friendships with as we were all there in the same travel club.

The new friends we made were the perfect present on top of being on our first Dream Body Dream Trip.  Now that we know how easy it is to be a part of our inexpensive travel club, and experience these Dream Trips at locations all around the world our bucket list is going to be completed before we know it.

We are thinking about Greece in October now…….  I can’t wait.

Healthy Lifestyle

Okay, the numbers are in and I have a goal. Again.

Okay, the numbers are in and I have a goal.  Again.

I have been on a double goal journey for the past 5 years.  I started out at age 39, in 2011, weighing in at 180 pounds with a 29.7% body mass index (BMI).  I had gained 40 pounds over the course of the previous 5 years eating my way through the grief of losing my mother in 2006.  This prompted me to join the gym post haste.  My doctor had said I was .03% away from being considered obese by his charts and graphs.  I didn’t look, or feel obese.  At least what I thought was obese but hey, if the doctor says it…….


My #1 goal, of course, was to lose the weight, and get to my doctors recommended body weight for my height.  132.5 pounds for a 5′ 6 1/2″ height as a woman.  That meant losing 47.5 pounds!

Over the course of one year I did it.  I hit my goal in September of 2012.  I remember the exact day, and where I was.  On vacation in Jackson Hole Wyoming with my dear friend Cathy.  I did it by reducing what I ate, and drinking lots of water.  Oh, and add in going to the gym 3 times per week with my husband, cardio- cardio-cardio, and interval walking/running through my neighborhood on the days we didn’t go to the gym.  Cardio 5 days a week, every week, rain or shine.

7 Simple Tips To Lose Weight (2)

I also remember getting home from vacation and looking in the mirror realizing that I looked ridiculous.  I looked like a walking skeleton.  I had gone from a size 14 to a size 2, my doctor was happy, but I was not.  I lost ALL of the boobs that I had, and that lead me to wear sports bras 24 hours a day so I didn’t have to look at what was left……  I was boney, and did not feel attractive at all.  I started hinting around to my husband that breast implants were really very affordable……

Why the heck can’t I just be happy?

Then one day I found a meme that changed everything for me.  It perfectly described WHY I was feeling unhappy, and unattractive even though I was the elusive and highly sought after perfect weight…..”132.5″ pounds…


I did not like the way I looked because I was skinny, but NOT fit.  In order to be fit I needed to add in muscle.  Muscle would fill out my body making it look even better.

Enter goal #2.  Build muscle.

I told myself not to freak out because my body weight was going to go up (muscle weighs 5 times more than fat).  I had lived so long weighing myself everyday and obsessing over that one number…. this was going to be hard.  I just needed to change my mindset.

Then I blew my knee out during a Zumba class.  Enter one knee surgery, and being told that it is highly recommended that I do NOT run again, do squats, do lunges….. NO…. That was half of my stay skinny strategy.  I was about to enter my first 5K…..

Fast forward to 2016.

Hello 160 pounds.  Yup, 27.5 pounds up from my goal weight in 2006.  BUT, it’s different now.  I still do cardio, just on an elliptical now.  My thrice weekly workout sessions now consist of 75% weight lifting, and 25% cardio.  Big difference from 100% cardio.

I now have muscles, and boobs, and another goal.

At 160 pounds, and 19.5% body fat, according to,  I am on the “Lean (Low)” side of my body fat percentage.


At 44 years old the American Council on Exercise tells me that I am in their “Athletes” category.  BUT I still cannot really see the muscles I work so hard for…..


So, the goal is to go from 19.5% body fat to 14%.  That 8.8 pounds of body fat.  At least by my math…

Goal day is June 29th, 2016.  8 weeks from today, and 8.8 pounds of body fat to go….

I’ll let you know what happens…