• Uncategorized,  Weight Loss

    May 11, 2019 Weigh In

    Ah, the best laid plans! I had what I consider a good week, but haven’t seen the results I’d like. I didn’t binge or really even over-eat, but sadly, made very little progress. I’ve lost 5 ounces.  I’m eating my regular large Egg Beaters breakfast, a Reduced Guilt Chinese chicken salad from Trader Joe’s for lunch and a Lean Cuisine for dinner. I like these things, so the food choices haven’t been painful. I find that a packaged meal is easy for me and helps me with portion control. I have been snacking on some pork rinds in the afternoon, drinking 2 glasses of Rose’ and eating 1 or 2…

  • Uncategorized,  Weight Loss

    Getting Started(Again)

    One of my goals for Sweet Orange Cottage is to use this space to explore issues I have about my weight. I think it’s unpopular these days to focus on weight loss as a specific goal. We should be working to love our bodies as they are. Intuitive eating, body acceptance and fat pride are things I strive for, but I’m just not there. I haven’t been able to let go of my life long hope(goal? wish?) to be thinner. I love seeing large women out and about doing all the things I felt I never could: wearing bikinis, showing skin, playing sports, eating what they like and just in…

  • About Me,  Uncategorized

    About Me

    Welcome to the Sweet Orange Cottage, my blog about life in a 1950’s California bungalow. I love thrifty style, all things sewing, some knitting, Disney-bounding, any excuse to dress up, a bit of gardening, serious holiday decorating, vintage fashion, slow, easy travel and everything kitsch. I struggle with “weighty” issues and strive for body acceptance but rarely achieve it. I’m an emerging feminist trying to understand what it means to be a woman in her fifties. I’m ready to create the life I’ve always imagined was possible. Won’t you come along for the journey?

  • Meditation Mount Ojai
    Santa Barbara,  Travel,  Uncategorized

    Tasty, Tranquil and Fun Things to do in Ojai, California

    One of our favorite day trips from Santa Barbara is a quick visit to Ojai, California. There is literally something for everyone here. We find the town to be a bit “hipster” and that just seems to add to the enjoyment. We love green smoothies, yoga, renting beach cruisers and quirky used bookstores! With plenty of things to ride on(bikes, trolleys, horses) and many large, open parks, kids are bound to have a good time. By visiting the nearby farms you can stock up on a great variety of produce and enjoy the stunning mountain views. This peaceful little town is a wonderful getaway location all year long. Let’s take…

  • New York City,  Reviews,  Uncategorized

    Titanic, Tile & Sharing Baths. The Jane Hotel, NYC.

    I’d like to say I put hours of thought and research into my New york City hotel choice, but the truth is The Jane Hotel was included in the package deal I booked through Expedia. For just $988 I had 5 nights stay and airfare, so this stay definitely fell into the bargain category. I’m pretty picky when It comes to hotels. I love a comfy bed and cleanliness is pretty vital. Ideally located in the West Village on the Hudson River, this historic hotel elicits strong reactions both negative and positive. The Jane averages 2.5 stars on most reviewing sites and swings wildly between 5 star, loved it and…

  • New York City Cafe
    Budget,  New York City,  Uncategorized

    My New York City Trip Budget

    I’d heard New York City is one of the most expensive places in the world to visit for years, and to be honest that kept me from seriously considering a trip there until I started blogging about travel. As a point of reference it felt important to check it off. I felt pulled to see the 9/11 museum, which I’ll share about in the future and I needed that “New York” experience to put other cities into perspective. When an Expedia deal showed up in my inbox, I decided to just grab on and go for it. I traveled to Manhattan by myself for 5 days. How expensive was it?…

  • Central Park Skyline
    New York City

    On Photo Safari in Central Park

    One of the things I looked forward to most on my trip to New York City was spending long, unhurried hours in Central Park. I’ll always remember sitting in Hyde Park in the early ‘80’s people watching and enjoying the large, verdant open space in the center of bustling London. I imagined myself sitting in Central Park re-creating that lovely experience. On the other hand, I also wanted to improve my travel blogging skills. At the top of the list is photography. It’s an area where I definitely struggle. Often I lack the patience to wait for the right shot or for people to disperse and I usually only grab…

  • Sumo fun
    Japan,  Uncategorized

    How to See Sumo Wrestling in Tokyo

    I admit that the idea of seeing a sumo wrestling match in Tokyo was not on the top of my to do list. It took me quite some time to come around but boy am I glad I did. The pomp, the ceremony, the heft! Like so many other things in life, the more you know about it the more likely you are to you enjoy it. We lucked into this fun experience and I’m happy to share some of our tips and hints to get the most out of this Adventure. Tickets and Timing There are six sumo tournaments in Japan throughout the year. Tokyo hosts them in January,…

  • Asia,  Japan,  Uncategorized

    How to Jump on the Shinkansen with the Japan Rail Pass

    We read from nearly every source we checked that purchasing a Japan Rail Pass is the way to travel through Japan. This advice turned out to be some of the best we received. The savings were considerable compared to the cost for individual train tickets and it was a relief knowing that even if we screwed up and took the wrong train or missed a connection we would not be charged extra. Japan guide.com and JR pass.com provide great information about nearly every question you could have. These are our experiences with the pass. Purchasing the Pass JR passes must be purchased in advance from your country of origin. They…

  • Snow Monkey and Baby
    Japan,  Uncategorized

    Visiting Snow Monkeys at Yudanaka, Japan

    One of the highlights of our trip to Japan was a visit to the snow monkey park in Yudanaka. We absolutely loved getting up close and personal with these darling little monkeys. That’s not to say that we didn’t make mistakes in planning this portion of the trip. If we were to do it again we would definitely make some changes. The monkeys, however, are not to be missed and we lucked out on a few details that I’ll share. Getting There We made a large loop around central Japan. From Takayama we headed north, past Nagano, to Yudanaka where the snow monkey park is located. Our first mistake was…