Is it really almost February?

Holy cannoli! January is almost over and I haven’t wished all of you a Happy New Year yet. So here it goes and my apologies if you’re tired of hearing it: Happy New Year!

Whew! That’s done. I don’t have to feel like a schmuck anymore. Now I can move onto other things. Many of you know that last year was a stressful year for me. I have my fingers crossed that this year won’t be so challenging.

This year will be about dealing with everything that happened last year. For one thing, I need to fix some of the damage all the stress did. You see, when stressed, I eat. A lot.

I started off 2015 weighing the most I’ve ever weighed. I’m not overly concerned about the extra pounds, but I am angry with myself for not keeping up with exercising. In 2013 I trained for my Mount Kinabalu adventure. Since then, I slipped back into my lazy mode.

Well that’s over. My goal for 2015 is to get healthy and to stay healthy. On January 2 I started a juice cleansing diet to reboot my system.

A snapped a photo after one of our shopping excursions for the cleanse.


I did this for eleven days and I have to admit that afterwards I felt much more energized. During the juice diet I was exhausted, but I expected that.

I'm fairly certain Mark Twain would be disappointed I used his pint glass for juice.

I’m fairly certain Mark Twain would be disappointed I used his pint glass for juice.

Since completing the challenge, I’ve noticed some positives. I don’t crave junk food. Lately my snacks have been fruit of veg. I was able to kick my tea addiction. Before I was drinking seven to eight cups of black tea a day. That’s a lot of caffeine and sugar that I didn’t need. Now instead of drinking black tea I’m having herbal tea. I’m allowing myself one cup of black tea with sugar on Saturdays and Sundays since The Better Half and I enjoy having a cuppa together. I still want to enjoy the good aspects of life, just be more sensible.

And I did drop some pounds. Now the goal is to maintain my weight through healthy eating and regular exercise. This past year has been a challenge fitting in exercise. Before, Miles loved going for long walks. Now that he’s older (yikes he’s almost 13!), he still likes being outside for the same amount of time, but we cover a much shorter distance. He really likes to sit by trees now and I find it relaxing. I need to figure out how to give Miles enough outdoor time and still fit in my daily walk. This will be difficult, but I like a challenge. Once the daylight sticks around longer, this will hopefully get easier.

As for this blog, I do have some goals this year. I didn’t read nearly as many books as I wanted to from my 1001 list in 2014. I hope to complete at least 20 before the year is out.

Setting a goal for travel isn’t easy since there are too many variables that can change quickly. Time and money are the biggest issues. But, I do want to travel when I can, no matter where. We are planning a trip to Edinburgh this March and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve been in England since 2011 and I still haven’t ventured to Scotland. Shame on me.

Hopefully I’ll have more time to blog this year. I’ve missed staying in touch with all of you.

Before I go, here are the remaining photos of the Paddington Bears I snapped last year. I didn’t manage to track down all 50 of them, but I managed to see more than half. Have a great week everyone!

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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50 Responses to Is it really almost February?

  1. vinnieh says:

    A happy new year to you as well, all the best for 2015.

  2. We both have healthy goals for 2015 – that’s awesome!! Now, I have a very important question. May I please come to Edinburgh with you? I want to go back sooooooo badly!!!

  3. I wish you well with your health goals 🙂 and am looking forward to your book and travel posts. I want a Paddington statue here. Happy New Year!

  4. A Happy and Healthy 2015 to you and TBH – you’re going to love Edinburgh, it’s such a beautiful city!

  5. nrlymrtl says:

    Love the juiced pint glass! And, just to educate the ignorant, what is up with the Paddington Bears?

  6. Happy New Year to you too! I need some of your resolution!

  7. Geoff W says:

    Only thing I can think for Miles would be to do a route for you that the midway point or the end point swings back by the flat and you take him for the end (or the other way around :-D). Happy New Year!

    • TBM says:

      That would be a great plan if Miles would stick with a route. In his old age he meanders and I never know how far or where we’re going. I think he’s getting a bit confused, but is still adamant that he knows where he’s going. And it doesn’t help he’s more stubborn than I am. On the plus side, I’ve been discovering new streets with new pubs.

  8. Lucid Gypsy says:

    Happy 2015, take it easy and add Devon to your list!

  9. Happy New Year right back at you. A year ago I was feeling like quite a lardass, too. That’s when I started riding a spin bike four times a week for 40 minutes, began practicing portion control (it’s quite a concept) and started eating primarily organic. I try to avoid bread and processed food whenever possible, but when I order a burger with Milton, I do eat it on a bun. I just eat far less burgers. I’ve dropped 17 pounds, but what’s of greater importance, I’ve managed to keep off the weight. A juice cleanse is not an option for me due to dietary issues, as well as knowing that I’d miss eating solid food, but if this works for you over the long haul, I think that’s great.

    • TBM says:

      The whole juice experience helped me with the wonderful concept of portion control. I’m not as hungry now when I eat and I eat much slower which helps. You have to have a bun with a burger! I want to stay healthy, but still enjoy life. I am finding I enjoy eating more veggies than I thought.

      17 pounds is wonderful. Good for you! Do you watch shows or listen to books while on the spin bike?

    • The Guat says:

      Portion control is definitely an abstract concept 🙂

  10. ‘Twas good to see a new post from you. 🙂 Sorry about the stressful year, but it sounds like you’re taking charge and making positive changes.
    I wish I had bought a dog stroller for Rocky two years ago. I thought they were kind of silly, but I could have taken him with us on our long walks. Not sure if they even have dog strollers over there? They can be expensive, so buy a used one if possible.

    • TBM says:

      The other day, while walking by Kensington Palace I saw a woman with about five dogs and she had one in a shopping cart that she must have nicked. She had a bed and blankets for her dog and he was having a grand time. I have seen some dog strollers. I wonder what Miles would think. He loves to be carries, but he gets so heavy pretty quick.

  11. Darlene says:

    Wishing you a very Happy New Year in fact I wish you a Happy All Year!! Here´s to much less stress. We moved to Spain in November and I have been very stressed. So much to learn and a few things didn´t go as planned. I am hoping to eat better and do more exercise as well. Your goals are great. Love the Paddington’s!! XO

  12. aFrankAngle says:

    Happy New Year to you! … you seem goal oriented, so go get ’em! Love the collection of Paddington Bears. Cheers to Miles!

  13. Colline says:

    Doing is cleanse is something which I ought to do as well. Need to wait when i can do it when i am home though because, as you say, one does tend to feel a little tired.
    I enjoyed looking at the rest of the Paddington bears. They are such fun.

    • TBM says:

      Yes, you need to have some down time for the cleanse since it does wipe you out. And the first few days, I had a terrible headache since I wasn’t drinking tea. I had started to wean myself off the tea, but didn’t do enough.

  14. theonlysup says:

    Happy new year and I enjoyed our travel blogs

  15. niasunset says:

    I am crazy with Paddington Bear 🙂 I should have been in London in these days… I watched the film and I can watch again 🙂 Thank you dear, Happy New Year! Love, nia

  16. poppytump says:

    Sounds you’re getting to grips with lots of stuff TBM . Well done you … once the decision is made and the body is feeling the good effects it makes it worthwhile . Pfft Lol I need to get out on some more power walks myself , that’s a fit making routine for me plus it clears my head of junk and then promptly fills it with some better ideas …

  17. Rorybore says:

    Oh they are so cute. I saw the movie ad the other day and pretty sure it is something I will end up seeing with my daughters.
    Last year was just an “off” year for me too. I am starting 2015 hoping to stick with all my fitness, health and reading/writing goals too. I don’t know what it was about 2014 that made me want to be such a lazy smuck. It might have something to do with it being the first year all the kids were finally in school, and I had the house to myself mostly during the day. I think I was basically just exhausted! LOL
    Maybe I should try that juice cleanse too to get me revved up!

  18. pattisj says:

    Happy New Year! I know exactly what you mean, being this far into January already. I have so many projects to tackle, but I don’t seem to be making any progress. I am, but it is slow, and not all that visible, yet. And I hope to read more books this year, too. Poor Miles. Getting older stinks, but it beats the alternative! I love the Paddington bears! Norfolk has mermaids, and Va. Beach has dolphins, but they aren’t as popular as they once were.

  19. I so want to see the Paddington Bear movie! Nice to hear from you!

  20. The Guat says:

    Duuuuuuuuuuude Happy New Year indeed! Love the Paddington shots, especially the Bearodiversity and the explorer. Those are great art. And I’m so glad to hear from you again, although I completely understand your MIA scenario. I truly hope it is less stressful for you this year. Glad you were able to get your health back on track with all those greens in your picture, very healthy chic. And yes I agree with you dogs get slower with age, my poor Pinta got slower at the end and it did make it difficult to run with her so I would take her for her walks and do some stretching while she was hanging on the grass, then go out right after for my run/walk. But stick with it! If you can’t walk, dance your ass off at home, Miles can watch. And as for books…you’ve got to add Unbroken to your list! GREAT BOOK! Definitely in my top five of all time, even wrote a post about it. Woooo! That was a long chat. Have a good one.

  21. Happy New Year! I love the Paddington Bears. A few years ago, NYC had a similar art project with cows. Giant cows painted with different themes. It was a lot of fun to stumble upon them around town.

  22. Congratulations on starting the New Year on a healthier note! Hope you have many wonderful days enjoying the outdoors this year.

  23. Happy new year! (Very belatedly on my part, LOL.) Good luck with everything in 2015! I didn’t read as much as I’d hoped in 2014, either. It’s hard to find the time and motivation for that, sometimes!

    Also, really loving those Paddington Bear photos! The designs they did for them are so cute and creative…

  24. Jo Bryant says:

    Well done you on getting healthy. You will have to fill me in a bit more. My energy levels are terrible at the moment and I need something to kick start me.

  25. Congrats on your health plan. It’s so easy to fall off the wagon, I know, I’ve been there a few times.
    Not sure I could go through with a juice diet, I get really cranky when I’m hungry.
    Exercise works best, and portion control, like you said.
    I’d like to visit Scotland one day, too. Until then I’ll wait for your pics. 🙂

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