Friday, August 31, 2012

August Foodie Penpal Reveal

The Lean Green Bean

This was my first month participating in the Foodie Penpals. I had a lot of fun creating my box to send out. I sent to Vikki who doesn't have a blog and told me to go ahead and write about what I sent her as she wouldn't have the time to write a guest post... Here is what I sent (from left to right):

  1. Rockome Gardens Peanut Butter Spread - Homemade Amish Peanut Butter
  2. Rockome Gardens Apple Butter - Homemade Amish Apple Butter
  3. Hodgson Mill Brownie Mix - Made with Whole Wheat Flour and Milled Flax Seed
  4. Oakland Noodle Company Egg Noodles
  5. Good Sense Soynuts
All of the items I sent were locally made. I live in East Central Illinois and these items were all made in towns within 50 miles of where I live... except the soynuts, but I sent them because a town within 50 miles of me has a huge soybean processing plant. I tried to take her on a tour of my area. :) I was going to send her some Lender's Bagels as I live in the "Bagel Capital of the World", but all of the bagels in this area are ones that must be refrigerated so I couldn't send them. I also sent her a print out of TripAdvisor's Wackiest Summer Events. My town made the list at number 10.

Here was her response upon receiving the box:
Hi Crystal -

Just got back into town & LOVE the package!  I'm from Illinois, so I really got a kick out of everything & the TripAdvisor print out.  And I grew up on Lender's bagels, so that was a nostalgic reference (even if they couldn't make it in the box). 

I plan to take a pic & post to my FB & show my friends...thanks again! 

I was super happy to learn that she loved her box of goodies. I was a bit nervous sending out my first box of foods. :)

I received my package from Amanda over at Healthy Recipe Girl. When I unpacked my package, I realized that I opened the box upside down. Whoops! I couldn't take a picture of the box before I took out the contents, but here is what I received:

Close up of food items:
Amanda sent me:
  1. Hodgson Mill Xanthan Gum (Gluten Free) - She says: "You add a small amount to smoothies to make them thicker." - Unfortunately, I haven't tried this yet. Once I do make a smoothie, I will let you all know how I liked it.
  2. Nature's Path Organic Love Crunch Apple Crumble - This is an organic granola. I loved this stuff! I would just pour a serving out and eat it by itself... or it's amazing stirred into some vanilla nonfat yogurt. Yum! I'm going to be so sad when I run out of it... For sure!
  3. Kind Plus Bar Almond Walnut Macadamia - I had never had a Kind bar before and I have to say that I loved this!!! It was really tasty and I would definitely buy it on my own. I loved how you could really taste the macadamia nuts... those are one of my favorites!
  4. She also sent three of her favorite recipes for me to try. I can now make baked egg in avocado, chocolate almond butter overnight oats, and pumpkin protein pancakes. I didn't get around to making any of these as of yet, but I definitely can't wait to try them all!
All in all, my first Foodie Penpals experience was a great one. I can't wait to do it all over again with new people!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

I am a slacker!!! + Exciting news!!!

I am not even joking. I signed up for the YMCA on August 1st. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been there since I joined. I'm ridiculous. Ugh. I know I need to go... I want to go. I just don't go. Follow the logic. I don't think it exists. Any case... Starting next month, I'm going to make lists of 10 goals I'd like to follow for that month and I'm going to stick to those goals.

So far my goals for September are:

Diet/Fitness Related:
- Stay below my max calorie range for 90% of the month (this means I can have 3 cheat days during September).
- COMPLETE Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred.
- Attend the YMCA and do at least three 30+ minute cardio (treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bike) exercises each week.
- Blog daily. No matter how mindless the rambles. Make sure a daily food and exercise log is added to the entries.

Non-Diet/Fitness Related:
- Work on my writing for at least five hours a week.
- Work on my SPN website for at least two hours a week.

Hopefully adding these goals will help me with my weight loss... I've got six so far... only four more to come up with in the next week. :)

Okay, so towards the end of last year, I my great aunt had brought up how she wanted my boyfriend and me to buy her house. Her house is a lot nicer than ours. Our current house probably appraises for around $20,000 while hers appraises for around $75,000. Honestly, I don't think her house has much more in the way of square footage. Ours is around 800-900 and hers is probably around 900-1000. Ours is one level with one bedroom. Hers has two bedrooms on the main level (neither of which are as big as our current bedroom) along with the kitchen (which is a little smaller than ours) and a living room (which is also a little smaller than ours)... the bathroom is on the main level too and has just been remodeled within the last couple of years. There is also a bedroom upstairs, but that is all that is upstairs. The house also has a basement. The house has an unattached one car garage and a pretty big backyard. My aunt just had a new furnace installed which was also set up for central air to be easily installed (right now it doesn't have central air)...

We didn't delve any further into it at the time because while I've been working on my credit score and it's getting pretty good, I don't make enough money to qualify for a mortgage. My boyfriend makes plenty of money, but he doesn't have good credit so he doesn't qualify for a mortgage.

Yesterday at lunch, my boyfriend brought up a house by his friend's that has a sign up front that says for sale by contract. Boyfriend said he was interested in looking into it. I searched it some today and asked my coworker some questions (he sold a house by contract and took a realty class in order to know the facts) and both led me to the same conclusion... you shouldn't really buy a house on contract unless you trust the people you're buying from.

So, I thought about it and decided to ask my aunt... First I asked her if she was still wanting to sell. She said yes, but not until next year. I said perfect and then asked if she would consider selling to us on contract. She said she would as her brother (my great uncle) has sold a lot of his houses by contract. I told her I was unsure of how it worked so I would look into it. Pretty much buyer, seller, and a lawyer have to sit down and come up with the selling terms... Like: how much for the house? at what interest rate? how many months do you want the contract to be? who is in charge of maintenance? who is in charge of property taxes? etc... Once the contract is signed by both parties, it needs to be filed at the courthouse and then you're good to go. Woot!

Boyfriend said he could put down about 1/3rd of the cost up front. Then he wants to rent the house we're currently living in. He could easily get $425-475 per month for it. So, he would immediately put that towards the contract on the new house... plus some more. :)

This is the house we may be buying in June of next year (circled in red if you couldn't figure it out):

WOOHOO! I'm super excited about this venture. I hope everything works out!

In my Liebster Award entry, I mentioned an idea for a novel that came to me. If my novel ever gets published (self or otherwise), those that help with this survey will be mentioned in the acknowledgements of the book. Basically, my idea is about a road trip. I don't want to give any more details for now... I haven't traveled a whole lot, so it would be kind of hard for me to write about going on a road trip when I've never really been anywhere. You don't have to be within the continental US to fill it out either... my idea would work for needing a plane to travel as well. I just don't think I can do it without help so if you'd be willing to help, please click the link below and fill out the survey. I can't embed it because it messes up the entry once posted... I know I'm going in a billion directions when it comes to my writing, but I also know that I wouldn't be the first (wannabe) author to have more than one unfinished novel at one time. So, please help me out and spread the word!
Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"Help Me Write a Novel" Survey

In my Liebster Award entry, I mentioned an idea for a novel that came to me the other night. If my novel ever gets published (self or otherwise), those that help with this survey will be mentioned in the acknowledgements of the book. Basically, my idea is about a road trip. I don't want to give any more details for now... I haven't traveled a whole lot, so it would be kind of hard for me to write about going on a road trip when I've never really been anywhere. You don't have to be within the continental US to fill it out either... my idea would work for needing a plane to travel as well. I just don't think I can do it without help so if you'd be willing to help, please click the link below and fill out the survey. I can't embed it because it messes up the entry once posted... I know I'm going in a billion directions when it comes to my writing, but I also know that I wouldn't be the first (wannabe) author to have more than one unfinished novel at one time. So, please help me out and spread the word!

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Liebster Award

My friend Angie over at Dropping the Plus has tagged me as "Liebster Award" recipient.

To learn a little bit about this "Liebster Award", I've added this information from Ang's post (in italics): She (Ang's friend Kay) explained that the Liebster Award is given to upcoming bloggers who have less than 200 followers. The meaning for Liebster is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing and welcome. Now I'm going to say... I did a wee bit of research for the "Liebster Award" and found that it has morphed a bit since it's origin. The only "requirement" of accepting the award used to be linking back to the person who awarded you and then tagging a handful of other bloggers to receive the award. Kay gave me a few other rules that seem like fun so I'll go ahead and play along with the version she sent me, since I need an ice-breaking post to jump back into this whole blogging game after my long absence! Here are the rules as I received them from Kay:

Rules for receiving this award:

  1. Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
  2. Then answer the questions the tagger sent for them, plus create 11 questions for the people they've tagged to answer.
  3. Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
  4. Notify the people you have tagged.
  5. No tag backs.
Eleven things about me:
  1. When I was in high school, I had a social anxiety disorder. I still have it, but not to the extent that I used to... I can now (mostly) eat in public which I couldn't do then. I am also better in large groups of people than I used to be.
  2. I'm the type of person that only has a few close friends at a time. I always have friends, but my list of friends that I hang out with or consider myself "close" to always remains to two or three people. They're not always the same people (my list has changed over the years), but it's never more than three people.
  3. I am a middle child. I was originally the youngest, but then my parents adopted my sister (biologically my cousin) and I became the middle child.
  4. I have never done any kind of drug even though I have had the opportunity. I have never even been drunk even though I am almost 28 years old.
  5. I love traveling and have an idea for a novel which involves a road trip. It would also involve a lot of participation from people who live places where I don't... I'll keep you informed. Haha.
  6. I currently have two novels in the works. One is about a girl who is a senior in high school. She's a bit of an outcast and doesn't have many friends... The second is about a mid-twenties teacher who finds out she may have cancer and her second chance of life after that news.
  7. My dad's side of the family is so large that I don't even know some of my first cousins well... and even the ones I do know, I'm not sure where they live. Matt's family is small but they aren't close. We never go visit his parents unless we have a reason to (holiday, his dad needs help with something, etc). I find both of these instances extremely odd because I'm close with my mom's side of the family and my immediate family.
  8. I've loved to read since I was a child. I've literally read thousands of books in my life and I watch too much TV. I literally watch at least 45 different shows (not at the same time... meaning not all during the fall, spring, summer, winter...). I think this has to do with my creativity because I like being pulled into stories.
  9. I have only been in a couple of sports in my life. When I was a kid, I was in swimming for a couple of years and soccer for one season. In high school, the only "sports" I was in are marching band and in the JROTC rifle team. I'm not a big sports person and I was never good in organized competitive sports. Haha.
  10. I love computers and have been a computer nerd since about 1997 or 1998 (middle school). My associate degree is in Administrative Information Systems which is a well-rounded computer business degree and I have a certificate in Web Design. I love designing websites.
  11. I have always been a cat person. Growing up, we had a Shih Tzu named Mike and a tabby cat named Butterscotch. I always liked Butterscotch better... when I moved in with Matt, he got a kitten named Lucky and I liked her just fine... then he got me a Boston Terrier puppy for my birthday a couple of years ago. I love Rusty! He's making me realize that maybe I'm a dog person too. :)

The questions Angie asked:
  1. If you had $1000 to spend on something "frivolous" how would you spend it? (No bill paying or responsible spending allowed!) Frivolous, eh??? Well, I would like to go on a cheap vacation. My friend and I went to Vegas on less than $1000 each. I could do it again! :)
  2. What's your favorite song playing on the radio these days? I don't listen to the radio often. I must confess that I usually listen to Pandora and have it on the 90's pop station. Haha. I do know that when I hear "Call Me Maybe" by Carly Rae Jepsen on the radio it gets stuck in my head for hours!
  3. If you had to watch back-to-back episodes of one t.v. show for 24 hours straight what show would you choose? Okay, I could watch just about ANY show for 24 hours straight. I just finished watching the entire Charmed series. So, if you told me to find any show and watch it for 24 hours, I'd probably just go to a new (to me) show on my list and go from there. I have everything from Wildfire to Saved by the Bell to The Dead Zone to Friday Night Lights... haha... I currently have 16 TV series on my Netflix instant queue.
  4. What was the favorite Halloween costume you wore as a child? Hmmm. I would have to go with the year I was a scarecrow. I got a lot of compliments on it. The one that I remember the most, however, is the year that we (my brother, sister, and I, went as dominoes and dice. I remember that I was a die, but I don't remember which my brother and sister were so I don't know if there were two dice and a domino or two dominoes and a die. Regardless, they were made out of cardboard and we couldn't sit down. Haha... Good times.
  5. Do you have any uncommon talents? Not that I know of. I'm pretty creative. I've got several ideas for novels that I think would be amazing, but I'm not that great at getting the story out to where it sounds coherent. I'm working on it. I would love to be an author some day.
  6. What's your favorite bit of decoration in your home? Well, it's honestly not even up yet... Recently we had family pictures taken. I bought this frame:
    a while ago and haven't yet hung it up yet. But once it's up and my family pictures are in it, it will definitely be my favorite decoration. I love the frame and the pictures are awesome. :)
  7. Did you watch any of the 2012 Olympics? If so, what was your favorite event? I sadly didn't watch any of the Olympics. I'm mad at myself because I didn't. I used to love watching the swimming and gymnastic events from the summer Olympics. I'm definitely going to have to watch the figure skating during the winter Olympics.
  8. What's your favorite quote? My favorite quote is actually lyrics from one of my favorite musicals - Rent - "There's only us. There's only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other way. No day but today.
  9. What's one unique thing about the place where you live? Um??? It's in the middle of a cornfield??? Haha. I honestly don't know. There isn't much exciting where I live. I guess that we're the "Bagel Capital of the World"... *shrugs* No idea.
  10. What's your morning routine like? It's the same every weekday... I get up somewhere between 6:40-6:50 am. I gather my clothes, hang them in the bathroom, get my towel, put the fan in the bathroom door (there's no circulation otherwise). Then I grab my phone, go to the bathroom, and get on Facebook while I'm using the bathroom. Then I shower, dress, brush my teeth, do my makeup, do my hair, and put on my shoes. I gather whatever food I need for the day, put clothes in my gym bag, and head to work. I sit outside of work for 5-10 minutes and then head inside. That would be my morning routine.
  11. Why do you blog? I blog to keep myself in check. Usually if I've gone a while without blogging daily, I'm not doing a good job diet and exercise wise. Blogging and the comments on my blogs also help keep me motivated to be good... I also like reading back through my blog entries to see what keeps me going.
The bloggers that I choose to nominate are:
  1. Jaime at Figuring it out: I've known Jaime for a while now. She's like the rest of us and struggles with her dieting and exercise, but she sticks with it more than anyone I know. She's always sweet and motivating.
  2. Rob at Endomondo Road: I've actually known Rob for about 12 years now (makes me feel old!) and we used to ride the school bus to high school together. He recently started his blog for running/biking. He wrote an entry that I found particularly motivating and he is just a nice guy altogether.
  3. Trina at Let's Just Build a House: I worked with Trina during my barista days at a local coffee shop. I always enjoyed working with her. She and her husband are building a house and I love reading about it. Trina is always nice and a pleasure to be around.
  4. Marcia at Minus One Hundred: I've been reading Marcia for a while now. I enjoy reading about her diet/exercise (or sometimes lack thereof). She's almost always funny and when she comments on my entries she's really sweet. :)
  5. Kristina at My Altered Perception: I haven't been reading Kristina long and actually found her through Jaime, but I enjoy reading about her adventures in running.
(I'm following Angie's lead and only nominating five people.)

My questions for them are:
  1. How and when did you get into blogging?
  2. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
  3. What is your favorite holiday and why?
  4. If you could meet anyone (dead or alive) who would it be?
  5. If you could witness any event in history (past, present, or future) what would it be?
  6. What is your one main goal in life?
  7. If you had $5000 to take a trip, what kind of trip would you take? Where would you go? Who would you go with?
  8. What is your favorite kind of sporting event to attend live?
  9. What is your favorite food?
  10. What is a food that you can't stand?
  11. If you were stranded on a desert island, what five items (not people) would you want to have with you?

Friday, August 17, 2012


I've come to the conclusion that my boyfriend has lost his marbles. I just asked him if I could go get groceries tomorrow. I have to ask because he buys, but I have to go pick them up so I need "permission" to use his debit card. Anyway, two Saturdays ago I went and got groceries and they were a little more expensive than usual, but we needed cleaning supplies which aren't cheap. He just told me he supposed I could go, but try to keep it at $100 for two weeks. ARE YOU KIDDING? He obviously doesn't know much groceries are or realize how much he eats. I told him that was fine if he wanted to live off of macaroni and cheese and ramen, but if he wanted me to cook, that wasn't going to work. I really, really don't want to live off processed foods. It's not like I spend a lot. I spend between $175-225 every two weeks. That's not just food. That's cleaning supplies, toiletries, kitchen goods, etc. That's just $7.15/person a day if you average it out from $200. That's not a lot, but he just doesn't seem to understand!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

50 Questions

I was trying to figure out a way to allow my readers to get to know me better. I write a lot about dieting and weight loss (or lack thereof), but never about me. I decided to search for something to help with this. I typed "getting to know you blog prompts" into Google. I found a site with "50 Questions to Get to Know Someone". Those questions are posted below and I have answered them honestly. Enjoy.

Favorites Questions:

  1. What was your favorite food when you were a child?
    As a kid, I always wanted my mom to make her homemade cheesy potato soup... I still love that soup as an adult, but don't get it as often. :)
  2. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?
    I don't have an iPod, but I do play a lot of music on my cell. I would have to say, the #1 most played song is As If by the Brian Buckley Band. Love that song!!!
  3. What is one of your favorite quotes?
    This comes as a lyric from one of my favorite musicals - Rent - "There's only us. There's only this. Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other way. No day but today."
  4. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?
    Swimming. I absolutely love swimming. Whether it be indoor or outdoor, I really don't care. When I was a kid (probably 12 or so), I was on the swim team at the YMCA for a couple of years. I was never amazing at it, but I was good and I was dedicated. I remember one time we did a fundraiser where we went around and asked people for pledges (i.e. 50¢ per lap swam or $1 per lap swam, etc). I was resilient and I ended up pulling in the most money for our fundraiser. They awarded me with a cool package of a beach towel, some sunscreen, and an official team parka with my name on it. Score!
  5. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?
    Above all, I hate doing dishes. This is disgusting, but I let them pile up until they start to stink, and then I wash them. My boyfriend and I both hate doing dishes, but if it were up to him, we'd just throw away all dirty dishes and never do them. This is why we live off of disposable dinnerware usually.
  6. What is your favorite form of exercise?
    This kind of goes along with #4, but swimming. I love that, for example, my dad can take me out on a boat ride and stop in 18 foot deep water. I jump off and float around (which requires a lot of treading water) and burn a crap ton of calories while having fun. Swimming rocks!
  7. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?
    My favorite time of day would have to be early evening. I enjoy getting off work and spending some time alone... unwinding, eating dinner, watching some TV. Love it! My favorite time of the week is usually the ending... because that means the weekend is near!!! Work-wise though, the end of my week is busier than the beginning... and month-wise, I like the beginnings of the month. I don't know why. Just do!
  8. What’s your least favorite mode of transportation?
    Hmmm... Least favorite? Probably walking. Haha. I know it's good exercise, but it seems like it takes forever to get anywhere. I'm too impatient.
  9. What is your favorite body part?
    On me??? Probably my upper back. No matter how chunky I get, I think I have a nice upper back and shoulders. Hence the reason why I got a tattoo on my shoulder blade... to show it off! :)
  10. What sound do you love?
    Rain. For sure. I love the way it sounds when there's a nice thunderstorm outside. I sleep so well... as long as it's not going to be severe... but thunderstorms are so relaxing! I also love my niece's laugh. She's 2.5 and her giggle is just so adorable!
If… Questions:
  1. If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?
    I'm going to have to say it would be a cookout and that it would be for my family and Matt's family. We never throw any kind of parties and I was just thinking that we should have a small get together for Matt's birthday next month. Doubtful that it happens, but one can hope!
  2. If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?
    The mountains. I love the mountains. My favorite vacation spot is in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Love it there! I love everything about the mountains!!!
  3. If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be?
    I'm kind of liking the age I am now. *shrugs* I guess I would say there would be a range of 27-32. I like that age range. I wouldn't want to be younger than I am... But I don't want to get old either. So, 27-32 it is! :)
  4. If you knew the world was ending in 2012, what would you do differently?
    I think I would do more. By that I mean, hang out with my friends more, visit with my family more, travel more, love more, read more, dance more, etc...
  5. If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your mentor?
    For health purposes, I would like to have Jillian Michaels or Bob Harper, but I would ideally like to be an author some day, so I guess a well-liked author... perhaps Jonathan Kellerman or Jodi Picoult or something.
  6. If you could witness any event past, present or future, what would it be?
    I'm honestly not sure. I've been stumped on this question for a while... Actually, this is pretty morbid, but I'd like to witness my funeral... whenever it may be. I want to know who comes and how it goes and all of that. Weird, I know.
  7. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
    I would love to learn how to dance. I can get the beat down in music, comes from being in band from fifth grade to senior year, but I'm not a good dancer.
  8. If you had to work on only one project for the next year, what would it be?
    My book... I am only one chapter done, but I'm thinking it's going to be good when it's done... at least I hope!
  9. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do?
    Immortal??? I guess I would do everything that I would be afraid to do because of the possibility of death... Skydiving. Para-sailing. Bungee jumping.  
  10. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
    Anna. I've always loved the name Anna.
  11. If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you meet?
    My paternal grandpa. He died seven months before my birth. My parents always tell me what a great guy he was and I'm sad that I never got to meet him.
  12. If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
    Pay off all of my debt.
  13. If you were reincarnated as an animal/drink/ice cream flavor, what would it be?
    A cat. Oh the life of a cat... eat, sleep, poop, play, repeat.
  14. If you could know the answer to any question, besides “What is the meaning of life?”, what would it be?
    Is there anything/anyone else out there??? (supernaturally speaking)
  15. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?
    Hermione Granger. Haha. May be lame, but I LOVE Harry Potter and I think Hermione is pretty awesome.
Personal Questions:
  1. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
    None... but when I was in high school, my instructor in JROTC (SSG Alsup) told me time and time again that I resembled Juliet Prowse. She was an actress back in the day (she passed away in the mid-90s). One of her first films was G.I. Blues with Elvis Presley.  
  2. What do you want to be when you grow up?
    An author. I would love to be able to get my ideas out on paper. I have, what I think, is a pretty steller book idea in my head and I can't seem to get it out. LOL I'm working on it though.
  3. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?
    Watching TV or surfing the internet usually.
  4. What would you name the autobiography of your life?
    This is the Story of a Girl
  5. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?
    Oooh. Toughy. I don't know that any song resembles my life, per se... Or that would be included in the soundtrack... Hmmmm...
Personal History Questions:
  1. Have you ever had something happen to you that you thought was bad but it turned out to be for the best?
    The first thing that comes to mind is when I was fired from one of my jobs. The store got a new manager and started firing everyone who was there before she got hired on because she wanted her own staff. I technically got fired for leaving out a mop bucket (which I didn't do). I ended up finding a better, and much more awesome, job as a barista at a coffee shop which lead me to where I am today.
  2. What was one of the best parties you’ve ever been to?
    Supernatural Chicago Convention's Karaoke. OMG! Such a blast. Up close and personal with actors. Singing and dancing. I was so hoarse afterwards. I cannot wait for ChiCon this October! I'll be ringing in my birthday during karaoke! Huzzah!
  3. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?
    I cried while watching The Glades last night. LOL I'm hormonal and proposals always make me cry!!!
  4. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
    Burying my friend Chuck or my cousin Mitchel... So sad.
  5. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
    Haha... I can't think of one experience, but I'd say working where I work has made me a stronger person. When I started here almost four years ago, I was a weakling. As a matter of fact, my boss didn't want to hire me (my mom works here) because he knew that I was a softie and he was afraid someone would hurt my feelings. Now they're all like, "Where is the sweet girl we hired?" I speak my mind, within reason, and don't let people walk all over me. :)
  6. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?
    Probably what got me in the most trouble was being lazy. My mom would leave a list of chores to do and I wouldn't do them. Haha. I still hate cleaning!
  7. When was the last time you had an amazing meal?
    The first thing that comes to mind is the homemade lasagna my parents' neighbor made for us. She is half-Mexican and half-Italian and it was deeeeeeeee-lish!
  8. What’s the best/worst gift you’ve ever given/received?
    The best gift would have to be Rusty (my Boston Terrier). My boyfriend gave him to me for my birthday three years ago. He's pretty spoiled, but I love my Turd! The worst gift I've ever been given is... well, this isn't really her fault, but when I was a teenager, my grandma didn't really know me well and she would get me like... Barbie dolls and stuff. Haha.
  9. What do you miss most about being a kid?
    Not having responsibilities or having to worry about money. Oh yeah... that would be nice. Haha.
  10. What is your first memory of being really excited?
    Oh... Haha... When my great aunt took me to see Randy Travis when I was four. I was in love with him. I told everyone that I was going to love him and kiss him and hug him every day. My aunt is so awesome she got us tickets to go see him. I got to take a rose up to the stage to give it to him, but I was so shy I wouldn't even look at him. He took it from me and tried to shake my hand, but I wouldn't let him. Haha. Good times.
  11. What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
    Well if you mean money that I earned by working a job, it would be my first car which was named Jake. :)
  12. When was the last time you were nervous?
    I'm actually nervous right now because I have to go back to the gym tonight... by myself. AHH! Nerves... I was stressed yesterday though while watching Breaking Bad. As lame as that may sound, I was getting so nervous for Walt, Jesse, and the other kid. Haha.
  13. What is something you learned in the last week?
    That thieves are rude and don't care about what they do to your stuff. I didn't get stolen from but my work did. Fricken thieves.
  14. What story does your family always tell about you?
    Ah, first one that comes to mind... When we were little, we used to watch this show called Mutt & Jeff. My mom liked to call my sister and me "Mutt & Jeff". So, we were getting ready to go somewhere and my mom had just finished doing my sister's hair. She said, "Hey Mutt, get over here, let's get ready to go." She says I put my hands on my hips real sassy-like and said, "I'm not Mutt mom, I'm Jeff!" Haha.
  15. At what age did you become an adult?
    I would say about 21. I know I legally became an adult at 18, but I think it took me til I was 21 to figure out what it meant to be an adult and to make strives towards supporting myself.
Random Questions:
  1. Is a picture worth a thousand words? Elaborate.
    Sure it is. I don't know how to elaborate on it. Haha. I suppose that any picture can tell a story. As a matter of fact, my sophomore year of high school, we had to take an ad from a magazine and use just the picture to write a story.
  2. Where’s Waldo?
    Somewhere in the crowd wearing a red and white striped shirt! (I used to love Where's Waldo? as a kid! I could always find him!!!)
  3. The best part of waking up is?
    Folgers in your cup??? Really, the fact that you woke up to begin with is the best thing!
  4. How now brown cow?
    I'm doing pretty good thanks. Haha.
  5. Whasssssuuuupppppp?
    I'm outta here. Hitting up the gym with one of my besties in about half an hour. Adios!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Battling Myself

I've been fighting with myself all day. I hate the feeling. I want to binge so badly. I just want to go buy a large Blizzard and scarf the whole thing without thinking of the consequences. I've been craving sweets all day. Probably because today is day one of trying to be good. My day has looked alright... Breakfast was a cinnamon raisin bagel with a wedge of Laughing Cow cream cheese. Morning snack was a s'mores granola bar. Lunch was a Lean Cuisine meal and 1/2 cup of applesauce. My afternoon snack was a strawberry banana yogurt. When I was home for lunch, I had a cherry popsicle. My dinner will be Turkey Sausage Spaghetti. I also logged one more popsicle.

I'm trying to get some sugar without ice cream. Ice cream is my downfall. I made myself buy popsicles instead of ice cream or ice cream sandwiches. I'm trying my damnedest to steer clear of the ice cream, but it feels like a losing battle.

I'm supposed to return to the gym tonight. As much as I hate to say it, it's not going to happen. I really do want to return. I'm excited at the prospect of getting in the habit of working out again. I have a pretty severe headache. I'm thinking it's caused by lack of sugar... I normally eat something amazingly sweet at least once a day. I honestly think I'm going through sugar withdrawal. Ugh.

Also, this is insanely gross, and I know that... Most dogs need their anal glands cleaned out every so often. I refuse to do this. Rusty ends up doing it on his own. We call it "butt juice". Disgusting... I know, I know. But anyway, last night he was sleeping with me. When I woke up, there was butt juice on the front of my cell. Cue gagging. Now I'm really grossed out and feel like I need to go home and clean my sheets. I feel... almost obsessive over the fact that I need to clean my sheets. So, I'm going to go home and clean my sheets.

Ugh. Why is this so hard??? (rhetorical question)

Friday, August 3, 2012

YMCA Orientation

As I wrote previously, I was a member of our YMCA before they renovated last year. They reopened after extensive renovations in November of last year. I don't remember when I was a member, but it was either early last year or the year before. Anyway, in the previous YMCA, I was totally petrified of the fitness center. It was small and always completely jammed full of super-skinny, health-nut-looking men and women. It scared me...

During my tour of the new facility last week, our guide took us though the fitness center. It was a lot roomier with more machines. They clientele of the center had also changed. There weren't only young, skinny, healthy people, but older people too... and younger people of all shapes and sizes. This helped ease my petrification, but I was still really intimidated.

Last night Jen and I had our orientation. This is where we got paired up with an orientation staff member who showed us around the fitness center. Our guide's name was Andy. He met us at the front counter and took us into the fitness center. First he showed us how to use the lockers. Then we went to treadmills. The Y has really nice equipment. We walked at like 2.0 while he showed us how to work the equipment. Then we went to recumbent bikes. Their recumbent bikes are amazing too. After that he showed us regular ellipticals which were nice too... then the cross trainer ellipticals (with the arms built in). After that he showed us what is called "the circuit" which is a bit like a Curves circuit. There are approximately 10 machines in the circuit that work all of the muscles in your body... He showed us how to properly use each machine.

Then he gave us free advice. Having orientation is free. Having a training session is not. He advised that, to obtain optimal results, we should each do cardio for at least 20-30 minutes 5-6 days a week and strength training for three days a week. He suggested 12-15 repetitions on the machines and two rounds of the circuits.

So, I think my schedule will look like this:

30 minutes elliptical trainer, strength training circuit (12-15 reps, 2 rounds)
60 minutes elliptical trainer
30 minutes elliptical trainer, strength training circuit (12-15 reps, 2 rounds)
60 minutes elliptical trainer
30 minutes elliptical trainer, strength training circuit (12-15 reps, 2 rounds)
45 minutes beginner cycling (spinning) class

If I need a rest day, other than Sunday, I'll take it, but I'm liking this plan right now. If I get into any classes, I'll take those instead of whatever planned each day, but since the spinning class is all that I wanted to do, really, and it's on Saturdays, I don't see a problem sticking with this plan.

Andy also said that a routine like this can help for long-term. The resistance on the strength training machines goes up so you can workout harder and do it for a really long time. He said he could see this plan working for 6 months or so. At that point, we could schedule a new orientation and learn the tougher machines.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Just What I Needed

I'm feeling a bit defeated by weight loss currently. I believe that it's mostly because of the fact that I haven't been exercising. I always feel more confident about weight loss when I'm exercising regularly... I was emailing with my cousin about how frustrating dieting makes me and when I logged onto Facebook, I saw this:

Jillian Michaels: Tip for the day: STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP. Give yourself a break will you. All masters started out as students. You can’t be amazing at something over night. It takes time and patience. The same goes for exercise. Don’t have unrealistic expectations from yourself like running 3 miles next week. Instead, take the time to learn the basics: Proper form for each exercise, build muscle memory, build up your endurance and cardiovascular strength. Remember, Rome was not built in a day and neither is a healthy body.

Amen, sister. This was just what I needed to hear see. This status of hers made me reevaluate everything and stop... well, beating myself up about weight loss... It also helped instill in me another round of fighting this obesity that I'm struggling with.

My boyfriend pays for our groceries, but I pick them up. I think that I'm going to look into sales at Aldi, our local grocery store, and Walmart and make a list of healthy things I need to get from each location. Usually I just shop at Walmart because it's quick and easy, but I feel like I could get more groceries for the money if I split it up some... also get healthier groceries... We need healthy groceries. I need to stop buying foods that cause triggers in me... foods that make me binge. Big bags of Malt-o-meal cereals are the worst... Maybe I'll just buy a box or two of healthy cereals and not sugary, binge-worthy ones. *shrugs* I've already started working on a list and I doubt I go get groceries until this weekend, but I want to be in the right frame of mind...

Oh, speaking of food. I signed up to do Foodie Penpals. It sounds like a blast. You have until the 4th of each month to sign up. Then on the 5th, you're given a person's name and email address. You email them and find out their likes, dislikes, allergies, etc when it comes to food. Then you send them a box of food. The spending limit is $15. The food box has to be mailed by the 15th of the month. Then the recipient has to write a blog entry about it. Sounds like a bunch of fun to me!!!