Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 is just a day away!

Let's talk about 2014. 

I'll be 26 this year. That feels weird. Mainly because I know I'm over halfway to being 30. And let's not discuss my lack of success with my 30 before 30 list yet. Hubs will be 27. 

Our 5yr wedding anniversary is this year. I'm not sure why, but half decades seem to be more important than other anniversaries. Our 7th year of dating is this year, too. 

We're going to walk in the Walk for Hope, hosted by RESOLVE. My cysters and their friends and family are going as well. The Walk for Hope raises awareness for infertility. It's pet-friendly, but I'd have to get Spike leash trained really soon.

What are my hopes for 2014?
- be a happier me
- run a 5k 
- lose some weight
- get the house organized
- have a garage sale
- enjoy my life

The biggest hurdle to overcome right now is my self-hatred. That's got to change. I'm going to be more focused on completing my Happify tasks, and actually attempt to follow through on old ideas. There is so much I could do if I really focused on it. That's what I need to do. And I will - because I'm tired of the way things are right now.




What are your resolutions? 

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Skipping Christmas and headed straight to New Year's

Holy crap, we're already at the end of this year? Where did the time go? Last year's resolution was to become a MILF. Or at least get my body prepared to start trying to get preggo with a donor in 2014. Yeah, that didn't happen. So I've made the next year's resolutions a little easier. I'm going to focus on becoming a happier me and organize/clean my house. Much less stressful than trying to put a numerical requirement or some awful restrictions on my life. I had hoped that we might be able to move out into a house this coming May, but I don't think that's going to happen, especially with the financial problems we've encountered this year. So I'm going to save that for 2015. It won't kill us to stay in the townhome for another year. In fact, it'll end up being the 2nd longest location that I've stayed in. It is kinda nice to not be moving every year or two. However, I might look into houses this year anyway, because I could get lucky. It can't hurt to look, right? And I can't get a second dog, which I want so badly, until we live in a different place, or get the house organized. I've got tons of projects strewn all over the house that I need to complete. I'll be glad when I get them done. I'll be glad to see my floor again, so I can cover it in glitter hahahaha

We're not doing anything special for Christmas. Actually, I didn't even get the stuff out of the closet this year. I've got a trunk full of new decorations that never got put up. I haven't wrapped any presents. I'm just going to give Hubs his gifts in the packages they were mailed in. I'm completely out of holiday cheer this year. But Hubs has been really sick this past week, including two trips to the doc and an x-ray. It's hard to be cheerful when you see your husband so sick. He lost 10 pounds between the doc on Sat and the doc this morning. He doesn't have 10 pounds to lose! He hasn't been able to eat or keep any liquid down. They had to give him a phenergan shot because he couldn't keep the pills down. I feel so bad, because I was the first one to get sick. He got it from me and it got much worse, really fast. I've been up and down with him every night since Friday. I can only hope that the new meds we got, which dissolve in the mouth, can help him. His throat is raw and quite painful. I've never seen him this sick, and it SUCKS. My checkbook doesn't like it either, but oh well. We'll survive, just like we always do.

What are you thinking about as a New Year's resolution?

Photo credit: http://www.squawkboxdesigns.com

Here's a holiday video that brought a smile to Hubs' face :)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Charities vs. Finances

I don't think I talk about my finances a lot - most of the time I keep it a secret so people won't ask me for money. But I need to complain about it this week.

Last Thursday, the night it started icing in Texas, I discovered that a post-dated charity donation I made to a local symphony was pulled out of my account 2 weeks early. I keep a very strict watch on my money, especially since I only get paid once a month. We were getting down to the end of my paycheck, and had already forgotten to pay the rent until the 3rd. That got me a late fee. Then I found out about the early pull of the donation. I was quite frustrated because I knew that the rent check would bounce if I didn't get enough cash to cover my donation.

Friday morning I have cash in hand. But it was the first full day of all the ice, and everything was closed. We've been using my mom's car since ours gave up, and she refused to let us drive to the bank. I understood her reasoning, and respected it. But I was dreading the possibility of the rent bouncing. Hubs had decided that he would walk the 3 miles to the bank, in the cold, so we could get this taken are of for as cheap as possible. 15 unanswered calls later, I decide that the bank isn't open. Saturday I find the non-sufficient funds fee in my account. Ugh. We got it all resolved on Monday, or at least from the bank and apartment's viewpoint. I still have to repay my mom and grandmother for the loaned money to cover it.

Credit: NBC DFW
So I say all this in order to discuss a couple of conversations I had with my mother. Throughout the year, Hubs and I donate to charity when we feel like it. We've donated to dozens of charities over the course of our 6 years together. And at Christmas, we ALWAYS pick out a Salvation Army Angel. Okay, we get 2. We always pick a little boy and little girl. It's our way of getting to shop in a department that usually makes us cry. And we did that this year as usual. Well, my mom decided to gripe at me about my charity donations. I understand why, because if we hadn't picked Angels this year, we wouldn't need to borrow money. Mom said that I shouldn't be spending money on charity since I need to buy a car. Yes, I should have saved the money. She said that I needed to help myself before I help others, like flight attendants always tell you about using the oxygen masks. But I have always been the person to help others. If I ever needed to put the oxygen mask on, I'd probably help the person next to me before I help myself. I'm just that way. Yes, that did backfire on me this month. And yes, I should save my money. But I can't change the past. That's where the frustration of these conversations begins. I try to point out that I can't go back in time and change things. I can't take back my donations. Yes, I'll be saving money from now on. I'm going to do my best to ignore charity pleas for a while. But I don't feel I should be griped at for my past charity decisions. I usually have the money that other people may need.

Ok, rant over. I just needed to get that into words so I could stop replaying it in my head.

Do you donate to charities?

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It's that time of year... for doctors' appointments!

I had my bi-annual rheumatologist appt today. I have been waiting for it so I could inform the doc about how the meds I'm on were useless. Well, not completely useless. But the pain meds were just taking the edge off, making life barely tolerable. I didn't call and tell him about it a few months ago, because I really don't want to look like a drug addict. I know that I already look that way when the pills bounce around in my purse.

The conclusion is to increase the dosage of the pain killers I'm on. If that doesn't work, I'm headed to a pain management specialist that will just make my life more difficult, with strict limits, monthly appts, etc. He also wants me to workout. I know I need to, but I haven't done it. In order to have a little more energy so I can work out, he wants me to take Synthroid. I'm a little hesitant to start it, because I've heard that once you start it, you can't really go off of it. But I've also heard from friends that they've stopped needing it after they lost a decent amt of weight. So weight is what I need to focus on. Duh. I'm thinking that I could maybe try the synthroid for a couple of months, since it's such a low dosage, and see how it goes. If I don't like what it does (or doesn't) do, I'll talk to Doc to make another change.

On another Dr note... I was supposed to meet with my psychiatrist last week. Then the atmosphere decided we needed a few days of ice. Doc closed his office and cancelled 2 days of appts. I called to reschedule and I can't get in until New Years Eve. Thank goodness I didn't need any med refills, since I have to wait that long. I feel really bad for anyone that was cancelled that really needed meds.

On the bright side, the Victoria's Secret fashion show is tonight. I watch it every year. A few years ago they had this amazing set of wings covered in butterflies that I wanted to reach through the tv and steal. I can't wait to see all the wings tonight.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving Weekend Highlights

This past holiday weekend was eventful, to say the least. We had Thanksgiving at Dad's. My sister, Elle, was there too. Midway through dinner, We got from my mom. It said 'Memaw n hospital. Emergency surgery'. Memaw just had back surgery a month or two ago, and had been having problems with an infection near her surgical incision. She had already been to the doc and received antibiotics, which apparently weren't working. Thanksgiving Day, Papaw takes Memaw to the emergency room due to the pain she was in. They did an MRI and discovered an epidural abscess, an infection along the spinal cord. We left Dad's and headed to the hospital. They didn't end up doing the surgery until early Friday morning. They found that the infection wasn't as bad as they originally believed. She's still in the hospital because her blood count was really low. She's supposed to be moving to a rehab center in the next day or two so she doesn't have to recuperate in the hospital.

On the way to the hospital Thurs night, my other grandmother called me. I've talked about her before. I love her to death, but it drives me crazy when she calls the day before she's in town to say she's in town. I had plans to have my niece over for the weekend to help with the Christmas decorations. But... I couldn't take her with me to see Nana, so I had to cancel those plans. I always have to cancel plans for Nana... Anyways, she wanted to go shopping Sat morning, so we met at the mall, hopped in my Elle's truck, and went to Kohls. On the way there, Elle and I noticed that the transmission wasn't shifting gears like it should have been. She decided to drop us off at the store and go to a shop to get it looked at. She didn't even make it out of the parking lot, as the problem got worse. We ended up driving it to Auto Zone and replacing the speed sensor, as it was causing problems. Our hope had been that if we replaced the $22 part and it fixed the issues, then we could celebrate not having to spend $2k on transmission work. Thankfully, we were right. I did get two new pairs of shoes (the black plaid and red) that day, amongst the chaos that was the misbehaving vehicle.

Sat afternoon, after we got back from shopping and lunch, I find one of my littlest munchkins, Coconut, dead. After a long cry and a mouse burial, I didn't want to do anything else. I can't even remember if I made dinner that night. I think we just ate the leftovers from lunch. Sunday was a bore. I got some needed sleep, made some smoothies for Mom and Memaw, and watched tv.

Monday I ended up making several dishes for food this week. I roasted all of my butternut squash and brussels sprouts, and made a big bowl of quinoa.

I followed these recipes as a base:
http://cupcakesandkalechips.com/2012/12/06/butternut-squash-pomegranate-quinoa/
Roasted Brussels sprouts and butternut squash: http://www.rudisbakery.com/gluten-free-post/vegan-gluten-free-and-dairy-free-holiday-recipes-by-gluten-free-vegan-comfort-food/

I also wanted to use the rest of the sweet potatoes I had cooked for cookies last week. I made Leann's awesome Quinoa sweet potato POW breakfast cookies, which I adore. Who wouldn't love cookies for breakfast?

I guess that's it for this weekend. How was your holiday?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm thankful for...

So yesterday sucked. And I ranted and raved in my last post. Today I feel better. But I'm going to stop wishing that things would change. I'm the only one that can really make that happen, right? So here goes the new attitude. Eventually I'll have kids. At this point I don't know how, but I'm going to do my best to just wait until it happens. Maybe it'll be adoption in a decade or two. Yes, for awhile it will still hurt like hell, but I  can hurt or I can push through it.

I don't know if this is related, but today is the first day that I took the full dose of ACE. I started Sunday with just one pill a day to ease into it. It might not be related at all, but at least I feel better than I did yesterday. I did get a great 90min massage last night. For anyone that gets massages, once you try a 90min session instead of a regular 60, you'll never go back. I mean it. I'm certainly not going back lol. I love my therapist, Chuck. He's very knowledgeable about fibromyalgia, which is very important to me. We also have great conversations on the days I feel like talking. Sometimes we are quiet the whole time, and sometimes we don't shut up lol.

Anywho, since I'm going to be with family tomorrow, I thought I'd try to write my Thankful post today.

I'm thankful for:
- a loving husband that makes sure I take my meds, eat when I'm hungry, sleep when I need it, and never fails to make me laugh when I need it most.
- a job and bosses that allows me to set my own schedule so I can work around the stupid illnesses that I fight daily.
- a roof over my head that keeps me cool in the summer and warm in the winter
- all of my fur-, feather- and fin-children that show unconditional love because that's all they know. Ones I can cuddle up with anytime I want.
- family that helps me through the hard times and wants to help me get better more than my docs do.
- Doctors that don't charge me an arm and a leg because I don't have insurance.
- Cysters around the world that are always there to bitch about the same problems, officer helpful advice and suggestions when needed, and love me no matter how I look or feel each day. Katrina, Sarah, Annie, Christina, the Nicholes (Thing 1 and Thing 2), and all the girls in the DFW PCOS group.
- A pay rate that allows me to spend a little extra here and there... Ok, a lot extra, which gets me in trouble hehehe

i'm sure if I think hard enough that there might be more, but these are the most important. Did you write a list of what you are thankful for? Post a link below so we can read them! Until then, HAPPY TURKEY DAY!


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

One day I won't be so ticked off...

This post started out of sheer frustration. I was mad, angry, and ready to let the world have it. Even told Hubs that I was ready to lock myself in a room and never come out. But that won't do me any good. It certainly won't help my checkbook or my mental health. So what is a girl like me supposed to do?

I don't know. I haven't known for years. I started talking to potential donors this past week, in the hopes that maybe we could start trying to get pregnant soon. But when I got home and thought about it, I got sick to my stomach. It's the first time it's ever happened. I'm used to getting sick after hearing about other people getting preggo. But I've never been sick at the thought of having my own kids. That's the dream I've had for almost 20 years now. So what the hell is going on?

Is my body sick of the heartbreak? Does the thought of not having a biological child by Hubs make me nauseous? Am I freaked out by how life will go as long as I'm off my meds? Am I worried that I won't be a good mom? I have no idea. And it's frikkin' frustrating. I was always so sure of the idea of being a mom, and now I don't know.

I'm reminded of the movie 'Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind'. I wish we had the ability to just erase some memories or desires. I'd love to erase my desire for a child. It would ease a lot of my stress. I might be able to hang out with pregnant people without wanting to cry. I might be able to hang out with my neighbors (who don't realize that I'm ignoring them because they are single, preggo and chain-smoking...)

I just needed to rant again. I know it won't change how I feel, but I needed to get it out before I screamed. I'm probably still going to scream, but I'll wait til I'm in bed and can muffle the sound with a pillow.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A dash of this, a little of that...

Well prep weekend didn't go as planned (read: I went shopping on Saturday and wore myself out, so I didn't do crap on Sunday.) But the shopping was productive - we picked up most of what we needed to make our Salvation Army Angels happy. We were going to skip angels this year because of SA's stance on gay families, but I couldn't find another angel tree type thing, so we got Angels again. As much as I disapprove of the gay family belief held by SA, I can't take it out on the kids that need our help. We found two little munchkins - we always get the babies and toddlers so we can attempt to fulfill our desires of buying stuff for our own children. We always buy clothes, shoes, diapers and toys, along with what they need. This year one needs a car seat and one needs shoes. We've got the shoes covered, but I'm still on the hunt for a car seat - mainly because I have no idea what I'm doing. I figure that at 11 months she's probably too big for an infant car seat (or they had better already have one!) and too small for the toddler seat. I'm at a complete loss, so I put out a call to my mom friends, and hopefully I can get that resolved soon.

I didn't make everything on my menu yet, but I did make some fabulous soup last night. It was full of shitake mushrooms, bok choy and shrimp. It was SOOOO GOOD! I'll try to remember the recipe, because I deviated so much from the one I posted Friday. Even Hubs liked it - someone who doesn't like soup at all. So go me! I'm going to eat the rest tonight. I'm also going to make my napa cabbage rolls tonight, if the turkey meat I have is still good. **crossing fingers** Otherwise I'll just find something else to do with it.

I've been doing lots of online shopping, mostly for myself haha. It's like Christmas every time I open the mail box! I think I've got 10+ boxes coming in the next few weeks, and I'll get to wrap the few Christmas presents those boxes contain. I might wrap presents for myself. Is that a bad thing? My kombucha starter kit showed up today, so I get to start that process. I bought a ton of kombucha yesterday so I can reuse all the bottles for my home-brewed. I'm excited to see how it goes!


I picked up everything I needed to make a new Christmas wreath to replace the one that's falling apart. Picked everything up at Hobby Lobby since all the Christmas stuff is 50% off. I snapped a pic at the store so I'd remember how I laid it all out when I actually put it together.




And, last but certainly not least, I'm an aunt again! My newest nephew is Recon, an Aussie lab mix. Here's a pic with his sister, Chloe. I can't wait to meet him!


Friday, November 15, 2013

Weekend Food Prep

This weekend will be a food prep weekend. I pick up my next fruit and veggie basket tonight, and will be using that as the inspirational ingredients for all my cooking.

broccoli
lettuce
napa cabbage
spaghetti squash
bok choy
parsley
brassica greens
collard greens
apples

It will also have beets, radishes, green onions and jalepenos, but I don't want any of that. Those are going straight to my grandmother's house so they don't go to waste!

I've got some butternut squash and sweet potatoes that I need to use as well. So much produce! My hope is to have all of next week's food prepped this weekend so I don't have to stress about cooking.

Napa cabbage:
Cabbage rolls - (also adding a little apple)
http://aggieskitchen.com/2013/02/25/asian-stuffed-napa-cabbage-rolls/

Roasted napa cabbage -
http://www.thekitchn.com/easy-winter-recipe-roasted-cab-105338

Brassica greens:
sauteed with garlic and ginger in a chicken stir fry.

Bok choy:
http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/oriental-soup-with-mushrooms-bok-choy-shrimp-10000001895907/

Lettuce:
Mason jar salads

I might change things up between now and then, but we'll see!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Raw Vegan Jerky!

Every time we go to the local farmer's market, Mom and I grab stuff off of the almost-bad shelf. It's usually full of over-ripe bananas and other fruits. This time there was a ton of carrots, so Mom asked if we could make some carrot juice. We ended up juicing carrots, apples, pears, grapes and blueberries. When we were done I had a gallon sized baggie packed overflowing of juice pulp. I really didn't want to throw it away, so I tried something new. Juice Pulp Crackers. I went based off of a recipe from Gena at Choosing Raw. I was so excited to try it out, along with my new VitaMix that Hubs won.

I'm not excited about the VitaMix. It didn't blend well, had no cyclonic action to pull unblended stuff from the top to the bottom, and it just shut off after getting too warm. I wasn't using it for more than 45 sec at a time at half speed and it overheated. For a $500 blender, I am not happy. I'm just glad I didn't actually fork out the money for it myself. When I was blending, I was having to use a tamper to push the unblended stuff down, and as someone with rheumatoid arthritis, that was RIDICULOUS. Honestly my hands still hurt from it. But I got the job done, and had 16+ cups of wet juice pulp for crackers. I spread the mix out thin onto my dehydrator sheets, popped them in the dehydrator, and 24 hours later I had Vegan Jerky! I cooked them at a lower temperature than Gena suggested - 105 instead of 115, so it took a lot longer to finish. Most of them were thin enough that they are crispy like crackers now, which was my original intention. Some of the thicker sheets are a little chewy, thus the jerky name. You can't taste the carrots at all, just the fruity flavor, so I think they would go awesome with a little cream cheese at breakfast. True, cream cheese invalidates the vegan claim, but there's vegan cream cheese out there.

I was so excited that these turned out well, and I'll be snacking on them all week. I took some to work and got great reviews from my coworkers. I'm giving some to my neighbors tonight to see what they think. I am definitely going to start doing this often. I need to get back into juicing anyway so I can get more of my leafy greens back in my diet. I'm going back to salads as well, but I've got to get rid of all the crappy dressings I have in the fridge.Crappy dressings make crappy salads, and I don't like crappy salads.

So this recipe is super easy. Take your juice pulp, blend it with some water or juice to make it a little wet, but you still want it to hold together. It also should be easily spreadable. Add flax seed for some extra crunch and omega-3s. Spread it out thin on a dehydrator sheet or parchment paper, and pop them in. After 4-132 hours, depending on the temp you use, flip them over and pop them back in. You can also score them here so they break apart easily when they are done. When they are done, let them cool and stick them in an airtight container. They should last for at least a week. Then dive in! I bet you can't eat just one :)

Gena has suggested that you can do this in the oven, but I haven't tried it.



Thursday, November 7, 2013

New Daily Schedule

I've decided to try a forced schedule again. I'm not going as strict as I tried last time. This time, if I'm not running late to work, everything must be done before I allow myself to leave the house. It means that I'll have to go to bed earlier so I can wake up earlier, but I need to do that anyway.

AM:
  • Oil-pulling
  • Brush teeth
  • Take meds and supplements
  • Drink glass of warm lemon water and apple cider vinegar
  • Make smoothie
  • 15+ min of yoga or barre3
  • Shower

PM:
  • Make Dinner or eat leftovers
  • pack lunch for next day
  • 30+ minutes yoga or barre3
  • spend 10+ minutes outside with Spike
  • Take meds by 9:30pm
  • brush teeth
  • In bed by 10:30pm

I think it might be difficult in the beginning because I love my sleep, but I have to push through it and follow Nike's slogan - JUST DO IT. That's been my problem all along. I will tell myself I need to do something, but stay on the couch instead. I've got to start listening to myself and following through instead of ignoring the thoughts in my head.

I really want to buy a new wardrobe. But I have to lose weight before I do it. I figured if I looked at some outfits that I really want in my closet, that might help. So here they are. (These are all found at RebelCircus.com)



I CAN DO THIS!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

It's time for the 11th Soul Cysters Weight Loss Challenge! This time it's FREE!

Things are going to be different for this 11th Challenge. It is decided that this next challenge is going to be for FREE. However, that means that there will be no cash prizes. However, Soul Cyster Creations is offering 50% OFF one item from their store. (If anyone else wants to donate something they can just PM Soul Cysters Weight Loss Challenge)

Since it is FREE, we are going to let those who were in the last challenge stay in and we are opening up 5 spots to old contestants and 10 spots to NEW contestants. This way you can see what we do and just get some good motivation going for your weight loss.

Please answer the below questions to be considered. Please send them in a message via the SCWLC page. 

1) Why are you wanting to join the SCWLC?
2) When did you find out you had PCOS?
3) What is your current BMI (send height and weight as well so we can verify) This is because we do not want anyone joining that does not need to be losing weight.
4) What is your motivation for weight loss? How will this incorporate into being in the SCWLC?
5) Can you dedicate at least 20-30 min a week to posting pictures or responding to posts within the group?
6) What do you hope to get out of participating in this challenge?
7) What is your ultimate weight loss goal and how far away are you?
 Are you able to help encourage others through their weight loss journey? Can you be supportive to other Cysters in the challenge?
9)Are you willing to post your before pic (full body shot) and your weight? This is done in the private group and only those in the challenge will see it.
10) Can you agree to the rules and disclaimer of joining the SCWLC? The rules still apply we just are not winning money or paying fees this go around.

Make sure to share this with other Cysters who would like to join. Depending on how many we may consider more than 10. Just note that anyone who can not stay active or does not post their weigh-in or photo by deadline will be removed from group. We want those who want to take this seriously to join... Thanks for understanding!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Damn... I'm too young to be boring, aren't I?

I've been working on my Christmas wish list, now that Halloween is over. I'm not a huge fan of Thanksgiving - just another day to stuff our fat asses full of food. I don't need any more fat, so a holiday dedicated to eating is obviously not too appealing.

As I go through my wish list, I realized that I have gone from picking things I want to picking things I need. Practicality overwhelmed my personal desires. I guess that isn't bad, but it makes me feel boring. I have tons of wall shelving and storage baskets on my list. So boring! But I need to get my life organized, and more storage means more organization. (Well, maybe not so much, because I have tons of baskets and storage at home and haven't gotten around to using them properly.)

What I really need to do at this moment is go through the house and gather every empty storage container I have purchased, then figure out where they can go on my shelves. I told Hubs that I wanted to go for a week without TV to see what I could get done, so I'll start there. Just making the shelves look organized will likely give me a boost to start filling the baskets and I'll start seeing my floor again.

I found these awesome locker divider shelves that fit perfectly on some of my other shelving units, and they were on clearance so I bought a bunch. I already had some from a few years ago and I could pass them up at $2 a piece. They aren't really the right color, but they're going in a closet so it doesn't really matter to me.

Hopefully I can get some of this done and I'll be able to post pics of my success!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Kombucha and a vitamix!

I've been addicted to Kombucha tea for a couple of months now. When I shop at Sprouts, I always grab a few of the GT's Synergy organic kombucha with chia. By far my favorite flavor is Black Chia, which has black currant juice in it. The problem with buying it, though, is the price. $3.50 a bottle. Yeah, it's cheaper than Starbucks, but I don't go to Starbucks every day. There have been a lot of blogs recently about making your own kombucha. I thought that would be a lot of fun, but I need to be a little more normal so I can prepare it properly and remember to check on it. I was at my grandmother's this morning and we started talking about it. Wouldn't you know she wanted to make her own too! I'll be buying a starter SCOBY soon, and I'll be making my own kombucha ! I can't wait to decide all the different flavors I want to make!

On another note, I'm very happy to announce that I'm having a garage sale in a few weeks! Along with my support group, we will be raising money to assist one of our Cysters in paying her son's medical bills. he is only 13, has cerebral palsy, and has been diagnosed with a rare liver cancer. He's so sweet, and doesn't deserve all this illness crap. I'm so blessed to have girls in the group that are they for more than just PCOS advice. We all care about each other. I couldn't have hoped for a better group. My cysters are awesome :)

Hubs and I went of for a late anniversary lunch last Friday. While we were eating, Hubs got a phone call. A few weeks ago Sprouts was doing a giveaway for a VitaMix blender and a gift certificate for groceries. I put my name, Mom and Hubs in the drawing. Hubs won. Woohoo! A VitaMix in store costs roughly $500, so I was super excited about it. But honestly, I don't know why it's so special. I have not pulled it out of the box and tried anything yet because I don't know what to do. I will be digging through food blogs to see what I can find. Supposedly I can blend the crap out of fruits and veggies to get a better juice than my juicer provides. I'm supposed to be able to make hot soup in it too. With the temps dropping finally, I'm definitely going to try out some soups!

I'm getting back on track diet-wise, or at least I'm trying. I'm working on my self-esteem and getting rid of the negative self talk. I think the negativity is my biggest issue. 'What's the point in losing weight? You'll just gain it back...' stuff like that. Or I get mad at myself for not sticking to my plans. The usual junk I always say about myself. I'm trying to be nice to myself. I can do it.

I think that's plenty of my usual randomness for the day :)

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Blessed Samhein and Happy Anniversary!

Happy Halloween! Have a Blessed Samhein! And happy anniversary to me and Hubs!

It's my favorite day of the year. And my plan for Samhein? To burn negative thoughts and habits, to create healthy goals and resolutions, getting ready for a new year! For pagans, Samhein is the end of the year. The end of the harvest. The day to celebrate our ancestors. The beginning of winter.

For our anniversary? I don't know. Usually I've got things all planned out, but I ended up having to work today, so I don't get to spend as much time at home.
I am still taking tomorrow off so we can do whatever.

The day hasn't started out well, though. Hubs' phone was stolen and turned off so it can't be tracked. His little sister is in he hospital, delivering her baby. Hubs is really taking the news hard, because it should have been us instead of her. I agree, but there's nothing I can do except ignore the situation. She doesn't talk to us anyway, so that's not too hard. He's just not emotionally ready for a niece/nephew, even if he's not going to see her/him. I don't think any of his friends, with or without kids, really understands what's going on. Hell, they might not even give a damn. I hate seeing him so sad and upset.

Anywho, enough about the crap. Today I need to be celebrating our 4th wedding anniversary!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Random thoughts about the week

Next week is going to be eventful... Our 6 year dating anniversary is Tuesday. My grandmother goes in for her 3rd back surgery in 3 years on Wednesday (and she almost died last time, so I'm on edge). Our 4 year wedding anniversary and Halloween is Thursday. My 4-day anniversary workless weekend starts Thursday as well. We haven't really decided what we are doing for our anniversary, but I took time off anyways. We might just go see Carrie at the movies.

Yesterday I started ACE, an appetite suppressant and energy booster. A friend of mine sells it and sent me samples. Work seemed to go faster yesterday, and I didn't eat a whole lot. Today I had my massage therapy appt (an hour and a half of bliss and healing, oh so necessary in my life), and instead of being tired afterwards, I'm awake and thinking about what I want to do with my time. I'm working a half day, then going home and maybe I'll go to the park and walk. The weather is beautiful today.

I also started green coffee bean extract, which I have noticed as a primary ingredient in a lot of weight loss supplements. I started them about 5 days ago, but have eaten a lot of chocolate since then, so I'm not getting on the scale yet. I figured I'd do that once every other week.

I've got a lot of cooking to do, though, so I might skip the walk and give myself more time to cook. I'm prepping some meals before the produce goes bad. Crock pot green bean and asparagus casserole with homemade mushroom soup, Sauteed asparagus and mushrooms with goat cheese on gluten free yummy breakfast bagels, baked chicken for salads, and whatever else I come up with. I'm going to do more prepping over the weekend when I have more time, but I'm going to get started with the produce that won't last as long. I already lost my tatsoi, sadly. Maybe I'll get more in next week's box. I am going to commit to prepping once a week for the food the rest of the week. That way even when I don't want to do anything, I can just grab something out of the fridge.

Whenever I get paid, I like to buy things online. It's kind of because every time we get the mail and there's a package, it feels like my birthday. What better reason that making yourself happy? Hubs sent me a pic of what was in the mail today - 4 boxes! I don't even remember what they all are, but I'll find out later tonight when I open them :) I know that my new polka dot phone case is in one, and new Halloween rubber ducks for Hubs' collection are in another.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Spend a few moments Happifying your life!

Several months ago I was given the opportunity to beta test a new program called Happify. It's designed to help you become happier with your life, and has plenty of studies to back up their science. I've been using it, although not as faithfully as I should. But I really have enjoyed testing out a lot of the different tracks to choose from. This week,  Happify ent out of beta testing and is now open to the public. There are a lot of free tracks you can choose from, as well as some others you can get by upgrading to a paid membership.

I recommend  Happify o everyone I know that needs a little pick me up from day to day. It has been helping me find my way towards satisfaction with myself and my life the way it is. It has also helped me to expand my horizons and learn how to be even happier. It's a great program. Currently I'm working on the paid track 'Get Motivated to Get Fit'. Right now it's exactly what I need - a way to focus on my health without  wanting to rip my hair out. It helps me take baby steps to get better and healthier.

I have not been paid to talk about this. I just love this site so much that I feel everyone should know about it - especially now that it's completely open to the public :) I know a lot of women in my shoes, whether they have PCOS, depression, fibromyalgia, whatever, we can all use a little more happiness in our lives. If you've been struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel, or the sun on a gloomy day, check out  Happify  It certainly won't hurt to try it :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekends aren't supposed to be exhausting. That's what we have weekdays for.

This weekend was... eventful. I was sick and in bed til 6 pm on Sat. Got a call that my grandparents were selling my car - which meant that they cleaned it out. My grandfather has a tendency to just trash stuff without any regard to what it could be (just last week he recycled an entire box of important paperwork and MONEY of Mom's...) I had to scramble to get dressed and make sure that he wasn't selling my car for 20 bucks. Someone has been knocking on my grandparent's door every few days saying they want to buy it. I knew that if they kept coming back it was because no one would tell them what was wrong with it. Anyways, I get there Sat, wait for Mom to call the people, only to find out they wouldn't come til Sunday morning. So Sunday morning I drag myself out of bed, get to my grandparents house, and wait for the people. They get there, and after 30 min of looking at the car they decide it's not worth the money to fix. DUH. If it was, I would have fixed it!!! A new engine, or even a refurbished one, is too expensive for the car when I can go get a newer one for the same price.

The fun part of the weekend was playing with my new phone, because I finally got a smartphone. Hubs decided after playing with mine that he wanted the same one. We ordered his, as well as some awesome cases. Mine has polka dots, and it's a set of 4 so I can change them depending on my mood lol. I also worked in the yard, getting a small stone path and lots of pansies planted. Spike likes the path, it's just his size :)

This week I'm starting a new dinner plan. I've got tons of produce due to upgrading my share size from Urban Acres, and I really don't want them to go to waste. I've got lots of new recipes to try out, and I made sure they won't require a ton of prep, since I really can't handle that. The box came loaded with green beans, black eyes peas, tatsoi, sweet potatoes and lettuce, among others. And the asparagus was super cheap at the grocery store, so I got 3 bundles. We'll be eating a lot of veggies for the next week or two. I'm getting back on track now that I have a smartphone and can use apps. (I think I should look for a recipe one while I'm at it...) Dinner tonight is going to be quinoa with asparagus cream sauce and a salad. Yummy!

 I need someone to help me clean and organize my kitchen so I can make life easier. Eventually it'll get done. I did reorganize my freezer and put in wire shelves. Hubs opened it after I rearranged and he didn't have words. He was shocked when he opened it. It was hilarious.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

I'm back to square 1, but this time I will succeed!

Yesterday was payday. It was also the day I finally gave in and ordered a smartphone. I'm hoping that it'll provide me with tools I need to keep myself accountable. I got the Nokia Lumia 920, because it has a good camera and it's a Windows phone operating system. I figured that since the reviews were great and I never hear anyone say anything bad about them, I might as well try it out. If I don't like it, I can return it and try a different phone. I wanted the new 41 megapixel camera, but I didn't want to spend the money on it. I can just get it when the prices drop.

I've tried the tracking of foods and exercise via a planner, but I just can't remember to do it all the time. So maybe apps can help. I started green coffee bean extract today. After doing research into weight loss like Plexus Slim and ACE, green coffee bean is what they all have in common. So I figured I could give it a try. I also ordered an mp3 player and a small exercise ball so I can start barre3. It's too bad that they don't yet have an app for my new phone.

I just found a groupon for a company called GoPicnic. They have prepacked lunches for all sorts of dietary needs - gluten, vegan, kosher, etc. The groupon was $19 for a $40 gift certificate. I've tried these meals before, and loved them, but hated the price. They're about $5 a meal. But with this groupon, I got them $3.80 including shipping. Definitely a better deal, and I don't have to spend the gas to drive to the right grocery store. This will also help me get on track because I can bring them all up to the office for lunch. They don't require refrigeration, yay! I think I need to clear out a shelf somewhere in the office to hold all my food. And then keep an inventory list so I can make sure the cleaning crew doesn't steal any... :)

I upgraded my Urban Acres membership from a mini-share to a half share - getting me a lot more produce to use. My hope is that it'll force me to cook more healthy meals. It'll reduce the amount of produce I need to buy at the grocery store. It also forces me to cook things in season. That's a really big thing for me - I want to get to the point that I'm getting produce only from Urban Acres and the farmer's market. Essentially that would leave only meat and bulk items on my grocery list. I'm excited. I feel like I can do it. I think hitting my highest weight is going to get me back on track. I'm not happy that I've gained all the weight that I lost back, so I'm going full force and changing my life again.

Here's to good thoughts and much success!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Organic vs Regular produce

I've learned some interesting things in the last few months. I wrote about my decision to join an organic produce program through Urban Acres. Every two weeks I get a bag of organic fruits and veggies. I've always loved fruits like nectarines, mangoes, apples and bananas. I didn't realize that I wasn't getting the true taste of these fruits until the program. I now know that organic produce tastes so much better. It has led me to the conclusion that I'm going to attempt to go as organic as possible with all of my shopping. I've hated the idea of bad pesticides, but I've let my wallet make the decisions. From now on, if buying organic means buying less, then so be it. After organic, I really don't think that I can truly enjoy my favorite fruits if they aren't organic. So this decision reinforces my previous desire to shop at farmer's markets for produce. I've wanted to adjust myself to eating produce in season, and that's the way to do it. This also forces me to learn new recipes and eat things I wouldn't necessarily eat otherwise. And I'm starting this Saturday, provided I get paid. It'll be an adjustment to get up that early on a weekend, but it's best for my health and Hubs'. Because one way or another, I'm going to get him eating healthy too. Otherwise he'll have to cook his own meals :)

I also want to use this opportunity to try out raw, paleo, vegan, vegetarian and clean meals. I found an awesome vegetarian cookbook on clearance at Half Price Books. It's got 350 recipes to try out. I've also still got my eMeals subscription that sends me meal plans every week. I've started changing the meal types every couple of months so I can try out lots of different plans.

I'm at my tipping point again. I don't want to weigh almost 260 pounds anymore. I want to be able to enjoy my life that way I was meant to. And it starts with food. I'm working on the exercise too, but baby steps are needed so my fibromyalgia doesn't flare up and land me back in bed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

28 to Great

I friend of mine, ACE, spent the last two years changing her life. She lost ~80 pounds in doing it, and she looks fabulous. She did it by changing her diet and finding an exercise program that she loved. Something she became almost addicted to - barre3. A combination of ballet, yoga and Pilates.

I believe that part of my problem is my lack of LOVE for exercise. I haven't found something I enjoy so much that I want to do it everyday, instead of need to do it. I like walking. The scenery is pretty and the walking is easy. Just put one foot in front of the other. But I don't get the joy out of it like I would hope. So I'm going to try something new, and I bet ACE is going to be happy to hear it :)

barre3 has a program called 28 to Great. 6 online workouts a week for 4 weeks. The workouts range from 10 to 60 minutes. And access to it is only $15 a month. 50 cents a day to try something that I might fall in love with. So as soon as I get paid, I'm signing up. And in a little over a month, we'll see how far I've come. Who knows... Maybe I'll get hooked like ACE. :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Goals vs Plans vs Spontaneity

I've decided that planning and I really don't get along. It ends up making me upset that I didn't stick to it 100%. So I'm going to live spontaneously. The weather is beautiful, and I'm really happy about it. I can get back to walking without roasting. We went for a walk last night. Although I had to make frequent pit stops to sit, We still got in at least half a mile, if not a full mile. I'm going to walk again tonight. Maybe I'll even attempt to walk Spike to the dog park so he can play.

This idea of living spontaneously is not new to me, but I've never really followed through with it. That needs to change. But I'm not planning. Because planning to be spontaneous defeats the purpose. I'm not going to be dumb like some of the YOLO kids (you only live once), but I am going to enjoy life, day by day, and forget the big picture for a while. Once I get my life straightened out I'll go back to worrying about the big pic.

Of course, I've always been a planner, so getting away from plans is going to be difficult. So I have some suggestions for myself instead of plans. Such as:

- Drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day
- Walk around the pond or apt complex frequently
- Eat healthy, such as salads and other white-carb-less foods
- Get back to yoga

So those are goals, not plans. And I won't let them bring me down, because they aren't plans. I'm really trying to get rid of plans, aren't I?

It's still illegal to strangle someone, isn't it?

Over the weekend, Hubs got into a confrontation with a neighbor. I've written about her before - she bitched at me for not working while my rheumatoid arthritis was at its worst. Her reasoning? "I worked full time as a waitress while doing chemo for breast cancer and I was all alone!" (prev post Understanding)

Since that incident, I have stayed away from her completely. I don't need someone that toxic in my circle of friends.

This weekend, Hubs was hanging out with some neighbors when the aforementioned person joined. It was obvious that she had been drinking. She proceeded to grill Hubs with questions like 'You don't have a job, you stay at home all the time, what the hell does Lynne see in you? Why is she staying with you?'

Since I've been back on my bipolar meds, I haven't been getting angry. But hearing this as Hubs told me, I was pissed. Mainly because my decisions and reasoning for staying with MY HUSBAND are MINE alone. It shouldn't matter to anyone else. But I was mad for more than just her asking the question. It was the grilling. She wouldn't leave him alone and kept asking him. The other neighbors did everything they could to stay out of it, even though she kept trying to drag them in.

I realize that there are plenty of people in the world that believe they are right and everyone else is wrong, and this is a good example of a person like this.

This reminded me of the first time I met Hubs' grandfather. He had no problem getting in my face and telling me I was an idiot to be in a relationship with a man that didn't have a job. And he did it on Thanksgiving, in front of the rest of the family. I'll admit that there are relationships that my friends/family have that I just don't understand. So maybe I have no right to criticize someone else for judging me. But I don't get in their faces and tell them they are an idiot, or pressure them to give me an answer on why they are in it.

Wow, it's nice to get those feelings off my back, and for someone else, other than Hubs, to hear them. Now I'm going to walk off the rest of my frustrations with Mom and Hubs and take pretty pictures of the sunset at the park.

Monday, October 7, 2013

OMG It's October!

It's October :) My favorite month of the year. I love it more than March, when most of my family's birthdays are. why?

1) The weather has cooled off and we can hang out outside without baking.
2) I finally won Hubs' full attention - 6 years ago.
3) Our wedding anniversary of 4 years :)
4) I get to decorate the house for Halloween!
5) Our favorite holiday of the year! HALLOWEEN!
6) Our wedding anniversary - on Halloween!

Did I mention that I love Halloween? I picked up a few more skeletons because Senor LazyBones, our first skeleton, was lonely. I added a glittery skeleton named Mr. Ritz. I have two more that have yet to be named. Last year we bought Skully, a skeleton flamingo. Sadly, there was only one, and Hubs was upset. When I found another one a few weeks ago, Mulder joined our family. Hubs was very happy, and surprised!

Since this is such an important month, I've decided to make goals in 3 different categories.

LIFE
- Clear the dining room table
- Eat at the dinner table with Hubs at least two nights a week.
- Spend at least 30 minutes a day on my porch - tending plants, sitting on my bench, playing with Spike, whatever.

LOVE
- Reinstate Saturday date night. TV is not allowed.
- Make sure to say 'I love you' more than I do already, which is a lot!

HEALTH
- Quit coffee and replace it with water
- Start walking around the pond again.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Flash Giveaway for Weight Loss Challenge Entry Fee!

A few months ago I decided to pay for some other Cyster's entry fees for the Soul Cyster's Weight Loss Challenge. I think it's time to do it again! This time the giveaway will only be available for the weekend... I'm not giving you any time to second guess your decision about joining. Unless it makes you join!

The participants of the challenge have access to a private facebook group to chat with other members, and we encourage everyone to use it to give and receive support. The challenge is open to anyone with PCOS whose BMI is within or above the normal range. To go along with the shorter length of time, the cost has been reduced to $6. All of the entry fees (minus paypal fees) are split between our winners. So for $6 dollars, we provide you with exercise suggestions, a group of women who want to succeed as much as you do, and cash prizes!

Sounds fun, right? It is :) And to prove it, I'm going to pay 2 lucky people's entry fees. Have I enticed you enough yet?

So here's how this works:
1) Comment below and tell me why you want to join the challenge.
2) Like the SCWLC facebook page and say I (Lynne) sent you. Then come back here and tell me you did it.
3) Subscribe to my blog using the Google Followers or the Subscribe by Email sections on the right hand side of my blog (and comment below to say you did it). If are already a follower, comment anyway! You'll still get an entry :)

For all entries, please provide your name and an email address that I can reach you at, otherwise I won't be able to congratulate you! I look forward to losing weight with you!

This giveaway ends at Midnight on Sunday, Sept. 29. The challenge begins on Sept 30th and lasts for 6 weeks.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The tragic death of an appliance...

I almost cried over a kitchen appliance yesterday. I know that sounds funny, but I did cry tears of joy when I brought my Kitchenaid stand mixer home a few years ago. So when my Magic Bullet decided it hated me yesterday, I really did almost cry. The blade spinner in the base just snapped in half. It wasn't something little that I could potentially fix. It was ruined. I have gotten back in the routine of my morning smoothies, so my necessary smoothie tool breaking really messed that up. Yeah, I could buy a new one, but I'd have to wait a week or two until I get paid. It doesn't seem like that big of a deal - but my Magic Bullet is my second favorite appliance (My stand mixer being the first, obviously lol)

Found via GoogleImages from SoulSeeds.com
But last night my mom wanted to go buy a new magic bullet for my grandmother. Guess who else got one? Yep, me! I'm very thankful that it was gifted to me. Even better - the black edition, which we got, comes with two even larger cups - totally awesome because now I don't have to worry about over filling the cup with my smoothies. Yay!

In other news - I just found out the my favoritest band of all time, Korn, is going to be here in concert, just a week before our wedding anniversary. That's a big deal. A REALLY big deal. Like I will give up something just to go. So I can get my Korn shirt out, find a new cute skirt, and let my freak flag fly! I'm so ridiculously excited.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Making the days at work go by faster...

I don't know why I've gone so long without doing this...

I've always known that I write a lot more code much faster if I'm listening to music. The only problem had been that if everyone is in the office, streaming music from the internet slowed everyone else down. Although my laptop is out of commission, all of the music I had on it is on our backup external hard drive (If you have a ton of important data and don't have a backup hard drive, eventually much sadness will enter your life. Like mine when the dog ripped a cord out and crashed a massive hard drive.) I was going to put music on a flash drive, but Mom was already on her way to pick me up, so I wouldn't have time to pick and choose what I wanted to take with me. It finally hit me today to bring the whole dang hard drive with me to work, transfer all my music, and then I can listen to it all the time with absolutely no issues affecting my coworkers.

Yep, I'm really good at making things hard for myself. I don't know why I'm so bad at thinking of logical solutions like this. Now I have to find another problem to ponder over for forever. I'm taking suggestions :)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

So much time, and so few books!

I love books. I can finish a novel in a single day, given enough free time to do it. Usually I can get through it in 2-4 days if I have less time on my hands, or I only read after I get in bed.

I've always been a HUGE fan of Dean Koontz. I have a goal to read and own a copy of every book he's written. Yeah, I love his books that much. But while Koontz is amazing, sometimes I need a break. A change of pace. Even a change in species.

Hubs likes the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series by Laurell K. Hamilton. When I was buying the set for him for Christmas, I snagged a few of books from her Merry Gentry series. I'm a sucker for faeries, so the Merry Gentry series wasn't something I would turn down. I read the entire series in a couple of weeks.

But what was I to do after finishing those novels? Well, a neighbor solved that problem for me and introduced me to Anne Bishop and the Black Jewels Trilogy. Oh Em Gee. Suspenseful, thrilling, intriguing, novels that I couldn't help but get sucked into. I bought a few of the continuing series.

And then I was done. I had read that series and needed something new. I started searching for more books by Anne Bishop, and found the Ephemera series, starting with Sebastian. Loved it. Magic, hope, evil, love, and destiny all wrapped into one novel.

But this is where my problems began. I didn't want to continue buying tons of books because I don't have the space for them yet. I need a house with a dedicated library or something. So until then, I've decided to use the local library. Of course, they are missing books in the series. They always do. I hate reading novels out of order, because the story line gets really jumbled. so I had to pause the Ephemera series and find something else. And the all-knowing Google has helped. I've found Gena Showalter and her Lords of the Underworld series. Immortal warriors, cursed to carry demons from Pandora's box. Plagued to fight internal battles, along with Hunters that want to kill them. And intermixed are beautiful love stories, overcoming all obstacles. I'm addicted.

But I knew that the Lords of the Underworld series would eventually end - and someone else was reading the same series I am, so we are switching out copies at the library in an effort to read them in order. While I'm waiting, I looked for another author. I found www.fictionvixen.com, which had a post about authors like Anne Bishop. That introduced me to the Tairen Soul series by C.L. Wilson. It's about a King finding his soul mate in a peasant girl, and their fight to save the world. I'm in love, and I haven't finished the first chapter. Thankfully the library had the entire series, so I checked them all out.

I took my mom with me to the library one day, and she questioned my reading choices. "Since when do you read romance novels?" hahahah I thought it was funny, because I think the 'Romance' classification is a little off. That category makes me think of trashy books like 50 Shades of Grey, which I have no interest in reading. But then again, the love stories in these books are beautiful, and what woman wouldn't want to read them? I've always loved books because I have a vivid imagination. I can play the book as a movie in my head. I can feel the love, happiness, pain, despair, excitement when I'm reading. And as long as I can continue to find books, I'll keep reading them. And I'll ignore the classifications.

It's taking every ounce of willpower not to buy all of these books off eBay or find them on clearance at Half Price Books. So I'll continue with the library books for as long as I can. And FictionVixen will be one of my new favorite sites to look for more authors.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Goal 1 complete. Onto Goal 2.

I've mastered the first step back to healthy. My morning smoothies are really easy to make, and I'm getting a lot of nutrients that I previously was going without. My next goal is to start drinking lots of water again. I went off soda and coffee completely a few years ago, and although I have the occasional soda and lots of coffee, I still choose water most often. With the coffee - I'm not putting any sugar in it, just half and half. I'm pretty happy with myself for that. But I need to start drinking a lot more water than I used to. The latest recommendations are 1/2 of your body weight in ounces. For me that's twice the previous recommendation of 8 glasses of 8oz water - 64oz. I need to drink around 120oz. I have a 32oz cup sitting on my desk, so I need to drink at least two glasses full while I'm at work. That'll get me through half of my goal. Then I just need two big glasses at home, too. I can do that. For now, until I can come up with something cuter, I'll be putting rubber bands on my drinking glass, and remove one for every full glass I drink. I might get bored and color them, too. I'll make ice cubes tonight out of ginger and lemon so I can have different flavors and added benefits.

I'm going to work on this goal before I start a new one. It's less stressful that way.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Sometimes dreams are weird...

This morning I couldn't remember what I had dreamed about last night, but it just hit me. And now that I remember, I wanted to write it down before I forgot. And maybe I want to analyze it, because it was a little weird. Not a nightmare, but weird. (And this was not the first time I had it...)

Hubs and I went to a gym. It was beautiful, bright sunlight through the windows, tons of equipment, a second floor with classes and a lounge. It had rows and rows on equipment. Compared to a real-life building, I felt it was about the size of the main floor of the Fort Worth Convention Center (I spent many summers there as a kid, which is why I remember that reference.) I spent the time cycling. The guy assisting us with getting our membership set up was the same in this one as the last. I couldn't find any paperwork to tell me how much it cost to be there. He said that it only cost money if we came before 5pm. But it was after 5, so no charge. It wasn't until this point that my dream self had deja vu, realizing I'd been to this place before. And like the first time, there were only a handful of people in the entire building. So I decide to go cycling again. When I first had this dream, it was just Hubs and I. But this time, while I was cycling, a baby started crying. I looked over to realize it was my child, in Hubs' lap. I motioned for him to come closer, and I decided I would try to work out while holding her. I was just moving my legs anyway - it was one of those cycles that has a chair to lean back in. The trainer thought it was humorous that I was holding her and working out.

That's all I remember. It was just a weird dream to have. Like I said, it wasn't a nightmare. I didn't wake up in a cold sweat, or kick and scream, or even wake up at all. I've always been interested in things like dream interpretation, especially since dreams are supposed to the brain's way of sorting out issues and solving problems.

The quick interpretation that came to me is that my dream self is ignoring what other people think of me in order to get my health more in order. That it could potentially lead to a baby and I'll continue to keep my health in order for her. Of course I could be looking at it way too literally - because some dreams are just like that.

Here's some of the info I got from www.dreammoods.com - Dream Dictionary. (And I guess my interpretation is fairly accurate.)
Baby: To dream of a crying baby symbolizes a part of yourself that is deprived of attention and needs to be nurtured. Alternatively, it represents your unfulfilled goals and a sense of lacking in your life.

Exercise: To dream that you are exercising signifies your worries about your health. You may be concerned about fitting into society's ideals of beauty. Or you just need to get up and exercise more! Alternatively, the dream may also indicate that you need to "exercise" your rights and  power in some situation.

Gym: To dream that you are in a gymnasium indicates that you need to apply what you learned and incorporate it into your daily life. Alternatively, the gym may be telling you that you need to get more exercise.

Room: To dream that you are in an empty white room indicates a fresh start. It is like a blank canvas where you want to start life anew. Alternatively, the dream means that you are trying to isolate yourself. You do not want any outside influences.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Prepacked smoothies... I'm eating breakfast again!

Mom and I put together my smoothie packs last night. I have two weeks worth. It was pretty simple once we got organized. I bought freezer quart sized baggies - although freezer sandwich bags would have worked just as well. In each bag I put in:

- a banana (I get the almost too ripe ones on clearance at the farmer's market and freeze them)
- 1 cup of fruit, in this case, peaches and mangoes
- hemp protein powder
- probiotic powder
- spinach ice cube
- chia seed ice cube

The ice cubes were really easy to make. I added some water and a big handful of spinach into a magic bullet cup. I blended it up really well, then added more spinach and more water until I had a thick spinach mush. I spooned it out into an ice cube tray and stuck them in the freezer. For the chia seed, I put water in a bowl, poured some chia seeds in, and let them soak for 20-30 minutes. Soaked chia seeds turn into jelly. Then I blended them up with a little more water and spooned it into an ice cube tray as well. I think I ended up using 1/2 cup of chia seeds and 4-5 cups of spinach, to fill one tray each. I'm only planning on making two weeks of smoothie packs at a time, and it's perfect because that's how many ice cubes I get from each tray.

This morning, I pulled a bag out, dumped it in my magic bullet, added 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, and blended the crap out of it until it was all mixed well. Yum!

As for replacements:
- You can add avocados instead of banana, or even yogurt! You can do the ice cube trick with the yogurt as well.
- Any fruit of your choice can be added.
- Use whatever milk or liquid to thin it out. I've used hemp milk before, but you could do soy, coconut, goat's milk, cow's milk... You get the point :)
- I highly suggest using a protein powder or your choice. It's good for you!
- I'll be adding kale to the next tray of spinach cubes, and you could add chard or any other greens you feel like adding.

In the past I've made chocolate covered cherry (cherries and chocolate flavored hemp oil), strawberry banana, nectarine... Get creative! Get seasonal fruits or buy frozen pre-packaged fruit.

Spending 20-30 min getting all of the bags prepped is totally worth it because it'll take less than 5 min to blend it all up in the mornings. Doing it yourself is also a lot cheaper than buying shake mixes like shakeology and visalus.

Are you going to try morning shakes? What are you putting it them?

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

From sad to excited in an hour :)

Lately I've really been fighting with the fatigue issues that come along with fibromyalgia. I slept almost the entire weekend, even missing a workday because I slept through all the alarms and Hubs trying to wake me up. Being exhausted is exhausting. I had planned on stopping at the library before work today, and gave up on that idea when I woke up. I decided that the extra 30min of sleep was more important than a book. And it is. But some days, when I'm staring at my computer, trying to concentrate on what I should be doing, I get teary-eyed. Some days I just can't focus, and all my body wants to do is sleep. As a way of fighting it, I load up on coffee (with no sugar!). Of course, then you could do some googling and find out that caffeine isn't all that great for people with fibro. I'm sure it's not that great for any of the other issues I fight with. But the coffee really doesn't help. It gives me a short burst of focus, then I have to have another cup to get me going a little further. I know that's wreaking havoc on my body. I don't have the ability to just take days off to sleep, because if I miss too many, I can't pay the bills.

I've been eating healthier, lots of fruits and veggies, yogurt. I haven't been cooking like I want to because I'm just so tired by the time I get home.

I know that I'm still writing a lot of depressing stuff. I think I want to feel better - but writing all this isn't helping that much. But it feels like it must come out of my head. Maybe if I keep it bottled up, it'll just make it worse. So I'm writing about all the crappy stuff in hopes that I won't have to think about it anymore.

I need to take better care of myself. Everything I read about others who have started to feel better have all changed their diets, cut out things like gluten and dairy. Honestly, it would be fairly difficult to give up dairy. I've limited myself a lot, and rarely use cheese, and only occasionally drink some milk or eat cereal. Mainly because Hubs drinks all the milk before I get to it. When I need milk in a recipe, I use almond milk. The unsweetened kind. When I was making my morning smoothies, I used almond or hemp milk. But I think, by far, the most difficult diary product to stop using would be butter. So I'll take it slow when attempting to eliminate that. I had a food allergy test done a few years ago, and there were a lot of things on that list. I stopped following it because it cut out a lot of healthy things I was eating, like fruits and veggies, and herbs. I tried hard to keep those out of my diet, but I couldn't see any differences in how I felt while not eating them. So I added them back into my diet - but in small increments. If I eat something on my list, I'll do my best to keep away from everything else.

Why am I not having my smoothies every morning anymore? It's not like they were hard to make. I should prepackage everything I need to make them. I just googled the idea and apparently I'm way behind in the times lol. I used to prepackage some of the fruit, but never the entire smoothie, minus the liquid. Holy crap. That's what I'm doing tonight. I can add the protein powder to the baggie. *facepalm* I can't believe I haven't been doing this.

So new plan - morning smoothies. I need to go to the store and pick up spinach and kale, since they appear to be easily freezable. GENIUS! I'm so proud of myself :)

And I'm starting a weekly healthy challenge in my local PCOS group. I can't wait to get started! I feel better already :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Trying this menu thing again

I've mentioned it already, but I have no car. I think it'll do me some good, though. I'm going to start walking to the grocery store a few times a week, buying only what is needed to make meals for a few days. This will allow me to get exercise - about 1 mile at a time, and keep produce fresh so it doesn't get lost in the fridge. I'm still using the organic food service from urban Acres, and I'll use it to plan some of my weekend meals.

I have to change my life. I have to get healthy. I need to focus on wellness. I WILL succeed.

I keep saying that I'm going to change, but haven't done anything about it. But I can either say I want to do it, or actually do it. I need to shave my legs and hit the pool. I need to walk to the grocery store instead of asking my mom for a ride. I'm going to pull my yoga mat out of the closet (I'm a bit ashamed that it got put in there in the first place...)

I know I sound like a broken record. "I'm going to do this. I'm going to do that." But I haven't done it. So I'm going to keep saying I'll do it until I actually do it.

I'm starting with my menu and grocery plan. I should get paid tomorrow, and I'll head to the grocery store tomorrow night to get the needed ingredients for the rest of the weekend. Then, Sunday, I'll go to the store that evening and get groceries for Mon - Thurs. And it'll be a repeating cycle. Every Thursday and Sunday I'll go grocery shopping. That guarantees 2 miles of walking a week.

And I'm going to start bringing my lunch to work - and reheating it in the break room so I can do laps while waiting on it. Yesterday I speed-walked 1000 feet - 1/5 of a mile, in just 5 minutes.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Doctor... Doctor Who? A.K.A. Damn you, Netflix :)

Oh, the hardships of having no cable TV... We decided that we were paying way too much money for cable, when there were only a handful of channels we watched. Of course we couldn't get the basic cable, because it was missing half of the channels we wanted. So I cut it off completely. And I'm so glad I did. We upgraded our internet service, bought a year of Xbox Gold membership, and subscribed to Hulu Plus and Netflix.

Although we have decided to cancel our Hulu subscription, we love Netflix. Hulu is great for current shows, but Netflix is awesome because we can watch an entire series. When it first came out, I LOVED Alias. It was a spy show starring Jennifer Garner. My mom and I used to watch it every week. But Hubs had never heard of it! Seriously, he lived under a mountain. At least when it came to TV. So we watched all 5 seasons of Alias. We decided that instead of watching various shows all at once, we would choose a series and watch it all before switching to a new show. Except I watch TEDTalks when Hubs isn't around.


After we finished Alias, we started on Doctor Who. Previously, I had never seen an episode of Doctor Who. And I can't believe I waited so long. I love it. Rose (Billie Piper), one of the Doctor's companions, we knew from a show we loved called Secret Diary of a Call Girl. Of course that just made us more excited about the show. There's a lot I would love to say, but I wouldn't want to spoil it for anyone. I can say, though, that the world is small. Just a day after we watched the first episode that featured the town/city of Cardiff, I received a request to make a card for someone that lived there. I mentioned what a coincidence it was, and I found out that not only did she live in Cardiff, but she was one of the people that worked on the team that was responsible for getting some of the shows filmed in Cardiff! That was definitely an awesome moment. And I got to share that with a coworker that is a Doctor Who fan - and of course, he thought it was pretty cool too.

Photo from http://www.bbc.co.uk

I'm torn as to which one is my favorite Doctor so far. They are equally funny in their own way. Hubs thinks that the one on the left, played by Christopher Eccleston, is his favorite, and I tend to agree. But David Tennant is awesome too. 

As for all the newer series shows that we don't get on Netflix, like Ink Master, CSI, and Grimm, well we just watch them via a website.

So I can honestly say that I doubt I will ever go back to cable television. This way is so much cheaper. and no commercials!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Eliminating fear of change by changing fear

I did my final weigh in for SCWLC. It was 247 pounds. The first weigh in was 251.2, so I lost 4.2 pounds in 6 weeks. Oh Em Gee. And I didn't really do anything. Well, ok, I was eating better. very few donuts. And I've been eating lots of fruits - strawberries and cherries :) I've considerably cut back on Jack in the Box, because we found WhichWich. And because the car broke down, so I have to bring food from home. and I started eating the fruits and veggies I get from Urban Acres every two weeks.

So that was a nice surprise. I know that I really need to start working out more. and I get mad at myself for choosing TV over exercise. I just end up exhausted by the time I get home, especially now that I'm working much longer hours. But I'm working towards getting better. It's a slow process, which frustrates me, but in the end things will change.

I'm one of those people that wants to see results immediately. I think a lot of us are like that now. I feel I don't have time to wait. Or that I'm tired of fighting and I just want the end result.

I know that major drawbacks for me are my illnesses. I fear that if I start taking better care of myself again, start working out, then my body will fall apart all over again. It's a stupid fear. It sounds counter-intuitive. How can taking better care of myself lead to getting sicker? It happened the first time. That's what bothers me. I was doing so well, then it all went to hell, and I haven't been able to find a way to fight that fear. Yes, it probably was just a badly timed coincidence.

So that's my new (and only!) goal for the next month or two, or four. I have to get over this fear before I can move on and move forward with my life.

This post on MindBodyGreen.com showed up in my email today:
http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10577/dont-believe-everything-you-think-especially-when-youre-afraid.html

"What’s causing you to keep running into the same damn brick wall? Fear. To be specific, fear of PAIN. Our nature is to avoid pain at all costs."

Tonight I'm getting something done.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

My Bucket List

I've done the 101 in 1001, 30 before 30, and now it's time to focus on my lifetime bucket list. I think it's easier for me to look at a list without a due date attached. Eases the pressure and potential feelings of failure. Although at some point I need to get used to setting deadlines for myself and actually following through with them...
  1. visit another continent
  2. go zorbing
  3. climb to the top of a mountain
  4. visit Machu Picchu
  5. spend the night in an underwater hotel
  6. spend a night in an ice hotel
  7. see Aurora Borealis
  8. see a show on Broadway
  9. write and self publish a cookbook
  10. run a 5k
  11. go sailing
  12. go deep sea fishing
  13. learn another language fluently
  14. go scuba diving
  15. ride in a hot air balloon
  16. go skydiving
  17. become a beekeeper
  18. read all of Dean Koontz's books
  19. become as healthy as possible
  20. become a big sister
  21. own a farm in the country
  22. Adopt a child
  23. swim with dolphins
  24. go on a yoga retreat in another country
  25. go to a TEDTalk conference
  26. go geo-caching
  27. Drive the entire Natches Trace in a convertible
  28. Eat at a Mario Battali restaurant
  29. Eat at a Cat Cora restaurant
  30. Eat at a Masaharu Morimoto restaurant
  31. Donate money to a KivaLoan
  32. Visit Yellowstone at least twice
  33. Make 100 cards for strangers (4 down, 96 to go)
  34. Watch baby turtles enter the sea for the first time
  35. Visit Salem, MA on Halloween
  36. Get my navel pierced.... again.
I'm sure that this is going to be an ongoing list... I'll find things I want to add or subtract from time to time, and I'll want to update it when I accomplished an item. We'll see how it goes :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

That figures...

Every once in a while I mention that I think Murphy's Law needs to be changed to  Lynne's Law. It strikes, yet again. Tuesday, the car died on Hubs when he was  coming to pick me up. He just barely made it into the parking lot before it  completely gave up.

We had a tow truck come get it, and decided that we'd start looking for issues on  Wednesday. We were attempting to check the fuel filter when we noticed that the  hose that connects the air box into the intake manifold and mass air flow sensor  and a huge crack in it. We had to go to the dealership to get the part because no auto parts store sells them. You'd think that such an important (and fairly simple)  part would be available there, but no.

So we replaced it. The car started!!! Yay! Then the knocking started. Damn. After  doing some online research and finding videos on YouTube of the same knocking  issue, we determined it was 1 of 3 things - a rod, piston or crankshaft problem.  All of which require taking the frikkin' engine apart. After several calls to  mechanics in the area, and lowest quotes going for $3500, we might as well get another car. I promised myself I'd get another Mustang, and I hope that I can make  good on that promise. But I need a vehicle, so I'll take what I can get. I don't  know where I am going to come up with the money, but I will. We always manage to figure it out.

I wish there were Groupons for cars.

On a much lighter note, I finished 4 cards last night, out of the 13 currently on  my list. I spent 3-4 hours working on them, and I was really happy when I was done. I didn't watch any tv, just listened to Hubs play video games. I didn't hurt much, which is always awesome. I really hope they like the cards. I made 2 for little kids, one for a teenager, and one for an adult. I'm doing a Dallas Cowboys themed one next, so I've got to start looking for pictures to print.

And.... I have friends coming over tomorrow night for a pot luck and the neighborhood's biggest water balloon fight! With temperatures in the triple digits, I figured water balloons would be a lot of fun :)

And.... I got my IFF hyperbolic geometry book! If I find time this weekend, and a crochet needle and yarn from my grandmother, I'm going to start making coral! I'm so excited to read and learn and craft!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cards and glitter


I found a new group on facebook today. It's for people with illnesses that want to swap goodies with others around the world. Awesome, right? I've participated in a couple around Christmas, but this group doesn't have a holiday requirement. I offered to make cards for anyone that wanted one, and I said that I didn't expect anything in return.

I love making cards. I love scrapbooking. I love crafting in general. But I haven't been doing it lately. Maybe I thought I had to have the office organized. Or I wanted the dining room organized. Then when my niece came to visit from college, I had planned to get the office rearranged so we could make cards. We used the living room floor instead, because, of course, I hadn't touched the office. I can't really be upset about it because it was my choice. Anyways, I didn't do it.

I realized that if I offered to make cards for other people, I would have to make them. And I need that push to do something more useful than watching the tv. At least I could do something productive for others while I was watching it. And I'm thinking that since Hubs and I have worked on the dining room to some extent, it's very possible that I could finish it so I can use the table for crafting. That will make me happy and I'll feel productive. Yay for productivity! I'm looking forward to making all these cards.

Original Post
I think I need to make some signs like this. I love the glitter one - and Hubs hates it. Usually it's because he ends up with enough glitter on him to look like a stripper.

And now that I have said that, it's time for more pictures about glitter! (and a few more about crafting.)


Found on pinterest


(Clicking on the picture should take you to the original site, unless I found it on pinterest. If I have the wrong photo credit and you know the correct one, let me know and I'll fix it!)

I just realized that this is my 200th post. I don't think it really means anything, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Having a geek moment

I feel like the only thing I have to blog about lately is my current mental and physical status. And that doesn't seem like something anyone else in interested in. I'm even annoying myself because I can't find any other topic to write about. I don't have kids to write about, my zoo doesn't do anything especially interesting, and I don't do anything at home that warrants discussion.

Okay, except this - which I'm totally excited about.



Hyperbolic geometry. Yep, I'm a nerd, and I'm proud of it. I've always loved math. Well, except for algebra 1 in 9th grade. Hated my teacher, and hated that I couldn't understand what the heck she was trying to teach. Algebra 2 went better. And college algebra was the best because I had an AWESOME teacher. If he ever reads this, I know he'll know I'm talking about him :)

I ordered the book. A Field Guide to Hyperbolic Space: An Exploration of the Intersection of Higher Geometry and Feminine Handicraft by Margaret Wertheim (check out the website, Institute for Figuring). Sounds very nerdy, right? When I was younger, someone taught me how to crochet. I'll admit, I wasn't that great at it. I'm a whiz at making chains, and I can sorta make round objects, like coasters and rugs. But I have no idea how to make anything remotely useful. And in all honesty, learning how to crochet a coral doesn't really sound all that helpful either. BUT... knowing that I can make a physical representation of something mathematicians couldn't figure out until just a few decades ago is awesome. What if I turn out to be the next Pythagoras? (granted, he has to do with Euclidian geometry, but you get my point.) I know I'm not a genius, although some of my friends might lean towards disagreeing with that. I'm just excited to try and make something new. Something I can be proud of.

On a completely separate note - I'm also learning a completely new way of software programming, called test-driven development. It's pretty nifty, and useful with systems like ours. It's likely to be boring to anyone that isn't in a software related field, but you should check it out if you know what I'm talking about :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Weekend of Change

I have come to the decision that I need to start taking all of the supplements I was taking previously, before my decent back into the black hole called depression. I'm on enough prescriptions to keep me from jumping back into that hole, but they aren't helping me climb back up the mountain. I'm just sitting on the edge.

I stopped taking a lot of them for no reason. That was stupid. I remember being energetic, excited to cook, loving exercise. I need to get back to that. I've still got all the supplements, so I'm going to be bagging a lot this weekend. When I was on them last, I found it a lot easier to take them when they were already pre-bagged and labeled with the times I needed to take them.

My plan is to start taking these again:
Cinnamon
N-Acetyl Cysteine
B6 & B12
D
High DHA fish oil
Inositol

There might be more, but I'll have to check my box first. Yes, I have a box labeled 'Unopened Pills'. And it's a big box. I think I'll have to go buy more bags, because my last ones disappeared.

I'm also going to be filling out some short workbooks I found online in regards to personal development. (As well as completing more tasks on Happify.com) I like doing these because they ask questions I wouldn't think to ask myself. I learn things that I might not realize in the beginning. I use these to help me find aspects of my life that are better or worse than I thought they are - it's important to me to understand myself so I can better choose my motivations. I know that I'm a sucker for immediate change, and that doesn't exist when it comes to happiness. So I'm hoping that some of these questions and workbooks will help me understand why I give up if I can't have something immediately. I pulled them from a couple of different websites:

DawnBarclay.com (99 Personal Development Questions, Balance Wheel, Core Values)
MindTools.com (Design Your Life)
InspiredLifeDesign.com (Give Wings to Your Dreams)
DanielleLaporte.com (Workbook O' Fire)

I want to understand myself. Isn't that something everyone should want? I recently read an article that said happiness peaks at two ages, 23 and 69 (Article here). Well, at least in Germany. I've passed age 23. I was happy at the beginning of 23, but not at the end. It was probably my fault, as I know that there's no one to blame for my happiness other than myself - unless I'm in prison or something, where happiness isn't necessarily easily cultivated.

What steps are you taking to be happy? Are there parts of your life that bother you? Parts that you want to change?