Tuesday, December 30, 2014

It's the end of the world as we know it! (ok, just 2014)

It's the end of 2014, and time for a new year. We've had some ups and downs this year, and I'm ready for it to be over. However, if the last month or two hadn't happened, I'd probably be starting the new year out like it was any old day, instead of a great time to make a fresh start.

The new medication is fabulous - although Hubs and I have been wondering if it's not actually helping, but sending me into a manic episode instead. It's very hard for me to be upset about this, because when I'm manic, things around the house get done, I spend more time hanging out with friends, I watch less tv, I cook more, and some other less appropriate things to discuss :) But Hubs knows when a manic episode goes from being helpful to dangerous, so he is watching me very closely. The first time I seem a little bit too impulsive, angry, violent, or way out of the ordinary, he'll let me know, and I'll call the doc. But it was nice to hear when he said "Welcome Back". I haven't been this happy and felt this good in a really long while, and I don't want it to end. My bestie came over last weekend and we got almost the entire house cleaned. For those of my friends who have been to my house, you'd be shocked. Like, you've only seen this happen a couple of times in the past decade.

In the past I've tried to downsize my kitchen supplies, because I've got the equipment, plates, cups and bowls to feed a friggin' army. But that always caused problems for me, because if I had clean dishes, I wouldn't wash the old ones. So I made a drastic decision and trashed literally every piece of plastic from my kitchen. No more tupperware, crappy cups, etc. I have been wanting to convert to glass for over a year because it's healthier, and my sister's gift of mason jars really helped. I still have my pots and pans because I just can't part with them, but the serious reduction in plastic has been a huge relief already.

The relationship between Hubs and I has blossomed in ways I never thought posible, because of a personal decision we made to do something really unusual per today's relationship expectations. It'll be a little while before I'm willing to openly discuss our changes, but one day I just might feel like admitting to it haha.

So what revelations did I have in 2014 that will totally change 2015?

- I'm vegetarian, headed for vegan. I realized that I love all animals, and hate knowing that I'm eating an animal that didn't deserve/need to die or be tortured to satisfy my hunger. There are plenty of plants, seeds and nuts that provide everything I need without hurting animals at all. And along with this change has come more of an understanding of my body. I'm learning how my body reacts to different substances, and it's making my decision to change my life even easier. I keep getting told or asked the same things - "That's so hard! How do you make sure you get protein? Are you eating enough? How can you eat so restrictively?" This isn't a restriction. If anything, it allows me to break
free from the expectations that I need a big portion of meat to feed me. I've been vegetarian for almost 3 months now, and I haven't felt upset or hungry because I'm not eating meat. In fact, I actually love this change. And it's cheaper on my pocketbook!

- I do not need an arbitrary date to change my life. Thanks to Leann at Healthful Pursuit, I am learning that every second is an opportunity for change. I don't need to get mad at myself for eating bad. I just forget about it and move on. I don't have to just give up and start another day. It's the simplest thing I've ever learned, and I wish that I had incorporated it years ago. But - no regrets - change starts right this second :)

- It's totally okay to be different. I'm not normal. My husband isn't normal. My friends aren't normal. Who cares? Not me! I love the way I am and the people in my life, and I won't let anyone try to make me feel bad because my life doesn't agree with them.

- The desire and willingness to change my life has to come from within. I can't do it for anyone else. I want to change for myself. I want to feel healthier, be happier with the way I look, and love life.

- I love myself - no matter what. I'm awesome just the way I am. I might have some things I want to change, but that doesn't mean I don't love myself right now. And more than ever, some of the changes I have made in my relationship with Hubs have solidified this new self-love.

I'm looking forward to the next year. Are you?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

I forgot new meds could mess with my sleep.....

After last night's dream, I felt it was time for a med update. I've been on the effexor for a week. I've noticed that I have more drive to do some things, and less in others. Since the weather has been horrid for the past few days, I've been in the wheelchair again, and lying in bed when at home. In bed, I'm depressed because I don't want to watch tv. I used to love tv, and I ended up taking a 4 hour nap last night instead. Hubs has been spending a lot of time at his friend's because they like to play video games that I don't. I miss him, because he's always gone most of the night, so I'm watching tv by myself. I can't get mad at him because I totally understand his frustration, but I can't help the way I feel when he's gone.

But other than sadness when at home, I'm doing fairly well. The dreams, however, have been unusual. I don't often remember dreams, but this week I have. They've been vivid, some happy, some bad. Last night's was by far the most interesting.

I decided to open a vegan restaurant called Garden on Market Street. It was a cute little place, not too big, with about 12 tables. We had a little stage in the corner for live music. A wall covered in chalkboard paint so that people could decorate the walls themselves - a way to advertise local artists without actually having to pay for art. Our first customer was a food critic with Zagat. He was pretty satisfied with the meal and we got a B rating. I was stoked. We had a few more customers, and as I was about to lock up, I saw the Obamas walking down the street, looking intently at my restaurant. I may not be a fan, but with the first lady's dedication to getting our country to eat better, I was not going to miss the opportunity for national recognition. The girls were quite happy to draw all over the wall and the family was satisfied with their meal. I managed to resist the temptation to take pictures of them while they weren't paying attention. But I did manage to build up the courage to ask them for a picture to put on our wall - because who wouldn't want to advertise that one of the most powerful families in the country decided that they wanted to visit my restaurant?

The next day I had to run to the store to pick up more produce - our menu changed based on what was in season. My mom and grandfather went with me. I didn't realize until later that evening, when my sous chef, Data from the Enterprise, stated cooking meat that my grandfather decided to buy meat and stick it in our fridge. Obviously that goes against everything a vegan restaurant stood for, so I was upset. Even worse, I didn't notice until after the dish had gone out to Gordon Ramsay!?!?! This guy could make our break my restaurant career, and we served him meat. I welcomed him into the kitchen to explain what happened. He ended up staying the rest of the night to help me keep things going well. It appeared he genuinely wanted to help this restaurant succeed. By the end of the night, we had full house turnover at least twice. Besides the meat fiasco, everyone was very happy. Some of the last customers were an older gentleman and a tattoo artist. As a tip, the older gentleman told me that he'd pay for any tattoo I wanted. I couldn't help but be excited, and planned on getting a tattoo thta incorporated veggies and the restaurant name. I never actually saw the tattoo before I woke up.

Day 3 was a Friday. I went shopping again that morning, and ya know, I love produce shopping. Gordon Ramsay joined me, as did my mom and grandfather. We talked about all the different produce options, the veggies I've never tried, and the new recipes we would experiment with that evening. It was the first day that we planned on staying open really late - because I figured there was a niche for vegan stoners, and they needed awesome food too. I had hired a guy I saw from Top Chef - not one of my favorite chefs, actually, so I'm not sure why he was in my dream - Steven Asprinio. He was hired to make sure that my restaurant looked as great as it could, while still being family friendly. He saw this as the time to teach children. A corner of the restaurant almost turned into a classroom, and that just sat weird with me. He didn't last long, as Gordon Ramsay agreed that the "classroom-ish" design was a little odd. As the night went on and I was in the kitchen, going crazy trying to keep everything on track, Scott Conant and his wife came in. I told them that I would love to make them a completely custom meal, one that no one else was eating. They agreed, and I put Data on the job. Oops. Apparently there was fish in the fridge as well, and Data decided that frying it in the tempura batter I was using for the fried squash. At least this time I caught it before it went out! Scott Conant is a restaurateur and I could use his backing as well as Gordon's.  Do you know how much oil it takes to fill a deep fryer? I hated trashing everything, but I didn't have a choice. I couldn't let the reputation of my restaurant go to hell because Data was being too logical. But things ended up being fine, and the night ended up profitable and fun!

I left out a lot of little details, like conversations with customers and the like. But I think you get the point. I just hope that I continue to have more good dreams than bad - the bad dreams mess with my sleep and I wake up exhausted!

On an unrelated note - I was doing some work implementing a new PDF creation process when I ran into some problems. I emailed the support department and they told me that what I wanted wasn't supported. That's ridiculous, because I was trying to do some really simple things. Thanks to the guys, I was able to come up with my own way to handle the issue and make things work. I emailed support back and told them if they ever decided they wanted to implement something similar, I was available for contract hire hahaha. I love it when I come up with something that the creators or the program don't know how to do. It makes me feel smarter than them - I don't know if that's a good thing or me just being cocky. Who cares, as long as I get the job done?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Diet and School updates

Dietary Change update:
It's been about a month and a half now since I went vegetarian. It has been so easy for me. I really thought it was going to be hard, but I don't even miss meat that much. I'd be losing weight if I stopped eating peanut butter m&ms. I ran out of those last night and don't plan on asking Hubs to buy me any more. I hope to start seeing some weight disappear then. Thanksgiving has been the first holiday since I made this change, and I figured I might cheat and eat a little turkey. But Dad said that he's making a ham instead, and I hate ham, so it's a win-win situation! I'm making my usual from scratch green bean casserole - yum!

School update:
I finished my Anatomy and Physiology course with a final grade of 96. Woohoo! I've started my next class, Natural Heath and Nutrition. It focuses on the foods we eat that are beneficial for us and I'm really excited to learn more. This is exactly why I wanted to study nutrition!

I wanted to highlight some of the things I learned in A&P that I have already changed in my own life.
**The health of your intestines is super important. It's where all of your vitamins and nutrients are gathered and distributed. If your gut isn't happy, nothing else will be. And the top suggestions for gut health? Prolonged chewing and a probiotic. We don't chew long enough. I remember learning in elementary school that we should count to 100 when we chew. I always thought it was too damn long, but now I realize that it had benefits. Our digestion starts with our saliva. When we don't chew very long, we don't give our saliva time to do it's job before our food heads to the stomach. Proper mastication (such a fancy word for chewing!) results in almost no solids before we swallow. Imagine taking your food, throwing it in a blender, and drinking it. That's how our food should be once we finish chewing! The added bonuses of taking a long time to chew are mindfulness and portion control. The longer we take to eat, the more we can focus on the taste, and our body has time to tell our head that we aren't hungry anymore. Our gut also needs healthy bacteria, and if we don't intentionally focus on it, health pretty much goes out the window. A probiotic will help with the bacteria. Sugar and candida (yeast) do not help our gut at all. So if you eat a lot of sugar, and/or have candida overgrowth, then your gut needs some assistance. Because of this, I decided to start taking a probiotic. I chose the Ultimate 16 strain probiotic from Swanson Vitamins. I'll continue to post about any results I see from this. (Link here)

**There are a couple of vitamins and minerals that people believe vegetarians/vegans don't get enough of. My main concerns were protein and iron - then I saw just how much protein is in certain veggies when compared to animal protein. Check out this infographic!

As for iron, I know that I don't get enough, and I'm slightly anemic. I usually take an iron supplement anyway, but I switched to one that was more bio-available. That means our bodies can process it more easily.

**Glucosamine - This has been important to me because of arthritis. It's the only supplement shown to reverse the progression of arthritis. Holy crap, right? I started taking a glucosamine, chondroitin and MSM supplement after I was diagnosed, but it was great to read that I was already doing something right.

So here's my current list of supplements that I take daily.
Iron complex
Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSM
Turmeric - many benefits for mental and physical issues
N-acetyl cysteine - shown to work as well as metformin for women with PCOS
Vitamin D
Folic acid
Probiotic
DHA fish oil

I love my classes, and I can't wait to share more as I continue my studies. As a disclaimer, I am not a licensed medical professional, so it's a good idea to talk to a doctor before you make any dietary changes.

Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Ch ch cha changes!

Today is a day of change again. My psychiatrist and I decided to try a new anti-depressant. Although the process freaks me out, I understand and need this change. My doctor believes that being able to function isn't the only thing that we should focus on. I should be happy, not just functioning. So after increasing the dosages on my previous meds and not seeing any benefits, we decided to change. Change scares the crap out of me. As the sole income earner in the household, the thought of trying a new med makes me worry that it could affect not just myself, but the Hubs and the zoo. What if I get super depressed - worse than I already am? (even though you couldn't tell by just looking at me) I've missed a lot of work this month due to my body falling apart. Oh, I don't think I've talked about that yet, so we'll put a pin in it and I'll go back to that in a minute. So as it currently stands, missing any more work this month will lead to a lack of grocery and gas money next month. Unless my awesome bosses decide to surprise us with a Christmas bonus again this year, but I'm expecting it. 

I've already talked to my coworkers, and they are watching for any weird actions on my part, because besides Hubs, they are the ones that would notice anything. I realized that I wasn't as open with the employees at my last company, so it feels really good to be able to rely on others to notice things I might not. My hope is that the new meds work and don't throw me off kilter. Doc expects to start noticing differences within the first week, so I've got a couple of days to go before I might see any difference. So far today is good, so that's a great start.

Now back to the falling apart. When a cold front came through a little over a week ago, my back decided it didn't want to work anymore. I couldn't stand, let alone walk around. I was in tears just getting out of bed. Painkillers and muscle relaxants weren't doing any good. Hubs found a heating blanket and I started lying on it when I'm home. It helps a little - not enough to get out of bed, but enough to stop crying, so that's nice. A wonderful friend of mine has loaned me a walker and wheelchair, so I have a way to get around. Although I hate admitting that I'm rolling around in a wheelchair, it's much better than lying in bed all day. 

I've written a second post talking about the diet changes I've been making, so look out of that tomorrow! Have a great Thanksgiving! Gobble gobble :)


Thursday, October 30, 2014

It's Halloween! Woohoo!

It's been almost 3 weeks since I started making the transition to a vegetarian. I've only had meat products 3 times, which I'm pretty stoked about. I'm still working on the move to dairy-free, but I'm not rushing myself. Heck, if I can go fully vegetarian for a month, I'd be really happy.

I have a few reasons for making these changes.
1) Documentaries have shown me the results of what meat production has done to our environment, our bodies, and animals.
2) Animal protein is not the only protein. Our bodies are perfectly capable of eating plant based proteins, like soy and legumes.
3) A considerable amount of food poisoning is from under-cooked meat. Cut out meat and significantly reduce the chance of food poisoning.
4) If we can get everything our body needs from plants, why do we need to kill animals for their meat? What's the point?
5) I want to teach myself to be self-sufficient without the need to slaughter animals. I could have a huge garden with everything I need.
6) All the cholesterol we need is produced by our liver. But eating animal proteins and dairy add more cholesterol to our body. Our liver also starts producing more cholesterol if we have a high bad fat intake. Most heart disease would disappear if we stopped eating animal proteins! (Queue the minions: http://youtu.be/MfylJy_nMbM)

If I had a big following, I'm sure that what I'm about to say would cause a ruckus lol. Is vegetarian ethically bad compared to vegan? Are unfertilized chicken eggs considered animals? Is milking a goat or cow inhumane? I've always wanted to have chickens - but I don't want them for meat. I want them for eggs. I've wanted goats too, for milk and cheese. Hubs would love if he got a cow for fresh milk and butter. I even want bees! But I want the bees for garden pollination, but honey would be nice too. Hubs and I were watching Magic School Bus last night (because you are never too old for educational cartoons! Or cartoons of any sort lol) and learned more about bees. I knew the basics, but the thought of bees dying in the winter because we stole their honey makes me sad. But I need to do more research. I know that bee populations are steadily declining, and that's bad for our fruits and veggies.

I guess my question is: would I be treating my animals inhumanely if I harvested eggs and milked them? I love my zoo, and they eat better than we do. So any farm animals would be loved and cared for just as well.

Ok, I went off on a little tangent, but I think it was useful for me. Back to life updates!

I've had red and pink hair for a week now and I friggin' love it! I've never received compliments on my hair like I did on Friday. Random people in parking lots and stores were amazed at how well Lizz did the colors. It sure took a long time to do, but I'm so happy with it. 'Pinky' is Hubs' latest term of endearment for me. I haven't shown most of my family yet because I don't want to hear them complain lol.

And for the last of the updates: It's my favorite time of the year! Halloween and our anniversary! We have been dating for 7 years yesterday and married 5 years Halloween night! We are celebrating this year by going to a Slipknot and Korn concert. It's going to be awesome! I can't wait!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Vegetarian life update

I've made it through the first 3 days as a vegetarian, and I haven't missed meat at all. I know that the first few weeks are the hardest, and I'm pleased so far. I've been using quinoa and hemp seeds for proteins, and will be using nuts and beans as well. There are thousands of recipes online, and I've already tried some. I'm having to teach Hubs that it's okay for him to eat meat, and that I have no problem cooking it for him. I just don't add meat to my meal. It's surprisingly easy. We went to the grocery store on Saturday, and I walked out with no animal proteins or dairy in my bags. It was easy to ignore the meat.

My PCOS group is doing an event called "Creating Goals with Soul", using Danielle LaPorte's Workbook O' Fire. Some of the girls are so excited to participate - and we could all use a little help sticking to our goals.
My current health goals:
- Continue my vegetarian lifestyle change
- Eliminate my coffee consumption (I've already reduced it to one cup a day, down from 4)
- Keep up my half mile walk on my elliptical

I don't know when I'll start to see changes because of these goals, but I know that I have to stick to them. And I will. I've decided that I will only be getting on the scale once a month. The number isn't as important as how I feel, so I don't want it to get me discouraged.

I'll keep you updated on how things go.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Major lifestyle change ahead!

I am about to embark on the biggest journey of my life. I'm going vegetarian. Almost vegan.

That's a big deal. Cutting out meat and dairy is a challenge, but I'm up for it. I might still eat the occasional burger or deviled egg, but my goal is to eat a whole food plant based diet.

Netflix has changed my life. After watching Food Inc, I stopped buying meat and eggs unless they were grass fed, pasture raised and hormone free. TED Talks taught me that we have a major sugar problem. Veducated introduced me to more problems with the way our animals are raised. Forks Over Knives convinced me that I'm ready to be a vegetarian. I've had it on my 30 before 30 list before, to go a week without meat. But it's not just meat - it's animal protein in general that I want to eliminate. I don't think it'll be too difficult for me, because I already limit my animal consumption. All I have to do is just let it go.

If I come up with any great recipes, I'll post them. For now, I'll be using ChoosingRaw.com for a lot of recipes, and I'll be researching lots of new vegetarian and vegan blogs.

I'm looking forward to this because it's not my only change. On the 23rd, I'm going a little wild and dying my hair red and pink. Pictures will be posted later!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Sept Life Update

I'm officially in school and taking my first course, anatomy and physiology. There's a lot of information to learn, but I'm loving it. I'm ignoring arthritis to make flash cards, so that has to mean something haha. I had the first thought last night that I might even want to proceed with my doctorate in the future. But I'm getting way ahead of myself. One course at a time.

I've been eating better because I'm not buying crap anymore. Salads are the new meal of choice for myself and Hubs. The fridge is full of veggies, we're stocked on salad dressing, and dinner is super easy now. It feels great to eat healthy, and it's even better when Hubs tells me he wants salad for dinner. :)

We did have a little headache-causing situation a couple of weeks ago. The next door neighbor was washing dishes when he got distracted by a work call and rushed out the door. He forgot to turn the water off. So Friday night, half our apartment was soaked. Maintenance got a guy in to clean all the water up and replace the carpet padding. I figured it would be much more difficult, but they were fast. I'm glad that we caught it when we did. The only damage for us was a wet box spring, and a night out on the patio dried it out.

My PCOS group is starting a new event called "Creating Goals with Soul" based on the Fire-Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte. We are starting with the free mini-book, Workbook o' Fire. My hope is that together we can set real goals and achieve them together. I want them to see the group as a useful means of support for anything. It's hard to fight PCOS alone. It requires hope in the future, belief in yourself, and a lot of self-care. We all need it, so why not support each other while we do it? We'll be working on this for 3 months, and hopefully we'll have the skills necessary to start really making those New Year's. We'll see how it goes. Now I'm off to study!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Big news!

FIRST OFF: MY SUPPORT GROUP MEMBERSHIP COUNT IS NOW TRIPLE DIGIT! WE HAVE OVER 100 PEOPLE!

Tonight I bought an essential oil blend. I've done some research and read blogger reviews and comparisons and such. I picked a company, then decided which 1 single oil blend I wanted to try first. Originally I had 10 in my cart and almost had a heart attack when I saw the total. Basing my decision off the need in our family, I picked a pain relieving oil for my fibro and Hubs' leg. The one I picked also had a PCOS-related benefit, so the choice was a no-brainer. I plan to use it for a month, or the end of the bottle, whichever comes first. I bought a 15ml bottle to make sure I wouldn't run out soon.

Now I don't know the first thing about using essential oils. When I first started looking at it, and reading about the wholesale/MLM kits from some companies, I was a little overwhelmed. I was looking at a box full of oils, but how would I know what to mix? I wouldn't, not yet at least. (more details on that in a minute!) So a friend that sells oils invited me to an Essential Oils 101 class. I'm planning on going, because free knowledge about this would be very helpful. I know that oils are so much better for me than all the meds I am taking, and I'm working towards being as natural as possible.

I know I haven't given you any brand names. This is because I don't want to recommend anything by any company I haven't yet tried. Those will come later.

And my really exciting news - I'm back in school! Woohoo! The plan is to complete an Associates degree in Natural Health Studies. Maybe even go further than that, but I'm taking it nice and easy. I have a few reasons why I want to do this.

  1. I love school. Really, I do.
  2. I want to learn how to take care of myself without prescription medicine. I want to eat healthy, know how my body works, and what I can do to fix it.
  3. I'm the founder of a PCOS support group, and as an advocate of natural health, I thought it would be sweet to officially say that there is a Natural Health Practitioner on full-time staff! I'm excited. The ladies in the group are excited.

My first class is Anatomy and Physiology. I ordered my books today. I'm looking forward to what I'll be learning. I'll be taking classes in herbology and essential oils, mental health, healing foods, and even health care for animals. I'm going to learn how to better take care of my zoo, too!!!

Isn't it obvious that I'm a little bit excited? I'm going to go study now.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Updating my 30 Before 30 list

My 20s are over in 3.5 years. To me, that seems like tomorrow. Mainly because of how fast 2014 has gone. There are a couple of things on my 30 before 30 list that I know will be happening soon, but some don't seem feasible to me anyone, so I'm modifying my list.
30 before 30:
Go Sky-diving
  1. Go Scuba diving
  2. Get my concealed handgun license.
  3. Buy a cute bikini and wear it with pride.
  4. Successfully complete one week  as a vegetarian.
  5. Empty my storage units
  6. Get a second dog
  7. Take another vacation
  8. Get a nicer car
  9. Complete blueprints for our tiny house and get started
  10. Find my inner peace
  11. Create an exercise routine that becomes second nature
  12. Run a 5K - actually run, not host
  13. Teach Spike to dance
  14. Become a Big Sister volunteer
  15. Get a passport and use it
  16. Take a course in something interesting
  17. Get a new tattoo - Scheduled for Oct 28, 2014
  18. Learn to play another musical instrument
  19. Become fluent in another language
  20. Get something pierced
  21. Dye my hair a crazy color
  22. Learn CPR
  23. Hold a tarantula
  24. Spend a weekend with my sister (no boys allowed!)
  25. Start a vegetable garden and actually take care of it - I'm going to start my garden again in Sept 2014.
  26. Start school again for a Master's or second Bachelor's - Well, I'm going back for another Associate's, but it's still school! I start my first class in mid-Sept 2014. I'm going to become a certified Natural Health Practitioner.
  27. Meet some of my online friends in real life
  28. Eat a meal made only from ingredients I have harvested on my own
  29. Enjoy the rest of my 20s.

    Wednesday, July 30, 2014

    Concerts and Roller Coasters!

    Since we moved to our smaller apartment, I've been experimenting with activities Hubs and I can enjoy. We already started with concerts. We've been to more this year than we have since we've been together!
    97.1 BFD 2014 - Theory of a Deadman, who happens to sing one of my theme-songs, along with a bunch of other bands like The Pretty Reckless, Five Finger Death Punch and Killswitch Engage.
    Motley Crue's final tour - I just knew I couldn't pass up this concert. I had a cat named Motley and a dog named Crue. It was an epic concert! I've never seen that many people at Gexa before. And Alice Cooper performed too!
    Mayhem Fest - it's only a week and a half away, and it has my all-time favorite band, Korn, performing with Avenged Sevenfold and others! This will make Korn concert #2 for me. Hubs has been to several. I've got to dig out my Korn outfit!

    Two weeks ago, I went to Six Flags' website to check out the season pass prices. I found out that last year they started memberships. It costs more than a single season pass, but it's cheaper monthly. We pay $7.25 per person, and then I ordered a membership meal pass for like $8.60. Total we pay about $34 a month to go to Six Flags as much as we want, eat free food at every visit, and free parking. We've been 4 times already! I work really close to it, so when I don't feel like cooking, I head to Six Flags for dinner hahaha. The food is huge! Hubs and I had to buy a bag to carry leftovers! After we eat, we ride a few rides, then go home. I think I've been more times this month than I have in my life. I also count each trip as exercise - it's a long walk from the parking lot to whichever restaurant we want to eat at. Then there's all the walking around the park. Last week my feet weren't too happy, but yesterday I only had to complain about my feet once! I know that a lot of the food at Six Flags isn't that great for me, so I try to make up for it with all the walking and healthier eating when I'm not there.

    Speaking of rides, I only waited in line for 10 minutes at Mr. Freeze. Its been years since I have been on it, and the lines were always long. Last night the park wasn't too busy because it rained earlier in the day. I decided to drag Hubs to the ride to check the line and it was so short! I was so excited to get to ride Mr. Freeze again! And it was backwards this time :) Hubs didn't want to ride, so he waited in line with me like he always does, then heads for the exit when it's my turn. He got out of the building just in time to see me ride. Apparently I have a unique scream and he can always identify me by it lol. I realize that a lot of you don't live in Texas and have no idea what I'm talking about, so here's a picture! Yes, that is straight up, 218 yards, and the ride is backwards so you are looking down as you drop. And it goes from 0 to 70 in less than 3.6 seconds. The video below is the full ride! I'm pretty convinced that Mr Freeze is my favorite coaster, followed by Titan, which Hubs won't ride either. Oh well.



    Tonight we are going bowling with a friend - I'll likely be more focused on the adorable red-headed baby he has, but he knows I can't help it lol.

    Tuesday, July 22, 2014

    Life updates for July

    I've been so busy with work, side projects and the support group lately that I haven't blogged about myself. That's not necessarily a bad thing. If I'm focused on a lot of stuff, it means my meds are working. I certainly can't disagree with that. So what am I working on?

    - Well, work is work. I never run out of things to do there.
    - I've got a project proposal to write up for a side gig.
    - Support group - fundraising, getting items added to the website to sell, getting promotional items out, prepping for the nutritionist presentation next month.

    Hub rearranged the living room last night. I was so excited! We have a lot more floor space and a place to put my desk so I can start working on more projects and side gigs. It can't hurt to make some more money. We will continue working on the room tonight - getting some stuff unpacked, consolidating boxes, etc. Soon I should be able to set up my home gym permanently. I figure if I see it I'll use it. It worked last time I had it out of the closet.

    Lucy on left, Sally on right
    We brought 2 guinea pigs home about a week ago. One of my best friend's pigs was preggo when she brought her home. She had a hunch she was preggo, but wasn't sure until the two cute little babies showed up. In attempts to downsize, she asked if we wanted one. Of course we almost never turn down an opportunity to adopt into our zoo. We went to visit and Hubs couldn't choose just one, so we brought both babies home. They are long-haired and friggin' adorable. They came with names from my nieces and nephews - Sally (now Mustang Sally) and Lucy (now Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds). Yesterday, my bestie asked if we could take the two she still has for a while. Apparently some landlords want pet deposits on caged animals too. Honestly I think that's ridiculous, but they are allowed to do it. Hubs is happy because we get to keep the male pig, Fred. He's a lazy, carefree guinea pig.

    My grandfather called me and told me to get my life together again... I had borrowed money from my grandmother and gave her a check to cash after I got paid. Then I called her and told her I was paid so she could deposit it. A week later my grandfather calls, tells me I need to get my life together, and says he's wants to deposit the check. Ugh. I told him I didn't care what he did because I told my grandmother that she could cash them a week ago. The forgetfulness of my grandparents is getting worse every day. How do you tell if you need to worry about Alzheimer's instead of general old age senility?  He's still mad that we have our furry and fluffy children. We're supposed to get rid of them because we have to buy them food. I'm sorry, but that's like getting rid of a human child because you lost your job. These are my children.

    The support group had a meetup last weekend - Jewelry in July. The ladies made bracelets! They took one for themselves, and all the others will be sold on our website soon. We've got a really big event in August that I am really excited about. We have arranged for a local nutritionist to give a 1 hour, FREE presentation about managing PCOS naturally. We'll be providing the presentation online in some form, but I'm not quite sure what yet. The flyer is below, in case you want to go, or want to advertise it to your friends!


    I think that's plenty of updates for now.

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Intentionally forgetting

    Today someone left a support group I'm in for childless people. She realized that as long as she is reminded that she will never have kids, she'll never be truly happy. I've felt this way before. I feel it almost every day. But she attached this pic with it.

    I've decided to list all of the hopes and expectations I believe people have of me. This way I can work towards shedding other people's expectations and focus on what I want to do. It may seem selfish, but in reality, if I'm always focused on making other people happy, I won't get to make myself happy.

    • I should become a Jehovah's Witness again
    • I should cater to the every whim of my family members
    • I should leave my husband because we are not the typical couple
    • I should work full time but always arrange my work schedule to meets other people's demands
    • I should never feel depressed or in pain when it interferes with someone else's plans
    • I should get a new job that pays more, no matter how much I love the one I have
    • I should get rid of my fur and feather babies because I have to buy their food (fucking ridiculous, right?!)
    • I should always be the person to contact a family member instead of them contacting me.
    • I should never have financial problems because of my degrees
    • I should stop 'complaining' about my multiple life-long diagnoses

    I read so often that we should focus on self-care. We shouldn't feel selfish if we worry about ourselves for once. I realized that there's one important word in all of this. SHOULD. No one should tell you how to live your life. Suggestions are okay. Advice is okay (when asked for it!). But telling me I SHOULD do things their way just rubs me wrong. I don't express it, even when there are times that I'd love to shut off my tact and just say exactly how I feel. I know that I need to stay tactful, but I need to back myself up and do what I want or need to do.

    Obviously there are plenty of times when I tell myself I should do something. But why do I say it? Because I'm mad at myself for whatever I didn't do. And there's no reason to be angry at myself. As long as I live that way, I will never be able to truly appreciate what I have.

    Okay, mini-rant over. You can go back to your life now, and I hope that maybe you shed some of the 'should's from your life. Only if you want to, of course. I'm not going to tell you what to do :)

    If I sound like I'm repeating myself, I kinda am. I wrote this related post back in January.

    Thursday, May 22, 2014

    My PCOS group is movin' on up!

    In the last several years of running a support group, I've brainstorm ideas to spread awareness of our group and cause. What good is a support group if you can't find it?

    - I've thought about flyers and brochures at doctor's offices, but ease of distribution was the issue. I didn't want to have to send people into Dr. offices and ask if they didn't mind putting up flyers. But yesterday I figured out the solution. Get a ton of free business cards, give them to all the girls in the group, and let them hand out cards to anyone and everyone they feel would benefit - including asking their doctor to leave a stack of cards for other patients. Quick, simple, and it doesn't require printing a bunch of flyers. I can get 250 cards free on VistaPrint.com, which is exactly what I am going to do! I created several options and posted photos in our group to let them decide which one is the best. I love the choice made! I've been buying stuff from VistaPrint for years - anything from business cards to keychains, sticky notes to car magnets. They have a little bit of everything, and even have great personalized holiday items. They continue to be one of my favorite websites to buy from!

    - I also finally decided to set up an email address for the group as well. I can use it in lots of places to advertise. I'll be adding it to the new cards as well. I've waited a while because I wanted to make sure I had time to respond quickly. But now that I have have two additional admins, it was time to get it up and running. All the admins have access to it so we shouldn't have any issues with response times.

    I'm really proud of our little group - all 63 of us! I was ecstatic just to see our membership hit 10, let alone 60! I'd love to keep it growing because with more people, we could do so much more!

    We'll be getting together to paint this weekend for our monthly meetup. Can't wait to post some pictures!

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    I forgot how good being happy felt

    Surprise! I decided to change my blog name. Don't worry, the URL hasn't changed :) It's been a little over a week since we finished the move to our new place. I wanted to give you an update on my resulting mental status.

    I've been so much happier this week. We love the apartment. Spike has calmed down a little with the barking. I haven't cried. I'm not upset about having a smaller kitchen. I enjoy knowing that I don't have room to buy more things. I have more money to do fun things, like buy Groupons for bowling & batting cages, concert tickets, etc. I know that we haven't been here long, but I am really starting to feel happy again. I LOVE IT! I've certainly missed this happy feeling and I can't wait for it to continue as time goes on.

    I went to Sprouts last night and got lots of organic fruits and veggies that I can snack on throughout the coming few weeks. Grass fed beef was on sale for super cheap, so my freezer is stocked. I'm going to start cooking again once I finish getting the kitchen organized. I get to start being creative with my food and it sounds so fun!

    I've already started making plans for ourselves and with friends - bowling with another couple and a concert with the Hubs in a couple of weeks. I've got two more concerts this summer that I plan to go to as well. I'm looking forward to getting back to a point where I can hang out with friends all the time. I used to be spontaneous, and I'm going back that direction.

    We had to put 4 new tires on the car, so we don't have a lot of extra money to spend this month, but that'll change. As I start going through the boxes in the apartment and in storage, I'll be working to get rid of more stuff that I don't really need.

    Things are starting to look up and I really needed it. Now to just work towards getting off some of my anti-depressants!

    Monday, May 12, 2014

    Accepting life

    I seriously love MindBodyGreen.com. It would be awesome to get paid for talking about them so much. Alas, that's not why I'm writing. I'm writing because yet another article hit home today. It's about acceptance. Learning to accept reality has been difficult for me in the past few years. I didn't want to accept that my husband can't have a biologically related child. I didn't want to accept that my life was headed down the wrong path, into a deeper, darker hole than I've ever been in before. I didn't want to accept that children just aren't in the cards for us for a while, if ever. I didn't want to accept that the plans I had for my life weren't feasible. I didn't want to accept that I was going to have to give up on a long-standing dream. Most recently, I didn't want to accept that I was a hoarder.

    Acceptance is hard. It doesn't just happen. It takes work. It takes effort. And most of all, it takes hope. That seems counter-intuitive; at first glance, acceptance is giving up hope. And pessimistic people will see it that way. I saw it that way. In some cases, hope can be interchanged with faith. Example: If your mom died, part of accepting that she is gone is the belief that one day you'll see her again in heaven. You have faith that God exists and heaven is real - and that faith helps you accept that her Earthly body is gone, but maybe in spirit she isn't. Obviously my religious views are different than most, and I don't believe that heaven or Hell exists, so I don't have the luxury of believing that I'll meet a dead family member ever again. My acceptance of death is different than others. But death isn't what I want to focus on today.

    The article has 5 main points about acceptance.

    1. Acceptance does not mean liking, wanting, choosing, or supporting.

    2. Acceptance is an active process. It must be practiced.

    3. Acceptance doesn't mean that you can't work on changing things.

    4. Acceptance doesn't mean you're accepting is going to be that way forever.

    5. We can practice acceptance toward our experience, people, appearance, emotions, ideas, and more.

    I haven't decided that I like the idea of never having kids. I hate the situation, but I have accepted that I can't have that dream right now. I can continue to work towards that goal. I can hope that in the future, I'll have changed what's necessary in order to have kids. But today, I can't. Today I'm an aunt and a child-free wife. I remind myself that I have plenty of time to become a mom. I don't have to worry about it right now. I can enjoy being a 20-something. Accepting the possibility of not having children doesn't mean it'll always be like this. We could get a call one day from a friend that is pregnant and wants us to adopt. The future is uncertain.

    I don't like that I have admitted I'm a hoarder, but I accept that at this point I am. I know that I can change my situation. I can teach myself to let go of unnecessary items. I can get rid of that project I started years ago that still isn't finished. I can trash that 7th grade yearbook I've been dragging around. I've accepted that I have too much crap (especially after this last move that almost killed me.) I may be a hoarder today, but I don't have to stay that way. I can work on changing my view of worldly items while still accepting my current situation.

    My new goal for the rest of the year is to become more accepting of people, situations and emotions I can't control. 

    Saturday, May 10, 2014

    A chapter comes to an end....

    And a new one begins!

    We are finally finished moving. It was a long and painful process, but it's over. We leased our new apartment over a week in advance to the end of our lease in order to have plenty of time to move. Over the first weekend we got the big furniture out and moved all the necessities to the new place. Over the next week we would go back to the old place and pack a little more, usually things we needed that hadn't made it over yet. Last Saturday we had planned to get more packing and moving done, and we could finish up on Sunday and have some time to clean. When I finally woke up at 7 pm Sat evening, I knew that plan was shot. We got started as soon as we could on Sunday. Mom helped and we worked our tails off until we couldn't move anymore. I posted requests for help on Facebook throughout the day trying to find help, but all my calls went unanswered. I took off work Monday to keep packing in the hopes that we would finish without having to pay for another day. We didn't finish. So we paid for another day, I got a few hours in at work, then hitched a ride home with a coworker that volunteered to help out for a few hours. We also finally got help from Hubs' little brother Tuesday evening and his stepsister after midnight. We moved the last boxes out of the house 15 minutes before the office opened Wednesday. We didn't get to vacuum. I tried but it was so clogged with dog hair that it had no suction. I didn't have the time to clean it out, so we left without cleaning. I'm expecting a large bill for damage, but I'll deal with it when it comes.

    As Mom and I attempt to leave with the last load, the truck refuses to start. We've had issues like this before, with the battery dying. My grandfather would just take it to Auto Zone and get it recharged. Our first thought was to jump start the truck with our car. Then we remembered that our car has a side-terminal battery and the truck is top-terminal. They are not compatible for a jump start. We called up AAA and had them send a guy out for assistance. 20 minutes later, Mike from Armada Towing was there to help us out. He ran a test and found that the battery was deader than dead. He dropped in a new battery and we were good to go.

    We got everything unloaded at our new place by 10:30 am. Then Hubs had to take his stepsister back home so she could get some sleep before she had to get to work. We were all so exhausted and in pain. I ended up having to take Wednesday off to sleep. But it was over. The storage units were packed full and the floor in our new place is covered with boxes, but it was finished. And the thought felt great.

    After I woke up from a long nap Wednesday, I was still in a lot of pain and painkillers weren't doing anything. I decided to try an Epsom salt bath. I've been told by lots of people that they are great. My grandmother takes one after every massage, my massage therapist suggested that I do it as well, and over the years it's been a popular suggestion for pain. I've taken them before but have never seen the benefits. After doing a little research to make sure I was using enough, I discovered my problem. We've always had a 1/4 cup scoop in the container. I used to put one or two scoops in. The actual recommended amount was 2 cups! I had never used enough. After using the right amount, I was amazed that my pain eased, and I didn't stay in as long as I would have liked. So when Hubs and I went grocery shopping, I picked up a couple of bags. I'll take all the pain relief I can get! Today I read a post on Barre3's blog about my dear friend Annie, and I was surprised to learn that she does an Epsom salt bath every night!

    I was right about the weight being lifted from my shoulders after we turned the keys in. I don't dread going home anymore. I realize that because of the lack of sleep I've had this week, I could be headed for a manic episode. I might get depressed again. But for now, I'm living in the moment. I'm going to take each day as it comes. No assumptions about the future, no worries about the past. I'm going against everything my dad taught me by not focusing on the big picture. But I've been stressed out about that to such a degree that I wasn't living at all. I'm not saying that I'm never going to focus on the big picture again. I just need a break and a chance to overhaul my reality.


    I'll keep you updated about my physical and mental health as the weeks go by.

    Friday, May 9, 2014

    May Goals!

    I can't believe it's already 5 months into the new year. It has gone so fast. And since it's a new month, I'm ready for new goals! 

    But first... How did I do last month?

    April Highlights:
    - Organize and decide what large items will be making the move - Yep! 
    - Finish packing everything Yep! Not exactly the way I wanted to, but it still got done (come back tomorrow for the full story)
    - Start taking things we won't be moving into the new apartment to storage unit - Yep!
    - Surprise my niece at another t-ball game - Nope. We missed it because of our move, but there's another game next weekend!
    - Continue to increase my usual work hours - Sorta. 
    - Clean and repair any issues that could lessen our returned security deposit - No. Oops. 
    - Get rid of all the crap in the pantry Pretty much! I trashed a lot of stuff I've had forever. I found a box of mac and cheese that expired in 1998. WTF? I don't know how that has always slipped through the cracks and made the move.

    Overall, April's goals went great! And now that the move is over and we get to start fresh, I need some new goals!


    May Goals:
    - Unpack and organize the boxes in our new place
    - Get Hubs' wisdom tooth removed
    - Get Spike to the groomer!
    - See my niece's last t-ball game of the season and her sister's cheer-leading uniform for the first time!
    - Check out the fitness center in the complex
    - Go get a rec center membership

    Sounds pretty non-stressful, thank goodness! After last month, I'm ready for a calm, easy month!

    Are you going to join in and post your May goals? Let's see them!  

    Monthly Goals

    Monday, April 28, 2014

    Life Changes update

    The move this weekend was exhausting. I was running on no sleep, Hubs was fighting with Mom, and nothing was packed. The packing is definitely my fault. I knew that there would be some arguing, but I determined that I will never leave my Mom and Hubs together to accomplish a big task without being there myself. The same thing happens every time, and although I can multitask, trying to get two people to stop arguing while I'm miles away is ridiculous.

    We have the basics in the apartment at the moment, and will be packing more over the next week to take to storage or the new place. But since we "moved in" on Saturday, I've had this feeling of dread that we are staying in a hotel for a few days, then going right back to the townhouse. I know it's irrational, but I just can't get it to go away. Hubs has been trying really hard to remind me that we are at home in our new place. I hope it'll go away when we turn the keys in next week.

    Spike is a little weary of the new place. He won't go into the kitchen. We're not sure of his reasoning, but we had to move his water bowl out of the kitchen in order to keep him hydrated. He also doesn't like how many people he can hear through the walls. He's only really known one place, and everyone was pretty quiet. I know he needs time to adjust like I do.

    On top of the move, Hubs has to get a wisdom tooth removed. It was scheduled for this Wednesday, until he decided to get sick. We had to reschedule to the end of next week. I hope he can handle the pain for another week. I'm not going to try to find another surgeon because of how cheap this one will be. When I had a consultation with a different surgeon a few years ago, it was going to cost over $900 to remove a tooth. With this doc, we're only paying $277. When I've got the extra cash, I'll be heading to the surgeon to get one of my teeth removed as well.

    I think that's pretty much everything important lately.

    Tuesday, April 8, 2014

    April's Goals!

    Goals, Goals, Goals.... It's time for my April Goals! But a recap of March first.....

    March Goals:
    - Work an average of at least 6 hours a day so we can save up for our move at the end of April - Sorta. I've been doing 5-8 hour days, depending on how my body feels.
    - Find a place to move to. - We did! It's an efficiency halfway closer to work!
    - Make something healthy and yummy for this month's PCOS group meetup - a picnic potluck! - It got cancelled due to weather. 
    - Start working out again. - Ugh, no. No excuses, just lazy.
    - Continue the slow changes in my diet for success - I've been eating better and worse.
    - Visit my bestie - We did! Went to see one of my nieces play in her first t-ball game!
    - Take Hubs outside city limits so he can set off fireworks for his birthday - No, we sat at home, and didn't really do much. 
    - Completely ignore my 26th birthday. That was easy. I didn't do anything because I wasn't really excited about it.
    - Start packing for the move - Does one box count as packing? I'm going to say yes, and make it a goal for April too.
    - And there are sooooo many birthdays! - Got to spend time with my dad and sister finally.

    Overall I did pretty well, so I'm satisfied!


    April - This is going to be a pretty long list of things, but I'm certain most will get finished, because they have to lol.

    - Organize and decide what large items will be making the move
    - Finish packing everything
    - Start taking things we won't be moving into the new apartment to storage unit
    - Surprise my niece at another t-ball game
    - Continue to increase my usual work hours
    - Clean and repair any issues that could lessen our returned security deposit
    - Get rid of all the crap in the pantry

    Join us in the link-up! Head over to Angie's blog to join!

    Monthly Goals

    Monday, April 7, 2014

    What's good about being child-less?

    Infertility Awareness Week is coming up, and even though I typically write some post for it, I don't want to do that this year. What's my reasoning? I'm continually finding reasons why I should not be a mom. Health issues, money, overall life changes.... So this post is about why I'm OK not being a mom. I've written many posts about why I want to be a mom. This is the opposite side of the coin. It's surprising how your plans, ideas, dreams, change as times goes on. I remember my dad telling me that I should get too attached to a boy because my life would change by the time I was 25. What I wanted as a teenager wouldn't be what I wanted in my life after I got older.

    He was right. I wanted to be done having kids by the time I was 25. Now, here I am, 26, married, no kids, great job, and the last year has really showed that I've changed. I don't cry about our infertility anymore. I can play with babies and not be upset that I'm going home without them. I'm sure my meds are helping me think clearer, and that's a really good thing.

    So here are my reasons why I'm starting to be okay childless.
    - Less money spent on food
    - No giant birthdays or Christmases
    - Ability to make crazy decisions, like moving into an efficiency to save money
    - Less gas costs because we don't have to have a bigger car. We could even get a two-seater if we didn't have a dog lol
    - Don't have to worry about finding a babysitter for date night
    - we don't have to plan kid-friendly vacations
    - No worries about getting kids to school on time, no dealing with their teachers.
    - Less stress about having enough money
    - No one tries to wake me up in the middle of the night
    - Never have to worry about being in too much pain to take care of kids
    - No need to stop medications in order to be preggo or to breastfeed
    - No need to baby-proof our home
    - More time and money to volunteer with charities
    - Only have to worry about Hubs or I getting sick

    I could make this list longer - but I think I've made my point. I still love babies and kids, I just don't need any of my own to be happy. James is still coming to terms with not being a parent anytime soon, but I didn't change overnight and neither will he. I've been working on changing my life to be happier in the present. It's been a long road, but I can finally feel some relief about our situation. Maybe we'll have kids in the future. Maybe we won't. I'm not completely over being child-less, but I'm not as weepy about it as I used to be.

    Are you child-less? Did you choose to be, or did your situation force you to be? What have you done to change your attitude?









    Saturday, March 29, 2014

    Blogmopolitan Quizzes!

    I was reading through Angie's My So-Called Chaos blog this week and saw these quizzes. She found them on Erin's blog, Two Thirds Hazel. I always love to find quizzes like these. Remember when us 20-somethings were in school and had Xanga accounts? We'd do all these silly quizzes about who we were, and of course we were pre-teens and teenagers, so our answers would probably not look to great on us now. But I could go on about that forever hahaha, so I'm just going to stick to showing off my answers!

    You might have to click on the pic to blow it up. They are a little bigger than my new layout can handle. And I hope you can read the font I picked out. I love it. Have fun reading! If you want to do your own, Erin has the images available for download. Just open them in paint and type in your answers! Image 1 and Image 2



    Friday, March 28, 2014

    Surprise!

    Surprise! I felt like it was time for a new blog design! Since this has become less like a PCOS/food blog and more like a personal one, I wanted to change it up! The trick was finding something I liked that really fit me. That's always been difficult - making sure the the design really reflected who I am, not who I want to be. To decide, I had to figure out who I am and what I'm about before I could find something. So who am I?

    This has been a very thought-provoking question. I'm happily married 20-something redhead, with a zoo full of pets at home to keep me company. I love my dog, and can't wait to get another one. I love my birds, and will always have them - my home is never quiet and I love it. We are infertile, but fighting to roll with the punches and learn that if it happens, it happens. I'm a software programmer, so I'm a geek. I enjoy playing video games with Hubs and reading books. I love being an Aunt to all my nieces (and some new nephews!). I enjoy getting my hands dirty in my garden when I'm feeling up to it. I love food and cooking. I get excited when I find something in polka dots, argyle, plaid, damask or bubbles. I am attempting to make major life changes without stressing over them too much. I can't wait to have a home in the country, with goats and chickens! I could spend hours watching marine life at an aquarium. I LOVE FROGS AND FAERIES. Probably way tooo much. I have tons of them at home. My favorite colors are hot pink, teal and black. I like to be creative and unusual, even if it doesn't always work out right. I'm so happy to have been able to study different religions, because it allowed me to find myself spiritually. I'm a little crazy, and a little broken, but that's alright with me. It's a forever part of me. I repeat random movie quotes with friends and family - silly ones from movies like Evolution and Despicable Me. I enjoy yoga but don't do it often enough. We were married on our favorite holiday, Halloween! I love lilies, tulips, Gerbera daisies and daffodils. I could spend hours on word and math puzzles. I could spend all night watching the stars with Hubs. We can't wait to get out in the country so we can stargaze without light distortion.

    I think changing your blog design is like changing your myspace page. Except it's slightly more stressful. After plenty of research and thought, and a little input from Hubs, My blog has been redesigned. I love it - it's a little girly, but maybe I have plans to become a little more girly in the future :) What do you think of the new look?

    Wednesday, March 26, 2014

    Me? A Life Coach?

    I took a quiz today called 'Should You be a Life Coach?' I did it more for entertainment than anything else. I've given out loads of great advice over the years, and I've probably got plenty of people to back me up. I can't get my own damn life straight, but helping other people is easy. My mom has always felt the same way in regards to organization. We can get other people completely organized, but can't figure out how to do it for ourselves. We're like hoarders trying to stop other hoarders from hoarding. (If I think about it long enough I could add more 'hoarding' to that sentence!)

    I've given free advice since high school. Topics from boyfriends to homework were typical. After graduation came the more important topics, like 'How the hell am I going to make it as an adult?' And I've been there, an open ear, always free.

    Anyways, the quiz said I really should be a life coach. But if I followed through with it, got certifications to make myself look better, and launched a side business, what happens when my advice backfires? (It never has before, because I'm so awesome, but there's always that chance... **grin**) I know I'm cocky, but you start to get that way when you watch every piece of advice you've given work out in one way or another. Even when people don't take my advice, I watch them come back and say 'I should have listened to your advice'.

    But would I ever feel right charging for my advice? I feel like I should be like Lucy from Charlie Brown and charge 5 cents. I'd certainly never make any money on it, but I'd get a lot of business!

    If I was to do something like this, I'd start with women fighting PCOS. That was the original point of this blog anyway, until I started getting more personal. I didn't think I should be giving out advice about PCOS when I wasn't following it anymore. Maybe this is something to consider in the future, extra cash after we move to the country and I figure out the next decade or so of my life. It could be chicken coop money haha.

    Speaking of chickens, I've got another post to write about my hopes and dreams for next year!

    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Thoughts about moving...

    I've been thinking about this move a lot. It's literally the most impulsive thing we've ever done. Everytime we have moved in the past, it's been to bigger apartments. Now we are moving to an efficiency! Part of me is so excited about the total life change. It's not moving across country like some other people have done, but it's still a change of scenery. I realized a couple of days ago that because we will be in a different town, I'll be able to get the resident pricing at the recreation center! That way I can walk on a track no matter what the weather. I need to get back into that and this will help a lot! The complex jacuzzi is just outside our apt too, so I'll be in that all the friggin' time. I can never get the bath water hot enough, so a jacuzzi will rock.

    We picked up the keys to the storage unit last weekend. The company we picked was the cheapest in the area, but the facilities sparkled. It was so clean, and the on-site manager is super friendly. I rented a 10x10, which ended up being 2 5x10s next to each other. It's kinda cool because I can put all the furniture in one and all the boxes in another. We also got to rent a moving truck for free from them - that is great. We can load everything up in one trip on the day we actually move.

    I guess what I've really been thinking about is if this is going to be a good change or not. I'm pretty excited about it, but I'm also completely freaked out. I know it's a good thing. We'll be cutting down on the gas used to get to and from work. The electric bill, as well as the rent, will drop. Monetarily this is a ridiculously good idea. We can save up more money - that in itself is the primary reason for doing this. And it's not like we are really losing a lot of space. Our current 2 bed townhome is only 880 sq feet, and the new place is 598 sq feet.

    So what am I freaking out about? Hell if I know. Maybe it's just typical stress and anxiety. Maybe it's just because I hate moving. I lived in a 300sq foot efficiency right out of high school. I even lived there for the first few months of my first marriage. We were happy then. We got to spend our money on fun things like date nights. And we shared a twin bed. If I can live in that tiny apartment with my ex-husband, then this should be a cakewalk. We don't have anyone over anymore, so that's not a concern. And there will be plenty of floor space to lay out an air mattress if necessary. We aren't taking much furniture - just the bed, dresser, barstools and dining table. Literally everything else is going in storage. We've got a small list of the clothes and necessities to take. I'm significantly more prepared for this move than I have been for any others.

    So this stupid feeling in the pit of my stomach needs to go the hell away. I need to stop analysing this decision. I've already made it, it's happening, and I'm not going to stop. It's a step towards a more satisfactory future. If I don't force myself to do something like this, I'll nver do it. And I'm tired of being unhappy. As long as I don't make any changes, I'll continue being unhappy.


    Monday, March 17, 2014

    No, I didn't want to do anything this weekend...

    By no means did this weekend go as planned. We were supposed to take our first trip out to Springtown to finally see the town we've already decided to move to, sight unseen. We were really looking forward to it, until 8am Saturday morning, when my body decided that I shouldn't even have stomach acid in my stomach.

    We apparently ate some bad food, and had HORRIBLE food poisoning. I've had it before where I just can't keep anything down, but this was another whole level of hell. Did you know that severe food poisoning can include fever and muscle spasms? Couple that with my pre-existing conditions, and I was in agony all freakin' day. When I wasn't in the bathroom, I was staring at the ceiling in tears begging to sleep through it. Hubs got lucky and slept all day. But not me. I wasn't able to finally get a painkiller to stay down until 7pm. Between 7 and midnight I took 3 brands of pain killers, three anti-nausea meds and a sleeping pill before I was finally able to sleep. I wish I could have taken the sleeping pill much earlier, but I didn't want to waste it like I had been with some of the other anti-nausea meds I'd attempted to take earlier in the day.

    When you are in that much pain, it's hard not to think about what it could mean for the future. I truly hope that the worst of the pain can be attributed to food poisoning, because otherwise I'm screwed. I should probably start looking for a pain management doc, since I'll very likely need one in the future. My rheumy already told me that he has put me on the highest dosage of a non-narcotic pain med without the necessity for frequent liver and kidney labs. If my pain continues to get worse in the future, I'll need the new doc. Now to find one that won't think a 26yr old with rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and bipolar disorder isn't just a drug addict looking for a fix. I don't want to rely on things like vicodin, morphine or fentanyl to function. I don't want to live like that. At multiple points during the day I was also begging to lose my desire to be a parent, because I don't know how I could possibly take care of a child and risk days of pain like this.

    I'm not supposed to feel like this. I could go on to rant and rave about how it's not fair, but it would be a waste of my time. I already know it's not fair, and I already know I can't change life. This was my attempt to find humor in the situation on facebook:

    Me: "Dear life, where do we complain about defective parts? I need a new, functioning body, fast. Don't I have a warranty or something?"

    Life: "Dear Lynne - we're sorry to hear that you are unhappy with your product. Unfortunately you only had a 25 year warranty, and it expired on your 26th birthday last week. If you need Dr referrals, don't ask us. Thank you for being such a valued customer. Sincerely, Life"

    But today is the start of a new week. I made it to work early so I can put in some decent hours, we have plans to go to Speedzone to celebrate our birthdays, and we're going to check out the Texas Indian Market this weekend! Hopefully we won't have anymore unexpected illnesses. For at least a month and a half. I've got too much packing and moving to do, and I'm running out of weekends!

    Tuesday, March 11, 2014

    Happy birthday to me!

    Today, I'm 26. Today isn't really any different from any other day. I have no birthday plans, and pretty much all the people that wish me a happy birthday are people reminded by facebook.


    There's nothing special about a 26th birthday. You are already legal to do everything. Wait, I think you can rent a car without having to pay a 'Under 25' fee. But does 25 count in the 'Under 25'? I don't know.

    There's only one depressing thing about my birthday. I wish it wasn't such a disappointment, but there are some things I can't control, this being one of them. I wanted to be done having kids by 25. There's not much to talk about in regards to this, so I'm not going to say anything more.

    But I'm making changes this year, so I am attempting to hope for the best. We are moving next month into a much smaller apartment, saving money to rent a house, and getting my student loans in check. We'll see how this new year goes.

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

    We're moving!

    Sometimes random things fall right in place. We've been discussing moving out of our current apartment because we are just tired of living there. I immediately decided that I wanted to move to Springtown and get a big double-wide on at least an acre of land. (I have no problem with being considered white trash because I want a mobile home!) So we started looking and we've found some great options. The only issue was having all the money for deposits and the actual move. Hubs and I have poured over all our options.

    Option 1) Find a house in Springtown.
    Option 2) Find a house in our current area.
    Option 3) Get a different apartment in our area. For this option, we'd stick everything in storage and find an efficiency/studio, maybe even a one bedroom dependent on the price.
    Option 4) Stay in out current apt for another year and save up money. I REALLY don't want to stay where we are.
    Option 5) Stick everything in storage and stay in a long-term hotel.

    I started looking at studios/efficiencies today, for option 3. Within 20 minutes I found an efficiency in a great location, within our budget, and......... available when we need to move out! Even better - the complex is owned by the same company that owns our current place. Since we have lived there for over a year, our security deposits get waived! Yay!!! It'll be perfect. It'll be so small that we will have a super tiny electric bill instead of our current hefty ones from having two air conditioners. Last time I lived in an efficiency, my electric bill was never over $25. In the summer and winter, our average bills is 10x that amount. And we won't have to take much to the new place, because we never have anyone over anymore. We'll just need our bed, clothes, computer, tv and kitchen stuff. Everything else is going into storage. I've volunteered my brother-in-law to help pack over the next month so we have everything in storage long before we need to. It'll make life so much easier.

    I'm excited. This is all going to work out, and by the end of the year we will have a place in the country, and chickens and goats :)

    In other happy news, I got to talk to my nieces over the phone last night. I haven't seen them since they were babies, so to learn that they asked to talk to me made me feel special. We talked about school, t-ball, cheer-leading and the animals we wanted to have. Last night, before bed, Madi told her mom to remind me that I must go to her t-ball games :) I can't wait to hang out with the little munchkins again.

    Tuesday, March 4, 2014

    March Goals!

    I haven't blogged in a while. I'll have to post an update about life later... (Like how today is the first day I've ever voted!) But it's already time to create March's goals!

    February Recap:
    - WORK OUT! I've been slacking for two weeks and that has to change. -nope
    - Eat more salad! - nope
    - Visit the gym at least once! - nope
    - Prep a week's worth of food over the weekend. - I did it on Mar 3. I'm counting it as Feb hahha
    - WATER WATER WATER! - yep
    - Beat Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light with Hubs, if I can drag him away from Dead Island. Nope! We started Diablo 3 and Toy Soldiers instead. No more gaming goals. 
    - Figure out something fun and cheap for Valentine's Day. Guess I need to get started! - we didn't do anything.
    - Reorganize the baking and spice cabinets in the kitchen. - sorta. I did put some of my bulk goods like oatmeal and quinoa in containers.
    - Finally go see Dad and have Christmas. - Yep! 

    I'm not even going to calculate a percentage of completed. This month, though, I have some very important goals that I really hope to accomplish.



    March Goals:
    - Work an average of at least 6 hours a day so we can save up for our move at the end of April
    - Find a place to move to.
    - Make something healthy and yummy for this month's PCOS group meetup - a picnic potluck!
    - Start working out again.
    - Continue the slow changes in my diet for success
    - Visit my bestie
    - Take Hubs outside city limits so he can set off fireworks for his birthday
    - Completely ignore my 26th birthday.
    - Start packing for the move
    - And there are sooooo many birthdays!

    I think that's enough for the month. Packing alone is going to be a big one. But I will have help hehehe... I have computer parts to sell, and my brother-in-law wants them. Instead of making him pay cash, I'm making him come over to help organize and pack.

    Do you want to share your March goals? Click the pic below to join in and support other bloggers as well!

    Monthly Goals

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    WTF Should we eat? Gluten free, dairy free mug cakes!

    Over the weekend I got a craving for cake. I didn't want to make an entire cake. That would be horrible for my waistline. So I figured I'd default to my yummy chocolate mug cake. That was until I realized I was out of cocoa powder. Oh no! What's a girl to do? Experiment, that's what! I figured that I should look into ways to make it as healthy as possible, for cake anyway. My 5 yr old niece has been having major digestive issues and lost way too much weight, so her mom and I have been trying to find ways to get her to gain weight again, all while being gluten, dairy and soy free. So I found a mug cake recipe here: Vanilla Mug cake from FreeRangeCookies.com, and messed with it just a little. Every version I made was awesome, so I thought I'd share all the recipes I came up with. I even named them!

    The process of cooking them is the same for all. Add coconut oil and milk to a coffee mug. Microwave for 30-40 seconds to warm it up enough to melt the coconut oil. (It might not look melted, but swirling it around will finish the melting process.) Add the baking powder and stir thoroughly to remove all baking powder clumps. Add flour, (protein powder if using) and sugar. Mix it up really well until you have no more clumps. Microwave it for 1 minutes 30 seconds. Let cool for a minute, then dig in! I really suggest to let it cool slightly, as the cake will cook a little more after it's out of the microwave.

    Also, even though I have several different recipes, these are really easy to substitute to your liking. Examples:

    - Exchange some flour for protein powder.
    - Use a different flour than all purpose gluten free flour, such as quinoa or oat flour. You could even go with a nut flour to make it grain free.
    - Use any type of milk you have in the fridge.
    - Sub coconut oil for butter
    - Honey powder or other dry sugar instead of turbinado. I haven't tried using a liquid sweetener like honey or agave, but it's definitely on my list to try.


    Kinda Cocoa

    - 4 tbsp all purpose gluten free flour
    - 1 tbsp coconut oil
    - 3 tbsp chocolate almond milk
    - 1/4 tsp baking powder
    - 2 tbsp turbinado sugar


    Chocolate Envy - my current favorite. Yes, it doesn't have much chocolate at all, but the hemp powder boosts the taste of the chocolate.

    - 3 tbsp AP GF flour
    - 1 tbsp high-protein hemp powder
    - 3 tbsp chocolate almond milk
    - 1/4 tsp baking powder
    - 2 tbsp turbinado sugar


    Green Chocolate

    - 2.5 tbsp AP GF flour
    - 1.5 tbsp high-protein hemp powder
    - 3 tbsp chocolate almond milk
    - 1/4 tsp baking powder
    - 1 tbsp honey powder
    - 1/2 tbsp turbinado sugar


    Here are some other ideas I've come up with, but haven't tried yet.

    Coco Coconut

    - 4 tbsp coconut flour
    - 1 tbsp coconut oil
    - 3 tbsp coconut milk (probably best to use full fat, but coconut water might work here as well)
    - 1/4 tsp baking powder
    - 2 tbsp coconut sugar


    Lacto Flow! (for women breastfeeding and want to produce more)

    - 4 tbsp oat flour
    - 1 tbsp coconut oil
    - 3 tbsp oat milk
    - 1/4 tsp baking powder
    - 2 tbsp turbinado sugar


    So are you going to try this? If so, let me know how you made it your own!

    Sunday, February 9, 2014

    February's Goals



    So I'm a little late with this because Feb is almost half over... But two weeks of goals is better than none!

    Let's recap Jan's goals first.
    • Read 5 books (already read 1 - I love being a fast reader!) - definitely done!
    • Use all the produce that comes in the house - no waste! - Almost a total success! I've been letting lettuce go bad, so I need to get more salads in my menu!
    • Fill my mp3 player with good music and head to the gym! - Nope. 
    • No fast food! Ok, this one isn't as simple, but I'm ready to try it! - Success!!! I think I went out for fast food once. And it was chicken nuggets from Chick-Fil-A. They were too yummy to feel bad about it.

    I don't think I have ever had that many green results! I'm quite happy with myself.

    February's goals:
    • WORK OUT! I've been slacking for two weeks and that has to change.
    • Eat more salad!
    • Visit the gym at least once!
    • Prep a week's worth of food over the weekend.
    • WATER WATER WATER!
    • Beat Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light with Hubs, if I can drag him away from Dead Island.
    • Figure out something fun and cheap for Valentine's Day. Guess I need to get started!
    • Reorganize the baking and spice cabinets in the kitchen.
    • Finally go see Dad and have Christmas.

    I believe in myself, and I can get this done!

    What are your goals for the month? Join the monthly link-up and let us know!

    Monday, February 3, 2014

    Life and Exercise Recap Day 19-24 #GiveIt100

    I almost want to start over at day 1. I didn't really do any exercise at all. Yesterday, day 24, Hubs and I spent most of the day cleaning and organizing the house because the annual inspections for our complex are today and tomorrow. It's the one time of year that I know the house will get cleaned, because of the potential for management to enter our home. I felt really good about getting it done. We went to the thrift store with Mom last Friday to buy a bunch of containers to put my bulk items in, like oatmeal, quinoa and sugar. Somehow we managed to get just the right size on a few of them - my large oatmeal container is filled to the very top, but it held the whole bag. I'm really happy to have fewer bags all over the place. I think it will help me stay organized and a little cleaner. I've got other containers from Homemade Gourmet pantry staples that I'm going to use for the smaller bags of flours, since HMG doesn't exist anymore. They fit great into one of the shelves, but I'm going to have to reorganize the cabinets for better access and storage. That's a project for another day. If I had started on all this Saturday, I'd probably have more organized by now. But Hubs and I, and even the dog, just felt like crap Saturday. We spent the day on the couch, with Spike asleep in my lap. He doesn't normally do that. And he looked so sad. Sunday we were back to functioning.

    Hubs worked on the dining room. It was pretty full of boxes so we only had a small walk space to get in the house. He went through all the boxes, getting rid of trash, unpacking things to put in the bookcases, and consolidating other boxes. He cleared out half of the dining room. Spike doesn't know what to do with all the extra space.

    I've still got a ways to go in the organization department, but we're getting better.

    Anyways, back to the recap. I didn't do any exercise. But I'm going to start over again tonight. It's the first work day of the month, so I can work a little less than necessary, giving myself a chance to get back on track at home.

    My local PCOS group is finally making shirts! I made 9 designs as options, and it looks like we finally decided on this one >>>
    I love it, and can't wait to wear it. I just need my paycheck to get here so I can order mine!

    Well, I think that's enough of a recap for now.