Friday, August 18, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #33

Howdy do all!  It's Friday, in case you needed reminding.  I didn't think you did but still.

I thought it was funny how the Mr took his car in for a recall and while it's "fine" (we won't go there), they told him his front brakes needed to be replaced and while the back brakes looked okay, they'd, I don't know, say a blessing or burn sage over them for $50.  So he could get all of this for the low, low price of $450.  After giggling maniacally, a tip of the hat and a firm "good day sirs", he left and took it to your general car brake/tire place and they said the back brakes looked brand new and they replaced the front brakes for the actual low, low price of $178.  NEVER take your car to the dealer for crap like that...ever.  Only take it there if you have a relative that is giving you some kind of perk or it's work that literally only they can perform.  Otherwise, you'll likely be much lighter in the wallet and leave feeling like you got drop kicked in the teeth.

How's about we drop kick right into...

Do These 4 Things on Monday Morning to Get Rid of Weekend Bloat  (In case you need it come Monday)

12 Tips to Help You Sleep Better Tonight  (Mama needs some zzz's yo!)

Here's How to Feel Energized — Not Destroyed — When You Work Out  (I need to roll before workouts.  I'm tired of feeling like the Tin Man 2 hours later)

Holy Sh*t — Halo Top Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Is Here and It's Unreal  (Based off of some of the reactions alone I'm going to have to try this)

14 Cardio Exercises You Can Do With a Kettlebell That Aren't Just Swings  (Definitely doing these!)

9 Things Only Type A People Will Understand  (A few don't apply but mostly...yeah)

Just Smelling Food Can Make You Gain Weight  (Well, I'm screwed.)

Cookie Butter Oreos Could Be Headed Your Way Soon  (Dear Lord, doubly screwed!)

12 Ways to Ship Anything More Cheaply  (Good tips!)

She’s 98. He’s 94. They Met at the Gym  (Courtesy of The Mr)

Grizzly Bears Followed This Hiker—And He Recorded the Whole Thing  (This would relieve any constipation I may have.)

Here's Why You Should Mute Your Phone When on Hold  (I cracked up b/c this actually happened to me last year when dealing with our insurance company.  Apparently when you call the "agent's" number they give you, you aren't talking to a local rep but a call center full of apathetic D bags who can't answer a simple question (question being "is this covered?" and his response being "file a claim"  Well I'm not filing a claim and getting a strike against my account if it's not even covered.)  I asked for a manager and he put me "on hold" and I promptly began mocking him in the same apathetic millennial voice I'd heard the past 10 minutes to the Mr and the guy was like "I CAN HEAR YOU!"  *trigger activated*  Needless to say he got an earful and no, I hadn't given him my name yet so no hold up in our claim.  Bwaahahaha!)

Bill Murray Relives a Role, Seeing Broadway’s ‘Groundhog Day’  (What a sweet story)

For all of my spicy sauce lovin' folks and something to slather it on  (If you like a little tingle on your lips, this is the ticket!)

Well, we've got company for the first time...uh...this year?  Oh no, wait, we entertained one night in June so yeah, our 2ND gathering in a year.  We're on fire I tell ya!  *shame*  Still way too much to be done but it'll be so nice to have the house presentable and we'll see how long that lasts.

What do you have on the wish list for the weekend?

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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Old school organization

I have been a workin' fool the past week (as opposed to the normal fool I am).  One thing that I think really helped me is having a little notebook to write my to-do's down in.

I know, this sounds like a simple thing and don't they have computers and smartphones and all that jazz for things like that but nope, not for this girl.  There is something about writing down what needs to be done and more importantly, literally crossing it off the list.  There is a satisfaction in it that I have long been missing.  It makes the chaos not feel so overwhelming and as a person who shuts down when that overwhelming feeling kicks in, I must say I rather like this new feeling of not looking for random scraps of paper or torn, stained post it notes to make updates from.  I hope this lasts...a girl could get used to this!

The Mr has been great in making sure he can keep up with what I'm cranking out and then you add that we're having company Saturday and the house needs to be cleaned up and he stepped up.  There has been a big shred pile that has been patiently waiting for weeks, months, almost a year to be put through the shredder.  You know that pile that you look at and go "eh, nope" and walk away?  Oh, maybe that's just me.  I can't count how many times I've cleaned that office and thought "there's no way it can ever get out of control again because really, how much do we use this other crap?"  Well apparently enough to use it wherever it needs to be used, then haul it back up, dump it on top of the table and not in its proper place until we're playing Jenga with it all.  So that's where we are with my workspace.  Jenga.  I need to tackle that since the Mr was kind enough to do the shredding which surprisingly must've taken up a crapload of space because of how clean it was there.  Wait, the closet door was also closed.  Oy...don't even wanna look.

I had to laugh because the Mr said they're doing a potluck at work next week and they wanted to have it on a day he was going to be in so I would make something.  My reputation precedes me.  So I'll see what others have signed up for and fill in.

We did Walk Away the Pounds on mute and had our own music on so it was a little peppier and I put more into it.  I made myself earn the turkey tacos.

On a side note, my usual is to have the Alternative Music Choice stations running all day and when Run by Foo Fighters comes on, it makes me wish we still had the punching bag hanging up.  If you haven't seen the video, it is hilarious (and probably NSFW).  Sorry, it was on while I was typing so I figured I'd bring it up.

How do you keep on top of your to do list?

(This list contains an affiliate link.  Should you be kind enough to buy through it, I may get a few cents commission at no additional cost to you.)

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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Food Review: Enlightened Sweet Cinnamon Bean Crisps

When the president of Enlightened reached out to me to give their Enlightened ice cream another try on them, boy was I glad I did!  She also included a chance for us to try their new Roasted Bean Crisps which are only available at GNC if I'm not mistaken.  Because we have a sweet tooth, we immediately gravitated toward the Sweet Cinnamon.

Here's a peek at the nutritional info:

Here are the ingredients and the WW SmartPoint value:

They looked really good and given the fiber and protein, would be a good snack if we wanted something post workout or later in the evening.

So how did they taste?

Hmm, well they were crunchy for sure.  I'm not sure I tasted the sweet part of the sweet cinnamon but stevia can sometimes do that.  It did have that bit of a stevia aftertaste and I'm not a huge fan of that.  I definitely wouldn't steer people away from them because I just have a weirdness where stevia is concerned and am hyper aware of its aftertaste.  If you use stevia and are fine with it, I think you'd really like these and they could be great to have on hand or add some texture to yogurt or oatmeal.

We haven't given up though.  They also have savory flavors available and I'm thinking their mesquite BBQ will be our next try!

What is your favorite crunchy snack?

(We were provided this product free to try.  The opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine.)

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Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Comin' clean

If you've been following along, you know that it's been a very busy and stressful summer for us. When we were in Martha's Vineyard and The Hamptons, we went so overboard on food every single day, it wasn't funny.  I was under so much stress before we left with work stuff and was up until 2 am almost every night then back at it at 7-7:30 am.  It made for me indulging in a big can of  "eff it" on the food, water and exercise front while we were gone.  As you know, that doesn't make for a very good combo and when your "fat jeans" by the end of vacation aren't roomy anymore, you know you're in trouble. We never weigh in after vacations anymore for a minimum of a week or two because mentally we just are not able to handle it.  Usually, after a week or two of going back to normal with our routine, we can feel the sodium bloat going away, the endurance very slowly starts to creep back up and things start to fit better.

When we got home this time, we had a love letter waiting on us from our homeowner's association telling us we needed to paint our patio fence.  Well, our fence post was in horrible condition and I thought if I was going to repaint the fence then I wanted to bite the bullet and get that horrid fence post replaced before hand.  I mean, look at it!

So began our one-month ordeal of getting jerked around for a month by a contractor regarding this project as well as getting our bathroom remodel underway.  It's not something we wanted to do but a hairline crack in the sink had been put off for going on two years and since it was our only bathroom we knew if it split in half, we'd be screwed.

Since we decided not to weigh in, we wanted to let our clothes and the way we felt be our guide...something we'd never done before.  But we both felt so uncomfortable in our own skin and clothes that we'd know if any weight was being lost.  The first two weeks were a wake-up call as our endurance was in the toilet.  Almost 3 weeks of not exercising will do that to you.  We made a crucial mistake and didn't track our food.  We thought we'd give the whole "intuitive eating" thing a try and honestly, I think we did fine with that.  We've been eating the same crap for years so we're pretty in tune with what we're putting in our mouths.  The thing is, I'm very susceptible to bloat from sodium.  It doesn't phase him but I have always planned my meals to stay under 2000mg and even then I get very nervous and try to stay closer to 1500-1700mg if I can.  I don't have high blood pressure or anything but my mom has it and since I do hold water when I eat more of it, I have no desire to poke the bear.  Water was pure crap and you guys know that has always been an Achilles heel for me.  I just cannot force it down no more what tricks I try and when I'm stressed out, it goes down even further.

When we decided to take on the bathroom remodel ourselves, that came at the same time deadline wise that we had to have our fence done.  Between two coats of priming and two coats of paint in the choking summer heat, the paint was literally mixed with our blood, sweat, and tears.  Well, those three days of standing on the uneven ground in crappy shoes and crappy Croc flip flops royally screwed my legs to the point of hobbling.  I had to go get a massage and some serious adjusting done from the chiro to help even that out.  Right after the fence was done on Thursday, I think, by Saturday we jumped into the bathroom and so began a trend of "food justification."

"The Mr laid the floor all by himself...f**k contractors...let's go to a fancy dinner with all the fixins!"

"We removed the toilet and vanity, hung "shiplap" and a new chair rail that looked better than anything we've ever had and caulked the hell outta that thing...let's celebrate at another fancy restaurant."

Okay, so we may have only done that twice, maybe three times but then you throw Saturdays on that and they were so far out of control that by the end of the day, we felt like crap and full.  You know when you wake up full the next day, you are outta control.  This is where people would tell us to cut out Saturday high cal days, well just saying it puts both of us in a panic and immediately makes me crave everything.  We know ourselves well enough to know that we're not all or nothing people.  If you give me nothing, I will eat it all and do it out of spite.  We require moderation but we need to find a moderation level coupled with doing the things we know we're supposed to do like tracking and water and such.  We did that for the first time last weekend and it felt good to have a modicum of control back.  We've been tracking the past two weeks and I definitely feel more in control than I have in a long time.

That doesn't change the fact that I have 11 lbs more on me than I had before vacation.  Yeah.  (I did have it down to 9 lbs but gained two back for no reason and it stuck last week.  You can bet Middle Fingers was my song of choice those days.)

I've been using my workout "sucker pants" as my guide to how bad off I likely still am shape-wise because they've been rolling off my middle tire as I work out which didn't happen before we left.  I noticed the past two workouts that it hasn't rolled and that was from Friday when they did so I'm hoping that's a good sign and not just that the elastic band threw up the white flag and said "deuces" before tapping out.

We have never let ourselves get this out of control for so long and we're paying for it.  We have two months before another vacation and we have made it mandatory for us to exercise every day.  We did that when we went to Virginia and were very successful because we exercised daily without fail and we indulged about half the time there.  A week after our return, we only had 3 extra pounds.  I would like that to be the case again but I'd like it to be back to or as close as back to the weight I was before we left.  To ensure that, I'll be making batches of chili like I did before.  Maybe a couple of breakfasts and meals like my lower cal meatloaf and mashed potatoes so we're still getting stuff that feels like a treat but would be way less than going out.  Because we've been here before, we won't have that need to try every single restaurant in town and will only go back to the places we know for sure are worth deducting from the calorie bank.  We're hoping to paddle quite a few days as well which always burns a ton of calories but on paddle days, I still want to do a 20 minute HIIT or strength session too.

We're finally getting our head back in the game which both feels good and feels shameful because we've only hurt ourselves.  But we did still exercise six days a week since we've been back and we've eaten our usual stuff so I guess that's something to be proud of but I'll be more proud when my shirt doesn't hike up my gut or my sucker pants stay in place instead of heading south.

How do you get back on track when you haven't been mentally in the game?

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Monday, August 14, 2017

I thought we were supposed to get a weekend? recap

So yeah.  Where to start.

A few of you asked what the degreaser incident entailed so I thought I'd share.  Short recap:  I needed to paint the bottom part of the banister including spindles and we applied Krud Kutter to it and left it on for a few minutes as per the bottle for tougher stains...then this happened:

If I wasn't already planning on painting, you probably would've heard me scream and circle the Earth 20x like Superman trying to bring back Lois Lane.

So I figured why not try to get off as much as possible so I sprayed more and let it peel from the spots it already created.  I was in for a fun night.

I spent Thursday night painting the first coat.  Spent Friday painting another coat or two until I just checked out mentally.

Saturday we got out of the house for a little bit.  We had our mouths set on a food truck and they didn't open when they said they were supposed to so we were screwed and on the verge of hangry.  We went to another restaurant we wanted to try and it was meh so not so great on that front, plus the server whistled and ruined every song in a half empty restaurant with good acoustics.  I wanted to deduct from her tip just for that but I didn't because as everyone knows, nobody enjoys whistling but the whistler.  If you think otherwise, you're guilty...and therefore must be lashed with a wet noodle.

A quick jaunt to Hobby Lobby and then it was time to scour the jungle (aka- Trader Joe's) and because I didn't have our grocery list, I forgot two major things.  *facepalm*  Then Target which is always a delight midday.

Sunday, I worked (filmed) from 8:30 am to 7:30 pm with only an hour break in there for our final grocery runs.    Here's what I would've rather been doing...

Now, poof, it's 8 pm Sunday night and my dogs are barkin', my hips are misaligned, my IT bands hurt and I need to work out.  Aces.  So off to do my upper body strength whilst the Mr is sanding the banister going downstairs.  He was kind enough to paint two coats on there for me while I worked.  I feel so bad for him not getting a weekend.  Sigh.

Please tell me you had a better weekend!  Let me live vicariously through you!

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Friday, August 11, 2017

What I'm Reading This Week #32

Well this week didn't pass quite as quickly as last week but I'm happy to have gotten to Friday all the same.  Can I get a witness?!

So let's roller skate right into...

15 Wellness-Focused TED Talks That Will Inspire You to Live Your Happiest (and Healthiest) Life  (Looks like I've got some stuff to listen to)

How To Stop Stress From Stealing Your Joy  (All of this makes sense but it's also easier said than done.)

What Might Happen If You Walk 30 Minutes a Day  (Might have to put this to the test)

Why Drinking This Kind of Tea Could Help Shed Those Last Few Pounds  (What if you need to shed like a third grader on the scale?  Holy crap, I actually have this!  *runs to kitchen*)

22 Tasty Breakfast Recipes That Also Promote Weight Loss  (I'm not seeing that new IHOP French Toasted Donut on here, what gives?)

How to Build Resilience in Midlife  (Good tips)

Bring On the Exercise, Hold the Painkillers  (Yike, good to know!)

A Guide On How To Fight Your Outrageous Hospital Bill (And Win)  (In case anyone needs it)

13 Closet Organization Ideas You'll Want to Steal Immediately  (Mr, this is why I asked for a towel bar!)

These LOL-Worthy Homework Assignments Fail So Badly They Win  (These are so funny...there are some creative kids keepin' parents on their toes out there.  #20...funny, so do I!)

17 Salty Cross Stitches For Sarcastic Home Owners  (I'm going to stitch most of these as stress relief.  SOOO funny!)

Well, after a mishap with a degreaser, I will be repainting way more of the banister than I wanted to today.  I had other things I wanted to get done but we have company next weekend and I'm not one of those people who can be like "just ignore the half painted banister."  Plus we've got a lot of cleaning to do but I do want to get out and about for at least a few hours.  Edit:  Okay so at 10:45pm when the Mr went to bed, I started painting.  About 15 minutes in, I realized I was wearing my favorite T-shirt so I took it off so I could put on my painting clothes...which were in the bedroom and I didn't want to disturb him since he can fall asleep in 30.7 seconds.  So I painted in my underwear until 12:30am.  If I'd be...RealLifeYo.

What do you have planned this weekend?

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Thursday, August 10, 2017

Sad or a relief?

Music therapy has long been touted as something very beneficial to dementia patients whether it's listening to their favorite songs from their youth to, in Glen Campbell's case, playing it for as long as humanly possible.  A factor that according to Glen's doctors, allowed him to plateau in the degradation of his faculties far longer than most patients with mild to moderate dementia.  This seems like such a small thing in the grand scheme of things but it literally costs nothing if you already have the songs on hand and a device on which to play them.  If you don't, believe me when I tell you that you will regret it when the decline comes faster than you could've imagined because you didn't do something as simple as have them listen to music every day.

When the news came of Glen's passing, I saw a flood of social media posts with sad faces, RIP's or even some who obviously didn't know what he had said: "He looked good until the end."  As someone with the most important family member to her suffering from dementia, the first thing I said out loud when I read that was "aww, Glen Campbell died...thank God...he's free."

It's a sentiment that is echoed by many not only going through dementia/Alzheimer's but those who have witnessed a family member or friend go through any devastating disease that has robbed them of who they are.  The kind of disease that is so powerful and alters them so much at the end that unfortunately for those in the thick of their lives becomes the more dominant memory of them.  This is part of the reason, I believe, that my grandma told me not to visit her anymore if she didn't know me.  This disease terrified her to the point of such absolute denial that nothing about it could be spoken because acknowledging it meant our current situation was her fate.  I understand her is a fear I now live with every time I find myself searching for a word or wondering why I walked into a room.  It's the stuff of memes for most middle agers and the stuff of terror for those who may have a family disposition.

(Stuff like this used to make me  Not so much.)

You get to a point in a disease where it kills you to see the person suffering, even if in our case, they may not know they are suffering.  I hope that the disease does truly take away her entire awareness of all things she knew before.  Because the thing that wakes me up sobbing at night is thinking she's trapped inside herself, fully aware of what's going on and never able to communicate it.  Imagine that for a moment...knowing you're in pain and can't ask for medicine, knowing you have to go to the bathroom but can't tell anyone, knowing you're hungry but can't ask anyone for food.  Imagine seeing the faces of your family and not knowing them but your heart knows they're important but don't know why... and what does important mean?

Worst. Disease. Ever.

So yes, when I hear of someone like Glen or a friend's grandma who recently passed away from this, the first thing I think of is relief.  (Which was echoed by my friend)  Relief for the person suffering who is fully restored in their new life and feels all of the love they didn't recognize in the end.  Relief for the family who is likely irrevocably changed in ways they didn't expect and may not be able to find their way back before the glue of their family passed.  Of course, we don't want the person gone. You love them.  They are a huge part of your life and maybe even who you are and you can't imagine your life without them.  But there comes a time in health situations where peace for the person becomes the prayer at night and you make peace that your mutual love for each other transcends their ailing physical body being here and suffering.

It is spoken in hushed tones if ever spoken at all, with an immediate shame but comes from a place of deep, intense love.  While it sounds horrifying to some, that reaction shows that they have not been touched by a disease that does something that horrible to someone and you almost feel envious of their naivety.  You wouldn't wish them knowing what point you have to get to with a loved one to type those words.  So "judge not..." and all that jazz.

While I know Glen's family or maybe even yours if you're suffering from a recent death relating to dementia, is going through an immense sadness,  it is important to not feel guilty if you feel some relief.  It in no way says that you wished them dead!  It says they meant enough to you to wish them peace and to wish their suffering come to an end.  Remember the good times, the laughter and the things that made them uniquely them.  (My grandma had a few words she always mispronounced no matter how many times we tried to correct her.  We all would look at each other and try not to laugh. We weren't laughing at her but it was so cute that you couldn't help but smile.)

They would want us to remember them for the life they lived, not the way they died.

Have you ever felt relief over the passing of a loved one?  (Yes, pets count if you haven't gone through disease with a person.)

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