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Archive for November, 2013

Another Saturday Update :)

November 30th, 2013 at 07:11 pm

So my week off is quickly coming to a close. Overall, it was a very good week. The only downside to it was that what started out as a head cold/bad allergies, became a sinus infection and deep chest cough.

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While I was at the doctor yesterday to get antibiotics for my sinus infection, I was of course weighed in. It was a nice confirmation of the accuracy of the new scale I got a few months ago (my other one was getting really unreliable.) I did gain a lb over the week, but considering how some of the food I was eating was much higher sodium than usual, I'm not too surprised. I'm still well under where I need to be to win round 1. Smile

The doctor visit was $25.31, and the antibiotics was $10. (Of course, while I was at Walgreen's I picked up some more Nyquil, a pair of leggings (something I'd been thinking about so I can wear a skirt/dress even when it's cold), and ... a Fitbit Zip ... again, something I'd been thinking about for awhile.) So the total cost of my Walgreen's trip was $90.xx.

I also dropped off a couple bags of stuff to Goodwill - things that a former teacher had given me before she moved last summer but I just had never gotten around to getting rid of (used a few items from it, but mostly not useful to me.)

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Having NE here was really great. He is such a sweet, sweet man. He *really* does not like social situations much at all, but he willingly agreed to go to the faculty Thanksgiving meal so that my coworkers would know that he was real and not something I had imagined. Smile At the dinner he went and got me a drink ... I know that might not be a big deal to some people, but other than my brother/dad, I've never had a boyfriend do something like that for me. It just made me feel really special. Smile

The tater tot casserole NE made was scrumptious! He doesn't have a working oven in his apartment, so I'm going to attempt to make banana pudding while I'm there over Christmas break. (I made cornbread casserole for the Tdinner - lots of compliments, including NE who isn't shy about saying what he really thinks about food.)

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These next three weeks will be busy ones. Christmas dinner coming up this coming Saturday, preparing for the Christmas program, my birthday, and then the final push for the end of the semester. I will be SO ready to get on the plane on the 21st!!

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There were some financial things I'd planned on accomplishing on Friday, but between being sick and trying to get into the doctor at the last minute, they did not get accomplished. At some point though I really do need to get them done.

I did receive a $6 payment from PineCone in my paypal account - which I've already transferred. I have around $28 in PineCone checks that need to get deposited ... I wonder how many checks I can photo deposit at a time to CapOne? I guess I'll just have to experiment and find out. Smile

Quick note

November 27th, 2013 at 04:35 am

NE is taking a nap right now - he didn't get much sleep before driving here so is really tired. So I thought I'd stop by for a quick minute. Smile

Just as NE and I were about to head out to the big G tonight to use my gift certificate, I got a phone call from my doctor. She'd *finally* got back to me with the results of the bloodwork from nearly three weeks ago.

During my visit she'd told me she suspected that I might be going into peri-menopause, and took blood to do tests to see if that was the case. Well, apparently that is NOT the case!! Halleluiah! Of course, that still leaves the question of why my health has been the way it has been a mystery.

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NE took a look at the air sofa bed I'd bought from Walmart - and he couldn't find a way to pump it up either - unless I had a shop vac or something similar. Hmmm... well, I guess it'll be going back to Walmart. Thankfully the couch is pretty comfy. Smile

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Tomorrow NE will be making one of his specialty dishes - tater tot casserole. I'll probably go ahead and put together the cornbread pudding for Thanksgiving too (he hasn't had that before.)

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At the restaurant tonight when I was handing my gift certificate over to the cashier, a woman who was behind the counter came over to me and started asking me a bunch of questions. I'm assuming that she is a manager or maybe an owner ... She wanted to know where I'd gotten the certificate, how much I paid for it, whether I was a local or not, etc. At first I was wondering if she was upset about me using the certificate, but as we talked I realized she really was just interested in the details. I still have another certificate to use for this place ... but probably not til February. Hope it's still good by then!! Smile

Just a few more hours :)

November 26th, 2013 at 04:26 am

Just a few more hours til NE gets here. Smile

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I had an interesting morning. I knew my car was giving me fits starting, and so planned to take it to the mechanic this morning. But when I went out there and scraped the snow off, it wouldn't start. So, I called the mechanic and asked them to send their tow truck over - wasn't sure if the problem was the battery or the alternator. They couldn't right then, and told me they'd call me back. Three hours later they hadn't called (during that time I got a lot of housework done!) So I called them again - the guy who took my message had lost the paper with my number. Smile

Twenty minutes later the tow truck driver came and jump started my battery and I got over to the mechanics. $40 for the service call (am going to see if I can get reimbursed by my car insurance roadside plan) and then $110 for the battery.

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I got some snowflakes today - $10 from GymPact and $6 from Pinecone. I've decided to put all Pinecone and GymPact money into my Health category. I think I want to get a suspension trainer - maybe a Jungle Gym. It's $80. I bought the book Body By You, and it should be here by Wednesday (I used reward points to pay for half of it, and gift cards for the rest.)

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Oh!! This morning I met and surpassed my 3% weight loss goal for round 1 of my diet*bet!!! Now I just have to maintain or lose more in the next 9 days. (Round 1 weigh out is Dec 5/6.)

I'm now down a total of nearly 13 lbs from my highest weight. Smile

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I bought an inflatable couch/sleeper because my aero bed was deflating on me last time every night. I opened it up today to get it set up, and for the life of me I could not find a cord to plug it in to pump it up. Maybe NE will be able to find it. It was $70 - I was kind of thinking that it would be good for when I have company here, but also once I move to NE, I'm going to need something to sleep on. So if it proved to be comfy and not deflate too quickly, it might make a good solution. If we can't find a way to pump it up, I'll have to take it back. (I have a full size bed, which barely fit my mom and I when she was here visiting - and my mom is skinny.)

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When I was at the mechanics today I was looking at their soda cooler. I had a strong temptation to get one .... but resisted. I'd much rather have a candy bar as a treat than a soda - especially since I know that I tend to go back down that road pretty quickly if I let myself have "just one."

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I had bought a restaurant com voucher for a place in NE, but we hadn't had a chance to use it yet. Yesterday I got an email telling me that the place is no longer participating in rest . com so I needed to use the money for something else. So I looked to see if there was anything in the big G ... and to my utter delight, one of my favorite places here is participating. Smile So tomorrow NE and I will be using one of the two certificates I "bought." (I bought it a LONG time ago - maybe 5 years? and the places keep stopping participating before I use it .. I think this is the third time I've exchanged for something else.) Big Grin
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Well, I better get going. I probably won't be on much this next few days. Smile

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Quick Post :)

November 22nd, 2013 at 02:32 am

Yesterday was a long, but good day (author visit, literacy night.) I'll tell more about it on my Saturday post. Big Grin

The reason for this quick entry is to let those of you who might be interested, know that I've added my fitness pal blog link to my link list.

Also, I'm thinking about getting an adjustable dumbbell. Right now I have a range from 3 - 15lbs. I'm thinking that if I get an adjustable one, I could get rid of the multiple ones, thus saving space and possibly future money. Would love ideas on the best adjustable db for quality/value.

Thanks! Smile

Saturday update :)

November 17th, 2013 at 01:25 am

It seems as though I'm mostly having a chance to do an actual blog post on Saturdays. I've gotten into so many other things/forums, etc. that am just keeping up.

So anyway ..

I'm at about 2 1/2% lost of my starting weight for the 6 month diet bet. Round 1 weigh in is on Thursday, December 5, so unless I really mess up the week NE is here, I think I'm going to make it. That means I'll get back at least 12.50 (bet is $25/month - half put towards rounds 1 - 5, and half put towards round 6.)

I have been spending a lot of money on food ... but the vast majority of it has been healthy food. I've bought from Amazon chia seeds, ground flaxseed, pea protein powder and am thinking about buying green tea too (I keep forgetting to get it at the store.)

This past week I actually had two and half days where I was feeling almost 80% .. so close to normal! I don't know if it is because of the increase in fruits//veggies and reduction of junky/processed foods, or is a placebo effect. But it was good while it lasted. (Thursday morning I woke up with a sore throat and was exhausted all day Th/Fri.) -- I don't know if the sore throat has any connection with the 45 minute walk I took Wed afternoon in the cold wind or not.

I plan to start a new exercise routine tomorrow - 3 days of ~30 minutes of interval cardio training, and 3 days of bodyweight strength training. (I apologize if some of my words are missing letters - I think I need to replace the batteries in my keyboard.) For the strength training I'm looking at a couple of resources - nerdfitness, Al Kavadlo, and another one I can't remember. Smile I also took a look at You Are Your Own Gym and Convict Conditioning - both of them require a pullup bar, which I don't have, nor do I feel safe putting one up on any of my doors in here. Maybe when NE is here I can get his opinion.

Anyway, all these people advocate strongly that it isn't necessary to workout for umpteen hours a week to lose weight/ get fit - 3 hours a week is good enough as long as it includes 90 minutes of strength training AND a healthy diet (defined slightly differently by different people - but mostly either "clean" or "paleo.") Being vegetarian, neither clean or paleo quite work for me, but what I'm taking away from both ideas is the idea of limiting processed foods as much as I can, and reducing intake of foods with added sugars. (Also, of course increasing fruits/veggies.) That I can do (mostly.)

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After church today I stopped by Walmart. I was halfway there (parking lot) when I remembered the toaster oven in my trunk. So I found a cart and went back to my car and put it in. I was a bit worried at first from the reaction of the guy at customer service that they weren't going to take it back for a refund/store credit -- but they did! Smile $34.93

I bought: bananas, apples, spinach, Welch's sparkling grape juice (for Thanksgiving dinner), frozen veggies, frozen berry medley (large pkg), sweet potatoes, Kellog's Nourish Oatmeal (surprisingly not that bad for a processed food!), Sunbelt Granola bars (box), lightbulbs, vitamin B complex, vitamin d3, a measuring tape, a set of measuring utensils, a jump rope and ... junk alert ... Terry's Chocolate Orange and SnapPea Crisps. (I might be missing a few things) All this for $70.94 - a $.60 coupon and the $34 gift card. (I need to wean myself off the Sunbelt bars ... they are so good though, and it's a way to get in a little chocolate every day along with fiber/protein .. am thinking of maybe getting chocolate covered almonds - have one serving of those when I need a pick me up right after work ..) (Haven't been able to find my measuring tape, and I want to have a measure other than the scale and a few items of clothing to mark my progress.)

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I had our first Technology Club for this year on Tuesday. I'd planned on having the kids work on the Tynker computer programming lessons. Of course, our computer filters did not like that the lessons were downloads. Ugh. I'd asked about how much the premium program (with 16 guided lessons instead of the 5 free ones) would cost - $25/student. Yeah .... no.

So I'm looking at another option - getting a couple copies of the beginner's book for Google Sketch UP and have students work through it. I haven't checked to see if they are available on amazon yet or not (so I could use my gift card money.) I don't have another Tech Club until after Thanksgiving, so have a little time to figure it out.

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I'm excited/little bit nervous about this coming Wednesday. We are having an author visit - my first ever that I planned (and my second ever in my life - first time I met a real published author was my Sophomore year in college - Kay Rizzo - that was TOO cool! (I loved her books.) The author sounds like a really nice, down to earth person (he'd have to be to be willing to change the date of his visit!) I think the kids are starting to get excited as well, although none of them have actually read any of his books (mainly because only one of his books is available on Amazon in a non ebook format - and the one that is available is only available used - so I bought one copy.) I'm buying two sets of his children's series (Wind*claw*chronicles) for the library (and for him to sign!)

Only 5 more school days til Vacation break, and only 9 more days til NE arrives!!! (Can you tell I'm just a little bit excited? Big Grin )

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My lightbulbs in my office burned out Friday afternoon which is why I bought some today. I didn't know what size/style to get, and ended up getting ones that are too big for the light fixture. They fit in the sockets and work - but I can't put the light fixture back on over them. Oops. At least I can see in here again.

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Last night I was talking to NE about how much I miss the Dallas Summer Musicals (got into my head because of a post by a friend talking about how Ghosts (patrick swayze) is being made into a DSM production.) Then I segwayed into how much fun it was to see Kenny G and Jim Brickman in concert, etc. I haven't been to a DSM or any other concert since I was laid off at my oil and gas job five? years ago. He made the comment that I'm not *that* far from a good sized city (about 90 minutes depending on traffic and where you go.) That made me remember that when my family lived there when I was in elementary school that we went to a playhouse that did a production of Oklahoma! and I think that's where we saw a production of Steel Magnolias too.

So this morning I opened my Groupon app just to clear the big red number, and scrolled down a little bit. Guess what I saw????!!! Jim Brickman will be in concert here on Dec 18!!!!!!! Tickets are $17. I am SO tempted. I really would not want to drive there and back by myself (honestly, wouldn't want to go by myself anyway), so if I do this, I need to figure out someone here to ask if they'd go with me. I'd probably offer to cover their ticket if they'd be willing to drive on the way back (am NOT great driving late at night.) The only caveat is that it is on a Wednesday, which is one of my 3 weekly Skype dates with NE. I'd really hate to miss one of those .. but then again we'd be seeing each other in person a week later .. If I did go, it would be something like my 4th Jim Brickman concert, so if I didn't go, it wouldn't be like I was missing out on a new experience. I am conflicted, and need to make a decision by Monday (when the deal runs out.) The total cost of this would be about $30 in gas, and $34 in tickets (if paying for guest.)(plus I'd be really tired Th/Fri .. but this is worth that cost to me)

What do y'all think?

Sigh..

November 9th, 2013 at 06:41 pm

Well for the most part I've been doing pretty well with the 6 month diet**bet. It's mostly kept me away from junky foods and got me out exercising more. I'll be doing my first official mid-bet weigh in on Tuesday morning - that will qualify me to be in a drawing for what they call "consistency" prizes.

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I received $20 in AGC from Swagbucks, and am now just waiting for the last $5 card.

I also got my credit for the last bill cycle - only two days after the payment posted. I guess they heard enough complaints about how long the last one took to credit? Either way, I'll take it. Smile I now have more than enough SBs for my December $25 AGCs and am now working on extras.

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After work on Friday I stopped at the public library to pick up a book for one of my 6th graders - she asked me if we had The Great Gatsby. We (being an elementary library) of course didn't have it. I didn't tell her it wasn't really a book most 6th graders would want to read/be able to understand -- remembering that when I was 13 I read both War and Peace and Ana Karenina - and did book reports on them! It was a lot smaller than I remembered.

I also picked up groceries - somehow I managed to spend $80!! All but $5 of it was for healthy foods. And here I was planning on trying to eat down my pantry and freezer before buying more stuff ... Ooops. Next week I'll definitely just stick to bananas and maybe orange juice.

I did buy a strawberry/bannana smoothie from McDonald's that is in Walmart. I was pretty hungry and thirsty, and figure that a smoothie was better than a soda!

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So .. about the sigh... I had my doctor appointment Friday morning. I had already eliminated the possibility I was *really* hoping for before going. So after explaining to her how I've been feeling and my other health concerns, she told me that it could just be chronic fatigue syndrome and/or peri-menopause. Ugh. I'm 37. Not the words I wanted to hear coming out of my doctor's mouth, even though my Internet research told me that was one possibility. She's testing various hormones to see if this might be the direction I'm headed. I wanted to go home and curl up in a ball for the rest of the day, but I had to get to work. Work was a good distraction.

What really frustrated me though was that she told me that about the only thing I could do that would help my energy/health would be to do 20 minutes a day of activity/exercise. When I told her that I'd been pretty consistent for over 4 months of 5+ days a week of 40+ minutes of exercise (summer)and it had done NOTHING for how I was feeling, all she said was "it takes time." Arghh!

This is when I really wished I lived in a bigger city and had more choices of doctors - or wish I could be back in Dallas and back with my doctor there. I really liked that doctor - she was my doctor for ten years!

Oh yeah, on Monday night I had a sweet potato and asparagus about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday morning when I woke up and rolled to my back, I had my very first experience with acid reflux. When I told my doctor about this, all she said was "make sure you eat 3 hours before you go to bed." Ummmm....thanks.

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My mom keeps asking me if I'm depressed, and I keep telling her that no, I'm not. I'm just so frustrated with my health. 10 months ago I did not feel like I do now. I felt good/healthy much more often than I didn't. Now I feel lucky on days where most of the day I feel half-way decent.

My former principal as we were walking out of Mass on Thursday said to me, "You've been sick a lot this year." I was a bit taken aback, and told her, "Well, I *have* been sick a lot this year, but I have only taken two sick days." She seemed kind of surprised to hear that and later on said something about me being too young to have health issues. I wish.

Her statement to me does make me wonder about what is being said about me around the school. If most of them knew what a struggle it is for me some mornings to NOT call in sick ... and how I spend most of my weekends trying to make sure I rest enough in order to make it through the work week ...

Saved Some, Spent Some

November 3rd, 2013 at 09:28 pm

On Friday I printed off 5 coupons from Swagbucks - 2 for $2 off Lindt chocolate, 2 for $1 off Rice Dream and a $.50 Crest coupon. I didn't get into town until Saturday.

So after church I stopped by the library to pick up some additional books on spiders (2nd and 3rd are doing spider research.) Then I stopped at Albertson's (usually shop at Walmart, but Albertson's is right next to Walgreen's, which was my final stop.) Albertson's had Rice Dream on sale 2 for $5, and Lindt bars 2 for $5. Crest was also on sale. Sweet! Going in I had no idea of the sales - I just lucked out. Smile The $1 (after coupons) isn't really saved money, because I didn't *need* Lindt ... but it sure was nice. Smile The other coupons though were for things I needed/use, so are a definite savings.

Oh, I did stop at Taco Bell, so broke my streak of no fast food. I think it's my last time stopping there though. So frustrating. First, they raised the price of the 7 layer burrito to $2.99. Second, what happens too many times happened again -- I asked for NO guacomole or tomatoes. Guess what my burrito had? Ugh.

I spent $16 at the grocery store, $6.37 at Taco Bell, and $24.xx at Walgreen's (prescription.)

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I was down to my last bar of gas on Friday, so I filled up in T for $3.23. ($32.47). I was really annoyed when I got into G on Saturday because I saw gas as low as $2.94!! I really should have just gotten a gallon in T - enough to get me into G and around. Will do that if it happens again.

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So if you remember, I started a diet **bet about a month ago - betting that I'd lose 4% of my starting weight. Well, that didn't happen, but I did lose about 3%. I also saved a bunch of money on not buying as much junk as I had been starting to do, AND am almost ready to cashout again on GymPact, and am *really* close to cashing out on Achievemint. So, even though I'm out the $20 of the bet, I think I more than made up for it in other savings.

Well, I'm about to start another diet***bet - this one though lasts for six months. The goal is to lose 10% of your starting weight by month five, and then maintain it for a month. You can either do $25/month * 6, or pay $125 up front and get one month free. I went ahead and did the $125 up front, plus paid $20 for "weigh-in tokens" which makes it so you can compete for weekly/monthly prizes. I think I'm much more likely to be successful at a more long-term bet than trying to lose 4% in one month.

As of now, I'm back on NOT eating at fast food places, and limiting junk food purchases to one item a week. This will both save me money, and save me calories. I downloaded two apps which I think will also be helpful - My Fitness Pal (free), and a Couch to 5k program ($.99.) I'm probably going to repeat each week of the the 5k program 3 times to really take it slowly.

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We are supposed to get a snowstorm here on Tuesday - no idea if it's going to be enough to cause a snow day. That would be nice if it did though. Smile Then we'd have two 4 day weeks in a row. (Veteran's Day)

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I signed up for Bing Rewards - mainly because I wanted to earn free months of Hulu+ so I could watch Once Upon a Time. But then I've since figured out that you can already watch OUAT for free on Hulu. Then today I discovered that you can redeem your Bing points for Amazon cards! If you're not already a Bing Rewards member and would like to do it, please consider letting using my referral link (check sidebar links) - I get 50 credits once you reach Silver level. I use the AGCs to buy books and other supplies for the school library I work at. (In fact, I am probably going to need to purchase some headphones for the computer lab very soon - ours are breaking rapidly or going missing - am thinking of getting the kind like you have for iPhones so they'll have a built in microphone.)

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Ugh. I was going to cancel Amazon Prime and Netflix. Unfortunately I didn't set reminders to do that, and just remembered I was going to do that ... Checked - and they both already renewed. $79 for Amazon and $8.53 for Netflix. I haven't really been using Netflix much lately, so thought I'd cancel it for awhile. Amazon Prime is nice, but too much at $79 (I had a Student Prime account the past 4 years, but since I'm not taking classes this year ...)