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Saturday, October 18, 2014

As Promised: My First Vlog Ever (#1 Mortifying Myself Vlog Series)

As previously promised, here is my first vlog in my Mortifying Myself series. This is just an entry that kind of illustrates how I felt about writing about my feelings and events. I thought it was a good introduction to the rest of my journal entries.

Just a heads up. It's not a great quality video. It's with my old webcam with me just sitting at my computer desk. Also, I'm not used to looking straight at the camera so I kept looking at the screen at the image of my striking face (haha--yeah right). Anyways, I plan on doing this again over the next month or so for another random journal entry. I have a kind of funny one about my first boyfriend, my first kiss, and a memorable date in college. What do you guys think? Any requests?

Here's the vlog:

I really love the thumbnail YouTube chose.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Times, they are a' changin.. Again

Well, if there's one thing I know how to do, it would be how to adapt to new situations. Unfortunately.

However, this is a somewhat good change. Graham was working swing shifts weeknights with one additional graveyard shift on Friday nights. However, some things changed at work, and his hours were reduced back down to 28 hours if he wanted to continue swing shifts, or 30 hours if he wanted to work three 10-hour graveyard shifts. (The company doesn't want to hire full-time employees for these shifts so they don't have to pay for healthcare--love these new laws). So, he took the three graveyard shifts. This means I now go back to working at a normal hour (7:30 or 8:30 AM), and my husband is actually home for dinner every night! So, even though his hours are less, we spend less on gas, I get more sleep, and I have my husband home for dinner every night. There are definitely some blessings to this change.

Also, I don't want to jinx anything, but Graham has an interview at a local Naval base today. This is a big opportunity, and if it happens, it means more life changes as well. We are beyond excited for this interview as he has been applying here for months!

Anyways, I promise I'll get my vlog up soon. Like I said, things have been changing here and I hardly ever get on my computer at night. It is already done--I just have to upload it. I also have an upcoming blog about something I've been thinking about a lot--modern marriage and the play of power and control between spouses. I've been really thinking about how I want to word it because it's been on my mind and something I feel pretty strong about.

Until then, we are off to Hawaii next week! Woohoo!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Fitness Frustration

Ugh, I've mentioned in previous videos that I've gained some of my weight back over the past 6 months. It all started when I started a new birth control that made me dizzy and very fatigued. I couldn't exercise as hard and I had to lay down a lot. It took me two weeks or so to get back to feeling better after I discontinued the birth control. (P.S. If your doctor tries to convince you that the Mirena is not causing dizziness, but that it's related to allergies that have never caused anything like this before, sometimes you gotta trust your gut and say no.) Also, Graham started working in the evenings, so I don't like cooking as much, so I probably was snacking more. More, I was eating like crap over the summer, eating wayyyyy too many dessert items. Lastly, this new electronic medical record system at work makes me spend much more time at the computer and less time walking around the hospital.

So yes, I am heavier now (probably 5-7 pounds more) than I was in March, and it has ALL returned into my gut. Like seriously, I feel like a stuffed sausage in some of clothes. Being so short, 5 pounds is a LOT on my frame, especially when it is all in one freaking area. My pants that I've bought in the past 2 years since I've lost weight feel tighter and really make me angry and frustrated.

I have not stopped working out. The only workouts I have missed were when we went camping, when I didn't have any videos available, and going for a run would only mean that I was running from wildlife. I have recently started doing some double workouts to help increase my calorie burn and steps during the day. I was doing TurboFire HIIT workouts every other day, but now I'm back to doing RIPPED workouts 2-3 times per week, with an additional 30 minute express Physique 57 workout before each one. I do the full 57 minute Physique 57 workouts 2 times per week, with an additional day of cardio and/or booster workouts from Physique 57 (if you want to be sore and hardly be able to walk for 2 days, try the 30-minute thigh and seat booster.. seriously so sore). I bought the P57 workout videos off eBay as a reward for consistently doing barre-style workouts 3 times per week for 6 months. After the full 57-minute P57 workouts, I do a 20-minute Turbo Jam workout to get my heart rate up and increase my steps for the day (I have a FitBit pedometer for a work health and wellness program). If you've even read this, just know that I have been working HARD (at least, fitness-wise).

Anyways, I have to remind myself that fitness is a journey. Life doesn't just get better all of the time. There are ups and downs, and that also applies to fitness and health. I can't expect to constantly get skinnier or more toned, although I definitely have gotten stronger and better, especially at push ups. Right now, I'm in a fitness valley, and I just need to get my nutrition act together so I can at least get back to where I was. It's just very frustrating because weight loss was easy (nutrition-wise) because all I did was starting exercising and wasn't very restrictive with my diet. I was also maintaining my weight kind of eating what I wanted, of course in moderation. So now, I have to be more careful about what I eat. Graham and I have been discussing a diet for us both before we go to Hawaii in a month. We'll see how this goes.

If you're interested in my Mortifying Myself series where I share or read some of my journal entries, I'll be posting a video within the next week. It's just an intro to my journal entries, but if it works out, I may read and vlog some of my more memorable journal entries (like my first kiss).

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Stitch Fix Review #5

So, my theme this month was providing some extra pieces for my upcoming trip to Hawaii. I didn't want any extra clothes preparing for fall because I already have plenty (well... I could use more work pants from Banana Republic...). This is my last buying hurrah because our expenses have increased a lot over the past few months (repaying Graham's student loans, new car, and Carter's preschool). Anyways, here is the review.

Please excuse the terrible pictures (the quality and the subject: me). Seriously, I was NOT having a good day. I do not look photogenic in the slightest in these pictures, and I look about 20 pounds heaver than I actually am. Just be glad I posted these at all, ok.. I had my camera set on a timer on the desk because Graham was working. They were looking awful, so I ditched this set-up and used my iPhone for bathroom selfies.. The worst selfies of them all. Oh, and I didn't style the outfits at all. I am literally wearing workout pants on the bottom.

Papermoon Lupita Colorblocked Cross-Bank Tank: $48




The colors were really cute, and I loved the cross-back details on the shirt (which of course you can't see because of my long hair.. Sigh.). However, it was that extreme hi-lo style that I hate I'm not a huge fan of , and I'd always have to wear something under it because it's see-through. Also, the fit wasn't super flattering, and I couldn't see myself wearing it other than on vacation to Hawaii (Seattle isn't the best place for sheer, flowy tops).

Verdict: PASS

Daniel Rainn Becky Abstract Houndstooth Sleeveless Blouse: $68




I LOVE houndstooth patterned items, but this top was a complete failure from top to bottom. (I guess I should note that I liked the color and kind of distressed style.) The top was too tight in the arms/shoulders, making the shirt wayyyy too tight across the chest and pull right across my boobs. Then, it flared out at the bottom, making me look pregnant. I have stated before in previous reviews to avoid shirts that flare out at the bottom. Because I have such large shoulders and arms, anything that emphasizes that feature is NOT flattering. Lastly, it was that damn hi-lo style again! Am I the only person who doesn't want to hide my butt, or is it because I don't wear leggings with these tops and I don't need to cover up my sheer leggings with my top?? I will be updating my style profile to say NO hi-lo tops. I already have this in my style profile to remind my stylist about my larger upper body:

"No joke, I have broad shoulders, muscular arms, and a full rack of ribs. 
Beware of shirts that are tight in this region that don't have any stretch!"

I don't know what it'll take for them to listen. Just say NO to hi-lo tops, kids. And say no to acid-washed, high-waisted jeans and shorts while we're at it (anybody else disgusted by this throwback trend going on right now??). Anyways, moving on..

VERDICT: Hell nahh

En Creme Saffron Striped Beach Cover-Up Dress: $44





This was just ok. The fit was kind of boxy, and the material was super thin. It didn't feel like it would hold up past one summer season. I did like the drawstring, though.. And, I have this amazing AND flattering swim/cover-up dress from Athleta that just killed this one (picture down below), so I couldn't justify another swim dress purchase, especially when it was so inferior to the one I already have.



Verdict: PASS

Gilli Kamile Jersey Ruched Detail Dress: $64



Love Carter's naked photo bomb. That ended the photo session right there.
I really liked the fit on this dress and the option to dress it up or down. However, the army green color kind of changes, depending on the light. Graham thought it was a poopy brown. Also, it was really thin and felt cheap-o and something you could get at Target on clearance (I'm assuming that, as that's not somewhere I really shop for clothes). This dress's quality was not nice enough for $64. But, I was looking for a dress for a friend's wedding, and something light for Hawaii, so this one fit the bill. Plus, I didn't want to lose my $20 styling fee.

Verdict: KEEP

Bay to Baubles Quincy Fringe Collar Necklace: $36




When I looked at this in the box, I wasn't very impressed. It looked like a plain silver necklace. However, it looked really nice when I tried it on with the dress. I was considering buying it, but my car got broken into and I was thinking about replacing my Bluetooth for about the same cost as this necklace. So, I sent it back.

Verdict: PASS

Summary: So, this box was a little disappointing. I had a different stylist this time, so maybe that was it. They did listen to my request for some Hawaii and vacation items, but the fit of the clothing was mostly terrible. I do have an abnormal body type, though, so I can't hate on them for that. I know it's hard to find clothes for my large, broad shoulders and chest, straight waist, and smaller hips with an altogether athletic body frame. I must note that the quality of the clothes doesn't always match the price. I know they do have to make a profit somehow, but I feel like I can get much more tailored and higher quality clothes on sale at Banana Republic or Ann Taylor. It is exciting to get this package in the mail, but I don't know if I'll honestly continue doing it. Maybe I'll try it again if I'm looking for something special. If you are interested in trying this service out, please use my referral code.

Here are my previous Stitch Fix reviews:

And, to remind myself that I truly haven't gained 20 pounds, here's a recent selfie

Much better.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

One of those days..

So, today was just one of those days.. Ugh.

I realized on the way home from work today that my car was "broken into" (i.e. Graham left the doors unlocked) last night. My Bluetooth connector and my CD's were stolen, and some random things like my YMCA daycare punchcard.

Then, I stubbed my toe on Graham's weight set when I was trying to take pictures of my Stitch Fix clothes. Hard. Ouch.

And, the pictures did NOT turn out well. I'm debating whether or not to even post them because they are so hideous and I don't look good in them. I ended up ditching my timed DSLR camera for bathroom selfies on my iPhone. Yikes.

So anyways, I'm kind of in a funk today/tonight, so I don't know when I'll next post about whatever I've been up to.

And yes, I survived my camping trip!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Camping

So, we are going camping this week for the first time in over 4 hours. Last time we went, I was pregnant, it rained, and drunk people kept us up all night. It was not fun. I am a bit apprehensive because let's face it, I'm kind of an indoorsy person. I don't like being dirty, I don't like public showers, and I don't like wildlife.

We are going to a campground near Bend, Oregon. It's near a lake and stuff, so we should be playing in the water a lot. We are also planning on floating the Deschutes River around Bend, something I've been wanting to do since my family first visited Bend in 2005. Here's a picture of it, courtesy of Sun Country Tours.



Anyways, I am not really excited to camp, but I am excited to have days off work. Hallelujah. I have literally gone into work 16 days in a row. I am DONE with this place! So, I won't be back until Sunday, so hold on tight until then.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Journal update

So, I spent ALL of Friday night typing up old journal entries that I thought were funny or interesting enough to put on future blogs. I was at the computer for over four hours typing this crap up. Hopefully, it'll be worth it! Some of the categories I'm thinking about writing about include the following:

  • Flirting
  • Attracting the opposite sex
  • Self-reflection
  • Marriage
  • What I want in a guy
  • Personality traits
  • "Positive" self-talk
  • Physical intimacy (this one is a little sketchy.. I've had to edit and cut a lot of things out)
  • First date(s) and first kiss
Is there anything else I should include? Any topics that you guys would like to hear about? First love? Spiritual stuff? College stuff?


So, I also did a trial run of a vlog of a journal entry about a date I had, just to see how it'd turn out, even though I didn't shower this morning and I'm dressed in junk clothes.

This pretty much illustrates it:


And, if you don't know me very well, you wouldn't know I have a very expressive face. I was cracking up watching myself talk because I pull some weird facial expressions.