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Monday, July 28, 2014

Challenges

No, this is not a serious post.. I just wanted to write about my self-imposed nutrition challenges this month. This may be a little boring for some of you, but for women who like dessert and struggle with self-control, you'll know what I mean. This was inspired by some minor weight gain I've had recently. I've probably gained about 3-5 pounds back in the past 3 months. Ugh. That's not very much, but on my 5'2.5" frame, it is! I could feel it in my stomach and lower abdomen the most. I was seriously hating my life, feeling like a stuffed sausage in some of my pants. Not happy. So, after I reflected on my diet, I realized I'd been eating wayyyy too much dessert lately. Normally I never buy ice cream because I lack self-control around it. I can eat two giant bowls of the good stuff (Tillamook ice cream is the bomb--PS has that saying really gone out of style?, because I refuse to say something like "epic"), and not even bat an eye.

Anyways, Graham and I decided to do a "no dessert" week last week, and then end it with a milkshake from a great burger and shake place. I stuck to it pretty hard core, but I still allowed myself a daily candy I get from pharmacists' offices at work. It seemed to be pretty easy for both of us, until I asked Graham how he was doing. His response was, "Huh, I thought you meant only at home!" He was eating 3-7 cookies and/or brownies every night at work. Yikes. Anyways, I resisted eating even homemade zucchini chocolate bread because it was too dessert-like. Drinking that milkshake Saturday night definitely made it all worth it!

Then, as I snacked on a sugary Chex Mix on Sunday, I decided to try no added sugar this week. I won't be avoiding bread, even though it often does have added sugar, but I plan to avoid most other things, including peanut butter and my Kashi cereal. We will see how I do. I am kind of dying right now because I'm bored at home with Carter in the evening. There is no such thing as a sugar free frozen treat (ok, maybe there is, but I think it's cheating), other than like frozen fruit, frozen broccoli, or just plain ice. So, I'm probably overdosing on diet soda to prevent myself from eating anything more.

I realize that this probably isn't going to be life changing, or be equivalent to a self-imposed challenge like running a marathon (which I will never do anyways), but I just thought it'd be a fun experiment for a Dietitian like me.

Oh, and something exciting. I found $12 shorts on clearance at LOFT for my Hawaii trip (it's funny how uncomfortable I feel in shorter shorts now). AND, I signed up to do another Stitch Fix before my trip, with the request of some pieces for the trip. I'm pretty excited! I just hope it's not a bust, because the first time I signed up, I asked for some things to my trip to San Diego last year, and I ended up with this. Yikes. Anyways, I will post about that next month when I get my Stitch Fix package. Have you guys tried it yet? It really is a fun experience! If not, try this referral code.

Oh, and I apologize for the lack of pictures on most of my posts. If you look at the Instagram feed on the right, you can see what we've been up to.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Otherwise known as... My Unglamorous Life

I wanted to blog tonight about something, but I couldn't really think of exactly what I wanted to talk about. My blog is kind of all over the place, anyways, as I talk about widely varied topics such as my crazy but boring life, makeup and beauty, and nutrition and fitness. Graham is working until midnight tonight, so I have the house all to myself (kinda) until then. Carter is asleep and I have a lovely can of Diet Pepsi at my side.

It has been a looooooooong week. Our hospital just adopted a new electronic medical record system (EPIC, if any of you readers work in health care) on Sunday, so I worked a full week last week, I was on-call last Saturday, and I just worked 50+ hours this last week from Sunday through today. Stick a freaking fork in me. I'm done. I'm still getting used to the new system and getting a more efficient work flow. The biggest problem was that the analysts only gave us access in the system to look at diet orders and allergies, like we were kitchen workers (which, I'm sure, most people think that's what Registered Dietitians do anyways). This was a problem for TWO FULL DAYS at work. So, I got paid for two days in which I didn't do any real work. If any of you follow me on Instagram, you'd have noticed I did a Barre3 workout in my office on Monday. My co-worker was cracking up the entire time while I was doing lunges, squats, and arabesques in our tiny sardine can-sized office. We also watched the movie Memento on Netflix while they fixed the problem.

Sigh. I was on the phone with my mom on Wednesday night, in which I mentioned that we hoped Graham's car would last us another six months so we could buy a new car then. And guess what call I received an hour later? Graham's car died on the freeway. His car is an old, beat up Honda Civic with multiple dents, a taped up window, and rimless tires. I'd put up a picture of this POS, but I don't want all of you to get jealous of what an amazing and glamorous car I get to ride in. Anyways, we had to jump it twice for it to make it another mile to a friend's house. The car is only worth maybe $300 to a junk yard, and the repairs would be $250, so we don't think it'd be worth it to invest more in the POS. So, we are car shopping tomorrow. We need a dependable sedan with good gas mileage that's affordable. We don't have a real plan, other than considering a possible lease with Nissan or Chevy. We will see. I'm not excited because I was more excited to pay off debt--not incur more!

Speaking of my sexy and glamorous life, my co-worker and I had a good conversation today about what real life is and how people can ruin it with their big expectations of what they think their lives will be like. We were talking about the show "Say Yes to the Dress" on TLC, where women spend $5000+ on wedding dresses for one day. We were specifically talking about the women who go in for a $3000 dress but end up trying on a dress over $10000, love the expensive dress, and somehow talk their family into buying it for them. I just think that's setting them up for disappointment of what life is really going to be like, especially marriage. I kinda grew up thinking once I got married, trials wouldn't be as hard. What a joke. Marriage and life are not fairy tales in which everything you wish comes true. Sure, I'm a little jaded and cynical, but I consider myself to be a bit more realistic than anything. A true marriage is not glamorous. It is coming home to the same person every day, dealing with little annoying and mundane things like honey, why the hell can you not leave your shaving cream and eye drops on your side of the sink?, and of course, the big, glaring problems that I've gone through. If you think your husband is always going to treat you like the princess you think you are, then you have some serious growing up to do.

This also made me think of my sister's friend who flew to Hawaii from California for the weekend just to be proposed to. I was like, seriously?? As if getting engaged isn't exciting and wonderful enough, you have to be in Hawaii for a day or two just to pop the question?? I said, the rest of her life is just going to be a disappointment if this is what she thinks her life is going to be like. What is her first childbirth going to be like? Is she going to pull a Jessica Simpson and request a renovation and special room in the hospital for herself, surrounded only by the most beautiful flowers in a spa-like setting? Will her child only drink the finest breast milk? (Sorry, I had to quote Chappelle Show.) Every event in life will not be amazing. If you think life will be this way, you really will be unsatisfied. I cannot emphasize this enough.

If I thought this way, my life would be extremely unfulfilling right now. I mean, honestly, my life is pretty dang boring and kind of sucks sometimes. I see my husband when I'm awake for about 10 minutes a day. I have six hours of toddler time, in which we build LEGO's, read Pete the Cat books incessantly, and play with trains or construction trucks. I make dinner every night, for which I am never thanked by my child. I practically have to bribe him every night just to eat the food that he doesn't appreciate. I get maybe six hours of sleep because I get up at 4:55 AM every day, but if I want to talk to my husband at all, Graham gets home at 10:35 PM every night. Ugh. I am truly exhausted as I type this. Anyways, I am happy with my life, because I don't expect my life to be amazing, glamorous, or even fun all the time. As I've been reading, life is often full of suffering, and I've come to embrace that.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

FabFitFun Summer 2014 Review + $15 Coupon Code

So I've tried only two subscription boxes before: Birchbox and StitchFix (see my old reviews here). I've seen other lifestyle boxes before, like Wantables, PopSugar Must Have, Fancy Box, etc, so I wanted to try one out. You can almost always find coupon codes online, making these pretty affordable (Birchbox is only $8-10/month, depending on your coupon). You can try new stuff and feel like you're getting a present in the mail. I love that!

Anyways, I decided to try FabFitFun VIP out. It's a quarterly box, meaning you receive a new box every season. If you get a coupon code, it makes the box about $35, which is less than $12/month. You receive full-sized items in the fitness, beauty, and lifestyle arena.

Spoiler Alert: 

This is what I received this month (here's a link with a list of all the received items):

They say this box is valued at over $225, but that all depends on how you, as the consumer, would value these items. For example, the Thursday Friday canvas clutch is valued at $35, but I honestly wouldn't buy it at all. I don't know who I'd even give this to, other than my 12 year-old niece. Who wants a clutch with a picture of a cuter purse on it?! Anyways, this is now my new bag for makeup samples I haven't used yet (i.e. it's hidden away in my bathroom where nobody can see it). UPDATE: Someone on Instagram saw my picture and wanted to buy my bag. Score! She paid $10 minus shipping, so that made my box even more worthit!

The big ticket items were the clutch (which, I'm sorry, is kind of fugly), a flash facial exfoliator, and a moisturizer with 30 SPF. I was really excited about the exfoliator, which is reported to have $95 value (again, there is no way I would pay that for anything beauty-related). I tried it last night--I didn't really notice a huge difference, but then again, my face isn't as dry as it normally is. I'm sure this will do good for my skin in the winter. I used the moisturizer this morning. It's nice to have one with 30 SPF, but the consistency and smell of the formula reminded me of the normal Coppertone sunscreen lotion. Maybe it was just me thinking about the SPF.

The other smaller, un-sponsored items included nail polish, a water infuser bottle, popchips, and hair oil. The nail polish color is kind of a orange, pinky-red, so it'll be fun for summer. I'm going to use the water bottle today at work, and I used the hair oil this morning. We'll see if it does anything for my frizz. I ate the popchips last night. I've eaten them a couple of times at work. Meh, nothing special.

Also, there's flavored chapstick with complementary flavors (I received lemonade and strawberry) called KissTix. I would be excited about that if I were like 10 years-old. I made my husband try them last night and he was like, what the hell are you doing? He was obviously less than thrilled about it, although he was a little disappointed to find out I was kissing him just to try out the chapstick.

The big stink about this box is the presence of three sponsored items: pantyliners, shaving cream, and a slimfast bar. They do this to cover some costs of the box, so I understand that, but really.. pantyliners?! There is nothing fab fit or fun about pantyliners (or shaving cream for that matter)! If I don't want to use these items, however, I'll just donate them to a women's shelter. I ate the slimfast bar this morning. I used to eat the chocolate ones, and yuck.. I can't believe I used to do that. They are so chemical tasting. The birthday cake flavor I received was definitely different than the old chocolate one I used to eat, but no, I would not purchase it again.

My overall feelings: I am a little underwhelmed by this box. I think I will definitely use the big items and it was worth the $40 I spent on it. However, I feel like the big ticket items were over-valued. Also, there was nothing summer-related in here. It could have been a box for any season! Also, I think a water infuser bottle as a fitness item is kind of lame. In the past, they (and other boxes) have included videos or online subscriptions to workout videos. I may try this box subscription again if I get a good coupon code for the fall. If they fail again, I am out.

If you are interested in trying this out, use the coupon code 3475994 at FabFitFun's website. This coupon gives you $15 off, and gives me a referral credit as well.

Just a reminder, I bought this with my own money. FabFitFun has no idea who I am. I just thought it'd be fun to blog about this.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Yeah, about that...

I am left alone for the weekend again. Carter and Graham went down to Portland for his brother's baby blessing this morning, but I had to work today and tomorrow. So, I'm bored and watching Hulu all by myself tonight, and I felt inspired to blog.

I guess I feel like I don't really have much to blog about, just some random things. So, I'll do one of my old-fashioned mind dumps.

1) We just got back from a road trip to my hometown in California. It's about 800 miles to my parent's house, so we drove through the night on the way there so Carter would sleep through the night.  We listened to an audiobook of Divergent on the way down while he slept. It worked out really well, but neither Graham nor I slept very well in the car. We were BEAT when we got to their house. Let's just say I slept very well the whole time we were there because I was making up for the lack of sleep. We didn't do anything big, we just played in the pool (my mom got Carter shark fin floaties--he loved them and swam all over the pool in them), played with cousins, and shopped a little bit (I found an awesome swim cover-up dress from Athleta). Can I just mention really quick how great Carter was? Seriously, this kid is such a blessing. He's so easygoing and mild-mannered, and yet adorable and hilarious. He was amazing on the drive home (he only slept for a little bit on the way). He had a little LeapFrog reader, some trucks, and some other random toys, but he mostly sat there in silence, looking at the window. He didn't complain and only had to go potty quickly once. I guess this means we can take more road trips if he's going to be so awesome!

2) Speaking of swim dresses.. Guess who's going to Hawaii in October?? We are! My parents have a timeshare on Oahu, and we are going for a full week with them and my sister. We are so excited. We haven't been on a real vacation since our honeymoon to Kauai in 2008. But now, Graham will probably have to work Thanksgiving in exchange for not working a full week in October.

3) I hosted a girl's night a couple of weeks ago with some friends. We were trying to think of ideas, including going shopping, hiking, eating at the Melting Pot, mani/pedis, etc, and I volunteered to host a fondue night to save money. Not thinking it all the way through, I chose to make a traditional Swiss fondue (with a white wine base). I only realized this mistake when the ladies asked me for the recipe. Number one ooops: I didn't ask if they'd be ok with having white wine base (we're all Mormon and don't drink alcohol). The cheese fondues at Melting Pot all have an alcoholic beverage in it, so I didn't think anything of it. Number two ooops: one of my friends is pregnant and shouldn't consume alcohol (the alcohol doesn't all cook out, sorry). Yeah, I felt like an idiot...

4) I am really loving my barre-style workouts right now. I downloaded the Barre3 app on my phone for like $5, and they have free 10-minute workout videos available on the app. I've been picking and choosing different little sections for do a 60-70 minute workout, and it's been nice to kind of switch up the routine a little bit.

5) Work is going to be kind of crazy this summer. First of all,one of my co-workers is getting married and got another job in Seattle. Friday was her last day. Ordinarily, it wouldn't be too terrible, but my other co-worker is on vacation this next week. So, I will be working by myself for 4 days next week. Super excited. Plus, our hospital is getting a new electronic medical record system in like 3 weeks. so, double suck. Short staffed and new system=recipe for disaster. But, the silver lining is that I don't have to work any more weekends this summer unless I get called in. Woohoo!

6) Some newer beauty products I've tried is a men's shaving cream from Sephora and a body wash gel from LUSH. The shaving cream is the bomb. I mean seriously, Graham's face stays soft for 2 days when he uses it, when normally his beard is all scratchy by the end of day 1. So, I had to try it myself, and it works wonders on me too! This means less shaving, softer skin, and less overall product used. The body wash I got is in a citrus scent and it really helps wake me up and feel fresh in the morning. I would highly recommend it, but my favorite one is still Foam Call wash from Sephora. That one is my favorite scent ever and I feel like it's really moisturizing.

7) My mom totally spoiled me when I visited her. She surprised me with eyelash extensions! They're a little more fragile than the ones I got for my 30th birthday, but they're lovely. I'll have to take a picture and post it on Instagram.

8) Carter's personality is really like a mini-me. He's kind of a contrarian sometimes and likes to argue just to go against the flow. For example, I would not wear flip flops in high school because everybody else did, and everyone wore the ones from Old Navy. I think I got a pair from J.Crew literally the week after I graduated. Anyways, my mom was talking to Carter about making good choices in life and to CTR ("choose the right" she explained), when he responded with "No, I C-L. I Choose the Left." He really is clever, that one.

Anyways, we don't have anything really planned over the next month, so who knows what the heck I'll blog about. I mean, I shouldn't complain about my life not being eventful. I've definitely had enough fodder over the past year to keep my blog entries plentiful.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Fitness Progress

So, I blogged about my new plan for fitness starting in the end of February. My plan was to do advanced Bar Method DVD's 3 times per week, along with 2-3 sessions of other workouts (I do RIPPED workouts at the local Y). I really wanted to see if I could sculpt my body like Bar Method claims it can.

It hasn't been easy to commit to this workout plan for the past 3 months, due to changes in schedule, family visits, out of town weekends, etc, but I completed my number one goal: do the Bar Method workouts at least three times per week. I had some major bumps along the way. I got a new birth control method that gave me severe headaches for a week. So bad that I actually cried through my workouts because the pain at my temples was so terrible. Then, I was severely dizzy for the next 3 weeks. I tried to fight through it, mostly working out like I planned, but my intensity wasn't there. So, I stopped the birth control and I'm mostly back to normal, but I've lost some progress from not being able to work out as hard.

Also, my nutrition has kind of sucked. I've been addicted to sugar, requiring dessert almost every day. The dizziness made me lay on the couch and eat way too much. So, my waist line has hardly improved.. There was some initial improvement after 2 months, but not so much this last month. I did take before pictures, but I'll wait to post them after 6 months or something because I'm just not feeling it right now.

However, I have noticed a lot of positive improvements:
--My muscle tone and shape.. my thighs, hips, and arms have never felt so good. I'm kind of obsessed. My booty is totally lifted. My triceps are tight and muscular. My legs are actually shapely (not that they were a big problem before). Some of these improvements won't show so much on the camera, but I feel them for sure. One problem is that I definitely still have some meat on my bones, especially in the shoulder and rib cage area.. so muscle definition is not quite there.
--Fitness improvement. My push-up ability has vastly improved. Doing slow push-ups eliminates momentum, so it's all you and your muscles. I can actually do tricep push-ups now too!
--More focus on my posture. I shrug my shoulders really bad, and it causes some major knots in my shoulders, so this should help after a long time of practice.
--Feeling more feminine. I love the shape my muscles are taking. It's not manly to be lean and toned.. I like to look graceful!
--Confidence. Because of some of the changes in my body, I'm feeling more confident about myself.

Anyways, I am a believer in this workout method! I did try a couple of other barre-style workouts as well: Physique57 and Barre3. P57 was intense, but I didn't think it had enough stretching. Barre3 was kind of a sneaky one because I didn't think it was very intense while I was doing it (although it did make me sweat), but I was definitely sore afterwards. All 3 of these workouts have online videos, so check them out if you're interested! One negative I do find is that some of my pants are a little tighter in the legs and the booty than they used to be, so I'll have to find a cut that fits me better now. But, if I have to sacrifice some of my old jeans for a new, lifted butt, I'll do it..

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Loneliness

So, it's been interesting dealing with the side effects from having an opposite schedule than Graham. We still sleep in the same bed from 10:30 PM-5:00 AM, with a very brief chat when he gets home, and a brief one when he drops Carter off at my work at 2:30 PM. We have weekends together sometimes when I'm not working and Wednesday evenings, but it's been difficult to not have someone to come home to. I'm not much of a talker, but now that I don't have it, I realize what I'm missing.

Usually, I have friends at work to kind of curb the loneliness, but that hasn't been available lately. As I've mentioned before, I had some drama at work earlier this year. It had nothing to do with my job, but more like a friend from work. She and I had a major falling out, and now she and her husband can't even hardly look at me in the eye. I was friends with both of them and enjoyed talking with them at work, and now I've lost two friends. It's been almost 6 months, and only today did it really hit me how much it has affected me to lose friends, especially ones that helped me through hard times. I've been angry and sad about it, and I can't do anything more to make it better.

I'm not a phone talker, so that doesn't really make me feel better. I used to kill the loneliness with shopping, but I've really been cutting back on that a lot. So now, I'm fully feeling my emotions more than ever. I guess I just have to learn to deal with it like an adult..

Friday, May 16, 2014

Why I stayed..

Sometimes, I wonder why I am where I am in life... Why have my decisions led me to this current place (literal and figurative)? Is this just for my personal growth or is it all coincidental or consequential?

I didn't really give much background into why we made some alterations in our life plans, but some of it was related to things that happened last summer, and some stuff from like 4 or 5 years ago. Obviously, not stuff I'm going to share, but anyways.. When I think about some things that my husband did, I honestly want to wring his neck. It's so frustrating to be so mad at your spouse for things that have happened a long time ago, and not get adequate resolution about the old problems. I have forgiven him for many things, but man oh man, some of these things make me want to slap him silly...And just to clarify, I do not advocate domestic abuse (even in jest). I've made some mistakes where I've felt the same way about myself.

But, I continue to love him and stay with him. Even he asks me why I do.. why I continue to accept his faults and love him through all of these problems. When this issue came up back in 2009, he was very depressed, and I wrote him a letter that he kept in his wallet. It detailed all of the reasons why I loved him. He still has it, apparently. He also did the same for me for Mother's Day last year after this all went down, and I keep it at home.

So, to be a little sappy, and to remind myself and my followers of why I'm still married (and happily so), I'm writing a list of why I love my husband (I'll try to keep this appropriate, *wink wink*):


  • He honestly makes me laugh. Every day. He's silly, he's clever, he's a little sarcastic but sometimes cheesy.. I love it. His sense of humor perfectly complements mine.
  • He takes me seriously. He's not one of these men who shakes their head bemusedly about their "crazy wife". He tries to understand what I'm feeling.
  • He does the dishes every day without complaint.
  • I love the way he tells me every day that he loves me. That I'm attractive. That I'm enough..
  • He's such a great dad. Honestly. He gets down and plays with Carter. Carter absolutely adores him. I love seeing Graham as a father, and seeing him lead our family. I could go on and on about this, but I won't.
  • He's very supportive with my activities and hobbies.
  • He kisses me on the neck romantically.
  • He loves me even with all my faults and mistakes. I have never doubted how much he loves me.
  • He allows me to be myself. There have only been a few people with whom I've truly been 100% myself, and he's one of them.
  • He wakes up and gets out of bed every morning just to turn my car on and get it warm before I get in the car.
  • I love him for the man he is and the man he can be. I can't just love him for the best he can be--I also need to love him even through his worst times.
  • He doesn't mind me teasing him (or annoying him, depending on the day).
  • He's very personable and friendly.
  • He's like the only person that I know that I can be with 24/7 and never get sick of him.
  • He gets me. He understands my point of view. 
  • I love that he is actually creative, partly because I don't have a creative bone in my body. Not only can he tell crazy spontaneous stories to Carter, but he also composes his own music. One of my favorite things to do is lay down and listen to him play his own re-mixes and original music on the piano.
Anyways, I love him more than anything.. I want to make things work because he is my wonderful, loving husband, and couldn't imagine life without him now.