Friday, September 19, 2014

I might have to go dumpster diving

I was trying to think of a topic today and I realized there seems to be 2 schools of blog thought. One is where you just talk all about your day and provide a snapshot into your life and the rest is blogging on a topic.

I have to confess, blogging about a topic is much easier than trying to capture your day. I think it's because I don't think my days are very interesting. I get up, walk the dog, go to work, maybe go to the gym, eat dinner, maybe watch TV and surf the interwebs and go to bed. Sadly, not terribly interesting.

I'm all for a new genre, brain dump! Where else can I put my random thoughts?

This week I did a lot of sitting on my ass. Then again, where else would I sit? But really, I've been dealing with this lingering crud and it gave me a sore throat and lots of sleepiness. I think that 35% of my daily caloric intake has come in the form of throat lozengers.



My entire life I called it a lozenger. Come to find out, it's lozenge. Apparently in the Northern Panhandle of WV / Western PA we add an R to to the end for no good reason. I continue to add the R because Kev rolls his eyes when I do.

LOOK! Courtesy of  Pittsburghese.com
Lozenger Lozenge. (Submitted by Joy Buzzelli, Pittsburgh)

Thank you Joy.

My mother in law is visiting this week which is pretty awesome. We love having her here and this trip signifies that she's been here enough times that Cleo is convinced she's not here to kill us. Cleo does still try to herd her into other rooms but the lack of side eye is pretty nice.



For an anniversary present we're getting new dishes. The last time we got new dishes it took us 3 years to pick them out. Kev likes heavy plates with an interesting design. I prefer not to get an arm cramp when carrying my plate and food. I caved and we got heavy plates, and they all chipped, one by one. I HATE chipped plates. It makes me all ragey. I like to point out that Corelle doesn't chip but Kev says they feel like college. We'll see if we end up with dishes or are eating off paper plates.



Last night I learned that you can put Chapstick on your had and when they stamp you for being under 21 you can go wipe it off. WHY DIDN'T WE THINK OF THIS????? We had Chapstick in the 90s! Ugh, this would have upped my quality of life in college, annnnd probably lowered my GPA.

There's a runner who passes Cleo and I every morning while she's mid poop. Today he ran by and said "Good Morning, it's a beautiful day for a run!". I wanted to trip him. Yes, it's 65 with a glorious cloud cover. Running would be fantastic at 7am. But nooooo some of us have to go to work and can't run in the morning because they are sweaty messes and poor hygiene is frowned upon in the workplace.
Damn right.

One of my friends is having a baby sprinkle (She had a shower for her first, so this is a sprinkle, cute name) and I have no idea what to get her. She's a huge proponent of reusing, recycling and reducing which I think is fantastic. I wish I could be more like that. Instead I always forget my reusable bags and pick up Cleo's poop with plastic Target bags. I guess I could stop picking it up and let the poo go back into the earth? It's the Circle of Poo Life.




I want to follow the theme but I'm so bad at it. I could make something, but I waited until the last minute and that's not going to happen. I could scout out some garage sales for baby stuff? I could also go to a consignment store? Yea, let's be honest, not gonna happen. Can I just put some cash in a card?

UPDATE - There's an Amazon registry and I have Amazon Prime! Cue choirs of angels!!

Tonight we're taking my MIL out to dinner at Vinnnie's. The seriously have the best steak in town, but more that that, they have hands down, the best Cosmo in the Triangle. Perhaps I only think they have the best steak because I'm 2 drinks in when my food arrives?

 
That's right, just a nice light flush of pink. I didn't order a vodka and cranberry.
 
 
That's all peeps! Have a Happy Friday!
 
Oh, I still haven't heard from the winner of the Lawson's Gift Card. If I don't soon, I'll draw another winner. Thanks!
 
Does your part of the country pronounce things differently than other parts?
Do you remember your reusable bags at the grocery store?
 
Linky Linky!

http://meetatthebarre.blogspot.com/


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

If we were having coffee - Confession

I've seen this floating around the internets for a while now and I thought it was a fun idea. If we were having coffee, what would we talk about? Coffee and confessions, why not!

If we were having coffee, you'd probably be a little embarrassed by my drink order. Well, not really my order, it'd be all the clarifying questions I'd ask. Do you have almond milk, how many pumps of syrup do you put in that, is there soy in there? Then I wouldn't order any of that and get a large coffee with cream. Hopefully it's a flavored coffee. If not I'll make a sad face but then again I probably suggested a place with delicious flavored coffee.



If we were having coffee I'd tell you all about my new favorite show, Jersey Belle. Jamie is NJ born and bred, living in Alabama and she makes me pee my pants, and miss the North. Favorite quote? "These people would monogram a panty liner if you'd let them". So true Jamie, so true. BTW, I have no idea how to search for gifs. I KNOW there's one of her making this statement somewhere but damned if I can find it.


Every so often we have to head back to the land of real bagels and diners. I think a trip to NYC and NY are in our near future.

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you how one of my employees quit the other day. We had a little come to Jesus meeting and they quit 2 hours later. I really felt like I'd leveled up or unlocked a new skill, People don't usually quit immediately after. It usually takes a little longer than that. Maybe I'm getting better at this!

(That would have been really impressive)

If we were having coffee I'd tell you that I sometimes develop irrational dislikes for people, Not people I know, but celebrities. I can't staaaaaand Eric Whitacre. For those of you who aren't familiar, Whitacre is a well known composer of toodely doo music. I don't sing in groups but know a lot of people who do and EVERYONE loves his music. Seriously, EVERYONE. I'd rather take a sharp stick to my ear than sit through one of his compositions.

(I hate even posting a link to one of his compsositions, but you have to understand.)

Kev has the same issue. He can't stand Stacy London from "What not to Wear". Like really, really can't stand her, and for no good reason. A few years ago a new outlet mall opened up near us and she was there on the Grand Opening. I turned away for a minute and he made his way to where she was signing autographs. I found him just as he announced, "Wow, she looks tired, do you think she looked tired?" Sign, one of the worst things you can say to a woman, and I know she heard him. He hates Sarah Jessica Parker too,

(Sorry, this just makes me chuckle)

If we were having coffee, I'd tell you that I've been a little sick the past few days. I haven't been to the gym since Thursday and haven't ran in even longer. I skipped my  6 miler on Sunday and I'm really not happy about it. I know running would have been a really bad idea but I need to take advantage of the beautiful running weather we've been having. I woke up on Sunday and almost cried because it was perfect. Overcast and 60s :(


Then when we finish, I might get another coffee to go. Because, you know, more coffee.

Linking up with Vodka and Soda and Fitness Blondie!

Vodka and Soda

Monday, September 15, 2014

EShakti Review - I wore cowboy boots

A few weeks ago I received an email from eShakti asking if I would be interested in reviewing their service and an article of clothing. We all know how much this gal loves shopping and new threads, this one was a no-brainer. 

I was provided the dress in exchange for a review, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I'd heard of eShakti and seen several of their dresses across the blog world. They're an on-line clothing store that really focuses on customization. You want the dress a little shorter, no problem! Have short Tyrannosaurus Rex arms like moi? Perfect, get the sleeves shortened. As a short, curvy gal, the idea of being able to make it just the way I wanted was really appealing. And, I'm one of "those" people. "How's this made, can I have it without sauce, can those veggies be steamed, is this butter or margarine, can I have this on the side?" Yea, I love making things the way I want them.

I as given a link with several different dresses and asked to choose one. I was really drawn to this blue print floral dress and could totally see it transitioning from summer to fall, especially here in NC. 

I can't say enough about eShakti's customer service, I had no idea what I was doing and they were so nice and patient with me. The dress came with cap sleeves and I first asked them to make them a little longer, then they asked if I preferred regular sleeves and even sent me a picture. Um, yes please! Not only did they give me different sleeves but they also made the dress short enough for my 5'3" self. 

For being specially made, it arrived very quickly and I couldn't wait to style it. Then the 95 degree days came, and the rain. I assumed that eShakti would prefer their dress not to be featured with boob and pit sweat so I waited. Finally I was able to get some pictures taken this weekend. Woo Hoo!

I first styled it for summer, just the dress and some nude wedges.

 
(and a janky foot. What am I doing?)

 Then I paired it with a navy cardigan and some cowboy boots.


People in the south love wearing cowboy boots with dresses. I really don't understand the trend, I mean, I think it looks cute and I love how it compliments this dress but why? It must be the northerner in me, we just don't get cowboy boots. 

Thoughts on the fit of the dress. I ordered a size up because I was paranoid that the sizing would be off. I shouldn't have done that. It definitely fit true to size and I should have gotten a size down, It was a little big in the hips and shoulders but still wearable. If you were more modest (which I'm not), you could wear a cute lace bandeau underneath it and not be so boobalicious. I loved the pockets and pattern is so different than what I usually wear. As Kev said, "Thank God you didn't get stripes" (but I totally would have)

All in all, working with eShakti was a great experience. Their customer service was fantastic and I really liked the dress. If you have a hard time finding things that fit you properly in the store, I highly recommend trying them out!

Have you ever purchased something from eShakti?
Would you ever have a dress customized?

Congratulations to Mary! You're the winner of the $25 Landry's gift card! I sent you an e-mail. 
 
Linky Linky with these awesome ladies! Fashionably Employed

http://www.blovedboston.com/

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What do you do when your doctor gives bad advice?

I totally meant to have this post up yesterday morning. Heck, who am I kidding, I meant to write it in the early morning and hurry up and post it. Instead I woke up yesterday feeling like crap. I had a terrible headache that turned into a stomach ache. I did have an already planned doctors appt in the afternoon for a physical (get $30 off my monthly health care yo') Needless to say, I spent most of the day on the couch catching up on Netflix. I watched 3 hours of Battlestar Galactica and learned what happened to Bo Jackson.

In case you were wondering, Bo knows hip replacements.

And apparently sheep, Bo knew everything in the late 80s

I've been a little discouraged in my progress lately. I've been tracking my food and counting my macros and haven't seen much movement in the weight loss arena. My clothes are still fitting the same and my measurements are pretty much the same.

About 2 months ago I went to a holistic doctor for my stomach issues and we've been trying to find a cause of my plateau. We did some thyroid tests and she felt it wasn't producing as much, thyroid juice (?) as she thought it should. She suggested some supplements and I've been taking them for about a month. Still, not much movement and I decided to go to my regular doctor.

I'll be honest, I don't go to the regular doctor all that often. I don't really have any reason to go and she's kinda far away. I got her when we moved to NC and I lived and worked in Durham and now it's a hike to get to her office. Kev still goes to her and I'm too lazy to find someone else.

I brought all of my test results and I wanted to see if she felt my results warranted non-supplement thyroid medicine. We chatted for a while and here was her diagnosis.

1. You're getting older, it's harder to lose weight
2. Eat less protein
3. Reduce your calories to 1200
4. If you want to get pregnant, exercise less

I can't even express how annoyed I am with her right now. Basically she wants me to sit around, eat less and eat more carbs. ARGH!!!!

1. Yes I'm getting older, no shit. People get older. You know what, people lose and gain weight at all stages of life. Just because it's harder doesn't mean it's impossible and you should resign yourself to being overweight for the rest of your life. Sorry, that's complete BS. Regardless of your age you can take control of your health.


2. Eat less protein?? Protein is good for you. Protein builds muscle. Muscle metabolizes fat. More muscle, less fat, how is this a bad thing? It's all about balance. I'm not eating a low carb diet but I know I need to make a conscious effort to eat enough protein throughout the day.


3. Reduce your calories to 1200. No. no no no. If I sat on my ass all day, (pardon all the swearing, I'm pretty annoyed) 1200 calories would be fine. But I don't. I run all over the place at work and when I track my steps I'm easily at 7000-8000 steps during the work day. Add in the rest of the evening and I easily hit 10000 steps. I work out 3-4 times a week and easily burn 500+ calories during each session. Every, and I do mean EVERY time I've attempted to drop to 1200 calories I want to eat my face and my weight loss slows and completely stops. I lost the bulk of the weight on Jenny Craig at 1500 calories and when I dropped to 1200, it took months and months to lose the last 10 pounds.


4. This one made me really, really angry. We've been trying to get pregnant for a while now and she told me that I would never conceive at my level of activity. First of all, I'm by no means an elite athlete. I work out 4 times a week, run MAYBE 15 miles a week and I lift weights. Seriously? Health instructors and people who work out FAR more frequently than I do get pregnant every day.

Ugh. These ridiculous antiquated views make me so angry. I know better than to listen to what she has to say but there are a lot of people who rely on the advice of their doctor. How do they know when the information is absolutely ridiculous? Oh, then she offered me an appetite suppressant pill, which is also a stimulant. (hits head on table)

Here's the thing, you can lose weight regardless of your age and if your doctor gives you advice that sounds ridiculous, get a second opinion. There's a whole enormous internet full of people and forums and opinions. Get another one, find another doctor. I need to find a doctor who runs, lifts and eats meat, not one who wants to push her vegan agenda. (Not that there's anything wrong with being a vegan.) And I will.

In the end she gave me the thyroid medicine I wanted and a rant for my blog, so I guess mission accomplished.

BTW, I'm having trouble with the Rafflecopter results, I'll have them posted tomorrow or Monday.

Have you ever disagreed with your doctor?
What do you do when they give bad advice? 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Confessions - Not much to see here

Hello Wednesday!

OMG, I am draggggging today. I seriously thought about skipping this post but bloggers have to suck it up even when they'd rather hide under their desks and take a nap. I so want a nap. I've already looked at my calendar to see when I can step out for coffee #2 and maybe #3.

This past week has been sorority recruitment at NC State and last night was their preference party. It was a late night for me (even later for them) and my brain is mush. But today is Bid Day when they get their new members! And really, we find out how well we did in comparison to the other chapters. :)

Alright, things to confess.

1. I don't have much of a filter, and said filter disappears even more when I have an adult beverage or two. If you need someone to ask a random or slightly embarrassing question, I'm your gal.

We were at a beer and bourbon festival a few weeks ago and there was a Great Dane rescue with a table there (odd combo). There was also several people who wanted you to renovate your kitchen and bathroom. I guess those vendors capitalize on people who make bad decisions. Copious amounts of booze and new cabinets just don't mix. Anywho, I kept asking Kev about the size of Great Dane poop. How big is it, can it fit into a baggie or fill an entire plastic shopping bag. Finally I asked the rescuers and learned that Great Dane poop is the size of horse poop. #themoreyouknow



2. I'm on a poo tangent today.
This weekend I was at the pet store getting cat food and saw what might be the smallest animal I've ever seen in my life. It was a chihuahua and might, (I'm being generous) MIGHT have been 3 pounds. I was so startled to see something that small I exclaimed "My dog makes bigger poops that that!" #mydogpoopsyourdog



3. My food has stunk this last week. Too much eating out or eating what's convenient. I need a salad, lots of salad and vegetables. I don't eat fast food and haven't in probably 3 years which is a good thing that I'm not running through a drive though but it's been too many carbs and not enough protein. I need a week of meat and veggies to break through some of this sluggishness.

Thankfully my exercise has been decent, My "Exercise week" runs from Saturday to Sunday which is a throwback from my Jenny Craig days when I used to weigh in every Saturday morning. So far I ran on Saturday and Sunday and will be going to Body Pump Class Thursday and Friday.



4. What is up with all the Wrap people on Instagram??!?!?!
I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said that I've had at least 20 people who sell those dang wraps follow me on Instagram. They never reach out to me, they just follow. I really don't understand it. When they have the monthly wrap calls or go to the wrap convention do they tell them that this is a good idea? I've been in sales for a long time and have been training or managing sales people for most of the last 8 years. I would NEVER advise anyone to just creep on people and not reach out to them.

People, if you want to sell your product, less than 10% of the random folks you reach out to will be impulsive enough respond back and say they're interested. So, you have to follow 100 randos and MAYBE 7 people will want to give it a try. That's a lot of work for a poor rate of return. Here's some advice. Make a connection, follow people for other reasons, start a conversation, THEN pepper in info about your products, like how well you've been sleeping at night since using Vetiver on your toes before bed. Then they ask, Vetiver, what's that? and you say, "Vetiver is an awesome essential oil that's great for sleep. It helps me and Kev sleep much deeper at night and wake up far more rested. I never knew how helpful essential oils could be." Then you offer a sample, direct them to the website (like the doTerra one on my sidebar) and ask them to come to or host a party.

I should hold a sales training class for direct sales people. Perhaps that's my next venture.

 
I'm not posting a picture of those other wraps because it makes me all ragey. Have some turkey instead.


5. It's always better to end on an odd number, don't ask me why.

Linking up with these awesome ladies!

Vodka and Soda

The Hump Day Blog Hop
 
Who else loves the instagram?
 
Stomach wrap or turkey wrap? Discuss
Monday, September 8, 2014

I'm a high maintenance runner

This weekend, for the first time in a very long time, I did back to back runs. No, not like real people who run in the morning and again in the afternoon (crazy), but 2 days in a row. I signed up for the North Hills 5k on Saturday and had 5 miles on my training plan for Sunday.

It was still crazy humid this weekend but I knew I needed to man up and get my runs in. November 2nd will be here in no time and I need to build my base back up.

This is the 4th year I've done the North Hills 5k and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love that it's 4 miles from my house and their shirt is seriously my favorite race shirt. I wear the ones from the last 2 years all the time. I hate the hills. There's one enormous hill and literally, most of mile 2 is on an incline.



This race usually starts the race season for me and it's the first one I'll do after spending most of the summer not running in the hot and humid, which means I'm always crying about how out of shape I am.

This year ran it in 36:15 which is better than last year and a little worse than 2012. Honestly though the humidity was killing me. I didn't feel that my fitness was off by all that much, but slogging through 99% humidity was awful. I don't know that I've ever been that sweaty before in my life.



Sunday morning I knew I had to get in 5 miles for my "long" run. I kinda blew off last week's 4 miler long run and I had to get on the wagon. I waited until 11am to head out since it was supposed to get a little less humid. Thankfully it did, the longer I went, until it was positively pleasant when I was standing in the Whole Foods parking lot... I should have started an hour later.

As I was getting ready the last 2 days I was thinking about how I'm NOT one of those pull on a pair of shoes and head out the front door kinda runners. For me, all the stars and moons have to come into perfect alignment for me to make it through.

I have a few must haves that I can't leave home without. Let's be honest, it's more than a few.

1. My shoes. I can't just pull on whatever shoe I have laying in my closet. I've tried several brands and styles and I'm a Saucony gal. Saucony, neutral support with inserts. I ran my 2nd half with the Ride 5s, my third in the Ride 6s and I'm currently training for #4 in a pair of 6s but might end up at the store to try out the new Ride 7s. They're the only shoes that don't give me knee issues.



2. My tunes. I can't be by myself with my thoughts for any length of time, I need something to listen to and distract me from what I'm putting myself through. I like running in my lulu capris because the butt pocket is big and stretchy enough for me to fit my iPhone. I don't like those arm bands, they never stay up on my arm and they get all sweaty and gross. I'd rather put my phone in a baggie and shove it back there.



BTW - I'm super excited to be a new Swirlgear Ambassador and their running pants also have a butt back pocket. I'll be sure to post my thoughts as soon as they arrive!

3.  A head band. Like I mentioned before, when I run, I'm a sweaty gal. I need something to keep the sweat from running into my eyes. Biondi bands are one of my favorites because they're big enough for my enormous head and they'll sop up a bunch of head sweat.



4. My Garmin. I'm type A and love numbers. Love all the numbers so much. I can't just go off and not worry about my time. I need to know how fast I'm going, how fast I should be going, how far I went, all that fun stuff. Kev bought me the Garmin Forerunner 10 2 years ago for my birthday. I love it. It's pretty affordable at $130-ish and it tells me what I need to know without a lot of BS.


5. Water. I get thirsty and I get really dehydrated and am a mess when I get home if I don't have something to drink on my run. This applies to all weather, all distances. Also, I need a place to stick my key and my chapstick and a few dollars in case I have to stop and bribe a small child for a beverage.

I have this one and it's OK. It only holds 10 oz and I had to refill it a bunch of times during my last half. I like that the big pocket holds all my stuff. but I could so with a few more ounces of water.

I used to have one that held 16oz and it was awesome, but Cleo ate it. :(

6. Sunglasses. If it's sunny, these peepers need a cover.



I'm sure people run past me and think, "Damn, girl, that's a lot of stuff!" Yes, yes it is. #sorrynotsorry.

Don't forget! There are still a few days left to enter my giveaway!

What are your running "must haves"?


http://www.blovedboston.com/

Friday, September 5, 2014

I might be the smelly blogger

Last night I went to my very first blogger meet-up. It was hosted by a new organization, the NC Blogger Network. It was held at Brandywine Cellars in Durham which is a great little wine bar, and the lovely folks at PDQ were nice enough to donate some cookies and chicken strips, and really, what else do you need? Wine, chicken and cookies.

So, the good stuff, the organizers did a great job of putting together a panel of speakers. I got some interesting tips to help this ol' blog of mine, like making the title of the post more interesting (just you wait to see what comes out of my brain.) And I have some things to think about, like maybe moving to Wordpress or a self hosted site. Oh, and I need a media kit. Like, really, really need one. Hey potential business partners, you want to team up with me and my 6 followers! Heck yeah!! Check out this link for a list of the speakers and links to their sites.

Alright, time for the rest. As it is in most parts of the country, it's flipping hot here in NC. Like pit and boob sweat hot. I generally don't sweat unless I'm engaged in some sort of physical activity but the past few days, DAMN. I need to take some pictures for a review I did and it's been too damn hot to do it. I'm sure the company doesn't want to see melted make-up and pit stains on their outfit. On top of the hot, as of Weds morning, my air conditioner stopped working in my car.

Let me tell you why this makes me all ragey. My AC hasn't ever worked really well in my car, and I bought it new 5 years ago. Well each summer it got worse and worse until last year when it barely worked. Finally in April of this year I coughed up a few hundred dollars and got the compressor replaced. It lasted for 4 months! FOUR and died on the hottest day of the summer. I called the VW dealership in a big of a pissy mood because I was driving home with sweat dripping off my upper lip. They can't see me until Monday afternoon. I can drop it off and leave it for a day or two or wait until Monday. I'm going to sit there ant stare at them and not pay for the repair. VW service, VW parts, I KNOW there's a warranty somewhere.

I FINALLY HAD AC, FINALLY and it's gone. Now I have drive with the windows open and my hair blowing and getting all tangly. At least we only have a few days of hot left. Then it will be 70 degrees and I won't need the AC.

I was driving to the event and getting angry as I felt myself getting warmer and warmer and thought about turning around, but I didn't because I already spent $16 for the ticket and I paid to get some business cards printed and didn't want to eat all of that $.

So, I walked in a little cranky and more than a little paranoid that I smelled. It's really difficult to be discrete and sniff your pits in a room full of other people. I said hi and introduced myself to a few people but some of the bloggers weren't terribly inviting. They went right back to whatever they were doing. Now I can talk to a brick wall, I have 20 years of sorority and 15 years of sales experience. If there's one thing I can do is talk and no one wanted to engage in a conversation. Obviously this made me even more paranoid that I was the stinky girl.

I headed over to the wine bar where they were doing free tastings. I WAS THE ONLY ONE AT THE BAR. There was FREE WINE AND IT WAS JUST ME. I had a lovely time tasting wine with the bartender/owner  and I'd definitely go back even though he gave me a wine that sucked all the moisture out of my mouth. (He thinks that's delicious) I asked him for some Reunite. Instead he gave me this, which according to Google, means blood of a leader. Perfect.

 
It was sweet, red, and bubbly which is exactly what I wanted. And, since I was a little paranoid, I had 2 glasses. Now I'm the slightly buzzed, smelly blogger. I was clearly winning at life last night.

It ended at 9pm and I headed home in my slightly less sweaty car. I did ask Kev if I smelled and he was very nice and said I didn't. That's why I married him.

All in all it was a good event, I just might need a smaller subset of the blogging community, the chatty wine drinking group who doesn't mind of you might smell a little.

Happy Friday!
BTW - GOOD LUCK TO MY NC STATE KDs!!! Recruitment starts today and it's the largest group of women to ever register! I know they'll be amazing and recruit a fantastic new class!

Linking up with:

http://meetatthebarre.blogspot.com/


Have you ever been to a blogging event? What'd you think?