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.

Choosing Design Features for our Lexar Home

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