Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Moving on

I haven't posted at all in the last couple days because I've been so busy moving. I decided not to take time off work to move, so between working, packing, and moving I've had zero free time. I'm not going to go into the details of why were are moving. I do want to say be very cautious about rent to own houses. We are moving into a different rental house and saving for a down payment on a house.

My eating has been slightly unhealthy during the moving phase. I packed up all our food, plates, and silverware so we've been eating. The nice thing is I think I've gotten in a little extra exercise with all the packing and moving.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Facebook Friend or Foe?

This morning I saw someone make a very rude comment about a photo of a girl. I am friends with this girl only because we went to high school together, I do not know her very well at all. It still made me sad to see someone be so rude to her.

It seems as though many people have no regard for what they put on social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter. The comment I saw seemed to come out of nowhere. Many times I see people arguing about specific status updates or photos.

I have been on Facebook since college. I was a big fan when I lived in Wisconsin by myself. It gave me a chance to catch up with family and friends. Now I mostly use it to combat boredom. I think there are many people who use it for wonderful reasons, such as sharing photos with friends and family. Unfortunately, a few people ruin everyone else's experience. I can deal with those that want to give a play by play of their lives. It's very easy to hide them from my feed. I have a lot more trouble tolerating the completely malicious people.

Has anyone had a bad Facebook experience?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Chocolate Rules My Life

The irony of this post is that I'm not a huge fan of the food chocolate. Some, okay most, people may think I'm crazy. I have never been a fan. As a kid I would gladly trade my chocolate Halloween candy for starburst or Jolly Ranchers. The only exception is chocolate with peanut butter. I think is only due to my great love for peanut butter.

The chocolate that rules my life comes in the form of two chocolate Labrador Retrievers. I have mentioned them before and I'm sure I will mention them many times in the future. Angel is our oldest, she was my present to my husband for Christmas in 2011. We got Reagan last year around the Fourth of July.

Angel is a big baby, even at a year old. She gets excited very easily. She loves going to the park for walks and watching for squirrels. She does not like to be disturbed in her sleep and is very stubborn. She learns new things very quickly and does very well recognizing voice commands such as "heel."

 Reagan was a little fuzz ball as a baby. She is sweet and easy going. She loves meeting people and sleeping. She also loves swimming and water in general. She lets Angel push her around a little, but also knows how to let her know when enough is enough.

Reagan and Angel at Halloween.

 I love them both so much. It's so funny how different their personalities are. My husband occasionally talks about adopting another dog. I think for right now two chocolates are perfect for us!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Packing up

I'm off work today. I had great plans to get a lot done. Mostly I've been pretty lazy. I've packed a little and worked with Reagan on "standing stay" for her training class tonight. I'm eventually hoping to get her certified to be a therapy dog. She's doing pretty good. I'm only worried about "leave it" and heeling in a crowd.

About packing, we're moving at he end of the month. I hate moving.

The only good part is getting rid of everything you don't really need. I've already made a trip to Plato's Closet to sell clothes. I also have Goodwill pile going and I've thrown out some stuff too.

Does everyone else get rid of a lot of things when they move?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Are you getting enough water?

I go through phases with water. There are times when I probably drink 12 cups of water a day. There are also times where I might get 2. Here are a couple steps I take to get at least 8 cups a day.

1. I order water at restaurants even if I get something else to drink as well. I usually get a diet soda at restaurants. I know it's still pretty bad and I'm trying to kick that habit! However, I try to drink at least a glass of water which is about 2 cups depending on the glass.

2. I carry around a cold cup from Starbucks around all the time. It keeps the water nice and cold. I have the venti size that holds 24 ounces.
Grainy photobooth photo of my cup.

3. We have a filter in our fridge so I can easily get a filtered drink. I also have a Brita pitcher as a back up. 

I've also tried a Bobble bottle before. The Bobble filters the water as you drink it. The old mini-fridge at my work used to freeze it so I wasn't a big fan. My sister loves hers though, she uses it every day at work.

How do you get enough water in every day? Or do you struggle with getting enough?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dog Cake Topper

I wanted to make another post about our wedding reception.

I ordered my cake from a wonderful bakery in Toledo, Wixey's. Well, actually this was one of the items my mom offered to get for our reception. I wanted something fairly simple. I wasn't sure what I put on the top. After spending hours on Etsy looking at cake toppers I found a shop that make cake toppers modeled after a pictures of pets.

Since my sister is an artist I asked her to sculpt a cake topper modeled after our chocolate labs, Angel and Reagan. She did a wonderful job!
One of the many pictures she used for reference.
She doesn't make these on a regular basis but she does have an Etsy page here with other items she makes and sells.

Extra Money

 I think everyone can use a little extra money with this economy. One of the ways I earn a little extra money is by being a "secret shopper." Most of the secret shops are at electronic stores, automotive shops, and restaurants. Some of the shops even include reimbursement for products or services. For example, some automotive shops include reimbursement for an oil change or tire rotation.

There are several companies that hire secret shoppers. I work through Bestmark. I like this company because I am able to log on and pick and choose shops at any time. I have gone a while in between shops before and they've never dropped me. I get an email with available shops about once a week. I think you can change your personal settings so you do not even get emails that often. 

I'm writing about this because I think it's a great opportunity to earn a little money. I had heard about secret shopping before but never knew of a legit company that would hire shoppers. Hopefully someone reading this can also earn a little extra money too :) Click here to follow a link to the Bestmark application.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Quinoa salad

I had one of my favorite lunches today: quinoa salad. I cook about a cup of quinoa (today it was red quinoa from trader joes). I add romaine lettuce, carrots, and reduced fat feta cheese. I will also add raspberries or strawberries if I have them but they are so out of season right now that I did not. I top it all off with vinaigrette dressing. Today I used Annie's. I didn't get a picture till I was almost done. Mostly because I was too busy enjoying it.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Kid safe candy bar

Our reception was in August, so this is a little late. I loved the idea of a candy bar for our favors. I found tons of photos all over the internet of different candy bar options. The only problem was that none of them seemed very kid friendly. I had many younger kids at my reception and I wanted something they could enjoy.

Most of them included glass. I was worried the glass could easily tip. Most of the photos included tall, unstable glass jars. I realize a lot of children can handle glass dishes. I was just a little worried about a table full of glass dishes filled with candy around small children.

Most candy bars also included unwrapped candy. I love little kids, but I know some of them would be tempted to grab a big handful of candy even if there was a scoop in the container. I have also seen many kids put back food items they did not like after it was in their mouth. I'm sure there are many children that do not do this, but all it takes is one spit filled jar of jaw droppers to ruin a candy bar.

Therefore, I looked for two things in a candy: sturdy containers and wrapped candy. I found many tin buckets in many shapes and colors at Hobby Lobby. Wrapped candy can be found many places. Party City seemed to have a lot of variety. I also picked up a few big bags of assorted candy at Target. I also found cute, striped, paper bags on eBay. I wrapped boxes in tissue paper to add levels to the table.

One hour and a smoothie

I finally bumped my gym time up to one hour. I usually go to the gym with my 16 year old stepson. We don't actually workout together, he does more strength training and running, but knowing that he wants to be there an hour makes sure I stay the full hour. My husband tries to go with us when he can. The pain is his leg often holds him back from going to the gym.

I was craving a snack this afternoon after just having a brunch this morning. I knew I needed some more fruits or vegetables so I peaked in my freezer. I found some frozen mango and peaches and I decided to make a smoothie. I just threw some peaches, mango, almond milk, a packet of stevia, and a little bit of ice. It turned out very thick, just the way I like my smoothies.

Here's an odd looking photo of the super thick smoothie.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Winter wonderland

We finally made it to the park. It was still a little cold and wet but it felt good to get outside. Plus I know the dogs lived it.

The only bad part was a the long bridge that was fairly icy. Luckily, no one feel even though Reagan did try to takeoff to run with another park goer. Both of my dogs, Reagan and Angel, try to run with runners. They are definitely out of luck because that one exercise I do not enjoy.

I've tried running before but I believe some people are runners and some people are not. Does anyone else feel the same way? Or do you think you can become a runner?

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Empty Gym

I went to the gym yesterday expecting to see overwhelming crowds. Granted, I went at 9:45 hoping to beat the crowd a little. The gym was almost completely empty! I'd much rather workout in an empty gym than an overcrowded gym. I do like having a few people around to keep my motivated but at my old gym I could barely walk in for the first two weeks of the year! It was a large gym too, a huge YMCA that was probably 5 years old at the most.

My mom and sister talked about walking at the park this week but there's still at least 6 inches of snow on the ground. Hopefully it warms up a little so we can make this happen.

The view from our front window.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hello 2013!

Happy New Year everyone!!!!

  I hate to wish away a whole year but 2012 wasn't the greatest! My husband, I'll just call him K on here, had orthopedic surgery in January.  He went back into surgery once because it was infected and he just  found out in December he has an infection again! It has been very hard and painful for him. It has also had an impact on our entire year. He cannot walk very far and we're both very worried they will have to redo the original procedure to rid his body of all infectious tissue.

It's also had a big impact on our general health. Before his surgery we were going to the gym almost every day. We also ate pretty well. His surgeries seemed to put a stop to all of that. I have been going to the gym more, aside from the holidays, but he he has only been able to go a couple days. And while I try my best to eat healthy, it just hasn't been happening lately. 

Okay, I'm done complaining. I also have many good memories of 2012 including our wedding reception and getting our puppy Reagan. Plus I enjoyed spending time with my family.
our cake and candy bar
Reagan taking a swim (I love her nose mohawk!)

I hope everyone enjoyed the holidays. Here's hoping 2013 is a great year.