Getting to be that age

Last month, one of my friend’s father died.   I felt terrible for him.  My friends and I are in our 30s and our parents are in their 60s.  As much as we don’t want to think about it, our parents are getting older.  For our parents, a cold isn’t just a cold anymore.   A fall could turn lethal. Those aches and pains aren’t so random anymore.  I thought to myself that we’re getting to be that age where losing a parent could become very real.

So yesterday, I’m sitting on my sofa while taking a breaking from cleaning and I get a call from my uncle.  He said “I have some news that you don’t want to hear.”  I already knew what he was going to say.  My father died.  He had been sick for a long time and he had his ups and downs.  At Christmas, he was being rambunctious and arguing with his doctors about what he wasn’t going to do.  And now he’s gone. He was talking about the Redskins and teasing my uncle about his love life and now he’s gone.  That’s how quick it can happen.

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Lifestyle Challenge Updates

Hello Readers,

I have so many posts to write and I’ve been too distracted/lazy to get them out. I look at a computer all day at work and honestly I don’t want to look at one when I get home. I just need to make more of an effort.  Without further ado, here are the latest updates.

Bring your lunch to work challenge:  I’m still doing great on this challenge.  I’ve had days where I’ve forgotten my lunch or didn’t want what I had, but I’m still bringing my lunch to work at 95% of the time, so that’s win-win for my health and savings.

Finance challenge: I refinanced my house at a lower rate and saved myself two months of mortgage payments. I put my tax return into savings. I got a raise at work! Bam!  Of course, my retirement accounts took a huge hit due to the damn market free fall.

Fitness challenge:  I’m still going to the gym.  My aunt and my best friend think that I don’t eat enough.  Another friend says that my face looks thinner and stomach looks flatter.  I also did a two week diet cleanse to really kick start my fitness goals.   I’ll be writing a review on that cleansing product.

Skin care challenge:  This challenge has been the most difficult. I have acne-prone, combination skin and eczema.  One little ingredient can set my skin aflame or cause a massive breakout.  There are dozens of skin care companies out there.  I’m just glad that companies like Sephora, Nordstrom, and Space NK are so damn generous with samples.  I have a ton of product reviews posts to write.

Right now, we’re still working on these four challenges.  Maybe in May, we’ll add another challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January Lifestyle Challenge: Fitness and Finance!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I hope that everyone had a great time during the holidays.  So a new year is upon us and there are more ways to become responsible adults.  As part of our attempts at successful adulting, we’ve been doing ongoing challenges.
For January, we will have two much needed challenges to follow the holidays: Fitness and Finance!
Fitness Challenge:
  • Workout at least 3 times a week
  • Log your workouts.  You’re more likely to hit your goal if you track it.
    • You can do pen and paper, the Fitbit app has a built-in exercise logging, there are other apps like My Fitness Pal.

Finance Challenge:

  • Make a monthly budget. Write down daily spending.
    • By writing down daily spending, it really shows you where a lot of frivolous spending in your budget is. You have to monitor cash, credit, and debit down to the penny.  No exceptions!
    • Use January’s spending to gauge if you need to redo February’s budget.
  • Rebalance all of your retirement accounts and investments.
    • Increase your contributions if you can.
  • Rollover or combine retirement accounts from old jobs if you haven’t already done so.
    • Fidelity makes it really easy to open an account or process a rollover.  I hear Charles Schwab is nice as well.
  • Set up a savings goal if you haven’t already done so.
    • Have money automatically transferred to a savings account every time you get paid.

Good Luck 🙂

Don’t forget our other ongoing challenges are:
Bring your lunch to work:  I’m doing marvelous.
Skin care challenge: I have room for improvement.

December Lifestyle Challenge: Skin care!

Hello Readers!

I can’t believe the year is almost over.  2015 was an interesting year.  I’ll write more about that on my end of the year write-up.

One great thing that my friends and I started were little challenges to improve ourselves.

The first challenge started in October. We had to bring our lunch to work every day. Since October was a success, we continued the challenge into November and now we’re going strong into December.  It’s healthier to bring our lunch and we’re saving money.

It is so deeply ingrained in me that I need to cook and have groceries available for my breakfast smoothies and lunch that I’m back on a grocery shopping schedule.  Yay for adulting like an adult.

We have an additional challenge for December.  It’s the skin care challenge!
For the rest of the month, you need to take care of your skin.  Which includes, but is not limited to:
  • Creating and/or maintaining a morning and night routine with products appropriate to your skin type
  • Moisturizing after bathing
  • Exfoliating: face and body
  • Drinking a minimum of 1 liter of water per day
  • Aiming for 6 to 8 hours of sleep per night
  • If you wear makeup: clean your brushes and sponges regularly and use appropriate cleansers to remove the makeup at the end of the day.

Here’s to going through December silky smooth and well rested!

This sums up my week perfectly

Image

Thirteen!

Hello Readers,

A glorious thing has happened. No, I’m not World Overlord…yet

I have lost 13lbs!!!!

I went in for a 6 month check-up.  The doctor comes in to the exam room while she was looking at the stats that the nurse just took. “Do you realize that you’ve lost 13lbs since November?  Oh my God!  That’s so good!  What are you doing?  Diet, exercise, or both?”

While she’s giving me kudos and asking questions, I’m internally screaming “13!!” like I’m Titus Pullo.

It feels good to see that some of my hard work is pay off.   I put in my FitBit goals that I wanted to lose 25 lbs and I’m half way there.

So to all of my family and friends that encouraged me.  Thank you so much for your support.

To all of the people that just couldn’t wait to declare that Planet Fitness “is not a real gym” when others were mentioning my progress…

I’m off to gym and to run errands.  Remember our Fit Girl battle cry: Michelle Obama arms and J.Lo legs! So let it be written, so let it be done.

Fall is here

Fall is here and the last time that I posted, it was technically still summer.  Hello Readers!

So let’s see.  I’m still on my health journey or as my friend Jennifer would call it “Get it right, get it tight” journey.

I was taking the stairs religiously at work until I got what I think it is either a shin splint or a muscle sprain.  I’m fine now, so I shall resume the stairs.

I drastically reduced my meat and soda intake.  I had a physical last week and the doctor likes all of my numbers except my weight and my iron levels.  I’m severely anemic.  Which would probably explain why I’m so cold all of the time and why I’m still bruised at the spot on my arm where the nurse took blood.

The doctor wants to me to go the gym at least 4 times a week and add more strength training to more cardio.  I’m already working on that.

I started green smoothies.  Yes, those damned nutribullet infomercials (and my friend’s endorsement) finally got me.  I’ve been drinking kale-fruit smoothies for over a week now. Maybe that is why I’m sick today.  All of the toxins are hopefully leaving my system.

I’m going to go drink some more water and lie down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Year Today!

I can’t believe it. One year ago today, I closed on my house. It is still so weird to say my house and not my apartment.

So far, I’ve painted and planted flowers. I can have family and friends over without feeling extremely cramped or overwhelmed.

It has been an interesting 12 months.

August Challenge and 6 months with the Fitbit Fitness Tracker

I can’t believe that tomorrow is August 1 and that as of today, I’ve had my Fitbit for 6 months.  I initially bought the Fitbit because some friends and colleagues had them and it seemed like a great way to track my exercise.

If you don’t have a Fitbit, I highly suggest that you get one because these things are awesome. Just wearing it makes me mindful of my activity and I just find ways to move and be active.  As well as keeping tracking my steps and other physical activities, the Fitbit can also estimate my calories burned and my sleep activity.  The sleep tracker has worked wonders for me.  I was really overestimating the amount of sleep that I was getting.   Now, more often than not, I’m going to bed at a decent hour.

Now on to August Challenge:

Two weeks, I got sick from a stomach virus and I felt horrible for like a week afterwards.  I went to the doctor.   I told the doctor that even with exercising, I still feel tired all of the time.  I’ve also been working without a real vacation for months, but I digress.  So I might have IBS and I’m going in for a physical in few weeks.

In the meantime, I’m going to try a fitness challenge for the August:

  • No red or white meat.  I will stick to fish or eggs for animal protein.
  • Drinking water and homemade tea.
  • Climb every mountain: I’ve joined a friend’s stair challenge.  At least once a day, we take the stairs back to our office.  I’ve been doing it sporadically this month.  I want to do it every work day in August.
  • Exercise, exercise, exercise!
  • Get some sleep.  According to my Fitbit weekly report, I’ve been sleeping less and it shows.

Hopefully, this challenge will refresh my system.

 

 

 

One year blogging anniversary and Gardening!

Hello Readers,

Today is my blog’s one year anniversary!   I honestly forgot all about it until WordPress sent a notification to my phone.  Thanks for reading and continuing to support my blog.  Happy Fourth of July!

Now on to today’s post.   Today, I gardened for the first time.   Yes, I cut the grass and pull the occasional pesky weed, but today, I actually gardened.  I’ve been wanting to refresh the front yard for a while and today was the perfect day to do it.  Sunny, but low humidity.

First, I measured the outside garden area and then made a list of everything that I needed.  I drove to Home Depot and then returned to get started.

I pulled up that desert dry mulch and found that the foolish woman that rented this house before I bought it used trash bags, yes trash bags, instead of weed block in the garden.  Those trash bags smelled rancid.  Then, I pulled up those ugly shrubs that she planted and cleaned up the general area.

Putting the weed block and spreading the soil was easy.    I still had to go back to the Home Depot for more soil because I wanted to make the flower bed higher.

I scraped the yard a bit and then put down some grass seed and turf builder.   That heat wave from last week destroyed my grass.

I only ran into two minor setbacks.  I saw a tiny snake and freaked out and hit with a shovel…repeatedly.   And then I found a small wasp nest in my water hose hanger.   I bleached the bastards and destroyed the nest.  I’m pretty sure my next door neighbor was wondering why I all of sudden was covered from head to toe.   I was destroying a nest and I wasn’t taking any chances that they might attack me.  Die, die, die, you little bastards.  I don’t like creepy crawlies.  I managed to do all of this without screaming like a banshee.  So I’m proud of me.

Before:

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After:

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