Northwest Native: August 2016

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Weekly Lessons Link-Up!

Welcome to the very first Weekly Lessons link-up hosted by Lexi of Lex Be Livin' and myself! Now let's share some things we've learned this week, shall we?

A shocking number of people are extremely naive/gullible.
I was on Facebook one day this week and two of my Facebook friends shared a post by, "South West Air." (The period was part of the name, important to note.) The profile picture was the Southwest Airlines logo, so obviously that means it's legit, right? (*sarcasm*) You can see right in the picture that it's Southwest and not South West and since the official name is Airlines their Facebook page probably wouldn't be Air. And here is why they were sharing the post: It said all you had to do was like the page, share the post, and comment, "Thank you!" to enter to win one of their gift bags with...wait for it... "Five first class round trip tickets to whatever destinations you choose! $5,000 cash! A South West t-shirt!" Thousands of people had shared this and commented on it. Sorry guys, Southwest would never give away 100 of these (that's $500,000 when you include the cash portion alone) and they'd also never have a Facebook page that wasn't spelled right.

One sweat towel is not enough.
I should preface this by saying I sweat a lot. My brothers do too. It's a genetic gift from our biological father. One day I was on the elliptical and I had my sweat towel and after wiping my face a few times there was like no dry space left. Being the smarty that I am, I only have three sweat towels and I let them all get dirty so I had to go without on Friday. My face was basically a waterfall. It was not cute. Usually I get a little crescent of sweat on my shirt from the top of my sport bra up (because my sports bra absorbs the sweat below). This time my sweat went well below the top of my sports bra because it was dripping off my face like crazy. (BRB, buying at least two more sets of these...)

via GIPHY
Some goals are just too lofty.
Yeah, yeah, ten thousand steps every day is a walk in the park for some people. For me, when I get an absolute maximum of three thousand by the time work is over, it's not. I've now failed three times. The first was unintentional, the second was halfway intentional, and Monday was totally intentional. And I'm not even sorry (name that obscure reference from a not-so-obscure show!).

Short and sweet today! But I'm already loving this link-up! Hope you are too!

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Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Accountability [8.30.16]

I am getting so sick of this. Really. For a while I felt empowered and awesome but I'm definitely in the downhill slump. I'm a person who needs a break. Sometimes you just have to come home and sit and do nothing. Or maybe only I need that. But I do, for my mental health. Wrote that and then took a break (you'll see)... Either way, this will probably be the last of these posts for a while. I'll probably just use my goals update post to recap the last few days of the month.

Sunday, August 21st
Steps: 10,030
Active Minutes: 0
Activity: Obviously nothing to give me active minutes, but...more shopping. Saturday and Sunday we shopped for hours...and I didn't buy anything. Sunday was even harder because we went to Old Navy and Target and I found a bunch of things I absolutely loved (see Wednesday's post for evidence).
Monday, August 22nd
Steps: 10,151
Active Minutes: 52
Activity: Elliptical; walking around in circles before bed until my wrist vibrated (for those not in the know, your Fitbit vibrates when you hit 10K).
Tuesday, August 23rd
Steps: 10,185
Active Minutes: 52
Activity: Blew off Zumba because I was majorly not feeling it. Then had to walk FOREVER. I walked outside for a long time, then still had to walk in circles in my house to get there.
Wednesday, August 24th
Steps: 11,282
Active Minutes: 53
Activity: Stairclimber + elliptical. I didn't want to go to the gym all day but wasn't going to walk forever again, so I made myself go and felt awesome after. And I ended up well over 10K without even having to pace in my house!
Thursday, August 25th
Steps: 5,196
Active Minutes: 8
Activity: If you guessed 'none,' you are correct! Towards the end of work, I had a stomach ache, but I told myself it wasn't too bad and I'd workout through it. Then it pretty much went away. And then it came back with a nasty vengeance and there's no way I could've worked out through it. I got home and it went away while it was still light out and I guess I could've walked, but it was still really hot out and I would've had to walk forever. I probably would've forced myself to do it if I hadn't already failed this goal (on accident) earlier. I don't regret it or feel guilty. It was nice to have a break and it recharged me for the next six days.
Friday, August 26th
Steps: 10,304
Active Minutes: 49
Activity: Stairclimber, elliptical <--- the sweatiest elliptical session of all time.
Saturday, August 27th
Steps: 10,086
Active Minutes: 51
Activity: Partial walk in my mom's neighborhood waiting for her to get home, two full walks of the neighborhood with Mom later that night.
Sunday, August 28th
Steps: 11,807
Active Minutes: 55
Activity: Walked the same lake I walked two weeks ago, this time with my mom and same brother as last time.

FINAL REMINDER: The first installment of Lexi and I's linkup 'Weekly Lessons' will go live tomorrow (Wednesday)! It will be open until 11:59 next Tuesday (because after that it'll be time for the next one to open up!).

*Comments turned off so I can try to catch up on replying!

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Monday, August 29, 2016

August Budget [2016]

2016 Budget Remaining
$354.80 - Annual budget remaining
$17.87 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$25 - Old Navy Rewards
$23.86 - Old Navy gift card (via eBates)
$23.73 - blogging income (!!!)
$553.62 - Maximum budget amount available

Update since original posting: This sweater I ordered in July was supposed to be backordered until October, but instead, my order was cancelled. :( That adds $49.90 back to my budget.

My budget amount did increase between last month and this month, thanks for noticing! ;) It came time for my eBates payout, and I could choose a $20.75 check, or a gift card up to $23.86 at select stores. I chose Old Navy because I love them and they had the maximum dollar amount available. I debated for a while, but I realized I always add my cash back to my budget, and I'd spend that money at Old Navy eventually whether I got the gift card or not, so it definitely made sense for my purposes. I also had $25 in credit card rewards from ON that I probably had last month but forgot to include. AND I got paid by an affiliate! It took FOREVER though. They never notified me via email that they were sending a check, and I hadn't used the site for a long time, so when I randomly checked, it said they had mailed a check like a month prior, but my Seattle address was still in there... So I contacted them and they were like, "Ugh, we'll do it as a one-time courtesy even though you're below the payment threshold" and I was like...if I'm under the payment threshold why did you send a check in the first place...?

And yes, I had a shopping ban going on. But I did buy something in July that I forgot to include in my budget for July, so there you go.

I also tried to place an order at Old Navy one day because it was 40% off your order, I had my $25 rewards, and the gift card, so it would've been $0 out of pocket...but they don't allow you to use your ON card rewards unless you're actually paying with the card...which is stupid, because it's linked to my account anyway, but oh well.

I bought a Jord watch because I won a giveaway on Danielle's blog for a $75 credit! I'll admit, I was not-so-secretly hoping they would reach out to me like they have to 70% of the bloggers I follow and give me a free one...but I'm glad I didn't have to pay full price. Even though I'm still kind of bitter they didn't give me a free one. #thanksfornothing

I got the Fieldcrest Zebrawood & Maple for 139 (the cheapest, because I'm poor), minus $75 credit = $64
I debated about wearing my watch next to my Fitbit...I considered switching my Fitbit to my right wrist, but I thought it'd feel weird so I just tried putting them together and while it's not as pretty as just wearing the watch...it's not as ridiculous looking as I thought it might be. Right? RIGHT?!

I am going to subtract it from the budget this month, but, trust, I bought it last month. I think I forgot about it because I bought and received it in July (it seriously took like two days--crazy fast and free shipping) but when it came it was detached. I tried fixing it myself...but I couldn't. So I reached out and they immediately said I could send it back to be repaired and sent me a free return shipping label. I had also sent them my wrist measurement the first time, but when it came, if it had been assembled, it would've been too small. I added a link and it was perfect, so I told them that where it was was the perfect size and they left it. It took me a long time to actually send it because I was honestly just too lazy to print the shipping label and tape it to the box and drive to the post office, so I think I got it back in late July or early August (again, it took them like no time at all to fix it and ship it back). [Note: Jord, see what you're missing out on?! I sang your praises so hard!]

So...Old Navy was having another 40% off promo, and it was also a day where you earned Super Cash... I may have cheated the system a little, but it's my shopping ban and I'll bend the rules if I want to. I bought three items from this post. As I mentioned above, Old Navy did not want to let me use my ON rewards unless I was actually using my Old Navy credit card. I got my three items in my cart and they were just a few dollars under the amount of my rewards + gift card...so I added a cheap headband to push it over by $2.60. But here's the thing...I fully intend to return the headband. 40% off can be hard to come by there, and I saw that the green military jacket had sold out in my size already, so it wouldn't be a surprise if the tan did. I also earned $30 of Super Cash to spend next month and got 6% cash back with eBates. #sorrynotsorry

Relaxed Long & Lean Tunic Tee (salamander & black) - $16.94 each - 40% off - ON rewards/gift card = $0

Field Jacket (golden compass) - $44.94 - 40% off - ON rewards/gift card = $0

2016 Budget Remaining
$290.80 - Annual budget remaining
$17.87 - ThredUp
$24.63 - Splender
$19.43 - eBates
$14.40 - Poshmark
$0 - Old Navy Rewards
$0 - Old Navy gift card (via eBates)
$440.76 - Maximum budget amount available

As usual, I'm linking up with Franish's Budgeting Bloggers!

REMINDER: The first installment of Lexi and I's linkup 'Weekly Lessons' will go live on Wednesday! It will be open until 11:59 next Tuesday (because after that it'll be time for the next one to open up!).

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Friday, August 26, 2016

The one with an awesome announcement and a horrible child's drawing of an owl.

Should I do all my post titles like Friends episode titles going forward? Once again, everyone who came here thinking my eggo was preggo--not the announcement. The announcement is number one on my list and in bold and all caps so you probably already saw it by now. But I'm going to keep typing anyway. ;)

A BRAND NEW WEEKLY LINK-UP!
That's right, I'm dipping my toe in the link-up water once again. (You may remember the monthly link-up that I was doing with Julie and Katie, but they no longer blog [regularly] and I didn't keep it up. Oops!) Lexi from Lex Be Livin' and I are starting a Wednesday link-up called 'Weekly Lessons'! These can be deep and meaningful lessons, silly lessons...anything! We know Wednesday is the day to link up with Nadine and Kathy for Confessions (one of my faves!), and the good news is you can totally make your weekly lessons and confessions overlap (and if not, just post early or late and still link up!). So, we hope to see your posts linked up on Wednesday, August 31st!

Using the heater in my car.
Fall is coming, you guys. It's really happening. (Don't remind me it's supposed to be in the 90s again this weekend, including today, because I will cover my ears and start saying 'la la la la la I can't hear yooooou.')

Wine rack.
During our Saturday shopping excursion, we went to Pottery Barn. This is not normal--we only did this because we still had a $30 gift card from our wedding. I don't know if you know this, but you can't get much at Pottery Barn for $30. It's not really our favorite store, because holy sticker shock. But Michael has started getting into wine more (yay!) and this wine rack was $29. I actually feel like it makes a huge difference in our kitchen/dining area. I was kind of at a loss as to what to put on the bar. (Also, this super sturdy/heavy wine rack was $29 and a candle was $29.50. I'm just so confused about Pottery Barn, you guys.)

All the neutrals.
As usual. See Wednesday's post for details. And see me trying on the chambray top and camo skinnies from that post below.

Having a library card.
This is always my favorite. But for some reason I had this really deep moment of appreciation for my library card this week. It was weird, but sometimes I'm weird. Like when I was little and reading the fourth Harry Potter book apparently (see the next favorite).

Reading (this has made the list for years).
Michael is rereading the HP series right now. I have only read the books once (and only the first four; I couldn't force myself to get through the fifth), so it's been many years since they've been cracked open. He opened the book on Monday and found this. So, yes, my love of reading is not new.
Hashtag 2 kewl 4 skool.

This article is my favorite because it's fascinating. I mean, I knew we lived in a verrrry expensive housing market, but this puts it even more into perspective. Also, see you soon, Pittsburgh! (JK...but dang.) Also, I always tell people we moved here because there's no way we could afford to buy a house in Seattle. This article proves my point, because that's more money than we make!

The robots have invaded.
I was stoked to not have carpet in the living area of our house. Come to find out, I hate sweeping a whole lot. I've wanted this robotic vacuum (a much cheaper alternative to a Roomba) pretty much since we moved in. Michael's mom bought it for us, and introducing it to the dogs was pretty hilarious. It seems to be working well, but this video was just taken last night and we let it run while we went to bed (it takes itself back to the docking station when it's running out of battery) so I can't give a full report.
New face wash.
Also just used this for the first time last night, and holy amazing! You're all like, "It's just normal Neutrogena face wash..." but seriously, I bought it because it was one of the cheapest options at the store and expected it to work just fine, but it tingled a little bit (I love things that tingle--it's why Burt's Bees is my favorite chapstick) and I don't think my face has ever felt cleaner than after using it.

This is only nine things but it's my party blog and I'll cry if I want to post whatever I want and hope that Krysten, Lindsay & Charlotte don't ban me for not linking up ten things that made me happy. Also linking up with AndreaErika, & Narci for Friday Favorites!

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Open Letters [8.25.16]

I am super sad because this is the final Open Letters link-up hosted by Julie. This month's cohosts are Kelly and Jacqui.

Dear Mystery Coworker,

How dare you eat my Larabar. Oh you thought I wouldn't count how many were in the box after I took it out of the fridge? You obviously don't know me very well.
[Side note: Don't order Larabars with chocolate chips in the summer if your packages get left outside. They melt and permanently stay melted--putting them in the fridge doesn't work, and just gets them stolen by coworkers.]

Dear Work Coffee,

I have put up with you for far too long. First of all, you're just gross. Second of all, try as I might to beat the guy who makes you super weak every morning (because while it doesn't taste good, weak coffee with the amount of creamer I use is disgusting) he gets there first every time. I think I'm going to start making giant batches of cold brew every week.
[Side note: My mind was blown when I first learned this, but you can just add hot water to cold brew and then it's normal coffee. Since cold brew is super concentrated, it won't be watered down as long as you get the ratio right. Though I prefer it cold.]

Dear Self,

Why must you add side notes to every single open letter?! Geez, just stop talking for once.

Dear All Items In This Attempted Blogger Picture,
You rock, don't ever change.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The List: Fall Neutrals

I haven't done one of these posts in a while, eh? Michael and I went shopping on Sunday, and of course Old Navy and Target were speaking my top two love languages: fall and neutrals. I'm on a shopping ban now, and I know it might be tempting to go absolutely insane on September 1st when I'm allowed to shop again, so I want to use my moment of clarity from being in the midst of a shopping ban to try and make sure I only buy things I love and that will be perfect for fall. I saw all of these items in person and tried on everything but the tunic tees.
neutrals
// I have mentioned about six million and one times that I need more tops. I get to dress casually for work, and I prefer long tops. These look super comfy, cute (still obsessed with side slits over here) and versatile. There's also a white one with black stripes that I couldn't find online that is probably my absolute favorite.
// I've had two chambray shirts in the past. The first I wore to death (and then lost weight so it looked sloppy anyway), the second I liked for a while, then realized it was just too short and boxy for me with my long torso. It was also a lighter wash which I didn't absolutely love. This one is my ideal wash and length, and I like that the pockets don't have button flaps.
// I've been wanting a standard military jacket (I have a vest and a long military jacket with a knit, patterned back). I figured I would want green, but I tried the tan in store and actually really liked it. I always think I'll look washed out in shades like that, but I was pleasantly surprised. I think I want the tan, and then we'll see if I want the green too. I also think the tan is smart because I love olive so much, and I can't wear all my olive tops with a green military jacket.
// The camo skinnies were fun. I really don't like Target's sizing sometimes. The four felt pretty tight, and they didn't have a six in them, but I'm betting they'd be too loose in the waist. I have camo skinnies now that I actually bought and had taken in...but they're too loose again. So these would be a nice replacement, if I can get either size to fit me...
// These gray skinnies have a zipper ankle that I love. I also love the cargo-y look overall. These didn't have a four...so I tried a six. Too loose in the waist. Four will probably be tight, like the camo ones. But we will see. (Also, I noticed online that all the reviewers of these said that Target gave them a free pair in exchange for their review. I've never seen them do this before, but I just have to say, how do I get in on that?! Target, if you're reading this [you're not], sign me up!)

Annnd then I went to Target last night and fell in love with these (in gray) and decided I may need those eventually. Until I remembered I banned myself from buying shoes for the rest of the year. Just gotta figure out who I should ask them for as a birthday present! (Side note: I was at Target checking out these over-the-knee boots. They were too narrow for me, but if you're considering OTK boots but not ready to invest, you might want to check these out!)

Before writing this, I was looking back over my old posts and it was so entertaining. In this post, I swore off any maxi dresses that were neutral. Spoiler alert, I never did buy a colorful maxi. In this post, I talk about all the trendy things I want to buy. You may remember this very recent post where I vowed to stay true to my personal style, even if that means no trends and no colors. I'm glad that I've gotten to this point (but I'd still be down to rock faux leather leggings or burgundy booties if the right ones came along, just saying).

I could totally see myself holding a toasted graham latte in a fall Starbucks cup (I hope they bring those back!) wearing an outfit made up of some of these neutral pieces.

Are you as excited for fall as I am? Anything you have your eye on for fall?

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Accountability [8.22.16]

You should know the drill by now, since this is my third of these posts. It's not quite as interesting/jam-packed as last week's.

Sunday, August 14th
Steps: 10,995
Active Minutes: 66
Activity: Walk. Michael, his mom, and my brother all walked the lake near my hometown. It's about three miles, and my brother lives a few blocks from it. We walked from his house and we ended up skipping a small part of it and just cutting across on a bridge because my brother's dog was not having it. She kept laying down because it was hot and she was exhausted (photo evidence below). Also I packed the bare minimum to stay at my mom's two nights (thinking we'd only stay one, but just in case--which is good, because we stayed two) so I got to borrow shoes and socks from my mom, wear denim shorts, and sweat like crazy in a normal non-sports-variety bra.
Monday, August 15th
Steps: 16,717
Active Minutes: 56
Activity: More walking. We walked with Michael's mom at various places in Portland. I actually had 28 active minutes, so while we were in the grocery store that evening I just walked back and forth down aisles (and people probably thought I was crazy) to make sure I got at least 30. And then I ended up walking the dogs that night to try and tire them out so they'd stop barking at Michael's mom.
Tuesday, August 16th
Steps: 10,039
Active Minutes: 60
Activity: Zumba/almost forgetting and not getting 10,000 steps (again) but remembering at the last minute and jogging in place before getting into bed. All the active minutes were from Zumba, but still. Also...still no 'normal Tuesday' because I worked a half hour later to make up time missed dropping my mother-in-law off at the airport that morning. (My normal Tuesday workout is 30 minutes on the elliptical while passing the time until Zumba, then Zumba for an hour.) Apparently August is not my month for that.
Wednesday, August 17th
Steps: 10,218
Active Minutes: 42
Activity: Run/walk on treadmill
Thursday, August 18th
Steps: 10,018
Active Minutes: 47
Activity: Elliptical
Friday, August 19th
Steps: 10,049
Active Minutes: 54
Activity: I was going to go to the gym, but Michael wanted to go to a movie that night (and I didn't want to have to clean myself up--I like to go the gym and then shut myself in the house) so I just walked in circles around the office for the last 10-15 minutes of work (no one was there and I got zero emails and calls in that time). I don't want to tell you this, but we saw Sausage Party. I thought it looked really dumb (and I was correct in my assumption) but Michael wanted to see it, and you do these things for people you love. After that I had to walk in circles around the house for forever. And we don't have air conditioning. And it was a high of 99 (according to AccuWeather--according to our car/digital signs it was over 100). So horrible. And so regretted not just going to the air conditioned gym.
Saturday, August 20th
Steps: 10,908
Active Minutes: 24
Activity: We pretty much always get 'fancy' coffee every weekend day, so I decided to walk to get mine. And then we shopped. We went to the mall and looked at Ross, Nordstrom Rack, boy stores, and I got some scent plug-ins at Bath & Body Works because I needed some. We have two of the Wallflowers, and since it was like 107 degrees I couldn't bring myself to put fall ones in yesterday, so I got two Beautiful Day plug-ins for now, and four fall ones for once those run out. Also, there were lots of things I loved at Nordstrom Rack but I didn't buy them because shopping ban. I can't believe I haven't cracked. (The ban is only on clothes/shoes/accessories, in case you're confused on how I bought BBW stuff and didn't break the ban.)


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Friday, August 19, 2016

An Open Letter to Terrible People

As I mentioned in Monday's post, Saturday was the celebration of life for my dad. It was held on the patio of the Mexican restaurant in our hometown. My dad lived his whole life in that small town. He knew mostly everyone and vice versa. Not a lot of bad things happen there.

So you can imagine my surprise when my mom sent a group text to me and my siblings saying that the speaker she had rented for us to give our speeches had been stolen. And that meant she was on the hook for $4,500.

The security camera footage showed two men knock the camera upwards so they wouldn't be recorded, and then it just showed their backs as they walked off with the speaker (the large speaker on a tripod). Eventually, they figured out exactly which employees of the restaurant did it, but we have to retrieve the speaker so my mom can return it or else the $4,500 is outstanding. If it can't be found...I think the terrible human beings and/or the restaurant should pay it.

There were over 150 people there to celebrate my dad. There were three full picture boards showing him being silly, and doing the job he loved, and being a great husband and father. There were articles from the newspaper about him. There were birdhouses on the table that he made to keep himself busy after he retired. At one point, I looked over and saw two employees looking at the picture boards and thought to myself how nice that was.

And now I'm just thinking if either of those guys were involved in this, they have no soul. How can you look at those pictures and hear our speeches and then steal from us?! Even if they hadn't looked at the pictures or heard the speeches, what kind of person does that?

I'm wishing a lot worse on these people than stepping in dog poop, is all I have to say.


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Monday, August 15, 2016

Accountability [8.15.16]

Back again. Last week I posted this on Sunday because I didn't want it to interfere with "normal blogging"...but then, I only blogged one day last week. I'm struggling with what I want to do with this blog. I posted that favorites post last week and then I was like...I didn't even like posting that. I like to talk about things I like here, but I don't think the favorites format is for me anymore. Maybe a 'currently' post is the way to blog about things I like. I don't know. But it made me feel like a bad blogger. And then I just didn't know what to do so I took the rest of the week off and here we are.

But I actually did like posting this last week...so I'm posting it on a "real blogging day." And I'm leaving comments on. So, yeah.

Saturday, August 6th
Steps: 10,048
Active Minutes: 13
Activity: No real activity; those thirteen minutes were from walking my dogs in the morning.
Sunday, August 7th
Steps: 11,516
Active Minutes: 8
Activity: My active minutes were from walking the dogs again. But we went to the zoo and walked SO much. It was annoying to not get active minutes, but when you're stopping and looking so often, that's kind of what you get.
You guys, I have really mixed feelings about zoos. I'm not really going to get into it, but I do. Anyway, zoo pictures to follow for your enjoyment/so this post isn't only Fitbit screenshots.
Okay, so I'm kind of going to get into it. I know elephants are probably one of the most debated animals in zoos. (When we were leaving, there were actually protesters outside saying to free the elephants.) We went to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle last year just before they shut down their elephant program (it was under a lot of scrutiny--I'm glad it was shut down). There was only one elephant, and it just stood there swaying back and forth. It was really upsetting, especially when I Googled it and found that they only do that in captivity because they're distressed. The elephant enclosure at the Oregon Zoo is newly renovated, the two elephants there followed each other around and got along really well (and no swaying back and forth). I was hoping they would play in the water, and they did! So cute with his (I'm assuming) trunk on her (I'm assuming) back, right? (I assume because after this it got a little PG-13 if you know what I mean.) So, anyway, while I'm not going to disagree with the zoo or the protesters, it's very clear that the elephant program at the Oregon Zoo is far better than the program at the Woodland Park Zoo was. And wow I just went on a paragraph rant about elephants in the middle of a workout post. Two thumbs up.
1. The shadows around my eyes are super creepy. 2. My legs actually look long and skinny, which is the opposite of true (not saying they're fat, but they're pretty short and stubby compared to my upper half). 3. Michael got the awesome traffic cone in the picture. I purposely cut it out of his because I'm a gem. (Yeah, yeah, cropping exists...but I'm lazy.)
Monday, August 8th
Steps: 10,874
Active Minutes: 65
Activity: Walking. Had a crappy day again, like last Tuesday. Just feeling blah.
Tuesday, August 9th
Steps: 12,943
Active Minutes: 67
Activity: Tuesdays are actually my big workout days. You wouldn't know it because the Tuesday before this was my pity party Tuesday, but I get off work at 4:30, head to the gym, use the elliptical for half an hour (usually done around 5:20) and then do Zumba 5:30-6:30. On this day, around 6:00 my stomach started to feel upset. Like, I thought if I continued to jump and move around I might poop my pants (you're so welcome). So I left. It felt extremely weird/upsetting to leave in the middle of class, but my stomach ended up hurting on and off for the rest of the night, so I think I made the right decision. (I didn't poop my pants, swear.) Hopefully next week I'll be able to do my full Tuesday workout for the first time in weeks!
Wednesday, August 10th
Steps: 11,557
Active Minutes: 43
Activity: Walk a quarter of a mile, run a mile and a half, walk a little over a quarter of a mile (treadmill). I actually felt like I could've run longer, but I had to pee and also had to get gas, go buy pillows for the guest room, and go buy dog treats. I'm convinced this run felt 'easy' because I was reading Inside the O'Briens and it's amazing. Lisa Genova is the greatest. I've read all of her books and rated them all five stars. I think I own Still Alice Kindle edition and the others were library books, but I decided I'm going to buy all of them in hard copy because I love them so much.
Thursday, August 11th
Steps: 12,014
Active Minutes: 56
Activity: Run--outside. It was awful. I went with Michael and we were going to shoot for two miles because of my good day the day before...and we stopped at a mile and decided to do two separate one-mile runs. We walked for a little bit, then started the second mile. Until I stopped at 0.69 because I was dying. So that's how that went. I do have to say that in the first mile I was trying to keep up with Michael's pace and I am not on his level. We ended up at 9:43 that mile (which is not good at all and still better than my pace, but also still slower than Michael's normal pace because I drag him down). BUT before all this went down, I had planned to go to the gym and run on the treadmill. I drove to the gym, and then when I was changing...my sports bra was nowhere to be found. The gym is about 20 minutes from my house, but 8 from work. I decided going home and driving back wouldn't be worth it, but I could check and see if I left the sports bra on my desk (I unpack my gym bag to put my laptop on the bottom and then repack it). Nope. And I was devastated. Which is, of course, devastating, but it's also pretty awesome that I was actually excited to run on a treadmill. (Which might be due to not wanting to walk for an hour or run outside...plus getting to read...but still! Progress! I'm usually way to keen to take any excuse the Universe gives me to skip the gym.)
#mood
Friday, August 12th
Steps: 15,758
Active Minutes: 73
Activity: I was going to work a half day (7:30-12:30) this day, because Michael's mom was getting in that night. My dad's celebration of life was Saturday (the 13th), and on Thursday at lunch I was thinking about that and thinking about him and lost it and couldn't stop crying. So Michael told me I should just take the whole day off. I decided instead to just work a half-ish day...but from home. So I worked a while, went to Zumba at noon, and came home and worked some more. I had over 9,000 steps by the time Zumba was over. I absolutely love that feeling. It makes me think maybe I should just work out before work and work 8-5 instead of working 7:30-4:30 and working out in the evening. I also cleaned like a madwoman that day and went to Costco, so that's where the rest of the steps came from.
Saturday, August 13th
Steps: 9,592
Active Minutes: 0
Activity: I think it's really weird that Fitbit counts walks as activity even if they don't give you active minutes for them. I had a 20 minute walk under my workouts, but no active minutes (from taking the dogs out). We had my dad's celebration of life on this day. I was on my feet a lot, but not walking too much. And yep, you'll see that I failed my goal. Almost made it to the halfway point. I was at about 9,000 and was jogging in place for a while, then we took our dogs out, and then we went to go hang out with Michael's mom before bed. And I just totally forgot. I wish I would've remembered, because I would've just jogged in place to get there... So close, but so far away. I'm mostly disappointed because now I can't say that I did it (and I was so close!). I'm well over 10,000 average daily for the week, though, so I'm not crushed. And now, this does not mean I'm throwing the goal out the window.
And now for some pictures from the day. My mom made picture boards and I just had to take a picture of these two pictures right next to each other. I can't always see a resemblance between my mom and I, but look at our facial expressions!
Just a picture of some of the fam. (My brothers have lost a combined total of 189 pounds! Kyle, in the middle, has lost 114 and Tyler has lost 75. And Tyler regularly goes on five mile walks and seven mile hikes and Kyle goes to the gym six days a week and has a personal trainer and I'm just over here like, "Well hopefully I can get 10,000 steps today.")
I know this is super unnecessary to include because it's basically the exact same but without Michael in it, but I have to. I hate my upper arms. I guess it's not hate, because I don't hate my body. I did when I was younger, but I'm past that. I should say, I'm unhappy with them. Kyle made this his profile picture and he cropped it so my whole arm wasn't there and I thanked him. Anyway...I really need to actually do more with weights. Cardio helps too...but I'm not just going to magically get super toned arms from that.
It was a nice day, 144 people signed the guest book, and we all gave speeches. Mine was the shortest of them all. I'm terrible at public speaking, so I didn't prepare a big long speech that I could screw up. I knew the gist of what I wanted to say, and went with that. I was shockingly not nervous to be talking in front of 100+ people. I was nervous before, but during, it didn't even phase me to have all those eyes on me. My sister's speech was very emotional, and she mentioned how we wish he wouldn't have missed out on being a grandfather and being there for her wedding. I cried during that part because those are both things I've cried about a lot. I'm so extremely grateful that he got to walk me down the aisle and dance with me at my wedding, but I'm really sad that he didn't get to do that for Kat. And don't even get me started on grandkids. I hate knowing that he won't meet our future kids and they won't meet him (crying as I type this, even).

Pulling myself together to close out the post... Again, it's apparent that I have to get my active minutes in on week days (aka week nights) because they just aren't happening on weekends. And this week I finally got to the point where I'd rather just go to the gym every single day and get my steps out of the way quicker than have to take hour-long walks, so that's huge for me.

And now, some questions for anyone who made it this far, since I'm reevaluating my blogging game. What kind of posts do you like from me? Are there posts I've done in the past that I should continue with (including these accountability posts)? Is every post I've ever written total garbage and I need to do something totally different? Are there any posts I've never done that you'd like to see me do? Do you have any questions for me and want a Q&A post? (I'm really really boring to be honest, and mostly everything about me is on the blog, so I feel really lame asking this. But you never know!)

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Monday Favorites [8.8.16]

Oh you know, just some favorites on a Monday. Favorites are not just for Fridays, you know.

Having awesome in-laws/Farmgirl Flowers
My sister-in-law who works for Farmgirl Flowers asked if I would be at work on Friday and what the address was. This gorgeous bouquet and these champagne bears showed up that morning and I was so excited! Their bouquets are seriously so unique--this one had blackberries in it! The card said it was for National Sister Day, which was Sunday. I'm so happy I adore my in-laws.

Maybelline Superstay Better Skin Powder Foundation
First things first: 1. I got this free from Influenster, but all opinions are my own. 2. I always try to take non-smiling pictures of myself and usually hate them. This one is okay...but I feel like the more I look at it the more self-conscious I feel about it. 3. I look airbrushed. I'm not. It's this foundation/the fact that I'm standing next to a window (natural light, y'all!).
So, the foundation. I love it! It's the fastest I've ever put foundation on before. I just swipe it on and I'm done in like two minutes. Serious. This picture seems to show otherwise, but I do think I need to get actual concealer to use with this though. Coverage is great on my skin, but not so much for using to conceal the dark circles. (Lip color is Think Pink--and I got it at Walgreen's on sale for 2 for $3!)

Facebook Memories
This picture came up on Facebook last week. It was taken on August 3rd, 2013--my brother's wedding. A few months ago I would've seen this picture and only cared that I was heavier then, but now, any picture of me with my dad is an absolute favorite.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend
Has anyone else watched this on Netflix? We're half way through and I'm loving it. I had heard good things, and I had no idea going into that it's a musical. Kind of. It's totally over-the-top satire, and it's hilarious. It's definitely adult content, so keep that in mind if you have kids or if that might make you uncomfortable.

via GIPHY

New Workout Clothes
No, I haven't bought any. I'm still in my August shopping ban. But I'm doing pretty well with being active and think it's time (in September!) to toss the workout clothes I don't love and get some fun ones that will hopefully motivate me even more to get my exercise in. I have wanted 'fun' workout leggings for what feels like forever, and Target always has super cute ones...but their leggings don't fit me even close to right. Old Navy leggings fit me perfectly, but I usually am not a fan of the patterns they have. UNTIL NOW.
workout gear
My favorite pattern of the crops is the left one. I love my other Old Navy compression leggings and crops (I prefer crops though).
I have two pairs of running shorts, one with the normal built-in underwear, and the other with built-in long spandex, and I am just not a fan of the long spandex built-in. I'm not sure how you're supposed to wear it. Are you supposed to pull it down so it's way below the nylon part? Or are you supposed to bunch it up to hide it? Either way, they aren't the best with my thick thighs. I'd like to get rid of those and grab these black perforated shorts or these gray (with leopard print!) running shorts.
I have the lavender top and it's one of my faves. I'd like to get a couple different colors of this shirt!
I'm a big fan of open backs. And neutrals. Sooo to incorporate my beloved olive green into my workout clothes, along with color blocking and an open back? Sign me up.

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Accountability [8.7.16]

I am toying with the idea of posting about my weekly activity, to try and hold myself even more accountable to my lofty goals this month. Megan does her Weekly Workouts post every weekend, so that's where my inspiration came from! (Side note: Weekly Workouts is super catchy and when I was trying to think of what to call this, that kept popping in my head over and over. So I hope you enjoy my very much less catchy 'Accountability' title.) Since I'm at the beginning of my month of fitness goals, it's going to be harder than it is at the end of the month (or that is my hope, at least) so I'm just going to ramble my heart out to try and work things out. This will probably be a boring post for everyone else, but I think it will help me keep up with my goals (hence the title).

I have to preface this week with saying that on Saturday, July 30th, we laid down sod in our backyard. We opted to pick it up ourselves instead of waiting a week for delivery...which meant we had to load 63 rolls into the back of my parents' truck. I have zero upper body strength, so this was rough. I carried them to the truck, and Michael arranged them in the truck. Michael did everything else. He carried all 63 rolls from the truck to our yard (much farther than I carried them), he laid each roll down (I'm not a terrible person, I just had to take our car in for recall work)... But anyway, on Sunday my entire body was sore. And it was still sore on Monday. And my legs were already sore on Saturday because I ran for the first time in months on Thursday night. I went about a mile and a half on the treadmill on an incline the whole time. Holy brutal. And then we rode bikes Friday night. I have been doing my arm workout routine with my little baby five-pound weights...but like I said, zero upper body strength. So I actually feel it when I do the workout every night (or most nights).

Monday, August 1st
Steps: 10,053
Active Minutes: 57
Activity: I got extra steps and some active minutes because the dogs can't be on the sod for two weeks, so now I have to walk them to go potty (pretty far, actually, because we don't have much area in the front of the house for them to pee and I don't like letting them potty in people's yards) four times a day. I also ran with Michael, which was my first non-treadmill run in probably at least a year. It was SO. HARD. On my treadmill run from Thursday, I burned more calories and was in higher heart rate zones, but that felt so much easier! (Both runs were about 1.5 miles.) Why is that? Because of the air conditioning at the gym? I don't know, but it was rough. Question: Does anyone else in the world get itchy when they workout? I sometimes get it and it's horrible. It's intense and and feels like it's inside my skin, so it's not just my clothes. This article and others suggest it's caused by histamine or vasodilation...but I take an allergy pill every day, and I don't experience this itching on the elliptical, or at zumba, or on the treadmill...I only experienced it on our outdoor run. It made the run that much harder.

Tuesday, August 2nd
Thoughts: I was ravenous this day. I took lunch at noon, half an hour earlier than usual, just so I could go home and eat. I also always bring back snacks for the afternoon (this day it was chips, carrots, and grapes) and I ate all three immediately instead of spacing them out until the end of the day as usual. Monday I was not this hungry, though some days before that I was. I figured that was because of my 'monthly gift' and it must be winding down. But, nope. Still here this day and making me hungry as ever. I felt sluggish and craved chocolate too...so that didn't help. I was also sore from so much physical activity in the previous days as compared to the usual. You have no idea how hard it was to make myself do anything. I had actually resolved to fail my 10,000 steps every day goal (on the second day!) and got myself some Rolos and watched Pretty Little Liars and it was great to just relax and do nothing. And then I said what the heck are you doing, stop feeling sorry for yourself and go walk and don't ruin your goals on the second day of the month! That kind of motivation is so unlike me, so I'm really proud of myself! I'm definitely no Morgan, but I think I'm headed in the right direction. (And no, I don't regret the relaxing or the Rolos. I think if I hadn't done that, I wouldn't have recharged enough to force myself to get my steps.) I only had about 5,000 steps before my walk, so it took a while (hence the 58 active minutes--I only had 10 before the walk).
Steps: 10,293
Active Minutes: 58
Activity: Walk!
Really disliking the new Fitbit dashboard where going to the previous day doesn't show your sleep for that day...you have to actually click on it to compare your past sleep. I seriously thought I slept the same exact duration/times two days in a row for a minute until I realized!

Wednesday, August 3rd
Steps: 10,367
Active Minutes: 57
Activity: Treadmill run + walk; walking the dogs to potty added some active minutes too, as usual.

Thursday, August 4th
Steps: 10,734
Active Minutes: 67
Activity: Stair climber, elliptical (+ dog walking in the morning)

Friday, August 5th
Steps: 10,243
Active Minutes: 51
Activity: Walk. I had planned on Friday being a more restful day (plus cheat meal day), but then I remembered that it's mostly impossible to get 10,000 steps on a work day without at least taking a looong walk. The good news is that means as long as I'm getting 10,000 steps a day, I'm very likely getting at least 30 active minutes five days a week, right?! So I'm killing two birds goals with one stone.

I kind of loved writing this, because I felt like I could ramble as much as I pleased and not turn anybody off. I mean, I do think it's pretty boring, but unlike my other posts that I want people to like reading, I didn't actually worry about my rambling or try to cut it down. But I figure a lot of people won't read this past the first few lines. Or maybe they'll just vaguely skim it. But the whole point of me posting this is so it's out there. So I can't hide if I fail my goals the very first week of the month. And I think knowing that I was going to post this made me try harder. When I have a whole month between goal posts, I often forget/slack at one point, and then try to pick it back up. Or I just totally throw in the towel. [Next post will be Saturday-Friday, as will following posts! Not sure if I'll continue this after August, but I do plan on keeping it up for this month.]

Comments turned off. If you have questions/advice/anything else, you can reach out via one of the social channels below or email me at mattieroush@gmail.com!

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