Saturday, May 25, 2013

Camera Photo Dump

I usually post an array of Instagram pictures every week, but I didn't really take that many recently. Instead of my usual picture post, here's the last few photos dumped from my camera...





1. Our collection of "rare" Dogfish Head beers 2. Stormy skies 3. My first attempt at painting with acrylics...ever 4. A pot full of cat grass with some catnip thrown in 5. Our response to the "13.1" and "26.2" stickers (while you're running for hours, we're keeping your loved ones alive until 7:05)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Weight Watchers: Week 4

...so I quit. I made it through 4 weeks of Weight Watchers, tracking points and exercising, and this is what the end result was. Let's be honest, it is a GREAT plan and works well for MANY people but for whatever reason, it did not work with me. Granted, I did go down 5 pounds, but the 167 was definitely a large amount of water weight. I think that's what caused the big drop the first week but for the past 3 I've sat at a solid, stale 162. Next attempt: juicing.


Start:
Weight- 167
Bust- 40
Waist- 34
Hips- 40
Dress Size- 12

End:
Weight- 162
Bust- 39
Waist- 32
Hips- 39
Dress Size- 12


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

100 Day Spending Fast

A few weeks ago my sister sent me a blog written by a couple who had done a year long "spending fast". While I think that going an entire year may be a little much for me, I have continually been tempted to try my own fast since reading their blog. Since AB and I both want to return to grad school, we've made the decision to try and pay off as much of our credit card debt as possible before doing so (mainly b/c he won't be able to work at all and I will be pushing it to stick to full time). I definitely have more debt than him so I'm going to attempt a modified 100-day spending fast of my own, just to see how it works for me (or doesn't). Based on the other blogger's guidelines, I have modified them to fit my needs.

My Needs (What I Can Spend Money On):
  • Rent & utilities
  • Car payment
  • Bills (credit cards, student loans, cell phone, insurance)
  • Food to make at home ie grocery store
  • Gas
  • Vet bills
  • Pet food and litter
  • Birthday gifts 
  • Medication
  • Doctor co-pays

My Wants (What I Cannot Spend Money On):
  • Alcohol
  • Gigi's cupcakes (and any other non-homemade cupcake)
  • Clothing/shoes/linens
  • Starbucks
  • Anything other than pet supplies from Amazon.com (my biggest weakness)
  • Movies
  • iTunes
  • Eating out
  • Magazine subscriptions
  • Housecleaning services

I plan on starting the fast on June 1st and ending it September 8th. While I don't buy that much extra every month, I'm hoping that cutting out a few things will enable me to save more and pay off more. Wish me luck!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reading

I've gone on another reading binge; for an updated list of books I've read recently click on the "Reading" tab above OR this link. The more recent ones are listed at the bottom and while some books I like more than others, I don't post any I can't stand. I do get a lot of free ones from Bookbub so if you're looking for newer releases, they probably will not be on my list.

The Pets

I know there are several people who read this blog who do wonder how the menagerie of animals in our house are doing these days, so in honor of my love of bulleted lists, here's an update:

  • Stetson: He is about to turn 12yo and so far seems to be doing well after his chemo finished back in February. He's currently being treated for a staph skin infection, but this has been something chronic for him for years, so it's not a big issue. He's down to only getting probiotics, K9 Immunity Plus, &  Omega3 each day, and monthly he gets a shot of Adequan for his arthritis. It seems to help the stiffness so I'll stick with it. His activity level and appetite haven't changed at all; AB and I had the dogs at the lake recently and they were sprinting all over the place.
  • Indy: He just turned 12yo and seems to be doing fine. His last vet check up showed perfect lab work, but he did have a new heart murmur. He actually goes to the vet this Thursday to have a cardiac BMP drawn (blood work); if it's elevated then I'll probably consent to an ultrasound just to see if he needs heart medications. Sigh. He also has to have his anal glands expressed every 2 months due to the scar tissue from the abscess years ago. Otherwise, he's tolerating Penny and spends most of his time sleeping (no difference from the past 12 years). I just recently switched the cats' food to Blue Buffalo Indoor Wilderness and they are doing great on it; less poop, less scavenging for food, and [cross fingers] fewer hairballs.
  • Baer: Baer is now (and I could be wrong b/c every time I ask AB his age I get a different answer) closing in on 9yo and for those who don't know, is at a pretty good age for a dog his size (105lbs). He did have a rough week recently; AB had put him out first thing in the morning a couple of weeks ago and when I went to let him in before lunch, he could hardly walk. His back legs weren't functioning well at all, he was painting, and his eyes were gooping. Needless to say, I panicked and rushed him straight to our vet. The vet was guessing that he may have been having an issue with hip dysplasia or an ACL injury, so she asked to run blood work, sedate him, and do x-rays. I left him with her and less than 30 minutes later she called to say that the blood work showed a platelet level of 47,000 (Stetson's is usually 300-400,000) and that he also was running a temp of 104. Rather than sedate him she asked to do a rapid tick titer due to the platelet levels. Next thing we know Baer has been diagnosed with canine ehrlichiosis and needs to start a long treatment of tetracycline antibiotics and pain medication. Ehrlichiosis is a tick-borne disease, and despite being on Frontline Plus, Baer had managed to get it. My vet said this is the first case she's seen in 9 years; considering my luck that's not a shocker. We started him on antibiotics and within a few days he was back to his annoyingly stubborn, food-obsessed self. He goes back this Thursday (with Indy) for a follow up CBC, at which time the vet will decide if he needs to continue on Tetracycline or switch to a different medication.
  • Penny: Penny just turned 1yo and is a deviant; she reminds me A LOT of Harrison when he was a kitten. She gets into everything, tears through the house, pounces on everything (human and animal), has a voracious appetite, and stinky farts. She's made a habit of streaking out the back door with the dogs so AB and I finally gave up on yelling at her and instead got her a bright green collar with a tag and a bell. So far she's good about coming back in after a little while. Health wise she seems okay, although she pants after heavy exercise- with my luck she will also have a heart problem!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Instagram Week




















Weight Watchers: Week 3

Sigh. I don't think Weight Watchers works for me...
Start:
Weight- 167
Bust- 40
Waist- 34
Hips- 40
Dress Size- 12

Week 1:
Weight- 160
Bust- 39
Waist- 32
Hips- 39
Dress Size- TBD

Week 2:
Weight- 162
Bust- 39
Waist- 32
Hips- 39
Dress Size- TBD

Week 3:
Weight- 162
Bust- 39
Waist- 32
Hips- 39
Dress Size- TBD

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

...to the most patient, understanding, fun, accepting, tolerant, intelligent, creative, awesome mom I know.

I managed to say it even better here.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Weight Watchers: Week 2- Overdue!

I thought I did pretty well with staying in my points, not drinking much, and avoiding the cupcakes. I was also averaging 45min-55min of cardio exercise a day. Doesn't show...


Start:
Weight- 167
Bust- 40
Waist- 34
Hips- 40
Dress Size- 12

Week 1:
Weight- 160
Bust- 39
Waist- 32
Hips- 39
Dress Size- TBD

Week 2:
Weight- 162
Bust- 39
Waist- 32
Hips- 39
Dress Size- TBD

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Brewery Tour

Yesterday evening, AB, my parents, and I went to Angier for a brewery tour and beer flight at The White Rabbit Brewery. It was a place that had been offering tours through Groupon and since I love beer, I figured it would be fun to try something different and local. I enjoyed the atmosphere there; not too crowded, plenty of places to sit, clean bathrooms, and both a dartboard and corn hole set. This brewery is smaller than others I've been to- they just started out recently but seem to be doing well for themselves. Plus, who could resist a place that serves beer named after the characters of "Alice in Wonderland"? The tour included a 6 beer flight with the choice of a pint of the flavor of your choice afterwards (including the glass). The beers were all fairly tasty; there were a couple I was not fond of but I ended up loving the Rabbit's Nutbrown Ale the most. 

After the tour we headed over to Applebee's for some dinner; I was attempting to get a Weight Watchers dish (which I did) but nothing could save the amount of points I used for all the beer!















Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bookbub.com

Recently I discovered a website via a friend which lists free books available for the Kindle and Nook on a daily basis. The website is Bookbub and so far I've managed to download quite a few books that have turned out to be enjoyable reads. As some may or may not know, a lot of eBooks now are not edited due to the fact that authors can publish their own books online without going through an editor or publishing company. I'm not sure whether those books are more or less likely to be offered for free at some point, but I have found that the editing is lacking in several of the books I've downloaded (although the story line was still well developed). Regardless, if you're one who loves to read and likes a good deal, visit the site; you may find something you really like!

*When you visit Bookbub, it will ask for your email address right away. Once you enter it, the site sends you a list of free books each day- they have not sent me any other emails or spam for those who are concerned about that kind of thing! I don't download from the site (I'm not sure if you can?)- I just check out the book descriptions then head over to Amazon and download the ones that interest me.