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I'd really appreciate you taking my reader survey

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I need your help.

Please don't be upset or offended by the demographics questions. I'm asking because Google Analytics says that the majority (over 60%) of my readers are white males aged 30-55 with an income over $100,000. I'm fairly certain that my content is not aimed at that demographic, but hey, I could be wrong. This really is for research and I would appreciate honest answers. And if you do happen to fall into that demographic, what makes me so appealing? I need to know so I can keep doing it!



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Deliciously Steamy Recovery

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I went to the gym at 8am today. Crazy right? But you know what? It was practically empty!!!! Anxious Introvert heaven! Locker room - empty. Floor - like three people. Cardio machines? Only two in use! I had my pick!

The elliptical seemed like a good choice again. 45 minutes on an interval program and I did the majority of this week's video lectures for a Coursera course. I was feeling productive even though I hadn't had any coffee yet. Trying out this thing called "Time Management."
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Not too bad if I do say so myself, considering how I feel about cardio.



I felt good as I got off the elliptical and then I had a brilliant epiphany. I had enough time to try the sauna! My trainer has been encouraging me to use it ever since the weather turned but I never make time for it. That is going to change STAT! I'm going to have to get over not wanting to be seen naked, or disassociate like crazy, but I'll figure it out. Did I mention that the locker room was EMP…

New Year, New Me?

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Resolutions or No Resolutions?  I don't make resolutions, but I do try to maintain any good habits that I may have picked up in the previous year. Currently, that's journaling. I started in April 2017, and I haven't been consistent, but I am working on it. That, and going to the gym. Love snow or no snow? Snow is for visiting. And throwing snowballs. And a good reason for drinking hot chocolate and marshmallows while reading a good book. Not for shoveling, and being snowed in, and being frozen in, and cleaning up the salt that the dogs track in. Let's just say I am ambivalent about snow now that I have to live in it. It is not just a pretty backdrop.Name a new place you want to go this year? Spain and PortugalWould you rather have a new haircut or hair color? Given the investment in my Sisterlocks, new color. I'm thinking purple.Name one special thing you want to do for yourself this year. Lose weight. I have no idea why it isn't coming off and I am beyond frus…

It's the simple things that make technology seem like magic

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This morning's pre-coffee adventure involved looking for something that I have seen time and time again and yet couldn't find. My reserved Zipcar!



In this case, one reserved at the Rozzie Village Commuter Rail stop. I have seen the cars multiple times as I ride the train. You look out the window, and there they are. I swear, I couldn't find the car this morning. Part of the confusion, now that I am looking at the map, is that in the app it just says
 "Fit Bride / Roslindale Village Commuter Rail" The actual website has detailed information, but who would have thought to use that???? I was, of course, in the lower (South) lot. It was the only one I knew from driving into the Village Square.

If you follow me on twitter or Instagram, you may be thinking, "Wait, you have a Jeep, why do you need a Zipcar???" Well, sometimes you just need a second car.  H needed to travel today for work, and normally in the spring or summer, commuter rail would have worked, b…

Menu Plan Monday: Plated

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I've been more than a little skeptical of the home delivery meal kit plans for various reasons.

In Which I Nearly Embarrass Myself in Public at the Gym

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OMFG
I don't know if I'm really unfit or if I had a minor anxiety attack, but I could not get beyond the warm-up of Ropes and Rowers. I was dizzy and felt a fainting spell come on. I hate fainting in public. Left the class to get some breathing room and water and never went back in. Sat for a while and my heart wouldn't stop racing ... Right. Ok. No sense in wasting this trip to the gym. So I went downstairs where it was warmer and quieter and I knew no one would be looking and judging.

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Since I had signed up for a class I didn't bring my headphones. From now on, I will always bring headphones. But it was kinda nice to just zone out on the elliptical for another 30 minutes. Listening to the hum of treadmills and just letting my brain wander while my body did its thing. I feel more relaxed than I have in a while (though while I wait for my ride to finish his workout I'm starting to freeze and seize up) and I got a few more ideas for this blog. So, i…

Menu Plan Monday: Ambition

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I'm sitting here asking myself why did I sign up for this?
Nothing like a little ambition to start the new year. The #cook90 Starter Guide https://t.co/uoxYtYZbRy#fb — Annette (@daNanner) December 25, 2017

But the madness works out because we're doing another #januarywhole30. The last time I attempted this was three years ago. I was over it pretty quickly. But, here I am again, in solidarity. I didn't lose weight or feel anything other than pissed off at the world last time, so we'll see if it's different this time around. Since I'm still mostly Paleo menu-planning is easy enough. And you can follow me on Instagram since I will be posting for both the Cook90 Challenge and Whole30. This is going to be a fun month.


Monday: Beef Short Ribs -  Get the recipe here.
Sauteed broccolini and Korean short ribs (@nomnompaleo instapot recipe). #januarywhole30 #cook90 #dinner A post shared by Annette (@dananner) on Jan 1, 2018 at 3:55pm PST

Tuesday: Pasta Primavera With Shr…

Just under the Wire

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I made it! Had to add in a few audiobooks that I had forgotten to, but it all counts, right?

You can see my whole list here.
What was your favorite book of 2017? What are you looking forward to reading in 2018?

If you want to see big changes

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I'm in the process of getting myself set up for a butt-kicking 2018. I found the Passion Planner, signed up for the free template download, and decided I'm going to try it out for the month of January and see if I can make that a habit. I'll be combining it with the Staples Arc system because I have a few personal project ideas floating around that don't quite fit into the Passion Planner setup.

Journaling with pen and paper is something I've been trying to get back to since last year when I started The Artist's Way (or maybe the beginning of this year? It's been a long year). I also increased my Moleskine and other journals collection exponentially, so I had better start using them.

So many ideas, so little time, and even less focus.

Motivation and Purpose

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Now that I have my PMP, I seem to have lost mine -- my motivation and purpose that is. I find myself suddenly exhausted, tired, unmotivated, and unsure of what to do with myself next.


The first few days after I passed the test, I was still in shock. I went to work on Friday, we celebrated again that night, plus Star Wars: The Last Jedi:
Still waiting in line for theater 2 10:30pm showing of #LastJedi what gives @AMCTheatres BOS Lowe's location. Movie is supposed to start in 7 minutes. And no downstairs concessions!!! — Annette (@daNanner) December 16, 2017
Saturday was a whirlwind of getting Joy off to the airport (that was a minor misadventure), and I think I finally started collapsing on Sunday. I didn't want to do anything or go anywhere, especially since I had gym at 6am on Monday morning.
I don't have to study, the house is clean enough, dinner has been made and eaten ... and I have gym at 6am. But I have like 4 hours to veg out or whatever for the first time since Se…

Book Review: The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers, #1)

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Brain Candy for Firefly Fans

Problem: Solved

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Ok, so I had a real weird problem while I was away from home.
hey @onedrive -- I have some tutorial videos in OneDrive that I need to turn into a playlist on my tablet. Is this possible or a pipe dream? — Annette (@daNanner) November 30, 2017


Of course, as of this writing, they still haven't answered me. Nothing I could find related to Microsoft, OneDrive, or any of the other MS apps worked either. This means I had to figure out a solution myself using the tools at hand.
Problem Solving Methodology On my Pixel C, VLC wasn't working the way I needed it to, but the other option to view the videos was Plex. Plex???? For playback of videos in OneDrive? Ok ... Hit Plex, voila! Video lesson played flawlessly. No buffering, no other issues I was experiencing with VLC. But I still really wanted a playlist, ya know.

So I remoted into my home computer (because who doesn't, and I couldn't create the playlist in the Plex app, that would have been lucky),
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grabbed the files…

Book Review: Artemis

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Artemis by Andy Weir

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


A little science/chemistry heavy...

But I expected that since it is Andy Weir. Rosario Dawson makes an amazing narrator for the character of Jazz. Thoroughly enjoyable on multiple levels. I was laughing out loud on multiple occasions and quoting bits to friends in random text conversations. I wouldn't mind listening to it again. Weir did a fantastic job creating a strong female character who is not (technically) a Mary Sue, she just has a lot of wasted potential and I found her to be relatable. The Lunar society he creates is very believable, and he goes so much into the science and chemistry that my eyes may have glazed over a bit.

View all my reviews

Extras: Audible also has a bunch of cool additional material like a map and unofficial guide to Artemis. Interactive dome maps and more.


Review: Pixel Buds!

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Unboxing

Pros
Google Assistant in my ear. It also showed me that I really need to clean out numbers for everyone on speed-dial. Took entirely too long when speaking because Assistant kept asking me which number to use for the various contacts I wanted to call. Instead of, you know, the one that I text and call all the time. So for all you conspiracy theorists, Google does not know all, even when it's on your phone. Either that or the AI needs a lot of tweaking.Google Pixel Help - Can it be broken? Just hand it to me. I'll QA that thing in ways you never imagined. via GIPHY The Google Chat help techs were good, even if I did eye-roll once or twice (because, help desk, and I am contacting you because I couldn't figure it out on my own and I am not a normal user).  I haven't had a chance to play with translation, but the Babelfish ability was the main selling point.

Cons This list was surprisingly easy to come up with starting within just the first few minutes of wearing…

Photo Friday: Weather

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Went for a hike. It started beautifully if a little humid. Opted to take a trail instead of staying on the paved loop. Hear a roll of thunder, hope it's just the train. If only we had been so lucky. I had just been contemplating my success at not getting muddy while at the park. Mother Nature has a sick sense of humor. Not only did I get muddy, we got drenched through! My shoes were squelching while running with Pluto who was having none of it. Just as I would get him down to a walk, another roll of thunder or flash of lightning would send him dashing off again! After the storm the clouds looked pretty awesome though. Only had the iPhone SE on me. Does that count for #shotoniphone?

Originally posted on my instagram.

The Final Countdown?

I certainly hope so! I don't want to even think about having to take this test again! And if that unfortunate event should occur, I will have to take it before March 2018 when it switches over to the 6th edition of the PMBOK. I'm not sure my mind could handle the overload of information.

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But we're not going to consider that right now. I'm going to join the ranks of people who pass on the first try.

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They've even published their how-tos. I'm just trying to do it in a quarter of the time. Yeah. This is going to be epic.

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Wait, positive thinking. I know I can do this.

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I am so nervous. I keep forgetting that I have a study plan and that I have been studying, and yet if the test were tomorrow, I am not 100% confident that I would pass. So I need to study more until I hit that "know-it-all" level that my family loves me for.

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And then there will be much rejoicing.

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Menu Plan Monday: Fall Feasting

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The plan this week was to cook everything on Sunday and reheat throughout the week because evenings this week are hella busy. That didn't happen (but the house is clean!!!) I mean, look at those floors...




I managed to menu plan and place my grocery order on Friday for Saturday delivery (yes, my time is worth the cost) so that was an organizational win. Maybe you'll have better luck with AmazonFresh. I'll be able to make and prep at least two meals tonight, probably have leftovers on Wednesday, and we'll have to see how the week works out. Adjusting to being out of the house for 10+ hours a day is still happening.











Monday: Shepherd's Pie (recipe adapted from Caveman Casserole)


TuesdayMoroccan Chicken Stew
Apparently, when I nuked G+ I lost the photo to this one.

ThursdayBlackened Chicken & Avocado Sauce--Over Zoodles
This one is quick and easy. I'll probably cheat with some guacamole instead of making the avocado sauce. Finding good avocados in MA is getting…

Menu Plan Monday: Humpday Edition

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It's been a busy week and I  am woefully out of the practice of blogging on a regular basis. My goal is to change that in the coming weeks (let's be real, months).

Monday was extremely busy with trying to catch up and get ahead of the housework. With two dogs and weather, I don't know why I bother. I hit and exceeded my step goal, so that's a bonus.

I was lazy and ordered Indian food from the local restaurant. I have no idea what I would do without Eat24 .

Tuesday: Butternut Squash Soup with Chicken Sausage
Wednesday: Chile-Crusted Scallops with Cucumber Salad

Thursday: Ratatouille with Chicken

 Friday: Little Lamb Meatballs in A Spicy Eggplant Tomato Sauce



 Saturday: Chicken Cacciatore

Co-Host Duties: Bob Anstett & The Virtual Dungeon Master

Trying something different....

Menu Plan Monday: Back to School Edition

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What a day!!! I know that for most of you, "back to school" means a return to routine for yourself and your kids, and probably started at least a month ago. In our case,  I started a new course today. Since becoming unemployed back in May, and with everything else going on that I haven't had time to properly document here, I haven't really menu planned and I've been really horrible about going to the grocery store just ... whenever.

This past weekend was a bit packed so I didn't have time to properly sit down and plan things the way I prefer. Inspiration hit on the way home from class with a little help from my daughter, who requested Cajun Salmon for tonight.


Monday: Cajun SalmonTuesday:Cod and Chorizo
Wednesday: Jambalaya

Thursday: Pineapple Turkey Burgers


Friday: Leftovers