Morning Attempt at 5K

October 25, 2018
View of Boston from Peter's Hill
Sunrise view of Boston from Peter's Hill on Monday Morning

I used to be able to walk a 5K every morning in 45 minutes when I lived in NoHo, played Ingress, and was maintaining my weight between 160-170lbs (ish). After a … conversation over the weekend and much nagging, I have been taking Pluto out with me. Zoe doesn’t do cold and she doesn’t walk as fast as she did 3-5 years ago.

Menu plan Monday: Keep It Going

September 17, 2018
Well, color me surprised. An impression was made after doing the 3-Day Refresh. We feel a bit lighter and our brains aren't in total revolt anymore. We planned some of the meals out on the train yesterday, now I just need to go grocery shopping or have someone do it for me.

42 by 43

September 11, 2018
Can I lose 42lbs by the time I'm 43? 
My Fitbit stats from the time I started using one. 

The weight has kept creeping up on me, despite weight training. At one point I hit my almost interim goal weight and decided to be happy between 165lbs and 170lbs, allowing for water weight and the monthly ups and downs that come from being a woman, but then the creep started and never stopped.

What’s wrong with being a do-er?

September 7, 2018
I’m coming to the point where I tell myself, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Being a do-er means that shit gets done. And I get things done.

I’ve had this rant rattling around in my head for almost two weeks. The biggest critique that they came up with is that I am do-er and not an achiever. And that’s apparently a bad thing. Who the FRAK else is going to get shit done?!? You need do-ers. People who are conscientious and hard-workers and not just out for their own ambition and climbing over and on the backs of others. People that make things happen in the background so those so-called achievers shine. People with a work ethic and humility and who don’t mind just getting the work done so they can pay their bills and maybe have some mental and physical energy left over for their hobbies.

You Don’t Have to Take My Word For It

July 26, 2018
I have flown through a few episodes of LeVar Burton Reads on my commute, and it has made it so much more enjoyable. If you happen to follow me on twitter, you know exactly how I feel about Boston drivers. And yes, I know that I am so very late to this particular podcast party. Flip side, I get to binge, which is how I have been consuming most of my media lately.

Menu Plan Monday: Out of Time

May 21, 2018
Unfortunately, not R.E.M nor Denzel related. I just don’t have enough time in the day to get things done. I need a few clones of myself. So here I am, taking a few minutes at the end of the work day, before I start my commute, trying to scramble on menu planning and debating the energy-draining thoughts of driving my commute, grocery shopping, and then cooking dinner.

40 Days of Clean Eating – Part 2

March 12, 2018
Days 11-20
I continue the cannibalization of my blog and social media (mostly G+ for this second post).

40 Days of Clean Eating - Part 1

March 5, 2018
I didn't want to completely re-invent the wheel so I scavenged my blog and social media posts for recipes with photos. Almost everything here should be able to prepped and cooked within 30 minutes or less.

TBB Asks: Love Edition

February 13, 2018

Every Day is a New Day

February 6, 2018

To make new mistakes or fix yesterday's




I told myself "February's Goal - No Unnecessary Spending."
I wasn't going to spend any money this month (on shopping) and that I was going to get my budget under control.

Dogs & Depression: How Pets Alleviate Anxiety

February 5, 2018
This is a guest post written by Nat Smith, Rover.com community member. Rover is the nation's largest network of 5-star pet sitters and dog walkers.


Me and Zoe, my best girl for the last 11 years.
She's a rescue mutt who saves me from
bouts of depression, agoraphobia, and anxiety.
Photo Credit: Halcyon's Serendipity
Depression and anxiety persist by pulling you into downward spirals. Symptoms like fatigue, social withdrawal, and the inability to concentrate actually fuel the depressive episode that brought them on. This is why, in addition to medication and therapy, treatment often includes “disruptors.” These are relatively simple habit changes that can break the cycle.

Of course, these changes aren’t easy to implement. When you’re at a low point or subsumed in panic, do you really want to stop and take a deep breath? The recovery process at its best is often described as “two steps forward, one step back.”

January 2018 Project 365 Recap

February 1, 2018
Driven to finish (and the photo used for the prompt "Alone")
All of my photos for January 2018 were taken using my current phone (and the camera that is always with me) - a Google Pixel 2XL and edited using Snapseed. I was going to compile this post using Storify, but with their impending demise, it was suggested that I use Wakelet. So far, I like it. There are 31 photos being pulled from Instagram, so give it a minute.

Menu Plan Monday: Battle of the Home Meal Kits

January 29, 2018
As mentioned previously, using a meal kit delivery service to stay Whole30 compliant isn't the easiest thing to do without some forethought and planning. On Instagram, the Whole30 account was touting their partnership with Blue Apron, so we thought we would try them out.

Podcast Anniversary: Rebecca & James Hicks & The Roomba From Hell

About a year ago I got to have a great conversation with some old-time friends of a friend (long story) - Rebecca and James Hicks on The Geek Questioner Podcast. Rebecca is the author of the webcomic "Little Vampires".

This week we interview the dynamic duo behind the Tiny Little Vampires web comic and geek out over all manner of things. From a close encounter with Carrie Fisher to space vampires, rogue space probes, superhero TV shows, games like the Witcher 3, summer homes in Rivendell, living in the Cars universe, and more! 

Have a listen and don't mind the giggling:

Spaghetti Arms and Fire Legs

No, this post is not about a new recipe nor a new dance.



The burn! It hurts! My shoulders are on FYRE!

I really need to book myself a hot stone massage.

Better Living Through Chemistry

January 26, 2018
I am currently thanking the scientists who came up with NSAIDs. And to whoever figured out that caffeine + painkillers = easing of a migraine. Today's breakfast chaser was a venti long shot flat white and 2 Aleve. The pressure in my brain has subsided enough that I feel alert for the first time all week and almost energetic enough to try this.


Just skip ahead to Tom Holland at 1:44. Why can't I stop watching this?!?!? I really can't.

Having energy and clarity of thought is so energizing. I didn't realize how much energy the low-level headache I have had all week was draining me. Didn't help that I started the week slightly depleted from the weekend and it went downhill from there. And now I feel like dancing!

Pixel Buds - An Alternative Review

Courtesy of Google
I've been using the Pixel Buds for the last few months, and I have to say I'm largely impressed. But let's get the negatives out of the way first.

Menu Plan Monday: Tired of Being Tired

January 24, 2018
I am officially tired of winter. More than that, my SAD is kicking in hard, despite 8-12,000 IU of Vitamin D nightly. I started writing this post on Sunday, had the draft, found the links to the pretty recipes (need to remember to do that again for next week), and here it is Wednesday, and I am dragging ass. You can check out my Fitbit stats if you don't believe me.



via GIPHY


Here's What a Tired Type-A Personality Looks Like

January 18, 2018
I just don't have the energy to be a perfectionist all the damn time anymore. From a conversation with a friend:
I'm going to treat this like Whole30. I'm a failure (according to their standards), but that's ok, this is what a work in progress looks like ... Scratch that, I am not a failure, I am not a perfectionist.

I've been slacking. Not quite the procrastination bug, but something like that. More like the "I don't know where to get started" bug. I jumped on the Passion Planner bandwagon, got my Staples Arc folder (and now I found another one that's more perfect), and printed out the first month. Here we are in week three, and I am still looking at other's planners at least once a week and going to the tips section of the Passion Planner website to see why I am having so much trouble "getting it." I mean, pens, washi tape, post-its, color coding, the list goes on and on. Where is a practical, no-nonsense, non-artistic person supposed to start???? These are planners, but they look like scrapbooks! Which, coincidentally, is another way to use your planner.

As I cut and tape water, finance, and workout sheets into my "Space of Infinite Possibility" (it is not bigger on the inside) I realize that
1) I am not a bullet journal type gal.
2) Determining and focusing on concrete, measurable, step-by-step break-down-able goals is HARD.
3) I can apparently project manage everything except my own damn life.
I have spent so much of my life in survival mode, quietly giving up dream after dream, that I don't know what my goals and plans are anymore. Or where to start looking for them. Besides,  MindMapping is effing hard for me. It's easier for me to just let the words flow out of my fingers (not to mention typing is way more legible than my handwriting, BTW, have you seen how freaking artistic people get with their planners? I'm all in my left practical brain just writing shit out, planning meetings, and I don't / can't draw, that's why I take photos and make notes about what animation or gif I should use (you should see the notes I took during PMP/LSSGB and CSM training).

I was somewhat forced into getting my PMP, but that's the way of things with me. A crisis occurs, I react. This was the first time something genuinely tremendous came out of it. I'm getting to the point in my life where I might actually have some breathing room, but I still feel as if the next crisis is just around the corner.
Waiting for the Other Shoe to Drop by Michael Ramirez @Ramireztoons
Source: https://stream.org/cartoon-waiting-shoe-drop/ 

On the other hand, it is fun to finally open the InkJoy set of pens I bought last year and play with them. Makes me wonder why I purchased Crayola Twistables last week. I really need to get the impulse spending under control.

I don't think my planner will ever look like an art project, and I have to be ok with that and make this thing work for me. I know that writing things out by hand is the way to go, but sometimes I just don't know how to get started. It's worse than decision paralysis. Can someone else decide for me?


However, if you are interested in trying a new planner this year, there's a referral program:

REFER 3, GET 1 FREE

We believe that our community is our biggest asset, so we want to thank the people who share us with the world. 
Where most companies ask for 6 - 10 referrals, we only ask for 3 because we have so much gratitude for people who take the time to share us with their loved ones. 

EARN A FREE UNDATED SUNDAY PLANNER BY FOLLOWING TWO SIMPLE STEPS: 

STEP 1: Tell your friends or followers about Passion Planner through a post, tweet, blog, email, post-it note, message in a bottle, etc. 
STEP 2: Receive one referral credit when someone makes a purchase and lists you as their reference during checkout (make sure they give us your email address).
Once you reach three referral credits from three separate orders, we will send you an email asking where you'd like your FREE planner shipped!

RULES AND REGULATIONS:

  1. Referral planners will be shipped once a month. You will be notified via email when you have reached 3 referral credits.
  2. Free shipping to the U.S. only. $12 USD to ship internationally.
  3. You may not refer yourself.
  4. Referral credit is non-transferable. 
  5. Reference email MUST be entered at time of checkout in order to receive a referral credit.
  6. One referral credit PER individual order. (Quantity of planners ordered does not count towards separate credit.)
  7. Multiple emails for one reference will not be accepted. Email must be consistent throughout.
  8. Passion Planner Representatives are ineligible for referral credit. 
**DISCLAIMER: The Passion Planner Referral Program is verified monthly. Once you have reached up to 3 referral credits, you will be sent a referral confirmation at the end of the month.
Please note: since the Passion Planner Referral Program runs throughout the whole year, it only offers Undated Sunday Timeless Black Passion Planners. In addition, referral credits do not have any monetary value. They cannot be applied towards new releases, dated Passion Planners, limited editions, or Monday starts.
The Refer 3 Get 1 Free Program is available only through our website.** 

Always Do a Patch Test

January 16, 2018
After I got out of the shower this morning I noticed a burning sensation on my neck. The only time I have that sensation is when I wear a less than pure or top-quality necklace. However, I did just color my hair. Crap. I lifted my braided bun and ...
Irritated skin right
at the base of my neck.
 Not quite hives

You might have to zoom in, but at the base of my neck is the irritated area. No, that is not a dye stain, which I kind of hoped at first. It feels different to the touch from the surrounding skin (patchy and angry, not smooth and soft). I have to wonder if it's the interaction of the dye with my necklace because my hands and scalp feel fine. It's just that little area that burns like the dickens. And this chain is pure silver. I've been wearing it almost everyday since 2010.


The Importance of Patch Testing

Well, beyond the obvious opportunity to avoid a severe allergic reaction (just google it), I will now have to take allergy meds until this clears up and washing my hair will be interesting since the last time I went purple I got hives freaking everywhere, every single time! 

You can be allergic to dyes of all sorts, even natural ones. The last time I went purple, I used Arctic Fox, an all-natural, vegan dye. You can also build up an allergy over time like Pauley Perrette. So always take the 48 hours and do that patch test. It's less inconvenient  that ending up in the hospital. 

Menu Plan Monday: Plated - Week 2

January 14, 2018
Honestly, at this point in the year, it's kind of nice to not have to come up with new things to cook. I am not one of those people who can eat the same thing all the time, or have a "night" for a specific meal, but even with the internet, I am running out of quick, tasty, and healthy dinners.

We are heading into week two of Plated and only having to grocery shop for the weekend is a load off my mind. One less thing to schedule time for. I did forget to go in this week and change everything to be Whole30 compliant, but I think we will be ok since it's only one serving.

One more gushing thing that I am not being paid to say, Plated is letting me travel through my mouth! I know there is no way I would have been able to find the aji paste for last week's Peruvian's Aji Chicken around here.

As of this week, I have five referrals available via email, so let me know if you would like to try a week of Plated at a deep discount (like free).

Plated Menu Cards - Beef Yakisoba, Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Milanese, Chicken Spanakorizo
Plated Menu Cards - Beef Yakisoba, Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Milanese, Chicken Spanakorizo

Monday - "Sunday" Roast

Beef roast with baby Yukon potatoes, carrots and pearl onions. Making enough for leftovers/lunches.

Tuesday - Chicken Spanakorizo



Wednesday - Chicken Milanese


Thursday - Beef Yakisoba


Friday - Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps


Saturday - TBD

I haven't decided yet, but we will be making another run to the Boston Public Market. I'll probably pick more fish and maybe some lamb or turkey to make for the weekend dinners.

I'll update the post throughout the week with photos of how my versions compare with the perfectly styled ones that come on the recipe cards.
Menu Plan Monday hosted by OrgJunkie

Deliciously Steamy Recovery

January 13, 2018


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."
via GIPHY


Not too bad if I do say so myself, considering how I feel about cardio.
I guess I was more relaxed today. Max HR only hit 154 according to the machine

Fitbit has different stats


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 EMPTY??? I had timed the end of my workout in between classes.
via GIPHY

Anyway, back to the sauna. Such steamy goodness. I wanted to do 15 minutes, but I could barely do 10. Maybe a little too much steam and heat (OMG, what am I saying???). I had trouble breathing, even through a towel. But as I lay there, breathing, thinking, absorbing the warmth, I felt like I was back in the Caribbean soaking up the sun. So I focused on that thought. Until I couldn't breathe again. Okay, time to get out.

As I waited for the shower to get hot, I noticed my skin was red -- as if I had just spent three hours in the sun. Wouldn't it be cool if you could get a tan from the sauna?

And nearly 20 minutes after the sauna I was still red ... And sweating!

 I'm still not quite sure what to think about that phenomenon. The only other time I get red like that is after a few hours in the sun.


I was beginning to reevaluate my initial thoughts about the sauna. But it was so gloriously warm. Down into my bones warm. Now if I could only get a tan...

New Year, New Me?

January 12, 2018
January 2018 TBB Asks 1. Resolutions or No Resolutions? 2. Love snow or no snow? 3. Name a new place you want to go this year? 4. Would you rather have a new haircut or hair color? 5. Name one special thing you want to do for yourself this year 6. Least favorite thing about January? 7. Most favorite thing about January? 8. When do you take down your holiday decorations? 9. Do you diet in January? 10. What area of your home do you want to organize the most? 11. Favorite Winter comfort food 12. Favorite guilty pleasure?

  1. Resolutions or No Resolutions? 
  2. 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.

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

January 10, 2018
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, but the trains have been unreliable since the snowstorm. I digress. Basically, it was either get a rental or try to figure out how to re-arrange meetings and work from home.

Guess what? When a hurricane-like blizzard hits a coastal area, all cars at the rental agencies get rented.


I have not owned a car since 2012 and, in general, have had no problem getting an Enterprise rental on short notice. All of the locations within 5mi of me (Boston is NOT that big, but it sure does have a lot of Enterprise lots) had no cars. None, nada, zip.

via GIPHY
via GIPHY

So I sucked it up and tried to see if I could an all-day use Zipcar. Woot! The answer is yes. And then I couldn't find it.

We're driving around the tiny (lower) lot looking lost and I decided to call Zipcar and see if maybe the cars were moved someplace else since where I thought the signs should be was just one massive snow bank. While on hold I used the Honk and Unlock Me option in the app.

Magic!!!

Still couldn't see the car but I could hear it. So we drove around the block, with the window down, in -2° C weather. Whaddaya know! There's another parking lot up there! And there's my Zipcar. So I unlocked it with the app because my hands didn't want to work in the cold and the windshield was covered with ice and my card wasn't working.

I am now thawed out enough to write this.

In other news, I have been completely spoiled by the options in the Jeep just the few weeks we've owned it, but that's another post.

Menu Plan Monday: Plated

January 8, 2018
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

January 7, 2018

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.

via GIPHY

via GIPHY


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, it wasn't a total waste of time. Also, probably a combination of both anxiety of so many people in the room (it suddenly felt like a very small space and I'm not generally claustrophobic, but I just couldn't) and being more out of shape than I thought. Though I do appreciate my trainer suggesting the class because he thinks I'm totally capable of slaying it.

My heart rate stayed around 170bpm when I was moving, average from the interval I chose (level 1 y'all, I think that points to being out of shape when it comes to cardio) was 158. Way more than double my resting heart rate. As much as I hate cardio, I obviously need to incorporate more into my life.

Fitbit stats - 34 minutes, 405 calories.

I'd really appreciate you taking my reader survey

January 3, 2018
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!



Create your own user feedback survey

Menu Plan Monday: Ambition

January 2, 2018
I'm sitting here asking myself why did I sign up for this?


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.


Just under the Wire

January 1, 2018
I made it! Had to add in a few audiobooks that I had forgotten to, but it all counts, right?
My 2017 in books.

You can see my whole list here.

What was your favorite book of 2017? What are you looking forward to reading in 2018?
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