Thursday, June 23, 2016

Plans for my 35th Year

Yesterday (June 22) was my birthday!


I'm not one of those women who feel like I have to hide my age.  I've worked hard to live this long and I just turned 35.

"I know you like the young girls," I told my husband (who is 15 years older than me.)  "Do you still love me now that I'm an old woman?"

"You're not old." my husband assured me. "You're middle aged."

Somehow that didn't make me feel any better.

The day itself was laid back.  My mother in law and I took the boys to the park to play in their sprinkler.  After lunch there was cake and ice cream at my mother in laws house, and I got my gifts.  (My husband got me Krampus.  My mother in law got me a Walking Dead t-shirt)

Later there was supper from Carey Hilliards.  Takeout because I didn't feel up to taking the boys out to eat.  They both eat supper fast, then we spend the rest of our meal trying to pacify them.

PERSONAL NEW YEAR


I've often thought of birthdays as personal new years.  Just like people make resolutions on January 1st, I might "resolve" myself things to do until my next birthday.

Some people get all brave and make bucket lists like "35 Things to do in my 35th year"

I am not that ambitious.

I have been thinking of what to do with my life this year (and forever after.)

Some time ago I had declared that I'd have my own business by the time I turned 35.  So...I'm basically a life plan failure at this point.

So, I need to put some baby steps into motion.

YEAR OF THE PURGE


I have decided this is going to be the year of The Purge.

http://amzn.to/28Q7qiX

No, not that Purge!  (That would be scary and wrong.)

I walk into my over crowded bedroom and I feel like I'm turning into a hoarder.  Too much stuff.  Too much stuff everywhere.

So, I need to re-read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, then apply it.  The premise being you only keep things around that you love.

So, for example, I need to ditch the magazines I've been holding on to for collaging, but haven't touched in years.

I also need to purge some of my craft supplies.  I need to USE some of the beads I have to make jewelry to sell.  Some things I need to de-stash because I'll never use them.  I have lots of paper that needs to be bound into books (using the book binding machine I bought but never used!) and sold. 

So, if you fancy a bracelet or a junk journal, keep your eyes peeled!

THE YEAR I BEAT DEPRESSION


If any of you have followed me here or on facebook for any length of time then you know I struggle with depression.  I've dealt with it for well over 15 years, all without medication.

The past couple of years its getting worse instead of better so I need to start doing some research on how to kick this monster out of my brain without medication (that I can't afford.)

In fact my new boss (who has been made aware of my struggle) is making noises to the effect of  "I didn't come here to get rid of anybody, but you could lose your job if you don't smile more."

I don't know HOW I'm going to do this yet, but I'm determined.  So, research here we come.

Which brings me to the next part.

A YEAR OF LEARNING



This year I would like to read more non-fiction books.

From January to June I have read 29 books. Only one of them was non-fiction. (Living With Intent)

So, I need to find more non-fiction books to read on subjects that don't bore me to tears.

I also like the idea of trying to find some (free) online classes to take.  Again, if I can find a subject that interests me.

So, if you have any book recommendations or know of any (free) online classes that might interest me, drop me a comment and let me know!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Tale of Two Shells

We went to the beach today.

I'm not usually a beach person.  I can't swim so the water scares me.  Watching my boys get in the water (under the protection of their father) scares me, and I always leave burned.

But I do like look for shells.

I never find any pretty ones at our beach though.  Just broken up and cracked ones.

Today I found a really pretty one, and got all excited.


See how pretty it is?  And it was whole, and shiny and unbroken.

There was just one problem...


Somebody was still living in it.  I'm not sure what kind of critter it is, but it was quite wiggly.


So I put it in my sons hand and told him to put it back in the waves.

Then I saw this large shell.


A hermit crab house.


There was nobody home in that one.


Thursday, June 2, 2016

April/May Freebies

I forgot to keep track of my freebies last month!  So below find the Free things and online earnings I received in April and May.

APRIL


ONLINE EARNINGS

(actually received)

$3.18 received from MyLot (paypal)
$10.00 received from Swagbucks (amazon gift card)

MAY


ONLINE EARNINGS

(actually received)

FREE ITEMS

(Free samples, giveaways won, and free in exchange of review)

The Wall People by Anne Marie Dapp (won from #amazongiveaways)
The Whole Beast by Kingfisher Pink (won from #amazongiveaways)
Better Home and Gardens (free magazine subscription from VauleMags)
Wonderland - Adult coloring book from Blogging fOR books

SORT OF FREEBIES


(These were not free for review, but they WERE paid for almost entirely using amazon gift cards Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial )


For a while now my coffee brewer has been failing on me.  I might only get 1/2 or even 1/3 cup of coffee.  After "fixing" it a few times I got tired of fighting with it.

So I ordered this Black and Decker Brew N Go.  It is a single cup brewer (but not a k-cup which I will miss about my current one) and it comes with a travel mug.  How awesome is that?

I did have to pay a little, since I didn't have enough amazon gift cards to cover free shipping.  I only paied $1.61 out of pocket!


WHERE DO I EARN


I earn money and giftcards online, and you can too!

Join any of these places and you can start earning your own PayPal payments and Gift Cards today.

Swagbucks is my #1 earner.  I can usually get at least 1 $5 gift card a month just from answering polls and doing web searches and occasionally watching videos..  I could get much more if I put effort into it, or if I did a lot of online shopping.  You earn more when you shop.

Join Swagbucks!
You Can Get Free Gift Cards For Shopping, Searching and Discovering What's Online at Swagbucks.com


 While that is my main earner I do earn other places as well.

ForumCoin - A discussion forum.  You can earn 10 FC a day, and can cash out for $5 for 500FC

ChatAbout - You can get paid for answering questions, completing offers, commenting on pictures and many other ways.  You can cash out starting at a $5 amazon GC or $5 Pay Pal for 1000 points.

MyPoints - this one is a slow earner for me, becasue you mainly earn from online shopping.  But you can also earn from reading e-mails, and doing searches from their site.  You can redeem a $10 amazon gift card for 1700 points.  Other gift cards can start as low as 1600 points, or you can donate your points to a charity for even less.

MyLot - another discussion platform.  You earn cash for quality participation in other peoples discussions or by participation in discussions you start.  Current payout threshold is $5 paid if you reach that amount by the end of the month.  If it is not reached, the amount you have earned rolls over to the next month until you reach minimum.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Bookshelf Makeover

I was off work yesterday and, left to my own devices for a couple of hours while my husband went shopping with the boys, I could have done anything I wanted to to!

What did I choose to do?  To FINALLY attack and tackle my hot mes of a book shelf!

Here is what it looked like at the very beginning.  Books behind books, books in front of books, junk mail, magazines and all sorts of random ephemera piled up there.


I started at the top and worked my way down.  The top shelf had been paperbacks three deep!


As I was cleaning each shelf I had my boxes.  One was recycling (magazines and junk mail), one was books to be re-shelved.  The last was books I didn't "love" to be sold or given away.


I meant to take photos of each shelf as I cleared it, and what was happening above and below the current shelf as I worked on it.  But, clearly I didn't do that.  Here I am with the top shelf done, the middle one in process, the third one empty..bottom still untouched.


Here is the end result.  Can you even tell a difference from begining to end?

The books I kept are now only 2 deep instead of three.  I do have a lot of them in the back turned on their sides and stacked up to take up less room.  I tried to make the front row to be all series and make them look presentable.


There are approximately 222 books on this shelf, not counting the notebooks/photo albumson the very bottom.

And this is why I will never have a "Curiated" bookshelf that looks so pretty and nice.  Because I have too many darn books for that!  lol

Now, I have the Stephen King shelf on the left to straighten (gotta make room for the new ones that kinda got shoved on top) and the two book shelves in my room (with craft books and craft supplies.)

But I feel pretty good about what I did accomplish.


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

George - Wordless Wednesday

This is George.

We got him from the "feeder" goldfish tank for about 27 cent.

That was about 4 years ago.


When we bought him and his brother Fred (who is no longer with us) the lady told us that they might not survive.  I said, I didn't expect them to.  I was buying them to help condition my aquarium.

See "feeder" goldfish are not treated well.  Have you ever seen the hundreds upon hundreds of fishies crammed in those tanks.  They are meant to feed large meat eating fish, so they dont care much about keeping them in proper uncrowded conditions.

Well, not only did they survive, they outlived most of my other fish.

Fred died after an accident with some decor (which is no longer in the tank), but George is still ticking.

Look towards the back and you can see one of the 2 cory cats we bought at the same time we got George.
He was maybe half an inch long when we got him.  He's somewhere between 9 and 10 inches long now.

Not bad for a fish that nobody expected to live.


Monday, May 9, 2016

The Amazing Shrinking Noner Part 1

My (6 year old( son took this photo of me one night
recently as I worked in the yard.
I started a diet on Thursday.

Yeah.  Thursday.  I know, a totally random day to start a diet, right?

Well, today is Monday, so I guess I can adjust my "Start" date to today as far as blogging about it goes.

Meanwhile, I was at 220 pounds this morning.

That was already 4 pounds down from Thursday.  Which Is totally all water weight, but its still weight, right?

When I start a diet I weigh in every day.  A lot of people fuss and me and say, "you don't need to weigh that often" and they'll give their reasons they dont think I need to weigh that often.  But for myself, it really does help.


The blue line is my projected weight loss over 6 weeks.  The red squares (which are totally not on the chart in this picture because it was just the first day) are my daily weigh ins.  I'll try to share an updated picture of my chart every week.

Last time I lost weight I went from around 235 to 224.  And I dropped from a size 22 to a size 18 in jeans.  Not too shabby right?  Then I stopped.  It got dark too early, and was too hard for me to get out and exercise.

Now when I get home it is still light out.  I can start walking again.

My body and exercise don't get along.  I have a bad back, bad knees and the achellies tendons on BOTH my feet scream with almost every step I take.  When I walk, it is at about a 2mph pace, which is actually pretty fast for my short little legs despite myfitnesspal telling me its a slow pace.

Anyway, I wear a fitbit and have started tracking on myfitness pal again, so you can connect if you want (but only if you promise not to scold me for my food choices, as long as I'm not going crazy over calories):

My Fitness Pal
FitBit

Anyway, if you want to follow my weight loss (achieved without a gym membership, any equipment, or fancy foods) feel free.

STATS

Age: 34
Height: 5'3

Start Date: 5-5-16
Starting Weight: 224
Current Weight: 220

(Body Measurements taken monthly)


Starting Inches

Arms: 14"
Thighs: 28"
Waist: 44.5"
Hips: 48.5"
Chest: 46"

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mothers Day

Mothers day is rough for me.  It has always been a holiday full of mixed emotions.

As a child I hated mothers day.  It made me sad to see all the mother filled commercials, and doing all the projects "for mom" in school.

I didn't have a Mom.

My mother and I.
Well, I guess I did have a mom, somewhere.

But she was not part of my life.  In my mind she left me when I was a baby.  I didn't even remember her.

As an adult I know it wasn't all her fault that she was gone from my life.  As an adult I know that my dad most likely played a part in keeping her away.

But as a child all I knew was my mom left, and I didn't have a mom like everyone else did.

Of course I had mother figures.  I had my Granny, and Aunts that I loved as much as I could have loved a mom, and they loved me as much as their own children too I'm sure.

And there was my Mr Mom.  My single dad raised me, and played both roles as well as he could.

As an adult I've still got conflicted emotions about Mothers Day.

As an adult I have my mother in law, who is wonderful.

I also have two little boys who are my whole world.

My sweet boys.
BUT.....

But I also still have that little girl feeling of never having a mom.

I also have a husband who does nothing to make mothers day special for me.  My boys are too young to even know what the day IS, so it would be up to him to make it special at this point.  (of course he doesn't do anything special for his mom either, so its not just me....)

So, I've never had a mother, and I'm not exactly ever celebrated in my own motherhood.

Meanwhile, there is a whole world of moms outside of myself.

We have a family member who lost his mom not even a whole month ago.  He's still hurting, a lot, and the whole world is yelling Happy Mothers Day.  Not that it matters how long ago you lost someone you loved.  When their special day comes around the hole they left in your life aches.

I have friends who have lost children both born and unborn.  I have friends who have had to give their children up for adoption.  I have friends who desperately want to be parents but are unable to conceive for one reason or another.

In conclusion...

Moms are great, except when they are not.
People love their moms, even if they are gone.
Moms are moms, even if they no longer have a child to hold.

Moms from my favorite show.  Bonus points if you know who they are!
So, what are you doing special for you mom today?  (even if its just in remembrance)
If you are a mom, is your family doing anything special for you?

Forgot a gift? No problem, send your mom or mother figure an amazon gift card so they can treat themselves to something nice.

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