I love lists

I know it seems a little cliché to write my first post back in a million years on New Year’s Eve.  Oh well.  I’ve attempted a couple of posts in the last few days but they were all too involved.  I need to split some of this business up or you would be reading for about 10 hours!

Naturally, I have no idea where to start.  So, I’ll do a list.  I never realized how much I love lists until I started writing this blog.  Here we go:

1. I’m currently hanging out in my own place!  Yay!  I somehow got a sweet deal in an incredibly tough rental market in my home town.  I’m not kidding – it’s nuts.  Lack of availability means rent is large and in charge for so many places.  Not to mention, many places are run through renting agencies which require you to make three times your rent on a monthly basis.  Hahahahaha (this is a crazed laugh, can you tell??).  Again, I thank my lucky stars that a) I’m persistent and b) that things worked in my favor.

2. I also got an amazing deal on a set of furniture!  I love it when a plan comes together!

Simon-cat has claimed this chair for his very own. I put a blanket over it as to limit cat hair transfer. Today is the first day I’ve sat in it – no wonder he loves it!

3. My house is right next door to my dad’s house so I was able to bootleg enough internet for my LuLaRoe business but other than that, I didn’t have access for THREE WEEKS due to connectivity problems.  I watched Twilight, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter over and over again.

4. LuLaRoe.  Since my job search has not been fruitful, LuLaRoe is my source of income.  Being my own boss and having my own business is both neato and terrifying!  As a new consultant, it takes time to build a customer base, inventory, along with revamping my business plan over and over again.  This results in waking up to panic attacks in the middle of the night!  HOWEVER, I have already met some fun people and am looking forward to continuing this journey.  Not to mention, I am enjoying this business a lot!  Although a job would be helpful!  Just keeping it truthful here.

in this case the stress is real!

5. More LuLaRoe.  I love the clothes!  My sister had to tell me “stop shopping your inventory!”  Haha, seriously though, so many treasures!  Not to mention, when women (those are my current customers) try the clothes on the delight in their eyes is fantastic.  One woman swore off dresses many moons ago.  She put on the Carly dress and LOVED it!  First dress in forever and she bought it 10 minutes after trying it on and looking in the mirror.  It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of these moments.

6. I was doing well in the fitness realm in August, September and the first two weeks of October.  I was walking about every other day and even running!  My bum knee was responding in a positive way!  Then life took over and my routine fell by the wayside.  I will say, I ran a Turkey Trot with my sister and I was able to run a heck of a lot more of it than I thought I could.  That being said, the aforementioned anxiety and work load has led to some additional weight loss while no longer sticking to the walking/running.  I’ll get in the zone with LuLaRoe and forget to eat.  For the record, I don’t forget to eat.  Ever.  I always thought this was a silly phrase and perhaps a fake phenomenon.  Nope.  It does happen.  I’ve reached my goal weight, although I think I need to reinvigorate my walking/running since forgetting to eat isn’t the healthiest weight loss method nor one that I can count on to keep the pounds off.  I mean, I’m starting to remember to eat (a positive thing for sure).

sister dear and I taking a running break for a picture!

7. Overhauling my life has been more complicated than I ever would’ve imagined.  There will be posts on this all on their own.  While I knew it would be a tough and interesting transition, this information was processed in the practical/logical part of my brain, rather than the emotional-feely part of the brain/heart/spiritual side.  Like I said, more posts to come on this since I do enjoy processing.  Also, it was ABSOLUTELY the right choice!

I love this quote

8. Happy New Year!  I don’t make New Year resolutions anymore.  Some of the items or goals I mentioned above are things I’ve already been working on and need to get more assertive in making them a reality.  I recognize many people see it as a fresh start but I consider to be this marker.  So, I have another month and 3 days to my “new year” and I’m going to continue to work on my goals and work through the transitions.

how can I fail when I have dairy on my side?! (p.s. Buzzfeed lists are the best – they do love to put together lists of unfortunate mistakes while adding some comentary)

Off to take photos of new inventory!  My blog page is getting more traffic than my LuLaRoe page and it’s reminded me how much I love to write!  Happy New Year everyone!



deep breath

Like most people, I was/am saddened by the terrorist attacks – all of them. I feel sorrow and true disgust at the horrific events that don’t seem to end.  The attacks on Paris sent my heart racing.

My brother and sister-in-law live there.  Many of my new friends and my new family live there.  I felt like I got punched in the stomach.  Thankfully, my brother is currently in New York but I panicked thinking of my sister-in-law and the others.  Given my propensity to think the worst (which has increased since my mom passed suddenly in 2011), I was so scared.  I’m beyond grateful my sister-in-law, family and friends overseas, are safe.

this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012
this is my SIL, Sabrina in NY with us in 2012

The anxiety hasn’t completely left me – I know, surprise, surprise.  I woke up today all kinds of out of sorts.  It was going to be a very packed day and it felt daunting.  I was supposed to do a PT session on my own today and this was somehow going to fit into my lunch break, in-between back to back to back meetings.  All of the stomach acid.

I made the executive decision to skip the PT session – I can still fit it in before my actual session on Wednesday.  I was able to catch up on some administrative tasks, which had been sitting on my to do list, taunting me.  I also realized I wanted some comfort food.

and some comfort memories – my dad and I in Paris this summer

Well, I realized it yesterday but I had to work so I had popcorn for dinner instead.  But tonight – tonight I wanted to feed my feelings.  I’ve been craving meat (not chicken or turkey), probably related to my iron deficiency, and I found my way to a stroganoff recipe.  How could I forget about stroganoff?!  I’ve only made it one other time in the last 12 years – crazypants!

I searched pinterest and found a recipe that satisfied my gluten-free needs.  Did you know cream of mushroom soup has wheat in it?  I wasn’t sure it would taste as good without that ol’ standby but I should’ve trusted.  The recipe I used was from Simply Recipes.  This was all homemade and business!

No pictures of my creation because stroganoff doesn’t photograph well.

Also, I ignored the salt recommendations, because I thought I was smarter?  You probably still could if you wanted to but I found I needed to add salt afterward.  I also practically doubled (or maybe more) the paprika because paprika and I are tight.

view from Sacre-Coeur in Paris

The stroganoff hit the spot.  Not only did it satisfy my taste buds but it was nice to go through the routine of cooking.  I haven’t cooked in a long time and making this bad boy was calming.  P.S. Read all of the directions before you start!  I had to scramble a bit.

Tomorrow is another filled to gills work day.  But I will have stroganoff leftovers waiting for me at the end of the day.

My thoughts continue to be with the victims of all of the attacks of this last week and previous ones.  I have so many dear memories from the two weeks I spent in France this summer celebrating my brother’s wedding and it hurts my heart to think of all of this devastation.

thursday randomness & your opinion please

I’m still chowing down on the energy balls I posted about a few days ago.  I mentioned I was only going to do 1/2 of the honey and this was a mistake.  They didn’t stick together well, so now I just eat it with a spoon.  I kid you not, many of my co-workers already made them as well.  We are addicted.

I had to grab lunch on the go today - this was very tasty!
Nothing to do with energy balls… I had to grab lunch on the go today – this was very tasty!

I felt crummy yesterday.  I’m sure it was a combo of going all out with some foods I’ve been avoiding and my stomach rebelled.  Then of course, my stomach is just an asshole.  Here’s the thing though – I mentioned my plan for New Orleans a while ago.  I’m so excited to go there and I don’t want to overly limit my intake of the amazing culture; visual, audio and ALL THE FOOD.  The scary part is if one day puts me on my buns, what is four days going to do to me?  Should I start eating crappy prior to the trip to get my stomach ready?  I’m serious – I really am wanting your opinion.


This morning, I had absolutely no energy to get out of bed.  After laying there for a good 15 mins, I realized I was going to be late and finally planted my feet on the floor.  I knew it was going to be a two coffee day.  Mid-morning, anxiety decided it was time to remind me what a small panic attack was like.  I went to pick up one of my meds and apparently, my doc discontinued it.

so am I

Ummm…  so I hit up some tapping exercises again.  As much as I want to depend on meds less, they are still first in line when I’m having a hard time.  It’s a habit.  I’m a work in progress.  Oh and I didn’t give in to my coffee desire.  It was hard to avoid – there is a comfort level with this beverage but I figured it would only increase the anxiety.  Sometimes making the right choice is stupid.  Hopefully a run will help even more.

Okay – gripe session: how is it that Michiganders, who have lived in MI for quite some time and are used to parking in the snow, can’t figure out HOW TO PARK IN A PARKING LOT?!  This morning and afternoon it looked like per-schoolers arranged the cars.  We already have limited spots for staff and the cars were all over the place.  It boggles and irks me to no end.  Learn how to park, you weirdos!

My day today?  It was a mega m&m kind of day…

I can't eat a whole bag of these at once so it's nice to piece them out & still get a good chocolate fix
I can’t eat a whole bag of these at once so it’s nice to piece them out & still get a good chocolate fix

odds and ends

Did you know stink bugs can swim?  I’m not kidding, those suckers are like Michael Phelps in the toilet… where they find their final resting spots once they have entered my apt.  Not sure what a stink bug looks like?

I hate these

Now you do.  My apt has had quite the visitation as of late and I’m finding one or two in my apt daily.  They freak.me.out.  I hate them.  They do this weird, creepy, slow crawl thing and I hate their shells.  Apparently, if you squish them, they emit a foul smell (hence their name!) so I don’t go that route.  Naturally, I hit up pinterest to find a natural cure and came across one that said they hate mint.  Spiders hate mint, too so it will be a double win and hopefully keep them outdoors.  Just to put it out there, they like to come in during the winter so they don’t freeze their little exoskeletons off.  I should post a note on my door letting them know they won’t find a home in here.

Today was a DOOZY.  For both office mate and me.  We talked about how getting out of our beds this morning was a horrible idea.  Speaking of staying in bed, I have been tracking my sleep and I’ve been getting an average of 3:48 mins of restful sleep a night.  I know – how crazy is that?!  It was the final straw for me – I can’t fix some of my anxiety/stress issues on my own.  So, I scheduled  my first acupuncture appointment.  Interestingly enough, the place also offers hypnotherapy as well.  I called two different places and the one I first scheduled with has a consultation fee and an acupuncture fee.  The next place doesn’t have a consultation fee so I could do hypnotherapy AND acupuncture for only $40 more – seems like a better deal to me.

Oh and I ran/walked two miles yesterday!  My tummy basically cooperated!  Going to keep building on this – not for training but for the health aspect.  I’m keeping my goals and expectations a little lower at the moment.

I love running penguins

I hope you had a good Monday!  Off to enjoy some couch time.

marathon week has begun

*All cartoons are from Hyperbole and a Half.  I adore this blog.  And have cried from laughing so hard.

Yesterday.  Not the best of days…

I woke up late.  Actually, the first time I woke up, I was sittin’ pretty to run out to get my favorite coffee drink.  Then I hit snooze about 1/2 a dozen times & not only did coffee go out the window but so did being on time.

Not my favorite way to start marathon week.  Furthermore, I felt really crummy, my shower won’t drain, my anxiety was barking & I felt all kinds of out of sorts.  Really, I recognize these are all non-critical happenings and I wish I could throw up my hands with an “oh well” but my emotional investment is high *surprise*.

Part of the anxiety is marathon related.  Sunday is rapidly approaching & while I’m excited, I also have a real understanding of the pain I will be inflicting on my body.  That I PAID to inflict (hmm… unsightly visions of S&M popped in my head).  I’m also under no illusions that suddenly the running gods will bestow some great power to my legs.  Nope.  The strange runner in me is excited though.  I’m looking forward to the expo, the camaraderie of the other runners & other whole, “I’m never going to finish-I hate running-am I insane?” feeling that immediately evaporates with a medal around my neck.  So many emotions!

I will say, I had a dandy run on Saturday.  Considering the curious case of my non-compliant ankle, I’ve taken to running every other day to give it a bit of a rest.  I also went down & traded a pair of shoes in for a pair of Brooks PureFlow. Moment of digression: I bought a pair of PureFlows back when they first came out.  Loved them.  I bought them too small however, so they retired a bit early.  Fast forward through a gazillion different pairs of shoes later & I went back to them.  Saturday night PureFlows, the treadmill & I had a date & it went swimmingly.  6 miles.  I was certain I had only gone 4 then looked & magically I had already hit 5.  Then SIX!So this run helped.  I have a few more planned for this week-nothing over 5 miles.  I’m hesitant to refer to this as “tapering” since my overall training has sucked.  I’ll just call it my last ditch effort to avoid crumbling into a pile of mushy goo at mile 16.  I’m keeping my expectations low and working toward a more upbeat attitude (isn’t this obvious??).  This is a big marathon-I get to cross into Canada over an amazing bridge & run through a bunch of different parts of Detroit.  I feel a certain pride for (With? In?) Detroit despite being a relatively new Michigander.  It does have a number of issues BUT I’m pleased to be part of an event that celebrates the city rather than tearing it down.

Maybe there’s a bit of sunshine in me yet.

Ok, I have more on my mind but that’s it for now.  Lots of marathon talk this week-so please prepare yourself!  Oh, I did use my lunch hour to secure some delicious coffee.  I could sort of keep my eyes open for a few more hours.

this is how I felt all day

amber necklace – hocus pocus?

Whenever I used to see amber necklaces on little kids/babies either in real life in blogs, I wondered what they were used for.  Was it a fashion trend I missed?  Probably but I was still curious!  Finally, with a wee bit of googling, I got my answers.

magic book a.k.a. google

Amber necklaces are believed to have calming properties.  “For those of you who aren’t familiar with this wives’ tale gone mainstream: Baltic amber contains a “natural analgesic” that can, in theory, be absorbed through your skin to relieve pain. Here’s the wiki on succinic acid, where there is indeed a passing mention of it being historically used to relieve aches and pains — though just how far back in history isn’t mentioned. Today, you’ll often see amber advertised for back pain and arthritis, but also for teething pain.” (Alphamom.com).  Most of the anecdotal evidence I found surrounds babies and teething.  However, there were claims it could help with anxiety.

I figured this was probably a silly idea however, retailers had adult sizes.  What the heck?  I purchased a simple amber necklace for $27 and eagerly awaited its delivery.  I was wildly curious if it was some hocus pocus or something that could really offer me some sense of tranquility.  Or even just making some of the jitters subside – I’m not picky.

I immediately tore open the envelope upon its arrival and put the amber necklace on.  While it wasn’t instantaneous, the necklace really does provide a calming effect.  Now, I’m sure there are the skeptics out there saying it’s all a placebo but seriously, who cares?  I told my neurologist about it and I even admitted it was possible it was all in my head.  She completely agreed it didn’t matter if it yielded positive results.  And it does.

I do think there must be something to it since I doubt babies are capable of experiencing placebo benefits.  Since I don’t remember these early (early) years, I can’t say for sure!  Nevertheless, I’ve been happy with this twist on battling my anxiety.  Having an alternative to more pills and something I can put on and feel relief from within 45 minutes is highly appreciated!  I’m not kidding.  For some reason, Saturday mid-mornings, I start to experience a panic and I feel shaky and frenzied.  Typically, I’ve forgotten to put the necklace on so when I do, I start to feel better within 15 minutes or so.  Yay!

On mornings before wearing the necklace.  I’m a work in progress…

So, if you are looking for an alternative to ease the effects of some stress and/or angst either for you or maybe a kiddie in your life, I  suggest looking into buying an amber necklace.  I’m not saying I would put one on a baby – choking risks are a major factor.  But my anxiety was pronounced as a small one (preschool) and the placebo would have totally worked on me; especially if I’d been told I was wearing something to help ease my nervousness.  I’m ordering another one in the next few days as they have a variety of shades so it would be nice to have something different to wear while still reaping the benefits.  If you do, I would love to hear your experiences/outcomes!

Do you believe in alternative therapeutic methods?  I am interested in essential oils as well.  Any experience?

zantac is officially part of my daily diet

I’m sure we can agree that feeling sickly sucks.  There really isn’t any other description for it.  So earlier this week when I was curled up on the couch, I was unhappy.  Although I was able to catch up on lots of tv, so silver lining?

simon LOVES sick days!
simon LOVES sick days!

During all of this couch sitting and tv watching, I realized I haven’t felt all that great since June.  It wasn’t a daily thing back then.  In fact, it was during my juicing season that I started getting stomach aches.  The best description I can think of was “sour stomach”.  I didn’t vomit but I felt like I wanted to – a lot.  I took a generic Zantac and typically this made me feel better.  I figured it was all of the fruits and veggies.

Gradually, I started taking these stomach pills more and more.  In fact, I realized I’ve been taking them daily for about a month now.  I attributed most of this to the nutty month that August is – eating out a lot, not enough exercise, too much coffee (I know, IS there such a thing?) and my cup runneth over with angst, doesn’t a healthy body make.  But this has sort of calmed down now and I’m only feeling worse.

After talking with my dad, he is concerned I have something more than a sour stomach or as I’ve dubbed it, “nervous tummy” syndrome.  I’ve always chalked up my stomach ache to my anxiety since this was/is usually the case.  Heck, it’s been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember.  But my nervous tummy is now a burning, dull pain.  I will eat something and suddenly I am eat-all-the-thanksgiving-dinner FULL.  Then I feel like I need to vomit.  The fullness lasts forever which is coupled with bloating and serious stomach pains.  Zantac and GasX are my new besties.  This week has been the absolute worst and I’m beginning to wonder if what I thought was  stomach bug earlier in the week was simply part of this unfortunate mess happening inside me.

Naturally, I’ve diagnosed myself… well, with the help of my dad.  I don’t think he intended to “diagnose” me per say, I think he was trying to encourage me to go to the doctor but I took a few liberties.  What has Dr. Amy come up with?  Either a) an ulcer or b) an alien that is eating my stomach lining.  Seriously, I feel like both are solid contenders.  Now, I’m not positive I have a full out ulcer, probably just some serious stomach irritation.  I don’t have a gallbladder anymore so I know this isn’t it.

To be honest, I don’t want to go to the doctor.  I feel silly.  I mentioned it at my physical in June but it was more of a side comment and even said I figured it was due to the juicing.  Now to go back and say, “hey, I’m an idiot, I’m really having issues” makes me feel like a hypochondriac.  I know it’s caused by anxiety.  I know I take a lot of meds as well as advil-like products so my stomach is probably seeking some revenge.  And because I know all of this, I’m not making an appointment, just yet.  I am going to make an appointment to get acupuncture – hopefully attacking more of the source than treating a symptom.


The point of this post… hmm… I think to whine.  And to seek advice – if you’ve dealt with similar stomach issues, or an ulcer what have you done?  Go ahead and lay it on me (please!)!

*Natalie Dee is the artist behind these cartoons – she is awesome.