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Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

weekend workout – january 18 & 19

The last couple of weekends my trainer has been posting little work-out ideas on our facebook group for my fitness class. Just ideas of things we can do at home on our own. I had been trying to make my own programs but honestly that would end up eating up any motivation I might have had, so I like that Elissa is posting ideas for us. I tried to do the one she posted last weekend but couldn’t make it through. My not sleeping is one factor the other is the new medication I’m on temporarily to help with my anxiety – it makes me nauseous and diminishes my appetite so I am not eating nearly enough to be working out much. Alas.

But I’m trying to get as much as I can in!

These workouts are found on Pinterest and although she shares them privately with those of us in the group, I am going to be linking to the original post (if I can find it) and give credit where credit is due since I’m posting it on my blog. I’m not sure what the protocol is here, so just know that this is NOT something that either I nor my trainer came up with.

This particular work out is from Annica Nicole, she calls it the Ten Down Tone Up.

Now, I tried this one Saturday and only made it through three times. By the time I got to 7 burpees I was ready to collapse and I felt like crap. That was my cue to stop. Mind you, I started this late at night and I don’t think I’d quite digested dinner even though I thought I had waited long enough. On top of that, I was bored. It was too repetitive and my mind was wandering (and not in that “wow, my mind was elsewhere and boy was this fast!” sort of way.) So I didn’t finish it – but I DID get 50 squats in because I love squats. Yes, I know. I’m odd.

Today I did this in the late afternoon and I mixed it up a little. Instead of doing 10 of each, then 9 of each, etc. I started with 10 burpees, 9 squats, 8 lunges, and so on. This meant that I ended with 1 burpee. Then I started over with 10 squats, 9 lunges, 8 bicycles, and so on. This actually allowed me to do the program longer and not take breaks. Also it appeased my Wandering Mind and I was able to ALMOST complete it. Alas, I had to stop by the time I got to 10 push-ups. My arms were giving out and I was exhausted. By this time the dogs had decided that I had been ignoring them long enough and Sophie decided it was time for me to pay attention to her.

Make sure you stretch like this, Mummy.

While I was on my last 30 second plank (before I stopped), Sophie came over and smacked me on the head with her paw. Then she stuck her nose in my ear and eye and I was laughing so hard I fell over. Thankfully, I’d already reached my 30 seconds. 😉 As soon as I was on the floor she burrowed into the space between my head and shoulders and grumbled at me. This prompted Jinx to come over and see what was what. He smacked me on the head with his paw, smacked Sophie in the face and then tried to pull her away by her tail (his way of playing). Then they both swarmed me with wet noses and paws and I got the idea… it was time to stop. I was getting really tired anyhow.

I made it through to the end of the circuit I was doing and Jinx stayed beside me on my mat until I had to do burpees again.

Is this how I do it, Mummy? Am I planking correctly?

I have to say that my abs are already killing me from yesterday’s workout. I did way more today so I’m not sure how I’ll be tomorrow. I may or may not work out, it will depend on how I’m feeling. I won’t be able to make it to class on Thursday because it’s my birthday and I plan on eating all of the roast beef and mashed potatoes for dinner and that is not food I want to eat before an hour-long Crossfit class. 😉 I’ve been pretty good at working out three days and then taking a day of rest over the last 2 weeks. I’d like to keep it up. I’m not sure how it’ll go when I am back at work. All that work will cut into my free day-time time and I’ll have to go back to only having evenings to exercise and do homework! Alas!

I’ll also be happy when the roads aren’t so icy and I can start attempting to jog again!

shopping spree

I hate shopping. I only shop when I am desperate for something. Like jeans without a hole in the crotch, or underwear without extra ventilation. Or pyjamas without holes in the thigh area. Or underwear that don’t fall off when I exercise or move. Oh, and lastly, exercise pants that stay on when I exercise.

Turns out I needed all of the above, like, today. The jeans especially because the one pair I had that fits me (sort of) anymore has new ventilation and it’s cold outside and the ventilation is all inappropriate! So off we went to the mall. As I mentioned, I hate shopping. I especially hate shopping for jeans. Jeans shopping is up there with shopping for a bathing suit. It’s awful and I always end up majorly depressed and cranky afterwards.

I don’t know what happened today, but I managed to find 5 pairs of jeans and only one didn’t fit. It didn’t even go up past my thigh on one leg, so I just tossed that one aside. It claims that it was the same size as the other jeans I had with me, but I’m doubting that the brand knows how numbers work. Happily, I’d already tried on three of the five pairs and had no problems with them, so I didn’t start out feeling fat and whale-ish. In fact, one brand of jeans was too large in the larger size and so I went with the smaller one. Huzzah! And guess what? They are actual, honest-to-God, name brand jeans. Me! With something name brand! They are Calvin Klein if you can believe it. Holy cow! And they were on sale and yes, they are too long, but they fit like a dream and I am happy with them. I have never been happy with jeans before. Not like this. Normally, I just settle for whatever isn’t completely awful because I need something. The second pair I ended up getting were a Jessica Simpson brand because they had a petite line. Unfortunately, I am still too short for the Short leg jeans and I’ll have to hem those, too. They are also a boot-cut type leg so I can’t just roll them up like I do with skinny/straight.

Either way… my jeans have always been from Reitmans because they made some for short people. Or I’d go to Wal-Mart or Zellers and pick up some house brand jeans. I have never owned fancy name brand jeans. I did try on some Levi’s once but I didn’t like them and didn’t like the price, either. Happily The Bay still had sales and I got myself some new jeans.

I also lucked out at Sports Experts and got myself a running shirt, tank-top, and new running pants (with ties!). All on sale. The best sale was at the undies & jammies store where I got myself some new undies on sale (that fit!) and the most comfortable flannel pyjama bottoms ever. And two tank tops. All half-off.

Normally when I have to go out and replace clothes that I need to replace, nothing is on sale. Thankfully there are still sales happening after Christmas. I think it’s stock-clear out now. All I need now are some new shirts for work because I either don’t fit into the ones I had or they are so worn out they’d better serve as rags. I still don’t like to go out shopping, but I am actually pretty thrilled at how painless today’s outing was. Especially when I am still having anxiety issues over everything and being around people.

Now I just have to worry about having spending money that I don’t really have on things I really needed. Most of it was left over from Christmas, so it’s not too bad. But I always panic about spending that money on “frivolous” things. Shawn likes to try to remind me that wearing pants isn’t frivolous, but I still fret over it. I need these things, yes. But what if we need the money to fix something in the house? Like how our front porch light is no longer working. If it’s not just a matter of buying a new light (it’s not the lightbulbs) we’ll need some sort of electrician and that costs money. Ugh.

BUT… I am going to try to just focus on the fact that I was able to shop for AND buy jeans without having a meltdown. Regardless of my mental state and health, jeans shopping is NEVER painless and today, it was! Plus these new jeans make my bottom look cute and perky. It’s obviously from all those squats and lunges I am doing every week. 😉

new things

In continuing with my current quest to heal myself and get over this stupid PTSD crap, and in the spirit of my motto for this year, “Choose Your Own Adventure”, I am trying out some new things. Last year I started challenging myself to do things each month. Much of it was fitness-related but there were other things in the mix as well. I didn’t always blog about it, or talk about it because I find that if I talk about something too often, I tend to lose interest in it. This year I’d like to challenge myself to try new things. To expand my colour palette so to speak. Step outside of my comfort zone once in a while.

And that “outside the comfort zone” thing? It’s scary. Obviously. But without doing that, I can’t see myself having many adventures.

I’m not talking about doing CRAZY! new things. No bungee jumping or sky diving for me. Nope. Not at all. I’d just like to try more things that interest me that I never really tried before because I thought I couldn’t succeed or was too scared to try for any other reason.

Ultimately people tend to not try new things out of fear of failure. I am so tired of fear in my life these days that I am working on lessening it through little baby stepping new thing ways.


I’m doing a Doodle-a-Day challenge this month. I’m just drawing without thinking too much about the outcome. I see the word prompt and I draw. First with pencil and then with Sharpie and so far it’s been making me happy. I’m no professional artist, but spending that 15-30 minutes on a small doodle has been pretty cathartic and helpful for many reasons. I love colour. I love creativity. I need to do it more often. It’s fun and it makes me happy.

My profile on ipsy

I joined this thing called ipsy where you get a little bag full o’ beauty products each month. This is a very new thing because a) I don’t normally like to pay for things and b) I don’t wear make-up. I really don’t. I will wear it when I “dress up” to go somewhere and I will occasionally wear eye liner and mascara on a work day if I’m feeling motivated to be “fancy” before work, but other than that, nada. I’m not a huge make-up fan, but I also know nothing about it. I saw a friend sign up one day on facebook and I checked it out. They ship to Canada and although the shipping isn’t free, it wasn’t insane. So, for $10 (plus $4.95 for Canadian shipping) a month, I’ll get some stuff in the mail that will amuse me. (Shipping within the US is free!) I’ll be receiving my first bag o’ beauty products sometime next week. I’m pretty excited about this for some reason. Also it turns out there are oodles of videos of how to put on make-up and achieve different looks and there’s something about watching people put on eye make-up that is really hypnotizing. Maybe they should have a monthly feature where you don’t only get the bag of products, but you also get a person to come over and put this stuff on you. I’d pay for that!

Things my sister made me.

I want to learn to sew. Or knit. I see posts like this one and I am instantly enamoured with the idea of making something I could wear myself. (Granted, this particular person is crocheting and not knitting…) I am never happy with the clothes and accessories I see in the store and I always think, “If I could make something, it would be cheaper and I’d be a lot happier with the item!” My sister knits very well, so does my friend Monkey. Both of these ladies have a talent for knitting that I am not sure I’d ever have, but I’d like to try. Maybe I’d like an infinity scarf if I could make it myself! Or a nice summer dress or skirt that actually fits. I don’t have a sewing machine or knitting needles, but I would like to obtain one or the other – or both! – this year. I’d like to give this a shot.

And sewing, knitting, drawing… will all give me something else to do other than sit on the couch surfing the internet. Another new thing I’m trying (slowly) is cutting back on my mindless scrolling through social media sites. I am trying (slowly) to limit the time I spend on facebook and twitter to about 15 minutes a day (each). I have disabled notifications on my phone for facebook and it’s not bookmarked anywhere on my computer. I will probably be moving the apps from the first page of my phone to a second one so they aren’t immediately in my sight when I open my phone. I am constantly annoyed by things I see online and it’s just not healthy to be that annoyed by things that do not matter. I don’t want to be so plugged in all of the time. I need to take breaks from the world more often. It’s amazing how quickly these things suck up your time and you don’t even realize that it’s happening.

I will journal on pen and paper. I will blog more often when I want to update the world on what’s in my head. I will create and look for inspiration in col0urs and words. I will continue to exercise and OMG! prepare for the Spartan Sprint race I am crazily doing in May. (Look! Another New Thing!) Now that I am a stronger person physically than I was last year, I will work on trying to re-strengthen myself mentally. I will do this. I can do this. New things are an adventure and not to be feared, right?

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls

The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls
by Claire Legrand

At the Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls, you will definitely learn your lesson. An atmospheric, heartfelt, and delightfully spooky novel for fans of CoralineSplendors and Glooms, andThe Mysterious Benedict Society.

Victoria hates nonsense. There is no need for it when your life is perfect. The only smudge on her pristine life is her best friend Lawrence. He is a disaster ;lazy and dreamy, shirt always untucked, obsessed with his silly piano. Victoria often wonders why she ever bothered being his friend. (Lawrence does, too.)

But then Lawrence goes missing. And he’s not the only one. Victoria soon discovers that The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls is not what it appears to be. Kids go in but come out different. Or they don’t come out at all.

If anyone can sort this out, it’s Victoria; even if it means getting a little messy. (goodreads.com)

To be honest, I wasn’t really going to write about this one because I don’t think I liked it much. With the way things are for me right now, I don’t feel like blogging about each and every book I read anymore. Also, I just don’t have the time to do that. And I’m not reading nearly as much as I normally do. But I was looking for something “creative” to do today that wasn’t just sitting here and surfing the internet. I’m trying to slowly back away from social media and it’s been working somewhat. Mostly due to the fact that my husband and I just watched about 2.5 seasons of Buffy in about 4 days. And I might have to go back to work next week. So, you know, time will be less.

Anyhow, things I did like about this particular middle grade mystery were: the writing, the story telling and the extreme creepiness of the plot. Bugs. Yuck. Puppets. Yuck.bThings I didn’t like about this book: Victoria. I disliked her almost instantly and she didn’t grow on me at all. I find it very difficult to read a story when I have zero connection with the protagonist. But I was determined to read this story all the way through because I had been wanting to read it for ages. And I bought it. So I was going to read the blasted thing.

I also didn’t really like how creepy it was. But that’s more of a me thing. Then again, I don’t think I’d give this book to my niece to read because it’s dark and gloomy and there’s creepy death. It’s an odd sort of middle grade book. It’s one of those “smart” type books as I call them. It’s not simple in its writing or plot and it is very well written. There’s just something about it that rubs me the wrong way. I believe that’s mostly due to my dislike of Victoria. I don’t actually feel that she was trying to find Lawrence because she was his friend, I feel like she was trying to find him because it was wrong for her to not have him around anymore to boss around and pick on. I didn’t feel as though this friendship was real – or healthy.

But you know something, the entire story felt exactly the shade of brown as on the cover. It’s a dark story, but it’s a cardboard, dirt sort of dark. Like everything was beige, brown and black in the story. The clothes. The people. The houses. The atmosphere. I didn’t sense any colours other than those. All dull, dirty colours and that makes me anxious.

I think this is a pretty good “spooky story” to read in October and around Halloween if you have kids who can handle these sorts of things. But there’s no whimsy in the spooky. It’s not quite the same as Harry Potter creepy/spooky. It’s not quite the same as other middle grade books that also have death. This one was different and I can’t put my finger on why I am feeling this way. The only thing I can think of is that I didn’t like the characters so I wasn’t as “in” the story as I normally am so I was more focused on what was happening around them than TO them and how they should be reacting?

I do like stories about houses that are alive though. Creepy or not. I like houses that change in books. I don’t want one of my own, but I like when other, fictional people have them. 🙂

sometimes you need to go a little insane to stay sane

I have been trying to handwrite journal for a while now. I have always felt like something was missing. When I found my super amazing new 2014 planner I knew WHAT was missing.

(Yoinked from my Hourly Christmas post)

Everything about this agenda called to me. I love the entire layout. I love the message.

Live Simply.

Only it’s too small to use as a journal so I’m not going to use it for both purposes. Problem is that I can’t find THIS in a larger size without calendars in it. I don’t think the company makes it. I spent about 45 minutes the other day in the Journal/Agenda section of Chapigo looking through all of them to find something that was right. I found journals that were sort of right, but not quite. I felt a lot like Goldie Locks and it was making me cranky and anxious.

Yes, I get anxious about these things.

And then I saw Monkey write something about a Smash book. And I looked them up. They seemed pretty cool and almost exactly what I was looking for. So I went out to Michael’s Craft store today to take a closer look and well… I didn’t like it up close and in person. It was too big. Too heavy. Not enough pages. Wasn’t quite what I was looking for. I spent way too much time in that store and still ended up with over $100 in purchases (AND I had a $25 gift card!). I had decided I would make my OWN journal and take ideas from my agenda, the Smash book-type scrapbook and journal.

Only I couldn’t find the right sort of blank journal to buy. I wanted a blank page, artist sketch book sort of thing but the covers were all wrong. Too hard. Too soft. Too brown. Too big. Too small. Too heavy.

I was getting really agitated by this point and I didn’t want to spend more money but I just wasn’t connecting with ANYTHING. And yet, I wanted something RIGHT NOW. (Because that is who I am. Obsessive Girl.)

I kinda, sorta need to make a crafting room now.

I ended up with a lined, soft-covered moleskine book. In hindsight, I should have gone with the blank, sketch book because the paper is really thin and I can’t (don’t like to) doodle on lined paper. But I’m trying my best to make it work. I also bought some scrapbooking paper (one of which was on MEGA sale) and a lot of the accessories from the Smash and Snap book collections.  What I really want to get is the pen-slash-glue-stick that comes with the Smash folios, only they didn’t have any in the store. Drat. I see an Amazon shopping spree in my future.

This is taking a lot of double-sided tape (which ran out and SUCKS. The stuff I get at the dollar store is way better and costs way less. So I’ll be buying ALL of their stock my next trip. Ugh) and a lot of cutting and pasting but I am slowly making myself a scrappy book sort of thing. Although I am still really unhappy about the lack of thicker card-stock, unlined pages. Ah well. I’ll figure something out.

I’m going to paste my Doodle-a-Day doodles in here as well. I’ll have to actually WRITE on other paper and stick it in, I think. I haven’t quite figured this all out yet. Hmm.

This isn’t perfect and it’s not exactly what I am looking for, but I am pretty sure I will be able to make this work for me. It was a very frustrating and fruitless day as we shopped. I went out for two specific things – a journal and a new bag/purse. I couldn’t get either thing I was looking for. We were out for a ridiculously long time. Almost five hours (we did eat in there though) and I was so wound up and anxious by the time we got home I just sat on the floor and started cutting and pasting.

I think I want a sketch book. A small one. But then I’ll have to carry way too many books around. This one, my agenda and the sketch book. So I’m not sure what I’ll do. Plus I want to be able to carry around a BOOK type book in my bag, along with my many other every day things (phone, keys, work keys, advil, pens, etc…) Thank goodness I don’t carry around make-up or anything like that!

So, even though I really wanted a larger, less calendar-y version of my agenda, I think I can get into the groove of this new journal. I’m trying to figure out how to leave some pages blank and lined-only. Maybe I can doodle or decorate around what I write. Although I was trying that with my other, smaller journal and it wasn’t right. I don’t know how to explain what RIGHT is in this instance, but I know it when I feel it. The energy and colours are all aligned and my mood is stable.

Also, I am not sure how long this book will last as the pages are already starting to rip out a little. Argh. This is yet another reason why I’d wanted thicker paper in the book. I also wanted something spiral-bound but the spirals were all wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Too big! Too small! Spiral bound covers were too HARD! Too the wrong COLOUR.

I am so obsessive compulsive about things and I’m always worse when I am already having a difficult mentaly time (aka now with the PTSD crap).  I just want a place to create but I need my creative space to be JUST RIGHT. I am sure I am not the only one who feels this way. I know there are others out there like me, but they might actually be able to create their spaces and objects better than I can. But I’m trying because I think the challenge of creating a journal space for myself might be creative enough to keep my anxiety prone brain in line.

And now it’s ten at night and I still haven’t written anything IN the journal because I needed to blog about it. Oh, me.

And perhaps this isn’t the best time to admit to the world that this is the year I want to take up sewing? That I want a sewing machine and feel pretty strongly that I’ll get one before the middle of the year? Yeah.

Oh! And as for my little agenda that I love to pieces. I made that ribbon bookmark because I wanted one AND I made it a pocket, too!

Now I have all sorts of fun stickers and post-it notes handy when I need them! (And then I discovered today I can BUY already made pockets for a lot more money than it took to make my own. Of course these were on sale for $1.99 or something, so it wasn’t so bad. But I like mine more.)

I’m trying to stay sane, I just went a little insane on adventure to get there…