Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Need to step up my game

I took Thursday and Friday off last week from the day job and made a real attempt to get to bed on this side of midnight. It is amazing what a good night’s sleep can do. So I am recommitting to going to bed by 11:30 pm. This will be a challenge on the nights I work until 11 pm but it is possible. I will let the kitchen become a hot mess in order to facilitate 11:30.

Last Monday I walked into the night job only to be asked if I really wanted to work. That answer is usually always no. It was very quiet so I took advantage of the offer and went home.

Wednesday night, I went to the night job only to see a coworker at the team leader’s desk. As it turned out she thought she was on the schedule since it was her normal shift. Since she comes from a 40+ minutes drive away, I told her she could have my shift.

Friday, I was not so lucky and had to work my full shift. The manager of the call center was in and pulling certain people aside to let them know that as we get into the summer season, hours will be reduced.

I have also come to the conclusion that I need to ramp up my exercising. I remember my doctor telling me that I should do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week. I am close to 100 a week now. So I either need to work out every day or increase my current workout time. Since I do love my rest days, I will need to increase my workouts by at least 10 minutes. This seems doable.

So more sleep and exercise are on the agenda. What’s going on with you?

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Life is just chugging along over here. Each week is looking more like the last with respect to exercise and work. I took Thursday and Friday off this week to rest and relax. I was also going to go to a new salon on one of my days off to get my hair trimmed. I was talking about it with my Aunt who recommended her hairdresser who is 1/6 of the price of the salon downtown.

So I am going to give it a shot. Worst case scenario it doesn’t work out for me and I’m out a few dollars. Best case I find a new and very affordable hairdresser. I am really  hoping for the latter. Either way my hair gets a long overdue trim. The back is really in need of some assistance and attention.

Today was one of my Aunt’s 65th birthday and she came in from Arizona to have a party. It was great, I got to see a lot of her family that I only see at these types of events. To clarify this Aunt is my cousin’s mother and we are not related by blood and even though she is no longer involved with my Uncle I still keep and honor the relationship. She has again told me that I have an open invitation to visit her any time. I will definitely think about it next winter.

Since I was out today and lazing yesterday, I did not cook. There are enough leftovers to get me to Tuesday night so I should be OK. I am still trying to keep my food spending under control. I bought lunch last week as salmon was on the menu and I was greatly disappointed. It helps to reinforced the idea that I need to cook. Spending money and not getting what I want, be that good food or good service, just makes me mad.

My goal this week is to get to be before midnight, so I need to get going.

Have a great week.

What a great week

This past week has been a good one. I am still on the 5 day a week exercise plan. The days may change but I get them in. Sunday has turned into a prep and relax day, which I am not complaining about.

Last Tuesday 2 different coworkers brought me carrot cake Oreos as they heard I have been on the look out for them. Interesting enough the differences in ingredients between the ones bought in Canada versus the ones from the US. The Canadian ones were 5 calories more and the American ones had surprise, surprise high fructose corn syrup.

Although my to do list at work keeps growing, I was able to knock off enough to make me feel like I had earned my pay cheque last week.

I was able to get in contact with my super who came to my apartment to help me clean out the dryer vent in the ceiling. It was great that he came when he did, as the vent was completely blocked. The lint was solid. Lint in the ceiling filter has been the cause of a dryer fire in my building so I try to be extra careful. Seems like my new dryer is spitting out lint like nobody’s business. Considering how much lint is in the dryer filter, I’m surprised my clothes are still in tact and that there is anything left to go into the ceiling. Time to get better at checking the vent filter and possibly look into getting a dryer cleaning kit.

I finally made it to Ikea today to pick up a few things to make a terracotta heater. I have been stalking Instagram and Pinterest for heaters made from plant pots but they all seemed to require drilling and more work than I wanted to try. Then by chance last month, I found this post on www.ikeahackers.net. It required no drilling or skills of any kind. 🙂 Since I was in my no spend challenge, I waited patiently until this month.

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I’m not sure that I feel any great heat from it but it does make the room cozy.

I rounded out today with a trip to the not so great Winners and managed to find a sweater and a pair of shoes.

Now I just want to sleep, this time change is hurting me. Going to cook some shrimp and brussel sprouts before retiring to the couch for a couple of hours before bed.

Hope your last week was good and the coming one even better.

No Spend is Over

Last week was a success. I got up Monday through Thursday mornings and did a workout. I am feeling good. Sundays are becoming harder to get a workout in but I am going to file it under the importance of rest days. 😉

The no spend challenge was a success. I only ate out twice last month. Once when I went ice fishing and the other was treating Diva because she had a bad week. It was not as bad as I thought it would be. Cooking on Sundays definitely made the difference. It seems like my no spending rubbed off and some of my coworkers started bringing their lunches as well.

Wednesday is the start of my “no meat” challenge. I will continue to eat seafood but will try to eat a more plant based diet. I will be looking into sources of protein that aren’t legumes and cheese. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

At the end of the month, I am going to replace the battery in my scale and see if my lifestyle changes are making a difference in my weight. Then I am going to try my hardest not to let the number affect me mentally. I am seeing muscles starting to make their appearance and that is motivating me to continue. Taking jeans straight out of the dryer and putting them on with ease is also helping. I have a set of jeans a size down that I grew out of and never got rid of. These are my next goal. Once they are easy to put on out of the dryer I think I will have to figure out what to do with myself next.

Sadly not much else is going on. My life right now is just wash, rinse, repeat. Outside of the books I read not much seems to change. I am telling myself that this is just a season and this work, work, work, work only schedule is not going to be my life forever. It’s a hard sell some days, but I realize that sacrifices must be made.

Speaking of books, I am currently reading “Becoming” by Michelle Obama and I highly recommend it.

Alright, that’s all I got for now.

Getting the hang of it

With some help (read daily early morning phone calls), I managed to work out Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning before work. It was a glorious experience to be able to come home and just sit and relax at the end of the day. I can see myself getting used to this. This week I will try to workout every morning. This will be more fun than usual as I am working until 11 pm on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I am still cooking 2 meals and a soup every Sunday and it is really making my life easier to not have to think too hard about what to pack for lunch and dinner. Since my kids are not loving everything I cook, the food lasts the week. Super win for me and my wallet.

Last week I surprised myself by finding and making this red lentil soup and it was delicious. It will definitely be made again, especially since I will be giving up meat for Lent.

On the menu this week is beef and broccoli, pot roast and baked sweet potatoes and chicken, kale and quinoa soup loosely based on the recipes linked.

I am going to take a break from exercising tonight as my lower back has been hurting all day. I will stretch out as I watch the Oscars.

Enjoy your evening and I hope your week is a good one!

Sad News

This past Monday, I received an email from my Uncle letting our family know that his wife had passed away that morning.

I had no idea she was not well, much less was admitted to hospital the Friday before. Mind you, they do live overseas, but still.

My heart breaks for my cousins and my uncle. They seem to be coping well, but I’m not sure it is real to them yet.

I was going to try to attend the funeral that was held yesterday, but plane tickets were $2000!?! I love my Aunt but this is too much. I was telling a friend who works for an airlines that I wanted to go but cost is prohibitive and he looked to see if there is anything he could do. While he was able to find a route for significantly cheaper but it was standby with a stop in Miami. My gut told me that I would be able to get to Miami but no further and the way the flights were I would have had to leave on Thursday in order to make the funeral on Saturday. I learned all of this on Wednesday.

Much too rushed for my liking.

I miss my Aunt. She taught me to cook and more importantly provided some valuable insight into my family, more specifically my mother, when I was growing up which helped pave the way for a better relationship between us.

I am sad that I was not able to be there with my family, although it seems like more of us didn’t make the trip than did. To be fair, my family is huge, my Grandfather had 17 kids and most of them had at least 2 kids.

Maybe it is time for me to properly plan a trip.

Trying new things

This past week I was offered the opportunity to go ice fishing. This year I am determined to try new things. And even though it is my no spend month, I figured when next would I really go. Let’s just say ice fishing, the way I went, is not for the financially challenged.

We set out at 6 am for a day on frozen Lake Simcoe on Tuesday. Having no idea what to expect I deferred to my friend who is a regular. His tendency is to stop at Tim Horton’s on the way to stock up on food. Not a huge fan of Tim’s food as it is mainly sandwiches and bagels, but when in Rome … Not exactly good for my low gluten, sugar & dairy eating plan, but one day won’t hurt, right?

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This is the ice at the front door of the hut. It was a total mind #$%$^# as at some parts it did not look like it was frozen enough to support my weight.

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Above is the view from the front door of my hut to the outhouse on the left. It was a long shuffle that I only made once. I refused to drink much for the rest of the day having made that trek. Once was enough.

It was a cold day but it was relatively warm in the hut. There is a propane stove that offers heat and means to make a meal. There were 2 long rectangular holes in the bottom of the hut to allow access to the lake. It was a little nerve racking at first.

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The views were quite lovely, even though it was cold. It was a great day for my first experience at ice fishing.

All told I would definitely do it again. I almost went again today, except I knew it would completely mess up my no spend month as I need a day to prep for the week ahead. The next time I will be walking with food and a pot to cook in.