Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Life Update

The past 2 weeks have been exhausting! I blame Seasonal Affective Disorder. Okay, and myself. I've been so busy lately with various craft projects and party planning that I haven't been myself. Also, I've been forgetting my phone at home and subsequently have not been taking my anti-depressants at the same time daily (I set an alarm to remember to take them... even though I've taken them for 8 years, I still forget). All those things combined equals an emotionally drained 20-something.

However, I have still been exercising! I've been going 2-3 times a week for the past 7 weeks, and i'm now up to running 25 minutes at a time! Since it's been cold out I also had to break down and get some warm running clothes. The clothes are tighter on me than I would like, but I got them on sale and decided that it wasn't worth it to pay 20-30 dollars more for clothes that I mostly wear in the dark anyways. And after having them for about a month, I feel good about that decision.

I signed up for my first graduate school class a few weeks ago! It takes place Monday nights. I have been getting tips from friends that worked and completed graduate school lately. So far time management has been the most talked about subject. I am hoping and praying that I adjust well to this new adventure!

Oh, and since it is Wednesday, here is your Website of the Week: What the HELL is Icing is a website created by a good friend, Brett, and his good friend, Bob. Check it out - it is funny and poingnient.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

School, Sew, Run

These are the 3 things I have been up to lately...

School - I got accepted into Graduate School! Starting in January I will officially be a student again! I am very excited! Lately, however, I have begun the task of figureing out how to manage my new student-status along with my other responsibilities such as working full-time, being a caring and present spouse, and of course continuing my sewing. I know I will have to use my time more effectively, which ultimately is a good thing. I am also a bit concerned with weather. Indiana winters can be a pain. I am thankful that I have dear friends I can stay with if weather is bad. I also plan on saving up vacation days in case I get stranded in Indianapolis for a day or 2. If weather is awful, and I can't make it to class, that will have to do. I value my education (and the money I spend on it), but I value my life more! So no need to worry Mom and Dad! :)

Sew - Oh man, I have been a crafting machine lately! I've been finishing up a project involving crinkle- stuffed animals. This project took Small tedious projects are not my thing... but it did improve my hand stitching and applique. I still haven't figured out the blind-stitch, but I will eventually. Anyway, I finally finished the project a few days ago! Hooray! I am now on to making making masks for a masquerade ball the the husband and I are going to through my work! After that I am making a gift for a friend that is getting married, and then I will make my first dress for myself! I have everything bought for it - I just need to make it! I also have a friend getting married in December and will be throwing her a shower/hen night and helping with wedding decorations. I can't wait! Obviously Sewing will have to take a back seat to school, so I hope to get a lot of it done in the next few months!

Run - I am up to running 18-20 minutes and walking 16! I am pretty proud of myself! I haven't noticed a change in the way my clothes fit, but that is okay. I have been eating too much bread and chocolate... so it is my fault. I like having more energy though.

On another note, my former roommate from college just got married in Barbados and I couldn't be happier for her and her spouse! I watched the video of their nuptials during work today. I cried, smiled, and laughed; all the hallmarks of a good wedding in my book. I know their marriage will be even more beautiful! Congrats Rose and Joe!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Secret is Revealed..

I've been keeping a secret from you; and if you know me at all you should know that I cannot keep secrets about myself for very long. Starting last week, I decided to do something that will alter my life completely.

I started running.

I know, it surprised me too. I was thinking about how proud I am of Rose for deciding to run Triathlons for her charity of choice, PAWS Chicago. Some of you don't know Rose, but she is the kind of girl who gets things done; basically, she is not like me at all in that respect. I have about a million things I want to do but haven't done. And I have no problem coming up with excuses for things I don't want to do. Just ask the husband.

And then I read this article about belly fat and running. The article was geared towards a beer belly, but belly fat is the same, not matter if it got there from too much chocolate or beer. We all know that my belly is significantly larger than the rest of my body. When I gain weight all the fat collects in the middle creating a pseudo-pregnant look. I have been asked if I was pregnant more times than I can count. A few months ago I got asked if I was preggers 3 times in 1 day (I haven't worn that dress in public since). I don't blame people for thinking that I am pregnant - after all, I really do look like it! Also, I am the heaviest I have ever been... and its all at my waistline. Luckily, I have somehow avoided gaining the extra triglycerides and cholesterol I had last year around this time. Whew.

I also saw this infographic a few months ago about how sitting for long amounts of time everyday is really unhealthy. This was disconcerting as I sit for 8 hours a day at work and then go home and sit some more. Sloth is by far my favorite deadly sin.

So I was thinking about Rose. And the fat belly article. And the sitting infographic. Plus I cant fit into a lot of my favorite fall dresses, which really cheeses me off. So I decided to try running. After all, it is the most effective way to lose my belly fat. It is also a form of exercise I have ever tried willingly. And it is free.

When I told the husband of my plan to go running in the a.m. his eyes about popped out of his head. It was so funny... I couldn't help but laugh! I then called Rose and told her it was all her fault. She gladly accepted the blame. She also gave me some pointers on starting to run.

So every other day for the past week I have gone running in the morning before work. I walk to warm up and then run as far as I think I can and then I push myself a bit more... and then I walk again to cool down. I stretch in front of my apt building and that's that. The whole process takes about 20 minutes. I do plan on increasing my time and running as time goes on, but i'm taking it slow for now. I don't get the instant endorphins some people talk about, but I am not as tired in the mornings!

I am thinking about trying the 'Couch to 5K' running/walking schedule. It is basically a combination of walking and running 3 days a week starting out, and it tapers your walking and increases your running incrementally as your body adjusts to the exercise. A lot of overweight and obese people have good things to say about it, so I am willing to give it a shot.

So, wish me luck! Here's to a healthier me!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

In Summary...

Sorry to take such a long blog vacation, loyal followers (all 20 of you)! Let me re-cap what I have been up to in the past few months:
  • Studied and completed GRE (I did well enough)
  • Applied to graduate school
  • Picked out a pattern for a dress I am going to sew (my first!!)
  • Started walking in the mornings 3 times a week
  • Took a vacation to DC
  • Watched 5 seasons on Bones
  • Worked
  • Paid down loans
  • Got a smartphone
Overall, these past few months have been pretty productive! of course it could have been more productive, but let's not forget that this girl loves naps, watching the same movies over and over, and being lazy. Also, I have the feeling that I will not be able to be lazy like this forever, so I might as well enjoy it while I can!

On a completely un-related note, I just have to say that lately I have (once again) realized what awesome people my friends are. Sorry to brag, but these folks are not afraid to follow their passions no matter what. They inspire me to strive to be the woman I want to be professionally, socially, and intellectually. It's surreal how much we have all grown in the past year. I am so proud to call my friends just that!

Friday, May 13, 2011

On Studying

It's been a while since I've studied for anything, so I've been trying out different ways of studying to see what works best for me. I have been focusing on vocab lately, and these are some of the ways I have been studying...

Flashcards - I found a few lists of common words that pop up on the GRE and have started memorizing them. Out of 50 words or so I probably have 20 memorized so far.

Reading more - I haven't been reading as much since I took up sewing. Well, I don't think reading books about sewing really counts. So I have started to read novels again. Any recommendations are welcome!

News-ing it up - NPR uses a lot of GRE-worthy words in their interviews, news stories, and featured shows... so when I hear a word I don't know I'll either ask the husband what it means or look it up. Of course, this comes with its downsides in the fact that you are more aware of how clueless some political officials are (here's to you, Mitch). - This website quizzes you on vocab, and for every answer you get correct they donate 10 grains of rice to a third world country!

Googling words - This has been a great way to learn words I don't know! I usually look up the definition and how it is used in a sentence. I have found the website Wordnik to be helpful at this; they even have tweets and FB status updates with the word in question in it.

Thinking of pop-culture references that relate to the words - For example, the word enervate (which means tho weaken ones strength) appears as a spell in th Harry Potter book series. The word garrulous, which means tiresomely talkative, reminds me of John Goodman's character in O Brother Where Art Thou.

Music - I've also decided to look up every word I don't know that appears in any Andrew Bird song...

Of course I've been studying Latin root words and that good stuff, but that's boring to talk about... well, I guess all of this is a bit boring, but this is my life folks! I do not lead an adventurous life at this moment. If you read this far you must really care about how I study! Or you are procrastinating. Regardless, thanks!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Vintage Savings

Today Abbi sent me this link about vintage shopping and saving money. It is true that shopping for vintage can be cheaper than purchasing new clothes in stores. I have found that to be the case for me. However, I think that the author of the article glossed over a few things... so here are some things to consider when thinking about vintage shopping.

First and foremost, a vintage shopper has to have patience to dig, dig, and dig some more. Chances are the goodwill, salvation army, or local thrift store will not have a 'vintage' section. If you are not fond of digging through racks of clothes you might have a hard time saving money on vintage attire since vintage stores and boutiques have a much higher mark-up. My Mom does not dress in vintage, but she is great at finding awesome clothes at thrift stores for a great price. I think her secret is patience and persistence. She spends plenty of time in stores and goes to them often enough to catch the good deals when they come in; thanks Mom!

With this being said, a vintage shopper also has to have time to shop around a lot. If you have a hectic schedule chances are that you don't have an extra 2 hours to blow at goodwill hoping to find a vintage jewel. Sometimes spending extra money to save your sanity is worth it (Mom usually ended up buying us slightly expensive dresses for prom for this very reason)!

Shopping for vintage clothes can be a money saver.... but how much you save depends on how hard you try. Of course, that seems to be true of most money-saving techniques.

p.s. If you are interested in buying vintage or learning more about vintage fashion I do highly recommend the book the LearnVest article references: The Little Guide to Vintage Shopping. It is a great reference book! I would also recommend looking up vintage blogs online and shopping around

pps... something else has been helping me save money when it comes to shopping for clothes; I have decided to ONLY buy clothes that make me feel FABULOUS! I have bought less clothes, but I am in love with the clothes that I do buy!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Math Shmath

I started studying for the GRE yesterday. I played some free rice vocab during the day and at night the husband helped me with some math practice questions. Thank goodness he is a patient guy because I had a lot of questions!

The math questions I practiced brought me back to high school and I started remembering a lot of things... not about math per se, but about how much I disliked high school and especially math. Obviously that did not help me solve the math questions at hand. I tend to make math way harder than it should be. Since I learn best by visualizing it helps to draw pictures. However, the GRE is timed so it would be most beneficial to me if I learned how to properly solve equations rather than spend 90% of my time drawing out how many combinations of toppings can be on a pizza.

I now realize that it might have not been very beneficial for me to have my friends do my math homework... oh well. better late than never!

ps... If you folks that took the GRE have any advice for me I will gladly accept it! I am taking it this summer.