Thursday Thoughts – Typewriter

A friend on Facebook recently posted something she found from our kindergarten or first grade class. It’s a list of our class with what we wanted to be when we grew up. You have the normal array of cops, doctors, teachers, sports stars, and then there was me: “typewritter”. Spelling error and all, thanks teacher.

I don’t remember being asked this or seeing this ever. But somehow, even back then, I knew my true interests. I’d like to think I knew that I couldn’t grow up to be an actual typewriter, but I love typing and writing so I guess something got lost in translation.

Like most kids, I changed my mind a lot on my future plans growing up. In no particular order, I wanted to be an artist, a dolphin trainer (despite not knowing how to swim), a horse trainer, and owner of my own bookstore. It wasn’t until I was looking at colleges, after starting my first novel at 13 and writing countless stories, that I was like, “Duh, I’m a writer!”

But I guess somehow I knew it all along.

Thursday Thoughts – September 10

A week from today we’ll be leaving on our mini vacation. It’s not much, just a quick trip to see my grandparents for my grandmother’s birthday, so my husband can meet my extended family. So we’ll be away for my birthday on the 19th.

On Labor Day we drove an hour and a half to spend it with my aunt, uncle and cousins. My parents surprised me by having my aunt make a cake for my birthday, the same kind that she made for our wedding. Yum.

One of my cousins has an archery set, so I got to shoot a bow and arrow for the first time ever. Unfortunately, I suck at it, and I have a giant bruise on my forearm to remind me. Note to self: when offered safety equipment, take it.

I’m a bit accident prone. Along with that bruise I have one on the same elbow from slamming it on my desk. Also, yesterday I made Green Pepper Casserole, which is a dish that I cook on top of the stove and then put in the oven in the same skillet. After taking it out of the oven, I placed my finger on the handle and felt excruciating pain as I burnt I don’t know how many layers of skin off of my index finger. Same arm as the other two injuries. It’s a wonder I’ve never broken a bone yet.

Other klutzy accidents:

  • I have a scar on my forehead from when I fell on the corner of a coffee table when I was 7. I had to get eleven stitches.
  • I have a smiley face scar on my right thumb from reaching into a cabinet to turn on my N64. Would love to know who thought it was a good idea to leave picture frame glass under the TV.
  • I had a cut on the same thumb during my wedding because I stabbed it with a thorn making my bouquet.
  • Pretty sure it was that same thumb that I accidentally closed in the hinges of a heavy bathroom door when I was a kid.
  • I fell at my cousin’s wedding rehearsal while carrying a vase. Cut my knee, one of my toes and a finger. My fault though, I was wearing loose platform sandals.
  • While wearing those same sandals in Boston a few weeks later, I went splat on the pavement while going to get food. I no longer own those sandals.

Thursday Thoughts – September 3

Just over two weeks until my birthday! We will be out of town for it though. Still, birthdays are exciting, I get so excited for mine even though I’m older.

I finally got someone to read a novel I’m close to finishing and they gave me some great feedback. Not that I need more work while I’m trying to finish drafts of other novels, but it’s a good step. (BTW if anyone is interested in beta reading it as well so I can get more opinions and feedback, let me know.)

Did a ton of work today. I edited basically an entire story this morning and a third of the way through another one.

I’m thinking about taking on another project of working on a food/cooking ebook. It will focus on seasonal produce and ways to cook it. Would anyone be interested in that?

Thursday Thoughts – August 13

I know, I skipped my review yesterday. It will be up at some point soon hopefully.

I am frustrated. Changing my last name is turning out to be a pain. I got my social security card finally, and went yesterday to the DMV to get my new license. Besides how long it takes them to come in the mail, those are fine. It’s everything else that’s a pain.

I get my freelance work through the site Upwork. People have complaints about it but it works as well as expected. However, changing my name is not going to be fun. I need to scan in my driver’s license and a bank statement of some kind to verify my new name. However, if I change my name at the bank, there’s a chance I might not get my money deposited in the meantime because the names (from work and from the bank) don’t match. Why is this so confusing and convoluted? Gah, so annoying.

Same goes for changing student loan info. A couple of them need to either be faxed or snail mailed a copy of my driver’s license. This is 2015, this stuff should be much faster and simpler! I changed my name on two different doctor websites/patient portals simply by typing in my new name. How difficult.

More rants than thoughts but it’s what I’ve had on my mind lately.

Thursday Thoughts – August 6

Does anyone else feel like they go through cycles of not knowing what to do with yourself and then nonstop stuff? After we got back from the honeymoon on July 27, we had a whole week to ourselves where literally nothing happened. He was off of work and somehow I had no work to do despite letting my clients know I was available. It was a long, lazy week.

Then on Monday, I had jury duty (which they didn’t actually need me for, thank goodness) and my long time editing client had a lot of work for me and then asked me to do a very large project. Then, if that didn’t keep me busy enough, another client popped in and asked me to edit 10 stories! Where was all of this work when I had nothing to do? Such is the life of a freelancer I guess.

Life after the wedding has been fine. Everyone keeps asking us if we feel different, but really things are just going back to normal. We’re happy to finally be married, but it doesn’t change much in our day to day lives. Only legal stuff has changed, like waiting for my new social security card in the mail with my new name on it so I can get my new driver’s license so I can change everything else with my name on it. Seriously, why isn’t there a government office where you can just do a ‘marriage name change’ and they take care of all of this for you? It’s not like it’s uncommon.

This isn’t Thrifty Thursday, but I have to say: I know buying in bulk is awesome, but why does my store do the most random ‘buy 6 get this price’ sales? I don’t need 6 bottles of salad dressing. I don’t have room to store 6 loaves of bread. No one needs 6 – 59 oz bottles of tea or 6 – 60 oz bottles of juice. I mean, I guess that stuff won’t go bad that quickly and if you have a big family it could be useful, but why not more sales on stuff you buy individually like yogurt?

Shopping the sale papers is so much easier if you’re one of the people who buy name brand, processed foods. If you’re trying to eat whole foods, most of the produce is stuffed on the back page and there are only a few sales for pantry staples. And coupons are very few and far between. But hey, if you need 6 bottles of toilet bowl cleaner, this is your week.

Now back to work, I have to get a lot done before tomorrow where I have limited computer access. Next month we’re taking a short vacation to visit my family as well, and sometime soon I need to get my wisdom teeth out. That’s still not done.

Thursday Thoughts – New Thursday Feature

I’m going to continue Thursday Thoughts when I have things to write about but I’m announcing a new Thursday series at the end of this post.

Besides all the wedding planning, the fiance and I are trying to save up for a house within a year or so. We seriously hate apartment living, especially when the fire department is constantly at our complex. It never seems to be anything major, but I don’t trust so many other people living in the same building.

I also can’t do laundry without paying like $10 a week on just running the machines, plus it comes down to trusting the other residents to keep the machines free and operate them properly, and not to move or steal our clothing.

You also have to be super quiet in an apartment building. We moved out of his old place because we had the noisiest neighbors ever. The resident above us was a large guy who seemed to do his exercise right over our heads in the living room. On one side, the neighbors played their TV so loud that I could hear what commercials were currently on. The other side was vacant for a while but was apparently being renovated so I’d wake up at 7 a.m. to power drills a few feet from my head. Then the people below us would come up and yell at us for being loud when we weren’t. Awesome.

Our apartment now is much quieter. Sometimes I hear the people next door talking or yelling, but it’s much rarer. I never hear or see the guy across the hall whatsoever. Our downstairs neighbor is a sweet lady who has been here since like the 70s and has never complained about noise. We got a top floor apartment in a corner just to keep the shared wall count to a minimum.

But anyway. We want a house. I want a dog because I’ve never had one (and it’s like a $500 deposit plus extra monthly fee to have one here, no thanks). And I want a garden and to grow some food really bad. Container gardening is just not for me.

I don’t make a lot of money myself, as I work from home freelancing. So far I’ve been lucky enough to be able to pay my student loans with the money I make, with a little extra to put in savings and contribute to the grocery bill. I’m going to need to get creative to help us save for a house.

So the new Thursday feature: Thrifty Thursday! I’m going to show you my efforts of saving money by taking advantage of store sales, stocking my pantry, shopping at thrift stores, and my adventures in making more things from scratch, particularly the things we run out of fastest. I want to free up more grocery funds for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Some things I want to focus on:

  • Yogurt
  • Bread
  • Jam
  • Juice (not juicing, just cooking down fruit)
  • Granola bars
  • Pizza/pasta sauce
  • Make-ahead meals (burritos, breakfast sandwiches, healthy muffins…)
  • Meal prep in general

If you have any tips or ideas for ways to be thrifty, let me know! I particularly need your granola bar recipes! I need them to be relatively simple, customizable, and peanut butter free (which is way harder than it seems). Check out my Pinterest board Food Goals for all the stuff I want to work on.

Thursday Thoughts – Dieting

I have a lot of thoughts today so I’m going to break it down into two posts.

It would surprise a lot of people to know that I diet. It’s not about the number of pounds I want to lose as much as I want to be more mindful about what and how much I eat. I want to lose about four pounds at the moment, but only to get myself in the habit of eating right.

My weight has fluctuated a lot over the past five years or so. At 19/20, I was probably up around 120 lbs then I had some major anxiety kick in. The anxiety wouldn’t let me eat much for a long period of time and I dropped down to 94 lbs. The anxiety has been mostly dealt with, it’s never cured but I’ve gotten good at removing triggers, including the giant one I had at the time.

Now I fluctuate between 103 to 115, but I try to keep it at 105. Not because I need to have that much control over it, but because I want to keep up the habit of eating exactly what I need and not to excess. That’s obviously a major problem in the modern world. I go through cycles of not being hungry and being hungry all the time and I want to find the right balance between them, and the right kinds of foods to fuel it.

It’s definitely a struggle when you get in the habit of just eating like everyone else. Once you track the calories, you realize you’re eating way too much. The first day I started this diet again, I had to skip lunch because I realized I was eating way too many calories, mostly in snacks. I’ve been working on buying much more nutritious, less sugary snacks, like the hummus and pita chips I picked up this week or the carrots and eggs from last week.

I used My Fitness Pal but I found something I like much better, Cron-O-Meter. The app doesn’t get great reviews, but the website is perfectly detailed. It tracks your calories, but doesn’t emphasize diet. It shows you every single micronutrient and how much you’re getting versus what you need. If you focus on filling the nutrient bars, you’re going to be getting much better food for you.

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This is from a pretty typical day for me. I didn’t go over my calorie count, yet filled up a lot of my nutrient bars. The biotin is overfull because I take a supplement but there really isn’t a upper intake limit for it. I need to figure out how to get more iron, potassium, folate and vitamin E, plus get less sugar and sodium.

Everyone benefits from going on a diet, even if it’s just maintenance. As for me, it’s going to be very beneficial as I have to make sure I fit into my wedding dress over a few months. There is no room for error, alterations are expensive.

Do you track what you eat?