Monday, January 26, 2015

Stand and Deliver

I talked about converting my desk to a standing desk last week, and Friday afternoon and took the time to find things around the office to do just that. My monitor is stacked on a paper box, and I build something slightly shorter for my key board out of cardboard – never underestimate a cosplayer! I’m standing up now as I type this, and I gotta tell you – so far I feel more motivated and I have more energy. I can tell my feet are going to start hurting, but I think I can purchase a rubber mat to stand on to fix that issue, or get better shoes. When and if I transfer department, I’ll have to see if this is possible for my new office – I imagine it will be, but I’m not 100% certain on the type of work I will be doing. I know what I’ll be cross training on, but not what my main job duties will be. If I can do data entry standing up, I’m certain I can do anything standing up. I’m getting used to typing while standing, and though I started a little slow, now I feel right at home! Just like the old days of working at the hotel, and not even having the option to sit down. Let’s hope this helps with the weight loss – I read one review of a standing desk where a writer made a point to do 4 hours of her work standing each day, and she lost 7 pounds with no other changes in one month! I’d like to see some loss, and I’ll be updating monthly on the standing desk project in the meantime. My friend and I are also walking a few times a week, on Saturdays we may start playing soccer again and of course every Thursday once it warms up.

Don’t hate me… I’m drinking diet soda today. I made it 26 days with no carbonated beverages, but I saw no benefit honestly so I went back. I feel like I eat less when I can have the occasional diet soda since it satisfies my sweet cravings. I know “studies” say otherwise, but I don’t feel like it makes me hungrier by any means, and I usually fill up faster when drinking it with a meal so I’ll add it back.

I have my first dress shopping trip on February 16th – wish me luck on the weight loss in the meantime!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Standing Desk

Looking back to when I was having successful weight loss on the calorie counting site I was using at the time, I learned that I was not only eating more, but eating what I wanted basically. It’s annoying, because I know exactly why – I was standing/moving around for 8 hours a day. Once I went to a desk job the weight kept creeping up, and although I kept off 20 of the pounds I originally lost, it’s disappointing and I want to be losing! According to Spark People, standing burns an extra 800-2000 calories a day not counting movement; that coupled with working out a few times a week and eating 1500 calories or less a day was a great recipe for weight loss. I was easily burning enough and controlling my calories enough to make my goal, but I’ve lost that extra calorie burn now so what can I do about it? I’m likely going to be sitting at a desk from now on to do my work, so this is an issue that has to be solved!

I don’t have the extra money for a standing work station, and the only way that work will provide me with one is if I have a doctor state that it’s better for me. I’ve thought of making one, but that may look too ridiculous – I may get desperate though! I thought about getting a portable elliptical, but I don’t know how effective they are or how often I’d hop on. I feel like I had more energy when I got home when I was standing all day, but that may just be because of the varying shifts and extra sleep. I’m not going to convert to a standing desk either way right now, because I may be changing offices soon for a new job opportunity – It should be interesting to see if those folks automatically think I’m a weirdo when they see my standing desk, but hey! It’ll be easier for them to show me new things I think since they won’t have to lean way over and struggle to see the screen. Ugh!! I don’t know!

I may ask IT if there are some spare parts in their department so I can build be a desk if at all possible, otherwise I need to figure something out!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Working Gal

This is my second year working for my home State of Tennessee and I am starting to get ideas on what I would like to do with my life. I have an opportunity coming up that isn’t part of my overall plan, but it’ll pay the bills a little better and help Richard and I buy a home next year. It’s an extra $2 an hour, which doesn’t seem like much but that’s an extra $300 a month that can go toward our savings. I’ve done the kind of work before, so I’m hoping the combination of familiar duties, and experience with the system will help me learn everything quickly. It’s less routine as well, so that will make my days a bit better I believe. I’m no longer unhappy in my current position; I feel comfortable actually and I feel like I’m doing well. I enjoy being around the people, but I’m only going to be down the hall, so it’s not a major move – new boss, new duties, but familiar faces and surroundings for the most part.

Along with this promotional spot I applied for where I currently work, I applied for a Career Specialist job in another department with the state. It is a degree position, whereas the position at my currently location is more about experience – of course I want to use my degree! The position where I’m at is in accounting, so my degree helps and technically if I didn’t have the experience I do have, I would have needed it. There’s under $100 difference in the salaries between the two positions though, so what kind of sense does that make? There’s just something about NEEDING something that you worked so hard for, and is still a financial burden I guess… Oh well! I guess I should be thankful for my experience and steady job history, because I was not always like that. Since 2009 I’ve only had two job including my current one; before that it would take two hands to count my random name tags and polo shirts, but I guess that’s what growing up is.

In the long run, I’d love to be a career specialist or even work with developing job training with that State. Besides Mental Health, most departments in the State of TN are safe bets because the services are needed (not that Mental Health is not needed, but it just seems that it is the first department on the chopping block come budget time). Our governor is one of the richest politicians in the U.S. – funny he can’t give public service employees more money. We were super happy that our insurance didn’t go up, but all of the out of pockets stuff did so we are basically paying the same price for less which isn’t as great of a thing as they made it out to be in the media. He’s a business man though, so that’s part of the issue – more worried about new industry and profits than taking care of existing employees. Typical.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

My Two Cents

I was reading a Buzzfeed article this morning about a woman who posted her “Day on a Plate”, and the replies on Twitter that resulted; although the article was hilarious, it brought up a good point of being damned if you do, and damned if you don’t when dealing with dieting. Here is the link to the article:

I did of course think the article was funny, but this is what folks who often eat healthy go through every day; it’s discouraging! I’m not a hardcore dieter by any means, but I’m working to get healthy and every time I order a salad in a social setting people say things like, “aren’t you going to eat?” If I decided to never ever diet again, I would still eat salads, because I enjoy them. When I go to Olive Garden, I rarely order pasta or any other entrée because I much prefer the unlimited soup and salad! There are a number of places where I much prefer to get a salad, and I don’t think that’s something to be judged for. People will find anything to judge you on these days! If this woman posted that she ate heavy fattening meals all day, and didn’t mention running I’m sure people would tell her that she was a heart attack waiting to happen or that she was killing herself with a bad diet. I know we have body shaming these days, but why are we also diet shaming? Some of us have to deal with both all at once, and it’s just one of those things in the world that just isn’t fair.

Just my two cents…

Monday, January 12, 2015

Evolving Ideas and Projects

I feel like our wedding is an ever evolving idea. I started wanting fake flowers; that turned into paper flowers, and then that idea turned in to fabric flowers with antique push pins and brooches. I went from wanting a dress of another color, or maybe wanting to give the thought of an ivory dress a try as long as I have some color near my face so I don’t look too washed out. I found two dresses I like; one with lace cap sleeves and a fitted silhouette, and the other is a rouched a-line dress that is strapless with pockets! I would love to wear some long beads of some sort with the strapless dress in a flattering color that could make my skin color pop more, instead of disappearing. I’ll probably go try some on in a couple of months. If neither works out, I’ll go back to hunting for a dress with color, but that makes it difficult to pick bridesmaid dresses since I want them to stand out. Ugh! Decisions!!

My DIY ideas are evolving a bit as well as I said; I went from fake flowers, to paper flowers, to fabric flowers with interesting pins and brooches. I’m fairly certain the tables will have navy/dark blue linens with a purple and blue centerpiece – probably fake flowers for those, and small tea light candles around the arrangement. The bouquets will likely be made of lovely fabric flowers, pins, and brooches. I’m going to make a few tall arrangements for the food table; since Richard is against having tall arrangements as a main centerpiece (he hates the branches!) I think we settled on heavy appetizers; pita points and hummus, veggie display, fruit display, various dips, sandwich stuff like croissants and ciabatta rolls, deli meat, cheese, meat balls, and other fixins’, and whatever else we find that looks interesting when it comes time. There will be cake(s), and we’ll probably get a tray or two of cookies. We’ll have tea, lemonade, water, wine, and MAYBE beer. I want people to have a good time, and I want them to stick around to dance – we didn’t want a heavy meal, but we also understand that it will be dinner time so we want people to enjoy enough food to satisfy them. Let’s see… The ladies are wearing navy/dark blue and the guys are wearing charcoal suits with navy ties. Richard wants to wear converse, and well… that’s fine with me. I’m going to incorporate little superheroes into the groomsmen boutonnieres, and I’m going to have to make one for the friend who is marrying us, because he is a HUGE Green Lantern fan. I have some ideas for who will get who, but they may sort that out their self. I’m still not certain who the groomsmen are, I just have an idea.

This is all coming together in my head nicely.

Anyways… I’ve been good about not talking about it much at home or obsessing over the details, so it’s good to type out my ideas so far as they come. We’re more focused now on Richard since he got some great news today, and we’re just waiting on dates and times before sharing the good news. It’s something that he’s been needing and wanting to happen for a while, but more on that later

Friday, January 2, 2015

Wedding Update

I’m so stressed out!!! ALREADY!
Like I’ve said before, I’m going to choose to put down my stress when it begins to build this year, and with the wedding details. It’s tough! I’ve been thinking about the food – that is a concern because we will not have a professional caterer; the food will be prepared by friends and family and we’ll set it up just like a caterer would while saving $1000+. I found out that we are not responsible for setting the place up, and we can pay extra to have access to the venue the day before if there is no event that day. Since we have moved the wedding to a Friday, the likelihood that there will be an event the day before is slim. If there is an event, maybe it won’t be a full day rental at least and we can plan accordingly. I don’t see anyone having their wedding on a Thursday, but who knows?! I didn’t seem us having it on a Friday, but here we are.

Being that we are going the food ourselves, I want to keep it simple. Some people suggested a pasta bar, but I fear the noodles will dry out or maybe it’s too heavy for a late summer wedding – who wants all that on their stomach while trying to have fun in fancy clothes? My grandmother suggested finger foods which would work out well since that would keep folks more motivated to move around, socialize, and there wouldn’t be the worry of messy sauces or really needing to be seated to enjoy your food. I think a fruit and veggie platter would be the #1 go-to with yogurt dip and ranch dressing, two or three hummus flavors with pita bread, crackers, and other dipables; maybe pimento cheese and chicken salad with croissants or another kind of roll? I don’t know if I’ll do cheese or not, since that can get pricey! I’m also not against having a couple of hot appetizers like meatballs, little smokes, or anything else. I could even do a hot cheese dip in the crock pot (I could make a cover for the crock pot so it doesn’t stick out), and have that with tortilla chips, salsa, and other toppings? I don’t know... I’m just brainstorming. Look at it this way; you can spend a few thousand dollars on catered food that folks may or may not like, or you can save money, make stuff people generally enjoy, and hope for the best. This way, you also can use any unopened containers that aren’t used, so there’s no waste.

Since we didn’t hire anyone to cater, I’m also concerned that there will be no one to put out the food, light candles on tables, or attend to the food if refills are needed. I think we have some volunteers, but I just hope everything works out. With cool foods like that, they can be put out before the ceremony and covered, and then a family member could pop over after the ceremony and uncover the stuff. During the reception it shouldn’t be an issue to get a couple of people to keep an eye out, and refill stuff if they notice that it’s empty. So there’s ways around not having someone specific to do these things, but I really hope we do end up with someone to do this stuff. I would be VERY grateful!

So there you have it! I’m still very excited, and I’m still confident in what we have planned. It’s going to be a lot of work, but that’s okay –we can do it!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

I've noticed a lot of people posting on how thankful they are that 2014 is over - I have noticed that this year wasn't the best. I mean, up until November I wasn't having a great year either. I lost an uncle and my sweet little mamaw in 2014; although I was promoted at work, it's not what I was exactly shooting for; where I wanted to lose weight, I gained, and well... it just wasn't great until very late in the year. A LOT of people lost loved ones this year to natural causes and overwhelming tragedy, and I've watched many go through tough times in 2014. It's over now!! Happy New Year! I hope this one is better for everyone!

On the brighter side of 2014, one of my best friends became pregnant with her second child, while the other gave birth to her second child. I was able to reunite with a very old friend, and be there for his beautiful wedding. Richard asked me to marry him, let's not forget that; I said yes of course! We celebrated birthdays, holidays, and laughed and celebrated together with our friends. I think 2014 dragged, but it left with a good impression.

In 2015 I will be planning a wedding, make a few lifestyle changes in regards to diet and financial tweeks, and I hope to share it with the people I love! That's the most important thing - enjoying the people around you!

I hope you 2015 is bright and merry!