Monday, September 24, 2012

Life inspiration (Blogs That Are Awesome)

So I'm a bit of an addict on the internet. Pinterest is one of my new favorites - all that awesome inspiration for life. DIYs, tasty-looking recipes, fashion... All in one place and lots of it!

Only problem is that I spend a ton of time being inspired, and very little time actually DOING stuff.

Also, in my self-protective-denial-of-reality-blame-throwing-reflexive-defense, where do people have the time to do stuff like the projects listed here at tatertots and jello? Don't get me wrong, the work featured is INCREDIBLE and I'm 100% jealous of the creativity on display. I'm also defensive because I could probably do that, too, but who the freak has the time?

You know who has the time?

People that MAKE the time.

Yeah, that's aimed at me more than you.

I seem to prefer to live vicariously through the internet's pursuits than live my own life. This feels like deja vu to even write this, so I'm pretty sure I've waxed rhapsodic about this before. As such, I'll assume you're tired of hearing about it and move on to the main point: 4 Simple Goals by 2013, as inspired by A Beautiful Mess.

image c/o A Beautiful Mess

So their suggested rules are fairly simple - simple goals that will make you feel richer and happier, focused on a practice NOT an end goal, and when you meet the goals before 2013 you should reward yourself. (More specifics at the link provided!)

So here's mine, along with the reward that should come with it, and elaboration if needed:
  • Keep up my healthy eating changes and taking my medicines - the reward here will be seeing results at my 3-month check-up. IF I get the results I want (I know, I know, it's not supposed to be an end-goal goal, but I'm cheating on this one), I think I'll allow myself to buy some new clothes - but not for me. (Being vague on purpose, sorry.)
  • Host either a pumpkin-carving party or gingerbread-house-making party. I've been wanting to do one of these for a while, darn it. Throwing the party itself will be its own reward, I think.
  • Join the next xoso social league for volleyball, or a volleyball group - I've been playing again a little bit as part of coaching the middle school girls team, and I didn't realize how much I missed it until I started practicing with them. The season ends in 3 weeks, and while part of me will be relieved (due to it taking up a LOT of time 4 days a week), I want to keep it up; the local social league might be the way to do that, or if I can find a volleyball group locally. 
  • make something with my hands at least once a week. Unfortunately, with my schedule I haven't been crafting as much as I would like - and frankly, I don't know when I'll have the time again until after my coaching stops. BUT that doesn't mean I can't whip up a little craftiness one night a week. I like art journalling, and that will be my goal to make it more of a habit than a passing fancy, so I figure if I commit to making a new page per day, that's a reasonable goal. As for a reward... if I craft once a week starting today, only missing one week (like my birthday week, which is freakin' PACKED), I'm going to let myself buy new craft supplies, up to $50 worth!
A nice side effect of this little goal thingie - gives me something to blog about! LUCKY YOU. ;p

Side note about A Beautiful Mess - it's such a pretty blog to read, and the content is substantial without being blustery (unlike my own). I must confess that occasionally it comes off a leetle hipster-precious (which makes me role my eyes SO HARD - I'm just a hater), but even those hipster-precious posts are still worth viewing; just 'cuz it's not my taste doesn't mean it's not good stuff. Check them out! Drool-worthy and totally-doable recipes, great life inspiration, and a fun attitude towards life in general.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why Vegans Are Such Pretentious Douchebags

So I finally figured it out - why healthy eaters are so damn annoying.

In order to uncover this mystery, I had to become one. It was a dark, perilous journey, fraught with confronting long-held resentments towards vegetables and exercise (although to be honest, exercise and I are still barely on speaking terms).

Due to my medical diagnoses, I've had to make some changes to my lifestyle and eating habits (Ok, I guess I didn't HAVE to, I could have continued eating terrible and felt like crap all the time). So now I limit my carbs, and when I do eat carbs I try to stick to the healthier ones - the non-refined sugars and flours ones.The exercise is by default - going from sedentary unemployed waste-of-space to on-my-feet-all-day-SUPER-TEACHER sure does burn up a lot of calories as your body struggles to adjust. (Dear god, we've been in school nearly a month and I'm just NOW getting used to it.) I've also taken on a coaching position at the local middle school, which is super fun and adds the occasional light sweat from chasing them around and serving/setting the ball to the girls.

This isn't to say these changes have been consistent (pssh, I basically had my 3-month check-in on Thursday, found out my changes had a very positive effect, and effectively went on a 3-day carb BINGE that made me remember WHY I cut them out in the first place), but for the most part I actually like the changes. I still eat the occasional "bad" piece of food, though, so I'm no angel.

So the other night, as I was chopping up cucumbers and carrots for my salad to serve alongside my oven-roasted wild salmon, thinking about how a few months ago I'd be eating something really bad for dinner, and how great I felt and how I wish I could tell people about these mostly-successful changes but I was afraid I'd come off like an a**hole.

Which is when it dawned on me: maybe this is why everyone hates health-nuts - they get so excited about what they're doing that they talk about it to people who just want to eat their delicious fried food and not have to consider the consequences of their choices, dammit (I know I give The Hubs a "DON'T SAY A G-D WORD" glare when I'm being naughty).

Seriously, this MUST be why vegans tend to be such pretentious a-holes - they just feel so healthy, which means they feel GOOD all the time and they want everyone else to know so they can feel good, too! Apparently, Veganism makes you feel SO EFFING INCREDIBLE that it makes you a pretentious jag who gets off on telling people what horrible meat-eaters they are.

Man, I may be veering towards health-nuttiness but I could never be a vegan. I love cheese too much. Maybe that's the difference - lacto-vegetarians I've met have never been too preachy, and the few Paleo-dieters I know are pretty chill about it as well, but vegans... VEGANS. The few I've met in life have been at best fine to talk to - until food comes up. It just makes me want to eat a big Double-Double Animal-style in front of them, and only Animal-style because it seems even more meat-murderous.

There's no real point to this other than I found my little lightening-strike moment funny, and to share that my healthy habit-changes actually worked. My doctors are really happy with my progress, and it looks like my next 3-month check-in should have more good news should I keep up the good work. =)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Night Routine: How to Address the Need to De-stress

Ok, that title makes NO sense, I just love rhyme and alliteration. Hello, English teacher, I'm a nerd. DEAL WITH IT.

Anyway, so I've made it through 8 days of teaching after being off (again) for a year (again). While it's been mostly a great 8 days, I'm already tired, frustrated, worried, and feeling like I'm behind.

To be fair and show that I CAN see the forest for the trees on occasion, I'm not really that behind (hell, I'm actually a week ahead in lesson plans, and I've got the year outlined down to the week), and what makes me worried and frustrated is mostly my own natural instinct to only expect perfection from myself. *sigh*

Part of the tired comes from bad shoes, too - that problem is on its way to being resolved, in that the shoes are ordered and will hopefully ship this week. If you're on your feet all day and like to look cute, too - Aravons, my friends. Pricy but worth it - they last a nice long while (or at least my last pair did - the shoes themselves are actually still decent, it's the liners that gave out after 2 years.) But bad shoes plus not being used to so much physical activity adds up - I hit my first wall on Thursday, but I recognized it and took the time to take care of myself. Which in this case was to go home at a reasonable hour and just relax, then made sure to go to bed a little earlier than I had been. Made a HUGE difference, and I was still tired the next day but MAN my mood was vastly improved.

Now I can't go home earlier every day, but I can try to make my night routine more relaxing. One thing I did right the first week but used my "I'm too tired" excuse to not continue the second week was a nice shower at night - granted, the night shower was a little easier because I was milking a blow-out. So tonight (since it's basically my Sunday night - yay for 3-day weekends!) I'm showering and doing the "first half" of the blow-out (where I basically dry my hair semi-straight with straightening creme) with the plan to use my straightening iron tomorrow morning. Breakfast and lunch is mostly prepped for the week already (hashbrown quiches in the morning, Bentos for lunch), so after I shower and do some quick chores, I'm going to initiate a new ritual to really get me relaxed: A nice cup of tea. HOT tea.

Plus who doesn't enjoy this kind of awesome delivery method?

Yes, it's still summer (at least here in CA, where it'll last until October where I live), but warm beverages are soothing. I've become a coffee fiend partly for the caffeine fix, but also because it's warm and it soothes me. It's a nice morning ritual that adds to my morning drive.

So it dawned on me this weekend that I get the same sensation from tea, and I've been wanting to go to bed earlier - so why not make myself some tea at night? Plus it'll give me the added benefit of feeling like a "dessert" at the end of the night, esp. with some stevia, and I'm hoping it'll make me "end" my day. I play on the internet and watch TV and my mind stays so over-stimulated that I fear it's keeping me awake. I only go to bed (and later than I want to) because my body finally overwhelms my brain... but I'm tired of waiting for my body to win the battle.

So, TEA. I know, it's so new and amazing, right?!?
I know I should be embarrassed that it took me THIS long to figure out, but hey, that's why I'm a hot mess. This year has been a lot of accepting my age (UGH SO OLD) and trying to figure out how to best take care of myself emotionally and physically. A nice warm shower at night (meaning more sleep in the morning) and a warm cup of tea to help me shut down sounds like just the ticket to help me take care of myself some more.


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