What’s on your coffee table?

I have a niece who is a very stylish, elegant, always-put-together kind of woman. She posted on Facebook recently asking for recommendations on coffee table books, because she is the kind of person who has a stylish, elegant coffee table which she can decorate with stylish, elegant books. Here’s her post:

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But me being who I am (and I am afraid I am the Cousin Eddie to her Clark Griswold), hijacked and ruined her post with these suggested gems:

 

 

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(source)

See? As I told her in her comments, this is why I’m not an interior designer. I have no eye for style. I don’t even own a coffee table anymore because it became a dumping grounds for all of my kids’ stuff – it was always completely covered with papers and books and socks (yes, socks) and cups and wrappers and pencils and just STUFF. So when we got new furniture, we did away with the coffee table and now I have a wooden tray that I set on the middle of the couch as a place to set drinks. When I checked this morning, here’s what was on that tray: earbuds, a book, my reading glasses, a coaster, socks (WHY????), and a pen. I can’t win. But at least the mess is contained to a small 12×18 area that can be quickly cleared. I wish I had thought to take a picture this morning but ya know…Monday.

Here are some more ridiculous coffee table books that I would totally read if I saw them on someone’s table:

badhair

GUYS! You can buy this on Amazon for $.90!! For less than a dollar you can OWN this bad boy! What a time to be alive!!! http://amzn.to/2jCEc0t

 

underwaterdogs

Because dogs are proof that God loves us. http://amzn.to/2ylc6Ky

 

kidsruined

I could have written this book. http://amzn.to/2wADWjY

And here are a few that I wouldn’t touch with a ten foot pole because…ew:

 

So, I’m curious – do you have a coffee table and if so, what’s on it right now? Do you have elegant coffee table books or do you have macaroni and cheese that has cemented itself to the top? Bonus points if you have socks on your table. 🙂

*All of these rare and precious gems were found in this article. I appreciate that someone went to the trouble to find these books before I did. Cheers to you, man. 

*Amazon links are affilitate links.

 

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Why do you have ads, Jill???? Because I have kids, that’s why.

Not only will you see Word Ads on my site, you will also see Amazon Affiliate Links from time to time because I have 3 teenagers and dayum, they are expensive. Mama’s got to make some extra coin somehow. (I’m thinking that middle aged women shouldn’t use “coin” like that, but whatevs. I probably shouldn’t say “whatevs” either. Oh well.)

I can’t do much about the Word Ads, but I can kinda control the Amazon ads (I think), and I promise to make these ads fun and useful.

If you don’t already know, Amazon affiliate links work like this

(please note: this tutorial is mainly for my family members who probably don’t have any idea they can do this):

when you click on an Amazon link anywhere on my site, in any blog post, it will take you to Amazon and even if you don’t buy that particular product, but you buy ANYTHING ELSE for the next 24 hours, I will get a teensy commission on that sale. So if you’re going to buy something on Amazon, why not come here first and click on a link? You’ll be helping me out and you’ll get fun stuff from Amazon delivered right to your door.

For example, in my last post I mentioned macrame plant hangers. Guess what you can buy on Amazon right now????

http://amzn.to/2jssGES

That’s right! You can buy a macrame plant hanger of your very own! If you click on that picture, it will take you to Amazon where can purchase as many as you like. Or you can click around Amazon and purchase something else entirely and I’ll still get a commish on whatever product you buy. Easy, right?

Oh, and for my UK and Canada readers, it works for your Amazon sites as well. My affiliate link is also active on Amazon.uk and Amazon.ca. I have a few international readers because apparently my blathering appeals to peoples of all nations. Who knew?

I apologize if some of you don’t like seeing ads, and I hope the ads won’t be too obnoxious or distracting, but it’s either this or I go find a street corner and sell my wares there. I already have a full time job, and until someone is willing to pay me large amounts of money to read books, this will have to be my side gig for awhile.

Oh look! A link to books!

(I read this book recently and it was REALLY GOOD! Highly recommend)

Okay, sales pitch done and over. Thanks in advance if you decide to click on my links. I appreciate you!

One Whole Decade

wpten

WOW

Ten years ago, I had just gone back to work after being a SAHM for 7 years; I had 3 kids under the age of 10 (not unmanageable unless you’re me), I had been married for 11 years, my self esteem was at an all time low, while my weight was at an all time high (oh, how I would LOVE to weigh now what I weighed then!!!) and then I started this blog.

This blog started out as a way to discuss weight, healthy food, exercise, and all things related to the journey of shedding some pounds. But guess what? To my horror, I found that you can’t lose weight by just talking about it. Writing about weight loss ≠ losing weight (it totally should, but it doesn’t).

Over the last ten years, I’ve continued to not lose weight, but for whatever reason, I kept writing. Well, sort of. I’ve gone for weeks and weeks where I just wasn’t feeling it, so I didn’t write anything. But then I always end up missing it, so I come back for more, and bless your sweet hearts, you keep reading the ridiculous drivel I write. I’ve never gotten a ton of comments, and I’ve never been one of those “super bloggers” who go on to write books or get their own show or become famous, but that’s never really been my goal (although yeah, I would love to write a book someday, but I have no idea what I’d write about because I suck at fiction and who wants to read about how someone DIDN’T lose weight for ten years???? But, I digress…)

Anyway, I told a couple of people recently that I think I’m done with this blog. I was ready to just shut it down and either walk away from blogging completely or start a whole ‘nother blog where I talk about all the things in the world not related to losing weight. Because sometimes I have thoughts about ridiculous coffee table books, or I want to talk about the deep subject of makeup primer, or I just need to vent because my kids have a learning disability when it comes to taking out the trash. And then I just figured, well shoot, I can write about all of those things right here in this space and if no one reads it, that’s fine, but I love getting comments when something resonates, even if it’s just a “ME TOO!!”

So, I guess I’ll keep writing (is “blogging” still a thing? Are we just calling this a “website” now because blogging is soooo 2009?? I need a Millennial to help me out here with what’s hip and cool (I’m guessing “hip” and “cool” are probably not it)). ANYWAY, I’m here to stay for awhile I think. If you come here looking for weight loss type stuff, you might be disappointed, but hopefully you’ll stay for the riveting conversation about 80s hairstyles and the macrame plant holders of my youth.

So yeah…ten years, man. Crazy.

spooning

If you need me, I’ll be over here spooning with my blog. 

 

 

Hitting my step goal like a boss

I just realized that my kids go back to school in 2 weeks. That makes me kind of sad because this has been a good, relaxing summer…I’m not ready for them to go back to school and begin the frenzy that August through October brings. I’ve really gotten used to our easy-going days and hate to see them go.

lake

In less depressing news, I got my new Fitbit over the weekend!!

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I love it! I love that it reminds me to move every hour and I love that it celebrates when I hit 10k steps (which I have done for the last 3 days – woo!). On Monday, it had been a really long, frustrating day but I came home to find this in the driveway:

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I’m going to miss things like this when she gets older!

and I knew I wanted to hit my 10k steps but I was only at 6500 for the day. I had told my little chalk artist that I was going to try, and so I got my book and got on my treadmill. I lasted all of 15 minutes before the boredom wore me down. About the time I was shutting down the treadmill, she came out and asked what I was doing, and I told her that hitting my steps probably wasn’t going to happen. She gave me a pointed look and just said “Mom.”…so I said “what?” and she replied “Mom…you can get 10k steps…you can.” I told her that yeah I probably could but I wasn’t going to do it in that hot garage on treadmill, so I just decided to walk around my driveway until I hit my step goal. And it was actually kind of nice! By this time it was dark, and the cicadas and the crickets were chirping and it was not exactly cool, but it wasn’t blistering hot either and there was a nice breeze. I walked up my driveway, back down again, and around the circle drive and I did that for 30 minutes. I decided to get my last 500 steps inside, so I could cool down a little and when I finally hit my step goal, I did a happy dance.

Yesterday, I decided that I really wanted to get to my park and walk so, heat be damned, I got my water bottle and headed to the trail after work. It was a cool 95 degrees (at least it wasn’t 103 like it has been for several days now – sad when 95 degrees feels “not as hot”!!) and there was a nice breeze blowing from the lake, and because it was so hot there weren’t many people there. It was blissfully QUIET with only the cicadas singing their song. Restorative, is what it was. I walked for about 35 minutes and didn’t die, and honestly the heat didn’t bother nearly as much as I thought it would. I’ve got my gear and my plan is to get out there again today because I enjoyed it so much yesterday.

What I’ve learned this week is that I am highly motivated by the validation I get from my Fitbit buzzing at me and displaying fireworks when I hit my step goal. And that hitting my step goal doesn’t take the Herculean effort that I have always thought it would – yes it takes a little bit of planning and effort, but it is totally doable, even for someone like me who sits behind a desk for the majority of the day.

 

Is it hot out? I hadn’t really noticed…

Normally, I eat scrambled eggs for breakfast but when it’s this freaking hot:

hotweather

that’s not the heat index, that’s the actual degrees of hell we will be having today. The heat index is something like 109. I just can’t with this heat.

I tend to go for something cold. Last summer was the Summer of the Smoothie, but this summer I’ve been leaning towards cereal and milk. Not the sugar cereals of my youth, but the boring grown up version of cereal: muesli…and I LOVE IT. If you like overnight oats, you might like muesli as well. My favorite way to eat it is with a sprinkle of berries and some milk, then let it sit for 10 minutes to an hour (I sometimes will prepare it, then take it to work with me and eat it there). It fills me up and I’m sure you could add any number of things to it to dress it up, but mostly I just like it plain-jane.

Speaking of the heat, it is making me cranky. One of my favorite things to do is to go for a walk after work in the park, but being the wuss that I am, I’m not going to chance a heat stroke. Oh! And I have to go to a wedding tomorrow afternoon and I *think* it’s an outdoor wedding – it’ll be under a pavilion but still…no air conditioning. When you sweat as much as I do, trying to look pretty at an outdoor affair is futile. I’m so ready for cooler weather…which won’t be around for another couple of months…so I guess I should just suck it up, Buttercup. :/

And speaking of cranky, just this morning I found a new app that might help me get my Zen on…it’s called the Meditation Game and the object of the game is to collect little energy dots while you float through space. A guided meditation reminds you to breathe while you are collecting the energy dots, all while soothing music plays in the background. I only played one round (it took about ten minutes), but I did feel better afterwards. This would be good for those times when you have a few moments to kill while in a waiting room, or if you have a big meeting that you are nervous about, or if you need help winding down at night. If meditating is on your list of things to try, but you’re not a big fan of just sitting there doing nothing, this is a good way to get started.

Between the heat and my allergies, I find that in the last week I swing between not giving a sh*t about anything and being ticked off that I can’t do what I want, like walking after work or travelling to Europe. I make little effort with hair and makeup, I find it hard to get motivated to get my work done (but I always get it done somehow), and I all I want to do is sit and read a book without being interrupted every ten minutes. Guess I need to spend more time playing that meditation game, huh? Not sure if I need my meds adjusted or I just need to get over myself. Or maybe I just need to find some water and a floatie and a nice cool beverage and check out for a few hours. I think I need…something…just not sure what yet. I’ll figure it out… I always do.

Update: the wedding is inside!!!!!! I called the Bride’s mom to verify and it is indeed indoors in the AC. THANK YOU SWEET BABY JESUS! 

 

Goal: Achieved

Well today I made my goal weight.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Just kidding, but I did meet a small goal I had set for myself in the spring. My company’s insurance has a nifty plan that lets you earn points for various activities which can then be redeemed for rewards. In about March, I noticed I already had quite a few points racked up and so I decided that I would make it my goal to earn enough points for a Fitbit Charge 2 tracker. I figured that if I consistently earned a certain number of points per week, I should have enough to get the Fitbit by the end of the summer. I had already planned on buying one (because my trusty Fitbit One is in her golden years and I fear is nearing the end of her time) but I figured why spend my own money when I could just be a little patient and get one for FREE!

So for the last few months, I’ve been diligently checking in and watching my points inch closer and and closer to the goal. Today when I checked on my future prize, I noticed the number of points required to purchase the Charge2 had gone down by 14%! I did some maths and realized that even if I didn’t have enough points, I could just pay the difference with actual monies and have my reward even sooner. I put that baby in my cart and proceeded to check out – I spent all of my points plus a whole $14.58 of my own dollars. Totally worth it to me! Sure, I could have waited another 4 or 5 weeks and gotten it completely for free, but darn it, I didn’t want to wait any longer! I’m happy to say that my new toy will be here soon.

I’m already eyeing some fun new bands.

One problem I might have…I already have a watch that I like to wear on my left wrist, so I’m wondering if I should just wear the Fitbit on my other wrist or what? Not sure what to do but I’ll figure something out. Anyone have any ingenious ideas?

Re-entry is harrdd!

What’s the worst thing about being back at work after vacation? Pants.

Especially when your knees look like this:

IMG_20170712_203119_737

These legs haven’t seen the light of day for years, as evidenced by the fact that it took 3.2 seconds to burn.

and when you’ve gotten used to running around in shorts, which is why I’m wearing a skirt today. Believe it or not, I wore a ton of sunscreen but I waited 15 minutes too long one day…a mistake I shall not make again.

So, so crispy. Ouch.

We had a nice vacation on the lake, and for the first time in a long time, I actually felt like I got to really relaaaaaax on vacation. A lot of times, when you’re the mom, a vacation isn’t really a vacation – it’s all the same mom-duties in a different place, but this year my kids (my youngest especially) are old enough that they don’t need my constant attention so I was able to just…be. I spent hours simply bobbing up and down on my floatie on the water…it was bliss! One evening we took the boat out on the water and watched the sun set as we floated along – it was perfect.

One thing I noticed that was different about this vacation than vacations of yore – I didn’t eat my way through the whole week. Typically, during the down times I would eat out of boredom or just because I could, but this time I pretty much stuck to 3 meals and maybe one snack – we spent most of our time on the water and when we were back in the RV, I was just chilling or reading. For the first time in probably ever, I didn’t feel the need to fill my time with food. Quite frankly, I’m astonished. Pleased and astonished.

Also, according to my Fitbit and my phone’s health app, I was much more active this week than usual (which of course, because usually I’m sitting behind a desk for 40 hours a week). We went on a 6 mile float trip one day, lots of swimming, some hiking, and on the day it rained, we hit a mall and shopped for 4.5 hours, so yeah…much more activity than usual.

And also, being who I am, there were plenty of naps. Glorious, wonderful, naps.

I would love to keep my active streak going, but when you live in the devil’s oven (thanks Oklahoma heat & humidity!) being outside is painful – it’s hot and sweaty and hard to breathe and just not a fun time at all*, so I’m going to have to figure out a way to get my activity done indoors. YouTube and DVDs will probably be the way to go until this heat breaks.

For your viewing pleasure, here are a few pics from said vacation because who doesn’t love seeing pictures from other people’s vacations??? *snicker*

 

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Taking a break from rafting to dip in the river. This water was cold!

 

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Husband, son, and I.

 

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Rare sighting of my girls actually getting along.

 

*my landscaper-husband is most likely shaking his head and calling me a wuss right now. He spends approximately 800 hours outside in this heat every day. Ugh.