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Wednesday Wins

Hello hello!

I didn’t do a Mental Health Monday post because Monday was kind of a busy day and plus I just couldn’t think of a good topic. So I skipped it, which relieved my mental stress about it, so I guess these two sentences are my Mental Health Monday post. You’re welcome.

However, I DO have some wins for today’s post! Let’s get to it:

  • I changed my Harvest Bag delivery from every-other-week to every week because I am enjoying it so much already. And they give so much produce that I am able to share it with others, which I really enjoy being able to do.
  • I am hitting my 10,000 steps regularly. Being in this Fitbit challenge with my friend is super motivating and has made me aware of just how little I was moving throughout the day previously. It’s a good thing I am in an office alone because most days you will find me walking laps in my office or busting out a few Zumba moves at my copier. The most surprising thing is this: I thought it would take a Herculean effort to get 10k steps in a day…but actually it only takes a small but conscious effort to get that many steps. And a Zumba class doesn’t hurt either.
  • zumbameme
  • I found my book club book at the library. I’m trying to be more mindful of how I spend my money and so when we decided on our next book, I checked on our library’s website and sure enough, there was one copy available. I got that book, plus a couple of others to tide me over until our next meeting. In a world of Amazon Prime shipping, I often forget how much I enjoy going to the library where I can spend time getting lost in all the available options and oh, also, get books FOR FREE. As much as having a full book case at home thrills me, what thrills me even more is not spending money on things I can get for free.
  • My tax refund landed in my bank account today! And here’s where I have to reign in my Emotion Mind who says SPEND ALL THE MONIES!!!! My husband and I are going to discuss how we want to use this money, and I am going to fully fund some of my budget categories, and yes we’ll use some of it to treat ourselves to something small we’ve been talking about getting for awhile. We just need to figure out which thing we want, out of a list of a dozen things. But man, having a fat bank account (at least for a little while) brings such peace of mind.

What are your wins for this week? Chime in below!

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Friday Free Write: Tiny TP Edition

You guys…

*shaking my head*

I am in charge of ordering office supplies at work and I noticed that we were running a little low on the TP. We do all of our ordering online, and as I perused the various toilet tissue options available I noticed a 24 pack for a very reasonable price. I clicked on it, ordered it, and thought nothing else about it until it arrived a couple of days later.

You guys…

*still shaking my head in disbelief*

What arrived was indeed a 24 pack of toilet paper but it was the smallest rolls of TP I have ever seen in my entire life:

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This package of 4 rolls stands 8 inches tall, 6 inches wide, and 3 inches across the top. The entire diameter of one roll is only 3 INCHES. Okay you probably can’t tell how tiny this is  from the picture so let me try again:

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The one on the left is a regular roll – it’s not even a jumbo mega roll (it might be the large roll, but not jumbo), just a regular size roll. The one on the right is the teeny roll that came out of the package JUST LIKE THAT.

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IT’S JUST SO ADORABLE! I mean it looks like it should be TP for an American Girl doll honestly. I imagine it’s what you would get if you bought a package of toy groceries:

It’s kinda like those cupcakes that are too cute to eat…I almost feel bad using a roll because it’s just so darn petite.

What I don’t understand is…why? Why would they make it so teensy and why would anyone need teensy rolls like that???? In what possible situation would anyone need rolls that have only 71 sheets?

Look, I have 3 teenagers at home – we go through  A LOT of toilet paper. I buy the 9 pack of mega jumbo rolls once a week and sometimes (Spring break, Christmas break, summer time, ahem) that mega pack doesn’t last all week. So it just boggles the mind that something like this would be available.

I guess if you live in a tiny house or an RV this would be useful, but you’d still have to buy it twice as often. It may not be terribly useful, but it certainly is amusing!

If you want your own tiny baby rolls of TP, you can order them here: https://amzn.to/2JoFapZ

Have you ever bought something online and it wasn’t what you thought it would be? Tell me below your tale of woe!! 🙂

 

Amazon links are affiliate links which means when you click on a link and buy anything within the next 24 hours, I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for clicking! 

 

Wednesday Wins: Teacher Walkout

Hello!

Here’s a big win for the week:

walkout

(source)

The walk out of teachers all across Oklahoma is the win for the week. I have a lot of teacher friends and I am proud of them for taking a stand and demanding better funding for education. It is utterly ridiculous how little our teachers are paid and the lack of funding they receive in order to do their jobs. Our average teacher salary is now 50th in the nation, yet our legislator salaries are 15th in the nation – you tell me how is that fair???? Twenty years ago, I was on track to become a teacher – I graduated with a teaching endorsement and my plan was to teach high school French.  At the time I was working at a popular retail store and was offered an assistant manager position – the starting salary was the same as the starting salary for a teacher in Oklahoma and because there aren’t a lot of teaching positions open for foreign language, I took the retail position. That eventually led to a career as an administrative assistant (if you wanna call that a career), and I am now making more money than most teachers in my area. AND I don’t have to grade papers, or attend school functions, or any other number of things teachers have to do when they’re not actually in the classroom. It just doesn’t seem logical that we pay teachers (and EMS workers and police officers – you know, people who SAVE LIVES) so very little when their jobs are so incredibly important. Makes ZERO sense.

Anyway, I hope this walkout does some good for the teachers in Oklahoma. Yes our legislature voted last week to give teachers a raise, and the teachers are grateful, but honestly it just wasn’t enough. That raise would have gotten our teachers up to speed in salary…if the year was 2006. And that is why they are still at our state capitol, talking to legislators, and asking for more money. Because when you need $100, a ten dollar bill just isn’t going to help much.

I think this is a great example of standing up for what you need and knowing you are worth what you ask for.

 

 

Mental health Monday: 3 apps that keep me sane

Hello again! I thought today I’d give you a run down of how I use apps to keep me from flipping my lid on a day to day basis. Some of these I use every day, others I only use occasionally but I like knowing they are there if I need them.

First up:

Simple Habit

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Simple Habit is a meditation app. I love this app because I like to think of it as meditation for normal folks. There’s not a lot of woo-woo going on here (maybe a teensy bit, but that’s all). The meditations are short – anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes depending on how much time you want to spend, and although you can sign up for a paid account, there is plenty of free content to keep you occupied for quite a while. Why meditate? Here ya go:

Benefits of Meditation

And like Simple Habit says, “it’s a daily vacation for your mind.” I don’t know about you, but I need all the vacation time I can get. Available for Android and iOS.

Next up, You Need A Budget (YNAB)

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Late last year I decided that I was finally ready to take control of my money and stop living in a scarcity mentality. Oddly enough, getting a budget has increased my peace of mind exponentially. But this budget app is different than any stale, boring, old-fogey budget – this budget has a sense of humor and a laid back style that makes it attractive to someone like me. There are 4 rules to YNAB: 1) Give every dollar a job, 2) Embrace your true expenses, 3) Roll with the punches, and 4) Age your money. I’m still learning to work with all the steps but this has been so helpful to me. It actually helped me set up a category for my daughter’s cheer fees, so that when it came time to pay the $300 fee, I had the money ready to go and could write the check with no anxiety. That’s a major win for me! YNAB offers a 34 day free trial, live online classes, and personal support. I’ve been really happy with them so far. I might do a post just for this sometime in the future. Available for Android and iOS.

Lastly, how about a game?

hue

This is a puzzle game in which you have to rearrange colored squares into their proper hue-order. It’s actually much more relaxing than it sounds, but it can be somewhat challenging. What I love most is the dopamine hit I get when I finally solve a puzzle and feel like super smart person. I’m not a huge game player, but sometimes I just need something simple to focus on when I have some downtime, or when I’m stuck in a gym watching volleyball for 10 hours, or when I’m waiting to board a flight. In a world of multitasking, sometimes it just feels good to focus on one single thing.

 

What apps do you find are essential for your sanity? Have you used any of the apps I mentioned? I’m always on the lookout for fun apps, so share in the comments some of your favorites!

 

 

Friday Free-for-all: LocalFarmOK

Earlier in the week I mentioned that I finally have access to a local farm harvest delivery service (localfarmok.com) – I received my first delivery last Friday and I am in love.

 

Here’s what I got for $26:

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Celery, lettuce, broccoli, portobello mushrooms, potatoes, blueberries, pears, mandarin oranges, and also not shown are 3 cucumbers that I gave to my boss because cucumbers are the devil’s vegetable. I felt like that was quite a bit of produce for the money and can I just say that the taste of this produce…THE TASTE…I swoon over how good it all tasted. It was all so delicious.

How I felt all week:

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And this is a sample of what I made with all my delicious farm fresh goodies:

The first one is an egg scramble with peppers and onions with a sprinkle of cheese topped with avocado on top of a portobello mushroom. The second is a sheet pan dinner with turkey smoked sausage, broccoli, onions, and red & baby potatoes. I’ve also been eating salads all week with the lettuce. I think I’ve used up everything except the celery, which I keep forgetting to wash and chop. Maybe I’ll do that tonight.

I signed up for every other week delivery, but I’m thinking I might go ahead and sign up for the weekly delivery because I used up everything quicker than I thought I would. When you’re as health conscious as I am, you need to have a steady flow of produce coming your way. There can never be too much kale.

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I don’t think he believes me. 

 

 

 

 

Winning Wednesday

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I’m playing with a posting schedule in an effort to post here regularly as opposed to the hit-or-miss “schedule” I’ve been using for the last couple of years. On Mondays I’m going to write about some form of mental health (because I think it’s important to get a discussion of mental health out in the open), Wednesdays will be devoted to current wins: things I’ve done well, nice things others have done, things that have had made me happy (because I want this to be a positive place for readers to visit), and Fridays will be a free-for-all where I just write about whatever strikes my fancy (because…well just because I want to).

Since today is Wed-nes-day (will I ever be able to type that word without saying it in my head like that???) WINNING is the word of the day!

For awhile last year, I kept a notebook wherein I listed 3-5 things that made me feel good about myself – I called it my Daily Wins (it’s an excellent self-esteem booster – I highly recommend it) and I thought it would be fun to list some wins here on the ‘Pear.

  • My birthday was earlier in the month and I got to go visit my BFF in Baton Rouge. We spent one day in New Orleans and had beignets in New Orleans City Park, then saw Phantom of the Opera. It was so fun!

(Beignets at Morning Call Cafe – Open 24 hours for all your beignet needs)

  • Being with my BFF is like getting a shot of Vitamin Kickass. She builds me up and makes me feel like I am the smartest, funniest, prettiest, most magical unicorn of all time. She can make friends with anyone and has the ability to make one feel like the most interesting person in the room. She’s gracious and generous, and is quick with a laugh and a hug. And she will always be the best dressed woman in the room, guaranteed.
  • And in addition to being best friends, we are now Fitbit friends too! We decided that we both need more activity in our lives, so we have challenged each other to a Work Week Hustle. It’s perfect for us because we have about the same activity level, so it’s an effort for us to stay ahead of one another, but it’s not unmanageable. We are actually having fun with it, and I think that’s what will keep us going with it.
  • A local farm harvest delivery service is finally available in my area, so I signed up and got my first delivery last Friday. The food is so delicious, and I feel like I got a lot for my money. I’ll post more about it on Friday, but I’m so proud of myself for signing up for this and actually finding ways to use the produce.
  • My husband bought himself a bike. He’s been talking about getting one for years and he found out an acquaintance of his buys bikes, fixes them up, then resells them. He made my husband a good deal on a really nice bike and now my husband can ride to his heart’s content. I’m happy that he’s so happy about it. 🙂

With all the negative news that seems to permeate our lives, I think it’s a good exercise to take note of what’s going well for us. What are some of your Daily Wins? Write them down in a notebook or jot them in a memo on your phone, or list them in the comments below. Feel free to brag on yourself or just mention that nice thing that someone did for you. Whatever it is, take a minute to really notice it and notice how it lifts you up. Then go be the WIN in someone else’s day. 🌼

Mental Health Monday

Sleep…the final frontier of your day. There are many, many times I have slipped under the covers and given thanks to God for inventing bedtime. A whole entire chunk of time to do nothing but sleep? What a gift!!!

But what if you can’t turn your brain off when it’s time to drift away? It is so frustrating to be lying in bed unable to stop thinking all the thoughts. You can Google “how to shut your brain off at night” and get lots of really good articles, but I thought I’d share some personal tips on how I get my brain to just shut up already.

  1. Cool it down. I make sure my room is cool at night because sleeping in a too-warm room makes me SUPER CRANKY. Seriously, just ask my husband.
  2. Listen to my breathing. Sometimes if I can’t sleep, I can put in earplugs and listen to my own breath – it sort of sounds like waves ebbing and flowing on the shore, which relaxes me enough to finally drift off.
  3. Count sheep. Okay maybe not sheep, but I do count. I usually start at 100 and count backward, then forward again. If I haven’t drifted off by then I will…
  4. Get up and go drink some warm milk. Some warm milk with a little vanilla extract and a bit of sugar is like a hug in a cup. Makes me feel cozy and warm. It may be a myth that warm milk helps you sleep, but for me it breaks the pattern of trying to toss and turn my way to sleep and gives me a chance to reset my brain.
  5. Play mindfulness games. This one works for me when nothing else will. I go through the alphabet and list the first 3 words that come to mind for each letter. For example, A: aardvark, advance, apple. B: blender, bully, bike…etc. Sometimes I’ll do themes like animals or foods, but most of the time just thinking of the first word that pops in my head is enough – and sometimes it’s kind of amusing.
  6. Read something uninteresting. A coworker of mine who used to sell insurance said that if you ever have trouble sleeping, go read a copy of your homeowner’s insurance policy. Three paragraphs in and you’ll be out like a light! Similarly, reading a textbook or just any old boring thing you have lying around will probably do the trick.

Thankfully, I don’t usually have trouble sleeping, but on those occasions when I do, it helps to know that I have tools that I can use to calm myself.

What are your go-to tips for those nights when sleep eludes you? Share in the comments below so maybe we can all get a good night’s rest tonight. 🙂