Blog Break

Well, I sure did not mean to take a week long break from GFK. However, I was incredibly busy and distracted. First, my mom came into town over the weekend and we had a blast! Walking, hanging, watching Roku, crafting, shopping, and of course eating. Second, work has been kicking my butt. I start a new assignment and to say that I’m taking to it like a fish to water would be a lie. I’m struggling. I know things get better with practice and time, but it’s difficult at the moment. I’m mentally really tired. I haven’t been able to craft as much lately simply because my brain is overloaded. Third, GMAT prep is just crap. Wow the positive vibes are radiating out of me here – but – spending 15+ hours a week on something and seeing no improvement is just shitty. There I said it. I stand by my claim that I’ll pray to God I’ll pull a great score out of my ass on test day, but realistically it looks like I’ll need a formal ($$$$) class this fall. Le sigh.

Things getting me through the weather, life, work, and stress of May 2014: Long walks during lunch, epic BBQ sessions at my house at night, Yoga – handstands, Runs/Gym time, Candy/Sweets/Chocolate, T-we Tea, Roku 3, and the ugly tribe.

me and katy puggy

5-2013 vs 5-2014

Onward. zzzzz.
GFK

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LET’S GET ALL SQUISHEE.


At the beginning of March I made a little ‘to-do’ list and I just wanted to revisit that and set some new intentions for Spring now that we are really getting into some wonderful weather.

1. Go to the dentist. I did it! After what seemed like decades of bad news at the dentist, I finally received an ‘outstanding’ review and found out more about my options for dealing with my 15 year old root canals. Since the integrity of my teeth is really great, the dentist told me I would have these ‘dead-teeth’ for a long time and could go with a ‘less invasive’ method of crowns for fixing the color issue I have going on. CUTE! I know right!? Anyways, maybe prepare yourself for the panic stricken dental posts that will begin to show up as I embark on this endeavor in the next six months.

2. Cheapskates are the BEST skates! Well my cheapskate lifestyle is really gaining momentum. I’ve managed to stop consuming new clothing and housewares items. I’ve cut my shopping bill to reflect a sustainable, yet low amount each week. I’ve even gone so far as to price compare at several store and online for the items I consume regularly. I signed up on Amazon’s FREE Subscribe and Save plan for several reoccurring items that I use such as face wipes, wet ones for the cats, allergy medicine, floss, toothpaste, vitamins, Vega protein powder, and lotions. The great thing about the subscription plan is that you can save up to 15% off each item and you can choose the frequency of how often you’d like to receive the item. Then you receive all your monthly subscriptions on the same day depending on your frequency selection. PLUS you can cancel or opt out of it at any time. It’s really a great program and there are quite a few discounts/coupons floating around that take 30% off your first Subscribe and Save enrollment. I even called up my current satellite and internet providers and negotiated new cheaper plans – and somehow got SHOWTIME and STARZ for FREE!!! (for three months). Cut my monthly bill by $30 calling on both! 🙂

3. Lent. Going strong with my GIANT reduction in froyo. Thank goodness. Adios frozen yogurt. I’ve only had it twice all of Lent. However, now is probably not a good time to ask me about all the Easter Candy and limited edition sugar I’ve consumed in place. SAY SUMTHING!

4. Positive Energy. In this goal I have made the most improvement. I really did kick the negativity to the curb. Both in my personal and professional life I’ve made immense efforts to be positive. Don’t get me wrong I’m still emo as hell sometimes and will readily drop a UGH MY LIFE IS OVER in jest (well mostly jest), but I’m not focusing on the negative. Life is wonderful right now and the fact that I am rocking it, is just glorious. I worked really hard to get here – I’m healthy, I’m sober, I’m busy, I’m creative, I’m excited and most of all I’m able to love myself and the great family and friends that have my back. I owe a lot to PMA and to my support group. I’d also just like to give a huge kudos and squeeze to my ‘heterolife mate’ and life-seester Tannith – she has been my sounding board and a great friend in all these changes despite being such a stupendous wife and mother to her own family!

For some new intentions I really want to find a balance in fitness. I love working out – for the physical results, but also for the mental benefits. I rejoined an online Yoga site to practice some things at home and so far I’m loving it. There is deep twisting for detoxification and wonderful work for tight shoulder (because the chiropractor visits are few and far between) and hamstrings. I think keeping with my existing cardio regimine but adding yoga to the mix will be splendid. Further, I really want to focus on being a leader and student in my health, crafts, and relationships. I’m so grateful I have this moment to be proud and look at all the gifts I’ve given myself.

See I told you I’m all squishee.

BARF RAINBOWS.

XXX
GFK

BITE SIZED TWINKIE & COOKING CLEAN

It’s Wednesday – BUT instead of feeling like ‘uh it’s half way there.’ Let’s mix it up a bit and get excited about our health instead! My dear friend just started a blog with the most adorable name ever. Bite Sized Twinkie. It’s in the foundational/beginning stages so stay tuned for big great fun things from her!

Also I recently became an admin for a wonderful paleo-inspired facebook page called Cooking Clean. There are four of us gals who contribute with mostly paleo recipes, workout tips, and motivation to eat, live, and love clean.

click on the pic to visit the facebook page!
click on the pic to visit the facebook page!

Since I technically am still doing the February Health Challenge, it is super important to remember that clean eating is key in any healthy lifestyle. We tend as a society to get hung up on calories, but really the most important idea should be quality of nutrients not quantity. No better example of this serves than diet soda vs. all organic fruit smoothie. Believe it or not a low-cal (i.e. not processed) fruit smoothie is easier and better for your body to digest than that evil zero calorie diet soda that actually tricks your body and causes huge disasters in blood sugar levels. (diet soda rant*)

i know a 'paleo' diet of an absolute minimum 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.
i know a ‘paleo’ diet of at least 1600 calories a day and running 2-3 times a week works for me.

Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and eating styles that makes them feel best. For me, staying away from anything processed and limiting starches/complex carbohydrates is how I stay lean as well as prevent lethargy, bloating (cute!), and mood fluctuation. That means that overall, I do in fact eat a Paleo diet. I really enjoy almond milk as a substitute for traditional milk, and I find myself trying alternative flours all the time in baking. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still sample traditional candies and sweets, but it’s not at the levels/rates I used to. My mind and body mean way too much to me to ruin with overly-processed and refined ‘nutrients.’ It took a long time for me to accept that what I eat really does affect me mentally. Not in a ‘control’ way but in a basic chemical reaction – I still find new things that work and don’t everyday.

my 'shamrock shake' with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.
my ‘shamrock shake’ with high protein powder, fage greek yogurt, mint extract, almond milk, and green food coloring.

One way to get into the habit of food nutrient monitoring is by keeping a good old diary! There are tons of apps that make it easy to count/review nutrients/compositions/calories.

But remember! Quality of nutrients over quantity of calories is ALWAYS BEST.

xxx
GFK

Sweat

This fitness challenge is getting DURTY. Just kidding, but I do have a few thoughts on the word ‘sweat.’

1. I’m obsessed with my new work out clothes that wick the sweat from muh baadee.

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2. I am really loving the Argus app – it combines pedometer/water calculator/weight manager/activity log/social competition. Just ask Lois she is getting fierce with the daily step competition.

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3. Running – last weekend I set a new best (in the last five years) of 2 consecutive 8:30 minute miles. I ran between 6.5-9 and when it was over I was sweating and felt the strong urge to spew all over the gym. I, however, refrained because I like Planet Fitness and do not need to be kicked out for “jillian michaels-ing’ myself. YOU CAN GET OFF THIS TREADMILL WHEN YOU PUKE, PASS OUT OR DIE!!!

SWEAT.
xxx
GFK

How can you live without booze???!!!

I thought I’d diverge a wee bit from the crafts to talk a little about something that has been arising lately in my life. I’m not gonna get preachy or annoying, I just thought I would share my thoughts as I’ve changed so much recently.

Six months ago I gave up alcohol. Plan and simple. For the most part, I surround myself with friends and family and crafters that not only support me in that, but don’t make it an issue at all. I’m not against you getting plowed – I probably won’t stay out all night anymore and I value my time a little differently, but I’m not a hater about drinking. In fact, I go out to more shows, events, and social gatherings (bar or not) now, than when I did drink! I also will preface all of this with I’m not judging or saying alcohol is bad, I just do not want to manage it in my life anymore.

I will say though that it really pesters me when people, upon finding out I do not partake react as such: “GASP! How can you even live without alcohol??!!! How horrible!” Basically, I’ll be the first to admit it’s kind of lonely sometimes not partaking in alcohol culture. Sure, I can go to a bar or a party and it’s no issue not drinking, but the drinkers – they are the most suspicious and paranoid of folk. I know, I used to be one of them myself – ‘you don’t drink? why are you here? are you with the KGB?’ Just kidding, but the comments, looks, and general puzzlement of a sober person in the presence of alcohol is reminiscent of the Red Scare (okay maybe that’s dramatic). I feel overall, ‘How can I live without alcohol?’ well the answer is simple ‘A lot better than I can live with it.’

Let’s look at some of my personal achievements since ditching the not so magical (for me) elixir:

1. Tattoos out the wazoo
2. A trip to Thailand
3. Zero Hangovers
4. -30 lbs
5. Better relationships
6. Focus/Commitment
7. I treat myself nicely now
8. Goals become reality
9. My piggy bank is loving me
10. I am a better version of myself

It’s easy to let someone ‘shame’ me into feeling like I’m missing out when I can’t spend the night taking shots and blabbering about some thing that I’m ‘super super super’ influenced by or ‘LOVE’. (Not everyone is like that, but I sure am!) I can still go to the bar, I can still have a goofy night at a club, I can take a chance and ask someone to dance or flirt without alcohol. Also I’d like to add that drinker or not, if you’re my friend – you are my friend. I respect a good glass of whiskey, but not for me please. 🙂 Plus, I’ve experienced enough to remember some awesome times!

Actually, I can still do all the things I did with alcohol, but now I can do so much more. As Rob Lowe once said “Sobriety was the greatest gift I ever gave myself. I don’t put it on a platform. I don’t campaign about it. It’s just something that works for me.”

The next time someone reacts to my sobriety in appall, I won’t defend my choice, I’ll just smile and remember – I’m better without. Much better. And that’s all you’ll hear about it from me.

xxxx
GFK

10 Photos Past 10

I tried to do this every :10 of the hour, but honestly most of those :10s I was sitting in my doom cube at work. That’s boring so here are 10 photos that may or may not be from :10.

16:10ish
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12:10ish
12:10ish
6:10ish
6:10ish
18:10ish
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8:10ish
8:10ish
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20:10ish

Happy, Happy, Happy

How would you define ‘Happiness’?

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I’m gonna take a page from Phil Robertson here and just say life is ‘happy, happy, happy.” If you’ve read previous posts here on GFK, you would have noticed (I hope) that being happy is the main point I make over and over. So how would I define happiness? I think being one’s ‘authentic self’ is true happiness. That means doing your thing – no matter what. I have compromised the things that matter to me before and it’s just a drag. It is amazing to see how inspired and inspiring I can be when I am working towards my authentic self and not forcing myself to go along with things I don’t believe in.

For me happiness can be described as; feeling good physically/mentally (sober bhud), loving family, downa$$ supportive friends, my tribe (aka the Pugkeeks), knitting, sewing, embroider, okay let’s just say crafting, eating well, music, elders, and glitter.

GFK is a pretty happy babe, that’s for sure.

xxx
Bree