Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goal & life planning: Part 1

I'm one of those annoying people that thrives on organization but typically seems spacey due to my brain never shutting up. I'm starting to take more risks, and set more goals and I'm really excited to kill them! 

So I'm going to do a few posts about how I plan to accomplish some goals I have in mind, and some soul searching on what I really am passionate about and want to do with my life. I feel like I'm a little late on this, but better late than never right?

I'm one of those weirdos who still prefers a paper planner, though I do keep meetings and appointments on my phone as well (yea Outlook at work!) I use one called Passion Planner. I originally backed her on Kickstarter and absolutely love my planner. Right now she is doing a Kickstarter to fund a smaller one, and I have already backed that one as well. It's great! If you want to try it, she has free printable pages on her website as well, or you can back the new Kickstarter here. It has 14 days left.  

Each week starts on Monday (the new one starts on Sunday, but this is the original one). Has a place to put a weekly focus, write down good things that happened, a quote, and a small goal or task to do each week. Below is a section for a Personal To-Do List, a Work on, and a blank space to get creative. This is a week I haven't written on yet but I enjoy this planner. 

Goal Planning
Another thing I am going to be using to get organized and set goals is something called PowerSheets from Lara Casey Shop. Information from the site:

Picture is copyright of Lara Casey
105 PowerSheets™ last for 6 full months and include: 
  • 2014 Goal Setting and Action Plan Sheets 
  • Monthly/Weekly/Daily Tending Lists 
  • Monthly PowerSheets Checklist
  • Great Things That Happened This Month
  • This is My Year Goal Sheet
  • Big Dreams Page for big ideas
  • What Fires Me Up
  • Things I Want to Learn/Things I Learned
  • My Vision
  • Access to exclusive PowerSheets Facebook Group
NEW in the 2015 PowerSheets™:
  • Streamlined beautiful design
  • Set of 8 tabs, in tan and gold foil
  • Three-Month Goal Refresh 
  • Words of Inspiration
  • New motivating quotes and notes from Lara
I heard about this from Val Marie Paper  when I was looking for a prayer and/or gratitude journal. I'm excited because for some reason, having it written down makes me more motivated than just jotting it down on a post it, or telling myself I'll do it.

I also keep a Moleskine or small notebook with me at almost all times. I like writing and I also use the Notes application on my iPhone to jot down things, such as grocery lists. I'm more likely to forget a paper one but having it on my phone, I have no excuse.

For budgeting, I've always use Mint, but I'm looking into others as well. I like it because it keeps everything together, and emails me updates if I want them. I can add my credit cards, loans, bank account information, and it's all there in one place instead of me logging into each site individually.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

2014 books as of November 8

1Q84 (Vintage International)
After Dead: What came next
Alias Grace
An Unquenchable Thirst
Bearing an Hourglass * -Reread
Being a Green Mother - Reread
Beloved Disciple

Dead Ever After
Dexter's Final Cut
Fast Food Nation
Freefall To Fly
Girls Meets God
Good Omens
Help, Thanks, Wow
Her Dark Curiosity
The Historian
Hollow City
I Am Malala
I'd know you anywhere
Interpreter of Maladies
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)
Jamaica Inn
Lean In
Let's All Be Brave
Love Does
Lucia, Lucia
Maya's Notebook
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

The Moonlight Palace
On a Pale Horse -Reread
One Lavender Ribbon
One Thousand Gifts
Orange is the New Black
Paper Towns
Perfectly unique
Real Murders
Self-Inflicted  Wounds
Serena *
Spiritual Misfit
Start Something That Matters
The Aviary
The Aviator's Wife
The Birds
The Goldfinch
The Golem and the Jinni (P.S.)
The Handmaid's Tale *
The Historian
The Husband's Secret
The Invention of Wings
The Light in the Ruins
The Madman's Daughter
The Night Circus
The Paper Magician
The Paris Wife
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Poisonwood Bible *
The Reason I Jump
The Shack
The Silent Wife
The Snowball: Warren Buffett
Unnatural Creatures
We Were Liars

With a Tangled Skein - Reread
Wielding a Red Sword - Reread
Winter of the World
World Without End
Yellow Crocus: A Novel

The reread are all part of a series called the Incarnations of Immortality by Piers Anthony. I'm pretty sure I've read other books as well, just forgot to note it somewhere!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Quiet around here

This blog is somewhat at a standstill, though I do have a couple of things in the works for regular posting soon. I am out on a medical leave due a chronic pain condition (mentioned previously) so haven't been that great at doing much other than trying to sleep when I can, making dr's appointments, talking to insurance (that is NOT fun), worrying about the work I am missing, and spending time with my family. Things are a little nuts around here! I rarely even leave my apartment.

Posts I'm thinking of doing:

Lifting sets I enjoy

Links to workout ideas that I use


Favorite workout clothes (I have lots!)

How to fit it all in working and with a kid

Debating with CPT program to do

Grad School contemplation

Monday, October 27, 2014

E-book fun

I'm not sure how many people use e-readers, but I am obsessed with my Kindle. I've always been deemed a speed reader, and go through books really fast. Buying real paperbound books was getting expensive, my bookshelves both at my father's house and my apartment were full, and frequent trips to the library were not always feasible for me. And while I do still purchase real books much to my boyfriend's chagrin (seriously, he gives me some are you kidding me looks quite frequently when I come home with more books) I'm more likely to get books for my kindle than anything else now.

Advantages to e-books:

  • I can highlight and add notes without the inner teacher relative voice in my head telling me to stop scribbling in books
  • There are frequently free books from some of my favorite authors available on Amazon
  • Space for storing books is all on one device
  • All of my highlights for my kindle are saved on a website I can access easily and view by book
  • Money!
  • I miss the smell of books
  • I miss holding books
  • The pretty covers of books are lost
If you don't own an e-reader, but you have a smartphone or a tablet you can download the applications for the readers on there for free! Nook, Kindle, and iBooks are all available. 

Now for some tips on easily getting e-books cheaper! This post has been in the works for a while, but after talking to Annica of Life Modifier on instagram I thought I should put more information out there. I am a deal hunter and a book lover, so I've done some legwork here. 

First up, your local library! It is far more than just a home to physical books. Most of them also use OverDrive, or another setup, for the ability to lend e-books directly to your e-reader or audio device. The time limit is usually 14-21 days, and you can have 5-10 books out at a time with the ability to be on hold like you would a traditional book. You can also borrow audiobooks that you can put on your device, or listen to via a special application. 

There are several sites where you can sign up to receive book deals that are priced cheaper than normal and on most, you can choose the categories you want sent to you. Below I've listed a few I use and have found useful.

Pixel of Ink  is the newest one I've come across but my favorite at the moment. You can receive daily emails with book deals, free and deeply discounted, or search for deals on their site.

Also, when you go to Amazon and go to the Kindle Book store, select Bestsellers and you can organize the categories by Top 100 paid, and Top 100 free, and narrow down even further for more results on the categories. I've spent way too much time on it and the deals do change occasionally. Here a couple of links to my favorite categories:

Classics-Pride and Prejudice, Anna Karenina, A Tale of Two Cities. If you love classics, this will be your friend.

Religion & Spirituality

Bios & Memoirs

Also, can't forget Project Gutenberg! The original online home for e-books and the first I had ever heard of. I used it before e-readers were even popular and it's great!

Make sure you follow your favorite authors on social media. If their books go on sale anywhere, they are usually the first to announce it! 
Please note: books on these deal sites do not always last at their low or free price for very long. Some will stay for weeks and some jump up in a matter of hours. Any books I have listed are subject to change in price. These are all my own personal opinion on how much I enjoy using these sites.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

WIN Detergent review + giveaway

Use code WINGIVE1 for $1 off Win Detergent (just click the links above to go to Amazon!)
This detergent is specifically made for athletic clothes, but I've also used it for my regular clothes with no issue. My son has eczema as well as allergies, so the green formula is PERFECT for his clothing. I'm obsessed! It worked great on socks, and sports bras (let's face it, those need lots of love in the washer!) To enter, follow the steps in the Rafflecopter giveaway below. You'll be winning one bottle each of WIN Detergent, one green, and one regular and here are on some details on this product as well:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 13, 2014

Chronic pain

Chronic pain isn't one of those things you think you will ever have to deal with. You think, oh something has hurt for a while, I'll go to the doctor, they'll fix it, or give medication, and ta da! All fixed. I wish it was that easy.

Since I was about 18, I've had this weird knee jerk. It was at different times, not every day, but randomly as I'm going to sleep. Over the years, it has gotten progressively worse and there are various triggers that make it worse. Doctors have mostly scoffed at me, made me feel like I was insane because the symptoms I was presenting didn't align with what they knew.

Starting in September of last year, I have visited 4 different specialists, as well as my normal doctor and an acupuncturist (that will be it's own post). A sleep medicine center, an orthopedic center, a cardiologist focusing on veins, and a neurologist. They all seem dumbfounded and completely confused as to what is going on with my knee. It starts to ache at night when I lie down, then jerks violently like it's being electrified. I have a video and every time I show one of my doctors, they sort of jump. That's not comforting. My neurologist as of now is classifying it as a myoclonic jerk. The prescription medication count is to about 22 (not at once) as they try to find various medications that will work longer than a night or a few weeks. So far, no luck. (As evidenced by the fact that this has been edited several times and it seems to only be at 4 am...)

This issue is most of the reason that the blog has been so quiet. It's caused me to do quite a bit of soul searching, as well as research trying to decide what in the world is wrong with me. Most of the medications they have tried are not alleviating the symptoms AND I can't sleep. Talk about a lose/lose situation for me.

So for now, blogging will be intermittent, but I do have some stuff in the works for this blog.