May 18, 2017

Currently (May 2017)...

Reading Nothing at this exact moment, but only because I just finished Don't You Cry on Sunday night and haven't started a new book yet.  I also started and finished The Perfect Stranger while on the train a couple weekends ago and at the end of April I read The Good Girlloved all three - they kept me in suspense the whole time and I could not put them down. Next up in my reading pile is Before I Fall - I'm sure I'll get through it on the train home from Minnesota next Thursday night. 

Listening to a lawn mower outside as I lay in bed writing this post. It's been really chilly here the last two days (and I am not loving it) but that makes the best lawn mowing weather so I'm sure I'll be hearing it all day long.

Celebrating so many birthdays in May. I think May has the most birthdays of family/friends out of any other month. Add in Mother's Day and it can be an expensive month! 

Watching baseball, baseball, and more baseball. Pretty much the only thing I watch these days. I've also been re-watching Friends on Netflix before I go to bed/when I get ready in the morning just for the background noise (I hate silence).  And then when I'm at MN's we watch Game of Thrones to get me caught up before the new season starts - we're at the end of Season 4 so there's still a ways to go!

Working on some blog posts to have scheduled for when I'm gone to Minnesota for a week because I'm officially on vacation y'all! I'm off work until May 29th (yesterday was my first day off) and this weekend is the long weekend in the GWN so I'm technically only off for 7 days. I picked MN up in Minot yesterday morning at the train station and then tomorrow night we head back to Minot to get on the train together (first time ever taking the train together - its always either one of us doing it alone to see the other person) to head back to the Twin Cities. We're taking a mini vacation to Duluth on Sunday to celebrate MN's birthday on Monday and I can't wait!

Drinking a cup of coffee with some french vanilla creamer at the moment. Since I finished Whole-30'ing at the beginning of May I've only allowed myself to have creamer in my coffee on the weekends but since I'm off work (yay for holidays!) I'm letting myself indulge a bit. I've also been obsessed with Iced Tea since finishing Whole-30'ing which is strange because before this round of the Whole 30 I could not have cared less that it was in the fridge. I also had my first drink of pop since April 2nd on Monday. Just before I started that last round of the Whole 30 I was going a little crazy with my Dr Pepper obsession and probably drinking three cans a week (which is a lot for me because I usually don't drink much pop) so I need to make sure that I keep my obsession in check moving forward. 

Waiting for MN's birthday present to show up in the mail. I'm crossing my fingers it'll get here by tomorrow or else MN will be getting a belated birthday present ...

Wearing these mesh-panel compression capris from Old Navy because I haven't changed yet after doing my workout this morning. I pretty much wear these capris every chance I get - they're so comfy! As soon as I'm done writing this post I'm ordering two more pairs in different colours - that's how much I love them!

Anticipating going out for supper with my brother and sister in law and MN tonight at a restaurant in 'the city' that I've never been to before. I hope it's good!

Loving the results I'm seeing from doing Country Heat. I lost 10 lbs and 12 inches doing my first round of it (combined with the Whole30) and I'm currently on Day 11 of my second round of the program and my clothes are fitting SO much better. I'm absolutely loving it!

Making a grocery list of supplies needed to make Puffed Wheat Cake and Rice Krispie Cake - my plans for the afternoon. I've been craving Puffed Wheat Cake lately and last night my oldest niece was talking about it and MN said he has never had Puffed Wheat Cake before (!) - he actually says he's never even heard of it - so now I definitely need to make it!

May 11, 2017

A Wicked Weekend...

Last Thursday I headed to Minot to get on the train to Saint Paul for my 20th time. I didn't take my first train ride to the Twin Cities until May 18th of last year so I've now taken 21 different train rides in less than a year. That's a lot of hours spent sleeping on a train! My train was about an hour late getting to Minot, but it worked out okay because it gave me more time to make a couple of stops. I finally picked up a new Nook tablet at Barnes and Noble. My Nook Color bit the dust over a year ago and I've wanted to get a new one for a loooong time now - I have so many books in my library that I haven't been able to read! It's so much easier to travel with just a Nook filled with books to read rather than having to bring 5 books with me on the train. It'll give me more room in my backpack or suitcase for shoes or clothes! And of course I made my way to Target - I grabbed some healthy-ish snacks for the train and a couple of new books to read since I wouldn't get a chance open up my Nook and charge it until I got to Saint Paul. 

My train got in to Saint Paul just shortly after 8:00 on Friday morning - not too bad considering we were an hour late leaving Minot. It's become tradition for MN and I to head to the Uptowner Cafe for breakfast so that's exactly what we did. Pretty soon they're just going to know my order and won't even have to ask me because I always get the same thing. I can't help it, it's just so good! 

Eating supper in my car in either Target's parking lot or in the lot at the train station is also becoming a tradition haha

It was a weekend jam packed full of activities - I'm pretty sure I'm still recovering from it. Friday was Cinco de Mayo, my third favourite holiday (can you guess the other two?), and MN and I headed to a get together at a friends new house to celebrate. Give me all the Mexican food and margaritas please and thank you (especially after just finishing Whole-30ing)! Katie made us margaritas with her Ninja blender and now I'm on the hunt for a good deal on the Ninja Professional Kitchen System that also comes with the food processor. If you see a good deal send the link my way! I have a Margaritaville blender but it's really only good for slushy drinks, not everyday things, so I'd like to upgrade and sell my Margaritaville blender. 
Saturday we were up early to get ready to head to Waconia, about a 45 minute drive from the cities, to tour the J.Carver Distillery with MN's sister and her bf. The tour was interesting, I had no idea how vodka or gin was made, I just knew that I like to drink it! I had a Minnesota Mule as we toured and it was the best mule I have EVER had. Like, ever. After touring the distillery and sampling a flight of different spirits (or in my case, having a sip of each of my three and having flashbacks to my high school days of chugging straight vodka at parties and thus not being able to finish them...) we headed to the Iron Tap for lunch. I had some sort of Raspberry beer concoction and it was ah-mazing and the food was just as good. I would definitely go back to Waconia again!

When we got back to the cities twe only had about an hour and a half before we had to head out to meet MN's family for dinner before seeing Wicked at the Orpheum Theater. We met MN's mom, dad, uncle, sister and her bf at the Rock Bottom Brewery for dinner and then it was time for the show. MN's parents spoiled us with amazing seats and the show was SO good y'all. It was only my third time going to a musical (I'd previously seen Cabaret in the Queen City years ago during my middle school drama days and then saw Chicago on Broadway in NYC in the Summer of 2012). Confession: I have never seen The Wizard of Oz. When I admitted that to MN and his sister and her bf I think they all looked at me like I had two heads. I know the story of it, I've just never seen it. I guess I need to now!

Monday was MN's sisters birthday so on Sunday they had a get together with friends at their place to celebrate so MN and I headed there in the late afternoon, after sleeping in way later than I have in years, to spend some time with them before I had to get on the train to head back to the GWN. 

It was such a great weekend. Busy, but great. Every time I have to head back home it gets a little bit harder to say goodbye to MN though. But, on the flip side, everytime I leave to head to the Twin Cities its harder to say goodbye to Krickit too. As soon as she sees my suitcase she just knows I'm leaving her and it breaks my heart. I'm leaving her for almost a week at the end of next week and it breaks my heart. I wish MN could have pets in his apartment and then she could just come with me every time! 

May 2, 2017

May Goals (2017)...

First off, let me just say that I cannot believe that it is already MAY. Just yesterday I was writing out a receipt for a parent and I put the date as May 1st, 2016 - that's how fast this year has went by. I still feel like Christmas was just yesterday!

Some of my favourite people have birthdays this month so it'll be a busy month of birthday celebrations with them all. I'm also spending a lot of time in Minnesota in May so I'm sure this month is just going to be another one that flys by. I've got some big goals for myself in May so I'm hopeful that even though its a busy month I'll be able to keep working towards my goals and crossing them off of my list. But before we get to those goals, lets check in on my April Goals Progress

Come up with a way to earn extra income 
Not exactly but I'm on the right track...

Get 10K steps every weekday
I did much better than in March but I still had some issues with my FitBit dying without any warning so I didn't quite get there. I did win a couple of Workweek Hustle challenges though so at least there's that 

Get outside with Krickit 
It snowed at the end of April, if that's any indication of how this goal went for me... Spring seems to have finally arrived, just a a few weeks too late to make this one achievable. Hmphh

Be present on social media 
I made a bit more of an effort than normal but still not as much as I'd like to. I've definitely been using Instagram Stories more than ever, which is great, but I still need to up my FB and IG game. 

Today is my LAST day. I didn't follow the Whole30 guidelines completely so technically I can't say I completed a round of the Whole30 after today BUT I stuck to their guidelines 99% of the time. The ways I didn't follow it completely: I chewed gum (I had braces for over 2 years - nothing is going to stop me from chewing gum now haha), I had one beer while visiting MN at the beginning of April, I got one Caramel High Rise from Caribou while in Minot with my sister a couple of weekends ago, and I had some non Whole30 approved salad dressings on my salads (and a small bite of pasta salad while at Ruby Tuesdays because it's my fav). All that to say that even with those few 'cheats' I'm down 10 lbs since May 3rd - I'll take it! 

Enjoy an at home spa day
I almost let this one slide by but I got it crossed off with only 1 day left in the month. On Saturday I relaxed with two different face masks, put on a hand mask, gave myself a manicure, and even used a hair mask while enjoying a bath. It was all very enjoyable and I need to make time to do it more often! 

Read 4 books 
I only got to two this month - The Couple Next Door and The Good Girl. I have so many books that I've wanted to read over the last month but I made myself save them for my upcoming train trips so that I wouldn't have to spend more $$$ on books 

Publish blog posts three times per week 
I didn't make it here three times per week BUT I did once again manage to hit publish 10 times in April so I still consider it a win!

Try at least 4 new recipes 
Once again this didn't happen. We kept things pretty basic with Whole30 meals so there wasn't much opportunity to try out new things. Next month!
My goals for May were a little hard to come up with since I just posted my Spring Bucket List - I had to make sure I wasn't doubling up on anything but after some thinking I managed to set myself some goals that I'm pretty excited for! 

In May I Want To...

Reach 50K steps at the end of the workweek (Mon-Fri)
I've switched it up from wanting to reach 10K steps each weekday to getting to 50K steps total by the end of the week. The exact same thing in the end, but I'm just allowing myself a little bit of wiggle room in my days. If I only get 7K steps in one day then I just need to add extra steps in on other days to hit my goal by midnight on Friday. Allowing myself a little grace will stop myself from beating myself up if I fall asleep at 9pm on a Tuesday night while I still had 2K more steps to get in that day 

Read two books while not on the train 
I'm specifying while not on the train since last month I didn't meet my goal of reading 4 books because I didn't let myself read books at home since I wanted to save them for the train so I wouldn't have to spend more money on books (face palm). In May I have 4 train trips so I know that I will read at least three books throughout those trips but I want to make sure I'm making time for reading at home too. Y'all don't even know how excited I am that I can start my annual HP summer re-read in 7 weeks once it's officially Summer!

Hit publish on at least 12 blog posts 
I managed to publish 10 posts in both March and April - the most in any month since December 2015 - and I think 12 in May is doable, even if I will be spending a lot of time away since I will be in Minnesota for 9 days in May. I'm loving spending more time here, even if things have changed soooo much in the blogging world since I last posted consistently (2014/2015)

Get my workout done in the mornings at least three times throughout the work week 
I love getting my workouts done in the mornings before I even really start my day so that I can relax in the evenings, especially now that Blue Jays games take up most of my evenings. It's nice getting so many steps in so early on in the day too! I would love to say that I will get them done every morning before work but that's not realistic so I will aim for three days and hope for success

Book a trip to Vegas for my 30th birthday
I turn 30 this Summer y'all (eeek!) and will be heading to Vegas with some of my favourites to celebrate. MN, my sister, Scooby (hopefully, we're still working on convincing her) brother and SIL, and even my Mama are heading to Vegas for some rest and relaxation (and bottomless mimosas). We've narrowed our dates down to a week that MN has off of work so when I'm in the Twin Cities this weekend I am going to figure out flight details with him since he'll be flying out of a different airport than the rest of us and then when I get home next week I will sit down with my family to book our flights and hotels so that it's done. I can't wait! 

Plan a weekend trip to Montana to cross visiting a new state off of my 30 Before 30 list
One of the things on my 30 Before 30 list is to visit 5 new states. In June of last year I visited Wisconsin for the first time. MN and I took a day tripto WI where we first stopped for lunch in Pepin at the cutest little cafe that is now my second favourite restaurant of all time (behind the Gristmill in Gruene, TX) and we then made our way to Chippewa Falls where we toured the Leinenkugel brewery. Then in August of 2016 my sister and I road tripped to Kansas City, Missouri for some bird watching and I was able to cross Missouri and Nebraska off my list as we stopped in Omaha, NE to spend a night and the bird watching took place in Kansas City, Missouri at Kauffman Stadium. So, that leaves me with two more states to still cross off the list. I live pretty close to Montana but have never been so I told my sister and our friend Scooby that we're going to have a KJK weekend in Montana in June to cross that state off my list before my birthday. Now I just need to convince MN to go to Chicago with me so I can cross Illinois off my list...

Wear a different outfit to work each weekday in May with no repeats
My outfits lately have been either for comfort or warmth and I want to get away from dressing for those two reasons (Spring finally arriving in SE Sask should help with the dressing for warmth part...). My outfits have been very basic and I want to start actually putting thought into my outfits with putting my clothing and accessories together to create a look. I'm making it a little easy on myself since I will be off work for 8 of the 21 work days in May, so I'm starting by easing into it. Now that I'm hitting some weight loss goals getting dressed is getting easier since I'm feeling more comfortable with myself so that should help with this goal as well

Hit another weight loss goal
As mentioned in my April goals progress, I'm down 10 lbs since April 3rd (wahoo!) and I have about 6 more lbs to go until I get to where I was at the end of May last year so that's my next weight loss goal. Once I hit that goal I will be back at my smallest weight since probably high school (maybe college? It's been so long my mind is hazy haha) and then I can keep working to hit other goals. I'm going all out over the next three months to be in the best shape of my life for my 30th birthday and the subsequent trip to Vegas to celebrate and I can't wait to see my results! 

Try at least 4 new recipes 
It's gonna happen this month y'all. It has to! 

Pay cash or debit for all purchases (aka no credit card spending!)
I don't think I've mentioned it much, but after years and years of credit card debt (not a huge amount, but still) stemming from orthodontic procedures, having two car payments at once, emergency vet bills, travelling without budgeting for it, etc. I am officially credit card debt free!** Halle-freakin-lujah. I paid off the last small balance on my second credit card at the beginning of April (having paid off the last balance on my other card back in February). Moving forward, I will never get back into credit card debt. I will not allow it to happen. In 2015 I started a plan for getting out of debt, which included building up an emergency savings account for when things come up (like vehicle repairs, vet bills, etc). I also started saving for Christmas throughout the year so that come November I have $1,035 to spend on Christmas (baking supplies, gifts, decor, etc) so that I don't rack up my credit card throughout the month of December, as well as putting money into a savings account each month. Had I not created these savings accounts/Christmas budget account I would have been able to pay off my credit card debt sooner but I liked the idea of having money that is mine and not borrowed and though it may have taken me longer to get out of that debt in the end I have a good amount of money in savings so at least I'm not starting with zero dollars in my bank account. I will use my debit card or cash in May and that is it! (For things like train trips to the Twin Cities or the Vegas trip that I will be booking I will put on my credit card but then pay back immediately as I have already budgeted for thse items so have that money to pay it off right away). **I probably should have made this into its own post since it got so long but I'm just so happy that I can officially say I have zero credit card debt!

I've got some bigs goals for May but I'm feeling very energized and ready to take them all on so I'm hopeful I can knock them out. Wish me luck!

What are your goals for April?