Unpacking, Crafts, and Other Fun Stuff

Hello again! Happy almost Thursday!

We have gotten quite a bit unpacked in our apartment and are feeling like we can live comfortably enough and do normal stuff in our apartment which is a nice feeling.  I am slowly getting my desk set up and I’m absolutely itching to do some artsy stuff and It’s almost finished but not quite. I’m at the point where I can at least use my laptop at my desk which is what I am doing at the moment while listening to the Madeline Peyroux radio station on Pandora.

I am one of those people (maybe it’s just me actually…) that gets so invested in a hobby or craft that I end up spending a lot in it and never really finish more than a project or two and then I get bored with it over time until I discover the next craft.  I still crochet on occasion and should do more often but it’s hard to want to when it’s 100 degrees outside! I don’t exactly want a blanket on my lap that I’m working on because there’s no where else to put the finished part of it. But it is still a craft that I enjoy I just need to remember that I do enjoy it… In the Fall and Winter especially!

I also REALLY got into scrapbooking probably over 10 years ago when it was huge! I spent plenty on that stuff and finished 3 of them.  I have officially gotten rid of most of my scrapbooking supplies including a ton of scrapbooking paper, a large set of patterned scissors that cut shapes into the paper which I NEVER used, and some other random scrapbooking stuff.  I did keep a few things I can use with other crafting projects like stickers, glue tape, and stuff like that but I can use that in other areas like my short stint Glam Planning which again, I didn’t stick with. I am not the best with keeping a routine going in case you couldn’t tell! There have been many others but I won’t bore you with that!

My most recent interest is another form of planning.  It’s called bullet journaling.  It is way cheaper than getting an Erin Condren planner (which I LOVE but didn’t use 1/2 the time and they are around 65-70 bucks!) With bullet journaling you can use any journal you have on hand and make it your own. Don’t ask me to explain it because I still don’t really know. I do know you can start any time you want, it doesn’t have to be in January and since I’m so close to July, I am starting on Friday with it.  I have a journal already (I have several unused journals, are you surprised by that?!) and plenty of colorful pens, stickers, and washi tape to decorate with so I’m already set to go! I think it might help me with my budgeting too, and my eating habits which you can incorporate, along with anything else you would want to add, into your bullet journal.

Onto other things, I’m trying to slowly get out of emotional eating (a life long struggle!) and finding ways to self-care. I am an emotional person so things can really get to me and I need to change that.  I don’t want to be like that anymore and it’s not healthy for me.  I’ve been doing pretty good with planning breakfasts and lunches which is helping financially and living off of cash alone is becoming a habit for me.

Sister-in-law had another round of chemo today so she’ll be going through her bad days this weekend poor thing.  Continued thoughts and prayers are much appreciated.

We are on the fence for 4th of July plans. We have a few ideas in mind so we’ll see how that ends up. We’ll probably be going to the Bay Area one day to take my uncle out for lunch for his birthday. And my birthday falls the third weekend of July (well that Monday…) and I’m trying to decide what I want to do that day.  Ideas are day trip to Tahoe, San Francisco, or somewhere else not too far away.  We are starting to look into how much  weekend trip would cost to Tahoe too for maybe early September which would be nice.  Haven’t had a trip there in years!

Anyway, that’s about it from me, I hope you all have a wonderful Independence Day weekend and I’ll post again soon!

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Life Updates

Hi there, remember me? I know it’s been a long time since I have posted anything but a lot has been going on in our family and I just wanted to get over one particular hurdle before coming back so I can start focusing again on my blogs but I will explain a little bit about what has been going on in this post and my hopes for future posts.

I’ll start with the less intense stuff first. My mother and I got a notice to vacate back in late February from our landlords because they decided they want to sell the condo we’ve been living in.  This was a mostly good thing yet also put a lot of stress on us to find a place.  We did find a place about a mile away in a gated complex for more than we pay now which would have happened no matter what but it’s slightly bigger, bigger kitchen with a big island, jack and jill type bathroom with a sink in the master and in the hallway, two big linen closets, and a big balcony as well. It’s a nice complex, very quiet, and a nice pool that I cannot wait to get into, especially with the hot months just starting up.  We moved Memorial Day weekend and still have a lot left to unpack but neither one of us mind taking our time because we want to get it done right.

And with the whole move in mind and how much I was trying to figure that I could afford, I realized how I screwed myself up financially. I got lost basically and my cousin helped me recreate my budget and has been talking with me several days a week to help me keep track and get some of my debts payed down and to live within my means again. It’s hard when you have lingering depression and you just want to forget your responsibilities and go out to eat instead of making food at home or thinking you can buy something when you should probably save it for something you need instead… I feel like it is all part of my cycle of over eating, emotional problems, and depression.  I’m trying to get out of it and I’m showing slow progress but I have a ways to go.

Speaking of financial issues, I spent my tax return on a trip to Disneyland with my aunt. It was a blast but in hindsight I probably should have waited or gone less days but what’s done is done and we had a great time. I will be going over my trip report when I finally finish my Disney World trip report and that trip has been officially a year ago. 

And one more thing on the financial issues, I decided to put Weight Watchers on a hiatus.  I LOVE Weight Watchers, the meetings are everything to me, but I just can’t afford $45 per month at this time.  Right now I am using Sparkpeople.com which is a great free weight loss community where you log what you eat and they figure out how many calories, fat, fiber, etc to stick to depending on how much you would like to lose per week (in a healthy time frame of course) and there are a ton of great resources on their website.  So it’s the best option I have at the moment but as soon as I can get back to it, I would love to go back to Weight Watchers.  Maybe by then it will be a fresh start for me.

And the saddest issue of things that have been going on in my family is that my sister-in-law has been having stomach issues probably since last I wrote (if not a little longer) and after cat scans, pet scans, a colonoscopy, and pretty major surgery, we found out that she has stage 4 colon cancer.  She’s only 38 years old.  In fact Wednesday was her birthday.  They have her on a pretty aggressive regimen of chemo right now and she’s trying to stay positive as the whole family.  We have hundreds of people praying for her which I think helps her stay positive.  I don’t want to go into too much detail about the prognosis and the other issues involved for her privacy but I will keep you all updated when I can.

So my plans for the blog are to start back up at least once per week, and I’m going to figure out what kind of things I would like to talk about in the upcoming posts and recipes that I would like to share as well.

I want to end this post on a bit of a happy note so HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful, amazing, sister-in-law who is literally the sister I never had.  I am so grateful to have her in my life and hope that God blesses her and helps her fight this disgusting disease that cancer is.

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New Weight Watchers Smart Points

Ugh, I’m back to my highest weight but I’m back on plan and have a renewed sense of motivation after having a break from Weight Watchers and the introduction last Thursday of Smart Points.  It’s a little stricter than Points Plus but I’ve been able to handle it so far.  I’m curious to see how well I do this week on the new system.

I’m still learning about it but I know the gist of it and I have my phone to figure out points for everything too.  Thank God for smart phones!

The points aren’t the only thing that changed too.  The website and the app have had a complete overhaul as well.  There are some glitches to the site and app but they assured us at the meeting that the issues are being worked on.

I’ll start first with the changes to the points.  The daily and weekly points plus are now called Smart Points and the activity points are now called Fit Points.  I’m not sure if the fit points are calculated differently than they used to be and I just have my Fitbit linked up and let it do what it does…

The Smart Points as I already mentioned, are a little stricter.  They used to count Fat, Carbohydrates, Protein, and Fiber to get the Points Plus Value and now they use Calories as a baseline and add for Saturated Fat and Sugar content, and lower for Protein amount.  From the looks of it some things have stayed the same, a lot has gone up mainly 1 or 2 points, some things have gone way up (mainly surgery desserts and cakes), and a few things have actually gone down a little.

Fruit and most vegetables are till 0 Smart Points to encourage you to go for those. The whole thing is to give you a bigger push towards eating healthier foods.

The amount of daily points I have went down by 1 but I lost 1/2 pound between the last two weeks so that could have affected that change too, they also calculate how many weekly points you get so no more 49 per week.  I think my weekly Smart Points allotment is 45 and naturally I can’t find the total on the website because it’s acting up at the moment but they didn’t say how they calculate that either they just tell you at your meeting what it’s changed to or if you do online, I’m sure they will tell you that way as well.

They are still working on the website and app so I will give some details about those when they are working better and I get to know more about them.  The app I know has a feed page where you can see people post before and after pictures, how they’re feeling, and other things and I find that quite inspirational. I am going to get a before picture of myself too because after losing 30 pounds (that I gained back…) I couldn’t tell the difference physically so I would like to see it for myself.

Anyway, that’s a little breakdown of the changes to Weight Watchers.  I have missed posting here so I am going to plan to write at least once or twice a week to keep me motivated and maybe get some recipes written up to share as well.

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season!

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Life Updates

Sorry, I’m back! I am out of it this week but wanted to do a quick post because it’s been so long!  

I haven’t been posting much because my computer was dying on me and I finally got a new one, and it took a long time to get my pictures and other files uploaded from my old computer so I will start working on the trip report soon too.

The trip was great. I LOVED Epcot and the cruise was pretty relaxing.  Ate a lot of amazing food and can’t wait to post about it! And will all of the eating especially on the cruise, I was still down .4 lbs so I would say that was a success. 

This month is another busy month with all of my weekends being booked up but they are fun things so that’s good.  This weekend I’m doing some major cleaning around the condo and on Sunday we are going to the Bay Area for my uncle’s 75th birthday. 

Next weekend I’m taking Friday off because my cousin is coming to visit for the weekend (hence the deep cleaning we will be doing although it needs to be done anyway) and my birthday is Saturday so we will probably go out to dinner. 

The last weekend in July, I am going to the Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco with my Disney group and my aunt is coming along as well because she has never been before.  We are also going to go to 5:30 mass at St. Dominic’s in SF which I’ve been to a lot but just to light a candle at the St. Jude shrine in the church.  My friend goes to that mass so we should be meeting up that day and it’s another place my aunt has never been to. 

I look forward to talking about all of those things and to get back into posting more regularly with the trip being done and all. But for now I just wanted to get this out and let you know I’m back and to look forward to a lot of content from me for at least a while!

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Mixing Simply Filling and Points

I had a fun weekend.



We spent the night at my cousins’ home in the East Bay and had a great time, and even got a few minutes to relax by the pool, although we didn’t GO in the pool as it was still too cold to do that. But it was perfect for sitting and looking at the amazing view!


I love their back yard.

When we got back home we ran into Trader Joe’s to get a few things then ran over to the movie theater to see Cinderella which was amazing! I love the vivid colors of the movie and storyline wasn’t too different from the animated version.  We did have two people who sat right next to us in an empty theatre that were loud the entire movie and I was trying hard not to let it bother me.  I shushed them loud enough that they should have heard several times but nothing… That kind of disrespect BUGS me, but the movie was great. I’ll probably get it when it comes out on BluRay.


So I decided after my gain last weight in that I’m going to try doing Simply Filling but I know how I am when I am on it (I was the same way on Core only worse because it was even more strict) so I decided to experiment a bit.  I’m going to split my days between Simply Filling and counting Points.  I’m more than 1/2 way through my tracking week and it’s worked out so far. I am going to do the Simply Filling plan on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays and Track on Thursdays and the Weekends.

I’m not going to be religious with sticking to this because there will be days when I’ll need to do Tracking instead due to whatever may be going on. For instance, we are going to Fresno for a long weekend for Easter and it would just be easier on everyone for me to track points instead of doing Simply Filling.  Work weeks are easier because I have more control over what I eat.

That’s the great thing about Weight Watchers now because when it was Core and the old Points, you had to do them a week at a time and couldn’t switch between the two. I’m hoping this will just get me to eat more fruits and vegetables and just healthier in general so I feel better by the trip.

I’m very happy doing Simply Filling (part time) because I get to have the following for lunch and I only have to count 2 of my weekly Points Plus for the dressing and low-fat cheese (I don’t do fat free or soy cheese!)





First, here’s what I got at Trader Joe’s and Raley’s yesterday (I have a 4-day work week so it worked out for four meals):

Trader Joe’s:

  • Lite Shredded Mexican Blend cheese (I was in a hurry…)
  • Organic Persian cucumbers (comes with 8 “cuces” so that works out to 2 per day.
  • Corn Tortillas- (some corn tortillas are acceptable on the Simply Filling plan, they just need to be low fat)
  • 4 organic bananas


  • A container of 2 small heads of romaine lettuce (1/2 per day gives you PLENTY!)
  • 4 bulk carrots (one for each day)
  • 1 lb of lean ground beef (I found 7% at Raley’s and they have 5% at TJ’s but I’m wary of buying their meat) to make 4 patties.
  • Needed ingredients for the dressing.
  • 4 apples

So that was mostly for lunch. I forgot lite english muffins for breakfast and I was going to make hard-boiled eggs but again, forgot. I bought a bunch of yogurts that are simply filling (they were low sugar and fat free from Yoplait, they have the 2 points plus label on them too, but do a search of what brands are okay.  I think as long as it’s lower sugar and fat free, it’s okay) so I grabbed two of those for the morning and through one of them in the freezer for an afternoon snack. I also made baked “fries” to go with the burgers.

Just having a yogurt (even being a Greek yogurt with more protein) and a banana wasn’t enough for me so I ate lunch earlier than I’d like so I definitely need to add the egg at least to my breakfast so I can last a little longer.

I’m trying to get at least a little exercise in each day too. Monday I got in a 1/2 hour walk as well as a 15 minute exercise dvd from Weight Watchers and I am now sore from doing that so it definitely had an effect on me! So we will see how much I can do when I really stick to it.

The work week is already 1/2 way done and I’m really looking forward to my long Easter weekend and getting away from home again. We both need to just get away.

Anyway, I have lots to do so I better end it here. I’ll let you know how I do on Thursday! I hope it goes well because I’m feeling bloated right now!

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Trip Planning and Weight Watchers

I did okay this weekend. My brother and his family came over for dinner on Saturday and my mom and I worked like mad women on getting the place cleaned up (we have papers and I swear they multiply in the night!) so it is much nicer having a clean living room.  It feels more open!

We made a BBQ’d chicken (whole chicken seasoned with salt, garlic powder, garlic salt, and pepper, simple but amazing!), roasted potatoes (and they turned our super crispy and amazing because she accidentally cooked them longer than she wanted), and they had steak and a couple of ribs they needed to cook that day or they’d have to throw it away.

We had a nice visit with them and my cousin FaceTime’d me so she got to say hi to Gina for a minute.  She’s planning on taking a weekend up here from LA so she can meet Gina and Bug and we all talked about taking a weekend in Santa Cruz too which would be fun! I’ve never stayed in Santa Cruz, we just took day trips because I grew up an hour north of Santa Cruz and we only went to the Boardwalk which I definitely want to do, especially with Bug because it would be super fun going on the rides we can both go on together. But it would be nice too to see the rest of Santa Cruz. 

Sunday, my aunt and I met up with our cousins to start work on plans and get an idea of what we all want to do on our trip. We will have to do more but I’m working on research and ideas because I think they are happy with me being the one to do that. I need to make it flexible too so we can switch things around and they can work out if they want to go somewhere else when my aunt and I want to do something in particular but I’m sure it will all work out.

It really helps writing everything out.

I also gave my aunt everything I needed in order to send in for my renewed passport that expired at the beginning of the month (I can’t believe I went to France 10 years ago!) and I made an appointment to see my doctor about options for medication for potential sea sickness (I’m guessing I’d be one of those people because I get motion sick, especially in a car) and maybe something to calm my nerves on the flight.

I never used to be a nervous flyer but after my last flight when I went to France, I had a dream that was super vivid that the plane I was on blew up and it felt so real and now I have that fear and it makes me so mad that I do! I used to love flying, which we only really did when we went to LA and one time to Texas before my trip to France 10 years ago (I can’t believe its’ been that long!). I don’t think I’d need anything strong but just a little something to calm my nerves.

Anyway, I’m finding that 4 days is kind of pressed for time in Disney World but I think I figured out a plan of attack to get each park in and I hope everyone agrees with the plan. We also agreed we will probably be splitting off at points too.

I don’t want to go too much into the trip here because I’m talking about it on the Disney blog so it’s not necessary for me to do so, I’m just so excited!

Now for my Weight Watchers meeting – I had a 1 pound gain but I am giving Simply Filling a try again at least during the week and using points on the weekends for more flexibility so we will see how it goes!

I was late to the meeting but they talked about getting back on track and ways to get you motivated to do so and honestly I’m the worst at it so I will think about that and get back to you on some ideas I come up with.

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Exciting News!!!

You know, I’ve started and deleted about four posts and I’m finally just going to get out an update.  A lot happened in February and I was going to post about it but it’s all over and done with.

And for my exciting news, last Friday, my aunt invited me to go to Disney World and on a Disney Cruise in June! It will be four days in Disney World and a four night cruise to the Bahamas stopping at Nassau and Castaway Cay (pronounced key).  I am totally beyond excited about it! If you’d like to follow my plans up to the trip and see a trip report when I get back, I’ll post all of that stuff on my Disney blog, but here I will mention it a bit with my weight loss progress.

I now have a goal date to push for.  I have about three months and I am hoping that 30 lbs isn’t much to ask for.  We’ll see.  I would be happy with 15 but I’m going to try, you never know so I am going to try for 30 pounds but I am not going to starve myself.

I have a TON of planning to do and I’m going to have to be disciplined with both eating and finances so I can save up for the trip.  Other than that, I am just getting myself through Spring which has decided slap me in the face.  I had a super bad cough for the last couple of weeks and I sort of lost some of my appetite which is fine with me because I lost 3.6 lbs at my last weigh in.

Finally I was down, and I was down more than the last two or three gains I had so I’ll take it! I’m working on being diligent with writing down everything I eat and exercise wise, I’m striving to get at least 1/2 hour of activity in a day and I would love to get my 10,000 steps in per day but if I can’t make it, the 1/2 hour activity would be great.

That’s about it from me but I will make time to post here more often instead of waiting this long again.  I want to keep this up and it doesn’t do me any good to just be lazy.

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