The long and winding road to fitness, day 137

Hot air balloons, San Diego, California

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My last Saturday off…sob…sniffle…but at least it was a good one.  A gorgeous fall day, lots of sunshine, warm temps, lovely blue sky.  Saw some hot air balloons when I was out and about this morning…I’ve never been up in one, but that’s on my bucket list.


I ran a few errands this morning…Aldi, CVS, Kroger…bought a fair amount of produce…actually ate a big salad for dinner tonight…the entire time I was eating it I was thinking about how really tasty it was…  Hard boiled some eggs to put on salads, washed the Romaine lettuce, shredded some carrots (with a little hand grater…sounds like I’m energetic, but it’s really laziness…too lazy to dig out the food processor and then way too lazy to have to clean it after I’m finished)…so salad fixin’s are ready for a few days.  Being the sweet, kind person (or brown noser, depending upon how you look at it) I even made a small salad to take to work for my boss tomorrow.  He’s one of those unusual guys (haha…this has me rolling on the floor…he’s unusual, all right) who actually likes salads…and for some reason (like, because he’s a guy?), he never makes them for himself.  Won’t he be surprised?

I also froze some over ripe bananas, then made banana pops with them…I bypassed ice cream at the store today because I had decided to make these instead…yum, yum…

The only exercise I did today was some core work and range of motion exercises…and then I cleaned house…a lot…I knew I wouldn’t have the time for the next couple of months to do a lot of housework so I wanted to at least start my six-day work week with a clean house…then I saw a Facebook status from one of my friends, who is a manager at a store in Indy, saying she’d done the same thing…so do you think the guy managers who had today off did the same thing?  Uhh…what am I saying?  Of course they didn’t…they probably went out to the golf course or something silly like that. 

And then the time changes tonight…don’t want to forget that…don’t want to show up to work early…that’s right, isn’t it?  It would be early, right?  6:30 would normally be 7:30, so if I showed up at 7:30, I’d really be there at 6:30…oh never mind…just remember to change your clocks…fall back…like you’re falling backwards into a big pile of fall leaves…



The long and winding road to fitness, day 133

I had a much-needed and well deserved day off work today.  I slept in…until 6 am, if you can believe that!  Then I just stayed in bed reading until closer to 7 am.  Finally got up and fed the cats, made toast and juice, took that upstairs and read Sunday’s newspaper while eating breakfast.  What a pleasure to be able to take my time getting ready for the day.

I did walk for 20 minutes.  I went to a little park in the neighborhood.  It’s hard to believe that I’ve lived here for ten years and have never stopped  at that park.  I’m definitely going to go back, with camera in hand.  There was a lady playing with two large dogs in a field, nice walking trails, playground equipment, tennis courts, picnic tables, shelter houses.  I had no idea that the park was so nice.  So that was a fun experience.

I also did some lower body strength training and range of motion exercises for my shoulder.  I was surprised that my shoulder wasn’t bothering me more today.  I did a lot of heavy lifting over the past couple of days at work…and the boxes are often too big for me to comfortably wrap my arms around (yes, that’s because I’m short…not much I can do about that).  But my shoulder didn’t feel any worse today than it does any other day.

I eventually went out to the gas station to spend way too much money on gas.  How is it that gas prices can jump over 25 cents in one day?  Oh, I don’t think you want me to get started on my answer to that question.  I also ran into CVS to pick up a couple of things that were on sale…

With coupons added to the sale prices and a $2 ECB, I ended up spending less than $1 for these items.  Don’t you love saving money on things you use anyhow?

I did finally bake the squash I bought a few weeks ago.

I also cleaned and baked the squash seeds…

Makes for a quick, easy, salt-free treat.  Have you ever roasted pumpkin or squash seeds?  What seasonings do you use?  I used a little olive oil and garlic powder for these.  I also like Cajun seasoning.  Okay, now I’m off to eat some squash for my dinner.  Hey, how about that…that’s a vegetable…or is it a fruit?  Well, no matter, at least it’s healthier than fast food, right?

The long and winding road to fitness, day 119


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A nice rainy day today.  I thought I’d go out and run a few errands, but when I got out there, I just wasn’t in the mood.  So I ended up stopping to get gas then ran into CVS for a couple of things (bought 2 Dawn dish soaps and 1 Natural Instincts, spent not quite $3…had some good coupons and some ECBs to use, not bad).  Then I just came home and enjoyed the rainy afternoon, sat upstairs reading for a couple of hours.  Isn’t that just the best, sitting listening to the rain drumming on the roof, knowing you don’t have to get out in  it?

I did design and order my Christmas cards today.  I’ve never been much of a scrapbooker, but this site just might change my mind…

I designed a Halloween card and then downloaded it to use as my desktop wallpaper…too cute….

I ate a little  better today.  At least I ate several servings of fruits and veggies.  Still had too many calories, but at least the fruit and veggie count was higher than it’s been for the past couple of days.  My only exercise was walking for 20 minutes and doing some range of motion exercises.  I’ve kind of gotten out of the morning exercise habit.  I’ve been going in to work so early that I can’t seem to get enough sleep if I exercise in the morning.  Of course, I had today off, so I can’t really use that as an excuse, can I?

Did I make that chili I talked about yesterday?  Uh…no, no I did not.  Why?  Mmm…because it was a rainy, lazy day?    I did eat soup for dinner though…vegetable chicken noodle…pretty tasty.  Maybe the chili will be on the agenda (and the stove top) this weekend.

You’ve seen the pictures of Spooky wearing her little Halloween costume, well, this shows how she really felt about the whole situation.

Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew

Dark circles

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I bought this product recently and just had to share.   Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Anti-Dark-Circle Roller, just so you know exactly what to look for if you decide to give it a try.  I’ve had dark circles under my eyes for, like, forever.  Yes, they’re worse when I don’t get enough sleep, but even getting adequate sleep doesn’t get rid of them completely.  I’ve tried all kinds of concealers, cover-ups, make up.  Some worked better than others.  Some I only used once or twice and ended up throwing them out (yes, this definitely does get expensive).  When I was at CVS the other day, I decided to look at this product that I’d been reading about in magazines.  I bought it and immediately tried it out when I got home.  I tried it on only one eye to better be able to judge the results.  Holy moly!  It was like the dark circles just disappeared. 

The applicator has a metal rolling ball that is cooling to the under eye area.  The product itself has caffeine gel (not sure what the gel part of caffeine is, but I like caffeine) and lemon essence.  It also has mineral pigments.  I’ve been wearing mineral make up for quite a few years now and really like the results I get with it.

I haven’t been this pleased with a skin care/make up product in quite some time.  What about you?   What’s your favorite skin care or make up product?  Oh, and in case you were wondering, that is NOT a picture of my eye~

CVS Minute Clinic

A CVS pharmacy in Southside Place, Texas, form...

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I admit it, I’m a procrastinator.  I don’t know why I wait until the last minute to do things that I know I have to do.  What?  Am I waiting for the task fairy to come along and mark everything off of my to-do list?    I think she must be busy somewhere else, because she never seems to show up at my house.  Anyhow, today was the last day to get the biometric screening done for work.  I didn’t have to do it.  No one forced me to do it.  I even considered not doing it.  All of the usual excuses, it’s inconvenient, cost, no time…and so on.  The thing is, I’ve been on vacation since Tuesday, so I can’t really say I haven’t had the time.  Yesterday was pretty much a wash because I was in so much pain all day, but I woke up today feeling much better.  Cost?  Co-pay was all I was going to have to pay, so that’s really not a very good excuse.  Inconvenient?  Well, yeah, going to the doctor (or the clinic, if your doctor can’t see you soon enough because you waited too long to call to make an appointment) is never convenient.  It’s not convenient for anyone, but we all have to do it at times.  I thought about not going, but man, I really, REALLY didn’t want to have to pay that $10 per paycheck surcharge for my insurance…that adds up to $240 over the course of a year.  $240 that I could use for something else.

So, I did it.  I got up, got ready and headed across town (inconvenient).  I got there about 7:55 and they opened at 8.  As I was signing in, the practitioner came in.  She invited me in just a few minutes later.  When I told her what I needed and why, she understood completely.  We talked about my weight…obviously I’m overweight…can’t really hide it.  When she did the tests for blood glucose, cholesterol, blood pressure, and so on, I think she was somewhat surprised that all of my results were so good.  It’s always been like that, though.  I think that’s one of the reasons that I never really worried all that much about my weight, I had never had any negative medical test results associated with being overweight (okay, obese).  We talked about that, about family history, how I eat, how much I exercise, all the usual topics.  She said I was obviously doing some things right, but that weight loss would still benefit me (uh, yeah, I know, I know).  I forgot to tell her that I’ve lost 11 pounds in the past three weeks…oops!  Anyhow, weight loss is definitely something I’m going to discuss with the new doctor I’ll be seeing.  I’m hoping this new doctor will be someone I can work with to take care of this once and for all.

I was very impressed with how quick and easy the clinic visit was.  I won’t hesitate to utilize this particular Minute Clinic again if the need arises.  The nurse practitioner was awesome…yes, I completed the online survey after I got home and complimented her, everyone deserves a little recognition for a job well done.  So, lesson for me…just do what I need to do, stop putting things off, get up, get out and get it done!!  That’s my new motto…much better than “just do it”!

Shopping trips 5/15-21


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I have to admit, I didn’t do a lot of shopping this week.  There wasn’t much that I needed and the sales weren’t particularly appealing to me.  I did run in to PetSmart yesterday because I needed cat food and litter.  I had very few coupons (one for the Tasty Treasures Friskies canned food…my cats really, really like this food).  I ended up spending about $26 for two weeks worth of food and litter.  I swear, those cats don’t have a clue as to how good they actually have it!  I’m going to have to search to come up with a bunch of coupons for my next trip to PetSmart…..maybe they’ll have one of those $5 off your entire purchase coupons soon…keeping my fingers crossed on that one!

I didn’t go to CVS at all this week.  I really didn’t see anything in the ad that I needed and I was so tired after work each day that I just wanted to go home.  I’m pretty well stocked up on health and beauty supplies as well as cleaning supplies, so unless a great bargain presents itself, I’ll likely just skip the trip…well, unless I have expiring ECBs…I’m sure I can always come up with something to use them on…saw a couple of deals that I’m interested in for the ad that starts tomorrow, so I’ll just have to check out those ECBS.

I did drag myself to Kroger this morning.  I didn’t buy groceries at all last week, so I was in dire need of bread (I made waffles the other day so I’d have something to spread my peanut butter on before work for the latter part of the week), milk and produce.  I did buy one transaction of the frozen foods mega-deal (fish, veggies, veggie burgers, a free box of the Stouffers farmstyle meal for one, a free box of Magnum ice cream bars as well as another box that I had a $2 coupon for).  My freezer is fully stocked, so I won’t be doing that transaction again any time soon. 

I bought a lot of fresh produce…had intended to go to the farmers market, but was in quite a bit of pain this morning, so settled for getting everything at Kroger.  Mmm…fresh cherries, strawberries, blackberries…I love fresh fruit when you can find something that tastes good other than apples, oranges and bananas. 

I also bought another heirloom tomato plant and a Cubanelle pepper plant…hope to get both of those planted tomorrow.  This little Kroger store in my neighborhood has a lot of locally grown heirloom plants for sale.  It seems like they do a much better job with that than the other, larger stores in town.

I ended up spending $77 today, saving $54.  Not my best trip, but not too bad considering this was two weeks worth of groceries along with the plants, a book (I know, I know…I just couldn’t resist the new paperback by one of my favorite authors), and 2 packages of Angel Soft TP…oh, and the 4 6-packs of diet Pepsi.  One of these days I’m going to kick that habit for good, just not today.  But at least I got the shopping done for the next week or so, and bought a lot of healthy food to last me a while.  Now to figure out what to cook to take to work next week.  Oh well, I’ll worry about that tomorrow!

CVS, Friday the 13th was a good shopping day

A CVS/pharmacy in New York City that is open 24/7

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Ran into CVS early this morning.  I wanted to get the Ziploc bags since I just used my last one yesterday.  I also had my $5 off of a $25 purchase coupon that I wanted to take advantage of.   Yesterday, I received my John Frieda hair color coupon (good for a free box, and that stuff is kind of expensive…it was on sale for $12.49 and I paid nothing for it, except tax).  So I knew I was going to be able to hit the $25 threshold easily, and I did.  My order would have been $38.75.  I ended up paying $3.22 after coupons and ECBs…and came away with another $4 in ECBs for a future purchase.

So, not bad for 2 boxes of Ziploc freezer bags, 2 boxes of Ziploc sandwich bags, a box of hair color, 2 bags of Cheetos (I left one at work), and a bottle of iced tea (drank that at work).  Who says Friday the 13th brings bad luck?  They obviously weren’t shopping at CVS today!

CVS shopping trip…short and sweet

Sample Gates, Indiana University Bloomington, USA

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After a really long day at work today (and did I mention that it was crazy busy?  oh my, graduation weekend at Indiana University and the town is hopping), I decided I should try to make it over to CVS since I haven’t been in a couple of weeks.  I didn’t need a lot, but I did have some ECBs that were about to expire.  We all know we can’t possibly allow that to happen.  That’s the same thing as throwing money away…no, no, no…we don’t ever do that. So I made a hurried little shopping trip.

I knew I needed hair spray.  A while back, for some reason, I bought hairspray that was extra hold formula.  I hate it!  But that’s what I’ve been using the past couple of weeks while waiting for a decent sale.  So, when I saw that CVS had Pantene styling products on sale this week  2/$6.97, combined with a $3/2 coupon, I knew it was time to make the purchase.  Getting $1 ECB was just a nice extra.  Yea!  No more stiff hair!

The hair color I use was also on sale. Granted $7.99 isn’t the best sale price I’ve ever seen on it, but I did have a $3 coupon and I earned $2 in ECBs.  All of a sudden, the price looks much better.

And then there was the splurge item.  Those darn jalapeno Cheetos…just gotta love ’em!  I didn’t need them, but I sure do like them.

After using my manufacturer’s coupons and $10.74 in ECBs, I ended up paying $2.76 out of pocket…a savings of 89%…very cool!  And I ended up earning  $9 in ECBs.  $1 from the Pantene deal, $2 from the Natural Instincts deal, $1 from the green bag tag and a surprise $5 from the Beauty Club spending!  With what I still had left in ECBs, I’m ready for the next big sale!

This week’s CVS shopping trip

A CVS pharmacy in Southside Place, Texas, form...

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I made a hurried stop at CVS this week.  I had to get some pictures printed for our recognition board at work, so decided to pick up a few things for myself while I was there.  This was an unplanned, unprepared for shopping trip, so I know I didn’t do as well as I could have had I actually planned it out.  Oh well, that happens sometimes and I’m not going to spend a lot of time feeling bad about it.

I was able to buy a few items for the Stamp Out Hunger campaign next month.  I bought 3 jars of Skippy peanut butter for $5 (no coupons, darn it), 2 of which I’ll donate.  I also got 3 packages of Reach dental floss…they were on sale for $1 each and I had 3 $1 coupons, so I managed to snag those for free.  Again, I’ll keep one for myself and donate the other two.  I bought two boxes of Natural Instincts hair color, on sale for $5.99 each. I had a $5 off two coupon, so those ended up being right at $3.50 each.  Considering the regular price for those is $7.99 to $8.99 each, I feel pretty good about that deal.  (And no, I’m not planning to donate either box.)  And, being the bad girl that I am, I did buy a bag of Easter pretzel M & Ms for $1.97, not for anyone’s Easter basket, just for me…bad, bad girl!!

I didn’t use any of the ECBs that I had from previous visits and earned no ECBs on this visit.  I did, however, finally get something from the magical red machine that didn’t involve candy.  I got a $2/2 coupon on any deodorant…from what I’ve seen of the ad previews, this just might come in handy next week!

I’ve already written a couple of things on my list for next week.  Palmolive dish soap is on sale for .88 and I have a couple of coupons to lower the price even more.  Also, Kleenex will be on sale for .88. I have a few boxes of Kleenex, but I also know that the box in the downstairs bathroom is almost empty and the one in my bedroom is probably about half gone.  So, I’ll pick up a couple of boxes, using a .50/2 coupon I happen to have in my possession.  Beyond that, I just don’t know what else I’ll add to my list.  I do know there won’t be any coupon inserts in this Sunday’s newspaper, so maybe, just maybe, I can sort through my coupons and refine my filing system a little.

Happy CVS shopping, everyone!

Successful CVS shopping trip


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I stopped at CVS tonight after work, list and coupons in hand, ECBs in my purse, ready to get some deals.  I picked up the bottle of olive oil that was on sale for 3.99, had a coupon for $1 off…good score…nice sized bottle of olive oil for only 2.99.  Grabbed the Special K bars, 3 boxes.  I had a coupon for $2/3…so far so good.

Oh, is that jalapeno Cheetos I see on sale for 2/$5?  Hmm…not on my list, no coupon…throw them in the cart anyhow.  I think I’m addicted to those things.

Back to my list…I’ve got 3 coupons I printed yesterday for freebies…a mesh bath scrub, antibacterial hand sanitizer and either  candy or a drink…I went with the 1.69 bag of peanut M & Ms to give to my friend who loves them…sticking to my plan here.

Over to look at the Air Wick Freshmatic Kits which are on sale for $6 each and I have 4 $4 coupons, except I don’t.  Shoot…I left the two coupons I printed yesterday sitting on my desk at home.  Plan B…the AirWick warmer duo that I do have a coupon for and two bottles of Lysol bathroom bowl cleaner that I also have a coupon for…so still a decent deal, but not quite what I was planning…still all right though.  Paid $12 for the four products after coupons and earned $10 in ECBs…not too shabby.

Walking by the Easter candy, it suddenly starts shouting at me, “Hey, take me home with you.  I’m sweet and dreamy.”  How could I resist that? Fortunately I had a coupon that the big red coupon machine so kindly printed out for me, so the damage (to my pocketbook) was minimal…the damage to my weight loss goal…well..yeah…

The final purchases were 2 packages of Mentos gum (and for anyone who’s interested…they also had some flavors of the Mentos gum clearanced for under 50 cents).  I had 2 coupons for the gum.  And how could I not get the Russell Stover Easter candy that was on sale for 74 cents while earning a 74 cent ECB…hmm…sounds free to me!

So I gave the cashier (and have I mentioned how sweet everyone who works at this particular CVS is?  They’re just the best) my CVS card, my green bag tag and off we go…I gave her my ECBs from some previous visits, my manufacturer’s coupons, my CVS coupons…after everything’s rung up and scanned, I paid $9.33, got $15 in ECBs back and saved $75.85.  Pretty decent for having to resort to plan B.

I love CVS!!  And I really love saving money!!