Labor Day Weekend

Well, Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone!

It’s been a long couple weeks for me, again, with all the overtime I’ve been working and dealing with wedding plans and figuring out the next year of my life (trust me, there are a lot of things I have to plan for!)

I was scheduled for a yoga session today, but I was exhausted and didn’t feel like rushing and fighting traffic to not get there in time (turns out I wouldn’t have).

Tomorrow, we are starting a juice weekend and are spending the long weekend at home, by the pool relaxing. Not to worry, though, more adventures to come (summer isn’t over yet!)

We got our last hurrah this evening with a BBQ dinner as a treat (it is labor day weekend, as a matter of fact) and now I’m pumped to get everything on track again!

I also started using EveryDollar to track the household spending. This is actually my first month trying it out, along with my nifty envelope system, I think I might have the right combination. We’ll see!

More later on that.

Again, here we go with another tightening-up of the weight loss journey. No pun intended.

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Happy Midnight

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Well, hello there and happy midnight to you!

Okay so I may or may not be up in the middle of the night because of a ligament strain in my ankle and it’s been aching so bad lately that I haven’t really been getting good quality sleep because of it.

That said, I’ve been up kind of working on our office space (aka, the spare bedroom) to make it functional. Emphasis on “kind of” because I’ve been having to stop frequently and ice my ankle. I swear, I’m so injury-prone I need to be put in a bubble.

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Lovely.

But injured ankle or no, I’m looking forward to a lot of plans this weekend. Our 10-year-old niece is coming over to spend time with us, swimming and whatnot. Hopefully we’ll be able to make it out to the Huntington Library on Sunday. It will be Kurt’s first time there, and I’m excited to show him one of my favorite childhood memories and quite possibly favorite places in Los Angeles.

We’ve been on a lot of expeditions lately around L.A., and I probably should start posting them here! (Ya think?) Our weekend usually involves some sort of activity, new food place and  loads of walking/hanging out/having fun. I think I might just start picking up guidebooks for the area to really start seeing what we can do on the weekends.

With all of the overtime I’ve been working, and crazy schedule I’ve had with activities outside of that (believe me, fitting in gym time during the week is becoming a major challenge!), I’ve had to really find time to myself (again, hello midnight!). This weekend will also be my chance to start fresh for the week, take my clean slate and run with it. I am excited to pick up this book this weekend:

Cleaning! Yay!

Cleaning! Yay!

I’ve heard so many great things about this book from other bloggers that I’m looking forward to a good read. (I am completely aware that I’m going to read a book on cleaning, but I am totally going to own the fact that I’m a nerd, so nyah to judg-y people!) I don’t know what else to say, I find a subject interesting, I read a book on it. I LOVE books!

Sidenote: Kurt pointed out to me that I have a problem…I have over 400 books on the Kindle…I’m not even sure how that’s possible, but over the course of 4 years of owning the Kindle, and with the addition of Unlimited, I figure there’s some sort of logic there.

So that’s my plan for this weekend, here’s hoping I get the rest I need to heal up and figure everything out!

Lots of love!
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A Few Thoughts on the Minimum Wage Law

Okay, so this is probably the most political post you’ll ever see on my page because I willingly choose not to engage in debates over the internet. But there is something I really feel like I need to say, and for those of you who disagree, do just that: disagree. It’s just my point of view and I’m not looking to change your mind.

That said, I just want to say: last week Los Angeles raised it’s minimum wage to $15 an hour.

I started right out of high school working minimum-wage. At the time it was $6.75 an hour. Due to circumstances, I moved out of my mother’s house and figured out how to make ends meet (note, I ate a LOT of Ramen Noodles and drank a LOT of Kool-Aid.) It was horrible, and borderline degrading, but I lived through it. I took the job as a Clerk at PetCo knowing I wasn’t going to make minimum wage forever, knowing that this was just the start of my life-long contribution to the workforce. I knew that, once the opportunity came along, I was on to the next big adventure.

The next job I had was a Courtesy Clerk at Vons. Man, was that hard work, and it only paid a dollar more than minimum-wage. On this job, I was able to get away from a hairy family situation, move into my own apartment (a studio, in the bad part of town) and start attending school. I worked my tail off, trying to work my way up to the coveted Checker job (which at the time, made a whopping $9 an hour) so I could eat something other than Ramen and Kool Aid for dinner. But I kept going, knowing that my future wasn’t working for the grocery store pushing carts and bagging groceries for the rest of my life.

Several job offers and promotions later, I went through LVN trade school. It was horribly difficult; having to waitress until late night, make my car payments and pay bills while trekking back and forth 60 miles a day, just to better myself.

I didn’t get the nursing job right away. I got my foot in the door at the hospital as a transporter, and worked as a CNA for 4 years. I got my experience, got out, and now I finally work at a relatively calm office job, that has given me the best pay I’ve ever earned. It’s not a six-figure income, no, but it makes things more comfortable than the 10 years I’ve been in the workforce.

Here’s the thing: when the county raised the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour, it became an insult to my experience and education. Why? I’ve worked the past 10 years to work up to where I am. I grasped at opportunities, and worked for every cent in my raises. When this minimum wage law passed, I now make only a few dollars more than the guy who works at Burger King. I’m not mad at my employer for this, actually, they’ve been extremely generous in offering me a job with security and health benefits. But, you know what? I earned it through hard work and perseverance. I wouldn’t be at the job I have, with the position I’ve taken, without a college degree if I hadn’t stayed the extra hours of overtime (some weeks exceeded 60 hours), put forth my best effort and tried my hardest to show my peers and mentors what I’m made of.

I clawed my way to my mid-level job, working in a position that employs foreign medical graduates, biology majors and RNs, and lot of them continuing their education to go on to something bigger and better one day. No, I don’t have the college degree, yet. But I didn’t qualify for financial aid because for the past 5 years, I’ve made over the $22,000 “poverty line” requirement that aids struggling students in receiving free education. I pay the $45-100 a unit, which some semesters, has had to take a back seat. And you know what? I’m okay with that. Education has helped me take small steps in my journey, but it was my attitude and determination that got me farther that I ever thought I would.

My mentors know that I’m not going to be there forever, that there is the possibility of medical school or physician assistant on the horizon, and they encourage me to shoot for the moon.

You know why? Because I worked, and I continue to work. And I will work until it’s time for retirement, because that’s what I do, and I’m going to do it to the BEST of my ability until then.

To wrap things up, I just need to throw this in there: stop complaining. We live in a culture of pessimists. The “I can’t, do it for me” generation. The generation where we still live with our parents, work at Taco Bell, or Denny’s, or Albertson’s, and can’t see past Friday, because the world is a harsh, harsh place. “We are the 99%” “Student Loan Crisis” “$15 minimum wage” “The little guy can’t make it”.

Here’s some advice, from an anomaly from this generation: Be Positive. Look up, have dreams, move forward. It’s going to get better someday.  If you work hard, put in the extra hours, have a positive attitude, people are going to notice and your life goes from there.

So go ahead, make some lists, have a dream and see where you’ll be in 10 years. It won’t be at minimum wage, I promise.

“Life isn’t about trying to make it through the storm, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

Carving Out Time

Sunday already? Yeesh.

I spent yesterday working because I had the flu last week, so I ended up having to go home early and make up the hours on a Saturday morning, in my yoga pants with LOTS of coffee, so overall it wasn’t too bad.

My word of the week is: Motivation.
I have a lot going on and a lot planned, but don’t really have the motivation to get up and do it. It’s been a rough week and I just don’t feel like it. I’ve been doing my research this weekend to figure out how to better manage my time:

1.) With anything that requires a lot of sitting, I started using the 50/10 method. 50 minutes of work with 10 minutes of relaxation. This could be anything from taking a walk to browsing Etsy or Pinterest.

2.) Setting a certain amount of time aside for those tasks I really don’t want to do. 30 minutes or 3 miles for a workout; 1 hour daily for homework; 20 minutes of cleaning. It tends to give a limit to the “chores” without making them seem endless. 

3.) Using the task/reward method. For every task completed,I issue a reward creating positive reinforcement instead of negative reinforcement. Finishing weekend chores would equate to a nice lunch. Finishing homework might warrant an hour of relaxing and doing my nails. It’s the little stuff, people.

So that’s my thought of the day…week..month?

I guess I have to carve more time out for blogging, huh?

‘Til next time.

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Surgery=Tacos

Today was the final surgery for my hernia repair. I finally have all of that unsightly scar tissue removed, and my umbilical area is resembling an actual belly button. (You have no idea how excited I am). So now my scar tissue is fixed, my abs are toning up, bikini season, here I come!

Speaking of which, today was the day of comfort food, because let’s admit it, no matter what it is, surgery is painful and I always need a little TLC after going through anything like that. I was craving Mexican food, and since there’s an awesome torta place in Fontana I tend to eyeball every time we drive by, I was very gung-ho about going. Post surgery, I didn’t want to stop, so we ended up at our go-to, Tio’s. LO and behold, it was Taco Tuesday, and the heavens opened up and only charged us $13 for a late lunch.

tacos(Cue angels singing)

Okay, maybe everything just seems better after a stressful day. I’m glad I could get coffee from the coffee cart after, tacos, and best of all, I didn’t have to drive…

I also was happy to make a slow-cooked, healthy beef stew with quinoa after a long afternoon nap.

Tomorrow, it’s back to work and the rush, but I’m honestly ready after a long day of pain and rest. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get back on track (literally!) with my running.

11138501_10205069038217956_1411509115274010185_nAlso, I think I’m going to throw this out there…running 5 miles the day before abdominal surgery probably isn’t the best idea. My abs were sore and having anesthetic injected into sore muscles=so not fun. I don’t think I would have done it any other way though, because I was proud of my accomplishment on Monday night. A month ago, I could only walk due to knee pain.

Less falling apart.

Anyway, that’s my insight for today. Time to dance off (kidding! I’m going to plop on the couch) and do my Philosophy homework (*groan*). Thanks for dropping by!

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No. Just No.

RiseFor those of you that know me (well), know I’m not a morning person. At all. It takes me an hour of the alarm blaring in the room before I decided to shut it off and roll out of bed. From then on, if I manage to stumble out of the room onto the couch, there’s a good chance I’ll doze for 20-30 minutes more because it’sso difficult to keep my eyes open.

I tend to be a bear in the morning, you wake me up for a reason I don’t deem necessary at 6am, prepare to get something thrown at your head.

It’s gotten to the point where, in order to be on time for work, I’ve had to line up all my stuff by the door (food included) just so I could stumble through my morning routine without forgetting anything.

I’ve done so much to help myself overcome this problem, hidden my alarm clock across the room, read multiple books, gone to bed at 9, took melanin, tracked my REM sleep. I’ve even gone as far as setting my phone to an annoying Weird Al song and putting it in the kitchen (where it has fantastic acoustics) and letting Al bleat out his song to my dismay.

So here I am, publicly admitting I have a problem, because that’s the first step (okay, 15th step in my case) to overcoming a problem. My goal is to start waking up early and becoming a more motivated person before the sun is up. Studies have shown that people who wake up earlier than they need to be are more organized, calm and successful. With an hour drive in the morning, it’s hard to be calm when I’m waking up a half hour to late and praying traffic won’t be as bad this time. HAH.

I’m preparing myself to do a 30-day challenge where what I focus on is my sleep schedule and waking up early, and I’m posting it here, because like all things in my life, I’m better at it if I’m held accountable.

Here we go!

Anyone else out there have this problem? Join me on my 30-day challenge to beat the sleep! 😀

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Okay, so it’s been a while…

And I’ve been exhausted.
I started my training for my new job this week, and in order to learn how to do my new job, I have to learn everyone else’s job as well. No problem, I’ve just been eating a TON of takeout this week, and while I’m not proud of it, I’ve also been working 10 hour days and training to boot.
On the up-side: I finally get to use all of that medical knowledge I’ve been storing in the back of my brain for 2 years. Love it!
Nothing else really new lately, I’m officially heading out tonight to get back into shape for the first time in a long time. I’m going to figure out this energy thing if it’s the last thing I do.
Things have been great otherwise. We’ve been working a pretty strict budget in order to save up for our annual Seattle trip. I’m really excited because this year we’re actually going to the TOP of the Space Needle and having dinner (instead of just driving by it).