Friday, April 29, 2011


I drank some wine tonight and I'm feeling it and it feels lovely.  Right now, I don't care how much sugar I've consumed.  I'm happy the royal wedding is tomorrow because that means it will be over and I can stop hearing about it.  Seriously, I don't care.  I'm on Team Election.  But I'm willing to bet that more Canadians aged 18+ will take the day off work and get up at 5 a.m. to watch the stupid wedding than will take 20 minutes to scratch an X on a piece of paper on Monday.

I need to go to bed now. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The only thing better than putting on last year's shorts... putting on last year's shorts and finding they're TOO BIG!

That's a progress WIN!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Have a happy Monday with...springtime!

I think...maybe...finally...spring just might be here!  I got sunburned on the weekend, which is always the biggest indicator for me that it's springtime - not to mention it's the only time of the year I actually don't mind a sunburn.

I do love the springtime, with the warmer breeze, the sunnier days, even the warm rainy days that help bring the bright green leaves back.  It feels so fresh and new and full of possibilities.  And I feel so liberated, strapping on my sandals (no socks!) and going outside with bare legs and no jacket. 

Aaaaah, spring!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Up-Down Challenge Weigh-in #11

How does Sunday always come so quickly?  Feels like just yesterday I was on the scale.  But I've been doing all right this past week, as can be seen by my weight: 192.6 lb.  That's -1.4 lb from last week.

Must be why my jeans are fitting better.

I really wanted to be at or below 190 by the end of April, so I've got a week to hit my goal.  While losing 2.5 lb might be doable, it is a bit high for what's considered healthy weight loss in a week.  But I'm not going to let that hamper my efforts; I'm going to keep on doing what I'm doing (as the Beau tells me regularly) and keep on reaping the benefits.

Oh, and Happy Easter!

Out with the old, in with the...old

Every time a new season rolls around, I want to go shopping.  I particularly like spring because of all the bright, pretty colours that come with the season and this year, coral is a big trend and my current colour obsession so all I want to do is wander around the mall and look at pretty clothes.  Coral combined with stripes and my world is complete.

The problem is that my closet and drawers are filled to bursting with so many things I don't wear/like/fit/want - so today I finally buckled down and went through my clothes.  Two big bags of donation clothing later, my closet and drawers could breathe again.  Do you know what else could breathe?  Me.  In jeans that were too tight a mere six months ago. 


I also discovered I can get into a denim skirt that used to be too tight and I'm fitting better into some other clothes.  So here I was thinking I needed more denim - but I already have what I need and I look smoking in it too.

I've also been searching for blazers for what feels like forever, with no luck finding anything that fits.  But then...on Thursday after work I stopped by the Goodwill near my office and picked up two blazers for $10 total.  And one blazer is from Holt Renfrew.  SCORE. 

So a mere $10 and a little bit of work and I've got two new blazers, a pair of jeans and a skirt to rock this spring.  That totally makes up for forgoing Easter chocolate this year.

Friday, April 22, 2011

It's all about the Benjamins

Or the Bordens, seeing how I'm Canadian and all.

I had my taxes done over the weekend and I'm getting a nice little refund, which I'll be putting directly back into my RRSPs.

Or will I?  I know the proper thing to do is to put the refund into my RRSP because the main reason I'm getting a refund is because of my RRSP contributions.  And by investing my refund, I'm helping to cover the tax I'll have to pay once I start drawing from my RRSP.  So this would be the sensible way to do things.

But I've also got some student loans that need paying off - and the sooner the better.  So do I take my refund and put it towards this debt?  It's a conundrum.

As well, as of April 29, I will have paid off all my consumer debt.  This is pretty huge for me, as a year ago, I had about $5,000 owing on a line of credit and about $2,500 owing on credit cards.  AND IT'S ALMOST GONE!  Paying off $7,500 in a year is both exciting (no more debt!) and depressing (all that money that didn't go to me!) but I'm proud that it's almost behind me.

So about those loans.  I have four different loans to pay off: two (Canada and Ontario) negotiated through CIBC and two (Canada and Canada-Ontario) negotiated through the National Student Loan Service Centre.  The reason for four?  My first year of university, student loans were negotiated through a financial institution; after that, they changed to being negotiated through the NSLSC.  So I make four different monthly payments, which is so much fun.

Anyways, now that the consumer debt is done I can start paying more than the minimum on my loans.  Here's where I stand:

Canada loan:  $4,136.44
Ontario loan:  $1,912.78
GRAND TOTAL: $6,049.22

Knowing I paid off $7,500 in this past year, I'm confident I can take down this entire chunk of my loan between now and next spring.  But - of course - there's more:

Canada loan:  $2,743.62
Canada/Ontario loan:  $6,435.35
GRAND TOTAL:  $9,178.97

So my overall total owing is $15,228.19.  That's a pretty big number.

But I took some time yesterday afternoon to put together a repayment spreadsheet and I've come up with a very ambitious repayment schedule.  If I can stick to it, I will have all my debt paid off by the end of June 2012.  Seriously - 14 months.  And I've set up my budget in such a way that I still have a little slush fund every month, for those times that I blow my weekly budget or need a little extra for things (like cottage weekends or birthdays or a pretty pair of shoes).  Because as much as I want to pay off my debt, I don't want it to be at the expense of my life. 

So starting next month, more money will be going towards my loans.  I'll be starting with the lowest balance first ($1,912.78) and doing the snowball method: as I pay off each amount, I'll roll what I was paying on that balance into the payment on the next-lowest balance until all are paid off.  And so begins me seriously buckling down and focusing on my financial health this year.

Here's to June 2012!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Have a happy Monday toenails

Because spring seems to be taking the long way around - and waking up to a snowstorm yesterday was a little disarming - I decided I needed orange toenails. 

I've been obsessed with orange lately and even have three bottles of orange nail polish.  But it's just so pretty!

(Not my nails and I decided against showing a picture of toenails, mine or anyone else.  But that is the nail polish I used!)

I did it!

I got up this morning and exercised!

Okay, it wasn't at 7:30, it was actually closer to 8:00 but I had a very good reason: my kitty wanted cuddles.  Seriously.  We left her alone all weekend and she was a little starved for attention so I decided a Monday morning sleep-in with the kitty was just fine.

But I still got up and did 30 minutes of cardio on the exercise bike we have in our condo.  And I also did something for the first time ever in my working career: I ate breakfast at home.  This is not a normal occurrence for me.  Often, I'm too rushed in the morning to eat at home so I have breakfast at work.  I've become quite good at making my breakfasts ahead of time so I have something relatively healthy to eat, but today was a whole new experience for me.  And, I must say, I kind of enjoyed it.

Although after eating All Bran for breakfast, having a high-fibre granola bar for a snack and eating an apple in the early afternoon, I've had a bloated, gassy, achy tummy.  Oh, the sacrifices I make to be healthy.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Up-Down Challenge Weigh-in #10

You know the saying, "Two steps forward, one step back"?

Tonight the scale ready 194 lb; up one pound this past week.

Maybe this means the stress of the new job is wearing off so I'm not losing weight because of stress.  Or maybe it's because I'm not exercising as much as I should.  To fix this, my plan is to work out tomorrow before work.  That means I have to get up at 7:30 a.m.

Now, I know for the majority of working adults, getting up at 7:30 on a workday is standard - or might even be considered sleeping in.  I know I'm a little spoiled because I don't start work until 10:00 a.m.; but I'll be at work until around 9:00 tomorrow night so I'm allowed a later start.

But if I can get up at 7:30, I can get in an hour-long workout, which will give me a great cardio workout and some time with weights or a chance to do some ab work.  I'm just not a morning person.  At all.  AT ALL.

Still, I'm going to give this a try.  If I can get up for morning workouts on Mondays and Fridays, then get a big workout on Wednesdays (when I'm off), it will be a great start.  Then I can do weights on Tuesdays and Thursdays and spend weekends doing fun stuff, like hiking or just walking around a mall shopping for clothes to fit my new, super slim body.  (Positive thinking, y'all!)

7:30 a.m. wake-up call.  That's the plan.  I can so do this.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Up-Down Challenge Weigh-in #9

I weighed myself last night, but got home so late that I've only found time now to do an update.
To be honest, I was scared to get on the scale because I haven't been following any kind of sensible eating plan.  There's been beer and wine, sweets and burgers and not nearly enough exercise.

So imagine my surprise when I stepped on the scale to see...193.0 lbs.

That's a loss of 2.6 lbs from last week!  How the hell...?

To be honest, I'm not completely sure how I ended up losing this week, but I have a couple of ideas:

1 - Since starting on Maclean's, I've started eating more throughout the day because my hours are so erratic and I often don't end up going for lunch until around 4:00.  But since I start work around 10:00, that's a long time to go between breakfast and lunch, so I'm snacking.  I've discovered these awesome Fibre 1 bars that are only 100 calories, are full of fibre and have dark chocolate in them, so they fill me up, make me poop and satisfy my sweet tooth all at once.  (Figuratively speaking, of course.)  I'm also snacking on apples and almonds between lunch and dinner too.

2 - The other reason also has to do with Maclean's, but isn't quite as good as healthy snacking.  I may be losing weight due to stress, as I've been very stressed about work since starting.  I've dreamed that I've been fired and I've woken up many nights thinking that I was late for work and that pages were late and all sorts of things.  I really don't want this to be the reason I'm losing because I want to move beyond being stressed all the time.  I guess only time will tell.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy my 2.6 lb weight loss!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Have a happy Monday with...the playoffs

Okay, so maybe you're not the rabid hockey fan I am (and I've been admittedly less rabid this season) but Wednesday marks the happiest time of the NHL season: the start of the playoffs.

It's exciting to go into the playoffs with a Canadian team, the Vancouver Canucks, as the favourites to win it all this year.  But, oftentimes, the favourites are the first to falter (though I do hope that's not the case this time).  The Canucks will face their arch-rivals - and defending Cup champs - the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, which will be kind of awesome.

And the first round is always the most exciting.  It's when the teams that just squeaked into the playoffs meet up with the league leaders for a best-of-seven match-up that could go either way.  Cinderella teams emerge, heavy favourites falter and dark horses surprise. 

Oh, and there's at least one game (sometimes as many as four!) on every night.  EVERY NIGHT. 

Truly, this is the most wonderful time of the year.

(I'm going to weigh myself tonight when I get home.  Only it's 8:30 pm and I'm still at work.)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Have a happy Monday with...a back rub

I know I will because I have only the BEST boyfriend in the world.  Nay, the universe.

And no, I'm not going to share.  I am, however, going to get a back rub. 

(I'm not just being a whiny girlfriend.  I carry tension in my upper back and I've been stressed about work lately so I'm pretty tense.  And I get upper back pain a lot because I have gigantic bazungas.  So I'm not only lucky but grateful to have such an awesome boyfriend.)

If you don't have your own awesome person to give you a back rub, check out my friend Melanie.

Up-Down Challenge Weigh-in #8

I'm happy to report a loss this week: I weighed in at 195.6 lb, one whole pound less than last week.

It's nice to see the scale (slowly) getting lower, but I'm a little frustrated with myself for not making better progress.  I'm seriously thinking about joining a program, but I've got some debt to pay off before I can spend the money.

I'm going to give myself until the end of April.  If I can get below 190 by the end of the month, I'll keep going.  If not, it's time to look for help in other places.  And by the end of April I'll have my consumer debt paid off, meaning I'll have a bit of extra cash to put towards weight loss help.

Until then, fingers crossed the scale keeps dropping...

(Oh, and that's another $10 into savings.  I'm too tired right now to update on that, and tomorrow will be a loooooong day at work, so Wednesday I'll tally up my savings to date.)

Friday, April 1, 2011

So you had a bad day...

Today was a rough day at work.  I made a few mistakes.  I pissed some people off.   I did a few things wrong. 

The worst part?  Beating myself up about it and almost convincing myself that I can't do this job.

It took a few hours of morosely wandering around the mall in a failed bout of retail therapy before I finally began listening to that wee voice in the dark recesses of my mind saying, "It's okay.  You made mistakes, you'll learn from them, don't dwell on it.  Enjoy the weekend and be amazing-er on Monday."

So that's what I'm going to do.  That wee voice can be so wise sometimes.