Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Yum! I Want This!

Between a couple days of snowy/icy weather and now stressing over my job, I could sure go for a big bowl of this baked ravioli.

Here We Go Again

My company just announced it will be laying off 10% of the work force by the end of March. I knew this was coming, but seeing the email from the CEO makes it real. This is nothing happens just about every year since I have been there, but I hate the waiting to know if it is me or not. If it's me, just tell me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Jenny Craig: Week 8

I had one bad day this week, but overall did much better than the week before and lost 1.6 this week. I'm now at a total of 9.6 on JC and 16.8 in total. I am only about 3 pounds away from my all time lowest weight as an adult (or teenager). I would like to go lower than that, but don't even really know what weight would make me feel skinny and happy with my weight since I have never been there in my life.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Who Needs The Geek Squad

Thursday Thirteen: Travel Tips

I love love love to travel. This is the time of year that I normally start planning a big trip for the spring, but we are in cost cutting mode at our house to pay for the new kitchen so for now I just read about places I want to visit instead. For anyone out there planning a trip, here are 13 travel tipss.

1. Book seat assignments on the airline's web site. Check seat locations on SeatGuru before booking your seat and it will warn you of seats to stay away from. For my husband and I, I always book a window and an aisle with an empty seat in between (if it is 3 across) and hope for the best that nobody will be in the center.

2. Fly as early in the day as possible to avoid delays. I usually try to get the first flight out.

3. Book directly with the hotel. You are more likely to get perks and if you really don't like it and want to leave, you may be able to check out early and go to another hotel, unlike with packages. Any other problems with the reservation will be more easily resolved as well. Also, if the price goes down, they will honor the new price. Sign up for hotel email clubs as well to find out about discounts.

4. Get a luggage scale to avoid over sized luggage fees. With the maximum luggage weight at 50 pounds (40 pounds for some smaller airlines), it is easy to exceed this, especially since the luggage itself can be heavy if it has wheels. Make sure to bring it with you as well in case you buy things to bring home. If your bag is over the weight, you can re-arrange between the bags and carry ons before you get to the airport to avoid extra fees.

5. Check in online and print your boarding pass from home. Then drop off your luggage at the curb side check in and you will be on your way. I really don't understand why people need to wait in all those long lines inside. Most hotel concierges will print boarding passes for you at no charge, or you can do it yourself if the hotel has a business center for about one or two dollars.

6. Keep checking to see if your airfare has gone down after you book. Most airlines will give you a credit toward a future flight that is good for a year. Some, like United, make you pay a change fee that usually negates this, but Southwest and Jet Blue don't.

7. The easier it is to get to a place means there will be more people. If you like quiet and seclusion, like I do, take the extra time to go off the beaten path. An extra small plane or boat ride makes a huge difference.

8. Check for online hotel check in. Hyatt has an online check in system now. You put all your information in the web site and then you just go to a kiosk to get your room keys. This also allows early check in if you check in online in advance.

9. If you are spending a lot of money or going to a foreign country, always buy trip insurance. Use a place like Travel Guard that provides coverage at a decent price. Things happen...if you get hurt or sick in a foreign country this will pay for you to get home or to a hospital of your choice. If buying a package, then look for the trip waiver from the provider that will usually let you cancel for any reason....this is separate from insurance though since the waiver does not cover medical or additional transportation costs. Most trip insurance is not "cancel for any reason" and is very strict on how to get your money back so the waiver (usually less than $100) is necessary.

10. Look for shoulder season rates since the weather is usually nice and crowds are usually less than high season.

11. Read reviews of hotels online at Trip Advisor. You will find out the the good, the bad and the ugly in the posts here since some of the people are overly critical. Also read the forums and ask questions from people who have been there.

12. For long flights bring food on board with you or buy something at the airport to carry on. Insulated tote bags are a great way to keep food hot/cold. It can double as your carry on and then you can use it as a day pack if you want to bring food/drinks with you on day trips.

13. Pack your liquid toiletries in small leak proof bottles. You can fit a bunch of these in a quart sized bag for carry on. Three ounces is actually quite a bit, so also look at the smaller bottles.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

108 Bottles of Wine

My husband turned the weird under the stairs closet in the basement into a wine rack that holds 108 bottle of wine. I'm so impressed since he bought rough wood and turned it into this.

History in the Making

The inauguration events are going on right now about 20 miles west of here. It's very quiet at work today...not sure if it's because kids are off school, people are at the events, or they took the offer to work from home to avoid traffic. Regardless, I feel like I'm missing something. As much as I hate crowds, and the cold, I now kind of wish I was there.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Standing Room Only

I'm really falling apart. I still have headaches and back pain from the car accident and now I have a new tailbone area hurts when I sit. I have no idea what happened, it just came out of the blue last Thursday while at work. I'm writing this entry standing up in my kitchen because it hurts to sit down. Ugh.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jenny Craig: Week 7

This week was tough for me for some reason. I had salty cravings and ate extra snacks a few days and then ate way too many chips at Rio Grande on Friday night. My weight stayed exactly the same, but I was ok with that since I felt a little off course this week.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chelsea Lately

Chelsea Handler is finally coming to DC! I love her show and her book and now I get to see her stand up routine. I got tickets yesterday for her show here in April. If anyone isn't familiar with her, she is hilarious and mostly focuses on celebrity gossip topics. Her show is on E! at 11:30pm each night and she has two books (Are You There Vodka, It's Me Chelsea and My Horizontal Life).

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Why Jerry Why?

I think I am already too emotionally invested in the Biggest Loser. My two favorite people, Jerry and Daniel, both fell below the yellow line this week. I was sooo hoping for Joelle to go home since she is a drain on Bob's time and bad for morale. She was at the bottom of the weigh in with a 2 pound loss until Jerry and Daniel weighed in. When the screen showed that Jerry only lost 1 pound, everyone's heart dropped. Even the host, Alison, was getting teary eyed. I had to fast forward thru the rest of his time on the scale because it was too sad. Then Daniel...he lost only 3 pounds and had a penalty...oh no. It ended up being Jerry going home. My spirits were lifted again when they showed where Jerry is now and that he had lost about 85 pounds so far! He looked really happy with his wife and grand kids. Go Jerry!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Get That Mouse!

Waiting Patiently

I'm waiting patiently for winter to be over. We are only officially about 3 weeks into it though. I'm doing my best not to get down and in a funk. Every weekend day if it's not raining/snowing/windy my husband and I bundle up to go for a walk and then get a coffee from Starbucks. I think going out and getting fresh air really helps me. Boot camp was really helping my stress levels, but I haven't attended since the car accident because I still am not completely better and I don't want do anything that may hinder my recovery. So for now it's walks and coffee.

Jenny Craig: Week 6

I lost another pound! That makes 8 pounds from Jenny Craig and 15 in total from when I started on my own. Yipeee!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Biggest Loser Bummer

Why did they do this??? On the first episode of the Biggest Loser (couples), they sent home 9 people with the hopes that they would get to come back in 30 days. This completely ruined the excitement of the first week huge losses.

Here is how it worked:
1. There were 11 couples
2. The team that won the challenge had immunity
3. The team that won the weigh in had immunity
4. All other 9 couples had to choose one of them to go home
5. At the end of 30 days, if their partner was still in the game, then they would return

This was announced before the weigh in so it ruined the fun of the weigh in. People lost anywhere from around 10 to 30 pounds so it should have been fun, but it wasn't since if they didn't get the top spot, they knew they had to send someone home.

I can't help but feel for the people on the show. They get this great opportunity to lose some serious weight, but I wonder how successful they will be by going home and only being on the show for one week. I wonder if this "twist" is the result of last season's less than stellar results of the people who went home early in the game. This should definitely keep both partners motivated...but still, I didn't' like that it ruined the fun of the first week.

Kitchen Update

I got a call a couple weeks ago from the kitchen remodelers saying they were going to start on January 26th, which is right on schedule. Then a few days later they called my husband and said it would not start until late February. You wouldn't know the economy was bad based on us having to wait 6 months to get the kitchen done! Now my dad says he may come visit at the end of March. I really hope the kitchen is done by then so he doesn't have to stay in a construction zone with us.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dear Spammers

Don't bother leaving your junk in my comments because I will just delete them.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Favorite Christmas Presents

My Dad is always very generous at Christmas and still buys us each a bunch of presents. Here are my favorites this year. Thanks Dad!

Aquamarine Ring

Gong - this is definitely going to work with me

Panini maker - this has already gotten lots of use

Better Late than Never

Gold New Year

Jenny Craig: Week 5

I'm back on track! I lost 4 pounds this week and now total 7 pounds. It feels good for it to be right after the holidays and have had lost weight during the last couple of months since I usually gain this time of year. Now my Jenny consultant says it is time to start weaning me off the Jenny food and planning meals on my own. I don't really want to do this, but I'll give it a try. I know I can't live on the JC food forever, but the weight is coming off so I don't really want to change anything until I get to my goal. The JC program starts weaning you off the JC food once you hit half way. I now weigh the same amount as I did before we found out we were moving to Virginia and my life was turned upside down. only took a little over 4 years.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Jenny Craig: Week 4

Oops. Week 4 was over the Christmas week and while I was away. I was on plan the 3 days I was home, but completely off plan while away for 4 days in Vegas and California. I had brought some food with me to try to not go overboard at every meal, but didn't eat it. I did enjoy the food I ate though...good thing since I gained 3.6 pounds! That brings my total down to 3.0 pounds. Time to get back on track.


I am a behind on my blog postings because my headaches took a turn for the worse the day after Christmas. I've been pretty much out of commission from them. It feels like I have either been hit on top of the head with a bat or that the top of my head has been stabbed. The severity comes and goes, but I have had a headache non-stop since December 26th. That was with only a few days off from headaches since the first round ended two and a half weeks after the accident. I went back to the emergency room on Tuesday. They did another scan of my brain and it came back normal so they sent me on my way with something stronger for the pain, which I haven't taken since I don't like narcotics, and the same diagnosis as before (post concussion syndrome). I still have a headache today, but it is getting better.