Thursday, December 1, 2011

Why Amy Got Nekkid in Front of a Chick

On the day of my first massage therapy session, I was very nervous. The office was in a beautiful old house (which I covet!) that had been turned into a holistic healing and women’s center – imagine Sheldon (from The Big Bang Theory) walking in and seeing crystals and Georgia O’Keefe paintings and hemp scarves and Female Empowerment plaques and you get an idea of what I was thinking when I got there.

Center For Balance - 1705 NW 6th Street
 I took a deep breath and followed my little massage lady to her room and we chatted. After I recanted the headache hell I had been living with, she told me to go ahead and lie down. I’m sure I sounded so meek when I asked her how naked I needed to be, but at least I got to keep my panties! Getting nekkid for the first time in that room was a milestone in and of itself!

<cue porn music here> I stripped down and crawled onto the table and covered myself like a wedding night virgin, waiting for her to come back in.  She began stoking the large muscles that line the spine, and after about 10 minutes or so of working on my back, she asked again how many visits I was prescribed. I told her six and she said, “Good, we’re going to need all of them, and then some!”  I think my therapist just said I was fucked up.…  I don’t think I relaxed one bit that entire hour with this little woman rubbing all over me with cocoa butter – but damn, I smelled like chocolate for hours, so that was cool.

I continued to see her 5 more times before going back to my doctor for a follow-up.  I was re-prescribed therapy, on a bi-weekly basis. I’ve changed what time I go, too. Now I go after work, since she has p.m. hours, and that’s a nice way to end the day! I’m all mellow when I get home and ready to curl up on the couch or into bed.

Anyway, I know you are all like, what’s this got to do with anything?  Relax, I’m getting there….

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Zaycon Foods = Cheap Chicken!!!

Zaycon Foods is now serving Florida, and Gainesville is included!

Zaycon Foods is a direct-to-you service that provides fresh skinless boneless chicken (and bacon!) for you to pick up.  If you are familiar with Angel Food, it is kind of the same thinking, but with good food.

Check out the link above to score FORTY POUNDS of fresh skinless boneless chicken breasts for only $1.49 PER POUND!!! The entire box is less than $60!

Thanks to I Heart Saving Money for spreading the word about this company!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Western Medicine Can't Save Me - Bring on the Hokum!

In the fall of 2010, I finally got a new job working for the county government.  I was happy to be working again – I’m not someone who enjoys NOT working.  I’ve been here for over a year and I’m pretty happy. It’s a job and a paycheck, but it sure would be nice to get a raise!

But anyway, all that is just background.  During the time I was unemployed, our family would go and do Disney for free – we’d go to DTD, watch Wishes from the Poly or TTC and dream about going back.  At some point while reading DisBoards, I learned about the Princess Half Marathon.  It sounded fun, but at over 200 pounds, with smoker’s lungs and a wonky cardio system, there was no way I’d be able to do it – I figured it was only for runners, anyway. I put it out of my mind and forgot all about it.  Also in 2009, since I had no job, I was able to go to the University of Florida’s homecoming parade. My daughter and I saw the runners from the Gator Gallop and I joked that maybe next year I’d run in that. Yeah right! 

One day in early 2011 at a meeting at work, one of my coworkers – who is over 40 and JUST had a baby a MONTH before, told me that she was going to be out of the office in a few weeks so that she could do the Princess.  I kind of looked at her and said to myself – “WTF? She’s running right after having a baby (and a C-Section, at that!)? What the hell excuse do YOU have, fat ass?”  After that, it kind of stayed in my head, as a ‘One Day’ kind of goal, but nothing I was seriously ready to go after yet.

2011 continued uneventfully until the end of summer.  (More background info – I have suffered migraines for decades).  I experienced an extremely debilitating headache that lasted for almost a week and I finally said Fuck It – I gotta find a doctor that will actually TREAT these things. I’ve been told many things from other doctors:  They aren’t that bad, you only get them because you are fat, take hot baths, bullshit like that. I’ve had doctors laugh at me when I told them I thought they were weather-related.

In August 2011, I went to my doctor’s office and saw a wonderful woman who was a headache sufferer herself and after she listened to me describe the hell I live with (and I cried a bit while explaining them because they have gotten that bad), she told me that she thought the majority of them were actually tension headaches!  She wrote me a prescription for a migraine med and for massage therapy. I was to go once a week for 6 weeks and report back to the doc.

Now, I know most of you don’t know me, but believe me when I say that I am a very LOGICAL person. I am a firm believer in Western Medicine. If it hurts, take a pill until it doesn’t hurt any more. If it’s broken, use tools and fix it. Massage, yoga, acupuncture, weird teas – this is not medicine. This is HOKUM. But, by this point, I was ready for hokum.  After a few days, I worked up the courage (yes, I was scared) and called the therapist she recommended. The lady had a funny name, which reinforced my idea of “hokum”.  I set up an appoint to go before work the next week.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

I Am Announcing a Goal..... Slowly

One of the things they (who are ‘they’ anyway?) suggest that you when you are trying to reach a goal is to TELL EVERYONE your goal so that there is accountability.   

I’ve never wanted to do this because I’ve never felt like I’ve needed to. I also felt like I would be made fun of when the inevitable failure happened. Of course, I never felt like I was striving for something either. I have a few adult accomplishments under my belt - I’ve graduated college, gotten married, bought a house, had a child, quit smoking 5 years ago, bought a brand new car – but none of these feel like I’m striving towards something for ME.  I’m a wife and a mom and I think that I have let myself linger in the background for far too long.

A few years ago, I worked at a company that paid for a fitness boot camp.  I signed up for it and went religiously – there were only about 5 of us that did, including one great guy who we lost last year to cancer.  I lost about 15 pounds during that time, and was able to do 15 man pushups. I still couldn’t run for shit and my cardio system could barely keep up – I would get dizzy a lot.   Once the program was over, I tried to continue going to the YMCA to get on the elliptical or treadmill, but it was not the same. I didn’t get the same feeling that I did at the boot camp.   

Due to the economy and people not wanting things constructed, I was laid off in 2009. Because the Y was in the same neighborhood as the company, and was frequented by LOTS of people who knew both me and where I no longer worked, I didn’t want to go and have people give me the pity “so…. How ARE you doooooooooing?” crap.  I didn’t die – I got laid off. I don’t think I have set foot back in the Y since then.

During the time I was laid off, I sat on my ass either on the couch or in front of the computer - it was now my job to FIND a job. It was hell.  I became much more sedentary than before. I didn’t want to go anywhere or do anything.  The only upside is that throughout it all, I never did smoke or feel the need to smoke.

To be continued….

I WAS Lazy, but now I'm not...

Just a quick note to let everyone know that there is going to be a lot more action on this blog pretty soon!  I have a goal, I have a set date, and it involves NOT being lazy!

Stay tuned for the details!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Florida Tax-Free Weekend Returns

According to the Florida Department of Revenue, we will be having another Tax-Free Weekend before school starts (August 22 in Alachua County). 

The Weekend will be August 12th through August14, 2011. 

Please check out THIS link for a list of what is and is not tax-exempt during this time. 

If you have never heard of the Tax free weekend, well, it's a pretty good time to get some deals!  IF you know how to shop a deal.  In and of itself, we will only save 6.25% in Alachua County. I wouldn't leave my house if you gave me a coupon for that.  HOWEVER, stores are big fans of these weekends and will usually entice you to come to their store with GREAT sales.  By combing the great sale with great coupons during the tax-free weekend, you can leave the mall with some great deals!

And if you have any outlet malls in your area, you can make out like a bandit there too!  I don't have any that are local to me (St. Augustine, Jax, or Orlando are the closest to me), so I stick to JCP or Walmart around here.

If you have questions as to what is and is not included, check out the FAQ on the FL DOR website.

Start saving those pennies, it's time to shop!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Got a bagful of old travel soap you swiped from Disney? I know I do!

I follow a blog called Who Said Nothing in Life is Free? and I love it. I go to her website as well as follow her on Facebook.  She posted this link, courtesy of Couponers United and I think it will be a great way for me to use up the estimated 50 little round bars of Mickey Soap stashed in my toiletry bag!  I can't wait to try it.

Below is the instructions from Couponers United.  Let me know how it works, if you try it!     


Supplies needed: 1 bar of soap, pan, grater, 2 cups of water

Grate the bar of soap into pan

Add 2 cups of water and melt over medium heat

allow to can fill two to three handsoap dispensers

See how EASY that is!! Leave a comment if you try it and let us know how yours turned out!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Traditional Basil Chicken Rotini - Homemade(ish)

So, after having both a Marie Callender's and a Healthy Choice version of those Steamer meals, I had a revelation - why can't I do something like this?  So I kept the bowl and did some cooking over the weekend.

I made some Rotini, cooked to al dente and put serving size portions in small Ziploc snack bags.  I marinated (in Italian Dressing) and grilled two chicken breasts, then chopped up and put into baggies as well.

I tucked a jar of Classico Traditional Basil sauce in with the bowl, a bag of pasta and a bag of chicken when i went to work today.

I am now eating my experiment, and I have to say that it is pretty good! Granted, the sauce is too chunky for my taste, so i won't use Classico again, but the chicken is still moist and the pasta is just about perfect.

Here's how I did it:

I put the pasta in the bowl that I kept from Healthy Choice and added some water.  I opened the baggie with the chicken in it, and cooked them both in the microwave for about 2 minutes.  I took them out, and then dumped some sauce into a mug that I took from my office.  Heated that to my liking then took it all back to my desk.

Prepared Pasta and Baggie of Grilled Chicken
I dumped in the chicken, then the sauce and stirred it all around. After adding a packet of Parm Cheese from our last Pizza Day, the finished product looks like this:

The Completed Meal - Grilled chicken on Rotini with Tomato Basil Sauce!
I would consider this experiment a success, as it tastes WAY better than the other two meals I've gotten out of a bowl like this! Much cheaper, too!  Probably healthier, as well, but I didn't really check.  I plan on trying Alfredo next! It would be great with this chicken.

Five out of Five Whatevers!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Marie Callender's Homestyle Creations Meatball Lasagna

Continuing my slump of eating at my desk (it's too cold to go out!), today I tried MC's Meatball Lasagna. It's one of those "keep it in your drawer, find it is the Soup or Pasta Aisle" type meals.

The label says it's "tomato sauce, pasta and Italian style meatballs". You get a little less than 7oz of food total, 310 calories and 9g of fat (probably from teh 'meat'). There is also 20g of protein and 6g of fiber in this little bowl.

It was kind of hard to open, but once I got the label and plastic edge-wrap off, it was pretty easy.  You take out the sauce tray and set aside, then fill with water to the little fill line.  Nuke the pasta for 3 1/2 minutes and drain.  Heat up the sauce if you want, but I nuked mine for about 20 seconds, then mixed into the pasta and it was fine.

As for flavor, I added salt and pepper before even tasting because I find prepared foods like this bland.  The sauce is nice and hearty, but not too offensive to my picky palate. No majorly huge chunks of veggies.  The pasta came out nicely, but was slightly difficult to eat with a fork, so I switched to a spoon. The meat tasted funky (almost sweet), so I didn't eat any more of that.  I added a packet of Parm cheese that was in my desk from the last time I got pizza, and that added a much nicer flavor.  I highly suggest that.

All in all, I wouldn't turn my nose up at it, but I don't think it will fill me up, especially b/c I didn't eat the meatballs.

I give it 2.75 out of 5 whatevers.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Healthy Choice Honey Ginger Chicken

I remember like 10 or 15 years ago when Healthy Choice was the leader in GOOD TASTING healthy food. The french bread pizzas were always in my freezer. The fettuccine was creamy and yummy. The meals were worth the price you paid for them.

They aren't anymore.

I had "liked" HC on Facebook and ended up getting some BoGo Qs for their frozen entrees.  This week, HC frozen entrees are 3/$5 at Publix, so I used my Qs.

I should have burned them to heat my home instead. Would have been more beneficial, I think, in the long run.

Today, I am trying the Healthy Choice Honey Ginger Chicken Select Entree.  310 calories.  Weighing in at a whopping 8.5oz (barely half a pound here).

Now, you know it's a bad sign when you open the box and you can see the bottom of the little microwave tray through the food (that means there isn't a lot of food there).  Still, I cut the slit, heated, stirred and heated again.  Before stirring, I took the time to get rid of approximately 75% of the metric TON of carrots and peppers and mushrooms that was hiding the OUNCE of chicken.

I'm now at my desk and eying this gross little tray of food.  There is about 6 slices of chicken, lots of carrots, red peppers, peas and mushrooms in the dish (if you like that).

There is a very odd under-flavor to the 'sauce'.  I think perhaps there is too much ginger and not enough honey?  It *wants* to be sweet so bad, but it can't get there.

HOWEVER, I have to note one positive:  THE CHICKEN FEELS AND TASTES LIKE REAL CHICKEN, not like that nasty fake pressed chicken that you see a lot.

Too bad the flavor is just so bad. I just can't eat it, so it's looking like it will be soup and vending machine back-up lunch for me today.

It gets ZERO out of five whatevers.  I would run the other way if I saw this coming down the street at me.

It's just that bad.