Thursday, October 2, 2014

October is here and the change this month is simple weekday breakfasts with lots of fiber and not a lot of processing.

Last month I gave diet soda the boot.  Soda is still out.  I'm proud of it as it was a pernicious little habit of mine.

It's 6:30 and I have a cup of soymilk with chia seeds, peanut butter and cinnamon gelling up.

We had Chinese food last night and the siren call potstickers is loud.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's been a few months.

Moving in was an expedition.  And I'm back to square one.

June is all about the vitamins.   Back to the tummy trouble while I adjust, but overall feel better.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Girls Guide to Home Improvement and Getting Back Your Deposit

Did I tell you what happened last weekend?  I live in the cutest spacious 1940's duplex bungalow on the Westside of Los Angeles.  The good news is the weather is usually lovely so the lack of heaters, ac, solid doors and weather stripping is usually not a big deal.  But last week while taking the last jug of liquor out of the liquor cabinet the oven hood fell down.  The landlord called a nice man who tackled the job(it was, like most of the apartments upgrades, jeri-rigged the first time around).

My four years have given me a chance to play with general home repairs.  I've fixed the motors in washing machines(easy), blown an electric fuse(also easy) and done a lot of stuff in between.

Best tutorial I've ever found.  This door tutorial has allowed me to flow with the weather and the settling.  I plan to later adjust the screws in the hinges of the BFs house to fine tune the alignment and further win his heart.   

When The Washing Machine Eats Your Sash: This guy is no nonsense.  My agitator doesn't fit as tight as it should and it eats sashes.  I never usually do the hotwater thing or remove magnet. 

Soap scum in you tub: Barkeepers Friend it's a mild acid that cuts through that dead skin and soap like butter.  It's a bit drying on hands, so wear gloves if available.

Snake Your Toilet Like a Pro: If you have a clog within a 6 ft radius of your line, this toilet auger thing can save your day.  I bought it and though the clog ended up being near the main, it was still a fun toy to play with.  It's like fishing in your toilet.

Simple(somewhat effective) sound proofing: My neighbor and I share a bathroom wall.  Actually it's worst than that.  There is a 5'X5' bit of dead space that makes a sound amplifier between us.  She is an older Asian woman who believes coughing is either an Olympic sport or passionate hobby.  Using this removable chaulk on the shared windows helped a lot.  Moisture isn't a big issue as the fan is good and the apartment bathroom has sliding pocket doors that allow it to dehumidify very quickly.  It should be noted that this stuff SMELLS like gasoline and nailpolish remover for a good day after application.  This makes stealthy application IMPOSSIBLE.

Red Hair Dye Cleanup: Clorox pens, Clorox pens, Clorox pens.  Works great on grout, white doors and my painted walls.  May not work so well on your stuff, but it's my experience.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Notes On Going Bright Red

I seem to go on a bright scarlet hair kick every few years or so and in the time between I always forget all the nuances on pain points.  I thought I'd actually jot them down so I can avoid forgetting.  I don't like purple-red.  I sometimes like orange-red, sometimes magenta-red and mostly bright red(just unbright enough to avoid getting told things by old ladies).

Every time I run into the same disappointing problems(quick fading, uneven fading, not bright enough), so I thought I'd log all my notes together so I can stop remaking errors.

Lowest Maintenance/Brightest True Red Hair: L'Oreal Feria Power Red Ruby Rush
It won't stain your pillowcases(assuming you rinse thoroughly), fairly easy to use.  Definitely not as bright as the box, but still *red* with no purple. 

Cheap Root Touch Up:  Root touch-up kits are nice but at $5-$7 and usually not bright enough.  Revlon Colorsilk is super cheap and has a 1:1 ratio of colorant to developer.   I usually find the conditioner in Colorsilk to be a little disappointing, but for this purpose it's fine.  Revlon ColorSilk Lumnista Light Red is a good color for roots.  10MLs of colarant and developer left on for 20-30 minutes makes nice bright red roots.  One box of dye will give you 4-5 applications.  Don't mix it ahead of time, buy a little measuring cup at Sally's and make your dose right before you need your red roots.  Once you've measured and mixed your goo, use a dye brush from an old touch-up kit or a nice brush from Sally's.  If you were crazy on the economizing, you could probably get away with 7MLs of colorant and developer.,default,pd.html#start=34&sz=12

The Dye is Fading Fast: You have red hair.  Sorry.

The Dye is Fading Unevenly: Protein Filler helps by filling in the gaps all the life stress has done to it.  People have a lot of methods for applying but this is what works for me.  Buy a smallish(3 ounce) squirt bottle with a trigger handle for ease.  Buy neutral protein filler.  Spray on the bottom part(where the fading generally occurs) until moist.  Let sit for 20 minutes and dye in whatever fashion you prefer.,default,pd.html#q=neutral+color+filler&start=1,default,pd.html#q=spray+bottle+&start=33&sz=12

Refreshing Color:
Color Depositing Shampoo:  Either buy stuff like Davines or Watercolors or make your own by mixing some semi permanent dye in your shampoo.  Either use the good stuff or make your own.  Don't buy the cheap stuff.  It just isn't worth it(though, it's possible something amazing could come out).

Semi Permanent Dye:
I don't really know if one is better than the other.  Manic Panic seems to fade faster than others.  I've used a ton of them(save Joico and Fudge) and they all seem about the same in duration.  I'll try Joico next time.
NRage, SFX, ION Color Brilliance, Adore, Fudge(UK based, so pricey), Joico, Color Jamz

Permanent Dye(about once a month):
L'Oreal Hi Color HiLights with 20 or 30 volume developer(amount according to package).  I need about 1 tube.  Red/Magenta is wild, Red is pretty crazy and Red/Red Hot is a nice professional "VERY RED."

If I want something more muted(most of the time), I can make my dye with 1/2 a tube of L'Oreal Hi Color and 1/2 a tube of L'Oreal Hi Color HiLights mixed with 20 or 30 volume developer(amount according to package).

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Really Long Week

The week began crazy with leaving the BFs abode at 4:00am to take a jet to Florida for a conference.

I spent two more-or-less sleepless nights doing work and working on my presentation that went AMAZEBALLS.

I'm still behind on work, but chugging my way out after my work binge.

I can say I managed my goal of one simple breakfast while traveling a few times.
1. Travel day: Toast and Coffee
2. Cold McDonalds Hamburger(better not to ask, but it was simple-ish??)
3. Stickybun(a small one)

So it wasn't all healthy but they were not really banquet breakfasts.  Of course, because I had pulled so many all nighters, I really didn't have time for banquet breakfasts.

I also got stuck in Phoenix for a day on my way back because all the snow kept planes stuck in midwestern airports.

I maintained taking my pills(mostly, I think).
Was less good about water(I know I had some :).
Wore my Somnadent every night except the one I was grounded in Phoenix.

I'm out again on Tuesday and the trip is decidedly less stressful and has more breakfast temptations.  The toast thing is pretty good.  It's simple, it's warm and it's relatively filling.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

No Snooze button: Fail Fast, Change Fast

The no snooze button isn't working for me.  Not this month.

The goal is to get me on the saddle of my excercycle by 6:00 or 6:30 most mornings.  But when it's just that goal hanging on it's own, I don't do well.

I also enjoy setting my alarm 1/2 an hour earlier and lollygagging in bed sleeping, checking email and being lazy.  I really like it.  I'm going to derail this habit when I have a clearer month and I can make the goal to get on the bike by 6:30 3 times a week.

I'm doing a habit revision.  I'm traveling a lot this month and would like to change the habit to be every trip at least one morning I have a simple breakfast.

When I travel I enjoy the buffet breakfasts call me too much.

The idea of a simple breakfast is about 3 items and simple.
1. 2 pieces of toast, jam and butter
2. Cereal, milk and a banana
3. Oatmeal, milk, raisins and brown sugar or artificial sweetener

At home I normally eat protein-licious eggs.  When I eat eggs it's from a buffet or it comes with toast and bacon and potatoes.  It's too much.

So to seed a habit, I'm gonna try a simple traveling breakfast.

Sure it's a little carbier than I'd like, but the portion is right.  It's a meal not a feast.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

No Longer Need to Prove Anything to the Twin Cities

I spoke today in Minnesota at a conference.  I've been applying and speaking at this conference for the past 4 years.

The first year was misery.  I had just broken up with my long-distance boyfriend who lived in Minneapolis and I spent the time not at the conference crying.  I had to scrape my limited funds to buy winter gear, had a sobbing beer with my ex who happily chirped of his new gal pal of wonder and turned down another unrelated indecent proposal.  I had originally applied to the conference when we were still dating as a chance to get a free trip to see it.

Last year I remember it being painful for fear that I *might* run into my ex.  It was the first time I ever had to drive in a snowstorm and I was petrified.  I was breaking up from casual but attenuated mock relationship with a dude that tried, but was so emotionally incapable and distant he added new dimensions to the word.  At the time I was also traveling the world on great projects and used the distance to transform his inept emotional distance and clumsy kindness into the sweet gallant protector I needed to exist.  In the haze of silence and physical distance I filled in the gaps with billowy padding, fantasy and capacity he could never fulfill.  It was like yelling at a tall man for not being short.  When I had to come to earth and realize I had a bag of hot air, I was back on a plane for the midwest.  The tundra tangled and assaulted me physically with all the vehemence I was flogging myself for falling for such a silly fantasy.

I tried to fill the vast emptiness of my soul by corresponding with "the writer."  A handsome man with no actual physical availability.  In that absence, he could spin and compose prose that would warm jack frost.  He quit writing back mid trip.  It was par for the course.

This year was different.  I found a better hotel in the middle of downtown, I made plans for my evenings, I have a great boyfriend and I got booked to speak in the big badass main hall.  My talk went well and if I run into my ex.  Well I've run into my ex.  I realize we weren't a good fit and we did a truly spectacular job of hurting each other in ways that neither one of us really meant.   Shortly after me and after the girl he mooned on over IPAs while I sobbed, he found someone else that he seems to have some real staying power with.  Good for him.  Men seem to be able to move from long term relationship to relationship faster.  Not always better(don't know what his situation is), but faster.  Not really signing up to be his BFF, but don't wish him to rot in hell.

I've proven I can come back to Minnesota, but it's never totally easy.  I may still NEED to come here for work or speaking engagement, but I no longer NEED to volunteer.  I know I have strength to and that is enough.

I don't gotta prove anything anymore.

Monday, February 3, 2014

February A Month of Snooze Buttonless Orthodontic Equipment

This month is pretty light on the dramatic changes as it's pretty heavy on travel and moving.

The daily vitamins and inbox zero have become second nature.

This months water goal is wobbly, I've been casually practicing this goal(playing around with it) for the past few weeks.  If I work out or have a plane flight it's no issue.  Ahhh water delicious, delightful water.

If I don't, it's more of a choking it down phenomenon.


Trader Joes sells these 20 ounce spring water bottles with a sports top and I based my goal off it.

The underlying goal is taper my diet soda consumption a little.  Where I can 36 little changes strives to crowd bad habits out.  If I've gotten down 20 ounces of water, I'm doing two things.

1. Developing a taste for this strange, wet substance
2. Drinking 20 ounces of something that isn't artificially sweetened.

I flew this morning from LAX->Minnesota to give a talk on personal privacy.   This morning as I drove to the airport at 4:30 AM it was serious work to drink water.  I got about 10 ounces down and it was unpleasant because I was delerious, hydrated and sleepy.

I can't wait until water just tastes good all the time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January on Shutting Down

Due to a nail in my car tire and an increasing workload, my weekend stay in San Diego turned into a 4-day stay.

I wore my Somnadent every night.  I feel like I get a lot more oxygen, but I'm still getting used to having weird pressure points on my canines.  The boyfriend says that the snoring is now nothing more than a purring kitten.  This is why I like him.  He has tact.

I took the vitamins I had every day.  When I got to my apartment tonight my other OrthoMolecular vitamins had arrived in the mail, so I will get to have the full wammy yet again.

Moving is getting seriously "real."  I need to be out of my apartment at the end of Febuary and I am traveling 12 days for work plus whatever trips back and forth to San Diego I need to make to get my goods transported.  I'm making real progress, but all the work travel was a bit of a *SURPRISE* so I feel very overwhelmed.

This brings me to Febuary's goals.  The Somnadent, a 22 ounce bottle of water and no snooze button.  They aren't hercules goals, but it's going to be a tough month just with life.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Meet the Somnadent: A February Habit Early

Last year while at the dental office getting my molars x-rayed, my slightly nerdy-cute dentist Dr. M popped in to come shoot the geek breeze with me.  Dr. M is cute in that boyish Alex P. Keaton way that makes you want to sit  all night with him in a late night coffee shop talking about everything from brain surgery to serious deep confessions.  If your college experience was anything like mine you may have even spent many a night having deep provoking conversations and soft, willowy never-fufilled crushes with various Dr. M's.

Dr. M's pretty, hipsta' young assistant also has a giant puppy-dog, totally understandable crush on Dr. M.  Whenever I start having brainaic conversations with Dr. M I can feel eyes of death on my neck.  It's not that she doesn't view me as a totally pleasant person, she just doesn't want the competition.

Of course, in my 30 plus years on this earth I've found that the Dr. M's of the world end up with pretty, impeccably educated, graceful, classy girls with names like Marilyn or Audrey, who have good hair, a nice cashmere collection and a closeted but resilient naughty streak.

Of course, Dr. M has a fiancé and I imagine together they have a variety of nice matching cashmere sweaters, a secret closet of school girl costumes and really I wish them well because the Dr. M's of the world deserve such loveliness.

Anyway, Dr. M mentioned to me that he had some new dental toys and asked if I was interested in playing with them…  For free.

So that night I took home a sleep monitor that used adhesive to stick to my forehead.  It talks you through some exercises, you go to sleep and take it back to the doctor the next day.

Though I didn't have apnea, I did snore like a mother trucker(I'm sure that's the clinical language) and he thought the Somnadent(a retainer that juts your chin forward could help).  The snoring was so bad that I woke myself up several times with the rattle of my own snoring.  Yup, I'm definitely a cashmere girl for sure.

While I didn't disagree with any of it the out of pocket expense(I think $1500 with the likelihood that insurance wouldn't cover it) was a little too rich for my blood.  I also lived alone and was only possibly rattling the ears of my creepy neighbor who lives in guesthouse behind my apartment.  I was kinda okay with that.

The year progressed and I ended up being healthier than planned for and I had a chunk of change in my   flexible spending account by the end of the year.  I also by the years end had a lovely boyfriend who can sleep through my snoring most of the time, but it makes me feel guilty that he might be losing his beauty sleep on account of my gargantuan, ginormous tonsils.

 Dr. M negotiated the cost with me and emptied out the piggy bank of my flexible spending account.  

I fitted the device at initial settings yesterday and slept surprisingly well.  My throat was a little dry(it props your mouth open a bit) and my jaw a little sore from holding an underbite all night but I did some serious dreaming and woke up feeling pretty refreshed.

I am in LA this week so my boyfriend has yet to witness what impact it has at it's minimally calibrated length.  Dr. M also told me that my throat is likely inflamed from all the trauma it has been through from snoring MY-ENTIRE-LIFE and as that heals it may also reduce snoring.

 So my next pretty little habit is to wear it every night of February.  There are some adjustments that he has to make slowly initally to increase the underbite.  After that, I can make the adjustments myself.

 Technically I should start the habit on Feb 1st.  But given that I'm only in LA for one more month, I need to start sooner to get his adjustments made.

I'll report back later after the weekend on what the boyfriend says of my sexy new contraption, but for the time being the deeper sleep is a good thing.

Call me classy.

Monday, January 20, 2014

5 Vitamins A Day

Great news!  For what it's worth most of the tummy trouble from my vitamins have subsided and I just feel really good with more energy!

I'm taking a few vitamins hand-selected by doctor from Ortho Molecular.  

For a pretty little change taking vitamins has been an important, though maybe not wildly blog-worthy practice.

The first Saturday of my new habit I was driving to San Diego with a carload of stuff to my new abode when I realized I had *forgotten* to take them.  I took a pitstop near Carlsbad, bought a coffee at a gas station and was fishing though my fuscia luggage to find the pills.

In the 20 days of this change I've missed two days.  1 was the first of January(I just forgot) and the other was last week when I had an all day meeting that ran from 8:00am to 10:00pm and I forgot again.

For the rules of "Pretty Little Changes," I'm considering any month with 85% or above compliance a win.  In practicality that means for a daily challenge I miss 3 or fewer days ;-)

Today I ran out of vitamins in my little organizer and when I went to refill I saw I was woefully low on one of the pills.  I immediately ordered a few more bottles from Amazon, but there may be a few days gap.

I won't count this as a failure of THIS habit(It's a failure of pre-planning for sure).  I'm taking the pills I can and taking the others as soon as they arrive.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Y! Inbox InboxZero

I thought it might be interesting to see a log of my progress on bringing Y! to InboxZero.

1/10/2014 63,207
1/11/2014 59,645
1/19/2014 27,434
1/21/2015 15,073

Some things to note.  The Web UI in Yahoo is flaky and unstable for large deletions.

1. I found going to Y! Classic allowed for me to delete 100 emails at a time and is what I owe to the progress I made.

Friday, January 10, 2014

I made inbox zero!

My work email is finally to Zero.  It started out in November with an ungodly multi-multi thousand number of messages.  Just now I hit zero.  This picture is not my mailbox(too private), but it's more or less what my mailbox looks like now.

Of course, I still have the cluster bombs of my 3 personal email boxes to deal with(those will likely be set to another month).  But this months goal was to prepare for Inbox Zero on my work box.


Note: For my Y! Mailbox I have 64,000 unread emails alone.  That is a monster task.

5 Vitamins A Day

It is now January 10th of the new year.

I have successfully managed to take my vitamins for the past 9 days(I somehow forgot to take them on new years).

I realize that when I take the vitamins consistently I have more energy but also some minor gastro distress at day 5-6.  This is usually when I back off assuming the levels are too high and then forget to come back consistently.

This time I'll try to stick with it for a few more weeks(until the end of January) and see if the gastro side effects disappear.  If not, I'll call the doctor and recalibrate.

In past times I just felt like a failure for not complying.  Now I see that I stop complying due to minor side effects.  It's not all illogical, bad person, scatterbrained behavior, but it stems from a reason.  So really pushing this habit has been a good thing, because I see the pattern.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Unexpected Pro Tip

With my new position I found myself much in need of a new wardrobe.  I made a massive scores in post  Christmas sales.  I found a closet of clothes that make me roughly appear to be a slghtly conservative, respectable adult.

The best bargin was a $30.00 pair of Cole Haan Mary Janes.  Cole Haan's run $200.00 retail and can often be found sub $100.00 at places like DSW shoes and  They have cushy nike insoles and classy outsoles.

And given my propensity to foot faucets I feel like I should wear shoe liners to avoid rapidly turning my pretty kicks into biological weapons.

Socks like Hue do the trick nicely.  They are lightweight cute and and hide under shoes.  But even the best shoe liners slip off my heel.  Sure the fancier ones with silicon backs help a little.  But its still a slidey annoying nightmare.  

While complaining to my bf he mentioned that barefoot runners use adhesive soles I might try.  I couldn't actually find what he meant and I also imagined that the adhesive soles were more sturdy foot protectors than absorbent wicking sockies.

I tried using double stick tape and 3M strips(I know, not a great idea) and both failed quickly and I had the heel of my socks wadded under my arches.

Then I remembered something..  Last year my planter fasciitis was acting up and I used some physical therapist grade spray skin adhesive to help give the tape wraps extra wham.

I sprayed it over my heel(it freezes like a mother, so be warned) and my sockies clung all day and peeled off at the end of the day.   A score!

My sockies are black and the stickum left a slight cast of black fuzz on my foot at the end of the day.  

The only downside for me is that I travel a lot and the smallest can is 4 ounces.  TSA allows no more than 3 ounces on carryon.  It seems an acceptable risk(the worst is it gets taken) and I usually have at least one checked bag.

Otherwise I can proudly say I have socks on my heels!

Friday, January 3, 2014

The Goal

Rather than have the *GIANT* new years resolution of doom, I thought I would try something new and break it down into 36 micro resolutions. 

My thought is that for most people what makes for happiness is a constellation of things.  Sunday brunch is wonderful because it's relaxed, usually has good coffee and typically comes with friends and/or family.  It's not just about the flapjacks.  I'm doing this experiment to see if life is the same way.

January's Micro Goals
1. Vitamins:
I take my regular medicine with the dutiful dedication of a saint.  But my doctor wants me to take a fistful of herbs and vitamins.  I'm less than superb about it.  Between being busy, not enjoying choking down the soft pack pills(more bioavailable) and forgetting...  I've been bad.  I'd like to finally just make it a habit.

2. Zero inbox preparation:
Before I can really do inbox zero(which all the execs I know try to do), I have to have a zero-ed inbox.  So this is a long process of sorting, filing and deleting.  I'm currently down from 3400 emails to 1500.

3. Game Plan for Move
Did I mention that in two short months I'm moving 100+ miles to settle in with my super awesome beau?  It's a complicated move because I'm trying to do the move myself, get rid of a lot of stuff and try my hand at Craigslist.  Here is a picture from my first attempt at an ad I put on last night. 

Turns out everyone and their mother is selling Ikea Poang chairs.  And my asking price of $60.00 is about standard for the market.  As such, nobody has sent me an email.  I just lowered the price to $40.00 and am hoping the best.  The Poang chair is clearly a requirement for anyone appointing their pad in Ikea.