Posted in College, Food, Gaming, Life + Living

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Thursday: less hectic, still busy. Mom was so nice. She bought me breakfast and made sure to healthify it by subbing turkey bacon.

Lunch was soup, snacks included fun dip (not pictured), carrots, cracked, laughing cow cheese, and thin mint cookies.

In class tonight, the debate was about whether or not the bible influences American legislation the same way that the Koran influences theocracy in, for example, Saudi Arabia.

Recreation included a couple hours of gaming. I played Hearthstone Heroes with Jeff, then I ran a few dungeons with Peebo, Roberto, Starry, Tiamalia, crazy, and preyed.

Can we still sayTGIF? TGIF.

Posted in Gaming, Life + Living

Happy August!

This month, Jeff and I moved to a new apartment.  The last couple weeks of July were spent finalizing the boxes and cleaning up the domicile we had been occupying for the past year.  It was no small feat!  In between all of that, my brother and his girlfriend moved to their new apartment and my mom got the notice that she has to move, too.

Megan, Jeff, and a cameo by StuffSo, yeah. July was an absolute BLUR!

When it was mine and Jeff’s turn to move, we had to hire movers because our friends and family were all either at work or out of the country (drat!)  We hired “Right Choice” movers and it seemed like the best idea at the time. Two guys came out with their truck and we set to work hauling all of the big stuff.  We had to prioritize the heavy stuff so that we had help with it, but all in all it took seventeen hours from the first box to the last box.

Other things that happened in July:

5f9350c4-3406-4153-977f-fffe10c1ebb9wallpaperJeff bought me a Super Nintendo Entertainment System and a few games to go with them… I’m THISCLOSE to beating Act Raiser 🙂  Happy Birthday to me…

My phone took a dive while helping mom get ready to move and the screen shattered.  I’m such a social media addict, though, that I still used it for the 4 days it took to get a replacement… what’s a little glass dust?  I still managed to stay pretty steady on my photo tracker

My brother had his first gig with his band!! He plays in a ZZ Top cover band called CC Top (they also do Credence Clearwater Revival) and they played at a local bar for a good sized bar audience.  The pic (upper right corner) is of our mom and Steph starting the dance floor 🙂

Also of note, I found a great place to host my sister’s wedding shower (2 weeks!), I walked a 5k with a good friend (1st one of the year), and we got our library set up.  Life is certainly good and we’re counting our blessings.

Next up for us in this crazy year is helping mom move, going back to school for Fall Semester, Christmas in Canada, etc.  We’re looking at all the requirements to do our immigration paperwork, and it’s staggering.  I wanted to get it submitted within the next week, but last night I was sitting on our patio reading the fine print and realized that if he leaves the country while the application is pending (even for just a short time), they’ll consider the application abandoned and he could be banned from coming back 😦  Why does everything have to be so complicated?  As if that wasn’t bad enough, there’s this hilarious joke at the end of the paperwork… It’s called the “paperwork reduction act” where they estimate the amount of time to be about 6 hours per application and if it takes longer than that, you’re supposed to report it.  But the thing is, the instructions were around 8 pages long just telling you how to do one form, but in the instructions it says you have to do every other form too!  I haven’t looked up the instructions for those yet, but I added 4 forms to the list that I didn’t have before… I’m just hoping the fees don’t add up as fast as the form numbers…

175501_10151286905097112_2013714323_oWorth it.

Posted in Gaming, Life + Living

Super Adventure Box | GuildWars2

I am slowly starting to get back into Guild Wars 2, after my forced hiatus and subsequent return.  The only down-side is that my mic doesn’t work so I cannot grace the guild with my lovely voice.  The good news, though, is that my headphones themselves work, so at least I can get verbal cues from my team.  It makes running dungeons and stuff a lot easier and it means that I get to be introduced to content that I didn’t know about–like Super Adventure Box: [start this video with the official sound track here: http://youtu.be/6Ut8xPZVLMQ]

Super Adventure Box - "WHAT! HA! Awesome."
Super Adventure Box – “WHAT! HA! Awesome.”

From what I’ve read, Super Adventure Box is supposed to be a virtual reality sim created by one of the engineers in Rata Sum.  It is to-the-bones 8-bit fun, which, is kind of hilarious because my own character and that of my guild-mates are fully fleshed out but our environment is an 8-bit wonderland. Here is a no-spoilers beginning review of the game:

Take this pointy stick
Take this pointy stick

Level 1 starts with a picnic with a princess who is then (predictably) kidnapped–then her handy helper pops up “omg the princess has been kidnapped” and challenges you to find her–arming you with a Pointy Stick! (lol)

Rabbit!!
Rabbit!!

My mates were describing it as “Minecrafty” and I thought I kept hearing bits of Mario and Legend of Zelda playing through my headphones.  I was completely enthralled.  What originally started out as an April Fool’s joke turned into an immersive playable game with 3 levels and a final boss.  I haven’t reached the final boss, yet, but needless to say, this portion of Guild Wars 2 is a welcome distraction from the serious warfare going on in Tyria.

Happy Rainbows!
Happy Rainbows!

The game has got all of the old fashioned elements that I appreciate in the 8-bit games including haunting bass lines for dungeon-type areas, and exaggerated elements.  I mean, have you seen the happy cloud above?  It’s ridiculous and I love it.  Haha.  When you kill monsters, break pots, or go flippin tables, you’re awarded with baubles which can be used to buy health potions or better weapons.  The life-bar uses a heart container system and has extra lives available.  Getting food refills your heart containers.  Not jumping into poisoned water or getting hit by enemies ensures you won’t need food… easier said than done.

Infantile Mode - Achievement Unlocked: Baby's First Adventure
Infantile Mode – Achievement Unlocked: Baby’s First Adventure

The part I liked the most was discovered last night–You can play Super Adventure Box by yourself, without a party.  It’s not that I’m being anti-social in an MMO, but sometimes I want to do things that my guildies are not doing at the moment.  Being able to get in a round of Super Adventure Box while they’re off doing an AC run is really liberating.  There are all sorts of secret rooms and easter eggs to discover in this portion of the game, so if you haven’t already–please get GW2, and check out this unique add-on available through April.

For more about composing 8-bit music with modern technology, take a look at this handy report from the Guild Wars 2 Team:

The Music of Super Adventure Box | GuildWars2.com.

Posted in Food, Gaming, Life + Living

Gourmet Gaming, Guild Wars 2 – Chocolate Omnomberry Cake It’s…

Gourmet Gaming, Guild Wars 2 – Chocolate Omnomberry Cake It’s….

I haven’t played GW2 since the Laurels came out, but this cake makes me want to renew my fandom.  Check it out!

Posted in Fitness, Gaming

It’s a bad-back day.

Checking in on my K.I.S.S. Goals, as you already know, I’ve kind of slacked off on the exercise front.  Packing meals has been going well, though.  Today–not so much because we never went grocery shopping.  I *did* plan out meals and snacks for the entire week, though.  I have every intention of joining the fitness center (didn’t do that, either), so I planned out breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, snack, dinner.   If you’re wondering why there are two snacks in the afternoon, it’s because I planned everything to be pretty light/even.  Lunch, for example, is going to be an open-faced sandwich with an apple.  That’s only about 200 calories and so two snacks spaced further apart will be required to get me the 8 hrs from lunch until dinner.  The third goal, to be better at my job, has been going well.  I took more training last week and I’m going strong in Toastmasters.  The speech I’m going to present next week is about keeping it simple and having a meal plan.

chocolate

My impromptu goal of eating no chocolate has been going alright.  Last week was *really* difficult and I found myself thinking about chocolate quite frequently.  I tallied it up and determined that I have 5 sources of free chocolate, 2 sources of obnoxiously cheap chocolate, and 3 sources of paid chocolate at work–without seeking it out.  Add that to the multitude of places I see it throughout the day and it’s just asking for trouble.  I did *really* well, though, in that I resisted temptation the whole week through.  Last night, I had a small (dark) chocolate bar because I was getting to the point where if I did not make a conscious decision to have just a little bit, then I was going to backfire and binge on a whole lot.  Today, I feel great and I’m ready to go another week without.

I met one of my goals that I set last week, and that’s to set pre-requisites for gaming.  I made a post in my guild’s forums and basically asked for support in meeting my goals, which are as follows:

I have to get back into the routine of exercising daily and taking bio breaks every hour to two hours (max). I could do this behind the scenes but I wanted to throw it out there so that you know ahead of time and can give me a bit of a break, or maybe set similar goals. If we’re running WvWvW or back to back dungeons, maybe we could all take a fiver and save ourselves some of the back aches.

Personal Pre-requisites for gaming:

– 30 minutes exercise
– 10 minutes stretching
– pets taken care of (clean water, full food, ’empty’ litter box, snuggles for them)

Precautions during gaming:

– bio breaks every hour to two hours (max)
– curfew (weeknights) 10:30pm CST

If anyone else has anything similar that they’re doing, I’d like to hear it. Thanks for ‘listening’ such that it is.

gw567

Posted in Fitness, Gaming, Menu Planning, Strength Training

Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

The age old adage of ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’ has been used as the mantra for weight management (loss/gain/maintenance) for as long as I’ve been trying to manage my weight.  What I have noticed, however, is that the more I plan, the more I fail.  How terrible is that?  Maybe I just rebel against authority, even if it’s my own.

2013-01-03_17-39-24_734 (1)

Take, for example, the K.I.S.S. blog entry wherein I wrote about these easy workouts that I could and would do every single day.  Ever since that entry–I haven’t worked out once.

Yes, the workouts are taped RIGHT TO THE FRONT DOOR.  They are literally in my face whenever I go to leave the apartment and whenever I pass into the kitchen, and yet, I’ve turned a blind eye and ignored them completely.

The fitdecks and resistance bands, too, are gathering dust.

This is a pattern that I have noted more than once about myself.  I start off with the best of intentions and I plan and plan and plan… but that’s as far as my motivation gets me.  I finish up with the last detail of the diabolical weight loss scheme and my motivation goes (with a thick Minnesota accent) “Oof-da! That there is enough work–you betcha!” and my motivation just clocks out.

2013-01-09_12-38-38_427My latest endeavor is to participate in this 8 week book-learning course (through work, of course) that details healthy eating habits for all (not just people looking to lose weight, but really the right way to eat as a regular ol’ human being).  I like to think I know it all, but the pre-test showed that I’ve got a lot to learn.  I’m hoping that the structure of that class will help to keep my mind on fitness and that having a variety of OPTIONS available to be active and healthy will help me to succeed.

One of the healthy-minded girls that I interact with on Facebook posted a pin from pinterest that showed using post-it notes to set daily goals with daily rewards, so I decided to give it a whirl:

2013-01-10_11-39-17_593I liked the idea so much, actually, that I put the template in a frame with the post-it notes on top.  In case it’s too difficult to read, the first goal is to “Clean up/off desk at work: wall, surface, files.”  The reward for completing this task is “new batteries for my butterfly

The second goal is to “Set limits for gaming: pre-requisites, curfew.”  The reward for this task is a new set of batteries for my kitchen scale (CR2032).

gw541

The last goal is to “Check out/join community center.”  Because of the area that I’m in, and the agreements that the localities have with each other, I can actually join any of three community centers in my area for about $30/month.  The one I was looking at last night would let both Jeff and I join for $50/month for both of us.  They have access to a 24 yard (I think?) lap pool, sauna, whirlpool, tennis courts, cardio machines, weight machines, free weights, and group classes including aqua zumba–whaaat??  I really want to check that out this weekend.  The reward for checking out the community center is a walk outside with Jeff.  D’awwe 🙂  He’s already agreed to be a part of my reward system hehe.

2013-01-10_11-40-19_773

 

 

Posted in Gaming

Things I’m Digging

1. Albacore Chunk White Tuna in water.

Sometimes, you  just have to eat tuna.  One of my resolutions was to eat lunches and dinners from home more often and today I ended up eating tuna sandwiches–twice.  It’s probably not the healthiest option for every meal, but when you’re already running late (another resolution I’m working on), it’s super easy to just grab the can, grab a couple pieces of bread, and go to work.  My cafeteria has condiments readily available so I just mixed it with low fat mayo, pickle relish, and call it good.  Luckily this morning, I was also able to grab an apple and a pepper to munch on, and I had some apple sauce, almonds, and cheese sticks already at work.  Tonight–I was not so ravenous, but we were still hangry and ended up making tuna sandwiches for dinner too.

Ugh. I might not be digging chunk white tuna much longer, though.. when looking for an image to spice this one up, I learned that adults are only supposed to eat chunk white tuna (not the same as chunk light tuna) 3x/month or risk elevated exposure to methylmercury.  Great. 😦

2. Guild Wars 2

This may be where the list ends because, really, that’s what I’ve been focusing on, lately.  I love to play with my guild mates and the game just offers so much variety and challenges.  The game helps to meet some of my social needs because I can link up to play with real life friends, too.  Depending on the mood, we can go exploring, questing, seek dynamic events, fight dragons, raid dungeons, or compete in player vs player action.  Here are some screen shots I wanted to share with you:

My character, Aminarra Westin, sporting 3 versions of armor
My character, Aminarra Westin, sporting 3 versions of armor
This ice crystal shows just how detailed this game can be..
This ice crystal shows just how detailed this game can be..
This is what 'stealth' looks like in this game... Go ahead, click the link to make the image bigger.
This is what ‘stealth’ looks like in this game… Go ahead, click the link to make the image bigger.
Twilight Arbor Nightmare Tree
This is the boss at the end of Twilight Arbor… and this dude is nuts! The sound files of the creaking wood overwhelm the audio and lend to the magnitude of this foe.

This weekend, I’m going to think about some prerequisites and goals surrounding gaming because this one  turns into a time-suck pretty quickly.  It’s so engaging and entertaining that hours can fly by and I barely notice.  One Saturday, I had a piece of toast for breakfast and did not get the urge to eat until 8 hours later.  I guess that’s one way to lose weight 😉 j/k

 

 

Posted in College, Counseling, Emotional Eating, Fitness, Gaming, Life + Living, Menu Planning, Overeating, Wedding Planning

2012 – Out with the old…

Most bloggers are doing posts about 2012 and showing their personal version of the year in review. I keep TRYING to come up with things to talk about, but, all of you have been with me through the ups and downs of 2012.

We rang in the new year with news of my engagement, and then barreled right into the rest of the year, much of which was spent studying.

In March, my parents officially lost their house and so we moved them to their new home.  I kept busy with work.

In April/May, Jeff and I got our own place

June and July had us traveling to Canada for adventures galore.

August was probably my favorite month of all, because we got to have our Bridal Party Get Together. And–GW2 came out..

September and October were especially difficult but life has honestly been on an upward swing ever since.

November was a slow month, blogging-wise, but I had my highest-hitting blog entry with my Search for 1st Dance Wedding Songs (we’re still undecided).

December was probably the best month of the year and leaves me happily looking forward to 2013.

I have some new year’s resolutions tumbling around in my head, so, hopefully those will get posted tomorrow 🙂 For now, I’m off to make merry and ring in the new year with the family!  Thank you for reading my blog!

 

Posted in College, Gaming, Life + Living, Self-Reflection

This is the homework police – step away from the internet!!

Facebook, pinterest, iwastesomuchtime.com, sparkpeople, gmail, pinterest, facebook, oriental trading catalogue, youtube, wordpress…

Nope, I don’t have trouble focusing at. all. …

At least I got it together long enough to dye my hair yesterday.  The highlights were positively atrocious by the time I bought the box and fixed it.  Originally I got the highlights to impress my fiance because he was going to be in the company of comparably more-beautiful women and I wanted to show a little effort.  The subtle caramel highlights that I *asked* for, though, had turned into crazy brassy blonde streaks..

Huh. Twenty minutes later and I’ve got cellphone, facebook, sourcefed, gmail, mspaint, and now back to WordPress.  How’s that studying going?

Oh, yes. I love my “new” (old) hair.  It’s back to my “natural” hair color and I was turning heads at work today.  “There’s something… different… about you…You just seem prettier.”

Anyway.. Work is.. work.  Very busy/frustrating today.  My weekend went very well–most of it was spent watching Buffy The Vampire Slayer on Netflix with Jeff.  It’d tough to switch from that show to Ringer.. Sarah Michelle Gellar is such a great actress, though, that I can distinguish Buffy from Siobhan from Bridget-playing-Siobhan from Bridget-playing-herself (played by Sarah Michelle Gellar).  Have you seen that show?  It’s pretty good.  Also on Netflix.

The switch back to standard time is helping me to get my sleeping back on track.  Except for the fact that it’s supposed to be 10:30pm according to my internal clock and I’m just kind of wired.  Of course, that might be due to the five laffy taffy’s I just had about 20 minutes ago…

I’m really just off track.  I need to get my sleeping in order so that I can get my fitness in order and if those two fall in line then eating will fall in line naturally.  And then, maybe I can better focus.  And sleep.  And write.

Thanks for reading.  I am sure I will come up with something better for you soon 🙂

OH!

Here’s something better – the latest screenshot from GW2.  There was a halloween event.. I was a ghost–best costume evar.

Posted in Fitness, Gaming, Life + Living, Self-Reflection

Getting back on track

Last week was a very good week as far as getting stress under control.  As you may have read, the visit to the second counselor went really well. After the revelation that she made, I was better able to handle the stress of the week.  One of the ways that I coped, though, was through cutting out my exercise routine.  Emily, my personal trainer, has been a champ at dealing with all of my canceled opportunities.  Honestly, when I was bogged down with everything else that was stressing me out, trying to keep an appointment with her stressed me out even more.  Why?  I don’t know.  Exercise truly makes me feel better, but in the heat of the moment, it was just one more thing that needed to be done that takes time to do.  I felt that if I took time away from doing homework that it wouldn’t get done.  I ended up staying at work until 10pm almost every night last week just to make sure it *did* get done.  Then, I just did things that made me happy.  Getting the homework off of my plate opened up the rest of the weekend where I could do things I enjoy:

(top to bottom, clockwise) – work, as I was leaving Thursday night, completed Pinterest Project (magnetic make-up holder), having Michael and Stephanie over for games, cooking healthy food, and fixing things for my grandma with my papa-bear.

To be fair, some of these pictures are older, but it captures the gist of things that make me happy.  That, and gaming.  I got together with a few people from the guild and did my first dungeon in GW2 this weekend:

Today I’m going to meet with Emily and catch her up on all of the goings on.  We’re going for a walk over lunch and then I’m going to get back into my fitness routine.  I’m starting up the C25k again, and hoping to use that in between my strength training days.

Glitter and goals, folks, that’s what’s going to get me back on track.