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Pedometer: Week 2.

Getting those steps in!

So two weeks ago, I got a giant news flash when I started wearing a pedometer given to me as a part of the United Healthcare Motion program. I found out, I don’t ever walk… like at all. During week 1, I walked 18,599 steps.

For week 2, I really wanted to amp things up and try to hit 10K steps at least one day. So, on Monday I took three long walks during my work day, which was nice. I could blow off steam and get some sunlight. I went to my usual two dance classes on Monday night, and when I went to bed, I’d gotten 8,091 steps – compared to the 2,954 steps I’d gotten the previous Monday.

I continued taking walks during the day all week at work, and I started parking my car further away and took the stairs instead of the elevator, and it was working – and I could also feel it in my legs and feet.

On Thursday, I took a mile-long walk at lunch, and then did my usual three-class Thursday, and I got 11,252 steps. When I’d hit 10K, a little trophy came up on my pedometer, and I earned $1 toward my health insurance. I was also so as hell when I laid down to go to bed that night.

I haven’t hit 10k since then, and I’m feeling much less obsessed over the pedometer today. For week 2, I got 47,607 steps in total – more than 2x what I got in week 1.

Here’s the thing: yes, I think it’s important to move and take steps, but it’s annoying and stressful to me to constantly be worried about how many steps I’m getting.

I make an effort to eat healthy and generally active, but I feel like an idiot when I’m marching in place while heating up my lunch in the break room just for the sake of satisfying an app. Is marching in place really that much better for my health than just standing in place? Also, what is the stress and obsession doing to my body?

I also simply DON’T like wearing the pedometer. It’s ugly, and well, it’s spray-tan season, so how is that supposed to work? There are issues, people.

I have also noticed that walking around my apartment complex in the evenings is not really gaining me any social points. I don’t have a baby or a dog or a husband, so me just taking laps around my little neighborhood just makes me look like a creep and/or a robber. Because of this, I am looking into purchasing a pet stroller for Blanche… because then it will look like I have a better reason for walking – my child, my cat, obviously.

We can just blame it all on this pedometer – this dollar-earning pedometer.

So, I don’t know. I am still wearing it today, and have two dance classes to take tonight, but I haven’t taken any walks today, and I don’t know if I will. I’m so obsessive over everything else in my life that I just don’t know if I have room for this one. We will see.

Speaking of obsessions, I just added 15 NEW listings in my Etsy shop – and I’m currently having a sale, so head over there if you’re in the market for new jewelry!

Meanwhile, I’ll be on “Magnolia Watch” all week – my Louisiana Magnolia bush has at least six buds on it (more than I’ve ever seen) and I’m constantly looking outside to see if they’ve opened. I love the scent!

…Stay tuned…

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Finally crossing things off the list.

Ah Monday, we meet again.

This weekend was a decent one, although too short, per usual. But I feel like a lot of things “finally” happened this weekend. Simple things, but they finally occurred.

I kicked off my weekend by finally using a coupon for a free meal at Chipotle. I didn’t really celebrate Cinco de Mayo, although I did have breakfast burritos from Taco Deli. So, I figured I’d treat myself to some sloppy carnitas at Chipotle – a sad excuse for Mexican food, but it was free, and I took it to go so I could make a proper margarita at home.

Once I got home, the first thing I noticed was that my magnolia had FINALLY bloomed! I know this sounds really kind of silly, but you don’t understand. Plants were some of the first things I bought for my apartment when I moved to Austin, in hopes of sprucing up my patio that overlooks a Taco Bell drive-thru and an Auto Zone.

So, I bought a glittery fir tree and a magnolia shrub in an effort to cover up the weird view. I bought these plants in mid-November, and somehow, they’ve survived the chill,  and a few really bad storms, and I’ve even repotted the magnolia twice… I was so excited when I saw new growth on it after it was brown all winter, and I’ve been checking the damn thing nearly every day to see when the buds would spring open.

And finally, one has! And it’s so pretty, and it smells wonderful. So, I sat on my patio Friday night, eating my free carnitas and chips and sipping my grapefruit margarita, and stared at the pretty flower.

But upon staring at it, I realized it may have a fungus or some type of mold. There are little black dots on most of the leaves. Great. I Googled and read message boards for a solid hour, and just like the WebMD effect, I still have no idea what’s up with the plant, aside from the fact that it likely has cancer, and will die a slow, tragic death.

So, if you’re a plant person who knows anything about magnolias, hit me up. I don’t want it to die.

Later in the weekend, a few other things finally happened – like I finally cleaned my car, which still had one FINAL box from when I moved… 8 months ago. Whoops!

I’m not sure why I waited so long; probably because the box had nothing of real relevance in it, despite it being super heavy, and when the move was over, the last thing I wanted to deal with was hauling one more stinking box up the stairs. But I did it, and now my trunk is clean.

I also finally found a supply of Arctic Zero ice cream at the grocery near my apartment. Have you heard of this stuff? I’ve been keeping my eye out for it for years, after hearing a nutritionist say it was perfect for staying fit with a sweet tooth, given its low calories.

Well, I bought a pint of the stuff, in peanut butter chocolate flavor, and it said on the package that even eating the whole pint was only 150 calories, had very low sugar, and even a few grams of protein. SOLD.

So, Saturday late night, after guzzling a beer, I decided to crack open the pint of this miracle dessert. About two bites in, I’m thinking a few things, one of them being, “This tastes less like chocolate and more like snow.”

I quickly checked the ingredients… and the first on the list? Purified water. So, I was eating ice. Basically, it tasted like if you made a chocolate protein shake with water. The first three ingredients were water, whey protein, and cane sugar. So, yeah.

It was dairy-free, so it wasn’t thick or creamy. And it barely tasted like chocolate. It really started to piss me off. So, I offered it to Blanche; my bitchy cat. Even she refused.

And you know what? I decided right then and there that it’s just unnecessary torture. I don’t care about looking good in my swimsuit enough to sit here and eat frozen chocolate water. If I want ice cream, I’m just going to eat it.

So, on Sunday, I finally did something else I’ve been dreaming of: I walked across the street and went to a frozen yogurt shop and got some yogurt with sprinkles. Because why not? And in reality, is it really that bad? Everything in moderation, right?

And then, I ate my fro-yo while finally watching “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” with Matthew McConaughey. It’s been on my DVR forever, as one of those movies I hadn’t seen but feel like I should have. Meh, it wasn’t that great. It was kind of like a Christmas Carol, only for dating purposes.

Basically, it’s what we all wish would happen to our douchey ex-boyfriends who treated us like shit; we wish they’d travel back in time and see how lame they were and get a reality check. It had some funny parts, but I think I’ll be okay if I don’t see it again.

Anyway, I’ve got a pretty packed week ahead, so I’m already looking forward to Friday (per usual), but I’d love to hear how your weekend was. Did you do anything that’s been on your to-do list for awhile?

Fresh Friday: Sud Magnolia.

Pretty bottle, beautiful scent.

Pretty bottle, beautiful scent.

This week, it occurred to me that I’m only a few weeks away from having lived in Austin for six months! Can you believe it? It has really flown by. But, I can say that I am finally starting to feel like things are falling into place.

I’m learning my way around, finding my groove, and meeting some cool people. My job is still challenging, but I’m getting there, and I’m learning things every day, which is exactly what I wished for. I am excited to see what the next six months have in store.

So, what does the next six months have in store for this blog, and YOU, my dear readers? Well, lots of fun, awesome, new things! I’m starting work on my second online course. Haven’t heard of the first one? Well, in December, I published a complete online course for Beginning Bloggers (details & discount code here), and it’s been a decent success.

I want to keep building courses to support bloggers, online business owners, and fellow social medialites. So, be on the lookout for course #2 in the next few months, which will be focused on blogging best practices.

I also have a goal to write and publish another book – whew, big goal! But, it’s been done before (check out all three of my books here), and I’ve got so much info swirling in my brain for this next one. Don’t worry, I’ll keep you posted.

And of course, I’ve got all sorts of awesome advice to offer you, adventures to share (there will be some good traveling this year), and as always, stories of love, loss, and finding my way as a Singleton at 30… soon-to-be 31 year old.

I’ve been toying with the idea of offering a monthly newsletter for you guys (by subscription), which would have the same type of content you see on the blog, but exclusive to the newsletter, and probably more secretive, given that I know my boss or guy-of-interest wouldn’t be reading it. It would also contain exclusive deals and offers. That’s a big possibility – if you’ve got ideas or dreams about it, just let me know! I aim to please, folks.

But today, I’m here to offer you a new scent profile, because I’ve been spritzing on Sud Magnolia by Atelier Cologne aallll week! From Sephora.com:

A completely unexpected experience inspired by ingredients from regions where water and sky become one, Sud Magnolia is a floral and fresh fragrance with notes of magnolia from Louisiana, bitter orange from Seville, and atlas cedarwood from Morocco. The sharp tang of citrus blooms into a grand floral celebration. The woody drydown is reminiscent of antebellum elegance and nights of warm abandon.

This warm floral fragrance is exclusive to Sephora. It provides the freshness and elegance of a cologne, but is designed to provide lasting fragrance on the skin.

Notes: Bitter Sevillian Orange, Pomelo from Florida, Blackcurrant, Magnolia from Louisiana, Bulgarian Rose Absolue, Indian Saffron Flower, Atlas Cedarwood from Morocco, Sandalwood, Musk.

Style: Sophisticated. Refined. Romantic.

See? A perfect scent for my Louisiana ladies! It combines the sweet scent of magnolia with warm cedarwood, and the freshness of citrus. Kind of makes you hungry, right? I felt like every time I sprayed it on I could pick up different “angles” of the scent – and that’s why I’m really considering this to be my new favorite scent. It’s so unique!

I’m so ready for the weekend, per usual, and I’m excited to kick off a week-full of fun blogs right before the holiday we’re all dreading (or is it just me?). Don’t worry, it’s all fun and games at TBL. Until Monday, y’all be well.