Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday!

Hello!  This is me reporting from a much sunnier place, both literally and figuratively!

I was woken up this morning at about 5:30am due to generators and Kraft Services trucks being set up for something being filmed in my neighborhood today.  You'd think they would give some sort of heads up for stuff like that, what with me sleeping with my windows open and all.  Anyway, I realized 2 things immediately:

1) Puka had somehow shoved me way over to the side of my bed and was taking up 3/4 of my bed and 2 pillows.  She's 9 pounds.  How is that possible?

2) OMG I MUST CHECK MY ACCOUNT BALANCE NOW NOW NOW TO MAKE SURE I CAN PAY THAT CHECK TODAY HOLY ANEURYSM PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE OH PLEASE BE THERE!!!!!!!!!!


.... it was there :)

Major rejoicing was happening in my head, but not so much anywhere else because it was  5:30 IN THE FREAKING MORNING!

So I went back to sleep.

I got up and got ready for work and headed out.  At lunch time I went to the bank where I had the SLOWEST teller ever, but I got the check cut and delivered to the necessary party and got to walk around for my entire lunch hour!  YAY!

Move in day is Saturday, and as you know I have been hard at work packing this week so far.  I went through my clothes last night and got rid of half of my wardrobe.

Holy Heart Palpitations Batman!

But I got through it.  No problem at all.  So other than actually putting clothes in boxes, that room is pretty well taken care of.

The living room is pretty much all set, which is pretty impressive!  All those book snad knick-knacks and movies and whatnot?  Geez!

Tonight is project trash removal and going through the kitchen stuff.  I should do laundry at some point.  That may have to wait until Thursday which is unfortunate.  I'm down to either the really fancy or really old underwear now.  You know what I'm talking about.

And Puka has been doing her part to help out with the packing.  She has actually acquired quite a bit of stuff in our 3 short years together.  So she should help! 


There she is.  She was pooped, ya know... from all of the helping and supervising and whatnot... "no, no, Puk... it's fine.  I don't need that box for anything.  You just relax..."

So beyond that, yesterday was weigh in day.  And as usual I was nervous to go because I hadn't been super careful.  I had a wrap with breaded chicken cutlet in it, I had french fries and onion rings and drinks with the girls that included regular Sprite and Chambord flavored vodka (omagah).  I still tracked, but it wasn't as precise as I have been.  I sort of let loose because Maria was in town.  So I wasn't convinced.

And so we went again with the slowly stepping on the scale, tapping that single pound marker to the right... ending up with...

-.5 pounds!!

Which leaves me evenly at -9 pounds!  To be honest, if I can be that lenient and still lose a little bit that's great!  And I am still on track to be down 10 pounds by the time June 1 rolls around, if not better than that!  So while I'm having a tough time convincing myself that .5 pounds is anything to get excited about, 9 pounds is CERTAINLY something to be excited about!  It's like I lost a whole Puka!





9 pounds is the average weight of someone's ashes after they are cremated... which is a little morbid, so let's move on.

It's the size of a rather large newborn!

The average size of the human head is like 8 pounds, so I've lost more than my head.... which I think speaks volumes... :)

So yay!  And don't forget... my reward after I reach 10 pounds by June 1 is going to be a 30 minute massage!  SOO looking forward to that!  And once all of this moving crap is out of the way I can get back to the gym...

Which reminds me, I have a bunch of phone calls to make.  I got a deal on my gym a year and a half ago ($20 per month for life... AMAZING!), and there is one closer to my new apartment, and more on the way home than before, so I need to switch.  Plus all of the other utility bills to deal with.  Lots to do but so so excited!  Expect some moving pictures, especially of the boxes since they are all liquor boxes from the liquor store downstairs... I really hope I'm not judged for being some sort of alcoholic that has to buy my stuff in bulk...

Anyway, I'm not sure if I'll get back in here before Saturday, so just in case, wish me luck on the move!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Shit? It has been lost.

Yesterday I told you that if those funds were not in my account by today that I really might just lose my shit?

...


Well guess what happened.

No, no. 

Just guess.

I'll give you three chances, but you'll probably only need one.

The funds?

...

THEY ARE NOT IN MY ACCOUNT.

Now.

The plan for this was to, 1) Lose my shit a little bit.  2) Talk to Flo about what we wanted to do.  3) solve the problem.

Instead, it went like this.

Flo had already called KEY NEW YORK which is the company name I have avoided saying.  But at this point, they have sealed their own fate, as far as I can see.  So yeah.  If you are apartment hunting in NYC, do NOT use Key New York located in Union Square.  No bueno.

OK, so Flo called.... and was immediately berated, yelled at and insulted.  Yeah.  We're so done.

So I called my bank.  The monsters at Key New York kept telling me that it was an issue with my bank (by the way, we use the SAME GODDAMNED BANK) and that I should call them.  So I finally did.  And the sweet, southern belle that helped me said that she suggested talking to the claims department and file a claim.  And so I did. 

I'm telling you.  If you aren't with Bank of America, join solely for their claims department.  They are quick, issue full credits, professional and really some of the sweetest people I have ever talked to over the phone. 

The sweet lady I talked to at the bank put a stop-payment on Key New York so they could never take money from my card again, but could still refund the money if they attempted....

which....


ready for this?...

THERE'S NO SIGN OF THEM ATTEMPTING TO REFUND THE MONEY AT ALL IN ANY WAY AT ANY TIME EVER.

This is making my eye twitch.

So anyway.  The credit will be in my account as of tomorrow.  I will be calling the better business bureau and reporting them to the Board of Realtors. 

This is the worst situation I have ever been in with Realtors.  I have moved a million times, and never have I had this happen.  Your money is not something to mess with.  In the future I will refuse to put down a deposit of a full month of rent.  A good faith deposit should never be more than $500.  Don't let desperation get in the way of your clear thinking.  Clearly that money had not been given to the management company that we were applying to.  It was kept in an account for Key New York.  And that seems pretty shady to me.  It's also clear that they had no intention of returning that money to us.  Not that they were going to steal it, but they weren't going to refund it to us.

With that being said, I wouldn't change anything else about the way things happened.  I was under no contract with Key New York, so the crap about their feelings being hurt is a bunch of malarkey, and I'll go to whoever I need to so I can find a place to live.  I was never rude, or ignored appointments I made with them.  I tried to communicate with them and work out a compromise, or find another option.  But it's gotten out of control now. 

So that's where that stands.  Awesome.  But taken care of, so... I'm a little more calm now.  Just have to get that last check in and call it a week.   Ugh. 

On other moving fronts, I have to switch ConEd back over to my current landlord, call DirecTv to let them know I'm not allowed to have a satellite dish on my building and so I have to get out of the contract.  I have to cancel my Internet with Time Warner.  I have to schedule movers, which I will have the date of our move-in today by end of business!  I packed up the entire living room, and got a bunch of stuff together to be thrown out.  Tonight I tackle the bedroom, which I can obviously only do so much.  But if I am moving on Saturday, I can just keep out clothes for those few days and pack the rest.  And there's a lot of other stuff in the room besides clothes that I have to go through.  I am also working on getting all of my stuff sold.  I think the couch, coffee table, desk and chair and cat condo are all sold.  The kitchen table is already gone.  So I'm getting there!  Just a few more days of hell and then everything will be oddly calm after a month of unrest!

And after that I will feel very much like the Honey Badger I think...

... What's that?

... You've never seen the Honey Badger video?

Well then here!  Let me help you!


"Honey Badger don't give a shit..."

Monday, May 23, 2011

WE GOT THIS ONE!!!... and other stressful stuff...

So you might remember me mentioning that we were approved for an apartment, but then there were issues with the whole needing money NOW NOW NOW to get the apartment and whatnot?  And how the first brokers we used to try to get the first place we found made us put down an entire month's rent as a "good faith" deposit?  Well here's how all this has played out so far, because in NYC Real Estate... the nightmare never ends!

So last Wednesday morning I went and saw an apartment on the upper west side.  The new roommate had mentioned that she liked it, but it was weird, so I should go see it.  So I did, and I liked it too!  But there was already an application on it... the good news there was that it wasn't a desirable application, and we had a pretty good shot.  So I went back to the office and put in the application.  But because we all know that it's not set in stone until Moses does his thing, I went to look at another apartment over my lunch break.

This one was much further up, at 92nd street, which was a bit further than I had wanted to venture.  It's DEEP in the 2nd avenue subway line construction and in a weird part of the city.  But I thought I'd go look.  I met Max, the broker, on a beautiful and quiet tree lined street.  It looked promising.  We waited for the guy that Max and Co. had FINALLY made an appointment with!... and waited.... and waited... and made multiple phone calls to and were told he was "on his way"... And then it had been 30 minutes.  No sign of random guy.  My lunch break was over and I had at least a 30 minute train ride back to the office. I was PISSED!  Then we find out....

Ready for this?

THE APARTMENT RENTED AN HOUR BEFORE I GOT THERE.

As in, before I left the office to see the place, it was rented.  As in I wasted a ton of time and stress getting there, as in I was late to work after lunch for no reason at all. 

While we were waiting for the guy that was never going to show up, I asked Max for the second time how we would get our deposit back (his company was currently holding $2150 from my future roommate and me.  NOT COOL.)  Max's response went something like this:

Max: Well if you like this place we won't have to return it because we'll just use it for this place!

Me: Right, but if I don't like this place, then how do we get it back?

Max: Well you have to like this place, or we don't have anything else to show you.

Me: OK, but in the event that I decide NOT to spend over $2000 per month of our hard earned money on this place, how do I get it back?

Max: I'm not sure I'll have to ask.

So.  Yeah.  Helpful. 

I decided to take a cab back (Another $16 this stupid realty company cost me), and in the car I talked to Flo (the future roommate).  She had found out that we had to go into the broker's office, Monday through Friday between the hours of 10am and 5pm to get the refund.  No exceptions, no extensions. 

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?!  For a company that had no problem TAKING our money at 7pm on a Saturday, they are certainly making it difficult to get it back.

Well, I couldn't go that day.  I don't get out of work until 6, and I had already taken a lunch break and a half.  So I would go the next day, Thursday.

And so I did.  And there were no issues.  I got down there, got the refund issued with receipts in hand, and headed to the bank to get the check issued for the apartment I looked at on Wednesday morning that we were approved for!!

But no.  The money hadn't cleared in my account that quickly (my excitement got the better of me) and so I had to wait.  But... like... uh oh.

We had said we'd go to drop off the checks on Thursday night so that we could sign the lease before the weekend and be good to go!  But now we don't have the money back yet.  And I was waiting on my mom's check to arrive on Friday morning for my last 1/2 of the money.

Oh.

Geez.

So we put off the signing until Friday after work and bought ourselves a little time. 

Friday I still didn't have the money in my account.  I called the brokers and they assured me that it would be in my account by the weekend or Monday at the latest.  Monday is today. 

I didn't want to put off any more time on signing the lease.  Generally speaking, if a lease isn't signed by the weekend, the apartment is still fair game, and we would have lost it over the weekend for SURE.  So I went to the signing.  I explained the situation to the new broker and it was totally a non-issue.  We had 2 of the 3 checks, we signed the lease, we did a last walk through and we were all set to turn in the last check on Monday.

Today.

Guess what isn't in my account yet?

Guess who called to complain and was hung up on twice by two different people who cut me off, wouldn't listen to the issue or my questions, and made it very clear how unimportant I was to them. 

When I spoke to the owner of the company he was slightly less rude, except for one small dig but whatever.  He tried to tell me that since I had turned my back on the brokers, they tend to get their feelings hurt and take it personally.

Um.

Need a tissue?

A cookie?

Nap time?


SERIOUSLY!?!  They get their feelings hurt because they were unable to show me an apartment I liked other than 1 that fell through and I happened to find another on my own and THEY take it personally?!  I'm told I have to like an apartment or there aren't any more, and THEY get upset?! 

Sorry kids! Welcome to THE PROFESSION YOU ACTIVELY CHOSE TO BE IN!  Guess what?  Here in NYC, people use 16 brokers, and you better bust your ass to make sure I take an apartment you show me.  When you waste 3 hours of my time and I only see 2 crappy apartments, I'm sorry but No.  You want to make $4000 off of us for showing us places?  You better do a damn good job because that's what I make in 6 weeks of 45 hours per week of work! 

So yeah.

We're still... working that out. 

I had hopes that it would come through tonight by close of business, but that's not looking like it will happen.  If it's not through tomorrow I might actually lose my shit.  Seriously.

On happier, more positive, good karma notes, LOOK AT MY SUPER COOL PLACE THAT I'LL BE LIVING IN BY JUNE 1!!!



This is my bedroom.  This is facing away from the wall next
to my private entrance into my room.  There is 1 of the 2
closets I have :)


This is facing from the windows.  On the left is the
second closet, behind that is the private entrance.
The doorway on the right leads into the bathroom.
Say "Hi" to our broker!
And if you look directly to my right you will see....


My fireplace!  That's right, I have a decorative, exposed brick,
original fireplace in my bedroom!  YAY!

This is our quirky bathroom... it has it's own stage!
This is the view coming from my room.  The appliances
are navy blue, not black.  So I'm thinking nautical tones
(white, natural wood, etc.) in here.


This is from the other direction.  That stained glass looking window
actually opens up into my room which is either
cool or kind of creepy...


Next is the kitchen.  This is walking into it from the bathroom. 
The floor is emerald green tiles and the cabinets are a tan-ish
yellow color.  Very '70's... lends itself easily to an Irish Pub
theme... Just sayin..

From the other view.  It looks really small here, and in
comparison to my current kitchen it is small.  But it actually is
enough space for us both to be in there at the same time if
we need to be.



Here is our living room which we think was intended to be
a dining room.  But we would rather have a common living space.

Here's from the other corner of the living room.
Again, I know it looks small!  But it is plenty big to have
my TV and stand, plus a couch and a trunk for
a coffee table.  So we'll be good!  And you can see
a little corner of the green tile in the kitchen here...

And finally here's Flo's room!  There are 2 big windows and
chandelier.  No closets, but she has some ideas for that.

And Flo's room from the windows looking in toward
the living room.  Her private entrance is on the right,
which you can't see.
 So there it is!  So cool right!  I already have paint swatches and dreams of Homegoods shopping trips dancing in my head!  There are a few necessities we need to get, so I see some decorating planning in our future, although Flo keeps saying that she feels like I'd be better at that than she is.  I don't know about that, but from one control freak to the audience that reads her, if she wants to let me make all those decisions it is just FINE by me!

One thing we have to decide is, if you notice in the last picture above, Flo has no door to her actual bedroom from the living room.  That doorway is HUGE!  The building is pre-war, and those floors in the living room and Flo's bedroom are original 1920s hardwood floors.  Cool right?? We are probably going to just put up a tension rod with some cool curtains for now.  But we have chatted about paying to install some tall, thin French Doors which I think would be amazing in that space.

We love this apartment because it has so much character!  And for two women who are pretty independent, having our bedrooms at opposite ends of the apartment and our own entrances makes it just that much more wonderful. 

I'm sure there will be a million more posts about this place as we get decorating and painting and whatnot.  But I am REALLY  excited about this!

Now, I hate to do this, but I must ask once more that you pray to whatever or whoever you pray to that these stupid funds come through!  Your praying or chanting or pagan sacrifices worked in the past, so keep up the good work!  I know that I already have the apartment and as long as I get the money in this week we're good.  But I feel bad and like I'm ducking the broker so that I can buy my stupid, annoying, rude other broker more time for the funds to go through!  GRRR!

Happy thoughts... Happy thoughts.... :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Delurking on my own blog...

So you may have noticed that I've been Missing-In-Action lately.

Oh.

You haven't?

Well... I was.  I felt guilty.  Glad that was a wasted emotion.

But seriously.  I keep wanting to post and things just explode into an out of control ball of flaming gases and it doesn't happen.  I wish I was exaggerating.

You also may have noticed that I stopped posting about apartments.  There are just so many reasons for this.  First, the nightmare that I was trying to instill in you so that neither you, nor anyone you know, would ever move into NYC in the foreseeable future so that all the apartments wouldn't be gone before I got to them, became a little too real.  People.

PEOPLE.

I have seen just the very worst of the worst.  One broker was trying to sell me on a 2 bedroom apartment that was maybe 400 or so square feet.  For a 2 bedroom.  He also tried to convince me that a queen sized bed plus furniture could fit in the bedroom.  It could not.  This wouldn't have been so bad if there had been some other living space.  But the only living room to speak of was about 4 feet by 6 feet.  My TV is bigger than that.  But all of that is OK, because in case the "closet" in the bedroom isn't enough space for you (it was about 2 square feet of space) you can just overflow into the "living room closet" and put stuff in there!  Because that one was at LEAST 3 square feet!  And the neighbor was cooking a lot of bacon.  Don't get me wrong, I like bacon.  But that?  Was a LOT of bacon. 

I have run into the worst brokers.  Some that tell me that 400 square feet for $2050 per month?  Yeah that sounds right.  That 4 avenues and 3 streets only take 5 minutes to walk.  Maybe in Usain Bolt's world.  Not in mine.  I have very short legs, you see.  I have stood looking at sinking floors and rotting walls and cabinets falling off walls, bathrooms that you can't both be inside AND close the door, and brokers stand looking at me asking "Is this a place you'd like to live in?".... "is this a place YOU could live in?... I didn't think so."

And then it happened.  Last Friday night I found a place.  A PLACE!  It was on 83rd Street between York and East End Avenues.  It was far from the train, it was a 5th floor walk up.  But it was worth it!  Everything had been stripped out of the apartment.  The walls had a fresh antique white coat of paint, the hardwood floors were still covered to protect them from damage.  All the appliances were new and stainless steel!  The bedroom had 2 huge windows, and the second room was just a little smaller but still had a window!  This was it!  I had to have it!  Nobody had peed in the toilet, or showered in the shower or cooked on the stove!  It was all new! 

I had been talking to a girl about moving in together, as she wanted to move to NYC from Ohio.  After I gave her a pretty serious breakdown of the moving process (must make 40 times the monthly rent, or have a guarantor who makes at least 80 times the monthly rent, 3 months worth of rent to move in, all the proof that you have a job, etc.)  she seemed hesitant.  When I found this place, I told her about it and said that if she wanted to do it, we had to make a move FAST.  She decided she couldn't do it.  So the stress started.  Major stress.

I turned to Craigslist and found a really cool girl who wanted to see the apartment.  So Saturday afternoon she saw it, and LOVED it.  So we filled out the paperwork.  We gave a full month over as a "good faith" deposit (which, by the way, was the biggest good faith deposit I've ever heard of).  Sunday we waited.  We knew that the management company wouldn't be doing anything that day, so we would know by either Monday or Tuesday.  Monday morning the broker called and said that there was another application on the apartment, but that if they didn't accept them that we were next in line. 

UGH.

He suggested we keep looking.  So we did. 

Or.

We tried.

Over the next 3 days we tried to look at probably 20 apartments.  We saw 7. 

Why?

Oh.  Because our brokers didn't know how to make appointments.  Or get keys to vacant properties.  Or contact tenants to set up appointments to see their properties.  So it was tons of walking, without much luck.  The places we saw weren't good. 

Flo (the girl that had also fallen in love with apartment number 1) and I decided that we dug each other enough to keep looking for a place together, once we found out that we didn't get the first place.  We kept looking at places, and calling other brokers and whatever.  I have never been so tired and stressed... awful.  To top it all off, It has been raining ALL WEEK LONG.

And you know how well rain and I get along.

Tuesday night Flo saw a few places on her own as I was detained at work.  She called and said "You should look at this place.  It's.... weird... but I think I like it."  So I set up an appointment to see it the next morning at 8:15am. 

You. Guys.  This place was so cool.  Ready for this?  It had 2 entrances!  That's how big it was!  It is half of the second floor of this building!  Each door lead into one of the bedrooms, so the bedrooms were on each end of the apartment.  Between then were the common areas (Living room, Kitchen, Bathroom) and each room has a lot of character!  It was clean, pre-war with lots of crown molding, big windows and original hardwood floors.  We wanted it!

But there was an application on it already.

Usually this is the kiss of death.  But the reason it was still being shown was that the guy that had applied for it was not a top choice.  He smokes, has a 50 pound dog and he needed a guarantor to be able to afford the place.  At that point, the guarantor's paperwork hadn't come through yet and the landlord wasn't crazy about both a smoker and a dog being in the apartment.  So we applied.

And we were approved.


Did you read that?!

APPROVED!

Ready for why I'm still stressed?  OK, so the plan had been to have 3 months of my half of the rent by May 31.  I sort of forgot that these people want money like... right away.  Bummer.  OK, no big deal, I will ask mommy to front me the money for 10 days or so, and then just pay her back on May 31st, rather than paying the landlord.  No big deal.  And mommy was totally find with that!  Cool!

Oh, wait.  I gave that $1150 to the broker as a "good faith" deposit. 

Shit.

I need to get that back.

So Flo calls and although they had no problem at all taking it from us on a Saturday at 7pm, we had to find a way to get to the office in Union Square, Monday through Friday, 10am through 5pm. 

Um.

What?

Those aren't even normal business hours!  So even if I could ask to be a couple minutes late to work, that wouldn't happen!  And they wouldn't make any exceptions. 

Bastards!

OK, fine.  So I get both of our credit cards that the money had been drafted from.  On my lunch break I go alllll the way down to Union Square ( I work on 55th street, Union Square is on 14th street, just to give you an idea.) and get the refund for our money.  There was no fight or argument.  They gave me the money back on the card it was taken from, apologized for it not working out, and I was on my merry way.  The whole trip and reimbursement process took 30 minutes.  Great!  I have time to go to the bank to get the check!  So I go, and I tell the teller what I need.  He checks out my account and informs me that I don't have the funds.

What now?

Well the refund hadn't even POSTED to the account, let alone gone through.  So I couldn't get a check made out.  UGH!  When I called the broker, he said that it could take 2-4 business days, depending on my bank. 

I DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF TIME!!!!!!!!!!

So now I'm freaking out.  We pushed back the lease signing to tomorrow night so we could buy a little time.  The refund should post tonight, and hopefully by tomorrow afternoon it will have gone through.  But my GOD I'm stressed!

Either way, tomorrow morning I will get a check from mommy, and between Flo and I we will have 2 of the 3 checks ready to go.  I have a feeling that if we give her that, and explain that we're just waiting on our deposits to be returned from another broker for an apartment we tried to get the previous week, we'll be OK.  My God I hope so!  But I am praying to every saint I can think of to get that money into my account sooner rather than later!  Please pray to whoever you pray to for me... I figure the more "big guys upstairs" we have working on this, the better the chances are that it will work out.

So beyond that, last night Flo and I looked at 3 more places with another broker.  This guy made appointments with tenants, had keys, and was super prepared and professional.  It was awesome!  None of the 3 apartments were as good as the one we applied to and were approved for.  They were all smaller, lacked personality, and just weren't "us".  So we felt pretty confident about wanting the apartment we were approved for.

So there.  You're caught up on that.  And to be honest?  That's really the bulk of what my life has been recently.  And when I tell you I'm tired.... it's quite the understatement.  I'm completely beat.  I'm tired physically, emotionally and mentally.  My body aches from stress.  My body's natural response to stress has always been to sleep it off which is just the worst thing in the world to do.  So now on top of it all, I'm fighting my natural instincts. 

Thank GOD Maria is coming to visit this weekend.  I can ease some tension by going through and getting rid of stuff.  Organizing stuff always helps me.  And tonight I'm cleaning so that helps too. 

OK, on to more positive stuff.

As you may have (but probably didn't) notice, yesterday was Wednesday and it was supposed to be Weight Loss Wednesday!  But as you know my schedule has been insane.  So I didn't get to do it.  I went to the gym to weigh myself with the intention of writing something short and sweet when I got home, but I was hungry and tired and Puka was giving me crap about never being home, and so I didn't. 

So here's the weekly breakdown:

I didn't go to the gym once.  We had a work function and I ate fried macaroni and cheese squares.  I ate out because I was getting home so late, and hadn't been grocery shopping in far too long.

I walked about 30923408 miles, all on the upper east side, all between last Friday and last night.  I was conscious about what I ate when I ate out, with the exception of the fried macaroni and cheese squares.  But please be serious.  Who on God's green earth would pass something like that up?!  It's carby!  It's cheesy!  IT'S FRIED FOR PETE'S SAKE!  I did invest in some Rold Gold Cinnamon Raisin Pretzel Rolls that are freaking amazing and only 110 calories for 7 pretzels.  It's a pretty good snack!  And Delicious!  They actually taste buttery!  I also came across some good stuff at Trader Joe's.  Like their linguine in clam sauce which was so good and literally took 5 minutes to make.  170 calories for a cup of the pasta dish.  That's crazy! 

Either way, I was a bit nervous about heading to the scale which I am finding to be a weekly thing.  I always doubt myself and my progress because this all feels too easy!  I know it's not, and that I am really paying attention, and am more committed than ever before.  But... I don't know... I just feel like there's no way that after fried macaroni and cheese squares that I could possibly have lost weight.  It wouldn't be fair.

On top of that, (and I'm totally over sharing here.) I have my period this week which means I'm bloated and retaining water, and am craving sweets.  So... yeah.  No way.

So after looking at apartments last night I trudge to the gym.  I didn't have any workout clothes with me so the plan was strictly to weigh myself.  I stripped off some clothes like the heavy boots, the button down shirt, the metal buckled belt, and walked very slowly to the scale.  Part of this was because my feet were throbbing.  The other part was because I was a-scared.  I get on the scale, and yet again slowly push that single pound marker to the right.  And all of a sudden the scale dips, and bobs, and settles. 

No way.

That can't be right.

I push it further to the right, only to watch the pin drop, telling me that I weighed less than that.

Uh uh!

NO WAY?!?!

- 4 pounds!!!!!!!!

In just 1 week I lost 4 pounds!  That brings my total to -8.5 pounds!

I'm starting to think that Livestrong.com knows what it's talking about.  But for real this week. 

After I would track my slow walking for 3 hours each night, I wouldn't eat all the allowable calories because it just didn't seem possible that I should be eating that much more.  But clearly, if I was sticking with my 2 pounds lost per week, I absolutely could have eaten those calories!  My goal had been to lose 10 pounds by Moving Day... I think I'm gonna blow that out of the water!

OK, since I had no pictures for this blog, I give you a video:  One of my favorite episodes and it has to do with moving which makes it relevant.  Yes? 

OK...



That's all folks!  I'll be back when.... I don't know... Whenever I feel like it!  :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Look who finished a project!!

That's right.  I'm back, just like I promised I would be! 

I have been quite the little project queen this year... from redecorating my entire apartment within 2 weeks, to taking on DIY projects, to dating the DJ.... what?  Too far too soon?  OK, then let's move on...


I finally finished ONE of these projects quite successfully!  I'm pretty excited!  Here's what I did:

My best friend's mom was getting rid of a bunch of stuff in their move about 5 years ago and I just happened to be moving into my first apartment where the furniture wasn't already provided in all of its' mass produced glory.  She had a really adorable dresser and night stand that I decided to take.  They were antique white, with gold and white ornate handles. 

When I moved to DC, I painted thin black lines in some of the carved wood to add a little pizazz.  I also painted over the gold on the night stand handles.  I was happy with the look for the time being, but I assumed that I would get new furniture at some point. 

Now that my room has taken on a romantic, Parisian look, the set fits in even better than it did before!  But it needed a little something.  It was a little too romantic to really fit in with the rest of the decor.  So I was on a hunt.  I wanted to find something in this pattern:


Or at least something similar to it.  You wouldn't believe how tough it is to find this stupid pattern.  I was open to decorative paper, wall paper, tissue paper, fabric, whatever!  I just wanted that pattern and could NOT find it no matter where I looked!  I was beyond frustrated. 

It was a trip to Hershey and visiting the local scrapbooking store that found me the pattern I really liked.  It looks like this:



Pretty cool, huh??  I took the store's entire stash which was maybe 7 or 8 pages.  The paper was much thicker than I had expected to use, kind of like cardstock thickness.  I wasn't sure if the modpodge would do the trick or if it would just be too heavy to hold.  But I forged ahead anyway telling myself that if it didn't work that I could always scrape it off and try something else.

So I gathered my supplies:


sheets of paper, removed the hardware from the drawers...


Modpodge, paper plate, paintbrush, ruler, pen and razor blade
 So, the papers measure about 12x12 inches.  MUCH too big to cover the front panel of the drawers, so they would have to be cut.  I measured the the areas on the drawer that I wanted to cover.  Basically, the panels were about 4.5"-5" tall, but about 24" long.  So I was cutting the papers in a little less than half, and decoupaging them side by side on each drawer panel.  The good thing about the pattern that I chose is that it's so busy, I didn't have to worry about the pattern matching up. 

Here is one of the drawers before I decoupaged.  See the thin black lines on the top and bottom?  The paper is going to be decoupaged between those lines. 

Now, here comes the tough part.  Decoupaging.  The steps go something like this:

1) Paint some of the modpodge onto the drawer

2) Set the paper on top of the glue and smooth out and air bubbles

3) Once set, paint modpodge on top of the paper in a thin even coat

4) measure, cut, rinse repeat.


No seriously, that's it!  So easy, right??  I placed the paper right over the holes where the hardware was anchored, and just used my trusty razor blade to cut the paper and put the hardware back.  I was able to cover all 4 dresser drawers and 2 night stand drawers with just the paper bought at the store in Hershey.  It looked a little like this:


Super cool, right??  I painted the black details at the bottom of the dresser when I did the thin black lines.


So pretty cool looking right??

You would assume that since this part looked so cool I would be totally amped to finish the sides of the pieces so that it was complete and awesome looking right?

Yeah, you would be wrong... again.  You're wrong a lot about me, by the way.



These sat this way for like... a month?  Or so?  I guess?  All I had to do was go on the website, Adornit.com, and order the pages.  They would get to me with in a couple of days and I'd be on my merry, decoupaging way.

But I didn't.  And didn't and didn't and didn't.  Until I did. 

And then they sat in the box for a week.

Here's what I've learned about projects that I DIY.  I have to be in the mood to be creative.  Websites like etsy.com and pinterest.com certainly help in the creative inspiration area.  But still, I have to be really into it for it to turn out well. 

So last weekend, I gathered Puka, my ruler, my Modpoge, paint brush, papers, razor blade and headed into the bedroom to get this shit done already!  Geez!

Doing the sides was MUCH easier.  It only took me maybe 2 hours to finish the entire project.  It was easier because the sides are much deeper, and so required less cutting.  The nightstand was just under 12 inches deep.  So I just coated the sides with modpodge and placed the paper on it, smoothing out the air bubbles.  Then I used the razor blade to shave off the excess.




Just slide the blade down the side of the dresser to cut off the excess,
do the same to the bottom around the legs.


So there along the edge you can see that it's not laying flush.  No problem at all.  Just take a little decoupage glue and stick it back down.  There's not much you can do wrong here.

After you seal the paper with modpodge, it will take on a clear sheen.



The decoupage goes on white, like seen above but dries nice and shiny.  The paper I chose had sort of a matte finish.  I guess if you wanted to you could just put Modpodge on the surface, stick the paper to it and not put a finish on the top so that it stays matte.  But this being my first project, I wanted to be sure that paper was secure!  And believe me, it's not going anywhere!


So here's the finished project!
See how the bottom is a little scalloped?  I covered it entirely, then ran my razor blade along the edge of the dresser to cut off the excess paper.  It came out perfectly!


So there's the finished product!  Please excuse the excess wires.  I have no excuse, since the TV blew up a few months ago and it's still sitting there.  I feel a little like a redneck.  Anybody know how or where to recycle electronics? 

Aaaaanyway, there it is.  Easy and fun!  And very much updated so I can get YEARS out of these pieces!  I'll probably paint the hardware either black, or antique white.  I'll have to experiment a little bit with that.  So sorry this took so long to updated, but here it is!  I have another DIY post coming up in the near future after I finish it. 


I will probably be updating again later this afternoon (once I save myself from the sea of invoices and the undercurrent of expense reports) so that you can be brought up to speed on the craziness that has been my life over the last 5 days or so.  It's been nutty!

OKTHNXKBYE.



Friday, May 13, 2011

Weight Loss Wednesday!!... etc. etc. etc....



I admit it.  I've been sucking royally at posting this week.   If I told you I was drowning in a sea of invoices would you excuse my absence?  No?  Not so much?  How about if I give you a nice long entry filled with pretty pictures and fun updates?  Better?  All forgiven?  OK good.... here we go!

So Saturday I had brunch with Alice and Bethany.  It was just wonderful!  We ate at Bond45 in Times Square which is not my typical location choice, but I was pleasantly surprised!  A bunch of the old Planet Hollywood gang works there now, so it was great to see all of them!  Marvin kept the mimosas flowing (surprisingly not terrible for the diet as far as alcoholic beverages go) and a thin crust pizza with Ricotta and Mozzarella cheese, roasted tomatoes and arugula.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

The pizza was probably not the best thing for the diet, but I was careful the rest of the day.

What?

I was!

OK, so then I went aaaalllllllllllllll the way out to Astoria at the end of the N train which is actually only about 25 minutes.  Really not that far.  But it's at the end of a line so that makes it SEEM far.  I got off the train and was pleasantly/disappointedly surprised at how much I liked the area.  It was really adorable.  Lots of little shops and boutiques and restaurants.  There was a Dunkin Doughnuts in the neighborhood which is a must-have for any future neighborhoods.  There was a nice mix of people of different races, ages, life styles.  I really loved it.  Unfortunately, I knew none of my people were going to come that far to see me.  Which was sad.  But I figured if I could get into a livable place for hundreds less than the 2 places I've seen so far, then I could suck up the 30+ minutes it would take to visit them.

So I walked down to Liz Realty only to be just terribly disappointed.  First, the places was a madhouse.  Nobody seemed to know what was going on.  I couldn't tell who worked there and who was a potential client.  I was told that no, they didn't have anything for under $1300 available at the moment, and that they get very few EVER. 

This cannot be possible.  All the way out here in East Jabip, Queens and I'm still expected to pay Manhattan prices?!  Who do these people think they are?! 

I bet you think something great is going to happen now, don't you?  Like an apartment of my dreams just happens to open up 15 minutes closer to Manhattan and now I have pictures of the place and my signature on a lease to share with you? 

You're wrong.

NOTHING.  I filled out an application and left.  On my way to the train a tiny piece of something blew into my eye and I couldn't see.  My eye was watering, my incredibly perfect makeup was smudging... horrible!  I got home and rinsed out my eye, went to the couch and closed my eyes to let it rinse out naturally.

I fell asleep for 2 hours.  It was glorious!



Sunday was a much better day!  Ready for some pictures??? READY?!?!

What has 2 non-opposable thumbs and hung out
at Central Park with me on Sunday?

THIS GUY!  And there's my incredibly white foot
and odd looking calf to prove I was there!

It got a bit sunny for Mr. Ollie...

Ollie and his mommy, Terri :)
 So I got to be outside from 11am until about 7pm.  We hung out in Central Park with about a million other people and doggies, some interested in playing with Ollie, others not so much.  Ollie likes all attention on him at all times, in case you weren't yet aware that he is quite the ham.

After the park, we went to a late brunch at Gina la Fornarina, and amazing and adorable little cafe on 82nd and 2nd ave.  We got to eat outside since it was so beautiful!  We both had paninis, Terri had a veggie panini and I had a salmon and creme fraische panini with mescaline salads and a passion fruit and citrus iced tea.  I would have taken a picture, but that would have meant putting down my food for any length of time...

*********************************
Edited to add:  BLOGGER sucks, and deleted the rest of this post so I'll do my best to fill in the rest...
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So, then we met up with two of Terri's friends, Jessie and Tammy.  Lovely ladies who were coming from the Met where there is an Alexander McQueen exhibit which you can read a bit about here!  Although we had just devoured amazing Paninis, I had been looking forward to 16 Handles for.... like.... WEEKS!

Terri keeps telling me about this place she goes for fantastic frozen yogurt and how she has it for dinner and the last, like, 20 times I've asked her to go, she's JUST had some!  So unfair!  So I was NOT allowing this opportunity to pass me by!  16 Handles works like this... You grab yourself a bucket.  They call it a cup, but that hardly does it justice.  Then there are 16 flavors of frozen yogurt in soft-serve machines.  You choose however many different flavors and amounts you'd like.  (Get it 16 flavors... that you pump with the machines that have those handles... 16 Handles.... you get it.)  All of their frozen yogurt is non-fat, low-fat, sugar free, premium low fat... it's really amazing!  And you don't even feel bad for indulging!  And they have screens above each flavor describing the flavor and it includes a nutrition chart... AWESOME!  From there you move on to the toppings.  They have EVERYTHING!  Fresh fruit, cookie dough, cake, graham cracker crumbs, whatever you would put on ice cream.  At the end they weigh your bucket and that's how you are charged.  AMAZING!  So delish!  And I have now found my guilt-free snack for this summer!... and beyond obviously...

OK, so we finish that and are sufficiently full.  Terri is lacking work-appropriate attire, so we decided to head to a boutique called Pookie and Sebastian.  Adorable!  And right now they are having a sale so Run, Don't Walk!  While most of the clothes and accessories there were WAY out of my price range, there were a few items that were very reasonable.  Terri got 3 wrap dresses, the most expensive being around $60, which is totally do-able.  And they were great basics to add to her wardrobe.  So it was successful.  I also tend to enjoy that boutiques are very doggie friendly, and even carry dog treats for their doggie patrons... adorable!

After shopping I headed home.  I gave myself a mani-pedi.  I watched some TV.  I just relaxed.  After being so discouraged about the apartment thing I decided it was time to start looking for a roommate.  Not my top choice, but I'd rather have another human being in my house than live in the slums.  So I posted a roommate wanted ad to Craigslist.com.  Here's hoping that pans out!

Monday I got to work and was just sort of wading through invoices.  They weren't overwhelming yet, but they were starting to build up... high tide was coming!  (Did I take this too far?) 

Here's where it drives me crazy that this post was deleted because I KNOW I wrote something about Monday, but I can't remember.  Because in my old age my mind is slipping.  GRRR!

OH WAIT I REMEMBER NOW!

After work on Monday I went and had drinks with  my very first client in NYC, Sanaa Hyder of ZH Collection!  Sanaa is the designer and mastermind behind this handbag company, and is just a total sweetheart.  We had drinks at The Modern, which is a super cool space.  The wine was Delicious, the company superb.  We talked about some potential future events for her new line coming out this summer (So keep your eyes open, it's sure to please!).  Mostly it was just great to catch up with her.

OK, then Tuesday came along.  I wasn't feeling great, nothing major just a little off.  And I couldn't really shake it all day.  But I did have something... a bright snarky light at the end of my Tuesday tunnel!  It was Jen Lancaster's book signing!  YAAAAAAAAY!!!  If you aren't familiar, help yourself out by checking out Jennsylvania.com.  She is lovely and funny!  And snarky to perfection. 

My original intention had been to buy the book AFTER the move.  Save some money, and not move yet another book from one apartment to another.  I took "Such A Pretty Fat", my favorite book by Jen, for her to sign instead.

This is where I was foiled.  And whoever came up with this sales tactic... bravo.  You got me.  I got to Barnes and Noble in Union Square.  I rode the escalator to the 4th floor.  And I was a little surprised.  The event was roped off..... WITH SECURITY GUARDS?! 

Wait, what?  This is serious.  This is no joke.  So I approach one of the security guards to ask how this whole thing worked because, honestly?  I didn't realize the security risk associated with book signings!  Good to know!

The security guard asked me "Have you bought the book yet?"  "Not yet", I replied.  "Oh."  She said, sort of looking at me strangely.  " Well, people that actually BUY the book get preferential seating and can go into the seating area now.  But if you choose not to buy the book like THESE people," and she points to a short line of individuals, "You'll be let in maybe 10 minutes before the event starts.  IF there is still room."

And I was in an instant panic.  What if Jen saw me standing in that line?!  I had bought the rest of her books and was planning to buy this one!  Just not tonight!  Would she think I was cheap?  Or not a great fan?  Would she reject me when I took my old and tattered book up for her signature??  AND FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, THE PREFERENTIAL SEATING?!?  I NEED PREFERENCE!  I NEED TO BE SPECIAL!  POINT ME IN THE DIRECTION OF THE NEW BOOK PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!


$27.00.

On a book so I could sit in uncomfortable seats longer.  On a book that  I was going to get in a month when it was a bit cheaper.  On a book that was in hardback when I prefer paperback. 

Just take my credit card.  Do it.  Before I change my mind and lose my "Special" "Preferred seating"-ness.  God.



There it is.  The book. 

So I sat on the uncomfortable "preferred" seats, trying to figure out what so damn "Preferential" about them, while three really awful girls behind me spoke horrible probably-not-truths about mutual friends and people they were observing in the general audience.  Including, but not limited to, the girl sitting a row over from me who was nothing short of perfectly beautiful with long blond hair, sun tanned skin, an adorable and classic outfit and a handbag I might actually kill for.  The girls behind me were saying something about it being last season's Betsey Johnson dress... um... really Humpty Dumpty?  You're trying to pass those shoes off as something more recent than 1997 and failing.  How are you going to judge that adorable and stylish girl!  The negativity was nearly overwhelming and..... I mean.... you've read the blog.  You know how I am.  They put me to SHAME.  It wasn't snarky as they were trying to pass it off, laughing snidely at each others "clever" anecdotes.  No, it was just bitchy and uncalled for and made them look awful to everyone within earshot.  Which, in case you were wondering, was basically the entire store, because the woman in the middle would SCREAM IN A LOUD SCREAMY VOICE OVER ANYONE TALKING WHEN SHE DECIDED SHE HAD SOMETHING TO ADD.  Horrific.

But then it was all better, as Jen Lancaster came out and read a excerpt from her book.  She was hilarious and I loved hearing her voice reading her own words as she intended them to be heard.  Of course, the horrible girls behind me said something about her not being a great reader.  Really?  Are you on the New York Times Best Sellers list?  No?  Then STFU!

She answered a few questions from the group, and was hilarious, of course.  Then we all got in line for her to sign our books.  I got to meet Jen 2 years ago in DC, but hadn't been able to attend the actual reading.  Such a shame.  It's totally worth it.  We got closer to the front.  Jen is really good at this kind of thing (I'm not calling her Jen because I feel incredibly close to somebody that probably doesn't remember my face.  I actually call her Jen Lancaster in regular conversation.  But It's a long name to type repeatedly... that was probably more of an explanation than you needed.  Moving on...), and she talks to each person that gets up there.  So it's my turn, I put my books on the table next to her, hand the lady from Barnes and Noble my phone to take a picture.  Jen immediately compliments my necklace (What up buy-1-get-1-75%-off from NY and Company!) and then this is snapped:

Please ignore my ghostly look and terrible hair.  I TOLD YOU I DID NOT FEEL WELL!
 
Anyway, we chatted about the blog that Jen, in part, inspired and she encouraged me to keep writing and I would find my voice.  I admitted I wasn't sure where I fit in when people like herself, and amalah and The Bloggess were the people inspiring me.  They are just such funny ladies!  And have such unique styles!  I... should probably gain a little confidence at some point.  I digress. 
 
 

There it is!
So I got that...


... and she was even kind enough to sign my old tattered book too.  I am telling you, people.  PEOPLE.  Get these books!  I used to have to put the book away on the Metro in DC because I'd be laughing so hard I'd be crying, and people would start to stare.  But even after I put it away, I kept remembering what I'd read and laughing harder and harder and it looked even WORSE than having the book out and laughing at IT!  Then I was just.... laughing to myself....  Ugh.  So worth the public humiliation!  I'm telling you!

So anyway, after that, it was after 9pm.  I was beat, not feeling great, and still had to stop by the gym to weigh myself for today's post.  I was just gonna go in, get my weight, and head home.  But then I got there and I convinced myself that I was THERE which is a major part of the battle, so just do SOMETHING!  Even if it's just 15 minutes.  Do something.  So I changed.

If we're being honest, and I like to think we are, I was dreading this.  You guys.  I had PIZZA.  I had 2 brunches!  I skipped the gym over the weekend!  AND Livestrong.com had added 400 calories to my daily intake after I recalculated things.  I felt certain there was no way I had lost anything.  In fact, I was horrified that I had gained, and in my second week on this thing I'd have to report a gain!  To... like... EVERYBODY IN THE WORLD.  And that was awful.  But I had to do it.  I promised myself no more excuses.  I'm doing this, and I'm going to do it until I achieve my goal.  So get on the scale, dammit!

And I did.  I stepped on, and slowly bumped the one pound marker until it leveled out.

-2 pounds baby!!!

Which makes it -4.5 pounds total!  That's fantastic!  I was so happy!  Livestrong appears to really know what it's talkin about! 

So this news inspired me to work out for 35 minutes!  Granted, it was all elliptical.  But we take what we can get! 

For this week, the plan is to try to get out of my elliptical rut.  So I came across this workout on Pinterest.com, which I am going to have to tell you about in a later post because it's just too fabulous to try to cram into this already over-stuffed post.  But I digress... here's the workout that I found:

Fuck Fries, I Want Skinny Thighs

Kind of cool, right??  Definitely good for the lower body and core, which is awesome.  Should pull me out of my rut if I can keep doing this at least once a week.  Good times!  Now must be on the look out for upper body workouts...

I don't know why, but that reminded me of this:


Fast forward to the bit where Carrie is making a mental note at 1:03.  If you had heard what "...must be on the look out for upper body workouts..." sounded like in my head, you would get it.  No call me crazy, smile nicely and walk away.

OK, now I'm off to write the NEXT post about my little project I finished that blogger ALSO did away with.  Is it bad that I'm taking this as a personal attack on my writing?  Like maybe Blogger doesn't think I'm worthy of posting so it's just deleting my stuff?  Is that weird?  Are you calling me crazy and smiling nicely again?

Okey dokey then.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just.... No.

You people are so freaking lucky that I am a technological imbecile.  Because if you had seen the pictures that I had taken last night of the "apartment" I saw, you would be running for the hills!

Basically, I took pictures on my phone, emailed them to myself, and before they were done sending I promptly deleted them from my pictures folder because I had totally already sent them and didn't need them anymore.  Imbecile.  So they didn't actually send.  So I have nothing to show.  So instead, I will describe in painstaking detail.  Ready?

I met with the broker on 93rd Street and 2nd avenue.  It's kind of a weird area.  Not bad, kind of cool buildings, but somewhere in limbo between the Upper East Side and Harlem.  I signed a few disclosure forms, and we walked half of a block to the apartment.  The 2nd avenue subway line is currently being put in, so there's a TON of construction on 2nd avenue, basically right next to the apartment building.  We were to stop into the laundromat to pick up the key from the building owner before going up to the apartment.  When we went into the laundromat, the man said that somebody already took the key.  That some random guy and girl came and took the key and so he doesn't have it anymore. 

So.  Like... you just gave the key to some people?  Without getting any money from them?  Or knowing who they were?  Or if they had actually rented the apartment?

That can't be normal...

So rather than call the broker for the apartment while we were on the street, my broker made me walk up 2 very long steep sets of steps, just to find out the apartment had been rented 30 minutes prior.  And then he started with the whole "Apartments here rent very fast.  They go so quick." which was repeated about 40 times between that apartment and the next, which was a block and a half away. 

So we get to the next apartment which has an open house that starts at 7pm.  It's 6:52.  The Supor wouldn't let us up until exactly 7pm.  OK fine.  So we wait, and I hear about how quickly Manhattan apartments go, and how low their inventory is right now, and how expensive apartments are.

Hey buddy, I am actually aware.  This is not my first time to the rodeo.  I got it.

He also pointed out the Duane Reade on the corner that I had walked right by and the laundromat that was 10 feet in front of my face across the street.  Dude.  If you're gonna tell me something about the neighborhood, tell me something I'M NOT CURRENTLY STARING AT.  Really?

So we finally get let into the building.  My brilliant broker leads me and 2 other people up 3 very steep staircases... in the wrong part of the building.  Cool.  So we walk back down, through some back passageway and up 5 flights of stairs to another part of the building.  We walk into the "apartment" and I am floored.

I don't think you could even count this as a room, much less an apartment.  I'm not sure why there was even a tub in the bathroom, because it was practically the size of a stall shower, which would have worked better.  The paneling was broken.  There were two linen closets for storage, 3 kitchen cabinets, a busted looking mini-oven/stove and what my broker called a full sized refrigerator.  It was basically a big mini fridge.  Not that I need a huge fridge, it's just me.  But please don't talk up the place.  I'm seeing what you're seeing.  The floors were not taken care of at all, and were sagging in the middle.  It did have high ceilings, but I mean... I'm only 5'4", so I guess as long as they're higher than that I'm good, right? 

The space was about 200 square feet.  He tried to pass it off as 300+.  Negative.  It might have been as big as my kitchen. 

Heat and hot water were included, as well as cooking gas.  The apartment has a fee.  The monthly rent is $1325.  Which means move-in cost alone is $3, 975. 

So.  No.  I will keep looking.  The idea of putting up $4,000 for a space big enough for my bed... no.  You have to be kidding. 

I told him to check out the West Harlem area for me.  I started looking at apartments in Astoria and Long Island City just to see.  I can definitely find something there if this keeps going so poorly.  But I have hope, people!  Hope!

And then I got home to an email from my broker.  It said:

Dear Connie,

Thank you so much for your appointment tonight!

Again, sorry about the mishap.  Apartments move fast now due to peak demand.

I'll be in touch!

Stephen.


And now I don't know if I can even go on another appointment with him because I might punch him in the throat if he says those words again!  GRRR!

So, I'm sorry about no pictures, but count your blessings.  Seriously.  It was bad. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weigh Loss Wednesday!

OK kids, it's the moment you have ALL been waitng for!  I know... sitting on the edges of your respective chairs/couches/futons/milk crates.  You've probably been pretty anxious the last few days just WAITING for this news!  Am I right? 

No, don't answer that.

OK people.  Just to catch you up if you are new to the pool party:  I'm trying to lose weight.  Not a small amount.  A LOT.  It all came about when I was trying to decide where to get a tattoo and decided my foot was the only place on my body I was OK with getting inked up or having anyone see.  And that made me realize that... yeah... not good. 

So armed with my arsenal of knowledge, K80 helping me get motivated for the gym, Maria helping me by chatting about our goals and what we're doing, and Natalie supplying me with caloric information on the Livestrong.com website, I dove in. 

This is my first week of my new lifestyle.  It's not a diet.  It's actively looking at what I'm eating and getting responsible when it comes to my body.  One of the most important things for me when it comes to starting to lose weight is trying to find some motivation.  My motivation consists of a few things:

1) The little lady that added an un-Godly expensive zipper to a dress that still doesn't fit around my hips.  She was very kind, but said that I should just do it now, lose the weight, and it will all be so much easier for me.  She's quitting smoking, so I figure that is about as tough as losing weight for me.  So we're in it together, although she doesn't know it.

2) The tattoo issue.  My brother is 18 and getting more and more ripped by the day.  Right now, I'm the chubby sister.  We should both look hot when we go get tattoos so people can marvel at how great the genes in our family are. 

3) Just like I take responsibility for my finances, my job/career, Puka and relationships, I need to take responsibility for my body.  I'm proud of the way I handle those aspects of my life.  And I know I'll be proud once I am managing my weight. 

4) Shopping.  I'm not kidding.  It's important to me!  I LOVE to shop.  And the fact that I am in NYC and unable to enjoy some of the best shopping in the continental US is devastating to me.  And I like to think I'm getting more adventurous in my fashion and style, so I'd like to be able to take advantage of that.  Also?  I want Kate Middleton's dress.  Um.  Fat arms wrapped in lace is NOT attractive.

So now that I had my motivation, and my team of friends, I was all set to go.  And so I did.

I went to the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  I am failing at doing anything other than the elliptical at the moment, which I need to work on.  But I do try to push myself a little bit on there.  I try to jog, or move faster, or stay on longer.  On Friday I did 5 miles on the elliptical, and kept my pace up pretty well.  So that's good.  But definitely a goal for me is to start incorporating maybe a class or two and some other activities at the gym into my routine.  On Saturday Miranda, Ana, Natalie and Natalie's friend Malinda went with me to bike ride through Central Park.  This was one of the best activities I've done in a long time.  It was fantastic!  The ride wasn't terribly challenging.  There's a bit of an incline on the East Side of the park that gets rough but is do-able, and a hill on the West Side that Ana and I actually had to walk up because it was so steep and long.  But otherwise it was great!  I definitely got a good work-out in.  So that made for 4 work-outs.  And I could really feel it in my butt, so we all decided we wanted to do it again. 

Unfortunately I didn't make it to the gym on Sunday.  But 3 days in a row is a lot, and I did get some good workouts in so I was OK with that. 

I tracked everything I ate and my fitness stuff on Livestrong.com.  You should really check this site out, even if you aren't trying to lose weight.  I am better understanding what I am putting into my body and how it effects me.  There are links to all kinds of helpful weight management tools, and information about dietary supplements.  It's a great site. 

The only issue I have had with the site is the calorie calculator.  When I put in my height (5'4"), weight (yeah.  Right.), age (27), lifestyle (sedentary) and my weight goals (Lose 2 pounds per week), it calculated the number of calories I should be taking in each day.  Originally it was about 860 calories.  This number fluctuates depending on whether you add anything to the fitness tracker.  So on days that I went to the gym I was actually consuming about 1100+ calories.  Which I was really comfortable with.  But on days when I couldn't go to the gym, 860 calories is tough to stick to.  When I put in my new weight for this week, the website cut my calorie intake per day nearly in half!  I'm no nutritionist, but I don't think there's any way that it's healthy to only consume 464 calories in a day!  But when I went in to update my calorie goals, and put in the same information I outlined above, the new caloric intake because 1234 calories per day.  Which seems more correct.

So this week I will be focusing on 1234 calories.  I'm a little nervous because that's almost 400 calories per day more than I was consuming last week.  I don't want this to make me gain back any of the weight I successfully lost last week.  But one thing I learned on Weight Watchers is that you have to eat to keep your metabolism running.  So as long as I stay as focused on eating the right kinds of foods and being conscious about what I'm putting into my body, it should be OK.  Since I am not looking at this as a diet, and rather a new lifestyle for myself, I'd rather do a little trial and error to see what works for me.

My diet for this week has been normal for me, just better.  For example, I had enchiladas.  My friend Mike nearly lost his shit when I said that because "Enchiladas are so bad for you!  I thought you were working out and stuff??"  Until I explained how I made them.  Each enchilada had:

4oz. grilled chicken, shredded
1/4 cup black beans
1 oz. cheese of your choice (I used pepper jack)
1 whole wheat tortilla
1/4 cup low sodium enchilada sauce

If you want to, add some grilled peppers and onions in there too.  And I only had 1 enchilada at a time and was really happy to see that that's all I need.  I was completely satisfied, and it was a pretty healthy dinner.  I also had grilled chicken over brown rice with 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup on top.  Delish.  I upped my veggie and fruit intake.  So in the mornings after I had my cereal, I would have a banana.  Then after lunch (I chose healthy soups from Au Bon Pain or a  salad with protein and veggies and vinaigrette dressing) I would have a sliced apple with low fat peanut butter.  Also?  I went up against the office candy box, and I came out on top!  Rather than hitting that thing up every day, I think I had maybe 2 pieces of candy last week, and now don't even really want any. 

BIG sugar tip:  every time you eat something sweet, your body's blood sugar goes haywire.  This is what makes you crave more sweets.  Because you get this high off the added sugar, and when it dips back down to normal levels, you feel run-down and want more.  So go a couple of days without and you'll feel totally fine without it.  The issue is that Reese's are still my kryptonite.  But I'm resisting. 

So.  After all that rambling on and on about what I did this week to work on my goal... are you ready for how I did??

Ready??


-2.5 pounds!

So I know that doesn't sound like much.  But it really is.  And this is how I'm quantifying it:


I lost half of that blob of fat.  And that, my friends, is amazing.  And who knows how much of that little red muscle that I gained!

So what do you think?  Was this a little over the top?  Or was it OK?  I promise I will only talk about this stuff on Wednesdays.  Because I like the way Weight Loss Wednesday rolls off the tongue.  But just like with the apartment thing, I like the idea of being able to look back and see how I've done.  It's holds me just that much more accountable.

If you have any tips for gym stuff or healthy recipes to keep my diet interesting I'd love to hear them!