Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Eggrolls, Pizza & Brownies

Eggrolls, pizza and red velvet brownies. Yup, those are the three culprits that derailed my health kick.

No, I did not eat them all in one sitting, though if given the chance I may have been able to. These culprits snuck onto my plate at one point or another throughout last week. Ok so maybe not throughout the entire week, more like in the span of three days: Eggrolls on Thursday, pizza on Friday, brownies on Saturday. It's a good thing I was too lazy to bake the chocolate chip cookies on Sunday eh! Ha!

So you know me, losing weight the unhealthy healthy way. I'm currently on an all liquid diet for the next five days. I know, I know, it ain't gonna last! Ha! Oh I really should have more faith in myself eh. Seriously. But so far for Monday, I've consumed only 300 or so calories, and they came from my coffee and yogurt. Boring plain vanilla yogurt... blah! I really like blueberry or strawberry but not plain. *shivers*  I didn't even exercise today aside from a short walk. I was too lazy.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lose It

As for my calorie count... yup, I've got an app for that too...

I'm using
Lose It! to count my calories. It was a free app that counts calories but I believe you can upgrade or do an in-app purchase that's really unnecessary if you ask me.  I'm signed up and I log my meals and excercise daily and also chat with my sister who is also signed up for encouragement!  The app gives the user "badges" to keep encouraged for exercising, logging of food and pounds lost.  They work too because my sister is eager to get more badges. 

If a user prefers to log their meals online they can also do so, having the app isn't necessary as my sister doesn't use the app, she uses the online version but the two can sync if I'm not mistaken.  Bottom line is, this is a pretty good way to know what you're munching on all day long and a helpful tool when deciding how to make your eating habits more healthy.  That big bag of chips used up all my available calories for the entire day so, ya, I don't eat chips anymore, I snack on baby carrots or pop corn.

Not only does the app record calories of meals but also the nutrition and in some cases you can create your own food if you can't find it in the ones that are already there and insert the data yourself.  I usually just insert the fiber and protein content because I'm lazy the rest isn't necessary, for me anyway.  And it also logs your excercise to indicate how many calories you burned and in some ways that's not good because it only lets you know how many MORE calories you can consume because you worked out! 

It also records my weight, (and weightloss goal) if I choose to enter it, and it'll graph my increases and decreases and let me know that if I stick to it, how long it will take me to reach said goal.  Yes I record my weight in there, so having said that you know that 100% it's got a password attached to it! My husband doesn't need to know how many pounds his sexy wife weighs unless he's saving my life from a rooftop and we have to slide down a retractable rope contraption attached to his Batman utility belt together that only supports a total weight of 300lbs.

Like that'll ever happen, pfft, he has to BUY a Batman utility belt first!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Walk Watch

Yay to me, I completed my first week back at jogging!  I honestly thought I would lazy out and only jog one day last week but much to my surprise I jogged 3 days which may not seem like much but it's a great start in my book because it's still pretty cold around here and I'm not a cold-weather-jogger!

...and I'm still suffering from laziness.

This morning, like last Monday, I got up early and went for a jog.  I'm still only at a 3k distance to get the lazy out of me and to wake up the makebelieve-athlete.  I'm still just jogging to a simple playlist and have only used the WalkWatch app to log my time, distance, gps, speed and calories burned. 

Hey... Did I ever do a so-called-review of that app? 


Surprise, surprise since I'm so app obsessed I'd have thought I did! 

This was one app I didn't hesitate to purchase.  Initially I tried out the LITE version for free as I usually do with most apps if available, then since I found the app did what I wanted it to, I made the purchase.  A whole $1.99 Hard Earned Canadian Dollars.  It's a pretty good app for keeping track of runs, walks & cycle rides... and as I mentioned earlier, it also maps the total distance, gps, speed and average speed, along with calories burned.  The gps would work better if installed on iPhone.  All I can say is when used on an iPod Touch, the gps is sometimes sketchy. The app will record your pace and time but your map and distance won't be too accurate.  I've done the same identical run on two different days and came out with two different distances... I just happen to know that since I always run the same route, the distance is 3k so I really could care less if it doesn't map the gps accurately in that area.  I have used it in another area where it picks up the gps just fine and have no problems whatsoever.

I haven't used the WALK section to know if it records steps (step counter), perhaps I'll check that out on my next run.  I don't bike so I can't review that section. 

Thus far no major complaints about this app aside from the weak gps on the iPod Touch.... as long as I don't take any updates all will be fine!  The last time I took an update it deleted all my data and the genius person at the "help desk" suggested I re-save my data and do the update again.... ya, blank stare on that statement eh since my data is already gone now that the updated deleted it all!  He must work for MagicJack Customer Service.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

O! It's the Hodgepodge

Looks like I'm just in time for Hodgepodge! 

(hosted by from this side of the pond: Every Wednesday bloggers meet here for a fun random meme known as The Wednesday Hodgepodge.  All are welcome to join the party, and you'll find the how-to by clicking this link. )Here we go-

1. April 15th is the deadline for Americans to file their state and federal income taxes...what's a job you do on a regular basis that could be described as 'taxing'?

Well, I'm not American, so I'll mention that the deadline for Canadians to file their provincial and federal income taxes is April 30th.  ..... Now, as for the job I do on a regular basis that could be described as "taxing", oh that would have to be cooking.  I love baking but cooking a dinner meal is really a chore, my guess is because I'm not that good a cook and my husband doesn't like the idea of having only cake and cookies for dinner every night!

2. I'm participating in the
April A-Z blog challenge and the Hodgepodge happens to fall on letter O this week. In keeping with that theme...olives, onions, oysters, okra...of the foods mentioned, what's your favorite O food?
Favorite food that begins with O.... besides oreos?, Oatmeal!  I love oatmeal (not cold oatmeal though, that just doesn't taste right).

3. What is something memorable you experienced as a child that your own children (or future children/nieces/nephews) will not get to experience?

I remember when it used to be so quiet in public places aside from the conversations people had amungst themselves...  nieces & nephews will not get to experience that SINCE THE INVENTION OF CELL PHONES PRETTY MUCH RUINED IT.  um, that's pretty much all I can come up with!  :-)

4. Term limits for our elected officials...your thoughts?

I honestly have no clue how long our elected officials stay in office, probably because it seems every time I turn around someone is calling for an election.  Most recently this past autumn when the Parti Quebecois was elected... and I'm not going to comment further... just google "quebec pastagate" and you'll
see why.

5. On April 18th 1775, Paul Revere made his famous 'midnight ride'....when did you last make a midnight ride? Perhaps the fate of a nation wasn't hanging in the balance, but tell us where you were headed anyway.

I think the last "midnight ride" I made was to the all night pharmacy for gravol (to ease vertigo).

6. What would freak you out more...a mouse running across your floor or a big fat hairy spider?

A SPIDER OF COURSE!!!!  *shivers*  bugs creep me out!!  I'm not afraid of mice at all... I know that just doesn't sound right but it's the honest truth. 

7. I love it when people ask me____________________________.
.... if I watched American Idol.  (same answer every week NO I DIDN'T WATCH IT).

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I wonder when the warm weather of spring will arrive.  Montreal has been really cooler than usual.  Last Friday we had snow but nothing major, it's all melted now but it rained all day and my old lady bones cried out in pain because of it. 


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Susan Got Her Groove Back!

I did it... I talked myself into jogging yesterday morning!  

I went to bed pretty late Sunday night but woke up early on Monday morning and decided to get out there and go for a short jog.  It's been quite some time since I'd been jogging and I've been grumbling a lot about wanting to get outside and clear my mind with a good run but it's been cold and wintery.  I'm not accustomed to running in the colder temperatures so was reluctant to get started so I'm not sure what came over me.

I dressed as warm as I could including a hat and mittens and out I went.  I did just a small run of about 3km.  I've really got to invest in one of those GPS watches.  I did better than I thought I would with regards to how long a distance I could go without stopping to walk and catch my breath.  Smiled to myself and came close to patting myself on the back too. 

I guess it's safe to say I've got my groove back!

I'm currently snacking on yogurt, carrots and apple slices! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

The Plateau

I seem to have hit a plateau where my weightless is concerned. That's not necessarily a bad thing but then again it's not necessarily a good thing either. I can say this because, even though I can honestly report that I haven't regained any of the weight I'd already lost, I haven't lost anything new either and that can be discouraging over time.

I'm already down twenty pounds from this time last year which is a very good thing and I've worked hard at changing my eating habits, eating more fruits and veggies, drinking more water and exercising... and trying real hard to stop eating gummy bears, twizzlers, and jube jubes.  But I notice that when I really get "hard core" into my weightless routine...... I get the feeling to bake!


I'm eagerly awaiting the arrival of spring that was supposed to be here last month but for some reason seems to be boycotting Canada. Usually a good jog or long refreshing walk outdoors helps me kick start the pound losing efforts at times like this but it's just too cold for a wimp like me.

The goal is to drop ten more pounds by August and then another twenty by Spring 2014.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's Next?

After completing the last book I read, it occurred to me that I really don't have any good books on my reader. Ok, I probably do have some good books on it since it currently houses almost 200 books but choosing the next one I want to read is a chore at best. The current selection is contemporary romance, scottish romance, and a small handful of horror & suspense thriller. I'm not sure what I feel like reading now.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mrs. Shatner

So the new thing I just learned is.... Wiliam Shatner is 82 years young!

I honestly had no clue.

This means that the original Startrek series was filmed somewhere in the 60s. Another shocker for me anyway. I loved that show. Suprisingly enough I like it more now when I watch it with it's old fashioned sets and not so great effects as compared to sci fi shows made with today's computerized graphics and whatnot.

Speaking of William Shatner, did you know that I once spoke on the phone to his mother?

Seriously! I did!!!  I think it's the closest I've ever been to a real actor you know. Or at least the most memorable.

So here's the story, that happened to me and not a friend of a friend of mine.... back in the early 90s I worked in an appliance store and I answered a phone call from what sounded like an elderly lady. She was quite friendly and very sweet too. She introduced herself by saying she was "Mrs. Shatner; William Shanter's mother". I think at that point I had a blank look on my face and probably thought she was making that up so I just continued on with asking her what she needed. Apparently she was looking to have a repairman fix her fridge. We had a bit of a conversation about how long ago she purchased the refrigerator and how she was surprised it wasn't working as well but she didn't want to spend on a new one when the current one could be repaired. We also talked about the weather and other small talk while I waited for the repairman to confirm a date and time for the housecall. I remember after I got off the phone with her, one of the sales reps asked me why I had a confused look on my face. I told him how the woman on the phone said she was William Shatners mother and I think I may have chuckled too, at which point the sales rep confirmed she was in fact the mother of William Shatner. He said she shopped there all the time and was one of their loyal customers. Ok at that I dropped my jaw on the floor. Had I not thought she was on the starship enterprise, I'd have asked if she could get me an autograph from her son!

William Shatner is Canada's greatest actor. And yes, I said that with a straight face too!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Zinio Delivered!

Yesterday, I posted a blog complaining about the customer service I'd received from Zinio with regards to the non receipt of purchase of a magazine subscription. As I pointed out in yesterday's post, I was frustrated that it was taking days to process my purchase after I'd contacted their customer service more than once and provided information about the non receipt of merchandise. Because my frustration ran away with me, and rightfully so considering I'd already paid for the item, I reached out on the Zinio facebook page, and was told by whomever updates that site, to contact the customer service.... again, and that person also said there is no problem with the in app purchase when paid with itunes (though experience tells me otherwise, and so did the rep I communicated with).

Long story short. Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at 4:47pm I received an email notification telling me that the magazine I purchased was available for me to download to my reader.


All jokes aside, I truly am satisfied that, even though it was 13 days after the initial purchase was made, I did receive the merchandise so I hereby retract the comment made in my previous blog that the Zinio customer service is like the Magic Jack customer service.

Seriously, nobody should EVER be compared to Magic Jack's customer service, that was just downright mean on my part - because ten months later I am still waiting for Magic Jack's upper level customer service representative to contact me (even though I already got the issue fixed myself and learned a lot of bad words in the process!)

Anyway, I currently use the Zinio app on an Apple iPad Mini but first began using the app on a Blackberry Playbook.  The in app purchase through itunes store conflict aside, I enjoy reading the magazines on this app... when installed on a handheld device.  The print is clear, the colours crisp, but it still isn't the same as paper so hopefully that'll change over time I guess the more I use it, we'll see.   I also use the Zinio app on my pc.  It surprises me that the transition to digital magazines from paper ones was so difficult but not a total nightmare.  I recall my very first blog post about the Zinio reader (found HERE), I just couldn't get into digital magazines primarily because I was reading them on a desktop computer and not on a handheld device.  Since I began using the app on the playbook and now on the minipad, it's such a great convenience.  And with the minipad's ability to screen capture, I can save an image of the recipe I want and the puzzle I want to do and send the copy to the printer... not bad eh!   Reading magazines with Adobe Reader app isn't half bad either thus far but I haven't used it as much so I maybe that'll be a future review! 
And now that I have my subscription, I can go ahead and get the Good Housekeeping one that I so desperately want but was holding out on getting until this problem was solved. 

I'm currently doing a happy dance.

From now on though, I'll just make sure that all my future purchases are done directly through Zinio.com and not through the app.  Yes, I was told by one person that the conflict didn't exist, but I was also told  by another that it was why my purchase wasn't immediately delivered!  So just to save myself the trouble.

Yes I intend to purchase more magazines from Zino because, THE PRICES ARE INCREDIBLY CHEAP! .... and cheap prices are a good thing in this economy.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Zinio Glitch

Last week I made my very first REAL digital magazine purchase. The reason I say "real" is because, currently I have three digital subscriptions but two of them were included after-the-fact with the purchase of the actual paper magazine, and one was a free subscription, so I hadn't purchased any digital magazines until last week.... technically.

As I most likely mentioned in one of my previous app crazy blogs, I use the Zinio app to read magazines, and last week I made my very first purchase for a year long subscription.


Apparently Zinio failed to mention anywhere on their website, or anywhere in their FAQ, or anywhere on their Zinio website for that matter that the Zinio app and the itunes in app purchase module or whatever it's called, have difficulties communicating with one another.... I found this out when I complained to Zinio's customer service and the rep flat out wrote that the two have difficulties with each other and they STRONGLY suggest all purchases be made at their Zinio store ONLINE and NOT IN THE APP.   You see, I was in the Zinio app, selected the magazine I wanted, decided to buy that magazine and just as quick the itunes purchase module popped up to log me into the apple itunes store to complete the purchase. Then ..... sigh..... the Zinio app tells me it cannot download the magazine at this time, contact customer service.

I had the WTF look on my face and probably had those three letters floating above my head!

Then came my angry eyes.

So I contacted the Zinio customer service and um, I suspect like they are the same folks who run the MagicJack customer service because I'm still waiting for help. I supplied all the necessary information and was told my problem was forwarded to a higher level on tech support.... you know, like when you chat with a customer service representative for MagicJack and after an hour of back and forth, they tell you they'll forward you to a higher level on tech support so you can start all over again providing the info you just gave to the other rep and still to have nothing accomplished. Ya, it feels like that.

sigh.... And lets not forget the fine print, that items purchased through the itunes store are final sale so I can't even get a refund for the $20 I paid for the non receipt of product, so why doesn't Zinio just give me the magazine since I'm sure they'll collect my cash from apple?

Monday, April 1, 2013

He's Alive!