Friday, May 31, 2013

No Free Zinio?

It's things like this that really get me started.  Ok, first of all, yes I'm frugal, no harm in that.  I was directed to a link for a free subscription to a health magazine offered by none other that my beloved Zinio....

sigh, Zinio, why you treat me so bad?  I thought we were friends? 

A friend of mine turned me on to this:

4 Zinio digital subs at this webpage - expiry date of Dec 31,2013:
  • Runner's World
  • Women's Health
  • Men's Health
  • Prevention

So naturally I clicked the link, and being as it's only May 2013, I figured I had more than enough time to get a free subscription to Women's Health, especially since that's a magazine I'd been eyeballing for a while now (along with Runner's World, I've actually been reading hand-me-down paper magazines of Runners World but will eventually get a subscription).  Anyway, I clicked the link, followed the instruction then got some stupid error on the Zinio website.  Uh, ok, that happens, no biggie I suppose.  I'll just re-do the whole thing. 

Nope, now it says I already got the subscription?  huh?  sigh... here we go again.  Zinio, why you treat me so bad! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kindle Bug

I currently use an apple minipad as my ereader.  I have the Kindle app installed but it bugs me that I cannot search for a book to purchase through that app.  Believe me, I pressed every button contained within that app and still cannot find a button that will link me to the amazon store one way or another.  I have to go through Safari and navigate to amazon then find the book, make the purchase, then go reopen the Kindle app and download the purchased book from the cloud.  

Sigh.  So much work just to get one book.  I mean seriously, why can't they just update the app to have access to the amazon bookstore or have a button that will open the Safari browser directly to the amazon site?  If they need an app to copy just take a gander at Zinio, it's easy to find magazines through that app, though receiving them immediately after payment is another story, the Zinio app knows how to market a product to the buyer.  Kindle, you flop! 

I'm not a big fan of the ibooks app but it does organize the books nicely, only problem is they take up space on the tablet whereas the Kindle clouds can store all my books until I'm ready to sync them to my tablet. I like that.

And the amazon book store has plenty of free books to offer too, so you see, if it had a Zinio type of setup they could showcase all the freebies! 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Etsy Store

Once upon a time I may have complained how Etsy robs cheats miscalculates the exchange rate from USA dollars to Canadian dollars.  I only happened to notice this sometime last summer when the Canadian dollar surpassed the American by a whole two cents (oooh... ahhh...)   When I was making purchases on ebay, the exchange rate was more in keeping with the bank exchange, somehow Etsy dropped the ball and had a price difference of well over ten cents on the dollar, which adds up significantly when shipping charges are included.  This did not sit well with Susan Cheapskate.

Anyway, long story short, now the Etsy pricing is pretty much up to speed on the bank exchange rate so it's become my favorite place to shop for craft supplies!   Currently, I'm in the market for some scrapbook items and ebay ...

Kind of ...

Sort of ...

Really sucks when it comes to scrapbook items.  I don't find a great variety as is offered on Etsy without having to order from China or Hong Kong and then wait ten years, three months, two weeks, six days and twelve hours for it to finally arrive in Canada!
I've already found one great awesome store I simply HAVE to brag about.  I purchased a couple of items from them this week and would still be shopping but lucky for me I have will power and not really a shopaholic!

While searching for scrapbook items I stumbled on YEchopshop click the link and check out the store.  Pricing, in my cheapskate opinion are pretty darn good but then again, I'm not a scrapbooker really so I may be wrong, but as a relative newbie, I find the prices well within my budget.  I've slowly gone through some other stores and added a few items to my list of favorites that will likely become my purchases. 

If anyone has any etsy store recommendations, please feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll surely take a look.

note:  photo courtesy of Rings & Things check out their blog for tutorials on jewelry making.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Smilebox And Scrapbooking

Once again I'm trying my hand at scrapbooking.  Well... sort of.  I'm going to do the "traditional old school" scrapbooking mixed with digital. 

I tried traditional scrapbooking and failed.  According to my husband, I didn't fail, I just needed more practice so the first book was bound to be substandard to my tastes.  So having said that, I decided to try digital scrapbooking.

I'd dabbled with Smilebox for a couple of months, paid the small fee to have
unlimited monthly access to the sites templates and created some dazzling square pages with photos from our vacations. 

I was like a professional!!!  Seriously!!!! 

Now to get them printed!  Problem with Smilebox is the square templates don't actually tell you what size square.... so I'll tell you... THEY'RE 8X8 and not 12x12 as I thought they would be.  I tried to send a few pages to print and even re-sized them with irfanview but they keep coming out at an 8x8.  When I searched the support FAQs I found THIS... CLICK HERE,... bottom line is you can print in 12x12 but risk resolution issues so they prefer 8x8.  So my question is how big a resolution to I have to re-size it in irfanview so it can print?  hmm... more research required I'm afraid.

I'm not knocking the Smilebox program, oh no, it's awesome!  I highly recommend this to folks who just can't get the hang of Adobe Photoshop or don't want to shell out money for any other software that may not come with a support group to follow it up.  Smilebox is very easy to use, and once you print your finished page (or download the jpg file to your computer and send it to print at Walmart to save the ink on your printer!), just add more embellishments the old fashioned way to busy-up the page!  I'm paying just under $6 a month for this program but they do have a yearly membership that's just over $30 so do the math obviously.  Perhaps try it out for one month or two, then if you like it... 

Anyway, I received in the mail yesterday a beautiful scrapbooking kit (Chatterbox brand).  I'm happy as a clam now.  My husband is encouraging me to make scrapbooks from our vacation photos and all the other junk pamphlets, tickets, receipts, etc.,  I collect while away.  I can't seem to find scrapbook kits here in Montreal so I have to rely on Ebay and Etsy for supplies.

Ok so let's give it another try shall we! 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Two Very Different Sisters

This past weekend was the "long weekend" that most folks used to plant flowers in their gardens.

I used it to "de-junk".

I'd already done the bulk of the spring cleaning and there were just a few things that needed to go through, like recycling old clothes and quilts to the Salvation Army and going through all the papers tossed in the desk drawers.   While clearing out the desk drawer I came across an old greeting card given to me by my eldest sister in 2010.  Actually I was surprised to find it but once I read it, there must have been a reason I kept it.... This was the poem that was on the front of the card and then continued on the inside. My sister then signed a personal note (which I will not include in this post but the poem itself speaks volumes).  I have since put the card within the pages of my Bible.

The Story of Two Very Different Sisters
One is here, one is there. One is a little taller than the other. Two different styles of hair, two different outlooks on life, two very differnt views from their windows. Both have different tomorrows ahead.
Each is unique in so many ways. Each has her own story, with all the busy things going on in the present. Each has different work to do and different demands on the day. Each has a seperate destination and a distinctly different path to get there.
For all the things that might be different and unique about them...these two sisters will always be the best of familiy and friends, entwined together, through all the days of their lives. Their love will always be very special: gentle and joyful when it can be, strong and giving when it needs to be, reminding them, no matter how different their stories turn out..
They share the incredibly precious gift of being "sisters." And when you think of some of the best things this world has to offer, a blessing like that is really...what it's all about.
-Laurel Atherton

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Reconstruction, Intervention, Blah!

It was difficult but I did it... I saught some much needed advise about my social media addiction.  Personally, I wouldn't call it an addiction but then again, I'm told that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and I DON'T have a problem so .... moving it along....

I'm handing my social stuff over to a friend for the remainder of this week so she can get it organized because she said it's a "hot mess"... whatever that means!  Ha! 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Trying To Reach The Next Goal

Ok, so the salad in a jar didn't quite work out as I planned it... I'm really a lettuce, cucumber, shredded carrot person so when it comes to making salads I'm not really creative but I'm willing to give it another whirl.  I did try some creativity this week but it would help if I would stop forgetting to take the salad to work with me as lunch!  Yup, every day this week I forgot to pack that jar in my work bag.  I'm such a genius!  Ha!

I read in Women's World Magazine how a lady lost lots of weight on a Starbucks diet.... she ate mostly foods from Starbucks and compared it to Weight Watchers where you have to buy the food and count the points or calories.  No, that's not something I'd actually try but while discussing the article with a friend we both came up with a great idea... make our own salads, sandwiches and mini tupperware of raw veggies in advance!  Wow.  So simple yet I never would have thought of it until that article jumpstarted the thought process! 

I'm willing to fight reality to get to my next weight loss goal and I have to reach it before next summer...



Need I say more? 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Salad In A Jar

Because I'm on such a mission to reach my goal weight, I'm experimenting with many types of foods that are healthy - excluding eggrolls, pizza or red velvet oreo brownies.   

I stuck with the all liquids only for 5 long days.  I've toned down the coffee because you know me, I can make a big cup of coffee be a meal! 

My cup is THAT big! 


I'm moving on to salads for a couple of days... hence the salad in a jar!  No, not only salads, that'd drive me nuts, but more salads.

Yes I may need my head examined but that's another blog for another time.

I've got a case of mason jars under my kitchen sink.  Only a couple of them have ever been used ... remember when I tried the refrigerator oatmeal?  Ya well, I still make oatmeal in a jar but just not by adding the dry oats to milk over night in my fridge, that's just gross.  I cook my oatmeal then spoon it into the jar so it has TASTE to it, this way I don't have to fancy it up with a banana or strawberries...or cocoa powder (that one really tasted nasty).

I grew up on oatmeal. 

It was always eaten with brown sugar and milk. 

End of the oatmeal discussion!

So, back to the salads in a jar.... 

I stumbled on the Skinny Mom's Kitchen, ya, a blog I had no business being on because, number one, I'm not skinny, and number two, I'm not a Mom either! .... but I do have a kitchen so we'll go with that.... 

The site gives tips to packing the jar so the lettuce doesn't get soggy from the dressing.  It also breaks down the types of foods that could make up your salad in case you're like me and usually settle for lettuce, cucumber and dressing (I've got a veggie allergy I need to watch out for).  But this site gives suggestions as to what can be put in there like eggs, nuts, seeds, other green veggies. 

Personally, I have no problem toting around a mason jar of food.  I would prefer a mason jar filled with cheesecake.

*note:  photo courtesy of Skinny Mom's Kitchen

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Liquid Meals

Tuesday was day 2 of the liquid only meals I've foolishly put myself on. I was tired and low on energy when I first awoke but then a large cup of coffee and a large strawberry smoothie gave me the boost I needed. That, by the way, is the only coffee I had. I can't imagine not having a cup of coffee to start the day. The strawberry smoothie was.... well, lets just say it didn't taste like a McDonalds strawberry milkshake that for some stupid reason I had thought it would.

In my old school ghetto retro blender I mixed 3 ice cubes, one cup of skim milk and about a cup of strawberries (halved strawberries as I'd washed them and cut them in half like I always do). Mixed that all up on high speed for a few seconds and voila! A nice strawberry smoothie that looks a cute shade of pink!   Maybe I'm just hooked on the banana smoothie because the strawberry one did nothing for my taste buds. I couldn't wait to down that drink so I could get to the mug of coffee.

For lunch... cream of potato soup courtesy of Campbell's Gardennay. I've I had, for the first time in my life, butternut squash soup!  Campbell's Gardennay Butternut Squash soup to be exact.  It's light on calories (220 calories per 500ml box), is low in sodium because that's the type I chose to purchase, it has some fiber, and is pretty good tasting too! I expected it to be bland because I never tasted it so negativity at its finest  but it was really flavorful. Could have used a bit of pepper in it but otherwise, I truly enjoyed it.  Would recommend that soup even if you're not on a diet simply because of it's fresh taste. I've got more yogurt to tide me over and water, lots and lots of water.  I've never purchased the Campbell's Gardennay soups before and only did so now because they were on sale and I needed soup broth for dinner. ....

And I also took all my vitamins which include: a multivitamin for women, vitamin B 50 complex, low dose vitamin D (I don't see much daylight), chewable vitamin C and chewable probiotics tablet.