The New Rules for Posting on Social Media… For Me…


 Last night I was thinking about my old high school in Quebec, and some painful memories around a particular teacher came up, and how I was humiliated and spoken to by this teacher. I felt angry and the hurt feelings of when I was 13 or 14 years of age came bubbling up inside of me. I thought to myself I am going to call this wicked woman out and let the Facebook world know how she treated a shy shell of an anxious kid. 

I must have been looking for validation and that is why I posted what I did which others read and reacted to with shock, anger and sadness. Did I feel validated? A bit I guess, until a former classmate posted, “she passed away last year”. I immediately deleted the post and the various comments, as  I fully knew I was painting someone in a negative light, and I know some students found her sternness & say anything attitude to attribute to their present personal success.  My problem is I attributed it to a lack of confidence I have carried into my adulthood.


Despite how awful someone treated me, it doesn’t matter, I should not have called her out on social media. It was wrong and passive aggressive and seeing that she is no longer alive, unfair. It was negative and toxic energy I released onto the internet, and I shamed a name, whether deserving or not, it was not right. It was a mindless post in the heat of old wounded feelings coming to surface. It was a “post” which should have taken place in a confidential office with me on a couch discussing with a professional why this hurt little girl still feels so much as an adult.   

My post wasn’t kind, inspiring, educating nor funny. 

The new rules for me when posting on Social Media on a go forward basis will be based on answering at least one of the following questions with an enthusiastic Yes! : 

  1. Is your posting kind?
  2. your posting inspiring?
  3. Is your posting educating others in a positive way? 
  4. Is your posting funny? 

 The wise words our parents or guardians shared with us at a very young age will forever remain etched in our minds and hearts and ring true today, such as “if you don’t have something nice to say, then don’t say anything”. 


 And the golden rule “do unto others as you’d have them do unto you”. 

In addition to the above four key rules, I also want to be:

  • More mindful
  • More genuine

 I have tailored a lot of my blogs trying to capture a wider audience, mirroring others who I admire, and I don’t believe I have been as authentic in all I have shared. I had one blogger friend tell me, that I needed to add more photos, and no one wants to just read words, people want to have “stuff” to look at or they will become bored. There may be some truth to this, but most of the books or blogs which have captivated me are because of the “words”, the content, or the style of writing. I read these blogs or books at such a pace; I am gobbling up their creative content. I don’t follow blogs or read books because of the pictures, or memes (which I overshare at times in mine).


There is so much negativity and confusion in this world. It is best if we are true to ourselves while not harming anyone else. 

 

I want to inspire, I want to encourage, and I want to build others up. Last night I was overshadowed by some hurt from my past and I allowed those emotions to take me to a dark place. 


 Today on this Friday the 13th, I am turning a new leaf and I wish every single one of you peace and love. 

Rachel      

What is Your Diet Kryptonite?

My Achilles heel when it comes to dieting is baked goods.  Specifically homemade chewy chocolate chip cookies.  As an adolescent I didn’t care for chocolate, and I had more of a salty tooth and less of a sweet tooth, but now that I am older my body shivers for sugary treats. 


I mentioned previously in the first few weeks of joining Weight Watchers that I went through a major sugar detox and I felt physicially and emotionally like crap for three weeks.  I had sugar withdrawals with headaches and mood swings too!  Crazy!  Crazy I was!  


One of my favorite things to do when traveling is try out different foods and Germany has probably the best baked goods and sweeties known to man kind.  I partook in eating many a sweet!  


Similar to Italy and the hunt for the best Tiramisu, in Germany it was finding the best Apfel Streusel!  

Or Bienenstiche cake (bee sting cake)…


Or some Ritter Sport treat…


Or heck Bananas Foster which I don’t think is German, but those Germans know their sweets…


I also adore beer and during Oktoberfest you can have one liter beers, but don’t believe what they tell you… It is possible to obtain a hangover from German Beer!  


And beer goes great with a sausage in a bun! 


When I was in South Korea, I ate a lot of bread and a lot of fast food as I wasn’t a fan of Kimchi and I don’t enjoy seafood.  


Below is a picture of me and my niece Hannah at the Hello Kitty Cafe in Daejeon.  


Thank goodness for overpriced cookies in New York City!  I may have thought about purchasing these adorable chic cookies if it weren’t for the price.


I remember coming home from school and my Mom making me a hot cup of tea and putting out a plate of homemade chocolate chip cookies and it was so nice to unwind and tell her about my day. 


My parents never worried about me ruining my appetite as a kid.  I think I was so skinny back then they were trying to put some meat on my bones.  Le sigh… Those were the days… 

Below is a pic I posted proudly a few years back when I had taken advantage of Easter Candy sales!  I ate it all too! 


I am rambling though and we all have weaknesses.  If I have cookies in my cupboard or a container of baked goods I will think about those delicious cookies and how the cookie will bend in my mouth and the chocolate chips will melt in my mouth and damn!  I am glad I am cookieless right now or they would be in my belly!  My point is how I avoid eating a bucket of cookies is I don’t keep them in my place. 


I know you know, but it works.  If you don’t have the temptation around, you won’t indulge.  Brian, my fiancé whom I love and adore has been making a lot of cookies and he has brought some over to me and I accepted the first two offerings, but I declined his last offer.  


I had a cookie monster attack one night when I couldn’t stop thinking about those chocolate chip cookies he baked and instead of having one, I decided it was best to eat them all so I could start fresh the next day.  The lies we tell ourselves.  


If you have a spouse or partner, it is really important that they support you in your quest to lose weight.   It is tough stuff when your bestie is eating a delicious slice of cake or has a bowl of your favorite chips, and offers you some.  


It is bad enough with the food pushers in your office who try to pawn off their baked goods or over load of treats.  Especially since we can all use a treat during a stressful day in the office.  Resist the food pusher.


Resist.  It is hard, but worthwhile.  I can almost guarantee anyone who gives up refined sugar, you will lose weight guaranteed.  

Just say No! Or no thank you is more polite.  Food Pushers exist and we all know a few… My Mom is the worst; she will guilt trip me! 


I have lost a total of 15 pounds and some change now & I plan to lose more.  Every day is a battlefield of old delicious ways which taste good in the moment, but hurt you in the long run.  

Stay strong my friends! 

Peace & Love – Rachel 

Life’s Little Rewards for the Budget Savvy

One of my new favorite rewards to myself after a long stressful day, or a weight loss, or because I need to treat myself is a nice hot bath.  

Above is a photo of a LUSH bath bomb named Rocket Science and it smelt absolutely amazing!  It was a gift too so 100% free which is easy on the wallet.  


If you did want to splurge on a bath bomb from LUSH and I will say they make the best ones.  You are looking at $5.00 – $9.00 depending on the design.  


Bath time is alone time and a time to relax and unwind.  When you compare the price of a bath bomb to an hour or two at a spa, you are saving a minimum of $100.00.  

 

Taking a bubble bath is also better than rewarding yourself with food!    Especially when you are on a diet like me…


It is good for the soul and forces you to pause.  It raises your temperature so that when you go to bed it is easier to fall asleep as your body cools down. 


Gail Vaz Oxlade, Canadian financial guru also recommends a hot bubble bath as an affordable reward which won’t bust your budget.  

Take a bath & enjoy the relaxation! 

Peace & love – Rachel 

Are You Wasting Your Sundays Dreading Monday?

Tomorrow is Monday, and I am not sure about you, but I wish it wasn’t.  Monday means waking up early, and starting the weekly routine of beginning a work week. I think about the emails which will greet me before I even arrive at my desk, the requests from others who did some work from home over the weekend with the urgent exclamation mark which has become increasingly abused over the past few years.  I know I won’t sleep as well tonight because the idea of facing another work week overwhelms me, and especially Monday when everyone is chomping at the bit to have their urgent requests met. 


The Monday Dreads has become a bit of an epidemic where many of us have to mentally prepare ourselves for what is predictably going to be a stressful day.  I suspect part of the Sunday night blues is because on our weekends we can escape the busyness of work & having to be “on” for an eight hour work day or longer.  Times have changed significantly; when we are at work we can now be contacted by our office phone, our work cell phone, email, the archaic snail mail and messenger systems.  Our presence and whereabouts are constantly monitored; big brother is watching.  While responding to one email, you may have ten more roll in simultaneously; hardly seems fair, does it!?!  This is the way of technology though and if you are working for a large organization it is can be expected.


I did a bit of research on what to do so you are not wasting your Sundays dreading Monday.  The big kahuna of advice is to quit your job and find a job which makes you excited!  Sounds lovely doesn’t it!?


The problem is I don’t hate my job!  I actually quite like my work and I have a wicked team of colleagues.  Also, I love sleeping as I have vivid lucid dreams which is like going on a virtual adventure, but I doubt I can make a living sleeping.  I also love playing the piano, but I am no pianist.  I love writing hence me blogging, but if I were to quit my job and just start blogging I would most likely need to collect welfare as this is a hobby and no one has approached me offering me any contracts.  So, let’s be realistic here, chances are quitting your job isn’t the answer…. If you are incredibly miserable and do not like your boss or colleagues, then maybe it is time to look for work elsewhere, but you won’t just quit giving up a defined pension plan so you can weave baskets or become a rock star. 


I believe one thing we can all do is live in the moment.  Live for today and be grateful.  An attitude of gratitude seriously can make a huge difference.  


Challenge yourself!  How can you rock this Monday?  Is Monday going to rule you or are you going to rule Monday? 


Again be grateful!  You have to go to work on Monday?  How much would it suck if you didn’t have a job to go to work?  


What about the person who cannot work because they are too sick to work?  What about the over qualified surgeon from another country who is looking at a cleaning position so they can make ends meet?  Trust me, these people exist.  Or the student who finished a masters in literature who is applying to a minimum wage position in a book store?  Monday isn’t looking so bad now is it?!?


Let’s #Monslay the poop out of Monday my friends.  We are part of the working population and we are contributing to pension plans or other saving plans for our future.  


Work hard and play hard.  Take your breaks, and if you have too much on your plate at work speak to your boss.  They are there to advocate for you & if you are silently slaving away no one is going to know what is going on but you.  


I cannot emphasize enough how being grateful for what you have can turn what you may see as a crappy situation into a blessing.  If you’re reading this, you’re alive and breathing for one, but you also are able to read & many in this world are not educated or are illiterate (even in Canada).  We are the wealthiest and have it the easiest.  We have the upper hand in life.   So, chin up buttercup!  


Be grateful for the rising sun, be grateful for the coffee which will add zing to your morning, be grateful for the eggs you eat at breakfast time, be grateful for rush hour traffic as you are stuck in it because you have somewhere to go, and be grateful for Monday as it is the start of a week which earns you income.  Think about all which you would not have or be able to afford if it were not for Monday.  Now, enjoy your Sunday and every other day this week!  

Peace & Love – Rachel

New Fiscal Year New Blog on Finances


I haven’t tracked my progress on paying my debt down, partially because I have been working so much on a computer in my big girl job,  I don’t have a desire to write about anything.  


To be completely transparent  with my readers, I had paid more than half of my loan off, and seeing the numbers shrink gave me a great sense of accomplishment!  It felt amazing and a step in the right direction.  


Here comes the reality part, despite shrinking my loan, I added some debt to my one credit card which I was not able to pay off at the end of the month, and with a swipe swipe here and a swipe swipe there, vet bill, other bills every where a bill bill… I had put more than a couple thousand dollars on my VISA.  I only have myself to blame, as my original intention when my VISA balance was zero two years ago was to pay off my credit card at the end of each month.  


The one thing I did stick to was not increasing my limit beyond $5000.00.  I knew this could end up as a slippery slope, so I chipped away at the debt while continuing to make large payments on my loan.  


I bank with two different institutions as the one spot I bank with is solely for paying my debt off.  I set up a chequing account so I can deposit money into it & then put it on my loan or VISA.  All of my banking has been done on line, and I never use my debit card with this particular bank as it is used to solely pay bills.  I have been putting a bit of extra money on my chequing account as I wanted to snowball the hell out of my loan; come to discover one day when I tried to buy some groceries as my other debit account was dangerously low, the card I had was expired.  


Naturally, I called the bank, we cancelled my debit card as we were unsure if my card was stolen or I had cut up the new card accidentally (absolutely possible!).  And to make a long story short they took my outstanding credit card debt and merged it back onto my loan, which is a good thing as now I can just focus on the one lump sum & pay it down.  


My sweet low loan balance went up a bit, but that is okay, the interest rate is reasonable and better than the 11% which was on my Visa.  


You too can obtain a lower interest rate on your Visa if you have a plan which doesn’t offer you anything back in return such as airmiles or Starbucks Points.  I am sticking with my low interest card because I need to prove to myself first that I am capable of being responsible enough to pay off the balance before the end of each month. Until this happens, no freebies or special points for me.  

I have my wedding coming up posssibly in 2018 or it might be in 2019 and I will be a bride on a budget, but I plan to scrimp, save and continue to pay down my debt.  The credit card accrual was a bump in the road and thankfully I didn’t go back completely to my old ways of being footloose and fancy free with the spending.  


More to share soon like what have I been spending my money on?  Not a lot in the way of things, but money doesn’t always transpire into a tangible item you can display (for example eating out, buying lunch and buying too many groceries are a few examples).  I will also share what I have not been spending money on & some thrifty tips. 


Amen to the above.

Peace & Love – Rachel

I am Screaming about a New Ice Cream Discovery!!!

One of the greatest challenges for me in sticking with Weight Watchers & their Freestyle Smart Points program has been the sugar factor.  Like many men & women out there, my Achilles heel is my sweet tooth!  


My absolute greatest weakness is ice cream and gelato!  Nothing soothes my sweet tooth like a nice refreshing, cool & creamy treat like ice cream does. 


Up until recently, I was not indulging my great love of cool, sticky, sweet goodness, but instead when grocery shopping for an edible dessert which wouldn’t bust my Smart Points budget for the day, I was feeling bitter and resentful as anything above five Smart Points is not worth my time.  I only get 23 a day!  I cannot spend one third or half of my points on one sweet.  


I love Haagen Dazs ice cream, but an ice cream bar can cost you 14 Smart Points and a half cup serving can cost you seven or eight or higher. 


Well, things have changed and am I ever excited!  I am Canadian and I also live in a smaller province known as Nova Scotia, so this may be old news to some, but brand new to me!  Introducing Halo Top Ice Cream!!!!


Halo Top boasts a variety of flavors and Birthday Cake for half a cup is three Smart Points.  Mint Chip is four I believe.  I started off with these two tubs not knowing what to expect.  The texture is not as creamy and the ice cream is not as sweet, but it is a nice taste which isn’t artificial tasting as they do use sugar and other natural ingredients.  



I have tried four flavors so far!  My favorite is Candy Bar which is four Smart Points for half a cup! 


I have also tried Birthday Cake, Salted Caramel and Mint Chip and I like them all… A lot!  


There are a lot more flavors I need to try too.  I want to try their waffles and pancakes flavor and my friend told me about a peanut butter flavor.  


Of course eating a ton of Halo Top Ice Cream won’t be as healthy as eating apples and fresh fruit, and I am still trying to consume less processed food and eat more clean.  Sometimes, you just want a naughty indulgent dessert like the hot fudge brownie sundae I split with my Mom a week ago! 


Halo Top is a delicious option which will not bust your Smart Points budget for the day! 


I ama novice blogger and I am not being paid to advertise Halo Top.  I am genuinely excited about this brand of ice cream, as it tastes excellent, unlike so many other calorie reduced, sugar reduced sweets.  

Happy weight watching!  Down a total of 15.4 pounds now! 

Peace & Love – Rachel

Impossible? I’m Possible & So are You! 

On December 16, 2017 what seemed like a pipe dream after 27 years of dating (started dating when I was 17); I received my first “real” & hopefully last marriage proposal!  


I am sure my parents broke out the champagne & praised the Lord for something they also figured would never happen. 


I was single for most of my 20s and 30s, more single than in relationships, and the relationships I were in for the most part were shallow with an idealism of what can the person offer me, and not so much the other way around. 


 In meeting my fiancé Brian he was the first guy in many years to not put up with my crap, but also not to give up on me. I think in my initial meeting with Brian, I was wondering what he could do for me and I went through the various check marks of wanting a professional – check, good income – check, well educated – check, good grammar – check, good relationship with mother – check, check, check…  Shallow checks, but what I didn’t bargain for was an incredibly emotionally intelligent kind soul.  Pssssst, I assumed the horns would come out, but they never did.


Funny enough, what Brian finds most attractive about me is my authenticity, but I believe Brian demands my authenticity. I cannot get away with my cutesy bootsie manipulative ways or trying to get a reaction out of him; he always calls me out on my bad behavior, yet, he is incredibly kind and patient with me. 


Before falling in love with Brian, I was a bit of a mess, I was trying to protect my heart and show a façade of what I wanted Brian to see, but that is the beauty of authenticity it tends to bring out the sincerity of others too. I am incredibly blessed that someone took a chance on me, which forced me to take a chance on them, as I probably would have continued down the road of finding faults in a plethora of men and faking it without never making it. 

I never dreamt that I would be 44 years old marrying for the first time.  I still have more songs picked out for my funeral than I do for my wedding.  I was ready to throw the towel in & just accept my single status as I was happy for the most part. I wanted to meet someone, but I knew & know it isn’t the end all & be all to be with someone.  However, being able to share yourself & your love with a best friend is pretty epic. 

If it can happened to me.  Golly & goodness, it can happen to anyone.  

For all the heinous first dates, one first date finally paid off.  And there were a heap of bad first dates…. Man oh man, a heap…

No date set yet, but I will be a Bride on a Budget 😉 

Peace & love – Rachel