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A Little SUV Maintenance

11 Jan

Ok yes I know that as a vehicle owner I am supposed to have a maintenance fund set up for when I need work done to my suv. I don’t have one quite yet, it’s more like I have a general emergency fund and if something happens to my suv I pull from there. I don’t like it, but it’s what I’ve got for now.

The other week a guy pulled up beside me at a red light and motioned for me to roll my window down. When I did he told me my right brake light was out. I was on my way to work so couldn’t really do anything about it then but once I took time to think about it my general thought was:

“Shit. How much is this gonna cost?”

I knew it would cost a stupid amount if I went to a shop because of labour charges, but when a vehicle needs work that’s what you do, right? You take it to a shop?

Except, what if you don’t?

What if you go internet sleuthing, find some instructional videos that show you how to change the brake light on your suv, hit up Canadian Tire to buy the $7 light bulbs, and change it yourself?

Well, then you would have done what I just did, and be filled with a happy little feeling of pride.

And yes I know, feeling pride because I changed my brake lights (apparently if you change one you should change both so I did both) is a silly thing because it turned out to be dead easy, but I don’t care. Car maintenance is soooo not my thing but today I managed it.

I think this deserves a happy dance…

happy dance

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Receipt Checker

10 Jan

I don’t know about you but until last year I’d go shopping, take the receipt, stuff it in my purse where it would get crumpled down at the bottom and stay there until I got annoyed with it and threw it out.

Receipts

Last January I started budgeting. And not in a vague sort-of not researched type of way. Oh no, I did massive research, read books, watched YouTube Videos, read everything on Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s website (re-watched a bunch of her tv show episodes),Β  and pestered my parents multiple times a week with questions, sort of way. Hey, if you’re gonna do something, might as well do it right!…or to the best that you’re able cuz oh wow was learning how to budget a frustrating experience. There were a bunch of mistakes made, things I could have done better, a decently large learning curve to navigate but I did eventually manage to navigate it. I learned from my mistakes, took notes so I knew what I wanted to change for 2018, and overall think that starting this whole budgeting dealio was a solid choice.

Now, and all of last year, I take the receipt, write down in a tracker the date of the purchase, what I bought, how much it cost, and I would deduct it from my running tally. Yeah, I became that person.

Today I went to Wal-Mart for some stuff and when I got to the checkout I thought the total was high but didn’t think to question the cashier cause, well, why would I? When I was home, comfie in my sweats, and happy in the knowledge I didn’t have to go out again, I was checking my receipt as I wrote the expense in my tracker (because yes, I’m still that person!) and to my surprise there were two items at the top of my receipt I didn’t recognize.

Now, sometimes the short description on a receipt is not easily translated in to the item you bought but this was a tiny purchase, I only bought 6 things, though this receipt said I bought 8. That and all the other items clearly said what they were and I knew I bought those things.

I had been charged $14 and change for two things I didn’t buy.

Not cool.

I called Wal-Mart, the phone rang over 30 times (not even kidding) and when I finally got a person and told them what happened I was told to call back in ten minutes.

*rolls eyes*

I called back in ten minutes, I stopped counting the rings at 50 but I didn’t stop calling, I just let it ring, and ring, and ring and finally someone picked up. It turned out to be the same lady I spoke with earlier so at least she knew what the problem was.Β  She asked me a couple questions about the receipt and told me if I came back in tonight she would fix things.

Not gonna lie, I was torn between staying home cozy in my sweats or going back out for a refund of $14 but the cheap side of me won out and on went real pants, up in to a pony tail went the hair, and off I went.

Sure it’s only $14 but every dollar counts, especially when you are budgeting and you know where that $14 should be going…like next weeks groceries!

So lesson learned, take a look at the receipt before leaving the store to not only make sure I wasn’t charged incorrectly but to save me having to change out of my cozy sweats and back in to public appropriate clothing. Really, it’s all about comfort in the end lol πŸ˜‰

Life Labs Snafu

2 Mar

lifelabs

I have been trying to get in to Life Labs for a week to get a test done. Each time I went the wait time was stupid long and I couldn’t wait. And yes, I know you can book appointments but the only appointments available are at times that didn’t work for me, hence my attempting to walk-in.

Yesterday I went towards the end of the day, thinking it might be quiet, and got told that the type of test I needed required me to be there when there is more than an hour left before closing…I was two minutes late, sigh.

They gave me a printed out list of instructions for my test and my personal paperwork back. You know the paperwork, the one the doctor fills out saying what test you need and filled with all your personal medical info plus contact info. That paper you never want to lose.

So yeah, I get home, chill for a bit, then pull out the paperwork so I can read the instructions as well as remind myself what the lab hours are for Thursday. That is when I noticed that while yes, they did give me a piece of paper with instructions they also gave me someone else’s personal paperwork.

Just to be clear, I now had access to some random strangers test request, doctor information, contact information, health care number…all kinds of information that is sooooo not my business.

Can ya say oops Life Labs?

I went back today worried I wouldn’t be able to get my test done since I no longer had the form requesting my test. I was all prepared to put up a bit of a fuss about having to go back to the doctor to get another form all because they screwed up but the lady who was working yesterday was also working today and she remembered me. She didn’t realize she gave me someone else’s paperwork but she did realize after I left she still had mine so she apparently waited a bit to see if I would come back and then she filed it.

I was just grateful I didn’t have to go back to the doctor and get another form cause it is next to impossible to get in to see my doctor in any kind of timely manner.

One of the other people working made an off hand comment thanking me for bringing the other person’s form back because apparently the lady who gave it to me could lose her job if it was missing but I don’t think that is true. I mean, I think it is true someone could be fired for something like that, but I don’t think anyone would have realized she gave me that paperwork, it was a photocopy and they probably would have figured they forgot to make a copy of the original and make a new copy.

Makes you wonder though, how often something like that happens…

So lesson learned, take a closer look at the paperwork I am handed before leaving somewhere to make sure it is mine!

Washington DC Memorials

21 Oct

Couple weeks ago a friend and I went to Washington DC for a short, fun-filled, trip. I wanted to post about it as soon as I was home but I came home ridiculously sick and just wasn’t up to it. Lucky for you (assuming you like what I write that is) I am now feeling well enough to regale you with stories and pictures from the trip. So grab a cup of tea, get comfy, and be prepared for I’d say 2 to 3 posts in a row about Washington DC! πŸ™‚

My friend was travelling from Alberta, I was leaving from BC, we met in Montreal and then had the same flight to DC. I had an early flight but not disgustingly early, I did however have a lovely nap on the plane, yay for sleeping while someone else transports me somewhere! Sadly, they don’t feed you on flights across the country so all I got on the plane was tea, *big epic sigh* I made sure to take snacks with me though because heaven forbid I not have food at my fingertips! πŸ˜‰ I bought the overpriced fruit salad while in the airport along with a hummus and crackers, both were tasty and I gotta say, I think the fruit was a brilliant idea because it not only filled me up but helped me to stay hydrated, something I always find a challenge when flying.

I got to Montreal first and while walking down this long, practically empty, slightly creepy hallway, on the way to the border guards I came across this piece of art…

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Random moose sculpture…

Once I met up with Nic in Montreal we headed to our next flight which was in a little plane and had not only no food but no entertainment…practically barbaric!

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No tv! No wifi! The horrors!

Lucky for me I always take a book when travelling. πŸ™‚

We didn’t do too much that first night. Grabbed an Uber from the airport to take us to the hotel, settle in, took a walk to a local pub where I ordered this yummy meal…

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Meal Number 1! Chicken burger with fries.

There were no obviously healthy options on the pub menu and nowhere else to go try out so I figured roll with the punches and get something ridiculously tasty lol It is a battered chicken burger with cheese and a sauce I can’t remember the details about and sooooo many fries. It was freakishly good! I cut the burger in half and split the fries in half. I ate half of each and boxed the rest. I had every intention of finding another day to eat the remaining half but every time I thought of it I figured I could find something healthier to get so I never did go back and finish off the burger and fries. I really hope housekeeping cleaned out our room’s fridge…

Our first full day of being in Washington DC was full of all the touristy stuff! πŸ™‚

We had decided to walk to as many places as we could which meant an approx 40 minute walk from our hotel to just about anywhere. This made me super happy as my hope was all the walking would help offset the food I would be eating lol We had time to kill before a walking tour we were taking at 2pm so we wandered with the ultimate goal of going past the White House. Turns out every building in DC is large and old and important looking so we passed quite a few that we tried to figure out what it was and if we should be taking a picture of it or not lol

There were statues everywhere!

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Random building I liked the look of.

Some more statues…

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Dwight D. Eisenhower Executive Office Building

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Front of the White House

So funny story…Nic and I are walking past this building, see all the fences and guards and people taking pictures, we look at each other and ask “what is this?” Turns out this is the front of the White House! We had only seen the White House via pictures or shots in movies and they always showed what we thought was the front but turns out it is actually the back. So this is the front…kinda boring…the back is way nicer!

There were Secret Service allllll over the place but mostly around the White House – obviously. The guard in the above picture isn’t so hard on the eyes πŸ˜‰ hence my taking a picture at that particular spot lol

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Part of the line up of people waiting to get in to the White House garden tour.

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The view of the White House I am used to seeing…

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So close and yet so far from President Obama!

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It appears to be a golden sword on fire…

The above is the Washington Monument, built to honour George Washington, the US’s first President. It is a 555 foot marble obelisk that you used to be able to go up (there is an elevator and stairs inside) but people aren’t allowed inside anymore. If you look closely you can see where the marble changes colour partway up…they got the monument partially built then had to pause for war an stuff, by the time they got around to finishing it the quarry they originally got the marble from was empty so they had to source marble from somewhere else and the colour is a bit different. Apparently when they started using the new marble they thought the colours matched but as the monument was exposed to the elements it became more apparent they were different.

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There is a whole story behind the KillRoy part of the monument but it is too long to put here so go google it, trust me, it is interesting and worth the search!Β 

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Vietnam Memorial…

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The Three Soldiers Statue at the Vietnam Memorial

Good ol’ honest Abe…do you see how his hands are loosely signing “AL”in American Sign Language?

The Korean War Memorial…once you enter the area there is always a statue that is watching you…instead of writing all the names like in the Vietnam Memorial they put the images of actual people who were involved in the Korean War on the wall. Β Rumour has it Alan Alda’s face is on there somewhere (that’s the actor from the tv show MASH), I didn’t see it but there are so many faces on the wall it’d be super easy to miss if you didn’t know exactly where to look.

Thomas Jefferson Memorial…

So that wraps up Day 1! I have waaaaaay more pictures and stories from this day but this post is already freakishly long and it has taken hours to get the pictures to upload and I wanna go to bed lol

More tomorrow! πŸ™‚

Chia Seeds

3 Jun

I’ve been wanting to make those overnight oatmeal recipes in a jar for ages now but all the recipes for them seem to contain Chia Seeds and I (1) had no idea what that was, (2) figured they were ridiculously priced as all weird fad foods seem to be and (3) wasn’t willing to shell out a lot of money for something that I might hate…I learned that lesson the hard way with Flax Seed, ugh.

But then I came across this…

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Yoghurt mixed with oats and chia seeds, oh and raspberry, can’t go wrong with raspberry! πŸ™‚ It is over priced considering the size, almost $4 for that little thing, but I thought it was a safer way to try chia seeds than buying an entire bag and being stuck with them if I hated them. Turns out this little yoghurt thing is freakin delicious! It has yoghurt but isn’t the texture of yoghurt due to the chia seeds and oats, it is thicker, and while you don’t need to chew the oats or chia seeds you still feel like you actually ate something substantial vs slurped down some simple yoghurt. But still, too much money for me to want to buy them all the time, shrug.

Which of course means I am trying to make my own…and so far have failed miserably lol I can’t get quite the same consistency in mine but that isn’t to say my concoction is bad.

In the evening I combine:

  • 1/3 Cup almond milk
  • 1/4 Cup Greek Yoghurt
  • 1/4 Cup oats
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 2 tsp honey
  • dash of cinnamon
  • fresh or frozen fruit

All but the fruit gets put in to a jam jar or tupperware or whatever you have, mix it all up, then throw the fruit in. I toss in some frozen fruit because well, that is what I buy, lol, but you can use fresh also. Put the lid on and toss it in the fridge. By morning the chia seeds and oats are soft, it has thickened up a bit and magically turned in to something tasty that looks like this…

Granted, not the prettiest colour but whatever, get over it, it tastes good and is decently healthy lol πŸ˜›

When I started researching chia seeds the very first article I clicked on started out with blasting in large font about how chia seeds are a super food whiiiich instantly turned me off. Any food that gets paraded out as a “super food” and the next “it” thing to be eaten I automatically want nothing to do with. What can I say, I am a bit odd like that, but despite that annoying article I persevered and found some good reasons to try the little guys out.

(1) Β A 1 ounce (28 grams or 2 tablespoons) serving of chia seeds contains

  • 11 grams of Fiber
  • 4 grams of Protein
  • 9 grams of FatΒ (5 of which are Omega 3’s)
  • 137 calories
  • there is also a decent percentage of your daily Calcium, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Vitamin B3, Potassium, Vitamin B1 and Vitamin B2

(2) Chia seeds are high in antioxidants

(3) Almost all the carbs in Chia seeds are from fibre making Chia seeds a low carb friend

(4) Chia seeds are high in quality protein

(5) Chia seeds are high in many nutrients that are important for bone health

(6) This is something I can’t find scientific research for but many sites claim Chia seeds will aid in weight loss because they expand when exposed to liquid so they help keep you fuller longer thereby decreasing your desire to snack or have your next meal early. I have noticed when I have my little concoction for brekkie at work I’m usually good until lunch time and skipping that mid morning snack comes in handy during a busy day at work. Weight loss though, I can’t say that has happened since I added them to my meal plan, shrug.

Because I liked the little yoghurt cup thing I bought a bag of Chia Seeds from Superstore, all the options they had are organic, which is annoying as I try to avoid foods labelled organic but oh well. One bag cost me $7 which was less than what I was expecting and I am eating them often enough I don’t feel the bag was a wasted food investment. I am considering upping the amount of chia seeds in my yoghurt concoction to get more of the health benefits since I currently only put in 2 teaspoons and 2 tablespoons seems to be the standard daily portion. I think that will mean upping the other ingredients so as to not have it be too thick, not sure though, so I’ll do some experimenting with that and see what happens.

If you are thinking of trying chia seeds, well, ultimately the decision is up to you but I’d say go for it, it can’t do any harm and just might do you some good. Just don’t be like the idiot who swallowed a spoonful of them then drank some water and ended up choking because the seeds expanded so quickly they blocked his esophagus. Seriously, what is with some people? *rolls eyes* And before you freak out about me being soooo callous, the guy is fine, docs saved him.

 

 

One of the sites I got my nutritional information about the Chia Seeds from:

https://authoritynutrition.com/11-proven-health-benefits-of-chia-seeds/

So We Are All Aware

23 Jan

Just so everyone is aware the cat had a very tiring day.

First he had to walk to his food dish from the bedroom where he had been curled up on what I pretend is my bed (since ya know, I paid for it) but in reality is his bed because he is a blanket and space hog.

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Then he had to move from one spot in the apartment to another at various times throughout the day so he could make sure to nap in each of his favourite spots at least once in a 24 hour period. Wouldn’t want his dolphin blanket to think he loved it less than his spot in the back of my closet. πŸ˜‰

By the end he was so exhausted his only recourse was to collapse on my legs and have one last glorious sleep session…

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…before ya know, curling up in my arms and purring his way back to unconsciousness.

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Poor guy. Don’t know how he manages to survive such hard and stressful days. He’s an inspiration to me!

Surgery Here I Come

22 Jan

Yesterday I had a consultation at Lasik MD to see if my eyeballs qualified for laser eye surgery.

So yay, they do!

Now begins the journey towards lasers doin their thang to my eyes…or I suppose its more like I am beginning Stage 2 of the journey since I’d like to think all the research I did prior to my consultation counts as part of the journey. What can I say, I need to validate all the time I spent searching and reading and learning since it appears most people don’t really do all that much research…they just kinda assume the peeps at the laser surgery places will tell them everything and they don’t need to take any responsibility for what will be happening to their eyes. What’s with that?

Anywaaaaays…

In preparation for the consultation I had to not wear my contacts for minimum 24 hours prior to my appointment, I had to take sunglasses with me, the box for my current contacts and, hmm, that’s about it. Oh! I had to arrange for a ride home because my eyes would be blurry and light sensitive and I wouldn’t be able to drive.

Lucky for me I have a friend who was willing to drive me. πŸ™‚

They never did bother to look at the box for my current contacts, I’m not sure if that is because they knew they would get that info from my eye doc when they sent in the request for medical records form (had to fill that out when I arrived) or because they forgot, or because they don’t reeeeeally need it. Whatever the reason I don’t think it is that big of a deal.

After filling out some paperwork I went in to a room with a row of 3 eye testing machines. I am not sure what the first machine did but I am fairly certain machines 2 and 3 were being used to partially blind me lol I’m joking! Machines 2 and 3 had my eyes being exposed to super bright lights, one in a striped pattern which made me think of those turning circle things that are used to try to hypnotize people…

hypnotise image

Many pictures were take of my eyes from those machines when they were doing their thing. I think they were taking pics of the back of my eyeballs but I really don’t know. Whatever they were, none of them hurt or felt even slightly invasive, they are nothing worse than what you might have done when at your regular eye doc appointment.

Then I was escorted back to the waiting room but before I could sit a second person came out and called me in to her room of machines. There I did the read-the-letters tests multiple times, learned my left eye is dominant, had more bright lights shone in my eyes, had my eyeballs dilated and was then let loose to the waiting room again. There was a 10-15 minute wait for the eye dilating drops to fully take effect so I sat there with a hot chocolate wishing I could see my phone but unable to because ya know, my eyes couldn’t focus. sigh.

Fun fact! Most everyone has a dominant eye. Most people’s dominant eye matches their dominant hand, so if you are right handed your right eye will be dominant. I am the anomaly. I am right handed but my left eye is dominant. The person checking my eyes who tested that said it could be that I was supposed to be left handed but was raised right handed, what is this, the dark ages? That is so not it! Or I could be partially ambidextrous, which I figure is the closer of the two answers. I do some stuff with my left hand that you’d think I’d do with my right since I’m right handed but it feels more natural to use my left hand, shrug. Sometimes I will purposefully do something with my left hand because I read it is good for our brain health to use both hands for things, so I try to use my left hand for say, putting on face moisturizer because theoretically it will help my brain. Is it true? Who knows! Does it make a difference in my day to do something left handed? Nope. So might as well do it. πŸ™‚

Ok, back to testing!

I got called in to room number 3 by person number 3. He did even more eye tests, two of which I found highly interesting. To test the thickness of my cornea he jabbed, ok fine, tapped, my eyeball with two different um…things? Tools! I guess I should say tools lol Before doing this he put numbing drops in my eyes so I didn’t feel it, and I didn’t. It was so strange though, knowing someone was touching my eye with a metal thing-a-ma-jig and not being able to feel it. Oh he also did this thing with, get this, another bright light! lol where I could see the back of my eye in my vision field. Man I love weird stuff like that. Imagine those pictures you have seen of a dessert with cracks in the ground that are thin and spread all over the place, got it? That is what it looked like, just not that colour lol Don’t worry! It is normal! It isn’t because my eye is super dry or anything, it is just that I could see the blood vessels at the back of the eye…seriously, so cool! Why didn’t I become an eye doc? They apparently get to look at interesting things every day.

back of eye

Not my eyeball!Β 

So yeah, after guy number 3 finished with his tests he took a look at the results he got plus the results from the other tests I went through and it was determined I am a candidate for laser eye surgery.

After all that I damn well better be! lol πŸ˜‰

He went over the two types of surgery there are, Lasik or PRK. I had already done a huuuuuge amount of research on both types so what he was telling me I already knew, although I did ask for some clarification of things. Then I pulled out my notebook and asked all the questions I had written down because I knew I would forget when in the office.

Poor guy. I don’t think he knew what hit him.

He said he’d never been asked so many questions and made a comment about how for once he wasn’t just repeating all the same things. Looks like I made him earn his paycheque that day! lol

I was asking about the technology, the procedure, the post op care, all of it, and was happy with his answers.

In the end, because I qualified for both types of surgery, it was up to me to pick which one I wanted and even though it has the longer more painful recovery I chose PRK because all the research I did leads me to believe that is the better option.

After my convo with person number 3 I went back to the waiting room, thank god they have such comfy couches lol and eventually got called in by person number 4 who is there to discuss surgery dates and pre-op stuff and payment.

By the end of the approx 2 hours I was there I’d had one delish cookie, one ok cup of hot chocolate and walked out of there with a surgery date and the mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness…all in all a productive day.

Then I spent the rest of the day doing nothing because my eyes hurt, well, more like ached, and they were still dilated so everything seemed very bright…

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These are my eyes! Look at the pupil size, you’d think I was high or something lol

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