About Marjorie

COMING SOON

Bulletproof Diet

Two weeks ago we got back from a long wedding weekend in New Jersey and I felt I had packed on a couple of pounds, at least. My jeans were tight. I could feel my flabby stomach when I was in bed. Yuck – I hate that feeling.

Skip forward a week. One book leads to another and I was reading The Bulletproof Diet: Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, Upgrade Your Life. I’m a pretty skeptical person, but lots of what Dave Asprey says makes total sense to me. And much of my skepticism these days is reserved for the so called health industry and “mainstream” nutrition advice. So, I ordered the ingredients to make his Bulletproof Coffee. It arrived last Friday. I made it Saturday morning, worried about missing my beloved Vietnamese coffee and worried that I’d be starving without my oatmeal (the Bulletproof coffee is all you have for breakfast.)

Well, I did miss my Vietnamese coffee a bit as I was preparing the Bulletproof Coffee. But, I didn’t give it a second thought afterwards. And I didn’t get hungry. I mean, I finally ate something around 2:00, but not because I was really hungry. It was just getting really late for lunch. We went out for some street tacos for dinner that night and I drank wine, too. So, I wasn’t actually being good. I ate “regularly” on Easter (as in not Bulletproof) including Vietnamese coffee, some oatmeal berry bake I made, some veggies, ground beef, and two glasses of wine, although I didn’t indulge in candy and baked goods.

So, I skipped the Bulletproof Coffee on Sunday, but I had it yesterday (Monday). I ate an avocado and some smoked salmon and a chicken thigh for lunch. Had baked salmon and carrots and brussels sprouts for dinner. And I ate some leftover oatmeal berry bake before bed because if I know that if I don’t eat any carbs I can’t sleep. And that’s simply not acceptable. I was worried about missing my oatmeal, so making it a before bed snack is a perfect solution for me.

Anyway, when I got up this morning I was surprised how thin I felt. I almost never weigh myself but decided to get on the scale. I weighed 135.2 lbs. I was almost positive I usually weigh 138 or more. I remembered that I’d weighed myself every Friday for awhile and recorded it on my calendar (which are searchable Word docs). I searched and, sure enough, in May of 2015 I was “religiously” weighing myself each Friday. NOT – I weighed myself all of three times. 😉 My weights were 141 (May 1), 136.6 (May 22) and 136.4 lbs (May 29). If I remember correctly, I weighed myself a fourth time, in June, and my weight had gone up and I was mad, because I’d been really good. So, I abandoned the whole exercise.

Anyway, this morning I weighed 135.2 lbs – with virtually no effort whatsoever. I can’t get into Dave Asprey’s program here. But he’s onto something. Check out his website and his blog:

https://bulletproof.com

https://blog.bulletproof.com 


Bridge Lessons

I’m working hard at both learning some new skills/interests and rediscovering ones I’d let fall by the wayside. For example, about five years ago, after a 20 year lapse, I started swimming laps again and have done so most Fridays since. That was easy!

Other sports have been a lot more intimidating. I played golf (poorly) when I was younger, but stopped 25 years ago when I was pregnant with our second child. Jay is a pretty good player and it would be nice if we could play together. So, last spring I took some lessons and played once during the summer. I was bad, but at least I was better than my friend. She had no history with the sport, save the lessons we took, and I realized how valuable my past experience was, no matter how long ago! I’ve played twice in the past month. Boy am I crappy, but determined to keep at it. Not sure when I’ll be ready to play with Jay. Plus, for some reason, I’ve got tennis elbow – so I need to get that resolved. Ouch!

In March, I skied for the first time in five years. I was so nervous, but it was a gorgeous, bluebird day, I didn’t fall, and I loved it. 🙂

As I mentioned last month, I’m learning how to speak Spanish with Duolingo. It was pretty slow going at first. My memory seemed so bad I was concerned I might have dementia! But, I’ve stuck with it and am very encouraged at how much better I’m getting. I can tell that I’m going to be able to read Spanish well before I can understand someone speaking it, let alone speak it myself. Anyway, I’m quite impressed with Duolingo and highly recommend it.

Finally, I started taking bridge lessons last week. My mom has played for years. A number of acquaintances have recently taken lessons. And I was finally inspired when I read The Bridge Ladies: A Memoir. We had our second lesson yesterday. It’s scary (I broke out in a sweat when it was my turn to bid), but I’m confident I’ll figure it out well enough to play with beginners.


Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

Now that I actually own Tim Ferriss’ new book Tools of Titans I’m going back through it in an effort to absorb the content better. I’m trying some of the products mentioned by Tim and/or his subjects. I’m reading the recommended books and plan to watch the recommended TV shows and movies.

I’m not going to get obsessive about it. At least I don’t think so. The first book I read was one of the most enjoyable reads in a long time – Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman! (Adventures of a Curious Character).

I laughed out loud so many times. I kept interrupting Jay to read parts to him. No wonder it was one of the most gifted books of Tim’s Titans. I can’t believe I’d never even heard of it before.

I wonder what young people would think of it? I’m sure hard core feminists wouldn’t be impressed, but I found him very lovable and the times were very different back then. It makes me a little sad for Gen X and Millenials. There’s not nearly as much freedom, adventures, active participation, or  human interaction these days. Everything is so ridiculously PC. Of course, much is improved. We aren’t in the middle of a huge war. TB is all but eradicated. Gay people don’t feel forced to stay in the closet. I’m not oblivious to how much better it is in many arenas. But this book made me yearn for the days before iPhones and Google.


Make Sure You Actually Have Your Driver’s License

We went to New Jersey for a wedding last weekend. Wow – what an event! But this post isn’t about weddings. It’s about not assuming your driver’s license is in your wallet when you go to the airport. I’m always so careful about my passport when we’re traveling out of the country. But, I always have my driver’s license in my wallet – right!!

No! Not when I transfer stuff to my small “evening” purse to go out at night – something I’d done the previous weekend when my brother came to visit and we went downtown. I almost had a heart attack at the check in.

Luckily, my little purse was in my luggage. And, luckily, the check in guy hadn’t heaved my bag onto the conveyor belt already. He’d heaved Jay’s onto it and Jay said “hey, I’m not checking in if my wife can’t” and the guy replied “well, I’m not chasing after it”, although it was only about 5 feet away at that point.

All’s well that ends well. But I will be physically looking to make sure I have my ID with me from now on. Funny thing is, between checking in and getting on the train to our terminal we ran into two other people who actually didn’t have their IDs with them. Apparently, it’s possible to get on a domestic flight without it – but they put you through the wringer interview-wise. Our flight was delayed by two hours, so we probably would have been fine.

Probably. I don’t care to ever find out!


Take the Blame and Get Rewarded

I had a some good luck last week. Nothing big, at all. I had an overdue book to return. The library has a two day grace period, but I was on day three. So, I was going to get charged $.25/day for a total of $.75. I wanted to make sure that the book got checked in that day vs. the following day, which would make it even later, so I took it to one of the librarians instead of putting it into the return book slot. I explained that I wanted to make sure it was checked in because I was late. She mentioned the two day grace period and I said that I was past that, but my husband had really wanted to finish the book and it couldn’t be renewed because there was a waiting list – so I was expecting a fine. She very kindly offered to check it in and change the date so that I wouldn’t be charged any fee.

Very nice of her, indeed!

From there I went to King Soopers to get some groceries. I gave the clerk a coupon for $2 off $10 of produce. I thought I had enough produce, but the coupon wouldn’t ring up. I told the clerk not to worry, I would just use it next time and make sure I bought enough produce. She just smiled and said I was close enough and “forced” it through for me.

Both times, I explained how I was in the wrong or mistaken about something. And both times I was immediately forgiven. I’ve noticed this pattern before. I’ve also noticed how much more willing I am to work with patrons who take this approach vs. blaming a situation on my company or me or a coworker. “I accidentally registered my kid for the wrong swim lessons – can you help me out?” goes over much better than “you registered my kid for the wrong lessons and you’d better fix it”.

Always give credit. And always take the blame.


Trying New Parmesan Cheese

Between many of my go to dishes – Caesar salads, cauliflower au gratin, pasta/shrimp Alfredo, homemade tomato soup, regular spaghetti with meat sauce, and yummy chicken tenderloins – we go through a LOT of parmesan. I usually buy the Kirkland brand at Costco, but today I decided to try out another brand that they carry – BelGioioso Freshly Shredded Parmesan-Romano. It’s in a 2 lb plastic bag vs. a 1 lb plastic screw top container. But at $8.99 it costs a fraction of the $11.49 Kirkland brand.

And it tastes better, too!


$20 Promo Code at Talbots

Every once in a while I shop at Talbots. Not because they offer free shipping, because they don’t. And not because their website is so awesome. It isn’t.

But it’s possible to get gift cards for a hefty discount from sites like Giftcardbin.com. This past season I bought a top that I really like. So, I decided to see if they sold it in any other colors. Once I was able to locate the item on their website (it wasn’t easy) I saw that, yes, it came in the two colors I was looking for – black and ivory. Plus, it was on sale. Yay! I couldn’t find a discount gift card that I was willing to buy. The balances were too high. I was spending around $100 and didn’t want to buy one for $400+ (even though they are 25% off).

Sunday, I was ready to pull the trigger. Except that $8 shipping charge was really bugging me. I called the closest store to me to see if they had any stock, but was told that none of the stores had any. They were only available online at this point. I decided to hold off, even though the stock might all be gone by the time I made up my mind.

And, then, yesterday a $20 Talbots coupon arrived in the mail!

Voila! Decision made. The top I’ve already got fits me well and is flattering. I’ll be very happy that I got these other two. I might even have opportunities to wear them in the next month or so. It might be 75 degrees out this week but, this is Denver, we’re bound to see more cold weather before April is out. Besides, it’ll be November again before I know it. My days and weeks fly by so fast it’s almost alarming.


Rolling Over a 401(k)

Years ago, when we were flipping foreclosures, I opened a Roth 401(k) for myself. I contributed to it for only one, maybe two, years. Ever since, I’ve gotten a quarterly statement and paid $25 to the administrating company. That’s $100/year for roughly ten years. And it drives me crazy every time that fee comes out of my bank account.

On Monday I emailed our advisor at Wells Fargo to see if he had any idea what I could do with it. If I liquidated it, I’d have to pay some kind of penalty. Maybe I could roll it into something? He got right back to me. I could roll it into a Roth IRA and, because we have over a certain threshold of investments with them, there’d be no administrative fees. 🙂

I’m kicking myself for not putting this on my To Do list earlier. But, better late than never!


$15 More Dollars From TopCashback

topcashbackI’m getting better about remembering to use TOPCASHBACK when I make online purchases, typically at Macy’s. I just redeemed $15.16 this morning. I chose getting an Amazon e-gift card which had a 3% premium. Usually I just choose the ACH deposit to my bank account, but I’ve been buying stuff at Amazon recently and wanted to see how it worked. I’ll probably just go back to getting ACH deposits because it’s a simpler process.

But I’m a sucker for premiums!

I went to my redemption history and added everything up and was surprised to see it came to $132.15. It would have been a lot more had I consistently remembered to use the TOPCASHBACK website. Try it out, yourself!

Duolingo

I added another item to my Interests list – learn to speak Spanish. I’ve been considering getting Rosetta Stone for awhile, but never got around to it. While reading Tools of Titans, though, I discovered duoLingo, which is a free online language app. I started yesterday. 🙂

At school, in Calgary, I learned to speak French pretty decently. I’m incredibly rusty at this point, having had few opportunities to ever use it these past 30 years. I have four cousins in Montreal, but I rarely see them. And they’re all perfectly bilingual, so speak English whenever we’re together. Maybe, if Jay and I ever go to France, I’ll be able to practice.

In the meantime, though, I have numerous reasons to learn Spanish. There are lots of Spanish speaking people in Denver. In fact, I just found out that our son is using duoLingo to brush up on his Spanish. He works in the construction industry and many of the sub-contractors are Hispanic.

Over the last couple of decades, Jay and I have usually gone to Mexico for vacation each year. We’re heading to Florida more often these days, but there are still plenty of opportunities to speak Spanish there. If we end up spending time in other warm climates like CA and/or AZ, it will be helpful to speak Spanish. And Spain is high on our list of places to visit. Duh!

Finally, one of my brothers moved to Guanajuato, MX a year or so ago. His new wife is Mexican and, although she speaks decent English, her other family members don’t. I imagine we’ll see them at least once or twice/year – either in Calgary, Denver or Guanajuato. It would be fun to be able to hold a basic conversation in Spanish. We’ll see how far I get.