12 November 2017

General life update

I know  I haven't been updating much.  Using this more like a very public diary than a true blog with a purpose.  Everyone I know is elsewhere so they know all of this.  I just trust this place to be here longer than those, so...  If I were smart I'd just do an actual diary in a text file or something.  All of those years on LJ make me run online to do entries.  Anyway, let's update.

We did order a custom urn for Dutchie.  I miss that kitty so much.  Will post a picture of the urn once we get it.

Still haven't eaten meat since I decided to go pescatarian.  I am trying to greatly limit dairy and fish but haven't cut them out.  I am trying to make most days vegan.  Cheese and eating out on weekends are the toughest parts (and why I officially kept dairy and fish).  Vegan cheese hasn't advanced nearly as much as vegan "meat" has.  I did skip the fish this weekend but hubby wasn't impressed with the Veggie Grill we traded it for.  He didn't hate it, it just didn't work well as a delivery food.  The fries were cold.  He also liked the Impossible Burger from The Counter better than the Beyond Burger at Veggie Grill.  He's been very tolerant of me having us try new stuff given he's still very much a meat and fries kinda guy.  I did discover he likes rice stuffed bell peppers with  meatless crumbles, so yay to that.  Cheap and easy dinner we can both eat.

The IVF journey should be getting closer to a transfer.  Despite the NP at my neuro being concerned that the flush might not have worked, the blood tests shows no Aubagio left in my system.  Yay!  Waiting to hear from the clinic about when we will be able to see profiles (or if they're going to throw some unexpected obstacle our way).  The doctor will be looking at my results and telling my coordinator whether or not he's ready for us to move forward.  We could be parents next year.  Our clinic lets you transfer one or two embryos at a time and we get three chances (or until we get and stay pregnant for 12 weeks).  I think we have decided how many to transfer each time.  So exciting!

That's about it.  Life is a weird mix of really busy and boring lately.  I've gotten back to working on the blanket I am making for my hubby for Christmas.  I started in January and am only about 1/3 done.   Eek, I know.  But between the adoption failure, trying to get IVF going, and the cat getting cancer and then losing her, it's been a crazy year and I've not truly worked on the blanket more than a few hours here and there.  Still hoping to finish it on time.  Though we'll see.   Not gonna beat myself up if I don't get it done in time.

Throw in Tom Petty's death with my personal stuff and  I am ready for 2017 to be over.  It's been a crappy year.

25 October 2017

Lush Birthday Haul

So for my birthday,  I asked for Lush.  Never tried it.  Heard lots of good.  So why not?  I ordered it on Sunday and it arrived today (Wednesday).

The first thing to note is that many products will not hold up well to heat.  Despite being late October, we've been in the 100+ range.  So two items (Scrubee and Wiccy Magic Muscles took the worst hits).  To be fair Lush does have a little icon on the ordering page warning it may melt in warmer climates (not that I knew what that meant having never ordered from them before) and it's just common sense that stuff like this will melt.   It's also late October and this is unusual even for California, so I just wasn't thinking.  Luckily I think it will recover well after a little time in the fridge.  If only I had ordered a day or two later.  We're supposed to be back down in the 80s tomorrow.  Cannot wait.  MS and heat do not mix.

The only thing that I ordered that I have already tried is the Boom! Toothy Tabs.  I wasn't sure what to expect as people seem to either really love them or likes the results but hates the taste.  I ended up being fine with the taste.  Who doesn't want to have black charcoal foam drooling out of their mouth as they brush?  My teeth did feel really good after brushing and later after I ate lunch, my teeth still felt clean. They don't have fluoride, but I use a prescription fluoride gel separate from my toothpaste anyway, so I'm covered still.

I'll admit that I probably could have used my birthday money a bit wiser at Lush, but they have a Halloween set wrapped in a black cat scarf called Bewitched (seems to be sold out online now).   Having just lost our black kitty, I was a sucker and needed that set.  It even has a purple bell!  Oh how Dutchie hated the bell.  She definitely took advantage of going collarless during her final days, no jingle to give away her hiding spots.

Lush does sell tins for storing their products.  But again, I used up a lot of my birthday funds on the kitty set.  And also I had just emptied two different round containers (one was a body butter and one was a hair mask).  I was pretty sure they would fit the shampoo bars no problem (I was right, they fit with plenty of room).  Also the Rubbermaid side containers are the perfect size for the shampoo bars, the Scrubee fit, the Wiccy bar would have fit if cut in two.

My total haul:
- The Bewitched set (includes the Lord of Misrule bath bomb, Pink Pumpkin bubble bar, and the Bewitched bubble bar).
- 93,000 Miles shower jelly
- Godiva Shampoo bar (for me)
- New Shampoo bar (for the hubby)
- Scrubee
- Sunkissed lip tint
- Boom! toothy tabs
- Wiccy Magic Muscles massage bar
And there was also a sample of their Bohemian soap included.

I'll probably use the bathbomb from Bewitched tomorrow.  I like a nice warm to hot bath and it's just too hot for that today.   Will try to remember to post after using everything, but am just getting back in the habit of writing here, so we'll see...

24 October 2017

National Food Day and other things...

So apparently today is National Food Day, which seems like a good day to do an update on my switch to a pescatarian diet.

I have not intentionally eaten any meat since switching.  I specified "not intentionally" because I realize there is a lot of meat in products you'd never expect so... Live and learn.

Also, I have noticed that people who eat meat and vegans both get almost offended by a pescatarian diet.  It's weird to me how many people get offended if someone doesn't have the same diet as them.  My hubby still eats meat.  He's respectful of the fact that I no longer am and I am respectful of his choice to continue eating it himself.  Who cares?

I have decided that life is just easier when I keep fish and dairy, but I am also limiting them both.   Like this past weekend, we celebrated my birthday with a store bought cream cheese cinnamon roll.  Could I have found or made a vegan version?  Probably.  But it was easy and delicious.  The ice cream to go with it was  Coconut Bliss Salted Caramel, which is probably my favorite ice cream.

My first birthday dinner with this diet was from Chipotle.  The sofritas burrito bowl is actually pretty  delicious.

In other news, I will go have an updated lab test this weekend.  I am expecting the worst (that the Aubagio is still in my system) because the NP reacted to me not having diarrhea while on the rapid elimination meds by saying "Oh, No".  We'll see.  Not sure what we do if it's still there.  I think the only other option is activated charcoal.

And finally, it's been over 100 degrees here.  In late October. So over this weather.  MS and heat don't mix.  I only have the energy to sit and do nothing.  Hopefully we get a cool down soon, but doesn't seem to be one in the immediate forecast.

20 October 2017

Imperfect Produce review

I decided that we should try Imperfect Produce (referral link that gets you $10 off).  

Imperfect Produce is the delivery service that promises you "Ugly" fruits and veggies at a heavily discounted price.  It should be noted that not all of the produce is "ugly", some is actually from farmers who just had an excess of inventory that they needed to sell.  Each items listing explains why it is being sold at Imperfect Produce, whether it's "ugly"/"imperfect" or from an excess.  There is a list of items to choose from each week and changes depending on what the farmers they work with have available.  Some are sold per piece while others are per pound.  If I had wanted my box to have more than one pound of apples, I could have selected more. I wanted a variety of stuff this week for our first shipment.

What I got: 
Conventional Apples - 1lb
Conventional Carrots - 1lb
Conventional English Cucumbers - 1
Conventional Kale Bunch - 1
Conventional Mini Watermelon - 1
Conventional Pears - 1lb
Conventional Yellow Grape Tomatoes - 1lb
Organic Green Peppers - 2
Organic Lemons - 2
Organic Spinach Bunch - 1
Organic Sweet Potatoes - 2
Organic Yellow Onions - 1lb

Cost: My total was $23.77 with delivery (the delivery charge is currently $4.99).  I had a intro coupon code so I only paid $14.38 delivered.  I priced the exact same produce (obviously not "imperfect") with our current grocery delivery service and that price would have been $26.81 delivered.  With my coupon code, that was a good deal.  Without it, at the regular price it would have been $3.04 cheaper than our our usual delivery.  But it would have been a more consistent quality and would have been one less delivery to worry about.  So there is a bit of a savings, just not the savings I expected.

The delivery estimate was 6pm Thursday - 6am Friday.  It arrived at 11pm’ish Thursday.  We were in the living room watching the Halt & Catch Fire finale when we heard a really loud slam up against our front door area.  Took me a second to realize it was within the grocery delivery time. Luckily I am usually home when we get deliveries  during the day, so I knew that sound… Delivery folks here don’t like walking up the step and down the hallway to our door so they just scoot it very hard  from down the hallway.  Which is not cool late at night because it’s freaking loud when it slams up against the wall/door.

I think it probably also cause the worst of the imperfections in our box.  One of the two sweet potatoes was broken.  So that already started us with a negative opinion. 

Other than that, the produce was fine.  Since it did arrive later at night I didn’t think to take a picture of the box because I just wanted to put it away and get back to our show, but here’s the most “imperfect” of the produce.  The little mark on the watermelon, one lemon looks a little bruised up and is tiny (closer to the size of a small lime than most lemons you'd see in a store), and the broken sweet potato (but again I suspect that happened from our box being slammed into our door).

Was it a good deal for me?  Don’t know yet.  I am going to see what is available next week before I decide if we’re keeping it.  I am on the fence after the first shipment.  It definitely saves on some stuff, but the stuff we actually chose wasn’t a big enough difference between it and regular local grocery prices to impress me (the carrots for example were the same price as the grocery store we ordered the rest of our groceries from) but the kiwis (that I didn’t get) would have been almost 1/2 off.  I think the watermelon was around $1 off and with groceries being what they are, $1 is $1, but that's not what I would consider a usual purchase, I mostly splurged on it because discount coupon.  So I think it depends on what you buy.  And you cannot see what is available in your area without signing up for an account.

In our case, you can see what they have Starting Monday for the Thursday night - Friday morning delivery.  I’ll see what they have Monday to see if we’ll be using them again.  But right now, I think I might just stick to having our produce delivered with our groceries so I can get what I want, have less deliveries, and not have a heart attack in the middle of the night when the carrots and onions start slamming into my door.

I like the concept, but in reality... leaning toward not impressed. Being in Southern CA where there are many farming communities, .I think I expected bigger discounts and a bigger selection.  I guess we'll see next week.

06 October 2017

Dutchie is home + trying pescatarian

Dutchie came home to us today.  Her paw print shows her claws, which is about the most Dutchie thing ever.  She never learned to fully retract them.  Still working on a picture for her custom Etsy urn.

In totally unrelated news, I have decided to try switching my diet to pescatarian (vegetarians who eat fish - some eat dairy, some don't).  I don't think it will be that hard for me except for when we eat out.  I was having bacon once a week.  I already don't have a lot of dairy and no cow milk as it wrecks my stomach in ways other dairy doesn't.  I wanted to keep dairy in the mix because I really haven't had a vegan cheese that I liked and I do like yogurt now and then.   Also the hubby isn't going this route but will eat the meals I cook.  I want to be sure there are cheeses he likes too and paying for vegan and non vegan cheeses was just too much.  My fave salad dressing is also yogurt based.  Still undecided about whether or not I will eat eggs, they're already pretty limited in my diet.

I am considering trying Imperfect Produce and Chef'd but we already pay a grocery delivery service and would still need it for some things, so I am not sure I want to split everything up from different places.  Gonna look at the finances of it and see if it makes any sense.

Guess we'll see how it goes.  I have no problem with people who eat meat.  Meat is pretty delicious.  I've just seen too many stories of how animals are treated before becoming food and cannot add to that.  I realize that some people would say there's no point if you keep dairy and fish.  I get their point but for now, I just want to try meat free.  Chicken and turkey will be the toughest for me as they were my usual fast food choices.  Also I grew up in Santa Maria which is pretty much known for its tri-tip (and strawberries - thank goodness those are safe in this diet)  and while I wasn't eating tri-tip  regularly now, we did have it once every year or two.  

I am hoping it affects my weight, but honestly I added walking and got rid of soda  and those changes didn't affect my weight.  Being borderline hypothyroidism hasn't helped, neither has going on and off so many meds for migraines and MS the last dozen years or so.  So I don't truly expect it to help much.  A girl can dream though.

03 October 2017

The kind of lab results I'd expect.

So my lab results came back.  In order to be safe to get pregnant, they wanted to see a number of 20 or less.  My results were in the high 5k range.  So I am about to start a rapid elimination protocol to get the Aubagio out of my system.  The NP made it sound like it will be hell, at least she was honest about it.  Hopefully I survive the next few weeks without much health related dramas.  I have a pretty sensitive digestive system, so I don't expect this to be fun.  If something can wreck a stomach, I always get that side effect.

It'll be totally worth it in the end.  I just need to remember to keep that thought in my mind.

We went on a much needed mini-vacation this past weekend.  Down to Santa Barbara.  I have fond memories of going there as a kid.  We made our way to the wharf the first night and got a pretty good drink.  While walking back to the motel we ran into a young guy who was almost certainly on something.  He kept mentioning the police and said he couldn't breathe.  So me, the hubby, and a couple of ladies who also stopped to talk to him were asking him if he needed us to call someone or an ambulance.  He told us the cops were going to arrest him and they were out to get him.  We offered to get him to a hospital, but that was when he randomly ripped his shirt off and ran across the street then disappeared.  Hope he's okay.  Drugs are no joke.  Luckily it was late and there was no traffic when he bolted into the street.

The next morning we went to the Natural History Museum.  We were going to do the two day pass for that and the Sea Center to save some money but the Natural History Museum is undergoing renovation and was already half price (yay to saving money).  Then we got some coffee and headed to the Old Mission.  That place is so beautiful.  Has a rather old cemetery, I love cemeteries.

Then on our last day we went to the Sea Center where we pet a shark and held a crab.  Before heading out of town we stopped at the zoo.  We both have mixed feelings about the zoo but love animals so.... it was mostly enjoyable.  We fed lettuce to a giraffe, which was the coolest thing I have done in awhile.  Also petted a snake and not being into slithery crawly things, that was probably a big deal.  Saw the cutest otters.  Saw elephants that were there back when I was little apparently.  The only real downside was the gorillas.  Some jackhole was loudly mimicking what he thinks they sound like.  Right next to the sign asking you to Shhhh!  As they'll be out more and will be happier if you don't make a lot of noise.  I didn't see it but the guy next to us said one of the gorillas went and was pounding on the glass after that.  So rude and disrespectful of that dude.

29 September 2017

We're almost ready!

So it's been a sad time around here lately.  But there has also been some good news!

We had the appointment with the MFM doctor.  We really liked her.  She's willing to see us for an entire pregnancy so we can skip having two OBs (some see a regular OB and a MFM both).

Now I am just waiting to be sure that all of the Aubagio (MS med) I was on is out of my system.  Did that test last week.  For some reason (maybe because it's a "specialty test") the lab is taking a lot longer than usual to get the results.  Worst case scenario is that the med is still there and I get to do the rapid elimination process.  *fingers crossed that it's out*

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