Author Archives: foxash13

Falling for Autumn Read-A-Thon Results

This week has gotten a bit crazy with packing, cleaning, and preparing to move 3,000 miles. I knew it was coming, just not exactly when. Relying on audio book more than anticipated.

September 21

  • The Complete Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales (6 Pages)
    The Frog Prince
    The Cat Who Married a Mouse
  • The Scarlet Letter (Audio Book- ~40 minutes)

September 22

  • The Complete Brothers Grimm’s Fairy Tales (16Pages)
    Fairy Tell True
    The Youth Who Could Not Shiver and Shake
    The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids
  • The Scarlet Letter (Audio Book- ~10minutes)
    Decided that I am not in the mood for this book. Time to move on to something else.
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Audio Book- 95 minutes)
    Introduction
    Chapter 1- Playing Pilgrims
    Chapter 2- A Merry Christmas
    Chapter 3- The Laurence Boy
    Chapter 4- Burdens

September 23

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Audio Book- 136 minutes)
    Chapter 5- Being Neighborly
    Chapter 6-Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful
    Chapter 7-Amy’s Valley of Humiliation
    Chapter 8-Jo Meets Apollyon
    Chapter 9-Meg Goes to Vanity Fair
    Chapter 10- The P.C. and P.O.

September 24

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Audio Book- 204 minutes)
    Chapter 11- Experiments
    Chapter 12-  Camp Laurence
    Chapter 13- Castles in the Air
    Chapter 14- Secrets
    Chapter 15- A Telegram
    Chapter 16- Letters
    Chapter 17- Little Faithful
    Chapter 18- Dark Days
    Chapter 19- Amy’s Will
    Chapter 20- Confidential

This week definitely got busy. Didn’t read any hard copy books except the fre short stories from The Brothers Grimm Collection. Maybe the next read-a-thon I participate in will fall in a more calm period of my life. Overall I am pleased with the progress I made this week.

My Brothers Grimm collection has an orange cover, so I completed that challenge. I also listened to at least 150 pages worth of book on some days. Since I don’t have a hard copy of the book I have no way of converting what I listened to into a total number of pages.

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Falling for Autumn 2.0 Read-A-Thon

I have decided to participate in a read-a-thon for the first time ever. I am kind of excited and nervous at the same time.

I believe I will try to incorporate an audio book and The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales collection that I have to help break things up a bit.

The main challenges I would like to complete are:

  • Read 3 books
  • Read 150 pages a day
  • Read a book outside of my comfort zone

If I am able to complete all 6 challenges associated with this read-a-thon that would be lovely.

Here is a blurb from A cup of coffee and a book about the read-a-thon:
“Falling for Autumn 2.0 is read-a-thon where we welcome the Fall/Autumn by reading as many books as possible during a week. It’ll take place from September 21 to 27, with daily guest-posts, interviews, challenges and giveaways. Everyone is free to enter by signing-up and sharing the official blurb by leaving a link to this post on your blog, Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr or YouTube. For more information, please visit A Cup of Coffee and a Book

Are you taking part in the read-a-thon? Let me know in the comments!

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Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge

Last week I decided that I want to get back into reading. I have a few books that I started reading in 2014 that I want to finish, as well as some new ones I want to get through. In high school I loved reading, you could rarely find me without a book. Somewhere along the lines I let reading slip away from me and I am determined to get that back.

My 2015 reading challenge is to read 15 books. I know it isn’t much to many people, but considering I haven’t completed a book in a few years it is challenging enough. If I find that I am reading more I will adjust my goal.

At the moment I am currently finishing up Deception Point by Dan Brown. After I finish Deception Point I would like to start reading Inferno, also by Dan Brown. I am also only 20 pages in to Silken Prey by John Sanford. I am very unsure about when I will get around to this one.

As I mentioned before I have ordered some books and am excited for them to arrive. These books are :

  • A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1)
  • The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity
  • The Witness
  • Gone Girl
  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • The Complete Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales

Of these I think I would like to read Gone Girl and begin to re-read The Chronicles of Narnia soon after their arrival. Stay tuned to see how all this actually plays out.

Another one of my reading goals is to actually read the bible. I have started a few times in the past, but this is truly something that I want to do this year. I ordered an archaeological study bible, picked up a journal, and began a few days ago with the gospel of John. So far I feel it is going well and will give another update when I feel I am ready.

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BIC Soleil Glow BzzCampaign

 

 

A few days ago I received a new BzzKit in the mail. This one is for the new BIC Soleil Glow razors. In the box was a three (3) pack of BIC Soleil Glow Razors and ten (10) Coupons to share with friends and family. Last night I decided to try them out and see what I thought.

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BIC Soleil Glow Razors and 10 Coupons

I decided to use the BIC Soleil Glow on my right leg and a Gillette Simply Venus Disposable on my left. I bought myself a big pack (16 I believe) of the Gillette when we made a trip to Sam’s Club and have been slowly working my way through them. I like them well enough and wanted to see how these new ones from BIC compare.

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Left is Gillette Simply Venus and Right in BIC Soleil Glow

Both of these razors have 3 blades, a moisture or lubricating strip, and a strip of ‘fins’ that are supposed to help reduce nicks and cuts. Both of these razors also have a pivoting head to help get around off of the curves in your legs. They also have some kind of grip to make the razor easier to hold on to while shaving.wpid-2014-05-13-23.57.25.jpg.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My over all thoughts are that the Gillette Simply Venus does a better job. I noticed after shaving that my right leg still felt a little prickly, which my left leg felt smooth as normal. I feel like all the plastic around the head of the BIC Soleil Glow keeps the blades from getting as close as they possibly could. All of that plastic did seem to help the razor pivot around the curves of my knee and ankle better than the Venus does.  I have no preference when it comes to the grips or the moisture strips.

I would probably recommend this razor to someone that is just starting out in the world of shaving. I say this because all that plastic keeps the blades from getting too close and helps prevent kicks and cuts, but they could still get the hang of the process. For those of us that like a closer, smoother shave I suggest you try something else.

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Human Interaction and Job Searching (THIS IS A BIT OF A RANT)

One of the most frustrating things that I have found since I started searching for a job is the lack of human interaction. I get that technology makes it easier to weed out candidates that are completely wrong for a position, but not every question or statement can be responded to with disagree, agree, strongly agree, or anything of the sort.

I personally feel that to hire the right person for a position that interviews (yes, plural) are necessary. Even to get my position working at a retail store part-time I had to go through two interviews; one with human resources and one with the manager of the department that I would be working in. Even with this process in place there is still a high turnover rate in these type of positions.

I am currently applying for positions where I might be able to get some use out of my Bachelor’s degree that I am paying thousands of dollars for. I have completely given up on some opportunities, for the time being, for various reasons. I am focusing on some higher level retail positions that may help me advance my career, but what is the point if I can’t even talk with a human being before being rejected for the position? I seriously read all the required and preferred qualifications carefully to determine if I feel as though I will be good enough for the position, tailor my resume for the position I am applying for, fill out the online application that is required (even though all the information is on the resume that I have the option to upload), then spend how ever long taking an assessment just to be disqualified without me giving any explanation for my responses and never having spoke with a human being.

This is especially frustrating for me when it comes to customer service positions or anything dealing with interacting with the public on a regular basis. How are you supposed to know how people will react to different situations when dealing with the public if you never experience them dealing with people? Even one face-to-face interview can give a general idea of how someone reacts when dealing with people, even if the only person the interaction that is taking place is with the person doing the hiring.

Am I the only one that feel as though they have missed out on position because of an automated system with assessment tests that need to be completed before you can even speak to a human?

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New BzzAgent Kit

I am loving being a BzzAgent. Yesterday I got my second BzzKit in the mail. This one contained the new Tone Skincare body wash. I used this in the shower today and was surprised at how soft my skin felt when I first stepped out. Now it is several hours later and my skin is still feeling soft.

This particular scent, Petal Soft with Pink Peony and Rose Oil, smells floral as the name implies. It also smells slightly sweet to me. I liked the scent more when I was in the shower than I did just smelling it from the bottle. I think the shower helps to dilute the sweetness that it has, allowing the floral notes to shine more. I can still smell a bit of a rose scent on my skin, but it isn’t strong. I feel like the lingering scent could easily be covered by a strong lotion, body spray, or perfume.

My skin seems like this so far. I haven’t felt any itching or noticed any rash since using this. I have used Tone products in the past without any issues and loved them.

Here are some of the other body washes Tone Skincare:

  • Ocean Therapy with Deep Sea Extracts and Pearl Essence (New scent)
  • Moisturizing with Cocoa Butter
  • Daily Detox with White Clay and Pink Jasmine
  • Fruit Peel with Alpha-Hydroxy Fruit Acids

So far I would recommend this product to friends and family.

Have you used Tone Skincare products? What did you think of them?

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Staying motivated

Here is a list of things I have done to help me stay motivated so that I can achieve the goals I have set for myself this year.

  1. Talk about my progress and failures. I tend to talk to friends, family, and co-workers about my goals and what I plan to do to achieve them. Along with that I talk about what I have done so far and whether or not I have made progress. Some people care, some don’t. At least I am talking about it.
  2. Get others involved.  Recently I have noticed I have been having a hard time keeping up with the exercising that I set out to do. I took notice of this and have asked for some help from friends and family. I have asked that they ask me about my routine from time to time so that I am help accountable. My sister will probably even join me on this exercise journey even though she is 4,000 miles away. Having someone else to talk to when you are likely experiencing the same things is critical.
  3. Write it down. I have taken to writing in my planner. I write a to do list some days and others I just write what I accomplished after the day is done.It helps me to feel like I accomplished more than I thought when I do this. I am trying to remember to write everyday, some days just slip by.
  4. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Stuff happens, things get edited out of your day to make room for more important things. It is not a big deal. Just pick up where you left off the next day and try to stick to the schedule you set yourself.
  5. Treat yourself. Sometimes we all need a little something extra to keep going. Set a goal for the week of month and if you succeed treat yourself. Go out to eat, buy yourself something you have been wanting for a while, or just take a day off and relax.
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New year, new attitude, new me.

I have never been one to make resolutions for the new year. I have always felt the if you want to make a change in your life that you should just make it and not wait for a specific time of year to start. This being said, I have sort of made some resolutions for the year. I like the time frame of a year to meet these goals, it just so happens that the motivation to change things hit me around the beginning of the new year.

First, I would like to get fit. Notice I did not say lose weight. I am in no way unhappy with the number on the scale, but if I lose a few pounds in the process I will not be upset. I mostly just want to get moving more and tone my body. At the moment my fitness level is minimal. I work retail, so I get a lot of walking in on the days that I work (minimum of 4 hours a day for 4 or more days a week). On top of the walking I have started doing some beginner Pilates and yoga. I chose these because of the ability to gain some flexibility and the stretching that comes along with them always feels nice. Another thing that I would like to start this year is running. This activity will wait until I am feeling a bit more fit and the nicer weather that comes with summer in Alaska. Running will be especially challenging for me since I have asthma and a messed up knee, but I will do what I can and listen to my body.

Next I would like to work on my sleep schedule. There has already been some improvement. In the past week I have been asleep before 3AM more often than after 6AM. My goal is to be asleep by 1AM every night and wake by 9AM. Currently I am waking anywhere between 10AM and Noon, which is much better than my previous 2PM wake time. I would like to get to the point where  it is just something that my body does naturally and I no longer need an alarm clock.

Another thing that I would like to work on this year is being more independent. I have social anxiety. Large crowds, too much noise, even the thought of crossing the street freak me out. I want to really push myself to do some things on my own. In the past year I can only remember a few times that I have left my house without Matt being there. Part of this if me not being comfortable driving his car, but there have been times that I wouldn’t even go to the bank across the street by myself. I know this is all foreign to him and he doesn’t really understand it. It is a lot for him to take on and put up with. I no longer want anxiety to be a large part of my life like it has been in the past.

Part of all of this is having a new attitude towards life in general. I don’t want to sit around and just exist, I want to LIVE. I want to enjoy every day that is given to me and be a happier, nicer person.

What are you doing to better yourself this year? Have you made a progress?

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What do I do about my credit score?!

Every year for the past few years I have done my free annual credit check, looked it over, and then not thought about it again until it was time to do it again. This year, after looking over my credit report, I have decided to do something about my score. I know that I have a couple things that are in collection and my mounds of student loans, but where do I begin?

I have been paying back my student loans since about June of 2012 and I have not missed a payment. I know that this shows as good on my credit report. At the moment I cannot pay much more than the minimum, but would paying more be beneficial on my credit report? 

Another thing I have been considering to help build my credit is getting a credit card. I have done some research and have found that there are secured credit lines available for those that cannot get approved for unsecured lines of credit. At this point I am still a bit confused about which option would be better. I feel as though I can read as many articles as I want and I still won’t have enough information to suit me. 

Some questions I have:

  1. Are secured or unsecured lines of credit best for increasing your score?
  2. What cards or companies have the most recommendations and best customer service?
  3. Should I be paying off student loans faster?
  4. Is it best to leave the two accounts in collection or pay them off?

I am going to continue talking to people around me and searching for information. If you have answers to any of my questions or any suggestions based on things that worked for you please feel free to leave a comment. 

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Getting organized and on a schedule

Lately I have been wanting to develop a regular routine and sleeping schedule. I have a horrible time falling asleep as well as staying asleep. I have used melatonin in the past and it works for me. I have been trying to remember to take it by midnight so that I can get a full nights sleep and actually get something accomplished through the day before I go to work in the evening. The key is remembering to take it. Most nights I don’t even think about it until I am already having issues sleeping. By that time I feel like it is much to late (usually 2 or 3 a.m.) to take it and get up at a decent time. Last night the first change occurred. The melatonin was moved into the bedroom, next me. Today I set an alarm for 1 a.m. to remind me to take it. My goal is to eventually be getting up around 9 a.m. to get things done around the apartment and enjoy my days off.  I chose 1 a.m. because I currently get out of work around 11:30, but with the holidays approaching the store that I work at will me staying open until midnight and I won’t be leaving any earlier than 12:30 a.m. Please feel free to share any tips on getting onto a better sleep schedule in the comments.

I have posted before that I am wanting to open an Esty shop where I will sell handmade cards. Part of me getting to the point of actually opening the shop is to get some cards made to send out to family and friends for the holidays to gain some feedback. I have been working on these cards, but I feel that I need to get on a more regular schedule with making them. In order to do this I am planning on buying a planner or life organizer to use daily to keep on track. I have looked into several different planner options, some more expensive than others. I am currently thinking about trying to make my own, using the various things that I like about each system. I definitely do not want to spend money on something and end up hating it. If any one has any suggestions on systems that work for you and how you got started with it I would greatly appreciate the input.

 

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