About Me

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CT, United States
I'm Kate. I'm 25 and a busy nurse journeying through life! I'm restarting my weight loss journey! I started off with Jenny Craig but now I'm doing it on my own with the support of my beautiful bloggy friends!

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday & Extreme Couponing!

Hi all!

It's been quiet on the blog because I went away for the weekend with my sister tocelebrate my 25th birthday! WOO! A quarter of a century old, yipee! But it was a reminder that I'm still a work in progress...I want so much more out of my life! Eating last week was good, up until I left on my trip...then it was a lot of eating out, alcohol and fun. However my sister and I did get some exercise! We walked all through the mall and went shopping and we also went swimming in the indoor pool for hours!

Look at me swimming and the snow outside! Hilarious!!
I weighed in today after getting right back on track Monday, my weight is exactly the same. So I guess I didn't do THAT badly. I at least maintained where I was at and didn't go nuts. NSV for me!! I've been doing well with eating since I got back from the trip. For breakfasts I've been doing the Special K protein shakes in the morning, a fruit leather/fruit snack for a midmorning snack, hummus with bell peppers, turkey pepperoni and string cheese for lunch and either a lean cuisine or something quick for supper. Then for a dessert I have a variety of healthy options that I like to choose from!

This week at Target I got some AMAZING deals!

They have a buy 6 Lean Cuisine get 1 free Skinny Cow Ice Cream deal going on right now. The Lean cuisines are also on sale for between 1.99 and 2.69 a piece at my local store. I also had a Buy 12 Lean Cuisine get $3 off. So I bought 12 Lean Cuisine (approx half and half the different prices) so 6 x 1.99 and 6 x 2.69 which is $28.08 then I got a free SKinny Cow Mint Ice Crea Sandwiches for 3.99 and a Caramel Cone for 4.74 FREE!!! WOW! That'll last me a few weeks too!

Another great buy was the Market Pantry fruit snacks. 80 cals a piece, so easy t too keep in the car and they were on sale for a 10 count package it was 1.69. And I had a coupon that if you bought 2 packages, you get $1 off from Target.Com!! 2 Fruit Snack boxes at 1.69 a piece = $3.38...then I got a dollar off hich is 2.38. Each package of fruit snacks is 12 CENTS! WOWWWW!

There is another great sale going on for those of you who have families. If you buy 10 items of these foods, you get a free $5 giftcard. Stacking coupoins with this is AMAZING! The items included were select beans, pasta sauce, pasta, etc. I had $1 off 4 Old El Paso Items, so I got 4 cans of refried fat free beans to put on wraps and to use in recipes, I had $1 off Barilla Pasta Plus so I got 2 boxes of that (These were also on sale for 1 a box, it was like getting one FREE!), I bought 3 ragu sauces using a Target 60 cents off 2 ragu sauces AND a manufacturer's coupon for $1.25 off if you bought three WOW! Then I also bought a Ragu pasta sauce which was included in the deal that was on sale for $1.19. Woot! All told, these items came to 18.10 (BEFORE COUPONS) then I had the $2.85 in coupons...which was 15.25. AND I have a shiny new $5 giftcard for next week's use! If I subtracted that, ALL of these items would be 10.25...yes for 4 pasta sauces, 2 boxes of pasta and 4 cans of refried beans. All of which will last me a VERY long time. YAY!!!

I got all of the items mentioned above plus a 48 count package of swiffer dry cloth refills (had a $1 off coupon), 3 Snackwells 100 calorie pack boxes (had a $1 off 3 coupon), 2 packs of turkey pepperoni (had a $1 off coupon), a package of turkey bacon, 4 containers of Sabra roasted garlic hummus, a loaf of Sara Lee bread (had a 50 cents off Taget Coupon), 4 cans of Rotel Tomatoes (not included in the buy 10 get a 5 dollar giftcard free but on sale for 89 cents), weight watchers ice cream (had a $1 off coupon), a package of glad freezer containers (had a $1 off coupon) and 2 jars of Newman's Own Salsa (had $1 off 2 coupon) all for 92.10!!!

In total I saved $35.72 shopping today and an extra $4.55 for using my redcard! Yayyy

For my birthday, I bought myself a little present! I have been keeping my coupons in an envelope which is great BUT twice now my envelope shredded down the side and all my coupons went EVERYWHERE. So I invested i nthis ADORABLE coupon pouch. Yipee!

 
I absolutely LOVE it!! I had all my coupons organized and that made this shopping trip super fun! Hope all is well with you guys! REmember if you haven't left me your blog link in a comment please do! I want to get back to reading your guys' awesome blogs <3

Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Weekend Update

Happy Saturday!

I am writing this post from my parents' house. I'm here looking after my brother who's just not doing well. He had to have another surgery to clear out the infection in his arm and maybe will need another 1-2 if the infection doesn't resolve. Ugh. Poor kid, I feel so bad for him. My parents are both working today so I came down to spend the day with him...but he likes to sleep until noon or later so, until he gets up I'm going to drink some coffee, relax and take some quiet time for me!!

This morning I had a delicious breakfast of turkey sausage and 2 pancakes. Yum! I have been pretty good staying on plan, not sure what today looks like since I'm not at home but my mom said she got hummus for me at the store so I believe I can have soe hummus, veggies and Triscuits for lunch. Woot, yay healthy meal planning!

Another thing I wanted to put out here on my blog is that given my recent work stress, I have stared thinking about my options. I'm a nurse, so I can segue into many different fields. I could go and be a professor, I could decide I want to work at a clinic or, in my case,I was thinking about legal nurse consulting. When I was in highschool and before I decided to become a nurse, I looked at many liberal arts colleges including several prelaw programs. I actually almost chose a school in New York with a 3 x 3 program which is an intensive 3 year prelaw/bachelors degree and then 3 years of law school, culminating in full licensure and certification and job placement by the age of 24! But I decided that I would prefer to work in medicine...

But now this LNC program would allow me to keep my nursing and go into law too. I am still doing a lot of research on this, it seems like the program would be about $2000 dollars which, if you ask me, is doable. Especially since when I got a LNC job, it would come with a big pay raise. It's definitely not about the money though (although when you're going to spend that much out of pocket, you definitely need to consider the financial aspect!!) but it's also about my stress. I think the day to day patient care aspect is extremely demanding both physically and mentally. Whereas working with legal cases would still be challenging (Which I like) but not as personally overwhelming, I also would not have to worry about going out in megabad snowstorms and such as the schedule seems more flexible and I could work from home too, possibly. Like I said, I'm still sort of putting all the pieces together! But those are my most secret inner thoughts!

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend planned. For those of you who are working I hope it's quiet and calm! Have a good one!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Par for the Course

Hi all,

Work is still driving me closer to the brink of insanity. And now my brother is not well either. He had surgery to fix his shoulder (this is the THIRD surgery he's had) and then it seems there is a massive infection. They rushed him into surgery this afternoon, the poor baby. So now on top of work I feel the stress and pressure of being the only nurse in the family settling in. I just am so stressed...

BUT I did not stress eat. I almost caught myself today after another 10+ hour day. I ate some healthy snacks in my car and then I didn't get to eat lunch until 4:30pm...after I ate my lunch I still felt hungry and so I had a weight watchers ice cream. It almost turned into a binge but I didn't let it! YAY! I drank a huge glass of water instead and then realized I wasn't even hungry at all anyore, I ate a good healthy portioned lunch and had an appropriate dessert and I'll be fine until dinner which I'm planning on having around 6:30/7pm. Tonight I'm doing a salad with chicken and light caesar dressing. I bought a Dole Light Caesar kit with everything in it and then I have some shredded parmesean. It's a healthy, yummy, filling meal! Yay!

This weekend I am going to hunker down, CLEAN MY HOUSE since it has reached pigsty level (at least in my opinion). It's not actually that bad just very cluttered with things that need to be thrown out. I am going to purge and cleanse, relax, catch up on some junk TV and just VEG. I need this so bad. I really do.

Hope everyone is having a good day. TGIF!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Weigh In Wednesday & Coupon Extravaganza

Hi all!

Well what a huge wet snowy mess CT is today, woof! It was quite the winter wonderland out there!! I got up early and my mom and I were chatting and enjoying each other's company. I weighed in this morning...REALLY unhappy with myself for letting my weight get back up. The scale said 297.8 today. UGH. I was really upset. And am still really upset. I did splurge a little bit last night. I was running low on healthy food, basically I had no veggies left, etc and the chicken I took out for dinner for me and my mom TWO DAYS AGO...was still freaking frozen SOLID! Ugh. So we ended up ordering chinese. I only ate half my meal and then put it away for lunch today, that was a really good choice on my part! I'm focusing on healthy meals and such this week!!! I'm going to try not and let me beat myself up over gaining weight back...I slipped and now I'm picking myself up, dusting myself off and continuing on my way.

So...WELCOME TO THE FIRST COUPONING EXTRAVAGANZA SEGMENT.

Today, as usual, I went to Target and Stop & Shop for my weekly grocery shopping and couponing extravaganza. I had a lot of great coupons today! I want to start off by giving you some resources that YOU can use for couponing. I know there are a lot of beginners out there who don't know where to start OR they're afraid they're going to get on some phony website and end up with a computer virus. Believe me, I don't want that! So I want to start today's couponing lesson with how to organize yourself to get some deals. I am going to use Target as my example (That's where I always go) but you should use whatever store that YOU like to shop at most often. Walmart, Kroger, Costcos...whatever floats your boat!

Why Target, you might ask? For one thing, they have major deals over grocery stores. Plus, I can get 90% of my food and personal care items...my target is NOT a fresh grocery store but they do have a huge food section with MANY items. But they do not carry fresh produce ( I get all of that at Stop & Shop). I also have a Target Redcard and I get 5% off every time I shop! That's a huge savings on top of what I already save using coupons.

STEP ONE:

First of all, I always start off with my Sunday paper. I know that coupons are regional, some of you don't recieve any OR you don't get a Sunday paper. What I can say is that I only get a paper on Sundays and the amount I save in coupons FAR outweighs what I pay for a paper yearly. 1 year Sunday subscription to the Hartford Courant is approxminate $150 dollars. But you have to understand that last week I saved almost $75 and this week I saved $55...right there is practically the entire subscription cost in just TWO months. If you do this right, you'll more than make back the cost of the paper.

I get a variety of coupons in the paper. I start by grabbing my good old Target circular!! **At this point if you do not have a paper, go online and check out your favorite store's weekly ciruclar. Believe me, I would say 99.9% of stores have these available online now!** This is essential for finding savings! I read the ciruclar to see what is on sale, keeping in mind the things that I need an ALWAYS buy, for example: hummus, 100 Calorie Packs, fruit leather, egg beaters, etc. Then I go through my coupon pages and clip coupons for things I need to buy now AND later. This isn't a difficult exercise. You know what you will need to buy! And if you're not sure, clip it anyway! This really doesn't take my time!

STEP TWO:

After I clip coupons from the paper, THEN I go on Target Coupons.  These are AWESOME because with every item you purchase, Target allows you to use 1 Manufactuer's Coupon AND 1 Target Coupon!! For example, this week I had a Target coupon for $2 Off When you Buy any TWO Skinny Cow Bars. I used this coupon AND I had 2 $1 off One Skinny Cow Bars that I got from taking this silly survey: http://lol.skinnycow.com/. In total, that meant I got $3 off on 2 boxes of bars. The bars started at $3.49/box with 6 snacks in each box. Then you take $3 off, so it's almost like getting a box for FREE.  Total price PER candy is $0.33. WOW! BIG SAVINGS! WOO!

STEP THREE:

Once I have my coupons clipped from the paper and from Target Coupons. Then I go to www.coupons.com. This is a safe site with MANY deals! This is the one I use religiously and it's been great. Go through and pick the coupons you want to print, then send them right to the printer. Easy as pie!

STEP FOUR:

I have two websites that I check on a daily basis: http://hip2save.com/ AND http://www.totallytarget.com/. These people FOR THEIR JOB actually go to stores and find major deals. That takes a lot of time and effort off me. They alert you to deals and specials. I've had a LOT of success with this!

That's it, folks! I organize all of my coupons in a plain envelope. I don't have a binder or anything. I find it easier if everything is in the envelope then I just flick through and get my coupons out. My total today before I had coupons was $215.63. I saved $54.17 with coupons then got an additional $6.44 from using my Redcard. All told, I got weekly groceries PLUS stocked up on 100 Calorie Snack packs, fruit snacks, I got a Real Simple MAgazine (I have a 50 cent off coupon for it), a Paula Dean 12quart Stockpot for myself which was on sale for $25 (and I've been needing one for a long time), 12 Lean Cuisines, tortellini, egg beaters, iced coffee (International Delight), sausage, Tyson Grillers Chicken breast...and many more. I also used the $25 of free gift cards I got from stocking up on items last week...

My total?

Drumroll please...

$126.10

(Now if I could only get my weight there, haha).

 Hope everyone has a great day! If you have ANY QUESTIONS! Leave a message here and I'll be happy to answer them. Also, as I requested before, blogger ate all my blogs I used to follow so if you write a blog, please leave a link so I can add you to my reading list! Thanks!

P.P.S

Look at this sweet stockpot I scored for $25 bucks! I have needed one for a LONG time. And this one matches my pans!! LOVE Paula Dean! THis is still included in my 126.10 too! It's like I got it free with the giftcards I had from last week's trip!!!!!

LOVE!


Monday, January 14, 2013

Day by Day

Hi all!

Your love and support and prayers are so strong. Thank you! After taking Sunday to detox I felt a lot better Monday morning. I put on my big girl pants and went into work with a smile on my face. And I had a pretty good day. Yes, it was busy. But I ate a good breakfast and had some coffee that I made at home, and made it happen. It worked out just fine. Tomorrow is going to be busy but I know tomorrow evening when I get home that my mom is coming over and I am doing some extreme couponing tomorrow...

I have an amazing couponing segment lined up for Wednesday. PLUS my restarting weigh in (I really am not looking forward to that, bleh). I forgot to mention that I have a special goal in mind! I want to be down 30 pounds before April 20th...because I am playing Joanne in a production of Godspell! I auditioned back in November and I got the part! It's a lot to take on but I love acting and performing...and I want to feel my best before I get up there for all to see. Between dance rehearsals and eating right, exercising, it's possible! That is an average of about 2-3lbs per week, btw, that's not an insane goal! Don't worry!!

Hope everyone is having a good Monday!!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hooray!!!!!!!


Happy Sunday!

I called in this morning to get my assignment and they don't need me to work today. God is so good!! I have been praying very hard to get a break. If I didn't get today off I'd have 2 more days on before I got 1 day off. So this is a very welcome relief after having already worked all week and Saturday.

Last night I could hardly sleep, I felt so horrible and anxious. I kept mulling over my bad day and everything about it. I don't know what time I fell asleep (I got in bed around 9:30pm) but I woke up before my alarm, feeling well rested. You can't beat that! I made myself a cup of coffee with a little bit of half and half and read the paper. I'm getting another week of couponing all queued up!!

Recently (as in over the last 3 months) I have really started getting into couponing, I've always used coupons but I never really focused on the deals that I could find. I just bought things I needed and if there was a coupon, great! But now I'm looking at things I need to buy, checking the Target circuar (I always shop target because I have a RedCard and get 5% off on top of my deals) and their coupons online, clipping from the paper and using Coupons.Com!! All in all, my couponing takes about 20 minutes... last week at Target I saved $73.76 using coupons, then I got $7.33 off from my RedCard and then I got $25 worth of giftcards back with the promotion they were running! Not to mention I am completely set for at LEAST one year (if not more) with: toothpaste, garbage bags, paper towels, toilet bowl cleaner and tissues. At LEAST six months (if not more) with dishwasher detergent, toilet paper, and feminine hygiene products. These are all items that won't go bad that I can store in my garage and in the bathroom withou cluttering things up...and I saved an insane amount of money!


My total before any discounts was $252... now this includes ALL of the stocking up items AND all of my weekly groceries (including 10 Lean Cuisines). With my coupons and everything, my total (AFTER tax) was 170.90...and then on top of that I have $25 in giftcards to use the next time I am at the store. Not too shabby, eh? I'm set for a year plus on many essential items, so imagine taking all of that off your weekly grocery bill... that makes me a very happy lady!

Look for my Wednesday Couponing Extravaganza (And weigh in) this week <3

****P.S. For some reason Blogger ate ALL OF THE BLOGS I USED TO FOLLOW!! When I first came back o my blog all of the ones I had were gone. I don't know why this happened. But if you have a blog, can you leave me a link so I can add them to my blog list? You all are the best!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Rough Day

Well,

I ended by day bawling my eyes out in my car on the way back home to chart 2 very difficult admissions and a revisit (which wasn't that bad). My first admission I spent three whole hours being verbally abused by a patient...it was one of the most horrible, degrading experiences in my life and I could say nothing about it. I was already shaking and upset when I left there and went to the second admission. This patient was very sweet but was incredibly sick, it was very stressful for me. My last visit of the day was an adorable person who actually made my day bearable. She reminded me of why I became a nurse... BTW It wasn't to be verbally abused and degraded.

After I got home I was in tears, under so much stress after working ALL week then being forced to work the weekend. I talked at length to the weekend supervisor (I kept all of my personal feelings out of it, go me!) and she stated she took it to a higher power w/ how the patient treated me.

Of course as I'm in the middle of my stress breakdown, my mom called and insisted on coming over. She also brought me some thai food. I love thai food and its healthier than other takeout! I had drunken noodles with tofu and veggies, lots of water and I felt better. It also helped to talk things over with my mom. I still feel horrible and stressed but I can do this. I can. I need to.

Prayers would be appreciated for my sanity today.

Friday, January 11, 2013

So much stress...

Hi all!

I need to rant and rave a little bit today because if I don't, I feel like I might explode.

Work has been absolutely killing me lately. I am getting everything piled up on me as we have had a ton of staffing changes. We used to have 6 RNs on staff...now we have 2. Between maternity leave, poor performance, illness and leaving to pursue other oppertunities, this is what it's come down to. Tons of pressure and stress on top of the 2 of us. On top of that, there is always HUGE stress being a nurse around the holidays. I flew to Chicago for my cousin's wedding the week before Christmas, and it was so hard. I flew in Friday, the wedding was Saturday and then Sunday at 4am I had to be back at the airport to go home so I could work on Christmjas Eve. My head was spinning...then with Christmas everything was stress city, I had to work NYE and New Year's Day. Patients are very sick now, everything is changing at the ofice...and now I've worked all week AND I am stuck working this weekend. And they've already told me its going to be a busy one. Not to mention if we work the weekend we're supposed to get 2 days off during the week...but since we have no staff, they already told me I can't have days off next week. UGH!

I am trying not to lose my mind...

I love my job, my patients, and nursing...

I just need a break! I don't think that's too much to ask!!!

Tonight I feel like eating my feelings. I'm starving but I KNOW its not real hunger. I've been doing good since I started yesterday. I had some cereal for breakfast and my "treat" was a coffee from Dunkin Donuts. I also needed this coffee to survive today!!!!! For lunch (when I got home at 2pm) was a lean cuisine. BEST decision I made this week was to have something quick and easy because I made a healthy choice and I didn't stop for fast food or anything. For dinner I'm thinking I may make a pizza from my freezer and just eat an appropriate portion, then save some for lunch tomorrow. I think that'll be a good choice. I am tracking on sparkpeople and drinking plenty of water. Tonight I plan on detoxing and relaxing, just letting myself rest before what promises to be a busy weekend.

Despite it all, I am keeping a positive attitude. Writing this post actually helped me come to terms with how I was feeling (So thanks for listening). I joked wih my supervisor that I was going to be earning the big bucks that I'm worth this weekend! :)

Hope you all are having a much less stressful Friday than I am! Happy weekend! Get out there and enjoy it for me!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Year, New Look, New Me

Hello Everybody! Long time no see!!

I would love to tell you that in my hiatus that I was a good girl who kept tracking and eating well and running...but that's not the case. The holidays and life got the better of me. I fell off the wagon and let it run me right over!

Lately I woke up and realized that I don't feel my best, that I can be better and I deserve better! I decided not to go back to Jenny Craig right now, since its far too expensive for me at this time in my life, and focus on doing it on my own. I started with tracking my food and water on Sparkpeople again. It's always a shock to me that I don't gain weight because I eat too MANY calories...its because I'm on a constant cycle of eating too few and then when I do eat a big meal, it all sticks because my body is in starvation mode. Not good.

My first goal for my first week back is to eat breakfast EVERY DAY! It's always been a struggle for me to eat in the mornings. I feel nauseous and horrible...but if I don't set myself up right, I can't continue through the day. I bought some Lean Cuisine this week because they were on sale at Target. (On a side note: I've started really branching out with my extreme couponing, so a new segment on my blog will include Couponing Wednesday :) I hope you like it! Everyone keeps asking me how I'm doing it so I think my blog is a good place to start!!) I am planning on eating cleaner but right now with work and life being SO overwhelming, I need some help with portion control and Lean Cuisines are an easy thing to throw in when I literally cannot handle anything else that day.


I haven't weighed in. Frankly I'm a little scared...I'll do that next week on Wednesday. In the meantime, I will be checking in as often as I can! I love you guys! I hope you're not too mad that I disappeared!

<3
Katelyn