Thursday, October 31, 2013

Product Review

I'm all about giving reviews on products I've used and love.....so it's only right to give you a review of a product that isn't that great.

My one grandson turned 5 in September.  He had told me that he "hoped" someone would get him an iPad for his birthday.

Being his grandma, of course I did that - okay, not exactly.....he's only 5 and I'm not an Apple person.  So I opted on a cheap android tablet.

I did some research at Amazon and ended up ordering 7" Matricom .Tab Nero which they were selling for $66.00.  For some reason I keep seeing these at a much higher price now ($269 on Amazon at the moment); trust me it's not worth that much.

The tablet arrives, he loves it, etc...  However, a week later his 3 year old brother had it in hand and 5 year old grabbed it from him and it flung across the room and fell into 2 pieces.  No big deal, I had taken out an accident plan and within a week I had the newer version (.Tab Nero 2) in hand.  I also ordered another for 3 year old for Christmas and two cases.

I take it to him, he uses it.  Within 2 days it stops powering up.  His Mom says at first it refused to power off and they had to let the battery run down; but after that despite much charging it wouldn't boot back up.  No big deal, it was still returnable to Amazon and I'd just give him the Christmas one so he didn't have down time AGAIN.  I got home, pulled out the other and despite it working perfectly when it first arrived - it now wouldn't power up either despite some charging.  So I had to return them both.  Though I'll get full refunds, I've no doubt that they will arrive at Amazon and power up perfectly for them thus costing me a 15% stocking fee because well, that's just how life seems to work for me.

Obviously this tablet has some power issues and despite the many stars at Amazon there are many reviews complaining that it worked a few days and then that was it....so it isn't just us, probably a bad lot.

I opted to order an entirely different brand this time around settling on a Coby.  Coby is what hubby has and it's been a well used little tablet.  However, unknown to me when I bought it...Coby's are not compatible with the Google App Store.  I had to do a "jail break" to get that on there for him...and just for the record that means that the warranty goes kaput if the "jail break" fails.  So when buying Coby's read the description - if it mentions any app store other than google - it can't access it.  HOWEVER, a new one came out that is Google Certified and that's the one I bought for my grandson; hopefully it will arrive next week.

So remember you get what you pay for.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

When You Feel Like Quitting......

"When You Feel Like Quitting, 
Think About Why You Started."

This is a saying I have hanging above my desk.  When I think about it, it should be hanging on my mirror so I can see it every morning as well.

Weight Loss is hard; reaching a goal is hard; maintaining is hard; staying there for a life time is hard.  When you've done the plan successfully before; and this time around it's not working - it's hard.

When you work very hard to stay on plan and the scale greets you with a gain - it's heartbreaking.  I know, I've been there many times.

It's that nasty scale that everyone depends on for their weight loss success.

CC had a gain this week that just didn't sit well with her since she knew she'd stuck to plan and counted everything this week.  Though the gain was such a small amount, most would overlook it completely....I know how she felt; I've been there way too many times.  So we did what anyone else would do.....something we should not have - we skipped out on the meeting and drowned our sorrows in bad food.  Yep, you read that right - we did nothing but make the situation worse.

A very common response, and this morning I saw the quote above at my desk and realized how I failed myself but more importantly CC who needed the encouragement to move on and not give up.  I think I mentioned in the last post we can sometimes be each others worse enemies in the weight loss department, this is a good example of that.

Some of my favorite blogs decided to post about the almighty scale and it's hold over you.

Fit and Free Emily talked about "letting go without giving up".

Roni did a 45 minute podcast on "sticking it out; goal setting; done with dieting; and food ruts" plus a Wednesday Weigh-In where she decided she was done with the scale.

Two bloggers who have been very successful with weight loss and have decided they don't need to be a slave to the scale anymore.  It's nice to know it doesn't have to always be that way.

Weight Watchers has you weigh-in - that's there only determination for your success.  Sure, the leaders talk about measuring yourself (especially if you're an exerciser) and how your clothes are fitting - all other signs of success commonly known as NSV (non-scale victories); BUT the only thing that counts is what that scale says every week.  So you become a slave to what is on that scale.

I remember watching an episode of Sister Wives (don't judge me) where second wife Janelle had been struggling with losing weight.  Oh, she had dropped considerably in weight and sizes; worked out faithfully and was healthier than she's ever been....BUT that scale just wasn't showing the numbers.  Her trainer asked her to bring her scale from home with her the next time she came to the gym.  She did and he walked her to the parking lot, put the scale on the ground and handed her a sledge hammer!!  At first, she didn't want to....but she did and mentioned it was so liberating!

I posted that story over on the Weight Watchers boards.....someone posted what a terrible trainer he was and what horrible advice that was yadda, yadda, yadda....  Someone, whom Weight Watchers has convinced, that the scale is the only way to victory.  That's so very sad.

I'm not bashing Weight Watchers, I understand they need to have a way to do the program but they need to explain to not become attached to that square little item you step on each week.  It's not the only success that exists.  They need training to help people to brush off the bad weigh-ins without totally ruining your journey and they need to explain how to move on from there.

The scale isn't the only way to victory.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I'm Still Here!!

Yes, I know it's been a week or two....BUSY!!

Last week I weighed in at a 1.2 lb. loss; this week I stayed the same.  Both are great, but I know I could do so much better if I'd get my butt in gear!

Our Weight Watcher leader Joan always wants us to write down a very small doable goal each week and then come back next week and share.  I decided to make mine "snacks".  Now I know what you are thinking...snacks?  That's a goal? Isn't snacking how you gain weight?  Well yes, but you really can't deprive yourself or you'll go completely off plan.  I know all about fresh veggies and fruits as healthy snacks...what I needed was some true snacks.

I try to keep potato chips off limits at all costs.  I just overdue it every time.  So I was looking for something I did the first time I did WW and remembered this:

VEGGIE SCOOPS....you can do dozens of things with these baked scoops.  So at the store I hunted them down and bought a bag.  I then thought how great these would be with Laughing Cow Light Queso Fresco & Chipotle Wedges; so I headed to that aisle and then thought, hey what about those real thin pretzels as they go well with the Laughing Cow wedges as well.  So I headed over to the cracker aisle and found Pretzel Crisps.  Now with my salt craving taken care of I needed something sweet and I found Low Fat Graham Crackers and then decided on that Laughing Cow again - they make cream cheeses too!  And tonight I had 2 graham crackers topped with Laughing Cow Cinnamon cream cheese wedge - DELICIOUS!!

So backing up, rethinking, recharging.....

Brooke Not On A Diet has reintroduced me to smoothies and frankly she has given more ideas than I thought were possible.  So in the mornings I've been making this smoothie:

1 pack Weight Watchers smoothie mix (chocolate or vanilla)
1 cup skim milk
1 cup water
1 banana
1 TB.  PB2
2 tsp canola oil
1 cup fresh spinach
ice

This baby keeps me full for HOURS and I've taken care of some of the Good Health Guidelines!  Putting 2 oils in takes care of those for the day. Milk gives me one of my dairies (sometime I'll throw a vanilla yogurt in and take care of both dairies) and I got a fruit and vegetable in there!!  And in case you are wondering - no, you cannot taste the spinach AT ALL.  It is a little pointy, but remember I do consider it a meal.  As it is above, it comes to 7 points; if I add in the yogurt it comes to 9 points.  If you run it through the WW Recipe builder it will come out much more as the recipe builder counts points for the banana and spinach.  You choose how you want to do that.

Also Brooke has just become a WW Leader in her area!!  She's also been doing some "Weight Watchers Back To The Basics" postings at her blog.  I just discovered her and you should check her out too!!

CC and I are heading out shopping this Saturday which will involve eating...this can be good as we can help each other out; but at the same time we can be each others worst enemy in that department!!  Success, we've got to keep our eyes on the prize!!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Square Trade

When I come across a good product, I like to pass it along.

I bought my 5 year old grandson a tablet for his birthday.  It wasn't an expensive one; I found it on Amazon.com.  There was an option for a one year accident warranty for $9.99.  At first I was going to skip over it, but then I thought for $9.99 it may be worth having.  After purchasing however, I looked up reviews and saw nothing but complaints.  I figured I had just wasted $9.99.

Colton had the tablet less than a week when he grabbed it from his brother's hands and it hit the floor.  The display was now distorted.

I got online and begin the accident plan process.  After filling everything out, it told me more info was needed and I had to call the 800 number.  I thought "here we go".   After being on hold about 5 minutes, a very nice young man answered the phone.  I told him the issue (as it turns out the website was half working which is why it directed me to call).  Within less than 30 seconds, he approved my claim.  He then told me that since the purchase was less than 30 days, they would just refund my purchase amount.  They would email me a UPS label to send the old one and as soon as they were notified that it shipped, my refund would be on it's way via check, paypal or amazon gift card.  I chose the gift card since I would be repurchasing through Amazon anyway, he informed me that the gift card included an additional $5.00.  The whole call took less than 5 minutes.

And people were complaining about this company????

So I went ahead a reordered the new one (which is actually the upgrade now) and naturally took out the accident warranty on it!  I mean why wouldn't I?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Whew!

It's really been a busy few days!!

About 2 years ago or so we bought this at a local thrift store:


It was only $125 for all three pieces and it served us very very well over the years.  But as the title of my blog states - we did have a few issues!  We turned cushions over and such, but eventually there was no more turning as of this week (I have no idea after so long of no chewing that someone decided to tear up a good side of a cushion). None-the-less, it was time to start looking again.

FaceBook has many "yard sale" groups; they seem to have taken away from FreeCycle; anyway I'm going down through postings on one of the groups and come across a 3 piece set for $100.  It looked as if it is in good shape and no one had ever replied to the postings now about 2 weeks old.  I asked if it was still available and it was.  After some pming back and forth, hubby and I went up Friday to look at it, liked it and rounded up the help of CC, her hubby and my stepston and got it today.  Now we have this:



They are a little longer than our old ones, but so far so good!  And it beats the old torn up one!  And it's getting the living room a good cleaning and I plan on doing a face lift on the living room soon anyway - it's been 6 years, needs it.


Today was my niece's baby shower - making the getting the furniture in the morning, then to the baby shower - a really exhausting day!!