Sunday, March 27, 2011

Furniture Fiasco of 2011

So, I do not like to do marathon shopping days. I'll last a while if I am fed occasionally. So on February 13th, the Hubbs and I went TV stand hunting.

It all started at Target, the furniture quality did not seem to match the higher price ($250-ish) and the low price stuff was going to fall apart if we sneezed too hard. We liked how it looked, but we knew we could do better.

Then we decided to head up the Pike, hitting several stores:
Pier One - awesome store, but didn't have the furniture we were looking for.
Haverty's - beautiful store, awesome customer service, I was not about to pay $700 for a flippin' TV stand. 
Room Store - kinda dingy, sales people were too busy talking about their weekend to help us, prices and selection were not that great anyway.

At this point I was done, but being a good wife I agreed to Marlo. There we hunted for a TV stand and found one we liked! It was pricey at $400, but it was solid and would last us. So it took the (not to be ageist or racist) older, foreign guy about an hour to process our order. I was frustrated but we left with a TV stand ordered and a painting in hand (buying the painting got us free delivery).

Two weeks later our delivery Saturday came, the guys showed up and dropped off a big box. They asked me to sign, I asked them to assemble it. They said that wasn't part of the deal, I guess I misheard the sales guy. Hubbs and I go to set the thing up and its a coffee table. WTH?

I call the customer service line who says my TV stand is on the truck still and the guys are in Gaithersburg and she'll call me back with an update. I get no call, so I call and of course the customer service line is closed. I call the store and am not allowed to speak with a manager, I have to speak with the little old sales guy who tells me he can set up a swap on Tuesday because they do not deliver on Sunday or Monday, and I tell him I need the earliest time slot because its my day off. He says some one will call me Monday to confirm a time frame.

I call them Monday to find out my pick-up (NOT delivery or swap) is scheduled for Wednesday (a day that I work 7am-7pm) and I have to set up a separate delivery time, but there are no more of what I ordered in stock. UGG! They can sense my frustration and just tell me they will refund me my money.

The workers come to pick-up the box on Saturday and instantly say "That's a coffee table, not a TV stand." Where were you a week ago?

I call the store to confirm the pick-up and they inform me I have to come back to the store to get the refund. OMG. I am about to... no, I lost it!!

I contacted the BBB and told them my story. Two days later, I get a call from a corporate manager pouring apologies all over me. She offered me a $100 gift certificate, which I declined and stated "Lady, I don't even want anything for free from your company." She apologized more. Then she offered to have me fax directly to her office my credit card info so she could refund me with out me returning to Marlo. I added she can also apply that gift certificate to the painting we have hanging so I don't have to return that either. She did. I was happy.

A week later, I found something I liked at World I went to World Market on Friday and bought it. The Hubbs is currently assembling it. <3

The end... almost... I'll post a pic of the awesome, stylish Hako TV Stand when it's done.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MyFitnessPal = my fitness friend

Created by MyFitnessPal - Nutrition Facts For Foods

I started MyFitnessPal about a week ago and, even with its quirks, I really like it. Its format is very similar to LiveStrong (count calories and exercise), but is more of a community forum. The calorie counter is almost as nice as Daily Plate's, but the food selection is just not quite as good. MFP is all about people encouraging people. There are tons of blogs and an endless sea of advice.

You have your own news feed, kind of like Facebook, where people can comment on your progress and workouts. I think having people keep tabs on you keeps you motivated and is encouraging.

I only have a few friends on MFP by-choice - and only one is someone I met on site. The news feeds can get a little out of control and distracting with strangers, so having people I actually know on it is nice.

If anyone wants to be my "Pal", lemme know! :)

Good luck and stay healthy!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Me = Not Lame

This is why I am lame:
 So, I kinda let my diet fall by the wayside... weigh side... more like waist-side... I have eaten horribly for the past week or so... I still worked out a little, but I did not get hardcore into workout #3 of The Shred. I got a little sick, work started kicking my butt... Excuses, excuses...

This is why I am not lame:
No more excuses! I'm getting back into it. I have been using LiveStrong, but I think I may switch to MyFitnessPal just for a little bit of a change and kind of a 'reset'. I'll let you know which I like better.

As far as how I feel about The Shred:
Its pretty good. After about 2 1/2 weeks, I went for a run and ran 20 minutes straight without cramping up or anything. I even sprinted the last minute. Before the Shred, I was so out of shape I could barely run ten minutes without getting a stitch in my side.  I also noticed that my clothes fit better, and I felt better about myself. The number on the scale did not change much, despite counting calories. I got a little discouraged, but have found that this happens to several women regardless of the type of exercise and diet. The point is, don't let one measurement throw off your psyche. Stick to it and you will earn your results.

It does not have enough cardio for a sustainable workout routine though. The best workout for your heart is 30 minutes of sustained cardiovascular exercise (running, swimming, dancing) at least 3 times a week. You do not start burning fat until after 15-20 minutes of rigorous, sustained cardio. In the first ten minutes, you are burning calories/carbs, but your body's increased oxygen demand is what burns fat. The best way to track this is the keep up your target heart rate. Most exercise machines have heart rate monitors, or you can count your heart rate for 6 seconds and multiply by 10 (i.e. 12 beats in 6 seconds is 120 beats per minute). The Shred does, however, provide good strength training/circuit training to build up muscle to boost your metabolism even when at rest. 

The warms-ups in The Shred are pretty decent, especially in workout #2 &3. However, there is definitely not enough stretching at the end of the workouts - I think there is only 90 seconds dedicated to "cool down". No stretch should be held for less than 20-30 seconds!

So the best workout is really one of variety. Sustained cardio mixed with strength training. And don't forget to stretch!

Good luck ladies and gents.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Workout No. 2 = death

Seriously. The second work out is no joke. I was cruising through the first one by day ten, I thought I'd be totally fine with the second workout.

I am a sweaty mess. It was probably quite comical to watch me do all that. Maybe day 12 will be more successful.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 10 of The Shred

I think I may have injured a muscle in my thigh. It really only hurts when I do a low squat or lunge. I have tried to stretch it, but no full relief. Today I suppose I will rest from the Shred. I may do a little elliptical just to get my heart rate up, though.

I have really noticed a change in my body and my strength already. The number on the scale isn't changing much, but I feel good about myself, so I am not real disappointed. This has been about a healthy lifestyle for me and not really for getting a bangin' bod... but that would be nice too. ;)

I am also using to track my calories and workouts. It's a great tool because I can use the website or I can use the app on my phone. Super easy.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Ok. So post holidays and after about 6 months of just being plain lazy, the hubbs and I decided we needed to make a change to not be so "fluffly". We decided to go veggie for a little while to explore new foods and sort of jump start a healthy lifestyle.

In addition, yesterday we started the Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred Challenge. Its only 20 minutes a day. I can totally do that. We took some before pictures today, which I will reveal when I have after pictures... The "befores" are not pretty. The first level is really quad and hamstring intense with a little bit of arms and abs too. Today is day 2 and my tush hurts, for real. I'll have a bikini butt in to time.

Doing it with the hubbs makes things a lot easier. We can motivate each other, and the workout seems to go by quicker when someone is suffering with you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Anniversary: The First of Many!

We had an awesome anniversary weekend. We got to spend time just the two of us all weekend long. We never get to do that because we are always hanging out with our families or friends or the Redskins (bye week!).

Friday night we went to La Paneterria in Bethesda. It was amazing. The best pesto I have ever had in my life. It was a cute little Italian hole in the wall restaurant.

We decided to do a night of "stay-cation." We rented a cute hotel room at The Henley Park Hotel. It has beautiful architecture and an old-timey feel. Even the elevators had nice tapestry! We grabbed some lunch at the Cozy Corner Cafe - I had a veggie pannini and a root beer made with cane sugar (not syrup). Yum! 

Saturday night we went to The Kennedy Center and saw Hair. It was a fun show. Sort of a 1970s music review with a little bit of plot mixed in. It was fun to get all dressed up and do something we hadn't done before. Prior to the show (for dinner, bomb diggity crabcakes) and afterwards (for dessert and drinks) we went to The Old Ebbitt Grill (an old stompin' ground of ours). It has a really nice atmosphere and the bar tenders are always nice. We usually sit at the oyster bar since its tucked away a little from the crowd.

Sunday we slept all stinkin' day. It was awesome and glorious. Nick woke up at 5:30p and I started to make us dinner. In a casserole dish, I baked rice, fish and veggies with a little Italian spice and chicken broth. It was literally that simple and yummy. We also opened a bottle of wine that we got at our wedding shower. Can you believe we held onto a bottle of wine for over a year? Yea, me either. It was delicious. We also cracked open the top tier of our wedding cake. Can you believe we didn't open some delicious cake for over a year? Yea, me either. The cake was actually awesome. I had kept it wrapped in cling wrap and then aluminum foil in our freezer.

Our gifts to each other: I got him a tie clip (he has actually been dying to have one) and a business card holder (a stretch on the "paper" anniversary). He got me some awesome drawing pencils and sketching paper. :)