Tuesday, July 09, 2019

Show Us Your Books

Life According to Steph

I was reading a blog post and one of the comments sent me off in a search.. It about borrowing digital books right to her Kindle and how that was so much easier these days. Within minutes, I had a new elibrary card to the St Louis Library and Libby downloaded. I had waitlisted 3 books, borrowed 1 and discovered borrowing Audiobooks with Libby as well.  That was last Thursday...

Since then I have finished:

Crazy Rich Asians on Audiobook

I liked this far more than I thought I would.. I will admit I checked it out to see what the hype was over the movie. I also started watching the movie, however, I will not finish that. I know so many love the movie, but in my opionion, it's another case of the story being lost due to time constraints on film and frankly, the 20 minutes I have watched of the movie I do not like.  I have already download China Rich Girlfriend on Audiobook (and have started listing on my commute) and have a hold on the 3rd Audiobook.  I recommend the book - especially if you have only seen the move.. So much has been lost in putting this into film

What Alice Forgot:

I liked it, the start was a bit slow for me and thankfully it picked up quick, I will not finish a book that doesn't hook me within the first 4 chapters or so. I have never been able to force myself to read a book that wasn't a school assigned read. This is a good quick poolside read once you get past the first few chapters. 

Still Me: 

I loved this trilogy - puffy sticker heart loved it. I think it put a very nice bow on Louisa's life and ended well. I loved Margot - and have my eye on the collection of short stories JoJo took the character from. 

On my now reading/listening to list: 

On Audio                                                                                                    on Kindle 

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Monday, July 08, 2019

Time Flies

It is wild to me that I have been in St Louis for a little over a year now. I arrived here with a broken heart, a u-haul with a few things, towing my car and my cat. I had no plan and no clues.  I did have a tribe of hugely supportive women and a desire to really live my life.  After a few weeks, I had a job and an apartment.  A few weeks after that I had furniture. I also had found more confidence in myself.

This July I look back and I don't even recognize the woman who crash landed in St Louis:

Tomorrow I start back to school. I have enrolled in a Bachelors of Science in Business program. I have spent the last few months dealing with the red tape involved in getting student loans which is always a pain in the ass but more so when factor in having to disentangle someone else's income from yours because you no longer are in that household, that income no longer applies to you BUT when you enroll in school for 2019 - 2020 the 2016 income tax return is what determines your financial aid.. 

I have been living by myself for a year, I had never before lived on my own, I was terrified when I came to St Louis, scared to death at how I was going to do this. Yet, I just did it. I took a lease out on my own, I didn't even have to consult with a single person on the apartment I chose (I did make sure that the part of town I chose was a good choice). When my beloved car finally gave up after 15 years, I went to the dealership and obtained a car loan on my own, I chose the vehicle I wanted, didn't have to ask a soul if they liked it. I love it - that's all that matters.

I still have that wonderfully supportive tribe behind me - and I've added a few more members. I smile more often now, I laugh harder and louder. I now no longer come home and wonder, how did I get here, how is THIS my life.

** I do plan to blog more, I have some book updates, a vacation post (I have to get the pictures off my camera) and now school updates.  My life is totally different and I look forward to sharing the new chapters 

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Confessions of a Keto Quitter

So I followed a keto plan for 21 days.. and then I said no more.

The following disclaimer applies - This is my experience - if it works for you go for it. I also am not a doctor nor do I play one on the internet.

Things were great - at first - and I had mostly avoided the "keto flu" just a bit of brain fogginess. I was actually enjoying the lack of bloat I had. I had started to think okay wow I can sustain this long term..

Then I started having issues - I was exhausted, the euphoric state that pretty much all keto lovers talked about was not happening. I thought ok this will pass. Only it did not and I started digging further into the keto research - yes I had researched it before I started - but now I started digging deeper. 

I was tired, I was cranky, I peed constantly, and I know TMI but my bladder hurt. Like ached.  The more frequent urination is common - its a sign your body is going into ketosis. It is supposed to subside. Mine did not and has not as of yet. The pain, however, is a not frequently talked about side effect for women. Nothing I read before I started this, none of the video's I watched before even mentioned this little gem in passing, but if you Google keto and bladder pain - bam lots of articles - 99% of those affected are women it has to do with the higher acidity found in this lifestyle due to the dietary exclusions.

I also discovered that the often touted heightened energy levels, while I am sure are true for most people, if you suffer from Chronic Fatigue or Adrenal Failure - which I do of BOTH the OPPOSITE is true. You will become MORE tired the effects of the CFS and AF are multiplied. The two very things I was hoping to keep in better balance with this lifestyle. I truly had hoped I had found a tool in which to manage two chronic illnesses. What I did, was make them worse and give myself some side effects that are taking a while to resolve

I decided to abandon the keto lifestyle last week, I am hoping that once I start to add more alkaline foods back into my diet that the side effects I have experienced will start to diminish and in full disclosure - I freaking missed french fries!!! 

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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

How Big is Your Footprint??

Everyone has Googled themselves, but how in-depth have you looked? You might be surprised.
A few weeks ago I was attempting to establish an online account for my companies benefit portal. You'are thinking easy peasy right - yeah, me too - it was not. A few security questions popped up with a list of people I was supposed to know or be related to - problem, is I was not and have never been. I got locked out and an error that my identity could not be verified I needed to call.

That call was a 20-minute call in which I had various hoops to jump through to prove who I was. Annoying but done with and I thought not much about it. Frankly, in the midst of everything I was trying to accomplish while activating my online account in the portal, I thought for privacy sake the first names of my 'known associates" were perhaps jumbled and I said no to quickly and I wrote off the whole incident.

Fast forward to yesterday when I sat down to do some social media vetting for candidates and I simply Googled the first one to start, just to see where that went and I landed on a website that laid out so much information it was unreal. So I entered my name. What popped up was former addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, and that "known associates and relatives" list that was ALL incorrect. The very list that I lost 20 minutes out of a day for to jump through hoops just to prove who I was because I did not know the people a website said I did. EXCUSE ME what?? This is not even a legitimate background check that one would pay for to obtain a security clearance for a job, or even a TSA screen for a precheck pass. Just some damn website some guy decided to put up to data farm intel on people.

I then started the process last night of looking and requesting my private information be taken off websites. Some of them it is very easy just opt out on their form and you're done, others you have to prove it's you wanting your information down, but they will take it down. The site that gave me all the issues - they want you to pay a monthly membership fee to have the privilege of keeping your information yours.

According to them its all public information and they give you a hard time when you request the removal. I'm fighting that one, it is not public information - and 75% of it is wrong. However, for the right price, anyone can pay them to give up your address, your phone number, your email addresses, who your neighbors are. That is information that just should not be up for sale, nor up to anyone else to decide who can have it. There is a safety issue involved here, what is keeping the person who has gotten out of a bad situation safe - when some guy decides to make his fortune off YOUR personal information, he decides your information has a price tag on it - either from you to keep it locked or from the person who wants to know where you are and how to find you.

Check your footprint - check often.

This guide helped me to remove a lot of my info, I used the tips for doing it myself. I just clicked each of the websites and read the information they have complied. I found most useful is that they had the opt-out links right there whereas the sites bury them  - the one site that gave me a hard time and refuses to take my info off, I filed an FTC complaint about and one with my states Attorney General

Safe Shepherd

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Monday, April 08, 2019


Finally its SPRING!!!

I am so thrilled it finally fricken warmer. One of these days I will live on the beach again!  Things are blooming here in St Louis and one of my favorite trees started to bloom this weekend.

I love magnolia's and was so excited to see them bloom this weekend. I can't wait until both trees have fully bloomed and it's just an explosion of pink and white.

I have dipped my toes back into keto meals in an effort to feel better and reverse some health issues, the bonus will be the weight loss for a summer vacation planned to Colorado. So far so good with things. I picked up a whole slew of supplements this weekend to get through and hopefully dramatically lessen the effects of "keto flu". I also grabbed a new water cup - keeps things cold for 24 hours. Staying hydrated is key.

Its been a while since I have been back to my hometown in Colorado and last time I was there, nothing I wanted to do was on the agenda so I am looking forward to being back and being able to see old friends and do a few activities.  There is a jeep tour of Pikes Peak and a White Water rafting trip that are booked. White Water rafting will be a new thing for me. Is it June yet??? I kid, I am trying to not rush my life away.  One thing we all to is ask is it ________ yet, which means we are truly never really in the present moment. I am very guilty of this myself and with the exception of asking every year is it Spring yet I am now trying to be very conscious of this habit and to stop it.  We only have so many minutes in this life that are allocated to us - don't wish them away!

A few other things I am trying to get back into is yoga and reading. Two things I enjoy doing but the past few years, yes years I have done less and less of both of them. I find myself on social media just mindlessly scrolling. Even when watching tv, the phone is in hand and I am scrolling. My goal for this Spring is to cut down, way down on the mindless scrolling, do more reading, more yoga, being more present.

What are y'all up to?? Do you have any Spring goals??

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Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Ever Notice How

Some birthdays you're just like meh ok and others your are like WHOA slow the eff down.. This one's a slow the eff down. This morning I realized this is my last day in my early 40's tomorrow I will be considered mid-forties like what the actual fuck man... How did this happen - I truly remember being a teenager and thinking OMG I will NEVER be 21 like come on already! Remember that feeling?

Now it all just feels like a fast moving train. You just wake up and think, wait wasn't I just  25 and dancing at the bar on ladies night last week? Now I sleep "wrong" and end up at the Chiropractor twice a week. My favorite song comes on the radio and I am bopping along singing my heart out like a feature at the Bon Jovi concert when the DJ does his little DJ thing at the end and firmly says its "Classic vinyl" RUDE!!

Somethings have changed for the better as you get older there is less trivial things that bother you. You are more apt to chuck those in the "fuck it bucket" than to pick them apart and analyze the hell out of it. In your forties, you're more "this is me" than trying to be what someone wants you to be. Thus if you get to this point and you find you are not who you know yourself to be you are more confident in saying "No, this isn't working for me".

This past year was a huge learning year for me. It was the first time I'd truly ever lived alone. It was a very empowering year, to be frank about it. I learned A LOT about me and what I, as a person on her own, is able to accomplish.  I still have some learning and growing to do, we all do. The day you stop learning and growing is the day you die and I am not ready to curl up and go sit in a pasture somewhere soaking up the sun.. Now the beach............

I see you 45, lets do this!

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Wednesday, February 27, 2019

What's Up Wednesday - A Link up

The end of February...WOOT. Bring on SPRING!!! I am tired of being cold and in bulky coats with frozen fingers and toes. I am OVER the winter weather advisories, slick roads, and forced heat.  Please bring sunshine, warm breezes and flowers!!!  Yes, I HATE winter - anyone who knows me will tell you that I am flat out pissy about months of shitty weather!! So I am thrilled when February is here then GONE..

So what is new??? Valentines Day was awesome. First one in a very long time that was.  I did end up sick a few days later - hence the blog silence - I had a migraine for 2 days then an infection woohoo good times.. * I still need the sarcasm font *!

I am looking to start my closet purge - there are so many things in there that for some reason I can't seem to donate - yet I have NOT worn them at all.. I also have about 50 black tank tops - I should pare them down.. no promises though, black tanks and jeans or a maxi dress are pretty much my standard.  I do love a good cargo pant and tank as well. The jeans I do not wear however are going - there is no reason to keep them, regardless of how much they were- someone else can enjoy them.

I did replace my sneakers over the weekend. I got a pair of Nike Air Max Torch 4's. They are super comfortable.. And yes they are the hot pink and black ones!

I also bought a new sheet set and comforter - shocker they are NOT pink, but a gorgeous gray paisley print.

I have been looking and researching new coffee makers - my Keurig has started giving me issues after 2 years. I am not sure I want another Keurig though. I have been looking at the Ninja Coffee Bar I have heard that thing beats Keurig hands down.  

That's pretty much what's new here - how about y'all?? Have a freaking awesome Wednesday! 

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Show Us Your Books

I was reading a blog post and one of the comments sent me off in a search.. It about borrowing digital books right to her Kindle and...