A Health Setback

23 Jan

If you’ve been following along on the blog, you’ll know that I found out in early-September that my cholesterol was crazy-high. Like, OHMYGOD high. So, my doctor put me on a low dose of medication and had me meet with a nutritionist to figure out a diet to help lower it back down the normal zone.

I followed that diet pretty faithfully for September, October, November and December and was actually looking forward to getting my follow up blood test on December 20th to show that I had finally gotten everything under control.

Except, I had NOT gotten everything under control.

When I got my results back the following week, my cholesterol had actually gone up higher. I was crushed.

I had followed the diet so well and only had a couple servings of red meat over that last month. I felt like I had been depriving myself of food I enjoy for so long…but it was worth it, because it was making me better.

So when I found out that it wasn’t helping, I fell off the wagon a bit.

I didn’t go out and devour 30 steaks and gorge myself on fried food, but I did have way more than my share of cookies. I ate my feelings away. And then, ate some more.

I felt pretty terrible. Not only that I had failed at getting my cholesterol under control, but then I followed that up with failing on my special diet.

I finally had a chance to talk with my doctor a couple weeks later to put together another plan of attack. I had done some reading and found that losing weight could positively affect cholesterol. In the course of following the nutritionist’s diet, I’ve lost about 7 – 8 pounds since September. My goal is to lose 10 more pounds over the next few months, in the hopes that it helps my cholesterol lower down a bit.

I’ve recommitted myself to the healthy diet (with only a couple servings of red meat a month), but I’m also keeping an eye on the sugar I ingest. And cutting back on treats. And adding regular workouts.

I’ll go back to the doctor for (yet another) blood workup in 3 months. So, after a bit of a setback I’m working towards yet another goal of getting this damn cholesterol under control.

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Booties, Booties, Booties Walking Everywhere!

22 Jan

Yeah, I’m pretty obsessed with the title of this post. Anyways, let’s talk booties! I’m a huge fan of booties this time of year and I have a few pairs that I’ve been wearing nonstop. They’re comfortable. They’re cute. And they aren’t super expensive.

Favorite Booties #1: Lucky Brand Bartalino Bootie, $69.99

Source: 6pm.com

 

My Trunk Club stylist sent me over these booties in my December 2016 Trunk and I’ve worn them dozens and dozens of times since then. I love my brown version so much that when I saw a snakeskin version pop up on Poshmark a couple weeks ago I bought them immediately (see them here). These booties work best with slimmer jeans and also my corduroys. The heel is nice and low, so I can walk in them for miles without any pain. I like the fun zipper detail that opens both sides and wraps around the top of the bootie. I find these true to size and wear an 8.5 in this style.

They are sold out online at Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and the Lucky Brand website, but you may get lucky and see them out and about at a Nordstrom Rack, Marshalls or TJ Maxx. I was able to find them online in a few sizes on the Saks 5th Avenue website for $69.99.

Favorite Booties #2:BP Francine Split Shaft Bootie, $67.46

Source: Nordstrom.com

 

When I was walking through Nordstrom with Jack one day, I saw these booties on a table. I’d been looking for a lower heel black bootie to wear with jeans and possibly some dresses, and these seemed pretty nice. When I got home, I did a little online research and saw that they had a ton of online reviews giving them 4.5 and 5 stars. SOLD. Keep in mind, if you decide to order this boot go up a half size. I’m typically an 8.5 in boots and sized up to a 9 for a perfect fit. I really like them in the ‘black oiled leather’, but they also come in some other colors too. I wear these often with jeans and pants, but after trying them a few times I just don’t love them with dresses/skirts. They are super comfortable though and keep my feet warm and dry on chilly days.

I actually saw these at Nordstrom Rack the other day, so it’s possible you may wonder on a pair there. They are currently on sale on the Nordstrom website for $67.46 in limited sizes (with free shipping).

Favorite Booties #3: Dolce Vita Saira Zipper Ankle Boot, $69.99

Source: NordstromRack.com

 

I went actively looking for a black bootie that had a low heel, but still looked sleek enough to wear with dresses. I stumbled on this Dolce Vita suede bootie at Nordstrom Rack and was cautiously optimistic. After wearing it with dresses/skirts for the last couple months, I can say that THIS is exactly what I was looking for. They are super comfortable and I can wear them for a super-sized day at work without my feet hurting me. These are also true to size and I’m comfortably wearing a size 8.5. These exact same booties are almost sold out on the Nordstrom Rack website here for $69.97. But I found them on the 6pm website here in lots more sizes for $69.99.

Are you also a bootie fiend when the weather is cold? Are you now singing the title of this post to Ms. New Booty in your head?

 

Disclaimer: This post contains ShopStyle affiliate links. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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6 Tips for Buying on Poshmark

18 Jan

Okay, first of all… I am in no way a Poshmark expert. I’ve just made a few purchases for myself and put together a post of what I wish I knew when I started.

Poshmark is a website/app where people are able to sell their clothes and accessories. When you sign up, you get your own “closet” where you can list items for sale. You can follow other user’s closets or just search for particular items. Here is my closet, my username on Poshmark is pocketfulofjoul because I totally ran out of letters…. https://poshmark.com/closet/pocketfulofjoul

Source: My Poshmark Closet

 

You hook your account up to your credit card, so if you purchase something the charge will automatically come through.

I just put a few things in my closet this week, so I’m not very familiar with selling on Poshmark yet. It was easy to list items though, so that’s pretty great. I have made 7 purchases since I started using the site though. They weren’t all great… so here’s what I learned:

Tip #1: If you like something, “like” something.
I have specific brands I search for like Anthropologie, Maeve, Athleta and Boden. You can add your sizes into your account so that when you search for items, it shows you the ones that meet your criteria. If you see an item you like, but don’t necessary want to buy yet… just click the “like” button. This then stores the item on your “likes” page, which is super convenient if you want to find it again. Also, if the seller decides to lower the price, you will get an email that one of your liked items has a new price.

Tip #2: Look at the Photos Closely and Ask Questions
Each buyer is on their own to take their photos and write their listings. Pay special addition to any notes on wear and look super closely at the photos to make sure you know what you’re getting. If you are unsure of anything, there is an area where you can ask the seller questions… so use it!

Tip #3: Stick to Brands You Know
There is a crap-ton of stuff available. Like thousands and thousands of listings… so it can be very easy to buy something and then have it not fit. I’ve been burned before, even with brands that I know and love. So, my third tip is to not get too crazy with brands unless you are familiar with them. For example, I know that in Boden I’m typically a size US10 or US12 depending on the style. If I’m shopping on Poshmark I’m probably only going to buy Boden size US12 because there is always the possibility that the original owner may have washed and shrank the item.

Tip #4: If You’re Not Sure, Look for Reviews on that Item
If you haven’t already read my post on my Online Shopping Tips now is a great time to read it! I recently found a pretty Maeve dress on Poshmark and followed my own tips to track down the original outdated item on the Anthropologie website. Reading through dozens of reviews helped me decide what size to order, so I have no regrets on that purchase at all!

Tip #5: Make an Offer!
If you see an item you like, don’t pay full price! There is a ‘buy it now’ button and a ‘make an offer’ button… so USE that make an offer button! Just don’t be super rude about it with low-ball offers. I used the ‘make an offer’ button on all 7 of my purchases and every single one was accepted with just one counter-offer.

 

Source: Poshmark

 

The worst thing that can happen is that the seller could say no, so be polite and get yourself a good deal!

Tip #6: Don’t Download the App
Maybe it’s just me, but I had to delete the app from my phone because I would find myself browsing through when I was bored and making too many impulse purchases. If you are looking for something specific, then go ahead and have the Poshmark app available at your fingertips. However, if you get a little too into it like me, just keep a bookmark on your computer instead. If you are planning to sell things, you will need to download the app on your phone though (so I just had to re-download it to make my closet).

As a Pocketful of Joules reader, if you see something in my Poshmark closet that you want to buy, just shoot me an email at pocketfulofjoules@gmail.com. I’m happy to make a deal off of Poshmark and will give you an extra discount (since I wouldn’t have to pay Poshmark’s fees). All payments will be done on PayPal with buyer protection.

Have you shopped or sold on Poshmark? Do you have any tips to share?

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The Lollypop Incentive

16 Jan

Back in the late-summer I started a new incentive program with Jack and it’s been working so well I wanted to share it with you. I call it the Lollypop Incentive… and it all started with a bag of old lollypops we had left over from potty training.

Every morning when I would go in Jack’s room to wake him up for school, he was THE WORST. There was so much whining and complaining that I would totally dread it each day. Inevitably in the midst of his whining, he would lie on the floor like a wet noodle and whine at me to get him dressed because he was too tiiiiiiiirrrrrreeeeed.

Sigh.
Rolls Eyes.
Another Sigh.

If I was super late for work, I’d do it. I’d just grab him like a baby and dress him so I could get out the door on time. Okay, who are we kidding… even ‘on time’ is still like 15 minutes late.

One morning I told him that if he got himself dressed, used the potty and brushed his teeth with NO help then he would earn a lollypop.

And it worked.

And it continued working for the next few days…until one morning he started with his limp noodle whining again and I said, “Sure, I’ll get you dressed! I’d love to have a lollypop today!” And BOOM he’d get up and earn that lollypop.

After he accumulated a bunch of lollypops I asked him if he wanted to trade them in. I made up a trade-in plan: 10 lollypops can be traded for a small toy, 15 lollypops can be traded for a medium toy and 20 lollypops can be traded for a large toy. Generally each lollypop is equal to about a dollar of spending money.

You guys, this may be the BEST idea I ever had!

It’s been about 5 months now and every single day Jack will get himself up and dressed for school with NO WHINING. I walk in his room to feed the fish (remind me why I’m the one who does everything for these stupid fish I didn’t want…?) and tell him it’s time to wake up. Then I go downstairs to make his breakfast, start my coffee, walk the dog and blend my shake without fighting with him.

Let me tell you how great it is to NOT have to scream and yell first thing in the morning!

He keeps his stash of earned lollypops in our car cup holder and is in charge of whether he wants to eat a lollypop or save it up to trade in. Sometimes he even shares lollypops with his daddy or friends, knowing that it will take him longer to save up.

And me? Well I’m happy to pay $15 a month for mornings without whining. Bonus points for being only slightly late to work and teaching Jack the value of saving/spending something he values.

Do you have an incentive plan for your kid to get moving in the morning?

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