Babysitting=New Vacuum (or I’ve Got $0.49 To Spare)

I’ve been doing some babysitting over the past few weeks. The last two Saturday evenings I’ve had new families to sit for and this past Sunday I had an interview with another new family (although I’m not sure I’ll get that job because it seems like their schedule and my schedule won’t work out).

I’ve been doing babysitting since middle school and while I didn’t do a ton of it right after college, I’ve been getting more into it lately.

I joined an online babysitting service (kind of like online dating but for finding babysitters and families) and I paid to have a premium profile on there because that includes a background check.

I’ve been getting contacted by families ever since I upgraded my profile, but often they are just asking if I am available even though my calendar on the system says that I’m not.

The family I sat for this past Saturday evening was a new family that lived not too far away (always a bonus). They had 2 boys and they were only awake half of the time that I was there (another bonus). And I was there for 8 hours, so I made a decent amount of money.

The next day, I had a plan to go to Bed Bath and Beyond. I still needed to replace my vacuum that died in my water heater flood. I had been doing a lot of research because I wanted a good vacuum but I don’t have a lot of money to spend on one.

I ended up finding a Shark vacuum that got almost all 5 star reviews on Amazon and it was available at Bed Bath and Beyond (thank goodness for all the 20% off coupons I’ve been hoarding)!

I got there and found it right away.

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I had only brought one 20% off coupon with me so I wasn’t going to shop around any more. When I went to the register, I was trying to figure out if the money I made the night before would cover the vacuum or if I’d have to pay a little more.

I got up to the register and she rung up the vacuum and my coupon and when the total came up, I laughed.

It was exactly $0.49 less than I made the night before. I have to admit that I feel like it was fate to buy that vacuum at that price so I wouldn’t have to put the vacuum on my credit card and have it contribute to my debt.

I happily paid almost all of my babysitting money to the cashier and took my new vacuum home.

And my quick review of the vacuum is that it is amazing!! I love it! My old vacuum was a very fancy one, but it was super heavy to move around (you could break a sweat while vacuuming). This one moves around super easily and I like that it is a canister vacuum so I don’t have to buy bags for it. Although it was shocking how much dirt it picked up (maybe my old vacuum wasn’t doing a good job anymore?).

I’m glad that I’m getting more families to babysit for. I enjoy the work and when I’m doing “date night” babysitting, it pretty much never is a conflict with other jobs or auditions so it fits into my schedule perfectly! I just hope that I get a few more families so I can stay busy!

Getting Closer To The Leaderboard (or I’m Almost In The Top 5)

Instead of focusing on my week of workouts at Orangetheory, I want to focus on what happened on Monday.

As I mentioned last week, there are now Monday challenges every Monday. And it’s my plan to do the challenge each week (I will be doing one today).

I missed the very first challenge because the trainer forgot to do the challenge in my class (it was a new thing so I’m not too upset). The second week I did the rowing challenge. And I walked in this past week with every intention of doing whatever challenge happened.

Then I found out what the challenge was.

It turns out that the challenge this past week was a treadmill challenge. You had to be at 15% incline (which is what I do when I do the “all out” segments on the treadmill) and you had to be at 6 miles per hour for the speed. And the goal was to be on the treadmill at that speed and incline as long as possible.

That’s not a reality for me.

I’ve been doing 3.1 or 3.2 miles per hour most of the time. Sometimes I can push myself to 3.3 or 3.4, but it’s tough. And as soon as I hear what the challenge was, I felt defeated. There’s no way that I can run at 6 miles an hour.

In class on Monday, we had a unique treadmill workout. The first and last segment were each 7 minutes long and we had to be at a push pace (which for walkers mean about 6% incline). For those 7 minutes, we were supposed to go as far as we could go.

The first 7 minutes I made it to .392 miles. I thought that was pretty awesome. Between the segments there was some regular interval work on the treadmill and then it was time for the next (and last) 7 minute treadmill segment.

I started at 3.1 miles an hour. I like that speed because it means if I maintain that for an hour, I can do a 5K. And my goal is to get my 5K time to an hour or less.

Then I decided to see if I could make it to .4 miles in those 7 minutes. So I decided to increase my speed every minute. I was fine up until 3.6 miles an hour. That was tough, but I felt like I was cutting it close to my goal of .4 miles.

So I decided to increase my speed every 30 seconds for the last 2 minutes. And shockingly, those last 30 seconds I was going 4 miles an hour! I can’t maintain that for very long, but I did it!

Those second 7 minutes I made it .408 miles.

I finished up the workout and while I was so proud of what I had done on the treadmill earlier, the challenge was still making me feel defeated. I joked to everyone that I will go 1 second on the challenge.

Finally, it was time for the challenge. I started to bug the trainer that it was completely unfair that there wasn’t a walking option for the challenge. After bugging him and the owner, they decided that my challenge would be 15% incline and 4 miles an hour.

The fact that I had just done 4 miles an hour on the treadmill for the first time in forever seemed to be fate.

I got it in my head that maybe I could make it a minute. So I decided that unless I fell off the treadmill, I was going to stay on there for that minute no matter what.

The first 15 seconds seemed easy. Then my legs started to feel like lead. But I was so damned determined not to quit until that one minute mark had passed.

As soon as the clock passed one minute, I thought for a moment about going more and then my hip popped out (it happens quite a bit and pretty regularly during workouts). It was clearly a sign that I had done all that I could do for that challenge.

I ended up making it 1:02. That’s passed my minute goal.

The next day, the results were posted. I didn’t make the top 5 for women, but I was only 30 seconds away. And shockingly the men did not do as well as the women. On the men’s top 5, I was tied with #5!

I tried to see the lesson in this. Obviously, I shouldn’t feel defeated until I try something. But I feel like there’s something more.

I’ve been looking at these challenges as something to do for me and not to be competitive. But both weeks I have not been that far away from making the top 5 list. If I really tried to push myself and not just do it to do it, I might actually make the list soon!

So that is my intention for the challenge today. I’m going into it with the mindset of a competitor. I want to see myself closer and closer to making it onto the top 5 list. And I know that sometime soon, I will be there.

Happy Hour and Happiness (or I’m On Another Blog Now)

After working my at-home job yesterday, I headed over to the valley to meet my friend Rayshell for Happy Hour. I hadn’t seen Rayshell since my birthday party and we both had a lot of catching up to do.

It was a super fun happy hour. We were able to get drinks and food for $5 each. And of course, I had a Dirty Shirley.

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Sometimes the stress of working and trying to find more work makes me forget to go out and have fun with my friends. And this was the perfect chance to have a relaxing Happy Hour with an awesome friend.

We were catching up on my new job and Rayshell’s current job when my phone alerted me that someone @replied me on twitter. I glanced at my phone and saw that casting director Marci Liroff had included me in a tweet.

A little backstory.

Last month, Marci sent me an email asking about my tips and tricks for preparing for the fall tv season. I was more than happy to share my advice as well and send her the links to all the posts that I’ve written about the subject.

Marci thanked me and told me that she was working on an article for Backstage on the topic and asked what she could share of my advice. I told her that she could share everything that she wanted to. I feel like sharing my knowledge won’t hurt my career, so why not?

The article hadn’t gone up by the time the fall tv season started, so I thought maybe she changed her mind on the article. But at Happy Hour yesterday, that tweet was Marci sharing that the article had gone live and that it included advice (or as she put it “golden nuggets”) from me!

Of course, as soon as I saw that, I had to look at the article on my phone (Rayshell wanted to see it to).

And it’s awesome.

A lot of my advice in the article is stuff that I’ve shared on here before. But by having it in Backstage, the advice is reaching much bigger audience than I get here.

I was so excited to be a part of this article and honored and a little surprised that I was the only actor who Marci used for advice. I really feel like this means that I am doing the right things when it comes to research. And all this research will eventually lead to a great acting job for me.

I just have to be patient and be grateful that my advice is respected in this industry.

Another Set Back (or Why Can’t I Just Learn My Lesson)

The other day, I had another food set back. I had everything planned out perfectly for the day, but it just never worked out for me.

I shouldn’t have been hungry, but I was. And since I don’t keep a ton of food in my house (or many reasons), I ordered delivery food.

This was not a smart decision for many reasons. But at the time, it seemed like the only option to make myself not feel hungry anymore.

The food didn’t taste that great. It used to, but since I’ve been avoiding foods like this for a while, my body doesn’t crave them the way it used to. Even though it didn’t taste great, I ate it.

The one positive I’ve found out of this situation is that I was not able to eat even half of what I used to eat. I was too full and was starting to feel sick right away. So I did the only thing that sounded sane to me at the time.

I covered all the remaining food in household cleaner and put it straight into my garbage can outside. That way, the food would not tempt me any longer.

That night was horrible for me. I’ve had issues with my gallbladder in the past (many women on my mom’s side have had issues so it’s not a surprise that I do). I used to get gallbladder attacks a few times a year. I’ve been to the hospital for them, but it hasn’t gotten to the point where they want to remove my gallbladder (nor do I want to deal with any more surgeries than I have to).

I haven’t had a gallbladder attack in about a year or so. I was just talking to my mom about how many my gallbladder issues are gone now.

But that night, I had one of the worst gallbladder attacks I’ve ever had.

If you’ve never experienced gallbladder issues, you are lucky. The pain is incredible and it seems like no painkiller can help. The pain is in your spine and ribcage and there seems to be no position you can sit, stand, or lay down in to get comfortable. I spent that night in horrible pain and maybe slept for an hour or two total (in 10 or 15 minute spurts).

I know that setbacks are normal and that I have to understand that they will happen. But I’m hoping that somehow I will learn my lesson at least a little from this setback. The gallbladder issue was most likely caused by too much fat in the meal that I ate. And I know that other setbacks I’ve had in the past have not been as bad as this one was.

While I’m sure I will still have a craving for this food again (even though I know in my head that it won’t taste that good), I’m hoping that I will remember the pain that I felt after eating it this time. If it doesn’t prevent me from getting the food altogether, maybe it will help me eat less of it or to not order all that I did before.

But I am very proud to say that after this one setback I got back on track again the next morning. I didn’t allow myself to have a bad week because of a bad meal. And the weight that I gained from this setback is almost all gone now.

So maybe I have learned something from my past self.

Getting A Mammogram (or I Guess This Was A Rite Of Passage)

When my mom tested negative for the breast cancer gene mutation, I figured that I didn’t have to do anything. My only concern was if she tested positive to get myself tested to see if I had the mutation.

But my mom’s geneticist did say that I needed to still be monitored a bit more carefully throughout my life. While my mom’s cancer is most likely a post-menopause cancer, the extra monitoring started this past weekend.

Earlier this month, I had my annual appointment with my gynecologist. She was actually one of my dad’s residents (have I ever mentioned that my dad used to be an OB/GYN and he was in charge of training all the residents in his department?) so she’s known my family for a long time. And when I saw her last year, it was right after my mom’s surgery but before too much else was done. So she knew that I would be coming in to this appointment with a lot more information.

I relayed all the important information to my doctor and then told her how my mom’s geneticist wanted me to get a mammogram this year. Even though my mom’s cancer is post-menopausal, my parents thought (and I kind of agree) that this mammogram was kind of to cover the doctors’ butts and so they could say that they did extra monitoring of me. But my doctor was more than willing to write in the order for the test and I went home that day with the phone number to set up my appointment.

I managed to get an appointment for this past Sunday (who knew they did mammograms 7 days a week?!?), and I was so nervous. I searched the internet for how to prepare for a mammogram and I bugged my mom about how much it was going to hurt. I know that she tried to prepare me the best she could.

When I go to the hospital on Sunday, the first thing I got was my hospital bracelet.

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I didn’t understand why I needed a bracelet, but later my mom said that it was because the person who checks you in for the appointment is not in the same area as the technician who does the mammogram. This way, nobody can pretend to be you.

I waited about 10 minutes and tried to read my book, but again, my nerves were getting the best of me. Finally it was my turn to head back to the room and I faced the mammogram machine.

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I swear that it looked scarier in person.

I then had to undress from the waist up (note to anyone who hasn’t gone for a mammogram yet: don’t wear a dress to your appointment) and then it was time to get squished.

And I’m not going to lie.

It hurt.

I was warned that because I’m young and have bigger breasts, I have more tissue and not only might it hurt more, I might have to go in for a repeat mammogram another time to make sure they get a clear picture.

The pain was not where I expected it. The squishing part actually wasn’t too horrible. But because of how you have to fit into the machine, the skin near my collarbone hurt so badly that my eyes teared up!

The mammogram was 4 different views (2 on each side). And I had to do 3 of them a second time right then and there because they didn’t get a good picture (I still don’t know if I have to go in for an entirely new appointment yet). But after about 10 minutes I was done.

While getting dressed again I noticed that I was starting to get bruises all over my chest (I bruise pretty easily to begin with). They only got uglier looking throughout the day. I’d put a picture of my bruises on here but I really don’t feel the need to post a topless photo on a public blog. Fortunately, the bruises are all almost gone now.

If I have to go in again for a repeat mammogram, I’m supposed to find out in the next week or so. If everything looks good, I’ll get a letter within a month.

I don’t know if I get the letter saying that everything is good if that means I don’t have to get another mammogram for another 9 years. Nobody really seemed to know the answer to that, but I’ll see what comes up as a health reminder on my profile on the Kaiser website.

If I have to go back next year, I’ll do it. It’s so important to be checked out and to make sure everything is ok (even if you don’t have a family history of breast cancer).

But the next time I go, I’m totally taking a painkiller before I go so it doesn’t hurt so much.

Dri-Tri (or Suffering From Fear Of Missing Out)

This past Sunday was a really busy day for me. I started my day with a doctor appointment (post about that to come tomorrow) and I ended my day with a shift at one of my day jobs.

I did have an appointment to get weighed in for the Orangetheory Weight Loss Challenge and that was squeezed in in-between my other obligations.

While I was there for my weigh-in, the first Dri-Tri was going on. The Dri-Tri was a challenge that consisted of rowing, strength workouts, and a 5K on the treadmill (or 1.5 miles for power walkers).

I originally planned on doing the Dri-Tri. It sounded awesome and even if it took me forever to finish it, I knew that I could do it. But once I saw what my schedule was like for Sunday, I realized that it was going to be impossible to do the Dri-Tri.

I wasn’t too upset at first. I figured that I would totally do the next one. And since it was happening during my weigh-in, I was able to go inside the workout room and cheer on a friend of mine who was doing it.

On Sunday, I was fine when I got there. I did my weigh-in and then waited until there was an empty treadmill next to my friend so I could go and stand next to her and cheer her on as she finished the event.

And as soon as I got in there, I had a feeling of instant regret in not figuring out how to arrange my schedule so I could do the Dri-Tri. While everyone looked exhausted when they finished, they also looked so happy. And I wanted that too.

I stayed in there until everyone had finished and was getting ready to walk back to my car when I was asked if I wouldn’t mind taking the group photo so they could post it on Facebook. I was happy to help out.

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I’ve never felt such regret in not doing something. I’ve missed parties, movies, and other events because I couldn’t attend or I just didn’t feel like it. And I’ve always been ok with my decision. But this time, I still can’t shake the feeling that I was meant to do this event.

I know that there will be another one, and there’s no question that I’ll do it (and my dad might come down to do it too). But I’ll always know that I missed the first one.

Hopefully this feeling of missing out and regret will go away after I complete my own Dri-Tri.

Doing Some Challenges (or Mondays Are Going To Be Tough)

It’s been another week of workouts at Orangetheory, and this past week also marked that last week for the weight loss challenge. I had my weigh-in for the challenge yesterday and there will be a party next weekend where they will announce the male and female winner of the challenge.

Honestly, I don’t think I won. I had some setbacks over the past 6 weeks and my food has not been as good as it could have been. But the key for me is that even with all my setbacks (and some unexpected weight gain from the heat), I’m still a few pounds lower than I was when the challenge started.

This past week of workouts has been all about challenging myself.

This started with the newest thing that Orangetheory is doing: Monday Challenges. Every Monday at the end of each class there is a challenge that you can choose to participate in. I was exhausted after the Monday class, but I’m always down for a challenge.

This week, the Monday Challenge was a 500 meter row. I got off to a great start, but I overdid it. I was so tired by 300 meters and I had to take a few second break. I ended up finishing in 1:56.8, which I think it pretty amazing. My goal is to be at 30 seconds per 100 meters or less. So my time definitely fit into my goals.

They posted the challenge winners (the top 5 men and top 5 women) on Tuesday so I got to see it on Wednesday. I didn’t make it to the top 5, but I was happy to see that I was only 20 seconds away from that top 5. That’s not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.

On Wednesday, it was another challenging workout. I always do the cardio portion of the workouts first because my hip issues seem to get worse after the weight training. So on Wednesday, I hopped onto the treadmill at the beginning of class like normal. Except this class it wasn’t going to be 30 minutes on cardio and then 30 minutes on strength. The cardio people went to strength after the warm up. Then after the first strength block, the sides switched (strength to cardio and cardio to strength).

I tried to go back to the treadmill but my hip kept catching. So after the second block of strength when we were sent back to do cardio, I tried the spin bike that they have in the workout room. I actually used it for 2 cardio blocks. It wasn’t bad, but it’s wasn’t as good as it could have been.

The pushes and all out moments in cardio are not as easy to set on the bike. And I didn’t have my spin shoes so I couldn’t clip in (there were straps to strap my feet into, but it’s not the same).

For the final cardio block, I sucked it up and used the treadmill again.

The workout week felt like it came full circle on Friday. It was a run/row day (which I love because it means less treadmill time). The first row section of the run/row was a 500 meter row.

I was a little scared to do that 500 meter row, especially in the beginning of the workout, because I knew how exhausted I was on Monday doing the challenge. So I tried to take it easy and I managed to do all 500 meters without taking a single break! It took me a little longer than 2 minutes to do it (I don’t exactly remember my time), but it’s almost more important to me to do the row without stopping than it is to do the row quickly.

I’m looking forward to the next Monday Challenge. As long as it isn’t a timed treadmill thing, I know that I can do it and have a decent chance on making it to the top people board. I guess I’ll find out what today’s challenge is when I go to workout in a few hours!

Training For A 5K Without Planning On Doing Them (or I Think I’m Only Doing 3 5Ks This Year)

I’ve been thinking a lot about 5Ks lately. I was on such a streak with them last year. And I’ve talked about why I’ve eliminated 5Ks as part of my goals for the year.

But I’m thinking about them a lot because I keep getting emails to sign up for them. Some of them are races that I did last year, and some of them are just random ones from one of the various mailing lists I’m on now.

The only 5K that I have planned to do the rest of this year is the Hard Rock one. I signed up for that as soon as it was available because it was a good race to do. And I was planning on signing up for the weSPARK race, but I got a phone call a few weeks ago to let me know that that race was cancelled.

But to be honest, I wasn’t sad that it was cancelled. It was almost more of a relief that I don’t have to do it if I don’t want to.

I am signed up for one race already for next year and that’s the Hollywood Half 5K. Again, it’s a fun course (or at least it should be) and it has a nice medal so that’s always a plus in my book.

But I am doing more training, or at least what I consider training, for my 5Ks this year than ever before. Pretty much ever class at Orangetheory I’m spending about 30 minutes on the treadmill. That’s about half the time it takes me to do a 5K. The only times I don’t spend that long on the treadmill are run/row days. But a majority of the time, I’m getting in my 30 minutes.

Since I never trained on a treadmill for the races before, I’m not sure if it’s helping or not. I know it isn’t hurting, but there’s something different when the machine is forcing you to go a certain speed. I know that I have my bursts of speed and my moments of slowing down in a race, but you can’t really do that on a treadmill.

I’ve got some time before the Hard Rock race so I won’t know how the treadmill training will have worked out for a while. But I am curious to see how my body reacts to the next race. And maybe if it’s a really positive response, I’ll sign up for more races for the future.

But for now, I’m just focusing on my regular workouts and not stressing about the 5Ks yet. I know that when the Hard Rock one gets closer I will have the same fear about not being able to finish and getting picked up by the sweeper van. That’s the risk in doing a 5K only race (there’s plenty of time for me to finish when some people are doing 10Ks or 1/2 marathons).

And I am considering finding alternative types of races or competitions to try. I know another blogger who does stair climbing races, but that’s not really a possibility for me with all my hip issues. But if any of you have suggestions for other race types events, let me know!

Being An Eyebrow Wax Model (or An Adventure At Queen Bee)

I’ve been going to Queen Bee for waxing for over a year now. While their prices aren’t the cheapest in town, they are reasonable.

Every so often, they have special deals. Sometimes it’s new employees who need people to work on while they are training for the job (but they are all licensed estheticians already). I’ve thought about trying one of those deals out before, but then it also makes your wax longer. Sometimes, I just need to get in and out quickly.

And sometimes, they need model to various reasons.

Recently on social media, Queen Bee mentioned that they needed some waxing models for a training video that they were working on. This isn’t something that is going to be posted publicly, but just for their own use. They needed a bunch of different types of waxing to be done in the video, and I noticed that they needed someone to come in for an eyebrow wax!

I typically go to Benefit for my eyebrow waxing, but this was an opportunity for not only a free eyebrow wax but a gift card to Queen Bee for helping out! I was totally down for that.

They needed the waxing models to come in this past Monday and since that is my day off, that worked out very well. I was able to fit it in between a doctor appointment I had in the morning and my workout class that afternoon.

Every time I come to Queen Bee, I just love how cute the place is! It so much nicer than going to a cheap nail salon for waxing.

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I checked in and waited for everyone to be ready for me. They had it all set up in one of the waxing rooms with 3 different cameras there to capture all the action.

I’m definitely not camera-shy, but it was a little weird to be in front of a camera without any makeup on and having them film an eyebrow wax. But at least I’m very used to having my eyebrows done. I’ve been getting them waxed since I was 14.

It wasn’t the quickest wax because there was a lot of talking about what they were doing, but it didn’t take forever either. Maybe about 25 minutes.

I totally forgot to get a before picture (and trust me, you don’t want to see how bad my brows were), but I did get an after one!

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Nice clean eyebrows that aren’t too skinny! Exactly what I like! I’m a little red from the waxing, but that always happens to me. That’s one of the reasons I like going to Benefit, they put makeup on your face after waxing so you can go out and do other things and not look freshly waxed.

But since I was just going to work out right after this, I didn’t care how I looked. I really think that Queen Bee did an awesome job with my wax. I still can’t believe that I was going to a cheap nail salon for years and putting up with how bad my skin got after waxing. I have totally learned that paying a little extra is worth it, especially when it comes to your skin.

Thank you Queen Bee for my eyebrow wax and I can’t wait to get to use my gift card the next time I’m in for waxing!

Heat Wave In LA (or Another Post About The Heat)

I feel like a broken record. I’m having issues with the heat again.

If you don’t live in LA, trust me, this heat wave is ridiculous.

In the valley, it’s much worse. But everyone who I know who lives in the valley has air conditioning. At my house, on the westside, it’s still pretty hot and I still don’t have air conditioning.

What’s making things worse is that it’s not cooling down at night. I’m typing this at 8:35 Tuesday evening and it’s still 87 degrees out. So it’s really tough for my house to get a bit cooler at night.

I’m trying to deal with it the best that I can. I have my fan and I’ve been moving it around to whatever room I’m in. And I’m sleeping with ice packs in my bed. I actually have 4 ice packs but I sleep with 2 at a time. Then when I wake up in the middle of the night and those ice packs are melted and warm, I swap them out for the ice packs that have been in the freezer. That’s really helping.

And I’m not trying to fit into any of my tighter clothes. I know that my body is swollen with the heat. My workout pants are feeling tight. So I’m not even going to try to put jeans on.

There are some positives with all this. First of all, there should be a break in the heat wave toward the end of this week. It will help so much to have it be 10-20 degrees cooler at night!

And, I’m finally looking into portable air conditioners! My landlord approved me getting one (just not a window unit) so I can get something to help for next summer. I won’t be ordering it until this heat wave is over because none of them are on sale yet and many stores are sold out. But this should be the last summer that it’s so miserable that I can’t really sleep.

But until then, I’m just sweating it out in my house and when I’m done working I head to my car to enjoy the super powerful air conditioning that my car has!