Simple Saurus Returns… with Goals

After a long hiatus, I’ve decided to attempt blogging again. Does anyone else find blogging more difficult that it should be? It doesn’t seem like it should take so long or be a lot of work but somehow I always run out of steam. So I’ve made a goal for myself to blog weekly – just once a week… it can’t be that hard, right?

Anyways, I’ve decided to return to my blog as a way to track some goals. Here’s my July Goals as well as some long term goals that are carrying over from when I first started this blog.


July Goals:

  1. 30 minutes exercise daily
  2. Vitamin, fish oil, and allergy medication daily
  3. Drink water upon waking plus 3 water bottles full (mine holds 18oz) each day
  4. Start #100HappyDays
  5. Start #40Bagsin40Days
  6. Reconnect with a friend each week
  7. Try something new each week
  8. Date with husband each week
  9. Blog once a week
  10. Daily brief walk with dogs after dinner (when weather permits)


Things I want do before leaving Kentucky:

  1. Visit Mammoth Cave
  2. Camp at Red River Gorge/Natural Bridge
  3. Visit the Versailles Castle


Bucket List:

  • Start scrapbook for Demet and I
  • Complete 12 week Body for Life Program
  • Beat best 5K time of 27:10
  • Get my old cell phones cleared out and then donate them to someone that can use them. (Domestic violence shelter for women? Our troops stationed overseas?)
  • Complete a triathlon.
  • Learn to play golf.
  • Learn to ski.
  • Go snorkeling.
  • Go on a cruise.
  • Visit the Grand Canyon.
  • Visit the Galapagos Islands.
  • Have/adopt a child.
  • Beat my marathon time of 5:41:18.
  • Get a complete makeover.
  • Learn something new daily for a year and blog it.
  • Ride a horse.
  • Visit Yellowstone Park.
  • Camp on the beach.
  • Be 1st author on a scientific manuscript.
  • Create and list 500 items in my Etsy shop.
  • Visit my childhood best friend, Louise.
  • See a pyramid.
  • See the Great Wall of China.
  • Go on a safari.
  • Go to a murder mystery dinner.
  • Go whitewater rafting.
  • Sponsor a child.
  • Ride a moped.
  • Send a different friend a card or letter for 12 months.
  • Ride a camel.
  • Learn to edit photos in photoshop or gimp (i.e. reduce shiny face, red eyes, etc).
  • Go to a drive in movie.
  • Scuba dive.
  • See a volcano.
  • Research my family tree as far back as possible and get a really cool family tree picture made.
  • Ride a segway.
  • Send a message in a bottle.
  • Help train/socialize a service dog.
  • Have a big garden and share the food.
  • Learn to can food.
  • Be a foster parent to a child.
  • Foster animals.
  • Play 20 questions with 20 friends to learn more about them.
  • Go geocaching.
  • Do 5 unassisted pullups.
  • Take my dogs somewhere and work with them until they aren’t afraid of the water and let them swim.
  • Be the person up in the air at a VT football game.
  • Take a self defense class.
  • Ride on a sailboat.
  • Go on a retreat with close girl friends.
  • Take my husband on a surprise weekend getaway.
  • Host a Halloween costume party.
  • Spend the day picking berries at a berry farm.
  • Harvest honey.
  • Take a trip with my brother – just the 2 of us.
  • Spend a day at a spa.
  • Shoot a gun at a shooting range.
  • Finish a 365 Photography Project.
  • Start a pay it forward chain.

Homemade Facewash : Wash your face with oil?!

 I have finicky skin. I break out so easily and have cystic acne. It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of facewash I use or how often…I still break out. My skin often gets all dry also because I use products to try to clear up the acne. Yesterday a coworker brought me a little present…homemade facewash. At first I was worried about it…ok I was really worried about it…I’m going to clean my pizza-face with oil?! That’s about like putting muddy water in the washer to wash my clothes! I won’t even try new kinds of makeup because I know there’s always the chance of a pizza-face disaster! But… I really liked the idea that I wasn’t putting weird chemicals on my face so I was brave and tried it…I mean how bad can it get, right?

 I put the oil solution on my face and rubbed it in. Then I warmed a washcloth and placed it over the oil until the washcloth cooled to room temperature. It steamed my face and felt awesome. After the cloth had cooled, I gently wiped away the oil solution. My skin felt so clean and tingly (probably from the tea tree oil) yet not squeaky clean. This morning I just used a warm washcloth to gently wipe my face! My face wasn’t oily this morning like I expected!  I’m halfway through the day and I don’t feel greasy (which was a major fear for me). I think this cleanser is a keeper! My skin has never felt so good…seriously! I’m so excited!



If you want to try it, here’s the recipe:

Normal skin : 1 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp castor oil, a couple drops of tea tree oil

Acne-prone/oily skin : 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tsp castor oil, a couple drops of tea tree oil

Dry skin: 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp castor oil, a couple drops of tea tree oil

Olive oil moisturizes, castor oil cleans, and tea tree oil is a natural antispetic that will help clear acne.

Choose your mixture above and mix it into a small squeeze bottle of jar of some kind. I’m using the normal skin one right now since that’s what my coworker brought me.  It seems good even on my acne prone skin.

Leave me a comment and tell me how it goes!

Reading List

I love to read. Now that fall is here and it’s cooler outside, I love sitting on the deck with a cup of tea reading a good book. I also read almost every night before bed. My husband gave me a kindle for Christmas last year and it’s been the most used gift I have ever received. However, I’ve also re-discovered the library and Lexington has an awesome network of libraries. We’ve been visiting the library every couple of weeks or so. I could spend hours in there. I absolutely love it!  Also, I’ve found to be an excellent resource for getting kindle books.

Because I can’t seem to read everything I want to read before I forget what I wanted to read, I’m starting a list here.  Please feel free to suggest books. I enjoy many different types of books but especially enjoy non-fiction, mystery and suspense, and science books.

Books that I want to read (in no specific order):

1. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich (finished- borrowed from Lexington Public Library)

2.  Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools by Jonathan Kozol

3. Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen

4. Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

5. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell

6. What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell

7. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

8. The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth: Popularity, Quirk Theory, and Why Outsiders Thrive After High School by Alexandra Robbins

9. Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal by Eric Schlosser

10. Twilight Children: Three Voices No One Heard Until a Therapist Listened by Torey L. Hayden (finished – borrowed from Lexington Public Library)

11. Ghost Girl: The True Story of a Child in Peril and the Teacher Who Saved Her by Torey Hayden

12. Beautiful Child by Torey Hayden

13. One Child by Torey L. Hayden

14. Somebody Else’s Kids by Torey L. Hayden

15. The Tiger’s Child by Torey Hayden

16. Silent Boy: He Was a Frightened Boy Who Refused to Speak- Until a Teacher’s Love Broke Through the Silence by Torey L. Hayden

17. Damaged: The Heartbreaking True Story of a Forgotten Child by Cathy Glass

18. Empty Chairs by Stacey Danson – (in cue – $0.99 for kindle on Amazon)

19. Amazing Gracie: A Dog’s Tale by Dan Dye (borrow request submitted on

20. A  Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

21. The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay

22. The Lighter Side of Large by Becky Siame

23. Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do by Gabriel Thompson 

24. Beyond Justice by Joshua Graham (borrow request submitted on

25. The Confession: A Novel by John Grisham

26. A Painted House by John Grisham

27.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy) by Stieg Larsson

28. The Girl Who Played with Fire: Book 2 of the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson

29. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest  by Stieg Larsson

29. The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles) by Mary E. Pearson

30. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles  (borrow request submitted on

31. The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA by James D. Watson

32.  The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson (finished – borrowed from Lexington Public Library)

33. Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us by Robert D. Hare

34. Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak and Robert D. Hare

35. And Then There Was One by Patricia Gussin

36. Twisted Justice by Patricia Gussin

37. Fifty Shades of Grey: Book One of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James

38. Fifty Shades Darker: Book Two of the Fifty Shades Trilogy by E. L. James

 40. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

41. Wheat Belly: Lose the Wheat, Lose the Weight, and Find Your Path Back to Health by William Davis

42. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

43. The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

44. The Odds by Amy Kinzer (borrow request submitted on

45. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

46. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

47. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

1200 Calories and Chronic Cardio

Anyone ever tracked calories to lose weight? I’m sure a lot of you have. I’ve been trying to slim down a little for the past year. I’ve been using to track my food intake and exercise. Because I’m not considered overweight (though I’m hanging on for dear life to a normal BMI), (a great site with awesome people, by the way) recommends I net 1200 calories per day (intake – calories burned with exercise = net calories) in order to shed about a pound a week. The problem is netting 1200 calories is darn near impossible if you don’t work out every day! I’m not talking going for a short little walk either…even walking for an hour straight only contributes to about 200 calories burned for a person my size. Though I can make it on 1400 calories and a walk burning off 200 of them, it’s easier for me to just go run or use the elliptical for 30 minutes or bike for 60-90 minutes to get some calories. So for 7-10 days I can work out pretty much every day (think 30 minute runs, 60-90 minute bike rides, etc…I’m generally not the go-for-walks and/or yoga-type) and use exercise so that I can net around 1200 calories daily…then it happens…all of a sudden I’m exhausted and hungry and CRANKY. Mark refers to this as “chronic cardio”  on his website.) Anyways, so I’m tired and cranky after forcing myself to do moderate-high intensity exercise every day and then I don’t work out for a day or two…what happens? I gain some weight back, feel guilty and stressed and then I have to force myself to get moving again only to lose the same 2 lbs I lost the week before! It’s an endless cycle. I’ve been battling the same 5 pounds for a year now! (Yeah, it’s embarrassing to admit…but there I said it.) I know that my weight isn’t ideal for my frame, but even shedding 5 pounds seems like so much work…how am I supposed to shed 15-20 when I’m not really overweight to begin with? I’ve tried lifting weights. I’ve trained for and completed two marathons.

Here’s a couple pictures of me after my first one…a little muscle …but overall after training for a full marathon (26.2 miles) you’d think I’d have better muscle tone! And not only that, it seems that after the 2 marathons, I gained even more weight than before I was training. (I didn’t really lose anything while training)

So as Tony Robins said, If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.” What I’ve “gotten” is a body that’s barely hanging on to normal weight, is broken out with acne, is cranky, tired and stays hungry. What do I have to lose? Besides, let’s be honest, do I want to spend my life trying to net 1200 calories a day…measuring my food, exercising off anything extra and hungry all the time? That’s a bit ridiculous and is bordering obsession and I don’t want that! And for me, it seems to lead to exhaustion and carb binges.

I’m definitely not saying a person shouldn’t exercise! Of course we should be moving!! We are not meant to sit on our butts and do nothing all day. However, I don’t think we should be doing chronic cardio…moving so much and elevating the heart rate so much that it causes stress (which increases cortisol and therefore impacts fat storage and etc). So for the next 30 days, I’m going to play more…not exercise more. I mean, go for social (less intense) bike rides, walk my dogs and play in the park with them. I’ll do the weekly sprint session recommended as well…and lift some weights…but the chronic cardio to hit a 1200 net calorie goal is stopping for now.

Play time on my bike. 🙂 Isn’t the background gorgeous? There’s lots of things I don’t like about Kentucky but the natural beauty here is wonderful. 🙂

Is it too good to be true? Possibly. I’ll let you know in 30 days and then I can re-assess and go back to the 1200 calories a day thing if necessary. It’s only 30 days.

Free Kindle Book – Prison Nation

I found this book for free today on Amazon and just started reading it. So far, it’s really good! Possibly a good read for those who like The Hunger Games? It reminds me of that story.

Here’s Amazon’s summary of the book:

In the Nation, no one is innocent – not even the children born behind bars. Millie 942B has spent her entire life locked away with her criminal parents and countless other inmates. She believes in the Nation, in its strict laws and harsh punishments. 

But when Millie is released on her eighteenth birthday, she finds things are nothing as she was taught. People vanish, never to be seen again. Lies cover every word. Trust is as fragile as ice.

And then there is Reed. Born and raised outside the Prison walls, his dreams and thoughts cause Millie to doubt everything she has ever believed. 

What is truly worth fighting for? If she pushes too hard, she could lose her freedom. If she stays silent, she could lose herself. The clock is ticking, and Millie must find the truth before it is too late.


Prison Nation – click here to download it for free


Virginia Birth Card and a Passport

So…today I finally went to apply for a US passport. I’ve searched up all my documents to prove I am who I say I am…birth certificate card, social security card, driver’s license,  marriage license…etc etc…anything I could think of that they might want to see to prove I am indeed me, I took to the passport application office. I had a whole folder of awesome papers. 🙂 I make sure I have a checkbook because the office I went to doesn’t accept card payments. I’m all nervous double checking I have everything as I walk across campus (I work at a university) to the ID/passport application office.

I show up at the passport office and the lady working there is very nice. She’s quite  impressed that I brought all my papers and had my application filled out and ready. I try to tame my wild hair (it’s raining and windy here today) and smile for my passport photo.  Done! Then she’s checking over everything to make sure I didn’t forget to fill out anything or something.

That’s when it happened…

My VA birth card (it’s plastic and all cute) does not have my parents names on it. I have no idea why it doesn’t…that’s just what was issued back in the early 80’s when I was born. She points this out and says the passport office won’t accept the plastic card as my birth certificate because it’s not a “current” birth certificate. I couldn’t help but giggle and so did she when she realized she’d said “current” instead of updated because I was born a long time ago…of course the birth certificate isn’t current!

So anyways, I just spent the last 45 minutes tracking down the website and applying for a rushed birth certificate to prove I have parents. Don’t make the mistake I made…if you were born in VA (or elsewhere) and have a birth card instead of a birth certificate and it doesn’t have your parents names on it…go apply for a birth certificate. Mine ended up costing $51 because I need it pronto. It’d be much cheaper  if you don’t need it right away.

Here’s the website if you have a VA birth card and need to apply for a VA birth certificate…