Recommendation: Flossing

I’m not a dentist, nor do I play one on TV.

However, in the past year I’ve had to have a crown and 2 fillings. The crown was replacing an old filling that had cracked the tooth. But the 2 fillings I got earlier this week were because I hate to floss. 

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Most people don’t floss. It’s not fun. It has no obvious results. It can be annoying.

In my totally informal survey of people I know, I have also found that most people also don’t go to the dentist. I get that too. It’s no fun. It can be annoying. It has no obvious results. Sounds familiar.

Here’s the thing, though- I don’t love going to the dentist, but I do it. I spent 2 years in braces and I like to maintain my pretty teeth. Honestly, they look good. And since moving to Colorado, I have found a dentist I like who is really nice. But evidently he also likes to mess with my teeth.

Things that are awful include getting fillings and even more awful, getting a crown.

I went out and bought some of those floss pick thingys and now they sit on my desk. Since I sit at my desk every day, they are a good reminder to get in there and scrub between my teeth.

If avoiding dental work is not enough of a motivation for you to floss, there are some (unclear) links between dental health and heart health (citation).

Considering heart attacks are the #1 leading cause of death in the US (citation), consider flossing, won’t you.

Thanks for reading the most boring recommendation in the world.

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Review: Penzey’s Spices

For years and years in discussion groups and bulletin boards online I read about how Penzey’s Spices were the very best. But if I’m being honest, I am not great at planning more than a week ahead of myself. When it comes to dinner, I’m lucky if I plan a day ahead. And so if I needed a particular spice for something, I would buy it at the grocery store.

I finally got around to ordering from Penzey’s right before Christmas. I heard they had some good deals- and they did- so that’s where I got Christmas gifts for the boys’ teachers. They have cute little gift boxes that have spice themes- baking, grilling, things like that. As it turns out, planning ahead for spice use is totally worth it.

Penzey’s Cooking Gift Box

The key is their awesome spice mixes.

Their taco spice is about a thousand times better than the one you buy at the store. You don’t even know you need it but once you use it, you’ll see why. It has a little more heat than the one that comes in an envelope, so use about half unless you like it spicy.

They also have a garden salad seasoning that is great on the obvious salad, but I normally put it on pasta, zucchini, and chicken. Also good is their Fox Point seasoning, which is good in scrambled eggs.

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Penzey’s Wedding gift box, $69.95 as of this writing.

 

 

 

Review: Digit savings app

Back in February, a friend of mine on posted a referral link to Digit on Facebook. She said it helped her save money.

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Curious, and always down for a free $5 bonus, I signed up.

Here’s how it works:

  1. It skims money off of the account you link up.
  2. It keeps that money in a FDIC insured savings account.
  3. To get that money back into your regular account, you have to request it and it takes ~3 days.
  4. Get interest on your savings – actually 10x more than my traditional savings account.

Sound good? If you think so, sign up here: Digit savings app (yes, an affiliate link- you use that link, you get $5 in your account, I get $5 in my account.)

Obviously this is not for you if you need your money to be 100% liquid. But say that you don’t and you could wait 3 days before you need the money… this is totally for you. I decided it was for me because I know that if I need money in an emergency, I have enough credit to cover it and could wait those 3 days.

The moral of the story: I have saved a surprising amount of money in the past 5 months. Money I didn’t think was available for saving. My plan to go to a tropical location and learn how to surf has become a lot more real in a lot shorter period of time. I’ll send you a postcard.

 

 

 

 

I LOVE my bathing suit! (really.)

No preamble to this one:  I love my bathing suit from Athleta.

This is a mind blowing statement merely because WHO LOVES THEIR BATHING SUIT? Ok, I know a few people. But not many. Most people hate bathing suits, and they hate bathing suit shopping even more. Don’t feel that way, people!

Palmetto

Loving yourself and being all body positive is great, but let me tell you that it’s a lot easier to feel confident at the pool/beach when your bathing suit fits like a dream.

I recently got this top: Smocked Tankini at Athleta and it fits astonishingly well. I have ALWAYS had problems with bathing suit tops. I don’t love my stomach and have been (ahem) well endowed. However, when I’ve recently lost weight, I’ve lost a bit of that business as well. And since I’m north of 40 and being overweight does not do really awesome things for ones skin, they have not exactly bounced back to their youthful stature. I have actually bought two bathing suit tops from Athleta this year.

I have pretty good legs so bathing suit bottoms haven’t often been a problem. But I like a little coverage so that I don’t have to pull it out of my butt all the time. Which is why I got the Kata Swim Shorts at Athleta. 

Prior to this year, I had the Scrunch Short. Literally so ultra flattering that I bought 2 pairs. I’d buy them again, but I like the Kata because I can both wear them to the pool or to CrossFit. I actually have worn them to CrossFit and they are awesome. They don’t get sticky, they don’t ride up (because they’re super short to begin with) and they cover everything.

Things that are great about Athleta in general but their swimwear in particular:

  1. They have a “give it a workout” guarantee. That means you can take the tags off, wear it, and return it if needed. I’ve done this once because I bought a pair of pants and it turned out they were too big. I brought them back, no problems.
  2. They give good guidelines as to how it fits in the bust- some of their swimsuits have cup sizes, some don’t. Their site is super descriptive, and not in a deceptive way.
  3. Their website gives coordinating colors for the prints. For example: if you look at the Redondo Cross Strap Tankini the product description says “SOLID MATCH: Powerful Blue, Electric Fuchsia.” Particularly awesome because I bought a pair of the capri stripe shorts, and a powerful blue top. And I knew they would match because the site said so.
  4. They also have “rash guards” that are just fine for your regular swimming. In the past years when I haven’t been able to find a tankini top that I like, I have worn a sports bra under one of their sleeveless rash guards. It’s given me exactly the amount of coverage I wanted.

It’s July. Go get in the water and feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.

 

 

Get Your Books Online

This might seem like a weird recommendation, but today I’m reviewing books online.

Dude, I know about Amazon, you might be saying. (do they even sell books anymore?)

Not those online books. The ones from your local library.

Here’s how this works:

  1. Go to the library, get your library card.
  2. Make sure you ask the librarian if there’s any special things you need to know about getting books online through their site. They might need to set up a password or something.
  3. Go home.
  4. Go to the library website.
  5. Download the book you want to read. Fill up your waitlist with books you want to read in the future.
  6. Profit, because you are neither driving to the library nor spending money on books.

You may say, but I don’t have a kindle or a nook and I’m not going to buy one. Friend, that’s totally fine. What are you reading this blog post on? A computer? Phone? Tablet? Cool. You can read a library book on that.

It is true that your library will not have every book ever printed available to borrow. Occasionally you may have to buy a book. However, my friend, let me tell you that in the past year I’ve bought exactly 2 books. I have read about 20 books, though, thereby saving a minimum of $200 if you assume it’s $10 a book, and most cost more.

Go to the library. Tell them Leslie Knope sent you.

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Review: RX Bars

If you don’t know about RX Bars, let me tell you about them:

  1. Most importantly: they taste good.
  2. They have a variety of flavors: My favorites are the maple sea salt because it’s kind of caramelly, and chocolate sea salt. Also good: mint chocolate chip, coconut chocolate chip. Least favorite: peanut butter because it doesn’t really taste peanutty.
  3. They’re balanced: they have carbs, fat, and protein.
  4. You can get them from Amazon: amazon link- not a referral link because I’m not cool enough for that (yet). I get them through their Subscribe & Save program every month or 2 and get an extra 15% off because I try to be thrifty, though I am not often successful at it.
  5. You can also get them at Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, or Whole Foods but you’ll pay as much as $2.50 a bar and that’s not really worth it to me. Sometimes at grocery stores, if your grocery story is like that. Mine is not.
  6. If this is important to you: they are full of “real stuff.” I honestly don’t care all that much. I’m totally cool with man-made sugars. But again, if you care, it’s all natural food.

I’m counting macros these days (a short tutorial if you need more info) and sometimes my meal prep involves cutting an RX Bar in half. I typically eat half a bar for breakfast every day.

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Good morning, breakfast!

Things I do not recommend: Buying directly from the RX Bar people. Here’s why: I had a 20% off code from them for a box of mixed flavors. Cool idea without committing to a box of 12. According to their site:

We do our best to ship out in-stock orders the next business day. Once your order leaves our facility, you can expect your delivery within 2-5 business days.

Yeah, well, 3 weeks after I ordered, I still hadn’t gotten them. Emailed. Oh, they forgot. Got them about 8 days later. No apology, no extra bar, no coupon, nothing.

I’m still eating the bars because they’re delicious and a solid source of nutrition and I haven’t found an equal replacement. But don’t order directly from the company.

Reviving the Blog

If you’ve ever read my blog, you know I’m terrible at actually doing it. The same is true of life. People who keep journals are superheros, in my opinion. I have triiiied. I write a few days. Then I forget. It seems more like homework than anything.

I have decided I’m going to start writing once a week about things I like. Could be a product, or a service, or a website. Who knows? Whatever moves me. That’s what I’m going to do. Stay tuned.