How long has it been??

Sorry it’s been a bit longer than normal between my posts but life has just been MANIC!!

In case you’re not on my Instagram ( _tararenee13_ ), last week my eBay account was hacked! Not to purchase things with my money, but to SELL things. My phone pinged with a notification and with the time of day, I assumed it was my son so I looked (not supposed to be using your mobile in my office so I don’t have it out). Thank God I did!!

“Congratulations” Your item Samsung 10+ yada yada yada has just sold!” – eBay

“You’ve just received £300 from John Doe for his eBay purchase” – PayPal

WHOAH!!! HOLD UP!! I don’t own any Samsung items nor do I have any listed to sell on eBay. WTF?!?!

So, I tell my boss what’s happened and that I’m phoning eBay at the same time I’m messaging the buyer via eBay to say my account was hacked, I’m talking to eBay, there is no Samsung phone and I’ll get his money back to him. To which he replies with threats of police and a lawsuit…suspicious behaviour I think…Why not contact eBay, as you should do. He said “I’m going to report you” I said “GOOD!! I’m reporting it myself and they have seen your threats”

Moving past this ass-hat…Two more people have bought the faux item as the hacker had put 4 available on the listing…which was a listing I made last year for a collectable item I do have and am looking to sell. Other’s are messaging me through eBay asking about the item and that they don’t have WhatsApp, is it okay to contact ‘me’ through eBay…Well that’s a Big Red Flag there, that the ‘seller’ had put to be contacted via WhatsApp, not eBay.

They had also managed to put their phone number on my account so I was unable to change my password as it was going to send a ‘verification code to mobile number 75xx xxxx09…that’s not my number!

Hour and a half later…eBay had finally removed the listing, contacted the buyers that the account had been compromised and they’ll be issuing a refund, etc. and froze/locked my account at my request. I also logged a complaint with eBay for the first buyer and his threats. I told them, and they agreed, it was unusual behaviour and could well have been them who hacked me.

All three buyers have been refunded their money yet I’m still out £27 from the PayPal fees incurred at point of paying. I only received £291 from each buyer but they were sent £300 that they paid back. I have contacted PayPal regarding refunding me this £27 as I was told by eBay and PayPal I would not be liable for any fees. I’m waiting for a response at time of publishing.

So that was my Friday night and Saturday morning trying to sort that nightmare out. CHANGE YOUR PASSWORDS REGULARLY and MAKE THEM COMPLICATED.

ON THE PLUS SIDE THOUGH …

I gave in to my food cravings and did some stress eating from all of the above and gained 1.5lbs at my Weight Watchers meeting Sunday morning.

Why was this a good thing, I hear you ask. Well, because I feel if you deny yourself a craving or a treat…that is when you risk falling off the wagon, rolling down the hill and never see that wagon again.

WW have also introduced a new way to ‘diet’ so this week I’ve moved from the ‘Blue Plan’ which is the plan it previously was, to the Purple Plan which allows certain carbs to be zero points and then there’s the Green Plan…which to be honest, I’ve not really looked at.

So I’m enjoying some wholewheat pasta, brown basmati rice and gorgeous potatoes…within reason of course! but without having to use up loads of points on them. I’ll let you know how I get on but I am hopeful this ‘shock’ to my system will be the boost I need to get shifting the weight again.

Now…go change your passwords!!

As the year comes to a close…

Well, 2019 is nearly over with Thanksgiving and Christmas fast approaching. How has 2019 treated you? Are you looking forward to a better 2020?

This past year has been okay for me. It was better than 2017 and 2018 I believe. But that is what we aim for, isn’t it? To do and be better each year. To improve ourselves and our lives. In the last few months, my neighbours from hell have moved away so I’ve lived in peace & quiet since June. I suffer from Misophonia and all of the noise they created was literally driving me into a deep depression and high anxiety issues. So my prayers were answered when they were evicted.

In June, I had a lovely vacation with two of my best friends and saw some amazing things and places I’ve never been to before. Tame Boston squirrels at the Common Gardens climbed all over me as I fed them treats, took in the sights and did some people watching. We visited Salem and learned the truth about the Witch Trials and history of Salem. I could go on but there are Vlogs on my YouTube Channel which may be more entertaining.

Back in September, I was referred to WW (formally Weight Watchers) by my doctor and bit by bit am losing weight. With that, I am forming better eating habits, teaching myself how to cook more from scratch. Due to that, I am feeling better about myself, I’m happier, prouder and all around feel so much better about life. Do see the ripple effect here?

What are you thankful for?

I do have some things to be thankful for this past year. At the moment, I’m thankful for a lot of overtime leading up to the holidays LOL I’m definately thankful for having such an amazing son who keeps be pushing harder to be better. My friends, my job, my car, my flat, my cats. I’m thankful for having the parents I did and how they raised me so that I can survive in this world without them.

So many people out there are without the things we take for granted every day. Be thankful, even for the smallest of things because there’s someone out there that prays they could have that little thing. That half of a sandwich you threw away, the money you spent on a new tv, that hug from a loved one.

My challenge to you for the rest of November, the thankful month if you will, is to wake up each morning and say Thank You to whatever being or God you believe in. Thank you for giving me another day. Thank you for providing me with opportunities in life. Thank you for loved ones, a roof over my head, a full stomach. Thank you for waking me up this morning. Also, try to do for those less fortunate. Buy a Big Issue from the lady you pass each day to work. Donate your change in the charity pot at Costa. Help those who need it more than you.

Hold on Tight. This is gonna be a bumpy one!

It’s been a few days since my last post so I wanted to share a few things that’s been on my mind or that has happened so it’s gonna be a bit of a ride and I appologise now for that.

Firstly, just a little rant about cinema goers. So all of the cinemas near us have allocated seats that you choose when you book your tickets. If you don’t pre-book and get your ticket at the cinema on the day, they still have you pick out seats. The other day my son & I went to see Gemini and we had our pre-allocated seats which was one of our two usual rows. As I climb the steps; A, B, C, D…H…our seats are the first two on the right of the isle yet…two men of varying ages were in our seats. I look at my phone, look at the floor and look at the chairs, checking row and numbers and say loudly “Yeah, these are our seats H7 & H8. ‘Scuse me, these are our seats.” They both sat still, eyes locked forward like we weren’t even there nor had we said anything to them. My son, being quite a passive person, was like “Mom lets just sit on the other side, it’s fine” Fine. But that’s not the point. Then…the two guys in front of us talked through the whole film, I could hear them over the action scenes. I shushed them to no avail yet anytime I coughed, they had the nerve to turn around and look at me. I get people go to the movies with friends, etc and want to chat or “omg i think he’s the killer!”, etc. but in hushed tones. They didn’t even lean over to each other, proper loud. Although I enjoyed the film, I did not enjoy the experience. Argh! So there’s that. Rant over.

Be respectful to others in cinemas!

On a more positive note…I’m doing really well diet wise though! I’ve lost 11lbs now in 6 weeks. Squeee!! Between having a lovely Weight Watchers Coach and listening to Losing 100lbs with Phit & Phat have helped me change my attitude towards eating and losing weight. Not to mention just my mindset and how I think of myself. I know I won’t lose weight every week and that is okay. I’m being honest with tracking my food and being accountable for my choices. I’ve been eating better, I’ve been cooking, meal prepping… all these things I’m not used to doing but I’m so proud of!

In the lead up to Christmas and a road trip next May, I’m trying to rack up the overtime hours at my full time job. Basically, from now until the end of December, if I don’t have my son, I’m working over the weekend. LOL Plus my cat sitting business…surely it’s time for my numbers to come up, haha. I’m donating and selling a lot of my things because I need the space and the money, not the stuff so last weekend was “Yay! I just sold X on eBay for £60, that’s our weekend outtings and food paid for.” It’s scary being a single mom on minimum wages but I’m making it work. I’m working hard and I’m proud of myself for working so hard. Still hoping for a winning lottery ticket though! But ‘when’ I win my million, I’d still work where I am because I enjoy it, I’d just be able to relax and not worry.

With that in mind, I’m really excited to announce that I was chosen to be an affiliate for the Skinny Food Co!!! I’m loving their products and they’ve started accepting affiliates so I applied and was accepted! Yaayyy!! How awesome is that?!?! So I want to share with you my personal link and hope that if you want to try some of their guilt free products, you’ll shop via my link below. Sauces, syrups, flavourings, jams, spreads…you won’t regret it! And of course, by using my affiliate link, you’ll be helping me too ❤

I guess I should go for now and finish watching this week’s Walking Dead for the second time (OMG!!) then hit the sack. Thank you for letting me share my rambling thoughts with you. Sometimes you want to say more than you would on Facebook and such and I just love writing. I really should try to get back to doing my short stories. Hmmmm….I could do a collection of short stories and self-publish on Amazon. A couple of my friends have done that. Ya never know 🙂

Good night & have a pleasent tomorrow!

Would you do it if you could?

We all want to be the best version of ourselves…don’t we? Each day we try to do something a little bit better, be a bit better, be a bit happier and so on. But no one is perfect. We all have our flaws. We all get angry, bitter, jealous, resentful. We can’t do everything ‘just right’. That’s what being human is about…right? To keep learning, keep bettering yourself, better your life, better your kids’ lives, learn from our mistakes and such.

Anyway, where the hell am I going with this? Last night I started watching a show on Netflix (UK) called “Living with Yourself” starring Paul Rudd.

*sidenote: THE MAN DOES NOT AGE!!

**SPOILER ALERT!! Stop reading if you’ve not seen this and want to or haven’t even seen the trailer**

As well as being entertaining…this show has made me think, hence this post.

In the show Miles (Paul Rudd) is in a real bad rut and so visits a ‘spa’ to turn him around. What actually happens is they make a clone of himself which is supposed to take the real Miles’ place but human error happens and so now there’s TWO Miles’. The original, human, imperfect Miles and the perfect clone.

So of course OG Miles is going to take advantage of this and gets Clone Miles to go to work for him to help get his career back on track and all that good stuff to help him get out of the rut he’s been in while he plods along.

I don’t want to get too much into the show because this post isn’t really about the show, it’s just what got me thinking…If you had the ability; be it $50k like Miles paid, or a magic spell or whatever you can think of, to make the ‘perfect you’…clone or just yourself…Would you do it?

Would you, in a bid to better your life and possible the life of your family, get rid of all the imperfections and faults to make an honestly, perfect version of yourself, the best you could ever be overnight…Would you? And if you would…Why? Comment if you like but Keep your Why’s to yourself.

I think I would though. I don’t want there to be two of me but if I could be the best version I can be, with little to no faults, and I could just get out there do and be all the things I’ve dreamt of…I’m sure the faults will come back with time just from mental wear and tear but yeah…I think I would. No glasses, no bad knees, no obesity, no anxiety, depression, misophonia…just a lot of “get up and go”, confidence, smarts, ability.

Now, of course I try to better myself the natural, real way each day. I’m losing weight, I’m taking some online courses to learn things, I’m learning how to cook properly for a change…but yeah, I’d take the easy way out if I could. That’s one of my faults and I think a lot of us feel that way. We want things the easy way. There’s nothing wrong with that and if we keep trying, things do get easier.

None of us will ever be perfect, but we can try to get better each day and with each step we take to that better us, we should be proud about. Be proud of your efforts to better yourself, your life and the life of your loved ones. Accept your faults, embrace them and I feel when you do that, you can start to improve them.

Now, if I win the lottery I will be going to that spa though!! LOL

Have a great day y’all.

When you’ve been eating healthy…

Eat the Rainbow

So four weeks ago, my doctor referred me to Weight Watchers in an effort to lose weight so I could be eligible for knee surgery as I’ve advanced arthritis in my knee. Although I’m “too young” for knee replacement, they’d be willing to do some scraping surgery to get more room between the bones in my joint, as at the moment my knee is “bone on bone”.

I’ve tried various diets over the years, mostly Weight Watchers though, and I’ve never lost as much as I wanted or needed to. Sure, after a while I’d get bored or fed up with measuring, counting, etc. and so on and would just quit. However, when I’ve followed Weight Watchers properly, it’s always worked for me. Of course, I’m only human and wouldn’t lose every week, but it was working. Until I stopped following it.

I’ve been following their new plan for four weeks now and am doing quite good. I’m not saying how much I’ve lost, but I’m very pleased with my efforts and success so far…apart from this past weekend.

Saturday, following an overtime shift at work, my son and I went to the cinema to see Zombieland: Double Tap which we enjoyed. I also enjoyed a large mixed (sweet & salted) popcorn which was over my daily point allowance PLUS add on my lunch at work and such. Then Sunday we went out in the morning before I had a lovely brunch for a friend’s baby-shower where I had a lovely meal followed by two huge cupcakes.

Yup, that’s me…feeling unwell on a Sunday night.

Although I really enjoyed myself both days…come Sunday night, my body was yelling at me to get back on my healthy food track! I felt so unwell, it was horrible. Luckily, I didn’t get ‘sick’, just felt unwell but it’s still not nice to feel queasy and feverish.

So today, I parked further away from my office to get some extra walking in and I plan to do this from now on whether and time permitting. I devoured a Subway Tuna Salad (it was surprisingly satisfying) at lunch and tonight will be booking a WW recipe of teriyaki beef with veggies.

Fingers crossed I can ring this in and make up for the lovely weekend and manage another loss come Saturday. If not, I will know why and will keep pushing forward aiming for a loss the following week.

I’ve been enjoying all of the cooking, although it can get a bit stressful when you don’t get in from work until 6.30pm and am a ‘beginner’ cook and preparing takes you twice as long as the instructions anticipate. Doing meals that serve 4 people is broken down into portions and that’s my lunch and/or dinner for the next four days. That’s been really helpful. Learning how to make things fresh and doing it so it works out as zero points is awesome! Like rather than 2-4 points for tinned baked beans…I’m now making my own for zero points! Little things like that have, in my opinion, really helped me to lose weight.

Anyway, I think that is enough rambling for now on this subject. Thanks for reading.

Please share any diet or weight loss tips too!!

Cooking for One…sometimes Two

Isle just for me…except, I don’t drink wine.

Being Single and cooking can be difficult but I think I’m finally getting the hang of things now. I don’t think I’ve ever done so much cooking from scratch in my LIFE! Now, instead of grabbing a quick bite from Gregg’s at work or takeaways at night, I’m batch cooking healthier recipes and separating them into portions in ‘left over’ boxes so that my lunch and dinner for 3-4 days is all sorted! Quick, easy and healthy.

It’s really good when I get home a bit later and instead of ‘slaving over the stove’ or going through a drive-thru, I’ve just gotta pop a meal into the microwave for a few minutes and I’m good to go.

This is helping me lose weight, save money and time! Of course, for the weeks I have my son, I don’t make him eat the same thing day after day so the extra two portions (because I’m crap at changing recipes to reduce portions), I take in to work the next two days for my lunch. Ta Da!!

I’ve been doing Weight Watcher recipes as my GP had me sign up with them recently. I’ve been with WW many times over the past 20yrs but I’m really hoping this time will be different as I have more control over…well, everything really.

Only having to cook for yourself really has some benefits such as having what you want and doing it how you want and also saving on money. Sure, I make a meal for four, it could feed four people…but then I’d need food for lunch as well. It just makes sense to me.

I’ve been quite impressed with my kitchen skills so far. Like I said before, I’ve never cooked from scratch so much! Throw together a casserole or just bang pre-made foods in the oven is usually my limit. Now I’m in there chopping onions (oh my eyes!!), peppers, using ingredients I’ve never had before. It’s all very exciting and so far, everything I’ve made has been delicious!!

My son is eating new things with me because of it too. Not always a fan of the dish but he eats it and when I fancy it again, I just have it when he’s not with me. Easy Peasy!

(photo credit: Weight Watchers UK)

Anyway, I just wanted to ramble a bit about that. Not very exciting for most but I’m thrilled LOL. I’ve made paella, risotto, sausage casserole with fresh veg and butter beans instead of a powder mix and Heinz baked beans. Tonight I’m doing a tomato & mozzarella chicken with tagliatelle pasta and tomorrow is beef teriyaki stir fry.

It costs nothing to be nice

We are all so quick to snap at another person whether they were in the wrong or we were. When we drive we’re having a go at that slow driver, that guy who cut you off, the girl who rode your tail when you had no way of moving out of their way or people in the shops who are taking up the whole isle for a family reunion and won’t move so you can get your Dorito’s. Whether it’s in our head, out loud in our car or even, face to face…we’ve all done it.

So with that in mind, I just felt like sharing something that happened today. I had gone to the next town over to fill my car up with petrol because I’d stopped there the previous week when collecting my car from the garage and the price was a go 3-6p less than gas stations near me. There’s also a grocery store across from it and I needed some groceries so two birds with one stone, right?

Anyway, so with it’s low price it’s obviously very busy so we’re all queued up to wait our turn at a pump and the car in front of me stops behind a car at the pump next to the last lane. So I assume, as she’d stopped, that her tank is on the left hand side and is waiting to get into that station so I slowly start to go around her to go to the last line of pumps. As I do this, she then starts to go heading towards the last line as well. I was a bit further up than her so I went on ahead after we’d both stopped and looked at each other to see who’s going to go. She, I’ll call her ‘Jane’, pulls in at the pump behind me and I’m just waiting to get an earfull for going around her, etc. Knowing I did not need that sort of negativity as I was having a good morning so far, when ‘Jane’ got out of her car I walked to the end of mine, staying in ‘my space’ so she wouldn’t feel threatened or whatever. I said to her with a bit of a chuckle “I am sorry, as you had stopped behind that car, I thought you were queuing up for that line so I started to go around you.” She smiles and said not to worry and asked if I was okay…I’m not sure why she asked that as we’d not touched cars or anything but it was nice of her. Neither of us had done anything ‘wrong’ but I felt it was nice to appologise and explain why I’d gone around her despite being behind her in the queue.

( Photo: Purino/Shutterstock)

With that pleasentry out of the way, ‘Jane’ noticed my cat sitting sticker on my back window and asked if I was indeed a cat sitter, if I was local, etc.. It turns out, she’s got two cats and sometimes has trouble pinning someone down to tend to them when they are away. She asked me briefly about administering medicine to cats, and we had a quick chat as she took a photo of my sticker for the website URL. While in the shop paying we chatted a bit more, properly introduced ourselves and she said she’ll check out my site and be in touch. ‘Jane’ joked it must’ve been fate that I’d gone around her. Why not? I’d gone outside of my town, sat in a bit of roadworks traffic, for that particular gas station due to it’s price…you know the rest.

So not only did I politely diffuse any negativity she may have felt about my ‘jumping the queue’ by apologising…I may have a new cat client out of it! They always say “it doesn’t cost anything to be nice” and in this case, it may even make me some money. I also found a 10p coin as we walked out of the shop, so…Be nice. Smile to a stranger and say Good Morning to them. It helps you both feel good.

Which reminds me that last weekend when I was dropping my car off at the garage, I’d gotten there early so when we all went in, they weren’t quite ready for us. I went over to their waiting area and helped myself to a free hot chocolate. When I was finishing up, an elderly couple came over to sit down and wait and I offered to get them both a drink as I was up…they were too really, but still…The gentleman wasn’t sure how to use the machine as it was one of those automatic machines ‘press your selection’, etc. So I asked what they’d both like, I did their drinks while we chatted and took them to their table for them. They were thankful and again, it cost me nothing to do this for them and it brightened all of our mornings.

So I’m going to give you a little challenge…this week, do a ‘random act of kindness’ for a stranger. It doesn’t have to cost you a penny or really not any time. “Good morning!”, “I like your coat.”, “Please, you go first.” You may be surprised what happens. 🙂

A Little Travellin’ Music Please

I love to travel! I don’t know where exactly it comes from, but I just love going from place to place, seeing new things, meeting new people and just exploring! Because of this, I just LOVE the song by Miss Ashley McBryde called “Home Sweet Highway”. The lyrics just resonate with me but none so much as “These stayin’ put shoes I’m wearing don’t fit me right”

Summer of 2018, I drove from Santa Monica to Chicago. Yes, Route 66…but sadly with a lot more Interstate and Highway than I’d liked but I actually did have a plane to catch on the other side! Not to mention hotel rooms booked in various cities, state to states. I didn’t want to leave anything to chance as I had others with me including my son. A lot of things I wanted to see and do were already closed by the time we got there. I planned and planned and planned until I was blue in the face but just because Google Maps says it’ll take you X hours…it usually took two more than we expected with stops and traffic, etc. But it was still a lot of fun and as soon as I got back to England, I wanted to do it all over again! But with more time, like a month!

I definitely fell in love with a few places on that trip like Williams, Arizona. Like everywhere else, we only had one night there but the little town was just lovely as we went out for a walk and dinner. The Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico as well!! Ah, I know the current owners are looking to sell it as they feel their time there is up, if I had the money I’d love to buy that place.

This past summer my friend and I went on a little ‘gothic road trip’ as we had stops in Salem, MA and stayed in Lizzie Borden’s B&B which were both amazing experiences and we really want to go back! This trip started in Boston and ended in Philadelphia where we met up with another friend for festivities.

We just have so much fun on the road and have now planned NEXT year’s trip which will be a bit more relaxing with less driving to do. So here we come San Francisco and San Jose!!

But I just can’t get enough of being on the road! I love watching people on YouTube who travel in their RVs and go where and when they want. So from watching in awe of these people, I’ve got a little dream.

Well, my friend Sheila and I both share this dream…we want to get an RV and live out on the open road! In this little day dream, I’ve picked out the Leisure Travel Van Serenity Tri-Fold Sofa Model. Which means it safely and comfortable seats and sleeps up to four people and we’d have our own separate sleeping area.

As much as this is a lovely dream, we both know in reality there are things to consider like income, bills, insurances, being away from family (especially me as my son wants to stay in England and I’d be doing this back in America). So as much as I look at YouTube videos and think “man, that would be amazing!” I also watch, read and listen about realities, tips, advise, how to fix things, this company is better than this one for this thing, etc.

But in a perfect world…this is what we’d love to do. And why the hell not?! Fingers crossed!!

Welcome!

Watch where you step…

“Reality. What a concept!”

— Robin Williams

This is the first post on my new blog. Thanks for dropping by. I’m just getting back into blogging, sometimes I want to say more than should be on Facebook or allowed on Twitter and Instagram…I’ve had several blogs over the years…I lose log in info, can’t remember what platform they are on, etc…so here’s another one! Please stay tuned for Random Thoughts from a Wandering Mind.

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