Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Ode to Allstate (OR why I hate Progressive)

For the past 3.5 years, I've been with Progressive Car Insurance. I don't like them.

My car was hit in a mall parking lot in 2004 (I had only had my car 2 months and was shopping inside. Someone hit my car hard enough to move it in the stall then tried to take off. A witness saw it and called the police while FOLLOWING the car (!!!) until the police caught up with them.) and Progressive took like a week to come look at the damage, then said that because the officer didn't stop the van that hit me, they couldn't go after the driver to make them pay. (which is dumb. I don't care if it's the rules, they are dumb.)

In 2005-2006 I had a bad luck streak with tickets/one accident (which happen to occur right around the time I was acting my most immature/irresponsible. Coinsidence? Probably not) but my insurance never really went up until last May when it almost doubled. I knew I had been lucky so I didn't think that much about it until recently.

After turning 25 I called to see what the "milestone birthday" would do to my insurance. I was told my insurance would INCREASE $1 per month. WHAT?!?

That was it. I started thinking about who I wanted to switch to.

Now would be a good time to mention that I am a freak when it comes to how much I like Allstate commercials.

I tried to get a quote, but they actually want you to talk to people vs. doing everything online like other companies and I just didn't want to do that. THEN mi hermana told me that she has Allstate (who knew?) and that I should call her guy.

So I did.

He's saving me $75/month.

That's 2 tanks of gas. Or my cell phone bill. Or 2 weeks worth of food for lunch.

I'm in good hands. (ha!)

Monday, January 28, 2008

Looking back

A fellow blogger posted this picture with her post this past weekend and it stopped me in my tracks:

I started thinking about this picture and how for so many years this is exactly how I felt. I remembered posting things to my old blog like
"Dear heart, I met a boy. Prepare to shatter."
But I saw this post and my heart stopped because I remember how that felt. Almost too vividly. I remember crying so hard my stomach would ache for hours because I had so much love in my heart and it felt like no one wanted it. I remember getting my hopes up thinking "this time it's different" just to find out that it wasn't. I remember settling for guys that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt were horrible for me to be around, let alone be in a relationship with yet pretending like I didn't just because I wanted the companionship. That life - that mentality - hurt so much worse than the rejection or the reality I felt when everything came crashing down again and again.
I feel stronger now. Yes, I have Jason, but I have a self-confidence that Jason couldn't give me no matter how hard he tries. I ache knowing people still feel like that and I just don't know what to do. People said encouraging things to me for years that never sunk in, so I don't know what to say to people. It's a weird feeling, especially to know how that was me not that long ago.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Riche$t Lo$er - Week 1 (and a half)

Some friends and I all decided to do a contest, that originally Asia and I came up with, but Asia wimped out on me. ;)

We're calling it the Richest Loser - everyone that wants to "play" paid $50 and weighed in on January 6th. On April 6th we will all weigh in again, and whoever has lost the highest percentage of their original body weight, will win the pot (except for $100 - 2nd and 3rd place each get their money back.)

We ended up with 12 contestants, so the winner takes home $500 to go along with their weight loss.

So far in the first 9 days of competition, I had lost 8 pounds (possibly more cause I had eaten shortley before I weighed). YAY!!

I know the first part is the easiest time to lose the weight, but the hardest to get adjusted to and it's actually been going pretty well. I'm trying to plan what I will eat for various meals in advance which helps me not have to worry about going overboard. I'm using the website SparkPeople to track my food intake and excercise and it's so helpful. (It's totally free, too! If you want to sign up you should! My username is BeckyNoel if you want to find me on there.) :)

I've been going to the gym in the morning to use the treadmill - I'm so out of shape, but I'm seeing some improvement already in how long I could go the first day verses yesterday! Unfortunately I had to skip today - I haven't been stretching before I jogged, and my Achilles are starting to kill. :( Jason and I have talked about trying to do stuff on the weekends too, even if we're not at the same gym, having "gym time" where we each go do our thing. And there are 2 pools near his house that we could try on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Good deal.

Okay. That's all. I'm signing out (8 pounds lighter!)

The Picture Plan

I'm **gasp** committing to something. Yet again.

Through Elizabeth's blog, I found THIS challenge, which Asia convienently laid out like so:

Every two weeks you post a picture of something that relates to the letter of the alphabet assigned. There are 52 weeks in a year and 26 letters of the alphabet, allowing 2 weeks per letter.

A = January 1 to 19
B = January 20 to February 2
C = February 3 to February 16
D = February 17 to March 1
E = March 2 to March 15
F = March 16 to March 29
G = March 30 to April 12
H = April 13 to April 26
I = April 27 to May 10
J = May 11 to May 24
K = May 25 to June 7
L = June 8 to June 21
M = June 22 to July 5
N = July 6 to July 19
O = July 20 to August 2
P = August 3 to August 16
Q = August 17 to August 30
R = August 31 to September 13
S = September 14 to September 27
T = September 28 to October 11
U = October 12 to August 25
V = October 26 to November 8
W = November 9 to November 22
X = November 23 to December 6
Y = December 7 to December 20
Z = December 21 to December 31/January 3, 2009

I (and anyone else who is interested) have 3 days left to get an A picture, but I started with the ones below.

I will do my best to post my pics here, but hopefully this will just get me to take more pictures in general (I can always find something random to make work, but I need to have a picture to start with!)

For example, I could use any of these for A:
A pic of my accounting book for the class I'm currently in:

I'm working at Amazon, so this could work:

But I'd like to keep it more like "what's happening right now" which would work for this new jacket I got yesterday:'s not hard.

Well, A wasn't. ;)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Santa came to town, baby!

So....Christmas. I got some tight Shizz:

Dansko shoes! I was really happy:

They fit! :)
And Jason spoiled me like CRAZY and got me a Coach purse!! WHA??!?
Sister got me MORE MAC makeup
And brother got us another $50 gift card to come visit him. Which we will be doing in April.
Asia helped boyfriend get me some more games for my DS too - super fun!!!
Boyfriend also got me some books I've been wanting:
This book is hilarious. Well, so far. ;)
And this Photoshop book
Although I'm realizing the one I got (and gave to Asia) is really intense and I probably should have asked for/given this one:
Oh well. Live and learn.

AND Jenn and Clint got me the wristlet to go with my new purse. Super cute:
Asia also made me the coolest calendar ever. Serious.

She even talked to my sister and Jason and got everyone's birthdays and anniversaries, then added all the holidays too. It's seriously rad. Here's November:

And all the rest of the months. I LOVE it!!!!

SO.....yeah. That was fun. Maybe I'll post more later. :)

Thursday, January 03, 2008

M-A-C Makeover!

So...with my lovely MAC gifts for my birthday and Christmas, I decided to splurge on getting a Lesson at the MAC store (not Macintosh, MAC Cosmetics) so called and made an appointment with Calli.

My goal for the lesson was to learn how to best use the colors I have been trying to add to my "style" and how to use the lovely brush set that Asia gave me. I had a short list of a few things I wanted to pick up while I was there, and just hoped to leave a little more educated and skilled in make-up application.
Let me tell you. I loved it.

Calli was so great at understanding that I wasn't wanting to go crazy dramatic, but wanted to enhance the "natural/neutral" look I have going. For the most part she talked me through what she was doing on one side of my face then had me do the other side and would correct my brush strokes, how I held the brush, speed, etc. It was great!
I loved that Calli was really able to see what I was capable of doing/learning and leaving it at that. She encouraged me to come back for refreshers and reminded me that there's more to expand on if I want it, but that the things she was teaching me were really practical forever if that's how I decided to leave it. SO GREAT. Totally worth it for me. I no longer feel like a make-up retard. are pictures:
BEFORE (me with makeup I had done early that morning):

AFTER (look! I'm talking to Asia!):
A few things I really like:
  • she encouraged me to do a shadow liner for a bit to give a soft look by my eye - not the harsh black chunk I had been using.

  • she told me what colors I could use when I didn't know what to use - a dark dark purple shadow for a liner and a coppery color for shadow will go with anything and really accentuate the blue in my eyes.

  • a night look is no longer dark EVERYWHERE - just the right kick will change everything without me looking like a crazy person.

  • Even skin tone. Nuff said.

So...that was my experience. I loved it. I will go back. I just need more money first. :)