TGIF: Off to a Good Start

January 10, 2014

first time blood donor

I have to admit, while I’ve been hesitant to finish and publish a post about my goals for 2014, I already have a pretty good feeling about this new year we’re in. Maybe it’s because work is off to a busy and productive start. Or it could be because I’ve already been to the gym four times. It could also have something to do with the progress I’m making on a side project. Oh, and the fact that I’ve already read two books this month and started a third! Yea, let’s just use all of that, and I’ll state again that I have a good feeling about this year.

This week felt especially productive, as I crossed off two of my goals for this month. First, I decided this week-long rainstorm we’re in couldn’t stop me from venturing over to the Port Moody Public Library. Not only did I get a library card, I spent 20 minutes perusing the shelves afterwards. Of course, the first section I found myself in was Business & Finance. It was good to see that most of my favourite resources looked as though they’d been checked out dozens of times. Eventually, I moved over to Fiction, where I pulled up my “To Read” list on the Goodreads app and walked around until I had two books in my hands; they’re now mine until the 29th.

What’s the second goal I crossed off my list? You can see the answer in the picture above: I donated blood for the first time! The overall experience was so positive that I’m naming it the high of my week. Inspired by a couple of good friends who are regular donors, I’m excited to say I will now be one of them.

The low of my week was simply dealing with more spats of insomnia. Do you remember last January when I was waking up at 3am and never falling back asleep? This month, it’s happening at 2am. No joke. Sometimes I squeeze in another hour, but many nights I don’t. (Please pass the coffee.)

The high of my week was passing the hemoglobin test and becoming a first-time blood donor! After being severely anemic for years, I was so nervous that I would fail the test. Anyway, I felt great after, so I want to try to donate every 2-3 months going forward.

A blog post I loved was New Year, New Schedule, New Budget by my yet-to-meet-in-person friend Colleen. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how time is our most valuable resource, and I was happy to read that Colleen had found a new appreciation for hers.

The best money I spent was $29.12 on a birthday card and gift for Baby Sis. Her birthday isn’t until next month, but I walked into a store and knew I couldn’t walk out without purchasing what I had found.

My plans this weekend include reading, writing and getting my eyes checked. Oh, and watching the season premieres of both Girls and Shameless. Can’t wait!

How was your week? What are you up to this weekend?

  • Trista January 10, 2014 at 4:30 am

    Hi Cait. That sounds like a very productive week. I wish I could say the same. You already know of the troubles we’ve been having down here in NL. At least the power situation is fixed for now.

    High of the week: Going out with the girls last night and watching Saving Mr. Banks. We had a blast. :)

    Low of the week: Conserving power and blackouts which contributed to overall laziness. It has not been a productive week for me at all. Also I was supposed to start school on Monday but they closed for three days to conserve power so my course is a week behind starting. :(

    Best money I spent: Dinner and the movie ticket for last night.

    Plans for the weekend: Catching up on chores and a sleepover with one of my girlfriends.

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:27 pm

      You could look at the low of your week as just a few extra days off. Everyone needs downtime. The high of your week + plans for your weekend sound fun! Enjoy :)

  • Alicia @ Financial Diffraction January 10, 2014 at 5:26 am

    I had a much busier social life than I normally do this week. I went to a movie (The Wolf of Wall Street, meh) but it was “free” because of passes, went to dinner last night with my co-workers for a belated holiday celebration – work comped it.

    Good Luck with the reading goal (I’m 1.5 books through my 3 book goal). And I’m so envious that you actually got to give blood. Being a blood donor is a huge thing that doesn’t really take that much from us – I am so glad you are doing it! Maybe I’ll make that a goal in the upcoming months and see if I can pass that hemoglobin test too!

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:36 pm

      I was honestly blown away by how high my hemoglobin # was… especially when I think back to what it was back in 2007-2009, when I was having to get it tested every two months. For as long as I can keep this up, I will definitely continue to donate blood.

      Before you go again, drink a lot of water for 2-3 days before, and eat some big meals! Also, the iron you eat (or take via supplements) has a better chance of absorbing if you take it with Vitamin C. (And if you take supplements + Vit C pills, take them before bed.)

  • Dayle January 10, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Hi Cait!

    That’s amazing that you are off to such a great start with your goals :)

    This week was a little unusual for me as I was working 2 hours of OT a day starting at 5am. I managed to stick to my gym routine, but getting up at 3:30am doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for anything other than trying to stay on top of meals, dishes, and of coures ample sleep! I’m so happy today is the last day, but thankful for the opportunity to make some extra cash.

    This weekend – tonight I have to go to a surprise 30th b-day dinner for a friend. I will be calling it an early night though! Tomorrow – gym, then I am making Irish Stew in the crock pot and plan on relaxing and reading my book all day. My new ‘friend’ is working all weekend but is going to stop by for stew on his way home. Sunday I’m actually working in the morning, and then will probably just do the usual gym, groceries, laundry, and getting ready for the week, then Sunday dinner with the family. Now that I write that all out it sounds busy, but I plan on a lot of relaxing and catching up on sleep!

    Have a great weekend!


    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:40 pm

      I was going to freak out at the thought of waking up at 3:30am, but then realized I did that a lot this week too, haha. However, not by choice! But good for you for making the effort to bring in some extra cash.

      And your Sunday sounds busy, but Saturday sounds nice! I want to hear more about your new friend. :)

  • Kali @ CommonSenseMillennial January 10, 2014 at 5:47 am

    Congrats on passing the test so you can donate blood, AND getting your library card! Libraries definitely keep my budget in tact – otherwise I’d be spending everything I make on books :) I’m sorry you’re dealing with insomnia though, that stinks. I hope you can work that out asap and get back to good sleep!

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Thanks, Kali! Me too :)

  • Marg S January 10, 2014 at 6:02 am

    Hi Cait!

    Sadly I’m with you on the insomnia train. Most nights I either can’t fall asleep or can’t stay asleep (so I’m up at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. too). On the really bad nights it’s both. I hesitate to take anything to help me sleep because I know it’s not medical – it’s stress. Thank God for late night TV and my iPad. Both help me when I’m having trouble sleeping. Oh and lots of coffee the next morning.

    The low of my week – my job was really stressful and there were a few things that pushed it beyond what I normally have to deal with. Oh and the Bruins lost twice on their road trip. (I’m a gigantic Boston Bruins fan).

    The high of my week – it’s Friday and I have the weekend ahead of me? I likely have to bring work home but at least I can do it at home. It really wasn’t a great week.

    The best money I spent was – I’m happy to say my goal was to not spend any money this week (today is payday). I brown-bagged it, stuck to the coffee at work and I’ve made it! Today’s payday so this month’s budget officially kicks in (and my discretionary fun-money for the month).

    My plans this weekend – I do have work some, but at least I can work in my sweats at home. Oh and watch the NFL playoffs and some more hockey. Hopefully the Bruins do better tomorrow.

    Have a great weekend everyone.

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      I can always pass out, but then I wake up at 2am and am just wiiide awake. I know it’ll pass… it always does. I just wish it would happen sooner than later. :)

      Congrats on having a no spend week! That must feel good. Enjoy your weekend, Marg!

  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 10, 2014 at 7:10 am

    I wrote about a bout I’m having with insomnia here.

    Its been better the last couple of days, but I think I’m dealing with race anxiety. Insomnia is the worst. You just feel so tweaky the next day. Nice job on being productive this month though!

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:45 pm

      Aww man, I hope you can kick it too!

  • Sara Hamil @ They Call it Gumption January 10, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Kudos on donating blood! I’ve always wanted to do it but I feel like every time there’s a clinic I’m sick :(

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      Oh no! Well, keep trying. :)

  • Colleen January 10, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Oh man, I feel totally honoured right now! Thank you so much for sharing that post Cait!

    I think that you and I have similar sleeping habits. It really is the worst. I’ve just started a new routine when I wake up in the middle of the night–a teaspoon of honey (to regulate blood sugar), GABA (to help your brain turn off) and a melatonin. It seems to be working…knock on wood. I know getting advice on how to sleep is the most annoying thing in the world (believe me, I know), but it might be worth a try? Oh, I also started taking magnesium and B vitamins which might be helping too. Ugh…good luck!

    Next time you’re in Victoria or I’m in Vancouver I would really love to get a coffee if time and schedules allow for it. Have a really wonderful weekend!

    • Marg S January 10, 2014 at 8:15 am

      Hi Colleen – thanks for the tips. I have a question though. I’ve tried Melatonin. I didn’t really like one of the side effects. It gave me wicked dreams. And not good dreams like me being on a deserted island with George Clooney, more like Freddy Kruger chasing me dreams and I’m wearing 100 pound concrete shoes. I’ve never heard of GABA and yes I could just Google it but I wanted to ask what it was. :o)

      • Colleen January 10, 2014 at 4:49 pm

        Hi Marg! Those dreams sounds scary, maybe melatonin isn’t right for you. Maybe you should talk to your doctor and see what they suggest?

        ** I am the furthest thing on the planet from a medical professional!

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:50 pm

      All great suggestions, Colleen. I’d never heard of GABA, but know melatonin quite well. Unfortunately, I’m with Marg and it gives me some crazy @ss dreams, which is a known issue that only some takers report:

      Anyway, GABA sounds interesting… I have to pick up a couple things this weekend, and think I’ll add that to the list! Thanks!

      Oh, and yes! Coffee is a must! :)

  • Clare January 10, 2014 at 9:27 am

    I love going to the library. Denver Public Library is far superior to Boulder’s – they actually keep a plentiful amount of the books that are usually on hold / in demand and I’ve been able to grab most that I’ve wanted. I also just discovered Oyster, an iPhone and iPad app that lets you read an unlimited amount of books for $9.95 a month, ala Netflix for books. I don’t have an iPad and I think reading on an iPhone could be a little tiresome but I’m giving it a trial.

    Love you!

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      I don’t have an iPad, but Oyster sounds amazing. I think I could definitely get on board with that.

      Love you! Kisses to Boris.

  • SammieK January 10, 2014 at 9:30 am

    I love Girls, it’s so funny.

    Low of my week was that the BF and I have had the flu from Saturday until now. So annoying. He (lovingly) calls me his little piggy so he said I definitely had swine flu lol.

    The High was appreciating the fact that even though we were sick, we had time to rest and get better as we’re having a break from work for a couple of months.

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:52 pm

      Love the silver lining. Hope you two feel better soon!

  • AshleyD January 10, 2014 at 9:41 am

    My week was good. Productive at work.

    Personal wise I have made it to the gym at least 3 times. And I found a few more pieces that fit in a puzzle I started over the holidays. (its a bonus to get those few pieces, this puzzle is hard).

    My plans for next week include skiing twice, continue with the gym, and study, study, study. I have a big giant important test coming up. Plus I hope to Skype at least once with one of my sisters.

    I also hope to stay within my stipend money (sounds better then allowance). I have 66 dollars to last me until Friday when payday happens. Only thing that wont be covered is my vehicle maintenance which goes in on Tuesday.

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:53 pm

      Sounds like a busy but fun week! Skiing twice!? Do you live next to the mountain? ;)

  • Gina January 10, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Wow, sounds like your year is off to a great start! I’m excited for GIRLS to start, too. Have a great weekend!

    • Cait Flanders January 10, 2014 at 7:54 pm

      Thanks, Gina! Enjoy the show. :)