Fitness Journal: Thursday evening walk

I am way more out of shape than I thought and it is too damn hot, even at 10pm, so I punked out on running. Instead, I went for a nice long walk. Stats are a bit off because I forgot to turn off runkeeper for a few mins. Also, I think there is a glitch somewhere, because that’s really close to my run pace from last week, and that seems fishy? Or maybe I’m just really really slow.

Distance: 4.41 mi
Speed: 15:47 min/mi

Basic Beef Stroganoff

I’ve been collecting random non-cooking blog recipes. Mostly because I need a bunch of easier/quicker/cheaper recipes than are the usual cooking blog fare.

A blogger I followed posted a Beef Stroganoff recipe that looked pretty doable. It’s no high cuisine, but it’s pretty easy and pretty fast. I will definitely make this again.

I used an entire 16 oz of mushrooms, which gave me a bit of trouble when it came time to brown the beef. Next time, I need to pull some of the mushrooms out, I think. Or get a bigger pan. (probably not actually get a bigger pan)

For me, it’s turning out to be ~3 or 4 servings, when dumped over some pasta.

Servings: ~3-4
Time to cook: ~1 hr (I let the mushrooms cook down quite a lot before adding the beef, and waited till the beef started browning, not just cooked.)
Rating: 3/5
Would make again? yes

Fitness Journal: C25K day 1

I have fallen off every single fitness wagon there is to fall off of. In my defense, I made had several major life changes that were kind of stressful??? Anyway, I’m starting the Couch to 5k training again (using this app, free version and older version) and tracking my runs with Runkeeper still (also entirely free).

I am definitely feeling out of shape (though less badly that I expected tbh), and my leg with the wonky ankle was not best pleased, but nothing terrible. I need to make some time the next few weeks to do my physical therapy exercises for ankle stabilization.

On the upside, I met a great dark grey cat who lives in my neighborhood, and we made great eye contact as I jogged past.

Run stats:
Distance: 2.08 mi
Speed: 15:33 min/mi
Cats: 2
Dogs: 2
Number of Times I wanted to Die: 2
Plants I wanted to steal cuttings from: 3

Current skincare routine

I’ve gotten a little suckered into the whole ‘Asian skincare’ craze, and it’s inspired me to step it up a bit in terms of taking care of my skin and working on clearing up my ‘adult acne’ that I’ve been battling for years and years now. Step 1: document what I’m doing now and how well it’s working.



  1. Remove makeup/sunscreen with either Jojoba oil or an argan oil that I got from Marshalls that is probably not (entirely) argan oil.
  2. Wash face with CeraVe foaming face wash.
  3. Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence.
  4. Target-brand anti-fungal around my nose for seborrhoeic dermatitis redness/dryness/flaking
  5. Either:
    a. Epiduo (benzol peroxide + tretinoin, expired)
    b. AHA+ (glycolic acid) from
    c. skip both if skin is looking good OR too irritated.
  6. Optional, depending on previous product application + skin condition + humidity/weather: jojoba oil as a final moisturizer. In the winter, I have to go to a much heavier moisturizer.
  7. low-dose hormonal birth control


  1. Rinse face with water
  2. Misha First Treatment essence
  3. Target-brand anti-fungal cream
  4. Olay SPF 15 for sensitive skin moisturizer.

I’m not really wearing much makeup these days. If I’m wearing anything, its some eyeliner and mascara. I don’t have time/am not motivated to do foundation/blush/anything else, and it’s gotten hot enough that it’d all melt off anyway.

Product notes:

  • Jojoba oil. I bought mine from It makes for a good medium-level moisturizer for me, except in the winter when it isn’t moisturizing enough. My bottle from has lasted for at least 5 years of intermittent use as both a moisturizer and makeup remover.
  • CeraVe foaming face wash. This one is supposed to keep your skin closer to it’s usual pH, which is supposed to help your skin’s natural barrier function. I’m hoping this helps with both my acne problems and my seborrhoeic dermititis issues (abbreviated to seb derm on some forums). Spending a little more time gently rubbing my face with this seems to also be helping with general blackheads. This seems to be more effective than the Cetaphil face wash I was using for a while.
  • MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence. Since my skin is a special snowflake that is both very oily by nature, and also dries out at the drop of a hat, I’m intrigued by the idea of Asian products that seem to understand this is a thing. Many Western/American products seem to assume that if you have oily skin, you never have a problem with dryness, or your skin is always dry and you never have excess oil on your face. I’ve been using this for a few weeks, and I like it quite a bit. If it is more humid or warm, this works as a good moisturizer over night to keep things from drying out, but doesn’t make my face sticky all night and doesn’t break me out. It also goes nicely under my usual moisturizer/sun screen (though I’m looking to change that up soonish). It is also supposed to have similar properties to the much more expensive SK-II Treatment Essence, but as much as I love Cate Blanchett (their spokesperson), I’ve never tried it. Maybe if I can find a sample that seems legit…
  • I’ve had off and on problems with dandruff around the edges of my scalp that got much worse in grad school. It’s mostly under control, but a few years ago, I started getting red itchy flakey spots around my nose. I haven’t had a diagnosis from a dermatologist, but it clears right up with regular treatment with an anti-fungal cream, which matches the symptoms of seborrhoeic dermititis aka dandruff on other parts of your body besides your scalp. I just use the target brand because it works and is cheap.
  • Epiduo was proscribed to me by a dermatologist I was seeing briefly. The tube I have now is pretty well expired, but it still seems to work. I use it when I’m seeing a lot of inflamed spots on my face, or I’m seeing a big uptick in whiteheads/clogged pores. It looks like maybe they’ve changed the formulation, and it’s something not Tretinoin now?
  • AHA+ from I’ve also used this intermittently for 5+ years, so it lasts a long time. Works well, stings a bit if there are any recently popped zits or other major irritations of the skin. Possibly exacerbates seb derm. Seems to work best when applied generously. According to The Internet, chemical exfoliators like AHA work best when the accompanying products are of a certain pH range, but I haven’t really read up on this one yet.
  • Olay moisturizer SPF 15 for sensitive skin. I get the sensitive skin kind because it does not have aveobenzone (a sunscreen ingredient) that irritates the ever-loving heck out of my eyes. If I’m wearing something with aveobenzone on my face, my eyes start to itch uncontrollably after ~4 hours, so I read the ingredient list of any sunscreens that is going on my face pretty carefully. Since I started doing that, I haven’t had any problems with eye irritation, so I feel pretty confident that aveobenzone is the culprit. I’m in the process of researching a new face sunscreen since I’m not 100% happy with this sunscreen/moisturizer combo.

Fitness Journal: biked to work, ups and downs

I biked to work yesterday, for the first time in a Very Long Time. It was a glorious ride on the way to work, the weather was stunningly perfect, everything was downhill, and on that one uphill on the other side of the tracks, I kicked butt and took the names of a few nearby squirrels (in the absence of anyone else to get a name from). In the afternoon, a cold front had swooped in, and it was a bit chilly, but not bad, and I was leaving from a work happy hour, so I was pleasantly buzzed.

This morning, I fell off the shortlived wagon. Next week I’ll do better!

Product Review: Anker 2-port USB wall charger


A few months ago, I purchased the Anker 2-port USB wall charger from Amazon. I picked it because it’s sister-charger with 4 ports was picked by The Wirecutter as the best multi-port USB wall charger. Unfortunately, I was not impressed.

Out of the box, it is a bit larger than I was hoping, but overall not too large. I was hoping for something closer in size to my beloved Motorola USB charger, which is perfect in every way except it was designed for the phones of 5 years ago and has a max output of 750mA (as opposed to the standard but slow-by-current-standards 1A). Also, it’s white, which as Apple can tell you, makes your products all look like they are coming from somewhere in the future.



And that is where it’s positive attributes end. Sure, it charged my phone, and at a reasonable clip. However, it also has some sort of issue, possibly with it’s ‘iQ technology’, whereby it will just… stop… charging. The only solution is to unplug everything, wait 15 minutes, and then plug it all back in. As one might imagine, this is Less Than Optimal for what should be a basic and uninteresting piece of technology. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have my USB charger Just Work. Lots of people seem to manage it. This is not one of them.

I’ve sent their support an email asking for a refund. Here’s hoping!

[UPDATE] SEPT 11: Refund received!

Fitness Journal: Thursday run

I ran today at my parents house. While maybe not as hot as home, it is much more humid, and there are way more hills! I definitely am feeling this one. I also accidentally did the 3rd C25K day again. For whatever reason, the app I’m using didn’t log it when I finished last time.

Today’s stats:
Distance: 2.03 mi
Speed: 14:27 min/mi
Day 3 (again) of C25K
Animals: several dead birds :(

Fitness Journal: Thursday morning run

I didn’t make myself run last night, but I was planning on running this morning anyway. I’m leaving on a road trip later this afternoon, and I’ll need all the pumped-up-ness I can get. I’m really proud of myself for actually getting up and doing this.

That said, I was Really Not Excited about running this morning. It took me a while to a) get out of bed and b) get out the door. But I did it! I need to go back to my ‘no phone/internet before starting the day/going to work’ rule.

I’m still at ~2 runs per week, so my goal for this upcoming trip/week is to do 3 runs this week.

Today’s stats:
Distance: 1.9 mi
Speed: 14:15 min/mi
Animals: several dogs on leashes in the distance