H.T. Night’s 8-Book Vampire Box Set

HT Night

I don’t normally review books or advertise for books unless I really like a book or I know the author personally or on social network websites, but I wanted to type something up for this particular series.

H.T. Night’s 8-Book Vampire Box Set is available for the Kindle and the Nook for only .99 cents as of this posting.  Amazon estimates it at 886 pages and Barnes & Noble doesn’t actually say how many pages it has.  I bought it on my Nook and it actually shows 1921 pages.  What’s interesting, or odd, is that when I turn the page, it will flip about 2 or 3 pages.  I am on page 98 and I hit the button or swipe the screen to flip the page and it will say 100.  I find that unusual behavior for my Nook because sometimes I might be on the same page number for 4 pages.  So my guess is that this author formatted the ebook very strangely to make it show 1921 pages and flip 2 pages at a time.  I formatted mine to be sheet of paper size 8.5 x 11.  This author probably formatted it at 4×6, I’m guessing.

I read some of the reviews on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble and have seen so much negativity towards not just the author, but their writing style.  I agree it’s a bit odd, but everyone has their own writing style and their own skill level, so I am not going to grade this writer because he had the gumption to write a long fiction novel which is more than I can say.  Actually, more than just 1 fiction novel because I see he has many more stories on Amazon.  I do recognize what some of the reviewers are saying though because I see a lot of strange things as well, but I don’t hate it.  I look at it as like one of those B movies that you see from the 60’s and 70’s and even some of the B movies on SyFy like Sharktopus lol.  I don’t mean to sound harsh towards the author, but that’s what it’s like to me.

I haven’t read the entire series, but I’m sure it won’t take very long to read.  It says in the title that it is 8 books, but when you are in the ebook you only see 4 titles.  In the contents you see that it is sectioned into 8 parts. I click Go to > Chapter > eBookVersion1_split_1 (that is actually how it shows up on the contents), it goes right to page 256 which is the 2nd page of chapter 32 of the first book.  I don’t get why this author didn’t format the ebook chapters properly.  It is split up into 8 sections, but there are actually only 4 ebooks in there.  That’s rather misleading.

Here is a picture of my Nook showing the cover page with the title that says it is 8 books on the top and saying it’s only “FOUR NOVELS” with each book title under “VAMPIRES & WEREWOLVES.”  That is not 8 books, so where are the other 4?  You can’t sell a 8-book box set with only 4 books and call it 8 books and section it off into 8 sections.  People aren’t stupid.

ht night nook

Well, it’s only .99 cents on both the Kindle and the Nook so with all of it’s formatting and misleading title saying it’s 8 books when it’s really only 4, it is still an interesting story and it’s easy to read. I actually don’t (or haven’t yet) seen any flaws in the story or seen any misspellings or any other errors so I’m not listening to the negative reviews about that. The formatting doesn’t really bother me as much as it would seem. Perhaps the 8 books were combined so 2 books are actually 1 book, who knows. I find the writing style easy to read and the book is hard to put down. I said it was like a B movie, but it’s really not that bad. I’d say it’s a higher caliber.

I am updating my status on this series on Goodreads and here they are.  I have to admit that I do like this book.  Although, I have noticed a few errors here and there, but it is still good.

Goodreads Updates:

6/29 – “This isn’t going to take very long to read. It’s actually quite addicting. I love that I can actually understand everything and I don’t need to use the dictionary on my Nook lol.”

7/2 – “I just finished the first book Moon Dance and I absolutely loved it. It was so easy to read and very difficult to put down. Now I am about to start the 2nd of 4 books in this “8” book series (LOL) called Vampire Moon. (25% done)”

My plateau seems to be over

sports coats

I’ve been freaking out a bit over the last couple of weeks because last week’s weigh in was the same as 2 weeks ago, 197lbs.  Well, today was weigh in day and I weighed in at 195.2lbs.  I should have been 195lbs last week, but I guess better late than never.

So I have to wonder about a couple of things.  Like, in the beginning when I started this journey with Noom I was losing 3-4lbs per week, but then it started to slow down with 2-3lbs and then 1-2lbs etc.  The last month I have been walking and I have been eating a lot more veggies than I used to, and this last week I haven’t gone on any walks and I’ve been laying off the extra veggies and only eating the weight watchers and I lost 2lbs, well, 1.8lbs, but still.  I wonder, did walking and adding so many veggies to my diet really make a difference in my weight loss that would keep me from losing a certain amount every week?  Maybe it was the butter and margarine that I put on the veggies.

I know that a proper diet and exercise is essential to a good weight loss plan, so I’m not saying I shouldn’t be eating extra veggies and exercising.  I should be doing both, but with my back constantly hurting, it makes it difficult to want to go out for walks.  I know there are lots of exercises that I can do at home on my couch or bed or desk chair, but again, my back is in constant agony, so it makes it really difficult to want to do anything.  I mean, I want to succeed, and I feel that I am, but it’s just taking longer now lol.

I feel that I am succeeding though.  Take the picture above for example.  I just wanted to see if these 2 sports coats would fit, and they actually did.  I haven’t worn mine since 1999 when we bought them for a christening.  Well, I wore the grey one for the christening, my partner wore the tan one.  The grey one looks a little bigger than the tan one, so I’m thinking that I was a bit fatter than he was back then.  Well, they both fit me now.  I do remember that back then I was around 190-200lbs so this is about the right weight to be able to wear them, and it’s a good thing they fit me now with all the weddings I’m probably going to be attending now that same-sex marriage is now legal in California.

I wasn’t trying to look like Don Johnson from Miami Vice with my t-shirt and necklace, what you don’t see is that I was also wearing shorts lol.  I just wanted to see if they fit and I didn’t even notice how thin my face looked when I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see it until I saw the pictures.  So I’m very happy with my progress.

So I hope that next week I am down to 193lbs and I hope I don’t plateau again , but if I do, that’s okay too because I am not trying to lose weight for anything or anyone in particular, I am doing this for me.

Until next week…

DealDash

DealDash_logo

I have heard of DealDash, but haven’t tried it yet because I am sure I would probably get addicted and go crazy with it, to be honest lol.  If you don’t know what DealDash is, it’s an auction site where you buy bids for .60 cents each and an item starts at $0.00 and every time you place a bid, it goes up by 1 penny.  If you lose the auction, you lose all of your bids, but you can get them all back if you buy the item at it’s full retail price.

It’s not too complicated.  There are many videos on YouTube, here is a YouTube video for DealDash that you can watch.  I think I might give it a try, wish me luck!

DOMA Unconstitutional and the Repeal of Prop 8

no-doma

Today is a glorious day for LGBT Americans. The Supreme Court of the United States ruled the Defense of marriage act to be unconstitutional. That means that the federal government will recognize the marriage of all Americans, not only heterosexual marriages.

This is a huge step for humanity in my opinion. Although not everyone will agree with me because they believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Love is love, period. It is none of anyone’s business who loves whom. Period, end of debate. It’s pretty arrogant for anyone to say that my 19 year relationship is less important than Kim Kardashian’s 72 day marriage to Kris Humphries.

We in California will not be able to get married for probably another month, if that, but I do believe that this will boost our bad economy since people will be buying wedding gifts for their friends who will finally be able to get married. So stock up on toasters and blenders while they are still on store shelves.

#MarriageEquality #LoveIsLove #Prop8 #DOMA #DecisionDay

gay toasterI am mentioned in this article from Examiner.com – Central California gay community celebrates DOMA decision by Greg Fields

Plateau

A couple of days ago I mentioned that I had hit a plateau or that I thought I might have hit a plateau, well, today was weigh in day and it confirmed that I indeed have hit a plateau.

Last week I weighed in at 197.0 lbs, but the very next day I weighed in at 196.6 lbs.  I’m not exactly sure why I weighed in, perhaps the app suggested that I weigh in again, who knows, but today I am 197 again.

That’s okay because I have come this far and this is my first plateau since January, so I think I’m doing pretty good considering I have lost 66 lbs in just 24 weeks.  I’m totally fine with the plateau.

I love my body now, before I couldn’t stand looking in the mirror.  I couldn’t stand looking down and seeing a fat belly.  I couldn’t stand how fat my face was and how fat my neck was.  The chin was just so horrible.  But I couldn’t be happier with my body and my neck and my chin lol.  I just feel so happy now.

My partner suggested that we go on a walk this morning and so we did.  It wasn’t a very long walk and I was in a lot of pain.  I touched my back where the pain was because I wanted to rub it, but it was completely numb.  I mean, I could feel the pain, more like agony, but my skin and muscles were numb.  That seems to be what happens when I have back pain.

When we came home I immediately had him put a Salonpas patch on my back and knowing that it usually takes half an hour to activate, I put ice on it so that it’s like an icy hot thing lol.

So back to the plateau.  I don’t know why I am in a plateau.  I have been eating the same exact way this week that I have been eating in the last 24 weeks and I have been eating under 1400 calories per day.  I have also been going for walks more in the last couple of weeks than I have in the last 24 weeks, which is probably why I have hit a plateau because I’m probably gaining muscle, and we all know that muscle weighs more than fat.

Although this week I was eating popcorn with oil but no salt and no butter, and I was eating those Lean Gourmet meals which have a lot of sodium in them, so perhaps that might be adding to the problem.  I am out of the popcorn and I will try to eat the Smart Ones instead of the Lean Gourmet to see if that will help.

I hope next Saturday I will have some progress.  No matter what happens, I will continue eating healthy and entering all of my food into the Noom app.

Lean Gourmet vs Smart Ones

lean gourmet smart ones

I have been eating Weight Watchers Smart Ones frozen dinners for lunch and dinner everyday since January 3rd or 4th 2013 and have lost a lot of weight.  The reason we started eating the Smart Ones is because we saw them at Food Maxx for only $1.88 and one of the packages had a coupon for $3 off 10, so we couldn’t resist considering they are around $5 at Albertson’s.

Diet food to me is a state of mind.  If you are eating food that you know isn’t good for you like say fried chicken, then you know you are eating crap and you end up making other bad choices because you don’t really care what you eat.  If you are buying a product that you know is a diet product, like Weight Watchers or Lean Cuisine, then you know you are eating healthy so you end up making better choices with other foods you eat.  I mean, that is just how I feel, you may not think the same way that I do.

It was that first batch of Weight Watchers Smart Ones that lead me to downloading Noom on my android phone which has helped me to lose more than 66lbs since January.  I have wanted to buy the Smart Ones, but I never could afford Albertson’s prices.  The decision to start using Noom also lead me to start eating fruits and vegetables, so it was literally a domino effect for me.  And like I said in the previous paragraph, it’s a state of mind.  I knew I was eating healthier, which lead me to eating more healthy foods and here we are.

So now it is mid June 2013 and I have to start making some choices.  The Smart Ones are going up in price.  Most of them went up to $1.98 and the rest have shot up even higher in price.  There are literally only 3 or 4 flavors that I actually like that are still $1.98, so my choices are now very limited.  When you only have 3 or 4 different choices, you become bored with your diet and end up branching out to eating well, crap.  So before I get to that point, I need to make a new plan of action.

We went to buy more Smart Ones the other day, but my partner found that right next to the Smart Ones were the Michelina’s Lean Gourmet for only .97 cents.  Holy crap!  That is cheap!  So, rather than buy 20 of the Smart Ones, we only bought 10 and 10 Lean Gourmet.

smart ones nutritional facts The Weight Watchers Smart Ones nutrition label shows you exactly how many calories you are eating.  I didn’t buy the same flavor in the Lean Gourmet that I also bought in the Smart Ones because I wanted all new flavors, so I couldn’t exactly compare the same meal.

This Smart Ones is the Lasagna Bake with Meat Sauce, which by the way is very good.  There are many things you want to look for when you read the nutritional facts when you are buying food.  The 3 most important things are calories, fat and sodium.  Although the sodium is pretty high in this particular meal, it does show up as green in the Noom app.  The fat content is fairly low and it doesn’t have any trans fats.  I didn’t take a picture of the ingredients, but the Smart Ones use wheat pasta.

lean gourmet nutritional facts

This particular Lean Gourmet is Creamy Rigatoni with Broccoli and Chicken.  I have had the Smart Ones version plenty of times over the months, and I have to say that this one from Lean Gourmet is way too salty.  I don’t know how much sodium is in the Smart Ones version, but this one is really high at 680.  It’s only 270 calories and the fat is pretty low, but the salt is (I’m assuming) what makes it yellow in Noom instead of Green.  I would assume that the regular Michelina’s meals are probably red.

The chicken in the Lean Gourmet has a different taste than the Smart Ones, they are also smaller than Smart Ones.  The Lean Gourmet chicken tastes like the chicken in Chicken Soup, very salty, the Smart Ones chicken tastes like actual chicken and isn’t too salty.

I have been eating the Lean Gourmet for lunch every day and the Smart Ones for dinner.  My partner doesn’t want to buy the Smart Ones anymore if these are a dollar cheaper, but I would personally rather have the Smart Ones because they just taste better.  The Lean Gourmet ones are an excellent price and around the same calories as the Smart Ones, but they are way too salty.  I would rather keep buying Smart Ones and pay that extra dollar even if it means I only have 3 or 4 choices.  But honestly, they only went up maybe .10 or .20 cents or more, so it’s not that much more expensive.  I have lots of choices, it just raises my grocery bill.

In my personal opinion, the Weight Watchers Smart Ones are the better deal because your sodium is lower and the taste is 10 times better and you are actually getting 1oz more food.  Quality wins over quantity.

Have I finally hit my plateau?

I have been very lucky that I have been consistent with my weight loss with Noom from January 5th until now.  In the beginning, I was losing anywhere from 3 to 4 pounds per week, but gradually slowing down to 2 or 3 pounds per week, then down to 1 1/2 to 2 pounds per week.  Of course lately it seems to be 1 to 1 1/2 pounds or less per week, but at least there was weight loss.  This week however, I don’t think there will be any weight loss at all.

Last week I was 196.6lbs and just a few days ago I was asked to weigh in and I weighed in at 196.4lbs.  Today I weighed 197lbs and I only have 2 more days before my next weigh in day, so I don’t think I’m going to make it to 194 or 195.  194.4 is my estimated weight, but I just don’t see that happening.  I mean, stranger things have happened and who knows, I might be 195, but I doubt it.  No, I think that after so many months I have finally just hit my plateau.

A plateau isn’t uncommon for people who are trying to lose weight.  What causes that?  Is it stress?  I haven’t been under too much stress.  Is it that my body has already lost 66lbs so it’s just harder to lose more weight because there isn’t a lot of fat left to lose?  Or maybe perhaps it is because I have been going for 2 or 3 mile walks a few times per week that might possibly be making me gain muscle weight.  That could actually be it.

In the past when I have hit my plateau, after so many weeks of not losing weight I start to think if I’m not losing weight, I might as well eat this food and that food because obviously the healthy foods aren’t helping me.  I might as well go back to eating the old crap that got me fat in the first place, and I end up gradually going back to my old eating habits.  Well, that just isn’t going to work for me this time because I am serious about losing this weight this time.  This time it WILL be different, I will continue eating healthy, even if that means that I will be 197 or somewhere in that vicinity for 2 months before the weight starts to come off again.  I will not let the plateau rule my life because I really want to succeed in my goals.

To be honest, I probably won’t plateau for too long, that is if I have even hit a plateau.  I still have 2 days and like I said before, stranger things have happened.  Who knows, I might end up being 195 by weigh in day, so I’m not going to start having a negative attitude about plateaus because I am not even sure that’s what will happen.

Of course negative thinking like this is a factor in halting the weight loss process.  I could be sabotaging myself by having a negative attitude.  Stress thinking and acting negatively can release a chemical in the brain called Cortisol which is actually what will put me in a plateau, so I need to stay positive because having a happy go lucky positive attitude will help me more than being a negative Nancy.

So let’s just see what happens in 2 days and I will go from there.