Friday, January 9, 2015

Valentine's Day is Coming

Ok, so it's Friday and my post is gonna be a short one! I am working on some Valentine's Day decorations for my etsy shop.
I have never gone crazy over Valentine's Day decor but everything looks so dull after you take down Christmas decorations that have been up for a month. So, I am adding a few subtle decorations to help boost the color.
Check out what I have so far, more to come:

Also, I have a coupon code going till the 23rd of January for 15% off a purchase of 15.00 or more.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Essential Oils Gone Crazy

So the Essential Oils craze has increased considerably in the last year. Not just by hardcore herbalists and naturalists but also by everyone people that just want to do what is healthiest.
I am in FULL support. Going to the doctor for every little ailment is a rip off and just flat unnecessary. I feel that we should be taking as much responsibility as possible to prevent ourselves from getting sick, not just hoping for the best.
My personal experience with essential oils has been for cleaning purposes, aromatherapy and beauty. I am just now entering the realm for health. I love the methods for headaches, cramps and allergies. All are very legit and helpful.
For example, a simple whiff of the peppermint oil will curb your appetite and reduce your cravings. This does work. I was sitting up drinking coffee this morning and my stomach just went nuts growling at me and I took a whiff of the afore mentioned oil and seriously haven't had anymore rumblings. Pretty cool stuff.
Now that I have reassured you that I am a supporter of essential oils, I am going to post some links to sites and postings about the "safe ingestion of essential oils". Showing how unsafe it really is and not only because it is uncharted territory. There have been large groups people expressing the hardcore symptoms and side affects they got from ingestion of these oils (not positive ones).
There are two essential oils companies (very largely used and known companies) Young Living and doTerra (doTerra actually came about from a group that were a part of Young Living, so makes sense that they both support the same) that are encouraging people to use the raw essential oils, undiluted and to also use them for ingestion. Neither of which are recommended or safe. The term "Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade" is a term that doTerra adopted for their marketing and that's all it is. There are NO certified essential oils because there is no recognized organization that certifies these oils.

This one is particularly informative and very well substantiated (read through the comments)

Ok, I think that will suffice for information for those interested. Oil onward! Enjoy with the proper precautions!

Homemade Paleo Mayo

Throughout 2014 I continually tried and experimented with different eating habits for a healthier lifestyle. So far the only one that has continued to make sense without a catch or a monthly payment or even promises of something that can't be guaranteed is the gluten free, paleo style.
Paleo makes sense. It works. You feel better, you are more active, your mood swings are gone you feel energized and to top it off if you are already at a weight that you are content with it will not cause you to gain weight (of course this still means you are in charge of portion control and calorie intake).
I am currently doing a clean eating month, getting rid of all the bad stuff in my system and all of the excess carbs and glucose from the holiday months. My biggest problem from Thanksgiving through Christmas is going to the gym. I would rather be at home looking at the Christmas tree and drinking hot coffee or cocoa by the fire with my husband. So, what better way to get caught up on your healthy habits than a clean eating challenge and heavy gym routine?
Some good things to have around are pre boiled eggs, homemade pesto and of course homemade mayo.
Here is the recipe that I got from my mom (we made this over the holiday season and used it in the dips and cheeseballs that required it and seriously they were devoured).

Homemade Paleo Mayo

4 egg yolks, room temperature

1 T lemon juice or apple cider vinegar (I use the vinegar, since I always have it on hand)

1 tsp Dijon or reg mustard

2/3 cup avocado oil (can use olive oil)

2/3 cup coconut oil, warm (meaning not hard it needs to be in its liquid form)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Blend the yokes in blender or food processor. Then blend in seasonings and lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. Slowly add oils, till creamy. This should take a few minutes to get creamy.

Whichever coconut oil my mom used, it had a very distinct coconut taste so you could tell in the mayonnaise what it was made of. I really enjoyed the taste it was different and way more satisfying. It depends on what brand you buy though. Mine didn't give it the overly coconuty taste which may be a good thing when trying to get others to adapt to it.
It was so nice to be able to make this without the unhealthy oils or harmful chemicals. Coconut oil is amazing for skin as well, so whatever residue you get on your hands you can just rub in like lotion (unlike canola oil).


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"We Don't Have a Nursery, We Have a Movie Room with a 60" TV"

During my  "Coffee/Internet Break" I ran across an article that reminded me of why this topic that I am about to breach really pushes my buttons.

Warning! This post is laced with sarcasm. Those with low tolerance for criticism should exit now. 

Exhibit A

Ok, do I really need to ask "What do you see wrong with this picture?" And before you jump all over this post, please note that I am not attacking the "natural art of breastfeeding" nor am I attacking parents or their methods. I am attacking our culture.
I am not going to beat around the bush. I am just not supportive of breastfeeding past 1 year. Anything past that is just looking for attention. We seem to have hit upon a phase of time where women find there martyrdom and self appreciation by having babies, having babies in the dark (no medical interference of any kind) breast feeding well into the toddler years, whipping out a boob in public to feed a child, debating with other moms about their methods and downing other moms about their lack of success. I am tolerant of none of these things I just listed.
Now, as I am sure you  have gathered from the title of my blog, I have no children. However, I come from a family of seven. My husband is from a family of 14. So definitely used to kids and big families. I am currently the only one from my circle of friends that hasn't started having kids. Why? Because I fully believe that marriage is marriage and having kids is having kids. Two totally different things. I don't believe that part of marriage is having children, I don't believe that it is expected of us and don't believe that we are failing as Christians by not immediately providing the earth with more godly offspring.
What I do believe is that when we get married we make that commitment with another person standing in front of you not nonexistent children. I believe that it is not expected of us to have to have kids because there are so many women unable to have kids and couples in general unable to have kids (which by the way, if a couple is incapable of having kids, I don't believe artificial insemination is ok, it's not. God has created a reason for you to not be able to have children. Perhaps he wants you to adopt children that need you or perhaps children aren't in your future). Also what about the men and women that somehow don't meet someone to spend the rest of their lives with? Is it there fault?
I do want kids and hope to have some one day (just wanted to add that clarification). This is the reason that I am expressing an opinion on this topic. Because I don't care if this phase is majority or minority, I don't want to be a part of it.

The whole "new generation mommy mold" is gut wrenching to me.
Including but certainly not limited to:
Minivans, need I say more? I have never seen a more worthless handheld vacuum shaped waste of space. I have literally seen newbie moms that just had their first kid and they went and traded in their 5 seater Jeep Liberty for a minivan. Ok, so you got two extra seats and sliding doors? Anything else? Like does it have a cone of silence for the back seat or space replicator that magically provides food for the minions in the back or do those sliding doors turn into wings that make it fly getting you to that soccer practice quicker? Nope. Didn't think so. You got what you payed for. Save yourself the trouble and expense. Even if you have a basic sedan car, if you just had one kid then the same vehicle you had before the baby will work just fine with one.

Soccer practice, music practice, and ballet classes - No your kids won't play/perform in their adult years, no they won't ever play that good and what did it get you? Hundreds of stressed out and frazzled days based on meeting the socialization tactics of our society. Hey here is a thought, go home make a nice dinner, sit on the couch and watch movie with the family or play a game of monopoly (educational, they learn to count, read, add, subtract and become ruthless survivors).

PO Mommies - Pissed off because some HONEST kid at school told their kid "there is no santa claus", If my kid was the one that told, I would give him friggin thumbs and tell them "You just saved some poor child from a lifetime of the sniveling blues". I dare you to call and try to make my kid apologize. That likes telling the parents to apologize for telling their kids the truth and teaching them to be honest.

Mommy dates, Mommy circles, Mommy night out, Breastfeeders Anonymous (ok I made that one up, but seriously think it probably exists). What? You need a group of these half nudist naturalists to make you feel better about yourself? Want to really feel better? Ask someone to babysit while you and your husband go out and have a civilized time, most definitely involving a drink or two. Never forget that you married your husband FIRST then you had kids. The priorities should always fall in that same order. Don't have kids to keep your marriage together or as a reason to have something to hold on to. Have them because you are in love and want to share that love with a child.

Public breastfeeders - Yes, when I get to go out to eat I most definitely want to hear "suckeling" sounds from the booth next to me. When my husband and I go shopping and he has to awkwardly look away because some dense frizzed out naturalist has half her shirt off while feeding the baby. I'm sorry, I didn't realize that because you have given the gift of life that you are allowed to be nude. So, since I haven't given the gift of life, would you be offended if I decided to walk into a restaurant wearing a bra as my top? Or would you judge me and say that it is immodest and inappropriate.  I don't judge moms that publicly feed their babies because it is disgusting or nasty. I am judging because it is inappropriate. It is not fair to women that have growing young boys. They should not have to be subjected to this open nudity and then the parents have to explain it to them when they no doubt will ask questions.. There are very perverted and nasty people in our culture and you want to get offended if one of them stairs or gawks? I'm sorry, you opened yourself up for that. You put yourself in the position to be a sideshow. There are restrooms and there is the privacy of your own vehicle and there are bottles. I don't care if it takes hours to breastpump. Turn a movie on and hook that sucker up (no pun intend). Have a supply in the refrigerator. Or you know what yeah a little bit of formula once every now and then won't hurt your child. It won't be his main source of nutrition and NO it won't screw up his eating pattern.

Breastfeeding past 1 year - At this point you are doing it for yourself. Here are things that I have witnessed first hand. The children that are breastfed past the 1 year mark are whiney, dependent, have attachment issues and shows signs of wanting to be "fed" when they want comfort. And I state this in quotations because 90% of the time they aren't even eating they just want something to suck on for comfort. This should not be encouraged. They need to be independent, they need to know how to comfort themselves. Also by doing this you're creating a scenario where your children see it as they will be able to get what they want when they want. It is just like running to them as soon as they whimper or utter a tiny cry. You are babying them and letting them be in control. Another thing I have noticed is that moms who have attachment issues breastfeed for longer. They say it helps with the bonding, but it's really the mom who requires that bonding and she has a hard time letting go. The self appointed martyrdom that I mentioned early in this post comes into play at this point. It gives women/moms a feeling of purpose and they like having someone to depend on them.

A Hot Mess  - Parents who go into town looking like a hot mess and dragging their half dozen kids behind them, each with barely a year in between their ages. Again, I am not judging. I just don't want to hear the complaining. "I never get me time anymore", "These kids are driving me nuts", "I feel like have lost brain cells", "I can't keep up anymore", etc. Number 1, nobody ever told you that you have to start having kids the month you got married and have to keep having them on a yearly basis. Please don't tell me it's because you have religious views on using protection or in this case prevention. I don'ts support abortion, I feel like it is you that made the mistake and not the unborn child. So you have to pay the piper so to speak. However, you do have means to prevent against it, something that I don't consider wrong. Also, the kids learn to walk all over you, they feed of your frazzled and scatterbrained behavior. So, "the hot mess look" is self inflicted.

Stick a pacificer in her she's done! - Ok but seriously "let me PACIfy you moms", oh they''ll be fine, stick a paci in their mouth. Nothing is more annoying. IT MAKES THEM DEPENDENT AND WHINEY. Also, starts thumb sucking, finger sucking, hand sucking, blanket sucking (unbelievable what all it leads to). I don't care if the kid came out of womb with the thumb in their mouth, you are enabling and encouraging it by given them a pacifier. Harmless? I think not. And I quote
   "Despite what you might have heard, there's not much evidence that pacifiers cause nipple confusion (when breastfed babies forget the muscular mechanics of nursing from a real nipple). But there is plenty of evidence that pacifier use can throw a monkey wrench in long-term nursing patterns and even cut the duration of breastfeeding short. How? One theory is that a baby can spend so much time enjoying those unproductive (yet satisfying) sucks that she loses interest in the ones that maybe take a bit more effort but actually fill her tummy. And because your milk supply is dependent upon her sucking, those misplaced efforts might mean you won't be producing the milk she needs to satisfy her hunger." 
   "Being dependent upon the pacifier can mean less sleep for everyone, because babies who learn to go to sleep with a pacifier might not learn how to fall asleep on their own — and they might put up a sniffly fuss when the binky gets lost in the middle of the night (requiring weary Mom or Dad to get up and get it for them…each time the baby wakes up)."
   " If a baby gets attached to a binky, the habit can be a hard one to break — especially once your baby turns into a more inflexible toddler (when the continuing use of pacifiers is linked to recurrent ear infections and misaligned teeth). It can also become a bad habit for parents too; if you plunk in the pacifier at the first sign of a squall, the real reasons for baby's tears — a tummy ache, uncomfortable diaper, or just missing Mama — can be overlooked."
"No, No, No" works, SAID NO ONE EVER -  The parents that pop their kids hand lightly and say "no no no" as they continue to break your things and pour milk on your couch and otherwise disrupt the adults trying to have a conversation. This doesn't work. Seen it done. Seen it fail. I'd like to buy a vowel please? NO, but what you can buy is new couch for me that doesn't smell like sour milk because your 3 year old doesn't know how to listen. And by the way just so there is no confusion, spilling the milk by "accident" and tipping it upside down and shaking it vigorously, are two verrrrry different things.
"You'll understand when you have kids" - The parents that actually defend their child when that child just broke something in your home by saying "well you really shouldn't keep delicates and breakables within the child's reach" or my favorite "you'll understand when you have kids" (like some unspoken judgment, muahhhhhh I'll get you my pretty when you have your own kids"!!!!!). Sorry, not gonna fly in my house. You break it, you buy really I'm not kidding. 
and finally

OCD Obsessive Compulsive Disorder aka OCD Overly Compensating Dingbat -  The moms that actually decorate their house and tree for Christmas with all plastic, to child proof it (basically they are too lazy to stay on top of their kids and make sure they are behaving),

In conclusion. Myself and my siblings
Never rode in a minivan, we rode in a toyota corolla
Never had any soccer, ballet or music lessons
We were the kids that told your kids, "There is no Santa Claus"
My mom never went and hung with mommy circles
My mom never fed in public, if she did it was with a bottle
My mom never went to town even for one errand without fixing her hair and makeup
My parents never owned a single pacifier, NOT one of us ever sucked our thumb, were whiny or had dependency issues
We NEVER touched anything in anyone else's home. We never once broke anything that didn't belong to us.
My parents love Christmas and have very delicate, expensive, collectible and glass decorations. Not once did any of them ever get broken by us. Yes, my mom put them out every year. whether we were 1 or 21, it didn't matter.

As for the title of my post, my husband and I enjoy married life. It is a beautiful thing and you don't have to jump into have kids right away to find it's purpose.

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

After Christmas Finds

So I told myself I wasn't doing any "after Christmas" shopping this year.......I lied. Well no not really. I took a wrong turn yesterday and somehow ended up in the Hobby Lobby parking lot. Ok, the truth. I was a making a Good Will drop off donation and it is located right next door to Hobby Lobby. So, I thought "what the heck?" Can't hurt to take a look. They probably won't have anything I want or won't have anything at all.
As I entered, noticed 3 full aisles left of Christmas stuff, quite a bit actually. Especially considering it was almost two weeks after Christmas and that they are probably itching to get Valentine's Day decorations up.
I grabbed a buggy and headed onward when I realize that everything was marked 90% off, yes, you heard me correctly. I inadvertently overheard (in that same second) that they had just put the signs up.
Now, you would have to understand how thrilled I am. It's 11am on a Monday, after Christmas. Typically and literally this time every year for the past 10 years I would be at work. I am not currently working (thanks to my awesomely supportive husband). This making it possible for me to get to a sale that by the time I would get off work would have been sold out, how do I know this? Because around 5:30 I headed back to Hobby Lobby just to check the damage and they were sold out, minus a few measly items that nobody wanted from the beginning of the season. This sight only heightened my puffed up feeling of pride and excitement.
Now for the GRAND ANNOUNCEMENT! I walked out of Hobby Lobby with $689 worth of items for $80.00! Now that's a steal of a deal!
The main items I purchased were mini Christmas trees (about 2 ft tall) that are themed in different colors with a coordinating wooden base and have a tinsel type material wrapped around the wire branches. They are adorable and can be themed for modern, preppy, folky, primitive, vintage, any theme you want. They had black, hot pink, turquoise, teal, silver light pink/cream and purple. I bought a little of each. The purple and black will make perfect mini Halloween trees. The cream and pink for Valentines day and the blue for Easter. I am not sure yet if I will be making these to sell on my Etsy shop, or if I will pre-decorate them with coordinating ornaments and give them as Christmas gifts for next year. Decisions, decisions.
My second find of the day was on the platform where they display the fake trees, they had 3 left and they were also 90% off. Crazy deal if you want to purchase a fake Christmas tree for the next season. The one I picked out however is not for Christmas ( I am sucker for real trees during Christmas), it is black and has lights attached to it (and please don't ask me who would purchase a prelit black Christmas tree, but apparently some people do because the only one left for sale was the display). Ok, moving on. The tree is 4ft tall with a heavy black metal base. It is also more of a narrow corner tree, so it won't be taking up much space. My intent is to make it my Halloween tree. My mother makes awesome hand hooked wool ornaments, as well as felted ornaments, I am hoping to con her into making me some. In any case, I am excited about having a tree to decorate and theme for another one of my favorite holidays.
Time to close, so much to do today! I leave you with a question though (and please feel free to comment, I would love to hear your answer) Riddle me this, does a "green/naturalist" buy a fake Christmas tree or a real Christmas tree? The twist is that a fake tree is not natural in any form and probably took the lives of many trees to make it, but then of course if they chose a real tree that doesn't seem very green?

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cheers to a New Year!

Well it has been a long time since I have posted anything on my blog. I have revamped it and changed the theme.
Life has been good and carried quite a few remarkable changes for me and my husband.
In the last three years we have bought and remodeled our first home. We have also sold that home. I have put my cooking career on hold, I have some areas in it that I want to continue to pursue but on a different level.
I want to start experimenting with a healthier and more natural (and by natural, I don't mean some freakish wholesome voodoo vegan habit) style of eating and cooking. I have become very supportive of a more organic and natural foods. We see things daily that attack the way we have been eating and living for years. These are not all bad attacks. Some that I agree with are the avoidance of GMO foods, meats, eggs, and dairy that are not grass fed, raw, no additives and hormone free.
Now, I fully appreciate and agree that the cost is exuberant and seems to be a bit of a racket. However, next time you decide to take the cheaper route, take a look at the ingredients listed on the back of the packaging. The list will be almost as long as your arm, you won't be able to pronounce or recognize a 1/4 of it. Not convinced? Ok. How about the fact that a 2.99 (off brand aka the cheaper version) family size bag of chips is 3/4 full of air? Now the name brand and more expensive is not much cheaper and for not much more product. So, let's continue down to the more natural and organic aisle. The bags are average size, but mostly full and those that aren't are not meant to be eaten in large quantities. Ever notice how you get a large bag of potato chips and you could eat the whole bag and not feel the least bit satisfied. Yeah, I know. Try the overpriced, organic versions and in all honestly you will actually be saving some money. Why? Because, once you have eaten the serving size you will realize that your insatiable craving has somehow been satisfied. That is because it is real. It doesn't contain additives that cause you to want more and inevitably end buying more to satisfy the afore mentioned craving. Giving the stores and the corporate world what they want. More profit. Might I add that this profit is at the expense of your paycheck and most importantly your health.
I have been toying with this new way of eating for about 1 1/2 years. This past holiday season I made a series of low carb, paleo, more natural, etc. (take your pick) of goodies. I made the decision to enjoy these for most of the month of December, but on Christmas Eve and Day to enjoy the real and more traditional foods that my family makes.
After two days of enjoying the foods, became burnt out on them. Not to mention my energy level was next to nill, I was sleepy, had headaches and had an urge to eat my other more healthy options. SUCCESS! I have been able to convince not only my mind but also my body and tastes buds about the better choices.
So, in starting the new year my husband and I have both committed to eating healthier 100% NO weakness!
We made a shopping trip to Costco and purchased a month's worth of food. This includes, rain forest coffee, coconut chips, chia seeds, almond butter, wild caught fresh salmon, 12 grain organic bread loaded with omega-3, cage free (no hormone) eggs, organic chicken and beef, etc. The point being we committed. I am fully convinced of the health benefits of these choices.
I am saying none of this to convince others to change their habits, only to share my experience and belief in them.

On that note, HAPPY HEALTHY