Health · Uncategorized

Meditation for Beginners

You have heard about mindfullness, meditation, even thought about trying Yoga. You have read a lot of self help books, tried downloading meditation apps and tried everything you could but you can’t stay with it and nothing seemed to help- the voice on the app was too distracting or the music was too loud, the app was full of ads and you couldn’t get it to load properly.

All of those are issues I had when I first started. So I started looking for blogs and sites to help, bought several magazines and in the end, stopped reading and started trying.

There was one daily Yoga app that helped, but I don’t like paying for apps unless they are truly gold- the beta only covered a few weeks and after those weeks, I lost touch. I tried buying a Yoga DVD, I have a yoga ball, bricks and a mat- the mat collects dust, we had to throw the bricks away and the ball was a play toy until we finally admitted it was too big for our house. Now it’s in storage.

You do not need tons of stuff- a mat could come in handy if you have hard floors. Mine  are carpeted, so I need nothing.

All you need to start a daily routine- yourself and the will to do it. Determine if you’re wanting to learn mindful meditation, Yoga or normal meditation. The next step is to just start- find a chart on Pinterest with beginner Yoga moves and start doing it.

Find some time in your day and just sit down, close your eyes and clear your mind. Clearing your mind isn’t as easy as it seems at first, when I can’t clear my mind for any reason, I start counting. It works well for getting me to sleep. If you can’t find a good time of your day, put yourself to bed, lie there and count. Start at one, slow yourself down and each time you inhale, count. Focusing on your breath is the first step and once you start feeling your lungs inflate, deflate, chest rise and fall and the air going in and out of your nose/lips it will clear your mind.

I already wrote a tried/tested guide to making meditation part of your everyday routine when you’re too busy to just sit down

All four of those methods are things I try to do on a regular basis because I’m not living a lazy, laid back life (although I’d LOVE to slow down a bit).

 

I’ll be writing more on the topics of Yoga and meditation, I’d like to know what types of advice would you give beginners?

Parenting · Uncategorized

I’ve been trying to get more involved in my daughter’s school

But there is a big difference between our family (young, not rich but not poor, just not upper class) and the majority of the other parents (richer area- which is one huge factor in us wanting to keep her there and make sure her sister goes to that school). It also seems like our lifestyles are different- neither of us drink. At all. We went to a charity event and almost everyone there seemed to have drinks in their hands.

We are also an estimated 10 years younger than most of the other parents I have seen. I have actually been trying to research how to socialize with people of totally different lifestyles and all that and found very little but I’m at a point, I’m modeling being nonsocial to my kids- spending my “social” time talking to friends online instead of seeing people in person. My two year old wants a playmate and my older daughter is now starting to shy away from other kids (but she is also showing interest).

I’ve been trying to put myself in situations to talk to the other parents, so this year I volunteered as the homeroom parent.

So, I have my day job

My 2 side Etsy shops

My side freelancing

Making PTA meetings, school meetings with her team at school, doctors appointments and therapist appointments (she’s in speech, occupational and physical)

and now, making sure I’m able to help out with all the things the HP is supposed to help with- not too much, only a few things and I got one knocked out yesterday afternoon.

There are two coming up next month and after that, not really much until the next party so it’s not going to be time consuming. This is the year I need to sign her up for something- something to get her around other kids her age.

This is what happens when you take someone- give them a type A along with the ADHD attention span, make them a perfectionist- take away all idea of what they want to do career wise then plop them in the middle of motherhood and give them only a part time job and very little choice with what they went to school for.

You get someone like me- the career mindedness of a Type A but with very little direction and a short attention span (unless I’m writing or talking about something like tarot or astrology, or sewing)

Finding out what my outter limits are will be fun, but I’m very far from hitting it. My kids still get attention, I still get sleep (most nights) and nothing important gets neglected. I’d much rather have a full schedule and always be heading out than a laid back day filled with nothing-

I’m still looking for that magical formula for fitting in and figuring out how to socialize with people so much different from me. Just my clothing and tattoos make me stand out- add in religion and even age and I blank when I try to figure out how to start conversations. (and the fact my daughter is special needs makes it that much harder)

I was trying to get to know another mother in a similar situation but heard her talking about church playdates. It had me thinking about looking into local places around here for Pagans- found a few groups and learned we have a larger community than I thought- now it comes down to finding the time to make it to any of the gatherings. If it’s not trying to find stuff, it’s always feeling like I’m on a time crunch- even though most of the time I’m not.

 

This should be a fun year, though. I won’t be able to attend the first PTA meeting but I’m hoping I’ll be able to make all the others and I’m hoping I’ll be able to actually volunteer this year. I may also find a way to have a little “me” time without keeping myself up this late (I need to go to bed, but I’ve been off 3 days- so that means I’ve been with my girls nonstop) I’m living for this weekend (we’re taking our anniversary trip that we had to call off last month). For 3 days, it will be just me and my husband- no certain time to get out of bed and no certain time to do anything else. I cannot wait for some true relaxation.

 

Uncategorized

Coming up on my 3rd holiday in retail

I’ve worked many other retailers but this is my third holiday season at this particular retailer. I was a cashier 2 years- now I’m working in seasonal and garden center- so I’m now working in the center.

Our holiday decorations aren’t out yet, but they will be coming in soon and yesterday gave me a short sample of how busy we will be.

My hours are cut next week but I’m thankful for the break right now- I’m seeing lower hours as the “calm before the storm”

I can’t wait, though- I love fast paced and busy.

Parenting · Uncategorized

How Many Times Have You Had to Reheat the Same Cup of Coffee?

I’m sure any other coffee addict moms can answer. I think my record for reheating coffee was about 5 or 6 times- including 2 times without drinking any because I forgot to take it out of the microwave.

Once I left a cup of decaf in the microwave, forgot about it because we were so busy packing to move. We moved the microwave into our new apartment and the next day(2-3 days after leaving the coffee) I opened it and found the mug still intact and not a single drop spilled.

I’m becoming my mom. I grew up watching her constantly misplace her cup and now every day it feels like I have to search for it.

 

Uncategorized

I just got notified a few days ago it was my 1 year anniversary

I also just noticed I was on 99 posts, so this is my 100th post.

It took me 1 year to reach 100 posts. I’m thinking about challenging myself to make 1 new post a day and see if I can add 365 by this time next year.

I guess by my 1 year anniversary, I reached almost 100 posts and I hit 50 subscribers yesterday.

I’d like to thank everyone who has read, liked, commented, subscribed etc.

Parenting · Uncategorized

This has been both a great and stressful week

My daughter started second grade last week(I still can’t believe she’s already in SECOND grade- when did that happen??). While getting in the routine, I was a stereotype of the stressed out/hot mess of a mom I always tried to not be.

Day 1- we got to school on time, drop off went smooth then my 2 year old and I went home for a bit then back out to Starbucks to celebrate. As we were leaving, a woman pointed out that her shoes were on backwards.

Day 2- I overslept and my husband got to work late because he dropped her off (so we could take less time getting both girls ready)

Day 3- I backed into a pole and damaged my bumper as I was pulling out of the parking lot at her school

But that day, I got accepted to a website to write and signed the freelance contract.

So that day was both good and bad.

Days 4 and 5, I had to work but they both went smooth in all ways possible.

 

This week is starting off weird but decent. I had a severe arthritis flare up yesterday and barely made it through the day, but I got all my orders shipped and managed to make it through the day without my car. Today I’m off and am taking advantage of the time to catch up on writing- both updating here and the second job. Once I get into a full routine and used to the schedule (and get my car back) I’ll have everything down.

I know it’ll be looking up soon.

Health · Uncategorized

Beginner’s Guide to Starting Gluten and Dairy Free

It took me a few months to fully adjust to the taste, texture (and price) differences between the gluten free and regular foods but now it comes second nature. I have been doing the gluten free thing for a while now.  I spent (and still spend) tons of times on forums for gluten free living as well as leafing through magazines, books and cook books as well as Pinterest boards and blogs. I did not just start this journey as a way to lose weight (I have lost, but it was a pleasant surprise when I was gearing up to gain). I started after getting the diagnosis of Hashimotos Thyroiditis and having the gluten free diet recommended in both support forums and by professionals. I did a simple four month elimination from June until November then retested gluten. The results were obvious- all my digestive problems cleared up and symptoms I didn’t realize I had went away. Those problems came back for the holidays, so on January 1 of this year, I made the switch to a fully gluten free lifestyle for life.

I was well researched by the time I committed, now it’s second nature but I still have some things I wish I had been prepared for going into it. It’s much more expensive (add in a toddler who has severe lactose intolerance- and put yourself on the lactose free diet as well- then end up having to be on it with her due to your minor intolerance getting worse) and you will end up doubling your food budget if you’re not careful. You don’t need all the replacements, but they are good to use when you’re getting used to eating gluten free.

Here is a small list of some things I consider either either essential or good to have on hand for a snack/meal (I’m a baker with a huge sweet tooth). As I’ve gotten further into getting used to the change, I have been not buying so many processed foods and baking more.

  • Several varieties of gluten free flour. Bob’s Redmill is good.  They have an all purpose flour that goes well with cakes, cookies and nearly anything else and you don’t have to mix. I did find white, brown rice and tapoica works well in a lot of baked (1/3 of each). Walmart’s generic brand gluten free all purpose, in my opinion, tastes like regular flour. I have gotten desserts mixed up using that flour.
  • Enjoy Life chocolate chips. I use the mini chips in chocolate chip cookies and mixed into my vanilla almond milk yogurt
  • Enjoy Life cookies/chocolate candy/etc- when you’re wanting chocolate candy, it’s great. They also go well with gluten free grahm crackers for s’mores.
  • Silk Almond milk vanilla yogurt- it’s a great go-to as a snack or breakfast if you don’t have time to make a proper breakfast. It’s gluten and dairy free
  • Katz makes really good gf/df doughnut holes- for when you’re craving a doughnut
  • Earth Balance makes vegan “butter” their butter spreads are both gluten free and vegan and one version is also soy free.

There are tons of resources online that can give you gluten and dairy free menu items from most restaurants and a lot have special menus now- if you ask. Thanks to gluten and dairy free being fad diets, there are more options than years ago. I personally check things on the Celiac.org support forums if I am questioning them. I’m not a member, but the boards are usually on the first page when you google any food to see if it’s gluten free.

One of the best ways to help adjust is to find good recipe books, magazines, Pinterest boards or other resources and test out recipes. Baking from scratch is the best bet- you can control what subs you use and all the ingredients. If you work a lot, a lot of people found batch cooking on a free day works wonders. You cook a large amount of food and freeze it in single portion sizes- that way you can heat it up like a microwavable meal when you’re rushed for time.

Holidays are the worst, same with family gatherings- it’s best to eat before you go.

 

Gluten Free Flours

!. Almond- Good to use while baking or breadcrumb alternative.

2. Buckwheat- Good to use for breads

3. Sorghum- Normally mixed with other flours or small amounts used due to being a heavier texture.

4. Amaranth-  use it to replace 25% or less of the regular flour in normal recipes but this flour works best mixed with other flours.

5. Arrowroot-  thickener or mixed with almond, coconut or tapioca in baked

6. Brown Rice- thicken sauces or bread foods, is often used to make noodles and combines well with other flours

7. Oat- gives a chewier texture, goes well in baked foods

8. Coconut- breads or baked desserts

9. Tapioca- thickener, mixes well with other flours

10. Cassava- Most similar to white flour, works well replacing all purpose flour

There are many more, but these are some of the easiest to find in most stores. Most grocers now carry a supply of gluten free products. You can get gf pasta almost as cheap as regular at Walmart and Aldi also has gluten free products. Around here for me, I have had more luck finding dairy free products at Kroger than anywhere else. They have Tofutti brand products. Tofutti has dairy free subs for sour cream, cream cheese and many other items.

The common items you’ll need to replace for dairy free

  1. Sour cream
  2. Whipped cream (there is a coconut whipped cream that is so much better tasting than any other whipped cream I have ever tried, it goes beautifully in flavored coffee)
  3. Milk- milks come in lots of varieties now. For baking, I prefer vanilla flavored almond and unflavored almond for anything else. My kids drink chocolate cashew, almond or soy or regular soy.
  4. There are a lot of flavored gf/df coffee creamers out now. Most of the International Delight flavored coffee creamers in stores have both the df and gf label.
  5. Cream
  6. Heavy whipping cream
  7. Evaporated milk
  8. Sweetened condensed milk
  9. Butter

There are great subs for all those items and if you need one and can’t find them, there are recipes for everything on Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Parenting · Uncategorized

Going Out To Eat Alone

I’m watching The New Adventures of Old Christine. It’s one of my favorite sitcoms. We’re watching the episode after Christine and Schaefer break up and everyone keeps treating her like she’s going to break down.

She had the day without her son, her brother had his girlfriend at their house so she went out to eat alone. Everyone acted like eating alone was the worst thing you could do. Maybe it’s because I’ve been married for 8 years and my oldest child is 7, but I do not mind eating alone. In fact, I find it enjoyable. I do enjoy going out with my family or with friends but there is something about sitting down and enjoying a meal alone. You don’t have anyone to rush you or on the flip, you can leave as fast as you want. You can look at your phone without being called rude and you don’t have to make small talk. Want to listen to music? You can. Want silence? You can have it. Maybe where I have to wait until everyone is in bed to have time to myself, but I am at the point I treasure alone time.

Health · Uncategorized

Ever wonder what it’s like trying to get into shape with a condition like Ehlers Danlos?

You put on a workout video. They have 2 types of people in the background- the ones doing the main moves and the ones doing the modifications for people who are new to working out or have various limitations.

You try the limitations. You start to feel and hear your shoulder or knee pop. Then you modify the modifications because you remmeber last time you did a major workout and threw your knee so badly out it took several hours for it to pop back in- by that time, you were in the waiting room at the ER because this time you couldn’t walk nor put pressure on your leg and it took your dad on one side and your husband on the other side to help you hobble out of the house and into the car, every pot hole and bump in the road sent a searing pain through your knee and you were crying- until it “magically” popped back into place and the pain was gone.

Most of the time, if you threw a joint out, it would pop right back in so that time stood out in your mind because of the pain. After that, you were nervous about working out again so you would do it sporadically.

Your history of c sections combined with diagnosis of Hashimotos mixed and you knew you needed to workout. When you met with the genetic specialist who gave you the EDS diagnosis, you asked her. She told you water aerobics and swimming- stuff easy on the joints but you have no access to a pool so you got stuck. That put you back on square one and back to the risky exercises.

I’m down 50lbs but about 20 was from being hyperthyroid right after my daughter was born. I went down from 220 to about 180, back up to 190 then from 190 to 170ish after getting my thyroid regulated post surgery and switching to the gluten/dairy free lifestyle. Now, I’m about 30 away so I need more than changing my diet. I prefer the Stronger workouts (livestrong) but I have to do the modifications and sit out from certain exercises- it still works pretty well since they are laid out.

 

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I’m getting ready to do a full series on attraction

I read an article a while back about being the ugly friend. I’m tired of hearing “ugly” being used as an insult since attractiveness means different things to different people and no one is universally ugly- or attractive. Even the most attractive woman in the world wouldn’t be seen as attractive to every single person on this planet- but even the ugliest wouldn’t be ugly to others.

There are many layers to what makes someone attractive and so much more than I could write in one post so I’m doing an introduction to the series. I’m not sure how many I will post in this series, I have 2 drafts started, a few questions asked on my facebook and a few questions I’ll be writing as an interview and asking questions so at least 5.

 

If anyone has any questions about the series- feel free to comment.

I do not believe in the concept of true attractiveness. I don’t believe in universal nor do I believe in being jealous (I do think there are people jealous- but I don’t believe in being jealous- I consider any feelings of jealousy to be showing me where I need to self reflect and try to improve myself

I never had destructive jealousy when I was younger, but this series is going to be written more directed at a younger age- early 20s and single- touching on getting older and aging since we all know a lot of physical attractiveness tends to fade over the years- especially when upkeep gets put on the back burner.

I do not consider myself to be unattractive nor attractive- but average look wise- same as the majority of the population as a whole and when I speak on attractive, I typically mean conventional.

My first will be listing the benefits I could find about being the so called “ugly friend”

Others will be a poll I’m currently taking about what people find more attractive- intelligence, personality or physical appearance

Heavily researched articles about “beauty privilege” and “ugly discrimination”as well as the benefits to being seen as conventionally attractive.

and in the end, I’ll end it with open questions and poll about what makes people attractive to other people. (asking random people)

If anyone has any questions about any of these or have any questions they would like to see answered, feel free to comment the questions.