"Never grow up." -Peter Pan
I consider(ed) myself an active person. I most likely jumped to this conclusion because I am too busy to do the things I used to enjoy, like napping, and driving around aimlessly listening to music with an ice coffee. If I am too busy for staple things of a sane life, like those, then I must be VERY active. Yesssss. The lies we tell ourselves.
I was born blessed with a slender physique, to which I am eternally grateful, but mainly what this has taught me is: 'go ahead... Eat that pile of nonsense and then take a nap' has few, to no, consequences.
Noooooo. Now here is some truth:
The husband got me a Fitbit. The Fitbit doesn't lie. Well, occasionally it fibs and says I climbed an extra flight of stairs, after I drive down a bumpy road, but that's just a little white one. What Fitbit does, if you aren't savvy to this amazing device, is it measures calories burned, steps taken, heart rate, stairs climbed, sleep cycles, and keeps you aligned with pre-set 'goals' for you to meet. It's pretty cool.
Another little something it offers for those of us with competitive personalities, is 'challenges'. It finds your friends that also have an active Fitbit, and you can invite them to weekly, weekend, or daily challenges. 'Join the challenge,', they said, 'It'll be fun.', they said. It is fun. It really is. But, it was a swift and serious reminder that I am just really not that active. Every day I have reasons (aka excuses!) for not getting the excercise in... It's too late to walk, it's too early to do a workout video, the yoga studio is closed by the time Mr. Husband gets home, the kids are crazy, the greenhouse or the blog needs love... It is all nonsense. I am watching the other girls supersede me by 5k+ steps a day! OMG! It's getting to the point where it is embarrassing how far down the stats list I get some days! I'm still getting a fair 8-12k steps in daily but I'm nowhere close to the rest of my Fitbit friends.
'Do you want to return it?', Darling Husband asks with a condescending smirk when I mentioned how I had no idea how lazy I was.
(Insert Murder Eyes Here)
'No, I'm mentally preparing for a Rocky-running-up-the-steps moment.'
If you want a jumpstart to your diet or fitness routine, I absolutely recommend Fitbit. It's no joke when you realize how little you moved today. If you already own one, then let's be Fitbit Friends!
Add me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alright... This is terribly disgusting... The FDA has banned cilantro imports from Mexico this week due to overwhelming amounts of FECES in the cilantro fields. I'll wait while you go brush your teeth.
Grosser than that?
Hundreds of cases of intestinal illnesses have been reported since 2012, that the FDA just kindly linked back to feces contamination from cilantro.
'Hey! Thanks for taking your time on that one!', says every American that has eaten Mexican food in the past 3 years.
We all know that the Food & Drug Administration will allow trace amounts of ANYTHING into our food, because after all, a little rat sh*t never hurt anyone, so we can only assume that the amount of human feces in our cilantro is significant.
On an inspection of 11 Mexican cilantro farms, findings showed that the fields were littered with toilet paper, urine and feces. Also, bathroom facilities had NO running water, and no access to running water to wash hands. The packaging tables were unclean, and the FDA cited 'questionable conditions'. FIVE of the farms tested positive for the parasite causing the intestinal issues here in the States, Cyclospora Cayetanensis.
Pass the salsa.
What do we do now?
Well, first: please throw away your cilantro immediately if it came from Mexico. Duh.
Third: Grow your own. Cilantro is very easy to grow. A small pot of it in your kitchen will brighten the space, and provide you with healthy, delicious, POOP-FREE cilantro, in a short amount of time.
Do you have anything to add to this story? Let us know!
I just got home from my children's dance class. The first thing I did when I got in was go to the mirror to check my face. The fact is: I cried the whole way home. Big tears. Lots of them. My daughter did great today. Not that I know first hand. I didn't get to watch her.
I didn't get to watch my sweet little girl dance, just as most of her accomplishments, and sweetness, goes unnoticed. If I am blessed enough to witness her being wonderful, I rarely am capable of praising her and making her feel good for all that she does right.
The reason: I have another child, and that child has sensory disorder.
Sensory disorder is something a parent has to react to by gut. 'Today is not going to go well if we leave the house.' 'The smell in this store is going to be a problem, we have to leave.' 'This restaurant seems busy, we may not get the water in time.' 'The toilets here are self flushing and loud. We can't stay long. We need to leave before he needs a bathroom.' It is a life of preemptive worrying, and pre-planning for things that we don't personally understand. It's a lot of cancelled engagements, and declined invitations. It's a lot of eggs for dinner because it wasn't a good day to attempt the grocery store. It's a lot of stares from strangers, unwarranted advice from people that have no idea what they are talking about, it's a tremendous amount of embarrassment, and the realization that the parents at dance class will never want to talk to you, but surely will talk about you.
Every tiny human is different. Some only react to a few sensory triggers. Some, like mine, respond to all. When he feels sensory discomfort he is instantly overwhelmed and panicked. His reaction to this feeling, is to gain control by attempting to control his environment. This might mean acting so out of control that I remove him from the place (not so great when I have a full cart of groceries and we have to leave them in an aisle and go home empty handed), or screaming at the top of his lungs as the toilet flushes in the library.
Today, it meant tearing curtains off of windows and knocking over piles of mats, until he was escorted out of (and asked not to return) dance class today. This is, I think (because, as a parent of a sensory disorder child, everything is a guess), is because the door to the studio is closed, and even though it is a large open room, he does not do well being confined. The flip side: just like any other child, rejection is not something he handles well. Being 'not welcome' at dance class anymore made him feel out of control again, and he reacted by kicking the glass windows, screaming, and biting himself. My son is five, and very loud, as well as strong.
The problem when things like these happen in public, which is usually where they happen, is that the insanity of it all usually comes with an audience. A large, collective, judgemental stare, if you will. Some days the faces contain some pity, but it's usually horror mixed with 'what kind of mother are you?'.
This, I can handle. I can handle looking like the town degenerate because I can't control my child. I can handle people staring at me. Screw them, seriously. Walk a mile in my shoes. Sorry your kid is perfect. Pfft.
The thing I can't handle; the thing that brought me to streaming tears the whole ride home; my daughter will always be slightly neglected. She will always be brushed aside during crisis with her sibling. She will always be standing with me, next to me, and see people looking at us the way that they do. She will feel different, like I do. Her accomplishments will be briefly touched upon, because of course she did a perfect thing, while her brother will get accolades for NOT licking the grocery store floor. We will stop getting invitations, because having us around is stressful. And the worst part? She occasionally intentionally acts just like him because she wants attention too. I am accidentally showing her that bad behavior is how to get my attention.
When you love a child with sensory disorder, every last bit of energy goes to them. Any smile you muster beyond that comes straight from the reserve. My daughter gets every inch of everything I can possibly pull out of myself after the tantrums have subsided. I give her every bit of myself that I have left.
I'm just worried that it's not going to be enough.
Over the past few months, I haven't been feeling like myself. I've been constantly tired, I put on a few pounds, feeling anxious and irritable most of the time. Suffering Restless Leg Syndrome at night... and pins and needles in my hands and feet during the day. Twitchy muscles. Warm sensations of the back of my calves. I have the occasional burst of heart palpitations, and my muscles get tired just from walking up a flight of stairs. I'm in my 30's, now's the time when I start falling apart, right? Wrong. It wasn't until I was researching my daughters dry skin and red bumps on the back of her arms, that I found the correlation between all of my symptoms. It turns out that her Keratosis Pilaris, or 'chicken skin' as it is often called, is the sign of a gluten sensitivity. As is EVERY OTHER SYMPTOM that I listed above- and then some. There are over 300 symptoms associated with gluten sensitivity, and most people do not connect the dots, because they are so broad ranged, and seemingly unrelated. One in 133 people in the US have gluten sensitivity, and 95% of people with Celiac's Disease go undiagnosed, even though 20-30 percent of the population carry the gene for it.
Have I lost your interest yet? I know... stats are boring. You know what else? I spent more than a decade as a bartender, scoffing at people who couldn't drink beer because they were allergic to wheat.
'How ridiculous. I've got a crybaby over there whining about gluten.", eye roll with other bartender. giggle giggle.
Well, yes, I am an ass. Here I am, after weeks of research and a trial gluten-fee diet to reflect on, telling you right now:
I FEEL SO MUCH BETTER.
I have not consumed Gluten in a week. Within 3 days, I had absolutely NO nerve issues (tingling, pins and needles, numbness, warm sensations), no Restless Leg, I woke up today feeling completely rested, AND (!!) I have dropped about 5 lbs in a week doing absolutely nothing. Turns out that weight I was worried about: was bloat from gluten.
SO HERE IS THE BAD PART:
Gluten is in pretty much everything. Like everything. Even your shampoo and lipstick. Being Gluten-Free takes some diligence, I have learned the hard way this week. Last night I literally stood under the snack cabinet gazing up at the Oreo's, feeling pissed off. I ate ice cream instead, but I was still mad. These irrational feelings of anger over not getting a cookie, I take as part of the detox. Gluten is addicting. Anyone who can't go a day without bread (like the old me) probably knows this to be true. So I am kind of grouchy. It takes 3-6 months of NO CHEATING to get the Gluten out of your system and heal properly.
So I may be a grump for a bit. This too shall pass, and all that wisdom.
The reason gluten is so dangerous, is that it attacks your intestines, even if you don't have a full blown allergy. This intestinal damage makes it impossible for you to absorb nutrients properly, hence the fatigue and feeling terrible. Gliadin is the protein portion of gluten, and also very closely resembles that of the thyroid. It is so similar, in fact, that your immune system begins to attack your thyroid, in the same way it battles the gluten in your system. How gross is that?!
I was hesitant to blog about gluten intolerance, because honestly, until I had a reason to negate it from my diet, I truly thought it was nonsense. This was because I was uninformed, and really couldn't care less. I can tell you first hand now: Gluten is gross, and I will never go back. After pouring over gluten free blogs, and making Pinterest boards for all of the things that I love (English muffins, pizza crust, bread...), I am full blown all about it. I went grocery shopping, and realized that when I opened my eyes, I found a gluten-free version of almost everything. I ordered everything I couldn't find in the store on Amazon. Simple.
So, I'm off to live my Gluten-Free life, but I urge you- if you have any of these symptoms; give gluten-free living a try!
- Abdominal Distention
- Abdominal Pain and Cramping
- Alternating Bouts of Diarrhea and Constipation
- Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)
- Back pain
- Bone Density Loss
- Borborygmi (stomach rumbling)
- Brittle Nails
- Canker sores or mouth ulcers
- Stunted Growth and Failure to Thrive
- Dental Enamel Defects
- Depression, Anxiety and Irritability
- Dry Hair
- Malodorous Flatulence
- Malodorous Stools
- Gluten Ataxia
- Grayish Stools
- Hair Loss (Alopecia)
- Headaches and Migraines
- Joint pain
- Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
- Lactose intolerance
- Numbness or tingling in the patient’s hands and feet
- Peripheral Neuropathy (including either a tingling or sensation of swelling your toes and fingers)
- Teeth and Gum Problems
- Vitamin and Mineral deficiencies
- Unexplained Weight loss
I will be posting recipes on TCE's Test Kitchen page if anyone is interested in doing a gluten detox but still wants to enjoy their favorite foods.
Music is mood, baby! Bjork to Toby Keith... The Violent Femmes to Miley... This is what will be lighting up my yard this weekend:
1. Party In The U.S.A., Miley Cyrus
2. 4th of July, Aimee Mann
3. Firework, Katy Perry
4. Born In The U.S.A., Bruce Springsteen
5. American Music, Violent Femmes
6. American Girl, Tom Petty
7. Living In America, James Brown
8. Declare Independence, Bjork
9. American Woman, Lenny Kravitz
10. Made In America, Jay-Z ft. Kanye West and Frank Ocean
11. America, Simon and Garfunkel
12. Courtesy Of The Red White And Blue, Toby Keith
What to wear, what to wear... I'm going to go out on a limb and say NOT #4? Maybe your crush invited you to a BBQ and you need to glam it up a smidge. Maybe it's a family thing, and you know there will be a touch football game. Maybe you just have a hunch you will be chasing your kids all over the party... Or maybe you could daydream for a second that you were going to THE party of the year, and you could wear whatever the F you want...
If nothing mattered, I would wear all of these, with scheduled wardrobe changes throughout the day/night, and wrap myself in a flag, as I drank beer by a bonfire on the beach... Wait, that may have been an Abercrombie commercial I saw... IDK... IDC... Here goes:
Ahhhh... so cute... all of it...
...and yet still, I am left with the burning question...
WHAT TO WEAR? ;)
Tag me on your IG 4th of July WIWT and OOTD and inspire me, you bunch of Vixens!
The nation is in mourning over the separation of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Gardner. Any time a couple with children separates, it is understandably upsetting. But THIS, America is taking THIS hard. Let me just review a few reasons why you shouldn't spend your time caring, tweeting, and sharing this any longer...
- You probably don't know them.
- They have seemingly amicably separated, and have asked for privacy. If you like them so much that you are devastated by this, then you should like them enough to not fill the internet with nonsense that they, and their children, can read, which undoubtedly makes them feel worse. I can't imagine what that poor woman feels waiting in line at the supermarket (potentially with her kids!) staring at stacks of trash mags covering her heartbreak.
- As you are pouring over stories of how difficult the separation will be on their children, you may possibly have a few of your own that you could be hugging right this very second.
- Most likely there are some bits of our own personal relationships, romantic or otherwise, that we could mindfully be tweaking, instead of back-tracking the 'what went wrong's' of someone else's.
- Ladies: Ben Affleck is incredibly handsome, and now back on the market.
- There is war and poverty that we don't collectively feel so despondent about. That is wrong.
- They say money can't buy happiness, but collectively, they are wealthy enough to afford a few spa days, and enough ice cream, to get them through this.
- Heartbreak encourages creativity. Maybe Jen will be encouraged to 'spank him in the box office', like she said she always wanted to.
- If they are fine with it, you should be, too.
- This Bennifer was more fun anyway:[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dly6p4Fu5TE[/embed]
Hello! I've missed you! With the weather nice, the kids out of school, and the projects adding up; I decided a blogcation was sorely needed. I took the month to camp, put up a pool, install a greenhouse,attend a wedding, take a trip to Laconia, set up a few booths at the local flea market, change up my hair, visit local garden centers, and best of all- hang out with my kids. Relaxing? Never! But fun, nonetheless.
It's been a great month!
But my brain! It needs to spout out so many things! I've missed my blog, and I miss connecting with you guys. So many recipes to share! A few VoxBoxes waiting to be opened, a stack of products to review, and new clothes to don!
Happy July! It's going to be amazing!
The saying goes, 'The only certainty in life is death and taxes.'. I have found this to be untrue. When you are a mother, you know a few more truths to be self-evident. Here are 10 things you can bank on:
1. The dirtier the public place you are in, the more likely your child will need to use the restroom.
2. The longer you spend on your hair and make-up, the more your child will rub their hands on your head and face while you put their shoes on.
3. The more expensive your child's outfit, the more chocolate ice cream and ketchup it attracts.
4. The second you get on an important call, your household will break out into riotous insanity.
5. The second you hang up, your children will play quiet and peaceful.
6. If you wear white, you will absolutely spill your coffee.
7. You will never find the top to the first sippy cup you pull out of the cabinet.
8. The first time you tuck your children in for the night will not be the last.
9. Your child will wake up late on school days, and early on weekends.
10. No matter how kid friendly, and well thought out, dinner will always be 'yucky'.
So next time you are heading off to Walmart, remember to toss some hand sani in your purse, because we all know: You WILL be in their restroom!
Happy Monday, All!
Comment below if there are any Murphy's Laws that get YOU every time!
Clothes are everything. Make-up is divine. I like looking at pretty girls, in fancy clothes, doing fun things. Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite Fashion & Beauty Instagrammers, aka the lovely Ladies that motivate me out of my joggers in the morning.
They won't disappoint- give 'em a follow so we can Ohemgee!! their pics together! XO
This recipe will take you less than 15 minutes, but it's so colorful and decadent, no one will be the wiser. Also, enjoying the benefits of a (nearly) all raw food meal, will leave you feeling energized and clean.
You will need:
1 lb large shrimp, cooked
1 cup cucumber, diced
1 cup tomato, diced and seedless
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped fine
1/2 cup red onion, chopped fine
5 limes, juiced
Pink sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
Pour half of the lime juice over the rinsed, de-shelled shrimp, in a large mixing bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes.
Mix cucumber, tomato, cilantro, onion, salt and pepper. Pour remaining lime juice over mixture. Toss.
Pour shrimp and liquid over mixture.
Serve in small dishes with Sriracha (sauce as desired).
So simple! So delicious! So... summer! ENJOY!
The warm weather is here- hooray! I don't know about your family, but mine likes to be outside; hiking, beaching, and relaxing, any, and every, chance possible. To make this possible, I like to keep lots of pre-prepared foods on hand for those impromptu outings and late dinners. Cobb Salad Dip is a great dish to keep in the fridge for (semi) healthy snacking, or a great outdoor BBQ side. It's fairly simple to make, and tastes amazing with baguette slices, or tortilla chips. Skipping the carbs? It goes great in a lettuce wrap too.
8 oz package of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 package of Ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup of sour cream
2 tomatoes, any kind, diced
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese blend
1 cup Romaine lettuce, chopped fine
1/3 of a red onion, diced fine
3 hard boiled eggs, sliced
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp, chopped
1/3 cup blue cheese crumbles
1/2 cup corn, cooked
Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and ranch mix. Spread into serving dish. (I used a deep casserole dish so I could load up on the veggie topping)
Add toppings, save egg, in any creative manor you like.
Garnish with hard boiled egg slices Chill in refrigerator for one hour, then ENJOY!