Category Archives: life

This is my confession

I raid my children’s Easter baskets after they go to bed but instead of eating all the candy, I bring it to work and add it to the communal candy bowl. I don’t think they need to eat all the chocolate and candy they got and I don’t know what else to do with it so it ends up in my office. My coworkers appreciate my thievery.

10 Things That Make Me Happy

Because sometimes I need reminding.

  1. Books, books and more books. There is nothing quite like book therapy.
  2. My electric blanket. Love it!
  3. Delicious food. My cravings change daily but I am happy as long as I am eating something yummy.
  4. Beaches, the sea, saltwater. The manatee in me is most at home in the water.
  5. Peonies. Because they are pretty and smell nice.
  6. Sunshine and warm weather. Pretty self-explanatory, no?
  7. A good playlist. Music makes everything better.
  8. Being outdoors. Warm weather helps with this.
  9. Sleeping in. I don’t get to do this very often but when I do, it is just fantastic.
  10. Macros that run like they should.

Apple Cider Vinegar – Just Like Windex

I loved the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”. Way back when, I thought it was hilariously funny. And now I swear I am working with one of the characters from the movie; the dad, only my coworker is female and younger. In the movie, the dad had this fixation on Windex. Whenever anything went wrong, he was certain Windex could fix it. And my coworker is the same way. Only her fixation is not Windex, it is on apple cider vinegar. I swear any time I mention an ailment or inconvenience, her solution is apple cider vinegar.

My conversations with her go something like this:

I have a headache – use apple cider vinegar

I have a clogged shower head – use apple cider vinegar

I haven’t been sleeping well – use apple cider vinegar

I have baked on grease on my cookie sheets – use apple cider vinegar

I have killer crampsuse apple cider vinegar

I have thinning hair – use apple cider vinegar

I forgot to put on deodorant – use apple cider vinegar

I need to lose some weight – use apple cider vinegar

When it comes to her, every problem has one simple solution; apple cider vinegar. No matter what the topic of discussion is, I know what the response will be and even though it is funny, I never really took her seriously. I am sure apple cider vinegar is good for some things, I don’t believe it is the cure all she claims it to be.

Until now.

I went to get some of the lotions the dermatologist recommended for Maks’ Keratosis Pilaris and ended up speaking with the pharmacist about some natural options to treating Maks’ skin. She even suggested apple cider vinegar scrub in lieu of the lotion I went in to get. According to her, she has seen better results in children when an apple cider vinegar scrub is used instead of the Salic acid solution.

So I am jumping on the apple cider vinegar bandwagon. (My coworker would be proud) I have put together a brown sugar apple cider vinegar scrub for Maks to try out. The hardest part of the scrub was finding the organic apple cider vinegar with “mother”*. I use apple cider vinegar when I make pasta salad but apparently, I couldn’t use the same kind of vinegar for the scrub because it is not organic. Organic apple cider vinegar with mother wasn’t something I could find at my local Walmart. After some searching, I ended up finding the vinegar at a local bulk food / health food store.

Then came scrub assembly. It is a super easy recipe; equal parts brown sugar, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. Voila! You have a scrub to combat Keratosis Pilaris. I was super excited to try it out and so was Maks until he got into the same room as the concoction and smelt it. The scrub smells horrible. According to Millhouse the vinegar smells like fart, Maks says it smells like feet and Mats says it smells like farty feet. It really is an awful smell and Maks was put off when I told him it would have to be rubbed onto his skin. He was a trooper about it. He plugged his nose and used it last night. So far, nothing has changed with his skin and I really didn’t expect it to after the first application. We are going to try it out every other day for the next couple of weeks and see what happens. If there is no change then I will head back to the pharmacy and just pick up the topical ointment I went there to get in the first place.

*mother is the important part of the vinegar. It is a specific molecule chain that makes the vinegar cloudy and effective.

Hello April!

So far, no snow!  Hooray!

I am in full spring cleaning mode.  I am slowly decluttering the house.  My pack rat ways are finally starting to catch up with me and that needs to be change.  So I actually throwing away stuff this time around.  I mean I kept a audio technica turntable at Guitar Center .  Who does that?!  I do, I guess.

But not anymore.  I am going to become a minimalist.  Or at least try to be.

More Snow!!

There is more snow in the forecast! I really thought we were done with all this snow stuff. I had plans for spring cleaning. I need to go through the garage. I wanted to put the odds and ends together for a garage sale. I mean between the pillar candles, Musicians Friend’s remo drums , paintings, and linens; I think I could put together a pretty impressive garage sale.

But I can’t do that if it’s snowing!

Sugar Makes Me Nauseous

A couple months ago, I completely cut sugar out of my diet. And I am not just talking about refined sugar here, I am talking about everything. No sweet things of any kind, no bread, no ketchup or prepared sauces of any kind, no pop, and no juice; nothing with sugar in it at all and there are a lot of things in which some sort of sugar is added. Case in point; did you know most Asian dishes, including Thai curries and sushi, have sugar added? Well, they do. And because of the hidden sugars in things, most prepared and fast foods were cut out too. Just about everything I loved was cut out, pretty much cold turkey. The first month was hard. I am not going to play it off like cutting out sugar was super easy to do, it wasn’t. It was hard. I got physically sick. I had aches right down into my bones, it was some of the worst withdrawal symptoms* I have ever gone through. I also had to start reading labels. Reading labels isn’t fun. People in the grocery store look at you like you are crazy. You take up space in the aisles, comparing products trying to find the ones that best adhere to your nutritional needs. And spoiler alert; a lot of products don’t conform to your nutritional needs.

But I made it through and things started to look up. In general, I started to feel better, my skin got clearer, and I started to lose weight. I got better at figuring out what I could and could not eat and reading labels got easier. All in all, good things started happening and I maintained my no sugar routine for almost three months. There were times when I would fall off and have something with like sticky toffee pudding or a macchiato from Starbucks but for the most part, I kept on track.

Then Trinidad happened and I completely feel off the wagon. I ate everything and anything I could get my hands on. My level of outright gluttony was not pretty. I didn’t gain a lot of weight but I threw my body for a loop and it has taken me a whole lot of time to recover. When I got back, I didn’t go back to eating sugar free right away. I wanted to take some time off, just be a lazy butt for a bit, and just eat what I wanted.

Such a bad idea!! Bad, bad, bad idea!

My body wasn’t having it and it started to make its displeasure known, quite vocally. I can’t eat sugar now, even if I wanted to. When I do, I get physically ill. My stomach starts to hurt to the point where I cannot stand up. I get insane bouts of nausea. It is so bad, I was laid up in bed for almost an entire weekend because I ate a whole bag of BBQ potato chips**. It was horrible. So I am back to no sugar at all. The only sucky part is I ended up going through all the withdrawal symptoms again. They weren’t so bad this time around but they were far from pleasant.

I did learn my lesson though. Sugar is bad and if I forget, my body will remind me.

*I haven’t really gone through withdrawal symptoms, not major ones anyway. There were times when I gave up caffeine and nearly exploded. I am comparing those times to this time.

**yes, I realize a whole bag of BBQ potato chips is excessive but remember I was being a glutton.

The Pros and Cons of Gym Membership

Turns out, I get a corporate discount on an executive gym membership. It’s a good deal and everything is included for myself plus up to four “family” members. So if you were in the market for a gym membership this would be good for you. Now here’s the thing, in theory I want to join the gym. It would be nice to actually attend classes with other adults, have access to a sauna and go swimming regularly. All those things resonate with me. Then there is the reality of the situation. I am exhausted most days and doubt I will actually have/make time to dedicate an hour or more at the gym. And then there are the added costs.

It seems like an easy decision, right. It’s not though. I am torn about what I want to do. So I made a list, which seems kind of ridiculous but seeing it all laid out makes the decision easier.

PROS:

  • There’s a pool. I have been wanting to start swimming again for a long time.
  • There are some cool classes I can attend; things like crossfit and body sculpt.
  • Up to four other family members can join and get the same discount as I do.
  • There are babysitting services.
  • There are things like whirlpools, suanas, and weight equipment I don’t have at home.
  • Summer is coming and I can build my summer body.

CONS:

  • It works out to more than $600 a year. That’s a lot of money that I could use towards something else.
  • If Millhouse joins, then that is over $1200 that can be used towards something else.
  • Summer is coming and we are so busy in the summer going on all sorts of adventures, I know I would not, realistically, give up time with the boys to go to the gym.
  • My days are so strapped for time; if I wanted to go before work, I would have to leave the house at 6am in order to make it to the gym and then to work on time but Millhouse doesn’t get home from work until 6:30am. So that schedule won’t work. If I wanted to go after work, I would have to leave work at exactly 4:30pm, get to the gym at 5pm, workout for an hour and then get home just as Millhouse is leaving for work. That means no dinner, homework, or bath time with the boys. So that schedule won’t work.

Le sigh. I can’t join the gym. Even though there are more pros than cons, the cons carry more weight than the pros.

Oh well. Maybe next time.

Exhausted Meli is Exhausted

Alternate title was Daylight Savings + March Break = I’m dying

Last week I was exhausted. Like, come home and collapse kind of exhausted but then when I went to sleep I couldn’t sleep. It wasn’t pretty.

I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Nothing in my routine had really changed. I was still getting up at the same time, doing the same sort of tasks in the morning, and going to bed at the same time but by the time 3pm came around, I was done for.

I knew March Break couldn’t have knocked me on my butt that hard. I am a stickler for routine and March Break threw off my routine a bit but it wasn’t anything major. I mean I don’t have to get the boys ready for school but I still have to get them ready for camp so the morning hustle remains the same.

And then I realized what it was.

It was March Break plus daylight savings that had me all messed up. I can handle one or the other but when you combine the two of them, then things get out of hand. I was never happier to see a Friday night than I was last Friday. I even slept in until 7:30am on Saturday. A 7:30am sleep in is huge for me, especially given I am up at 5am most mornings. The extra two and a half hours felt amazing.

And now that things are back to the regular schedule, I am even happier. I don’t get to sleep in during the week but my body will adapt even more now and hopefully I am not so tired anymore.

The snowstorm that wasn’t

Earlier this week, we were supposed to get hit with the mother of all snowstorms. If it wasn’t March Break, school would have been cancelled and all that jazz. It was supposed to be a really big deal.

And then it wasn’t.

The temperatures got crazy, the winds picked up, and the snow and ice came down but it wasn’t nearly as bad as everyone expected it to be, not that I mind, mind you. There were places that got way more snow and had things way worse than we did so this is in no way me complaining about not getting as much snow as we were told were going to get.

For us, it wasn’t so bad. I mean snow in March isn’t a fun thing and I would have been happier if there was no snow at all but given how little snow we had this winter, having a bit extra towards the end of the season wasn’t as catastrophic as I expected it to be. It’s winter and there’s snow. It happens. I remember one year it happened in April. I mean, an Easter egg hunt in snow pants and winter coats isn’t fun but it’s not unheard of.

Hopefully this is the last of it. This last bit of snow has me impatiently awaiting the arrival of spring.

More than they will ever know

The boys and I were watching TV. I can’t remember exactly what we were watching so it was probably a ridiculous cartoon or maybe it was MacGyver or maybe it was some sort of cooking show, that’s not the important bit. The important bit was we were all watching and having little side conversations as we went along, you know.

So on comes a commercial and it has Ashley Graham* in it. I think she is just really pretty and tend to say things like that out loud and this is what happened.

Me: “She’s just so pretty”.

Maks: “Who?”

Me: “The lady on the commercial. Her name is Ashley and I think she is just so pretty.”

Maks: “You are so weird, mommy.”

Me: “Why? I can think people are pretty.”

Maks: “I know that! But you never always miss the point.”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Maks: “You’re really pretty too but you never say you’re really pretty. You always say other people are pretty but you are just as pretty as that lady on TV.”

Mats: “Yeah mommy, you are pretty like that lady. You just never say so.”

And as quickly as it started, the conversation ended and they moved on to using paperclips to save the world or something equally as random but they totally changed my night.

I may not always believe I am pretty but I know for sure that I have the most awesome boys.

*if you don’t know who she is, google her.