Thursday, March 31, 2011


A friend of mine posted on facebook, a link regarding food dyes (  A few years ago, when we got verizon fios, I started watching a station called veria.  I love a lot of shows that they have, but one of the things I learned was there are certain ingredients to look for in beauty products and food products.  Certain dyes like red dye #4, for example (though I don't know if this is a real dye, but that's similar to what the label will say) are really really bad for you.  Now all of a sudden, main stream media seems to be finally talking about how bad these things are for you.  I just heard it the other day on the Early Show.  When I was reading some of the comments on, I was kind of frustrated.  People were blaming our parents for feeding these dyes to us.  Others were saying that it's not the parents' fault because they didn't know any better.  And even others were saying that the FDA should regulate these things.  I don't blame my parents for feeding me some of these things.  Back in the 70's, we didn't know all of this information, at least as part of every day life.  Now here we are in 2011, and we are just finally having main stream media inform us about different dangers.  What I think should happen is: the FDA, who I believe should be protecting us from ingredients that may potentially be harmful, should publicize that there may be dangers in ingesting certain items or putting certain ingredients in products that will go on our skin or lips, or other areas that would make it easy for that ingredient to get into our bodies.  Do I think that they should police that these certain ingredients not be part of these products, yes, but I know that in the real world that is not going to happen.  People want cheap, convenient foods and products and they don't care what is in them and never mind that corporations would never go for this much policing, they would lose big time profits.  I just think that as consumers we need to educate ourselves and not buy things that we believe will do us harm.  I try to be a label reader.  I try to be an educated consumer.  I try to only buy natural foods in their natural state.  But for all my soap box talk, I often feel like I fail at this.  Reading and becoming educated on what I need to do for my family helps me make better choices, but sometimes convenience gets in the way and I give in.  I need to get off my soap box and start to follow my own beliefs more than I do some times.  By making my own foods from ingredients vs say buying cookies, I will know what ingredients go in them and how safe it is for my children and me and my husband.  So enough of my ranting and more on to acting!

Lastly, I also read a post at regarding hanging clothes on a clothes line.  If you've read my posts recently, you know that I am trying to conserve energy by hanging my clothes rather than using our dryer.  Also, by hanging my clothes to dry, I am hoping that they will last  longer and I won't need to buy thing as often, and since I tend to buy more classic items, they won't go out of style as if I bought more trendy clothing.  The funny part about the post is that the author wrote about some of my hang ups (no pun intended) regarding line drying clothes.  As a kid, we always line dried our clothes and I hated it.  I hated the work it took to hang the clothes vs just throwing them in the dryer.  I hated line drying because that's what poor people did, and it just reminded me that we didn't have the money like some of my friends did.  Line drying was also embarrassing.  Now as an adult, I look at line drying a little differently.  By line drying, I will save money, and yes as a family with one full time income and one very part time income, saving money is very important.  By line drying, I can save energy and do my part to reduce my carbon foot print.  By line drying, I can have great smelling clothes.  By line drying, I can get out in the fresh air and feel productive.  Yes I still have my hang ups about line drying, but I know that it will help me move more toward doing what I believe for our environment and screw what others think of me. By line drying, my diapers will get bleached by the sun and help with sterilizing them!  Unfortunately, here in New England, even though tomorrow is April 1st, we may be getting more snow.  That just pushes off when I can line dry outside, but I need to look into good/better  ways to line dry inside!  Any thoughts?

Sorry for the very lengthy post,

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


My goal of not drinking soda is still going strong.  It sounds silly/stupid, but it's been 2 weeks since Ifirst wrote about giving up soda and I haven't had any since then.  I feel really good about that, and now I need to add another goal to this so that I keep making good/healthy changes in my life.  I think the next goal should be to eliminate dairy from my life.  I do it for the kids, but I haven't yet done it for me and I really should!  I will be looking for dairy free alternatives!  this is not going to be easy, but it is something that I have to do!

My next non-food/health goal is to actually finish my mother's prayer shawl.  I have two granny square blocks finished and have a bunch started that I need to finish.  I also want to make her some chemo caps in case she loses her hair after the chemo, which starts tomorrow.  My goal is once I finish the ones for my mom, I will make more to donate.  This has been some thing that I've wanted to do for some time now, but I just haven't followed through.  I have a ton more projects to work on, mostly for the kids, so I want to seet aside a specific time to work on some projects to donate.  I really want to spend some of my time creating things that can make others happy.  Tonight, there are a bunch of shows that I like to watch, so working on granny squares is an excellent thing to do so that I can feel productive while I watch TV.  I have so many more projects to work on, that I really need to schedule time to do them, but first things first, I need to get the things for my mom done!

The next goal I have is to put together a schedule for the kids so that we can get things packed into our day and I can feel like a productive parent.  I can keep the house clean and some what organized.  I want to do what's best for them and I think having a schedule will help.  It will help having the days with warmer weather, though we could be getting mroe snow in the next couple of days, but that's New England for you.  I jsut need to figure out what we can do for activities now that Michael is in pre-school.  It will be nice just having the twins for a couple of hours, but I am still stressing over making sure that I am home in time for Michael's bus.

I'm off to work on my granny squares.  I will be working toward making a schedule for me and the kids so that we all get what we need out of our days!  Any scheduling suggestions, other than classes that cost money?


Monday, March 28, 2011

Cancer Support and New Projects!

So, I did it.  I made the decision to cut my hair short and I love it!  As I posted earlier, I initially started thinking about this because my mom was trying to decide between chemo or no chemo and one of her concerns was losing her hair.  I thought that I could make the sacrifice of cutting my hair which I had been growing for about a year and a half, then I thought that maybe that really wasn't that much a a support.  the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to cut my hair, not just for my mom but for me.  I love my hair short, but for some reason, I thought that I should grow my hair long (I also wanted to save money and time).  So in support of my mom and all those who lose their hair to chemo, I chopped off my hair.

Also, in support of Cancer, I started my first prayer shawl.  I attempted to say a prayer while I was knitting it, but I found that I couldn't knit and pray at the same time, so I may just have to say a prayer at the end.  I am hoping that it comes out nice and that I can give it to my mom for when she has her treatments.  Unfortunately, she starts her treatments this week so I know it won't be ready for when she starts, but if I work really hard , hopefully she can have it for later.  I am following a pattern, and it's an easy pattern and I know how to follow a pattern, but it seems like it is going to be really small.  I  may have to look at doing another shawl for my mom and give this one to someone smaller.  I also want to start on some chemo caps for my mom and maybe in time for others.  I may be able to do prayer hats where I can pray while I knit the hat.  I've never heard of prayer hats, but what the heck, if you are praying for someone to get well, can't you pray while making anything for that person.  I'm off to look at chemo cap patterns and pick one for my mom.  Any suggestions?


Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Simple Life

I think I tend to make life harder on myself.  Often I have these great ideas, but they are usually require too much work and I end up giving up.  One of my recent comments was about living the simple life, and I think I really need to embrace that thought.  I am making changes one step at a time and that seems to be making life a little less stressful an a little easier to handle.  I made my menu plan for the week, healthy but easy.  I think I only have one day that I don't have anything planned and that is Saturday since there is a chance that may be our take out night.  I am getting back on track with my laundry, but I still have a ton of clothes that I have to fold and put away.  Once that is done, I will be pretty good with the laundry.  I have started to wash my laundry on cold, except for the diapers.  Things seem to be going good with th new old washer.  I really need to stop using the dryer so much.  I want to get a clothes line for the basement like I had when I was growing up.  It was like a real clothes line that hung from the rafters.  Right now we are using clothes hangers, which works, but there are only so many hangers and I don't know if we have enough.  I will be encouraging my husband to put up a line outside for the nice weather though.  I need to start making snacks for the kids, especially for Michael to bring to school.  My newest resolution is KISS, "Keep It Simple Stupid".  Ny next step is to move on to doing more activities with the kids, that is more than just physical or maybe add some physical activities into some of the more sedentary activites I want to do, like reading a book and acting out the story instead of jsut sitting there while I read the story to them.

Not to keep talking about something as simple as my hair, but as much as I don't want to have to get my haircut often given the cost of haircuts, I have decided that I want to go short again.  I am planning on going short like I was about 1 1/2 years ago.  It was short, but not spiky short.  I will ahve to spend a little time on my hair, but I am really looking forward to cutting my hair short again, though some would consider my hair short now.  A friend is looking into setting something up for a haircutting event, but I am thinking I want to do this sooner than later.  I am looking to stay local, but I am thinking I would love to get this done this weekend.  I will post a picture once I get it done.  I really can't wait.  I think I grew my hair long again for some good reasons, such as time to get it cut, cost, and just the desire to try long hair again after many years of short hair.  But I think I grew it for a lot of wrong reasons too, such as a certain person who is no longer in my life making some negative comments and feeling like I should have long hair because girls are supossed to have long hair and want long hair.  the funny thing is I remember my grandmother saying that there are certainthings a girl should do, wear earrings every day, have long hair, wear a necklace eevry day.  She was shocked when I got my hair cut so short and I was actually afraid to let her see it short at one point.  But, I will always remember her telling me that she actually liked my hair short.  That was an amazing moment.  I also remember how I felt every time I got my haircut (that is if it was a good cut, there were some bad ones in there).  I have gotten lots of compliments on how short hair suits my face.  I've gotten some compliments with my longer hair, but mainly about my hair, not necessarily that the long hair looks good on me!  My husband will say that either style look good, but I think short is better.  Even though there is some nervousnes about the actual cutting, I can't wait for short hair again.  I don't think I ever want to go back to long hair, but if history shows up anything, at some point, I will probably grow it out again. I just feel so good in short hair.  I feel like it is the only time that I look good and in style.  There is always the idea that I am doing it in support of my mom's potential for losing her hair, but that is really just a small part of it.  I am really just doing this for me!  I also have a potential salon that 4 people in my extended family go to and strongly recommend.  Ithink I may be giving them a call, and I get to keep it local, always a good thing (that is if my friend hasn't started a whole process yet)  I just am really excited about this decision.

Amy who in a couple of day will have a whole new look! Hopefully!!!!!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hair today Gone Tomorrow?

So, I am still questioning if I should cut my hair or not!  I put a post out to facebook, and unfortunately got more don't cut than cut, but I can't tell if that is because they think either I look good in longer hair or because they like longer hair in general.  The one person whose opinion I would trust beyond a doubt is my husband.  The problem is he doesn't seem to have an opinion, or at least that's what he says.  I do believe him.  I think he would be honest and tell me if he truly had a preference either way.  I am still having visions of having that cute short pixie cut again, but I am so afraid that I will cut it all off and hate it or I will want to go long again.  Part of me thinks that this is just who I am.  I love short hair, but then I get this urge to grow it again and as soon as it is long enough, I decide to cut it all off.  I keep it short for a while then I get the urge to grow it again an the cycle continues.  I should just accept that is who I am and go with what I feel.  Part of the issue is keepin gup with haircuts and the cost of keeping up with haircuts.  I remember having to go for a haircut every 3-4 weeks at times.  I used to love getting my haircut, but I just don't have the time of the money.  I put out to facebook that I am looking for a good inexpensive hairdresser and have only gotten 2 suggestions so far.  Maybe there is no such thing as a good inexpensive hairdresser or maybe what I consider inexpernsive just isn't a reality.  I was thinking about when I had my hair short for my sisters wedding.  I remember trying on my dress and feeling like Audrey Hepburn, not that I looked that pretty, but that was the feeling that I got when I looked in the mirror.  I can't believe that I am taking so much time thinking and writing about this, but this is a huge decision.  I really want to just take the plunge, but what if I regret it.  I know that i can always grow it back and the summer is coming.  I can always cut short for the summer and gorw back in the winter if I choose.  I have a feeling that a hair cut is coming my way.  I can always use the excuse that I am doing it support or my mom's risk of losing her hair due to chemo, which really is actually what got me started thinking about this.  I think I may just use my picture from my sister's wedding as the type of style I am going for.  I love having a classic yet edgy look.  My hair has always been the one area that I tend to experiment with, that and make up.  I have a feeling I have made up my mind, I just haven't decided when to do it.  I guess I'll have to talk to my husband about it.  Oh well,  I finally don't mind my curl and yet I still want to go short again!

This was October 2009, how I plan to cut my hair

Not the best picture, but this is me now

Thanks for listening,

Newest info: after I initially wrote this I posted to facebook about where to get a haircut.  One of my friends is a selectman in town and is trying to get something together where there may be a benefit.  I don't really know how this will work, maybe a cut for a cure type event.  I don't know, all I know is that now that I have made the decision to cut my hair, I can't wait to do it.  If it can be tied in with some cancer cause even better.  And, I have the best husband.  He is not only fine with me having short hair, but says he likes my hair either way.   Gotta love the supportive partners.  That's just one of the reasons I love him!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Who Am I Update

I've written a bit about who I think I am and what some of my life goals are.  I am actually starting to feel like I am accomplishing some of the goals that I have set for myself.  When my mom got diagnosed with Breast Cancer, I took a long hard look at my life and decided to make some changes.  Unfortunately, I decided to make the changes all at once.  I should know myself better and I should know that I need to go slow.  I need to make some small changes and make them stick and then move on to a few more small changes so that in the end I will have made all the big changes, just over a long time period.  I have totally eliminated soda from my diet.  With all of the new information surrounding soda, I am hoping that eliminating this will help in many ways, not just eliminating the bad things in soda.  I am doing better with eating healthy foods.  I think today might have been the first day I have been totally vegetarian, lacto-vegetarian, but vegetarian at least.  I know need to continue in this manner then start moving towards vegan, yet if I have some meat at some point, I won't beat myself up about it, because I know that will just spiral me back to where I don't want to be.

Now that I have a working washer again, my laundry is getting more manageable.  I am back to using cloth diapers.  It's a little hard with Michael being in school and wanting to ensure that I have enough diapers for him.  I have enough, but I just need to get into more of a routine with ensuring that there are cloth diapers for school.  It's only been two days of school so I know I will get into more of a routine as time goes on.

As far as crafting and being creative, I just don't seem to make the time.  I should plan better so that I have a project to work on while I watch my favorite tv shows.  I am participating in next apron swap again.  I am really excited for this one.  I have requested a full garden apron and put that I love bright floral prints.  I am so hoping that my partner sees what I like and makes me a beautiful apron, like the ones that I have already received.  I love how creative others in this swap can be.  I am really looking forward to getting my partner and working really hard to get a package together that is really special.

Lastly, not that this is a major piece of who I am, it's really just the outward appearance of me, but I am again considering cutting my hair really short.  I have spent the last year and a half growing it out and am actually for the first time in my life, loving my curls, which is what is making this decision so much more difficult.  For years, I had a pixie style haircut and loved it.  I felt a little outrageous, probably not the right word, but I can't think of a better one.  I felt like I was saying yes I can be feminine and have really short hair.  I loved wearing makeup and really wearing dramatic colors with the short hair.  This was also pre-kids.  Not that short hair is difficult, but you really need to get your hair cut often, especially me since my hair grows in so fast.  I really need to wear make up to really make the short hair look right.  The funny thing is, when I was getting married, I contemplated growing my hair out and my sister in law mentioned that it may be foolish since short hair was what I had been wearing for years and was at that time who I was (not that you should be defined by what you look like, but short hair was who I was).  I am thinking that short hair is who I am and I should go back to wearing my hair short.  I think my husband will shoot me if I tell him I want to go short again.  I was thinking that given that my mom is getting chemo and that there is a good chance that she will lose her hair, I would cut my hair short in support of her losing her hair.  I wish my hair was longer, then I would have no qualms about cutting it.  I would go pixie short once again and donate my hair.  I don't know that I can wait long enough to let my hair grow tile there is 8-10 inches of hair to donate.  I don't know why hair is always my thing to obsess about.  I think for a bit, I was afraid that to be feminine I needed to have long hair.  I'm not sure I feel that way anymore.  I think that I had fun with short hair and I think that some day soon I may end up with short hair again.

Just a few things about me.  I hate to say that the hair paragraph is really what I needed to write about.  It's not exactly what I want to focus on with this blog, but it is who I am and I think that I needed to write about it to figure out what I want to do, not that I have made any firm decision yet.


Friday, March 18, 2011

Health and Wellness

I can't believe that I am writing again about how much I am sucking at this eating healthy thing.  I really want to do this for myself, yet I can't seem to find the strength to actually eat healthy.  I can't seem to find the strength to actually give up meat and soda and dairy, and all the other potential allergens that I need to give up to find out if they truly make me feel worse.  The worst part about meat is that I seem to be able to give up good quality meats, just not the junkie fast food type meats.  I have to say that as of right now I need to put into place some simple straight forward goals into place and then work on meeting those.  I will pick 3 simple but important goals to work on this week and then I will add 1 more goal each week so that by the end, I will be living my life the way I want to.

Goal 1: go for a walk for at least 30 minutes with the kids 3 times over the next week (this should be a little easier now that Michael is in school for almost 3 hours a day and I'll only have to push 2 kids)

Goal 2: eliminate all soda.  (No more diet coke, or any other soda at all, unless it is sparkling water, but even then, I'd want to limit it)

Goal 3: eliminate dairy (no more going back and having just a taste, because a taste turns into more and more and then I can't stop)

I think these are simple goals that will help me get to my final goal of living a happy, healthy life.  I will start to include eliminating other foods that showed up as potential allergens and all forms of sugar.  I will increase my activity level as I start to get in better shape.  One goal that I have to male work from now until forever, is not eating out at fast food restaurants for me or my kids.  I need to cook at home so that I know what is going into my foods and so I don't give someone else my hard earned money for crap!  If you read this and are tired of hearing about all my attempts and failures, just know that this is a place where I can be honest about my failures and hope that noone will jusge me for not making my goals!


Thursday, March 17, 2011

One More Way To Go Green

I recently started to try to focus myself and this blog and write more about not just my struggles with healthy eating, but my attempts to be a little more green in my life.  I had forgotten about my desire to start hanging up my clothes after washing them versus just throwing them in the washer.  I had started hanging up my laundry in the basement while the weather was still cold, but recently got away from that when my laundry got a little out of control.  I was reading Facebook today and noticed that one of the pages that I follow, I also follow their blog, posted something about the weather here in MA getting nice enough to start line drying outside again.  I remembered that last year, I had wanted my husband to put up a clothesline in our backyard.  Unfortunately, we never got around to doing it since we had so many other projects.

This year, my goal is to get that clothesline put up and line drive all of my clothes!  The ironic thing about this is that if you had asked my just a couple of years ago, I would never have said that I wanted a clothesline.  I would have talked about how happy I am to have a dryer after growing up without one.  As a kid and a teenager and even until my early thirties, I remember hating the thought of line drying.  A dryer was so much more convenient.  Now, I am starting to think about what kind of impact I am having on the environment and what some of my practices are doing to me and my family, never mind the cost savings.  I am even thinking about switching to washing my clothes in cold water.  I guess I just always assumed that my clothes got cleaner using hot water, but at what cost?  I am also going to start using vinegar in my risnse cycle as fabric softener, especially since I am going to line dry more often!

I know that I want to continue to also use environmentally safe cleaners.  I am trying to remember to use vinegar and baking soda not bleach.  There is a new mop on the market that I want to get.  It has a refillable sprayer and a reusable cloth pad.  I am thinking that this will be something useful to clean up after the kids eat and throw food on the floor.  I think it may also just be a nice quick easy way to do daily clean ups on the floor and also use my own cleaning solution.

I am very excited that the weather here in MA is starting to warm up.  I am so looking forward to getting out with the kids.  I want to start exercising and getting some fresh air for me and the kids.  I also can't wait to start our garden, one more way we are trying to be more green.  I have started saving scraps for the composter.  I want to start a few plants with the kids so that they can watch things grow.  I can't wait for the flowers to start coming up again and  I can't wait to walk out myu back door and get food for my meals.

What are you dong to be more green?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Newest Thing to Try

As we all know, I am attmepting to take charge of my health, and even though I'm having a hard time making the change fully, I am truly working on making life long changes.  My newest idea that I want to try is water kefir.  I have had kefir before, and I have even had and made homemade kefir with kefir grains, but only using dairy products.  I do admit that I have tried coconut kefironce, but not made with grain, only a started from the "Body Ecology Diet".  I was not a huge fan of dairy kefir, but the only real reason I am not having dairy kefir right now, ir because I am attempting to eliminate or at least limit my dairy intake and I am eliminating dairy for my children.  Like I said, I had heard of the coconut kefir and it really wasn't that bad when I tried it, but I just never think to make it.  Then I was at and they mentioned water kefir.  I checked into it and it looks interesting.  I am thinking that I really want to try it.  I am going to look at getting the grains from either cultures for health or another website that my husband knows of.  It will be great to be able to get some probiotics for me and the kids.  I am also going to check out Dom's Kefir Page.  I really need to be more conscious about the decisions I make.  I am going to get my health in order then hopefully everthing else with fall into place.

Has anyone made their own kefir?  Have you tired kefir water?


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Recipes and New Thoughts

I have been wanting the book "Clean Start" as well as "Crazy Sexy Diet" for some time now and yesterday, I sucked it up and bought them.  I was thinking about trying a new recipe from "Clean Start", but I didn't have enough ingredients in the house.  So I went to the web and found a blog:( ) with a recipe for millet and black bean burgers only to find out that the recipe was from "Clean Food" another cookbook by Terry Walters, the same author as "Clean Start" which I already own.  I bit the bullet and tried a new recipe for my family which the kids hated but me and my husband loved.  The amazing thing is that in the past, I haven't been all the impressed with millet recipes.  The last two recipes I've made have been from this "Clean Food" cookbook and I have loved both of them.  I am psyched because millet is really cheap, and I can enjoy some healthy food.  I only wish that my kids would be better eaters.  I am really looking forward to trying out more recipes in my new books and

My newest thoughts have some from a few comments that people have left regarding different posts that I have done.  One of my postive qualities, yet one of my worst qualities is that when I get a thought in my head I totally dive right in full force and expect that everything is going to go just the way I want it to because I am so resolved about some idea.  Well, it is one of my worst qualities because when things don't go as planned, for whatever reason, I tend to back off.  A lot of time I want to make one huge change instead of multiple changes with the end result being the big change that I ultimately want.  I hae decided to go slow and make all the changes that I want to make on more of a smaller scale or at least over a period of time so that I can maintain the really important changes that I want to make.  I also think that I need to give myself permission to fail, but not give up.  Again, I don't like failure, but like I said, I also tend to dive in head first instead of just dipping my toe in and going slow so that I will be less likely to fail!

It's funny, I sometimes think that blogging is really not all that I thought it would be.  I don't have all the followers that some blogs have.  Granted, I tend not to be able to be as active with other blogs as I would like, and that may be the reason for my lack of followers.  My lack of followers may also be because what I am writing about is on little to no interest to others, but I am slowly realizing that those that follow and comment have really helped me with some of the issues I am having.  So, thank you to all who read, and I really thank those that comment since the things that you write have really helped me.


Monday, March 14, 2011

I Really Can Do This

I feel like I am pretty passionate about wanting to live my life a certain way.  This biggest problem is that I can't seem to follow through with my belief system.  I really want to stop giving my money away to the places that don't do anything for my health and well being.  For some reason, I keep giving it away.  My goal is to stop buying processed foods.  What I need to do is make my own convenience foods.  I need to make certain foods that freeze well so that I don't have to worry about making dinner every night.  If I can get a good stockpile of healthy foods in my freezer, than I can just plan my week around what I made on the weekend and pull from the freezer.  I know I can get this eating under control!

Our washer, as well as many other appliances seems to have broken.  We are no longer able to keep up with cloth diapering while it's broken and my husband's friend who was supposed help us has more on his mind now that his son was in a car accident.  I really like cloth diapering, but there is no way that I can go to the Laundromat everyday, nor do I want to pay for that.  I actually hate disposables.  Even though it is a little easier, I can't wait to go back to cloth.  I have how I am contributing to the landfills.  I hate using that stuff on my babies skin.  I miss using cloth wipes too.  I hate that I am having to use all the chemicals in disposable wipes.  The good news is we may have a loaner til we are able to get ours fixed.  Given that it may take some time to get ours fixed, this will be so helpful!  Then I can go back to cloth, get myself back on track with my laundry and just overall be happier about having a washing machine and not having to rely on others.

I continue to be thrilled with my deodorant.  I love that it is coconut oil, cornstarch, and baking soda as well as a few drops of essential oils.  I have started to use baking soda as my toothpaste again and am so happy to use it reather than commercial toothpaste will all sorts of additive that don't do anything for the health of your teeth.  I have added some peppermint essential oils as well as cinnamon and love how my mouth feels even when I first wake up (though I'm sure I still have horrible morning breath!).  I am still mostly no shampooing.  I really love how curly my hair is, yet it is not frizzy.  Once in a while, I do shamppo, but I use a vegan, no sulfate shampoo that do not strip my  hair and make it dry and frizzy.  I haven't gotten my hair cut since September, close to 6 months.  This may be the longest I've ever gone with out a haircut.

I still need to get myself to a thrift store to play with some up-cycling.  I love seeing what the blogger from new dress a day does. What a way to save money, be creative, not buy into chain store fashions, and jsut plain have fun.  I haven't really bought myself new clothes, not that I really need them.  Though it woudl be nice to have something new, even if it is just new to me. 

I am so glad that Spring is on it's way.  I can't wait to get some spring cleaning done, get the kids and me outside, get the garden started.I really need to start exercising and getting in shape.  The kids need to be able to run and play and get rid of some of their energy.  We just need to be able to get outdoors and get some fresh air.  Maybe, some spring cleaning will help with the desire to get organized and I'll actually get there.

Happy soon to be Spring!

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Binge Monster Is Back

My binge monster is back and it is totally rearing it's ugly head.  Since last night, all I've wanted to do is eat.  Not only do I want to eat, I want to eat junk.  Not only am I wanting to eat it, I am giving in to it.  I can't keep doing this.  I really need to sit down and maybe attempt something that I've seen used in psychotherapy meetings.  I am going to literally try to talk to an empty chair and visualize that my binge monster is sitting there.  I am going to tell him how I feel about him and what he is doing to both my physical health and my psychological health.  This may sound a little crazy, but I've heard that if you basically personify the issue, it will help you to overcome your issues.  I am going to say good bye and tell my binge monster never to return. 

This may be an excuse, and I tend to be good at justifying things in my life, but I am wondering if I am starting with some PMS type symptoms.  If this is the case, it's even more important that I deal with these food issues now, before things get out of hand.  There are so many reasons to change my eating habits.  First and most important is my pre-eclampsia history puts me at greater risk for blood pressure issues and I already have cardiac issues in my family, second is my breast cancer and other cancer risks, third is my potential allergies/intolerances, and fourth is just my overall health and well-being as well as needing to lose a good 25-30 pounds.  Add onto that list with PMS issues and skin issues.

There is no reason for me to give into my binge monster.  This is going to be quite a fight I'm afraid, but I know in the long run, I will win!


Thursday, March 10, 2011


Ok, so yet another organizing post.  I am starting to attempt to do my version of spring cleaning, even though Spring isn't officially here yet.  With trash day tomorrow, I decided I would be good and clean out the fridge.  I really need to get a system for storing leftovers, reminding myself what I have in the fridge and what needs to be used when.  I couldn't believe what I threw out.  Here I am trying to be money conscious, a little green, less wasteful, etc, and here I was throwing out all sorts of food that had gone bad because I had forgotten about it, or because I wasn't really sure if it was bad, but I didn't want to take the chance.  My older son is going to pre-school in a couple of weeks, and I want to keep all of the paperwork I need somewhere safe.  I want to have toys put away yet accessible for me to get for the kids.  I have started putting some things in bins, but I think I need to be better at organizing the toys and only allowing certain things out at a time.  I think I need to get more bins, shelving, space so that I can have a place to put eveything.  I want to have their art stuff accessible so that we can do projects without trying to find the supplies.  I want to have their favorite toys all together so they can easily play with them.  I want to have a living room where I can feel comfortable having people over  no matter when they may pop in.  I want my kitchen to look clean and pretty, like other people's kitchens instead of cluttered and crazy. 

Right now, I have a bunch of things that I want to work on, but I need to remind myself, babysteps.  It didn't go crazy over night and it won't be fixed over night.  I just have to take baby steps each day and maintain what I have already completed. 

I would love my own desk, but I have no idea where I would put it.  Maybe in the spare room that is just being piled with toys and clean laundry right now?  I really need to utilize my space better.  I kind of have a plan and I just need to follow it.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Lent: Giving Up Things So I Can Be Healthy

Lent started today, and though I did not go to church and get my ashes like I should have, and even though I have already started the day on the wrong foot, I think I may actually give something up for Lent.  When I was a kids, we always went to church and we always had to give up something for Lent.  I used to give up ice cream, candy, cookie, that sort of thing, not really thinking it was a great thing to give up except they were things that I wanted as a kid.  Thinking about it now, I am going to use Lent as my way of really kick starting my health journey.  I am going to give up foods that are processed, full of sugar, not in their whole form, and not refined (I'm sure that there are other things that I am going to be giving up, but I just can't think of them tight now).  I am going to start treating my body like the important structure that it is.  I am far from a religious person.  I have not really followed any real traditions of my faith for a number of years and for a number of reasons that I won't go into here, maybe another posting.  But, with the Lenten season upon us and Spring rapidly approaching (I can only hope), I think it is perfect timing to start living the way that I dream of living with regards to my and my family's health and wellness.  I won't go into details about exactly what this means to me, other than what I have already stated.  Unfortunately, my son's 3rd birthday party is Sunday, but I don't think that I will partake in any cake.  I will be making sure that I have food there that I want and can eat, like my kale and white bean soup and maybe even my Indian spiced beans and rice.  We will have the meat sauce and macaroni that is a stable at any party in my family or my husband's.  I really need to make this a true life change and not just change for a couple of days and then go back to my bad ways!

I will start treating my body the way I should be treating it.  I will be fueling it with foods that will help nurture and support it.  I wrote, in a previous post, that my mom has breast cancer and now I want to start taking care of myself since she is the 3 generation in a row to get breast cancer.  I don't want to be the fourth generation.  The good news regarding my mom is that her lymph nodes are not involved.  Hopefully that helps with her prognosis and maybe there is a chance that she doesn't carry the gene.  I am not holding my breath on that last one.  For me, it doesn't really matter if the cancer is genetic or not.  I need to start taking care of my body and protecting it from any sort of invaders.  I have enough illness in my family to know that I need to change my bad habits or else my body will not be protected!

I will try to post more details about what I am doing as time goes on.


Monday, March 7, 2011

Going and Remaining Green

I just read one of my twin mom's blogs about cloth diapering and it reminded me of why I started this blog. When I first started this blog, my goal was to write about living as naturally and as green as possible.  Lately, I'm not sure that I have really been talking a lot about this area.

When I started this blog, I had just started cloth diapering.  I have been cloth diapering my three kids for the last year and a half.  I have had to use some disposables off and on (due to rashes or traveling but as I got used to cloth diapering I just used cloth when we were traveling) within that time frame, but overall, I have been able to keep up with cloth diapering.  I have also started using cloth wipes, and they have made such a difference.  I still have disposables for when we are out, but I have used old receiving blankets to make the wipes and I am using just a little bit of castile soap and some tea tree oil in water for the solution.  I really believe that my kids have sensitive skin and using the disposable wipes all the time, is just too harsh on their skin.  The only regret I have is that I didn't start using cloth diapers and wipes sooner.

When I started this blog, I mentioned how I wanted to use thrifted clothing, up-cycled clothing, or make my own.  I have been able to do this a lot for my kids, but not so much for me.  To be honest, I haven't really bought new clothes for me, but I haven't looked in thrift stores for clothing for me either!  As I mentioned above, I have used old receiving blankets for cloth diapers and since I still have a bunch, I am thinking about making some "momma pads" which I have heard from reliable sources are much more comfortable than disposable ones.  I just have to sit down and draft a pattern and then sew up a few.  Another great way to use those old flannel blankets.

I am trying to be good at using homemade cleansers for the house.  I have one cleanser that I am using which is really just water, castile soap, and lemon essential oil.  I use a steam mop for the floor, so I am not using any floor cleanser, but I am using energy.  I'm not sure what the best /most efficient way to wash the kitchen floor is!  I will be looking into more homemade cleansers.  I am a huge fan of baking soda though!

I am doing better with using natural body products.  I have been using my homemade deodorant which is really just equal parts baking soda and cornstarch as well as coconut oil with some essential oils added in.  I don't have the exact amounts right here, but if anyone is interested, I will post the recipe that I use.  The other thing that I am doing is not using shampoo to wash my hair.  I have loved not having to rely on shampoo to wash my hair.  I have been following the protocol in "Curly Girl" by Lorraine Massey, and when I feel like I need to shampoo, I use a shampoo with ingredients that I can pronounce.  I am using a fairly natural soap, but my goal is to learn to make my own.  My husband's cousin is going to show me, but I just haven't set aside time to learn.  I had been using baking soda and salt with some essential oils for tooth paste, but I got away from that and need to get back to it.  I hate using products with ingredients that I can't pronounce.  When I use hair gel, I am using gel that is made from flax seeds.  I have to say, that I am impressed with how much hold there is.

I have been much better at making my own meals.  I actually have a weeks worth of meal planning completed and now I need to prepare the next week.  This is actually helpful in grocery shopping.  I need to go to the grocery store today, but I know what I need to get and I don't need to stress about what supplies I need.  I need to move on to the next week so that I stay on top of this.  I am really liking having a plan and only buying what I need instead of buying too much and wasting food!

I am sure that I can be better at using less energy.  I try to take short showers, but I do use awfully hot water.  Not only is that probably not the most environmentally friendly, but bad for my skin too.  I try not to run the water needlessly wether it is when I am brushing my teeth, doing dishes, etc.  I try to shut off lights when I am not using them.  I am going to try to limit my driving since it has a negative impact on the environment as well as my pocket.  I'm sure there is more that I am doing as well as more that I could be doing.

I do need to make more handmade things.  This is one area that I have been lacking in.  The worst part about this is that I really enjoy making things, but yet I tend not to.  I guess, I just need to make the time to do it.  As I've often written, I need to stop watching so much TV, using the computer, using my iPad and iPhone.  I need to just set up a project to work on and do it.  Knitting projects are perfect for doing while I watch tv.  I'm sure that there are plenty that i have to work on.

This post was as much if not more to remind me of what I need to be doing and what I am doing.  I need to give myself credit for what I have already changed, yet I need to be aware of what I still need to change!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cleaning House

Friday night I went home, and no I didn't clean the kitchen or the living room, because I needed to find something in the bedroom. That meant that I needed to clean the bedroom. I actually got a lot cleaned out. I still need to do more, but I am really impressed with how it looks in comparison! I now need to make sure that I keep it this way and I don't let it get bck to the way it was! The biggest difficulty with this is, I am sick again! This time not only do I have a cold, but now I have laryngitis. Even tough I'm sick again, I still need to maintain what I have already completed!

I have had a pretty horrible last few days with regards to my eating! I stopped eating my raw green smoothies for breakfast. I really need to get my ass in gear and start eating healthy again! The only good thing is that we had ice cream tonight, and it made me sick! I couldn't even come close to finishing it. The only reason it was good, is now I have no desire to have it again, anytime soon! Tomorrow's breakfast will go back to a raw green smoothie, vegan style meals, and healthy snacks. I really need to focus on being healthy so that I can hopefully prevent a lot of family illnesses getting passed on to me.

I'm off to go grocery shopping tomorrow so that I can follow through with my meal plan!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Operation Get Organized To Start Tonight

I've written about my need to get organized and I have made a few small changes, but I now need to go full force and "just do it".  When I go home tonight, I will put the kids to bed and start cleaning and organizing one room, maybe my husband will even do one room, and then we can have 2 rooms done (we only live in a five room house not counting the basement and the garage.  If he and I can tackle the kitchen and the living room tonight, that means just the bedrooms will be left and one of those bedrooms is the kids room which is actually not going to be bad to clean since there is not much in that room.  My room and the spare room are going to be tough.  I even thing that the kitchen and the living room are not going to be bad.  The thing is, once we have it clean and organized, we need to keep it that way.  I need to remind myself that even tough I am tired, ok exhausted at night, if i do a little each night to maintain it, it will only take a short time.  One of my friends recommended and since I've already looked at her web site, I know that she is a major advocate of making sure that you have a shiny sink before you go to bed, for example.  This means, don't leave a sink load of dishes to wake up to the next morning because it will totally get out of hand before you know it.  Another example she recommends wiping down the sink in the bathroom after you finish your morning routineI just need to do these things not just talk about doing them.  I am tired of feeling overwhelmed with my house.  I am tired of feeling to tired to do what needs to be done.  I need to keep on top of things so that I can not be as stressed as I am right now.  I need to stop watching tv, which is something that I never used to do.  I am on my way  to Fly lady's website now to remind myself what I need to do tonight and ongoing.

Instead of just writing about what I need to do, I am going to actually do it.  Maybe one of my next posts will be my house is clean and organized and I am maintaining it the way I want to!

Any other suggestions on maintaining a clean and organized house are greatly appreciated!


Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Step At A Time

My last post gained me a couple of comments that I wanted to to talk about.  My friend Nicole seriously recommended that I check out the Flylady website.  The unfortunate thing about this is I already have checked out her website, joined her group on facebook and bigtent, and get e-mails from the website.  The issue is that I have to follow through and actually read and put into practice some of the things that she recommends.  Actually my husband mentioned this site to me when he was talking with someone about getting organized at work.  I also have the Sidetracked Home Executives (S.H.E.) book, which would be great once I actually put it into practice.  The funny part about this book is that it is how my mom trained us to clean house.  As soon as I started reading it, I knew exactly what it was.  It's really funny how the things that I am looking at implementing in my life as an adult are the things that I was used to as a kid.

The other comment that I got was about taking it easy on myself.  I understand the thought behind the comment and I so appreciate the reminder.  I just so have to get myself in a place where I am comfortable with how my house looks.  That means that I want things to be put away and have things look neat and orderly, but I don't need to have things immaculate.  I have 3 kids that are actually still all 2 for another week.  I know not to expect too much from myself, but I still need to have some expectations from me and the kids and even my husband (who is really good, sometimes better than I am at keeping things neat).

I have one week completed for my meal plan.  I have a bunch of recipes to plug into other days so that I get the rest of the month complete.  I still need to get a calendar to hang up on te fridge that I can reuse and erase if things change.

I need to get a little bit better of a handle on my laundry.  I know that it will never be fully completed, but I just want to look at my hamper and feel like I am in control not my laundry.

What I really need to do is just start.  It does not need to be perfect right away.  I need to start with one room and get that completed and maintain it and then I can move on to other rooms and maintain them.  Once I have things clean and orgainzied, I just need to maintain and that is the hardest part for me (you would think it would be the easiest).  I know once I get to the maintainence stage, I am golden as long as I actually maintain.

Here's to menu planning and organizing my house so that I can actually enjoy my house and not be stressed by it.


Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I am in the process of meal planning for the next month.  Initially it felt overwhelming, but then I read the post of a twin mom friend and it didn't feel so overwhelming.  She is using a calendar white board that she got at Target.  I haven't gotten to Target yet, but I printed of some weekly calendar sheets from outlook and am using that as my planning for for now.  My goal is to get the white board so that it is up for all to see and will be in my sight when I am in the kitchen.  I am hoping that meal planning will save me both time and money and help me to eat healthy and follow through with my dietary goals for me and my family.

Once I get set on meal planning it will be on to other areas of organization that I need to work on.  I really need to get my laundry under control.  Every time that I think I am in control, it gets totally out of control yet again.  I really need to make sure that I wash the diapers daily.  the most I ever go is a day and a half, but I think that it is better all around to do it every morning.  It may seem like a hassle, but I am so happy that I have been cloth diapering for the last year and a half.  It is one thing that I have wanted to do with my kids that I have been able to follow through with unlike my birth plan, breast feeding, limiting tv time (this is something that I drastically have to change). 

The other area is maintaining a clean and organized house.  I get started, but then I just can't maintain.  It is important for me to maintain an orgainized and clean house because once it gets away from me I find it so difficult to get it back.  If I can get this in shape, I will hopefully have more time for my hobbies and to introduce the kids into more arts and crafts, especially now that they are older.  I just finished my latest apron swap and even though it was pretty last minute finishing up, I really didn't get the same anxiety or stress taht I usually get when I am doing something last minute.  I was really happy, overall, with how it came out.  Ii just wasn't too thrilled with the rest of my package.  Yet again, oraganization would have dramatically helped with this.

Here's to being more organized and less stressed!


Tuesday, March 1, 2011


I found out on my twins 2nd birthday (January 23, 2011) that my mom's mammogram showed a lump in her left breast.  This is the same one that my grandmothers breast cancer started in.  She has since had a biopsy which revealed that the tumor was 0.9 cm (about 3/4 in) and they removed 3 inches of tissue.  The pathology report stated that she has stage 1 grade 2 breast cancer.  This means that the tumor was small but semi aggressive and definitely invasive.  This meant that they recommended and MRI to r/o any metastases as well as a lymph node biopsy.  She was unable to complete the MRI with out getting sick, so that is one test that they are unable to do for her.  Today was her lymph node biopsy.  I guess, yesterday they injected her with a dye that would tell the surgeon what nodes to remove if any.  My step-father said that the most the surgeon would take out would be 2 nodes, but they ended up only needing to take out 1 node.  I guess that is a good sign.  Now we just have to wait for this pathology report.  As for treatment options, it really depends on the lymph node biopsy.  If the biopsy comes back with cancer, then they are recommending 8 treatments of chemotherapy, then 5 days a week for 6 weeks of radiation.  If the biopsy comes back without cancer, then she can choose either 4 treatments of chemotherapy and then the same radiation treatment or she can choose just to have radiation.  At least one of my sisters and I are thinking that she should do the combo treatment and hopefully knock the cancer out of her system no matter what the results of the biopsy are.  We also think that she can do conventional treatment along with CAM therapies (complementary and alternative medicine). 

My mom will be having the BRCA test at some point.  I'm not sure when and how this will play into her treatment.  For now I am attempting to learn all the I can about preventing cancer, especially breast cancer.  I am looking to apply CAM therapies to my own life for preventing breast cancer and any other type of illness that seems to be so prevalent in my family, mainly cancer of all types and heart disease.  I have been drinking green smoothies, mainly consisting of some type of leafy green (red chard, collard greens, and kale so far) as well as berries, citrus, apples, pears, bananas, and grapes.  I am attempting to eliminate pretty much all meat from my diet.  Today has been the first day with out any meat.  My next step is to move on and eliminate all animal products from my diet.  I then want to eliminate all the allergenic foods that showed up on my blood test.  I need to start exercising.  It is March 1st and yes I know that it is New England and the weather is very rarely predictable, but I am hoping that the sidewalks will be clear enough that I can get out with the kids and walk with the goal to start running.  I will be researching anything else that I can do to make myself healthier and keep myself from getting the diseases that seem to be so prevalent in my family!