Category Archives: Teensy Projects

Extremely Moderate Home Makeover

This blog seems to have creeped into health topics more than actual housewifing.  My inflammation levels lately are not allowing for too many ambitious projects (to my dismay),  but there are projects in the works.

Matter of fact, before Husband is off again to save Florida, last night we made an executive decision to start fixing up our ‘fun’ room.  I insisted I build the medium bookcase from Walmart to start fixing up the spare room (which has been accumulating clutter for a year now, but lacking in the organizational items department).  It’s a plain ‘ol Mickey Mouse piece of furniture, but my collection of books and such have been sadly awaiting display from the dusty cardboard boxes they were originally moved in.  Newlyweds had to choose their next piece of furniture carefully if you need a new mattress, so we settled for a makeshift piece of wood.  We have pieces of art  musical instruments that are serving as shelves and laundry baskets that the cats have claimed possession of.

Pink toolkit

Yes, Husband actually bought me one of these! And I love it.

While he’s gone this week, my mission is to start purging any rat-pack items that are taking up space.  You know, the little pieces of junk that had sentimental value at the time you saved it, and later can’t figure out why in the name of Chelsea Clinton you thought it was special.  Pre-marital apparel that is irrelevant.  Correspondence that was too miscellaneous to file and somehow important enough to be saved.  Doo-hickeys ordered from the wedding registry that can only be explained by the drunken power of the shopping gun (pre-vow hysteria).  His valuable collection comics and action figurines.  An iron.  Ha, what is ironing?

I will do it as time and health allows, for there are many other things to keep up, such as the cooked meals from scratch I must prepare (no convenient food for this delicate flower, not even sandwiches), the boring laundry, the messy cats, the personal maintenance, the minuscule chores that add up to tidy house.  Actually,  so long as my health is on hold,  Husband made the suggestion that maybe we ought to hire a maid to help out every once in a while.  So this is love.

ON BEING OLD FASHIONED

Please understand, it is not my desire to hand over my duties to another woman.  I am Spanish and its in my blood to clean and cook for my man.  No illness can take that away from me.  But unlike many of the Spanish, I’m not prideful down to the core.  To have a clean and organized home is more important than pretending I can work full-time, deal with 24hr pain and exhaustion, maintain a sane identity, and still wear a genuine smile for when my guy comes back from toiling under the sun.  Many women are overworked, overstressed, and neglecting themselves, by having to take on multiple roles.  They manage it well and deserve praise, but they do not deserve the wear and tear that comes with it.  These are the times we live in and we must find ways to adapt.  I’d rather scrub my own  toilets and afford a new dress rather than have a Maria do it (Oh, don’t be so sensitive.  My mother was a maid for the wealthy in NY and her name is Maria), but  we’ll have to have reallocate some monies if and when this is will come into effect.  I appreciate His perceptiveness in the matter and that he offered it before it even occurred to me.  It don’t think it will be more than once or twice a month, but now I know I have the option with Husband having made it clear he understands that this one is out of my hands.

That being said, I am old-fashioned enough to believe the woman’s place is in the house or societal matters.  Power to stay-at-home moms and a certified housewives.  This is the way nature intended it.  The men go away to hunt, the woman nests, gathers, and takes care of the children/cats.  When the man comes home depleted and ready to regenerate, the woman is not cranky because she just got home from dealing with idiocy in the workplace, she is not losing her head from scrambling to make a pre-packaged dinner for the man, she is not to tired for bedroom-duty at nighttime, she has time to look nice for her man so he does not have to think of his wife as the wispy-haired, spoon-waving, sauce-covered-t-shirt, rambling madwoman that this society has made of women! (Note: I know there are women out there who handle this with grace, I don’t imply to total population of working women are at tipping point.  However, to those keeping up appearances, make sure your chi is not fried internally).

My point is that the stress levels are imbalanced because man has to help woman do chores and help with the kids’ homework when he should come home to relax after breaking his back all day.  Woman should have time to spend time raising and watching the younguns at playtime.  We should be balanced people because we are given the mental and physical capacity of carrying our family-roles adequately.

This is not just my personal opinion…if you’re curious as to why couples are constantly butting heads even in loving marriages, check out this shiny jewel. I’ve been reading about human and marital relationships since I was 19 and this one by far has rocked my world the most.  The science involved in balancing stress hormones and the way nature intended men and women to relate and compliment each other is mind-bending:

Click to link for excerpts

Many couples believe that they must sacrifice themselves and their needs in order to please their partner. But this attitude needs to be adjusted. Yes, compromise is required of every relationship – but you don’t make these changes and give up on yourself in the process. The art is in finding fair and reasonable compromises. John Gray introduces new ways to make this happen in a life filled with stress.

Men have traditionally been the breadwinners and women traditionally the managers of the home and children. But there is increased pressure in today’s society for women to work outside the home and thus there is a diminished pressure on men to be the sole provider. Women are expected to do so much in addition to their traditional roles, which have never been tweaked or redistributed, while they now work full-time jobs. Women have a never-ending to do list and stress is at an all-time high. Men are dealing with their own levels of stress. As a result, relationships become filled with misunderstandings, friction, and a sense of helplessness.

-John Gray, Ph. D

WELLNESS GOALS

As I was mentioning above, my goal this week is to maintain myself physically while improving the state of my home, treading delicately so that I don’t overdo it.  (Another note: last weeks 30 mins of moderate cardio plus 30 mins of Classical Stretch: no bueno.  My body is not ready, my muscles did not heal well from what should be non-strenuous exercise.  This week will alternate workouts daily rather than knock out two in one day, or skip if necessary).

I have to reinforce some health tips regarding nutrition, anti-inflammatory foods, and basic bodily upkeep.  I urge my friends and readers to try a few of these if you feel or look stressed and rundown.  For those who argue that you have no inflammatory problems, I believe you, but we do live in a country with a pro-inflammatory diet.  Without noticing, our bodies could be struggling too hard on their own for balance.   Help it be ready for the next time flu season comes around. (Also, incredibly helpful for those with asthma and allergies). It’s easy to forget, if I may speak for us all, but worth the reminders:

  • Drink a gallon of water a day – Already bought my purified water.  Lugging it around everywhere.  Moves the toxins faster, clears skin, lubricates all systems, basic life force, reduces the need to imbibe other caloric drinks, constant hydration diminishes chances of headaches.
  • Reduce sugar – Every other week, no sugars other than fruit.  No sweetened drinks.  Sugar encourages diseases such as inflammation-based ones, candida, and cancer.  I’m addicted to it like cocaine (even natural sugars) which is a subject for another day.  If you’re not ready to quit, and least cut out all refined sugar.  Look out for hidden sugars in breads, microwave dinners, pre-packaged foods.  After 50 grams of sugar a day, you’ve surpassed the allotted daily nutritional recommendations and it will begin to turn into fat if you’re not moderate to heavily active.
  • Green Tea – 2 to 3 times a day.  This is an anti-inflammatory and highly beneficial drink.  Thankfully, I was forced into quitting my coffee addiction.  Dropping this tasty daily or trice-a-day comfort is not for wimps in the Starbucks splattered world.  The truest hazard of coffee are refined and processed beans (information rather recent to me) which cause even more acidity, free-radical damage, and chemical changes in the body.  Pro-inflammatory.  Nothing wrong with caffeine in moderation and Green Tea is enough to get tiny jumps in the day without the overload.
  • Ginger Tea – Another anti-inflammatory gem.   An alkaline drink for an acidic world.  This one AND green tea combined do wonders for my swollen hands and feet.  Although the swelling is not always obvious (obvious being a purplish-red, rubbery, weak and impossible to slip out wedding ring), if your hands hurt immensely when you hit or bump them softly on surfaces, you might have internal inflammation.  The first time I truly came to understand how severe my inflammation was a time I dropped my keys on my sandal-covered feet and I had to sit down, cry, and wait for pain in my leg and head to stop.  It shouldn’t hurt that much.
  • Celery Juice Every Day – I swear by this alkalinic drink.  Every time I overdo it with the dairy or sugars.  Even with the amount of acidic tea that helps calm inflammation, balancing is still required.  I have recently started to add aloe vera in the blender.  Not only good for inflammation but for digestive aid, vitamins, minerals, enzymes, etc.  Click here for the ton of benefits from this spiky plant.  You can buy it in liquid form if you’re afraid of touching the goo.
  • NO GLUTEN. PERIOD.  – This one for all with food sensitivities and allergies.  The belly ache and anxiety is immediate!  I have gotten careless with this one, although much better.  It goes hand in hand with the sugar goal, because almost every gluten product has some form of sweetener added.  No more cookies and Starbucks bakery, no matter how stressed I get.   Food is not love – Monica from Friends. For those who know you have an unhealthy diet and wanna get on the ball, reducing your gluten (breads, pasta, baked goods) will help your body streamline digestion.  Might be worth looking into new grains that deserve our attention.  Well, they’re not new, but not common: quinoa, amaranth, millet, etc.
  • Vitamins and Supplements – Organically, we shouldn’t need to take a multivitamin or extra supplements.   We should be getting all our nutrients and minerals from local game and agriculture.  But we eat from supermarkets where everything is shipped from all over the world, not indigenous to our area, temperature, and atmosphere.  That little pyramid of food groups, not so balanced.  Therefore we end up lacking here and there in essential nutrients.  If you don’t have a diet full of fruits and veggies, a multivitamin shall cover the basics.  The fish oil will cover some other bases.  And depending on your personal needs, there is always Echinacea, milk thistle, calcium, magnesium, etc..  It’s good to find out where our deficiencies are and help them.  I ‘m going to stick to my vitamins like never before because I tend to forget them when I’m healthier.  If you need overall health and balance, look into Green Vibrance and the Magic Pill.

Before I had the correct diagnosis and my body was being ravaged by migraine medications (a misdiagnosis), the Magic Pill brought me back to almost full balance.  If it can work on an ill person, if you’re already close to healthy it may do wonders for you.  To healthier people, the difference may not be too obvious but it doesn’t mean it’s not working.  Green Vibrance has almost the same ingredients as the Magic Pill.  The difference is that is contains tons of vitamins, superfoods, active probiotics, and helps complete some veggie intake.  Shop around at bodybuilding.com, vitacost.com,  and dpsnutrition.com.  If your husband drinks a lot of protein shakes (or you), dpsnutrition has great deals for vitamins and the magic pill.

Those are just some mini-goals for now. Pay attention to what your body tells you.  It’s the best advice I’ve gotten as I’ve learned how to deal with my Wolfing around.

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Filed under Housewifing, Loopy Lupus, Picture of Health, Post A Week, Stimulating the Economy, Teensy Projects

The Murder of Two Silver Hairs

Dying hair is not considered much in terms of long-term safety, more so about how long can you go before you drench your hair in paint again.  I certainly viewed it this way the few times I’ve dyed my hair and required follow-up maintenance.  But times have changed and the collective group of women willing to be educated are aware of the chemicals dangers in existence and on the rise.  Last night, I had the responsibility of considering whether I will dye with my mane with Naturint Permanent Hair Color, claiming to be safer than regular dyes (already purchased), or skip the vanity and leave as is, or experiment with Henna dye.

The following article about the risks , although very neutral, had me in a stupefied state.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0820/is_n253/ai_21034492/


I don’t dye my hair frequently and I don’t want to anymore. As a matter of fact, I’ve sprouted two “gray” hairs more akin to a silvery snow that I’ve grown fond of.  I don’t care to see them go.  But from my last ventures into hair color, I have slight discoloration. It’s only visible in the sun from my natural dark brown/black hair, but its there.  I was even going to name my two strands of wisdom but if I’m going to darken them out, there is no point in becoming attached.

Growing up, I had an uber-conservative mom when it came to beauty.  She never died her hair, barely wore make-up, and other practical fixins considered to be normal in society for a lady.  She grew up a poor and humble country girl where these things were not needed for survival.  She once told me if I ever dyed my hair, I would not be her daughter.  Being raised in Miami where the masses all have the same sun-bleached brain, there was no way I could not join the sheep herd and dye my woolen hair.  But the peer pressure and curiosity got the best of me.  Against momma’s will,  my best friend and a Loreal bottle  colored my hair into the color of a rusty trumpet.

Mom remained in smoldering silence when she saw the hot mess.  Of course, money had to spent on salvaging my straw mop head.  The chemicals must have reached portions of my brain because I can’t remember who footed the rescue bill, but I do know she let me remain her baby girl.  As usual, my dear ‘ol momma was right.  We just have an innate preference for the natural in my family, whether its the way we were brought up or our indifference to popular opinion.  I want my God-given hair to stay as it is.  At this point in adolescence, I went back to black.

Naturally, an unwritten ethos from a whimsical spaz is easy to forsake in times if fashion kicks and identity switches.  I dyed it for my wedding with some lighter and with some golden tones to catch and glimmer in the sun’s reflection.  A year later, I’m back to my natural kick and want it dark again.  And I’m apprehensive.  Should I leave it and wait a few years until it grows back all dark, or hasten the restoration of balance?

We can’t protect ourselves from all every and all chemicals. “Every year 1700 new chemicals are approved — that’s an average of five a day.” (The Autoimmune Epidemic).  We can buy a water filter for our kitchen faucet and still have residual chemicals, or drink bottled water that’s been leaching plastic particles in the overheated truck its being shipped in.  I’m doing a full on detox, but when the pain is insufferable I must take some man-tinkered pill. We can use everything organic, but we step outside and we’re breathing smog.  But I can make a decision for my next move whether to invite a risk that’s I’m suddenly painfully aware of.  Where is the balance?

I was feeling the stress of all the tiny decisions that come with having a hypersensitive, body begging nature to overpower my faulty immune,  whilst living in a highly toxic city and society.  Considering I was going to dye my hair anyway with regular dye, using a healthier one will not kill me today.  Just like we can’t prevent your kids from every stupid decision that comes across their head, like trying to give yourself blond highlights without a pro in the room, I cannot prevent myself from every dirty little compound that might affect me.  I’ve learned how to read one more label and to research even deeper before purchasing products that we’re never much of a concern before.

My hair is a solid chestnut brown and is looking pretty healthy.  The product itself was great and I would recommend it to anyone who colors their locks regularly and would like a healthier option.  But the paranoia I went through about scabbing, follicles rejecting my hair, and a Lupus flare-up: not worth it.  Not to mention my friend’s dad was talking to me about cancer half the time.  Next time  I go with the henna. Or grow it out. I already miss the two little testaments of time that were trying to make a point.

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A Wedding Picture Fantasy – The Procrastinated Version

One year and a month after the wedding. We’ve come full circle and I suppose now we’re just going to keep going in circles until we live happily ever after. It’s been a crazy year with limited time, energy, resources, and alcohol; and I just finally got around to putting together our wedding album. Isn’t that the first project a new bride undertakes as soon as she unpacks from the honeymoon? Screw the thank you notes!  There is still a fading aura of wedding festivity that lingers and can be stretched out for a few more days. Or months.

If you’ve been keeping up, you know last year was rough. At first, I thought I was just a lazy unsuccessful home maker when it was taking such agonizing effort to get the laundry and the dishes done by the time my husband got into town.  He would be gone two or three days for business and I was living in neat, questionable piles until the last minute he came home, only for him to find me passed out on the middle of our bare floor with rogue socks about.  Last minute pressure was my greatest motivator. Little did I know that my joints were stiffening up and wheat products were piling up toxins in my lymph nodes so that I was becoming as dumb as a board.  I would simply make lists of everything I had wanted to achieve and would stare at it every once in a while.  Never has a person wanted to do tedious chores.

Now that I  refrain from specific food allergens and don’t feel feel drunk every day, my first project was the wedding picture album. Our family home is devoid of history and we must build on the little bit we have accumulating;  except for a few masterpieces I hung on the staircase hall.   I was probably on a salad kick (with Adderall croutons) that day, so no brain fuzzies.  Probably also a full moon.

I’ve printed the riveting pictures taken as our wedding gift by Husband’s long time friends;  now mine too. Their current website is on the blogroll of if you click here. The one where our wedding was featured is here.  See if you can find us! They are both a must see and worth considering if you live in Florida or can’t find your good side.

You would think, living next door, a literal beer run away from Target Superstore, I would’ve easily taken care of this even throughout the early fog days I experienced.  You would think.  I have no excuse for that one.  Somewhere between too much headwork on which pictures to enlarge and money that I could use buying cats, it got put off.  But last week when I had a tiny window of energy, I marched right over and picked me up this eye-pleasing album:

I had almost ordered it online to save my swollen hips a bit of strain, but the walk came in handy, and it was $8 less at the store than on the website. Score! There are many more frilly, ostentatious  albums more reminiscent of a wedding event. There were some tasteful flowery ones, some with artistic cursive  ‘Love’ lettering thrown up all over the cover,  and one that caught my eye with a slim white gown and a pink flower dotted on.  But I considered Husband in this decision and if it were pink, he would be more hesitant to leaf through it.  If it were full or roses, he would say, “It’s nice” without even knowing what he was saying “It’s nice” about.  So I went for the monochrome, elegant, fabric-covered, simple album that is very similar to our style, together.

Now, the disconcerting part to me about this little tale is that I eagerly tore into the pictures, ripped off the plastic cover like cat on catnip (a lot of cat references), and waited dramatically for that wedding excitement to sucker-punch me across the face all over again.  Nothing. I started inserting the 200 4x6s one by one. Halfway through I was bored. I tucked the remaining ones in the box and slid it into a corner to finish later. Where were all the lovey-dovey fluttery feelings? Was I supposed to slip on my wedding dress before I started this project for the clouds to part and radiant sun beams to shower down upon me and my wedding album? Eventually I got around to it, of course, while on the phone and multi-tasking without any solemnity put into the task.  But I must say, it does feel more complete to have the beginning our of little adventure ready for display or memory lane trips. The cat agrees.

Dang Cat claiming territory

And here’s one of my favorites. This one if for you housewives trying to get domesticated:

Courtesy of Pietri Photography

 

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Filed under Housewifing, Indulgence, Stimulating the Economy, Teensy Projects