Monthly Archives: April 2016

Influenster and the Procter and Gamble Voxbox

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I really have not kept it much of a secret that I am in the middle of a very painful flare right now. In fact, I think I have been a little too vocal about it.  I needed some pampering, and that is why this particular Voxbox got me all emotional.  Oh, and I am going to tell you how you can get one. Not this particular one, but one in general.

Here is my unboxing.

The products were Herbal Essences Naked Shampoo and Conditioner, both  were full size.  There was Clairol Nice’n Easy conditioner, 55 ml for brunettes.  Secret deodorant was included, in a nice clean scent, and Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting cream in a 50 ml bottle was also inside.  All of these things are wonderful, I am reviewing them as I go.

Okay, so the question on your mind is probably how I keep getting these free boxes of stuff from Influenster?  It is really easy.  You go to https://www.influenster.com/ and fill out your information, link your social media, and you wait for “sanps” which match you to products and they send them to you for free.  I do get a lot of really good snaps because I have a large reach on social media.  I do not have a lot of blog subscribers but I have 23k Twiter followers and that bumps my entire social media followers to 31k.  As your social media and impact grow, so do the number of Voxboxes you get.

So, that is how on really bad flare days I get boxes full of random products, and if you are interested in trying it out, it is easy.   Just do a review upon completion.  Right now, I gotta go do just that.

Much love,

Us.

 

 

My Oil Pulling Journey

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Oil pulling is an ancient teeth cleaning technique that is said to have many health benefits.  Basically, what you do is swish oil around your mouth for up to 20 minutes a day to remove bacteria and clean your mouth.  A few of the types of oils you can use are sesame, sunflower, coconut, and olive.

Oil pulling is said to kill bad breath and rid the mouth of single celled microorganisms that lead to tooth decay.  It is also supposed to help with headaches, inflammation, teeth whitening, and the claims go on and on.

I started out oil pulling with coconut oil about 22 days ago.  At first, the texture is hard to get past.  The oil is solid, it has a strange feel to it.  I also have an issue not swallowing it because it seems like food in my mouth.  Just remember, all the bacteria you are ridding yourself of is in that oil, in your mouth.  Do not swallow it.

I started out actually at 30 seconds, swishing and pulling it through my teeth, and I added 30 more every day.  I really did not see a huge difference, nor even a small one, until I was up to about 7 minutes.  Then, I noticed my teeth felt much cleaner after I did it, and I felt that way until I ate again.

Somewhere in this, I ran out of coconut oil.  I did not go out and buy expensive oils.  I just went to Aldi and got what they had.  When I ran out, I remembered I had some olive oil on my cabinet, and I tried that.  The taste was horrible.  If you ever have had hemp seed oil, it is a lot like that.  At first, I gagged, and I had to force myself to continue swishing.  At times, it feels as if the oil is solidifying and growing inside your mouth.  Immediately after, I felt like my teeth had actually been cleaned.  My entire mouth felt completely different.

So, 22 days of oil pulling and slowly getting up to 11 minutes, I would recommend this to anyone who is considering doing this.  Just work up to the 20 minutes, any way you see yourself sticking with it.  The taste and textures are things you can work around.  For me, it had to be super slowly.  I can pretty much guarantee you will not regret doing it.

Defining a Real Woman

Everywhere you look, there are memes and articles and opinions on the definition of a real woman.  This real woman does not need a man.  This real woman takes care of herself.  This real woman is well dressed.  This real woman has a lot to say about absolutely nothing at all.

This is all good and well, but along the way, I think a lot of us have forgotten what those that came before us are, and were, and that these women did work.  Your definition excludes the women who got you where you now are.  Work hasn’t always been defined by what you get paid to do.

At exactly what point did having children and making the choice to take care of them in your home become somehow become excluded from the definition of being a woman?  At what point did being a mother become so frowned upon, and when did stay at home mothers become something we no longer even respect?

I cannot imagine how Matt and Sam would function, on what level, if I had not been the one taking care of them those first few years.  I cannot imagine how lost in a daycare system they would be when they can barely function in a school.  I have no idea how my sacrifice for the things I wanted, and there were a lot of things I wanted, makes me less than the women who put their children straight out into that chaos, by need or choice, and they slip through the crack.

Not my kids.

Not every woman has kids.  Not every woman needs to be alone. Not every woman belongs in an office, a bull pit, on a stage, behind a bar, writing blogs, wherever she may be, and not every woman is defined by your ideas of success.

Not every woman has those ambitions.  At the end of the day, some of us just want our children to be the best they can be.  Some of us just want our kids in the trendiest clothes.  Neither really is more of a real woman.

All that is required in being a real woman is a vagina.

 

 

Easy Cheesy Tilapia Recipe

I am not a big fan of tilipia.  My kids love the stuff.  I needed a way to hide the fishy taste of it, so, I searched online then adapted the recipes to my tastes.  What our end result was we will call Easy Cheesy Tilapia.

First, we preheated the oven to 400.

Then we put 4 frozen fillets in a glass pan.

I had Sam heat up 8 oz of sour cream in the microwave until it was soft.

I took half of a lemon and squeezed it into the sour cream as he mixed it.

I added some garlic, and some finely minced onion.

I also put in fresh basil from my plant outside, and some salt and pepper.

Then I covered the fish in the mixture and baked it from frozen for 35 minutes.  If you do this you should probably start checking the fish at about 20 minutes.  It was just a little over cooked, but, it was the creamiest most delicious talapia I have ever eaten.  We will be making this again.

It did not turn out pretty, so there are no pictures.

Confessions of a Sleep Addict

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I admit it.  I love to sleep.  I go through cycles.  Sometimes, it seems I never sleep at all.  Others, it seems to be all I ever do.  The truth is, I love sleep.  I love escaping.  I love the short stories I come up with inside of my mind that pull me out of the ritualistic existence that has become my life.

A lot of people say they never dream.  I wonder what that would be like.  I think about blank pages of books, unwritten stories, quiet imaginings of nothingness, and it seems like a blissful, peaceful sleep.  Sometimes, I wish that was me.  Sometimes, I wish I could not escape my realities with false ones I create within my own mind’s eye.

I always ask people how they fall asleep.  This is often a very big problem I have, regardless of the level of addiction I find myself in regarding unconsciousness.  An answer I get a lot that I do not understand is, “I just close my eyes and fall asleep.”  Seriously?

Whenever I was a very young child, I came up with a pattern I have kept throughout my entire life.  I play out a scenario in my mind, and the dream evolves from that scenario.  Usually this works, and usually my dreams are very vivid and clear.  I can usually recall them for a while after I awaken.  The issue is this method takes an eternity to actually fall asleep.  Sometimes I stray from the story line and I have to pull myself back in, and pretty often, I do that startled jump when I realize I am actually falling asleep and no longer making up the story.

While all of this is happening and I am not using my creative outlets as much, I think I am really just in need of creating something, so I get addicted to dreaming.  I wish I had deep sleep, the kind where you woke up unaware of exactly how and where you escaped. I wish I had the ability to just go blank in my mind for a few hours and remember nothing.  I do not have that luxury.  I just have dreams.  And, I think it is time to find a more productive escape.

We Are Going to Elijah’s Retreat

I have never taken the boys to an Autism Camp before.  As a matter of fact, I have never taken the kids to any camp before.  I started googling different camps for kids with Autism, and I found Elijah’s Retreat in Jacksonville, Texas.

The Retreat is a Christian based camp on Divine Acres Ranch.  Right now, they have 3 2 bedroom cabins with kitchens and laundry rooms for guests.  They have animals, you can go fishing or hiking, they have play areas.  The best part about it all is that your child with Autism can be themselves.  They can rock and yell and stim and do all of these things openly, and no rude stranger is going to come up to you and judge you, no one is going to give you unsolicited advice, the child can just be who they are.

It is kind of hard to get an empty cabin.  There were none free for three nights for my family until late August, but that is when we will be going.  What the kids are most excited about is there are horses and other animals at the ranch.  I see goats, ponies, dogs, and a deer.  It really looks like a great experience for any family with a child who is struggling with Autism.

The fee for the camp is $30 dollars per night, per family.  They say if you cannot afford that, there are grants that can pay for your stay.  One of the things they ask is that you be sure to clean after yourself, make sure all laundry and dishes are done and put away, so they can keep the cost of housekeeping down.  I think that is by far the best deal I have ever heard of for any camp, at any time.

So, we will be writing about our experiences after August.  I hope others with children in the spectrum will check this place out, it seems wonderful.  We will certainly let ya’ll know.

Glass Bottom Boats, San Marcos Texas

Located at the Meadows Center for Water and the Environment, a part of Texas State University, the glass bottom boat tours are a wonderful learning experience and fun time for both kids and adults.  The tours are 30 minutes, and the river is so clear, you can see all the wildlife and plants.  The tour guide also tells the history of the river and how long man has inhabited that area, and it is kind of shocking information.  I certainly was unaware of the history of the area.

Another cool thing you can see is the scuba divers under the glass bottom of the boat tending to the wild and plant life below.  It is definitely worth the $9.75 per adult and $6.00 per child they charge, and if you check out their website, Glass-bottom boats, you can get more information on their hours and their prices.

This was definitely something slow paced and educational for kids, and it was definitely a fun addition to our spring break activities.

Autism Awareness 2016

Another year has gone by, and that always means I have another reason to look back and  be grateful for progress.  It has been a long journey, and it has been the absolute most challenging and most rewarding one I have ever had.

A few of you have been along for the whole journey, from the days when I had a baby that didn’t want to be held and one who quit responding to the rude remarks from complete strangers in doctors offices.

I remember the days of retrieving socks and shoes from the floors of Walmart and twin boys coming home from school in full meltdown mode, destroying my home, throwing furniture, because they were completely overwhelmed and therapists were always in our home.

I remember a baby rocking back and forth, flapping his hands, completely in his own world so far I never knew if he would ever communicate.  When he finally did, I wondered if he would ever look at me when he spoke.

There were lines of cars, lines of books, lines of everything I owned, from one end of the house to the other.  Bicycles were upside down, the wheels spinning in the air.  Toys were laid out on the ground, children making loud explosion noises and never once touching one.  Holes were knocked in walls.

I can go on and on.

The thing is, you never know where this journey is going, and you always hope for the  best. The best is sometimes not being hit with food your 6 year old is not fond of at the dinner table, but it is the little things that make it all alright.

This was not an easy journey, but it is one that changed who I am forever, and for that I am grateful.  It will probably always be me, Matt, and Sam, and for that, I am also grateful.

Here is some of their progress through the years.

I hope you enjoy it.