Month: July 2013

Gotta Love Wednesdays

Today, weather wise has been pretty awesome. It was overcast for most of the day, which has kept the temperatures on the cooler side, which has been nice. It only cleared up here by about five in the evening, but that only lasted a couple of hours. So typical Oregon.

I just want to mention that I spent some time last night, working on updating the themes of my other two blogs, to themes that were a bit more fitting for the blogs themselves, and would help the flow of my blogs, and hopefully help get me more followers (crosses fingers) 🙂

What did I actually do today?

To start off with I watched several of Jonathan and Anna’s Vlogs on youtube while working on my current Knit for Kids sweater. I also wrote my weekly Project of the Week post on Gifts from the Heart, as well as updating some picture descriptions on the Gifts from the Heart Facebook Page for the pictures from 2011 – 2012. I have also had plenty of coffee, beings that it is the middle of the week.

I had posted on my personal FB profile that I was debating between four movies as to what to watch this evening while I work on my sweater, It was split between The Sound of Music, and doing a movie marathon, so in a sense everyone wins. I am going to start by watching The Sound of Music, and between now and the end of Friday I will watch the other three. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Somewhere In Time

In college I took an English class which was actually the third term in a three term series, (the first two terms were not pre-req’s for the third term) in which we were reading English (British) Literature from roughly 1832 to the mid 20th century. One of the short stories we were assigned was The Horse Dealer’s Daughter by D.H. Lawrence. The Professor prefaced this short short story by telling the class that we would either love it or hate it. I read it, and loved it.

What does the Horse Dealers Daughter have to do with the 1980 cult classic Somewhere in Time (1980) you may ask. from what I have heard, and read from others who have seen it, is that there is the group that loves it (myself included), and those who don’t.

Yes, It is in a sense a time travel movie, but it is more complex than that.

What I love about it, is that it stars Christopher Reeve, Christopher Plummer and Jane Seymour, who are all amazing in their own right, and on their own, but brought together, are phenomenal. It is a love story but not in the cheesy, corny kind of way. It is told more from the guys perspective, it in part is also a historical piece, and the music puts it all over the edge. John Barry did a phenomenal job composing and orchestrating for this movie, and captured the mood so well. They were able to capture the moods of the two different eras it was set in, just through using two different film stocks (Kodak for the “present day” stuff, and Kodak for the 1912 stuff), which is an interesting tidbit of information.  I love the fact that the movie takes its time setting up the love story, with elements of believably, and relatability to reality, which for me, is part of what brought me it, yet it is totally extraordinary, and unrealistic at the exact same time, all while tugging at the heart strings.

I have loved this movie since the first time I saw it, at the age of 14, 22 years after it came out  I wasn’t even in high school yet, and from that first time seeing, it immediately became my favorite, and is still my favorite more than a decade later. The film was released more than 7 years before I was born, but has stood the test of time.

The combination of the romantic love story, combined with the history and the music are all key parts of why I fell in love with the film.

Any other S.I.T. Fans out there, and if you read this post, I would love to hear from you, and let me know at what age you saw it for the first time and joined the fan club, and your favorite scene.

Things I am Learning about Ireland

Okay, so I am starting a list of things I am learning about Ireland from watching Jonathan and Anna’s Vlogs. I will be updating as I am finding out new things, or making mental notes of places I want to go when I visit Ireland (one day).

I love learning about different cultures, and about the similarities and differences.

Things I have Learned:

  • Ireland uses the Euro as their currency
  • You can’t buy Canned Pumpkin (at least in Cork anyway), and buying the whole pumpkins is a bit more challenging, than it would be here in the States.
  • You can order Canned Pumpkin on Amazon
  • Shopping Carts aka “the basket” (out here on the west coast anyway) are called a trolley over there.

Places I want to Visit:

  • Kinsale – Anna and Jonathan went there one day, and from what little I saw in their Vlog it is gorgeous.

Stay Tuned for more things I learn about Ireland as I watch more Vlogs!

My Preferred "Skin Care" Products

* Disclaimer: I AM NOT GETTING PAID FOR THIS. THIS IS MY HONEST OPINION*

Now that I have that out of the way, I have to say that there are few products that I actually cannot live without. I say that because I really don’t spend a whole lot of time getting ready in the morning. I prefer being wash and go as much as possible.

As far as my face goes, I love the Tea Tree line of face care from The Body Shop. I have combo/oily skin, and it is one of the few lines that I have had success with in treating my oily skin.

As far as my hair goes, I used only Herbal Essences for years, but now I am shying away from mainstream drugstore shampoos and conditioners just because of all the chemicals that are in these products. When I have the money, I prefer using the Rainforest Balance Shampoo and Conditioner from The Body Shop in addition to the Tea Tree facial products I mentioned above

As for Bar Soap and body wash, I only use Original Ivory, Johnson’s Head to Toe Baby Wash and Johnson’s Vanilla Oatmeal Baby Wash.

For deodorant, I use Lavilin which was actually recommended to me by a Dr. that I went to, because I have having major irritation issues with regular and most other deodorants that were labeled as Natural. It has been 4 months since I switched, and I am not going back.

As for a daily lotion I love Aveeno. I love their Skin Relief lotion for night time and during the cold months. For the rest of the year, the Daily Moisturizing Lotion is what I normally will use.

I also couldn’t live without Chapstick. The Vanilla Mint and Cherry are amazing.

When it comes time for doing laundry, I use a Laundry Soap concoction I found on Pinterest, that uses 1 box Borax, 1 box Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda and 2 bars Fel Naptha soap. All you need is a container to store it, an 1/8 of a cup (Coffee Scoop) scoop for measuring (one scoop = 1 load), a small holed grater, a bucket and a small pastic bag for mixing (line the bucket with the garbage bag, and it will make it easier to pour into your storage container). Grate the 2 bars of Fels Naptha into the lined bucket, and then add the powders and mix. I have found that I also have to do a bit of remixing to get an even scoop before I put it in the washing machine.  I don’t use any fabric softener, I typically use the dryer balls in with the clothes in the dryer.

I still like the smell of the Bath and Body works Japanese Cherry Blossom and Sensual Amber body washes and lotions, so every so often I will use just a little bit on my wrists, enough to smell good, but not enough to cause skin irritation. So, I do, on occasion allow myself an indulgence. Especially when the Bath and Body Works brings out their Fall Line, I love their Creamy Pumpkin and Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin hand soaps.

I know this post is a bit long, but I hope it has been informative for you all.

Doing my Homework

I have to admit that I am a fan of DIY home & body care products, especially if they work and are more cost effective than the pre-made store bought stuff. There are a few store bought items that I do really like, because they have fewer harsh chemicals and are more natural. 

I’m not so much on a “save the environment” kick, in the sense that I am going to stop bathing on a daily basis, or stop driving a car, or only shopping at stores like New Seasons. My biggest thing about wanting to use more natural products, especially products that are Fair Trade and Community Trade items is that 1. I have sensitive skin, so I have had many an issue over the years with the mainstream harsh chemical laden products causing my skin to go nuts, and using the DIY products and the truly natural products has greatly reduced that irritation,  2. The natural concoctions have been used for decades, and have been proven effective, and women had been making and using them for years, so I am learning about history while taking care of my body, and 3. By using Fair Trade/Community Trade products I am helping to support someone else, and help provide them with a better life by being a smarter consumer. 

Pinterest has been a huge asset to my DIY project research, and I love that I can find just about anything on there. 

I just thought I would share that with you all, and I will write a post here shortly with a list of DIY Projects I have done as well as store bought items that work well with my sensitive skin. 

My Experience: Dairy Intolerance

Hi Everyone! 

For today’s post, I am going to talk about my experience of being dairy intolerant. Many of us, whether we consciously know it or not know someone who has a food sensitivity or intolerance. 

It isn’t really something that I like to talk about, but it needs to be talked about more, and have more awareness brought to it. There are many different types of food sensitivities and intolerance’s, and they effect people differently and start at different ages. For example one of my cousins is gluten sensitive, and I am extremely dairy sensitive. 

There is all the common stuff that you would expect that I can’t eat and drink like milk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese, cottage cheese, coffee creamer (even if it says it is lactose free, it still has sodium casinates which are a milk derivative), Alfredo Sauce, Lasagna, Ice Cream, Cereals, and so on. What I really had to start paying attention to was EVERYTHING, because they slip Milk, Whey and Sodium Casinates into Bread, Crackers, Seasoning Packets for things such as Spaghetti and Taco seasonings, Boullion Cubes for cooking, and just about every processed boxed item you can think of. 

At first I had a hard time, because I really didn’t have a support network, and those that should have been my support network were more like “suck it up and deal with it, cause it is all in your head”, so I was really on my own. It has gotten a little better in that regards overtime, but I feel more like a burden than a human being with a legitimate issue much of the time. That is part of why I am greatly need of a real job that I can support myself on, so that I can really just focus on my own needs, without the external negativity. 

The first year is the toughest, especially if you don’t have a support network or anyone who gets it, and has been through it to steer you in the right direction. Part of the process even when you have someone to guide you is just getting use to the alternatives, and learning how to live without something or making it yourself with substitutions. While I was in college I had (by choice) gotten used to drinking rice milk, and had gone off regular milk in the process, then I started drinking regular milk again after I had moved back to my parents. I am not saying that the period during college that I stopped using regular milk for a year then starting again was what caused my now not being able to eat it, primarily due to the fact that I was still eating Yogurt, Cheese, Ice Cream and other foods that contained milk and its derivatives. It really started after I had been really sick one weekend during the short time I worked at a daycare, so I don’t know for sure what the causes of it are/were all I know is that this is my new normal. 

Since the beginning of 2013, I have seen an improvement in how I feel, and maintaining a dairy free diet. I still have to be really careful, and double wash dishes, and so on and so forth. I still am not a fan of going out to eat unless I know that I will for sure be going somewhere where I know I can get something dairy free. 

Over the years I have tried Soy Milk (not a fan of for several reasons), Rice Milk (My Fave), Coconut Milk (My 2nd fave), Almond Milk (Really not a Fan of ), and Oat Milk (also not a fan of). I like Rice Milk because it is sweet without being too sweet, and while it has its own flavor, it isn’t as pronounced as Almond milk and Oat Milk. Though I have found that the Almond Milk Dairy Free Ice Cream is pretty good. I also like Coconut Milk Coffee Creamer, and Coconut Milk Lattes (especially Chai Lattes). Coconut Milk Yogurt is also pretty good once you get used to it. I must say that I am not a fan of soy cheese or soy yogurt. 

In part not being able to eat dairy or anything containing dairy and its derivatives has forced me to eat better, Fresh fruit and vegetables are always safe options. I have never been much of a fan of beef as it is, so it hasn’t been all that hard to not eat a whole lot of it. I eat a lot of Chicken and Fish, and on the odd occasion I eat Pork or Ham. Really, it has helped me retrain myself to be eating healthier, which is a good thing. 

This is just a little bit of my experience of dealing with a food intolerance, and for each person who has a food intolerance/sensitivity/allergy their experience will be different. 

Monday, Monday

Hi Everyone!

Here it is, well after 11 o’clock at night, and I am still up going at full speed ahead. Sleeping until 11 o’clock this morning, and two cups of coffee has something to do with that. 

Today’s Song of the Day is: Monday, Monday by The Mama’s & The Papa’s. 

I have spent most of my day working on my current Knit for Kids sweater, which I have been making good progress on as well as watching videos on Youtube. 

Now that I’m finally awake, and it has cooled off a bit outside, I am sitting here at my computer working on putting slideshow videos together for my Youtube channel. I have already uploaded a video with pictures from my trip to Hawaii, back in 2007. While I wait for pictures to upload, I have spent some more time working on my sweater, and working on blogging. 

Today was the first day of youth camp, which I had gone to as a camper from the time I was old enough to go, when I was going into 4th grade, through the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I have also gone as a counselor a couple of times. Youth Camp has good and not so great memories associated with it. Out of the seven summers I went as a camper, at the end of four of them my grandparents had come to pick me up, and take me to stay with them for a week or so after camp. The early years of my Youth Camp experiences (4th – 8th grade) have good memories associated, though that later years were marked by the difficulties of growing up, and dealing with life and issues that are associated with being older. I am not going into any personal details, just because some are too painful or embarrassing to share. 

If you would like to check out my videos, check out my Facebook Page to see them, as well as take you to Youtube for more videos. 

Thanks for reading today’s post!