Monday, April 26, 2010

"The most radical political act there is, is to believe that if I change, other people will follow suit."

I'm working steadily on inching my way towards an all-natural lifestyle. It's slow going, beacuse... frankly, it's not just me, it's me plus an H and 3 kids. The 3 kids are easy, but the H? He keeps looking at me all side-eyed. Like I'm gonna attack him with a baking soda hair situation sometime in his sleep.

There are a few reasons for this change... it's one part frugality, one part a personal challenge, one part a sense of responsibility. I'd like to think we can be self-sufficient in the (unlikely, and yet still real) event of some catastrophy. I mean, obviously these are teeny, tiny, microscopic baby steps towards that, but... I'm just saying. It's part of a giant, umbrealla-like, overall life change.

I'm on "No 'Poo" day... 20? I think? And so far, it's all going swimmingly. My routine so far is to rinse with just water most days. I "wash" with a honey/baking soda paste every 5-6 days... those days, I also rinse with an apple cider vinegar rinse as well.

My magic recipe... 2 Tbs baking soda, 1/2 tsp water, and just dump in some honey.

Until it looks like this.

Then, I massage it into my roots for a minute. Rinse out. Done!

Snork was skeptical of my honey/baking soda funk, but... I think she's just jealous. So far, my hair has not revolted like I've heard some other peoples' did... In fact, my ONLY complaint is that yesterday, and today, it might feel a little dry.
Overall, I am pleased. I was fully prepared to quit at the first signs of some Hair Revolt, but it's cooperating well. I've read that it's easier for wavy/curly hair to adapt, so... finally! Something good has come from this mess on my head! Sweet!

I'm going to be rolling this out to kidlets as soon as their shampoo and conditioner have run dry. So far, they're on board... I think anything that will get them out of the tub faster will be a win in their books.

I've also planned a "cleansing" week next week. The Plan is to go vegetarian for one week, starting Sunday. We'll hit the Awesome Irvine Farmer's Market Saturday morning, and stock up on all types of local, fresh goodies, and eat all local, all veg, all week.

Okay, so that might be exaggerated. I will eat all veg. I only imposed the vegetarian rule on the rest of the family for dinner time. They were skeptical at first, until I told 1 & 2 they could help pick recipes, plan the meals, and prep/cook.

We had a practice run on Sunday night - I let them scour my cookbooks for something they could agree on, and they came up with Martha Stewart's chicken stir-fry lettuce wraps.

#2 chopped the peppers and grated the ginger (I did the onions for her), and washed the lettuce.

#1 did the cooking.

It was all so super cute, and successful - everybody enjoyed it, and even leftovers were eaten - win!

I'm not sure why the chopsticks were necessary... #1 is obsessed with them, she tries to eat cereal with them.

Anyway.... todays food consumption!

  1. Half of a blueberry bagel, 1 Tbs cream cheese

  2. I made a killer lunch in my bento box today... leftover chicken wraps, sauteed greenbeans and peppers (with rice wine vinegar/soy sauce vinaigrette), cucumbers, and blackberries

  3. 1 tiny bag of M&M's

  4. 10 animal crackers

Dinner... I'm unsure about. I'll update tomorrow.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

“When things get tough, don't move. People and pressures shift but the sail remains the same no matter where you go.”

I think I've mentioned my distaste for exercise before, right? Nothing has changed. I still don't care for it. However, I care even LESS for being fat.

I also dislike dieting, so... I choose my battles with my body. Eating what I want (mostly) vs. elliptical...


I've been pretty sucky with the gym, despite my declarations for "sucking less". Snork ditched me to ride bikes or something in Moab, so I thought for sure I'd have a super-suck gym week.. But, despite her absence, I made it there 3 times last week. Short trips, 'cause of kidlet care issues, but... trips none the less.

Day 1...

Day 2....
Day 3...

Three times... Woot! I don't really remember the last week that 3 times happened.

I've yet to bring my gym stuff to work with me, where I could run up to the 24 Hour 5 minutes away on my lunch break, but really, I don't even take a lunch. That seems like a plan destined for failure right from the start.

My friend Squirrel, that chick is a gym nut. I cannot even fathom how she does what she does, but.. when I grow up, I'd like to be like her.

Anyway. So, what has this week taught me? That the gym buddy system, when it fails, is Snork's fault. Because, obviously I'm plenty motivated without her.

(I kid, really, I do. The gym buddy system is awesome, if difficult to coordinate sometimes. If you can gym-buddy it, I highly suggest it. It helps to be accountable to someone else. Of course, it REALLY helps more when said someone else is motivated to gym, even when you're not.)

Anyway. I'm also making a more concerted effort to pay attention to what I'm ingesting. I was getting annoyed last week that I gained a pound. And then I thought about what I'd been scarfing down all afternoon, sitting at my desk, and realized... it's really a miracle, and I ought be grateful that it's JUST a single pound. I'm gonna try to food diary this up, for the next week or so. After this week, I have A Plan, that I'll share in another blog post.

Today's consumption so far, has been...

  • One slice whole wheat toast, 1 tbs peanut butter, 1 tsp strawberry preserves
  • GINORMOUS salad with various lettuces, cucumber, peppers, goat cheese, and roasted beets. It was pretty, even!
  • A carrot muffin. It was big. Oops.
  • A mini Hershey's bar.
  • A "everything" multi-grain cracker. Just one!
  • A tangerine.
  • I haven't yet, but I might as well throw this in, 'cause I'm gonna in a second... blueberry fat free yogurt (also, gluten free, but I don't think that matters).

I haven't determined what is coming for dinner yet. It was supposed to some sort of leftovers, but the kidlets have been IM'ing me with requests on how to re-heat said leftovers, so I'm not sure there will be anything left for dinner. Hm.

I'm not sure if this is good, or bad, or what, but... it's at least documented, so next week, when I pop in here all complainey like about gaining a pound, I can say, hey, maybe I should have left that muffin on the table where it belongs.


Dinner? Mac and cheese. From a box. Electric orange cheese and all. Plus, desert was a half of a personal serving of dulce de leche Haagen-Dazs. Wow.

Friday, April 23, 2010

"All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own"

My Sister gave me this award... which involves me telling you all (that sounds so dramatic, doesn't it?!) 10 things that make me happy.

This is a toughie.

LOTS of things make me happy.

I'll try to contain myself.

1. Coffee. Or Chai. Soy, with no water. Mmmmmm.
2. Seasons... I love them all. Every time the season shifts, I start waxing philosophical about how utterly magical the "new" season is. The truth is, I love all of them, and the subtle shifts that I see in SoCal make me happy.
3. The people in my life. Family, friends, coworkers alike. I dig 'em all.
4. Driving with the windows down and loud music playing.
5. Hiking.
6. The Mall. I heart all of it... MAC, Macys, Nordstroms, Bloomies, shoes, Starbucks, Disney Store, Gap.....
7. The beach. Specifically, the SoCal beaches. The sand is different, the water is cold, the sun is bright, Catalina in the distance, tidepools, seals...
8. Tissues with lotion.
9. Cooking.
10. Disney!

Ta da! 10 things that make me happy.

Passing this along to.... Snork, as well as Stacy at Moderate Means.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Slums may well be breeding-grounds of crime, but middle-class suburbs are incubators of apathy and delirium."

I was pretty psyched to blog about my "homemade" and super simple Sloppy Joes.

I perfected my recipe, tested it out, and finally, finally documented the production of them last weekend.

In the meantime, I've also been becoming more conscious of what I'm feeding my kids, and the funk that has been invading our foods. I mean, I generally cook from fresh - meaning, no boxed meals in my home. Not generally, always, actually... I thought that was pretty impressive. I mean, working mom of 3, coming home and cooking meals from scratch nightly, and inexpensively. It doesn't have to be rough, y'know? A limited grocery budget DOES NOT have to mean you eat junk out of a brightly colored box every night.

In short, I was feeling pretty accomplished, and not a little self-righteous, particularly when watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution.

Imagine my annoyance (at myself) when I looked at the labels while I was photog'ing this Sloppy Joe magicalness, and the first component listed on one of my ingredients was HFCS.


So, the search for a replacement ketchup recipe is underway. If you've got one, pass it on.

Also, I'm not blogging my recipe. It seems wrong somehow now.

What HAS been successful for me lately: home-made laundry soap, and No 'Poo.

Someone on the internet made some laundry-soap, and said it was awesome (famous last words....). I had to wait until I ran out of mine, which I FINALLY did last weekend. So, I rushed off to Target to get some glycerine soap. I won't go into this, but... it was an adventure. Note to anyone who is interested: Just buy the giant pack at Target, it's the best deal you're gonna get, I promise. In fact, if you're close by, I've got a boatload that I can GIVE you.

Because, my friends, for this recipe, you only need a half of a bar.

So, the recipe is this:
1 bar glycerine soap (I used Dial White Tea), grated
2 c baking soda
2 gallons of water

It's recipe 8 from
this link.

I don't want to blantantly rip off their rad recipe, so you can view the directions there. I actually halved the recipe, for storage reasons, and it was easy peasy. Done in less than 5 minutes!

We've been using it all week, and so far so good. It has virtually no scent at all, but that's fine with me - we already used free and clear stuff, so we're used to it.

My friend
Snork has chronicled her No 'Poo experiments for a few months now, and... I dunno how all that is going for her. I know the second my hair started revolting the way hers had, I might be tempted to quit. I don't know if I'm hard enough to take waxy hair all the time.

I'm on day 9, and so far, so good. It's pretty pleasing, so far. I did a baking soda rinse one day, and it was okay. I was looking a bit greasy a day later....

So I read a lot (on the internet!) and concocted some paste out of baking soda and honey, followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. To be quite honest, I have no idea where I came up with it, where I found that, or why I thought it would be a good idea. It seemed risky, as I was staring at this clumpy mess I was about to massage into my head....

....But it was fab. I massaged it into my scalp, for a minute or so, in a circluar motion, and rinsed it out. Dumped the ACV rinse on, let it sit for a bit (while I shaved - multitasking!), and rinsed that.

This was the result. Soft, non-frizzy, full of body hair. It is pretty quickly stripping my hair of color, I think, but over all....


On the "suck-less" front, I seem to have acquired shin splints. Which happens when you lecture other folks about the necessity of making sure you have good running shoes and failing to acquire some for yourself. Sooooo.... we've been ellipticalling. Snork and I started jalking together last spring, which morphed into "ellipti" nights followed by hot tub frollicking while kidlets played in the pool all summer. We were pretty psyched when we did this....

Last night, I did this...

Followed by this, on the same machine, but it was stupid and cut me off at 35 minutes....

That'd be a total of 5 miles.

Because, we rock.

This weekend, I plan on attempting a container garden, inspired by one of my favorite bloggers, The Happy (Athiest) Homemaker. I have high hopes for this. If it works out, it'll be one step closer to a completely clean diet, plus, you know, prep for TEOTWAWKI.

Kidding. (not really).

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.”

I heart spring.
In Florida, it's not such a big deal. There's kind of only two seasons - sucky (cold), and suckier (hot). In SoCal, at least, there's a hint of a change. Days are sunnier, everything is green. It's lovely.
This was our first Easter with just the kidlets, and no cousins around to share it with... so I decided to start our own traditions. We had small baskets for each of them - filled with goofy stuff that they like. No eggs were hidden, no bunnies, no ham. Just us.
Okay, so "traditions", is kind of a strong word for what we did. I mean, it could be a tradition, eventually, but for now, it was just "stuff we decided to do, and then realized it was Easter".

Anyway. We went hiking out at Joshua Tree. It is a bit of a drive from the OC, clocking in at just over 2 hours, but it was well worth it.

Kidlets did some mild rock climbing...

And the desert wildflowers were blooming like mad. I won't bore you with all of them, but.. the cactus are my favorite.

There've also been a variety of other awesome things going on....

For starters, I did make it to gym last night, and through both running AND yoga.

I've eaten lunch out of things I brought every day for the last 2 weeks - with the exception of someone buying pizza last Friday.

I am back to pre-cruise weight. I'm pretending this is awesome, even though it irritates me that 3 months of work was wiped out in 3 days, and took another 3 weeks to reverse. Curse you, unlimited free food!

The weather has been super great for hiking, so I've been able to go out the last 2 weekends, and intend to do the same this weekend as well.

Green Day/AFI are coming in a few months... I am considering taking #1 to go. Admittedly, I just really want to go myself... and #1 provides an excellent excuse. I'm a bit concerned that my interests are now overlapping my kid's, becuase.... I cannot possibly be old enough for that to happen yet, can I?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

“Success comes in cans; failure in can'ts”

A few months back, I had this idea that I wanted to do a 5K. I wanted one, specifically, near the ocean, with the pretty views and all.. If I'm suffering, at least I'll have something nice to look at(incidentally, that's also how I select my hikes).

So I found the Corona del Mar 5K . It's in a lovely area, ocean views and all... but what really made this one a winner, was this part of it....
"Registration includes a t-shirt, gourmet breakast featuring the famous Restaurant Row."
Like I said yesterday, I'm easy.

In preparation for the Warrior Dash, Snork and I decided we really, REALLY need to step up our gym game. It was a really rough time, last night, getting me to go to the gym. Last time I went, I hated every second of it, and then I got discouraged, because... I was doing so well, then just stopped, and then the whole thing sucked again.

But, despite my crankiness, I went, and it was magical. It didn't suck too much, and last time I watched my time, I was at 15 something minutes per mile... last night was under 13. There's a bit of walking thrown in there, but that 5K in June... I'm gonna rock it.


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