Sunday, July 29, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY… July 29, 2012

Outside my window... it’s a new view!  But also sunny and hot.  But with more shade-y trees!

I am thinking... about Thing 2’s birthday.  It’s not ‘til September, but I need to get some ideas going.

I am thankful... to be in the new house.

In the kitchen... husband is making hamburgers.

I am wearing... blouse and shorts

I am creating... pathways through boxes.  Oh, to unpack.

I am going... to have Kung Fu Panda memorized pretty soon.  It’s been a favorite lately.

I am wondering... which room I should start saving up to redecorate first.  I was thinking living room, but a pretty bathroom is so important.

I am reading... Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke, and Collide by Shelly Crane

I am hoping... to find a toy organization system that the Things will not flat out reject.

I am looking forward to... the holidays already.

I am learning… about how dreary life was before I had a fridge as awesome as the one I have now.

Around the house... we need to unpack.  And I need to take some pictures and post them so that people will stop asking for pictures.

I am pondering... Thing 2’s reaction to moving.  It is has been an interesting adventure for him.  It’s been a little better every day, but this first day he did not want to be out of my arms. At all. I just think it’d never occurred to him that life was capable of changing that much, that quickly.  I’ve made lots of jokes about finding baby xanax.  But, really, it is getting better.  He has spent large chunks of time just playing with his brother today.

A favorite quote for today... I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. – Marilyn Monroe

One of my favorite things... the chocolate chip cookies that my husband makes.  No one does them better.

A few plans for the rest of the week: unpacking.  Going to Roanoke for some Indian food and the transportation museum

A peek into my day...


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Homemade Sunscreen

Please read my homemade disclaimer.

I found this recipe at wellness mama.  If you’ve read my disclaimer, you’ll not be surprised that the first half of her post on this all sounded like “blah, blah, blah” to me.  Well, the parts that didn’t downright make me angry.  (Vitamin D deficiency is a scarier problem than skin cancer?  Oh, that’s because skin cancer isn’t “particularly deadly”?  I see.  You’ve clearly never had a loved one have it.) And the fact that she labeled the recipe NATURAL homemade sunscreen is beyond irritating.  As though zinc oxide is something you can pick in your backyard. Riiiiiight.

Whatever, though, it’s a great recipe.  Here is my adaptation of it:

UNnatural Homemade Sunscreen:

sunscreen1/4 cup coconut oil

5 tsp zinc oxide

1 TBSP beeswax

3 TBSP aloe vera gel

1/2 cup filtered water

I also added lavender essential oil, which is soothing for the skin (as long as it is therapeutic grade.  If not, then it just smells nice and you can go with that too.)

That amount of zinc oxide is about 20 spf.  I doubled it.

When I first came across this recipe (which I thought was at wellness mama, but perhaps somewhere else as well?  or the instructions on her site changed), the instructions were to heat the oil and beeswax together double boiler style to melt the beeswax, heat the water and aloe vera separately, and then add the zinc oxide to the beeswax mix and whisk the everything together quickly to get an emulsification.  It was a bit complicated, but it works.  I noticed today that her blog now says to just add everything but the zinc oxide to a glass jar and place that in a sauce pan with water and heat it up.  Everything will melt together and then you can just stir in the zinc oxide.  That is pretty genius and is what I will do for my next batch.

Another thing I might change next time is using grapeseed or olive oil.  I thought I’d like the coconut oil best because coconut oil is paste at room temperature.  But, you use sunscreen when you’re sitting in the sun right?  And then it’s usually hot and is an oil consistency anyway.  At least, it seems like that’s the way it is most of the time I’m applying it. A cheaper oil would work just as well.  Probably grapeseed, because it is less greasy.

The beauty of this sunscreen is that one batch is gonna last us, likely, two years or so. I spent maybe $20 in gathering the ingredients I need, and those ingredients are enough to last me the next 4 or 5 batches.  Spending $20 in 10 years on sunscreen? Priceless. 

Oh, also, it totally works.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY… July 22, 2012

Outside my window... sunny and hot, though not as unbearably hot as it has been.

I am thinking... what I was doing a year ago.  It seems like I was mourning the end of the Harry Potter era.

I am thankful... that albeit is seems I have a gluten intolerance, I am capable of having small amounts every now and again without it affecting me too much.

In the kitchen... we had grilled chicken sandwiches for dinner.  yum

I am wearing... pjs

I am creating... meh.  I’ve totally stalled out on a couple of projects.

I am going... to move this week?  Maybe.  We *still* haven’t heard about closing yet, but the owner said we could go ahead and move in, since we have to be out of the rental by the end of the month.  We need to hammer out some details first.

I am wondering... what other way a person can say they are sitting Indian style.  Indian style seems not appropriate.

I am reading... Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, The Savage Grace by Bree Despain

I am hoping... to, in one week, not be living in the house I’m living in now

I am looking forward to... hopefully seeing some family in August.

I am learning… about how your eyes can become allergic to a contact if you were the same kind for too long.  Weird, right?

Around the house... we’re just dying to get out of here.

I am pondering... living in a home with all hard wood floors.  Probably time to get rid of one of my vacuums.  (I have three. So?)

A favorite quote for today... Life is like a landscape. You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the vantage point of distance. – Charles A. Lindbergh

One of my favorite things... peppermint essential oil.  Mostly right now because it just helped sooth some eczema. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: Moving (hopefully).  Woot!

A peek into my day...

I will hopefully be sleeping in the bedroom by the end of the week.
(The ladder won’t be there.)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Homemade Disclaimer

Lately I’ve been into doing things homemade.  It started with laundry detergent and cleaners, and then I kept delving into beauty products and all manner of things and a whole new world opened up to me.

But here’s the thing: as with most worlds, this one has an under belly.

The more I search for recipes for new homemade products, the more irritated I get with the blogs and websites I find these recipes on.  I’ve been irritated with this kind of thing for a while (which you know if you read this post), but I still just haven’t gotten used to it yet.  I’m not complaining about the recipes and ideas I find for homemade products.  Those are great.  I’m just complaining about how proud of themselves these people are.  Just like using the word organic before each thing in a list of ingredients on a recipe is not necessary, neither is accompanying each homemade post with unsubstantiated, alarmist medical claims like, “Parabens cause cancer!”  Listen my naturalist friends, reading it on doesn’t make it true.  (For the record, the American Cancer Association’s position is that there is not sufficient scientific evidence for a link between parabens and cancer.)

What is boils down to is that these people use the words “crunchy” and “hippy” like they are thrones to sit on so that the rest of us can bow at their feet.  And I just want to put it out there that this is not me.  I’m way into making all the homemade stuff because I think it is so fun and it is saving us a ton of money.  In some cases it may be healthier, but that is only something I’ll ever claim if there is real science behind it.  I’m a truth seeker like that.

And I want to post about it because, for one, I want to post about the things I like and the fun things I do and the things I’m thinking about.  Kinda why I have a blog.  For another, friends and family who know I’m into this kind of thing have asked lots of questions, and here I can just share everything.  And I’m gonna be doing that.  But I’m not overly concerned about saving the world one Fels Naptha bar at a time. 

I just need you to know, right up front, that I am not a bergamot scented supremacist. 

That is all.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.


Outside my window... enjoying the cooler morning hours.  Is it fall yet?

I am thinking... about deleting my facebook account.  I’m just not sure it’s serving a positive purpose for me anymore.

I am thankful... for good produce, when I can find it.

In the kitchen... I am not.  The boys got a pretty cheap breakfast this morning.  Mama’s sleepy.

I am wearing... pjs.

I am creating... meh.  I’ve totally stalled out on a couple of projects.

I am going... to need a nap.

I am wondering... how much food Thing 1 can stuff into his cheeks.  I’m daily growing more confident that it is a remarkable amount.

I am reading... Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  (“Just one?!?!” you ask?  I finished three books last week, and haven’t started new ones yet.  Never fear, I will.)

I am hoping... to hear from the mortgage lender guy this week.  For the love.

I am looking forward to... hopefully seeing some family in August.

I am learning… about logotherapy.  Just because of one of the books I read last week.  It’s interesting.

Around the house... we’re just dying to get out of here.

I am pondering... paint colors, for the walls in the new house if we ever get to move there.

A favorite quote for today... He who has a why to live with can bear with almost any how. – Friedrich Nietzsche

One of my favorite things... is discovering a new, fun recipe.

A few plans for the rest of the week: there’s really not much besides the regular activities.

A peek into my day...

We were road tripping.  He couldn’t decided if he was more thirsty or tired.  He tried to address both issues at once.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Indoor Fun

I was gonna call this rainy day fun, but it hasn’t actually been rainy.  It’s just been so freaking hot and humid, the boys don’t want to be outside for the hours they normally do.  I saw this great idea on Pinterest (where all great ideas come from, amiright?) and the Things just love it.


I put the paint in the plastic bags and used packing tape to tape the bags (on top of construction paper, you know, for color contrast) to the table and it is totally a fun way to let the Things paint with virtually no clean up.  Thing 1 has actually done this for more than an hour at a time, which is kind of a big deal around here…

Friday, July 13, 2012

My “Gender Issues” Stand.

Last Spring there was a lot of hoopla about a picture of a little boy with pink toe nails.  It struck a chord with me because over blown gender issues in the media drive me nuts.  And I’ve always said it affects little boys as much as little girls, and here that was in action.  I was pretty fired up for days and vowed to paint the Things’ toes pink, so that I could make a statement about it.  Sadly, they would not sit still.  They don’t really care about gender issues and making statements.  Which I guess was kind of my point in the first place.  Pink is just. a. color.

But earlier this week I painted *my* toe nails pink.  Thing 1 noticed (as he always does, along with hair changes and new clothes. he’s so attentive and sweet.) and went on and on about how pretty it was.  And then he said the words I’ve been waiting for, “I wish MY toe nails could be pink!”

My heart leapt for joy.  “Yes!” I thought, “this is it!  This is my moment!  My opus! I’m going to show the world!”

And then I decided to let him look at the different colors I had, so that he could choose his own shade.  *sigh*   At least I got to paint his nails.

Yeah. Not pink.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.


Outside my window... there was a pretty wonderful thunderstorm tonight.  The heat is breaking and tomorrow is supposed to be about 20 degrees cooler than today was.

I am thinking... about my overnight trip out of town that is tomorrow.  I’m going ALONE, y’all.

I am thankful... for the things that I have to complain about, because they are just so much less than what other people have to complain about.

In the kitchen... I’ve gone gluten free.  I don’t really want to talk about it yet.

I am wearing... pjs.

I am creating... a new series of posts.  At least, I will start doing it soon.  For a long time I’ve been posting the funny things Thing 1 says to Twitter and Facebook, which is fun.  But, once posted there they are kind of lost to the ethernets.  I’m going to start typing up Thingisms and posting them here every now and again.  Because then I will be saving them.  It’s timely, since Thing 1 is starting to say some awesome stuff too.

I am going... to have to throw some things away.  Hoarding marathon was on today.

I am wondering... why my lips are so chapped.

I am reading... Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis, Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I am hoping... for a closing on a house soon.  We’re just waiting and waiting.

I am looking forward to... autumn.  Already.

I am learning… a lot about gluten free eating.

Around the house... some of these toys have got to go.

I am pondering... going to bed early since this raging storm has knocked out our satellite.  I know, right?

A favorite quote for today... Work without vision is drudgery. Vision without work is dreaming. Work plus vision - that is destiny. – Gordon B. Hinkley

One of my favorite things... is when Thing 2 runs in the room and yells, “Mom! I found it! See that?!?” and I had no idea he was looking for anything.

A few plans for the rest of the week: a shipping trip to Richmond this week-end.

A peek into my day...

I so bad wanted to take a picture of him in that shark hat, but he was so freaking excited about it he would not, COULD NOT, stand still.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Potty Train Thing 1, Check

After we got rid of the pacifiers, I mentioned that my next goal was to get Thing 1 potty trained.  I mean, he turned 3 in December and really my goal was to not have a four year old in diapers.  I think there was a couple of factors in waiting so late to do it.  One was that when John turned 2—which I guess is the age people usually start—I had a 3 month old.  I just wasn’t interested at the time.  And then we moved, and then I thought I’ll just wait ‘til he’s 3… I think another factor is that I just wasn’t really sure how to go about explaining to a little boy what he needed to do. Potty training seemed really hard, and I wanted someone else to come and do it for me.

We began way back in March.  It was super exciting.  We bought underwear, we celebrated, we were all stoked. And it. was. awful. We worked at it for a few days, but it was just pretty clear that Thing 1 was getting more frustrated by the minute.  And it wasn’t just like of-course-there-are-accidents-in-the-first-few-days type of frustration.  I think he kind of just felt assaulted by the whole thing. So we took a step back, went back to training pants, and spent a couple of months discussing “going potty in the potty”. 

In June we tackled it again.  It kind of came about when we were buying a package of pull ups and William said, “This is it.  We’re not spending any more money on these.”  I think one of the differences this time around was that we didn’t blindside Thing 1 with it.  I talked with him about it every time I pulled another pull up from that package.  “After this one there are only 7 left, and then we’ll have to use underwear that you need to keep dry.”   He felt a bit more prepared this time.  And in the first three days? Oh, there were tons of accidents.  Especially the first day.  But this time around Thing 1 really seemed like he wanted to do well.  He was way more engaged and less angry about the process.  Day 2 was better than Day 1.  Day 3 even more so.  A week later and he was peeing in the potty all the time.

And yes, I’m totally going to talk about poop now.  Because this was much, much harder to conquer.  He simply did NOT want to poop in the potty.  The thing is, he knew he shouldn’t go in his underwear either, so he was just holding it and holding it.  He was going 2 or 3 days at a time without pooping, and then he’d come to a point when he couldn’t hold it any more, and he’d poop his pants.  (Usually when hiding from us.  Because he thought then we wouldn’t notice?  We did. It was gross.  But we clothed diapered, so whatever.)  I thought that if he could just poop in the potty once and see that it was no big deal, we’d be home free.  I was wrong.  We tried lost of different tricks to coax him into pooping in the potty consistently, but we mostly just had to deal with poopy accidents for several weeks.  And then finally he started just heading the bathroom with the announcement that he needed to poop.  And we haven’t had any accidents in over a week now.  I think we might be home free for real.  I also fully expect that, since I just said that, we will have some kind of poopy accident right away.

Funny thing though, promising him a cookie after he pooped in the potty never did entice him to do it. But after he finally did do it, the cookie became an important part of the process.  He still requests a cookie every time he does the deed.  I don’t really mind.  I’ll give him one every time for the next two years.  I’m just so pleased to be done potty training him.

Anyway, it is AWESOME having only one child in diapers.  I can hardly wait to get Thing 2 potty trained.  But, my next goal is to get Thing 2 sleeping in Thing 1’s room (and then it will just be the Things’ room) and not in my bed. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I feel like the word patriot gets thrown around a lot.  Especially by tea baggers, who like to dress up like Paul Revere and pretend that means something.  With all of the throwing around it gets, the word has lost all meaning.  It’s usage as been sullied.  Lets go over the definition, shall we?

patriot (n) a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors

I think we all assume we’re patriots when our country is attacked from without.  Enemies of the state make us all patriots.  So what of detractors?

detractor (n) a person who disparages someone or something

One who disparages?

disparage (v) regard or represent as being of little worth

Interesting right?  So, a detractor is one who regards the nation as being of little worth? Here is what I’ve really been thinking.  How can you call yourself a patriot if you loathe and distrust your own government?  If you place so little worth on the government that is holding your country together that everything you say about it boils down to it being inefficient, corrupt, and overreaching?  If you would rather see society crumble around you than provide the government with any resource it needs to care for its citizens?  How in the WORLD are you calling yourself a patriot?  I think you might’ve meant guerilla warrior. 

Happy Independence Day, y’all. 

American Flag

Monday, July 2, 2012

Simple Woman

Find it HERE.

FOR TODAY (which is a day later than normal)

Outside my window... I did my best to go outside as little as possible today.  There was a trip to the library this morning, but otherwise we hunkered down.  This heat it horrid.

I am thinking... about the Kindle William got me for my birthday.  I LOVE.

I am thankful... that I have power and air conditioning.  There are so many people in my town without it right now.  Stupid derecho. 

In the kitchen... we had brown rice with dinner tonight and, man alive, I love brown rice.

I am wearing... pjs.

I am creating... Moon Sand.  Well, I will tomorrow.  I think.  It’s going to be messy and we’ll see if I’m in the mood.  The Things will love it though.

I am going... to need to get some grocery shopping done tomorrow.  That should be awesome the day before a holiday.

I am wondering... if it is too late to plan some camping for said holiday.

I am reading... Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis, Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson, Dumbing Us Down by John Gatto, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

I am hoping... for a closing on a house soon.  We’re just waiting and waiting.

I am looking forward to... a special get away I’ve got coming up.  It will be 24 hours of me time.

I am learning… about how to substitute honey for sugar.  In everything.

Around the house... I don’t want this to be my house any more.

I am pondering... weather.  It’s been so crazy lately.

A favorite quote for today... Everyone is famous to 1,500 people. – Seth Godin

One of my favorite things... dark chocolate almond milk.

A few plans for the rest of the week: hopefully some grilling on Wednesday

A peek into my day...

Kindle Touch

Isn’t it so pretty? William had a massive credit on his account and so we got it for $40.00.  That is the best kind of present.


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