Saturday, April 13, 2013

30 Days of Meditation

Today I went shopping. I hit the clearance sales and picked up a few new things to wear. I'm in different sizes now which is awesome and validating. I am almost in sizes that I used to wear in middle school and high school. Love, LOVE it!

Each day I find myself doing some things really well (avocado, tomato and cheese for lunch...nitrite free bacon with eggs and hot sauce for breakfast...not in that order). And other things I struggle with (aches and pains from skipping yoga for a month...short tempers because I'm tired and my sciatica is acting up).

I've played around with meditation before. Usually it's been part of a yoga class that focuses on mindfulness. The research on meditation, stress management and overall health benefits is hard to argue with for me. So, tonight starts 30 days of meditation. Let's give this a try and see what happens.

Meditation notes:
When: bedtime
What: deep rest meditation by "meditation oasis"
I first noticed the pain and aching in my lower back. This got better and was mostly gone by the end. Several times my mind raced. At least once, I felt caught up in the moment and my mind felt empty and light. I thought I'd be super tired at the end, but was surprised that I felt only more content.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Day One of a...Dog

Me and hubs have a dog. A seven year old, muttsky from a shelter. I adopted him when he was only t-h-i-s high and now that he's full grown, he has lived in two different states, weathered five big moves, and most recently decided to say what no one else will say in the family and bite the crap out of my father in law.

Okay, it wasn't really that bad. My father in law was helping us out at the house when the dog creeps up and nibbles on his leg. Then scurried away. Repeat a few times with growing force and it was not only frustrating for the people involved, but totally not okay for our dog to be doing.

Hereafter we'll call the dog, Monkey. Not because it's his name, but to protect his doggy innocence.

Monkey is a little insecure and is the type of dog to get you before you decide to get him. My father in law can be a liiiiiiittle overbearing and you mix that with a huge new house and lots of change for the dog and... well we found ourselves in a pickle. But Monkey is super smart and we are super determined to find some peace in our house. We are also super aware that we are the problem, not Monkey...because we're super people and life is super. Or something.

 So, we hired a trainer and our first private session was last night. Our trainer uses a tens-collar for the dog so he gets a signal from the collar every time we push the button. We got to try the collar out on ourselves with some interesting results. I didn't feel anything until it was at a level 9. Hubs felt it at level 6. Monkey is good at level 1. Unless there is food involved because, let's face it, food is super good.

If you've ever been to physical therapy with a back injury (or just had chronic pain), you might have experienced a tens-unit.  If not, here's a website that talks about how it works. The concept is that you use the collar to communicate with your dog. You use the lowest setting that the dog notices. You're not using it like a shock collar to tell the dog it did something wrong. Instead, you give your dog a command, you press the button while you're saying the command and the dog basically feels a "pat on the shoulder" when you're giving the command. So then, in theory, when your dog is really distracted by something (like a huge hamburger on the counter that is DELICIOUS or an overbearing father in law that is NOT delicious) your dog feels your "touch" while you're giving the command and it knows that you need its attention.

Monkey picked up on the idea pretty quickly. But he also got a little pissed off that he couldn't eat the hamburger last night during the training session. So shortly after we took the collar off and started getting ready for bed, Monkey decided to dig up our new houseplant.

The houseplant has a new home now. We'll move it back once he's adjusted a little more. Monkey got some extra love and cuddling last night. We've decided to spoil him with love and attention while we're all learning the new house rules. He's a good snuggler, so it's a win for everyone.




Thursday, March 21, 2013

PCOS...POS.. it's kind of all the same.

I have a new doctor that I love. I started seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist and got a really clear explanation of what PCOS is and how it affects the body. I am not a doctor, and nothing I'm about to say is medical advice. I could also have a few things wrong, so talk to your doctor if what I am saying doesn't match up with your understanding of PCOS.

  • Every woman has something in the brain that tells her body when to release different hormones in order to have a normal monthly cycle. In a woman without PCOS, that message from the brain is like a steady beat on a drum. "1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5 and..." The message is sent from the brain at the right time, at the right interval, and the body has time to complete each step in the monthly process before moving on to the next step. 
  • In a woman with PCOS, that message is still being sent from the brain, but the rhythm is totally different. It's like you gave a toddler the drumset. Since the messages are sent very irradically, the body never gets the time/sequencing it needs to go from step to step in the monthly cycle. The follicles on the ovaries never get long enough to release an egg. They start to lengthen in preparation for releasing an egg, but then the brain sends a message out of rhythm, too early, and the body jumps ahead to the next step without ever completing the first step. An egg isn't released.
  • As a result, the body starts to have surplus hormones which lead to an imbalance and ultimately give you excess testosterone in your system. 
    • My doctor says that birth control can help regulate the hormones and the monthly cycles. In fact, if you are trying to get pregnant and have PCOS, if you take the birth control for a few months and then go off of it, you may be able to get pregnant (more) easily. Some women with PCOS that get pregnant, have the baby and then want to get pregnant again a few months later can experience more difficulty the second time if they don't go back on the pill first. But as I understand it, at the same time you take the pill, you manage your diet, exercise and you may also be taking metformin. Without doing these other things, the pill can mask the PCOS symptoms and those symptoms can be getting worse without you even knowing it.
  • At the same time as that crazy toddler is banging away in your head, many women with PCOS also have insulin resistance. The way he described the insulin resistance is this: 
    • Your body doesn't need all the sugar you eat. So, picture something like this... your body uses insulin to grab the excess sugar you ingested and basically send it down a shoot and out the body (I know, it's not scientific, but it kind of illustrates what happens). When you have insulin resistance, the shoots are really rusty and the insulin can't get the sugar out easily. Things start to back up at the shoot. Your body produces more insulin to try to get the sugar out and it doesn't really help the situation - it's kind of like trying to unclog a plugged up sink drain by running more water from the faucet. Perhaps in theory more water pressure would bust the clog loose, but what really happens is you end up flooding your sink AND your bathroom and your drain is still clogged. That's what's happening in the body.
    • So, now your body has too much insulin and too much sugar in it and your blood sugar levels start peaking and crashing. And you start craving more sweets and carbs. He said that the excess insulin can also increase your testosterone levels.
    • A drug called metformin is commonly prescribed for diabetes, but it can also help with the insulin resistance. Metformin sort of greases up the shoots so the insulin can get the sugar out without more easily. However, the drug forces your body to stop absorbing the sugars and carbs at a certain threshold, so if you keep eating them, your body will not absorb them and you can experience unpleasant things like diahrrea, etc because you ate too many sugars/carbs. 
  • Overall, a low carb, high protein diet is what he is recommending for me. I'm already doing it, but am going to go with the hubs to see their dietician because I feel lost with how to handle supplements and also want to be sure I am balancing my meals properly. 
  • The doctor is having me come back in to do a fasting glucose test to find out more about the severity of my insulin resistance. After that he'll probably prescribe the metformin. 

  • I've been off the birth control pill for almost a month now. So far my weight has been pretty steady and I haven't been losing weight as easily. My hormones have been a little funky with more frequent mood swings, but I'm pretty aware of them which is helping. The part I am struggling with the most is being super fatigued at the end of the work day. It's getting better, but it sucks and I'm not happy with it. The acne is at bay so far and I'm hoping that some of this may just be my body getting used to the hormone changes because I went off the pill. It would be nice if next month is easier. Or if I were pregnant next month. That would be nice too. :)

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    I'm addicted to gardening.

    Generally, I h.a.t.e diving into the dirt, pulling out weeds, planting, watering, yada, yada, insert something else that has to do with gardening [here].

    BUT. Then we bought a house and now I have so many visions of how we can make the outside beautiful, peaceful, tranquil, serene, awesome and in all other ways fabulous. I am frequenting the home improvement websites and the nursery webpages. I have 50+ bookmarks for shrubs, perennials, water drainage ideas and other things that, until this month, I had no interest in whatsoever.

    I used to garden...grudgingly. Growing up, we always had a garden and I always had to help. Veggies, herbs, shrubs, trees, flowers. You name it, we grew it. But I never really  had a passion for it. I always appreciated the nice landscaping my mom worked so hard on. But if I had my way, I would n.e.v.e.r spend the afternoon digging in the dirt. I watched my grandma tend her garden and was happy to keep her company, but hated to get in up to my elbows in the soil.

    Now I am waiting so (im)patiently for Spring to get here so we  can get cracking with all the plans we've been cooking up. I have visions of dry creeks to manage our water drainage problems, rain barrels to add an awesome feature paired with functionality to our house, perennials to spruce up the place, flowering bushes to give us beauty with little maintenance. I could seriously keep going here.

    Tonight, in an homage to my awesome ability to w-a-i-t for Spring and warmer weather to be here, I made our own little succulent garden in the kitchen.

    Is that a cabbage?

    Disregard my filing system in the background.

    Looks like grapes to me!
    I also started seeds for a bunch of lavendar that we'll grow inside. We have rosemary, mint and parsley going. And while lavendar is not something I'm going to throw in with the chicken for dinner, it smells good. So do the rosemary and mint.

    The idea of warm weather and time to tend my already budding gardens of day lillies, crocuses, tulips and lamb's ear is music to my ears...Wow. I really am almost thirty.


    Monday, March 18, 2013

    How to hang your bbq utensils and surviving a move.

    We made it! We finally made it out of the apartment and into our own, beautiful, wonderful, very good home. (sorry, I had a flashback).

    We've been here less than a month, so I still have a room full of boxes and a garage full of crap that needs to be sorted. I geeked out a bit when I used this awesome technique to make hanging curtain rods a super-simple-one-person-job. I was elated when we made dinner for the first time in our HUGE kitchen and got down with the music playing. I was in h.e.a.v.e.n when the bathroom was clean and sparkly (LOVE this cleaner!!) and I took my first, relaxing, wonderful bath in t-w-o years.

    We were the highlight of the block on our move-in day. Everyone on the street who has a dog, and maybe a few people who borrowed someone else's dog, walked past our house. People dressed their dogs up for the cold weather, carried trowels in hand to clean up after their tiny doggies, and politely gawked at the house that had been vacant since October.

    Shortly after entering our house, my father-in-law experienced an out of body moment, channeling an Italian woman and a war veteran at the same time. He is convinced that there are ghosts in our house...and buried treasure. (I'm actually not exaggerating here) This part of his personality is super endearing, and sometimes a little comical. But it's balanced out by a crazy alpha personality. He has decided that he's the king of every house he walks into. Which is not endearing to me, my hubs or my dog. More on that later as we get a dog whisperer to help us and our dog deal with crazy-misplaced-alpha-feelings and interesting extended family dynamics.

    In other news, we have a grill! And we love it. We use it almost every day. It took a day to assemble because of a screwdriver error, but it was worth it. The hubs was so excited to have a grill, he hung the grill utensils from the porch roof like little ornaments. It was awesome.




    Friday, February 8, 2013

    I fell in love with a TARDIS and other adventures

    SIXTEEN DAYS until moving day! This week's apartment adventures included the landlord refusing to believe our furnace needed maintenance (the inducer motor had to be replaced). After three maintenance visits and a long complaint email we are finally up and running again. I'm sure they will be glad when we move out too!

    The weekend has just started and I feel a sense of accomplishment already. I am becoming a master packer and cleaner. By the end of the weekend I plan to have our boxes tidied up, labeled and have packed everything but the essentials we use on a daily basis. We have a lot of cleaning to do because our landlord has a super specific move out list.

    Every time that I have moved, I have found a great TV show to accompany me on the journey. This time I am LOVING Doctor Who. I fell in love as soon as I saw that Captain Jack Harkness was in the cast. I love him! Maybe there's just something about any character named Captain Jack.

    Now I'm in Season 3 and waiting for Jack to return. If you've ever watched the show(s) you know that Jack is bisexual and openly gay, so he has a special, fond place in my heart. The man is kind of a slut though so there's always part of me that is rooting for him to find a great love and settle down for a few years. Every now and then he does.

    On to the cleaning...

    Phase I
    Oven cleaning
    It doesn't help that I spilled a bunch of shredded cheese in the bottom of the oven, but I admit to not ever cleaning the thing after we moved in. It's pretty dirty. Today started phase one of the oven cleanup. I tried a baking soda paste which worked pretty well. I used this tutorial today and I will give this another go by adding a couple steps including: mixing a baking soda/dawn dish soap paste that is applied with a sponge, and if that doesn't leave things completely sparkling I will rub it down with a salted lemon to cut through anything that is left.

    Our oven racks will sadly be left out of the clean up because I have no bathtub or washtub. Poor guys could use a good soak and scrub!
    After the first cleaning a little grime and baking soda residue is all that is left.


    Phase II
    Carpet cleaning
    We have a light tan type carpet that is probably 5+ years old. It's starting to show some signficant wear, but we are required to leave it sparkling. We have some weird stains that are not identifiable. They seem to have just appeared, but I blame the dog. :)

    The last few months I have learned about the m.a.g.i.c of baking soda, vinegar and dawn dish soap. And when I saw this recipe for carpet cleaning perfection I got all excited. Later this weekend I'll show you before and after pictures and we'll see how well this technique works!

    The dog likes to roll around in coffee grounds when we're not home.
    You can see our carpet cleaning machine didn't actually get everything. :/

    There is a leaf on that step, but we think the rest of the mess is from muddy, wet boots.

    The furnace repair man was great! But he didn't wipe his boots off.

    Phase III
    Prepping the walls
    Our landlord requires that all holes are spackled and that the paint is the original color from our move in date. They even provide you with the store and the name of the white paint that they want you to repaint the walls with. 

    Other places I have lived only required they could get the walls back to the original color with one coat of paint that they applied after you moved out, so I think this is excessive, but we didn't paint so I only have to worry about scuff marks on the walls and spackling. I've already gotten started, but we still have a few things on the walls and a few holes to handle.

    Phase IV
    The Garage, also known as The Messy Pile of Crap We Have Nowhere To Store
    We have very little storage in our apartment. We have a closet in the bedroom and one in the entry way for coats. That's all. So the garage has become a catch-all for a bunch of random crap. I've re-organized it three times and tidied things up, but the truth is that there just isn't enough room.

    I am a big proponent of donating unwanted items or giving them away rather than just throwing out perfectly good stuff. I've already started doing this in preparation for the move by joining freecycle and posting a number of things that we didn't want anymore. Honestly, it's just easier to have someone come pick this stuff up off your porch when you're not even home. 

    In Phase Four, the garage cleanup, I have a multi-step approach:
    1. Pack all items not currently in storage containers. Label and Stack for moving day. 
    2. Identifying all items that are usable but not needed. Post on Freecycle and let someone else use them! I usually do porch pickups so I don't have to worry about coordinating days/times as much.
    3. Discard the crap that isn't usable and is not needed. 
    4. Once everything has been moved out of the garage on moving day, sweep the floor and call it a day. It's February in Michigan so I don't think I'll be able to hook up the outside hose and scrub the floor down. 
    Phase V
    Major Appliance and Bathroom Cleanup
    Each week I am working on a main area of our home to get ready for the move. After we move out, I'll do a final day of major appliance cleaning, sweeping, vacuuming, cleaning of all windows and window jams and wall touch ups. 

    Cleaning Techniques I Love
    I have found some amazing homemade and/or natural cleaning techniques that not only leave things sparkling but usually require a lot less elbow grease to get the job done compared with the harsher store-bought cleaners.

    • Cleaning your top loading washing machine - I've done this and it's great!
    • Beautify those disgusting stove burners - This will be a new technique but hopefully well worth it
    • Hydrogen Peroxide as glass cleaner - A new experiment.
    • AMAZING spot treatment! - I have whitened disgusting yellow armpit stains, revived a 10 year old white sweatshirt and used this on different color t-shirts and sweaters that had sweat stains on them. This technique is so easy (no scrubbing!) and absolutely effective. The hardest part is letting the clothing item soak long enough. This one is a backup if the carpet cleaning technique isn't effective enough.
    • Great floor cleaner - Done and Done! Now I just need to do a spot test on our bamboo floors in the new house.
    • Dishwasher cleaning - Truthfully I'll wipe it down with vinegar and run an empty load with vinegar in the the rinse aid compartment. But if there are more significant problems I'll use these tips again too.
    • HANDS DOWN the best bathroom cleaner - While this cleaner is not nearly as toxic as regular store-bought cleaning solutions, it is vinegar and dish soap so it does have a very strong smell. The kicker is it works so damn well that you won't even care. Spray down your tub or shower stall, walk away for at least an hour, come back and just wipe it clean. I have a handled kitchen sponge that I keep in the shower for spot cleaning and I use that to wipe everything down. The mildly abrasive sponge is plenty to knock out any built up soap scum.
    • A little olive oil, a LOT of clean appliances - Clean the hood over your stove or anything else that has some greasy build up with a little olive oil. Super simple.
    • VINEGAR - Great for cleaning up around the sink. Soak a paper towel in vinegar and wrap it around any scummy parts of your faucet or sink. Come back after you've had a glass of wine and watched your favorite show and it will all wipe away. You can use it to clean the toilet, tile floors, the list goes on!
    • Delicious smelling all purpose cleaner - I use this every day in my kitchen. It smells great!
    Let the cleaning begin!






    Sunday, February 3, 2013

    TGIFF! why my phone was turned off this weekend

    Happy February people! February is usually a horrible wintry month that I absolutely love. It's my birthday, it's Valentine's day, it's the month we buy a house!

    February came in with a freaking bang. The work week was one to remember. And one I'd like to forget. By Friday, I desperately needed a way to unwind. I'm not actually sure what I did on Friday night because I can't remember any more. I do know that I turned off my cell phone when I got home. And I left it off this weekend.

    My weekend has been spent doing things I love and leaving the stressful issues at the front door. They're not bothering me in our tiny little home. We are a few boxes closer to being packed and ready to leave. I spent a lot of time getting caught up on laundry and putting it away.

    I knocked a couple things off my pinterest list:
    Jillee's coconut oil and olive oil heaven - happy feet :)
    DIYconfessions' eczema cream - I've had a patch on my right wrist for 3 months now! ugh.
    Knot a scarf like a pro
    The BEST dryer balls - I made these a couple weeks ago, but I L.O.V.E them!

    Last night we went out for dinner which was awesome. Today I am getting lunch ready for the week. Then my hubs is treating me to a delicious dinner at home because we're celebrating my birthday a weekend early. My hubs has been doting on me all weekend.  I LOVE THIS MAN! Off to more relaxing...

    Monday, January 21, 2013

    The story of minor garbage disposal repair and why I hate Brussels sprouts.

    I recently tried a recipe for Brussels sprouts. Veggies have never been my favorite food group and I am continually trying to find new veggie-based recipes to try.

    I found a recipe for roasted Brussels sprouts. Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, Parmesan cheese...how could this go wrong? I think that the first mistake was the balsamic vinegar. And the second is that the recipe instructions have you roast the Brussels sprouts for 30 minutes, but that isn't anywhere near long enough.

    The recipe was un-salvageable. I probably could have roasted the Brussels sprouts longer. But the taste still wouldn't have been better. So, in an attempt to avoid smelling the yucky Brussels sprouts until the next garbage day, I decided to shred the failed recipe in the disposal. I dumped the Brussels sprouts down the drain, ran the water, flipped the switch and heard the blades whirl around for a few moments...and then everything stopped. Silence.

    I flipped the switch again. Nothing. Again...and again. Nada. I checked the breaker and it was fine. I had a little temper tantrum. I might have opened a bottle of wine. I unplugged the disposal and set about to retrieving the Brussels sprouts from the garbage disposal drain with a fork.

    After fishing out all the Brussels sprouts I could, I put these tips to work. TA DAAA! The garbage disposal started working again and the Brussels sprouts finally made it to the garbage can. I cheered! I did a little happy dance! My hubs looked at me like I was crazy. Or tipsy. Or both.

    Despite this recipe flop, I'm not giving up on Brussels sprouts completely. I even have a new Brussels sprout recipe on my list of new recipes to try. If you have a Brussels sprout recipe that tastes good please share it. Until I start to feel more adventurous again, I'm sticking with my delicious fail-safe broccoli recipe . YUM!

    Thursday, January 17, 2013

    It's bath time!

    We have a gorgeous, energetic 7 year old husky mix. He has blue eyes that seem to ensnare you with their gaze. They are so mesmerizing you don't even realize he just invited himself onto the couch and stole your dinner off of your plate. He's that good.

    He also sheds every second of every day. We have hair everywhere. We could probably take him to the groomer's every week to get his coat blown out to help with the constant shedding. But I have a hard enough time paying for a grooming appointment once a month. More frequent appointments are out of the question.

    Maybe you have a dog and you've tried to bath him or her at home before. Maybe your dog loves taking a bath. Maybe you love it. Me and my dog? We didn't love it. If you have ever bathed your dog at home, you know that hosing the dog off outside is OK in the summer, but always works better if you don't live in an apartment and if you have a fenced in yard. Or maybe you've tried a bath in the tub or the shower stall and you can already hear the sound of sliding of toenails as you read this.

    Our usual at-home bathing routine consisted of the dog sliding around the shower stall and freaking out, me getting drenched and straining my back, and both of us hating every single moment of the bath.

    I decided to take matters into my own hands and find a better solution to the groomer bills and the bathtime struggle at home.

    Recipe for a Peaceful Dog Bath

    Ingredients

    • bathing tub - big enough for the dog to sit and stand, small enough for the dog to feel safe and secure inside the walls of the tub
    • yummy dog treats - some for training and some for reinforcement during the bath
    • homemade dog shampoo or other shampoo
    • small container or cup - you'll use this to pour water over your dog's face and other body parts
    • small tub that fits next to the bathing tub to store a little water
    • comb or brush - for a post-bath brushing
    • old T-Shirt that fits over your dog's head and body
    • 3-4 bath towels
    • 1 washcloth

    Instructions

    Step 1
    Teach your dog to love the bathing tub. 

    I used an old plastic bin that I had been using to store some random crap. I emptied the bin and placed it in the middle of the living room floor. Next, I tried getting my dog to hop inside, but he couldn't figure it out. 

    Try your best to help the dog associate the bathing tub with something positive... like a yummy treat! If your dog is afraid of the tub, give him/her a treat for sitting as close as possible to the tub. Start to build his/her confidence about being near the tub. If your dog is afread of the tub, you might need to take this slowly until you build his/her confidence up. 

    My pup wasn't afraid of the tub, so I lifted him up and placed him inside. He got treats for standing still inside the tub, sitting inside it, and staying for longer and longer times. We worked on getting used to the tub for probably 30 minutes. Once your dog is more comfortable with the bathing tub, put the bathing tub in the bathroom shower or tub and practice again. Next, take a break!

    Step 2
    Get your bathroom ready.

    Place your bathing tub in the shower or bathtub. Get all your supplies at the ready. Fill your small tub with warm water. Put on your swimsuit. Have your treats close by. Get your dog! 

    Step 3
    Place your dog in the tub. It's bathing time!

    Give your dog treats for cooperating every 5-10 minutes or as necessary. Start getting your dog wet by scooping the warm water in your small tub with the small container or cup you have. Pour that over the dog's coat. Avoid his face for now. 

    Step 4
    Soaking wet!

    Soak your dog's coat by pouring water over the dog's coat with the small container/cup you're using. If you have a removable showerhead and it doesn't freak your dog out, use that for his/her body because it's much faster. Soak the entire coat. Soak your washcloth in clean water and use it to wet the fur around the dog's face.

    Step 5
    Sudsing.

    Put soap on your hands and lather it into your dog's coat. Give your dog a gentle massage. Don't rush and encourage your dog to relax and enjoy the moment. Try to enjoy the moment yourself. Work the soap into the fur around your dog's face. 

    Step 6
    Rinsing.

    Maybe you already do this next step, but it was a new one for me and my dog. Wet the washcloth and use it to wipe the soap from your dog's face. Usually I would gently spray the dog's face with water to wash off all the soap. This new approach was much more enjoyable for both of us and worked really well. Don't forget to keep giving your dog treats all throughout this process. Use the showerhead to rinse your dog, or use the cup full of water, or both. You might need to scoop out the dirty water from the bathing tub. I had to do this twice. Once your dog is totally rinsed off, scoop enough water out so that it will be easy and safe for the dog to get out of the tub. 

    Step 7
    Time to dry off!

    While your dog is still in the bathing tub, start to dry their face and back. Dry their legs as best you can. Get another towel ready and have your T-Shirt close by. If your dog is capable and comfortable with jumping out of the bathing tub (think back to your practice runs earlier), instruct them to jump out. If not, lift them out of the bathing tub. Give them another treat and finish towelling them dry. Put the old T-Shirt on them to help soak up a little extra moisture from their coat. Let them run freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! This is my dog's favorite part.

    Step 8
    Enjoy a clean, good-smelling dog and love the extra $45 you saved by avoiding the groomers!

    Step 9
    After you have washed all the towels and the T-Shirt, pack it all away in the bathing tub. 

    I chose to indulge my newly found smarts by having a marathon Netflix afternoon with my clean pup by my side. This bathing lasted about 2 weeks before it was time to get back in the bathtub. All the usual stress and backache was missing from the whole experience which sealed the deal for me. Share how you keep your dog fresh and clean!


    Saturday, January 12, 2013

    New Year, New House

    We are in the process of buying our first house. So, this is a super exciting time...and also a scary, anxious and expensive time. Our house is close to a grade school, much closer to work and has recently been renovated so all we have to do is move in and make the place our own. Score!

    We have a 100 (and counting) page idea book on how we'll decorate and design each room. My organization and creativity obsessions have taken over, I am THAT excited!! Visions of refinishing furniture, diying and thrifting are literally (click it! you won't regret it!) dancing in my head right now.

    I think this year will be a good year. The last two have been filled with a lot of medical problems. But, both me and my spouse are finally healing and recovering. And since I've been managing my PCOS symptoms so much better than ever before in my life, I find that I actually have a lot more perspective on some of the crappy events that took place over the last two years. I can let the past be in the past.

    My resolution this year is to be present in the moment. To accept myself as I am and not let worry or anxiousness about the past or the future overwhelm my emotions. I've been doing really well with this and I feel so much happier. At first I thought that I was just coping better with the challenging things in my life. Then, this week I decided to splurge a little in the food department and eat some yummy delivery pizza. Two days in a row, even. And on the second day, all the "zen" I had been feeling earlier in the week started to melt away. I was catching myself obsessing over non-issues and not being able to let go of these thoughts that kept needling into my head.

    Have you ever been in this situation before? When it hits me, I know that the situation isn't a big deal, but I keep worrying that someone isn't happy with the situation or isn't happy with me or that something bad is going to happen next, even though that's entirely illogical. It seeps into my dreams and my entire day and I drive myself crazy trying to find a way to distract myself. The distractions, by the way, never ever work.

    I realized today that the only thing I did differently this week compared with the last 6 weeks was eating the pizza two days in a row. And it's only been the last two days that I started to have these thoughts and feelings. Which left me wondering, could it really be that this pizza jacked up my insulin levels and left me with all these craptastic thoughts? I actually think the answer is "yes."

    So, I guess I can't take all the credit for the new high-energy, happy vibes I have most of the time now. But at least I know that I'll get out of the funk I'm feeling and start to be happy and more peaceful again.

    Tomorrow I'll start out the week with an awesome yoga class, a little paperwork at the office and more packing at home. I love packing! I found some great tips here and have been putting them to good use. THIRTY-SEVEN days until closing! I can't wait!