Coping With Exhaustion

exhaustionI don’t know about how things go in your house, but some weeks in my house it seems like I never get to sleep. I haven’t seen a full, uninterrupted night’s sleep in over five years. I know what you’re thinking, “HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THAT HAPPEN??” Well I’ll tell you…It all began when I was pregnant with my first baby. Now as you mommies well know, sleeping whilst pregnant is not an easy feat (especially in the later months). Post partum, part of my exhaustion was contributed to my decision to do attachment parenting; which I LOVE, but it’s hard to stay rested when your children are so close to you all the time (especially if they wiggle a lot in their sleep).

If you’re pregnant, the best advice I have for you on how to handle the pre-delivery days, is to sleep when and where you can. You have a hard battle ahead of you, so in order to be ready for the big “D-Day” you’ll need to sleep and rest up as much as you can. Take naps if you can…If not, go to bed early and try to get as much rest as possible. Some nights I slept on the couch with my back propped up by pillows (I had AWEFUL heartburn). One thing that also really helped was to sleep on my side with one of those big body pillows between my knees.

Try to relax! A nice warm bath is a great way to calm your nerves and ease achy bones and muscles from all of the extra weight you’re carrying. I took baths everyone during my third trimester with both of my kids. Maybe put a few drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil in with you to help the process. My baths were nightly before bed, it really helped a lot! I would take a nice warm cup of chamomile herbal tea with me and sip it while in the tub to help with the relaxation as well. It’s important to take some nice deep breaths while you lie in the water. It not only brings more oxygen to your brain and helps calm your mind; it’s great for the baby too.

After I had our beautiful son, we soon discovered that sleeping was not his strong suit. Some nights it seemed as if he would fall asleep just to wake up again five minutes after I got him back to sleep. This was all fine and good and I was able to cope OK, until I went back to work. I lost my afternoon nap and was having to get up earlier to make it to work on time. Now he’s almost five and still wakes up, on a occasion, once a night. One choice my husband and I made as new parents was that we couldn’t handle letting him “cry-it-out”…we just couldn’t. So I always got up with him and we did a lot of co-sleeping.

Now we have two wee ones and are coping with our youngest not wanting to sleep through the night. Luckily our oldest does his best to stay in his bed most of the time. We even went through a faze when both of them were in bed with us making a mommy sandwich. My poor husband got feet in his face and chest all night. Luckily he is understanding and patient with the kids. They tend to do better over the summer months when I’m home with them every day and we can have a solid routine. I know in my heart that as they get older they will develop independence and good sleeping habits. I’m doing my best to guide them and teach them good sleeping habits.

If you are like me, and can’t handle the process of “sleep training” your baby, but need ways to cope with your exhaustion here is a short list of some of the things that I do to keep my head above the water:

Go to bed after the kids go down for the night. Even if you just go to read a book, go to bed. If I sit down and watch TV, I’ll be up much later than I should and make my exhaustion worse.

Take naps when you can. In the car (while hubby’s driving of course), on the weekends, whenever you have a few minutes to just close your eyes and let your brain turn off for a minute or two.

Eat healthy. Nothing makes exhaustion worse than a poor diet. Processed foods can create many digestive problems (heart burn, indigestion, diarrhea, etc.). Sometimes it’s hard to avoid these foods, but try not to eat them too much.

Take a break from time-to-time. Have someone watch the kids so you can take a walk, a nap, or even just a few moments at home to yourself.

If you can afford it, go get a massage. If you are able to enjoy the luxurious kind at a spa, sweet talk your hubby into giving you one. You deserve it!

Exercise…”you’re only one work out away from a good mood!” It can be even harder to be motivated to exercise when you’re exhausted, but you’d be surprised at how it will make you feel. Even if it’s just a walk around the neighborhood, get up and get moving.

I know it can be hard to admit when you’ve had too much or that you can’t take any more. Before you hit your breaking point, stop, step back, and get someone to help you. Even a couple minutes of quiet time can mean the world on a day when exhaustion is at its peak. I know I feel better when I get a chance to recharge my batteries. You will too! Life is too short to be serious and responsible ALL the time. Sometimes you just have to let a few things go, so that you can make it through your day.

Now get off the computer and go take a nap!! ;)

esign

Posted in Attachment Parenting, Natural Mommy, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chrissy’s EO Journal #15

eo15A lot of people have been making the switch to essential oils. Also, a lot of people have been trying essential oils and giving up on them. I have been there too and I would like to touch down on that a little.

I have been using essential oils for about three years now…give or take. Originally, we started with a great company in Oregon. Everything about this company works for us and we love it. We use their products in everything from beauty to bees. However, we weren’t really getting the results we were expecting out of their oils. I took a year long sabbatical, while Ginny decided to give doTERRA a try. She immediately had amazing results. See her amazing success story here. I was still on the fence about doTERRA because the price of the oils seemed astronomical to me. I had already tried essential oils and my past results weren’t worth the price tag. HOWEVER,  if you read our blog much you know that I eventually decided to give doTERRA a chance and haven’t looked back. See my journal here… and Ginny’s here.

If there was any advice I would give to somebody who was trying oils out for the first time it would be this… commitment. Using essential oils takes commitment for your health. A lot of people get frustrated because there is a possibility that you may be applying oils every hour or two. You have to let go of what you think you know about wellness. Oils are not medicine. Oils are not meant to replace modern medicine. For instance, if your child has an alarming fever, please seek medical attention. If your new to oils especially. If your child has a low grade fever, that would be the opportune time to try applications of peppermint  see if your childs body is responsive to that particular type of holistic treatment. Don’t run the chance that they aren’t. Bodies are different.

Please do your research. The internet will be your friend. Pinterest is my go to and constant companion. Before you use an oil you think may be helpful, look it up. I can tell you this… don’t use oregano on your skin. I mistakenly used oregano instead of frankincense for a sinus infection. I didn’t pay attention to what bottle I was grabbing. I was sorry. Ginny and I are always available and love to answer questions. Catch us here on the site, via email, or any of our other social media platforms (those cute little buttons up in the right hand corner…EASY!) Utilize us. Find a circle of people who you can connect with. Have your wellness advocate on speed dial. If they introduced you to oils they should be talking you through how to use them too.

If you try an oil for something and it doesn’t work, don’t give up. Serenity is an amazing oil and it smells like heaven. If I use it to try to sleep I’m awake all night. That’s not a joke. I use Roman Chamomile and Lavender all the time for sleep, the combination of the two (plus all the other stuff in Serenity) just doesn’t jive with me…for sleeping purposes. Everybody is different. Oils are versatile and can be used in many different ways. I used Digestzen for the same “oregano disaster” sinus infection and it worked the best…for me. Biologically,  we are all different so its important to keep an open mind when your trying to get well. Still…do your research. Don’t put anything in your eyes, your ears, or nasal cavity.

If you already know your going to make the switch to doTERRA essential oils… sign up for the wholesale account. Its worth it. If you don’t want to pay the doTERRA prices and try the other oil brands, that’s great. I hope you have success. Its possible, people are doing it all over the world. However, if you don’t have the success your wanting it could be attributed to the quality of the oils your using. Don’t give up on essential oils until you have tried the best of the best. I WILL NOT suggest you ingest any oils that aren’t doTERRA. Don’t do it.

Oils are not amoxicillin. Your not going to be instantly cured. Your body is going to use the oils and work hard to make itself healthy. Amoxicillin will do as much damage as it does clearing up whatever has its hold on you. Think about good bacteria… it will be gone.

That being said, sometimes the oils aren’t going to be able to combat what ails you. I had to take Motrin one night during my sinus infection. The infection was so bad that I had a heinous tooth ach spanning the entirety of my upper teeth, and no amount of clove oil, frankincense, Onguard…my hole stash… was going to help me get sleep that night. I needed to sleep.  If your sick for longer than you would like…get help. If you have to take amoxicillin be sure you take probiotics. doTERRA makes some great ones in the PB assist.

Don’t be overwhelmed, intimidated, or scared of using oils. If your one of the first in your circle to give oils a try, people are going to look at you like your crazy. Your going to be criticized and openly scorned by people who believe that they know better than you. Some of these people will claim to be educated. Remember that the term “educated” doesn’t pertain only to the social norm of modern medicine. People who treat others this way are very uneducated in the acceptable ways of society and use their personal “education” to cover their stupidity. VERY rarely you will find someone who opposes essential oils who has actually done their research. I have had yet to meet one, yet I am faced with opposition all the time.  Racists, bigots, homophobes, anti-anti vaxers…and people adamantly opposed to essential oils have a whole lot in common. Intolerance for how other people CHOOSE to live. People have been dealing with this from the dawn of time…and so will you whether you choose essential oils or not. Believe it or not, this even happens WITHIN the realm of essential oils! There is no way to escape adversity, but how you deal with it will depict its impact on your way of life. Don’t let it sway you from making your own choices.

Everybody has an oil beginning too. You are taking your health into your own hands and that is a big step that you should really consider with the upmost seriousness. You are teaching your self how to heal your own body and that of your family, instead of relying on your physician (who has seen many years of schooling to do their job). You are just as capable as they are I promise. As long as you educate yourself or have an open dialog with people who are constantly researching, you have the ability to take all aspects of your life into your own hands.

Not something to take lightly so do a good job. If you’re here you’re already taking a step in the right direction ;)

Chrissysignature

 

Posted in Chrissy's Journal, Essential Oil, Herb and EO Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Journey to Overcome Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis

Fourteen years ago I was the sickest I have ever been and possible every will be again (I hope!). It was the Fall of my senior year in high school. I was experiencing excruciating pains in my abdomen. This went on for a couple of weeks…ibuProfen was the only thing that could help ease the discomfort I was feeling. Then, I started seeing blood in my stool (TMI…I know, but bare with me).

Of course, it was time that I go see a doctor. At first they had no clue what was going on with me. They ran some blood tests and discovered that I had trace amounts of giardia in my stool.  Giardia is a parasite that lives in the intestines. The symptoms include: diarrhea, nausea, cramping, and bloating. Since I had worked for the Forest Service on a trail crew the previous summer, there was no question where I got the parasite from…musta had a bad water filter. Still this didn’t really explain why there was blood in my stool. So, I was sent to a gastroenterologist.

More tests were ran…barium x-rays, blood tests, and a colonoscopy. The worst of it all was the colonoscopy. This is not something a 17 year old should be subjected too…it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I woke up in the middle of the procedure (worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life) and then I puked for a whole day after the anesthesia wore off. I was also very groggy and slept on an off for at least 24 hours afterwards. BUT…the good news was that they knew exactly what was wrong with me before the colonoscopy was even over. My colon was riddle with ulcers and a cluster of them were irritated enough to be bleeding. I was diagnosed with ulcertive colitis…and the journey begins!

It was quite a shock to discover that this would be a chronic disease that I would have to battle and take medication for my entire life, but after 6 months of not knowing what was going on, I was ready to get things fixed up. I was put on several medications to get the bleeding under control, prednizone, sulfasalazine, and a couple of others that I can’t remember. The prednizone (a steroid) was to help stop the bleeding…it worked after a month or so, but it made me feel awful. I would puke randomly and I felt very weak all the time. The sulfasalazine was a sulfur medication that was supposed to keep my ulcerative colitis in remission once it got there. I would be taking this medication for the rest of my life.

I was so relieved when the doctor told me that I didn’t have to take the prednizone for very long. I was learning to live with taking pills twice a day and was thinking it wouldn’t be too bad to manage my disease…even if it meant yellow fingernails and very dark pee. :(

Sadly I discovered later on that the pain was also something I would have to continue to deal with. It would come on after a high stress incident, at random times that made no sense at all.

I lived this way for about 6 years…always keeping a bottle of ibuProfen in my purse, just in case. When the pain would hit me…I would pop 2-3 pain pills and stretch out on the floor with my arms above my head. Didn’t matter where I was, I even stretched out on the grass on the BSU campus a couple of times. I would lay there until the pain subsided or lessened enough for me to walk. Sounds like fun huh?!?

While I was going to college, I was blessed to find a part-time nanny job with an amazing family. They had four kids between the ages of 9 months and 6 years. The daddy was a chiropractor and the mommy was a writer, so she was always available if I had any questions. Great people!! I miss them and think of them often. When they offered me free chiropractic care as perk of the job, I was thrilled. :)

After discussing my medical history with the doctor himself, I discovered that he was also a dietitian. He asked if I knew of any food that I might be allergic to and suggested a cleanse that would help me to figure this out…cause I had no idea!! I went on a 6 week cleansing diet and then slowly began to reintroduce trigger foods that may be causing the problem. It was hard, but I was very determined and stuck with it. One great thing was that after the first two weeks, I felt AMAZING…better than I had in years.

The reintroduction of food was very exciting…I had forgotten what flavor was. ;) I kept a small journal and made an entry every time I ate something new and what my reaction was.

To my dismay, my joy was short lived. Within 2 hours of drinking a small glass of milk I was double over in pain. This was a heartbreaking revelation for me because if there was one type of food I loved and couldn’t live without it was dairy products. :( Throughout my adolescence and even through most of college I would drink a gallon of milk by myself within 2-3 days and could eat cheese all day long if I let myself.

BUT…alas, it was very clear that I needed to cut this life’s blood from my diet. Within 6 months I was able to wean myself off of the sulur medication and manage my ulcerative colitis with diet alone. I was naughty and continued to eat cheese, but cut back quite a bit on my intake (even though I still had to suffer the consequences from time to time…You don’t realize how many yummy foods have cheese in them until you have to try to cut it out of your diet).

I went in for a routine/wellness colonoscopy right after my son was born (almost 5 years ago) and everything looked really good. There were still ulcers, but they looked really good. I was still getting pains from time to time (most likely from the cheese…which was a comfort food in times of stress…not smart I know!!). I was also constantly bloated, but was living with it.

Last year in November, I had a flare up again. The bleeding was minimal, but I still needed to go in for a colonoscopy so the doctor could see where the ulcers were and which ones were bleeding. They put me back on medication and I went on another cleanse. Much had changed in the medications that were being used for the disease and so it wasn’t that bad of an experience. While I was trying to get the bleeding under control, I was introduced to a wonderful woman who sent me some essential oils to help with my discomfort. You can read more about this experience by reading Ginny’s doTERRA Story.

After I started using the doTERRA blend DigestZen for 2 weeks, I wasn’t bloated any more and felt GREAT!! The bleeding stopped within a month and I was able to wean myself off of the medication in 4 months. Of course my doctor was shocked  and said that he wouldn’t need to see me for a year.

In the past year, I have completely cut out dairy. I’m very intune with how my body reacts to foods. I’ve discovered that gluten is one of my triggers as well. I also can’t eat anything with processed/white sugars in it.

I’m learning to live with cutting all of these things out of my diet because it means that I NEVER feel ulcer pains anymore (even during stressful times), I don’t have zits on my face from the sugars, and I’m hardly ever bloated. Of course I’m not perfect and I slip up from time to time, like forgetting to tell the waitress to leave the cheese off my sandwich or being too exhausted to make dinner so we order out fast food…which is very hard to avoid gluten with.

It’s been a loooonnnnngggg journey to get where I am with my health today. It took a lot of will power and determination. I’m actually pretty proud of myself for sticking with it. I love that I can treat my disease naturally and not have to be on synthetic medication for it.

If you think you’d like to try treating your ulcerative colitis or other chronic disease naturally, you’re welcome to contact me through email and we can chat…but PLEASE consult with your doctor before trying to go off of a medication or changing your treatment at all. I am not a doctor and what I did may not work for you.

God Bless!
esign

Posted in Health and Wellness, Health and Wellness | Leave a comment

The House Elves 2014 Season

sadlooser2I have been putting this post aside due to the extremely depressing fact that I have to admit defeat… not even a little bit of defeat. ALOT of it.

So if you read my first post about my fantasy football team, you will know that I am kind of a fantasy nut. Actually, I’ll have to admit that I am an extremist in just about everything…which can be uuber exhausting.  That first post is wildly unpopular and I have a hard time thinking that my fantasy aspirations are of interest to anyone, but I am prompted by the writing spirit to do a follow up.

Just gonna spit this out. I ended up ranked 9th…out of 10. With me hanging onto 9th by my severely bitten fingernails. All hinging on whether Peyton Manning had a good game or not. Incase you live under a rock and didn’t know, Manning having a bad game is pretty rare. Lucky for me, he finished that game against Cincinnati with just under 12.5 fantasy points.  After the 2013 season, I was ranked 3rd after the championship game. To go from 3rd to 9th is pretty heart wrenching…not going to lie. To top it all off – Alex won the championship. Nothings better than a smug husband gloating in your face.

image

Raiders and House Elves = Chrissy’s football dreams dashed.

Anybody who doesn’t care about football can stop here. I’m about to get into the nitty gritty of what happened to my team and its going to be boring for those of you who could care less about fantasy football.

To start. Here’s my roster on draft day:

QB: Tom Brady
RB 1: Marshawn Lynch
RB 2: Demarco Murray
WR: Percy Harvin
WR: Anquan Boldin
Flex: Shane Vereen
TE: Vernon Davis
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
DEF: Rams (Nothing to brag on I’m usually streaming my defense until I pick one up I wanna keep)

Bench:

RB: Trent Richardson
RB: Chris Ivory
RB: Bernard Pierce
WR: Michael Floyd
WR: Wes Welker
QB: Russell Wilson

imageAfter drafting I’m always like “yeah…my team is going to kick some major @$$ this year”…  never happens. I spend 5 or more weeks at the first of the season enjoying my plummet to the rock bottom. Last year I worked my way back up. Unfortunately, this year not so much.

The good..

My first round pick was Marshawn.  I was 8th in the queue for draft day and I still scored him. I have a lot of opinions about Lynch (which I wont get into) but I could always count on him to put in at least a touch down. He’s a work horse.

imageSecond round…Demarco Murray. Offensive player of the year. Always putting up amazing numbers. He was the jewel of my team. I’ll cry when I don’t pick him up next year. I’m just going to pretend that none of those first quarter fumbles happened…there were plenty of those. I really hope that he flourishes in Philly.

Obviously, my QBs are awesome. Both in the Super bowl, both ranked in the top 6 for the season. One an MVP. You have to have a certain knack to bench the one that’s going to have a 30 point (fantasy) game while the one you decided to put up has an 11 point game. This happened to me 3 times. I’m tempted to call it bad luck because god knows I’m not going to blame it on poor coaching. OK… it might of been poor coaching. I swear that every decision that I made always looked good on paper and I was always well informed. I do my research.

This made me laugh way too much to not put it in here

This made me laugh way too much to not put it in here

Tom Brady can be a turd that you shouldn’t put a lot of faith in…but you should never write him off. He’s not as solid in consistency as Peyton Manning, but he’s every bit as good when he feels like he needs to be. If I have learned anything about my time with Brady its this…he’s saving himself for post season. Don’t expect him to wow everybody in week 2. The day of drafting Brady in the first round is over. He’s not Manning and he’s not Rodgers… but he’s pretty close. Consider picking him up later in the draft a score. I got him in the 5th round. If your waiting for me to address deflate gate…don’t hold your breath. I think the whole thing is stupid. The Pats would have gotten there regardless. People just need a reason to be crabby.

Russell Wilson is an enigma. Small for a QB and always underestimated, this guy is somebody everybody should want on their roster. This is my second year with him and I’ll also be shooting for him next season on draft day. Pretty sure I picked him up way late…like 12th round or even later.

image

I ended up with both the Patriots and Niners defenses. I couldn’t let either go. They both ended the season fairly well.

The bad

Most of the running backs on my bench were busts, with the exception of Chris Ivory. However the Jets were circulating enough backs then that he was never going to be fantasy gold. Since the Jets sacked Rex Ryan this may change. Busting out on the RBs isn’t too much of travesty when you have Lynch and Murray in your line up. Bye weeks are a slight problem but when your hurting in the receiver dept and have to fill your flex position with a running back, it is a huge problem. All I had was Shane Vereen who was absolutely an amazing asset to the Patriots offense. For a back he logs a lot of his points in passing yards which is great. When it comes to rushing yards he was sharing his touches with LeGarrette Blount. (wanna see something crazy?) I don’t like him, but that dude can run a ball. I’ll probably never pick up a Pats back again, but if I do it will grudgingly be Blount. As for Vereen, I’ll be interested to see how he does for the Giants.

imageI always try to work some Raider love into my team and that comes in the form of a  kicker, SeaBass. He’s pretty bad ass for a kicker and I would have him on my side in any bar brawl for sure. As for kicking field goals and extra points…the Raiders offense is going to have to get him a little closer to the uprights. We all know THATS not happening :'(. I ended the season with the Colts kicker.

The Ugly

Every bad receiver…yeah they were all mine.

#1 STOOPID  mistake = Wes Welker. About a week after the draft I had the pleasure to see that he had sustained his 3rd concussion for the year already. Oh yeah…close on the heals of that… drug charges. Even when he was cleared to play he rarely saw a pass coming his way. Wes Welker is an amazing receiver…5 years ago. He’s older, and he’s prone to concussions so my guess is he’s got one foot out the retirement door. That’s the guess of simple house wife so take it with a grain of salt.

For the entire 2013 season, I held on to Percy Harvin. That bum hip was going to heal and I was going to cash in with him. Other than one amazing kick return, that never happened. I really thought I was going to see it in 2014. So I stubbornly picked him up, earlier in the draft than I should have. After trading Golden Tate to Detroit I thought that Seattle would be hurting in the receiver department and that Harvin would be the ticket to their passing game. WRONG. He did nothing for Seattle and was traded to the Jets. Geno Smith is not Russell Wilson so I benched Harvin… I should have dumped him just like the Jets did (did I mention that I am stubborn?).

I actually picked up Larry Fitzgerald at some point. I’m starting to think that has been receivers are my “thing” … probably my downfall.

Kaep doing what he does best

Kaep doing what he does best

DAMN NINERS. Big bust. Michael Crabtree? CHA…no thanks. Vernon Davis…biggest tight end disappointment for the year. Oh…wait I also had Anquan Boldin. Who in all fairness did pretty good this year. When you stack your team with players who actually play on the same team your begging for trouble no matter what. The Niners offense was terrible. Maybe a new coach will help. Oh…did I happen to mention that I throw up in my mouth every time I see Kaepernick? If it was possible to hate somebody you don’t know I would hate him…I don’t know him so I won’t use such a strong word. (This all dates back to when Kaepernick had a large hand in the Nevada win against BSU… don’t forget I’m a Bronco for life). I blame Kapepernick for all of the Niners problems. He belongs in front of a camera…preferably in his underwear. Can you tell that I tried to handcuff with Niners receivers quite a few times only to watch this bag of doo run the ball constantly?!

winkyThat’s pretty much the gist on the downfall of the 2014 House Elves.  I’m already looking forward to what next season will bring. Hopefully better than 9th place. I may revise my draft procedure and try for a better, more reliable receiver. I dunno…Megatron wasn’t so mega. The beauty of fantasy is you never know…never. Not even when your rocking the best RBs AND a couple of the best QB’s in the league.

Now…obviously a Raiders fan and somebody who barely scraped not being dead last in their fantasy league is no “official” on the game of fantasy or even football for that matter. So everything that I have said here is my opinion. So all you Niner/Kaepernick fans (and anybody else I have offended) can stand down. To each his own… live and let live and all that Kae-rap.
Chrissysignature

 

 

 

Oh! ps! Any ladies who thought about setting up their roster according to hotness, I do one in my mind every year. Here ya go!

QB: Tom Brady with Mark Sanchez as my backup
imageimage
RB1: Demarco Murray     RB2: Arian Foster
imageimage
WR1: Eric Decker      WR2: Danny Amendola
imageimage
TE: Rob Gronkowski (take him leave the rest if I had too)
image
Kicker: Mike Nugent
image
DEF: JJ Watt. Many would get greedy and take this opportunity to add on ten more defensive guys… I, on the other hand, have full confidence that JJ could get the job done all buy himself. He is an animal…
image

Posted in Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Give Me Yoga

yoga 2WARNING: YOGA HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CAUSE HEALTH AND HAPPINESS!

A few weeks ago, in one of her “Keeping it Chrissy” posts, Chrissy mentioned that my exercise of choice is yoga. She was 100% correct!! If I had to choose between yoga and something else, I would (hands down) choose yoga every time. Not that I don’t like shaking my toosh at Zumba or running with our beautiful mountains in the distance…I love both of those things as well! BUUUUTTTT if Rodney Yee (my favorite yogi), my yoga mat, and a quiet house are available, I’m totally going to get my “downward dog” on!!

Yoga has been my favored form of exercise for the last 15 years. I was sold the minute I started my very first yoga class…back when our tiny town actually had a gym and a super amazing yoga instructor. Now I have to use videos or recorded classes in order to get my practice in. I still love it though! It’s actually kind of nice to be in the privacy of my home when I’m doing my yoga practice. I don’t feel as self conscious.

My favorite part about yoga is how I feel afterwards. I just feel happier and more relaxed. For those of you who’ve read my “Overcoming Depression” post, you’ll know that depression has been a long, ongoing, battle for me. Exercise makes a pretty big difference in my mood, but when I choose yoga as my exercise practice (even if it’s only 20 minutes) I’m more present and peaceful than if I were to go out and do a 5 mile run. For me, yoga is the ultimate anit-depressant!yoga

Yoga has so many amazing benefits…that’s why I love it so much. It cleanses your body of toxins with deep breathing, twists, and inverted postures.

It helps stretch and strengthen your muscles all at the same time; which in turn increases your flexibility.

Another added benefit is that it helps with weight loss. When I’m on a regular schedule of doing yoga for at least 2 hours a week along with managing my diet, I loose more weight than doing strenuous cardio or aerobic exercises with diet management. It seems a little crazy to believe, but it’s true…I swear!!

Yoga increases the effectiveness of digestion and balances your metebolism due to twisting throughout the practice. This is also part of the reason I like to do the practice in the comfort of my own home. “Breaking wind” in a room full of strangers is not the most calming or peaceful experiences! ;)

Another thing I love about yoga is that I can do it for 20 minutes or 60 minutes and I end the practice feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on my day (I like to do morning practices). My heart gets pumping just enough, I tone my muscles, and increase my flexibility all at once. PLUS…It helps my body be protected from injury! This is a great added benefit for people who like to do things that are harder on your body.

Right now I’m doing three 20 minute yoga practices a week. I’ve started training for a big relay race coming up in June, so I’m also running twice a week. One thing I’ve noticed is that if I do a yoga practice the morning following a run that I’ve pushed myself on, I’m not near as sore. Who wouldn’t love to get rid of that sore feeling after a heavy workout??

I could go on and on about yoga for days. There are tons of other benefits besides the ones I’ve mentioned. If you’ve never done a yoga practice before, you’ve GOT to give it a try. I will warn you that the first practice is always the hardest. Start easy and work your way up. You should be safe with most practices that say “for beginners.” One suggestion I do have, if you’re going to buy a yoga video in not to go out and buy a “Power Yoga” video (even if it does say “for beginners”), you won’t do yoga ever again. Power Yoga is an ass whooping work out. I love them, but definetly not something to start out on.

There are tons of resources available and I would imagine any gym has yoga classes available for people to take. Living in rural Idaho, I get to stick to my videos and work them into my schedule; which I’m a big fan of because I don’t know how I would find time to go to a gym.

I hope I’ve sparked your interest for a new form of exercise and that you get a chance to go out and give yoga try. See what it can do for you!

Namaste!! :)

Ginny

Posted in Natural Mommy, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stand Mixer Mayo

mayo4I don’t remember how my life was without my stand mixer. About 70% of my posts involve the utilization of it. Check some of them out here.

In this house we love our mayo. We go through a pint of mayo about every week. Now, mayo is pretty cheap so its not too much of a stretch to our budget to buy the hytop brand at WINCO. Did you know that a primary ingredient in mayonaise is eggs. Do you honestly think that raw eggs have any kind of shelf life that extends to over 2-3 months? Thats after its opened…GROSS!!!!

mayo1The only draw back to homemade mayo is its short shelf life…oh no what will we do?! In my eyes short shelf life isn’t a bad thing. I make almost two pints of mayo every week or so and we have never had any go bad. Granted we eat alot of homemade fry sauce made with mayo… my kids love their homemade chicken strips. We also love to eat sandwiches made with fresh bread and fresh mayo…mmmm.

I have tried several other techniques for making mayo and all have fallen flat. Like the quick emersion blender way…never worked. Oil is expensive! I’ve made plenty of mayo and heres my fail proof, easy routine…

mayo23 Egg yolks (my moms chickens) put those whites to use in a face mask and grind the shells up for your garden and house plants.

2 tbs white vinegar (or one apple cider and one water)

1 tsp ground mustard or dijon

Light olive oil, vegetable oil or a mixture of Avacado oil, and other “light” tasting oil. I’m not going to guess and tell you how much oil probably more than two cups ( honestly, as much as it will take you to get to your desired consistency).  EVOO and coconut oils do not taste good in mayo. Just trust me.

white pepper (black pepper if your cheap like me)

lemon juice to taste

Salt to taste

Separate your egg yolks and whites. Put the yolks in the bottom of your mixer bowl. Add the vinegar water and mustard. Put on your whisk attatchment and crank your mixer up to at least a 9.

mayo3Slowly add your oil. I’m not talking to add it in drops but a drizzle is definatly a good way to start. So add a good drizzle down the inside of the bowl. Let it whip for a bit. Then add a drizzle more. Its going to take a bit for the emulsion to take place so don’t get frustrated and pour in a ton of oil. Add a drizzle and whisk (20 seconds). This isn’t a time consuming action but it does take a little patience. After you have done homemade mayo a while you will just drizzle until you get your consistency right. It goes pretty quick with a lot of practice and you will be hard pressed to remember why you ever bought mayo from the store…its just that easy.

I have never had two batches with the same consistancy. As long as it will spread on bread I don’t really care but technically speaking, your mayo should look like mayo.

If you go too far this is how you will save your mayo. I have never had to do this so you’ll have to excuse the link instead of a description from me :)

Chrissy*

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Home Recipes, Kitchenaid Stuff, Real Food | Leave a comment

Ginny’s EO #9

Wild OrangeSunshine in a bottle!! doTERRA’s Wild Orange Essential Oil is one of the more popular oils. It smells amazing! It tastes amazing! It helps you just feel AmAzInG!!!

I must admit that this oil goes with me everywhere! It helps support anything from insomnia to depression to easing ulcer pain. This wonderful oil is doTERRA’s Product of the Month for March (if you order over 125 PV on a Loyalty Rewards Program order, you’ll get a 15 mL bottle for free!!!)…Sooooo I thought I’d spread the word a little about how truly great this oil is.

Interested??? Let’s learn a little more about the many things doTERRA’s Wild Orange Oil has to offer us, shall we?

Here’s what I use it for:

  • Insomnia: 2 drops under my tongue when I’m struggling to quiet my mind in order to fall asleep. If it doesn’t work the first time, I wait and try again in 20 minutes…the second go around almost always does the trick. :)
  • Depression: 4 drops in my diffuser for at least 3 hours when I’m feeling down and out. The smell of this oil makes it almost impossible to feel sad.
  • Ulcers: I hardly ever have trouble with my ulcers anymore, but when I do I reach for Wild Orange and Peppermint Oil. 2 drops of peppermint on my tongue and 2 drops of Wild Orange where it hurts the worst every 15 minutes until the pain subsides. What a God send…I used to down 3 ibuprofen, stretch out on the floor, and painfully wait 30 minutes for the meds to kick in. The oils work much faster! I can usually get the pain to go away after 1 or 2 applications. I do a third application for good measure and I’m on my way.
  • Cleansing: (when I need to switch things up with my grapefruit oil) 2 drops in my water a day will help do the trick at keeping my body toxin free.
  • Helping my students focus: During testing or on days when I feel like I’m talking to brick walls all day long, a couple drops of Wild Orange and a couple of drops of Peppermint in the diffuser can make things perk up a bit. It helps me feel more positive and in a better mood (thus increasing my patience level) and helps the kids focus better in order to get their work done.

What else can doTERRA’s Wild Orange be used for:

  • Anxiety
  • Jaundice
  • Diarrhea
  • Disinfecting
  • Cholesterol Health (helps to lower cholesterol)
  • Increasing circulation
  • Nervousness
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Acid Reflux
  • And the list goes on and on ;)

As you can see this is an oil that has SO many uses. We don’t go without it in our house! What’s your favorite use for Wild Orange Oil? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Maybe what you’re using it for can help some one else…

Never tried this amazing oil before? Message us and we’d love to send you a sample or talk to you about how you can get this and many other essential oils into your hands.

May you all have a Wild Orange kind of day!!

Ginny

Posted in Essential Oil, Ginny's Journal, Herb and EO Journal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Cheese-tastic Broccoli Cheese Soup

broccsoup1One of my favorite easy, go to, comfort food recipes is this one for broccoli cheese soup. Not for the lactose intolerant! This is one of those eye raising, tummy rumblers that may have you eating tons but doing extra sit ups in the gym… if your into that sort of thing. The best time for it would have to be the fall when your still getting broccoli out of your garden fresh, things are starting to cool down and your glum from saying goodbye to summer. Keep in mind I have two hungry little boys and a husband who would gladly bathe in this soup, so a lot is necessary. This is easy to cut in half.

broccsoup2

The roux

2-3 heads of Broccoli (depending on your love for broccoli)
1 large onion (or more depending on your love for onion)
Chicken bouillon (3 or 4 cubes or teaspoons)
1 cup butter
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon dry mustard
4 cups milk
4 cups water reserved after steaming your veggies
Salt and pepper to taste

broccsoup3Steam your broccoli and onion for a few minutes, my original recipe says until crunchy… whatever that means. Usually I go for 5 minuets, but that would be up to you. The more you steam the less nutritional value your veggies will have. When all is steamed, drain but reserve the liquid. If there is enough for 4 cups, no worries…but if there isn’t enough add some until you have all the water required by the recipe. Add the chicken bouillon and dissolve. While things are dissolving, melt your butter in a large pot. I love to have reasons to use my cute dutch oven, so that’s what I use. When the butter is all melted, add your flour and dry mustard. Whisk until combined. When the mixture is nice and bubbly add your milk all at once. Whisk some more. When your sauce has thickened considerably add your veggie/chicken bouillon broth and stir it all up. Add your cheese then when it all melts throw in your veggies and stir. DONE!

This is really tasty with some homemade buttered bread and if your going to blow your diet with the soup, you might as well add insult to injury with something to dip in it!
Chrissy*

Posted in Growing Dinner, Home Recipes, Idaho Grown, Real Food, Sisters Grown or Hunted, Veggies | Leave a comment

Grandma’s Dill Pickles

pickles 2Ever tasted a homemade dill pickle? If not, BOY are you missing out. We like store bought pickles in our house, but we LOVE homemade pickles! No lie…a jar of Grandma’s pickles will only last about a week in our fridge; where the store bought jars could be in there a month or two (they really just don’t taste near as good).

I canned my very own batch of pickles for the first time about 5 months ago. They’ve been slowly fermenting in my pantry, staring me in the face. I dare not open them just yet…I want to wait until their flavor is juuuuuussst right! I can’t get my mind off those jars…so I thought I’d write about how I made them instead. :)

My grandma is the #1 expert on canning foods! She knows her stuff. Over 70 years of age, Grandma is a very active member of her community. She volunteers in church activities all the time, goes to exercise classes, takes care of her neighbors, raises 1-2 beef cows a year, and still finds time to plant and care for an immaculate garden every summer. I hope I’m that sassy and spunky when I’m her age!!

Grandma says the key to the best pickles you’ve ever tasted is time. The longer they sit in those jars, the better they will taste. So…I’m leavin mine sit awhile longer. We’ll see how long I make it before I snap. ;)

Grandma doesn’t consider this an old family recipe. It’s very easy and very quick. I had my pickles fully canned in WAY under an hour.

Before you start you’ll want to:

1. Get your water bath on to boil…it takes forever!

2. Soak your cucumbers in ice water for 20-30 minutes…I hear this helps them have a nice crunch.pickles 1

What you’ll need:

  • 4-5 quart jars
  • garlic cloves (one for each jar)
  • 4-5 heads of fresh dill
  • 1 quart vinegar
  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Oh and cucumbers of course

*optional: If you’d like to make Grandma’s Spicy Dill’s throw in a dried hot chili pepper (the red ones).

I put all my spices in my jars first, a head of dill and a clove of garlic for each jar. If you’re making spicy, throw in a hot pepper for each jar as well.

Place your cucumbers in the jars. Fit in as many as you can, but don’t cram them in there. If they are bigguns, cut them in half lengthwise or turn them into “hamburger chips.”

In a seperate container combine the water, vinegar, and salt. Stir until all the salt is dissolved. Pour into your jars, leaving at least half an inch at the top. Make sure all of your cucumbers and spices are covered by the liquid. Wipe down your jars with a damp cloth.

Heat up the lids for your jars in boiling water for about 5 minutes. This will make the rubbery band on the inside expand nicely; which eventually will ensure that your jars will seal nicely. Remove from the water and place on the jars. Screw on the ring caps…nice and tight.

Place the jars in your water bath. Make sure the water covers the jars completely. Let those puppies bathe for 5 minutes. Pull them out. Then let them cool and seal on the counter. Make sure you hear each one of them seal. Annnnd you’re done!

Store them in a cool dry place for at least 6 months (shake them if you think about it) for optimal flavor.

See…quick and easy!

Ginny

 

Posted in Being Self Sufficient, Fun Recipes, Home Recipes, Idaho Grown, Kids Food, Real Food, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Running with your dogs

dollandharlFor those of you who are wondering what happened to the “Keeping it Chrissy” series this is it. There is just shockingly little by way of information about jogging with dogs. I titled this post thus so that people could find it easier. ;)

I’m a dog lover. My dogs are a part of my family and I treat them like I would treat my kids. I have done one previous post about my dogs find it here.  I have Dollie, a Lab/German Shepherd mix and Harley a Rottweiler/Bull Mastiff mix. These girls are my running mates. I wont leave home without them.

imageFirst things first, when your looking for a running mate you need to pick a dog breed that will suit your purposes. Take into account the lengths/speed of your runs and also your areas terrain/climate. An English bulldog (who is undeniable in cuteness) or a pug would probably never make a good running partner. They have a hard time breathing as it is and their legs are pretty short to be carrying around their stocky body for too long. Your jogging time would be a good nap time for them. If your somebody who has done a lot of jogging and puts in a medium amount of miles during the week you should look to labs or retrievers. Any of the “working” dog breeds will be great here. If your a marathon runner, lean dogs like Weimaraners and German Shorthaired  Pointers would be best. While living in a cold area, I, myself, would also consider Huskies, Malamutes and German Shepherds to partner with. However, when it came to be summer time it would take some serious contemplation before taking them out (probably at 4am :-X). I’m summarizing here. Generally, you can find a dog breed for all jogging types. This link is a good place to start.

Keep in mind also that pure breed dogs aren’t the only dogs to jog with. Mixed breed dogs often take the best traits from the respective parents and make awesome companions. For instance, you wouldn’t think that the stocky Rottweiler breed paired with a monster bull mastiff would be an ideal running dog. My gal Harley can go for 6 miles at a 10 minute mile pace and still have enough energy to voraciously hunt for ground squirrels when we are done. She’s smaller than we anticipated at 90 pounds (Her mom was 115 pounds and dad was 125) and she was born to run. When in doubt, always ask your vet. You should consult with them before starting your dog on any exercise regimen. Be specific when you tell them what your plans are. Don’t just say “I’m going to start taking my dog running” Tell the vet how far and how fast you typically go. They’ll let you know if they don’t think your pooch can do it.

imageBoth my girls rode in the stroller when they were pups and loved it. You should never take your dog with you until they are finished growing. Doing this will ensure that you don’t stress their fragile bones and work their growing joints uneccisarrily. PS…they make strollers for dogs if you really want to include them in your activities before they are grown. However, you run the risk of them becoming attached to the idea that riding is better than running.  :D

I don’t have even the slightest urge to teach my dogs to shake, sit or roll over. They will fetch if they feel like it. The girls have their own personalities and tempraments and I have no urge to curb those and own the most well behaved dogs ever. I don’t own my dogs, my dogs are apart of my family. However, much like my kids, I expect my dogs to recognize running as something that is for ME and they will do it my way when we are on the road. Other than that they can do what ever they want (within reason).

dollabillI hate the very idea of chains. I wouldn’t do that to one of my kids and I don’t want to do it to my dog either! When we run I do keep my ladies on leashes though, thats the only time I keep them tethered. I don’t do this to appear as a respectable dog owner who follows the rules of society. I do it for my girls. Keeping them on the leash ensures that they will have enough energy to go the distance and not be completly spent at the end. They are VERY well trained and neither pulls on their leash the moment it clips on. They rarely go further than my stride will. The exception to this is if there is another dog in close proximity. They will guard me if they feel they have to, but we generally know the offender and I will shoo them away.

Training Dollie, (who is older) was no easy feat. Honestly, getting her to run on pace was almost impossible when we were alone. What eventually broke her of running on the end of her leash was the infamous triple stroller. She found out awefully quick that if she was willing to pull I was more than happy to put her in a harness and attach the leash to the stroller and let her pull all the kids while I ran close behind steering when I had too. After a couple months she let the slack come into her leash and was plumb pleased to let me go back to pushing on my own… much to my dismay. We ran like that for a couple years and she has been great ever since.

Harley, was a quick study and mirrored Doll when we started taking her with us. She did need the occasional reminders (Thank you squirrels) but I would “tsssk” her and gently pull back her leash. Now they both run with slack in their leashes keeping close to my knees, happy to be out and about. All I have to do is reach for my running shoes and they are waiting none so patiently by the door to be fitted with harnesses and leashes.

doghairPlease make sure and hydrate your dog  well before you take them out. In the summer brush them well to keep off excess coat and keep them cool. I try to brush my girls every two weeks with a FURminator. This removes all the loose coat and reduces shedding quite a bit…our house is never without dog hair. Don’t take them out if its too hot. If its too hot for my dogs, its too hot for me. I would never run without my dogs.

If you live in the boon-toolies like I do keep in mind that your dogs will not protect you from wolves. If anything your dogs will draw wolves to you. You may have to leave your dogs to protect yourself. Don’t buy the leashes that clip onto belts. Make sure you can let go of your dogs without a moments notice. Run with a pistol if you can’t stand the thought of leaving your dogs to the wolves.

winterroadRunning with your dogs is an excellent way to protect yourself from predators of the two legged variety. I don’t run with my girls for protection, even though they would eat somebody’s face off without thinking twice if some kind of threat presented itself. Run with your dogs for them. If you have a high energy dog (lets face it here… any dog that weighs over 30-40 pounds has too much energy for one house) take them out and get them some exercise. At least a little everyday. My girls run 3-6 miles twice a week and thats still not enough! Obesity is an epidemic in the dog world just as much as it is in the human world. If your dog sits in the house all day or on the end of a chain don’t be surprised if it doesn’t start to get supremely annoying or begin to show signs of aggression. Dogs weren’t meant to be cooped up they were meant to run.

If you live in my area and would like your dog to be trained for running or just need to get them some extra exercise, let me know! We always like extra company.

frozenftownWell…sadly, that wraps up everything I wanted to say in the Mini Series that turned into the “World Series” of blogging… plus one. This whole thing has been so much fun to do. I’m going to miss it! It was pretty time consuming though so I’m ready. Thank you all for your “shares” and “likes” and humbling comments. I never thought that I would see anything come of this and it has been truly amazing to get so many compliments on something that was emotionally terrifying to write. This series (and this blog) is proof that putting yourself out there has its benefits!

THANK YOU ALL! <3

Chrissy*

Posted in Keeping it Chrissy Mini Series, Stuff we do, Uncategorized | Leave a comment