Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I know I said that I had an interview, but I don't think I ever said that I got the job. I'm very excited too. I have great classes and good kids. Even if they are freshmen :) We've had a few glitches, but things are going pretty smooth. Although, a few kids and parents freaked out at the idea of moving and they aren't in my class anymore. I guess some people just don't deal well with change. But, I decided to use what one of my new students said yesterday as today's blog.

No More Pity Parties!

This young lady explained that she would get in trouble in my class because she is unhappy because none of her friends got switched with her. I responded by saying that "life is what you make of it and we should always try to make the best of our situation." I'm sure she didn't listen, but I tried. This is a very nice young lady in a small class with several interesting people. As far as I've seen, nobody is rude or condescending. She just doesn't know them.

So, she can continue to feel sorry for herself or she can see the opportunity to meet new friends and have new experiences. She can choose to make herself happy or she can not. It really is her choice. I know we all have those choices to make too. We can take a situation we may not be thrilled with and feel sorry for ourselves or we can flip our thinking and do what we need to be happy.

What do you think? Do you have any experiences that you'd like to share? If so, leave me a comment about how you've flipped your thinking.

Also visit www.flipyourthinking.com for more information and ideas.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I don't make my own conditioner, YET! I hope to someday, but I'm trying to learn patience. I don't need to know everything now or do everything now.

Instead, I buy unscented conditioner and scent it myself. I bought the Whole Foods 365 brand. I like it. It gets the job done, wasn't too expensive, and is free of all those things I'm trying to avoid. I pour some into a 2oz bottle, add whatever essential oils I want and use that for about a week or two. Then, I clean my bottle and make some more. This way I don't have too much if I make something icky and I don't get bored.

Last time I made some, I made orange dreamsicle. OH MY SQUASH!!! It is amazing. It wakes me up in the morning and really gets me going. Its not too sweet and it really doesn't make me hungry either. I love it!!!

I added about 5 drops each of sweet orange essential oil and vanilla essential oil. I'm really thinking that I might make that my next lotion scent. I'll probably experiment with that next weekend, not sooner because I need some more emulsifying wax :( I used the last making a friend some face lotion.

I got the 5th dark vanilla from Texas Natural Supply and it is soooo good, if you are interested.


No More Shoulds; FL!P: I AM AT CHOICE

I cannot even count the number of things I should have done. How many times has "oh yeah, I really should have done..." come out of my mouth? Probably more than anything else has. I should have done ___________ sooner, I should have called _________, I should ___________ more often, good grief, I could go on forever.

I can make myself sick thinking about all the things I should have done. But, doing that only holds me back. The past is gone and I can't change it. Shoulds won't fix what I didn't do. Its time to move on and focus on the what's in front of me.

I have choices to make, now. I have opportunities, now. I have my future, NOW. No more looking back, except to learn from my mistakes (and my successes, let's not forget those). I am at choice!

And I choose to be successful. I choose to make things happen for myself. I choose happiness. I choose my own future. You go out and do that for yourself too!

Find more at http://www.flipyourthinking.com/. How can it help you move forward?


I know most of us say this as a 4 letter word and envision grueling hours of torture. However, exercise does not have to be you in a gym killing your self on the treadmill. Exercise should be fun. Take the dog for a brisk walk (or longer hike), ride a bike, dance while doing housework, or go bowling. I don't have kids, but I've heard that chasing you kid(s) around can be tough exercise too. I have a friend who's 4 year old had her skipping around for almost an hour, she could barely walk the next day!

The point is getting up and getting moving gets our blood flowing and gets us sweating. Our skin is also used to eliminate toxins from our body. Sweating aids in the elimination of these toxins. Plus, your skin will positively glow. You will also feel better and have more energy overall.

Try to get in about 30 minutes a day. You really will see and feel the difference.

Temple Tamer

I made this to take to work with me and I love it! So, I thought I'd share it with everyone else.

Long hours in front of the computer give you that tense, tight-in-the-shoulders feeling? Holiday crowds (or maybe your outlaws) give you a headache? Wrap it up with some temple taming aromatherapy-on-the-go. Now, you can have "zen" whenever you need it!

You will need:

2 oz Jojoba Oil, Clear - Organic

1.25 ml Lavender, Bulgarian Essential Oil

1.25 ml Peppermint Essential Oil

Roll-On Bottles

Combine all ingredients and package in roll-on bottles. Toss in your purse or bag for on-the-go aromatherapy!

To Use: Roll onto temples or base of neck in a circular motion. Avoid eye area. Discontinue use immediately if any irritation occurs.

FYI: Peppermint provides a cooling sensation, while Lavender is known for its calming properties.

Source: http://bathbodysupply.blogspot.com/2008/12/recipe-temple-tamer.html
Allison B. Kontur

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eating Well

My mom used to tell me "you are what you eat" and this is very true. While we know that an occasional chocolate bar isn't going to make your face breakout, but a continuous low-nutrition diet can lead to many problems. When our body receives the nourishment that it needs we look better and feel better.

I know how true this is for me. We have done a good job at home about making good choices and eating well. We've had one of those microwave cakes for about 3 weeks and haven't eaten it. We usually choose low fat popcorn instead. I usually feel and look good. I know my skin feels good and I have more energy throughout the day. However, we occasionally have those hectic weeks and nobody has time to cook. I never feel or look as good. I know I blame it on the stress, but it really isn't. I need to eat better.

So, pay attention to what you put in your body. High sugar or high fat foods should be kept to a minimum. Strive for a balanced diet of fresh and minimally processed foods.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All About Attitude

Ok, this isn't officially a Fl!p Your Thinking post, but it does tie in. I've been working really hard on changing my attitude and how I look at certain situations. I'm generally a positive person, but it is easy to get sucked in to a negative way of looking at things. But, I've been discovering that how we view certain situations and our outlook on life has a lot more to do with our happiness than actual events.

So, I interviewed for a position with a local high school a couple weeks ago and while the principal was trying to be nice when he explained why I wasn't chosen, the words used were pretty damaging to my self esteem. Even trying really hard to look at it in a positive light, it hurt. So, this school had another position open up and I figured I'd try again.

I had my interview today and the schedule would be all integrated freshman level classes. No diversity in the schedule and no higher level classes. Wow, that kinda sucks. I love ecology, biology, a&p, chemistry, all of which I was initially turned down for. So, if I get this job I'm looking at an entire year of only one course with a very simplified curriculum because its an intro course. Hmmm, the words mind numbing come to mind. So, I start thinking I don't know if I want this job, but I'm kinda out of options at this point. I need a job and I need another source of income, cause subbing isn't cutting it.

BUT! When I stop to think about it, that's how I felt starting my first year teaching with mostly Integrated Physics and Chemistry, just a simple intro to both subjects and I only had one bio class where they stuck all the rejects into one class. I was so upset! In the end I put a lot of work into both classes and some things worked and some didn't, but I LOVED my IPC class more than the bio (which is what I really wanted to teach). We had so much fun doing silly experiments and fun projects. I was actually disappointed when I didn't get to teach IPC the next year. I took a class I was dreading teaching and I made it fun for my students. So, I ended up having fun too.

So, if I can change my attitude about this potential job, I might see the possibilities. Ok, its not the original schedule I interviewed for (and was shot down for), but its not so bad either. I have lots of ideas and activities for the subjects I would introduce in the course and it would be fun for the students. I would be teaching only freshmen, but its a lot of fun to watch them develop over their first year in high school.

I haven't gotten the job and don't know if I will (although I got a very comprehensive tour of the school, so that has to be good), but I have a better attitude about it than I did before. I can see the potential for this class. I would get to teach multiple subjects in one course. I already have a number of projects for them to do. Plus,we only grow and learn when we experience something new and this is a course I haven't yet taught.

See, all about attitude!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Soap

I just made some pumpkin soap and it smells amazing! It really smells like fresh pumpkin pie. I'm not really a fan of pumpkin pie, its something about the texture, but I love the smell. I attempted to swirl it with three colors using the funnel method that I saw at Lomond Soap. Mine didn't work quite as well as I'd wanted, but for the first try it wasn't bad. I think next time I make sure they stay at a thinner trace, but I just didn't move fast enough.

I swirled with three colors, yellow, orange, and brown. I was going for a fall theme. I made a 3 lb batch and separated it into three portions. I used 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice to make brown, I started to add more and I'm glad I didn't, it did get darker as it cured. I added 2 tbsp of pumpkin puree to make the orange, it was very light, but it too darkened (be sure to take out some water to make up for this). I didn't do anything for the yellow, since soap tends to have a creamy light yellow color anyway. I scented it with orange, clove, and cinnamon essential oils.

I also decided to make this a goat's milk soap, which worked out well, I've only done milk soaps with hot-process. I am happy to say I didn't scald the milk. I used goat's milk powder and mixed it with half the water and put it in the freezer to make a slushie. I mixed the other half of the water with the lye and let it cool to about 80 deg. Then, I slowly drizzled the slushie milk into the lye mix. It worked out well, it did heat up a little, but the icy milk kept it low. The temp actually stayed around 80.

I used coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, canola, and a little hemp. I've used the same recipe before and I really like the consistency of the soap. I let it cure and I cut it a few days ago. It was very moist and the paper bags are soaked. I'm not sure what happened, I cut back the water for the pumpkin and the milk. There also seems to be a little excess oil sweating out. It smells and looks wonderful, so I guess I'll wait and see what happens. I can say though, my work room smells so good!

Friday, September 4, 2009

PLA-Corn Based Palstics

I'm on the fence about corn-based plastics. When I first heard of them I thought "Finally, a plastic that is safe to use." But, after further research, there are problems with PLA and some convincing arguments for and against it.

To me the biggest plus was that it was biodegradable and compostable. Here's the catch, it is not biodegradable in landfills because in that environment really nothing decomposes well. Plus, when it does decompose in an anaerobic environment such as a landfill, it produces methane. So, corn based trash bags or cups going into landfills is not really better for the landfill, it still takes up precious space. Additionally, these plastics are not compostable in home bins, only large industrial facilities. I agree that its better than nothing, but finding access to an industrial facility is not really possible for home consumers.

PLA will not emit toxic fumes or leech chemicals into food or soil. I think that's a plus and I don't really see a negative side to that.

PLA is produced using a renewable resource and PET is produced using petroleum. I think it is great that we are looking for alternatives to petroleum, but not all alternatives are better for the environment (palm oil anyone?) I think it is important to look for ecologically sound alternatives to petroleum, but I think it is more important for us to start looking for ways to reduce our waste, not just waste renewable products. Stop and take an inventory of your day. How many times in one day do we use something once and throw it away: frozen dinners, fast food, morning coffee stop, and so many others. Waste is waste.

I am truly excited about the possibilities of these plastics, but I also think that we need to stop and take a look at how we use plastic and how we waste it. There are plenty of products that should be stored in plastic (a glass shampoo bottle just seems like an emergency room visit waiting to happen) and this is a great alternative. However, we need to move towards recycling and composting all of those products containers when we are finished. Its so easy to just dump it in the trash and not have a second thought, but a renewable plastic does not make it any less wasteful.

For more information visit:

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drink Plenty of Water

Beautiful, healthy skin comes from proper skin care and since our skin is what the whole world sees, its important to take care of our skin. Its also important to take care of all of our skin, not just our face. So, here are a few easy steps to keep your skin glowing.

STEP 1- Drink Plenty of Water! We've all heard it many times, but water really is life. Water helps eliminate toxins from you body, keep your cells hydrated, and will help keep your skin from drying out. 8-10 glasses of water are recommended to keep you looking and feeling your best. If you don't like it plain, try adding a squeeze of lemon or orange. I add mint to mine in the summer for extra refreshment. Keep in mind that there really isn't a magic number to how much water we need, but slight dehydration for me has often led to headaches, breakouts, and dry skin patches.

Keep reading for more skin care tips and ideas!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Honey Girl

I found this at http://malamanahonu.org/meetHonu.asp and wanted to share it. I love turtles (duh!) and the thought of someone doing this is horrible. I don't understand why anyone would want to hurt anything else, especially something so defenseless. I think it shows us just how important it is to educate people and to work to save animals that we share the earth with.

Name: HONEY GIRL honu picture
Hawaiian name: HONE U'I

Markings: PIT # 502E4C2703

Honey Girl, approximately 35-40 years old, began regularly hauling out onto the North Shore beach in 2005. As the largest adult female turtle of our Laniakea Ohana (family), Honey Girl weighed approximately 250 pounds and was 94.5 cm long ( Straight Carapace Length) . Before coming to Laniakea, L-20 was known to the marine scientists on East Island in the French Frigate Shoals, the largest atoll in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. In 2000 she had migrated 500 miles from Oahu to East Island to mate and nest. While there, the researchers implanted a microchip, the size of a grain of rice, into her left hind flipper. This PIT ( Passive Integrated Transponder) allowed the scientists to identify her throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago , as she migrated from the foraging areas of the Main Hawaiian Islands to the nesting beaches of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, Honey Girl was also known by her Hawaiian name of "Hone U'i", because of her exquisite honey amber shell, and L-20, as she was the twentieth turtle to repeatedly come ashore at Laniakea to bask. Data collected by the dedicated Malama na Honu volunteer Honu Guardians reveals that Honey Girl basked on the beach 11% of each year at Laniakea Beach. On July 19, 2008 Honey Girl was discovered slaughtered at Laniakea Beach. She had been buried in the sand upside down, with a flipper and breast plate maliciously removed. The evening before, this innocent, defenseless turtle had been basking under the full moon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


I lost my job teaching due to budget cuts and with so many teachers looking for jobs, I didn't find another job teaching. So, I decided to sub in the district I was in last year. I got my first sub job for yesterday and today in a SPED class at the high school I was in last year.

I had a good two days. The kids were well behaved and polite and hard working. What more could a teacher ask for? Plus, several were very excited to see me because they were in my Earth Science class last year, science is the only class that students are completely integrated into and not pulled out for any reason (at that school). It was nice to see them again too, its amazing how much they grow over a summer, even in high school.

When I signed up to sub I was asked if I minded working with SPED students and I said I didn't mind at all. The woman in charge of subs sighed and said most people didn't want to work with them. I really don't understand why. There are of course severe SPED students, but we are usually only asked to work in rooms with mild to moderate students. This means that they are slow learners, learning disabled, and/or further behind than most high school students. There is nothing scary about these kids!

I will say it takes a special, patient person to work in a SPED department because there are so many things they have to do for their kids that regular ed teachers don't. To all those wonderful people, I would say thank you for the job you do.