Thursday, April 29, 2010

Busy Friday

Technically Soap Conference 10 started today with registration and vendors opening, but I was planning on going tomorrow morning to sign in. Then, I could go to the classes and the networking lunch and I could stroll around to see all the vendors.

However, this will not be happening. I am hoping to get there by noon, but I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow morning with a perinatal doctor. During our last ultrasound our doctor noticed a few things that she wanted a more in-depth picture of our little guy for. First, they couldn't get a look at the skin along his back because he wouldn't roll over (scary thought). Second, his nuchal fold was too thick which could indicate down's syndrome (more worrisome due to health problems and shortened life span). Last, they couldn't get a look at all 4 chambers of his heart (panic!!!).

I'm sure he will be ok, but it is very hard to try not to worry. I know I'll have enough reasons to worry for the rest of my life, but couldn't they through fewer things at you at once. Well, I'm being optimistic that everything will be ok and that right after my appointment, I'll be heading up to Denver to enjoy a weekend of great lessons and meeting great people!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ick, Ack, Yuck!

Today I had to do the gestational diabetes test. You drink a small bottle of liquid that is SUPER sweet and in my case orange flavored. It was absolutely awful, it was like going back to childhood when Mom would force me to take my medicine! Plus, you have to drink it as fast as possible, without making yourself sick. You could chug it, just to get it over with; however, I'm sure this would make anyone sick enough not to keep it down and it tastes so bad that it really isn't possible to do that. What I ended up doing was drinking as much as I could until I gagged, then repeat until empty. Did I mention ICK!?

Then, I waited my hour so that they could draw my blood. I'm convinced that it really isn't about your glucose tolerance. The whole test is to see if you can drink that little bottle without getting sick, without getting the jitters from all the sweet, and then can you manage to get stuck with a needle while they take your blood. If you do all that you pass!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Light Hair Rinse

It is important for everyone to use a weekly hair rinse to keep your scalp clean and there are plenty of options for this. Herbal rinses are a great way to keep your scalp clean and your hair looking its best without expensive salon treatments. If you have light hair, consider making the following:

  • 1 tbsp calendula petals
  • 1 tbsp chamomile flower (tea bags can be substituted)
  • 1 lemon rind
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp organic apple cider vinegar
  • Optional: 1 drop lemongrass essential oil, 1 drop grapefruit eo, 1 drop lime eo
To Make:
  • Steep herbs and rind in water for 1-3 hrs.
  • Let cool and add vinegar and essential oils (if desired)
To Use:
  • Hold head over bowl and pour warm (because cold is miserable) mixture over hair, catching the runoff in the bowl.
  • Massage rinse into scalp and repeat several times. Be sure your scalp and hair is soaked.
  • Rinse with warm water. You don't have to shampoo after, the vinegar smell fades when your hair is dry.

Friday, April 23, 2010

One Day Late Earth Day Info

I didn't get this done yesterday because we decided to go to Target to get our registry started there and then we went to pick up our little foster kitty who was neutered yesterday. Really, I should have made the time, but I'm just so excited, now that we know we are having a boy we can start really getting ready!

So, here are some of my fun facts for you:
  • Biodegradable products are not really biodegradable in a landfill due to the lack of dirt, oxygen, and the little microbes needed to break stuff down.
  • Glass bottles take longer to break down in a landfill than plastic bottles.
  • Recycling aluminum cans takes less energy than producing new ones from scratch.
  • 14 billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean every year (we have all heard of those giant garbage floats, haven't we).
  • 84% of household trash can be recycled.
  • At my school, if every student uses one tray, fork, knife, and cup each day and then puts them in the trash, we will produce 60 pounds of waste each week. This does not include food, paper, or any snacks that the kids bring.
Some of the things we do in my home:
  • Buy recycled whenever possible.
  • Stay away from individually packaged snacks as much as possible.
  • Avoid disposable products as much as possible (yes, this includes our baby registry; my stepmom thinks I'm nuts for wanting to use cloth diapers).
  • Use powerstrips for electronics that can then be turned off.
  • Recycle as much as we can and I love the fact that our trash service picks it all up in one container.
  • I reuse boxes and packaging for shipping purposes.
This is a short list, but it is just a few ideas. What do you do at your house to help make every day Earth Day?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Camp Work Weekend

We just finished another fun-filled work weekend at Camp Monakiwa! The roads were muddy going up Friday night and by 8 when I was driving up, ridiculously slick and sticky. I got stuck within sight of the gate (but I did manage to get up after much patience) of course the two that came after me got stuck too, so I don't feel bad.

We all stayed up entirely too late on Friday and woke up later on Saturday than we usually do. It was rainy and cold, so we needed an indoor job. We all agreed to start pulling up chipped tile in the lodge to replace it and make it look nicer. Then, someone, who shall remain nameless, suggested we pull up all the tile between the two front doors to the back of the lodge. I agree it will look much nicer when finished, but WHY did we think that was a good idea. We spent all day Saturday beating crowbars and chisels with hammers to get the old (1984) tile up. Asbestos anyone? We got most of it finished and left nothing but the sticky black tar-like glue and who knows how many years of dirt. The plan is to finish that, level the floor, and lay new tile for the next work weekend.

We went to bed earlier Saturday night and woke to sunshine on Sunday (thank goodness for us). Other than Ed's busted break line (not really important) and Tara's missing wedding rings (very important) leaving Sunday went pretty smooth. Don't worry Ed's break lines were kinda fixed and Tara's rings found. We even got to enjoy a delicious lunch and the Smiling Faces Restaurant with creepy statues staring at us.

It was good to see everyone and we hope more will join us Memorial Weekend for more adventures!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Helping Yourself

Today, I had a student ask me for help on their work. So, I asked him to read the question. Then I asked him what the question was asking. I then asked him what equation he would need and he said he didn't know. So I asked him where he could find it and told him to look it up. He got really upset with me because I wouldn't just tell him, I was actually going to make him look. Once, he found the information, he still wanted me to tell him what to do. It wasn't that he couldn't figure it out, he just didn't want to have to think about it himself, he wanted to simply be told what to do.

Here was my question to him: How does me giving you the answer help you learn? He didn't have an answer to that.

Now there are times, when giving the answer or a hint will help the person. Sometimes we just need to be pointed in the right direction or learn from those who came before us. However, I believe that in many situations, looking for the answer on our own helps us more than being told. We remember the things we do better than the things we are told.

I think its is important for us to learn to help ourselves by trying.

If trying by ourselves will cause loss of money, productivity, limbs, or life, please ask for help and gather all necessary information first :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Eczema Soak

If you suffer from eczema or if you have a little one that does, it is important to take care of the skin to help heal it. One of the best ways to help soothe the eczema and heal the skin is soaking it in a luke warm bath with a few additives. It is very important to use warm water and not hot. Hot water will dry skin out even more, which can aggravate eczema, not heal it.

You need:
  • 1-2 cups oatmeal, finely ground in a food processor or blender.
  • 1-2 buttermilk or buttermilk powder (omit if there is an allergy to milk). Do not use nonfat milk, the fat helps to moisturize skin.
  • 4 drops lavender essential oil
Mix ingredient together and pour in bath under running water. The amounts of the oatmeal and buttermilk are up to you, I like a little more in my bath. Do not add more essential oil. Soak in the tub for 10-15 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry. Add a GENTLE moisturizer, look for one without any fragrance, mineral oil, or alcohol. I usually go to a organic food market and pick up a calendula cream.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Housework Day!!!

We all know that April is well known for wonderful holidays like April Fool's Day (does anyone actually enjoy this) and Easter (which is really not all about eggs and bunnies). However, Easter aside, I think April 7th should be celebrated as the best day in April!

April 7th is...NO HOUSEWORK DAY. Most of us spend too much time worrying about what the house looks like. How many times have you put off something else, like a walk in the fresh air, to clean? I believe that a clean house is important, but we should not spend so much time cleaning or worrying about the state of the house that we forget to enjoy ourselves and the company of others. So, don't do any chores today. Just enjoy yourself.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Money Saving Idea

I cannot take credit for this idea, I got it off of another blog, but I LOVE it. I am going to start doing this myself.

I'm sure you've heard of the Keep the Change program that was offered by a bank that shall remain nameless here. I wanted to open an account with them, but they don't have them in CO, so it didn't happen. I never stopped to think about the fact that I could do it myself. The idea is that every time you make a purchase, you round the total up to the next whole dollar and the change adds up for you to save. The person who originally submitted the idea said she does this on her checkbook register in two different columns to keep her running total.

I don't keep a paper copy of my register (I like to save paper where I can) and I do mine on my computer. Here is what I am planning on doing. When I enter a purchase, I will round up my charge to the next dollar amount and that is what I will enter in my computer program. The next part you can do two ways: First, keep a running total of the difference between what you entered and the actual amount on paper. Second, keep a running total in Excel. I think I will do the second because I don't like having pieces of paper to keep up with. Then, at the end of the month (or every few months) take out the leftover change and put it into savings. You can save the change up for a special treat to yourself, pay extra on a credit card, or whatever you would like.

I do plenty of other things to try and stay ahead. For example, I take money out as soon as I get paid to save, I have money taken out automatically for my IRA, I clip coupons, and I do lots of things around the house to cut down on energy bills, but I love this idea too. So, it is just one more thing to do to keep me from living paycheck to paycheck and that is the whole point.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sunflower Seed Oil

I bet you can't guess where this one comes from! Ok, I know you can, its just been that kind of day.

I love sunflower seed oil and I originally started using it in some of my lotions and to make massage oils as wedding gifts because it is so light. Which really makes it wonderful regardless of anything else, but sunflower oil is also great for other reasons.
  1. Contains linoleic acid, which helps to retain moisture and create that barrier that is so essential for your skin to function properly.
  2. Essential fatty acids may also help heal damaged skin.
  3. Is an emollient and stable in soap!
See, I told you it is amazing. Sunflower oil is good for most skin types and is high in vitamin e (antioxidant, anyone?). Another huge bonus: it is fairly inexpensive compared to other similar oils and can be the main oil in any skin care products. I even made a baby massage oil for a friend using this oil and she loved it! So, next time you read the ingredients and you see Helianthus annus, you know exactly what you are getting and why it is so good for your skin!