Monday, November 30, 2015

What I am Getting Myself for Christmas

Chris and I decided not to get each other Christmas gifts.

So of course I would just happen to find the coolest thing on the blog Modern Mrs. Darcy.

book nerd round engraved charm necklace

I bought just the stainless steel charm since I already had a sterling silver chain.  I can't wait to get it. Chris will probably just roll his eyes!

Go the Etsy store here.

Friday, November 20, 2015

6 Months In & How Its Going

Today officially marks 6 months at our new house and community.  Half a year.

Chris' work said "well, you made it to 6 months.  Typically if you can make it to 6-9  months, you retire here."  Which was both a weird statement, and a little bit frightening when you look at just what that means.

Overall, it's gone pretty well.  I miss my friends and church like crazy.  I have 2 girls that I am slowly getting to know, and would introduce them as friends, but they are still the type of friends that you don't tell all the juicy stuff to.  Because you just don't "know them well enough yet".

I've lost 5 pounds, gained 10 pounds and lost 5 lbs, which puts me right back where I started.

I've read 48 books.

I've locked myself several times in my closet with a glass of wine and Friends on Netflix.

I have not gone through depression, which is nice.  That's not to say that I haven't felt depressed, but it isn't something that has grabbed a hold of me and ruled my life.  That I am very thankful for.

We've started trying different churches again.  This part sucks.  We thought we'd be settled with this, and were for about 4 months.  Awesome pastors, but just not the right fit for us.

We've done some stuff in the house, with plans for more but it just takes time.

And we finally, finally got on a budget and are sticking to it, just in time for Christmas to come into the picture and blow it out the window.

So yes, we are still happy with our decision, grateful for our beautiful home and land, and reminding ourselves that the amazing community we had built up for the last 12 years takes time to build again.

We're getting there.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Seasonal Affective Disorder Tincture

It is well known that if you A. live in the North and B. experience long, dark, cold winters, then you are familiar with Seasonal Affective Disorder, better known as SAD.

This weekend is the end of Daylight Savings. It doesn't have to mean another season of the blues.  View last years message on Overcoming Holiday Blues entitled "Christmas Shoes"  It is my testimony of being healed from holiday depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.) To find more videos and encouragement view the website @ #SAD, #TBCLI, #holidayblues, #daylightsavings, #DST,:

Blog post for 2/13/14-Jersey girl dealing with her customary attitude with Seasonal Affective Disorder in the middle of the biggest Nor'easter of the year....:

Here is a link to the Mayo Clinics page on SAD.

Last year I made a tincture for SAD, and Chris swears up and down that it worked.  Mostly because he said and I quote him "we had a lot of things to be upset and feeling bummed about but it didn't happen".

Most of those things were in reference to the fact that we had sent out a bunch of resumes to New Zealand and other states in the US and hadn't heard a thing from any of them, our kids tried to all kill each other in the fall, and we were stressed about putting the house up on the market.

We've just started taking it again and I have a new batch in the windowsill mixing up all nice.  The recipe I used is from Rosemary Gladstar, kind of the mother of modern herbalism here in the US.  We buy our herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs and off Amazon.

Here is the recipe, which I highly recommend, but I'd hurry because it takes a month to draw all the good stuff out of the herbs.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Tincture

- 2 parts St. John;s wort flower
- 1 part green oat tops
- 1 part hawthorn berries
- 80 proof alcohol

Don't let the "parts" measurement scare you.  A part can be anything you want it to be, a tablespoon, a quarter of a cup, etc.  It depends how much you are making.  Whatever size jar you are using, you want the alcohol to be 3 inches higher than the herbs, and you want to pretty much fill the jar so oxidation doesn't happen.

For example, I just made a batch in a pint size jar.  So I had 1/4 c. of St. John's wort and then and 1/8th a cup of the other two ingredients.  You add all the ingredients together, add alcohol and then seal.  Shake and set in the sun for 4 weeks, and shake occasionally.  Strain out herbs and store in a dark bottle.  Take 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. twice daily for 3 weeks, discontinue for 1 week and repeat.  Or you can do what we do and take on weekdays but not on the weekends.  We take it through the end of March.

It totally sounds crazy but that doesn't matter because it totally works.

Monday, November 16, 2015

What We're Getting the Kids for Christmas

My little kids have been asking about Christmas since August.  I have no idea why.

Funny jokes, Lmao quotes, jokes quotes …For more funny pictures and hilarious humor visit \
Our new town has an amazing community pool with water slides and a water rock wall and a totally rockin' kiddie pool area.  But it is crazy expensive.  Like save up for it expensive.  This is most likely their Christmas present as a collective whole.  But we know a few hearts would be broken if they didn't have something to unwrap under the tree.

My big plan is hitting up the Target dollar section for some goodies, and then one nice present for the kiddos.  Here's what I've got so far.

Ava is a major Adele fan, and she is set to drop her new album this month.  She'll get this and be singing it for the foreseeable future.


Owen fell in love with this series of books after we read the first one out loud.  Hilarious with awesome drawings every few pages, he'll be getting the second book.

And then Moyz is the only other person I have figured out.  His car obsession continues and the one thing he's been requesting is a car mat to drive on.  So we'll be picking this up for him from Costco.

Kembia and Truitt I haven't figured out yet.  We try to stay away from toys if we can, so maybe some art supplies or some more books.  Both of them are obsessed with reading and trying to do their school fast so they "can be in first grade".  At least I have a little bit of time.

Friday, November 13, 2015

My Face is on Fire

It's that time of year where the weather changes to cold and my skin responds by turning to fire.  It burns and itches and just all around sucks.
23 Reasons You Should Just Hibernate For The Rest Of The Winter:
I don't actually watch this show.  I tried the books once and had to quit because of the violence and extreme sexuality.  I imagine the show is that much worse.

Anyway, dry skin- enter Vanicream.  It has been making my face feel much better although I still have to use it a couple times a day.

I like it because there is no dyes,  lanolin, masking fragrance, fragrance, parabens or formaldehyde. It is kind of expensive about $11 for a 1 lb. container.  But because it's a cream it is super thick so it doesn't take a whole lot.

At a doctor appt. recently my new doctor (a first year resident), asked about my skin and if it had changed due to weather at all yet.  This is the first time in my entire life I have ever had a doctor ask about that.  It was just one of those weird moments where you feel validated about the crappy weather and what it does to your skin.

Chris doesn't deal with these issues.  I guess it's reserved for those with sensitive skin.  Lucky me.

Friday, November 6, 2015

8 Weeks, 16 Books

My goal to read 100 books in 2015 is quickly running out of time.  I have 8 weeks and 16 books left to read.  So close and achievable, but bordering on pretty hard.  Ava told me that now is not the time to read Moby Dick.

Adapt it:  Every time a student passes a test over a book, they get to fill out a strip with the title of the book to make the chain.:

So I decided to help myself and come up with the 16 that would round me out to a solid 100. It kind of spans several genres from classics to childrens.  Some are longer (Jane Eyre) and some are shorter (The Little Prince), but they are all books I have wanted to read, or reread.  Here they are in no particular order.

1. All Roads Lead to Austen
2. Jane Eyre
3. The Color of Secrets
4. Little Men
5. Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
6. Slaughterhouse Five
7. The Wind in the Willows
8. King Arthur
9. The Secret Life of Bees
10. The Little Prince
11. The Magicians Elephant
12. Jesus Feminist
13. The Penderwicks
14. Kidnapped
15. The Grand Sophy
16. North and South

Maybe instead of school one week we'll  just have it be "read novels all week" week.  Just kidding. Sort of.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Trader Joe's Sipping Chocolate, Four Seasons in Rome & Wanderlust

I was at Trader Joe's last week and came across Sipping Chocolate.

On the back it talked about it being a decadent European drink.  And I was totally onboard with that. Basically, it's dark chocolate that you put into a very small amount of milk.  It calls for 1/3 cup, but I do a little more than that, closer to 1/2.

Then I got to thinking if this was a real European thing, or fancy marketing.  I hopped on the internet and couldn't really find "sipping chocolate", although it didn't look like it was totally made up.  Fast forward a couple of days and I was reading this book:

It's about an American who moves to Italy for a year on a fellowship with his 6 month old twin boys and his wife.  

Anyway, I was literally sipping my sipping chocolate when I came across a passage in this book about how they stopped and ordered a tiny hot chocolate that was so thick it was magical.  Bam. Sipping chocolate right there in the book I was reading while drinking it.  How's that for coincidence?

Also, the book will give you severe wanderlust.  Like I had one of those moments where I again realized that I gave up moving to New Zealand to stay in the Midwest.  How dumb of me.  Okay, not really. We did make the right choice, but it's books like these (not to mention Midwest winters) that have me wistfully thinking about what could have been..