This is my GOAL. My house will eventually be a decluttered sanctuary that I can finally relax in!
Archive for the ‘Home Sweet Home’ Category
This time I’m going to the beach.
Only you know me, I don’t mean your stereotypical ”tropical” beach with fruity drinks and steel drums! I mean I want to go where there are lighthouses, sea gulls, tons of cottages right on the beach. Think Nights in Rodanthe! (which by the way if you haven’t watched, rent it NOW) The beaches of North and South Carolina are the ones I want to visit the most. OH to be able to visit Charleston! Picture it! Plantations, moss covered oaks, light houses, beaches, bonfires, shopping, food! I’m soo there.
Little known fact about me- the critters that live in lakes and oceans freak me out far too much to actually swim but standing on a shore and letting the waves come to me is my idea of heaven…. Having actually gone snorkeling(for about 10 minutes until something touched me), I can tell you it is not the just idea that freaks me out, but the sensation. It’s turned into a bit of a phobia! EW! I’ll admire them all from behind glass thank you. I find sea life to be quite beautiful, but you won’t catch me out there touching anything with my bare hands or feet! hahaha Make fun all you like! This is my fantasy vacation!
How awesome would it be to wear your softest wrap or throw blanket, grab a mug of hot chocolate, and sit in comfortable old adirondack chairs out by a fire on the beach every evening??? *sigh* Soooo, this is my version of a mental vacation to the beach…..
And you know I like my soundtracks….
And since this is my fantasy world, I’m even going to “pack”
Now who’s with me????
Just a friendly warning- I will be talking a little bit about poo. If poo offends you, I suggest you skip over that section or click the X at the top of this tab.
So far I am a little over a week into the Alli Weight Loss System. My starting weight was 176 pounds and I have set a goal of 135-140 pounds. I noticed results in the first two days, and YES you do have to change the way you eat and exercise.
About the product:
For those that don’t know this is an OTC (over the counter) version of the prescription medication Orlistat or Xenical. It is a fat blocker. (I’ll explain more about that in a sec) I bought the “starter kit” with 60 pills, a pill case, and literature on Alli. You can buy a larger kit, but just starting out, I’d suggest not spending the extra money until you know if this system is right for you. You take one pill with each meal *containing* fat.It is also suggested that you start to take a daily multivitamin in conjunction. Again, I’ll touch on that in a moment. When you get your kit, I suggest you go to the website with your code and create an account. You can create an account without purchasing if you are interested in the program. The website will have a quiz section for you to determine how many fat grams you should be consuming each meal based on your current lifestyle/weight. It can be anywhere from 15-20 grams of fat per meal. There are a ton of guides, forums, recipes, and facts to help you along the way. A lot of what is covered in the literature that comes in the kit is on the website as well.
About the “drug” part of the program:
Orlistat is the active ingredient in Alli (half the dose as in Xenical) Orlistat prevents the body from absorbing fats that a person consumes in their daily diet thus leading to less caloric intake. The drugs have been proven modestly effective in helping a person lose weight. So when I said “fat blocker” it does just that. And what happens to something that is not absorbed into the body kids? Poop.
Now to my next point. DO NOT think that you can start taking this if you have no intention of changing your eating habits and lifestyle! This is not a magic fix-it pill. There is no such thing. A diet low in fat and calories can dramatically improve your overall health. You don’t in fact need a drug to lost weight, but I like Alli because it keeps me honest(I’m getting to the poop- hold on) My relationship with food was an emotional one. Thus why I needed the extra step in my diet. All too often I have hidden behind food as a comfort for what was happening in my life. I went on a junk food bender when I had a bad day (which there for a while was A LOT), when I had a fight with the husband, when I was disgusted with how I looked(yeah really healthy behavior I know) or just when I was bored! That’s no way to live. That’s a way to die. It opens you up to a whirl pool of self loathing and self defeating behaviors that could in fact lead to other destructive behaviors! But that’s an entirely different post for a later time.
Every gram of protein you eat turns into 4 calories. Every gram of carbohydrate is also 4 calories. But every gram of fat is 9 calories, which is why everyone should eat a low-fat diet. So if you normally ate 100 grams of fat in a day, that would be 900 calories. With Alli, you’d only absorb 75 grams or 675 calories. Alli blocks 25% of the fat you are consuming. From the Mayo Clinic website:
“Alli promotes weight loss by decreasing absorption of fat by the intestines, which reduces the number of calories you absorb.
Lipase, an enzyme found in the digestive tract, helps break down dietary fat into smaller components, so it can be used or stored for energy. Alli works by disabling lipase, which prevents the enzyme from breaking down the fat while it’s in your digestive tract. The undigested fat continues through the intestines and is eliminated through bowel movements.
Alli is taken with fat-containing meals, up to three times a day. Because of how Alli works, it’s recommended that you eat no more than 15 grams of fat with each meal. Eating greater amounts of fat can cause unwanted effects, such as urgent bowel movements, diarrhea and gas with oily spotting.”
Also about why you should take a multivitamin before bed and what kind to take:
“Some dietary vitamins bind to fat (vitamins A, D, E and beta- carotene). When orlistat is taken, these vitamins are not absorbed and are eliminated in the stool in increased amounts along with the fat. Therefore, patients taking orlistat should take a multivitamin containing these “fat-soluble” vitamins to ensure that adequate amounts of the vitamins are available for absorption. To ensure that the vitamins in the multivitamins are not bound to fat like the vitamins in the diet, the multivitamin should be taken at least two hours before or several hours after the Orlistat.”
Now the “issues” that some people complain about:
Read a lot of negative reviews for Alli? Well, I can tell you first hand that the people that experienced “treatment effects” were those that did NOT follow the diet (the definition of diet is literally what you are consuming, not “to diet” as in lose weight) recommended and did nothing to change their lifestyle. The above mentioned “treatment effects” are: “gas with oily spotting, loose stools, and more frequent stools that may be hard to control.” So you read people who have had accidents and stained underwear.
I can tell you FIRST HAND that those people tried to go ahead and eat that Big Mac and Large Fries!! Think about it folks, since you’ve eaten all that extra fat, if it’s not absorbed it still has to go somewhere and that somewhere is in the toilet! You have to change your way of thinking about food and realize the changes that need to be made- with or without a drug!!! How do your BM’s actually change? Well, there will be oil, like I said it has to go somewhere. But you will not be “leaking” if you are on track with how many grams of fat you are consuming with each meal/dose you take. The oil I noticed when “wiping” looks a lot like what you would blot off of a greasy pizza with a napkin and there was some in the bowl before I flushed. I have experience NO unexpected anything with this. Not even extra gas. I have experienced none of the above mentioned effects.
By changing my diet in conjunction with taking Alli, in 8 days I have lost a little over 6 pounds and I can tell you I already feel much better about my body and my ability to take control over food instead of it taking control over me!! This product isn’t supposed to dramatically affect weight loss and that’s not what I’m after. For any “diet” to be successful and healthy, it takes gradual changes over a longer period of time. You will be more likely to stick with it. A few things that I recommend as baby steps toward gaining control over food are;
Eat from a smaller plate. Even if you portion out your food onto a larger plate, we will see the empty space as “not eating enough”.
Drink water. Lots of it. Especially while you are eating and at least 8 ounces before a meal.
When you are eating, eat slower. Give yourself about 15 minutes after you eat before deciding if you are “full” or not. Scientifically, there’s about a 15-minute lag between when you’re stomach gets this message and when you’re brain gets it. After that 15 minutes it will be easier to avoid “seconds”.
Don’t let yourself go hungry! You CAN snack with Alli. There are a ton of healthy low-fat or fat free choices out there. Stock up on them and bring them with you when you are out.
Since I am just talking about Alli today, I will include another post later about what I have been eating and way to dine out while “dieting”.
I hope this was helpful for those curious about the program. I do have to warn that this IS NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYONE. There are certain risks (as there are with everything) that you should make yourself aware of before beginning this or any other program or drug. This is what I’ve found about the only possible interactions/side effects with the treatment:
What I learned online about the “reported cases of liver damage” that prompted the FDA to issue a warning, keep in mind that this drug is still FDA APPROVED. —-”Doctors are urged to watch patients for signs of liver damage. The whites of a person’s eye turning yellow, dark urine, yellow patches on the skin or loss of appetite are indicators a person’s liver is struggling. In the 13 cases reported, the patients may have had underlying conditions that led to the severe liver damage. Those who experienced the damage had also taken other drugs. Two patients died and three needed liver transplants. All but one case was outside the United States.”
“The blood thinning effect of warfarin (Coumadin) depends on the amount of vitamin K in the body, and vitamin K is one of the vitamins that binds to fat. Patients receiving warfarin who begin orlistat should have their blood clotting monitored closely because the orlistat may cause levels of vitamin K to decline. This will increase the effects of warfarin and lead to abnormal bleeding from the warfarin. There is no evidence that a deficiency of vitamin K occurs in patients who are taking orlistat.
Orlistat may reduce the absorption and blood levels of cyclosporine (Sandimmune) when both drugs are administered together. Therefore, cyclosporine should be administered two hours before or after orlistat, and more frequent monitoring of cyclosporine levels may be needed.”
What I take from this- If you are on ANY other medications, or have existing medical issues ASK YOUR DOCTOR if the drug is safe for you to use. Always inform your doctor of any OTC meds/supplements you are taking!! Always. The best way to protect yourself is to stay informed about what you are putting in your body. Get regular checkups! There are so many PREVENTABLE illnesses out there. We have to get smarter people!
Happy Monday and take care everyone!
Go ahead and crowd the beaches, I’ll take some hiking, fresh air, and fireside family time……..
Although now that I think of it, this would be a pretty awesome life too…. Yeah, I think I’d stay here a while. <3 <3 <3
But first- a peaceful little song for the trip to my cabin
Stay at home mom…..to those who think this means you do nothing and don’t know what it’s like to be stressed. Shut the hell up. Even to the other parent in the family who does work and doesn’t get HOW we can be so stressed when you get home. Get a freaking clue. I NEED A BREAK. No parent can survive 24/7 with almost no relief and a very high strung toddler like mine. All of the moms that look at me crazy when my child acts up or says “well I don’t understand why you don’t just do it like this”- DO NOT HAVE MY CHILD.
I cannot bring him into a store with out screaming, kicking and squirming to get away. If you put him down to explore, he takes off like a shot and WILL break something or get out the door. He WILL run away from the door straight into traffic. My yelling or discipline fuels the fire.
When we are at home, it’s a struggle. He wakes up crying and whining. EVERY morning. Followed by refusing to eat breakfast. Immediately tearing through the house ready to destroy anything in contact—- ALL before I have had a chance to even rub the sleep from my eyes. Sometimes it will be late afternoon before I realize I haven’t even brushed my teeth. If the house is to stay clean (or even where you can walk) I have to walk behind him constantly picking up and SHOWING him to pick up. If one person even THINKS at this point “why don’t you show him how to pick up” I will come to your house and kick you in the face. I do show him. Constantly. Imagine a 36lb, over 3 foot tall two year old running full speed through the house (non stop) screaming at the top of his lungs. All day. You reason with that.
Lunch time. He refuses to eat ANYTHING I give him. Even if I try nine different things. I am just wasting money and food. When I try to eat, he is busy grabbing and spilling my drink. Even if I eat at the bar, he will climb up- get on top of the counter and be in my face taking my drink and spilling it before I get the first bite. Keep in mind at this point, I haven’t had a second to myself. Haven’t brushed my teeth or hair. And I’m pretty tired and hungry after the morning I’ve had. Then I start to feel guilty that I am eating and I still haven’t gotten him to eat. So I either quit eating or try to give him what I’m having. Does it help? NO. Oh well, I’ll try later.
To get the screaming and whining and mess to stop for just a few minutes, I put on a movie. I know right? Great parent I am. Now that he is quiet (for at the most 30 minutes) I sit down at my computer after I’ve surveyed the destruction around me. That is a LOT of work staring back at me. I log on to facebook. I see everyone living their lives, working, DRIVING somewhere, enjoying time with family and friends, taking their kids or themselves shopping. etc etc. I get to sit here and WATCH while everyone else lives. It’s just so daunting taking my kid out to catch a bus somewhere or to drag him sceaming all the way in his wagon or stroller to the BX, where I know they won’t have what I need and not a lot to look at. Or we go to the park where He proceeds to ignore the toys and swings and run to the road. My family and support system that everyone enjoys and takes for granted are an ocean away. I can make friends, sure. But do I feel comfortable asking them for help, no not always. Now if I want to get off this crappy base, I won’t be able to afford anything in euro right now. Nor will I be riding in the security of the family car. We only have one and it goes to work with Keith. If you think I am dragging my little monster out of bed that early for him to scream all the way there and then punish me for the rest of the day for lack of sleep so I can use the car to drive him around with me just for more tantrums and things I can’t afford anyway- think again.
Now we are to dinner time. Same as the rest of the day. More not eating and tantrums. Husband gets home. Child goes nuts. Husband is exhausted from his very trying day and doesn’t have a lot of energy left. More mess piles up, the more would up I get. Bath and bedtime roll around. I usually force this on my husband because I simply have no patience left. Finally it’s bedtime. Time to relax right? Wrong. Kid is in his room screaming and protesting going to bed. So he is either dragging out every toy he has and dumping over every shelf or literally head butting the floor in protest so hard, he has bruises. We go in and out in and out, trying to placate him. Finally he passes out. At this point I am too emotionally and physically exhausted I don’t even care to shower. Yet again. I’m looking at all the mess waiting for me from that day. I feel defeated, depressed, and lonely.
I want to be back in the states. Where I can make friends that I can keep! Afterall, making friends in the military means they or you can leave any time. No room for much attachment. Have a second car! Take my kid out at my own pace. Teach him how to behave. Take time for myself! Maybe have a yard!! See my family! Go shopping and actually find what I need. No more waiting for weeks for something ordered at a premium online that may or may not work for you! (after all you ordered it based on a picture, you didn’t see it in person) FREEDOM at last! Even the small things that people take for granted would make a world of difference right now for me. Choices are limited here. Everyone thinks this is a dream. “Wow you live in Europe! What an opportunity!” My husband doesn’t get time off, nor do we make enough money to travel on this economy! Get real. This tour has been far more difficult than I ever dreamed. They are steadily cutting our resources off one by one. Cutting back stock in the only stores we can afford to shop in. Piling on more hours for everyone. Just because you think your husband works harder than mine because he is not behind a desk, doesn’t make it reality. So don’t go scoffing at me when I try to open up and say that he is having a hard time. Don’t scoff at me when your ideas for my child don’t work for him at all. Don’t scoff at me because I say I’m stressed. All I have to say to you is WALK A MILE IN MINE!!!
I found a way to have candles without Hellboy being able to hurt himself or me forgetting about it!
I always wondered what those tarts were for from Yankee Candle. The ones without the wick? I bought two electric tart warmers off the internet and you stick those little tarts in the top and it melts them. No fire and the wax doesn’t get too hot. Best part is that it wont hurt anything if you forget and leave it burning. So neat!
It makes the whole room smell like you have been burning candles for hours and the tarts are half the price of full size Yankee Candles (which is my favorite brand) They sell electric tart warmers and also ones that you put votives under just like a traditional oil burner. To me, having a votive sort of defeats the purpose. Potpourri warmers also work well with tarts. (In case you aren’t familiar they look like tiny crock pots.) My husband is allergic to potpourri, so that is definitely not an option either!
What I have:
What you “burn”:
Short post today. I just felt like sharing my little “find”. As usual, I tend to be the last one to catch on to things like this. I find Oil Burners to be WAY too messy ( I get oil everywhere) and anything with a flame is just out of the running in this house! This would be a great gift for those with small children and toddlers in the house!! Just a thought
Finally decided on a color scheme for the main living area. I say “living area” because the kitchen, dining area, and living room are all one big space. To create division of the two spaces I am using contrasting color schemes on either side. I used Polyvore to create a collage of items we already have and things on my wishlists from Target and Amazon.
Link to my Polyvore account where you can see the individual items I used: http://www.polyvore.com/my_new_living_room/set?id=25081109#
We already have the sectional, ottoman/coffee table, and wall shelf.
Kitchen and Dining “Room”
Dining Area is to the left:
(My bar stools for the kitchen)
I have one of these that I have stained green. (looks more like a green wash) I am contemplating painting it black to match the bar stools. Either way it will match and Short Stuff loves it.
Link to my Polyvore where I have listed out these items as well: http://www.polyvore.com/cgi/set?id=25081610
And that means I get to decorate! YAY! I have far too many bookmarks to find the items and ideas I am trying to save. I guess I will just consolidate it all into a blog post I can come back to later.
I will post some “before” pics of the new place- specifically the areas I am working on decorating.
Future makeup room!!! (and your typical spare bedroom stuff)
Living area (balcony to the left)
As you can see it’s open to the kitchen and dining area. So much space!
My sweet new kitchen!
Dining area to the left-
Now to decorate!
So far the only rooms I am actually sure of what I want are the master bedroom and bath. The main living area/kitchen I am just going to see how all of our current things fit and go from there. I sure could use some ideas on my makeup room. I am not a girly girly pink person. I have been more of an antique/traditional person for as long as I have been decorating (I can remember redecorating my parents living room and my room when I was about 12) but now that I have seen/lived in European homes and grown accustomed to the clean lines and bold colors I am falling in love with a more modern feel!!
Decorating, art, and makeup are my loves! I guess you can call me an “aesthetic artist”? I like to always leave things better than I found them. It’s become sort of a mantra for my whole life.
What I am doing in our bedroom and bathroom:
This is a print that I already have by Gustav Klimt. (purchased from Ikea here in Germany) I am taking all of my color inspiration from it. Deep purple, royal blue, burnt orange, and white.
Burnt Orange Pillow cases. We have a queen but I ordered them in king size so I can have them behind the purple set of queen pillows as an accent.
Plum/Purple Sheers. These aren’t what I am actually getting but the color is the same. I wanted a more sheer fabric. I found them at Ikea but the image they have online is not true to color.
Lastly for the bedroom is a comforter we already have that I don’t want to cover with a duvet because I like the contrast. We have a white down alternative comforter just like this one.
I am most likely going to put what I have already gotten in the room first and see what final touches I need. I know I will skip a large area rug that I would normally gravitate towards because our room is very long and narrow. I think instead just for comfort’s sake and more color I will add a rectangular “mat” on either side of the bed in one of my accent colors. The room is all tiled and that is going to be quite cold to wake up to in the mornings here in Germany!
I’m carrying some of the color scheme from the bedroom over to this room. It is all white tiles (like the pic I showed above) I want to keep that clean modern look so I chose a black and white shower curtain from Target.
Accessories in rugs in the orange or deep purple. Or both!!
I will hopefully have “after” photos up after the 14th of December. The place will be officially ours by then! Now to work on that makeup room. Woohoo!!
Yet another product recall has me shaking my head.
I don’t know if it’s just because of easier access to info or people being more mindful of what they are consuming but one thing is for sure. I have noticed a HUGE increase in brands that have been trusted and used for YEARS being recalled. I am grateful for the heads up, but am wondering why and who/what’s to blame.
The recession? My first thought was budget cuts in companies. Was the Quality Control department the first to go? Are these companies ignoring safety and quality to turn over a more cheaply made product?
The next one is probably just a result of living outside the US for a while now. Are we Americans just cry babies looking for a buck?(Anyone remember Mcdonald’s coffee before they had to warn you the it was hot?) We are the leaders in frivolous law suits. Although some suits are completely valid and I would be outraged enough to file one on some of these companies’ negligences .
Some of these recalls should really be about parent’s being more vigilant with their children and realizing that almost anything is a potential hazard but accidents CAN and DO happen to the best of us. You can be the most mindful parent in the world, and your child will still manage to hurt themselves. I still say shame on these companies for producing a product that wouldn’t pass even the most lax standards in QC.
On the other hand- the other products that we have no control over the contents and ingredients. Now THAT topic gets me pretty enraged. I will try not to go on a tangent….
Whatever the cause, I for one, will be more mindful of what I am consuming and what I am giving and putting into my child. Here are a few more recent recalls that have me a little worried.
Info on product recall: http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm230769.htm
This was back in January but it would still be wise to check your lot numbers if you have any Tylenol products in your home. Info: http://www.mcneilproductrecall.com/
Where I go to find info on recalls and safety info:
I think I have a headache from all this junk. Better take some Tyle…..oh nevermind……
If your house is anything like mine, it is currently hemorrhaging cotton!! Between the dirty laundry that is climbing my walls, out of season clothes, and linens/blankets that are haphazardly piled about and crammed in every corner- you are running out of room to walk! Might I add that it is driving me a little crazy?? Apparently though- I’m not alone. My mom sent me a message yesterday with an idea for today’s post. She put in a request for storage and organization solution ideas. I am MORE than happy to oblige!
Starting in a room that I actually like in my house that I am starting to loathe. My laundry room!
I am going to be brutally honest and candid. These are ACTUAL photos of my laundry room….as is……very scary. It is so junky and full of clothes it makes my skin crawl. *shivers* I am not only posting pics of that dreaded black hole, I am going to use some of these ideas for myself! After shots to follow in a later post.
Now that I’ve aired my proverbial “dirty laundry”- I’m on a mission to fix it! Not all of the images below will work for my little room with plaster walls, but hopefully Mom can get some ideas out of it too!
I do have that laundry sorter and for some reason never thought to put the rack on the top of it instead of under the bags! I wouldn’t be able to hang a heavier cabinet like that on my crumbly plaster walls. If I could, I would also mount a paper towel holder underneath the cabinets for the inevitable detergent spill.
For Mom- it could possibly be hung in your hallway leading to the laundry or on the wall behind the door where you are keeping the ironing board. Just get one of those over the door hooks to hang your ironing board on the back of the door. Inside the cabinet you can keep some of your cleaners, soaps, and some extra linens.
Most of us don’t even see the opportunity for extra storage between the machines. These little racks are very inexpensive and are only 6 to 8 inches wide.
Now this is something I can actually do in my current space. If we do stay in this house, I am going to have someone build a table for folding clothes with shelves underneath for my front loading machines. It’s just kinda pretty too, isn’t it?
One more fun little thing I want to do before moving on to other areas. I love wall appliqués! I am not sure of this font, but I definitely want this in my LR!
Next up: Bedroom Storage
Like almost all German/European houses, built in closets in the bedrooms are rare if not unheard of. One of the very few things I do not like about living here. While the military does supply us with “wardrobes” (which are not the most spacious and only have one shelf and one rack), There are still MANY clothing items that are hard to find homes for and you can FORGET about a place to store seasonal clothing.
This may not look like much, but picture it painted white with lined wicker baskets that hold your extra blankets and bed linens in the bedroom. Not too shabby eh?
Pick up some of these bed risers to make space under your bed for some pretty little wicker baskets(below) that coordinate with the ones in your ladder shelf. You may have just partially solved the seasonal clothing and heavier blanket issues
Baskets are available from Ikea. Retails for $39. Dimensions are about 35X37 inches.
Now that pesky little LACK OF CLOSET situation…
Need I say more?? Curtain hiding the clothes and shelving, and storage for books and pretty things. The dead space above a door or even a window could be used for a built-in shelving unit that a bar is attached to the back of. If you extended it out far enough or added more shelving on the opposite end, you could even add shelves for more clothes and even shoes.
Hope this was at least a little helpful. I am planning to add some after photos on my laundry room as well as whatever I come up with for our bedroom!