Archive | February, 2013

Cold fighters

28 Feb


Still feeling not the greatest today but, I have been upping my Vitamin C and getting rest.  Maybe it is the weather….it has been cloudy and rainy here.  I have just been so tired lately even when I get sleep and go to bed at a very decent hour.



Sources of Vitamin C all citrus fruits this includes lemons and limes so go ahead and squeeze that lemon or lime wedge in your water.


A perhaps surprising source of Vitamin C is Broccoli along with some calcium.




I have been drinking Emergen C to help my immune system fight off this cold.  I have also been making a drink that is surprisingly good despite what you might think.  It is apple juice heated with Kudzu root (here in the Eastern US  it is not seen in a favorable light)  but, it does help with having a cold.



All warming spices help too to heat you up and break up mucous these include but are not limited to Garlic (anti microbial, anti infectent basically anti everything), ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cayenne, etc. 


Echinacea will help you more if you have been taking it prior to catching the cold or other virus.  I personally prefer Astragalus this has a bit more of a kick and you can take it any time since this is an immune booster.

Admittedly you may be wondering how or why I know all of this.  I studied under a herbalist who has credentials and currently at least last I knew works for a few pharmaceutical companies along with our University Hospital.











Beating it off with a stick

27 Feb

Yesterday my daughter was coming down with a cold and spent about an hour screaming and crying because she could not breathe through her nose.   I completely understand that especially with allergies and colds that I suffered through as a child.

Today I am starting to feel as though I am getting it as well.  Arrgh.  Trying to beat it off with Chai tea, vitamin C and rest I even took a 2 hour nap something I rarely do.  Usually 30 min is my maximum/power nap.

I finally got an order in from a company based in Canada.  It has been very annoying for me just because I thought I would be receiving it via UPS and not regular mail.  I had contacted the company via email (yes I am aware they probably get a lot in and maybe cant answer all of them at one time.) because there was no number to call to find out where my order was, if it had even been shipped yet, if there was a tracking number and what it was.  I got no response from any of the emails I sent so I will no longer have any more dealings with this company.  I sent 3 emails and got my credit card statement saying I had been charged for the order I placed February 13th.

As a minimalist yes I still have the dreaded credit card but, I have plans for it.  For starters so far this year I have not gone over $300 worth of charges.  I pay off my balance every month and once my current card “expires” in August and I am sent my “new” card I will not be accessing the new one and basically close the account.  I much prefer to pay either in cash, use my debit card that works as a credit card or gasp write a check.  It just saves money in the long run for me and my family.

How do you usually pay for things?

Vegan Sweeteners

26 Feb


I just wanted to touch on some vegan sweeteners.





Turbinado sugar is vegan along with raw cane sugar both are dark to light brown.  Along with plain old brown sugar.  All are great sweeteners.   White sugar is however not really vegan friendly just because of how it is processed to get that white color basically by using charcoal made from animals to “bleach” it and make it sparkling white.




For liquid sweeteners there is agave nectar, sorghum, and maple syrup.


All are great for sweetening your coffee in the morning, or for baking with.  It just depends on what you want to use.

More strict vegans will argue that honey is not vegan but, as a vegan I do use it just because for me I use local honey and it is also cheaper that allergy shots especially when you have a lovely insurance company that is trying its damnedest to deny coverage for “pre-existing conditions” bleh.




Those are for the most part the vegan sweeteners that are approved vegan.  Hope this helps you with your sweetening needs and baking.

My favorites are sorghum, maple syrup and honey in no particular order.









Weekend plans

23 Feb

My weekend plans do not include very much.

I need to go to the library and pick up books I have requested and return a few items that I have checked out.

Hopefully have my daughter go and visit with my in laws just cause I really could use a break.

Try and sweet talk my husband into downloading or at least showing me how to install the latest adobe flash player so that way maybe I can watch a few things on my computer.

Spend some quality alone time with my husband (nudge nudge wink wink).

Hopefully find our taxes from last year and make a copy so that way I can mail it to those who have requested it.  They are in the illusive spotted box that I could have found if my husband had not rearranged the office.  Yup I still need to get rid of more things so that way this is not such an issue.

Hopefully get up early Saturday morning and make banana nut muffins.

Cabin Fever Perks

22 Feb

I have to say that not being able to leave my house  does have its advantages.

I am saving money by not shopping usually at my favorite book stores and not going out for coffee.

Less clutter by not buying books.

Not having my daughter get upset because she did not get x at the store we were in.  Even though she has been told/we have had this discussion before that usually we are not in a store to buy something for her.

Could I catch a bus to take me to most of these destinations probably with a bit of finesse but, have no desire to stand out in the cold with a 3 year old on a street corner.  Plus said 3 year old might not listen to me and stay out of traffic.  Not a fun thought.

Less money spent on gas and wear and tear on my car.

I have to think of ways to keep myself and my daughter entertained while my husband is at work for the next 12 hours or so.

There are probably more but, that is all I can come up with for now.

How far would you go?

20 Feb

I recently watched the recent/newest episode of Castle and just to give you a small dose of what happened in case you do not watch the show.  Castles daughter Alexis is kidnapped along with a friend of hers.  They find a suspect who has been injured and Castle “persuades” this suspect to give up what he knows.

This hit me a bit hard just because I have a daughter and feel that there is almost nothing I would do for her.  There are of course a few exceptions such as breaking the law and murdering someone.

So this is my question to you or at least those with kids and this does not matter on age or gender.

What would you do for your child?  What are your limits if any?

If you would like to try a hypothetical situation then think on this one:  Say your son or daughter calls and tells you that their significant other just abused them physically (it does happen to men too so dont scoff and say the guy is just a wimp and yes your son is buff or not) and they are needing a place to stay and are wanting to come home but since they left in a hurry they do not have very much cash on them.  Would you send them enough money for a hotel room, and either a bus ticket or plane ticket?  Would you ask them what they wanted to do about their job and still send them money for at least a hotel room for the night?   Would you demand that they call the police and insist on a restraining order?


To Move or not to move that is the question

19 Feb

My husband would like for us or at least has been talking lately of us moving to a smaller town outside of the smaller city we currently live in.  I do not want to do this for several reasons.

1.  We shop, mainly grocery shop where we live.

2.  There are more restaurants here so if we decide to go out to eat it is not such a long drive.

3.  There are movie theaters here so if we decide to see a movie it is not so far to drive.

4.  More parks to take my daughter to.

5.  More schools for her to attend when she gets there and wants to go to school.

Now for the downside of this

1.  As you can tell from the above it would be more expensive to even go “into town” just because we would burn more fuel.

2.  My mom would probably be rather annoyed just because she would not be able to see her granddaughter as much.

3. My husband/my daughters father already works late so with him having to travel even further to and from work the odds of being late to work and getting home from work even later just gets that much more annoying for both of us.

4.  I have lived in a small town before and yes there were things I enjoyed about it but, a lot of things I did not.

5.  Cheaper rent but again probably eaten alive by the cost of gas to get my husband to and from work.  What we would save might just not be saved.

6.  Moving is such a pain in my backside with or without help.  Usually with little to no help.

The upside to this is that we could rent a house instead of a duplex.  The only problem is that this house usually floods in the basement so we could not use the basement for very much and I really do not want to even put our washer and dryer in this house.

Both locations have farmer markets and schools.

I really do not want to do this and we have talked about it before and agreed last time not to do it so I really hope that my husband really thinks this through again and decides not to do it.


What do you think should we move or not?



Happy Single Awareness Day or Valentines Day

15 Feb

I took my daughter over to my moms her grandmothers to spend some time with each other today.  Almost as soon as we walked in the door my daughter wished her grandmother a Happy Valentines Day but, then she wanted to know what her presents were.  Yup I was horrified.  My mom wanted to know what her gift was and asked or demanded a hug from my daughter which she did not get.  Then my mom gave my daughter a card, a necklace with matching bracelet, and 5 DVD’s .  I informed my daughter that I was leaving and asked her to give me a hug which she did.  My mom commented that at least I got one.  I told my mom that was uncalled for.

The only thing I got my daughter for a Valentines Day gift was a stuffed dolphin that she picked out and wanted and if you want to throw in the yoga classes then those as well.  Not too much really in the way of stuff.

I really hope that one day my daughter will get the fact that it is not about the stuff you get or even the amount or dollar amount of the stuff you get.  What counts to me is just spending time with people I love and not the stuff you get.   I know 3 year old and rather selfish but, sheesh I did try and talk to her on the ride home that today and other holidays it is not about getting stuff it is about spending time with people you love.  Granted getting a few gifts is fine if it is something you want or really need.  I am not completely opposed to gifts but, I personally prefer getting experience gifts like taking a cooking class, yoga class, movie tickets, etc.  I also prefer cold hard cash as well to either save or spend how I want to.


I just want to throw in a couple of links to a few other sites that I read and follow to a point.  This is a great post and most folks need to either work on getting out of debt, avoiding more debt, and saving an emergency fund, for retirement, and that dream vacation.  Also check out “Money Rules” by Jean Chatzky it is a great book and a fast read.  Remember Dark Chocolate is your friend just remember to eat in moderation.


One last thing for Valentines Day if you have a chance to see Eve Ensler’s Vagina Monologues performed somewhere please go see it.  I do not care if you are male or female you will laugh, cry, feel empowered, and hopefully walk away with a bit more respect for women.  I have seen it twice now and have loved it both times.  I am very disappointed that it is not being done this year so far at our local college.  I really want my daughter to see it as well, once she gets a bit older of course.  I have every book by her and love her writing.  My next favorite is her book titled “I am an emotional creature”.  If all else fails take your sweetie to see Vagina Monologues or buy the books that I have mentioned above this Valentines Day.


Have a great day and remember above all to spend time with the people you love or at the very least can tolerate for more that 5 minutes.  If you are single treat yourself to a glass of wine (try not to drink the whole bottle), or just pamper yourself in some small way or spend time with your companion animal.  Take a walk or whatever to help you feel good on this day.

Gadget girl

14 Feb

I saw the new/old James Bond movie this weekend with a friend Skyfall after years of not seeing the latest Bond flick and I gotta say I was rather disappointed.  Guess you could say I am a gadget girl and loved all the gadgets that were cool that Q always gave Bond.   I loved the “old ” Q who always asked 007 if he was paying attention while he gave instructions on how to use the gadgets.  In this latest one 007 only got a gun which, only he could fire and basically a panic button.  Guess 007 is even feeling the latest down turn in spending.  I was really not impressed with this latest installment.  Ah well, maybe next time I decide to see one they will bring back the cool gadgets.

The next movie I really want to see is Les Miserables I have seen it performed but, not on screen and am somewhat looking forward to it.  My absolute favorite is Phantom of the Opera both on screen and performed.  I would love to one day take my daughter to see it.


Am I just the only one who missed all the cool gadgets that 007 used?  What did you think of Skyfall?


Cookies and other stuff

13 Feb

I have been busy just catching up on the mundane of cleaning my house….whew what a chore but, it is done for now.

This weekend my husband and daughter went to fulfill his relatives last request.  This is good. I spent Sunday in absolute silence and just sat and read a book that I got from the library.  It is a “new” book and I only get it for 14 days.   I am very nearly done with it.

This weekend I made the best cookies for a sort of Valentines Day treat (except I do not think they will last very long let alone until Valentines Day).  The recipe I got from 1000 Vegan Recipes and it is the Chai Spice Cookies on page 433.  If you like Chai Tea then you will love these.  It is great to actually eat what you love to drink and Chai tea is my all time favorite tea.  I do enjoy various green teas but, for me Chai tea is my absolute favorite.   It is the only tea that I can feel comfortable drinking with a bit of nut milk and honey and feel very British as well.  My daughter and I cut out shapes.  Since I do not have a heart shaped cookie cutter I chose a star shaped one and my daughter wanted the stocking shaped for what ever reason.

How will you be spending Valentines Day?

My husband and I have not made any plans yet.  Last Valentines day my water pump on the car decided to go out on us and we had to get my car towed.    Not a very fun night.