Focus and garlic

July is over and we're almost halfway through August already. I feel like I'm watching life fly by as one day blurs into the next. And every day I feel more and more scattered. It's getting to the point where I can hardly keep track of the thoughts in my head anymore. What's worse is I got rejected for yet another job, one that I thought I had in the bag. So I'm losing confidence and really starting to feel lost. I am not letting it get me down, I have these kids to take care of and when I'm stressed, they're stressed. Instead, I'm making a goal of getting focused. I don't know if it will help me get employed, but I think it will help me feel more...me. Centered. Purposeful. Less of a nebulous mass of thoughts and emotions. Something like that.

I did a little "mind mapping" (I'm old. Back in my day we called it "brainstorming," but whatever) and wrote out some things I can do to help me feel more focused and maybe figure out what it is I want out of life.

One is to get creative. I like writing and I have this here blog, so I'm going to try to do more of that. I may try to paint or draw or maybe just color too. I feel like when I do that my thoughts just flow, I'm not forcing them, so I feel more "me." And sometimes realizations happen.

Another is to meditate. When I was at what I feel was my best, I was meditating regularly. As a result I felt less stressed, more optimistic, and more confident, even though back then I was unemployed too.

And third, and I know I keep saying this, but I need to get back to running. Running is hard and makes it difficult to focus on anything but the present moment and how I may or may not actually die from the effort. And when I'm done with a run and realizing that "HEY! I didn't actually die," I feel pretty great.

So there ya go. You have glimpsed my most focused mind at the moment.

On Garlic & Zycam:
This is for Misty - TRY IT. Apparently there are studies that show the allicin in garlic can reduce colds. It's antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. Every time I start to feel like I'm coming down with something I eat raw garlic. Just take a clove, cut it into chunks, chew and swallow. You have to chew it in order to release the allicin. I chomp down a few times until it starts to sting, swallow and chase with water. (Take Pepcid if it bothers your stomach.) Do this 2-3 times a day for the first 2-3 days you feel sick. I find that when I do it I get maybe 30% of the severity compared to the rest of the family. And YEP I caught the gnarly cold that was going around my house last month, took the garlic, and I only felt a little crummy for part of one day and didn't get much of a cough at all, while everyone else hacked for DAAAAAYS. (Aaron had to do a nebulizer treatment and get inhalers, and Max wound up with an awful cough, an ear infection, and had to go on antibiotics.) I use Zycam too because zinc also works to reduce the severity of colds. I take 3/day starting at the first sign of a cold, for about the first 3 days. Oh and I also take Emergen-C! I do whatever it takes to not get sick! I do think it helps, particularly the garlic.



Happy July! This month is a busy one for us this year. In addition to Max's birthday and mine (and my sister's, and my nephew's), we have a wedding to attend, and the start of our annual campout. On top of that I've been interviewing again and am pretty hopeful for one of these jobs to actually work out. With any luck I'll be back to work after we get back from our camping trip! Knock on wood. Crossing my fingers. Wishing upon a star...

Anywho. Max's first birthday party is of course at the forefront of my attention right now. He loves playing ball and the Hubs is a big ol' Dodger fan, so naturally it will be baseball themed. Once again I will be making more decorations than is reasonable, but I'm a picky lady and I always want them to be just so! Also as you know I'm poor, so I'm trying to be frugal as well. This time I've actually arranged some (free) help though! Hubs's little 12 year old cousin is dying to be a babysitter but needs some practice, so she's scheduled to come help watch the kids for a couple days while I get some party prep done. I'm pretty stoked about that! 

The campout is a week long and starts the day after Max's birthday party, so that should be pretty fun to prep for too (#sarcasm). I have no big plans for my birthday, which is next weekend. And the wedding is the day before my birthday, so there's really not much time to do anything anyway. I've told Hubs what I want is a cake using the $25 credit from Nothing Bundt Cakes we received when he found a piece of packaging tape that looked waaaaay too similar to a band-aid in his carrot cake, and a box of See's candy using the gift card I found in the junk drawer last month. (I'm thinking it was a Christmas gift?) We also got updated family photos, so I did get a gift. Bada-bing bada-boom, birthday planned, as always by me.

So that's what I've been up to. Oh yeah and Cadence came down with a cough, which Hubs caught the other day and I'm trying desperately to keep Max and myself from getting. All I need is a sick baby to add to everything else! I'm pretty confident the raw garlic and zycam will keep me healthy but I can't really feed that to a baby. Too bad because that stuff works.


Sounds Suspicious Vol. 2

I told you last time that I have another round in the works and indeed that was true! So let's get to it because my kids are already all over me making this really hard to type.

CLAIM: Putting Vaseline on your eyelashes makes them grow longer/fuller; a la this bad boy:

Pro tip: Photoshopping is clearly at play here. Look closely and you can see how her hair is falling in exactly the same way next to her right cheek in both images. Also both pics are taken at the exact same angle. I had a hard time getting my "after" photo even close to the same angle I had in the "before." Shadows are falling in the same places in both pics, etc. 

My problem with this claim was that in my 5 minutes of research, I was unable to find a before and after pic that wasn't either obviously Photoshopped, or where the person wasn't wearing mascara. So you have my word that the following are true:

1. No photo editing has occurred that enhances the look of my eyelashes. I did do a little color editing that made it easier to see my lashes and to compare. But nothing that would make them look longer or fuller. Scout's honor! (#iamnotascout #imstillhonestthough)

2. I wasn't wearing ANY makeup in either photo.

And my disclaimers:

1. I didn't use Vaseline brand white petroleum, but CVS brand. Because I am poor and that's what I had on hand.

2. I admit I wasn't fully consistent with this experiment. I had great intentions and put the Vaseline on my lashes every night for the first several days (like 5 days straight. One commenter claimed to see results in a week so I was close). And then Max started teething, and late nights abounded, and there were a few times I fell asleep without even brushing my teeth, so you'll have to forgive me and take that into consideration. On average I'd say over the past 3 weeks I managed to put Vaseline on my lashes about every other night.

Okay so here are my results:

I did my best to get these in focus but it was hard to do on my phone!

VERDICT: I was really, REALLY hoping this one was going to work! But I don't see a noticeable difference, do you? It seemed reasonable that white petroleum could potentially work as a moisturizer or conditioner and reduce breakage. And when I wore mascara after doing the Vaseline trick for several days, I thought my lashes seemed a little fuller-looking than before, and that the mascara went on a little smoother and more evenly. But looking at the photos now, I'm gonna have to say this one was another bust!

Until next time!