Posted in Good Things, Pop Culture

Friday Favorite (aka Where I blabber about what I love): Summer Playlist

Unless I love a song, more likely than not I don’t know the lyrics. If you are in the car with me and you listen, you can tell when I don’t know the words. I will either start to hum or get vwery, vwery quiet. And then the chorus will come and I will be singing at the top of my lungs. My poor daughter knows this and has to suffer while her brother and I sing in our miniscule electric car every day, to and from school. With school out a week from today, she can at least leave the room when we play music videos on YouTube. These videos will be on our big screen during dinner and for random dance parties throughout the summer:

  • Bleachers “Don’t Take the Money”
  • Portugal the Man “Feel it Still” (my hubby’s pick for song of the summer)
  • Weezer “Feels like Summer”
  • Foster the People “Doing it for the Money”
  • Sir Sly “High”
  • Kaiser Chiefs “Never Miss a Beat”
  • M.I.A. “Bad Girls”

I hope you have a go to list of things that make you happy and you get to enjoy them over the weekend. Thanks for reading!

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Posted in Good Things, Word Therapy

Happy

Every couple of weeks I go to post a picture or an anecdote regarding my everyday life on Facebook.  I craft a caption for the photo or make sure I haven’t missed any words in my story. I ask myself questions: Am I humble bragging (probably)? Am I sharing a part of my life that will just make my friends uncomfortable? Does anybody really care? Most of the time I post and throw caution to the wind. I try not to check for reactions, the need for validation strong. These Facebook posts are how I feel every time I sit down to write.

I love to write. I don’t think I am good at it but I want to be. The voices in my head tell me I’m too old to be a successful writer or that I am not capable of writing anything meaningful. My happy pills (blog post on that coming later) are helping to keep those thoughts down to a faint whisper. So I am going to write for me first. The following keeps me going:

Song: Move by Saint Motel:

 “Head, shoulders, knees, toes, look alive it’s time to go..”

Movie Trailer: Collateral Beauty

I didn’t even get a buildup for my tears, they were instant.

Binge: Penny Dreadful

This show is perfect to binge as the weather starts to cool down and in preparation for my favorite month of the year: October. It has Dorian Gray, Victor Frankenstein, vampires, and other monsters I have yet to encounter. I just finished Seance from season 1 and my mouth is still hanging open.

App: Duolingo

I am giving Spanish a second try (first time was in college) and so far I am having fun. Now if I could just roll my Rs without doing this.

These will get me through the week and hopefully those voices will shut the hell up so I can write something that will become something else.

Posted in Good Things

Good Times

When I started this post a few days ago, I put in a paragraph about how I try to be happy but it’s hard because of depression. But I am getting bored with talking about my depression. I don’t want to dismiss it, just set it aside for the time being. I want to focus on the good. And with a major birthday coming up (maybe you heard??), I want to write down what I am looking forward to this year.

I had a list of four things I wanted to cross off my bucket list for my  39th year and I finished 50% of the list. I don’t necessarily want to go big for #theyeariturn40, but just do things that make me happy. I think these are pretty achievable and I am excited to get started. Cheers!

  • Go to the LA Times Festival of Books (went to my first one last year and it was sheer heaven)
  • Help my husband with his new business
  • Write every day, even if it’s only for five minutes
  • Find a way to help others in my community (my family and I did this during the holidays and all I could think about is what happen to these people after the spirit of generosity goes away)
  • Find a way to help local animal rescues (if we are friends on Facebook, you already know that I share animals that are just waiting to be adopted on a daily basis)
  • Go to WonderCon this year and participate in cosplay
  • Run a 5K
  • Get a new tattoo, preferably this one:

Karma tattoo

 

 

And yes, I am the captain of my own ship.  But the wheel is also a symbol for karma.  And what better reminder to do good is karma??

 

Posted in Good Things

Spread the Joy

As Thanksgiving will be here in a couple weeks, my kiddos are being taught by their teachers to be thankful. Red came home from school last Monday with a large blue construction paper feather and was told to come up with reasons what he is thankful for. I got out my handy dandy piece of paper and pen and sat down with him. I am happy to say that he didn’t even have to think about it. He started out shooting answers while I had to hurry and write them down. This is what my sweet boy came up with:

  1. His minion shirt that Grandma and Papa gave him (I can’t wash it fast enough so he can wear it again and again)

  2. His Legos (what boy his age isn’t thankful for them??)

  3. His friends

  4. Books (I stopped to clap like a circus seal when he said that)

  5. His family

So in the spirit of the holiday and for when I need a reminder, these are my reasons as to why I am thankful. I hope at least some of them will bring you joy. Have a wonderful week and be sure to thank a Veteran. I am thankful for my Dad and Father-in-Law, who fought for our country. Love you Dad and Chris!

  1. As a huge Calvin and Hobbes fan (which this reminded me of) and a sucker for a good holiday commercial, this one had me in tears. The cute and sweetness are on overload.

  2. On 11/6/14, the new Star Wars movie title was announced (Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens), the cast of the new Quentin Tarantino movie The Hateful Eight was revealed (Yes, I love Channing Tatum. But Demian Bichir is who I flipped over), and in 2017 a new Toy Story movie will be in theaters. As a movie nerd to the nth degree, Christmas had come early.

  3. The show Walking Dead: It took me until I binge watched the first two seasons did I finally see the light. There are so many reasons why this show is such a phenomenon. The great cast, the makeup (Greg Nicotero is the MAN), and the twists and turns that you should expect by now but will never be fully prepared for. But what I always say when I am trying to bring a non watcher to the dark side is that it is a fascinating study on human nature. The zombies are not what you should be afraid of. When society has broken down like it has in this world, the remainder of the population becomes primal and cruel in their quest for survival. Nobody is truly good and what is right or wrong is never clear. I am not a psychologist and never wanted to be. But I feel like I am a taking a course in mental health every Sunday night at 9 pm (This is one of the few shows that I cannot wait to watch it the next day. I love it that much and because *DUH* SPOILERS)

  4. Coconut Milk EOS lip balm: If there is a new EOS lip balm, it has taken up residence in the Wilson household. I am pretty sure we have one of each flavor but the Coconut Milk (which just arrived in our local Super Target) is especially delicious. It tastes like a Pina Colada minus the calories. And speaking of calories…..

  1. A sure sign that Christmas is coming: White fudge covered Oreos and Nutella hot chocolate. While doing my grocery shopping I found my beloved white fudge Oreos that only come around during the holidays. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Caramel Apple Oreos that were out last month and I was super bummed I didn’t get to try the Pumpkin Spice ones. But nothing beats that white chocolate-not-chocolate enveloping America’s classic cookie. And if I want to push all my chips in, I make some Nutella hot chocolate topped off with little marshmallows and whipped cream. Now if California would stop being such a little bitch and cool off, I could drink it without breaking a sweat. 90 degrees in November. I mean, COME ON.

I am sure I could come up with more reasons that I am thankful for but these five stand out right now. What are you thankful for?

Posted in Good Things

Hey Ladieeeeeeeessssss

As I make the last of the trek that is my thirties, I have become more and more aware of my health and the impact that I am leaving. Physical problems that I have had in the past few months have pointed me towards eating better and reading more ingredients on the food I am consuming. I have been introduced to a group of items that have improved my well being and put me on a new path that is cleaner. My new friends are coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, Aztec clay, and Henna.

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If you haven’t been living under a rock, you have seen all the lists of uses for coconut oil on Pinterest. I tend to be weary of these lists because I feel that the minute I click on one I am going to be spammed. But I am here to sing the praises of coconut oil. I started using it back in May. I took the plunge and started what is called oil pulling. In a nutshell you are to take one tablespoon of coconut oil, swish it around for 15-20 minutes (seriously) in your mouth, and then spit it out. The oil is to “pull” all the bacteria out of your mouth and rid your system of it. For convenience I would do it in the shower. But since I didn’t want to slip and fall on my ass the next time I took a shower (or hubby for that matter), I would spit it into a napkin and throw it into the trash. This saves me a broken tush and doesn’t clog my drain (it is oil after all). After five months of this, I have not been sick and my teeth have never been whiter. For somebody who gets sick at least once a year like clockwork, I am now a believer in the coconut oil. Other ways I use it include: deodorant (mixed with a Q tip of tea tree oil), eye makeup remover, cooking, and even just to soften my elbows and knees.

Apple cider vinegar is one of nature’s medicines that I did not want to be a part of. If you have tasted it before, you know what I am talking about. It is awful with a capital A. But after I self diagnosed with gallstones and did my research, apple cider vinegar is a necessity.  It supposedly relieves gall bladder attacks and softens gallstones. I would first do a shot of it every day at lunch time. After enduring listening to my children laugh every time I would make a face as it went down, I switched to apple juice with the ACV mixed in. This makes it tolerable. The other way that I use it is with Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay and use the combination as a weekly mask. My pores have gotten smaller, my face is brighter, and I swear my skin is so smooth ‘them Dukes could slide across it.

My last new friend is in the earlier stages of a relationship but I hope it will be a long and prosperous one. Living in California where I do, we don’t get much rain which leads my scalp to be very, very dry. For the longest time I thought I had dandruff and was using shampoo that can only be best described as smelling like a freshly paved road. As sexy as that is, using something so strong on my head and chemically treated hair turned me off. I also realized after research that I am not doing myself any good treating something I do not have. I made the decision to stop using the shampoo and to not use your typical over the counter boxed hair dye. I have switched to rubbing grape seed oil on my scalp the night before I shampoo and now dye (well, hubby applies it) my hair with henna. To make a long story even longer, henna is an all natural hair dye. It is to be used to enhance your hair color, not to cover gray. And once you use it, you can not use regular dye for at least a year (unless you want to do serious damage). I have been through the process once and it truly is a pain in the ass. It is the texture of mud, it has to be on for at least two hours, and it has Eau de farm animal as it’s scent. I had hubby apply it outside as I read horror stories about it staining bathroom counters and floors. I have also switched to sulfate free shampoo and conditioners. As I said, it is just the beginning but I hope to see improvement over the next few months. Good things come to those who wait. Right??

I regret that this is long winded but this journey is an important one for me and I hope that it will help others in the long run who may suffer from similar ailments as mine. Coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, Aztec clay, and Henna are becoming staples to me and will stick around as long as they prove they are worth the hype.

Posted in Good Things

Mmmmmm…..October

October is my favorite month of the year. It brings the smell of the changing season, holiday decorations, an excuse to watch anything scary (YAY!), and It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. A lot of people are refreshed and woken up with Spring and the blooming flowers. I gobble up October and go “nom nom nom nom nom” the entire month.

Southern Californians don’t really get to experience seasons. We get heat during the summer and maybe rain in the winter. Jackets are usually not a requirement when a hoodie will do. Flip flops can be worn year around. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining. I am grateful for the weather and it is one of the reasons I love living here. But I do live for that moment around late September that carries throughout October when the air changes. It’s a bit cooler in the morning and at night. If it’s cool enough, you can smell fires coming from chimneys. The moisture in the air carries the smell of wet grass, like it has just been cut. When I step outside that first day, I take a deep breath and savor it as much as my morning coffee. It gives me hope and excitement, reminding me of what the next few months have in store.

Earlier this month I was driving in downtown Riverside and the kids started shouting with excitement from the backseat. When I looked to my right I could see a store’s display window lit up with pumpkins, brooms, and hay. Orange and black dominated the merchandise and twinkling lights highlighted it all. When we went to Target a few days later, the back left hand corner of the store showed the remains of back to school supplies and the beginning of Halloween costumes, candy, house ware decorations, pumpkin carving kits, and anything else they can stick a witch or goblin on and sell it. I am even looking forward to seeing the “pumpkin patches” pop up along side the freeways that have inflatable slides, bounce houses, pony rides, and yes, even pumpkins for sale. I don’t need the reminder of the coming festivities but I love them all nonetheless.

It’s no secret that I enjoy scary movies. And when I say scary movie, I don’t mean let’s see how many different ways we can torture, maim, and then finally end somebody’s life scary. That’s gross and disturbing. I want to watch a horror film where I am sitting on the couch with my arms and legs as one, a ball of tension, and my eyes ¾ of the way closed because I am too terrified to have them at 100%. There are many on the watch list this year but aren’t limited to: You’re Next, The Conjuring, Evil Dead 2, and All the Boys Love Mandy Lane. The best part? I am so exhausted at the end of a scary movie, I count it as a workout.

To balance out the tension and darkness that comes with being frightened, we watch It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. I grew up watching it every year before Halloween and to be able to share it with Curls and Red fills me with such happiness. From Lucy and her evil football to Sally and her adoration of her beloved Linus, It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown is a tradition that I will keep long after my kids are too cool to watch.

October is a new beginning for me. The subtle weather changes, signs of the holidays, and films and shows to remind us what time of the year it is, are things I love about this Fall month. And my most favorite thing of all? These:

PUNKINS
Posted in Good Things

Calming the Voices in My Head Part II

After I did my research on Transcendental Meditation, it was time to take that information and put it into action. I decided to tackle a five day trial period to see how it went and journal the results. Here’s what happened:

Day One 

When I first sit down on my side of the bed, I try to make myself as comfortable as possible so I am not focusing on the physical limitations of my body. I take a lot of deep breaths. I close my eyes, which leads to my first thought: True meditation is going into a state of peace like Luke, Leia, and Han Solo go into hyperspace on the Millenium Falcon (No, seriously). I pictured the word I had chosen as my mantra whenever I felt my mind wander. I would imagine a mini me in my mind, trying to sweep out the unnecessary thoughts. I kept telling myself it was okay. But after a while my back hurt (so much for ignoring my physical self). The constant whir of the fan would invade my thoughts and I could almost feel the vibrations of all the sounds around me. That night I lasted about 15 minutes.

Day Two 

Once again, I sit on my bed. I make myself as comfortable as possible and let my head drop. Deep breaths would soon follow. I let my mind wander, hoping it would come back on it’s own and equate my mantra to “It’s alright.” But yet I was still not as focused as I would like to be. I could feel the glare of the television but didn’t want to sit in the dark. The door closes. Even with my husband being quiet as a mouse, I become antsy. After a while, I give up.

Day Three 

Choosing a different location in my bedroom, I sit cross-legged in the bedroom closet with my eyes closed. My mantra becomes “Out with the bad, in with the good”. I repeat the good vs bad until only the good things come to mind. It is now easier to focus, time not a priority. I enter a dream like state with a woman telling me I am worth it and my family loves me. There is no face to this woman. I keep telling myself that yes I do deserve the best and that I am worth it. The woman finally envelops me in a hug. I start to cry . It all feels very natural and unforced. I take away from that night that I have to make myself a priority.

Day Four 

Today I lay on my belly with head on my hands. I first breathe in and out through my nose, then my mouth. My dachshund Oscar follows me into the closet and lays next to me. I begin with “In with the good, out with the bad.” I try to focus which only backfires on me.  Too many thoughts try to take over. I eventually turn over onto my back and scratch Oscar’s back. It feels good to have my puppy next to me and calms me more than the meditation.

*At a point I realize that the nights I don’t feel like doing it are the nights I need it the most. I need to take myself off the roller coaster and breathe. What can be done at that moment can wait. And that I am worth it.

Day Five 

I am getting ready for the day and trying not to think about that I am having a “Where’s the local orphanage drop-off for my kids?” kind of day. The kids won’t stop screaming. I automatically start focusing on breathing and “In with the good (nose), out with the bad (mouth)”. I keep repeating until it curbs my urge to scream.

My thoughts after the five day process: 

Will I meditate consistently? Probably not. Am I even meditating? For now I have my own version but I am not going to stop working towards improving. Because I need it and I am worth it. And not to go all Tony Robbins on you, my reader, but you are too.  So all together now….

Courtesy of pagosasprings.com