Look Around List 3/5

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

Native deodorant. I know I just started using it, but I am loving it! I’ve had problems with stick deodorants in recent years and have been using spray-on, natural deodorants. I’m two days in and having no problems at all. Loving it!

Tea. I’ve gotten back into drinking tea on a daily basis again. It’s made me feel so much better.

Spring Break. I have the entire week to simply focus on my thesis and my hubby. It’s so nice!

Bonzai Aphrodite. What can I say? Reading about the joy in someone else’s life makes me feel better. Especially when that person is following their passions and is enjoying life. It’s always uplifting.

I’ve got some that isn’t quite ready to be shared yet. Hopefully next week will be longer. 😀

No matter how bad it gets, remember to look around. There’s always something good in your life!

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It’s Almost Earth Day!

I admit. When I was younger I got all excited about Earth Day. It was the one day of the year where you weren’t weird for recycling and caring about the Earth. Then I went to college and forgot about Earth Day.

As I started down the ‘green path’, as I like to think of, I started to join the “every day is Earth Day” way of thinking. But after reading the latest post at Bonzai Aphrodite, I started to think differently.

Yes, we should treat every day like it’s Earth Day. Just like every month should be breast cancer awareness month, Black history month, etc. But what if we treat Earth Day like New Year’s Day? Why not use Earth Day as a day to sit down and evaluate our lives and figure out how we want to make it better?

One thing I am going to work on is recycling more. I’ve always hated throwing away things that can be recycled. Then Sayward mentioned how Tom’s of Maine and TerraCycle are working together to recycle traditionally un-recycleable things. So I went to check it out. I found something even better. There are a bunch of ways that you can recycle through TerraCycle. I have signed up for the Tom’s of Maine, PUR, and Personal Care and Beauty. That means all my empty toothpaste, mouthwash, and deodorant, PUR filters, PUR packaging, empty hair care, skin care, and cosmetics containers will be packed up and shipped off to TerraCycle to be recycled. Hopefully my hubby will join me and we will drastically reduce what we send to the landfill every week.

That is my commitment for this year: to reduce the amount we throw away. Now to see if we can pull it off!

Falling or flying?

I’ve always found inspiration from three different strong women: Sayward Rebhal, Seanan McGuire, and Kelly Carlin. Sayward’s blog is such an inspiration and I feel like things make more sense after reading what she’s posted. There are a few of Seanan’s songs that really hit me and inspire me. And listening to Kelly and her friends talk about things always opens up my mind.

Kelly’s essay, “Finding Voice”, is what gave me the courage to quit my job back in May so I could use my voice. Sayward is always an inspiration for following my dreams and passion. Her post from Saturday really struck a chord with me.

To say that these are crazy days would be an understatement. These days are crazy, not just for me and mine, but – at least it seems – for all the sensitive souls of the world.

I can totally agree with that. It makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one having a crazy time lately. But this is what really got me thinking:

And then there’s Jeremy. Earlier this week, Jeremy quit his job. He quit the job he’s held for the past 8 years, which was stable and secure and paid him well. He quit the job that gave him insider access and endless opportunities for connection in his industry. The job that taught him so much. The job that he hated, and that was slowly destroying him, both physically and emotionally. He did it. He quit. He jumped right off the edge of the cliff; he jumped for his dream. And I took his hand and jumped with him. Because falling is so, so, so fucking scary.

But flying feels so good.

Talking about falling and flying really struck me. I’ve been finding inspiration from song lyrics that involve flight lately.

On the day I found my wings
I spread them wide and flew away,

Now I’m flying high, but flying on my own. (I’m flying on my own.)

On the day I found my wings
I said ‘that’s it, I’m out the door;
~”Sycamore Tree”, Stars Fall Home by Seanan McGuire

And pretty much all of “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.

I guess the point of all this is to say that I am so grateful for these amazing women. Lately I felt more like I’ve been falling, out of control, unsure of what to do or where to go. Now I feel like I’m starting to take control and am starting to work toward flying instead of falling. It’s going to take some work, but whoever said things worth working for were easy to get? (Does that make sense to everyone else? It worked well in my head.)

Raw attempt

Lately my life has been a bit chaotic. Trying to balance life, work, and school has left me falling back on bad eating habits. I’ve been trying to eat more fruits and veggies, but it’s only recently started to gain traction. Then there was Thursday.

Thursday is when I checked my Feedly and saw a new post at Bonzai Aphrodite (my favorite blog ever!). The way she talked about that cookbook inspired me to check it out on Amazon. When I saw the price, I couldn’t resist. I’ve been thinking about raw foods and it definitely appeals in the summer time. It arrived today and I am so glad I bought it.

Choosing Raw by Gena Hamshaw

Today I went to Whole Foods and bought most of the ingredients for the dressing that Sayward posted in her blog. Just the smell of all that fresh dill is inspiring. Unfortunately there appears to have been a run on fresh parsley, both flat and curly, so I have to wait until tomorrow to make up this dressing that sounds so amazing. I may finally get a chance to use my BNTO: salad in the jar, dressing in the BNTO. I’m looking forward to this!

But it also got me to thinking. I am going to take advantage of my new job and try being a part-time vegetarian. I love my hubby and I love my meat, so it’s not going away completely, but I need to cut back on the meat and up the veggie intake. So periodically I’ll be posting my successes and failures at part-time vegetarianism.

Now, I need to go get supplies and dinner, and head off to my best friend’s place for a girls night of strawberry daiquiris and Sailor Moon!

What’s Up #1

Okay. I admit it. I’m copying what Sayward posted yesterday on Bonzai Aphrodite. But I really liked the idea, and I think I’m going to make it a weekly thing. Of course with my own Polymind twist. So here we go!

Book Lover

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardRight now I’m about 60% through Ender’s Game on my Kindle. It is really hard to put this book down! But I think part of that is because I’ve seen the movie, so I have an idea of where things are going.

But the book has so much more to it, it’s amazing. They did a great job adapting it to the movie. They made the cuts carefully and didn’t affect the main storyline. But, there’s a reason I have a t-shirt that says “The book was better.” Thankfully this time it’s not a drastic difference between the two, which makes it that much more enjoyable to read the book.

Green

So my HIP is still going well. I admit it’s been a little harder this week, but that’s part of why I’m doing this. I’m trying to break myself of old habits and get new, improved ones set up in their place. I’m still managing to eat many smaller meals instead of three big ones. But my self-imposed sugar ban is getting hard to stick to. I’ve slipped a few times, but it’s always been less than I would have had before. Every day I have the intention of going without sugar. That really helps me to keep it in check.

Luckily going to the gym is a habit I want to keep strengthening. I love how I feel when I leave the gym. I love how I feel overall because I’m going. It is definitely improving how I feel physically and mentally. It’s really nice to know that I don’t have to worry so much about my back or that I’m going to be walking up and down the court half the time tomorrow playing basketball.

Enough with the Healthy Living side of things, I’ve got some awesomeness for the Green Living side of things. A month or so ago I decided to give a new shampoo a try. I am so glad I did. Yes to Carrots is the only shampoo that gets my hair as clean as if I was using baking soda and apple cider vinegar. I wish I had listened to my friend earlier and bought this years ago.

Student

I still haven’t heard back from Gallaudet, which is really frustrating. I want to know where I’m going to be taking classes this summer. I want to know what I’ll be doing this next year of my life. Grrr!

Polymind

I figure I’ll focus on something different every week to keep things interesting.
Music
Recently my iPod has been my best friend. After our little road trip to DC in February (I can’t believe it’s been more than a month!), I’ve been working on getting better playlists set up. Listening to one album or another is great. But every album has those few songs that make you perk up and take notice. So I’ve been compiling a favorites playlist and loving every minute of it. I’ve got a wide variety that ranges from Queen and the Rolling Stones to Jewel to Frenchy and the Punk to Andrea Bocelli to Seanan McGuire. That playlist has been keeping me going mentally when I need it the most.

So hopefully I’ll be doing this every Friday or Saturday. I think it’s going to help me to be more aware of what I’m doing every week and maybe it’ll keep me from getting into any ruts. Hopefully it’ll inspire you to do the same!

Inspired Focus

I love the blog Bonzai Aphrodite, in case you didn’t know that by now. But something Sayward said in today’s post got me refocused on my future goals.

My dream, now, is to be a science writer. Did you know that? Dreams always seem to sweep out and away from us, and then somehow to circle back. Or, at least mine always seem to that. Like this one did, and I find myself just where I was 6 years ago, dreaming of writing popular science. Of taking those stodgy, sterile scientific papers and breaking them down, synthesizing them, so that this fantastical, magical world of science feels approachable for anyone and everyone. But in order to be a brilliant science writer, you first have to read the brilliant science writers.

That is part of why I want to get a Master’s degree and probably a Ph.D. in Linguistics with a focus on signed languages. I want to share with the world what an amazing language this is. In doing research for a presentation for class, I ended up reading a few papers that I just could not finish because they were so dry. What they were talking about was really interesting and important, but dry. Granted they were written for people in those fields, but it still got me thinking about what it might look like if it wasn’t so dry.

I’ll stop saying “dry” now. 😉

But recently, still waiting to hear back from Gallaudet, I’ve been wondering if this is what I really want to do. Do I really want to go to school for another 5 years? Do I need a Ph.D. to do what I want to? Why don’t I just do the work and teach ASL? But reading that has refocused my thoughts and I feel like I’m back on track. Luckily, all those thoughts that had me doubting also help give me focus if I don’t get into grad school. There’s lots I can do here in Columbus while I apply again and wait to hear again. But I’m still hoping that is something that I won’t have to worry about because I’m going to get in.

Homemade goodness

Coconut Peanut Butter

Inspired by the amazing pictures on the blog, I decided to give Bonzai Aphrodite’s recipe for Coconut Peanut Butter a try.
Blending the peanuts
Ready to be added to

Added coconut butter and agave nectar

It's done!

Jarred and ready to go. This stuff is so good! It’s amazing when cold. It’s like eating candy without the sugar and the worry about how bad it is for you. I can’t wait for apple season now! The consistency is perfect for dipping apple slices. I was going to use this at Dragon*Con for PB&J sandwiches, but now I’m not sure.

Welcome back!

In January of last year, my favorite blogger and the person who inspired me to start my first blog, posted her last post. I was sad. I felt the loss pretty quickly. But the feeling faded and I thought I had moved on. It turns out I hadn’t. I had simply let other things rise to the surface and let that just linger in the background. How do I know this?

Bonzai Aphrodite is back!! Yay!

As I have been working to get caught up again, I’ve been feeling so much better. Just the first two hours of reading has improved my mood so much. I never thought a blog would be such an important part of my life. And it took the loss of that blog to realize it. You really “don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone”.

Welcome back Bonzai Aphrodite! You were missed!

Bonzai Aphrodite

MMM Musings

As most of you already know, I’m a big Bonzai Aphrodite reader, and every month she likes to do Monday Monthly Missions, or MMMs. The latest MMM is to give up a wasteful habit.

I really like the idea, but I’m not sure if there are any left that I can kick out of the house. My hubby is just about at his limit of reusable items around the house. There’s no way we’re going family cloth, even just for liquids, because I know we’ll run out before I remember to wash them (at least the toilet paper’s recycled). I’m not ready to take the plunge into reusable feminine products. He buys his own Kleenex because I buy ones made from recycled paper and are not soft enough. I refuse to blow my nose on dead trees, what can I say? 😉

The one thing that I have been trying to kick out of the house or at least use recycled are paper towels. We have quite a collection of various kitchen towels, but hubby insists on buying paper towels. Honestly that’s what I want to do for the MMM, but I know he won’t hear of it.

I really don’t know what to do! I’m no-poo, so there’s no shampoo to get rid of. … Hmm. I have been wanting to try out Sayward’s deodorant recipe. Maybe I’ll buckle down and try that. I’ve been using Tom’s of Maine’s deodorant, but it seems to wear off before the end of the day. I may finally have it!

Thoughts on… Bonzai Aphrodite

I had the idea to do a weekly post with my thoughts on a certain moive, book, website, TV show, etc. And what better way to start it all than with the site that started it all for me!

Bonzai Aphrodite is the blog of Sayward Rebhal. She regularly posts about her life with her husband and son on their urban farm. They are veg*n (her spelling) and will post amazing vegan recipes. Even as an omnivore I’m tempted by quite a few of them. She also will post recipes and instructions for homemade items like laundry detergent, kombucha (both the tea and the starter), deodorant, and toothpaste. There are quite a few that I’m looking forward to making. She also will post helpful tips for the urban gardener, including starting plants from seeds and potato tire stacks.

There are two regular posts that occur on Bonzai. The first is the Monday Monthly Mission. The first Monday of each month a new mission is posted. Sayward, and those who want to join her, attempt the mission and we talk about it on the last Monday of the month. They have ranged from using less plastic to no ‘poo to saving change to this month’s mission, driving less and cutting emissions. I always read them and try to work on them if possible. Some, like trying no ‘poo and saving change, I was already doing in my daily life. Others, like less plastic and cut emissions, make me take a look at an area of my life that needs work. It’s wonderful.

The other is the Friday Feedback Forum (isn’t alliteration fun!?). Every Friday Sayward will post her plans for the weekend. Then we’re all encouraged to either share our plans as well and/or make any suggestions for what we’d like to see on the site. Lately, because of the recent arrival of the little guy, there have been more people asking about childcare posts than anything else. But Sayward has done a wonderful job making sure every post isn’t about childcare. Yeah, the little guy usually gets mentioned, but he’s just soooo cute!

Bonzai Aphrodite is a wonderful community for everyone who wants to or lives a green/natural lifestyle. Everyone should have it in the blog list!

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