Tuesday, September 9, 2014

My 5 Favorite Ways to Use Olive Oil Outside the Kitchen.

While olive oil is an amazing healthy fat packed with nutrients and health benefits, it's not just for consuming.  Olive oil is used in many beauty products. Because of its richness in antioxidants it helps prevent skin aging, the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, and is great for sensitive skin. It nourishes, hydrates and helps skin keep its elasticity. Your skin is your largest organ so all the nutrients and antioxidants you get from eating olive oil will also be absorbed into your skin when using it externally. I use olive oil a lot in my beauty/skincare routines and it's an oil I have come to love. Here are my 5 favorite ways I use it.

1) Body Scrub.  Mix 2 parts olive oil to 1 part brown sugar (I find sea salt and regular sugar too abrasive but you can use them as well) for an all over body scrub. And if you want to eat some while you're scrubbing away in the shower (guilty) hey, even better. Scrub on dry skin because the sugar will melt when it comes into contact with water. Scrub your body (lips, and neck to toes) and then rinse in lukewarm water, followed by a cooler rinse to help seal pores. You can rub even more olive oil on your body after rinsing for an additional health boost and softness.

2) Face Wash. I do the oil cleansing method to clean my face and I'll never use anything else after seeing the results. Most traditional cleansers are full of gunky chemical that make you break out even more because they strip away your natural oils, making you produce more. This way of cleansing gives you a deep clean every time without stripping your natural oils away. My skin has never been happier.  While I use jojoba oil as my base oil (because it's amazing for acne prone skin), I keep a large amount of olive oil in there as well.

3) Makeup Remover. Similar to using olive oil in a face wash to dissolve dirt, oil, and makeup, olive oil makes an amazing makeup remover. I find that the oil method gets rid of all my face makeup and the majority of my eye makeup, but after cleansing I'll go back over my eyes (especially if waterproof mascara is involved) with pure olive oil and it gets the job done so easily and effectively.

4) In the Tub. Adding a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to a bath is a great way to add softness to your skin. Just be careful getting out of the tub!

5) On the Hair. Mix two tablespoons (a little less for short hair), one teaspoon lemon juice, and one egg yolk together. Mix it in your hair and leave it for about 15 minutes. Clean your hair as usual and enjoy your amazingly soft hair.
 Side note: I have noticed the lemon in this fades temporary colors (like Manic Panic) rather quickly, so if you're looking to keep your colored hair safe you might want to skip this mask and find one without lemon.

Of course, adding olive oil to your diet will help your skin glow from the inside out and give you a ton of health benefits. I only cook with it or coconut oil and you can add it to salads and even smoothies for an additional nutrient kick.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Sweet Sandwich Bread


Making bread is one of those accomplishments that makes you want to call your grandma.  And when it's grain, gluten and dairy-free it makes you want to eat the whole loaf.  In one sitting.  Bread and pasta are what I miss most and now that I have discovered Capello's pasta, bread was next. I don't know about a store brand, but this recipe is delicious and I know what's in it - which I love. This recipe is from Living Healthy with Chocolate and I did some variations.

Ingredients:

2 C almond flour
1/3 C + 1 tablespoon flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 C arrowroot powder
6 tablespoon coconut oil
4 eggs
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
1/2 C coconut cream

Directions:

  1. in a large bowl, mix the almond flour, flaxseed meal, salt, baking soda and arrowroot powder
  2. in a saucepan, melt the coconut oil and let cool for 5 minutes
  3. whisk melted butter together with the eggs, apple cider vinegar and coconut cream
  4. using a rubber spatula, gently mix wet and dry ingredients to form a batter being careful not to over mix or the batter will get oily and dense
  5. pour batter into a greased loaf pan
  6. bake at 350°F until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, approximately 30 minutes
  7. let bread cool on a wire rack, cut into thin slices and serve










































This is really good plain, but it also holds up really well for sandwiches - toasted or not.


Not toasted, just some mayo and tomato


Toasted with mayo, tomato and avocado.



























Toasted Bison burger with mayo, ketchup, mustard and tomato.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I Broke My Ass.

Side note: I updated my portfolio if you feel so inclined as to click that link off to the right. There you go. Good job.

So I had those X-Rays done last week and the results were all over the place.  Want to see?  Of course you do.

So this one you can see the chiropractor's markings and see that my vertebrae in my neck have started to try and twist.  Why are they twisting? Well, look below.


That gap in the horizontal black line is how much my Atlas is off. And the second vertebrae in my neck was off to the right, so my brain stem has been pinched for who knows how long given that I've been in pain chronically for at least five years. Also since my Atlas was so off it was the reason my left hip was stuck and why my left leg ended up being half an inch shorter than my right. 

And now my favorite:

Again you can see how my whole spine was starting to twist towards the left (because of my Atlas - your spine is like a rope. The top twists, the rest follows) but my favorite part of all my X-rays is that outline at the bottom. See that gap? That shouldn't be there? Turns out I broke my tailbone last year and so that outline is where my tailbone is now, fused since I never got it fixed. Whoops. I fell hard last year on a really hard metal object and it hurt like hell and I had trouble getting around for a few weeks, but I just thought maybe I bruised my tailbone. Nope. Broke it. Broke my ass.

I had my X-ray assessment and first adjustment on Friday and because of my issues and the adjustments he started with, my central nervous system (which has previously been diagnosed as overactive) was finally able to work like it should (a lot of that was probably my brain stem being pinched) so, like the chiropractor warned me, I had a sympathetic reaction. I cried almost all day Saturday, no triggers involved. Also detoxed a lot. Saturday was rough. Sunday was better emotionally but physically not so much.

Today I went back (I need to be seen several times a week for a while) and had two more vertebrae in my back put back in place and he also does this crazy sinus pressure point thing where you pump your feet while he mashes on them. It's weird but oh my god is it amazing. I have sinus pain and pressure almost year round and this got rid of it almost immediately. And the chronic pain in my neck and shoulder is almost gone as well.

The weird thing was that, since I've been walking around with uneven legs for so long, I almost tripped a lot Saturday because walking felt so weird. My boyfriend thought it was cute at least.

I've also noticed my jaw pain is almost completely gone and I can even open my mouth a lot wider, and the pain I felt behind my eyes almost every time I moved them is gone. All related to the brain stem not being able to do its thing. Who the hell knew?

Go chiropractors. Y'all are like witch doctors and you know I'm all about that. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

What to Wear to X-Rays.

Good afternoon! I am headed in for a bunch of new X-Rays to see if some other health issues are going on - this time we are focusing on my spinal cord. Should be fun!

If you've never had X-Rays done, here are a few tips for dressing before "the event."

1) Dress in clothes easy to remove because you will have to drop your gear and get into a gown. Don't wear a lot of zippers or buttons.
2) Don't wear a lot of jewelry - most metal on you needs to be removed.
3) Take body jewelry out ahead of time.
4) Have easy-off shoes, to speed up the process. Shoes with a ton of laces are going to take time to get off, thus making everything take longer and making the tech/doctor wait. If they wait too long, sometimes they have to go to the next patient. The quicker you are, the better!
5) Have all of your paperwork done ahead of time - if they give it to you to fill out at home.






































All of this is quick to remove, including the necklace, my body jewelry is out, and I'm wearing shoes I can slip off before I go into the X-Ray room.

Good luck!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Boyfriend and OOTDs.

Thank y'all for the comments, e-mails, messages, etc. about my boyfriend story! You guys are so supportive - I love you guys.

To answer the number one question I received (I'll have to do a Q&A post eventually) - Did his mom read this??: Turns out, she did. Also turns out she misinterpreted the entire post, I'm still the bad guy instead of the victim, she basically hates me now, and wants nothing to do with me. So, I don't exactly foresee any kind of relationship happening with her. No welcoming family dinners in my future. I'm sure his ex is happy. Anyway.

I've been wearing a lot of dresses lately. The weather has been oddly mild for Alabama, so I'm getting as much leg-out time as I can.


Dress: Dollar General (right?)
Boots: Madden Girl





































Dress: Ross

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Unacceptable.

Alright, here it is. The boyfriend story - over two years in the making. Why has this taken so long to post? Well, you're about to find out. You're excited, aren't you? Grab a drink and follow along - I'm on my second glass of wine! Match. Fist bump it.

So we met almost three years ago on Twitter. Yep. Twitter. Author Maureen Johnson re-tweeted him, I saw it, loved it, thought he was cute, and followed him. He followed me back and a few weeks later we were tweeting at each other innocently as he was nearing the end of a horrible relationship. That relationship ended and we tweeted more and more and soon that turned into DMs on Twitter, then we exchanged phone numbers and the texting/calls began.

So why is this titled 'Unacceptable' you might ask? Well, things were never easy. Still aren't in some areas. I fell for him quickly and about two months into our 'official' relationship, his mom found out about me (through his ex!). Here I am thinking no big deal, I'm a good person and parents tend to adore the shit out of me. But not this one. This one found out we are not the same religion and she was done with me just like that, told him to stop talking to me and cut me off and end the relationship.

So there I was, stunned that someone so important washed their hands of me in seconds because of religion. To me, Christians should leave the judging to God (isn't that all over the fucking place?) and accept people for who they are. Not the case in this relationship. Then I had to worry about losing someone I had grown so close to.
We didn't end things, as you probably guessed. We've spent the last two years pretty much dating in secret. My parents, friends and family knew about him early on, and he told some friends and coworkers about me. And, you probably guessed it, not many friends (of the same religion) were a fan from the beginning - but some and coworkers were happy for him.

Then there was his ex - what a crazy bitch, and that's putting it nicely. She would basically stalk him and tell him to break up with me, she told his mom about us in hopes it would break us up, she texted him even after a year and a half of being broken up and would tell him she still loved him and wanted him back (pathetic much?) and even this past year she did some unspeakable bullshit that put him through a lot. She's a horrible, horrible person and for her to call herself a Christian is hilarious. She's a conniving, two-faced hypocrite who deserves to have her tires slashed on a weekly basis. And that's me being nice about her. And his ex is still all in his mom's life, which is really desperate to me. She's an EX. She should've been out of everyone's lives like three years ago. And yet she thinks she has some weird right to still be in the picture. Bitches be crazy, and this bitch is insane.

So the past two years have been weird. I couldn't post anything about him because his ex stalked the hell out of me online as well as him - so anything I posted would get back to his parents (see the bitch part?). We live almost 3,000 miles apart which is hard. But having no support from most of the people in his life was even harder. If I wanted to mail him something, I couldn't just mail it like a normal girlfriend. I had to use a fake name and return address and drive to Tennessee so the return address didn't come from Alabama - all so his mom wouldn't find out. Because if his parents found out we were still an item, the chances of him being kicked out skyrocketed.

So I was never a normal girlfriend. We had to cancel a lot of phone dates because friends of his would show up at his house and they either didn't approve of me (so he wouldn't mention we had a date) or they couldn't know about me (because they would tell his parents) or his parents would be around so he couldn't talk freely. And if he was out with friends, I learned quickly that that meant he would barely talk to me.

It was hard, especially the friend thing. After learning about his relationship with his family, I realized that most of his friends were the ones I should be worried about accepting me. But even where they were concerned, things were weird.

He finally moved out not long ago and so the girlfriend in me was excited. Finally, we could go public because there was no chance of him being kicked out. Finally, he could shout from the rooftops that he has a girlfriend. Finally, we could be normal. But, that still didn't exactly happen. He was pretty weird about posting me on Instagram and changing his Facebook status, and by the time he had I was so exhausted emotionally that I wasn't prepared for what happened.

What happened? Well, my picture got 12 likes. The picture of beer he posted after me? Triple that. Yeah. Beer got triple the likes than the girlfriend. I recognized so many names under the beer picture and only three under mine. So all of those 'friends' apparently, to me anyway, were friends within the religion but as soon as they caught wind that I am not of the same religion, the friendship was limited.

So there I was, heartbroken that it took way too much effort for him to go public and then the response that I got was just...disappointing.

To me, friendship is all about accepting people and loving them and being happy for them. And all of this makes so many friendships look fake and like you can only be friends if you follow all of these rules. That's such bullshit to me. He's happy and his friends (ALL of them) should be happy for him. It upsets me a lot, and I know it's not even close to what he's gone through in that department.

We all want to be accepted. I grew up an ARMY brat as most of you know. I never belonged, I never fit in. So in this relationship, I always envisioned being welcomed and accepted and having all of the friends he talked so highly about want to get to know me, the girlfriend, the person that makes him happy. Instead, it was a fantastic slap in the face that they accept beer...but not me. I'm unaccepted and looked down on by so many people in his life and it's just so upsetting.

I know not everyone likes you in life, but I thought I deserved for them to get to know me as a person, to learn about me and our relationship. Not shut me down the second they find out I'm not the same religion. It says a lot about religion, that was in particular, to me. You get a religion that is supposed to be welcoming and accepting and warm and kind - and then you're in a situation like this and you find out how judgmental, unaccepting, disapproving, and unloving it really can be. Personally, I don't see a single good thing in this religion based on my experiences with it. I'm at the point where I don't even want to meet most of the people in his life because they have already treated me so god damn badly when I've done nothing to deserve it. I was raised differently. That's it. And I've gotten put through absolute hell because of it. That's not even close to fair.

So, I love a boy 3,000 miles away and when I go to visit him I have a very limited number of people who want to lay eyes on me. Makes you want to hop on a plane right now, doesn't it?

Hopefully, things improve with time. But only time will tell. I can only be who I am, and be in this relationship and try to forget about all of the people trying to tear us apart and make things harder than they already are. And I can do it. I've done it for over two years already.

Hopefully future posts on this relationship will be happier and filled with pictures of our adventures together, but right now I'm posting what is going on in it now - which is still a lot of unacceptance surrounding love.

Haters gonna hate, right?

Monday, August 11, 2014

OOTD


Dress: Target
Boots: Madden Girl (from Kohls)

Sorry for the MIA. I was on vacation, then dealing with personal/relationship issues and then some health stuff. Regularity coming soon!