Never Underestimate the Power of Almond Flour

Never Underestimate the Power of Almond Flour

Yesterday I enjoyed an afternoon snack of almond butter on a slice of coconut bread.  As I was nibbling on my healthy creation I realized that some alien must have taken over my body.  In just 4 weeks I have completely changed my eating habits and I am not hating it or dreading every meal.  I know…it’s a surprise to me too!  Sure, I wrote a whole book that is selling in bookstores all over the country, but that pales in comparison with how hard it was to eliminate sugar (including fruit or any other sweet thing) for an entire month.

Hi.  I’m Lisa and I’m a sugar addict. {Hi Lisa!}

Plus, since April 16th, in addition to sugars, I have also been off of all grains, starchy veggies, dairy and basically anything with a flavor other than bitter.  I’ve eaten things like spinach soup (which made me feel like Popeye), more asparagus, kale, cauliflower, green beans and broccoli than I care to measure.  I got to have 2 eggs each day and you have NO IDEA how much I looked forward to those!  Plus I could eat a small amount of avocado, which in my opinion, was sent straight from heaven.  But then, what to eat it with?  Lettuce?  Mmmmm.

I’ve been aiming at getting rid of the candida (aka yeast) in my body.  And let me tell you….I can FEEL the difference!  The fog brain, rashes, bloaty feeling and fatigue are almost gone.  Although I am still a clutz.  Some of this is just the joy of being me!  I have also noticed a huge change in my moods.  I’m not on the edge of irritability anymore.  That has been my family’s favorite outcome of my new eating habits.  Myself, I am enjoying feeling better.  Oh, and I have lost a few pounds, but honestly that has not been my focus at all.  It’s just stevia-sweetened, dairy-free icing on the grain-free cake!

This diet started with a 7-day cleanse, then you move on to phase 2 which is a little more lenient (but just a LITTLE).  The cleanse phase is meant to really flush out the yeast and now that I have done it, I am onto a gentler approach which lets me have a bit more variety.

Yesterday, as my first day of the second phase, I got to add things like lean meat, nuts and yogurt back to my diet and believe me….I have been pretty excited about it.  I never knew that I could get so exuberant over almonds and chicken, but you should have seen me bound out of bed and rush to the kitchen for something besides eggs….I almost knocked down a few children.  I can now have more protein and vegetables, plus small amounts of nuts, seeds and coconut.  In fact, I spent some time over the weekend experimenting in the kitchen with flours made from these and getting my heart set on that yummy coconut bread with almond butter I told you about.

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Believe me, it took me this entire month to get into that head space where I like this food.  I love me some junk food and chocolate anything.  The very idea that I would look forward to sugar-free-grain-free-dairy-free pastry makes me hardly recognize myself.  But feeling so much better has me actually looking forward to it.

Now, you should know that I am pretty much the worst in the kitchen.  I never get anything to turn out the way they promise in a recipe.  I can’t even get a boxed cake mix to turn out right.  So I am not the girl to be making alternative foods.  If my white flour bread turns out like bricks, you imagine what my coconut flour stevia bread would be like!

I want you to know how bad I am at cooking because I made some crackers that turned out great!  It’s solid proof that anyone can make these.  They were easy and yummy and I can see a LOT of uses for them.  I admit they aren’t cheap to make.  They require almond flour, which is expensive.  But I got mine at Costco and it’s still cheaper than buying gluten-free crackers and it has the added benefit of knowing exactly what’s in them!  (plus I also can’t have rice which is what most GF crackers are made of)

You can find the cracker recipe HERE at Elana’s Pantry (she has a ton of great recipes!).  I didn’t put the pepper in mine like she did, but I added some garlic powder instead.  I’m gonna try adding some essential oils next time like rosemary, ginger or maybe orange with cinnamon.  These crackers have the consistency of shortbread but don’t have much flavor which makes them perfect for going salty OR sweet.  A little cinnamon cracker with some almond butter on top sounds yummy!

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In addition to these I made coconut bread that didn’t turn out as cute to look at, but it tasted pretty good.  It was very dense and crumbly, but was less crumbly on day 2, which is a hopeful sign.  Maybe it just needed to sit for a while.  It’s definitely nice to have something bready to eat.  I toasted a piece with a little butter which made it crunchier.  Just one small slice is satisfying.  I’m going to slice it up and freeze it for the weeks ahead.

In fact, I am going on vacation soon and need to find healthy snacks that will be easy for travel.  I think the crackers will be perfect!  Since most of my veggies require cooking and/or refrigeration I won’t be able to take those with me (I am flying and won’t have a fridge in my hotel room).  So I will have to just do the best I can in getting plenty of vegetables.  I’m not going to stress about it, but I am going to work to try a few more travel-friendly healthy snacks.

There are 2 other things (besides weird snacks) that have gotten me through this month of change.  God and my essential oils.  In that order.

This is not something I could ever do on my own.  I have been looking to God to give me the strength.  So each time I have felt the need to eat something that’s not on my diet, I ask Him, “Lord, please show me what it is in me that is craving sugar/wheat/etc right now.  Fill that empty space with your Holy Spirit and show me how to satisfy that desire with your love.”  I think of it as glorifying Him and honoring His promise that I am extremely valuable.  I don’t want to make this past month sound like it’s been easy, but it has been fulfilling in unexpected ways and I know He is giving me the strength!

Second, I’ve been leaning on my essential oils to help me through, as I get used to the new Lisa who doesn’t eat sugar or grains.

Here are some ways I have used oils for the past month:
– put a few drops of Slique in my water to make it taste great and to help with cravings
– use any citrus oil in the diffuser to boost my mood and cheer me up
– Melaleuca and oregano on the bottom of my feet to support my body as I flush out the yeast
– Joy and bergamot on my wrists and behind my ears to help encourage good moods
– Life 5 and Essentialzyme are the Young Living supplements I have added since making these diet changes

Of course, I use other oils daily and as needed.  I wish I could have you all over to just sit and talk about how we use the oils here…it’s been incredible for our family!  If you’ve been thinking of trying them, click HERE to get your kit and I’ll send you some extra fun goodies including a terrific starter guide!!!

I’d love for you to join me and we can take back our health together!

This week I will be trying a few other new recipes and I’ll let you know how it goes.  It may sound crazy, but I am hoping to keep it pretty simple and not be spending all of my time in the kitchen.  I don’t love cooking, but I can see that I am going to have to find a new rhythm to my food prep.  That’s OK.  If anyone can find shortcuts it will be ME!

Have a wonderfully healthy week!

Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram where I share more of my food adventures!

Weddings & Water & Wrecks….OH MY!

Weddings & Water & Wrecks….OH MY!

I expected this past weekend to be long, but I had no idea it would be like a piece of taffy being stretched, and stretched and s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.  It just wore me out.

We had 2 weddings to attend, each in different towns.  “OK,” I told myself, “You can do this, you just have to be prepared.”  I got the clothes ready in advance and made sure the car was gassed up and cleaned out.  Meals ready – check.  Plans for the kids that need rides – check.  Hard working husband taken care of – check. (he couldn’t go to any weddings because he’s a CPA and it was tax season weekend)

My 5 youngest kids and I headed early Saturday morning to Austin (2.5 hours away) for the wedding of one of my son Jacob’s best friends.  This is a precious family and I was looking forward to what I knew would be a Christ-centered ceremony.  It was absolutely lovely and I was glad we went.  But as an introvert, I find those things hard, mainly the reception.  I didn’t really know anyone and wasn’t likely to start up a new relationship, so I sat there at my table being mostly anti-social.  I did chat with a few people here and there, but overall I kind of felt out of place.  I wondered as I looked around the room if that happens to everyone or if I am the only person who often feels like a bird in the wrong cage.  What do you do in those situations?  Do you just walk up and talk to people?  Do you pretend to be busy feeding your kids?  Do you sit like a wallflower not talking?  I don’t expect answers to these questions.  I’m just pondering out loud.  Introvert problems.

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We left the reception and headed to have dinner with my daughter who lives in the same town.  We had a nice time with her and just as we were wrapping up and getting ready to drive the 2.5 hours home I got a call.  My oldest son Jacob (who had taken his own car to the wedding and stayed after to hang out with his friends) had been in an accident.  He wasn’t hurt and the woman in the other car was fine, but his vehicle was not drivable.

Now, this kind of thing shakes a mama to the core.  I had that angry/terrified/panic/relief feeling that sends adrenaline through your system and turns you into a mother bear.  “Get in the car kids…drop the burger and let’s go!! Jacob needs us!”  We left the restaurant, dropped my daughter off at her apartment and headed back to the area where the accident had taken place (near the wedding venue).

When I saw my son I may have hugged him a little too hard and hung on too long.

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Once I saw that he was OK I felt a little better.  We said our goodbyes (again) to the wedding party and made the long drive home in the dark, trying to forget the traumatic end to what was otherwise a lovely day.  We made it home and I was so tired, but still pretty wired from the excitement, so it took me a couple of hours to fall asleep.  If not for my oils I probably would have been awake all night.

Then it was Sunday and another wedding.  This time it was the son of one my MY best friends and in the opposite direction of the Saturday wedding.  We all decided earlier in the week that only two of us would go, the younger kids really don’t know this family well and we knew we would be wiped out from the day before.  My daughter and I would attend alone and enjoy some togetherness.  We ran a few errands in the city then headed to the wedding venue in the late afternoon, which was a bit out in the country.  We got about 6 miles away when it started to rain.  Hard.  Like, I can’t see the road at all kind of rain.

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I slowed to about 20 mph and inched my way to the location.  Each time we contemplated just pulling over and waiting it out the rain would let up enough that we could see a little better.  Finally, after a few scary low water crossings we made it.  Whew!  Next problem: we had to park about 50 yards from the building and we had no umbrella.  We sat in the car trying to decide what to do.  Do we sit and hope it lets up or do we make a run for it?  We ran.

And I am not kidding you, we may as well have jumped in the river.  We were soaked down to our panties, hair was stuck to our heads, my makeup was smearing all down my face.  Have you ever been to a wedding with no eyebrows?  ‘Cuz I have and it’s not pretty.

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I want to say here that earlier in the day when it was time to get ready to go I started to blow my hair dry and had a sense not to, so I left it curly and more natural.  I am taking this as a sign that I really do hear God’s voice…..I just wish I’d been listening when He was telling me to make sure we had an umbrella in the car.

Wedding #2 was gorgeous, even the rain pounding on the roof as they said their vows made it seem a little magical.  What wasn’t magical was the sound of my dress dripping on the floor beneath my seat.  I was still soaking wet 3 hours later when we got back to our house.  The drive home was no picnic either….hail and storms pounding on my car in the dark.  My knuckles are still white.

Even though it was sweet and scary and sometimes humiliating, nothing that happened this weekend was really about me.  I was simply an observer in all of it, which was nice.  I got to just smile and sit and drip quietly.  Everyone else that attended these weddings also has their own story and this is only mine.  I like to remind myself of that when I lose perspective and feel like complaining about not knowing anyone or looking like a drowned cat.

This next week it’s predicted to keep raining and I think I will just stay inside and recover from my harrowing wedding weekend.  And maybe hug all my kids a little extra hard, just to be on the safe side.

Have a good one!

Have You Hugged the Sun Lately?

Have You Hugged the Sun Lately?

Oh my stars the weather here has been amazing!  I literally just go stand outside a few times a day and hold my arms out like the sun might actually give me a hug.  I don’t worry about what the neighbors will think as the drive past me standing in my driveway like a sun worshipper; they think we’re weird anyway.  I stretch my arms out and close my eyes to just soak in the perfection, because I know that in a New York minute it will all be over and I’ll be sweltering for the next 5 months.

Spring is my favorite.  When you step out the front door the day just greets you with cheerful excitement.  Sunshine!  Birds!  Flowers!!  And I’m not even an overly cheerful person, so it must be amazing for really happy people.

The change in weather means it’s time to switch the clothes around.  I went through my closet and moved the cold weather clothes to the top where they won’t be easy to access.  And the light, breathy clothing has taken up residence in the prime spot….right in front of me when I walk in to choose an outfit.  There’s no reason for me to need the heavier items now.  I get hot when it’s 60° outside.  I won’t need a sweater again until at least November.

While my clothing needs are taken care of, I do need to find myself a new pair of sunglasses.  My current pair is about 8 years old and showing signs of wear and tear.  Actually, I have been searching for a new pair for the past couple of years.  I am too picky about this, especially since I change everything else so frequently your head would spin.  I switch purses at least every week, I like to wear different shoes each day, I try new hairstyles, new jewelry, I even got a new wedding band that I’ve been wearing for the past year just because I like a change….but my sunglasses I’ve been wearing since 2007.  I don’t even understand myself sometimes.

I don’t want a cheap pair because they slip down and really aren’t pretty.  I want pretty.  But I also refuse to pay $300 for a pair of sunglasses.  I mean, can that be right?  Of course, if you divide up the average amount of time I will likely wear them that’s actually only $3.16/month.  Hey, I like that math!

It will be a while before I have time to go sunglasses shopping again.  We stay pretty busy in the spring.  This coming weekend we have several weddings to attend, so we will be driving around from town to town for three days.  It just occurred to me yesterday that I don’t have a wedding gift for any of these couples.  I looked at their registries and nothing popped out at me so I guess it’s the old cash gift.  People like cash….just go get yourself what you want.  I may toss in a bottle of a favorite essential oil for my own enjoyment, maybe lavender or Stress Away.  In fact, if you’re looking for a great gift idea for me, that’s pretty much what I’d want, a bottle of Young Living essential oil and some cash.  There, now I’ve talked myself into the greatest wedding gift I can think of.

I read somewhere that a popular wedding gift is a KitchenAid Stand Mixer.  Say What?!  Who spends that much money on a wedding gifts?  Probably the same people buying $300 sunglasses.  I’m more of a $25 in a money shaped envelope with a funny joke in it kind of person.

I’ll toss in a sunny day hug for good measure.

Have a great weekend!

How About a Nice Hawaiian Punch?!

How About a Nice Hawaiian Punch?!

Lately I’ve been having 70s flashbacks.  My mind just rushes to the days of “The Sony and Cher Show”, Shaun Cassidy (swoon) and Love’s Baby Soft perfume.  In my youth I read Tiger Beat and ate TV dinners from metal trays, played record albums and wore bell bottom jeans with patriotic stars all over them.  Yep, those were the days.

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And the MUSIC!  I wonder how many times I listened to Elton John sing “Philadelphia Freedom.”  It has to be 1000.  I can close my eyes and go right back to sitting in my bedroom with the yellow drapes, with an enormous pair of headphones on, lifting the needle on the record player to hear that one song over and over while I stared at my Donny Osmond poster.

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I wonder what my kids will reflect on in 40 years.  Taylor Swift, earbuds, ipods, gluten-free food, cars that actually touched the ground….. “I remember when Mom had this thing called a BLOG….”

I’m not really sure why the 70s have been at the front of my mind lately, unless it’s my change in diet.  Diet changes do make me nostalgic for some reason.  Perhaps it’s because I miss the days when I could eat a Snickers bar and “smoke” an entire pack of candy cigarettes without gaining weight (don’t worry kids, smoking wasn’t bad in the 70s).  Anyway, no more of that for me….I am off of sugar, no dairy, and I quit candy cigarettes cold turkey in the early 80s.  I actually had a dream about processed foods last night.  It’s not easy to change habits that date back to 1972.  Nothing would comfort me more than a reheated piece of frozen Salisbury steak with a triangle of artificial mashed potatoes right about now.

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Sadly, I have gained some of my weight back from my big diet change a couple of years ago.  I was doing so great, cruising along, being healthy, then I hit some snags and before I knew it, I had fallen completely off the old wagon.  I let it get out of control and here I am right back to being overweight and ready for a change.

At first I felt ashamed of gaining some of the weight back.  I didn’t want to be seen and would get anxious about it before I spoke at a conference or woman’s group.  But then I thought, “Why?!  It’s something I struggle with.  Everyone struggles in some area.  This is who I am and I have nothing to be ashamed of!”  That was the end of that. #nomoreshame #nohashtagsinthe70s

For the past 10 days I have been eating clean again and this week I will be doing a cleanse.  I don’t like cleanses, but I know it’s necessary for me to clear all of the toxins and get a fresh start.  I’m just waiting for some supplements to arrive in the mail so I can get the cleanse behind me.  I am actually looking forward to it (not the cleanse so much as healthy eating again).  Making the effort to take good care of myself impacts so many areas of my life and my family.  I am nicer, I am a better mom, a better wife,  and when I show my kids that I am worth the effort then they will know that THEY are valuable too!

Maybe I should get some new posters for my bedroom to inspire me.  Instead of Donny, how about Marie?!  She’s done a great job of getting in shape and staying that way.

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And instead of Hawaiian Punch or Fresca to drink, I will be sipping plenty of water AND a cleansing drink made with water, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar and lemon….can you say “yum” boys and girls?!  And no VitaMaster cellulite machine where you strap a belt around you and shake the cellulite out (I am not kidding….they had these at gyms everywhere and I tried it more than once and you itched like crazy when it stopped!) I will actually move by walking in the mornings and doing my TTapp again.

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It’s a new day my friends, and we all can use a fresh start now and then.  I’m getting mine by dumping my junk food and making healthy choices, and of course incorporating my Young Living oils and supplements!  My apologies if you didn’t enjoy my little walk down memory lane.  If it matters, I actually do remember every single one of these things so clearly it’s like it was yesterday.  But we are changing our focus, right?! We’re gonna look to the future and make it even BETTER!

But before we leave the 70s completely, here I am in 1971.  It looks so much like my youngest!

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Thanks for stopping by!  Hop over to Facebook to continue the conversation!

Lisa on Ice

Lisa on Ice

 

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Sorry, no ice skating here.  After all, I live in South Texas.  The kind of ice I am on is more of an ice pack than an ice rink.  I hate to be a drag, but ice skating is about the last thing I could have done this past weekend, even if I lived in Canada.  Mostly because I can barely walk.

It happened Saturday morning.  My babiest girl and I were about to head out to celebrate her birthday with some mom-daughter shopping when I brilliantly decided to toss a load of laundry in the dryer before we left.  Mistake.  BIG mistake.  I mean, no one really needed those sheets and towels right then.  I just turned as I was putting the sheets in the dryer and felt a pain.  That;’s the whole story; I didn’t even get a good laugh out of it.

My daughter was standing at the front door waiting for me to finish the laundry switch when I limped past her and said I had just done something, not sure what, to my back and needed to grab some ice and some oils.  I oiled up, threw an ice pack behind me in the car, and off we went to shop ’til we dropped.  Unfortunately, I dropped immediately.  The whole getting-in-and-out-of-the-car thing became a problem.  After only an hour of shopping it became obvious that this wasn’t going away.  I had to wait in the car while she shopped.  Happy birthday to you ♫.

I texted a friend of mine, the wife of a chiropractor, and asked her what to do.  She gave me her thoughts and I followed them (once I got home).  Of course, she’s not a real chiro so I realize her advice isn’t considered treatment, just like when someone asks me for tax advice.  You should really ask my husband instead, but I might know a little bit.

“Rest as much as possible until Monday then get to the chiropractor.”  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

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That would have been lovely if I hadn’t been scheduled to speak at a local woman’s group on Sunday afternoon.  I texted another friend, “Please pray for me….I can barely walk or stand and I have to speak tomorrow.”  She asked me if she needed to learn my speech, just in case.  It didn’t seem right to have her tell all about her CPA/attorney husband and 9 kids, so I hobbled through it, then went home and got back on the regimen.  Ice, oils, rest, repeat.

Today I am 5% better and headed to the chiro.  The good news is, I am getting a lot of writing done.  The bad news is I am having to cancel some important appointments this week.  I really, really hate cancelling commitments!

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My 4 younger boys are taking care of me, which is interesting.  Sunday afternoon I had Levi (8 years old) as my helper.  At bedtime I called him to turn the bed down for me and while he did that I got into my PJs.  It hurt to stand so I was anxious to lie down and before giving it much thought I painfully fell into bed.  Then I realized that I had forgotten to do several things, so I told Levi, “I have bad news for you, I am going to need you to do some more things for me.”

“Why is that bad news?” he asked.  “Well,” I smiled at his sweet little face, “Because I only asked you to turn down the bed, but now I need you to plug in my phone, start my diffuser and a few other things.”

“I don’t see why that’s bad news, Mommy.  It’s basically all I have been doing all day anyway, and besides, I really don’t even get what’s wrong with you.”

Oh, to be young again!

My 14 year old is my helper today and he, unlike Levi, is checking on me every 20 minutes.  He set his timer and he is taking his job very seriously.  A little too seriously.  He’s like the waiter who refills your tea every 15 minutes whether you want it or not.  I mean, I appreciate the dedication, but I am trying to get some work done here.

But don’t feel sorry for me.  By the end of the week I will be up and running again.  My boys and I will have had some quality time and I will have gotten 20 things knocked off my list of “sitting jobs.”  There’s always something good to be found in an unexpected situation!

Have a terrific week!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Snapchat….just search for @penningtonpoint.

You Know You Are a Dealer When….

You Know You Are a Dealer When….

This past weekend at the Christian Worldview Film Festival I met some great people, mostly young and brilliant and out of my league in every way.  These are the kind of young adults who are so on their game and learning faster than I can type….yeah….those.

I, of course, was wearing my essential oils.  I had on Joy and bergamot and Thieves and Magnify Your Purpose.  So I smelled a little…you know…earthy.  One of the young folks sniffed the air then said, ” Oh.  You’re wearing essential oils.  I can smell it.  You must be a dealer.”

A dealer?  Right, that’s what I am.

Me: {loud whisper} Hey.  Psssst.  Yes you, come over here.  I see you have a problem.  {look left, look right} I have something for you.  {lead the person down a back alley where I open my coat to reveal a bunch of colored bottles to choose from} I can hook you up, man.

I have never done that.  Yet.

Want the good stuff? I can hook you up. ;)

But I do carry a case full of oils with me in my purse and have them everywhere I go.  Sometimes I even have little booklets to share.  Hmmmm….maybe I am a dealer.

On our weekend adventure we also took a stroll along the Riverwalk and saw the Alamo, where I did need my oils because it was so crowded I worried that I might get mugged, or bumped over the side and fall into the river.  People were EVERYWHERE.  Besides tourists, drunk people and mariachi bands, we saw plenty of policemen and felt generally safe.  I had on Valor and Northern Lights Black Spruce just in case I needed to protect my friend or my purse full of oil bottles.

The next day we ventured out to LBJ Ranch and if you’ve never been there you MUST go when you’re in the Texas Hill Country.  It is a wealth of history and gorgeous surroundings and so, so great for the kids.  We have done the tour of the Texas White House several times and learn something new with each walkthrough.  We took a picnic lunch because it had been 88° the day before so naturally we thought it would be a grand idea.  But then it turned out to only be about 45° and we were so c-c-c-cold we ate it in the car.  There’s no oil that cleans up cracker crumbs, but a little Joy over my heart helps a mama relax until it gets cleaned up later.

Texas weather is so unpredictable you can’t even put your winter clothes away until June.  And forget packing up the summer clothes, you might need those on Christmas day.  But when you do pack up your clothes….put a cotton ball with peppermint in with them…we don’t want critters to mess them up.

Then, the best part of the weekend was laying around most of Sunday and doing pretty much nothing.  I put lavender in the diffuser and took the best nap, then played games with my boys and relaxed.  Don’t you just love those kinds of Sunday?

As for oils, if you want the good stuff, I can hook you up.

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I use them so much that it’s become a part of my lifestyle and I can always be found with something to pass along.  When you get yourself a Premium Started Kit I’ll send you tons of goodness so you can know how to use them yourself and even help you become a dealer yourself if you want.  Just click HERE and be prepared for a new obsession.

Don’t forget to enter my giveaway for an amazing $70 book bundle!

Covering My Gray Ain’t Easy, but at Least I Got My Closet Cleaned While I Was at It

Covering My Gray Ain’t Easy, but at Least I Got My Closet Cleaned While I Was at It

I decided this weekend was the time to deal with the monstrocity that was my gray roots.  Nothing says “I don’t care” like dark brown hair with an inch and a half of gray at the top.  I used to have my hair colored by the girl who cuts it.  She does such a nice job and it was a treat, but now that I have started doing it myself (to save money, of course, because there’s really no other reason I would take on this task) it’s become a burden.

It’s messy and takes forever and I can’t just sit and take it easy while the color sets because I don’t own all of the lovely tools and equipment they have at the hair salon.  At the salon I sit in a comfy chair reading and relaxing.  I have a plastic cape on with all kinds of clothing protectors around me.  But in my house it’s just me and a junky towel wrapped around my bare shoulders, being held by hair clips.  I do generally have clothing on my lower half, but my top half is only covered by the towel because I have learned the hard way what happens to any shirt you may be wearing while coloring your hair yourself.

And no comfy chair.  I have to stand the entire time so I don’t mess up any furniture.

So this weekend I cleared a couple of hours to deal with my gray and got out all of my hair coloring stuff.  The bottles and gloves and clips and instructions….all laid out on the bathroom counter ready to go.  And if that wasn’t enough, I decided to add a few other colors.  Last January I put some green and purple in my hair and I really liked it.  So I decided to touch those up as well.

I know, I know.  Maybe I am a little too far out of my teens for the colored hair look, but I did it anyway.  It’s not super bright since I have dark hair to begin with and I just did a few spots, not my entire head.  I have always thought that trend was pretty so I went for it.  I put green and purple around the ends of my hair and one small strip in the front.  The colors fade pretty quickly though, so it was time for a touch up.  Since I was already locked in my bathroom with the junky towel around my shoulders why not just do that too?

You can’t do it all at once though.  You have to put one color on dry hair, let it set for half an hour, then wash it out, dry your hair again and repeat with the next color.  Doing 3 colors meant I had a lot of down time in my bathroom.  During the waiting time, since I couldn’t sit, I cleaned out some of my drawers (which are in my closet) and organized my shoes and threw out old makeup and washed the dog.  I don’t like to waste time.  Unless it’s at night after everyone has gone to bed when I watch old mystery shows.  Then I’m all about wasting an hour or so.

And because I was half nekked, my kids couldn’t come in.  So I listened to music and talked to myself.  By the time I had set the last color my clothes were all organized, the dog was clean and I had taught myself how to make albums on my phone.

After my final rinse, I put on a shirt and opened the door, where Levi was waiting to come in and talk to me.  He likes to be wherever I am and tell me all of his ideas.  So while I dried my hair he chattered on and on.  And then, because the bathroom looked like a rainbow explosion, I sprayed Thieves Cleaner everywhere and started wiping every surface.  Levi just kept talking.  My husband James came in the room to see what we were doing, saw my colored hair and told Levi, “You’d better keep an eye on her for me!” then walked out.

I pretended not to hear that, so when I turned around from wiping the sink and looked at Levi he pointed two fingers at his eyes then at me.  I said, “What does that mean?  Are you watching me?” as if I hadn’t heard his dad tell him to.

His reply: “Yep, I watch you whip.  I watch you nae nae.”

SAY WHAT?!  Where does this kid get this stuff??

I promise we have NEVER played that song or sung it.  I wouldn’t even know the words.  I nearly busted a gut from laughing so hard.  Which in hindsight may not have been a good idea since now he will repeat it to everyone who stops to listen.

Even though it was a long, messy process, I am glad to have my hair done.  My roots are brown, my green is brightened, my closet is straight and my bathroom is scrubbed.  And the dog is clean!  What more could a girl ask for?

after this morning’s workout

Have a great week!

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Are You Ready to Make Some Life Changes?

Are You Ready to Make Some Life Changes?

I don’t know about you, but I am lagging behind lately.  It’s already March and my brain just shook out the holidays.  That also means that I generally think it’s Tuesday on Friday and even though today is Wednesday I am just getting to my normal Monday activities.

It could be partly because I have been traveling a lot, or it could be something that happens when you pass 50.  I remember my grandfather telling me every time I saw him that he couldn’t believe how quickly time was passing.  I wonder if he thought Thursdays were Tuesday.

But that’s not what I want to tell you about.  I want to share some of the lessons I learned at a seminar I attended last weekend.

I thought I was going to a marketing and business seminar, but it turned out to be so much more.  It was filled with so many great messages that I am going to have to spread it out a little.  It focused on personal growth and it was so, so convicting….in a good way!  Like when you rip off the Bandaid.  It hurts for a second then you feel better than you expected.

If I could I’d just pour out my thoughts on the whole thing, but that would turn into a book.  I’ll give you the Cliff Notes.

  1. You are responsible for your problems, not anyone else, no more excuses, you hold yourself back.

OK….OUCH!

2.  We were divided into 4 personality types and shown ways to understand and communicate with those different from us.  I want to explore this part of the lesson more since, according to what was taught, my personality type is misunderstood a lot.  It’s on me to try to communicate in ways the other 3 styles understand.  I tend to be blunt and most people receive that as me rejecting them or judging them when that’s not what I am doing at all.

3.  We as a country are teaching our kids to live in a poverty mentality.  This is the one message that I brought home and am really exploring.  I want to stop wasting time and money, start being more faithful with what I have and teach my kids to live on less.  In other words, no more fro yo.

4. You can succeed!  Anyone can.  In life, in finances, in relationships, you have more control than you think.  But you have to be willing to really make some changes and most people don’t want to do that.  They kept mention the “2%”.  The idea is that 98% of people don’t want to make the changes necessary to really make a difference in their lives.  They want comfy, easy lives so they stay stuck.  Stuck in debt, stuck in addictions, stuck.  I want to be a part of the 2% who gets free from those bonds.

So I came home all pumped and ready to make some huge changes around here.  I sat down with the kids and we had a meeting, planning ways we can cut back and stop being wasteful.  I asked them to give some thought to ways they can take charge of their own lives.  One of the boys said he knows he wastes a lot of time and he wants to change that.  Another said she was excited to save on our grocery spending.  All in all…..we are on a road to success.

Of course, it’s not going to be easy and I was tempted the first day to go back to my lazy ways.  But I didn’t.  I’m fighting my sin nature and that’s a battle I’m ready to face.  Prayer and determination….here I come.

So how about you?  Do you have a problem you’re ready to really tackle?  Even if it means facing the person in the mirror?

I’d love to hear more and hear how God is working with you.  Hop over to Facebook and continue the conversation!

I’d Stop to Relax, but Then I Would See the Messy House

I’d Stop to Relax, but Then I Would See the Messy House

How was your weekend?

I decided to spend part of the day Saturday sitting outside feeling the delightful 70° breeze.  Here in Texas we never know when the weather will change so I wanted to enjoy it while it was perfection.  It seemed like such a great idea until a few minutes into my relax time I started looking around on the porch at all of the neglect.  There were cobwebs and bits of trash and I even noticed a random Christmas decoration that had been left behind in the cleanup after the holidays.  It was either go back inside and pretend I didn’t see it or stop relaxing and start cleaning.  I chose the former.  I had already planned to deep clean my bathroom later that day and didn’t feel the need to make any other improvements to my life at the moment.

I was actually looking forward to cleaning my bathroom.  It, too, had been neglected with all of my Summiting and holidays and trips.  I had purchased some Playtex gloves last week for the job because it makes me feel very grown up.  When I was a girl it seemed that all women wore pearls and Playtex gloves when they did their womanly work.  I skipped the pearls, but the gloves just felt right.

I spent almost the entire afternoon chipping away at the dirt and grime until the whole room shone like a new penny.  I didn’t just scrub, I also cleaned out the cabinet and tossed the junk I never used in the garbage and rearranged my essential oils.

I have switched up my oily routine and wanted to have those I am using daily all together in one easily accessible spot, so I did some reorganizing and relocating.  I used two of my little wall shelves for my daily bottles and put my extras in a drawer in alphabetical order.  OCD much?

On Sunday we decided to go worship with some friends in the afternoon and just hang out at home in the morning.  We were chillin’ when there was a knock at the door.  It was a FedEx guy delivering a baby gate I had ordered.  I had no idea those guys worked on Sunday.  It’s kinda sad really.  They need a day off.

But I was excited to get my package.  I had ordered the gate because we have decided to keep our puppy out of the back of the house (someday I’ll write another long post about how I can’t get this dog to stop peeing on my carpet).  We owned a baby gate from the olden days that we had been using to block the hallway, but my daughters and I were having trouble stepping over it.  The boys kept telling us they could get over it just fine and didn’t see what our problem was.  Yeah, wear a skirt and gain a few pounds then talk to me about it.

The final straw came last week when I actually fell trying to climb over it.

I thought about making something that would open easily for us to pass through, but then wondered if maybe they have invented something like that in the 8 years since I shopped for baby accessories.  Lo and behold….they did!  I ordered a gate on Amazon that opens and closes easily….halleluyer!

I gave the FedEx box to the boys and asked them to install it for me.  They grabbed it up, each wanting to get their hands on the new project.  I figured they could handle it so I left them with it and went into my bedroom to do some straightening.  Sounds reasonable, right?  Well after about 20 minutes they came barreling in my room, “Mommy!  Where’s the drill?!”

Me: Um, it’s in the workshop, but WAIT!  Before you go get it, what do you need it for?
Boy 1: We need to drill holes in the wall to put the gate up!
Boy 2: I can’t wait….I have never used a drill before!
Boy 3: We drew big circles on the wall where the holes go like the instructions said!

Uhhhh…….I decided I’d better go check things out before I ended up with giant holes the size of quarters in my walls.

Sure enough, the instructions with no words, only pictures, did seem to suggest drilling holes in the wall.  But upon further inspection we decided that was probably only necessary if the gate wouldn’t stay put on its own.  I suggested they try installing the gate WITHOUT holes, which was an extreme disappointment to them.  It worked.  Crisis averted.

Later that afternoon I decided to surprise James by going through my February receipts and email him what each expense was for.  Usually we go through them at the end of each month and he has to sit there for hours while I torturously try to make my brain remember why I spent $12 at Target on the 4th.  So I sat down and typed it all out and emailed it to him with the subject line, “SURPRISE!”  Later that night he thanked me for the report and said how much he appreciated me doing that.  He said he was only confused by one thing.  After my iTunes purchase of $16.50 I wrote, “Ooops! Sorry.”  “Honey, we don’t have an ooops category.”

All I could say was, “Well we should.  I mean, how does one categorize in-app purchases?”

He didn’t say anything else.  I think I proved my point.

Personally I am feeling pretty good about my semi-productive weekend.  First, no more falling over the hallway gate, my bathroom is shiny clean and I cut my monthly budget meeting time in half.  And all without creating holes in my walls.  I even got a nice nap on Sunday.  It was so great I might even go clean up the front porch now.

I hope you had an equally terrific weekend.  Come on over to Facebook and let me know what you did!

A Little Romance, A Lotta Prep Work

A Little Romance, A Lotta Prep Work

So….whatdya do for Valentine’s Day?

Being married to a CPA means Valentine’s Day gets a little lost.  By this time every year my husband is buried under mountains of tax returns and client questions.  That means family stuff gets pushed aside for a while.  It’s OK, he makes up for it during his slower times.  We all understand.  And I have learned not to expect anything for Valentine’s Day (or my birthday which is later this month).

Then occasionally he surprises me.  Like yesterday.  One of the boys was sick the day before, so we all decided to sleep in and just hang out instead of going to church.  There I was all snuggled in my bed, dreaming of white sand beaches and cool drinks with umbrellas when I was shaken awake.  “Happy Valentine’s Day!” he said with a kiss.  He told me to get up and get dressed, he was taking me out.

On Sunday?!  At 7am?!  YAWN.

It took me a few minutes to wake up enough to realize this was a rare opportunity and I should get myself in gear.  After checking on the kids and giving them Valentine’s Day candy and kisses, I showered and dressed for my mystery morning date.

We drove into the city and walked through downtown, exploring old hotels and historic sites.  We ate Mexican food and watched some street performers.  It was a nice, relaxing date and so lovely!  Then we did what old, married people do….we drove back home and took naps, then later sat in our recliners and watched The Amazing Race (which we recorded on Friday and hadn’t watched yet).

All in all, it was the perfect V-Day.

By the way, have you seen the new AR cast?  It’s all social media people.  You Tubers, Vine, etc.  I will be amazed to see how these young, slightly arrogant folks do when pushed to the limit.  Just the first leg of this season has many of them crying and whining.  It didn’t take long for me to find my favorites and who I hope gets eliminated early.

As for us, things are generally quiet here.  My older kids are all off on adventures and my younger ones have a load of school work.  So I just kinda do laundry and make sure there is food in the fridge.  All morning I check school lessons and help the boys and all afternoon we straighten the house and try to recover from the past few months of neglecting the housework.

I am starting a new project today that will be pretty consuming.  Our guest house (which is now more of a young adult hangout) had a water leak that we didn’t know about until it had ruined the floor in the bathroom and kitchen.  The shower also has to be removed and rebuilt.  So we are starting the process of emptying out those 2 rooms and getting it ready for some major demo.  I’m really looking forward to getting it torn out.  It is a mess right now of warped floor and crumbling tiles.

Tax season is always a good time to start projects because my husband is too busy to pay attention so I can just tear things apart to my heart’s content.  I do run the ideas and budget past him, but after that it’s just me and my sledge hammer, united in purpose.  I love a good makeover!

I’m itching to get started.

Have a great week, my friends!

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