Sunday, August 29, 2010

Beating the Sunday Blahs

Most people feel like Monday morning begins on Sunday afternoon.  (I know I did!)  Lately, I have been making an effort to turn Sunday afternoons in to a positive time that I look forward to.  Here's my new Sunday routine:
  • Get up around 8 or so
  • have my 1 cup of coffee that I allow myself per week
  • have a nice breakfast of eggs and veggie browns
  • read a good book for an hour or so (I'm currently reading "The Girl that Kicked the Hornets' nest".)
  • around 10, I start cleaning.  I always do the kitchen and bathroom (they are the dirtiest rooms in the house), then I do the floors, laundry, and whatever else I have time for before noon.
  • 12 - go out to eat with my family (hubby, mom, dad, brother)
  • go grocery shopping (the best time to go is when you're full!) - also:  don't forget the flowers!
  • other housework (Today, I swept off the roof.)
  • treat myself to TV, blogging, or facebooking
  • make soup for the week's lunches (Last week was chicken soup.  Today, I'm making lentil soup.)
  • make "special treat" supper.  It's hard to come up with good treats when you can't eat wheat, dairy, or sugar but I've come up with Italian antipasta as something I look forward to.  It makes Sunday evening feel special. ..AND - there's nothing like a clean house and a closet full of clean clothes to make you feel good and ready for the week! 
  • hot bath
  • read silly book &/or magazines (Silly chick lit.  Nothing heavy.)
  • bed at a decent hour
So far, this routine helps me look forward to Sunday afternoons, and helps me to feel good about the upcoming week.  Also, I used to spend Saturdays feeling guilty about not doing the shopping and cleaning.  Now that I know it'll get done Sunday, I can enjoy my Saturdays guilt free!  

 My antipasta plate:  (from bottom, clockwise) - palm hearts, turkey slices, roasted tomato and garlic, artichoke hearts, pepperoni slices, mixed olives, pickled pearl onions, prosciutto and figs.  In the middle - marinated mushrooms and roasted red peppers.  Topped with blanched asparagus (drop in boiling water for a minute.  Works best with skinny asparagus.)  I drizzle a vinaigrette on top, made from olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and fresh basil.  Yum!

I almost forgot this week's flowers that I chose as my treat this week:
Irises and Tully Pods.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Affordable Luxury

I love Calla Lillies!  They are such elegant flowers.  No frills, clean lines, and just beautiful.  I have taken to buying flowers for myself each time I go to the grocery store.  It's a no calorie treat!  I used to buy myself a candy bar or something bad to eat on the way home.  Now, I pick out flowers after I'm done getting everything else on my list. 

This treat won't contribute to my weight and I get to enjoy it all week!   Every time I walk in the kitchen and see them, I feel a burst of happiness.  Worth it!

What's your favorite no-calorie treat?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The DIY Pedicure

After my last post, I feel the need to post about a light and fluffy topic.  Pedicures!  I love a good pedicure, but since my husband and I are both  teachers who don't get paid over the summer (and we won't get paid until the end of this month), I felt like I shouldn't spend the money on something as frivilous as a pedicure.  BUT - my feet were in need of one so I decided to do it myself. 

At first, I really didn't want to but I thought, "if a pedicure costs $35.  I'll save that much if I do it myself.  It's like getting paid.  If someone were to give me $35 to give myself a pedicure, would I do it?  Of course!"

Most of us have what we need for a pedicure around the house.  I had several bottles of nail polish sitting around that I rarely use, and some nail polish remover.  Other than that, you don't need anything special.  I was reading in a magazine that facial exfolients and moisturizers work just as well on feet too!  Here's what I did:

My DIY Pedi:
Step 1:  Take a hot bath and  make sure to keep feet under water to soak.
Step 2:  Exfoliate with whatever you have  on hand.  I used St. Ives Apricot Scrub.
Step 3:  Get rid of dead skin on heels with a pumice stone if you have it.  If not, skip this step and just make sure to exfoliate well in step 1.  (I happen to have a pedicure razor that I bought at Sally's for just a few bucks.  Love it!)
Step 4:  Get out of tub and dry feet.
Step 5:  Moisturize with whatever you have on hand.  I used CVS brand moisturizer.
Step 6:  Remove nail polish (if needed).  Instead of regular nail polish remover, I use Boots Conditioning Nail Polish Remover Pads.  I get them in England when I go.  I have not found anything similar in this country.  One little pad will remove all of your polish on both feet, it doesn't dry your nails out, and it doesn't smell terrible!  Most nail polish removers give off fumes that give me terrible headaches.  This doesn't.
Step 7:  Apply two coats of polish and one coat of clear topcoat.  I don't know why I was drawn to this unconventional blue, but I was.  I guess I'm in a blue mood! 
Step 8:  Let dry thoroughly and enjoy!

It' not perfect, but my feet feel a lot better and this will hold me over until the paycheck comes in. 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

His Name is Khan, and he is NOT a Terrorist

My Name is Khan
All Americans should watch this movie.  Really.  I saw it this weekend and loved it.  Shahrukh Khan plays a character that has Asberger's Sydrome who falls in love with a single mom, Mandira.  Their love is unconventional, but very sweet.  The focus is the love story, but there is the back-drop of 9/11 which happens in the middle of the film  and changes their lives forever.  Many of us have never considered that innocent Muslims who live in America were also victims of 9/11.

Watching this movie has made me more sensitive to some unpleasant things that are going on currently.  Two stand out to me:  (I already had these thoughts before seeing the movie--it just made me think more about them.) 

1.  People are freaking out and trying to prevent a mosque from being built down the street from the ground zero.  Not AT ground zero, mind you; but down the street.  (Also, there is another mosque that already exists that is even closer to the site which nobody mentions.)

2.  Right-wing media idiots are trying to organize "parties" where people burn copies of the Qur'an.

Reasons why we should not prevent a mosque from being built at that site in NY:

1.  It's not AT Ground zero.  It's down the street.

2.  It will not be for "the enemy".  This mosque will be built for AMERICANS who have the misfortune of having the same religion as some very bad men.

3.  This idea that Islam is synonymous with terrorism is dangerous thinking and just isn't true. I have heard people say that Islam is a violent religion and it's something in the religion that promotes bombings, etc.  Well, what about the Northern Irish terrorists who bombed London all those years?  We never said "ooh.  Let's prevent a church from being built anywhere near any of the bomb sites", did we?  Also, Timothy McVeigh was Christian.  Did we knock down churches in the area?  What about all the Catholic priests who molest boys?  Is there something in Catholicism that promotes that?  Of course not!  There are bad people in the world, and they can be of any religion.  Also, no matter what the religion, there are people who will use the ideology to justify bad behavior.  Let's not condemn whole religions here.  Especially in the land that was founded on freedom of religion!

4.  Let us not forget that there were innocent Muslims who died in the Twin Towers along with everyone else.

5.  Yes, the Muslims have "jihad".  Well, Christians have "crusades".  Isn't that pretty much the same thing?  Killing people who don't conform to your beliefs?  The crusades were really bloody, horrible battles.  All done by Christians in a far away land.  The people of that land still associate the word "crusade" with some awful, awful events.

6.  I know Christians today who think it's okay to break the "thou shalt not kill" commandment to go abroad and kill Muslims.  We can go over an kill them, yet they cannot have a peaceful place of worship?  Doesn't this strike you as insane?

7.  Whatever happened to "turn the other cheek" and "love thine enemy"? 

Reasons why we should not have mass public burnings of the Qur'an:

1.  First of all, what would it accomplish?  Really!

2.  We didn't burn bibles everytime an IRA bombing occured in London; nor did we burn bibles when over the Oklahoma City bombing.  Why start burning books now?  I think this whole thing is racism in disguise.

3.  It's only going to make the bad guys hate us even more.  (and by "bad guys" I mean Islamic terrorists.  Not ALL muslims!)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Rules of Classy-ness

Through reading other people's blog posts, I came across some rules on how to achieve a timeless, classy look.  "Chic", if you will.  Here they are:

1.  The 2 color rule - I'm still not 100% sure what this is, but French women follow this rule when dressing.  Sure, no more than 2 colors, but does this include neutrals and toenail polish?  If anyone knows about his rule, please enlighten me! 

2.  Either wear a necklace OR earrings.  Not both.

3.  Either make-up your eyes OR your lips.  Not both.

Audrey Hepburn followed these rules and, as we all know, she was the epitome of class.  People still try to emulate her simple grace.

Recently, I went to a reunion of sorts and I used these rules.  Here I am, trying to look classy:

I think I followed the 2 color rule by wearing only blue and black, but I did have pink nail polish.  Also, there is more than one shade of blue in the necklace.  Maybe I didn't follow this rule after all!  Can someone PLEASE explain this rule?

I chose to wear a necklace and no earrings.

I chose to make up my lips by wearing red lipstick (something I never do), and no eye make-up. 

What do you think?  Any other ideas on how to be classy out there?