Functional Stuff

Library Reading : It’s All Good by Gwyneth Paltrow

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Can I say I was pleasantly surprised?

 

 

I am not a fan of Gwyneth (still not, honestly) but the cookbook was much better than I expected.  Yes, there were many, many pictures of a makeup-less Gwyneth, trying to act like a normal person.  She gets a decent amount of bad press for being out of touch with the average human.  Her recent list of Spring Must Haves topped out at over $450,000.  Oddly, that is only 449,950 more than I had budgeted.

 

Either way, this was a hard book to get from the library – it has been out routinely for months.  So, imagine my surprise when the book was available!  WOO HOO!  I could finally see what all the hoopla was all about.

 

I honestly skimmed through the introductions – I was really interested in the recipes.  Her “elimination diet” includes no coffee, alcohol, sugar,  shellfish, potatoes, gluten , soy or processed foods  (sounds like Craig Diet).  There is also minimal diary, so it is fairly strict.  I found it intriguing.   I mean, I have trouble going half a day without chocolate.

 

In the end, I found way more appetizing recipes to try  (I think a total of eight, which is a lot for a picky girl like me).  Actually, my inspiration for the Avocado Toast was based on something her she had in her book (although it included gluten free bread, sliced avocado and vegenaise.)

 

That being said, my biggest gripe (besides the excessive photos of Gwyneth without food or her  name dropping of some of  the biggest names in the business) was some of the ingredients she was calling for – vegenaise, to me, was the most normal.  What is xylitol?   Apparently, it is a sweetener, but she used it pretty often…I’ll pass, thank you. .  Pimenton? Probably not… Gochujang?  God Bless You (wasn’t that a sneeze? – no it’s actually Korean red pepper flakes.)  What can I say, I am not THAT much of a foodie.

 

Thanks to Eater.com, you can click here for some of the ‘best’ quotes of the book (note that best is in quotation marks… you know what that means, right?)

 

In the end, this is really why I love taking books out of the library.  I made some photocopies of recipes to try and back the book went!

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What does Dad’s birthday and Leukemia have in common?

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Happy Birthday Dad! (Even though you probably won’t read this ! HA!)

 

 

 

I thought today was a good time as any to talk about Cancer.  I know, I know – Come on Di! Stop being a Dizee Downer! Why are you going to talk about cancer on your dad’s birthday?

 

Well, because he almost wasn’t here to celebrate another year.  And, sharing his story could just possibly ensure someone else can live to celebrate theirs!

 

Now, I fully admit I have become neurotic about cancer.  Dad’s diagnosis was really the catalyst for me embarking on this journey to a greener, healthier, simpler lifestyle.

 

Dad has always been a healthy, athletic sort of guy.  He would even fill in on our co-ed softball games back in the day.   So, when he ended up getting what we believed was a routine sinus infection, we didn’t think much of it.

 

But, the infection did not seem to go away.  A few weeks passed.   He started sleeping a lot.  Then, there was the reoccurring fever.  Even an antibiotic didn’t kick this cold.  Finally, it was time to admit he had to go to the doctor.

 

Luckily, he went to his primary doctor who realized dad was overdue for some basic blood work.  (I doubt one of those ‘first medicine” places would have done a complete blood work up).

 

Imagine our shock when it turned out dad’s “sinus infection” was really Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  Apparently, many times a person’s symptoms are so innocuous, the leukemia goes undiagnosed for a while.  But, it spreads rapidly – it can be fatal within months if left untreated.

 

Well, let me tell you, there is nothing “cute” about this disease.

 

Now remember, I am not a doctor (even if I am playing one today on this blog), but basically what happens in Dad’s Leukemia,  was his normal blood cells were getting replaced with a leukemic (blast) cells.  Everyone at one point or another has blast cells in their system- they are really immature blood cells.  However, for the general public, these blast cells convert themselves into normal blood cells.  In a leukemia patient, these blast cells end up replacing your good, functioning cells.

 

Yup, dad won the leukemia lottery.  Only, there is no million dollar prize (just a million dollar hospital bill)

 

In the end, dad ended up getting a bone marrow transplant (similar to Robin Roberts – but none of his family members were matches.)  But, that is a story for a different day.

 

So, what is the moral of this story?  If you have a cold and it isn’t going away – go to the doctor.  Chances are, it really is JUST a cold.  But, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

 

I hope I didn’t ruin your day or make you rush off to call your physican!

 

PS – if you or someone you love has AML & you are searching for a ray of hope in this vast internet world of horrible statistics and sad stories – dad is currently doing well.  Email me if you want details – but AML does not mean it is a death sentence, even if it seems that every other page is telling you it is.

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Green Cleaning – Tile Grout

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Ok, the before picture is so utterly embarrassing, but I am posting it anyway.  To my defense, my camera has a million-time zoom.  I swear it did not look this bad while showering or bathing the kiddies.

 

 

Cooper has tried drinking the bathwater often enough that I worry about what I use to clean the tub.  Besides, Otter and Pinto love licking the tub after a bath too.

 

I did some searches online and in a green cleaning book I took out of the library.  Most suggested some sort of mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.  Total Deja vou!

 

 

This was a little more work than previous ‘cleaning’ and is certainly is more work than using spray-on scrubbing bubbles.  But it was by no means back breaking labor.

 

I used a damp rag to wet down some of the grout & sprinkled the baking soda on where it would stick (mostly around the edge of the tub).

 

I waited 10-15 minutes and went back to scrub with Craig’s toothbrush.  KIDDING! (or am I????)

 

I mixed together 2 parts baking soda to 1 part hydrogen peroxide and used a little elbow grease.

 

It worked wonders on the tile grout – it cleaned up like it was nobody’s business.  As for the tub caulking – it did a decent job.  Any ‘pink’ mold was taken care of easily.  I had one or two trouble spots I had to really go back to.

 

All in all, definitely an effective way to clean the shower.

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Three Green Ways to Clean Your Windows

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I have three dogs and two children who like to smush their face against my windows.  Daily.

 

 

I almost always have some sort of snout or slobber imprint on my windows.  This gets old very quickly.  I always used Windex, because, isn’t that the thing to do?

 

After reading a Green This!  by Deirdre Imus, I started thinking maybe I shouldn’t use chemicals on a surface that 71.4285% of my family uses like a postage stamp.

 

I tested three different methods and they all worked!!! The Joy!  So, take your pick.  My favorite was choice “C”

 

a)      Good Ol’ White Vinegar.  I put it in a Dollar Store Spray Bottle by mixing  50% water & 50% vinegar & sprayed that bad boy like it was Windex.  The Positive: Got rid of all the streaks and left a nice looking window.  The Negative: I am not a fan of the smell! Yuck!

b)      Seltzer.  Yes, the bubbly stuff.  I was a little confused on how to use it.  Thankfully, when I opened the bottle, all the seltzer fizzled up and out all over the countertop.  I just wiped it up with a rag and then cleaned the window with it.   The Positive: It got the job done with no foul smell.  The Negative: It’s Seltzer!  Was I only supposed to use it when it fizzed?  Do I just drink the open bottle?  I had more questions than answers.

 

c)       Water.  Yes, plain water.  The stuff that comes out of my tap.  Can’t get less expensive than that.  I simply wet a rag and ran it over the windows.   Done.  The Positive: Cheap & Always available.  The Negative:  ?

 

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Green Cleaning – The Kitchen Sink

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Warning – this is not for the faint of heart.

 

Still with me?

 

Ok, you can’t say I didn’t warn you.

 

 

It is embarrassing to admit that this sometimes happens in mi casa.

 

Apparently, unbeknownst to me, there was a clause written into our marriage where my husband does not touch the dishes.   But that is a story for a different post.

 

Anyway,  It would be so much easier if I just rinsed the dishes and immediately put them in the dishwasher.  Come to think of it, the easiest thing to do would be to let the dogs lick the dishes and just put them away…. KIDDING!

 

Either way, after all the dishes are washed or loaded into the dishwasher,  I get a little grossed out with the sink.

 

Instead of using harsh chemicals or stainless steel cleaner, I use my BFF of cleaning products – baking soda.

 

 

I just run the hot water for a bit and then spray the sink down.

 

Then I shut off the water – this is a very important step.  Doofy Dizee strikes again.  Ouch!

 

I sprinkle on some of the white stuff & use a paper towel to scrub a bit.  Sometimes I make a cute design in the baking soda paste .  Then I rinse.

 

Voila, a sparking sink.

 

Until tomorrow! Ugh!

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Fall Resolutions

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First off, I need to start off with off with a confession. 

I have discovered Pic Monkey and am completely obsessed with it.  

It is a free online photo editing software and it is spectacular.  I have been using it all week and am editing every picture I can get my hands on.  I highly recommend it because it is so easy to use! I feel very fancy!

 

Happy October!

To me, a new month is a chance to start over and set new (or not so new) goals.   Who said New Years had the market on resolution?

 

I always start with an incredible sense of purpose and conviction.  It usually tapers off after my first taste of dessert… And once the gloves come off, it is open season on the candy dish.

 

Using my new found “talent” with Pic Monkey, I made this October Goals Subway Art to post at home.

 

PS – Subway Art is what the cool kids call mixing up font type and formats to convey a message. I am sure there is more to it, but I am keeping it simple.

 

I know, it is amateur hour, but it was fun to create!  I kept thinking of new terms to add as an incentive and motivation.  I finally nixed ”Use the Force”.  Maybe next month.

 

Anyhow, the most important one to me is No More Excuses.  I am the Queen of Excuses.

 

Last Month I tried a “Wheat Free” diet.  I took out a book (Wheat Belly) and planned a bunch of meals.

 

 

It lasted exactly 8 minutes.

 

 

Ok, I am exaggerating a bit for comedic effect.

 

 

I made it until dinner.  The hubby made a nice ravioli meal – how am I supposed to say no when he cooks?

 

 

The big plan for this month is to focus on eating right and breaking my dependence to chocolate.  Oh why couldn’t I be addicted to exercise or vegetables?

 

 

So, I posted this where I hung my weight tracking guide… (Have no fear! I have tucked it away for safe keeping).

 

 

Alright! I have a good feeling about this month.  I ate all the chocolate in the house last night… so we should be good to go.

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Identity Theft Stinks… A Few Pointers to Avoid It!

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Talk about bad luck.

 

First, my dad got his identity hacked while he was in North Shore Hospital battling Leukemia.

 

Then , while in remission, someone broke into another account and tried to buy $400 worth of Great Adventure tickets on his American Express.  They didn’t even invite him!

 

The last time someone bought airline tickets in Dubai for Egypt.

 

Poor man never catches a break.  (well, he has me, so he isn’t doing all that bad… haha)

 

Did you know that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes with over 15 million people being effected annually and resulting in over fifty billion in damages?

 

Right now are you thinking – COME ON DIZEE!  Yesterday was animal testing, today is Identity Theft?  Where is the happy blog you promised us?! 

 

I would argue you would be happier without having your identity stolen… #amiright?

 

Dad is really smart when it comes to this stuff, so if he can have his identity stolen (multiple times) it makes someone like me (aka Doofy Dizee) very nervous.

 

(See, I can write this because he doesn’t read my blog.  If he knew I called him ‘really smart’ there would be no living with him!)
Here are some of his suggestions to keep your identity safe:

  • Don’t use the same password for each account

    Often hackers will assume you have the same password for multiple accounts. 

    So, if your Facebook Account is hacked, they will try all the big guys (amazon, discover  card, etc) and some of the little guys (Macys, Old Navy) to see if they can gain access to other accounts of yours.  

    Therefore it is important to differentiate between accounts.  A simple way would be setting your passwords up like this:

    Wal-mart account – WMpa$$word
    Yahoo Account – Yhpa$$word
    Amazon Account – Azpa$$word

    You get the idea.  Clever….

  •  Check if your credit card has a free notification service 

    Dad’s American Express card provides  free instant notification when his account is used and the card is not present.  In this instance, the hackers were not able to complete the purchase of Great Adventure tickets. 

      (Note to self, do this soon!)

 

  • Use different security questions for each account

     I am totally guilty of this one!  Look, I have enough problems remembering if I brushed my teeth in the morning, I couldn’t be expected to remember different security questions! But it is true, if your account gets compromised, the hackers could use this information to try to gain access to a different account. 

 

Can you imagine if these identity thieves used their brains for good?  We would have a cure for cancer, a balanced national budget and an end to poverty.

Now, please excuse me while I change all the passwords on my accounts…..

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Dizee’s Public Service Announcement….

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What do Sally Hansen, Bobbi Brown, Clairol, Arm & Hammer and Estee Lauder have in common?

 

They all still test on animals.  Isn’t that so 1970’s?  Click here to get a complete list – I was very disappointed to see some of the names there…

 

Guess what else– 96% of dogs used in testing are Beagles, primarily for product and drug testing.

 

 

The same traits which make beagles such excellent family dogs also work against them when it comes to testing, poking and prodding.  They are friendly animals who rarely bite and adjust well to whatever is thrown at them.

 

I was horrified!  I don’t know why, but I just assumed animal testing was passé.  I guess ignorance is bliss …  You can check here for a comprehensive list from PETA of those who do and don’t test on animals.

 

So, I have made a conscience effort to start changing my spending habits – I will be sharing some cruelty-free alternatives that I have already fallen in love with (and some that aren’t too hot).

 

 

And I found my reward for when I hit my goal weight – this adorable shirt! And I love that I would be supporting the Beagle Freedom Fund.  They do wonderful things to find these poor laboratory patients new, loving homes.  If you have a minute (and waterproof mascara) you should check out some of their rescues.

 

Thank you for allowing me my rant!

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