Friday, March 14, 2014

33 and Happy To Be!

I celebrated my 33 birthday on March 1, and have been thinking about what this awesome number means to me. To be honest, I'm just happy to still be standing, literally.


33
33 is the largest positive integer that cannot be expressed as a sum of different triangular numbers. It is also the smallest odd repdigit that is not a prime number.*
However, to me this elegant number represents a new beginning to really focus on my personal projects, as they will be worth my while. I feel it. Also, this message keeps popping into my head, so I'm writing it down: 
"All things are possible. All you need to do is ask."
Other words that have made themselves known to me in these fourteen days are:
  • increase spontaneity
  • self-expression
  • communication
  • inner peace
  • manifesting and manifestation
  • compassion and blessings
  • inspiration
  • honesty
  • discipline
  • bravery and courage

Isn't this just a fantastic list?! I think so too and can't wait to see what the rest of this year will bring. I am just so glad to be starting this year out on two good legs, as I am officially done with physical therapy, and am working on building up my left leg strength with the after care program. I have an appointment with my primary care doctor on the 19, so I can get signed off on that. After that, it's really up to me to put the pedal to the metal...no excuses, just action :)

*This definition of 33 was taken from Wikipedia.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Why I Threw Out My Toothpaste


A few weeks ago I talked about my experiment with clean products for hair, skin, and home. Today I want to tell you why I threw out my toothpaste. Have you ever read what's in a tube of Crest or Colgate?! If not, you should take a look, as you're cleaning your mouth with disgusting chemicals. I was shocked when I looked closely at the box my Crest anti-cavity toothpaste came in:

There are several versions of Crest (the Proctor & Gamble company is particularly cryptic about providing these lists of ingredients). 

The classic "cavity protection" formula includes: 
- sorbitol and sodium saccharin (sweetener and base) 
- cellulose gum (thickener) 
- water (as hydrated silica) 
- sodium lauryl sulfate (soap) 
- trisodium phosphate (surfactant) 
- sodium phosphate 
- sodium fluoride (cavity fighter) 
- titanium dioxide (opaque white pigment) 
- FD&C Blue 1 (color) 
- natural and artificial flavor (from mint) 

I can tell you that saccharin, sodium lauryl sulfate, trisodium phosphate, sodium phosphate, sodium fluoride, titanium dioxide, FD&C Blue 1, and artificial flavors are all no no's on my list. I mean what the heck is cellulose gum anyways? My general rule is if I don't know what it is, it can't be good for me. And this is just for the "regular" toothpaste. YIKES! I can't even imagine what ingredients are in the whitening, fresh breath, or any of the "tastier" varieties. 

You see, when I turned 30, an amazing thing happened. I had gum disease. There I said it. I was brushing and flossing at least three times a day, every day, and every time I went to the dentist, it got worse and worse. I couldn't figure it out. So, I decided to do some research and came across this glorious website.* They provided me with information I needed to hear and put my fears aside that I wasn't alone. So, on a whim I bought the OraWellness HealThy Mouth Blend to try. It came with a Bass toothbrush and a chart. I spent some time diagramming where my problem areas were, watched the video and learned the proper brushing technique, and started down the path to a healthier mouth that day. Now, I use this organic blend on my floss, as a freshening gargle, and as a "toothpaste." 

Now it's been almost three years since I first started this journey and my mouth is happier and healthier than it's been in a long time. I even received the best compliment from my dental hygienist this year: "I don't know what you're doing differently, but it's definitely working." So, I told her about throwing away my toothpaste and let me tell you, the look on her face was one of shock and surprise.

Another valuable resource I came across was this remineralizing tooth powder recipe.* Let me tell you, Katie - Wellness Mama knows what she's talking about, as this stuff really works. Now my gums don't bleed, are whiter, healthier, and never feel loose. Of course my healthy paleo diet helps to support all of these positive things as well, so together they are super awesome! I am so glad I threw out my toothpaste and I hope some of you will take this gigantic step and do the same.

*Neither OraWellness nor Wellness Mama have given me their products for free. I have bought and used them of my own free will and discovered that they have worked wonders for me and just wanted to share this important information with you as well.

Friday, February 14, 2014

BookLikes Newsletter Featured My Review of The Goldfinch!


I was very pleasantly surprised, when I opened my email inbox this morning to discover that my original review of Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch, was featured under "Recent Reviews and Posts" in the weekly BookLikes newsletter. The above image shows the newsletter in my email, and you can find me here:  http://kpaone92.booklikes.com/ Happy reading, until next time.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Clean Living For Your Skin, Hair and Home



I have been eating clean for about three years now, and in that time it has gotten much, much easier for me to stay on track. When I go off track, I am completely and totally aware of what I am doing, so I made the decision to challenge myself to see if I could revamp some other areas as well; specifically my skin, hair, and home.

The first step I took was to do some research, and I was introduced to two wonderful books. The first book I was introduced to was:
Thanks Tracy at www.thelovevitamin.com for this recommendation. I always had a sneaky suspicion that my face cleanser and body wash, as well as, my face and body lotions could be contributing to my eczema flair ups, but now that I am armed with information on how to read labels and know what I'm looking for, I'm about ninety percent sure that I'm allergic to at least one of these chemicals that I have been using. So, I purged all of my every day products.

The second step was to experiment. I figured if what I was putting inside my body was so good, why not use what I had in the fridge and pantry on my hair and skin? This part was a lot of fun for me. Some of the combinations I used weren't so good, but I will share with you, the ones that worked out really well for me.

For my daily facial cleanser I use a combination of argan and sunflower oils. I put two to three drops of each oil in the palm of my hand and then wash like normal. If my skin is really worked up, I use cold pressed organic olive oil and a small bit of calamine.

For a moisturizer I use about six drops of argan oil.

I also enjoy doing masks and I discovered that honey, avocado, and blueberries all make wonderful calming and moisturizing masks, that you can make right at home, in your blender.

For my hair I use nut oil. Walnut oil is my favorite and thanks to this book, I wash my hair backwards. This means I put a small amount of oil into the palm of my hands (a dime size is fine) and work it into my wet hair. Then I use coconut oil as my conditioner. It's from the same container that I use for cooking from Tropical Traditions. The final step is to shampoo, and I've been using a combination of aloe and tea tree oils. After all of this is on my head for about five to ten minutes, I rinse it all out, and my hair is much more manageable, without all the harsh chemicals. Oh yeah and in between washes, I use just a little bit of cornstarch or coconut flour, as a dry shampoo.

As for my body, I have been using aloe to wash, and I use argan oil for a moisturizer. I have been feeling lighter and less sluggish since using these products. Plus, I think that since I use so little at a time, they will last longer, and save me money. 

Best of all you can buy all these ingredients at Whole Foods as you do your regular grocery shopping, which totally saves time.

P.S. If you feel the need to do a scrub, once a week is fine, and I recommend Sugar In The Raw mixed with a bit of fresh squeezed peach juice. Just go wild in the produce aisle and let me know if you discover something I haven't thought of yet. 

The second book that made me change my outlook on cleaning products used in the home was:

From reading this book I now use things like vinegar, castille soap, baking soda, and other things that I already have in my home as cleaning products. This book has excellent recipes, so I just followed them, but if I come up with something awesome on my own, you'll be the first to know. I love the fact that I don't need to use harsh chemicals to make my home feel clean and sustainable.

I am so glad I read these two books as they really changed my outlook on the everyday products that I use, and I have been telling everyone about my findings. Even though some people would call it "hippy-dippy" I feel like I can breathe easier in my home and skin, while not polluting our Earth more than it already is, and that fact alone makes me feel wonderful.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Inquiry Into 2014


This morning I woke up feeling full of creative energy, joy, and happiness bursting at the seams. I feel as if I am closer to being my true authentic self this year, than I have felt in a really long time, which makes me feel really fantastic. I have been working (in my personal journal) on answering  '22 Questions that long to be asked' from Shiloh Sophia's most recent email, and it's been an exciting eye-opening experience, that I would like to share with you.

FROM SHILOH SOPHIA'S EMAIL:

At the beginning of every year I become obsessed with finding the language for who, what, where, why, when and what for.

One of the ways I work with the changing energies of my desires for what I want to create in the new year has to do with a very wonderful word - INQUIRY. Inside of it is everything that could be, but isn't yet or isn't clear yet...but more importantly: I get to choose. And the way that I choose is to INQUIRE into myself and consult with my life plan.

I am sharing with you the 22 questions I ask myself, not just at the beginning of the year, but on a regular basis. Often I am driven to this inquiry ritual for "moving on" through restlessness.

Yes I find it delicious, this work of invention is so enlivening to the soul. If your soul is parched, feed it some nourishment through inquiry.

SHILOH SOPHIA'S 22 QUESTIONS FOR MOVING ON AND BREAKING THROUGH:

  1. What is it I am committed to starting?
  2. What is it I am committed to finishing?
  3. Who is it I am excited about being?
  4. Who is it in me I am excited about letting go?
  5. Where is it I will spend my time?
  6. Where is it I will spend less of my time?
  7. Who will I reach out to and connect with?
  8. Who will I surrender and let go?
  9. What is it I feel really good about?
  10. What is it I need to forgive myself for?
  11. What abundance am I going to bring forth?
  12. What excess am I going to release?
  13. How will I shine my light in the world?
  14. How will I stop hiding my light?
  15. How will I strengthen my relationship with Spirit?
  16. What excuses will I no longer use?
  17. What is it that my soul longs to express?
  18. What is no longer serving my soul?
  19. How will I care for my body?
  20. How will I no longer treat myself?
  21. What was my theme for 2013? Stepping onto the path for an artistic journey, healing, and being careful what I wish for because it just might be taken literally and come true in unexpected ways.
  22. What will be your theme for 2014? Opening up the artistic doors to let abundance flow through every single day and work on micro-movements, so I can get more done.


"Throwing away ideas too soon is like opening a package of flower seeds
and then throwing them away because they're not pretty." - 
written in Creativity Fringes, ed. Karl H. Mettke

Saturday, January 4, 2014

My 2014 Mantra


Happy 2014 everyone! This year I've decided to not make any resolutions (since the word in and of itself is limiting and seems to me to be more of an ending then a beginning.) Instead, I've decided to focus on goals, and my main goal is written above. I decided to underline 'dance', since it was something I didn't get to do enough of last year. It's also a reminder to not take myself too seriously and have fun. I can't wait to try Zumba, make my business official, and put it out there without fear. Those are my three main goals for this year. I'm also looking forward to getting back to volunteering at Open Books, as well as, conquring my 2014 Big Book Challenge. You can see more about that here: http://kpaone92.booklikes.com/post/741174/my-big-book-challenge-for-2014.

I think 2014 is going to be an awesome year for all! Go with the flow and don't forget to dance as if no one is watching. That's what I'm planning to do.





Saturday, December 28, 2013

The Extraordinary Project By Suzanne Clores

On a whim, I was searching Kickstarter today and came across this project, and it really caught my attention. So, I just wanted to share it with you, in case you're interested.

In a nut shell, this project is a web-based story collection of our most unusual human experiences - from strange coincidences, to "knowing" what is about to happen before it does, to hearing messages from the deceased - all of it. Suzanne's goal is to collect 100,000 true stories and perhaps change the conversation around the ways in which we communicate with ourselves and each other.

I pledged $10, and the reward is: a dollar bill thank you, and a personal thank you phone call to chat about your thoughts on the extraordinary. Pretty cool. This project is open for 22 more days and I really hope it gets the funding it deserves. Thank you for your consideration and I hope you all had a wonderfully relaxing, fun filled Christmas!