Archive for the ‘updates’ Category

Revisiting No-Poo Shampoo

The Big Man, The Kid and I were out of town last week visiting relatives and the beach. The Kid was a pretty good traveler, though he woke up at night more often than usual. Overall, it was nice to visit, and it was nice to come home.

In packing for the excursion, I put some baking soda into my bag but decided to do without the vinegar.

(For those just tuning in, I use baking soda to wash my hair and white vinegar as a rinse — commonly referred to as “no poo shampoo.”)

As it turns out, the vinegar is pretty critical.

Normally, my hair feels fairly soft (not as nice as it was pre-cancer, but better than it was immediately afterwards) and it lays nicely. By the end of our five days out of town, it felt heavy and gross (not a great descriptor, but it’s all I got right now) and didn’t lay well at all.

Not having time to wash it right away before I wanted it to look decent, I decided to just give it a vinegar rinse and see what happened. Result: much improved, though not as good as when I use the two together.

Moral of the story: the vinegar rinse is important!

My current usage: about a teaspoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of vinegar. I don’t keep them in the shower itself. I scoop out the baking soda into a little cup and pour the vinegar into a large plastic glass, left over from many years ago (I think I bought it when I was in college). The little cup fits perfectly over the mouth of the glass, helping to minimize the vinegar smell.

I dump the baking soda into one hand, then transfer some of it to the hand that had handled the cup, and work it into my scalp with both hands. Then I rinse with water. I fill the cup with water (so the vinegar is diluted; the original recipe I saw said one tablespoon vinegar to eight ounces of water), tip my head back, and pour the mixture all over. I’ve been doing this for over a year and got vinegar in my eyes only once. (It didn’t feel great, but it’s pretty diluted, so it’s not as bad as it could have been.)

Have you tried no poo? Do you otherwise avoid chemicals in your hair care products?

2011 In Summary

I’m a bit behind here, but I was looking at WordPress’s 2011 summary of Change Is Possible and thought I’d share a bit of what I learned.

My five most popular posts — as measured by page views — in 2011 were

  1. Meat Glue
  2. What Can I Use Instead of Plastic?
  3. DIY mouthwash
  4. body image, body fat, denial
  5. Letter To My Younger Self

Did you miss any of them? Click through! Disagree that they should have been popular? Take it up with everyone else who clicked through ;)

My most avid commenters were Melanie, Trisha, Lisa, Shawn and Amy. Thanks for commenting!

When you like what you see here, please share it!


Yippee and Ow.

It’s Wednesday! Today’s post is by Nichol.

So it’s done. First triathlon is under my belt. I’m writing this about 11 hours after I finished. I’m exhausted, my legs are screaming, and I think that I have never felt better.

The plan was to finish in under 1:45:00. I’m a new tri-er and I don’t bike, swim, or run very fast. My final time was 1:13:17. It was a mini-tri, and I am so happy I did a mini to begin with.


It’s Wednesday! Today’s post is by Nichol.

I am conducting an experiment.

I am scheduling every aspect of my life. Homework, studying, sleeping, working out, social engagements, eating… I’m talking everything but the bathroom.

As of now, my last three days have been scheduled, down to the 15 minute increment, nine if you count snooze button time in the mornings, and it’s not terrible. It’s a little harder at work just because I work in a mental health outpatient clinic and things happen. Big things. Weird things. Crazy things. Literally.

This post isn’t as long as it could be and that’s because I didn’t really schedule any time to write it. Haha.

On the healthy person front, I’m back on the wagon. Doing my thing and it’s okay. The plan is to do this tri and not worry how hardcore I embarrass myself.

And remember a while back when I talked about online dating? Yeah, well I joined. Unexpected side effect? Diminished self-esteem when I look at the “who viewed you” list and realize that not one of those people are interested in me. :( Just saving the best for later I am assuming.

Stay happy peeps! And see you next week.

It’s my birfday!

I was fully prepared to rant and rave about food and the FDA this week. Guess what? I don’t really feel like it. I’m in too good a mood to start riling myself up over soybeans.

So my birthday is Monday. I’m going to be 32. Let’s reflect on my current position in life. Childless. Husband/boyfriend/dateless. Live with parents and adult sisters. Make slightly more than I made when I worked retail.

And I have never been happier. Seriously.

Now bear with me while I get all gushy for a second. I feel like in the past year I have gone from this grumpy, always irritated fat lady to what I really am. A healthy, happy plump lady (plump will be gone at some point, replaced by skinny) who is a responsible adult with a 12 year old boys mentality. (It’s true, convinced my mom to pay for half an xbox as a present.)

I feel like I have started over and I’m finally becoming this person I always wanted to be, and I probably always was inside, but she couldn’t come out and play. All because I hated my job. I hated my body. I hated how I ate. That was no way to live.

I think that now I am finally allowing my life to start because I’m ready to go places and meet people. I’m infinitely more confident and I’m infinitely happier. Now, I just need to find an apartment because as much as I love my sisters and my parents, I have to have my own bathroom again or I’ll wind up being one of three daughters, instead of one of four. (LISA! It’s your turn to clean the freaking bathroom.)

That’s all. I’m off to get my xbox and play LA Noire and not do homework this weekend.

Stainless Steel Ice Cube Tray Review

At the same time that I bought the popsicle molds, I bought a stainless steel ice cube tray. I had read mixed reviews about it and as such was a bit nervous about dropping that much money. But I had a little bit of credit in my amazon account and I wanted to make ice without plastic, so I bought one.

It’s great!

The ice cubes are maybe slightly smaller than your average ice cubes, but contrary to some reviews, they’re not tiny. I don’t think if I served them up to a guest they would wonder about the inferior, tiny ice cubes.

I had no trouble getting the cubes out of the tray. I ran it under water for a few seconds, upside down, then turned it over, pulled up the handle, and took out the ice. The ice cubes came out intact.

My only (very minor) complaint is that since it needs to be run under water to loosen the cubes, it can’t be put back in the freezer right away. (Or maybe I should be complaining that my dish towels aren’t absorbent enough?)

As of now, I am very happy with my purchase and am hoping that items like these become popular enough that they get less expensive.

One Year

I can’t believe it’s been a year since I started this journey. Well, by the time you all read this it’s been over a year, but for the sake of this posting, we will call it 365 days.

I’m not a reflective person, I usually do all my reflecting at once (last 5 minutes of yoga) because my brain (and my mouth) never stop. So really, instead of re-reviewing all of my accomplishments (lost 23% body weight, can run 5-7 minutes without stopping, eats veggies, blah blah blah), I will instead thank the people who helped me achieve goals, whether by force or gentle encouragement. These go in no particular order.

My parents: John and Elaine have welcomed their 31 (soon to be 32) year old daughter back into the nest based on the idea that I was going to throw away my teaching contract, née entire teaching career, be voluntarily jobless in a downturn economy, and find my real passion. They charge me minimal rent (which I’m not always on time with) and endured my complaints about sharing a bathroom with Lisa and having to do the dishes. They allow me to grocery shop and develop my cooking skills, and only give me crap once or twice a day about living at home in my 30s. (Which I am no longer embarrassed about because I have a nice pool and free wi-fi.) They also randomly throw me compliments on how incredibly irresistibly hot I am and to keep up the good work. (Exaggeration on how hot I am done solely for my own benefit.)

My sisters: Sarah goes on bike rides with me. Rachel helped me through getting ready for a 5K, and Lisa occasionally cleans the bathroom. They always piss me off and they always make me laugh. I could not love 3 people more. They never let me get discouraged and remind me that I am more than just a fat girl. I probably never would have gotten this far without their support.

My best friend: Janna has listened to me piss and moan my way through this whole thing. She has been my best friend and favorite Harry Potter reading buddy since 9th grade. Anyone doing the math will realize that we have been friends for 18 years, we’ve known each other for 20. That’s a LOOOONG time. Janna is on her own life changing journey right now, and I think more than anything, that motivates me to do more. We are regular Zumba and Yoga attendees now.

Family and friends: all the support and love and encouragement. Sometimes more than I deserve. Cousins (such as Hilary, who knows the struggle), gram (who always makes me feel like I might get too skinny), Mike who always has good advice and Tracy who I am doing my first tri with. And Kathy – who makes me eat bizarre things or orders bizarre things that make me gag until I eat them off her plate and then I love them too. (octopus)

And then there is Heather. Her amazing journey, even pre-friendship via The Place That Shall Not Be Named amazes me and she continues to amaze. (She is custom building a child in her body! Amazing!) I’m just going to be lazy here and cut/paste something I wrote a while ago, which says everything I need to say and was written in a fit of emotion (modified as I see fit).
“I just want to say that without your help and motivation, I would never have dreamed I would take it this far. I had kind of given myself up as hopeless and was resigned to the idea of being overweight (read: fat) forever. I’m doing things and considering doing things I never even thought of doing myself. So thanks. You’re helping me save my life.” Every word is still true today.

When I wrote that, I was toying with the idea of a tri. Now, I am doing one. Eek.


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