Thursday, January 7, 2010

Cold Weather Tips for My AL Friends

Ok, so after years of living in the north with the cold, snow, ice, and dryness I've learned a few things I thought it might be helpful to share.

To help with the dryness in the house: If you have heating vents in the floor you can place a mug of water on them and when the heat kicks on it will help moisturize the air a bit. This can be problematic if you have small children though. Another option is to just boil some water on the stove and let the steam fill the air. (My mom also boiled water with spices too and it made the house smell like she was cooking something yummy, but I'm not sure what she put in that pot of hers.) If you happen to have a humidifier it helps too.

To help with dry skin: In the winter months especially regular bar soap can be extremely drying to your skin. (It is drying all the time, but it can be noticed more in the winter.) Try using a shower gel or body wash. They make some lovely ones with extra moisturizing ingredients in them so that your skin dries out less. My current favorite is an Oil of Olay body wash that is extra moisturizing...but it was a tad expensive(for body wash) so I bought the Equate version (although Dave says it smells just ok and not fabulous-who cares at this point) and it works the same.

Also, I use a thicker lotion in the winter, sometimes even a body cream. My absolute favorite lotion in Johnson's body care deep hydrating extra dry skin lotion. When used in combination with the aforementioned body wash it keeps me from having dry itchy skin. FYI: If you apply your lotion as soon as you dry off from your bath or shower it helps seal in the moisture.

To help with dry/cracked lips: My new favorite is Burt's Bees Replenishing Lip Balm with pomegranate oil. I love Burt's Bees anyhow because it moisturizes my lips fast and relieves the chapped lipped ouchiness quickly, but the stuff with pomegranate oil is like magic. I had a big split down my bottom lip and it was healed within a day or so after using this stuff every couple of hours or so. (Friday Night Ladies this is the stuff Crissy said smelled really good.)

Not wanting to bathe b/c it is soooo cold when you get out: If you have a space heater, then place it in the bathroom about 10-15 minutes before bath time to warm up the bathroom and leave it there until bath time is over. It helps warm up the air a bit more so leaving the warm water isn't so painful. Also, warm your towel up in the dryer beforehand or place it near a vent to warm up when the heat kicks on. Keep a warm robe or something in the bathroom to wrap up in right away too instead of maybe having to travel out into the bedroom.

Static OUCH: The water on the vent thing will help a bit with this, but some static shocks are going to happen. So is staticky hair. To help with staticky hair (I'm sure there are super expensive products on the market to help with this) you can rub a dryer sheet on your hair. It will temporarily help keep it down at a normal level. A dryer sheet can help with static cling issues with clothing as well, like skirts that get stuck to tights. Rub a dryer sheet on them and viola problem gone.

I'm cold: Not many options here folks except lots of layers.

Feet: I love wearing knee high socks on especially cold days because it helps keep my legs warm. I wear socks and slippers around the house. (Typically slippers were a yearly Christmas gift or winter purchase for me. Every year I need new ones because I ruin them by the time winter rolls around next year.) Up north I traveled from house to house with my slippers. When we would visit my grandparents my slippers would go on as soon as my icy, snowy shoes came off. (I just now remembered why I would take my slippers...cause of the yucky shoes needing to come off.) Your slippers do not have to be ugly either, although I think they sent all the ugly options to 'Bama and kept the cute slipper options up north from what I have seen here lately. They all look like eskimo shoes or something. My current faves are silver ballet slippers with little rhinestone gems on them, although my mom sent me white furry ones for my birthday. I may have to bust those out in the next day or so with the dropping temps. I did see some ballet type slippers at Wal-Mart that have a nice thick rubber sole on them which is good if you tend to wear the slippers out of the house sometimes. Another option is the fur lined Crocs, but mine tend to squeak when I walk and it annoys me so I don't wear them for long periods of time.

Body: Wearing a robe around the house all day and all night is perfectly acceptable in the winter cold. It is necessary to stay warm. Blankets all over the house to snuggle in is also acceptable. Long sleeve t-shirts under sweaters and sweatshirts are also good.

Hands: Wear gloves. If you are so cold you need gloves inside...well...I'm sorry, but do what you have to do to stay warm.

Neck: Scarves are a must when venturing out into the cold. I have a nice variety from my years spent up north...and my recent fascination with scarves as outfit accessories. If you need to borrow one let me know...

Head: Suck it up and wear a hat, but tuck a dryer sheet into your pocket to deal with that crazy static filled hair. Or, just keep the hat on the whole time you're gone from the house.

Ok, I think that is all the wisdom I've gained from living in cold weather. If you have an issue I've forgotten to mention then leave a comment and I'll see what I can come up with.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Curvalicious! (No, I don't think that is really a word, but it is now. Just like Fergalicious...but curvalicious instead.) That is my motto for 2010. It has a whole-lotta meaning around it too. I have decided that I am going back to carving out some time spent on me. Not time spent doing things I like, but time spent on me, myself, and I. The first part of that me-time begins with my new membership to Curves. I have been attending for about 3 weeks now and I absolutely love it. I love that in less than an hour (really about 30-40 minutes) I can complete a well rounded workout set at my pace and speed. If I'm feeling icky I can still workout, but go slower. If I'm feeling super charged then I can go at lighting speed on the machines. (It should be noted lighting speed has not yet been reached.) I am attending Curves because I have gained about 30lbs since Biv Biv returned from deployment and we moved to the land of all fried foods aka Alabama. (So not cool since I was excited to lose that amount over the course of our first two years of marriage.) Also, I want to be healthier in general. I know my lack of movement is bad for me and can result in a myriad of health issues if it doesn't change. So I finally made the effort to change and went to Curves. (It also helped a friend sent me a free 30 day trial membership. Thanks Megan!) I have previously attempted to "be healthier" and my walking and/or eating more salads and veggies lasts for a few weeks at best but is quickly pushed aside. Curves is getting me where it counts-my checking account. I am determined not to waste my one-time membership fee ($99) and my monthly premium ($34) by not going. So the goal set by Curves is 3 visits per week. I started the week of Christmas and managed to make it 2 times per week (they were closed two extra days during those weeks) and so far I've been twice this week. I'm kind proud of myself. Especially since they weighed and measured me on my first visit. I weighed 190 lbs. The nice lady commented "You hide it well." Yes, I do...and that is my biggest problem. I gain 5-10 lbs and don't even notice cause it all hides. Finally, I hit an extra 30 lbs and I'm like "Whoa, I need to fix this. I miss those smaller clothes I bought a year and a half ago." I'll keep you posted on the progress. I'm kinda hoping I can wear some smaller clothes by summer. (All of my smaller clothes would be nice since I have a pretty nice summer wardrobe packed away in a box labeled "Too Small Clothes." (Sigh, and when I moved to DC I had a box labeled "too big clothes." Ho hum.) So we'll see what happens in the next few months. I love that the girls I have met so far at Curves are all upbeat, positive, and motivating. The fellow members I have met are all very excited about the place and super excited about their success too. My goal: Fit into my jeans I bought at White House Black Market about a month after Dave deployed. Once that happens we'll see what I decide to take on next. (It'll be a few months before that happens though.)

The second part of this focus on me resolution is that I am looking forward to a focused bible study/self discovery journey. I recently started reading Beth Moore's blog thanks to some free time and a link on my cousin Julie's blog. It happened to be the day that Beth unveiled her latest book due to be released on Feb 2nd. It is entitled "So Long, Insecurity: You've been a bad friend to us" and in this book she apparently attacks the many insecurities women face and counters those insecurities with God's truth. I'm going to pre-order my copy from Amazon (which if you click on the book title you can read the official reviews and pre-order your own copy if you so choose). As part of the book's release Beth plans to conduct a book study via her blog. The topic of insecurities and female self-esteem strikes a chord with a woman, as a sister, as a wife, as a teacher of adolescent girls, and so many of the other titles I bear. The one that feels it the most is as the teacher of adolescent girls. They are so vulnerable to many things that are all directly tied to their own sense of self worth. Anything I can learn to help me with my own struggles can in turn help me mentor them with theirs. So that is another thing I am looking forward to starting this year.

Ok enough about me spending time on me. Here are some other things I am looking forward to during the next year.

1. A visit from "the boys." Not sure how many of them will make it, but they are all welcome. We'll pack them in on the floor if we need to. Sure beats the field in the snow any day I'm sure. Oh how I miss my boys. Combs is coming for sure. Still waiting to hear what Doc Rob, Byneezy, Fat Travis, Volvo, and...I'm forgetting somebody darnit, will decide.

2. Perhaps a visit from the mom and sisters to my humble abode here in AL. I think it would be fantabulous for them to see where their wonderful brother calls home (and where we currently reside). There must be a Friday Night involved in this visit. The MUST be.

3. If not a visit from Ohio to here, then a visit to Ohio for Dave and I. We'll have to figure it out, but I refuse to go more than a year without seeing the fam.

4. More remodeling for our home! There is a spare bathroom that is in dire need of remodel assistance. It is an eyesore. Seriously. The goal is to remodel before the boys come visit. Guess I better start hunting for remodel pieces. The plan is to start with a shower curtain we like and go from there.

5. Traveling to all the touristy type places in AL that we have not yet been to. Places like Vulcan, the zoo, and some parks n stuff. It is seriously a shame we haven't visited them sooner.

I think I'll stop the list there for now. I don't like to plan too terribly far ahead. You never know when the next move will occur, lol. Just kidding...sorta.

Goodbye 2009

I have thought about this blog for a few days now. I'm not sure if you are aware of this or not...but it is now 2010. I've been a bit busy so the blog rolled around in my head for a bit until I had time to type it out. Here are some random thoughts about 2010 so far: it is a nice even number, it is now almost 10 years since I graduated high school (holy cow, where did the time go?...), and yeah that is pretty much it. For our household 2009 was a pretty stagnant year. There were some subtle changes, but nothing as big as in years past. I'm rather glad it is over and hope that 2010 is a little more lively for us (I'm probably going to eat my words in the near future and will be kicking myself for wishing this). As the eternal optimist that I am, I forced myself to come up with a list of the 10 best things that happened in 2009. Forcing myself to really sit and think about the past year and remember some of the happy moments. These are in no particular order.

1. Spending time in Alabama getting to know everyone here-whether they are new friends or old friends-and learning what makes Alabama so unique. (I'd say there's no place like home, but it still doesn't feel like home...which is odd for us b/c we've been able to make everywhere else feel like home.)

2. Moving into our own place again! Woooohoooo! It is nice to have a place and space of your own. Now I can arrange my boxes into several different rooms instead of just one small storage area, lol. (Seriously. I'm still holding onto the theory of not unpacking everything b/c it will just need packed up again. I think the earth will disappear if all my boxes ever get unpacked. j/k)

3. Katie graduated from Ohio University! So cool. Which also meant a wonderful trip home to see the clan. (Clan with a C not Klan with a K, ok?) Even if I did have to pay a $300 idiot fee it was still fun.

4. Since we've got a place and a space of our own we are enjoying entertaining again and having friends over. We still don't have visitors often because we have hectic schedules, but it is fun.

5. Combsy came to visit us in Alabama for his Spring Break! It was pretty cool. (We're hoping we can get a few more buddies involved this year...we'll see how it turns out.)

6. Remodeling. For the first time we are able to fix up and paint the place where we live. It is fun to transform the space you live in. I'm so glad to have walls some color other than white or off white. It is fantastic. We are enjoying the remodel process. So far we have been pretty agreeable about paint colors and decorative elements in the rooms. (So far...we'll see what 2010 brings, lol.)

7. Friday Nights! 'Nuff said. So, I'm a little verbose and 'nuff said won't cut it. I really love Friday Nights with the girls next door. It is one of the things I look forward to because they are so crazy. You never know what is going to happen. (I'm so blessed.)

8. Christmas Decorations. For the first time in 2 years I was able to put up my Christmas decorations. (Ok, so the year Biv Biv was deployed I could have put them up, but I was boycotting Christmas til he got home.) I really enjoyed having the tree up this year and the wonderful feeling I had when I could sit in the living room with just the Christmas tree on. Peaceful. (I enjoyed it so much our tree is still up...shhh...don't tell my subconscious 'cause I have a rule about decorations. The tree should be promptly stowed away prior to Jan 1st.)

9. Sibs Wknd @ OU! I was able to visit Katie at school for sibs wknd her senior year at college. It was so much fun! I really enjoyed our time spent together and I think she did too, minus that crazy cough/cold/plague like thing she had. (She sounded terrible.)

10. Refrigerator Art. Ok so this isn't so much an event, but it is fun. The neighbor children draw us pictures and we post them on our refrigerator. (I received a drawing from the half sister for my birthday, but that technically happened in 2010.) It is kinda fun to have something other than our magnet collection on our fridge. We rather enjoy our fridge art without the cost and patience it requires to raise our own children to create fridge art.

We'll see what happens in 2010. I know I have a few things I'm already looking forward to like a potential visit from Katie (Mancub, you better intern in Atlanta, ok?) and a visit from "the boys" for spring break. I can hardly wait for that. Is it March yet? (I know, I know it will be soon.) Also, I'm really hoping 2010 brings me a full-time job. I'm kinda bored with this part-time stuff at the moment (thankful I have a job, but just getting too much unpaid time). We'll see how it goes though. Biv Biv and I rather enjoyed our year together minus USMC interruptions...but...well y'all know ;)