Wednesday, July 31, 2019

My Beach Persona

I am a beach sitter, not a beach activities person. I don't play paddleball or other games. I don't take walks more than a block in either direction. I do walk on the beach, but only at sunrise in the summer or any time in the off-season and always with a dog or four. Not in the middle of an intended beach day.

I will help build a sand castle even though I'm not good at it.

Speaking of sand, it doesn't bother me at all. I spend more time with sand on me than without. I am one with the sand.

I'm a chair sitter, not really a blanket sitter, and never a stomach layer on-er.

I'm a swimmer. I love going in the ocean.

I'm a snacker, and my preferences are plums, peaches, twizzlers, chips, frozen grapes, and peanuts. After I get home from the beach I like to have ice cold iced tea, cucumbers and dip, and cheese and pepperoni.

I'm not a music player, I'm a listen to the sounds around you beach person.

I do not crowd others. 

I’m water in reusable vessels, pick up all trash around me even if it’s not mind. 

I'm a baseball hat wearer, not a big hat wearer. I used to try to wear the wide brim hats but have given up.

I'm an umbrella creature. I can't sit out in the sun all day anymore. I like 45 minutes to an hour out then the rest of the time under an umbrella.

I'm not a nap taker, but I will cover up with my blanket and take a rest in the afternoon.

I'm a people watcher and an eavesdropper.

I'm a picture taker.

I'm a zoned out reader who looks up from a book to find a few hours have gone by.

I’m also read while standing at the water’s edge. 

I don't wear any jewelry or makeup, but my lip SPF stuff has color if I can help it.

I'm a rabid re-applier of sunscreen and I worry about those around me that I don't know reapplying.

I'm a beach in all weather person. If I'm near a beach, I go there every day with very few exceptions.

I don't have a set time to go or leave, but I do love lingering late.

What's your beach persona? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Baby talk: tips for conceiving

If you recall, I urged anyone looking to get their writing out there to contact me. You might have surmised that this is one of those posts since I am not interested in conceiving a child or writing about doing so. This is from S., who is considering becoming a freelance copywriter and wanted to test out what it feels like to have her writing out there while still retaining some anonymity. If you're looking to start writing outside of fiction, start with what you know. 


Having a baby is something many people want do in life (but not all people), and when the time comes to try for a baby, it is something we want to prepare for as much as possible. This is why when preparing to have a baby, we can make some changes to the way we live our lives and how we maintain our health for the best possible results.

Whether you are struggling with conceiving a child and want to look into the iui process, or you are a first time tryer looking to improve your chances: here are some things you can do to make the process easier.

1.Record menstrual cycle
When the time comes where you want to have a baby, there are a lot of things which can make a difference and help with the process. It is important for you to think about your menstrual cycle when looking to have a baby because it will ensure that you time sexual intercourse when you are close to ovulation for the highest chance of fertilization.

2. Monitor ovulation
Ovulation is the process in the body when the egg is released from your ovaries and travels through your Fallopian tubes. This is when you want to ensure you have sexual intercourse because this will make it easier for the sperm to reach and fertilize the egg as it reaches the womb. It will ensure that you are more likely to get pregnant. You can even buy an ovulation prediction kit to help you identify the exact day which you should have sex to conceive a child.

3. Have sex
Most women are fertile within a five day period during the month, as this is the time where the egg is been my released and is traveling to the womb. During this window, it is important to have sex as much as you can in order to increase chances of fertilizing an egg.

4. Be healthy
Health and weight can be factors when getting pregnant and the way you live your life will have an effect on the nutrients you are able to provide for your child as they develop inside your body. It is better for your overall health to be active and fit, and it is extra important to be fit and healthy while you are attempting to conceive and while you are carrying a child.

5. Take a prenatal vitamin
Another important thing you need to consider when it comes to getting pregnant are the minerals and vitamins you have in your body. It is crucial for you to think about taking a prenatal vitamin which will give you what you need to develop a healthy baby, including folic acid, B vitamins, and lots of other vitamins which can help with the formation of a spine in the womb as well as tissue.

6. Eat healthy foods
As we are talking about the health of your body as a mother to be, it is important for you to think about eating healthy foods. Healthy foods include things such as fruit and vegetables as well as plenty of protein. You will want to eat a decent chunk of protein because protein makes up the muscles and tissue of the body.

7. Mind the workouts
It is important to stay fit and healthy in the time leading up to pregnancy, however it is also important for you to look after your body and allow it to recover after a workout. While attempting to conceive, mind your workout recovery periods so your body can also focus on processes such as ovulation.

8. Think age
Although you might not think you are ready for a child at this point in your life, it is also important not to leave it too late. Having a baby is something which can change your life forever, but it is something which you have a limited window to do. Fertility declines for most women in your 30s and 40s and this means that you will be less likely to become pregnant as you get older.

9. Don’t smoke and drink
When you make the decision to try and get pregnant you need to start being more aware of your body and how your treat it. Even if you don’t think you are pregnant yet, be aware that you often won’t know until 8 weeks into your pregnancy once you have missed a period and showed some symptoms. If you have been smoking and drinking during this time this can of course have an effect on your baby so it is important for you to quit the habit before you even start to try. This will ensure that your developing baby is as healthy as it can be.

10. Know when to seek help
After six months or so of trying to have a baby, you may need someone to advise you on what to do. It is crucial to ask for help if you feel like there is something wrong because this will allow you to gain an insight into your own fertility and it will ensure that you are able to take steps which work the best for you, and not waste your time trying something which won’t work.


July 2019 Recommendations

Vornado Fans - Before I bought one last year, I was like I have to be an asshole to spend over $50 on a fan. I may be an asshole for other reasons, but buying Vornado fans is not one of them. I have this larger one and this smaller one at the shore in our apartment. We get no air flow in there and unless we want the AC on all the time, we need good air circulators that don't take up a lot of room. These are the real deal. I have a flat one at home and compared to a $13 Honeywell air circulator, the difference in how much cooler the air is with the Vornado is remarkable. For people who want fan noise and need to travel with a fan, that flat one would be good for you. They drown out most of the noise from our rental above us and that is awesome, plus they're powerful but small which is important for us in small spaces. Amazon links are affiliate links
This is the flat Vornado

Arm & Hammer Plus Oxi Clean Pet Stain & Odor Eliminator
- Michelle got me some of this to try and it is the real deal. It removed the yellow from dried dog puke on a quilt and also removed stains on the couch in our shore house from I don't know what (looks like maybe dropped chocolate and cheetos). I grabbed it in a panic because I didn't have any resolve carpet cleaner upstairs - that's what I usually use to spot clean the denim couch covers in our rental if I think the stain will surpass Seventh Generation dish liquid.

Cosori Air Fryer - I got this at the beginning of April, and even after my oven was fixed, I still use this a few times a week. If you know me and my previous ways of buying kitchen gadgets and appliances and then never fucking using them, you are also amazed. I waited nearly four months to post about this just to be sure I was still using it because I know myself. I asked people in Instagram stories which air fryer they recommended. Alison recommended this one. I read about a million reviews. This was a great pick. I will never make hard boiled eggs outside of the air fryer again.

Trying now: Dropps Laundry pods. I paid around $8 for a sample order before I went all in. Some people on the gram reported back that they love this. I hope I do as well. I have switched to powder laundry detergent already but the ingredients are not eco-friendly. Dropps has plant-based ingredients, no animal testing, and comes in recyclable and compostable cardboard packaging vs. the big plastic jugs of laundry detergent, 68% of which are not recyclable... Anyway I just started using it and will report back.

What are you recommending this month?

Monday, July 29, 2019

TWTW - the one with the framily

Thursday I was supposed to be off but alas I had to work. I still met Kim for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, and after work visited my mother in law, then met Kim & Steve & Libby on the boards. We had fun, Libby is a riot, and I always wish we lived closer. I got very little sleep Wednesday night so I was BEAT by the time I got home. 

Friday I was also supposed to be off and while I did a little work I was finished by 9:30. Hallelujah and amen! MFD was gone fishing with Steve and Kim's brother and nephew, so I read on the porch for a while, cleaned up a little, changed the sheets, and hit the beach. The breeze was great, I started a new book, and the people watching was superb. I got a quick shower and walked the dogs, then ran errands via bike and visited with Kim and fam on the porch for a few more hours before biking back home. MFD and I and the dogs were all exhausted so we just couched it. He snoozed and watched Law & Order and I read. 

Saturday dawned early - I heard our guests leaving around 4 for their flight, and we got up around 5 to walk the dogs. I spent some zen time alone on the beach, had coffee on the porch with the dogs, and we did turnover up in the house. We also took a super not relaxing bike ride, which will be my last weekend ride in season on the boardwalk after 8 am. 
By 11 we were off to Corson's Inlet for MFD to fish. I had to pee in the wild (where I'm pointing) but it was fine, FINE, and I finished my book. 

Home to shower, walk the dogs, visit MFD's mom, and then meet Frank, Amanda, and The Diva on the boards. It was packed. At the end of the night MFD and I ended up walking home off the boards so we didn't have to fight the crowds. I fell into bed at 11 and just passed out after walking the dogs. 

Sunday MFD did the morning dog walk so I slept in until 6:30 then had some porch time. He went to a meeting and fished and I attempted to seal a small leak for our guests upstairs until I can get a plumber in. After that I hit the beach for two hours to read before coming home, walking dogs, cleaning up and packing up, and hitting the road.  I started 1039489084 loads of laundry (last week's guests were from FL so I let them use our sheets) and had dinner at my mom's which was great because then I didn't have to make it. Also here's a photo of Mae's snaggle tooth just because.

Weekly food prep: Last week I freaking ate ramen and PBJ because I didn't cook on Monday night. I was only home two nights so whatever but seriously I need to cook Monday night. I have leftover macaroni salad from the weekend so I'm hoping to do something quick like baked or air fryer-ed chicken and sauteed squash. Breakfasts are breakfast burritos. Lunches are leftovers until I need to make another meal.

Have I mentioned my framily has awesome kids? They do. So nice to get to spend time with them this weekend as well as their parents, who I of course love forever. 

Happy birthday to Frank today - Frank's annual birthday blog is coming at you on Friday!

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thursday Thoughts - I Still Feel Alive, Falling Forward, Back Into Orbit

1. I got acupuncture yesterday afternoon and I was so zoned the fuck out and slow moving I swear I spent like five years walking 10 blocks to the train station.

2. When I got home  it took all of my energy to accomplish my tasks and get myself to the shore. Note to self: no acupuncture on driving days. Some of those tasks being making macaroni salad and Pioneer Woman's sloppy joes for this weekend. If you like the sloppy joe, promise me you will make PW's and never eat it from a can or mix again. There's no reason to. I’ve made it numerous times over the years and it is excellent. 

3. Since I was tired, of course Bruce insisted on multiple walks past 10 pm. Then I was up working until after 1. I feel like when I’m rested I’m rested, but when I’m tired a series of events piles on to ratchet tired up to exhausted and in danger of a meltdown unbecoming of an adult woman. You?
4. Ben's teeth make me laugh. He’s like that dog in the commercial. 
5. Local friends, if you are around August 3, please consider coming out to support Advocates for Homeless and Those in Need for a fun night in Fairless Hills. I am over the freaking bingo but MFD is on the board, the cause is good, and we'll already not be at the shore Saturday since we have a soiree at Frank & Amanda's. Purchase bingo tickets here. Men & women! Will I see you there?

6. File under things we all knew: the president obstructed justice. No one did a fucking thing. I'm tired.

7.  We turned the air off at home and I don’t have it on at the shore even though our apartment gets zero circulation. I love open windows. My most desired scenario is always nobheat and no air conditioning. I’m all about the fan game.

8.  I was supposed to be off today and tomorrow, but I have two deadlines so I'm going to attempt a half day today and a half day tomorrow. Fingers crossed I get in those full halves. I'm seeing Kim for coffee today and going to hang with her and Libby on the beach tomorrow. 

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards: It's me.

Care to share a Thursday Thought?

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is still feel by half alive

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Sustainability Struggles

As part of our #sustainablestephs campaign during the month of Plastic Free July, Steph and I are talking about where we still struggle today and asking for recommendations if you have any. I've made a lot of changes over the past five years. Things I thought I could never change I have, and realized after my feelings of can't/impossible were rooted in laziness and lack of discipline. I have a long way to go to get to any type of zero waste situation but I'm feeling good about the things I do use regularly being reusable and dropping all single use plastics.

Food packaging. Many of my current struggles lie in how things I buy are packaged. So much unnecessary plastic, my God. I do not just complain about this to myself and the internet - I write to companies about their packaging. I'm hoping other people are doing that too so they might consider alternatives. So, anyone local to Northeast Philly/lower Bucks, do you buy from any stores that have bulk containers of food where you can fill your own?

Take out containers. I don't eat out often, but when I do I mean to bring my own tupperware to put leftovers in and always forget.

Plastic wrap alternative. I am still looking for a good alternative to plastic wrap that is NOT Bees Wrap. Yes I have it and have for years, it is not working for the one thing I still have plastic wrap for - breakfast burritos. I make, wrap, freeze. Does anyone have an alternative that might work?

Vitamin Water. I need to hunt down a recipe to make the Refresh one at home because it only comes in plastic bottles and I'm not doing it.

What about you? Where are you struggling in your quest for sustainability?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Three Things: July


Three movies I've watched more than 20 times 
Dirty Dancing
Sixteen Candles
The Breakfast Club

Three things I don’t do
1. Run
2. Stay silent about things that matter
3. Treat books like museum pieces

Three things I'm always up for doing
1. Painting my nails
2. Being alone
3. Being an encourager

Three good things that happened this month
1. Vacation
2. New sunglasses
3. Good work-life balance

Three things I wish everyone knew so well it was ingrained in their bones
1. It's not realistic to be happy or positive all the time, no matter what the inspirational quotes say
2. Not everyone is going to like you, people are going to hold opinions of you that have no basis in your reality, and both of those things are out of your control. Be about not caring what other people think.. Do the work internally and you will know freedom every remaining day of your life.
3. When and how to use apostrophes

Three things I'm tired of
1. Humidity
2. Being freezing inside my house
3. the entire republican party which has proven itself to be cowardly kowtowers complicit in child abuse, misogyny, pedophilia, racism, voter suppression, corruption, and a host of other unsavory shit as indicated by their silence

Three things I'll never tire of
1. Pink starburst
2. Reading
3. Checking out new to me libraries and independent bookstores

Three things I like to photograph
1. The sky
2. My dogs
3. Roadside things

Three things I can't resist
1. Staying up later than I should to finish a book
2. Perusing sunglasses
3. Poop jokes

And on that you go.

Monday, July 22, 2019

TWTW - the one with the excessive heat

Thursday I had company in the passenger seat because some dog threw up on the way to the shore and Ben and Gus were in the non-puke spots. We arrived to glorious skies and I nearly had a hanger meltdown in the grocery store but everyone made it out alive. 

Friday Work, overseen by dog bosses. MFD went to see his mom and then went home for a showing so after work I moseyed around to see what was in bloom, picked up holds from the library, painted my nails (Essie Penny Talk & OPI Lost My Bikini in Molokini), and when MFD got back we went up to the boards for a stroll and ice cream. We ran into Jen & Neil & the girls and it was great to see them. It was a breezy, comfortable night, and I was surprised. 

Saturday dawned neither breezy nor comfortable. I made egg salad and after doing turnover in the house upstairs, MFD braved the beach to fish but I said fuck that and the surface of the sun heat and dicked around reading a book halfway through that I should have put down hours ago. I started a new one right before bed and it hit the spot. 

Sunday Just another morning living on the surface of the MFing sun. Do you see my pics getting less and less as it gets hotter and hotter? If it's too hot for me to go to the beach or take photos, you know there's a problem. I finished a book, dropped MFD off to fish, spent a few hours with Kim and my goddaughter and her fam, and came home to eat tomato sandwiches and start a new book. I spent the entire day as a sweaty, disgusting pig mess and I'm over it. 

Weekly food prep: My schedule is up in the air this week and so is my food. Bet on fruits & veggies and I'm definitely making macaroni salad at some point. 

And Mister Chris's birthday was yesterday. 

I'm looking forward to being able to breathe outside again. 

Friday, July 19, 2019

Never be too busy for your parents

Happy Friday! I've written about aging parents and grandparents before, and my friend Sarah was inspired by that post to expand a little so is here today to do the same. Friends, I often have space on a Friday - if you are polishing your writing chops or have something to say or are trying to get into freelance writing and want some exposure and want to submit a post, email me! Have a great weekend!


You're busy, we're busy, I'm busy, we get it...people are busy. It can be difficult to find the right amount of hours in a day to do everything you need to do. There will be times when your needs will have to come first. But please don't be too busy to care for your aging parents, for a number of reasons, including...

They cared for you

Growing up isn't easy, but if you are one of the lucky ones, you had your parents to help you along the way. When you cried as a baby, they held you in their arms. When you stumbled when making your first steps, they picked you back up and guided you on your way. They gave you moral support on your first day of school, celebrated your birthdays, gave you lifts to the places where you needed to be, and they listened to you whenever you needed to talk. They cared for you, and as time passes and they need you to care for them, it's the circle of life and it shouldn't be broken.

They might feel lonely

How many people do you have in your life? From your children to your friends to your coworkers, you might have so much social company you don't consider those who don't. If they aren't able to get around because of their advancing years, your parents might not have the means to see many people. As they get older, they will also see their friendships diminish when age finally defeats their peers. And the problem is compounded if you only have one parent living today, as they won't have that other person to lift them up when they get down. So give them a call, chat with them on Skype, or pay them a visit today.

Their health could be failing

With age comes deteriorating health, and it is something we all have to face up to, including when it's our parents. If you haven't visited them in a long time, you might not have noticed the fact that they are having difficulty hearing. You might not have realized that they aren't as mobile as they used to be. And if they haven't called you, it might be because they have forgotten, not because they don't care, but because their memory is no longer what it once was. So, make every effort to visit them. They might need medical care, and if they aren't able to find it themselves, you will need to do it for them.

They might be in trouble

Older people are vulnerable, and there could be people threatening to do them some kind of harm: door-to-door scammers, cold callers who can easily take advantage of the would never know if you didn't speak to your parents. You might need to guide them on elderly fraud scams or check their financial situation and find legal help if they have been scammed. And while we hope this would never be your parent's situation, if they are currently in a nursing or care home, they might also need you to look for nursing home abuse attorneys with proven results if they have been neglected in any way.

And so…

Never be too busy to care for your aging parents. In all kinds of ways, they might need you around. And besides, while you may be out of short pants and living an adult life, your parents still have a ton to offer you too, be that moral support, a listening ear, and a hug that will do you both a world of good today.

Make the time!

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Thursday Thoughts: Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do

1. What is personal space?

2. Should we talk about the weather? Or just roast silently? Unless you're in my house, in which case you need blankets once MFD gets in front of the thermostat.

3. The kind people at Maple Holistics sent me their Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo to try in mid-June. You know I never report back on things until I've had them in circulation for at least a month. I like this one as much as I like the tea tree shampoo, and I used the ACV with the tea tree conditioner. The apple cider vinegar shampoo is of course free of sulfates and parabens and is great for color treated hair - it does a great job of clarifying without stripping your head of color. My hair and scalp feel super clean post-wash. And one of my favorite things about this company is their recycling program - for every six empty bottles you return by mail, you get a free shampoo or they make a donation to the environmentally friendly charity of your choice. The returned bottles are chipped, melted down, and re-formulated into new bottles for their products., beauty companies. Come on. Get with this.

4. Steph and I will post about ways we're struggling with sustainability on Wednesday, 7/24, and how we did overall for Plastic Free July on Wednesday, 7/31. If you post about those things on Instagram, use the hashtag #sustainablestephs and tag us! Steph is here and I'm here.

5. I love seeing a Mural Arts project in progress in Suburban Station.
6. Love this sticker I saw yesterday while running an errand at lunch.

7. I've gone back to using old school blue tub Noxema on my face a few nights a week. I slather it on and let it mostly sink in for 15 minutes before rubbing it in and washing the remaining off. Bruce and Ben are so confused when it's on.

8. The demonization of brown people by this administration and the lengths that GOP congresspeople will go to avoid it and regular citizens will go to ignore or excuse it is fucking vile. Go back to your own country...said by a President of the United States, to members of Congress with the implication that it trickles down...while trump holds a rally and American citizens high on hate and what they have been told is righteousness chant send her back. It is so fucking fascist I have no idea how Congress is standing for it and the American people are not alarmed by it. Ugly and un-American too.

9. Reminder:

10. Ecards:

What appears after the hyphen in Thursday Thoughts is a song lyric to whatever I'm listening to when I start to write the post. This week is Space Oddity by David Bowie
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