Category Archives: Food/Drink Fun

Oil Pulling Follow Up

I had a few people text/email me about oil pulling after I posted about it, so I thought I would find a good article with tips and pointers about it to share. I was reading this article from Wellness Mama, when some celebrity/fashion news show on E (it was on in the background, ya’ll) started talking about how quickly this trend is “sweeping Hollywood.” So I guess it may be too late to be “the first” to try it. But who cares? So many benefits, I say go for it.

Anyway, check out the link to her great article about the essentials of oil pulling like don’t spit it out in your sink; really give it 20 minutes; and and don’t gargle! Let me know how it goes.


Weekly Obsessions March 30

Like many people, I tend to get really excited about a things for a while, only to have many of them fall by the wayside after a few weeks or even days. Some obsessions definitely stick and become, well, normal interests, and that is great. However, I used to feel bad about being really into something for a short period of time. As if the time I devoted to that food, website, item of clothing, was not valuable because it was short? Not true, I say! Year of Fun celebrates anything that brings even short-lived happiness. So, here’s what I’m obsessed with (this week):

Coconut. For real ya’ll. Those of you who know of my extreme distaste for eating shredded coconut on any dessert or fried shrimp will laugh, but I am currently obsessed with coconut in other forms. It all started when my friend Emily (of the rockstar Emily Alt Photography-for real, go check out her rolling elopements) introduced me to oil pulling. Take quality oil–like organic, virgin coconut oil (I get mine from Trader Joe’s. For about $5, you can get a jar that will last for months)–and slowly swish (pull) about a tablespoon around in your mouth for 5-20 minutes in the morning before doing anything else. I know it sounds gross and, I’m not going to lie, it kind of tastes/feels gross at first. But, after two days my teeth were whiter than they’ve ever been and NO plaque. Oil pulling has other potential positive effects–fighting sickness, improving cardiovascular health, improving skin, hair and nails, and, even, helping ease the symptoms of many autoimmune diseases. If any of that happens, I will be very happy, however, the main reason I’m doing it is for my teeth. So white and so clean clean. Make sure you rinse and brush right after pulling!

That is not all I’m doing with coconut these days. I’m also putting the oil on my lips as a natural chapstick–since Chicago is under an ever-lasting frozen vortex of winter. And, almost every morning, I mix coconut water and orange juice for a delicious and healthy immune booster, hydrator, and all around pick-me-up.20140330-105436.jpg

Old Photos. I was recently going through all the stuff I have stored in my parents’ basement (yes, I am a fully grown adult and have boxes upon boxes of stuff in my parents’ basement) and found about 50 of those Walgreens envelopes full of photos. Now, these were not that old. They were high school and college, a time when Facebook was just being invented. I was feeling like I didn’t have many photos from that era, particularly college, and was so excited and relieved to find these. However, my mom also shared with me some photos that are actually old, of my grandmother, her mother, as a little girl. Not too long ago, she also shared with me old photos from my dad’s side of family that my sister and I used to create a photo book for our grandmother, his mother, last Christmas. Old family photos–especially black and white or faded color–make some of the best art for your home. They are meaningful and beautiful prints that add character and charm.  They are also relatively inexpensive to print, even in large sizes, and can be edited to fit standard frame sizes, so you don’t have to pay for custom framing. I have big plans for these in the new place.

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Organic Pop Tarts. Speaking of a blast from the past, these Trader Joe’s organic pop tarts are the cat’s pajamas. And they don’t have all the nonsense ingredients of other toaster pastries. Cherry pomegranate? Yes please.

20140330-110049.jpgSo those are my obsessions this week. We’ll see what next week brings…what are you obsessed with right now?


Day 365: Wow

Here we are. Day 365. I’m getting it in just under the wire. What a good, relaxing day I’ve had.

I started out doing some work from home, looking out at the alley view I wrote about on Day 3. Then I took a three mile walk (Day 235) with Elphie (Day 18)! We went to sit by the lake (Day 21) for a minute or two before heading back home (Day 93). Then I may have done a little online shopping (Day 28), reading (Day 112) and adoption paperwork (Day 348) before the hubs (Day 175) came home from work. Then we got ready and went out for a little celebration at Lady Gregory’s (Day 27) with friends (Day 172).

I added all these post links in to show that in one day, I have done at least 11 things that I consider fun. (And this doesn’t even include all of the Instagraming that happened tonight). As I continue to reflect on the year, I realize that this is one of the best things to come out of it–both appreciating all the good, and yes fun, in things I already do and going out of my way to ensure each day includes something fun. It has been an amazing year of highs and lows (mostly highs) and I cannot wait to see how this blog, these activities, and the support of amazing people continue to impact my life.

It was suggested to me this evening that I change the name of the blog to “Life of Fun.” That’s a good idea because that is how I intend to live. I hope, at the very least, I have made some people smile or laugh. I hope some have seen the best in their lives. I hope that maybe a few who also suffer from some kind of disease have found comfort in our shared experience. And maybe just a couple of people have found inspiration here. If not, then at least I helped myself by becoming proactive about my struggles.

Thank you thank you to everyone who reads this. Every comment, text, Facebook post or like. Every follow. It has meant something to me. Thank you. To my friends who tonight shared with me their favorite posts from throughout the year–I can’t believe you all remember posts that far back! Thank you. To far away friends who have been just as supportive as local ones. Thank you. A special thank you to to Emily who has been such vocal advocate of my continuing on this journey. Thank you. To my family for their unyielding love and open encouragement. Thank you. A special thank you to my mom for printing every post and putting it in a binder for my grandmother to read since she does not have a computer. Thank you. To the hubs, who has not minded when I put anything and everything on the internet, who has cared for me in my worst time and who has constantly encouraged me and reminded what doing a Year of Fun is all about. Thank you.

My gosh. Now I’m getting sad. The Year is over, but the blog and fun continues. Here are some pics from throughout the day and dinner with celebratory people!




Also, the hubs made this amazing poster with the text from the “What is a Year of Fun?” post and pictures from special moments throughout the year. It has found a home in our hallway. I love it! 20130925-000839.jpg




Day 350: Chopped Challenge

The hubs loves him some Chopped. It’s on for like four hours every weeknight and I swear he could watch every episode every night. (If you don’t know the show, four chefs are presented with a mystery basket of ingredients. In the appetizer round, they are given 20 minutes to use all ingredients in one dish. One chef is chopped and they move on to the main course, and then dessert, leaving one champion. Each round had a new mystery basket. Simple yet satisfying). Also we are trying to do a better job of grocery shopping and cooking so we don’t spend all our money eating out every night.

Today I got home first, realized we had no food and gave myself a challenge. Rather than go to a grocery store, I would go right next door to the store that is more like the Kwik E Mart than a store and see if I could find enough ingredients to make a dinner. I was pleasantly surprised by the fresh jalapeno peppers, avocados and tomatoes-jackpot! I also grabbed some thin noodles and $3 later (yes $3!) I had an opaque bag of fresh veggies and noodles.

The opaque bag is important because it gave me the idea to present the hubs with the chopped challenge. Once home, I added Greek yogurt and our new favorite hot sauce-Cholula-to the bag.

When the hubs came home, he was excited about trying it. He was confused and challenged by my ingredients. (In fact he ended up cheating and not using the Greek yogurt that I had thrown in as both a challenge and a potential sauce base). He started with the noodles, boiling them, and chopping up the veggies. From here he started to heat and reduce the tomatoes to a sauce with Cholula and peppers. Where things go downhill is his treatment of the peppers. Including them in the sauce-great. Leaving a bunch of seeds in-no thank you.

He mixed everything together and put it right in the fridge, envisioning a sort of cold, spicy noodle “salad.” We gave it a few minutes then tasted it with the avocado. It would have been delicious if it wasn’t also burning our mouths. Take all the seeds out people. We don’t need em!

Really both challenges (corner store shopping and Chopped) were fun. A definite retry to (hopefully) better results.


Day 345: Sugar Strike

This may be clear, considering how much I blog about sweets, but I have a sugar issue. Like, for real. I eat a cookie or cookies every day. It is bad. I get cravings and I give in to them very quickly. So when I said to the hubs, “I’m thinking about giving up sugar,” you can understand why he guffawed.

But it’s true. At least I am going to try. Not like all sugar in everything-that sounds impossible, but I can give up sweets like cookies and brownies and adding sugar to my decaf coffee. Today I had a La Croix and an iced herbal tea (neither of which required sugar) and chose a zucchini bread for my midday snack (instead of a cookie, and of course the coffee shop had my favorite cookies today-thumbprint which are these shortbread cookies with a fruit center-so much yum).

Tonight I did start to feel the usual where’s-the-chocolate pangs but I mentally powered through by looking at homes for sale online. I’m hoping to last one month to really help me feel like I’ve kicked the habit. That satisfied feeling of accomplishment is pretty fun!

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