Monthly Archives: July 2012

The nails after one week of no fiddling.

My right hand. (Not pictured last week.)

And the left.

My nails have honestly not been this long for years. And I definitely feel the impulse to downsize. I realize that they barely look long to the average person, but I have actual scratchers now. I’m a tad nervous for the next week as I know that they will begin to feel really long to me and it will get harder to resist snipping!

And a little reminder of my starting left hand nails:

Have a wonderful day!





Filed under A Year in Skirts

Hooray for the Wiggly Party!

We just got home from our super-duper Wiggles concert! Hooray! Or “Hoop de Doo!” as they say. I was so excited when I found out the Australian group would be coming to So. Cal. I simply had to buy tickets. And AFTER I bought the tickets I found out that this will be their very last tour with the original group members: Greg Page, Murray Cook, Jeff Fatt and Anthony Field. All but Anthony are retiring and there will be three new Wiggles cast members starring in the show.

This silly little children’s group is a big deal because they’ve been singing and dancing to my children almost every day and thus their music has become the soundtrack of this stage of my life. I just know that in 30 years if I happen to hear “Do the Monkey” I’ll be right back in this house in this living room with a 3 year old Natalie, 5 year old Adam, and 7 year old Francesca. It’s a beautiful thing! And I’m quite grateful to the group for that.

So for this event I splurged and got us some good seats and all five of us went to our “Wiggly Party”. We enjoyed ourselves so much although I know the kids were pretty overwhelmed at first with the whole thing. It is quite strange to meet people, whom you’ve only seen as 5 inches tall on TV, in real flesh and blood. Like “hey these are the real Wiggles!” Not just characters playing the fake Wiggles cast, but the actual Greg, Murray, Jeff, and Anthony. And even the real Captain Feathersword. That’s pretty cool! Natalie especially was much much quieter and still than I thought she’d be. It wasn’t until I bounced her around a lot on my lap that she loosened up a bit. Adam was scowly through quite a bit of the show which is pretty typical for him. I do know that he enjoyed it though and will likely talk about it in a week or so at the oddest moment. He never forgets things. He’ll remember this one for sure. Francesca enjoyed the concert a lot and I know she’ll remember too.

They sang favorite songs, did lots of silly acrobatic tricks, and came out into the crowd to say hello. For me, it was a celebration of my kids’ childhood and of me and Jason as young parents! Thank you Wiggles for a wonderful show!

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Has anyone out there tried fasting?

I did my first fast today and did really well…until bedtime! At 10:30pm I just could not fall asleep and I have VBS at 8am tomorrow. So I got up and had some cereal and avocado. I’m wondering how folks finish a fast? The getting-to-sleep part.

Anyway, I’ve thought of the subject of fasting for a little while. A friend of mine had a growth on her thyroid that kept on growing and her doctors recommended surgery to remove the thyroid completely. Not wanting the surgery (cutting into the neck, eek!) or wanting to be on thyroid supplements for the rest of her life, she tried EVERYTHING to try and help her body heal itself. She went to a nutritionist and followed a strict diet (of what I don’t know). She cut out all artificial stuff including chemical hair-care products. And she tried other healing arts like accupuncture. Nothing changed.

Then she read The New Fast Girls: Fasting: An Ancient Practice for the Modern Girl and was inspired. She began doing a weekly fast on Mondays. She kept this discipline for three months and in this time she lost 11lbs with no other effort and her thyroid growth actually shrunk (although it still is not fully gone). She was sold. She is completely convinced of the healing properties of a regular fast.

My own pastor is a very dedicated faster. During lent he usually fasts from sugar and is completely vegan, but during Holy Week he fully fasts for seven days. He says by day three you are really rolling, and your sensory experience is very much heightened. He says that it is good to give your organs a rest. I’ve read that a three day fast fully cleanses the blood.

Three days sounds like a super-long time to me when you have kids to take care of. Even a whole-day fast seemed daunting. So I never tried it.

But on Saturday we were at a party and there was so. much. food. Mucho comiendo. I was so full I couldn’t sleep (sheesh maybe I just have trouble sleeping) and I figured why not just give my digestive system a break on Sunday? So I did. And here I am. With a sort-of completed fast.

Connie from Smockity Frocks wrote of her fasting experience and she has eight kids so I have nothing to compare to that.  A big part of fasting is drawing closer to God through prayer. Realizing how weak we really are without the Lord’s daily provision. I don’t know that I experienced a deeper spiritual fulfillment today, but perhaps I didn’t deny myself long enough. Perhaps at 10:35pm if I had started turning to the Lord to sustain me for the night, rather than marching into my kitchen, I would understand better.

At any rate, during the day I kept my palate busy by constantly sipping iced tea, or water, or Fresca. Who knows if I’ll try it again?

Just some “food for thought”! har har

Have a wonderful day!


Filed under A Year in Skirts, Thoughts on Stuff

The Gateway Exercise

Do you remember being a kid in jr. high and learning about marijuana being the “gateway drug”? As in, “the drug that leads to other drug use”. Well, I’ve found my Gateway Exercise. As in, “the exercise that gets me exercising more.”

That’s right. It’s Zumba. And I’m totally the chick in the rain!

It’s been awesome and I definitely recommend these classes if you love to dance. I started about 9 months ago and even though I take other classes at the gym sometimes, or now I’m up to jogging 3 miles a few days a week, whenever I hit a slump a Zumba class will always get me going again. If I don’t want to exercise, if I just GO then ten minutes into the class I’m full of energy and just loving the music and all of a sudden I’m a professional latin dancer…in the rain. Thaaaat’s right.

Now I’ve added jogging to my repertoire and I don’t even LIKE jogging. So how in the heck did I get to jogging?

One day a few weeks ago I just decided that I wanted to do some honest physical activity everyday.  So on a non-Zumba day I started walking in my neighborhood on a path that I know to be a two-mile loop. And the next day during the same walk, I had the energy and decided to jog.

And it was pretty easy.

I was so surprised how well I did jogging almost two miles non-stop when previously I would have been huffing and puffing through the whole thing. I could genuinely feel the increase in my fitness level from the year before and I know it is because of the aerobic conditioning from Zumba.

Feeling pumped about my new ability, I increased my jog to a 3 mile loop and most days I’m able to get through the whole thing without stopping. This doesn’t feel easy though and I know I’ll be at this level for quite some time.

It is very important with exercise to not be a perfectionist about things. It’s ok to just stay at the same level, or to have off days where you don’t do as much. But it’s also really important not to totally give up on this thing called fitness. Something. Anything. It’s important to find that gateway exercise.

This is an awesome video and was quite motivating to me. What is the single best thing we can do for our health? Above all others? (Hint: it’s not losing weight.)

Unfortunately I was never able to find my gateway exercise until after my youngest was a little older. With pregnancy and little babies in the house, it seemed for several years that fitness was mostly a “catch a walk here and there” or “does excessive housecleaning count?” sort of activity. (And yes housework really does count!) And as much as I don’t believe exercise should cost a bunch of money, the truth is I was never able to just jog for exercise on my own. I really needed something else (and still do!) to help break things up. When I’m jogging I have to have so many conversations in my mind to keep from hyper-focusing on my distance or pain. With group classes, my mind is completely occupied by trying to pick up on the instructor’s choreography and the hour flies by.  And so I have a gym membership with a Kids Club. It’s the only thing that has helped me get consistent exercise, so it’s been worth it.

Have a wonderful day!


Filed under A Year in Skirts, Thoughts on Stuff

4 weeks to better nails (or so I say)

I’m determined darnit.

Ok so this is how it all started.

There is a gal on my FB page who posted a video of nail art. I’ve NEVER been into nails at all. I have a very short nail bed and am a chronic nail snipper, and thus my nails look like this:

I know. Isn’t that terrible? And this is a picture of my nails looking nice. I actually bought some stuff (a file, cuticle thingie, a top and base coat) and this is post self-manicure.

I say it’s terrible, but the truth is I’ve never cared. But I’m turning a new leaf! I’ve been inspired by LOVE4NAILS on youtube who is the most amazing nail artist I’ve ever seen. Not only did her videos make me want to take better care of my nails and hands in general, but in 10 seconds of watching her for the first time my snooty attitude about nail art was totally changed.

Who knew I even HAD a snooty attitude about nail art?

But I guess I did. Because when I first saw the designs I thought they looked kind of ghetto. Or at least kind of “loose woman-ish”. And I’m not a loose woman! I’m an upstanding citizen darnit!

But I clicked and started watching and right away I thought “Well hey…she doesn’t sound ghetto…or skanky…at all. She sounds really nice! And gee her voice is super-soothing! She’s probably way nicer than I am. Wow… this takes a lot of talent. I wish she were my neighbor. Then she could do my nails…”

And from thinking nail art was kind of ghetto, now I WISH I could do it!

Jason’s granny is turning 75 and she’s a super-glamorous lady and I know she would love to have awesome nails for her birthday. What a cool gift to give.

This is just one example of TONS of videos. And usually she has much longer nails.

So after absorbing myself in the relaxing nature of watching an artist paint (does it matter if it’s canvas or nail?) I began to see that my nails have much more potential than I’ve been allowing them to have. I don’t know that my personality can handle SUPER AWESOME AMAZING nails, but how about clean,  neat, and with a nail that isn’t cut all the way to the nailbed? Is that too much to ask? (That’s actually going to be a really hard habit to break! I always cut my nails whenever they have the slightest length. But it does nothing for the aesthetics of my hands.)

Here are LOVE4NAILS tips on growing long natural nails.

So following her advice, my strategy for the next for weeks is to do the following:

1. quit fiddling so much with my nails and hyper-cutting them.

2. If I’m going crazy and really want to cut them, just file them… a little!

3. hydrate daily. For now I’m using coconut oil or Aquaphor.

4. apply a top coat regularly

And that’s it!

Have  a wonderful day!


Filed under A Year in Skirts