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Everything posted by Rosika

  1. This is similar to my first marriage. :lol: OP, cinnamon is better than glitter!
  2. Do you have a Burlington Coat Factory, or whatever their new name is, near you? They always have a decent selection. My petite family has heirloom dresses, but my daughter is a giant like her paternal side so none of them fit her. We re-purposed a family wedding gown. It was lovely, and the cost of the tailor was less than buying new. All of my other kids are sons, thankfully, because suits are so much easier to shop for!
  3. I switched to coconut oil from jojoba for that reason, so I understand how yucky a problem that is. I might use less than you do. I am incredibly cheap, and quality coconut oil is not. I'm the lady who waters down the hand soap and conditioner, too. Twice, sometimes three times. :tongue_smilie: Sometimes my hands get really greasy if I've been using coconut oil on my cracked feet. My solution for that is to use a sugar rub - straight sugar, not a ton, like 1/3 of a sugar packet, gently rubbed in and then rinsed or wiped off - just enough to help liberate the greasy feeling. My hands remain well conditioned, just not greasy feeling. I'd have no problem doing that on my face, and I've done it over my eczema patches to loosen up the skin, but I'm not sure it's ideal for more sensitive skin or rosacea. Maybe even just a gentle wipe with a washcloth?
  4. Yes! This is so important! When I first came to America, I learned that for many people in my generation, "vegetables" came in a can and or were cooked to death so as to be mushy and gross. Lots of my friends thought they hated vegetables! Turns out they just hate gross ones cooked to death. The same is probably true for you and tea. Lots of people use the same process to prepare a variety of teas when each one really requires it's own little tweaks. Water matters, but isn't a deal breaker. I use filtered if it's available. In hotels, I drink the tea knowing it's not going to be great because I'm using sink water. LOL But more important is water temperature. Some teas are delicate and need lower temps. Some teas are the Levis of their ilk and do best with hotter temps. Also important is steeping times. People new to tea seem to think a weaker cup will taste less tea-like and gross, and maybe that's true? But weak tea is disgusting. If you're going to dislike a tea, dislike it properly at its proper and stronger constitution. I love tea but will refuse a cup of weak tea. Or add a crap ton of honey and a shot of whiskey to it. Oooh, there's an idea. Tea tastes awesome with a slice of lemon, bit of honey, and a shot of whiskey. Add in some cloves or a cinnamon stick if you have it. Call it medicinal if that makes you feel less lushy. I'm going to make me up one of these right now, I think. LOL This is such a great idea! A Tea exchange!
  5. So do I - first to remove my eye make-up, then to wash my face. Then I apply more coconut oil to my face, neck and chest. My doctor suggested adding a few drops of lavender oil when I have (eczema) flares. I add it most nights because I like the smell. She also suggested that to get the most moisturizing benefit, I was to apply lotion to slightly damp skin. She said many people dry their faces too well and think that the job of a moisturizer is to PROVIDE moisture. But what it is designed to do is to LOCK IN moisture, so for it to be effective there must be moisture on the skin. So don't put moisturizer on a face dripping with water, but don't dry it so well that there's little to no moisture left. I had no idea, and this is probably common sense to the rest of you. LOL
  6. I find tattoos to be unattractive. My ex-husband has several and my current husband has three, and my name and likeness is on each of them (weird and I specifically asked BOTH of them not to do it.) It's just that I don't care for tattoos personally. I'm also not attracted to blondes or facial hair. There's no judgment, just personal preference. :) I feel like I need to say that because it seems that this personal preference is often twisted into being a judgment or moral stance of some kind. It's neither, for me. My answer would depend on the child. If I thought he'd get the tattoo anyway, I'd be likely to pay for it for is birthday. I'd want to be sure it was done well, safely, and - truth be told - I'd want to influence placement. I wouldn't insist on it being my way, but I know my opinion would hold much greater weight. If I thought saying no would buy more time for the child to consider the tattoo, I'd give another gift and suggest we revisit the tattoo idea at the next birthday. And at that point, I'd ask myself the same question: will he get it anyway? Then pay. Can I buy myself another year? Then wait. Either way I'd be willing to fund it, birthday or not, same as I'd fund a bleach hair job or mustache wax (things my kids like that don't share my personal preferences.) I would just use it as leverage to have the child wait as long as possible to commit to a design, and to understand the pros/cons of placement. None of my boys show an interest, but my daughter has been drawing tattoos on herself since she was 2 and she's always been fascinated by her dad's tattoos. I imagine this will come up as she gets older (she's 12). But I'm pretty confident that she's also the one I can best convince to wait.
  7. I wouldn't say that my gift budget is low, but it feels that way because I spread it out over the entire year. I shop all year long, especially for the less fickle populations (and I usually wait until late Fall to buy for younger kids whose interests and fads change more quickly.) I don't set a budget specifically, nor do I try to "fit" a given amount. I find it easier and less stressful to shop without those parameters. One year I planned to buy my sister the mixer she had been coveting. I started keeping an eye out for deals in February, and by August I had snagged her dream mixer for half-price using sales, coupons, and rewards. This year she got a coffee mug that cost me about $8, wasn't on sale or bought with coupons, but was a theme she loved that isn't commonly seen in shops. I'm able to keep my budget lower by really knowing my recipients, rather than going off of a list that's given to me during the height of shopping season. When I have to shop for those people, I find I spend more. LOL Meaningful gifts, to me, indicate that the buyer "gets" me (or tried to, even if they missed the mark.) This year that would be an inexpensive tin of tea leaves given by my son's girlfriend, who noticed I prefer loose leaves to bagged. Also my other son's girlfriend who gave my daughter a homemade leather journal, since my daughter loves to write poems and has been using an ugly spiral.
  8. I will be praying for you - not only that you get your tangible house in order, but also for continued strength and support. Divorces can feel lonely, and I hope you're able to avoid that. It sounds like you have a great network of friends and the support of your adult children. That's going to be a huge blessing throughout the process, and even after.
  9. I've always had a "kid cupboard" in the kitchen. It's one of the lower cupboards that they can get into and out of, and keep all of the kid stuff. At 2-3 they were all able (and eager!) to organize it, take out dishes for meals, put away dishes once clean, etc. That's also a good age for putting away books. We've always had a dedicated "baby bookshelf" that even the littlest kids could put books away. My 5th kid had a the rain gutter style bookshelves (except we used Ikea spice racks and picture ledges). We're in a different home now, but I plan to put up the same in a few months for #6 to use. It goes along with picking up toys. A few of my kids could match socks and help sort laundry at that age, but not all of them could.
  10. It's so weird to think of our kids as sexual beings. LOL But I wouldn't let that stop me from allowing it. I'd disallow it for moral/religious objections only. In my religious tradition, letting this couple share a bed in my house would be inappropriate. What they consider to (not!) be a moral issue is irrelevant to my own actions. Likewise, what I consider to a moral issue is irrelevant to their actions; what they do somewhere else is not on me. So whether it's sleeping together before marriage, throwing back vodka shots like they're gummy bears, stealing from their employers, or murdering random bad drivers .... I'm responsible for any role I play in any activity I view as a sin. So there will be no sleeping together before marriage, stealing from employers, or murdering random bad drivers no matter how tempting while with me or in my domain/home. It'd be implicit guilt. But doing those things on their own time, is all on them - no implicit guilt on me. Vodka shots, however, yes. We can definitely do that! I'm grateful that it isn't a sin in the eyes of my faith. LOL In our home this is a no right now - we have younger children still being brought up in the faith. My objections are religious. I don't mind if my kids don't share that religion, or don't follow that particular belief, but out of respect to me it's understood that house rules will follow our established religious beliefs. I have two adult sons and an engaged 17 year old. None of them have ever asked this of me. They must know how I feel. LOL It wouldn't be my choice for them to stay together in a hotel, but I would accept it without comment. What's important to me is that my home remain faithful to my beliefs, especially with younger kids still in the home. The offer to stay at a hotel would show that they respect my beliefs, even if they don't share them. That is a great solution. It addresses Elizabeth86's attitude about not wanting to push her standards/beliefs onto others, but allows the parent to remain faithful to her standards/beliefs.
  11. :grouphug: Make room for me, I relate 100%. It's good that you recognize this as influencing how you've reacted to the puzzle situation. Yes, exactly! LOL That's the real problem here, I think. For people like us who are one-timers, it's much harder to "get over it." Even if I don't finish it myself, if I've had any hands or eyes on it at all it's "done" forever at that point. Too funny, I thought I was the only one. But I'm learning to recognize the really important things in life, which are the kids. And it's hard to do that when you're living under the fog of it being a "metaphor for [your] whole life" - it really is. You know it intellectually, but your heart and emotions sometimes are slow to get the memo. It may feel like she bought it for herself, but maybe that's just because it's an interest you two share? She shares your interest, your enthusiasm for it, and bought a gift she figured you two would do together. And that's sweet, even if highly annoying. LOL I'd leave it out, let her finish it, then I'd buy my own (different version of course!) and do it in the bathroom while pretending to shower. I'd roll it up and bring it with me every night for 20 min or so. :lol: No lie. I do all of my covert, don't wanna share stuff in there while pretending to shower!
  12. No, I don't. But for many years I bought a picture frame ornament for each kid, and most of those are filled with photos of their accomplishment for that year. I kept having kids, and once I missed two years in a row I decided to save myself the stress of that tradition. LOL But I'm also cheap. So in your situation I'd revisit the ornament frame idea and then insert a picture of the recognition or accomplishment. Done. Bonus is I could do this on the cheap by buying now and having the whole next year to get around to actually doing the project! Second bonus: if the kid doesn't take his ornaments with him, for whatever reason, I don't have double ornaments.
  13. In an ideal world, her birthday would be between Oct-Dec and you could send her a Hallmark gift card every year :lol: But assuming your world, like mine, is NOT an ideal world ...I would have approached it by saying this: The kids were talking about Christmas traditions, and all agreed that their favorite tradition was yours! They love and miss the Hallmark ornaments. Since they weren't as into MY tradition of [whatever/make it up if you have to/pretend it's cookies], I got to thinking that the money I've been wasting on cookie cutters and dough might make their Christmas better if I added it to what you've budgeted for their ornaments? I just want to be a "silent partner" and see their favorite tradition continue. Grandma's Hallmark ornaments make their holiday! Full disclosure: I'd actually pin it on one of my kids LOL. I'd say: "Son said he wished my cookie budget could be applied to the ornament budget instead! And I got to thinking what a good idea that could be ..." But then I read the other replies. And OMG they're so right. The only gracious response to a gift is "Thank you." :w00t: So depending on my relationship with her, I may just eat the cheap ornament. Actually with my current MIL I'd probably set MY budget for a Hallmark one and tell them it is from her (which it is, in spirit if not reality LOL) or assume the tradition myself (in addition to her cheapo ones.) But my ex-MIL and I have a relationship such that I could tell her straight out. She'd actually rather know, I'm certain of it. She wouldn't accept money from me, but she'd use a Hallmark gift card if I sent one. For her, when it comes to the kids, she's all about their feelings. Hers may get hurt, but in the end she's more about what the kids want. And she's a sucker for a tradition.
  14. I come from a big family. My first husband had only one sibling, so it was like culture shock to him! Drama in his family was something like his sister forgot to take out the trash and he got blamed for it. Drama in my family could very easily have played out like what happened with your girls, OP. I think the last drama we had was when my baby sister had 10 tickets to her graduation, which wasn't enough for all of us to attend ... so she had to pick, and prioritize as she scrambled around trying to find extra tickets from friends. Congrats on the newest addition to the family :) she'll figure it out LOL
  15. :grouphug: What helped me was when my kids got old enough to direct their dad to my wants, and to clue him in to what might be a good surprise for me. I tell you what, I have one son who is a giant pain in my rear. He is the "hardest button to button" and just a huge challenge to raise. But he has the biggest heart, is extremely empathetic, and is gifted with intuition. From an early age, and after a disastrous exchange one year in which I let my hormones speak my mind rather than holding my tongue in gratitude for any gift at all, his dad was running gift ideas through him for approval and opinions. I'm a practical person, but I do love a surprise (especially one I wouldn't splurge on myself.) This son is now 17 and still the go-to for "what to get Mama" :) Your kids look about a good age to start sharing ideas with, and hoping (or directing them to!) they share with Dad - will that help next year?
  16. Would I give a consequence? That would depend on my end goal - is it about discipline (doing what she's asked to do)? Is it about teaching a skill (learning to specific chores or school work)? A little bit of both? (In which case I'd pick one to focus on for now, and work on the other one later.) If it's about discipline, a consequence here might be when x, then y. "When x (picking up toys) is done, then y (you can join us in the living room to watch a movie." A second consequence would be one of mom's infamous talks: "Ya know, if you wept and fussed and gnashed your teeth WHILE cleaning up the mess, it'd be way more efficient and we'd both come out winners ...." followed by a boring lecture on how mom and maid both start with "m" but the similarities end there (and if she'd like proof, i'm happy to whip out a sheet of paper so she may write the definition of each ten times apiece.) But here's something that worked here, too: a rhyme. Have you heard the "clean up, clean up, every body do your share" song that is taught to preschoolers? I let her make up her own angry version. And I let her screech it most unpleasantly as she cleans because (for me) the end goal was for her to pick up the damn mess. A "silly" version might work better at your daughter's age /blush. My daughter sings "Clean up, clean up, it's not my mess, it isn't fair; clean up, clean up, the stupid $h!t that's everywhere." {Not one of my finer parenting tricks, but she gets it out of her system, the mess gets cleaned, and truly she bounces back to human again way more quickly than before.
  17. We stayed at a vacation rental that had a bidet. We loved it so much that we asked the owners where we could buy one for our home. And then we did just that. Then the kids kept migrating to our bathroom, so we bought a less awesome but still nice one for them (it sat atop our regular toilet.) The brand is Toto. Run, don't walk. Freaking awesome.
  18. I had one in Austin, Texas. It looked nice ... except for the lower 1/4 which was perpetually covered in red dust due to the soil, or clay, or whatever it was that is going on in that ground down there. We landscaped to hide it well enough, but it was still obvious on the garage side and some other parts of the house. It annoyed me. My husband didn't care. He said everyone knows it's from the ground and not because we're dirty or something LOL. So I'd say to drive by some white homes in your area to see what you'll be dealing with. I imagine in some parts of the country, a white house would be very beautiful. But if you're in Texas? Just don't. LOL
  19. So precious - congratulations! And cheers to many more :) OP, I had my last one at 40. Like OrganicJen, he wasn't planned but I didn't worry because I had faith in my body to do its thing. Women having babies in their 40s was more normal than not when and where I grew up. I know things are feeling tentative due to your unfortunate prior losses, but I'm excited for your pregnancy and wish you peace and comfort with it!
  20. How fun! I only have one girl, and she runs circles around her brothers (who sound a lot like your boys!) Congratulations on your newest daughter :)
  21. I didn't see that thread but I love the sound of it! Bumping in hopes someone can find and link it. Merry Christmas :)
  22. Roasting it is so delicious and easy! But I usually choose to steam it because it feels even easier to me. I don't like using the oven for just one dish and most of our meals are cooked stove top vs. oven. I cut it to it my steamer, and steam over an inch of water for 6-8 minutes. When it's done I sprinkle with salt and pepper, or sometimes with garlic salt. If there is any leftover, I warm it up on the stove top with butter and minced garlic. I love asparagus! Warning: asparagus "pee" is a thing. I'm not sure if you know since you're new to eating it, but wanted to warn you just in case. :)
  23. Headlamps are a favorite at my house. Pocketknives, too. Potato gun ($5 at World Market and toy stores) + a few potatoes * World Market has a great selection of fun, off the beaten path toys for $5-20. Marshmallow shooter ($6-10) + bag of mini marshmallows. Novelty socks or slippers to wear around the house ... or a $8-10 novelty tee from Target, etc. Hacky sack, or any type of balls (tennis, koosh, mini soccer, nerf football) ... Harmonica (if you're a masochist lol) $5-10 video from Target, etc. - I think last year I got Jaws for one kid (it was a hoot), Field of Dreams, and another 80s/90s fun flick $5-10 CD from Target, Half Price Books, etc. - I got one of mine an old Star Wars soundtrack, one a band I think he'd like (Aerosmith) A few of my boys love spicy stuff, so (it's food, but not junk) I got one two different types of hot sauce, and one a jar of jalapeno jelly. Ball cap That weird toy with the pins that you press your face into? I've seen it at toy stores and Walmart.
  24. For the past ten or so years I've made a batch of Baileys type creme to split between my sister and me. We attend Midnight Mass, and our "tradition" has been to send the kids with the other adults to the church in advance of us (to be there early to serve Mass or to save seats). She and I stay back to do final touches on (nothing really, that's just our excuse to stay behind LOL) and in that blessedly unhurried, quiet, family-free 45 minutes we enjoy a few drinks before heading over to the church just in time for the service.
  25. If you're open to a once-a-week type of set-up, I can think of a few meals that you make on the weekend and re-heat during the week. Cabbage Rolls - a simple one. Pick a meat, add in some rice for filler, spice it up, wrap in cabbage leaves. Add sauerkraut if you like. (Then when you eat it for lunch during the week, add a fruit or one raw veggie to round it out.) Meatballs - you could do this alternating weeks by changing up the spices: Italian, Asian, etc. If you make a big batch on the weekend, you can take them out of the freezer or fridge daily. I'd eat 2-3, and then fry up some veggies. It's cooking but only 5 minutes or so. I know there are recipes out there that don't use breadcrumbs or other gluten type stuff. My friend is gluten-free and uses a tamari sauce in her meatballs. Crockpot some meat (pork, chicken, whatever) and shred or cube it to use during the week. One day you can add it to a salad (raw veggies should be okay once a week?) Day 2 you can mix it with rice and steamed veggies. Day 3 you can wrap it in corn tortillas (I don't know if those are high calorie) with jarred salsa. Day 4 you can mix it with broth and eat it as soup - just add frozen peas/carrots for veggies). Day 5 you'll be tired of eating it LOL but do it one more day - put it in a pot, add canned pineapple (use some of the juice in the pot!) and some veggies; saute together, eat. This will be your biggest day to cook. Are eggs okay? 2 eggs in a pan with a side of steamed/roasted asparagus and some salsa. Black beans, too, maybe? (I'm not fully versed on what all is dairy free and gluten free, I'm sorry. I know basics, but not the important details. I'm not sure if this idea works. Sorry.) Spaghetti squash takes awhile to cook, so you have to prep, but it's put it in and forget about it for the most part. It tastes really good with spaghetti sauce on top, but you can lower calories by doing it from scratch: chopped tomatoes, chopped onions, maybe dried or fresh basil - simple, yummy. For a protein, eat with meatballs. Or add ground meat to the "sauce" for a meat sauce. Ideas for cooked veggies ... again, do all cutting prep on the weekend ... but you could saute sliced cabbage, sliced radishes, baked spaghetti squash. Instead of using calories from oil, you can use some water or a small amount of broth. Are steaming veggies okay? It takes 10-15 minutes, but it's not much work other than boiling water and waiting ... broccoli, carrots, corn, peas, asparagus,lots of veggies steam up nicely. Then you can season with pepper or garlic salt if it's too bland otherwise. Roasted Veggies - do all the cutting prep on the weekends. An hour before lunch time, dump the cut veggies onto a cookie sheet, season with herbs, bake/roast. (But this may be higher in calories than you want. You could focus on the protein and add cooked veggies to it.) What about fruit? When my husband was on a diet, he had to calorie restrict but he'd still be starving. He was allowed unlimited veggies, but he doesn't like most of them. He's good with fruit, though, and one recipe that filled him up nicely was easy to make and low enough calorie. It might be higher in sugar than you want, though. He literally diced an apple, sprinkled some cinnammon on it, then nuked it. When I made it for him, I did it on the stovetop instead. We still eat this as a a filling snack, many years later!
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