Sunshine State of Mind

I'm unplugging today and for the rest of this weekend for some much needed relaxation and celebration with my friend Brooke (and company) in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida. The weather is supposed to be nice and in the low 80s... perfect fall beach weather!


Don't Feel Blue

All smurfs were offended by this Halloween participant's clear lack of regard towards "blue-face."


Go Quote Yourself!

Ivanka, I think you are an amazingly talented lady, but please, for the love of God, don't quote yourself on facebook.

CVS Coupons

Maybe, for once, I will be able to take advantage of the long list of coupons that in the past has printed with my receipt - I am so glad they did this!


The NEW Christian Grey!

OK, so I was wrong here in my predictions of who would be cast as Christian Grey.

Even this was wrong because Charlie Hunnam, for whatever reason, decided to back out.

But that does not make me sad, because wow! Jamie Dornan, maybe best known for playing the sheriff on Once Upon A Time, has been cast as Christian Grey! I am not disappointed at all! I think it is great that they actually chose someone who isn't that well known. This way, we can focus on the, err, character that he plays. :)

Just please please please don't let him have too much facial hair! Not a fan.

Oil Pulling

This is sort of a Part II to my previous post, but with less words. :)

All about oil pulling.

"Swishing" a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth (but never your throat - no gargling!) will deep clean your teeth and gums and even help congestion. Do it during your morning shower before eating or drinking for best results. Just remember to spit it into a garbage can instead of clogging up your sink.


Clean Eating

There was a time when I thought people who wrote the below were a little crazy. Now I fall into that group of those that believe in clean eating, and I couldn't feel better about it - literally.

I didn't think I had Celiac Disease, and maybe I am still not on board with the "complete" diagnosis. Like, "Hi, my name is Joellen, and I have Celiac Disease." If you would have asked me what my symptoms were in the past, I think I would have just said that I was fine and in perfect health. But... the problem with that is that I do get canker sores, have brittle nails, experience infertility, flaring acne (still - ugh!), mood swings, brain fog and ADD at times and these symptoms are all listed below... Wait, do I have Celiac Disease?

I thought that everyone dealt with a little hardship here and there with their bodies. I thought I was "unlucky" because I had brittle nails and my friend did not. Or that ADHD ran in my family so maybe that was it? And my "stupid" oily skin keeps me broken out... maybe gluten intolerance isn't just a made up notion by rich white people who have nothing better to complain about afterall? Maybe there is some truth to it!

It all started when I read the book Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. It is about toxins in our food and environment and how they can affect your body. These ideas along with an elimination diet program described in the book show how following the Clean Program lets your own body heal itself - I highly recommend it.

During my other research, more and more evidence of gluten intolerance and toxins in general has made me increasingly aware that is it not only gluten that I should remove from my diet, but Dairy, Soy, and all things processed as well. Basically, the less it looks like what it originates from, the less you should eat it.

This did NOT come easy at first.

Cheese was my favorite food. I drank about 3 cups of milk every morning. I thought if I saw the word "soy" then that meant it was healthy and I could eat it. I thought red meat was bad and diet soda was OK. I thought that water out of the tap was good enough for me, that deodorant was perfectly safe, never thought about anything relating to my shampoo and soap other than how it smelled... Now I am getting off track... Although toxins are everywhere (deodorant has been linked to breast cancer!), this post is going to concentrate on the consumables.

Not that.

Not that.

This - reverse osmosis water.
Not that.
People seem to be so consumed with low fat, diet, low calorie, low carb, etc. (and I know that you've heard this before), but that is NOT the way to go. I am not a doctor, nor am I a health coach or nutritionist, but I am just choosing things for my body that HAVE to make sense. They just have to. 

As in nothing genetically modified. No hormones. As many organic vegetables as I can get my hands on. Grass fed meat. All things coconut (water, oil, milk). No wheat (gluten) products (which is both easier than you think, yet harder to resist - like pizza!). I've started juicing, and its delicious. I drink smoothies for breakfast, which are delicious. Potatoes are OK! Spaghetti with meatballs is not. Gluten free vodka (Tito's) is OK. Beer is not. [sad face] But cheer up because an occasional Angry Orchard is OK. :)

Bonus is: I feel better. I don't drink coffee anymore, yet I have more energy. My acne is clearing. My brain fog is lifting. My mood is better. I am starting to realize that eating this way is not a sacrifice, it is a blessing. I don't want to feel like a sluggish lump on a log, and I no longer have to... and this is only after a month!

My advice is to look into it. It is not for everyone, but my hope is that it really is for everyone and that we will be able to indicate to the food industry what we want to eat, instead of the other way around.


Best Dressed Moth

There truly are no unique man-made patterns in the world. Check out this beautifully dressed black and white moth I found!


You Can Ring My [dog] Bell

Did you know that when Minnie (my dog) wants to go outside to "potty" that she rings a bell? Someday it would be cool to install a lower doorbell of sorts, but for now it is a simple craft that is cheap and takes about an hour to make.

You need a length of ribbon (think about the height of your dog for this one), 9 bells, 9 o-rings, 3 d-rings, and either a sewing machine or needle and thread. The pictures below are pretty self explanatory.

To train your dog, all you need to do is hit the bells right before you take him/her out, every time. Show him/her that she can hit them with their nose, and praise her for "ringing" it, even if you helped him/her with that part. Just keep doing that. Now, just wait and listen.

The first time that you hear the little bell ringing while you aren't standing there will feel like a miracle! Praise them, but immediately take him/her outside.

After they have successfully done this a few times, reinforce it by not taking them out unless they ring the bell.

My Minnie started ringing it when she just wanted to go outside to chase frogs (her most favorite thing EVER), but we figured her out pretty quick. Since she doesn't bark, it is so much easier for us, and maybe her, now that we can hear when she needs to go out!


Expiring iGoogle

Remember this POST about my love for iGoogle? If not, its OK, I will recap below.

Well, it is leaving me! About every other day I get a warning when I open up the web browser that my iGoogle page will be shutting down in X number of days. I think the deadline is November 1. It is my homepage and has all my links, weather, email, news, etc. on it - and looks like this:

Apparently Google doesn't think it is "needed" anymore, but I am having a hard time figuring out why? What is everyone using to read blogs, keep up with twitter, news, email, etc. all in one place? Or at least what is Google assuming that everyone is using, as that was their reason for getting rid of it. I could definitely be behind the times, but hey, it works for me.

While I was searching for something in which to replace it, I discovered a cool little site called alternativeto.net (I know, right? .net? haha) and basically it gives you recommendations for programs like the one you are searching. So, when I typed in iGoogle, several came up and I finally decided on Protopage, which looks like this:

I will admit that I hate change, but this transition has been pretty easy. It is very similar and although I liked some things better about iGoogle, the weather widget for example, it is basically the same thing. That being said, I like a few things better with Protopage, like after I read an article it strikesthrough it like this. So see? All that worry for nothing.


Siri's Grammar

For starters, could you stop ending sentences in a preposition? 

K.Thanks. :)
From Charleston, South Carolina to your computer. I hope you enjoy. :)