amber necklace – hocus pocus?

21 Sep

Whenever I used to see amber necklaces on little kids/babies either in real life in blogs, I wondered what they were used for.  Was it a fashion trend I missed?  Probably but I was still curious!  Finally, with a wee bit of googling, I got my answers.

magic book a.k.a. google

Amber necklaces are believed to have calming properties.  “For those of you who aren’t familiar with this wives’ tale gone mainstream: Baltic amber contains a “natural analgesic” that can, in theory, be absorbed through your skin to relieve pain. Here’s the wiki on succinic acid, where there is indeed a passing mention of it being historically used to relieve aches and pains — though just how far back in history isn’t mentioned. Today, you’ll often see amber advertised for back pain and arthritis, but also for teething pain.” (Alphamom.com).  Most of the anecdotal evidence I found surrounds babies and teething.  However, there were claims it could help with anxiety.

I figured this was probably a silly idea however, retailers had adult sizes.  What the heck?  I purchased a simple amber necklace for $27 and eagerly awaited its delivery.  I was wildly curious if it was some hocus pocus or something that could really offer me some sense of tranquility.  Or even just making some of the jitters subside – I’m not picky.

I immediately tore open the envelope upon its arrival and put the amber necklace on.  While it wasn’t instantaneous, the necklace really does provide a calming effect.  Now, I’m sure there are the skeptics out there saying it’s all a placebo but seriously, who cares?  I told my neurologist about it and I even admitted it was possible it was all in my head.  She completely agreed it didn’t matter if it yielded positive results.  And it does.

I do think there must be something to it since I doubt babies are capable of experiencing placebo benefits.  Since I don’t remember these early (early) years, I can’t say for sure!  Nevertheless, I’ve been happy with this twist on battling my anxiety.  Having an alternative to more pills and something I can put on and feel relief from within 45 minutes is highly appreciated!  I’m not kidding.  For some reason, Saturday mid-mornings, I start to experience a panic and I feel shaky and frenzied.  Typically, I’ve forgotten to put the necklace on so when I do, I start to feel better within 15 minutes or so.  Yay!

On mornings before wearing the necklace.  I’m a work in progress…

So, if you are looking for an alternative to ease the effects of some stress and/or angst either for you or maybe a kiddie in your life, I  suggest looking into buying an amber necklace.  I’m not saying I would put one on a baby – choking risks are a major factor.  But my anxiety was pronounced as a small one (preschool) and the placebo would have totally worked on me; especially if I’d been told I was wearing something to help ease my nervousness.  I’m ordering another one in the next few days as they have a variety of shades so it would be nice to have something different to wear while still reaping the benefits.  If you do, I would love to hear your experiences/outcomes!

Do you believe in alternative therapeutic methods?  I am interested in essential oils as well.  Any experience?

zantac is officially part of my daily diet

20 Sep

I’m sure we can agree that feeling sickly sucks.  There really isn’t any other description for it.  So earlier this week when I was curled up on the couch, I was unhappy.  Although I was able to catch up on lots of tv, so silver lining?

simon LOVES sick days!

simon LOVES sick days!

During all of this couch sitting and tv watching, I realized I haven’t felt all that great since June.  It wasn’t a daily thing back then.  In fact, it was during my juicing season that I started getting stomach aches.  The best description I can think of was “sour stomach”.  I didn’t vomit but I felt like I wanted to – a lot.  I took a generic Zantac and typically this made me feel better.  I figured it was all of the fruits and veggies.

Gradually, I started taking these stomach pills more and more.  In fact, I realized I’ve been taking them daily for about a month now.  I attributed most of this to the nutty month that August is – eating out a lot, not enough exercise, too much coffee (I know, IS there such a thing?) and my cup runneth over with angst, doesn’t a healthy body make.  But this has sort of calmed down now and I’m only feeling worse.

After talking with my dad, he is concerned I have something more than a sour stomach or as I’ve dubbed it, “nervous tummy” syndrome.  I’ve always chalked up my stomach ache to my anxiety since this was/is usually the case.  Heck, it’s been a constant in my life for as long as I can remember.  But my nervous tummy is now a burning, dull pain.  I will eat something and suddenly I am eat-all-the-thanksgiving-dinner FULL.  Then I feel like I need to vomit.  The fullness lasts forever which is coupled with bloating and serious stomach pains.  Zantac and GasX are my new besties.  This week has been the absolute worst and I’m beginning to wonder if what I thought was  stomach bug earlier in the week was simply part of this unfortunate mess happening inside me.

Naturally, I’ve diagnosed myself… well, with the help of my dad.  I don’t think he intended to “diagnose” me per say, I think he was trying to encourage me to go to the doctor but I took a few liberties.  What has Dr. Amy come up with?  Either a) an ulcer or b) an alien that is eating my stomach lining.  Seriously, I feel like both are solid contenders.  Now, I’m not positive I have a full out ulcer, probably just some serious stomach irritation.  I don’t have a gallbladder anymore so I know this isn’t it.

To be honest, I don’t want to go to the doctor.  I feel silly.  I mentioned it at my physical in June but it was more of a side comment and even said I figured it was due to the juicing.  Now to go back and say, “hey, I’m an idiot, I’m really having issues” makes me feel like a hypochondriac.  I know it’s caused by anxiety.  I know I take a lot of meds as well as advil-like products so my stomach is probably seeking some revenge.  And because I know all of this, I’m not making an appointment, just yet.  I am going to make an appointment to get acupuncture – hopefully attacking more of the source than treating a symptom.

yep

The point of this post… hmm… I think to whine.  And to seek advice – if you’ve dealt with similar stomach issues, or an ulcer what have you done?  Go ahead and lay it on me (please!)!

*Natalie Dee is the artist behind these cartoons – she is awesome.

 

running & sickness aren’t besties

17 Sep

Here is a recap of an actual race I ran this past Saturday!

The Peacock Strut is one of my all-time favorite races.  It was the first 10k I ever did, is a local race, is cheap and is only about 20-25 minutes from my apartment so even when I have to work, I can still race (as was the situation this weekend).  The thing is, I was waffling about running it this year.  I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to make the whole distance given my sketchy training lately.  Not to mention, I’ve been feeling crummy off and on as of late, more than likely anxiety induced and Friday wasn’t great within the health realm.

I know, gross but seriously people, my tummy is pissy pants

I told office mate I was going to run it.  He is a good person for me to tell my plans to because he checks up – as I’ve asked him to.  Because I felt crummy, I didn’t go sign up/pick up my packet the night before.  This certainly wasn’t a good way to boost my wavering commitment to running.  Nevertheless, I managed to drag my sorry bum out of bed in the morning and right out into the rain.  Strike two.  I’ve never run in the rain and it being chilly AND rainy wasn’t on my agenda for the morning.

Was there a strike three?  Nah, not really.  I sat in the car as I had some extra time before the race and pep talked myself into walking to the start line.  In the rain.  The weather channel said there was a 20% chance of rain (LIES!) but that it would be over in 25 mins.  I kept telling myself I could withstand anything for 25 mins!

okay, so I was in a really bad mood at this point

The race went well!  I really like the course and my form was on point.  I had to stop to fix my shoe early on – do any of you have one foot that needs/likes the laces tighter but the other foot doesn’t?  I find this odd.  I didn’t wear any sort of timing device nor did I have my headphones.  It was nice.  I was worried I would need to stop and walk as I wasn’t trying to be conservative with my pace.  Then I decided to just go for it and started a mantra of, “run this mile” since worrying about the future ones wasn’t doing any good.  Wouldn’t you know it?  No walking and kept to what I felt to be a fairly consistent pace!

It wasn’t my fastest 10k ever – in fact, maybe it was my slowest?  I’m good with this.  I came home after some sweaty errands (sorry for my stinky-self fellow shoppers!) and ran three more miles for a total of 9 miles for the day.  And get this, 4 miles on Sunday!  Maybe my first back to back weekend runs ever!

Oh the sicky-ness I mentioned above?  Hung around a bit and then came back with a vengeance on Sunday evening, Monday and Tuesday.  Fever on Sunday and Monday and you know, some vomiting to round out the fun.  Never a dull moment with this health of mine!

I’m impressive (seriously – I have evidence)

8 Sep

A few weeks ago I gave a presentation on personal wellness/work-life balance to some college students.  I co-presented and they did such a great job that I was more of a presenter garnish than anything else.  It was pretty nice (being a garnish), especially considering we gave the presentation 4 times.

I did submit a couple of pictures for the slide show and thought they would simply be in a rotation.  Turns out I was to speak about one of them – this one in particular:

this picture… again

So I did.  I told them what the Dopey Challenge was.  Get this… each group clapped for me.  How crazy is that?  I can’t even begin to tell you how much I WAS NOT expecting this!  They ooo-ed and awww-ed and started clapping!  I must say, it was a real moment for me.  Like most people, I tend to underestimate my accomplishments.

Part of this is because in blog-land, people run double digits on a regular basis.  Many of the blogs I read/follow people are training for a marathon, have run ultramarathons or are cruising in on lots ‘o miles all the time.  Don’t me wrong, I love reading about these experiences but because this has become so normalized in my brain, I downplay my own.

I love this

A week before the aforementioned presentation, a co-worker and I were talking about a work issue.  It’s a giant project in which zapped my energy and most likely killed off a few brain cells per cortisol.  Stress and anxiety, you da bomb.  But I stuck with it and was determined to see it through.  He challenged me a couple of times and while it frustrated me, I stood my ground and stuck up for myself.  Toward the end of the discussion, he started complimenting me.  He said, “you’ve stuck with this project – many people wouldn’t have.  You run marathons – there is something different inside you than others.”

I wasn’t sure what to say because I was truly touched.  I forget the grit and determination it takes to get through those damn 26.2 miles, or 13.1 or whatever number I am running during training (it feels like every mile actually).  Doubt has crept in since training is hitting a snag due to August being so work-heavy.  It was a good reminder to be proud of myself no matter what the clock says or my weekly mileage is at the current moment.

natalie dee… wonderful

 

tiny house anyone?

5 Sep

I thought I would be able to re-enter the blog world and regular life last weekend… but that turned out not to be the case.  I thought maybe some time this past week – nope.  Finally, today I took the day off and this is how I feel

I may look a bit rough around the edges but see? There is hope on the horizon!

Jumping back into regular life isn’t easy.  Every September I go through it and I forget how much I crave a routine.  Whether it’s a regular running schedule, a clean apartment, actual clean clothes (and not just febreezed) and a normal amount of caffeine consumption (as opposed to the gallons I’ve been drinking), it all sounds fantastic!  And today is the first day I can make it all start.

During all of this chaotic time, I’ve become fascinated with the tiny house movement.  If you aren’t familiar, many a folk are choosing to downsize into very small abodes.  I’m talking 250 sq feet – heck, one person lives in 95 sq foot house!  Crazy!  This small is not something I would choose but there is something about this that appeals to me.  There is a great documentary on the as well.

I also like the idea of a yurt

For those of you who’ve been around here for a while, you may remember me griping about how small my current apartment is.  480 sq feet.  So how does this align with my current interest in tiny houses?  I like the idea of there being a place for everything.  Tiny houses by design and necessity have to be organized or they wouldn’t be livable.  I love the ingenious behind them – especially the romantic-esque lofts.  And yes, overall idea of it all.

see how cool and functional this is?

I’m starting to realize I could get my current digs a bit more likeable and functional.  I get extremely frustrated with the lack of organization here (my fault with all of my stuff) but also the lack of a place to put some of it.  There is a severe lack of shelving and closets here.  I recognize I can/need to dehoard but there is still a simple need for SOME shelving.  And counter space.  And perhaps some cupboards?

I would like a slightly bigger living space when I move next.  I’ve done enough pinterest-ing to also get some ideas about how to live large in a small space with creative decorating and organizing.  I also have a co-worker who loves to organize and would like to be professional organizer in the future.  She is going to help me!  And take before and after shots for her portfolio – I love it.  I get a free service and maybe I can help further her career.  I’ll post the pre and post pics here when it’s all done!

Maybe you can help?  Any tips for organizing small spaces? 

 

stop trying to make fetch happen

30 Aug

I find it interesting that Mean Girls has become a cult obsession.  For a little while, some of my student staff would ONLY quote this movie and yes, it drove me a little bonkers.  That being said, this is the perfect quote for me:

Why?  Because I need to stop trying to make Hokas happen.  Just like my student staff, I’m a bit obsessed with making these shoes work for me.  I really have no idea why.  They aren’t the cutest shoes on the planet and they are expensive.  My last pair gave me blisters.  Wouldn’t these all be a clear indication that maybe they aren’t right for me?

Maybe to a normal person yes, but not me.  I went ahead and bought another pair in a different style.  Originally, I emailed Hokas and asked them if they made their shoes in a wide width.  Their answer was a negatory but did say the Bondi 3 has a wider toe box and might work better for me.  You can bet your bottom dollar that I hopped on Amazon to check them out.  They were sitting on my wish list for ages.  Then on runningwarehouse.com there was a mega sale so I hit the BUY button.

still trying to make it happen

This is the end to my happy story though.  I put them on and ran maybe a half mile on the treadmill.  Nope.  Hokas are not meant for my feet.  My right foot started hurting almost immediately – a dull ache that didn’t quit.  I was disappointed.  I definitely get caught up in what a “real runner” looks like and wears and Hokas are a symptom of this.

Hokas are a great shoe.  I’m really glad I gave them a go and am sure others are finding quite a bit of enjoyment from them.  Heck, I bet they are some runners’ nirvana shoes!  Just not mine…

Other than this bit of enlightenment, my life has been heavily intertwined with work.  Seriously, that is about it.  I don’t see or talk to family or friends during the month of August and I certainly haven’t been running very much.  Oct 20th a.k.a. Detroit Marathon day, is looming and I’m going to have to kick training into high gear.  I’ve looked into my future: My A goal is to still finish under 5 hours.  My more realistic B goal is to finish under 6 hours.  And ultimately, my C goal is to finish.

maybe my future will surprise me?

It will be an exercise in determination but what else is new?!  Happy Saturday folks!

blog post stew vol. 7.5

18 Aug

My life is pretty boring right now – at least to other people.  Talking about work non-stop is not a theme for this blog so instead, it’s another volume of blog post stew!

1.  I made mug macaroni and cheese.  Or “easy mac” if you will.  I didn’t have any milk so I searched pinterest over to find one that didn’t need any.  I found this one and it was really good!  Heed my warning – the water bubbles EVERYWHERE in the microwave.  Put a towel under the mug or put the mug in a bowl.  It was a mess.  I also put a bit of butter in with the noodles right before I added the cheese; either way is good.  It was even creamy without milk.  Oh and rinse out the mug immediately; it’s a bitch to clean.

I think I’ve used this before but it’s too perfect… I’m still thinking about its lovely mac/cheesy goodness

2.  Simon decided to vomit all over the apartment yesterday while I was at work.  On my bed, on my couch (thankfully he got it on the blanket), right at my front door – and a few other places.  Poor little dude didn’t feel well.

3.  I’m currently fiddling with my coffee recipe.  It makes me feel unsettled – I need my coffee routine!  Haha, I’m such a maroon when it comes to my coffee.

During Aug, my coffee consumption goes up by 33%

4.  I’m working on using small pockets of time.  I get stuck in the mindset of, “I don’t have enough time to start/do/work on” whatever project.  It’s the same way I feel about running – that if I don’t have time to do 5 miles or so then it’s a waste.  Yes, silly.  With regards to using these small time intervals, I’m concentrating on seeing what I CAN accomplish.  For example, I paused a tv show the other night and washed my face so I would be ready for bed later.  I was heating up dinner in the microwave last night and I washed my coffee cup and made my morning coffee.  I washed a couple of other dishes, too.  Yes, there is still silverware to be washed (man, I hate washing forks!), however, I just bought myself an extra 4ish minutes in the morning.  For this sleeper-inner, that’s A LOT!

5.  I’ve been going to bed fairly early lately!  In fact, last Thursday night I fell asleep at 9:15 pm.  All last week I turned the tv off at 10 pm and then readied for bed.  I’m going to try to shorten the getting ready part so I can be in bed even earlier.

6.  Grocery shopping on a Sunday… avoid it if you can.

7.  I went through a car wash yesterday!  I’ve never done it in my own car before!  Seriously, I’ve always been nervous I wouldn’t know what to do or I would crash into the side or something.  I’ve washed my car but just never been through the machine.  I LOVED IT!  Haha, best $6.00 I’ve spent in a while.

8.  Here’s a picture of my sister, niece and soon to be sister-in-law flashing some WA pride at my dad’s wedding.  There will be more random pics of my recent travels in future posts!

btw, my soon to be sis-in-law is French... let's blame that instead of the wedding champagne for the 4 finger "W"

btw, my soon to be sis-in-law is French… let’s blame that instead of the wedding champagne for the 4 finger “W”

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