Thursday, February 26, 2015

What on Earth is Cannabidiol (CBD)?
















Have you ever heard of CBD (Cannabidiol) products? Am I the only non-pot head here? I had never heard of this before. Dose of Nature contacted me to do a review of a brand new product of theirs called Redstrap CBD in Cold-Pressed Virgin Organic Olive Oil. When I first got the email I had squinty eyes. What on Earth?

Instead of instantly saying no, I decided to look this product up. I saw the word cannabis in the word Cannabidiol and I thought, "I'm crunchy but not that crunchy." Turns out it's everywhere and 100% legal. Cannabidiol is one of at least 85 active cannabinoids identified in cannabis. It is NOT part of the plant makes you feel stoned. Companies extract CBD from the plant and it's used as medicine to treat a ton of ailments.

Still, I was skeptical because I actually had to put this in my body. I had never heard of CBD before (I know, I guess I live under a rock). So I did MORE research, I'm a dedicated blogger, guys. I wasn't going to put something in my body that I didn't really understand. After poking through a bajillion sites on Cannabidiol I figured it couldn't hurt... kind of like taking fish oil. Except it's pot not fish. :)

Dose of Nature says this about themselves ...
Utah-based Dose of Nature launched a state-of-the-art CBD (Cannabidiol) product line in 2014, applying proprietary technologies to create the first nano CBD and water-soluble CBD products in the market. CBD or Cannabidiol has been at the forefront of the news lately in its application to treat pediatric epilepsy, autism, cancer, pain, PTSD, brain injuries, Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s, stroke/TBI, sleep disorders, Multiple sclerosis, Fibromyalgia (<---MOM! ARE YOU READING THIS?!), anxiety, and various neurological conditions. Read more here. AND here for the library of uses.


I read anxiety thought, "HELLO!!! YOU'RE SPEAKING MY LANGUAGE, Dose of Nature! Crazy anxious mom, right here!" So I decided to try it.

Dose of Nature sent me a bottle of CBD in Cold-Pressed Virgin Organic Olive Oil in exchange for a blog reveiw. They have CBD in apricot oil, hemp oil, and coconut oil, as well. I received the bottle and it was tiny! I don't know why but I had it in my mind it would be much bigger, not something that would fit in my fist. The point is that you don't need a huge bottle. With their Hydrosome™ technology, CBD is broken down into molecules that are extremely small, guaranteeing the max amount of delivery to the system in the smallest amount of time.

This is what's in the stuff incase you're still scratching your head. Don't worry, it took me a while too.
The KannaTek RedStrap™ CBD Oil is meticulously extracted, filtered, and dewaxed, leaving an extremely concentrated, 70% plus CBD-rich oil that appears like blackstrap molasses. This is then mixed with Cold-Pressed, Extra-Virgin Organic Olive Oil. Vitamin E is added as a natural preservative. <--- Made of just three ingredients, that's it!
The final product is a golden-colored oil, where the hints of the KannaTek RedStrap™ Oil are wrapped in the smooth flavor and fragrance of Olive Oil. The oil can be consumed orally by placing the drops under your tongue, or mixed with a salad or smoothie.

Alright, it's time to get down to what does it taste like and did it help me with my anxiety.

  1. It tasted weird. Like how fish oil tastes weird. Not bad, just funky but I mixed it in with my smoothie and also tried it with applesauce. Do you see the little drops sitting on top of my smoothie there? That's the CBD that I didn't mix in so you could see it. I can't figure out how to explain what it tastes like. I would not be a good food blogger.
  2. They say peak absorption time will be approximately 1½ to 2 hours after ingestion. I didn't notice a huge difference. For the anxiety, I already take Lexapro and this happens to be my extra crazy week where I take Prozac too. Maybe, it did help and I didn't notice? But now that I think about it, it has been a particularly stressful week and I haven't been feeling like I normally do ... like this is all too much to handle. I've actually been feeling pretty good. Less stressed, more able to plow through my day without freaking out. I've been sleeping like a rock, which is NOT normal when I'm this stressed. Apparently it is working! It's been a hell of a week and I've been taking this all week, every day. 
  3. I've been farting a lot more than normal. I'm not sure I can blame this though, might just be something funky I ate but I figured it was worth noting. Fish oil makes you fart a lot too. 
So there you have it! I like this stuff. I can see myself using it for help with sleeping at night and my anxiety. I would love to say I'll use it every day but I barely remember to brush my hair every day so I see it being something I'll use when I remember to. It would be nice to kick the Lexapro to the curb. I'm not anti-medication though but I'm all for a more homeopathic route.

This is even safe for children to use, which a huge plus for me with two littles of my own. 


*The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone. In exchange for a blog post written for Dose of Nature, I was given a bottle of CBD.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Boogie Man

My kids get up frequently in the night just to ask us to put them back to bed. I've gotten so use to being woken up 40 times in the night that it doesn't seem to matter anymore. It's like an annoying routine. I can't MAKE them stop getting out of bed. And before you go throwing suggestions at me... trust me, we've tried it all.

These late night visits usually only last about a minute or two. One or both come into our room, wake one of us up, ask us to put them back to bed (kid's are so weird), we walk them into their room, put them back in bed, walk back to our room, go to sleep.

Then there are nights where they come in over and over again. I can handle a couple times a night, I can't handle every hour. NO you may NOT sleep in our bed! I have never said yes and I won't start now! They can cuddle in the morning but in the middle of the night they sleep in their beds, we sleep in ours. 99.9% of the time. It's the 0.1% is where things get interesting.

We will have some bad nights where one will wake up the other and it's like a bomb went off in our house at 2am. Everyone is tired and crabby and awake. There was one night where Ava was having a bad night. She doesn't have nightmares or terrors that I know of but she wakes easily and hears stuff. We live in an old house and we have bats in the walls. Dude. I know. But you get use to them when they are active. They just sound like they are squeaking and rustling in the walls. It's especially bad in Ava's room for some reason.

I'm not going to lie, at six years old, this would freak my shit out. I always had to take a flying leap to get into bed at night because monsters. I never left my closet doors open. I always slept with a blanket even if it was 110ยบ. That thin layer is protection from bad things, donchaknow. Never have an appendage hanging off the bed when you're sleeping. The monster will eat it off. I really need to stop watching so many ghost shows.



I was a spooked out little kid who did spooky things in her sleep... like sleepwalking. I slept-walk all the time and never remembered it until the next morning. Often I would be found in a part of the house, like the basement, without the lights on... just standing there. Once, mom told me, she found me down there only because I started screaming. She had no idea why I was down there or screaming but she just put me back to bed. I would wake up with my brother's underwear on the floor of my bedroom because I slept-walked into his room and took everything out of his drawers. It's freaky when you can't control that shit!

I thought it would stop when I got older but it didn't. I just started remembering the next morning what I did but again, I couldn't stop myself. I once walked across a field in the pouring rain at midnight to ring my friend's doorbell. I had one shoe on and a tshirt. I'm serious when I say it was freaky! My parents put a bell on my door so they could hear me leave my room in the night because I was of driving age. I use to ride the elevators in college in the middle of the night. I had enough sense to know that I needed my key to get in and out of the dorm. Who does that?!

So I get it. Night time freaks me out too.

One night Ava came into our room scared out of her mind. She couldn't say why she was scared just that she was. We tried putting her back to bed multiple times but she would just end up in our bed each time. At one point, I took her into her room and closed her door. The lights were off and she was shaking with fear. Her whole body was quivering and she was sobbing. She said someone was at the door. I said there wasn't but she swore up and down and begged me not to leave to leave her alone. I said fine, she can come in our bed just this once. We open the door and there's EZ crouched by the door illuminated by the hallway night light. Ava and I had to peel our skins off the ceiling that night. He wasn't sleepwalking, he was woken up by all the commotion but Christ on a cracker that scared the ever living shit out of us.

My kids are afraid to go upstairs or really anywhere in the house unless every single light is turned on and even then it's iffy. I can't blame them though, I'm pretty sure they inherited an irrational fear of the boogie man from their mama.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Do You Live a Healthy Whole Life?

Hello, lovelies!!! Happy New Year! I have a special surprise for y'all on this beautiful Friday. I'm teaming up today with Alissa Mertel from Healthy Whole Life and giving away an 11 Day Winter Detox worth $67! BUT I also have a coupon for 30% off your entire order... that's for ERRYBODY!

I told you it was rad!  

I'm going to come clean and say I've known Alissa for nearly 15 years. Holy crap, has it really been that long? Anywhoodle, we worked together back in the day in the creative industry. I'm still in that industry while she's moved on to create her own company. Another little secrect: I'm the design force behind all the graphics you see for her brand. Yeah. That's me. Except for the logo, I didn't make that.

Alissa is probably one of the kindest souls I know. Her spirit and soul grounds me. I'm a very spirited (read: wired and crazy) person and she helps me center the crazy. I love her to death. I want to show her off because I feel like she can help so many of my readers. Not because you're all crazy (some of you are, don't deny it) but because sometimes we just need a little extra help balanceing our bodies and minds.

We've been working on some sweet ass projects. Alissa, can I say "ass" in this post? Alissa has a line called Healthy Whole Kids. Within Healthy Whole Kids line there's a program called I Ate The Rainbow that is made specifically for kids. It directs parents on how to teach kids about all the healthy and amazing foods available in all the colors of the rainbow and not from a Skittles bag. Although, I do love Skittles... shhhh don't tell.

Healthy Whole Life is just that... it's for a healthy mind, body and soul. You can find meal plans, recipes, blog posts, detox plans, and even essential oils on the website, Twitter and Facebook pages.

My Pinterest board is flooded with good intentions, especially after the New Year. With Alissa's guided support and help, I'm going to make a change this year... who's with me? You can start by entering for the 11-Day Winter Detox! Ooor if you perfer to start with something else, like say a meal plan, use the coupon code: newyear15. The code is good through January 31, 2015, so don't wait too long!!!

Without further adu, here's my sweet friend, Alissa Mertel talking about An Opportunity for More…

•----------------•

Each day you wake is an opportunity for more.

More abundance. More energy. More health. More happiness.

I like to take advantage of that magical momentum that renews each night and use it to turn my new day into a new opportunity for something better than previously experienced. We each have this beautiful gift to renew, refresh and reboot ourselves- physically, emotionally and spiritually. It doesn’t have to always happen at night, though. You can change your mind at any point in the day. You don’t even have to be the same person you were five minutes ago!

As I lay myself to sleep each night, I let go of any occurrences of doubt, guilt, fear, worry- the could-haves and should-haves, that seem to crowd my mind from the incomplete tasks of the day. I softly release them and set the intention to transform those into the positive, hopeful counterparts that will wake me the next morning with ambition and inspiration for the brand new opportunities that lay before me.

Just as we release the daily buildup of emotional residue, when our body reduces its toxic load, we feel lighter, energized, and positive about ourselves, our relationships and our experiences. We stress less and accomplish more as we release the burden of carrying around physical and emotional weight that only drags us down.

With a seasonal Detox, you will reset and recharge your system as you release toxins that make you sick, irritable, and fatigued.

You are ready for this. Your body is asking for this. And, I will be your guide.

Join me as we welcome the endless opportunities of 2015! Let’s clean up and clear out as we make room for the abundance the new year will bring. Let’s flood our bodies with the nutrients of wellbeing and increased health.

You matter and you are SO worth it!

Learn more about the Eat to Nourish – Winter Wellness Detox here.

Your opportunity for more is waiting…

Xo

-Alissa

•----------------•

Don't forget to use the code: newyear15 (good through Jan 31, 2015) upon check out for 30% your entire order!

Be sure to sign up for the Healthy Whole Life newsletter to get your FREE Ultimate Green Smoothie Guide.

My God this post is just overflowing with awesome shit! I'm sorry, Alissa, I cussed again. Not that she cares but still, I can't help myself.



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Thursday, January 15, 2015

A New Year, A New Mom of the Year

This is a tough one to write about and I've debated if I should post this so many times. I finally decided to just hit publish and cross my fingers you guys understand why I write this.

I've mentioned a million times before that Ava (6.5 years old) is, and always has been, our "spirited" child. She's extremely strong-willed. Her mood swings are extreme. She's a rager and lover. She's hard to parent all of the time. Constantly testing our patience and pushing the boundaries. It's exhausting.

I thought it would get easier as she gets older but it's not. She's just getting smarter and I'm getting more tired. People are appalled when I tell them that she'll scream at us, tell us she hates us, and calls us nasty names, etc. And then I'm suddenly embarrassed because clearly I'm doing something wrong here. Wait. Your kids don't say this stuff? Neither J nor I grew up in a household of such disrespect. We simply did NOT talk to our parents the way she does to us.

Why do we let her? We don't! It's NOT ok but we don't know how to... I don't know... stop it. We try everything in the book to get her to stop. Take away toys, yell, time outs, talk quietly, etc. Believe me, we've tried. We go at the discipline with such HURRAH but she lasts way longer than we do and very quickly we get so damn tired of the fight. It's hard for people to understand when you don't have a kid quite like Ava. So many people think they could handle her. I'm going to assure you, you cannot even begin to handle a force like Ava. Take your average child and multiply that by one hundred. Mmm... kind of like a feral cat in a blender. I've used this analogy to explain Ava before and it's down right perfect. I should point out that she's not sassy to anyone but to her immediate family. She's a dream in school, which is a blessing. Thank ya, JESUS!

I'm the one that has a harder time with Ava. Our personalities clash. Ava and I are so much alike. I'm spirited too. I get it. The need to be in control. When I'm not, I get highly anxious. Hoo doggie, Ava is the same way. We both want control and will fight to the death for it. I know I'm the adult here and that I should act like one. Please, guys. It's hard to change the way you are after 36 years. So hard. J has more patience but I'll tell you that he struggles with her, too.

I realize how this all sounds:

We suck as parents. We don't, we are doing the best that we can.

We hate our daughter. We don't, we fiercely love and protect her at all costs.

I'm throwing her to wolves by writing about her. Nope. I just want people who are in the same situation to understand that we feel your daily struggles.

This topic isn't at all funny. It's heartbreaking. Or so I thought.

Recently, I was at a birthday party and was introduced to a woman who is a school psychologist. Even though we'd never meet, we clicked. Ava was there being Ava. She's pretty good in public but she was being sassy to me because I told her she needed to eat her pizza if she wanted to go to the after-party. She didn't like that plan. Not one single bit and made sure I knew how unhappy she was. The thing is... she knew I would bend and go to the party anyway because the party was for our friend and it's not fair to him that his friends don't come because mom said so. At least that's how I thought about it. Keep reading and you'll see how this new psychologist friend of mine turned me around.

I was talking to this woman about our issues as a family, i.e. a mini therapy session. She point blank said to me that I'm the one not setting the proper behavior boundaries. This gave me pause because I didn't take it as a rude remark, to me she was 100% right. It's something I've always known but never actually did anything about... consistently. I'm not consistent enough with those boundaries and Ava, being the smart girl that she is, always knew she could knock down those boundaries by just blinking. Ava always calls our bluff. She knows they are all empty threats. And she's right, they usually are.

The woman asked me if there's anything I don't budge on. Yes. Homework is mandatory. Learning how to read is mandatory. She can fight me tooth and nail but she's still going to do her reading. Bedtime. We've always been sleep nazis. Always wear a helmet when riding your bike. Always wear your seat belt. And on and on. She doesn't fight us on these things (except for reading but that's gotten much better) because she has boundaries. I started to clearly see what she meant that we don't set behavior boundaries.

Have I said boundaries enough? I don't think so, there's about 50 more to come.

I was with this woman for a few hours and she put her skills to the test. She got Ava to eat a whole piece of pizza. She told Ava, using me as the backup, that if Ava wanted to go to the after-party then she needs to eat her pizza. If not, she can't go but it's AVA'S choice, whatever that may be.

Ok, this must seem all very simple to you guys. I can see readers thinking DUH, DUMBASS. And yes, this is a duh moment but with Ava these moments last hours and are 10 times harder than they need to be. After years of fighting her, we give up. She calls our bluff and wins. Doing the same technique with EZ (her 3.5 year old brother) wouldn't end in serious power struggle. To him he knows mom is in charge. Either he eats the pizza and goes to the party or doesn't eat and doesn't go. I'm contradicting myself, aren't I? I know. I am. This is what I mean by consistency. How does a kid have any idea what they can and can't do when their parents are wishy-washy all the time?

We as parents are not consistent enough. We don't have firm boundaries. Within those boundaries we have to give our kids choices so they have some control of their lives. <-- This is the important part here. I can set and follow through with discipline (I promise I can) but THIS part is where we need to change. Giving Ava the feeling of some control in her life helps minimize tantrums and anxiety.

J and I have become a united front on this matter. We know we need to stick to our guns. No more empty threats. We mean business.

Over the past month we've worked hard on ourselves as parents and in setting proper boundaries for Ava. Being at home for a two week Christmas break put us to the test. She still has a lot of anger that we are working on. We immediately discipline sass talk. I tell her it's okay to be mad at me but NOT okay to speak to me with sass. And I tell her that her actions have consequences. At one point, early on, she was being extra mean and I asked her to look me in the eyes and say what she just said. She couldn't bring herself to do it. To look at a person you love and say something nasty, even though you're mad, is a hard thing to do. When I asked her to tell me to my face she immediately understood the weight of the things she was saying.

It's hard being a kid. Not having control of your life but at the same time, if you don't have boundaries then things get out of control. She's only 6. We have to nip this in the bud now. I think we are on the right path and I'm looking forward to watching Ava become the most amazing woman the world will ever know.

I'm working on being an even better mother of the year than I was last year. I'm not a big resolution person because I never stick to them but this... this has to stick. I have to make this work for me and for Ava. Maybe if I don't screw up as much she won't need a much therapy when she's older. There is no doubt our parents screwed up all a little bit. Am I right?

Happy New Years, lovlies! It's good to be back.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

It's a good thing I didn't choose teaching as a profession.

Jeezum, this year has been quite the blur. Hasn't it? Thanksgiving is NEXT FREAKIN WEEK, YO!! In one week, I'll be putting up all my Christmas decorations and I'm stupid excited about it. I'm about half way done with my shopping already too. Shush yo mouth. I like to be prepared.

So what's new with you?

Me? Not too much. Ava is still a sassafrass and a half. EZ still sucks balls at sleeping at night. He's also right smack in the middle of being a three year old who WANTSANDNEEDSEVERYTHINGBUTDOESNTKNOWWHATHEWANTS... WAAAAAHHH!!! <-- Caps lock pretty much sums him up right now.

Trying to get him dressed in the morning is the bane of my existence. He's taken to making the decisions on he wants to wear. Unfortunately his mom is a jerk and refuses to let him wear sweatpants every. single. day. Don't even get me started on shirts. It takes him about 20 solid minutes to pick something out and half way through his day he'll change his mind. I'd like to say I don't cave but I can only have my skin grated on so much. The whining... ooooh the whining... and a 3 year old's independence. So that's something.

Ava is kicking ass and taking names at reading. She's been working so hard and I had a long talk with her teacher over the phone, even before the parent teacher conference because we had a lot of concern. Ava's teacher put my fears at ease. I'm grateful her teacher is super kickass and on top of her game. If Ava didn't have someone like her I think Ava would seriously be struggling.

School is fucking hard and learning to read is even harder. You don't realize it until you have to actually teach someone HOW to read. For example... Ava has spelling tests each week. The words have to be sorted into specific columns along with spelling them correctly. So like, drill goes under the column where all the words end in -ill. Get it? Easy, right? Well this stupid mom didn't catch on until Ava had TWO weeks worth of spelling tests. Her tests were coming back HORRID because her mom is a dumbass and didn't realize they had to be spelled correctly AND sorted correctly.

Mah bad.

Now that we've had many weeks of tests, we are finally in the groove and by looking at the list of words I can tell right away which ones we'll need to work on. Pretty much anything that has as blend, like the word drill.

I gave Ava the word drill. She puts it in the right column, thankfully she has no problems with rhyming but she spelled it jrill. J-RILL. wha?

I asked her what that was supposed to be. She snarkly says, "Jrill, mom." Like I'M the dumbass and to be fair incidents like above would make me be snarky too. I said that drill starts with a D not a J. She said Noooooo it's JJJJJRILL!! Um no. It's not. HOW DO YOOOU KNOW?! Oh no you didn't, child.

After a lot of arguing she said that's what she hears so that's what she's going to write. Pfft! Sorry kid but that ain't going to fly. Make the J a D and get over the fact that you can't change the English language. Believe me, I've tried, it ain't happening unless you write a blog, then you can make up any ole thing you want.

BOOM. drops mic.
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