Confessions of the Mother of a Picky Eater

5-29-mom

“OK, OK, stop being cute. I’ll make your damn flavorless butter noodles and 7 lettuce leaves with no dressing.” (sigh)

Before I had a child, I used to roll my eyes at the issue of kids who are picky eaters.  BK(Before Kids) I also liked to try and apply my dog training skills to child rearing.  “Well, if they won’t eat it just leave it out and eventually they’ll get hungry enough to eat it! You don’t want to spoil your dog…er, kid.”

Well, I have come to see that this tough love method doesn’t really work on humans.  Whereas a dog may abstain from eating their dog food temporarily in the hopes of eating table scraps, kids apparently abstain from eating particular foods because they inexplicably find them abhorrent and disgusting. While I am digging into a delicious pot of creamy gourmet crispy bacon-topped mac n’ cheese at a restaurant, my child is looking at me like “Barf!”  The same applies to all meat besides chicken legs and steak, any pasta that has more than butter and salt on it, salad dressings, and sandwiches(and the list goes on).

How did this happen to the once super well-adjusted eater that would happily eat a salad, chicken strips, salsa and hummus all in on sitting?  What happened to the chubby toddler who would eat a bowl of bean salad, a cup of minestrone soup and a ham and cheese sandwich?  Somewhere around pre-school foods started dropping off her previously wide open spectrum of edible delights.  The things she loves previously were now “gross.”  We hadn’t done anything differently at home — it just seemed to be a spontaneous thing.  Along with the food aversions came the weight loss.  She is a “normal” weight per her pediatrician, but when my child was always around 80-90% weight and drops down to 30% — it’s troubling, even if it’s irrational on my part.

Hence my inability to enforce the “tough love” and just let her starve one night when she rejects the pasta because I put too much parmesan cheese on it or whatever. The thought of her losing a couple pounds when she is already so slim is just not OK with me.  When I was growing up, my immigrant mother thought I was round and beautiful when I was clearly overweight in middle school, God bless her.  In fact I was called a picky eater growing up, but that certainly didn’t effect my weight, unless it caused me to eat more Chicken in a Biscuit crackers than whole grain breads — but who are we kidding — no one was taking about whole grains in the 80’s.  Well, no one that reached the middle school demographic anyway.

And so 5 days a week my cooking nights involve the meal for my husband and me, and the meal for the little Miss.  We will be eating homemade chicken curry over brown rice and she will be eating one of her 12 approved food items, and that’s acceptable, because counting the ribs on my 7 year old would not be, so there it is.

Mani of the Month

5 random compliments in a  week is pretty darn good!

At least 5 random compliments in a week is pretty darn good!

 

I can not tell you how many compliments I got the week I did this manicure.  Seems like everyone really likes the gold shatter over teal.  You can do this look with any teal/aqua polish and any of the gold shatter/crackles out there (if you can still find them!). Make sure you load the gold on there so it makes a nice constrasty pattern.

 

Books

You can check out my Goodreads to see what I’m reading right now.  I think I’m in a Regency phase right now — Navy SEAL theme goes right into Regency — obviously.

I am also wrapping up another Lux novel tonight I think.  I totally read the last page first, because I am naughty.  Another cliffhanger!  The next book isn’t even out until August — bah humbug!  This has been a fun series though, but I have a ton of series to finish so this will force me to get back to those, at least until August .  😉

And with that…

Time for a Coffee,

Mmmmmmaddy

 

 

 

Spring Books and Lovely Looks

4-29-14-booksAnnnnd just under the wire — a post for the month of April! Huzzah!

I am typing on a new laptop.  Excuse me, Toshiba (Satellite C75D-A) — what have you done to the keyboard that it looks the same as my last Toshiba, but causes me to make infinitely more typos?  I can barely get through a 2 sentence client e-mail without a typo, imagine formulating a blog post?  Torture!

But I digress. I’ve been reading some awesome classics, paranormal YA, and Romance, my usual eclectic fare. I am one book behind on my 50 book Goodreads goal for the year right now which meeeeans, I need to read faster!  Hah, since that’s not actually going to happen, I will use my usual cheat of reading a couple shorter Kindle books to bump up my numbers. What — like it’s easy to read 50 novels a year when you generally only have an hour to read every night?? Not so easy.  In any case, I have a few freebie Kindle romance books I downloaded that look possibly good, and very short.  Probably next up will be A SEAL’s Seduction, by Tawny Weber.

Now excuse me, but I couldn’t remember the name of the book but knew it had SEAL in it.  So I searched for “SEAL” in Goodreads. How many romance novels can there be about Navy SEALs after all? Um, apparently, many! <<<200>>> pages on Goodreads with at least a few of them being romance novels on each page!  WTF? There are whole series of SEAL romance novels apparently. Who knew?  This could be a Pandora’s box for me — you may never hear from me again after this because I’ll be on a Navy SEAL romance bender – I just, don’t, know!  Veeeeery interesting.

 

Beauty News

supercc_banner4I randomly picked up one of these new CC creams you have doubtless heard about.  I skipped right over BBs and went straight to CCs (insert bra joke: here).  In any case, I bought the Physician’s Formula Super CC + Cream in the Light shade and I LOVE it.  It’s just lovely.  It really does color correct very well — I’d say overall uneven color and even skin texture were improved by 80-90%.  Smooth a small amount on all over face, add just a TOUCH of concealer to any trouble spots, and voila! You are good to go!  OK fine, maybe add a hint of blush also — all ladies need some blush — anyone who denies this either has a fever or is sun-burnt — really, we ALL need some blush people.  Be that as it may, this CC cream is fabulous and I have already bought it twice at Rite Aid here in California for 40% off of $14, making it a serious bargain.  And for those who are too lazy to apply SPF30 sunscreen every day, it already has SPF30 in it — win-win!  It only comes in a few shades though — I hope they expand the line.  I am using Light right now and bought a Light/Medium for the summer months.

Give it a try!  And most places will return with receipt if you don’t like it, but I bet you will — so handy!

And with that…

Time for a… tea!  It’s 11PM, after all,

–Maddy

 

 

Hipster Holiday Idea

"Girlfriend in a coma, I know..." you friggin' LOVE this sweater!

“Girlfriend in a coma, I know…” you friggin’ LOVE this sweater!

Who loves The Smiths?

If your answer is “Not I!”, I will silently scream “How is this possible??” at you from my mind, but outwardly give no sign, because I don’t like to shout at people, because I AM NOT THOMAS PAINE.

Anyway!  I digress.  My husband is a huge Morrissey fan so I was sleuthing around the web looking for cool new Morrissey items and I found this sweater.  It is an epic example of Holiday vulgarity and I LOVE IT.  It seems to be currently sold out (website is a little confusing — look at URL), but when they re-stock I am definitely picking one up for Christmas next year (quick honey, unsee this now!).

Nail Update
I will post a shot of my glitter holiday mani on Friday once I’ve done it.  I tried a Sally Hansen blue crackle over periwinkle polish this week and it would have been lovely except that the crackle pulled apart the 2 coats of polish beneath it down to the bare nail in a lot of places.  Here is an image of that nail fail to the right (coming soon).

Book Update
I will finish Common Sense tonight — again, really worth a read historically.  Now it’s time to start up some fun Holiday reads!  What will it be?
Mistletoe Magic?
A Vampire for Christmas?
Angels at the Table?
I guess you will find out next week…

And have a lovely weekend, everyone!

And now, Time for a Coffee,

Maddy

Health and Beauty Bytes: Job Hunting Depression

Holy CRAP, these jobs suck!!

“Holy CRAP, these jobs suck!!”

Dear Awesome Subscribers and Lovely Random Readers,

I am a week behind!  Had a bit of writers block actually, but as they say, the only way to get through it is to go ahead and pick up the pen (or keyboard really) – and just get to it, so here we go.  File this one under Mental Health Bytes!

 

Angst = Part-time Job Hunting
So one of the other reasons I did not post last week was that a large chunk of my time was devoted to looking for good part-time jobs online.  This happens to me periodically when my freelance graphic design business has a lull and I think how nice it would be to have a regular paycheck again(and am avoiding doing more marketing, etc.).  However, in the immortal words of Anastasia Steele, “oh my!” – through my extensive research (one extensive week, on East Bay Craigslist), I have re-confirmed that part-time jobs are just terrible!  I mean awful.  And many times absurd.

Here were the two main offenses:

Number One: They pay next to nothing. 
I am in my late 30’s and am trying to confine my working hours to when my child is in elementary school. Granted, my “next to nothing” may not be your “next to nothing.” However since I graduated college with honors a few years ago (a few + 10) and was making over $22/hr. at my last full-time gig (Office/Project Manager/Designer, pre-bambino), the thought of trudging through an enormous laundry list of office tasks for a sweet $12 an hour ($4 less than my first job right out of college!) –  just sounds demoralizing at best.   These companies who are not required to provide benefits to their part-time employees should really compensate with a few more dollars an hour, just out of common decency.  Of course I am speaking to how things are here in the Bay Area where gas is over $3.50/gallon and a small bag of organic apples is $6.
A wage of $12 an hour, minus tax and the commute cost, would not even buy me 2 bags of friggin’ apples for an hour’s work – that just sucks.

Smeagol knows what's up: "BOOKS! My precioussssss..."

Smeagol knows what’s up:
“BOOKS! My precioussssss…”

Number two: Unreasonable Demands
I see a lot of office jobs that claim to require heavy lifting.  I cannot lift 40lbs. on a regular basis unless most of that 40 is comprised of my child, and even then only barely. So right there – there goes like 40% of the part-time jobs.  Why did the Library Clerk’s job I applied to last winter list that in their criteria?  Obviously I lied, and said I could lift it, because I would love (LOVE!!!) to work at the library(cue Smeagol voice: “Books!  My preciousss!”).  However, after a 2 hour long online application process, I was eventually denied due to “insufficient library experience” – and this was an entry level position. So apparently having managed corporate offices, reading 40+ books a year, and visiting the library every week does not mean you are equal to the task of shelving books and scanning patron’s items in/out.  Not that I’m bitter.

I will also file under “Unreasonable Demands” the plethora of jobs that request only “entry level applicants” or people of a certain age apply – such as the office staff job I saw last week that said the “ideal candidate” would be under 23 years old.  What?  Really?? I just went back to Craigslist to find that job posting so I could link to it here and it appears to have been removed.  I wonder why?  Blatant ageism, perhaps?  I’m not even OLD and I’m offended! Bah humbug!

In summary, the only thing worse than looking at the current (pitiful) available jobs in the East Bay would be to get called for an interview for one of them and be asked “If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?”* and other equally absurd questions they throw at you these days.  So if you too are keeping an eye out for a good new job, God bless you, and good luck – it’s rough out there!

Quick Book Update
Oh I am liking Last Sacrifice SO much more than the previous Vampire Academy book! I’m at 62%. I will admit I still do a little description skimming, which is a bit naughty, but the dialogue, action, and plot-line are much better — looks like it will be a great end to the VA series.

For those that are missing my nail posts — I will debut my signature Holiday look next week — it involves a polish that  looks *exactly* like vintage glitter to me — one of my all time favs — you shall see!

And now, time for a coffee,

Maddy

* My husband was actually asked that question during an interview. Tragic.

Green Halloween: Health and Beauty Bytes

Green is the New Black

OPI Shatter the Scales for accent over greenish gold polish.

OPI Shatter the Scales for accent over greenish gold polish.

So last week’s “Health” section of Health and Beauty Bytes went a little long so I didn’t get to include any fun manicure looks. Black would just be too predictable, right?  So here I’m showcasing 2 green-toned color schemes you can rock for Halloween without feeling like you have to remove them once the kiddies have passed out in sugar-comas.

First up is a shot of a pretty gold and green-toned chromey Gap brand nail polish (which has probably been discontinued!), with OPI Shatter the Scales layered over the accent finger.  You can get close to this same look with OPI Just Spotted the Lizard as the main polish color also — it’s just a bit darker and greener.

Superbass Shatter on accent over Butter London Wallis

Superbass Shatter on accent over Butter London Wallis

Speaking of a bit darker, here’s a shot of one of my favorite polishes ever, Butter London in Wallis, with OPI Superbass

Shatter over the accent finger.  I am especially happy with this color combo and contrast.  I’ve been wearing it for a week! I think this would also look great with the shatter over all the fingers, or maybe 3? As always, 2 coats of the main polish over a fortifying base, and under a speed dry topcoat was used for these looks.

10-28-13-girl

See actual photo below!

Little Girl Manicure

My little Miss is going to be a vampire this year, so I had planned a reverse French manicure look with Sally Hansen Sugar Coat polish in Candy Corn (bright orange) as the tip color over a dark base, with a light coat of gold glitter over the whole nail as a topper.  As I’ve said before, the textured polishes seem to last longer, so they WOULD BE especially handy for a kiddie manicure… however she insisted on plain black.  So here it is. :p

Book Update

So I’m finishing Chasing Magic tonight, and it’s (as usual with the series) really good.  It’s a gritty, painful, heart-wrenching “good” most times, but so good none-the-less. I’m going to need to clear the drug-addled literary cobwebs after this one though (Chess manages to finally overdose in this one – good thing her man keeps nasal opiate inhibitors in his car! Thoughtful, no? …eek?).  Last night the library did not cooperate as I was going to pick up Insurgent since Allegiant just came out a few days ago to wrap up the trilogy. So

Outpost, by Ann Aguirre

Outpost,
by Ann Aguirre

instead I went with Outpost by Ann Aguirre which is about zombies, and 2nd in the Razorland trilogy. Speaking of series, I also picked up the hefty Last Sacrifice by Richelle Mead.  It’s the final book of the Vampire Academy series and I wasn’t super excited with the last installment, however, I’m so close to finishing the series, I can’t stop now, right? Well I could – I dropped the Black Dagger Brotherhood series – it happens. I just prefer to finish! And with that, Happy Halloween! and…

Time for a (spooky) Coffee,

Maddy

 

And here they are! Little Miss' Halloween mani. I tried to persuade her for some glitter (at least!), but no.C'est la kid!

And here they are! Little Miss’ Halloween mani. I tried to persuade her for some glitter (at least!), but no.
C’est la kid!

 

Health & Beauty Bytes: What Your Doctor Didn’t Tell You About Your PPIs

Pop Quiz!

Q: Which popular prescription anti-acid medication can deplete your body of magnesium thereby causing new problems like constipation, restless leg syndrome, and chronic fatigue?

A: Lots of them!

10-21-13stomach-plush_med

“Et tu, tomato sauce?”
Many foods can exacerbate symptoms of GERD.

If you or anyone you know has GERD (like I do), you will have one or more of the following symptoms:

1)       Heartburn
2)       Regurgitation
3)       Difficulty in swallowing
4)       Pain with swallowing/sore throat
5)       Increased salivation
6)       Nausea
7)       Chest Pain
8)       Coughing

When I was pregnant years ago I developed really bad indigestion, which mostly disappeared after I gave birth, but then slowly came back over the next few years until I had symptoms 1, 3, 6, & 7 listed above.  Fun!  I was given an EKG about 2 years ago and was told “you have GERD”, given a long list of foods to avoid , and a prescription for pharmacy-grade Prilosec, twice a day.

What I was not told was that there are equally effective natural alternatives to prescription antacids like Prilosec, and that the prescription medications (and over the counter versions!) in question can severely deplete you of magnesium. For a full list of such medications(PPIs), click here.

What can happen when you are magnesium deficient? Fun things like the following:

“…agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.” Source: University of Maryland Medical Center

I had a few of those too — lovely! Was I told that the medicine I had been taking until last summer could do this? Of course not, that’d be too forthright.  It may have been listed in tiny print on the drug information sheet that came with my prescription, but it certainly was not told to me by a human being (i.e., my doctor).

So I have to give credit to an episode of Dr. Oz I saw this past summer that clued me into the Prilosec/magnesium issue in the first place: “The Fatigue Solution.”  Had I not seen this show I would have never realized I was magnesium-deficient in the first place. Now, most of my magnesium deficiency issues have disappeared since I began taking a magnesium citrate supplement.

So how can you treat GERD without prescription medication?

10-21-13-8weeks

8 Weeks to Optimum Health, by Dr. Andrew Weil

The answer for me is really simple and super-cost effective: Ginger pills. I owe credit to this discovery to Dr. Andrew Weil’s book 8 Weeks to Optimum Health that I read over the summer.

So to get off the Prilosec, first I tried the licorice pills that Dr. Oz suggested.  I tried them for maybe 3 weeks, but they were not super helpful. Then I read the chapter on ginger as an anti-inflammatory and digestive aid in Dr. Weil’s book and thought I would give it a shot.

I can attest that since I started taking 500mg capsules of pure ginger I haven’t taken my prescription stomach medication since August.  Of course I am not cured, I still have GERD, but it is no longer out of control and I am not loading myself up with manufactured, magnesium depleting chemicals twice a day.  I am all in favor of taking natural, non-toxic remedies whenever possible, over side-effect-laden, unnatural, toxic pharmaceuticals any day! If you or someone you know is taking a PPI listed in the link above, you may want to try ginger capsules (or ginger tea, etc.) which are readily available at your local health food store, GNC, or online.

Ginger: Does a body good...

Ginger: Does a body good…

And for those of you paying attention, yes, coffee is on my naughty list of no-no’s for GERD!  But I get around it by having only a cup a day, and heavily diluting it with lowfat milk and chai (which also has ginger!). I’ll exchange an extra ginger pill for the caffeine if I have to! And with that….

Time for a coffee,

Maddy

Health & Beauty Bytes

Baksshi Botanicals: Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask

Review: Vitamin C Brightening Face Mask

Review: Vitamin C Brightening Face Mask

I recently had the chance to test* the new Baksshi Botanicals Vitamin C Brightening Sheet Mask ($6.99 for 1 mask). Baksshi Botanicals is a relatively new brand to the U.S. but I am told has been selling in Asia for years. I was interested in trying it because the product has organic ingredients and is paraben and artificial preservative-free. It’s packed with goodies for your face like Sodium Hyaluronate (4th ingredient!!), Ascorbic Acid (aka Vitamin C), and Niacinimide.

My husband did a little discreet man-scream when he found me like this on the sofa...

My husband did a little discreet man-scream when he found me like this on the sofa…

I actually was not sure what to expect with a sheet mask as I’ve only used traditional paste/cream/clay masks before that you apply with your fingers.  As you can see from the photo, the sheet mask was super easy to apply!  It had little precut eye/nose/mouth holes making application a snap.

Before application I washed and dried my face as usual and placed the unopened pack in a bowl of warm water to warm it up.  In the meantime, I could feel my skin tightening without my usual post-wash application of moisturizer.  However I didn’t have long to wait as soon it was warm and I carefully pulled out the mask and applied it to my face, tapping it down everywhere to make as much contact as possible.  I was happy to discover that it clung well to my face and did not require me to lie down/still to keep it in place (i.e. – perfect for catching up on your favorite shows on the sofa!).

Five minutes after application, my face felt cool and tingled slightly, but not unpleasantly. I waited the full 20 minutes and then removed the mask, spritzed once with rosewater (my favorite toner) and massaged the remaining mask liquid into my face and neck as suggested.  My face felt completely hydrated and a little plumped.  I could have skipped my nightly serum but I applied it as the packaging suggests. My face felt happy all evening.

The next day my skin still felt hydrated but I didn’t notice much difference in the clarity/brightening of my face, but a rep from the company told me they suggest you use it at least once a week for a month for full effects.  If nothing else it was a pleasant little in-home spa experience I’d be happy to try again.

Bakkshi Botanicals can be found at www.bakkshibotanicals.com (coming soon), or baksshi@gmail.com.

*Note: Product was supplied free of charge in exchange for an honest review.

Fun with OPI Liquid Sand  <——————————————————————————

OPI Liquid Sand Magazine Cover Mouse

OPI Liquid Sand Magazine Cover Mouse

Liquid Sand is just one kind of the many textured polishes out there right now.  My favorite thing about textured polishes is that they are super-forgiving when it comes to touch ups, and therefore ideal for a pedicure, which you can keep looking fresh for up to 2 months, or however long you can tolerate your toenails to be!

Here I am mani-modeling OPI’s Magazine Cover Mouse – this was 2 coats over a clear base coat, and no top coat.  After a week it was still looking good but, getting bored (as I usually do), I decided to do some color blocking with 3 other Liquid Sands colors: OPI Jinx (orange on tips), OPI Alcatraz Rocks (blue) and OPI What Wizardy is This?(bronze). I think I liked it with the blue best, but making straight lines on textured polish is kind of rough (pun intended), so it’s a little messy, as you can see.  Fun to play around with though.

Color-blocking with textured polish

Color-blocking with textured polish

Is anyone planning any exciting Halloween manicures or pedicures? I’m going dark this week, as you will see in the next Health & Beauty Bytes.  I will also be dipping into the world of vitamins and minerals in that article – with some unfortunate side effects of prescription heartburn medicine, and easy ways to combat them that your doctor (most-likely) did not tell you about.  Until then…

Time for a Coffee,

Maddy