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OMG it’s finally happened – Week 5 – Pregnancy Diaries

Update: 3/20 I’ve had this blog post hidden since early February. I was going to publish a series once we told our parents about the pregnancy over easter. We called them with the sad news last night so I’m posting them now.

So we’ve been attempting to get pregnant for the last 5 years, unsuccessfully… To say that it’s been stressful month after month, as my period would start again, would be putting it lightly. We’ve been tracking ideal dates for fertility for over two years and have yet to find that perfect time when I could get knocked up. So we finally went to a local fertility specialist who essentially told me that my chances of getting pregnant naturally would be slim to none. I was devastated.

That didn’t mean that I would fully give up. Jason and I were talking about the timeline for saving up to do IVF. The fertility clinic estimated costs to $28K for to get the chance to be parents… We’ve been praying and praying and praying to be parents… I know that they say expect miracles and answers to prayer, but I honestly didn’t think my prayers would be answered.

January was like any other month… except this time, I had light spotting when my period should have began. Okay, weird. I took a pregnancy test. Right away, not pregnant. Fine… Another week passed, no period yet on Thursday morning I took another pregnancy test. Not Pregnant. hmm… Period still hasn’t started. Friday night was Portent Inc’s game night. Since the last two tests were negative what’s the harm in a beer or two and joining in on many many rounds of Cards Against Humanity. So we had a hoot and played many rounds of games while sharing a beer or two. I woke up at 2 am and could not get back to sleep. I started praying and praying that since I hadn’t had my period that God could turn it into a pregnancy. I took a pregnancy test again — this time at 3 am, and the first up and down line that signifies pregnant appeared immediately. The only problem was that the line that was supposed to go straight across appeared but only oh so lightly.  My first thought was to run to QFC right then. I heard it’s open 24/7. I could go get a second test to confirm. However, I knew that I would need to drink some more water and wait a few hours to retest… so I drank as much water as I could hold and then went back to bed. Jason was shocked… oh so shocked when the alarm went off at 7 am and I hoped out of bed to run to the store. Crossfit started at 8 am and since I was up he decided to run down to teh gym to get some running. I bought the second pregnancy exam, ran home and tested for the second time in 6 hours. Immediately it popped back “PREGNANT”…

Pregnancy

Wohoo! I can’t tell you how excited we are. I called my OBGYN and have an appointment on Tuesday to confirm and start getting advice.

YES! Prayers do get answered. Dreams do come true.

God is great all of the time!

Flame Red Ombre Hair

My crossfit friend Avery does colorwork at Gene Jaurez in Redmond so at the beginning of the month I went in to get an ombre style look. Avery did an amazing job at making my red hair look natural and it was a beautiful cut and color. The only problem is that I’ve been dreaming about flame red ombre. I didn’t really do a great job explaining this — in fact, I said bright and orange, but no one here in Seattle ever knew me back in the day when I went for flaming hair colors. 🙂 It’s been a good 15 years since my hair was flame red like the sun. The problem is that I’m starting to feel like I look like an old lady — a basic bob, boring natural red hair. No funk. I feel like I sold out and left my funk at the door when I started working for Microsoft. Sure, I had some funky outfits and glasses, but I rarely wear them any more. I’ve become plain jane and I miss the crazyish me of days of yore.
Marketing is supposed to be fun. AND CREATIVE.
So today… in between client meetings….. I sorta went back to my Manic Panic roots. I love my Electric Tigerlily to Flame to Inferno Red color combination. You add that to Avery’s beautiful highlights and well, I got my funk back! These aren’t the best photos in the world, but I didn’t finish my hair until the sun started to go down so this was as good as I could get in the little remaining natural sunlight. 🙂

So much fun and funk! Welcome back to funky town and good bye to my soccer mom look.

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Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub

We hosted a small New Years Eve party at our house and I introduced my girlfriend Heather to the sugar scrubs I’ve been making! She fell in love with the simplicity of ingredients and the light smelll and asked me to share the recipe so here it is!

This made 3 small mason jars of sugar scrub. I’ve altered the recipe here because the initial version was a little bit on the “dry” side for me so I added a little more almond oil to the mix. If mixture is too wet, add another ½ cup sugar until scrub is to desired consistency. If the mixture is too dry, add another ¼ cup of either coconut oil or almond oil.

DIY Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub

Do It Yourself Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub

Ingredients: Rosemary Mint Sugar Scrub

  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 2 – 2½ cups of sugar (white granulated or brown sugar)
  • ½ cup almond oil
  • 2 Tablespoons of Kosher Salt (for exfolitation)
  • 2 Tablespoons of Honey
  • 1 teaspoon of Vitamin E Oil (45000 IU)
  • 12 drops of Spearmint Essential Oil
  • 6 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Optional: Chopped rosemary leaves

Instructions for DIY Sugar Scrub

  1. Place the coconut oil in a microwaveable mixing bowl. Heat the Coconut Oil for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Stir the oil. You want the oil to soften, but not be 100% melted. Repeat until the coconut oil can be easily stirred and blended without large chunks.
  2. Add Almond Oil, Essential Oils, Honey and Salt. Stir until all oils are blended together.
  3. Whip the sugar and salt into the oil until thoroughly mixed.
  4. Spoon the scrub into air-tight containers (such as a mason jars) and decorate with twine or ribbon.

Enjoy!

DIY Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

Here is the final product!, a rosemary and mint sugar scrub. Made with sugar, coconut oil, almond oil, salt, Vitamin E, Rosemary & Spearmint Essential Oils.

This fall I noticed that my hands were dry and my skin was flaky and dull. It didn’t look nice and at times it became painful as my skin cracked from being so dry. I decided to do something about it by using simple sugar scrubs to help me moisturize and exfoliate away the dead skin cells.

I saw sugar scrubs in stores like Bath & Body Works but they wanted $15-$20 for a small container so I had always shied away from purchasing them. But then one night the TV was on in the background and the Shark Tank featured a story about a women who was funded and now was making millions off of selling a sugar scrub that she had made from ingredients in her kitchen. I did a few quick Google searches and found a slew of recipes — went to the kitchen and started experimenting with different combinations of oils until I found the combination that I liked best in terms of how oily my skin felt after washing the scrub off of my hands. I would recommend playing around with your oil combinations until you find a combination that you like!

Ingredients for making a simple sugar scrub

How to Make a Simple Sugar Scrub

The recipe below makes roughly 3 x 8 ounce jars of sugar scrub.

Time: 5-10 minutes

Core Sugar Scrub Ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Sugar – Cane Sugar or Brown Sugar
  • Sea Salt – don’t use table salt, the refining process removes the beneficial properties from the salt

Additional Sugar Scrub Ingredients:

  • Other Oils: Olive Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Almond Oil, Avocado Oil, Jojoba Oil, Argan Oil, etc
  • Honey  (Antibacterial / Antimicrobial properties)
  • Vitamin Oils (Vitamin A, Vitamin E , Vitamin C, etc)
  • Essential Oils

Ratios for Sugar Scrub

  • 2 parts of Sugar to 1 part coconut oil
  • 1/4 to 1/2 part secondary oil if an additional oil is used
  • For a more exfoliating scrub: Add 1-2 tablespoons of Sea Salt per cup of Sugar
  • 6-10 drops of Essential Oils for scent

Instructions for Making a Sugar Scrub

How to make a simple sugar scrub. Mixing in the sugar with softened coconut oil.

Put Coconut Oil in a bowl. Heat in microwave for 10-15 seconds then stir. You want it to be soft but not 100% melted. Repeat until the coconut oil softens. If you are going to add honey or a secondary oil like olive oil, almond oil, or avocado oil, or essential oils or vitamin oils I’d recommend adding them now before you add the sugar. This is so you can make sure that all of the ingredients are fully mixed together and evenly distributed before you add the sugar.
Stir in the Sugar and any additional ingredients and whip together until they are light and fluffy! If you want some additional texture you can chop up herbs and add them directly into the scrub. I like to chop up rosemary leaves for my rosemary mint scrub so it adds some color and texture. 🙂
Place in an air tight jar.
The scrub should be able to store up to 2 months, but if you’re like me it won’t last that long.

<h3>Other helpful information for making scrubs</h3>

Where did I get my ingredients? From the cooking section of my local grocery store. I found that Whole Foods has a great selection of low priced essential oils and has some of the additional vitamin oils that can be added into the scrub too. I also found that if you buy coconut oil from the cooking section it costs less per pound and is exactly the same as the coconut oil in the “beauty” section of the store.

I also discovered from that you want to find oils that were extracted with either cold pressed or CO2-extracted. When oils are extracted with high heat it removes most of the beneficial nutrients and properties so try to avoid them. Cold pressed is ideal, but CO2-extracted oils are also allowed in certified-organic products.

Why use different oils in addition to coconut oil?

<Bold>Olive oil </bold>is great for very dry skin. When I used olive oil I used 1/4 – 1/2 part olive oil to each part of coconut oil. That being said, it leaves your skin feeling more oily and can separate from the coconut oil and sugar scrub in the jar. I’ve shied away from using olive oil in my most recent scrubs in part because my skin doesn’t need that extra bit of moisturizer right now.

I’ve been favoring <bold>sweet almond oil</bold> and <bold>avocado oil</bold> in my scrubs because I like their scent and they absorb into the skin quickly. When I use either almond or avocado oil in my scrubs I use 1/2 to 2/3rds part to each 1 part of coconut oil.

For vitamin oils I’ll add 10-15 drops of vitamin oil to the overall mixture. I’m still trying to figure out how much should be added to be the most beneficial for my skin.

Enjoy!

We Joined ACUO Crossfit Redmond

ACUO-CrossFit-Friendsgiving2014
Jason and I decided to start up cross fit again! With the recommendations from a few of my work colleagues we decided to join ACUO Crossfit in Redmond.

We had previously tried CrossFit 425 and Northwest Crossfit in Bellevue, but I wasn’t fans of either of those gyms. I loved the people and trainers at Northwest 425 but it got crowded for the 6pm and 7pm classes and I wanted something a little more intimate. We then went around the block to CrossFit 425 — again I liked the people in the class and I liked one of the two trainers… but the trainer I didn’t like was arrogant and rude to individuals who weren’t planning on competing and helping the gym make a name for itself. I was told to work out before I came to the gym so I would be stronger and be able to compete. That’s not what I wanted, nor was it what I was looking for in a gym.
We took a few month break while I changed jobs this summer and then decided to give ACUO Crossfit a try. It’s sort of hidden in the industrial section of Redmond, but the box (gym) is spacious and the classes are intimate and you get personal instruction from the trainers. ACUO has the sense of community that I was hoping to find in a gym, and while I’m not planning on competing any time soon — they do a good job of pushing members so that you get a good workout in and are constantly improving on times and weights.

ACUO-Crossfit-Ladies

So here’s to attempting Crossfit and joining a box! Who knows maybe someday I’ll actually enjoy lifting weights and I’ll be able to hit the RX weight amounts. As for now I’m happy to be one of the faster runners for all of the cardio parts of the WOD. 🙂

Work Life Balance

Work life balance ebbs and flows during different seasons of our lives.In a 24/7 connected world it’s good to step back at times and remember what is important to us at this stage in our life. No matter what season of life you are in remember the mantra: “You do enough, you have enough, you are enough.”

Relieving Itchy Mosquito Bites

Some people have sweet skin and blood and seem to attract mosquitos and other biting insects. I would be one of those people. On a recent vacation I was the mosquito magnet for the group and while my husband didn’t get a single bite I wound up with 30-40 bites on each leg and bites surrounding my elbows. Evidently its been a while since I’ve had so many bites, but I really didn’t remember it itching as badly as it does. I find myself waking up in the middle of the night itching up a storm and scratching the bites until they are huge and swollen.

Mosquito Bite Remedy: Fresh Wedge of a Lemon or Lime

I was trying so hard the other day not to scratch the bites and was at my wits end and asked a women where the nearest Drug Store was to buy some calamine lotion, and she grabbed a LIME and told me to rub it all over the bite and to hold it there for 2-3 seconds. The lime burned like crazy for 30-45 seconds, but then the itchiness went away. Hmph! It worked. For the next 2 hours my bites weren’t itchy.

Halleluhjah! 2 hours of itch free freedom.

Why do Mosquito Bites Itch

When a mosquito bites you its saliva contains and anti-coagulant so that they can get as much blood as necessary for their meal. Our immune systems produce histamine to try to combat the foreign substance. The blood vessels that were opened by the mosquito swell, and the reaction of the histamine causes the red itchy bump. (The bump is called a wheal.) Because the blood vessels swell the nerves become irritated and this causes the itchy feeling.

Now you know! Lemon or Lime juice works as a temporary relief. Now if only I can find something that lasts through the night!