Blown modem

Today’s post is brought to you by the iphone5c. Ouch. Love hating typing on this. But, on the upside: Spring is arriving. It has been warm enough I have considered wearing just my sweatshirt to work. But, that also brings rain.

Mine thing I love doing wen I need a pick up is to buy some flowers.

$13.99 bouquet including vase

This is carnations and baby’s breath bouquets bought from the grocery store

This bouquet I made myself. I bought two different bouquets for $5 each. Not cheap, but I wanted a white bouquet this time. I like to use baby’s breath on its own normally, but decided to do a play on normal ones. This time, I made the carnations the filler for the focus of lacy baby’s breath. I do like this very much, though know I need a smaller vase for smaller bouquets. I’m not meaning shorter; smaller diameter. The case I bought was the least expensive and I didn’t feel like making another store trip just for a vase.

A couple tips if you are making your own bouquets. First: Check your grocery stores and gas stations along with florists. You can sometimes make multiple bouquets from one bunch sold. Or, if you just need one or so more flowers, they can sometimes be less expensive. Second: Don’t pass up on a bunch because you don’t like all of the flowers together. You can easily get rid of a couple if that’s the case for a bouquet you’d enjoy. Third: Remember to cut the ends of your flowers at a slight angle when you put them in your vase. This allows the flowers to drink the water you put them in much better. In turn, it lets them stay alive longer. Fourth: Make sure there are no leaves or flowers below your water. That will cause rot, which will make the flowers die faster.

What flowers do you like in your bouquets? Do you have to need a reason to buy or receive flowers?

Shopping Saturday

Since moving here, I’ve been trying to figure more and more ways to enjoy cooking and eating. My favorite thing now is to do a Saturday shopping trip. It usually ends up being an all day ordeal because I get up too late. I need to get downtown by nine am to do all of it in one day. But, yesterday, I just did not want to get out of bed. I just wanted to sleep and enjoy the warm weather. So, I still have a bit to do shopping wise before I can do all my cooking. I’ll end up spending even longer awake on Monday after I finish work from tonight to get it done. Luckily, it’s only a couple more things. And, I grabbed more milk from the store today that I keep forgetting to buy.

I only have twenty dollars for shopping this week to spend after semi monthly rent. Well, I have $1.50 left. Which is cutting it so close. I am so glad all I need to get now is from the bulk bins and it’s all small amounts. I did splurge, which made the dollar amount go less for groceries, by exploring the Glass outlet store across from the Farmer’s market. They had all these Halloween items on super cheap prices. I ended up getting two glass coffee mugs that were cute Halloween themed, listing Zombie to Human, a shot glass that I really did not need for my collection (I didn’t get the more expensive one that I’m hoping will still be there in a couple more weeks), a needed measuring beaker for recipes that list mls for liquid measurements, and a candy bowl.

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That there is my fridge that is next to my bed. I should add the red sticks are coffee stirrers I use for my perfume that then become room fragrances, especially when the heater gets turned on (which hasn’t been that often really). I’m already using my candy bowl as a way to remind myself to grab my snacks before work. I am trying to take one caramel and a candy bar to get my sweet tooth fix. I’d gone the previous week to Ollie’s and picked up a bag of Cadbury’s dark chocolate and mint bars for less than two dollars. The way I’ve been eating them, it should last me the rest of the month and then I’ll just have to hope they have another bag option like that. To be honest, it does help a lot to have a bag to ration out for a while instead of shopping for a bar or three every night because it’s available and I’m having a craving.

But, I’m also making a slow small buying of things in there that I still need from the outlet store. They do have a good selection of lower priced items. But, it’s mainly bakeware I need left. That and I’m thinking of getting some seasonal glasses for uses. The easter ones are all greens and blues with purple on them. I just wish they had St Patrick’s patterns. Maybe after the holiday they will. I didn’t get any of the snowflake patterned ones only because I was using my hands to carry everything. But, I ended spending six dollars there. I should add that one of the coffee mugs is going to the boy simply because he’ll get a kick out of it.

So, then I went to the farmer’s market. Last time, I went in, did a little browsing and felt so nervous with the shopping I either avoided looking at the vendors or talked too much.This time, I felt a little more comfortable. Or else it was because my stomach was better filled than last time. So, first tip that will seem obvious: Always eat before you go shopping. But, don’t eat to full. I started talking to a few more vendors and asked more questions. This led me to new discoveries. So, second tip: Ask about what they are selling. I found out the vendor who I’ve been getting my cabbage from really grows it to make cabbage rolls, which was why I was buying it. He ended up showing me what to look for to get the best for rolling. Other vendors have a return policy for money back when you return the container that was used for the product. So, I have two dollars possible to get back once I finish my honey and jams. The third tip is: If you don’t see something you are looking for, ask. I have one vendor bringing me a specific variety of fruit because I wanted to buy some next time I’ll be there. I heard a couple other people asking about other things they wanted to other vendors and they told them that they would bring it the next time because they were just waiting for someone to want the items. Also, they will let you know when something is in season and when they will be harvesting things.

Remember, farmer’s markets do not hold just produce. Those caramels you saw in the candy bowl; I bought them from a vendor there. The farmer’s market here also has coffee roasters, a bakery comes in, honey vendors, a clothing shop (I am not kidding!), a preserves stand, some floral vendors (they are mostly selling succulents and bulbs right now), and a dog treats stand. I can’t wait for this spring when everything goes outdoors and there are supposed to be even more people. Wait, I just thought how many more options I’ll have. I do think I will search out the vendors I see who are here already, but I’m a little nervous still about making new contacts to shop from.

As I was going home, I finally got to discover the little grocer that goes in front of one of the many churches I pass to go downtown. It is not a joke that there are a bunch of churches in Toledo. I can honestly say I live within a mile of six different churches, at least. But, I realised after I left that I had forgotten to buy an onion. Why I want an onion is still up in the air since I hate cutting them, but it’ll get used this week. So, I spent a little bit getting sold by a young girl and ended up getting the onion I needed and a grapefruit. The grapefruit is really an outside item because my last memory of that was my grandparents having me try one for a breakfast. When I didn’t like it because it was too tart, they told me to put some sugar on it to taste better. I remember it didn’t and they got upset I wasted it. I haven’t gone near one since. So, this will be an interesting thing to try.

I forgot to pull something for dinner that night. So, I ended up eating one of my stews that were supposed to be for work and the mac and cheese I’d left at home instead of taking to work. Otherwise, it probably would have been make a quick meal from the pantry. I do think tomorrow will have some zucchini from my dollar Kroger produce hit. Beyond that, it’ll be cooking and sleeping. More the sleeping than cooking.

Random PSA

They stuck a swab and almost made me throw up. Yes, my throat was very tender. No call to see if it’s strep. So, I’m thinking not. Their answer: rest up(hah) and keep with what I’ve been doing. But, the reason why is here.

Ginger. I was looking at the screen they have and the random facts that show up and that stuck out at me. Why, you ask. Because the tea I’ve been drinking is a ginger and lemon tea. The screen said that ginger and vitamin c were both good for improving the immune system.

So, thoughts from it. Do a cup of ginger tea. Even if ginger is only part of it, it could help. There are many companies that offer ginger as a part of their tea selection. You can also make your own. That is what the Internet is for. Or, perhaps you would prefer some pickled ginger. Honestly, I could spend a fortune on that and gobble it all down. My one friend laughs at me over sushi because I have been known to ask for extra ginger and wasabi and eat the two as a dessert for me.

Ginger has a moment of sweet heat. It can be a pain to peel. It is woody and knobby. If you ask my kids, it is the evil stick. But, it can be nice in the right form. The right form is different from person to person. My recommendation: try all the ways possible and find your favorite.

Do it as another way to stay healthy.

Road trip

The trip is started. I am in Houston and about to start the ride home with Chickie, my best friend. The flight down was actually pretty eventless. I had no problem with my saline solution and nose spray. Both flights left on time. My flight arriving in Houston was twenty minutes late landing because of the weather. But, I am here and ready for the trip. 

Mischief texted me a couple minutes after landing, wanting to know if I was still here. We went to get food. I can say I had a Whattaburger. It reminded me a lot of a Wendy’s burger. So, not bad at all.

I learned something that I want to pass on. Another way to get less issues with flying and the pressure in your ears is to take Sudafed. I was told this by the flight attendant on the last leg of my flight.

My Tips on Sunscreen

Ok, first off. I have sunburn. So posting this is partially a point in what I should have done to prevent this from happening. But, I am also lucky in that it is already turning into a tan. I guess this means I need to find some sunless tanner for the rest of my body so that it doesn’t look so crappy where I got burnt. I’ll explain how I got burnt at the end of this post.

1. Always keep a hat to cover you. At the very least, wear a baseball hat. The absolute worst place to get burnt is on your scalp. Whenever this happens to me, I end up looking like I have a scalp and skin problem. Since I already have an issue with a dry scalp that looks like I have a bad case of dandruff, this is not a good situation to be in. Even better is to get a small, brimmed hat. Best of all is to get a big, floppy hat. Mine is a broad floppy hat that is black and white striped. Last year, I got picked on about it by certain people. This year, I got the last laugh by showing them that it was in magazines as the fashion. Oh, it also does very well in shading my shoulders along with my face.

2. Wear sunglasses.  If you have glasses, then I recommend that you get either transitions or a pair of clip on shades. Seriously, that is sunscreen for your eyes. Look for the highest UV protection on them. Also make sure that it protects from both UVA and UVB rays. They are different forms of ultraviolet rays that affect different parts of your skin and eyes. It is very important to have both repelling. If you wear contacts, still wear sunglasses because the UV protection will only cover your iris and pupil. Your cornea is still unprotected.

3. When you apply sunscreen, do two layers. This will make sure that you do not miss any spots. Since it blends in so well, you can easily miss a spot with a single layer, or you may have spread it too thin for the amount that you put on your face.

4. A face sunscreen tip. Start from your forehead down. Most people remember to put sunscreen on the nose, but sunscreen on the forehead can be pretty close to forgotten. If you have bangs, you may think that you don’t need to worry so much, but you do. Your hair does almost no protection, no matter how thick or dark those bangs are. Slather some more sunscreen on your forehead.

5. Do not forget your scalp. I normally carry a sunscreen spray to do my entire scalp. I have been known to move my hair just to make sure that it all is covered. Think about it this way: do you really want to fade that color that is in your hair now, if you color it? Call it an added discount on the amount of money you have to add for color sessions.

6. Don’t miss your ears. Take an extra squirt and smear it all over your ears. If you want to think about it, it can be an ear massage for yourself to add relaxation for a moment. Many doctors have discovered skin cancer forming behind the ears because so many people forget to put it on there.

7. Read your sunscreen bottle carefully. All sunscreens are not made the same. All sunscreens have a certain SPF. Some sunscreens are water resistant. Some are sweat resistant. The bottle will tell you how long it will last under certain conditions. These conditions can be longer or shorter than you would think for putting on your protection. Also, look to see which type of protection you are getting in your bottle. The latest recommendations are for a mix of both physical and chemical active ingredients.

8. Remember to reapply. Apply every day, even when it is cloudy and rainy. Those rays are still getting through. Hey, even apply in the winter. I have actually gotten sunburn in the middle of winter when it was snowy and cold. I learned my lesson on that. We always need out sunscreen. If you need a reminder to reapply, set an alarm on your phone for the amount of time that the bottle states to reapply. When it goes off, you reapply and reset the timer.

9. Do not rely on your makeup or clothes for total sun protection. Light fabrics only have a natural SPF of 10 max. Dark clothes are maxed out at 5. Yes, I have seen SPF listed clothes out, but you still need to put sunscreen on underneath all of that. Remember, you do not reapply moisturizer on your skin every other hour, so you should not look at that as the end all be all of sun protection.

10. Sunscreen SPF does break down with age. If you have a bottle from the previous year, halve the SPF for efficiency. This means that the old bottle will need to be reapplied twice as often as if it was made for this year. But, it can still be used. In fact, that’s a good reason for it to be used faster.

11. Get lots of variety of sunscreens. I, personally, usually have a solid stick, a spray on, and the lotion. This year, I plan on putting a variety in every purse I can possibly carry.

12. Drink fluids. Yes, it will make you sweat in the summer some more. It will keep you from getting dehydrated. Also, it will help you keep moisturized under that sunscreen. Or, if you do get burnt, it will help you replenish the skin to heal better. Talk about a glowing skin.

13. If you do get burnt, add aloe vera gel. Or, use an aloe plant leaf on your skin. They grow so easily and are pretty hard to kill. They can be, but it isn’t easy. Unless you are Mischief, who killed mine from last year by leaving it out in the first frost of the fall. So, I got another aloe plant as a Christmas present. But, use it. If it is hurting, also keep some burn relief spray to take away the sting. In fact, many now have aloe with the spray to keep the skin moisturized.

So, here’s what happened for me to get sunburn. I was working yesterday and Murder had a softball game. I was picked up to go to the game, but we had to get the planter that one of my coworkers bought from the kids for 4-H. I went home, changed into a tank top because I was so hot, and immediately was told that it was time to go because the plant was waiting and it was close to game time. I did not get time to grab my hat or any sunscreen. So, I was not properly protected. It hurts today, but I have my sunscreen for today’s outing in the garden. I also have broken off a couple of my aloe leaves to help keep it moist. This is why I am planning on buying many more lotions and sticks to keep in my purse for the summer.

Keep safe this summer.