Thursday, May 29, 2014

What a Snow Day Looks Like in San Diego to Me

San Diego has been usually hot this year. It has been so hot we are fighting off fires earlier in the season than normal. It has been so unrelentingly dry it is actually dangerous to light a candle or stand near a pile of shrubs. I have always been the kind of person who hides from heat. I do not enjoy heat. If I’m going to the beach I’m going to go on a cool, cloudy day, preferably in the morning on a Tuesday…OR at night when temperatures are finally starting to drop.

Hot days in San Diego remind me of snow days in the Midwest. Every year growing up in Nebraska, we would have a couple snow days or late starts to school. My sisters and I would get up early, fuzzy headed, and call the school repeatedly to hear if school was canceled. The first sign of snow or frost gave me excitement knowing there was a chance I could have a whole day off from school. It was a time for hot chocolate, sledding, snow angels, and most importantly no school. If it was blizzard conditions it was a time for turning up the heat, wearing fuzzy socks, having soup and avoiding going outside at all.

A couple weeks ago, right before my sister flew in for a visit, naturally, it became unbearably hot. There seemed to be no escape from the heat. Coffee shops and stores had their fans blasting but it was not enough to take the edge off of the heat. My legs would stick to the seats in coffee shops. Everyone was sweating salt right out their pores. My feet swelled. Hot Yoga was out of the question. (Just food for thought but why hasn't Cold Yoga been discovered yet?) I find it satisfying to freeze and do yoga simultaneously in the comforts of my own home. (See picture below)

As often as I could I would find air conditioning and lay next to it. Then the fires broke out and I started to hear about people having to evacuate from their homes. It is really scary and sad what intense heat can do. This is not something that happens in the Midwest generally. We deal with tornadoes and blizzards and ice storms, but not usually fires that are so intense that no one can stop them.
Once the fires started to spread I started really praying for some rain. Then this happened: School was canceled. Since I work at a school this felt like a snow day California style. Two school districts were completely shut down on a Thursday. I did what I usually do on snow days (especially intense ice storms): stay inside at all costs. Close the windows. Plan my day around coffee, TV shows and moving as little as possible so as not to sweat. I turned our small air conditioning unit up (or down I guess). Thankfully my sister was already in town so I had a playmate for the day just like the good ol’ days in Kearney, Nebraska. School is canceled! We slept in, had iced cold brew coffee, watched some Modern Family, talked about books we were currently reading and discussed what it means to reconstruct your face with the use of tattoos. We had minty chilled mojitos out of mason jars.

 Scott and I made a quesadilla bar for dinner. I used ice to cool my feet down and dreamt about rain and cooler weather. It was impossible to sleep though and there was literally nothing I could do to actually sleep soundly.

As always, in life, there are things I cannot control. I have no control over the weather or how people might view me.  I have little control over other people’s choices, even if I do hold some influence. I can’t create puffy clouds and ice cold rain to stop the intense heat and fires. I wish I could stop the pain, the fragility and brokeness of being human, the emotional trauma of losing someone you love, I wish I could stop human trafficking, and sexism. Some days I just want the headache I have to go away by simply waving my magic wand. (I don’t have a magic wand…but if I did I would use it.  A LOT. ) As a child I found things to do with my time during my precious snow days. And as an adult I find things to do with my time during heat infested days. I am not entirely helpless. Within the pain I experience from uncontrollable events I can choose self-care, I can choose to communicate my needs and wants. I can choose to fight for good. I can choose to send a friend a painted letter, to wrap my arms around the anxious heart, I can reach for a hand to hold, I can cozy myself with hot tea and a book full of gems. I can look for the comedy and flare of every day life. I can stay inside, breathe deeply and wait till the outside storm passes.

Monday, May 12, 2014

4 DIY Beauty Recipes for Beginners

I am a stay-at-home person. I am not a house-wife because I don’t really do house-wifey things. I am not a stay-at-home mother because well…I’m not pregnant. I am a good old fashioned stay-at home person.

This is not entirely true. I started a new job last week doing therapy with adolescents and youth. However it's only a few days week. 

My previous job that was described as a “40 hour a week job”  turned into a "50 hour a week job" after one month and then finally after two months turned into a "1929486930 hours a week type job" because of all the space it took up in my brain. I was burned out, low on energy and had friends calling me, Umm…are we still friends?

Needless to say the 3 weeks I took off to recover from said job were very much needed.I needed to be a stay-at-home-maybe-in-bed-person And now even with a job I still find large lapses of time and space where I am not sure what to do. Leaving my job challenged me to let go of exhaustion as status symbol and productivity as a measure of my self-worth. (Yay Brene Brown!) However I did not want boredom to turn into my new status symbol or how many books I could buy and read off of amazon to be a measure of my self-worth either.

So I have had some extra time. Therefore I have been making some DIY organic beauty products. It has actually been really fun and much easier than I suspected! I am definitely a rookie with this stuff. One of my friends, who graciously let me fall off the face of the earth during my "1929486930 hours a week job", introduced me to these products when I went up to LA to visit her end of April. She told me about these recipes that are all-natural and toxin-free.

I am not one to follow directions or recipes or rules for that matter. I don’t like recipes that have a million ingredients because I lose motivation if there are too many. I am also not one to think that everything is giving me toxins (which everything probably is and that’s really scary… so deep breath) However I am one to be drawn to self-care practices, healthy remedies and beauty products that smell good.

Here is what I have made recently:

DIY Dry Shampoo:
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 drops of your favorite essential oil (I used lavender naturally)
Old make-up brush
*You can also add Cocoa Powder if you have darker hair

DIY Sweet Orange & Honey Shampoo
1/2 cup Castile soap
1 cup raw honey
3/4-2 teaspoons Sweet Orange essential oil

DIY Nurturing Hair Oil:
5 drops Rosemary essential oil
2 drops Lavender essential oil
1 tbsp Joboba Oil

DIY Eye Make-Up Remover:
2 ounces of Witch Hazel
2 ounces of Olive Oil

I have had fun making these! I have also had fun leaving my stay-at-home- person behind and becoming an annoying-costumer-at-target-person. At the end of my Target run a total of 5 clerks/employees/pharmacists had tried to find me Witch Hazel. The first two young guys I asked snickered and looked at me like I was a Disney girl looking for her nemesis in a witch whose ethnicity was hazel. The 3rd person stated it was near the alcohol. The pharmacist said to look for it near the band-aids... This was making sense…. Finally the last person who helped me was a woman, closer to my age and seemed in touch with reality. However she led me to a cream that was used   to heal anus sores. "Sorry, this is all we have", she said, as if she had found what I was looking for and that it just wasn't the "brand" I was looking for. Side-note: when it comes to butt wounds, I think you should be picky about brands.

In the end I did find the Witch Hazel, but I did it alone. When it came time to find Corn Starch I didn't ask anyone. If you want any help though feel free to comment with questions!