A day of self-care

Today is my self-appointed self-care day.

It feels so silly to feel so run down but as my wise husband reminded me this morning, world events can really take it out of you. We are lucky enough to have been able to work through the covid-19 pandemic. We both work at a nursing home so we have a good amount of job security. But going to work with the ever changing CDC and MDHS recommendations can make it stressful. The admin at our job likes to implement new changes on Fridays at 2 pm… my guess is so they don’t have to actually deal with it until Monday… but what do I know. We’ll see what new ppe or procedure they’ll put in place tomorrow when we go to work.

All things considered though Manny and I are quite blessed. That said, we’re not impervious to stress. Manny usually deals with his by powering down his brain for a little bit and gaming or if it’s bad enough he talks it through with me. I’m a little different. I can talk it through til I’m blue in the face… and sometimes I feel like that’s exactly what I do but stress seems to have a very physical toll on me. I get so very tired and achy. Cliche as this sounds, the best self-care for me is a bath and a nap. So, even though I got perfectly adequate sleep last night, I’m still tired so I’m going to take a nap. When I wake up I’ll take a bath and work out some of the kinks in my muscles.

With states beginning to loosen up regulations the world seems to be preparing to go back to some semblance of normal and yet so much feels completely changed. Between all the PPE we wear at work and the need to wear masks in public, the world feels like a very changed place even though the changes have been fairly small. I’m not sure I can take much more inflammatory news media on top of all the changes at work. All the stress gets carried squarely in my back and neck. The end result has been headaches, lack of sleep, extra soreness from tense muscles. There have been some practical things we could do to help all of this. Badly in need of one, we bought a new bed that sleeps like a dream. We also ordered new shoes for at work. A good foundation helps with all the rest. And of course, we’re gearing up to start keto this next week.

This has been our last week of eating the standard american diet, starting Monday we go keto. Sunday night we’re going to go to our local 24 hr grocery and stock up on what we need. We like to shop in the middle of the night as there are considerably less people out and about and we’re up that late anyway so why not! I’ve been working on our shopping list. It’ll be a pricey trip but in the end I think feeling good in our bodies will be worth it.

I know there wasn’t a ton of new stuff in this one and I went completely without any hints or tips today but I hope this post was enjoyable to read and finds you all well. Feel free to drop a comment with anything you’d like to see in the future. Much love and as always take care and God bless!

Starting Fresh

Yesterday’s post was something of a bonus given that we had made such a big decision for our life. So bonus, you get two posts this week! Yesterday I went through our cupboards and pulled out all things high in carbs. There’s one box set aside with things I know my sister and her kids can use but then there are two partially full boxes full of other foods. One box holds unopened items that we can give away or donate. The other has items that are already open, we’ll eat what we can in the next week and then we’ll offer to our friends. Whatever they don’t want we’ll toss.

The benefit of keto is that we’ve both done it before. We know how we feel when doing it. For me, I know that the first month is pretty brutal. Keto flu is no joke. The headache I’m about to receive is almost enough to make me reconsider, but in the end it will be worth it to be healthier.

We’ve been trying for nearly the entire year that we’ve been together to eat healthier. Smaller portions, healthier choices while still honoring the need for foods that although maybe not healthy are very satisfying like chocolate or potato chips. There’s something to be said for satisfying that need to enjoy salty and sweet. And I know what you’re thinking; doesn’t keto rob us of that? Well, yes and no. There’s no cheating on keto. If you cheat it can take weeks to get back on track and put your body back in ketosis which is the state it needs to be in to burn fat instead of sugar. Once committed, you’d better be committed else-wise you’re wasting a lot of time and energy. When I did keto before I found I did not crave foods the same way I do when I’m eating sugar. I have found that I enjoy the foods I do eat so much more than when I’m eating whatever I want. Suddenly cheese crisps are the saltiest most delicious crunchy snack on earth! And keto sweets are like an oasis in the dessert!

I must admit I’m really looking forward to doing this. A year ago now I was at the lowest weight I had been in my adult life. I felt good and energetic and young. Now I feel every single one of my 31 years. My body is stiff and sore and worn out. I can’t wait to reclaim that energy! And as an added bonus, I can’t wait to feel pretty in my skin again. I know that weight loss is not the magical formula to being happy, but from experience, the way I feel when I am a little bit thinner is very helpful to making me a happier person. It’s the healthy side-effects. Neither one of us is shooting for skinny. Manny jokingly said the other day that between the two of us we’d like to lose a high school girl. Meaning, I would like to lose about 50-80 lbs total, and Manny would like to lose between 70-80. Add that up and you have the weight of an average high school girl. Crazy to think that.

As I was cleaning out the kitchen yesterday I picked up a ten-pound sack of flour and held it in my hands. How much better will I feel when that amount is off my body? It’ll be fun to see how each 10lbs makes a difference.

Tonight’s dinner is a simple nearly- no- cook meal. Manny was craving a wedge salad so we got salad fixings. I personally think there is nothing worse on this earth than iceberg lettuce so I’ll be having a cabbage and greens salad. I know, it sounds weird but it’s got a magnificent crunch. I’d love to say we’re being healthy but between blue cheese dressing, craisins, and some bacon I’m going to crisp up it will be far from healthy. It will however be super yummy.

What’s your favorite salad topping? Let us know in the comments and as always take care and God bless!

Ch-Ch-Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes!

Holy cow it has been a craaaaaazy couple of days! I’m so sorry I haven’t updated but now I definitely have things to say! So Monday morning I woke up to a phone call from my sister. She is dealing with the aftermath of a fire in her apartment building that happened a few weeks ago. Technically I still live with her even though I haven’t actually stayed there since… September? August? It’s been a while. So anyway, I still had a bunch of stuff at her house and she was calling to ask if I could pretty please wit sugar on top get my stuff out of there because the clutter since the cleaning crews went through is driving her batty and in exchange… no more rent through the last three months of our agreement… well, I’m no fool, Manny and I ate some breakfast, got dressed, and went to pack up all my stuff and move it.

My sister is flapjacking amazing by the way, she let me keep some stuff in her garage… and by some stuff I mean most of my stuff. And my nephew really pitched in. See, the room I was in is now his room and he is very excited about it. In order to speed up the process he helped carry stuff down to the garage and out to the car. He spared my asthma and Manny’s back and was generously rewarded with the new xbox game he had been hoping for.

And what should appear on my phone in the form of a very exciting text? A message from the job I had originally had lined up following leaving the shelter! The situation that had made it look like the job had fallen through had resolved itself and they were able to once again offer me the job! Tuesday was spent cleaning out my car, grabbing the last of our apocalypse groceries, and hauling stuff up to the apartment from Manny’s car from the day before. Today I went in to fill out paperwork and tomorrow I start for real.

What does that mean for here? Well, what it means is that I won’t be updating daily anymore… of course I didn’t do so well that that so maybe it’s for the best. Tomorrow I’m supposed to get to discuss my job schedule so I’ll know better after that what days I’ll be able to post on here but right now I’m thinking a “life” post on Tuesdays and a recipe on Fridays each week. I’ll let you all know more as I can!

Stay safe in this crazy world, my friends. Comments are always love. And as always, take care and God bless!

Enter the Kitchen

The best place to begin is… well… the beginning. So let’s start there. This morning I woke up to the ping of an email, an email that would send my heart straight through my stomach and down so low it sat in my butt for a few good hours until I could work up the courage to move on and face the world again. Maybe that’s being a little dramatic but for real, it was an oddly earth shattering if very politely worded email informing me that the latest job I had lined up had fallen through much like all of its predecessors.

See last week I quit my job. I was an advocate at a very well respected domestic violence shelter but I was working overnights and quite frankly it was doing it’s best to kill me. I had been sick for the better part of two months, permanently exhausted, experiencing migraines that would last anywhere from one to six days (that’s right, DAYS, not hours) and my mental health was deteriorating at a rate that frightened myself and my fiance. So the decision was made. I needed to quit my job. Not wanting to be completely impulsive, I reached out to a former job and asked if they would hire me back and they assured me yes, they would. So I put in my notice and exhausted but hopeful, waited for my last day.

You know the saying “out of the frying pan and into the fire?” Well that’s kind of what happened here. I was no sooner done with my job than the new one I had lined up fell through. Never one to dwell for long, I cried for a couple hours, questioned my life choices, and then started applying for jobs. I had decent luck too. Twelve years of food service experience and roughly sixteen of customer service and I was pretty marketable. Within a couple days I had two job offers and although not life alteringly awesome, they were workable. Then Covid-19 became truly worrisome and the world stopped turning.

Again, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but that’s kind of what it feels like right now. On Friday I drove to a neighboring town to do some grocery shopping and while I was driving I was hit by the complete and all encompassing awareness that we are in fact living through history now. Whatever camp you’re in as far as Covid-19 is concerned, you would be hard pressed to deny that what we are currently experiencing will change the world and make history. Years from now they’ll teach our grandchildren about this pandemic in the same way that we were taught about Spanish Influenza and dare I say it? the Plague. A person should always be hopeful but as someone with a degree in history, I can’t help but feel I am reading the writing on the wall when I say hard economic times are ahead of us. If pressed to make a prediction, I would say that Covid-19 will affect the economy for years and that the recession in the early 2000’s was nothing compared to what lies before us.

Which brings us back to that email from this morning. Due to Covid-19 the country has ground to a stop. One could argue that the world has ground to a stop but I will stick to what I know and that is my own country. There’s something very heavy about being able to watch not only your president but also your governor, and your mayor declare a state of emergency. Piece by piece normal day-to-day life has slowed to a grinding halt, closing restaurants, bars, theaters, schools, daycare, and literally anything non-essential. And like a puff of smoke those two job offers I had disappeared.

Here I must insert another bout of crying and questioning life choices but I am very lucky in that I have been blessed to have the sweetest, most supportive partner to go through life with. My fiance has listened to me cry and freak out and wonder where on earth we’re going to get money to take care of things; then, when I’ve cried myself out he holds me close and tells me how we’ll make it. The number one and most crucial part of how we’re going to make it, is that we are going to get through this together. Second, he has a job that pays decently and there is generally no shortage of potential overtime. Cash will be tight but we should be able to meet our bills and make ends meet. Thirdly, given the fact that I have pretty bad asthma and the common cold can at times cause distressing airway problems, maybe this is for the best. So, based on a joint decision, I stopped looking and put the frantic search for work on the back burner until the pandemic clears up. My top priority now, is to keep our house, manage our finances, and ensure we have good food on the table every night.

Right here I would like to just say that I have never in my life looked down on stay-at-home moms or house-spouses but that has never before been an option for myself. I didn’t meet my fiance until I was thirty and by then I had long since come to terms with the fact that whatever I wanted in life I would provide, at least financially that is. Not working for financial gain was an utterly foreign and ultimately impossible concept. Because life costs money. Unless you live in the woods on land that is fertile and dotted with productive farm animals, life costs money. Rent, groceries, cars, gas, medicine, insurance, phones, internet, water, electric, etc. The list goes on and on. But we’re now in a place to have me stay home for a few weeks and I refuse to not be productive during this time. I love to cook and bake and keep house and I also love to write. So I thought, why not combine those passions and keep a blog of my adventures in frugal housekeeping. Here we go!

My name is B. I am currently unemployed and waiting out the pandemic in one of hundreds of cities affected across the United States. When life gives you lemons you make lemonade… or lemon bars… or lemon meringue pie… or lemon rice… or lemon chicken… you get the point. Click follow to get the latest in my frugal adventures. New posts daily. Comments are love. And as always, take care and God bless.