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Making My Own Perfume

Yesterday, I mentioned that I’d made my own perfume on Thursday.  I thought I’d show you a little more of the process in this post.

I started buying Young Living essential oils in 2017 to help with pain management during my ankle recovery.  I’m all about holistic treatments.

I love learning about the different ways these oils can be used, as evidenced by the groups I’m a member of on Facebook.

A few weeks ago, I’d downloaded a new app . . .

It was created by Jen O’Sullivan and has a lot of information about essential oils.  I have another app that I’d been using, but I’d been reading a lot about this app, so I finally installed it.

I’d found several recipes for perfumes, which had intrigued me a lot.  I ordered a package of six atomizers, which I believe came from China . . .

Although I ordered them off of Amazon, they took about three weeks to arrive.

Aren’t they cute though?  They’ll fit nicely in my purse!

After they arrived in the mail, I ran out and got witch hazel, which you use to top off your blends.  It was either that or vodka, which I wasn’t opposed to, but witch hazel seemed like a healthier option.

Then, I got all of my supplies together and began to have some fun.

I’d found a couple of recipes that I had the oils for, so I prepared those.

It was so easy – just a few drops of this and a few drops of that.  I felt like I was at Hogwarts in Potions class.

After adding the distilled water and witch hazel, I was set to go!

I created homemade labels by using some of the white sticky paper from address labels I’d received free in the mail.  I knew that I needed to label these because I’ve planned to make several bottles of perfume once a couple more oils arrive in this month’s Young Living order.

The Sweet Rosemary Mint is my favorite out of the two perfumes I made.  It’s very light, and the mint aroma is soothing.  I have learned that I cannot wear strong floral scents.  They overpower my senses and give me migraines.

I’ll post updates when I try new recipes.

Goal Setting

A little over a year ago…September 7, 2015, to be exact…I took a BIG leap of faith and began taking control of my health.

That was the first day of my first Beachbody program.

It was ugly, y’all.  Although I didn’t look out of shape to most people, I felt so yucky.  I knew that I wasn’t where I needed to be.  I was getting very little exercise, except for a few weeks the summer prior, and my eating, although not terrible, was a bit random.

I followed the program pretty much to the letter, began using portion control as a nutritional help, and worked out five or six days a week (I can’t remember if I got one or two days off during that program).

The weight came off very quickly, as did the inches.  By the end of eight weeks, I’d lost fourteen pounds, and my measurements around all of my body parts had decreased.

I was hooked.  I was stronger physically and more confident emotionally.  Shopping was fun when I saw myself fitting into clothes the way I knew my petite body was supposed to.

I did TurboFire next.

This program was all about the cardio…so different from Piyo, which had focused on core strength and flexibilty.  I spent six months doing TurboFire and continued to chisel my body.

Next, I jumped into Hammer and Chisel.  Oh boy.  What a tough routine.  This was all about building muscle, with a healthy dose of cardio mixed in.  When the kids were younger, I had a gym membership and spent hours getting buff.  I knew it would be painful.

The Mr. bought me a set of weights, along with a workout bench, and I went to town…in my home.

I saw the changes I’d been looking for.  My abs finally decided to make an appearance.

Of course, I had to jump into a new routine when I finished, so I started 22 Minute Hard Corps.

The first day was no joke.  There wasn’t a day that went by when I wasn’t sweating and sore.

I am so happy to say that I FINISHED this program on Saturday!!!  I had gained a couple of pounds between the end of Hammer and Chisel and the middle of 22 Minute Hard Corps, so I did a gut check, literally, and reined myself back in, losing one of those pounds before Saturday.

As you can see, I lost some muscle definition in my abs and back.  I understand why, though.  This program didn’t use weights too often.  It was more about functional fitness, as Tony likes to say in his videos.

It was about building stamina and agility and body strength in a different way.  I definitely gained all of that.  I can do gorilla crawls and mountain climbers like there’s no tomorrow.  I’m pretty good at pumping out some push ups too.

During the time I did this program, I ran two or three virtual races and was able to do longer run intervals.  I have yet to run an entire race, but I’m not training exclusively for running, so I get it.

I have my next program ready to go, but first, I’m dedicating a couple of weeks to running some virtual races I’ve fallen behind on.

I think it’s important to take time out, though, to travel down memory lane.  It helps me remember what my goals were…to lose the flab and, originally, run a 5k…and to see what I’ve accomplished.

Although I still can’t run the entire 5k, I’ve done one in real life and will be doing another in a month.  I’ve done quite a few virtual races since last fall.  I’ve also accomplished every single other goal I set for myself.  I reached my target weight a few short months after I started exercising and have maintained it, with the exception of a pound gained and lost here and there.

With all of that said, I don’t necessarily advocate Beachbody, per se.  I don’t sell it.  I don’t want you to think that this is just a big pitch for it.  It just happens to be what fit into my life and personality (I love the calendars that come with the programs).

What I do challenge whoever I talk to about fitness…and I talk about it a lot…is to first decide what you want.  Then, create a plan.  Carve out time for it.  I’m all about the early-morning workout.  I know that I won’t have the energy in the afternoons to do it.  I also know that I need to do school stuff…lesson planning and grading…when I get home.  I make exercise a priority, which is a big reason why this has worked for me this past year.

Then, you have to watch what you eat.  That’s tough.  I keep up with my food log via the MyFitnessPal app.  I keep up with the calories I burn with my fitness watch.

Staying in shape is sooooooo much harder than it was when I was in my 20’s.  In a way, that’s not a bad thing, though.  I am so appreciative of what I’ve accomplished.  I know that blood (yes, there’s been blood…when I’ve fallen when out running), sweat, and tears have been a necessary part of the journey.

For so many years, I was that person who talked about doing something but didn’t stick with it.  I’m not that person any longer.

Falling Back into the Hodgepodge

When last I posted, it was September 9th, and I was celebrating my anniversary.  This blogging thing…it’s so hard right now…hard to find the energy…hard to find the time…hard to find the desire when all I want to do is to stay unplugged on the evenings when I am not lesson planning.  I hope you’ll forgive me.  My heart is full of so many things, but moving the words out to my fingers just seems to be one thing I cannot do consistently right now.

Seasons of life…just like earth’s seasons…ever changing, eh?

Which brings us to this very fall-ish themed Hodgepodge.  Play along by answering on your own blog and linking up with Joyce.  Oh, and thanks for visiting!  ❤

1.  What have you ‘fallen for’ recently?

I’ve recently fallen for the (Skinny!) Oatmeal Cookie Smoothie.

I’m following a lean eating plan put out by Beach Body, eating a reduced amount of calories each day and watching my portions closely.

I have never been a fan of smoothies, but this one is to die for.  It smells and tastes just like a cookie.  I leave out the honey and raisins and substitute soy milk for the almond milk to help me get enough calories (yes, I’m having a huge problem getting enough) and protein.  Oh, and I grind my oatmeal first (love, love, love my Ninja) and have recently started adding a tablespoon of chia seeds (grinded up with the oatmeal) for protein and fiber.

2.  What’s something you’re ‘squirreling away‘ for later?

With this eating plan, I feel like every day, I’m squirreling away portions for later.  I get nervous about using them up that I tend to save them for the end of the day, which is probably one reason why I’m not getting enough calories.

Sigh…this fitness thing is tough!

3.  How do you like your apples? Sweet? Tart? Crisp? Cooked? Apples are one of the superfoods for fall…how often do you eat an apple either plain or as part of a favorite recipe? What’s your favorite variety?

Lately, I like my apples sweet.  Hello Ambrosia apples!  Yum!  A must is that they are crisp.  Rooster and I spent all summer looking for the perfect apple.  Most were mushy.  It was discouraging.

I prefer to eat my apples in the simplest way possible…peeled and with a bit of natural peanut butter.  This has been my go-to mini-meal of late.

4.  According to Fodor’s the ten best fall foliage trips in the US of A are-Aspen Colorado, The Catskills New York, The Berkshires Massachusetts, Columbia River Gorge Oregon, Green Mountain Byway Vermont, Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway New Mexico, Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, Upper Peninsula Michigan, Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, and Glacier National Park Montana. Which would you most like to visit this fall and why?

I’m going to be honest here.  I don’t care to take any foliage trips.  While I enjoy nature, I don’t actively get out in it for such things as camping, hiking, or whatnot.  If I’m going to see the leaves change, I’d prefer that it be while living in Auburn, Alabama.  That’s my dream…to retire there soon.  Then, I’ll have the pleasure of watching my Tigers play while the leaves turn colors and fall.

5.  The topic of legalizing marijuana was raised in the most recent televised political debate so let’s wade in too. Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Four states have legalize marijuana for recreational use. Your thoughts?

I think this is a terrible idea and more evidence of how far our country is sinking in its immoral laws.  First, we had the legalization of gay marriage; now it’s this.  I’m appalled.  I also find it ironic that the “leader” of this country (whatever) is greeting the Pope when he (not the Pope) is pushing for such immoral legislation.

Sorry to get on my soapbox, but I’m so disgusted.  I cannot wait for the next big election, and I pray that Conservatives will make their voices heart through their ballots.

6.  Are you okay to watch a movie already in progress or do you need to always see it from the beginning? How about jumping into a TV series somewhere in the middle? Is that okay? 

I don’t mind movies already in progress, but jumping into a TV series in the middle…oy vey!  One gets invested in the story line and characters.  How can one get into a series without starting from the beginning?

7.  Thursday (September 24) is National Punctuation Day. What rule of punctuation trips you up most often? What rule of punctuation, when broken by someone else, bugs you the most?

Oh, punctuation.  How you vex me vicariously through the high school students I teach.  I despise grammar mistakes.  Right now, my classes are working their way through capitalization rules.  I just graded a non-grammar test I gave yesterday.  It had short answer responses.  What did about half of my kiddos do?  They didn’t capitalize the first word of their sentences in their answers.  Sigh.  It’s like herding cats.

Honestly, most punctuation mistakes drive me nuts.

The one I struggle with often is when to use hyphens in words.  I’m forever looking things up to double-check.

8.  My Random Thought

Here’s a sneak peek of me…the second day of my third week of my new fitness regimen…

What am I doing?

I’m a quarter of the way through Beach Body’s Piyo program…

It’s very regimented.  I’ve been getting up earlier and working out before school.  I’ve got a calendar of which video to do on which day (there are more DVDs…more workouts that you don’t see on that screen above).

For the record, yesterday, I was finally able to do Burpees for the first time!  Yay!

I’m doing meal prep for long days…

It’s hard work.

Nothing worth having comes easily, eh?

I know one thing.  When I reach my personal goal, I’ll be especially proud of myself…especially because this sure as heck isn’t as easy as it might have been ten or fifteen years ago.

Always Read Your Labels

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned feeling a little ill during Thanksgiving preparations.

Well, here’s the story as to WHY I was sick.

For the last few weeks, I’ve suffered some aches and pains in my hips.  When I mentioned them on a Facebook update, one of my friends advised that I go to my health food store and purchase Celadrin and glucosamine synergy.

After Chicky and I finished shopping for her ring, we decided to go ahead and look at the supplements my friend had recommended.

The owner of the store has become a friend over the years.  His advice has always been sound.

He explained that the Celadrin would lubricate my joints, and that the glucosamine would reduce inflammation.

Still, I struggled with what to purchase.  Because I’d just purchased Chicky’s ring, I knew my bank account had been nearly depleted.

Chicky and I discussed my options.  I decided to purchase one bottle right away and return next week for the other bottle.

The store owner overheard us and told me to take the second bottle home and to return next week after I got paid to take care of the rest of my bill.

Such a nice guy and one of the benefits of living in Podunk, USA.

He instructed me to take three pills from each bottle…daily.

He also cautioned me to stay away from sugar, meat, and other things that make inflammation bad.  Chicky laughed and assured him that those things haven’t been part of my diet in quite some time.

Chicky and I went home, and I took my first dosage.

Then, I ate dinner with my family…spaghetti with vegan-friendly sauce.

It wasn’t an hour later, right when the Dancing With the Stars finale began, when I started feeling sick.

Oh, but it wasn’t just your average sick.

It was the kind in which you get up and run to the porcelain throne every fifteen minutes.

I tried to time my trips with the commercials.

This proved very difficult.

I was determined, however, to be tough so I wouldn’t miss THE MOMENT when the winner would be crowned.

He was…GO J.R.!

J.R. (no picture of Karina, though. I cannot stand her. Sorry.)

And I continued to suffer.

I finally called it a night around 11pm…three hours after my sickness had begun.

My stomach was hurting, and I was nauseous.

I woke up on Wednesday still in a bit of pain but otherwise okay.

I got up and looked at the bottles of pills…determined to get down to the bottom (no pun intended) of what had ailed me the night before.

And that is when I saw it…

The ingredients in the glucosamine pills…

Bovine heart…bovine liver…bovine kidneys…

The list went on and on.

Just about every animal part you can image was on that list.

And there I was…a vegan of nearly a year…wanting to throw up again.

I had ingested three of these animal-infused supplements.

What was especially ironic was that the store’s owner had TOLD me to stay away from meat, yet the product he sold me had animal stuff in it!

And I still owed money for the bottle…

$30 stupid dollars.

I decided to take the bottle back to the store and explain how sick I’d gotten.

I put the bottle in my purse.

Before I could run to the store, I had to take Molly for her yearly shots.

As I was getting her into the car, I heard something hit the concrete driveway.

I looked down in horror and saw the bottle of pills…broken with most of the supplements scattered.


Now I was stuck with a bottle of poop-inducing, animal-infused supplements that I had yet to pay for.


Pun intended.

I carefully picked through the pieces of glass and gathered up the pills, putting them back into what remained of the bottle…

I took Molly to her appointment, got her back home, and sucked in my breath.

I was about to go to the store.

Should I do it, I wondered?

I called Super Sis.  She’s a bit wimpy about such things and told me she’d probably just let it go, pay for the pills, and call it a lesson learned.

I’m cheap, though.

I went for it.

As I carried the bottle from the parking lot to the store, the owner was outside sweeping an area rug.

He said, “Whatcha got there?”

Oh, what a can of worms he opened with that simple question.

After explaining my dilemma, to which he laughed (we both did because it was quite comical), he grabbed the bottle from me and threw it away, telling me not to worry about it.

He also told me he would have to think about some other supplement that would meet my vegan needs.

I was happy, though.  I no longer owed $30 + tax for something I couldn’t and wouldn’t be taking.

It was an embarrassing lesson, though.

I’ll make sure I always read every word of the labels on the products I buy…even if I won’t always understand what I’m reading.

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