“Failure is not an option!”- really???

I grew up thinking only lame and unsuccessful people fail. or If you don’t fit into one of those categories- than you must have not tried hard enough.

Every failure was questioned, almost shamed, explanatins were in order and the overall message was- please don’t do that any more.

For years I thought this is the proper way to raise my kids to be strong, hard working achievers.

But for the past few years I have been contemplating the idea that maybe this line of thinking is inconsiderate of the person expected not to fail, a heavy toll on the latter’s health-not to mention it is simply unrealistic to expect anyone to be “100% failure free”.

The other day my youngest came home after school and told me he did not do very well on his math test that day.

Math does not come easy for neither him nor me. it takes a lot of practicing and re-reading the material to understand it properly .

Both he and I know it, and he also knows that the week previous to the test he had plenty of time to study for the test- time he opted to spend on his computer. (shocking- I know).

So- I was disappointed at him, and told him that I was.

He didn’t like that very much, and when I realized his anxiety, I decided to try a different strategy-

I asked him to open his math book, and although the test had already passed, to re-read the material he had trouble with during the test.

At first he didn’t understand the point of this- since the teacher would obviously have no clue that now he understands the material, but I explained to him that I care much more of his sense of success /failure-than the grade he got at a specific exam.

I told him I wanted him to feel that he is not any kind of failure in math- although he flunked that specific test.

He started re-reading the material, and came back to me 30 minutes later- saying that now he gets what the root of his problem was during the test, and he feels confident about his abilities again.

We were both glad that the situation was something we could learn from -and not a bad experience, and of course we discusses the proper learning methods for math tests from now on (mainly going over the material not on a superficial level -glancing at what he wrote during math classes and his homework)-but trying to understand the material in a deeper level that would enable him to solve problems that weren’t given as homework or taught in class.

The next day he came home grinning and told me that his math teacher decided to give the class a second chance on that test and they are doing a second one tomorrow.

This was not expected -and it made his re-reading the material even more profitable-now he didn’t have to invest so much time studying for that second test.

I don’t know his final score yet- but I do know he came home feeling much better this time.

And that is all I care about.

Not the grade -but his sense of overcoming a difficulty he had.

We all have these “tests” in life- actual school or university exams- or simply uneasy situations life throws upon us.

We all fail sometimes. the important thing, I believe, is understanding that there is no point in stressing over a specific failure- when so many more tests -and failures- are still ahead. this is life, and anyone who thinks he can always succeed- is either very young and hopeful, or simply living totally inside a carefully planned comfort zone- from which he never strays -in fear of failing. this is no way to grow, to learn new skills, to develop .

Plus it’s pretty boring.

enjoy- the cooliflower.

Being prepared: keep in shape! (+a frugal tip on how to get yourself a “personal massage therapist” for life for a just a few $)

I understand that we cannot prepare for every possible thing life arranges for us- I wish we could.

Being a control freak, having 100% certainty in life would have made me a very chilled person- (or perhaps I’d arrange something else to worry over..)

But- I believe we can definitely mitigate the possible outcome of life’s “surprises” with due preparation.

One of the important ways- in my opinion- to be prepared frugally– for many possible situations- is by being constantly in good shape.

I believe both genders should be prepared and keep in shape- but I also believe there is a strong feminist side to being in constant good shape:

Many women in my experience, tend to prioritize their workout schedule at the end of their to do list- and some don’t even put exercising on the list to begin with.

Many women carry high school traumas from not being a good athlete (I know I did), some start a family and devote all their time to spouse- children- taking care of the house- work, and find themselves crashing in front of the tv at the end of every day, and should they have a precious relaxed day/going on vacation- well then I often hear women say that working out is considered a punishment for them and they refuse to inflict self punishment on vacations.

This is a pity since research has shown that keeping in good shape is much more am energy giver than a taker. in my opinion watching tv and eating chips can result in your being much more tired than doing an hour of yoga (go down dog app! free and great! here is the link:  great yoga app.)

I believe that mind-body connection works both ways: keeping your body strong and in shape, can inflict largely on your mental situation , and being confident of your physical abilities can strengthen your self-esteem.

Practicing yoga has made me meet many challenges- keeping my posture while standing in airplane pose: (read link and thank you yoga.u.online for the clear explanation: airplane pose- yoga.u.online),  

Trying to do crow pose, (haven’t succeeded yet -fell on my head this morning trying to nail it but will keep on trying!), and moving from one pose to another in a gentle flow.

Being flexible can prevent you from suffering serious injuries should you accidentally fall or lose your balance.

Swimming is an essential preparation tool in my opinion. you can never know when you might be in a situation where knowing how to swim well might literally save your life. and even without being so dramatic- swimming (correctly) can take the load off your lower back and keep you engaged in your workout routine.

Running is a basic prehistoric flight motion- when in a dangerous situation- it’s good to be able to run away from it. did you watch “marathon man ” with Dustin Hoffman? a classic.

Being in good shape can keep you away from the doctor’s office-both currently- and in the future, you can clean your house and work in the garden (saves a ton of $$$!) and all those endorphins that run in your blood can get you closer to being actually happy!

So what about that frugal massage ?

I personally could never really relax during a massage. I know some people swear by it but I can’t connect. sorry. maybe it’s my introvert side, maybe it’s the control freak that cannot let go- maybe it’s both.

A few years ago I bought this roller for a few $$ on ebay, and ever since every time my back or shoulder blades show signs of stress- I immediately roll over so to speak. no need to leave the house and get  almost completely undressed in front of a complete stranger. and be touched by him/her.

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enjoy- the cooliflower.

Continue reading “Being prepared: keep in shape! (+a frugal tip on how to get yourself a “personal massage therapist” for life for a just a few $)”

Extra frugal tips for frugal warriors!

Ok the following tips are not for the weak hearted. only you frugal warriors, that fear nothing, that have  mission, set a goal, they are pure hearted and don’t beat around any bush- only you can keep on reading. the rest- well go think about how to upgrade your frugal being. the day is not over yet! 

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#1: Re-using envelopes for paper notes.

I notified every major company I need to be in touch with that I prefer getting my mail via Gmail, but some are persistent on living in the dark ages of paper print. well I fear not, ant cut every envelope to 4 pieces and re-use it as memos. (when you reach 50 you will discover that there is no such thing as too many memo reminders. and yes- I do use my phone Calender too, thank you for asking).

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#2: making my own facial toner:

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*This tip comes with the usual warning and disclaimer I wrote in my first or second post. I am no doctor, no dermatologist or cosmetic expert or anything remotely close to these professions. if you choose to use these tips-as any other tip I so generously give for free on this blog- you are doing it on your own responsibility and hopefully after using your g brain to contemplate it. my skin reacts really well to this- some might not react as well. test it on some hidden area of your body to check where you stand on this situation. oh and genetics can’t predict any thing- I love using pure coconut oil on my face where my daughter developed a rash the instant the oil touched her face so.

So -simply mix part acv (apple cider vinegar, organic, unstrained, “with it’s mother”-again can’t stand involving it’s mother)with 2 parts water in a spray bottle and use it like a toner pro would. meaning a few tmes a day. I keep my bottle in the refrigerator just to be safe .

I have a habit of drinking a daily glass of hot water infused with 1-2 tbsp of this acv, and it seems to agree with me -but again- use your brain and don’t complain.

#3: I take my wheel barrel and a pair of gloves and we go pick up cow manure from the dairy barn close by. I use it to compost the trees before winter.

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*Every time I go there the calves come to check who I am and I pat them on their cute heads and wonder when will mankind stop thinking they are superior to these innocent creatures and stop killing them for their meat.

#4: I make an effort to fix /amend torn or broken stuff. sometimes the outcome is even nicer (in my opinion) than the initial product!

take this gym bag for example:

It’s zipper tore after a year of extensive use, but I feared not, took out my button collection ( I collect un used buttons just in case, and here was a case) and sewed 4 buttons on one side of the bag- and some wide elastic rubber I had in my sewing stuff to the other side of the bag/ cut button sized holes in the elastic rubber and voila. the bag is alive and kicking for a few months now.

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#5: I make my own clay mask from french green clay . this tip is under the same warnings and disclaimers as the toner tip/ this stuff might not agree with your face-it does with mine but that’s just me. consult and check if you are allergic or anything before using.

I buy french green clay on eBay, and every week I take a tea-spoon of the dry clay in my hand, add a few drops of water and smear my face like a mask pro/ I let it dry -but I am careful not to over do it- this stuff can dry your face like the Sahara desert so be cautious. after rinsing this off I always lather my face with the simple and cheap  baby facial cream I use at night.

20181031_080202.jpg#6: I make my own deodorant: (thank you wellnessmama.com for a great recipe!)

I’ve been using this stuff for bout 2 years now- I t works better than the ordinary deodorant I had, and costs much less+this is organic -all vegan -no cruelty product.

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click the link for the how to.

natural deodorant wellnessmama.com

#7: I make my own granola- without turning on the oven .

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I am aware many frugals make their own granola- this is definitely one of the products that not ony saves a lot of $ when making at home, but is very easy to make- and to control the exact content of  your mix. some might prefer macadamia others dislike raisins, you know.

I used to bake my granola in the oven, which was easy in the winter, but annoying in the midst of summer. also why heat up the whole oven for a tray of granola?

So I started frying my granola in a pan on the stove, instead.

I take a bag of walnuts, a bag of almonds, a bag of sunflower seeds, a cup of oatmeal and some raisins, I grind each ingredient by itself in my Braun hand mixer (why the separation you ask? because each ingredient has its own consistency and I’ve found out (the hard way) that when mixing during the grinding stage you are left with walnut dust and whole almonds) , turn the gas on and mix every thing in the pan with a little coconut oil. I keep tossing it all through the frying process otherwise it might burn and this is not tasty at all. I add a little brown sugar or agave syrup , some chia seeds,  sometimes some cinnamon , and when it tastes like heaven- I let it cool down and send it to wait its turn in the freezer. this stuff freezes really well so fear not . the only downside to this is that it is too yummmmmmy- and has a high caloric value so don’t over do it. moderation is a definite goal.

Ok that’s enough secrets for now, enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The possible hidden feminist story behind Cinderella -and why I stopped wearing high heels.

Cinderella is not considered to be a feminist story- au contraire- some people might even say that it has a very conservative narrative: poor girl being subjected to hard unjust house labor by her evil step mother, who has nothing on her little mind except parties and catching noble husbands for her daughters. the miserable young woman has one outstanding character: she is very smart! no that’s not it at all. we have no clue as to young cinderella’s cognitive abilities- all we know about her are 3 key features:

1.She is very young (obviously- what prince in his right mind would want to save an old bag ike moi?).

2. She is (again, obviously) very beautiful. by the way in all children’s books she is also very thin. (again-how obvious).

3. She needs saving, she is in distress, she needs a man to come and save her from the horrible situation life has intended for her, since (did I say obviously?) she has absolutely no power to even try to get herself out of that situation on her own. but then again- she is young and beautiful- why would she know how to get herself out of trouble? this is a man’s job! and here we have the ultimate man- young -rich-handsome- and even a prince! again in children’s book – surprisingly no discrimination- the prince is thin as well.

*Yes I do remember the fairy– it is, after all a fairy tale- but her intervention is very short and focused on “the make -over”. get things done in 90 minutes and as soon as the show is over- the magic evaporates . the quick magical transform from a poor miserable girl to a beautiful high society lady dancing with the prince got me thinking about transformations that are probably superficial but tis discussion will not be held right now).

Fine- I guess I haven’t excited any of you- this is the narrative we all grew on- and surprisingly enough we can still- in global free minded equal 2019- see this narrative thriving in books, movies and tv shows.

In the 90’s it was a rich and powerful businessman saving  a poor young girl from working the streets of hollywood  (a close look provided signs of rebellion there- I remind you of the end where the buisnessman climbs up the fire escape stairs he is so scared of and asks the girl what happens after the prince saves the princess -and she quickly responses -“she saves him right back”-which is an interesting twist in the cinderella original plot) .

In 2015 we could go to see movies where- again- young handsome rich and powerful entrepreneurs save young -clueless-but beautiful girl from living a very expected and simple life, when introducing her to life on the jet-set.

I am asking myself- Is the equation in 2019 still: “young+beautifull+clueless woman=handsome rich husband= happy life?

And if so- what is my problem? am I jealous ? of them girls being young+beautiful + clueless? of them landing a rich powerful husband? of the beautiful relationship they must have (for eternity)?

I think I am probably jealous.

*In the past I have found that whenever I became righteously angry- deep down I was actually envious of the person/trend I was so zealously condemning.

And maybe- I am privately jealous, and collectively right?

Maybe society is made of all sizes, shapes, ages and personal capital, (aka money),  and we -normal people- not extremely young-beautiful- and certainly not clueless- have a chance of having a nice life, even without a prince charming? or maybe with one- but not that handsome, not powerful, and many times- not rich, and that is an understatement.

The “helpless-clueless gal rewards” always makes me double snap. again- perhaps I am simply jealous, since I never had the privilege of  being  helpless.

I grew up knowing that I have to take care of every thing- or I simply won’t have anything.

I had to study, work, learn to cook-clean-maintain a decent home, and relying on someone to come pick me on the back of his white horse /porche- wasn’t an option- and I never believed in wasting time day dreaming about fairy tales.

So what is the possible hidden feminist message behind the cinderella tale?

Well It suddenly dawned upon me that maybe you can dare say that cinderella didn’t “accidentally” forget her glass high-heeled slipper behind when fleeting away from the ball at midnight.

Maybe, just maybe, cinderella didn’t like the whole act she had to put on to catch a rich and powerful man, and just kicked off those tight uncomfortable  shoes she wasn’t used to wearing (lucky her, she never had to be subjected to tight shoes, corsets and high heels, make up and dying your hair- she was wearing rags all day and feeding her animal friends- while singing happily, which makes you truly wonder if the perfect life of a princess that has no access to mice and free rabbits would have been that joyous for her).

Maybe- just maybe- she didn’t expect to be so overwhelmed by the palace and it’s inhabitants, and she thought of her simple- yet hard  life- and decided she prefered being free of high heels and corsets, feeding her animal friends.

Maybe she had a plan how to  retire early from her evil stepmother’s house to a small house of her own.

Maybe the prince coming to get her with his fancy entourage wasn’t exactly what she wished for, and maybe, when he came to the house- she agreed to try on the shoe- but a second later she took it off- and asked the prince politely to close the door- because they neede to have a serious conversation.

Maybe- just maybe- she challenged him in that conversation to see where she would fit in the fancy palace life, and they talked and talked- perhaps they found a true and meaningful connection , perhaps they didn’t, who knows?

I once read that high-heeled shoes were designed so that women would have to stick out their behind and chest in order to maintain balance- since learning to walk on these shoes is not a simple task at all. the subjected position would naturally be welcomed by men. bingo.

The high-heeled shoes became a sign of female success- connected with wealth, power , youth and  beauty. the ability to turn mens heads when you walk past them was the goal of so many women through the years.

Doctors have warned but to no avail, I, as many other women- felt that wearing high-heeled shoe gives the illusion that I are taller and slimmer- definitely more sophisticated.

Power shoes .

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Whenever I had something I needed a boost of confidence for- I took out the high heels.

I never actually learned how to walk the walk 100%  – I’ve seen women wear high heels and stumbling all the way-that wasn’t me- but I wasn’t confident on these shoes. I certainly wasn’t comfortable. 

As soon as I got to my car-I would kick off these shoes in disgust and swear I would never wear them again. but time and again- I couldn’t resist the confidence quick fix, and wore them again.

The final breakup between me and my power shoes happened  about 6-7 years ago, when I trained for half marathons and did a lot of running.

The excessive running was hard enough ion my lower back, and adding the pain I felt after walking all day in those shoes (and probably because I did not walk properly which caused bad posture)- was intolerable.

So I quit. “cold turkey” so to speak.

I gave away my carefully collected high-heeled shoes- beautiful by the way, and have never regretted it since.

I have a small but comfortable shoe collection now, all vegan, of course, and most of them are so comfortable that when in trouble- I can simply run away in them.

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No risk of one of my slippers “accidentally” falling off in the palace and having to be “saved” by someone who I have no idea what he believes in and if I want to spend the day with- let alone live with him “happily ever after”.

Adios- the cooliflower.

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How I downsized my wardrobe -and no- I do not wear the same pants every day. (part 2).

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On my previous post I left you all wondering how I use this colorful scarf to lift a boring out fit and so lead others to believe I have multiple items of clothing when the truth is I downsized my wardrobe seriously.

The truth is I no longer care what others think of my wardrobe situation, but I am terrified of boring myself with dull and never changing outfits.

Like food – and music- I need change, diversity, experiencing new colors, new looks, new flavours. you get the drift.

I used to satisfy this need for constant change with buying new clothes, but since september 2016 (that Barcelona trip where I bought this gorgeous scarf in the picture above) I didn’t spend any money on clothes, and only got into a store once -and used a gift card I had. for me -those 26 months without the rush of buying new clothes- was very challenging at first, but I must admit that now I am used to it and this seems like this is my usual state. (I assure you that there were some mad shopping sprees in my past- wow I find it hard to relate to the person who went on these sprees).

Ok -so how do I manage to surprise and thrill myself every day with that downsized wardrobe?

Again- I mix and match:

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but- lo and behold option 2!

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different scarf- different person!

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Ha! I told it’s not the same pants!

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As you can see- there are 8 different outfits here with 2 pairs of pants and one blouse-the trick is to play with colorful scarves,

I didn’t even get started on the shoes- those can be total game changers too.

The top rules when mix and matching -is first have your clothes in good condition- clean and smelling good- no buttons missing or zipper accidents or stains -that ruins the whole outfit.

second- if you are going to meet the same people every day- mix and match with your whole wardrobes don’t repeat your self too frequently. give them a little time to forget this specific outfit.

I must admitt I now believe that most people are occupied 99% of the time with themselves -and not with you or with other people so there is no need to stress about the second rule too much- just change something- your blouse/your pants- and no one will say anything .

Happy downsizing!

The cooliflower.

 

 

How I downsized my wardrobe and does this mean I wear the same pants everyday???(part 1)

This is my wardrobe:

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20181027_124758.jpgThis has all my fall + winter clothing including my “formal attire” -my every day going to work clothes, my workout clothes, and my “wear at home where no one sees you and you can feel realy comfortable ” clothes .

I have another shelf where I put my spring+summer clothing.

Sure- it’s not even close to those hard core people who can count their clothes on one hand (with 3 fngers pulled down) but for me this is a huge change.

I now have 3 pairs of jeans (Levi’s , of course, love them. bought them 4 years ago and they look new, I mean not nerdy new but good looking new) -2 blue ones and one black pair, 3 pairs of cotton pants, (mustard-yellow, green and red-yes red), 3 bottoned blouses  in different colors, 2 white blouses, 1 large sweater, 5 light sweaters, 2 coats, 3 light jackets, a few turtle necks (black, gray, boring)  some flannel white shirts for home’ and a few other garments I may have forgot mentioning but are all in the picture.

I also have a nice scarf rack consisting of these colorful scarves:

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Now I know that the first tip people are given when declaring the goal of minimalization is “keep your wardrobe calm”- meaning have most of it within the range of blacks-grays and whites, so it’s easier to mix and match .

I agree with the rule -but wish to make some ammendments to it, if I may.

First- not all people are  black-grey-white kind of people. some love pink-purple- blue and some have a crush on reds. who knew.

Second- I ‘ve found that it’s easier for me to mix and match -and still get a sense of wearing something different every day- when my basic wardrobe (capsule if you wish) has, alongside the black-greys, some colorful items I can play with while building my outfit.

But- and this is a crucial point in my opinion- there has to be some sense behind those colorful items: you can’t just go and buy the fukiest hippi shirt and then wonder why you never wore it- since you don’t have anything that matches it.

There needs-in my opinion- to be some kind of a connection- even a remote one -neverthe less still existing- between the “boring” capsule garments, and the colorfl items.

Such a connection is achieved mant times by having one of the basic wardrobe’s colors- appear as one of the colors on the playful garment.

I have a Desigual scarf I bought a few years ago in barcelona for 30 euro’s, and I have used it so many times since, that I feel I got my money’s worth and even more.

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At first I thought- oh my god- so many colors-what will I do with this?

But this is exactly the point.

This scarf is a game changer for many “boring” outfits, and has so many colors that I can easily find something that relates to it in my basic wardrobe.

examples next time.

ciao- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I stopped wearing perfume and what I do instead +frugal tip . (no affiliated or sponsored or whatever anything in this post).

For years I was hooked on Abercrombie&fitch’s “blushed” perfume.

Great smell, lots (and lots) of compliments, and the best -it is cruelty free– which is not common for great quality perfumes.

Before that I used L’Occitane products  but ever since their going into the chinese market’ I couldn’t clearly understand if they were still totally cruelty free or not. their web site says that their cruelty free policy hasn’t changed but other sites say that once you start selling in the chinese market- their regulations are strict about testing the products on animals first- so- I don’t know. I do know that L’occitane products have a divine smell and wear great so if they stopped being cruelty free- it is a pity.

I strongly recommend checking your beauty products, soaps, creams, make up and perfume -to see if it is tested on animals. 

There re so many great alternatives out there- why hurt a living creature to use a specific brand ? 

to make it easier -PETA: people for ethical treatment of animals- has a great website- that has a list of companies that do- and don’t test their products on animals .

companies that get PETA’s approval – have a “leaping bunny”  sign: leaping bunny certification.

So it’s actually very easy: just look for that cute leaping bunny and you are settled

But- some companies do not test on animals and do not have the leaping bunny- so just download the list in the link and whan your family asks you why the change of products- you can smile and inform them you saved an animal from torture today. and tomorrow. and they can too.

peta’s list

So what about that perfume?

I “blame” that vipassana course again..(this is the detailed post about that course- The birthday presents I gave myself-part 1

*I know this sounds somewhat like a brain wash -but I can promise you I am not affiliated with any organization or company any where (although I wouldn’t mind if LEVI’S wanted to adopt me I love their jeans ) ; I get nothing from telling you about this course- except knowing that if you will leave cynicism aside- you will go through a very powerful experience- not a religious one- but an interesting quest towards yourself.

*(The vipassana course has no admission fees- you can donate whatever sum you want to- but only whan you complete the course and if you feel that it has made an impact on you).

Sitting for hors in a meditation hall , close-very close-to other women -smelling their perfume -left me uneasy with the mere smell of anything that is not a clean smell of soap .

I thought this discomfort would pass but untill now it hasn’t, so for the time being I’m sticking to soap and natural smelling lotion for dry skin.

Then I began loking for a good soap that not only smells good, (but doesn’t smaell like a perfume ) but is also made from quality ingredients, was not tested on animals, and doesn’t cost a fortune.

I’ve found a brand that meets almost all those criterias: and again I remind you that (sadly) I am not sponsored by them- or by anybody else so this is not only my honest opinion- but I gain absolutely 000000000 from it . buy it or not- your choice- as is everything else in your life. use your brain to make the right decisions that fit you and your life style. 

The brand I found is Dr Bronner’s liquid soap:

תוצאת תמונה עבור ‪dr bronner‬‏

their site lays the philosophy behind the brand -believing in hard work, fair trade, organic and pure ingredients that harmless to the body- and to earth. the products are biodegradable and not tested on animals (yes- the bunny has leaped) and because the products contain pure castile soap- ou can use it for pest control in the garden too.

The only criteria this soap isn’t stellar on is the price.

This soap is not cheap. at all.

A 32 ounce bottle costs around 18$.  (on their site- I bought it on sale at my online supermarket for less. I must admit that if it weren’t on sale I don’t think I would have bought it).

But- I must say that the phrase “a little goes a long way” is definitely true when it comes to this soap.

Unlike other soaps- this takes only a few drops to lather a nice foam and a good wash- including a great sell of pure essential oils- I tried the tea tree and the orange ones.

Also- the company claims that the liquid soap has 18 (!) different uses- I linked the list so you can be impressed by their thinking that people would pay so much money on a bottle of liquid soap and use it to do their laundry (???) or wash the floors (???)  wash the dishes (???) or clean the toilet(???).

18 uses for dr bronner’s liquid soap

But fear not -I found a frugal way to double use this soap -so you get to smell the nice smell twice. (+get to feel like a rich person using this soap for every day use around the house).

I put a few drops in my humidifier, and dilute it with a glass of water- light one of these small warming candles underneath it and get the nice smell of sandalwood/tea tree/orange or whatever you choose, plus- and this is another bonus- cleaning the humidifier afterwards is a piece of cake- not like regular essential oils that in my experience left  some residue that needed scrubbing, this trick need only a little hot water- and the vessel is crystal clean!

What about the frugal double trick you ask? well- first you don’t have to buy expensive essential oils, (the soap contains castile soap and essential oils)-and– when the candle is done and the water needs changing- go ahead and use the previous  dilluted water to clean the floor/toilet/dog  (or cat- if you are a cat person, and your cat isn’t satisfied with it’s own cleaning method. Listen I am obviously a dog person, I have never been a cat perso si I don’y even know if you are supposed to wash yor cat or not/ my dog hates getting washed so much that whrn we triesto wash it in the past, he would wscape and immediately start rolling like a mad dog in the mud. and sometimes it wasn’t mud. so we gave up on that.but uor dog has it’s castle out side the house and isn’t an “indoor dog” so the situation may well be deifferent for small indoor cute dogs.) 20181031_071439.jpg

*About inhaling this- I got the idea after reading in the Dr bronner’s blog that you can safely inhale diluted soap in warm water- to relieve congestion. so I figure there is no difference if you inhale this directly (the picture on the blog has a person standing over a bowl with a towel over his head )or use it directly on your skin or hair– and using this in a humidifier in a ventilated and aired room. ( I always keep my window open- completely in the spring-fall-summer, and slightly in winter time).

*But- as always- should this tip sound suspicious or hazardous to you– please use your common sense and search it or simply don’t do it. I haven’t checked this medically /chemically and I have no intentions to cause you any discomfort or anything but happiness .

Any way- assuming you are simply going to get a good shower and wish to smell great and use a high quality product that wasn’t tested on animals and believes in fair trade and doing good environmentally- this is a good candidate in my opinion.

After showering -I put on a simple body lotion  odorless so it doesn’t contrast with the soap, put on my baby face lotion on my face and head to bed to read something and go to sleep.

Baby face cream???

Lady you are no baby and we know that!

Yup that is true, but I’m thinking that whatever is good for a baby’s face- can’t be bad for my face, and I’ve seen good results using this simple and plain baby face cream -75 ml cost me only 10 $ and last for at least 2 moths of every day use. (only at night- in the morning I use a day cream that has 30 spf and some anti-aging blah blah-costs 15 $ for 50 ml).

Adios- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

dr bronner’s wonder soap

Preparing for winter ( see I dodged the oh so obvious “winter is coming” title) and a recipe for super great brown rice!

Winter is coming (ha ha so funny bordering hilarious) and we are preparing for it by  making sure our house is rain proof and leak proof, the pantry is full and the wood is waiting for the fire-place. (I don’t believe the wood is waiting for anything to say the truth, least of all to go into the fireplace but that life).

*We had our roof fixed and sealed (it cost a 1000$ but tis is a must so).

*I collected wood all summer long and my partner cut it to pieces with his (electric)saw.

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I ordered 10 bags of beans (checked which beans were on sale and bought those, of course), and the same with other winter essentials such as lentils, rice, and ginger.

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I cut the ginger mentioned above to pieces and placed in a mason jar– to go wait their turn in the freezer. I discovered ginger freezes really well and keeps in the refrigerator only a week /two top-so if you are a ginger user- go ahead and invest some time in preparing ahead, and if you aren’t a ginger user- what re you waiting for???? ginger with lemon and hot water-could anything be nicer /healthier in the winter? 20181028_171223.jpg

We put a window sealer on our pretty old wooden windows.

this stuff is used in sealing pools so we were assured it’s good. and it only cost 3$ a tube -which we used for quite a few of our windows. 20181028_171518.jpg

it’s the gray stuff you see smeared around the glass.

* I batch cooked brown rice. 

well ok I do that regularly but also in winter time so. I just had to share my super great and tasty recipe for cooking brown rice- which is not everybody’s favorite due to its very distinct flavor  .

*pre soak 2 cups of brown rice in water for an hour-two. rinse ( the water can and should be used to water plants /house hold chores) .

*fry the mentioned soaked rice with 3 tbsp of canola oil (or ny other good vegetable oil) and 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

*Yup- so much oil. I know. this makes the difference in taste sorry to say. I can tell you this rice is very filling and you don”t have to eat 10 bowls of it to feel full. and I can also say that I don’t eat rice every day, and I can say that some oil is said to be good for you but you know- do whatever suits you and if this is too much oil for you then fine- try to use less or move on to the next post . or do anything else you want to do. if I can suggest you can meditate or do some yoga or read a book. no need to make such a fuss about some rice- even if it is brown. 

* add 2 tsp salt and 3 cups of boiling water to the pan- and add 1 cup of soy milk (you can use any kind of non dairy milk actually- I used soy but whatever.

*let simmer on low with lid on  untill the water is gone and the rice is fully cooked. if the water is gone but the rice still diesn’t tasre ready- add some boiling water and wait a little.

when ready leave it alone with the lid on for 10 more minutes and only then use a fork to play around with the ruce to make sure the grains don’t stick to each other like long lost lovers . or something .

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enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

Early retirement Jitters-dealing with my ego.

Early retirement has been my goal (and my dream) for a very long time now.

I was “welcomed to the machine” as pink floyd say when I was 20, (during my university years) -that is if you don’t count temp jobs as a teenager. 

That is a frightening number -30 years of labor.

*Working from home/being supported by someone wasn’t really an option . as to working from home-I know it’s hard to imagine but internet wasn’t spreading until around 2000, and I was deep into my current job then. as to being supported my first year at uni I did get a little help from my mother but as soon as I found a job that can cover my small expenses as a student- I was on my own.

But why hide behind mark Zuckerberg ? the whole truth and nothing but it -is that deep down I seem to need stability.

That need for a secure and safe every month led me to the secure and safe and stable job I’ve been doing for so many years.

Although I am an introvert, through the years I managed to “step up the ladder” so to speak, and now I am in a position of a (mini) decision maker- middle management -I have bosses over me- but I  am also a mini boss- for about 9-10 people at my office.

This made  me feel I was  a “somebody” at my work place.

The truth is, I was no more a “somebody” than anybody else, but the title and having people consult  with you and follow your orders can be an intoxicating feeling for people with less confidence like me. 

When retiring from a management job, a person has , in my opinion , to  manage  the interesting issue of handling his/her ego.

I believe that everyone has an ego- the only question is how big it is, and how much does this ego lead his/her decision-making.

I know for certain that my ego has led me many times to making decisions I now regret making, and I’m also sure that I keep being handled by my ego: consciously or sub-consciously. 

Being in a management job has many advantages- as well as many dis-advantages to it.

The money is higher, but the responsibility takes a real toll on your well-being, you need to be able to answer both the people you are in charge of and your superiors, you need to be able to handle situations with poise and calm even when you feel you are about to lose it , and sometimes you really want to help your employee but simply can’t, and it makes you feel powerless and cruel.

And then there is that ego issue.

Being in management gives your ego the illusion of power.

I know for a fact that my ego was really fond of this feeling.

Now that I applied for early retirement I began thinking how my life after retiring would look like, and I began wondering if my ego will be able to take the downsizing imposed on it .

I know that when people worry/think about retirement , they think of filling their days with activities and  not sinking into boredom, but now that I think seriously about the situation, losing the “power” you have -is not an easy situation for people who are used to having it. let alone the ones that actually enjoy having it.

I have spent many hours contemplating this issue and challenging my ego- consciously of course- to try to deal with the situation ahead.

I f you wish- since I described this position of mine at work as “stepping up yhe ladder”- well now I am stepping cautiously off the ladder- step by step- instead of falling off it suddenly on retirement day.

One of the steps I took -deliberately now- 4 months before my retirement , is to delegate many of my authorities to my deputy .

The thing is, that being a control freak, that is not really working well.

I find it really hard to let go, and now I have a “legitimate” excuse for it besides my puffed up ego- I need to make sure everything is done right .

So I am working hard on my tendency to delegate but interfere.

Another step I took to deal with my ego is to stop wearing make up.

What does that have to do with the subject?

Well I found out that for me- wearing make up was a good armour in the face of challenges.

I told you already that I am an introvert and socializing with people isn’t my strong side to say the least of it.

I managed to survive through all of those long years because of the “mask” I put on myself every morning: the make up mask.

When “under -cover” I could handle dealing with people much easier, I could “face the world” at more ease, and I can find more funny double meanings but I believe you get the drift.

my previous post dealt with that decision with length.

Since my 50th birthday, I stopped wearing any kind of make up, “cold-turkey”, and I’ve found other ways to hold on through the day-which I shall share next time.

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enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why (and how) I stopped wearing any makeup-and a frugal tip!

I celebrated my 50th birthday at a vipassana course. read here why and howThe birthday presents I gave myself-part 1.

Quite naturally , so to speak, I wore no make up during the 10 day course, and this was a big deal for me, I must admit.

Up untill then, I wore make up every day to work . 

On  weekends , since I try not to go out (Introvert anyone? hi!) I simply avoided looking at mirrors . ( I am not joking, sadly this is the truth. I did wash my face and teeth, of course, but made a true effort not to look at my reflection , and since I am near-sighted and wear glasses, I managed pretty well to avoid a close look at my “naked” face”.)

On the occasions that my lame tricks weren’t cutting it and I had to look at myself in the mirror while wearing no make up- I didn’t like what I saw.

Sad , I know.

My beauty routine consisted of this long and exhausting list:

1.wash face, and put lotion on. (lotion has at least 30 spf so check on sunscreen)

2. wait a few minutes for the lotion to absorb.

3. put primer on.

4. wait a few minutes for primer to fully absorb.

5. put on foundation.

6. wait a few minutes for the foundation to fully absorb.

7. put on fixating powder.

8. check every thing is ok and pat face lightly with a tissue paper.

9. use bronzer on cheeks and chin.

10. use anti -feathering lip pencil.  people- I am 50. this is an essential product if you put on lipstick.

11. put on lip liner– including on the lips – a great trick that kept my lipstick on for the whole day. and that layering -wow how many compliments I got on my lipstick shade: the secret was using 4 different products and layering.

12. after lip liner- put on lipstick.

13. put on liquid lip liner– yup I did that too.

14.Are you tired yet? because this too was done -every day: lip gloss!

15. go to sleep. no- not realy but it is a tiresome routine that took place every day. 

16. touch ups- I had a mirror in my office and every couple of hours I had to check everything was in place- that my make up wasn’t shining or wandering around (I have an oily skin so ) and/or that my lipstick did not stick to my teeth ( has happened).

17. Mascara.

18. check to see if mascara didn’t smear all over my face. (has happened).

*Just to make sure you know all my make up was cruelty free (milani) and really great products- I gave it all to a family member who has the same colors as I do.

So what happened?

I actually got many compliments on the way I looked with make up and milani has fair prices- so it’s not that.

I suddenly understood I was using my make up as a shield from the world. a mask I put on- so I can face having to deal with people. 

With make up I felt that I going on stage every morning, putting on a (very) convincing act – that makes people believe I am a very confident person and have no trouble connecting with anyone- all the while I knew that the truth is I am a true and total introvert and it takes a lot of my energy to deal with people -especially people at the office- not to mention deal with office politics. 

So what changed?

I turned 50 , and I already told you I took my vipassana course seriously-I spent a lot of time contemplating my life and my conduct.

Understanding I didn’t need that mask was a true revelation for me.

The first few days I was in panic- can this really hold on? will my courage fade away ?

But here I am- 2 months after that decision- still with a “naked face”, and my routine consists now of these two stages.

1. wash face .

2. put lotion on.

my lotion is a very simple non cruelty mineral lotion that has 30 spf and doesn”t make my oily face shine.

I took the mirror off the wall at my office.

No need for any touch ups.

And the frugal tip? (besides the obvious major downsize in your make up budget and the huge time and energy saver this decision is?)

I discovered that my best accessory really is my smile. 

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I can’t take a full picture of my face yet- untill I retire, I am aware this is quite a frightening picture but I hope you believe me I look really nice without any make up on, maybe not as attractive as before- but who cares???

And I must say- that I am sure many peopple think I look awful in my au natural state- but as I decided the important thing is that I can look at the mirror-  smile at myself- and be happy with the way I look.

this is worth a million to me.

ciao- the cooliflower.