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.

How I encourage myself to drink more water -and it has nothing to do with any apps!

Water is basic stuff.

I mean we all know it- we cannot survive without it- but since daily life for most of us offers so many other thirst quenching options, there needs to be a reminder from time to time of this wonderful green, organic, healthy, frugal substance.

I’ve seen people where I work that manage to drink only coffee (many cups of it though) throughout a full 9-10 hours of work, and wonder why they are jumpy, their eyes twitch from time to time, their skin looks tired and they have head-aches or even migraines.

Some of my family  lived for years on diet coke or Pepsi and forget that plain simple water even exists. this is not only a questionable choice health wise- but I think there is no place for questions and the answer is quite clear on the frugal side of this matter. this is why they stopped and began drinking water.

By the way- those family members understood that drinking too much soda is not exactly recommended for young children, but had  a hard time trying to implement no diet soda rules on their children while they were deep into the habit of it…

So I gathered some of my tips and tricks- that work quite well at our home:

*The first tip I have to enhance your water consumption is quite simple – just carry water with you at all times.

When fresh water is accessible you will drink more.

If you are (like me) an ice-cold water drinker- then arrange for your refillable water bottle to be constantly filled with fresh cold water, and don’t be lazy about refilling it.

*In the winter time- get some fresh lemon-grass or mint leaves -or ginger with lemon- put in a glass near you and keep it filled with hot water all the time. 

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(mint leaves in my garden).

I found out that no matter how much I drink at work, I tend to finish my 1 liter bottle on my way back home, especially on hot days.

*This is why before going home, I make a stop at the water cooler and fill my refillable water bottle.

*By the way I carry my water bottle with me every where- on long- and even short rips.

You never know when you’ll be thirsty.

This tip has saved me from so many situations of being terribly thirsty/having to spend too much money on bottled water.

But isn’t it boring? water water water all the time?

I drink 2 cups of coffee a day, and no diet soda, ( I do drink an occasional glass of sparkling water -with or without lemon in it) ,but sometimes I want a change, something different to drink.

In the afternoon I always drink a glass of hot water with 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar– the organic type”with mother “(that sounds horrible by the way- who wants to drink the poor vinegar’s mother???).

This is something I read long ago in a book about “life after 50”.  I only turned 50 now but I think you already understood that I like to be prepared, so I implemented some healthy changes to my diet before actually turning 50, and I must say that I think they work pretty well. the acv is supposed to be very healthy for you- read online if you wish.

Another one of the changes  I made was -surprise- to drink more water.

This I believe to have helped my skin look better ( some might say “glowing” but I have no idea where those people are).

Drinking more water has helped me lose weight, feel good during and after exercise . I forgot to mention that before I start any exercise I fill my 1 liter bottle with ice-cold water and only then I start working out- and yes- that also applies to yoga sessions. some might think- why bother- I almost never sweat doing yoga so why fill my water bottle- but this is a huge mistake- yoga takes a toll on your body, a good one of course but still one that calls for a good drink of water during- and afterwards.

I mean this is my opinion- as usual- do whatever you want. but why not drink water? its healthy, tasty, frugal- what are the downsides of it?

There is another tip concerning water I found out.

*When I am stressed -on the verge of developing a panic attack or a stress headache I quickly go and grab a glass or two of water.

I’ve found this to be very helpful.

you are welcome.

Another tip I use- is when at home, after my shower getting settled to read – I pour 2 glasses of hot water infused with tea leaves or ginger&lemon to this glass bottle I got for myself, and sip those glasses ( I  often fill it up a couple of times more) before going to bed.

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Relaxing +a way to ensure I drank enough water and wasn’t distracted by anything or misled to think I am not thirsty by air condition in the summer or cold weather in the winter.

enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

yoga! yoga? what the **** is crow pose???

This is a crow.

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I mean- fine. so he is standing on his 2 feet and looking at you.

There I was, doing really good on my (great!) down dog yoga app ( My 7 days a week exercize routine- all for 30$ a month (!?)). moving up the ladder from beginner 2 to intermediate 1: when all of a sudden this crow pose was born, along with  its evil twin- lolasana.

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This- is crow pose in yoga, apparently.

Looking at the first picture above, I saw an innocent crow just standing there, minding its own business, not jumping or straining his arms or quads, as shown in picture 2. what happened?

I tried looking on-line for explanations all I found were instructions on how to get yourself to this strange situation where your whole bodyweight lies somewhere between your knees and your elbows.

instructions -how to do crow pose

At first- I was deeply discouraged. this looked so hard and I felt I could never do this.

If you are expecting me to say that I nailed those poses a week later (or by now) well I didn’t. I am still scared of those poses . but now I am looking at them as a chance to improve. as a challenge.

I believe There is no point in exercising if there is no progress.

Like everything else in life- since time keeps going forward at the same pace’ if you are not progressing you are in fact- going back.

So now this is my yoga goal: to nail those 2 difficult poses and be a proud crow.

Other then that- if anyone is mistaking yoga to be an easy stretching ‘feminine” thing for “after  long run” or “after a long weight lifting session at the gym”- well- speaking only from my experience- this is a practice to be respected by itself as a whole body- mind-strength-flexibility-core engaging exercise.

I feel new parts of my body I didn’t know existed, I feel stronger, more flexible, and on saturday, my swim welt easier somehow.

This great yoga app is free, and very user friendly, and why go on any further- just try it. grab a mat. (as usual- no affiliated anything or money made from promoting this. I simply like it. a lot.)

down dog app

enjoy- the cooliflower.

 

 

 

 

Living in a (fairly )small house and how I upgraded my toilet for (almost) 0$

We live in a fairly small home.

117 square meters. we have a nice big garden that we had no intention of destroying in order to build more rooms so we can accumulate more stuff.

We have 3 children we raised for most of their lives in this small house. 2 of them are now grown-ups – my eldest has a partner and a home of her own, and the other one is traveling now and has other plans than coming back home to live with us.

Which is great in my opinion.

I know many young people move back home after college in order to save some money , and I personally think this is a very bad idea.

Before you start screaming that I am an egoistic b**** that doesn’t care about her kids and their difficulties-I believe that is not the case.

I care deeply for my kids, and make a great effort to save money that will help them get education and a good start on a home.

However- I also believe that a grown child should try to live on his/her own-for their sake- for their parent’s sake-and for the relationship between them and their parent’s sake.

I believe that once they are grown and have left home for college /university, going back home is a regression, and I generally don’t favour regression in life.

On the other hand’ dealing with the difficulties of living on their own- both mentally and financially is a very important life skill that they must develop if they ever want to live apart from their parents.

It is one thing if this regression is imposed on you- then buckle up and get your act together to deal with the situation, but the wish to save some money at the expense of your parents is -in my opinion- a cognitive decision and not a force major.

Other than financial skills- I think once a child grows up and develops some kind of freedom from his parents-having to go back home however free minded and non-demanding his parents may be- old patterns sneak back, can’t avoid them. you have built a relationship for so many years in which there is a very clear distinction between “parents”- and “children” in which the parents are responsible for their childrens wellbeing-food-clothing-education- and the children are expected to respect the house rules . when leaving home for the first time- this distiction didn’t actually change- so once going back home after college-the family is retreating to the old situation- from chores to cleaning the young adult’s room…

This is not a very liberating situation for someone who has already felt the sweet smell of freedom from house rules and the need (totally unnecessary to him/her) to clean their room. having to bring friends -and romantic dates-to your parents house- is awkward to say the least. again- this is my own opinion- and I respect frugal reasons very much but there is a limit to frugality in my opinion- and I draw the line where freedom (or lack of) is involved.

From the parent’s side I can say that I couldn’t wait for my son to get on the plane before I confiscated his room (here is the post explaining why and how :The second birthday present I gave myself. (part 2)

Raising my kids was- and is- a very rewarding and enriching experience, I love them dearly and deeply, but a parent that tells you it wasn’t difficult is either lying or a total saint- or a true hippie parent- I am none of those three .

I believe many parents find themselves waiting for the peace and quiet of a children-free house after long years of having to be responsible and available for them and cleaning after and maintaining a larger family- teenagers are known to be food monsters and dirty creatures that always have time for their friends but seldom take out the trash- even if this is their only house chore…

(Ok that was harsh and unjust . I know. my oldest child wasn’t anything like that. but my second one was-is , and I must tell you that from talking to other parents I hear this is the situation at their house too).

I am aware there is a syndrome specific for parents that find it difficult to let go of their grown up children leaving home- (empty nest anyone?) but sorry- not here.

ok so how did I upgrade my toilet room? (I know there is no real connection between the subjects unless anyone is going to be really mean here.. )

As you can see this is a very small- you might call it minimalistic- toilet room. nothing fancy, of course.

I asked my partner to hang a wooden shelf and he used a piece of wood he had in his shed, I took some candles I got a long time ago, washed them up (yes with soap and hot water -does a great job cleaning them) , spread some smooth pebbles I had in my garden, a vase full of flowers I picked (read here how I get my flowers every friday: Why I bring myself flowers every friday (and how I do it frugally!) added a spray bottle full of water +a few drops of dr bronner’s tea tree castile soap (great smell and a great natural cleaner- very expensive but little does go a long way with this stuff!) and voila.

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No need to neglect this room and stuff it with newspapers or cleaning supplies. every one who uses the bathroom sprinkles that soap-scented water -it cleans the toilet handles and keeps the room smelling nice and fresh.

told you-(almost) zero cost.

enjoy- the cooliflower.

Can you always be prepared?

I am a control freak.

Plain and simple. ok maybe it’s not that simple but there it is.

*I am also an introvert, which in my experience complicates things even more, since I rely only on myself to help myself-and have a great deal of trouble asking anyone for help.

(I can prove I am a qualified introvert- read here how: 5 reasons why being an introvert is actually beneficial -and a useful tip)

I am absolutely positively sure that being prepared can save you from getting into trouble many times, and get you out of the trouble you got into- on the occasions trouble wasn’t prevented in the first place .

Ok maybe that was (a bit of) an exaggeration- “keep you out of trouble and get you out of it ” but it can definitely help you prevent many of life’s “misfortunes” -which many times have nothing to do with the god/goddess(?) of fortune- but mere lack of preparation on our side.

Getting to the airport and discovering your passport is missing/expired/no visa, going shopping and forgetting your wallet at home, forgetting to take your packed lunch to work and eating junk hence having zero wish to exercise afterwards, forgetting to take b12 (hi vegans! ) and after a few months feeling weaker, eating junk and gaining weight, not exercising and getting out of shape- I think by now you probably got the general idea.

Actions (or lack of) have consequences.

You spend your time searching ebay and amazon- fine. enjoy. that is your money to spend therefore your privilege to do whatever you wish to do with it.

The only privilege I think you do not have– is the privilege of being surprised/annoyed that you are not saving a dime and your early retirement is but a distant dream and might stay a dream.

Being prepared has many sides to it- in this post I want to examine the (frugal!!) point of preparing your medicine cabinet.

I have a general dislike for medicine, hospitals, illness and bad health in general.

I am sure there is more than one person who agrees with me on this particular subject.

Being an introvert + a control freak does not make this easier. surprise I know.

Why? because as I said I do not like to rely on anyone but myself to take care of me -and being unhealthy kind of makes you dependent on your family, doctors, and pills . the situation is out of my control.

I believe eating healthy, exercising, resting , sleeping, drinking water ,keeping your environment clean and getting checked once a year on all important parameters ( blood works, obgyn (for ladies, naturally ) , oral hygiene and any special tests you require according to your age and personal situation)- and generally taking good care of yourself on a regular basis- is a key element in preventing sickness.

But sometimes this is not enough.

For instance- the flu is spreading in your office and people just had to come to work and spread the virus all around instead of staying home and resting ( where I live justified sick days are always payed for so really people there is absolutely no excuse for this behaviour- you do understand that the person in who’s office you just sneezed might go home and infect his kids too, and they might infect their teacher -who might infect his/her children- and so forth-just go rest ).

I also have family members who don’t mind using conventional medicine whenever -so we have a medicine drawer.

In the past this was a mess, a mixture of new and expired medicine, and every time we went to the doctor’s and got a prescription for anything- we went straight to the pharmacy and bought it- since we had no idea whether we had that medicine at home or not.

Also when a child suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with a fever or an ear ache- it took a few frantic minutes to find the right medicine and to check- blurry eyed (in the middle of the night) if it had passed it’s expiration date or not…

Do yourself a time saving-frugal and minimalist favour and organize your medicine cabinet every once in a while.

then make a list of the medicine you have including quantities and keep that list in your bag-or on your phone.No more buying double medicine and extra “just in case we don’t have it at home” expensive medicine. no more over crouded drawers with expired pills and those socks you really love and forgot where you put. no more frantic nights looking for that paracetamol or whatever.

By the way expired medicine should be taken back to the pharmacy and disposed off there. they have special bins for that.

This picture is the result of my suddenly remembering to go through my medicine cabinet last week. the drawer is a 14-year-old Ikea drawer , repainted by us a few years ago-looking at it closely now maybe its time to repaint…

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I know the subject of preparing ahead is a huge topic and not an easy one to tackle.

I addressed the very specific angle of “medicine cabinet preparation” but we are all aware that preparation has to do with everything happening in our lives-not only specific mild illness, but our whole attitude towards life- our well-being, our family relations, our romantic relations, our work, our money management, life in general.

For a control freak like me, accepting that there a some (ok many) things that being prepared cannot prevent is difficult.

This , for me, means that the level of control I have over my life is limited, meaning things might happen to me or to my loved ones, that I will not be able to manage .

I might fail in overcoming those things, and failing is not supposed to happen to me. I try so hard to prepare for everything, I try to be a good person, I worry about things going wrong and make long to do lists trying to prevent those possible catastrophes, why shouldn’t I succeed?

Well- because this is just the way it is.

The school of life-a very successful you tube channel led by the philosopher Alain de bouton has a great episode on this subject exactly. why none of us can ever escape catastrophes.

click on the link :school of life.

another great episode explains the philosophic concept of stoicism: school of life on stoicism.

enjoy- the cooliflower.

My 7 days a week exercize routine- all for 30$ a month (!?)

Wait -please don’t jump on me shouting “what?? 7 days a week?? what about rest days? at least 2 of those every week!” and all that. I am well aware -and by the way so should every one be- over exercising is very bad for you- please consult with your physician before going about any exercise, and please remember my disclaimer here. I am no doctor and not a certified anything ( not entirely true- I am a lawyer -but that has nothing to do with the topic of exercise so).

My exercise routine is what my body endures at this moment. this can change any day -or even today for that matter.

I cannot sit quietly for long, my body loves to move, so after a lot of thinking, trial and many  errors, I understood that versatile mild exercise every day of the week is what my body reacts best to.

So If your body is different- and everybody’s body is different-and even if your body is not different at all– make your own choices and decisions– this is why we are born with that brain of ours- and we all know that owning something and not using it is not minimalistic. at all.

Back to the point:

I used to run quite a lot- I did 5 half marathons and the training towards those was not easy on my body. my lower back showed signs of disagreement and I became sick with all kinds of flues and colds and what not.

Not acceptable.

Exercise is made to make you feel better not the opposite. so-finally a few years ago I understood I needed to find out what is good for me– at my age and physical condition.

*I am now 50 and in good condition. because I haven’t retired yet I will not enclose a picture of myself- but in my humble opinion I look good- and saying this is a true improvement for me- after having suffered from eating disorders throughout my youth , and years of being dissatisfied with how I looked (no matter how I actually looked- everybody has “good times bad times” as led zeppelin say- but for years- actually up untill becoming vegan 5 years ago- I was never really pleased with the way I look.

Ok back to my exercise routine:

So lately Iv’e found this great (and free!!!) app for vinyasa yoga. click on the link and thank me later: down dog yoga app

This app has 2 lovely voice narrators- male and female (hi carlos!) , 5 difficulty levels , 3 adjustment options ( focus on flexibility, on aerobic and no focus) -for free- and I understand there are more options if you go pro- but I haven’t finished enjoying the free version yet .also there are a few options for the exercise itself- full yoga class- including warm up and warm down, just the sequences and yoga flow- the hardcore no warm up or down exercise. I tried only the whole class- I just really like it so why fix it if it ain’t broken? so to speak.

Get a mat and get ready to enjoy your workout-the app has yoga classes from 20 min to 90 min (!) choose what you like according to your day and situation.

so this is sunday to thursday.

friday is my easy 4 to 5 k jogs. I need to keep my energy for cooking and cleaning afterwards and on the way I pick my flowers : Why I bring myself flowers every friday (and how I do it frugally!)

Saturday is my swimming day. this is the only exercise I do that costs me money- admission fee to the pool is about 8 $ an entrance so around 32$ a month.I swim for an hour- 40 laps- 2 k.

I put great music on : read why here- How Metallica stepped up my game at the pool this morning

*(this morning it was dio and Richie Blackmore with “rainbow”- go listen if you don’t know this rock-metal band: great music I promise. )

The thing is by the time I finish my post swim shower I am famished. and I still have a 30 minute drive back home plus food prep time. ahhhhh the agony.

Well no more. I prepare ahead and freeze a protein shake: 1 frozen banana or apple,(here is an example- I know there are a few bananas here)

FROZEN BANANAS

1 date ( again- I am aware there are more than one in this picture -just to show off these medjhool dates that’s all)

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, 1/2 glass of soy milk, 1/2 glass of water, 1 scoop of vegan protein powder- 20180419_105122

this is the result. I add my homemade granola and flax seeds- and a spoon- and eat when I’m done showering .

 

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I admit this is the only type of exercise that gets me that famished. the others get me hungry but not like a wolf. (oh come on- “duran duran”? 80’s?)

enjoy life and enjoy exercising- using your body is a great way to make you smile! (and therefore beautiful).

the cooliflower.

 

 

Why I bring myself flowers every friday (and how I do it frugally!)

I believe everyone loves flowers-right?

I mean- beautiful (have you ever seen a flower and looked away? even those scary “little shop of horrors” type are interesting to look at, not that I come across those every day, or at any day for that matter-wow that brought up memories of that campy movie- “feed me seymour!”.* If you haven’t the faintest idea of what I’m talking about- go check out this absurd frank oz creation, it’s a cult movie, definitely).

Anyway, assuming there is no dispute about the beauty of flowers, and I’m guessing no need to convince anyone that surrounding yourself by beautiful things is a great way to get you to smile and be happy- I’m guessing even the strictest minimalist would agree- though I truly have no clue since I know not that person, and what he/she might like /dislike, so.

So why devote a whole post on this undisputed subject?

Because there were (many) years I was under the gender-twisted notion that I’m supposed to sit and wait for someone to get me those flowers as a sign of love or gratitude or whatever.

Well thankfully no more. It took me 50 years of being around to realize that I know exactly what I like, and how I like it, and most importantly- that I can totally get it by myself.

This may seem obvious to ladies /gentlemen who have been living on their own but apart from a very short period in my life (when I got divorced and before my current partner and I got together) I have always lived with someone.

And please do not misunderstand me-

My partner is a great guy and this is not to say “hey read my post and go get me some flowers”- mainly because he doesn’t read my posts but also because I’m trying to make a different point altogether: I have finally reached that age and wisdom (sadly this wisdom in my case came only with age,I hope for you the case will be different) that allow me to be completely sure that I know what kind of flowers I like (hint -not store-bought!!!, another hint-  other than that- I love all flowers), and since we are on the subject I also know what kind of food I like (vegan, home cooked, simple, nutritious and tasty) , what kind of clothes I want to wear, what books I like to read and whether or not I want to watch tv (not. at. all.)I also know what kind of trips I want to take, how I plan to reach early retirement (read my previous post here: Why I want to retire early-and my plan to achieve it

I also know what my finances are about.read here my previous post on :. Why I believe in seperate accounts

Not only do I know all those things (and many more), but finally I have reached the level of confidence that allows me to be so sure of myself that I simply do it. I don’t wait for anyone or anything to happen before I “just do it” as Nike advertises. (I’m not a fan of advertisements but this is a good slogan I must admit).

So I get myself exactly the kind and colour of flowers I fancy that moment.

And this feels great.

So how do I get myself flowers every week the frugal way?

Simple.

I usually go running on friday mornings ( don’t get all excited- a mere easy jog of 4 sometimes 5k, this is kind of my rest day -and also the day I do all my cooking for the week ahead so I need to tread lightly) and approximately in the middle of my route there are huge bushes of bougonvillea- red- white-purple- orange, the lot.

These huge bushes grow along the road in our village and I help myself to a few small branches (from the side, no way I’m breaking the bush itself) and continue running with my small bouquet and a big grin on my face. they are truly colorful and lift me up every time.

*These are a day or two old already. still smashing in my opinion.

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go out there, ladies and gentlemen, pick yourselves some flowers (not endangered or protected flowers, and also please don’t help yourselves to anyones private garden- use your common sense ( and of course abide all laws and state rules where you live- and BE HAPPY!

enjoy- the cooliflower.