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Five Simple Things (April 29)


Here are five things this week.

1. These Prints.

We received foot prints and clay imprints from the veterinary clinic that handled Happy Duck's sudden death. They were so kind and caring when we took Happy to them, and for them to go above and beyond for us means so much. We forever have Happy Duck's little webbed feet and her beak imprint to treasure. We miss her so much; her quacking in the backyard and her curiosity. Ducks are incredibly smart and her breed combination of Mallard and Pekin is a perfect mix and made her one of a kind. We wish she could have been with us a lot longer, but knowing she was in pain gives us a little comfort that she's not hurting anymore. I will add her prints and imprints to the box of keepsakes from our other pets that have passed. We are so grateful that we had five years with Happy Duck. I hope her five years of life were the best!

2. This Box.

Kiwi Eco Box for the month came this week. I am loving everything about this box each month it comes. I love the silicone bowl covers and the soap bar. This is one box I definitely look forward to each month. You can get on the mailing list for next month here.

3. This Smudging.

It's that time of year where it's out with the old and negative in with the new and positive. Smudging is an ancient Native American technique and a lot of people think it's "witchcraft," but really all it is is bundled herbs that are either paired with sage, or wrapped in sage like the one pictured here. It's mostly a ritual, so to speak, that helps us feel a bit more at peace with clearing and cleaning our personal space. You can smudge your home, your car, your office, and even yourself. Smudging is a practice that I like to do once a season, when someone has been sick, or even when I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by negative people, situations, or even to welcome in a new season.

4. This Lesson.

Learning about water displacement and buoyancy in the classroom this week. We used a homemade pirate ship to help with the lesson. Creating fun, interesting ways to help with learning exactly why certain things do what they do, and how they are able to do those particular things is always a fun time for both Skylar and me. Jeff joined us on this lesson and he added to the experiment, as well. Skylar having both of his parents teach him from fourth grade to his senior year has been a great thing for him in his education. I always wish I had been able to have a better educational approach to my learning, but I am glad I am able to give that to Skylar and allow him to learn in a different way than "by the book," "don't ask questions"-type of learning. And, don't you dare fall behind mentality of the public education system. Public schooling works for a lot, many people even, but for us, and given how my education was, our homeschool classroom has been great for all of us. You can follow what we're doing in our little classroom at the Rain Valley Red Snails link at the top of this blog, or here.

5. These Meals.

Breakfast for dinner one night and avocado toast were a couple of our meals this week. I hate cooking so much, so it's always nice when someone else takes on that task, especially when you can have a hot, home cooked meal. And, the avocado toast was the first time I've ever tried it. I have to say, not bad. It really does live up to all the hype.

Positive affirmations this week:

Selfcare is something a lot of us seem to neglect in ourselves. As I get older I realize just how much selfcare and downtime was missing from my life as I grew up. Especially in a world where we are always forced to go go go and never stop, it seems that mentality is causing a lot of havoc on us as we age. There is no shame in taking care of yourself in a way where you aren't constantly having to pour from an empty cup. Along with basic selfcare there are a few things you could be lacking in that process. Although, selfcare is a learned behavior and must be done in a way that works for you and your life. Someone else's selfcare may not be the same as yours and vice versa. Here are some other selfcare tips that could be beneficial for you.

  1. Replace all conventional personal care and cleaning products in your home with toxic-free products. It's best to actually use up what you already have and as you replace them, go for more toxic-free, or better yet, organic products that are packaged in containers that are better for the planet and yourself.
  2. Trach nonstick pans and plastic food containers; opt for cast iron, stainless steel, and ceramic pans, and store food in glass. To add to this, if you are using plastic containers over and over again, they aren't single-use. Make sure to opt for BPA-free and plastics that can be recycled once their life is done. There are also other containers that are great for storing food in. Although, glass is the best, there's also bees wax wraps, stainless steel, and compostable plastic wrap and bags. Whatever works best for your lifestyle, make that choice.
  3. Drink filtered water from systems such as reverse osmosis. This is definitely a plus. Reverse osmosis is the best way to remove a lot of contaminates found, especially in tap water, but it also gives the best tasting water, in my opinion. And, you deserve clean water to drink.
  4. Breathe clean air with HEPA filters. This is to guarantee that you're giving your body the best air that you can. Breathing clean oxygen is important for your brain function, skin, and organs. HEPA filters are best, especially if you have indoor pets. With our dog and cat being inside at night we make sure to keep our HEPA air filter going all night and into the morning. You deserve clean air.
  5. Passively sweat with sauna sessions. One things is true, if you can do one thing every day that makes you sweat you will be able to release toxins through that sweat. Especially, toxins that have built up in your body. The skin is our largest organ and sweating is our bodies way of, not only regulating body temperature, but also a way for us to remove too many toxins that we come into contact with every day. If you can't get into a sauna, a hot bath, or hot tub, or spending time outside working up a sweat with exercise. Your body and you will benefit with each session of sweating.

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (April 22)

 Hello. Happy Earth Day! Find Earth Day tips here and here.

Here are five things this week.

1. This Easter.

We had a pretty nice Easter and spent the day at home just enjoying the day. Even though Skylar is older now, we still enjoy seeing his face when he comes down the stairs and sees his Easter basket. I was also surprised by the bouquet of flowers and the little moth bag I had wanted. It was a good day!

2. This Weather.
We randomly had sleet fall this week on two separate days. The sun was out shortly before one downfall and it caught us off guard completely. The poor ducks didn't know what to do with it and it was fun to watch them explore the yard through all of the sleet on the ground. The pellets didn't last long, though and once it warmed up again it melted off pretty quickly. We are so ready for summer.

3. These Boxes.

Might Nest this week was something I've never seen before. The first picture is of the Might Fix and it was a set of three bamboo tongs. We love practical and functional items and these are definitely something we will use frequently. You can sign up for Might Nest here.
The second picture is of the new products from Dae, an Amber Fillerup-owned company. I love her hair line and even more the hair oils and deep conditioners. The set pictured is available here and it includes shampoo and conditioner set, a comb, monsoon deep conditioner, and positive mantra cards. The Prickly Pear Hair Oil is available here and it's amazing! I love using it after we've surfed and the smell is great!

4. This Moment

The backup camera in my car is a lot of fun sometimes. It's kind of spoiling me when I backup, but seeing someone I know appear in the camera is really cool.

5. This Moth

I've taken a liking to moths lately, so I was thrilled to see this Plume Moth on our front door this week. It didn't seem to be scared of me, but I respected it and didn't touch it. I love how it can fold its wings so close that it forms a T when it lands.

Positive affirmations this week:


There's so many benefits from getting outside and spending time in nature. On a personal level getting outside has helped me a great deal in my mental health and mental illness battles. If I could stay barefooted all year long with my feet in green grass, my body in water, sun on my face, and my hands in dirt, I would be happier. Unfortunately, we can't be constantly outside, but when the seasons change, make it a plan to spend at least two hours a day doing something in nature. Here are some statistics to get you motivated to spend more time outside:

  1. Time in nature decreases anxiety and negative thinking, and lowers levels of depression and stress.
  2. Outdoor activity improves both mental and physical well-being more than indoor activity.
  3. Time in nature helps to decrease high blood pressure.
  4. Diabetics who spend more time in nature are more physically active and shore better blood sugar control.
  5. Time in nature is associated with better cognitive development in schoolchildren. 
  6. The closer you are to green space, the less you suffer from cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, mental health, respiratory, neurological, and digestive diseases. (Source: Park Rx America)

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (April 15)


Here are five things this week.

1. This Syrup.

We are kind of secret syrup lovers in our house. Any syrup in a cool bottle, or is different and out of the norm we have to buy it and try it. This Bourbon-Barrel-Aged maple syrup was interesting. Good, but interesting. You can pick a jar up here.

2. This Kitty.

Always by my side.

3. This Tulip.

I found this interesting. A water source along the street and a blooming tulip beside it. Wonder if the tulip actually gets any water from that source?

4. This Goodbye.

Said goodbye to Happy duck this week. We took her to get cremated along with Rosie and Ro-Ro. We had previously buried Rosie and Ro-Ro and decided to get them all cremated at the same time, so we can take them with us when we move. It was a very sad day and rest of the week for us. Skylar wore a small black feather from Happy Duck on his nametag at work all day. He was having a hard time with it, but as we went into the weekend we talked about her and the other two a lot. It helped us process it better. We miss them so much and we especially miss Happy Duck's presence in the yard. Ducks make great pets and they can even be trained. The only downfall is, they don't live long enough. But, can't that be said for every one and everything that is alive; just not long enough.

5. This Floor.

We recently had a major issue in our bathroom and the entire floor next to the bathtub completely fell through. We knew the flooring was getting bad, but we had no idea it was this bad. We could see straight through the hole to the ground under the house. It was a bad situation, but a construction company in town came out the same day and had it all repaired in under six hours. We ended up getting the entire floor relayed and I am loving the transformation. The company replaced the baseboards, too and all we have set next to do is paint and do a bit of work around the bathtub. Overall, we are completely thrilled with it and our next task is to paint the room and bring it all together. You can see below how bad the floor was and the process of repairing it all.

More to come on this bathroom soon...

Positive affirmations this week:

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (April 8)


Here are five things this week.

1. These Boxes.

Our garden boxes are getting an overhaul this week. We first added the metal brackets to the side to further enforce the sides and we are also going to give them a black stain coat on the wood. We are looking forward to a reset on these boxes and to start a new growing season on the right foot. More on this to come soon.

2. This Meal.

We are making more and more meals at home lately, well for the past year, actually. We are enjoying experimenting with a lot of different things that we haven't made before. This plate is a great example of our "at home" meals. We were quite pleased with this one, and everything on this plate is 100% USDA organic; even the bread.

3. This Catnip.

Eleven is loving her treats of catnip from time to time. She is such a funny and cool cat. Check out the above videos to watch the catnip craziness. 

4. This Box.

This week's Misfits Market haul. We are just loving this grocery delivery service. This entire haul here was under $200. We have saved so much by using Misfits Market and you can sign up for their service here and use code: COOKWME-JB2ROZYPHAD at checkout and get $10 off your first box.

5. This Waste.

We haven't drank the water in our city in about three years now. We used to use a water delivery service, but stopped that, as well and started filling our own water bottles. We travel to Corvallis and fill four five-gallon jugs and one three gallon. The water fill that we use only gives five gallon and one gallon options on the machine. After filling our five gallons I pushed it again out of habit. Wasting all of the two gallons of water that the machine poured out in my mistake. *sigh* This was the first time I've made this mistake, but I will definitely not repeat it.

Positive affirmations this week:

Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things (April 1)

 Hello. Happy April Fool's Day.

Here are five things this week.

1. This Oil.

I've been using a lot of lavender oil lately, the Lavandula angustifolia variety to be exact, in order to help with my anxiety and sleeping habits. My go-to brand of essential oils is PranarĊm because of the quality of the oils. Lavender helps in slight anxious conditions and situations, and it definitely does help relax your mind at the end of the day in order to get more restful sleep. You can get this same lavender oil here.

2. This Sunset.

Sometimes the sunsets here really hit me right in the heart. I like to refer to these sunsets with the pink as Meierzsky, in honor of my sweet little Meia and her pink nose, and paws. I feel like sometimes when I see this pink at night, especially after a very hard day, it's her saying, "You can do this. I am thinking of you. You are loved, and I miss you."

3. These Boxes.

The first box is Might Nest and as I always say, I love this box. You can snag the May Mightyfix here. Kiwi Eco Box is the second one and again, never disappointed with this box either. You can grab the May Kiwi Eco Box here. And, the last two pictures are of Kinder Box. I haven't been getting this box long, but I have yet to be disappointed in it. Skylar and I have been focusing on Self-Care-Sundays and this box really is a hit on those days. Really looking forward to trying out the lip scrub and face scrub this coming Sunday. You can get May's box here.

4. These Meals.

We've been embracing cooking at home more and more lately. We've noticed a big difference in our money savings and the quality of the food. The top on is a take on a dipping sandwich, but instead of the oil dip, it's vegan cheese. The bottom image is our homemade take on a fast food breakfast sandwich. It's Dave's Killer Bread English Muffins, Horizon Organic American Cheese, organic eggs, and Beeler's Sausage. Both meals were absolutely delicious!

5. These Workouts.

ICE-T joined up with Cheerios to bring four Heart Healthy workouts to help keep you motivated. You can find the QR code on select, Heart Healthy Cheerios boxes, but here's a link to them, too.
Workout 1: Walk On
Workout 2: Feel the Stretch

Positive affirmations this week:

Have a nice weekend.