In Case You Were Wondering…

This is me lately…

overthinking

I am prone to a bit of overthinking on any given day but lately, it’s escalated to a ridiculous degree.

With our upcoming move in late May/early June, we have a swarm of details to coordinate. I say ‘we’ lightly. I do a lot of the coordinating. Don does the heavy lifting when it comes to physically moving things, loading the truck, doing the driving, etc. Oh, yeah, we are planning to do it all ourselves. All 2,678 miles, give or take some miles depending on route.

In addition to the move, we are attempting to buy our first house. 2,678 miles away from our current location. We have a trip planned to visit and tour houses in person soon, hoping beyond hope that we will find ‘the one’ and be able to make an offer that is accepted, and that we’ll close in time with our physical trip with the moving truck approximately 45 days later. Talk about hoping the stars align and miracles happen.

We’ve also recently decided to bring the cats with us when we fly up to look at houses. This should help alleviate a lot of headache while packing, loading, and driving later. No having to find pet friendly hotels along the way, no worries about cats breaking out of vehicles or strange hotel rooms in strange places, or busting out on us while packing up and cleaning the old apartment. But it’s adding a lot of other worries and details to flying the cats – which we’ve never done before. New territory all around! Yippee. (Please let it go smoothly, please let it go smoothly.)

Olli in carrier

Here’s Olli making himself at home in his new in-flight travel carrier. It’s really encouraging to see him so accepting of it!

Milo-Carrier

Milo on the other hand, plays outside his, but he’s smart. He KNOWS what it’s for and isn’t going in there unless he has to.

So, amongst all these fast approaching activities, my thoughts look something like this:

  • Will we have issues with airport security? Will they make us take the cats out of the carriers?
  • Remember to make a list of all the things to bring (and buy) to help ease the stress: a piece of well-worn clothing that smells like us, some toys, their (small) beds, Rescue Remedy, Comfort Zone pheromone spray, extra sedatives, wee wee pads for accidents…is this all going to fit in our suitcases/carry-ons/in the carrier?!! (And list done. Check.)
  • What if we find a house and the financing doesn’t work out? I’m super nervous about the loan panning out.
  • How are we going to eat all the food (frozen meat = DEER) in the freezer before we move? I suppose we’ll give away what we don’t… Mental note: don’t buy new meat. Eat what we have!
  • Make another appointment to get the cats checked for their health certificates shortly before the trip.
  • Remember to get a VA certification letter. Figure out how to get a VA certification letter.
  • Remember to be checking job listings! (Anyone need someone with fantastic, and varied, administrative, financial, and editorial skills in Kitsap County, Washington? Check me out on LinkedIn. Seriously, if anyone knows of any opportunities they could refer to me, I’d be ever so grateful.)
  • Should I be packing tonight? What else can I pack this early? What else do we not need or use regularly? What can I pack and not make our home seem completely dull and minimalist? Does that even matter? LOL More boxes packed now means less later.
  • What should I be doing?! Am I wasting time today being unproductive?
  • What about all the things that need to get accomplished at work? Will I be able to finish it all? Will I be leaving them in a bind on anything? How will I fit it all in??!!
  • I am going to miss so many people…how do I spend meaningful time with them with such little time left?
  • We still need to pick a rental truck company…an auto shipping company…
  • How do I keep up the blog? Do I even try or just take a break?
  • Stop fretting about things you can’t control!!! Just make lists and take things one at a time.

themomentI’m trying. Really. I am.

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.
~ Anatole France

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Natural Dishwasher Gel

As a follow-up to my last post about chemical free hand soap and dish soap, here’s what I like best for dishwasher gel.

seventhgeneration

It is a biodegradable formula that is chlorine-free and phosphate-free. Also, not tested on animals and made in the USA. Boom! Hits all my high points. Need a little more? The bottle is ALSO made from recycled plastic and is recyclable. The price is reasonable and you can find it online, on the Seventh Generation website, Amazon, in many local stores.

There’s not a lot else to say. It gets the job done, smells good, and has all the qualities I look for in an eco-friendly product. If you’re looking for an alternative to the phosphate-laden chemical product you’ve been using for years and you didn’t realize was harming the environment as well as possibly harming you, then here’s a great option to try for your dishwasher.

**Please note, I have not been compensated in any way for my opinion on this product; I simply like to share my product experiences with others in the hopes of exposing people to new ideas and products.

The supreme reality of our time is …the vulnerability of our planet.
~ John F. Kennedy

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Natural and Chemical-Free Hand Soap and Dish Soap

It took me a long time to find product replacements for our hand soap and dish soap. (Dishwasher soap coming in a future post.) It is easy to find natural bars of soap but I tried buying a soap dish and replacing the liquid hand soap with a bar soap. It’s still sitting there, barely used, staring me in the face. Every. Day. (Maybe I should just take it off the sink already. LOL) I don’t know about you, but there’s just something about liquid soap for washing your hands quickly at the sink.

After much looking at brands and prices online, this is what I thought I’d try, and I LOVE them!

earthfriendlyproducts

I ordered the hand soap first and was instantly pleased so I branched out to the dish soap as well. The dish soap is highly concentrated so not much is needed and it lasts a good long time. Both soaps are:

  • plant based
  • not tested on animals
  • made in the USA
  • free from formaldehyde, petrochemicals, GMOs, phosphates, chlorine, and ammonia
  • are biodegradable and come in recyclable plastic
  • and they smell wonderful (they have other scents to choose from; I just like the Pear and Lavendar myself.)

If you’re looking for chemical-free options for your home, I highly recommend these and the Earth Friendly Products brand. Read more about the company here. You can find their products on Amazon and in a number of local stores. Just use their retail locator on their website to find something in your area.

**I have not been compensated in any way for my opinions on these products; I simply like to share my product experiences with the intent of introducing others to new or different ideas and products.

Approximately 72 percent of the waste currently being landfilled or incinerated consists of materials that could be put to higher and better use through recycling or composting. Most of this material is office paper, cardboard, non-recyclable paper, and food waste.
~ Minnesota Office of Environmental Assistance

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Movie Monday – Gravity, Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Two OUTSTANDING movies this past week.

Image courtesy of IMDb

Image courtesy of IMDb

I  was skeptical of Gravity. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to watch it. I’m so glad we gave it a chance. It really surprised me. I thought it was going to just be Bullock’s character floating, untethered for the whole movie. There’s definitely a lot more to it than that. However, I can’t really say much more because I’d hate to give anything away for anyone else. Suffice to say, everyone was right, it is an outstanding film. Definitely one for everyone to see.

Image courtesy of IMDb

Image courtesy of IMDb

Captain America: The Winter Soldier was mind-blowingly awesome. There is so much action it’s hard to process everything because it just keeps going, and going, and going. (In a good way.) Don’t ask me why because I LOVE all the Marvel movies but I was a little ho-hum about seeing this installment. Maybe it was because I kept away from the trailers and didn’t build up the usual sense of anticipation. Regardless, the movie was EPIC. So incredibly good, lots of twists, turns, and surprises. We really enjoyed it. And, if you haven’t seen it yet, remember to stay for the teaser clip after the credits. ;-)

Matt Kowalski: Half of North America just lost their Facebook.
~ Gravity, 2013

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Still Loving Our Safety Razors

It’s been almost a year since we switched from conventional, disposable razors to the old school shaving method with safety razors. It was one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. We’ve saved a ton of waste in the form of disposable blades and shavers over the past year and I’m certain we’ve saved money through the entire venture too.

For those new to my blog, this is what safety razors look like:

IMG_8602

We bought both shavers, the stand, bowl, brush, 3 soaps, and extra blades, all for $160 last May. Don has barely scratched the surface of his soap supply (see below), even though he shaves every day, and we have TONS of extra blades left (top of photo below.)

shavesoaps

Soaps and brush from Seattle Sundries – http://seattlesundries.com/

$160 might seem like a lot of money towards shaving but look at the average prices for just a couple of conventional razors and the blades:

$9 Schick Hydro 5 razor for men (this is one of the few that has less expensive blades than some)
$27 for 12 blade refills (not recyclable BTW)
$2.50-$3 per can of shave gel/cream (also full of chemicals and synthetic compounds) [double that if you're buying women's shave cream as well]
$9 Schick Intuition for women
$42 for 12 blade refills (also not recyclable)

These numbers can add up fairly quickly. Depending on how quickly you go through your blades and shave cream(s), you might be upwards of $100/yr for the disposable method. We often found ourselves replacing the shaver itself after a year or so too for one reason or another – and all of that stuff goes right in the landfill. :-(

Our stainless steel safety razors are longer lasting and the blades are recyclable (check your local rules). The soaps from Seattle Sundries are all natural and Don highly recommends them for shaving for men. I use natural-made soaps as well: Grandma’s Lye Soap, all natural soaps by Kreationzbyme on Etsy, and Dr. Bronner’s Magic Pure Castille Liquid Soaps, to name a few that have worked for me.

Yes, it took us both a little bit of time to adjust to the new razors. We both had to re-learn how to shave, just a little bit. But now that it’s commonplace for us both, we whip through our shaving routine just as quickly as we did before and our safety razors give us a much closer shave than any other. As a women, I’m able to shave all the necessary areas without any problems. I’ve had a couple of nicks but that’s no different from when I used disposables. Truly, I recommend it to everyone out there.

Check out my original post for more links on how to shave old school and I’ve included a few new links below. There are also tons of how-tos on YouTube as well. Just search ‘safety razor’ or ‘safety razor shaving’ to get started. ;-)

People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.
~ John Porter

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Movie Monday – Delivery Man, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Hungover Games

Don wasn’t feeling well this past week so we had a movie marathon one day while I policed his need to drink lots of fluids and eat a liquid diet. I was surprised he agreed to the first two movies, which were my picks, and not surprised at his last choice, which I agreed to, since he wasn’t feeling well. ;-)

Delivery Man was surprisingly full of heart and more plot content than I expected. It was a little long, which somewhat dragged down Don’s overall opinion, but I really, really liked it. Vince Vaughn plays a man who, in his younger days, made numerous donations to a fertility clinic as a means to get by financially. In a freaky turn of events, the clinic ends up giving out WAY too much of his genetic code and as a result, the character learns 20 years later that he is the biological father of 533 children. As a bit of a deadbeat in life, he’s wholly unprepared to deal with the subsequent fallout and the fact that 142 of his children have filed a joint lawsuit to uncover the identity of their natural father. If you like feel-good movies and comedy, I really recommend this one. It’s definitely worth the watch. (Fun fact: I went to school with Chris Pratt. His older brother was in my class. I didn’t know either of them on a personal level but we tread the same halls for 4 years. Kind of fun to think about. BTW, Chris did a great job as supporting role in the movie.)

Everyone already knows that The Wolf of Wall Street, chronicling the rise and fall of Wall Street broker Jordan Belfort, is outstanding and worth a watch. To add our two cents I would say…crap, it’s LONG. And a bit gratuitous with T&A and drugs. Whoa, the drugs. If this movie doesn’t convince people that drugs are TERRIBLE, I don’t know what would. All in all, we agree, it’s a good movie, despite being a little long and drawn out at times. If you’ve seen the movie – has anyone experienced the “sell me this pentactic in an interview? I have. It wasn’t a pen. It was a mechanical pencil and it was for a sales job. Which I got. And then quit about six weeks later. This movie exemplifies everything about why the sales industry does not appeal to me. I can do it. I get how to do it. But so much about sales is about selling people things they don’t need for your own gain. You’ll see a lot of that in the movie. Sales comes in to play in life in so many shapes and forms, it’s almost inescapable. In fact, Don and I hope to engage in a venture later in life that will include an element of sales if we want to succeed. However, we will be selling a luxury to people who have the means and the desire to experience that luxury, not desperately trying to sell add-ons/services/products to people who don’t have the means to pay their current bills. To me it’s a difference of selling things to people that they truly need or want if they come to me and they have those means. I can sell the benefits of a product or service all day long if I feel good about what I’m doing and I’m not taking advantage of the customer for my benefit. Jobs, and lifestyles, like those in the movie simply don’t appeal to me. But watching a bunch of people destroy their own lives in the pursuit of greed and ambition can be somewhat entertaining.

The Hungover Games was tiring, in the sense that The Hunger Games idea is tired. Quit trying to spoof it or re-make it. It was an interesting, unique story that was GREAT the first time. All these spoofs are a bit ridiculous. In The Hungover Games, the makers merged plot lines from The Hangover and The Hunger Games. I don’t even understand how those two can cross paths. And I’ve SEEN the movie. It was not, very, good. I think we laughed about 3 times out loud. And yet, when the credits rolled, Don declared, “That was good!” *eyeroll*

We also finished Season 4 of Archer on Netflix this past week. O.M.G. I LOVE ARCHER! I hate that we have to wait who knows how long again till we can watch Season 5 now. I could seriously watch Archer all, damn, day, long. It’s so freaking funny I can’t stand it. Of all the fabulous off-color, animated comedies, including American Dad, Family Guy, Futurama, Ugly Americans, even South Park, Archer takes the cake in the categories of debauchery, horribleness, and hilarity. Sometimes I wish I had opportunities to say some of the things they say on that show. But that would just be mean. LOL

Sterling Archer: A black astronaut, Cyril. That’s like killing a unicorn!

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