Saturday, March 24, 2012

I've been to London to visit the Queen...

Well, ok...not REALLY. 

The truth is that life happens.

Birth happens.
Then (beautiful, gorgeous, perfect) needy baby happens.

Then foreclosure and moving across town happens.

And THEN... SUDDENLY... it all comes back.  The need to share (too much of) my life with others and create a community here on the interwebs.  I'm in it for reals this time too (famous last words).  I've got some big plans for this little old blog involving all sorts of newness and fun.  My life has CHANGED (and not) since I last spoke to you, dear reader...

Join me?  Again?  

I'd love it if you would.  :D

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Encapsulate your own...

Here's the thing...if you're on any sort of budget (and who isn't these days) and take supplements, whether they be herbal, vitamin, or otherwise, you may be able to save yourself a bunch of money by purchasing your capsules and innards in bulk and just doing it yourself with the help of a capsule filling machine...which can be got fairly cheaply (generally between $10-$15).  We do this with powdered Vitamin C (which you'll see in the pictures that follow) and also with powdered herbs.

Because you KNOW I love showing you the minutia of my daily life, I've included the following series of photos (with some commentary) detailing the general process.

Here's a pic of everything I used, capsules, machine, empty vitamin bottle being recycled to hold the newly encapsulated capsules, powdered Vit. C, two small bowls to hold the capsules once we pulled them apart into bottoms and caps, and a bowl.

Close up of machine, with example of an empty capsule, pulled apart into it's bottom and cap.  The larger bottoms go into the machine part on the left, the smaller caps into the part on the right.

Once the bottom portion is full of into bowl (to catch spills) and pour powdered vitamins over the holes to fill them.

Use the handy, dandy scraper included with your capsule machine to spread the powder evenly over the bottoms.

Once they're full, use the included tamper to tamp down the powder, scrape again, tamp again, scrape again, and tamp a third time.  It is altogether possible that I'm a bit OCD about this step so feel free to tamp and scrape as many times as you deem necessary...

Scrape excess powder back into powdered vitamin container (there is a handy notch in the lower right hand corner of the machine that allows you to do this very that), and then place top of machine (filled with the caps) on top of the bottom part.

The next step I couldn't really take a picture of since it took both hands to do but basically you press down the top part till the machine is flush with the table top and that secures the caps onto the bottoms and when you lift the top off you get these perfect, filled capsules! 

You then push on the top of the top half again and eject the capsules into your bowl, which you can then dump into your vitamin bottle/container of choice.

And voila!  Your very own encapsulated a fraction of the cost of buying them this way. your research and you'll see what I mean.

TIP:  Do this with a friend or willing'll go WAY faster that way.  My almost 5 year old helped me the WHOLE TIME (which kind of surprised me but hey...I went with it) and was invaluable at helping me pull the capsules apart initially, and also filling the bottom portion of the machine.

Happy Encapsulating!!!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Bella Band Love

Ok, so I've found that over the course of my first, and current, pregnancies that I talk about Bella Bands to just about anyone who'll listen.  It follows, then, that I'd create an entire blog post about it...and here it is.

The Bella Band is probably my favorite invention for the pregnant woman.  See, even though we've been raised with the, well intentioned, adage that "pregnancy is's when a woman's body is in full bloom", the truth for the average woman is that it makes you feel frumpy, dumpy, and generally unattractive because you just can't find clothes that (a) fit right or (b) are comfortable.  (Unless, of course, you are blessed with endless resources and can shop at a pea in the pod or another such high end maternity-wear store...I am not blessed with such resources and would venture to guess that most women are not either.)  The Bella Band helps with this in that it allows you to wear your normal clothing for a lot longer than usual (not only the more comfortable choice but the frugal one)...and when you can no longer deny your girth and HAVE to move into maternity helps you feel secure in the fact that you won't be flashing the world your growing belly...unless you have the perfect petite pregnant body in which case by all means, flash away.  I, not being in possession of such a perfect body, am grateful for the coverage and support this wonderful piece of clothing provides.

Here's how it worked for me:

In the beginning of my pregnancy when my pants stopped wanting to close and a hair elastic threaded through the button hole on my jeans no longer did the trick, I wore it folded in half over the top of my pants.  This smoothed away the lumpy quality an unbuttoned jean waistband can take on and really, I was already feeling lumpy enough on my own without that.  Towards the middle of my pregnancy, it continued to work in the same way, only I stopped folding it in half and just drew it up around my whole was just more comfortable that way for me.  Also, by this point, I was in my (only) pair of maternity jeans and they never really stayed up where I wanted them to be so the band helped keep them in place and under control.  At the end of my pregnancy, where I find myself once again, I wear it, not only for the support, but for the coverage it lends me.  Let me explain.  In case you've never experienced a third trimester yourself, there comes a time when even the largest maternity top seems to not quite cover your belly.  If you bend over, your shirt rides up.  If you stretch to reach something the tiniest bit out of reach, your shirt rides up.  If you take a really deep breath...your shirt rides up...and you are exposed...for all the world, presumably, to see.  Again, if you are okay with sharing that portion of yourself with the world...don't let me stop you.  Here's where a few pictures might help me illustrate my point better:

Here's a picture of my band, covering the top of my maternity jeans.

And here's one showing the band more fully, covering my belly entirely and still fitting snugly against the waistband of my jeans.

And finally, here's what it looks like with my shirt fully in place.  Notice the large gap between the edge of my shirt and my jeans...this is the "peek a boo" bit of belly that I'm just not willing to share with the general public.

The coolest thing is that the band can almost entirely disappear when you wear a shirt the same color as it, or it just looks like you've layered two shirts together, a look not entirely out of fashion.  I made it through my whole first pregnancy with one band, in the color black.  This pregnancy I decided to get another, this time in white.  They both go with every single piece of clothing I have and they'll both fit me through the end of my pregnancy.  A sizing tip:  get one size down if you want extra support from the band itself.  I did that with my black one and was glad for it since I was working full time in a very physically demanding job.  This time I got one that was more true to my current size and it is very comfortable but isn't as supportive.  They're available on Amazon if you'd like to investigate further...look on my Amazon widget on the sidebar...there's a direct link there.

I hope that this bit of product love helps someone else out there!  Feel free to pass the info along to all the preggos you encounter...they'll love you for it.