I’m window shopping and watching Heart of Dixie on Netflix . . . on a Friday night. Help.
I’m kind of a toxin freak. I mean, I’m not really that bad. I don’t want to go worry myself sick over whether whatever my pillow is made of or dyed with or washed in is going to make one of my future children be born with an extra toe. I don’t have time for that.
I do try to glance at the Environmental Working Group’s cosmetics database before buying a new self-tanner, facial moisturizer, baby lotion, sunscreen, shampoo, etc. I try to be informed about ingredients in my cosmetics, and I try to only buy sulfate-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, everything free-stuff. So pretty much it’s just air. Maybe some water. BUT WHO KNOWS WHERE THAT WATER CAME FROM? EVERYBODY FREAK OUT.
*photos are not mine
I’m always trying to be cleaner and greener. I make my own laundry soap, for crying out loud. Unfortunately, no matter how much we watch what’s in our food and cosmetics, the very air we breathe can be toxic. One thing that can really help remove toxins from your home is plants, so I’m getting excited to adopt some cute little pieces of nature when we have our own home someday.
Many types of house plants are extremely effective at removing formaldehyde, acetone, and other nasty toxins from the air — toxins found in paint, glue, insulation, perfumes, nail polish, cleaning products, cosmetics, etc. etc. etc. Get a house plant. Think of the Swami-Swans.
Not everyone likes plants, unfortunately. Not everyone has seen the movie Fern Gully. Plants live in the dirt, and they SMELL LIKE NATURE. I know we all really just want our homes to smell like Mango-Bubblegum-Vanilla-Coconut-Coffee-Cheesecake. I’ll let you know when I find a plant that smells like that.
Learn how to make this DIY planter at Vintage Revivals.
Plants supposedly can also relieve stress. Why not? I know there are all kinds of studies about plants and why they’re good for you. You’re welcome to go read up on that.
Many of these plants are very hard to kill, from what I’ve read. Too much water and sunlight can harm some plants. Also, some plants can be poisonous to pets — especially cats, I think. Obviously you should keep plants out of reach of kids and pets. Read up on plant care before buying a dozen little plants and watching them slowly die one by one.
Here are some of my favorite air-purifying house plants.
Gerbera Daisies, as well as several other common house plants, are great at converting carbon dioxide into oxygen in mass quantities at night, which can actually help you sleep better if you put some in your bedroom.
Peace Lilies can help remove mold spores, making them great to keep in bathrooms and laundry rooms.
All my posts start will Pinterest. I’m OK with it.
When we have our own house someday, I want the decor to be pretty modern and sleek. No frilly things. Not too much color. Lots of white, metal, mirrors, and other reflective materials. My husband won’t let me get white or light-grey couches because THE CHILDREN, but I think we can still do a lot to make a small space look as big and grand and inviting as possible.
Happy Thursday my lovelies!
I’m an academic counselor at a university. A few days ago, I was chatting with a student. Her name was Sam. She was in her early twenties, and short with curly brown hair. She wore thick glasses and a brightly-colored raincoat. We talked about her classes, her roommates, her boyfriend, the usual. I genuinely enjoy talking to this student. She has a corky nerdy charm and an honesty that I find fun and refreshing.
On my desk is a coffee cup that some students made me. I don’t drink coffee because I’m Mormon, but they didn’t know that at the time. I really appreciated the gesture. More or less, it just sits on my desk as a conversation piece. It’s tall and slender. It’s personalized with two of my more embarrassing Facebook photos. One is of me with a disturbing mustache that lasted just long enough for a quick photo. The other is of me in my late teens lifting weights in my boxer shorts. I was really lean at the time (six pack lean) and I had shoulder length, two-tone hair (half dark brown and half bleach).
It was from a time when I thought I was cool and rebellious. It was from a time when I wasn’t afraid to get up in someone’s face about this or that. Back when I thought I was tough and sexy and knew a lot about the world and often felt comfortable sharing my 19 years of wisdom with anyone who would listen.
Sam had seen the mug before, and had commented on the photos, but for some reason she brought it up again.
“I still don’t believe this is you,” She said, pointing to the photo of me with long hair.
“Well, it is. It’s from back when I was young and cool, but was in fact grizzled and white trash. Do I really seem that much different now?”
“Yes,” She said.
And then, like a dumb ass, I asked her this question, “How do you see me know?”
Sam sat there for some time, thinking. I could see her trying to sugar coat her answer. The silence was a little awkward, so I decided to make it easy on her. I said, “You probably see me as a nerdy, fatherly, academic type.”
This is how I assume most students see me, but I’ve never confirmed it. Nor had I ever wanted too. There was something about getting older, going through graduate school, having kids, and then getting a professional job at a university, that made me feel less attractive. Less fashionable. I suppose I was hoping for this student to say something like, Oh no! You’re still young and cool. All the kids have crushes on you.
“Yup,” she said. “That’s about it.”
And in that moment, I realized what little rebellious sex appeal I had in my 20’s was gone. In my mind, I realized I’d slowly watched my youth drift out of sight behind my like an island.
Sam and I talked a little more about her classes. We joked for a bit about how nerdy I was. How graduate school had ruined me.
“The same thing is going to happen to you,” I said.
And she scoffed, and smiled, her smirk seemed to say, that’ll never happen.
Later that night I was at home chatting with my wife. We were in the living room. The kids were in bed. Both of us were on the sofa. I mentioned to Mel that one of my students described me as a nerdy, fatherly, academic type.
“Well…” I said, “I came up with the description. She just confirmed it. Long story short, I’m not young and attractive anymore, but actually a person with responsibility and a closet full of slacks. You can leave me if you’d like. There must be someone out there who is rebellious and a little more badass that will have you. Someone more like the person you married. The one who threatened to beat up your ex-boyfriend. I’ll understand…”
I rambled on for a while, until Mel told me to stop talking.
“The reason I still find you sexy is because you’ve grown into a nerdy, fatherly, academic type. We have kids. I don’t have time for another child.”
Then she winked at me, and gave me a kiss.
Mel has changed too, mind you. She’s become more self-assured, responsible, and maternal. She isn’t the shy girl I married, and I find her more attractive now than I did ten years ago. And in that moment, I realized that perhaps this was how marriage worked. Perhaps this is what is meant when people say, “we grew together.”
Clint Edwards was blessed with a charming and spitfire wife, a video game obsessed little boy, and a snarky little girl in a Cinderella play dress. When Clint was 9-years-old his father left. With no example of fatherhood, he had to learn how to be a father and husband through trial and error. His essays on parenting and marriage have been featured in Huffington Post Parents, Huffington Post Weddings, and The Good Men Project. He is the author of No Idea What I’m Doing: A Daddy Blog.
It’s been crazy lately. Which means it’s time to think about things that make me happy.
Things like . . .
-When my yummy baby wakes up in the morning all groggy and grumpy and just sits on my lap and snuggles.
-Running down the hall and jumping on to the couch like a ninja (this is the only way I exercise).
-Chasing and tickling a hysterically happy 3-year-old girl.
-Hearing the words, “Mommy, I missed you when you were at the dentist.”
-Babies in general.
-Freshly blow-dried hair.
-How watching The Walking Dead is such an incredible motivation to stock up on food. A lot of food, a lot of toothbrushes, and a lot of tampons. Probably razors too, because I can’t be sporting hairy armpits at the end of it all. Imagine how Lost would have been if Kate didn’t have baby-smooth armpits.
-Wearing a leather vest and lace-up boots and feeling like Katniss.
–This tutorial on looking amazing. A girl can dream.
-Newly cleaned-up spaces.
-Reading to my babies.
-I’m not baby hungry.
Well, that’s all for today. Eat your eggs and salad and carrots and celery and green smoothies and cashews. Go do some jump lunges. Throw out the Diet Coke and Ice Cream and Cap’n Crunch. And learn the differences between are/our, your/you’re, were/we’re, here/hear, there/their/they’re, to/too/two, etc. Try lipstick before buying it.
Also, I heard that consuming caffeine can cause breast lumps? Ah man.