Thursday, October 29, 2009

I.D. Yourself

You are out there hiking, biking, rowing, walking. Feeling the sun, rain, wind, snow in your face. But what happens if (god forbid) something happened to you? Would anyone know who you were? Or about your medical condition?

Well, then you need a RoadID. It's a stainless steel ID that is engraved with your contact info and then attached to a bracelet or shoe tag. Pictures here.

(Gosh, this sounds like a commercial.)

I've had mine for over 7 years now, and I love it. It's inexpensive, it makes me feel safer, and it lets me leave my driver's license at home.

Please consider getting one for yourself.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Do the Math

So, I've been exercising and eating consciously for 5 months. Yes, it's nice that I am now a size 12, yes it's nice to fit in my wedding dress again, yes, it's nice to day dream about buying a bikini. But none of that is really important. What is? The fact that I am actually healthier.

Because I am a Type 1 Diabetic, there are stringent cholesterol numbers I am supposed to aim for.

So, in the past 5 months, my total cholesterol has dropped 37 points, my HDL has gone up 6 (this is a good thing), and my LDL has gone down 19 points. My numbers are now all below (or in the case of HDL) higher than the targets. This means I have reduced my heart attack risk. And according to the Living to 100 life expectancy calculator, I am going to live to 97. (That's a lot of years to wear bikinis.)

Yay me!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Tell the Truth

From time to time, I get requests from companies to try their products and then blog about it. I usually pass, because I wouldn't normally use the item they are hawking, and I don't want to be beholden to anyone (but myself). So when Katie Lewis of Rocket XL contacted me about Vaseline's new Sheer Infusion with Stratys 3 body lotion, I was going to say, "No Thank You." But then I realized that I was almost out of the current lotion I bought at Costco 6 years ago (I'm not even kidding). Katie assured me that Vaseline was only interested in brutally honest reviews of their product. So I said yes.

Here I go...

Vaseline Sheer Infusion Body Lotion with Stratys 3

Design: Beautifully designed, with one of my favorite (and so A.R.) things being that the stripe behind the type of lotion, e.g Mineral Renewal, matches the stripe on the cap of the bottle. The bottle also has a nice curve to it.

Packaging: No excess packaging, and in a HDPE 2 bottle with a screw on top which I will easily be able to recycle.(These are things I look for when shopping.) The flip top works well and the bottle fits nicely in my hand.

Feel:It's a medium weight, white cream that quickly absorbs in to the skin. I can put clothes on immediately without any problem.

They are definitely fragrant. (Not something I'm used to.) I like the scent of Botanical Blend the best.

Price Point:
At 6.5 fl oz. I would guess that they would retail at $8.00. And amazingly enough, they retail at $7.99. But you can get them for even less with this coupon!

Ingredients: The first ingredient, and therefore the majority of this product is water. Stratys 3 is not an ingredient (like I originally thought), but rather three seperate moisturizing ingredients that work together. It also contains methylparaben and propylparaben, so if you are avoiding parabens, you will want to skip this product.

Does it work? Short term I would say Yes. I will need to use them for a longer period of time to really know if there is a difference in my skin.

Would I buy it?
If I saw the lotion on the shelf (and needed lotion), at the price of $8, I would probably buy it.

But time will tell the ultimate truth.

All images used with permission.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pass On Your Prose

When I packed books for our honeymoon in Europe, I vastly underestimated how many I would need. After plowing through all of them in the first week, I was craving books, and craving English.

When we got to Hotel Reutemann in Lindau, Germany, we asked the concierge if they had a book exchange area. He pointed to a wooden chest behind us. And in it I found Margaret Atwood's, The Handmaid's Tale, IN ENGLISH!

I snacked that book up so quickly!

It was the only book in English I had for the next two weeks. The other hotel's book exchanges were empty.

So when we went to the Czech Republic 5 years ago, I bought 12 used books, and shipped 3/4 of them ahead to my mother-in-law's house. I read them all and left them with her, for her to read, and for her to give to others that wanted to practice their English.

So, with Martin and I going to Washington D.C. soon, I'm planning another trip to the used book store. I never feel comfortable taking library books with me, and I like leaving the books behind for others.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Luxe Your Life

There have only been 2 times in my life when my body has changed drastically in a short span of time. The first being puberty, and the second when I was 14 and lost 20 lbs in a span of 4 weeks (and was subsequently diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes).

So, with no plans on ever getting pregnant, I figured my body would pretty much stay the same for the rest of my life. As you know, I have been exercising a lot and there have certainly been changes in my body from that, but I never thought that something as fundamental as a bra size would change. Even as my bra kept popping off every time I raised my hand, even as the straps kept falling down no matter how many times I tightened them, it didn't occur to me that perhaps something had changed. I just blamed the bras.

Finally, I cried mercy and headed over to Nordstrom's for an intervention. I was professionally fitted. The attendant then brought me 30 different bras to try but I just stood there in shock.

After being an "average" size all my life, somehow I had transformed in to something that required the word double. I eventually recovered my composure and quickly fell in love with some garments from Betsey Johnson (who happens to be from my hometown). They were only about $20 more than my usual brand, and are much better constructed.

So I'm slowly turning into a lady who only buys fine things.

But really, what do else would you expect from a girl who had a silken baby blanket?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Make It A Habit

I am utterly and fabulously addicted to exercising. It's only been 3 months, but it has gotten to a point where I actually crave it. It has taken me a few tries to find the best time, the right frequency, and the right mix of exercise, but I've found it.

How do I know it's become a habit? Martin and I are going on vacation to Washington D.C. soon and I am packing exercise clothes and my MP3 player. That is a first for me. (I've also already scoped out the hotel gym.) My plan is to bang out 30 minutes on the treadmill before breakfast and then head out for a day of exploring D.C. on foot.

If you do it right, exercise is hard. But if you do it for the right reasons, it is truly worth it.

Keep up the good work!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rest In Peace

On Saturday, my neighbor, Francis ("Frank") Reagan died. He had been ill for a while, so when I glanced over at his yard on Saturday, and saw that his flag was at half staff, I knew we had lost him.
(A neighbor later confirmed.)

Frank had an incredibly generous spirit. He was always plying us with tomatoes, cucumbers, and one summer, pounds and pounds of plums. We would often come home to a bag of tomatoes hanging on the door knob. (Once he hung it on the handle of the garage door and we almost accidentally made tomato sauce.)

We often talked politics and when he learned of my own interest, he started dropping off his New Yorker Magazines. They were dotted with his finger prints, hi-lighted passages and notes in the margins.

Over the years he told me about what it had been like to live in the area. How the place where my house stood used to be a community garden, and about how he planted the first plants in my yard when they built the house.

Although Frank was always quick to say "Howdy, Neighbor", his wife, never acknowledges me. (So I just let her be.) I was delighted the day Frank told me how much she enjoyed the scent of my lavender wafting through her kitchen.

Since we moved in I have seen the ambulance come for Frank at least four times. And each time, he would come back, a little worse for wear, but happy to continue on with life.

Frank will live on, in the plants he planted in my yard over 10 years ago that continue to disrupt my own plants, no matter what I do. In the fact that I remember the name of the nearby elementary school, Franklin, because his name is in it.
And in the fact that when me moved here, to a new state, a new city, he showed me what a neighbor was. And that made me feel at home.

Here is his obituary.