Monday, April 30, 2012

Vinegar...that is the key to my homes transition into less chemicals and more natural products. Vinegar can be used in so many different ways as an alternative to household chemicals. That link shows you 61 different ways to use white vinegar, from helping with lice to cleaning your oven to cleaning your pets and even helping with varicose veins and yeast infections. I plan to use it to…


  • Clean the floors, countertops and bathrooms: You can do that by mixing distilled white vinegar (found in any supermarket) with water and keep spray bottles of this non-toxic disinfectant in your bathrooms and kitchen – to disinfect and clean.
  • Soak your dishes in vinegar: Use vinegar mixed with water to rinse dishes after washing them to take the soap off and leave them clean. Vinegar is also an excellent grease cutter. 
  • Vinegar for fabric softening: Use it as a fabric softener and static cling reducer – use as you would liquid fabric softener.
  • For air freshening: Use 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 tablespoon vinegar and 2 cups of water. After it stops foaming, mix well, and use in a (recycled) spray bottle into the air. I think I would add in a little essential oil too. 

In addition to this, I found a wonderful water purification system for the apartment. One for the bath, one for the shower and a drinking water filter in the kitchen. Taking baths again has been wonderful and not waking up and needing to go to the store to buy water has been great as well! 


I also found this awesome site that sells essential oils and ships free internationally! Well....except for South Africa, sorry SA! Free shipping to China though! Yay! 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vacation scheduled!

It's official! For one week in the beginning of July, my husband and I will be chilling on the beach in Thailand.
From Saturday to Thursday we will be staying right outside of Phuket, and on Thursday night we will return to Phuket where we fly out.
Phi Phi Don
The Bay at Ko Phi Phi
I cannot wait to be there for a week of sipping mai tais, lazy days on the beach, fresh air and tons of time alone with my husband with no work, computers or cell phones!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Pretty colors

All of the pretty colors of nature 
This is what happens when you heat up garlic and ginger in water (for a sore throat)...it turns BLUE
Shakes with red cabbage make crazy purple shakes...why is it not called purple cabbage?
Yummy...actually, not really, I really do not like the taste of "red" cabbage
This one was spinach and actually REALLY yummy

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

More on green smoothies

So, I did a post a while back about green smoothies and for the past 2 weeks I have been having at least one but usually 2-3 a day (until this week…because I’ve been lazy). We buy spinach, parsley, red cabbage, celery, avocado, broccoli and whatever other veggies look good and frozen berries, oranges, apples, bananas for fruit and blend it together. The fruit to veggies ratio was about 60/40 to start and is now more like 40/60 or even 30/70.

The best one so far is called the cinnamon role smoothie. 1 big bunch of spinach, 1 avocado, 1 banana and a spoonful of cinnamon, then blend it all together and the result is amazing. Some of the other mixes have been more “this is healthy so slam it down” type drinks but most are actually really good. Adding ginger to it obliterates all other taste, adding banana or avocado makes it creamy and spinach is the easiest taste on earth to cover up...red cabbage…not so much.  I also recently acquired some wheatgrass powder so I am using that as well.

Anyway, we have been doing these shakes more and more and we both feel better already. Being away from home, on our second day we were both craving one. We are using this as a gateway to a better, healthier diet where we have more energy and the food we eat makes us feel better. A lot of my cravings for junk and processed food have gone away and I even have an untouched sleeve of salt and vinegar chips here (a first for me). The side benefit of getting rid of those few extra waistline pounds doesn’t hurt either…especially with summer vacation season right around the corner. 

Some good websites to check out would be:
and

Any recipes you find and really like, please share with me! I need new ones!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shanghai

This post is two weeks old, but better late than never...

I am a bad blogger. I love to read other peoples blogs and I love to write mine but it is getting harder and harder to find the time. Right now we are on a little mini vacation and I am sick, with hubs out and about with some friends of ours. So... now seems like a good a time as any to write. We are in Shanghai for the Tombs Sweeping holiday, here to visit our friends who recently moved from Beijing to Shanghai. You get conflicting information about Shanghai depending on who you ask…its great or it’s not so great and the people are snobs. That is mostly from Beijingers though as apparently the Shanghaineze have quite the superiority complex with regards to the rest of the mainland. After exploring for a few days I can say that while the sites to see are quite different, most things are similar. Shanghai is warmer and less dry and instead of Tiananmen, the Summer Palace and Great Wall they have...

The Bund
The French Concession
The cutest little café area called Food Street
Yu (Fish) Garden
I have found slightly more English spoken here, although still not to the degree that we found in Tianjin. The buildings in certain areas are very European looking and that has been a change. Yet, for the most part, when you leave the Western areas, the only difference between Shanghai and Beijing is proximity to a body of water. We are staying at the Courtyard Marriot and the hotel is very nice. The rooms are pretty and the bed is comfortable. Unfortunately, our aircon is a little broken so to keep the room even a little cool, you have to blast the AC all night making the room SUPER dry. Neither one of us has gotten a full nights sleep yet without a 2am/4am/6am wakeup pattern. That and something in bloom here that I seem to be allergic to equals….I have a cold/ The flu and finally have the opportunity to blog. Silver lining. 
View from our hotel
 The view of the ghetto 
On that note, I hope everyone had a great Easter! We went to church here for the first time in China and had awesome warm weather!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The End

Four of my top watched TV shows are in their last season this year. I was on a scale from sad to shocked when I heard that these shows were in their final season or had been cancelled.
One Tree Hill
I started watching this show in about its second season, when I got back to the US in high school. A super dramatic show all about high school drama that I loved at the time. Then I went to college and for the most part stopped watching it. Then after moving to China I picked up where I had left off and became quite attached. When I watched last nights episode I remembered that this was the last season and slowly realized that this was the final season. I was pretty sad considering that this is just a TV show, but we will blame it on that time of the month. 
In Plain Sight
Another show which I love. The main character, Mary, is very dry and sarcastic and I love her. It's a show all about Witness Protection and I guess they decided that after 5 seasons, they might have to recycle material or start desperately grabbing for headline news as many other type shows do. I guess it's better to end on a high...but still...bittersweet. 
United States of Tara
Awesome show that they cancelled! They kept on Nurse Jacky but cancelled this awesome show. I am shocked and I am angry. What the hell people. A show about a mom with multiple personalities...how is that not better than a show about a junkie nurse!
and finally...
Desperate Housewives
You have had a good run but I will miss you. Enough said.
Anyone else have a beloved show that is ending or was cancelled recently?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Epilator! I bought one!

I wrote 3 postings last week when I was in Shanghai while I was sick and then I was so sick I forgot to post them. So...in completely the wrong order, here is one of them (sorry for the delay).


I did it! I bought an epilator. Specifically the new Silk-epil by Braun, usable underwater epilator. 

I had my first experience the other night and I love the result. It is 40 tweezers at once plucking hairs so its not a pleasant sensation but I can see how you and your hair would get used to it. It’s a little machine I can take anywhere, that plucks my hair leaving me with a few weeks of no hair and less hair when it grows back. Waxing means you get it done elsewhere and its not cheap, even in China and you have to wait until it gets to a certain length (which you don’t with this). Shaving leaves your hair smooth for what…a few hours and it needs to be done constantly. I spent 100 dollars up front and most people say their epilator lasts for 6-8 years. I did my arms, underarms, bikini and legs…in the US, that in and of itself costs a hundred dollars to wax. Razors are ridiculously priced now and in 6 months you easily spent that. I am happy with the purchase and would advocate for this as a cost and time effective alternative to shaving. Take a pain killer 30 minutes before hand, do it right after you shower and just get past the pain the first few times. 

My husband was amazed watching this process and even took a video (no, I am not posting it) to show my parents since they sent it to me. I swear several times in this video and it is not pretty. See the video of the first exposure to it wouldn't make you want to try it out...especially since I forgot to take a pain killer first. Ooops. 
Anyway, sorry my blog has been the most boring thing in the world recently and I promise to change that soon! I have 3 more posts just waiting for me to polish up and post (plus find the accompanying pictures) like my trip to Shanghai and my new health kick!

Happy Weekend! Spring is finally here!