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Archives for February 2012

10 Sweet uses of Orange Oil

sweet orangesphoto credit: flickr/No6, flickr/elwillo, flickr/vlitvinov, wild ridge design, healthy treat, aunty apples refinery

1. Place 2-3 drops of Orange oil to kitchen sponges and kitchen rags to help disinfect in between washes.

2. Mix 24 drops with 4-6 ounces of water in a spray bottle, shake and spray on houseplants to rid of plant pests.

3. To give yourself a brighter outlook, inhale a few times and relax, this should put a dance in your step!

4. To purify your kitchen cutting board: add 12 drops with ¼ cup of salt, rub on cutting board and rinse with hot water.

5. To make a great bath soak combine 12 drops with ¼ cup of Dead Seal salts, enjoy the smell and soak!

6. To clean outside or inside house pots, combine 24 drops into a bucket of warm soap water and wash.

7. Have a special needs child or an irritable child put a few drops in a diffuser into your children’s room.

8. To freshen any room add a few drops on the air vents, this will freshen a room in a few minutes time.

9. Have a stinky kitchen trash can? Easy fix, add 10 drops of oil into the garbage can, not only does this improve the smell but keeps insects at arms length!

10. To make a wonderfully smelling cleaner combine 12 drops with ¼ cup of castile soap and warm water. Use to wipe all household surfaces.

Looking for more aromatherapy?

10 Helpful Uses of Eucalyptus

10 Helpful Uses of Peppermint

12 Uses for Keeping Calm with Lavender

 


 

Ohhh Martha!

Martha Stewart's new organization products and my receipts

Oops, she did it again… That would be the “Queen” Martha, doing it! She never ceases to amaze me with her great products she gets out to the public, first parties and entertaining ideas, then cooking, then a magazine, then another, then empire, now that empire also consists of great organizational products at Staples and we all know how much I love organization.

I know I know, I’m a little of an organizational geek, well, you know you are when you get this excited over cool products to make your life easier! And it is “tax time!” I don’t know about you but in my house it is me who does all of the organizing of our tax stuff and this is a job that could take an army with a husband who owns his own business, my stuff, and a child with special needs and tons of medical stuff.

But take a look at this great line of products!! And this month in any Martha related magazine there are coupons to help!

Martha Stewart office products

My tax season starts with the organization of my receipts from the year.. . *note the small portion of them in the top photo next to Martha. I know she would be grinning if she saw these piles.

So step #1: Get out all of your receipts for the year and organize them in Month piles. *These would be store receipts where I bought supplies for Hadley and our businesses. Also it is great for future budgeting to actually understand where all of your money is going, or went…

Stay tuned for how great this all looks organized with a little help from Martha! Follow along as I get all of my “stuff” together for tax time… Hey maybe I can just help you too!

What the dickens is an RSS feeder?

RSS Logo

OK, so I have been blogging for almost three years now and I have a fair number of followers on my Google friend connect; each day I notice a new follower I do the “happy dance” and think “Yay, they like me… They really like me….” However, big news being handed down from our “friends” at Google where I used to “house” my blog on blogspot, if you do NOT house your blog there your Google Friends Connect, where a lot of my friends find me daily, is going to disappear as of March 1, 2012.  So what does this mean? English translation, and I am begging a little bit, PLEASE PLEASE take a moment to subscribe to I’m Still Standing to keep up with me and all of my shinanigans you can do it via email or through the RSS Feed.

And for any of my friends who do not know what an RSS Feed is..

Do you know and understand what an RSS feeder is? Actually, hand up I didn’t really for a long time.  However over the past three years of bloggyness I have gained lots of knowledge in the bloggy virtual world. So here I go again “the hostess with the mostess” hoping to shed some light on the topic…

So what is an RSS feeder? According to my friends at Wikipedia:

RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”,[3] or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically.

In English that simply means a website that you enjoy reading will alert you to updates … It’s a time saver! Which as Martha says is a “good thing!”

 How do you use a RSS feed?

1.  Before you do anything you need a way to “read” your feeder i.e. Google Reader.

2. To subscribe to a sites RSS feeder:

a. You can add it to your Google Reader:

 i.      When signed into Google Reader. On the left top side of the page look for a box labeled “+ a subscription”

ii.      Hit that

iii.   And simply add the site’s URL. After you have added the sites URL you will see the sites name and all of the recent posts on the right side of the page.

b. From your web browser

i.       In the right hand side of address bar where you type in the site’s URL. Look for the RSS icon.

ii.      Click it and you should get I’m Still Standings RSS Feed

iii.      pick how you would like to get your subscription

RSS subscription ISS

c. Within the site

 i.      Again, on I’m Still Standing, look for the blue icon or for a cute little widget with the letters RSS, Subscribe, Feedburner, XML. On I’m Still Standing you can find the  RSS  located at the top of the page right under How To Helper in the blue bar next to the word SUBSCRIBE

ii.      Click it.

iii.      At that point it gives you the option of getting your subscription via many different ways

d. When subscribing you can also make it easy and get the subscription via email as one of your options.

I sure hope I helped you figure this out! If you aren’t following along why not subscribe to I’m Still Standing’s RSS Feed?

 

Living the fresh life Days 32 ~ 40

food photo's from February 4-12the, Days 32-40It is hard to believe that I have been “working” THE fresh diet for a month now! I am so proud of myself for sticking to it especially when “life” has come up as it always will and I didn’t deviate from “the plan.” Exercise, Healthy eating, working on driving and clearing up my panicking too. So cheers please!!

From this point on instead of photographing and reviewing food I have already eaten on THE fresh diet, I am going to journal new foods and review them, I thought this made more sense and apparently there are new items added to the menu’s weekly so there is still much to review.

New foods:

Lunch:

Seared Tofu Wrap with Alfalfa sprouts, Snow Peas, Watercress, Baby Lettuce & Soy Dressing: This will definitely be added to my “favorite” list. There was so much flavor and crunch, a mixture of sweet and savory nothing as great as that, except maybe balsamic vinegar LOL.

Grilled Fish Taco with Brocco-slaw and Creamy Jalapeno Cilantro Sauce: I had seen photo’s of this dish before and I couldn’t wait to try it! And I was not disappointed. The piece of fish was a nice size and the brocco-slaw and jalapeno sauce just made it complete. Felt like I was in California!!

Snack:

Balsamic Grilled Eggplant with Fresh Mozzarella & Basil: Balsamic Vinegar has to be one of my favorite additions to just about anything so when i tried this I had to add a little more and a zip of Truvia. Basil, Mozzarella, and Balsamic Vinegar-great flavor!

Chocolate Chip Bread Pudding: First of all to have something sweet in the afternoon was a pure treat! I usually get the savory snack. I was so excited to give this a try, I love bread pudding and yes i love chocolate chips, in fact I was so excited I forgot to take my photo until i was halfway done, ohh no! But I did get it before the last bite.. LOL yes, another favorite to add to the list!

Ginger Poached Apple with Mascarpone Cheese: Another sweet snack, not chocolate but the apples were sweet and delicious with a hint of ginger and a dollop of Mascarpone Cheese. With a cup of tea-wonderful afternoon treat!

Dinner:

Veal Cutlet with Port Mushroom Marsala sauce with Brown Rice with Pecans & Scallions and sauteed Button Mushrooms: It is so nice to try different meats when on a “healthy living makeover” sometimes it is easy to get stuck in the chicken and fish rut to the point where you’d think you were going to sprout either feathers or gills, so the change to Veal was a welcomed change. Loved the mushroom Marsala and extra sauteed mushrooms with rice, such a decadent meal I felt like I was eating at a restaurant.

Chicken Cordon Blue with Ham and Swiss Cheese with Nine Grain Pilaf and Roasted Cauliflower: I have a little confession to make, I have never had Chicken Cordon Blue… I know it seems like a dish a lot of folks have at parties, back in my day, but I always opted for the “other” dish. But I found this dish very flavorful between the salty ham and the creamy Swiss cheese it was a great filling!

Grilled Chicken Breast with Ginger Miso Sauce with Maple Glazed Turnips and Green Beans with Walnuts & Garlic: What a nice chicken breast! This was the first time in a month that I believe I had what looked like a whole chicken breast. Loved the Miso sauce but the real winner of the dinner was the maple glazed turnips, YUM!!


February is a month love and lots of heart

Red Apple with heart

 

In my home there is no mistaking that February is all about the American Heart Association and Go Red, being that Sarah works for them and is presently preparing for not one but two gala’s which is making her lose some sleep.

For me, it’s not the gala’s causing loss of sleep but the meaning behind the events; the research that the American Heart Association is doing to raise awareness of Heart Disease that is freaking me out at the moment.

Why? Well, I will tell you… I am a mom… a mom who gave birth prematurely to not one but two children due to preeclampsia. (Two different pregnancies) Time has “marched on” and my daughters are growing. As a matter of fact my youngest turned 20 on Monday, so my pregnancies and all the horrors I went through both times might seem like a distant memory. However, there is one thing that keeps lurking in my ear, my Obstetrician; who told me that my preeclampsia might have some kind of bearing on my long term health. That was 20 years ago; I know I probably thought I will worry about that “then” after all I had given birth to two preemies in three and a half years and my immediate worry was about them and their needs!

Well, quick fly 20 years into the future, “then” is now, here I am… 50 years old and I just learned that women who have had preeclampsia are more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke then those who did not… Oh perfect, so now I am really freaking out and worrying about finally getting healthy on my Wellness Makeover, now it is sinking in that this is not so much about vanity and looking better but really seriously about my long term health.

It amazes me that the same heart that gives so much love from it to two wonderful daughters might possibly be at risk to be the thing that ends it all. Well, that’s it, remember me? No one say’s “NO” to Shelley Kramm! I will NOT let heart disease come between the love I have for my family, no way, hello healthy heart and wellness makeover you have just met your match, and I KNOW I am going to WIN this battle! I’m banking everything on it!

Join me, won’t you?

Top 5 Things to Bring To The Hospital

hospital signphoto credit: Parker Michael Knight

I am an “organizational nut” I Know I admit it, but somehow I feel it is like the “always be prepared” oath I must have taken as a child and being the oldest of 6 and all that entails. So when I was getting my husband prepared for his surgery last week, I kept making lists of things to bring, things he needed to get to bring, things I should remember to leave at home so I thought this might make an interesting post for others!

The following hospital list includes the most important things to bring with you when you are admitted to the hospital:

The Patient:

1.    Hospital Papers:

We received a number of pieces of mail from John Hopkins telling us where to go and what to do the day or surgery; I put these in my “Kenny binder” to bring with me to remind me of anything I might forget.

2.    Legal Documents:

When you arrive at the hospital to check in you will most likely go to Admissions. You will be asked by hospital personnel for the following

  •  Driver’s license or identification card, you will defiantly need this to prove you are the patient!
  •  Insurance cards (You should already have called your insurance company that you would be undergoing this procedure a few weeks before. In my case I called our insurance company in early January to make sure there was not anything they needed from the surgeons office prior to being admitted-this might make the billing process move a little smoother; that is a topic for another whole series of posts!

Depending on the extent of surgery it might be wise to bring:

  • Copy of power of attorney, living will and/or advance directive (if applicable)

 3.    List of Medications you are currently taking:

This is really important for family members who don’t even know all of the medications that a family member takes. My husband was asked a number of times prior to surgery and on the day of surgery his medications. In the midst of the “craziness” of getting ready for surgery I can see this is one thing that can get overlooked easily but in my husband’s case where he takes a number of medications I would have been out of luck if I didn’t go over this with him before hand.

It is important to know:

  • Name of medication
  • Dosage of medication
  • Frequency of medication
  • Time of last dose (Another red flag here, make sure that you discuss with your surgeon what you can and cannot take the day of your surgery, something this simple can have you cancelling your surgery if you accidentally take something because you always do without discussing it with your surgeon!) 

4.    Comfy clothes:

 In my husband’s case this was same day surgery and he knew once he recovered we would be on our way home after an hour or so drive, so I knew he would want to be very comfy with his leg wrapped from his calf up to his thigh… So the weekend before we went out and looked from a “stylish” because somehow my husband thought there would be a Red Carpet where people would want his photo taken and “couldn’t be seen” in anything less than stylish. Thank you Hugo Boss! Yes, that is what who he was wearing. And don’t forget the “shoes’ or in his case slippers, again, BIG discussion at our home because you KNOW everyone would want to see “who he was wearing” so thank you UGGS for the backless soft lined slippers that I had just gotten him for the holidays… but depending on your surgery bring something comfy to change into for sure!

 5.    got glasses?

Another thing easy to over look and leave at home if you only wear these for reading, however,  you will need to sign consent forms and will need to know what you are reading so don’t forget to bring these, a family member can hold them for you while you are in surgery.

Family Members:

1.    Your cell phone:

 In this day and age when cell phones are never far behind, make sure you bring yours with you and it doesn’t get left behind in the haste of getting everything together and keeping “calm.”

 You might need a list of family and friends if they are not already in your contact information to update everyone as the surgery progresses.

 John Hopkins happened to let family members use cell phones in the family waiting room, however there are hospitals that do not allow the use of cell phones so you might need to bring a few prepaid phone cards for payphones to keep in touch with family and friends.

2.    Your “entertainment”

I am a magazine junkie, I will admit it, I subscribe to a bunch and then there are “those” that I call the forbidden ones that I pick up while getting my nails done or at the airport, you know the gossipy one, this is the kind of day you can stand some “mindless” and idle gossip to see what the “stars” are wearing or doing…

I have found a new love for crossword puzzles so a book for them might help pass the time for you too!

3.    Pocket Change:

I wouldn’t recommend going to the bank and taking out your weekly money that you use prior to this day, but I would recommend having enough cash on you that you have change for a vending machine, or the cafeteria.

And I would make sure that the patient does NOT bring any money with them, actually there really isn’t a need for them to bring their wallet or purse, it is just one more thing for a family member to hold because you wouldn’t want anyone to have access to it while your clothing waits for you while you are in surgery. My husband left his wallet behind and I held onto his id.

4.    Snacks:

Yes, we all know I am living the “fresh” life at the moment, but I halted my food for the day since I didn’t know long the whole day would be. But water, fruit, or whatever will keep your tummy happy that day is a wise thing to have on hand. Also, for the patient water on the way home is a huge help with getting the anesthesia out of their system and in our case an hour drive, lots and lots of water for a guy who is always thirsty was a must!

5.    Photo’s:

Again, in the day and age of cell phones everyone has a photo or two of their family members to look at while the time passes and it surely will help the patient to see a few before they head to surgery!

Things to leave at home:

1.    Jewelry; the is for the patient, this is NOT the time to put on your best watch or ring, leave it home it might get lost in the Pre-Op room or heaven forbid stolen. It is best just not to bring it, as a matter of fact before my husband headed to surgery, the last thing the anesthesiologist asked him was if he could give me his wedding band, now that was a surreal moment. First thing I did in the Recovery Room was put it back on his finger! 

2.    Credit cards and cash; again this is for the patient, there is NO need for them to have this! No one in the Pre-Op room is going to be “guarding” your “stuff” so your basic clothes and shoes are all you should leave behind there.

Hope this helps you get ready and speedy recovery!

Living the fresh life; a week in review

jan 3--feb 3 collage

I’m still trying to play “catch up” after my husband’s surgery last Wednesday… stay tuned, i’ll be back with updates i promise!