Monday, March 25, 2013

Decaf Chell Part 3

    One more week! I just need to endure one more caffeine-free week till I can wake up and smell the coffee again! This is something I am soooo looking forward to now, after almost 6 weeks of avoiding caffeine, coffee and chocolate. It hasn't been easy.
    It's definitely been a learning experience-like learning that caffeine not only helps me cope with stress, it also wakes me up (I've never felt so tired!) and helps keep me motivated (who wants to clean??). I haven't experienced any caffeine headaches (I'm not addicted ;) but I've experienced plenty of stress headaches which have led to migraines. Though I get the occasional migraine when stressed , this experience has forced me to experiment with stress relieving techniques, such as aromatherapy. After Easter, I will make a conscious effort to evaluate my stress levels frequently so I can hopefully avoid migraines.
    Not only have I been feeling tired 24/7 these past few weeks, but I also feel like my brain has shut off. I can't remember much or even wake up early. My poor family has had to put up with alot.  Decaf Chell is not naturally nice, and is often more verbally sarcastic than she should be. Needless to say, Decaf Chell has been kept indoors as often as possible.
    Rest assured after Easter I'll be full of funny stories, laughs and more interesting posts!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Daylight Savings Time...Spring Ahead?

         Wow! That was the best "Spring Ahead" Daylight Savings Time I've ever experienced! Said. No one. Ever.  Now, I love early mornings. I'm one of those freaks who enjoy getting up just before the sun does and going for a run. However, the last few weeks have been kind of rough without caffeine. Rolling out of bed in the mornings has just been brutal. Early mornings light peeking through our bedroom blinds has helped urge me out of bed, but even my early a.m. runs have been suffering. And now the time change has went and increased the a.m. awfulness. Seriously. I can't even wake up at 6 a.m. now. Thankfully I just have 2 decaf weeks to go, but this early a.m. darkness has put a damper on things. And here's a little story about it:
          A few weeks ago I was inspired to reach out to the local moms in our community & find some running buddies. Feedback was pretty good (in a small town, 4 is a good number!) and we scheduled for 5:30 on Tuesday mornings. We scheduled this the weekend of  the spring daylight savings time change and I'm caffeineless. I had to wake up before 5 in order to get out of the house on time (it takes me less than 10 mins to drive to our meeting spot). For some reason, it seemed a bit colder this Tuesday morning-even with my beard on.
        I parked at our location, about 4 mins past the scheduled meeting time. Oops. I just could not seem to drag myself out of bed and out of the house. While I love running and  running with other people,  decaf herbal tea was not doing it for me that dark and cold morning.
       Since no one else was there, I walked around for fifteen minutes, giving everyone else the benefit of the doubt too. Well, either they were super-late, not coming, or had already left without me. "Ha! This is Salida!" I said to myself. "Everyone's always late for everything! Showing up early or on-time is such a faux pass here."
        I waited till almost 6 a.m. then went home. Yes, I didn't get my run in, but my bed was calling. I was way too tired to argue with myself, so I planned on "taking a short nap" then waking again at 7, and getting my miles in. Needless to say, that didn't happen either. I found out later that none of the other moms had been able to drag themselves out of bed. Time Change, you may have won this round, but in a few weeks (with the help of caffeine and early morning sunbeams), I will be winning ;)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

2013 Sweetheart Voxbox


        I've been a member of Influenster for a few months now, and I finally got chosen to receive a VoxBox!!! I don't know what "vox" actually stands for, but these things are filled with regular-sized products to try & sample!!! Mine included a yummy Skinnygirl bar (less than 200 calories & high protein), a Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response deodorant, Not Your Mother's Beach Babe texturizing sea salt spray, and an Olay Fresh Effects shine minimizer wash and scrubbie.
        The Skinnygirl bar was delicious- coconut peanutbutter, I believe. It wasn't chalky like Think Thin bars, but still filling. I think I'm going to wait until the weather's a bit warmer to try the Not Your Mother's hair texturizing spray. I'm finding it hard to give the Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response deodorant an adequate trial (we live in CO, so the weather's not seasonally consistent) since some days can be way warmer than others. To test it, I've been using it on my runs, and I can say that I've definitely been coming back less stinky than when I use my "regular" deodorant. The scent is refreshingly tropical (bordering on citrus). My main complaint about this, however, is white streaks. This is one of those twistable white (creamy?) ones that can leave deodorant streaks on your shirt.
           My fav (and most interesting) item is the Olay Fresh Effects shine minimizer set. It's a face wash (with microbeads) and vibrating face scrubbie thing. After wetting your face and the scrubbie (for lack of better term), you pour a small amount of the face wash onto the scrubbie, then apply to your face (you gently drag the scrubbie across). Afterwards, rinse off & dry. This has been such a treat in the mornings, because let's face it, who doesn't love a mini facial? (The kids love it too!) The vibrations combine with the plastic tips to create this spa-like feeling.


                                                            












      Since I've gotten my box, I've been on the lookout for these items! I have not seen the Not Your Mother's brand in our local stores (Wal*Mart & Safeway), or the Skinnygirl (I hope they get some soon!), but I have seen the Secret Clinical Strength Stress Response deodorant. I also believe that the Olay Fresh Effects products are in stores, because there are coupons for them in the Sunday papers already.


    Disclaimer: "I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes."  

If you'd like a link to join, email me @ BlondieChell.gmail.com ;)

Monday, March 11, 2013

It Was A Dark...Dark Morning.

5:43 a.m.  I drove over the bridge and parked. No one else was there.
5:45 a.m.  I exited my vehicle, aware of the chill in the darkness. I donned my beard & cap, not wanting to freeze my face off. I stood on the bridge watching the ice chunks float down river. The cracking sound was hard to get used to. At first, I thought someone was loading furniture into a truck..but there were no trucks...at least not visible ones...
5:50 a.m.  A car drove down F Street and parks opposite of my van. I had never wished so hard that someone would be a runner. "Pleeeeeease. Pleeeeeeeease be a runner," I silently begged. The occupant stayed inside the nice, warm Jeep while I shifted my position at the bridge. "See?? I'm a runner!" I wanted to scream. I kept shifting places every few  moments, hoping that I looked the part.
5:53 a.m.  A second vehicle drove down F Street and parks next to the Jeep. "Please be a runner too!" my mind shouted. "Oh, no. Maybe this is a drug exchange. Oops. Better turn around so I don't become  liability. Head down. There ya go." I heard car doors open and close. I turned around just in time to see two dark figures and a dog headed through the fence, toward the tracks.
5:55 a.m. I found myself chasing these two figures, waving my hand, shouting "Hey! Wait! Waaaaiiit!!! I'm a runner!" (best line ever, right??) After catching up to them, I explained who I was and if this was the 5:45 a.m. Chaffee County Runners Club run. Turns out it was! Apparently no one else shows up but these other two souls, so they had no idea there was additional company! (so....was I just the creepy stalker in my crochet beard hanging out by the bridge??)
7:20 a.m. Finally made it back down to my vehicle. After an hour and a half of mountain trails, I headed home, happy and wore out.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Super Yummy Cookie Muffin Recipe.

       Today I am going to share with you a recipe that I accidentally discovered. For those of you who follow my FB or Twitter feed, you'll remember that my kitchen & I seem to have a love/hate relationship. For the most part, I feel like the kitchen has it in for me, but sometimes I just can't help baking! I'd say that nothing's caught fire yet, but that's just not true. A few weeks ago, tomato soup went AWOL and spilled all over the electric burners. Well, I've been paying attention enough to see hubby burn crud off the burners, so I turned the burner up super high...and fire came to life! Turns out, I set the tomato soup underneath the burner on fire. Oops.
        Truth is, I have quite the sweet tooth. (It might have something to do with low blood sugar & all since my cravings don't usually occur till after noon) I enjoy most sugary confections, and if it's chocolate, it has my name on it!
         This recipe happened after seeing one too many "look-I-put-a-candy-bar-into-a-muffin" Instagram posts. I was in charge of making dessert for our women's Bible study one night, and I couldn't decide if I should make muffins *or* cookies. So, I experimented! And viola! The Cookie Muffin appeared! And it tasted good! And people liked it!!!!
So, here it is:
        Makes 12 Cookie Muffins (feeds 3-4)
         Preheat oven to 400 (you act like you're just baking the muffins)
         Spray muffin tin (using the little cupcake holders is futile)
         Mix one pouch of muffin mix (if you do a box, you'll need 2 pouches of cookie mix--> what? did you think I made this from *scratch*?? haha) an one pouch of sugar cookie or snickerdoodle mix in separate bowls (chocolate chip mix does not work well for this recipe).

         Take a little scooper thing (about a teaspoon) and place one dollop on the bottom of each muffin setting. Press this into each one to mold the dough to the bottom.

         Next, evenly distribute the muffin mix into each setting (it's about a tablespoon or so).

         Top off each muffin with about a tablespoon or so of the cookie mixture. You may wanna spread it out a bit so it looks even...like this:
                                                  

       Pop pan into the oven for about 20 minutes or so (until the cookie dough looks cooked) and you'll be enjoying delicious yumminess in no time! Enjoy! 

      

Monday, March 4, 2013

Decaf Chell Part 2

       So far I've made it 2 & a half weeks w/o caffeine! Yay! (no, not really "yay"...it's more like, "okay!"). (Why? See here.) I have a bout 4 more weeks or so to go (how far away is Easter??). Right now, I'm surviving on decaf tea, exercise, sugared cereals and therapeutic essential oils.
        Seriously, the craving for cereals came to me as a surprise.  Going off caffeine cold turkey has taught me a lot of things about my decaf self. For instance, apparently Decaf Chell doesn't have much of an appetite for food. Decaf Chell also loathes waking up in the mornings. And running. And...just about everything, lol. I'm not that interested in food right now, but I eat so that I can have *some* energy to make it through the day. Sugar cravings come & go (well...mostly come) but obviously, chocolate (my dear, sweet beloved chocolate) is out of the question. For now, all I've been wanting for dinner is cereal. Sometimes one bowl, sometimes two (big bowls ;).  
         The afternoons are usually when my sweets cravings (this was true for Caffeinated Chell too) strike. Typically, I reach for some small amounts of chocolate, icing, whatever. Recently, to satiate, I've been blending "smoothies"- a mix of spinach, frozen fruit, water, a bit of yogurt and whatever else I feel like adding. This treat is usually enough to satisfy my sweet tooth till the next afternoon.
         Decaf Chell is also not as nice as Caffeinated Chell. She gets stressed and angry easily. Stress leads to tension headaches (and then migraines) which makes Decaf Chell even more stressed and angry (I don't use the word "mad" because I was taught that it isn't really a word). It hasn't been pretty, but it's my journey. Finding different ways to de-stress and being nice even when I don't feel like it has been "interesting" (more like "stressful"...oops. headache.).
          I know my journey's not for everyone- but for now, it's mine. It's been quite the self-discovery (do I really enjoy food more when I'm caffeinated? I can't believe I'm falling asleep at 8pm! So...caffeine helps me relax?) and experiment (which flavors of decaf tea do I like? No...that one actually *tastes* like I'm drinking a flower...).
           Well, here's hoping I (and my family) survives 4 more weeks of Decaf Chell!!!