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5 Weird Things That I Like

1. Chicken Nuggets in my Frosty: If you’ve ever had French Fries dipped in Frosty, you know how good it is (if not, where have you been?! Stop reading, go to Wendys now and try it.). I discovered this as an accident in high school, they placed all my food in a single bag (frosty included), and my nuggets spilled into the frosty. I could not let a good frosty or nuggets go to waste, so I took a bite into a nugget and fell in love! If you havent try it, do. At least once to say you did.

2. Halo: Girls shouldn’t like video games, and when I play online, I am often accused of being a ten year old who hasn’t hit puberty. It really annoys me that people assume that, but I love the game. Plus, I can play with my husband and our friends!

3. Car rides: Seriously, I freaking love car rides. Road trips, long commutes, anything. I hate the drivers on the road with me (mainly cause they are all texting while driving and I am a safe driving nut), but the drive itself? Love it. When my husband and I met, it was on a road trip from SLC to Phoenix (8-10hrs!). We take lots of road trips, Vegas, Denver, etc. Whenever I am stressed, we go for a car ride. When we need to talk, car rides. I love car rides.

4. Tru TV’s Worlds Dumbest: This show is a sick addiction with me. I absolutely love it. It is hilarious, it is funny, it makes me laugh harder than anything else in a long time. It is the perfect thing to put on our television, because my husband likes to watch Cop shows and I love to laugh. My favorites are when they do the infomercials- those are painfully funny!

5. College Kid Dinner: Here’s the how-to, take a hot dog, cut it down the center, place a dill spear in the slit. Then cover with cheese. Make instant masdhed potatoes on the stove top while you broil your pickled delight. Serve over the mashed potatoes. It’s fattening, a heart-attack in a hot dog, but delicious. My parents called it this because they came up with it after they got married and were “college kid broke.”

Music Monday

 

 

 

Holiday Problems: Agoraphobia

Up until the last few days I had no idea how big of a problem this is. I knew that those who suffer from Agoraphobia avoid holidays like they are the plaque, and frankly, I think of Black Friday as a plague. But until I discussed my fear of crowds with others, I had no idea how many others suffered from this. Mine has been suggested to me, and is a very mild form, as is many others’, but when it comes time for the holidays, those who suffer from this can be greatly effected.

Agoraphobia is a fear of having a panic attack or panic symptoms in a place where it would be difficult or embarrassing to do so. This includes, wide-open spaces, crowds (which is most common), and uncontrolled social situations. This is one of the most common phobias out there, with the number one fear being fear of crowds. Most people avoid crowds, large social situations and or places such as airports where they could not escape if they had a panic attack. It is believed that the onset is for women between 20-40 years old, with women being the most common sufferers.

For those who have had panic attacks, some people with Agoraphobia may not return to the location of the panic attack, turning it into a fear of that particular place. With extreme cases, this causes people to become housebound.

While there is no cause or cure currently known, many doctors suggest that it is a visible cause of other anxiety disorders or depression. It is seen quite commonly with other stressors such as a stressful home or work environment, substance abuse or physical abuse. People who do not have a secure environment are also prone to this phobia (ie: having a stable family, roof over their heads, etc).

Panic attacks can be easily triggered, some of the symptoms include a rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. The biggest complaint with panic attacks is the feeling of loosing control. If you are having a panic attack, you need to try to do the impossible: breathe. If you see someone having a panic attack, try to talk to them calmly, try to assist them in slow, deep breaths. When I’ve assisted others with their panic attacks I try to help them breathe and take their mind off of the fear. If the person is indoors and they can walk, assist them outdoors. Fresh air does help.

Personally I am not as scared of the panic attack, as I am of the uncomfortable feelings of being in crowds. If I am to be frank, I believe it comes at the fault of people being unaware of their actions, others reactions, and being ignorant due to overuse of cell phones and social media while being out and about.

I used to LOVE crowds. Movies on a Friday night? No problem. Crowded sports arenas? Bring it on! Busy restaurants on a Saturday? Why not! One day, I hated crowds. Hated people. Hated the whole concept of being out and about if I didn’t need to be. My husband loves people and crowds and struggled with this at first, but after a while our quiet date nights on Wednesdays at 3pm weren’t so bad. Our trips to Wal-Mart in the middle of the night didn’t seem so bad. I didn’t think twice about why I changed or if it were bad or not.

When I sat down to talk to my mother-in-law the other day she mentioned she hated crowds too. I asked her why she hated them and she provided me with a good reason: because they don’t pay attention and instead of being polite, are rude. When I mentioned it bothered me too, she nodded. “Well, yeah, based on what happened to you, I’d hate crowds too.” Pausing, I suddenly felt scared. What happened to me?

Apparently it bothered me and I have blocked it out, because her and my husband both remember quite well. I was four weeks post-op from my shoulder surgery and at Wal-Mart on a Friday night picking up some last minute items for my mother in law for a Christmas party. (She refuses to go to Wal-Mart, so she was at home.) While walking through the store a woman hit me very hard with her very full shopping cart, taking me to the ground. Since my arm was in a sling I was unable to catch myself and per my husband I hit very hard. I was in alot of pain and very angry, and he walked me out to the car so I could catch my breath and relax while he got the items. When we arrived home I just wasn’t okay. I told my mother in law what happened and that I was tired, then immediately went to bed. Per her I wasn’t myself for a few days. When I finally got back to being myself, I refused to go out in crowds.

With the holidays being in full swing this is something I wanted to bring to everyone’s attention. This isn’t something that is rare, this is actually quite common. It affects those at holiday parties, affects those at the stores, affects those who aren’t even trying to get the holidays taken care of, but just trying to make it through their day. If you have this, know you aren’t alone. If you do not have this, take the information and use it. Chances are, by at least offering to help, you are helping ease a phobia.

Cut Down on Holiday Stress

Originally, I wanted to write my own article on how to cut down on Holiday stress. After some googling and lots of consideration, I decided that this article says exactly what I wanted to say, and then some.

Here is the original article link, published in Psychology Today. (Medical junkies, I reccomend this magazine/newsletter. It’s fantastic!) I own none of this article!

10 Common Holiday Stresses and How to Cope with Them

Tips for managing the anxiety of the season.
Published on November 12, 2011 by Pamela Wiegartz, Ph.D. in In the Age of Anxiety

The holidays can be demanding for many reasons, but if you’re prone to anxiety they can be downright overwhelming.   The gifts, the parties, the baking, the family—or perhaps the absence of these things—can make the season stressful, chaotic or just plain lonely.

But even in the midst of all this holiday hubbub, you can take control of your anxiety.  With some practical strategies for managing the stress of this season, you may even end up enjoying this frenetic time of year.  Look for these common holiday complaints in your life and use the tips below to find peace and joy in this year’s holiday season:

1.) I can’t get it all done! The entertaining, shopping, travel and myriad other tasks that accompany the holidays can just feel like too much on top of an already-packed schedule.  If you are feeling pulled in too many different directions, take a moment to slow down.  Take the opportunity to plan menus and consider gift ideas ahead of time.  Make lists of the items you will need and then give yourself a few days to add anything you may have forgotten before heading out to brave the crowds.  By organizing, prioritizing and grouping tasks together, you can minimize the stress of multiple trips to the grocery store or mall and avoid last minute scrambling.

2.) I can’t afford this! Beginning in September (or maybe even August!) we are bombarded with television and magazine ads depicting holiday tables overflowing with food and gifts stockpiled under beautifully decorated fir trees.  It is easy to overspend in an attempt to reach these holiday expectations.  Set a budget and avoid the temptation to stray.  When you are making your gift lists, determine how much you can spend on each person and stick with it!  Consider pooling resources to buy group gifts for friends.  Draw names from a hat and buy gifts for one family member rather than all of them.  Think about handmade gifts like baked goods, ornaments or a recipe book or photo album.  Or give the gift of time by babysitting for a friend or helping your grandmother clean her attic-it’s free and often the most thoughtful present you can give.

3.) This isn’t how I thought it would be! The holidays come packed with high expectations.  Norman Rockwell and Martha Stewart have irreversibly colored our visions of what the holiday season “should” be, making it difficult to not be disappointed by reality.  Lower your expectations.  Try for a “good enough” holiday season.  By keeping expectations realistic and focusing on what’s really important to you, you may just find that your “good enough” holiday turns out to be “pretty great” after all.

4.) I can’t stand my family! This is the time of year when families feel compelled to come together in peaceful, loving harmony—whether they like it or not!  If your family is truly abusive, unpleasant or unhealthy for you, know that you have the choice to decline spending time with them.  If like most families, however, they are just mildly irritating, boastful, opinionated or hypercritical, use this opportunity to practice your coping and communication skills.  Pick your battles—do you really want to argue about politics or ancient slights over turkey and stuffing with the whole family witnessing?  Let it go for one day.  Walk away and take a break if that works best.  If you need to sort through personal and ideologic differences, find another time when you can discuss these things privately.  Set the tone by doing your best to not criticize others and to accept your family for who they are-likely imperfect and often times annoying-but family nonetheless.

5.) I’m lonely! On the flip side, this season can often be a time when the absence of family or social connections becomes highlighted.  If you are far from family, try creative ways to connect with them like email, videos or Skype.  If you find yourself feeling alone, look for local holiday concerts or community events to attend.  Find out if any co-workers may also be far from family or without holiday plans and have a potluck.  Consider spending your time giving to someone else in need.  Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry or distribute gifts to needy children. Helping someone else makes you feel good and can broaden your social relationships.

6.) I hate crowds! I recall being stuck in an hours-long traffic jam one Thanksgiving Eve while my car radio blared Andy Williams’ The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  The irony was not lost on me.  Sometimes you just have to laugh.  The traffic, crowds and interminably long lines are, unfortunately, as much a part of the season as cranberry sauce and candy canes.  But instead of frustration or anger, try humor, kindness or mindfulness.  If you’re stuck in traffic, use the time to call an old friend and catch up.  If you’re waiting in line, strike up a conversation with someone else waiting.  If the crowds are rattling your nerves, take the opportunity to notice the sights and sounds around you.  Take deep breaths and try to relax, accept that this is an inevitable part of the season but only a temporary inconvenience.

7.) I have too many parties! The holiday season is packed with cookie exchanges, work parties and school plays.  It can be entirely overstimulating.  Remember that it’s okay to say “no” to some things.  Choose wisely.  Don’t spend your time at a party with people whose company you don’t really enjoy when you could be home with your family or making a dent in your holiday shopping.   Friends and family will understand if you can’t attend every social gathering.

8.) I’m exhausted! The late-night parties, alcohol and over-indulgence in holiday sweets can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and guilty.    Make a pledge to have a fun but healthy holiday season.  Be sure to get plenty of rest during this stressful time.  Be mindful of your alcohol consumption.  Watch the carbs-have one cookie instead of three, don’t go back for a second helping of mashed potatoes and gravy.  And, as best you can, try to maintain an exercise schedule during these busy months.  Take the time to take care of yourself and you’ll have more energy to enjoy all that the holidays have to offer. 9.) I haven’t accomplished anything this year! As the New Year nears, we begin to take stock of the past months and may feel down over unmet goals.  Perhaps you didn’t lose the weight or didn’t get that promotion at work or the garage remains a mess or your files disorganized.   It’s great to set goals for yourself, but it’s a reality that they are not always met within the timeframe we had hoped. Rather than feeling down about what you didn’t do last year, take this time to re-evaluate.  Why didn’t these things get done?  Are these goals still important to you?  If so, what could you do differently in the New Year to meet them? Regroup and reenergize by focusing on the future, not ruminating on the past!

10.) It’s just too much. If you find that you just can’t cope with your anxiety or sadness, be sure to get the help you need.  The holidays can be a very difficult time.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by your feelings, talk to your doctor or find a mental health professional.  This is the time to make resolutions for the New Year and now is the perfect time to address any issues with anxiety or depression that have been plaguing you.  If you need assistance finding a mental health provider, talk to your doctor, look at the find-a-therapist section on this website or go to www.academyofct.org, www.adaa.org or www.abct.org for help.

Best wishes for a peaceful and joyous holiday season and a calm and happy New Year!

Finally Friday- Black Friday Edition

Finally, it’s Friday! This week has been a great one for me, hope its been fantastic for you as well! After you wake up from your food coma, check out all the links in this weeks blog post!

Let me start by saying one thing: I HATE Black Friday. I think it is crazy, proof that people geniuinely do not care for others, and out of control. Now let me say this- I spent lots of time of the interwebs and put a spin on my own Black Friday. Now, enjoy!

*Note, none of these people are sponsors of my blog or have paid for any of this. I am simply in love with it!

  • Check out this Peppermint-Oreo Cookie Balls recipe! Don’t they look delicious?
  • Aren’t these sassy black and teal nails great?
  • I absolutely LOVE this Black ring!
  • This video takes away all the “dark and twisties” of being a Grey.

Things I Love Thursday- Thanksgiving Edition

There is always a family member like this.

Dr. Meredith Grey: “Gratitude. Appreciation Giving thanks. No matter what words you use, it all means the same thing: happy. We’re supposed to be happy. Grateful; for friends, family, happy to just be alive. Weather we like it or not. Maybe we’re not supposed to be happy. Maybe gratitude has nothing to do with joy. Maybe being grateful means recognizing what you have for what it is. Appreciating small victories. Admiring the struggle it takes simply to be human. Maybe we’re thankful for the familiar things we know. And maybe we’re thankful for the things we’ll never know. At the end of the day the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate.”

  • This food art is adorable!
  • It’s not a parade without Snoopy. He’s my favorite.
  • Thankful to have a German family during the holidays. Oma’s Roladen (which she jars all her leftovers so we can enjoy whenever we’d like), Potato Dumplings, and Saurkraut. So much better than some of the traditional dishes!
  • Pajamas! We aren’t doing a traditional Thanksgiving this year, which means no need to dress up- we get to enjoy our jammies instead!

Thankful For . . . (Part 3)

This is the third post in the Thankful For series this year. I am so thankful for so many things, but finding something to write on, and expound on has really gotten me thinking hard. Only picking three things? That is definitley tough.

So I cheated.

I am thankful for my baby boy. I am thankful that after trying for so long we were finally able to add to our little family. I am so thankful that even though I have to go see many doctors, specialists and get lots of ultrasounds and labs done, that he is healthy. I am also secretly thankful that they may induce me two weeks early, so I can meet my little man sooner. I am thankful that he is so wiggly, so that I can feel him all day long, as well as play back. I love our poke wars.

I am also so thankful for my in-laws. They are amazing people and I don’t know where I’d be without them. When my parents decided to quit being parents, they took me in, they’ve helped me through more than my parents ever have, they gave me a roof over my head, they fed me, they treated me as if I was their child. They cheered me on with school, they listened to my rants with work. They’ve been the most incredible people on the face of this earth.

I am thankful that they are able to be around my husband and I for this adventure. I find it quite pathetic that my parents want nothing to do with me, my wonderful spouse or their grandchild, but that is their choice. I am so excited that my inlaws have been as wonderful as they have been and that they’ve been so supportive over the years.

Thank you both. I love you!

My Famous “German Delight” Recipe

We call this the “German Delight” because it was taught to me by a German exchange student. His mom made it every year for Christmas, and after tasting it, we fell in love with it! We’ve all seen the cheese balls with crackers, this is the desert version!

Here it is, to share with you!

GERMAN DELIGHT RECIPE

  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • ½ cup real butter
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate pieces (mini chocolate chips work best)
  • 1 Box Vanilla Wafers

Mix everything except for the Chocolate pieces and the Vanilla wafers in a mixing bowl. It will create a sticky mess, that’s the point! Form it into a ball and sprinkle with the chocolate pieces. Place in the fridge and chill for about an hour or so. When you are ready to serve, add the wafers to the plate and enjoy!

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