Where I Went…

I abandoned this blog. I’m sorry. I have a lot of really good reasons.

Let’s start at the beginning. In September, I finally found a job in Seattle. It’s a good job, pays well enough, but is a contract position very far away from my apartment. Almost 2 hours of driving a day took a lot of my free time away.

Then, in October, my mother was diagnosed with cancer. Two types, actually. She had surgery and then prepped to start chemo before Christmas.

Late November, I have my first happy news to report from my absence, Code Boyfriend has been upgraded to Code Fiance. We got engaged. He gave me a little model Fiat, and we picked out my ring together. We told both sets of parents over Christmas. We lucked out and got to tell mine in person on the same day they got engaged, 27 years prior.

I think everyone in my family needed that jolt of happy news. 

 

The first week of December, my father’s kidneys failed. Turns out, he also has cancer.

I wish this kind of physiologically pain on no one. It was out of left field. They are both relatively young. And healthy. My world started shaking uncontrollably, and really hasn’t stopped. 

My days became who has chemo and what time, and is there enough food in a house 300 miles away from me. I flew home as often as I could, and helped out where ever I could.

I will never forget the looks on any of the oncologists faces when they found out both my parents had cancer. My life sucked, and they knew it. It was unheard of.

I’m really glad about that. I really hope no one else has this kind of horrible luck.

Just when we started to get the hand of this whole chemo thing, my mother had a pulmonary embolism: a blood clot in her lungs. She survived, but she is very lucky. This led to more doctors and more medication. So that was January.

Then, in February, I got laid off. In light of everything else, not the worst thing in the world. I never loved my job. But handling everything plus planning a wedding while losing a paycheck is nobodies idea of a good time. 

So I’m back to applying for jobs, still working — at least until Wednesday, planning a wedding, monitoring both my parents, and occasionally trying to sleep.

I will come back. Maybe soon. Maybe not. Try and be patient. Maybe taking the time to write this will give me the inspiration to photograph meals this week. Maybe next. 

My only point is, this blog is not dead. And neither am I. 

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Reusable Smoothie Straws

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Since I’ve been getting my smoothie groove on lately, I started thinking about how I was drinking them.

Isn’t the idea of consuming mass quantities of fruits and vegetables to make me healthier?

Why am I sucking these healthy drinks through a plastic grocery store straw?

Are those safe?

Am I slowly ingesting plastic?

How about BPA?

I really had no idea. I started asking these questions of Google as well as looking into alternative straws.

As it turns out, with the frequency I eat smoothies, I had reason to be skeptical of my straws. Not really the best health-wise or for the environment.

But really, what is a smoothie without a straw?

As I found out, there are 4 main alternative to plastic disposable straws:

Metal 

Stainless steel or titanium. 10 dollars for a set 0f 4, and reusable.

I didn’t order any to try because they get cold when placed in cold liquid, and they are difficult to make sure they are clean, since you can’t see through the straw.

Glass

Glass straws are pretty. The prettiest of the options, IMO. Glass straws are reusable and you can see if they are clean. However, they also come with a hefty price tag.

30 dollars for a set of 4… I’m in college! I don’t have 30 dollars to spend on something pretty. Maybe after graduation…

Paper

Better for the environment than plastic, but still disposable. More reasonably priced.

6-7 dollars for 144. I didn’t order any paper straws because I like to chew my straws and I don’t enjoy eating paper. They come in a variety of cute patterns, I just don’t think they are for me.

Silicone

Silicone ended up being my baby bear. Reusable and in my price range. They don’t transfer heat, so they don’t get cold in smoothies. You can still chew on the ends. And best of all, they are completely non-toxic.

I ordered a set of 4 silicone reusable straws from GreenPaxx off of Amazon for $10.95.

I am not affiliated with this company, and I am not receiving anything for my review. Although, all things on the table, Code Boyfriend did get a job offer from Amazon. Yay Amazon!

Back to the straws.

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These straws are, for lack of a better term, cool. They come in 2 pieces! I was worried this would make them leak, but I’ve had no issues with that.

The 2 piece design really does make them easy to clean, but I have noticed that the dishwasher doesn’t get them all the way clean if they haven’t been rinsed out or soaked after smoothie-time.

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But on the upside, they are dishwasher safe, so I feel that they are sterilized.

Once run through the dishwasher, or even hand washed, the straws do not hold on to any odors from my smoothies. Even when Code Boyfriend used one for a frappuccino. Not even coffee stained these bad boys.

They are also huge, great for thick smoothies and milkshakes.

The only thing I don’t like about these straws is the overall look. They do look very childish, only coming in hot pink or blue, with lime green.

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I would still highly recommend investing in some of these straws if you too find yourself going through too many plastic straws.

30 Day Blogging Challenge Wrap Up

I did it!

I blogged every day for 30 days!

I shared some of my favorite recipes and got inspired to make plenty of new ones.

I came up with a great idea for a craft for the Hooks and Needles sale table.

I got to rant about the days that didn’t go as I wanted. I learned that some days you don’t have new content. Some days, life is just doesn’t give you anything blog-worthy.

I’m extremely glad I committed to Anxiety and Coffee for a full month. I learned a lot about photography, a subject that I didn’t know I enjoyed. I’m looking forward to getting a better camera and posting better pictures on my new posting schedule.

I am going to try and post once a week from now on. A recipe or craft each time.

But for now, Code Boyfriend and I are moving onto a new 30 day challenge.

This time, in honor of the holiday’s, it is an exercise challenge.

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred. Hopefully it will help Code Boyfriend and I from accumulating too much holiday weight.

We did cheat a tiny bit so we didn’t have to work out on Christmas. We started our December 30 day challenge before November ended.

We’re on day 5 or 6 now.. not sure. But this work out is kicking our butts into shape. I’ll keep you posted with how it goes.

Right now, we’ve only done the first workout of the three in the shred, but it is really well designed.

It works your entire body, but tries very hard to avoid injuries.

Wish me luck!