The Surreal Reality of Everyone Living Like You

The world is weird right now. Rightly so. There’s never been anything like this. The world has shut down.

Everyone seems to be getting serious cabin fever due to the lockdowns, the shelter-in-place orders, the social distancing. Initially, I was confused by this. Then it hit me: everyone lives a dramatically different life than I do.

October 11, 2017: Lizz in a blue Vogmask
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Safe, DIY Hand Sanitizer

I’ve been seeing a lot of DIY hand sanitizer recipes lately, thanks to the novel coronavirus (covid-19). Unfortunately, a lot of the DIY recipes leave you with a product that is less than the CDC recommended 60% alcohol. I want to share why and how that happens, and give you a basic recipe to make your own hand sanitizer that follows the CDC guidelines.

First, it’s important to understand what your bottle of rubbing alcohol is: a bottle of 100% isopropyl alcohol and water. “Wait, my bottle says 70% rubbing alcohol!” I assure you, it’s still 100% alcohol mixed with water. Imagine an empty bottle, now put pure (100%) alcohol into the bottle, but only fill it halfway. Now fill the bottle the rest of the way with distilled water. You now have 50% rubbing alcohol because the solution (two or more things mixed together is a solution) is made up of 50% isopropyl alcohol and 50% water.

Red is 100% isopropyl alchol, blue is water, purple is 50% rubbing alcohol.
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Gluten Free Piña Colada Muffins

When Dan and I moved in to our first apartment, I raided my mom’s recipe box. There were a lot of recipes I’d never seen before, and hadn’t been made in at least 21 years. One of the long-forgotten recipes was for these piña colada muffins! They quickly became a staple in our house, but we didn’t know about my gluten sensitivity. When we discovered I was gluten sensitive, these (and many other recipes) got filed away for “later.”

Then, just the other day, I decided I wanted to give them a try! Several recipes I’ve converted to gluten free taste like the gluten free flour, and I was hoping these particular muffins might have enough flavor to disguise it. They do! These muffins have the exact taste and texture we remember, but none of the gluten! Now, on to the recipe!

These muffins are packed full of flavor and have an excellent texture: not soggy and not too dry!
Click Here for Recipe!

Let’s Catch Up: 2019 Review, part two

My first 2019 review got longer than anticipated, so I divided the year in half. Be sure to check out the first half of 2019 in this post.

Both summaries include links to my Instagram posts (where I’ve remained active) for further details, when they’re available. A few items, especially in part one, also include links to blog posts. All links below are to my own material.

Now, without further ado, let’s get to the summary! This post starts with July 2019:

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Let’s Catch Up: 2019 Review, part one

April 2019 was the last time I was consistent on my blog, and a lot has happened since then. I got burned out and overwhelmed, so I needed to take a break from blogging. My life has continued to burn me out and overwhelm me, but from a blogging perspective I’m feeling more like myself again!

To help catch everyone up on life’s happenings, I wanted to do a summary of 2019. No matter how “quick” I try to make these, they always end up long. This post will be January through June, and part two will be up next week. These summaries will include links to my Instagram posts (where I’ve remained active) for further details, when they’re available. A few items, especially earlier in 2019, will also include links to blog posts. All links in this article are to my own material.

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Impending Hip Surgery

Thank you all for your patience while I took a break. I was burned out and having a rough time with my mental health. Unfortunately, infertility is still a major part of our lives, but that has needed to be put on hold for a few months because I need to have surgery on my right hip.

On August 13th, just one week from now, I will be having surgery on my hip. The surgeon we met with originally had been practicing in Denver, but then she moved up to Vail (which is two to two and a half hours from Denver). She is an amazing surgeon and was willing to work with all of the complications of my life and health conditions. We live in one of Denver’s suburbs, but we will be driving up to Vail for my surgery. Since it’s such a long drive, and surgery check-in is usually very early in the morning, we will be spending the night up there before the surgery.

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Mood Tracking for Self-Care

Chronic illness takes a toll on your mental health, even when nothing you have is fatal/terminal. Infertility also takes a toll on your mental health. Both of these things have a dramatic impact on your life, so it’s normal (and expected) for these things to have such a huge impact on your mental health.

Blank wooden scrabble tiles with "Mental Health" spelled out in tiles laid on top.
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Food Journaling for Self-Care

Food and eating are both hot button issues in our current social climate. Between diet culture, increased nutritional knowledge, and increasingly globalized food choices, it can be overwhelming to figure out what to eat. Enter my April self-care challenge: eating for self-care.

There will be some modifications to this challenge for primarily tube fed individuals included later on. I could not figure out how to include people on TPN, and I do apologize for that.

Gray haired man in a gray suit holding a banana as if it was a gun and making a "grr" face.
Accurate representation of “diet culture.”

Every single body is different. Even if we all ate exactly the same things, exercised exactly the same ways for the same amount of time, and slept the same amount every single night, we would still all be different sizes and shapes! If we did everything the same, some of us would be very ill, some would feel amazing, and the rest would be somewhere in between. Why? Because no two bodies have the same requirements.

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Autism Acceptance Month: My Undiagnosed Childhood Experience

Honestly, I can’t remember a time I didn’t feel different in some way. Siblings are frequently different from each other, but I always felt extra different, without every knowing exactly why. I was an overly passionate child: quick to anger, quick to cry, and quick to laugh harder than anyone around. Once I started school, the differences between me and the other children became more obvious. I remember standing on the playground in kindergarten, feeling overwhelmed and confused. The other students picked up on my differences quickly, and that’s never a good thing. Above all else, I simply couldn’t understand why I was different and what it was that other people did that was so different.

Deep pressure therapy is used to help calm the nervous system. I believe that’s what I was trying to achieve here, as a toddler.
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