All Things Monica

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Life-changing Natural Beauty Tips

Posted on September 4, 2012 at 3:55 PM Comments comments (0)

I have tried a few new natural beauty tips recently that I am in LOVE with. I wanted to make sure I shared them with anyone who might be interested.


Tumeric Oil : This stuff is amazing! I had some old scars and new wounds. At night, I used a very thin layer on just the areas needing attention. Within 2 or 3 days, there was a remarkably noticeable decrease in their appearance. I was astounded. I have to warn you that this stuff will stain any fabric yellow (and skin till it's thoroughly washed). That's why I used it at night and made sure not to sleep on my stomach. If you know you'll end up there, I'd recommend covering the areas with a bandaid or something to protect your linens. I haven't had the occasion to try it on pimples yet (I hardly get any now that I've decreased wheat intake and stopped using soap/shampoo), but I will assume that it will do wonders on them, too. You should be able to purchase it in a health food store. If not, don't forget the web.


Cornstarch & Milk of Magnesia: Ok, these blew my mind like you would not believe. I have extremely oily skin. I mean, I'm shiny within 20 minutes of washing my face in the morning. I will say it has improved a little since eschewing soap, but it's still bad news bears. You can imagine the kind of havoc that wreaks on makeup. (Yes, I've tried mineral makeup. I like it, but I want fuller coverage and I don't like the mess.) By lunch, I look like I'm wearing a brown/yellow oily mask. NOT attractive.


First tip: use milk of magnesia under you foundation. What?! I tried it. It really works. You can put it all over or just on the problem areas. It's easier to apply if you put it in a smaller squeeze bottle or something. You can use cotton balls, your fingers, or whatever you're most comfortable with. If you use primer (I always do for special occasions or nights out on the town - as if I get those), you apply the MOM under that. Seriously, NO SHINE ALL DAY.


Second tip (my fave from the last TEN YEARS): Use cornstarch to set your makeup. No joke. This changed my life. First of all, many of the more expensive setting powders are similar to cornstarch or are exactly cornstarch. Second, when it's not cornstarch, it's most likely some awful chemical that in ten years will be discovered as horribly carcinogenic or something. As with any natural ingredient, you may want to test to make sure you're not allergic. Let me tell you: I used this and very late that night, my make up looked like I had just put it on. I didn't even have that crazy eyeshadow crease mash up. Amazing. It's not necessary, but I dusted the cornstarch under and over the eyeshadow for extra protection. You will NOT believe how amazing this is. 

Depression and the Clown

Posted on October 9, 2009 at 8:23 AM Comments comments (0)

I’ve mentioned that due to neurofeedback and avoiding HFCS, I’ve been feeling really good. I haven’t felt down in a long time (weeks). Then yesterday came. I got in the car to go to my mother’s for another treatment, and WHAM! I felt worse than I have in months. I didn’t care if I drove off the road, I wanted to go home and go to sleep, and it hurt to move or think. Where on earth did it come from? I called Matthias and my mom, and was better while I was on phone, but the minute I hung up, it was back in full force. Nothing was “wrong”, so why did I feel so incredibly awful? After leaving mom’s, I had to high-tail it to church for Praise Team practice. Usually, that lifts me up, but not last night. I’m not very good at letting other’s know when I’m down, so I just didn’t look anyone in the eye all night. I didn’t want to be there at all. I started trying to remember when this happened the last time, and that’s when it struck me. Both times, I’d had several McDonald’s sweet teas in just a few days! Could that be it? The other time, my therapist had informed me that sugar can wreak havoc with depression. I looked up the ingredients just to be sure it wasn’t HFCS, and lo and behold, they use real sugar. The moral of this story is that I absolutely cannot have more than one sweet tea in a week. That’s a bummer, but not nearly as bad as dealing with how I felt yesterday. Sugar may be better than HFCS, but it’s still sugar. Moderation, folks.

Studying Plus

Posted on September 25, 2009 at 9:44 AM Comments comments (0)

I’ve started classes again! I’m glad to be in class again, but nervous about getting everything done. Of course, that’s true at the beginning of every quarter. However, I’ve decided to approach things a little differently. In the past, I’ve done the bare minimum in studying at the beginning of a course, then if I don’t do well on a test (and I’m usually fine), then I study harder afterward. Well, that’s not a good way to do things. This time, I’m going to try to study super hard at the beginning then lighten up, if I can, later. To that end, I’m following the study method my uncle Bob used:

1) Read the material for the next class within 24 hour BEFORE that class.

2) Take notes during class, and not rely on printed Power Points from professors.

3) Note pages are divided into 3rd’s. The right 2/3’s is for in class notes.

4) Within 24 following class, I will pull out important information from the notes and mark that in the left third of the note page.

He said the purpose is to go over the material 4 times in a 48 hour period (reading, hearing lecture, taking notes, summarizing notes. He says his goal was always to “conquer a class”, not just pass! I’ll give it a shot and see how it goes.

 

I’ve been making a lot of good changes in my life. Before neurofeedback, I couldn’t have made one of them; I have always been mostly paralyzed by anxiety. Now, I see something that I want to change, and I just make the change! Thanks, Mom!

My Mawmaw

Posted on September 9, 2009 at 5:12 PM Comments comments (0)

My grandmother, whom we call Mawmaw, went to the hospital today with shortness of breath. She’s 83, and my mom said that when older people go to the hospital often, it’s a sign that their body is wearing down. She was crying as she told me this. Later, she sent me a text letting me know that Mawmaw was stable, but that she was talking about being tired and wanting to go to Heaven. Emotionally, I think I shut down as soon as my mom called about her going to the hospital. That’s always been my automatic response to stress (not that it’s worked well for me). My grandparents helped raise me, and I still haven’t really grieved for Pawpaw, who died in 2001. Now I’m faced with losing Mawmaw and I’m numb. It may sound strange, but I really don’t feel much; however, that’s by unconscious design. I’m afraid that it would tear me apart to really feel the things that I think are buried deeply. I really love my grandparents, and losing Pawpaw was HUGE. I haven’t dealt with it because I don’t think I can. Now I may lose Mawmaw. They moved to Arizon when I was 16, and I shut off then. I didn’t call them very often or go visit because it hurt too much that I couldn’t see them everyday (talking to them reminded me of that). They are an enormous part of who I am today (at least the good parts), and I neglected my relationship with them. I’ve lost one; now I may lose the other. As I write this, I have that feeling in my chest when you’re starting to cry, so maybe I’m not as numb as I thought (5 therapists and countless meds later). I can only give this to God and trust that He will hold me up.

Walking the Temple

Posted on September 8, 2009 at 12:32 PM Comments comments (0)

I still haven't had a coke, or even a craving for almost a week now, so that's awesome! I?m doing pretty well about staying away from sugar in general, HFCS and artificial in particular. I?m not sure how much of this is the new med or God, but either way I?m glad. I?m looking into getting better tennis shoes so I can walk more, too. I have VERY flat feet, so I can't just get any old shoe. I?m starting with inserts for arch supports, and that may be enough. I?ve also started wearing my pedometer again, though I?m not walking much yet. My friend said she'd go to a park with me to walk, so that'll be cool, too. It feels good to be starting these things; like we're really trying to do the best for the Temple, you know?

 

I have also noticed that all the changes I'm making used to be so overwhelming, I got no farther than wanting to make them. Now, I'm just doing it; not agonizing, not paralyzed by over-analysis, just action. I have to assume that the difference is mostly due to the neurofeedback. YAY!!

More Brain Work

Posted on August 31, 2009 at 11:07 PM Comments comments (0)

I've now had two treatments. (Don't worry, I won't tell you about every single one.) I could tell that I was more relaxed and focused. At least 2 people as me who gave me all the sugar, so I guess that means my energy was up, too. I'm hopeful that this bodes well for the future.

 

In semi-related news, my friend Marlene and I have decided to hold each other accountable to reading through the Bible in a year. I'm excited but nervous about it. I've always had a REALLY hard time being in the Word every day, so I'm nervous that I'll fail again. I know that shouldn't be my focus, but that's how anxiety works. Pray for us.

First Neurofeedback Treatment

Posted on August 29, 2009 at 4:53 PM Comments comments (0)

I’ve had my first neurofeedback treatment, and I can already tell a difference. That day, my muscles were less tense; I felt more at peace, etc. Yesterday and today, I’ve been accused of having too much sugar. I can only assume that that means I’m more energetic than usual. I can tell that I’m more focused and less anxious. If this is the result after one session, I have high hopes. I believe I’m supposed to do it twice a week for 22 weeks or something, so it’s a commitment, but well worth it.

On a totally different note, I’m totally head over heals for my little kitten Francis. He is so sweet and cuddly and fun and lovey. I have trouble even being away from him for work! Sad, but true.

Cat Got Your Tongue?

Posted on August 26, 2009 at 5:41 PM Comments comments (0)

Some of you know that I’ve been contemplating how much I talk. It’s a LOT, to understate. A few months ago, I mentioned thinking that I should be more deliberate about what I say. I’ve been doing that more in the last 2 weeks than all those months before. As a consequence, I’ve been much less talkative than usual. This could also be a result of less anxiety (one of the “symptoms” is excess chatter). Because of this, everyone at works asks me if I’m all right. I am. I’m just fine. I just don’t need to say as much as usual. I’m being more internal than external. It could also be from the influence of my introvert boyfriend. Who know? Maybe God is prepping me to speak less so I write more? That would be interesting, no?

My next step in being content internally would be to be ok with being alone; as it is, I HATE being alone or doing anything alone. Part of the reason for that is how extroverted I am, but it’s even more due to my anxiety. I have to learn to let that go, to be ok with hearing my own thoughts, etc. Of course, that’s hard to do with racing thoughts, so I hope this will get easier with therapy, better meds, neurofeedback, and of course God.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Posted on August 25, 2009 at 1:42 PM Comments comments (0)

I have been dealing with chronic depression since at least the age of 11. I have been to several counselors and have taken various medications, both of which have helped a great deal. I always felt that this was my major issue and primary cross to bear. I have since realized (through God, mom, and my therapist) that my depression is just the result of having Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

People with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) go through the day filled with exaggerated worry and tension, even though there is little or nothing to provoke it. They anticipate disaster and are overly concerned about health issues, money, family problems, or difficulties at work. Sometimes just the thought of getting through the day produces anxiety.

GAD is diagnosed when a person worries excessively about a variety of everyday problems for at least 6 months.13 People with GAD can’t seem to get rid of their concerns, even though they usually realize that their anxiety is more intense than the situation warrants. They can’t relax, startle easily, and have difficulty concentrating. Often they have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Physical symptoms that often accompany the anxiety include fatigue, headaches, muscle tension, muscle aches, difficulty swallowing, trembling, twitching, irritability, sweating, nausea, lightheadedness, having to go to the bathroom frequently, feeling out of breath, and hot flashes.

Other anxiety disorders, depression, or substance abuse2,4 often accompany GAD, which rarely occurs alone. GAD is commonly treated with medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy, but co-occurring conditions must also be treated using the appropriate therapies. (nimh.nih.gov)

This is the reason I’ve always worried about everything. You may think, “Well, everyone worries, right?” This is more than every day worries. I agonized in Staples yesterday about choosing an assigment planner for classes. I went up and down the aisles at least 10 times. When I think I’ve hurt someone or if someone has hurt me, I think about the conversation that happened and the ones that could/should have over and over for months, sometimes years. When I was 13, I’d lay in bed for hours at night distraught about whether or not my children would be kind to animals! Not normal.

Because I thought that everyone thinks the way I do, I never really talked about what went on in my head much. Just in the last few years, I’ve said things that made my mom take notice. She suggested that I may have anxiety issues. Since then, I’ve started taking medication for that as well, going to a therapist again, and working my way through the Anxiety & Phobia Workbook. I have also taken steps to get neurofeedback done.

My mother says, “Anxiety steals the joy from life.” Thus, the depression. As frustrating as it is to have something like this, it’s good to be able to label it so I can start to deal with it.

Bitter Poison

Posted on May 9, 2009 at 6:33 PM Comments comments (0)

"Being bitter is like taking poison and expecting someone else to die."

-Bob Hostetler

Pile of Junk

Posted on July 29, 2008 at 1:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I'm the pile of junk. I'm only 33 and I feel like I've been falling apart for 20 years. Depression, anxiety, PCOS, migraines, gout (yes, that's right), heel spurs, arthritis, possible gall bladder surgery, carpul tunnel on both sides, etc. What am I, 95?! Now, I'm stressing about some family situations, my finances, etc. My stress always comes out physically, so I haven't been able to sleep for 2 weeks, and my stomach is in knots all the time. I think "Be still and know" should be my tatoo.

Soooooooooooo bumbed!

Posted on May 3, 2008 at 10:04 AM Comments comments (0)

It really sucks to have to be back in the real world after having so much fun. I mentioned before that tons of things happened, so I'll have to address them in installments.

First, I had a super conversation with Zac (guitar) after the Ann Arbor concert. I'd asked him about how he got involved with the Procs. He was telling me about getting started in music in general, too, so I started picking hi brain about what I should to for my singing. What he said was mostly common sense, but sometimes you have to hear it from someone else. I am 33 and have done very little to further any kind of singing career. I believe it's mostly because I wasn't taking my anti-anxiety meds until recently. Before, when I would start to take steps in music, I would be overwhelmed with all these self-imposed, irrational rules in my head. I convinced myself that before I could do anything, I had to be a good songwriter, nail down my style, have a full band, etc. That's ridiculous. I need to just get out there. Zac suggested piano bars, etc. to get more time and experience, then going through classifieds to look for anyone trying to find a singer. I've also had numerous offers for help making demo. I need to really get that done, but it was like a revelation to me that I don't have to do these things in any particular order. I have been ruled by my anxiety for years and didn't even know how far-reaching it was. I'm very excited about how things are going, though.