ohdeardrea header
home button food button home button “natural “travel “advertise

Creature Comforts

I always want to be comfortable. I mean, we all do, right? But I will not step outside of my comfort limits and I haven't been big on seeking change lately either. Inmfact, I've been craving more comfort than usual lately--- I mean, it makes sense, with everything going on. This house has been more hectic even, every day is a new surprise and our basic comforts like mood and health (for all of of us) have been a bit unpredictable. I'm also not good at change--- or I mean, I am, but it takes a big self-talking to to make it happen. Like, none of us are itching to move any furniture around over here. And if one thing gets moved on a shelf, then one out of the three of us will be sure to move it back quickly. We get used to things a certain way-- it's comforting to have those things unwavering and steady.

For the longest time, Alex has wanted a new mattress. I'm not sure why really. For me, my 7-8 year old 100$ mattress has been fine. Not great, or anything to write home about (in fact, my dad laughed at me when I told him I still had the same cheap mattress), but absolutely fine. I think for me, it's not that I didn't want a new mattress, but it's just that I didn't want to let go of the old one. A 7 year old creature comfort. But just like everything else in this house--- we made it last, until one of us (or both of us) decided, it's time to move forward. We like to do a big purge of the house each year, or sometimes twice a year-- you guys know I love a good spring cleaning. I love to rid the house of the things we don't use, need, or things that other people would be happier with. This year, along with clothes, musical equipment, bedding, and Marlowe's old toddler toys, we took out our mattress and brought it in to donate. And in came a new mattress.

In a box. Alex and I looked at each other and thought "there's no way." But apparently there was a way---- because later that day when Alex went to work and my family came to stop by, I opened the box.... and took pictures to show you guys how amazing and ridiculous it is to find a new mattress in a box....

My step mom and I were both like, "WHOA." and my dad was like all like *I don't care. technology*

And just like that, I was opening up packaging to find... you really can fit a whole (awesome looking) mattress in a box. Or really, I can't fit a mattress in a box, but the people of 4Sleep very obviously can (very well).


But seriously--- 4Sleep makes an awesome looking (and amazingly comfortable) mattress. And I didn't follow the directions at all (sorry directions), because it said to open the mattress in the room you plan to place it in and I was like, "nah, the middle of the house is a fine place to un-squish a mattress." And so the entire afternoon was spent with my little brother and Marlowe fighting over who gets to lay (or play) on the mattress and Marlowe doing front roll after front roll--- only stopping to ask, "I want a mattress like this, it's so cozy, can I get a mattress like this?"

The next morning, we set it up--- and again didn't listen to instructions because we jumped on it for a good while-- I mean, you have to right? You gotta test it out!

So I gotta tell you--- my comfort thing, well, sometimes it borders on crazy. I was nervous about the new mattress, like, irrationally nervous. And the first night we plopped it on our bed, I refused to sleep on it. I knew it was comfortable, but I was worried about not sleeping well, or waking up with back pain (apparently that is a common thing when you switch your mattress), and was worried about whatever else I could possibly overthink. But finally, the following night, I embraced the new change that Alex had been wanting for a while--- and  I was pleased, really pleased. No back pains, no headaches, no tossing and turning, just sleep. Peaceful, comfortable sleep.

Want to know more about our awesome looking mattress? Well, you can obviously check out their website, but I'll tell you more too, because that's sort of my job, right?

4Sleep mattresses are made here in the USA, right up the street-- kind of. A few hour north drive anyway.
4Sleep offers free shipping anywhere in the U.S. and there is a 90 day money back guarantee and a ten year warranty.
4Sleep is a memory foam mattress with a promise to be mercury, lead, formaldehyde, phthalates, and ozone-depleter free. And all mattresses are low-voc.
4Sleep mattresses are comfortable, really comfortable, like, your family will fight over them.

I hope you guys all had a great week and have a better weekend. I'm happy to say  that even though last week was tough--- this week has shown much improvement. I even went to meditation/yoga this week. Good, happy thoughts. Have a great weekend, everyone! 

Health And Life Lately

So I'm not doing great, but I'm not awful either. I write ten million blog posts in my head about my health, my fears, my questions, my everything, but my thoughts rarely make it to the keys. Thoughts about the future, the now, the past, heaven, sickness, wishes, everything. My mind raises often, always has, always will. And right now, my main priority has been to try to quiet my mind, or at least fill it with as many positive thoughts as I can to crowd out any fears or pains. The good news is, I have lots of good news. The bad news is, it's been two months now that I've been sick, that I haven't driven, that I've been half on and half living, and at times, I've hardly been living at all---- but I'm trying.

So let's start with the scary and apparently most threatening stuff, my c. diff. Well, I'm happy (and nervous) to say, that I think I'm actually beating it. It seems as if my gut is on the mend. I mean, my gut still has A LOT of work to go through--- I've got some IBS leftover to battle, I can't eat raw foods at all (I miss you kale) and I'm on the most restricted diet ever. I lost ten pounds from the c. diff. Yes, ten pounds, which may not sound like a lot to some, but thats a good 10% of my body weight I had to unwittingly say goodbye to. I haven't been at this weight in ten plus years, and honestly, never had planned to return to it. But I'm here. I think the scary thing about losing all this weight is that, if the c. diff returns, then what? I have no cushion to lose anything else. Yikes. So I'm doing the best I can to gain weight with this restricted diet and stomach issues. All my favorite protein sources, had been a no-no for my gut. I'm only finally adding some of them back in, but really: Beans? No. Nuts? No. Tofu? No way. Everything was and has been a 'no'. I was eating mostly cooked, pureed beans, for a while, but was told to cut back on that too. And I'd be lying if I didn't consider, on multiple occasions, asking for a bone broth. Fear and sickness can do some pretty funny things to you. But I've held back and have been determined to get healthy again, without the need to eat dead things. I did however, end up giving in and eating eggs. A middle ground, I guess. Pretty grossed out still, but it's been the only real protein source my stomach can handle without issues. So, eggs are back in my life for the first time in 9 years. I plan on putting together a post on all the things that have helped me through the c. diff, but for now, I'm still working my butt off to ensure it wont return-- because it can, easily. I'm not in the clear for at least three months. I do feel that if I can keep up with this diet for a few more months, adding in a few things, every once in a while, then I should be good.

But about a month of diarrhea? Ugh, I've been left completely depleted and malnourished, to say the very least. I had blood work done at the very start of all of this (before the malnourishment) and with the exception of three minerals, I wasn't missing or low on ANYTHING. "Perfect" blood work, every time. No anemia, no b 12 deficiency, nothing. I was really healthy. Now, I'm low in so many things and trying my best to rebuild. I've been pulled out of the anemia I ended up with, but I'm still very far from thriving. I thought I had put back on two pounds this week, so that made me happy and very relieved--- a sign that I am finally getting somewhere in this battle, but a visit to the doctors office proved otherwise. Nonetheless, I still do feel like I'm on the mend and I will gain the weight back, eventually.

The Dengue/viral infection thing? Who the hell knows. All I know is that whatever happened in those first two weeks of hell seems to have mostly have passed. I still get random sharp muscle pains-- and my fatigue is ridiculous. Once upon a time, 6 hours was the perfect amount of sleep for me, now I'm looking at a 10 hour minimum to function--- and by function, I mean, sit or lay somewhere other than my bed, but most likely just the couch. So for now, still mending and I spend most of my time, just trying to feel better. I'm doing the little things I can now, but open to all things that can help. I've been left with really low blood pressure that has been causing me a lot of issues. It's not necessarily life threatening, but it's definitely a problem. It's possible (and likely) all of these issues may have caused some sort of endocrine dysfunction to occur in my body. I'm on a mission to find out exactly what and how I can help it get better. I've also ended up with more jaw issues from all of this--- night time teeth grinding party. Boy, it hurts my gums, jaw, and, and ear area. But now I'm super fancy at night wearing a mouth guard. Watch out world, I'm bringing sexy back. It seems to be helping.

And the tumor discovered in my brain? Well, for starters, it's there, but the good news? All signs point to benign. Of course, if it grows it will be an issue, and I will need surgery or treatment to shrink it, but for now, I can rest. The only plan is to watch it, carefully.

So things are good, or at least okay. I miss my active and fun life. I miss feeling super healthy. I miss pizza too of course, but things are okay. I'm going to start getting more acupuncture treatments and bring back some more gentle yoga in my life as my energy builds--- if nothing else, to heal my mind. And I'm doing what I do best--- I'm planning fun things, to give me more things to look forward to--- you know, positive happy future goals. We head to New England soon, and if I'm up for it, Alex and I will be making a road trip to Vermont and maybe Montreal. Then we have a trip planned for July and August--- so yes, I am determined to feel better by then and enjoy all the things I love most.

Thanks for being a positive force in my life, guys. It means a lot to me--- all your warm wishes, prayers, positive thoughts, they do all help. Thank you for caring. I got you a rainbow. 

Maximizing Kids Toys: Creating A Kids DIY Veggie Stand From With A Puppet Theatre & Other Useful Things To Do With Magical Putty

You guys knows we're DIY people (or I think you know anyway). I mean, I don't post DIY's everyday on this thing, but we surely do them at home all the time. Remember, why pay someone else to do it, when you can do it yourself, right? Right.

Looking around the house I can usually spot a good handful of things I want to fix. Nothing that drives me nuts or anything (thankfully), but things that make me think, "I should maybe work on that." It's safe to say we all do this. Even Marlowe is constantly working her little mind grapes to figure out new things to fix or make. And as you guys probably know, we like to use what we have, and make it better. Sure, sometimes things get old or really, really break and they require an upgrade. Hell, sometimes you just want to upgrade, and that's totally fine (TOTALLY fine!). But it's good practice to take what you already have and just make it better. I mean, if you can, why not, right? It saves you more money and it creates less waste.

So Marlowe got this pretty cute puppet stand this past year. I don't have the before-before photos, but we ended up painting it together so it could match her room a bit more. We also changed out the red curtain with an old dress to make a new curtain. (Don't judge the sewing job, my kid helped me, I swear). We like her puppet stand a lot, but lately, Marlowe has been asking for a fruit and veggie stand (she saw it in a catalog. pro tip: never leave a kid catalog in your house). Well, there's no way we could fit both a puppet theatre and a fruit stand in her room, so I thought, "I can make this happen, let's multi-task this thing." So we did, with Sugru.

So what's Sugru? It's basically moldable glue. It feels like a clay/play dough mixture and sticks to just about everything. But unlike clay or play dough it has a long term use because it turns to a strong, flexible rubber overnight--- so you can use it for an endless amount of projects around your house, in your yard, in your car, in a box with a fox--- you name it, you can most likely do it. Sugru let's you take broken things or old things and fix them or update them. Basically, the easiest (and most fun) up-cycling tool of the century. Even more fun: it comes in a ton of colors--- and if you want to get fancy, you can mix your own colors too.

Find all my favorite Sugru projects: HERE  

A removable play shelf diy:

-on the back of the puppet theatre, make a line where you want the bottom of the shelf to sit. Halfway between the line and the top of your self, drill a screw securely into the wood. Repeat on opposite side.

-roll a few packs of Sugru together between your fingers into a ball (mixing a preferred color, if you'd like) until soft and ready to use. Place over nail and sculpt into a adorable little shelf. The nail will make the shelf extra secure and the Sugru will protect you and your kids from nail injuries. (hooray!)

-on the back bars of the puppet theatre, create a second shelf. Drill a small screw into back and repeat. I also put the Sugru around the entire wooden arm for extra security.
-wait 24 hours for your Sugru to dry completely and voila! You have a place to put your veggie filled shelf!

For the baskets,
-simply weave wire through one side of the basket.

-pull both ends tight and repeat with second basket
-pull tight again and wrap wire around wooden leg. you can tie it on if you'd like as well, but we keep the end lose to put on and remove as we'd like.

And voila! An adorable two in one stand. Fruit and veggie stand by day and puppet theatre by night!

What else can Sugru do? Well, really, the possibilities are endless. You can find tons of inspiration and project ideas HERE on their homepage. And a list of all my favorite project HERE. I actually plan on doing a bunch of them this week, starting with the stained glass one :) So where can you find Sugru? Well, on their website of course. Or you can find a store near you HERE.

In the meantime, here's another super easy, kid safe project we did last week, after the cut:

Pictures Of Recently Enjoyed Things

she came to say goodbye to us. I was sad. Marlowe was sleeping. The kid does not nap, ever. Must be the new mattress. ZONK. Could not wake her. We miss you, boo.

Me, my air plants, sunflowers, and a tiny pink pineapple of course. 

so big / fake fruit.

real fruit. lots of it. we love you florida trees. 

these two. looking forward to vacation with both of them. 

long day, cozy evening. 

little moments.

The bedrooms have nice light. 

around town. 


yoga with friends. first time in a long time. I need more of this. 

movie with the ladies. 

my mom sent me this. we're heading to worcester, MA soon. crossing my fingers for nice weather.

my ballerina. 

ps. if you have a minute and a few dollars to spare, it would mean a lot to me if you could donate a few dollars, whatever you can HERE. We all go through hard times and need a little bit of support. thank you. xoxo. So many good thoughts coming at you Mikey, you've got this. 

Easy Tips On Organizing Kids Toys

I get quite a few requests for this post--- which I totally don't mind at all. I love Marlowe's room. It's easy to clean--- and even though it's pretty full of toys, it stays pretty put together and nice :) If you haven't seen our cleaning post yet, I'd probably recommend checking out this post: on keeping a clean home. Many of the tips fold right over onto this post-- but you'll find a bit more special details on our kid-friendly set up here that will hopefully help answer questions.

So first off, which I mentioned in my clean house post, it's super important to get kids involved as young as you can. Kids learn by example. Teach them young the importance of a tidy house and they'll grow into it that concept as the norm. Marlowe is the same as she was a year ago and two years ago--- she's a tiny neat freak like Alex and myself. She asks to spray down her art table. She has no complaints about cleaning up. And each morning she either makes her bed herself or comes in and asks if we can help her do it. Her room has A LOT of little details, but it's all easy enough for her to organize herself, so there's no reason to not have it kept tidy.

Keep a balance. Honestly, her closet side is a bit too cluttered for me, but the other side of her room is pretty uncluttered and easy on the eyes. This balance helps. We have a dresser for her clothes. On top we have a rarely used dollhouse, that she can just ask us to reach when she needs it.

Use every space. When we moved into the house, all the closet doors were busted. No big deal, we put curtains up in our bedroom and guest room while Marlowe's closet became an extra play space. It'll have to change as she grows taller, but for now it fits her play kitchen perfectly. To the right of her kitchen, a wicker bag filled with dress up clothes. Above hangs her (non tutu non princess) clothes. And above that, an extra storage space for linens, blankets, and her sleeping bag. There's also a little lace curtain that we use to hide the clothes a little bit more and help the space look a tad less cluttered.

Under the bed storage. We chose a slightly taller bed (similar bed), it was built to have trundle under, which we could add later if we needed, but for now: storage. Whether it's baskets, or bins, or drawers, under the bed space is great for extra items. I mean, what else is going to be under there? Just dust bunnies. They look nice and they add a pop of color to our space (we need more color, right?) Another perk: it's SO easy to clean everything up. Just grab the right basket and toss everything in there. Voila!

Just be sure you measure the bed height before ordering storage options!

day bed
her tassel garland
similiar tapestry/curtain
yellow canopy

two foot blue and wicker basket, great for corners
soft dusk basket, perfect for under a bed
set of two blue wicker baskets, one for toys, one for play clothes.
love this white tower storage basket.
in copper or silver too.
another colorful woven basket, perfect for under the bed.
a collection of fair-trade handwoven baskets.

Hide some things too. There's no shame in wanting certain things tucked away. Marlowe's little doll bed is cute, but the size and all the little pieces do tend to make the space feel more cluttered. It's floated around to a few spots in her room, but finally has landed next to or behind the door. She can pull it out when she wants to use it and tuck it back away when she's done.

Personal space. Another thing that tends to clutter up a space is all the tiny little do-dads. But tiny little do-dads are a kids best friend! Her shelf now stores all her favorite little girly items. Sometimes it gets a little sloppy, but hey, she's still a kid. She stores her hair clips in her jewelry box and her jewelry in her pom pom box.

We also have a few extra spaces in the house for other items. My workroom/guestoom is also one of our craft and art spaces. We share the shelves with all our favorite art stuff. And most of it is out of reach so I don't have to worry about her grabbing all of it and having a glitter party without me ;)

And of course--- (this is an oldie photo) we have her book area still packed with all her favorite books (though we need to update the list a little bit). We have another cabinet filled with board games, puzzles, and playing cards too. All piled up by size for easy access--- which can run on the messy side, but she asks me to help her clean it often :) 

And that's it! Her little kid space. Though, I should probably start calling her a big kid--- womp. I have another cute kids post (diy) coming up next week-- and I'm hoping to post an update about whats been going on lately--- I keep meaning to, but energy is still low low. Also, probably a What Marlowe Eats---- and maybe what I've been eating too. Hint: it's not pizza or french fries. Wah. 

Okay, love you guys. I hope you all had a great week and have an even better weekend. Happy friday! 

India: Meeting The Village Panchayat