Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Strep Got You Down?

I promise I am not constantly sick. It's just that lately my luck hasn't been the best. 

Today I am enjoy the view of my ceiling as I not-so-much enjoy the aches of my seemingly frail body.

I am prone to strep throat. I get it at least once a year, and for some reason I do kinda blame my dad's genetics because he has the exact same problem as me. {Love you Daddy!} So yesterday morning when I cleared my throat as my alarm clock went off, I knew what was coming. It was the oh so familiar feeling that my throat was rubbed raw. I proceeded to go to work. {Which, by the way, was a nightmare! Please don't go "back to school" shopping the day before school starts.} And spent the entire day trying to soothe my tonsils. 

We had a little family BBQ last night in which I kept scarfing down chips, since they felt so good scratching my throat. That was a mistake. Besides the itchy-ness of my throat, I went to bed pretty content, and made up my mind that strep was not knocking on my door this time! 

Wrong.

Today was so much worst, complete with the whole package of fever and chills, and achy bones. Plus my throat felt about 1,989 times worse than it did yesterday. {Did you catch that awesome Taylor Swift reference?? OCTOBER 27TH!}

LONG STORY SHORT, if you suffer from chronic sore throat/tonsil problems/strep, I want to share my remedy with you!


What you need:

1 Cup warm water
1 TBSP salt
Any brand of throat spray

Directions:

Mix salt and warm water together, until the salt has been dissolved. 
Gargle small amounts of your salt solution for as long as you can, then spit, and repeat until glass is empty.
Use the throat spray 1-2 times, holding it in your mouth for 15 seconds and then spitting out. Make sure you don't drink or eat directly after doing this as you want it to stick.

I've found that this helps keep my itchy-ness down for a good hour or so. (:

PS: Does anybody has experience getting their tonsils out? Comment below with your thoughts!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Living la Vida....Giardia

Once upon a time (about 3 weeks ago) I went on a beautiful hike with my beautiful aunt, Melissa. We traveled up Big Cottonwood Canyon, and found our way to the trail head of Donut Falls. We were prepared with hats & water. And started off on our easy little hike.

It was quite hot that day, and I thought that I had brought enough water for the both of us, and as it turned out I didn't at all! One bottle was NOT enough. So by the end of our hike as we were cautiously scrambling down the falls, I decided to take a sip of the delicious and refreshing looking water that weaved through the rocks and trickled to the bottom of the falls. 

I figured, hey, I don't live in the jungles of Africa. It's just a run-off of snowfall in the mountains of Utah. What's the worst that could happen. Not even five minutes after I had drank from the stream my auntie mentioned how she was so thirsty, but she didn't want to drink out of the falls because of the high risk of infection. 

I should have known better. Good things happen to those who wait.

The next day I was holed up in the bathroom, and my husband mentioned that I shouldn't have drank that water. But of course I didn't believe him. I insisted I was fine.

It wasn't until I had the most painful experience a few days later that I started to question my decision. And yesterday was the tipping point. I feel for every single person who has ever had a parasite. Mine is in my intestines and it is probably the worst pain I have felt since I had gallstones a few years ago.

Erron was laughing at me last night because I was too scared to use the bathroom. It's terrifying! I just want it out. 

Luckily if it doesn't clear within the next 2 weeks I will be going into the instacare to receive meds. But at this point it isn't too bad.

HOWEVER. Remember my tale, and NEVER drink from beautiful mountain lakes or streams. PURIFY all your water! Or you will be bawling your eyes out regretting that you didn't for weeks after.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

I'm *Officially* Feeling 22

Currently my house is a disaster zone. Courtesy of birthday '14. 

Last night was amazing. And I desperately hope that this post doesn't come off "braggy" or anything, I just have to express with all you internet friends and strangers how incredibly loved and blessed I feel. Obviously I do not deserve anything that happened this last weekend, and I definitely don't need gifts to make me feel blessed, but WOW I am completely overjoyed with the birthday haze that still lingers in the air.

The second I opened my eyes yesterday morning Erron started to sing the "Happy Birthday" song. Seriously, right that second! Which was proceeded by breakfast in bed. AKA cake, duh. And a morning full of snuggling and sleeping in. When he finally took off to the office, I proceeded about my day as normal. Grocery shopping included. Although I did indulge myself with a Starbucks cotton candy frappuccino. My favorite! (: {Also, for all my LDS peeps that worry I'm drinkin' coffee on my 22nd B-day, it doesn't contain any coffee. Just thought I'd put that out there since someone already questioned that. Haha}

When Erron finally came home he made me cover my eyes as he snuck my presents into the man-cave to wrap up all pretty-like just to make me happy!

When he was finished he came out he let me open one of the presents {of his choosing} and it was TWIZZLERS! I don't eat very much candy nowadays so this was a big treat! My Grandmother then took some couples "birthday" shots of us





and then we were off to Chuck E Cheese! 

Oh my goodness I hadn't been there since I was a little kid and we had SO much fun. Lots of skee ball and air hockey, and a couple other odd ball games. (: We ended up with a total of 70 tickets and Erron let me choose the prizes. I decided on candy & a crazy straw! {YAY!} Erron then took me to my favorite restaurant, Rubio's, where I had a free meal! On the way home I rolled downt the windows and blasted Taylor Swifts' "22" and sang out the top of my lungs.

When we got home it was opening presents time! 



The first one I opened was Lovestruck, a Vera Wang perfume that was the first present Erron ever gave to me and I'm almost out! 


Awkward foot aside, I loved Erron's card. (:


After that came the "big" present. I seriously had no idea, the things I thought it could be weren't the right weight and shape for the box, so I was puzzled!



IT WAS A SODA STREAM! I remember telling Erron I wanted one probably 2 years ago or so as we were strolling through the store. He laughed, since he doesn't like carbonation, and I knew that I would never get one. I mean, who needs a "make your own" soda maker? Well he hung on to the idea until now, and got a great deal on it & we both found out that you can adjust the carbonation level. So it can be normal, LIGHT, or heavy. Soda water is my favorite drink ever! So even if I don't end up making my own "soda" at least I can have homemade bubbly water!

Seriously, so incredible.

Here is a collection of my gifts:

My mom suggested that I set up a wishlist on Amazon, and I'm telling you guys, it is an amazing invention! Erron told his parents about it on the DL, and on Sunday I was surprised with the T-Fal set of pans that I had registered for! Such a shock! And so much better than cash! My family did the same as well. I received through UPS today the mandoline slicer, cake stand, pyrex glass tupperware, and millennium barbie that I wanted. {I got the barbie when I was about 8, in the year 2000, but as the typical fun loving child that I was I pretty much trashed her.} Ethan saw it on my registry and even offered to pay for it with his own money! How sweet!

Included in the picture is my large diet coke that I treated myself to at Rubios {complete with my crazy straw.} All the cards from family, including the watercolor one my sister designed specially for me:


I'm totally framing it! And the cupcakes my Grandma and Grandpa got for me! I am waiting until tonight to try them with Erron-so I'm sure they'll taste just a gorgeous as they look!



I neglected to include two items in my pictures out of haste. Bobby & Mandy got me a huge picnic basket! Yes, it's a cooler, but doesn't picnic basket sound....well....cooler?? 


And Kit snuck me the shell that he got for me in Cancun. The reason I say he snuck it to me, is because I refused to take it home. I've already told you how I don't collect shells from the beach anymore, so while it was so thoughtful that he gave it to me in Mexico, I declined as I wanted another cute little creature to have a home! Well that little stinker totally found a way for me to accept it, and honestly it has such a great story behind it that I'm glad that he did!


Thank you so much to everyone for making this last weekend such a fun birthday experience!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Mexico 2014-Part 7

I found a queen conch shell. Like imagine those gorgeous shells you would expect to find walking along a white sand beach somewhere tropical, that's what I found. 

We had just come back in from a brief kayaking trip and Kit jumped out of his kayak only to discover a conch shell right next to his feet. He worked to clean it off the algae a bit in the sand, so that we could see the colors more visibly. I thought it was so cool that he just happened to find one that I was a bit envious! I don't believe in taking shells from the ocean, but I have always had a dream to find one of those gorgeous shells. As I was walking around in the tide, I came across {what I thought was} a big mossy rock. As I flipped it over a adorable buggy-eyed queen conch scurried back into her nook.

I didn't get a picture of my friends' eyes, but here's a similar cutie. The way they just bug out and look at you, still melts my heart.

Kit, in seeing what I had practically dropped his find and ran over to me. A couple of people walking along the beach also took notice and came to spectate. I asked Kit to go and tell Erron I had something exciting to show him, and Kit ran off to find him.

When Erron made his way down to the beach, I'm sure he wasn't expecting anything special. In all reality, I find pretty much everything cool and exciting. But when he came over, he genuinely looked proud of my find, and wanted to hear all about it! I showed him the cute buggy creature inside and fell more in love the more I held the little guy.



While all this was going on, I was having an inner crisis. Something that I look back and feel really badly about. But I'm happy about the way it turned out. In all honesty, my first thought when I found my friend was "how can I get this home to the States?" My first thought didn't even involve the safety of this cute little creature! I remember telling Kit basically that I wanted to smuggle it home, at any cost. Looking back, this pains my heart. Here I am, professing my love for nature and telling everybody that all God's creations are magnificent, but yet when I found something I'd dreamt about finding my entire life, I threw every moral I had into the salty Mexican wind.

While we weren't sure at this point if it was legal to take these shells out of their habitat, I wanted to show the rest of the group. So Erron helped me smuggle my friend up to the condo. {Smuggle because I didn't want a bystander to somehow report me.} Everybody at the condo seemed to really enjoy the find! We took pictures, and watch my friend poke in and out. 


Kit Googled the Queen Conch and we found that it was an endangered species. It was about this time that my guilt really started to set in, I didn't want to kill this creature so that I had a shell to collect dust in my closet back home! I mean, I'm positive that's the reason they were going extinct anyways! 

After my deliberation I decided that I wanted to take my friend to my new favorite spot on Earth. Where she could live in peace, the blue lagoon.







We snorkeled around a bit, looking for the perfect place, and we eventually came to a rather deep part, with lots of sand. I dove down and placed my friend on the sand, burying her slightly. After I had surfaced, Erron went down and shook his fins back and fourth to create a huge cloud of sand to hide my friend in. When we were comfortable with her situation, we both left. I know that she is going to live a long life in the Caribbean, and ultimately I'm glad I was able to make the right choice in releasing her. Plus, maybe somebody else can now make a connection with her!

XO Q.Conch!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mexico 2014-Part 6

Kit, Bobby, Mandy, Erron and I all decided that we wanted to visit the "blue lagoon" again. Bobby and Mandy hadn't been & Mandy wanted a calm, peaceful place to snorkel. Since there were 3 kayaks, it turned out perfectly. Kit took the one person kayak, and rocked it like a boss, while the rest of us wimped up and went with our spouses. Erron and I shared an oar that Bob and Kit had re-purposed to work. {Holla duck tape!} 

The sky was beautiful as we headed out, and getting around the bend to the lagoon was a cinch.

We docked our kayaks on the sharp rocks and dove right into the water. The snorkeling there was incredible. The water was crystal clear, and {at least to me} fairly warm. Erron and I took off on our own and found a few cool places where you could literally peer over rock cliffs and watch the gentle ocean life swim right in front of your face and down into the mini gulf. 

After about an hour everybody started to get tired and we decided to head back. It didn't hurt that while we were getting our kayaks back in the ocean we realized that a storm was rapidly approaching.

Bobby and Mandy went first, then Kit, and then Erron and I paddled out to sea. The clouds were dark, and in the short amount of time that the sky had switched from blue to grey, the waves had consequently turned from soothing to scary. They were pounding on the rocks, and we paddled like there was no tomorrow to avoid being crashed into the jagged shore. Bobby and Mandy were the first ones back, followed by Kit, and then Erron and I pulled in after a good 40-45 minutes after leaving the lagoon. My arms were sore, and I was so thirsty I wanted to just dip my head in the sea and drink it all in!

We all headed inside to enjoy some sandwiches and chips.

Erron and I had a fight that day. Fights with Erron are the worst and the best. Let me explain. I don't enjoy fighting, and during the fight I always want to just go back to the normal way we were before whatever happened. But at the same time, our fights are the best because we are so good a communicating with each other. I don't say that to brag, I'm not proud of fighting with my true love, but I have never felt such a near-perfect level of communication with any other human being.

I was upset with Erron because he didn't like to stay in the water as long as I did. There was something else to our fight, but I don't remember. I felt like I couldn't really go do as many fun things without him. He was my buddy, and I wanted him to do everything I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it.

We didn't speak well for a couple hours, and finally I pulled him from the condo and told him we were going to talk on the beach.

We went down and sat in the sand and awkwardly sat for a few minutes, but once we began to talk, we let it all out. I am able to express to him my feelings about something so completely. And from what I can tell, he can do the same with me. We compromised, and made up and finally {finally} we were back to the lovey-dovey state that we are usually in.

As we wrapped up laughing and chatting on the beach it started to shower, so we ran through the dotted sand back to our condo. There we enjoyed the rest of the night around the pool and indoors watching movies with the family, complete with Twizzlers and popcorn, of course. (:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Healthy Cinnamon Oatmeal

A few months ago I decided that I was going to get on a healthier track of eating and living. Which lasted for less than a week, and then off and on since then. However, I can honestly say that for the most part- I've been doing a lot better with my eating habits. I try to only buy fresh foods. And I have stopped binging on sweets.

This has become my morning "go-to" recipe. If you love oatmeal, you're in for a treat. It's very natural, and I've found myself craving it's sweetness, even though there is less than a tbsp on sugar in it.

INGREDIENTS:
 1/4 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 Cup Water
1/2 Tbsp-1 Tbsp Sugar in the Raw
1/4 tsp Maple Extract
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1/2 Tbsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch of Cloves
Pinch of Salt


INSTRUCTIONS:
Mix all ingredients into a microwave safe bowl. Mix together until everything is completely immersed.

Microwave to desired consistency. I usually set it for 2:30 but end up mixing it a couple times throughout, and then taking it out right before it hits the 2:30 mark.

Stir up, and try not to burn your tongue as you gobble it down!

That's IT!
Bon appetite! (:


Let me know what your favorite breakfast food is! Is it healthy? Or just indulgent? (:

Friday, June 13, 2014

Mexico 2014-Part 5

We woke up early the next day excited for our adventure. We were going to Playa del Carmen! We invited Bobby and Mandy to come with us, but they decided that they would spend the day with their girls and then join us in the evening. But we were determined to spend a full day there!


Decided on an "up" hairstyle....that dang humidity was melting me!


The first thing we did when we got into town was head to the Walmart. I remember walking through those streets and loving everything I saw. It was exactly the what I had made up Mexico to be in my head, before I had arrived to the country. When we got to Walmart, the blast of air conditioning almost made me cry. I swear it was heaven-sent.

We bought some medicine and food, and headed on our way. Walking out of the Walmart and being hit by the humidity was a surprise! I had almost forgot that we were in Mexico when we were strolling around the store. But in spite of the hot weather, we started finding our way to Fifth Avenue. I found it really funny that this little Mexican town had a "Fifth Avenue," since everything seemed so quaint and old.

But as we approached the street, I understood why it was the "Fifth Avenue" of Playa del Carmen. It was bustling with people, and shops lined the street in both directions. We stepped into the nearest shop, which was covered in tinkling ceramic objects. As we gingerly picked things up and made our way through the store, I swung around with our big green backpack in tow, and BAM! I broke a little ceramic dish located on the desk of the cashier. We exchanged looks in that split second, hers was sassy and mine was full of horror. I hadn't broken something in a store since I was 8 or 9 years old. {It was a glass picture frame, and I was with my Nana. Luckily the kid working told my Nana that he had a brother that could fix it. As I am typing this I realize that yes, I was a gullible little girl. There is no way he had a brother that could fix it... Anyways, Erron spoke to her in Spanish and she started to laugh, and then I pulled out the cash and we paid for it and left. Luckily it was only an $8 mistake.

The rest of the day was spent ducking in and out of little shops, looking at everything they had to offer. I didn't want to commit to anything too soon, so when we found things we liked we just practiced our haggling. Erron and I got really good at this. It was probably my favorite experience. I love talking down a "stiff price." We got an $100 sterling silver bracelet down to $20! {That was our toughest bargain, but we did it!} Of course I didn't commit that soon. Since we are on a tight budget, I didn't want to make sure that I didn't go crazy. I mean, I didn't need a souvenier. I mean, I was there in person. I had pictures. But I finally fell in love with this beautiful opal ring. It is a pink fire opal, and looks exactly like it sounds. Opals are one of my favorite gems, so I'm very happy with my little find!

As it hit dinner time, Mandy and Bobby joined up with us and we found a little place to dine. We got a great deal on tacos and drinks. I got 2 pork tacos, and 1 fish one. Erron got the same, except they failed to tell us what the green sauce was, and he dumped a monsterous amount on all 3 of his tacos. Much to his {and his stomachs} dismay, it was habanero sauce! Next thing we knew he was at the counter jumping up and down asking them if they had any honey. Poor guy...

Erron got a wonderful horchata. It was probably the best I will ever have in my life.





Lovely Mandy, posing for her, little did we know at the time, $10 picture.

 As the night neared it's close I decided that I wanted a good Mexican churro. I love them at Costco, so they should be even better in Mexico--right?? Wrong. I think the first thing that turned me off, and may have been a warning, is the time we spent hunting for the dang thing! We walked the city 3 times over looking for them! Then, once we finally found the booth, we stood in line for 10 minutes before discovering they were nearly $4 a piece! Deciding it was worth it, we proceeded to order one filled with dulce de leche. {yuuuuuuum!}

It was short, like half the size of a Costco one. It wasn't as deep fried, and the filling was kind of strange. Not what I was craving, but it definitely was something I was glad I tried. Plus, now I know.
Mmm, churro! *But first, lemme take a selfie!*


The rest of the gang decided to stop for burritos from a food cart before we hopped on the collectivo home. As we neared the cart the man from the cart across the way started shouting at us to choose his burritos. It turned into this hilarious war between the two carts, including samples and trash talk of the opposing carts. In the end, the verdict was to stick with our original choice.

We came home around 10 at night, feet sore, and dead tired from our all day adventure in Playa.

We would definitely be going back!