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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lovely Lovin' Languages

Oh surely you have heard of that book about the five "love languages", haven't you?

Pray tell, say you have!

Well, no worries.  If you haven't, I am here to inform you of something you may know already - buried deep in your never-rusty heart, which is: according to this book, you speak a language of love to those around you and receive and understand love in that language also.

No, no, the language is not "English".  It's not even Spanish or Italian or Finnish.  No, m'dearies, these babies are things along the lines of:

+ gifts (giving/receiving - the little to the big)
+ acts of service (washing someone's car, babysitting for them, helping them move)
+ words of affirmation (dang baby, you lookin' HOT today - and have I told you how smart and capable you are lately?)
+ physical touch (may I have a foot massage, por favor?)
+ quality time (shall we sit here on this our couch together and bond over tea and conversation?)

I put the important ones first.  Duh.


Why are you looking at me like that?  Fine.  But everyone has their own opinions, you know.

So here's the premise and the problem.  The book states that you have a primary way of showing how you love someone else.  You do this thing to them to show and prove you are sacrificing your very LIFE for them.  This is wonderful IF...they speak that love language primarily too.  You're filling up their "love tank".  If perchance, say, your significant other has a different love language and you're just going all ballistic in the corner on your own opposite-y lovey thing, they're like, "Aw man!  My significant other must not love me!"  because they're expecting foot rubs and babysitting and you're just over there telling them they're hotter than Matt Damon, Orlando Bloom and Leonardo DiCaprio put together.

Raise your hand if you are with someone who "speaks" the same love language as you.

Bueler?  Anyone?

Yep, that's how it goes.  It makes life more hilarious that way.  And challenging.

Seriously.  If my hubby came home with a daisy and said he was going to wash the dishes and put them away for me, I'd probably die of love.  If he said he was going to wash my car, I'd double die of love. 

Now wouldn't this be nice if it were reciprocal?  Like if me washing his socks made him go into a tizzy of loveness.  I agree.  But I must tell you - IT DOES NOT.  He's all up in my griggidy-grill saying, "Ooh, you're so pretty!"  And I'm all, "Please hold this towel and massage the newly-washed glass into a dry frenzy, please."

Sorry doesn't put the delicious Triscuit crackers in my mouth, now does it, Karl?

Ah, well.  Here's a quiz for you to figure out your love language.

What'd ya get, huh, huh, huh?

It's an interesting idea, certainly.  Perhaps if we just work on serving and loving others in general (instead of our pedestaled selves), the world might just spin 'round a little more peacefully.

Quiz up - let me know - what's your thang?

Peace, love and even more love,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, January 28, 2013

Late night absurdities

My computer: "Would you like to shut down?"
Me: "Would you like to shut up?"

Every.  Single.  Time.

Peace, love and don't stay up late - it increases your weirdness levels,
Ms. Daisy

Supa-sonic "Baby's Butt" Face

As I type this, my face is covered with a concoction of Finnish yogurt and nutmeg.  If you don't know me, you may likely think this very strange.  If you do know me, well...yep, you're just wondering whether or not this is a daily happening or one I save for special occasions.

Well, special.  I guess.

When I was a teenager, I think I got a total of three zits in something like seven years.  Now that high school is a teenage lifespan away, I have decided to make up for it and get a new and friendly zit each and every month.

This is very disturbing.  I mean, really!  When I was a teenager I actually ate quasi-foods like McDonalds.  Here I am, something like six years clean of such things, getting a dear, sweet visitor to my what-used-to-be-a-clean-canvas face.  Well.  Isn't that lovely?

Hold on, I'm going to scrub it off and see if it did anything good.  Be right back.

Back.  It felt like a long time, didn't it?  Let me just say to you - GO.  Go to your fridge NOW.  Go get some milk or yogurt (plain, please, no strawberry Dannon going on) and stick a teaspoon-ish into a tiny bowl and sprinkle it with nutmeg.  RUN.  NOT KIDDING.

You know how people say "soft as a baby's bottom"?  This is my face right now.  I am a butt face.  

In a good way.

This is for real amazing.  Are you seriously still reading?  Go!  I'll wait, I promise!  You waited for me, remember?

Okay.  So I did circular-y motions of dairy product smelling of nutmeg upon my face and then sat here quite awkwardly until it was dry and I could feel it pulling my face off in a crackly way.  You'll know.  Trust me.

When everything was all dry and I looked like I had a face sprinkled of nutmeggy goodness, I rinsed it with hot water and viola, here I am, new face.

I'm pretty sure I've looked at my face up close about five times since I've rinsed it all off to check if it was really my skin.

Are you wondering if I just sat around thinking up weird things to do?  Well, I mean, YES, that is something I have done in the past, totally, BUT - this one I had help in the form of some Crunchy Betty inspiration.  She has a post where she uses milk and nutmeg and says it's her favorite way to remove blackheads.  The milk (or yogurt like I used) has some lactic acid in it that does crazy good things to your skin and the nutmeg is a supersonic (not literally, just in an 80's dance music way) scrubber exfoliator.

Supa-sonic, sonic, sonic...

Six times.  Ooh, lookie me face.  It's probably some supermodeliquin's secret or something.  

Like f'real.  Have you done this before?  What do you exfoliate with?  

If you try this, let me know how you like it.

Love, rather.  Let me know how you love it.  I am pretty sure, unless you are highly allergic to one of these ingredients, you are going to be rather smitten.

And now, back to staring at a mirror.

Peace, love and three cheers for supersonic nutmeg yogurt,
Ms Daisy

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Love Letter to the Politicians...not.

Dear elected officials in Congress and in the office of the Presidency, 

I write to you today to address a very pressing issue in our United States: the return to the payroll tax hike. As the vast majority of Americans opened their first paycheck of the new year, some eyes bulged out in utter bewilderment, accompanied by anger and confusion.  Yes, there are some who were aware you allowed it to resurrect itself as you stepped aside and let it walk back in, but most were rather surprised.  

 You've been rather busy arguing with the other side of the aisle, so perhaps it was put on the back burner and escaped your astute attention, but I would like to plainly point out to you that this was a disasterous idea - for you as well as for the country. 

The majority of Americans are so involved with their own lives and their iphones that they don't really care what you're doing and just take it from Brian Williams that what you're doing must be just fine.  You can get away with a lot of things that way, I'm sure, but you can not get away with hiding the removal of a large sum of money from their weekly or biweekly paychecks without their notice. 

This is where you may have bet wrongly - you figured that people will perhaps be upset for a little while and then get used to it - they always do.  It's like complaining when Facebook changes formats.  

However, you chose the wrong route for this one. 

Everyone knows that Social Security is a laughingstock joke and it isn't going to be there for the people who are paying into it now.  A return to tax hike isn't going to fix it.  It is just going to allow most people to not be able to afford their groceries.  People have lived so close to the limit of income that they've scraped down everything already to try to make it work as it is.  You are so far removed from those you have been elected to serve that you cannot even begin to understand this, unless you actually do know what you're doing in it and maliciously don't care. This was the one decision you let slide by that may end up costing you your (apparently quite posh) job.   

As long as you continue this, I won't be voting for you and I will be loudly encouraging others to do the same.  When they look for answers as to why they have to decide between paying their heating bills and feeding their children, I'll step up and let them know that you allowed this to go back into effect and you're the one to go talk to about it. 

Stop playing games.  Stop increasing taxes.  Let those who work for their money be able to keep it and do what they need to do. 

Those who have elected you to serve would appreciate it.

Ms. Daisy

Monday, January 21, 2013

Encouragement through horrifying you

I am about to try to encourage you via horrifying you with my own personal history.

I was talking to my dear diva friend, Julie D, on Friday evening and the comment came up from another friend that where I am now on my trail of foodie-ing has been a long path, a.k.a. I didn’t get to my current food beliefs overnight nor have I always viewed food in the manner that I do now.

Some people read my blog or speak with me about food and they want to change what they’re doing, but they see that there are so many things you can do out there and then give up from being totally overwhelmed at the vastness of it all. Let me say to you with an arm swung triumphantly across my body, “Do not give up!”

Let me tell you my horrifying little secrets.

While it is true that now I eat things that I make at home, organic things, made from scratch-y things, kombucha-y things, this was not even on the radar in my late youth and early adulthood.


Do you know what I was known for in high school?

This is rather embarrassing.

I was known for…drinking…Mountain Dew. Yeah, you know - the stuff that has no food ingredient and is made mostly of butane and other drastic chemicals?




In fact, since I was on the swim team, we were banned from eating sugar during the season. Unfortunately for me, the swim season spanned across Halloween – or as I now call it, Crackoween – the time of the year where kind neighbors distribute sugar narcotics to small children…and older ones, too. Since I usually do follow the rules, I would go Trick-or-Treating, save my gigantic pillowcase of cracky candy in my bedroom closet and leave it there until the last swim meet of the year had ended. At this point, I would run to my room, throw open the closet, snatch out the pillowcase of preservative-laden sugar, sit on my bed and eat at least half of the bag. I looked like a homeless vagrant – surrounded in a leaf pile of candy wrappers, fingers sticky with the saccharine-sweet candy, my smiling expression covered in brown gooey chocolate as I neared a joyful coma-like state.

Also, I’ve always loved tea. Nice, proper, strong black tea. I take it with milk, of course (like any civilized person ought). When I was in high school, I also took it with about five lumps of sugar. FIVE. This is not a joke.

This was until my uncle encouraged me to try it for two weeks without sugar. He told me if I did, I’d begin to like it that way and never go back (it was how he took his tea – and my grandmother, too.). I did it to humor him, thinking that I could accept the challenge and then proudly say that I would love to go back and actually add about ten more lumps of sugar after being put through intense suffering such as that. But…well. I was wrong. I liked it just fine. And now I won’t take it any other way. Thanks, Uncle Gary! You probably gave me about ten more years on to my life span.

Not only did I (beyond) indulge myself in straight up sugar (and low-quality chocolates), I also did many other unthinkable things, like EAT AT MCDONALD’S. And Taco Bell. And Frosted Flakes! And Pop Tarts, Twinkies, the ever-lovely orange processed American cheese, Pepsi, “Fruit” Roll-Ups, Franco-American Spaghetti-O’s, Stove Top, King’s Hawaiian rolls, ramen noodles, Nutty Butters, Pop Rocks, Miracle Whip and many more horrors that would knock my current self over just by speaking their very names.

This is what I was.

(Now that I think about it, I’m kind of surprised I’m still alive, actually.)

I mean, I actually ate at McDonald’s. I guess a lot of people have a problem admitting this, but I did it. I ate their cheeseburgers and even the fries! Those things that don’t even change after like being left out for eleven years – they don’t even MOLD! Have you seen that lady who collects Happy Meals? She has a few and they vary in age from something like a few years to a very lot of years old and they all look the same! I ate this stuff!

Oh, my poor husband. When we got married I didn’t know how to cook. I could pretty much make cereal, sandwiches and boiled chicken. BOILED chicken. That was a meal.

As you can see, you look like a granola covered, Birkenstock-and-sock wearing, tie-dyed, dreadlocked hippie from Berkley right now compared to the audacity of what I once was.

All it takes is you getting an itch for one thing. My first step was getting rid of high fructose corn syrup. Do you think you can do that? After I got a handle on that, I got rid of partially hydrogenated oils. It was step by step. I did not omit HFCS, PHO, GMO’s, unfermented soy, nitrates, nitrites, beet sugar, polysorbate 80, bPA, TBHQ, BHT, other preservatives, chemically manufactured vitamins, conventional pesticide veg and fruit, feed lot corn-fed beef, eggs from caged hens, chicken meat from scary dark tin houses, store-bought/manufactured sweets, treats and breads, canola oil, parabens, sodium laurel/laureth sulfates, citric acid + sodium benzoate, artificial flavors and colors all at the same time in the same day. That would be enough to make anyone lose their mind completely.

I guess the removal of high fructose corn syrup from my diet was my gateway onto the highway of clean eating.

You can’t do everything today. Just pick one thing. Read up on it. Research how it is affecting you and your chil-drey-nos. The education you receive will benefit you and yours.

Then c’mon back and tell me what you did!

Peace, love and just try it,
Ms. Daisy

Friday, January 18, 2013

You're not fully clean unless...

Ello, lovelies! 

Today we explore another area of do-it-yerselfing (yer-self is the correct pronunciation, of course.).  What now could it possibly be, say you?

The necessary evil – ba da bummmm (dramatic music, please)…the “L” word.  The dreaded, the horrid, the mountainous…laundry.  Perhaps you can’t stand a mountain of laundry and you keep up with it, if so, kudos to you.

You know, speaking of which, I want you to think about what you have for just a second and how much you really need.  I went (a long billion years ago or so-ish) to El Salvador and experienced something I have never before (or since).  It was simply this: the women I was working with had two pairs of underwear (knickers?  Is that right, UK?) – one that they were wearing and one that they washed and hung on a line to dry every morning. 


That is pretty much – to tell the truth – all you really need.  But why don’t we open up your knickers drawer and peek to see if you’ve got two or two hundred.

Anyway, something to stick in the back of your head.

And now, in the meantime – laundry.  Do you do your laundry the same day and time each week?  Or if you’ve got a pile of littles, perhaps you do it several times a day.

At any rate, let’s talk about laundry detergent. 

Do you make yours?  Have you ever thought about it?  It’s pretty easy and if you’d like, I’ll show you a recipe I know for it.

Here is the easy-ness in all of its glory…

Homemade Launderings

1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing soda (this is NOT baking soda.  It kind of looks like a baking soda box but it’s about fifty times bigger.  Look for it in the laundry area.)
2 cups of a shredded laundry soap bar (some people use Fels Naptha, other people say Fels Naptha is poison from the devil)

This is for a dry mix.  You mix all of that stuff up and off you go.  There is another way with this recipe that makes a liquid detergent – basically you get loads and loads of water, boil it up, and it turns to a goo.  You add more water and you can basically make 5 gallons of detergent for like a dollar.  Okay, maybe not a dollar.  But not very much.

Here’s the site I’ve used to make my own:

She’s got some great ideas to look through.

Why on earth would I want you to make your own detergent?  Two reasons (okay, maybe more) – one: because I want you to be independent and know how to do things and two: it’s waaaaaaaaay cheaper.  Reason number three would be something like: so you can avoid a slathering of poison chemicals on your clothes that you rub on your children’s skin and your own.  But whatevs, you can pick a reason you like.

They ought to wash up those adorable cloth diapers you made by hand very nicely!  Oh wait, only super popular people make handmade cloth diapers, right daaaaaahling?

I can’t say I did that, although I quite wish I would have. 

Alrighty, me dearies.  May you have a very wonderful weekend!

Peace, love and scrubby bubbles,
Ms. Daisy

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Highway to the danger zone

At noon today (EST), the President of the United States is to make an announcement regarding four points of gun control while usurping the balance of the Congress, denying the second amendment of the Constitution and acting in an autocratic, emperor-like fashion.  Even if you are uncomfortable with firearms, you should feel a bit (um, like one million gallons) more uncomfortable with an elected official who feels they have the right to overpower the Constitution, rape over the wills of those in Congress and the general public of whom he is supposed to serve.

It was a wise choice that the founding fathers made in devising a document to govern us instead of an individual.  As they came from an authoritarian monarch, they saw the danger and the unbalanced power that he held and provided a way for their future to be secure in a tri-fold balance.

All throughout history we’ve seen countless numbers of men (mostly) come to power, hungry for more – more power, more land, more control.  As they have tried to reach out for it, the sips of what they could reach only made them thirst for an unquenchable desire – total control and absolute power.  At the heart we know that people are evil – seeking their own good before the good of others, preferring themselves over service to another.

Up until this time in the short history of the United States, we’ve seen Presidents who have (mostly – at least until recently) respected our true governing authority – the Constitution. 

The right to keep and bear arms is not to support people in their duck hunting endeavors.  The right to keep and bear arms is not even to support people in the preservation of their very lives against street thugs (although it works for that, also) and other such criminally-minded social deviants.  The right to keep and bear arms is exactly to support the people of the United States against a tyrannical government – a government who bulldozes their will, dictates autocratically, mandates without restraint and waves magic wands (or apparently a magic marker) over the Constitution.

All citizens should be spending less time arguing about whether or not they believe people should own assault rifles and look to the infinitely more alarming and blatant situation that we face at this precipice: a ruler who is approaching (in his mind and in his actions) complete autocracy.

Even if you voted for the current President, you should be alarmed at these drastic measures – not because they line up (or don’t) with you politically or in theory – but because of what this means for our future.

Please hear me.

Stop arguing about who didn’t sweep the kitchen floor – look up and see the ticking time bomb that is attached to your fridge.

I know that there must be a thought in the minds of the powers that be that the American people are so drugged up, stupid and uneducated that everything will slide through easily – and if it does, those things will be never ever more obvious.

I beg you to wake up and see what is at stake.  Don’t argue with me about the cards on the table.  If you don’t have a raised brow at the card dealer, you are missing it.

It’s time to prove you’re out there.  The threat to the independence of your progeny stands at your front door and knocks.

Gravely yours,
Ms. Daisy

Monday, January 14, 2013

Dressing: complicated mystery NO MORE!

I went to Trader Joe’s yesterday and my mother-in-law also was doing her shopping.  We meandered over to the pre-packaged salad sections where they give you tasty creations in plastic take-along containers.  They also come with a dressing to suit the occasion.  She handed one over to me for inspection (I am sort of known as the litmus tester for all things food – well, that’s what I think of myself as, anyway.  I am pretty sure other people just think of me as the dark cloud of doom for all things food.  Yes, well.  Either way.) as she brings them along with her to work during the week.

Being the Dark Cloud of Doom that I am, I told her that the actual salad was fantastic but the dressing that they had to go with it was pure horrid.  The first one she handed me had some nice canola oil in it (if you are not yet aware, canola oil comes from something called a “rapeseed”.  Yes.  RAPEseed.  I wish I were making this up.  Oh, and besides the name, it’s one of the top four GMO’s of our world.  Canola isn’t even fit for human consumption but it’s purported as a health food.  Someone has it in for us, perhaps?  But don’t take it from me – do some research and reading on the subject and you’ll be equally horrified.).  She took it back, sighed, tossed it back onto the refrigerated shelf.

Out comes another for me to inspect.  Ugh.  Soybean oil.  Once again, top four for GMOs.  (They are: corn, soy, canola and cotton in case you’re keeping track – with sugar beets following closely behind.)  Now, not only are soybeans one of the top GMOers, they are also not processed well by humans unless they are fermented (as they are used in Asia) and then only as a condiment with other foods, not as a food itself.  The makeup of soy causes so many problems – the huge hit is taken by your endocrine system, should you choose to consume it.  And it, like the other GMOers, is hard to get away from because they are so prolific in our food supply.  I inform her of these things.  She sighs again and tosses the plastic bin back on the shelf.

The third comes out and this one also has some canola in it.  Poor lady.  I am nearly deflating her with troubling information.  Now, as I mentioned at the first, the actual salad doesn’t have anything wrong with it per se, it’s just the ingredients to the dressing.  I suggest to her that she simply make some dressing and use the rest of the ingredients.

(Now, to be fair, Trader Joe has told me that they do not use GMO sources.  I am glad for that but wouldn’t consume regular soy or canola anyway, so I’m back to where I started.)

“Make dressing?”  She says, somewhat incredulously.  “I don’t know how to do that!”

Herein lies the problem.  I am not sure where you are, but here in these United States, people picture dressing and up comes an image of Paul Newman’s or Brianna’s or (oh please NO) Hidden Valley Ranch (you know I just DIED writing that) on their local grocery shelf.  Nobody knows (okay, not NOBODY, but fairly close to nobody) that you can make dressing in about four seconds with things you already have in your cupboard.

Our easy-living world has made it so that people are even deceived about making a simple salad dressing – that it must be difficult, complicated and filled with ingredients they certainly don’t have in their home.  Now this is actually true if you were trying to use the ingredients of a commercial dressing – what, with all that TBHQ and BHT and partially hydrogenated poison oils and stuff.  You simply don’t have those lying around the kitchen.  Now if you worked in like a poison factory or something, you could def get your mitts on that, but really, only a handful of people work at poison factories that I know anyway, so it’s not that common.  Anyway, I’m pretty sure you’d like to do without those things.  Unless you like boiling cauldrons and butane and plastics and stuff for your salad (hello, scarypants.).

So, what to do, what to do.  I know.  How about some simple recipes for dressings that you can make up in a jiffy?  Excellent.

Here’s one I had on my snack (a baby greens salad) last night (and just so you know, I really don’t usually think of salad as a snack, but I was so influenced by Martha Stewart making like five different kinds of veggies on her show that I couldn’t resist going to the kitchen to get me’self a bowl full of greens.).  All I used was: olive oil, good quality balsamic vinegar, a drip of raw honey and a twist of salt and freshly ground peppercorns.  It was zero percent difficult and it was fabulous.

As far as exact measurements, I have not the slightest idea.  What shall ensue is my best guess.

Ms. Daisy’s Dressing (for two servings)
1/8-1/4 cup olive oil
3 tsp. balsamic vinegar
A blob of honey (1 Tbsp.?)
A crunch of celtic sea salt
A crunch of black peppercorns

Combine and shake it, c’mon, c’mon, shake, shake it.

I have another dressing that I like to use, but I didn’t make it up myself.  I had it first about 8 years ago at a baby shower and it was heavenly.  You could pretty much eat it like soup.  But you would get so sick because who in their right mind would eat dressing like soup?  I digress.  The ingredients:

A Baby Shower Dressing, modified by Ms. Daisy
½ cup mayonnaise (you can use your homemade version or the grocery store standby)
¼ cup cream
¼ cup sugar or honey (you can mess with this proportion as you like it)
1 Tbsp. sour cream
2 Tbsp. Poppy seeds
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

Combine these lovely ingredients in a jar, shake it until your arm hurts and all is mixed.  If it is looking too thick, add a few drops of water until it is your desired consistency. 

Either one of these are fantastic for a mixed greens salad.  My grandmother-in-law hates eating salad but will eat bowlfuls of it if she can have this dressing. 

There are so many more dressing recipes out there and I think you should do yourself a favor.  Run out of what you’ve got and get stuck with making something from scratch.  You’ll be so pleased with yourself that you actually know how to do it, you’ll enjoy your salad all the more. 

Try it, you just might like it!

Peace, love and pass that salad bowl, please,
Ms. Daisy