Self Worth

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Self Worth…  Who gives it to us.. and what determines it? Is it something I can give myself?? Is it determined by our talents.. our looks… our paychecks, our accomplishments???  Lately I have been thinking about my value as a person, as a wife, a mother, a daughter, a Christian, a friend, a member of society… and so on.  This value is so often manipulated by the world around us.. whether it be by our relationships..  good or bad, or  the media and pop-culture, which idolizes a certain type or  trait.  This constant shift in the degree of perceived value has me reeling at times. It causes me to grasp for something that gives me intrinsic  value.. This is a worth that is given in spite of myself.. for my own sake.. or in its own right.  Our society likes to flout the importance of  self esteem… but I’m referring to something deeper.

It seems that more and more people are having a hard time finding the intrinsic value in life, particularly their own life.  It seems I can’t go a week without hearing about a person who decides that his or her life has no more value.  Suicide is rampant today, and it is hitting a younger and younger population.  Not only do people not find value in their own life, when they take theirs, they often take the life of another with them. Why is it so many people find no value in life?? Life intrinsically, despite its success or failure??

Questions.. I ask many questions.  I don’t have many answers. However, when I examine myself personally, I find that I am searching for worth in the wrong places. I search for it in the eyes of others. I search for it in my talents and my material possessions.  Yet I often find so little self- worth there, leaving me feeling lonely, dejected and hopeless.   Yet when I think even deeper.. I realized something stunning… The only place I found intrinsic value my whole life, is at the foot of the cross. There I find that despite my failures, my disappointments, I have value. I am unconditionally loved.  Now I’m not here to preach. But I must say, that the only constant value I can find in life itself, is in the majesty and miracle of its creation.  Thus I turn to its Creator to give me value, to show me why I live despite the evil that often surrounds me.  …and when I allow myself to understand this, life becomes precious! My life is precious, purposeful, and valuable.

God help me! I want to live with this understanding as my motivation!

Elza

 

Vacation!

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We are leaving for vacation tonight! We are heading to Cape Cod. We spend time there every summer, and I find it to be one of the most relaxing places. My family has been going there since I was a little kid, so there are a lot of great memories associated with the place. I’m really glad that now my little guy has the opportunity to go there too! I’m looking forward to exploring the beach with him. He has been there twice already, but he is finally at an age where he actually understands and loves playing in the sand and looking at boats. 

I just have to finish packing and we are on our way! Yay!

Product Review: Rose Water

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Things I loveFor my first product review I would like to start with something pure and simple, but that feels refreshing and smells lovely. Let me introduce you to–> Rose Water.  As I was researching different natural skin care products, I kept reading about the benefits of rose-water. People raved about this simple product; that it naturally soothes and moisturizes your skin.  So one day as I was in my local health food store I saw a bottle of Heritage Store Rose Water, and couldn’t resist picking up a bottle to try for myself.  This is as natural as you can get; just water and Rose extract.  Let me just say.. I’m in love!
Rose Water1Rose Water

So actually I got two bottles. One is just pure rose-water with a regular top, and the other is Rosewater with glycerin and a misting top.  The first one I use on a cotton ball as more of a toner, while the one with glycerin I spray directly on the face when I want some hydration. :) Both leave the skin feeling soft and supple. I particularly love this product because it is summer time, and considering the humid weather I don’t need a very heavy moisturizer.  Also when it’s really hot this just feels really refreshing misted on your face.  …and it smells like a garden of Roses.  If you love the smell of roses you will be in heaven.. if you don’t.. then it’s probably not for you. (The smell reminds me of my mother’s garden.)

So here is a little research: Rose water has actually been used in skin care for generations, (especially popular during the Victorian era) and can often be found mixed into the ingredient lists of many of our 21st century creams and potions. (Maybe someone still has a granny that speaks of its benefits??)

Here are a few ways rosewater works wonders:

1. Rose oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Thus rose-water can help to reduce redness from irritation or heat.

2. It is a great cleanser and aids in removing oil and dirt accumulated in clogged pores.

3. It has astringent like properties, which is why it is often used after facials to close pores and tighten capillaries. (Applying rose-water after steaming or a shower is really good)

4. The aroma of roses is said to be a powerful mood enhancer. (Some people spray it on their pillow so that they feel calm and sleep better.)

I find the that the best and easiest way to use it is to apply it as a toner at night. It helps clear any impurities left on your face after cleansing and soothes and tightens the skin.

Lastly I want to say.. When you start looking for rose-water, you will find many different brands out there. Some of them quit expensive.  Usually you are paying for a fancy glass bottle and not so much the product.  Though Heritage Store’s rose-water doesn’t come in the most fanciful packaging, I am happy with the quality of the product. ( It’s food grade..so you can even drink it if you want ;)) So be wary of anything too expensive.. and look out for ones that have other stuff mixed in. Oh and I forgot to mention..  Glycerin adds a bit more substance to the spray rose-water so that it stays on your skin a bit better… that’s why I purchased that one in the misting bottle. Pure vegetable glycerin actually has some health benefits for your skin too.. but that’s another subject for another day.

Until then,

Stay calm, cool, and collected.

Elza

P.S. Heritage Brand rose water can be found on Amazon and your local Whole Foods or health store.  (I purchased mine at Choice Health)

“Things I love” Introduction

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So I have decided to do some posts about some of the products I have been loving lately, particularly skincare. I have been really into natural skincare products and have found some new things that I really love.  There are some really good natural products that I have been using on a daily basis, and my skin is looking really good as a result. Also I have been trying some Korean skincare and cosmetics brands. Koreans are known to produce some of the most advanced skincare products. Korean women often pride themselves in having clear complexions, and girls are taught to take care of their skin from a very young age.  It is said that the Korean cosmetics industry is a good decade ahead of the U.S. So I have some pretty cool stuff to share with you in the near future.  I think I will call this group of posts ” Things I Love.” I will try to present a new post every week.

Until then…I hope everyone has a great day!

Elza

I’m Back!! Did you miss me??

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Ok, so I have not blogged in a very long time. Mostly it was due to the fact that my computer got a virus and was acting slow and glitchy, thus making blogging tedious.  However we just purchased a brand-spanking-new lap top, and I am excited to get back into blogging.  I also got a better camera. so hopefully I can take some better pictures too.

I’m thinking of taking a slightly different direction with this blog.. maybe even changing up the front page a bit. We shall see…

Until then.. I just want to say “It’s good to be back!”

Elza

Natural Dishwasher Detergent

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who knewSo I ran out of dishwasher soap two weeks ago, and decided to experiment.  I have never been happy with the store-bought detergent, because it smells so strong, and who knows what is in it.  (Did you know that cancer patients are often advised not to use dishwasher detergent, because of all the harmful chemicals it contains.  Makes you think doesn’t it..)  Since we have an older model dishwasher, it doesn’t seem to get as hot as the newer ones do, so I would always find soap residue on my dishes.  This obviously doesn’t sit well with me. Also, when my dishwasher is on, and the steam comes through the vents, the smell of the soap is so strong that I can’t even stand near it.  So I did a little googling to see if I could find and make a home-made natural solution.  A came across the idea of using baking soda, and decided to give it a try.  So I filled the soap slot with baking soda and put on a load of dishes.  It worked pretty decent, however, I did find some baking soda residue, and water spots. After a bit more research I decided to try adding about a dime size amount of liquid Dawn dish soap to the baking soda, and added vinegar to the rinse cycle.  It worked like a charm!  The baking soda provides grit to clean the dishes, the Dawn some bubble action, and the vinegar helps eliminate those water spots.  I have been using this method for about 2 weeks now and my dishes and dishwasher have never been this clean before.  (Once i put in a little too much baking soda I think, and I did find residue on top of the cups… However I don’t feel so bad about it, because as least I know what it is, and that it is safe.)

So I’m really loving this method…  however I do wonder if its good for the dishwasher and pipes long-term…  So I don’t know if I’ll never have to buy the nasty chemical stuff again… but for now, so-far-so-good.  I’ll keep you posted.

P.S You can buy natural dishwasher detergent online… however this can get pricey. Also there is a dishwasher detergent recipe floating online that uses Borax.. but I’m not a huge fan of it because Borax can be harmful too.

Elza

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Snow Day

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Snow DayWe got several inches of snow last night. The little one and I went out to explore. However we didn’t last long. It was way too cold out there and windy! His cheeks were as red as apples by the time we came back in.  Some warm milk and a snack helped us defrost. For lunch some warm chicken soup that I made yesterday will be perfect.

Remember being a kid and playing outside in the snow until your mittens were soggy, and you couldn’t feel your toes? Those are some of my best memories as a kid. Do you remember the wonder of waking up to a world transformed over night into a winter wonderland? Then playing in the snow, sledding, making snow angels, building forts, and the never-ending neighborhood snow ball fights. Finally we would come inside with bright red cheeks, wet and exhausted. Our mom would always have something warm for us to eat.

Today, I don’t see as many kids playing outside.. Maybe its just our neighborhood.. I just hope my kids will be able to experience the wonder and delight of a snowy day. Then come home so I could feed them something warm and comforting, while they tell me about their adventures… I feel like it’s a necessary part of childhood.  ..or am I just sentimental?

-Elza-

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Entering a New Year

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2014A new year has come, and I find myself wondering what it will bring.  Though all it really represents is another day on the calendar, I see it as a chance for a fresh start. It gives me incentive to change some things in my life, and embrace other things.

I’m in the mood for purging…  This year I really want to look at my priorities, and find a way to focus my time on what really matters to me.  Modern life stretches our attention in all sorts of directions, yet I want to find a way to put my energy towards the most important, particularly my family and my faith.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about what is means to have a serving spirit. What does it mean to serve my husband and my family? Am I taking this role begrudgingly? I have also been considering the ways I may have touched other people, when we crossed paths in this fast-paced world.  Have I left an imprint on anyone’s soul? …or do I simply ignore the human connection, selfishly focused on only my path and problems.

I guess if I was to have one wish for 2014, it would be to learn to serve others humbly and joyfully.  ..to truly see the people around me, and hopefully have something to offer them.

Happy New Year everyone.  May it be filled with lots of love and joy. May we find a way to serve each other, beyond what is merely expected in today’s age.

-Elza-

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Shh.. its nap time

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Anyone who has a small child knows how important nap time is. I’m not talking about how it magically eliminates crankiness in my kid, or any other health benefit here. I’m talking about the benefit for my sanity.  Thankfully my little darling loves his nap time, and I’ve still managed to hold on to two per day.

In the beginning it was “nap when baby naps.” However, it did not take me long to figure out the difference in productivity levels when baby sleeps versus when he is awake.  During these 2-3 hours of my babies rejuvenation, I’m trying to cram in anything and everything that needs to be done around the house.  I literally plan my day around these precious nap times.  However here is the kicker…  I have to be extremely quiet when doing these things, or I risk losing this time of precious productivity.  So often I find myself debating… do I vacuum, ..go into his room to put away laundry, or keep walking up the darn creaky steps that never fail to wake him up, and lose these precious moments of peace?  (I’ve even contemplated whether I should flush the toilet and risk waking him.)  Then there is the cat, who always seems to pick nap time as his time to howl his disillusionment with his nine lives. (.. no matter how much I shush him, or give him the evil eye.)  Then there is the neighbor who always seems to start up his ridiculously loud lawn mower…  or my favorite… the phone ringing… I can not tell you how many times I have frantically searched for my phone on my hands in knees, ready to fling it out the window. (…and people always wonder why I never pick up.. its because I’ve learned to keep it on silent!!)

Did I just hear a cry? Darn it.. my keyboard clanking must be too loud… or was it the cat???

Until next time,

Elza

 

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