Little Doses of Lavish 

Since my last post I’ve often wondered what part of my current life could be considered lavish?  It’s an important aspect of this blog of mine, don’t you think?  It is only called Lorene Living Life Lavishly.
I like to think I’ve maintained a substantial life.  I’m no millionaire and far from it but I am rich.  I feel rich. Especially now I have the power to make my loved ones lives better than they were.  I don’t throw money at them and I don’t regal them with the finer things in life but the Hubby and I care for them.
We manage their food intake and make sure they have healthy, well-balanced meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  
Sometimes even just a question to ask how they are feeling or if they’ve eaten makes a huge impact in their lives.
We educate and prepare ourselves with knowing what medications, dosages and their frequency.
Lavish living to me right now means an extra hour of sleep, a much needed body massage, an uninterrupted hour of Outlander or a Pepsi.  
There will come a time where difficulties will pass and at that point my level of lavishness shall change but today small doses of simple blessings help me get through the days of caring for elderly and ill parents, emergency room visits and a hectic work schedule.  
I look forward to the days when everyone is healthy again and I can indulge in weekend binges of Game of Thrones or a week vacation to an exotic location but for now the project manager in me just needs to delegate tasks, tackle each day head on and make them as meaningful as possible for as long as I can.

Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes

A little over four years ago, I moved out of my childhood home.  It isn’t like I’d never moved before.  I had.  But, not like this.  The few times I moved out I felt like I had no choice.  I was too young; too naive to know who I was, who I wanted to be and who I could grow up to become.  I wanted my freedom now, I wanted privacy to do what I wanted, when I wanted to do it and whenever I wanted to come home from doing whatever it was I did while out and about.  I didn’t want to be tied down to anything or anyone and abide by anyone’s rules.
This last move, I thought freedom and privacy would be nice but I didn’t have that I need to have it or die attitude.  I just felt, it was time.  I needed to be independent and experience life the way a thirty-ish year old should and I did.  I got married, tried to get pregnant but didn’t.  We continue to try but as our options dwindle, the cost of desperation start to increase.
Life is funny that way.  One minute you are resolute thinking you know what you want and no matter what anyone else says you want it just the same.  Then life sneaks up behind you and kicks you in the ass.  In our case, four major changes occur simultaneously: my mom gets sick and needs surgery.  She can no longer cook the household meals, clean the whole house or do laundry.  My aunt is now 83 years old.  How did she get so old?!?!  Third, our next fertility option would cost $4,500 after my insurance has already covered 50%.  Lastly, our landlady increased our rent by $100 bringing it up to $1,300 (which is still below market rate considering other rental prices in the area for a one-bedroom unit with a carport)
Mind you, I still wanted to live where we were.  Our rental was still below market rate considering other one-bedrooms with parking were going for $1,600 and up. The apartment was situated close to transportation so we didn’t need the second car we were considering purchasing.  We do have a bit of debt that needs to be paid down and an investment property we are still paying mortgage on.  Despite this, the problem wasn’t so much the cost but time.  It took four times more to clean our apartment and my aunt’s house (where my mom, my brother and elderly aunt live).  Trust me, I did this for two months.  It was like working two full-time jobs and only getting paid for one.  It took us almost 30 minutes to drive to and from their house and ours every day if they needed anything like someone to do a load of laundry, cook a homemade meal or fix a broken door.  It also meant it would cost more money towards gas if we needed to pick up medication, drive them to doctor’s appointments or the bank or buy groceries and cook because there was no food in the house.
It was then that Hubby said, ” You don’t have a choice.  We need to move in.”

Slight Hiatus.

It’s been almost a full two weeks of no posts from me. This was an unplanned hiatus and I must confess I’ve just been distracted.  Recently, I’ve found myself addicted to watching make up tutorials on YouTube.  The good news is that I’m slowly perfecting my daytime smoky eye look.  The bad news is I’ve neglected important commitments to myself like my weekly manicure, my school work, my projects and my blog.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about doing some video blogging. I find the brainstorming of ideas, shooting content, editing videos and researching possible background music an exhilarating process but I can’t imagine myself on film.  The thought of it is downright intimidating and it’s putting me in this frozen mode funk I can’t shake.  So, I’ve slowly started weaning myself from the clutches of my addiction and focusing on addressing other aspects of my life that I’ve let go.

In addition to my YouTube fixation, I’ve been concentrating on reading more and completing my school assignments in advance.  I’m trying to reignite my critical reading and writing skills by reading, re-reading and completing critical writing pieces based on my book choices.

To date, I’ve completed reading two of Jhumpa Lahiri’s books, The Lowland and Interpreter of Maladies.  I’ve already gone ahead and recommended The Lowland to two of my work friends while I continue to revisit the Interpreter of Maladies which consists of short stories by the author.  I should be posting a few critical writing pieces on each story in the coming weeks.

My hiatus though abrupt has given me more time to explore, to nap more and to recommit to some of the neglected aspects of my life.  So please bear with me.

Snack Review: Outshine Fruit Bars

Hubs & I have been addicted to Dreyer’s Outshine Fruit Bars.

Initially, we picked up the pineapple flavor. We loved the pineapple flavor!I like that they’re made from real pineapple and it is a great source of vitamin c. They do have a lot of natural sugars (19 grams). They also have bits of pineapple embedded in the individual bars. They were bigger than I thought they’d be. They come in a box of six. Target had them on sale for $3 a box. They still could be on sale. I hope they’re still on sale.

We loved them so much I bought another box. I picked up a 12 bar box of tangerine, strawberry and raspberry flavors. These bars were smaller. I especially loved the strawberry and raspberry flavors though tangerine wasn’t bad either.

I don’t like that these bars are sweetened with Splenda.

They have a few that are artificially sweetened and others that are full of natural sugars. Just be sure to read the packaging.

I want to try other flavors, they have a variety of bars made from other fruits like peach, grape, lemon, lime, mango, pomegranate, black cherry and fruit & vegetable mix bars like carrot/tangerine and apple/greens.

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Daiso Haul: September 6, 2014

While Hubs went to the gym, I went to Diaso and purchased the laundry bags I needed to wash our curtains and protect the attached grommets.
I also needed a pair of earbuds to watch YouTube videos. I found these cute pink ones.

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In addition to two large mesh laundry bags, I also bought six assorted plastic organizers. Two to organize my night time products like lip balm, overnight lotion, my eye serum and lubricating eye drops, etc.
The two packs of smaller organizers to organize my memory cards (2 gb, 4 gb & 32 gb) and the other for antacids, Advil and lactose pills for work.
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I also bought some felting materials because I’ve been really curious about this craft. I thought I’d start with one package of felting fluff. Although I put a pack of each color in my shopping basket at first, I eventually reconsidered and decided to stick with the purple set to play around with. I also picked up a pack of felting needles.
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Everything else I bought is for the craft room and to help organize the various ephemera I have scattered throughout my crafting table. Oh, I also broke down and bought that cube of kraft paper post its.

Projects: Kitchen Curtains

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These are the curtains I bought at Goodwill for $4.49 a panel. Originally, World Market curtains range between $23-36 per panel unless they are clearanced or on sale. We’ve been searching but I could never commit to any of the ones we’ve seen. These are exactly what I envisioned for the kitchen.
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Time to measure and cut. I’m using our Fiskars cutting mat and Donna Dewberry Collection Fiskars rotary cutter. IMG_6104.JPG

The selvage is large enough to make a pillow cover for one of our large throw pillows.
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Pinning!
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The finished product in the day time, with the sun shining you can’t get a sense of what they look like.
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The finished product in the evening. The colors are so saturated and perfect for autumn and winter.