Friday, July 18, 2014

Get EXCITED Fridays : joy



To start us off on this installment of Get Excited Fridays: this EMT Driver Voguing video is funny and guarantees a smile on my face whenever I see it... so much joy!

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Motion Sickness Tips

As a sufferer of motion sickness, I know how much it sucks. I've been experiencing car sickness, airplane sickness, and general nausea and malaise from too much motion since I was young. I've puked on myself in other people's cars, had to pull over to try and throw up on the side of the road, and felt crappy from riding rollercoasters, boats, airplanes, and metro trains, and even felt nauseous from sitting in the ocean's waves on a boogie board. There's really no limit to what will make me feel motion sick. It sucks.

motion-sickness-relief
My motion sickness prevention arsenal. 
Motion sickness is caused by conflicting senses between your eyes and the liquid in your inner ear. Your inner ears can feel your body moving, but your eyes aren't seeing the same thing. I always think of this video that explains why it happens. The leading theory as to why vomit when this happens? is that it's a remnant of evolution: if early humans had a mismatch between what their ears and eyes are feeling, it probably meant they had consumed a neurotoxin, so the body's response is to puke it out!

Vomiting often makes me feel better, but I try to avoid feeling that pukey feeling in the first place. My overall strategy is:
  1. long-term prevention: take magnesium supplements daily.
  2. short-term prevention: limit food intake immediately before motion activity.
  3. drugs: take motion sickness pills before and during activity. when in doubt, take another.
  4. non-drug layers of protection: for added prevention that won't interact with the drugs.

Here are a few techniques I've used and had different levels of success with:

  • Dramamine / dimenhydrinate / meclizine - I've used Dramamine (or generic dimenhydrinate) for years. It seems to work on preventing motion sickness, but not always. Recently I've been trying generic meclizine instead, and it feels more powerful and seems to be a tad more reliable.
  • Seabands - I tried Seabands acupressure bracelets on a whim after feeling motion sick while hungover. The pharmacist at Wal-Mart said he recommended them, and that his mom and sister both loved them. I puked in the car on the way home. But these are really easy to wear while traveling, so I always do. I don't know if they help.
  • MotionEaze - I bought this herbal oil stuff as an added layer of motion sickness protection. It smells good, but it's really strong. If I don't remember to apply it (behind the ear) before I get on the airplane, I avoid it because I think it's too stinky. I don't know if it helps, but it's an additional layer that isn't medicine. This is probably a good solution for kids, since it's herbal and is applied to the skin.
  • Magnesium - My ear doctor recommended that I try taking a magnesium supplement on a daily basis to prevent both migraine headaches and motion sickness. I was all magnesium'd-up before flying to Hawaii in May, and I didn't get sick. But when I traveled to Paris in June, I hadn't been taking my magnesium supplements regularly and I did get sick. Based on this impromptu and totally un-scientific experiment, I think magnesium is important.
  • Ginger candy - Supposedly ginger can help calm your stomach. If I'm feeling sort of yucky but good enough to eat something, I'll chew on these ginger candies. I don't know if they help.
  • Sleeping - If my eyes are closed and my mind is elsewhere, I can't get sick, right?! That's what I tell myself. I've successfully avoided feeling sick at all by sleeping my way through the ride. It really works.
  • Keep calm - If I start to feel sick, sometimes I freak out and it only makes it worse. To keep calm: close your eyes or watch the horizon, listen to music or distract yourself in some way, breathe extremely regularly, fresh air or a cool breeze, shed a layer so you don't get too hot. Most important for me is to breathe. I've had instances where I'm about to puke and start freaking out and my hands start feeling tingly and my fingers start cramping up into fists. It's super weird, uncomfortable, and makes me feel like a crazy person. Not good.
  • Puke bags - This isn't a remedy, but a save-my-dignity item. Sometimes getting motion sick and puking just happens. But I always have a puke bag within reach, and extras in my bag in case one isn't enough. (I snag them from airplanes.) I have quietly thrown up into puke bags on airplanes and once in a cab, both without my seatmate or taxi driver realizing or saying anything to me. Win?

Good luck to you, pukey traveler! If you have any tried-and-true suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Project Life 2014 : Weeks 14 - 18, up to Hawaii

Feels like we're still getting back into the swing of things after our vacation/wedding in Hawaii! Here are my Project Life spreads for the month leading up to our trip. I plan on creating a special Hawaii-only spread or two for just pictures from those days. Because we took a lot.

project-life-week-14
- faux fisheye app
- see my time lapse video of the fireworks here!

project-life-week-15
- made Vegan Chocolate Muffins with Tofu

project-life-week-16
- see all my cherry blossoms photos in my album

project-life-week-17

project-life-week-18

Next time: Hawaii!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Planning Our "Wedding"

In less than 1 month, I'm getting married! I haven't written about it or talked much to anyone about our wedding because it somehow feels secretive. But I'm excited! So here's the story so far.

(not my ring, but the photo of the ring Rob used on my iPhone to propose)
Right after getting engaged, I started thinking about a wedding. Because that's the order of things, right? Proposal, wedding planning, wedding, honeymoon, happily ever after. I never really had a childhood wedding fantasy, so the options felt really open. Within minutes I started fretting about bridesmaids, groomsmen, and who we would all invite. What kind of food would we serve? Where am I going to find a dress?! Where the heck would we have it-- back in Minnesota where most of our family and old friends are? Or should we make everyone travel to us in DC? It seems so selfish to make people spend money to fly all the way out here when we could make it easier for everyone and come to them...

And you can see the rabbit hole that leads to. Emotions get in the way, and tradition takes precedence over what it is you really want. Frustrating!

My fiancé Rob is a scientist. He questions everything, and he researches all possibilities. He's methodical and logical. He pushes me to question everything in all aspects of my life. He doesn't force me to take the most logical route, but he encourages me to think through all the options, choose for myself, and be able to justify my decisions with reasons I personally feel good about.

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.~Aristotle

Rob's logical brain is always on, so immediately after he proposed and we went to a nearby Starbucks to grab a coffee and get out of the rain, he started asking questions. He kept reminding me that we can do whatever we want. It's our day. It's our life. Nobody cares as much about your wedding as you do, anyway. Don't let society pressure you into planning and paying for a huge, expensive wedding day if you never wanted that in the first place.

It didn't take long before we decided we don't want a wedding. *huge sigh of relief*

For dozens of reasons that I could go into in depth (but I won't, because I honestly don't think you need to justify all your reasoning to anyone but yourself and your partner), planning and having a wedding just didn't feel like us.

Our relationship feels different than I ever expected Love to be. Sometimes Rob and I will go back and forth, asking each other specific (and true) scenarios like, "did you ever think that one day you'd have a boyfriend who would sit on the floor with you in the middle of your studio condo in the nation's capital, eating oatmeal and talking about going to Hawaii?" Never! These are beautiful, unique moments I could have never imagined. It doesn't make sense to live out some childhood fantasy of a wedding when your relationship is so much richer than that. Rob and I have been cultivating our relationship for eight years. We deserve a wedding customized to us and who we are together, right now.

us in 2006.
elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving hurried flight away from one's place of residence together with one's beloved with the intention of getting married.
Planning our vacation wedding has been weird. Weird because I'm not planning a traditional wedding and weird I feel like I'm "doing it wrong." Logically, I know this isn't true. It's our day and there are no rules for how to have a wedding (besides the required steps for legalizing your marriage). We can go wherever we want, wear whatever we want, and have any type of ceremony we want. But the wedding industry is massive. There are tips & tricks and resources for planning a wedding at every turn. In a way, I feel like I'm missing out on that definition of wedding-- because I am.

But I'm not sad or upset; I'm relieved. All I have to do is think about the process of planning a typical American wedding, and I remind myself why that's not our thing. (Do a Google Image search for "wedding checklist" and feel the horror.) In a way I feel guilty, because I figured out the secret to a happy, stress-free wedding that most people never dream of. I haven't talked a lot about our plans to friends or family because, really, there's not a whole lot to talk about! We're keeping it simple. No drama, no stress.

We're keeping it simple, but more importantly we're keeping it us. We're not throwing all traditions out the window just for the sake of being rebellious. We're picking and choosing what we want to include in our marriage process. We both wanted a ring. I wanted a special dress. Even though we're doing it differently, there's still no wrong way to do it.

the dress.
Next month, just under a year from getting engaged, Rob and I are flying to Hawaii to get married. It's also our "honeymoon" since it's a longer vacation trip. (Although, the widely-accepted tradition of an expensive trip immediately after an expensive wedding still boggles my mind. You have a ceremony to "celebrate" your marriage, right? Why do you then need a honeymoon to "celebrate" your ceremony? It's excessive, no?)

Our theme is Simplicity. Our mantra is Relax & Enjoy. Colors? Hawaiian sunsets and big blue skies. The dress? ...was cheap. Menu? unplanned, but hopefully some yummy vegan restaurant in Honolulu. Number in attendance? just two. 

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