Friday, February 24, 2017

Adult skin problems? Borrow something from your baby.

"Ouch," I moan, feeling as if I'm walking on glass. I don't know if I should blame it on age or my diabetes, or both, although I do know one of the main culprits. My feet become cracked and skin feels like it's splitting more and more lately. And something I'm doing makes it worse. Before I go into it in more detail, I wanted to apologize.

The weeks are passing by so quickly now that I'm working full time as manager of Dignity Home Care Professionals in Pittsburgh. On many a day, I fully intend to blog. And then we get busy at the office, I work into the evening, arrive home for a late dinner, and crash on the couch. Well, maybe tomorrow, I think. Then I fall into the same pattern the next day. If I do go into my home office in the evening, it's to do a voice-over or write an article for a client. Alas... Green Grandma isn't keeping up with things as I used to. For that, I am truly sorry. It's not that the blog isn't important to me anymore. Not at all.

I've been meaning to write this post for that past week and finally have the time to do it. If you've been following for long (as in years), you know I love to promote good products. Sometimes I do it as a sponsored post after I've received a product to review. Today, however, I just want to sing the praises of a product I have at home.

Because of my intense affection for soaking in hot baths, my feet are drying out like never before. Until last week, I seriously was considering having to let go of this favorite pastime. But as I was rummaging through my bathroom cupboard looking for something, I came across a bottle of Massage Serum by Babytimes. Hmmm, I thought, I wonder if this would help. I read the label and without hesitation, applied some serum to the bottom and top of my feet. I felt immediate relief, so I did it again the next morning before putting on my socks and shoes. I repeated this pattern for a few days, applying the serum at night after my bath and again in the morning before going to work. 

One particularly warm night (we've been having crazy temps for February), I was stretched out across the couch and my husband started rubbing my bare feet. 

"What did you do to your feet?" he asked.

"What do you mean?"

"They're so soft. They feel like a baby's skin."

Yes! I thought, because next to baths, I really, really love foot massages. But my feet have been too rough and Bill hasn't been eager to rub them. 

I told him about the Massage Serum by Babytimes and he told me to keep using it. He knew how concerned I was about my feet and recognized this awesome solution. 

Of course, I still was doing my apple cider vinegar soaks to soften my feet from time to time, but I just haven't been keeping up with them because of this new crazy schedule of mine. With the serum, I can accomplish the same thing in a few seconds twice a day. I'm in love.

Moral of the story? Don't neglect reaching for your baby's products when you have an issue of your own. The solution just might be in the nursery!

Wishing you soft feet and a partner who likes to rub them!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

"I don't like my kids." Say what??

Did you ever feel guilty for not liking your kids? I know some of you are appalled I would even ask such a question. But others of you get it. For some, liking our kids, or at least one in particular, does not come easily. 

Now, keep in mind, I'm not talking about loving your kids. That's a given. And, for the most part, love is just there. But like? Not so much. If you're really lucky, you have kids that are simply delightful... they're easy to like. But sometimes there's just that one who defies you at every turn or rubs you the wrong way. Perhaps they are too much like your own unlikable side (we all have one). 

When I was growing up, I believed my dad hated me, particularly during my pre-teen and teenage years. It was a heavy burden to carry... this supposed hatred from a father... and it molded me in many ways, most of which were not good. When you believe that even your own father hates you, it's hard to find anything lovable about yourself. Bad behavior ensued. I became a bully, so much so that at one of my class reunions, a classmate came up to me and told me I was his second least-favorite person in school. Wow. What an honor. I think I redeemed myself in his eyes, but it was bothersome knowing that for years he had despised me. 

As a young adult, I started seeing my dad in a different way. He was a proud man who, at only 45, was struck down by not one, but two, major heart attacks. Doctors gave him five years at most to live. My mother was only 37. Of course, back then, there were many more restrictions for heart patients -- no physical activity of any kind. No dancing. No mowing lawns. No sex. 

I was seven at the time and lost the daddy I knew. His medications (there were many) changed his personality. At least that's what my mom said. I often wonder if it was more the loss of dreams, the loss of self, the loss of what was and what would be/should be. Death peeked around every corner. We never knew when the "big one" would strike. As it turned out, he survived 11 more heart attacks in 18 years. My childhood and early adult years were overshadowed by ambulances, CPR, and ICUs. Even after I moved 250 miles away from home, whenever I'd hear a siren, I'd think Dad was heading to the hospital again.

As I look back on his life, I have a hard time grasping what he went through. I sometimes wonder how different my life would have been had his heart not been so damaged. I wonder what kind of dad I would have had. One thing I know for sure, however, is that my dad never hated me. I'm pretty sure he didn't like me much (I was a loud, demonstrative, dramatic little girl and he was a heart patient), but I know he loved me. He loved me like every daddy loves his daughters. He loved me like only a parent can. 

And I've come to terms with the idea that my father might not have liked me. I don't know that I would have liked me if I was my own daughter. When we have children, we get what we get. And they're not always the kids we'd dreamt of having, are they? So mamas (and papas) -- it's okay if you're not liking one of yours. What's not okay, however, is making them feel that they're unlovable. That's never, ever okay. Even if you have to pretend to like them, DO IT. And stop beating yourself up for how you're feeling. 

Love them, pretend to like them (if you must), and before long they just might grow into people you genuinely do like. I know that's what happened with Dad and me. And I'll be grateful forever that it did.

Sharing a bit of my story,

P.S. Just so you know, I happen to really, really like my kids. I've been blessed.

Friday, February 3, 2017

It's Vinegar Friday! Today we're serving up a fruity vinegar drink


Today, we're talking health for the entire family with guest blogger Shelly McGraw.

Fruity Vinegar Drink

There are numerous health benefits to adding apple cider vinegar to your diet. It can help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, improve “gut” health, and even help with weight loss by improving your metabolism over time.

However, if you’re like me and struggle to get it down (even when heavily diluted by water) there is hope!

Not only did I want to figure out a way to add it to my diet but I wanted to start introducing apple cider vinegar to my three daughters as well.

So, after trying different combinations of ingredients, I came up with a quick and easy fruity vinegar drink that my family absolutely loves!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need: 
  • 2 tablespoons of organic apple cider vinegar with the “mother” still in it. (I prefer the brand “bragg”)
  • 3-4 large organic strawberries chopped into small pieces
  • 1 cup organic orange juice
  • ½ cup of organic cranberry apple juice or organic grape juice
  • A few pieces of ice
  • 1 12oz jar or glass

Makes 12oz. Cover and store in the refrigerator for up to 7 days. It’s even sweeter the next day!

I start with a 12oz jar.

 Next, I fill the bottom of the jar with a few pieces of ice.

I cut up 3-4 large organic strawberries into small pieces and add those on top.

Then, I add 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the “mother” still in it.

I then add 1 cup of orange juice.

Finally, I fill the remainder of the jar with ½ cup of organic fruit juice. Use cranberry apple juice for a slightly stronger taste or grape juice for a sweeter taste. Both are delicious!

Stir and enjoy!

Left is grape, right is cranberry apple.

You now have a refreshing drink that’s super easy to make and is packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, and apple cider vinegar!

Here are a few serving suggestions:
  • Drink whole jar as your fruit serving in the place of fresh fruit for that day. (I only recommend doing this once a week at the most.)
  • Make multiple batches and serve to your friends and family for a hot summer day treat.
  • Drink 1/3 or 1/4 of the jar with a meal as your fruit serving.
  • Take a sip each morning to help fight a cold.

I normally make this drink for my family about 2-3 times a month.

Good health doesn’t change overnight. Be patient and consistent with good nutrition and your body will gradually improve from the inside out.

Do you have a favorite way to drink apple cider vinegar? My family and I would love to try your recipe! 


A little bit about me:

I’m a wife of a great guy and a mom of 3 beautiful daughters and a handsome beagle named Rusty. I love God and I love people. For more about who I am, visit my blog called Lessons of Grace and Wisdom.

Lessons of Grace and Wisdom

Social Media:
Facebook: @shellymcgrawministries
Twitter: @shellymcgraw
Instagram: @shellymcgraw
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