Mundane Mondays – One Day 2015

It’s been a few years since I participated in Hollywood Housewife’s “One Day” event. When I saw my Instagram feed filling up with #onedayHH posts I caught the bug and decided to document one day of my life, too. But instead of posting it on The Gram, I decided I’d put it here, seeing as how I’m trying to revive this dead horse. So for this week’s Mundane Mondays post I took some particularly crappy pictures of my day for you. You’re welcome. Without further ado:

 

I rolled out of bed at a lazy 8:30. Don’t hate. I then had a meeting with Mr. Bucket.

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I had some coffee and checked  some internet whilst chilling with this lady (WHO IS GOING TO BE 15 THIS WEEK).

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I washed some fruits and veg, because that’s a thing we do.

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And then tried to expedite the thawing of frozen chicken, because some things never change.

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Made my bed. You know you’re crushing hard on my sweet tiger blanket.

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Then tried to get a little work done.

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Some subzi boys showed up and I bought a new kind of vegetable, at my Ayah’s insisting. They call it Loki. Apparently it’s a bottle gourd.

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I asked my Ayah to make burritos for lunch. Then I decided we needed cilantro. What is even the point of a burrito without cilantro? So I took the boys with me to head down the hill to find cilantro at one of the nearby produce stands. Also, check me out in my new winter suit.

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Found it at the second stand. Whole trip took us maybe a mile round trip.

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Then we had some ballin’ chicken burritos. On handmade tortillas. Have I mentioned how much I love our Ayah?

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After lunch I did some studying.

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Then I took my Ayah shopping for a new sari as a Diwali gift.

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I wanted to run some other errands in the market and she decided to stick with me. We went to three different shoe stores before I found a pair I wanted.

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Thanks to Diwali sales I scored these sweet mom shoes for only 3 bucks.

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We went to the yarn store. I got some yarn for my advent calendar.

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Btw, shopping is no joke here. I pretty much dig it, though. There’s no Walmart. Every store is specialized. You go to the paint store, the shoe store, the yarn store, the food store, the produce stand, etc etc. And in a town this small, it’s all done on foot. All told I walked about 4 miles on this day.

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I had a short list of random things I needed. I ended up finding batteries at one tiny shop (not pictured). And then breaking down and going to one of the nicer electronic stores for my other needs. Power strips, HDMI cord, etc.

All shops open out onto the street.

All shops open out onto the street.

I also stopped at my favorite “grocery store” to dispute a small matter on my last bill. The picture below was actually taken on a different day. But whatevs.

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On our way back my Ayah stopped beside the Hindu temple to buy marigolds for a Diwali related tradition.

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By the time I got home it was time to feed people again. We went with leftovers; a common choice. And I got to use my new microwave for the first time. I felt like I was on a spaceship.

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Also, can we just stop for a moment and ooh and aah at my new plates? Pretty things make me happy.

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I still prefer to reheat my foods on the stove most of the time, though. Because microwaved chicken is nasty.

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After dinner Jeremy and I walked around the property, looking for birds and watching the sunset. That view never gets old.

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Then we played a game of Settlers of Catan with eleven year old.

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After Catan we spent some time in the freezing dark, looking across the valley, watching random fireworks. It was the main night of Diwali so it sounded like we were in a war all night. Here’s a super crappy picture of house lights on the hillside.

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While one of the Wild Things was playing Zelda or some such I sat down to ball some of my new yarn. A necessary evil when your yarn supply doesn’t come from Hobby Lobby.

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Then I worked on my firsts attempts at Christmas trees for my advent calendar idea. Tweaked a pattern I found online to suit my needs. (Photo taken the next day in better lighting).

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After the kids went to bed Jeremy and I suffered through one or two episodes of 24. We’re in season 2 and we pretty much hate it but our options are severally limited without online streaming. At least it’s fun to MST3K.

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Aaaaaaand that’s it. Everyone has good and bad days. Clearly, this was a good day.

I share a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff like this on Snapchat, if you’d like to see more boring parts of my days. Username: Bohemianbowman

 

What I’m Into – October 2015

Since I’m trying to jump start this whole blogging thing I thought it would be appropriate to join up with Leigh’s “What I’m Into” this month. As riveting as that is sure to be. Actually, I’m too late to actually link up this month. But still.

 

The weather has definitely cooled off this October but without the Fall colors like I was hoping for. I assumed with all the beautiful mountain foliage around here that the hills would catch fire eventually. It’s Nov and so far no.

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Reading:

 

Does Hindi count? Cause I do plenty of that.

 

TV:

 

Let me tell you, your standards for entertainment get dramatically lowered when you’re in a 3rd world country and can’t stream anymore. Oh Netflix, how I miss thee.

In the house we’re renting we found copies of 24 on DVD. I’ve never had any desire to watch it before now, despite Dwight Schrutes recommendations. We finished season one and started season two in October. I wouldn’t say I’m INTO it, but I’m still watching. Again, standards adjust.

We’re also still slowly working our way through Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Just started season 5.

And I’m forever rewatching Gilmore Girls, Friends, and The Office. Thankfully, we own the first two in their entirety. Sadly, we only own the first five seasons of The Office. Of all my regrets in life, not buying all nine seasons of The Office before heading abroad ranks in the top 5. HOW I TOOK YOU FOR GRANTED, ONLINE STREAMING.

(Speaking of first world problems, we have a new wishlist for people who want to sends us things.)

 

Music

 

When I cook I almost always listen to Taylor Swift’s 1989 these days. DON’T JUDGE ME.

 

Things I Love

 

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The new coffee shop that has opened a ten minute walk from our house

Hoodies. LONG LIVE FALL. I bought a perfect, gray Banana Republic hoodie out of a guy’s trunk for a few bucks. Thanks, India!

Indian food. I cannot get enough of it. Our Ayah (house helper) cooks us amazing hot lunches Monday-Friday. I tend to share them on snapchat, along with a lot of other behind-the-scenes stuff that usually doesn’t make it to Facebook or Instagram. Follow me if you’re into that sort of thing – bohemianbowman.

 

Instagram

cotton candy man
I’ve started a separate InstaG for my forays into crochet. Find me with username: crochetcray.

I’ve shifted the focus of my Bohemian Bowman instaG. I’m sharing more travely/Indian culture type stuff over there these days. And putting the more personal, everyday stuff on snapchat.

For example: THE COTTON CANDY MAN. One day this dude just up and strolled down the trail to our house ringing a bell and carrying a big pole full of pink.

 

On the Blog

 

So, the Mundane Mondays are sort of my thang now. There’s just so much to say about living cross-culturally.

I vented my monkey frustrations in October. Good to get that off my chest. I also added a few more steps to the old post What it’s really like to live with kids. Jeremy wrote most of the original version. Still cracks me up.

 

So that’s October, I guess. What are you into these days?

 

Jessica

Homemade Picture Ornaments

 

I have the Christmas spirit this year, you guys. Maybe it’s because we’re in our old house this Christmas. Maybe it’s because this will be our last stateside Christmas for a few years. Maybe it’s because these dang children WON’T STOP GROWING.

 

Sigh.

 

Whatever the case, I am doing some extra cherishing this year. Realistically we only have a few more years left with fourteen-year-old. Don’t even get me started, just pass the tissues.

 

Porcelain picture ornaments

 

So as we were setting up the tree (well before Thanksgiving) I oohed and ahhed over the few ornaments with pictures on them.  I mean, is there anything better than a cheesy, construction paper, picture frame ornament? And I realized that the last pictures on the tree were from at least five years ago.

 

I used to do a picture frame ornament every year to give to friends and family but pretty much quit when we moved back to a town without a Michael’s or a Hobby Lobby. Excuses, excuses.

 

One year I even ordered fancy porcelains ornaments to send to the Hubs who was off in a desert for Christmas.

 

But I digress.

 

This year I decided we needed new pictures on our tree. Because five years from now I’m going to want to remember Christmas 2014. So I forced those beautiful children of mine into the backyard so I could snap a few pictures of them and then I hot glued some Dollar Tree craft sticks together with a bit of Dollar Tree ribbon. Because memories don’t have to be expensive.

 

Popsicle Stick Picture ornaments

Bada bing, bada Christmas. Picture ornaments!

I was feeling pretty proud of myself until I jumped the gun on the New Year a little. Oh well. Nothing’s perfect. :)

 

homemade picture ornaments

I even whipped up a little collage to print up and stick in a few Christmas cards.

 

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I just love my little dirty blondes.

 

Have you done anything crafty this year?

 

-Jessica

DIY Homemade Sugar Scrub

Homemade Sugar Scrub

 

I’ve already told you about the homemade cookie butter that we made to give as Christmas gifts in a jar. But I have to admit that it’s not the crunchiest of Christmas gifts. Do people still say crunchy?

 

So for the people in my life who are a tad more holistic I decided to do an alternative jar gift. Because, ya know, some of us try to stay away from the glutens and the sugars and stuff.

 

Pretty much my only rules for DIY is fast and easy. Which brings me to my next Christmas gift in a jar:

 

Homemade Sugar Scrub

 

How to make homemade sugar scrub

 

This literally takes minutes to make. We used a ratio of one part coconut oil and one part sugar.  Mix in food processor until . . . mixed.  Then we transferred it to a non-plastic bowl if we were going to add essential oils. Didn’t want my Cuisinart to smell like lavender until the end of time.

 

For two cups of scrub we added 20-25 drops of lavender essential oil. You can’t really mess this up though, we added until we liked how strongly it smelled. We also added dried rosemary to the lavender scrub. It’s absolutely heavenly. Does anything in the world sound better than lavender rosemary sugar scrub?

 

We also added equal parts coffee to make a coffee sugar scrub.

 

And in our most ambitious concoction we added several tea bags of orange spice black tea, vanilla extract, and extra cinnamon. And vanilla orange spice sugar scrub was born.

 

The rosemary lavender scrub is still my favorite though. I stole one of those for myself.

 

I’ve been wanting to make homemade sugar scrub for the longest time but had never gone through with it. It was so easy now I feel silly for having never tried.

 

Not only is this gift easy it’s pretty darn cheap. We used a nice quality of unrefined organic coconut oil and still these came out less than a dollar each, not counting the jars.

 

ALL THE CHRISTMAS GIFTS IN A JAR.

 

Are you doing any jar gifts this Christmas?

 

-Jessica

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

That’s right. I made coffee filter snowflakes. Apparently it’s the year of the coffee filter. First my coffee filter wreath and now this. I swear I do not know what has gotten into me. I’m normally not this crafty. I’ve used a hot glue gun multiple times this past week for crying out loud!

popcicle stick snowflakes

Oh, and that’s not all. I whipped out the craft sticks, too. Apparently it’s also the year of the snowflake. And the Dollar Tree. Though, let’s be honest, every year is Dollar Tree Year.

Ten Year Old designed the popsicle stick Christmas tree.

 

popsicle stick christmas tree

And we finally hung our stockings. Three guesses where they came from. #DollarTree

 

stockings hung by the chimney

It’s all so pretty I could just melt into a puddle of Christmas.

 

-Jessica

Of Cornucopias and Coffee Filters

 

 

Most of the time I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever blog again. I mean, I want to in theory. I have the best of intentions. I want to chronicle our life. I really do. But then somewhere, just out of nowhere, I don’t.

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Way back when I first started blogging it filled a void in my life. Also, half my kids were in school. A million years ago. But now? Now I don’t need to blog. And apparently I don’t want to enough to actually, ya know, do it.

First world problems, I know.

But I really do want to get back my roots. Back to everyone’s bloggy roots. When it didn’t have to be a soapbox or a business or pinterestable. I just want to record our life.

I blame social media, in part. We’ve gotten so A.D.D. that we don’t have time for blogs anymore. Which is bull because we have just as much time as we always had. But now we spend it scrolling Facebook or Instagram. We want sound bites instead of stories.

And I’m just as bad as the next guy. I never read blogs anymore. And what I used to blog about now gets crafted into a concise little Facebook status or a carefully cropped instagram photo.

I am so dang lazy.

So, in the spirit of blogging the boring like the good old days here are a couple of rando things I’ve done recently.

Ice cream cone cornucopias

I made these adorbs ice cream cone cornucopias as party favors for the kids at Thanksgiving. You pop’em in the microwave for somewhere between 20 and 40 seconds and they become moldable, perfect for curling around the end of a marker.

But be warned, there’s a fine line between bendable and burnt. Ask me how I know. Then I popped a bit of leftover Halloween candy in them. Bada bing, bada bopia.

In other crafty news, I made a wreath out of coffee filters. Clearly I’ve been possessed by some kind of craft demon.

coffee filter wreath

It turned out like this. And you can read about how to make a coffee filter wreath on other places around the interweb. I swear to you, it’s the easiest thing in the world and you can do it in like half an hour.

So there you have it, two perfectly average things I did recently.

Ta da. I blogged.

You’re welcome.

That Jamberry Nail Wrap Thang

 

Okay, okay – it’s quite possible that you’ve been hearing about Jamberry Nail Wraps this summer. And if you’re like me, you’ve been ignoring all the hype. Because you’re just too hip for that Facebook event invite.

 

But then maybe you have a friend that becomes a consultant and asks you to host a party. And because you’re a good person, you agree. And within 48 hours you’re all OMG ALL THE JAMBERRY DESIGNS.

 

Jamberry Nail WrapsThese are my nails one week after applying a Jamberry Sample and painting my remaining nails. It’s very Lisa Frank. Obviously, the polish is chipping. And I didn’t even do a very good job applying the Jamberry wrap. I totally ghetto applied it. But even when the edges of the wrap started to unglue, I could just smooth it back down and go about my business. No visible chipping.

There are tons of tutorials out there about tips and tricks when applying Jamberry wraps so Google it. One of the most important aspects is cleaning your nails really well first with dish soap and/or rubbing alcohol to remove all oils from the nail beds.

 

Jamberry Nail WrapsDid I mention that if you buy 3 you get 1 free? Did I mention that wraps on fingernails last for up to 2 weeks and on toes up to 6 weeks? Did I mention that one sheet of Jamberry Nail Wraps is the equivalent of two manicures, two pedicures, and then some? Did I mention that you’re basically getting manis and pedis for less than $4 and they’re WAY cuter?

 

Yeah. Those things.

 

 

Jamberry Nail Wraps

Also, there are Jamberry Juniors with adorb designs for little hands.  The bottom of this picture is a sheet of Jamberry Juniors and the top is a regular sized sheet.

 

If you have short nail beds, you may get more bang for your buck with Juniors. My 13 year old inherited her dad’s little fingernails so she could totally rock Juniors. I even ordered a sheet of Juniors for myself.

 

Because monsters.

 

Jamberry Juniors Monsters

So if you’d like to order some wraps for yourself you need to do it ASAP. My Online Party ends tonight at midnight. So get lost in all the designs and party like it’s 1999. There are sooooo many awesome designs. Visit my consultant’s website to order: http://www.bbfox.jamberrynails.net/. And during check out choose “Jessica Bowman’s Party” from the drop down list.

Jamberry Nail Wraps

 

If you’re interested in becoming a consultant yourself and earning some green, email Bethany at bbfox_jams@yahoo.com.

 

P.S. My BFF and I split the cost and did the buy three get one free. We’ll cut the sheets in half and end up with 4 designs for half the price of three. Boom.

 

Because how could I resist this newspaper design? Or this vintage deco? Or this shake your tail feather?

 

It all becomes very Little Mermaid. Littler Mermaid Jamberry Nail Wraps

 

So hurry up and order, the party ends tonight!

 

http://www.bbfox.jamberrynails.net/

 

Do it. Like yesterday.

 

Jessica

P.S. One more graphic for you. Because math.

Jamberry Nail Wraps

 

 

 

doTERRA Review – Breathe Blend

Do TERRA Breathe Respiratory Blend

You guys, not having health insurance is kind of nerve wracking when you have kids and one or two of them is prone to cold and allergy sparked asthma. So when Libby asked me if I’d like to review some sample essential oils I was all YES PLEASE.

Few things in life stress me out, people. Not even fevers scare me. But when my kids can’t breathe it sort of scares the doodoo out of me. With that in mind, Libby sent me four samples: Lemon, Peppermint, Lavender, and doTERRA’s Breathe Blend.

I flirt with being a hippie. I want to be all holistic and all that jazz, I really do. But so often I feel myself unsure if the “all natural” fix IS EVEN DOING ANYTHING. I believe in the power of nutritional medicine and the like but at the end of the day sometimes I don’t know if it actually works. But I do it anyway.

So I was completely impressed with doTERRA’s Breathe Blend of essential oils. From what I’ve researched it’s a blend of laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemon, and ravensara.

 

Essential Oils For Asthma

 

This week one of my sons began flirting with a fever and a chronic, asthmatic cough. You guys. That cough. It stresses me the heck out. In case you’re not familiar with an asthmatic cough – basically you cough EVERY TIME YOU INHALE. It’s awful. Especially at night.

The first day of the cough I treated it two ways. I would rub the Breathe blend on his chest and I would give him his albuterol inhaler. The cough would leave like magic. But it occurred to me that I wasn’t really sure if the oil was doing anything since I was giving him the inhaler also.

So on day two I decided to try giving just the oils. Wow. The cough still went away. Color me impressed. And again this  morning when the sound of his constant cough (and I do mean constant) made it impossible for me to sleep another minute I applied the oil and it went completely away again.

So, I’m a believer. A real, live, proof-is-in-the-pudding believer. And as soon as I have the spare cash, I’m going to order a whole bottle of the stuff. Cause this sample won’t last long and I’m hooked.

If you’re interested in purchasing your own doTERRA Essential Oils, hit up my girl Libby. You can find her info below.

 

blog: http://libbylouer.com

doTERRA store: http://mydoterra.com/libbylouer

facebook: http://www.facebook.com/libbylouer

 

-Jessica

photo credit

My Grandmother’s House

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You guys. Living in my grandmother’s house is a surreal experience. I constantly think about how different life was here 50, 40, 30 years ago. And I’m over at A Deeper Family waxing poetic about it a bit. If you feel like reading about that sort of thing, click the link below:

The House Of Nostalgia

 

-Jessica

Things I Don’t Do

It's not hard to decide what you want your life to be about.

 

“It’s not hard to decide what you want your life to be about. What’s hard, is figuring out what you’re willing to give up in order to do the things you really care about.”

 

This is advice Shauna Niequist received from a wise friend in Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way in a chapter called “Things I Don’t Do”. So she made a list; A real, tangible, pen and paper list of things she promised herself not to do. Her list included a lot that she wasn’t any good at to begin with – gardening, baking, making the bed. Stuff that needed to be laid aside so she could concentrate her efforts on things like attentive parenting, building community, writing.

It got me thinking about my own unofficial Things I Don’t Do List, things that I’ve made the conscious decision to stop doing, because really, there’s only so many hours in a day and some things need to be sacrificed.

 

I Don’t Tweet

Unlike most people who avoid twitter because they find it a chaotic, confusing place, I actually enjoy the atmosphere that’s unique to Twitter. The only problem is, it’s a very present place, a very here-and-now place. And I don’t have time for that. I’m not here and now. I’m scheduling statuses and popping in here and there to engage. It’s the same reason I don’t do chat services like Skype or talk on the phone. Real-time conversation is just too demanding.

(My lazy secret revealed: my fanpage is linked to my twitter account. And I do try to occasionally respond to replies.)

 

I Don’t Do Facebook Groups

For the most part. I am currently a member of 20 facebook groups and generally the only ones I participate in marginally relate to various websites I work or write for. Because of my online work, I just don’t need one more email so I have to unsubscribe from all group notifications because those things breed like little social media rabbits.

 

I Don’t Do Facebook Newsfeeds

Again, for the most part. For someone who spends an awful lot of time on facebook, I sure am restrictive in my activities, eh? As an act of self-preservation my facebook use is related to almost strictly fanpage usage. I manage, part-time or in full, seven fanpages. That gives me plenty to keep up with.

What do I have against my newsfeed anyway? Writers, that’s what. Being a writer/blogger means my newsfeed is pretty much all awesome. The problem with that is it’s haaaaard to wade through. You can only scroll an inch at a time without chasing a link. And the pressure to keep up with all the fantastic writings around the web sucks your soul an odd kind of dry. It would, literally, take hours of my day. Believe me. I’ve tried.

 

I Don’t Ice Things

Like, with icing. I don’t do cakes that require layering or icing and I don’t do any baking that requires I roll, cut, or glaze something. I am no good at any of the above and it stresses me out. The kitchen shouldn’t be stressful, it should be cathartic. I will bake and cook all day, but nothing time or temperature sensitive. No thank you.

 

I Don’t Play Video Games

When I was growing up and when I first married (and didn’t have all these chilluns) I used to allow myself the luxury of being engrossed in a game. Now, there’s just not enough screens to go around for all that. Not only do I have five other people in the house who are better off gaming than me, I just can’t devote hours to this sort of thing.

I actually take my video game aversion a step further and am willfully ignorant in all electronic doings around here. The plain truth of this is because if I don’t know how to remedy something, I’ll never be called on to do it. This is one of the only (perhaps THE only) thing that is solely my husband’s territory.

The kids might need my assistance for ever-loving thing under the sun (and they do) but they know that mom can in no way help if they’re stuck on a part on their game, or if the Wii has gone wonky. Right or wrong, this is our arrangement and I enjoy being completely helpless (unhelpful?) in this one single category. Sue me.

 

What Don’t You Do?

Okay, so spill. What are some “don’ts” in your life?

——-

I’m enjoying slowly working my way through Bittersweet, btw. So far it feels like a lot of reading my own story. It’s the kind of rare book that makes me think maybe I COULD actually write a book.

Check it out.  Bittersweet: Thoughts on Change, Grace, and Learning the Hard Way