Why You Should Invest in a Diva Cup

This post is for the ladies. Guys, you may want to skip this one unless you have a lady in your life.

The men are gone? Ok good, now we can get to business.

So a few months ago a coworker was telling me how she tried the Diva Cup and hasn’t gone back to regular feminine hygiene products since. She encouraged me to try it saying it would save me money/better for you and the environment/etc. I was super skeptical. You want me to put what where?!

Well I took the plunge and tried it. They make two sizes: Size 1 is for Under 30/Pre-Childbirth and Size 2 is for Over 30/Post-Childbirth (includes cesarean). I went with Size 2 since I’m both over 30 and have had children.

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Holy. Cow.

Y’all know the dreaded “Day 2,” right? Where you go through a dozen tampons in an hour? Don’t cough or sneeze or you’re caught in the Great Flood? Yeah, that day. Well guess what? IT WORKS FOR THAT. The instruction pamphlet says you can wear the cup up to 12 hours a day before it needs to be emptied. On my heaviest day, Day 2, I didn’t have to empty until hour 8. Basically an entire work day!

Finally, no more worrying about carrying a pad or tampon up your sleeve and having everyone ask “what’s in your hand?” Or going on vacation and wondering “do I have enough products just in case?” The Diva Cup can save you from all of that. Not to mention no bleached cotton in your lady garden!

Now the instructions on insertion are pretty easy to follow. I’ve read that it takes a few tries to get it right, but I was lucky enough to get it on the first go-round. And just like a tampon, it feels like nothing’s there! (If you feel pressure on your bladder, then you should take it out and try again)

So getting it in is a cinch. Taking it out? Ho boy. Here’s a tip: Keep. Your Nails. SHORT. The last thing you need is more blood up in your bits. And definitely don’t just yank it out. You’ll want to break the seal and then slowly twist it out. Try pushing it with your kegel muscles.

Once it’s out you’ll want to rinse it out with COLD water first (blood is a protein and will cook in heat), then wash it with soap and hot water. Once your cycle is over make sure you boil it for a few minutes to kill any remaining bacteria. Store it in the little bag it comes in NOT an airtight container. I keep my cup bag in my bathroom sink drawer. Makes for an easy reach when Aunt Flo calls unexpectedly.

So who’s tried one? Do you love or hate it? Or are you on the fence?

Who hasn’t tried one? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?

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When one door closes…

…Another one is *supposed* to open. But it hasn’t. What am I talking about? Working from home. I spent six months trying to market for an online grocery store but it just didn’t work out.

So now it’s back to square one. Finding a work from home job. Preferably one that doesn’t involve convincing people to buy products or sign up for memberships. I had applied for an at-home customer service job but they wanted me to do telemarketing. No. No cold-calling. I refuse.

On the super small plus side, we’re getting a super small raise this year from the university. After not getting one last year. So, yeah, a small incentive to keep doing my job.

So if anyone out there in the blogosphere has a work-from-home opportunity that doesn’t involve pyramids, selling products, or convincing people to buy things, I’m all ears.

Chilly outside, Chili inside

It’s Texas. It’s February. Therefore the weather is extremely unpredictable. Last night was coooooold so I knew it was time for some chili. Now, I know that some people argue over the true definition of chili, but for the purpose of this post I’m going to go with what is good to me. Your mileage may vary.

First thing’s first: get yourself an Instant Pot. Here’s the one I have

I’m seriously in love with this contraption. My mother-in-law gave it to me for my birthday in 2016 and at first I wasn’t sure how I would use it. In fact, the first thing I made was pureed apples for my infant twins, and that was three months after getting it! But now… Oh yes, I do love my IP. But for today’s story, let’s focus on chili.

Ok so you’ve completed Step 1 (getting said IP)

Step 2: gather your ingredients. Since I have little ones and a picky husband, I went as basic as possible. Two cans of tomato sauce (store brand), one can of pinto beans (store brand), one packet of mild chili seasoning (store brand), and a pound of ground beef (90/10, store brand). Personally I like to sub one of the cans of tomato sauce for a can of stewed tomatoes, but my husband gives me major side-eye if he sees it in the shopping cart (which is why I prefer to shop alone!).

Step 3: dump the entire pack of ground beef into your Instant Pot and turn on the “Saute” setting. Careful now, it gets hot! I find that browning ground beef in the IP takes less time than it does in a traditional skillet on the stove. Maybe that’s just me. Make sure you turn off the Saute setting once your meat is cooked.

Step 4: after your meat is cooked all the way, add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine.

Step 5: put your IP lid on and make sure the pressure valve is set to “closed.” Turn on “Manual” and set the time to 20 minutes. It take about 10-15 minutes for the IP to build pressure, then the time will start.

Step 6: when the time goes off you can either do a “quick release” of the pressure valve or let the pressure release naturally. I’ve done both for chili and don’t see a difference. Take the lid off and stir.

Step 7: Enjoy! My husband prefers to make Frito Pie while I’m perfectly content mixing my chili with rice.

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So there you have it, my Instant Pot chili. Feel free to mix yours up a bit!

 

 

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A Hard Goodbye

Christmas Eve my husband and I watched our beloved dog, Chloe, fall repeatedly as she tried to relieve herself outside. In that moment we knew we would have to put her to sleep in the coming weeks.  She had made it to 12 years of age and was beginning to rapidly decline. She would eat but kept losing weight.

After the Christmas festivities I asked my parents to watch the girls for a few days so Michael and I could spend as much time with Chloe as possible. I eventually called the vet and set our appointment for 12/30. The entirety of the 29th was spent snuggling our sweet girl and giving her all the foods she’d ever wanted but could never have. (Of course I gave her chocolate, what was the harm at this point?)

Her final morning came and Michael had to carry her into the vet’s office because she could barely walk. I had been a complete mess (and am starting to tear up again as I type this all out) yet somehow managed to tell the receptionist we were there. The vet explained the process (essentially animals are given an overdose of the anesthesia drugs) and asked if we wanted to be present (obviously we said yes). She gave Chloe a sedative and I laid on the floor with her. I watched as her eyes glazed over and cried as her breathing slowed. It wasn’t until the vet pronounced her gone that I finally let go of her paw.

We chose to have her privately cremated and should receive her ashes sometime in the next week. Ferris, our cat, has been extremely affectionate since realizing her beloved doggy isn’t coming home. She’s even let the girls pet her (and their definition of “petting” means smacking and hitting).

It’s been almost two weeks since Chloe has went to the Rainbow Bridge. The days are slowly getting better, although there are times when I think I can hear her scratching and I immediately start crying again. In a way I’m glad the girls are too young to understand. We’ve made the decision to wait on getting another dog until 1) Ferris has passed (she’s almost 12 and it would be cruel to bring a puppy into a geriatric cat’s home) and 2) when the girls start asking for one.

If you’ve never heard of the Rainbow Bridge, I highly recommend it, especially if you have young ones. And even if you don’t, it’s still a comforting piece.

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Chloe 10/1/2005-12/30/2017

 

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National Coming Out Day

Today is National Coming Out Day. If you have previously come out, then bravo. You are brave and I support you.

I debated whether or not to write anything about today. Sometimes I don’t feel as though I have any right. I’m not “officially” out, only out on Twitter. Bi or queer, however you want to label it, that’s me. So I guess this is me coming out.

One thing I’ve noticed is that bi people are often seen as unfaithful and/or gay/straight pretenders. I’ve been faithful to my husband since we started dating almost 17 years ago. And yes, I have a strong preference for men. But I also find women very attractive, especially when they have the brains and humor that I love. Does that mean I’m going to jump my best friend’s bones? Absolutely not. I love her as a sister.

I’m not an expert on the matter, I only know how I feel. How I perceive it all. And sometimes that makes me think that my feelings aren’t valid. That I have no right to feel or think the way I do.

So I honestly don’t know how to label myself: bi, queer, pan. I don’t even know if I deserve a label.

I tried telling my husband once how I felt. He said there’s no way I could be bi. So I left it alone. I felt alone. The only solace I found was those like me on Twitter. I know we’re taught not to talk to strangers, especially on the internet, but I’ve found some of the greatest people there. People like me.

You are loved. You are here. You matter.