3 Awesome Uses for Turmeric

The other day I was riding home from a basketball game with a car-full of teachers and for some reason paprika came up. Clearly we are exceedingly interesting human beings and you should be jealous. After discussing how smoked paprika is amazing and plain paprika is lame, someone said “well, nothing is as bad as turmeric, it doesn’t taste like anything and it turns everything yellow.”

WHAT.

Turmeric is easily one of my favorite spices, for so many reasons. Personally, I’m in love with it’s anti-inflammatory properties that save me from IBS and angry old person joints again and again.

Don’t you worry, I set him straight, by telling him about three of my favorite ways to use turmeric:

1. Calming Golden Milk

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Golden Milk is a fantastic for tummy trouble, joint pain, or just a soothing hot drink. There are many different recipes to make this lovely elixir, but I tend to use the following:

  • 1-2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2-3 cups milk alternative (almond, soy, coconut, cashew, etc)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of black pepper

Warm the milk over the stove and stir in the other ingredients. The black pepper seems a little strange, but don’t leave it out as it helps with absorption (and you really can’t taste it). Feel free to add in any natural sweeteners as well.

2. Face Mask

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I was hesitant at first to put a substance that’s know for staining this yellow on or near my face. This face mask however, did not stain my skin and, even better, it really helps keep it clear. I’ve noticed that the morning after I’ve put this on my skin, any blemishes I have are greatly reduced and my face in general is smooth and glow-y.

Again, there are many variations, but the mask I tend to use contains:

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 3 tsp coconut oil

It’s messy so beware, and wear something black for sure. Rub the mixture on your face lightly until entire area is covered. Leave for 10-20 minutes. I also typically carry a tissue around with me while it’s on, to blot any possible drips.

3. Turmeric Seasoned Rice

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I love me some seasoned rice. I also love me some cauliflower rice because rice is not my stomach’s BFF. No matter what type of rice you’re eating, mixing in turmeric, (smoked) paprika, and salt and pepper make it so tasty. Put a fried egg (or three) on top and I’m in heaven.

Not only is it a solid meal though, the anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric work through this dish too. I find myself eating “yellow rice” (or yellowish, reddish rice)  when I’m feeling crumby and feeling better quickly.

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Relationships Are Like…

People are strange. Just when you think you’ve got them figured out, just when you’ve read a really poignant article (or blog) about human nature and interactions, they do something unexpected.

I should say ‘we’ as I am including myself in this, don’t worry, I know I’m strange too.

As my 25 day blogging hiatus and enrollment in grad school have shown, I am living in a very high stress world, around a lot of very high stress people. Reactions are immediate and drama builds like forest fire. Fights that might take weeks to come to a head in normal life, turn into explosions in hours.

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All of this has made me really consider friendships, relationships, and timing.

Time is such a strange thing. As a kid, I planned out my life many, many times and it always left room for me to fall in love, date that person for a few years, marry them, wait a few more years and then have children. Time was very important. More time meant a greater possibility that everything would work out. Relationship timing was like expensive whiskey, the more I let it age, the better it would be.

Friendships felt the same way; the longer I’d known someone, the stronger our friendship. Putting ‘one of my oldest friends’ or ‘who I’ve known since elementary school’ into a description of a friend felt like the ultimate achievement. As though in telling you I’ve known them since childhood I was telling you something about the quality our of friendship. Adulthood has found it hilarious to slap me in the face one that one, with old friendships crashing and burning because of opposite growth. But, it’s also thrown me a lot of great new friends who I grew with and loved faster than I’d expected.

The thing I’m getting at is: nothing is whiskey. Well, whiskey is whiskey…really, it’s that relationships are not whiskey.

Relationships are more like baked goods, each with their own unique recipe, oven and ingredients, each needing it’s own time to cook. Some come together in minutes and others take years, but there is no one equation.

Except…they also keep growing and evolving, so maybe they aren’t baked goods…they’re more like…people. Connections between people to be more specific, what’s the word for that? Oh, relationships…

Relationships are like…relationships.

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15 Things that Happened in 2015

I apologize for the lag in posts, I am finally packing myself up, moving myself out of Seattle, and moving myself in to New York City on Friday, so time and motivation have been lacking. I promise you’ll get a play-by-play of the adventure soon.

Until then here are 15 things that happened in 2015:

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I got into all three grad schools 

At the end of 2014/beginning of 2015, I applied for Masters in Education programs at Columbia University – Teachers College, University of Wisconsin, and the Evergreen State College. I crossed my fingers that I would get in to one, while planning to apply for more schools if I didn’t get in to any.

I got in to all of them.

Said I love you and moved in with Boyfriend

I got my electronic admissions letter from Columbia, my top choice, on a Tuesday and waited until I’d gotten to Boyfriend’s house to open it. Before I could bring myself to open the letter, I turned to Boyfriend and told him I love him, because I needed him to know that before grad school shook our whole world up.

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We moved in together several months later and now he’s casually running away to NYC with me.

Started this blog

Got an IUD

Went blonde for real

It was a brassy, brassy struggle, but eventually it happened.

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Figured out eyebrows

Became the boss and hated it

Deferred grad school

After much deliberation and a Skype conversation with the program director, I decided to push my start date from May 2015 to January 2016. It was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made but I needed time with Boyfriend and my family, I needed time to just live for a little while. I couldn’t be happier that I waited, I’m beyond ready now.

Went hiking

Got fired

After months of drama and unhappiness sponsored by the world’s biggest ass-hat of a boss, I was let go. I was not given a reason, I was paid incorrectly on my last paycheck, and I was gossiped about after I left. And still, it was such a perfect thing to have happen.

Getting fired felt like the universe finally saying ok, no more, you can’t be this unhappy anymore. After a four-day weekend, I started my new job and I feel like it saved my life. No more late night phone calls to cover, no more passive aggressive emails from previously mentioned douche waffle and no more emergency clinic visits because of “stress induced IBS.”

Sometimes the universe says “GTFO” and you best listen when it does.

Got a new job

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Lost a friend

A friendship crashed and burned this year that I knew was falling apart but didn’t want to let go of. It hurt like hell but I’m so much happier without the negativity.

To anyone on the fence about a friendship, I fully recommend letting go of anyone who makes you feel selfish for wanting to be heard.

Made wonderful new friends

Spent a holiday with boyfriends family

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Invited boyfriend to join my family for a holiday

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What were some important things that happened to you in 2015?

Best of luck!

 

Feelings Friday: A Sense of Community

This thanksgiving, I spent the holiday with boyfriend’s family. While I’ve known them for many years as the friend, an official holiday with them as the girlfriend was moderately scary.

At the end of the weekend, boyfriend’s mother told me “Becca, Boyfriend is so lucky to have you.” While I replied with a witty remark, it really did touch me. Not only had I not totally failed family thanksgiving but I was welcomed into their community.

Community. What a concept.

I recently watched “Happy,” a documentary about, well, happiness. The conclusions about how humans find happiness were not groundbreaking. Not money, not fame, not even chocolate cake.

Community.


When I was a kid, everyone I met had the potential to be my friend. It didn’t matter who you were or if we’d just met, we could be besties.

I remember vividly when that changed. My best friend in kindergarten, Megan, told me one day that we had to beat up our mutual friend, Karen. When I asked why she explained that Karen wasn’t cool anymore and some cool kids told us we wouldn’t be either if we didn’t beat her up.
I had no idea what cool was but I was desperate to be it.


We didn’t actually beat her up, but I began to doubt people. Not everyone could be my friend. Not everyone was cool.
This was the standard for my youth, whether or not someone was ok would decide whether my group of friends welcomed them like a family or shunned them. Even being shoved out myself a few times didn’t push the idea out of my brain.

Rather than wondering what life could be like if we all created a kind community, I focused on how to find a way back it.


I wish I could say we all grew up and as an adults we are welcome everywhere. But that would be a lie. Adults are cruel too they just mask it better. A fact that has made me incredibly aware of genuinely kind people.
As a substitute teacher, I’m in at least one new school every week which means new rules, new schedules and new coworkers. I’ve experienced a range of behaviors, but the kind ones stick.
Sure, there have been front offices that were rude or ignored me, who left me to wander around the school trying to find my room. But there have also been people who have started by thanking me for coming, showing me to my classroom, making sure I had all the information I needed. It’s amazing what a few extra moments can do.

When I feel welcome in a school, I teach better. When I feel accepted by my peers, coworkers, neighbors, I am better. This can’t just be me.

So stop worrying if someone is cool, or shunned or unwelcome or if you don’t feel like the effort today, and wonder if anyone has introduced themselves yet or if you should go first.
Best of luck.

November Favorites 

Broad City

If you have not seen this entire show, stop reading right now and go watch it. Seriously, I can wait. Go.

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I’ve been in love with Broad City for a while, I binge watched it during Peace Corps, fell in love, and now I use the app almost daily.

Earlier in the month when out-of-town pals visited, we watched the entire 2nd season and I fell in love all over again.

Yas. Kween.

Ethiopian Food

Unexpected

I found this movie on a bored weekend alone when I was in need of a non-Boyfriend movie (read: not a documentary). It’s an honest story of female friendship, career choices, and what becoming a mom can really be like.

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Nude nails

My New Planner

I’m just gonna say it: this planner took more than two months and several second opinions to pick out. And I love it.

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Lush

Confession session: until this month I had never been to Lush. I know, I know, unfathomable, dishonorable, crime against comfort.

My pal Francis (remember Francis?) brought me in, helped me find a bath bomb to try, gave me some delightful body wash to go with it and I’m still in disbelief.


Everything smelled so good. In the store, in my bathroom. I kept the bath bomb in my cupboard for a couple days before using it and it made the whole hallway smell amazing.

I tried Yog Nog which was festive, moisturizing, and delightful. Did I mention it smelled amazing?

Castor oil

I’ve been using Castor Oil in my hair for a few weeks to help it grow and to keep it some being quite so straw-like. The amount of color and heat I’ve put my hair through probably should have rendered me bald by now but this is helping.

I mix one part castor oil and one part coconut oil and heat it for about 30 seconds in the microwave. Then just massage it into the scalp and through the ends and leave it for a few hours. It also helps to use a shower cap to keep from getting oil everywhere and keep the whole process from drying out.

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Lingerie

Fall scented candles

Specifically cinnamon, pumpkin, and pine. I’m not a huge fan of candles that smell sweet but I can walk into a room that smells like a forest any day.

Al Fondo Hay Sitio on YouTube

Is it a Peruvian soap opera? Sure. Did it possibly teach me Spanish in Peru? Yeah. Did I almost weep with joy when I found full episodes on YouTube? Absolutely.

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Wet ‘N Wild Wildshine Nail Color

Full review here

Maybelline Volum’ Express Colossal Cat Eyes

Bare Minerals Mineral Veil

Onika Nicki Minaj

I don’t know how many times I’ve answered the compliment “you smell nice” with “thanks, I smell like Nicki Minaj” this month, but it’s been a lot. I regret nothing.

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What were your favorite things this month?

Best of luck.

Thanksgiving in Photos

This past weekend I had the enormous honor of spending Thanksgiving with Boyfriend’s family for the first time. I’ll post more about family, relationships and a sense of welcome later this week, but for now here are the photos.

We spent a few days wandering on the beach, hanging out with family, hiking around the Southern Washington coast, exploring lighthouses and old bunkers, running away to Oregon for a second, enjoying the sunset, eating too much and just relaxing.

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