Guilty Pleasures - Everyone needs one!

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Health and Wellness, Life
Comments (0)

I love Days of Our Lives! It kinda just is what it is. People see me as a fairly smart individual and when they find out that I am practically obsessed with a soap opera, they just don’t get it.

I have a very busy life with a career, family and household to run. I don’t have time for a hobby that will require me to leave the house or invest time and energy. I tried really hard to find the time for yoga on a regular basis but I still seem to only be able to get there once every week or two. I had someone staying in my house for a while and she would watch Days of Our Lives (DOOL) religiously. Needless to say I got sucked in, but why?

It was easy. It took no effort, I didn’t need to do anything but sit there and get sucked in. Then we got a DVR cable box; it was all over! I now read the updates on line every day and post comments, and then I watch it at night when my husband has fallen asleep.

I spent some time wondering why this is the thing I got sucked into and not CSI or watercolor paintings. It is because it comes on 5 days a week and I can watch other people make a mess of their lives, secretly root for the bad guys, and every now and then witness a tender, humane moment.

I think that we all need to find these kinds of releases, especially if we have all consuming lives!

Time Management

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Life
Comment (1)

time-management22

There are so many tools out there these days, there is really no excuse to be late or miss a meeting or date. I know that my friends, relatives and huband hate it when I put my stuff out there, but as an example, I have set a reminder on my phone and through my outlook to take my birth control every day.

I put EVERYTHING into outlook. OK, if you don’t have outlook, thunderbird is free. If you don’t want to use a client server for email, gmail has a calendar. If you don’t use the computer alot, whose phone doesn’t have a calendar, or the ability to set tasks and reminders. There is just no reason not to use these tools.

Now don’t get me wrong, it takes some getting used to, but once you decide to do it, give it less than a month and you will wonder why you hadn’t started doing this sooner.

Once you get used to using some tool, the next more important thing to time management, is being realistic. Will you be able to get the grocery shopping done with enough time to get home and cook dinner. Many people plan that it takes 30 minutes to do the shopping, 10 to drive home and 45 to cook dinner. Do we all take into account the time it takes to power down from work and actually get into the car to get to the store? Do we take into account the 7 minutes it takes to get from the store to the car, unload the cart and put the cart back in the cart return? (You better put the cart back in the cart return) Did you account for the time to heat up the oven and get the groceries unloaded from the car?

I am sorry, but most people take those steps for granted and those steps alone just accounted for about 15 - 25 mins. This is enough time before dinner is ready to have the kids screaming at you that they are hungry. It is enough time to be late for an important meeting that makes you look bad. It is enough time to be late to dinner with your wife and have her be fuming by the time you get there.

The point is: put buffers on either end of your time guesstimating.

Although it is not directly related to time management; my last piece of advice is be respectful and professional. If you realize you are going to be late, or not make an appointment/meeting at all, call someone or email them and let them know. People are not nearly as irritated if they are informed. If they are left to wonder why you are late or didn’t show, they are left with the opportunity to think the worst.

A Chapter a Day keeps the Devil Away!

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Faith, Life
Comments (4)

GOD has a plan.

His plan for me was that I would know Him from a very young age, THANK GOD. My parents raised me as a Rastafarian, which is to me the truest form of Christianity. Regardless, my point is that through this faith I was taught to read a chapter of the Bible a day from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. We were taught to read it in order, just as you would any other book. So many other faiths based on the Bible have classes and gathering to read from the Bible, but I cannot think of any other faith that covers every word from cover to cover, much less in order. PLEASE, correct me if I am wrong, no sarcasm intended.

I have read the Good Book twice and am on my third time through, reading a chapter a day. Now don’t get me wrong, MANY a day has passed that I have not read, but without failure, the chapter I do read for that day is oh so relevant to my life at hand. I truly cannot ink my gushing emotions about this. I somehow am not a good enough writer to get you to feel what I do.

Here is an example of Him giving me the right time to read the right thing. I have recently had some trying times with a person I considered to be a really close friend. Through some unwarranted conflict, I started to feel ill will towards that person in my heart. Well, I recently started reading again religiously (no pun intended) and here is one of the sentences from my chapter yesterday: ZECHARIAH 7 vs 10 “…and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” I was pleasantly surprised and short of saying it out loud, thanked GOD for sending me that message.

So, I went on with my day and the issues came up in third party conversation and, without realizing, I voiced my strong opinions about my feelings of the person and situation. They were not very kind and I did not reflect much on what I had read earlier, apparently.

Here is the proof in the pudding that GOD is always watching and He has a plan for us and He is WAY smarter than we can even humanly imagine. I sat down this morning and was reading my chapter and here is one of the sentences from my chapter today: ZECHARIAH 8 vs 17 “And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour…”

Are you kidding me? Don’t EVER think you can hide from GOD. He truly sees everything. God did this for me because I have been asking Him recently to help me be a better person so that I may do things that are pleasing in His eyes. Thinking ill things against this person was not pleasing to Him and so He sent me words of instruction and inspiration (again) to help do the right thing.

My point of this post is that there is help for anyone who wants it. Start reading your Bible a chapter a day from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22. It is almost like a 12 step program. You will start to discover and nurture a relationship with GOD that is bigger and better than anything you already had or could have imagined. He will give you amazing guidance through His inspirational works, if you believe.

I pray for your appointment of GOD as the Senior Engineer in your life!

Crush Your Cramps!

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Health and Wellness
Comments (2)

There is not much in life that is more immobilizing than menstrual cramps, rarg! I have had awful cramps for most my life; buckled over, nauseous, on the verge of passing out or throwing up or both. When I first consulted with my OB-GYN, he prescribed me prescription strength Naproxen Sodium. The BOMB, that’s all I have to say. I was actually completely functional. Prior to this, I had tried Vicodin and Percocet, but those made me pass out and wake up like 4 hours later, not what I need when trying to work or take care of my kids.

Now that I have two kids, the cramps are not quite as immobilizing, but they are still there. The only thing I find that helps without a prescription is Aleve. Aleve is brand name Naproxen Sodium and it is awesome. I have tried other menstrual medications like Midol and they have made me throw up. I find that Naproxen Sodium does the trick.

What the medicine (Naproxen Sodium) actually does is relax the cramping. Menstrual cramping is like a mild (not really) form of contractions, those things you get when having a baby! Menstrual cramps are thought to be related to a naturally occurring hormone-like substance called prostaglandins which causes the uterus to contract. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Naproxen Sodium used around the clock as soon as you notice the first sign of your period help to reduce the severity of cramps in many women by inhibiting the release of prostaglandins.

Aleve says take 1 every 8 hours. However, I find that if I take 2 right away and then 1 every 6 hours, life is GOLDEN. Wouldn’t even know it was that time of the month, except for my attitude of course.

My Favorite Banana Bread Recipe

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Food
Comments (7)

As long as you don’t turn the oven off in the middle of baking, this will be some awesome banana bread! I promise.

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 smashed ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of semi sweet baking chocolate (optional)

Method:

  1. preheat oven to 350°
  2. use wooden spoon to mix butter into bananas
  3. mix in sugar, egg and vanilla
  4. sprinkle in baking soda and salt, then mix
  5. add flour last
  6. pour into 4in x 8in loaf pan
  7. bake for 1 hour
  8. cool on rack, remove, slice and serve

So, for some reason I only have 5in x 9in pans. I use one of those and bake for about 1 hr and 20 mins. I poke a shish kabob skewer in the middle and see if it comes out clean. When it does, it is ready.

Bon appetite!

Done with Diapers

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Children
Comments (0)

You know it’s time to potty train when:

diapers

If your child can tell you that he/she has done number 2 in the diaper, it is definitely time to potty train.

There are so many different suggested methods to potty training. However, I recommend any method that does not drag out over time. The key is short and sweet. Some children are pretty routine about when they go number 2, this will make it easier to potty train.

Start with pull-ups. If your child has is regular about the time for number 2 in the day, then take advantage of that. For instance, my little one will go number 2 within about 30 minutes after eating breakfast. When I am ready to potty train him, I will put him on the potty about 20 minutes after breakfast. I will leave him on the potty until he does his business. However, there is no point to leaving a child on the potty for more than 10 to 15 minutes. If you take the child off the potty and then he/she goes in the pull-up, then just reiterate that “you go potty in the toilet”.

Also watch out for signs like squatting quietly in a corner or standing still with a very red perplexed face. In these instances, grab the child and rush off to the potty. You will not always make it in time, but the child will eventually get the idea that when it is time to go, you rush to the potty.

Pull-ups should be the routine for 2 to 4 weeks, but no more. You should start to notice that the child may go into the bathroom after he/she has gone number two and point at the toilet and say either ‘do do’ or potty or something related. You will know that you are making progress.

After the period of pull-ups, it is time for the gnarly part. Ditch the diapers altogether and be prepared. You need to now put the child in underwear. If you are not feeling that courageous, then you can get those plastic diapers that go over the underwear. This will mean less mess to clean up off the floor/carpet. The idea here will now be that the child has no interest in sitting in a wet or stinky, mushy diaper.

When he/she still goes in the underwear, wait about 5 or so minutes to change them. This will reinforce that not going in the potty is ‘ick’. With my first one, he was pretty stubborn. However, it only took about 10 days until he got it. Granted there were accidents after that, but they became less frequent. There will be nights that you have to get up to change the sheets and the child, but it is very important not to regress as the child will too. It is also very important to have all the other caregivers and family members on board with your method, as consistency with all things in life is key.

Remember, above all, pay attention for the signs that it is the right time for this. You will not be successful if your child is not ready. The #1 key sign is that the child is aware and expresses when they have gone potty in the diaper.

Good Luck and please feel free to ask questions or provide comments of successes or failures with this advice.

Under “where”?

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Fashion, Life
Comments (2)

Are you tired of your underwear showing when you sit down or wear your low rise jeans? Are you tired of picking out wedgies or feeling like your thong is cutting you in two? Well here are my favorite underwear that solves all those problems, the Calvin Klein Seamless Hipsters. I will agree that panties have gotten extremely expensive over the years, but let’s face it, Walmart’s pack of 5 granny panties just doesn’t cut it for fashion pants these days.
calvin-klein-seamless-hipsters
As these are also seamless and don’t have a thick cuff or trim around the legs, they don’t give you that panty line print that we all dread. These are also really good with tight fitting skits and dresses.

Currently, these are on sale 3 for $30 and are usually $12 a piece. I wholeheartedly recommend this purchase. I have them in all three colors that are offered in Macy’s; black, white and tan (beige). I see that there are 3 other colors online. However, by the time you pay for shipping I do not think it is worth it.

Well, good luck and I welcome any feedback regarding this item as I feel they are truly great. Please also feel free to recommend any others as I am always looking for great “stuff”.

Form and Function - addSpace to you life

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Health and Wellness, Life
Comments (0)

Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds? I recently met the most delightful individual who embraces all my favorites! How to be clean and organized and look good doing it. Kathi is always very well put together when I see her and she has a beautiful living space with the cutest little items that are also functional.

kathi

Please check out Kathi’s site addSpace to your life for great tips on almost everything in life having to do with image and organization. These things help de-stress your life and help you to feel better about yourself. Having an appealing image for yourself and your surroundings makes you feel good about yourself. This boosts confidence to do just about anything in life, from getting the girl to getting the job!

I believe that Kathi, in all her infinite wisdom, eminates all the ideas of my site and can certainly help you to Engineer your life!

Communication

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Children, Life, Relationships
Comments (2)

Communication is key. There is a reason that is a very common phrase, it is TRUE! Yes, we all know its true; however, we somehow still fail to do it effectively, if we even do it at all. Lack of effective communication can be the breakdown to every relationship; Parent/Child, Employer/Employee, Spouses and Intimate Partners, Siblings, etc.

communication

How do we improve communication? We need to identify the deficiencies and work on ways to fix them. Alrighty then, where do I even start? The deficiencies are so vast, so let’s start with a generic algorithm, which if applied properly, should drastically improve communication.

1. PAY ATTENTION

Communicating is not just getting your point across well, but more importantly, getting the others’ point. I can be confident in saying we don’t all always get everything all the time, virtually impossible. From the moment your child is born, pay attention to him/her so that you can be aware of his/her needs. Make sure you heard what the other was saying, instead of paying attention to what you want to say next. Read and understand the instructions BEFORE attempting to assemble furniture or complete and assignment at work.

2. ASK QUESTIONS

Lets put money on how often you actually were right about what you thought the other person meant! Popular vernacular is a heck of a thing. Since the population is literally a living thing, it changes constantly and so does the meaning of its words. This is certainly my most frustrating part of communication. I am a very literal person, and who else is these days? Rarg! This being the case, I have to make sure I understand what the other person is saying by asking. Hey did you say…did you mean…am I to understand that…? I cannot be more literal about this point, make sure you understand by asking questions.

3. ACKNOWLEDGE

I’ll be right back…nothing…ah, hello? Can you at least let me know you heard me? My son asks me all the time “Mommy, why are you not listening to me when I’m talking to you?” Well then. Apparently, I do it too. I don’t always let him know I heard him. The impression I give him, by not acknowledging him, is that I am not paying attention or I didn’t hear him. This is the same for adults. I know I feel the same way with him, my husband, the bank teller, etc. Just acknowledge that you heard and understand. A simple OK does it most the time.

The responsibility also lies in making sure that the other person DID hear you, by soliciting an acknowledgment…hey, did you hear me? So, don’t get mad that I have to ask if you heard me. People expect acknowledgment.

4. RESPOND ACCORDINGLY

Address each point the other person was making, and don’t just ramble on in a different direction. This advise can be applied all the time, even if you are talking to a child, most certainly just get to the point. Stay on point, steer the course, etc. He can’t say ‘hey hun, the Dodger’s are coming to town’ and you say ‘dinner will be ready in 5 minutes’. You have to at least preface that with ‘that’s nice babe’, then move on. But you can’t just bypass a comment or question. This goes back to acknowledgment.

For more specific forms of communication like discussions or debates, it is very important to address the topic at hand and not veer off. This earns respect. It proves to the other party that you are paying attention and that the issue at hand matters. Don’t use that time to interject other topics that are of concern, but are not relevant to the current topic. It is frustrating as the issue will never reach resolve that way, or most definitely takes longer.

5. BE CONSISTENT

If you are consistent in your style and vocabulary when it comes to communication, it will make it easier for others to learn to communicate with you. If you follow these five steps consistently (this one included), I truly believe that you can improve your communication on every level in every relationship. This last step is key, though. As with most things in life, this improvement process takes time and practice. So be persistent and consistent.

Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs

Posted By The Engineer
Categorized Under: Food
Comments (3)

Martha Stewart is the bomb! I love her show, her sheets, and even her “Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs”. I wouldn’t change a thing.

Ingredients

Makes 1 dozen

  • 12 large eggs, room temperature

Directions

  1. Place eggs in a large saucepan. Cover them with cool water by 1 inch. Slowly bring water to a boil over medium heat; when the water has reached a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 12 minutes.
  2. Transfer eggs to a colander; place under cool running water to stop the cooking. Eggs can be peeled and served immediately. Remaining eggs, with shells on, may be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
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