Category Archives: Larissa's Experiences

My personal goals and experiences with trying to live wholistically.

What is your why?

It’s hard to do a job when you don’t know why you’re doing it, or why you should care.

So figure out your why.

Why do I paint portraits? Because I like to tell other people’s stories.

Why do I write on this blog? So that people can see that they are not alone. Maybe I can put something in a way that will help someone understand what is going on. Maybe I can inspire someone do do something they’ve always wanted to do.

Why do I read? Because I sincerely love to learn. I honestly think that if you are not learning, you are not living, so what is the point?

Your why doesn’t have to be all that deep. If you are a cashier your why can be to help brighten the day of those who go through your line.

Or it could be the deepest thing. Your why could be the reason you live. But make sure that everything you do has a “why” behind it.

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Reading of books, YAY!

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I love reading. I love fantasy stories. But something I have put off a lot recently is to read books that will further my knowledge.

A lot of people will turn to information online, but I really despise reading books on my computer or on my phone (especially my phone). The feel of the book in my hand just makes it so different of an experience. There’s the smell, the ability to read as long as you have light and not worrying about a device dying, and just something about the print on paper (I think it has to do with appreciating the typography and layout that goes into a book).

Don’t get me wrong, I look a lot of information up online myself. There are a couple of blogs that I read that have fascinating information.

Anyways, my preferred source of information is books. And I just have not been keeping up on that. So, keeping with one of my goals, I am reading at least one book a month. I’m toying with making it one non-fiction book and one fiction book so I don’t get too heavily into the learning and forget to read for fun.

I encourage everyone else to read at least one book a month as well. It may not be your preferred method of getting information, but it’s a way that you can focus on the information without notification from Facebook popping up. It’s also easier for you to look back at information if you own the book. You don’t have to look through a bunch of links that you have saved.

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How to talk to men

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Talking to men can be frustrating. Talking to anyone can be frustrating, especially if you overthink it. But I have discovered, and have had this confirmed by other guys, that women have to tell guys what they want.

This means that they can’t read your mind. Subtle hints at what you want won’t work either. Tell them, straight up. They don’t like games. Okay, well I guess video games can be excluded, but they tend not to like mind games.

So if he’s doing something that annoys you, giving him the cold shoulder until he stops it is not going to work. Tell him when you’re not annoyed what is bugging you.

Also, don’t tell him about your problems if you don’t want it fixed. There are times when you can, just preface it with “Please just let me vent, I don’t need this fixed”. Or you could just talk to your girlfriends. If you have a problem that you want help solving, guys are really good for this. If you want a little bit more in depth on the difference between men and women and how they communicate check out this article

The thing is, for a lasting relationship, communication has to be worked on. Fairy tails don’t exist forever. When I first met my husband, it was like a fairy tail. We have had some rough spots, but we have continually worked on our communication and relationship. We are partners and have found that if we do things/projects together, it gets done faster and better. It has made our relationship stronger and I love him more than I can say. So work on learning how to communicate with your significant other.

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It’s been a while

Forgive me for the leave of absence, I am finally getting back on my feet after moving.

Moving is a tiring process, even when you try to do it wholistically. It was really nice to have someone else do the packing for us, but gauze do they use a lot of packing material. There’s no way for us to unpack everything all at once because there is so much packing paper that it fills up our garbage cans too quickly.

Oh yeah…that’s the downside to the area I live, there’s no recycle pick-up, so I have to throw everything away. I plan on getting/making a compost container and getting some worms for that, so that will help stop waste. Target also seems to have a small recycling center, so I will check into that as well. It still really irks me that they don’t have recycling, but it is a smaller city in Oklahoma. Apparently OKC has it. Still, I will do what I can.

We no longer have a car. On the first day we were here, we bought ourselves a couple of bicycles, got some gear for them and ride them where needed. Jason gets a ride to work and we ride everywhere else. It really helps that we have a place that is smack dab in the middle of everything, roughly two miles from everything we need. Closer to two different dollar-type stores. The downside is when it rains and that I have to go shopping more than once a week. I tried to do a weeks worth of shopping on Tuesday, that did not work out so well. The backpack was at least 50 pounds. Riding a bike 2-3 miles with 50 pounds on your back makes for an interesting experience.

Because of the humidity, our windows have mold/mildew growing on them. I successfully washed one with dish soap and vinegar, but I’m eager to try a product I found online called Eco-me that uses their own little formula (tea tree oil, lavender, rosemary, and lemongrass) with vinegar, baking soda, olive oil, and water. Jason wanted to get some hard-core mold remover, but I said no and said I would look up natural ways. Tea tree oil, grapefruit seed extract and vinegar all seemed to be the top ones. The only problem with vinegar is that it only works on 82% of molds. Tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract are expensive. Of course you don’t need to use that much (2 teaspoons to 2 cups of water), but I really liked the idea of Eco-me. I will write a review once I get it and use it.

As part of being wholistic, we try to use as little water and electricity as possible, but now we have even more of a reason to – we have to pay all the utilities. So we both take 5 minute-or-less showers, I have a dish pan to collect water, we unplug everything when not in use, including the stove and washing machine, we have CFL’s in all of our rooms, and only one light when there are two sockets, we only have a washer and only wash using cold water. The electric company said that the previous renters’ average bill was $140, because it is central heating and cooling. The windows here are really drafty, so we are going to look into some covers, which would unfortunately mean we couldn’t open them. But it will definitely be needed during the winter.

During the past week, I haven’t taken any vitamin D, because it had been sunny and we had been riding our bikes. But when the sun stopped, I forgot to start taking it again. I can definitely notice the difference it makes with my mood and motivation for getting things done, not to mention health,

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Materialism

Right now, there is a struggle inside of me. With some of the changes I’ve made to my life, I am wanting some material things that will help with the lifestyle change. For instance, I am cooking more whole foods, learning how to cook, trying new recipes. I recently purchased a blender/food processor. I also would like a crock pot (I’ll be working soon so it would be nice to just turn it on in the morning and have dinner ready when we get home), a bread pan, egg beaters, and a spice rack with jars. I really could do without these things, but I want to start making my own mayo, try out making frosting, making my own chicken stock, learn how to make proper soups with that chicken stock and some of those things will make it easier for me. I can probably hold off on a lot of these things, but I’ll need the spice jars and rack soon, I have a lot of spices/herbs in plastic bags from my source. It is pretty much a necessity.

But with the food processor and blender, I really don’t need those other things. I have a whisk. Everything else can really be handled by what I have. It’s just difficult for me to want these things (and more as the move comes closer) when I have gotten along wonderfully without them. And really, I am not going to make frosting all that often.

I would also like to get a tent so that Jason and I can go camping. We both love it, so we would get good use out the gear. I want a new, more powerful vacuum so that I don’t have to work as hard with the vacuum I currently have. We’re going to be moving into a bigger place, so we would like a table and chairs for the dining area as well as a couch or love seat for the living room. With a lot of the stuff, we plan on going garage-saling and bargain hunting, so we probably won’t spend all that much money. But as I said in No Material Needs, it is a freeing thing to not want anything. Obviously, I’ve lost that place a little bit because I’ve started thinking about what I want when I get to Oklahoma. I want to plant a small garden, we need to get bikes, we want a sofa and dining table, it looks like we might need to get a washing machine. Material things can bog you down, and I’ve gotten to a point of not having a lot of material things. I really don’t want to add more.

But it’s also not necessary for me to live in poverty either. We will occupy only as much space as we have. We’ll have a little more room (the smallest houses that are available are 2 bedrooms), so I guess it’s okay to have some more things to make that place comfortable. When life changes, the material needs/wants are going to change too, I suppose. Let me know what you guys think.

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Reasons to Go Green

Is global warming real or imagined? For me, I don’t care about it. I do care about the environment, of course. That is why I clean with vinegar, baking soda, Murphy’s Oil Soap, Seventh generation dish soap, and Bright Green laundry detergent (or another biodegradable detergent). I also hang dry my clothes (with the occasional dryer load for bedding). I use rags and microfiber cloths, using paper towels for big nasty clean ups only. I recycle almost everything that I can, including clothes and unwanted items by giving them to GoodWill. Most of the time, I try to buy items used, and am in the process of really delving more into that practice. When I’m not using an electronic, I unplug it, turn off the lights when I’m not using them, and replace as many bulbs with energy-efficient ones.

I think that people have blown the whole global warming thing out of proportion. They have forgotten what’s really the core issue. We need to take care of our environment because we are NOT separate from it. You can compare it to the things that you use around the house. If you do not take care of an item, it will break or become useless quickly. The Earth is going to experience climate change whether we are the cause or not. My philosophy is do what you can and let what happens happen.

But there are a couple more reasons to go green: Your wallet and your health. Seriously. My main cleaners are vinegar and baking soda. I only do laundry twice a month, and dishes are dishes. I have no need for Clorox bleach or other disinfectants because vinegar does that for me. Guess how much a gallon of vinegar costs me? Three dollars. I also use it as a fabric softener for my laundry, which also freshens the clothes. I use baking soda to scrub the grout in my shower, and once a month on my carpets to keep them smelling fresh. I bought a ton of it at Costco for ten dollars back in October of 2009 and I’m not even halfway through it. There is no need for all those other expensive cleaners. You can even make your own laundry detergent using washing soda and some other ingredients. As far as using less energy, come on, it saves you money! Why would you not do that?

Health is the big reason that I am green, at least when it comes to the products I use. All of my cleaners are green and I’m down to the last of my beauty products that aren’t natural (I’m tempted to throw them away…I just want to be done with them. But it’s so hard for me to do it. At the same time, I don’t want to be using chemicals on myself…the agony!). There are SO many environmental toxins, why would you expose yourself to more when you’re at home? There are so many alternatives.

So go green for whatever reason you choose. The most important reason should be your own health, and the health of those around you (children and pets). The fact that it costs less is awesome and that it helps the environment is just another perk. Whether global warming is a sham or not shouldn’t matter.

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No material needs.

Today I realized that until I move, I do not need anything. Food, of course. That’s a given. But I am free from materialism. I had been worrying so much over the things I will be needing once I get to Oklahoma, but I really don’t need to worry about that until that time comes. It has been really liberating realizing that I have everything I need and want (except my husband, but besides him). I have good friends, neighbors, a husband who is providing for me, a roof over my head, clothes, transportation, food, everything I need. So there is no need for me to worry over the future. It will come when it will come and until it does, I am going to enjoy this freedom of not wanting or needing anything. It’s a good place to be. It’s living wholistically.

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