19.07.2010

Best Relief for Bug Bites? Look no Further…

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in Uncategorized

got_an_itch

When we moved into our house, EVERYTHING seemed to be overgrown.  The bushes in the front were taller than me, a fir tree spilled into our walkway, and a giant azalea looked as if it were trying to slowly swallow our air conditioner unit.  For several months, we cursed the old “lazy” owners as we spent days trimming back Forsythias, fighting with holly, and halving the size of a 2-story Rhododendron.

After the fall/winter/early spring of hard work, I decided to reward myself by planting a small garden in a few feet of our newly acquired yard space (previously occupied by a mammoth Forsythia).  Little did I know that the second late spring/early summer hit, out came the bugs.  Each hour spent weeding/planting was roughly equivalent to 5 bites.  I’ve slowly learned my lesson.  Always wear shoes, socks, and long pants.  ALWAYS put on bug spray, although it tends to work only about half the time.  Spray over and under your shirt (your stomach and back will thank you).  Tuck your shirt into your pants.  These tips will save you a lot of grief, but if you’re as delicious as I seem to be, the bugs will still find a way to get to you.

After running out in flipflops to water the garden, one of my toes began to itch.  Each scratch brought relief, immediately followed by more itching.  Nothing seemed to be working, so I turned to the internet to find a remedy.  Here are my findings:

  1. Scotch tape
    • How it works: Sealing the bite from air will relieve the itch, and the tape itself will draw out some of the “poison”
    • Did it work? NO! It may work with some types of bites, but not a mosquito to the big toe. All it did was prevent me from scratching, but it was pretty unbearable to resist.
  2. Ice
    • How it works: Numbs the area, thereby numbing the itch
    • Did it work? For about 10 minutes. Unfortunately, although that 10 minutes was amazing, it wouldn’t help me get a full night’s sleep.
  3. Lemon Juice, Rubbing Alcohol, Ammonia (via The Itch Eraser), Hydrocortisone cream, Vick’s Vaporub
    • How it works: Various reasons (lemon juice, draws out the “poison”, Vicks prevents oxygen from the wound as well as giving a cooling sensation via the menthol)
    • Did it work? The itch eraser, lemon juice, and rubbing alcohol STUNG. Honestly, I prefer stinging to the itch, but in this case the sensation didn’t work for more than 10 mins or so.
  4. Hot Water
    • How it works: Run hot water on the bite, at a temp that is uncomfortable but doesn’t burn.
    • Did it work? It wasn’t enough to lead to a night without waking up to scratch, but it DID help for awhile. It got itchier at first, but slowly it went away. Unfortunately it’s not always easy to run hot water over a bite. A bite on my knee proved harder to get underneath the tap in the tub.
  5. Banana Peel
    • How it works: Rub the bite with the inside of a banana peel
    • Did it work? This one helped for a smaller bite on my leg, but didn’t do much for the mosquito bite. May be worth a try, but I wouldn’t count on it as a sure thing.
  6. Benadryl Anti-Itch Spray
    • How it works: Spray the bite.
    • Did it work? This one worked pretty well…it seemed to stop the itch for at least 30 mins to an hour.
  7. Ibuprofen (ex. Advil), Benadryl Allergy Tablets
    • How it works: Take the recommended dose and wait a half hour for the anti-inflammatory/anti-allergy agent to kick in.
    • Did it work? These are by far the most effective. Benadryl is great at night because it also makes me drowsy, Advil helps during the day.

The most effective way I’ve found to fight itchy bug bites? Benadryl spray and Ibuprofen. One provides immediate relief while waiting for the other to take effect.

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25.12.2009

Merry Christmas!

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in Uncategorized
Nativity Scene...Katie style

Nativity Scene...Katie style

Merry Christmas!  Get those New Years resolutions ready.  If you’re lucky mine will include more blogging  ;-)

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10.10.2009

We have a house! (and internet)

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in Uncategorized

our house!!!

before you get TOO jealous…

Check out the crazy weeds I spent a good few hours destroying last Saturday:

Weed heaven

After:

MUCH better...

Anyone know where I can get a new barrel?  I really like the look of it but this one is in pretty bad shape…

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04.09.2009

Tiny Victories (Week 1 battle with cholesterol)

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in Mission Impossible: lower cholesterol

Substituted light sour cream (10mg cholesterol) with low-fat plain yogurt (5mg cholesterol) in a burrito.  The taste was surprisingly decent.  Me: 1, Cholesterol: 0.

Oh, but I did talk to a friend at work about it.  At my age he had some similar results, and instead of the baby (ok, newborn) steps I’m taking, he completely modified his lifestyle.  As in from no exercise to running marathons, and from fast food to egg-whites only and plain tuna.  This is going to be a rough year…

This does nothing but make me want a burger

This does nothing but make me want a burger

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04.09.2009

When Marvel and Disney collide…

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in Uncategorized

These make me REALLY want to work on my photoshop skills:

irone

Sometimes Snow White gets REALLY upset.

Sometimes Snow White gets REALLY upset.

Check out these and more at Worth1000.com

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30.08.2009

happy birthday to me…flowers…and high cholesterol

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in Uncategorized

In July I turned 28.  I thought 28 would be a year of travelling, wine, fun, etc.  So far?  Travel (around the beltway, once a day), wine (I try to restrict it to once a week, but who really keeps track of that?) and fun (does house-hunting count as fun?)

cholesterol

I also thought this would be the year to actually keep my health in check.  Best way to start?  A trip to the doc for a cholesterol check.

I know I’m not supposed to eat or drink before the check, but I figured a few sips of coffee wouldn’t hurt.  OK, I DO like my coffee to be sweet (we’re from the Mary Poppins “spoon full of sugar” generation…how can we not love it?) but me and my pudgy stomach like the fat-free (and luckily cholesterol-free) half & half.

The day I got the call from my doctor, I’d had a lazy morning…this means something “instant” for breakfast (cereal, granola bar, or bagelful) and cup-o-noodles for lunch.  The dreaded moment came right before lunch…

My name is Katie, and I have high cholesterol.  209 to be exact.

The past week has been a whirlwind of information and confusion.  Things I thought were healthy are actually havens of cholesterol, and things I thought were awful for me are cholesterol-free.

Examples (percentage is % of daily recommended amt):
Eggs – 75% (I knew they had some, but 75%???)
Cup O Noodles – 0%
Candy – 0%
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts – 20%
Butter – 11%
Peanut Butter – 0%

So basically when I try to live a healthier lifestyle, I basically go swimming in vats of cholesterol.  But when I splurge on junk and candy, I’m nice and cholesterol-free.

Still trying to figure it out, but the bit of research I’ve done so far gives me the impression that sugar/caffeine can also indirectly raise cholesterol.  So screwed either way.  I’ve read that South beach can lower it, so might give that a whirl (again).  Had to quit before the wedding because I was losing enough to go down a dress size but wasn’t really into the idea of doing another fitting.

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28.06.2009

Brewfest! But I was the DD…

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We managed to get out of bed and make it up to Leesburg for Brewfest today:

BrewFest Summer 2009

BrewFest Summer 2009

Lots of breweries, lots of beer, lots of music, etc.  Unfortunately I was dd, but all of us dd’s (I’m pretty sure I was the only non-pregnant one) got free water/soda.  Hopped up on the coffee I had on the way topped with a Pepsi, I decided my goal for the day was to collect all of the free stuff I could.  Umm, even though I knew most of it would end up in the recycling bin tonight.  Anyway, 4 hours and a LOT of beer tents later, I’ve got a nice little collection of coasters:

Beer mats

Beer mats

Before they hit the trash, any ideas on what I can do to turn these into art for a possible game room in the future?  I tried framing a couple of them but “meh”:

framed coasters

framed coasters

A collage would be cooler, if I can figure out a nice way to do it.

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11.06.2009

I’m baaaaack

posted by admin

in fiscal fasting, money

…and married.  And shopping for houses in the ‘burbs.  And pregnant.

Ha!  Just kidding about that last one.

That pretty much sums up my life at the moment.  So, in typical “Katie” fashion, I’m going to borrow content from some other author.  I’ve been trying to regulate my sleeping schedule lately…a regular schedule at night = a regular schedule at work = happier Katie overall.  Anyway, I found this article and I’m going to try at least a few of their tips for getting more sleep…I’ll let you know how it goes!

This about sums up the hints:

  • Exercise more (doing some ab-flexes during my hour-each-way commute?)
  • No late night surfing or watching TV (ok, it’s not exactly late but I’m breaking both of these right now)
  • Give yourself a set bedtime (I do this, i just never keep it.  Grr)
  • No naps after work (Check!)
  • No big meals late at night
  • Make sure you’re comfortable (I’ve got comfy pillows, a down comforter, fancy sheets, and an air purifier…check!)
  • No caffeine or liquor at night (I’m breaking this one right now…whoops)
  • Find ways to relax before bed (I guess I can’t count my glass of wine for this one)

Check out the full article here.

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24.03.2009

Sweepstakes of the Day: Hydrocoach Water Bottle via AnyLuckyDay

posted by admin

in Sweepstakes, Techie

Found this great contest through AnyLuckyDay.com!  I’ve never seen a gadget like this before…it tracks your daily water consumption, calculates your daily hydration needs, and paces you throughout the day to make sure you’re getting what you should.

Click here for rules and to enter!

Enter now through Thursday 3/26/2009.

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08.03.2009

For the Jon & Kate Fans (AND for the Haters)

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in Uncategorized

If this one is true, I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.  We all watch the show, see Kate berate Jon in front of the world week after week.  It was only a matter of time before the rumors started spreading.  In Touch Weekly isn’t exactly Gospel, but it has managed to peak my interest.  Here’s a paragraph from the article, snagged from Perez:

“He walked in with two girls he met at Mimi’s bar,” senior Evan Heisman tells In Touch. “It was so cool.” According to witnesses, Jon played beer pong with some girls on the volleyball team and then joined a group of students who headed to Memories bar for a nightcap. “We were talking and chilling,” reveals Heisman. Jon returned to Memories the next evening. “He was obliterated,” says Pott. “Juniata girls were flirting with him and he was loving it and having a great time.” “We might be getting a divorce,” Chloe Pott, a junior at Juniata College, heard Jon tell her friend at Memories bar on February 7.

With 8 kids I think any parent would need a break occasionally…getting trashed at a college kegger probably isn’t the smartest way to spend a night of freedom though.

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