Don’t Fret the Sweat with Unilever and BlissTV

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Heather says:

Here on Home-Ec 101 I don’t often talk about parenting, even though we have four kids in our family -my stepdaughter + our three. I feel that parenting is an intensely personal experience, and I tend to shy away from offering advice. It’s so nuanced that what works for me and my children may be completely useless in your house.

We live in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, there are days when walking from the air conditioned house to the air conditioned car in the driveway is enough to soak your shirt. My last job was working in a commercial kitchen, between the flat top grill, the grill, the steam table and holding lamps, that was a sweaty job. I also deal with stage fright. My boys are into football and practice starts in August. You could say that I am intimately familiar with sweat and the funk that goes along with it.

So how are these two topics related? Well, I was invited by Unilever to participate in helping spread the word about the Don’t Fret the Sweat campaign.

I’ve done surveys on the site in the past and I know that many of you are parents, so I thought some of you could relate to this topic. Puberty* happens to the best of us -and the worst, too; its not choosy.  As an aside, the word puberty always makes me start singing Ch-ch-ch-Changes.

It’s really weird how your kid can seemingly overnight go from just a dirty, sweatball kid to a dirty, SMELLY, sweatball kid. -Oh and don’t get me started on the sports equipment- After they get sent to the shower, there’s a talk that needs to be had. Really, this change isn’t that big of a deal, right? It’s a hey, maybe you should be more attentive in the shower and actually use soap, instead of just standing under the spray and doing whatever it is you do in there.  The way you address the issue is going to depend on your kid and your values. One thing to remember is the body odor? That’s just one of the first signals that you’re about to get on the hormonal roller coaster and ALL that goes with it. Adolescence is a rough enough road, your kids should know you’ve got their back.

In both the BlissTV videos and on the Don’t Fret the Sweat website, Rosiland Wiseman author of Queen Bees and Wannabees shares her expertise about the tricky tween years,  and the challenges parents have faced ‘stopping their tweens’ stink.’

While I was on camera, when I wasn’t having an internal meltdown, I was laughing at the irony of just how sweaty I was during the filming. Thankfully it wasn’t obvious to anyone else. Well, I hope not. . .

With kids, the body odor talk is a good place to open the door and set the tone for all the other conversations that will and should be coming.

If you’re looking for advice on how to address the concerns with respect for your child’s self-confidence check out the Don’t Fret the Sweat Facebook Page sponsored by Unliever – maker of Degree, Dove and Suave deodorants – for money saving offers and expert tips, tools and real life stories about how parents helping their tweens become confident and self-reliant teens.

The D Word

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Heather says:

January 1st is an excellent time to take stock of what needs to change for positive growth. Life’s rough enough without creating additional problems. Just opening my calendar app makes my stomach clench and causes  my eye to start twitching -truly an attractive quirk. Is my calendar that jam packed? Well, no it’s just significantly more than I am used managing. To get through the next six months I must practice discipline.

*No! This is a family oriented site, put that away.*

Is it fun?


However, the results are much more exciting than the alternative. One of  my goals for January is to get my butt out of bed on time. I’ve slipped into a bad habit of waiting until I hear the kids stirring. Even if I took weekends off, I still lose more than 20 hours of guilt and interruption free time.

My second goal for January is to quit abandoning small tasks before they are done. I’ve become a master avoider, this quickly leads to piles of laundry and unwashed dishes.  These two chores alone create a cascade of guilt and avoidance that ooze into every corner of my home. So my plan is to quit leaving dishes in the sink and fold (and put away) all the laundry. Neither of these chores are hard,they’re just repetitive in a busy home.

What areas of your life lack discipline? No, the kids don’t count.

Grabbing Your Moment Of Zen Where You Can

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retrochick.JPGIvy says:

In case you haven’t noticed, life is stressful. Sometimes you have to grab your moments of zen any way you can get them. I try to catch little moments of zen, like the peace of a quiet bathroom with nobody else in it, or driving down the road and catching my favorite song, or perhaps just enjoying the scenery. A cold Dr. Pepper on a hot day cheers me up immensely. As you go through your day, trying not to kill anyone that makes you mad, what makes your day just a little bit better?

Saturday Sobfest: Curing The Hangover

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retrochick.JPGIvy says:

Facebook and Twitter tells me that some of my pals who went to BlogHer are now suffering from hangovers. I’ve not been to BlogHer, but I’ve sure been the recipient of more than a few hangovers. Angelic Ivy says “Everything in moderation, kids. Don’t drink until you’re drunk.” But we all know I’m not called BadBadIvy for nothing.

For those of you inclined to follow BadBadIvy’s advice, here are some tips for avoiding a hangover and curing your hangover once you get one.

Avoiding a Hangover

  • Common wisdom says to “line your stomach” ahead of time by eating a light, but filling dinner. If you’re planning on drinking some, but not getting rip roarin’ drunk, this is a good idea. But if you’re planning on getting rip roarin’ drunk, this is not such a good idea. The less you have in your stomach when you’re super-drunk, the better. For obvious reasons.
    I can’t tell you how many times my supposed designated driver has forgotten their duty. That’s when some spare cash for cab fare comes in very handy.
  • When you decide to quit drinking, start in with water. Drink as much water as you can stand- two full glasses is my usual goal. Much of your hangover comes from being dehydrated. Fix that before the headache has a chance.
  • Before you go to bed, take an appropriate dose of ibuprofen. Don’t use aspirin or acetaminophen. Only ibuprofen. I’m not sure why this works, but it works. My dad told me that mid-college and I wish he had told me that sooner. Whenever I remember to drink the water and take the ibuprofen, I never wake up hung over.
  • If you feel like you need to throw up, throw up. Get it out of your system. But make sure you drink the water all over again after you throw up. The water’s important.
  • Get some sleep. Sleep heals.

Curing A Hangover

  • The first and foremost thing to do is drink plenty of fluids. NO caffeine. Drink water or fruit juice, particularly orange juice. Get hydrated.
  • If you don’t have anywhere to go, you can always try “hair of the dog that bit you” and drink a beer or a bloody Mary or something. Me, I like a good beer buzz early in the morning. No, wait, that’s Sheryl Crow. Actually, I’ve never tried this method, since if I didn’t have anywhere to go, I’d just lay around and be miserable.
  • Take some B-vitamins. This has always made me feel a lot better.
  • Finally, researchers have shown what bar flies have known for years, there’s nothing better than a bacon sandwich after a binge.

Okay, Home Eccers, your turn. Tell me some of your drunken stories, or tell me some of your hangover cures!

Mom’s Rules And How I Broke Them (And Why She Was Right!)

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retrochick.JPGIvy says:

I’m sure it doesn’t surprise anyone to learn that when I was a kid, I’d break the rules as much as possible. Finally, to keep peace in the house, I stopped breaking so many rules, but I vowed that when I had my own house, I’d not have any of those same rules. Now that I’m an adult, I’ve spent some time breaking those rules and I’ve learned that most (not all!) of them had a really good reason for it. Let’s take a look.

“Don’t stand and stare into the refrigerator”

This might have been the one thing my mom and I fought the most about. If I spent more than 30 seconds staring into the fridge, mom would be on me like white on rice, yelling at me not to stand around staring into the refrigerator. Naturally, the first thing I did when I got a house of my own, is open my refrigerator and stand there staring into it for as long as I felt like it.

The truth is, it really does let the cold out, and you shouldn’t stand around staring into the fridge. But how are you going to decide what to eat without opening the refrigerator?

“We don’t turn on the air conditioning until June.”

Growing up in north central Indiana, we didn’t need air conditioning as much as we do here in Tennessee. But sometimes we’d have days in May that were 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity, and still Mom wouldn’t turn on the AC. “Not until June,” she’d say, as I languished half-naked in front of the fan, dabbing my forehead with a washcloth.

By the time I moved out, I was living in Tennessee. As any Tennessean knows, there are times when you need to turn on the AC as early as April, sometimes even March. Mom had calmed down on that rule when we moved here. But she was still pretty strict about making sure it was miserably hot before turning on the AC.

I have a programmable thermostat that takes all the guesswork of turning on the AC or not. When it’s in AC mode, the house is kept at 76 during the day and 78 at night. The thermostat does all the work of deciding whether or not we need heat, AC or nothing at all. Still, I do sometimes long to sleep half-naked under a fan on a hot night, so sometimes I turn it all off. Funny how things that once were miserable are now somewhat of a treat.

“Don’t yank your clothes off the hanger.”

That used to drive my mom nuts. I never understood why until I became the person fetching hangers out of people’s closets. There’s nothing worse than a pile of tangled hangers in the closet. Especially when a bunch of them end up on the floor. Now, as an adult, I yank my clothes off the hanger and then I neatly put the hanger back. Oh, and I make my kids do the hanger-fetching, so they understand why you shouldn’t yank your clothes off the hangers.

“Change your underwear every day! What if you’re in a car wreck?!”

Because, you know, there’s nothing worse than being in a car wreck with dirty underwear. Actually, some of the wrecks I’ve had have nearly caused me to wet myself anyway. But stinky drawers are a bad thing whether you’re in a car wreck or not, so I’m on the clean underwear every day train now.

“No dessert until you’ve finished enough of your dinner.”

I remember when my mom would give me an amount of bites I had to take before I could have dessert. I’d put a miniscule amount of food on my fork and hope to get away with that counting as a bite. It never worked. I vowed when I grew up that I’d eat cake for breakfast if I wanted to, or have my dessert before dinner. And I did, many times. But I’ve learned as I grow older that eating the right foods really does make me feel better, look better, and be generally happier. Now, I hardly ever bother with dessert at all, even when I’m at my mom’s. My willpower is awesome, she says.

Now, Home Eccers, it’s your turn: tell me what rules your mom had that you broke shamelessly as an adult. And was your mom right, or are you right?