Without Trust, I Lose

Discounted Love

Whenever this new friend tells me that she could talk to me forever, “yeah, right.” echoes in the shadowy part of my mind. It’s not because I think she has an ulterior motive, all the facts told me she had done much for me and never asked for anything back.

To me, it is unbelievable that someone with their own free well would think that about me. I can’t say that I hate myself or feel like a fraud but somehow I just don’t feel that can be true.

A heart-felt compliment often leaves me stuttering, unable to accept and reply gracefully. I’d think, they are just being nice, it can’t possibly be true.

It’s sad, really, reading what I just wrote…
How am I so cruel to myself when I would never do that to others?

Without trust, I’ve discounted the love I get.
Without trust, I’ve discounted the love I give.
Without trust, I lose.

Discounted Me

Often when I couldn’t finish my to-do list, I would ask why I can’t do more, faster, and better like other people. I ignore all that I have done, I give myself no credit.

It’s horrifying, reading what I just wrote…
How am I so terrible to myself when I would never think that of others?

Without trust, I’ve discounted my efforts, my talents, my potential,
Without trust, I’ve discounted my future, my life, my self.
Without trust, I lose.

Discounting Discontinued

To the suspicious part of me,

What if I just choose to believe what my friend said?
What if I just choose to see the good in myself as I would in other?
What would be so bad about that?

So, as of now, all discounts have been discontinued.
I deserve 100% of me.
And yes, that includes you.

I’ll still need you from time to time if a real danger comes.
Meanwhile, please enjoy your long overdued rest.

It’s time to let Trust take over,
because without trust, we all lose.

How Safe Is Your Eco Liquid Dish Soap?

Rashes from Laundry Detergent

As I was recovering from horrible reaction from a well-known brand of enzyme based laundry detergent, my skin was worse after I washed dishes. So, I began my search for a new hand wash dish soap. Since I don’t have a dish washer, a good and safe dish washing soap is very important.

EWG.org Rates “C” on My Old Dish Soap

EWG (The Environmental Working Group) assessed my dish soap as a “C”, siting concerns on water pollution and skin irritation/allergies/damage.

I never thought an well-known eco brand would put out products like this. I was so shocked, I had to pick up the bottle and read the ingredients myself.

Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS)

That’s when I realized I had been washing my dishes with SLS in the soap. I had been avoiding SLS in my body care products, I never thought to check my dish soap. I just blindly trusted the brand.

And if I don’t want to use SLS on my skin, why would I put it in my body?

Switched to Attitude

Attitude Natural Dishwashing Liquid, Fragrance FreeLuckily, EWG pointed me to the Attitude brand (from Canada). I purchased one bottle of their fragrance-free natural dishwashing liquid (Though not EWG VERIFIED, it’s rated “A”).

I also found that many of their personal care products are EWG VERIFIED to be “free from EWG’s chemicals of concern and meets our strictest standards for your health.”

Clean Dishes, Smooth Skin

It’s been 3.5 months since I switched to Attitude. It cleans as well as my old brand with the same amount of soap. And I am happy to report that my hands are no longer completely dried out. In fact, my skin feels softer!

Buy A Test Bottle

Both my body and I are glad we found EWG and Attitude but as with every new product, I suggest buying one to try then go from there.

For the test bottle, get it direct on ATTITUDEliving.com, as of Oct. 2018, their flate rate shipping and handling is $8.95 for just 1 bottle. (They ship to Canadian provinces & contiguous USA)

This fragrance-free dish soap seems to be harder to find than their other items on US sites, so the prices are pretty much the same as ordering from ATTITUDEliving.com. But if you rather get it via Amazon, put it on your wishlist and see if a deal comes up.

How to Save on #attitudeliving?

If you like it after using it and have the space, I suggest ordering bulk direct from ATTITUDEliving.com for amazing discounts.

For free shipping order more than $60. For order over $70 and above, you get up to 25% off + free shipping!

If you need a little push to get the free shipping, check out some of their EWG VERIFIED items and buy other test bottles. That’s what I did!

My Favorit Made in USA Food Containers

<<< Rubbermaid Brilliance Food Containers >>>

Rubbermaid Brilliance 9.6 Cups Made in USA

Crackers Stay Crispy Test
–Excellent Seal–

Since Rubbermaid Brilliance containers are a bit more pricey than the usual containers, I bought one on-sale to try.

Brilliance 9.6 cups 3-packMy Dad is very impatient when it comes to opening a package, so an opened pack of crackers (especially if there is a plastic tub inside) is often impossible to close back with a clip or a rubber band. Then the crackers would go stale pretty quickly.

I gave him this container to dump the crackers in. After a week, the crackers are still pretty crispy. Not only that he kept the lid back on tight (unusal for him so he must had found the lid easier to close and open), most importantly, there where no longer a trail of crumbs on the floor.

Bulk-Buyer’s Perfect Semi-Long Term Storage

Rubbermaid Brilliance Pantry 10-Piece set with LidsFor things that can last a while, like nuts and herbs, I like to buy in bulk. However, having to find and open every big bag to get a small amount every time I cook is

  • Inconvenient (having to move large items around)
  • Food would go bad faster

Often it was so tedious, I’d give up cooking which usually leads to me eatting junk. And my body is not taking the abuse any longer. I need to make it easier, I thought, my body has been pretty good to me, I must treat it with love and respect!

After getting the bulk pack home, I would fill one of my Luminarc Working Glasses (also made in USA) and cover it with its lid. These easy-to-remove lids keeps it simple to keep me motivated to cook.

And whatever is left, I’d put it in a Rubbermaid Brilliance container. For nuts, rice, seeds (things with more oil contents), I then put in the fridge.

What Else Do I Like About Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers

Rubbermaid Brilliance Salad and Snack Lunch Combo Kit

  • BPA free
  • Clear plastic (easy to see what’s inside)
  • Freezer safe (disposable ones become brittle when frozen)
  • Made in USA
  • Stackable
  • Microwaveable (there are small vent holes under the latches on the lids)
  • And they are pretty to look at!

Many Shapes And Sizes

Though I only need the one size, I must mention that there are many, many different shapes and sizes of Rubbermaid Brilliance Containers to fill your needs. The Rubbermaid Brilliance Salad and Snack Lunch Combo Kit is an excelent example!

Made in USA = Function + Quality + Design

I am so glad Rubbermaid continues to develop great products and actually kept the manufacturing for Rubbermaid Brilliance in the States. Keep up the good work!

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

100% Chick T-Shirt: Cute, Comfy, 100% Cotton, Made in USA

100% Cotton, Super Soft, Light Yet Not See-Thru

100% cotton peaceful chick t shirt made in USAThis is the most comfortable cotton t-shirt I’ve ever owned. I can feel the quality in this 100% cotton fabric, yet it’s light enough that it almost felt a linen shirt (I like my t-shirt loose fitting) only it’s not as see-thru. A win-win for me!

Cute Designs

There are different designs that come with their own colors: “Biker Chick” in black; “Country Chick” in red; “Yoga Chick” in seafoam/gray; “Peaceful Chick” in white/light blue.

100% cotton t shirts made in USA, biker, country, yoga, peaceful chickI have the “Peaceful Chick” in white.

Made in USA

The seller, Green 3, wrote “All of our products are designed, sourced, and produced in the USA in family-owned manufacturing facilities.”

I am so happy to have found the USA made quality in this fun shirt!

Sizing

The t-shirt is relax fit, slightly more shaped than the classic cut, so if you like your t-shirt loose, get one size up, I did.

Free shipping + Free Return on Amazon

If you are not sure about the sizes and designs, take advantage of the free shipping by ordering 2+ different sizes/designs to try it, then use the free return to exchange or order the ones that you like best.

NOTE: Make sure you confirm the free return offer where the price is listed. I am not sure if it’s always going to be there.

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

Books I Read 2018

This year, I decided to stop comparing book counts from previous years. After all, reading is for fun and learning, not for torturing myself.

  1. Medical Medium: Secrets Behind Chronic and Mystery Illness and How to Finally Heal (Non-Fiction) by Anthony William
    [ Though I was not ill per se but many little long-term issues plus my latest allergic reaction to a new laundry detergent sent me looking. Two different people metioned Anthony during one weekend, I figured I better take the hint. He explained what’s behind strange symptoms and illnesses as told by his spirit guide. ]
  2. Medical Medium Life-Changing Foods: Save Yourself and the Ones You Love with the Hidden Healing Powers of Fruits & Vegetables (Non-Fiction) by Anthony William
    [ This beautiful books comes with easy to do recipes, I selected the fruits and plants I need according to my symptoms and my nose no longer runs like it used to, I’m still working up the courage to take in straight celery juice though. ]
  3. The Bags of Tricks Affair (Book 6 of Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery) by Bill Pronzini
    [ This affair involves series of cases that create the continuous tension via the timing. Though the first 5 books were co-written with his wife Marcia Muller, he had written this one on his own. I did not feel inconsistancy in Carpenter’s (the female partner) character. The couple must know each other very well. ]
  4. Spy School (Spy School Series 1) by Stuart Gibbs
    [ A nerdy 12-year-old boy got tricked into attending a “special” school and finding out he has what it take to become a good spy. Though I would prefer not to be in mortal danger everyday, it’s fun to imagine how amazing it would have been to experience that as a teenager. Funny and fast paced! ]
  5. The Grave’s a Fine and Private Place (A Flavia de Luce Novel 9) by Alan Bradley
    [ Flavia tries to heal from her father’s sudden passing while on a boat trip and ended up investigating a murder. There are very noticeable growth in both Flavia and Dugger (their family servant). Book 9 but still intersting to read. ]
  6. Her Beautiful Monster (The Ravi PI Series 1) by Adi Tantimedh
    [ Very interesting mystery/thriller novel with serious Indian infusion. Not knowing too much about the Indian Gods, I was not able to enjoy this as I would like you. If you are familiar with Indian culture, I thing it would be a great fun trip for you. ]
  7. Last Stop in Brooklyn (A Mary Handley Mystery 3) by Lawrence H. Levy
    [ Mary’s investigation leads her to the dark and dirty world of the NYC’s police department. She partnered with reporter to get to the bottom of these cases. ]
  8. The Burning Page (The Invisible Library Novel 4) by Genevieve Cogman
    [ Librarian Irene and her dragon prince intern Kai was sent to find a rare book in another word but ended up in the middle of a complicated and delicate dragon political world. It’s as good as the previous 3 books. ]
  9. Mayhem & Mass (A Sister Lou Mystery 1) by Olivia Matthews
    [ Sister Lou is a wise and observant sister who while finding the murderer, also played a matchmaker for the two young people in her life. Great to cozy mystery readers. ]
  10. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
    [ The Swedish author Bivald must love small town USA a bunch, the warmth she has for her characters in the Broken Wheel really took me to that little town and wondered if she’d pick out a perfect book for me, too. I am not a general fiction person but I love this book. I will bring you the charm and peace from this little town. ]
  11. Toured to Death (An Amy’s Travel Mystery 1) by Hy Conrad
    [ Amy leads a murder mystery tour through Europe, only to end up a real murder that is linked to the real case the tour is based on. It took me a while to guess the real murderer. If you are into mystery and travel, this is written for you. ]
  12. The Punch Escrow by Tal M. Klein
    [ It was a fun ride, unlike the teleportation practice, I was safe. Klein, being a musician, has the main character, Joel, loving 80’s music while living in the 2140’s. Though I long suspected the underlying secret, it was still fun to go with Joel on this advanture. ]

Eco Plant-Based Scrubber Sponge: Greener Clean Or Full Circle?

I was using Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Natural Fiber Non-Scratch Scrub Sponges for a few years then I switch to try Full Circle In a Nutshell Walnut Scrubber Sponges (Non-Scratch), mostly to see if how they would compare.

Similarities

  • Made from 100% plant-based fiber
  • Should be disposed with regular garbage, not in compose or recycle bins (according to 3M and Full Circle)
  • The scrubbing layers worn out before the sponge layers
  • Not for scrubbing non-stick surfaces

Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Scrub Sponges

  • Made in USA
  • 50% of the scrubbing layer is made from agave plant (see video)
  • Sanitize in the dishwasher or by boiling

Full Circle In a Nutshell Scrubber Sponges

  • Made in Canada
  • The scrubbing layer is made from walnut shells (doesn’t cause allergic reactions, according to Full Circle)
  • Sanitize in the microwave

My Pick: Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Scrub Sponges

  • The Greener Clean Scrub Sponges lasted longer for me. I just can’t throw a sponge away every few weeks. You are not suppose to nuke this sponge in microwave (as noted on the packaging), so I sanitize it by pouring boiling water on it after squeezing it dry.
  • They are cheaper, especially if you buy in bulk
  • They are made in USA

NOTE: I also use Scotch-Brite Greener Clean Absorbent Sponge. It is more spongy than the sponge part of the scrubber.

Choose Full Circle Scrubber Sponges if you:

  • Want to be able to nuke it
  • Replace your sponges often enough, it doesn’t matter that scrubbing layer wears quickly. (If it lasted as long, I wouldn’t mind using a Cananda made product)

P. S. Want more USA made goods? See what else I actually use or shop at my Made in USA Amazon Store.

Scientific Qi Gong (科學氣功)

Qi, even to most Chinese is a mysterious force that only kung-fu masters possess, much like the powers comic book superheroes have.

In 2016, Prof. Si-Chen Lee (李嗣涔), published Scientific Qi Gong (科學氣功), explaining the science behind Qi Gong through his experiments, research, and personal journey.

Is Qi Real?

In kung-fu novels, Qi is often used to heal or to hurt people. With the help of Qi Gong Master Lee (李鳳山), showed that healing Qi increased DNA replication, harmful Qi slowed replication and even damaged some DNA chains in chromosomes.

From his experiments, Prof. Lee thought that since Qi can affect other objects, Qi must be a fundamental force that exists everywhere like the gravity.

What Is Qi?

By chance, Prof. Lee learned about the Torsion Field, the twisting of space-time.

After comparing Torsion Field’s properties with a passage from an ancient document, “Qi can be interrupted by water and scattered by wind” (氣,界水則止,遇風則散。)

He also proved this statment from his experiment by projecting a massy source energy through a crystal.

He then concluded Qi is a torsion field.

How Does Qi Gong Work?

Prof. Lee suggests that Qi Gong activates Qi to adjust the body’s muscular system, smoothing out the body’s communication networks to allow the collagen protein to pass on the repair commands from the master gene to every cell before the next round of regeneration.

Qi Gong ensures the commands are delivered without blockage thus promotes the body’s own self-healing ability.

Prof. Si-Chen Lee’s Scientific Qi Gong

In his book, he showed us some simple Qi Gong exercises to keep us healthy. (If you like to try them out, be sure to find a Chinese speaking friend to translate the details of the video for you.)

We don’t all have to become Qi Gong masters to benefit from Qi Gong. If you read Chinese and are interested in science and alternative healing, you would love this book.

PlumbClear Clears Semi Clogged Toilet [Update]

plumbclearI first used PlumbClear to clean slow drains in my very old house. It worked like a charm.

Ahh! The Toilet Is Clogged

According to Alson Enterprises, the manufacturer, the user should use it regularly to prevent any future clogging. I was too lazy…

Last night, the toilet finally had enough. The water saving presurized toilet had the power but somehow water won’t drain before the fresh flow came in, the water level got pretty high before it drained back down again. That meant PlumbClear can still be effective. (The enzyme and friendly bacteria stil could make direct contact with the organic material in the pipe.)

Patience Pays Even for Emergency

I was worried enough to consider dumping the powder right in the toilet but I held back. I used the [Septic Tank ratio]–2 scoops with 2 cups of warm water.

I waited 2 nervous hours as instructed, poured it down the toilet and waited another 30 minutes before flushing. On the 2nd flush, the toilet was working again. What a relief!

Once again, PlumbClear did a wonderful job and all without harmful chemicals!

American Giant: 100% USA Made Hoodie & More

If you don’t already know, American Giant produces durable clothing using 100% USA materials and labor. USA made quality still means something to many around the world.

Because they also pay extreme care in designing their pieces, they dare to offer lifetime warranty for full price items.

I’m reviewing items I actually have tried or do wear.

Classic Full Zips Hoodie

My top pick!

  • 100% cotton
  • heavy weight
  • best for cool, dry spring/fall days
  • shape holding construction (no slouch look)
  • elbow patch that extends under the forearm
  • the hood doesn’t cling to your forehead and cover your eyes
  • these are not cheap but it will last a long time, being a Konmari convert, not buying junk also helps me save money and live green.

Essential Full Zips Hoodie

  • cheaper, lighter
  • Super soft material using Supima cotton and modal fiber (made from beechwood) mix
  • good for lounging around

100% Cotton Preiume T

american giant premium crew t long sleeve
It did not work for me, I returned it.

  • designed for slender, long shaped ladies
  • comfortable material but white was too see-through for my taste
  • my aunt love dark colored longsleeve ones for layering yet they are stylish enough for indoors without other layers.

Good to Know

  • Don’t Wait Too Long, Colors Changes Often!
  • Be sure to check the size chart, though most returns are honored but free return shipping do take a week or two.
  • Instead of exchanging items, they ask you to buy again and return the unwanted items.

American Giant Referral Coupon

amercian giant coupon

  • This refer a friend link saves new customer 15% on their first purchase and I get $15 for referring you.
  • These are so well made, it might be a long time before I get to use my rewards.

I hope you’ll enjoy your American Giant as much I do.