Thursday, February 29, 2024

Traveling to Cyprus to Get US Passports

The only picture I could get of this whole thing- the self addressed stamped envelopes at the local post office to the mail forwarding company, since security was so strict so no pictures, even from outside.

I have mentioned enough times in my recent posts that we went to Cyprus to get American passports because it has become impossible to get appointments at my local American embassy for far too long, I'd heard about a friend who did this, and I decided to do the same. Since then, I have been asked for more information on how I did this, and what the steps entail, so I decided to compile that into a blog post for you.

There are a few parts involved in getting the passports.

First, there is the step of making the appointments. They have many available appointments, but I didn't see the option to make appointments much in advance. To make an appointment, you want to go to the American Embassy in Cyprus's website for all the information needed including necessary documents, and then from there you are directed to this website to make appointments, where you'll need to pick the country and location, then pick what type of appointment you need, then the date. 

Monday, February 26, 2024

Hemp-Derived THC products: 5 Things to Know

As a chronic pain sufferer, as well as someone with anxiety, I know how much cannabis products can be helpful. I was lucky enough to get a medical marijuana license but many are not. However, even if you don't have a license... there are THC products that can be made with hemp (Yes! It surprised me too!), that are legal even without a cannabis license in many places. Read on to learn more about this.

Navigating the complex terrain of hemp-derived THC products requires a solid grasp of the essentials. What once was a niche market has blossomed into a diverse ecosystem, offering a broad array of options to consumers.

But how do you discern between choice and quality? What legal landscapes must one navigate? These questions aren't just idle curiosity; they're integral to making informed decisions in this evolving industry.

Understanding these products goes beyond mere familiarity with cannabis culture. It's about being savvy with what goes into your cart - both virtually and physically. So let’s buckle down and explore five critical facets every consumer should consider before stepping foot - or clicking their way - into the world of hemp-derived THC offerings.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

9 Commonly Abused Substances and How They Affect Your Body

I have a close relationship with my children, and they are open with me and talk about the pervasiveness of drug abuse in their social circles. Unfortunately, too many of their schoolmates and peers abuse drugs and alcohol, and from talking to my friends, it is unfortunately far too common. While some drugs can have safe potential uses as long as not overdone, such as Ritalin for people with ADHD, benzos for psychiatric issues, and small amounts of alcohol from time to time, many people, especially impulsive teenagers, don't use them responsibly and can endanger themselves. Educating yourself about these commonly abused substances and the effects they can have can give you the information to educate your children which can hopefully keep them out of harm and guide them towards healthier choices amidst peer pressure and societal influences.

The unfortunate reality of today’s world is that drugs are everywhere. Their effects on individual drug users and American culture more broadly vary, but all of them have negative impacts. This article will look at nine commonly abused substances and how they affect people’s bodies, in particular.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Frugal Family Winter Trip To Cyprus - The Itinerary - Part 1

If this is the first post you're seeing on the topic, I'm doing a series on our frugal winter family trip to Cyprus. In this post, I'll be sharing with you what we did in the first part of our awesome family vacation, when we were based in Paralimni, on the eastern coast of Cyprus. 

I'd made a family meeting with the children when planning the trip to see what types of activities they most wanted to do on the trip, then looked at the list I'd made of potential winter activities in Cyprus to create a potential very full itinerary of things to do, taking into account the proximity of each activity to one another and where we'd be staying. I knew there would definitely not be enough time to do everything on the list, but I included extras so we could decide as the trip went along what we'd want to do then.

We were supposed to land in Larnaca, Cyprus in the afternoon and we hoped we'd be able to see something of Cyprus on that first day. Unfortunately, our flight was delayed so we landed in Cyprus later than we originally planned. They made us check the cabin luggage, so we needed to wait at the baggage claim carousel. Then the representative from the car rental place that was supposed to meet us at the Arrivals area wasn't there right away, but eventually we found him.

By the time we were in our rental car, it was already quite late, and we had a bit of a drive ahead of us, since we were staying in Paralimni, all the way on the eastern peninsula of the island. But because of the time, I was worried that we'd only get to Paralimni after the stores closed, so we stopped at a Lidl (a relatively cheap European grocery chain) in Larnaca for the first few days' groceries before heading to Paralimni to our AirBnB. We settled in, ate supper, and tried to go to bed early so we'd have energy for the big day ahead.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

3 Ways to Make the Job of Cleaning Less Daunting

Cleaning is my bane. I can't think of things I like doing less than cleaning... other than maybe going to the dentist. Or taxes. But it's unfortunately necesssary. So anything that makes getting it done less scary is helpful. Here are a few things you can implement to maybe make things just a little less daunting.

Navigating the Teen Years: How DBT and CBT Can Support Your Teen's Mental Health

6 years ago I went through a very big mental health crisis and while it was a time in my life I would certainly never want to repeat, because of how bad of a situation I was in, I enrolled in an intensive DBT course through my psychiatrist's office. And it was life changing. Not only did that help me in my healing process from all my trauma, it also gave me tools that are so useful, not only in my day to day life with my own issues, but in parenting my children as well. I use DBT and CBT skills that I learned in therapy to help my children cope with my own challenges. Author Isabella Finn wrote a book teaching teens to use CBT and DBT skills called Essential Coping Skills Workbook for Teens which is really exciting, and she wrote this post to introduce you to the concepts of DBT and CBT and how you can use them to help your children thrive.

The teenage years—when your world revolved around acne, braces, and emotions that felt like hurricanes. Remember those days? The awkwardness, the confusion, and the question of why your locker seemed to double as a trash can for chewed gum.

Now, fast forward to today's teenagers. They are grappling with the usual adolescent challenges and navigating a digital world fraught with social media fame (or shame), soaring academic expectations, and a relentless barrage of curveballs from life itself.

It's no wonder they sometimes resemble ticking time bombs, trying to balance flaming chainsaws while riding a unicycle over a shark tank (albeit with slightly less dramatic language).

You're not alone in this emotional upheaval as a parent, guardian, or concerned adult. You can be the lighthouse guiding them through the storm. And guess what? You've got what it takes!

Is your teenager giving you a hard time with mood swings and struggles? Don't worry; here is a secret recipe for dealing with grumpy adolescents.

Forget therapy jargon; think of this as equipping your teen with secret weapons. We're discussing cool stuff like managing stress, boosting happiness, and mastering emotions.

The famous author and psychologist Dr. Seuss once said,

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose.”

Let’s help your teen steer themselves toward happiness and success!

Here’s a guide for you on supporting your teen's emotional well-being—a partner on this bumpy journey, complete with insights, practical tips, and just enough humor to keep things light (because, the fact is, parenting teenagers can be downright hilarious, even in the midst of head banging moments).

Monday, February 12, 2024

Our Budget Winter Family Trip to Cyprus - A Wonderful Success

I'm currently sitting above the clouds, at the top of Mount Olympus writing this post. My kids are busy playing in the snow while I sit here enjoying the cool weather. I know better than to try to walk around on slippery snow because my balance isn't great as it is, and because of my EDS, any injury from such a fall can cause long term damage. But just sitting enjoying such a view and the crisp air does so much for my soul and I feel close to a state of bliss, no exaggeration.

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Mastering Astigmatism Management: Practical Tips for Effective Care

I never knew much about astigmatism, to be honest. I was diagnosed with a minor astigmatism as an adult, after more than 15 years of wearing corrective lenses. Once diagnosed I knew that it meant something with severity and angle, but of what, I didn't actually know. When a friend told me that her really high astigmatism made her vision really bad, despite her official number being lower, and that it affected her depth perception and made driving challenging for her, I really didn't understand, and decided to learn more about it, and discovered this really helpful video breaking it down

Because I have been having vision issues lately, I went to an eye specialist who mapped out my eye and specifically my cornea, and I found it fascinating, especially since the results looked like what you'd see on thermal imaging pictures, and I could see from the red spot where my astigmatism was. While managing my astigmatism is as simple as getting glasses, for some people, like my friend, it is a bit more complicated and needs some more hands-on management. If you or your child has been diagnosed with astigmatism, especially if it's more severe, read on to learn how to manage this challenge.

Astigmatism, a common vision condition characterized by an irregularly shaped cornea, often leads to blurred or distorted vision, headaches, and eye strain. This article aims to provide practical advice for individuals on effectively managing astigmatism.

Monday, February 5, 2024

What To Consider When Buying Air Filters Online?

Like many, I've faced the frustration of not knowing where to turn when my HVAC unit became unusable due to a lack of replacement filters. We've been suffering since I can't turn it on since the last time I did it was spitting balls of ice and dirt. Fortunately, our guest author shares valuable insights and solutions to help you avoid the same predicament and hopefully, I'll now be able to solve mine. Join us as we explore the journey to finding the perfect filter and restoring functionality to your HVAC system.

In today's digitally driven world, online shopping has become the preferred method for purchasing a wide range of products, including air filters. Whether you're looking to replace the filters in your HVAC system, vehicle, or any other appliance, the convenience of shopping online offers numerous benefits. However, with convenience comes the challenge of ensuring that you're purchasing the right product that meets your specific needs. This is particularly crucial when it comes to something as essential as air filters. In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider when buying air filters online, with a focus on custom air filters.

Sunday, February 4, 2024

We're Off to Cyprus!

We're so excited! The family and I are off on our trip to Cyprus - our second trip together abroad - the last one was in December of 2019! I went abroad last March of 2020 and I really have missed the enjoyment and soul nourishment of my trips abroad. 

To get ready for our trip I bought 3 carry on size suitcases- though we can take 5 on the plane the car we're renting can only hold 3 in the trunk. I shopped around until we found the cheapest place and am happy with our choice.