23andMe Neanderthal Report Update

Recently 23andMe updated their Neanderthal Report, you get this Report when you take their DNA test and it tells you how many Neanderthal variants you inherited from your ancestors.

If you don’t know what a Neanderthal is, 23andMe define it as:

Neanderthals were prehistoric humans who interbred with modern humans before disappearing around 40,000 years ago.

I wish I had taken a screenshot of my variants before the update but I knew it was 102 variants, here is my updated Report:

From 102 to 68!

Not all of the variants I agree with, for instance, I have a terrible fear of heights, I can’t look out the windows or go into balconies of very tall buildings, I just can’t do it.

I do agree with the others, I do indeed have a hard time parting with rarely used possessions, I got that from my father. I have a terrible sense of direction, I can get lost very easily which is why I don’t go out walking by myself.

I can’t really say if I agree or disagree with the salty over sweet one, they both have a place in my heart and sometimes I will eat something salty with something sweet, like I love popcorn with chocolate, it’s delicious.

While this was a nice little update I’m interested in seeing if they will ever update the haplogroups.

Only time will tell.

Best day ever

Hey everyone!

I just want to talk about yesterday and why it was the best day ever.

My husband has so many friends that from what I know of my childhood and my family it seems unnatural ūüėÄ we spend a lot of time with them and it wears me out both physically and mentally. Don’t get me wrong I like his friends BUT I need time to myself to unpack all the stress of the week and it seems like I can never get that time because I’m always home with Naveen or at his parents or friends and that’s like being bombarded with even more stress. The talking, the laughing, the music, the smells, everything beats at me until I’m in a deep dark pit crying. To make matters worse we stay at these stressful events for hours and hours and I’m just tired and want to go home but he’s not ready to go home and Naveen is not ready. So there I am month after month being abused mentally.

Yesterday I decided to stay home by myself and it was wonderful!

I had the house to myself, it was¬†quiet, I didn’t have to concentrate on anything other than watching one of my favorite movies The Princess Bride. I could feel all the stress leaving my body and my mood lifting.

If you have Social Anxiety and are also an Introvert like¬†me never feel bad about staying home and watching your favorite movie, your mental health is way more important than being social because society dictates you must be, enjoy your time alone guilt free and don’t make it a one-time thing. When you feel yourself slipping engage in some self-care.

I am ready for the week now and actually thinking about smiling but we’ll see what tomorrow brings huh!

Until next time!

February, what a month!

February…

Usually, I spend February by celebrating my birthday and when I was back home in St. Croix going to the Agricultural & Food Fair, I have not found anything over here that can be an annual birthday event. I spend my birthday either taking my¬†son to school or staying home with him and doing nothing. I wish there were things for us to do but if it requires us interacting with others I don’t find that a suitable birthday enjoyment. If I’m lucky I go to a movie with my husband but we haven’t done that in a while.

This year was my¬†32nd birthday and honestly, I was numb during the whole thing. I didn’t get a video call from my family, I didn’t get to go out, and my son fractured his elbow two night before and we spent all night and the next day going from hospital to the next to get his elbow attended to. I was wiped out and would have been fine to stay home and do nothing but we went to the movies and I did enjoy it even though it was in French and I understood less than half of what was going on.

I want more out of my 32nd year but I am stuck in figuring out just what I want.

I picked back up my crocheting and successfully completed some small projects while continuing to work on a scarf I decided to make.

My scarf in progress:

Snickers keeping me company while I work on my rows.

I am almost finished with a little teddy bear I am making, it just needs to be stuffed and have the final touches done:

Now for my completed works, I recently picked up a French Knitter, a French Knitter is also known as Spool Knitting, Corking, or Tomboy Knitting. It’s a form of knitting that uses a spool with a number of nails around the rim to produce a narrow tube of fabric, similar to i-cord. The spools usually have four or five nails mine had four bendy things lol, here’s a picture so you can see what I am referring to:

If you look closely in the background you can see the frustratingly difficult instructions I was supposed to follow to create a mouse. I was close to pulling my hair out when I looked on Youtube for a video to help me understand those impossible to decipher depictions. I was successful¬†in following along to the video and made my first mouse. It was supposed to be for Snickers but…

It was way too cute! I also didn’t want her swallowing the eyes if she got too rough with the little thing. I decided to crochet her a mouse that she can be rough with and set out to find a good pattern.

I made her this:

It honestly looks more like a Rat than a mouse but meh she likes those kinds of critters. I made some embellishments on the pattern so my Rat is special lol. Hopefully, Snickers likes her Rat friend and I can move onto finishing my scarf and another project I started (Mesh Hat).

Before I forget, Naveen only had to wear his cast for three weeks, initially, they said four weeks but his elbow healed really fast and well and last week Friday he got it removed.

Until next time!

Reaching Out

Good morning!

This year in September will make four years since I moved to France and I still don’t have any friends, not really anyone. There’s nobody I feel relaxed enough to send a text message to or call and just sit around talk and laugh almost everyone¬†I know over here is through my husband and your husband’s friends are not always your friends.

There is one woman who I occasionally¬†share a “Bonjour” with that has no ties to my husband but that’s basically the extent of my French in public, “Bonjour”… I managed¬†a “√ßa va”¬†today because she and her son were not at school since last week Thursday and I did miss them. I wish so much that I can articulate what I want to say but at that moment I don’t even know what to say. I am honestly¬†content just to walk beside them on our way to school and from school because it’s the loneliest feeling walking your child to school knowing you have nobody.

I’m trying to change that one step at a time because a giant leap is likely to do some real damage to the progress I’ve made and let’s face it I’m a cautious person and I need to be comfortable talking to someone or it will never happen.

Moving on to another subject, years back I had another blog that I only used once because I didn’t understand how to use it, I finally merged it to this one so you can see my old blog post here¬†My Hiking Experience. I kind of wish that I had more hikes to post about but we rarely go anywhere anymore. I suppose I could go out to the park when it’s warmer and beg to visit the castle since we haven’t been there since last year. I swear I’m going to be a chatty Cathy¬†until I go to the lake and other nature sites.

If I do get my way and I probably will I’ll be sure to post pictures so you can enjoy the scenery with us.

Until next time!

Name change

As you will no doubt notice I have changed the name of my blog to better reflect the stage in my life I’m in right now. There’s no longer a baby in there and there hasn’t been for a while so it was time to change it.

Once Upon a Dovy was the hashtag I would have used if we had had a huge wedding with ceremony and invitations but life has a way of changing in a quickness so I’m using it here now since this is who I am now.

I know many people make new years resolutions and whatnots, I have never seen a point in doing this, this year I think I will. I want to go into 2019 not feeling depressed every day, I want to be able to sit down and work on my crafts whether it’s writing, photography, or crochet. I want to be able to enjoy the things I used to love and maybe pick up some new ones.

I aim to crochet a temperature blanket, an afghan is way too ambitious for a beginner like myself so I want to start off small. For those of you who don’t know what a temperature¬†blanket is, it’s a blanket¬†where you crochet a row or two in the color that represents the temperature of that specific day, the aim is to have a row or two for every day of the year and you’ll have a unique and interesting blanket with many colors. If I was living back home in the Virgin Islands I’d no doubt have a blanket with maybe just two colors for the whole year but since I’m living in France with it’s changing seasons I’ll have so many colors, I think I want to add in a little break so I know when the months change, a line of white or something and possibly a heart applique for February since it will be Valentines and my birthday.

Other than the temperature blanket I want to write more, this year has been terrible for my writing and I’m kind of ashamed of this, I also want to pick up my camera more, there is nothing around me that captures my interest but maybe I can start doing animal photography more since it’s more linked to nature than an old building is.

Well, I have a pie to bake, Christmas parties and the such which I am not looking forward to…

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, I wish you all have a joyous time and if you suffer from Depression like me I hope you find something that’s worth holding on for.

Writing

Bonjour à tous!

When in France right?

For the past two days, I have been inspired to revisit an old story I started working on about two years ago. All my interest in it had fizzled and it just sat there stagnant until Thursday when I was going through my old stuff and saw it. Immediately¬†I felt this need to dust it off and breathe some new life into it. It’s not finished by any means, you can say that it is barely begun so I won’t have a lot of work to dissect and can just start writing whenever I feel like it. I tried to remember just why I never began my story and why it was put into a coma and the only thing I could think of was that I didn’t have the voice to tell it. I firmly believe that if you haven’t connected with your storyline on a deep level it will never get anywhere. A forced storyline is never a good thing and if you have to force it why are you writing it in the first place?

I read over my files, I keep very detailed records of my storylines whether it’s in old notebooks or digital notebook on¬†Evernote¬†or¬†Google Docs. I have literally hundreds of half-built worlds and storylines, finished short stories that need a good editing. What I do not have is the desire to do what I know needs to be done. It has been so hard for me to push through my depression and get back to what I have always enjoyed but this month I feel like I will be able to accomplish much.

I do a bit of poetry and have some works in progress on¬†Wattpad¬†that I have been focusing on lately. If you’re interested and registered on the site you can view my profile here at¬†LLDove.

My pieces are anything but popular but I feel like they fall into very specific niches and they are special to me especially Tales of an Introverted Expat and The Silence Inside Me, both are poetry-based and reference my depression, anxiety, and selective mutism to an extent.

The piece I am working on now can be typed as a Romantic Comedy, it is called One Night Romeo.

Gia Joseph was tired of the small town she grew up in where everyone knew her as the recluse, she wanted a fresh start somewhere new and exciting. It was cliche to move to France with the hopes of finding love but what Gia found was an unforgettable one night stand. She couldn't get this guy out of her head and against her better judgment began looking for him hoping that he was looking for her too. The problem with finding someone in a big city is that it's nearly impossible to run into the same person twice, somehow fate intervened and Gia found her one night Romeo, unfortunately, he didn't remember who she was!
Gia spends the entire summer manufacturing coincidental meet-ups with the hopes of reminding her Romeo of who she was and why he should be more than a one night Romeo.

I can’t say when it will be finished but I do plan on working on it until I am satisfied with it.

 

Breaking out of the what ifs.

It’s been almost three years since the loss¬†and I think I’m finally breaking out of the what ifs. I know in reality I will always wonder in the back of my mind just who this little person could have been, sometimes my mind conjures¬†up images of a little girl and other times it’s a little boy running around with Naveen. These days my mind takes another direction, I wonder will I ever attempt to have another? I think if I was assured of medical care and support from family I could attempt it but financially we might never have another child and that makes me sad. I wish things were different but it is what it is.

I’ve started exercising this month, I’ve been using the WeBurn app, you can download it on the App Store and on Google Play.

WeBurn stands for the most effective, short (7 minutes) and science-based Women HIIT Home Workouts that are fun to do and extremely motivating. Get your personal 7-minute Workout Plan, create your 7-minute Workout Challenge, turn on the music and get in the shape of your life!

Join the community for free and reach your fitness goals faster and with more motivation and fun than anywhere else: lose weight, build muscles, live healthy or just get fit.

I haven’t been active since I moved here and I wanted something I could do in the short space of time between dropping and picking Naveen up from school. It has a 4.7 rating on Google Play and the reviews were fairly good.
Disclaimer: You do have to pay for the app but you can do two workouts for free.

I do Body Shaping (135-162 KCAL) and Bikini Body (136-163 KCAL) which are the free workouts. You can choose between three workout difficulties. Since I am a beginner I went with the Easier difficulty, I really didn’t want to start out hard and get discouraged. I gave myself one week to do the Easy one then to go Medium and see how I feel. It was a bit easy at first but by the second day, I was contemplating whether I had made a mistake but I stuck with it. Now that I’m heading towards my second week and will begin doing the Medium difficulty I’m a bit afraid, here is where my determination will really be tested.

Smooth skin

*I am not affiliated in any way with Cien or Lidl, I was not given these products to review or offered a reward for my review.





I was recently complimented on my clear skin, to be honest, I have never had much issue with my skin, one or two pimples over the years, my main problem is my raccoon eyes but they are hereditary so not much I can do about it except try to find a really good concealer. 

Even if I’ve never had to battle bumps on my face I still try to take care of it, one of the first things I did when moving here was to find a good facial wash and moisturizer, I was not used to the cold and it was proving to me that I needed moisture more than anything in this unforgiving temperature, my husband bought me a Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse set that included a small bottle of bath oil, multipurpose oil, a candle, and hydrating cream.¬†


These items served me well for a few months but I had run out and Nuxe is not the cheapest product to buy especially when you have a really small income. I needed something¬†but I had no idea what to buy so I asked a friend¬†what she used, her answer was Nuxe lol but she also mentioned that there was a line of products by Lidl called Cien and she had heard good things about it, Lidl, if you don’t know,¬†is a German global discount supermarket chain, based in Neckarsulm, Germany, that operates over 10,000 stores across Europe and the United States. There is a Lidl very close to my home and it is very affordable so I decided to give it a try.

I picked up the Cr√®me Hydrante Aqua for 2,99‚ā¨ which is about $3.50.¬†¬†


Made with Glycerol and Pantherol.

This cream will deeply moisturize your skin and protect it from the harmful effects of the sun thanks to its UV filter. Its formula without mineral oils allows a better absorption of the cream, without leaving a greasy effect, it promotes the oxygenation of the skin.

Essential protection for all skin types.

No added Mineral Oils.

A great success and a recognized quality that allowed him to be acclaimed by a jury of consumers during the 12th Victoires de la Beauté.

I also picked up the Aqua Rich Gel Nettoyant for a little under 2‚ā¨.

For a clean and fresh skin.
For Normal and Mixed skin.
Lastly, I picked up the Eau Micellaire Refraichissment for a little under 2‚ā¨.
Facial Cleanser.
Makeup Remover.
Refreshing.
Now this was my first time using a Micellar Water I don’t know if it’s usual for it to leave your face feeling dry but this one does that, I always put on some of the moisturizer after using this, it works really well for removing makeup and I especially love that it’s a pump bottle I just have to press my cleansing pad down on the tip and the product comes up and wets my cleansing pad, this bottle design leads to less product wastage and one bottle can last you a pretty long time.
I’ve been using these products for a year and a half now and I think they do their jobs very well, my face has never been more smooth or soft, if I don’t moisturize around my nose it can get pretty dry but not with these products. In total, I think all the products came up to less than 7‚ā¨.
If you’re in France and don’t have a lot of money to spend or just like a good bargain I’d highly suggest buying these products from Lidl.

My Return to Blogging

Hello, long time no see…

Entirely my own fault, I ended up in a very deep depression and I was not being truthful to myself about how deep I was, every day I would say it’s no big deal I’m not too bad and then next I’m crying in a corner by myself. I had to take a step back and work on me, I’m happy to say that while I’m not 100 percent better, I’m in a place where I don’t feel like everything is darkness. It’s been about two years since my last post and almost three years since my move to France, I’ve been working on my French, I can understand a bit now, I can reply in my head sometimes but the words don’t seem to come out unless it’s “Bonjour/ Bonsoir/ Bonne Nuit” “Oui”, or “Je sais pas”. Pitiful I know, I’ve been doing workbooks, watching tv shows, talking to my son although he tells me I’m not supposed to speak French to him, I have also been doing some genealogy.

My paternal family is French from the French Antilles so I have been using my tiny bit of French to read the birth, marriage, and death certificates, it has been so rewarding because I learned a lot of new words and I can now identify them without having to look them up or translate them, also we watched some movies in French, my absolute favorite was Coco, I was actually able to follow along with most of the storyline and understand most of the movie, a weird thing happened whenever I hear the songs in English I automatically hear them in French in my head, I find this very fascinating. I suppose it’s because I’ve never heard the songs in anything but French so I stored it away under French vs watching movies I saw in English in French.¬†

Anywho, what other updates, my little bean will soon be five years old, I shaved my head last year, I have a very nice curly Afro now, shrinkage means that it’s long but you’ll never be able to guess that unless I twist, braid, or flat iron my hair. I’ve also been working on a story, the title is a bit TBA at the moment but I can share my¬†synopsis with you. Here is what I’ve been working on since late last year.

An Irish jeweler living in a small town buys a new journal, upon opening said journal he discovers that it’s already filled with mysterious writings. He tries to return the book to the store, but they have no records of it ever being sold by them, the jeweler decides to read the journal in the hope that there would be clues to the identity of the owner, he discovers that a young woman might be in trouble and he might possibly be her only hope.¬†During the course of his investigation, the Jeweler uncovers an¬†old family secret and begins questioning everything that he has ever held about the world around him. He¬†must now find the owner of the journal and help rescue a young woman before it is too late.¬†


Once it’s completely finished I’ll be sure to link it here for your reading pleasure, that is if you are interested in reading it…

Our New Home

I have so much to update on this blog, so much has happened since the last time I wrote on here, Naveen made one and then two, I started a blog for his first birthday and got completely side tracked, I honestly don’t know what happened. Anyway here is the piece of blog from his first birthday.

” The day is finally here, I was up at 3:00 am writing this, the same time my water ruptured, it’s so strange the difference in the days. One was to bring a life into the world the other is insomnia while celebrating the life that was brought into the world. My mind has been zooming for five days it seems, always worrying, thinking, wondering, hoping, not about the birthday gifts since I got those weeks ago, more about the cupcakes and if they will be good and how I’ll make it through this day.

My baby is 1 years old, my itty bitty baby that I was still in shock about the fact that I was having one. Mama is just sitting here in the dark watching all the pictures of her little boska wondering where the time went, remembering how tiny you were, how precious your face was, it’s still precious but now I know that you are a little imp who only looks for Mama when something goes wrong.”

Seems like….I was going to say “a year ago that I wrote that” and it was a year ago, epic fail huh!

Anyway, this update is to say that we are finally in France with Papa and have been here almost three months, can you believe that? Last time I wrote in here I was stressing and wondering if we would ever make it to France and now we’ve been here for almost three months. The journey here was not easy, it was not easy at all. It included plans gone awry, worry about being able to pay for tickets, people backing out of taking the journey with us, a trip to Canada and Florida in the US, it was wild and I’ll probably go into it at a later date.

For now I just want to say we are here and enjoying it so far!