Friday, February 26, 2010

Stop the Presses!

I'm sure we all know how damaging and honestly dangerous "traditional" antiperspirants and deodorants are.  Anything with Aluminum is a problem.  However, it is the aluminum that keeps us "dry".  As a true Southern. "fru fru" girl, I hate to perspire - I hate the wet feeling.  In fact, it can ruin my entire day.

Therefore, I've always used antiperspirant and on top of that, I used spray deodorant as well to "cool" me off.  If I was feeling sticky, hot, whatever.  Just more aluminum!

While the aluminum DOES keep the wetness under control and keeps the outside of our body smelling nice, it also locks in harmful toxins by not allowing our pores to breathe.  These toxins then accumulate in our lymph glands in our breast area.  

Some purport that aluminum puts us at risk for Alzheimer's Disease and breast cancer, to name just two.  Therefore, on and off for years, I have tried to find a healthy, "natural" deodorant to use.  Each time it failed - not only was I "wetter" than I could handle, but the odor was not controlled.

Keeping Abreast of It Deodorant Spray

When I read about Simply Divine Botanicals  Keeping Abreast Of It natural deodorant spray, I was skeptical.  But as I read testimonial after testimonial, I really thought I should try this.  After all, my mother had breast cancer at age 38, pre-menopausal, so breast health should be one of my top priorities.

I am here to tell you this stuff ROCKS!  I am on my 3rd day, and not only do I smell nice (a slight herbal scent), but I have NO wetness!!  Even when I was doing something I normally get sweaty doing, I had nothing. I am seriously shocked.  I did not think it was possible.   Even hubby is shocked for me.  He's watched me try and try other things, like the deodorant crystals, Tom's of Maine, etc.

This company states the following about this product:

HEALTH BENEFITS: We have used the Essential oils from our very popular and effective Keeping Abreast Of It! cream and added them to our deodorant.These Essential oils are specific to the lymphatic system.The lymphatic system which flows through out the body groups under the arm, breast, groin area and neck. Chemicals found in most deodorants (Methly parabens) are being found in breast tumors in their ester form which indicates the chemical is entering the body through the skin and not by oral ingestion. Our deodorant actually stimulates lymphatic flow.

Black Velvet Fabulous Foaming Facial Cleanser

Along with my order came some samples of their other products and I HAVE to shout from the rooftops about the Simply Divine Botanicals Black Velvet  Fabulous Foaming Facial Cleanser.  Folks, this products really made me wonder, as it looks like prune juice!  But let me tell you, with enthusiasm, that you have NEVER had skin feel like this after a product.  NEVER!  Velvet is the perfect word to describe what your face feels like after using very little of this cleanser.  While the price is surprising, not much product is required per use and I suspect it would last a long while.  Not only that, but after using this Black Velvet cleanser, I then used my Dead Sea Salt Facial Peel and could not believe the amount of skin that came off.  My skin is gloriously smooth!

I will be ordering this!  I am so thrilled they sent a sample, as I would not have done so otherwise.  I am seriously also considering ordering their Sample set, so I can try the various products without spending the full amount.

I also have samples of the following:

Pack Your Bags They're Leaving! Instant Gratification Eye Gel

I don't have bags under my eyes, but am trying this in case it helps with the dark circles.  Testimonials claim bags entirely disappear in 3 days! 

Honey I shrunk the Pores! Biologically Active Skin Polish/Mask with Fruit Enzymes

This product is interesting - a fruity smell, it made my skin feel awesome after use.

Amazing Face Normal/Combination

Not sure about this - the smell really bothers me personally.  Very strong lemon smell.  It did make my skin feel great, but not sure what to do about the lemony fragrance.

If you decide to try some samples from this company, PLEASE make sure you try this Black Velvet Facial Cleanser.  You will fall in love! 

I'm also very interested in trying You're My Everything from this company.

And better yet?  Hubby came home this morning from a week long business trip and can't stop commenting on how great I smell.  Don't you love it when your husband walks in and just stops and stares at you with a huge smile?

Have a great day - I know I will now that my love is home!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

Can you say "Literal"?

Been a sad few weeks around here with hubby gone (and many more to go....although he will be here next week, unplanned!) and the boys have been great about helping around the house, keeping me company occasionally (SHOCK!), etc. 

Of the two, however, Ryan is my shopper, the one who will almost always go to town with me if needed.  Tonight we ran out for some dinner at a deli - we've been good for the last 2 weeks - first time eating out! (Of course, Holt wanted his "to go".)  

A baseball team was helping out at this restaurant and I asked Ryan if he remembered the time his baseball travel team worked at a restaurant one Saturday for team money.  He barely remembered it - here's the story for some giggles:

My best friend, Amy, and I had gotten a table, and brought the other kids with us.  Ryan was our waiter - He was maybe 12 or 13?  

Anyhoo....Holt orders a "Chicken sandwich, with mayonnaise on the side".  

Ryan stares at Holt.

Ryan stares at his order pad.

Amy and I look at each other like, "'eh?"
Ryan looks at me with a long stare then says, "You are going to let him order that"?

I was truly confused and said, "Yes, why?"

More stares from Ryan.

Time seemed to be passing by while we waited to find out what his problem was!

He thought Holt wanted a chicken sandwich with mayonnaise smeared all over the sides of it.  (Not realizing he meant in a container on the side of the plate).

Yes I said......chicken with mayonnaise smeared all up and down the sides of it, as in .... how would he hold it?

I SWEAR!!!!  I am not making this up!!

Ryan is my LITERAL child.  Has been since the day he was born.  As he's gotten older (21 in 2 weeks - WHERE HAS THE TIME GONE?), he's been better.  But I kid you not, when he was younger, you really had to watch how you worded things.

Poor kid, we really joked about that for years, but strangely tonight, he had no memory of it.  We had another chuckle out of it.

Since I want this blog to be a scrapbook of our lives, I knew I HAD to get this in here some day! 

And I'm SO excited tonight - hubby will be home in the morning!  I miss him!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Real Life House Party

Joining Danielle at Transforming Home, a online tour of our homes.  We are renting and were thrilled to find a home that already had a lot of color.  I am not a "beige" person, as you will see.  lol

I make all my own floral arrangements, and this is my favorite of all time. 

Love how the colors blend so well with the furniture we already had.

My second favorite floral arrangement.


 To see more of my lifelong love of COLOR - click HERE.

Thanks for visiting!  Have a glorious day!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Armour Desiccated Thyroid Shortage - Update

Took my husband's prescription to a new to us pharmacy, The Medicine Shoppe near us, as they could compound his Armour Thyroid.  When I took the prescription to them, they reported that out of nowhere this morning, they received in some Armour Desiccated Thyroid in his dosage.  So he will get his filled the normal way.

Just an FYI to those who are hearing from others that Armour Desiccated Thyroid has been discontinued.  It has not, and the website supports this as well.  Just really SLOW getting their supply back up.  Here is the statement from the website, indicating they are focusing on filling the 1 grain (60 mg) and 1/2 grain (30mg) dosages, as these account for 70% of all Armour thyroid prescriptions, used alone or together in some combination.  From Forest Pharmaceuticals:

I take 3/4 grain, so will have to continue to get mine compounded until they produce the 1/4 grain  (which could be combined with the 30 grain) or 3/4 grain again.  With the new formulation, splitting the pills causes too much disintegration and powder.

I wish I knew the whole darn story, but oh well.......

In other news, if you take a synthetic thyroid product and still feel like crud, I recommend you look into the natural (but prescription) thyroid products.  Both my husband and I feel like utter crud when we take Synthroid or Levothroid.  We always go back to Armour Desiccated Thyroid, period.   Feeling "alive" again is how we would describe the difference between the products.  

For more info, I recommend reading:

Have a glorious day!


Monday, February 15, 2010

So What Happened To Me? Part 1

I am a young, vibrant 43 year old gal, and when folks see me in real life, and realize I am disabled, they notice my body problems and my personality and zest for life do not match.  Why do I have a SCS - Spinal Cord Stimulator?  Why are my legs numb from hips to toes on the outsides? (Laterally)  Why do I fall over so easy?  Why do I walk ever so carefully with my husband never far away, always watching me to "catch me" if I start falling.   

This was a picture of me taken just before "The Pain" started.  My eyes look different in all photos after this point, because I just could not hide the pain, as hard as I tried.  The sparkle was gone.

So what happened?  Short answer?  I wish I knew.  Long answer?  We can only have a best guess, as whatever it was was not obvious, did not hurt at the time.

I can tell you what doctors suspect.  When I was 17, I did a back flip off of a high dive, landed rear-end first and broke my tailbone.  The pain was so bad, I did not come up from under water.  My boyfriend at the time dove in and pulled me out of the water.  I was at the bottom of the lake (it was a lake recreation area) in a fetal position, holding my breath and wanting to die.  That was NOT fun.   Docs suspect this was the first time I herniated my lumbar disc, but it was minor.  (And yes, this scaredy cat USED to be brave and do such things as back flips off high dives into lakes!  ACK!)

In 2001, I went to a yoga class for the first time and felt fine afterward.   The next morning, I was unable to get out of bed due to terrible back pain.  Doctor visit diagnosis - pushed myself too hard at yoga class (shocker!) and must take it easy until I feel better.  This was when I probably really herniated that disc good, but after rest, I did feel much better.

So in 2005, when I was an active real estate agent and new agent trainer, I got accredited in staging homes.  Like you see on HGTV, I would go to client's home and declutter and rearrange their furnishing to maximize space and attract the buyer. 


I had SO much fun!  Really felt this was my calling.  Many times after I staged a client's home, they would decide not to sell, now that they could see how much space they really had!  lol  That kind of backfired on me, but I was happy for them.  I also hired out for other agents and would stage their client's homes as well.  Because I had gotten an advanced accreditation, I could legally accept payment.  (For my listings, I provided staging and staging advice as part of my marketing package.)  I also kept a small inventory of decorative items for staging purposes, such as vacant homes and such.  And one of my listing perks - I had storage units I would make available for clients to declutter their homes and store their things.  I was SERIOUS about decluttering the homes and allowing buyers to see the homes true potential.  No more excuses!

Now folks, I'm the only girl at my house, as you can see.  So if my furniture needs moving, I can assure you I'm not the one who does it!  Never!  Why, that's why God gave me 3 guys, right?    But what was I doing moving furniture at other folks houses?  Sounds pretty silly, eh?

I thought I was being careful - I used the proper tools, never fully picking anything up, always using my thighs, etc. For example, when moving large things such as large dressers or television cabinets, you must use these neat things:

Photos Courtesy of

This is why we are not sure that I did something staging homes, but it was after I started doing this as a career that "The Pain" started a few months later.

I had gotten a dream job (along with the other 2) - I was hired to train the new agents at our large real estate company (about 300+ agents).  Now, I was a hyper girl, rarely standing or sitting in any one position for any time.  If I wasn't in bed asleep, I was zipping here and there, so it was quite a change to be stuck in a room, standing up teaching for a full day.   As I remember it, the very first day I started this, a severe (and when I say severe, I mean "knock me to my knees")  pain hit the middle of my buttock.  It was searing pain, took my breath away.  I had always had a huge pain tolerance, and in fact was very proud of that.  So to be feeling so much pain and not be able to ignore it really concerned me.  But I had a job to do, so I tried to put it out of my mind.

The students noticed - how could they not.  This happy, comedic gal teaching real estate details would suddenly stop talking and catch her breath.  Literally freeze in front of them.  And then I would try to act like nothing happened, but I wasn't pulling it off as well as I thought I was.

On the 3rd day of the first 3-day session, I was sitting down getting my laptop presentation ready, and when I stood up and smiled to the room to begin, I took a step to the right and literally fell to the ground.  My leg "quit".  I was in shock, horribly embarrassed and tried to stand right back up and pretend it didn't happen.  Except I had to struggle to stand up.  My leg wasn't working.  Some students started to stand up to come help me, but as they did, I managed to get up with a HUGE smile on the face, laughing and acting like I had tripped.  But everyone knew I had not.  

For the rest of that session, the pain was bordering unbearable.  And this had just started a few days ago.  What was it??  

As time went on and I resumed the training sessions, always 3 days at a time a few weeks apart, I would refer to this pain as my "RBP - Random Butt Pain".  LMBO  I was in FULL denial mode.  It had gone from just hurting during my training days to hurting every day, all day.  Standing hurt, walking hurt and sitting was the worst.  Only laying flat on my back made any difference.  My husband was concerned, begging me to go get it checked out with the doctor.  But doing that would make it real, right?  I was going to my trusted personal friend chiropractor, and after she would adjust me, I felt fabulous for the rest of that day.  Or until I bent over.  Or until I rode for a while in the car (and as you know, real estate agents live in their cars!)  I trusted that if something were really wrong, this friend would tell me to go get a medical opinion.  

She honestly thought it was what is known as "Piriformis Syndrome".  The piriformis muscle runs horizontally under our gluteal muscle in our buttock.  Here is some information:  Piriformis Syndrome  

Often when we would go walking, I would just dig my fingers into that spot on my buttock, pushing in as DEEP as I could, because doing that seemed to relieve the pain a bit.  One day at the mall, my sweet husband quietly begged, "Honey, could you please not walk around with your fingers pushed deeply into your butt cheek?  It looks really weird."  I had to laugh but was also concerned - I had NO idea I was doing that in public.  Pushing in as hard as I could was the ONLY way I could get a break from this searing, burning pain. 

So, I spent 4 months suffering with this, in full denial as I was busy - I had homes to sell, agents to teach and homes to stage!  I had no time for a medical problem.  If I just made sure I had only positive thoughts, this pain would go away as fast as it came into my life.  

I wish.

To be continued.......


From Placemats to Pillows!

Are you looking for a quick, easy but impressive gift to give others?  How about adding some pizazz to one of your rooms for under $10? 

This is the quickest way to add a pop of color to any room!  Expertise at sewing - not required!  The next time you are out and about and see some placemats that really catch your eye, check them to see if they have a front and a back - 2 pieces of fabric.  If so, you are set!  Check out what I was able to do:


Placemat  - $5.99
Seam Ripper
Needle and matching thread
Fiber Fill - Entire bag, $2.50 (but only a small bit is required per pillow)

Use the seam ripper to open up a small section in the placemat.

The trick to using Fiber Fill is to use SMALL little pieces.  If you use larger ones, it will be harder to smooth out the pillow when you are done.  You can use a lot or a little - you can determine how firm or soft you would prefer this pillow.   Make sure to distribute the fiber fill into the corners of the pillow or it will look strange when finished.  I accomplish this by scrunching up the placemat somewhat, and using a pencil to push the fill into the corners.  Be careful not to accidentally enlarge your opening - you really don't need a large opening.

Once you have all the fill in the pillow, use some pins to hold the edges together to get a nice edge when you sew the opening closed.  Use matching thread so that it blends and cannot be seen.......and sew the edges closed following the original seam lines.  With this placemat, I needed to sew 2 seams, but it is hard to see in the photos. 

Here is the finished pillow!  Our couch is a gorgeous red color, and our other chairs are brown.  I wanted to get a brown pillow, but with a pop of color.  When I saw this placemat, I thought it was perfect!

And look what I found at Marshall's during the holidays.  These look like regular "cheater" glasses, but........

They have lights you can turn on!!  These are perfect to help you see in lower light conditions and allow me to read at night in bed without waking my sweety.  I read every night or I cannot fall asleep.  This makes us both happy!

I've been looking for another pair ever since with no luck.  I'm hoping to snag at least one other pair so I don't have to keep carrying these from room to room.  Only hitch is - I want to pay Marshall's pricing (or I would just buy them online)!  lol

I'm linking to:

The Girl Creative



Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special




Keeping It Simple

Thanks SO MUCH for visiting!


Friday, February 12, 2010

There's Love in the Air at Our House

As all our extended family can attest, girls have not been well-received by our Pekingese, Sweety.  Quite a stressful time, as many past visitors could share.  Between barking like a mad dog to almost acting hostile, Sweety has just NOT been happy to have any girls over (outside of just a few female relatives that she sees regularly).

So, as I mentioned before, it has been literally a shock to see how Sweety is taking to Megan.  Today was the most interesting yet - as Megan entered, Sweety did not even bark once!  Just was happy to see her.  Ryan is frankly speechless, but thrilled.

I've always believed dogs can really sense what a person is like, and perhaps those other girls were just not "right" for the boys, who knows?  Sweety thinks it should be her opinion that matters.  lol

Here are some photos to show you just how enthralled Sweety is with dear Megan.  You'd have to see it to believe it.



Megan was here for over an hour and Sweety stayed like this pretty much the entire time.  Wherever Megan went, Sweety went.  Incredible!

And a new photo of the handsome couple:

Have a glorious day!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Decorative Dogs

Did you know that stores like Marshall's and TJ Maxx get up to 3 trucks of merchandise a week?  You never know what items those stores will have, and it is so fun to shop.  Back when I was in real estate and staging homes (I kept an inventory for my staging needs), I would run through these stores a few times a week.  Doing that, I could easily and quickly spot the new items.  If I did purchase anything, I kept the tags on until I really really decided I was keeping it.  (If you see something, you better snag it and do the same, because if you go back later, most likely the item will be gone.  Learned that the hard way!)

A trick of mine?  Get a shopping cart and walk around.  Pick up any items you love and put it in the cart.  Continue walking around, throughly enjoying yourself.  As you enjoy those items in the basket, slowly go back around and put them back.  ONLY purchase what absolutely breaks your heart to put back on the shelf.  Warning - if your hubs walks in and sees a full cart, he might panic, but not if he knows the "plan".  Most days, I purchase nothing, but have SO much fun just "shopping".   Sound crazy?  Try it some time.  Works great for budgets.  lol

Aren't these cute?  I know they aren't anywhere close to being Staffordshire Dogs, but these have much cuter eyes, don't you think?  lol  Here's a photo of the collectible figurines:

I was digging through my purse during the holidays and found some hidden money.  Love when that happens!  Truth is, I just rarely leave the house alone and my random shopping days are long gone.  So when I get money for birthdays or holidays, I just stash it.  I usually remember where I put it.  

Anyhoo....I used that cash bonus to get these cuties at Marshalls, one of my favorite stores.  (Along with TJ Maxx, of course!)

Told my mom weeks ago I'd get a picture up and just remembered!  Haven't found the perfect spot for them yet, so for now they are on the fireplace mantle.