Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Update

Andy finally got his Christmas present from me hung at work.  He put a thin piece of wood through the casing with pre-drilled nail holes so he could hang it without harming the wool fabric.  I think it looks great and anything OU makes him SMILE.  I should take a picture of his entire office - all OU, all crimson/cream with touches of black.

He sent me the photo in a text, so it is what it is.  lol

I haven't mentioned that I'm trying to teach myself how to crochet.  I think my mom taught me some as a child, but I've wanted to take it back up.  Another good distraction technique for the pain.  Only problem I'm having?  Counting.  This un-medicated ADHD situation isn't working.  When I need to do 1 stitch, then 2 stitches, then 1 stitch, the 2 stitches..........well.....forget that.  lol  I saw a counter thingy at the store - do I need to get that?  Any tips?

Today is day 6 of my self-taught plan.  Thank goodness for videos on You Tube!    Here is what I just made - see my errors to the right hand side (among who knows how many others)?  I'm still pretty proud of myself, though!  

I picked purple yarn........shocker!

Fun way to pass the time.  I'm sure my family and friends are we know what we're getting for gifts!  lol


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quickest Hamburger Casserole Ever

More family cookin', as requested!   Because of a lifetime of family allergies, we prefer simple dishes with few ingredients.  Here ya go!

Hamburger Pork'nBean Casserole

1 lb. hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion (omitted due to onion allergy)
1 lg can Pork n' Beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbs. Mustard
1 cup Ketchup

Brown hamburger and onion.   Drain.  

Add remaining ingredients.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour. 

I might be linking up to THESE parties.  


Friday, January 28, 2011

Keeping It Real

One of those weeks where I’m reciting the Serenity Prayer over and over and over…..

Grant me the SERENITY
To accept the things
I cannot change
To change the things I can
And the WISDOM to know the difference

Credit - Charlie Murdach
It can be a steady, sometimes deep burning, aching, cutting, tearing sensation CPS (Central Pain Syndrome) may be mixed with sudden, excruciating shots of pain. It is often mixed with other distracting sensations like cold, tingling, a "pins and needles" effect, a ballooning sensation, throbbing, and the feeling of a dental probe on a raw nerve.

Intense skin reactions can accompany these symptoms, such as burning, stretching, tightness, itching, or a crawling feeling that can be irritated by any light touch, sometimes just the feel of cloth on skin, which can making dressing an ordeal. Sometimes the touch of a loved one, or family member, in fun, or love, may often be a way to overwhelm the brain with the pain from CPS.
This unwelcome guest joined a party already in progress.  

Attendees include:

Massive nerve pain flare hips to toes, busting through the spinal cord stimulator like it isn’t even there.

Mid-back (thoracic) spasms, arthritic in nature, likely triggered by rain.

Low back muscle burning, deep deep pain, pain in joints.

And now this.  Central PainAgain.   I had this once before and when I survived it then, prayed it was a fluke occurrence.  Guess not.

How people live with this every day defies my understanding.  Folks say that about my regular pain, but I had gotten to a mental place where I could just survive.  Not sure about this.

Reclined, frozen as any movement feels like a blow torch on my skin…….my smile is faint, my mood less than stellar, my patience thin……….but the blessing of an amazing husband whose heart breaks when he sees me like this.   Don’t know how I’d do it without him.

Love him.  So much.  Love how he tenderly pulled me out of bed on the mid-back spasm entrance.  Love how he stroked my hair as I buried my face in his chest, only having made it to sitting position, yet to stand and endure the full force of the spasms.  Love how he tenderly hugs me, keeping his hands above my bra strap, being careful not to even brush his fingers across my lower back ribs to hips. 
If I didn’t smile, I shudder to think what state I might be in.  Smiling ministry can also be for yourself.  Never knew that until now. 


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Radiant Happiness

Radiant Happiness - a voluntary quality such as when you decide to smile.  It is cheerfulness, laughter, singing, joyfulness, bright eyes, sparkle, vivacity, enthusiasm, optimism, a sunny disposition, a sense of humor, smiles.....and the power to lift the spirits of others.

The difference between Radiant Happiness and Inner Happiness is that Inner Happiness must be earned through character.

I LOVE seeing smiling babies.  It makes me sad to see small children who never smile.  Even they shyest of children very often smile.  Those who don't, well, it is just sad.  Smiling is a gift we take to adulthood.  Smiling can be a ministry, I truly believe that.  



I love walking through malls and purposefully smiling at others.  If you ever want to lift your spirits, smile at others and life theirs. It is incredible what you get back.  You can tell some people haven't smiled in months and they will smile back to you.  Warms your heart.  When your cheeks are sore at night, you've done your job!


Ryan and Holt

The other day at Sam's Club, there was a sweet older lady checking receipts as folks left the store.  Hubs and I were over in the customer service area with a return and we were smiling and affectionate.  Hubs leaned over the kiss me and I saw that sweet lady just start smiling so big.  As we left the store quite a while later, I told her I loved her smile - a beautiful, loving smile.  She was touched. 

By Ella Wheeler Wilcox:

It is easy enough to be pleasant
When life flows by like a song.
But the one worthwhile is the one who can smile
When everything goes dead wrong.
For the test of the heart is trouble
And it always comes with the years.
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth
Is the smile that smiles through tears.

Do you have Radiant Happiness?  Do you bless your family with the traits of Radiant Happiness (above)?  

I used to do this easily and lately, it's been more difficult.  So much weighing me down.  I have to give it to God and go back to gifting others with Radiant Happiness.  I can attest - it is incredible.

Of course, there are times when smiling is not appropriate.  There are times we should be sensitive to the situation or we look like we lack sympathy.  In my case, many people/friends have seemed somber around me, with all my health issues....constant pain......they seem utterly shocked when I'm smiling and laughing any way, smiling through it.  All we can do is get through it, right?  (In fact, one of my favorite places to practice "smile ministry" is the hospital - those nurses are so worn down with all the sickness and illness, rare to find a patient able to smile and show them appreciation for all their hard work.)  No sense in dwelling on what won't change......have to make the best of it. I don't know why or how this comes naturally to me, although I can say - after a lifetime of smiling, I just couldn't be that girl who was sad all the time.  I didn't want to draw more questions, or more pity.  It is what it is and my nerve pain came into my life for a reason.  As I life and learn those reasons, I might as well smile.  Sure beats crying!

How about you?  Do you have any stories where smiling and Radiant Happiness impacted someone else?

"There is in this world no function more important than that of being charming - to shed joy around, to cast light upon dark days, to be the golden thread of our destiny, and the very spirit of grace and harmony.  Is not this to render a service?"  (Unknown)


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fabric Find Idea - Stein Mart

Do you shop at Stein Mart?  We've never lived near one until now.   A few months ago, I discovered all the wonderful finds in this store (from the clothing, jewelry, shoes, and home decor) and when I ran across the sheet section, I stopped in my tracks!

You know how geometric shapes are all the rage, along with animal print?  I was able to find these sheet sets - you can get a King sheet set, which includes a fitted sheet, flat sheet and 2 king size pillow cases for $29.99!!   Think about how much fabric that is!!

What do you think?

 It seems everyone is redoing their home in soft blue of some sort, and look how these sheets coordinate!

I purchased the cream and brown zebra print sheet set in the middle and LOVE it!  Haven't decided what all I'm going to do with it, but I know I will be making an ironing board cover, perhaps some pillows, adding some panels to my curtains......there is PLENTY of fabric in just one sheet set to do a number of projects.  It sure matches our new living room really well.

Maximize your money and check out your local Stein Mart sheet section!  The material is also very soft and would be excellent regular sheets for your bed.  lol  If you do check this out, be sure to sign up for the Stein Mart customer appreciation card, because you can go online and get special coupons to save even more money.

Added:  For those who love this rug, a similar one is on sale RIGHT NOW at Hautelook until this Friday for 63% off!!  Here is a link - Hautelook is another boutique sale where it is free to join.  You get an email a day showing what is for sale that day.  Sales usually last 3 days or so - this "Love my Rugs" sale goes through Friday (started yesterday):

I can't get a photo since they only sell their rugs on Hautelook, but it looks JUST like my rug, very high quality.  5X8 is $185!   They also have amazing rugs of all colors ans styles.

My personal rug is by Dalyn Rug Company - Safari.  This link has the rug - click the photo to see the rug enlarged to see the texture detail.  I was able to get this for $100 off these prices at a local store.  If you live near North MS, let me know and I'll direct you to the store.  They don't sell online, unfortunately.


Friday, January 21, 2011

How to Re-Frame

Huh?  Do what??  Re-frame.  Let me share something with you.

As women, we dwell.  I think it is in-born.  Dwell, dwell, dwell.  And not always positively.  

But guess what?

What we Focus on, EXPANDS.

Think about that for a minute.  It's true, isn't it?  

So we must CHOOSE what we focus on.  Well, that is easy to say, hard to do.  Especially on bad days, when everytyhing has gone wrong.  Or when we are moody, have had little sleep.  Why must WE change our thinking?

Because, we owe it to ourselves to do so.  Do you know who dwelling hurts?  US.  Not the person we are upset with.  No one else.  Just us.  Same with forgiveness - it is also for US, not the other person.  We must because we become LESS - less efficient, less happy, less functional - when we lock in on dwelling.  

Guess what? 

We do better when we KNOW better. 

How true is that?

So, how do we change what to focus on? Well, let me introduce you to the concept of 

Imagine a puzzle in your life with missing pieces.  All of a sudden, some new puzzle pieces come flying towards you through the air.....and then SLAM, those puzzle pieces fall in to place.  Now, you have a different perspective.  Right?  You needed that info years ago, but at least it came now.  Or sometimes we have to create a new puzzle piece, to move on.  To be able to move forward.

Sometimes we stumble on new information.  Sometimes, we gain new perspective with maturity and wisdom.  By watching other people.  But as women, we have things that hurt us - we have emotional pains........and if something happened in our childhood that then gets triggered in adulthood.........look out.  We don't even see that coming.  We are such good actresses, aren't we?  

Looking back, I can take an old memory, replace it with new information OR a new choice.  I can choose to believe whatever was done was not on purpose, for example.   And by doing so the emotional pain lessens.  The emotional pain, the hurt - eventually fades away. 

How I handle my nerve pain is very similar to how we can handle our emotional pain.

I choose what I dwell on.

I let go of my old dreams to embrace my new possibilities.

Distraction is my greatest weapon.

Do you have something you are holding on to?  Can you think of a way to re-frame it to be at peace? 


Thursday, January 20, 2011

DermaNew MicroDermabrasion 1/2 price at Ideeli!

Last year, when I started really taking care of my skin, I watched a skin care video by a makeup artist and she showed how using the DermaNew MicroDermabrasion Skin Rejuvenation System really improved her skin.  I went to the DermaNew website and said, "Oh NO' to those prices.  lol   Tried to put it out of my mind, but was shocked one day when a local store had one box, half price.  I was shocked and grabbed it right up.


I've used this religiously since.  At least 3 times a week.  Folks, as we age, exfoliation is key but we want a gentle method.  When I saw that Ideeli was carrying DermaNew for half price several months ago, I stocked up on the little foam pads, the cleanser, etc.  No full price paying for this frugal gal!  I got the one that also had the body foam pads and body cleanser.  They also have products for acne issues as well.  I swear by this!!

What is great about it is that the wand turns off automatically at 2 minutes  - so you never over-do the exfoliation.  I love that it has a low setting AND a high setting, plus different attachments - foam, scrub brush, even a callous softening attachment for my heels!  It has a cute little stand that the wand stands in when not in use. 


So I wanted to share with you this deal at Ideeli today - Here is my link (my referral link, thank you very much!).  The main kit I got?  Is $35!!!   Check it out - Ideeli is another daily boutique sales - you never know what they will have, but the prices will amaze you.  Clothes, jewelry, makeup, rugs, house decor.......all kinds of things!!   Signing up is FREE..........and you get daily emails where you can browse and see if anything interests you.

And to be honest - another way I use these sites is to educate myself on pricing, getting decor and fashion ideas, etc.  I keep notes in the "note" app on my iPhone - prices, stores, etc.  This way, if I'm out and about, I can tell if I am looking at a good deal or not.   Just ask hubby.  ;)


Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bra Sizing Adventure

"They" say 80% of women are wearing the wrong bra size.  I believe it.  I know for me, I've changed dramatically in size from pre-kids to after kids.  Thought I was adopted there for a while (right Mom!  lol)  but I finally bloomed.  And took pictures to prove it!  Ha!

And what about gals whose "girls" are all nice and tidy front and center and then others of "us" need, well............more support............have spillage................need................more ..........cup capacity?   (Hey!  I found that term on HerRoom!)

I had heard about such a bra - the Le Mystere "Dream Tisha" bra and when I saw it on Rue La La, I was intrigued.  I DO NOT pay $69 for bras, so until the deal at Rue La La, there was NO chance I'd ever try that bra.

 The above picture is the Le Mystere Dream Tisha Full Busted 9955 (sizing from 32C to 44H)

It also comes in Le Mystere Dream Tisha 955 (sizing  from 30 - 38DD).

Can't decide?  Here is a comparison of the bras:  Comparison

However, having never tried this bra on, I had to do some research to decide what to order.  First time around, I read up on the fancy sites that give detailed per brand instructions, and learned that for this bra to do the amazing job it can, the band must be SUPER TIGHT, that you can barely fit a finger through.  I measured myself per the Le Mystere instructions -  I then ordered a band size smaller than normal and my usual cup size.  That bra came and fit great, the "girls" looked great, BUT the band was a little loose.

The sale came up again (Rue La La is an online boutique that offers daily private sales that last just a little while - you can email per day to see what is on sale each day.  Sign up is free - these are my referral link, thank you very much!) and thought I'd order a smaller size.

So, here is where the "we all wear the wrong size" misinformation comes in.

Did you know......

 If you must go DOWN in band size
You must go UP in cup size?

Example:  Let's say you try on your "normal" 38C in a bra.  The band is loose around your back but the cup size is ok.  So, you need to go down to a 36C, right?  WRONG.  You need to go to a 36D!!  

38C = 36D

Additionally, the band should go horizontal around your back.  If you look sideways in the mirror and the band is riding up in the back, it is the wrong size - go a band size smaller.

For firm support on fuller figures, the band is the MAIN player - and must be firm and tight.....makes all the difference.  You will get used to it quickly because the "girls" will be SO comfy, not moving, just snug as a bug in a rug!

I had previously ordered a "D" cup.  It fits good, but not as specified.  I need the band size tighter but the cup size was fine, so I knew to order down a band size.  But according to the sizing info, I must then order an "E" cup size?  YIKES!

I went online to HerRoom and had an online chat with a customer service representative (having ordered from them before but not using their chat service) and double checked....YES, I must order an "E" - he told me the cup size would be slightly smaller than the "D" I own now.  Huh.  Interesting.

This is why we are all wearing the wrong size bra.  I would NEVER have ordered an "E" or even a "DD" which is what an "E" is in other brands.  I was wearing a "C" several years ago with a much larger band size....and not comfortable.  Wrong wrong wrong. 

Anyhoo.....that bra came yesterday and it fits AMAZING.  Ladies, have you ever walked in the room and your husband's head whipped around and his eyes popped out?  Well......try this bra and see if you don't get that reaction!!

I wanted to mention regarding Rue La La - they have an amazing return program if the item CAN be returned (these bras cannot unless defective).  However, you can order rest assured that if you are unhappy, they bend over backwards to help you.  I've been very pleased.  You just cannot beat their prices.  

So, how many of you knew to go up a cup size if you went down a band size?  (Not in the case of weight loss, but if trying on different brands and needed to get a tighter band).


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Another Paint Color Party!

One of my favorite topics is paint color and the effect on mood!  Where I would guess most people worry about matching furniture, making the general public happy when painting, I consider the effect of color on the mood of those in our house.  (You’ve heard about the prison who painted all the walls pink?)
So, that said, through the years in our 6 states and 14 hours, we’ve had opportunity to live with and paint different colors here and there.   The new trend of light blues/grays are beautiful but not sure if our style.  We are currently renting, so no painting for a while.  Therefore, I share my favorite colors from the past.
Pittsburgh Paint Carob Chip
When deciding on a purple shade, I’m sure a groan emits……not wanting it to look like a  funhouse, but a rich, eggplant color.  I found this at the bottom of a “brownish” paint chip – Carob Chip.
Entry office
This was my office and had been painted 3 times in one year.  It was navy blue when we moved in:
Blue office
I hated this.  Could not function.  Turned my brain “off”.  lol  So then I tried to play nice and paint it taupe:
Beige office 1
After painting it taupe, I was literally sad.  Terribly sad and didn’t know why.  It was then that I realized COLOR has a huge impact.  I spent a lot of time thinking about what color would I love to paint, whether it was practical or not.  Since this was also technically a formal dining room, I knew I could be bold.  I chose Carob Chip, crossed my fingers and voila’!  It was amazing. 

Pittsburgh Paint Raspberry Truffle
Another color we stumbled on was seen in a home on the real estate tour one day (I am a licensed real estate agent, inactive due to disability.)  I was super lucky when my husband fell in love with it and asked to paint it in our bedroom.  I would venture to say this surprises his side of the family – that he would venture away from the safe colors  - but he is VERY affected by color and I’ve learned that making him happy color-wise goes a long way to marital bliss.  :)   Please IGNORE carpet color – house came with this and we saved our pennies until we could replace it.  We treated it as a neutral.  ;)
Master bedroom color b
Master bedroom color

May 2007 photos 030
Same color – different house – different lighting.  We hadn’t finished the trim yet.  It never felt “peach-based” which I think it looks like in this photo.  I had to push for the neutral bedding.  Our bedding currently, at once again my husband’s request, is a bright RED.  Yes, of course, red is known to be a calming color.  Ha!  Not!  But he likes it and if he’s happy, we’re all happy. 

I’m joining the Paint Party over here:


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Do You Know Your Apology Language?

Apology Language?  HUH??  I did not know there was such a thing!  Someone posted about it on another site and I was intrigued.  Sure enough, it is related to "The 5 Love Languages".  

Did you know there are 5 "types" of apologies?  And if we have a preferred style, then we can have difficulties accepting and giving apologies with our spouse if their style differs?  I had no idea!!

I took the 20 question test and found out I score 50/50 on 

Accepting Responsibility 


Expressing Regret.

I had ZERO on the other 3 choices!  I wonder now if my husband's apologies might come in those forms and based on what I learned reading the questions and choices, I had many "A HA" moments.  Other choices were 

Making Restitution
Genuinely Repenting
Requesting Apology

And something that was really freaky - one of the questions was an EXACT problem I have in my life, right this second, and it made me stop and consider, just how would I like it to be resolved (from the other person). 

I really encourage you to take this test and just see.  Maybe you will be surprised as I was!

Let me know what your "types" were!  I have a feeling that wives and moms of aspies (Asperger's) are high on the "Accepting Responsibility" choice.  This IS our life.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Finally Have a Blog Button

Yeah, I know......took my time and still playing around with it  :), but I think I am happy with this one for now.  Please let me know if you have problems.  I set it up so it will open a new window and keep your blog window open.

Put your cursor over the text in the box below the button, right click and "Select All".  Then "Copy".   (It is also on the right side of my blog.)
Go to your blog, click on "Add a Gadget", "HTML/Javascript", and then paste the code in the box.  Save and it should show up on your blog. 

Cheri Quite Contrary

To make mine, I uploaded a picture to, a wonderful free photo editing site (although I did upgrade to use some extra editing options).  I then uploaded my final product to and then followed THESE instructions on creating a code.

I would love it if you would add it to your blog roll!  Let me know and I'll return the favor!


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Nominated for Best In Show Again!

Vote Here

Yippee!!  Little did I know when I shared my Creamy Cheeseburger Soup, that it would be such a hit!  I've had so many emails, comments, and Facebook comments on the absolutely yumminess of this soup.   If you haven't tried it yet, you really must!!

Over at LambAround, I've been nominated once again for Best In Show.  Please go vote for my Creamy Cheeseburger Soup and see all the other wonderful recipes!  Vote HERE!

Here is my post on this delicious soup - check it out for the simple as can be recipe!



Saturday, January 1, 2011

Top Posts of 2010

Thought I'd review the top/favorite posts from 2010.  I have so many new followers (Yay!! Love you all!) and love seeing other "review" posts. 

1.  The most favorite post was my DIY Window Treatment when we redid our living room in our rental.

4.  Closet and Makeup Organization.  I've not been shy about my love of makeup and loving my makeup station.  (I can't bend, lift or twist, so having this all at the right height helps tremendously!!)

And finally....

6.  Creamy Cheeseburger Soup

My sincere thanks for all my new followers and visitors and your amazing comments.  Love making new friends!

Have a Happy New Year!

Southern Hospitality