Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sisterhood Sunday - Jody's Surgery

This has been a miraculous end of my week.

Last Thursday, I brought my mother in law-ish (her son and I have been dating for about 10 years) to the hospital for a full knee replacement.  All of us expected her to not make it through surgery.  Man. We. Were. Wrong!

Not only did she do fantastic, she was walking relatively pain free, 2 hours after surgery.

It is so amazing how far the medical field has come just in the past 20 years.  What would have been a terrible and traumatic surgery with months of recovery time has been condensed into a 2 hour surgery and a 3 day hospital stay.  Granted recovery still needs to happen but she was walking, not only the same day, but 2 hours after they replaced an entire joint!

I cried when I saw her not only pain free, but walking AND smiling pain free.  It has been years since she has been able to walk without limping.  And there she was, excited to walk and asking to go further!

I am so happy for her.  The past year she has been in agony.  She could barely stand from a sitting position.  I have no doubt she will be running circles around me as soon as she is okay to go back to the gym!

Jody, I love you lady.  You and your doctors and nurses have managed to perform some plainly astonishing things, and all in a mere 3 days.  I look forward to walking and chatting with you, and yes, even working out at the gym and having you totally thrash my butt.

With that, I will sign off for the night.  It has been an incredible few days and I am exhausted, physically and emotionally.  So I am going go to bed early and sleep like the dead.  Until next time, be kind to yourself, and each other.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Weight Loss Wednesday - Almond Joy Bites

I feel like I talk about Miss Laura in almost every post... well she is quite amazing!  This is something she left at my door one day for a get well pick me up when I was having a bad tummy day.  So delicious!  And no added sugar?!  I have to say, it did make the day more tasty!  I believe she found the recipe on pintrest.  You can find the original recipe here.  I am glad she did!  Full of fiber and easy to make (and no baking so my stove does not heat up the house.)  Here is what you will need.

Almond Joy Energy Bites

2 cups dates, I buy the ones that are chopped up and soak them in warm water to make them softer. The original recipe calls for Medjool dates, but if you soak your dates, they are indistinguishable. If you use the Medjool dates, just make sure you remove the pits, or that they are pit free.

2 cups almonds, I use sliced, but any kind will do.

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract, yup I spilled.

1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)

Add dates and remaining ingredients to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine, then use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides of the bowl. Blend the mixture for about 3 minutes, or until the mixture has moved past the crumbly stage and begins to clump and stick to the sides of the food processor.  If you need it to be a little more tacky add a teaspoon of water.

Use a spoon or small cookie scoop to measure out a tablespoon of dough (or your desired size) and roll it into a ball. If desired, roll the ball in a bowl of coconut flakes. Or just set it aside to eat as-is. Repeat with the remaining dough. I freeze mine and thaw out 3-9 at a time!
Store the energy bites in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Makes so many!

Oh, and these are chock full of fiber.  Unless you are constipated I would try and eat only 3.

I may not post for a couple days since my mother in law-ish is having knee replacement surgery in the morning of the 10th.  Hopefully I will be able to make a post, but if it does not happen, now you will know why.

Until next time, be gentle to yourself and each other.

Tutorial Tueday - Collaboration Jewelry, Head Chain

My True Love Vintage provided me with all of my materials today.  She is an awesome mother of two, and loves to shop for vintage items.  Most of my re purposed jewelry components have come from this amazing personal shopper/vintage maniac.  Please check out her etsy store!  If you ever need anything she could be a personal shopper or vintage picker for reasonable price.  Plus I just love this woman to pieces!!
My True Love Vintage, Laura

Today, I went to her place to help her cook for her amazing elder daughter's birthday party.  I figure she is going to hand me a bowl and a mixer, instead she handed me a bag of goodies to go through...and some a few items she wanted (I thought mistakenly) made into a head piece for her.

Shut the front door.

Heck, hand me a few things to play with and I will make you anything I can! So, I guess the me helping is making her a sparklie for her daughters party tomorrow. I am totally her girl, so I dig right in!

Here are the components she provided.

2 types of gold chain
A couple of gold focal pieces

Two Egytianesque post earrings with faux marble stones
An awesome gold hammered shoe buckle

The shoe buckle I ended up not using for this piece.

First, I worked on the post earrings.  I took my round nose pliers.

I just curled the straight pierced earring post into a, lack of a better description, attached jump ring.

I then made two sizes of jump rings out of my 20 gold wire from J Rings Glass in Saint Paul. I no longer purchase my wire anywhere else, because it is simply the best I have found and have been disappointed by the wire I have purchased online.  Now, if I want to upgrade to sterling silver for my jewelry adventure, I will have to do my research and find a reputable store.  Right now though, this is what I use.  It i probably gold plated copper or brass but when worn it does not look like the gold rubs off.

I used my step pliers for this.

I used the 2nd smallest (top left) for the smaller jump rings, and the 4th smallest (middle left) for the larger jump rings.

I then decided where I wanted the two earrings,  I wanted them to fall right onto my temple area.  So I then took a piece of the finer chain an measured straight across my forehead.  It was my preference to make it about 6 inches.  Then with two of the larger jump rings (I first used the smaller one but found that I could fit almost all of the chains into a larger one), I attached the chain to the earrings.

Next, I needed to to figure out how to anchor the piece.  Thinking of Betty Page's fringe, I decided making a triangle thats point hit just at the crown would be perfect.
Betty Page and her trademark fringe

Map of head
To measure this part I measured from one temple to the top of my crown.  5.5 inches.  Then I doubled it to make the third side of the triangle.  Brow to brow is the 6 inch piece, temple to top of crown 5.5 inches, then the last side of the triangle 5.5 inches to the other temple.
The crown triangle

I then cut a small chain that would attach the side draping chains to the tip of the triangle anchor that touches the crown of the head.  Attaching it to the crown chain by pulling the crown chain through a large jump ring, and then i took a small ring and put it through the first link in the back connector chain, then I attached the small ring to the large ring.  This helps make it more mailable and not strictly for one sized head, and lets the owner fit it to their head, and to adjust it to where it is most comfortable for them.  The length of this chain was determined by connecting the top of the crown to the top of the nape.  For my design, I chose the length to be 4.5 inches.  Then thread a large ring through the last link or the connector chain.  This is where you will attach the side drapeing chains.

The large ring moves all along the top of the Y for fine tune adjustment
Side view
Back view
Now for the sides!  The way I chose the length of the side draping chains was to attach a chain to the back connector chain at the top of the nape, adjust it at the temple ornaments and draping it until I liked the length.  I then cut the length and let it fall straight down.  I then attached another chain to the bottom of the connector chain and cut it exactly the same as the first chain, making their lengths identical.  My shortest, in the smaller chain was 9 inches, I then attached each one to their corresponding temple ornament through the large jump ring. Then I took a length of the bigger chain and did the same thing.  I cut mine at 11 inches.  Then lastly I took a length of the small wire again, I cut this at 13 inches and connected it in the same matter as for the previous two.  And now it done!

Now I liked it better this way, probably because I have fringe and thought a more decorative brow piece would be a waste, but both Laura and B liked it better with the more ornate chain.  This is how I measured that one.

Seeing as the brow chain is 6 inches and my brow ornament is 2 inches long, I just needed to do some simple math.  6÷3=2
6 inches cut into 3 parts means each piece needs to measure 2 inches.  I cut the chain into 2 inch lengths, replaced the middle chain with the ornament chain and connecting it with small jump rings.  And now the second version is done!

Hope you like this tutorial!  Have any ideas for things you wanna see made?  Email me or leave a comment below.

Until next time, be gentle to yourself and each other.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Makeup Mondays - Influenster And Aveeno VoxBox First Impression

I am so excited to say I received my first VoxBox from Influenster.  It is the #RadiantWithAVEENO VoxBox.

Before we start with my first impression, let me explain what Influenster and a VoxBoxes are.

Influenster is a community of trendsetters, social media masterminds, and educated consumers who live to give opinions of products and experiences. Influensters meet here to learn about new products from our favorite brands as well as review the products they already use in their day-to-day lives.

What is Influenster to me?  It is a place for me to give my honest opinion about products I use without anyone thinking my opinion has been bought. Influenster provides me new products to try and review for free, thus insuring two things, an honest and unbiased opinion, and new product that I have not used yet or never knew existed.  This last point is important to me because I do not leave the house much because of my agoraphobia. Influenster gives me a chance to stay informed on all the new and hot products without the anxiety and panic of going out to buy something that is either not worth the trouble, or something I would not otherwise try.  It also provides me peer reviews.  All in one place.  LOVE IT!

What is a VoxBox? It's a box filled to the brim with the hottest products from the brands you love!  A VoxBox might showcase an exciting product from one brand – or it might be a box filled with multiple products for you to test & try.

What a VoxBox is to me?  It is a box with a new product to be vocal about.  This first box had a product that I did mot know existed from a company I know well and love.  I can not tell you how excited and happy I am to test and review this and future product. 

My first voxbox is Aveeno's #RadiantWithAVEENO VoxBox.  It contained a single 1.1 fluid ounces (32mL) Aveeno® Positively Radiant® Targeted Tone Corrector It is one of their total soy complex formula.

The box arrived via USPS
Opening the box
Product card front

Product card back
It is a very generous amount

Okay, first impressions...

I love the product packaging.  I am a sucker for the mint green with ivory combination.  The tube is a durable quality, not just flimsy plastic, more like a tooth paste tube that remains compressed when squeezed.  I like that because that means you waste less product towards the containers end.  One of my favorite things ever, it comes sealed.  The seal is a small foil seal.  This means the world to me because I have a lowered immune system.  Now, I do not necessarily mean a whole lot when a product is sent to me, but it is if I purchase something in a store. I usually spring more for a properly sealed product that is not swimming in Lord knows what.  I really do not need a skin infection from someone I have never even seen.

Sealed FTW!!!!
Upon opening the product, I found it to have a very nostalgic scent.  It reminds me of the lotion my mom and Grammy used on us girls when we were children.  I usually avoid scents, but this one is so very pleasant to me that I want to put it on my face!  Not usually my first thought since I have ultra sensitive skin.  Trusting the Aveeno name, I dive right in.

I squeezed out a portion the size of a pea.  It is the consistency of a lotion that is on the more liquid size.  I pat it gently into my face where I have alot of redness as well as freckles.  Normally I love my freckles, but for the sake of this product testing I put it right on those babies.

I have a ton of redness in my cheeks and a big patch of red on the bridge of my nose from my bipap mask that I have to use every night.
Here is a before picture.

I am going to use this goo every morning and every night without any of my other face goo.  I usually use a moisturizer but can go without it for the sake of a proper testing.

This product was not purchased by me.  It was sent to me to give a unbiased opinion on.  I did receive this product for free.  In my review I will include price and locations you can find the product reviewed. I will also tell you if I plan to purchase it myself.  If I did not finish the product, I will give it to someone as a gift.  I will seek no monitory compensation for the product.

With that I will be off to the grocery store.  If you have any questions please email me, or leave a comment below.  Until next time, be gentle to yourself, and each other.

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.