Power through your Monday!

Beauty Out the Rear Window

It’s been a rough couple of days…weeks, a year really, and I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to a wet, overcast Monday today. Seeing my mom on two separate occasions last week just really broke my heart. πŸ’” It is so hard for me to see the suffering she is going through and feeling my hands are tied. The 26th will be a year since the doctor caused her stroke. And if I were to be honest, it’s hard for me to enjoy much of anything in my own life because of it. She is always, always on my mind and in my prayers! I tried hard today to let God in, to take my heavy load, it’s a continual load, but He reminds me He is STILL here and to look for beauty where I can. It is an attitude adjustment I surely struggle with but today, right now, I choose to focus on the beauty He has given me out my rear window.

Make a Fall Basket/Purse for $11

If you follow any Instagram decorating account, you will see a small basket or straw purse hanging on a peg or front door. It has pretty much become a staple in home decorating.

Also, you will quickly see how expensive those baskets or straw items are. But you could buy one at a flea market or garage sale. Maybe you even have an old leather purse hanging around. I had several straw bags back in the day and was thinking how I should’ve kept them for decor items.

We now see that EVERYTHING comes back around, but I would’ve needed a warehouse to keep all my old stuff around!

So when I found a sturdy, straw purse with pom poms, in the local Five Below store, I thought I could easily make something out of it. Especially, when it was only $5.00…score!

Artificial flowers can quickly add up as well, so finding flowers at the Dollar Tree can cut down expenses as well. Each bundle was $1.00

First, I pulled the poms off the purse because I didn’t particularly like blue. (I may use them for a Fourth of July project later. #frugal πŸ˜‰

Then, I decided to use some old packing paper for filler since my purse was fairly deep. (I didn’t want everything to fall down inside.) You could use old rags or large floral foam also.

I ended up not having to cut the wires nor glue anything but just kept all the flowers in tact and gathered them up like a bouquet to see which flowers looked best around the outside. Then, I just shoved them down in on top of the paper and did a bit of arranging within the purse.

My purse is heavy enough to stand alone, but you could easily put a vase or can of paint in the bottom to help it stand alone. Originally, I was thinking I would hang it on a door knob or on the front door with a wreath hanger…and still may do it. Either way, it’s cute and can be refilled with different flowers or stems for different seasons. You could even add a bow, a small sign or I was thinking I may even glue fringe or some kind of trim on it as well.

So, my total cost of everything was a whopping $11.00! Yep, 11 bucks!

Try looking at every day items in a different way and come up with some unique arrangement or placement. πŸ€”

What have you made using fairly inexpensive items or unexpected things?

PS Liz Marie Galvin’s book was waiting for me at the post office after we got back from our long trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons. I hope to dig into it today! If you’re not following her, you should. I also hope to blog about our trip soon!

Happy Saturday!πŸƒπŸ‚πŸ

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Save Money and Revamp Your Furniture

Are you sick of your furniture? Your home decor?

I surely was after living with my furniture and home decor for over 20 years now. I was needing a change!

However, my husband is soon to retire, and we’re not so sure where we will be next or what style of house we will be in. Will we stay here in Indiana? Or, will we move to Georgia near our kids and new grandbaby? πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

So, I didn’t want to do a lot of redecorating in this house or buy a lot of new furniture. It just wouldn’t make sense. But, after following all the home decor accounts on Instagram, it gave me the itch to redecorate. I should’ve known better! (I’ve always loved to decorate, so it’s kind of been my hobby through the years.) πŸ’— But with health issues and money being spent on kids activities and college 😳….well, redecorating took a backseat.

So, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money redecorating, but I was SO tired of my home decor (some of it Tuscan, HA) that I had an idea.

How about “revamping” my old furniture? That way if I liked it I could take it with me (if we moved) and if I didn’t… well I wouldn’t have spent that much money anyhow. Or, I could try and sell my experiments.

Along with the “farmhouse movement,” some of the other decorating trends right now are boho, modern farmhouse and mid-century ie: black paint, gold hardware, and hairpin legs. I decided to try a little bit of everything since I already had a lot of the supplies.

First, my dining room table (which I never really liked) because of the color of the wood, and stain, had me thinking what could I do to change the look of it?

It first was a “fail” for me because I tried to sand, it with all my might, but it just didn’t come out the shade I wanted. I was hoping for more of a natural, lighter, wood but realized my wood just wouldn’t sand as light as I had hoped. (Only after killing my arms for days!😑) With much deliberation, I decided to go ahead and paint it.

Black.

I had some leftover chalk paint and gave it a try.

I decided to leave some of the stained wood around the edges to help match the chairs.

Later, I hope to switch out a couple chairs. I’m thinking a wicker/taller chair would look good on each end.

*Oh, I forgot I painted my hutch against the wall as well. Metal and all!

Then, I worked on an old, banged up chest that I got from someone. It never sat level and figuring out the best way to support the heavy drawers was a little tricky but it all turned out just fine. I so wished I had taken a before pic. This thing was capital U Ugly! I thought about replacing the hardware but then decided to just spray paint the previous hardware gold (also leftover paint) then added some legs from Menards.

To save money, I also shopped my own home for wall decor and other items. I added some plants from Home Depot they have a great selection. And I also bought a basket from the At Home store. Then I found some old books in the attic, batik fabrics and teapot from China.

I really like the way this corner turned out! πŸ€— The black against our neutral wall and the pops of green now make it one of my favorite spots in the house. The gold hardware against the black ended up looking really good too! I actually painted this piece before I even knew it was a trend.

Then, just last week I decided to take the decorative, wood trim and legs off my sofa table and added some hairpin legs.

We bought these hairpin legs at Hobby Lobby, but you can order all sized legs on Amazon or other hardware stores. We just ordered some shorter hairpin legs on Amazon, so I hope to match the end tables to the sofa table next.

We really like the way this turned out! Gives the room a whole new modern feel.

So maybe think about revamping your old furniture before getting rid of it or buying new. You can save a lot of money and change up the look to give a new feel to your room.

And you just might like your house all over again!

πŸ‘ŒπŸΌ

Have you done any furniture revamping of your own? How did it turn out?

College Bound

The Indiana University students are back! We observed many a mom and dad walking alongside their new college student. Boy, that sure brought back memories of me choking up all the way home from Missouri and Georgia.

My kids both left home within a year of each other and I found myself walking by their bedrooms to say something then would quickly realize they weren’t there.

I ended up just shutting their doors. πŸ—£πŸ˜­

Leaving our babies behind, wondering when we’ll see them next is a difficult transition. And many of us are/were going through menopause at the same time! 😳 I always said it was God’s cruel joke! We put in all these years of hard work, making lunches, sewing costumes, throwing parties, working in their classrooms, for all of it to come down to moments like this. This is when we do double duty praying that our kids meet professors that align with their upbringing, meet encouraging friends that have the same morals, that their minds only be open to things that will help them grow and become the people they were destined to be.

We’ve worked with college ministries as well as international students. And can you imagine leaving your child in another country? πŸ™€

We pray our young people come to know God and make a change in this world just by being who God always intended them to be.πŸ™ .

I’m a New Grandma!

Hey guys, I’m a new grandma! (Yep, I’m getting THAT old!😁) This is my first grandchild ever!

We quickly packed our bags and took a trip down to Georgia because the baby was coming sooner than expected. She wasn’t expected till around the 21st so we were pretty surprised. But after a visit to the doctor, and some blood pressure concerns, they decided to admit my daughter-in-law that night. She was induced the next day. We were concerned at first but everything ended up going fairly well…

Well, it was hard on mommy and she pretty much delivered naturally. Poor thing. She’s awesome!

So, the baby was born July 10th and four days later they all came home. At first the baby was a little jaundice, so they had to check all her numbers each day. And she slept under a little UV blanket a few times.

Now they’re just trying to get the baby to sleep which is so difficult!😴 My son didn’t sleep but six hours till he was 10 months old.

He never took a pacifier, nor a bottle, and he cried a lot! It’s a miracle I chose to even have a second child after that.

Dead. πŸ’€

Dead, I tell ya. I was a walking zombie for 10 months! πŸ§Ÿβ€β™€οΈ

So please indulge me while I share cute photos of my new, grandbaby, girl

Chloe Summer. πŸŒžπŸ€—

New aunt right there! You’d think it was HER baby she was so excited!

Just doing a little tanning ha.

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Great Purse and Backpack Organizer

I purchased this felt insert for my purse and it has been a lifesaver. I got tired of digging around in my open totes unable to find things quickly and I love this purse organization. I’ve even used it in other purses, bags and backpacks even for organizing my camera lenses when traveling as well. It even comes in all different sizes and colors

So, I thought I would share it.

I recently became an Amazon affiliate and since I have to stay home now due to health issues I’m trying new things and ways to be creative. But, I sure would appreciate it if you use my link to purchase.

And just so you know, I will ONLY share those things me and my family like or use ourselves. 😊

Link: https://amzn.to/2MMnB5h.

I get a really small commission, just a few dollars really, but every little bit helps!πŸ‘πŸΌ Thanks!

Here’s my video review showing how it works.

They make great gifts too. 🎁

Easter is My Favorite Holiday

If anyone knows me well, they know I love Easter!

No I mean I really LOVE Easter!πŸ’—

I was thinking about this the other day as we had a few sunny days and all this spring decor had me thinking about Easter and why I liked it so much. πŸ₯πŸ‡


Well for one,  I grew up in southern California where it was always WARM and SUNNY, 😎 so Easter had us buying new, spring clothes with all the beautiful colors.

My mom sewed almost all my clothes and Easter was extra special as we browsed through huge pattern books and admired all the pretty pastel fabrics.

Then, what followed was looking for the accessories: white shoes, purse and little white gloves, with lace.

I loved my little, white gloves so much that I wouldn’t take them off when eating chocolate in Sunday school. πŸ˜‚

And occasionally I had a “bonnet” or kerchief.

We had so much fun coloring Easter eggs.

And then there were the HUGE, SEE’S Chocolate Easter eggs beautifully decorated with pastel flowers. They were almost the size of an ostrich egg and usually filled with a rich creamy filling. That  big ol’ egg would be rationed to last me 2 weeks HA.

Oh, I just loved waking up to big, stuffed Easter baskets, putting on my Easter best, going to church with the family, singing all the special music, smelling the flowers in the air, then enjoying a big Easter spread.

Just lots of really warm memories.


Now, compare that to my first Easter in Indiana.

I was so bummed when I realized my pretty, new sun dress was going to be covered by a winter coat, and it was way too cold ❄️ to even want to take it off for any pictures.πŸ˜’

Year after year.

Why did we even bother getting new clothes for Easter?πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Yep, Easter in the midwest has pretty much always been cold, rainy or overcast. Sometimes it even snows! Just makes you feel all cheery inside when looking forward to spring. (Insert sarcasm) πŸ˜’

Then, I grew up and my own kids came along.

SAME STORY.

I’d try to dress them in cute, little outfits but worried their little legs would freeze off, so I added tights, a sweater,

a parka. 😞

And we still tried to provide an Easter egg hunt…most were INDOORS.

But I mean, who wants to hunt Easter eggs INDOORS? πŸ‘ŽπŸΌ

And guess who else likes little, white gloves?πŸ‘‡πŸ»

He just had to have a suit.

So, my thoughts going way back to sunny California have always brought fond memories. β˜€οΈ

As I reflect, I can say one constant has remained.

That Easter really has NOTHING to do with any of this.

Not weather, not new clothes, or a big yummy meal, not even another “holiday”…

That it’s all really only been about Jesus.

Easter always caused me to reflect on what Christ has done for me, personally.

Rereading the resurrection story and the hours Christ submitted to his father’s will just grips my heart every time. I try to slow down taking in each detail of what really took place.

The torture, the betrayal, the extreme love and sacrifice for all mankind.

Every year of my life, even as a kid, I tried to imagine the scene, and it always moved me to tears.

No matter how I try to contain myself, the tears always flow.

Because I know no one could ever love me that much, nor willingly sacrifice their life for me.

And so it’s not the new clothes, the candy, the sunshine…not even being with family.

It’s about pure love. Unimaginable tenderness for ALL mankind.

You never have to earn this love nor question his love for you.

Bottom line…

He came as a baby

to die as a young man.

For you and for me. ❀️

He created us and He wants to see us again with Him someday.


Hope you have a very blessed Easter!

What are your traditions on Easter Sunday? Please tell me in the comments.

The Best Products I’ve Found the Last 10 Years with this Eczema Battle

First, let me say I have struggled over 50 years with eczema\atopic dermatitis and asthma. But in the last 10 years when my skin got really bad, I finally had to stop working. 😞 And I had to search high and low for products that would help me. This is not a sponsored post, but I am hoping to share so that you can get your eczema under some kind of control.

I also have a video on YouTube discussing the CeraVe products I feel have worked best for me in the last 10 years.

What I’ve Tried

Through the years, I have literally tried every single product, every diet, had my home and life literally revamped by eliminating all chemicals and fragrances, used “natural” things, worked off a national database for my chemical allergies and even finally resigned to an immune suppressing drug that I used for seven years as I was itching so badly, all day and night, that I was losing sleep and close to losing my ever loving mind! I have now been off that drug since 2016.

Since the 1960s, I’ve also had every kind of testing imaginable as well as allergy shots and strong meds as well as followed special diets.

Basically, I’ve had eczema, asthma, and allergies for the last 52 of my 56 years of life. And I’ve tried it all! But, every so many years I learn something new or find better help with this ongoing disease. I’ve spent countless hours of research and will continue to do it. I’ll never stop searching for help till we find a cure!

Why Did I Wait?

I finally decided to write a little about my health issues. But for so long, I felt it brought on anxiety/PTSD every time I tried to write…quite literally. I just couldn’t bring myself to write just thinking about all the horrendous years of suffering. (I did have a doctor tell me that this is a REAL thing…PTSD related to long time health suffering and disease.)

However, my intent was always to learn how to create a website in order to help others find relief with their ongoing battles. Initially, I wanted to start this blog to help others with similar health battles. (This is just one of the battles I face along with Lyme Disease, eye disease and Fibromyalgia.) I hope to write about them as well.

My Allergy Journey

I have suffered for so so long and have spent thousands, literally thousands, of dollars, as I’m sure many of you have. πŸ˜” I also didn’t want to “waste my suffering” and LOVE helping others, so I have attempted to finally share some things on this site.

My Recent Battle

I had to quit teaching 10 years ago, so I feel this is just another way I can “teach” others in order to help them through this eczema/dermatitis hell. I also hate that SO many people suffer without finding any real solutions, and I’ve been looking for answers long before there was an internet, so I hope I can help you in some way! I know you are as desperate as I have been all these years and that’s why you are probably here now. Searching. Searching for anything, just as I have all these years!

*Warning*

I’m sharing some scary pictures here, but I’m trying to be real and vulnerable in hopes I can identify with you. Honestly, it’s hard for me to show these!

I continue to battle this disease; although my skin has done a lot better since educating myself about chemicals and fragrance in particular. It’s in everything! I feel my skin has gotten better, but I almost hate to say that because as you know, you can have flareups at any moment.

I struggled horribly for eight years as a kid then again right before I got married, in my 20s, and then since 2009 when I entered menopause. I truly believe there’s a hormonal link as well. πŸ€”

As part of my ongoing research, I found some products that helped me tremendously; especially in the last 10 years.

Here is the video discussing some of the help I’ve found through CeraVe products.

Link to video:

https://youtu.be/kdQrox1dVhg

I wasn’t able to get all my pics loaded in that video, so I added those today. These are just a few pics over the last 10 years, but as a child I was pretty miserable and made fun of a lot. (I had rashes that got infected in the bends of my arms, legs, neck, and ears as well. They were pretty gross looking.)

And as you know, this itch is like none other and never ever lets up. So you itch in your sleep (If you finally get any.) and you keep itching that raw, broken skin and that can in turn set up infection. Then you have to deal with raw, stinging skin that burns just from the air or bath water hitting it. I know it can be so very painful. So, I say all this to say I can identify. I sure can! It just breaks my heart to see the little babies suffering. I feel their pain and yours too, mama.

I pray you have wisdom. That you find strength to go on and also maybe find some help with this post today! πŸ™ Hang in there! We are in a tremendous battle! πŸ’ͺ🏼 I’ve made it 56 years now and was diagnosed at four years old. It hasn’t been easy, but I’m still here. πŸ’—πŸ€—

I also know depression is very common for eczema suffers and research shows many feel suicidal. Please get help if you feel you are sinking! Sometimes our family and friends just can’t understand how horrible it feels and that constant itch can wear on your mind especially when you’re losing sleep for decades. I tell people mosquito bites, chiggers, poison ivy, chicken pox (all I’ve experienced too. ) doesn’t even come close to this kind of itch, does it?!!! So don’t be afraid to ask for help! I haven’t been very good at that either.

I always try to do things myself. Miss Independent πŸ€—…. I’m a pretty good faker and have used clown makeup to cover sores even when painful. So I know we fake it! But I want you to know that you’re not alone! I’ve read some pretty heart wrenching stories about those suffering with this disease and I want to encourage you! This disease is exhausting!

I also have included links to the CeraVe items I use and will share more products later.

Let me say, that it took me years and years to even understand how to bathe, hydrate, and moisturize effectively, by using the CeraVe products in a way they would most benefit and promote healing. You have to get ahead of it all. That’s key! I have had hundreds of doctors, from around the country, and through the decades, and none have ever really explained to me how to properly use the CeraVe products for their full benefit. Crazy right?! It’s just been trial and error and a lot of research on my part! So keep trying! Keep seeking out different doctors if need be. Research, research, research. Now you have the internet and YouTube…I didn’t have that as a young person and It has helped me so much in this long journey and the last ten years especially!

Another word about these CeraVe products. I am highly allergic and sensitive, so these products are the only “free and clear” type products that HAVE NOT caused me any sensitivity. Where other products, stating the same, have given me some issues. (Again, this is not a sponsored post and I get nothing from it. In fact I don’t even have an Amazon seller’s link anymore.) So find what’s best for you, but I would be surprised if the CeraVe products didn’t help you. I’ve tried it all… medicated products and non-medicated products.

Below I’ve suggested the best way to bathe then moisturize dry skin. It’s taken me several years to finally get this down and understand the importance of moisturizing correctly. It has then led to better healing of my skin.

So here’s a short list of what to do:

BATHING and MOISTURIZING

β€’ After bathing, you have just minutes (really) to seal the skin or the evaporating moisture will make your skin drier.

β€’ Pat dry, don’t rub, leaving behind some moisture so that the product will adhere to the water. CeraVe Moisturizing Cream has ceramides and hyaluronic acid, (both our own body produces) but we obviously have a skin barrier problem, so these ingredients are so important! Also, as we age, these become depleted.

β€’ Next, immediately, apply  CeraVe Moisturizing lotion or cream, so that it will adhere to water already left on your skin.

β€’ Then, seal the skin with a more occlusive product like CeraVe Healing Ointment

β€’ You should then dress in *loose-fitting, cotton clothing that doesn’t irritate such as cotton. Although, sometimes I have found tighter clothing to feel better in that it doesn’t move around and rub the sore areas on my body. So try different clothing.

Extra Tips:

β€’ Sweating can aggravate eczema so avoid at all costs or quickly battle afterward.

β€’ Itching can be so maddening that sleep is impossible, so by taking a Benadryl or Atarax (preferably at night) might help some. Although, it rarely did for me but it’s still worth a try! And/or using ice packs to aid in itching can also be helpful. It’s miserable in the winter but can provide help especially with hives.

β€’ An H2 blocker like cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine and ranitidine, could be tried as well. They go by various brand names in the acid reflux aisle of your store. I learned that in some cases your eczema or itching could be caused from food and this blocks histamine in the stomach.

Please let me know if any of this helps you in any way. I sure hope it does!

Also, let me know in the comments below of other things you would like me to address.

Feel free to e-mail me at: tamara42463@gmail.com.

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Amazon Links to buy CeraVe products:

CeraVe Moisturizing Lotion: https://amzn.to/2HKVR1l

CeraVe Moisturizing Cream in tub: https://amzn.to/2HKVR1l
” ” in tube: https://amzn.to/2HJKHdi

CeraVe AM: https://amzn.to/2CIoZ59

CeraVe PM: https://amzn.to/2HKCdSU

CeraVe Healing Ointment: https://amzn.to/2UgpIVg &
”                                        ” 2 pack/.35 tubes (good for your purse or pocket)                        https://amzn.to/2U6R2WQ

CeraVe Hydrating Face Wash:  https://amzn.to/2U0SmdM

Sunscreens:
CeraVe Sunscreen Face Lotion with zinc: https://amzn.to/2HJZ0hR

You can also directly order of the CeraVe website: cerave.com

For more help with eczema:

https://nationaleczema.org/