Friday, February 20, 2009


At the beginning of the new year I blogged about how I wanted to make the switch to the use of more natural products in my every day life & I am quite proud to say that this is one New Year's resolution I've been diligently keeping. I have changed out all of our household cleaners, laundry detergent, fabric sheets, & dish soap to ones that contain all-natural products. I've been buying more organic foods at the grocery store. And I even decided that when I went on my annual makeup shopping spree that I would find a line of makeup that was all-natural. Well, I did...a line called "Tarte" from Sephora. I bought the mascara a couple months ago just to try it out & ended up loving it. So last night I got the brushes, eyeliner, shadows, blush, bronzer, & lip gloss to go with it.

I was proud of myself for making the change to natural products...especially since these are ones that I use on a daily basis, on my face! I was a little bit disappointed by the limited selection of colors, but felt overall that I had made a satisfying friend spotted a store called "Bare Minerals" & said, "Oh wait, do you mind if we go in there so I can get some facial cleanser?". The minute I stepped inside I was completely overwhelmed by the vast selection of shimmering color everywhere! I watched as a salesperson put mineral powder on my friend's eyebrows & created a soft, subtle color instead of the harsh pencil I'd been using on my own for so long. He demonstrated how with just a droplet of water, the mineral makeup is transformed from sheer, shimmering powders into matte, liquid foil color. He patiently showed us how to layer eyeshadow colors for different effects, showed us how to use a little water to create eyeliners, & explained to us that this product is 100% natural. I was IN LOVE!!

I took most of the makeup I bought at Sephora (I kept the "Perfect Whirrled" swirled blush because it ROCKS!) back to the store & returned it. I made an appointment at Bare Minerals to have a "mini-makeover" done so that I could see what their products look like on my face. Now I am even MORE in love than I was before! You would not believe how silky their powders feel...they go on so smoothly you would mistake them for cream, but feel so light you would swear you're not even wearing makeup! And for someone with such fair skin as myself, the option to layer colors without them looking too heavy & dark is a major plus! I was pleasantly suprised by the array of colors available in their moisture-rich, mineral lipsticks too & the quality of all their brushes & tools. Not to mention the prices were cheaper than what I paid at Sephora for the Tarte brand.

It is very exciting to know that you CAN have a wonderful, functional, long-lasting makeup that improves your natural beauty AND is all-natural at the same time! It's such a gentle product that you can even sleep in it without worry. They even carry "starter kits" to help you achieve trendy looks like the smokey-eye-and-nude-lip without sacrificing quality or natural ingredients to get it. I encourage everyone to stop in sometime (their website really doesn't do it justice!!) & see what all this line has to offer...I promise you WILL be impressed!

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Okay, so I left off with my husband not being able to get any of the results to all these tests the doctors have been doing on him & we've been getting more scared by the day as he continues to have pain & continues to lose weight. Finally, he got an appointment with is primary care physician, who decided to take matters into his own hands & called around to the Medical Center & the gastroenterologist & was able to get us all the results for everything! The good news for now is that it is NOT his gallbladder...everything came back fine with all the tests & ultrasounds they did on it, no stones or anything. Also his biopsies all came back clean so that's a positive also. But the bad news is that they still do not have a concrete diagnosis for what's going on & need to do MORE tests.

My husband is having more blood work done this week to test again for the H. Pylori bacteria...apparently once you have it, your body creates antibodies that look just like the bacteria so there is some special blood test they have to do in order to determine whether or not it's the actual bacteria still infecting him. Then, he's scheduled to have a colonoscopy next week. And THEN they want him to come back a week later for a "gastric emptying" test which will show them how long it takes for his stomach / GI tract to empty out after eating. Hopefully ONE of these tests will finally reveal the true underlying problem & the doctors will finally have what they need in order to properly treat him & not just treat his symptoms temporarily.

For now, they were able to prescribe him some probiotics that are helping to aid his digestive system which is making eating a little easier for him for the time being. He is also taking anti-nausea meds & pain relievers that help him to sleep more soundly. Thanks to all of your prayers, we are finally getting somewhere & we are so blessed that he has such a caring primary care physician who is willing to go the extra mile in order to move toward answers. Please continue to pray that one of these tests will finally reveal the true problem so that the doctors are able to treat it & my husband will no longer have to suffer.

Monday, February 16, 2009


For those of you who don't know, lately my husband has been suffering from some health issues. A few months back he was having severe heartburn & indigestion to the point where he was barely eating anything at all because everything he ate was causing him pain. He finally went to the doctor about a month ago & his bloodwork came back positive for a bacteria called H. Pylori. This bacteria develops in the lining of the stomach & can lead to yucky things like ulcers, gastritis, & even cancer in some cases. They put him on prescription-strength Prevacid to ease his indigestion & heartburn as well as a combination of antibiotics to try & eradicate the bacteria.

He's been steadily losing weight because even though he's been taking medication, his stomach is still very sensitive to anything that basically isn't bland. So it's been a monotonous diet of plain chicken, plain potatoes, plain toast, plain eggs, not really anything of sustenance. This past Wednesday he had an appointment at the Gastroenterologist to get an endoscopy just to check for ulcers, abnormal cells, etc. in his stomach. The scope came back clear...they couldn't see anything wrong with his stomach at all but they did schedule him to have a look at his gallbladder.

Well, by Friday he was in such pain that he hadn't eaten anything but toast & pretzels for the past 3 days & had lost 6 pounds in that amount of time. He was so sick that we ended up going to the ER that night around 8:30. They immediately hooked him up to an IV to give him pain meds & anti-nausea meds while they ran blood tests. Most of the tests had come back by midnight & none of them were showing anything out of the ordinary, but there was one test we were waiting on that had been "overlooked" in the lineup. They finally got the results from that test & it showed that his electrolytes were low so they had him give a urine sample. This confirmed that he was pretty dehydrated & they started him on fluids right away. This went on until the last test came through around 4am & they finally came back & said there was nothing else they could find wrong other than his dehydration. So they gave him a couple prescriptions & released him to go home.

This morning he had an appointment for an ultrasound on his gallbladder to check for gallstones. Alot of the symptoms he's been experiencing seem to be linked with the gallbladder problems we've been Googling lately, so we've been worried they would find something in there. But he just called & told me that they won't let him know the results for another 3-5 days. So now we're playing the waiting game. Hopefully this week when all of his latest test results come back we will get some answers.

It is just so frustrating to watch him suffer after being the epitome of a strong, healthy, young male for so long & not have any way to help him. And it's scary to watch him lose so much weight that his wedding band falls right off his finger & not have any clue what's causing all of his problems. So please pray for us that the doctors will find SOMETHING that they can at least diagnose & treat so that he doesn't have to suffer any more.

Friday, February 6, 2009


I got an email this morning that had things about friends all over it & made me think about not only how much my friends mean to me, but also how important it is to surround yourself with good friends. They keep you grounded, they help to remind you of your past & ease your fears about the future. Keep good friends near & dear!

* A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be. ~Douglas Pagels

* A loyal friend laughs at your jokes when they're not so good, and sympathizes with your problems when they're not so bad. ~Arnold H. Glasgow

* The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart. ~Elisabeth Foley

* Constant use will not wear ragged the fabric of friendship. ~Dorothy Parker

* Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art.... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival. ~C.S. Lewis

* The language of friendship is not words but meanings. ~Henry David Thoreau

* A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world. ~Lois Wyse

* Friends are relatives you make for yourself. ~Eustache Deschamps

* What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies. ~Aristotle

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I found this quote this morning & felt that it really speaks to what I've been feeling & going through lately...I guess it's definitely much easier said than done but I just wanted to share:


There comes a time when you must stand alone.

You must feel confident enough within yourself to follow your own dreams.

You must be willing to make sacrifices.

You must be capable of changing and rearranging your priorities so that your final goal can be achieved.

Sometimes, familiarity and comfort need to be challenged.

There are times when you must take a few extra chances and create your own realities.

Be strong enough to at least try to make your life better.

Be confident enough that you won't settle for a compromise just to get by.

Appreciate yourself by allowing yourself the opportunities to grow, develop, and find your true sense of purpose in this life.

Don't stand in someone else's shadow when it's your sunlight that should lead the way

Monday, February 2, 2009


So I just had my 25th birthday...I am officially a quarter of a century old. And I must admit, I DO actually feel a little bit different this year. I don't think I've ever really noticed a difference in how I've felt age-wise after a birthday before. I feel that this is a very important age & year for me...a year of change & progress. I have so many goals for myself this year. The most important is going to be trying new things in general...something I say I like to do, & I mean it, but I often don't think about WHAT new things I can try & this year I'd like to make an honest effort to FIND new things to try out for myself.

I think a good place to start is yoga. I'm intrigued (& a little intimidated!!) by the idea of yoga & the breathing techniques & the relaxation & "centeredness" that is associated with it. A friend recently invited me to tag along with her sister-in-law & her as they try out a new yoga place that holds classes in an art studio. I think I might even invite MY sister-in-law to come give it a try with me. I think it could be a very enlightening & enjoyable new experience. And it will also give me a chance to connect more with this friend, my sister-in-law & maybe even meet some more new people.

Another new thing that I want to try seems kind of silly, but I really want to try out a bunch of new local restaurants & coffee bars. My aunt has always been a very strong believer in giving back to your community & supporting the little mom & pop shops. She's very anti-Walmart & Starbucks & all other corporate giants that come in & take over the little communities that they inhabit & turn their residents into dependents on their supply. It's something that I've been giving a lot of thought to over the years & I'd love to make some sort of personal contribution to our little community. There's a fairly new coffee place in town called "Hallowed Grounds" that offers fresh-roasted coffees & specialty teas. It's kind of the opposite direction that I would normally take to work, but it is on my way home from the gym in the mornings. I think I might drop by on my day off & give their coffee a try. Eventually, I'd like to try out a few local hair & nail places, tanning salons, restaurants & cafes, fruit stands, etc. & downsize the amount of business I give to the larger chain stores that put places like this out of business & don't think twice about how they affect our communities. I think it will give me a rewarding feeling to be able to contribute to local businesses.

Overall I think this year is going to be full of new opportunites & challenges for me & I'm ready to embrace the changes that are coming. I am open to new ideas & experiences & people & I really want all of this to be about self-improvement, but most importantly, about living, & learning.