Sunday, November 29, 2009

Memory Makers

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  I love when my kids are here.  The house is filled with laughter and good times that make for great memories.  This weekend had it's share of memory makers!

Shylee had two 'firsts'.  I love having tea parties and I collect teapots and tea cups.  Erin and I were having a cup of tea and Shylee wanted a drink of the tea.  Erin gave her a drink and Shylee loved it!  This grandma was just thrilled that not only did she love the tea but her first try was from a tea cup and not a mug (which I use for just me most of the time)!

Hmmm....Shylee might get a tea set for Christmas!

Her other first was climbing the stairs!  She had made it up two steps when I found her and she was proud of herself and scared at the same time!  She could go up but couldn't come down!

Annie also made a memory this weekend.  She loves popcorn as much as I do.  Erin and I spent about four hours stringing popcorn to put on the Christmas tree.  It was 1:00 a.m. when we finally decided to go to bed and put the popcorn garland on the table.  We specifically made sure it was out of reach of Annie.  Imagine my surprise when I came down the stairs in the morning and found this....

I should have known something was wrong before I even came down the stairs.  She wouldn't come out from under the bed and when I finally coaxed her out, she wouldn't come down the stairs but laid down at the top and watched me go down!  She knew she was in trouble!  We decided the popcorn on the tree might not be such a good idea.  Never mind that I've done popcorn for most of the past 30 years!  I didn't do it the last two years because working retail this time of year doesn't leave time for such time consuming things!  We were doing good to have a tree up at all, so I was looking forward to my popcorn garland this year.  No, I'm not bitter....

What great memories did you make this Thanksgiving weekend?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Gourmet Buffet


Carved Roasted Turkey, Glazed Ham and Tenderloin of Beef,
Crab Stuffed Flounder and Herb Crusted Alaskan Salmon.
Maryland Style Crab Cakes and Seafood Risotto
Sage Infused Cornbread Stuffing and Garlic Smashed Potatoes,
Maple Glazed Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Green Bean Casserole.
Maryland Cream of Crab Soup and Seafood Gumbo.
Smoked Salmon and Assorted Smoked Seafood Display.
Cranberry Relish and Mixed Field Greens with Condiments.
Macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers and fries for the kids.
Fresh baked breads and Gourmet Desserts
Coffee, Specialty Teas and Soft Drinks.
I'm not cooking the big feast tomorrow!  We are going to the Yellowfin Restaurant in Annapolis for our Thanksgiving dinner.  This menu was just too tempting to pass up!  Actually, my kids have never really cared for the traditional meal that I grew up with on Thanksgiving and the day usually ended up with the kids in a bad mood and me with a headache!  It was stressful all the way around.  When I finally let go of the traditional foods and just focused on the joy of being together and giving thanks, the holiday became much more enjoyable.  So tomorrow we will eat out and everyone can have something they like and we can all be grateful without the stress!
I will still make dessert to have later in the evening.  Probably Paula Deen's Gooey Pumpkin Butter Cake.  This will be the first time I haven't made pumpkin pie, even though this is the one dish everyone liked!   Now that I think of it, maybe I'll make both!
Whatever your plans and traditions are I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Yummy Goodness

I made cookies today!  My husband's office is having a potluck tomorrow and he asked me to make these cookies.  I'll probably be making pumpkin bread later...not for the potluck but for the weekend.

I hope you're having a terrific Tuesday!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Finds....On Monday!

Better late than never, right!?  Any day is a good day for fabulous finds and today is no different!  Thanksgiving weekend is my Christmas decorating time and there are some fabulous items on Etsy for decorating!  Here are some of my favorites! 

Peppermint Twist Advent Cake by daisyanddots

Unbreakable Fabric Christmas Ornaments by SewnGreen

Chainmaille Celtic Star Ornament from Sneath

Christmas Greetings Custom Handmade Wreath from gatheringplacedesign

Christmas Skating Stocking from bebesniklefritz

Christmas Placemats from PurpleDragonQuilts
I hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Friday, November 20, 2009

I Get To Be Grandma Today

Friday's fabulous finds won't be happening today!  I will do that this weekend.  Instead, I'm going to make the 5 hour round trip to spend the day with my sweet pea, Shylee.  It's been 4 weeks since I've seen her and that is enirely too long!  She will be here for Thanksgiving but I don't want to wait that long!  In this pic she had fallen down a couple hours earlier and had owies on her face!

Have a fabulous Friday!  I will!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.   ~Alexander Graham Bell

I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fabulous Finds for Diabetes Awareness

Today's post is dedicated to diabetes related items.  Hopefully you will find something for that special diabetic in your life!

Diabetes Awareness Key Ring from crystalsofhope

Diabetic Foot Salve from forestapprentices

Hand Knit Hand Felted Slippers from craftsagogo

Diabetes Alert Bracelet from TFDMedID

Diabetes Log Book from AmyandAbby

Diabetic Insulin Pump Pak from nanasangels

Have a terrific Turesday!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Me and Diabetes: Part Three

At the time I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes I found out that I had been at risk for the disease and didn't even know it.  I had gestational diabetes with my second child, I was overweight, and my grandmother had diabetes.  I didn't know this about my grandmother because she controlled hers with diet. My mother was diagnosed 2 weeks before I was but hadn't told me yet!  Would knowing the risk factors have made a difference in my lifestyle?  Probably not, but had I known, the news wouldn't have been such a shock!

Learning how to live with diabetes showed me that most of what I thought I knew about it was false.  That was probably the biggest eye opener at first.  Since then, most people I know and have met believe the myths and don't know the truth.  It is very irritating to have someone tell you what you should or shouldn't do when they're the one who is clueless!

Here are some of the myths and do's and don'ts for those who don't have diabetes but know someone who does.  I know you love your diabetic, but please know the facts before you try to "help" them!

Myth: People with diabetes can't eat sweets or chocolate.
Fact: If eaten as part of a healthy meal plan, or combined with exercise, sweets and desserts can be eaten by people with diabetes. They are no more “off limits” to people with diabetes than they are to people without diabetes.

Myth: Eating too much sugar causes diabetes.
Fact: No, it does not. Type 1 diabetes is caused by genetics and unknown factors that trigger the onset of the disease; type 2 diabetes is caused by genetics and lifestyle factors. Being overweight does increase your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, and a diet high in calories, whether from sugar or from fat, can contribute to weight gain. If you have a history of diabetes in your family, eating a healthy meal plan and regular exercise are recommended to manage your weight.

Myth: People with diabetes should eat special diabetic foods.
Fact: A healthy meal plan for people with diabetes is generally the same as a healthy diet for anyone – low in fat (especially saturated and trans fat), moderate in salt and sugar, with meals based on whole grain foods, vegetables and fruit. Diabetic and “dietetic” foods generally offer no special benefit. Most of them still raise blood glucose levels, are usually more expensive, and can also have a laxative effect if they contain sugar alcohols

DO NOT be the food police.  A diabetic knows what they can and can't have.  It is her/his decision what to eat and they don't need you to monitor and judge!
DO NOT lecture.  You know how kids don't listen when you  lecture and go on and on? Neither do adults!
DO NOT remind us of complications.  We are very aware of the complications that can arise and don't need to be reminded from someone who doesn't live with the reality every day.
DO NOT compare your diabetic to another diabetic
DO learn the facts of diabetes for yourself
DO be patient with your diabetic.  Living with this disease day to day can be very frustrating.  If it frustrates you, imagine how much more it affects the diabetic.
DO be encouraging and positive.  Focus on what we're doing right and encourage instead of discourage.
DO ask how you can help.  Then follow through.
DO provide healthy food options at your parties and get togethers.
DO understand that all diabetics are not alike.  What works for one might not work for another.
I haven't even scratched the surface of what it's like to live with diabetes.  I have good days and bad days but I can honestly say at this point there are far more good days!  
You can learn more at the American Diabetes Association website.  That is where I got the myths and facts from.

Tomorrow I will feature some great diabetes related Etsy finds!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Me and Diabetes: Part Two

It took many months for me to deal with the news of having diabetes.  My emotions were all over the place.  I was angry, confused, depressed, perplexed and frustrated.  I had to change my lifestyle and develope a new routine.  I had to learn by trial and error how different foods affected my blood sugar.  Pricking my finger 7 times a day, writing down everything I ate and taking daily medication became my new normal.  I didn't like it and I fought it every step of the way. 

It has become easier over the years but it has never been easy.  Just when you have it figured out and blood sugars are under control, it changes.  You have to start all over again with the testing, and figuring out which foods are causing the problems, and what dose or which of the newest drugs are going to work best.  It never ends and it's always a struggle.

I wish I could say I do everything right all the time, but I don't.  I go through periods of rebellion and act like I don't  have diabetes.  I'll eat whatever I want to and not test my blood.  But then I eventually get back on track and do it right til the next time I get tired of doing it and rebel again.  I know my doctors get frustrated with me but I get frustrated with this disease!

Almost 3 years ago I started on insulin.  I give myself a shot 4 times a day...once before each meal and one at bed time.  I went through all the same feelings and emotions as I did when I was first diagnosed.  I also felt like I had done something wrong.  Diabetes is a progressive disease and the doctor assured me it wasn't my fault.  As much as I hated giving myself shots, I noticed right away that I felt better and my numbers came down eventually.  It took several months to find the right dose of insulin, and it continues to change.  I'm considering using the insulin pump which would take the place of shots.  There are pros and cons to both, but I will probably switch over.

In tomorrow's post I'll share some myths about diabetes and some do's and don'ts for those who have loved ones or friends with diabetes.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Me and Type 2 Diabetes: Part One

Today I am thankful for friends who uplift, encourage, are positive and accept me the way I am!

November is National Diabetes Month, so I thought I would share my story.  I found out that I had type 2 diabetes on October 21, 1997.  I was 39 years old.  I had a yeast infection that wouldn't go away with over the counter medication.  I was reading the label on the box and it said something along the lines of "if infection persists it may be a sign of diabetes".  I read that over and over and slowly began to realize just how many symptom of diabetes I had.

I had been very thirsty.  I couldn't get enough to drink.  I went to the bathroom about every 30 minutes.  I thought it was because I drank so much!  It turns out that a diabetic is thirsty because they pee so much!  I was extremely tired.  I felt like I couldn't get enough sleep.  I even took off work a week just to sleep.  It didn't help.  I almost couldn't function due to the fatigue.  I lost 10 pounds without even trying!  This was definitely not normal for me! 

I mulled all this over for about 2 hours and then called the doctor.  I told the nurse I had a yeast infection and she immediately wanted to call in a prescription for me.  I then told her I thought I might have diabetes and described the symptoms I was having.  She put me on hold, and then asked if I could come in that afternoon.

After taking my blood pressure, temperature, and asking a hundred questions, the nurse told me she was going to get a blood sample.  I thought she was going to "take" my blood, but that's not what she did.  She inserted a strip of what looked like shiny paper into the end of a handheld device.  With some kind of a needle she pricked my finger and held the device with the paper strip so that a drop of blood saturated the tip of the paper.  After a few seconds, she showed me a number that showed up on the device.  It was 425.

That number didn't mean anything to me so I asked the nurse what it meant.  She said my blood sugar was very high and that a normal reading would be between 70-100!  Next, she really took some blood and I waited for the doctor and the results of the blood test.  The name of the test was the A1C test.  Again, I didn't know what this meant so I waited.

The doctor came in and I had to tell her all over again my symptoms and why I thought I had diabetes.  She confirmed that I did.  The A1C tells you the average of your blood sugar levels over a 2-3 month period and mine showed that my average was 475, way over the 70-100 range! 

At that point I was bombarded with information packets, a referral to the dietician, a glucose meter, prescriptions and instructions!  I was overwhelmed to say the least and  more than a little scared!  Now it was time to go home and process all this information and come to terms with it.

In tomorrow's post, I'll tell you how I did that!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Opened My Etsy Shop Today!!

Today I'm thankful for a warm house to be in during this storm!

I finally opened my shop today after being closed since the end of August!  I only listed 2 items but I have more to list tomorrow!   You can see my shop here!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

Today I am thankful for the men and women who serve and have served in our military.  I grew up in the army and my husband served for 20 years in the army.  I know first hand the hardships and sacrifices military members and their families make, so we can enjoy our freedoms.  Please take time to thank a veteran today!

I continue to work on my self-discipline and I've actually gotten some things done for the shop!  Imagine that!!  So today's words of wisdom are about discipline:

The ability to concentrate and to use your time well is everything if you want to succeed in business – or in anything else, for that matter.  ~Lee Iacocca

Happy Veterans Day!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Going Red and Being Thankful

A friend on Facebook suggested we start each day this month with "Today I'm thankful for....."    I really like this idea and I've decided to start each blog post with what I'm thankful for!  I think starting the day this way will help me focus on what is good and positive instead of the bad and negative.   Today I'm thankful for my family!  I love you all!

Thank you all for your input in the outline color of the letters on this apron.  I went with the red to add more color and oomph!  I also found red lip shaped buttons that I'll sew on the left side of the design since it's kind of off center!

I forgot to mention that this design is machine embroidered, but I'm doing the outline by hand.  I may have inadvertently made it sound like I did it by hand and I'm sorry if I have misled anyone. 

I'm getting closer to re-opening my Etsy shop and I'm so excited!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Need Your Opinions

I embroidered this apron and as you can see, or not, the lettering doesn't show up.  It says Kiss the Cook.  The apron is a kind of royal blue and the lettering is black.  I'm thinking if I outline the letters in red it will show up fine.  What do you think?  Do you have any other ideas?

This is another embroidery design that I cut out to make a magnet.  I used the colors the design called for and I don't like the combination, so I would change it up if I make it again.  I love magnets on my fridge but I don't buy holiday ones.  What about you?  Would you or do you buy holiday magnets?

I look forward to hearing what you have to say!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Closer To Opening My Shop

Now that I finally have all the legalities out of the way, I can re-open my Etsy shop as soon as I have something to put in it!  While this shop was closed, I was focusing on making things for the booth I rent at Sassafras Hill.  I don't know if I will be able to keep up with two shops but we'll see how it goes through Christmas.  These dish towel dresses are what I've been working on so far. 

Today I'll be working on embroidering...aprons, magnets, signs.  I want to open my shop by Wednesday! 

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday's Fabulous Finds: Tea Time

Those who know me well, know I love having tea parties!  I love everything about them from the flavor of the tea, to the perfect tea pot and tea cup, to the fine linens, to the scrumptious food.  Of course, the very best part is the company of good friends!  I had a very hard time narrowing down these fabulous tea time finds.

The tea pot is the center of attention on the tea table.  This is a Vintage 1950's Rare England Johnson Brothers Rose Chintz Tea Pot from Serenity Mosaics

What would a tea party be without tea? Teaman has hand blended teas in every flavor you can imagine.  I ordered a custom sampler and love every one of them so far!

If you usually drink your tea from a mug, try just once, having tea in a delicate porcelain or china tea cup.  It's a whole different experience and one that I think you will enjoy. This hand painted Lefton cup and saucer is from Jape.

A must have at every tea party is beautiful cloth napkins like these floral tone on tone embroidered napkins from Natural Abundance.

Every tea party has a dazzling array of mouth watering foods to compliment the tea.  These sweet pumpkin spice scones by runnergirl15 would be perfect for the tea tble!

The tea party starts with an invitation.  The invitation sets the tone for the party.  Will it be formal, whimsical or themed?  You decide!  These invitations from Allison29 are a great place to start!
Well, now I want to have a tea party!  It's been way too long since I've had my friends over for a cup of tea and good conversation!  Maybe a Christmas tea..... 

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Laughing Gas Gave Me a Panic Attack

Going to the dentist was never a problem for me.  It wasn't my favorite thing to do but I did it every six months and never had any problems.  I went to the same dentist for years and as his practice grew, I never knew which dentist I would see.  One in particular I didn't like and after two visits I asked to not see her again.  The receptionist assured me it was not a problem. 

The next visit was with this dentist.  Being a person who doesn't like to complain and cause problems, I didn't say anything and made a mental note to look for a new dentist.  What happened next caused me to stay away from dentists for the last six years!  First, she didn't numb me enough so when she started, I jumped and hollered!  She gave me more novacain but made it perfectly clear that she didn't think it was necessary.  Everything was going along fine until she did something that pinched.  It didn't start out as pain but was very uncomfortable.  Just when I thought I was going to have to say something, the discomfort turned to pain and I practically came out of the chair and the tears started!  She told me I didn't know the difference between pain and pressure and started again and my tears started again.  She said she couldn't work this way and quickly finished.  I haven't been to the dentist since.

Two years ago, the same tooth she worked on broke.  It was a small piece but little pieces keep coming off and the filling started breaking off in little pieces too.  It has started bothering me, so I went to a new dentist two weeks ago.  I told them up front that I was a baby and they were just wonderful.  There are some major issues going on in my mouth so they were going to do things in sections til it's done. 

Today was the first visit.  I took valium last night and this morning.  It made me sleepy but I was still not relaxed.  Next came the nitrous oxide or laughing gas.  As soon as I started feeling weird, I paniced.  It wasn't a good kind of weird.  I can't describe it, but they couldn't shut off the gas fast enough.  This practice will be set up for sedation dentistry in a few weeks but in the meantime I have to go to an oral surgeon to have the tooth removed.  Oh yay, can't wait for that! 

So here are some tooth related items I found on Etsy.  It's interesting what you can find here!

Vintage Image Pendant-Dental by Chasing Lightning Bugs

Tooth Tumbler by Soule

Happy Teeth Long Zipper Pouch by Madame Cupcake

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wednesday's Words of Wisdom

In an earilier post, I wrote about my lack of focus, organization and self-discipline.  I believe self-discipline is  the key to any endeavor we undertake if it is to be successful.  We can have all the desire in the world to achieve our goals, but without the discipline to carry out the steps to reaching each goal, we will be unsuccessful.  For many, the lack of success leads to failure and failure leads to giving up. 

Today's words of wisdom are for me, but I hope you will be inspired and motivated by them also
"The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him—and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires."         ~ J. Paul Getty

"Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success."   ~Robert J. Ringer

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

More Aprons

I was going through my stash today and found three more aprons I can sew up!  I cut out the one with the rooster (or is it a chicken?) and I'll start on it tomorrow. 

Monday, November 2, 2009

An Apron Made and Decisions To Make

Can you believe it?  I actually sat at my sewing machine and sewed up this fun apron!  It's been way too long since I've sewn anything.  This is one of those aprons that come printed on a fabric panel and all you do is cut out the pieces and sew it up.  I added a blue lining to give it a more finished look.  Very quick and easy...just the way I like it!      

As much as I love sewing I'm having the hardest time treating So Many Memories as a business and not a hobby.  I'm unorganized, unfocused and undisciplined...the perfect ingredients for failure.  This is how I am with most things in my life too. 

I started a thread in the Etsy forums today asking, "what does your business day look like".  The response was very helpful to say the least.  It seems that I should set some daily, weekly and monthly goals and make up a daily schedule to reach those goals.  I should spend less time on the computer and more time at the sewing machine!  Having some structure to my day will benefit myself as well as my business.  I'm tired of going to bed every night feeling like I wasted so much time and accomplished nothing.  By this time tomorrow night, I hope to have a plan in place to start growing this business I've always dreamed of!

If you have an Etsy shop, is it a business or a hobby for you?  Do you work at home?  What does your business day look like?  How do you stay focused and organized?  I would truly appreciate any suggestions and insights  you might have.  Thanks!