Thursday, October 31, 2013

Decorating on a Dime

Yes, I have Lyme disease. That means I can't hold a job so that also means that there isn't a lot of excess at the end of the month from Ken's paycheck. Ever since I could shop, which was when I was about 3 years old, I liked finding a good deal. Since I've gotten old enough to have an apartment it's opened up a whole new aisle at TjMaxx! The decor aisles! 

I don't want to waste money or my Lyme. I want to do as much as I can with the circumstances that God's given me. It's taken a lot of time to get things organized and decorated how I'd like them at our apartment. Gotta start somewhere though so we've been working little by little to make our house a home. I'm definitely no expert at budget decorating but do have a few tips to share.

Decorating on a Budget:

1. Look for what you have on hand FIRST! 

This is a step that I often forget. Over the years we accumulate stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. Look for picture frames, ribbon, fabric, candles, yarn, etc...

Look at my organized mess! I found some burlap ribbon in this box and it was perfect for the mason jars I wanted to use. I also had some of those rocks used for faux flower arrangements, some candles, and a figurine that my grandma gave us for our anniversary that works well on our "ledge". Keep reading to see the finished "budget project." :)

2. Borrow and share items from friends and family

I know everyone's situation is different but in some cases borrowing, sharing, and exchanging works. I'm borrowing the mason jars from my mom. I'm also borrowing some of the candles from her and fabric of course. My fabric container won't fit in our apartment so I store it there. You should see HER fabric collection! It over-flowith! 

I've seen fabric covered books on Pinterest so I thought I'd cover some of my books with pretty fabric! Pick different size books. I used 3 books with the biggest on the bottom and made a tower. 

Make sure your fabrics are large enough to wrap your books. I wrapped mine like a present. Just use some tape. That way you can re-read the book and re-use the fabric too! 

WALA! A fabric covered book tower that didn't cost a dime with a mason jar, rocks, ribbon and candles that didn't cost anything either. Pretty awesome huh?! Just get creative and go on Pinterest ;)

3. Buy pieces that can be used in other seasons. I like to get a "statement" piece. 

My statement piece for this project was a cool rustic bike ($12.99 from BigLots). I also bought some garland ($7.99 also from BigLots too) to use for many years to come. This is the first season I've been able to decorate so I'm gathering pieces for the future. Getting started is the hard part...especially with Lyme. But when the project is finished it makes you smile (well it does that to me). I just love nesting! The project cost $21.00 in total. What are your ideas for budget decorating? Do you use everything you have on hand? 

This project took me about a week to complete. I almost didn't try because it would take too long and too much energy to decorate. But I love decorating. So, I decided to take it at my Lyme pace. Don't waste your Lyme! Don't waste your money and definitely not your life!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

That Special Someone

The Kens:  

Found out a couple months ago that Joni Eareckson Tada has a husband. Thought it was kind of cool that his name is Ken as well. They've written a book that I really want to read. It's about their journey as a couple. This article, Ken and Joni, made me cry. There's a section where it talks about her Ken working full time, being exhausted, discouraged and still getting up every night to adjust Joni so she is comfortable. She has a condition that is unusual for quadriplegics that causes excruciating pain. 

What people don't see...he put my veil on me :)

What people see...

My Ken is obviously my special someone. I'm so thankful to have him. He gets up with me in the middle of the night on a regular basis to help me get comfortable or to get my cool wrap (not the chik-fila kind-ah, those are yummy) or meds. He never complains about it. He's A to the awesome!  
Our situations are on two different levels but the love of each Ken is amazing to me. That kind of love doesn't just happen. And it isn't a cake walk. And there is frustration. But because of Jesus' love they can love. 

Lyme of Late:

Lately this disease has been a heavy burden. One minute I'm in "let's do this mode" and the next I'm on the ground thinking, "there's no way I'm getting up." As all my Lyme friends know, it's up and down. I know there are other diseases like that as well. 

We've realized that babesia is my main problem right now. It's a parasite and anit-malarial drugs are the best way to kill the thing. We've tried 3 and they all send me into convulsions because the pain is so bad. The doc put me on a more gentle regimen focusing on detoxing and using a natural supplement, wormwood, to kill the babesia. The recommended dosage is 2 pills twice a day. I'm taking one pill every 3 days and still going into convulsions. Oh boy! Please pray. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Run Down?

Relax and Benefit: 

In our culture relaxation is something most people don't explore. Many think that the word means spending big bucks on a Swedish massage. Before Lyme disease I didn't relax much.  But throughout this journey I'm realizing how important it is to chill out. 

Many articles and professionals say that stress can initiate or exacerbate pain. So it is very important, especially for those with chronic illnesses to simmer down. Relaxation is important to those who aren't in pain as well! Here are 3 relaxation practices that have been helpful to me. Of course there are many others. 

1. Listen to music and/or sing-My favorite stations on Pandora are Christian Contemp but when I want to relax I like "The Piano Guys Radio", "Classical Solo Piano", and "Oscar Peterson Radio" Oscar brings jazz piano music that just takes my mind off the disease and onto the musicianship. 

2. Not much into music? Take a baking soda and Epson salt bath with a candle of your choice burning works wonders on the nervous system. I've read that 1 cup of baking soda and 1 cup of epson salt is best but I usually just sprinkle some in (I don't like measurements). Maybe listen to your favorite music while soaking and try to think of nothing-that is hard! 

3. Do some yoga-Yoga is good for relaxation but can be pretty intense. I found this YouTube clip of a yoga instructor who does a relaxation technique for the entire body. When I first did the video I felt weird but if you give it a chance, it does help relieve stress. 

Here's the link to Ester's videoRelaxation
Her voice is soothing to listen to as well. So, enjoy and relax. 

Do you have relaxation ideas? What music do you find relaxing? 


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Etsy Shop

The Rounded Corner! 

Yep, that's the name of our shop. The blog evolved from the shop and merges our passion for creating and for spreading the word about Lyme disease. If it weren't for Lyme we probably wouldn't have started an Etsy card shop.  I have a B.S. in Business with a Marketing emphasis and was ready to get my feet wet in the corporate world. But I can't hold a FT job so my mom and I decided to make lemonade!  

We started our Etsy shop in April 2013: Shop Here Mom does most of the production right now and does fabulous work! You have to check out the cards. You see the link. I know you see it! :) I make some of the cards and maintain the shop. 

Our Styles

Mom's Creation

Robin's Creation

Christmas is Coming

Currently for Sale!

Christmas gift bags coming soon! 

Christmas tags coming soon!

Our Products. Your Rewards.

Most all of our products are made with Stampin Up! materials. They offer a wide variety of tools, embellishments and papers that are just amazing! The images on paper are hand stamped, not printed. The products are labor intensive but extremely fun to make and sell!  

If you're reading this post receive 15% off your order from now until Christmas! Use coupon code TRCBLOG15 at checkout. Our site only has a button for Paypal but if you click on it you can use your credit card. No need for a Paypal account. 

Free Shipping on our Breast Cancer Hope Cards-no coupon code needed. Encourage the fighters! 



Monday, October 7, 2013

It is in Your Head!

All Tests Normal: 

If you have health problems and all tests come back normal it's easy to leave the doctor's office feeling a crazy discouraged freak (at least that's what went through my head time after time). After several years of tests (incorrect lyme tests included) I began to wonder, "is it all in my head?" Then I'd feel a sharp pain down my back or a shooting pain down my arm. Very very real to me even though it was invisible to others. I began to wonder what other people thought. If my friends and family believed me. I had no proof that something was wrong until my body shut down...almost completely. 

I always found it humorous when a doctor would ask me, "So, are you feeling anxious?" I'd say, "well, yeah. anxious to find out what's wrong." In my head I was thinking why wouldn't I be anxious after being in incredible, invisible pain for years? Then the doctor would quickly reach for his samples of antidepressants and send me on my way. *Side note* With my illness I avoid antidepressants like the plague now. The withdrawals are absolutely terrible and doctors are very willing to up your dosage any time you want. Not a fan. 

It Actually is in my Head... 

Because my head holds my brain-yeah, a no brainer, I know. As we've learned more about neurological Lyme, we joke that some of the problems are LITERALLY in my head. The brain controls most every part of the body. My brain is definitely different than it was 7 years ago. It's infected with bacteria so I act totally different and feel outside of my own body. It's a very strange and often discouraging feeling. 

Saw a great website from a pic mom posted on FB. For those wondering if they have persistent Lyme or want peace of mind or brain :), here's some info that might help. Check out the site: BrainHealth The site lists early, mid and late symptoms of Lyme as well. 

Dr. Stoller, Chief of Hyperbaric Medicine for the Amen Clinics has been working with Lyme brain since the late 1990s. He says, “Lyme is often a serious, chronic illness that the medical community at large has misunderstood at best, and at worse unacknowledged”. How can doctors treat an illness if they don’t believe it exists? They can’t, which is why far too many people have been suffering with Lyme brain for far too long.

  • Common Neuropsychological Issues From Lyme Disease:
    • Impaired attention, focus, concentration, judgment and impulse control.
    • Impaired memory and speech functions.
    • Disorganization and getting lost.
    • Poor problem-solving and decision-making abilities.
    • Slower mental processing speed.
    • Symptoms similar to dementia and Alzheimer’s.
    70% of those afflicted with Lyme disease report changes in their thinking
    such as memory loss and reduced mental sharpness.
    I'm off all treatment now. My body couldn't handle it for now. I'll share more later. Thought this technical info might help someone. I have to remember that even though my brain is infected and I have neuro-emotional issues that I can't explain, God controls the brain. He knows every time my brain will bleep out. It's frustrating but encouraging to know that when I'm in my darkest moments, He understands what's going on in this hard head of mine.