Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Our Northwoods Adventure

Here I am, back fresh and (somewhat) rejuvenated from my weekend in the Northwoods!

It has been so long since we've been up there (we estimated at least a year and a half), that I forgot the incredible feeling up north instills in one who inhabits or vacations there-hence my inspirational quote today.

I also forgot how HARD it is to come back to reality! Although, I bet that is the line of thinking among everyone who has to come back from a particularly lovely vacation...

Regardless, I'm back with pictures to share!

 This is a gentleman we saw on our trip up...I think we found hoarders next story O.o

Ahhh, Ciocia's cabin :)

My dad, his boat, and his big fish (Hehe!)

Sitting Bull and I-Ain't he handsome ^.^

We were able to hit up a craft fair and tasting event in a neighboring town over the weekend. While walking and checking out the crafting booths, we ran across an apple tree! I swear, those apples were the best I've ever tasted and they were right off the tree xD

The fam!

We were lucky enough to feed a wild eagle! How awesome is that?! We would catch a fish, kill it, and toss it out into the lake where the eagle would fly low over us, talons extended, and snatch it up. 

It was an amazing sight to see :)

My cute little bass (I wasn't supposed to be in the sun, so that explains my sweatshirt and hood)

Poor baby didn't want that bath O.o
He didn't want to go home either!
He was in his glory swimming in the lake all day long.

Hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend like my family and I did!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Just Jen Custom T-shirt *Review*

When a person has a blog or a business or anything else that requires word to get out about yourself, you sometimes need to come up with creative ways to advertise! Graphic advertisements, features, reviews, and giveaways are great for the interwebby world, but what about those people who go to trade shows, craft shows, or even conferences?

Of course, I'm looking at Just Jen Custom Rhinestone T-shirts strictly from a business point of view, but quite honestly, their personalized apparel is good for ANY occasion you might have! A little about Just Jen T-shirts directly from their website:

"Just Jen Inc. is an integrated apparel manufacturer located in the Los Angeles area, specializing in rhinestone apparel. Just Jen shirts are manufactured in the U.S.A, using genuine Swarovski rhinestone crystals and 100% cotton t-shirts made by American Apparel."

Birthdays, weddings, parties, or just everyday wear, you can create (or find) what you're looking for in several easy steps:

Step 1: Locate what you're looking for-are you in the market for a woman's t-shirt for you or someone else? A bride-to-be t-shirt for a lucky lady? Maybe a children's t-shirt to spoil a child in your life? Don't let Just Jen 'shirts' fool you, though. Aside from shirts, you can find (or create) pants, hoodies, caps, lingerie....*phew*

Step 2: Create and customize! Pick the style of clothing you want, along with color and size of garment, color of your rhinestones, lettering or, custom design; seriously people, the sky is the limit!

Yes everyone, it's THAT easy :)

Interested yet? If so, don't forget to follow Just Jen on Twitter and 'Like' their Facebook Page!

My Thoughts:

I've been trying to win myself one of these beautiful shirts for over a year now and thanks to a contest Peira of Jolly Mom ran, I finally managed it!

Like I stated above, the design process is extremely simple; it's just a matter of picking out design, size, colors and what your shirt will say :)

I decided that I wanted something that I could wear to advertise my jewelry business, so I opted for 'The Eclectic Element: Handmade & Vintage' since what I offer IS handmade and vintage jewelry. I waited impatiently patiently for it to arrive, and when it finally did, I was downright giddy! It came in a gorgeous pink organza bag, with tags and instructions on how to wash your new garment. Unfortunately, when I opened up the t-shirt to behold it's beauty, I realized email communications had been crossed, and we had a little snafoo with the quote o.O

Thankfully, Jen of Just Jen was the sweetest and proceeded to make me a brand new shirt and shipped it to me at no extra cost! I couldn't have asked for any better customer service :)

Take two.

The second shirt arrived just like the first, but thankfully, no quote snafoo to be seen! I threw it on real fast and I immediately fell in love with the style and the fit-I chose the fitted style, which admittedly, I was a little worried about (I've had issues with tight fitting clothing in the past), but thankfully and to my relief, this one showed off my figure nicely while at the same time allowing room to maneuver and breath.

All in all, I ADORE my new shirt! It took me awhile to get a hold of one, but it was well worth the wait :)

**Disclaimer: The t-shirt that was reviewed was won in a blog giveaway on JollyMom.com. I was in no other way compensated for this review. All thoughts, opinions, and words contained and expressed in the above blog post are mine and mine alone unless otherwise stated** 

Mailbox Monday(8/29)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


I've said it once, and I'll say it again: Etsians are just the NICEST people you'll ever want to meet!

I was messaged the other week by a woman who connected with me through my about me page; she also has a health issue similar to mine, and wanted to not only share her experiences and what has helped her, but to send me an amazing package filled with beading goodies (pictured above)! 

Definitely check out her Etsy Shop-it's filled with some fun vintage finds :)

What did you get in the mail this week?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday Daddy!

{My dad and I way back in the day}

Today is my daddy's birthday!

(yes, I do indeed still call him my 'Daddy')

I'm not sure what we're doing today, but I do know his wish was to take a weekend trip Up North to visit his sister (our Aunt), and just relax in the Northwoods :)

We haven't been up there in over a year, so it's WELL overdue!

I believe we're leaving tomorrow xD

In the mean time, Happy Birthday Dad!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nature is so Awesome.

The other day, my sister went out to get the mail and came back with something that was most definitely NOT various bits of paper stuffed in envelopes and free samples.

It was much prettier!

I have no idea the species of this moth/butterfly, but it was as big as my sister's hand both width and length wise, and was the most beautiful shade of green with four, little 'eyes' strategically placed on it's back.

Oh! Make sure to see it's antenni, too! They are so COOL O.o

Nature never ceases to amaze.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Mat Kearney: Young Love *CD Review*

"Like ships in the night, you keep passing me by. We're just wasting time, trying to prove who's right, and if it all comes crashing into the sea, if it's just you and me trying to find the light. Like ships in the night."

Thanks to the One2One Network, I had an incredible opportunity to do my first CD review! And might I just saw, what a hell of a first CD to review.

This being his third album, Mat Kearney's Young Love hit stores a couple weeks back debuting on the #1 spot on iTunes Album and Rock charts! With it's eclectic mix of musical styles, and upbeat tempo, it's no wonder why it topped the charts so fast :)

On this CD, you can find 10 wonderful tracks:

1. Hey Mama
2. Ships In The Night
3. Count On Me

4. Sooner Or Later

5. Chasing The Light

6. Learning To Love Again

7. Down

8. She Got The Honey

9. Young Dumb And In Love

10. Rochester

I suppose you can say I've been living under a Mat Kearney rock because I had NEVER heard of him before! I'm sure I would recognize a song of his if I heard it because his music has been featured on hit television shows like 30 Rick, Grey's Anatomy, The Hills, Friday Night Lights, Scrubs, NCIS, and many others, but I had never heard of the person before this review opportunity.

One word: Ah-MAY-zing!

Seriously, the way you can tell I've found a new favorite artist is I listen to their CD or songs over and over (and over) again, and I believe from last count, I've listened to the CD fully through 6 times since I got it.

I even made my boyfriend listen to it, and he really liked it, too!

It's so upbeat that you just want to get up and dance to it (which I have), and his lyrics are so meaningful and deep; that's what I like best about a song in general. If it has good lyrics, I'm all over it :) I'm also thoroughly impressed by the seamless mixing of musical genres-not only can you find indie in this album, but there is also a hint of country, some pop, and even a little softcore rapping, which I surprisingly liked a lot (I'm definitely NOT a big country and rap fan).

When I loaded up the CD into my iTunes library, I was actually pretty shocked to see that it's listed under the genre of religious. I would have NEVER guessed that.

I have to say, while I do love all the songs on the CD, my absolute favorite is Ships in the Night. It's such a beautiful song. Although, really, they ALL are :)

Have YOU been living under a Mat Kearney rock?! If so, jump right on outta there and learn more about him and his music!

Mat Kearney Official Website

Mat Kearney iTunes Page

Mat Kearney on Twitter

Mat Kearney on Facebook

You can also purchase his new album, Young Love, on iTunes and Amazon, or directly from his Personal Store.

**Disclaimer: I was provided with Mat Kearney's newest album, Young Love, in CD form to facilitate this honest review courtesy of One2One Network. All thoughts, opinions, and words expressed in the above post are mine, and mine alone except where otherwise stated**

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off to School I Go

Like many children and adults alike, today, August 22nd, I'm going back to school.


That is correct! I know I've attempted this a few times in the past couple of years I've been blogging and shared my experiences with you all; sometimes it worked, most times it did not. This time is different though.

A few weeks back, I actually went IN to the school, and registered with Disabilities. They came up with a special sheet for me, and when I get screwed over (which pretty much always happens, it just depends by whom or what), they can help.

Aside from that little "safety net" of sorts, the two classes I chose are both strictly online classes. I'm actually on right now completing my first assignment :)

Oh, by the way, my two classes are Introduction to Psychology and Introduction to Business.

I DO have to go into class tomorrow for an orientation (which I still don't get by the way), but after that, hopefully I won't have to go in for anything else.

And of course hopefully I can balance everything! So, If I happen to be absent or MIA at all, aside from health issues of course, you know where I'll be :)

Photo Credit

Mailbox Monday(8/22)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


Thanks to One2One network, I have a wonderful opportunity to review Mat Kearney's newest album, Young Love, which showed up in my mailbox last Monday!

Look for that review sometime this week ;)

  I got two school text books and a software CD I needed for the two online classes I start this Monday (post to come).

The one book wasn't bad, and the software was a little pain, but the second book has given me nothing but grief (post also to come)!

 I'm very honored to get to be a part of a book tour this upcoming October for Rebecca Coleman's newest book, The Kingdom of Childhood, which arrived this week as well :)

I can't wait to start reading it!

What did you get in the mail this week?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Health Update Thursday(8/18)

I must admit, this Health Update Thursday will not be as eventful as the last one, but I did promise to keep you up to date, so here I am keeping that promise!! :)

Since last week, things started looking a little down again, but not for the reasons you might think; I woke up yesterday morning with my body nearly screaming at me, "Toms headed into town! BEWARE!"

Seriously, you know how older people predict hurricanes just by their body alone? That's how it felt, except instead of hurricane Billy, or Susie, or Joseph, it's Tom that's imminent o.O

Aside from that, a few new health-related points that happened this week:

*I gave up all dairy products. Yes, this cheese lovin', goat milk drinking, yogurt eating girl has given up dairy. Dairy aids in causing inflammation in the body, and because of the pain I've already been experiencing, dairy just exacerbates the situation.

*Like dairy, I gave up sugar. Okay, I didn't give it up entirely (you really CAN'T give it up entirely because it's in everything), but I cut it out considerably. It also aids in inflammation, and if I can cut down on the horrible pain I've been having, bye bye sugar!

*I started walking! I was walking pretty good for the first two or three days, but then I started lagging a little bit. As my sister likes to call it, I look like "a defective webble-wobble." LOL

I was supposed to go down to Dekalb and spend the weekend there this week partying with my friend who just turned 21, but unfortunately with me getting more tired with each passing day and everything else that doesn't seem to be going away, I think it's going to be a quiet weekend at home.

Honestly though, I can't say I'm too disappointed because I'm just so damn tired! All I want to do is sleep all the time.

Speaking of which, I think I might take my own advice and get some ZzZzZz's.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music Moves Me Monday(8/15)

Welcome to Music Moves Me Monday!

This meme is hosted by a group of seriously great people-Dolly of XmasDolly, Lorie of The Shewbridges of Central Florida, Larrie of CakeBlast, and last but certainly not least, Callie of JAmericanSpice!

Here are the rules if you wanted to participate::

First step: Run over to You Tube, (or wherever), and lock & load! Get your pick for the theme of the week.

Second Step: Grab our "Monday's Music Moves Me" button::


Third step: SIGN THE LINKY - Dance (follow) your host/hostesses, and grab their buttons.

Final step: Start lookin' for a partner and boogie on down to her blog, and say hello, and tag (follow) her/him, and leave a nice comment. If you've been tagged (followed) be hip, and get on over there, and tag (follow) her back and leave a comment.


I have some exciting news-I've been chosen as one of the Spotlight  Dancers for this Music Moves Me Monday!! How cool is that?!

Spotlight Dancers

{I even get a fun little button and everything!}

Per the email Dolly sent me, today is a Freebie day! So, let's see...

Enjoy :)

Feel free to link up on the linky, too!

Have a musical week everyone!

Mailbox Monday(8/15)

Mailbox Monday divulges into the inner workings of my mailbox throughout the week. From books to jewelry to free samples to random magazines and letters-You never know what will be in the mail this week...


Thanks to yet another instant win game on Facebook, I got me a coupon for a free bag of Sour Patch Kids!

Now, all I need is to win myself a package of teryoki beef jerky, and I'm set ;)

If you haven't had the two mixed together, you're SERIOUSLY missing out!

Not only did I win one amazing bathing suit from Voda Swim (review to come really soon hopefully!), but I had another surprising swim suit win, this time, courtesy of Guilty Pleasures lingerie blog and CocoLush.com!

Isn't this bikini just ADORABLE!?

I actually was selfless this time and gave it to my sister, who loves anything swim suit. Although, I'm still debating on whether that was a good idea-I might be feeding an addiction O.o

Just to show you I'm normal like everyone else, I have to include my credit card bill to the things I received this week O.o

Thankfully, I had paid the thing online (it was strikingly close to that pictured balance, too!), so I didn't have to worry about getting it paid.

What did you get in the mail this week?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Health Update Thursday(8/12)-Part 2

Bright and early the next day(bright and early for me anyway since I usually sleep in until 11:00), we got ready, gathered whatever we needed for the 1 1/2 hour car ride to Madison, jumped in the car, and were off.

The trip there was pretty uneventful-I brought several books (5), so I was pretty occupied the whole way there.

We had a little trouble finding the office, so after the computer-generated printed directions failed us, we broke out the smartphones, which was just what was needed!

We honestly had no idea what to expect when we finally arrived-We had only heard about the guy from word of mouth, and from what we read on the internet while getting the address for the failed directions.

When I first met this guy, I immediately flashed to the movie, Eat Pray Love with Julia Roberts; If you've seen this movie, you have seen the very sweet, very old wise man, Ketut Liyer (pictured to the right). This doctor was almost a dead ringer!

Very cute. Very old. Speaking broken English, and very wise-He had a story for everything!

Anyway, getting back to the appointment.

This doctor was not only a MD (Medical Doctor), but he also had a career as an anesthesiologist before he "retired," as well as studying acupuncture and homeopathy. Needless to say, we focused more along the natural homeopathy line of diagnosis and treatment.

I'm thinking of doing a separate post on Homeopathy for those of you who don't know what it is-Actually, I think it would help ME as well, so that's something to look forward to ;)

We were directed to the back, and ushered into a very tiny office. I was made to sit in a large chair in the middle, and he used a machine that's highly valued in Europe for over 50 years! It's amazing how Europe is leagues ahead of us in these type of things. The machine pointed out that I indeed had chronic Lyme Disease, and along with that diagnosis, it also came up with Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Unfortunately, we couldn't test for anything else because, as he explained to me in his broken English, I'm like an onion-The Lyme and Arthritis were the top layer and before I could explore, treat, and eradicate what other layers below, I had to peel off, or eliminate, the top.

The good news-Eradicate we are trying to do! I'm even on 100mg of Doxycycline twice a day! Can you believe it!? The more bewildering part aside from me being on Western medicine: I'm handling it! There are some side effects like stomach troubles and queasiness, and of course I can't go out into the sun or heat, but it definitely could be worse.

Along with the Doxy, I'm on several traditional Homeopathic drops. These are taken three times a day thirty minutes before or after any sort of food, and held under the tongue for two minute so the nutrients in them can be absorbed.

As we paid for the two appointments and our plethora of supplements, we were given appointments to come back to see how we're doing. My journey is expected to be a long one, and I'm mostly okay with that-The worst things about new doctors and treatments is the money that goes along with it, but what are you going to do?

My next appointment is at the beginning of September, so I'm just continuing with everything religiously until then, along with a few other things my M.I. threw in.

These people threw down the 'C' word...


So as of right now, I'm cautiously optimistic. VERY cautiously optimistic. But it's always good to have that positive attitude going into these kinds of things. As my boyfriend's mother told me when we were talking last week, "It's important to stay positive because if you're not, I believe that things may not work as well."

You all can expect to be taken on this journey with me, so no fears! You will be updated and kept in the loop with everything :)

Oh, and speaking of being kept in the loop, those bites/rashes I had? Well through some trial and error and a whole lot of conjecture on my mother, my boyfriend, and my account, AND the wonder of the world wide web, we realized that I was somehow reinfected with Lyme! The bites/rash was what us in the Lyme world called an EM rash, or Erythema Chronicum Migrans, which is the tell tale 'bullseye' rash that is conjectured in most affected people.

Very ironic that I get it 7 1/2 years late, huh?!

I'm not sure what this means, but I'm sure we'll find out O.o

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Health Update Thursday(8/11)-Part 1

Buckle up ladies and gentlemen; this is going to be one heck of a H.U.T!

When I last left you(all the way back in July, for shame!), things were pretty uneventful-I was doing pretty well minus the impending visit from the ever-so-torturous Tom, but other then that, life was looking up for me. 

And so it has continued in that pattern for the past couple of weeks! Everyone-my family, friends, and boyfriend-even said that they were so proud that I was doing so very well. I was getting out and hanging with friends. Going to bars. I even got to see one of my good friends get married :)

 All was going very well, and I was finding myself becoming hopeful after each day I didn't relapse or get sick.

Then came the Sunday my boyfriend and I traveled down to Freeport, Illinois to visit his fellow band mate and spend the day with him and his girlfriend. We had a fabulous time-Grilling chicken and hot dogs outdoors, watching movies, playing with puppies (okay, that last one was all me). It was hotter then hell on a Summer day in August, so I of course, I opted for shorts.

When I woke up the next day, my mother told me she had made an appointment with a new doctor up in Madison...Say WHAT?! There is an amusing story to go along with this, though. My mom was at a local farmer's market, when she ran across this woman selling homemade soap bars. While talking to this woman about her soap and my sister, who suffers from skin problems, this lady told her about the doctor that cleared up her skin issues 20+ years ago. My mom was so intrigued, she came home, went online, acquired his number, called, and made an appointment.

Before she hung up, she figured, 'what the hell,' and decided to ask about me. "Do you have any luck treating chronic Lyme Disease patients?" she asked the receptionist, to which, the receptionist replied, "Dr. So-and-So has treated over 4,000 Lyme Disease patients from all over the world, and a lot of them are cured."

So, upon hearing that, she changed that one appointment into two.

Did I mention these two appointments were the NEXT day at 11:00 am!? Which means, we had to get up around 8:00am to drive the 1 1/2 to 2 hours it takes to get there by 11.

Anywho, the night prior to our appointments, I started seeing these really weird bite/rash patches on my legs that itched like mad and looked pretty gross if I do say so myself  >.< They didn't look like any mosquito bites I'D ever seen before, but I figured that's what they were and paid no attention. I figure they'd itch for a little while and then eventually fade within the week.

Check back tomorrow to see how the doctor appointment went, and to see what those bites/rashes on my legs REALLY were O.o

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bridesmaids *Movie Review*

 Movie Synopsis:

Annie (Kirstin Wigg), a broke, loveless woman in a crappy job, a crappy 'relationship,' and an even crappier living situation is just going through the motions of life. She's somewhat happy just as long as she has her best friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) to goof around with.

But when Lillian invites Annie over one night and drops the big 'E' word, Annie is shocked.


Even more, she's asked to be the Maid of Honor in her best friends wedding. Of course she agrees, but how in the world is she going to manage the time and money for it?

In walks Helen (Rose Byrne), a country club wife and all around perfect woman in the eyes of many-And one of Lillian's bridesmaids. Butting heads instantaneously, Annie and Helen vie for the coveted roll of Maid of Honor.

As the two battle and things go from uncomfortable to weird to out of hand, people (and the wedding) start falling apart. Can things be patched up between EVERYONE in time for the wedding?

My Thoughts:

I have to say I heard many different things going into this movie-Two of which were that it was completely hilarious from start to finish, and that it was just The Hangover for women.

I most definitely agree with the first one!

I could not stop laughing! Seriously, from the moment the movie started until the credits rolled, I was in tears.

The story line is somewhat of an old one, but this cast and crew give it such a new spin, that you really don't notice. Speaking of the cast, WOW! Some incredibly funny ladies are assembled in this movie, and might I just say, bravo :)

It is quite raunchy, so if you're easily offended, then you might not want to give it a watch, but if you're all set for the laughter to roll, head on out and see it and/or rent it!

**This is an opinion solely based on my thoughts and opinions of the movie in question and no one elses. I was not influenced one way or another to write the subject matter in this review, so if you don't like it or don't agree with it, that is your choice and I fully respect it so please extend me the same curtsy**

Monday, August 8, 2011

Galstanberry #2 Giveaway ends TONIGHT!

Don't forget to enter the Galstanberry #2 giveaway that ends TONIGHT!! 

Included are a copy of Galstanberry #2 by Garen S. Wolff, a limited edition bookmark, and a sheet of Galstanberry Girlz stickers!

Good luck everyone :)

Enter Here