Thursday, August 28, 2014

Eerie Ogden

Have I mentioned that I live in the coolest town!?

I live in THE COOLEST TOWN!! 

Picture via Eerie Ogden Tribune Facebook

A writer friend of mine, Randi, has started a quarterly newspaper for kids called the Eerie Ogden Tribune.

This isn't your ordinary newspaper for kids, Oh No! This is a paper filled with stories about mermaids, ghosts, witches and other supernatural creatures.

The best part is that all the settings are local!! That's right, the stories are set here in Ogden and the surrounding areas of Northern Utah!!

HOW COOL IS THAT!!??!!

Now, this paper is totally grassroots and needs help. Please, please, please go to their Kickstarter and give a little if you can! Any help is appreciated!!

Pictures via Eerie Ogden Facebook
Here is an adorable Word from Barnabas Wolfbeard! (For some reason I couldn't put the video on here. Just go to the link. It's totally cute!)

You can also find out more information on their Facebook page. While you're there be sure to enter one of the many contests going on! I won this awesome mug! They just gave away some werewolf ears! Seriously, this is so cool!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Frenemy



It's been a year now, and I'm ready to talk about it.

I got dumped.

Friend Dumped that is.

First of all, I'd like to say that this is my point of view. Obviously I only have one side of the story. I will readily admit that I have huge faults, this story is just my account of what happened.

In January of 2012 I was introduced to a local blog that was looking for contributors. I went to an introductory meeting and met a lot of great people. I didn't start writing articles right away, but I started contributing photos and volunteering for events. I thought this time I spent made me not only a contributor but also a friend of the editors. Especially the Main Editor.

Main Editor has a child who is a similar age to my youngest, and we had some similarities in our backgrounds. After we became friends on Facebook I started spending a lot of time with her. She'd post things on Facebook, asking for rides or a babysitter so she could take care of blog business. She had neither a car or a drivers license. Since I was a stay at home mom with Joe not in school I had lots of time, a car, and no job. I volunteered a lot for these tasks.

We'd also meet up for playdates with other moms and kids, sometimes we'd meet at a park and sometimes I'd pick her up and drive. Over the months I became friends with the other two editors and started getting invited to more social events. Birthday parties, karaoke nights, barbecues. I was always happy to be a designated driver, since I was driving a huge Suburban and don't drink.

In June I started writing articles. In October I was put on "probation". I still don't really know why.

Now, just to set the record straight, I really thought we were friends. She confided in me. She invited me to things. Not everything was "Can anybody [give me a ride, watch my kid, help out]!?!" and I just happened to be able to do it.  She specifically contacted me too. I was there to listen to her personal problems. I was there to be supportive during her pregnancy. I took her to prenatal appointments in another town and watched her daughter for her so she could go alone. Another of the editors and I threw her a baby shower.

All this time I was also contributing and volunteering for her local blog. I was a friend and an employee. Only, I worked for free.

Once, she watched Joe so I could go to my Female Doctor alone. Once, she gave me $5 in gas money. Once, she gave me leftover brownies.

At the baby shower the other hostess provided Thank You notes, we had everyone address their own envelopes so that the new mom just had to write them and mail them. I did get a thank you note. In it she called me a "crafty such-and-such". I don't even know what that means.

That was all the thanks I got. Ever.

In May of 2013 I received an email from "the Editors" listing all the things I was doing wrong for the blog. Listing how horrible and embarrassing I'd been. The email came out of the blue and I was dumbstruck.

I was devastated.

I literally cried for a whole weekend.

I composed myself and sent an email back. I apologized for everything and tried to explain myself. I never heard back.

I could see that the email was sent from the Main Editor and that the other two editors had only been cc'd on it. I contacted them and they were just as surprised as I was.

I continued doing what I'd been doing, writing articles and volunteering for events, but I started to watch things a little more closely. Main Editor still asked for favors, still made empty promises of reciprocation, but I stopped volunteering. I noticed that whenever anyone else needed help she never stepped up. Ever.

Then, I noticed that I wasn't seeing her many, many self-promoting Facebook statuses any more. I noticed that when I volunteered for things for the local blog they were handed to other people unless there was nobody else to do it. All the perks went to other people. Never to me. In my year and a half of volunteering I got free tickets to one show, and the only reason I managed that was because the original person couldn't go. I had been with the blog longer than anyone (other than the editors) and I was constantly and consistently passed over. The new people were more important to her than I was.

In July I realized that she'd "unfriended" me.

I was never fired, I was passive-aggressively pushed out.

In August 2013 I asked one of the other editors to remove my material from the local blog and I left the blog's Facebook group.

Some time after that she blocked me on Facebook. I'm still blocked. I only know this because we have mutual friends and sometimes I see them reply to her in their posts.

I never posted publicly about this before now. I discussed it with the other editors, and I chatted about things with a few friends. That's it.

I still don't know what I did wrong.

Honestly, I don't care.

I know that I was a good friend. I spent my time, money, and emotions on a relationship that was one sided. I promoted her and her projects with enthusiasm. I was never anything but friendly and supportive. I gave and gave.

I got used up. When I had nothing more to give I was dumped and she moved on to other willing targets.

This has been a lesson to me. I've learned to look at my relationships. I've learned to be a little more selfish. I now know that any relationship is only good if it's balanced.

That doesn't mean that I expect payback for every little thing. It means that friendships are supposed to be mutually beneficial. I get just as much out of it as I put into it.

I've found that I have a lot of surface friends. People who are willing to turn up when there's going to be fun but are nowhere to be found when I just need somebody to listen to me cry for a while.

I also found have a few deeper friends. People who will come sit and chat with me while I do housework because I'll go crazy otherwise. People who will remember my birthday without Facebook reminding them. People who actually care about me. People who appreciate me.

******

Joe still sometimes asks to play with her little girl. It breaks my heart every time I have to tell him that her mom doesn't like me any more, so his friend can't come over and play.


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Dark & Matte Nails

I follow a bunch of nail people on Facebook and this week's look is inspired by Colores de Carol.

I got a little overzealous with the nail glue. 

The base color is a dark blue, Essence Color & Go 147 Miss Universe. It took three coats to get the color I wanted. I probably could have gotten away with just two, but I wanted a very dark base. 

When the color dried I put some striping tape where I wanted and painted one coat of Sally Hansen Big Matte Top Coat. 

My right hand turned out just as good as my left!

Then I put a dot of Kiss Precision Nail Glue and added one of the nail jewels that I found super cheap on Amazon. 


I don't have a lot of hope that the jewels are going to last all week, but they look pretty cool for now! 

 


In other nail related news, I didn't start out with this look. I actually wanted to do red nails. The same day I bought this pretty dark blue I also got a red color that had beautiful a holographic. 

Unfortunately this one turned out completely disappointing. It was more like a top coat, no color whatsoever. 

Pixel 233 Oh Golly Gee
Very disappointing. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Nails

It's been a rough little while for me, so I decided to do something on my nails that I knew would make me happy. Kind of like Comfort Food but on my nails. Comfort Nails.



The polish is OPI Happy Anniversary. It's a sheer, sparkly, metallic white. It goes with everything, it's cheerful, and it's classy without being boring. Love this polish, it's easily one of my all-time favorites.

First I did white tips using Nalene tip guides and Sally Hansen Insta-Dri 120 Whirlwind White, because white tips make me happy.

Then I did two coats of Happy Anniversary. For some reason the white tip on my left index finger went wonky when I did the first coat. Instead of removing it all I decided to use a Nail Thins Ladybug decal to cover the little goober spot. I think it turned out extra cute that way. I didn't do a matching decal on the right hand. I think it looks adorable just having the one tiny bug!



I followed up with two coats of OPI Top Coat to protect things.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

Celiac Disease

I've mentioned in my last couple of posts that I haven't been doing very well. This is the post where I explain why. Warning: It's a long one.

I have Celiac Disease and I got "glutened".

Celiac Disease (or Coeliac Disease for those who speak the Queen's English) is an autoimmune disease. It's a very serious, chronic disease that can only be treated by going on a gluten free diet. Never ever eating anything with gluten in it for the rest of my life. There is no other way.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and most oats. If gluten gets to my small intestine very bad things happen.

You see, everybody's small intestines have these wonderful little things called villi. The villi are little fingers that stick out and act like vacuums, sucking up all the nutrients in food. Not just at the top like a little tube, but all along their length. Those villi get all up in the food like a pig wallowing in the mud, happily absorbing all the vitamins and minerals they can.

With Celiac Disease those happy little piggy villi react horrifically to gluten. The gluten damages those little fingers. It flattens them out. Instead of long fingers sticking out, I end up with smooth sides. The surface area for absorbing nutrients diminishes greatly.

Image from UCLA Health

Basically, untreated Celiac Disease is the same as walking around malnourished. This is why as a pre-teen I walked around looking like a concentration camp survivor. That's not an exaggeration, kids can be mean but they're usually pretty honest in their cruelty. That's not to say that people with Celiac Disease can't be overweight. They totally can be, it's just another way that their body is trying to cope with the disease.

As I said, the only treatment for Celiac Disease is to go on a completely gluten free diet. This isn't something I do for fun, to be trendy, or to lose weight. I have to eat like this for the rest of my life. If I don't there are consequences, immediate and long term.

The immediate effects are pretty gross, to put it delicately I get gastric distress. It's a lot like food poisoning, but it takes a little longer to kick in. I also get at least one giant cystic pimple on my chin, just in case I don't feel bad enough I get to look terrible too! The next few days are filled with headaches, joint and body pains, and my depression kicks in too. For the next few weeks I'm weak and tired, and much more likely to catch any sicknesses that are going around. If I'm lucky I'll start to feel better after two weeks.

Those are the effects of just getting a little bit of accidental gluten. Some times I don't even know where it came from. Usually it's from eating out and getting cross contamination* sometimes it's as simple as getting a kiss from Joey too soon after he's had a sandwich.

Long term the effects are much more dire. Cancer. That's right. If I get too much damage in my intestines I can get cancer.

"If a person with celiac had the disease undiagnosed for a long period of time, or fails to maintain a gluten-free lifestyle after diagnosis, the chance of developing small intestinal cancer increases. Those with celiac disease are especially more likely to develop lymphomas in the small intestine because of their compromised immune system. In the past the increased risk of celiacs developing lymphomas was quite high, 40-100% more likely. However, more recent studies have shown that the risk of lymphoma is slightly higher than the normal population—much less than previously believed—and that this risk reaches unity with the normal population after a gluten-free diet has been maintained for several years." From www.CeliacCentral.org

Like I said, this is no fad diet. This is serious stuff.

I wasn't diagnosed with Celiac Disease until I was 26 years old. That's a pretty long time to be malnourished. My daughter was diagnosed two weeks after me. She was six. Luckily for her, we caught it before it could cause any long term problems. She's completely healthy now (as long as she maintains her diet.) She's a healthy weight and she's growing very well.

Unfortunately for me, I'm still having problems. My bone density is low. I don't have osteoperosis yet, but my bones aren't as dense as they should be. I've lost height. When I was 18 years old I was 5'8.75" tall. As of July 30th I'm now 5'7" even. I'm also dealing with random pain and tiredness that my doctor calls Fybromialgia (I'm not 100% sure if I agree with the diagnosis and will have more tests done when I can.)

Since I'm still having problems my husband and I have decided that our whole house is going to go gluten free. When we go out to eat the boys are welcome to order as much gluten as they'd like, but they aren't going to be bringing any of it into the house.

This is going to take some serious preparation on my part. Since I somehow got accidental gluten in July (twice judging from the nasty pimples that popped up) my house has gone to the birds. I'm not the best housekeeper in the best circumstances, with being sick for so long the house has a similar look to a disaster area. I've got to get things back in order so that I can get in the kitchen and cook a lot. No more quick convenience foods, I need to make it all.

To add insult to injury, I've been on a lower dose of my depression medication. *sigh* It's a long story, but the gist of it is that my doctor moved two hours away and I couldn't get in contact with anyone to get a prescription refill. When I finally did manage to catch somebody on the phone it was only to be told that I had to get a new doctor and a new prescription. By this time I was nearly out, so I had to start taking a smaller dose to try and ration what remained. I'm currently taking 1/3 what I need. This means I'm barely functioning. Luckily, the new prescription will be ready by some time next week. Within a week or two of being back on my full dose I should be back to normal. Well, normal for me anyway!

So there you have it. The full explanation why I've been feeling so terrible for so long. Things are starting to look up, but I've got a ways to go.

If you want more information I have another blog, Everyday Celiac. I haven't updated it lately, but there are some resources there.

*Cross contamination is when I get gluten, not from eating something containing gluten, but from gluten being transferred to my food. For example: this happens when a restaurant used a cutting board to cut my food right after cutting bread, or when they fry my food in oil that has had breaded food fried in it. Things like that are called cross contamination and they make eating anywhere but at home a gamble. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

August Ipsy

I've been a little out of the loop. The past couple of weeks have been really busy for lots of different reasons that I'll have to go into later.

My Ipsy bag for August came today and I just want to take a second to post about it.


Left to right: Lord & Berry Silk Kajal Kohl Eye Pencil, Absolute Lip Balm in Green Apple (I just got it today and I already love this stuff!), Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, Manna Kadar Cosmetics Sheer Glo, and Glamglow Youthmud Tinglexfoliate Treatment.

So far this is the first bag I've received that's not flat. This poor thing got a little squished in the mail, but I think with a little time it'll pop back into shape. Betty has already claimed this one for her school pencil pouch!

Remember, if you want to sign up to get your own Ipsy bag use my link and I get points! http://www.ipsy.com/r/69qo

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Root Beer Bottle Cozy

My husband likes to drink his root beer out of a bottle. I don't blame him, it tastes better that way! I wanted to make him a cozy to help him keep it cool and to keep his hands dry in this humid weather. Yesterday the Root Beer Bottle Cozy was born!



My husband doesn't drink anything stronger than root beer, so I thought it would be funny to make it look like an old-timey whiskey jug. Call me an ironic hipster if you want. I'll own it.

I wrote down the pattern while I was making knitting it up. I haven't test knit it so let me know if there are any problems! This is the first pattern I've submitted to Ravelry.



Root Beer Bottle Cozy

Supplies:
Small amount of Brown Worsted Weight Yarn (MC) (I used a Heather Brown color Lion Brand Wool-Ease from my stash. It lost its label a long time ago, but I think the color was called Mink.)
Small amount of Cream Worsted Weight Yarn (CC) (Again, I know this is Wool-Ease and I think it's called Wheat but it's also from my stash and without a label.)
Size 6 DPNs or long circular needle for working Magic Loop (I prefer Magic Loop.)
Stitch Marker (optional)
Blunt Yarn Needle

Instructions:

Cast on 10 stitches in MC and join for working in the round. Place the stitch marker to mark the beginning if you'd like.

Round 1: *(K1, KFB) repeat from * (15 stitches)
Round 2: *(K2, KFB) repeat from * (20 stitches)
Round 3: *(K3, KFB) repeat from * (25 stitches)
Round 4: *(K4, KFB) repeat from * (30 stitches)
Round 5: *(K5, KFB) repeat from * (35 stitches)
Round 6: Purl across
Rounds 7-20: K across

Switch to CC

Rounds 21-27: K across

Switch back to MC

Rounds 28-30: K across
Round 31: K 1, SSK, K 11, K2tog, K 2, SSK, K 12, K2tog, K 1 (31 stitches)
Round 32: K 1, SSK, K 9, K2tog, K 2, SSK, K 10, K2tog, K1 (27 stitches)
Rounds 33-34: K across
Round 35: K1, SSK, K 7, K2tog, K 2, SSK, K 8, K2tog, K 1(23 stitches)
Round 36: K across
Round 37: K 1, SSK, K across (22 stitches)
Rounds 38-39: K2 P2 across (You'll end up with a K2 at the beginning and the end.)
Round 40: SSK, P2 K2 to the last two stitches, K2tog (20 stitches)
Rounds 41-50: K1, P2 K2 to the last stitch, K1.

Bind off with a super stretchy bind off. I kind of made something up but any stretchy sock bind off should work. Just be sure the bottom of the bottle you want to use will fit.

Weave in the ends and use MC to embroider the three "X"s in the middle of the cream section.


Abbreviations:

MC = Main Color
CC = Contrast Color
K = Knit
KFB = Knit into the front and the back of the stitch
SSK = Slip, Slip, Knit. Slip two stitches as if to knit and then knit these stitches together
K2Tog = Knit two stitches together
P = Purl


*Please let me know if there are any mistakes in this pattern!!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Weeping Angels and Rainbows

I haven't been feeling very well the last few weeks. My depression is acting up, and I think I got some accidental gluten.

That doesn't mean I haven't kept busy! When I was feeling really down I somehow managed to convince my husband to go to the local yarn store, The Needlepoint Joint, and pick out some yarn for me. Reason #545 why my husband is the best, he hates yarn stores.

It worked! I was cheered up and I turned that yarn into a hat and mittens.


They're very soft and very cheerful. I haven't blocked anything yet, when I do the lacy pattern will show up better. I found the patterns on Ravelry, they're called the Cafe Au Lait Tam and the Cafe Au Lait Mittens (expanded from the Cafe Au Lait Mitts.)

I call them my Rainbow Tam and Rainbow Mittens. You can check here for the project page on my hat, and here for the mittens. I'm not 100% done with the mittens yet. I am going to knit a lining for them so that they're extra warm. I plan to use them for driving the kids to school on cold winter mornings.

I've also managed to do my nails. I trimmed them super short again, and wasn't up for being super creative. I decided to just swatch the Weeping Angel polish I got from A'dor Beauty Supply when I bought the other two polishes that I love.



This one didn't disappoint!!

I couldn't help but use my new hat as a background. 

It's got a grainy texture reminiscent of stone (just like a real Weeping Angel) in a pretty silver color. There are also some subtly iridescent flecks of glitter. Not nearly enough to be overwhelming, just enough to be fun! This is another polish I bought for my daughter but fell in love with!


Pictured is two coats (I probably could have gotten away with one, but two looks better) over my normal base coat. I didn't do a top coat because I didn't want to ruin the texture. It's been a few days since I polished them and so far I haven't had any chipping.