10/20/14

Christmas Mini-Album: Merry and Bright

As I mentioned last week I am starting to list Christmas items in the shop! And I am really excited to share with you this addition to my Etsy Shop! This is probably one of my favorite mini-albums that I have ever made! (Along with the "Homegrown Christmas Mini Album" from last week! *smiles*)
This is a sweet and unique mini scrapbook (size is approximately 7x4) with journal tags and embellishments that provides a lovely gift for Christmas or simply a stress free way for you to remember the joy of this holiday season. Each album contains 30 pages so that you can easily document each day of December!
 Albums come embellished with ribbon, twine, tabs, pretty scrapbook paper, glitter and cuteness that you will quickly fall in love with. Simply insert your pictures and write your precious memories to remember the wonder and precious memories of the season for you to enjoy for years to come. I love the colors and the "feel" of this classic Christmas Album!
This could be an excellent and stress free way for you to document and remember the joy of the holiday season or to give as a gift for Christmas! (AND the more albums you purchase the more savings you receive!) 
Stay tuned in the next few weeks as I continue to daily stock more Christmas items and more items in general in the shop! In the mean time click HERE to go directly to the shop to place your order! *smiles*

Happy Monday friends!

The Big Book of Savings

Sponsored by Ryan's, HomeTown Buffet, & Old Country Buffet

Hosted by Deals of Sweetness & Co-Hosted by Pea of Sweetness

The Big Book of Savings Giveaway
The popular buffet restaurants Ryan’s, HomeTown Buffet, and Old Country Buffet are introducing limited-edition copies of The Big Book of Savings that are filled with more than $75 in discounts. The coupon books are available for purchase for $10 at any of the 324 family restaurants and is available for just $5 for senior guests (age 60 and above). Each coupon booklet features 25 coupons. Offers include discounts on breakfast, lunch and dinner, and feature BOGOs, “Two Can Dine” offers, specially discounted meal pricing, and more. Coupons may be redeemed at any of the restaurants and are valid through November 26, 2014. *Offers may not be combined, but guests may purchase an unlimited number of books while supplies last.
Emilee from Deals of Sweetness shares her experience at their local Ryan's Buffet. See what her family and she thought in her Ryan's Buffet Review!
Are you ready to enter? 4 winners will each receive The Big Book of Savings! This giveaway begins on 10/19 and ends on 10/31 at 10:00pm (times are Central) and is open to US residents ages 18+. Winner is subject to eligibility verification. Winner will be notified via email (consider adding dealsofsweetness@gmail.com to your "Safe List" as winning email notification will be sent from this email.) and will have 48 hours to confirm before a new winner will be drawn. Please refer to the full terms and conditions in the Giveaway Tools.
  Disclosure: Emilee at Deals of Sweetness received complimentary product(s) or service(s) to facilitate her honest review. I received no compensation for this post. Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment.     

10/19/14

What to Expect when you are Expecting Book Giveaway

Hosted by ~ All About Parents
What to Expect When You're Expecting is a perennial New York Times bestseller and one of USA Today's 25 most influential books of the past 25 years. It's read by more than 90% of pregnant women who read a pregnancy book—the most iconic, must-have book for parents-to-be, with over 14.5 million copies in print.

 The Fourth Edition, a new book for a new generation of expectant moms—featuring a new look, a fresh perspective, and a friendlier-than-ever voice. It's filled with the most up-to-date information reflecting not only what's new in pregnancy, but what's relevant to pregnant women. Heidi Murkoff has rewritten every section of the book, answering dozens of new questions and including loads of new asked-for material, such as a detailed week-by-week fetal development section in each of the monthly chapters, an expanded chapter on pre-conception, and a brand new one on carrying multiples. More comprehensive, reassuring, and empathetic than ever, the Fourth Edition incorporates the most recent developments in obstetrics and addresses the most current lifestyle trends (from tattooing and belly piercing to Botox and aromatherapy). There's more than ever on pregnancy matters practical (including an expanded section on workplace concerns), physical (with more symptoms, more solutions), emotional (more advice on riding the mood roller coaster), nutritional (from low-carb to vegan, from junk food–dependent to caffeine-addicted), and sexual (what's hot and what's not in pregnant lovemaking), as well as much more support for that very important partner in parenting, the dad-to-be.

 Overflowing with tips, helpful hints, and humor (a pregnant woman's best friend), this new edition is more accessible and easier to use than ever before. It's everything parents-to-be have come to expect from What to Expect...only better.

This giveaway will run from 10/18 ~ 11/1 at 5:00am one lucky winner will win their very own copy of the book. Get as many entries as possible and have fun! Thanks for participating and good luck!
Disclosure: Deb from All About Parents is sponsoring this giveaway. The prize is coming directly from her and in no way is this giveaway associated with the book publishers, Facebook, Twitter or any other social media website. If you have any questions about this giveaway please fell free to contact Deb at any time. Thanks for participating, have fun and good luck!

10/17/14

the Lyme Diaries: Herxheimer Reaction ("herx")

{Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.}
One of the words that I use a lot in "Lymie World" is "herxing" or "herx" to discuss something that is taking place in my body. Every Lymie (and their loved ones) recognize the lingo but to be honest many people outside of "Lymie World" hear it so much but have absolutely no idea what it is or what it is referring to. I thought I would take a few moments today to explain what this strange word means and hopefully provide some clear definition for those that are curious. 

Some History... 
The term "Herxheimer Reaction"  (or more technically known as "Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction") is named in honor of an Austrian and German doctor who are credited with discovering this particular reaction. Both men (Adolf Jarisch and Karl Herxheimer) observed patients reacting to treatment of syphilis and performed studies on this reaction. While it was at first thought to be an "autoimmune" reaction, we now know that it occurs due to the amount of endotoxins that are released as treatment happens and the body does not have the capability to get rid of these toxins fast enough which causes the reaction. (Yes, that was written in "lay persons" words, not from a medical dictionary. *smiles*)

Although it was first discovered in syphilis, it is generally and widely accepted that this type of reaction happens with "spirochetes" based diseases (which of course includes Lyme Disease). Although there have been varying ideas, this is not a commonly accepted (in the medical community) theory for diseases outside of spirochetes based diseases.  

What is this Process Called?
While technically this is known as the "Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction" it can be referred to as "a herx", "herxing", "the Herxheimer Response/ or / Reaction", "a detox reaction", "healing crisis", or "die-off syndrome".

What Exactly is It?
As I mentioned above a "herx reaction" takes place as the patient tries to treat the disease and they have an overload of endotoxins that flood there bloodstream and can not release them quick enough. 

To be clear the body is reacting to the amount of endotoxins that are being killed and released into the blood stream (by treatment or detoxification) and not are not reacting to the medicine or treatment itself. 

What Exactly Happens?
When a patient has a "herx reaction" they develop aggravated or worsening symptoms of their disease. These symptoms can commonly include (but are not limited to): mild symptoms - like a low grade fever, headaches, flushes, rashes, flu-like symptoms; to more serious symptoms- including migraines, high fevers, rashes, flu-like symptoms (including dehydration) , dizziness, intensification of original presenting symptoms (which could include a myriad of symptoms), extreme nausea, joint or muscle pain, extreme fatigue, sleep disturbances, swollen glands, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, heart palpitations, conjunctivitis, etc. 

While most "herx reactions" last for a few hours to a few weeks and are difficult to manage, there are some patients who this becomes a serious and life-threatening issue with regards to their treatment. 

The Herxheimer Reaction is definitely a difficult thing to deal with in treatment. Many patients (myself included) experience an intensification of original presenting symptoms and it can feel like you are quickly going backward instead of moving forward. Emotionally it can be a difficult road to walk. While some patients view the "herx" as something to rejoice over (because of the knowledge that you are killing toxins and you are getting better) I personally have found this to be an extremely difficult part of treatment and am so glad to have a qualified doctor to discuss my symptoms and who has helped me navigate these tricky waters. ( I can't stress enough how important it is to have a qualified doctor who will help guide you through all parts of your treatment, including the Herxheimer Reaction. Studies have now shown that certain herxheimer symptoms need specialized attention due to what they indicate is going on in the body. PLEASE discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor!) I won't lie though... the Herxheimer Reaction has been a great source of many tears on my part through this process. 

Time Frames with Herxheimer Reactions...
There is varying thoughts and data about the time frames related with a herxheimer reaction. Some medical professionals believe that it can occur within 24 hours of treatment and then others believe that it can take up to 5 days to have a reaction. Honestly, it appears (like many things with Lyme Disease *smiles*) that it varies from individual to individual and is based on the level of toxicity in the body.

Helping "end" the Herxheimer Reaction... 
There are a number of thoughts on what to do to help you work through (and "survive") a herxheimer reaction. I won't bore you with all of the lists of ideas but I would definitely recommend consulting your doctor and also treating your body with care. I drink lots of water (more than usual!), get plenty of rest, and emotionally spend a lot of time in prayer and using my "feel better" list

Severe Herxheimer Reactions...
It is very important to seek medical care while going through a herx, and to seek medical care IMMEDIATELY if you develop serious or unusual herx symptoms or symptoms involving heart issues. 

Discuss with Your Physician...
ALL that you are experiencing. You do not want to stop a medication or try to "treat" the herx without the guidance of a trained professional. 

What about y'all? Have you experienced a herx? Any tips on how you deal with this?

10/16/14

Christmas Tags

I am so excited to share with y'all the Christmas Tags that I have been working on creating for December Caravan the last several weeks! These tags were such a hit last year that I had to restock them again this year! 
Each tag has sweet decorations that will just touch your heart. These little tags are the perfect embellishment to gifts, holiday bags, holiday decorating, or just simply to mark a page in your favorite holiday book. Each set of 5 holds a variety of cards that will help you celebrate the joy of the season! Click HERE to purchase yours!

12 Things to Pray for the Caretakers of Someone with a Chronic Health Condition

{Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult his or her health care provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship.}

Happy Thursday y'all!! I am so excited to continue this ten part series on Thursdays dealing with topics related to "What to Pray for Someone who is  Struggling with a Chronic Health Condition or who loves Someone struggling with a Chronic Health Condition" (including those with chronic pain)!! In this series (when dealing with the word chronic) I am addressing anyone who has had an illness or pain for more than six months that has affected their life. This is a series that I have been praying about and asking the Lord to give great wisdom as I hope it will be helpful for someone! I am often told by very dear and well-meaning people, "I am praying for you" but am also told "I don't really know how to pray for you" or am asked just as often "How can I really pray for you?". While this series won't address every idea of what to pray and is not a "formula" I do hope and pray that it is a good "jumping off point" for you to be praying for those that you love who struggle with chronic health issues and their loved ones. 

Here is the list of the topics for the series:
August 28th-12 Things to Pray for Someone Struggling with a Chronic Health Condition
September 4th- 12 things to Pray for Yourself as you Struggle with a Chronic Health Condition
September 18th- 12 things to Pray for the Parents of a young child with a Chronic Health Condition
October 2nd- 12 things to Pray for the Parents of an adult child with a Chronic Health Condition
October 16th- 12 things to Pray for Caretakers of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
October 23rd- 12 things to Pray for the Spouse of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
October 30th- 12 things to Pray for the Children of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
November 6th- 12 things to Pray for the Siblings of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
November 13th- 12 things to Pray for the Friends of someone with a Chronic Health Condition
November 20th- 12 Things to pray for Someone with a Struggling with a Chronic Health Condition during the Holidays

*Today 's post is 12 things to Pray for the caretakers of someone with a chronic health condition. While I am approaching this from the idea of this being someones "job" there are many things that could be prayed for caretakers and you will notice that this post replicates many of the things mentioned in the  12 things to Pray for the Parents of a young child with a Chronic Health Condition post and the 12 things to Pray for the Parents of an adult child with a Chronic Health Condition Post. I did feel it was necessary for a separate post for caretakers as there are so many similar needs and yet a caretakers job and position is unique.  While sometimes this role is a familial role, many times this is not and these caretakers become like family. I did feel it was necessary to address some of the differences that could also be prayed for. I hope and pray that all of these posts are an encouragement and offer some practical ideas of what to pray for in these situations.*

** Thank you to  several nurses, grandparents, and volunteers who are in this situation and who graciously shared their hearts about this subject with me.**
Picture was found HERE and altered by Caravan Sonnet

1. Pray for the right words to say.  Caretakers take on a role of interim nurse (and sometimes doctor) as patients look to them for answers and compassion. Mostly patients are looking for words of encouragement and hope. Pray that these caretakers will have the right words to say to meet each unique situation.

"Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say." 
-2 Thessalonians 2:sixteen & seventeen-


2. Pray for patience.  Caretakers are often asked the same questions again and again and again and again. It can be scary and difficult to understand as a patient what exactly is going on in your body and also scary to know what the future will hold. These fears and questions are often asked repeatedly- even daily and hourly- and after a while this can drain even the best caretaker. Pray for their patience. 

"Always be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other's faults because of your love."
-Ephesians 4:two-

3. Pray for their Strength to meet Each Day. A caretakers role is beyond exhausting. Pray for their strength to meet each new challenge and each day.


"O Lord, my might, and my strength, and my refuge in the day of tribulation..."
-Jeremiah 16:nineteen-


4. Pray for their tenderness and compassion.  The role of a caregiver is one of hourly tenderness and compassion. Pray that they will have the strength to meet these needs each day.

"Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves
with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."
-Colossians 3:twelve-

5. Pray for their resilience.  Webster's Dictionary defines resilience as: "the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens... the ability of something to return to its original shape after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc." Caretakers (for whom this is a life calling) need prayers for resilience. These caretakers pour their hearts and souls into their jobs and into helping those who are hurting on a daily basis. It can be extremely hard to "leave their job" at the end of the day. Pray for their resilience. 

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." 
- John 16: thirty-three-
6. Pray for their support system.  The role of a caregiver is a lonely journey. Pray that they will have the support of loved ones who walk with them through their own trials and circumstances as these people give so much to others. 

"God gives grace to the humble... Cast all of your cares upon Him, for He cares for you."
-I Peter 5: five & seven-

7. Pray for the return of their joy. Illness can steal so many different things from people including joy. A caretakers role is difficult, lonely, and sometimes very depressing. Pray that these caretakers will find joy in the Lord despite the pain of their jobs. Pray that they will not be robbed by sorrow only but that the Lord would give them joy as they pour so much out for others. 

"They will enter Zion with singing; everlasting joy will crown their heads. Gladness

and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee away"
-Isaiah 35: ten-

8.  Pray for their Hope. A caretakers role can appear hopeless but our God is a God of hope - even in the midst of the most difficult circumstances. Pray that they will not lose hope for their patients, themselves, or the situation. 

"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living."
-Psalm 27:thirteen-

9.Pray for wisdom. Pray for wisdom for caretakers as they have to often make difficult decisions about how to handle a variety of issues regarding the health of their patients. One caregiver shared with me that "sometimes these decisions are hard to make as you don't want to disrupt a patient and take them to the hospital if its not necessary but you also don't want to have a fragile patient get progressively worse if you don't act correctly" - L- Pray for wisdom for these caretakers.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight."
-Proverbs 3: five & six-

10. Pray that they will not worry. It is so easy for a caretaker to be consumed with worry over their patients and this is not healthy for them nor does it change the situation. As Corrie Ten Boom once said, "Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength." Pray that they will be released from worry as they find peace in the Lord. 

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."
- 2 Thessalonians 3:sixteen-

11. Pray for peace. Many times caretakers are arriving on the scene of a "chaotic" household where everyone involved is just trying to do the best that they can. This can create a host of tension, awkwardness, and also unrest. Pray that these caretakers will have peace as they work and thrive in this situation. 

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times
and in every way."

-2 Thessalonians 3:sixteen-


12. Pray for their hurt (and forgiveness). Dealing with those who are in chronic health situations is not always pleasant. Many times these patients are angry over their situations and loss of independence, many times patients are embarrassed by the fact that they need help with the most basic of things (like bathing, etc.) and many times patients act out with hurtful words. This is hard for those that are caretakers. Pray that they caretakers will 

"Do not speak evil of any one, nor be contentious, but yield unselfishly to others
and constantly manifest a forgiving spirit towards all men."

-Titus 3:two-

I hope these ideas have been helpful y'all! If you would like a copy of these twelve things to print out please email me and I will send you a word document! Sometimes when you are praying for someone with a chronic health condition you may feel that you are not "seeing" any results or doing anything, but the truth is you are!! God promises that He hears our prayers and He does hear yours! 
Keep praying for your friends and loved ones!! You are a blessing!!

10/15/14

Christmas Mini-Album: Homegrown Christmas

As I mentioned yesterday I am starting to list Christmas items in the shop! And I am really excited to share with you this addition to my Etsy Shop! This is probably one of my favorite mini-albums that I have ever made!
This is a sweet and unique mini scrapbook (size is approximately 7x4) with journal tags and embellishments that provides a lovely gift for Christmas or simply a stress free way for you to remember the joy of this holiday season. Each album contains 30 pages so that you can easily document each day of December!
 Albums come embellished with ribbon, twine, tabs, pretty scrapbook paper, glitter and cuteness that you will quickly fall in love with. Simply insert your pictures and write your precious memories to remember the wonder and precious memories of the season for you to enjoy for years to come. I love the colors and the "feel" of this Homegrown Christmas Album!
This could be an excellent and stress free way for you to document and remember the joy of the holiday season or to give as a gift for Christmas! (The more albums you purchase the more savings you receive!) 

Stay tuned in the next few days for more Christmas items that are being added to the shop, including another adorable mini album! In the mean time click HERE to go directly to the shop to place your order! *smiles*

Happy Wednesday friends!