Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Earth Day 2013 and Glass Dharma Review and Giveaway

I've always been an eco-friendly type of person.  Growing up on a military base, you're taught not to litter, not even cigarette butts.  We were always struggling, so we saved cans to recycle for that little bit of extra money.  Now, as a grown up, I try to encourage Monster to do the same thing.  I try to stay away from plastic as much as possible. We recycle a lot of things here in the country, all the way down to the chicken poop (it makes GREAT fertilizer). 

You can see here, when we go to the Zoo, we take our own cups, and I use my Glass Dharma straw!  With a year pass, we end up going to the zoo a lot!

With Earth Day this year, I wanted to do something special, so I contacted my favorite glass straw company, Glass Dharma.  I've always had a thing about drinking from a cup and ALWAYS use a straw, so using a glass straw is more preferable to me than plastic straws.  They're also prettier in my opinion.  Whenever I use my glass straw in public, I get people asking about it and I love to spread the word to be more eco-friendly. 

What makes Glass Dharma straws so strong?  They use BOROSILICATE GLASS which is the same glass used in brands such as Pyrex.  These straws are dishwasher and microwave safe. There are also several different sizes available for anything from smoothies to tea.  They can also do some special orders if you prefer those really tall cups!!   

Earth Day 2013 is April 22.  This year, I'm having a giveaway for Earth Day.  I'm incredibly lucky that Glass Dharma is providing a $25 Gift Card for one lucky reader!  Also, if you go to Glass Dharma's Blog you can read about their "sip the world, Make a difference" project.
 
  When you make a PlanetCare Pledge you can get a PlanetCare package that includes coupons from Glass Dharma, Eco Lunch Boxes, Eco Bags, Pura Stainless, amd bambu

Now through March 31, 2013 you can enter to win a $25 gift card to Glass Dharma!
 




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How Do You Say GoodBye?

If you had a friend that was more than family, more than your sister...how do you say goodbye?
How do you say, "I miss you" or "I still need you"?
You see, that magic word wasn't said.  Can it be taken back if it wasn't said?  
Can you uncry those tears?  Can you undo the wrongs?  Can you erase that look of hurt?
For three days I've done nothing but cry...does it matter to you?  Do you care?  
Can we go back?  I know I can be mean.  I know I can say things that hurt, but I held back because I didn't want to say things that couldn't be unsaid.  Is it possible to hold on to hope?  Is it possible to repair a broken heart?  Is it possible to unbleed from the soul?  I keep my mind busy in hopes that my heart can't think and that doesn't work.  I keep occupied, but everywhere I look there's traces of you.  The phone goes unanswered, the email unopened, the heart is still broken.  
All of the pieces are here, but can they be put back together again.  
The rubber ball is still bouncing, it can bounce back...I hope.
 
If you're reading this, CLICK HERE so see a video.

I still love you...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Susan Nichole Meghan Bag Giveaway

Spring  Fashionista Events March 7-13  Hosted by Still Blonde after all these YEARS  and  Modly Chic Co-Host: K Squared Glamour.  All Fashion!  Only FASHION event.  Largest Fashion Giveaway event on the internet with $26,000+ in prizes, 100+ participating blogs and 3/4 million entries.  Each individual blog has a minimum of $125 prize!
For every giveaway in the Spring Fashionista Event that an entrant enters, they gain one entry toward the Spring Fashionista Events Main Event Prizes.  Go here to enter Main Event==> $1200 in Main Event Prizes
For my portion of this awesome event I'm giving away a Susan Nichole Meghan Bag!!!

I LOVE Susan Nichole Bags!! They are 100% Vegan and the quality and workmanship is outstanding.  I got my first Susan Nichole Bag a couple years ago and it was the Love Bag in Pink.  After that, I was addicted.  I love that I can have a bag that is also animal free.  These bags are big enough for all those people out there that just seem to "collect" stuff in their purses...you know who you are.  The one that saves the receipts and has almost anything in case of an emergency.  


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, March 4, 2013

Fundraisers Going On

I'm going to start this as a regular post because I do support so many friends and fundraisers!
Here are two that are near and dear to my heart and I do hope that you support my wonderful friends in this, as I've already donated to both of them!!
First is a Relay for Life fundraiser.  Head on over to Relay For Life and donate to "Sleepwalking Turtles"!! Not only do you get that donation to count on your taxes, but if you message Judy or Arthur after you donate, you can get some awesome keychains.  She's asking $3.00 for each keychain, but you can always donate more!!! The event is May 17, 2013. These are the keychains I got for Valentine's Day and they were a total surprise to DH...especially since it was from his Army Buddy. (He still can't figure out how I do most of what I do online without him knowing)
Next up is this AWESOME raffle from Van Horn Ministries. A lot of people don't know this, but I have a Biker background.  It has always been a part of me, and the only reason I'm not riding right now is because Monster is too young.  When he gets older, we're going to get bikes again!!  I've always been a great friend to one of the people at Van Horn Ministries, and I used to baby sit her son when he was a toddler...he's an adult now, so that tells you how long we've been in each others lives. 
Up until June 8, 2013, you can donate online HERE, and for every $5.00 donated, you get a ticket in the raffle for this beautiful ring!!! Once you donate, just send an email HERE and the best part...they will mail you the ring!!! You don't even have to be there to win!!!  Ya'll know if I win this...it's gonna be a new giveaway!!! (Maybe)
Also, please let me know if you donate to either of these so that I can recognize you for your donations! (If you want)

Friday, March 1, 2013

International Rare Disease Awareness Day

Yesterday was International Rare Disease Awareness Day, and I asked my fans to please share what rare diseases they were struggling with.  Today, I’m going to give a little insight to the diseases that have been posted so that we can all become a little more knowledgeable and aware of these.
First, I will start out with myself.  Our family is affected by some rare diseases and we are vigilant all the time about these.  The healthiest one in our family is the smallest one…go figure. 

 So, for myself, I cope with a Syrinx, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, and the doctors are still on the fence as to whether or not I have the Polycythemia that is prominent in our family.  

I don’t think I was diagnosed with Syringomyelia, but that is the cause of my Syrinx, so I will put both here.  “Syringomyelia is a generic term referring to a disorder in which a cyst or cavity forms within the spinal cord. This cyst is called a syrinx.  The damage may result in pain, paralysis, weakness, and stiffness in the back, shoulders, and extremities. Syringomyelia may also cause a loss of the ability to feel extremes of hot or cold, especially in the hands.”(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syringomyelia) For me, I have the pain, and numbness in my arms and hands.  I guess you can say I’m lucky because my Syrinx isn’t that bad and I can cope with the pain.  This is the reason that I type a lot more than actually write, because when I write, my hands go numb in less than 5 minutes and I have to shake them out and take several breaks. I have to say here that one of my fans also posted yesterday that they have Syringomyelia.

A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  In my case, I went to my doctor because I was tired all the time, DH said my neck was swollen (like I had a goiter) and my fingers were swelling and very red.  At first he suspected Rheumatoid Arthritis, but when that came back negative, he did the thyroid tests.  We’ve decided to do a conservative treatment for me which is do nothing until it acts up, then get a steroid shot to reduce the swelling of my thyroid. Eventually, my body will kill my thyroid and I will have to be on thyroid medicine, but until then I deal with the fatigue.  

I, myself, haven’t been diagnosed with Polycythemia, but several family members on my dad’s side have.  The doctors watch my blood counts carefully and I have to go to a hematologist every 6 months to get a checkup.  My blood counts have always been on the high side of normal, but right now, it’s acceptable to the doctors.  Polycythemia is a blood disease that results in the over production of red blood cells, making it very easy for people to get blood clots, strokes and other blood related diseases.  The treatment is old fashioned and basically involves “bleeding”.  Yes, they remove some blood so that your blood stream can operate more efficiently.  With this disease, we suspect that my grandmother and my uncle had it; my grandmother because she had SEVERAL strokes, and my uncle because he had SEVERAL blood clots which eventually killed him.  

Many years ago, I got a really bad ankle sprain.  Me being TheMarciFactor, I developed what is called Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy in that ankle.  Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy and Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is basically the same thing and are characterized by “a chronic systemic disease characterized by severe pain, swelling, and changes in the skin.” Basically, I tell people that when I had the sprained ankle my nervous system went into overdrive and tells my brain that it’s still messed up…which results in a messed up ankle.  When the pain gets really bad for me, I wear my AFO to take the work out of my ankle and let it rest, which usually results in less pain.  This is a very painful condition and there are a variety of ways in which to treat this, which is the decision of the person affected and their doctor.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Complex_regional_pain_syndrome)

Another rare disease that affects our family is Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.  DH started having headaches EVERY DAY when he was in Iraq. When he came home and retired, he was taking on average 10 aspirin a day just to ease the pain, though the headaches never went away.  When I married him, I was concerned about the amount of aspirin he was taking and demanded he went to the doctor about it.  They did a MRI and was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus.  It was causing problems with his gait and memory.  Even though he does have a shunt now, he will always have the Hydrocephalus diagnosis and the gait and memory problems that affect it. 
 
CHARGE syndrome is a disease that one of my fans is coping with.  CHARGE stands for coloboma of the eye, heart defects, atresia of the nasal choane, retardation of growth and/or development, genital and/or urinary abnormalities, and ear abnormalities and deafness.  The genetic mutation is in the CHD7 gene.  Some people with this syndrome need a lot of medical support and some thrive, every case is different.  I know that my fan that is coping with this is a big time advocate for her children.  

Mosaic Turner Syndrome is a problem with one of the two X chromosomes and only affects females.  Turner Syndrome generally causes an array of features and symptoms, including short stature, infertility, and heart defects. (http://genetics.emedtv.com/turner-syndrome/turner-syndrome.html) My fan’s daughter that has been diagnosed with CHARGE syndrome has also been diagnosed with Mosaic Turner Syndrome.

This fan’s daughter has also been diagnosed with Triple X Syndrome or Trisomy X.  Triple X syndrome is associated with an increased risk of learning disabilities and delayed development of speech and language skills. Delayed development of motor skills (such as sitting and walking), weak muscle tone (hypotonia), and behavioral and emotional difficulties are also possible, but these characteristics vary widely among affected girls and women. Seizures or kidney abnormalities occur in about 10 percent of affected females. (http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/triple-x-syndrome)

Next is Streptococcal Arthritis which another fan is coping with.  Here is what I found on this:
The term post-streptococcal arthritis was introduced in 1959 to denote patients who had arthritis following pharyngeal infection with beta hemolytic streptococcus, but in whom other major criteria of Acute Rheumatic Fever were absent.”  (http://nips.med-web.com/Handouts/Individual%20Pages/Jenny%27s%20Handouts/j-psa.htm)

Fibromyalgia is a rare disease that was listed, but is becoming more common because doctors are becoming more aware of it.  “Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Fibromyalgia symptoms include chronic pain in the muscles, fatigue, sleep problems and painful tender points or trigger points at certain parts of the body. Fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, stress management, and other fibromyalgia treatment.” (http://www.webmd.com/fibromyalgia/default.htm)

Small Nerve Fiber Neuropathy, or basically Neuropathy is also a painful disease which affects “tens of millions of Americans. Sufferers experience pain and burning sensations in their toes, feet, legs and hands. Many cannot touch their feet to carpet without feeling excruciating pain. Others develop numbness over time and eventually cannot feel anything, which causes a loss in balance and coordination. The medical community has concluded that there is no cure for neuropathy. Most Doctors treat the symptoms by prescribing habit forming pain killers and anti-depressants.” (http://www.smallfiberneuropathy.net/)

I would like to thank my fans for sharing with me the rare diseases that they are coping with on a daily basis and hopefully with more awareness, there can be better treatments for most of these.