Thursday, May 31, 2012


I recently received a correspondence, from a lovely reader of mine/e-mail buddy, asking for my tips on blepharitis. After writing the e-mail I realized that this was something that I wanted to share with everyone as I felt that it could be pertinent to others as well. Below is my response...

"First let me say thank for reading my blog! I love to hear from my readers!

I am sorry to hear that you have developed blepharitis. :o( From experience I know that it's no fun and quite painful at times. I usually develop this once every three months or so, though the re-occurrences can dramatically differ from person to person. Some patients may only have to deal with it once in a six month period.  I hope this ends up being the case for you. :o)

I do not wear makeup anymore. However, that is because my eyes were too sensitive to powders and the chemicals that are often found in makeups. I don't know how much your doctor shared but blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid in which the oil glands in our eyelids over produce.  It can also be caused by an overabundance of bacteria which can accumulate on the eyelid on a normal basis. Anyway, I say this because makeup can be known for harboring bacteria if it sits around too long.  Which is why beauty experts recommend that we should keep on top of how long we are using our makeup for. Most notably our mascara. I would imagine that you could still use your makeup on a daily basis with blepharitis as long as you watch how long your products sit around for and make sure to wash the makeup off really well. :o) Good news!  Here is a great article on a products shelf life... here

As treatment doctors recommend using baby shampoo to wash your eyelids with every day.  However, I found this to be rather harsh on my eyes themselves while also dealing with my Sjogren's Syndrome. As far as what I do for it? I wipe my eyes down, on a daily basis (sometimes twice daily if I have become especially sweaty that day.) with non-scented baby wipes. I find this to be more gentle on my eyes.  To relieve some of the "pressure" and itchyness I feel, at times, I wet a washcloth with warm water and lay it over my eyelids for a few minutes. This seems to refresh my eyes.  While curious about something, related to my specific blepharitis case, I Googled the subject and came across a great website, The Blepharitis Foundation. A whole website devoted to blepharitis!  Anyway, they have a fantastic page about treatment options... here.

I hope this helps you!  And don't let this get you too down, it's totally manageable! Piece of cake compared to some of the other symptoms Sjogren's patients deal with on a daily basis.  I'll leave you with a new favorite saying of mine... 'In a dream you saw a way to survive and you were full of joy.'  May you be full of joy today. <3"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CSA Wednesday

In today's CSA we got...

Sugar peas
Garlic scapes

I am going to be adding the garlic scapes to this recipe. Cheesy Quinoa Cakes sounds so yummy to me! This is a new recipe but I am excited about it.  For the asparagus, I created a new recipe.  I took two recipes that sounded yummy to me and put them together. I'll be making bacon wrapped asparagus over a bed of lemon butter pasta. My mouth is watering as I write that!!

While we were at the farm we picked up some more hull peas. They weren't as sweet as last time's but boiling them with some sugar added to the water will do the trick.  Apparently, L had such a fun time hulling them last time that she was excited to do it again.  She actually asked to start without me!! I love this.  So she hulled and ate some.  And ate some and hulled some. We ended up with about three-quarters of a sandwich bag filled.  Basically, enough for a meal for us.

I also found out, this afternoon, that we'll be allowed to get out in the farm's strawberry fields and have some "all-you-can-pick" fun.  The best part??  It's free! That's right, all-you-can-pick for free! I'll be cutting up a lot of them to freeze for this winter's use. Mmmmm! And to make it even better, there will be pre-set quantities of raspberries and cherries for us to pick up as well. You can bet we'll be there!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


I saw a quote online the other day that inspired me...

"In a dream, you saw a way to survive, and you were full of joy."

I just LOVE this quote!  Simply because I am living my dream...

My dream of a little family full of love and life.  My dream of not letting my health stop me from living, from creating memories.

...and I am FULL of joy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

My daughter was asked to write about Memorial Day in skool school.  This is what she wrote....

"I love Amerka kus the mass tat wus in the wr futit fr or frretum"

This what she meant...

"I love America 'cause the mens that was in the war foughted for our freedom."

I love this!!! It's a perfect thing to say for Memorial Day as I wouldn't be free to write this blog without the men who fought, and died, for this country's freedom.

And I want to take the chance to thank our vets and soldiers currently serving our country.  As well as the families who "serve" alongside them! Thank you for all that you do!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another Experiment

We did another experiment the other day after school.  I cut a bar of Ivory soap into quarters and placed it into the microwave for twenty seconds. It expanded into a cloud of soap and turned into powder when it was played with.  Once my daughter had crumbled all the soap into a powder was tired of playing with the soap we decided to add water to it.  That turned it back into slippery soap that L rolled into a ball of Ivory soap to use in the bathtub.  Fun all around and cheaply done!

When we were done we decided to have microwave smores. Yum!!

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Can I whine for a moment??

It's almost June and the normal temps in Pennsylvania should be in the mid 70's. For the next five days it's not supposed to be below 85 degrees. Not only do we have the "hot" but we'll also be dealing with the "hazy" and "humid" as well. It's been zapping my energy! Almost like I have to expend more energy to walk through the wall of muggieness. Is that a word? Muggieness? Sorry, I got side tracked! Anyway, it shouldn't be this hot already!

Not only has the heat been a killer to my energy but it has left me feeling almost suffocated.  I know, weird thing to say, I get it. Let me explain. I don't sweat like a "normal person" anymore. Sweating, usually helps to cool a person's body down. Because my body already lacks in moisture it's not going to do a simple thing like sweat. And so I glisten. Literally. Yes, I get that it should be a good thing. It's not, really.  It leaves my body chilly to the touch, but inside I feel as if I am burning up. My hands and feet feel as if they are furnaces. My body feels as if it is wrapped in plastic wrap, not allowing my body to release it's own heat. Which is why I say that I feel suffocated when it becomes too hot.

It's not a fun feeling. I find myself drinking gallons of water.  Ok, so not literally gallons but I am drinking about eight 24 ounce bottles of water every day right now. (In refillable bottles.) I also try to run a wet cloth or paper towel along my face, neck, and arms to help cool myself down some. A spray bottle also helps when I am able to use it in an appropriate social setting. (I wouldn't be using it in the middle of the classroom at my work, for instance, but perhaps at the park!)  Do you do anything that helps you when you've gotten to a point that you feel you need to cool off "now!"?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Busy Baby Resting Baby News & Installment

I have not been getting very many views over at Busy Baby Resting Mommy.  And, unfortunately, I have become much busier as of late.  More or less, the views I have been getting do not make up for the extra work to maintain the blog.  From now on I just plan on doing a weekly installment here. So you can still look forward to great ideas about fun activities for your kiddos, it will just be posted here, instead, every Friday. :o)  You can find older ideas for the Busy Baby Resting Mommy listed in the tabs at the top of my blog, right alongside a "home" and "about me" tab.

So without further ado...

Spray bottle fun!

What you need...
Spray bottle

Let your kids free with a spray bottle filled with water.  They can experiment with how things look after they haven been sprayed and then check back to see when the water has evaporated.

Thursday, May 24, 2012


Summertime is almost here!!!!  Can you tell how excited I am?!?

Summertime means...

School's out for the summer (I am hearing KISS in my head singing this. He he he)
...that stays on your clothes
Painting rocks
Staying up late and sleeping in late  (or late for us)
Grandparent time
Ice cream at the campground beach
Ice cream on the front porch while the lightning bugs glow
Ice cream sticky sweet on faces and fingers
Ice cream at the Milky Way
The Ice cream man
The Apache Ice cream scream 
OK, just ice cream! 
Chalk on sidewalks
Birthday partiesPicnics
Pool time
Hershey Park trips
Playing at the park with friends, and staying for lunch, until everyone is tired.
A vacation to the beach
Ocean sunsets
Painting with icecubes
Craft time at the local nursing home
Playing outside all day
Baths every night to clean off the days mess fun
Playing in buckets of water on the deck
Sweet mint tea

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CSA Wednesday

This week in our CSA we got...

Homegrown Strawberries!!
Hull peas
Romaine lettuce

I have never seen kohlrabi let alone cooked with it.

I am excited to cook with it.  I am going to chop it up and throw it into my broccoli salad. Yum!

I just baked up some kale chips last night.

It was the first time that I had made them and they don't look the most appealing.  However, my husband and I loved them!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"Soupy Mess"

We had perfect weather the other day!  The sky was sunny and it was a wonderful 80 degrees. Of course we took advantage of that fact!  I set L up on the deck with a glass dish full of baking powder, a cup of vinegar with a medicine dropper, and a bowl of water.

She spent two full hours playing with this! I can't even tell you the last time she spent the long at one consecutive thing.  (I will have to pack a box of baking powder when we go camping!!) L spent the first forty minutes watching the baking powder bubble and fizz after she had dropped vinegar into it.  And the rest of the time she kept herself busy making a "soupy mess" while adding water to the baking powder.

Seeing how much fun it was for my daughter, I will definitely be doing this with L again! Especially since it gave me two hours of rest while still being able to listen to L chatter at me the whole time!

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Ponderous Thought

Ugh, why do I have such a hard time saying no? I'm not superwoman or supermom! (Even though I try to be.) I need to stop trying to be so, especially with my health! However, it's frustrating to have to say "no" to people, so that I can make myself take breaks, in order to not fall into a flare-up. This is something that I find very difficult to deal with in regards to my health. 
No matter how hard I try, I can't be everything and everywhere for everyone else, because there will always be someone left wanting more. I need to rest, for myself. For myself... hmmm. It's a hard thought for a mom to reconcile with. For myself.  However, I suppose that resting and not trying to be superwoman or supermom is for my husband and daughter as well.  A rested Kristen means more Mom and Wife, to go around, for my family. 
I suppose this sounds like an awfully selfish post, but it's just something I was thinking about today.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

New Dress

I finally got around to making some actual "pillowcase dresses" for L.  And I think they turned out fabulously!! The best part?  She loves it!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


I read a blog the other day at Sjogren's Style about an organic bug spray. She added a link to a clinical study that she found entitled Is it Lupus? - The St. Thomas' Hospital "Alternative Criteria" I don't know how factual the medical community actually finds this to be but I found the report to be very interesting and wanted to share it with you. Apparently there are early "warning signs" to look for in regards to Lupus.  Some of the early symptoms that could point to Lupus would be...

*Teenage growing pains
*Teenage migraines
*Severe reaction to insect bites
*Premenstrual Exascerbations
*Family history of autoimmune diseases

There were others signs/symptoms on the list as well, along with further details about each symptom.  I just decided to post the most interesting ones to me.

What do I take from this? Well I have all five of those symptoms checked off from my teenage years and now. Does that mean I am more likely to end up with Lupus? I don't know? The doctor has me labeled as having a second "unspecified auto immune disorder".  And while I have tested "no" for Lupus it'll be interesting to see anything else ever comes of these symptoms.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yum Yum!

I was looking for some inspiration the other day and found this adorable blog Anna and Blue Paperie. I fell in love with some of the ideas on there.

These marshmallow pops are so so cute! I can't wait to try them for my girlie! You can read the tutorial here.

Another sweet idea? Making edible flowers out of fruit leather! You can read more about it here.

Bubble flowers!! This one is super cute and super easy! You can read more here.

Candy kebobs are a perfect summer treat. I am planning on making these for a get together some time soon. You can read the tutorial here.

Yum! Sugar on the lip of a glass with some cool refreshing lemonade sounds delightful!

These cupcake liner flowers will make great birthday party favors. Nice and girly, just for my girly!! You can read the full tutorial here.

Disclaimer... All of ideas and pictures came from Anna and Blue Paperie.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Makeover for Our Garden

We made over our garden this past weekend.  It started out looking this the picture above.  It looked truly horrible!!

Next we tore out everything. The weeds, and the random plants that actually were going...all gone!

And... Ta da!

I think it looks fantastic!  And L does too since we allowed her to put all her little garden decorations back in place.  So I took my little garden deficiency and turned it into a nice little shady spot to sit. Perfect!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

CSA Wednesday

I picked up our next box of produce from our CSA yesterday. Yay! Last week's box was great.  The bok choy was 1 for 3 in our house.  And the asparagus was 2 for 3. My daughter didn't like either. No big surprise there!

This time we got...

*Bibb Lettuce
*Sugar Peas

I'm excited to try a new recipe for kale chips this week. We'll see how they turn out. I've heard good things about them.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Love

My husband and I decided that this past weekend would be a great time to give our front garden a makeover. It looks really really bad with all the warm and rainy weather that we've been having.  The combination of full shade, all day, and my brown thumb have not allowed anything but weeds to grow. And, yes, before you ask I have tried shade loving plants.  No, they didn't grow.  I even, somehow, managed to kill ivy, which I have been told is next to impossible to actually do. Not when I am the gardener!

One of my first steps in the makeover was to find some kind of bench to place out front once we've taken care of the rest of the garden. I found one at a local antiques/craft barn that I like to walk through. And I have to say that I am in love with the buggy-seat-bench that I found. In LOVE!

Please excuse all the weeds in the picture!!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Fun

Boy am I tired today!! We decided to take our moms to Lake Tobias for Mother's Day.  The day was perfect!  It was a beautiful 75 degrees with a sunshiny sky for us.

Lake Tobias is a 150 acre preserve where we can take safari tours to see animals from around the world.  The best part of the tour?  You get to feed the animals! They literally come up to the open-air bus to eat out of your hands. It's amazing. Some of the animals even try to make their way on to the bus via the steps or just hang their front legs over the top of the bus and hang out. They also have many exhibits to see as well as a petting zoo.

Some of our favorite animals were...

*L coaxing a zebra into following her up and down a fence because he knew she had treats for him.

*A baby lamb, Izzy, who loved to snuggle with us.  

*The goat who followed my mom around, in the petting zoo, who continuously tried to eat my mom's shorts. He almost succeeded at one point!

On the way home we knew that we would be passing a great ice cream place. Of course, we had to stop! We ate our ice cream at a picnic bench, by a chattering little stream, while the wind played with our hair.  It was a perfect moment!

Here are some of the pictures I took of the day!

This big guys was a charmer, he kept smiling at us!


Seeka Deer

These shaggy little cows were adorably in need of a haircut!


Pigmy goats

Shorts eating goat

L the goat whisperer