Thursday, August 28, 2014

The benefits of Lavender Essential Oils

In June, I signed up to sell Simply Aroma (no this is not a sales pitch - but if you'd like to order just click on the link). I was curious to see if Essential Oils could help me combat the constant pain and achiness. It's usually bone deep and not even Chiropractic can do much more than lighten the pain for a day or two. (Chiropractic has helped me get rid of 80% of the headaches I used to get and I very rarely have migraines anymore.)

One of the oils that came in my Free Kit (which is still available till 9/15/14) was Lavender. I wasn't going to touch it. I don't like the smell of Lavender - the only thing I do like is the deep beautiful purple on the plants. Then I heard it would help the baby I watch sleep better. She was only sleeping 45 minutes if I was lucky, refused to sleep in the packnplay as her last sitter just let her sleep on the bed & at almost 6 months that definitely wasn't going to work. So, I decided to try the Lavender on myself first & got out the diffuser.

I loved the smell. It was light and refreshing and while I didn't notice a difference in my own sleep right away - I sure did with the baby. She went to 2 hour naps in the AM and 2 hour naps in the PM! I didn't really notice anything for myself in quite a while - until about a month ago.

For over 30 years I haven't reached the REM stage of sleep which is very common with Fibromyalgia patients. Lately I hurt at night and was tossing and turning. I just couldn't get comfortable. Plus I was hot! (I'm nearly always cold & no it's not due to Menopause or Perimenopause)

I started noticing I was more relaxed during the day. Then I started thinking about my sleep and realized that I haven't been tossing and turning as much. I'm still not dreaming and really don't think I'll ever get back to that point (see this post). About 2 weeks ago I realized I haven't been as stiff. Actually I'm not stiff at all in the morning when I go to stand up. My back pain has gone down at least 70% when I get out of bed and while I don't think it has anything to do with the Lavender or my sleep my hips haven't been going out as much and there is no stabbing pain.

Then I read the Fact Sheet that is available to customers:

I'm amazed! I've always noticed that natural - or alternative methods have helped me more than drugs and just going to bed. But this is amazing!

Have you ever used Essential Oils? How have they benefited you the most?

Linked up to: Friendship Friday, Sincerely Paula

Fibromyalgia & Sleep Disfunction...

One of the issues I've had my whole life is trouble sleeping. I'm not talking NOT sleeping - but not deep, body healing sleep. As a child I had nightmares - every night the same 3, full color, full sound, in the same order. Two of those dreams were waking dreams - I didn't see the images but I felt their movement. I hate being rushed from one place to the next - that is what one of those dreams was. I felt like I was being pushed along and I couldn't slow down while my surroundings were going past me at a faster pace and it made me feel awful. The other dream something (usually a garbage truck - hey, I was 3-4 years old) was trying to crush me or eat me. To this day I hate things that tower over me - or are empty under me. I hate not feeling secure.

When I was 14 I begged God to take away the dreams - and He did.

Unfortunately when I begged Him for peaceful dreaming I didn't realize that we need to reach a dream state (REM) in order for our bodies to heal. Over the last 30 years I can count the number of dreams I've had on 1 hand. Literally. Again the few dreams I've had over the last 30 years are vivid, full color, full sound and often I feel like I'm falling. (Sometimes I have that falling feeling when I'm awake too.)

Being a Fibromyalgia patient I do have the sleep issues many of us do. I've noticed Brain Fog, difficulty understanding written words and especially verbal instruction. I struggle with basic remembering. (An example is: putting the wet bag for diapers, my purse and the diaper bag on the edge of the trunk and after putting the stroller in the trunk turning and picking up my purse & diaper bag and not even realizing the wet bag was gone. To this day, I still can't find it. It's so frustrating to be looking at something and 2 minutes later have no memory of it whatsoever.) This is scary to me - how bad can I expect it to get? 

Along with the inability to remember things - I've noticed a bone deep achiness & tiredness, stiffness in the morning, exhaustion and frustration with noise, my surroundings, idiots (you get the idea)... I've noticed when I get that tired it's just better to separate myself from others. To almost hibernate in my apartment after the kiddos got home and surround myself with silence until I get enough sleep to tolerate noise again. It almost feels like I'm deep under water and I'm struggling to swim through jello..

In June, I tried something new..... stay tuned and I'll tell you whats been helping me.

Articles you might find interesting:
Fibromyalgia & Sleep by Jan Sheehan

Sleep Disorders

Hopefully linking up to:
Missional Women 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Stress Relieving Decision Making

I know, it's been a while since I've been on. It's been a tough year and a 1/2 and I just had to take a step back and re-examine my priorities. I had to stop and consider where I was going with my daycare kiddos, both blogs, my health wasn't getting any better (in fact my pain got way out of control for months) and I also had to consider what I was doing with Damsel in Defense since it wasn't everything I thought it would be. Here's what I decided & have done....

Cut It Out:
Damsel in Defense (this was an easy decision)
I love the idea behind the company but well, they needed to go. Enough said.

Cut back on it:
Daycare: I had my one stressful family (no communication and mom was hard to deal with) decide to get a nanny when they discovered they were expecting #3. Hopefully it works out for them.

My decision: to begin accepting infants, reset my rates and focus on getting 2 full time kiddos and leave slot #3 open for drop ins. We aren't going to be on the go as much since they are just babies. We'll still go to the park, go for walks and meet other kiddos to play with. I've been stressing the need for communication with parents at the interview & I've made the decision that I'm going to wait to make sure I can find the right family to join us - I want a team playing parent/daycare relationship! Please pray that I can find one more family. I'm going to need it badly and rather quick in order for me to continue to stay at home.
Blogging: I have 2 literacy blogs and between them they were taking all of my time. I was often up to all hours of the night typing, setting up giveaways and tweaking the blog. I found I no longer wanted to read and wasn't meeting deadlines. I hated that. 

My decision: 
~ I am letting Classic Children's Books go. I am moving all new reviews for that blog over to this one (altho you can always access older reviews on that blog. I'll leave a button on the side bar and you can just switch on over to that blog if you'd like. All future and new reviews will be on this blog. Probably will not continue the Summer Book Club - it's a ton of work unfortunately.
~ I will continue with health related reviews & posts for people with Chronic Pain. 
~ Posts will not be daily, every other day or even weekly at this time. They will be maybe 2-3 times a month if I can get to the library. 
I'm still dealing with stress related headaches. Still going to the Chiropractor weekly. Still fighting my weight, exhaustion and frustration BUT due to some positive changes the exhaustion is finally under control and my pain is too (at least for summer). I've got to make sure I'm at the chiropractor every week or my pain goes way up and so do my headaches. 

My decision: I have begun learning about Essential Oils and using Lavender every night. My sleep has gotten so much better - I'm actually feeling so much more rested, sleeping the night through and getting at least 6 hours of sleep. I'll share more with you shortly in another post. I'm also cutting back on soda (which is huge for me!) and plan on taking the babies for walks every nice day.
Stress - Financially, Health and Lifestyle
I am starting to consider what I'm going to do when I can't continue daycare. I'd love to continue to watch kids when needed & keep it a ministry - but I need to consider what's going to help me the most. I'm considering a possible move when these kiddos leave (they are 8 mo & 16 mo so that could be a while) - it would be out of state. Nebraska didn't sign up for Medicaid so I wasn't eligible for insurance (even tho the idea of low income people getting insurance was the whole idea between Obama's insurance plan.... ) so moving out of state even 10 miles away from where I live would mean I can get insurance (make any sense to you?).... I just don't know where the $$$ would come from for a move, to get set up and to cover the time it would take to get a few more kids to watch.

Anyway, Please stay tuned as I figure out where I'm going with this.... and leave a few comments. I'd love some prayer too!


Thursday, April 3, 2014

I'm back! with a Giveaway & News!

Hi everyone - it's been one of those winters! Between kids being sick, extremely cold weather and a really bad bout of isomnia as well as finding out all my daycare kiddos have new plans for care this summer - life has been tough and difficult. I've been writing up my reviews tho from home, just haven't made it to the library unfortunately - so, I'm hoping to start getting posts prescheduled & posted at least 1x a week....

Thank you all for staying in touch and reading for the last 3 months!

I do have 1 major change that is going to be happening - I am officially closing out my children's blog Classic Children's Books and from now on all of my reviews for Big & Little People will be on GivingNSharing. You'll still be able to visit CCB - just click on the link. =D I will also be cutting way back on my book reviews - at least for a time as my schedule is extremely tight & I need to focus on finding 2 awesome families to visit my daycare and start bringing their kiddos everyday for their daily dose of LOVE from Aunt Tina!


Today, I have a giveaway to share with you and this weekend I will have my review of Six Sisters' Newest Book: "A Year with Six SistersSTUFF -
52 Menu Plans, Recipes, and Ideas to Bring Families Together"

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Seams Unlikely

Seams Unlikely
by Nancy Zieman
$13.43 (paperback)
$ 4.61 (kindle)

About the book:
In an age when hard-working women don't know if we should lean in, lean out, or lean on someone, Nancy Zieman's voice of calm, experienced authority is welcome. The lessons she shares are ones every businesswoman should take to heart.
In Seams Unlikely, Nancy:
  • Shares her life story for the first time
  • Gives details of the onset of Bell's Palsy and how it played a part during school
  • Reveals the intricate involvement of 4-H in her development
  • Tells, step-by-step, how she grew Nancy's Notions from a basement in her home into a multi-million dollar business
  • Includes behind-the-scenes information on the growth of Sewing with Nancy from filming in her living room to a long-term partnership with Wisconsin Public Television
  • Shows pictures of the people, buildings, and places that played key roles along the path of her life 
Reading of the growth of Nancy's family (she is a married mother of two, one son by birth, one by adoption) alongside the growth of her show and business is both familiar and instructive to working moms. Nancy created solutions in both the workplace and at home, to carve a niche uniquely suited to her situation and talents. It's a goal to which many of us aspire. And Nancy Zieman's story gives us key insight. 

My thoughts:
I have been watching Nancy Zieman's show since I was a teenager and throughout much of my early 20's. I always enjoyed seeing the different skills that Nancy was showing us and even today my favorite show (and the one I always think of most) with techniques & ideas that I would LOVE to try I think of the show where she taught Landscape Quilting. Wow!

I was the kid that often asked to spend my study hall time sewing in the classroom and to this day the one class I never got to take (and would still love to take) is fashion design. Now almost 30 years after leaving high school I am sadly without a sewing machine and boy do I miss it!

Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to review Seams Unlikely which is the biography of Nancy Zieman. I learned a lot about Nancy - I didn't know that she was a committed Christian who takes faith and family life as seriously as she does. I loved hearing how she started up her business in her home and the struggle she had to get banks and creditors to take her seriously. It's awesome that she is as close to her husband as she is and still able to work with him full time =) and that she is able to work around a chronic illness. She didn't let it define her, limit her or hold her back. She placed herself and her business in God's hands - and stepped out in faith.

This is a very interesting book and if you know someone who really enjoys watching her show or sewing it would make a great gift.

Disclaimer: I was offered a copy of Seams Unlikely to read and review in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to have a positive review & no $$$ exchanged hands.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Secrets to a Pain FREE Life by Reza Ghorbani, MD

Disclosure: I got this product as part of an advertorial.

Secrets to a Pain FREE Life 
by Reza Ghorbani, MD
ISBN: 978-0989823036
$ 26.99 (paperback)

About the book:
In his new book, "Secrets to a Pain Free Life", Dr. Ghorbani offers straightforward, useful advice for patients and clinicians that can help them navigate through baffling, or in some cases, deceptive claims about pain relief.

My thoughts:
I've been using Dr Reza Ghorbani's wonderful pain cream that he created and sells on It wasn't until my newest tube of pain cream came that I really started looking at the ingredients and saw that he uses 7 of the world's most effective pain relievers: Turmeric, Holy Basil, Willow Bark, Rosemary Extract, Ginger Extract, Alpha Lipoic Acids and Boswellia Extract. I've been amazed at how much his pain control creams have helped me and was very excited to see that he had a new book out called Secrets to a Pain Free Life.

Dr Ghorbani never claims that he can heal a person's pain through off the wall methods. He's not going to hang you upside down or ask you to go buy a very expensive piece of equipment. And best of all he's not going to make a claim that he can heal you or tell you it's all in your head. What he's going to do is tell you in a very personal way what he has seen over the years has helped his patients (he is a Pain Management Specialist), by easing their pain and sometimes alleviating their pain with common sense methods of treatment.

He takes the time to discuss the History of Pain and the Causes, Types and methods of treatment for pain. He talks about Medicines, Alternative Treatments and Herbal Remedies. And of course, he talks about lifestyle choices and how they affect people in different ways - what might be a low level headache to you can be excruciating and even debilitating to others. Lastly, the part of the book that I really enjoyed was probably the last 1/3rd of the book. Dr Ghorbani goes into depth as he explains why those 7 ingredients that he uses in his wonderful cream. He tells us the history of the use of each ingredient and gives a list of benefits that it has provided (an example: Turmeric has been shown to help relieve asthma, speed up the healing of wounds and reduce the side effects and enhance the effect of chemotherapy - for pain it not only is a natural pain killer, it's also helps relieve depression and possesses natural anti-inflammatory properties). I also loved the recipes he provided - these herbs can used not only only the outside of our body through the skin - it can also be used from the inside, through nutrition.

This is an outstanding book and should be on the bookshelf of everyone who has chronic pain from Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, headaches, lower back pain, migraines and other forms of pain. I would think it would also be helpful for those recovering from surgery and even accidents that have changed a person's life. I plan on loaning the book to my chiropractor this week when I stop in - he should find it to be very interesting. (I'll let you all know what he thinks!)

About Dr Reza Ghorbani:
Harvard-trained, board certified Interventional Pain Management Specialist, is currently the President and Medical Director of Advanced Pain Medicine Institute in the Greater Washington, DC area.  A frequent lecturer on Pain Management and often quoted by the media, Ghorbani is a diplomat of the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians (ABIPP), the American Board of Anesthesiology (with subspecialty certification in Pain Medicine), and a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP).

With decades of experience in Interventional Pain Management and extensive post-graduate education.  Dr. Ghorbani is a recognized leader in the advanced treatment of acute and chronic pain. He's devoted his entire career to helping patients overcome pain to enable a better quality of life.

You can learn more about this book & Dr Reza Ghorbani @ or on his Noxicare Website @

WIN copy of Secrets to a Pain FREE Life on GivingNSharing! 
You'll find it to be an easy read that's informative and helpful.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Week 3 - Social Media Saturday Hop

Social Media Saturday link upWelcome to Social Media Saturday #3!
This link up was created to allow bloggers to find awesome new blogs, gain exposure and increase their social media fans & followers!
Below you can link up your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Pinterest & Google+.
In order for this link up to be successful it requires participation from everyone linking up!
 You must follow your host and costs
If you post your links, please be sure to follow at least 5 others!!! It is preferred that you follow everyone, as many of us will be following everyone on the list. PLEASE be courteous and follows others as well. Do not just post your links and run.

Rules for Participating:

  • Links can be added starting the Friday  before the link up begins. 
  • Please follow your host & co-hosts. 
  • To be fair, please follow others in each social media category you add your link.
  • Be sure to follow-back those who follow you.
  • Have fun and feel free to share the link up! 
  • Use the hashtag #SocialMediaSaturday when mentioning this link up so that we can find your posts.
  • Be sure to leave a comment and let me know that you added & followed so that I can come back and follow you!

Thank you for participating in the Social Media Saturday Hop! If you would like to sign up to share the HTML on your own blog, please emailStephanie @ and she will add you to the weekly list! :)
You will receive it first and be able to add your social media links as soon as you publish your post!:) 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Social Saturday - Week 2

social media saturday #2

 Welcome to Social Media Saturday #2 

This link up was created to allow bloggers to find awesome new blogs, gain exposure and increase their social media fans & followers!

Last week was our first week, started mid day {thanks to a mid-day idea to start a new link up :) } and yet, I would have to say it was very successful. Our very first Social Media Saturday, had 32 blogs, 19 Bloglovin, 28 Facebook, 26 Twitter, 16 Pineterest, and 16 Google+... That's 137 links! Not bad for our first link up! 
Now it's time to make Social Media Saturday even better! 

Below you  can add your blog, Twitter, Facebook, Bloglovin, Pinterest & Google+! Scroll down to add each link!

Be sure to bookmark so that you can come back each week and join even more bloggers that are new to the link up! 

Rules for Participating:
  • Links can be added starting the Friday  before the link up begins. 
  • Please follow your host & co-hosts. 
  • To be fair, please follow others in each social media category you add your link.
  • Be sure to follow-back those who follow you.
  • Have fun and feel free to share the link up! 
  • Use the hashtag #SocialMediaSaturday when mentioning this link up so that we can find your posts.
  • Be sure to leave a comment and let me know that you added & followed so that I can come back and follow you! 
  • If you would like to share this week's post, email me at and I will send you the HTML right over for a quick cut and copy post ready to go! :) 
Feel free to grab the button and add it to your page!

Social Media Saturday Link Up

If you would like to co-host Social Media Saturday please email Stephanie at 

Want to Co-Host?
I have  spots available for co-hosting. If you would like to be a co-host, send an email with your information to Please mention whether you would like to be a co-host every week, or just occasionally. Also, if you would like the HTML post to share this link up on your page, let me know and I will send it over as well! Thanks and happy linking!