Well it’s official..

I didn’t think this was going to be something that was going to take off, but boy was I wrong. Over Christmas break my daughter was interested in starting a little side hustle making bath bombs, sugar scrubs, and some lip balms. We researched product, ingredients, and packaging and all that it entailed. Well its been 2 weeks now and we have a website, have dozens of sales, and a pretty good following.

I guess this is my fault.. I don’t do things half assed.. If I’m going to spend my money on something I am doing it right. You never know what can happen when you put some time and energy into something. So we started with a couple items for sale now we have well over 50 items with dozens of variations! Every item is hand crafted with quality ingredients, no chemicals or additives that will harm you. Having Lupus I am very cautious of what I put on my skin. I don’t even wash dishes bare handed! Your skin absorbed everything!

Feel free to check out our site, I can’t wait to report back in a few months of how it’s going.

https://www.sudsup801.com

Social Media & Teens..

I guess I am considered old at this point! Having 3 teenagers I have been throwing into the world of social media.. I’m not talking about Facebook or Instagram, I’m talking about TikTok. I don’t quite understand it! My kids are constantly swingin their arms, shaking their boooties, and sending me what they think is “funny” on this TikTok. With that they are always trying to get my husband or myself to do these “TikTok” dances with them. I am 45 years old I am not putting myself on some crazy app doing some crazy dance.

However, my husband will!!! My dog too!!

Believe me I don’t judge. I’m a more conservative person who will act like a fool in person, not on an app for the world to see 😂. I can only imagine what life would have been like if this stuff was available when I was a teenager. Oh my goodness!!

I guess this is the way life is, so I should get used to it.

So what did I do?? I created a TikTok! However, you will not see me shaking my booty on it. I’m going to use it for what many people do.. Marketing!! So I guess it’s good for one thing.

So the question is… What are your thoughts on social media? Have you used TikTok? I would love to hear your stories or experiences.

Reflecting and Anticipating..

Here we are December 30, 2020, just a day away from the end of 2020. This morning I was watching the Today Show, and they did an segment on the “famous” people who have died in 2020. Wow, in 2020 there were a great deal of “famous” (in my opinion) people who lost their lives. I know being 44 years old, I recognize more people than my 18 year old daughter but still there were a lot! Ones that stuck out to me were Kobe Bryant,  Ruth Ginsburg, Alex Trebek, and Kenny Rodgers!! I know there are tons more but these I feel were significant to me.

Kobe Bryant was one that was quite a shock to everyone, I think for many reasons. Even though I hate the Lakers (being a Utah Jazz fan), I did admire Kobe for his work ethic. After his NBA career he did amazing things in all sorts of charities, his kids, and mentoring. He definitely set a good example of what hard work and dedication can do.

Ruth Ginsburg, she laid the ground work for all women! The perfect person for young women to look up to and use as an example of what a woman can do!

Kenny Rodgers!! He sang the best songs, that EVERYONE knows!!

2020 in my opinion flew by! I can hardly remember much of it as it just all ran together. Our springs and summers usually consist of concerts, sporting events, vacations, festivals, fun stuff like that. This year it was just the same thing everyday! So it all kinda ran together as a big blurrr..

So I guess that is why I am excited for 2021.. I’n not going to set some crazy New Year’s resolutions or promise not to do certain things. 2021 will be the year of making everyday count. Taking advantage of everyday to be my best me.. What that will entail I have no idea..

What I do want to do is, every night I want to set some expectation of what I want to accomplish the next day. I will have at least 1 goal for personal, 1 goal for business, 1 goal for family, and 1 for the future. I think if everyday has a purpose it will feel as though each day counted and was “lived”. I know COVID prevents some things from happening, but I think I have allowed myself to be controlled by something that was out of my hands.

A year ago I was the victim of a violent attack.. This has changed me drastically.. I fear going into public alone, I fear driving alone, and I fear running into my attacker (as he is free until trial in a couple months). I know it takes time to heal from something like that, I just need to face my fears and not let it control me. I want to be be normal again..

So making 2021 count.. Making life matter again and living my best life, is my goal.

What are some of your goals???

My Greatest Weakness…

Have you ever watched the episode of the office when Michael is interviewing for a new position? It starts out:

David: “What do you think are your greatest strengths as a manager?
Michael: Why don’t I tell you what my greatest weaknesses are? I work too hard. I care too much. And sometimes I can be too invested in my job.
David: Okay. And your strengths?
Michael: Well, my weaknesses are actually… strengths.

In a nutshell this is exactly me! I think its a weakness! In every position I have ever held I have always put my employer, client, staff on the highest pedestal. My theory is if they succeed then I exceed.. Right?? NOPE!! In the end the nice guy always gets the short stick.

In my position, I support other people in their positions making them successful. For the most part it’s a good thing.. But in this situation, I have given one specific person 3 years only to see how unappreciated I am. Is it a surprise? No, but still hurts.

Will I rebound from this? Yes, stronger and more successful!

Thanks for listening!

I love it, but it hurts!

I absolutely love to crochet.. Why? It’s the satisfaction of seeing the end product. I can sit and crochet for hours and hours.. Well I used to anyway…

About 15 years ago my mom taught me to crochet to take up my free time. It wasn’t easy, but I was determined to learn and actually make something I would be proud of. I started with a single crochet loop blanket.. That took me FOREVER! I mean forever, but I finished it. When my mom came to visit she taught me a new stitch.. This was a lot easier and I could accomplish more in a short amount of time. I was making baby blankets (even though at the time I didn’t have any babies at home) that I donated to the the NICU, making pot holders, scarves, and wash rags. I loved it! I would give them as gifts and people loved and appreciated them.

As the years went on I learned more stitches and got more creative. I could whip out a queen size blanket in a week and a custom basket in a day.. Well everything comes to end! My lupus over the years had progressed and arthritis reared its ugly head.. It got to the point I could only crochet a half hour a day at most. It sucked! I gave away all my yarn, put all my supplies in a box.. That was the end of it..

A couple years ago I found out I was going to be a grandma! The first thing I did was buy some yarn! I wanted to make my grandson a baby blanket. It took several months, but I did it. My first completed project in years. Well that was 2 years ago.. This past week I decided to try again.. I went to Joann’s and bought some yarn to make a basket. Something I could use around the house.. Well after a few Aleve and some pain reliever cream, I did it!!

It’s not huge, but I completed it. So I created another one!! I tell ya, it hurt but I love it.

Young entrepreneurs..

Let me start off by saying kids have amazing imaginations! Yesterday, my 13 year old approached me with an idea that I couldn’t pass up. She wanted to start making body soaps, sugar scrubs, and chapsticks. I am not creative or crafty whatsoever, so this was definitely going to be a challenge. We sat down and did some research on the process, ingredients, and of course the cost. Luckily we are in the midst of Christmas shopping so there are tons of sales.

After a few hours of shopping and gathering recipes, we were ready to start creating. To me the most important thing was creating something organic and natural without all the extra store bought stuff puts in our products.

We started off with a peppermint sugar scrub! That was fun, and easy!

Next we did Peppermint body bars! This was a little more in depth, only because I wanted to add all the special ingredients you want in a bath bar (shea butter, Vitamin E, coconut oil).

See how fun this is!! I never thought I would enjoy making this kind of stuff! My daughter loved it too! We decided to keep going!! We made a lavender sugar scrub (smells amazing), lip balms (strawberry & coconut) and a lavender/vanilla body bar.

I love that my daughter has that desire to create her own empire.

You can check out the new website if you are interested pin buying!

https://www.sudsup801.com

7 days and counting, are you ready…

7 days till Christmas, are you ready? Nope! The Christmas tree is up and decorated, the Christmas music is playing, but my shopping is definitely not done. I have always been that person that starts early to avoid the rush.. Not this year! My fear is Amazon is not going to deliver in time when I finally do decide to do my Christmas shopping..

I can’t expect Amazon to take care of everything, so I better get it together. My kids are very adamant that Christmas traditions will be followed to the T! This weekend we usually attend my brother’s ugly sweater party a few hours away, but due to having 7 new puppies in the home it wasn’t possible this year. It is always a good time!

For Christmas Eve we have a few traditions that have been in place for years!! For dinner we usually have all the local family and friends over for “Fry Bread”. Its a long process to prep and cook, but its a family favorite! I think each person probably eats at the last 3!! After stuffing our faces we end up plopped on the couch watching “Elf” or “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”. Everyone hangs out has a drink and has a good laugh. To me Christmas Eve is better than Christmas.. But that’s me 😂

We also do the traditional picture in front of the tree, that my daughters love to take but my son hates it 😂

Christmas Day, we start off with “monkey bread”, pretty much cinnamon dough balls. This is eaten while opening presents.. After presents we have the usual breakfast feast! This usually tides us over until dinner along with the fat snacks that we have out to eat all day. We don’t tend to visit family as I think this day is when everyone wants to stay home and enjoy their gifts and relax.

Every year we try to implement something different as our family grows, so I would love to hear what your traditions are! Please feel free to share or comment!

Here fishy fishy…

This past year has been one for the books. COVID being horrible in its own right has changed our lives for the better. Over the past year, COVID has forced us to find different ways to entertain ourselves and our kids. We used to go to concerts, sporting events, movies, beer festivals, fairs, and visit family. Now we fish, go on road trips, and go camping! Even though those other things we really enjoy doing, COVID has forced us to spend quality time as a family. Which honestly is better than kids sitting in front of a TV playing video games.

Fishing has literally become a lifestyle in our family.. My husband and I have made it a goal to catch a fish in every state in the US. It might take us years to reach our goal, but we will have fun doing it. So far we are doing pretty good! We went on a road trip through several states this past summer and were able to mark Missouri and Ohio off our list. When fishing in Missouri, we were introduced to new species of fish! Boy were these fish fun to catch!

Ohio was our next fishing destination! Wow! We had some fun fishing in Ohio. I caught my biggest fish to date in Ohio. We went to Sandusky Ohio to visit Cedar Pointe with the kids. We stayed at the park for the night and fished Lake Erie. That was amazing! My husband and I could have fished all night, but we got tired of fighting the bugs. The fish were huge!

It’s funny how every fishing trip starts off with the same phrase. Once we get settled in our chairs after putting up the umbrella, getting the lines all set with worms someone always says “here fishy fishy”. It does sound funny, but it works!

I would love to hear suggestions on where to fish! We are planning our 2021 and would love to mark a couple more states off our list!

Winter blues??

Have you ever suffered from “seasonal depression”? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year. If you’re like most people with SAD, your symptoms start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody. Less often, SAD causes depression in the spring or early summer.”

I have to say, this is something I definitely suffer from. However, last year and this year I would have to say has been the worst. Last fall I was a victim of a violent attack. After the attack my life definitely changed for the worse. So my depression at this point is not just seasonal, its all year around. But, winter time I think is the worst.

When we lived in Maine I used to love going out and taking pictures of “snow scenes”. Maine was beautiful all year around, but I loved the fall and the winter (especially after a snow fall). There was minimal daylight due to the short days, so being able to get out and enjoy the beauty and capturing it was so satisfying.

I would love to hear how some people deal with “SAD”.. What works for you?

But you don’t look sick…..

Lupus SLE: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), is the most common type of lupusSLE is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks its own tissues, causing widespread inflammation and tissue damage in the affected organs. It can affect the joints, skin, brain, lungs, kidneys, and blood vessels. (definition from google)..

Lupus, how many people know what Lupus is? How many people know someone with Lupus? Well lucky me, I not only know someone with Lupus (my dad), I have Lupus as well. I was diagnosed at the age of 30. Was it a shock? No.. It was almost a relief to finally figure out why I was always I n pain and feeling sick with no explanation. Pretty much confirmation I wasn’t crazy! My dad at this point had been diagnosed for 10 years. Study say, out of every 10 people who have lupus only one is a man. The average age for Lupus diagnosis is between the ages of 15 and 44. I can remember my first symptom at the age of 17. Though I didn’t know at the time, this was the beginning of hell..

Over the years my dad’s lupus had progressed quite significantly. But being the stubborn person he is, he doesn’t take care of himself the way he should. I on the other hand, Lupus has effected differently. If you were to look at me, you would have absolutely no idea I had Lupus. I function at a level that is not normal for someone with Lupus, let alone healthy person. I can’t sit still, I have to be doing something at all times, I love being active outside in the sun (huge no no), pretty much going until my battery runs out. That’s why when people hear I have Lupus they say “But you don’t look sick!” I definitely don’t look sick, but I am most definitely suffering silently.

Before my husband and I got married, I warned him “you have no idea what you are getting yourself into.” He obviously didn’t care, he said “I’m here to take care of you, and go down this journey by your side”. That he has! He has attended every appointment that he has been allowed to (thanks COVID) so he can understand what I am going through and how he can support me. I know it was hard at first to hear what Lupus actually does and how it effects me. I didn’t and still don’t like to share everything with him as I don’t like him to worry. However, some stuff tends to be exposed as I have to share with my doctor my symptoms during appointments. Also, some stuff I can’t hide.. Such as seizures, rashes, unexplained skin rashes, bruises, and extreme exhaustion. My husband has been great, he makes my life so much easier!

There is an article called “The Spoon Theory” written by Christine Miserandino. This explains Lupus in a nutshell. I shared this article with my husband when we first started dating. He took this to heart! For our anniversary this year, he reached out to my favorite artist Fabio Napoleoni. In a his message to Fabio he asked if he could create a special piece for me. In that message he told the most beautiful story about me and how much I meant to him. He also shared my struggle with Lupus and the “Spoon Theory” with him. To his surprised Fabio responded!!! He told him, he was touched by his story and that he sketch an original piece for me. You don’t know how shocked I was when I read the message and found out Fabio was making me my own piece of art!

A couple months later after Fabio completed the peice, it was sent to a gallery to be matted and framed. When it finally arrived I was speechless!! It was gorgeous!!! We loved it so much we had it tattooed on each other..

Isn’t it just gorgeous!! I would love to hear from anyone who has Lupus or knows someone with Lupus.. I think having a network of support is crucial when dealing with a chronic disease.

Here is the link to the “Spoon Theory” https://butyoudontlooksick.com/articles/written-by-christine/the-spoon-theory/