My Word – 2017

Life, in general can be full enough without adding to it unnecessarily.

In 2017, I choose SIMPLE!

SIMPLE is my word for the new year!

Below you will find my top 5 main Goals, the Action Plan to achieve each one and what the ideal End Result will be!

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HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

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My Son & TBI

My son was born on Christmas Day…this was such as beautiful gift … I can not even express the gratitude I have for this event …

The years flew by and during the summer of my sons 17th year of life he was hit by a van that was traveling at 45 mph while he was crossing the median on his skateboard.

He was flipped up and over the van due to impact and landed on the pavement below.

He was instantly lifeless… and not expected to live.

When I arrived at Children’s Hospital I was greeted by the Chaplin and a Social worker … my son was NOT going to die – why were they here?

They guided me to a private room and started to prepare me for the worst….

I broke down…

He survived …

He ended up with a broken orb, broken clavicle, lobe damage and a diagnosis of TBI.

The broken clavicle required surgery for bolt placement so he went under…

12 days after being admitted he went from being in critical condition to walking out on his own! I was told over and over by so many doctors this is very rare and they have only heard of someone surviving what he went through and most lost use of their legs…

He had a short set back and was readmitted due to an infection at the clavicle surgery site, which required an additional surgery to clean the wound and all I could think was he is NOT going to die… is he?

He stayed a few more nights and was sent home with a picc line. It was the first time I was alone to be his nurse… I had to go to work and leave him on the couch and hope that he did not start to bleed out at the site. I was a wreck leaving him there …

We made it …

He has gone through physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, and other types of therapy… He has taken physiological tests… he has been measured, reviewed, watched, prodded…

Loved…

He continues (years later) to experience issues with response time, fine motor skill, depression, anxiety, emotion control, a sleep disorder and involuntary limb movement when he does sleep… (there is more)

Sometimes I cry for myself because I am tired, sometimes I cry for him because he is tired and sometimes we cry together…

I have a lot going on … It has been a hard year with a few really good victories!

We are not giving up…
For more information about TBI please visit the below website and remember you never know what someone is going through, be kind, you don’t have to understand it all… just be kind :

http://www.traumaticbraininjury.com/injury-resources/state-resources-for-tbi/ohio/

Laxmi Road | India | Let Go …

One day, early… I hopped in a rickshaw and headed out for shopping!

My friend “Pradnya” introduced me to this way of taxing and to Laxmi Road, itself.

I had heard many times that, Laxmi Road was ‘the place’ to go at least once during any stay in Pune! Who was I to argue about a shopping experience… in India!?

Once I arrived- I hit the ground running,  little did I know at the time that this area is about 4 km (approx 2.5 miles) of pure bliss. Scarves, Kurti’s, Jewelry, Sandals and the list goes on and on.

Laxmi Road is a blocked off area on the streets of Pune which serves as an outside mall, in direct sunlight and without covering … Hot! Hot! Hot! … to be expected I guess because afterall, this area IS named after a Goddess !

This area is VERY popular and today is no different. People of all areas of India and beyond seem to be covering every inch of this place. It is remarkable, overcrowded, buzzing with energy and full of a language that I do not understand.

This day in my life, is one that, I will never forget.

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Photographed by Beverly Stephens

Pictured above is traditional party jewelry. I absolutely loved this piece -and- it had matching earrings! I bought it no matter the price… I do not even recall how much it was because it just did not matter. The price was “Mine” dollars!

Unfortunately, I never wore this nearly as much as I thought I would…

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Photograph by Beverly Stephens

The one thing I really liked about this piece and a lot of necklaces displayed in India is the portion that is placed around the back of the neck is made of cord or string. This makes it very comfortable to wear and also there is ease in adjustment by simply tieing it tight or loose.

In May of 2016, I decided to declutter more of my jewelry and this set was amongst the selections that I chose to purge. If you are interesting in seeing what other earring and necklace sets that I decluttered, the video is below.

Cherish your belongings and the memories they were a part of … but above all, when items no longer serve you… say ‘Thank You’ and let go…

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Christian Turns 4 Years Old

OH my little buddy … Christian is his name … he is a purebred, black Pug !

April 2013

Taken in 2013 – Posing in the green grass with his red walking harness

Christian can be very territorial and likes to bark when anyone visits or comes knocking at the door and he loves to talk to the neighbors dogs by barking through our fence. He doesn’t have any issues ‘acting’ like he is a big dog and he doesn’t mind posing for pictures from time to time.Christian

 

I remember the day I brought him home, he was so tiny and depended on me for everything. He was so small in fact I could wrap him in a hand towel, folded in half. He loved that, I am guessing it made him feel secure being wrapped up in something soft while I held him. Those really early days were precious to me and times I will never, ever forget.

2016 Jan 12 Christian 4 yr old2

2016 Birthday Hat – I turned 4,  Jan 12th !

This month he turns 4 years old and we celebrated with a new toy, a special dinner and a nice red party hat!  He wore the hat just long enough for me to snap a few pictures.

He has gained a few pounds in the last couple of years as he settles nicely into his pug rolls and is happy and healthy in our home… a little spoiled but I guess with a face like that, who wouldn’t be spoiled!              Signature

Christian and I - 3rd Birthday

Christian & Mommy (Me) – On his 3rd Birthday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY !

 

Donation Tracking

…with a free downloadable Donation Tracker for you!

In preparation for a strong ‘decluttering’ year, I created a donation tracker so that I can be sure to log what I am donating without a lot of effort.

What Do I Track?

I wanted to track when, what and the worth of each item that I donate throughout the year in order that I can tally the totals for tax purpose during tax season.

Do I Keep Receipts? Proof Of Items Donated?

I keep a receipt folder where I can easily cross reference receipts that I collect after each donation. I typically film what I donate and that helps me out in the event I forget to jot something down. Taking a picture is another way to show what was donated – I just simply attach it to the receipt and fair market value sheet.

Good luck on donations AND tracking them in 2016!

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Free Donation TrackerDownload Here: LivingEclectic – Donation Tracker

Small Pantry Organization

Oh The Pantry!

You know that space … where the chef of the home can go to create …and dream and… provide delish meals for the family… That Pantry!

I dream of a large walk in with a place that will hold everyday food items, stockpile supplies, menu plans, cookbooks with recipes, food inventory lists and ample space for large appliance storage!  A girl can dream, right?!

The reality is … I do not have a walk in, nor space to hold everything I want in a single space. But, I do have a very modest pantry with several shallow shelves SO I am able to house a little bit of everything. This also means there are other spaces where I house all needed items in order to maintain my kitchen (that will be a different topic for a different day).

Small Patry Organization

When I moved into my current home, I downsized in all areas to include the kitchen… with that downsize went the walk-in pantry…  So I chose to say “Hello”, to small spaces!

This is an honest pic of my unorganized pantry when I first moved in …

Small Pantry Organization

I quickly found out that the systems I used in my previous pantry (which was a walk in) did not work in my current pantry.

The systems I used before consisted of risers for canned goods and plastic pull out drawers that contained items that I could see easily in my previous space by pulling out the sliding drawer. In my new space the risers did not fit properly (to narrow of a space) and the drawers would not pull out completely. I dealt with it for as long as I could and decided enough is enough – time for a Small Pantry Organization!

I took inventory and decided what the must have items were and what I absolutely HAD to have there… and added on nice to have and this is what I came up with for RULES :

1) Must be functional, above all !

2) I must be able to know at a glance where everything is located.

3) The space must allow other members of the family to put away/get out grocery items without having any difficulty.

4) Visually appealing – This was my nice to have!

I was able to organize with Dollar Tree bins (most of which I already had) and Dollar Tree canisters and containers.

This is what my pantry looks like now – Take A look!

I also filmed 2 YouTube videos – One BEFORE and one AFTER The link to those are below!

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I filmed a short video of my pantry BEFORE :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Iuv-V9ov2kg” target=”_blank”>

I filmed a short video of my pantry AFTER :

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nM2a7tGxgtU” target=”_blank”>

 

 

CAPSULE MAKEUP TIN

This holiday,  I placed my everyday capsule makeup essentials in a holiday tin for easy storage!

I reach for this every single day and love the joy it brings me each morning.

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The contents consist of 5 products! Very minimal at best …

It gives me the simple freedom to walk out the door with a clean fresh looking face all day! Take A look at what I use!

5 Products

Rimmel – Lasting Finish Foundation – 25 hour – 100 ivory

Rimmel – Scandaleyes Wtrpf Mascara – Retro Glam – 001 Black

Rimmel – Brow This Way – Brow Styling Gel – 004Clear

Maybelline – Master Smoky – Eyeliner Pencil – Scorching Brown

Almay – Smart Shade – Concealer – 010 Light Pale

Try out a Capsule makeup tin for yourself – You may just like the simplicity it brings to your morning makeup routines.

Happy Holidays!

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