CONSTRUCTION, CONSTRUCTION, AND MORE CONSTRUCTION…

This month I am trying to complete projects that were started before and after my moms stroke.  Several seasons have passed by and we’ve been busy here in TN.  While I was in SC with mom, my hubby had a our basement garage converted into a good sized bedroom with double closets. When mom and I moved back in August 2017, Mike and I moved our high school graduate from his domain in the basement to our master bedroom upstairs and us downstairs so I could be close to my mom.  Mike is in the process of building us a Walk-In Closet (Yay!).  I can’t wait for our belongings to find a better place than boxes and piles around our room.

We also cleaned out the stacks of papers, blankets, and most of the junk that had been cluttering our guest room upstairs, mentioned in this post.  I still need to relocate the armoire to mom’s room for storage, sell the love-seat, tear down the navy all-in-one shelving unit, and paint.  New closet doors will replace the hollow wood sliding ones and BAM, we’ll be ready to decorate!

I have decided to have a desk in our bedroom to work from vs using the guest room as an office.  I believe our guest room will stay in use all year with visitors for the Holidays and those traveling to see mom.

DESIGN PLAN

Guest Bedroom: The design plan for this project is to combine a guest bedroom, mobile desk, and media in one location.  The plan to accomplish this is to include a Murphy Bed that can be put away when not in use or daybed with pop up trundle, wall mounted television with a wall of shelving, large room rug,and a narrow desk on casters with a small seat or bench. The theme is Elegant Comfort.

 

INSPIRATION BOARD

We’re going to keep the walls neutral and light because this is a small room and keep the decorations functional yet relaxing.

Keep checking for updates.  We’re also almost finished with our Laundry Closet turned Pantry!  Check back for pictures on that project as well.

Beginning after the first of the year we are taking a break from our home and starting renovations on our son’s condo in Nashville, TN.  We have to get a structural engineer to review some things for us there then we will be able to move forward. This will be a project that will last for several months, up to a year. I will show before and after and take you through the process.  This condo was purchased as a fixer upper and we have barely scratched the surface. We have started painting the walls (not finished) since we closed on this property in July 2015.  I am excited to be completing some of these projects and to live more functionally.

Until next time…xoxox, Dawn

FINDS & FAILS

FIND —>

Hourglass Film Noir Full Spectrum Mascara

This Mascara is so lux and creamy.  It coats each lash and brings not only length but also feels like it conditions my lashes.  I have always had issues with “Raccoon eyes” because I have full cheeks and like to laugh and smile.  This mascara does not end up under my eyes and smeared, which I love.  I bought mine at Sephora but it can also be found at Nordstrom.  Both stores have the mascara priced at $28.

 

FAIL—>

Voluminous Superstar Mascara in Black/Noir

L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara has been my go to for years.  Its not only affordable, it didn’t smear under my eyes.  So when I saw the Superstar in the same brand I wanted to try it out.  It’s available at Target & Walmart and runs around $10 at both.  I am sorry to say I was not impressed.  It has two separate coats (primer & mascara) that goes on.  It does create length but the appearance is “scraggly” looking and it feels stiff and dry on my eyes.  Even though this is a drugstore brand I still had come to expect more from L’Oreal’s product because of my past experience with the brand.  In a pinch I will still use their regular Voluminous, however, I have found that Hourglass is my go to and well worth the price for what it delivers.

Until next time, xoxoxox Dawn

New Series on Elder Care & Caregivers

In December 2016 my mom had an ischemic stroke that left her paralyzed on her right dominant side and unable to speak or eat food by mouth. She was 82 yrs old when this happened, was completely self-sufficient and independent, and took care of others (family members, etc.) until her stroke.  This event has been life changing for not only her but for all of our family.  Since then we all have worked together to make sure she is not only superbly cared for but that she has as much quality to her life as we can give.  I resigned from my career as a Dental Hygienist to become her full-time caregiver.  We stayed in SC until August 2017 when I was able to bring her home with me to TN.  We are still under construction at our home and will be for a while trying to get modifications done to help in her daily care and functionality of our home.  My siblings have been so supportive and even though we all live in different areas, we all chip in to take care of some aspect of my moms affairs.

This event has been eye-opening to me in that I have re-evaluated what is truly important and what is trivial.  We have had to face many hurdles in this journey and I will be going over these hurdles and options in the hopes that the knowledge will help others who care for their loved ones or to help in the planning stages.  As I said, this process has been eye-opening.  I have learned that the best and most effective method for anything in life is planning for the unexpected and expecting anything.

I will be starting a Caregiver Series on the blog to share information and planning tips that I have learned along the way.  It has taken a long time (longer than is necessary) to search out these tips and steps. I have stumbled many times and have had to search out resources and individuals who know how to get from point A to B.  So, I would like to share those with y’all.  This process could help anyone and is not limited to only those who have suffered debilitating illness.  This information can help everyone who believe its important to plan for a seamless future of care for themselves or loved ones.  Who will care for you, and what steps and hoops will they have to take and jump through?  The best course is to plan this out so that you are prepared.

I will begin this series this month (November 2017) and create a post once a month.  I’m not going to pin down a certain date because I don’t want to restrict myself or give a deadline to information that I feel is so important.  I like to have all my information correct before I try to relate that to others.  As I create these topics and plan, I will be able to better let you know post subjects and dates.  As caregiver is a new position for me (just since April 14th, 2017 full-time) I will be learning along with all of you on some of the information I research and share.  This is always thrilling for me because I value education so fiercely.  As a Dental Hygienist I loved continuing education, learning from my co-workers and patients.

The biggest education in this endeavor has been learning from my mom, through her expressions and actions, what she feels are good techniques in her daily care.  We have, together, created our own balance which I feel is essential in any relationship.  I look forward to sharing what I’ve learned and continue to learn.  As I have come to realize through experience of interviewing and working with other caregivers, there is unfortunately no hard and fast rules on this profession.  Generally, you are shown (I use the term loosely) how to use any equipment you will be working with and you are left to your own devices.  I have even found this to be true with Companies I have hired and they sent “qualified” caregivers.  Most did not know how to properly take care of someone who could not take care of themselves.  Most wanted to sit and play on their phones and just exist like a fly on the wall taking up space and getting $20/hr.  I also had to train them on how I wanted mom taken care of when I couldn’t be there, due to doctor appointments or grocery shopping, etc. and this was not even my profession but theirs.  I was appalled to learn that the applicants word that they know what to do was what most companies went by when hiring…WHAT????  See why I believe this is an important topic?

Anyway, so I will be working on what to cover first.  Anyone going through something similar with advice or questions or topics you would specifically like to see, please don’t hesitate to let me know.  Like I always told my patients, if I don’t know the answer I will find out the answer so we’ll both know :^)

I pray this series will help in some way for anyone going through these struggles too.

Until next time…xoxo Dawn.

Nordstrom Fall Sale

YEESSSSS! It’s here, the Nordstrom Fall Sale!

Just a quick post to let y’all know that The Nordstrom Fall Sale is going on now through November 12th.  Have I said it enough yet? FALL SALE!!!! Ok, I’m done…

So here are some of my favorites so far…

These are all 35-40% off (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)  (5)  (6)  (7)  (8)

These fabulous coats are a little over 30% off  (1)  (2)  (3)  (4)

This Diane Von Furstenburg Coat is an honorable mention at 25% off!

Diane Von Furstenburg Wool  Coat with Piping

And these are what I snatched up out of my Wish List that was on sale!  (1)  (2)

**Keep checking back on Nordstrom’s website or App to see if more items are added from now until November 12th.

Until next time…xoxo Dawn :^)

A Hallmark Halloween

As I watch The Good Witch: Spellbound on the Hallmark Channel, I am reminded that Fall is here and Halloween fastly approaching (next week, eek!).  Our leaves have been less than impressive this year by falling green and dying on the ground instead of creating the normal Fall Splendor that I have become accustomed to for upper Tennessee. I cannot blame the weather because I have enjoyed the warmer temps as well.  Still due to the unseasonable actions of Mother Nature I have been slow getting into the swing of Fall.  Enter The Hallmark Channel!

My fave channel to watch for the Holidays used to be ABC Family until their evolution into Freeform and the constant Twilight series on replay.  So while surfing the TV line-up for family friendly programming earlier this year I came across The Hallmark Channel and some of the most enjoyable programming that I have enjoyed in a long while.  I am a very upbeat person and having had gone through some pretty tough struggles this past year (more on that later), I have found that I needed a feel good booster and found it on this channel!!!!! YAY!!!!  My husband, a non-believer in all things Hallmark, calls it the estrogen channel.  However, I have found him tuning in to some of the programming with me and laughing along! Proof that there is something for everyone.  Even my teenager and his girlfriend watch with me.

The Hallmark Channel also has a talk show titled Home & Family.  This is Hallmarks version of the Today Show with yummy recipes, crafts, and interviews with musicians and actors, heroes, health gurus, beauty snipits,  pet adoptee of the day through Hallmarks Pet Project (their goal is to rid the nations shelters of animals and find forever homes for these potential pets…awwweeee!!!!!), etc.  And if you have missed an episode during the week they have a replay of the weeks episodes following the most recent.

I wanted to share some of my favorite Hallmark shows as well as some Fall shopping finds I have found lately…Happy Fall Y’all!!!!!

Hallmark Shows to watch:

1. The Good Witch

2. When Calls The Heart

3. Chesapeake Shores

4. Home & Family

5. Last Man Standing (my favorite!!!!)

6. The Middle

Also in the twilight hours are past family favs such as I Love LucyGolden GirlsCheersFrasier, and Home Improvement.

Hallmarks Countdown to Christmas has started for those of you who need more Holiday Cheer so don’t miss those movies!!!!

Favorite Fall Finds:

DIY Terrarium Table

Maple Rosemary Popcorn & Harvest Love Cocktail

  1. Apple Cider Donuts  2. Anti-Aging Hand Treatment  3. Kate Spade Embellished iPhone 8 Plus Folio in Red Carpet  4. Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Sheer Lip Shine in Rose Ravissant  5. Halogen Plaid Miniskirt  6. Vince Camuto Maita Pointy Toe Flat  7.Jeffery Campbell Ravis Faux Fur Mule  8. Cathys Concepts Monogram Plaid Throw  9. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Eye Palette  10. Diorific Vernis Nail Liner  11.  Madewell Stichmix Pullover  12. Wild & Wolf Tumbling Blocks Game

As you can see my tastes are varied :^) I could of course go on all day but instead find me on Instagram and Pinterest and let me know what some of your favs are!  Until then…

SIZE FANTABULOUS!

Size Matters! Let’s face it, most fashion these days cater to smaller sized women and men.  Most of the more popular fashion websites such as Revolve, H&M, and yes Shopbop do not have a variety of fashion for the more voluptuous individuals.  It can be heart wrenching sometimes.  Trying on clothes as a voluptuous woman has led me out of the dressing room in tears before, due to the fit and nonavailability of sizes above “10”.  So this is where I get down and dirty… I am 46 yrs. old, 172 lbs., 5’4″, and am shaped like an adorable apple!  I wear an XL in most clothing or Sz. 14 in pants and dresses, 16 in outer wear, 6 1/2 in shoes, Chest 36 DDD with broader shoulders than I would prefer but I have to have girth to hold those babies up in front!  I have even researched Smart Lipo (more on that in a later post) to trim my figure down, but I would really like to trim naturally as much as possible at a slower pace before going forward with any other alternatives.  Now knowing all those things about me, you can probably see how finding adorable fashion that does not look like a tent or moo moo, would be challenging.  Which brings me to my solution…

belklogo_4-color

When I visited my mom during Spring Break, I was looking for a Spring dress and my mom mentioned Belk’s.  Growing up she and I always went there for great fashion at affordable prices, and I found this to still be true when I went this past Spring as well.  So, why not look again for Fall?  That’s exactly what I did and let me tell you, I found SO many great deals!  Even the items that I ordered have gone down even more and all sizes are still available on my items with the exception of the Booties.  Do yourself a favor and go to Belk.com for some unbelievable deals and great fashion for every body shape…even Size Fantabulous like me!

  1. The Chevron Vest was org. $48 (I paid $32.99) Now $21.60, all sizes available. TTS, I wear XL.
  2. FP Tunic was org. $68 (I paid $48) Now $51.00, all sizes available.- Free People runs big, I wear L.
  3. Tassel Necklace was org. $32 (I paid $22.40) Now $16.00. Hangs to below chest.
  4. Booties were org. $90 (I paid $90) Now still $90 and worth it! Sz. 5M avail. Similar here in all sizes.

All the pieces that I ordered fit great, look fantastic, are made of quality material, and gives me a confident lilt in my step!  If you’re shopping online, use the code: 64130990 for $10 off of a purchase of $50. Also, subscribing to Belk’s emails will give you a coupon for $10 off of a $20 purchase.  Take your time and explore their website, you will be wondering where they have been all your life!

I have many more choices saved in my Wish List! I am looking forward to a Special Occasion so I can relish in many more steals and deals!

*I am not paid by anyone to research, try, and review anything on my website. My opinions are my own and I welcome others.

Until next time…Dawn

The Hermitage

This past August I attended a Dental Meeting in Nashville, TN (more on that in another post…it was awesome) and met another Dental Hygienist from TX.  This was her first trip to Nashville, TN and she wanted to do as many “touristy” things as she could while she was here.  So, we talked a little about various activities that she could do and I ended up volunteering to be her tour guide.  We went to The Hermitage which was Andrew Jackson’s Home during some of his later military career as well as after his Presidency.  The Hermitage is located about 20 minutes from Downtown Nashville, TN.  Although I have lived in TN for 16 yrs., not 2 hrs away, I had never visited this historic site.

We also toured Nashville’s Downtown on Broadway.  We had a blast and I don’t know why I  waited so long to get out and see what was right in my own “backyard”.  Thank you, Norma Jean, for being MY Nashville tour guide!

Sand & Sun & Sales!!!!

20161014_160826-collage

I wanted to drop a quick post and found a smidgen of time while on vacation.  I just had to share some of these phenomenal views with y’all!  If you have not visited Panama City Beach, Fl., plan this in your future.  Everything you could possibly want is at your fingertips while on vacation, like fantastic restaurants, entertainment, temperate weather and , hello, the ocean! We rented a beach house from Book That Condo that was one block from our private entrance to the beach. No overcrowding and gorgeous views!  Our house had a pool in the back so whether on the beach or back at the house we had unlimited access to the cool, refreshing water.  The Bid-A-Wee Beach House was comfortable and spacious enough for our family of four and two friends with two bedrooms, a set of bunks, a sleeper sofa, and a twin futon.  Panama City Beach has some great deals in the Fall since its past their peak season, the air temp stays in the 80’s during the day/ 60’s in the evening, and yet the water temp is still around 80 degrees.  Win, win right?  This was our first time here during October as normally we have traveled here during the Summer when outside temps have soared to 100 degrees.  I would definitely come again in the Fall and recommend  this for those who love the Sand & Sun vacations without the higher temperatures.

Also I wanted to include my faves for the last day of the SHOPBOP EVENT OF THE SEASON! Shop responsibly…

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