12 April, 2017

Au revoir, gluten!



I just shared this on Instagram, but when I got a question from someone, my response was so long that Instagram wouldn't let me post it. Haha! Typical. So I decided to write a blog post instead. :)

I've shared bits and pieces about my health issues over the last few years, but I don't think I've really shared how bad things got. I have definitely withdrawn A LOT from everything and everyone. Partly because I don't like feeling misunderstood and partly because I just haven't felt well. It started with my thyroid disease, and then I figured out that I had pretty bad PMDD. I had surgery on my thyroid after a (HORRIBLE) year on medication, and I tried a few treatments for the PMDD. My surgery was very successful, but nothing has helped the PMDD. Overall, I just felt like crap. Super low energy. Tons of paralyzing anxiety. Heart Palpitations. Panic attacks that woke me up in the middle of the night. Muscles so tense and tight that they'd send shooting pains all over my body. Headaches that would last for weeks or even months. Brain fog. And just generally feeling lousy. It has been an all-consuming battle and very discouraging.

After having a really bad headache for six weeks and extremely bad muscle tension, I decided to try giving up gluten. And I didn't just give up the obvious sources of gluten; I did it for real. I read labels carefully, looked stuff up online, called manufacturers, and asked lots of questions at restaurants.

After less than a week, my headache finally went away. And then I started noticing my muscle pain decreasing. Now after only two months, the headaches and muscle pain are still gone, my anxiety is getting so much better, I have more energy than I've had in years, I don't walk around feeling like my head is in a fog anymore, my heart palpitations have decreased, my fingers don't get stiff and cramped anymore, and my general malaise has decreased a TON. The longer I go without gluten, the more changes I see. And I'm sure there is still SO much more change yet to come. It is so insane to me that this has helped me so much, and I pray that it continues to help!

So I shared most of the above on Instagram and mentioned that it has been difficult to give up gluten. Someone asked how hard it was because they were having similar symptoms, and this is what I'd like to say in response to that question....

I loooooove bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, and pastries. I really don't think can express how much. Lol! My diet before I quit was totally based on gluten, and I am 100% addicted to gluten and to food. The gluten free versions of stuff don't hold a candle to the real deal so I definitely can't say I don't notice a huge difference. BUT I feel so much better that I just can't go back. The way I have approached it has been as a trial to see if I felt better. Then once I started feeling better, it made it easier to stick with. I still haven't declared or thought, "I'm never going to have gluten again." But I also don't let myself think that I will have it again someday. I've just taken it day by day as something I am doing right now for my health, and I tell myself that I will find new foods to love over time. 

The one thing that has been incredibly hard for me is thinking about chocolate croissants and that I might never have one again. I have honestly cried over this a few times!! All of this to say that it is definitely hard! But only when you let your mind go there. There are plenty of gluten free foods to eat and you will find things that you really do enjoy. 

Eating out is the hardest part. You have to be pretty careful and ask a lot of questions. Even stuff marinated in soy sauce contains gluten, and many restaurants mix pancake batter into their scrambled eggs. You can't even count on corn tortillas at restaurants being gluten free so just do your research and ask, ask, ask. 

I've stuck to eating a lot of the same foods over and over, and as I add new stuff/places in, I observe how I feel. If I accidentally eat something with gluten in it, the next day my muscles hurt and I have a bad headache and anxiety. That's only happened with three things though. 

I would encourage you to approach it as a trial and see if you notice a difference! If you do, you really won't want to go back. My headaches went away within a week, and everything else has gradually gotten better. It can take ages for your body to fully recover though if you have an intolerance so if it is a problem for you, you will continue to see improvements over time. I'm still seeing new improvements, and I suspect that I will continue to over the next year or so.


So yeah, that's what has been going on with me lately! Between going gluten free and a few other things I'm doing/working on, my life is getting better each day. The last few years have been a huge struggle for me, but seeing actual improvement has been incredibly encouraging! For the record, I don't think everyone needs to give up gluten by any means. While I do believe that gluten is inflammatory to all our bodies, I definitely don't believe that we are all gluten intolerant. But if you've been thinking that gluten might be an issue for you, don't be afraid to try out going gluten free. If I can do it, you can too!!


07 July, 2016

Cecily Jo's Debut... a big, giant mini book!



I recently had the honor of guest posting for Caylee Grey on her gorgeous blog. A couple months ago she announced that she was accepting applications for guest posts. I applied and was sooooo excited when she asked me to post! Caylee is a super talented papercrafter and teacher. She's also very motivating and encouraging to artists. I've been working through her Level Up class and have learned so much about productivity and what helps me, personally, get things done. It's truly turning out to be a game changer for me. Caylee is awesome.

Anyway, because of all this awesomeness, I wanted to come up with something really good to share on her blog, and I also wanted to finish a project that has been on my to-do list for awhile. I decided on making a mini book to document Cecily's first ballet class and recital. In the end, this mini book wasn't so mini. It's HUGE. I kept joking that it was as thick as the Bible. I just couldn't edit down my photo selections any further and decided, "It's my album and I'll do what I want."

I used mostly Pink Paislee's C'est La Vie collection for the mini book and mixed in some Maggie Holmes, Crate Paper, and tons of vintage ballerina elements. It turned out very girly with lots of florals, doilies, lace, texture, and PINK! Perfect for a ballet album. I've included some photos to give you a peek of the album below, but there's soooo much more on Caylee's blog.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

I initially planned to use binder rings to hold my album together, but my stack of pages was way too thick for the rings I had, and the ones that would fit all the pages were ridiculously large. So I went with some gorgeous silk ribbon instead. At first I wasn't so sure how I felt about it, but now I love it. LOVE it. In fact, I love this entire album. These memories are treasures to me. Cecily's recital was so special and wonderful for me. It was seriously a magical experience, and I just wanted to hold onto those memories and make something that would convey how perfect this experience was.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

So yeah, I'm super proud of what I made! Please go check it out here. And if you feel so inclined, please leave a comment here or there letting me know what you think!! I would be so thrilled to hear from you. :)

As always, thank you so much for reading and having a look at what I've made. I put so much heart, time, and energy into the things I make, and I truly appreciate when others stop to have a look.

xo,
Jasmine


24 June, 2016

End of the Year Thank You Cards



Cecily finished up her first year (half year actually) of preschool last week and had her dance recital over the weekend! So I made some thank you cards to give to all her teachers and helpers.

I knew I wanted to use doilies and some vintage pieces I had found online, but I didn't have a clear sketch/layout in my head so I checked out a card class at Big Picture Classes and found a great sketch in one of Carissa Wiley's classes.

I made 7 cards assembly line style, 3 identical cards for preschool:

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

I love that little girl at her easel. She reminds me of Cecily. :)

And 4 different cards for dance:

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

I think the last one is my favorite because, again, she reminds me of Cecily! :)

The "thank yous" are stamped and heat embossed on pieces of vellum, and they are certainly not perfect, but that just lends itself to the homemade look... as do the globs of hot glue holding on the sequins. Haha! I splashed a little gold Heidi Swapp Color Shine on each card and called them done! I love how they turned out!

Next I packaged them all up with some chocolate bars:

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

Ballet and preschool thank you cards

And they were all ready for Cecily to give to her wonderful teachers and helpers! I hope they liked them and felt appreciated. We certainly appreciate everything they've done for Cecily this year!!

Thank you so much for taking a look at my project! I hope you enjoyed it! :)

xo,
Jasmine





23 February, 2016

Disneyland Mini Album



My very favorite thing to make is a mini album. I looooove them!! And my favorite way to make one is to print out all the photos and have a marathon scrapping session and get it all done in day. I guess I like my scrapbooking how I like my television watching. ;)

This is an album I've been meaning to make for a very long time, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. It's been three years since Cecily's first trip to Disneyland, but I'm glad I waited because I was able to use Crate Paper's Wonder collection and it was perfect for this project!

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

I saved our tickets from that day and slipped them into this little glassine baggie.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

This is a pocket that holds three photos that are virtually the same, but I loved them all and couldn't decide. Whenever I can't decide, I go with a pocket, bag, or envelope... then I don't have to. :)

Untitled


Untitled

Untitled

I love this photo of me and Silly so it needed to be BIG.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Some of my favorite photos EVER. The look on Cecily's face meeting Snow White for the first time was absolutely priceless. Our entire day was magical and made me so happy that we didn't wait until she was older to take her to Disneyland.

Untitled

I love including memorabilia in my albums. It's so fun to look back on later. Her little double chin in this silhouette KILLS me.

Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

Another little glassine baggie. This one is holding her first visit button and a ticket to the World of Color show we watched that evening.

Untitled

This paper bag holds all the extra photos I couldn't bear to leave out. This little bag was actually holding some stickers in an online order I made, and it had the shop's logo stickered to the front. I loved the bag so much that I peeled off the sticker and saved it, but the sticker tore the bag a little bit so I just covered it up! I can't stand throwing cute things away even when they're damaged or tiny scraps, but I almost always find a use for them at some point.

Untitled

This day was precious to me so I'm glad I could make an album I love to hold these wonderful memories. I feel like I was able to do them justice. And I love knowing that Cecily will be able to look back on a day she can't remember and know how special it was. This is when I love scrapbooking the most. :)

Thanks for looking!

xo,
Jasmine



31 January, 2016

I Treasure You



Hello! We're enjoying some nice rainy weather today so I thought I'd pop over here and give my blog some attention.

I've got Valentine's Day on my mind right now... one of my favorite times of the year because I love pink and hearts and flowers and chocolate. And of course, love. Gotta love love! This card isn't strictly Valentine-y since it only sort of features the aforementioned Valentine's accoutrement, but it will be perfect to let someone know how much they mean to me. :)

Untitled

This card features the Maggie Holmes Open Book collection, which is one of my all-time Crate Paper favorites. I covered my cardstock in lace because I love the texture so much, and I embossed polka dots on some white cardstock to make the little pocket. The sentiment slips in and out of the pocket for a fun little interactive element.

Untitled

Untitled

Thanks for taking a peek!

xo,
Jasmine


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...