"Where there is creativity, there is hope." ~ Donna Karan

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Blab about Beauty Tuesday: Formula 10.0.6 Best Face Forward Daily Foaming Cleanser Review

Product description: This fresh, foaming gel cleanser infused with passionfruit and green tea, washes away oil and impurities for a sparkling, clear complexion.

Product directions: Apply a small amount of gel to damp face and massage lightly all over to remove dirt and grime. Rinse well with warm water.

My thoughts:  I thought I'd try out a different cleanser for a change and this one caught my eye. It seemed to be a popular cleanser too with most stores down to their last bottles. I was, however, really disappointed with this cleanser. While it smelt divine, foamed really well and was refreshing to use, I found it too harsh on my sensitive prone skin. It caused my skin to dry out and I had to stop using it after three days because I hated the tight feeling that it gave immediately after use. It's definitely not the most ideal product if you suffer with sensitive skin like I do, which is a shame because I think I could have grown to like this product.

Ingredients: water (aqua), sodium laureth sulfate, ammonium lauryl sulfate, cocamidopropyl betaine, cocamide DEA, passiflora edulis fruit extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) extract, sucrose, glycerin, citric acid, sodium chloride, fragrance/parfum, disodium EDTA, methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone, limonene, D&C Red 33 (CI 17200), FD&C Blue I (CI 42090) R06-08.

Size: 150ml RRP: $9.99

Would I purchase this product again?: Absolutely not.
My rating: 2/5


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Monday, August 29, 2011

I've gotta say, I am pretty pleased with prednisolone!

Ever since my second successful trial on prednisolone back in 2008, I have begged and pleaded to be put back on it.

Lately, I have been craving it. Bad.

Yep, you know you have a chronic illness when you crave certain drugs instead of food!

In the early stages of my diagnosis, I spent six joyous months singing prednisolones praises. I could manage to work three short shifts a week and still have some sort of a life on the weekends. Although I certainly didn't feel "well" and I sure had my moments, prednisolone made life manageable. I saw eighty percent improvement in joint pain and fatigue decreased a little, too.

These days I find myself craving the pain relief and the half decent life which it once enabled me to live. Oh the things I would give to have eighty percent improvement in joint pain right now.

The things I would give.

During the past year, however, fatigue has become far more troublesome and debilitating than joint pain, and according to my rheumatologist fatigue doesn't warrant another prednisolone trial.

Yeah, I've been feeling pretty pooped about this.

Yes, my fatigue has increased considerably, but that doesn't mean that my joints don't hurt like hell some days. The combination of methotrexate, feldene, and plaquenil doesn't seem to be working quite as well for me anymore.

Lately, I feel that chronic fatigue has been stealing all the attention, so much so that this back pain just doesn't seem to be getting dealt with.

Here comes the exciting news though...

After four very long and trying months of tests and frustrating doctors appointments, my rheumatologist has finally decided that it is time for another prednisolone trial to see if it curbs my unexplained back pain.


This time around, I was to try four weeks on a low dose (I was on the highest dose during my second trial). My rheumatologist has been hesitant to put me back on prednisolone purely because it takes such a high dose for it to work for me, so I was afraid that this small dosage would do nothing for my pain either, but for diagnostic purposes I had to give it a go.

The last time I spoke with my rheumatologist on the phone she said that if this prednisolone trial helps, then I will qualify for stronger drugs.

Ya think?

I think four months of back pain and a history of arthritis should be enough to meet criteria, but because I'm one of the unusual ones, with no blood tests to prove my inflammation the criteria process is a much more lengthy one.

I've been on this merry-go-round for years. It's a joke.

Since I've had no answers or solutions to my worsening back pain, I was sensible and didn't pin all my hopes on prednisolone helping.

I'm now in my final week of taking prednisolone and I've gotta say, I am pretty pleased. I am one happy woman.

It has satisfied my cravings.

Well, to an extent.

It hasn't taken away all of the pain (I am trying to imagine how awesome life would be on a higher dose) and the pain and stiffness make mornings a struggle, but I have definitely noticed improvement. The pain is much more manageable now. Driving doesn't cause as much pain as it used to, I don't have shooting pain coming from my back round to my stomach. Basically I can move without inflicting pain!

It is AM-A-ZING!

Sheer bliss.

I wish I could stay on this drug forever but if I did, the long term side effects would probably kill me, so then again I probably don't want to stay on it. It's a real pity that this drug is only temporarily used to aid flare-ups because it really works for me.

While it hasn't improve fatigue in the slightest I wasn't expecting it to. After all, I am dealing with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia syndrome also. I'm just really pleased that something has actually helped eased my pain a bit yet at the same time I'm upset because this trial only confirms my rheumatologists suspicions that I do in fact have inflammation in my spine {sigh}.

I see my rheumatologist later this week and will hopefully be starting on new drugs. I'm sure she'll be just as pleased as I am about the results and excited to hear that I have also started exercise rehab.

I am making progress, oh yes I am!


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What I'm Wearing #1

I thought it was about time that I made use of all the Best Buys posts. So I am.

I was going to link up over at The Pleated Poppy until I realised that it's summer over there. Would be a bit awkward linking up winter/spring out-fits, but I really wanted to join in somehow so I won't link up but I'll just do a post every now and then for the heck of it. Eeek. Are you excited?

Here's what I wore to church a couple of weekends ago:

Cardigan & T-shirt: Valley Girl

Skirt: BigW
Boots: Spendless Shoes
Handbag: factory outlet

Belt: Op shop
Earrings: Diva


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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The crap horrid week from hell. I think I'll go eat worms.

This past week has been torture. Sent straight from hell, I tell you. Why? Two words. Exercise rehab. Need I say more?

I had my first session (I'm only doing one half hour session weekly) with an exercise physiologist last Wednesday. Initially, I thought my body tolerated the extra exercise than usual pretty well considering that it's been quite a while since I've done anything other than the occasional stroll to the shops.

I will admit that I was a little anxious about this whole exercise hoo-ha because anything other than walking only seems to send me in a downward spiral. My biggest fear was what if it makes me worse but upon advice given to me by the chronic fatigue specialist, I decided to give it a go.

What the heck have I got to lose? Sitting at home resting and feeling sorry for myself hasn't really done much for me either. My muscles are unconditioned, which makes fibromyalgia an even tougher battle. So as much as it hurts, I need to get moving to condition and strengthen my muscles.

Before I became ill, I was an exercise junkie. I'd thrash out an hour long run on the treadmill almost everyday. Exercise was how I survived the stress of my final years in high school. I enjoyed exercise and I loved running and I can't do that now.

I can only manage minimal low-impact exercise and I hate it because everything hurts like hell. These days a brief power walk is about as good as it gets. Pain and fatigue don't make it enjoyable.

When I think back to how active I was and compare my old life to now, I am ashamed at how inactive I've become. I have tried to make an effort to exercise but with fatigue worsening in the last year, I've just given up.

Any activity I do, I pay for it. I'm exhausted from daily chores, I sometimes struggle after a shopping trip, so when it comes to exercise, I'm completely unmotivated. Shopping is exercise to me.

The main aim of exercise rehab is to find a balance that works for me where I can get the benefits from exercise, without it running me into the ground.

My hopes are to be able to build up my strength and exercise tolerance so that I can get fit enough to be able to manage working one or two short shifts again. Even if I only get to work one shift a week, I'd be happy. It's better than nothing.

The problem with CFS is that if I over do it, which nine times out of ten I do, I really struggle to function. But I know that it's important to keep moving, even if I'm just walking around the house.

I completely agree that low impact exercise is important for managing pain levels and decreasing fatigue but with how I'm feeling right now, I'm finding it hard to see how it will. I feel like poop.

I knew that the first few weeks of rehab would be tough, but I don't think any amount of mental preparation could prepare me for just how tough.

And it's only week one. Already I'm wanting to give up and chuck it in.

During my session I completed a thirty minute very low impact work-out consisting of five minutes on an exercise bike and various strengthening exercises. Aside from the pain, I felt pretty good afterwards. And then I hit day two post-work out.

Sure, I can deal with muscle pain as a result of being inactive. I expected that. What I did not expect was to have trouble sleeping at night because of flared fibromyalgia and joint pain.
Nor did I expect being utterly unable to function. I felt horrid. The pain and fatigue were so bad that I physically felt sick. The aching in my legs screamed over done by miles. I wanted to vomit.

This feeling continued to follow me all week long.

Here I am feeling like complete crap. I'm miserable and I'm certainly not the most enjoyable person to be around right now. I'm cranky and I cry at any little thing. I'm seriously struggling. I've barely been able to leave the house all week and I can't enjoy the things I love because I'm too bloody tired. This is stupid.

From the week that I've had, I'm scared that things will never improve. I want to exercise, I do. I want to improve and I want to do everything possible to help myself manage my illnesses and symptoms better, but I also don't want to run myself into the ground while trying.

Right now I am struggling to function. This just seems too hard. People keep telling me to have a good attitude and listen to the "experts". I'm willing to listen and take advice but I know when my body is telling me I've done too much.

So here I am left wondering how the heck I'm gonna hack it. Right now I feel so overwhelmed. This feels like it's beyond me.

To make exercise a priority, I've had to sacrifice everything. It just doesn't seem fair that I'm expected to drop everything else that makes life worth living for me right now.

This last week has just sucked balls. I am one hell of a moody bitch, I snap at everyone for no reason and I'm not feeling like the most loved person on the planet right now.

I think I'll go eat worms.

I hate this. I hate feeling this terrible. I'd rather go eat worms than feel this horrible. Yes, that is how horrible I feel. If it meant that I wouldn't constantly have to ache from head to toe and feel like I've been hit by a mack truck, I'd eat worms. Heck, I'd eat millions of them.

I'm terrified that tomorrows work-out will only make matters worse and somehow I've got to scrape through yet another week. As dreadful and as difficult as it seems, I know I have to be patient and give it time. Things will come good eventually. I just have to stick it out and suck it up. It will be okay, it's gonna be okay.

This past week has just been an incredible struggle though, but I have survived. I am alive. I am freaking alive.

Exercise aside, I do have my moments with chronic fatigue and maybe this is just one of those really rough times. I was feeling quite unwell before I started exercise rehab, so maybe the work-out just pushed me off the edge.

Having said that, it makes me feel better having something to blame so I am going to blame my work-out because that's the only thing I've done different.

So here I am, trying to adjust my attitude, ready to give it another shot tomorrow. I have to believe that things will eventually get better.

No matter how hard it gets I will keep telling myself that I can do this. I will keep reminding myself that this will be worth it and that this feeling is oh so temporary. That this will pass.

It will pass.

But right now, I'd rather be eating worms.

On a happier note, here is my new favourite song. I like to blast it really loud in the car. This song makes me happy and right now I need all the happiness I can get to get me through another week. So turn it up and get your dancin' freak on people. You know you want to.

**** Have you had a horrid week from hell? Feeling so terrible that you would rather be eating worms? I'm all ears x

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Card Making Monday: English Rose 'Treasure' Card

I have another card that I've made from the gorgeous English Rose Collection by Kaiser craft to show you!

Behold frills and flowers!

I used a paper from the English Rose paper pad as my background paper on pink card stock.

Then I glued down a decorative die cut from the paper pad and dressed it up with lace. Love me some bit of lace on a card.

I then mounted the quote die cut (also from the paper pad) with mounting squares and positioned my pearls.

Finally, I glued two 2.5cm flowers together and used a total of four which I pushed under the quote die cut and glued down. I finished them off with a small pearl in the center.


Materials used:

English Rose paper pad
Kaiser craft 8x 2.5cm flowers in Antique Pink
Kaiser craft self adhesive pearls in Snow
Pink card stock
Mounting squares
Non-wrinkle glue
Super glue

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Partay-ing with:

The Girl Creative
Tip Junkie handmade projectsTodays Creative Blog

Dragonfly Designs
Creations by Kara
ThriftyThurs SBLC Buttons
Craft Goodies

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Two months post-op

It's time I talked about my lady bits, isn't it? If you are completely comfortable with uterus talk then by all means, read on.

It has been two months since my surgery. Where the heck has time gone?

Things have been going extremely well where endometriosis is concerned. I had my post-op appointment last month when I found out all the details regarding my fourth laparoscopy.

I am thrilled with how things have gone. I found out that they removed a blood cyst from my left ovary and removed all of the endometriosis found on both ovaries.

I also received some news that I have been anxiously awaiting.

I can have cutie patootie babies!

Living with a reproductive disease which is a common cause of infertility, inflicted great uncertainty on my ability to conceive.

But alas, I have a hospitable uterus! Hurrah!

Well, at least from a gynaecological point of view I do. Who knows what the long term effects of the medications used to treat my other health conditions are. Their impact on infertility is still a very grey area.

I've had two cycles since surgery and because of previous disappointments, I didn't get my hopes up that this one would give me the relief that I've been seeking, but I am happy to say that this surgery has been a success!

In the six years that I've been struggling with symptoms, this is by far the best relief I've had. All of my previous surgeries have failed to control the pain.

My first cycle post-op only lasted three days and I experienced hardly any pain. My second one was a real shock.

A one day period!

I've gone from having heavy clot ridden, have to stay at home for a week, panadiene forte barely touches the side periods to practically pain free non-existent periods. Incredible!

My fellow endo sistahs will know just how amazing that is.

Debilitating cramps and lower back pain is now a thing of the past but for how long I don't know. The unfortunate thing with endometriosis is that it grows back. But right now I am too busy enjoying being endometriosis free to worry about that.

Regarding long term treatments, my doctor and I decided that it is best to stay away from hormonal treatments given my body doesn't tolerate them well. I will admit this has me just a little teeny weeny concerned because without treatment, endometriosis grows back faster but what choice do I have?

I think, as difficult as it is, dealing with the pain is a much better option than being a hormonal basket case resulting in no control over your feelings, emotions and sometimes actions.

After previous surgeries, the endometriosis has grown back within 3-4 months, but with the relief I've had so far this time round, I am positive it will stay away for a much longer period of time. Better yet, I'm praying it stays away for good.

The surgeon has done an incredible job. Miracles, I tell you. Miracles.

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Parking Fine Prank

I started exercise rehab on Wednesday. WOO without the hoo. I drove myself there and parked in the gym car park provided at the rear, as you do.

I completed a thirty minute low impact work-out, then stumbled back to my car (I was feeling pretty smashed by this point) and then proceeded on my merry way home in the pouring rain.

It was the first time I had driven there on my own, and as I was homeward bound, I just had to take a wrong turn and get lost, didn't I?

Disorientation and fatigue post work-out are a disastrous combination, I tell you. Not to worry though, I fluked the way home after five minutes of driving around in a frazzled and flustered state.

On the bright side, at least I know the way now but little did I know that I had accumulated a parking fine.

 During my work-out. Un-freaking believable.

I awoke on Thursday morning feeling pretty darn miserable, compliments of CFS. I bolted straight for the kettle, a caffeine fix beckoned.

In my fatigue-foggy-brained-post-work-out-I-feel-like-poop-state, I squinted at the light dancing through the kitchen window and admired my lovely little red car parked in the driveway.

This picture perfect scene lasted less than two seconds. It was rudely spoilt by what looked liked the remains of a big fat parking fine sitting on the windscreen. I raced outside, pyjamas and all, and ripped that evil piece of practically unsalavagable paper off my precious car.

Who needs caffeine when you've got a parking fine to get you going?

It was rain stained and all of the print had run. It nearly crumbled to pieces when I picked it up. I held it up to the light in a panicked attempt to try and discipher the text.


That's all the information I could gather. All the other details were washed away by the rain.

I freaked out.

How could I not have noticed it on my windscreen when I left the gym? How did it stay on my car in the pouring rain with the windscreen wipers going?


Gosh. That rain must have super glued it mightily to the windscreen. Miracles happen. No, surely this can't be true. This cannot be happening to me. This has got to be a joke.

This has got to be a joke.

I sat down and tried to calm myself and then became even more distressed when I realised I could just make out that a box had been ticked for stating what I'd done wrong.


What. The. Hell? I burst into tears. I got a ridiculous fine that I couldn't even see all the details of. The all important contact and payment details had been completely washed away.

All I did was park in the bloody gym car park. I did nothing wrong. How can they fine me for that?

The bastards.

I will give them a piece of my mind.

I quickly found the number for Kingston City Council to call and explain what had happened and to ask who to speak to regarding the ridiculous matter.

I had the number ready to go. I had the I am a chronically ill person on disability, I cannot afford to pay this stupid fine, you should feel sorry for me, sob story ready to go.

But for some reason I phoned my mumma at work first. Lucky I did.

I was the victim of a prank.

Yep. That's right, my sneaky little sister (she's not that little, only a couple years younger than me) had printed a professional, fully legitimate looking parking fine ticket off the internet and put it on my windscreen Thursday morning before she left for work.

And I fell for it. Hook, line, and sinker.

It seriously looked like it had survived the weather beating from the day before.

What's even funnier is that she made the first half of the ticket to look real and the second half to look fake so that she only had me fooled for a second, but because the rain had ruined it I could only make out bits and pieces of the legitimate looking half of it. Apparently the $200 was actually in pounds!

Fortunately for her, the rain the day before and the rain that came after she placed it on my car, worked in her favour. It was very believable. Had I seen the tell-tale signs of the prank on the ticket, I would never have fell for it. I'm not that stupid.

Then again, I was foolish to believe that it had stayed stuck to my windscreen despite heavy rain. Miracles happen, ya know?

In my defense, I've been feeling terribly unwell this week. I have the brain functioning of a pug.

It was just so lucky that my mumma was informed of the prank, otherwise the poor person answering the phones at Kingston City Council would have had a crazy, highly medicated woman carrying on about a parking fine that didn't exist.


Yesterday afternoon was a long one, I never heard the end of it. My sister gloating in all of her professional prankster glory. I gotta admit, this prank was perfectly timed so kudos to you lil' sis.

I am never gonna live this one down. I will forever be hearing about this one. I'll be taking this sucker to my grave.

I'm not gullible, I'm just a little tired and unwell.

Yes, go on, have a giggle at how talented and amazingly gullible I am. This girl's got incredible skill.


Pay back is a bitch, lil' sis. Pay back is a bitch.

Watch. Your. Back.

***** Have you been a victim of a prank like this? Have you ever fallen for something this stupid and felt like the biggest idiot walkin' round town? Console me, please x

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Nail Files Thursday: {Revlon} Nordic Skye Glitter Manicure

It's time for another edition of The Nail Files Thursday! Yay!

Isn't it just pretty?

As my base colour, I used 3 coats of Revlon Nordic Skye

And for the glitter tips I used about 5 coats of a blue and silver glitter polish by a brand called Satin which is a cheap polish I found in a chemist. I absolutely love it, looks a bit like tinsel!

This is one of my more recent manicures that I did this year.

And there you have it, another edition of The Nail Files Thursday!

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