• Blogging,  Life & Family

    My Struggles with PMDD

    Have you ever heard of PMDD? It’s basically severe PMS. (Find more out here.) I hadn’t heard of it until about 2 years ago when I was diagnosed with it.

    Let’s go back in time for a minute: In late 2012, I went nuts. Literally, crazy. My emotions were all over the place. I couldn’t control them at all. I possessed so much anxiety, anger, and sadness. Friendships were ruined and I hurt a lot of people I care about. Thoughts of suicide sat heavy on my brain. It all started in September of that year, I had just stopped breastfeeding my one year old and I had a very active 2 ½ year old. I thought, “Two kids, two and under. I am probably just sleep deprived. That’s got to be what is going on with me.” So, I just kept chugging along.

    When my feelings weren’t getting any better, I decided to start seeing a therapist. After several months, I started to realize my therapist was getting annoyed with me because all of my “huge problems” were actually quite petty. Luckily, my awesome husband didn’t take kindly to my bullying either, but he also very much understood I was having a hard time.

    In addition to everything going on in my own head, my husband and I were also realizing our youngest son had special needs (you may know my youngest son has autism spectrum disorder.) I wanted to connect some dots for you. 2012-2014 is the same time frame we were finding all of that out.

    As the year passed, I started to recognize there was a monthly pattern to my emotions. My solution was to just start avoiding people during those times of rage. Insomnia was also very much a part of my life. I would sit up at night and worry that a friend of mine was saying something bad about me. I lost so much sleep thinking people were saying things they weren’t. (Who cares, right? Well, I certainty did.) I felt miserable.

    In December of 2013, I finally called my GYN and made an appointment. I had been keeping a mood journal for several months and shared what I had been experiencing. That’s when I received the PMDD diagnosis. My doctor prescribed me a daily dose of 20mg of fluoxetine (Prozac) to help stabilize my mood.

    The first several weeks of taking this medication my body did not react well, but the doctor told me to stick it out and make it to the six week point. So I did. That made all the difference in the world. I was myself again. All the worrying was gone. I could finally enjoy my family the way I had always wanted to.

    Alright, now let fast forward to November and December 2015. I was beginning to recognize some changes in my mood again. This time I chalked it up to being stressed about the holidays.

    One morning, I guess I was in a particularly bad mood and I was yelling at my five year old because he was running late for school. He looked up at me with big teary eyes and said “Mommy why are you being so mean to me? Can you stop yelling at me please? It hurts my feelings.” I stopped dead in my tracks. I hadn’t even realized I was yelling. That’s when it dawned on me; all of my PMDD symptoms were back. I called my doctor immediately. He said sometimes this can happen where your medication can “poop-out” or stop working. So, he recommended that I up my daily dosage.

    Right now, I am in the middle of the adjustment period to the new dosage and I am not entirely sure it is working. I am awake during the nights and sleeping during the days. My dreams are so stressful that my rest doesn’t even feel like rest. I keep getting so worn down that I keep getting other sicknesses as well. So, with all of that being said, I am going to have to step back from the blog and focus on my health, personal struggles, and my family. This decision did not come easy to me, as I have loved meeting people, sharing ideas, and working with my sister on Elizabeth Joan Designs. I am sure Erin will have many great new things to share with you. And who knows, I may pop in every now and then to share the happenings around here.

    Well, thanks again for all of your support and goodbye for now!

  • Blogging,  Life & Family

    Happy New Year & Changes

    Hello, Friends and Happy New Year! We hope that you had a magical time during the holidays! For me, the break has been so wonderful and it has been great to spend more quality time with the kids and hubby. We’ve played tons of games, done Christmas crafts, went to see the Nutcracker, visited the zoo to see the Christmas lights, and of course spent lots of time with family and friends!

    Zoo Christmas Lights

    But now it is back to reality. The kids started back to school yesterday and I’ve been tweaking some blog stuff here and there. You may have noticed the mini “blog makeover” going on. Since it is a new year, we’ve decided it was time for a new look. It is such a process, but hopefully everything will be back to normal working order soon!

    cropped-ejd-new-logo-111.jpg

    In other blog news, we’ve decided to shift gears slightly. Don’t worry. We will still continue to bring you plenty of fun DIY, decor, and craft projects. But we have felt that there was maybe a little something missing. What’s that you ask? Well, it’s personal. Literally. We thought it was time to welcome you into our lives and share a little more of the personal details. Don’t be scared. It’s not anything too crazy.

    Flower Colored Pencils

    We are so glad you stopped by! Check back later this week for an update from Emily too!

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    Have you downloaded your free 2016 Calendar and Planners?

    Monthly Weekly Planner

  • Blogging,  Giveaways,  Holidays & Seasons,  Home Decor

    Gift Guide + $5500 in Giveaways! (Coming Nov. 6th)

    If you are anything like us, then you may sometimes have a hard time coming up with holiday gifts for certain people on your list. Well, you are in luck, because we’ve teamed up with 30+ fabulous blog friends to bring you the “Complete 2015 Gift Guide” coming Nov. 6th and featuring 60 categories of the hottest products out there. And to get you started, we are also collectively giving away over $5500 in prizes. Wowzers!!!

    gift guide

    (Affiliate links included below)

    The items above are just a few of the amazing products that will be showcased in the gift guide.

    Top: Scarf | Art Deco Mirror | Coffee Bean Grinder | Apple Stylus | Cable Knit Picture Frame

    Bottom: Nikon Camera | Cable Knit Blanket | Coffee Cup Holder | French Accents Book | Makeup

    Make sure to mark your calendars check back on Nov. 6th to see all of amazing goodies we’ve rounded up and enter to win some awesome prizes!

    Erin Cole is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

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  • Blogging

    Favorite Craft Tools & Supplies

    Every once in awhile, we like to share our most loved gadgets that we use to help us with our projects. In the past, we’ve showed our painting and photography preferences, so we thought it was time to showcase some of our favorite craft tools & supplies.

    Favorite Craft Tools & Supplies

    This post contains affiliate links.

    No. 1 – Baker’s Twine – Perfect for dressing up a pretty package or stringing up a garland. There are so many colors and possibilities!

    No. 2 – Tube Pipe Insulation – If you are looking for an inexpensive and easy product to work with, this is it. Use the tubing to make an amazing base for many kinds of wreaths and projects.

    No. 3 – Paint Brush Set – Having different sized and angled paint brushes to accommodate a multitude of paint projects is essential and this pack totally hits the mark.

    No. 4 – Round Corner Punch – We love how this little punch can easily add a little oomph to printed cards and papers to give them that professionally finished look.

    No. 5 – Mod Podge – A classic crafting glue that is the bomb dot com. Great for sealing, adhesion, and decoupage.

    No. 6 – Stainless Steel Scissors – Can you really go wrong with fancy scissors that are pretty and functional? (The blades are perfectly sharp and sturdy.)

    No. 7 – Wood Alphabet Stamp Set – These cute little alphabet stamps are wonderful for adding embellishments to cards or messages to gift tags.

    No. 8 – Paper Cutter – Cutting out printables is definitely a lot easier with this tool and having a reliable device to get uber straight lines is awesome.

    So, there you have it. A list of our favorite craft tools & supplies. Do you have any life-changing ones that you can’t live without? Are there certain brands or products that have been especially helpful in your own craft endeavors?