Having a partner with kidney failure is definitely one of life’s difficult times. When I agreed to be a living kidney donor for my husband, I assumed we would not be a match but would be part of the kidney donation swap programs to help
I had to do a post honoring National Banana Split Day because they are fun and often evoke great childhood memories. As a child I was treated to banana splits only on very special occasions like birthdays, or other milestones. My children too have always found
BIG SAVINGS ALERT! Save 40% on Madison Reed’s Nourishing, Color-Enhancing Shampoo & Conditioner Set (This post contains affiliate links.) After a fun summer of fun it is time to nourish your hair. Reverse the effects of the sun and pack it with moisture for beautiful fall
This post is sponsored by Viva® Vantage. I received compensation and all ideas and opinions are my own. Does this sound familiar? When your relationship first began you thought he was always going to be there for you. You built up the good qualities in your
In celebration of National Lemonade Day I created an original recipe for a gourmet pink lemonade. It is a classic lemonade recipe with a pink twist of strawberry and pink grapefruit! While this recipe does take some time, it is really easy and TOTALLY worth
Need a fun family project? If your family is crafty, creative and loves nature then this is a project that you will love to do together! Ours took many hours over a few days to complete, but working on it was the whole fun. We had lots
Back – to – school for the kids means saying “sayonara” to the summer time. It also means refreshing your hair! Your hair may be stressed from swimming or dry from the heat. Your color may have changed too from the sun and chlorine. You can
Happy National S’mores Day! I am on a little kick of taking everyday, classic recipes and taking them to the next level. I am trying to go in a gourmet direction with flavor and add a healthier element with fresh fruit or vegetables. In celebration
It is back-to-school time and while it is hard to let go of the lazy days of summer, we have to get into the mindset of schedules, earlier bedtimes, homework hassles with the kids. Most of all, we need to be in the mindset of
Having a partner with kidney failure is definitely one of life’s difficult times. When I agreed to be a living kidney donor for my husband, I assumed we would not be a match but would be part of the kidney donation swap programs to help reduce his wait time for a transplant and decrease his time on dialysis. Because life has its ups along with its downs we beat the bad news with the realization that we were a perfect match! Chalk it up to the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or Synchronicity but I have found more and more stories about spouses donating to each other, mostly wives to husbands. It is cool to hear similar stories of hope and success.
So, here is what I went through to be a match.
Neither my husband nor myself knew our blood types at the time we got the news that a transplant was needed. Coordinating blood types is the first indicator as to whether or not two people are a match. There are four major blood types. These types are A, B, AB and O. The positive or negative feature in blood typing is not a factor when determining compatibility between a donor and a recipient.
Blood type for Donors:
O donates to All 4 – A,B,AB & O
A donates to A and AB
B donates to B & AB
AB donates to AB
Blood type for Recipients:
O receives from O
A receives from A or O
B receives from B or O
A receives from All 4 (A,B,AB & O)
I am an O And my husband is an A so we had a good start. We then had to give copious amounts of blood for genetic match testing. There are a lot of tests and I don’t know them all. Because a recipient has to be concerned with rejecting the new kidney, some of the tests determine whether or not the donor and recipient have similar antibodies. If the recipient has developed immunities to certain diseases and illnesses that the donor does not have, the recipient may have to get immunizations to give their bodies a chance to build up similar antibodies. This will help with preventing rejection of the new kidney.
We were shown some numbers from the blood work and were excited about the results. There were two significant match tests that we had done. One was measured with “anything under 35 indicates a match”. Our number was . . . zero. . . an absolute perfect match! The other relevant test said “anything under 73 indicates a match”. . . again, we were a zero. . . perfect!
Once our blood tests were approved, there were a series of tests for me to complete. These are important to prove that the donor is healthy enough for surgery and to live with one kidney. (Most people are)
- 24 hour urine collection
- chest x-ray
- more bloodwork for HIV, Hepatitis B & C, kidney function, liver function, anemia and more viruses
- more urinalysis
- complete physical exam
- psychosocial assessment is conducted by a social worker
- more blood work
- CT Scan of kidneys and urinary tract
- dental exam to confirm no decomposition or infection
- more blood work to confirm the results from the previous blood work
Note: You are “High Risk” and may not be able to donate if you have:
- ever been in any jail for longer than 48 hours
- had risky or unprotected sex
- used intravenous drugs
- done any other hazardous things that could cause infections or antibodies
Then you go to the hospital transplant center for about 5 hours on a day to “Meet the Team” to be educated about the surgery, meet the surgeon, and do more tests. You will meet with a social worker, a donor advocate and a dietician. You will be questioned MANY times to make sure that you are not being coerced or forced to donate. You will be assured, reassured and then reassured some more that at any moment up to the time of going under the anesthesiology, that you can change your mind and not go through with the procedure no questions asked.
You also can not be paid or compensated in any way for donating. (although my friends think I should receive a kidney shaped diamond pendant from my husband- lol) You will also be assured that donors are never charged medical bills for donating! You may also be required to do more tests (although I did not) such as glucose tolerance, stress test and more.
After losing all modesty and all privacy. . . after being poked and prodded, injected and drained. . . it is time to sit and wait. All of the results are presented to the board and approved. (We have done this too).
Then, we waited for out medical insurance company to decide what they will and will not cover before we were allowed to schedule the surgery. We have a date for September 24th!!
I had to do a post honoring National Banana Split Day because they are fun and often evoke great childhood memories. As a child I was treated to banana splits only on very special occasions like birthdays, or other milestones. My children too have always found something magical about building their own banana splits at home. While everyone loves a traditional banana split, I really wanted to do something different and delicious to honor this dessert. I played around with a few different ideas and created an adult version of the Banana Split.
First lets review the Ingredients for a Traditional Banana Split:
- 1 raw banana “split” in half lengthwise
- 1 scoop each of chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream
- chocolate sauce
- whipped cream
- chopped nuts
- maraschino cherry on top
I took these same elements and flavors and created a new dessert that brings elegance and gourmet to the favorite kid’s version.
You will need:
- 1 Banana
- granulated sugar
- rum *optional
- marshmallow fluff
- aluminum foil
- fresh pineapple
- fresh strawberries
- chopped nuts
- chocolate sauce
- Shaved semi-sweet chocolate
- maraschino cherry on top
First you make the Fresh Banana Split Slaw:
Chop or dice fresh pineapple and strawberries. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon. Mix and set in refrigerator.
Heat oven to Broil.
Lay out aluminum foil on a baking sheet.
Split the banana lengthwise and in half and place on aluminum foil.
*At this point you can pour a bit of rum over the bananas of desired.
Drizzle melted butter over the entire top of bananas.
sprinkle with granulated sugar and nutmeg.
Cover loosely with foil and broil for no more than 3 minutes.
Immediately remove foil and broil for 4 more minutes or until sugar and butter start to turn a dark golden brown. Watch carefully during the baking and use caution with the extreme heat!
Remove from oven and set aside to cool. TIP (Make sure they are cool when plating so you don’t melt the ice cream.)
On an oblong or rectangular plate add marshmallow fluff to the center. Sprinkle with shaved chocolate.
Plate the bananas carefully on the center on the marshmallow fluff.
Top with 3 mini scoops of vanilla frozen yogurt or ice cream.
Add chocolate sauce, fruit slaw, mixed nuts, shaved chocolate . . .
and a just to make it perfect . . . a cherry on top!
BIG SAVINGS ALERT! Save 40% on Madison Reed’s Nourishing, Color-Enhancing Shampoo & Conditioner Set
(This post contains affiliate links.)
After a fun summer of fun it is time to nourish your hair. Reverse the effects of the sun and pack it with moisture for beautiful fall styles. Need a color refresh as well? You can Pick your perfect shade to do inexpensively at home, but with all the quality of the salon. Madison Reed has color experts to help you every step of the way. Fail proof and goof proof – they guarantee it! Not sure about the color? Try this deal on their hair care first to indulge in the quality results they provide.
I bet your hair would love to give Madison Reed’s nourishing shampoo and conditioner a try! By blending the latest hair care science with the finest natural ingredients, Madison Reed has developed a Color Protection System that’s better for you and provides better results. Their nourishing formulas not only cleanse and condition, but also repair and strengthen for softer, shinier, thicker hair.
Use SUMMERHAIRREPAIR at check out and get 40% off and FREE shipping on Madison Reed’s Shampoo & Conditioner Set.
BENEFITS THAT YOU CAN EXPECT TO ENJOY:
- Madison Reed’s sulfate-free formula, derived from coconut oil, gently yet effectively cleanses hair, hydrating it and preserving its natural proteins.
- Madison Reed is the first to use lupine flower protein. This formula protects hair from UVA/UVB rays, preserves color, softens hair, and strengthens every strand from the inside out. It smells incredible too!
- Don’t like using animal based products on your hair? I like to use Madison Reed’s vegetable, oat, and rice proteins that strengthen the internal structure of hair and seal color in for shinier, thicker strands.
- Madison Reed’s Keratin, Ginseng Root Extract, and Argan Oil power-trio conditions and repairs damaged hair. You will get hydrating and softening, restoring elasticity, and lustrous shine and body that lasts.
For a limited time, you can get Madison Reed’s nourishing, color-enhancing shampoo and conditioner system for 40% off its regular price plus free shipping. Use SUMMERHAIRREPAIR at check out and get 40% off and FREE shipping on Madison Reed’s Shampoo & Conditioner Set. It smells amazing and makes your hair more incredible than you imagined. You’ll see.
This post is sponsored by Viva® Vantage. I received compensation and all ideas and opinions are my own.
Does this sound familiar? When your relationship first began you thought he was always going to be there for you. You built up the good qualities in your mind so that even when he did disappoint, you forgave him right away. You were so used to being together that you pushed down your feeling of wanting more. You were so loyal that you never gave yourself the opportunity to live your life to the fullest. Now you realize that you don’t just want more, you need more. You deserve the best that life has to offer. Here is how to know if it is time to break up and move on.
1. Is he really making you happy?
Relationships are about work, but to be happy, both of you have to be compatible with each others needs. If you often find yourself compensating for his weaknesses and making excuses as to why you are not happy, it is time to move on.
2. Is he unable to make a commitment?
If you realize that your partner is just not cut out for certain tasks in life and can’t commit to being there for you, it doesn’t make you a selfish person to want more. You can move on to a stronger, more reliable relationship!
3. Does he contribute to the relationship?
Relationships are about give and take, but should balance out if both are giving 100% to each other. If you are constantly having to do more than your share in the relationship it is time to find a stronger partner.
4. Is he meeting your needs?
Maybe you are in love. Perhaps you just got used to the relationship. It is always important to take a step back and assess whether or not your partner is meeting your needs. If he is constantly falling apart when you need him, it is time to break it off. Otherwise you will find that he just keeps breaking up on you.
5. Does he stand up to the test?
Here is the final test to prove whether or not you should break off the relationship. Make a list of tasks that you always have to do together and put him to the test. If he can not stand up on his own then it is time to say goodbye for good and say hello to your new beau Viva®Vantage. The revolutionary V-Flex* Weave technology of Viva®Vantage* has the best combination of strength, stretch and softness to give you the great scrubbing power you need and deserve. It is time you took back your life so that you have the confidence to take on life’s messes with a partner who supports you 100%.
My last tips to consider:
Don’t hang on the the past and hope things will change.
Don’t put your own life on hold when you could move on to something better.
Wondering how to clean up after a messy breakup?
Use Viva® Vantage of course!
You can buy it at Walmart where I get mine!
In celebration of National Lemonade Day I created an original recipe for a gourmet pink lemonade. It is a classic lemonade recipe with a pink twist of strawberry and pink grapefruit! While this recipe does take some time, it is really easy and TOTALLY worth it! Perfectly refreshing for a warm day, but also grown up enough to serve at a bridal shower, wedding reception or afternoon tea party. It is “that” good and fancy. (If I do say so myself).
Here is what you will need:
- 2 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cup water
- 10 lemons
- 2 cups ginger ale or tonic water
- 2 pink grapefruit
- 6 large, ripe strawberries
Here is how to make the Dapperhouse Pink Lemonade
In a saucepan on med high heat, dissolve the sugar in the water.
Remove from heat. Squeeze the juice of 3 lemons into the water and add two halves from one of the squeezed lemon.
Let liquid cool enough to safely transfer to a storage container. Put the lid on the container and refrigerate until cold.
Juice 5 lemons and 2 pink grapefruit.
Remove the sugar water mixture from the refrigerator. Discard the lemon rinds. Pour the liquid into a blender using a strainer to remove the lemon seeds.
Add 2 cups of juice to the blender along with the 6 strawberries.
blend together until frothy and strawberries are blended. (There will still be some chunks of strawberry.)
Cut the remaining 2 lemons into very thin slices.
In your glasses, add ice and lemon slices in layers until glass is filled.
To the blender mix add 2 cups (or one can) of ginger ale or tonic water if you want your drink less sweet.
Pour pink lemonade over the ice until full. Isn’t it so Fancy?
Add straws in fun colors that coordinate with your event!
*Easily turn this into an adult beverage with a bit of Rum or Tequila!
Need a fun family project? If your family is crafty, creative and loves nature then this is a project that you will love to do together! Ours took many hours over a few days to complete, but working on it was the whole fun. We had lots of time to come together for a purpose. We had lots of fun planning, finding supplies and working together in a lighthearted way.
Here are my tips to making a living fairy garden. . .
Find the perfect location where you can all work together in weather appropriate conditions. If outside, look for a spot where the natural landscape looks like a place that fairies might inhabit. A tree trunk, stone wall or flower bed, for example. You can bring it indoors like we did using a shallow container or box. Plastic storage tubs work well and give you the opportunity to work on it rain or shine. . . or even snow!
Go on a nature hike to find fun and unique natural elements to use. You will need flat pieces of bark for fairy homes, stones for pavements, lots of sticks for fairy doors and bridges. . . vines are perfect for making trellises and arches. . . small flowers for the gardens and large flowers for decor. TIP: Moss is a main component in the fairy garden because it is an essential ground cover. It can also be used for the sides and tops of fairy homes for a really cool look!
Go to a second hand store to find little details for your fairy garden. We found a miniature birdhouse, wishing well, fake flowers and even a “book of spells” made if resin.
Get the rest at a craft store. This goes without explanation because there are miniatures, imitation plants and flowers, and even clay for sculpting the little details that come about. You can buy inexpensive bags of moss as well.
Plan out some basic ideas of what you all think a fairy garden should look like. Make some sketches and maybe a map type drawing that depicts the supplies that you have in a completed form. Remember to be flexible because you may be inspired to make creative changes along the way!
Then divide up the jobs or decide to work on them together. We did the houses together and split up for the smaller parts like paths and gardens.
You will need a glue gun and some twine to secure the things that you make.
You can pick up some cheap fish tank rocks in every magical color imaginable at Walmart and pet stores.
If you need inspiration, there are many great resources online and in books.
Would you ever consider making a Fairy Garden?
Back – to – school for the kids means saying “sayonara” to the summer time. It also means refreshing your hair! Your hair may be stressed from swimming or dry from the heat. Your color may have changed too from the sun and chlorine. You can easily get back to a beautiful, natural color that is just right for you with Madison Reed . From the products to the process Madison Reed has revolutionized the at-home hair color experience. They put all the best stuff in while It taking the fear and danger out. I have used Madison Reed. I loved it and that is why I prefer to recommend it.
Madison Reed starts uses ammonia- and resorcinol-free professional grade products.
They deliver your home color system right to your door according to the time that you set.
They’ve developed entirely new ways of finding your perfect permanent hair color – choose from an online color advisor, mobile app, live web chat, digital photo consultation or speak to a trained colorist on the phone.
All of this is what makes the Madison Reed “in-home” coloring experience superior to the traditional way of coloring your hair at home.
Madison Reed is turning quite a few heads in the beauty world, too - take a look at what Vogue.com had to say about them.
Are you worried about coloring your hair at home?
The Madison Reed experience includes:
Expert Advice: Get free professional consultations from the experts on our Color Crew.
Salon-Quality Results: Our multi-tone formula is ammonia-free and creates dynamic, natural shades for sophisticated color at home.
Shine On: This is where your summer hair can get Rejuvenated with gluten free, paraben free and sulfate free, nourishing shampoo and conditioner. It smells amazing and makes your hair feel new again.
Convenient Delivery: Madison Reed’s hair color is delivered to your doorstep on your schedule. Set up auto-delivery and always have a kit ready when you need it. Want to color every 4 weeks? Every 6? It is all up to you and ready to go when you find the free time for you!
A Gift with Every Purchase: Yes, that’s right. There is a QR code you can scan for a free gift inside every box. FUN!
What are you waiting for? Now is the perfect time to try Madison Reed’s amazing hair color! Save 50% off your first order at Madison Reed - just use the offer code LAZYDAYS at checkout.
Happy National S’mores Day! I am on a little kick of taking everyday, classic recipes and taking them to the next level. I am trying to go in a gourmet direction with flavor and add a healthier element with fresh fruit or vegetables. In celebration of National S’mores Day I created a new dessert recipe with tart, green apple and caramel.
Here is what you need:
- Granny Smith Apple
- Large Marshmallows
- Caramel Sauce
- Semi-sweet Chocolate bar
- Graham cracker squares
- Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
Prepare your ingredients:
Cut the green apple in thin slices
Cut the large marshmallows in half
Break your chocolate bar into small pieces. Needs to be semi-sweet so that the sweetness of the dessert is not overpowering.
Twist the top off of the chocolate sandwich cookie. Save the side without the cream filling.
How to make:
1. Heat oven to Broil.
2. On a microwave safe plate, layer a graham cracker square, semi-sweet chocolate, apple slice, caramel sauce and chocolate cookie.
TIP: If the green apple slices are too large, use a knife to cut it into a smaller circle so that it has nice presentation.
3. Microwave each S’more for 8 – 10 seconds only! This step is to soften the chocolate only, not to cook.
3. Transfer s’more to a baking sheet. Add the marshmallow on top.
4. Put under broiler for 1 minute or until golden brown. (This happens fast so watch it the entire time.)
It is back-to-school time and while it is hard to let go of the lazy days of summer, we have to get into the mindset of schedules, earlier bedtimes, homework hassles with the kids. Most of all, we need to be in the mindset of supporting our children in their learning experiences at school. Wanting to get the inside scoop, I consulted my friend and elementary educator Becky for her opinion on the top ten secrets to help you succeed this year in school.
Secret #1 – Tune-up Keyboarding Skills
The shift to Common Core Standards in most states has meant that students will undergo new year-end assessments this year. The assessments are computer-based (unlike the former paper-pencil tests) and require students to have mastered basic keyboarding, scrolling down, selecting items, and using drop-down boxes. These concepts are often difficult for younger elementary-aged students. Extra practice at home will put your child in a great position to do his/her best!
Secret #2 – It’s all about “Why”
A big difference between many states’ standards and Common Core standards is an emphasis on analytical thinking. Students are expected to not only determine correct answers, but explain why they are correct. Looking for ways to help your child practice these skills? When asking a question at home (such as “What is your favorite TV show?”) simply follow-up with “why?” It will help your child to think through their thoughts and identify how they come to answers.
Secret #3 – Supplies Really Do Matter
Shopping for that long list of school supplies? Wondering if it’s really worth it to get that third notebook? It really is! Teachers put those lists together based on their plans for the year and how they plan to use them. Make sure to stick to specifications, too. (Ex: bendable rulers become toys, whereas standard rulers are better for measuring.) Labeling all of your child’s materials with permanent marker will also help to ensure that lost materials are easily returned. Most teachers would agree that there is a lot of time lost in the classroom over pencils and glue that look the same and are claimed by more than one child.
Secret #4 – Be in the Know
Evening conversations about what happened at school will help you to know what is going on in your child’s social life. If your child is having trouble with his/her peers, he/she is not as able to focus on lessons and classroom tasks. Helping your child to work through difficulties (and possibly contacting the teacher for additional help) will make sure that your child is comfortable at school and is emotionally ready to learn.
Secret #5 – Stay on Top of Classroom Happenings
Teachers dedicate a lot of time to making sure that they communicate with families. Taking advantage of classroom newsletters and websites, as well as checking backpacks for letters that come home, will help you to know about those upcoming tests, field trips, etc.
Secret #6 – Use Online Resources
As technology is becoming more common in the classroom, so are the resources available to families. Your child’s textbooks, assignments, etc. are often available online. School (and sometimes individual teachers’) websites will provide links to valuable information for your child’s use. Using these online resources helps to be sure that you have the books and assignments that your child needs. They also help you to see, first-hand, what your child is learning.
Secret #7 – Practice the Basics
As teachers are being required to teach higher-level content and meet the expectations of higher standards, less time is being spent drilling the basics. Your child’s teacher may be doing all he/she can to drill those math facts, practice spelling words and work on handwriting, but time in the day for those activities is few and far between. Additional practice at home will help to ensure that your child has mastered those basic skills.
Secret #8 – Encourage Independent Reading & Writing at Home
Independent reading (anything that your child enjoys) will help to develop vocabulary and grammar skills. Not sure if your child is reading a book that’s at his/her level? Have him/her read a paragraph aloud and then tell you what was read. If he/she was able to read most of the words correctly and comprehended the content, then it’s a good fit! If your child loves to write, encourage creative writing about whatever topic is interesting to him/her. To sharpen both writing and comprehension, have your child to write a paragraph or more describing the sections of the books he/she reads each day.
Secret #9 – Identify your Mistakes
Mistakes are perfectly normal (both in and out of the classroom.) Helping your child to see that you also make occasional errors will give him/her the understanding that it’s okay to slip up sometimes. Explaining what you learned from your mistake models for your child that errors are a way to learn something new. It also lets him/her know that it is okay to take risks and try new things.
Secret #10 – Be Positive about Progress
Teachers view progress as something that continues from the beginning to the end of the year. A report card is merely a progress report of a child’s growth toward meeting grade level standards. Rather than placing emphasis on grades, focus on your child’s learning process and celebrate each sign of growth along the way.