Pampering Yourself

white and pink petaled flowers

I imagine that you feel the same way I do. I normally work from home but do enjoy going out to meet clients and friends. Plus, I really enjoy strolling and shopping. Since early March, that has changed for all of us. It’s important to stay inside, stay safe, and stay healthy.

I’ve taken the opportunity to spoil myself a bit and I wanted to introduce you to two of my favorite people: Erika and Nicole, the proprietors of “We 2 Sistas” who make the best naturally handcrafted bath and body essentials.

I first met these lovely ladies at the Male High School craft fair in November of 2019. I was there manning the booth of my husband’s venture, Barnwood Pens. Let me share my wonderful discoveries with you!

Foot Cream

Oh my goodness, this cream is so luscious and creamy! I prefer the lavender scent. I put it on in the morning after I shower and in the evening before I go to bed. Also, pick up a pair of their spa socks too (next time they’re in stock)! Full disclosure – the ladies gifted me a pair of these socks with my last purchase.

Handcrafted Soap

I prefer handcrafted soap over anything commercial. In fact, the last time I “had” to use commercial soap was the pre-op procedure for my cataract surgeries where they required an antibacterial soap. Ugh. I got one of their last batches of Christmas Mint soap. It is gentle on my skin and has an amazing fragrance! I can’t wait to try their lavender-mint soap next!

Lip Care

This is the first time I’ve tried a lip scrub and it was amazing! In the winter, our house is so dry that my lips suffer. I have the vanilla flavor which reminds me of ice cream!

I also enjoy their lip butter. I keep the Espresso flavored in my purse and the Blue Raspberry flavored on my desk.

Take Care of Yourself

I highly recommend that you click on over to shop with Erika and Nicole. All of their products are handmade and natural. You won’t be disappointed! And, don’t forget to take time for yourself!

Getting Back to Normal

Pair of glasses overlooking a pool

It’s been over a year since I posted. The main reason is that I could not see the computer screen sufficiently enough to accomplish anything. It’s been a long journey, and I’m a different person because of the events that transpired.

Go back to March 2018 at my annual eye exam. The optometrist said it looked like I had cataracts developing. He said that most were slow-growing and I could probably wait three to five years before anything had to be done. By October of 2018, it was a challenge to drive at night because oncoming headlights would flare and starburst making it impossible to see safely.

Over the next few months, I struggled to see anything on my computer and stowed away my Mac because I couldn’t get the resolution high enough. I couldn’t believe how fast my vision was degrading. Schedules were crazy, and I finally got around to visiting the eye doctor in August 2019. Bad news. There were retinal hemorrhages in my right eye, plus my cataracts have grown very fast. I stopped driving and I felt like I was withdrawn from the world.

My husband was a trooper and helped me read labels. I was only able to get out when he drove as I was too scared to drive. A couple of friends kept me in touch with reality and for that, I will be forever grateful.

At the first visit in September 2019, the eye doctor looked at my retinal images and said, ”you have diabetes.” I was floored as I didn’t have any of the classic symptoms. More tests. Sure enough, my initial A1C was 13! I started oral medications on the 12th. My first appointment with the retina specialist was later that month. He did more imaging tests and recommended eye injections for the right eye. I had the first one that day. It didn’t hurt, but it was weird.

I read and read about treatments and supplements. There is a tremendous amount of research on plant-based Omega fatty acids, CBD oil, lutein, and saffron. Plus, changes to my diet to help manage my blood sugar included eliminating ”white death.” By that, I mean sugar, flour, rice, and potatoes. I started taking the plant-based Omegas, CBD oil, and I found a great eye nutrition supplement called MacuGuard.

My next visit to the retina specialist was thirty days later. He repeated the retinal scan and was impressed with the healing that had occurred! Praise God! I credit prayer, diet changes, and supplements! My average blood sugar had dropped to 145 by then. I had one more retinal injection treatment. He gave the approval for cataract surgery and didn’t want to see me until January 2020!

I had my cataracts removed and now, by the grace of God, I can see 20/20 in my left eye and 20/40 in my right eye. There is some ”bending” of vision in my right eye so it’s too soon to tell if the damage is permanent. Overall my distance vision is great and I need to use reading glasses for up close and computer work.

My follow-up visit to the doctor was awesome! My A1C was down to 6.4! An A1C level below 5.7 is considered normal, so I’m on my way to getting back to normal!

If It’s Friday, It Must Be Jyll-Day

Fountain pen taking notes on Jyll-Day

If it’s Friday, it must be Jyll-Day! Being an entrepreneur with 3 active business propositions (Veracity Technologies, ShockAlarm, and Barnwood Pens) and many percolating ideas, it’s tough to carve out time for me. So, mid-May I started an experiment. I blocked out my Friday’s just for me and it’s turned out great! An added benefit is that my husband currently has a 4-day work week and he’s off on Friday too!

What’s Jyll-Day Like?

We’re usually up around 7:30 AM or so and one of us will get the coffee going. Today, we brewed our special blend from Top Pot! Most other days we brew Joe Knows Coffee – Tall, Dark, and Handsome.

While the coffee is brewing, I attend to my morning reading:

  • Daily Devotional and Bible study via Bible Gateway
  • Read my Morning Brew (FYI, if you subscribe through this link I may get cool stuff)
  • Scan the top stories at Medium
  • Pop through the social media sites of my companies to see if there is anything I need to address

After breakfast, I’ll handle any emails that need to be dealt with and then close email down for the day. (Ok, maybe I’ll peek a few times!) I have a standing project meeting on Friday afternoons, but that runs so smoothly we’re on and updated in 15 minutes!

Creativity Expansion

I will work on a couple of online classes in either writing, painting, or drawing. I love being able to pause the video, try out the technique, and then continue on with the rest of the class. Colored pencils currently hold my attention and I love experimenting with different blending techniques and mediums.

Technical Expansion

Technology is changing by the minute, or at least it is to me. I will take a technology-related class and learn something new on a monthly basis. I like using edX, udemy, and SkillShare (affiliate link). I’m intrigued by single-page web applications, so that’s what I’m currently learning more about.

You Need A Personal Day

After keeping Fridays for Jyll-Days for the past 4 weeks, I am more relaxed and feel ready to conquer next week’s Monday-Thursday challenges.

I’ve been exploring this concept on and off for the past few years. As you can see in “Make Time for Writing,” it’s been a challenge for me.

I encourage you to take more time for yourself. You’ll be less-stressed, more energetic, and have a more positive outlook on life!