Understanding Mononucleosis

So to say that the past couple of months have been challenging is an understatement… It all started at the beginning of October; we tragically lost our little girl Clover at the age of 2 and a half. (She’s below helping me mow the lawn back August <3 )

Clover

Next up: about a week later my father in law was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer.

Then of course the #3 was that I caught Mono… Grown woman caught the “kissing disease” I was thrilled. After a quick scan of the internet to better understand what is going on in my mouth and body I realized that there’s really not a lot of information available..

Things I learned from the internet:

  1. It’s spread by saliva.

  2. You get a fever.

  3. You get tired.

  4. You’re gonna be tired for awhile.

  5. Sore throat and headache.

Understanding Mono

Things I experienced:

  1. My throat was on fire.

  2. My lymph nodes swelled up so big it felt like there was 2 golf balls in my neck. It horrifically restricted my vocal cords.

  3. (TMI) I was producing so much phlegm every few hours I had to vomit to relieve myself. It was easy though- just took a deep breath, and away we went!

  4. Oh yeah I was tired… One day according to my Fitbit I slept for 16 hours.

  5. My head was on fire and no amount of drugs helped. Ice pack would bring some relief.

  6. The flu like symptoms (fever) were the easiest part of the whole experience.

  7. No brain power, couldn’t even read… I spent a week and a half playing idle games on my tablet when I wasn’t sleeping. Killed me.

Things I learned from my doctor and nurses I worked with:

  1. Yes, it is spread by saliva but it can be contracted as easily as touching a shopping cart. (infected person touches face then touches cart; I then proceed to touch cart and touch face) This realization on how easy it spreads was a relief, because looking at the internet information made me more confused and frustrated than anything: how did this happen? I don’t share drinks, I don’t kiss random strangers… How did this happen?

  2. You essentially have tonsillitis without being able to medicate it with antibiotics. The only thing you can do to recover is rest and hydration because it’s viral and not bacterial.

  3. Working an 8 hour day is impossible, and I was immediately pulled from work.

I couldn’t believe the extreme symptoms from Mono, with no ability to mediate it aside from some pain killers. The information available really sugar coated the whole experience- it was a personal hell.

I wanted to take some time to talk about it because it was so much more extreme than anything that is available on WebMD or whatever you choose to use to try to diagnose yourself while you wait at a walk-in clinic.

The biggest thing I learned through the whole experience was rest and hydration is the most important thing. Even after my energy came back, I could only do something for an hour or two before I needed a rest.

I was so lucky that I started to feel human again after about a week and a half when my taste buds came back I thought I was in the clear. Unfortunately, my doctor didn’t feel the same way. Giving that it’s a serious viral infection she only wanted me to start back up at work 3 days a week.. So for the rest of 2018 I’m only working Monday, Wednesday and Friday’s to give myself a day to recover after a day at work. It’s a weird feeling after working full time or very close to since I was 16, and I can’t take advantage of the days off like I would like to… But it’s giving me time to reflect and brainstorm life. I’ve been told by loved ones and physicians who barely know me that some of these extreme symptoms may have come on because I push myself too much… That was really food for thought because I’ve always been proud of my busy lifestyle. I guess as you get older it’s not as easy to keep going in all directions.

The rest of this year I’m going to work on improving myself physically and mentally and hopefully something like this won’t happen again.. (thankfully you can only get mono once in your life) I still can’t exercise much so I’m considering taking up light yoga and meditation.

One last thing I will say as well, I am so grateful to have a family doctor. In Nova Scotia it’s a rarity right now- most are stuck on wait lists because our family doctors are retiring faster than they are being recruited. I don’t know where I would be without her right now and as much as I know I need to tone down the amount of things I take on, I’d really like to help with attracting family doctors to Nova Scotia in the future.

DIY Lightup Skull Vase

When that crisp air comes back I waste NO time starting to plan for fall. Especially Halloween!

DIY skull vase

I've had this Crystal Vodka skull sitting around my house for a year or so now just waiting for the inspiration. I decided to go with something classic- I nice light-up vase!

Crystal vodka skull- DIY skull vase

Crystal Head Vodka is locally made in Newfoundland, I always have a special place in my heart for locally made drinks.

Supplied is pretty straight forward:

1. The skull

2. Battery operated lights

3. Flowers

 

Was able to track down some skull shaped lights at Michaels!

Was able to track down some skull shaped lights at Michaels!

Fishing the lights into the bottle was tricky... You are guaranteed to not get is as perfect as you'd like!.. The top is too small for a lot of control, but I liked the chaos.

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For the flowers I chose some purple and black beauties that I'd gotten as a gift last year, snipping the stems so they won't take away from the lights.

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Fall Fashion Pick

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This post contains affiliate links, I may receive a small commission if a product is purchased from the link. 

Apologies for the terrible bedroom shot.

Apologies for the terrible bedroom shot.

I only promote products I've tried myself and enjoy.

fall poncho

This is my new fall staple piece for 2018! This adorable and comfortable poncho from Amazon.

It's available in multiple different colors depending on your style, I chose the orange one to support my pumpkin spice addiction. This time of year give me orange everything! I grabbed it on a lightening deal and it appears that deal is here to stay (at least for a little bit) I highly recommend picking one up for yourself! 

fall poncho

The Beginners Guide to Automobile Insurance

So this post is going to be a little different... We're going to talk about automobile insurance (I know, I know....) but as I go through my day job (As an Insurance agent) I realize that first time drivers/ car owners really have no idea what they're purchasing.

The Beginners Guide to auto insurance

Disclaimer: Although I am a professional Insurance agent, every insurance company and provincial regulation is different, so to get proper advise you should speak directly with your broker or agent. 

I am hopeful this post will give some clarification for new drivers (or even experienced drivers that just pay that bill every year and don't think much of it) It's an odd feeling paying for an invisible protection so I'm hopeful I can give people some peace of mind.

The Coverage (What are we paying for)

Automobile Insurance coverage's are divided into 2 different sections.

1. Mandatory Coverage's- Third Party Liability;

2. Optional Coverage's- Loss or Damage to your vehicle and other optional endorsements;

Third Party Liability

This coverage has multiple subsections including Liability, Accident Benefits, Uninsured Motorist, Direct Compensation Property Damage (In some provinces), and lastly Family protection.

Liability coverage: Simplest way to put it is that this will protect you if you cause an accident or damage to someone else's property or (heaven forbid) the other person. If you are held responsible for damage and expected to pay to repair/ compensate the other person your liability insurance will react and pay on your behalf (up to the stated amount).

Accident Benefits: This provides you with access to medical funds if you're injured in an accident (regardless if you caused the accident or not).

Uninsured Motorist: This coverage extends your accident benefit coverage to situations where the other motorist can't be identified or was uninsured at the time of the accident.

Direct Compensation Property Damage: A coverage in place in some provinces that ensures that you'll only ever deal with your own insurance company- regardless of who caused the accident. This coverage was put in place to avoid those lengthy (and costly) investigations before people would be compensated. To summarize: Someone hits you (so it's not your fault)- You call your insurance company- you arrange a repair with them-  The vehicle is repaired and you go on with your life.

As opposed to what it used to be like (and still is in some places) Someone hits you- you call your insurance company- you wait for the other person to call their insurance company- you then wait for the insurance companies do an investigation to determine who is to blame (this still happens to an extent on DCPD but not to the inconvenience to the client)- Fault is determined (eventually)- Repairs are arranged and paid for by the other insurer. 

Finally, Family Protection: This coverage will protect yourself and your family against motorists that are under insured or not insured at all. The sad thing is that minimum provincial requirements are simply not enough sometimes so this coverage will fill those voids if need be.

Loss or Damage to your own Automobile

This coverage also has subsections: All Perils, Collision, Comprehensive and Specified Perils.

I will start with the most common coverage's: Collision and Comprehensive

Collision: If you cause an accident (even a single vehicle accident like backing into a pole) and your vehicle is damaged- the collision coverage will repair your vehicle (subject to a deductible) 

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Comprehensive: This is for claims that aren't really "collisions" like fire, theft of the vehicle, vandalism, falling objects, cracked windshields or that dang deer that came out of nowhere! Also subject to a deductible.

Now for the coverage's that are less popular:

All Perils: This is essentially collision and comprehensive coverage combined. It has one deductible for everything and comes with one extra coverage - If someone living in your home steals your car and crashed it there is coverage. 

It's scary to think that a coverage like that isn't included in the more popular coverage's however if you live with good, trustworthy people HOPEFULLY this isn't a concern to begin with.

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Specified Perils: It's a list of specific things that will be covered, it's unpopular as it excludes falling objects which is pretty much how everyone gets a crack in their windshield.

 

Finally the last sections of coverage I'll talk about briefly today is optional endorsements: there's a ton of approved endorsements out there to get you a rental vehicle after an accident, extension of coverage for rental vehicles, protection for new vehicles, protection against your first at fault accident- the list goes on! These endorsements will enhance your policy to work for you.

That is all I'll talk about today, insurance is far from interesting but it is a necessary protection in our society and I hope I can help more people understand what they're protected for.

Fall Bucket List 2018

With another autumn underway comes another fun list of must does! Here is my bucket list for Fall 2018.

Fall is my favorite time of year so I always try to get the most out of it! It's such a breath of fresh air after the hustle and bustle of wedding season, and combating humidity.

Fall Bucket list

Many of the items on my list this year create memories along with a few art and baking fun for the days the weather may not cooperate.. 

Fall To Do List 2018

O Fall manicure!

O Coordinate a fall photo shoot with friends or family (it doesn't need to be a huge event, just a couple of smiling shots with a pumpkin or some leaves will live long in your memory)

O Go visit a local pumpkin patch and buy your favorite pumpkin (road trip plus supporting local farmers? Yes please!)

O Rake a big pile of leaves and jump into them

O Find a fall cross stitch and make it ( Pinterest is a great tool)

O Catch up with an old friend over a pumpkin spice latte

O Bake some pies with some local fruits and squashes!

O Go for a hike in the woods, take photos of the changing leaves

O Go apple picking

O Visit a local corn maze

So many fun ways to create memories this fall! 

Download the Checklist right here to print it out!

5 Great Gifts for the Doctor Who Fan

Disclaimer: There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase a product through one of my links I may receive a small commission.

NERD ALERT I am a huge fan of Doctor Who and with it's new found fame the last few years finding merchandise to support the fandom is not hard to find. I remember before the internet was a big shopping hub and being a nerd wasn't nearly as embraced as it is today it was always hard to find merch for your favorite character. How it's a job to go through all the options available! I prefer having functional fandom in my home, things I can use everyday to show off my obsessions.

Great gifts for the doctor who fan

Below is 5 great items for the Doctor Who fan:

1) Doctor Who Tardis Mug: Great for a cup of tea or whatever warm liquids feed your soul.

2) Tardis Backpack: Going on adventures becomes so much more fun with this tardis backpack! Pack up your sonic screwdriver or sunglasses whichever is your preference and the rest is history!

 

3) Doctor Who Ice Mold: Choose from the Tardis or a Dalek for your refreshments. These are nice big ice cubes that are great for any refreshment.

4) Doctor Who Colouring Book: The colouring trend is still in full force! You can enjoy your favorite characters as you de-stress from the day.

5) Doctor Who Party Supplies: Use it on a special occasion or just all the time!

There we have it. 5 nerdy yet functional items to buy of the obsessed Doctor who lover in the family! 

Review: Neutrogena Hydration Mask and Facial Cleanser

I received these products complimentary to test out but all the opinions are my own.

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I got the opportunity to try out some products from Neutrogena. A hydration mask and a clay mask/ daily cleanser hybrid.

 Neutrogena® Hydro Boost hydrating 100% Hydrogel Mask

The Hydration mask I was very interested to try because I've never tried any sort of mask related cleanser before this... However, I did not enjoy this product at all (sorry guys) the texture of the mask was unsettling on my skin. It felt like I had a squid on my face. It was supposed to stay on for 15 minutes, it ended up falling off around the 10 minute mark and landed in a weird little ball in the sink. I had no desire to put it back on so it went into the garbage.

This is what horror movies are made from...

This is what horror movies are made from...

A heavy amount of packaging needed to be used which I also wasn't a fan of.
At the end of the experience my face didn't feel any more "hydrated" as it would have if I splashed it with water.

Neutrogena® Deep Clean® Purifying Clay Cleanser & Mask

Overall this is a nice product, smells great (minty) and does do the job it'll clean my face. It's a gentle blend. I prefer using it as a daily cleanser than the mask (sadly don't have that kind of time) but it's nice to have the option. This product was definitely more my style of the two, I would purchase this product.

This was another great set of products to try out especially since the mask was not my style at all. Neutrogena is a dependable brand.

How to Make Time for You

Schedule time for you and the things you love.

This past fall I took the big leap and moved in with my other half, leaving my cute little home and my quick commute to the day job. I very quickly realized that my 37 hour work week was turning into a 50 hour work week with the added commute and traffic woes. It could take up to an hour to get home sometimes which just killed me. I would come home completely frusterated which is not the best way to start this new step in our lives!

Always remember to make time for yourself

After several breakdowns I took the time to sit down and change things. I tweaked my schedule to allow some ease in the traffic and I made a point to remind myself to Take Time for Me... And the things that make me happy.

Even just an hour to cross stitch or paint something would make things seem a little more tolerable. It still wasn't easy juggling my work life, romantic life and cake life and still finding time for crafts or heaven forbid I get an opportunity to read a book or get a decent amount of exercise in a week.

Valentines day themed cross stitch! Finished it around April.

Valentines day themed cross stitch! Finished it around April.

The planner helps (thanks Bando, this thing was worth every penny) and reminding myself that I deserve this time... and that the dishes can wait until tomorrow sometimes.

I swear there's a method to my madness!

I swear there's a method to my madness!

 

- Make the plan: Tuesday at 7PM focus on crafts. I'd think about the thing I wanted to do during the day so there's minimal time wasted trying to decide what to do.

- Do the plan: this time is for you. Make sure you take it!

- Plan the next time so you can look forward to it.

- Don't overdue it- remember to relax.

The worst part of never having time to do anything is the guilt I feel when I relax. Reminding myself it's ok to hang out with my rabbits at 9PM while I get sleepy has been very helpful. Sometimes even leaving myself a little sticky note saying "you deserve this" makes all the difference in the world.

This method doesn't work for everyone, mainly because to need to "schedule" your leisure time can sometimes add to the problem but I can't tell you how many times I've had some free time- gotten to the craft room and drew a blank at what I'd like to. I am happy I don't catch myself as often now that I'm more aware of my time. :)