Friday, October 9, 2009

Hold the swearing ...

We've just gotten back from the hospital and things are still unclear.

The tech and radiologist did NOT find the mass the tech from yesterday was talking about. Which means... NO ectopic pregnancy (major, unspeakable relief).

Having the beta levels from my blood test last night... may mean that I am actually in the very early stages of pregnancy. Not for sure. Maybe.

Which doesn't explain the bleeding I've been having (I am not talking implantation bleeding) or the pain.

From this morning, mentally preparing myself for methotrexate or laparoscopic surgery, to now, wondering what is up with my body, has been a huge, crazy rollercoaster for my husband and I. It's still a big mystery. I'll have to wait and follow up with my family doctor, next Wednesday. I'm not getting my hopes up, or at least trying really hard not to.

So thank you for your thoughts and kind words.. the emails I got and comments here. Let's wait and see what happens!

uh oh

After my ultrasound yesterday, they had me rush to emergency at the hospital. My husband and I spent 6 hours there to find out that my beta levels are positive for pregnancy, but my uterus is empty and there's a mass in my fallopian tube.

Oh, shit.

Sorry, not too PG but that's about the size of it.

They want me back at the hospital today to do another ultrasound and another blood test (checking the levels again). So that's where I'll be.

Wish me luck... I'm scared.

So far this trying for a baby business has been a disaster. The miscarriage in June, I have learned was abnormal - which I didn't know because I had inadequate follow up care (as in, practically none). And now this.


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Back of the line!

Hi, new followers! There's a giveaways list at the end of my day's post, as usual -
just scroll on down if you don't want the blather :)

Early this morning I went over to the new Winners store that opened here in my town. The store opened at 9:00 and they had advertised that the first 100 people in line were going to get gift cards, ranging from $10 to $100 in value.

When I got there, there were about 70 people in line already. For a chilly fall morning I was surprised to see so many women there. I hit the back of the line and settled in to wait. From the time I got there to the time they handed out the cards, about 25 new people joined the line AHEAD of me. WTF? People were joining friends, meeting up with others and basically butting their big butts in line ahead of all the people that were waiting there before them. NOT COOL, people.

One lady well behind me started yelling at some of the people that butted in line. She spent about 10 minutes telling them off and then loudly complaining about others who were butting in. The butters (?) basically laughed her off and acted all put out and defensive. Rude. I was actually happy to hear someone voicing what we were all thinking - get the F to the back of the line.

Then - then! The lady who had been so vocal decided to join her friends up ahead about 30 people. Hello? Hypocrite or what?!

Anyway. It was just rude, the whole scene. People were getting so angry and eventually the store staff just came out and handed out the cards to the first 100 people they saw in line (about 200 people showed up). I did end up getting one - $10 - hardly worth waiting for, really. And guess what? I was one of the last 5 people to get one. When I was probably at about #71 in line when I got there.

I mean... how hard is it to line up? Didn't we all learn the skill in daycare, kindergarten, etc? At what age do people decide, "Oh, I don't have to be polite. I don't have to do the right thing. I don't have to follow the rules of society."

So... I got a little Christmas present for DH with it and got out of there. Madness.

I've got my ultrasound at 2:30... wish me luck... I am anxious and upset about the whole thing. I need to know what's going on... things are just not right with me. I'm trying not to worry as I don't know what's happening. But the not knowing is scary, too.

Ok, enough grumpy ranting! Here are some giveaways for today:

For baby:
For anyone:
  • Win Michael Connelly's new book 9 Dragons (love his books! I recommend the Bosch series!) from Hachette at Outnumbered 3 to 1. Ends October 20th.
  • Win Alice Sebold's new book The Lovely Bones at Tutu's Two Cents. Ends October 20th.
and don't forget to enter my Skin Free giveaway! $30 towards all natural skin care... nice!

more to come...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


So there's not much up here today; I just finished up (I hope) the commissioned painting I've been working on, and am moving on to the next one.

My website is totally booched - I've been sticking my head in the sand but that's not very good business, is it? I'll have to deal with it. Apparently the server at my web host crashed and garbled my site. Not cool :(

Tomorrow is the big day (sorta) for my ultrasound and blood tests. Of course, I won't get the results until next week. Fingers crossed. Also tomorrow (I need something to look forward to here) is the opening of a new Winners store in my town. And the first 100 people in line get gift cards for $10 to $100. I hope I get there early enough, and can leave in enough time to make it to the u/s appointment!

So I'm sure that's not all that interesting (hey, it's not to me either, I'll admit it!). But I do have some fun news: I'll be hosting another giveaway coming up, starting on October 13th. It's for a great new cookbook that you will definitely want. So, you know, mark your calendars - or just follow me :) and don't forget to enter my Skin Free giveaway!

Heads up!

There are a couple of things over at Happily Domestic that I want to tell you about.
First off, she's hosting a Cloth Diaper event between October 14-20 with a giveaway posted each day! Hooray for cloth diapers.

Secondly, she's also giving away a Jeep stroller this month - and yes, it's open to Canadian residents! Nice.

Ok. Back in a bit with more giveaways :)

Don't forget to enter my giveaway for the $30 to Skin Free... link up there on the left.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The list for Tuesday

Starting off with my very own giveaway for a $30 gift certificate to Skin Free! Go enter, these products are really nice!

And a peek at the lovely flowers I received yesterday ... just because ... from my parents (how sweet!)
in which you can also see one of our new wall colours... it's not really as pink as it looks, more of a warm beige. If you look closely in the background you can see one wall of the entry, which is a muted green. I'm still not sure about the green (it's in the kitchen, too) but I'm going to live with it. The wall colour is Litchfield Gray from Benjamin Moore. The entry is Oyster Bay by CIL, which I unfortunately can't find a chip for online - what's up with that? The lamp is from Pottery Barn (with a shade from Sears), and the brushed stainless steel and glass console is from Crate and Barrel - we scored the last one of these available in North America, apparently! The mirror is from a local framing shop - and I wish we'd shopped around, as I saw similar ones for half the price at HomeSense. What was I thinking not going there first?! I redeemed Air Miles for the clock in the background :)

Here are some more giveaways to keep you busy:

For baby:
For the ladies:
For anyone:
  • Win a Bored, Inc. tote and tee at My Wee View. Ends October 9th.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Skin Free - Review and Giveaway!

***This giveaway is now CLOSED!***
Winner: Evil Angel!

Recently I won a giveaway on Night Owl Mama's blog, for a gift certificate to Skin Free. You may have seen some bloggers lately singing the praises of these products. I can honestly say, after having the chance to try out a couple of the products, that I wholeheartedly agree - these are great!

As you may know, we are trying once again to conceive our first child, so after watching and reading a lot lately about the scary ingredients in many skin care products (check out the video "The Disappearing Male" and the book "Slow Death by Rubber Duck"), I have become much more aware of what's going on my skin and therefore into my body. I've tossed a pile of products that I used to use regularly and have adopted a much safer and less chemically-laden skin care regime.

I am happy to say that Skin Free skin care products are 100% natural and meet a whole bunch of my criteria:
  • All Natural, Vegan Ingredients
  • No Perfumes
  • No Petroleum Products
  • No Harmful Chemicals
  • No Steroids
  • No Colorants
  • No Greasy feeling
  • No Animal Testing, Cruelty Free
They have lots of different products, even ones that address common skin concerns like eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and blemishes. Plus... they're seriously luxurious to use and I love the way they smell!

The first product I tried is the Super Moisture Body Balm. This is a rich butter that comes out thick and smoothes on easily. A little goes a long way - I have been using this on my legs, feet and elbows and about half a teaspoon does the job. It smells wonderfully of shea and cocoa butter. The texture is smooth and soft but not oily. I put it on in the morning and at the end of the day my legs are still feeling moisturized and not dry at all. When I look at the ingredients, they're all plant derived oils with the addition of Vitamin E. Nothing weird or synthetic.

The second product I tried is the Acai Scrub for Sparkling Skin. Again a little goes a very long way. I have been using an amount the size of a pea and that is enough for my whole face. This scrub has a great texture, not chunky or rough like apricot scrubs, but more like a sugar scrub. The granules are fine and definitely give me that clean glow. The smell is herbal at first and I find it changes to more of a lemony scent as I am using it.

(I did notice that the ingredient list on the website and on my jars are slightly different. If you are ever concerned about the ingredients in your cosmetics or skin care products, it never hurts to ask what's in a product and do your own research. A great resource for this is the Skin Deep Cosmetics Safety Database.)

After trying the two products, I contacted Julie at Skin Free to let her know how happy I was with them. And guess what? Julie has generously offered to give one of my lucky readers a $30 gift certificate to Skin Free! So how do you win?

Mandatory entry:
Check out Skin Free and share in a comment what product(s) you would purchase with the $30 gift certificate. Please do this first!

Extra entries:
  • 1 entry: follow me (publicly) on blogger
  • 1 entry: follow the Skin Free Skin Care Blog on blogger
  • 1 entry: add my button to your blog, or if you already have it let me know - leave your blog address, please!
  • 3 entries: blog about this giveaway with a link back to this post
Seven possible chances to win! Be sure to leave your email address, at least in your first comment, if it's not visible in your profile - and leave one comment per entry.

***This giveaway is now CLOSED!***

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada, and ends at 11:59 pm EST October 19th. Comments left after that time will be deleted. I'll draw the winner using a randomizer, announce both on this post and that day's post, and also email the winner. If I don't hear back within 48 hours, I'll draw another winner. Good luck!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Keeping busy on the weekend

We went to the local farmers' market and picked up half bushels of red peppers ($12) and tomatoes ($10), and a few more ingredients we needed. The entire weekend has been spent doing preserves for the winter :) Here's the tally:

Roasted red peppers: 8 cups, frozen in 1-cup portions
This is an easy one, if you haven't done it before. Just stick whole peppers under the broiler, turning about every 5 minutes, until they are blackened on all sides. Put them in a bowl, cover in plastic wrap and let cool. When they are cool enough to handle, core and remove the seeds, slip off the skins and slice into 1" strips. Save the juices if you can; adding the juice gives a lot of extra flavour to salad dressings, soups, sauces or even dips. The peppers are great on pizza, blended into soups or dips, or even just on bread or a cracker with a bit of cheese.You can store the strips and juice in the freezer for a few months, in the fridge for a week or so (covered with a thin layer of olive oil), or make some or all of them into...

Pickled Roasted Red Peppers: 7 250mL jars
This recipe's from The Complete Book of Year-Round Small Batch Preserving. I'm a big fan of this book and recommend it to anyone interested in preserves, from the beginner to the experienced.

White Wine and Herb Jelly: 9 250mL jars
I can't remember where I got this recipe. It's a pretty jelly with a sprig of your favourite herb inside - it makes lovely Christmas gifts (and for double the gifts, use smaller jars! lol). I used thyme from the garden and a Yellowtail Chardonnay, but you can play with different combinations. This with a bit of Brie on a cracker... Yum!

Tomato Fruit Pickle: 7 250mL jars
This is a recipe passed down from my great-great-grandmother. It's been loved in my family for over 100 years! Amazing, right?! It's a delicious combination of tomatoes, peaches, and mango (our modern substitute for pears and apples), great on crackers.

Chili Sauce: 16 250mL jars
This is my aunt Marilyn's recipe. It's another one great on crackers, sort of a chutney. We made a double batch!

Salsa: 6 500mL jars
Another from my aunt Marilyn. We added corn to the recipe - I love salsa with corn in it!

Lots of goodies for the pantry. It was a lot of work, but my husband and I did this all together which made it easier and more fun!
l-r: Tomato Fruit Pickle, Chili Sauce, White Wine and Herb Jelly, Pickled Roasted Red Peppers.

If you would like me to share any of these recipes, just leave a comment and let me know which one(s)! The only one I wouldn't share is the one from the cookbook; I imagine that's copyrighted and if you want it, it is so worth the investment to pick up the book - you could even use Swagbucks to get it for free from Amazon.