iced in

It's new years eve. This leaves me anxious as I think I need to talk about what I want in the new year. I feel overwhelmed with the need to say meaningful/accomplishable things. So here goes...

I really just want to not have this new year be horrible. 2012 was one of the worst years I've experienced since I've been an adult, really and utterly. I want to be able to see some improvement in my life and well-being. I don't want to struggle so much with daily functioning, with staying alive, with internal and external aches and pains that leave me hopeless. I want to say goodbye to panic attacks, and especially nightmares (which haunted me last night), I want to believe that things will be ok and good one day.

I also want to create more. Write again. Open my Etsy shop. Stay social with friends. Enjoy nature. Take more pictures. And get a few tattoos.

I hope you have a wonderful new year. Do you have any resolutions?

xx, C


Little house

I spent the day taking down Christmas decorations and redecorating the house. I love redecorating and do it several times a year, it makes the house seem fresh and interesting. Sometimes I get tired of staring at the same things and they start to lose their meaning, so moving things around helps. I also have so many goodies that I can't have them all out at once so I keep a bin in a spare room of things that I can put out later on and switch things out occasionally.

We still have our Christmas tree up but will take it down this weekend. Speaking of weekend: I am so happy to have some time with Ronald! He is the best fella to have fun with, rest with, or do anything with. He also takes really good care of me when I don't feel good, which always helps me feel a little better.

We are going to go on a date this weekend as well. And for new years day we have some fun plans. We are going to move our bed to the living room floor and camp out and watch the Batman trilogy while having some good drinks, and food. Sounds like the best way to start the new year, if you ask me. ;)

Stay tuned for some 2013 goals and maybe a little video tour of our house (we'll see if I'm brave enough to let you hear my voice!).

Any fun new years plans? What are your goals for 2013?

xx, C


little find

So I found this little pink nosed pup in the Valentine's section at Target today. I instantly fell in love. It was the last one and since I had a gift card from Ronald I decided to get it (it was only $14.99). It's a candy dish but I am going to see if it can hold water because I can imagine a bunch of red or pink carnations put in it for Valentine's day! I can't wait to find a place for him in the house!

I have been in a lot of pain the last few days. Yesterday I had a horrible headache. Nothing made it better until I went to sleep for an hour or so. I feel the headache coming back right now even though I am on a bunch of ibuprofen. This morning I woke up with my back being so incredibly sore. It felt like my spine was all tensed up. This fibromyalgia thing is still so new to me. I ordered two books that I hope will give me some good information. I also started keeping a pain diary last night, where I will take note of the pain I experienced that day and if I did anything to trigger it.

I was planning on taking down Christmas decorations today. I was excited to put some new things out that have been hiding in our spare rooms, but I don't think that will happen today.

I am telling myself that it's all okay. That it's okay to hurt and it won't last forever. Pain is so demoralizing though. I'm sad. Sad because I can't function normally. Sad because Ronald is back at work and I miss him. Sad because I'm not tired enough to sleep and not energized enough to even stand up right now. I hate watching television by myself, or just sitting around. I want to do something but I can't push myself when I am already at my limit.

I have to learn to live with this though, and be gentle with myself. Cricket just came over and gave me some kisses. She thinks that makes it all better, and I wish it did too.

xx, C



Making cookies!
Lot's of hearts and flour.

Trying to look like a real baker.

Our scary snowman...

was accidentally beheaded! :(

Christmas morning with this cute boy!

Isabelle the elf (don't worry Ronald isn't strangling her) :)

Christmas breakfast: French press coffee, oj and Pillsbury orange rolls.

Ronald talking to his stocking.

Ronald kissing his stocking.



Gift certificates!
Our Christmas was so nice. In the morning Ronald and I opened all the presents under the tree, and we gave lots of toys to the pups. My favorite gift is a leather refillable sketchbook that I have been wanting all year, it's so perfect and lovely, I can't wait to fill it with sketches!

We spent the afternoon with my in-laws. We watched movies and had a yummy simple dinner. It was relaxing which is just what we needed.

Today Ronald is back to work, and life returns to a bit of normalcy. I usually get really depressed Christmas night and the days after Christmas, but this year I really tried to keep my spirits up and although I am depressed, I didn't get the after Christmas blues which would have made things worse. So that's something.

How was your holiday? I hope it was dreamy and light, happy and restful.

xx, C



Booze Cakes

I was in the kitchen most of the day. First I made sugar cookie dough. I used this recipe, but I added the juice of one lemon (I love tangy sugar cookies as it cuts down on the sweetness) and a pinch more flour to keep the dough firm and easy to roll. I am refrigerating the dough overnight and will roll them out tomorrow with Ronald. I have a ton of sprinkles, frosting and candies to decorate with so we'll have a good time.

After that I made a chocolate cake. I really am not great at making cakes from scratch. Usually they are too dry or not flavorful enough. So I just made a boxed chocolate-fudge cake mix. Then I made bourbon vanilla buttercream from scratch for the frosting. 

I have made this once before and it is so easy and delicious. I'm still having trouble getting the consistency right, I can't get it nice and fluffy, but either way it tastes amazing! It has just a hint of bourbon and isn't too sweet.

The recipe is from the above book. And here it is for you to try!:

Bourbon Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 tsp. salt
2 and 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tablespoons bourbon (I used Buffalo Trace, but Makers Mark is good too, whatever you like really!)
1/4 cup half-and-half

Beat butter until creamy. Add salt. Slowly add confectioners sugar and bourbon. Mix in half-and-half until fluffy. 

Keep refrigerated.

*In mine I added half a tablespoon of vanilla extract to give it a little more flavor. 


I am the first to admit that I am not a cake decorator or an amazing baker. To be honest, I don't want to learn how to decorate cakes fancy, or bake everything perfectly. I just like making things that taste good and we enjoy. I rarely bake things from scratch, but hope to do that more this year. I also want to start making bread. I am kind of embarrassed to share the images of my cake above, because I know it is far from perfect, but I kind of like how quirky and homemade it looks. 


Do you like baking? Have you made Christmas cookies or any other desserts for the holidays?

xx, C


"it's my life"

My doctors appointment yesterday went well overall. I do have fibromyalgia. Right after the appointment I was so relieved because someone finally listened to me, but then it hit me; I have something that has no cure, and will probably be with me my whole life. It's discouraging and overwhelming.

The thing I keep thinking is that no one is promised health. You never know what will happen to you, and no one is promised a good or easy life. For some reason I find comfort in that.

I'm so lucky to have Ronald. He helped me so much yesterday and is always there for me.


Have you finished Christmas shopping? Do you bake anything fun for Christmas? I always make homemade sugar cookies. Things are a bit rushed so I hope I can find some time to make them this year. :)

love and hope for next year,



Plant Lady

Yesterday I took care of my plants. I can't tell you how much I love keeping plants. I feel so calm and peaceful when I care for them. I used to kill every plant in a few weeks, but now I've had some of these plants for a year or more! I set up a table in front of our sliding glass door in our dining room to keep the plants. It is a very sunny window but I have a sheer curtain in the window so it distills some of the light. I think the biggest thing I've learned about keeping plants is to not dote on them. The worst thing to do is over-water I think. I usually water my plants every two weeks or less. I check them every week as each plant is on a bit of a different schedule. Also, where you keep your plants is super important, don't expect a plant in little sun to grow properly. I have saved some plants from my mistake of overwatering on occasion, putting them out in the sun for a few days usually does the trick.

If you don't have a green thumb and want to become a plant lady, I recommend starting out with a succulent, cactus, or something with thick leaves, like an african violet. They hold more water and are a little more hardy so easier to care for.

They always have great and inexpensive houseplants at Ikea and Trader Joe's. Trader Joe's always has them planted in a cute planter, and Ikea has a great selection of planters to add. Home depot and Lowe's usually have a plant guarantee where if the plant dies within a year you can replace it for free!

Okay. Enough about plants. ;)

Today Ronald is going to therapy with me so we can talk to my doctor about treatment options and the next steps in getting me well. I'm worried about hearing my prognosis, but also just want to know what we are going to do next.

After that we are going to my primary care doctor to see why I am in so much pain. The other day the pain in my hands was so bad I could hardly hold the steering wheel while driving! I have so much joint pain, it's crazy. I will keep you posted on what the doctor says.

Sending love and wishing you all a green thumb!




Our Cricket is such a silly puppy. We have nylabones throughout the house so she chews on them rather than destroying our furniture/shoes/bedding (basically she will tear up anything laying around!). We call the nylabones her "binkies" because when we give one to her to stop her from getting into trouble, she immediately starts chewing on it, like how a baby uses a pacifier. :)

We have only had her a few months and she already needs some replacement nyla-s. Luckily that was her Christmas wish so I think she will have a basket full!

I'm so glad we rescued her. She is a ton of work...I mean a lot! But she is so sweet and just knowing  that we have totally changed her life is wonderful.

She was at a shelter in Fresno for a long time, and I think just for a dog to be in a shelter, and in a cage most of the time can be traumatic. Each weekend the shelter would fill a mini van with kennels of dogs stacked on top of each other and drive two and a half hours to Dublin (where we adopted her). That had to be so scary for those pups! I can't imagine. They told us Cricket did this for months (she was only 7 months old!) and no one wanted her. I don't know why no one snatched her up, she is completely adorable1 I just think of how she didn't have anyone to rely on, and how scary that must have been for her.

When we took her to the vet the day after we brought her home, she had a skin infection, fleas, and lots of sores on her tummy. It's nice knowing she is now spoiled and well taken care of.

I can't say enough how important it is to adopt your next pet. When you realize how many animals are maltreated, abused, and just not loved, it is totally devastating. It's so easy to find shelters where you can adopt! Just look online! It's worth it!

To give a donation you can go to the ASPCA here or you can give to a smaller shelter. It's Christmas which is a great time to give! Also remember they are always looking for cat and dog food, towels, blankets, and toys!

xx, C

*this post isn't sponsored by anyone, I just wanted to share my thoughts.



I thought it was time for a little update on what is happening with me. 

First of all, I wasn't able to make my doctors appointment last Thursday for my pain issues as I had a panic attack while driving home from therapy just a few hours before my appointment. Ronald had to come pick me up because I didn't feel safe driving home. Panic attacks are mean bugs, and even though I've had many throughout my life, they still throw me for a loop and are terrifying. 

I am really struggling with my depression right now. It's awful, and scary, and emotionally ravaging. I honestly feel at the end of my rope. I am running out of energy to fight and am so nervous that I am going to just give up and end up killing myself. I'm struggling with suicidal thoughts on an almost constant basis. They are really wearing me down. I am being well looked after by my psychiatrist/therapist, Ronald, and my in-laws so I am safe at the moment. The hard thing is I don't know how long that safety will last.

In therapy today we talked about how devastated Ronald and our pups would be if I did kill myself. That is why I can't do it, they would not be able to move on. It's like I would end Ronald's life as well as my own, and I can't do that. No matter how much it hurts (and it is hurting immensely), I have to stay here for him.

The thing is to keep myself aware of that. I have momentary slips where I forget those things, and that's where it gets muddy and worrisome as to what I will do.

It's so hard to describe emotional pain. When you're in it, it's hell. It's lonely, suffocating, horror-provoking. I don't know how else to say it other than it is the worst thing I have ever felt. Worse than migraines, breaking my arm, or any physical injury I have experienced. 

My world has been rocked this year. It really has been a struggle for survival my whole life (and I don't say that lightly), but this year more than ever before. It's immense. It's devastating. I feel shattered. 

I am looking into ECT treatments with my doctor. They may or may not work, have risks, and may include long hospital stays. But if it works the results are immediate, and I would choose trying that over giving up. It seems to be my next step in treatment.

I am so thankful for Ronald. He holds me, comforts me, checks in, will drop everything when I need him. He reminds me of who I am and who I want to be. At night he tells me the things we will do the next day, next week, next year, then he says a prayer for us, and kisses me goodnight. I don't know if he knows how much he carries me through all this.

xx, C