Uncategorized

A Little Intro.

Brittany and I are from a small town known as Daniels, West Virginia. I am 20 and she is 18. We aren’t exactly the coolest girls around; we take pleasure in being unique and enjoy the nerdy things in life. People look at us funny when they ask us about our music preference, what we enjoy doing for fun, or what things we like to watch on tv. I’m actually entertained by the faces people make when they talk to us.

IMG_3840Britt is still in high school and graduates this year. She’s not excited, but I know she will do great with whatever she does. I graduated in 2014, however with some health setbacks I have had some difficultly sticking to my education route. We both plan on becoming nurses; So far we have taken 2 out of 4 of the tests we need to pass to be accepted into the practical nursing program at our local technical school. We both like to take care of people, and with our fair share of of injuries and ailments, we feel for people who are in pain.

We both work at a family business as artists. She is a lot better than me in my opinion. Britt puts so much pride and effort into her drawings, I am so proud of her. I try to help her when I can, but she shows me new techniques all the time. I always look forward to when she gets out of school so she can come to work. I love telling her about my morning and I love hearing her stories from her classes.

Britt and I are a lot closer than normal sisters; she is my best friend. I battle anxiety and depression and I’m terrified of change or making new friends. Brittany is truly my shining light. She rarely complains about me dragging her around town or wanting her to hang out with me. She listens when I need to cry, and I try to be the best sister I can in return.

We are music enthusiasts. Britt takes guitar lessons at the School of Harmony. I enjoy IMG_3839.JPGsinging sometimes, but I’m terrified of singing in front of a crowd. We also have a brother, who is Britt’s twin, that also plays guitar. Andy pushes Britt to be a better guitarist and wants her to learn quickly. She is learning fast, I don’t know how they do it. Our family spends time together at rock festivals on the east coast. We have seen many bands and met a few as well. Last fall, Britt and I met Of Mice & Men at Rock Allegiance. It was a pretty big deal for me because they made a huge impact on my life. Without Brittany, I wouldn’t have become a fan of them. We both cried as we walked away from them, and I am so grateful to be able to have these experiences with her.

I’m gracious that she decided to help me with this blog (she is so much more creative than me). I can’t wait to share our stories, ideas, and opinions with you all. In the meantime, what sorts of things would you like to hear from us?

 

Uncategorized

Reasons Why We Needed 13 Reasons Why

Hi, guys! Its Brittany again. I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of 13 Reasons Why. I mean, if you’ve been on any social media, you’ve probably seen a thousand posts about the emotional instability it puts you in. I know I cried at least 13 times (yes, I did that on purpose) during one episode. I wanted to make a post about why we needed this book and show. Forewarning, there will most definitely be spoilers in this, so I advise either watching the show in its entirety before reading this post, or you can read it and know what to expect. Its up to you.

My first reason: it really opens your eyes to the subject of suicide. You’re no longer just getting a lecture about the warning signs of suicide, you’re seeing it fold out in a pretty realistic way. It also didn’t hold back any of the details of it. It even goes as far as showing the act. I really think that the media, shows, and movies make suicide much cleaner, for lack of better word. It doesn’t leave your mind to wonder about how she did it or what it was like for her. You see it, you see her pain, you see her struggle. They normally don’t show it, I for one haven’t seen many movies or shows that involve the actual scene. It normally just implies that it happened.

Reason number two: it doesn’t sugar coat rape. It shows the emotional impact on the person once they’ve been raped. Its another difficult subject that all means of entertainment have tried to stray away from. This is a serious problem. It doesn’t avoid it and it doesn’t change scenes when it gets uncomfortable. You should feel uncomfortable, this isn’t something you should feel comfortable with. I also think that it does a good job at showing the society’s response, or at least the response of the people who knew about it. They all tried to keep it a secret, not only from the authorities but also the girl that it happened to. Also, this a clear example of the “Well, if she wasn’t drunk, it wouldn’t have happened.” NO! This is all the way wrong. Wrong all over the place. Had the guy been able to control himself in the presence of an unconscious girl, it wouldn’t have happened. Rape is never the victims fault. It also showed the struggle for Clay to understand HOW they could not have said anything.

Reason three: WORDS AND ACTIONS HURT! I capitalize that so the people in the back can hear. I’ve seen some posts that have just burned me up. One that really got to me was where they were making small of the reasons Hannah gave each of the people on the tapes. All of the tapes were reason enough. They all did something to affect her. They all played a part in her decision. Back to the first sentence in this reason— Words hurt. I don’t think people realize how deeply what they say can cut someone. (SPOILER ALERT) Justin spreading the rumor about her wasn’t a small reason. Zach stealing her notes wasn’t a small reason. Alex and Jessica breaking off their friendship wasn’t a small reason. Tyler taking pictures wasn’t a small reason. The rape wasn’t a small reason. (DONE WITH SPOILER) None of her reasons were small. None were insignificant. You do not know how much your words or actions can affect someone. This is why being kind is always the best route.

Four: It shows the life of a high schooler. Everyone thinks that the drama and stress that someone in high school goes through is just pointless and insignificant once you get out of school and start your life. This isn’t the case. I know. I know. Well, Brittany, you’re in high school, where do you get to talk? I am in high school. I know that people think that the stress that I am going through right now is dumb and that I should get over it. But high school is all I know right now. I don’t know what its like to have a family of my own, to be out of school, to be in my career. I don’t know any of these things. All I know is the six classes that I go to (well, I go to three right now) and the teachers that I see every day. What may seem like dumb stress that isn’t needed to someone thats already on their path through life, is my whole life. I’m almost through. I am just weeks from walking across the stage at graduation. That’s my biggest stress. So, when you see Hannah, getting knocked down over and over and over, it’s not just stupid high school drama. It is her life. It is all she knows at this point. She doesn’t know that it changes. She just hears those words and thinks, “That can’t possibly be the case, this is far too bad.” High school stress and “drama” isn’t insignificant or pointless, it is our lives.

Five: It shows what happens to your family, classmates, and friends after you’re gone. It even said in the show, “They’d be better if I wasn’t here.” That’s not the case. In 13 Reasons Why, it shows Hannah’s parents struggling so much, trying to find the reason why she did it. Why they hadn’t caught that she was so upset. It shows them just grasping at strings that they think will lead them to the answer. With Clay, he is so angry at himself. He knows that he did something, but he can’t figure out what or why he didn’t try harder to love her. He was trying to find what he could have done differently. Alex and Jessica wanted to know why they hadn’t just stayed friends with her. All of these questions are whys. Sadly, most times, there’s nothing that could have been done… after. During her life, they could have seen, but that can be difficult. They could have just been kinder and not have avoided her. But when something this tragic happens, so many different actions that could have been taken rush through the minds of the people that were left. Although seeing everyone so distraught and helpless made me feel so upset and emotional, I think seeing these actors portray the struggle that a loved one might face was seriously incredible because it felt so real.

Six: She was a normal girl up until the point that it happened. I say normal loosely because I like to think of everyone as unique. She wasn’t antisocial she didn’t mope around, she was a “happy” girl. Although she showed the warning signs, she didn’t seem like she was going to commit suicide. She cut her hair, that’s one of the warning signs- changing your appearance. Okay, this isn’t very noticeable though. People cut their hair. This is one overlooked warning sign. Everyone just thought she had wanted a trendy new haircut. There were countless other signs, I would go into detail about the others, but this paragraph would be too long. The problem with today is that we don’t go around looking for the warning signs of suicide. We really don’t. If you do, kudos to you. I wish there were more people like you. I wish I was like you. I think that 13 Reasons Why will open up everyone’s eyes to the warning signs,  though. I really hope that it does.

Now, I had planned to do thirteen reasons, but honestly I think you might get my point. Saying this show is stupid and making jokes about it doesn’t do anyone any good at all. I understand not liking the show, people have different preferences, but honestly in my opinion, I think everyone should watch it. I think we needed this representation of suicide. I also encourage people to read the book. Guys, seriously its super good and I think that it helps show you what’s going through Clay’s mind a lot better and you can feel what he feels. I don’t think we should downplay suicide, bullying, and rape like we do. I think it should be talked about and I think we should try as hard as we can to stop it.

If you feel like you need to talk to someone or feel as if suicide is the only option, please call. You’re life is worth far more than you could possibly believe. Don’t let yourself feel like you’re not worth it.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

http://www.thirteenreasonswhy.info

Fashion

Handmade with Love

16864451_651589968362048_5797615449599201771_nToday I’m writing about SkyeMalyn, a little boutique-type shop started by Skye Stump when she was a senior in high school. Her Etsy-based store specializes in handmade and personalized items, such as steering wheel covers, diaper covers, tie blankets, and rice sacks. It doesn’t stop there—if you have an idea, Skye is willing to do requests if you ask.

Skye learned to crochet because her grandmother and mother both crochet, and she was surrounded by the hobby from a young age. After learning the basics, Skye branched out and began to do projects that she would find on Pinterest. She started with crocheting a throw blanket for her senior project, but things took off after she made herself a steering wheel cover. She said that the steering wheel covers basically started her business because many people wanted her to make them. She knew she could make money from her projects, and it’s something that she enjoys doing so that’s a big plus. (Britt and I both have the crocheted steering wheel covers, and we LOVE them!)

Since her business started, Skye has made so many different things, but she says that her favorite things to make are the baby items. She likes how cute and tiny they are, and that she gets to customize the patterns on each project. She has made baby booties, the diaper covers, baby hats, and baby headbands. All of the items she makes are perfect for baby pictures, or just every day wear.

Skye usually has a couple orders a week since she added crocheted items to her shop. 16507950_644736699047375_229545202378918632_nShe can knock out some of her projects within a day, and from personal experience, have your order to you within 1-2 weeks. She is so easy to work with, and puts so much effort into the items. Even the packaging your order comes in is professional and adorable. You can really tell that she loves what she does, and really cares about the quality of her work.

Skye had closed her store when she went back for her Spring semester of school, but she opened it back up just in time for customers to find the perfect Mother’s Day gift. She has the cutest planters on her Facebook that she is selling! Plus, she has a bunch of new yarn and material that she couldn’t wait to use. Skye is already busy making some fun seasonal items for Spring, including adult and baby sandals. She also got a new machine that she excited to use—currently she is learning how to make car vinyl stickers and hopefully t-shirts soon!

If you would like to place an order with Skye, you should hurry. She mentioned that most of her Summer is booked with pre-orders from a few stores that will be selling some of her Fall items. You can find SkyeMalyn on Facebook and Instagram, and shop on her Etsy at etsy.com/shop/SkyeMalyn. We can’t wait to see the projects that she is working on, and even more excited to buy some new goodies!17799061_675502925970752_6602432073671023730_n

Pictures from SkyeMalyn Facebook

Health

The Harsh Truth from the Mind of a Spoonie

FullSizeRender 6.jpgI used to be that person that would constantly complain on social media, or to anyone around about how horrible it is to live with migraines. I would post on Twitter, Facebook, etc. every time I was in pain, thinking somebody would care. Nobody ever did. I would still lay in my bed, alone, and clenching my fists in pain. Nothing ever changed.

I complained to my dad that nobody ever cared about anybody who was in actual pain. That people would ask for remedies for what they think is a migraine, or something that a doctor can easily cure, but I’m still fighting in the world alone because nobody ever cares about something that never gets better. So dad told me something that sort of punched me in the chest: nobody cares about anything that doesn’t affect them. Unless they are sick, or it’s something that will affect them in any way, nobody bothers to care about it, especially if it’s an invisible illness. That’s just how society is.

You see, there are very few people who can say that they really truly care about chronically ill people. You get tired of caring after so long: this is something that never goes away, it’s always there to ruin your plans with the person. It’s something that you can’t see: the person doesn’t have a temperature, their bone isn’t protruding from their leg, and their hair isn’t falling out. They show no sign of pain, illness, or if they’re even telling the truth. How do you know they aren’t just asking for attention or wanting the drugs? You have to be able to really and truly trust this person, and a lot of people do not have the ability to do that.

A lot of people just don’t care. They’ve listened to you complain for so long and it’s just boring to them. You never get better, there is no “remission” to celebrate over dinner. It’s something they don’t understand, and they don’t care to understand because it isn’t something that they have to go through. They might ask you if you’re getting better whenever they see you in public to refrain from being that person that makes awkward eye contact and just ignores you as they walk by, and of course the answer is no—it will always be no. It isn’t the flu or a broken leg. Obviously you can’t hold it against them because if you hadn’t caught the bullet in illness roulette, you probably wouldn’t care either.

After dealing with a chronic illness for so long, you might start to develop mental disorders. Imagine being diagnosed with a disease that will affect you for the rest of your life. Imagine getting out of bed in pain, or fearing all day that a flare will occur in the most inappropriate time. Imagine looking forward to something (ex. vacation or graduation) for so long, and suffering through it. Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’m going to tell you something that happened when I was in 11th grade, 2 years after I was diagnosed with a neurological disorder. That year I went through many tests and loss. I became distant from all of my friends, I stopped caring about my appearance, I felt like a hollow shell because I felt like I didn’t deserve to live anymore, I didn’t want to.  I would think of ways that I could kill myself, wondering how many pills I could swallow before I was gone, or how fast I needed to hit a tree to get out easy. The sad part is that wasn’t even the worst of my pain. Obviously I still go through bouts where I just don’t want to exist, I don’t want to be in anymore pain.  I sit up at night and cry, and I know I’m not the only one. There are so many people that deal with mental disorders, and nobody cares until something bad happens. “They’re just asking for attention.” “They’re just weak, everybody goes through what they are going through.” “They don’t know what a bad life is.”

I’ve gone through many friends because of my illness. It’s nobody’s fault but my illness, and I would never blame them because I hate myself sometimes. I wish I had the ability to leave me. People don’t understand what they’re stepping into when they’re involved with a chronically ill person. It’s more than just watching them taking medication: it’s watching your friend suffer, never keeping plans, and slowly drifting away. I wish it was easy enough to just pop some pills in my mouth and be able to go on with my day. I wish I could say that I haven’t cancelled plans, or had to leave early to go home and take meds. I wish I didn’t have people staring at us while I take my pills at the dinner table. I wish I was normal just as much as you.

A lot of people with chronic illnesses find comfort in online support groups. A few I follow on Instagram are @themightysite @youngpeople_chronicillnesses @amigrainelife @chronicpainprincess and @thatdefyinggravityspoonie. They’re all extremely helpful, kind, and supportive. There are so many more for your specific illness that offer remedies just for you. They’ve all helped me so much, whether it be just to give me the support I need to continue going, or helping find relief when I’m in pain.

I urge you that if you have a chronic illness, please don’t just complain about it. Do something about it. Share articles about your illness, share experiences, share resources for people to read and understand. Instead of complaining about it, inform people about it. Be supportive to others with chronic illnesses, because they are in pain too. You know how it feels when somebody actually researches your illness, why not be the light for somebody else? Try to understand what they’re going through. Share the good things, “Heck to the yes! New meds are actually working and today is a good day” People enjoy seeing something other than disappointing news, and your new management might help others in pain too. Most importantly, never give up. Don’t give up on treatments, don’t give up on the good days, don’t give up on yourself.

Also, if you have a mental disorder, please reach out for help. I am always available to talk, because nobody deserves to suffer alone. If you just need to talk, if you want advice, if you need anything, please reach out to me. I will help you figure out a way to get help. I want to help you. You are not crazy, you are not alone, you are not a burden. The world deserves somebody as unique and beautiful as you are, and don’t think there is only one way out of whatever you are going through. You’ve got this, and I will stand by your side as you fight.

E

“You’re not alone, you’re with me”

Beauty

Our Favorite Lush Products

American Cream Conditioner— This is Brittany’s favorite conditioner because it smells good (like strawberries & cream) as well as makes your hair extremely soft. Whenever her hair feels crispy due to her coloring it all of those crazy colors, it does damage control. It doesn’t make her hair feel greasy like some name brand hair care products, and obviously she doesn’t have to worry about it damaging her hair because Lush is natural and handmade.

Mmmelting Marshmallow Moment— This bath oil is fantastic because half is enough to get the results that you want, and it has a great price ($3.50). It smells great, and doesn’t leave your skin feeling too oily. It’s perfect if you have dry skin, especially during the winter months.

Boom! Toothy Tabs— We tried these because Brittany is allergic to mint and cinnamon, and we were looking for oral care that wasn’t for children. These tabs are made with charcoal, which is known to gently whiten teeth naturally. It’s difficult to get used to the taste and texture, but it leaves your mouth feeling so clean and fresh. It also isn’t expensive like other whitening products ($9.95)

00012.jpgButterball Bath Bomb— I bought the butterball bath bomb when we visited Southpark Mall in North Carolina (the first time I’ve been to a Lush store). I enjoyed being able to smell the bombs before buying them, and I liked Butterball because the scent wasn’t overbearing like some. It smells like a light vanilla, perfect for relaxing after a long day. It doesn’t leave skin oily or too sparkly, and it doesn’t leave any residue in the tub when you’re finished.

Lullaby Shampoo Bar— I tested this out after another failed attempt with name brand shampoo breaking out my scalp. I wasn’t sure about using a solid shampoo, but it lathers well and cleans just as good as regular shampoo. It also doesn’t leave a strong scent to your hair, which I enjoyed! It was great for my sensitive scalp, and actually helped clear up the breakout from the last brand.

We love Lush because of the all natural ingredients and being able to know what is in the products. We have loved almost every product that we have tried from Lush, and we haven’t had any problems with their customer service. We both highly recommend the company. Do you have any favorite products from Lush? If so, what are they and why?

Uncategorized

Be a Light for All to See

IMG_5642

Brittany has always been a compassionate person; she wouldn’t hurt a fly and she will go out of her way to help anyone in need. She inspires me to be a better person everyday. I’m so proud to be able to call her my sister and I couldn’t be any more proud of the person she has grown to become.

When Britt’s class was thinking about senior project ideas, she struggled. She wanted to do something different from anyone else, and be able to leave a lasting impression for years down the road. Around the time they were working on projects was when Brooklyn Runion passed away. Brooklyn left an impact on not only SSHS and our community, but our entire county. We had other schools supporting Brooklyn by wearing shirts, bracelets, pink and green socks, etc. to let everyone know that Brooklyn was on everyone’s mind and heart. It was devastating to hear that she would not be returning to school, because she had gone home to be with the Lord.

As Brittany juggled multiple ideas that she could have done, I told her that she was able to create a monument at our family business, why not do something in memory for Brooklyn? Being the kind hearted person Britt is, she loved the idea-but she wanted to do something that included all of the Shady students, teachers, and alumni that we have had pass away over the years. So, she took the idea for a memorial and pushed it a little further so that nobody would be left out, and the benches became more than just an idea.

Brittany didn’t just throw some designs together; she worked incredibly hard on every single detail in the memorials. She consulted with Brooklyn’s mom to make sure that the bench would represent her daughter in a way that would be acceptable to her. On the Shady bench, she went as far as to include the Alma Mater (which she had to do some research on because who actually knows it by memory?) and hand draw the Shady logo.

IMG_5643

It took Brittany well over the 24-hour time that was required for her senior project-both benches took 2 weeks (or 80 hours). She wanted to make sure every aspect was perfect before they were revealed to the community. As far as keeping the benches a secret, she did a really good job. She didn’t want anyone to know about them until they were set on the school property, aside from the principal, teacher, and close friends. Near the end of creating the benches, she decided to add a special touch to Brooklyn’s that not even her mom know about. She painted the butterfly and filigree Brooklyn’s favorite colors-pink and green.

For me, it felt like forever from the time the benches were complete to the time they were set at the school, so I know it felt even longer for Britt. Finally, God blessed her with the weather that made it possible to get the memorials put in their places. Brittany actually didn’t get to see them completely set until we got off work on Monday. As we drove home, we were under a severe thunderstorm warning and it was pouring the rain. Lightening and thunder filled the air and the wind whipped through the trees, trying to rip anything off the ground that it could. When we got to the stoplight before the school, the clouds broke and the sun was shining. The rain began to disappear as we drove closer to the school. When we got to the benches, Brittany jumped out of the car and cried. Her project was finished, and the benches were absolutely beautiful. I couldn’t do anything but smile. I was speechless that she did this all herself.

IMG_5644

Though the benches will never replace the people that they honor, they serve as a reminder that they are always with us. They give students a place to sit and talk to their lost friends, or just to think. They are there to remind us of all of the memories, to help us heal, and to be a light at the end of the tunnel when we needed it most.

Health

Coping with Anxiety

FullSizeRender 6.jpgLiving with a chronic illness throws a lot of obstacles in your way. Along with my migraines, I developed an anxiety disorder and depression. For a long time I would sit up at night and cry over things that I couldn’t control. I would be scared to go to school, and I would be antisocial when I was there. I know when I’m having an anxiety attack because it feels like my lungs are incapable of using normal air. It feels like I need to cry but I don’t know what is wrong, I just know something is off. It feels like I’m trapped in my own head and I just need to scream. It feels like I need to rip all of my hair out of my scalp or scratch my skin off.

I tried to cope without medication for a long time because I didn’t want to be the girl that was on antidepressants. I felt miserable; I didn’t want to live my life. I finally asked my neurologist if it was possible for them to put me on something to help. They put me on Cymbalta, and everything just felt easier. I felt like I had normal emotions and I didn’t overreact over little things.

Of course I still have bad days, medicine doesn’t fix everything. As a matter of fact, sometimes it makes things worse. When I went to Charlottesville, my new neurologist recommended that I see a psychiatrist. So then, I had to see my primary care doctor for a referral. I thought that I might get seen soon by the psychiatrist. With the wonderful luck I have, I couldn’t get an appointment until May. Being the dummy I am, I let my prescription run out, and there was absolutely no way to just stop taking Cymbalta safely. My doctor obviously refilled it so I wouldn’t have withdrawals, but it would take a week before it got to the house.

Unknowing to me, Cymbalta is known to have HORRIBLE withdrawal symptoms. There is actually a thing called Antidepressant Withdrawal Syndrome that happens when a patient is on the medication for more than 6 weeks and the medication has a shorter half-life. I cannot express this enough, NEVER quit your antidepressants cold turkey. I legit thought I was dying last week. It started with just being an emotional mess. This doesn’t seem horrible given the fact that it was to help my mood. Gradually things got worse.IMG_1538.JPG

I remember the second day without my medicine as being a blur. I was so dizzy, it felt like my brain was bouncing around in my skull. I began to feel nauseous and my body was craving the serotonin that it wasn’t receiving. I had to have Andy drive me home from work because I was worried that I wasn’t going to make it safely. That night began the horrible nightmares. I would wake up in a pool of my sweat even if I slept without the covers and my windows open. I was afraid to go to sleep the rest of the week.

I got my medicine Thursday, unfortunately I couldn’t take it until the morning because it causes insomnia and I was already 10 miles past exhaustion. I went to bed with a migraine starting, and I knew it was only another side effect of my stupidity. I woke up at 2 am with tears streaming down my face because my head was hurting so bad. I crawled out of bed and took medication and gave in to taking my Cymbalta. It was a new day already, and my body was tired of suffering. Within the next day I began to feel like a completely different person. I wasn’t shaking, my brain wasn’t crying for help, and I was finally able to sleep again. I hope I never have to experience that pain again, and I’m definitely requesting a different medication when I see my psychiatrist. I should not need 90 mg of something to help me enjoy life.

As I was suffering last week, I came up with some coping mechanisms to help with my anxiety FullSizeRender 5.jpgwhile my emotions were all over the spectrum. They really helped a lot when I couldn’t do anything to keep me sane.

  • Sticky notes. My favorite thing I did was my collection of pink sticky notes on my wall at work. I am horrible about thinking that I’m the problem, or people are judging me, or things are my fault. So I took my sticky note pad and wrote myself reminders, then I stuck them all over my wall. There is nothing anybody can do when I’m breaking down to make me feel better. Seeing my sticky notes (which were written when I was okay) makes me realize that it’s in my head, nothing my brain is trying to make me believe is real.
  • I work out. When I first started to withdraw from the meds, I started working out on the Boflex. I needed something to take my mind off of the side effects, and what is better than sweating all the bad gunk out? I actually finished a full workout for the first time in a very long time that day, and I only felt like I was going to pass out for 5 minutes afterward.
  • I cried a lot. Throughout the week I had a lot of emotional breakdowns. There would be times where I would be perfectly fine, but would start crying out of nowhere. Of course I felt so much better after I laid in the floor with my tear soaked face. There’s just something about crying that makes the stress melt off of you. I felt like everything that I was holding in was finally released and out of my system.
  • Dress as if nothing is wrong. This was a hard one. It’s hard to motivate yourself to try when you feel like there is no point. However, I felt like I had a purpose when I was actually dressed in nice clothes compared to my t-shirt with leggings attire. It felt good to look in the mirror and say “Wow you actually look pretty today. Good job,” and the compliments felt good too.
  • When in doubt, take a bubble bath. or if you’re me, sit in the shower and just let the water hit you in the face. I don’t know what it is, but I always feel better after I lay in the shower floor for 15 minutes. It helps my asthma, my migraines, my anxiety, nausea, anything. Every little gross thing that is bothering you washes away, you can relax because you’re alone with yourself, and you can breathe better because of the steam. If you’re feeling super snazzy, throw a bath bomb in there and enjoy the happy colors and glitter.

How do you handle your stress or anxiety? Have you found any other ways that work for you?

 

Health

Let’s Talk About Asthma

Hi, guys! This is Brittany, you might know me from Ericka’s posts and this is my first one! Although I would like to just talk to you guys about this being my first post and how I’m happy that we’re getting views, but I have come to talk about something a little more close to my heart. That is…. duh duh duh duh…. my asthmatic life.

Before I begin to jump into the spiel about how I live my life being an asthmatic, I wanted to share a story about my worst asthma attack. This is just to kind of shed some light on how an asthma attack can get for me. I emphasize me because this is only my experience, not everyone else’s. So remember, everyone has different asthma, they have different asthma attacks, their experiences are not mine. I do not speak for all of us, only myself. So here goes.

Last semester is where this attack took place (meaning fall of 2016). I was sitting in my last period class doing my work, because I’m one of those people who do their work until the very last minute of class in hopes of not having homework. So I was doing my work and of course there are other people in the class, some could be considered “popular” if you want to go with a movie view of this. Well, one of them sat in front of. It was a guy and everyone knows how guy’s cologne is. It’s strong, really strong. This guy decided to spray his really strong cologne on himself… in front of me… multiple times. He had to have sprayed it at least five times.

At this point, I’m already reaching into my bag and grabbing my inhaler, hoping that I won’t have to use it, but knowing I will. And I was right. As soon as I sat up in my seat, the wave of scent washed over me and my lungs basically decided to forget to work in that exact moment. I walked over to my teacher and calmly asked to step out into the hall to use my inhaler where a huge whiff of cologne wouldn’t chase it into my lungs. I stood out in the hall for just a second to let the cloud of cologne to pass, and then I went back and sat in my seat. There, I realized that the smell hadn’t gone away and I was still very much at risk of having a worse attack. I put my sleeve over my face in hopes of not getting anymore of the smell, but that failed. One, because having a sleeve over my already sparse oxygen supply certainly didn’t help. And two, because pulling the sleeve away from my face would mean that I would have a lungful of cologne, not air. I texted my mom then to tell her that my attack wasn’t easing up and that I was starting to get really dizzy. Before I could even send my message, my eyes got blurry and I could hardly see.

I stood abruptly and basically crashed through the many desks (and my peers) to get back to my teacher, who I couldn’t see, to tell him I needed to go to the office. He saw from my very unfocused look that I was being completely serious, so he told my friend to go with me to the office to make sure I didn’t pass out in the hall. She helped me to the office and I was lucky to have her because I knew from my weakening legs that I was about done for. When I got to the office, I was told that the nurse was not at school anymore and they needed to call a teacher to help. The secretary took what seemed like ten years to call the teacher and get her to help me. I fell into the chair, my legs finally giving out. Through this all, I was actually pretty calm even though thoughts of my lungs just giving up were racing through my mind. The teacher comes, she realizes that I am in fact about to pass out and asks if I would like to call my mom or the ambulance first. Obviously I chose my mom. I didn’t want to go alone in an ambulance. My mom tells them to have my brother take me home, so I can combat this horrible asthma attack with a hot shower that usually helps. And it did.

The reason that I wanted to share my worst asthma attack story is not to gain pity for how my lungs decide they don’t like me anymore, its because this was preventable. I didn’t have to have an asthma attack had the cologne not been involved. I also don’t blame the guy, though most people would. I forgive him for not knowing that my lungs wouldn’t be able to handle that cologne. I don’t tell people that I have asthma, not because I’m embarrassed or for them to tell me that they’re sorry, I don’t tell people because I don’t want to get sympathy. I actually got yelled at once for informing someone about my asthma, I don’t want that to happen again. Asthma isn’t something that someone needs to hide, you shouldn’t feel like people will yell at you for your asthma. So remember, you don’t know who has what, if you feel like someone with normal lungs wouldn’t be able to handle this smell or whatever, simply don’t use it. You don’t know if they have asthma, allergies, migraines, what have you.

But anyway, to the guy with the cologne, I forgive you. How could you have known? I didn’t tell you, though I’m sure everyone in the class that knew told you afterwards, you couldn’t have known. So I forgive you.

Family · Uncategorized

Fur Children

IMG_0382.JPG

I wake up in the morning to the sound of my baby crying because she is hungry. I roll over and try to enjoy a few more seconds of sleep, but she really is ready for breakfast now. I get up and I let Sassy out to go to the bathroom and I get her breakfast ready while I wait. I step on toys as I go fumble for the door to let her back in. She zooms through the house before pigging out on her favorite meal. This is what it’s like to be a fur parent.
In our house, we have eight animals: 5 dogs and 3 cats. Silky was our first dog in the group, we brought her into our family when I was 10. She has been with us for 11 years and counting. Odee is our second oldest, swinging in at 10 years of being our family’s stubborn little boy. Sassy is 9, I got her when Silky ran away for a month when I was in 6th grade. We then found Silky the very next day. Odee and Sassy are our only store bought puppies in the house. Angel is our giant chocolate lab that we adopted when I was in 8th grade. She is 7 years old. Teddy is our newest dog, we adopted him after my dad’s dog, Sammy, had to be put to sleep and Angel got severely depressed. He is 3 years old. Our cats are all adopted. Jomo is Britt’s baby, he is 5 years old. She got him when she was rewarded for finally doing her back handspring. Bella is mom’s cat,
she’s also 5. Mom has always been a fan of cats and when Britt got Jomo it was an excuse for her to also get a new cat. I got Willa my senior year, she’s now 4 and becomes more and more evil with every day that she’s alive.

Each of our animals has their own unique personality—they’re so different from each other. Silky enjoys wandering the neighborhood and begging everybody on the hill for food. She has Memaw wrapped around her little chubby paw and is her very best friend. She had to go to fat camp last year because she was 30 pounds overweight. Lucky for us, that stay at the vet bought us some more time with the furball, she is just on a very strict diet and has to come to work with us to keep her from begging people for food. She has been hit by a car, shot, went missing for a month, and so much more. Silky is our little fighter.

Odee is our dachshund, Andy’s dog. He used to be mom’s dog, but gradually grew attached to Andy as he got older. He will literally eat EVERYTHING. He has had chocolate, bags of cookies, crackers, any food that he is able to reach and drag into his room. I once found my camera bag under Andy’s bed. Odee likes to cuddle, and he’s like a little space heater. He will keep you warm even when you don’t want to be. He is also our smelliest dog. His favorite hobbies are digging in the litter box for hidden treasures and rolling in dead animals he finds outside.

Sassy is my little girl, and she’s my greatest gift. I got her because she was on discount, nobody wanted to take her home. I thought she was the best thing in the world. She protects me like she is a dinosaur dog, and knows when I am not feeling good. She won’t leave my side when I have a migraine. Throughout her years, she has had her fair share of bad luck. She has been attacked 3 times and
managed to pull through. Sassy is my little trooper. I don’t know what I would do if I lost her, she has saved me from myself more times than I can count.

Angel was Britt’s dog, and has sort of rounded into being everybody’s big baby. She is our big baby and keeps Teddy in line. Angel has puppy anxiety because when she was younger, her best friend died from a brain tumor. Sammy was her “big brother” and was with her for her entire life up until his last day. When Sammy died, she started chewing on her leg, and she became aggressive. It was so sad because our once perfect princess had become something so depressed. We got Teddy after a few years of her being grouchy, and now she’s back to being her big baby self. She still chews on her leg, but it isn’t nearly as bad as it was before Teddy.

Teddy is our pitbull, who is completely opposite of what the stereotyped breed is supposed to be. He is so smart, and he’s one of our sweetest animals. Teddy likes to play fetch, except he only likes to get the toy when it’s in Angel’s mouth. My favorite thing Teddy does is when he starts chasing his tail, and he goes so fast it looks like he’s going to take off into the sky. Ted likes attention, so if you aren’t giving it to him he will nip the inside of your thigh (where it’s sensitive) until you give him some cuddles.

Jomo is Britt’s pride and joy. He weighs in at 15 pounds, and looks like a baby panther. He is a really smart cat, he can open the shower doors so he can lay down in the tub. Jomo has his own giant kitty condo, where he will lounge during the day and sleep during the night. He will find fun in anything, he plays in bags, will carry around mouse toys like he killed it himself, and pull up the edges of notebooks to hear
the noise it makes.

Bella is terrified of everything. I have scratches everywhere from her where I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. She stays in mom’s room because she doesn’t like dealing with the other animals. She’s also very spoiled: every Sunday is soft-food Sunday for Bella. She will cry until mom feeds her, but her cry sounds more like a dying scream.

Willa is the spawn of Satan. She will do anything just to spite me, for instance, knocking over my makeup mirror while I’m sleeping so tha
t I will wake up. She is a very vocal cat, she will just walk around meowing and will meow back at you if you talk to her. Her favorite place to be is outside all the time, and she will sneak out if you aren’t paying attention. She likes to roll around on the sidewalk and eat the grass. Her favorite person is definitely Andy, she will snuggle up with him without any trouble and take a nap.

If you can’t picture what it’s like to live with five dogs and three cats, just imagine it’s like living at home but it’s a little happier. People look at us like we’re crazy because we have so many animals, but I look at them and think why wouldn’t you want to? Of course it is difficult, but loving them isn’t. Because of us, six animals were taken out of shelters and given a home. Without our pets, our
house feels empty. What would we even do with the spare closet if we didn’t put all the pet food in there?

My animals are the lights of my life, and make each day worth waking up to see what will happen. They make me look at life like every day is an adventure, and that each moment is whatever you make it. They taught me that life is short and to do whatever you love doing. Chase the stick, steal the humans snack, roll in the dirt. Don’t stop being young just because you’re getting older and your hair is turning white. Love everybody no matter who they are. Take the afternoon nap.

Do you have a fur friend? What do they mean to you, and have you learned anything from your pet? I love hearing stories about animals, and I can’t wait to hear yours!

Beauty

Product Review: Function of Beauty

Happy Friday! I decided to do a product review today to wrap up the week, and picked my current shampoo and conditioner, Function of Beauty. First of all, I would like to say that I have a difficult time finding hair care products that don’t break out my scalp. When I find something that works, it will work for a little while and then my head will reject it. So with that being said, I was a little nervous to try another new brand.

I found out about Function of Beauty on a beauty Facebook page that I am a part of. A girl had just purchased her own shampoo and was telling us about it and would give a review once she tried it. After she praised the shampoo, I decided to give it a go.

The first thing that I thought was neat about these products is that they are personalized to your taste. When you go to the website, you take a “hair quiz” where you basically describe your hair type and what you want in your shampoo. (ex. soothing scalp, lengthening, body, frizz control, color protection, etc) Once you finish the questions, you can pick the color of your products, as well as what scent and how strong you want it to smell. You are able to pick between 8 oz or 16 oz bottles, so if you use a lot of conditioner like me, you can get a bigger bottle and a smaller shampoo.

It did take a while for my order to come in the mail, but they are making your products especially for you so it’s understandable. When you get your product, they send a pump for each bottle that way it’s easier to use. They also give you a list of things that you picked for your product, as well as what they used in the product to get that quality.

Something I thought was neat was the directions; it said to use the shampoo twice because the second time it should lather more to show that your hair is clean. I didn’t think it was possible, but it worked! After my first shower with the new shampoo, my hair felt so soft and tangle-free. It also felt stronger, and was shinier than it has ever been with any other brand. My hair actually looks healthy instead of crunchy! Even after my hair dried, it was still soft and without knots (a BIG deal with my messy head) After multiple days of using Function of Beauty, my scalp even felt healthier. There was no oil or scabs on my head!

Overall, I love Function of Beauty and highly recommend it to anybody who is having a difficult time finding a brand for them. They are a little pricy, two 8 ounce bottles (shampoo and conditioner) being $36 and the 16 ounces being $46, however I find that it is worth it. My hair has never felt better. It’s also a product specifically made for you, so if you don’t like something about it, you can change it with a click of a button on your next order. Function of Beauty also does referral links, so you can tell your friends and family to get discounts on your orders. They also have a subscription option so if you’re like me and forget to buy shampoo you can set it up to just automatically come to you when you think you’ll run out.

So, have you tried Function of Beauty, or were you planning to try it? What is your favorite brand of hair care products and why?main_image.jpg

photo from functionofbeauty.com 

Uncategorized

20 Questions with Ericka & Britt

IMG_3838.JPG

1.What is your most embarrassing moment?

B— I honestly can’t answer that, there are so many flooding my mind right now

E— The video of the back handspring at World Class, I scorpioned.

2.Who do you look up to the most, and what qualities do you love about them?

B—A person close to me, Mr. Bennett. He’s very smart and kind. If there is anybody I’d want to be like, it would be him. A famous person, Jacoby Shaddix. He got through being an addict to getting his family back and overcoming a lot.

E—A person close to me, Jeff (our cousin). He’s been there for me for everything, he’s who I aspire to be. A famous person, Austin Carlile. He’s sick and does so much and his faith is so strong.

3. What would be your perfect day?

B—Any day at a festival

E—Festival days, nice cool festival days with a good line up

4. What is your biggest fear?

B—Annie, the movie Annie

E—Being alone

5. How do you like to be comforted when you’re sad?

B—By my cat

E—Kelsey was texting me. I like when people are far away and still help. It’s nice to know they’re there when I need them

6. What is your favorite memory?

B—My first rock concert: Five Finger and Volbeat. It was fun, it was the first time I experienced anything like it.

E—It’s whenever we met Islander and I had them call you back and I liked the smile on your face and how you freaked out cause they knew your name

7. What is the favorite thing you own and why?

B—my cat because even when I feel lonely and sad he’s there, even if he doesn’t want to be. He’s the glue that holds me together.

E—My favorite thing is my Of Mice & Men record that’s signed because it’s a reminder that I met them.

8. Who was the last person that made you cry?

B—Jane and Great Grandma Workman last night. I miss them.

E— Dad when he said I couldn’t go to Charlotte

9. Where do you hope to be in 5/10/15 years?

B— 5)in bed sleeping 10) on the cat farm I plan to start 15) trying not to die in a shark tank

E— 5)I hope I’m a nurse or singing 10)I’ll be 30, I hope I’m still alive 15)I hope I’m successful and not in a shark tank

10. If money was no object, what would you buy?

B—I want the Beauty & the Beast library

E—A Jeep Wrangler

11. When have you felt the most proud?

B—Everyday when I wake up and look at my cat and realize I raised that from a baby into a strong handsome lad

E—When I was saved

12. When have you felt the most challenged?

B—one word: college

E—When I was in 11th grade and I was trying to decided if my life was worth living or not

13. Do you have any regrets?

B—Everyday of my life all the time

E—No, I’d like to think I do

14. When was the moment in your life you laughed the hardest?

B—I have a video of Andy almost breaking his ankle because he tripped putting a stone in the sandblaster

E—Whenever we made the videos of Andy playing with the dogs with Ann Murray and the Carpenters

15. Which celebrity would you want to be your best friend and why?

B—Selena Gomez, she’s amazing

E—Jared Padaleki because he seems funny and he’s tall so he can reach high places

16. What did you dream of last night?

B—I was dating a bird and my cat told me he hated me

E—I was Alan Ashby and I couldn’t play the guitar and Austin was just like you’re doing great

17. Which family member are you closest to?

B—Andy because we’re twins

E—It’s freaking you

18. What do you do when no one is around?

B—watch gamer youtube videos, cry, and play with my cat.

E—sleep and pinterest that’s it

19. Where do you want to travel?

B—I really want to go to Europe

E—California really bad

20. What is something people don’t know about you?

B—I’ve never had a boyfriend

E—I’m an open book I think