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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Part II - Money Holders

Well I suppose it's high time I stop talking and start showing you all what I've been making this busy holiday season.  I am posting here, a bunch of the special money holders that I custom made for a friend's order.  They are so cute and were so much fun to make!  I used a lot of the same products on them such as stickles, create-a-critter cartridge, Christmas paper from Basic Grey and others (can't remember offhand), stampin' up stamps, etc.  If you want specifics just leave a comment and I'll try my best!  With no further delay, here they are:


Christmas Tree

Reindeer 1

Reindeer 2
This one has no lining because I didn't think about lining them til after this one was already complete!


Blue Penguin

Pink Reindeer 3

White Penguin 2 (My favorite)

Well, what do you all think?  I just love this last penguin one.  I used glossy accents for him and it made all the difference!  These were super easy and fun once I had a good pattern going.  Next I will be posting the Christmas cards I made, then the "coupon" book I made for my hubby.  Stay tuned...
XO ~ Amy Jo

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I've won candy!

Just wanted to say a quick thank you to the sites I've won blog candy on so far.  Be sure to check them out!

Upstate Ramblings - there is a button on the left side of my page to get to their site.

Jill Stamps and

Fantabulous Cricut

These are some super fun blog sites to check out and I'm thrilled to be a winner!  Check em out and maybe you will win some candy too!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Catching Up - Christmas Part One

Hello everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, for those who celebrate.  I had one of the nicest Christmas' ever!  I am soooooo lucky and spoiled rotten!  My husband is just the best, but we'll get into that later... We ended up staying home, not travelling for the first time EVER for the holidays and it was just lovely!  Woke up when we wanted, opened presents when we wanted, played some games and then my BFF came over for dinner and some more games and presents! 

Now, on to the good stuff... So, for Christmas, as you all know, my hubby bought us wedding rings as an early gift.  I have a better picture to post now so here they are...
Jesse's Ring

My Ring
Aren't they just gorgeous?  I'm so happy!  Well, as if that wasn't enough, there was a particular present I've wanted for a while now and have been pestering my hubby to death about it.  Surprise!  I actually got it for Christmas even though it cost a small fortune.  Like I said, very spoiled and the best husband EVER!  Wondering what it is or do you know me well enough to know what it would be? ;)  No further delay, here it is...
For those of you who don't know what this is or have been living in a hole (jk - lol), it's a Cricut Imagine, the newest, greatest, coolest machine for crafters EVER invented!  Top of the line, prints, cuts, does everything!  It came with the Imagine More cartridge and all my other Cricut Expression cartridges will work on here too!  I am just the happiest gal alive!  Now, if only I felt well enough to get out of bed to go play with it, that would be even better, but to be honest, just staring at it from my bedroom makes me happy! LOL

Besides all that I got some awesome clothes, stuff from Pampered Chef, an Amazon gift card, and my BFF actually went out shopping on her own for scrapbooking stuff for me (she's not a scrapper).  I am so amazed with what she ended up getting me!  She has awesome taste.  I'll post a picture when I have a chance.  She got me some paper and stamps and jewelry and a book that I've been wanting.  That girl knows me so well, I didn't tell her this was a book I wanted, but it was actually on my order list for Book of the Month club!  It's Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner, one of my favorite authors.  I've loved everything she's ever written!  I made an awesome haul this year, don't cha think?  What a great Christmas!  It's not even close to being over for us though.  I still have presents to make, wrap and send to other family members and friends, and we're still receiving gifts from family and friends!  Yay, I love it when Christmas lasts longer than just the day.  :0)

I have a lot more to share with you guys, but my arms are just hurting so badly right now, that I have to stop.  I will be posting a step by step of what I made for my hubby and some more pics and things either tonight or tomorrow so please check back!

Love you all and thanks for following me!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to wish all my friends a very Merry Christmas.  Hope you are all sleeping, waiting for Santa to come and I hope he brings you everything you want! ;)  I'm going to go to bed and wait patiently til morning myself.  :0)

Love, Peace, Hope and Light,
Amy

Monday, December 20, 2010

Blog Candy Coming Up from Me!!!

Hi everyone!  Help me reach 75 followers and I will be giving away some awesome blog candy. You automatically get one entry just for being a follower.  The second way to earn extra entries is by referring your friends to my site and for each referral you send that becomes a follower, you will get one extra entry.  Please tell your friends to mention you in their comment that way you get the extra entry. The winner (after 75 has been reached) will be picked randomly so the more entries you can get, the better your chances are!  I don't care if you just email your friends or post this on FB, twitter, or your blog, whatever it takes to get ya there! ;)  I would so appreciate your help with this!  All you have to do is send or post my link and tell people why they should check out my blog.  Candy is always great incentive. LOL .  The winner will have a choice of either scrapbooking items or if they are not a crafter, they can choose a $15.00 gift card to Amazon instead!  Thanks friends and good luck!!!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Ok, here are the pics!





Saturday, December 18, 2010

New Plan from the Doc and my Surprise Present!

Hi Wonderful Friends,

Well, I went to the Dr. on Thursday and I've been pretty much on so  many pain meds that I can't even see straight!  Turns out my doctor is not only a pain management specialist, but also a doctor of osteopathy, and he can do trigger point injections!!!  For me, that's like three docs in one!  Thing is, he gave me a chiropractic adjustment, which I haven't had done in a long time and it threw me into a really deep flare.  For those of you who don't know what a flare is, with Fibromyalgia it is where certain things trigger your body into major pain mode and for me, flares generally last a week or so.  My back and neck feel great, but for some reason my shoulders (which is where I have most of my troubles) really acted up (arms and hands too).  I always have pain there, but this is really something!  It will be good in the long run though.  My body was completely out of alignment and had been locked up that way for so long that my shoulders were starting to curl inward and that's just not good!

Also, while I was there we decided to try a different way of managing the pain for now.  We decided to get rid of the Vicodin and try Opana IR (immediate release).  Now, for those of you wanting to try this, most doctors have never even heard of Opana.  It's twice as strong as Oxycontin and a sister drug to Morphine, but still you can function.  At least on the Opana ER (extended release) you can.  So now I take the IR 4 x a day, along with my Opana ER, Lorazepam, Naproxen Sodium, and Citalopram.  I have to tell you though that I have really good insurance, thank goodness.  The Opana ER would be $600 a month and the Opana IR would be $1000 a month!!!  I cannot believe that!  I have taken my first two pills and so far it seems to work a little better than the Vicodin was, but the copay on Vicodin was much cheaper so we'll see.  If it doesn't do too much, my doc said it's a good indicator that Opana is no longer working for me and my next steps might be to do a complete detox (with monitoring and a drug to help me wean given in office either IV or injection).  Then we would start with a clean slate and start over with meds, but I'm pretty darn scared of the detox and I can't imagine being off pain meds for 2 to 3 months!!!  I can't even be off for a minute at the moment, so that seems like a huge step, but at least it's an option.  That is what I went in for, to see what my options were.  If you're wondering why I'm writing all this, I just want everyone who has this to understand some of the options out there for pain management.  It was hard to even find a specialist who understands Fibromyalgia and will listen to my needs.  I got really lucky, but it took a really long time to find him!

On a totally different note (fun stuff now), my husband surprised me with a present last night!  We have been common law married for almost two years now and we don't (didn't :0)) have rings.  I opened my present last night and inside was a BEAUTIFUL diamond ring with pink sapphires!  Even sized down to a 3 1/2, which is still a little big on me, but I'm not takin' it off! LOL  He also had another box with a ring in it for him to wear!  I'm so stoked, now hopefully people will actually believe that we are really married even though we did not have a wedding.  If you look closely at the picture, you will see that it has pink sapphire accents on each side.  Hard to tell from this pic, but I'll take one of my own to post tomorrow.  Just had to show you guys what it looks like now! LOL I just love it and am so happy to have something to wear on my ring finger.  :0)  It's just a temporary one until we can afford something else, but by temporary I mean like 5 years or so! 


Well, I'm off to finish reading some blogs, but I hope you all are well asleep (if you're supposed to be), having fun (if you're not)!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Busy, Busy, Busy

Hello everyone!  How have you all been doing?  Celeste, thank you for the sweet comments.  I so appreciate them.  You are a sweetheart!  I've missed blogging the last few days.  I have been SUPER busy trying to get Christmas card orders done!  Just finished up my sister-in-law's order and got them out in the mail today, now I'm working on a friend's order and plan on having those out tomorrow.  Also, been working on kits for work!  I feel like a chicken with its head cut off.  LOL  I love the holidays, but honestly, I can't wait for them to be over so I can maybe get ready for next year's holidays. LOL  I plan on starting months ahead of time next time, that way if I'm feelin as sick as I have been lately, I won't have to stress so much.  Also, like a dope, I just realized how all this time I could've been just using one or two layouts instead of trying to make each one different! Ha Ha!  I love making everything difficult. :p  Next year, it will be different, I swear! I am grateful for these orders though.  They help me supplement my income a little bit and I love having a great reason to get creative and make things that I otherwise might not get to make.  For instance, children's cards.  I have a nephew in my life, but no little girls so it's awesome that my friends order things for the little girls in their lives cause I have a chance to use pink and princess stuff that I have on hand.  I love girly things and to me, those are the most fun to make.  I've had a great time with all the penguins and reindeer this season though.  They are so cute!  I have so many pictures to post, it's insane!  There were a bunch of challenges I wanted to enter too, but just didn't have time.  :(  Oh well, maybe in January I can start focusing on that a little more.

Fibromyalgia has been taking a toll on me and my best friend lately.  Poor girl is having a hard time handling what it does to me and I feel so bad because I just don't have any answers.  Do any of you that suffer with this or a similar condition have this issue with friends?  Meaning, do you have friends that get so upset because of it and how you have to live, not meaning they're mad at you or anything... My best friend is there for me and not at all angry with me, just angry with this disease, condition, whatever you want to call it.  I'm so bummed because she had so kindly invited me to go to a fun and fancy lunch with another of our friends in Denver today, which is about an hour from where I live.  I was unable to go due to the way I woke up feeling and all the stuff I have to do today.  I even looked up the restaurant and found what I wanted on the menu last night and everything! :(  Having this illness makes things so unpredictable.  You can't plan for 5 minutes ahead, let alone days or weeks ahead, because you just never know how you are going to feel!  I don't even have a clue what it feels like to not have pain.  It's been two years or more now and I have completely forgotten how that feels.  Pain is a part of my life now and it is here every single day.  Not one day of relief.  I have come to accept that, not be defeated by it, but just accept it.  I choose to live my life and be as happy as I can and I don't take anything for granted anymore.  I feel just lucky to be blessed with good friends, family, a wonderful husband, and a roof over our heads, food on the table and enough leftover to do my hobbies!  It's great!  Things could be so much worse and that's what I remind myself of daily.  It's better to live and be happy than to constantly question why I have this and be bitter about it.  I feel I have this for several reasons, the main one being so I can help others who suffer the same thing.  It has brought me so many good things along with the bad and I can see that.  I'm just thankful I can.  I'm glad to have the ability to see the good in something that can be so bad.

Now for the fun stuff... I'm going to post a few cards today and explain a little about them.  Let me know what you think!  All my pics are blurry because I have something wrong with the setting on my camera, btw.  Will have my hubby fix it tonight!

The first one is a card I made custom for my friend for her daughter.  I used paper that I printed from a free file online, cut a reindeer from Create-a-Critter cricut cartridge, cardstock from my stash, stickers from my stash, and red Stickles. I cut the roof line to add a little interest to the card and inked all the edges with brown ink.  I also used a Martha Stewart punch for the snow and diamond Stickles.  I love this card and think it turned out super cute!







Next is a card I made partially from a kit that I purchased at work.  I added my own ribbon and little puffy letters for the "Season's Tweetings".  Please excuse the blurriness of the pic.  Hopefully you can still see it well enough.  If anyone wants the exact brand of anything, just hit me up and I'll get my lazy self out of bed to look at the package. ;)

Hope you all have a super fun crafty day filled with love and luck!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Taylord Concepts Blog Giveaway Til January 5th

This giveaway is AMAZING!  I would encourage all of you to enter.  It's super easy and there is so much stuff that I am not going to take the time to list it all.  Check it out for yourself and good luck!  Just click here.


The picture show is only a fraction of what you could win!!!  Good luck you guys!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Monday, December 13, 2010

Birthday Card for a Friend

Hi all,
I've been in a mess lately with deadlines and pain.  Sorry I've been so bad about blogging!  Thanks so much Celeste, for your sweet, sweet comments.  That means so much to me and another thank you I need to give is to my sweet friend Theresa from Hawaii.  She is a follower here on my blog and I follow hers as well.  She sent me the sweetest package.  A GORGEOUS handmade card made out to me and 4 beautiful handmade cards for me to use this Christmas to send out to my friends.  I am so grateful because I am so far behind I haven't even had time to make my own Christmas cards!  You ladies are just wonderful.  I will be posting pics of the pretty cards Theresa sent to me and the one she wrote out to me will be going in my scrapbook to be preserved forever because it is that beautiful and special!

Today I'm posting a cute little card that I made for a friend's b-day that her husband actually ordered from me.  Hope you like it! 

She has a little Yorkie and she loves ballet so I wanted to combine the two and this is how it turned out.  I wish I didn't have to hand write, but I don't have a printer that would work for custom designing cards so I have to write things sometimes.  I think it still turned out cute though.  The dog was cut from the Create-a-Critter cartridge, along with the word Ruff.  The beautiful ribbon is from Making Memories (Funky Vintage Trims).  The "grace" word was made from punch out letters, have the company info, but not on hand.  The little ballet dancer is a stamp that I got from Michael's as part of a set in the $1 bin.

Back to Christmas cards I go!  I have to work tomorrow so I pray that the pain I'm having in my arms will go away by then.  It's hindering me from doing anything! 

Hope you all have a fantastic day.

Much love,
Amy Jo

Friday, December 10, 2010

New Followers

Hi Everyone,
I just really want to say welcome to all my new followers and thank you for choosing to follow my blog and follow along with my life and my creations.  I am so happy to have you all here, new and old alike!  Hope you all are having a fantastic day (night now) and have had a fun day filled with doing things you love.  I have been in tons of pain again, today, and haven't really accomplished very much, but I do have good intentions! LOL

Sorry to keep this blog so short, but my fingers actually ache today and I am unable to chat as much as I'd like.  I am working on a cute little reindeer card tonight and will post it as soon as it's done.  It's a special one from a mother to her daughter and she is picking it up tomorrow so I better get on it!

Love to you all,

Amy Jo

P.S.  The picture I posted of Lexi (check blog post) has been chosen for publication, but I have to purchase the book in which it is to be published, so BUMMER scam city.  :(  I mean, I could still get it published, but it would cost like $60!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Blogoversary RAK from My Madkow - Click This Header

This is an awesome giveaway!  If you choose to partake, please let them know where you came from so I can get an extra entry too! 

Have fun!

Weekly Goings On

Hi all,

Hope everyone is in the holiday spirit by now and having fun baking, crafting and shopping!  I have been busy making cards and when I get a bunch done, I will be posting them all on here.  So stoked to finally be making some progress!  I just got another order today from a great friend and have to step it up a bit for sure!  Still running behind on my kitting for Capture.  Gotta get that done tomorrow so I can be a lot less stressed.  I am working on some beautiful card kits and a 4 page LO kit for work (x15).  They make the most gorgeous kits and I almost always end up buying every one!  It's hard to kit them and not want to buy one for myself!

I am looking for some inexpensive containers for bath salts to give as gifts and to sell.  Does anyone have any great ideas on where I can get some?  Went to Joann's, but the plastic ones were $3.00 a piece and that's just way more than I want to pay for the quality and size that they were.  Plus I need a quantity of at least 12.  Any ideas would be much appreciated!

I don't know if you guys have noticed, but there are a TON of blog hops, giveaways and challenges going on right now.  There's a list of at least 10 that I wanted to get involved in before the end of the week.  I need to have a clone or two to help me out with this or maybe just some Christmas elves, you know, Santa's helpers!  If you guys could send some my way, that would be fantastic! LOL

I am so busy working on projects for other people that I have no idea if/when I can get my own done.  I'm the one in the family who does all the hookups for all the other family members as far as ordering gifts, wrapping them, getting all the credit card info and doing their personal shopping.  It's always been this way and I don't mind, but it sure takes a lot of time!  I think my Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) has been kicking in overtime lately.  Yes, I have that in addition to my FMS, but they really just blur together normally for me.  This week has been rough though. Just seem to be tired all the time, but at all the wrong times.

I would love to hear what you all have been doing in preparation for the holidays and would also love to know where you all will be spending your holidays and with whom, so if you get a chance, please leave me a comment or shoot me an email.  I really do love hearing about other people and what is going on with them.  I'd love to get to know more about my beloved followers. :0)

Have a good night everyone.  I'm off to some hops!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Days and Nights are All Confused!

Hi there folks!  Well my body's all confused about when to sleep so I'm back to my "vampire" stage as my husband calls it. Muah hah hah.. >;0)  No, I really wish I could stay on track, but my system is just off lately.  I don't know if it's the weather change or what exactly, but I will deal the best I know how and that is by getting up now and getting to work!  I still have a zillion cards to make and kits to kit!  Will be posting some pics and recipes for my cards very soon!  Thanks for hangin in there with me and I'll be back to chat either later this morning or tonight!  Hope everyone is getting rest and snoring soundly. Lol

XO ~ Amy Jo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Monday, December 6, 2010

Creating the Hive

Hello my wonderful friends!  How is everybody doing today?  I'm pretty sore and run down after my little party yesterday, but I'm in great spirits!  I have found this awesome website Creating the Hive and had no idea that something like this even existed.  The specific link I have posted here is for people who love to craft, but live with chronic pain like myself!  However, once you get to the site, you can click around and join all the groups (you don't have to have an illness, it's a site for ALL crafters).  Talk about a fun site!  I'm loving it and so excited to get as involved as I can! 

Well, I just got interrupted by the doorbell (UPS man) and I'll tell ya, that sure brightened my day even more!  Yes, I know it's Christmas time and you're supposed to be buying gifts for others (and I have), but I really go off the one for you, one for me type of shopping policy. LOL ;)  Sooooo, I got in a bunch of fun stuff from scrapbook.com (1st order from them) and really they do an awesome job of packaging everything together so it's all organized when you get it.  They even put the small paper packs in a reusable colored gift bag and same with the stamps I bought.  I love it when places are eco-friendly and do little extra special things like that so 5 stars for scrapbook.com!  I will post some pics of all my new stuff soon.  Most of it I truly did buy to create Christmas cards and gifts so I don't have any buyer's remorse! LOL  Got some super cute stuff!

I bought an amazing printer's tray to create a Halloween in Wonderland theme with.  I saw it on someones blog and I'm going to make a similar thing.  It was the coolest decorative item ever!  I had no idea you can do so much with paper!  The more tutorials I watch, the more amazed I am and the more inspired I become.  Now, if only my body would cooperate with my enthusiasm!  The weather is cloudy today and I'm pretty sure that's why I'm feeling so out of it.  I have to go in to work later and there are kits that HAVE to be done by tomorrow evening at the latest so I'm really hoping my pain levels drop and my energy levels rise.

I'm going to the doctor tomorrow bright and early (yuck) so wish me luck!  I have to go in to chat with him about the levels of  pain meds I'm on and how they still are not working enough for me.  I have a plan of action, but it's going to be difficult to get him on board, I fear.  I will let you all know if anything new gets achieved.  My advice to people going through this is to make sure you make yourself heard.  You need to get your point across and don't let the doc disregard what you have to say and how you feel.  That's what you are paying them for... to provide a service to you!

Better get myself in gear over here.  It takes me forever just to get dressed and decent looking! LOL

Thanks for stopping by and have an awesome day!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pampered Chef Party

Hi Everyone,

My Pampered Chef party is tomorrow, but closes about 3 days after that.  If there's anything you need, please click on the header of this post and it will take you directly there to my actual show.  They have some great gifts!  Thanks for your support of my party.  If you do make a purchase from my party, please let me know by commenting!

XO ~ Amy Jo

My First Holiday Cards

Hi Friends!  I finally got all fired up today and had some energy to start on my holiday projects.  I went over to The Creative Cottage and downloaded their awesome freebie to start creating some cards that my awesome sister-in-law has ordered. She placed an order for 22 cards so this is just the very beginning.  Hop on over to that link and get these adorable digital downloads for free!  I had no idea how much fun digital downloads could be!  Enjoy!


Pretty simple, but I thought they turned out cute!

XO ~ Amy Jo

It is a night of giveaways for my awesome followers - Click this header

This is what you could win if you click the main header for this blog and follow the simple instructions!  It's worth a shot.  I've already one some blog candy by doing this and I hope my followers will be as luck as me!

XO

Best Giveaway EVER!!! Over $400 worth of DCWV products. Click this header to enter!

They give you 8 chances to enter to win.  Be sure to do them all and good luck everyone!
XO

Vote For Lexi and Help Me Win $1000!

If I win and you help me get there, I will send out some RAKs to 5 lucky followers.  All you have to do is click the header to get to the voting site, fill out a little info, then leave me a comment letting me know you voted!  This is my pitbull, Lexi.  Isn't she cute? :0)

XO ~ Amy Jo

Friday, December 3, 2010

Some New Cards


Well I have been really slacking in the crafty department so I thought I'd try to catch up a little!  Here are a few cards I've made recently...  And I just realized, I might have already posted these! LOL - Blame it on the Vicodin if you've seen these before.  ;0) The first one was a custom made card for a friend for her husband's b-day.  He loves rock climbing so that is the theme I went with!  I bought the paper at my work http://www.shopcapture.com/ and the stickers from Michael's.  I also used cinnamon Stickles for some of the words and the Happy Birthday came from a stash I bought from an online auction.  The stickers on the side are actually little Caribeaner stickers.  So cute!

The second card was created for my sister-in-law's b-day.  Most of the stuff I used came from some eBay auctions! LOL  I'm hooked on buying scrapbooking lots off of eBay.  Talk about a fun (and very addictive) pastime!  You can get some great deals and my friend Julie B. has the best mixed lots ever!  You can find her on ebay as craftyhappy.  She is THE best and has a new store in Utah.  If any of you live there, let me know and I'll hook you up!  The letters that spell out LISA are from around http://www.aroundtheblockproducts.com/.  They are soooo cute! The bling flower is from Me and My Big Ideas.  Ribbon is from my stash.  The glittery paper is from my work.  The pink cheetah paper is from Me and my Big Ideas.  Cupcake sticker is from K&Company and is a very cute pop up glittery sticker.  Pictures of course do not do it justice.  The saying is actually a little card stock sticker from a pack I have on-hand.  And there you have it!

I hope you all have a super fun day and happy crafting!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Just a quick hello...

Hey friends!  Just wanted to say a quick hello tonight and let you all know, I've been sleeping most of the day and working on kitting most of the night.  I have a ton of cards left to kit for work, but I wanted to mention that I won some blog candy on Upstate Ramblings!  It's my first blog candy win ever and I'm so excited!  Please click on their button at the bottom of my blog to enter some of their super easy contests.  If I can win, so can you!  I won a year's subscription to a new online service for home organization through software called About One.  Can't wait to give it try!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

New Reasons to Keep Going

Hello friends!  Today has been an interesting day of people reaching out and friends crawling out of the woodwork!  I am so thankful to have so many awesome people in my life.  I have been making friends and finding people who have the same condition as me or the same hobby as me like crazy today and I must say, I feel mentally so much better than I did this morning.  Thanks to all of you for keeping me going.  I woke up in a funk, with a ton of pain as usual and I really had just a negative mindset, but that has all changed after getting calls and emails and just really checking out all the fun scrapbooking blogs out there.  I can't do much with my hobby right now due to the pain so it really helps to have all these awesome sites to go to on the Net.  The other thing about it is it makes me realize that there are really truly caring, loving, wonderful people out there and when you're home all the time by yourself, sometimes you forget that.  I definitely feel distanced sometimes from the real world so it helps to have all these great resources.  For those of you looking for some great scrapbooking blogs, hit me up and I can direct you to all my faves! 

I was thinking today about learning how to create some video tutorials to post on my blog.  I will get my super techy husband to help me with that if you would like!  Shoot me some feedback please because I would like to know what kind of videos you would like to see.  The best blogs usually have them and I want to be one of the best for sure!

I am working on a few projects, slowly but surely, and I thought it would be a good idea to post the info here so I can hold myself accountable and you all can get on my case if I start lagging behind! LOL - I have started a tray for bed (a bed & breakfast type thing) and I am having a hard time deciding where to go with it.  I painted it black with metallic blue glittered edges and was going to do the Halloween in Wonderland theme b/c I love Alice in Wonderland, but I already bought a hanging tray thingy to do that with.  My next thought was something Harry Potter, but I'm not super keen on that idea (cause I want to make a Harry Potter monster book instead) so I need some help!  Something that would go with black, metallic blue and kind of a darker theme.  I'll post a pic either tonight or tomorrow so you all can see what I'm talking about.

Well, my arms are getting really sore so I better go, but thanks for listening to me ramble on and I hope all of you are having a wonderful, fun day and are able to do the things you love!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Monday, November 29, 2010

#3 Happy Scrappers Top Sites

Hi friends!  Thanks so much for voting for me on the little link on my page.  I have made it to #3 and I can't believe it!  I am so excited!!!  I started this blog, never expecting that people would actually read it (LOL) so to make it to #3 on this list is just too cool!

I am still having a TON of Fibro pain, but it is very slightly getting better by the day.  I have to go in to work today, but only for a half an hour so I'm excited that I can actually get out of bed to do that!  Also, I'm doing some online Cyber Monday shopping today.  My website www.beyoungeo.com/amyknight is having a 20% storewide sale today on all products!  Check it out, you might find some great gift goodies.  I certainly have.  I plan on stocking up on my essential oils so I can make some awesome bath salts and custom blends to sell and give as gifts.  Let me know if you're interested!

While I'm here I wanted to post a card that I created.  This one was made for a friend's birthday.  I just love the way it turned out!  I love it when I get to use my Cricut.  It just makes my day so much better! :0)  I used pearl stickles, cutouts, Bo Bunny buttons, and a pretty little pink ribbon.  This was a super fun one to make and, in fact, I think I'm going to go make some cards right now!  I'm inspired!

Have a great day everyone!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Another Great Giveaway - Just Click This Header!

Thank You Card & Morning Ponderings

Good morning Friends!  Wow, this is a first, I think.  I am never up in the morning.  Trick is, I took two sleeping pills last night.  Actually, I'm not really sure they worked well as far as putting me to sleep b/c I was still up til 2 something in the morning, but I stayed asleep once I was there.  I am up now and can't seem to go back to sleep, even though I'd love to!  My pain levels are still super high and it's been quite the rough go for a while.  It doesn't seem to be easing up at all so tomorrow is a doctor call day.  Wish me luck!  I am actually considering trying to get to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona because I can't think of anything else that I haven't tried.  In the meantime, I'm going to find someone to give me trigger point injections (those have helped before), although they are really painful, and also I need to find a good acupuncturist.  I have to give that a try too.  If I could get out of bed, I'd try some tai chi and some Qigong b/c I've heard those help a lot with chronic pain conditions.  The key is getting out of bed!

I made some progress last night and actually was able to get out of bed and create a card for my brother's birthday.  The card posted below is not it, however. LOL  The card I have posted today is a Thank You card I created and sold to a friend.  That reminds me, I need to get my Etsy shop really up and running.  I do have a few things on there, but not enough to really call it a "store".  You can look me up under Amy'sWay in the sellers search section.  There is no space between Amy's and Way. 

My sweet sister-in-law placed a wonderful order with me for Christmas cards.  She wants 22!  I am stoked and can't wait to feel better so I can get to work on them.  I have so many ideas, I only wish I had the new Jolly Holidays Cricut Lite cartridge.  :(  Can't find one anywhere for a decent price.  Ebay has 'em, but they keep going for around $40.00!

I have another dilemma and I'm hoping for your help!  I need a box in the shape of a book, made out of either MDF or chipboard, but not really wood, even though I'd take wood if that's all I can find.  I hear you can find them at Michael's, however, I can't get out of the house to get there, so I was hoping to find one online!  I've looked EVERYWHERE!!!  I can't think of what to search for other than "box shaped like book" or "book shaped box".  I've been searching for the past few days and it's driving me nuts so if anyone has any thoughts please let me know!  Also, if anyone happens to go to Michael's and spot one, please note the price for me!  If it's reasonable, maybe I can get myself out of bed and down there to pick one up.  I'd appreciate any help on this! :o)

Has anyone noticed how many awesome scrapbooking blog hops are going on right now?  I just LOVE those!  I hope to be picked someday to participate in one.  That is my goal!  For now, I will give you a little info on the card below and how I created it...

Recipe:

Yellow card stock cut to 4"x5 1/2"
The pretty blue part is actually a really sturdy kind of poster board thick sticker from TPC Studio.  I attached it with two yellow brads from Bo Bunny, then used a vellum sticker from a stack of vellum sticker quotes from DCWV and stuck it to the same yellow card stock, then pop dotted it.  I Cricuted the word "thanks" (not sure which cart I used) in black card stock and used black card stock behind the main sticker as well.  Easy peasy!!! 


Hope you all have a great morning and I'll be back soon! 
XO ~ Amy Jo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Shoppy, Shoppy, Fun, Fun

Hello my lovely friends.  How many of you went out into the crazy crowds today and if you did, why in the hell didn't you just shop online like me? ;0) LOL  JK, I wish I could've gotten to Walmart (the one place I NEVER shop) b/c they are the only place with the new Cricut Lite cartridges for sale.  I got online in the wrong spot, so I didn't find them until they were all sold out.  :(  I am so bummed about that, but I had a BLAST shopping on Joann's directly from my website www.amyjrockstar.com .  They have some great deals and they're goin on all weekend!  If anyone wants coupon codes (if you shop through my site), I'll be happy to get them to ya.  Unfortunately, online, they won't combine coupon codes so you can either get 15% off your whole order, free shipping after $35.00, or 50% off one item.  I chose the free shipping!  I'm going to finish up my order tomorrow and I will post what I'm getting. 

I just watched the coolest video for those of us who just aren't that great at making bows.  It's from another blog, but I'm going to see if she minds if I post it over here for you all to see.  It's the reason I got onto Joann's in the first place.  I finished my shopping this morning until I watched that video and found that awesome bow making tool!  Then, I started all over again! :p  Well, it was fun and I really didn't spend too much.

Also shopped at Kohl's, Old Navy & Gap, and Charlotte Russe, where I got the most stuff  My sweet hubby bought me some great clothes from Kohl's.  It was fun and got to do it all from bed while on massive doses of pain meds!  Don't worry.  I will be calling my doctors on Monday to see what to do.  And thank you for all your prayers, btw.  I appreciate it so much!

Hope you all had a super fun day and got some awesome goodies.  I really want to know what everyone bought, so please post those comments!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all my friends!  I am so blessed to have you all as readers, followers, and friends.  It just makes every day so much fun and gives me so much to look forward to.  I look forward to reading comments and seeing if I have any new followers each day.  When I can't sleep in the middle of the night, this puts me at ease and helps relieve my stress.  Everybody needs an outlet and this is mine.  So thank you all for reading and giving me a reason to write.  Soon I will be giving away some BLOG CANDY of my own!  I just have to figure out how I wanna go about it. ;)

I've been slacking a bit on the blog and I'll tell you why.  I have been in the worst pain I can remember since last year around this time.  Must be the weather.  :p  We were so lucky as to be invited to a friend's family dinner today and I got all ready to go (even curled my hair), but about 10 minutes before we were set to leave, I got hit with a HUGE amount of pain that just doubled me over and I couldn't move, hardly breathe, couldn't even think straight.  I had to call my friend and tell her that we wouldn't be able to make it today.  I felt so bad for my poor hubby.  What a Thanksgiving for him.  :(  At least we have each other though and things could always be worse, right?  Our wonderful friends were so nice about the whole thing.  They are actually bringing us dinner!  How fantastic is that?  So lucky!  But this is why I haven't been posting as many creative things, etc.  because I just am so sick.  I haven't gotten out of bed in 3 days, except to go to the bathroom. LOL  My husband has had to take off of work to take care of me and I am so glad he works at a job that is understanding and tolerant of these things.  A lot of people don't have it as good as we do and I am thankful for his job and boss and so much more.  Today is the day of thinking about what you're thankful for and my list could go on for a mile!  In fact, I am going to journal my list, but I won't bore you with it here. LOL

Thank you all, again, for being here with me.  I truly hope you have a wonderful day whether you celebrate Thanksgiving or not and don't forget to take the time out and really think about the wonderful things in your life and all the blessings you have received.  I am thankful for you all. :0)

Happy Thanksgiving!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One Stop Shopping at My Store

Hi all, please check out my website for your holiday shopping needs.  No sense battling with everyone on Friday when you can stop at my website and get stuff from tons of different retailers or custom, made to order cards, bath salts, gift tags, whatever you may need created.  I use the finest essential oils for my bath salts.  I can also make massage oils, lotions and oil blends to use either in your bath, diffuser, or as a perfume!  I don't have them listed.  I make them based off of what people are needing, such as menstrual cramp formulas, sleep formulas, aphrodisiacs, muscle relaxing, anti fungal/antibacterial w/tea tree oil and many more.  I have studied the properties of these oils for a long time and can make something guaranteed to please everyone!  Go to www.amyjrockstar.com and you will have several shopping options!  Click on Amy'sWay for skin care, beauty, household, gift cards, health products, energy products, etc.  Click on Partner Stores and see all of my affiliates such as Best Buy, Joann's, Sears, Bass Pro Shops, Magazines, Office Depot and soooo many more.  If you shop through my site you get special shipping discounts and other deals that most people will not get!!!  It'so worth checking out.  Click on Custom Creations and you will see just a few of the things I can custom make.  If you can think it, I can make it, for a super reasonable price and get it out to you as soon as you need it.  I'd love to do some custom salts and custom cards/tags, etc. for people for the holidays.  I LOVE to create and really want to boost my business.  In fact, for each person you refer (who places an order with me), you will get 10% off your next order!  If you refer 10 friends who place an order with me, you will get 10% off your next 10 orders and so on, so forth!  Not a bad deal!  Also, after clicking the Amy'sWay tab, we have an AWESOME program called the Ribbon program that you can pull up. It's basically a bunch of different gift cards, with the price already set, for specific groups of items.  For instance, you can buy a Pampering Gift card.  What happens with that is you give it to the recipient and they log on and can choose one item from a number of awesome gifts related to pampering yourself.  It's much more personal than just a $ gift card and very unique!  We have cards for men, children, kitchen specific, jewelry specific, anything you can think of!!!  Please check it out and consider doing your holiday shopping with Amy'sWay at www.amyjrockstar.com.  I take care of my clients and you are guaranteed awesome products at great prices with the best customer service possible!
XO ~ Amy Jo

P.S.  Let me know if you've checked it out and need help with placing an order.  Any of the cards you see I can create if you're interested in the ones I've posted.

Awesome Giveaway, Check it Out!!!

Blogger Down

Hi Friends,
I am going through a really hard time right now. For some odd reason, my Fibro has decided to go full blown flare since yesterday at 7:30 in the morning and it just won't quit.  I almost went to the hospital, the pain was so bad.  I had to actually call my husband home from work to take care of me, because I couldn't even reach my pill bottles and my water.  I had a hard time last winter like this and I am so scared that it might be back again just like that.  Right now it's 3:40 in the morning and I've been awake for at least an hour now, in almost as much pain as yesterday.  I must say, I'm pretty scared at the moment.  I am having pain literally from my head to my toes.  It is in EVERY bone and muscle in my body, even my cheek bones and my finger tips!  It's a super squeezy, achy feeling and it won't relent.  I can't craft, I can't think, all I can do is wait til the next time I can take my slew of meds.  I have been crying and crying and crying, which is not like me at all.  I am going to call my pain mgt. specialist first thing in the morning and see what he suggests.  I really hope I don't have to go to the hospital for this.  Does anyone out there have any suggestions?

It's unbelievable how much scrapbooking keeps me sane!  It's all I wanted to do yesterday even though I couldn't move! LOL  - So I grabbed a bunch of my scrapbook magazines and looked through them for future ideas and just to keep my mind off of things.  I wish I had something cool to show you that I've made, but I just don't have the energy right now  to sort through my photos and post one.  I will as soon as I'm back on my game.  Maybe sooner cause it's so important to me to keep both parts of my blog up.  For those of you who are here just for the scrapbooking stuff, I apologize.  Please bare with me.  I'll get back on my game soon!

On a side note, my step dad is doing well and returned from the hospital yesterday!  He's up and about and feeling surprisingly good.  Yay!  Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers.

I have to go now, even though I don't want to, b/c the pain is becoming excruciating again.  Wish me luck and I'll be back soon.

XO ~ Amy Jo

Monday, November 22, 2010

Stylish Blogger Award

I am so stoked I have won the Stylish Blogger Award!!! One wonderful lady awarded me with the Stylish Blogger award. Thanks to awesome Theresa over at Juicy Creations http://juicycricutcards.blogspot.com/

Now this award comes with some Rules.....
1. Thank the person who awarded you
2.Share 8 things about yourself
3.pay it forward to 8 bloggers that you have recently discovered.
4.Contact bloggers and tell them about their award!

Here are 8 things about ME :)
1. I currently am not working from Fibromyalgia, which allows me to stay home and do all the crafting I can when I feel good enough to.
2. I used to work as an office manager and made excellent income before the illness started two years ago.  Have had many lifestyle changes.
3. I used to LOVE going out drinking and dancing and now I'm so happy to be home with my hubby, dogs, pig and all my crafts!
4. I have no self control when it comes to buying scrap booking stuff.  Instead of choosing one or the other, I just get both!
5. I have the best friends and family in the world. I am so blessed with a wonderful support system.
6. The next place I live will be Hawaii.
7. My father passed away 7 years ago.
8. My entire family have always been entrepreneurs and I follow suit.  We have worked together in many business, my family and I.  I made signs with my brother for over 9 years!

Ok now here are the 8 bloggers I chose. In no order..
1. Momo http://madebymomo.blogspot.com/
2. Rachel http://backporchcreations.blogspot.com/
3.  Kyle http://thegreencricut.blogspot.com/
4.  Heather http://miraclesmommadesigns.blogspot.com/
5.  Wendy http://disneydarling07.blogspot.com/
6.  Debbie http://craftydeb-ddscrafts.blogspot.com/
7.  Kassidy http://www.inkingitupcrazy.blogspot.com/
8.  Sarah http://www.pinkcricut.com/

Thanks again Theresa and to the girls who have won the award I will be contacting you!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

3:43 AM and the Clock's Still Ticking

Hi friends, followers,and loved ones.  I'm having a fitful night of sleeping, so here I am.  Been blog hopping for a while (scrap booking blogs of course!) and must say, they are a lifesaver!  Who knew the world of blogging could actually be very good for the soul!  I can't believe I've only recently figured out what all the fuss is about.  Better late than never, right?  Well, as you can imagine (if you read my earlier post), I'm super worried about my step dad and my poor mom.  Talk about stressful.  He's in ICU still and they sent my mom home because he can't have any visitors right now, he's in that critical of a condition.  Turns out he had a MASSIVE heart attack and it's Amazing he's still alive!  They said he needs to lose 75 lbs and do a major dietary overhaul and I'm so worried that he won't do it.  You know how stubborn men are! :p  He LOVES his huge steaks and huge amounts of food.  Not a grilled chicken and veggies man at all if you know what I mean.  I'm supposed to go to my mom's for Thanksgiving and that has me nervous too, because we are supposed to be having major winter storms over the mountains for the next few days and, of course, we have to go over all the scary mountains to get there.  6 hours in good weather!  This is part of why I can't sleep... the other part is   I have been developing a cold or something the last few days.  Sore throat like crazy!  Also, my shoulder is REALLY acting up and just won't give it a rest.  I've taken enough pain killers to knock out a horse so I can't consume any more, safely.  Just gonna have to deal with it!  Husband and dogs have taken over the bed and are happily snoring away.  It's actually a pretty cute sight.  We only have a queen sized bed and two pit bulls, my husband, myself and about 1000 pillows so I can get somewhat comfortable doesn't leave much room to even lie straight!  We do kick the dogs out most of the time, but I wanted some snuggles tonight with my girl, Lexi.  She is the huggiest dog I've ever seen!  Loves that in time of sadness.

I have another card making project to work on, and am looking forward to doing that sometime today.  I also realized I had a tiny bit left on my HSN credit card so I ordered a scoring board and the awesomest goo punch from Martha Stewart.  I have been looking for that baby everywhere!  And, they were both on sale.
How cool is that?  They should be in, in a few days and I'll be able to make snow for trees, awesome boxes that stack and all kinds of cool stuff.  Check out the scoring board video on HSN if you get a chance.  It's pretty darn nifty!  Never knew I needed one til I saw the video! LOL

Well all, I better get back to my blog hop.  Just thought I'd pop in since I'm up!

Love and Light and all that stuff!
Xo ~ Amy Jo

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Is This Really my Life?

Hi everyone.  So I get a call from my mom this morning at 8:00 and I instantly knew something was wrong, because we just had a discussion yesterday that I don't wake up at least until 1:00 in the afternoon.  Needless to say, I got 0 sleep last night and was really not wanting to answer that phone.  Well i did and found out my step dad had a heart attack and was being transferred to a better hospital urgently.  My poor mom!  He had been having chest pain and real trouble breathing, which isn't unusual for him as he frequently gets infections and pneumonia so they waited until this morning to bring him in.  Good thing they did, because it looked like he had already had one heart attack!  They raced him to St. Mary's in Grand Junction and last I heard, he had surgery and a splint put in his heart.  He is in ICU and I know nothing else so please send some good thoughts our way.  Thank you.  I am EXHAUSTED!  I of course, couldn't go back to sleep after that and am going on I don't know how many hours of no sleep, Lorazepam and the beginning of a cold and super sore throat for not only me, but my husband as well!  :[ Such a sad day.

I have to share something pretty with you and then I'm going to go create something pretty to make myself feel better and make myself stop moping!  So here it is... A card I created for my step dad's b-day just a few days ago  I used the cricut and two-toned the stars and popped them up.  I antiqued them and added Stickles to the center.  Love the way they turned out and he loved it too.  Enjoy  and I'll keep you all posted!

Much Love,
XO ~ Amy Jo

Friday, November 19, 2010

A Little Bit Nostalgic

Good evening all my beautiful friends and followers.  Hope you all had wonderful day today.  Mine didn't begin until around 1:45 this afternoon, when I woke up from my 12 hour nap. :p  You know, it's amazing how much sleep I actually get sometimes, yet I still feel like I could just sleep on.  If I didn't have SO much to do, I would love to just do that sometime.  Just sleep until it feels like I've slept enough.  Is it possible? 

I spent a good 4 hours on the phone with friends while cutting and creating kits for work and finishing up Thanksgiving cards for my friend, who so nicely hired me to make them. :0)  I love making cards and doing the things that I love and getting rewarded by actually getting paid for them!  Talk about a blessing!  It's awesome. 

I am also getting ready to throw a Pampered Chef party so if anyone is interested or needs anything for the holidays from Pampered Chef, please let me know so I can add it to my party totals.  I'd greatly appreciate that!  You can hit up my consultant's website at Janell's Pantry and enter my name as the hostess, Amy Courchaine.  They have some awesome stuff out right now and actually, I was surprised to find that the prices are not bad at all!  I haven't had a PC party in like 8 years or so and it looks like the prices are pretty much the same!  They have some things that I absolutely must have in my kitchen.  In fact, most of the stuff in my kitchen is from PC and obviously I've had it for a long time!  I'll be ordering some of their stoneware and some of their great gadgets for sure.  The party is on December 5th and items ordered from my party are promised to be at your house in time for Christmas.  So fun!

On another note, I am posting one of the cards I've created.  This was made for a friend who also purchases her cards from me, for one of her friends who does quilting.  I thought a patchwork card was definitely in order.  The buttons are just stickers and the cream colored squares were textured with my Texture Boutique.  I had so much fun on this and it was super easy.  I cut the squares from my old school original Sizzix.  Worked fantastic for this!  I added a couple of ties too.

I must say, I'm really missing scrapbooking, with all this card making I've been doing.  My mom told me a great story today about a great uncle of mine who died in 1946 in the war.  She actually has the original letter that was sent to his wife from the military, informing her of his death.  She is going to get that to me so I can scrapbook it and put with a picture or two of him, in my album.  I was thinking today, how sad I am that I can barely remember the wonderful stories my grandma used to tell me about when she was a little girl back in the early 1900's.  I'm also very sad that I didn't ask my dad enough before he passed away.  He was a cop back in Chicago (only white guy on the force at the time!!!) before i was born and I didn't get to hear most of his stories.  You know when you're a kid or a teenager, you just aren't that interested in listening to your parent's stories? Well, I really regret that now, so if you still have your parents or your grandparent's take the time to listen to their stories and, better yet, write them down or tape record them so you'll always have them and your kids will know where they came from.  I seriously doubt I'll ever have children, but I will pass on my scrapbooks to my nephew or my cousins.  Someone will treasure them as much as I do.

On  to the fibro side of things... Thank you all for your wishes for my friend.  I know she will be reading this and appreciating all of your support.  I have had a long bout of feeling just sick lately.  Constantly sick!  Sick to my stomach, headaches, body aches, insomnia, sleeping too much, pretty much everything you can have go wrong at once.  I don't know what's triggering this so badly, except for the weather, but it's actually been nice the past few days.  This is tough.  It gets hard sometimes.  I try to stay as positive as I can.  I believe in the power of positivity, but there are times when it just gets rough.  Luckily, I only feel like that for five minutes at a time here and there.  I never let myself go more than that because I don't want my life to be full of despair and I don't want to be a person who is always "oh, woe is me".  I am tired though and sometimes I need to vent, so here it is...  This disorder, I would not wish on my worst enemy.  It is debilitating, life altering, and earth shattering.  You think and you think and you think, this has to go away, I can't ALWAYS be in pain, but so far, it hasn't.  I have pain EVERY SINGLE DAY of my life and have for the past two years!!!  I cannot remember what it feels like to not have pain.  I have no clue.  That is the reality of it and this is what I'm dealing with.  It's scary sometimes.  Sometimes you honestly feel like, my gosh, am I dying or something?  How the hell can a person survive this?  But I do.  We do. It does not kill us though some days we wish it might.

On that note, to all my fellow sufferers, it's ok to have those days.  Don't feel guilty, but limit it.  Don't let it consume you.  You still have tons to offer and a life worth living.  It is not your fault.  You did not wish this and you don't deserve it.  We are all here to learn, and this disorder, condition, disease (whatever you want to call it) will teach.  It seems like an F'd up way to learn, but we do learn from this and we are here to help other people who tend to take life for granted, including ourselves.  Just remember that.

Love and light to you all.
XO ~ Amy Jo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Thanksgiving Card #1

Hello awesome friends!  I have only a second, but wanted to share the first really cute Thanksgiving card I've done.  I have others, but this is done with my new Cricut cartridge, Simply Charmed.  I have some MAJOR deadines right now so I have to go, but enjoy the pic!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Paybacks for Eating Poorly

Oh God, for those of you who read my last post, if I am EVER craving chicken nuggets again, make me stop!!!!  Dire, horrible awful pain!  I think I might keel over any second now.  My WHOLE body aches after eating and my stomach as acting weird enough to scare me.  In so much pain I think I might actually cry!  For future refernce, if you have a craving like that IGNORE it!  Aaaaaahhhhh!  Send some prayers my way please.

Gnite all.

Insomnia and Funky Cravings

Good evening all.  Hopefully, most of you are asleep like normal people.  I am up with my horrible middle of the night cravings, and no, I'm not pregnant.  My  hubby is sweet enough to go to McD's to get me some Chicken McNuggets which are totally bad for me.  My craving is making me sick enough that I feel like if I don't get some chicken right now, I will throw up.  However, when I get the chicken, it will make my stomach hurt and make me feel like throwing up as well, so I really don't know which is better (or worse)!  Does anyone else out there with fibro get these random cravings all the time yet still feel sick to their stomach?  Ugh, so frustrating! And most all of my cravings come in the middle of the night when it's absolutely inconvenient.  This is part of why I could never go back to a small town.  Whatever would I do? LOL

On another note, I had a fun time with my brand new book group.  There were only three of us, but we got a lot accomplished and a book picked out for this month.  It is Here be Dragons by Sharon K. Penman.  I heard lots of good things and can't wait to start.  This will be part of my nightly winding down ritual for the next month.  It was nice to have the girls over and just chill at my house.  I love being hostess!

I worked on absolutely nothing crafty today and the orders are piling up!  Tomorrow is a big day of crafting for me.  Luckily, I have no other plans at all.  I will be staying home, in my PJs, using all my new tools and goodies.  I am stoked and have a bunch of cute ideas for Thanksgiving cards and Christmas stuff.  How's everyone doing on their Christmas shopping/gift making?  I started my list tonight as to what I want to get everyone and that's as far as I am right now.  After Thanksgiving though, it's on! ;)

I don't feel like getting my camera out right now so I don't have any pictures for you tonight.  I'll try to get on that tomorrow....

I spoke with a really good friend of mine today and I am so worried that she has my symptoms, in essence, I think she might be developing Fibromyalgia.  I am sooooooo concerned.  She's having tingling and pain in her hands, which is exactly how mine started.  She's also having overwhelming fatigue and a sore body no matter what she does.  All she wants to do is lie down and she is depressed, but this is beyond depression.  My advice to her and to others out there to start doing the process of elimination, especially if you have no medical insurance, is to start by eliminating certain foods from your diet, cutting your activities by at least half, and allowing your body to rest when it's begging you to.  Most importantly, allow your body to rest and DON'T feel guilty or that you are being lazy.  It is not something you can control!  I still have to tell myself this some days.  I have the guilt factor for sure and if I'm not doing a million things at once, I feel like a useless slug and it's very hard to cope with.  Self forgiveness and understanding is KEY!

On that note, friends, please pray (if you do) for my friend and let's hope she doesn't have this horrible, life altering, disorder.

Thank you all and goodnight.

XO ~ Amy Jo

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hi there!  This is a good basic article for people trying to understand a bit about fibromyalgia.  Please read!  5 Fibro Myths and Facts

Ahh, it's a beautiful day when you are able to get out of bed!

Hello fun friends and followers.  How is everyone doing today?  I hope you all like my new layout.  I was bored last night. LOL. Please take a moment to vote for me if you haven't already.  I'd really appreciate it!  Trying to move up in the blogging world.  I had a rough night again last night...up til 3:00 again. :p  Got up this afternoon at around 1:45 and got myself up and around and went off to work a little early.

So out of all that stuff I bought, there were a few things I couldn't find anywhere.  I looked online even.  So I go into work today and what do I find?  The EXACT things I was looking for even though last week they didn't even carry these items!  I couldn't believe it!  Our little shop rocks.  I had so much fun there today.  I took home three different kitting projects to work on this week for some credit and I picked up a few kits for myself to play with when I have free time.  I have a pile of (no joke) about 20 or so unfinished kits and projects.  First off I have 5 Thanksgiving cards that I have to have done by tomorrow, so I can't start on my new kits yet.  I am working on a Halloween mini album and a Christmas album too at the moment.  Not to mention my Gratitude album, which I'm dying to start on!  I don't quite feel like I have the energy yet though.  Hmmm... Shouldn't have lied down!

On a totally different note, tomorrow I have a new little thing going.  I am starting a little book group!  I've never done anything like that and who knows when I'll have time to read an actual book, but I really wanted to do something to ground me a little bit.  While I really love crafting, it gets me all hyper and I can't sleep!  I want to make myself a new routine that includes at least 15 minutes to an hour of reading before bed so I can quiet my mind a little bit.  Does anyone else struggle with that?  If so, please give me some tips on what you do to relax!  I used to be a little better at it than I am now.  Now I have too many design ideas in my head!

I'm going to try to post a picture every day or two so today, I have a picture of a patchwork quilt card that I completed for my mom's friend.  This was a super fun and easy one to do.  It would be fun to make a challenge like this, but I've never done a challenge before.  The day will come, I hope.  Let me know what you think!




Well, I'm off to create some more cards and play with my toys!  Have a great night everyone, I'll post more either tonight if I can't sleep, or tomorrow for sure!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Shopping Hangover

Hi friends!  As you probably figured, I have been busy playing with all my new toys!  Was up all night last night and slept most of the day and here I am again on that same vicious cycle!  I have a few deadlines to meet, but wanted to pop in and say hello and hope you all had a spectacular Sunday. 

BTW, I sell the oxygenated water I was talking about.  If you're interested, please contact me so I can tell you all about it, but in the meantime go to my website www.amyjrockstar.com and click on Amy'sWay.  It's called Perfect water.  Do a search for it and I promise you it's the best water you've ever had in your life.  It's pricey, but for me, the health benes are way worth it!

Thanks for checking in.  I'll have more to post tomorrow!

XO ~ Amy Jo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Retail Therapy - Cure for Fibromyalgia ;o)

Ok, so of course it's not a cure, but man, when you've been in bed for almost an entire week, shopping can be the greatest thing ever!  I had a MAJOR shopping spree for myself, thanks to some awesome Craig's list sales and my good friend, Susan.  I have to share with you what all I got so I'm posting a picture because in true scrapbook form, a picture is worth a thousand words! Wow, that's a lot of stuff! 

First we went over to Joann's and then we went to Michael's.  I was armed with coupons for Joann's, but didn't have my Michael's ones on me and the saleslady was sooooo awesome, she not only did a 40% on one item for me, but a 20% off overall!  At Joann's I also got the 40% off and a 10% off overall!  Talk about a fun day!  We got out and about around 3:30ish and came home by 6:00.  I even had enough energy to work on cards! (I will be posting one or two tomorrow.)  I hope everyone had a great Saturday like mine.  :)

I just had to show off my picture of all my fun stuff, but now it is time for a Vicodin, Lorazepam, and Opana cocktail and some more card making.  Nancy, I read your comments and I have so much more to post, but have to use my energy tonight for card making deadlines so I will leave some comments tomorrow for ya.

Thank you all for following!

Hugs to all and sweet dreams!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Especially for Nancy

Hi there Nancy and all my friends and followers,

Nancy, I thank you so much for the comments you have left on my blog.  I am so happy you found me! This is the beginning of  a long and healthy friendship.  :) I know EXACTLY how you feel.  Lately I could just sleep forever and it seems like not enough.  Then comes the guilt.  I don't know about you, but I am normally an extremely active, hyper person.  There are a million things in life that I want to achieve and when I feel like this, it makes me go out of my mind!  I have a VERY hard time just resting and relaxing.  I am used to holding multiple full time jobs at once so this is extremely difficult to adjust to.  It does get better, then goes back to being bad, as this week has proven to be.  I have an option to move somewhere warmer as well, but I LOVE where I live and would HATE leaving all my friends.  I don't live close to my family, but I do live in the same state at least.

I have been through almost every type of treatment and I'll tell you the things that help me most are, painful trigger point injections, physical therapy with ultrasound and the TENS unit hooked up (electronic stimulator), and massage (although extremely painful).  Chiropractic care helps too.  Another thing that has REALLY helped me (when I stick to it) is a major diet overhaul.  I (for the most part) live gluten, wheat, egg, soy, dairy (not so much now), and try to have as little soda, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup as possible.  The other thing is sticking strictly to organic meats.  I did really well on this plan for quite a while, but then it got to be too tough to follow so strictly.  I know that I need to go back on it, I just need to be mentally ready.  I have found some fantastic alternatives to many things so if anyone has any questions or needs any help with that, I'm very familiar with what tastes good and what works.  Another huge problem for me are my vitamin levels.  I am low on chromium, Vitamin D (severely deficient and I take a super mega prescription), and all my B Vitamins.  I have some wonderful solutions to the vitamin B problem and the chromium problem as well and I will tell you all about it in another post.  Diet is a HUGE factor in fibro.  As far as anyone with it, I can suggest removing most of the top allergens from your diet and start that way for at least a good month, preferably three.  Also, through this diet I have learned I am allergic to peanuts!  I never would have known that, but following this plan, it's easy to figure out what works and doesn't work in your body.  Peanuts are a huge trigger for me!  Nancy, have you tried dietary modification?  I can help you with that.  Keeping a food journal is super important and a pain in the butt, but helps!  Also, I tried oxygen therapy and have some insight about that as well.  I have switched to oxygenated water so I don't have to do the hyperbaric chamber every week and pay a small fortune. 

It's amazing how much you learn and how in tune you are with your body when you have this condition.  I have learned more these past two years than in my whole life.  I have read book after book and article after article.  My doctors say I actually know more than them.  I say, it's because I live it and have to know everything there is.  You can't leave your care in someone else's hands because they will never care enough.  You have to be your own medical advocate and with the help of a great support system, that is what I am.

Nancy, this is for you today and I hope it helps at least a little.  Thank you for coming into my life and being my friend.  And btw, no comment is EVER too long on my page.  I LOVE reading them and please do continue!

XO ~ Amy Jo

P.S.  I am not a medical doctor and can't prescribe a remedy for anyone, but I can tell you what I've tried and what worked and did not work for me.  Please keep that in mind.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weather is Better, but Fibro is not, New B-day Card Posted

Hello my sweet friends and followers.  I hope everyone is having a fantastic day.  I am still in bed, watching The New Adventures of Old Christine, episode 28.  Love that show and this particular one really reminds me of my life right now! It's hilarious.  If you can find that episode, be sure to watch it and you'll get a fun glimpse into some of the things that I go through such as weird effects from sleeping pills.  Always a great little pick me up.  When I'm feeling really crummy it's always nice to watch something to totally get my mind off of it.  Laughter is definitely the best medicine in this case!  The nausea just hit me and is overwhelming right now!  I woke up with an awful headache today and it just won't quit!  Anybody else out there having problems?  Sorry for the complaining, not trying to be a total downer today!  I was supposed to go to my friend's house to watch some Grey's Anatomy, but didn't even get there.  My goal tomorrow is to actually get to work.  Wish me luck on that one!

On another note, I made a sweet little b-day card last night and got to be pretty creative!  Today my goal is to make a patchwork quilt birthday card.  So far all I've gotten done are the squares! LOL - Absolutely need some motivation!  Here's the one from yesterday.  Most of the materials came from www.shopcapture.com - The little local store that I work at.  I used stickles (pearl), Bo Bunny buttons, twine, a brad, colonial shaped scissors, and a fun stamp set I got for $1.00 at Michael's!  Would love to hear your comments on this one.  :0)  The inside is just stamped "Happy Birthday" and has a couple of stamped hearts in white and green.  I stickled the Happy Birthday with cinnamon stickles.  For anyone who has never tried Stickles, you are missing out.  Best product ever!  I didn't think much of it until I started using it.  You can purchase Stickles from my store, through partner store, Joann's.  www.amyjrockstar.com, partner stores and services.  Well, that's all I've got for now.  Thanks for reading!
XO ~ Amy Jo

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

To my sweet friends and followers.  I just wanted to say a little thank you for all of your kind words and your responses to my blog.  You have no idea how much that just picks me up each day and makes me feel like I have a purpose, like I'd actually be letting someone down (besides myself) if I didn't write each day.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart and keep those beautiful comments coming as I am going to take excerpts from them and create a beautiful Gratitude Journal as I am grateful for each and every one of you.

XO ~ Amy Jo

Weather, Time Mgt. Tips and Fibro Info

Good morning friends and followers.  Today it is grey and there is snow everywhere!  It's so beautiful, but so painful.  Fibro sufferers really don't like the snow ,unfortunately, and this is just the beginning of the season.  I might have to make a serious decision this year as to whether or not I can continue to live in Colorado during the winter months.  I plan on taking a trip to Arizona and one to California to see how I feel in the warm weather as opposed to the cold here.  Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this?  I'm very curious as to how much it would help really.  I went to Maui about a year or maybe two (!) ago to escape the cold and to be honest, it was the best I felt since I've had this condition.  I felt very close to being human! 

This week, as you know, has been really rough.  I haven't been able to swing by my work to pick up the kits I need to create and haven't been able to keep up with the cards I need to do because I feel like I have a constant flu.  That is a very normal part of Fibromyalgia.  It is very comparable to having the flu chronically.  Basically, for those of you who don't know, you have aches and pains all over, your stomach is affected, you have chronic headaches and chronic fatigue, not to mention crazy sleep patterns and very bad insomnia.  It changes your whole life and it is super important to try to establish routines and schedules.  One thing I have discovered that helps me personally is to not schedule ANY appointments before 11:00 in the morning; even that is pushing it for me.  I can no longer just pop out of bed and get ready.  What happens is, you wake up, and it takes forever to get physically and mentally prepared for the day.  I always set my alarm for 3 hours before I have to wake up because I cannot get out of bed for at least 1 to 1.5 hours after I have woken up.  It's hard to explain, but my body just will not function!  I have learned that rushing can really make you sick and make it so you are unable to stick with your plans.  It was a hard lesson to learn!  I used to get up as close as possible to the time it was to leave and then rush and try on a bunch of different outfits, etc., but I learned that by doing that, I will almost always get myself into a flare so that is why I allow myself so much time to get ready.  If I need to change outfits, I pace myself.  Otherwise I get overheated very quickly and that is the one thing that will instantly make me sick and I can't shake it if I've allowed myself to get overheated.  So I have learned that and hope that little tip can help some people out there who aren't used to this.

The only real thing that I have heard from everyone in the medical field that is actually proven to help is mild exercise; however, having Fibro, it is the absolute last thing in the world that you feel like doing.  I got a little bit of inspiration today as I turned on a TV show I haven't watched before called Dance School: Julliard.  Watching all the graceful people on there just stretching and dancing looked so healing to me.  I actually did get out of bed a bit and did about 5 minutes of yoga and it did really help.  Felt so good to stretch out those super tight, sore muscles.  It is rare that I actually am motivated to do this, but sometimes a visual aid is most helpful!  I encourage you all to take a little time today and do a few relaxing (not difficult) yoga poses.  I have a fantastic book that I would recommend called Yoga for Fibromyalgia.  Normally I do better with videos, but this book is perfect for doing a few things here and there when you feel good enough to.  It is written by Shoosh Lettick Crotzer and it's pretty inexpensive to buy.  I think you can probably purchase it through my website actually!  If you go to Barnes & Noble As a client of mine you will get special pricing and shipping breaks sometimes.  Please check it out! I'd really appreciate it. :)

Well folks, I'm feeling a little bit (ok a lot bit) exhausted and dopey so I will sign off for now.  I hope I've provided some help for you today.  Please leave me a comment as it totally brightens my day and I love hearing from you all!

XO ~ Amy Jo