Feb 22, 2016

Getting healthy with Fibromyalgia

It's not a secret, if you want to lose weight, you burn more calories than you take in. Simple enough, except when you have Fibromyalgia.

  The main thing my group of doctors say over and over is, "Take care of yourself. Rest, relaxation, the right medication cocktail and sleep are the keys to a good quality of life." So how in the wide world am I supposed to burn more calories than I take in, if I'm supposed to go easy on my body?

  Walking and yoga, that's how! Fibromyalgia patients benefit from at least 2 rounds of Physical Therapy a year, (so say the doctors) so, for my first round, I'm learning how to exercise my body with Fibro. Before, it was- work out hard, get the heart rate up, feel the burn, etc. Now, if I were to do that, I'd be down for days and could cause a flare up... you don't want that!

  Basically, walking is good for you, provided its level and you have supportive shoes. Yoga is also good for you. The problem with these is... they're not exactly fast fat burning exercises. So, as my doctor put it, you have to be stricter on food choices than the average dieter.

  There is also another problem, to eat healthier and meal/food prep, you need energy. And some days, I just don't have it. The only way, I can see, to fix this is to prep asap. and have things on hand that you can heat up. Some meals that are frozen or snacks that are already measured and prepped. And that's hard, my friends!

  I've pinterest-ed, (totally not a word, but you know what I mean) the ever loving mess out of this and I've come up with one lady who is all around amazing- Dashing Dish. This little lady does it all! She tells you exactly what to do, how to do it, how much to do, and gives you a bit of good old Christian gospel in the process? Sign me up! She's the cutest thing! Her meal prep ideas really helped me, and as we speak, I have about 20 breakfasts ready to go in the freezer, about 8 dinners ready to go in either the crockpot or the oven, and I'm figuring out lunch freezer/crockpot ideas. Really, this whole freezer to crockpot idea is a genius!

  I also found incredible help from this book- Trim Healthy Mama's Cookbook that I received complimentary from Bloggingforbooks.com. These mama's have it all figured out, too! This book was thick, pages were also thick, which I love for a cookbook. It means it can be used over and over in a kitchen and still last for years to come without being destroyed. Pearl Barrett & Serene Allison came up with amazing healthy alternatives to the all-time favorites and made them as slim as they could possibly be. At first, their code of the recipes is a little confusing. I had to read their guide many times to figure it out. Eventually, I did, but it's tricky. Most of the recipes are straight forward, but a majority call for special ingredients that the average kitchen or grocery store doesn't have on hand. Overall, it's a good cookbook to have. I like it, I would not have purchased it on my own, though.


Overall, this whole getting healthy with Fibromyalgia process will be a sloowwwww process. Incredibly slow. I'm not going to shed pounds like a normal person, and I'm okay with that... as long as that scale is moving in the right direction and I'm getting healthier, not just worried about being slim, right?

What's your favorite cookbook? Share below!

Feb 19, 2016

9 Verses Warning Christians About Being Materialistic

 Recently, our apartment complex renovated the kitchen and bathrooms. That meant we had to get everything out of everywhere, move completely out of those spaces. And I hate moving. Mostly because it forces you to see how much stuff you've accumulated. It sickens me to see!

   When I moved to Hawaii, I had two suitcases. That's it! Granted, I had left my childhood memories, amongst other things, in my parents barn, but still! Moving from Hawaii to Illinois, we have 5 huge CRATES! Owning that much junk makes me feel... gross. I tossed or donated about 2 crates worth of stuff to charity.

  After reading The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, it inspired me to chuck even more in an effort to simplify my life.  I thought that if I simplify everything on the outside, get rid of the excess stimuli then all the internal jumble  can calm down so I can create. My parents and the Mr. complain because I have not painted in forever. I find that when I'm stressed, I can't paint. So, that's my theory- eliminate the external craziness and the art can come out. Sounds good in theory, right?

  So, when we had to empty our cabinets, you guessed it, even more junk was outta here! Which made me think, what does God have to say about Christians living in excess? I mean, there's things you need, like have to have to survive. There's little extras you buy to make life a little easier. And then there's just plain excess-  things that you absolutely do not need, like at all,  and you buy anyway. Which is a waste of money, and God doesn't like that. He says we are to be good stewards of the money he entrusts with us. So that's one strike with buying in excess. And then there's the saying I've always heard, "Use it up, wear it out, make do, or do without," strike two.  So,  I went digging in the bible for hard truths.

+  1 John 2:16-17- 16-  For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

+  1 Timothy 6:9-10- Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

+  Ecclesiastes 6:9- Better what the eye sees than the roving of the appetite. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 

+   Ecclesiastes 5:10-11- Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owners except to feast their eyes on them?

+  Luke 12:15-  Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

+  Colossians 3:2-3- Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

+  Proverbs 11:28- Those who trust in their riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.


+  Psalm 119:36-37Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. 

So, with all these scriptures telling us NOT to worry about being selfish, how are we to make it in this world? This day in age when EVERYTHING is about making more money so you can buy more things so more people can think you are awesome?

+  1 Timothy 6:6-8- But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Be content with that! God brought us into the world with nothing, and he will take us out of the world with nothing. I believe if we work hard at pleasing Him, studying His word, your life will be fulfilling without all the excess junk, but that's just my two cents. 

Feb 16, 2016

How I'm 'Thriving' in February


So, here we are, halfway through February, and I'm just now posting about how we are working on my word of the year, "Thrive." Way to go, Jessy! Ha! Ah well, better late than never!

Catch up with us by reading this. 

For February, we're focusing on Knowledge, and this is how we're doing it:

+ The Mr. will work on getting more certifications in his field, I couldn't explain it to you if I tried, so I will spare you!

+ I am plugging along at getting my degree in Theology. I'm so excited to use this degree to deepen my relationship with God. I'm unsure about what I will use this degree for, but God called me to this, so I'm sure He has a reason for it!

+ I also have always heard about colleges offering free courses online, which I think is amazing! You don't get credit for them, but it's just a great way to learn for free. Both of our families have been devastated by Alzheimer's, so the phrase, "Use it or loose it" hits home for us. I think it would be a shame to waste such a great resource like this.

+ We are trying to read more books. In preparation for our adoption, we packed almost all of our books and put them in storage! Thank God for libraries and Kindles!

I think this month will be a breeze to thrive in!

How's your word of the year working out so far?

Feb 11, 2016

Adoption Update: BIG News!

Hey, Y'all! I told you I'd keep you in the loop about our adoption, and I am here to keep that promise!

Catch up on previous posts by reading these, then this...
  • We completed our PRIDE classes. Yay! The classes were 9 sessions long, 27ish hours of classes, but we were on a double schedule so we had two classes per day, which was pretty tough!  Since our classes fell over the Thanksgiving holiday and a snow storm, we had a couple of reschedules, but no big deal. 
  • After the classes were completed, we had the official home inspection and our interviews.  Being me, I took to doing my "Research" online, spending countless hours, scouring the internet, reading horror stories about the interviews taking 8+ hours or even multiple days to complete! I had worked myself up so much about them that I could hardly sleep the night before. Honestly, I'm not sure if our licensing worker was so nice, or DCFS policies don't include 8+ hours of questioning, maybe we didn't have things in our lives that required 8+ hours of interviews, I don't know. The only thing I do know is that the interview day came, about 2.5-3 hours and WE WERE DONE!  It wasn't that bad! 
  • Now, one of THE hardest things is waiting. Well, the most frustrating part is all the paperwork that needs to be perfect. There is quite a ton of papers that need to be perfect and turned in. Sometimes, you're waiting on others, sometimes you're waiting on yourself, and it's just a period of waiting. It's the hurry up and wait for sort of situation, which is hard when you're thinking, gimme all the babies! But, just waiting for things to line up, things to get from one person to the next, things to all come together, the stars to align, waiting for God to advance a prayer for you to become a parent along a little further, is THE hardest waiting in my life. And the moment when I can say this... it makes it worth it....
So, where are we now? Well, our licensing worker emailed us last night and....

We're officially a licensed foster home!!!!!!!!

What does this mean? This means we will start getting calls from case workers about children who need foster homes. As a family, we've had MANY discussions about what will work best for us, but I truly feel that God will lead us to our child, regardless if the child or situation is completely opposite of what we had pictured in our minds! 

That's the latest. We still ask for your prayers for us on this journey. Prayers for the child, or children. We have to remember that even though we will be thrilled to add a member(s) to our family, they are losing members of theirs. And it can be downright scary for them. Prayers for smooth transitioning. And you know things get stressful and hectic, so throw in a prayer for our patience, if ya don't mind!

Another way to support us during this process is to help the adoption fund! Check out my Etsy shop here to support the fund AND get yourself something really cool!

Etsy Shop- The Artsy Cajun
The uber cute  (and funny) Mr & Mrs. Awesome pillowcases are in the shop in time for the upcoming wedding season, so get a jump on your gifts now! Don't worry, I have to traditional personalized pillowcases with the couple's last name also!

So, how's your Thursday going?

Feb 9, 2016

Throw me somethin' mister!!!!

Happy Mardi Gras, Y'all! I hope y'all are enjoying all of the festivities, enjoying some of that Cajun spirit, Sha!  

I'm currently stuck in Chiberia where the "Feels like" temperature is 2 degrees! Yikes! Certainly not Mardi Gras parade weather, even if Chicagoland had such a parade! Ah well, we do it all for love, right?

You can bet your sweetheart that I have my gumbo bubbling on the stove as we speak! And if you'd like to channel your inner Cajun, click the link to be taken to my personal gumbo recipe!

Jessy's Gumbo Recipe

laissez les bons temps rouler!

Feb 3, 2016

Feburary Currently

I'm joining in with   Jenna and Anne for February's edition of Currently.  This month's prompts are:

Dual-Use Priority Mail Flat Rate/Priority Mail Express Box - 1

Sending- This month, I'm sending care packages to Louisiana and to my best mate, Kate in Australia! I'm really excited to send her care package because she's asked me to draw her an adult coloring book. As of right now, I'm still working on it, but I promise to give you guys a peak, and I may even sell it in my etsy shop! EKK! It's exciting!

A photo posted by @theartsycajun on

Eating- If you read this post, you know my word of the year is Thrive. And, you also know that every month, I'm breaking it down into subcategories. January's subcategory was Health so we've been trying new healthy recipes and will continue to try to turn our recipes healthy! 

Tips For When Buying a House. Before you buy your next home, there are many things you should think about so that you can be as prepared as possible. It can help save you money and save time as well. http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2013/03/buying-a-house-tips.html:

Dreaming- Lately, I'm dreaming of homes. We will be buying a home sometime in May, and I can't stop looking at realtor sites! I keep looking at home after home, dreaming of our lives unfolding in each home to see if it will work. 

Smelling- Lately, my migraines are still once a week. According to my Neurologist, for some folks, strong smells could trigger migraines. So, I've stopped burning all my candles and put maybe one drop of essential oils in my diffuser and run it once a week or so. I don't know if this is the culprit or not, but something has to give!

Hearting- I'm hearting my bed like crazy lately! As I mentioned before, migraines knock me on my butt once a week, and it can last a whole day to two whole days. During that time, my bed is my BFF! I'm loving the fact that about 2 years ago, I started caring about thread count, and textures that I liked, and textures that I couldn't stand. I adjusted our bedding accordingly and now it's all my favorites. You wouldn't think those types of things make a difference, but they do when you can't get up! 

I hope you've enjoyed reading what I'm up to currently! What are you up to? Comment below!