Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

I've been thinking about this for a while and I have decided that I will only be doing one blog from now on.  All of my postings from here on out will be over at The Domesticated Mom.  I tried to have 2 blogs to keep my personal, life blog separate from my crafting blog, but as you can imagine, it is not easy keeping the 2 going!  Maybe in the future if I get my crafting back to being done on a regular basis, I will come back and blog @ Ellie Ellis.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but please hop over to my other blog and start following me there! :)

Thanks everyone for your continued support.  I love my followers!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Customized cross stitching

Sorry that I didn't post yesterday, I was sick with the flu or some crazy bug.  I'm still feeling pretty crappy today, but am able to at least be out and about.  While I was stuck on the couch being sick yesterday, I was limited to what I could do besides sleep and watch tv.  I started browsing around on StumbledUpon and found this awesome site on how to convert a digital picture to a cross stitch pattern!  I've been wanting to take up cross stitching, but don't like the patterns that I see in the craft stores.  I guess I have been looking for something that was more youthful and unique. 

Has anyone ever done a picture-turned-cross stitch pattern before?  If so, how did it turn out?  I think this will be a fun, easy project to do over the weekend.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Freebie Friday!

On this Freebie Friday, I bring to you the Stoplight Behavior System for home!  I know a lot of schools do this now days, and it has been a tremendous help with my son's behavior!  I use this and put it up on the fridge.  I have a magnet that is meant for a small picture and has a cut out in the middle.  Every morning, he starts at green, which I put the magnet around.  If he has to be reminded twice about his behavior, it gets moved to yellow. Once he has been reminded 3 times, it is moved to red.  When he finishes the day with a green, he gets to keep his privileges, if he is on yellow, he loses electronic (video games, computer and tv) privileges, red means no privileges.  I am sharing this simple yet effective system with my lovely readers today, so head over to my freebies page and grab a download!

Back to life, back to reality

Now that life is slowly getting back to normal, I need to start doing some crafts again!  Question is, which one do I want to do first?!  I am almost done with my dresser, I just need to go out today to buy the new hardware for it.  Maybe I will start on some Easter crafts.  Any suggestions?

As we enter into the weekend, I will leave with Friday's Food for Thought:

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.   - Mohandas Gandhi
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Get Your Rear in Gear!

I am racing in the Chicago Get Your Rear in Gear 5k race for colon cancer awareness on May 15th.  I am currently accepting donations of all sizes.  This is the evil disease that took my mother from all of us too soon, so we are running (and some of are walking) in honor of my mom.  Our team is called Linda's Lionheart Legacy.  I decided on that because she was the most courageous and brave person on this planet (in my opinion)!

I'd also like to take this moment to get on my soapbox and educate everyone:
  • Please, please, please-I'm begging you!- make sure that after the age of 50, you go regularly for a colonoscopy!  If polyps or tumors are caught early enough, it is absolutely treatable!
  • If someone in your family has been diagnosed with colon cancer, talk with your doctor on their recommendations of if you should get screened earlier.  My doctor recommended that I get screened 10 years before the age my mom was diagnosed (that puts me at 50, anyway).
  • Colon cancer equally affects men and women.  It is most common in those 50+.
  • It is the 2nd leading cause of cancer deaths in the US - 54,000 each year.
  • More than 150,000 people are diagnosed with colorectal cancer each year.
  • Those with family history of colon cancer are at an increased risk. 
*Stats from Colon Cancer Coalition.

There are several ways you can help.
1.  Contribute funds.  My online fundraising page is  Linda's Lionheart Legacy Chicago 5k.  All funds go to the Colon Cancer Coalition, a non-profit organization. 

2.  Join me at the race as a participant or volunteer.  Runners, walkers and volunteers of all ages are welcome.  There are also various events throughout the country this year.  For more information or to register for the race, go to

3.  Contribute products or services.  The Get Your Rear in Gear 5k Run/Walk takes place with the support of local businesses.  Let me know if you have a product or service that you would like to contribute.

4.  Blogging buddies - spread the word on your blog!  Word of mouth is the best way to let people know about this event and this disease.  March is colorectal awareness month, after all!

Thank you in advance to everyone who is helping out or even just took the time to read over the facts of colon cancer.  I personally appreciate more than you know! :)

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

RIP Mommy-Salami!! 08.04.48 - 03.08.11

Sorry, I have been MIA.  This is going to be a cross-post from my other blog, as well.  My mom has been battling colon cancer (specifically anal cancer) for almost the last 2 years.  A few weeks ago, the doctors decided, that there was no more that they could do for her since her cancer had spread to brain and our family began working with hospice to make her final days comfortable and peaceful at home.

Her health started deteriorating really fast and so, I decided to go funeral clothes shopping on Sunday, March 6th.  After I got my outfit, my friend and I continued shopping and while we were in Baby Gap, I received a call from my sister telling me that she thought I should come to my parents house (about 1 hr and 15 minutes from my house).  She said mom was slipping fast, going in and out of consciousness and her breathing was becoming more labored.  My sister said she also just needed me there for support, as she has been my mom's main caretaker this whole time (and working a full time job!).  So I drive home, pack a bag really fast and get on the road.

When I got there, it was a sad sight. I had just saw my mom a few days before, and she had lost even more weight, her kidneys were shutting down and she was almost comatose.  I was able to have short conversations with her and tell her that she didn't need to hang on.  We were all going to be ok.  I ended up staying in town and kept a bedside vigil over her that night while I let everyone else sleep.  I was able to hear her mumble some words into the night and it looked like she was talking and reaching for someone.  Whether you believe in spirits or not, I do.  And I believe she was talking to my grandparents (her parents).

Things stayed the same for about the next day, but on Tuesday, everyone on my husband's side of the family, was in town for his sister's birthday and I planned on joining them for dinner.  I needed a break from the stress and the restaurant was only 5 minutes away, so I figured if anything got worse, I could leave real fast and be back to my mom's side.  About an hour before I was to go, I could see she was getting worse, and 5 minutes before I was to leave, she should signs of rapid deterioration.  At that point, I decided that I didn't want to leave my mom and opted out of dinner.  I am so glad that I did.  We all stood around her, said our goodbyes and kissed her and we all held hands and prayed for her (she is very religious).  Things were remaining the same, so we all decided to start looking at old pictures (she loved doing this). 2 of my brothers continued to stay at her side.  We were all enjoying the memories of them, when my brother ran out of the room telling us we needed to come now, that she was going.  Mom passed peacefully, surrounded by her husband, kids, sister and granddaughter at about 8:36 p.m. on March 8th.   Even in death, she looked beautiful and peaceful.  She was 1 day away from the 2nd anniversary of her diagnosis.

My mom and her family have always had a love for wind chimes.  About 30 minutes (or less) before she passed, we heard her wind chimes go off very loudly.  The night was a nice, calm evening.  My siblings and I truly believe that was her spirit leaving her body and her way of showing she was going.

So many people came to her visitation and funeral.  I was touched to see and hear the stories about her from so many different walks of life.  She is a saint and before she left, I asked to her watch over my children and be their guardian angel.  I know that she is keeping her word.  In fact, the one thing that she did before she died, will forever be etched in my mind.  My 2 children came into the bedroom to say good-bye, and as soon as she heard her voices, her eyes popped wide open and she attempted to sit up!  This is when she was in and out of consciousness and you could tell she really didn't have any vision left.  You know someone is dedicated and so in love with their grandchildren, when even on their deathbed, they are literally trying and fighting to be with them!  My mother was and still is the most courageous, strong, positive, determined, dedicated, faithful, amazing, beautiful and wonderful person I have ever met!  She is my hero!

It is ironic that she passed in March, which is colorectal awareness month.  So in her honor, I urge everyone to wear blue this month!  Sleep in Heavenly Peace, Mom.  Until we meet again...XOXO

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Baby Shower

Well, as my friends and I enter into our late twenties, everyone is now having babies! I'm so excited, that I finally get to help plan one!  There's nothing that I love more than party planning and DIY projects.  However, I want some unique ideas, as the parent's are finding out the sex, so I need it to be gender neutral.

What are some great ideas for a shower and gender-neutral planning?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's a beautiful day!

It is finally sunny and somewhat warm here, today, in Chicagoland!  I'm going to take my daughter to a playdate at my friend's house, then walk to get my son from school! Woohoo!  Here is a picture of the dresser that I am currently refinishing.

Before picture.  Slowly started sanding.

All I have left now is to sand the drawers and remove the pull knobs.  I will be painting it a semi-gloss black color from Rustoleum and will be replacing the drawers with brushed nickel pulls, for a more modern look.  I'm so excited!  I also want to go to Goodwill and go thrift shopping and hopefully find some unique goodies.  What amazing items have you found from thrift shopping?