I’m sitting here in our new home … the blog I am writing has laid heavily on me since we decided to buy a home. The process of it is not anyone’s business but I felt I had to pour my heart out to people on Facebook due to some disgusting comments made about me and home ownership basically a year after needing a heart or liver transplant … basically people thought I used my health problems to get people to buy me a house … if it were that easy my parents would live in a mansion, drive expensive brand new cars, and I’d have owned a home around 18 years old … not 35! This is my house, regardless of what anyone’s says and I am in love with it … it’s become the child we don’t have yet, constantly we are in awe of this accomplishment and well literally I’ve spent a few weeks without internet (we are using our phones as hubs as the company we want to use is trying to figure out things since we are a new home build) and hoping to have cable TV soon!
I’ve had a lot of time to think!
I didn’t want my first blog back to be a review blog, because I have had such personal stuff going through my brain that I need to put it on paper or at least on the internet!
I have had comments made that people can’t believe we bought a two story home, when well I have not been walking for not even a year, it’s only been 8 months without a walker, 7 months without a cane, and less than 6 months and I’m still a wobbly mess who can’t climb stairs that well!
As if my life story didn’t tell you that I never give up or quit, why wouldn’t I have stairs in my home? Stairs are a part of life, and one day I will giggle as I jog up them or down them! I know what it’s like to have those things one day, and wake up unable to do them the next …
I have thought about a lot of things, mostly because Facebook Memories is reminding me of them, and it’s still fresh in my mind, maybe next year I won’t reflect so much but year ago I had a tracheotomy and didn’t know who I was when I was awake, or who my family, or Andy was. They pumped so much medication in me, that they looked different, in my mind! I was in a state of limbo for weeks! I honestly thought decades had passed and that every time I woke up, it was another ten years later and they just kept replacing my heart and liver. I didn’t know why I couldn’t remember going home or having a life in between these periods, who knows what your mind tells your body so you can fight and survive!
I just know one day I woke up and was lucid enough to realize I couldn’t move my hands or feet and I surely couldn’t lift my legs or arms. I was terrified, and why couldn’t I talk but most of all why was this disgusting thing over my neck blowing air on me. It was the worst feeling ever, and that is when I was told I had a trach, and my arms and legs didn’t work. I don’t remember who told me, or what they said exactly, or if I cried. I just remember I was shocked I had only lived this one time, it was still 2016, it was only weeks later rather than decades, and I resolved this is how it was going to be. I was going to live in a hospital for whatever time I had left, and this would be my life. A life of no movements and silence.
If you know me personally, your eyes might be full of tears, as this has always been my worst fear and I was living it! I was seriously paralyzed, and couldn’t talk. I knew I believed in God but if He was trying to teach me something, the Heavens better open up and speak because I was losing faith and trust in Him. I remember telling Him if this was my plan, why would we have done this whole transplant thing, why didn’t He let me go with the first decision of compassionate care? What was this? Why was this happening?
I will never forget the first day I realized physical therapy was there, I wanted to slap them. I guess I wasn’t really lucid all the other days because this day they decided to put on music!
I didn’t want music, I wanted to talk, I love to talk, music is my private way of dealing with things. Songs have meaning to me, that I would never share with others, and I like to zone out alone and listen to music. I did this for a few hours before my transplant with my family around me, half asleep as I silently wept for them and memorized what I could about their faces. I will never forget the first song that came on in physical therapy that day …
Adele’s “Hello” and I lost it! This was the song I told Andy to play if I died … play it loud and sing it! It was my calling to him from Heaven, and I wanted him to know I was always going to be there saying “hello” while he was remembering me!
I cried so hard, the therapist Claire said “who doesn’t love Adele” and I wanted to scream at her, this was my death song, I didn’t die … I wasn’t calling Andy, I was searching for him … and while he was there … in my mind it wasn’t him … now I have to tell you all why I thought this was … well I had horrible reactions to the medications and hallucinations which happen after traumatic surgeries like this when medication is introduced to a body that is dying and now living … so when he’d be standing there my mind was hallucinating that it wasn’t him … it was some replacement my parent’s had paid to be there … my mom and dad and even Andy laugh now but this was terrifying for me. I thought he had left me, and in my mind I was contemplating a life without him, I was missing someone who was right there and a few times I screamed at this “stranger” to leave, scarring him for life! This is why this song, broke me, because where was Andy, why wasn’t Andy here with me, why did everyone leave me? I couldn’t compose myself, the words kept playing in my head even when they turned the phone off … I barely did anything that day, but the feeling I had will never leave me! I wanted silence but since no one could understand me, music was played and I can’t even listen to those songs anymore … at least “Hello” is now my power ballad when I want to cry about how Andy will forever be changed by this surgery … and experience …
I came to the realization that eventually I would talk again, eat again (people don’t realize that I went two months without food, I had TPN which is a nutritional supplement but I couldn’t eat anything), but I did not expect to walk again at least without assistance! I was forced to do a lot after my hernia repair and it would take two physical therapists to basically carry me where they wanted me to be. I will never forget my first stay in physical rehabilitation when they said I could walk 12 steps without assistance. I could not even stand up by myself, those 12 steps were when I was put on a machine and pushed the whole way as I cried in pain! My parents would leave during my physical therapy, parts of me wished they hadn’t as I needed them, and parts of me understand why they did. Andy would participate later, by sitting with me or learning how to help me, but so did my mom and dad as they would help me shower alone (mom) and go the bathroom without someone standing over me which was my first taste of independence!
The first week of physical rehabilitation was overshadowed by the fact I had pneumonia, and I couldn’t do everything they wanted me to do! Yet, I will never forget the first time I stood up! Brittany who was my physical therapist worked with me for hours before we tried that first stand. I’d move my feet, pretend to walk from my wheelchair, and do all types of other exercises. My arms regained their strength quickly but Jess my occupational therapist had me doing things like folding clothes (I cried while doing that, as I never thought I’d be happy to see a pile of “laundry” again), putting pills in cases which would prove needed later on as I learned to do this weekly, and using small hand weights every day!
The first time I stood up I remember feeling everything on fire! I’m not talking about the times I was dragged to the standing position by the physical therapists in the hospital, I’m talking about the time I put all my weight on my legs. I wanted to scream, I will never forget being so embarrassed about the loud grunt I did because that was all I could do besides scream! No one seemed to notice or care, I stood for 10 seconds and it was the greatest feeling in the world. I could win the lottery today and never feel that way again! The pressure on my legs was extreme, everything hurt, I was pushing fear and pain to the side in a major way, and I was doing it without help. I will never forget the countdown to 10 seemed like it took 10 minutes, and I refused to drop until we got to 10, but on 10.1 I dropped and sighed as loud as I could. I sat there for a minute in all glory, until she said “Erin, we are doing it again” and I went from being on top of the world to the bottom really quickly!
There were so many of these moments, one was when I had accepted death as my fate! I was really just waiting to die, and for a few days I think I must have expressed this because when Dr. McLean came in … I had, had it! I knew I was dying, and no one would tell me different but her! She was calm, which is what I needed during that time, I have so much respect for medical professionals who can be cool as a cucumber when their patient is irrational. I’m sorry, I’m going to say this and I think I can after having lifelong experience as a patient, we can be irrational! I think fighting for our lives, has given us the right to not always act reserved, or hold things in, or be confused because medical information is overloading especially when it has to be learned or accepted in a short time. Irrational instead of combative is honestly what happens to me, when I get combative I have had it and it happened a few times in this whole journey. People see the “Erin” I post on Facebook, no one sees the woman rolling around in the bed in pain because the doctors decided to not diuresis her but refuses to give her pain medication and who screams at the doctor who has no ability to realize that their years of medical experience do not mean anything to me at this moment. It’s my life that I could lose, and I don’t care how many patients you’ve pulled the white sheet over, this is my body and I refuse to lose it because you aren’t able to explain to me what you are doing! Or the doctor who you trust with your life until they threaten hospice care if you don’t play by their rules and who has no problem a year later reminding you that they aren’t treating your mind, only your body. I want to point something out to medical professionals reading this, you may work on the body but I beg you in the process to try to not destroy the mind. It’s fragile, and while you can put tools in and out of the body and it can bounce back, the words you say cannot be taken back. Your half-hearted “apology” will always stand in the way of your medical knowledge if you don’t realize this patient has a choice in whether you treat them or not, and it’s a lot harder to hand your body over again and again with the hopes to be saved than you ever will realize.
Dr. McLean is not this type of doctor, she’s a strong woman! I admire her so much, because while she comes across strong and solid, she’s gentle when she needs to be and that day I needed her to be the gentle giant she is! She stood over my bed, holding my hand, and I literally was just wailing that I was dying and it was okay. I had accepted it and she basically did not let me finish. She said “Erin, I see people daily who are going to die and you are not going to die! I promise you, you aren’t going to die!” She left it at that, I couldn’t walk but I wasn’t going to die! It was final, a doctor who I trusted said I was going to live! I was going to live! I know she didn’t know if her words were true, or if I would put all of my soul into getting better from that moment on, but her works were like the spark that my “flame” needed to ignite!
The first time Andy saw me walk, I had walked 100 steps by now, back and forth every day! My mom had seen this, and so had my dad, and I’m not sure if they cried when they saw it, but I remember a twinkle! I am sure they cried a lot in private! I know I did, along without caring who saw too! While I was walking sometimes I would have a flashback and cry, I would remember something and cry, sometimes that happens now! I have learned my body is holding in a lot of pain and sometimes I need to let it out without fear! The first time Andy saw me walk, he cheered, clapped, and was smiling so big. Yet, I know my Andy and he whispered to me he had to go to the bathroom, and when he came back I knew he had taken a moment to himself. When he first watched me go up the stairs at rehab, he cried. I spun at the top like I was Cinderella at the ball and when I looked down he was wiping his eyes. He will never explain what being there did to him, and while I know it took from him … I also can see he’s gained so much from it. He watched me survive something that could have killed most, he watched me wake up from surgery months later, confused and unable to speak, and he watched me learn to live again! Walking again has taught me so many things, the first is that nothing is going to go as planned and even if it takes you years to get where you are going … don’t stop because you still have the chance to get there!
I'm a college student, and well as a junior I have had a lot more to read, and well staple! I have a lot of different articles that I need to read, and while some people can read them online; I actually prefer them in print so I have to print them out to read them. This can lead to a lot of loose papers lying around, and then sometimes a lot of confusion. Which is why this electric stapler has been a life saver! I have used it not only for school work but important medical paperwork, really any paperwork that I need to keep together. It has the capacity to staple 25 pages together, so that has been helpful with my medical reports and bills!
What I really like is that is has two types of power sources, it can be operated by batteries or even plugged into the wall! I'm most excited about having this on our desk when we move! I will not need to buy batteries unless I plan to move it around the house! It is a complete set and comes with the stapler, power supply, a staple remover, and it comes LOADED with staples! That is so nice, especially if you want to use it right out of the box!
I would recommend this as an investment for any office, because it is high quality, comes with the ability to be portable (who doesn't love that as it can be taken to meetings if you are passing out documents), comes with a plugged in power supply, and even comes loaded with staples! This is just a really great stapler!
When I was younger my parents had a large electric stapler for their business! It was heavy, and could have stapled my fingers if I was not careful! This is not like that at all! This is lightweight even if it has 6 AA batteries to make it portable, it has a small space which no fingers (even those little ones) can fit in but it does have the ability to staple 25 pages, and it comes with a power supply so that it can be used without batteries. I also liked how easy the battery area was to open, which has been a problem with other staplers I've used in the past. It was also very simple to use, basically you put it over the pages and it staples them for you. This would be great for those lovely documents at work, when you've collated 25 pages, and are making packets for the employees!
I love makeup!
I love everything about makeup, the one thing I have always had trouble with is selecting brushes for makeup application. I grew up learning how to use my fingers, and now that I have had my transplant I realize how much germs can be on your fingers so I use brushes and wash them daily.
I have always had the usual set of brushes, a foundation brush, a blush brush, an eye shadow brush but I like trying new things!
I had seen these oval makeup brushes online and wanted to try them. They are really neat. I was not sure they'd feel like normal makeup brushes, and they don't because they are much softer. Which helps with application of foundation. I still use my silicone blender tool, but I do like using a brush for foundation and blush. I really like using these brushes, which is why I want to share and have a giveaway!!!
I have a bit of an obsession with water pitchers. Since my transplant I have had to find fun ways to keep my fluid intake up, and also get the amount of water I need. I don't really drink sodas or coffee (unless it's iced) so I needed to find other ways to get my fluid intake. I really love to infuse my water with fruits and to make tea but I couldn't do these in the same pitcher, until now!
I fell in love with the Mami Wata Tea and Fruit Infusion Pitcher! This pitcher also comes with an ice ball maker, which is really useful and just downright adorable!!! You also get very clear directions, and an e-book full of recipes (which is great if you are new to fruit infusion or just would like to try different things)! I was really impressed with this pitcher because I have never seen one that actually makes Tea too! Now, you can't put boiling water in here, but you can put very warm water in and I didn't have a problem with the flavor because of the way the infusion pitcher works!!! I love buying tea that has different flowers in it, and it's very hard to seep without a cheesecloth but this pitcher is great for those teas. Some of those teas from places like Teavana are hard to seep because they have so many different flowers and herbs in them, but with this pitcher it's a breeze. The holes are so small that you can barely see them with the naked eye but trust me the flavor and water gets through.
One of my favorite features of this pitcher is the screw on part of the tea/fruit filter. I have other pitchers like this (this is the only one I've found that seeps tea) and that was always the hardest part for me to figure out or it sometimes fell off completely! I also was grateful this pitcher came with an e-book, which told me things about this pitcher I didn't know such as you can refill it up to 3 times, take the fruit out within a certain number of hours but the water is still okay to drink, and even to cut the rinds off the fruit too! I also didn't know that room temperature helps the water to infuse faster, or that you should really not drink the infused water after 3 days but that never seems to be a problem because I always drink it within a few hours!
What I like most about the e-book is there is recipes that I had not thought of before and I'm sure I could have found online by looking up "infused water recipes" but this book is printable and can be kept in a cabinet or recipe binder! It has some great recipes!
Here is a few I want to try or have tried:
Apple, Cinnamon, and Honey Water
Lemon, Cucumber, Mint Water
Pineapple, Cucumber, Mint Water
Watermelon and Basil Water (I really want to grow my own Basil and try this)
We are moving soon (YAY) and what I'm most excited for is having filtered water from our fridge, so I don't have to buy bottled water all the time! I also am grateful the e-book has different recipes for different things, like sugar control (which is good for someone like me with diabetes), hunger control, and I'm especially excited to try the anti-inflammatory combinations because of my diagnoses with fibromyalgia. I have vowed once moved to try to drink infused water everyday, and also drink herbal tea (especially green tea). I know if you try this pitcher you'll fall in love and use it daily too. It also comes with an added bonus of ice cube trays, which are adorable and make ice balls!
I love Amazon.com and use it very frequently! I use it to buy vitamins that I need, I use it to buy certain food items (coconut oil is one thing), and I use it to buy a lot of little things for the home!
I really want to share my love of Amazon with you, buy hosting a giveaway for a $50 e-gift card!!!
Best of luck!!!
There is so many great things about moving from an apartment to a house, one of this is space. We plan to have a nice office, where I can blog, and where we can both keep up with our college courses. We have a small space in our apartment designated to studying and blogging but between you and I; I tend to do both of them on the comfortable couch. It will be so nice to have a space just for me, just so I can put my thoughts out in the world through my blog, a room where I can have a place to take pictures without taking up space in the living room.
What I am most excited about those is having a nice, large desk to blog/study/read at! I am thinking an L-shaped desk, with the printer on one side, and this 13-inch Illuminated Globe to the right. I have always wanted a Globe, but I'm very grateful I didn't have one because nothing I've ever seen compares to this. I love that even though it is 13-inches in diameter, it is large enough for you to see each continent and country and even state in the USA! I also was surprised that it lit up, and you can see constellations which is very neat because these are the ones that are actually where you live. I was able to find the same constellations outside that I could find on the globe near my state!
The quality is exceptional and I'm so grateful that this globe will have a place on my desk, because it is such a pretty focal piece, and I know people will ask about it. I would also recommend this for a child as well, not only can you plug it into the way but also a USB port. You can use this as a nightlight as well!
What I like about this Globe is the texture, it's very smooth and shiny. It will look good on a desk of any color, we are thinking about getting dark wood; maybe Oak or something. The first thing my husband said when he it was opened was "WOW" because neither of us had globes as a child, so this was something we both had wanted to have for our new office. We couldn't agree on the type of globe, and again I'm grateful that we could review this one because it is amazing. I had not found one that illuminated, but I did find those that were glow in the dark (we weren't looking for that), or ones that were just one color, but the combination was something we couldn't find before being offered this review. I'm so glad we can share this with you all, because I think this is a great addition to any office, child's room, library, etc.
This is an inside joke between my mother and anyone who can cook! She loves to say "Betty Betty Betty" and she means Betty Crocker. I love to cook, bake, grill, the truth is I love food and always have. I was not allowed in the kitchen that much as a child, except as an observer (if you would have known me as a child you'd understand why) so I really paid attention and watched. I started cutting onions at a young age, and then learned there was something called a food processor! Can you imagine my disappointment, but I don't cry when cutting onions, anymore!
I have always loved cooking, maybe it is the mystery that the kitchen held when I was younger, or the smells that still grab my soul and make it smile, or sometimes the feeling I was born to cook. I'm huge with platting, and how things look because I'm a very picky eater (I don't like my food to touch on the plate but I'm working on that)! When it comes to baking, I am in love because things can mix, match, or be opposite but they taste so yummy! Which is why when I got the chance to review a Cake Decorating Nozzle Set I was so excited. I love baking, especially cupcakes but usually my icing come from a sandwich bag in which I've cut the corner to pipe it; and while that is every effective it doesn't always look pretty. This set contains so many different nozzles including two sphere ball nozzles (I had no clue what these did), so I was excited to use them but also I did use the internet to search to see what I could do with these nozzles!
The entire package is individually wrapped, which is great because you can unwrap them as you go! I really like that they are Stainless Steel, and I personally just used hot soapy water to clean them and they did a great job! I'm sure you could put them in the dishwasher but just be careful when doing that! What I liked most was the Sphere Ball Nozzle (the kit contains 2) and what these remind me of are the beautiful cupcakes/cakes that have almost an ice cream look to them. They are adorable and once I get my style down (I think you have to practice a little before becoming a pro with any nozzle!) I will make cupcakes for everyone I know. I really also like the Star Nozzle and they do look like stars, which is really adorable and takes the cupcake to the next level! I am so grateful that I could review this Nozzle kit, it has a great price, it's great quality (stainless steel), and helps you master the way to icing and you can even start making pastries!
It is no secret that my belly has puffed out since my transplant. I don't always like to share that, but it's the truth. I do look like I'm pregnant at times, so when I got the chance to review this Waist Trainer for women who have had a child, I was excited because I knew it would fit my body, especially my belly. I did my measurements and was shocked to find out I wore a size 3x (I'm typically an 10 - 14 depending on the make of the clothes) in this waist trainer. I almost was unsure about reviewing it because it just seemed like it would be so large!
I also was concerned since I have had a double hernia repair, and a liver transplant. My scars are healed but internally I was worried I wasn't healed all the way! I did ask my doctor about this waist trainer, and they agreed it would be fine as long as I still worked out my abs and don't wear it all day long. It is used to help your waist look smaller and shape it but it doesn't replace hard work and dedication to your body! My doctors assured me that they supported me wearing this! That is one thing I recommend, no mater what I review on my blog is that you always get your doctor's advice on things. Just because my body can take it doesn't mean yours can, and sometimes my body can't take it!
With that said, I really like this waist trainer. It is a beautiful bright pink, so I couldn't wear it under anything nude colored, or light brown, but it does work under black and any other dark color. If I was just at home, this works regardless of what color you are wearing. Show a little pink! I love that it's soft and great quality! The snaps have three sections and can be tightened depending on what you prefer or what fits your body type. What I also noticed is that it conforms to your body so that no one can see you are wearing this. The support that my bad had was also great! I really was happy with the waist trainer and am grateful to have this. It will work great under any dress or shirt that I wear! It is in the middle price wise, as I saw waist trainers for as low as $19.99 but then again I found one for over $100!! I know anyone who wears this will be very happy they did!
I'm very excited about my new kitchen!
We officially move, well very soon (I'm saving the surprise but trust me you will all know when)!
One of the things I'm most excited about is my brand new kitchen, we will have stainless steel appliances, beautiful black and brown granite, and beautiful flooring! I'm so excited about it! I even bought a brand new silver crock pot to match it before we even had the foundation down! I'm pretty much going for all silver/stainless steel in this kitchen and well one of the things I have always wanted is really simple but something I never splurged on before!
It's a salt and pepper grinder!
I have been using sea salt, pepper, and spice grinders for a long time but I always purchased the disposable kind find in every grocery store. I never was really in love with my kitchen, we have never had room to entertain! It will be amazing going from a stuffy one bedroom apartment to a four-bedroom two story home!
I really was excited when I was able to review this beautiful salt and pepper grinder, well basically it is two empty grinders which can be used for a variety of spices or salts! What I love about these is not only are they beautiful but their design is very convenient because it can be simply carried!
This beautiful set is 5 inches and I measured and could put 1.75 ounces of black peppercorns and this was almost filled to the top (for my family of two this will last a long time)! I also like the coarseness of the grind, I'm very particular about how I like my salt and pepper. In some recipes the grind can be coarse and that is what this grinder does, I can just use the sea salt that isn't in crystal form if I want less coarse! I really love the look of the grinder, and how easy it is to work with. I had no issues (and I'm not very strong) twisting each one, and using them!
I also had to pack them away (I wanted to save their newness) and I have a recommendation on how to do that too! They come wrapped in bubble wrap, which is great because you can use the sturdy box and bubble wrap if you happen to move! I knew I was moving, so I saved the packaging! I was so pleased with this set, that I am planning to give them away for Christmas presents, they'd be great for a wedding gift, and let's face it if you know a chef they'd love them too! The price is excellent and to be honest (I love a deal) this is a steal! I have been researching these for months and found them in every price range but this one really gives you a good quality set for a great price! Just look at how beautiful it is!
I can't wait to pull this out at our first dinner party! I will proudly have these in the kitchen, on the breakfast nook table, and I might purchase another set for the dinning room!
I was very excited when I was asked to review the Gear Ultimate French Press because I have never drank coffee from a French Press!!! I was honestly a little worried about the whole process and how it would even work. I figured it would be too hard and I had told myself that before it even arrived. I'm happy to report that I was wrong, and I'm not sure how other presses work, but I can assume they work in the same way which means you need to take the worry and fear out of using a French Press.
I was very excited to see a model that not only had a great price! I did a search and found that an 8 cup press could cost up to $200 but this one will cost you under $30 and I believe it works wonderfully. The price is affordable and the instructions are easy to use, so for those new to pressing their coffee, this would be a great investment. I am very happy to have tried coffee from a French Press.
I love that this is a glass press, and since it's silver it will match any kitchen decor. I'm excited about having it out on my countertop for my guests to see (you never know who will show up and want coffee). I have never done this before and the instructions were simple, easy to read, and even had pictures so that helped me a lot! The instruction booklet doubled as a recipe booklet too, and had recipes for Iced Coffee and even Tea. I had no idea you could make tea in a french press!
I'm so happy I got to try this, now I would love to hear some great coffee recipes!!!
I'm Erin and I am the "Lady in the Home" in fact this name stems from being the only lady in my home. I have a wonderful husband and an amazing dog named Zeus. We are currently in the process of purchasing our first home, which we built. My blog documents my life in the home, as a college student, and lover of so many things. I had a heart and liver transplant Valentine's Day weekend in 2016, and so I also write about my recovery from that. I love to give my opinion about different things pertaining to our new home and if you work for a company that would like to be featured on this blog please email:
erinmriha (at) gmail (dot) com