Thursday, March 5, 2015

What's going on.

You may have noticed lately that I've only really been posting the Saturday Dishes link party.

I've had plenty of other things that I've wanted to share:
LDS General Conference highlights.
Little Dudeman's Sonic the Hedgehog Halloween costume.
Yummy recipes.
FHE ideas.
MOPS highlights.
Our Valentine's dinner.
Family updates on our sweet kidlets.
& much, much more...

But something has prevented me from blogging regularly
& I'm not quite sure what it is.
Whatever it is has impacted my thought process & creativity quite a bit though.
Even this post has taken me a couple weeks to write.
Not cool.

Since so many friends have been asking me for updates on what's going on
I figured it would be best to just put the facts in a post.

I have been living with a constant brain fog since roughly October/November.
It takes every ounce of energy that I have to concentrate & focus at times.
I have been having headaches almost daily.
Some mild.
Some severe.
I've been experiencing frequent dizziness.
I've been having occasional bouts of debilitating heartburn that gives me an intense headache.
I'm smelling unrecognizable smells that my husband doesn't smell.
My circulation reminds me of third trimester pregnant circulation.
I've been losing a lot of hair lately
& although that could be attributed to just having a baby
I found a decent sized bald patch this morning behind my left ear.
Those are the main symptoms
but there have been other weird things as well...
Like the pads of my fingers feeling like they were smashed by a hammer one at a time,
switching fingers every day or two for a couple weeks.
I can't remember all the random things right now,
but you get the idea, right?
Weird stuff.

In addition to all these symptoms
I've had some abnormal blood work...
First, a positive ANA
which led to a referral to a rheumatologist.
I have an aunt with lupus so we thought it could be that,
but at the visit the Dr said that from what she could tell it didn't look like an autoimmune thing.
She had me get some more complex lab work done just to be sure
& most of that came back normal
but there were some tests that came back with an abnormal clotting factor.
My IP-CH50,
dRVVT ratio,
& Dilute Viper Venom Time
all came back high.
I'm supposed to have repeat labs done in May.
If things are still wonky I will be referred to a hematologist,
but if they're fine I just follow up in one year.

I also saw a neurologist for my headaches & dizziness.
He wants me to track my headaches to see if perhaps it's just migraines.
I've been tracking for a few weeks now & am no closer to finding any triggers or patterns.
Some of the symptoms make sense for migraines,
but for the most part they aren't as painful, long-lasting, or severe as the one definite migraine I had in Sept 2013.
I can't even pinpoint what part of my head they are originating from.
Meanwhile, the brain fog seems thicker & the dizziness is becoming a more frequent daily occurrence.
I've been having extra anxiety since I don't know what's going on
& I'm sure that isn't helping the headaches.
I've requested an MRI to rule out some of the more scary possibilities for piece of mind,
but the process of getting said MRI has proven to be a lengthy one.
I got a call yesterday morning saying that the neurologist has ordered a couple things:
An EEG & an MRI of the brain with & without contrast.
Hopefully the hospital will call me to schedule those soon
so we can either get answers or rule some things out.

I recently discovered that I have some maternal relatives with hypothyroidism.
Although my TSH came back within normal limits
it was on the lower end
& the Dr didn't check the T3 or T4.
When I called my primary care doctor to see if those tests could possibly be ordered
I was told that it was unlikely I had a thyroid problem since my TSH was fine
& my symptoms are a mix of both hypothyroidism & hyperthyroidism in addition to other things
so I guess they figured it wasn't worth looking into further at this time.
If we don't get any answers with the neurologist they may revisit that idea.

So in other words...
I don't know what's going on.

I've been trying not to make a big deal about it because I don't want it to be a big deal.
But I've come to the realization that since it has affected me
every. single. day.
for quite a few months now,
that no matter how severe or minor this is
I need some extra prayers, support, & uplifting thoughts.

I'm extremely grateful for my family & local friends that have already shown me so much love, support, & help with the kids.
I really am doing my best to stay optimistic about this whole thing
but that isn't always easy,
so thank you for being understanding & patient with me.

xoxo
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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Chocolate Chili

I'm not a chili person.
I've never really cared for it.
I'll eat it on Mormon Enchiladas but that's about it.
At chili cook-offs I don't taste test all the kinds.
Sometimes I'll try a couple
but for the most part
I just stick to my Dad's Chocolate Chili!
This stuff is amazing (:
He doesn't like to take measurements,
so Justin & I created this recipe using the essentials from my Dad's ingredient list.

Two things you must remember about this chili:
1. Don't try it expecting it to taste like regular chili. It won't.
2. Don't make chili dogs or Mormon Enchiladas with it. I haven't personally ventured into those uncharted waters, but it's not that kind of chili.

I haven't tried it with sour cream, cheese, or crackers either, but again...
It's not your typical chili.
I HAVE tried it with a tiny spoonful of peanut butter in my own bowl & it was delicious,
but I think that I prefer it just the way it is.

Really this recipe should be called
"Chunky Chocolate Chicken Mole Soup w/ Beans & Spices"
so people don't assume that it tastes like normal chili. (;

2 cans white beans (don't drain)
2 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles (don't drain)
1 lb Hershey's chocolate bars
2 lbs cooked chicken, diced
1/2 lg sweet onion, chopped
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp sage
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
chili powder (to taste)
mole (to taste)

Pour cans of white beans & cans of tomatoes w/ green chiles into crockpot. Break up chocolate bars, add to crockpot & stir in. Place lid & heat on high until chocolate is melted (usually about 30-45 min, stirring halfway through). I like to cook & dice my chicken during this time. Add diced chicken, chopped onion, ketchup, & water. Stir. Add garlic powder, sage, paprika, white pepper, & cumin. Stir. Add chili powder & mole to taste. Stir. Switch to low heat approx 2 hours after turning crockpot on.

Total cook time 5-8 hrs: (2 hours on high, then 3-6 on low)

Note: Sometimes I use chicken broth instead of water for extra flavor

xoxo
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Friday, February 27, 2015

Saturday Dishes - Chinese New Year


This week's theme is:
Chinese New Year

Share your oriental recipes this week!
I know that Chinese New Year was on February 19th,
but since it's the same week as Mardi Gras I figured I would go in order of occurrence.
Besides, from what I understand it's celebrated for fifteen days
so we're all good, right?

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

Stay a while & check out my blog!
I love seeing new faces & new followers on social media,
& comments make me smile (:

Last week's theme was Mardi Gras!
I was a little disappointed...
No beignet recipes!
I get it though.
Mardi Gras was a challenging theme.
Note to self for next year (;

A huge shout out to Carlee from Cooking with Carlee
for saving the party by sharing her 2 ingredient fudge again!


This time it was Mardi Gras style!!!
Thanks Carlee!
& tell MiMi thanks for making it!
It looks wonderful! (:

Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Chocolate
so come back next week to share all things chocolate!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Oriental recipes,
your Chinese New Year crafts & whatnot,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send me an email so that I can get you on the calendar,
& let me know what themes you would like to see in the future.
I'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
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Friday, February 20, 2015

Saturday Dishes - Mardi Gras


This week's theme is:
Mardi Gras

"You know the thing about good food?
It brings folks together from all walks of life.
It warms them right up & it puts little smiles on their faces."
- James from 'The Princess & the Frog'

I figured that Princess & the Frog quote was perfect for Mardi Gras week (;
Although I don't really celebrate Mardi Gras
I love watching that movie every year!
If anyone has a recipe for Tiana's "Man-Catching" Beignets
or tasty gumbo I'd love to try them!
Feel free to share all things Mardi Gras this week...
Recipes, traditions, party ideas, mincing tips,
& 'fatty' foods since Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday.

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

Stay a while & check out my blog!
I love seeing new faces & new followers on social media,
& comments make me smile (:

Last week's theme was Valentine's Day!
Here were a few of my faves...

Simple, yet adorable!

Super cute!

Yummers!

Healthy mousse!? HECK YES!

Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Chinese New Year
so come back next week to share your awesome oriental recipes!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Mardi Gras recipes,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send me an email so that I can get you on the calendar,
& let me know what themes you would like to see in the future.
I'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
post signature

Friday, February 13, 2015

Saturday Dishes - Valentine's Day


This week's theme is:
Valentine's Day

How do you celebrate Valentine's day?
I would LOVE to see your dinners, desserts, traditions, gifts, decor, & more this week!

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

Stay a while & check out my blog!
I love seeing new faces & new followers on social media,
& comments make me smile (:

Last week's theme was Anything Goes!
Here were a few of my faves...

Because we all should do this every day (:

Because vanilla bean anything is delicious.

Because I love french toast & this sounds lovely.

Because I am a firm believer in the power of prayer.

If you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Mardi Gras
so come back next week to share your fun Mardi Gras food & traditions
as well as 'fatty' recipes since Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Valentine's Day recipes & ideas,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send me an email so that I can get you on the calendar,
& let me know what themes you would like to see in the future.
I'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
post signature

Friday, February 6, 2015

Saturday Dishes - Anything Goes


This week's theme is:
Anything Goes

That's right...
You can share ANYTHING today!
Recipes, crafts, rants, you name it!
No strings attached.
Well, almost...
I just ask that you keep it family friendly (:

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post things that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

You may notice that the index is in a bit of disarray at the moment.
I've had a lot on my mind lately so the blog has been a bit neglected.
Sorry about that.

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

Stay a while & check out my blog!
I love seeing new faces & new followers on social media,
& comments make me smile (:

Last week's theme was Casseroles!
Here were a few of my faves...

I tried this! It's easy & amazing!

We love pierogies, but I've never tried them in a bake like this! Definitely gonna make it soon!

I love finding new recipes to use up leftovers & the chicharron de pavo looks muy delicioso!

Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme is:
Valentine's Day
so come back next week to share your Valentine's recipes & ideas!

Now on to the linky...
Link up Anything Awesome,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send me an email so that I can get you on the calendar,
& let me know what themes you would like to see in the future.
I'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
post signature

Friday, January 30, 2015

Saturday Dishes - Casseroles


This week's theme is:
Casseroles

Casseroles tend to be my go-to meal more often than not.
Why, you ask?
I don't feel like I have to have a side with it,
We always have leftovers so I get a free day from cooking later that week,
& my kids always seem to enjoy them!

If you're new to the party
welcome to Saturday Dishes
where every week is a new theme...
Your job is to post your recipes that coincide with that theme!
Easy peasy, right?

Don't have a recipe that goes with the theme?
No worries!
Just sit back, relax, enjoy the other posts,
& be sure to check out the index & upcoming themes
to see what you can post in future weeks!

Saturday Dishes is hosted by:
- Marissa @ Life is Fantasmic -
FacebookTwitterGoogle+Pinterest ♥ Bloglovin' ♥ SoundCloud

Stay a while & check out my blog!
I love seeing new faces & new followers on social media,
& comments make me smile (:

Last week's theme was Warm Drinks & Snacks!
Here were some of my faves...

Because I know I'm going to want hot chocolate this weekend while we get 6-9" of snow...

This sounds rich & delish (:

I've never tried gingerbread hot chocolate before,
but I'm sure the molasses & spices make it taste wonderful!

Why have I never thought to try ice cream in hot chocolate before?
This is great!

& because it's Super Bowl weekend I thought I'd feature these as well...

Those BBQ Beef Sliders looked pretty tasty...

Don't let the name fool you.
They should be called 'Simple & Delicious Pizza Rolls'

Oh yeah...
& if you were featured
feel free to grab a button!

Life Is Fantasmic

Next week's theme:
Anything Goes
so come back next week to share whatever you want!

Now on to the linky...
Link up your Casseroles,
visit other posts,
& make new friends!

Keep spreading the word so we can see new faces at the party!
If you'd like to be a guest host send me an email so that I can get you on the calendar,
& let me know what themes you would like to see in the future.
I'd love to use your ideas!

By linking up at Saturday Dishes, you are giving permission for Life is Fantasmic to feature your posts with one image on social media with links back to you.


xoxo
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