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Two Fridays ago I wrote a chatty style post to share more about my life beyond how I decorate my house and DIY projects that I usually do. Many of you wrote telling me you really liked the post and asked for me to do it more.
I know I like reading more personal posts that I read on other blogger’s sites, so I thought, “why not do it myself?”.
So here is what I have been up to.
Saw a Show
On Tuesday night, Ed and I went to the University of South Carolina’s, Koger Center in Columbia to see Riverdance. We had never seen the show before and loved it! So much energy. I want their legs and butts – so fit and shapely. :-)
We are Broadway in Columbia season ticket holders and attend about 6 shows a year. We usually make it a date night with dinner beforehand and then a short walk to the show.
Readers often ask me where I come up with my inspiration for the decorating ideas I use in my house.
Here is one example. When standing in line during the show’s intermission to use the Ladies Room, I passed this piece of modern art. I liked the mix of colors a lot! It gave me an idea to do something similar with a canvas I have.
Having a cell phone camera makes it easy to document inspiring things when you see them. When the time comes you can use the photos for reference when you want to create something similar.
I am Now a Foster Pet Grandmom
My daughter Mandy became a foster pet caregiver. Meet Lolly. She is a 2 year old Pomeranian/Chihuahua who loves to cuddle.
Lolly and her two siblings were dropped off at a shelter near where my daughter lives two weeks ago. Both her siblings were adopted right away, but Lolly has a problem with one of her hind legs. Since she is waiting for surgery, she won’t be up for adoption until her leg is better.
Mandy was happy to care for her until she gets surgery in about a month or two. She had an older cat who recently died. She missed having a buddy and learned about the fostering a pet program and signed right up.
If you are not familiar with the fostering a pet program, it is where you become a caregiver of a cat or dog for a temporary time without the lifetime commitment with the option to adopt them yourself if you happen to fall in love with them.
What I Eat in a Day
A frequently asked question I receive is about what I eat in a day on the plant based diet I follow. When I first started eating this way back in March of 2020, I searched for recipes and spent a lot of time in the kitchen. Now that it has become a habit and way of life, I eat very simply. Mostly unprocessed food. I still intermittent fast for 16 hours and eat between the hours of 12 noon and 8PM.
For every meal I follow the 50/50 plate. Half the plate is non-starchy veggies and the other half is a starch – potato, rice, or beans of some sort.
For lunch it is either a salad or a chickpea salad collard wrap (my favorite) and soup. Snacks are fruit – usually berries or air popped popcorn with no oil or salt.
For dinner most nights I have an Asian sweet potato or Hannah yam when I can find them (both varieties are white inside, not orange) and a veggie like Brussel sprouts or kale cooked with veggie broth with onions and mushrooms.
A few nights during the week I will make a bean stew with veggies. I batch cook every thing and then freeze it making meal time prep easier as I just have to grab something premade earlier in the week from the freezer and warm it up.
For dessert, I always have a plain banana, a banana whip that I make in a Yonanas Frozen Fruit soft serve maker, or a frozen fruit pop that I make by freezing canned, no-sugar or syrup added crushed pineapple in a popsicle mold. If I don’t have one of these I eat whatever fruit is in season – like watermelon in the summer. I drink black tea or peppermint tea all through the day and drink about a gallon of water a day.
When I go out to eat I have to plan ahead and have gotten used to bringing my own salad dressing to put on a salad. I usually ask for a baked potato and steamed veggies. If I can find a Vegan entree, then I will order that. I drink seltzer water with a squeeze of lime and on occasion will get a glass of red wine.
If you have any specific questions, just leave them for me in the comments.
Dealing With Autoimmune Disease
I got this book at the library this week to see if I could learn anything new about the Vitiligo I have. After reading, I was happy to learn that I already do everything mentioned in the book to reverse autoimmune diseases, except two things.
The first is consuming a larger amount of greens daily in the way of a smoothie. The second is finding ways to lower my stress level. Whipping up 9 cups of greens in the blender is pretty easy and I started having one each morning.
As for the second item, I am working on lowering the stress factor, as stress is what my dermatologist thinks is the cause of the Vitiligo that started showing up about 4 years ago.
I have it on both sides of my face, arms, hands and one knee. I have been trying to lower daily stress and not worry internally about things, but that is not as easy for me as simply eating more greens.
The good thing is that my dermatologist thinks the Vitiligo may no longer be active as I haven’t lost any more pigmented sections of skin show up in quite a while.
Now I am trying to get the white patches to re-pigment with a healthy diet and keeping my skin care simple. I think it is working, but slow going as the new brown dots borders around the white patches show up darker. Over time the dots join together.
When the skin does this – it is called “chocolate chipping”. It can look pretty weird and believe me when I say I get lots of stares from people when I am out and about, I do! I always just smile and move on. After a day in the sun, the difference between the pigmented skin and non-pigmented looks much worse, hence my use of plenty of sunscreen and a wide brimmed hat.
There is a new treatment cream recently approved for Vitiligo, but it has a black box warning on it and costs $2000 a tube which my insurance won’t cover. With the warning and the side effects, I don’t think I would use it anyway.
The dermatologist told me to use simple skin care, products with no lighteners, brighteners or retinol, Tretinoin, etc. as they lighten skin, as want I need to do is the reverse.
He has me using CeraVe cleanser and lotion. I am fine with using these, but am interested in finding other lightweight moisturizers and serums that have no lightening or brightening chemicals. It is hard to find them as even some of the CeraVe products have lightening ingredients in them. If you know of any, please let me know.
I Did Something I Have Always Dreamed About
Since I was a teenager I always wanted pretty nails. I fondly remember my 12th grade English teacher, Mrs. Sleazer who had beautiful graceful hands with long pale pink polished nails. I remember watching her hands more than listening to what she was teaching. Twenty years later I was at a restaurant and saw her.
I wasn’t sure it was her, but then I saw her hands and knew it was her. I went up to her table and told her I was a student of hers back in 1977 and what I remember most about the class and her were her nails. She couldn’t believe I even remembered her. I told her I would never forget her, as her nails in my mind were unforgettable and something I wish I had myself, pretty nails.
Even after this encounter, I am not sure why I just didn’t go to a nail salon and get my nails done. I have tried to grow my nails and they do grow, but then one or two break. I never have been able to have 10 finger nails all long at the same time.
Well, at 63 years of age, it was time to finally do it – get a full set of acrylic nails done natural (American) with a clear gel polish. I am so happy I did. I have gone twice now – first for the initial set and the second time for a fill.
The DIYer in me had me watching YouTube videos this week so I could learn to DIY them. Since I am pretty good with a paint brush and a Dremel tool with sanding bits, I think I can get the hang of doing acrylic nails and save myself a lot of money while having the finger nails I always dreamed of.
Decorating Project I am Working On
And last, the two wood panel sections in the above photo are the sides of an antique wood file cabinet that my neighbor was throwing away.
When I saw it, I looked it over and realized it was beyond repair, but the side panels were intact and very nice by themselves. I knew I would come up with a way to use them. I asked Ed if he could take the cabinet apart and save the sides. He did and now I am making them into something new. It is taking me longer than planned as I need my neighbor with a wood shop to cut each of the panels for me.
I also am giving a small makeover to these tables, so stay tuned to see what I do to give them a new look.
That’s it for this chatty post, but I look forward to chatting with you like this more often.
I hope you have a great weekend. Enjoy!
Those nails are gorgeous! ((And the jewelry ain’t bad either ;-))
Good morning and thanks for the visit. The only problem is you motivate me to get moving! Now I have to get off my I Pad and out of my chair where beautiful sunshine is keeping me warm and cozy. 😊
I do enjoy these kind of posts….good job. I just ordered a dry nail polish. I hope it works! I got it from Amazon.
I loved this post. It is so interesting to hear how other people live and deal with daily struggles, opportunities and challenges. You are an inspiration to your readers!
Thanks Nancy – I will try to mix in more personal posts with my DIY’s and other types of posts.
Loved the chatty post! Willing to read these whenever you are willing to write them. (And you projects/recipes/ideas too!)
Hi Amanda – Thank you. I will begin to mix chatty posts with my DIY’s and other types of post from now on. Glad to hear you liked it. :-)
Thank you for chatting with us again, Diane!
I did not know vitiligo was an autoimmune disease. Good for you for taking such good care of yourself, for having such a positive attitude about it, and for working to find what helps.
I agree with Melanie that acrylic nails are bad long-term for your own nails. I take a 600 mg capsule of 21st Century gelatin every day and it makes my nails grow quick and strong. But since it is an animal product, you might not want to go that route.
Did you know that seaweeds are a good source of calcium?
Looking forward to what you’ll do with those wood cabinet doors.
Hi Barbara – Vitiligo is a autoimmune disease that sadly doesn’t get many research dollars behind it. :-(. I am trying to follow all the protocols and am seeing slow progress back to pigmenting the white areas. I did not know seaweed was high in calcium. I do like California rolls with rice and veggies tucked inside. I will probably not keep the nails for a long period of time, but will enjoy them for awhile. My natural nails have gotten so much stronger since I started eating plant based, but I think my DIY’ing using my hands all the time doesn’t help them. :-) Thanks for telling me about the gelatin.
Hi Diane! I must have missed the previous chatty post, so I will go and look for it, but I really enjoyed this one! It is so fun to get to know some of the more personal details of who you are and what your life is like! I’m sure there can be some anxiety in opening yourself up and being a bit more vulnerable, so THANK YOU for taking that risk!
Hi Debbie – Thank you. :-). I will start adding chatty and more personal posts into y posting mix.
Diane, I had acrylic nails for a few years and they ruined my nail beds. Prior to them my nails were fairly hard and thick. Since I quit, about 10 years ago my nails are brittle and have ridges etc. Make sure to have the acrylic taken off for a few months every year to give your nails a rest.
Hi Mary – I have heard that the nails can ruin your nail beds when you have them long term. I probably won’t have them forever, but it sure is nice looking down at my hands and seeing pretty nails. One of the other reasons I wanted to try them out was that over the last few years I have noticed the ridges on my nails getting more pronounced than I had before. I tried everything – ridge filler, buffing, oils – nothing removed them. I was told by my doctor, as we age nail ridges show up the same way wrinkles on our skin appear as we age. No fun getting older.
Diane, loved the chat today. And the little chihuahua! He looks like our little Tootie that passed nearly four years ago. Your nails are beautiful. While I have strong nails, my cuticles constantly need to be moisturized. Wishing you and Ed a nice weekend!
Hi Terry – I just spent the weekend with my daughter and got to meet Lolly. She is so sweet. We are hoping that the surgery for her leg that is planned goes well and allows her to move around normally. Sorry to hear your little Tootsie passed. That is the hardest thing about owning a pet. To keep my cuticles nice, I rub shea butter into them on a daily basis. I keep a small tin of it in my purse and another in my kitchen to use after my hands have been washing dishes. It works great and is inexpensive. A jar will last a long time. Here is the one I use. https://amzn.to/3IXLzsQ
Look into the Acure brand of moisturizers – they have mostly natural ingredients. I use a small container where I mix the moisturizer and mineral sunscreen and then use it on my face.
Your acrylic nails look pretty, but they can damage your natural nails and cause health problems from the formaldehyde and other chemicals used in the application process. Just FYI!
Hi Melanie – Thanks for suggesting the Acure brand of skin care. I will check it out. I do the same with my sunscreen, mix it in with my moisturizer to make it go on more evenly. When I want a little coverage, I will also add a drop of foundation to make my own tinted moisturizer. I an only use mineral sunblock as the chemical ones leave my skin too irritated. My favorite one is the baby formula mad by Australian Gold. It is getting hard to find.
I agree with you that the chemicals used in acrylic nails are worrisome. I am enjoying having the nails for awhile. Having them is more of doing something on my bucket list and being able to then check it off my list and move on.
I love hearing about real people and what’s going on….thank you for letting us in and sharing 💜. Love your nails!! Life is too short for bad wine and for me…ugly nails!! Lol
Have a wonderful weekend 🥰
Hi Lynn – Thanks :-) That is for sure… life is too short not to enjoy the things we like. Hope you are enjoying the weekend.
Hubby and I saw Riverdance in Austin years and years ago. He loved the Celtic Woman show, too. I have the CD but haven’t listened to it in years – might have to put that on this evening and trip down memory lane. As for stress, if you find the magic answer, please share it with me. As a new widow, it seems like life is fraught with stress and change. Instead of losing pigment, I lose hair. I just have to keep repeating “better days are coming”.
Hi Gina – I hope you enjoyed revisiting your Riverdance CD. It was so impressive the way the dancers can move. Sorry to hear that your reaction to the stressors in your life is to lose hair. Over the last few years I have been trying to remove the things in my life that I don’t need anymore. My favorite quote is… Life is too short to be the caretaker of the wrong details. I try to keep this in mind. I will never be a minimalist, but having less to take care of helps and gives me time to relax, read, sit on the deck and daydream. I have also allowed myself not to feel stressed if I don’t have new project posts every week. I used to worry myself sick and work late into the night to finish posts. I can’t do that anymore. As a new widow, I can’t even imagine what you are going through. Try to just take it one day at a time until it is not so overwhelming for you. XO
Just get your nails done and relax stress free and pamper yourself.
Hi Karen – The more I think about it, I agree with you just allow myself to have them done. I don’t pamper myself enough.
I love your chatty posts! When you first posted about your Yonanas frozen fruit machine, I had to go buy one myself. I love that little machine. I love to make a frozen fruit dessert as a treat for myself.
I can’t wait to see what you create with those wood panels. They look awesome.
One of my past managers used to do her own nails and they were gorgeous. I know you will be able to accomplish this as well.
Thanks for sharing.
Hi Kim – I use my Yonanas machine on a daily basis. It is the best!!! I never miss ice cream since having it. After watching the nail videos on You Tube, I am pretty sure I will be able to my nails myself. It is worth a try and thanks for the vote of confidence. :-)
If you actually are able to do your own nails, I want to hear about it! I don’t think I could do that!
I love those doors. I immediately thought of hanging a lamp on them and attaching them to the wall on either side of my bed. Even though they are antique in appearance, you could balance that with a slightly more modern type of hanging light with a shade and maybe add a small picture/frame on the doors too. Love them and be sure to show us what you did with them.
Hi Linda – If I do end up doing my own nails I will post about it. :-) Your idea to place a hanging lamp on the wood panels on either sides of a bed is a great idea. Thanks for sharing it. I had two ideas for them and couldn’t decide, but finally did. I hope to get the project very soon.
The pic of your daughter with the dog is adorable. I see a foster fail in the future!
Hi Kris – When my daughter texted the photo of her and Lolly, I just loved it. We are visiting her this weekend and met Lolly last night. She is a cutie for sure. Mandy is taking great care of her, but did say if she ever got a dog, she would want one that was big enough to go running and walking with her, but that could change as they become buddies until she goes back to the SPCA for surgery.
I do love your chats. Mandy is doing a wonderful thing by fostering fur babies. That pup in the photo is adorable, and Mandy looks great. Can’t wait to see what you do with the file cabinet sides. Beautiful pieces of wood to rescue. And keep smiling at folks who you think are checking out your Vitiligo. Such a graceful thing to do.
Hi Diane! I love your blog! I have had a problem with weak nails and splitting. I have never had a manicure, so I was a bit concerned. I showed my doctor at my annual physical. She recommended OPI original nail envy. This product has changed my life! A month later, I have beautiful long nails and I am thrilled. Also, on your plant based diet, how do you supplement your important calcium (1,200 per day) and other essential bone vitamins while eating so many anti-nutrients? Do you still drink milk? I love this opportunity
to talk about such important topics!
Hi Cheryl – I will check out the OPI nail envy. It sounds like a great product. The question about where to get calcium as well as protein always get asked as we have been brought up to think that dairy is the only food source to get calcium. I haven’t consumed dairy products in 25 years. So when I went all plant-based, it wasn’t a huge transition to cut out meat and processed foods. Calcium is found i all dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, turnips, and collard greens that if you eat a few cups a day fulfill daily calcium needs. If you eat a rainbow of colors of veggies and fruits you will get all the nutrients you need. There are even whole food plant based eaters like Rich Roll and Rip Esselstyn who have been plant based for years and are triathletes. The only nutrient plant-based eaters need is B-12. The only source of this is in meat or in soil. :-) I had my B-12 checked after 2-1/2 years eating plant-based and my B-12 level was high I am cutting back to only taking a supplement once a week. If you have any more questions, let me know. Check out Chef AJ on YouTube who interviews all the plant based doctors You will get tons of knowledge. Another place to get info is to read the book The Starch Solution by John McDougall.
Look at you getting your nails done!!! Loved the chat. Hope you are doing well.
Hi Laura – I am doing well and enjoying seeing pretty nails on my hand. I never thought they would stand up to all the DIYing I do, but they are industructable if that is even a word. I hope you are doing well and enjoying life with 3 teens. XO
I am an avid reader of your blog and look forward to each one! I am also a licensed esthetician and spa owner, and 15 years ago created my own line of skin care products called Total Balance. I only sell them through my spa and website at this point but plan to expand in the future.
My SO also has vitiligo so I have been learning more about it as well. His came on after spine surgery, and I have learned that a major stress event like major surgery can cause an autoimmune response in the body.
A good friend of mine is a plastic surgeon an he has mentioned there are a few products being developed for vitiligo but are still a couple years from market.
I am happy to send you some samples of several moisturizers from my skin care line. They don’t contain any lightening or brightening ingredients and have been top sellers for years. I am also working on some serums and can send samples as well. They are hydrating and can be layered under the moisturizers.
One other suggestion I would like to make; I know you are wearing sunscreen daily, but there are some really good mineral based foundations that would even out the appearance your skin tone, provide some SPF and are very comfortable to wear.
Thanks for all your great suggestions and tutorials and I covet your lake views!!
Love your chat! I applaud you for getting acrylic nails, I used to when I was a single working woman. I loved them, they were tough and beautiful. My natural nails, as I age, are getting worse, not better. I have just started using a biotin brush on recommended by a doctor. Will see how that works. My big yay! is that I just (at 66 years old) got contact lenses for the first time. I have always hated wearing glasses but was told several times earlier on that contacts wouldn’t work for me. Never questioned that until recently. So glad I did.
I say ‘Rock On’ to us all!
Hi Robin – I will check what a biotin brush is. I remember taking biotin years ago to help with skin, hair, and nails. I forgot all about it. I hate wearing glasses too. I tried contacts for presbyopia about 5 years ago, but they didn’t work for me. I had two pairs – one for days I wanted to see far. Another pair for when I wanted to see my cell phone. It was too much going through the day not seeing far or close up. My sister both have the presbyopia contacts and they work fine for them – one pair and able to see near and far. My doctor told me to try again in a few years as my eyesight may change and they could work. Rock on is right! You go girl!!!
Hi Robin – Thanks for taking the time to tell me about your skin care line, I would love to try a few samples. :-) It is very interesting to hear that your SO’s started after having major surgery. When I had my hip replaced I thought for sure I would get a new patch of it where the incision is, but I haven’t. My derm told me that since I have two patches that happened from skin wounds – my knee and on my arm. I should not get any facial treatments that abrade the skin since this could cause the vitiligo to become active again. I didn’t realize this but it is one more way to get it besides stress. :-(
I do wear mineral based product/foundation and it does lessen the color changes on my face. None are prefect but I have tried powder as well as cream based mineral foundations.The cream formula works the best. I am always on the lookout for finding the best coverage and color as so many are too light, tan or orange on my skin. I usually end up mixing two colors to get the best color match.
Thank you for you suggestions. XO
I have Vitiligo also. I am 79 years old. I had it on my face, neck, hands, chest. I used makeup to cover it on my face. Over the years it has left, only remaining on my hands. I am do not absorb the sun. A doctor told me at that time it is a symptom of something else going on in your body. I now have an autoimmune called Dystonia. Effects my muscles, legs, and speech. I eat what I want. Life is short and I want to enjoy every moment. I grew up not liking food, shinny as a rail, kids making fun of how thin I was, I don’t go over board on food. I now have diabetes but it is a family thing….no matter how thin you are, how careful you are in eating you are going to get it. So, I do watch my sugar and carbs but I don’t do away all together. I love your website. Like having a good neighbor next door. Your lake view is beautiful, how lucky you are. I wish you the best, Vitiligo will go away, I use to see a lot of dark skin people where I lived in Ohio that had it, I don’t see any here in CA. Where a cover up makeup on your face, and keep on smiling, a wonderful asset of your’s…
Sincerely, your new friend, Alice
Hi Alice – Thank you for taking the time to tell me you enjoy my blog and about your vitiligo. It is good to hear that your white patches are gone from your face. That is what I am hoping for. When I am out and about in the warm months of the year, I have to make sure I cover all my white patches, especially my hands with tons of sunscreen. Two summers ago I was on vacation and rode my bike quite a lot one day. I didn’t have sunscreen on my hands – never again – the white patches got sunburned bad and blistered for a few days. Sorry to hear that you have more than one autoimmune disease. I have read if you have one, you are more likely to get another. It sounds like you have a positive attitude about life though and that is the best… like you said… life is short. ENJOY IT!
Look for Kiss brand glue-on nails, usually available at drug stores, grocery stores, Walmart, etc. for around $8 for a set of $24 various sized nails. They have them in dozens of styles/colors but my favorite are “Real short” that look like natural nails. Nail glue is included and you can file them if needed and paint them easily. They last 10 days or so for me then start falling off. Usually by that time, my own nail has grown out a good bit. They don’t seen to damage my real nails as I’ve heard that nail salon acrylic nails can do over the long run. I don’t use the glue on nails frequently but do use them when my hands are going to be seen more closely. There is a slight learning curve to gluing them on but you soon catch on.
should have read 24 nails not $24
Hi Sue – Now that I am becoming more educated in all things fingernails, I did see the Kiss Brand glue on nails. They look pretty amazing and to hear they last 10 days or so is enough to give them a try. Thanks for telling me about them.
Love this! I am surprised to hear that Cervae has lightening ingredients. I always thought it was more of a natural product. I use it myself. My husband and I love Broadway shows and see the ones that come locally. There is some amazing talent. We saw Fiddler on the Roof last month. It was amazing. Thanks for sharing your daily stories. It’s very enjoyable.
I enjoyed your “chatty” post and think it would be great to mix it into your weekly posts.
Your nails look “Marvelous, Darling!” I too love having the natural looking nails-and use to do my own. You can absolutely learn to do them yourself (And save a LOT of $$😉).
Just wanted to add that I’ve been a longtime reader and fan of your blog and enjoy it! You bring such joy to my day and teach me so much! I know it’s a lot of work, but I for one want you to know that you’re appreciated, admired and (dare I say) loved by many 🤗.
Wishing you joy and laughter,
Really enjoyed this post & thanks for the healthy meal ideas. I love the frozen pineapple idea. I started to eat plant based in January and this month I got two migraines (haven’t had them in years). My stress level was low & I was getting good sleep. Now I’m a little leery about going totally plant based and maybe doing an 80/20 way of eating with some meat. I don’t know if it was the new way of eating or menopause or what! But it freaked me out since it’s been years since having one.
I love these types of chats! It’s always nice to get a peek into someone’s life.
The artwork looks to be a group of landscape scenes done by different people and/or at different times of the day/week/month. When I taught art in a junior high school, I cut up a picture into equal squares or rectangles and gave each student one along with larger piece of paper with the same ratio such as a 1 1/2 square of the picture and a 6×6 piece of paper. They had to recreate that segment of the picture without knowing what the original picture was. Then I assembled the original and the student’s papers. It was a great mosaic of the original.
Looking forward to what you do with those cabinet sides.
I have big ideas on repurposing things but it doesn’t always work out in the end. Does that happen to you, too?
I enjoyed reading your chat this morning. I love getting to know people and their stories.