Thursday, July 19, 2012

Inspirational must read!!

This is a guest post on my blog, I don't know her personally but she has an inspirational story (journey she has had) that I think is very touching and I would love to help build awareness and share her message!

 Heather Von St James is a 43-year-old wife and mother. Upon her diagnosis of mesothelioma, she vowed to be a source of hope for other patients who found themselves with the same diagnosis. Now, over 6 years later, her story has been helping people all over the globe. She continues her advocacy and awareness work by blogging, speaking and sharing her message of hope and healing with others. Check out her story at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog.

Winning the Battle

One of the most wonderful times in a woman’s life is when she’s expecting a child.  I was blessed with a normal pregnancy and my excitement grew with each little movement and kick. Lily, my darling baby girl, was born vibrantly healthy with a full set of fingers and toes via emergency c-section on August 4, 2005.  My husband, his family, my parents and many dear friends, “my village” as I like to call them, were there throughout my pregnancy and Lily’s birth.  Life seemed perfect with so much to look forward to as each new chapter in this life unfolded.

I had to go back to work when Lily was about a month old.  I wasn’t feeling well but was told that the fatigue and breathlessness was because I had just given birth; a bad case of “baby blues.” However, I felt there was something wrong and contacted my doctor.  After many tests, the diagnosis revealed much more than we expected.

During one of the most joyous times of my life, with a three-and-a half-month-old baby girl, I was slapped with devastating news.  On November 21, 2005, I was diagnosed with malignant pleural mesothelioma; a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. As it turns out, I came into contact with asbestos when I was just a child, 30 years ago. If that wasn’t bad enough, the doctor gave me 15 months to live unless I began treatment immediately.  I had so much to live for and I couldn’t imagine my loving husband and new baby girl having to go on with out me. I knew I had to do whatever I could to beat this monster and that meant getting the best treatment possible.

We headed to Boston, the home of one of the best mesothelioma doctors in the U.S.  My folks took care of Lily while my husband and I went off to seek his help.  On February 2, 2006, I underwent an extrapleural pneumonectomy, a procedure that removed the affected lung and all its surrounding tissues.  I stayed in the hospital for 18 days. Two months later, I started treatments of radiation and chemotherapy.

Throughout our time in Boston, our village grew. We met other families who were going through the same thing; their support was invaluable. They leaned on us and we leaned on them. Back in South Dakota, my parents gained their own little village. Girls who I used to baby-sit for, now grown with families of their own, offered to watch Lily while my parents worked. Their support means more to me than I can ever express.

Motherhood is a 24-hour joyful and stressful job but I never dreamed I would be battling the curse of mesothelioma at the same time.  It was so hard missing those cherished moments in the first year of Lily’s life. Those precious moments, that my parents shared with me though photos, made me determined to win this battle. My fight paid off, as I’m now cancer-free.

Along with the visions of my beautiful baby girl, it was “my village” of family and friends that gave me the strength to reach for the stars and beat this cancer.  I knew I needed to be here for those who loved and supported me through it all. Life is so precious and cancer is a curse; never give into it.

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Party planning :)

      I'm glad to say it is still early in the week and I'm running AHEAD of my schedule! Which is a very good thing right now because next month is both my girls birthdays, turning 6 & 3 and I'm one of those crazy people that plan everything out a month or 2 in advance for a party that last maybe 2 hours and then swear that I'll never do that again...until next year :) This year they want a Minnie mouse themed party, it will be a double party (as long as I can get away with doing a 2 in 1 party I will!!) So my next couple of weeks are going to be getting everything together for the party so (and getting my oldest ready for her first day of school) I may not get to many more designs out over the next month. However I will be answering emails so if u need anything I will get back to you! I think July & August will always be very busy for us because of the 2 birthdays and school starting.

     My mom went yard selling the other day and got the girls some really cute skirt (childs place) adorable camouflage with appliqued roses on it...she (my 5 yr old) wasn't very thrilled with the skirt...if its not pink and shinny shes not interested so I knew I had to figure out something to do with a shirt to match the skirt so she would wear it because it is sooo cute! So on a pink shirt I added a simple raggedy rose applique, it looks simple but not quit as easy as it do the guideline stitch first then I took a strip of material I cut very thin (this probably would have been a lot easier done with ric rac or ribbon but I wanted it to match the skirt) after the guide line is stitched I sprayed with adhesive glue over the stitches and carefully laid down the material, then did the last stitch and it's done! Seems simple enough but getting the material laid just perfect over the stitches took a few minutes! I'm going to add this to my website on the free designs if anyone would like to try it! I would love to see any pictures of your work I would love to see how creative you can be with suck a simple design!! (Click on the word free and it will take you to the free designs page).

     I think it turned out cute but most importantly, my daughter loves it so WIN :) and of course she had to have a matching bow! Oh and since I mentioned adhesive spray < I had a question from someone the other day about the brand I use so originally I used the Sulky KK2000 which I get from Joanns but recently was at my local sewing shop and saw this 505 spray adhesive, it only cost 12.99 versus the Sulky which is 14.99 but the can is twice as big, a little over 8 oz. and with the Sulky you only get 4 oz so way better deal and I have used it and it works just as good. I don't use spray adhesive a whole lot so it last a long time for me but if you use it often I would definitely check into this 505 way more for your money!  Here's a picture so you can see what the can looks like. This may already be a widely known brand I have no idea its just new to me and I thought I would share since its such a good deal!

      I made this for a friends baby the other day, ( this applique is also listed under the free designs) the party was zebra themed so it matched great! I love the little bloomers they are always fun to do!

     I have been spending time that I do not have on Pinterest :) I love all of the creative ideas!! If anyone has any party ideas (Minnie Mouse) I would love to hear them I'll be preparing for the next month trying to gather ideas and things I can do & make for the party! email me at

Tuesday, July 3, 2012



                                                                 Happy 4th!!

     Here's a quick recipe, I always fix this for our family reunion which we are missing this year but no reason not to fix this for the family! Just to let you know when I say its easy then its EASY because I'm NOT a cook just never enjoyed being in the kitchen and luckily married a man who does (and is very good at it too) The best part is its no bake (easy) and EVERYONE will love it! You need to prepare it the night before so it can sit in the fridge over night and I'm telling u every time I fix this for a party everyone loves it and the dish will be empty coming home and I said it was easy right?? I have been making this for MANY MANY years and its original name is Cherry Delight but I am adding fresh blueberries to the mix this time for the fourth of July (I have used a can of strawberries and a can of blueberries too) so whatever your preference will work!

So here's the ingredients:   13x9 dish
1 large box of vanilla instant pudding
1 medium size tub of cool whip (in my pic you'll see a large tub if u have a large tub use about half)
1 can of cherries or strawberries, blueberries whatever u would like
1 box of graham cracker (honey or original)
2.5 cups of milk (follow the instructions for the instant pudding for the milk, which is 2.5 cups for a large box)

1.~Fix the instant pudding as directed in a mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. While your waiting line your dish with grahams crackers. Normally I don't go so high on the sides especially if I'm doing this to take somewhere because it just looks better if u don't, but since this is just for the family and they LOVE graham crackers I added more :)
2.~ Next add the cool whip to the mix and mix thoroughly.

3.~ Then add a layer of mixture and then a layer of graham crackers (I usually do one of each)
4.~Then add your topping.
5.~Refrigerate until ready to eat (at least 4 hours to let the crackers soften a little) You can use a can of blueberries and a can of cherries and swirl it over the top that is what I normally do for the fourth and it's really cute. I hope u enjoy!