Born to be alive

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Two years ago today I got a new lease on life....

2/17/2014 I had to go to Albany Med for a "routine" procedure as I had a miscarriage at 20 weeks and had to have a D&E. Little did I know I would come much to closer to dying then I ever thought I would.

I've been told I'm a "rare bird" on many instances and if something is weird or unusual or never happens, it will happen to me in all aspect of my life. Just call me Genn with a G as in, G is for Glitch...

After this procedure I developed DIC and nearly bled to death. In Dr. Clark's 30 something years of being an ObGyn and specializing in this procedure, he had only seen it one other time.

Anyways. I'd just like to take the time out to say that never once since then have I taken life for granted. At first it was all I could do just to get out of bed and have motivation to do daily chores. Now, for the first time ever in my life Im excited to wake up and tackle the day and I actually get up when the alarm goes off without snoozing for an hour. I'm not as cranky in the morning (AS).

Everything smells better, tastes sweeter and looks brighter. I'm so unbelievably thankful for getting a second chance at life and getting things right.

Sending love up to our little angel in heaven and taking comfort knowing we've got a few friends and family members enjoying their company.

💋💗

My #GoTo MakeUp Look

When asked what my go to dress up look is; this is always my first thought, and pretty much what I wear on a daily basis...

Classic 1950's matte finish shadows with black liquid liner. Nude lips with pink blush and light bronzer. A little something that looks like this... 

My current faves shown here are...

@hikaricosmetics tango blush,

@pixibeauty subtly sun touched bronzer, 

@modelco_cosmetics eyebrows designer brow kit,

@urbandecaycosmetics naked basics eye palette, 

@nyxcosmetics collection noir liquid black liner and London soft matte lip cream,

@itcosmetics superhero black mascara and blushing nude lip liner and cc+ lip serum in love.

 #makeupartist#classiclook #gotolook #beautyblogger#makeupjunkie #makeup #liquidliner#nyx #makeuplooks #hikari #pixibeauty#itcosmetics #modelco #nyxcosmetics#browkit #mattepalette #nudelips

 

Hairfinity Hair Vitamins Review

Hairfinity are literally the best vitamins I've ever used for hair and nails.

In less then 2 months my hair has grown 3 inches. I average approximately .one half to one inch a month at the most. Not only has it grown faster, the condition it's in is much softer and thicker.

From Hairfinity.com "Our exclusive Capilsana® Complex provides the hair with its naturally occurring building blocks through the strengthening amino acids in Hydrolyzed Collagen, sulfur-containing MSM for vitality, and hair boosting Horsetail with silica. This powerful combination encourages healthier, more luxurious hair from the inside out.

They are easy on the stomach, and kidneys so you shouldn't experience any back pain or fluttering. However, as always, consult your Dr prior to using them if you have any health issues or are taking medications to find out if you can take them, and how far apart to space taking them with your current meds, along with what time of day they think it best for you. 

I personally think taking them at night is best after you eat and before bed to utilize most efficiently how cells reproduce at night. 

A steal at $72.99 for a three month supply.

Order them online HERE

What I used on the set of Pottersville

Shooting anything, whether it's a film, commercial, psa or tv, comes with it's own set of challenges. Pottersville was a movie set in upstate NY in the dead of winter and had some pretty extreme weather challenges. 

My job as Key makeup artist and makeup & hair swing was to assist the Department Head in applying makeup prior to shooting, following her direction on what she wanted and ensuring whatever was applied, was maintained throughout the filming. 

The actors I had as Key initially in the makeup room (Michael Torpey and Debargo Sandal) were both male, both featured on camera, and both outside most of the days. In order to ensure they were both camera ready, I had to asses their skin tone, and even out anything that was red, blotchy or cover up any shaving cuts or blemishes. This is for HD so it must be extremely light and natural coverage. Nothing too heavy, or dark. Think opposite News Anchor makeup. 

Another thing to take into consideration is discoloration in the skin due to beards, acne scars, etc. If you find that your actor / actress is having issues with "ashiness" it's best to lightly use a red / pink based concealer as a color corrector.

My go to is always it cosmetics for foundation powder, concealer and blot powder. After moisturizing I used Bye Bye under eye concealer for spot coverage, followed up with Celebration Foundation Powder. Finished everything with the Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder


INITIAL MUA STEPS FOR TALENT

1. Apply moisturizer to clean skin

2. Asses skin for imperfections, bruising, etc. Think about lighting, script, location, etc. 

3. Lightly cover under eyes (if talent has dark circles), blemishes, bruises and cuts with concealer using a concealer brush.  (I use it cosmetics bye bye under eyes

4. Blend edges with a clean brush (no product), and using a powder brush apply foundation powder lightly, and lightly finish with Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder. 

5. Apply Celebration Foundation Powder all over face and eyelids to make skin even (as needed).




STEPS FOR TOUCHES & LAST LOOKS 

Since we were on location in upstate, NY in the middle of winter, standing in snow that was knee deep and it was FREEZING cold for 6+ hours. Aside from the actors hands and feet freezing (wardrobe should always have hand and feet warmers but bring some with you just in case they don't or run out) there were a lot of; runny noses, red noses, concealer creasing, eye liner running and sweaty heads from overheating under hats. 

My main concern was to; 

1. make sure I had plenty of tissues to hand over to the actors to wipe noses. 

2. make sure I had their powder and concealer if I needed to touch up. obviously we didn't want them looking too perfect because the scenes they were in were outside, it had to look somewhat realistic. 

3. carry extra sponges with me to clean up under the eye area if concealer creased or makeup ran. 

4. Touch up any extraordinary amounts of shine with Pressed Blot Powder 


COPYRIGHT GENN SHAUGHNESSY 2/5/2016



Get your Glow on!

This weekend is your chance to get your glow on. If you are feeling dull, blah, bored with your makeup routine, and need a little pep in your daily routine, here's what you need to do: Bust out some Pink Champagne and  The Glow Stick

 
*****This weekend, spend $100.00 or more and get 15% off!!!! Woohoo!!! I rarely do the discount thing, so take advantage!!!! 
 
coupon code: highlight
 
Look at these two awesome before n afters from Makeup 101 Class in Fort Lauderdale:
What do they have in common? Gorgeous, radiant skin, and they both were shown how to highlight in a sophisticated way at a Makeup 101 Class. 
Here is a little refresher course for those who have attended a class, and also a sneak peek for those who haven't had a chance to take it.
 
Always prep skin with moisturizer before applying makeup. If you have dry skin, start with the Luminosity Ultimate Line Relaxing Creme to instantly smooth out the lines, then follow with the Clearly Younger Skin w Retinol (Goddessy Creme) for super smooth out before applying makeup. If you are more of a combination skin type, I suggest applying Time Freeze w/ Matrixyl 3000, and then the Clearly Younger Skin. 
 
Prep is so important!!!! It is what makes your skin truly glow
Apply a creme to powder foundation like my famous 4 in One Camera Ready Foundation all over. 
 
Watch this video to see how to get flawless FAST 
 
I usually apply a bit of Best Bronzer, then follow with highlighting. You can highlight with the creamy Glow Stick by applying it right underneath the arch of the brow, then around in a circle to the tops of cheeks, and also down the center of the nose. 
 
If you are younger, you can use the Pink Champagne Highlighter for this as well. 
 
Watch this video on how to highlight
 
We now offer Makeup 101 Classes in Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Boston, St. Paul, Albany, Long Island, and Denver. They are so much fun, and many of you that are subscribed to our newsletters have come to take the classes, and I thank you! 
If you need a refresher course, or just to update your makeup, or you need to get some more amazing Jennifer Bradley Medical Grade Skincare & Cosmetics, you should book a class! Get your vouchers for the class at Living Social or Groupon and call us up for an appointment before we get totally booked up for the holiday season. 
 
Call me at 954 647 4142and I will get you to the right artist for an appointment in your area. Leave me a message, as I will be teaching classes all day, or go to www.jenniferbradley.comand go to the locations tab to find your pro artist to book a class. Our artists are AWESOME!!! and so are YOU! Bring a friend and treat yourself to a great learning experience with the best of the best people. 
 
****this weekend, spend $100.00 or more, get 15% off! Shop now.
 
Coupon code:                                    highlight 
 
Have a fabulous weekend! Have fun with your makeup. I certainly did when I put on this pink wig I found in my closet last night and played with my makeup. Yes, I did this just last night. :)
Peace, love, & lipgloss, 
Jennifer 

 

 

Deception in cosmetics advertising: Examining cosmetics advertising claims in fashion magazine ads

 

 

Jie G. Fowler, Timothy H. Reisenwitz and Les Carlson

a Department of Marketing and International Business, Langdale College of Business Administration, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, USAbDepartment of Marketing and International Business, Langdale College of Business Administration, Cleveland State University, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, GA, USAc Marketing Department, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE, USA

Journal of Global Fashion Marketing

Volume 6, Issue 3, 2015, pages 194- 206
Published online: 12 Jun 2015

DOI: 10.1080/20932685.2015.1032319

Because it’s not worth it: deceptive claims in cosmetics advertising

 

If you’re sceptical about the claims made by cosmetics firms about the attributes of their lotions and potions, you’re not alone. A study by US academics just published in the Journal of Global Fashion Marketingshows how little truth there seems to be in those glossy magazine ads – as well as how unlikely we are to believe them anyway.

 

Jie G. Fowler, Timothy Reisenwitz and Les Carson examined 289 full-page cosmetics ads from the April 2013 issues of seven fashion titles such as VogueGlamour and Marie Claire. The ads studied covered a wide range of product categories, such as make-up, facial skincare, body products, fragrance, hair and nail products.

 

The researchers first divided the claims made in the glossy ads into categories, including ‘environmental claims’ (‘no testing on animals’), endorsement claims (‘recommended by dermatologists’) and ‘scientific claims’ (‘clinically proven’). A panel of three judges then classified the claims made into one of four categories of truthfulness: ‘outright lie’, ‘omission’, ‘vague’ and ‘acceptable’.

 

In the end, only 18% of all claims made by the cosmetics companies were deemed ‘acceptable’ by the panel. Just 14% of ‘scientific’ claims were deemed acceptable, as opposed to 50% of those made about a product’s environmental attributes. Even more troubling for women worried about their wrinkles, the panel judged only 25.1% of performance claims to be acceptable, with 23% deemed to be an ‘outright lie’.

 

In addition to how unlikely consumers seem to be persuaded by the claims made in glossy magazines, the research also draws attention to the quirks of the regulatory processes by which ‘grey-area’ products like cosmeceuticals are considered to be a drug or a cosmetic – which in turn influence how a product can be marketed. “Categorization as a drug subjects the product to extensive regulatory requirements for new drugs,” the authors write, “so, ironically, cosmeceutical marketers do not want to prove the efficacy of their product, since drug regulation would then apply. Consequently, cosmeceutical advertising needs to attract consumers, but not regulators.”

 

The authors also note that given their results and the clear disbelief expressed by the judges regarding the cosmetic claims put before them, consumers (at least as represented by the judges) are already sceptical of product claims and are likely to consider them lies, omitting important information, or too vague to be of use.  Their observations thus have implications for advertisers, who, it seems, need to promote their products to customers increasingly distrustful that miracles can really be found in a jar. 

More ad the full report here http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20932685.2015.1032319#/doi/full/10.1080/20932685.2015.1032319

Hot Wedding Trends Emerging from Wedding Salon this season

New York, NY (July 27,  2015) – Over a thousand New Yorker’s attended Wedding Salon at Manhattan NYC, An Affinia Hotel on Monday to plan their destination weddings, local weddings, and honeymoons. Guests were stunned by the fashion forward, modern and unique wedding offerings; including an OSCAR award style 360° Photo Booth, a celebrity electric violinist playing modern hits, and hot travel spots from all over the world.

Hot Wedding Trends Emerging from Wedding Salon this season:

1.Photo Booths are a top booking priority: 
It is very rare to attend a wedding these days without a photo booth. Wedding Salon connected couples with the buzzed about Style360° Photo Booth by CircleCam straight from LA Oscars parties to traditional booths by Magnolia.

2. Luxury Travel Hot Spots:  Lisa, a newly engaged bride said, “Meeting the actual tourism boards for Aruba, Puerto Rico and Mexico really helped me. The tourism boards have the best advice for the real industry hot spots and even the hidden gems the travel agents don’t know about yet”.

Wedding Salon also highlighted travel destinations such as Jet Set Getaways, Allegro Resorts, St. Regis Aspen, Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach and much more.

3.  Vintage-Style Wedding Venues:  Venues offering vintage and natural wedding styles just a drive away from NYC got a lot of action. Couples raved about Blantyre, a castle-like country hotel. While Fearrington Village, Helsinki Hudson and Linwood Estate highlighted the appeal of luxury weddings with southern charm.

4. Beauty/Fashion High Lights:  Wedding Salon fashion Nicole Miller gowns decked out in A.JAFFE jewelry under a canopy of silver dollar eucalyptus, garden roses, dahlias, orchids. (Canopy florals by Dellables – Hawaiian Florist & Hair and makeup by Brush Chic).  

5. Non Traditional Desserts:  Modern cake and wedding dessert experts are stressing that cakes are not the only way to serve dessert. Carlo’s Bakery, La Maison Du Chocolat, and Ben & Jerry’s are just some of the other great options for switching up your desserts in a tasty way.

Wedding Salon is the nation’s #1 premier luxury bridal show, designed to look and feel like a luxurious wedding. Celebrating 10 years of success, Wedding Salon brings together the top names in bridal in five markets across the country. Wedding Salon CEO & Founder and celebrity wedding planner, Tatiana Byron, is available for interviews to discuss trends seen from the showcase and business highlights.

Photos by One for the Book Photography. 

Skin Reboot; How to Restart/Refresh Skin Overnight

How to Reboot your Skin. It's time to do a Refresh. Overnight. Something fast, because no one needs to know you have had this much fun this summer (it's written all over your face) 

I did this just last night, and I feel much more like the highly photoshopped photo below and a lot less like the Crypt Keeper. 

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Step one. Cleanse with 3 in One Fresh Cleanser. No matter what. No matter how tired you are. Just do it. It takes off all of your eye makeup, face makeup, and refines your pores. And it feels so good. 


Step two. Slather on a thick layer of Oxygen Plasma Mask, all over eyes, and around face. Go to bed at a semi decent hour. Ignore the alarm for an extra 30 minutes or so. 


THAT'S IT! It's so easy! My skin looks like plump baby skin, when yesterday, it was kind of just dull, and, well, telling the story of how I am not so young anymore. How I  will be a senior soon. That I have a teenage son. And a four year old. And Summertime can be brutal. That story is gone. My face says, "I just wake up like THIS."


People often see my skin and say, "But you naturally have beautiful skin. How old are you? You cannot be more than 29." 

Ha! I created all of my products to fix my truly sensitive, problematic, acne prone skin, and so I could look younger than my ex husband's way younger than me girlfriends. (joking. but not really)

Let's reboot together. This weekend if you spend $100.00 or more on any of your favorite Jennifer Bradley products, get a $32.00 Fresh Cleanser as a GIFT from me to you. ONLINE ONLY SPECIAL. 

***coupon code: Fresh

I hope that you are all are having a great summer. Below is a pic of my teenage son and I after 7 hours in the summer heat. He hit a home run in baseball. I'm proud of him, and also thankful that my  4 in One Camera Ready Foundation made me look as though I wasn't melting. 

Spend $100.00 and get Fresh Cleanser Gift $32.00 value automatically with this coupon code: Fresh. 

Happy Reboot! 

Jennifer



Best foundation ever

Once year ago today I replaced all my foundations, concealers and foundation powders with one, yes one amazing foundation. It was the best product to ever come along to me. Not a day goes by I wish I had something better, because it is by far the best, yes the best foundation I have ever used. I have literally reviewed over 10,000 products and this hands down is my most favourite product EVER. 

Jennifer Bradley 4in1 camera ready foundation 
$48.00 
www.JenniferBradley.com

 

 

Summertime Beauty Survival Essentials; ​HOW TO FIGHT THE HEAT AND LOOK FLAWLESS

From Jennifer Bradley; 

From Jennifer Bradley; 

Summer is that time of year when skin tends to suffer the most. The heat, the sun, and our attitude about makeup at this time can work against us.

 Never fear, Jennifer Bradley is here to tell you that YES you can and YES you should wear your Camera Ready Makeup today and every day, because it is sweat proof, swim proof, and it is the only makeup out there that you can wear to the beach, to the ball park, go swimming, and still have coverage when you get out of the water, or after you have been dripping with fabulosity. :) It also gives you better natural sun protection that chemical sunscreen. Protect your face! Wear makeup!!!!

****right now, get 10% off any orders over $75.00 and free shipping with this coupon code: thankyou****

Here are your summertime beauty survival essentials:

1. 4 in One Camera Ready Foundation

The only Oil free, sweat proof, weightless makeup for people who just really can't stand the feel of makeup on your skin that will give you outstanding sun protection. 

2. Use a great bronzer. My Best Bronzer is the perfect non sparkly summertime fake it don't bake it color for everyone. 

3. Revitalize your skin at night with Oxygen Plasma Mask. I use this at night 2 times a week after I cleanse with 3 in One Fresh Cleanser. Put this soothing, pure hyaluronic skin plumping hydration gel all over your face and eye area in a thick layer, then go to bed. You will wake up refreshed, and have baby smooth skin. 

Hope you all have a great weekend! Take advantage of the 10% off coupon: thank you 

For any order over $75.00, just add that coupon code and get 10% and free shipping. 

Here's a quick pic of me after 5 hours in the June heat at a baseball game. I'm wearing Clearly Younger Skin w Retinol (Goddessy Creme), Camera Ready Foundation, Best Bronzer, Malted Mauve Lipliner, Pure Sable Shadow, Monster Mascara, and a good attitude. 

Thank you again, and enjoy your weekend! 

Much love, 

Jennifer Bradley

www.jenniferbradley.com

Glamping, Love and Entrepreneurship, the Story Behind Firelight Camps

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ITHACA, NY (JULY 1, 2015)- They fell in love, they studied abroad, they learned more about the their trades, and now they have started two businesses together. Bobby and Emma Frisch have been very busy over the past few years with starting an eco-supporting boutique hotel and café in the heart of Matagalpa, Nicaragua and now bringing some of the first ever glamping to the U.S., with Firelight Camps in Ithaca, New York. 

For those not familiar, Glamping is a term derived from the two words "glamorous camping". Glamping is also referred to as "glam camping", "lux camping", "luxury camping" and many other similar phrases. Regardless of the specific terminology, the idea is the same; glamping brings the world of luxury into nature in the most seamless way possible. 

Glamping has origins in Africa and Thailand, but is relatively new to the U.S. and Europe. Most people want the feeling of falling asleep under the stars and being in nature without having to sleep on rocks to do it. Glamping allows for just that. It lets guests to be one with nature, while still enjoying the luxury of a bed and pre-pitched tent. Bobby and Emma have brought the idea of glamping to life in the Northeast with Firelight camps. 

"We have always loved how the serenity and relaxing nature of a campfire has brought people of all ages together," said Bobby, Firelight Camps CEO. "That, along with our passion for eco-tourism sparked the idea for Firelight Camps."

They got their start while traveling abroad for their respective skills. Bobby is in business and taught micro enterprise and entrepreneurship to high school students and women in the Nicaragua area during his service with the Peace Corps. Emma is all about food and farming. She has traveled throughout the Northeast U.S., Kenya and the Ecuadorian Andes building farm-to-city relationships for families, schools, universities and hospitals. It was during her time working in Latin America that Emma honed in on her love for cooking, rock climbing and eco-friendly tourism. The couple brought their passions together to start their first hotel and café "La Buena Onda" in Matagalpa and partnered with coffee cooperatives, a local chocolate factory, artisan groups, and outdoor adventure guides to bring eco-tourism activities to their guests. 

While they thoroughly enjoyed their time in Latin America, the couple returned to the states and moved to Ithaca to create a new hotel that would have an impact closer to home. Bobby received his MBA from the Johnson School of Management at Cornell and continued to travel abroad learning more about the eco-tourism industry. Emma worked with Contentment Camping at Bonaroo Music Festival, helping to launch a village of glamping tents for the festival goers, as well as starting a food blog and being a top finalist on the show "Food Network Star". During this time the business plan for what would soon be known as Firelight Camps, was created. 

"We thought the Finger Lakes would be the perfect place to launch Firelight Camps," said Emma. In 2014, Wine Enthusiast voted New York State Wine Region of the Year, of which the Finger Lakes is a major contributor. "Our community is so supportive of young entrepreneurs, and there was a wealth of knowledge and resources here to help us build the camp. The Finger Lakes is one of the oldest and most vibrant food and farming regions in the country, and is quickly becoming known as an agritourism destination. It's also home to an astonishing number of waterfalls and lakes, which is a huge attraction for outdoor lovers."

Bobby and Emma brought their passions together to create something entirely new and with that, glamping in the Finger Lakes region was born. Firelight Camps opened its first year with six tents and a small lobby tent, but has now expanded since growing in popularity. There are currently 15 safari styled tents with hardwood floors, a king or queen bed, furniture inspired by camps around the world and a covered porch. Guests can also enjoy the camps bathhouse, lobby and lounge where a locally-inspired continental breakfast is served, happy hour featuring Finger Lakes wines, beers, ciders and spirits, bocce ball and a phone charging area. The Bistro at La Tourelle, John Thomas Steakhouse and August Moon Spa are located on the property. Many of their guests take waterfall hikes in their backyard of Buttermilk Falls State Park. All of these amenities as well as the beautiful areas of the Finger Lakes and Greater Ithaca, allow for guests to enjoy a new style of camping without roughing it.

To find out more about Firelight Camps or book your next weekend get away and camping trip visit firelightcamps.com

Color Crisis #askrachel

 

As someone who paints faces on a daily basis in a range of up to at least 20 different shades. I'm fascinated by the recent tending news of Rachel Dolezal's color crisis. 

I find it very disheartening that so much judgement is being passed on a woman who in her heart feels she is black, even though biologically she is not. 

Comments are being made making fun of her for her permed hair, her fake tan, and other appearance enhancements made to transform her into what she feels she is. 

Every day we as women change everything. Our hair color, texture, putting sunscreen on to prevent us from getting darker, and sunless tanner on to be darker because let's face it, none of us love ourselves enough to leave any of us 100% the way we are alone. 

Am I saying lying is ok? No, I am not. However for any of you to say you've never kept a part of your Biological or environmental history out of conversation or censored some of it to be appropriate for the audience in which it was being presented to, you're also completely full of shit.  

The fact the her own parents outed her should tell you something. The fact that they haven't spoken in years should tell you something. 

This sensationalist news epidemic has completely overtaken this country in les then 24 hours we all know more about this woman then most of you know about your own neighbors, who by the way could also be living a reinvented life. 

Blood for everyone doesn't make a family. Rachel found a community she loved being a part of and worked for that community on a daily basis to improve it. She did not create this persona to intentionally cause harm to anyone, but grew into it as that's what she felt she was. 

Just like any lie, one turns into a spiderweb and can spiral out of control which obviously is where she's at now. 

All of you taking enjoyment in watching her world come crashing down on her, to say I'm disappointed is an understatement.  

So she likes her skin darker? Visit any tanning salon in any local neighborhood. 

So she likes her hair darker and curlier? Sit in any salon on any street corner for 2 hours and watch the transformation of anyone in any stylists chair. 

Neither of these are convictions of poor character like most of you are claiming them to be. 

I hope for her and her family she gets whatever help she needs to assist her in her struggles and that the community she loves and has dedicated her entire life, literally to, doesn't abandon her for not being the same race as them at birth. 

We are all works in progress and evolving at multiple points in our lives. Why pass judgement?  

 

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Shwapportunity Online SWAP site

 

Shwapportunity Revolutionizes the Bartering Economy 

New York, New York- Shwapportunity.com announces the official launch of the most innovative, bartering economy platform to date. Shwapportunity is the latest, revolutionary idea that is eliminating the inconvenience of online shopping and thus, wiping out competitors. This platform is trademarked as the only barter based economy operating on the internet. A barter economy is a cashless economic system in which services and goods are traded at negotiated rates. By paying homage to a throwback capitalist system, the creators of Shwapportunity have single-handedly transformed an industry. 

People can’t seem to stay away from the addiction of online shopping. Online shopping has become just as tedious as regular shopping. It is time and money and neither is always available.  Now there's a new way to shop....Shwapportunity. Shwapportunity was built as an online trading marketplace for people who have the ability to share and “shwapp” their goods with one another.

This forum provides a quick, ongoing solution as the new medium to exchange and obtain merchandise. Shwapportunity was developed to alleviate the stress of having to wait for the next pay check to get the items that you desire. You also never have to feel like you wasted your money on impulse purchases or items that are no longer trending because now you can put them to good use. You can still fulfill your need to online shop as you view everyone’s belongings, only now you are getting an even better bargain than anticipated- free! 

Shwapportunity offers an extremely wide range of various items to meet your lifestyle needs: everything from high-end couture, clothes for your child, as well as electronics. Members can upload multiple photos and add descriptions of their items which are then displayed in several different categories. “Shwapp” confirmation occurs almost instantly when a transaction is made because members are asked to ship their items within 24 hours – say goodbye to long waiting periods and overpriced items. The whole process is as simple to use as uploading a photo to any social media network. With Shwapportunity, your opportunities are endless.

Each member has a profile or a “closet” of their personal items that they are looking to trade. Individuals have the ability to choose which items are being shwapped and with whom. Through the onsite messaging system, a person can deny a swap request, provide counter offers with one another, or simply accept the original trade. Individuals have the ability to also rate one another, their products, and experience in order to assist other members as they make their own transactions. There is absolutely no cash payments for items making this a completely exclusive, unique, one of a kind bartering economy.   

Creator of Shwapportunity, Alicia Hiller, explains “The concept is simple. We have created an online platform that assists you in getting the products you want without the hassle of paying for them. Leave your wallet at home and search, locate and shwapp for items that you want. Our easy to use interface has your needs in mind. Load items into My Closet, then connect with others who are searching for products that you own. We created Shwapportunity with one vision in mind: to provide a simple and effective online platform for a surging industry.”

Turn an opportunity into a schwapportunity. 

About Shwapportunity

Shwapportunity.com is an online bartering economy that allows individuals to find and swap products with other members. A community of people who have the ability to share and trade with one another in a forum providing a quick, ongoing solution with no need for money.

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Pot for her pleasure?

 

The Generic Name for the New FDA-approved 

Female Sexual Desire Aid Flibanserin 
is… 
Pot.

Coalitions, lobbyists, women’s health leaders, pharmaceutical companies and medical professionals gathered on the East coast this past week to witness a pivotal moment for women’s sexual equality; the FDA approved one little pink pill called Flibanserin. 

There is, however, an all-natural product changing #HERstory 
across California and Colorado. What is it?
It’s cannabis, of course, and it's called Foria.

#HERstory is part of an experiential marketing campaign started by Even the Score,  an organization advocating for the FDA to allocate research and approve a drug for enhancing diminished libido in women.

Foria, a company producing a cannabis-infused sensual enhancement oil, reminds us of marijuana’s wide spectrum of sexual health benefits reported by women over the last year. These reports range from increased pleasure, diminished pain, easier access to orgasm, and elongated orgasms. Foria welcomes Flibanserin to the existing table of limited options for boosting women’s sexual desire. ), in an interview with Huffington Post Live this week. The drug in question sparks an efficiency debate among medical professionals while inundating the media with stabs at the FDA, calling the government organization ‘sexist’ and has the medical community questioning whether HSDD is even a real medical issue. The questions Pearson raises focus on the lack of data, the effectiveness vs. the safety risk for women, and how trial study margins are not large enough for the FDA to draw a definitive conclusion. Foria, a female-centric company dedicated to benefiting women’s sexual health in the most natural of ways, encourages continued research around the subject of low libido, female desire and potential treatments. Foria wants women to know a medicinal alternative does exist for women of all ages seeking easer access to orgasm and enhanced sexual sensation.Hypo Sexual Desire Disorder - Executive Director, Cindy Pearson of the National Women's Health Network, raised important questions around the new FDA-approval of Flibanserin, a pharmaceutical drug benefiting HSDD (LOS ANGELES, CA

The all-natural product that is changing women’s sex lives across California and Colorado is Foria, a cannabis-infused ‘pre’ lubricant applied before intimate activity to relax the vaginal muscles and increase tissue sensation creating a kind of localized high and steering away from any psychoactive head high. In other words, women who aren’t crazy for cannabis can use this product comfortably without getting ‘high.’

Foria Commercial 

As we begin to see marijuana laws shift, more people are integrating the use of cannabis into their lives and into their routine of health care options. Foria is positioned between two powerful movements happening now in the United States; Marijuana legalization and female sexual equality. 

“Women deserve to feel comfortable and excited for sex. With Foria, we stimulated an international conversation around female sexual health, and we are excited to take the lead in furthering research on how cannabis is providing a broad spectrum of benefits for overall sexual wellness. Foria was designed for women to help inspire relaxation and allow them to have a fully embodied experience with their sexuality at any stage of life,” said Wellness Director, Mathew Gerson.

Foria provides an all-natural option for women of all ages whether they are experiencing sexual challenges or if their sex life is perfectly healthy.

Shareable Experiences - 

"Having an orgasm was not always something that came with having sex for me, it was hit or miss. And after having 2 children it became even harder to achieve one. I was a little skeptical at first, but I was willing to try Foria.

I have never ever had an orgasm like this before Foria. It was amazing!

We have been using Foria for a couple of months now, and it just keeps getting better and better. Thank you.”  - Foria Patient: Jenna, age 46

Coming Soon – Market demand has spurred Foria to enter as many new markets as possible, making product readily available to more women by end of Summer 2015. Research and development is also underway for additional complimentary products.

KEY TAKEAWAY: Opening the conversation up to multiple options, multiple players and not just one company backing one drug, will be at the epicenter of success for women. Women deserve pleasure. Women deserve options, both pharmaceutical and alternative. 

Foria is an all-natural sensual enhancement oil designed for female pleasure. The formula is a unique blend of liquid coconut oil and cannabis, one of humanity’s oldest known aphrodisiacs.
Foria is currently available in California and Colorado.

www.ForiaPleasure.com

 

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#ihadamiscarriage and it almost killed me

Sometime in January 2013 I knew something wasn't right and I had a bad feeling. I have anxiety so I often ignore my gut instinct, which, is usually right. I should have listened to it. Had I known then what I know now, I would have listened. Next time I will. 

THURSDAY 

February 13, 2013

It was the day before Valentine's Day. Jason took the day off work so he could go to my ObGyn checkup and we could celebrate Valentine's Day out to lunch. We really never go on Valentine's Day for one; because we don't like going to busy places and two; dislike how it inflates the cost of everything that's exactly the same the day before. Jack was almost 2 so it was rare we were able to enjoy just each other. Plan set. 

It was snowing that day and so cold. I really hate the snow.

I was huge. I'm 5'2'. I should be like 120's - 130's according to my Dr. At 35 weeks with Jack I was 199.5 lbs and rolling out of bed. I had Him August 2012, and got Pregnant again in October 2013, and I never really lost all the weight before this one. So I was back up to about 175lbs. 30 of it in my belly. It was like carrying around a 30 lb bowling ball. I really dislike being pregnant. No, correction; I HATE BEING PREGNANT now I feel guilty for feeling that way. 

Check in for 12pm appointment. Now waiting for the Doc. Standard procedure until....

There was no heartbeat on the Doppler.

I knew by the silence from the Dr and the unusually long time she was taking trying to find it, that something was wrong.

"Can you please get dressed Ms. Shaughnessy while we see if we can get you in to ultrasound?"

Flatline. My brain Just flatlined. I stopped processing information for a minute. My head just died and rebooted like a piece of shit windows computer. 

She left, I changed. 

"What are you thinking right now?" Jason asked. 

"I don't know. something is wrong" 

I could have done without the silent Ultrasound in that dark room. That scene is one I'd never like to replay in my mind ever again. It was dark. and Silent.   

 

All I heard was "irregular pregnancy" and whispers of something about the date and size. More whispering. Jason moved his chair closer and grabbed my hand with both of his. His grip kept getting tighter. 

JUST TELL ME WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON????? 

I had a miscarriage.

At 20 weeks. That's halfway through a pregnancy for those who don't fully understand the week by week concept. There were no warning signs. I wasn't bleeding, had no cramping, my water never broke.

It was awful for the obvious reasons. I wanted to die. Until I almost did. 

My Aunt Sandy works there. If she hasn't come in to hug me, i think I would have become a permanent fixture on the floor. 

Time stopped and my heart broke. The rest is all a blur.  

It's like my brain froze while trying to process what was going on and being explained to me.  

Then I caught up when I was given two options. I could either wait until Tuesday to have a D&E surgery, or could be given medicine to induce labor and deliver a dead baby.  

Curious, which would you choose? 

I chose to wait until Tuesday. The idea of electing to having a stillborn baby was traumatizing just thinking about it. I couldn't bear the thought.

So Jason and I left, in the snow that I hate to drive the strangest drive back to my parents house to pick up Jack and Kaliegh and break the news to my mom.  

I don't think I ever held anything so tight as I did Jack when I walked in the door. I wasn't yet hysterical until that moment when I muttered through ugly tears, "we lost the baby". 

We all cried. We all fucking cried until I felt suffocated and had to leave. So we went home.  

"Fuck it, let's get sushi since I can eat it now."  so we had Sushi for dinner. It was the worst best tasting sushi ever. 

I didn't shower in the morning for some reason. I wish I had. I really wish I didn't have to shower with a dead baby inside me. That was quite possibly the worst. You really can out things, even like that, out of your mind just by covering them up physically. 

So shower I did, and kneeled on the ground while I let out the ugliest silent cry I've ever had in my life. 

i didn't want Jason to hear me. I didn't want him to worry more or be more upset. He lost a baby too. I didn't how to be there for him, and I didn't want to force home to be there more for me. I didn't want him to see me like this. 

I worked Saturday. I did my friend Samantha's Mom's Hair. I didn't tell her yet, so i couldn't tell her MOm. Her dad was there too. That sucked. Then I had to tell the girls in the salon after she left and we were closing. There went another ugly cry session. 

 

SATURDAY

February 17, 2013

Our house sold that month. It was much faster then expected and we still didn't have a place to move into by March 1. We found a house we loved that we looked at, so we made an appointment to go and were ready to give them a deposit and sign a lease. 

We drove 40 minutes there, drove separately and right before the highway exit we received a call saying that they changed their minds and didn't want to rent the house any longer. 

What the fuck? Turned around and drove home in complete disbelief. 

I talked with everyone that night, my brother, my grandmother,, my cousins, pretty much everyone. My heart was heavy and I had this lump in my throat that felt like I was punched, I wanted to crawl into a hole until My Grandmother told me she had 4 miscarriages. I never knew that. My mother never knew that. She is the most amazing woman I know, and now even more so. 

Statistically one in four women has a miscarriage. most never know why. the more I talked with people the more stories I heard, from family, from friends. Why doesn't anyone talk about it? 

Monday 

February 19, 2013

Dr's office. They sent me to "The Guy" the only Dr in the Capital Region who specialises in this procedure. Dr. Clark. I didn't know what to expect. They didn't make me wait in the waiting room with the rest of the Expecting Mother's., 

Thank you. 

So I basically had to have some sort of seaweed sticks inserted into my cervix to open it up to prepare for the D&E procedure I was to have at Albany Medical Center the Following day. Biggest side effect to expect was cramping. 

Dr. Clark has the coolest moustache. 

I bought a $300 pair of Ariat Cowboy Boots

because why the fuck not? I fucking love Cowboy boots. 

Later on that day we stopped at CVS to get Pads because I was to anticipate some spotting after the procedure and didn't really have any in stock at my house. 

CVS had a new installation of NYX Cosmetics. Thank you God for sending me a little love. I bought 2 lipliners, Nude and red and some other things which now I Can't remember, I also bought A really expensive Body wash and a face wash. total $68. How? I have no idea. 

Weird, my legs are swelling They hurt. veins are popping out a bit under my knees. Is this a side effect from the Seaweed shit? 

Go home. Google. 

Laid on the couch with my legs up. Swelling goes down, veins are back to normal. Nothing on google about anyone having any side effect or any reported side effects anywhere other then cramping. 

Then I stumbled on an article on the NIH website about DIC. Put that in the back of your mind, I did. 

Time to go to bed, to not really sleep. 

TUESDAY

February 20, 2013

Arrived at Albany Medical Center around 7am to check in and fill out paperwork in the main surgery arrival area. I was handed a file with an application for a Fetal Death Certificate. I was to answer questions I hadn't even received answers to yet. 

Date of death. Cause of Death, Time of death. Male or Female. 

I already started falling apart. 

"I'm so sorry Ma'm It's the Albany Medical Center procedure. I'll just put that back in here and take care of that for you" 

Thank you whoever you are. I don't remember your name, but I will never forget your face and caring eyes. Thank you. 

"Shaughnessy" 

In we go. 

For a short hallway, the walk seemed unusually long. but that's my mind not catching up to the overstimulation again. 

"This room please" 

It was like you'd expect. Smelled like a hospital, looked like a hospital, felt like a hospital. 

I wore those NEW cowboy boots. Black leggings and a full face of makeup. My overnight bag was packed in the car just in case there were any complications. 

I told the intake nurse and Dr. Clark about the weird occurrence with my veins in my legs. They listened, but weren't concerned. Off we go. 

Jason was sent to wait back in the main area. Alone. 

I was wheeled into surgery, given anaesthesia, and it was over just as fast as it began. I was wheeled into recovery. 

"It's over already?" I asked the nurse, was told yes, then began Howling like a Banshee. I was given Versed and passed out. 

THANK YOU. 

Jason was notified that The Surgery was "textbook", and that I was to wait in recovery for a few hours before being discharged. 

I woke up a few hours later. I was greeted by Dr. Clark who also informed me that The Surgery was "textbook", that "nothing with the fetus appeared abnormal", that they couldn't tell if it was a boy or girl because it had been dead inside me for so long, it was actually folded in half. Moments later, 

I began to bleed.

I filled up one large maxi pad with blood and a pool of it was now underneath me. I alerted the nurse, they changed me, gave me two pads, cleaned me up and changed another bed cover.

She was amazing. I wish I could remember her name. She was so sweet and kind and it made everything better. Like when you're sick and your Mom or Grandma is there taking care of you. 

I filled up two pads now in what seemed like minutes. I alerted the nurses again, they came back, this time requested pads from the maternity ward, which where like the size of 4 pads, I mean a diaper, cleaned me up and another bed cover.

"What time is it? Where is Jason? Does He know what is going on?" 

He was in the waiting area. Alone. By now he knew something had to be wrong. It was way past the time we were supposed to be discharged. 

It was coming out faster now. it was filling up larger pads in less time, and I was starting to feel like I was losing consciousness. Another Dr came in, I was bleeding from my uterus, they thought maybe it was cut during the surgery and I was bleeding due to that. They tried to clamp my uterus. That wasn't it.

I was given a ridiculous amount of suppositories to help my blood clot. 

"Can someone please tell Jason what is going on????" 

They brought him inside. In 8 years had never seen him scared. Until that moment. 

A familiar face appeared in the hallway nearby. He recognised me too. It was Randy, a friend from Junior High I hadn't seen in years, but thank's to Facebook, we were still connected. He stopped by my bedside and chatted with me for a bit. It was nice. I felt somewhat normal to have a conversation and catch up on things. Anything. Anything bedsides talk about what was going on. 

THANK YOU

 I was to be brought to the maternity ward. Yes. The maternity ward. Again, I lost it. the nurse wheeling me in rubbed my head while she was pushing the bed. I still don't know how that was possible.

THANK YOU.

Off we go to the maternity ward

I'm in a room at the end of a hallway. I have no roommates. The Dr came in to talk about what the plan was. I was still bleeding. I was there for maybe 45 minutes. I bleed a lot more. I was sent to SICU. 

The room was huge with a bed and a big machine all around it. It was very Sci-Fi. I was bleeding more. They Still thought it was my uterus. A team of people came in, multiple Dr;s and Nurses and other people.

I asked Jason to leave. I didn't want him to see me and whatever was about to happen next. If I died.... I just couldn't let him see it. 

A random nurse came in, I forget now why, and asked what I had. I was confused and in disbelief until my nurse whispered "nuh-uh" I just remember muttering, "What?" 

FUCK YOU

They attempted Endometrial ablation. Multiple times, Too many times, and It was unsuccessful. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life, worse then childbirth. I wanted to die. 

I was given more suppositories. 

If it wasn't my Uterus then what the fuck was it?

Dr. Clark came in and after some tests It was determined that it was Disseminated Intravascular Coagulopathy (DIC). " the failure of the clotting mechanism at the site of bleeding" 

I was bleeding and it wasn't clotting.

I WAS BLEEDING TO DEATH. 

Jason was back. He never left my side after that. 

I'm not sure what came next. There were blood transfusions, platelet transfusions, more suppositories, Iron, I can't remember it all. 

I was still bleeding. To the point it was hard to keep up. The pads were sliding around and it just felt so gross. Jason helped out so much. He took care of Me.

He wiped blood off my ass. That is True love. 

WEDNESDAY 

February 20, 2013

I sent a message to a friend Rana who worked at Albany Med to let her know we were there and wondered if she was in a department near by. She Used to work in SICU I guess. So, she reached out to her friends that still worked there and stopped by the following day. She has the best smile and is so so sweet. 

THANK YOU. 

Jason slept on the couch in the same room. It couldn't have been comfortable. He was still in jeans and shoes.

Sometime that night The bleeding slowed down. Everyone seemed to breathe a little better. I was starting to feel better so, I forced jason to leave, go home, shower and take a nap if possible. 

One of my besties, Lorraine brought me red velvet cupcakes and it forced me to put some makeup on. I really didn't want any visitors. I refused everyone else, including my mother, especially my mother. I didn't want her to see me like this either. She knew, She came anyway. 

THANK YOU. 

THURSDAY

February 21, 2013

sometime that night I finally stopped bleeding and was sent back to the maternity ward. The bubbly little girl who assisted the transfer greeted me with a;

"What did you have?!!!" 

The other nurse whispered a quick and angry "ssh" 

"A miscarriage" 

FUCK YOU

Back in the Maternity ward I was given a special "stop check at the nurses station before coming into this room" door sign. 

THANK YOU 

I was counselled by another Dr who explained the discharge process and how I was to be Grief Counselled prior to leaving. 

I requested anti-depressants. 

Fuck you. Don't judge me. I needed a patch. I wanted to be numb. and I wanted to start working on it immediately. two weeks to kick in. Great. Perfect. 

THANK YOU.

I called Chris. HE was crying. That was most unexpected. like when he comforted our friend Alexsa at his own mother's wake. 

"and the winner for playing the role of Alexsa goes to.." We were both laughing hysterically. Because that's what we Irish do. we joke to make light of awful situations, and you know what? It helps every time. The worse the jokes are. (Like how he tells me I killed his mom just because he slept over my house the night before she died) The more the shock kills the pain. 

THANK YOU

FRIDAY

February 22, 2013

I was discharged, but Not before visiting with that grief exiting counselor lady. She handed me paper work. I folded it, I have yet to look at it 14 months later, so I actually threw it away. 

I did mention to her that what bothered me most was being given a Fetal death Certificate and made it an almost formal complaint. She had no idea and was flabbergasted. (best word ever, right?) She was going to talk to the appropriate channels and get that changed. 

I wonder if they did. I really hope they did. 

When researching images for the Fetal death certificate, I realised I can have my very own copy of it for $30, and that in New York, only the mother can get one. I may order one. I still don't know. It's kind of macabre, but I Can put it with my skull displays in a frame. I'm not into the cliche angel baby's or feet and wing tattoos. That to me seems more appropriate. I don't 'know why. 

I'm Finally being Discharged

And I feel surprisingly, completely and totally back from the dead. 

I was wheeled out to the car to meet Jason by a nurse, I think she was Ukranian, or Russian. She was tough, and beautiful, and smart and had been there for 20 years. TWENTY YEARS. I was completely amazed. the longest I ever held a job was Three years and it felt like a death sentence. 

Jason drove home and I don't remember saying a thing the entire way. We just drove straight home. It was actually sunny and kind of beautiful outside. It was cold but it didn't bother me that day like it normally would. 

The air smelled cleaner. The sun shined brighter. I was happy to be alive. 

my mother was relieved to hear I Was home. Jack was wearing her out and she needed a break. He and Kaliegh came home that night. It was so good to have them back. He slept in our bed and it was the best nights sleep I had in over a week. 

SATURDAY

February 23, 2013

I woke up and the pain of losing my baby was back. 

We still didn't know where we were moving, less have the house packed up for a March 1 exit, and it was the least of our worries. I was supposed to pack up the house that week before, but clearly that plan was derailed. 

WE got a call from the realtor of that house we wanted saying it was back on the market if we still wanted it. Fuck yes,

THANK YOU

 

Sunday

February 24, 2013 

10 am. Brought a check, signed a lease and started moving in that day. We packed as we moved. 

We could not have moved without Jason's Sister Brenda and Brandon, and my parents. It simply would not have been possible. Aside from the fact that I Was weak as a broken bird, it was February in upstate, NY and that means 20 degrees below zero with the wind chill. 

The moving process was pretty standard. We realised how much shit we accumulated and were starting to give stuff away so we didn't have to move it. 

Then Jason's truck died. I think it was maybe Tuesday. The fuel pump went. and we lost another two full days. Really? no, seriously, Really? Is this real life? Because I want out. I'm done, I just can't. 

20 degrees below zero and he's got to change the fuel pump on his truck in an unheated garage, alone. 

FUCK YOU!!!! 

No seriously, whoever you are, wherever you are, FUCK YOU VERY MUCH! 

TUESDAY

FEBRUARY 28, 2013

One full week after my surgery, We were completely moved out of the old house and into the new one. Jason was sad. He loved that house. It was a log cabin. It was dark, all dark wood, isolating and depressing.. I hated it. I hated it even more now. I just wanted to breathe new life. I was sad for him, I really was. I still am, I just wasn't happy there.  

 

WEDNESDAY

MARCH 1, 2013 

we moved into a 1860 Victorian. It was beautiful and bright and sunny and I loved waking up in it. I took a few months off work and went through the motions of grieving. I was grieving a number of things. The miscarriage, the chain of events, the hormones, the rashes on my face, the hair loss, THE move and all the things in my life I did wrong and weren't right. 

I spent a majority of my time unpacking, setting up, taking care of Jack. 

Another, two more catastrophes happened.

I was awoken to a Police Man at my door to notify me that A very close family member had attempted suicide. They tried to call my phone but my ringer was off and didn't hear it. I spent a few days in the hospital with them they were then sent to another hospital an hour and a half north of our new house. They were there for almost a month. I was driving back and forth nearly every day, dropping Jack off to my mom first, then heading up. 4 hours driving total every day. 

Two weeks later the owner of the house we were leasing the house from freaked out about the roof and attempted to force us to allow the house to be listed for sale, against our lease, I had to get lawyers involved. 

The hits just kept coming and coming. 

I became an introvert longer then my normal winter hibernation period for the better part of a year. I lost all interest in sex. I stopped taking anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. That didn't help. I still had no interest in sex, only now i was more anxious.

Jack slept either in our bed or his bed in our room until just a few months ago. FUCK YOU, don't judge me. 

I had to know he was still breathing or I couldn't sleep.

My relationship with Jason was really being tested, and I was failing miserably.  

15 months Later...

Friday May 29, 2015 

We still have no official cause of death. Sometimes it bothers me, sometimes I am distracted by a busy toddler and teenage daughter. 

I haven't really had any "therapy", Meaning I haven't set up appointments to sit in a room with a "professional" to talk about anything and I am ok with that. I paint. That is therapy for me. I write, that is therapy for me. Sometimes talking about it and not keeping it in is therapy for me. 

Writing this article to share with all of you until 5 am this morning has been the most therapeutic for me. 

I started working back out in the fashion and production world, working in socially centered events within the last 6 months. I lost a total of 20lbs and I finally feel 100%. Well except my hair, but that's an entirely different post and why I cut my hair so short. 

I opened up a new makeup studio, created an amazing partnership with the owner of the store, Fifi's, I rent my studio space from. It's been a wonderful partnership and friendship and I am truly blessed. I know it won't be forever. As in, I won't be there until I retire. But it's perfect for at least the next few years, until she retires, the store closes, or my arms turn into jelly and I can no longer do the amount of makeup applications and education required to keep the business going. 

at 38 I still didn't really know what the path I'm on is going toward, I don't know what I am supposed to do or supposed to be. I question my career path on a daily basis. I go back and forth between wanting to restore furniture and home decor to giving up all hope, becoming fully medicated and becoming another tortured artist working for the state. 

Jack is almost 3, Kaliegh just turned 16 and I am teaching both of them to drive. Kaliegh my car, and Jack his crazy power wheels jeep thing. I should have stayed on the meds. 

But, the good thing is I'm back. I'm really, really back. I am back. I am no longer a zombie trapped inside my own head.  I am alive and loving MY life. I have a new appreciation for it. Music sounds better, which I didn't even think was possible. I even started having an appetite for sex. Jason is much happier. Our relationship is much better. I am happier. 

Thank you to all who stood by and waited for me to come around. Thank you to all who lightly tiptoed into conversation around the subject and those who dove right in and asked me about it. I am grateful for all of you. 

I still don't know where I am going but I am on my way.