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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Last Day of Autism Awarness Month

Today is the final day of Autism Awareness Month. As promised, 10% of my profits from the month will be donated to the Autism Society. I hope I can add to my final amount today.

May 10th is World Lupus Day. On this day I will be donating 100% of my profits to the Lupus Foundation. I will start promoting  this tomorrow and I will be coming to you, my readers, for help in spreading awareness of Lupus, specifically, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, (SLE).

As a physical therapist, every neurological condition is close to my heart. Especially the ones that affect children, because I work with children. However, there are two diseases that have affected my family and changed our lives: Alzheimer's Disease and Lupus. I am dedicated to spreading awareness of these illnesses and raising money for the prevention and cure of these catastrophic, life changing illnesses.

I am no expert, however, if you are or your family are dealing with either of these illnesses and would like access to my world of empirical knowledge, please leave a comment with contact info.

Understanding Lupus from the Lupus Foundation Website


What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body (skin, joints, and/or organs inside the body). Chronic means that the signs and symptoms tend to last longer than six weeks and often for many years. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues ("auto" means "self") and creates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These autoantibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body.
  • Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life.
  • Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone.
  • Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above.
  • Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive.
  • Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus.
  • It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus.
  • Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too.
  • Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus.
  • People of all races and ethnic groups can develop lupus.
  • More than 16,000 new cases of lupus are reported annually across the country.
Thank you for reading,


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Etsy's BEST Weekly: Chasing the Nuns / Cerlandia

 Sarah, from Chasing the Nuns and Cerlandia is a multi talented stay at home mom/artisan. She is skilled in knitting, crocheting and sewing and she has recently added silk screen to her repertoire, resulting in a shop full of unique and distinct items.


I know many booklovers who would freak over these totebags!
 With all of Sarah's craftiness, you never know what you will find in her shop. It is the kind of store you want to keep checking back on.
Silk Screened  Bag made of 100% cotton fabric and lined with a laminated cotton that is BPA and PVC free. The lining is also water, stain and mold resistant.

  If Sarah makes it, she can probably make it for you in your favorite color or yarn. Just ask her about your custom ideas

This is the sweetest ever! A crochet necklace.

Sarah also makes  really fun shoulder bags out of recycled t-shirts! They are lined with coordinating fabric to make them sturdy. Sarah will even make a custom bag with your own special t-shirt! If you have a favorite Tee-shirt, Sarah can preserve it for you by turning into a sturdy bag like this.

Sponge Bob Square Pants Tee Shirt Bag
 Keep up with Sarah on her blog
And follow her on Twitter and Facebook

Sarah and I are both members of the BEST of Etsy. The Boosting Etsy Shops Team's goal is to provide marketing support for each others' Etsy shops by writing WEEKLY features on our blogs. For those that have them, we encourage use of Twitter Accounts and Facebook Fanpages to further this goal. Our team also shows support by offering free advertising for each other. We are a very dynamic, active group and we are now accepting new members!

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Easter and Pesach!

 Happy Easter 
and  Chag Sameach

Spring is finally here, and in celebration, 
I am having a store-wide sale. 


Everything in Your Daily Jewels is 15% off 
plus free shipping (NO CODE NEEDED)

 Hope your Spring Holidays are filled  love, health, and family

Etsy's BEST Weekly: Our Home to Yours

Butterfly Quilt Coverlet

For these North Carolina shop keepers, being an artist runs in the family. Debbie, the owner of Our Home to Yours is "a professional mom". That is, she has bio children, an adopted child , and foster children. Debbie takes after her own mom who was an exceptional artist and she works along with her daughter, Amanda, another fine artist and a graphic designer with a background in fine arts.
(Special order) Bridal Shadow Box

Custom Painted Wedding Banner
In their shop on Etsy.com they sell diverse crafted items,  like this fantastic shadowbox and 'Just Married" custom banner for the new bride.

Handmade Indian Style Necklace
 Debbie has now started her own, one of a kind, unique handmade jewelry line.

Shades of Blue Crystal Dangle Earrings

Aside from wedding and jewelry items, at Our Home To Yours,  you will also find vintage pieces and fashion accessories. One stop fun shopping.

If you see something you like, move fast! Everything is one of a kind and will only be re-made by custom order.

You can find more of Debbie and Amanda all around the web:

Our Home to yours is a member of the BEST of Etsy
The Boosting Etsy Shops Team's goal is to provide marketing support for each others' Etsy shops by writing WEEKLY features on our blogs. For those that have them, we encourage use of Twitter Accounts and Facebook Fanpages to further this goal. Our team also shows support by offering free advertising for each other. We are a very dynamic, active group and we are now accepting new members!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April is Autism Awareness Month: The Mystical Horse

 Hippotherapy and Autism
Hippotherapy, derives from the Greek word "hippo" for horse, and is the tool that I use  to provide physical therapy to neurologically involved patients.   It is usually used as part of a comprehensive therapeutic package. This type of program has benefits for children, youth, and adults that have physical and/or developmental disabilities.  Hippotherapy is different from  Therapeutic Riding which has many of the same benefits, but it is more of a recreational riding program for the disabled and does not  involve a physician's or physical therapist's supervision.

Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding use the horse's multidimensional rhythmic movement, which resembles the natural walking gait of human's, to achieve specific therapeutic outcomes. Therapists help patients ride the horse in different positions, including sitting or laying forward, backward, or sideways; standing up in the stirrups; and riding on the horse without holding on.

 Specially trained physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language therapists use this therapy with autistic children and teenagers and kids with a wide range of other types of disabilities. There are adult programs as well; and hippotherapy is being implemented for many of the veterans who have been injured at war.

Hippotherapy is useful for:
  • relaxing tight muscles
  • increasing balance
  • building muscle strength
  • sharpening hand/eye coordination
  • gaining a sense of body-awareness
  • gaining a sense of self-control
  • gaining a sense of self-confidence
  • improving communication
  • improving concentration
  • improving socialization
  • improving patience
  • improving fine motor coordination
  • improving sensory integration
The movement of the horse moves the rider's pelvis in the correct way, while also stimulating other bones, ligaments, and joints. A horse moves a person in more than one way, by tilting, rotating, and moving the rider, which would take several sessions of difficult physical therapy exercises to achieve.

Sitting on a horse improves core muscle strength, muscle symmetry, balance, posture, flexibility, circulation, coordination, and breathing (which also makes it easier to speak).

 Those with autism are unable to integrate their senses and their understanding of how their bodies relate to external forces and surfaces. Hippotherapy can greatly improve an autistic child's sense of their own bodies in space, (called proprioception).

Hippotherapy frequently does not use a saddle, allowing the child to receive sensations from the horse's movements, which makes a child aware of where parts of his or her body are in relation to the horse.

The excitement of riding encourages speech when the rider wants to communicate with the therapist and the horse. I have seen non-verbal autistic children  suddenly start talking when they use the horse's name or ask the horse to get moving! The therapy provides a solid yet enjoyable period of time for stimulation and exercise for children who spend countless hours per week in difficult and often frustrating therapy.

 The benefits experienced by kids with mental and emotional disabilities are also due to the special relationship they develop with the horse. The horses are specifically chosen and trained to be gentle, patient, and calm; what we refer to as "bomb-proof". Many of the horses are retired police horses. Horses are special creatures, beyond words. They just "know" their rider and what they have to offer them.

The unconditional, non-judgmental aspect of the bond between the horse and the patient encourages the child to form an attachment and interaction with another living being, which is especially difficult for many autistic kids to achieve.

One of the greatest benefits of this type of therapy is the enjoyment kids get out of it. They don't even realize that they are participating in therapy- it's just a lot of fun and they are doing the same thing any kid can do.

It should be noted, however, that the first time autistic children are introduced to hippotherapy, they often exhibit the type of behavior that often accompanies changes in their physical environment. This can include crying, screaming, having tantrums, and avoidance behaviors such as flopping down and becoming limp. The behavior almost always stops as soon as the child is on the horse and the horse starts moving, and the initial behavior is usually gone by the second time the child comes for therapy. The tantrums may be repeated every time there is some change, such as when the horse stops walking, but when the child is taught the noise or motion to get the horse to move again, the behavior stops.

Equine therapy gives children with autism a sense of themselves, their bodies, and increased contact and interaction with the surrounding world. The kids' self-confidence is greatly and quickly  increased and they form a sense of competence by learning how to interact and work with their horse. These children quickly form attachments and relationships with the horse they ride, and this behavior is then "carried over" to include teachers, trainers, therapists, and family members.

 I have the best job in the world.

Thank you for reading,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Etsy's BEST Weekly: Moonangelnay

Etsy's BEST Feature:

Today, I have the pleasure of showcasing the multi-dimensional expressions of Moonangelnay Photography on Etsy

Digital Art, photography, and something to think about.

Peaceful Mind

I get bored looking at art. I know  this makes me sound shallow and I probably  should not admit this but it is true. One thing I never get bored of is feeling art. Moonangelnay's altered art pieces creep into my soul and are felt on many levels.

Naomi is a brilliant UK artist taking digital photography to places I have not seen before.
 It is her objective in the branding of her work, to present to you more than just physical art or home decor, but something to think about.

Among other digital artistry, Naomi brilliantly works the Bokeh effect into her artwork: shallow depth of field, a fuzzy background, and starry or water drippy highlights.

My interpretation of her inspirations would be nature, light and dark, playing with color and abstract thought.

This is an Aceo entitled  "Watching Over", for me it has the ethereal beauty of a pre-natal ultrasound.

I love how the light "pushes" through dark in "Paw Prints"

Sometimes when I look at art I feel so stupid because I just don't "get it".   No anxious thought at all when viewing  Moonangelnay's artwork, I just feel it. You will too.

You must visit her fine art photo gallery and shop on  on Etsy.com
I urge you to read her blog too. It is fascinating to get to know the compelling  artist behind these images.

Visit more of Naomi's homes all over the Web

 More Info:

Moonangelnay prints on Archival quality papers.
Archival photo's are said to last for almost 100 years. The term is used when the right papers and pigmented inks are combined to produce photographs that are more resistant to humidity, and fade.
This multi-talented artisan also has an entirely different shop on Etsy. Take a looky look at Babamoon the cutest baby shop on Etsy, full of  original designs handmade crochet baby hats, newsboy caps, crochet animal hats, earflap beanies, baby shower gifts, infant flower headbands, baby nest cocoon pods and dress up accessories. Most Items are 'Made To Order'
Naomi is a member of the BEST of Etsy.
The Boosting Etsy Shops Team's goal is to provide marketing support for each others' Etsy shops by writing WEEKLY features on our blogs. For those that have them, we encourage use of Twitter Accounts and Facebook Fanpages to further this goal. Our team also shows support by offering free advertising for each other. We are a very dynamic, active group and we are now accepting new members!
Thank you for reading,