Thursday, August 31, 2017

Window Bag DIY

Hey everyone!  How's it going?  Life is still pretty crazy around here (see my last post) but I really wanted to get this tutorial on here.  If you follow my Facebook page, you know I have been working on it for a couple of weeks now, and you might be wondering exactly what I did with that lovely pile of supplies I shared!

If you are in direct sales, you may have already heard of this really cool company that makes bags with clear pockets on the outside so you can advertise your business wherever you go.  The bags are totally cute, and I can attest to the fact that they WORK.  People see your products and do ask about them!  It's awesome!  What isn't so awesome, especially if you are on a very tight marketing budget like myself, is the $70 price tag.  Worth every penny...but you have to have the pennies!  So I decided to make my own!  You can call it a knock of Luci bag, a window bag, or whatever you like.  :D

First up, the supplies list:
  • You will need a bag.  I had this cute "Shop Small" bag from my sister :D I recommend a simple canvas tote, or a similar bag with no liner or pockets.  
  • You will need two zippers the width of your pockets, or however you decide to make your pockets. 
  • You will need some clear vinyl.  I got 80 weight.  You'll find it in rolls by the upholstery at your local fabric store.  The roll is long, so you will probably have extra for other fun projects. I got 1/3 yard and probably could have gone with 8" or less if I had done my math first, lol. 
  • You will need some cute sturdy ribbon or bias tape, enough to go around all of your pockets.
  • And matching thread 

I'm not sure if you know this, but I love sewing.  However, I'm often a "sew by the seat of my pants" kinda girl.  I will use patterns, but I also love just throwing things together, not worrying too much about the details. So "these be more like guidelines."  (My family will tell you that's kinda how I cook, too....)
First step - figure out your pocket pattern.  I decided to go with a pocket on one side for my catalog, without a zipper.  I added about a half inch on all sides so I can fit more than one catalog or I can slide my receipt book in behind it.  

For the other side, I made two long pockets with zippers, each divided into three sections.  
Cut your vinyl the size you want your pockets, no seam allowances needed.  
Next, your zippers will have long tails on them.  Go ahead and tack them back so the zipper is about 1/4' longer on each end then your vinyl.  Sew one side of the zipper to your vinyl. 
Take your ribbon or bias tape and sew it to the outside edge of your pocket, leaving a tail to fold over the ends of your zipper.  When you sew, you want to have the vinyl over half of the ribbon or bias tape, so that when you sew the pocket to the bag, you are only sewing through the ribbon.  If you are not putting a zipper on the pocket, sew ribbon along the top edge, too.  
Corners are tricky.  I think I got this one right.

  Pin your pocket to your bag, starting with the bottom pocket.  We won't be turning the pocket, so pin it right side of bag to wrong side of pocket. Take those long ribbon ends and fold them over the zipper to hide the end. Then trace around the outer edge - we will be doing a lot of maneuvering and scrunching, so this will help you keep everything lined up, hopefully!  Don't pin on your next pocket until the last is sewn, or you will get pricked by the pins and have more stuff in the way than needed. 

Now for the fun part!  Sew around the pocket, going slowly to keep everything lined up.  The hardest part will be the bottom corners.  Just take it one stitch at a time, and it will work!  When you sew across the top, be sure to sew the OTHER side (edge) of the zipper, NOT the side your vinyl is sewn to! You will find it helpful when sewing near the zipper pull to unzip the zipper to get that out of the way.  
Repeat with remaining pockets.  
If you want your pockets divided, sew lines from the zipper to the bottom.

Pull your threads to the back and tie off. 
Fill your pockets with products and a fun "ask me" card :D Or anything else you want to show off! 

You could also add elastic loops to hold your product before sewing the pocket onto the bag.

My total cost in materials for this project was less than $9, thanks to JoAnn coupons, and because I already had the bag.  And it has already paid for itself :D  Actually, I could have bought the real thing off the sales it's generated just today, but I think I'll stick to this one for awhile :D.
I'd love to see your finished and filled bags!  Head over to my Facebook page and leave a comment! 

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Gift for Our Lady

One of the many beautiful statues at the office
  It's volunteer season here in Kansas!  Lol.  My husband works for the Organization "America Needs Fatima," and a large part of his job is working with the approximately 150 volunteers who travel to Kansas from all over the country (and sometimes internationally!) to make phone calls for Our Lady.  It is a CRAZY time for us, but a really fun and rewarding time, as well.  I'm blessed to be able to work in the kitchen serving meals, and getting to visit with everyone.

    The volunteers come, as I said from everywhere and from all walks of life.  Right now there is a young man heading back to college when he leaves us, and another couple is celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary today! Some are able to trace their family back to the American Revolution, while others are new to our country.  The one thing they all have in common is that they love Our Lady.  A love that is so strong that they are willing to give up two weeks every year to come make phone calls for her.  They often find themselves leaving message after message without talking to someone.  Or they get hung up on before being heard.  Some have even been sworn at! Yet they keep calling, working for Our Lady, and asking for prayers for our country.

   So why are they here?  They are making calls asking people to be captains for the 2017 Public Square Rosary Campaign.   The Public Square Rosary Campaign was started in 2007. They had 2,100 rallies across the nation, and 30 volunteers manning the phones.  Last year there were 16,323 rallies.  This year, in honor of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions in Fatima, the goal is 20,000!

  Now, I know you would love to do something for Our Lady, especially on this major anniversary.  You don't have to come to Kansas (although I'd love to see you!) It won't cost you a dime (unless you still pay by the minute on your phone plan, I suppose.)  Here are the super simple steps to being part of this great gift to Our Lady.

First:  Open up your Calendar to October 14th.  It's the Saturday after the 100th anniversary.  If there is already someplace you are supposed to be at 12 noon, see if you can reschedule.  Otherwise, put down "Public Square Rosary Rally" from 12-1 pm.

Second: Pick your rally location.  The only requirement is that it is outside so it can be seen by the general public.  For some people, this is in front of their homes or at a local park.  Others pick a busier street or intersection.  Some choose to do their rally in front of the local capital or even an abortion clinic.  The important thing is that you are visible. Some locations may have ordinances about where you can be, so look into that - but don't worry about it too much.  Most places there either aren't any rules, or it is as simple as filling out a form.

Third:  This step is pretty important.  Register as a Rosary Rally Captain.  You can either call us here in Kansas at 866-584-6012 and make a volunteer very happy OR go to America Needs Fatima's website  They will send you a banner and a manual with the prayers of the rosary, some helpful suggestions, and things like that.  It's all free, so you can't argue it isn't in your budget, lol. They will want to know at least the city where you will hold the rally, and you will have the option of posting your information on the America Needs Fatima website so others can join you, but neither thing is required.

Finally, tell your friends and members of your parish! You can have a rally with just one person, but the more the merrier.  And also encourage others to sign up as captains!  Yes, a large crowd will be noticeable, and wonderful, but many smaller groups spread across town will have an even bigger impact and more people will see them.  So spread the word!!! Not sure why we need these public square rosaries? Go to for ten great reasons!

A couple of our local Rosary Rallies! 

Where will you be holding a rally?  Anything else you are doing to celebrate the Centennial? 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Happy August!

  I think this is going to be one of those "snapshot" posts.  I always like those on the blogs I follow - just a quick glimpse at some of the things going on.  Which for me right now is plenty! One of my goals  is to each day create something, learn something, and enjoy something beautiful.  And then to share those things.


I found a box of embroidery thread, needles, and an embroidery hoop at the local thrift store a few months ago, and remembered how much I enjoy embroidery!  I made these towels for my sister-in-law's wedding shower.  I'm working on another embroidery project now, but since it is a gift, I think I'd better keep those pictures to myself for now.

   There are a few reasons why I try to work on creating something every day.  The first is because it helps me to unwind.  Second, because I think it is important to give something of ourselves to improve the world, no matter how small that improvement is.  When we create something, we give something of ourselves.  Right now those creations can beautify our homes or the homes of our friends.  Eventually, hopefully, they will be sweet memories when we are gone.  Is it often easier or cheaper to just go buy something? Sure.  But which would you rather have?  Something someone bought for you, or made for you?  "But I'm not creative!!" you say.  Sure you are, you just haven't found your talent yet.  Maybe it's needlework or knitting.  Maybe it's cooking.  Maybe it's music.  Maybe what you are best at is creating a good atmosphere or a story or a friendship.  


   It's so easy to stop learning, isn't it?  Especially I think for those of us not "in the workforce."  We get into our routines (hopefully!) of dishes and cleaning and cooking, and there just doesn't seem to be the time or energy to study.  Now if you have kids, I'm sure you are doing LOTS of studying to keep up with them, but what about what you want to learn?  Isn't that what we really want to instill in our children, that desire to keep learning?  But we need to make the habit for ourselves!
    My studying today?   Now, I am a long way from making sense of all of this financial stuff.  I'm good at math, but I just haven't had the resources to learn the finer details of things like budgeting, finances, etc.  Until, I think, now.  A friend of mine introduced me to You Need a Budget a couple of months ago, right when I was looking for how to budget (I had actually just checked books out from the library!)  The software is easy to use, and they offer a free trial, so you can see if it works for you before you commit.  Now, so far it hasn't saved us money, what with hospital bills and the like.  But it has definitely saved me stress.  And, as a bonus, they have tons of free videos and articles on budgeting (of course,) investing, and other very useful money related information.  They also have live online workshops, so you can ask questions and get answers real time.
   One more note.  Sometimes what I learn is practical, like budgeting.  Often it is creative, like a new stitch or technique in one of my hobbies.  And sometimes it is more intellectual, like the life of a saint, something historical, or even classic literature.  The important thing is to keep learning, right?


   It was actually this goal, of enjoying something beautiful every day, that inspired me to this whole idea of daily creativity, knowledge, and beauty.  Last summer my father-in-law gave a talk to a group of volunteers (more on our lovely volunteers in another post) on how our ability to appreciate and enjoy beauty really has to be cultivated, and how it really brings us closer to appreciating and recognizing goodness and, ultimately, God.  And as much as people say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder," it doesn't mean that beauty has no standards.  In fact, if you look at one considers beautiful, doesn't it really show something of the state of their soul?  Beauty, true beauty, needs order and form.  It needs truth.  It needs that something that makes it more than ordinary.

   I think classical music is really a good example of that need to cultivate an appreciation.  I grew up with country music mainly, along with some old favorites like Bing Crosby and Dean Martin.  Oh, and lots of Irish. And I still love that music.  A lot of it is beautiful, especially the more traditional irish tunes.  But it is simple music.  It is easily accessible, because your brain can tune into the story in the lyrics.  A few years ago, we were introduced to the Piano Guys.  I love the Piano Guys, because they are really a terrific introduction to classical music, music that doesn't rely on words.  Now a lot of their arrangements are of contemporary pieces, but they do both.  Now I'm gradually listening to more and more classical music, and recognizing the true beauty in so much of it.  10 or 15 years ago not only would I have not turned on that type of music - I wouldn't have really been able to appreciate it.  It was beyond me.  One other thing that I think makes a huge difference in the appreciation of classical music is whether or not you are watching it.  Especially when starting out, watching the performance I think really helps to keep you focused and enjoying it.  Which is why I love the YouTube videos of the orchestra Flash Mobs.  This is one of my favorites:

   Thank you for reading!  Please comment below with your own creativity, knowledge, or beauty!  And let me know what you think.  Do you have similar daily goals?

Monday, July 24, 2017

A quick update

I just wanted to post a quick update and thank you all for your prayers.  Hopefully I will be able to post more soon.

  Although we received confirmation through low hCG levels on July 7th that our baby had died, due to the levels still rising (very slowly) and the ultrasound showing a growing cyst in my left ovary, I had surgery on July 8th.  The cyst turned out to be just a cyst that resolved itself, and they found the baby in my right tube.  We named her Priscilla Marie.  Recovery is slower than I'd like, but going well all the same.  Thank you again for your prayers.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Prayers please - and an important message

Dear friends and family, and readers
We are in need of your urgent prayers. A few weeks ago, we were overjoyed to discover that we are expecting our first child. However, an early ultrasound is suggesting the possibility of a tubal/ectopic pregnancy. While we are waiting for further test results to confirm this, we ask that you pray for God's mercy and if necessary a miracle. We are especially asking the intercession of St. Anthony Galvão, who is a very powerful intercessor for mothers who's babies are at risk.
We were initially planning on keeping the news of the pregnancy within the family, knowing that Rachel has a higher risk of miscarriage from her PCOS, but as we said, we urgently need your prayers. So far, while her pregnancy symptoms have been fairly mild, she has not had any definite signs of miscarriage, so we have hope.

There is another reason, however, that I wanted to share this. Before this diagnosis, we had only a vague idea of what an ectopic pregnancy actually meant. We knew that it meant the baby wasn't where it was supposed to be, and that most of the time it would have implanted in the mother's Fallopian tube, before it got to where it belonged in the uterus. We knew that if the baby grew too big and ruptured the tube, the hemorrhaging put the mother's life at great risk. We knew, vaguely, that because of this risk surgery removing the tube was morally permissible, even though it meant that the baby would die as a result; so long as the purpose of the operation is to remove the "diseased" tube and not the baby.
What we didn't know is that there have been successful cases published as far back as 1915 of doctors who, generally chancing upon the ectopic pregnancy during another surgery, were able to move the baby from the tube to the uterus. We also didn't know that these babies have, in rare cases where they have survived a rupture probably unnoticed, have been able to reattach themselves to another part of the abdominal cavity. The possibility is there for a procedure to be developed for the baby to be moved from tube to uterus. The number of advances in medicine in the last 100 years is astounding, yet so far as we can tell the research isn't being done for a heartbreaking pregnancy complication that is right now fatal for almost every baby, and dangerous to the mothers. Ectopic pregnancy occurs in about 1-2% of all pregnancies. Only about 50% end in natural miscarriage. While morally we are forced to allow the unintended death of these babies without an alternative, we need to be advocating for a better option. Even if the chance of a transfer from the tube to the uterus being successful is low, don't we have a moral obligation to give it that chance? And didn't every complicated medical procedure that is now even routine once start as one with a very low chance of success?
I admit, I am not a doctor, or even a nurse. I don't know all of the complications in a surgery, I don't know the difficulties of research, and honestly I don't know much at this point of the research done outside of a couple of published (medical journal) articles. But I do know that we live in a culture where a baby can be killed for any reason, so long as it hasn't left the womb. A baby's life isn't considered valuable until it is born or someone wants it, so I can see why there would be little call to research this.
We hope and pray that our baby is safe and healthy where it belongs - and beg you to pray for us for the same. If you or someone you know is a surgeon who would be willing to attempt the experimental transfer, should it come down to that, please contact us. Also, if you are aware of any more information on this, please contact us. Finally, now that this issue has come to our attention, we feel we need to raise awareness of both the situation and the importance of finding a better medical solution. Please share this. Thank you.
Bernard and Rachel Slobodnik
Updates will be posted to my blog
Please join our prayers asking for the intercession of St. Anthony Galvão
One of the sites that presented the possibility of the transfer from tube to uterus:

The journal letter detailing the process used:

Another case:

Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Budding of a New Hobby - How I became an Amateur Florist

    I have always liked flowers, I suppose.  Who doesn't?  All the same, my experience in arranging them consisted of choosing a vase, cutting a stem, and hoping they survived a few days.  Not all did, by the way.  Tiger Lilies, it would seem, are better enjoyed outdoors.

   However, when it came time to plan my wedding, the price of a florist wasn't high on my priority list of things to budget.  So I started investigating doing my own.  I had friends who had done it, so why couldn't I?  I decided that as long as I would be content carrying a single flower down the isle if anything went wrong, I would be good.  And of course my dearest fiancé was as laid back and unconcerned as I was, so we took the chance.  Now, if you are here because you want to do your own wedding flowers, please heed this one piece of advice.  Have a backup plan.  Know which stores near you sell flowers, or which friends' gardens have flowers.  Or be willing to do without.  Because things can and will go wrong, as I will share in a bit.

  So my first stop in my florist crash course was, of course, Pinterest.  Because you can find everything on Pinterest, right?  I think I already had my flower board full of ideas of what I wanted, so my next step was to see what was possible.  I decided on a bouquet of blue hydrangeas, white roses, and greenery to frame it.  My first concern was how well hydrangeas would hold up.  Thanks to this website, I not only learned some tricks for keeping my flowers fresh and ready to go.  I learned that by cutting them under water, splitting the hydrangea stems, then dipping in boiling water, it would prevent the sap from blocking the stem, enabling my flowers to keep drinking.  Cool, right? I found tutorials on how to wrap bouquets, too.  With some bouquets, you start in the center and work your way out, but with hydrangeas, you want to start with the hydrangeas, about three heads, and then thread in your other flowers where you want them.

   Then next thing I did was start pricing flowers.  Flowers are not cheap. I compared Hy-Vee, where I could order bulk flowers, and Sam's Club.  Even though I had to order more flowers overall from Sam's, it was still much less expensive than ordering just what I needed.  Plus, I knew I would have extra for mistakes.  I also considered doing artificial flowers, but realized quickly that they would be even more expensive.  I did get artificial boutonnieres, though.  I knew they would take more skill, and would have to be made the day before the wedding.  I planned on doing my bouquets two days before, then just keeping them in the refrigerator at the church.  The boutonnieres I found at Hobby lobby looked so real that I had one person confess that they didn't realize they were artificial when they hadn't wilted days later!

 I saved empty water jugs and the boxes they came in to hold my flowers before they were turned into bouquets, and enlisted a friend's help.  I had to flowers come a day before I wanted to arrange them, so they would have time to hydrate.  I figured out what supplies I would need, like clippers, scissors, floral pins, ribbon, and floral tape.  I think I had floral wire, too, although I probably didn't use it.  In fact, I couldn't figure out how to get the floral tape to hold, so I ended up using foam bandage tame instead!  It worked, but now I know to wrap the tape around each flower a couple of times as you add it.  Since then I've also added plumbers pvc tape for boutonnieres and a hot glue gun for ribbons to my supply kit.  I learned about the plumber's tape from a library book I picked up when I did the flowers - including boutonnieres - for my sister-in-law's wedding.  By wrapping it around the stem, covering the cut part all the way to where the wires are threaded through at the top, you seal in the moisture to help them to stay fresh longer.

   Making the bouquets went well, as I said, despite my unorthodox tape choice.  I made my bouquet, a toss bouquet, five bridesmaid's bouquets.  and vases for Our Lady and St. Joseph.  After that the rest of the flowers went into vases for the alter and to have by the guest book and probably a few other places.  I don't remember, I'm just glad we had the flowers because.....

   Disaster struck.  Yup, something went wrong.  I made the bouquets Thursday, and took them to the church when we went for the rehearsal Thursday night, so they could stay safe and happy in the fridge until Saturday.  Only I didn't take into account that they refrigerators had only just been plugged in.  So, when we got to the hall Friday to decorate, and my mom went to start loading the beverages for the reception into the fridge she found them.  Frozen.

  This is why you have a backup plan.  Fortunately, I'm not the type to panic.  Fortunately, there were lots of extra flowers.  Fortunately I think I even had my clippers and pins with, and a local friend had some floral tape.  I was able to rearrange everything into a bouquet for me, my 5 bridesmaids, my vases for Mary and St. Joseph, and even a (slightly more pathetic) toss bouquet.  Or maybe I used someone else's bouquet for that.  Oh, and (fortunately) the church had it's own store of alter flowers, including hydrangeas in just the right shade of blue.  All in all, I think my second bouquet turned out even nicer than the first.
     My sisters-in-law said when they saw how I handled my flower fiasco, they felt confident enough to let me do their flowers, too, lol.  So that's how I ended up with a new hobby.  I've done three more weddings since mine, and I learn a little more each time.  It isn't a hobby I pick up regularly, but it is definitely one I hope to continue for many years to come.

Some Useful Links:
My Flower Pinterest Board
Some terrific tutorials
Where I learned about hydrangeas
The starting point for my bouquet
Guidelines for how many flowers you need

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

You Don't Have a Time Management Problem - Part 3

     If you've read Part 1 and Part 2, you know that this post is my take on how to deal with an Energy Shortage.  No, I don't mean running out of oil. I'm talking about your body.  What can you do if your "battery" runs down quickly, and takes forever to recharge?

My stress list. I didn't think of spaces, lol.
     Everyone deals with this problem at some point or another in their lives.  Whether it is a cold or a chronic illness, our bodies aren't going to run at 100% all of the time.  Of course if it is a short term problem, like a cold, you probably don't think much about it.  But I think there is a very large percentage of the population who are perpetually running on low battery, and many of them don't even realize it.  They just think they have too much to do, and not enough time.
    You probably have an energy shortage if:

  • You are dealing with chronic pain or illness
  • You are pregnant or nursing
  • You have children, especially under the age of 8 or so
  • You are sick
  • You are caring for someone who is sick
  • You have suffered a loss recently
  • You have had surgery in the last few months
  • You are under a lot of stress

    I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get my work done.  I'm home all day.  I don't have any children to make messes.  My home should be clean.  My dishes should be done.  I was really getting frustrated with myself.  Then I discovered I have PCOS.  Polycystic Ovary Syndrome isn't a reproductive disorder - it is an endocrine disorder.  Why means the hormones it affect aren't just the ones that determine if I will have a baby or not.  They also determine if my skin will be clear, and my metabolism, and stress levels, and sleep, and ultimately my energy.  It's something that can be managed, but it isn't going to go away and stay away on it's own.
    I think I knew that time wasn't my problem.  And I knew I wasn't (always) being lazy, yet I also knew that somehow I needed to do better.  When Paula pointed out that time wasn't the issue, rather that energy was, I realized that while everyone has the same amount of time, and it is out of our control, my energy was something that I could actually work with.  In fact, it's something everyone can work with to a certain extent.  Now I know I have it pretty easy - It's just my husband and I, and I don't work outside the home.  Kids, as much as I can't wait to have them, do have a lot of demands, as do jobs.  

   With our low batteries, we need to go a little more in depth than what I talked about in the last post.  Knowing what gives us energy and what takes extra amounts of energy is really important.  It's also important to know what causes stress in our lives, since stress really drains our batteries quickly.  Chances are, we won't be able to get it all done.  And that's ok.  It is more important to give our bodies the chance to heal, and that means getting plenty of rest and not overdoing it.  Ever notice how if you let your cell phone battery run down, it takes for ever to come back on again?  I don't know about you, but my body is the same way.  I'm learning (slowly!) that is is much better to accept my limitations and do what I can, rather than plowing through and crashing.  It's a terrific lesson in humility.
   Let's start with food.  Of course healthy food is better than junk food, as tempting as it is to just pop in a frozen pizza.  But more than that, make sure you don't have any food allergies or sensitivities you are accidentally aggravating.  What is good for you may not good for me, and vice versa.  Right now I am avoiding all grains, because I notices that even rice makes me feel more hungry after eating than I was before.   Because of my insulin resistance, it made sense for me to cut carbs, and it seems to be working. Food sensitivities and allergies may not look the way you expect them too.  My brother is allergic too milk, but instead of digestive upset, his sinuses go crazy and he ends up sneezing all night.   Instead of getting migraines from MSG like most people with that sensitivity, I get heartburn.  So figure out what food is good for you, and do your best to avoid foods that aren't good for you.  Sometimes these changes are only short term, while your body heals.
    Also make sure you are eating often enough.  If your body thinks it is starving, for whatever reason, it will try to store everything you put into it.  So not only will you have lower energy, you will also find yourself gaining weight.  If I don't eat every 2-3 hours, I get tired a lot faster, plus find myself more likely to get angry or cry over silly things.
   The only thing I have to add on the subject of sleep is that after I got my appendix out, my surgeon told me that 45 minutes is the ideal length for naps, because you get enough rest to make a difference, but you don't fall into that deep sleep that will make you groggy if interrupted.  Which is great if you fall asleep quickly.  If anyone has any tips on that, they would be greatly appreciated.

  Have you written down your daily grind yet?  Include everything you need to do - even brushing your teeth.  Figure out a raking system for each item.  You want to note how much energy the task takes, how stressful it is, and whether you get a "boost" from doing it.  I ranked everything from 1 to 5 in each category.  Also make a list of weekly, and even monthly tasks.  You could also add a list of things like "Visiting my family," "Having Company over," "Visiting husband's family," etc.  The idea is to have a good picture so you can easily see that, for example, you might want to eat leftovers the day you go grocery shopping so you don't have to cook.  Now is a good time to ask yourself why some of these tasks require more energy or are more stressful than others, and if there is any way to make them easier.  For example, even though it's just my husband and I, I've switched back to using paper plates for now, since we don't have a dishwasher.
  Next write out a list of Relaxing and Energizing activities - and give them all a score on both categories.
  Finally, write down everything that causes stress, leaving enough space between to come up with ways to reduce or avoid that stress.

  Finally, it is time to prioritize.  Figure out what absolutely has to get done everyday for survival.  (Hint: Food, sleep, and clean clothes should probably be at the top of the list.) After that, look at you stress list.  What causes the most stress?  Is there anything you can do to prevent or reduce that stress?  Those are going to be your next priorities.  The more you reduce the stress in your life, the more energy you will have for other things.  Do you have the energy for that much?  If not, that's alright.  That just means you need to find more help, and maybe different ways to do things.

     I know that for a lot of people, asking for help is hard, especially when it is for help with things you used to be able to do.  It's easy to mistake your limitations for laziness.  But if we are trying to do better, and are doing what we can, you aren't lazy.  We can't do it all, no matter what "all" entails.  And while my husband probably doesn't love doing dishes, he does love me, and I shouldn't feel guilty if he's doing something for me.  This goes for other family members and friends, too.  Don't waste energy by feeling guilty when someone is helping you.  Be grateful.  And remember to lift up others in need, even if all you can manage right now are kind words and prayers.

  What do you think stresses you out the most?  What solutions did you come up with to reduce or eliminate that stress?