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Be Gone, Allergies!


There are a few things that people just instinctively (and quickly) come to know about me…
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1. That whole Social Media/Photography Thing.
2. Super Geek Status since 1983.
3. Achilles Heel/Kryptonite: Pollen. ⬅️We’ll talk about this one today.
Seriously. Almost any time someone shares something on to my Facebook timeline — I can almost guarantee it’s going to be a pollen meme. 😂
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DeathStarPollen
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I wasn’t always an allergy sufferer, but – man. When those things came to attack? They were serious.
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I was in my late 20’s the first time I got slammed.  A pharmacist told me that it was “perfectly normal.”  As she walked me through the Allergy Aisle of Publix, she continued, “Seasonal allergies tend to hit closer to your 30s, as you get older though you seem to notice them less becuase your senses are dying!” 😍
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I think she wanted me to be excited about that…but, ah…I kinda like my senses very much alive. 😐
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AllergySeason
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When I tell you that I have tried EVERYTHING for my allergies – please believe me.  I neti – sometimes multiple times a day – I’m on upwards of 4 different medications at the height of pollenation season. Nasal Sprays. ✔️ Singulair to help me breathe. ✔️ Clairtin D to allow me to even think about venturing outside. ✔️ Eye drops for days. ✔️
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I was even allergy tested — TWICE.
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And told I wasn’t allergic to anything – or, well…none of the 70 major offenders they tested me for.
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Awesome. 😩👍
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KeepItInYourPlants
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Last year I started diffusing essential oils.  I had a lot of friends recommend them to me, because, as they quickly found out — pollen + my face just didn’t get along.  So I went online, got a diffuser from good ol’ Amazon…and went guns blazing into buying cheap essential oils.
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They seemed to help, but in no way were they a life changing force on the allergy front as I still had at least 3-4 days where I was bed ridden praying for the world to end.
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THIS year I found out that you can INGEST essential oils (#YesYesTellMeMore) — but only top level brands (like Young Living and doTERRA).  The other cheaper EOs are basically only meant for diffusing as they sometimes have fillers in them and aren’t the highest quality of the plant.
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Y’know…basically stuff you don’t want in your body. 😷
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IllBeFine
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I had a friend from high school who was selling doTERRA so I asked her about them — I had read enough to at least be moderately curious about this whole injesting oils business to help aid me in my crusade against pollen.
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Just so happens that her husband (who also went to high school with us) is an extreme allergy sufferer himself!  But, y’know what — with the help of essential oils he can sit outside while someone cuts the grass and live to tell the tale! 😱
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Saaaaay no more & sign.me.up!
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Typically when the pollen starts infiltrating Florida — I go into “Reverse Hibernation” mode and only go outside when absolutely necessary.
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My journey with doTERRA began by me forgetting that the delivery had even been made.  My first massive attack of 2016 was early February — before it was even warm out here in Florida, so I wasn’t even THINKING about pollen just yet.
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But, when it hit — I knew exactly where we were headed.  I tried all my old tricks in a despearte attempt to get rid of it — to no avail.  My face just kept swelling.  After a night of suffering I woke up thinking I’d lose a day to pollen, but THEN — THEN — I remembered the oils had come earlier in the week so I went to hit those up.
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Just one drop of lemon, lavendar, and peppermint under my tongue, a swish of water…and within the hour I felt NORMAL.
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I don’t think I’d even believe it if it wasn’t my own face that I had tested it on.
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WhenTheEOsWorked
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During this allergy season I have YET to fall victim to a full day in bed — and forget about being even CLOSE to my usual 3-4 days in bed wishing for the end of times.
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Truthfully, I still have had some days where I feel run down and a bit “blah” — and I haven’t really been able to kick the burning eye situation completely yet — but if that’s all I have to endure? I’ll take it.  The fact that I’m still able to function and go about most of my day without any real issue is an INCREDIBLE win.
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You.Guys.
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The ONLY thing I changed this year was the addition of essential oils.  And with the use of essential oils — I lessened the amout of time I was on all my other allergy meds.  Usually I don’t even take the full gamut of the other meds unless I KNOW I’m going to be outside a ton.
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IDo
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Because of my success with essential oils (even beyond allergies!) — I decided to start selling doTERRA myself.  But, genuinely — if you didn’t want to buy from me? I’d still be 100% on board with you getting doTERRA somehow – however you can, really – and just TRYING them. ESPECIALLY if, as you’re reading this, your face is swollen and your brain is throbbing thanks to pollen.  I have SO.BEEN.THERE…just…y’know, not recently. 😉
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THAT’s how much I believe in them.
THAT‘s how much they’ve changed my life.  
THAT‘s how many  benefits to the essential oils there are!
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If you have any questions or have certain oils and products you might be curious about, let me know!  I’m learning as I go and am looking forward to doing some more posts in the future on what I discover. 😊
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My current fascination is reading about how essential oils even benefit our pets! 🐶
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GettingSick
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So I’m sure my allergy suffering friends are itching to know what I’ve used…so, here for you now…is just that.

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The three biggies for alleriges are:
Lemon
Peppermint
Lavendar
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One drop each does the trick for me — I’m a fan of using these in a diffuser, topically (on your skin), and – for sure – ingesting them.  Ingesting them is the quickest/most effective way for them to enter your system.
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These three also come in a blend from doTERRA called TRIEASE — this is how I typically take them.  They’re in gelcap form already, so easier to handle on a day-to-day basis in my opinion.
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I take a TRIEASE every single morning, and another later in the afternoon when I’m feeling super allergy-ish or know I’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors.  Now that we’ve got Kimber too — it’s almost always a 2 Triease kind of day because we’re ALWAYS outside with her.
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OnGuard
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Other oils I’d reccommend for allergy sufferers:
Frankinsense — mega-super-daddy EO, this one does A LOT — but I love it for helping me kick headaches to the curb.  If you’re a migraine sufferer doTERRA Deep Blue is a great oil too!
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Breathe/Eucalyptus — both are great for respiratory issues and congestion. Breathe is a doTERRA blend that I adore, and I don’t believe there’s ever a time I’ll personally say no to Eucalyptus.
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OnGuardI SWEAR by OnGuard.  Not really for allergies — BUT, I absolutely have to tell you guys about this one right off the bat because, MAN,  it has quickly become one of our “go to” oils on a constant basis.

When I went to Chicago recently for work? Everyone went home with the conference/plane ick — I came home with NO ICK!  😱 This was HUGE for me because as I have an autoimmune thyroid disorder my ability to fight off germs is…as close to ‘zero’ as you can get it.

I took a veggie capsule of OnGuard prior to boarding the plane, every morning during our time in Chicagao, and then right before I headed to the airport to go home.

Although forgetting my TRIEASE  & other superhero allergy oil fighters at home = mega allergy attack on my face.  Womp!Womp!  I just didn’t realize Chicago loved flowers so damn much…and the Floridian in me assumed that 50* meant winter to everyone else too.

Lesson Learned: Don’t forget your oils at home!  😂

Any time Sean or I are feeling even just the SLIGHEST bit of Ick coming on we take a veggie capsule of OnGuard and the next morning – we’re 100%.

It’s also great for cleaning around the house! 😍

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EssentialOils
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So.  I’m going to stop there.  I’m really passionate about these things (if you couldn’t already tell).  So much so, that I even joke with Sean about how I’m like a little Hogwarts Wizard of Potions with my essential oils. 😂
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#GeekLife, y’all.  Voldemort’s got NOTHING on me! 😉
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But they really have helped us SO MUCH already — to the point where I’m really going to work hard on getting our house as chemical free as possible in the future.  And I’m excited about sharing everything I learn here with you all!
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When I jumped in to doTERRA back in January — I started out with the Home Essentials Kit as it came with a lot of the great starter EOs, and a diffuser (we seriously have one in nearly ever corner of the house).  I also signed up for the Loyalty Rewards Program (LRP) which allows you to accumulate points over time to get free products, as well as participate in the free product of the month! And who doesn’t LOVE Free, right?! 🎉
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If this is something you’re interested in — reach out & let’s get you on that path!
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Essential Oils are DEFINITELY overwhelming — I think this was one of the biggest reasons it took me so long to really dive in.  

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I was just constantly worried I’d “do it wrong” — but step by step, through lots of reading and great conversations with my friends who are lightyears ahead of me on this path — has led me to realize that I wish I would’ve gone straight for doTERRA oils when I first heard about them rather than wait it out and see if maybe next allergy season would be kinder to me.
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Spoiler Alert: They never are. 😂
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In upcoming posts I’ll discuss more of my favorite oils — and even tackle the oils that are in the Home Essentials Kit to share with you how we use those and what their benefits are.
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Happy Oiling, Friends. ☺️
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This is my website if you’re interested in purchasing through there: https://www.mydoterra.com/casieshimansky
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Again – don’t hesitate in reaching out if you have questions!
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Please keep in mind that this is what worked for ME, everyone is different –
so you may have to try different oils or blends to really find what works for YOU.  

Kimbee’s Monarch Butterfly


Welcome Home Kimbee
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The butterfly is pretty important to my family – it’s the symbol of my younger sister, Kellie, who passed away in 2004.
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During our puppy search there were moments where butterflies and signs of Kellie would pop up, but those pups, we’d find out, weren’t our pup…and I’d wonder if she’d show up again the next time around.
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Two weeks ago, when I first found Kimber, there were no signs of Kellie – no butterflies – no moments I couldn’t ignore. It was just a post on Facebook towards the end of my work day – that left my heart racing.  She was perfect!  The clock watching began as the seconds fell away until I could wrap up one more meeting, and go downstairs to show her little face to Sean.
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On our way out to meet Kimber, I had all the nerves. What if she’s not the one? What if she doesn’t like us? I tried to keep my mind busy as we coasted along hidden Floridian roads…fidgeting between my phone and the country scenery.  I looked up just in time to see that we were passing Monarch Drive.
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I wrote it off. Sometimes signs are just…literally signs.
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Not even one block over, we passed a business that created yard decor…all a flutter with butterflies spinning rapidly through the breeze in the sunlight.
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I shook it off.  Lots of yard decor uses these vibrant winged caterpillars.  Butterflies and gardens just GO together.
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We passed some violet flowers and I commented on how I loved their vibrant color. We made a right turn, down a dirt road, and I said it reminded me of my aunts farm in Maryland. These are the parts of Florida most people forget exist.
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I don’t remember the car stopping or Sean turning off the ignition. I saw her. I loved her. I tried to keep my cool.  Likely, I failed miserably after squealing, “Look how TINY she is!” before hopping out of the car.  Whether or not the car was still in motion didn’t matter. 😂
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While I was trying to talk to Kimber’s previous owner, trying to remember all our biggest questions, making sure I covered all our bases…her daughters were running around.  The youngest, tugged my shirt, and said something I couldn’t comprehend.
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I just don’t speak ‘little kid’ all that well yet…
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I smiled but tried to focus on the ‘adult’ conversation happening too.  For a minute, my anxiety peaked as two conversations were happening at the same time and I wanted to show both they were important. I could hear Sean asking some of our main questions, as the youngest tugged again, before pointing down at the ground and annunciating the best she could, “cab•e•til•aaarsss” …she then ran to get a stick, before lifting up a chubby little caterpillar from the ground to show me.
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I smiled. I had to. “Ohh…CATERpillars.” I looked down, now realizing what she had been trying to tell me, “Yes, they’re everywhere…aren’t they?”  She continued picking the wingless buterflies up and showing me different ones.
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Caterpillars… 🐛
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Kimber on the Way Home
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We drove home with Kimber asleep in the backseat, calling and texting our families to let them know we were now three.
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Going into Sunday, we didn’t plan on much. We had borrowed a purple leash from Sean’s parents, and stopped at Walmart on the way out to meet her for a few necessities.
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“Do you think it’s bad luck to buy puppy stuff before the puppy?” Sean wondered while we wandered the aisles. I laughed a little, “No, I think we’re good. We won’t go crazy…but we should get a few things.”  I think we were both not wanting to get our hopes to a height where we couldn’t reach them.
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Puppy Accident Cleaner ✔️ Puppy Shampoo ✔️
A purple tug-of-war toy ✔️ Treats ✔️
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After we got home, we knew a few more items were in order.  Namely, food as apparently this is something Kimber really enjoys.  We sat around playing with her for a bit and she gave us a tour of her new home.
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“Is Kimbee like…Kimby with a ‘y’ or Kimbee with an ‘ee’ you think?” Sean asked.
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“Hm, I hadn’t thought about it actually…” I looked down at her sleeping, and kept petting her fuzzy little body. Originally, my mind registered her nickname with a ‘y’…but the ‘ee’ feels more like her – different, I thought. “Kimbee – double ‘ee’ – like a bumblebee. That can be her little logo…” the answer came as if it was written by way of a bumblebee’s flight path.
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He smiled, “I like it – you’re allllways thinkin’!”
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What I hadn’t really thought of, until much later in the week, is that I’ve always sort of loved bumblebees — that’s a weird thing to love, but…they were kind of just always “my bug” …my sisters and I all have bumblebee tattoos on our feet, even — something Kellie had kicked off.
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Shortly thereafter, Sean went to go collect a few more Kimbee necessities. She and I were just chilling on the floor in a sunspot – as GSPs do – when she shot up and looked out the window.  Startled, I looked to see what she was peeking at too…and an orange butterfly floated by.  Kimbee tilted her head, and then went back to resting on the floor, seemingly satisifed with the butterfly’s appearance.
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I smiled. I had to, before I kissed her little snout.  I think Aunt Kellie wanted to be the first family member to stop by.
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In just the past two days, Kimbee and I have had three more random orange butterfly encounters.  All are moments that stop me, even if for a second — and give me just enough time to catch a glimpse of the little monarchs that are surrounding us…
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We’re on a walk, and Kimbee points — an orange Monarch I never would’ve noticed otherwise floats up from the grass.
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We’re headed back from the park, I look back to see what’s caught her attention before telling her to “leave it” — and just as I turn to get us back on track, an orange winged caterpillar flies so closely I nearly feel it’s path on my face.
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We’re sitting in the living room.  I’m working on projects for the house.  Kimbee just stares out the backdoor – no doubt a big screen ‘TV’ of nature for her hunter’s soul – I look to see what could possibly have her attention for so long…and the orange Monarch levitates by once again.
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Half a second any other way, and I would’ve missed them.
Moments I would’ve missed without Kimbee.
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Safe to say that Kellie has shown up…and even Kimbee now watches for butterflies. ❤️
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Kimber Window Watching

I Used To Do That.


UsedToDoThat

The post on why I’m no longer in the business of photography.

On April 10, 2004 my younger sister Kellie died unexpectedly.  It changed my life, and even though we were a family who grew up with plenty of photographs – it suddenly seemed like there would never be enough of those moments frozen in time.  So on the day I picked up my camera again, I knew I’d never put it down.  I’d put money on the simple fact that I may have never been without a camera since.

My family does not have a family portrait of the five of us. We were supposed to get one taken the November before, but there I sat – holding the hand of my dying sister – knowing we’d never have that photograph because six months prior life was just too busy for us all to freeze time for even thirty seconds.  I knew I could help prevent that from happening in other families, whether it was professionally or simply stepping in and asking a father if he’d like to join his family for a picture while at the theme parks.

Photography is an art which deserves to be prioritized in your life, and quite frankly – if it isn’t?  Then I wan’t little to no part in being the person you choose behind a camera to preserve these moments for your family.

But as these past few years have flown right by, something else started to change in me too.  I won’t say that I woke up one morning with the sudden realization that I no longer wanted any part of being in the business of photography — that the very thought of it left me feeling, genuinely, ill — but that was more or less exactly what happened.

Of course, a lot of other little happenings lead up to that ‘catastrophic’ moment in time.  And while a few tried to convince me otherwise — I knew in my heart that it was over.  It was not a dream I wanted any longer.

It was okay with me, I was at ease with it – many others, I felt, put me in a place of being undefined.  If I wasn’t a photographer –  then who was I?

Why they had to know is beyond me.

I didn’t dare to utter the words to most people in my life for well over a year; afraid that most would try to talk me out of a decision I had already made.  For many, it took them coming directly to me — “Are you still doing photography?”

I think I needed a full year just to figure out a way to answer, but the answer wound up being, “I’m no longer in the business of photography, no.”

The second I left the business, was the second I got myself back.  It was the same second I felt as if I could breathe properly for the first time in years.  It was the same second I knew I could LOVE photography again.

Since that second there have been requests to capture weddings and families.  Something I only ever entertain the idea of for close friends, but – even then – more often than not, I refer them to other friends who are every bit of the photographer I dreamed of being.

It isn’t to say that I’m not a photographer anymore – it took me a while to realize that, in fact, I’ll NEVER stop being a photographer. Ever.

I just found a new way of being the photographer I never knew I always wanted to be.

In December of 2014, I sold all of my Canon equipment.  Every last piece.  The second I shipped the last item off, a literal weight was lifted off of me.  For close to a year I had HATED watching the gear just sit, stored, under my desk.  It wasn’t a camera I ever brought out for traveling, I’d never dare to bring it to the theme parks with us, and I rarely had it out around the house.  It was a ton hanging from my shoulders and neck.  It wore on me in more ways than one.

It made me hate photography even more.

So I sold it. All of it. And I turned around and got myself a couple of new mirrorless lens cameras – a Fuji X100T and XT1.  And, again, I fell in love.

They’re cameras that could (and do!) keep up in the professional world — but, y’know…mostly I just use those guys for fun – theme parks, vacations, around the house & more! 🙂

Life is weird and quirky and interesting.  But I know this is where I was intended to be, and where I was meant to go.

So it took me a while, but there it is.  And now…here we go.

Hopefully you enjoy the adventure from here on out…

Thirty Something.


HouseHunting

We’re house hunting. Which is NOT at ALL what they show on HGTV, by the way. #HeadsUp #SpoilerAlert

And we just keep hitting walls on more fronts than I care for.  We’ve waited for this moment for over three years, and…crappy as it may sound, after all our waiting I’m kinda “over” life fighting me on it.

I’ve been patient. Now I kinda want what I want.

Also important to note: I’m tired of people telling me that the “waiting will be worth it” as if this is some new concept I have not entertained the idea of.

The age thing is hitting me harder & harder these days too…now that I’m 32 and supremely “behind” in a lot of life’s moments. I never hit that wall of turning 30 and going “Well, life is over now. Goodbye 20s!”  I hate – truly HATE – when people whine and complain about getting older or having another birthday to celebrate or “OH NO! Thirty! Run!”

Shut.Up. You’re ALIVE. Celebrate THAT.

I was EXCITED for 30, because I knew these would be the years I had been waiting for.

But those creepy, haunting voices in the back of my head are certainly becoming louder the “older” I get.  It doesn’t help when actual real-life-people seem to take enjoyment out of poking you and reminding you that you’re “not getting any younger” either. Again, tell me something I’m unaware of.

It’s not about wanting kids anymore, it’s more about…when we get there will I even be able to HAVE kids?!  I have shaken that fear off more times than I can remember.

And while I’ve accepted my fair share of lectures on the “next steps” in OUR relationship – I’m over those too.  I don’t particularly need your advice.  I don’t think people realize that we’ve all but been living together since we started dating — we’ve just been bouncing between parent’s homes as we paid off debts and saved for THIS moment.  What daft fools we are for attempting to be financially responsible. 😉

I don’t think most people realize that if it weren’t for money and MY request for a home before a ring before we even hit our first year anniversary…we would’ve been all those things long before now too.  Fairly early on, we knew.

Our plan isn’t like the regular ones, and for that – I’m pretty freakin’ grateful.

This growing up thing is not for the faint of heart.

I am beyond lucky that at the end of a seemingly endless emotional breakdown that left my defeated by failures and lost opportunities and getting older and “running out of time” type scenarios…he set me straight.

He reminded me of all I HAVE accomplished, all I’ve been able to experience.  The places I traveled.  The career I was so determined to achieve – an opportunity that most would kill for – one that many said couldn’t be found, I found.  That I work, daily, on something I love and am passionate about with a team I consider family — is beyond what most kids dream of.  And that, yes, maybe I am 32 and still living at home, unmarried, with no kids — but those are things that haven’t happened yet…and things that we’re working on together.

So, we’re house hunting.

Which isn’t what they show you on HGTV.

But, likely. I’ll show you here. 🙂

He’d Never Have to Ask.


SeanAndCasie

A Facebook Comment, Circa Early 2016.

Each region is different – each couple is different. The timing in your life, I think, also plays a role. Honestly, we already feel married – so I don’t flinch when people call him my husband or address me as Mrs. Moody. Almost immediately, we knew that’s where we were headed – but of course we prioritized.

I was the one who said house before ring – something that, for some reason, surprises people. But my stance on that is – while jewelry is nice, we can’t live in that setting.

Our home is, to me, a greater commitment to our relationship and what we personally want vs. jewelry…and even a dress and flowers and cake. THIS is our foundation…where we hang pictures on the walls and laugh with each other while making dinner.

In terms of a wedding – for us, again, we already feel pretty married. So it’s all just “paperwork & a party” at this point, as I like to say.

For us, the details are just that – details. When the day comes, I could be in blue jeans and a tank top standing in the backyard …so long as we’re there together, that’s all that really matters.

He would never have to ask me to marry him, and I’d be just as happy with that and what we have and where we’re going.

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