Golden Birthday Celebrations

Have you heard of people celebrating their Golden Birthday? I hadn’t heard about this until I had kids. Of course my kids birthdays fall on the 15th and 17th of the month. So, as you can imagine, I’ve been waiting a long time to celebrate someones Golden Birthday! The time has finally come! My son will be turning 15 soon. Let the Golden Birthday planning begin!

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Golden Birthday

What is a Golden Birthday?

You may be asking yourself, “what exactly is a Golden Birthday?”. This birthday celebration is celebrated when you turn the number of the day you were born. For example, my son is turning 15 soon. He was born on the 15th of the month. So…this year is his Golden Birthday year!

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First Things First

The cake. When I am planning a birthday party, I always plan the cake first and then everything else. I don’t typically go overboard in the planning stage for birthdays, so for this birthday, I definitely want to. When you Google “Golden Birthday cakes”, you get bunch of different images of some pretty amazing looking cakes. I love the cakes that are covered in edible gold glitter! While that may be a bit too girly for my son, I also found cakes that look like blocks of gold. I’m thinking that is what I am going to make for him (and by me make it, I really mean my husband…he’s good at that stuff)!

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Make the Golden Birthday Special

When you are planning this special birthday, you want to think about all the small details. Things like gold colored paper products, cups, plastic silverware, etc. Other ideas I have are:

  • Wrap everything in gold wrapping paper or bags with tissue paper
  • Gold streamers
  • Giant gold balloon numbers
  • Gold balloons
  • Snack table with:
    • Bowl of Rolo candy
    • Golden Oreo cookies
    • Tortilla chips and cheese dip (and salsa…I don’t care that it’s not gold. You can’t have tortilla chips without salsa!)
    • Mozzarella Cheese Sticks
    • Pizza Rolls
    • Goldfish crackers

Whatever you decided to do, I am sure your friend or loved one will thoroughly enjoy it! It doesn’t have to be elaborate or over the top. Just make a list of the things you normally do and see if you can sub things out for things that are gold in color!


Recovering from Knee Surgery Tips

A little over four weeks ago, I had my second knee surgery. If you recall, back in October, I had the first part of the knee surgery for my right knee. While I’ve already been through this once (and not that long ago), this second surgery recovery has not been easy. With that said, planning is key. Some things that helped me the first time around, did not help at all this time, but don’t worry! I have found new knee surgery tips and I am sharing them all with you. Hopefully they help someone else going through knee surgery!

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knee surgery tips

Why Knee Surgery?

For years (like 15+ years), I have dealt with knee pain in every aspect of my life. 12 years ago, I dislocated my knee for the first time and over the course of the next 12 years, I put up with my knee slipping slightly out again and again. In July of 2018, my knee dislocated again. This prompted me to see the surgeon again. We had tried every option available to me, other than surgery, but it was finally time to bite the bullet and have knee surgery. My kids were older and much more self sufficient and my husband was in a place in his career that he was able to work his schedule so he could work from home and help with my recovery.

What was the Surgical Plan?

My surgeon asked me what mattered more to me…fixing the instability, alleviating the pain or both. Obviously my answer was both. There was no way I could choose between the two. Both bothered me equally on a daily basis. In answering with both, my surgical plan went from one surgery to two. The first surgery was this past October. The surgeon went in, cleaned up the underside of my kneecap and took a biopsy of my cartilage. That biopsy was sent to a lab on the East Coast where they grew more of my own cartilage. The second surgery that I had four weeks ago, the surgeon cut away the damaged cartilage, implanted the new cartilage (called the MACI procedure) and then used a donor tendon to replace a damaged tendon to help stabilize my knee (called MPFL Reconstruction).

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Most Important Knee Surgery Tips

First and foremost, TAKE YOUR PAIN PILLS. Set alarms on your phone to remind you. Just take the darn pills. I missed a dose or two and the nerve blocks wore off and I can’t even begin to put into words the amount of pain I was in. We eventually had to call the on-call nurse and she told my husband how to administer the pain pills in a different way (a bit more frequently, but still safe…he asked!) and finally…after a day and a half…I was over that insanity. So take the pills…even if you don’t think you have that much pain. Just do it. This is, by far, the most of all the knee surgery tips.

Elevate and Ice

Once I was done taking pain pills (only needed them for about four days), the best way to help my pain is by elevating it and icing constantly. I was sent home with a machine to ice my knee. You put water in the machine and frozen water bottles and it constantly keeps the pad on your knee cold. If you don’t get sent home with one of those, I highly recommend you buy one. I sleep with it every single night and use it during the day. I also recommend you get one of the elevating wedges. Shortly after the first surgery because trying to get the pillows just right never worked. The wedge was amazing and worth every penny!

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Do Your Exercises

My surgeon sent me home with several exercises I needed to start right away. Once I saw my physical therapy team, they gave me more. The two most important exercises for me to do right after surgery were heel pumps and quad sets. The more you can work on getting your quad muscle to fire properly, the better! Another thing I would highly recommend is a strap to help stretch your hamstring and a Tiger Tail rolling stick to help massage your quad muscle. Trust me, those two things are a must have!

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Catch Up on Netflix and Reading

Part of my recovery requires me to use a machine that was dropped off at my home. I set the degrees each day and it bends my knee accordingly and repeatedly. Since I use this machine every single day for six hours a day, I have a lot of time to just sit and watch Netflix or read. So far I have watched:

  • How to Get Away With Murder (remaining season I had left to watch)
  • You
  • Santa Clarita Diet (seasons 2 and 3)
  • The Crown
  • Criminal Minds (currently watching)

When I’m not watching Netflix, I am reading. You can find my favorite books on my book site, A Real Page Turner.

How Long is Recovery?

It will be 18 long months before I can return to normal activity. Right now I am on crutches and doing rehab. I am hoping that I will get off crutches in a few weeks and start building up my strength with walking and gain the ability to start driving again. Ultimately, I cannot wait to be able to return to the gym. I’ve missed working out. Going from working out 3-4 times a week to not being able to work out at all, stinks big time! BUT, if this fixes my knee and makes it so I don’t have to be afraid to take a step, then it will be worth it to wait a little while longer!


Customized Wall Décor at a Discount

I can’t tell you how many years we lived in our home with blank walls. Decorating was not my thing. It’s not because I didn’t like wall décor. Quite the opposite, actually. I just didn’t like having to make decisions about what I wanted because I DIDN’T HAVE A CLUE! What I did know is that I liked to make it personal, as much as possible. With CanvasDiscount.com, you can make customized wall décor, make photo canvas prints, and so much more! All for an awesome discount!

*This is a partnered post. All opinions are 100% my own*

customized wall décor

Customized Wall Décor

When I was asked if I would like to partner with CanvasDiscount.com, it was an easy yes! My husband has a new office at work and the walls are bare. I knew immediately that I wanted to have a picture of the two of us printed for him to hang on the wall at work. The finished product turned out beautifully!

customized wall décor
This beautiful picture from CanvasDiscount.com is part of their metal photo prints line. The prints in this line range in size from 8×8 all the way up to 20×20. The particular print above is 12×16 in size. Also, just so you know, the picture was taken with an iPhone! You don’t have to be a professional photographer with fancy cameras to get gorgeous photo canvas prints.

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Photo Gifts, Photo Canvas Prints, and More!

If you’re like me, you like to give personalized gifts. When my kids were little, I used to make photo gifts for the grandparents. They got things like coffee mugs, photo blankets, etc. At CanvasDiscount.com you can make those things, plus personalized children’s books, a photo phone case, a photo puzzle, and more! Simply take your favorite pictures, upload, and order! My favorite item, and something I will be ordering soon, is the photo pillow! I totally want to have a pillow on my couch with a picture of my cat Roxie on it!

 

So…How’s the Quality?

Not only did my item ship very quickly, but it’s perfect! Like I said, I used an iPhone photo, which is totally fine. The nice thing about this site is that if your image won’t work for the size canvas print you are trying to order, they let you know! So no worrying on whether or not you are going to get a blurry canvas that you won’t want to hang on your wall! You really can’t go wrong with the metal photo prints! This may be going to my husband’s office, but I plan on ordering more in varying sizes for a truly customizable photo collage wall!

Save Even MORE Money!

Have I convinced you to want to order something from CanvasDiscount.com yet? If not, this will definitely get you ordering. Not only is everything severely discounted, but you can save even MORE money with this special discount code! Enter GODESSCANVA at checkout to save an additional 15% off the already discounted Canvas Prints at CanvasDiscount.com! So cool! What customized wall décor photo will you be ordering?

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Ice Storm Tool – Must Have

I don’t know what the weather has been like where you live, but here in Michigan, it has been up and down this winter. One minute it’s -40 degrees and the next minute it’s 55 degrees. My kids have already had five snow days due to the ice, snow and the cold temps. It’s crazy! Around 2 am last night, we had freezing rain that lasted HOURS. And yes, the kids were off school today because every inch of the ground was covered in thick ice. This ice storm tool is a must have if you live in an area that deals with harsh winter weather.

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ice storm tool

When I finally woke up this morning (best part of school being called off…you get to sleep in), I looked outside and this is what I saw. Everything was covered in a thick layer of ice. To be completely honest, I freaked out. Since I am still in physical therapy from the knee surgery I had in October and I am having a second knee surgery in April, I am very nervous about falling on ice.

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What to do About the Ice?

I was feeling pretty helpless. We needed to get rid of the ice. With more rain, sleet and snow coming, there was no way it would be good to have the snow fall on top of the ice that was already there. We would never get rid of it. The kids and I got bundled up and headed outside to figure things out. This steel ice chopperice storm tool is a must have. I used the ice chopper to lift and break up the ice. The kids then went behind me and shoveled up the ice. It’s definitely an ice storm tool you need to have.

ice storm tool

Must Have Ice Storm Tool

Besides the steel ice scraper that is an ice storm tool that is a must have, you also need a telescopic ice scraperice storm tool to clear off your car windshield. Clearing the windshield on my Explorer is hard enough with my short arms, but add in the thick ice I was dealing with today, and it’s impossible! Unless you have a telescopic ice scraper. I’m telling you, I fought getting one for so long (why??? I have no idea), but when I finally got one, it was life changing for me. At least life changing during the winter!

Restarting Keto Difficulties

Just before Christmas, I decided to go back to the Keto diet after a short break. Since I was following a low carb diet on my break from Keto, I really didn’t gain too much weight. In restarting Keto, I was hopeful that I would pick up where I left off and finally make it to my goal weight. However, that is far from what happened. After reading and rereading a bunch of info online, I learned a lot about restarting Keto.

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restarting keto

Image via Pexels by rawpixel.com

Our Keto History

Making the decision to start the Keto diet was difficult for me. Eating fat goes against EVERYTHING I have ever learned about dieting and losing weight. I kept seeing friends losing a bunch of weight with this diet, so finally I decided to jump on board, dragging my husband with me. Starting out, I weighed myself every single day because I was terrified of gaining a bunch of weight and ending up being a Keto failure. As the days, weeks and months went by, I began losing weight tremendously. Totally, on Keto, I lost about 90 pounds. My husband lost 125 pounds. We looked and felt amazing.

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2018 was a crazy year for me, medically. I ended 2017 with tremendous gallbladder pain (not caused by Keto) and I started 2018 with surgery to remove my gallbladder. Fast forward six months later and I fell and damaged my already damaged knee. Three months after that, I had knee surgery (part one). I had hit a Keto plateau and I felt it would be easier, recovery wise, being on a diet that was less restrictive and that required much less planning. So my husband I took a Keto break and did Weight Watchers.

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Restarting Keto

We always planned on restarting Keto. I had read that some people (not all) have trouble when they start Keto again with losing weight. Both my husband and I were very strict and the scale wasn’t budging. In fact, it felt like our clothes were getting tighter. I refused to weigh in because I didn’t want to stress with the scale this time around. Instead I just stuck with what I was doing, drank my water, and hoped things would turn around soon enough. Only things never turned around. Talk about feeling very discouraged.

So…Now What?

After lots of thinking and soul searching, both my husband and I decided to go back to Weight Watchers. We can still eat low carb on Weight Watchers; we can still avoid sugar, if we choose (and I do); and it’s very doable in any and all situations. Like the last time we did Weight Watchers, I am having knee surgery (part two) in April. My husband travels a lot for work and while Keto was something he could do just fine, Weight Watchers provides him with a lot more options.

Could we have stuck it out with Keto and had things turn around, possibly. I think my biggest search history on my phone lately has been, “not losing weight on Keto second time“. However, I just wasn’t feeling it this time around. I still wholeheartedly believe that the Keto diet is a good diet. We are meant to eat low carb and low to no sugar. But, with that said, I just couldn’t keep feeling like it wasn’t working. The stress I was feeling because I was stressing out about restarting Keto, was not worth it anymore.

Want a FREE Month of Weight Watchers?

Did the word “free” get your attention?!? It should have! By using my personal referral link, you and I will both receive a free month of Weight Watchers once you sign up. Be sure to read all of the terms and conditions so you understand when and how the free month will be applied. Be sure to sign up for email updates for Diaries of a Domestic Goddess! I will be posting all of my Weight Watcher friendly recipes right here!