Eczema, Good Times & Silver Linings

Happy Memorial Day! :-) So far, I've spent my day working on an art project as well as these (hopefully) yummy shredded beef tacos. They're in the slow cooker as I speak type.

Good news! My skin has improved since last week. I'm not sure what I can accredit that to, but I'll take it. I've been less stressed for the last handful of days, so maybe that's helped.

Here's where I'm at now:

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Speaking of my eczema, this past Saturday, I attended a National Eczema Association support group meeting in Chicago!

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One of my readers told me that Dr. Peter Lio would be attending/speaking and that he's really obsessed with eczema. I actually had the time to go that day, so I figured why not?

I arrived at the meeting right on time and the two people who started the group, Erika and Nathan, were there so I chatted with them until a few more people showed up. Erika's son has eczema which went from mild to severe when he was 5 years old. Now at the age of 10, he's improved but still battling his skin. Being ten years old, he wanted to start doing his skin care routine on his own, so his mom said fine. Since he began taking care of it on his own a couple months ago, his skin has gotten worse and it looks like mom is going to have to step in.

Nathan has suffered from eczema since two weeks of age. At 27 years old now, he pretty much has it under control. He showed me a problem area on his hands, but his skin looked great other than that. Meeting me shifted his perception on eczema a bit since he's so used to it starting off in childhood and showing improvement with age - through his own experience and through others' stories. My eczema hit me practically out of nowhere in 2009.

It was a very small group - it sounded like there were a bunch more people last time. It was really great getting to hear other people's stories and it was interesting to hear Dr. Lio's opinions on eczema. Since it seems to be such a controversial thing in the medical community, I asked him if he believed Topical Steroid Withdrawal was real and he surprised me by saying yes! He said it was the "red skin" (no bumps, just large areas of red skin) that made him believe it. A lot of people think TSW is really just untreated eczema. But the "red skin" flares aren't something you see in the typical eczema experience. It's definitely something different.

The meetings are every month and if you've never had the chance to talk to someone else who deals with eczema, I highly suggest it! Click here to visit their website.

After the meeting, I made my way over to another part of town and met up with a few of my friends! The other friend is behind the camera ;-)

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Only in a big city can you make it to a sushi place 15 minutes after it opens, only to discover the wait for a table is already at an hour and a half. OMG. So, we went to this other cool Japanese place called Yusho. They serve appetizer sized dishes, so we ordered 8 of them and all shared. It was AWESOME.

Then we went out for a few drinks. Good times :-)

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The next day, my hunny and I woke up, got in the car and drove out to buy the baby vegetables for our garden!

We turned over the soil, mixed in some top soil and compost and got to planting. We even tied Bentley up outside so he could hang out with us.

We planted:

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herbs

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sweet_pepper_plant

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A couple of weeks ago, I also did some gardening with one of my girlfriends. She had never gardened in her life, so she came to the right person ;-)

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Gardening is like meditation... you always feel good afterward! You might be a little sore, but it's a good work-out.

In other news, I read Matthew Quick's "The Silver Linings Playbook" in about a week. The movie seemed semi-interesting from the trailer and after talking to my friend who had seen it, she advised me to read the book since it was much better than the movie. Not that I'm surprised - that's usually how it goes.

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The book is about a guy who goes crazy, gets locked up in a mental ward and the story chronicles his journey back to sanity and happiness. I love the way it was written. You really felt like you were inside Pat's mind. The author did a great job and I fell in love with the character... in a normal-person way... not a creepy-person way. I definitely recommend it!

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And speaking of entertainment, has anyone else been freaking out over Arrested Development's new season being out??? Now, THAT is a silver lining. A silver lining of what, I don't know, but that's not the point.

THE NEW SEASON IS REALLY OUT! YAY

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I've already watched the first few and have to control myself so I don't watch them all in one day! I hope they keep putting out more seasons!

And with that said, I think I'm going to pop on some Netflix now and get to working out ;-)

*cheers!