Major Surgery: What Tips Do You Have?

by jessicaturner on September 26, 2016

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Photo from a recent girls’ weekend. 

In just over two months (December 2), I am scheduled to have a breast reduction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck).

I have contemplated whether or not I would share or not here but landed on yes because y’all are like extended family and because I hope it might help others who embark on this journey. Moreover, I will likely want to share bits and pieces during the recovery (or after) so figure, why not write about it now?

I come from a long-line of big-chested women. I have always been well-endowed, but after three kids, my breasts remain an H cup — yes, H is a thing. An awful thing! With my many years of migraines, shoulder and neck pain and assorted other issues, we decided that since we are done having children it was time to have the surgery. I have wanted to have a reduction for many, many years and it feels surreal that it is finally going to happen. We are so grateful that our insurance will fully cover the breast reduction.

As for the abdominoplasty…. Last year I shared that I have diastasis recti. My abdominal muscles are split in several spots, most severely in the middle of my abdomen, where I have a 4″ split. We tried physical therapy, but it did not reduce the split any noticeable degree. I have a lot of low back pain because of the split and find it difficult to bend straight over and then come back up. Basically, I have zero core strength and an inability to do core exercises because of the split. We decided that it made sense to have the repair done at the same time as the breast reduction since I will already be getting put under. I also have a lot of extra skin from my three pregnancies, which will be eliminated with the surgery. Our insurance will not cover the repair, so we have been saving up for it. (A tummy tuck includes the repair of the diastasis recti.)

Multiple physicians and my chiropractor believe it is in my best interest to have the reduction and abdominal repair. Doing both surgeries at the same time will reduce the time I have to spend out of work.

The recovery will be approximately 4 weeks, with most of that time be due to the abdominoplasty. December is a slow time for me at work, which is why we opted to have the procedure then. Unfortunately we will not be able to have family come to help us, but I will qualify for some home health care during the days following the surgery. I won’t have drains from the breast reduction, but will from the abdominal surgery. The surgery is approximately 4 hours long and is out-patient.

We have friends that are going to keep our kids for the first 48 hours, but after that we will be on our own (we don’t have any family locally). My mom is coming to Nashville to keep our kids when we go to Malaysia, so she won’t be able to take off of work again so soon after that trip. We are planning to pay for a nurse to come in and help for the first week or so, as I hear that it is very, very difficult in the immediate days after.

I am nervous about the surgery (I have never been put under) and recovery (the pain and the drains), though I know it will be worth it. I’m exited for January when it will be behind me!

If you have had one or both of these surgeries, would you be willing to share your experiences and tips in the comments below?

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You’re Invited to My Pampered Chef Party

by jessicaturner on September 22, 2016

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I’ve been a fan of Pampered Chef for as long as I can remember. I get it honestly, as my mom has been a huge Pampered Chef fan since I was a kid. When I got engaged, Mom was the one who helped me start my own collection of Pampered Chef products. And since Matthew and I got married, our collection has grown considerably over the years, each of us having our own favorite products that we use often.

A few years ago, my mom started selling Pampered Chef and this week I’m so happy to be hosting a Pampered Chef party for her. While I can’t have y’all at my house for a party, we are going to do it virtually. Here’s a quick video of Mom talking about her favorite products + some of the new products for fall.

Isn’t she adorable? My parents divorced a few years ago and Pampered Chef has been such a blessing to her – both financially and in connecting her with other women. I love supporting her in this way.

I also wanted to also share with you our family’s 10 favorite products — you’ll definitely see some overlap.  Between Matthew and I—because we both love cooking/baking—we use multiple Pampered Chef items every single day.

I would be so grateful for you to click here to shop and order a few items for your kitchen. I know you will LOVE them. The party closes on Thursday, September 29, so you will get your items in early October, perfect as we go into the holiday season.

Here’s a list of our 10 favorite Pampered Chef MUST HAVE products:

1) Garlic press

Though we’re not garlic fanatics, garlic is one of our go-to items for adding flavor to soups, sauces, or crockpot recipes. For years, whenever we needed garlic, I always purchased those tiny jars of minced garlic in olive oil. But my mom introduced me to Pampered Chef’s garlic press and that little item changed our life in the kitchen. I had no idea how different, how better freshly minced garlic is compared to what you buy in a jar.

2) Cutting boards

Whether we’re cutting meats or veggies or baking something yummy, we are always using our Pampered Chef cutting boards. Available in a variety of sizes, cutting boards from Pampered Chef come with a rubbery edge that keeps the board from moving around or slipping from under you while you’re cutting. When we’re finished, we simply slide them into the dishwasher for cleaning.

3) Stoneware Collection

Few things in our kitchen get used more often than the items in our Pampered Chef stoneware collection. For baking biscuits or breads or cookies or chicken nuggets, if it’s going in the oven, chances are we’re using our stoneware. We just love it. And while using a stone takes a little getting used to, the more you use it, the more you’ll fall in love!

4) Manual food processor

The manual food processor is most definitely my husband’s favorite Pampered Chef item! He loves it it because not only can you process veggies, grains, nuts, and other food items, it’s easy to clean, put away, and store. Not since Pampered Chef’s veggie chopper released has Matthew used a product more often when cooking.

5) Non-stick frying pan

We’ve all used non-stick frying pans. And usually, even when it’s one of the cheap brands you buy at Walmart or Target, you love your non-stick pan for a season. And then your affection for the pan starts to fade. Until you hate it. Well, that’s not what happens when you buy a non-stick pan from Pampered Chef—you never stop loving it because it’s durable, maintains its non-stick finish, and cooks everything evenly. You’ll love it!

6) Veggie slicer

Pampered Chef is known for taking a well known and commonly used item and revolutionizing it’s functionality, making it better, safer, or ridding it of its annoyances. Well, that’s exactly what they did with the mandolin-styled veggie slicer. What was once a clumsy and semi-unsafe kitchen tool with seemingly too many moving parts is now a safer, easy-to-use three-sized veggie slicer with only 2 parts. It not only remains sharp, it’s also easy to clean.

7) Pizza and crust cutter

If you have kids, chances are pretty good that you prepare a lot of frozen pizzas. We use our Pampered Chef pizza and crust slicer way more often than I would like. But we love it. You will, too.

8) Microwave popcorn maker

This amazing invention will change your life! As you know, microwave popcorn is terribly unhealthy, both for your waistline and, because of the chemicals they put inside those bags, for overall body’s wellness. Well, the Pampered Chef microwave popcorn maker puts you in charge of what you put in your popcorn and ultimately what you put in your body, too. It’s easy to use, fun for the kids to prepare, and you’ll actually remember what real popcorn tastes like again.

9) Ice cream scoop

Whatever Pampered Chef puts inside its ice cream scoop, it’s amazing. You’ll never need or have to buy another ice cream scoop again. Plus, you’ll love its ability to dip even the hardest, most frozen of ice cream.

10) Seasoning mixes

You might not think of Pampered Chef when it comes to buying items for your spice rack, but once you experience their wide variety of seasoned mixes, you’ll keep going back to them again and again. While nothing replaces fresh herbs and spices, the Pampered Chef collection of seasonings comes pretty darn close. Matthew swears that Pampered Chef’s “Italian Seasoning Mix” makes his homemade soups taste better. And he loves their “Asian Seasoning Mix,” too. They also have a great variety of rubs, too, if you’re into grilling or smoking meat.

Click here to order some Pampered Chef for your kitchen! Thank you!

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20 Pirate Activities for Kids

September 19, 2016

My kids, especially Elias, have always loved pirates. There’s something awfully interesting about those scallywag pirates, probably thanks to Jake & The Neverland Pirates. Living on the open sea, going on treasure hunts, getting crazy body modifications like peg legs and hand hooks – pirates are the kind of nautical adventurers kids love. Whether your […]

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Join Becky Higgins & Me on Facebook Live

September 15, 2016

Excuse me while I try not to pass out from excitement. Yes, you read that right! Becky Higgins and I are going to do a Facebook Live together tomorrow at 2:15 pm PST, 4:15 pm CST. If you have been a reader for any length of time, you know that scrapbooking is a huge part […]

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10 Ways to Support Your Child’s School

September 13, 2016

School has been in session for more than a month now in Nashville, though I have many friends whose children just started! Already, we have received many communications from our children’s elementary school regarding field trips, fundraisers and classroom support that is needed. While parents tend to be more eager at the beginning of the school […]

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A New Gallery Wall, Tips for Printing on Wood & a Freebie

September 7, 2016

The site that I use to print the most prints for my home is Photo Barn. I literally have their stuff in every room of my house, especially on my gallery walls. They often run crazy freebies, which is how I have gotten the majority of the prints. The above photo is of a new […]

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Perfect Kids Craft: DIY Itty Bittys from Hallmark

September 2, 2016

One of my kids’ favorite things to collect are Hallmark Itty Bittys. We simply adore the petite plush that range from Disney Princesses to Star Wars characters. Since they are so small and affordable, I often have some in my gift stash to have on hand for little gifts to surprise the kids. Needless to […]

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August Reads

September 1, 2016

I’m shocked I got as much reading done as I did this month because I worked many more hours than normal. It just goes to show that if you are intentional with your fringe hours, you can totally squeeze reading in! The Woman in Cabin 10: I selected this book from Book of the Month […]

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Cute $10-$12 Kimonos on Amazon

August 31, 2016

I’m in New York right now having the best time learning about Swiffer and getting to experience the city (more soon!). Today I am wearing this new flowy kimono and I have gotten SOOOO many compliments on it that I thought I should quickly tell y’all where to get it. I think it might be my […]

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6 Easy Ways to Keep Kids’ Parties Simple + The Secret Life of Pets Birthday Party

August 30, 2016

If you have followed this blog for any length of time, then you know I love throwing big parties for my kids. I look forward to their birthday parties all year long. Elias turned 8 this summer, and we decided it was time for a not-quite-so-big birthday party. He could invite eight friends to see […]

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