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Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned

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Today is my four year blog anniversary, or as I like to call it blogoversary!  I can hardly believe that it’s been four years since I started this little blog of mine.

To celebrate,  instead of sharing a DIY project with you all I thought I’d take a look back at this past year and share a bit about my journey. Four years and an important lesson learned the hard way! 

Central Park in Bloom, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
The year started off with a winter wonderland in our neck of the woods.  It was truly magical!  There was also a walk across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge!  One for the bucket list!
Winter snow landscape in the park, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
And I promptly made myself a throw using an old velour blanket to keep warm.  Sadly the blanket was so old it fell apart.  It was an epic fail, and I am nothing if not honest with you folks.  Make sure you have a blanket that is not threadbare.  The concept was a good one but those fringes did not survive for very long. 
Blue throw with fringe, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
The winter came and went and once spring was here it was time to literally spring into action.  As many of you know we had moved from Greece to New York, late summer of 2017 and were still getting organized.  There were rooms to paint, decorate and organize!

The first one I shared was the girls’ bedroom. We had a blast painting it and decorating too!  But most importantly the girls had final say in what went into the room. 

Sine the blog is primarily about DIY projects I always try to show them in the context of my home and how you too can come up with creative solutions to use what you already have. 

​A year later, it still looks pretty much the same but the bookcases are full of stuff, as to be expected.  And there are a lot more candles in the room since one of my girls has taken up candle making. 

White dresser with lamp and artwork, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
We had a 70’s TV cabinet in the foyer,  which was used for storage since there was no longer a TV.  I had been itching to start on that project, mainly because I saw so much potential in that old thing.  It really took blood, sweat, and tears to get it done (well maybe not the blood part).  But in the end, it was everything I had imagined and more. 

To this day, I still sit on the couch facing it and marvel at its beauty.  And also what a waste it had been sitting in the foyer collecting dust all those years. 

TV cabinet in white, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
While working on this project we also adopted a puppy.  Little Tatou came into our lives and bought so much joy to this house.  I honestly never thought a pet could change our lives in such a dramatic way.  We had dogs before in Greece, but never at home, only at the farm. Huge difference in our lives. 

And we so needed it because things were difficult.  It was hard adjusting to life here after living in Greece.  In New York, people are so busy with their work and my girls had to get used to the fast paced rhythm of the city and so many cultural changes. Tatou really helped to ease the transition.

Our puppy, Tatou, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
And to make things worse, over the summer I found out I had diabetes.  I was told my Blood Glucose Level was an 11. If you know anything about this then you know I was a walking time-bomb!

I can lie and say that this came as a shock but in all honesty, I had been abusing my body for years.  Overdosing on sweets and lack of exercise was not the way to stay healthy.  One of my girls loves to bake and well, as you can guess, I’m not one to resist a chocolate chip cookie, or five! And her cheesecakes are irresistible!

I ignored the signs.  I was constantly tired and sluggish.  I was always hungry which made no sense at all because I was eating all day long.  And sitting in front of the computer certainly didn’t help matters at all.  

I went into the doctor’s office for a referral and instead came out with a huge headache and enough prescriptions to make it a full-time job.  Saying I was depressed about this was an understatement.  But I knew I, and no one else, was to blame.  I should have known better. But I just kept on sweeping my bad health habits under the rug. Not even a trip to the Botanical Gardens helped me to feel better!

Imagine walking around with a grenade inside you and not knowing about it, or even worse, keeping your head in the sand out of stupidity.  That was me!!  That trip to the doctor’s office was a wake-up call of the upmost urgency!  

Botanical Gardens of New York, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
I knew I had to tackle this thing and so it became my priority.  I stopped eating sweets cold turkey and paid attention to all those labels on the packages.  I even went to see a Diabetics Educator.  I kept close track of my insulin intake and my blood sugar levels. 

​And I started walking everywhere, with my pupster and without. Like I said, this had become my full time job.  That’s why I wasn’t working on new projects over the summer but instead sharing some oldies but goodies

upcycled metal frame table with glass top, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
I had made a mood board for the master bedroom which is actually tiny.  It serves as bedroom, craft room and office.  But it was really hard for me to work on this room when I had all these other things on my mind.

I kept on dragging on the color selections. But I figured once the room is done I will be better able to organize my life.

​And that’s exactly what happened.  I found a spot for all my medicine and put myself on a schedule. Discipline was the key here!

White dresser with various decor on top, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
Funny thing is, the more organized I became, the better I was able to stay disciplined and my blood glucose levels dropped dramatically.  The pounds just started melting away and I was not dieting.  I had just cut out the sugar and was watching my carbs. I was diligent about it!  That’s it!

Ha!  I say “that’s it” like it was a small thing, but in fact it was life changing!  

I now had tons of energy because I didn’t have to worry about that sugar high and low. So much so, that instead of finishing the bedroom, I tackled another project!

In a two day period I painted the kitchen (ok it is the size of your closet, but still), the dining room, the entryway and the living room.  For the living room I went all out and did a cloudy effect accent wall that has me swooning to this day!

No way would I have tried anything like this in my previous state!  But now, I had so much energy I didn’t know what to do with it.  And mind you, I’m no spring chicken. 

cloudy effect accent wall in bluish grey, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
With all this energy and great news from the doctor’s office, I was finally able to finish the bedroom! My head was clear and I knew exactly what I wanted!
Bedroom with bed and tea towel artwork, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
And for Christmas I got the best gift ever!  My blood glucose numbers were so low I was taken off the insulin!  High Five here!!  I had gotten my health back in so many ways and luckily for me in such a short time. We even took a long walk to Rockefeller Center to see the Tree in freezing weather. 
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
The start of the year had me off and running with lots of ideas and new projects on board.  I need to finish the living room.  But that will take some time since I plan on buying a new sofa.  All the rest was repurposed or upcycled by me. 

​And the dining room needs a bit more work too.  Maybe I’ll get my girl to help me with some artwork. 

But no matter what projects I am working on I never, ever slack off on my health.  I was given this gift of good health and I am not about to throw it away or take it for granted like I had before. 

Upcycled coffee table in living room, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
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The bottom line is, all these projects would not have ever gotten done if I hadn’t gone to the doctor one summer day to get a referral for something else entirely.  

As mothers, most of us are stuck in a sandwich situation.  We have children to look out for and on the other end, we also have elderly parents to take care of.  Too often we get so caught up in taking care of everyone else we neglect ourselves to the point where we can no longer function. That is exactly what happened to me.  I was no good to anyone at that point. 

I am so grateful to my family for rallying around me and helping me to get on board with my new lifestyle.  They are all so good about this, they have all started eating healthier along with me. And once the weather warms up a bit there will be plenty of walks with Tatou!

I hope that you can all learn from my hard-earned mistake and go to the doctor and get your checkups every year. Moms are truly the backbone of the family and if we are not well then nothing works properly. Am I right?

I honestly have no idea how long I had the diabetes, maybe since my time in Greece where there is a pastry shop on every corner? Maybe it hit me later. I fooled myself into thinking it was the Greek heat that made me feel sluggish all the time but then I never questioned why I felt this way in winter too. 

All I know is that I feel half my age or at least half of what I felt like before. Maybe before I felt like an 80 year old and now I feel my age?  Either way I have loads of energy and then some. 

And I am not special or Hercules.  Like I mentioned before all I did was to cut out my sugar intake, watch my carbs and try to eat lots of fruits and veggies.  And for exercise I would walk where ever possible.  Even the shopping mall counts here! 

I have been given a second chance at life.  This is a miracle for me! My doctor jokes that I should be the poster child for diabetes!   At my age I should be winding down and yet I am going in the opposite direction!  I have lots of plans and a new road to follow for the future. 

Central Park looking towards Fifth Avenue, Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned

​I’ll say it again!  We all need to take care of ourselves.  If you are feeling tired or sluggish go for a checkup, have your blood glucose levels checked.  Take care of yourself because no one will do it for you!!

It has been such a roller coaster year for me but I needed to hit rock bottom!  It was a wake-up call that really got me on the right path to wellness. I hope my hard-earned lesson will also help to motivate you in your wellness journey!  I am celebrating my four years on the blog with a clean bill of health, how about you?

A celebration of a 4 year blog anniversary and an important lesson learned about health, #photography #photoessay #NewYork #DIYprojects #diabetes #health #healthjourney #wellness Four Year Blog Anniversary and an Important Lesson Learned
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Jeannee Waseck

Saturday 6th of April 2019

Hi, Mary! New person here. I do know that an 11 is serious BUT! I am so happy with how you stayed right on and are taking care of it in so many ways, including customizing part of your bedroom for your pills ;> and using the platform you have here, also! i am presently watching a friend slowly die of this disease by refusing to manage it beyond taking pills, and if he would just get a good grip on it, he might even live to see 55. Bless you, dear Mary!


Saturday 6th of April 2019

Jeannee I am heartbroken to hear this. It was such an easy fix, much easier than I had expected. And it does not feel like a sacrifice at all since I have loads of energy now. I hope our friend might read my post and reconsider. It was the best thing that ever happened to me and really kicked my butt in the right direction. I Thank you for your sweet comment from the bottom of my heart Jeannee!


Friday 15th of February 2019

Mary, I did not realize your move from Greece was this recent. I thought it had been about 4 years ago. Moves are truly traumatic. I'm sure one across the world certainly would be. I also had a health situation that threw me for a loop this past year, tho the doctors didn't find the cause. I am pursuing health and wellness also. I've not bounced back as quickly as I would have liked. But I am determined. I really enjoy your blog and the creative use of your upcycled items. Happy 4 year blogaversary!


Saturday 16th of February 2019

Thank you so much Rachel. Stress can really wreck havoc on our health and too often we do not pay attention to our bodies when they are crying out for help. I wish you good health and just stick with it. Anything we can do is always an improvement from just doing nothing.


Friday 15th of February 2019

Mary this is a lovely post! I to have been working on less sugar and better health since I met you. On the my hubby got me doing is sodium ascorbate, up to a couple of teaspoons a half hour before I eat. I haven't been sick with my chronic ear aches since. Remember last yearyear's wedding all the traveling and work I couldn’t have done that when I wasn't taking it. So investigate that, because I'm more "not a spring chick" that you.😉


Saturday 16th of February 2019

I'll look into it Lorin. I remember all of your running around last year with the wedding and commenting how you were like a superwoman with all the work you did. Us non-spring chickens have to look out for ourselves!


Friday 15th of February 2019

Congratulations on your blogversay and but more importantly in taking control of your health. That is a real accomplishment! I always enjoy visiting you and seeing your creativity, I'm hoping we both are writing posts in another 4 years. Happy Friday my friend!


Saturday 16th of February 2019

Thank you so much Carol. It was a real wake-up call for me to realize I had gotten into such a bad state.


Friday 15th of February 2019

What a wonderful post for your blogoversary, Mary! Congratulations on four years of blogging and of course, developing a healthy lifestyle! It's a lesson we all need to learn and to take heed! I am so proud of you!


Saturday 16th of February 2019

Thank you Gail. It was long overdue, and it was time I looked under the rug and cleaned out my "house" or in this case body!

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