the-dangers-of-celexa

Have you watched the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why?

What were your thoughts on it?

Did you like it?

Hate it?

Mixed reviews?

Every time I get on Facebook another person has an opinion on it.

  As the mother of a child who committed suicide the show was very emotional for me. I could relate to the mother so much, and cried often for her loss and for mine.

Most people on Facebook say that Hannah didn’t have a good enough reason to commit suicide, or that Clay should have stuck up for her when she was alive. They also say that the movie idealizes suicide.

Everyone has an opinion, but not a single person has asked me what mine is. I wonder why? Are they afraid of upsetting me? Maybe they just don’t want to argue with me about it because they feel like their points wont be valid to me? I honestly don’t know, and I haven’t commented on anyone’s post, and I have kept my opinion to myself.

UNTIL NOW….

Do I think the movie idealizes suicide? Yes, but I think teenagers idealize suicide. It is the number 1 cause of death in children ages 15-24. In 2014 there were 42,773 suicides. My 16-year-old daughter was one of them. In 2015 there were 44,193 people who died from suicide. My friend Dustin was one of them, along with my friend Missy’s step daughter.

In 2016 I lost my dear friend Danielle to suicide.

My friend Lisa lost her son Jack.

My friend Stacy lost her daughter Olivia.

My friend Dan lost his daughter Elaina.

The number of suicides is on the rise, and it scares the crap out of me. It should scare you too.

I think 13 Reasons Why is something everyone should watch. Americans are so quick to get upset, offended, and beside themselves when they are taken outside of their comfort zone, and the show does just that. It’s hard to watch. Its honest. And it’s something your kids deal with everyday. I think every parent should watch it with their teen because it opens the door to a discussion that all of us need to have with our children.

You may think that your smart, beautiful, talented, happy, goofy, lovable child would NEVER even consider killing themselves….So did I.

I disagree with the show in the sense that there are not always 13 reasons.

Sometimes there is no reason at all other than mental illness.

When Juliet died I wanted answers. Everyone’s first question is always “Did they leave a note?” Juliet left 4. None of them had the answers I was looking for or listed any reasons. I knew there was a girl down the street who used to be her best friend that was bullying her. Do I think that’s what it was? No I don’t. At the time I wanted to blame someone, so in my mind it was all this girls fault. I know my Juliet was stronger than that though. She was a tough cookie.

My answers finally came a year later.

My son Justice had a really hard time with his sister’s death. He would often cry for no reason, and was known to have outbursts at home or at school. He was already seeing a psychiatrist for his ADHD, the same psychiatrist that my daughter Juliet saw. I shared my concern for Justice with him and he suggested I put him on an anti-depressant.

He asked what Juliet was on and I told him Celexa. He thought maybe it could work for Justice as well so we started him on the smallest dose. That was October, a year after Juliet’s death.

December Justice started self harming. He was only 9 years old.

He often punched himself in the face, choked himself, and slammed his head into a concrete wall.

In January I told his psychiatrist and he raised his dose.

By the end of January Justice was threatening suicide, having obsessive thoughts of cutting himself, and having violets fits of rage.

By February the school asked me to have him admitted into a psychiatric hospital. The closest bed was in Philly (over an hour away). We said “No, that’s too far away” so instead he was admitted into the Phil Haven day program.

Within 2 weeks found him with a belt around his neck, trying to kill himself.

As a mother to see your child decline so fast is heart wrenching.

I racked my brain for weeks trying to figure out what was going on with him.

Finally one day I had an “aha” moment.

I quick went to Google and there was the answer I had been searching for….

Did you know that the ONLY antidepressant FDA approved for children under the age of 18 is Prozac, and even that has dangerous side effects. Did you know that there was a class action lawsuit against the makers of Celexa because kids who were on it were committing suicide? No? Neither did I.

In children it causes anxiety, sleeplessness, fits of rage, and suicide.

The part that frustrates me the most is that my sons psychiatrist was also my daughters. He knew she was on Celexa, and he knew the risks….but he never told me. He put my son on it. Still never said a word. Then,. when I told him in great detail everything that was happening to Justice….He still didn’t tell me. He instead raised his dose making the situation even worse.

I almost lost 2 children to this horrible drug.

In all this my message to you as parents, and even for yourself…. Do you research before starting any new medication for yourself or your child. If I had Juliet might still be here. Doctors are not obligated to warn you of side effects. Even when it has caused a death to one of your children. Its our job as parents to look out for them, because as sad as it is, some doctors only care about money, and if you don’t protect your child no one will.

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dry-sink-kept-giving

I am very sorry that it has taken me a while to post. I was working on a VERY special project for The Honey and it toke up every little bit of my free time.

Ok back to business.

I was on the hunt for something that I could make a coffee station out of. I had the perfect little spot in our eat-in kitchen area. The only problem was that it had to be under 35″ long. I scoured all the yard sale sites, craigslist, and LetGo. Finally one day my friend Marie asked me if I wanted their dry sink… I asked her to send me a pic-

YIKES!

I’ve never done a furniture makeover, and maybe I was biting off a little more than I could chew. But I’m one for a challenge so what the heck.

Who am I to turn down free furniture anyway?

She dropped it off and I got to work.

First The Honey and The Kid sanded the paint off the top with the hand sander. They used 80 grit then 120 grit.

Then I wiped the whole thing down with a damp rag to get the saw dust off.

Next I put the door back together with some wood glue and little nails, and I took all the hardware off.

By this point I was starting to get excited. I pulled all the drawers off and set them with the door. I didn’t want to have to sand the whole piece down because I’m lazy (its true). So instead I started with a coat of Cover Stain Primer.This does exactly what the name says…. it covers stain. Its stinky so make sure you are in a ventilated area.

Next I painted it white with interior paint in semi-gloss. I painted the cabinet and the drawers separately.

+

While that was drying I spray painted the handles black.

Next up I painted the base cabinet, except for the top because I knew I was going to stain that.

Once the base cabinet was dry I was ready for stain! I put painters tape around the entire top of the cabinet so I wouldn’t get any stain on the paint. I started the top with Minwax Pre-Stain. When you are staining wood it’s great to use because it helps you to get a smoother, more unified color.

Up next STAIN!!! I chose Minwax Classic Grey and I love it!

I put on 3 coats because I wanted a darker grey color. Once that was dry I finished it off with a coat of polyurethane.

That’s it! Here’s the finished product, what do you think?

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DIY

DIY Blanket Ladder

diy-blanket-ladder

I know I promised to post instructions for this blanket ladder by Monday, but the truth is I got caught up doing my furniture makeover and didn’t get to it in time. So here it is…..a day late.

I love throw blankets about as much as I love throw pillows.

The softer the better.

My throw blanket hoard has gotten a little out of control. If you were to visit my house you would have no idea. But if you were to open my linen closet you would most definitely find out.

My trips to the linen closet are like a Jack-In-The-Box. I walk towards it, the music playing in my head. The anticipation builds in me like a shaken soda can….closer and closer and closer I get. I reach for the knob and turn….. and POP! Goes the weasel….or in this case my throw blankets, exploding over the hallway like a geyser!

I cry for help, but no one can hear me because I’m buried under a mountain of throw blankets. I gasp for air and realize that I may not make it out of my self inflicted ocean of soft furry waves. I raise my arm in desperation, all hope is lost!

Lucky for me my son Justice comes along and pulls me to safety.

“Mom why are you laying in the middle of the hallway? You should really clean out the closet.”

If only he knew how close I had come to meeting Death himself.

I can’t help myself when it comes to soft, beautiful, furry, textured blankets….I just cant get enough of them. I had 3 or 4 of them on my sofa and it just didn’t look pretty design wise so something had to be done.

I have always loved the way blanket ladders looked, and how the show cased blankets but also stored them, so I decided me and The Honey should make one.

We went to Home Depot to get supplies with the gift card my mom got me for Christmas (she gets me). We piled everything in the cart and got in line. When it came time to pay I realized that I didn’t have the gift card with me. The Honey thought that was very convenient, but I thought it was normal because I forget EVERYTHING.

What was I saying?

Oh yea! Here’s a list of supplies you will need….

  • 1 1/4″ x 36″ Round Dowels x2
  • 1″x 4″ x 8′ Board x2 (I used a piece of Ghost Wood because I liked the look)
  • 8 Drywall Screws

Tools needed…

  • Drill
  • Circular Saw or Chop saw (clamps if using a circular saw)
  • 1 1/4″ Wood Boring Paddle Bit
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pencil

Measure and mark the center for both of the dowels. Use a chop saw to cut in half. If you only have a circular saw like we did, clamp the dowel and cut on the line. It helps to have someone hold the dowel steady for this.

Next cut your wood to desired length. I wanted mine to be 5′ so I bought 2 pieces of wood. If you want a 4′ ladder you would only need to buy one piece of wood.

Measure and mark where you want the top rung to be.

Mark where you want the rest of the rungs to be making sure that your mark is centered ( I made mine 14″ apart).

Using the 1 1/4″ wood boring paddle bit in the drill, line up the tip of the bit with your first mark.

Drill into the wood making sure you drill a circle into the wood but don’t go all the way through. Repeat this step for each rung mark.

Place one dowel into each of the holes you just made, and drill a screw through the wood into the dowel. Do this for all eight holes.

Now you should have a ladder! We went an extra step and put furniture pads on ours.

All done!

 

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20-amazing-furniture-makeovers

This week has been super crazy! Monday my son Justice has trauma therapy, Tuesday I ran around getting last minute valentines gifts, and then I had to pick Justice up from school, Wednesday I had a meeting at Justice’s school and then I had a home staging consultation, Thursday I had to go to Home Depot and HomeGoods to help a friend pick out paint and curtains, and this morning I had to take Justice to a two hour long evaluation and then to school.

That’s why I haven’t posted this week.

In the midst of all that my latest obsession is having a coffee station so I have been hunting for one of those as well. Lucky for me my friend Marie happened to have an old dry sink that will work perfectly, the only problem is that it needs to be refinished, and I have never done something like that before.

All week I have been researching furniture makeovers so that I could get some ideas and I wanted to share my favorites with you. These pictures will have you scouring craigslist and yard sale pages for a new project in no time! If you want more information on any of them all you have to do is CLICK THE PIC and it will take you to the how to instructions.

Without further ado here they are….

How cute is that?!?

Maybe you’re more into shabby chic and vintage décor. If so this super adorable vintage crib conversion might be fore you….

 I know my friend Marie is drooling over this right now…

If you love French décor maybe this is for you…

Beautiful!

This gorgeous Ikea hack is definitely swoon worthy…

For those of you obsessed with nail head trim here are a few pretty DIY’s-

 

 

This Goodwill find makeover ALWAYS amazes me…

Isn’t that crazy?!

Then there’s these chairs that only cost $25 each!

You should see the before, they were hideous!

This chair was painted…as in the fabric…

This picture was taken 3 1/2 years later!

These modern night stands are a gorgeous makeover! I love the blue and gold!

Speaking of gold, if you love drama you will love this stunning bed makeover…

Last but not least is my current favorite, one that has me searching Craigslist, and drooling on myself….

I have a lot to think about. This is my first makeover, so I’m nervous and excited at the same time. I hope I have inspired you, and hopefully ill be able to show you my new coffee station in the next week or two!

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welcome-to-my-other-livingroom

Welcome to my other living room! This one is where we spend the most time (its where the TV is). This room is about to get a very special update that I will be starting next week, and I can’t wait to show you. Seriously, I’m soooo excited!

This living room was a tragedy just like the rest of the house when we moved in. Here are the pictures from the listing:

There’s those fancy drapes again. The previous owner was nice enough to leave them for us…. I couldn’t rip them down fast enough. I’m pretty sure they had been hanging there since the age of the dinosaur, because they came down in a giant cloud of dust. I spit and sputtered, and coughed out some dust balls.

I painted, repainted, and painted again until I was finally happy with the colors. This gigantical clock I bought from Home Decorators…

Let me tell you more about that….When Juliet died I packed up all our stuff and we moved into Mikes moms house. We put all our stuff in storage for five months until we bought this house. So I don’t know about you, but I’m a secret shopper. What I mean by “secret shopper” is that I buy things and hide them so The Honey doesn’t get mad.

I bought the clock online but it was so BIG that there was no where for me to hide it. So I asked my friend Melissa if I could have it shipped to her house, and when I moved she could give it to me and we would pretend that it was my “housewarming gift” from her. So that’s exactly what we did.

My friend Marie told me that her mom’s best friend used to hide stuff in her bushes so her husband couldn’t find it. My friends Lauren knows a woman who hides it in the closet for a few months so that when her husband asks where it came from she can say “Oh! This old thing? I’ve had this for months!” Some women hide it in the bushes, the closet, some in the trunk, some in the attic, the shed, the basement, you name it!

So with us staying with The Honeys mom I no longer had a hiding spot for things I wanted to buy.

Until I remembered the storage unit.

We had a 10×20 storage unit I could hide all my treasures in, and it was only a mile away from all my FAVORITE stores! I shopped my little heart out for those 5 months…. piling bag after bag into the storage unit. I filled inch after inch, piling things higher and higher. The THRILL! The EXCITEMENT! That is until moving day when my mountain of bags all came crashing down. On The Honey.

Lucky for me I wasn’t there, so by the time he got all the stuff I had collected packed in the moving truck and brought to the house he had calmed down. “There sure was a lot more stuff in there than what I remember.”

“Yup!” I said, and ran away to escape unpack.

As you can see I ripped up the carpets and put in these beautiful Pergo floors from Home Depot. This pretty vase was a HomeGoods score I found on a road trip to Philly.

I added bead board under this little area to make it pretty.

Ok let’s talk about my LOVE of throw pillows. I like to think of myself as a throw pillow hoarder collector. My sofas are like adult ball pits, minus the boogers, half eaten candy, and occasional wayward turd. Sometimes I like to dive onto my couch and bury myself in beautiful, soft, textured pillows, and I squeal with delight as I roll around (only when no one else is home).

 (P.S. I love faux fur)

There you have it! what do you think? Do you hide your shopping like I do? Are you obsessed with throw pillows…Or maybe something else? Thanks for reading and don’t forget to subscribe!

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life-after-losing-a-child

I remember it like it was yesterday, the elephant standing on my chest. It was so hard to breathe, the weight hurt so bad. I never knew I could feel such pain or immense sadness like I did in the days, months after my daughter died. I’m not sure that there are words in the English language that accurately describe the feeling that I felt. It was kind of like having tunnel vision, being able to see around me but not actually registering what was going on. The lump in my throat was ALWAYS there, like a golf ball choking me every minute of every day. Sometimes I would just lay in bed and cry. Sometimes I would go next door and sit on her bedroom floor, bewildered as to how this was my life now. People would call, message, or stop by…but I couldn’t tell you who, or what they said.

There’s this thing, its called trauma induced memory loss. I remember trying to drive to the gas station a mile away and getting lost….not knowing where I was. I don’t remember her funeral at all, or who was there. I don’t remember the weeks or months afterwards, or what happened, or who I talked to. I just remember that I didn’t understand why my Juliet, my bright and shining star was gone. I didn’t understand how people outside could mow their lawns, or laugh with their friends- while my whole world had stopped. I was frozen in time and everyone else was moving forward.

Now I am part of an elite club with dues so high that no one can afford to pay. Its the child loss club, and I wouldn’t invite my worst enemy. The members of the club share such a strong bond. Instantly our souls connect knowing that we have each felt a pain so deep that no one but us has ever felt.

There’s a saying that when you lose a parent you lose your past, but when you lose your child you lose your future….I lost a part of my future that day, when my child died out of turn. I will always notice the empty chair, the one less voice, the empty space in the picture, the empty bedroom. Twice a year I grieve the most. Her birthday….I grieve for years unlived, the smiles unshared, the jokes untold, the weekends home from college, the son in law I’ll never meet, the grandchild I will never hold.

I will also grieve her death date. Just like you celebrate and count the days from birth- I count the days from death. Its the day my life changed forever.

The world gets uncomfortable when people talk about child loss. I have actually lost a job over talking about Juliet because it made the client uncomfortable. If someone can’t handle me talking about her when they ask me about my children then maybe they shouldn’t be asking so many questions. If someone will fire me over it, then they are not a person that I want to be working for.

I wouldn’t shut up about Juliet when she was alive so why start now? I have such an opportunity to help people by sharing her story that there is no way that I’m not going to do it just because it makes one person feel uncomfortable. SHE is the reason that I became a make up artist, SHE is the reason that I became an interior designer, and SHE is the reason that I am writing this blog. If you see me, please say her name, and I will too, because she was here. She existed, and she changed so many lives, and still is. Tell me a story about her. Tell your friends, and their friends too. share this blog, share her picture, share her story. Tell the world about her, and maybe, just maybe, you will save someone from doing what she did.

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Home Decorating

Roadtrip

roadtrip

There’s a page on Instagram called @interiorsforthehome . I’m not quite sure how I stumbled across it, but I think it may have been in my search for a fiddle leaf fig tree. Every time that Amy the owner posted a new picture, I found myself drooling over it. I’d wipe my chin and eventually move on, but there was something that always brought me back to her page time and time again.

At first I thought she was a blogger as well, but after a little investigation I realized that not only was she a store, but she wasn’t that far away. I was so excited! I knew that I HAD to go, or I would drive The Honey crazy talking about it and I am currently not allowed to talk about stuff like that.

I sent my friend Lauren over to Amy’s Instagram page, and she told me she was most definitely in for the road trip, so we planned to go the next day! I picked her up around 10 o’clock and we were on our way! It took a little over an hour to get there but BOY OH BOY was it worth it! The store was nestled in with several other stores just like it. We started at Interiors for the Home because that was out intended destination.

Everything inside was beautiful. Blue, gold, green, and coastal fabulousness! So many pretty things-  my heart started pounding as a ran from one vignette to the next.

So pretty!!! But this Fiddle leaf fig tree was my absolute favorite thing-

 It was big, leafy, and gorgeous! It was the fiddle leaf of my dreams! I got so excited at the store that I had to pee. They didn’t have a bathroom so they directed us next door to The Barn at Valley Forge Flowers.

I hadn’t even gotten through the doors when I told Lauren I wanted to move in. She thought she would move in with me, so I wouldn’t have to be alone. Such a great friend! This store was mainly outdoor furniture and décor, and I absolutely loved it!

These metal stools were adorable, all the sets had different bohemian style cushions on them, and they were all so beautiful! this swing was my absolute favorite thing that we saw all day, and I decided that I’m going to make one for under our deck this summer!

And how pretty is that outdoor rug? I wanted everything in this picture, but the swing bed IS happening so get ready Honey!

Next Lauren wanted to go in Valley Forge Flowers, and I’m so glad she did! I was like a kid in a candy store! One beautiful thing after the next. Seriously, everyone needs to go here at least once in their lives. Its like heaven. I took a bunch of pics so I will let them speak for themselves-

This artichoke statue was the prettiest thing I have ever seen.

How cute are these tiny little vases?!?

There was room after room of beautiful things, and I took a million pictures! so many in fact, that when I went to the checkout to pay the woman said “You really love everything here don’t you? We saw you take so many pictures!” I told her I most definitely did love everything, and that I was going to blog about my trip to the store. She thought that was great- free advertising. The truth is, that of the three stores I went to that day, this one was my favorite! Do you have a favorite store that you love gong to?

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