Psoriasis, And What You Need To #KnowPsO

I recently attended a blogger/media event on Psoriasis, hosted by AbbVie. As a blogger, I get invited to various and varied events throughout the year, and this event, called #KnowPsO, was extremely informative.

First, I should say that I am not a medical expert, so these comments are from the material we received and what I observed. Second, this event is still on my mind. It opened up how I’m thinking about my health and how important it is to listen to and treat your body.

I didn’t know much about psoriasis prior to the event because I don’t have it as far as I know, but I have heard of people living with it.

We had Dr Melinda Gooderham, a dermatologist at The Skin Laser Clinic , talk to us about the impact of proriasis on those suffering from the disease. She spoke about someone who didn’t want to go on a beach vacation because of it. She spoke about how psoriasis can show up in different forms in your body. And, she spoke about treatments that are available and the importance of speaking with your doctor.

The biggest takeaway for me was the link between psoriasis and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Crohn’s disease, depression, anxiety, and psoriatic arthritis. The link is because psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, which can result in these various diseases. In other words, don’t ignore psoriasis. There are treatments, and the sooner you see your doctor the better.

#KnowPsO Event hosted by AbbVie
#KnowPsO Event hosted by AbbVie

Psoriasis is a skin condition where the skin cells turn over in 5 days (versus the average of 30 days) resulting in red, patchy, itchy, painful skin. These patches can be small or they can cover your torso. They can be on your scalp, face, hands, nails, feet, etc.

Psoriasis is a chronic condition and it can strike at any time. It’s genetic, so you can’t catch it; you have to have a predisposition to it. It may show up at a younger age, or when you’re in your 50s-70s! It’s triggered by a number of things, including a viral or bacterial infection or a needle poking your skin (like a tattoo).

In case you’re wondering, the difference between eczema and psoriasis is that you can draw a continuous line around the patch of psoriasis on your skin. For eczema, you cannot. Eczema is also always itchy and may wake you up at night, whereas psoriasis does not always do that.

In Canada, about 1 million people are affected and that number is 125 million around the world. Psoriasis can flare up and go into remission, but for many it doesn’t. You can start by applying a thick cream to the area for a couple of weeks to see if you can get it under control. If not, you should see your doctor.

One of the newer treatment options available is a drug called Skyrizi, which inhibits IL-23 (responsible for activating psoriasis). You should see your doctor even if the patch goes away, so you can be tested for related diseases that I mentioned above.

For more information, you can check out these sources:

Canadian Psoriasis Network
Canadian Skin Patient Alliance
Canadian Association of Psoriasis Patients

Please let me know if you found this blog post helpful to you or someone in your family.

#KnowPsO Media/Blogger Event
#KnowPsO Media/Blogger Event
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7 Of My Favorite Christmas Cookies – With Links To Recipes!

Christmas Cookies
Christmas Cookies

I love to bake for Christmas! It’s that time of year when I spend a few days in a row baking my holiday goodies. There are some recipes that are always on the list, but each year I add a couple of new ones. With Christmas one week away, I thought I’d share the cookies I made this year, with tips and links to the recipes. Recipes are listed, clockwise, starting with the gingerbread men. Continue reading

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My 2019 Gift Guide and Gift Ideas!

Christmas Decor
Christmas Decor

(Some items shown, from Shoppers Drug Mart and Kitchen Stuff Plus, have been provided to me. All opinions, as always, are my own.)

With a week until Christmas and Hanukkah, here are my 2019 Gift Guide and Ideas. I tried to keep it simple, economical, and include something for everyone on your list – and, I’ve included a few experiences. The guide is not in any particular order or for any particular age, rather it’s meant to inspire you through a bunch of suggested categories for you to consider! Don’t forget to check out my post from last year where I talked about my best holiday shopping tips, here.

Here’s my 2019 Gift Guide:

Gift Guide: On Boards by Lisa Dawn Bolton
Gift Guide: On Boards by Lisa Dawn Bolton

Books Plus A Gift
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A Christmas Care Package For My Daughter In College

Christmas Care Package
Christmas Care Package

With my daughter away at university, I’m enjoying putting together care packages for her, especially around the holidays. Ten days ago I sent her a Christmas-themed one. I thought I would share the contents of the care package I sent as well as some tips for putting one together. You may be inspired to create one as a Christmas mailing to anyone on your list who lives far away and won’t be home for the holidays!

This is the first year that my daughter is living in a house (vs in a dorm), so she has more space for decorations, and she has more people for sharing things with. She enjoyed the Halloween care package I sent, so I thought I would do one for Christmas. She’s also coming home for Christmas on the last possible day (she’s taking an exam on the last day and time slot) so I really wanted to send something that would help her enjoy the build-up to Christmas. Continue reading

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Christmas Garland At The Bottom Of The Staircase!

Christmas banister
Christmas banister

This year, I put Christmas garland at the bottom of the staircase and I love how it turned out! As a blogger, I’m on social media quite a bit (okay, a lot), and I was inspired by a friend’s banister.

In the past, I’ve decorated the top of the banister, along the handrail, but it’s prickly. It’s also a bit of a hazard for someone who can be clumsy because it’s hard to hold onto the railing properly. So, I switched things up and decorated the banister at the edge of the treads.

Christmas banister
Christmas banister

Here’s what you need, how to put it all together, and a few tips and tricks.

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 3 Easy Christmas Treats To Make With The Kids

 

3 Easy Christmas Desserts
3 Easy Christmas Desserts

(This post is sponsored by Kitchen Stuff Plus. As always, all opinions are my own.)

It’s the holiday season, which means lots of festive decorations, tableware, and food! Adults and kids love the special desserts that come with Christmas, and it’s even more fun when they’re simple to make and decorate. The important part is being together, so here are three easy-to-make suggestions for home or school: gifts made with brownie squares, puffed rice cereal wreaths, and a tree made out of cupcakes. You can make the base of the treats in advance and save the decorating for the kids. The best part is that it’s all edible!

Brownie Gifts

Brownie Gifts
Brownie Gifts

For these palm-sized brownie gifts, you will need: a brownie pan, packaged brownie mix and icing, mini candy canes, and holiday sprinkles of your choice.

To make these brownie gifts into perfect squares, use a tray like this one, from Kitchen Stuff Plus. This brownie pan is perfect because many people like the edge pieces and, with this pan, everyone gets one! I like the stability and the clean edges of these perfect squares. Continue reading

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A Simple, Elegant, And Affordable Thanksgiving Table

Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece
Thanksgiving Table Centerpiece

Thanksgiving is a special time of year for celebrating family and friends, and setting the table should be something fun, easy, and seasonal. In the past I hadn’t really spent much time on the centerpiece or place settings for my Thanksgiving table, but this year, I did.

In Canada, Thanksgiving falls on the second Monday in October, making it the perfect time for college students to come back home after spending six weeks away. We love having our oldest come home to enjoy some warm weather, family time, and great food.

This year, I challenged myself to creating a simple yet elegant Thanksgiving table. We host Thanksgiving, so I had a lot of items on hand already. I added a few dollar store finds and re-purposed some tableware and I was all set.

My daughter and I also printed out some questions (that we got online) about being grateful so that each person could ask one of the group, after first providing their own answer. For example, one question is ‘If you could learn a new skill this coming year, what would it be?’  and another one is ‘What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned this year?’.  Asking these questions turned out to be my husband’s favorite part of the meal (other than the food, of course) and we all enjoyed learning more about each other. Continue reading

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Witch Hat Halloween Cupcakes

With Halloween less than a week away, I thought I’d share this easy and fun Halloween cupcake idea: Witch Hats!

Making a witch’s hat out of Oreos and Hershey’s Chocolate Kisses is something I’ve seen in magazines and online for many years. Putting them on top of cupcakes is something I decided to combine because I wanted a ‘wow’ cupcake for a party we were invited to.

To keep this dessert simple, I recommend that you buy the cake mix, a tub of icing for the cupcakes, and a tube of icing to make the witch hats. It doesn’t make sense to try to make any of the icing at home. You just won’t get the right consistency and the clean-up is easier with store-bought icing. Buy any combination of sprinkles you’d like to use from the bulk food store or from the grocery store.

Here’s how I made the Witch Cupcakes: Continue reading

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9 Book Reviews From My Recent Spring/Summer Reads

Educated by Tara Westover
Educated by Tara Westover

One of my recent posts, on self-care, talked about my love for reading and how important it is in my daily life. Over the years, I have gone through phases, sometimes reading a lot and sometimes, especially when my kids were younger, not reading much at all other than magazines and newspapers. Reading is one of my favorite things to do, ever. It’s relaxing and it calms me down. It educates and entertains me. And, it connects me to periods in history that only books can do.

My earliest memory of reading is indelible: reading about Dick and Jane the summer before I entered Kindergarten. Growing up in an expat community in Saudi Arabia and reading about the neighborhoods and adventures of these siblings and their parents captured my imagination and my love for anything American. I don’t remember any other books or authors from that time of my life, other than how good I felt when I was reading. Continue reading

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Blueberry Peach Crumble

Blueberry Peach Crumble
Blueberry Peach Crumble

I love fruit crumbles! They are easy to make, forgiving, and always a popular dessert. You can top them with whipped cream, ice cream, or some milk. And, you can easily warm them up the next day: they taste just as good as freshly baked.

I’ve written about crumbles, cobblers, and crisps before, and you can check out one of my earlier posts, here, to learn the difference. Because I love oats, I always make crumbles. And, because I always seem to have overripe fruits hanging around in the summer, like peaches and blueberries, this blueberry peach crumble is on repeat at our summer BBQs.

Blueberry Peach Crumble
Blueberry Peach Crumble

The thing about adding blueberries to a crumble or any pie is the beauty of the dark purple caramelized fruit that bubbles around the edge of the dish. It spells summer. Even my youngest guests love watching the fruit bubble on the sides of the baking dish!

Because the best part of any crumble is the thick oat topping, I’ve adjusted the measurements of my original recipe to make a generous topping. I hope you enjoy making it.

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