Since I JUST shared my Poshmark discount code yesterday, today they changed it! Now get a $5 Poshmark credit when you sign up with code STUDIOMANDALINE, which just happens to be my user name on Poshmark. If you haven't tried it, prepare to get hooked! Poshmark makes it easy to share, style, and save on fashion. Check out Studio Mandaline for kids' clothes, women's fashions, and Jamberry nail wraps!
Those of you who subscribe to my newsletter will finally be getting a new edition today! I'm sorry for the vast delay. If you've been following the blog you know we have been caught up in our children's medical issues recently. It's too bad, because I have a lot of exciting things going on in the shops. The newest is my huge Jamberry Auction Event, happening now in the eBay store.
I have partnered with a Jamberry consultant to help liquidate her overstocked inventory. Jamberry Nail Wraps allow you to apply nail art at home, no matter your level of artistic ability. I have an incredible number of these listed on eBay as well as Poshmark. The collage above shows only a portion of what's available. These are getting bid up fast and the first set of auctions ends tomorrow (Friday) afternoon, so hurry to eBay to snag your favorites. We have a bunch of Halloween-themed wraps and wraps for other holidays, and some even glow in the dark! Many of the wraps are Host Exclusives or Stylebox Exclusives not available to the general public and quite hard to find.
Sign up for Poshmark using the code NLBOW for a $5 credit. You can make an offer on Poshmark or bundle two or more of my listings and get a discount.
Those of you who follow me on Instagram and Facebook are no doubt aware of my absence from the shop this weekend. I am sorry I was unable to write a blog post as well. On Friday afternoon I was working as always: listing on eBay, shipping orders, talking to clients. I was feeling optimistic because I set up a meeting with a new essential oils customer. I had plans to clean the house and harvest some herbs and vegetables before Hurricane Irma's expected arrival. Then I got a text message from my son telling me he was going to the doctor on his college campus due to a long list of symptoms he was experiencing. After that our whole lives were sucked into a whirlwind.
Almost immediately my son sent another text to tell me the campus doctor told him to go to the ER. He drove himself, against my wishes. I got in touch with my sister in Asheville, about an hour away from my son but still two and a half hours closer than here. Then I called the pet sitter and found out she was out of town. I got in touch with a friend who agreed to watch our animals. She came by to see where the pet food is kept and find out the routine. My husband arrived home and tried to book a hotel room. My husband and kids threw clothes into suitcases while I rushed to package and ship orders. I threw my clothes into a suitcase. Later I would find I forgot to pack my shoes, my allergy oils, and my Thyromin.
We heated some leftovers for the kids, grabbed a couple sandwiches and jumped in the car, leaving a whole sink full of dirty dishes, which was almost painful to me. My sister sent me a text at that point explaining she was with our son and that he was being moved to the Intensive Care Unit. I was in such a state then I doubt I could have recited the alphabet, so it's a good thing my husband was driving. We dropped the younger kids off with my brother-in-law and finally made it to the hospital. Our son was awake and stable, so we were relieved, but shattered to find out he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. Finally, close to midnight, we left the hospital. The hotels were full of hurricane evacuees so we were only able to stay one night near my son and had to crash at my sister's the next night. Our son was discharged from the hospital Saturday morning when they had his blood sugar under control.
Because all this happened over the weekend, we were released from the hospital with very little information. The Walmart pharmacist in Sylva was incredible and gave us a demonstration of all my son's new equipment. We spent Saturday in Walmart and a series of pharmacies and diabetic food aisles, our lot cast with the hurricane refugees loading up on air mattresses and ibuprofen and bottled water. I felt a kinship with them, all of us cast like flotsam into the unknown, victims of one kind of storm or another.
My sister's family took us in Saturday night and fed us, despite a rather frightening grill fire. Time for me, since Friday, has just been a blur of sugar counts and carbohydrate counts and doctors and insurance claims and a constant aching worry that my son's insulin levels will spike in his sleep, and make him fall into a coma, that we won't be able to find the money to pay all the hospital bills which have yet to arrive. We arrived home to a kitchen reeking from the unwashed dishes and the unemptied trash can, the stench of life interrupted. Hurricane Irma arrived here just after us, luckily downgraded to a tropical storm, although our neighborhood pool is now closed after a tree fell on it and I spent a sleepless night listening to the wind howl around our walls.
I am just going to go ahead and apologize in advance, because I am going to miss some things, I know it. I will be late to reply to messages or ship packages or "like" your Instagram pictures and Facebook posts or share your Poshmark listings. We will be spending most weekends for the foreseeable future in Asheville to be nearer our son. I was already struggling to keep up with our youngest son's medical schedule and now I have another chronic condition to deal with, this one three and a half hours away. Please be patient with me while I navigate my storm-torn life and learn to transform this terrifying new world into my normal.
I want to thank all of you who reached out to us on social media, in texts and messages and phone calls. It was overwhelming and means more than I can say. My son is touched to find so many people all over the world, many of whom we've never even met, praying for him and wishing him well. We send all that love back to you a thousand fold. We wish you well, with all our hearts.
My father liked to make up words. He once had a rabbit named "Razbucknick" and a cat named "Kyteen", a play on the words "rabbit" and "kitten", and when he was young he christened my grandparents' bathroom cabinet "The Cabinet Of Reckstedable Needs". If you ever had seen this cabinet you would understand how appropriate the name was. My grandmother was a genius at organization and she got involved with their house before it was entirely finished and directed some brilliant changes in the design. Instead of a soffit over the kitchen cabinets she added smaller cabinets. A pony wall by the front door became a planter/cupboard. The coat closet was expanded to the entire length of the central hallway, and in the bathroom was added the Reckstedable Needs cabinet. I would love to have such a cabinet in my house! It was floor-to-ceiling blond wood with shelving inside to keep everything organized and one side of it was open on the inside to the basement laundry room, so it acted as a laundry chute as well as storage for almost all the linens, towels, medicines, and toiletries used by the household, all in an extremely compact area. I suppose "Reckstedable" is a combination of "wreck" and "indispensable", not that any of my grandmother's cupboards were wrecks when I knew her. I always think of her when I visit IKEA. I suppose when her children were young it was a different story. At any rate, I think reckstedable is a good word to describe a great number of unrelated but necessary items, and this post will cover a great many of such reckstedable things.
First, and most importantly, I implore you to join me on the Poshmark app tonight, 8/31, at 10PM Eastern Standard Time for the Hurricane Harvey Relief Party. Poshmark will donate $1 for each listing shared during the party. All you have to do is share to help the victims of Harvey via United Way! Since you will probably find a great deal on fashion, sign up using the code NLBOW when you download the app and you will get a $5 credit. I would like to direct you also to eBay and the Young Living Foundation because both are matching donations made to specific organizations for Harvey relief. I was able, thanks to my customers, to make a donation already and since I did it through eBay my contribution has twice the impact. So, thank you very much for allowing me to donate! I hope you are able to take advantage of these donation-matching programs. There, but for the grace of God, go we.
Second, I wanted to share a recent success in the essential oils department which you might find helpful. My youngest son was scheduled for a routine oral surgery in order to remove a couple baby teeth which are preventing permanent teeth from dropping down as they should. The next big part of the treatment for his congenital cleft lip and palate will be a bone graft in the area of his cleft, to provide a dental arch to anchor his permanent teeth and those teeth are delaying the essential surgery. He has had teeth pulled before while under nitrous oxide with no issues, so I wasn't worried about the procedure. However, as soon as the technician began lowering the chair, he completely flipped out. His anxiety was so intense the surgery had to be postponed. We had to go to a different surgeon, drive an hour each way, and use an anesthesiologist to put him under. This made the surgery cost $1000 instead of the $250 it would have originally.
I wanted him to have the procedure before school started so I was determined he should not freak out before the second surgery. I read a magazine article a few months ago about the results of a study using tangerine essential oil. Children facing anxiety-inducing dental procedures were given tangerine oil to smell before the procedure. The oil lowered the children's heart rates an average of six beats per minute when they inhaled it. On the way to the surgeon's I had my son inhale tangerine, Stress Away, and Valor oils in turn and think calming thoughts. He went into the surgery with no anxiety and everything went smoothly, a huge difference from our first attempt! I wish I had realized the first time how worried he was; I could have treated him with oils and avoided all the extra bother and expense. I use and sell Young Living essential oils and Stress Away and Valor are Young Living proprietary blends. If you have anxiety or are about to be in a stressful situation I highly recommend these oils!
Third, and finally, I have some new arrivals in the doll department of my shops. I have been working hard to get the stores stocked for the holidays, when dolls and toys are big sellers for me. The most recent additions are my Raving Beauty and Lonely Doll trunk set. I wrote blog posts on each of these restorations so you can read all about them. You can purchase them from Etsy and eBay using the links on the Home page of this website. Etsy is having their first-ever sale and my Atelier Mandaline shop is participating, so you will want to check that out! Look for extra discounts on eBay over Labor Day too.
I'm proud to say, despite being out of the shop quite a bit for my son's surgical schedule, I managed to make the Top 10% of sellers on eBay again last week! That's three weeks in August if you're counting. I also finished more doll restorations I just haven't had time to write about, so there's a lot of new inventory in my shops right now. I've heard from several customers who are already shopping for the holidays so I know some of you are looking for Christmas presents already. I've got you covered! I am offering 30% off the eBay and Etsy shops this weekend only. The eBay sale starts later this afternoon. On Etsy use the code 3WEEKS for 30% off any order. Both sales end Sunday at midnight. Use the links on the Home page to check out the sale!
Today was a really productive day! I restored two dolls and wrote two blog posts. One post concerns the restoration and history of the rare Baby McGuffey doll I just restored. The other post is a tutorial showing how to clean and style a mohair wig. I hope you will head over to the Atelier Mandaline blog to check it out!
I'm happy to say the Top 10 Sale in the Atelier Mandaline shops has been going well and has resulted in a sales boost of 200% over last month. I'm especially glad since yesterday our upstairs air conditioner died. Thankfully it's rainy and cooler than usual and the downstairs unit is still going strong (knock on wood) but my office and the kids' bedrooms are still barely bearable. The technician came by this morning and quoted us a $6000 to $8000 price tag on a new unit but mentioned it would be at least the 11th before he can work us in. I have two kids visiting the oral surgeon in the next two weeks so with that on top of this I need a quick infusion of cash. I decided to extend my sale.
I have scheduled a 10% off sale on all departments of the eBay store (in addition to the monthly promotional offers) to start tomorrow morning. Keep using the TOP10 coupon code on Etsy through 8/14 for 10% off any order there. Use the coupon code FIXAC on this website shop and the Facebook shop. You can link to all my stores from the Homepage and the Shop page of this site.
May you be chill, always.
If you've ever noticed the "Shop Young Living" button on the Homepage of this website you can be forgiven for wondering what the heck it's about. I'm terrible about not marketing my work as an Independent Distributor for Young Living. I'm spoiled by Young Living's wonderful established marketing department and I tend to let them work for me while I stay busy with the epic task of establishing my Atelier Mandaline brand all on my own. The reality is, I use Young Living products every single day, in almost all aspects of my life. Young Living is just an incredible brand. The quality of their oils and other products is amazing, as is the business opportunity they offer.
Readers of my Mandaline Artful Living blog know of my never-ending struggle to control my weight. I don't just want to be thin; I want to be healthy, and I want to raise my children to understand how to eat well. Maximizing the nutritional content of our food has been a major concern ever since we adopted our first special needs child, who was severely malnourished, and has only increased with the adoption of our second child with special needs. Our son has a range of symptoms related to his congenital birth defect, but one of his worst problems right now is that he is beset by painful canker sores. We have tried everything we can think of, from home remedies to prescriptions but the sores just keep recurring. Although our dentist doesn't think canker sores are caused by foods, I beg to differ. I get them horribly whenever I eat fruit-flavored hard candy or jelly beans. I think some chemical in food dyes or artificial flavoring causes the sores. Tonight when my son was begging for dessert I decided to try a healthy "ice cream" recipe. The result was fantastic! I adapted my recipe from one on the My Fitness Pal app.
Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie Bowls:
1 cup water
2 TBSP unsweetened almond butter
4 frozen bananas, peeled
2 avocados, peeled
2 cups kale or spinach, packed (may substitute fresh peppermint leaves for half of this)
1 TSP vanilla extract
1 TSP spirulina powder
2 TBSP cacao nibs
2 TBSP dark chocolate chips
2 TBSP coconut palm sugar
8 drops Young Living Vitality Peppermint Essential oil
Blend all ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth. Serve cold. If desired, top with extra dark chocolate chips, cacao nibs, or chia seeds.
I will absolutely be making this recipe again! The Young Living peppermint oil adds the perfect touch. It's really important to remember most essential oils are NOT safe for internal consumption. Young Living, the only essential oils company with FDA approval for some products, has formulated their Vitality line especially for ingestion, but all their peppermint essential oil is safe to eat.
I make most of our toiletries and cleaning supplies using Young Living oils, and I post the recipes on my blog and my Naturally Amanda Facebook page. When you sign up as a Young Living member with me I add you to several secret online groups where you can ask questions and learn all about using oils. Contact me to find out more about Young Living.
I am thrilled to announce Atelier Mandaline hit the Top 10% of sellers on eBay in the Dolls & Bears category AGAIN! I hope you will help me celebrate and maybe even keep that status indefinitely by shopping with me. Through August 8th take an extra 10% off all dolls, action figures, and toys in the eBay store; no coupon required! Use coupon code TOP10 for 10% off any order from Etsy, Facebook, or the Atelier Mandaline website. As always, thank you! You are helping me achieve my dreams!
I've never been a mom who rejoices at the start of the school year. In fact, I probably ought to be the sort of mom who homeschools, except that I'm not patient enough. I don't like sending my kids away for the day; I miss them! An occasional break is fine. This morning I dropped my youngest off at STEM camp and, since my older kids were still asleep, I walked to the pool and swam laps all by myself. It was heavenly! I know, however, when they are all back at school I will feel lonely, especially with my oldest three hours away at college!
In spite of my melancholy, August has arrived, and some of you packed your children onto the bus already. Around here we have a few more weeks of freedom, but that doesn't mean we aren't preparing for the school year. My 8 year old seems to have a hollow leg recently; he just can't seem to eat or sleep enough, so I know I'd better be stocking up on larger sizes for him to grow into. I'm sure I'm not the only mom in this boat, so I will help you all out. I just scheduled my first Back to School Sale for the season on eBay. All baby and kid's clothing and gear are marked down, starting tonight. The more you buy the more you will save on children's clothing, too! As always, to see all the promotions I'm running on eBay visit my Discounts Page.
My Poshmark shop is always on sale, since you can make an offer. I just added new listings to that store, including some boys' 16/18 sizes for the older kids.
Don't forget the Atelier Mandaline shop for custom shirts, too!
Whether you're happy or sad to see your kids off to school, I hope you have a terrific year!
My name is Amanda, but my childhood nickname was "Mandaline". I am a mother of three turning my passion for creating into a full-time business.