A CF Morning Routine

cf morning routine

My son Jude is your typical 3 year old-He doesn’t wanna eat and he doesn’t wanna sit still. If he could spend the entire day at the playground occasionally stopping for some fruit snacks-he would. It is difficult enough raising a toddler without having to do treatments and administer medication before each meal.

I’d like to share with you my morning routine as a CF mom, but just this morning because my routine is very loose and daily I have to think of new ways to make the morning easier.

This morning Jude woke up at 7:00 am. He went to potty and get a drink of water. This is by far the easiest part of the morning, although sometimes he has an accident at night and needs to be cleaned up. Sounds normal so far right? After that I begin my attempts in luring him to his vest machine. Some days he sits on the couch and lets me strap him in-these days are my favorite. This morning, not so much. He ran circles around the kitchen screaming “Nooooooooooooo Vest!” When he feels this strongly, sometimes I feel bad that I have to force him to do something he hates doing. Then I remember that it is keeping him healthy. I’m constantly reiterating to him why he needs treatments in the hopes that one day he will understand and do as he is supposed to. Something tells me he will always be a little defiant. This morning I bribed him with the promise to paint while he did vest. That was a no go. I had the tv on his favorite show already and that hadn’t worked this morning. My only option was to chase after him. I chased him, grabbed him up and put his vest on and quickly turned the vest on so he couldn’t move. He screamed for the first 5 min but then got distracted by cartoons. It was 7:20 by then. After vest he did his 2 breathing treatments and was done at around 8. I poured him a bottle of pediasure and added high-calorie powder to it and got his enzymes ready which he needs in order to help him digest proteins and fats. I also made him a waffle with bacon but he refused them. He also takes an additional med with his enzymes which have to be taken with high-fat foods. He took his enzymes but gave me trouble in taking his vitamin. I always have to bribe him with a gummy vitamin to get him to take it. In his defense, his ADEK vitamin is not the most tasty. The gummy vitamin is for fiber, which he definitely needs due to his history of having intestinal blockages. He drank a little more than half of his bottle which is not enough. There is nothing more I can do because it was close to time to go.  After he eats I get him dressed for the day. Today he refused to wear underwear. I decided to pick my battles this morning and let him wear a pull-up. I took him to preschool with high hopes that he would eat his lunch. As I left preschool I kicked myself for not making him brush his teeth. His breathing treatments are hard on his teeth, making it extra important for him. It wasn’t a perfect morning, but I did my best. Getting him into a routine is a work in progress that I know will be well worth fighting for. Lets not even get started on MY moring routine or lack thereof. I’m out the door in a messy bun, mascara and yoga pants in 5 min flat.

jude vest

A perfect morning 

If it were up to me his morning would go something like this

-Wake up

-Potty and have water/Chill for a moment


-High calorie Breakfast along with vitamins and meds

-Brush Teeth and Get dressed

-Get backpack, lunch, water bottle and go to school

I think we are on our way to having a routine but for now, I will have to roll with the punches.



Nourishing a Child with Cystic Fibrosis


By: Carson Dickens

Right now, I’m going to ask you to throw away all your knowledge of what makes a diet “healthy” or not. Everything you have learned about low carb, low-fat diets or anything encouraging weight loss-just forget it. I grew up in a world where I could “never be too thin” and “when you lose weight you can have or be this”. Having a lifelong battle with my own weight-my world turned upside down when a nurse called to inform me that my son Jude was pancreatic insufficient when he was a mere 5 weeks old. I never imagined that my child would have the opposite battle-the constant need to gain weight.

Some info on Pancreatic Insufficiency

Not every person with CF has pancreatic insufficiency but what is it? Pancreatic insufficiency is where the pancreas does not produce sufficient digestive enzymes to properly digest fats and proteins. To help solve this problem, enzymes are taken with food to help digest proteins and fats.

How has this affected us? 

When I found out Jude was pancreatic insufficient I had a wave of emotions-horrified of what this would mean for his future and relieved because I had been made to feel guilty that my son was not gaining weight. The nurse who told me the news over the phone advised-“Do not Google it” and scheduled us an appointment to come in to see the nutritionist and GI Doctor on the CF team. Of course, I googled it and tried my best to stay calm until our appointment. At our appointment the nutritionist prescribed enzymes and demonstrated how to administer them. She also explained that it would be hard for Jude to gain and maintain a healthy weight. She took a squirt of applesauce onto a spoon and opened up a caplet filled with tiny beads into the sauce. I remember feeling so lost. How was I going to get my 5 week old to take these before EVERY feeding? It felt so impossible, SO daunting. To my surprise, it was only a few days before Jude was taking them with no issues. He has gone through phases when he would refuse to take them but for the most part, he has done well with them. He is 3 now and will even take them for his preschool teacher. Our next challenge is having him swallow the pills which now seems just as daunting as having him start them at 5 weeks.

Diet for the Pancreatic Insufficient

Despite taking digestive enzymes to help digest food, it still is not enough for Jude. Every patient with CF is different. For some enzymes are enough and they can maintain a healthy weight with them and a normal healthy appetite. For Jude and many others with CF, he must eat more fat and protein than the average child in order to maintain or gain weight. This means drinking pediasure laced with high-calorie powders such as Duocal or Scandishake on top of regular meals. It means bacon followed by bites of pure butter- and rejoicing when he finishes something so fattening that I was always taught to avoid.

jude bacon

It means unavoidable worry when he refuses to eat but it also means that I can bake him any kind of cookies or cakes. I’ll never have to worry that he is getting too much fat or protein-because its simply never enough. At just 3 years old, I know he is going to be picky and difficult so I do my best not to beat myself up if he won’t eat something. He enjoys cooking with me so I take it as a sign that he is at the very least, interested in food.

jude baking

Examples of High-Calorie foods Jude will actually eat:

On the limited diet of a 3-year-old there are very few meals (besides pediasure) that actually are nourishing to my son that he will eat. There are all kinds of stipulations for meals. Here are some examples:

-Mac and cheese with extra butter and high-calorie powder, but it MUST be rabbit-shaped macaroni or its a no-go

-Spaghetti and meat sauce but only if he makes it with his daddy.

-Babybel Cheese-affectionately dubbed “Circle Cheese”  but only the first 2 out of the pack.

-Chick-Fil-A nuggets and fries-but only when bribed with the reward of playing at the playground.

In a perfect world, he would eat as much protein and fact as possible.  A mom can dream. Maybe one day he will eat roasted chicken and veggies topped with lots of butter or something heartier than what he will eat now. At this moment a Lunchable and a bottle of pediasure will have to do.

jude shopping

Jude picking out some snacks for the week.









Full Circle Tryazon Tryabox

In case you don’t know Tryazon is a company that companies go to to set up consumers with products to review! They have Tryazon House parties and Now they have Tryazon Tryabox! 

When I found out they were doing a Full Cirlcle Tryabox I jumped at the opportunity. I just love all of the products they offer! They offer eco-friendly, beautiful cleaning products! 

Here is what came in my Full Circle box 

Two Reusable Storage Bags, 1 bottle brush, 1 set of cleaning gloves and a citrus infusion party pack!
These bags are great for storing items when traveling or on picnics! There are infinite ways to use them really! The large ziploc bags are so wasteful so this is a great alternative. You can wash them in the dishwasher inside out and they will be good to go if you use them for food storage for say meats. 

Walmart Trendsetter Beauty BoxWinter 2016-17

Walmart Beauty Box Winter 2016-17

This is a seasonal box that only costs $5. You are charged $5 every season before it is shipped out. You can choose classic or trendsetter box.

I was a bit disappointed when I got mine. I looked at other peoples boxes on Instagram and everyone else got two additional items, either a maskara or Berts Bees Lotion and another . This box just sucked. Why is almost everything lotion??



Allure Beauty Box November 2016 Unboxing!

bquote                           Allure Beauty Box November 2016 

Allure sent me a beauty box complementary. It was a nice surprise!

This box is a monthly subscription service that normally costs $15 per month. Right now they have a deal going for Christmastime that makes it $10 for your first 4 months. You can cancel anytime. If you find that after the first 4 months you don’t wanna pay $15 every month its no big deal to cancel. Link to get the box here: https://subscribe.allure.com/subscribe/allure/108990?source=msn_sem_holiday#six

This box contains 2 full size products that already exceed the cost of the box.


What was in it?

Spingelle Freesia Pear Sponge Retail Value: $15 

This is a sponge infused with body wash! I have used a cheaper version of these and I loved it. It lasts way longer than you would think. This one smells amazing! The box came with a 20% off  coupon code for the Spongelle Store.  If you are interested you can use it. Code: ALLURE


Tatcha Soothing Silk Body Butter 1oz Retail Value:Around $20 Full size is $48

This body butter is made with real Indigo which gives it it’s purple color. It smells comforting. Perfect for after a nighttime shower or bath. A little of this stuff goes a long way and it is absorbed quickly into the skin.The packaging is beautiful. I would love to paint my nails that dark purple color this winter.


Briogio Don’t Despair Hair Mask Sample Size Retail Value $5 

I used this right when I got the box because I’m always looking for a great hair mask. I was not disappointed. My hair was much easier to comb through and style after using this mask.

Doucce Freematic Eyeshadow in Kristi Retail Value: $8.50

This eyeshadow is so versatile! You can use it as a highlight, eye shadow or liner! It has a magnet on the back to put in a zpallete. I may need to invest in one!


Mally Volumizing Mascara Full Size Retail Value: $20 

I have never tried any Mally products but I’m exited to try this one. I love how simple and clean the packaging is.


Klorane Dry Shampoo With Oak Milk Travel Size Retail Value $10 

I have gotten this before in several beauty boxes and I love it. It’s by fair my favorite dry shampoo. It has no sulfates and no parabens!

Total Retail Value: Around $78

I can’t find anything bad to say about this box. It has a great value and is a great mix of products.


Carson Paige Dickens

Beautycon Box Winter 2016-17 Unboxing!

What is the Beautycon box you may ask? 

It is a seasonal beauty box! You can choose to get it seasonally for $29.99 or get a full year for $99. Sometimes they run promotions where they give you a free box with your year subscription or they take a percentage off the year or a single box. Each time a box ships you get charged a shipping fee of $6.99. I purchased a year subscription while they were running a 50% off promotion. I have gotten 3 boxes so far and I have felt like I got much more than my moneys worth and they are fun treat to get seasonally! This seasons box was curated by youtuber and makeup guru Dulce Candy.


Here are my first impressions of the items in the box! 

Body Karate Cream with Caffeine and Argan Oil 8oz  Retails for $39.99

I have been wanting to try a cream like this but just wouldn’t spend that much on a cream. This is a HUGE tube of cream! It claims to hydrate/Tone/Smooth and improve skin texture. I think in the wintertime we all need to use extra moisturizers.


Rimmel London The only One Lipstick in Listen up Retails for $6.99 

This is a basic Rimmel Lipstick. I go for lipsticks with staying power like Nyx Soft Matte. I’m not a fan of regular lipsticks or this color. It is a bright pinkish red. I will be gifting this to my grandmother since this is the color she tends to wear.



ColourPop Lippie Stix in Beautycon Retails for $5 

This is an exclusive color! Its a colab between Colourpop and BeautyCon. Its a nudish pink color that I think will flatter most skin types.


Too Faced Chocolate Soleil in Medium Deep Matte Bronzer Deluxe Sample Size  Retails $5-$10

 Full Size on Amazon
This smells like chocolate! It is a generous size. The packaging pictured makes it look like its not much but it is a big pot of bronzer. Its pretty light. It would be great for contouring as well as bronzing.


Garnier Skin Active Micellar Cleansing Water 3.4 oz full size Retails for $6

I have used this before and I love it. It takes off your makeup without leaving a residue. Its perfect for taking off eye makeup.


Luxie 522 Tapered Highlighter Brush Retails for $24.99

Luxie brushes are amazing! This one works so well and it’s pretty in pink and rose gold.  It’s awesome that they gave us a highlighter and a highlighter brush, just in case you are new to highlight.


Botanic Fiber Facial Mask in Beauty Scoop BioBelle Retails for $5

I have loved these paper face masks ever since I discovered how awesome Korean beauty is. These masks are so relaxing. This one has collagen in it to help reduce wrinkles and moisturize your skin. This mask is made of biodegradable materials, but is the packaging? LOL no


Kate Somerville Exfoliokate .5 oz Retails for $24.00 

I’m not really sure what all they hype is surrounding Kate Somerville or why a .5 oz of face scrub is $24 but I’ll give it a try.


Artist Couture Diamond Glow Powder in Illuminati Retails for $26.99

This is a gorgeous highlight in a golden color. You could also use it for a light eyeshadow or for your inner corners.


Voluminous Feline L’Oreal Mascara full size Retails for $7 

Everyone can always use mascara. I have liked every Loreal mascara I have gotten. I tend to get free ones from Bzzagent and Influenster quite a bit.


L’Oreal Voluminous Primer/Base Mascara $7

I have used this before. It really makes a difference in your lashes!


$50 off a $100 Purchase at Ali and Jay (Not included in total value)

Total Value of the box: $158

I think that this box would be worth shelling out the $29.99 plus $6.99 Shipping! There are items that you just cannot find coupons or discounts on like the Body Karate Cream or The Artist Couture Highlighter that make this box a great value. I know I personally will use every item in this box! I think every season they provide you with a great mix of items. This box is great for women wanting to keep their makeup on trend when they don’t have time to shop.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Yall! 

Christmas Snickerdoodles Recipe

Christmas Snickerdoodles


What You’ll Need: 

Christmas Spirit

1/2 cup sweet cream butter

1/2 cup Coconut Oil

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Vanilla

1 1/2 Cups Sugar

2 Teaspoons Cream of Tartar

1/8 Teaspoon Salt

1 Teaspoon Baking Soda

2 3/4 Cups All- Purpose Flour

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:

Green and/or Red colored sugar

2 Teaspoons Cinnamon

Rolling Pin

Parchment Paper


-Preheat Oven to 400

-Combine wet ingredients in stand mixer (Butter at room temp, eggs, vanilla and coconut oil) Beat on medium for 60 seconds or until well combined.

-In a separate bowl whisk together the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt)

-Turn mixer on medium and add 1/2 cup of the dry ingredients at a time until well combined.

-Roll dough out over floured surface. Use cookie cutters to cut out desired shapes!

-Combine red and/or green colored sugar with cinnamon on flat plate

-Dip one side of cookie into cinnamon sugar mixture

-Place each cookie on parchment paper on a baking sheet

-Bake at 400 for 6-8 min


Merry Christmas and Happy New Years! 




Jude’s Journey Part 5

We took Jude to his 1st Baseball game a couple of weeks ago and he had so much fun, mostly people watching. A few days later Jude and I both ended up with Sinus infections. I freaked out and took him to Urgent Care when he woke up with a runny nose. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal but when you have a child with CF, you don’t know what you should panic over when they are this little. His little nose was runny and he just did not seem himself. I took us to a CareNow and the Dr saw us at the same time. She told me not to worry, that she would prescribe us both antibiotics. Two days later we took Jude to his CF Clinic visit and they confirmed that Jude would be ok. They said its normal in the change of seasons for babies in general to get runny noses. Crisis Averted!

Jude won a photo contest that raised money for CF research! He’s the Grand Prize winner in the middle. We won 2 airfaire tickets!


We went to Miami, Florida for a week. Jude loved pretty much every minute of it. He was good on the plane and he barely cried all week. There was just too much for him to see to be grumpy! His treatments were easy because his Dr prescribed him a travel inhaler for one of his treatments. It takes way less time with the inhaler so we had more time to have fun. The Salty air was great for his lungs and I could tell he felt his best.


Jude’s Journey 4

When I look at my son its hard for me to believe that he has a chronic illness. He is so beautiful and full of spirit for everyone he meets. He looks so happy and healthy. I was starting to think I may be a little bit in denial about his illness. His enzymes and treatments have become normal so I don’t think twice about it or complain.

I took my son to church camp with me and I couldnt slip further into denial as many adults asked me about his health and how they are treating it. Some thought there were no treatments unless he got sick and some thought he just had one treatment. They told me what a great mom Iam for keeping him healthy and how strong Iam for staying positive but the truth is Im still pretty scared. The future is unknown to me. I see it as selfish if I feel sorry for myself over it. He is the one who has CF, not me. I have no right to feel sorry for myself.

(Books given to Jude at Camp)

There was a camper at camp that I have known for a long time that has CF. Him and my son have to stay away from eachother. When the Dr said he had to stay 6 feet from others with Cf it seemed reasonable but in real life it was painful. I had to say hello to him from a distance even though I wanted to let him hold Jude and play with him. I wanted to give him a big hug and tell him how brave I think he is. I wanted to give him some hope because he seemed particularly beat down this year. It makes me sad knowing that Jude cannot have the commraderie of having a friend going through the same thing as him, it makes me angry. Most people tell me “oh hes going to be so healthy and he is going to be just fine”. I know he will be fine but I also know that life will be hard for him. My church does prayers of administration. They are like prayers on steroids and ones I have gotten have truly changed my life. Through the years I know Jude will need them to stay strong. I know that with prayer, enzymes, breathing treatments, the vest when he gets it and the support of our families and church families will all work together to form a wonderful boy with ambition and drive despite his illness.

Jude is 5 months old today and healthy as a horse. Hes made friends at church and he loves to hear us sing hyms. He doesnt seem to mind his treatments and takes his enzymes with no problem. He started eating baby food and rice cereal. He likes every veggie he has tried! He has put on weight and is no longer underweight!

To find out more about CF and how you can help click here: https://www.cff.org/What-is-CF/About-Cystic-Fibrosis/

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a wonderful day!

Carson Dickens