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Women's Reebok Zig Sugar Running Shoes (Black/Coral/White) for $59.98 down from $99.99
Women’s Reebok Zig Sugar Running Shoes
$59.98 down from $99.99

“Hello” I say in response to my ringing cell phone. “Is this Stephanae McCoy?” the disembodied voice asks. “Yes” I reply somewhat hesitantly (I’m suspicious wondering who the caller is and what do they want).

The caller ends the suspense by identifying herself as my Rehabilitation Teacher who is contacting me based on a previous referral. She then tells me that she had a cancellation and wanted to know if she could stop by in about 20 minutes. After a bit of stammering, stuttering and flustering I say “sure, that’s fine come on by.” As soon as I disconnect I scurry about making sure my place is presentable.

I make the proactive decision to put Mollie in the bedroom because experience has taught me that the door buzzer will send her into a frenzied barking spree. My grandson who up until the moment I received the call was sleeping decides that now is the time to wake up and get my attention by crying. At least I was prepared for this and had a banana and bottle waiting for him on waking.

Almost 20 minutes after I got the call Stephanie, rang the intercom and I buzzed her in to gain entry to the building. I should back up a minute and say that I met Stephanie by phone last year on the recommendation of another friend but due to life getting in the way I hadn’t the opportunity to meet her face-to-face.

We introduce ourselves and my grandson, Stephanie, and I head into the living room for a chat so she can better assess my needs on day to day living with vision loss. Without any hesitation I tell her that my biggest frustration is the sheer amount of time it takes me to do any and everything that I used to take for granted. She then shared with me the history of a column in DIALOGUE a publication for the blind.

The column was titled ABAPITA and Stephanie said that people would submit snipets of funny stories that happened to them due to their blindness. She proceeds to tell me a story about asking her husband about his day at work and he says “oh it was an ABAPITA day.” So I’m laughing and tell her “I like it and will mention it in my blog.”

After she leaves I go to google and type Abba Pita (two words because this is what I heard and what I thought Stephanie said). I was wrong and the results returned are not even close to what I was seeking. I continue my search and eventually find that ABAPITA (one word or more accurately, acronym) stands for “Ain’t Blindness A Pain In The Anatomy.” Although anatomy can be replaced with a more appropriate “A” word if you so choose.

Women's Reebok ZigTech Shark 3.0 Running Shoes (Pink/Yellow/Orange) and (Grey/Blue/White) for $44.98 down from $99.99
Women’s Reebok ZigTech Shark 3.0 Running Shoes
for $44.98 down from $99.99

This is one of those times when I wish I could rewind to go back and correct my incorrect assumptions. I’ve been known to miss the punch lines and ruin jokes because I need them explained. Why then did I think this would be any different? I’ve heard the phrase PITA used before and I know what it means and it’s very sad that I could find the humor in Stephanie’s story without fully grasping what was being said. The scary part is that I thought all along I was “in the know.” Oh well…

The rest of my session with Stephanie went extremely well and once again I’m very excited about what the future holds for me. We talked a little about my blog and she was telling me how us blind and vision impaired women miss out on current trends. To which I explained the blog is set up by day; each day represents a different topic and trends are discussed on Tuesdays.

Which brings me to today – Thrifty Thursday and I want to share a site that I discovered only yesterday but I know I’ll be using it frequently. The site is called and you can reach it by clicking HERE.

Screenshot of

I don’t know how I missed this one because the tagline says “Handpicked savings from 2001” but I’ve bookmarked it for future reference. Brad Wilson, Founder & Editor-in-Chief of, is an online curator of coupons and shopping deals.

You do have to provide an email address to access the site. If you don’t like being bombarded by dozens of emails I recommend using a separate email account for websites such as these. Another alternative to creating a new email account would be using your account, create a folder structure and set up rules to handle these communications.

To give you an sampling of some of the types of deals to be found today :

The nice thing about is that you can find a wide range of items from TVs, tablets, clothing, bedding, etc. Since this is an online curator site they search the web to find the best deals and then pot them to

I hope that this information is useful to you. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional information. You can reach me via the comments below or by email at

“I would like to be remembered as someone who accomplished useful deeds, and who was a kind and loving person. I would like to leave the memory of a human being with a correct attitude and who did her best to help others.” ~Grace Kelly

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I’ve Got the Body Shape Blues

High Hopes For A Healthy Lifestyle

Body shape, just thinking about these two words is enough to make me want to break out in hives. My body shape is not perfect and I’m okay with that. What I’m not okay with is not being able to fit into my clothes.

Oh sure, I could go down to the gym (which happens to be in my building) but why would I want to do such a thing? There are actually 5 reasons that immediately spring to mind:

  1. I would save money by not having to buy a new wardrobe to fit my increasing frame
  2. I would be able to wear my existing wardrobe
  3. Losing the extra pounds would be beneficial to my asthma
  4. Overall I would feel better and hopefully be healthier
  5. Lastly, increasing muscle mass to burn calories will enable me to take on my smug little brother

The reason for my dismay in sharing this with you is I will now have to be accountable. It’s one thing to make a promise to, myself, but when making a public proclamation, it forces me to knock off the nonsense and get down to business.

So on today, January 29, 2014, I Stephanae McCoy do hereby state that I’m committing myself to a healthy lifestyle. Following are the 6 steps to attaining this goal.

  1. Joining an online community like weight watchers to help me in creating healthy eating habits
  2. Allowing my brother to develop an exercise and weight program,
  3. Buying a talking scale
  4. Opening then using the Wii Zumba Fitness that I bought about 4 months ago. (This next part really hurts.)
  5. Cooking at least once a week
  6. Updating this blog with my efforts.

As I’m typing this my brain is saying “Nooooooooooooooooo” don’t do it!!! But this is the sacrifice I have to make to achieve the good health and being able to feel good.

I really do believe that when you feel good you look good and for me, this will begin with a healthy lifestyle. It’s not going to be easy because I’ve developed many bad habits over the years like eating too much candy, salty snacks, sugary drinks and I hate exercise.

Unfortunately, I am not able to divulge my weight at the moment because in a fit of disgust I gave the scale away about 2 months ago. However, as soon as I get the new one I will update you weekly on my weight loss. By April I estimate that I will be able to post pictures of myself with a more reasonable body shape that’s suitable for my frame.

Thank you for listening to my tale of woe, this is will be an interesting journey.

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Bag of Tricks

The Art of Makeup

Mascara Shield & Guide $10
Mascara Shield & Guide

Last Monday I said that I would spend the next couple of weeks talking about makeup application. The art of applying cosmetics for the vast majority of women takes a certain amount of patience and skill. Few of us are born with the natural ability to use makeup as an art.

For most of my life I was able to skillfully apply my makeup and even with my vision loss, because I had my technique down, I could still manage using some of my cosmetics. Some I could no longer use and I had to make special adjustments for others. As I was going through this process of altering my makeup routine I would oftentimes wonder how I could make it an easier procedure.

Technology is amazing and I can’t help but be awe-inspired with some of the most recent advances. Take for example smart phone technology; who would have thought that blind/vision impaired people would ever be able to take part in being able to navigate touch screens?

And how about 3-D printing? Just when I thought there was nothing better than puffy paint (3 dimensional craft paint commonly used on t-shirts) someone invents a 3-D printer of which we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of its capabilities.

In view of some of these miraculous inventions, I was wondering hmmm, why can’t we employ some of this same thinking towards makeup for blind/vision impaired women? Of course this is way beyond my scope of knowledge but what if we could create some makeup products that would make application a little easier for those of us who like wearing cosmetics?

Eyebrow Stencil Kit $3.00
Eyebrow Stencil Kit e.l.f.

Makeup Bag of Tricks

Until such products are developed I found a few that can aid in helping with eyebrow, eye shadow and eyeliner makeup that I wanted to present for your consideration. Eyeliner, eye shadow and eyebrow makeup can be very challenging to use after vision loss but not impossible. I got so excited over some of these items I couldn’t wait for today to come so I could share my findings with you.

Mascara Guides

Almay intense i-color satin-i™ kit
Almay intense i-color satin-i™ kit

Eyeliner Guide

  • Amazon Rosallini Soft Silicone Eyeliner Assistant Aid Guide Makeup Tool by uxcell $2.18

Eyebrow Stencils

Eye shadow

  • Almay intense i-color kit

For many years I used liquid eyeliner on my upper lash line however after my vision loss I found it difficult to apply and have not been using any liner in this area. I do use a liner pencil on the lower lash line and I’m going to look for a different type of pencil for the upper area because I think the pencil will be a little easier to use without making a mess.

I have not used the mascara or eyeliner guides but since they are very reasonable I will give them a try and let you know my opinion. Eyebrow stencils are a great help for filling in sparse brows like mine or creating a new look with a different eyebrow style.

The Almay intense i-color kits are very cool because they are shaped like an eyelid and the 3 colors are situated as you would apply to your own lids in the following 3 steps:

  1. apply the bottom shade from lash line to crease blending upwards
  2. blend the center shade into the crease
  3. sweep top shade on to brow bone to highlight

As I’ve previously stated it takes considerable patience to perfect a makeup regimen but if you keep at it and solicit feedback from a close friend or relative in no time at all you’ll develop your own technique.

If you haven’t done so yet Vision Aware Makeup Application After Vision Loss contains very useful information.

Hopefully next week I’ll be able to give you my insight on some of the guides referenced in today’s post.

Chat again soon.

“The most beautiful makeup of a woman is passion. But cosmetics are easier to buy.” ~Yves Saint-Laurent

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Jewelry Storage Solutions

Babies and Baubles

This silver filigree music box from Vicenza features a wind up handle to the bottom, an intricate patterned design decorated with diamant studs and a pearlescent oval centre. The interior contains a large compartment, a small compartment and a ring hold section. - See more at: Debenhams
Debenhams Jewelry Box

It was the wee hours of the morning and daylight wasn’t even beginning to peep through the mini blinds. Yet I heard the unmistakable sound of a low growl. In a pitiful attempt to ignore it, I gently turned on my left side pulling the blankets over my head to get more comfortable. Grrrrr there it was again and then the sound I didn’t want to hear, a gentle rustle of movement and an ever so slight cooing sound. As Mollie continued to try to pull the blankets off me, as tired as I was, I couldn’t ignore it anymore because she would wake the little one.

About 29 years ago when I was between jobs to pick up a little extra money I would babysit for my cousin. I loved watching this baby, I was there when he was born and since he was the first baby that I was in close contact with I could not get enough of him. I would wait with great anticipation for his mom to bring him over each day. Why then at the end of the day was I just as excited to pack him up and send him on his way?

I seriously had my doubts about motherhood and in a moment of clarity I understood why. After the birth of my firstborn I thought my heart would burst, I felt so much joy. He was the sweetest most precious thing I’d ever laid eyes on and the love I felt for him was like none other.

At the end of our first day home when my grandmother asks me what I’m doing I look at her like “duh” but I patiently explain that “I’m putting on the baby’s snowsuit so he can go home.” As soon as the words left my mouth it hit me that this baby wasn’t going anywhere because he was mine and he was home.

Two more sons and 24 years later I have a 1-year-old grandson that I’m just gaga over. Every time he comes over I’m so excited and I have so much fun with him. He has this smile that just lights up a room and even when he cries it’s the cutest thing.

Yesterday, like any other day when I babysit Orion was uneventful, that is, until it was time for him to go home. It was snowing all day and with the bitter cold I couldn’t say no when my son asked if the baby could stay the night. Since my son’s car was out of commission he didn’t want to expose the baby to the extreme elements by walking home and neither did I.

Back to this morning and my need for more rest; I knew I’d have to forgo sleep to care for my charge. Time has a funny way of creating amnesia. I forgot what an energy draining experience it was to have an independence demanding toddler around.

Planning for the unplanned

When you have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) tendencies, order and systems rule the day. I’m not so good with unplanned anything. I plan my plans and then have backup plans for those plans. So when I’m thrown a wrench in the plan it sucks my energy. Add to it the never-ending snowfall and 10 degree temperature and it’s not a pretty combination.

Coaster Traditional Jewelry Armoire, Cherry Amazon $149.56
Coaster Traditional Jewelry Armoire, Cherry

Since I’ve taken the circular route to organization I thought today I’d share some jewelry storage options. I never had a musical jewelry box complete with a little ballerina when I was little and promised I’d treat myself to a nice one in adulthood. I eventually ended up with a Queen Anne style jewelry armoire which suited my needs perfectly for my growing collection of high fashion pieces. That was 10 years ago.

Jewelry Storage Solutions

Umbra-Little-Hanging-Jewelry-Organize 39 clear pockets on one side, 24 hook-and-loop tabs on the other
Umbra Little Hanging Jewelry Organizer

After becoming legally blind almost 5 years ago, the armoire was no longer as useful especially when storing my earrings. What I used to do was keep each set of earrings in these tiny plastic baggies and put them in the armoire drawers. When you can’t see very well it can be a little nerve-wracking trying to locate most things let alone a specific pair of earrings.

The answer to my earring storage dilemma came to me completely by accident when I went to Marshalls with a friend of mine. I found the cutest little black dress on a hanger (not one you can wear) but one that has clear plastic pockets on both sides for earrings. There was no denying the black dress was adorable but I opted for the plain rectangular shape hanging storage. The one I bought has 66 pockets 6 of which are big enough for cuff bracelets.

The nice thing about either of these options is you can label the individual pockets to clearly identify the contents within. Also, for low vision users, different color options can provide useful contrast. Another benefit to this type storage is that it takes up very little space and it keeps sets together.

Following are 3 different resources along with costs associated with each organizer carried by the retailer(s):

 1.      Amazon

  • Umbra-Little-Hanging-Jewelry-Organize 39 clear pockets on one side, 24 hook-and-loop tabs on the other comes in pink, red or black 18.24
  • Household Essentials 80-Pocket Hanging Jewelry and Accessories Organizer, White Vinyl by Household Essentials 10.39
  • Hanging Jewelry Organizer White 37 Pockets Bedroom Closet Accessory Storage by Richards Homewares 8.18
  • Hanging Jewelry Organizer 72-Pocket, 2-Sided by Simply Genius 6.98

2.      Bed Bath and Beyond

  • Umbra Luxury Little Black Dress Jewelry Organize 29.99
  • 39 pockets 24 hook & loop closures (for necklaces)
  • The Macbeth Collection 42-Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer in Shag Madison 19.99
  • Crystal Clear Vinyl 37-Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer 9.99
  • Umbra® Little Black Tee Jewelry Organizer 9.99

3.      The Find

  • On are many retailers like Etsy, amazon, Walgreen, etc. who carry a variety of hanging and roll-up jewelry organizers with a price range from $9-$48
  • Colors are varied and I found pink, black, white, beige, camouflage, green

About 2 years ago I ordered another hanging jewelry organizer from Avon. What I liked most about this one was it has a separate section that detaches and can be used as a roll-up travel organizer. The cons of this particular item are the very tight/small pockets and even with my small fingers I had trouble inserting and removing earrings. I did use the hook and loop tabs on the other side for my necklaces but found for heavier jewelry it isn’t very effective. While I still have this organizer I’m not too fond of it and I’m still looking for a better way to deal with my necklaces. Currently I’ve settled for hanging some of the shorter ones on a jewelry tree but I’d prefer to keep all of them in one place. I’ll keep you posted on how I make out with this.

Until tomorrow Ciao!

“For attractive lips, speak words of kindness. For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people. For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry. For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day. For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone….”~Sam Levenson