Archive for Product Reviews

My Favorite Sheets! Sleep in Heaven for only $19.99!!

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My Favorite Sheets! Sleep in Heaven for only $19.99

My Favorite Sheets

I love love love comfy warm cozy sheets…

Recently I found this new brand, and the pricing is INSANE!! (in a good way) As a mom sleep is something I cherish, as when my babies were young I was so sleep deprived!

To score the best deal if you are not picky on color… click on all the colors and find the cheapest one. :) Today I noticed that PEACH is $19.99 for both the Queen sheet set, and the KING sheet Set. FREE Shipping!!  Click here to get yours –
Clara Clark Premier 1800 Collection Deluxe Microfiber 3-Line Bed Sheet Set, Queen, Peach

I have a king size bed and these are by far my favorite sheets! Why?

They FEEL amazing!! They are warm, super soft to the touch, and feel luxurious!!!

Don’t let the price fool you… they are incredible sheets.. I would love to hear what you think. :)


Buy My Favorite Sheets on Amazon Here – $19.99 with free shipping!! –
Clara Clark Premier 1800 Collection Deluxe Microfiber 3-Line Bed Sheet Set, Queen, Peach


I have the Royal Blue and the Black! Both are soft, luxurious and wonderful!


Sweet Dreams!






How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets with NO SANDING?

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How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets with NO SANDING?
How to Paint Kitchen cabinets

How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets with NO SANDING?


6 years ago we moved into our new house… it was great!

The house was brand new, however, we did not get to pick any colors!

While I liked that our kitchen cabinets were real maple… I HATED the boring color!


We painted the walls in an effort to make them look better… but no matter

what we did I was never quite happy with how they looked.


We also Built our Own Island (that always had a funny mismatched white cap on it… So I set out to research how to refinish kitchen cabinets…. without breaking the bank, and hopefully tie all the elements of the kitchen together.


I jumped online and saw this awesome cabinet transformation kit… that did not require ANY Sanding!! I Hate sanding so this was an interesting product.

Click here to check it out on Amazon

I read review after review, and decided to buy it… I ordered my product, and decided to have it tinted to KONA. (one down from black on the box selection)  If you would prefer lighter cabinet colors you can see those here – Click Here

DIY Bathroom Makeover

When I got my Tinted Box to Refinish my Kitchen I was SCARED!


What if my kitchen turned out a complete MESS???


So instead of starting in my kitchen I started in the Bathroom!

My bathroom has the same cabinets as the kitchen…

I decided to start there to see if I liked it before I took on the entire kitchen!

This turned out to be a great idea… sadly I did not take any before pictures!!

However I do have an after picture. I love how it made the countertops look great, and the tile backsplash had new life!


I accented the bathroom with some great teal Towels I found and I LOVED the final result!


I loved the bathroom so much that I could not wait to start the kitchen!





How To Refinish Kitchen Cabinets with Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations?

For under $80 almost everything you need comes in the kit – Order Yours by Clicking here

I used one kit for my bathroom, and kitchen cabinets. I have all the glaze left over as the glaze made such a small difference

on the dark color I decided to leave it out.

Inside the kit you fill find all the items pictured here:

How to paint Kitchen Cabinets

You will Need a Few additional Supplies


The Extra supplies I recommend are…

  • More Green scrub pads – I found these at the dollar store for 6 to a pack for a $1.
  • 2″ Synthetic Paint Brushes (3 of them)  Do NOT Skimp on quality here! Get the best you can afford. I paid $20 for 4 brushes.
  • A 2″ Foam brush for the glaze (if you choose to glaze)
  • Drop Cloths… (I used old sheets and newspaper that I had lying around… I certainly would not recommend you buy a drop cloth)
  • Plastic cups – yes disposable cups (to prop your cabinet doors on while you paint)
  • Smooth 2 Inch painters tape (1 Roll is probably enough)
  • Disposable gloves (to protect your hands) Dollar store is good for these.



Here is my Kitchen before I knew how to refinish kitchen cabinets!

refinish kitchen cabinets No Sanding!

I could not believe I did NOT have to SAND!!


This project took me about 3 days to complete…

I did it entirely 100% myself while my 2 year old napped, my 6 year old attended

school, and my husband was at work – and then I worked on it more when

the kids were in bed at night.


Here is my Schedule to completely refinish my cabinets in 3 days!


Day 1  –

Step 1 – I got my daughter playing with toys and removed every cabinet door from the hinges. I made sure that I knew exactly where they went my marking a paper and taping the paper to the newspaper that I laid the cabinet faces on so I would not get confused where they went.  As I removed the doors I completed STEP 1 – DEGLOSS before I laid them on their cups to dry waiting for the first base coat of paint.


Step 2 – Put my daughter to nap and the cabinet faces were ready to start painting on the base coat – I put my cabinets face down (so I started with the backside) and proped them up on 2-4 disposable cups. (the cabinets were laid all over my dining room floor, with newspaper under them to act as drop sheets)

Step 3 – My 2 year old is up from naps just as I finish the first coat on all the doors.. wow.. perfect timing… I make some supper, and when my husband comes home he bathes the girls and gets them ready for bed… and I get back to work. At this point I de-gloss my cabinet frames, including the white melamine ends of the island, and all the kickplates, and cupboard faces. While they are drying, I put the second coat of base coat on the cabinet doors. Now before heading to bed I paint my first coat of basecoat on the cabinet frames in the entire kitchen.

Its been a long day, but super productive!


Day 2 –

Step 1 – I flip my cabinet faces over early determined to get my first coat of base coat on before naptime – Success my 2 year old is watching Elmo! During naptime I finish painting the cabinet faces, and I also get the second coat of base coat on the entire cabinet frame.


Step 2 – After naptime my older daughter How to Refinish Kitchen Cabinets CHEAP!came home from school, and I had both my girls playing in their playroom, so I was able to get the second coat of base coat on the cabinet fronts.

Step 3 – After supper I was ready to start the sealant (as I was skipping the glazing step) I started sealing the cabinet frames first (as they had been drying the longest)  I flipped my cabinets to the backside, and did the sealant on the backside and that was it for the day.


Day 3 –

Step 1 – Flip the cabinet doors back to the front for their sealant coat. Paint on the sealant and wait 8 hours for them to dry! This is a good time to LEAVE THE HOUSE! :)  I knew if I stayed home I would be tempted to put the cabinets on too early… so I left and ran errands.


Just before supper I re-assembled all the cabinets, and drawer faces to the kitchen, and it was COMPLETE! A long 3 days but the result was stunning!


I LOVED Everything about my kitchen!! I loved that this ENTIRE LOOK was achieved for under $150!!

refinish kitchen cabinets no sanding!How Does this Process Hold up to Wear and Tear?

I tackled this project in December 2013.

I was hesitant to put it up on my website because I was not sure how the cabinets were going to hold up to a busy house with 2 young girls, and a pretty clean mom.


I am happy to say that they look as fabulous today, as the day I redid them… Its been over 10 months, and they still LOOK AMAZING!

In fact here is a picture from just a few days ago…

Since we have updated the kitchen we have also changed the light fixture over the sink.

If you want to get the same color we did, we used KONA as our color!

Click here to buy this box – Its under $80, and I used a small box for both my kitchen and the bathroom, and I have LEFTOVERS to do any touchups over the years!  It goes a long way!


I hope I have inspired you to take on your kitchen, or bathroom. I would love to see your before and after shots….

I definitely recommend taking before shots! I am kicking myself that I did not take a before of the bathroom!!


Have fun with your projects!



Amanda EvansFacebook









  • (3) 2″ Synthetic Paint Brushes – Premium Quality
  • (1) 2″ Foam Paint Brush (for optional glaze)
  • Smooth Painter’s Tape (2″ size)
  • Drop Cloths
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Lint-Free Rags
  • Disposable Paint Containers

– See more at:

  • (3) 2″ Synthetic Paint Brushes – Premium Quality
  • (1) 2″ Foam Paint Brush (for optional glaze)
  • Smooth Painter’s Tape (2″ size)
  • Drop Cloths
  • Disposable Gloves
  • Lint-Free Rags
  • Disposable Paint Containers

– See more at:


Beauty Without Cruelty – Yes its Possible!

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Beauty Without Cruelty – Yes Its Possible!

Beauty without CrueltyBeauty Without Cruelty – Yes its Possible!

A new line of cosmetics is here and it offers Beauty without Cruelty!

The products are NOT tested on Animals, many are Vegan Friendly, and even Gluten Free!

Younique is a line of Cosmetics available through purchase online – Younique Moodstruck 3d Fiber Lashes

Younique becoming very well known for its line of Moonstruck 3D Mascara! For good reason.

This mascara will increase your lashes up to 300%!

That is a dramatic increase!

At a price of only $29USD/$35CDN this product will surely blow you away! I have found THE Same product available at Amazon with good reviews…. and a cuter case! Its Leopard 3D Lashes.. Younique used to have its product made in China, but they are trying to bring the manufacturing to the USA to convince people to spend the $29USD on the product… On Amazon its under $7 INCLUDING DELIVERY!!

Love Alpha Leopard Case Transplanting Gel & Natural Fiber Mascara Set

Younique also offers mineral pigments that create beautiful eye looks with none of the fillers, talc, and other products that you would not want!

What makes Younique products a company that truly offers Beauty without cruelty?







[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”90%”]Here is the response from our product development team regarding the CRUELTY FREE nature of our brushes.
“No animals are harmed for the purposes of making Younique brushes, the hair is clipped or trimmed from domesticated animals.
Duel Eye Brush Shade End- First Cut Pony Hair
Duel Eye Brush Liner End- Synthetic
Deluxe Eye Brush – First Cut Pony
Crease Brush – First Cut Goat
Concealer Brush- Synthetic
Powder Puff Brush- First Cut Capra
Blusher Brush-First Cut Capra

Capra Makeup Brushes
Capra or goat hair makeup brushes provide optimum bristles which basically makes it impossible to get a bad application! The softest goat hair is, known as capra, or the first-cut with the tips still intact. This top quality bristle is hand-made like any other high quality cosmetic brush to preserve their precious tips. Luxuriously soft, goat hair provides a medium to full application for both the face and body.

Pony Makeup Brushes
Pony Hair is soft but strong, from mature animals at least two years of age. It is primarily used for blush or eye brushes. The wonderful bristle strength and strong snap makes the bristle prefect for contouring. The versatile bristles can create a variety of different captivating looks. Dampen the brush to provide opaque coverage or use dry to create a light wash of color or a soft, foiled effect The versatile bristles give the flexibility to achieve dramatic matte color or a soft, smoky look.

Synthetic Makeup Brush Bristles
Synthetics are man-made of either nylon or polyester filaments. They can be tapered, tipped, flagged, abraded or etched to increase color carrying ability. Often, synthetic filaments are dyed and baked to make them softer and more absorbent. Advantages of synthetic brushes are: 1: They are less prone to damage from makeup and solvents. 2: They are easier to keep clean than natural hair brushes because the filaments don’t trap or absorb pigment. 3: They are better suited for soft layering of powder color or cream color and concealer.”[/pullquote]

I think its fabulous a company values animals in such high regard, and I love that they share the reasons for the use of synthetic products when necessary.  These products really do offer Beauty without Cruelty!


Younique offers Beauty without Cruelty shopping 24/7 online – I found a seller on Amazon selling for $22 including shipping! Save yourself the money… :)


Click this link –>> Younique Moodstruck 3d Fiber Lashes


Amanda Evans

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Frozen – Let It Go Sing A Long Song!!

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Frozen – Let It Go Sing A Long Song!!

Frozen Sing a Long - Let It Go!


Frozen – Let it Go Sing a Long song!

My girls LOVE Frozen!!

So much so I made them their own Queen Elsa T-Shirt Dresses – you can find the tutorial here.

This song is nominated for an Oscar and is one of the BEST songs from a Disney movie in a long time!

I am in love with the song, the movie, and the characters!

Sing your heart out! The video is just below the picture.

Enjoy the Let It Go – Sing a Long Song? Share this post with your friends. :)


Are you Heading to Disneyland or Disney World? Click Here to see where you can find Anna and Elsa at the Parks.


Amanda Evans

Amanda Evans







How to Get More Energy For Moms?

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How To Get More Energy For Moms?

how to get more energy for moms

Hey Mom, you know the drill, kids are up, gotta get going, school starts early, kids want to play, kids need to eat, time to do laundry, time to clean bathrooms, time to drive this child to dance class, that one to karate, then off to swim lessons, gymnastics, skating lessons, go to the library grab some books…. and the list goes on and on!

A moms work is never done!

I know because I am one, and at best you can be on top of it all, but lets face it there is almost always something else you could do! As I age I find I have less and less energy to get things done. This winter season has been particularly hard! Being in Alberta, Canada its dark in winter by 5PM and doesn’t get light till about 8:30AM. I have found myself having to set an alarm so that I can make sure I am up by 7:15AM on school days (just in case by some stroke of greatness both my children are still sleeping). I drag my butt outta bed, and get going on my day. By the time its noon or shortly thereafter I am exhausted!

My local Starbucks sees me nearly every single day, and sometimes twice a day! Isn’t that crazy! So I know how you feel, I am living your life! Finding good sources of energy, that are not damaging to my body has become a real need for me… so I set out to see what the market place had to offer. I knew Starbucks, and other coffee laden drinks were not the healthiest option, and with all the bad press lately for commercial energy drinks, and energy shots, I have been leary of those, and I am not a fan of how chemical all the energy drinks I had tried tasted.

Have you heard of Verve?

lack of energy for mom


My sister in law who is also a mom (of 4), introduced me to a product called Verve. Its easy on the diet, being only 72 calories per serving, and it offers a natural caffeine source from the Guarana Seed. One can contains 80MG of slow release caffeine from this source. Being a person who likes to know what is in the products I am considering buying and consuming, I had to learn more about Guarana Seeds!

What is Guarana Seeds?

Guarana seeds come from the Guarana plant a native to South America. Studies have shown that the extract from the seeds can  increase mental focus, improve energy, enhance memory, boost metabolism, and help with the fat burning process. WOW I needed to look at this Verve product a lot more closely. These are all things that I would love help with!  Guarana seed isn’t a miracle cure by any means, but it does do a lot for the body. I grabbed a can of Verve from my sister in law, and tried it!

How Does Verve Taste?

Verve in a word tastes, great! At first taste I wondered if this was the kind of product that could replace my unhealthy sweet addiction to Startbucks! I loved how the Verve drink tasted, and I loved it more with everything piece of information I found out about it. The product contains a full 2 oz serving of Vemma (the company that makes Verve) which is their flagship liquid vitamin supplement. So not only does this drink provide more energy for moms, it also provides a full daily dose of vitamins! How cool is that?

How to Get More Energy and Increase Vitality with Verve?

Verve contains a full serving of vitamins that moms need to stay healthy and have energy! I knew I was on to something when I spoke to another friend of mine, who is just like us, a mom with kids, and suffers with a lack of energy. She tried the product and loved it! She wanted to know how to get more! I then suggested my friends nanny (who is 21, and drinks all kinds of energy drinks) try this… and compare to the other types of energy drinks she has tried. She reported it was the best tasting energy drink she had tried! Wow I thought. Everyone I have shared this with loves it., and it helps moms like us get more energy and increases our vitality with vitamins! Everything a mom could hope for, with one additional benefit! This may also increase my metabolism, therefore help me burn a few extra calories! Wow, I needed to open my mouth and share with others! One of the things I have loved about Verve is that the caffeine is slow release, so I am able to get the extra boost without the jittery feeling I sometimes get from Starbucks!

How can you get Verve shipped right to your door?

As I mentioned before Verve is a product by the company Vemma. To be a customer is absolutely free (no membership fees), and they offer this product to customers in over 50 countries. You can order yours today! 

Vemma offers a full 30 day empty bottle return policy… so you can try Verve risk free, if you don’t like it, how you feel taking it, or something, return the unopened cans, and get a refund. Simple as that!

Share this article with a mom who could use more energy! I just did!


To Your Success,


Amanda Evans

Amanda Evans









Nucerity – Eye Effects 3 Product Review

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Nucerity Pure – Eye Effects 3 Product Review!


Nucerity Eye Effects 3 Serum




Did you know that Nucerity Pure – Eye Effects 3 contains Argireline? Maybe you have never heard of this product, but it is being touted as Nature’s Botox, and this patented product by Nucerity has it as one of its active ingredients! Nucerity Eye Effects 3 is patented and targets the eye zone’s 3 critical signs of aging: crow’s feet, puffy bags, and dark circles.


What is Argireline?

This product is getting a lot of attention from the medical community including such influential medical personnel as Dr. Oz, dermatologists recommend. Argireline was first developed by Lipotec Co. in Barcelona, Spain as one of several Botox alternatives, specifically to be added to cosmetic bases such as gels, emulsions, and sera. Argireline works by limiting the amount of muscle contractions in the applied area by interfering in the “SNAP receptor complex”, an electrochemical reaction that controls muscle behavior. This reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles because the skin does not crease more than necessary.

How Does Nucerity Eye Effects 3 Work?

Eye Effects 3′s breakthrough science releases the super antioxidant lycopene to harmonize communication between skin cells to even out fine lines, puffiness, and dark circles. Combined with Argireline, “Nature’s Botox”, chamomile, hyaluronic acid, and witch hazel, Eye Effects 3 leaves the thin, fragile skin around the eyes hydrated and refreshed with radiant results.


Can I Get a Sample of Eye Effects 3 serum?

Eye Effects 3 Serum Samples

Nucerity does not offer sample sizes, with a product such as this, a person needs to use for several weeks to properly evaluate if there is a noticeable change, some will notice a visible difference in just a few hours, but since every one is different Nucerity does one better than just sending out samples! They offer you 30 days to try this product and see how it works for you! If you are not happy with how it works for you, get a refund of the purchase price. Nucerity stands behind its product. Buy it now – Shipping Nucerity products to all of these countries. Canada, United States, Mexico, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Singapore, and Australia.


Try this product and let me know what you think. Always looking for your feedback.






To Your Success,


Amanda Evans

Amanda Evans







Uh Oh Starbucks Canada has changed its Rewards Program…

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Uh Oh Starbucks Canada Has Changed its Reward Program!

As a mom I am all about value for my hard earned dollar, as I am sure you are as well! I love Starbucks, and I also love their reward program… recently they made some changes to their Canadian Reward Program. I have been a Gold Member of this reward program for over 2 years. I have loved it even before it went National when it was just a pilot program for Calgary, AB locations…. so now they have made some changes, and some like it some don’t, check it out and let me know what you think.



Lets look at the changes as posted on Starbucks website:


Here is my take on it – The Good

  •  Rewards are earned faster now every 12 stars (a star is awarded per transaction with a drink order)
  • You can now redeem rewards for food or drink! I am addicted to the Spinach Feta Wraps!! I love them!
  • The rewards are loaded on your card… no more lost postcards in the mail, wondering if you even got all the free drinks you were entitled to.


The Bad

  • No more free soy, or syrups. Which for some means drinks will cost substantially more.
  • Still need to separate transactions to get the most stars. Meaning if you order 2 drinks on ONE transaction, that gives you ONE star, if you separate those orders into separate transactions you earn TWO stars! Do yourself a favor always pay for only one drink at a time, you get more FREE drinks that way!


Are you Missing Out on FREE Starbucks?

If you don’t have a Gold Card that looks like this… Starbucks Canada Gold Cardit’s time to head over to Starbucks website and sign up for their rewards program, all you need is any reloadable Starbucks card that you REGISTER with Starbucks, and you are ready to get earning free drinks. The first reason you should do this is because you get a FREE birthday drink, and then you still earn all the additional rewards benefits. My husband and I both have cards, so no matter who goes to Starbucks we are earning stars toward free drinks!


Time for you to Weigh in…

What do you think of these changes? Do you care? Will it change how often you shop at Starbucks? Are you excited?


Looking forward to your thoughts.


To Your Success,


Amanda Evans


Amanda Evans










$10,000 in Bonuses!! Buy Futuristic Marketing

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$10,000 in Bonuses!! Buy Futuristic Marketing



Yes for every person who buys Jonathan Budd and Mark Hoverson’s “Futuristic Marketing” program you will get over $10,000 in BONUSES!!


What is Futuristic Marketing?

Futuristic Marketing is being touted as the Product Launch of 2012… so if you are not buying this program, guaranteed YOUR competitors will be, and they will be learning, and implementing the information to leave you in the dust! Wouldn’t it be better to show your team you are a leader, and while educating yourself, (write this off! It is a 100% business expense) you will have invaluable information to empower your team to be more effective, and make 2012 YOUR YEAR to FREE yourself!


What are the $10,000 in bonuses you are offering?


Here are some of the incredible bonuses we are offering for you: (Time is running out, so be sure you order now)



 Who should buy Futuristic Marketing?

If you are marketing online, you NEED to own the Futuristic Marketing Product! It is THE product launch of 2012! Mark Hoverson, and Jonathan Budd, are masters in this industry, and through our partnership with MLSP we are offering INCREDIBLE bonuses!


How Can I get my hands on these Incredible bonuses?


Purchase your Futuristic Marketing Product here, and then share with your team! This is product you need to have and I promise you implement these techniques and the FREE bonuses for purchasing thru this link you can turn 2012 around, and make it your best year ever! This training package is worth THOUSANDS, and you get these bonuses just for purchasing Futuristic Marketing with this link:  CLICK HERE


Join me and purchase Futuristic Marketing, together we will chat on Facebook about our results, and experience with this information, and how implementing these ideas has changed our businesses for the future! I am excited to take you on this journey with me!


To Your Success,


Amanda Evans

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 Twitter – Follow my Tweets






P.S  Here is the link one more time to purchase Futuristic Marketing and get your hands on over $10,000 in valuable bonuses!


Futuristic Marketing Launches a Unique FREE Quiz!

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Futuristic Marketing Launches a Unique FREE Quiz!

For a VERY limited time Jonathan Budd, and Mark Hoverson together are launching Futuristic Marketing! Never before in history have two 8 figure income earners come together to create a value packed product to help fellow marketers! Futuristic Marketing is a full on training course that offers more value, more information, than any course!


There is a FREE marketing quiz that will help you laser target YOUR weaknesses! Check it out.


This offering is literally only open until August 1, 2012, after that Futuristic Marketing will be pulled from the market, and will NEVER be offered at this price again! EVER!

If you are serious about turning 2012, into YOUR year online, and changing your path you owe it to yourself to check this Futuristic Marketing product out!


I challenge you to take the FREE Futuristic Marketing Quiz, and come back and let me know what FREE value tip you learned from this test. This is INSANE information you don’t want to miss!


To Your Success,


Amanda Evans


Facebook – Connect with me

Twitter – Follow my Tweets






P.S. If you missed it, here is the link to take your FREE Futuristic Marketing Quiz – Discover how you can change your FUTURE today!

Help for a Great Cause!

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Help for a Great Cause!

Okay my friends, I have never done this before, but this story touched me, and I wanted to do something to help! So if you are in the area and can help May 26th, or you can donate, please do. :)

Repost: My Brother and His Wife Need Your Help!

By: Sam Miller

This weekend my family and I will be traveling back to my home town of Virginia, MN.  Normally when we travel there it’s for fun – to visit old friends and family, but not this time.  This time we’re attending Ashley’s benefit.  Ashley is my little brothers wife who has been fighting a disease that has been ravaging her body.

It started with colon cancer that eventually lead to the removal of her colon.  The doctors then informed her that she has SMA – Superior Mesenteric Artery SyndromeI don’t really know what the disease is exactly.  I just know it’s very rare and in Ashley’s case when combined with the lack of a useable colon has severely limited her ability to gain the vital nutrients she needs to thrive.  At just 98 lbs – she’s a walking skeleton.

Derrick and Ashley have had a pretty difficult existence by anyone’s definition.   In a small town like Virginia there are few jobs and even fewer that pay a decent salary.  Derrick’s current job is delivering newspapers while most others are sleeping.  It’s the only job he’s been able to find.

When he gets home he takes care of getting their two children  Haily and Landon up and ready for school.  Then he’s off to take care of the normal duties of life; errands, grocery shopping, buying meds for Ashley, figuring out new, unique and affordable ways of keeping his automobile on the road so he’s able to drive Ashley to her many doctors appointments.  He rarely gets more than 3-4 hours a sleep per day.

Derrick has made some mistakes in his life.  I won’t get into the details but suffice to say he was a typical rebellious young adult.  I remember always being a bit annoyed by him because it seemed like every time I turned around he was in trouble for something else.  So I used to think to myself – “serves you right Derrick.”  I feel terrible for admitting it, particularly since the only thing I did different at that age was – NOT get caught.

Well things have changed.  I no longer see my little brother as the immature bonehead (I mean this in the most loving big-brother way I can) that used to call me on a monthly basis looking for money to bail him out of this or that mess.  In fact, I might respect Derrick more than anyone I know.  I say “might” because I’m walking a fine line.  I don’t want to spoil the boy with acclamations and flattery.

But seriously, Derrick has gained my respect because he’s turned out to be what every real man should be – a loving husband and father who is committed to his family no matter what.  And I’ve never seen anyone so in love with his wife as Derrick is and he’s not ashamed or afraid to show it.

I came across this comment he made on his Facebook page:

“You know how you know that you re in love? When each day you search for the exact   words that describe your feelings. Still to this day I have not found the words I want to say to express the love I have for my wife, Ashley Wilhelm. I often wonder if these words exist, I will never stop searching for the right words, NEVER! One other thing I will never stop doing is, I will NEVER stop loving you babe!”

It’s strange because I’ve come across this quote before but it never effected me like it did today.  Before it made me cringe a little – you know, kind of like that “guard and protect your heart” guy on the Bachelorette that tattooed his wrist.  If you watched that episode and sat through that guy singing to the Bachelorette you know what I’m talking about. (I can’t believe I just admitted I watched the Bachelorette. ONLY THE ONCE!)

Like most men, we’re afraid to express our feelings in a vulnerable way.  Not Derrick.  In fact, the one regret Derrick will NEVER have is withholding his feelings.

And now when I read this quote from Derrick I doesn’t make me cringe.

Neither does this one:

“Our Wedding Day, the BEST day of my entire life!!!!!”

Or this one:

“Me and the people who make me the most happiest my very Beautiful Wife, Hailey, and Landon.”

OK – so he could use some help with grammar and punctuation since in this quote he’s actually proclaiming that his beautiful wife Haily AND Landon make him the “most happiest”.  But I’ll refrain from critiquing his writing skills – just for now.  It should be noted that my own misplacement of punctuation and “seemingly” poor grammar is actually “poetic license”.  Why?  Because I wrote this article  so I make the rules.

I digress…

With Derrick, these (poorly punctuated and grammatically incorrect) declarations are not just idle words.  This is how he truly feels even despite her illness, his inability to get a “decent” job, the burglary where they lost almost everything they own (with no insurance to replace it).  He still feels blessed and I doubt he’d change a thing.

Derrick and Ashely came to visit us a few weeks back.  She had a doctors appointment where they had to assess her health and whether or not she would be capable of undergoing a much needed surgery that she HAS to have if she has any hope of survival.

After getting over the absolute shock of seeing Ashley’s nearly unrecognizable appearance – she is so thin and frail, I was amazed and humbled at the attitudes of both Ashley and Derrick.  They never once complained.  They never once were bitter about the hand they were dealt.  I could see in Derricks eyes how scared he was but I never once heard him complain.

That night we decided to go out to eat.  Ashely got to choose where and she chose Chipotle. After eating and getting home, we were sitting on the deck and I suddenly realized Ashley wasn’t there.  I asked Derrick where she was and he said  – “Oh, she’s in the bathroom.  She’ll be there for there rest of the night.”  That’s what happens when she eats normal food.  Her body can’t digest it so it goes right through her from both ends.”  And he was right.  We saw Ashley once for just a moment and then she returned to the bathroom where she remained until bed time.  It struck me at that moment,  as weird as this sounds that I even take my colon for granted.

During our conversation with Derrick I asked him why he and Ashley hadn’t sought the advice of doctors in the Twin Cities (where I live) until now or from the doctors at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  He said it was because their car would not make the drive.  They had to borrow a friends car to drive down here and it’s an arrangement that is not as easy to formulate as one might think.

We all take so much or granted.  Most of us – at least the people I know have a nice or at least reliable car, a nice home, a computer, television…a colon….  Derrick and Ashley live in a tiny apartment.  Because they were burglarized and had no insurance, they have no computer or television.  Considering that Derrick was trying to support his family as a website designer, the loss of his computer was a pretty big loss.  Their car is held together with “band aids” and as a result they can’t get Ashley the care that she needs.

This brings me to the purpose of this article.  Next Saturday May 26th, we’ll be holding a benefit for Derrick and Ashley in their home town of Virginia, MN.  Since I know most of you won’t be able to make the drive, perhaps you’d be able to help in another way.

I’ve set-up a Paypal account where 100% of the proceeds will go to help Derrick and Ashley buy a reliable car and a computer as well as to cover the cost of gas they’ll need to make the many trips down to the cities.  They live 3.5 hours away so the cost of gas on their budget is going to be enormous.

Please help if you can by clicking on the donate button where you can donate securely through paypal or by credit card.  Truly, donations of ANY size will help.

Other Ways to Help:

Another way that you can donate if you live in or around the Iron Range and have been considering getting a tattoo is to hire Derrick.  He’s a very talented artist and does amazing work with tattoos.  In fact I’ve been kicking around the idea of getting a 6-pack tattooed on my abdominal area.  I ain’t got the time, the physical skill or the will p0wer anymore to keep the “6-pack abs” dream alive.  You can check out some of his work on his Facebook Page.

Another consideration might be to hire him if you have any website or graphic design needs.  He’s great with that stuff too.

If you know of any companies that wish to donate prizes or if you know how to bake – all these things would be a tremendous help as well  I also saw that Derrick was requesting donations of spaghetti sauce, spaghetti noodles and garlic bread.

Benefit Details:

Finally if you do live on the Iron Rang and would like to attend the benefit it’s being held on Mat 26th at:  True Hope Fellowship Church – 1 Sunrise Drive, Virginia, MN 55792 – from 4:00 to 8:00 pm

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.  If you are not in a financial position to donate, I believe prayers are as much needed as money – even more.  So keep Derrick, Ashley, Hailey, Landon and even Zeus (their pooch) in your prayers.


The full article was reposted with permission by Sam Miller –

To Your Success,

Amanda Evans






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