Balance | Charming Diabetes

Archive of ‘Balance’ category

Halloween with Diabetes : Distract and Decorate!

Ok so Halloween (aka the Major Sugar High Holiday) can be kind of frustrating when you have diabetes. It’s hard to play cool and participate in an event like trick or treating, where you have to stock every corner of your house with candy, (because honestly, who wants to be the raisin lady) and then exercise every ounce of willpower to avoid certain death. Ok, yes, I have insulin, but seriously if I didn’t, certain death would not be an exaggeration. At the very least it’s a couple of days of high blood sugars.

When the whole premise of a holiday is based around candy, and you have an autoimmune disease that makes you the Anti-Candy (there’s a costume that needs to be made! Worst superhero ever!), and you’re trying to teach your kids healthy habits, and you also really LOVE Halloween, and you DON’T LOVE certain death, Halloween can be hard, dammit!

So, every year, I try to be prepared…with distractions. I’m a big Dia de Los Muertos fan, so I try to incorporate some of those traditions to take the focus off of candy, and then of course there are costumes, and then it’s decorate, decorate, decorate. I turn my attention to the pumpkins. And of course when all else fails and the snickers are yelling at me to eat them, I try to make sure I stay calm and bolus properly. I also leave my wrappers out, so that I can keep a visual of how many of those little bite size devils I’m taking in!

So back to the distractions…Man I love to carve a pumpkin. My husband and I always carve at least one each, and since we’re not the least bit competitive (ahem. nope, only friendly pumpkin carving here. no sarcasm either), sometimes we end up doing a few.

That said, we live in FL, where we have to time our carving perfectly bc those things will rot in a day or two, so I’m always looking for other things to do with pumpkins earlier in the month since the carving has to be last minute. Since we also have kids, and letting them play with knives is not high on the list of trophy parenting games, and also because you may not love the goopy gloppy all day mess of pumpkin carving like I do, I’m presenting you with a list that has plenty of  no-carve pumpkin inspirations as well!

Enjoy! diy pumpkins charming diabetes

Donut Pumpkins from Studio DIY

succulent pumpkin

succulent pumpkin from Simply Happenstance

black and white pumpkins

black and white paint pen pattern pumpkin from Lovely Indeed

gold foil pumpkins

Gold leaf pumpkin from The Every Girl

pumpkin lanterns

Lantern Pumkins! from Design Love Fest

pumpkin puns

and one more from Studio DIY because these PUN-kins are just the best!

There are a few others I’m coveting over on my pinterest board. So if you need some more inspo, head over and pin with me!

Happy carb counting, candy eating (if you choose to accept that challenge), and pumpkin-ing!



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TestCountShoot | diabetes downloads

So It Goes | Diabetes Routine

I realize I’m a leeeetle bit behind over here on the blog! I promise I have a lot more in store, but until I can get to all that, here’s the latest freebie to tide you over!

It’s summer, which means my routine changes a bit with kids at home all. the. time. I love it, but honestly it’s tough to keep up with Diabetes maintenance when you’re running around after little ones. I really need a CGM. But since I don’t have one, I’m stuck in my old test, test again, and keep testing routine, hoping for the best.  It can wear a girl out — and don’t even get me started on my fingertips. Is there a miraculous skin restoring lotion out there I don’t know about? A girl can dream.

The best I can do during summer is keep my pump site dry, and check my blood sugars before meals. Post meal check? As if. Did I mention I need a CGM?

So here’s a little iPhone wallpaper for those of you who are in that Test-Count carbs-Take insulin-Pray You Were Right-Test Again-Count Again-Ugh Diabetes is Wearing Me Out! Cycle with me. Hamster wheel, anyone?

But there’s no reason I can’t embrace the cycle, and pretty it up a bit, right?! And because I have a color obsession, I’ve made two different versions. Let me know which one you’re loving most in the comments below!

Here’s your download–right click and save away. If you need more help, or want to see the other downloads, head over to the Download Page!

Charming Diabetes Free Wallpaper

Test Count Shoot Repeat | Diabetes Downloads

Be sure to sign up for the email newsletter to get all my fave tips and tricks, and all the Free Downloads straight to your inbox as soon as they come out.

Happy summer everyone!





what the...

The Day I Found The WRONG Endocrinologist For Me (and How to find the best endocrinologist for you )

I recently moved to a new city and learned that WOAH! all Endocrinologists are NOT created equal. I quickly made an appointment at the first office with a decent website (good reviews, health grades,etc) that I found online. It was that experience that led me to write this post because BOY was that a bad idea.

The office was VERY different than what i had seen online (the internet? misleading? who knew?), and you know you’re in trouble when you find stacks of these in the waiting room:

how you know you're in the wrong doctor's office | charming

I mean really?

Let me be clear that this is not a language issue. I’m fluent in español (en serio). Hablo español. Me encanta leer revistas en español, pero por Dios! No necesito ver a todo el mundo desnudo en la oficina!

For heaven’s sake! I don’t need to see the whole world naked in the Endo’s office! Does anyone? What if I’d brought my toddlers with me to this appointment? Call me a prude, but I’d prefer the content to be a little more neutral or perhaps of a medical nature. Bland diabetic magazines are fine thank you very mucho. It sends a signal.

Sometimes when you have diabetes it feels like you’re an island. Floating alone, watching people around you eat their cake and drink their lemonade, blissfully unaware of how many carbs they’re consuming! It can be a lonely disease, but every Diabetic should have at LEAST one person in their corner, dedicated to helping them. Enter the ENDOCRINOLOGIST.

The first step in getting the very best endocrinologist for you is remembering that doctors are people too. They are each going to have their own ideas, policies, personalities and those may or may not be well suited to yours. If you feel like you’re struggling with Diabetes, you should be able to call you Endocrinologist’s office and they should be able to provide you with education and resources to help you not only cope, deal, manage, but THRIVE with diabetes.

It’s a little like an interview. You’re looking to build a long term relationship, based on MUTUAL trust. You should be able to trust what the Dr. has to say, knowing he/she has your best interest at heart, and your doctor should also trust you to know your body and to do your part in taking care of yourself as best you can. It has to go both ways.

Here are some tips on how you can hone in on the traits you’ll want your doc to possess. So you’ll know when you’re in the right office!

1. KNOW YOUR NEEDS–do you use an insulin pump? If so, you need to ask your doctor if they are familiar with it, and can download it in the office. Do you want an insulin pump? Ask your doctor how he/she feels about them. I’ve heard of doctors “holding out” on patients and not “letting” them get a pump. Are you training for a physical event like a triathlon or a marathon? Your doctor should be able to give you tips on managing insulin and nutrition, and/or set you up with a nutritionist. Make sure you have a doctor that’s willing to work with you and your goals. Aside from the trashy magazines, the doctor’s office I visited was not capable of downloading info from my pump. That’s a big deal, because that’s where most of my data lives ( I don’t always keep perfect written records). So, two strikes.

2. LOCATION–start your search with the hospitals closest to you. Going to the endocrinologist is not exactly my idea of a dream day, and I’m much more likely to make the trek if at the very least the office is convenient and easy for me to get to. I realize this isn’t always possible, but it’s at least a starting point.

3. CLEANLINESS–the office should be clean, and every patient room in the doctor’s office should have a sink. It’s basic hygiene and germ control. Even better if they actually USE it and wash their hands when they enter/leave the room. The Trashy Magazine Office didn’t even have sinks in the patient rooms. Here’s my problem with that: Let’s say the patient before me has neuropathy in their feet and the doctor checks them out–or a toenail fungus–or the flu?!! See where I’m going here? The doc is quite likely to cart those germs right out of that room, all over the office, and then maybe right to me if he doesn’t wash his hands, which he can’t easily do without a sink in the office. Strike three for that office, if you’re keeping track.

4. FOOT CARE–Does your doctor check or ask about your feet at each appointment? Because he should. A great endocrinologist will be asking you about your foot care routine and doing a basic check for signs of neuropathy and circulatory problems. I’ve been to one Endo that wouldn’t touch feet–every foot question I had she pointed me to the list of podiatrists that her office supplied. There are so many reasons this doesn’t work for me, one of which is HEY MY TIME IS VALUABLE AND MY FUNDS AREN’T UNLIMITED! I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO SPEND MORE TIME/MONEY IN YET ANOTHER DOC’S OFFICE WHEN YOU COULD JUST LOOK AT THIS FOR ME (errr, but only if you have sinks in your office so you can wash your hands!!?!)!! And that’s how I feel about that.

5. LANGUAGE — Beyond just inglés or espanol (that’s important too), the language your endocrinologist uses with you, the way he/she speaks to you is important. As is their demeanor. Are they treating you like the expert you are? I don’t care what your numbers say, you live with this disease every day–you’re an expert. You may not be a medical doctor, so you need to work with the doctor to come up with the best course of action, but a great endocrinologist will take a real interest in what you have to say. Their language should never point to YOU being a bad person or bad at diabetes. This is a tough disease. The last thing I need is someone saying “Your Terrible” ( that actually happened in one dr’s office) because I’m not writing down my blood sugars in the format they prefer, or whatever the case may be. I’m looking for someone who’s going to be in my corner, and tell me the hard truths if I need to hear them, but not place a judgement on me.

How do you think I found Trashy Magazine Office? You guessed it, Google. There were all kinds of pics, great reviews, health grades, etc. But that was not the office for me. To his credit the doctor did seem to be really knowledgeable and well versed in pump therapy..but that’s not all that counts. His office has to meet my needs too.

But HOW do you find an endocrinologist that fits the bill? Especially if you’re in a new city and have no idea where to start? Well let me tell ya, a google search is prob not the best option in this scenario.

The first thing I’d do is CALL your Insurance. I know that prospect is about as enjoyable as sticking a fork in your eye, but they can give you some names of people in your network, and once you have a starting point you can call each office and straight up ASK about how things work at their office (“Can you download my insulin pump?” “Do you do blood work in the office or do I have to go to an outside lab?” etc).

As you get other doctors, internists, pediatricians, opthamaologist, etc, any and all specialties that you need in your life, ask those doctors if they have names of people they recommend.

And lastly, call the Minimed pump representative in your area. Even if you don’t wear a pump, if you can get in contact with these guys they usually have a short list of good doctors offices in the area. Again, a starting point and you can go from there.

Don’t settle for less than stellar treatment. This is a HUGE part of you life! If you find yourself in an office or with a doctor that just isn’t meeting your needs, remember you have options!

Good luck!!



llama at blackberry farm | charming diabetes

How Blackberry Farm Changed Me Forever

I kind of have an obsession with this magical place:

Blackberry Farm

It’s amazing for lots of reasons, but here are my top 3:

100 year gardens. And a llama. And meals that will transport you to a land far, far away from GMOs or processed foods.

llama at blackberry farm | charming diabetesOne little trip to this HEAVEN completely changed the way I look at food.  See what I’m talking about here, and here.

And then go put Blackberry Farm on your bucket list. I promise you won’t regret it.




January iPhone download | dream do repeat

Non-Resolutions for the New Year

Hope you all had a great holiday! So it’s January, which means everyone and their brother is asking me if I have any New Year’s Resolutions. And….I don’t. Sorry.

It just seems like I’m setting myself up for failure by february every year I set those. So a few years ago I decided to stop partaking in the “Resolution” game, and began to just think about what my goals and dreams were for the coming year. And then from there, how I could really make those things happen. And the first year I did it, I was surprised what an impact a few simple changes made. I’ve done it every year since. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I don’t, but I feel like I’m making progress because I’ve been intentional about keeping myself on track.

So here’s how I do it:

I take some time to write down my goals and dreams for the year–big, small, everything. This is the most important part for me–writing things down somehow makes it feel more official. Then I look at the list and make it QUANTIFIABLE. Give your goal a number: instead of  “eat healthier” I’d set a specific goal “eat 3 vegetarian dinners a week”. The more specific, the better.  After that, I spend some time brainstorming the best ways to make those dreams happen, and I write those things down too.  And then–this is the big one–I mark time on my calendar to review those goals and my progress.

Shazam! I feel resolute already! I believe in this process. Making your goals quantifiable and writing them down is a great way to start off the year, and taking time to evaluate your progress is important too.  Just in case you’re curious, here are a few of my non-resolutions 🙂

~write down blood sugars 3x day ( Can you tell I like to write things down? I check more often than this, but writing them down really helps me and I skip this step more often than not.) 

~Inspiration Photo Walks at least once a month (Just FYI these are little weekend jaunts where I walk around town with my camera, or sometimes just my cell phone, and snap all the photos I want. The photographer and creative in me needs this time and as a mom, sometimes I overlook how important “me” time is. )

~ Desk Clean by feb.1st ( if you could see my desk, you’d know how important this is. It is embarrassingly awful and I subconsciously always move this task to the bottom of my to-do list. Now, I have a date and can hold myself accountable…yikes) 

These are just a few, but I thought I’d share my process in the hopes that anyone else with the New Year’s Resolution Blues can have hope that even if you don’t have any “resolutions” you can still get plenty done in 2015.

“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” Henry David Thoreau

And Oh By The Way…Here’s the January Download for ya! Grab it below or over on the download page


January iPhone download | dream do repeat


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Thanksgiving Sides to Charm Your Diabetes | charming

Thanksgiving Sides to Charm Your Diabetes

Thanksgiving with Diabetes is for the birds…so sorry. These things just pop into my mind and I can’t resist.

But seriously, Thanksgiving can be particularly hard on the blood sugars, so this year I’m switching it up. I’m on the hunt for recipes that are simple (since I have picky toddlers), easy on the blood sugars, and still comforting and delicious. That’s a tall order, I know.

I’ve spent countless Thanksgivings calculating carbs, choosing which foods I’d have to skip, and overall worrying about blood sugars. My family’s traditional Thanksgivng meals include things like casseroles, stuffings, rolls, and foods that in general are low on health and high on carbohydrates, plus really hard to count carbs for. And then I spend all kinds of energy just working around it, taking more insulin, and doing my usual “I can eat anything” song and dance.

And you know what? I can. I can eat anything. But sometimes just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

I had this lightbulb moment where I decided, you know what, it’s ok for me to adjust the traditions to make it easier on myself. There is no shame in admitting to myself, or to anyone else, that certain casseroles are just hard on me and the blood sugar. Or that sweet potatoes are just fine by themselves and don’t actually need marshmallows on top.  Or that the extra sugar in the cranberry sauce to make it palitable is just not doing me any favors. And dangit, it’s hard to guesstimate how many carbs are in that casserole topped with breadcrumbs…er, wait those aren’t breadcrumbs. What are those? Are those cheez-its?…

Yep, I’m still from Tennessee so these things do happen.

So I’m breaking up with traditions this year and making a Thanksgiving meal that isn’t loaded with breads and unnecessary carbs but is still comforting and delicious.

Here’s my criteria for finding recipes to Charm my Diabetes on Thanksgiving:

  • gluten free (I know, eye roll)
  • little to know added sugar (which, sadly, eliminates cranberries)
  • simple and easy to make (because, toddlers)
  • yummy (because, again, toddlers)


Yum Charming Diabetes2

Let me clarify: I am NOT gluten free. But the carbs coming from breads and bread based dishes were just too much. I’m cutting out the gluten so I have room for other carbs I love–like sweet potatoes, roasted apples, and maybe even grits.

And let’s not forget dessert. I love dessert.

I don’t want to confuse anyone–I’m not trying to cut out all carbs, or fat, or be particularly “health” conscious on this holiday dedicated to Giving Thanks and Eating. I’m just re-working some of the Thanksgiving regulars that don’t really work for me with Diabetes. I want to get rid of some of the carbs in my meal so that I can enjoy the others more, and dessert.

It’s like editing. And it’s a trade off. If you hate pumpkin pie but really can’t do without a bread based stuffing, then maybe your trade offs will be different.

Or maybe you do what I’ve done for SO so many years and say to yourself “SELF! I love you, but today I trade nothing”! And then proceed to eat all the carbs you want. I won’t judge you. I just know that this year, for me, I want to make some changes so I’m not stuck glaring at my glucose meter in frustration and disbelief later.

So there will be turkey, and there will be pumpkin pie. But where I really struggle with the carb counting is in the side dishes. I wanted sides that would feel traditional, but without all the guilt that normally accompanies my usual holiday side dishes. These are the ones I’ve found so far that look like they could make me a happy girl this Turkey Day.

Thanksgiving Sides to Charm Your Diabetes | charming


Best Green Beans Ever (Ree Drummond)

Green Beans With Lemon & Garlic (Food Network) I’ll have to choose between green bean dishes…

Easy Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Martha Stewart)

Roasted Squash with Red Onion, Oregano, + Mint (Food & Wine Magazine)

Cheesy Grits Casserole (Food & Wine Magazine)

Rosted Brussel Sprouts (Simply Recipes)

Sauteed Apples With Thyme (Martha Stewart)

That’s the short list of recipes I’m considering so far. There will be no rolls. That is CA-RAY-ZAY, I know, but I’m trying to reduce the overall carb numbers and save the gluten for dessert only. That means the rolls had to go. That also means these sides have big, carby, shoes to fill! Wish me luck!!

What about you? Are you going all out on a carb-centric or are you looking for ways to charm your diabetes too? Either way, I hope you find a way to eat all the foods you love this Thanksgiving, and enjoy them!!

what's cooking | charming



p.s. those recipe cards are from Rifle Paper Co.

free wallpaper download


Happy November, everyone! This is a big month for me—there’s Thanksgiving, plus I’m a Scorpio so my b-day is this month, my husband’s birthday is this month (he’s not lucky enough to be a Scorpio though, he’s on the Sagittarius end of the month), this is the month I was diagnosed with Diabetes all those years ago, AND this is national Diabetes Awareness month. So much going on!!

Out of all of those, the biggest thing for me is probably Thanksgiving. I love to cook, I love the traditional thanksgiving meal, visiting family and getting ready for Christmas. It’s just a fun Holiday. And despite the fact that I have diabetes, I still usually manage to eat everything I want on Thanksgiving. More on that soon (Thanksgiving Menu planning is underway!), but I just wanted to take a sec and give you the november iPhone Download. Grab it here (below), or if you need a little technical help, see the download page with instructions.

free November iPhone wallpaper download. Give Thanks. |

I know with all the food, the family gatherings, and diabetes awareness month, people may be talking more about it.  And you’re bound to run into people asking you what you can eat (eye roll, eye roll, sigh). Diabetes can feel like more of a burden this month with all the talk of food, and pie, and extra-carb-counting. But I try to remind myself that I’m the one in control here. This is my disease, I can decide what to eat and what to skip (no matter what anyone else says about it), and at the end of the day there are so many other diseases out there that people DON’T have that kind of control over.

I know there are ups and downs, but in an effort to stay positive I’d ask you to remember to be grateful for the little things. Whether it’s for your insulin pump, or for the small amount of carbs in turkey, or for the pie that you’re willing to get high blood sugar for.

Whatever it is, look for the good (even in Diabetes) and you’ll find it.

That’s what this download is all about. Enjoy!!



PS… I own this image. I took this photo, and I created this graphic to be used as an iPhone wallpaper. It would be against US copyright law to copy it, pass it off as your own, try to sell it, or do anything with it other than use it on your own personal iPhone. Thanks!


How To Do Halloween With Type 1 Diabetes

Fall is here, which means Halloween is around the corner. It’s that time of year when everyone with a faulty pancreas is forced to face their demons. Literally, there are demons out, it’s Halloween.

A holiday dedicated to the procurement of candy? Really? And my body doesn’t make insulin? I mean…are there cameras? Is this a joke?

How to Do Halloweeen With Type 1 Diabetes |

Halloween doesn’t have to be torture with Diabetes. This post is really dedicated to the young people with Diabetes, because lord knows I struggled with this day when I was still in school. One year I stressed about avoiding candy for weeks leading up to Halloween– I’d brainstorm how I’d play it cool, ways to say no thanks without mentioning diabetes, why smelling it would be enough. And then one year I decided, screw it. No one’s gonna take my candy. I ate without reservation, pumping myself full of insulin with one hand while tearing into wrappers with the other. That year didn’t go so well, for the record.

My point is that I’ve tried it all, but the bottom line is, I like candy. Turns out that despite my bionic pancreas, the insulin pump, I am in fact human and enjoy sugar. I can’t lie to myself about it. After trying everything under the sun, I’ve learned that there are a few key tricks to Charming your Diabetes during a candy-centered holiday:


When I let my mind move past the candy obsession, I learned that there are lots of other Halloween elements that I enjoy much more than the candy.

–PUMPKINS. Love ’em. We paint them, we carve them, we visit them in the patch, I look at them on pinterest, we use them as decorations. Doing all the pumpkin prep work gets my mind off the looming day of candy. Not to mention the house looks fall-friendly!

–CRAFTS. Nothing distracts my candy-lovin mind like some good Halloween crafts. Great for the kids, great to give away. Great way to spend time together as opposed to obsessing over chocolate. Or sweet tarts. Ok I better get crafty.

Charming Diabetes Halloween Crafts | easy DIY spray painted skull

I love a good skull craft. I made this one–all you need is a cheap craft skull and some gold spray paint, which I also obsess over. When Halloween is over this guy guards my desk.

–DAY OF THE DEAD. If you don’t know about this mexican tradition you should look it up. It’s much more meaningful than Halloween and the decorations are even better. I love everything about El Dia de Los Muertos, and at our house this time of year has become more about having a dedicated time of year to remember and celebrate lost loved ones. I’m not singing songs around the cemetery or anything, but Halloween can be a great opportunity to teach kids about other cultures and traditions, and, if you’re not into altar making, talk about lost loved ones’ favorite things.

–FALL BUCKET LIST. For kids, this is so fun. Ours usually includes things like pumpkin painting, leaf collecting, wagon riding, and painting fall pictures (always hilarious with toddlers). It’s just a quick little list of fun fall things to do that DON’T involve candy.


Cut the candy out and replace it with something else. Sounds painful, but in the long run you’ll be a lot happier for it. Finger puppets, vampire fangs, plastic bracelets, glow sticks, basically anything from the dollar bin at Target. Use these alternatives to pass out to trick-or-treaters and keep them around your house for fun…without the guilt that can come along with candy.

There is the option to “replace” candy with sugar-free alternatives, but I don’t really recommend it. The chemicals and artificial sweeteners are sometimes worse than the real thing, and the whole idea here is to get past the candy–not just exchange one unhealthy item for another. If you do replace with other food items, I suggest going for homemade treats (where you can control the ingredients–but don’t waste those on the trick-or-treaters because any good parent is going to make their kid throw it out), or real food treats like raisins.


If you know that you’ll be giving out good ol’ yummy candy for Halloween, do yourself a favor and pick something that you don’t like. I buy my candy for trick-or-treaters a day or two in advance–there’s no need for that to sit at my house for two weeks before halloween taunting me. And when I do buy it, last minute, I buy the stuff I don’t like. I’m a candy lover, but even I have a few less-than-favorites. I don’t want to call anyone out ahem, twizzlers, but there are some candies that I don’t crave , and therefore am not tempted to eat when they’re on my counter.


Um. ‘Scuse me, what?

Yep. That’s right. Eat it. Don’t do it like me all those year ago, diving headfirst into a bowl of Rolos, but if you know that you (or your child) really love(s) it, then PLAN for it.

–After trick-or-treating, pick 2 treats to eat right then and there. Count the carbs, and bolus for those.

–Go through the remaining candy and choose a few pieces to keep for later in the week–if you have kids this is a great time to get them involved in the decision making process and have them help choose the magic number of pieces to stay. I do this with my kids and they don’t have Diabetes.

If you need help getting that conversation going with your kids, the Switch Witch might be a good way to start. Like a Halloween Santa, she comes to your house to collect the candy on Halloween night and swaps it out for some other toy or prize. I just heard about it and haven’t tried it with my kids, but it seems like a good idea.

–The remaining candy goes away. Do not pass go, do not collect $100, just GET THE CANDY OUT.  Let the Switch Witch take it, give it to friends, donate it, throw it away . Don’t feel too guilty about tossing it out, you’re making a healthy choice for your faulty pancreas. I’ve found that the throw-away-guilt makes me keep it around, and when it’s just lying there I eat it with reckless abandon.

The idea here is that you (or you and your kids) are  CHOOSING to keep a few select pieces that you know you love. You no longer have the giant bag staring at you, begging you to eat it. You are no longer thinking about the giant bag of candy you have stashed somewhere that you shouldn’t be eating. You are freeing yourself. You have made a conscious decision to keep this select amount, and when you eat it you’ll bolus for it, and it will be delicious. None of the guilt, no closet face-shoving of m&m&m&m&m&m&m’s.

You’re free to eat it. Just do it wisely.

And here’s my last tip for Halloween–if you must buy Candy Corns, get the ones that come pre packaged in the small individual baggies, so that you have built in portion control, and you can get the exact number of carbs. I can’t tell you how many years I’ve fallen into the “I’ll just grab a couple of Candy Corns” trap! Those little suckers are dangerous!

Happy Candy Bolus, everyone!





Make A Shrine | Surviving Diabetes With Toddlers

So I’m the head chef in our house. I cook the meals, I make the snacks, I prep the food, I simmer, stir, and sautee all the time. I LOVE IT. I love to cook. My mom taught me, and since she passed away getting in the kitchen and measuring, mixing, smelling, and taste testing is my favorite way to keep her memory close.

I may be the Chef de Cuisine here at the Charming Diabetes maison (ooh la la), but by no means do I have it all under control. Yes, it’s relatively easy for me to whip up something yummy and cooking is another creative outlet for me. No arrogance in that, it’s just one of my gifts, I’m no Top Chef and I’m terrible at lots of other things.

I’m just relaying this so you understand that despite the fact that cooking food comes easily for me, I am very bad at everything else that goes along with meal time. I’m useless at clean up, awful at setting the table, I usually don’t have everything finished at the same time, and I’m always forgetting the drinks. Martha Stewart I am not.

It seems that between trying to keep the kids from killing each other or tearing the house apart while I cook, I get a little distracted. I never get around to any of the dinnertime set up that needs to happen beforehand so we can eat. So every night, after all kinds of mini interventions and referee calls with the kids, at some point, dinner is ready. And then I herd them all to the table like cats. Kid one, kid two, and husband. Kid one gets down, put her back, kid two cries, get her settled, ok now we’re all at the table. Oh wait, forgot the forks. So then I scramble to get forks and napkins and sippy cup refills because I have an inability to plan ahead.  And of course I’ve gotta GET THE GREEN BEANS away from someone’s APPLESAUCE. Oh and did I mention that part of this chaos stems from the fact that I usually have two versions of dinner (one version is more toddler friendly. I’m not a fan of that, btw, it’s just a self preservation that I’m working on changing).

So THEN I sit down, usually without anything to drink, but who cares because the silence that comes over the table is so seductive….


The fork comes up to my mouth and….UGH!


Every night. Right at dinnertime. Since I didn’t check it, there’s no way I can know if I need to correct it, plus I need insulin to cover the meal and now here I am ready to eat with no insulin on board. Super. So now I’m up searching for my meter and lancets and UGH. I suck at diabetes.

This is how things went for me for a long time until I decided something had to change. I have two toddlers. This season of my life will involve hectic mealtimes, certainly. I can accept that. But I couldn’t afford to completely ignore my blood sugar in the chaos.

So I made a Shrine. Here it is.

making diabetes more fun with a blood sugar testing shrine |

Let me break it down for you. My shrine is basically a cheap plate from target, with a cute bowl to hold my lancets, and that’s where I keep my meter, lancing device, test strips, etc.

I’m visual, so it was important to me to have it look a certain way, hence the cute bowl and the flowers nearby. It helps me feel happier about it. The medical devices themselves are less than inspiring, so the creative in me just has to spruce it up a bit to distract from the “meh” feelings they give off.

I love having it on a plate because I can just pick the whole thing up and move it;  Over to my desk if I’m working, out of the way if we need more space one the counter, beside the couch if I’m having a sick day. I keep one downstairs on the kitchen counter, so that when I’m in the dinnertime trenches it’s close by, and I can check quickly and move on. I have a second one in my bedroom, so I don’t have to go downstairs at bedtime when I’ve inevitably forgotten to check it until I’m in bed.

Plus now that it’s all together, the random lancets and test strips floating around are greatly reduced. Nothing like a toddler finding a used lancet on the floor to make you feel like a good parent. The kids know this is my diabetes plate and not to touch it, and should they have a toddler moment and forget, I can easily grab it and get everything up out of their reach.

Here it is again, after I found some gold spray paint and a lost monkey and decided my shrine would need a mascot. I reeeealllly love gold spray paint.

Charming Diabetes Shrine with a gold monkey because, why not

The shrine (both with and without the monkey) has changed my life. It’s aesthetically appealing to me, which is the biggest deal, because I like how it looks. I’m bought in; I don’t dread searching for my meter, or wander around muttering curses to my faulty pancreas. I have a nice little spot set up and ready to go. I’m checking more often, and I feel less stressed about it. BOOM! Diabetes = Charmed!

All you really need to set up your own is a plate, and a container of some sort for the lancets. If your plate is big enough, you could even have a separate trash bowl on the plate to drop the used lancets and test strips in. The one in my bedroom consists of a bingo plate I liked and wasn’t using for anything else, and a short, clear plastic, party cup for the lancets. Easy. I got the extra meter FREE from the doctor’s office. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t buy a second one until you’ve checked with your doctor–odds are good they can hook you up with a freebie.


It works for me…I hope it works for you too! When you get yours set up, let me know!! Send me your pictures to or share it on instagram and use the hashtag #charmingdiabetes

Happy checking!

Making Diabetes more convenient with diabetes checkpoint near the bed  | www.charmingdiabetes.compretty diabetes set up |



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It’s Official!

Hey there, everyone! It’s official, this journey is underway.

I’ve had Diabetes for almost 20 years now (yikes) and for the longest time have really been searching for certain things online about Diabetes, and not finding them. I’ve wanted tips, honest advice, from a happy perspective–from a place of wanting to succeed at Diabetes and also wanting to be stylish, chic, and not too medical or serious. From a place of not being ashamed of Diabetes, but not having my life revolve around it either.

I was diagnosed on my 16th birthday, and having Diabetes as a teenager was not easy. I’ve been searching for a way to share what’s worked for me, and what hasn’t, so that someone out there like me, newly diagnosed and searching for answers, can find this and see a way to a full, happy life with Diabetes.

So this blog was born as a way to do all that. To add my voice to the Diabetes Blogosphere and in the process to challenge myself to take better care of myself and my disease, instead of pushing it into the background.

I’m also a mom now, which presents it’s own set of worries and challenges and fears and I’ll share more of that as I go.

So I hope you’ll join me as I share my successes and failures, while I try to charm the pants off my Diabetes with laughter, recipes, tips, tricks, desserts, distractions, letters, and more. I hope you’ll share your stories with me as well.

Comment here, or shoot me an email. I’d love to hear from you, whether you have diabetes or love someone who does. Let me know what your biggest struggle is right now with Diabetes. I’m not a doctor, but I do believe that there is power in sharing our stories with each other!

You can also find me on Instagram @CharmingDiabetes and Pinterest @saratallent  and read more about me over on the About Page.

Please hang in there with me as I get all the kinks of the new site worked out, all the pages filled out, and all the new site jitters out of my system! It’s a work in progress but I hope to have it all under control soon! Stay tuned!