Friday, June 23, 2017

2 Years

Cancer is not the happiest of topics I guess, but since I originally resurrected this blog as a way to keep family and friends up to date on my cancer, I figured I should probably post an update.

The 19th marked 2 years since I found out that I had breast cancer.  While I didn't get the actual "official" diagnosis until they called me with the results of the biopsy on the 23rd, I knew at that appointment.

Cancer is a big, scary word and it opens the door to a big, scary world, but it is also a world filled with silver linings.

Having cancer deepened my faith.  I learned to truly rely on God for strength and peace.  Cancer showed me just how much J cared for me and loved me.  While I had never doubted his love for me, it was a true comfort knowing that he was there taking care care of me throughout the treatments and surgeries.  My family and friends were amazing as well.  The prayers and the card and the visits meant the world to me.

Cancer also taught me about me.  Because of it, I found a determination to live the life that brings me joy, and not the one that seeks to match people's expectations.  Cancer gave me a better ability to see which things matter, and which things don't, and to be okay with pursuing the things that matter to me.

Cancer treatments gave me plenty of time to think and to contemplate what I like and what I don't like, whether food, or fashion, or a personality trait in myself.  I took the time to develop a better sense of style and learned how I like to spend my time.

Cancer isn't a journey that I would wish on anyone, but for me at least, it has been a journey that also brought hope and joy and learning.


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Let's Try this Again

So I've blogged in the past, for a variety of reasons.  I've blogged to spout off about things - and not always very nicely or about things that needed spouted off about.  I've also blogged to be like friends, not even just the fact that I was blogging, but the topics that I was blogging about.  The thing is, I was never being true to me, so I never kept it up.  I think that the closest that I have come to being true to me with my blogging was when I used it to update people about my breast cancer.

I'm going to take a stab at blogging again - hence the post title.  This time though, I want to make more of an effort to stay true to me.  This little space on the web may never become hugely popular, and I'm fine with that.  I'm not looking to turn this into a full-time thing, I have a career that I am passionate about.  Though, if it gets big enough that companies want to send me products to try - that would be very cool :)  What I want this blog to be is a place where I can share the thoughts that are tumbling around in my brain.

I've spent some time thinking about things that I think I would like to write about, things that you could expect to find here.  Things like, food and exercise, things that I've stumbled upon online, trips that J and I take, workouts that I'm doing, fashion, makeup, basically a hodgepodge of slight randomness.

My only goal with this blog is to stay true to myself, and maybe provide someone with a good read.  My hope is that I'll actually have readers and that I'll be able to engage with them.

So stay tuned, I might surprise us all and actually be interesting.

And just for the fun of it, a cool picture from New Orleans.


Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Eyebrows

To say that I'm loving the thicker eyebrow look would be an understatement.  There's just something about it that I think frames the eyes so well.  Unfortunately, between genetics and chemo (though thankfully they are growing back in), my eyebrows don't fit the look too well.

Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to fill in and give yourself that beautiful thick eyebrow look.  I am in love with the eyebrow makeup from Anastasia Beverly Hills.  What I do is a three step process (blush brushing), but it really doesn't take too long.

First I prime with the Brow Primer.

 Next, I use this great brush and the Brow Powder Duo to outline my brows and then fill in.



I do a final fill in with the Brow Wiz.

Some tricks that I learned at Sephora, once you outline the bottom on your brows, use the mascara wand looking side of the brush to brush your eyebrows down and then outline the top.  Once you've outlined the top, brush them back up and then fill.

Shop the post: Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Primer, Brush #14, Brow Powder Duo, and Brow Wiz.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Snow Day

Friday we were off of work (we always get the Friday of spring break off) and woke to a snowy world.  The interesting part, was that it had been so warm leading up to the snow, that the sidewalk and driveway looked as though someone had cleared them for us.  It was almost as if we had a shovel fairy :)

Enjoy the pictures



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Transitional Dresses

Rue 21 is one of my favorite stores to shop for trendier pieces as reasonable prices.  The other day, I received an email from them that they were having a Buy 1 Get 1 Free sale on their dresses (unfortunately, it was for that day only).  I knew that I wanted to pick up a couple of dresses that would work well not only in the summer, but also now.

This first dress is perfect, paired with black tights, for a day like today where the temperatures are only going to be in the 50's.  This is actually how I am wearing it today.  You could also pair it with a pair of either tall or over the knee boots.


This second dress will be perfect for cooler days with some black tights or tall boots.  All you would need is a cardigan to thrown on over top.

Shop the post: Blue Skater Dress; Burgundy Pink Rose Dress


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today

Today I had hoped to wake up to a world where we had not only elected the first female president, but to a world where we as a nation proved that decency was still the order of the day.  Instead I woke up to a world where hate and fear triumphed.  I’m not upset that the candidate that I voted for lost, that’s actually minor compared to the bigger issue.  I’m sad that I can no longer say to the people that I work with who are here on visas that America stands for justice and equality.  I have a 5 year old nephew, who I fear will now grow up in an America where angry mobs rule, which is what happened yesterday.  Where people who are handicapped are made fun of; where people that have a different color to their skin are villainized; where women are objectified.

As a nation, we have failed.  We have failed to stand for those among us that are different.  And while they may be different than me, they were still made in the image of God. 

We have failed to learn from history.  The irony is not lost on me that the person who sounded a lot like Hitler did won election on the anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch.


I had hoped to wake up to a world where intellect and decency trumped hate.  Unfortunately, I woke up to a world where hate won.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Weight loss - Almost to the Finish Line

At the beginning of 2015 I decided to work on trying to lose weight.  At that point I was wearing a size 16, and they were starting to get a little snug.  My goal was to get to a size 8 by September 2015.  Well, I made the original goal and then kept right on going.  I’ve currently lost about 75 pounds and now wear either a 0 or a 2 in clothes.  The cancer treatments did slow my progress down a bit, but all in all, didn’t affect it too much.

There wasn’t any kind of magical pill, or special diet plan, it was hard work and a major lifestyle change.  I’ve had to relearn how to eat, what foods are good for me, and what foods I need to either avoid, or to have only in moderation.  Basically, I count calories.  I base my decisions on what I’m going to eat by how many calories something has.  And let me tell you, when I was starting out, I was really surprised by some of the foods that were high in calories.  I also have a Garmin VivoFit that I wear all of the time.  It keeps track of my activity level and I can “earn” extra calories with it.  Right now I net between 1200 and 1280 calories a day.



A couple of things that I’ve learned through this journey
  • Rice is really high in calories
  • Have a plan in place for when the munchies strike
  • Baby carrots fill you up, without a lot of calories (just make sure to skip the dip)
  • While I can wear clothes a size too big, once they are two sizes too big they don’t look so good J
  • You can’t exercise your way to losing weight – you have to change your eating habits
  • Once you hit your final weight you can’t go back to eating the way you used to or you will gain it back.
  • Make sure to provide room in your daily calories for fun stuff like cookies.
I am just about done with the weight-loss and will be transitioning to maintenance, probably during fall.  That’s going to be a whole different adventure and learning curve.