26 June 2015

My Sick Life Illustrated Through Buffy Gifs

Being a vampire slayer takes guts.
But so does being chronically ill.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer has a special place in my heart for being one of my favorite TV shows but also because I can relate to many of the situations that take place--and to many of the characters. That sounds silly, I know, because what could I possibly have in common with a witch or a werewolf or a BUFFY?

Well, don't be so harsh to judge. You might just find some similarities yourself...

What I have to say to someone who tells me how "lucky" I am to have nothing to do all day since I'm sick all the time.

buffy btvs vampire slayer lonely comeback

If I have anything to be "lucky" about, it's that I'm alive and still have...well...some good health left. I don't have anything to do all day because I'm in so much pain all of the time. There's also not much to do when you don't have much of a social life because your illness has destroyed that.
Would you rather choose to be out on a lake having fun with your friends after a day of studying, even though you had to study, or would you choose to stay at home all day long in tremendous amounts of pain with idle hands by your side? I have a good idea of what you'd pick...

You're sitting in the waiting room, minding your own business, when the nurse comes in to tell you that, "Unfortunately, five people are now ahead of you," and asks, "Would you like to wait?"

buffy btvs no sass

Just give me a heads-up. Please?!

When someone uses that quote: The only disability in life is a bad attitude.

buffy bite me btvs mad

Do you really want to go there? You are more than welcome (OK, not really) to look through all of my health records, to go to every doctor's appointment with me, to hang out with me for just a day, or to trade places with me even. I would be glad to experience life in a new body. Freaky Friday, anyone?

When I'm in a painful situation that would knock someone else down to the ground, but barely phases me because I've become so tolerant.

buffy btvs vampire slayer superhero lol

It's funny because I'm so weak, I'm strong. Don't misunderstand, my body sucks and hurts and sometimes I cannot even hug someone without making a face because the pain is there. But I've endured so much pain at my age that I don't even understand how I haven't crumbled. I don't mean emotionally or anything like that--how has my body not just gave way?
I could list symptom after symptom but I will only give you one since it came up in conversation the other day. Migraines.
I have had a migraine almost every day since high school. I'm talking, let's hide under the sheets where it's dark and there's no sound and everybody can just go to sleep, kind of migraines. My friend had one of her first migraines the other day and was in so much pain she missed work for two days. She told me she didn't know how I did it. I don't know either. Superpowers, I guess.

When you're trying to ward off a new symptom...

buffy btvs vampire slayer cross

My list is long enough, OK? Doctors give you about _______________________ that much space to fill in what symptoms you have. When I went to my first Lyme Literate Medical Doctor, I had over 100 symptoms.

This is pretty morbid, and that's why I saved it for last...but it's something I do have to deal with it. It's something many people with chronic illnesses have to think about--and often. It's sad that so many of us are so young and are already thinking about whether or not we might not wake up tomorrow. But it's reality. Like I said, morbid.

buffy btvs death die sad

But I think this is why I connected in a way with Buffy. I'm no "chosen one," and I definitely don't go slaying vampires (or do I?), but Buffy and I deal with the thought of death constantly and especially how it will impact our loved ones.

For the time being, however, I think I'll focus on keeping myself happy and healthy if I can.
Because if I learned anything from Buffy Summers, it's that I'm a fighter, I'm worth something, and...that I need to live.

buffy btvs live alive

21 June 2015

My Pop on Father's Day

I have been ridiculously lucky to have the presence of a father in my life.
Not only that, but to have an amazing father. One who is always at my beck and call.

father day yay love dad

 I still remember the time I was a freshmen at college when I woke up for class and tried to start my car. Kaput......nothing happened.

Now, I wasn't THAT far away from home, but I was still far enough to be a nuisance for just a short trip and back.
My dad's a mechanic so of course I called him straight away. He dropped everything (although I definitely remember hearing some grumbling and mumbling), and came up to my college to fix my car.
There was a flood of anxiety that had been hanging over my head that just completely vanished as I saw his figure come up the steps near my Ford with his red shop towel hanging from his back pants pocket. I was SO relieved. Daddy was there to save me--just like he always is.

I wish I could list all the things I love about my dad and why he is just so charismatic.
He's hilarious--he could take a simple story about a grocery store trip and turn it into a story about something that would make you belly laugh. He's handy and too smart for his own good. I don't think we've ever really had someone come out to repair something on our house. If so, A) I'm sure he would be really pissed, and B) He would probably be right beside them trying to fix the problem. He looks really tough--and he is--but the man is sweet, and he always tries to do right by people. He's just a good person. He just is.

Dad is so fun-spirited and open about everything. We can talk about anything without me feeling embarrassed or like I have to hold back. And I know that's a blessing. We can be ourselves. We can act childish and foolish. And that's what makes us US. It's what makes us have inside jokes and it is how we bond.

dad funny father day love you funny

 My dad means so much to me because he has taught me so much. Whether he's meant to or not.
I am me because of my father. Yes, we have petty little fights sometimes, but as that saying goes, we get over them and we never go to bed without saying sorry. We also never go to bed without saying, "I love you."

sweet childhood beach trip dad father day/

His endearing nicknames for me never go unnoticed and when we are in the middle of laughing at something that is so funny, we just can't stop laughing, it makes my love for him grow even more than I thought possible.
Because he's my dad. He's my dad.

30 May 2015

Put A Sock in It: Hot Sox Review

I am not the typical person who wears socks in any kind of weather except for the fall or winter seasons. BUT, when it comes to the combination of bedtime and really really awesome socks, I will succumb.

I was given the opportunity to try out and review a pair of unique Hot Sox from SocksMax all thanks to Tomoson.
So of course I picked these beauties:

hotsox socks birth of venus cool

Don't they just look so neat and artsy? Of course, you can't really see Venus' head yet...but you get the picture so far. Which is...I love them! And you do too, right? I can see it on your face if not Venus'. The answer is YES. You might even say...you desire them... (You know what's coming don't you?)

(Sorry, I just had to throw this song in here.)

Back to business...

These socks went on comfortably, which I was worried about since my calves are a little large. The only problem was that the ankle was a little tight--which is actually really strange. I've never in my life had socks where the ankle part was tight. They did stretch easily, however, and the best part is that the top stayed up. Not one time did these socks start to fall down. MIRACULOUS. Thanks, Venus.

Really, truthfully, the one thing that actually bugged me about these socks was that I would probably never wear these out. Why? Because they have such a strange length going on about them. I know they're crew socks, but they need to be either a little shorter, or probably more reasonably, a little longer. If they were knee highs, they would be killer.

chilling with my venus socks hotsox

They're so cute (if you can't tell already), and even though I've really just worn them lounging around, I've gotten so many compliments. I've gotten picked on too, but those people have actually said they thought they're too funny or too unique not to be cool.

So, like socks that will give some stranger a chuckle or a grin? Maybe you're really into Venus and the color purple? Well then I'd say, with my professional unique sock advice, that you should check out the Venus (or other ridiculously cool socks) up for grabs at SocksMax--which are all about $8.00 by the way. GO GETCHA SOME.

22 May 2015

Book Review: Fat Girl Walking by Brittany Gibbons

fat girl walking cover book

*I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads descriptions (x): 
Told through a series of larger-than-life snapshots, a hilarious memoir in essays about love, sex, marriage, motherhood, bikinis, and loving your body, no matter what size you are from the acclaimed blogger and body image advocate.
Fat Girl Walking isn't a diet book. It isn't one of those former fat people memoirs about how someone battled, and won, in the fight against fat. Brittany doesn't lose all the weight and reveal the happy, skinny girl that's been hiding inside her. Instead, she reminds us that being chubby doesn't mean you'll end up alone, unhappy, or the subject of a cable medical show. What's important is learning to love your shape. With her infectious humor and soul-baring honesty, Fat Girl Walking reveals a life full of the same heartbreak, joy, oddity, awkwardness, and wonder as anyone else's. Just with better snacks. 

My rating: 5 out of 5 hoots 

rating 5 hoots owl book review 

Brittany Gibbons is a blogger of brittanyherself which, unfortunately, I was never introduced to until reading her book. However, I actually like the direction of Gibbons' book better than her blog (I know, slay me now, bloggers). Gibbons does say the book is in a different layout than her blog, though, so maybe be gentle with me. 

Both Brittany's blog and her book are so blunt and honest. The book in particular will allow anyone easy access to relate to her many essays and funny anecdotes. One in particular would have made me uncomfortable in a different voice, but Brittany's friendly tone made me laugh at the horrific event. 

There are a few things that break up the book nicely, like a list of pros and cons of being pregnant as well as bullet points of what to say to annoying people while you're pregnant. Even if you've never been pregnant, you can still laugh out loud at these lists. 

I honestly didn't expect Fat Girl Walking to make me laugh so much or for me to relate so much to it. Yes, I'm a plus-size gal. But even if I wasn't, I could still relate. I'm not married, I'm childless, and I'm not in the same age range as the author, so I didn't know if the book would really be my thing. But the way Brittany Gibbons writes her experiences MAKES everything easy to relate to. Or so hilarious that you keep reading and feel as if you're a part of her life. Either way, you can't put the book down.

Issues covered in the book--that I actually wish were tackled more--are sure to make plus-size people nod and others think hard about what they say/think. 
...You don't get to make wild accusations about my health based on how I look because you are not a real doctor, you are a pretend Internet doctor. Not the same thing. 
I like how Fat Girl Walking speaks to all women. Not just women who are overweight, but women. Women. All women. And one quote really spoke to me that I've been trying to put into words for a long time:

If we don't say enough and stop the race to the beauty-standard finish line, the casualties and the resentment women have toward each other will grow. 
 Yes! We are women. (Hear us roar?) Let's stick together instead of constantly looking each other up and down or challenging each other to a race of the fittest. Instead, help each other out. Why scold someone for being overweight when evidence shows for one, it doesn't work to help motivate them to do anything you're trying to get them to do, and second, just why? Why question anything about another women or be judgmental? That's a part of what this book is trying to say along with--why question yourself? Let's just...not. I'm paraphrasing for Gibbons here, but stop criticizing others and yourself when your body is beautiful. You have to think of every part of your body as special--like a part of a scrapbook.

This book was made for anyone to read because it's full of wisdom, quirkiness, and experiences (mostly crazy) that the author has gone through so you don't have to. The author has a clear, strong voice and it's obvious she wants to convey a message of empowerment. This will be a great summer beach read (as long as you can control your emotions--laughter and tears). 

funny quote fat girl walking gibbons brittany
My new favorite piece of advice

The idea behind this book is great. To read about someone who is plus-size, who is REAL, and who is more than OK with their body and self--but who doesn't deny the trials of how hard it is to fall in love with their body--is special to me. And I think it will be to others as well.

I don't think I have to say anything else. I loved, loved this book. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

12 May 2015

Influenster Bella VoxBox Review

I love being a member of Influenster. It's allowed me over the years to sample free products and in return, give my honest opinion of how I feel about them. I always feel so lucky that they pick me to receive a box of goodies to try out. Because that's really what I do!

Influenster, for those of you who are clueless right now, is a site that's free to join, where you basically just write reviews for things like beauty products to books to household products. There are other fun things on the site like articles to read, ways to interact with the community, and uh...free full size products and coupons or discounts! If this sounds like your thing, you can sign up (for free, remember?) using my referral link.

Now...down to business!

influenster goody free bella voxbox

  • Okay, I have to confess something. If you're wondering why is that package of Dove chocolate flat? The answer is: because I ate them all before I could take the picture. Which is to say, I ate them all almost right after I opened the box. I'm going to shame my mom here and say she contributed to this as well. The Dove Fruit was good or else I wouldn't have munched on all of it, but there was a problem. I received the flavor of dark chocolate with blueberries. However, it really just tasted like chocolate covered raisins. Luckily for me, I love chocolate covered raisins. But, why buy some chocolate fruit that tastes like something I love when I can just buy the thing that I love? Sorry, Dove. Raisins > You.

  • My absolute favorite from the bunch was the EcoTools Complexion Collection Mattifying Finish Brush. I have a really oily t-zone, and this brush works wonders with pressed powder! It's exactly what I've been looking for. And for $8.99, well, it's a little steep for something I would normally pay (I'm a little cheap when it comes to makeup brushes), I know many of you beauty bloggers would be more than happy with that price!

  • The second item I fell in love with right away, Rimmel London Scandeleyes Mascara by Kate Moss, has become my sidekick. The wand was unique and worked in a way that obviously lengthened and brought volume to my lashes. Plus, because it's different, it's just fun! Well worth the $6.99 price!

  • Another Kate Moss beauty product left me with no complaints. Especially not for something that has a price tag of $5.49! I applied lip scrub before using the lipstick, and the color went on beautifully and without any difficulty. It also lasted quite a while! So if you're looking for a new lipstick to try out with various colors, I'd suggest Rimmel London Lasting Finish Lipstick by Kate Moss

  • The one product I wasn't sure about was the Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. It just isn't something I would use, nor would I typically buy--the full size is $13.99--eep! I was gifted with a travel size in the shade of "medium." While I did use it to cover up a bruise on my leg, that's about it. However, my sister-in-law told me she used it while out at the beach in summer months to regularly cover up imperfections and especially varicose veins. I had never thought of that! What a great tip to pass on, no? 

  • I have only tried out the Not Your Mother's Deja Vu Do Style Extender once, but it did impress me--to an extent. The product, at $9, is supposed to help keep your hair clean so you have more time in-between washes. I like the idea. It's like a one-time dry shampoo that's actually a cream. The first noticeable thing about this hair product is the SMELL. Anyone who uses this will tell you how great it smells. The scent is not overpowering; it's just--right. The problem I had with this is that it didn't really give me any volume and it didn't necessarily extend my "do." I noticed that it did leave my roots a little less oily, which is why I was a little impressed. I love the brand's sea salt spray, and that stuff really works for me, but this product didn't live up to the scent--I mean hype. 

Notice any products that you've tried recently? Would you try any of these products? I have a feeling some of you would! 

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.