18 May 2016

Wordful Wednesday//Not a Happy Camper

Camping. Hiking. Nature.
Being outdoors. 

It's frustrating knowing what all I have taken for granted. It's frustrating knowing now the slim chances I have of me enjoying those activities again. 

I took a big leap of faith this past weekend and went camping with my family. 
Yes, on Friday the 13th. Yes, in the mountains--and near a lake. No, it thankfully wasn't named “Camp Crystal Lake.” 
But it was frightening all the same. It was my first real camping trip in...well...years! Of course, I stay in the RV with my family every year when we visit the beach but it's not the same. There's never really anything to be scared of at the beach in my mind. It's just a mixture of having sand stuck in your flip-flops and everyone drinking margaritas and loud country music playing on the only radio station that works. And that's fine by me. I don't care because I still feel safe. 

The same can't be said for our stay at the mountains. 
After the diesel engine of the truck died down and Dad said, “You can get out now,” I could feel my stress already begin to take over. I wanted this to be a mini-vacation for me. Something to ease these daily migraines. But it was there in the back of my mind—okay it was screaming at me—TICKS TICKS TICKS. 

I stepped out on a patch of grass, just one tree shading our campsite. It looked slightly cleaner and clearer than what I remembered as a child and young teenager, but it was still familiar and...sickening. I could feel things on me that were not really there. TICKS TICKS TICKS. I started crying immediately. This is where I camped with my family for over 10 years. Possibly where I was bitten, even. Possibly where I developed the disease that would change my life forever.
I did not feel safe at all.

The rest of the weekend was spent with me in the camper—upset on my stomach, sick to death with a migraine, or just plain crummy sick. I used to hike or bike these trails. I used to skateboard and play basketball here. I met amazing friends and random people that I will never forget at this place. 

Yet it seems that this weekend I could barely even step out on a patch of grass.

*May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month.
Check out prevention tips here as well as basic info about Lyme from ILADS here

15 April 2016

Bedphones Review: No More Sore Ears!

I used to love falling asleep to music. I could never, ever go to sleep with complete silence looming about. That would mean turning on the TV or a fan. But honestly, nothing beats a soothing song, right? 

I have tried listening to different headphones but they are so uncomfortable for me, or they just make falling asleep with them on impossible. I stopped wearing over-the-ear headphones a while back because as much as I toss and turn at night, I cannot keep them on, and they've made both my ears and my head sore in the past. In-ear headphones became a problem soon after not only because they also leave my ears sore, but because I pierced a part of my inner ear, leaving absolutely no way for them to fit in my ear. What to do, what to do??

Bedphones! They allow me to listen to music without rubbing against my ear piercing or causing it pain, the sound experience is pretty good, and no sore ears!

bedphones box comfy blue

They really are surprisingly comfy against my ears. For some reason, the word "cloud" comes to mind when I wear these. I think it's because you don't have that much of a physical feeling with the Bedphones. It feels like you're wearing, in a way, a very thin...cloud.

wearing bedphones headphones

The main problem I had was first figuring out how to put the headphones on (even though the instructions that come with them are pretty clear) and I ended up applying the wire part a little too tight. No worries, though; right after that, I messed with it a little and everything was good to go.

The cables tangle pretty easily, which really is a bit of a problem, so I think I'm going to try to rig up something to hold them in place somehow. Everything else definitely makes up for that. I mean, really.

Like I said, the sound is pretty good. About average, I would say. I like that it's mainly acoustic because I don't want anything with heavy bass. Other headphones would wake me up in the middle of the night with a loud song, scaring me, but wearing these soothe me and are honestly just the right quality to sleep with. No headbanging here.

*I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review

31 March 2016

Book Review: The Doorkeepers by Graham Masterton

doorkeepers graham masterton horror thriller scary book 

Goodreads description (x): 
As far as her family knows, Julia Winward, a young American woman, has been missing in England for nearly a year. When her mutilated body is found floating in the Thames, her brother, Josh, is determined to find out what happened to his sister for all that time, and exactly who - or what - killed her.

But nothing Josh discovers makes any sense. Julia has been working for a company that went out of business sixty years ago, and living at an address that hasn't existed since World War II. The only one who might have been able to help Josh is Ella, a strange young woman with psychic abilities. But the doors she can open are far better left closed. For behind these doors lie secrets that should never be revealed - secrets too horrible to imagine.

My rating: 5 out of 5 hoots 

rating owl scale hoot 

I don't normally fall for the time travel or parallel universe type of stories for some reason—but after reading my first book by Graham Masterton, The Doorkeepers, I realized how silly I've been for skipping out on some great literature.

How action-packed this was and how quickly everything passed surprised me. Except, of course, for those truly horrific moments that made you want to close your eyes but at the same time press on to find out what in the world was going to happen!

The past few books I read before The Doorkeepers left me unfulfilled in a way because the authors didn't spend enough time with the characters; Masterton expanded on his book's characters so much that you feel for each of them in several different (and I mean different) ways. Some truly grotesque ways at that.
While there is a LOT going on in this book—so much that you may need a breather here and there—Masterton never fails to weave everything together. That is miraculous to me considering there are some heavy elements in this book, and many writers could easily fail at the task and leave giant plot holes in their wake.

A couple parts were pretty gruesome and made me wince. I almost felt a character's pain at one point and started squeezing my jaw so tightly it became sore. I felt a character's deep sorrow, I felt curiosity and anger. I almost wanted to be swept up and away in these different Londons. Almost.

I already want to read this book again...

*I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

28 March 2016

Playlist: "Strong Soft Songs"

Sunny leaves spring beautiful 

I've been listening to so many great artists lately but I haven't put up a playlist in a good while!
I was listening to one of the songs I'll be featuring today and thought, Today is the day.
That sounds a bit dramatic... But sometimes music can be dramatic too. I wonder if any of these songs will bring out some emotions in you today? Hopefully some good ones! Sing one in a pronounced opera voice. That's always fun for me.

As you've probably noticed, I like indie pop. It's just a nice kind of music. I listen to it when I'm happy, when I'm sad, as background music when I'm working or resting. It's good.
What I like about this artist, Beth Moore, is that her voice is lovely but also has a bit of a growl to it.

I love me a lot of '80s music, and what's best about this song is how much it sounds like it came out of the '80s. Plus, her voice just pulls me in...like what happens in that A-ha music video. Okay, let me return to 2016.

I was talking about the previous artist, Beth Moore, growling....well...check out the lead singer of this band and her growl. Rawrrrrrr.
This is the song I was listening to when I realized more people just had to listen to it and spread it around. It's a song I have been enjoying way too much but I know I'll keep enjoying it because it's too great for me not to.

This next and final song isn't exactly what I'm used to, but for some reason, it grabbed my attention; it made me happy! I hope it makes you happy as well on what is becoming a beautiful spring day here in North Carolina.

23 March 2016

Wordful Wednesday//I Need a Vacation from Being Sick...

My whole life is some whacked up version of

"I feel horrible, I slept at a hotel last night."


You know when you travel and nothing is actually in your complete control? For instance, no bed is comfy enough because it isn't yours? And when you finally make it back home, no matter how great the vacay, you just can't help but let out a giant sigh of relief as you flop down on your very own made-for-you bed. 

Here's the twist: my life is a vacation of sorts. But not what you're thinking; I can tell you're making that wrinkled face of confusion so let me explain. 

I feel like I'm lost in a foreign country with no map, unable to speak the language, with no one bothering to help me out. This is how it feels when I examine my body--myself--knowing I don't even understand what's going on with me half the time. In fact, most of the time I'm utterly confused. And worst of all, like the people in my comparison, doctors don't want to help me either. 

The whole loss of control bit is what scares me the most, and I dwell on it more than I should, and I know this. It fuels my anxiety, and it makes me question how my future days will be spent. Which, of course, leads to hopeless thoughts and cycles of chaos and depression. Opposite of how bubbly my character once was. 

My actual bed is really comfy. I can't complain there. It's where I tend to--no, have to--spend all my time, though. I have to rest. I can't overexert myself. I can't be stressed. I can't do anything. But at least my bed is comfy! 

I used to go camping what seemed like every weekend with my family. Our adventurous vacations thrilled me and revitalized me. They were also the most likely cause of how I contracted Lyme disease. Even so, I look back on the memories fondly. Mainly because I'm unable to participate in family camping anymore. But also because I remember what it felt like when we returned from camping, unlocked the door to the house--filling our nostrils with its sweet, special smell--set our bags down to be unpacked, and each went to our own rooms. I was able to lie back on my bed and breathe that familiar sigh of relief. This is my bed and I missed it. 

It is the same with my sick body. I will see photos or remember how it used to be with my previous life. An aura surrounding me, filled with happiness and a carefree energy. A skinny girl with a wide smile who could run and dream--full of energy, full of life. I catch glimpses of my former self and I think...This was my body. And I miss it.  

11 March 2016

Peplum: Pepped Up or Struck Out?

I'm a huge fan of the TV show Project Runway.
But it seems like on every single season, a contestant makes a peplum outfit and every single time, the judges DESPISE it.

If you're not familiar with the term "peplum," it's basically a bit of a skirt on top of a garment. It's popular for accentuating the hips as well, but sometimes it just...doesn't.

I think the reason so many people are so against peplum is because it takes them back to the harsh '80s peplum party dresses!

peplum party dress 80s peplum blue prom dress 80s polka dot red peplum dress 80s

I can see why with some of them, although if we're being completely honest here, I dig how unique a lot of the designs are! You can still see how we've built upon them with our peplums today.

Now that the peplum has regained its strength...which seems to happen in fashion a lot, history repeating itself, right?...it's interesting to see the controversy surrounding whether or not it's "in" or "out."

Please don't think this post is about whether or not you should wear peplum. Wear whatever you want. I'm speaking about the controversy behind it all around, the design itself, and well--just fashion!

What really makes me think peplum is here to stay--or will continue to pop up--is the fact that it is not just confined to dresses.

From tops like this comfy but chic one from Saks.

peplum top classy

To skirts like this amazing printed one.

china white blue printed peplum skirt

And dresses, of course cannot be left out. This Torrid dress is amazing!

plus size peplum dress

Lastly, there are plenty of jackets, swimsuits, who knows what else, and oh yeah! WEDDING DRESSES! Marchesa has does it again!

marchesa wedding dress peplum beautiful

After all of this, I'm asking, what are your thoughts on peplum?

01 March 2016

February Favorites

How is it already March??

This year has flown by, and it's just not fair. Sure, I didn't really enjoy the cold weather...and I'm definitely ready for springtime...but months have passed by and I really haven't noticed it until now. I just can't even begin to grasp that.

While I hope March is a good month for me and for you, I do have to say even though February went by extremely quickly, it was pretty great.
And one thing (or a few things) that made it so great was finding all kinds of "favorites" to enjoy!

This is my first "monthly favorites" post so bear with me!

First of all, February is my birthday month and I turned 25 on the 28th! Yay!

My mother bought me a gorgeous bouquet with some lovely purple flowers thrown in. Purple is both the color of my birthstone AND my favorite color. Very fitting.

bouquet birthday purple

My parents and I set up what started out as a popcorn bar and ended up as the former as well as a bar for someone with a huge sweet tooth. One thing I really loved that my mom made was something called zebra caramel popcorn. Even my dad liked it!

sweet tooth party bar birthday

I managed to win two BEAUTIFUL Henry London watches from Erin Howard's blog Happily Howards. I gave one to my mom and kept the other for myself. This is a rich, deep, dark purple and I absolutely love how well-made it is!

henry london giveaway purple watch

I bought this Nourish body butter in the scent "Wild Berries" from the shop called One Twine. I know it's currently out of stock but maybe it'll be back!
Honestly, I like this stuff better than my L'Occitane hand lotion! It's not greasy at all and the scent is subtle but still very berry scented. I've been using it a lot--when my mother isn't stealing it away!

onetwine body hand lotion wild berries nourish

Lastly, and most importantly on this list of favorites, I just have to add my puppydog Paisley.
She's been doing better when walking and she's not hyper 24/7 anymore so I can actually hang out with her and cuddle with her while we both watch TV. She's a good dog and cuter than me so I just have to give her a shout-out!

paisley puppy shorkie

Hope your February was great and that your March will be even better!

06 February 2016

{Widened Horizons}

The rainy weather has really taken a toll on my body here lately.
But it has also meant lots of tea for me to consume!

With that being said, you need to check out this really cool tea product my sister-in-law bought for me and that I've enjoyed with every cup of tea I've made!
I love that it holds my tea bag's string in place--that's one of my favorite features. However, it also: keeps your tea hot, allows you to squeeze the tea bag, and holds your teabag after use. I couldn't recommend it more.
tea bag buddy awesome cool

I don't know if it's because I've been watching the new X-Files or what, but this evidence pouch definitely reminds me of that TV series.
evidence pouch zipper

I'm all for big scarves, but I don't really like blanket scarves. Enter: chunky infinity scarves. I love how you can make this scarf a bit versatile and the leather cuff accessorizes it perfectly.
chunky infinity jersey scarf leather

I kind of have a quirky thing for coasters. I don't have many (several are vintage, one set is Game of Thrones related), but I do like to check them out every now and then. These comic book coasters featuring female superheros rock my boat! I especially love the fact that they added in Dorothy from Wizard of Oz!
comic book coasters female superheros fun

I love seeing what Etsy has to offer in the form of makeup. There are some really neat pieces that could fix me up in no time and leave me feeling better about what I'm putting on my face. I'm especially intrigued by lip products, like this bright red vegan lipstick called "Damsel." It's a good price too at $9.
vegan lipstick red damsel

OK, brace yourselves...the owl find is a little aged but it's SO COOL. They are said to be owl paper clips but can be used for other decorative ways. I wish I could come up with a fresh way to incorporate them into my already owl-filled bedroom! Give me ideas!
owl paper clips vintage cool

Now...go be kind!
kindness confetti be kind

Quick Links: