17 December 2016

HeadAid Natural Migraine Relief: Review and Giveaway!

If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know by now that I suffer from chronic migraines. I take preventative and abortive prescription medications but do welcome any form of natural relief.

HeadAid, for instance, is a natural alternative to prescription meds with proven ingredients that I was thankfully able to try out for free.

I’ve never really tried anything like this product to be honest. HeadAid is simple: it's an effervescent powder that you mix in with water, in the form of a convenient individual stick pack. One of the ingredients found in all three stick packs is magnesium. This is GREAT because many migraneurs are deficient in magnesium, and the lack of it can cause their migraines.

headache headaid natural relief migraine

On the day of a shopping trip,  knowing full-well it was going to be a busy and frantic ordeal, I placed one of the lemon ginger sticks into my purse in case I would need it. I am so glad I did that because--you guessed it--a migraine came my way. The lemon ginger surprised me by relieving the throbbing pain I get right before a huge migraine and basically knocked most of the migraine out. Awesome!

The lemon ginger flavor is called the "fast-acting day abortive" one because you take it at the onset of a migraine to help reduce symptoms during the day. It's probably my favorite even though I find the ginger a bit overwhelming. I feel like it works the best for me in that it really seems to be fast-acting, like its name says. AND the caffeine in it gives me a bit of a boost, not to mention my nausea eases off because of the ginger.

headache headaid migraine relief lemon ginger

The berry flavor (preventative) and the chamomile ginger (fast-acting night abortive) weren't samples I used nearly as much as the lemon ginger, but I did enjoy them--especially the berry. I just really wanted to emphasize the lemon ginger because of how well my body reacted to it. It really seemed to work the best for me out of the bunch. All three tasted well (something I was scared of at first), and they all shook up just fine in a water bottle. Simple, tasty, effective!

As for the giveaway...

I will be giving away three HeadAid trial packs to one lucky winner!
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am giving away three trial packs to one individual. The giveaway ends on January 12th. This is only open to entrants over the age of 18 in the US. Winner will be chosen by random and notified by e-mail. Winner must reply within 48 hours. The sponsor is responsible for mailing the prize. 

*I received this product to try for free but all opinions all my own.

26 October 2016

10 Must-See Horror Movies on Netflix & Hulu

Everyone needs a good list of horror movies to watch for Halloween. Or just to watch in general.
Here are ten horror movies I would recommend--some you may not know, some called "cult classics," and one in particular just there for comic relief. I'll bet you can guess which one that is.

The movies are in no particular order...just some horror/thriller/suspense films I know you can watch if you are able to get access to Netflix or Hulu. I had the idea to make this post when I read several other lists, most including movies I couldn't get my hands on because they weren't available to me unless I went out of my way to get them. And who has time for that?!

If you have any suggestions for me, comment and recommend them to me!
If you've seen any of these movies, let me know what you think.

1. Honeymoon (2014)

honeymoon movie horror

*available on Netflix*

A newlywed couple finds their lake-country honeymoon descend into chaos after Paul finds Bea wandering and disoriented in the middle of the night.

Honeymoon leans more on the sci-fi side, but trust me when I say that does not excuse it from the horror category. This is a nice little gem of a movie, and I hope you find it every little bit as exciting and horrifying as I did. 

2. Ginger Snaps (2000)

ginger snaps horror movie

*available on Hulu*

Two death-obsessed sisters, outcasts in their suburban neighborhood, must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf.

The movie featured here, Ginger Snaps, is one that I've re-watched a million times since first seeing it in my younger years. Of course, it was much scarier then, but it still holds up now. There are so many different thoughts about what exactly is the meaning behind this unique movie. Watch it and let me know what you think. 

3. The Collector (2009)

the collector movie horror

*available on Hulu*

Desperate to repay his debt to his ex-wife, an ex-con plots a heist at his new employer's country home, unaware that a second criminal has also targeted the property, and rigged it with a series of deadly traps.

This movie got me. It was one of those "makes the hair on your arms stand up" kind of movies. The Collector just had a good storyline and a good execution. And a good "collector."

4. Chained (2012)

chained movie horror

*available on Hulu*

Bob, a cab-driving serial killer who stalks his prey on the city streets alongside his reluctant protégé Tim, who must make a life or death choice between following in Bob's footsteps or breaking free from his captor.
Chained is a bit...different. It's slow and it's unique. David Lynch's daughter is the director so if you know who he is, you'll know right away what "different" will probably mean. Either way, this is a good one. 

5. The Descent (2005)

the descent monster horror movie

*available on Hulu*

A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

The Descent is a creature flick that probably isn't for everyone. You're either going to feel frightened or feel silly about it. I loved it because of how the characters' terror radiated through the screen; my friends on the other hand, hated it.

6. The Others (2001)

the others horror suspense movie

*available on Hulu*

A woman who lives in a darkened old house with her two photosensitive children becomes convinced that her family home is haunted.

I added The Others because it's more of a suspenseful flick that is slow and less "in your face" while still keeping you on your toes. It's also something many people can watch because it leans on the "lighter" side of horror. However, it will--eventually--grab you.

7. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

the blair witch project horror movie

*available on Hulu*

Three film students vanish after traveling into a Maryland forest to film a documentary on the local Blair Witch legend, leaving only their footage behind.

When this movie first came out, so many people were fooled into thinking it was true. That's horrifying! When I first watched The Blair Witch Project though, I tried to fool myself into thinking the same. No wonder I still get shivers up my spine when I think about this one...

8. The Amityville Horror (1979)

the amityville horror 1979 original movie

*available on Hulu*

Newlyweds move into a large house where a mass murder was committed, and experience strange manifestations which drive them away.

An instant cult classic, The Amityville Horror is known for being loosely based on a true story. To me, that instantly makes a movie more creepy. This is up there with The Shining and The Exorcist for me. 

9. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

the silence of the lambs horror movie

*available on Hulu*

A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.

Pretty well-known, I love how disturbing Anthony Hopkins is in this movie. He barely--if ever--even blinks. The Silence of the Lambs does a great job of focusing on not one, but two characters who will make you squirm in your seat. Especially when it comes to a familiar one-liner said by the infamous Hannibal Lecter... 

10. Tucker and Dale vs Evil (2010)

tucker and dale vs evil horror movie comedy fun

*available on Netflix and Hulu*

Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are attacked by a group of preppy college kids.

Finally, for my last pick, a horror-comedy. You know...just for fun! Yes, it's actually pretty gory (going to go ahead and tell ya), but if you're up for laughs, Tucker and Dale vs Evil is PERFECT for you.

17 October 2016

Review: Axon Optics Migraine Glasses

Disclaimer: I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

axon optics jura style migraine glasses

I have been sensitive to light for a long time now. I also have chronic migraines. The two seem to go hand-in-hand. It’s such a mess whenever you feel like you can’t go anywhere with bright lights, or other certain types of lights, because they may trigger a migraine.

Going outside is an obvious problem. Big box stores are a HUGE problem because of the fluorescent lights. But what people don’t always realize is that staying indoors can even set off migraines with light beaming off of ceiling lights or reading lamps, and yes sometimes even the television, the computer, the smartphone… Things chronically ill people like myself depend on day-to-day for news, social interaction, work, etc

The company Axon Optics helped deliver relief for me with these JURA style migraine glasses.
Axon Optics offers glasses available for use in the home, for outdoors, and glasses than can be used for both purposes. I chose to review indoor glasses since that's where I spend most of my days (cue The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song).

I would wear these glasses when a migraine would first strike--even in a room that was only dimly lit--and I could easily notice less strain on my eyes with (for the most part) a usually milder migraine in the process.
I tried to wear these as a type of prevention for migraines as well, but found that to be a bit aggravating because I don’t necessarily want to wear these every single day of my life. If I know I am going to be in front of or around excess lighting, I try to pop these suckers on, but I just don't find the idea of wearing glasses for my every movement appealing.

I enjoyed wearing them when I was on my laptop. For me, this is the electronic device I seem to use the most and the one that generally brings about a migraine the most. To have a product that prevented a migraine or at least wore it down was awesome!

What makes these glasses so special? Well, they have what's called the SpectraShield FL-41 lenses in them. They sound like something James Bond would wear, but what they manage to do is "block specific wavelengths that are known to trigger light-sensitive conditions" What's more? You can only find these lenses as Axon Optics.

axonoptics glass migraine modelled

The glasses weren’t uncomfortable on me, just took a bit to get used to. Even then though, you still want to see through “your eyes” every now and then instead of through...rose-tinted-glasses. Ha!
I appreciate that they aren’t TOO dark; this works comparatively better than wearing sunglasses inside for me. Sometimes I thought, “Wow, these aren’t dark enough to do anything, they’re probably barely even working!” But then when I would remove them, I would notice the light flooding my eyes. So yeah, they work!

The style is not anything I had a problem with. At first I thought they looked like something a ‘50s rock-n-roll musician would wear, but then I thought...what’s wrong with that? I quickly adjusted to them, especially once I realized what wonders they were doing for my headaches/migraines. Whenever a product is working, sometimes you just don’t care if it looks silly or not. In this case, the Axon Optics glasses aren’t just made nice, they look nice too!

29 September 2016

Review: HoneyColony Equilibrium Energy Superfood

Disclaimer: I have been given this product as part of a product review through the Chronic Illness Bloggers network. Although the product was a gift, all opinions in this review remain my own and I was in no way influenced by the company.

You all know by now that I have a chronic illness that leaves me so fatigued that I have barely any energy (ever). So of course I was excited to be given the opportunity to try out a new product that could possibly improve my energy levels as well as my overall health. My mornings are when I feel my best, but slowly--no, quickly--I go downhill from there. I'm always looking for something that would keep "my best" moving forward throughout the day. That's where the HoneyColony Equilibrium Energy Superfood kicks in for me!

honeycolony energy superfood

The HoneyColony Equilibrium Energy Superfood did seem to give me energy, but at times it was more of a restless energy. The kind where you twiddle your thumbs and shake one of your legs. Like you’re in a doctor’s waiting room. I didn’t really like that part. Other than that, there were days where I could tell I did have lasting energy without the restlessness. Those were definitely good days. I found myself being able to hop on my stationary bike and ride, baby, ride! Okay...even if it was only for 15 minutes or so. That's more than progress for me!

But...please don't let the idea that it made me restless turn you off to the product. I really wonder two things:

  1. If I kept up with it for more than a month, would the restlessness subside?
  2. Was this just a "me" thing?...
The packaging is beautiful and looks quite professional, chic, and fancy. When you open it up however, you think, “What.is.this?” Some kind of yucky caviar knock-off? Ha! It may look a little strange, but trust me, the taste and the ingredients more than make up for it. You would be surprised what all are in this neat looking bottle!
Turmeric, for instance, was a big seller on my end. I was already taking a turmeric capsule for various reasons--one of them being in hopes that it would help my energy levels! ...One less pill for me now that it's included in the Equilibrium Energy Superfood! Hurrah!

The honey taste and SMELL partners well with the overwhelming ginger as well as the other ingredients that you may not taste, but that are definitely working their magic like medicinal mushrooms, blue algae, and prebiotics. Oh! And speaking of honey... included in this jar is 100% raw honey that is "pure, natural, and potent."

I quite enjoyed the taste. If you’re not a big fan of ginger or a strong bite of ginger aftertaste, I think you would need something to eat with this to cover that up with. For me, I smeared a bit of this (about a teaspoon or half a teaspoon) on a piece of toast. But it was just as good on its own!

Would I recommend this? Yes, I would.
I have to applaud HoneyColony for coming up with this superfood! It was a joy to eat, awesome to try out, and something I hope others will try so they can share their experiences with me.

25 August 2016

Thursday Threads: Boho Buttercup

Boho Buttercup fringe bohemian flare jeans

Boho Buttercup by thezorya featuring wood wall art

Just let me start out by saying I cannot get enough of flares this year, and I'm sure I'll be seeing them well into fall. So when I spotted these high rise flares? *Swoon* Love at first sight

I also paired wedges with jeans the last time I made a Thursday Threads post, but when I was faced with fringe + flare this time around, I knew I had to combine the two to equal bohemian perfection. It was fate, guys. (Not to mention the wedges almost match the beautiful lipstick I picked out!)

Of course, I had to add a nice little cotton shirt in with everything, and even though it might look plain, it actually does the outfit justice with its slight details. 

And really...what's a "boho buttercup" outfit without a SMILE?!

Are you still digging flare jeans? 

18 August 2016

Book Review: Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

behind closed doors ba paris psych thriller book

Goodreads description (x):
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You might not want to like them, but you do. Though, you’d like to get to know Grace better. But it’s difficult, because you realise Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love. Others might ask why Grace never answers the phone. Or how she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. And why there are bars on one of the bedroom windows. Sometimes, the perfect marriage is the perfect lie.

My rating: 5 out 5 hoots

hoots book rating five

I admit, when I first started reading, I thought this book might be similar to a couple others I've read in the past. However, once the pace picked up a bit, I understood right away why Behind Closed Doors was going to stand out from the rest...

I like to think reading a psychological thriller is--of course--going to be intense and nerve-wracking, but worth it. Especially when I can try to figure out what's really going on "behind closed doors" if the book calls for it. Not only did this book call out for me to strive to do just so while reading, but also while eating, cleaning, and yes--sleeping! The twists just kept me thinking night and day.

It doesn't take a detective to figure out what this book's about. However, that certainly doesn't take away from how enthralling it is. Once you dive in, you're immersed in Grace's world until you finally come up for air. It's hard to see what's headed your way.

Paisley was even intrigued by the book!

paisley dog book behind closed doors

And the ending... The ending is "perfect" as Grace's husband, Jack Angel, would say.

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

16 July 2016

{Widened Horizons}

I love learning about new things--and discovering new things in particular. From music to literature to film. Home decor, fashion...you get the idea...
Even if not necessarily "brand new," it can be from the '20s and still be NEW to me. So when I find something that really grabs me, I just have to show someone else; it makes me feel appreciated!
Here's where you guys come in.
I like to think of this as some form of mutualism. I benefit from being able to share with the world (ahem...the readers of my blog) what I've recently discovered, and all of you get to look upon all these neat things and maybe even own them! Hurrah!

Keeping that in mind, I figured a new Widened Horizons post was in order!
You don't have to raise your glass to that, but it'd be nice. Actually...if you prefer instead to keep your glass on the table, these lily pad coasters could be just your thing!
waterlily coaster ceramic coaster

Now THIS is too cute...a planter for your bicycle! You just clip it onto the handlebars, add in your favorite flowers, and you're ready to take off!
planter flower geo bicycle coral

I've seen so many watermelon and other fruit bags lately but THIS is the CUTEST of them ALL.
watermelon suede crossbody bag cute

I have never laughed so hard at a coffee cup. Need this UFO mug NOW.
funny ufo coffee mug

If you're a Game of Thrones fan like I am, then you'll probably get a huge kick out of this House Stark "Tea is Coming" teapot.
tea is coming house stark game of thrones

The owl find of this post is charming and practical... it's a key holder!!
owl cabinet key holder wooden

Here's to a good day full of magic.
magic alice in wonderland quote

Quick Links:

28 June 2016

What's Your Poison?: Botox for Migraines

Head in Hands migraine chronic pain
This guy feels my pain

I have a longstanding history of chronic migraines.
Ruthless migraines.
They were the first symptom of my Lyme disease and unfortunately, they've stuck with me just like the Lyme disease has.

I have suffered from migraines since I was around 15 or 16 years old--but back then, I thought it was normal for everyone to have a headache every single day! Of course, my migraines were nowhere close to being as severe back then as they are now.

Several medications have helped here and there, but nothing seems to be the one.
I've found Imitrex to be a complete savior when one of those migraines comes around that just completely knocks you down. The only thing that would save you would be sleep, but the pain is so bad you can't sleep. In those cases, Imitrex pretty much saves the day.

If you suffer from migraines like I do, you know it's not "just a headache."
It can range somewhere in-between a feeling of being in that scene from Psycho to pulling an 18-wheeler truck from chains attached to your forehead. Yeah, I went there.

When you're in that much pain daily, you'll do almost whatever you can in your power to take the pain away. Right?!

My neurologist had actually suggested Botox a while back but I mildly brushed it off, thinking oral medications should and would work. Then I basically forgot about it--mostly because I just didn't think insurance would pay for it.

But on my most recent visit, as I came stumbling in with dark sunglasses covering my sickly face, about to vomit over anyone or everyone due to the massive migraine I was experiencing, she turned me again to the idea of Botox. This time, I couldn't say no. Especially when insurance decided they would pay. Even though you usually need to have Botox treatments 3-4 times a year, I would STILL take that over medicine that was barely even working 1-3x day!

When I first saw the eye doctor, he was pretty straightforward and thorough as to what would happen with the Botox procedure.
He even drew me out a little chart showing me where the Botox would be inserted. I don't know why, but I found this oddly reassuring before I went in for the procedure a few weeks later. I felt prepared. Like, "Yep. Gonna get some needles here. A few there. I'll be good." I guess it was because my eyes were going to be closed and for the most part, I'm so used to seeing  what's going on with a lot of my medical procedures. I know this was NOTHING compared to what I've gone through before, but when anything is near my eyeballs, it freaks me out a bit.

Now. You're probably wondering. DID IT HURT? 

To be honest, I figure it really depends on where exactly in your face you are getting the shots. For the most part, around my eyes and forehead, it just felt like someone tweezing my face. Some places were a little more painful...it wasn't quite like a bee sting...it was more like a fire ant bite.
The worst for me was around the arches of my eyebrows, actually. You know where you can press down on your eyebrows for sinus relief, and when you do, it really hurts but at the same time it feels really good? Yeah well this just really hurt.

So...what about relief, right??

It's been about a week, the time frame of which the eye doc said the Botox would probably kick in. A family member asked me the other day if it had been working and I started to tell them I didn't know yet, but then I realized I hadn't had a headache or a migraine the past two days. I have no idea if it's a coincidence or not yet, but I'm excited to see! Fingers crossed, I'll keep you all up-to-date on this journey of mine...