31 December 2014

Book Review: Stella Bain by Anita Shreve

anita shreve stella bain book cover review

 Goodreads description (x):
When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield. In a narrative that takes us from London to America and back again, Shreve has created an engrossing and wrenching tale about love and the meaning of memory, set against the haunting backdrop of a war that destroyed an entire generation.

 My rating: 4 out of 5 hoots

book review scale owl 

I have a huge interest in reading books about war. I picked this book up before I even read the synopsis, so it was really just luck that it happened to revolve around World War I. In college, I took both a history class on The Great War and a literature class where we read books acknowledging The Great War, so this is definitely a book I would have chosen eventually. 

Our main character, Stella Bain--who tells us the story through her eyes--is a strong female character who I was in awe of and identified with. She's likeable right away, and is a well-developed character. When it's aware that she has shell shock (now usually known as PTSD), I was also intrigued because Anita Shreve did a good job of both detailing what exactly shell shock is, how numbing it can be in all counts, and how it can also affect women. I'm sure in Stella Bain's time (early 1900's) they simply brushed her symptoms off as hysteria because she was a woman. It made me think of today and how many women suffering from chronic illnesses are misdiagnosed or not even diagnosed at all because doctors state everything is just "all in their head." Yep, the hysteria still continues. 

The book was so well-written. I had never before read an Anita Shreve book, but from some of the Goodreads reviews, it seems like her other books are wonderful as well. Stella Bain was full of amusing words, a vast array of pensive quotes, and humor in time of a world of sadness. 

stella bain anita shreve quote book review great war world war

 The foremost reason I did not rate this book even higher was due to the last half--especially the quick ending which kind of jumps suddenly out at you. I was not impressed with the speed nor the ending itself.

Right before the sudden ending was a drawn out court case in which Stella Bain tries to gain custody of one of her children. I did think this was a bit interesting and that it was handled differently than usual, but also that it was given too much detail to. It probably could've been dropped. I mean, did I enjoy some of the parts? Yes, but did I think it really added to the story? Not so much. It really was just a long precursor added in as an excuse for Stella to go back to London where the story then ends (I'm not giving everything away).

For whatever reason, after Stella regains herself, the book just wasn't as interesting. It's like Stella found life and the book itself closed off its own chapters of life. Does that make sense? It became a little boring, then, and it's not necessarily because she was a different person and all that, it was just because the book changed. Like I said, it has a lot to do with the court case, especially.

I would recommend this book, still.
If you like books regarding war, bits of psychology or medicine, romance, and books that make you angry at the end (just kidding!)... Give it a try.

24 December 2014

UNi Argan Oil Review

While this organic UNi Argan Oil has many uses, I've mainly used it on my hands and on my face for the past month or so.

I did try it on my hair, but found it made it greasier. I don't know if that would have eventually evened itself out after a few more uses or not, but I wasn't ready to try since I have enough trouble trying to get the grease out as it is. (Dry shampoo, I love you.)

Although it claims to just have a "light nutty scent," my family members found the scent absolutely repulsive. My dad said I smelled like--and I'm quoting on his behalf--a dirty hippie. I actually didn't mind the scent, truth be told. Being completely honest, I kind of liked it. It gave off just a hint of an earthy scent. It wasn't pungent to me, or anything like my family members gave the impression of. Either my smeller is broken or something's up... (Although I did read some Amazon reviews where other people felt like the scent was pretty nasty too, just a head's up.)

I do like how the bottle comes with a little dropper. This way I don't have to worry about pouring too much into my hands, and it's just right for when I want a small amount for my cuticles. Yes, this stuff's great for your hands AND your cuticles!

argan oil bottle review image beauty

I didn't use a lot of it on my body other than my hands, but when I did, I used it on my ashy elbows and it always seemed to soak in quite well and last for a good time without having used more than a few drops of the oil. When using it on my hands, it always felt like a spa experience. Actually, anytime I used the Argan Oil it felt a bit like a spa experience. I hope if you use this stuff you'll say the same. Or if you've used it before, you'll agree. It was just so nice to have something that moisturized my hands without feeling too greasy or being too hard to work in--especially now that it's winter time.

The best part about this product for me was definitely using it as a moisturizer on my face. After taking a shower and making sure my face was nice, fresh, and clean, I would apply some of the Argan Oil all over my face (except for my lips, even though it says you can do so--I didn't like the taste). I tend to get dry patches lightly on my cheeks and heavily on my eyebrows, but after using the Argan Oil every time my face was clean, I noticed improvements in how much less I was using regular moisturizer when it came time to put on makeup.

This is 100% pure Argan Oil. Pure organic Argan Oil. So this is the good stuff.
And like I said before, there are so many uses for this product. From treating split ends, to reducing sunburns and rashes,  to even helping with psoriasis! 
My mother has eczema and very dry skin. I'm hoping to get her a bottle of her own so she can try the Argan Oil out for herself. 

If you want to try it out for yourself, you can click the link at the very top to take you to Amazon's website where you can check out how neat the product is, or you can take a look at the product at the actual website here.

*I received this product for free to review. All opinions above are honest and mine.

15 December 2014

Macabre Monday: Dark Mountain

dark mountain 2014 movie film review horror

I think most of us here can say that we've seen The Blair Witch Project and ultimately--at least back then--it was freaky and scary and something in a new vein altogether.

Dark Mountain (2013), another found footage film, will have you saying something along the lines of, "Hey isn't this a lot like--" Yep. Do not even say it because it's already been said for you, in fact, in the movie itself.

BUT, I do have to say that most found footage films bring me back, in a sense, to The Blair Witch Project. So even though there are immense similarities between the two films that have been pointed out, I'll try to steer away from the witchiness aspect in this review.

You know what the TBWP is about--what's this ominously titled Dark Mountain about, huh?
Well, first of all, let me just start by saying that the title caught my eye because it reminded me of a place near where I used to live called Black Mountain. So that's something.

Now that I have that off my chest, the scenery in the movie is completely different from where I used to live. Yes, there are mountains. But in the movie, the mountains are desert mountains. Why? Because the characters--a filmmaker and her two guy friends--are in the Superstition Mountains located in Arizona. WHY? (I sound like a little kid.) Because they're looking for the notorious Lost Dutchman mine.

lost dutchman mine movie dark mountain film horror

Apparently the Lost Dutchman mine has some misfortunes that surround it. From hardcore legends, to strange phenomena, to missing people, and even deaths...this sounds like nothing to mess around with!

What I really appreciate in horror films is when they add an aspect of realness to the plot. Especially something historical. Apparently the Lost Dutchman mine is alive and well--or once was, who knows?

After interviewing a few locals--and I mean real locals--the gang begins their trek to find the lost mine and all its gold.

One thing that really annoyed me right off the bat was that these shoddy camera phone scenes were used which looked like they were using some Instagram filter named something like "1970's Camaro Douche"--I MEAN REALLY.

Let's just take a gander...
dark mountain screenshot instagram hulu movie horror film
Gross, just gross. Get it away!

Aside from the...whatever is above...and the long, pondering silences...and the nods to TBWP, I did enjoy the film, I have to say.

I'm one that usually likes ambiguous endings. Where the viewer has to decide--was it this that happened, was it that, were they all just crazy, am I crazy?

This is one of those films. The way I see it, that means a lot of other people aren't going to like the ending because most people want a straight up-and-down answer.

Endings don't always sit well with me, though. Movies are hard to end. Anything is hard to end. That's why I try to judge the rest of the film even more.

Which is why I'm now asking myself: Did the movie freak me out a bit?
Yes. And that's why I'm recommending it.

14 December 2014

{Widened Horizons}

(Sunday, Sunday, Sunday.)

We've all made it through another week.
This month has been flying by for me. Which is almost frightening considering I still don't have all my Christmas shopping done--oops!

I've been scouring the Internet in full force this weekend. Which is why this Widened Horizon's post rules. Maybe you'll even find that special something you've been hunting for, for that special someone, that you really didn't even know you were looking for. Uh...right?


These awesome fortune teller knee socks!
fortune teller knee socks crystal ball cool
I see...
I see you buying these...

I love knee high socks. They're stylish, they're cute, and they're comfy-cozy.
This shag cardigan looks to be all of those things and more. And it's perfect for winter!
shag cardigan winter fluffy white

You know what else goes well with all of the above? COFFEE. Especially a coffee mug that is full of sass.
This "introvert" coffee mug is something I have been coveting since I saw it last week! I. need. it.
introvert coffee mug cup funny cute

Something my family and I really need to do is organize better. I mean organize everything better.
Since it's winter, and we're taking advantage of the fireplace, I think it's time we organize how we stack our wood instead of just piling it all up in a corner by the fireplace. While this log hoop stands no chance of realistically fitting into our house, I WISH it could. At least it gives us an idea of a better way to organize our wintry ways. 
fireplace firewood wood log hoop organize organization

I have to admit, I am kind of freaking out about what to wear over the holidays.
Since I mainly wear dresses, I am limited in my choices, by that doesn't mean I have to wear the same type of dresses every day.
This beautifully colored plus size swing dress is just darling! I already own a Stop Staring! dress and although I rarely get the chance to wear it, it is well-crafted and one of my finest dresses.
eggplant purple swing dress retro vintage pinup stop staring plus size

For the owl find, I discovered this really neat necklace that seals with a cork; it can actually be used to hold essential oils! I know how my essential oil, Chill Pill, really calms me while I'm at home. I can't imagine being able to carry that around with me while I'm grocery shopping or outside the home in general, faced with an anxiety-inducing situation.
owl bottle necklace cork essential oil neat

Now, keep on dreaming!
tumblr keep on dreaming motivation

Quick Links: 

(Image of sweater dress below. How cool is this?!)

    refashionista ugly sweater christmas dress great awesome sew sewing 

Are you done with your Christmas shopping?

10 December 2014

Wordful Wednesday//Mind This (Migraines)

I had yet another migraine over the weekend.
And I had a migraine yesterday afternoon.
What's new?

I'm a bit put off by possibly telling someone I'm experiencing a migraine or that I had to bail out of plans from a migraine because of bad past experiences.

There is stigma with saying, "I have a headache/a migraine, I can't do that right now, sorry."
The person can (in my experience) interpret you as lazy, unwilling to do the job, unfit to do the job. Your friend might see that as you telling them you don't want to hang out anymore and a gap might soon wedge itself between the two of you.

The next time your friend says, "Let's get coffee." And you say, "I have a migraine." They'll kind of scoff and shrug and say, "It's no big deal." But they're tired of it.

I've suffered from migraines since I was in high school; although, back then, I thought they were just "very bad headaches" or "weird vision thingies."

What I was never told was that my migraines would possibly get worse.
And they did.
What started out as having to maybe set myself and my world back an hour--a few hours--came into being something that can now set me back sometimes as long as a week.
And that's with noise, lights, certain smells, ~everything~ bothering me, irritating me, making the pounding in my head feel like an alien is about to burst through. (Seriously, I picture that scene from the movie Alien.)

The medication I mainly take--Imitrex--even bothers me. I can only truly take it twice a week, which is basically ridiculous considering my migraines can attack more often than that. AND, the side effects are horrendous. You feel like you're in a sauna--hot and sticky, sweaty to the max; you're even more nauseous than the migraines make you, which is really saying something; irritable, irritable, irritable; and possibly the worst of them all, you feel sore all over--like bruised--and this can last for days.

No other medicine seems to help me. Unless...I manage to take a pain pill RIGHT when I feel a migraine coming on. But this is tricky because it has to be timed almost perfectly. And life doesn't always have the best timing. What's more, I don't want to feel like I'm becoming dependent on pain pills. What a predicament, huh?

Some symptoms I experience from my migraines are:
  •  Feeling lightheaded, nauseous
  • Heartbeat constantly pounding in ears
  • Seeing an aura, visual problems
  • PAIN: left temple, behind left eye. Stabbing, searing, throbbing pain
  • Sounds echo and are increased. That mixed with my misophonia = a world of trouble
  • Exhaustion. Just feel drained all over
  • Irritability
  One of the worst things about migraines is they really put your life on hold. What you need to do when you are having an attack is just set everything aside (I mean everything) and just rest. Or try to rest. Sometimes the pain is really so bad that rest and sleep are impossible.

What I do instead a lot of the time is try to go about my normal routine in hopes that the migraine will go away. Like it'll just sense that I'm not having its crap that day and leave me alone. Now, I know that this will never work but I still do it. Why? Because I want to be normal.

Still yet, I am my own worst enemy by doing this.

I'll try to stay off the laptop and do other things like knit or read or watch Netflix. But even those things do not help my migraine.

I think a part of me is, even after all these years, still in denial that something can break me down so much. In college, my migraines were a large part of why I was so full of stress and why I started doing badly in school.

I started vomiting in class, having to take naps in class, having to excuse myself because the fluorescent lights were driving me crazy. Every time I worse sunglasses in class, a part of my accommodations, a student would complain that they should be able to wear their shades as well. The stress really got to me. Then the stress would cause me to have a migraine! It was a never-ending cycle.

Migraines are mental, physical, and emotional drains on your body.

 What I need to learn is that sometimes those migraines are breaks for me. They could be my body's way of telling me I need to stop stressing. I need time away from the laptop and the television. I need peace and quiet and rest.

Joan Didion wrote a piece, one of my favorites, called "In Bed" where she recounts her own experience with migraines. It's really beautiful and when I found myself reading it for an assignment in college, I knew it was just for me.

At the very end of the piece, after talking about how painful migraines are and how much of a burden they are, Didion explains that once a migraine is gone, it's like everything is new again. She says, at the very end of the personal essay, "I count my blessings."

In a way, migraines make for a clean slate. They create this terrible pain and then this giant calm. Afterwards, we are so grateful that we recognize everything anew. We are ready to take on the world.

That is how I hope to look at my migraines. Silver lining in everything, right? They are hated. They are ugly. They are painful.
But they make me grateful.

05 December 2014

Playlist: "It's Raining, It's Pouring"

Bye bye summer

Rain rain rain rain rain rain...
Go away!

As for dancing in the rain? It's not really my thing--sick people don't want to get even more sick--but maybe these beats might change my mind. Or maybe I can live vicariously through you ;)

Starting off with a really artsy music video, I chose to include this song because...well, just listen to it/watch it and learn why!

"News" by Freddie Dickson is very moody, and I like it. Someone compared it to music Lorde would make. I don't have a problem with that.

The lyrics to this next one are really interesting. The entire song is interesting, honestly. I can see these guys going places.

Have you seen any rain lately?

03 December 2014

Wordful Wednesday//Holidaze

Let's face it, the holidays are exhausting for everyone. 

But when you're left tired from simply taking a shower or cooking your own breakfast, you might not be able to make it through what everyone expects you to. Especially when it comes to socializing and engaging in all the hubbub that comes with a full table of family members. 

There's just not enough energy to spend on others when you are trying to look after yourself. 

Aaanddd...that's exactly what happened to me over Thanksgiving. I did try to take part in activities, but my body just couldn't handle it. After about a five hour car ride, I was basically immobilized for two days with my joints all out of whack, auras from both migraines and seizures, and that just horrible crummy feeling all over. While the rest of my family was out eating, or inside playing the games Charades or Catch Phrase, I was tucked under the covers suffering. 

I think what bothered me the most, what really made me cry, what angered me over my illness was that my family all had their picture taken beside the waterfront. Beautiful picture. What was missing? Me. I felt absolutely awful. What's more, I felt invisible. I didn't even want to go onto Facebook to see the pictures there, reminding me of how my illness has taken away my ability to be with my family. 

You know when you're younger, you almost always hate having your picture taken with family, and you really hate going to family gatherings? I remember faking colds so I could get out of them sometimes. 
You're like OH MY GOSH, I want to stay home in my pj's, play video games, and watch TV instead. 
I'm so backwards now. Instead of going to all these holiday dinners, I'm at home, watching Netflix and surfing the web. Always in pain. Always exhausted from being sick and from asking God, "Why?" 

If you caught some crud over the holidays, I hope you get well soon. But I also hope you got to be with your family--to spend that special time with them. Treasure those moments. Even the ones you love to hate. Be grateful for Grandma's horrible fruitcake that no one touches. And make sure to appear in those photos you say you don't want to be in. 

01 December 2014

Macabre Monday: Beneath

movie beneath horror film

Like any "inspired by true events" film, the intro starts us off with that reminder in bold text. 
However, many films that are "inspired" by true events are just that--inspired. This movie is no exception. So when I saw a tag underneath the film that said "supernatural," I knew something was up. 

Taking place in a coal mine after a horrific collapse, the regular miners, a rookie, and a daughter of a retiring miner all have to figure out how to stay alive until help arrives--which will be in 72 hours. 

The main character, Sam, who is the retiring coal miner's daughter (sorry but I had to), is out of her element, confused, and panicked. As she should be. 

With what one of the characters, Randy (Joey Kern: Cabin Fever, Super Troopers), keeps calling "bad air," comes the disappearance and the killings of the miners.

randy joey kern mine beneath

With no answer as to who may be the culprit, the miners are picked off one by one until there are only a few left.

It begins to seem like all the miners are hallucinating--and we know for sure that Sam is from the special effects that are presented.

What happens next, at the end, is stupid, mystifying, and confusing all at the same time. It's one of those "let the audience decide what really happened" kind of things. I'm still not sure how I feel about it.

But really, it's definitely left an impression. Which is why I picked this film for today's Macabre Monday. It's been compared to the movie The Descent, which is huge in my book. Although, let's be real, The Descent is much better!

08 November 2014

Playlist: "Stops My Mouth"

how sweet it is to be loved by you

I wanted some up-beat tunes for this week. Something to raise your spirits. (And mine.)
While I hope these tunes actually don't stop your mouth because instead you'll be singing them, I just had to title this playlist the same as one of the songs listed. It resonated with me right now, and the song is one that I haven't been able to knock out of my head. I hope you like it--and the other songs--as much as I do. Cheers!

If I honestly considered myself to have guilty pleasures, this first song would definitely be a guilty pleasure of mine. Get it? Get it? The title?? Okay, I'll stop.

Talk about upbeat and making me happy, this song just makes me want to close my eyes and pretend I'm floating on a cloud of nice tunes.

It's amazing how many elements that I like are weaved together to create this awesome tune that inspired this post's title. I feel so positive towards it. You should too. FEEL IT.

Did you catch yourself tapping your foot, nodding your head, or even wanting to sing along to any of these melodies?

21 October 2014

5 Spooky TV Series Worth Watching

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

buffy vampire slayer crossbow angel

While it's not spot-on horror, this is still a must-watch series in terms of spookiness, action, and fun. (Oh, and we can't forget those Buffy one-liners.) Joss Whedon does a great job keeping the show going--and the monsters always put on a show.

2. Salem

salem tv show witch hanging hanged

salem tv show witch witchcraft vomit blood

Salem, a 2014 release, can get preeeetttty gory--as seen above. There is a gloomy atmosphere that sticks with this show and which seems to surround every plot, no matter how optimistic it may begin. What is really surprising about Salem is first of all, how well the special effects are and second, how brutal it can be. Whether you are "side witch" or..."side human"...neither side seems to have a good outcome.

3. Tales from the Crypt

tales from the crypt crypt keeper joke gif

Tales from the Crypt is a series I used to watch with my dad when I was younger and that I still watch now. It can be creepy, it can be downright scary, and sometimes it's just belly-laugh-funny.
The Crypt Keeper, shown above, introduces each 30 minute long segment, and just has to crack little jokes along the way. (No complaints here, though.) Many cameo appearances are featured, one of my favorites being Arnold Schwarznegger, and there are seven seasons so you have plenty of choices!

YouTube actually has the episode "Cutting Cards" available, with Lance Henriksen--a horror god, if you don't know him. It has always been a favorite with my dad and me. It's funny and fun, and the ending is great!

4. Penny Dreadful

penny dreadful eva green

Another 2014 TV series, Penny Dreadful made quite some noise when it first came out, and for good reason! The lovely Eva Green is cast as the character Vanessa Ives, who, along with many other unique characters (and wonderful actors!) is set out for a supernatural journey. Based on many "penny dreadful" stories, such as Dracula, Frankenstein, and Dorian Gray, this is truly a shocking series chocked full of gory, scary scenes without many jump scares. This has to be one of my favorites from this year.

5. Helix

helix syfy tv show virus

helix syfy virus rat dead

While I hear it's similar to The Strain, I have never seen that TV show so I really can't compare. However, I can definitely recommend THIS show because it's gross, involves weird disease stuff, and also captures black vomit a lot.

It is a Syfy show, putting off some viewers, but the cheesiness is only part of the greatness.

*All images via Tumblr. 

Have any TV series you would recommend for the spooky season? 

19 October 2014

{Widened Horizons}

It's that time. The time when Bath & Body Works release some of their best scents for the home and yep--hand sanitizers galore!
b&bw hand pumpkin fall sanitizers

It's also finally time to break out the leggings (thank heavens!). What better way to say, "Fall's finally here!" than with these floral printed leggings?
desert floral print leggings dark fall

Fall is my favorite season to snuggle up on the couch with a good book.
I still love going to the library and checking out fantasy novels, or just browsing.
So what's better to showcase how much you love books or the library than with a library stamped t-shirt?!
library stamp shirt fun

I tend to only carry purses that will fit around my body instead of on my shoulder. I'm really into crossbody purses, and I'm crazy about the the owl printed one that I carry right now. However, I wouldn't mind trading it out every now and then for this baby--a mini-satchel, to be exact!
purse satchel bow vegan

For this week's owl find, I happened across these nesting bowls that are beyond beautiful. Just too lovely!!
owl ceramic nesting bowls

And finally, even when the tough gets going...
choose joy inspiration motivation

Quick Links:

17 October 2014

Playlist: "It Feels Right"

Bridal Veil Falls III

The weather has been perfect today. Absolutely on point.
The leaves are beginning to change around me, and as I sat outside on the porch today, listening to the bluebirds chirp, I felt a reassuring calm sweep over me.
It's fall. My favorite season. And for some reason, everything just feels right.

This blues-y tune really makes me want to lean back and relax.
And maybe listen to it over and over just so I can belt out the chorus.

I'm almost ashamed to admit I'm just now becoming a member of the St. Vincent fan club. Better late than never though, right? If this is the first song you hear of St. Vincent's, then I can't be happier for you, because it's a far cry from anything I've heard recently--and that's such a wonderful thing.

Last of all is a song I've been listening to on repeat--a cover of Daft Punk and Julian Casablancas' "Instant Crush." Such sweet, innocent voices singing-AND CLAPPING--let me escape into that place of almost being asleep, but still managing to bob my head.

What do you think? Any of these songs feel right to you?

15 October 2014

Wordful Wednesday//What's That Sound? (Misophonia)

For years now--really ever since I can remember--I've had problems with different noises to the point where I get frustrated, almost hulking out

I hate eating close together with anyone because I hate having to hear the noises they make when they chew. Recently, for instance, my mother was biting down on an apple as I was talking to her and I had to leave the room. I had suddenly wanted to yell at her and rip the apple out of her mouth. 

It sounds silly, but for those who suffer from misophonia, it's no joke. In fact, misophonia--the decreased tolerance to, or even hatred of sounds--can cause panic attacks or severely limit one's daily life. 

One thing I've realized is that most sounds that bother me are man-made. I don't typically get ticked off by natural sounds; in fact, I welcome them. The sounds of cows mooing, trees swaying in the breeze, rain falling. All of that is soothing to me. 

However, someone slurping on their coffee, repetitively clearing their throat or sniffling, even someone breathing heavily can all set me off. And look--all of those sounds I just listed come from a human being. Like anyone else, I can get easily peeved off by a car's loud bass or heavy equipment, but nothing enrages me like someone biting their nails or sucking on a cough drop. 

I've mentioned my experience with misophonia on the blog before, talking about how even my dad's loud voice would drive me to tears. I would have to wear headphones to block him out, or worse, avoid him. 

Like I mentioned in my previous post, all of this may sound silly and like a huge temper tantrum--or just a pet peeve. But misophonia is a neurological disorder. The noises that upset us vary, and can be noises you don't even think about. "Sucking on a cough drop," for instance. This one gets me every time, and is one that confuses the heck out of my mother. It's not even a loud noise to her. It's not even a loud noise at all, really. And that's one of the mysteries of the disease. 

It wasn't until I was diagnosed with Lyme disease that I even heard about misophonia. 
My Lyme Literate Medical Doctor asked me questions like
"Do noises bother you?" or
"Do you get upset at your family members when they make certain noises?"

That's when it was explained what exactly was going on with me, why I wasn't crazy, and how I had managed to become a "misophonic"--through Lyme. 

Many people with Lyme disease suffer from misophonia, and many understand what is going on. However, many do not. There's also the fact that many sufferers of misophonia understand what is going on yet may have Lyme disease, unknowingly. 

Misophonia isn't the most common thing to happen to people in the world, but it still deserves attention and awareness. 

I'm not saying, "Stop making all the little noises that you make because it could potentially trigger someone." 
I'm saying, "If someone asks you to stop making a noise, please stop it." 
I'm saying, "If you think you may be triggered by noises to the point where you hate the source of the sound, seek knowledge and help."

Even though there is not yet a cure, there are a few ways of managing misophonia. 
The best and easiest thing that works for me, which may sound too simple, is actually headphones. 
There is also cognitive therapy, desensitization therapy, etc. 

Just make sure you are doing what is best for your body, and look out for the well-being of others. 

12 October 2014

{Widened Horizons}

I've been craving a real statement piece of jewelry--a ring, in particular. I want one that looks nice when stacked upon, or when standing alone. I found this sunstone ring and immediately thought it was a "fall" kind of jewelry piece. I love the band and how it's almost fantasy-like. OH witchy ring...  
sunstone gem fall autumn ring

I used to own the frilliest, girliest day bed when I was young, and I still dream about it sometimes. Nothing, however, and I mean nothing compares to this Orwell day bed "with heavy quilted curtains which fold down easily insulating from sound and light." Doesn't that sound perfect?! If you're not already sold...take a gander...
day bed sound noise isolating awesome quilt
There are more wonderful pictures on the linked site, of course.
I just can't quit thinking about this damn bed ever since I spotted it the other day. Can I add it to my Amazon wishlist?

Fun fact about me: I love paisley prints. Another fun fact about me: I love brooches but never get to wear them. I spied this fun little autumn-reminiscent paisley brooch and had to share!
paisley flower brooch cute embroidered

You either love Betsey Johnson or you hate her. While I definitely think she goes overboard sometimes, consider me a big fan. I can definitely find some cute toned down goodies of hers at Ross or Stein Mart. I really love her scarves. I typically get the wild prints, but this buffalo check scarf in blue is just calling out to me.
betsey johnson scarf blue infinity

My favorite food that I've been gorging on lately? Pumpkin spice greek yogurt! Yes, yes, everything is pumpkin spice flavored now. But listen to me. This stuff is delicious. I normally am not a yogurt fan. It takes a lot of peer pressure and a lot of flavor to get me to down yogurt (it's a long story). But my mom came home the other day, toting these bright orange packages of Chobani yogurt, a little smirk on her face. She knows me too well. I am in love with yogurt again (OK, maybe just pumpkin spice yogurt). Check out a review about it here if you need even more of a kick in the rear to get you to go try it for yourself.
greek yogurt pumpkin spice chobani

The owl find this time around is jut ADORABLE. (And affordable.) I was drifting around Amazon's huge search list for "owl" items and came up with this hoodie. It only comes in size S/M so I'm out of the picture, but for any followers out there who are as owl crazy as me, I beg you, wear this and wear this proudly.
owl hoodie oh my gosh cute

Now please, go find a way to be happy today:
be happy always yourself

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09 October 2014

Thursday Threads: Icon


Icon by thezorya featuring a hinged bangle
Floral cutout dress, $32 / Morgan beige top, $88 / Calvin Klein slip on shoes / Topshop shopping tote, $61 / Principles by Ben de Lisi hinged bangle, $16 / Burberry fragrance

The most expensive item in this set is the Burberry My Burberry perfume! I sampled it about a week back and have been in awe of it ever since.

When I spotted the burgundy suede bag, I knew I had to find a floral dress to go along with it, and what's better to pair with a cute little dress other than a cardigan?

I'm really rooting for one of my followers to buy this bangle because I'm broke right now and can't. I love the mixed metal aspect and I think it would just be adorable with this fall weather!

Have you tried out Burberry's new perfume? 

08 October 2014

Wordful Wednesday//Karma Police

Karma police
I've given all I can
It's not enough
I've given all I can
But we're still on the payroll
Instead of "Karma Police," sometimes I feel like the title of Radiohead's song should be "Karma Disease."
Okay, my lame attempt at a twist on a song title was just because it kinda sorta almost rhymed with the original. Please don't judge too harshly.

There is something behind my failure of rhyming words, however, that is worth talking about.
And it does involve karma. And it does involve disease.

For what seems like the past few years now, with my ongoing illness, there has been a conversation that often repeats itself between my father and me.

My dad likes to ask, "Why are all the bad people rich?"
or more frequently, "Why do all the best people I know have the worst luck?"

His biggest question for me, however, has been, "Why do good people get sick?"

If we're supposed to be born equal, he wonders aloud, then how is any of what happens to us fair?

I can't answer that for him. All I know is that life isn't fair. The idea that we are born equal is only true to an extent, and really only in a religious point of view.

So what's the deal? Is the world just one big roll of the dice to see how your luck plays out? Is it actually karma?

I don't think so. Especially not when it comes to the topic my father refers to over and over again--my illness.

When someone has an illness, others who dislike them may often have something nasty to say behind their back. I've had the joyful experience to hear from others that I "offended God" (yes, those exact words) or that this was my way of paying for my bad deeds--karma, of course.

Steam would blow out of my ears when hearing something like this, and I almost choked on anger when hearing a similar experience from a sick friend.

But something I couldn't even prepare myself for was that at times, I started believing those people and the words they said. 

I stopped praying for a while. If I had incurred the wrath of God, so be it. Fight fire with fire. Or...fight fire with silence? 

I had a nightmare of a time where only my bed could console me, I was so depressed--partly from the illness itself, partly from no support of others. I didn't have any idea as to what I had done in my life to deserve this. I mean, I wasn't even into my 20's. Did I give someone the stink-eye at Wal-Mart once only to have them curse me a slow, dismal death? 


There isn't a person I haven't met with some kind of illness--whether it be diabetes, a thyroid problem, or even Lyme disease--that hasn't asked that same question. We may never find the answer we're looking for, but I promise it's never anything you did because you are not a bad person who ever did anything worth being ill. 

I have heard people--like motivational speakers--say things like, "God gave me ____ so I can teach others the meaning of life" or something to that effect. I hated those people. Now I just feel iffy towards them. God GAVE you a torturous, life-altering, perhaps FATAL disease in order to teach OTHERS something? Well now, when you put it that way... 

No. But maybe it helps them sort out the reasons for that big question of "what did I do?" 

I may sound just as crazy when I say this, so feel free to write me off as well, but I do think the people who are dealt the hand of suffering come out stronger. I haven't reached "the other side" (that being recovery) yet, but when I do, I imagine it'll be like discovering I have superpowers or that I'm one of the X-Men with a strength no one but those who have went through what I have can say they yield. 

Do I think I was "given" this disease? No more than people are given moles, freckles, or dimples.

Has it taught me anything? Lessons upon lessons! How to be patient, why I should be grateful for every little thing, and to have a sense of humor! (Thanks Dad for passing that trait down.) 

I don't think I've been handing out the meaning of life like chocolates anytime recently, but I try to raise awareness about my disease as well as other chronic illnesses when I can, and Lyme disease has definitely changed how my family interacts with each other. For the better. 

I will probably never be able to give my dad the answers he wants. 
Life isn't fair, and that's OK. We all have our problems. We compare and we judge, and that's human nature. 
But what I ask is that, if you're sick, you don't blame yourself. And if someone else is sick, you don't blame them. 

Instead of shaming someone for an incident that recently took place in their life, how about your bring them a gift basket or send them a handmade card. Bake them cookies or bring them some flowers. You offer to take them out for some drinks or bring them a drink (mmm, hot chocolate!). Simply lend them an ear. 

But what you don't do is bring them and yourself down. 

The world is vulgar enough as it is. Let some sunshine in.

02 October 2014

Thursday Threads: Mod Looks (Then and Now)

I've noticed a lot of outfits recently giving off a '60s vibe. 

Chunky heeled mary janes, shift dresses, high waisted pants with a wide leg...even the makeup seems to be returning! 

I've put together a small list of what some of my favorite fashion choices from the 1960's are, and how they've been recreated today. 

While searching the web for some inspiration, I came across Rachel Zoe's fall 2014 collection, and it's glorious! (Even though I can't think of Rachel Zoe without picturing that scene from Gossip Girl where chocolate fondue spills on her head.) Everything that I wanted to express about what's been coming back in style is basically in her collection. 

In fact...

I just adore this little blue jacket on top of this simple, yet elegant black & white striped dress. Rachel Zoe nailed it!
mod 60s striped black white shift dress rachel zoe

The shift dress immediately made me think of...TWIGGY!
twiggy 60s mod stripe dress adorable
It's those large black and white stripes that take us back to the '60s.
I've seen them on sweater dresses, but especially on shift dresses, which is where they're most at home.
Large, bold stripes can be adorable and classy. Whoever told us that stripes make us look larger can buzz off because even plus size ladies are taking the trend to heart.

The next item you can be sure to see and wear for yourself is what's commonly called "balloon sleeves."

Here is a picture of a woman from the 1960's in London wearing a balloon sleeve dress.
london 60s mod balloon sleeve dress cute
Isn't she a cutie??

Now, here's a top from ASOS with the same balloon sleeves.
asos top blouse balloon sleeves pink
I've seen a lot of chiffon dresses with balloon sleeves out--expensive ones, eek--and they have been gorgeous. Usually no collars like the former one, but still just as precious!

The last item I wanted to draw attention to, and just in time for Halloween ;) haha, is the lovely cape!
60s mod orange fur cape gorgeous
Believe it or not, this has always been my favorite clothing item to look up on etsy. They have some wonderful choices that are dated but still in pristine shape. AND I WANT THEM ALL. Bright colors, fur, buttons buttons buttons. Oh, how lovely.

We still do a pretty good job--and by that, I mean great job--with capes. I saw an amazing belted one just the other day. The cape that I picked out for this post was on Amazon, however.
cape beautiful black buttons
Not as many buttons as I'd like, but it's still got 'em! And that collar...phew! Somebody stop me! 

We're always going to be inspired by the past of fashion. History repeats itself. But the greatness of fashion, and where the art of fashion comes into play, is that we update it and revamp what the trends of the past were.

I hope you were inspired just a little by what you've seen today, and maybe you even thought of something you saw recently that fits the mod trend? If so, let me know! 

29 September 2014

Macabre Monday: List of Creepy Crawly Stories

It's not Halloween yet--it's not even October--but I'm already digging into horror books/stories that I've read before or that are on my TBR list. 
Okay, that's actually a year-round theme for me, but I really get going when the terror season comes to town. 

  • It by Stephen King 
I believe most people have probably seen this classic horror film by now, but unless you're a Stephen King fan, you may not have read the book--probably due to its off-putting size. (Or because of the spooky clown.) 

I actually first read this book when I was in the fifth or sixth grade (I had an adult library card, yes ma'am!), and every day riding home on the bus, I would scare myself silly as spitballs fired around me and boys played AC/DC on their CD players. Yep, smack dab in the terror of school-bus-riding, I was being terrorized by a clown shape-shifting and bursting through toilets. 

If there's one thing from this brilliant novel that will always stick with me, it's that toilets are never safe. 

stephen king book it cover

This spooky read, which I reviewed here, is sure to creep you out to the max. Full of freaky imagery, freaky happenings, and freaky...freaks...you'll probably get a few good chuckles in, but be a little weary about reading the book in the dark at the same time. 

If bugs give you the creepy crawlies, look no further for a book to truly give you the heebie jeebies. Or maybe, look away. 

parasite book cover yuck scary

The only item on this list not a book, this short story is one of my favorites from Lovecraft. 

The best advice I can give about this story is to not read anything about it beforehand. I'm not even going to give you anymore details about it for fear of spoiling it for you. 

hp lovecraft outsider cover horror spooky

Yet another creepy crawly to muck around with, this book (that I wrote a review on Goodreads about here) was a clear winner in the horror genre for me last year. 

I still think about this book sometimes, and I read it last summer! If there ever was a book that made me first of all, scared of parasites and second of all, a little scared of boy scouts, this would be it. 

the troop parasite book cover

I'm sure there will be more lists similar to this next month, so be on the lookout!

Do you have any favorite horror stories?