29 January 2014

The "Silent" Playlist

via Robert Hiscock

I thought it would be fun to create a playlist composed of songs with lyrics that all include the words either "silent," "silence," or "quiet."

The idea came to me when I peeked out my window this morning and saw--snow!--when I normally see little birds pecking about. All was calm and I couldn't for the life of me hear one single bird nor one farm animal (which is really unusual).

The songs are varied in genre for the most part, but I like how they did come nicely together as a group.

To listen, my playlist--titled Hush--is over at Grooveshark.

I was going to make a playlist over at 8tracks, but I'm a little miffed at them for changing their rules around. It's like you can only stream two or three playlists per whatever limit now. So, I always come crawling back to Grooveshark. Here's hoping they don't go changin' on me.

If you're catching some snowfall like me and have to be out in the weather, I'll drink some hot tea for you ;)
If you don't have to go out on the slick roads, then take a moment and listen to the silence around you (if you are afforded any!). Then listen to my playlist.

Have a good day!

27 January 2014

Macabre Monday: "Hide and Seek Alone"

Going right along nicely with Kate's post for Macabre Monday, "Hide and Seek Alone," or more formally known as "Hitori Kakurenbo," is a game (that I would never play) where the person is essentially playing hide and seek with a possibly possessed doll.

Beware, before you click 'read more,' even the instructions on how to play the game are enough to make your imagination scare you out of your wits. 

25 January 2014

Let's Talk About Lyme, Baby: Reflection

I can always relate to Mulan

...But on a serious note...

Have you ever been startled by your own reflection?

Maybe you were washing your hands in the sink only to look up and be caught off-guard; perhaps you were entangled in some daydream...or just really focused on getting that grit out from underneath your fingernails. Whatever the case, you probably know what I'm talking about.

You can sympathize, then, when I tell you I stared at my blank computer screen for at least 45 minutes before registering the fact that I was NOT looking at an apparition. And when my heart rate slowed its gait after the sudden relief, I almost had a heart attack when it galloped to full speed when I realized, "That's not just an ordinary human being--that's ME!"

It's not like I was unrecognizable due to some huge change in physical features. I hadn't cut my hair recently. There was no new makeup on--actually, no makeup on at all. I was unrecognizable because my brain has some bugs in it (literally and metaphorically).

Like any complex system, the brain doesn't always run as smoothly as we'd wish; it has glitches, hence the metaphorical bug reference. Now, don't squirm too much--my brain literally has bugs as well. Spirochetes to be exact. This is the reasoning behind my inability to register my own face at that moment.

But I don't want to delve too deep into the science of it all. I'll explain how spirochetes and Lyme disease work more in detail later. For now, I just want to take in the fact that I literally just did not recognize myself.

So, just in case you're new to my blog, or even if you're a steady reader but would like a "TMI" fact:

My name is Chelsea, I have bugs inside of me, and sometimes I forget what I look like, or who I am, or if "Chelsea" is even my real name.

That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to chronic Lyme disease and its many confounding elements.

Once again, if you ever have questions about Lyme disease, never hesitate to ask. You can comment below or e-mail me at oneticktobesick@gmail.com

The next time you look in the mirror, don't take it for granted. Instead of picking out all your flaws or barely even looking at yourself, soak it in. Really take in who you are. Try not to even think anything, just look at yourself, knowing that this is you and no one else, and that's how it is and that will never change.

24 January 2014

Etsy Favorites: Neck of the Woods

Antler cuff bracelet

This would look darling paired with some turquoise earrings. For me, the antlers symbolize power. I don't think you could get away with wearing this cuff without feeling a sense of strength. I say wear it on the days when you know you'll need that extra boost. But really--you're fabulous enough already. 

Hand painted tree teapot

Considering it's been nothing but downright chilly outside, instead of actually venturing out into the woods, welcoming the woods inside your home is a cozy alternative with this beautiful teapot. I love how it's still a little reminder of winter, with the bare trees cast against the black of the teapot, yet it is not necessarily gloomy. If I had this, I would have guests over, serve them some yummy hot tea, and feel like a polar vortex geisha! 

Lavender wood perfume oil
Lavender essential oil with "accents of sandalwood, cedar, amber resin, and vetiver," this scent sounds perfect to get you through those days when you are daydreaming about tramping through the trails of the forest but are stuck at work, at home, or in the city. I also think it sounds very sensual, and with Valentine's Day coming up...well, you might want to grab this one so that you're not overpowering that special someone, but still sending the hint that you might want a little more than just a kiss on the cheek after dinner. 

Bee earrings
I'm so psyched about these little honey bee earrings. Not only would you be grabbing attention because of how adorable these are (look at their honey drops!), but you could use the attention to buzz about the decline of honey bees and how it can affect each of us negatively.

Tree and stars storage bucket
First off, the creator of this beauty, jennarosehandmade, creates such wonderful, well-made items and I haven't seen anything I didn't like ever since I saw her shop name pop up in a treasury on etsy about a year ago. I'm itching to buy some storage items from her, but she always is coming up with something new...it's like I'm waiting for the one. This particular bucket wouldn't match anything in my room, but I wish it would. It's nothing too luxurious, but it could definitely liven up a room. Especially if you bought the matching hamper

Hooded cape w/ kangaroo pocket
I know this isn't red, but when I first saw this, for whatever reason I thought "Little Red Riding Hood chic." I love how it's all tightly knit except for the mesh arms, how you have a kangaroo pocket, and of course how there's a HOOD. I'm not saying this is going to keep you warm in 9 degree weather, bless, but if you're thinking about going for an edgy photoshoot inside, conjuring up that innocent Red (or...gray) on her way to grandmother's house (or the mall), then here's something I would pick! 

Hand painted rain drop mug
Wouldn't a set of these be adorable in your cupboard for when everyone was packed up and ready to go on an adventure but then big ol' fat drops of rain started pouring down? Instead of setting up a temper tantrum about it, you could set up a tea party ;) You know how that song goes...tea for two...

Abstract sliced wood art
Definitely one of my favorite items from etsy I've seen over the past few weeks. It never ceases to amaze me how someone can create something that captures my eye which is simply circles and wood. But think of the effort that's went into this piece. And the colors are just...ugh! They make me think of a little creek with a slight waterfall, full of both beauty and algae at the same time. OK, I'm kind of describing the creek by my grandparent's house, but I can't help it if the colors in this remind me of it! What do the colors make you think of?

Vintage 1960s owl sculpture
Finally, you knew it was coming...an owl find. I really want this little guy because I haven't seen many like him. The shape of him is different, the way his eyes aren't colored in, and the back of him (which you don't see here but trust me, it's kind of creepy). He is the sole reason I hate shipping fees. I would scoop him up so fast, you don't even understand. But then there's the shipping... Why can I never find little buddies like him when I go out thrifting? Someone buy him and accept him into their home, please! I can't stand to look at him any longer. 

22 January 2014

Tea Adventure


After reading the post about different teas over at Catch 88, I was inspired to write about my thorough obsession with tea. Although I just recently started drinking coffee again, I've always been much more of a tea girl. In-between drinking my vast amounts of water and the several cups of tea I drink every day, it's almost hard to fit any other liquids in. Which is good, actually. It seems like whenever I want to reach for a soft drink now, I find myself full from that cup of tea. Boo-yah. 

This is a picture of the teas I currently have displayed out on the kitchen counter (not like this, ha!) in their boxes. The box labeled "Six Assorted Teas" has actually become a box full of single, random teas that I'm trying to use up. 

The Tension Tamer is my favorite right now. It's regularly been in the top, but now that I've been drinking it every day, I've actually been noticing how my muscles are able to relax--if even just a smidge--and a mild difference in my demeanor. I'm making it sound like it's Ativan or something! Trust me, it's not, but it still works wonders. Even Coco Peru, the famous drag queen, describes it as "crack." And if you haven't seen Miss Coco's video of her parading around various stores trying desperately to find the Tension Tamer tea she's almost out of, then you MUST watch it! 

I shared the video with a few friends a while back, we kept making inside jokes about it because we all love Tension Tamer tea, and then I made a tweet about the tea. Guess who ended up favoriting it? That's right. Miss Coco Peru herself. Hilarious.

Now, don't get me wrong. Tension Tamer is great. Obviously it's a huge hit among my friends and many other folks too (I can't get over the "crack" mention). But that doesn't mean I let my other teas go to waste! 

As you can seen in the picture below, I store most of my teas in a plastic container. The idea was that it didn't take up much space and it was mobile. That way, I could transport it back and forth from college to home, or I could take it with me when my family and I would go camping. It's fairly large and it's not really a hassle to find the specific tea I'm looking for. 

In fact...some of the teas are actually in plastic bags and labeled. It was an idea my mother came up with to prevent so many boxes from being left out on the counter. 
Like you can see with the "Sleepytime" tea, we simply cut the title off of the box, placed it in the bag with the teabags, and voila! I'm sure you could construct a much prettier version of this, but this was simple and easy at the time, and it still works for us now. 

Now, let's take a step back and get a peek at what's inside of my precious storage container:
There is such a variety here it's not even funny. From your classic earl grey and green teas to some smoky black tea and soothing chamomile. Tea to help an upset stomach, tea to help you unwind, and a tea to actually help break down kidney stones (umm...talk about a miracle worker!). 

I enjoy all of these, but it seems like they all have their certain place at roughly the same time of day. For example, earl grey is obviously something I would normally drink for breakfast or brunch. Chamomile? More of a wind-down, afternoon drink. The stomach ease also helps aid in digestion, and it's FULL of ginger, so sometimes I'll drink it after a larger meal. You get the picture. They have their place. 

I also like to have my own personal tea cups. Although, I prefer the term "mug." 
This is a horrible picture, but at least you can see them all together. Each is special to me in their own way. The one that says "Wonder" has followed me through college since I was a freshman, and sometimes I pretend the "W" just stands for my last name ;) The mug on the right, plastered with owls, was given to me by my lovely sister-in-law (and I suppose my brother) and I adore it. It brightens my day whenever I use it. Lastly, the smallest mug in the center is perhaps my favorite. It is absolutely beautiful and the handle is, of course, an owl. It was a present from my friend, Maisie, who also suffers from Lyme disease.

What's not pictured in all of this is the one tea my doctor "prescribed" which is matcha tea. It is a powder, so you normally use a bamboo whisk and add it to hot water or, like me, hot water with some milk. What's so crazy about matcha is that, while it's a green tea, matcha is basically made from the whole tea plant. It's actually so potent, one cup of matcha tea equals about ten cups of regular green tea! Like I wrote in a comment on Catch 88's post about teas, matcha is great for energy, concentration, and, dropping those extra pounds. Something interesting is the caffeine in it; unlike that huge wave of energy you experience with other caffeinated drinks like coffee, matcha slowly releases the caffeine into your body so that you're able to experience more of a lasting effect, rather than just an incredible Hulk-like hour or so. If you know anything about pharmaceuticals, think about it like an extended release medication. 
My absolute favorite thing about matcha tea, though? Mixing it completely with milk, adding some froth to the top, and you have a bangin' latte. Starbucks, watch out. 

What's your favorite type of tea? Is there a special time you decide to drink it?

18 January 2014

Lyme Disease & Friendship Hardships

This is a rather personal post that took a lot out of me to write. It's also a long post, so I completely understand if you don't take the time to read it all the way through. If anything, I appreciate you taking the time to read the title so you can at least be aware that Lyme disease creates arduous friction on relationships.

The main reason I share such intimate parts of my life with strangers is because so many others like myself go through the same situations. It is education through anecdotes.

I tell most people I don't ask for pity, but I'll be honest, when I wrote this, I was throwing a bit of a pity party. I think I was entitled to it, though, just as everyone is every now and then.

The main point I want to get across today is that most people without a chronic illness have someone to fall back upon in a time of crisis, when they want to gossip, to go shopping, etc. Or, they can simply go alone somewhere and be independent (oh how I dream of that!). I've struggled with the opposite of this personally, and many stricken with a chronic illness encounter the same relationship battles.

It's hard for most Lymies to get in touch with someone without feeling like a burden, much less when you are bedridden or are close to it. And that goes for a lot of people with chronic illnesses really, not just those with Lyme disease. Having and sustaining friendships is a rough deal. Even if you already have that close friend who doesn't mind sitting in bed with you once in a while chatting, it takes a strong bond to keep that friendship together.

I guess it's usual for most people to lose touch with a chunk of their friends from high school when they go off to college and make new friends. I lost most of my cherished group of high school friends when I became badly ill. Seeing them all go to college, leaving me behind was one of the hardest moments I've ever had to come to terms with.

Because so many of my friends were just unable to keep up with my illness--blatantly telling me so or letting me know by falling to the wayside--you could say I learned who my true friends are. But honestly, I think that's bullshit. I just learned that chronic illness is a hard battle for not just the sufferer, but for everyone around as well. No one wants to truly take care of someone who is sick almost 24/7--especially not when you are 16, 17 years old. I sincerely believe this is one reason why my former relationship with my high school sweetheart abruptly ended, but that's a story for another day--trust me.

ONE of the few friends who stuck beside me tried incredibly hard to understand, but I don't believe she ever really got the gist of it, nor do I think she ever will. That, along with the fact that she, like most people, just wants everyone to be fine and dandy, so they almost take on this idyllic image that I'm doing better than I am, hurts.
It's not that they don't believe me (although some people definitely don't), it's that they wish me to be better so much, that they start believing I'm better even when I'm in so much pain I'm bedridden. Or worse, when they finally do meet up with me in person, I try my hardest to act like I'm feeling better and to participate and laugh and try to have fun because I don't want to be Debbie Downer--I don't want to ruin the party every time because of my illness--so they take it that I'm doing just fine. But in reality, I'm putting on a show just so they'll actually want to hang out with me again.

I can't win. 

People say, "Interaction goes two ways." That's very true. But there's also the fact that most people are able to interact in a form that goes something like, "Hey--haven't talked to you in a while, want to meet up for coffee?" I can't normally do that. My version would be something like, "Hey--I know you are two hours away but want to come to my house anyways and look at Tumblr aimlessly or watch a movie on Netflix? OR maybe you want to drive me to somewhere that is not crowded or hot nor a place where I have to walk far. Oh and by the way if I get sick don't worry about calling 911 I will just have a seizure for like a minute and then I'll just have to go home and rest, it'll be OK." 

I sound fun to be around, right? Like so many others with a chronic illness, it's my anxiety that keeps me at bay from asking people to hang out because, well, it's not an irrational fear of something happening--it's that I know 9 out of 10 times something WILL happen similar to the situation above. I can even have a seizure and no one notice. It's happened plenty of times with the friend I mentioned above, but I didn't say anything. I just went from really happy, energetic, and bouncing around the room excited to the point of crazy, to tired, reserved, and very low-energy to the point where I could barely sit up. 

Friendships both take the energy out of me but also boost my energy. 

Right now, my parents are my best friends. And I'm not ashamed to admit that. 
My dad has always been a best friend to me--we're too much alike to not get along, and even though he's still a huge parent figure, he's not afraid to just kick it easy with me. The only drawback is that he doesn't fully understand the disease, and that's where a lot of our problems come into play. 

Enter my mother.

This dainty, beautiful human being, kind of the opposite of how I see myself--a broad-shouldered tomboyish girl--has always been behind me, always had my back when it came to my illness, and never once said, "Do you think maybe it's just all in your head?"

I had a bit of a crisis the other day and told her, "All of my friends have left me." She is a bit of a sympathetic crier, and I tried so hard not to break down if only for her. But she instilled faith in my few friends for me, and gave me a motherly hug. You cannot tell me a mother's hug and a mother's love is not the best thing for when you have the blues. A mother cures all (but we wish she cured Lyme disease ha!). 

Of course, I have my "Twitter Family," a bit of a support group that's always growing and educating about Lyme. I have made some awesome friends through Twitter who continue to inspire me and keep me going through the tough days. 

But all I really want in life, all I've really ever wanted and never had, is a best friend. 
It wasn't too hard making new friends at college. You didn't have to tell them you were sick, and you didn't necessarily have to go anywhere with them. You could chill with them at dorm rooms, not walk anywhere really, and if you were adventurous, well, there was always the bonfire at night which was just outside my dorm. 

Now, back at home, I face the mess of how to make new friends. How to make friends my age. I'm unemployed, not studying at the moment, and disabled. Sounds like a good OkCupid profile too, btw, doesn't it? 

What gets me is that people will try to say they understand. You might to some extent, but I'm sorry, unless you have a chronic illness, you don't. 

So here I am--all of my former friends are going on to be great things. Gorgeous things. 
And I'm stuck. Stuck in bed. Stuck online. Stuck in this body. 

It hurts. 

I'm trying to better myself, I'm trying to be happy, but 
Happiness is only real when shared  --Christopher McCandless

14 January 2014

Bipolar Attire, Really Now?

This morning, I was really fired up because I saw this shirt on Keep.com
(After checking, there are almost 200 similar items on Amazon--including baby bibs! Ugh.)

What is this saying about mental illnesses? That they're "cute" to have?
A fashion choice like this downplays the seriousness of someone's disorder, communicates that the person wearing the shirt is uneducated in areas of mental health, and is really just poor in taste.
My real problem is that the person choosing to wear the shirt is either knowingly or unknowingly using the term "bipolar" as an adjective to describe their personality.

Bipolar disorder does consist of extreme "ups" and "downs," called mania and depression, respectively, hence why it is sometimes still called manic-depression. But when most people say, "You're being so bipolar right now!" or "Quit acting bipolar!" what they tend to mean is, the person they're referring to is being wishy-washy, or having a mild mood-swing.

Looking across Tumblr, there were frequently mentions of how one's poem was "too bipolar" or how so-and-so was being a real "bipolar" pain in the butt. There were even more confusions as to what bipolar really is, generalizing it to just a depressed state to mixing it with Dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorder) and making statements such as, "I'm so bipolar--I need more blogs for all my personalities!"

Clearly, we need some mental health awareness. "More than 10 million Americans have bipolar disorder," NAMI records, although who knows if that is the true number due to some people suffering from not wanting to come out about how they are feeling (What is Bipolar Disorder? n.d.).

You never know who you are going to hurt with your words. More than that, something ridiculous like the shirt above may increase prejudice and instill stigma. Let's not do that.

What is Bipolar Disorder? (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.nami.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Mental_Illnesses/Bipolar1/Home_-_What_is_Bipolar_Disorder_.htm

13 January 2014

Feeling like a Golden Globes Nominee...

So I exaggerated the title a teensy bit. The sentiment is still there. And I have been nominated...

...for the Liebster award! Thanks, Tameka, of Pastries, Pumps and Pi!

For those who are unaware what the Liebster award is, it's an award to help promote new bloggers.
The word Liebster is German and has a few different meanings like dearest, lovely, and valued.

There are a few simple rules that you need to follow:
- Mention the person who nominated you with a link to their blog.
- Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you.
- Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers.
- Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer.

Here's my set of questions from Tameka followed by my answers:

1. What is most challenging for you when blogging?
I want to always go the extra mile but it's hard whenever you have brain fog or you just don't feel good, which is almost every day for me. I'm sorry, folks!

2. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Red velvet. It's miraculous.

3. Dog or cat?
I'm a total dog person through and through. Even when I was little, when we played "House" and the rest of the girls were in the kitchen "cooking" or rocking a "baby" to sleep or talking on the "phone," I was the pet dog. And I did not believe I was a "dog," I believed I was the real thing. Mostly I was a Lab or a Golden Retriever but sometimes I would be spontaneous and become a Poodle or a spunky Jack Russell. Those were some good times. I think that obsession has grown into me wanting to own all of those dog breeds, not become them. But still...I love me a dog.

4. Flats or Heels?
I love looking at heels more, but in reality, flats are more for me. When I was making my resolutions for this year, I actually started to write something along the lines of, "Wear more heels," but then remembered why I don't--because I can barely stand up for long periods of time barefoot! I'm clumsy, ataxic, prone to seizures and my legs falling out from under me...why would I think heels would be a good idea? So flats it is!

5. What is your favorite season for style (winter, spring, summer or fall)?
Definitely fall. Mostly because I can wear cute cardigans and leggings along with a dress but not have to bulk up with anything more. And I love fall colors. Fall is just the perfect season for everything, really.

6. If you could only eat one meal for a day, would you choose breakfast, lunch or dinner?
Weekend breakfasts, because that's the meal I associate the most with spending time with my family. It's also the meal that makes me think of my mother's awesome homemade cooking. (Although, let's be real, her dinners are to die for.)

7. Coffee or tea?
I recently have picked up coffee again, but tea is and always has been my #1 drink besides water. There are so many flavors and it ranges from being comforting to energizing. I cannot read or go to bed without a hot mug of tea.

8. Who is your favorite fashion designer?
I love the work of Elie Saab. Most of it is so ethereal. So dreamy. Love that!

9. What book are you currently reading?
Right now, I'm slowly making my way through Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings. It's not AS interesting as I'd thought it would be ;)

10. Lipstick or lip gloss?
Lip gloss. Lipstick always makes my lips dry out for some reason, but maybe I just have a habit of picking bad brands. I'm thinking, though, now that I've been using a scrub on my lips before applying any kind of lip product to them, I might just give lipstick another try soon.

11. If you could do one thing to better the world, what would it be?
I don't know if I want to necessarily say eradicate illness, because I don't know where that would put us, but I would like to eminently change the health of others. No one should have to suffer due to an illness to the point where they take their own lives or harbor the idea of doing so every single day.

NOW, here are the bloggers I've nominated for the Liebster award:
1. catch-88.com
2. lifeasart215.blogspot.com
3. isabellasarray.blogspot.com
4. floralandstripes.wordpress.com
5. silverpooloflightgirl.blogspot.com
6. asparklefactor.com
7. krisimiller.com
8. shesgotclassandsass.blogspot.com
9. meaghanmurray.com
10. libraryfool.blogspot.co.uk
11. colourmeclassic.com

AND, the questions I have for all nominated are:
1. How do you deal with stress?
2. What was one of your New Year's resolutions; if you didn't make any, why not?
3. Name your favorite piece of jewelry. Does it have any special meaning to you?
4. Do you have a quote that resonates with you? Post it!
5. What's your favorite genre of book to read?
6. Your favorite type of pajamas?
7. Lace or leather?
8. Handmade present or something name brand?
9. Must-have winter accessory?
10. Music you recently listened to that you consider a "guilty pleasure?"
11. If your life was made into a TV show, who would play you?

Thanks everyone for participating and for having such awesome blogs, seriously. You guys da best.
And thanks once again to Tameka!

12 January 2014

{Widened Horizons}

Ten items of interest are on the list for today's "Widened Horizons" post, including an owl find! 

In case you've been wondering where I've been the past few days, dealing with a chronic illness obviously means having good days and bad days, but the bad days have piled up as of late. The more that I've become sick recently, the less things I've thought to write about, or the less I've been able to write (no energy!).

Today, I originally wanted to write about something that happened locally in the news that has been bothering me, but whether I'll get around to actually writing what I want to about it, I don't know. Just be warned, there may be some heavy ranting or lecturing about mental illness stigma coming up.

But for now, while I'm dying of heat stroke and hypothermia at the same time in my bed, enjoy what I've gathered for you!...

1. Art: Nomad Patterns by Livia Marin 
Seeing beautiful ceramics broken and melted should have me tearing my eyes out, but instead, the pieces by Livia Marin seem to give off a vibe of something that--even though I can't quite explain it--I really enjoy. It seems therapeutic and a little bit messy but elegant and preserved at the same time. I think she chose perfectly decorated pieces to work with. You can more than likely tell I'm no art major, but just like anyone, I can appreciate artwork; if you have the same tastes as me, don't be shy on checking out the link above to see more of the pieces or even to check out Livia Marin's portfolio.

It's just so cute! From everything to the kiss lock down to the polka dotted Eiffel Tower. I can't help but admire kiss locks because they remind me of vintage ladies. So sweet, this one!

Speaking of sweet, I can't quit thinking about this daisy covered garden journal, ready for you to record information like what you have in bloom, what you purchased, even photos! It's such a cute idea for gardeners; I can already see this making a great gift for Mother's Day! 

Doesn't this aquamarine throw automatically make you feel a little drowsy? It should come paired with a book you can nosedive into and a cup of hot tea (I'm thinking chamomile). 

5. Was one of your resolutions to start yoga? Good for you! It seems like a hot trend right now, I know, with everyone imagining it just being a "fad" that's going to die out. But what you might not know is that yoga has been around for a much longer time than we may have guessed. 
Here's an image found in the Temple of Hathor at Dendera in Egypt of the goddess, Nut, in a plow pose. 
via www.thedivineportal.com

Unusual jewelry always seems to be where I want to spend my money but where I find myself unable because of the ungodly prices. This baby is unique, beautiful, and purple at only $30! 

7. Do you swoon over a good bookshelf like me? Then you have to swerve on over to this post at the blog "Travelling With A Hint of Fashion" to really check out some goodies. My favorite image is posted below!

Valentine's Day may be off for another month yet, but to me, this looks like the perfect clutch for that romantic day without screaming hearts and "x"s and "o"s. Not to mention you can use it many more times than just on that smushy-face day!

I want this pillow so badly! OK, I kinda already have way too many pillows so this little guy is out of the question, but maybe not for you folks! Seriously, isn't he adorable?! H-owl cute is he? Whooo woodn't want him? ...I'll go ahead and stop myself for you. Just let me mention one thing: he is holding a flower with his leaf-like wings. A flower. For you. Take him home please, for me! 

10. And finally, like the usual last stop on this crazy train, a quote... 

“If you care about what others think of you, then you will always be their slave.”
James Frey 

08 January 2014

Wordful Wednesday//"Reasons Why"

I've been rather down lately, mainly due to my health and issues relating back to it, so the few poems I've written lately have been extreme party poopers.

The poem I'm posting today isn't anything particularly lively or bright, but it's not near as somber as my personal poems either. I chose it mainly because it was parallel to how I have been feeling, but also because it's a beautiful poem. I especially like the usage of indentation as well as how there's no usage of punctuation because, if you read the poem aloud, it gives it a different feel as opposed to one large stanza.

"Reasons Why" by Kathleen Novak

if we are lonely
it might be because
             we let go too soon
             or hung on too long
             we walked too far or
             we didn't walk far enough or
             we should have run
             or stood still
             we asked the wrong question
             or planted the wrong answer
             and winds soothe
             when they should be tearing
             and night teases
             when it should come strong
             and we are lonely
             together apart together away
             we are needing to give
             as much as we are needing to get
if we are lonely
it might be because
             there is not one thing
             that reaches so far
             nor stretches so wide
             as empty
             as empty.

07 January 2014

"10 Scary Facts About Lyme Disease"

Remember to click to read!

I found this little infographic via Twitter and wanted to share it because it brings up some important points (although I'm still not sure about #10 and saliva, but you never know because Lyme is so understudied). 
Also, I have no idea why "cause" is repeatedly misspelled, but that's just something that bugs me--it has nothing to do with Lyme disease. 

I've decided not to elaborate on any of these points, really, because I think the conciseness of this graph does a good job explaining the seriousness of Lyme disease and why it's so controversial. However, I do want to say it took me probably longer than three years to receive a diagnosis, and even then, it was a misdiagnosis. 

If you are interested in anything pictured above, or have any questions for me about Lyme disease, feel free to ask! You can leave a comment below for me, or if it's more personal in nature, e-mail me at oneticktobesick@gmail.com 

I am more than happy to answer any question at all--even if you feel it might be silly or sound stupid. No question about health is ever stupid, trust me! 

06 January 2014

Macabre Monday: The Holocaust's "Hyena of Auschwitz"

Everything pertaining to the Holocaust is already as macabre as you can get.

However, when finishing up a book written by a Holocaust survivor, Auschwitz Belongs to Us All by Marta Ascoli, the author makes it very clear how we all need to keep the memories of the Holocaust alive. If the events didn't necessarily affect you in some way, they still affected your history.

Auschwitz in particular is one of the more infamous of the concentration camps, being one of the largest, and not to mention where Anne Frank was initially taken. It's also where the "Angel of Death"--Josef Mengele--practiced his grotesque experiments.

In the book I read, Auschwitz-Birkenau is where the author was imprisoned, and where she comes face-to-face with the sadistic woman I'll focus on for today's Macabre Monday: Irma Grese, also known as "The Hyena of Auschwitz" or sometimes "The Beautiful Beast."

Irma Grese with Josef Kramer

Irma Grese, who first signed up to work at the concentration camp Ravensbruck, was later appointed to the position of a Senior SS-Supervisor in Auschwitz, where her terror reigned down upon the inmates. Later, she spent time at the camp Bergen-Belsen, where she was caught by the British and later hanged after the camp was liberated.

She was notorious for carrying around a whip, which she didn't hesitate to thrash women with, and she apparently wasn't shy to let loose German Shepherds on prisoners, either.

Josef Mengele, the physician known to perform such horrid experiments (especially on twins), as well as Josef Kramer (in the picture above) who was Grese's commandant, were both said to have been lovers of Irma Grese. She was considered a very beautiful Aryan woman, and many witnesses said she was known to not only interact with these two men, but other soldiers as well.

The real thing that freaked me out, besides her supposedly being one of the people in charge for selecting those to go to the gas chamber, was that witnesses repeatedly stated that she had made lampshades out of human skin from three women. I remember reading in the past about soap being produced from human fat (some say it was a myth, others say it was real), but I don't recall ever reading anything about human skin. That was a doozy.

She was 22 years old when she was hanged after a fair trial.

Some say it is so sad that she was given such a quick death when those around her were given nothing but a lingering, painful one; others visit Auschwitz again and rejoice that there are no sounds of barking German Shepherds, no whips, and no Irma Grese.

05 January 2014

{Widened Horizons}

I hope you are psyched for another compilation of what I like to call "Widened Horizons." 

I've separated the lists into two parts: one for the guy folks and one for their female friends. But don't mind me if any of you find enjoyment from an item on either list... especially when it comes to the beards! 

 In The Men's Corner...

I'm in style-love with this crossbody pack for men. You can wear it in front of you or slung on your back, it looks nice and well-made, and it's simple but simple enough to still be practical (without being a fannypack). 

Do I even have to say anything else?

So beards are better than just catching snowflakes.
They can also grow ducks.
OK, not literally, obviously, but they can help the little duckling out a little bit as they grow up. 
You can read all about the Reddit user who went through this little adventure with his pal, Peeps. 

From The Women's Boudoir...

I don't know if you realize this, but this is adorable. Even if you don't really like black cats, or cats in general, you cannot tell me this isn't the cutest thing! (And it's practical too.) 

2. Daphne Groeneveld for Miu Miu Eyewear 
This is Fall 2013. I'm not a huge fan of Daphne--although I think she has a unique look--but she looks stunning here. (Can someone tell me how to get hair as sleek and chic as that? Whew!) Plus, those sunglasses are killer. 

I'm a HUGE ear warmer freak and trying to currently make my own. In the meantime, looking for some online isn't something I'm just going to pass on, and this one--with a huge heart on it--is something to really talk about! 

And finally, I leave you all with a quote by none other than Muhammad Ali:
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” 

03 January 2014

Book Review: The Infects by Sean Beaudoin

Goodreads description (x):
Seventeen-year-old Nero is stuck in the wilderness with a bunch of other juvenile delinquents on an “Inward Trek.” As if that weren’t bad enough, his counselors have turned into flesh-eating maniacs overnight and are now chowing down on his fellow miscreants. As in any classic monster flick worth its salted popcorn, plentiful carnage sends survivors rabbiting into the woods while the mindless horde of “infects” shambles, moans, and drools behind. Of course, these kids have seen zombie movies. They generate “Zombie Rules” almost as quickly as cheeky remarks, but attitude alone can’t keep the biters back.

Serving up a cast of irreverent, slightly twisted characters, an unexpected villain, and an ending you won’t see coming, here is a savvy tale that that’s a delight to read—whether you’re a rabid zombie fan or freshly bitten—and an incisive commentary on the evil that lurks within each of us.

My rating: 5 out of 5 hoots

Horror is very significant to me for many reasons; it thrills me without me actually having to move, it symbolizes many different stages in my life, certain films and books make me think of specific people, and to be honest, I guess I just innately love it. I realize how strange this sounds, but bear with me. 

On the other side of that card is comedy--another genre I grew up loving (who doesn't?) for practically the same reasons and then some. 

When I bought The Infects, I honestly thought it was going to be just a horror novel. And when I say "just" a horror novel, I mean I thought yeah, I will probably get the pants scared off of me. I hope. 

What happened was so much more than that--it blossomed into a horror-comedy. And I cannot explain how happy I am to have found this book, read it, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Because what's better than a horror or a comedy? Let me answer that. A horror-comedy. 

First things first, I have to let you in on a secret. 
This book actually took me a long time to read BUT not because of anything the book did wrong--it was due to all of Christmas mayhem shopping and everything else I had to attend to. The good thing about reading this book over the holidays was that while waiting in the car for my mom to pick something up for the pharmacy or something another, I could be found reading this book, constantly laughing. And that was probably not even halfway through it. So it was a great stress-reliever. 

What was nice was how the author, Sean Beaudoin, takes your hand and guides you along, step by baby step, up to the action. (Except for the beginning, which was jarring and scary. Trust me, though, keep reading.) This is a great way to wiggle yourself into the life of the main character, Nick/Nero; his dreadlocked dad, The Dude; and his younger sister, Amanda, who plays video games madly, intensely, like a boss. 

I was taken aback by the sweet relationship between Nick and Amanda. Amanda's character displayed what the book titled Asperger's, and I was glad to see a strong character with this definition. I also loved the unique way Amanda spoke--I could hear her voice in my head stronger than any of the other characters. OK, maybe not as much as one in particular with a very heavy accent...but you'll figure that guy out and love him (or hate him) if you read the book.

You'll also be introduced to my favorite character of the entire book, especially if you're anywhere near Nick: The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson aka "Can you smeeeelllllll...." Yep, that's what this kid (Nick) has to hear in his head every day--the voice of The Rock. It's actually pretty great if you ask me, but I'll understand if you don't feel the same way. Just know, you'll be laughing uncontrollably at the little remarks The Rock makes to Nick as they quarrel back and forth. But then you'll be grateful. And maybe even tearful. 

Beaudoin's play on words and...just beautiful placement of words really made for a nice read. This isn't just your half-assed written horror-comedy, this is a book written by someone who knows where certain words should go and why they should go there. 

There's also gore. Lots and lots of gore. But what would you expect from a book about zombies? Or, should I say, infects. I won't give away everything, but look at what's nestled in the skull in the image above. Weird, right? Right. There's a reason for that. 

At the end, I was a little...shell-shocked. I was almost expecting a sequel, but the ending came at me like an unseen enemy. I didn't like what happened, but I accepted it. It wasn't your typical ending, so that was a nice change, at least. And the best part was seeing the juvenile delinquents' police reports immediately after the ending of the book as well as a Q&A session with a "doctor of necrotic studies."

I know you're tired of me raving about this book by now, so shuffle over like a zombie to your nearest shelter and grab The Infects!!  

02 January 2014

Thursday Threads: Long Goodbyes

I may have gone a little J.Crew crazy with this one, but I couldn't help it after finding these adorable metallic outfitted ballet flats, and then this tweed pencil skirt! I looo-oooo-oooo-ve tweed. I currently have a tweed jacket as well as a tweed newsboy cap, but a tweed pencil skirt?! There are so many options to go with that!

I love airy tops, and this one is from Target for only $16.99. Plus, it has one of those lovely crocheted backs with just a small/medium sized opening so you can still wear a bra with it.

This necklace is actually an accessory I have been craving. Some might think it's almost old-school with the fringe, but I would say fringe jewelry is coming back. But what really makes it--and why I would certainly want this necklace--is the beads mixed in. Steve Madden, you did it again.

Finally, the bag. When looking for a carry-all to go with this outfit, I came across the Neiman Marcus' Last Call website. Uh...am I the only person to not know about the amazing deals here? I mean, this bag...at 50% off...is $37.50. And it's so pretty! It's mature, but not too much, and even though some might be turned off by it being faux-leather, the beauty and size make up for it...oh, and the PRICE!

Are you finding any good deals at the start of the new year?