Every Summer I inevitably end up adding a new eyelet piece to my closet. There’s something that is just so feminine about eyelet. I bought this top a few months ago but it is still available and also comes in khaki green. Come to think of it, I’m wondering why I haven’t purchased it in green yet?!? Oh, and I also bought a white eyelet swimsuit this year! It’s a one piece & super flattering on. Jury is still out on whether it is see-through when wet. Luckily, I am not that into swimming or going in the ocean so odds are…it will never even get wet! HA!
SHOP MY LOOK (click on an item to purchase):
If you follow me on Instagram, you might remember when I posted this pic. It is the day I was at lunch and got a shooting pain in my shoulder while doing nothing. You know you are getting old when you injure yourself whilst doing NOTHING. I couldn’t lift my arm for days!
SHOP MORE OF MY FAVORITE EYELET PIECES (swipe to view more & click to shop):
A few weeks ago, I had a partial thyroidectomy surgery to remove half of my thyroid. As soon as I found out I would be having this surgery, I SCOURED the internet for what to expect. Reading about other people’s experiences, recovery and seeing their scars really helped manage my expectations. Most stories that I read were about people who had a history of thyroid disease, so for them…surgery was a means to an end of their horrible symptoms. I, on the other hand, had no symptoms and normal thyroid levels/bloodwork. So for me…all I had to look forward to was a new scar and the possibility of having thyroid cancer. Ugh. I’ll start from the beginning which I kind of shared on my I drank celery juice for 7 days post.
In December of last year I finally went in for an annual checkup. I don’t know how I let three years pass because I am a hypochondriac and tend to go to the minute clinic down the street at the first sign of any illness. But in that three years time, my primary care doctor dropped me without my knowledge. I would be considered a new patient and he was no longer taking new patients. Annoying but I was hopeful I would possibly end up with someone even better. So I met with my new doctor and went over every single health issue I’ve ever had.
I started with an enlarged lymph node on the side of my neck. I’ve had it for at least 15 years. Several doctors have felt it and I’ve heard everything from a calcified deposit, to a fatty deposit to just an enlarged lymph node. But all said it was nothing to worry about. It doesn’t hurt to touch and I hadn’t developed any new symptoms (night sweats/fevers, etc.). But she said she would refer me to an ENT (ear, nose & throat doctor) just so I could check it off my worry list. She felt my neck and never mentioned anything about my thyroid.
I came THIS close to cancelling my ENT appointment because I thought it would just be a waste of time/money. But I went. The doctor felt my lymph node and said it felt normal (albeit enlarged) and moved over to my thyroid.
And you guys…this is the ONE takeaway I want you all to have.
My thyroid nodule before partial thyroidectomy - YouTube
I always thought my thyroid was lower in my neck. Like at the base of my neck where the indentation is. It is actually up higher right below your adams apple (it is known for being in the shape of a butterfly). She felt the front of my neck and said my thyroid felt full on one side and she requested an ultrasound. I hadn’t noticed a thing in the front of my neck. And let me tell you…I waste a LOT of money on neck creams. I am constantly applying creams/serums and I NEVER noticed. After that appointment, it was all I could see. How did my primary care doctor miss it, I wondered. How did I miss it?!?
I never had any type of thyroid disease symptoms. My bloodwork all came back normal. On New Years Eve, I went for the ultrasound and I knew immediately the technician had found something because she took what seemed like a million measurements. I had a thyroid nodule that measured 2.8cm. So the next step was a fine needle biopsy. I find it so strange that you have to go to an Endocrinologist for the biopsy. Doesn’t it seem like the ENT who actually does the SURGERY would be doing the biopsy?!? And so I went.
I was really dreading the biopsy. But to be honest, the worst part was the anxiety waiting for the appointment. He first went over the ultrasound with me and confirmed it was a complex nodule. He also said it didn’t “look” like a scary nodule (but that he’d been wrong before) and since it was so close to the skin surface, the biopsies should be fairly easy/straightforward. They gave me a numbing shot to start and the doctor took several different tissue samples (I think 4 or 5 total). They took an extra sample just in case it came back as inconclusive to be sent off for genetic/DNA testing.
I got the call that my biopsy came back as a follicular lesion of undetermined significance (FLUS) and that he would in fact be sending away a sample for DNA testing. He warned that it would be an expensive test (it was a $6k+ test that thankfully insurance covered a portion of). But he said it was a good test for “ruling out” cancer. Basically it will come back as showing a 2% likelihood that the cells are cancerous or a 50% chance that they are. Of course I got the call during my sons field trip that I got the 50% likelihood results and the next step would unfortunately be partial thyroidectomy surgery.
So then I went back to my ENT who originally requested the ultrasound. I was so grateful that she had discovered my “full” thyroid but on my 2nd visit, she was less than sympathetic. She did a test to see that both of my vocal cords were working properly. It was extremely uncomfortable and she gave me absolutely no warning of what to expect. I couldn’t help it and the tears started rolling out of my eyes. She had zero empathy. She acted as if it was business as usual and not a big deal and what did I have to worry about. OH, I DON’T KNOW…SURGERY…THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING THYROID CANCER!!!! WTF.
So my husband and I walked out of the appointment and swore she would be the last person on the planet that I would ever let do my surgery. And the search for a new ENT begun. Thankfully I have a friend who is an Endocrinologist and I asked her who she would go to if she had to have the surgery. We met with him and I immediately felt better about my decision to switch to him. He had a very positive calm demeanor and we set a date for surgery a few months out because we already had family travel plans that we had made a year prior. And I was not going to let this ruin our trip.
On the evening before the surgery, I couldn’t eat anything after midnight. I also wasn’t able to have anything to eat or drink the morning of the surgery. My check-in was at 5:30am so we had to be on the road at 4:30am. The actual surgery was scheduled at 7:30am. Once I was all checked in, they had me wipe down my whole body with anti-bacterial wipes and I put on the hospital gown, grippy socks and they put the compression boots on my legs to help prevent blood clots during/after surgery. I had my IV put in and of course it didn’t work in my hand so they had to put it in my arm (inside of elbow). Finally, I was given Tylenol to take on an empty stomach.
I was then given a shot of something in my IV which would basically give me amnesia. I was told I wouldn’t remember the conversation after the surgery. But I do remember saying goodbye to my husband and being wheeled into the operating room. I remember seeing a few people (another doctor, a nurse & the anesthesiologist) and I said wow, there is a lot of stuff in here (equipment, etc.). Then they helped move me onto the operating table. And that was my last memory. I was anticipating having an anxiety attack having to have on an oxygen mask on. And counting down until I fell asleep. It very well may have happened but I don’t remember any of it.
I woke up in the recovery room to the nurse asking me if I needed anything for nausea or pain. I didn’t. Then they brought my husband in. Apparently my straight forward surgery ended up taking about an hour longer than anticipated. We were told my thyroid was enlarged so it took longer than expected to remove it. But otherwise, it went well. About an hour later, I was given the ok to go home.
I felt pretty good for what I had just been through. And even had my hubby drive me through the KFC drive-though because I was craving mashed potatoes and gravy. I wasn’t in too much pain and decided to take just extra strength Tylenol. But then the headaches and neck/shoulder pain kicked in and I was miserable. I woke up all throughout the night. And the pain continued through the next day. I decided to try the prescription narcotic they gave me because I thought it would help me sleep. I was wrong. Still woke up every two hours in pain. I switched back to the Tylenol. By day three, I couldn’t take it anymore. I was in tears at the thought of having to go through another surgery to remove the other half if it came back as cancer.
It wasn’t the incision itself that hurt. But rather the inside of my throat from being intubated. When I woke up from the surgery, I had a fat lip. And the thing that hangs in the back of my throat was a deep purple. It felt like someone had smashed my adams apple with a hammer. And like I had razor blades and needles in my throat. Miraculously by day four, I felt a million times better.
One week after the surgery, I got the news that it had come back as benign. What a relief. That morning I had woken up and broke down in tears just dreading another painful surgery. Let alone, if it had come back as cancer. I wanted to write this all down for those days that I need a reminder that things could be worse. It has been a great reminder to not sweat the small stuff. Nothing is more important than your health. I hope my story helps anyone who is going through the same thing. I plan on doing a follow up post to share my tips on making your recovery easier. As well as sharing what my scar progression looks like. Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments or via email.
It’s FINALLY sundress season again! I feel like we had SUCH a long Winter that I forgot what it was like to have my arms & legs showing again. Nothing like a trip to La Quinta Resort to get me back in the swing of things. After getting a spray tan, of course! Although the edit on these pics make me look like more of an Oompa Loompa. I promise I didn’t look orange in real life. I think the pics look better when viewed on an iphone. LOL. Putting too much thought into it, I’m sure.
When I first saw this dress on Shopbop, I immediately saved it to my favorites. I LOVE the color. And it is super feminine which I also love. And well, I love a good matchy matchy piece. The sash belt is removable so if matchy matchy isn’t your thing, know that you can take it off. I also thought it would be cute tied on my bag, around my hat or in my hair. But again…you have to like matchy matchy for any of those options. Ha!
This dress also comes in a few other colors (pink, light blue, navy & black). It’s super lightweight so is a great option for road trips too. I’m sharing a few more of my fave sundresses with you below as well. And right now Shopbop is having their Event of the Season Sale so you can save up to 25% off your purchase with code EVENT19. Visit shopbop for full details.
SHOP MY FAVORITES BELOW (click on image to shop):
*Disclaimer: Thank you to Shopbop for sponsoring my blog.
I drank celery juice for a week and this is what happened.
Well, let’s start with my why. I was recently diagnosed with having a thyroid nodule. I went in for my annual checkup and finally decided to get an enlarged lymph node on the side of my neck checked out. I’ve had the lump since my twenties and it very slowly has gotten larger. Numerous doctors over the years have told me it was nothing to worry about…a fatty deposit, a calcium deposit on a tendon as well as a lymph node. I was kind of tired of getting different answers so my primary doctor referred me to an ENT just to be safe. I figured I’ve had it for years and have no worrisome symptoms so came THIS close to cancelling the appointment. But I went anyway. The new doctor felt my neck and said it was a lymph node. Then she moved to the front of my neck and said that my thyroid was full on one side. So an ultrasound was recommended and I found out I have a 2.8cm nodule on my right side of my thyroid. I am still in the process of biopsies/testing, etc. so I will follow up with that in a separate post. But I immediately came home and started researching thyroid nodules and ordered a copy of Medical Medium Thyroid Healing.
Honestly, I can’t even remember now if I had seen or heard of the celery juice “trend” before getting this book. But I started looking at all of the #medicalmedium and #celeryjuice hashtags on Instagram and decided to give celery juicing a try. I HAVE to preface this with the fact that I normally do NOT try any trending juice cleanses or apple cider vinegar or kombucha…etc. etc. trends. I LIVE on sugar and preservatives. Always have. And now at 43 years old, I am trying to make a few healthy changes in my diet. I have always been of the belief that we will all have pretty much the same life expectancy whether or not we eat clean & organic or live off of wonder bread and red dye# 5. I think it comes down to genetics. BUT…this health scare has me broadening my horizons.
I did not own a juicer and thought I would try using my magic bullet blender (love it for making individual size smoothies, btw!) and a nut milk bag to juice the celery. Before I could get the blended celery out of the cup to “milk it”, I knew I would NEVER go through this much trouble. So I threw it out and hopped on Amazon. I read a few reviews and decided on the Aicok juicer. It gets good reviews and isn’t too expensive. Plus if I didn’t keep up with the celery juice, I could at least use it to make fresh oj/apple juice for my son. He eats MUCH better than I do…promise!
The next day I went out and stocked up on organic celery bundles and anxiously awaited my new juicer. You gotta LOVE free 2 day prime shipping, am I right?!?! In the meantime, I tried a celery juice from Pressed Juicery and started thinking I had made a big mistake. It was HORRIBLE. And SO salty. Theirs was mixed with lemon juice and was $6.50 a bottle…NO, THANK YOU. I am happy to report that I am in love with my juicer. It is SO easy to use and is easy to clean. Call me crazy but I actually enjoy the process of making the celery juice and putting together/taking apart the machine. Heck, even cleaning it doesn’t bother me.
On day one, there was a whole lot of me saying “OMG, this is so salty”…”It tastes like cold soup”…”How am I going to get through this”…and holding my breath while swallowing it. It wasn’t enjoyable but it was a WHOLE lot better than the store bought one I tried. And I told myself I am just going to try to get through this for 30 days. It’s only been a week but I wanted to share my experience with you so far. On day two, the taste was less jarring. And by day three, I could swallow it without making a gagging sound. LOL!
To be completely honest, I haven’t noticed much of a difference. I don’t know what I was expecting to happen but it hasn’t been life changing. Ha! The biggest thing I have noticed is that I am a lot less bloated. And this may be a little TMI, but it really cleans you out. I’ve also noticed that starting my morning off with celery juice also helps keep my sugar cravings at bay, which is a HUGE win for me.
This is not a meal replacement or diet/weight loss juice cleanse. To get the full benefits, Anthony William a.k.a. the “Medical Medium” suggests drinking 16oz of fresh organic celery juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning. It should not be mixed with anything else (no collagen or apple cider vinegar) as that breaks down the sodium salt clusters. Sodium salt clusters supposedly have pathogen killing properties which help eradicate strep bacteria & Epstein Barr viruses. It also claims that celery juice helps fight autoimmune disease, helps restores adrenals and helps with digestion along with many other benefits. You have to get on Instagram and read all of the amazing health journeys people are on and what celery juice has done for them.
So will I keep it up? The short answer is yes! It just makes me feel good to start my morning off making a healthy choice. And that is a step in the right direction for me. I plan on juicing celery for at least 30 days and I will let you guys know if I experience any additional benefits. Have you tried celery juice yet? PLEASE share in the comments. I would LOVE to hear what celery juice is doing for you!
DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT A DOCTOR AND THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. OBVIOUSLY. =)
Just sitting here waiting for my Shopbop order to arrive! Shopbop‘s BIG event sale is going on now and you can save up to 25% off your order with code GOBIG19. I look forward to this sale every year since it’s the best time to stock up on basics and/or splurge on the items on your wishlist. I created an account so I’m always saving items in my favorites so I can monitor when they go on sale. So it’s a double win when your faves go on sale AND you can get an additional amount off!
You guys. This rain has me going down some serious internet rabbit holes. I don’t even know HOW I got here. But somehow I came across an article called “I exercised to retro workout videos for a week; here’s what happened.” And it was like a walk down my workout journey/memory lane. I have NEVER liked working out in the gym. And traditional exercises like burpies, pushups and squats/lunges are my worst nightmare. Plus I don’t want to have small talk with anyone out on the gym floor. Anti-social, much? HA HA!
And now for the walk down memory lane. Here are my favorite workouts over the years:
Jazzercise: I started Jazzercise when I was in high school! And I even had a thong leotard with bike shorts that I wore underneath it! As a teenager!!! But even then I hated my booty so would tie a sweatshirt around my waist! LOL! I can not believe it is still around to this day! I bet I’d like it!
Callanetics: This was the first at home workout I ever did! It was my moms VCR tape and I remember it being VERY hard! But man that title is calling my name…10 Years Younger in 10 Hours?!?! SIGN ME UP.
Cindy Crawford’s Shape Your Body: I think this was also my moms VCR tape although I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who did it! I remember pulling out my chair and doing those leg swings to a song by Seal. I hated the song. But it is actually a good workout!
Carmen Electra’s Fit to Strip: I have done this workout for probably close to 15 years. I actually had the whole DVD set but disc two is the only one I ever used! It is an all-time fave and I still do it to this day (on occasion) but now I watch it on YouTube on my TV! Isn’t technology amazing?! BTW…disc two is not actually stripper moves but it says it will give you a dancer’s body!
Stroller Strides: ACTUAL photo of me in Stroller Strides (sorry for horrible photo quality). With a neon sweatshirt covering my butt…STILL. =) There were at least 20 moms in each class and all of us pushing our babies in strollers! I was devastated when my son was too big/old to push in a stroller anymore! I was in the best shape of my life when I was doing this! Pushing a kid in a stroller up hills and stopping for workouts inbetween. The starting point was 5 min from my house and I went like 3 days a week. Plus you basically get a built in playdate at the end of the workout. I swore I would NEVER be one of those moms and I ended up LOVING it.
Zumba: After Stroller Strides, I signed back up at LA Fitness. I’d had a membership before I had my son and begrudgingly signed back up. My beloved step classes were no longer being offered so I fell in love with Zumba! I was probably one of the youngest in the class (with the exception of the super cute instructor). At one point I even bought the coin belly dancing sash to shake my hips with! My husband was mortified for me. And I kinda hoped nobody I knew saw me when they walked by the giant window on their way to the locker rooms! HA! But that’s the good thing about having horrible eyesight like me. I never saw them!
The Bar Method: Then I gave Barre classes a whirl. I ended up doing it for a full year and it REALLY helped with my flexibility. I really did enjoy it but it is pricey & there’s no childcare so I was limited on time slots. At around that time, a brand new Equinox was opening up close by and for just ten dollars more a month I could take barre, pilates, yoga classes and more so I made the switch.
Equinox: I still never make it out on the gym floor unless I’m dragged by a friend but I love the variety of classes offered. And the big thing for me in the beginning was childcare. Now that my son is older and in school full-time, he doesn’t come with me anymore but he does have fond memories of going to the kids club. Oh, and I forgot to mention…when they first opened..Tamilee (of the ORIGINAL Buns of Steel) was an instructor! I LOVED her sculpting classes! I was so sad when she left! #bringbacktamilee
Pvolve: I can’t for the life of me remember how I heard about Pvolve. I think I got wind of it being the workout that Victoria Secret models do before the big runway angel show. So if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! Even though I still belong to Equinox, there is just something about being able to workout in the comfort of your own home. Plus it is literally my favorite kind of workout of all. Everything is no weights (or very light weights), their signature p-ball and precise low-impact movements. It really does lean you out & elongate you instead of building bulky muscles.
This is a subscription based service that you pay a monthly fee (currently $29/m) for streaming videos that you can do right on your laptop. I love that I can even do it while traveling without any equipment. There are new videos weekly and a library of 150 workouts to use. BTW, you can get a free 15 day trial using my link here.
It’s kind of funny how many workouts I’ve done over the years! I don’t consider myself to be a “fitness” person but taking this walk down my workout memory lane sure has been fun. If only I could change my eating habits…
SO a funny thing happened today. I was randomly clicking around on my blog seeing if links still worked, changing up banner ads, etc. The things I never actually do on my blog (or at least haven’t for years). And I clicked on the Bloglovin’ follow button. At first I thought maybe the site was defunct as most old platforms I used are. But it ended up being more like a walk down memory lane. I was reminded of some of the first blogs I followed. And I was surprised by how many of you read my recent blog post via their service. Sadly, I don’t follow my blog analytics much anymore so didn’t even know that some of you are still following along that way. By the way, you can follow me on Bloglovin’ here.
In recent years, I have put 99.9% of my energy into social media. Particularly Instagram…which apparently was a fruitless endeavor (is that even a saying?!?). But as the saying goes…doing the same thing over and over expecting change is the definition of insanity. Or am I getting that wrong too? Well, you know what I mean. But no matter what I do, I am losing followers like nobody’s business. It’s hard to not take it personally but the people who are unfollowing are pretty much ghost followers anyway. And by that I mean, that they do not engage with my posts at all.
There isn’t really a point to this story except for the fact that maybe I should be focusing more on creating content here. Just thinking out loud really. Which was the whole reason I started this blog in the first place…
My faux fur jacket and wide leg pants are both from Swirl Boutique. My nail polish is “Wicked” by Essie.My top and heels are sold out but you can find similar options here and here.
Would you believe I’ve had this teddy bear jacket since 2015? With as popular as they are right now, you would’ve thought they were a new trend! You can see how I’ve worn it previously here and here. I guess I called it a “sherpa” coat before they got the cute teddy bear coat name.
Truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of this jacket. It feels a little too bulky for my body. And the color is just a little too close to my skin color! But I found it at Old Navy of all places YEARS ago so you know the price couldn’t be beat.
I’ve had this leather skirt since 2012. I remember it was probably once of the first leather pieces of clothing I had ever purchased (other than a leather jacket). I felt VERY Kris Jenner at the time. You can see how I wore it on the blog here. LOL.
My scarf was a gift from my brother & his wife this past Christmas. It’s been SO cold lately. I know…us Californians are big babies when it drops below 65 degrees! I’ve been wearing it non-stop.
So what do you guys think of the teddy bear jacket trend? Would you wear one? I’m sharing some of my favorites below (click on image to shop):
Do you guys remember when I used to do Birchbox reviews with you each month? I was a subscriber for close to five years (you can click here to read all of them)! And then I decided to take a break when I realized I was beginning to hoard beauty products and could barely open my beauty junk drawer! But it was SO hard to do. Because let’s be honest…for only $10/mo, what beauty product junkie doesn’t want a surprise in their mailbox each month?!?
At the time, I was also pretty much blogging full-time and could barely keep up with all of the free product being sent my way. So I can’t even tell you how happy it made my heart when I was asked to collaborate with Birchbox again SO many years later. BTW…this blog post is not sponsored but having recently worked with them, I felt compelled to share. Just in case YOU have never heard of Birchbox. Also, if you have a beauty product junkie on your holiday shopping list…GET THEM A SUBSCRIPTION! The perfect easy last minute gift idea is at your fingertips! I was gifted a 6 month subscription and I am BEYOND excited to start getting my Birchbox each month!
My December Birchbox included several “new to me” products as well as a few tried & true brands I know and love. Get the low down on each product below:
KLORANE Eye Patches: Whenever we’re the least bit sleep-deprived, stressed out, dehydrated, or run down, our eyes show it. These soothing under-eye patches are just the little white lie our exhausted eyes need: Each is packed with fast-acting botanicals that make fine lines, dark circles, annoying puffiness, and signs of whatever last night (or last week) was like, fade away.
Sunday Riley C.E.O. Brightening Serum: This serum takes its name from the ingredients it’s formulated with—vitamin C, vitamin E, and a blend of antioxidants—but also truly lives up to its C.E.O. title, working like a boss to brighten, tighten, and plump your complexion. With a potent 15% dose of an oil-soluble version of the brightening savior called tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate (a derivative of vitamin C), it addresses signs of aging and gives you a more even-toned complexion. In this format, it can penetrate deep and fast into your skin, so you get instant radiance. And it doesn’t just make your skin look more refined and clearer thanks to saccharide isomerate extract and glycolic acid, it also reduces any redness or irritation with the help of phytosterols, so even sensitive types can use it.
MAC Cosmetics Strobe Cream: Constantly being followed around by a lighting crew to mimic the perfect strobe effect isn’t ideal—a girl can dream, though, right? This skincare-meets-makeup cream helps tired and dull skin look more luminous and achieve that coveted glow—no heavy equipment required. In fact, the vitamin-, green tea-, and botanical-enriched formula is so lightweight that it blends like a dream to give skin a subtle lit-from-within radiance. When worn under makeup, it creates a base for all the products layered on afterward. On days when you’re feeling a little bit more low-maintenance, it can double as your moisturizer or you can layer over your favorite one for a soft luminescence.
Beachwaver Co. Great Barrier Heat Protectant Spray: This hairspray provides a light, flexible hold that’s suitable for all hair types. It’s also formulated with proprietary technology to strengthen strands and create a protective barrier against heat and environmental factors.
Stila Cosmetics HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara: This mascara lengthens, curls, volumizes, and adds rich color without weighing down your lashes. The curved brush mimics your eye shape so it’s easy to grab every lash with a single swipe.
To learn more about Birchbox and/or to sign up, click here.
If you are a LONG LONG LONGTIME reader (like 2013), you might remember when I found the affordable dupe (sold out, sorry) of the ever popular Rag & Bone Harrow booties. I wore the HECK out of those booties and still have them to this day. But they are starting to show their age (and lack of quality) so I finally took the plunge and snagged the real deal during Shopbop‘s last sale.
Speaking of sales…Shopbop just announced their biggest sale of the year! You can save up to 25% off your entire purchase with code MORE18. Some brand restrictions do apply so check out the full list here. Now is the perfect time to stock up on those big ticket items like boots/booties, jackets & holiday gifts!