Friday, August 22, 2014

Are You Envious

I am really excited about today's Friday Favorites as it pertains to a good friend of mine. Candy and I have known each other for about five years because our husband's used to work together. We became fast friends and usually can be found together eating and drinking wine.

Candy has always had great style and after being a stay at home mom for a while, she has parlayed that into a nice little business for herself in the form of an on line boutique and, even better...if you are local she does mobile parties and brings the goods to you! 

Check out her website, Candy's Closet Envy 

The clothes are fashionable and what you'd expect to find at a boutique...what you wouldn't expect to find at a normal boutique are her prices, you can actually afford to splurge on a few pieces, go ahead...I did!

and while you are at it, grab yourself some adorable (and affordable!) accessories.

So go ahead, have yourself a look and follow her on instagram or facebook and you may get lucky and win a giveaway. 

and keep in mind shipping is $2.99 and $1 each additional.

Linking up with Amanda, Hey Friday and Momfessionals.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Raspberry Rum Pops

Yesterday was national lemonade day, did you know this? I didn't...until it was too late. I didn't even have any yesterday. How sad. 

But that shouldn't stop you from having some today. and I know the perfect way for you to have some, my raspberry green tea rum pops. That's correct...Rum pops. 

I was lucky enough to be able to guest post for one of my good blog friends, Megan at Fashionista Momma. Megan and I met earlier this summer at Blog U and formed a fast friendship. She is one stylish momma who has lots of healthy recipes, exercise tips and great fashion advice.

Click here to check out my easy summer recipe!

Monday, August 18, 2014

No Pictures Needed

I tend to live my life snapping away. I love capturing the scenes that make up our daily life.  We are often doing fun things that a simple picture allows me a way to remember the small details. 

and then, sometimes, there are weekend like this. Where we really did nothing picture worthy and yet I had one of the best times in a while. When you are in "go, go, go" mode...slowing down is such welcome relief. 

On Friday, Wiki came home from work and whipped me up a steak. With a side of bacon. Cause that is how I roll.  And it was delicious. There are few steaks better than his.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it! 

We were originally supposed to head to our usual summer theater spot at the art museum to watch Bull Durham, but he got home a little later than expected. I was a little bummed as Bull Durham is one of my all time favorites and I could probably quote it line for line, but instead we headed to the theater next door in time to catch the 100 foot Journey...maybe one of my new favorite movies. I entails food, love and a charming French village. What is not to love?! Not to mention Helen Mirren. Enough said. I read the book and I still loved the movie. 

Saturday we lounged around for most of the day before I headed out to do some damage at the Bath & Body Works candle sale. and I did do some damage. hello, coupons.  I then headed over to Nicole's to hang out for the night and have drinks, a bonfire and a slumber party. Because why in the hades not?

Yesterday was another diddle daddle type of day.  Just got some stuff done around the house. My suitcase is completely packed for Italy and we still have 10 days left. I had a horrible dream I forgot to pack and we missed our flight. Definitely not happening;)

How was your weekend? Anything fun or adventurous?

Linking up with Meghan, Leeann and Kimberlee

Friday, August 15, 2014

Gettin My Fall On Y'all.

I know it is August, but since Fall is my absolute favorite season...I always get started now so I can enjoy the scents and taste of the season. and I keep all my decorations up until December 1st. I love me some Christmas, but caramel apples, pumpkin, cinnamon and bourbon take Santa on and win in my world.

These are the Fall things I am crushin on for the time being and a few things I am most looking forward to.

Football. Ok. Truthfully, I have been ready for football since February. I am always so remiss when it ends and find myself counting down the weeks. and this year...Duke is ranked in the pre season poll for the first time in I don't even know how long. Yes, the perennial loser of not only the ACC but all of college football is ranked in pre season. I am overjoyed.

and then, to top it off, our town just started it's own Patriots fan club and so we don't have to drive the half hour to the one in Downtown Raleigh.

Boots. Oh, there are few things that I adore more than a pair of boots and skinny jeans. Each year I patently await the new styles and then I wait til they go on sale at the end of the season. So basically, I am always a season behind I am all of a hundred percent cool with that. For example, last year I got a $350 pair of Frye boots for less than $75 and they will last me for quite some time.

Over sized sweaters. Ok, when I said there are few more things I adore than a pair of skinny jeans and boots, one of those is when they are paired with the most comfy and stylish over sized sweater. Cable knit tends to be my favorite.

Candles. I mean...this is self explanatory. I wait all year for the new Fall scents and I burn them in my kitchen/living room pretty much year round. If it smells like apples or baked goods, it belongs in my matter the season. Here are the ones I am crushin on right now. and by crushin, I mean already been burning for over a week.

Bourbon drinks. hahaha who am I kidding? I love bourbon drink all year long. I love it so much. but I do have a few recipes that scream Fall. Here is one I came up with last year and you can't go wrong. Perfect for a party and so easy to whip up.

Especially if you plan to have a party and maybe have yourself a bonfire. Because why wouldn't you? Bonfires are the best. Music and friends. Yes, please.

What are you favorite things about Fall?!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

August 11th

I didn't post yesterday, as the 11th is always a day that I need to take time for.  Yesterday, in particular, was a day for me to sit and reflect on.  For this time...August the 11th meant it had been 20 years since my mental health battle began to rage on.

It was 1994 and I was 15 years old.  I had been struggling for a while and death beckoned. I answered the call.  The pills led to cardiac arrest and my death lasted but a few moments before I was shocked back to the here and now.

I shared this on my facebook yesterday, mentioning how I had been dealing with the ups and downs of my illness and how I am finally winning the battle.

"20 years ago on August 11th, 1194, my 20 year battle with mental health began. I tried to end my life by overdosing and was rushed to the hospital where I suffered cardiac arrest. My parents were warned that I may not make it through the night. They were told that if I did I may suffer severe brain damage and be in a vegetative state. Well, *spoiler alert*  I did survive and was left with only frontal lobe brain damage that sometimes causes seizures (and I will often lose train of thought mid sentence) I was diagnosed with bipolar. 17 years and 13 hospitilizations later, I was also diagnosed with ptsd from childhood traumas.

I rarely discuss this on facebook, but this is why I am so passionate about mental health. I am living, breathing proof that the right team of doctors, medications and, in my case, a healthy dose of Jesus, work. 

On here you are usually bomborded with my funny quips (maybe that is an opinion;) food pictures, cocktail recipes or our frequent travel. My pictures are usually of my smiling face, but that is oftentimes a facade. Everyone has a story...this just so happens to be mine.

You can click on the link here to see how I beat PTSD and am working every day to show bipolar who is boss. It is the most difficult, yet truthful, piece I have ever written. 

and then, just two hours later, as I was watching Jeopardy, the news broke on the passing of Robin Williams and the belief that it was suicide.

It took me a few moments to wrap my head around and process the news and I am still not even sure that I have.  The sadness and desperation he must have felt, such a familiar foe.  The stark reminder that none of us are immune to this illness.

and so many people have taken to commenting as to how it wasn't a disease and he chose to kill himself and he "had everything going for him and they don't feel sorry for him"

and I sat dumbfounded and sad at the ignorance. Surprised? Not so much.

Mental Illness (especially depression) doesn't care who you are. It cares nothing about your stature, your career, your mark on the world. It cares little about the perception that anyone may have of your life. It just doesn't give a damn.

It rears its ugly head whenever and wherever it feels like and sometimes it can be beat. Other times, it wages war and comes out on top. Nothing can stop it. 

I know. I had people who loved me, who surrounded me with help and support and my illness still didn't care. This illness is full of lies and takes away your ability to see the truth. 

Getting help for depression, or bipolar or anxiety or any form of mental illness does not make you weak. It simply means you have an illness and you are doing your best to combat it.

When someone ends their life, it is not because they are selfish. It is not because they are weak minded or the opposite of strong. It simply means that they lost their battle and the illness won out.

Just like cancer. Just like heart failure. Or kidney failure. Or car accident.  The illness simply couldn't be denied this time. When you "choose" suicide, it is not a logical choice. That is what this illness does, makes you completely illogical and unable to see a way out. Your mind leads you to believe you do not have a choice. 

This illness is devastating. Robin Williams death is devastating, but he is not the only face of mental illness. Look around the sea of people you are in everyday...and one of them (probably more than one) is wearing a mask that enables them to get through their day by pretending.

 The faces of mental illness are everywhere.

But with more and more people bringing awareness to this disease, with more people talking about it, surely we can lessen the stigma and more and more people will find a combination that works. 

We must do all we can to combat the fight against mental health.

If you are struggling and need help, please call someone, reach out to someone you trust and if you don't feel comfortable talking to someone you know, please call the suicide prevention hot line.

I know how simple it is to say that. and I know when you are hard it is to decide to do that. but just in case...

My ordeal has taken me 20 years to get to a healthy place. There may be no miracle fix, but I promise you the road is worth it.