The One Where I Talk About PCOS

24 Jul

So, yeah… I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS). This is not a new development. I’ve known for about 6 years… I’ve had symptoms since puberty (I was diagnosed after trying to get pregnant for over a year with no positive result. I was immediately referred to a fertility doctor. A great story with a beautiful ending for another day).  It just so happens that its reality hit me hard today.

I’ve read about PCOS, I’ve done my research.We don’t know what causes PCOS… but we do have a long list of symptoms. I understand what happens, I understand the science (I was a Chem major in college and have a masters on Biochem… as well as a masters in counseling, which you would think should be super helpful tools to have when one is dealing with this kind of thing). But I understand it as something that happens to an individual or, more specifically, to 1 in 10 women… not to me. Except it is happening to me. It’s been happening to me whether I want to accept it or not.

I look at myself in the mirror and see the effects of PCOS. I see all the extra weight that seems impossible to lose. I see all the unwanted facial hair. I see all the skin issues. I see a woman with low self-esteem. It’s hard to look at yourself in the mirror and feel the anxiety and sadness take hold. So, for a long time, I chose to not think too much about it, not look too closely. PCOS became an invisible illness even to myself.

Today it all came to the surface in “cry” form… why? why? how come?… we all have something we have to deal with… keep calm and carry on. It went from a hard heavy thing I thought I couldn’t carry to an “I think I can handle this” to an “I gotta do something about it… I have ideas”. And that’s just a glimpse at how my brain processes things (hormones!?)… apparently all at once (“one thing at a time” I’ve heard my husband say lovingly).

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I don’t pretend to have it all figured out and I know it’ll take loads of hard work to get to a comfortable/healthy place, but the initial motivation to change is there and that counts for a lot in my book. I hope to share more of my experience as I mindfully (hopefully) go through all this.

* You can find more info about PCOS, here.

Time for a Facebook party!

25 Oct

JamParty

To celebrate me joining Jamberry, I’m having a week long (10/25-11/1) Facebook launch party! Wanna join? Let me know!!!:)

You can always go directly to my website and place your order there as well, just click HERE!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me! Would love to chat with you!

Hug your nails with Jamberry!

20 Oct 20665837890_2fb0f81c14_z

I had to do it! I joined Jamberry as an independent consultant! And I’ll tell you why…

I love getting manis and pedis, but don’t love paying for them (who does?!). There’s nothing like perfectly polished nails and if you get some designs, it’s even better. Sadly, doing nail art is not my talent. Let’s be real… even a simple polish application can go south quick for me. But, applying Jamberry nail wraps… that I can do! My first full application took me around 20 minutes (maybe less, I wasn’t paying attention too closely) and it was painless! Once you take care of your cuticles (important for a lasting jamicure), application is smooth sailing. It was easy, it was fun, it cost just a fraction of a “regular” mani. Want to see my pretty nails?

Oh yeah, and those are my pretty nails on Day 5! They still look and feel great! You only see how much my nails grew. The tips are perfect. They can last up to two weeks! I might take them off, but just because I want to wear a new design (there are more than 300 designs to choose from… check out the catalog!).

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Here’s a bit more info on what Jamberry nail wraps are, because it’s important to know this stuff. ;) “The wraps are a solid film covering that can be applied directly to the nail to achieve a look not found anywhere else. This special material is both pressure and heat activated to create a water tight bond to your nail. The shields are made in the USA, with no harsh chemicals and are latex free. This new nail treatment can be applied in about fifteen minutes at home. With over three hundred styles to choose from, these designer wraps are made to last up to two weeks on fingers and four or more on toes. Unlike traditional nail polish, they won’t chip and require no drying time. It’s so easy to achieve a professional, salon look at a fraction of the cost.”

By the way, the design shown on my mani picture above is an exclusive one that was included on the Classic StyleBox for October 2015. StyleBox is an awesome monthly subscription. There are three different styles: Classic, Feminine and Trendy. Inside each StyleBox you’ll find 2 exclusive designs (different for each style), a nail file, an orange stick, and a style guide. Some months you get extra! For example, on the upcoming November 2015 StyleBox you will get an eyeshadow duo. It is awesome!!! Oh, and not to worry, you get to preview what comes every month and can even change the style of your box. Want to preview the November 2015 Stylebox? Here it is!

If you would like to try Jamberry nail wraps, don’t hesitate to contact me via email or Facebook and I’ll mail you a free sample! You can also see all the designs available and place an order on my Jamberry page.

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How I plan a birthday party

5 Nov

I love love love planning my son’s birthday parties. And it takes me a while to do… and sometimes (always) ends up being a lot of work… but oh so worth it! So, I just wanted to share with you a few things about how I plan a birthday party and what I did for my son’s 3rd birthday. We went with Where the Wild Things Are theme and it was great!

1. Theme – First things first… thinking about the theme. I usually have a few possible themes at a time. I make a choice when we’re about 2-3 months away from the actual birthday dependent on my son’s interest at the time (and now he has an opinion as well😉 ). I make a Pinterest board (will talk about that next) for every theme. That way, when is time to choose a theme, I have all the ideas I like in one place and don’t have to do as much research/planning.

Example of my Pinterest boards for birthdays

Example of my Pinterest boards for birthdays (Sesame Street, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Where the Wilds Things Are) *Click to see the boards on Pinterest

2. Pinterest board – I pin and pin and pin… every little idea that comes my way.

  • cake – I make my son’s birthday cakes. I’m not a trained cake decorator but can totally put together a cake. Sometimes very kind people will share their creations and even do a step-by-step tutorial. Just search! I followed this tutorial.
  • invitations – I love mailing invitations. I love seeing what others do and use it as inspiration to make my own. I usually also have a Facebook event going (it is a great reminder).
  • food – Sometimes I make the food, sometimes I order out. This year we had pizza and wings from Great Northern Pizza Kitchen. It was great. Specially since the birthday party was around lunchtime.
  • decorations – You can find pretty much an idea for most things that come to mind on Pinterest. Finding ideas for parties is just great… from simple to all out… from DIY to you-can-buy-this-here. You’ll find something for your taste and budget.
  • other – I add activities, favors, costume, etc.

Obviously, not everything that gets pinned, gets done for the birthday… although I wish I could!😉

3. Make/send invitations – I make and mail the invitations a month-ish before the birthday party.

Inspired by a few invitations I found online.

Inspired by a few invitations I found online.

4. Make cake TIP: Make sure that you allow enough time to finish your cake! This is the most stressful part of the whole birthday party planning. It is hard to predict what’s going to happen. This last cake took me a good 3 days to complete… but a month after the party, I still have people talking about it. Not too bad!😉

Cake

Love this cake!

5. Birthday Party Day – We are fortunate to have an entertaining room in the apartment complex that we can use for this kind of activity. It is a big room with tables/chairs already set up. There’s also a kitchen. I love it! Minimal setup… we just have to clean at the end. I’ve had birthday celebrations at home before and I feel that there’s much more to do/clean before and after the party. See if you can find a room like that for your next party!

We were able to bring a ball pit, tunnels, and a huge inflatable bowling set. They were all a huge hit with the toddler crowd. My husband did story time and read a couple books including Where the Wild Things Are.

Story time!!!

Yes, he was wearing his Max suit!

Yes, he was wearing his Max suit!

6. Thank You cards – I believe in sending Thank You cards. People take time of their day to come celebrate with us and I think it is a very nice thing to do. I love receiving thank you cards (any kind of cards/letters), so I love sending them too. It is also a great learning experience. Talk to the little one while you write them and explain why you’re mailing cards.

Hope this post helps you a bit on your future birthday planning!:)

Learning to decorate cakes (with Wilton)

28 Oct Class 4 Sample

Just last night, I finished the Wilton Course 1 – Building Buttercream Skills. I took my classes at Michael’s because they had a special offer when I signed up. Here are some pictures of my projects!

Class 1 Sample

Class 1 Sample

Class 2 Sample

Class 2 Sample – Yellow cake with apricot filling

Class 3 Sample

Class 3 Sample

Class 4 Sample

Class 4 Sample – Chocolate cake with raspberry filling

What I liked:

  • Even though I’ve decorated cakes, cupcakes and cookies before, I liked that there was plenty for me to learn. I’m self-taught, so it is always good to have a veteran decorator give you pointers. The instructor was very patient and gracious.
  • I only paid $10 for the class (plus course materials)! I think it is a great price especially if you just want to give it a try!
  • I love the manual. I think it is very well written and will be great to refresh my memory on some of the techniques. (I wish it included links to videos that showed somebody going through the techniques… just a thought!)
  • I love the course kit. They really provide you with quality materials. It contains all the tools you need. (Although, I ended up buying a cake leveler and a turn table (which I love and think are a must have!).) And I know that I won’t have to buy any of those things again (or at least on a very long time!).
  • I really feel like I can produced a decent buttercream cake! I learned to properly layer and fill a cake. I’m no expert, but I know that lots of practice will help.

What I didn’t like:

  • My classmates were never prepared. This made the instructor have to deviate from the course schedule to accommodate for them. Somewhat annoying.
  • We had schedule issues, so we ended up having 4 classes in 2 weeks. I know this course is offered in 2 classes sometimes. But it felt too back to back for me. Like I didn’t have time to let anything sink in or practice on my own. We had to bake and prepare icing for every class and that takes time as well.

So… I really enjoyed the whole process (don’t let my dislikes discourage you from trying a Wilton class… after all, that was just my experience). Getting ready for class was a bit stressful at times but it got me out of the house and gave me time to learn more about something I’ve always enjoyed. I’ll definitely take the other courses… I’m particularly interested on trying fondant and making gumpaste flowers. If you give it a try, let me know what you think!:)

For the love of Pinterest!

23 Oct

I pin, therefore I make!

~Eliany

Homemade Laundry Detergent & the First Load of Laundry

23 Oct

Just a few days ago I made my own laundry detergent (as seen on Crystal & Co.)! It took us (the hubster helped with the mixing) less than 5 minutes to combine all the ingredients. I used the following recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1 (55 oz) box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1 (4 lb) box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
  • 1 (76 oz) box of Borax
  • 3 bars of Fels Naptha Soap
  • 1 (3 lb) container of OxiClean (I used the unscented one)
  • 1 (13 oz) container of Downy Unstopables (I used Fresh) scent (optional)

This is what my laundry detergent looks like! Love it!

Crystal & Co. claims this recipe makes 271 loads of laundry. I’ll try to keep tract of how many loads of laundry I get out of this batch. The ingredients costed $26.67 which makes it a little less than $0.10 per load (can’t beat that!). I love that it makes a decent quantity of detergent, it’s inexpensive, and it smells great! [The first time I made laundry detergent, it was quite a small batch and felt more like an inconvenience.]

Just now, I moved the first load of laundry (washed using this detergent) to the dryer. It came out smelling fresh and clean from the washer. Way better than commercial laundry detergent which has left my freshly-laundered clothes smelling a little funky lately and in need of a re-wash. I’ll keep you posted about all the laundry happenings around here!:)

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