Sunday, December 21, 2014

Holiday Card Swap

So I decided to participate in a Holiday Card Swap held by the blogs Beauty Expression and A Deecoded Life.






Each person was assigned a partner and we were given their details. My partner was Ellyn from Malaysia. If you would like to follow her blog you can go HERE or follow her on instagram HERE.

We got to know each other through emails and I told her I love going to the beach now that I live 10 minutes from it.  She doesn't like the beach because it makes her skin darker which is a reason why I love the beach!  She prefers fairer skin whereas I would love to be tan someday!  Interesting how cultures view things so differently. 

She tries to blog but says she can't write English very well.  I have disagree - she writes English extremely well!  Probably better than I do! :) 

She's a stay at home mom to a 4 year old daughter.  In her spare time, she likes to bake and spend time with her daughter reading books, watching cartoons, baking together, playing, etc. 

I got Ellyn's card the other day and I love it.  Here are a couple pictures of the card:


 
 

It has Season's Greetings on the front and on the inside.  I think Ellyn put her own touch on the card with stickers making up a tree, presents, and star on the left hand side.  So creative, Ellyn!  (By the way, I love how your name is spelled!)  Then she wrote some great words to me for Christmas and the New Year.  Definitely more creative than I was.  I need to work on that. :)  Thank you, Ellyn!  Love the card.

In addition, the above blogs want us to answer some questions regarding the holidays.

1.  What are your best memories about the Holidays?

Many good memories.  I remember getting loads of presents just stacked so high sometimes.  Some of my best presents were getting a Strawberry Shortcake Fridge, an Ewok tree house, a play kitchen, multitude of Barbies, and of course the traditional orange in stocking.  I loved the Christmas tree each year with all the pretty lights.  I loved how my cats loved being around the tree.  I loved competition with my next door neighbor in putting up more lights than them (me and my brother did it ourselves).  And on Christmas, we started a tradition of always going out to eat for lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  (Because it was the only thing open back in the day.)  Here is a picture of me and my bros circa 1981. 



2.  Do you have any family traditions you like to follow over the Holiday Season?

Not really.  Whenever I have my own family, if I do, I'd like to have my own traditions - probably like the ones in the holiday movies.  At the very least, I'd like to have a big Christmas dinner and invite all kinds of friends/family over. 

3.  What's the worst Christmas gift you've ever got?

I'm not sure I've ever gotten a bad Christmas gift.  I was always grateful for anything I got. 

4.  What are your favorite holiday movies or books?

It's a Wonderful Life is my most favorite Christmas movie.  Such a good message. 




5.  If you could ask Santa for any material present for this Christmas, what would it be?

Ok, if I'm being super materialistic - I'd ask for the 2016 Shelby Mustang.



If I'm being normal, I'd ask for a camera like this one.  I definitely need a nice camera now that I live near the ocean.



By the way, here is a picture of the street near Destin, FL where I went after Thanksgiving.  Palm trees lit up for the holidays!



And here is my own Christmas tree.  If you want to see a previous post of mine which details all my favorite ornaments on the tree, you can go HERE.





Friday, December 19, 2014

Fashion Friday

Thought I'd write a quick post on some of my finds at Kohls this week.  I went to the doctor on Tuesday for my liver results and while my liver turns out to be fine, my gallbladder is not.  I got gallstones and sludge.  My doctor wants to take the 'wait and see' approach but I wanted to get referred to a GI doctor to see if anything else can be done.  Not sure if I really want it taken out but wanted to see what all my options are and if it is that bad.  Finally 6 years of problems with food seems to be solved.  Funny thing is - I went to a GI doctor in 2011 or so...and he just looked at me like I was nuts with my symptoms.  I had to get an ultrasound to show that something was really wrong.  Ridiculous. 

So in my sadness of the gallstone report, I had to have some retail therapy. LOL  So off to Kohls I went.

I've been needing some brown pants after getting fat juices all over my old ones (nothing seemed to help get that spot out).  They were super oversized (from 40lbs ago) and I probably shouldn't have been wearing them anyways. haha  So many, many months ago I found these Chaps skinny pants (not jeans) that fit perfectly at Kohls.  They were $59 and NEVER on sale anytime I went there.  But on Tuesday they were!  $39!  Plus I had 15% off so I totally bought them.  Here they are. 

 
Then I stumbled upon the shoes section.  I really need black flats and black heels because I either don't have them or they're too big due to my weight loss I guess.  Of course, I didn't find either that I liked.  But I found some snazzy sandals that of course were too much ($43 on sale) but I was in the impulsive mood so I bought those suckers.

 
Oh and since it is almost Christmastime I thought I'd share my Christmas tree.  Blurry pic I know.  You can go HERE to see a past post with all my cool ornaments. I really sort of wanted to go home to Ohio this Christmas but can't really because I have to work.  Thinking maybe in March I can go visit the family. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Super Cute Skirt I Wore Today from Rue21

While in Santa Rosa Beach, FL this weekend, I hit up the store Rue21.  Thought about buying these glasses:





Decided I would never wear them anywhere so I didn't buy them.  But I did buy this skirt:




Only $14.99.  They do run pretty small.  So I got a medium and it fits pretty perfectly.  Here is how I styled it today for work:



I absolutely love it.  The material is so weird - almost like they cut it from a curtain or couch or something.  And it flares out like a poodle skirt would.  I got THREE separate complements on it from people at work.  Totally stylin'. ;) 

Sunday, November 30, 2014

KCup Coffee Extravaganza Giveaway (Ends 12/24)

KCup Coffee Extravaganza Giveaway (2 Winners)

Sponsored by: Two Rivers Coffee

Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy
Co-Hosted By::
&

Plus A Big Thank You To All Other Blogs Participating!

TwoRivers2

1 Winner Will Receive A Brooklyn Beans Variety Pack with 40 Asstd. KCups

Decisions, decisions. This morning are you in the mood for some pizzazz or chill? Do you crave some bold slap-you-in-the-face flavor, or mild taste?

Brooklyn Bean Roastery says who cares… have them all!

Our 40-count Brooklyn Bean Roastery sampler pack includes four samples of the following light, medium, and dark-roast blends: Breakfast Blend, Boardwalk Blend, Brooklyn Bridge, Colombian, Cyclone, Donut Shop, Fugheddaboutit and French Roast.

This product is NOT COMPATIBLE with Keurig 2.0 brewers.

AND

TwoRivers1

1 Winner Will Receive the Two Rivers Mega Coffee Sampler Pack with 40 Asstd. KCups

Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee. This sampler pack has it all from bold to decaf and flavored to complex roasts. If you enjoy a variety of coffees then this is a great match for you.

This variety pack is NOT COMPATIBLE with Keurig 2.0 machines.

This is a big variety! Teas, Hot Cocoas, Cider, Coffee... this box has it all!

And Now The Giveaway!!!

Giveaway Dates: 11/29 12AM EST through 12/24 12AM EST
Giveaway Valid for US Residents ONLY and must be 18+ to enter
This giveaway is in no way endorsed, affiliated or associated with Facebook,
Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid only
in the Continental United States. Entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter.
This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 12/24/2014.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blogger Opp ~ 2 Winners ~ KCup Coffee Extravaganza Giveaway

Blogger Opp ~ 2 Winners ~ KCup Coffee Extravaganza Giveaway

Sponsored by: Two Rivers Coffee
Hosted By: Deliciously Savvy
TwoRivers2

1 Winner Will Receive A Brooklyn Beans Variety Pack with 40 Asstd. KCups

Decisions, decisions. This morning are you in the mood for some pizzazz or chill? Do you crave some bold slap-you-in-the-face flavor, or mild taste?
Brooklyn Bean Roastery says who cares… have them all!
Our 40-count Brooklyn Bean Roastery sampler pack includes four samples of the following light, medium, and dark-roast blends: Breakfast Blend, Boardwalk Blend, Brooklyn Bridge, Colombian, Cyclone, Donut Shop, Fugheddaboutit and French Roast.
This product is NOT COMPATIBLE with Keurig 2.0 brewers.

AND

TwoRivers1

1 Winner Will Receive the Two Rivers Mega Coffee Sampler Pack with 40 Asstd. KCups

Coffee, Coffee and more Coffee. This sampler pack has it all from bold to decaf and flavored to complex roasts. If you enjoy a variety of coffees then this is a great match for you.
This variety pack is NOT COMPATIBLE with Keurig 2.0 machines.
This is a big variety! Teas, Hot Cocoas, Cider, Coffee... this box has it all!

So, I need Your Help Promoting!!! Because You Rock!!!

Sign Ups Close 11/27
 
Giveaway Dates: 11/29 12AM EST through 12/24 12AM EST
 
2 FREE links with Announcement Post Choose From Facebook Visit, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram. (or pay $3 to mcushing7@hotmail.com via Paypal for the 2 links with no announcement)
 
 
Co-Hosts are $5 for 5 links of your choice! That's Right! Any that you want PLUS the 2 FREE links gives co-hosts 7 links total. There will be a co-host page linked to your site, as well as an extra follow page or two! There will be a few Secret Word Pages as well.... so promote away! The more sign ups, the more Extra Follow Pages you will have.
 
Co-Hosts are not required to post announcement but it is greatly appreciated :)
 
Other Options Available On The Sign Up Form.
 
********************************************************************************

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vegas Fashion - #CosmopolitanChic

I was asked by Cosmopolitan Las Vegas if I wanted to take part in their #CosmopolitanChic challenge and I immediately agreed.  I have several items of clothing I haven't really gotten to wear yet or much at all and wanted to show them off.

If you just go to Cosmopolitan Las Vegas website, they have so many things listed that you can take part in.  I had no idea there was such a variety of things to do there.  I thought Vegas = gambling and wild times!  There is that but there are SO many other things!

I want to show you some outfits which would be good for daytime activities...such as tours or day shows.  I even found something called the Richard Petty American Muscle Car Challenge where you can race the car of your choice (I would choose the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 of course).  HEAVEN!  That is now totally on my bucket list!  Then I'm going to show you outfits for nighttime activities such as nighttime shows, nightclubs, and bars.  A girl's gotta dance, right?

So here we go with my outfits I would totally wear in Vegas doing the many activities that are available.  I have laid them out from casual to very dressy.


 

 








Saturday, November 8, 2014

Check This Event Out: Angel 30 - What's in it for YOU?





If any of you are in London on the 22nd and 23rd of November, I highly recommend you check this event out.  It is 2 Days of Angelic Spiritual Development and Discovery and you can sign up HERE.  Also, I have a 10% discount code - Jovan444.  Hope you can make it!

Before/After Pics of My Weight Loss

I was checking out some past blog posts and I saw a picture of myself at my highest weight and I honestly was pretty shocked.  Looking at myself then compared to now, it is unbelievable to me.  I didn't see myself as 'chunky' back then or maybe I just wouldn't admit it.  But yep, there is some weight on my bones and not good weight.  I was even running marathons at the time so could you imagine if I wasn't?  Wow. 

Here's the before (143lbs):



And here's now (about 107lbs in this picture):


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

How I Combat Cystic Acne at Age 37

I think I finally found a solution, for me at least, to my chronic cystic acne problem.  Just a little background before I tell you how I keep the cystic acne at bay. 

I started getting acne (all kinds) when I was 14 years old.  I am now 37 years old and continue to get acne.  I think once I got in my 30s it switched over to mostly the cystic type.  For me, cystic acne are the pimples that are monsterous, no over the counter creams work (and even prescription creams didn’t work), and take a month to dissipate. 
So the way it works for me, I’ll get one pimple and it gets humongous over a few days and stays that way for basically a month before it dissipates.  I get them either somewhere on my chin or in the middle of my forehead right between the eyes.  How attractive, right?  The first few days you can sort of cover it up with concealer but after that, it looks like this massive skin colored mountain on your face.  Talk about being self-conscious!  Yep, that is me.  And once one went away, another one would pop right up on schedule. 
Last year I had it.  22 years of having acne and I was totally over it.  So I went to a dermatologist.  She stated that my cystic acne was hormonal.  So therefore, she was going to prescribe me Spironolactone, which would balance out my hormones and thus get rid of my cystic acne.  I thought, “Yes!  Finally a real solution.” 
This pill was a miracle cure in the sense that it got rid of the pesky cystic acne.  I could not believe it.  But then….here comes the side effects.  And I had all the side effects that were opposite of all the ones they said you could get which is weird.  Some of the side effects included getting regular little pimples which I gladly chose over the big cystic ones…and I started gaining weight like crazy.  Not sure why.  The worst side effect, which I won’t go into here, was just unbearable so I stopped the meds.  It just wasn’t worth it.  If you’ve ever had cystic acne, you’re probably thinking anything is worth it but honestly this was NOT.  In addition, through some research, it appears that pill triggered a genetic skin condition called Keratosis Pilaris.  Basically, they’re a bunch of raised red bumps on my legs (and raised skin colored bumps on the back of my arms).  Considering I’ve been a runner and pride myself in my legs – this was pretty devastating to say the very least.  It was pretty bad until I moved to Florida so I’m thinking the sun maybe helped a bit so now I can wear dresses/shorts, etc. again which is a relief.
Anywho, back to my story.  So eventually my cystic acne came back in January of this year.  I was none too pleased.  But I just dealt with it.  I had to start my new job here in late July with a massive one.  What a way to make an impression, eh?  Eventually, I found a place to live and went to a local Walmart and came across this thing called illuMask.  I had seen it in a magazine one time but thought it was only online and didn’t feel like buying it online.  But I thought, what the hay – when I saw it in Walmart.  I also bought some Neutrogena acne pads as well for a little extra help. 

 

So basically what I do is this.  If I’m stressed out or have eaten something I know makes me break out (eggs, salt, etc.) OR if I can actually feel one coming on or see one, I bring out the Neutrogena pads and the illuMask.  I wipe my face down with the pads and then throw on the mask – the mask has these lights in it that is supposed to kill bacteria I guess.  A session lasts 15 minutes and there are 30 sessions that come with the mask.  It is $30 at Walmart so basically a buck for a session.  Chump change for clear skin, in my opinion.  I started using it probably the beginning of September and have gone through one whole mask (30 sessions) and started my 2nd mask last night (1 session) for a total of 31 sessions.  NOT ONE CYSTIC ACNE popped up.  Not one!  Since the beginning of September!  That is the longest I’ve been with clear skin without meds probably since I was 14. 
Now I’m not saying I’ll never get one again but things are definitely going well so far and I totally had to share with you guys in case you are struggling with the same thing.  It is just something to try.  The mask is only $30 at Walmart and the pads are about $7-$9 at Target.  Well worth spending the money to try out if you have cystic acne as bad as me.
Good luck!!!
Disclaimer:  I did not get paid for this post nor did I get a product free.  I am merely providing my success so far with the illuMask and Neutrogena Pads.

MamatheFox's Annual Gift Guide Giveaway! (Ends Dec 16th)

Welcome to the MamatheFox's Annual Gift Guide Giveaway - for the Grown-Ups! This amazing giveaway features items that any grown-up wo...