I just want to write.

Letting it out -- I want to write. Liveloveandgarlic.com

You should see my drafts box, all overloaded and bursting with half-written posts and unfinished thoughts. Each time I login to write, those posts stare back at me like I’m some sort of traitor — not allowing them out in to the world. Instead, I open several of them in different tabs, read through the words, make minor changes, hit “save draft” and exit out of the screen. Feeling no more accomplished than I did when I first logged in.

It’s almost as if they won’t allow me to go any further without finishing the things (or even just one thing) that I’ve started. And, that’s what’s been keeping me from posting — or from writing at all. Those lingering thoughts, the words I want to release but don’t quite have the courage, are all balled up in my chest, in my heart, in my mind.

But. I want to write. Not wait until I’m ready. Even if it’s trivial or doesn’t make sense. Words on a page. Pictures on a page. That’s what I want and where I’m at. Here’s to hoping November is the month of getting back into the groove.

Finally Friday.

Finally Friday!

It’s Friday. Hallelujah.

If last week was the week of the corn chip… this week is the week of resisting the corn chip. I only caved once, yesterday, after a particularly grouchy conversation with someone I work with. Also, I resisted the delicious smelling pizza lunch for a soggy salad from home. I wanted the chip so I ate the chip, mmmmk?

Anyways, enough about my corn chip obsession. I’m pretty sure that today is Saturday, though I’m assured that it is, in fact, Friday – I’ve been off an entire day all week. To help pep myself up this morning, I had a little self talk about my upcoming trip to Hawaii… if anything can get me through a Saturday Friday workday, it is that. This weekend is a busy one as we’re putting in our hardwood floors (finally!) on top of having family photos taken and a kick-off lunch with our marriage class from church. Christian and I also spotted a cabinet at a garage sale this morning that, with a little paint, will look great in our laundry room — score of the day at $5. I love garage sales.

Also, I wanted to report back on the Zucchini crust pizza from last week’s Friday post. I followed the directions, but left out the cheese (subbing in an egg). While it wasn’t the best pizza I’ve ever had it was pretty good for cheese-less, vegetable crust pizza. Christian (who had cheese on his) said that it was better than it looked after giving me the side-eye as I pulled it out of the oven.  If you try it, you’ll have to let me know what you think!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs this week:

I’m friends with Katie on Facebook and over the past few months she has posted conversations that she has with her Dad (all via phone). They’re hilarious in and of themselves, but they, also, semi-remind me of all the quirky things my Dad says/does which makes them even better. The best part? Now she has a Tumblr – Coffee With Dad and you too can get in on the hilarity.

I love my friends so much that sometimes it hurts. All the inside jokes, ridiculous memories and bad decisions we made together blur into one supportive, fabulous pile of greatness. These spot-on rules of girl code are amazing and I totally agree with #’s 4, 12 and 14.

Ever since I saw the article on how much it cost for Princess Kate to have the royal baby in comparison to birth costs here in the U.S., I’ve been consuming a lot of information on what we’re doing wrong. This video on US healthcare costs sums it up better than I ever could. Watch it – he’s smart, attractive and entertaining to follow.

Do you ever find yourself just sitting there wondering when life’s crap storm is going to hit? Or, do you ever have those moments when things are going well (almost too well — as if there is such a thing) and you’re just waiting for something to come dampen your joy? That’s what we call the crack of doom, and you should probably stop worrying about it.

Fried rice is one of my favorite things about Chinese food — I’m sort of a sucker for most fried things (no shame!) and fried rice is no different. However, this recipe for kale fried rice is packed with Kale and a little bit healthier than the other version I was eyeing (it had bacon grease as a main ingredient)… this one might just end up on the meal plan for next week!

Sometimes I wish that I could get a well thought out personal finance plan for free. Someone to tell me what to do, how to do it and when to do it. Ya know? Well, ask and thou shall receive… because here’s all the personal finance advice you’ll ever need.

I saved this one for last, not because it’s the least important (it’s the most), but because its content is hard to see. The purpose behind Project Unbreakable is to build awareness around sexual assault and allow the victims of such horrific acts a place to begin their healing. Each photo shows an assault survivor with a sign quoting the chilling words/threats/lies their attackers told them — if only there was a way to erase such horrible things and give each of them a hug. We all need to be the light in this world, for we never know what others are facing.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Finally Friday.

Finally Friday.

If I had to dub this week something, I would dub it the week of the corn chip. And, the week of the rain. First of all, my diet has been squeaky clean this week with the exception of corn chips (and a touch of gluten-free/healthified chex mix). The corn chips started with a stop of at my Mom’s earlier this week to try out her freshly made salsa, then dinner at a Mexican restaurant with a friend, then a Mexican catered lunch at work. I can pass up the flour tortillas and the cheese just fine… but you offer me a slightly salted, crispy corn chip and all bets are off.

Also, have you heard about the rain in Colorado? They’re calling it the 100 year flood. I’ve lived here my entire life and have never seen rain this hard for this long. It’s crazy and wet and sad and glorious all at the same time. My heart is so sad for those that are suffering damage, leaks and flooding — it’s absolutely mind-blowing to see all the photos and videos of normal streets turned into rushing torrents of muddy water. On the positive note it’s nice to have a reason to wear pj’s from the moment you walk in the door and feel totally justified spending the evening snuggled in your bed watching episode after episode of Rules of Engagement (in which Jeff makes me laugh every minute).

This weekend is a total toss-up — the only thing I know for sure is that I’ll be having dinner with my Dad tonight. Otherwise it will be a mishmash of wrapping up ceiling painting, debating whether to start installing our wood floors and living out of the kitchen and our bed room, the only two rooms that aren’t full to the brim with couches, tables, chairs and other furniture. Having a house in renovation flux really forces you to be flexible in the way you live. Dinner on the bed? Sure, why not.

What are you up to this weekend? If you’re in Colorado, I hope you’re staying safe & dry!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

It turns out that I’m right at that age where people are starting to get pregnant, share the news and pop out kids. This site/app that keeps all your friends and family informed on your delivery status looks insanely perfect for abating all those constant questions and texts about “is he/she here yet”. Plus, it’s easy to use (and cute) to boot.

I’ve already put this recipe for Zucchini crust pizza on the menu plan for next week. With our over abundance of squash varieties we’re getting really creative in ways to use them. Shredded, sliced, blended, grilled, roasted, sautéed, baked, and on and on and on.

In order to burn off all those corn chips, I probably need to start/re-start a fitness routine that actually has a schedule. When I do this, I’m going to add this quick AB workout video to help spice things up.

How many times have you prevented yourself from starting something because you knew you wouldn’t be able to do it as well as you’d like. [slowly raises hand] Personally, I don’t like to feel like I can’t even meet my own standards so I’ll let ideas and projects stall instead of giving them my all. This, my friends, is called perfectionism and at its heart it’s ridiculous. Here are a few ways to beat perfectionism to a pulp that I intend to try.

This article on how to, successfully, use Facebook for you business is one of the best I’ve seen. It’s officially book marked for sharing and using and re-reading. If you’re looking to up your game, there are some really great (easy) ideas to help you get started strategically.

Do you ever have those quick moments of intense feeling when you want to tell your best friend (or husband or mom or sister or co-worker) just how much you love/appreciate them? But… you don’t. Yeah. That happens. If everyone were a little more proactive about truth-telling and self-expression I wonder where the world would be?

This layout of a “Fat Loss Template” was an interesting read. Sometimes I get so overwhelmed with all the science out there these days it’s hard to know where to start. I feel this is a pretty good place.

And lastly, have you seen these Fridge Coasters — I want the polka dot ones in Orange or Yellow (I think). Now I just have to measure my shelves/drawers.

Confessions Round 4.

Confessions.

1.) I frequently burst out into song. And, the timing doesn’t always make sense. I could be singing the dogs a little diddy that I’ve just made up or dropping the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner while sautéing some veggies for fajitas. It probably gets old, but Christian (and the puppies) are pretty good sports about not telling me how ridiculous I am.

2.) I sleep with an eye mask. If I don’t have one… I don’t sleep. Case in point, last Tuesday I’d somehow managed to wrangle the thing off my head (and even over my messy bun) and found myself totally awake a 4:00am blindly trying to find it in the mess of blankets around me.

3.) I burn myself ALL THE TIME. You might think this means that I burn myself a lot when cooking, which it does. (For instance just last week I pulled a frittata out of the oven only to turn around and grab the handle of the pan (re: 375 degrees) and scream profanity/cry incessantly for the next hour as my hand blistered). This, also, means that I burn myself on the blow dryer, curling iron, clothes iron and on the scalding water that comes out of our faucet.

4.) I’ll only eat flavored mayo. Plain mayo is nasty – let’s just get that out there – it’s not good unless it’s mixed into tuna or egg salad. Period. However, if you stir in a little garlic or chipotle or marinara sauce you will find me crazy eyed and licking the bowl.

5.) I’m crazy nostalgic. I have nightgowns from when I was little, old folded up notes from my friends, ticket stubs, my favorite jeans from high school, weird tchotchkes from my grandma, books from my older sister, CD mixes I made years ago etc.  I, also, have a hard time throwing away birthday cards even if there’s no personal message because I may want them some day.

Have any confessions you feel like unloading? If so, please share! The more that I do these, the more I realize that I’ve got a lot of weird tendencies quirks.

Want to see my past confessions? You can check them all out over here.

Finally Friday.

Christian's Birthday Surprise Adventure

In last week’s finally Friday post I alluded to some top-secret plans, and I’m here to tell you that those plans went off without a hitch. Christian’s birthday was this past Tuesday (he turned 31). Tuesdays are generally a pretty lame day to have a birthday – they’re better than Mondays, but not by much. In order to save this birthday from the doldrums of mid-week, I decided to turn Saturday into Christian’s semi-birthday. I rented ATV’s on the sly and dragged him 40 minutes outside Denver for an adventure. The verdict? He totally loved it. I followed the adventure up with a fancy dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse downtown (where he pretty much died from steak joy). On his actual birthday I made him one of his favorite dinners + brownies (and ice cream) and surprised him with a new board game… nerd alert! I’m calling this one a total win.

This weekend, it’s a 3-day weekend! Whoop, whoop. I love 3-day (and 4-day and 5-day, you get the picture) weekends. A lot of our family is out-of-town so I’m hoping to check a few things off the to-do list — things like painting. We’ve had a variety of splotches all over our walls for the past several months and it’s time to make a decision and slap some color up. Wish us luck. We also borrowed this really intimidating looking ceiling painter from my mom – she says it’s not as scary as it looks – jury is still out on that one. Hope your weekend if full of all kinds of good stuff.

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the interwebs:

In the mood for a sweet, sad, precious, melt on the floor in a puddle of tears kind of cry? I’ve got the perfect thing, and it’s called “A Letter From Fred“. Something about adorable old men that truly love their wives (and vis versa) gets me every time. I want to hug him.

One of my favorite parts of making brownies – outside of, you know, actually eating the brownies – is licking the batter. I try to make them when Christian is either a.) not home b.) not in the house c.) blissfully unaware of what is going on — all this so that I can spend all the time in the world meticulously eating the batter left on the spoon/bowl. If this could be achieved in a semi-healthier form, I’d be all for it. Enter Cashew Brownie Batter Bites.

My Mom gave me this beautiful print on holding yourself to a standard of grace for my birthday and I can’t wait to get it hung up in our house (waiting on the paint I mentioned above). 

Raise your hand if you love Instagram? –(hand raises)– It’s such a great tool to connect as well as get perspective on the world around you. I loved this article on how Instagram can make you a better photographer (and why it shouldn’t be dismissed in professional circles).  I, actually, went to high school with the author, Tim, but didn’t really know him (there were almost 1,000 kids in my graduating class) — turns out he’s an uber-talented photographer in CA that’s always up for crazy adventures, paying it forward and offering really intriguing blog posts. 

I’m trying so hard to lighten the load when it comes to cooking. Don’t get me wrong, I love to cook, but making and chopping the same things every week for salads + smoothies + dinner can get a little old. This recipe for slow cooker burrito filling not only sounds delicious, but also seems like it could be used in everything from the burritos it’s meant for to omelets to salads. This one might be a new favorite in our house.

I want Italian!

Noodles

“Italian, Italian, anything with noodles, spaghetti!!”, I’d yell while my sister yelled back “Mexican, guacamole tostadas, Mexican!”. My parents would indulge us both, allowing us to think that our opinions were being heavily weighed when, in all reality, they already knew where we were going.

For the majority of my childhood macaroni and cheese graced the top of my all time food favorites list, and if I was lucky enough to get Kraft Blue Box delivered from the kids menu at a restaurant… it was like I’d hit the jackpot. The golden, creamy, fake cheesy jackpot. This absolutely, consuming love of pasta continued for years as I made it my mission to create the very best spaghetti sauce on the planet. Pot after pot of tomato-y, meaty, deliciousness simmering away on the stove.

Side note, because if we were talking in real life I’d say: During my senior year of college I was simmering one of said pots of sauce and studying for a test down in my room. My roommate came wandering in, after her night class, only to announce that she’d spent the last 15 minutes, uncontrollably, spooning the sauce into her mouth. To this day it was one of the most flattering cooking compliments I’ve ever received. 

Once I’d mastered that, Christian set me to task developing the ultimate homemade mac ‘n cheese. I tried pancetta, 6-cheese, carmelized onions, garlic, beer… all of which were delicious… only to fall back on good ‘ol cheddar as my favorite.

Then, the unthinkable happened. Last year, on the cruise we took to the Caribbean I contracted the stomach flu after eating a, most delicious, pasta dinner. After spending hour upon hour either in the bathroom or hugging the toilet (all the while praying that the sewage drain in our bathroom didn’t back up while I pathetically hovered above it) I was over pasta. I was over tomato sauce. I was over noodles.

I wanted nothing to do with them, the sight, the smell – the everything made my stomach roil in rebellion. And, to a certain extent it still does. Obviously in the past 1.5 years I’ve had my plate loaded with cheesy rigatoni or saucy angel hair, but not even one meal hit the proverbial spot. Not a one.

It feels like the end of an era.

These days you’ll find me pining over any kind of potato I can get my grubby little mitts on. Also, organic strawberries, where have you been all my life? If I had my pick of what I would shout on the way to dinner tonight? It’d probably be Mexican, just like my sister — or at least some sort of Southwest fusion restaurant. Or, ahem, pizza – which I’ll love until my dying breath.

It’s fascinating to me how our taste buds evolve, change, mature if you will. 10 years ago you’d never see me with a cucumber in my grocery cart or with a salad packed full of greens + peppers for lunch. I never would have guessed that I would choose a fresh-cut farmers market watermelon over almost any gooey brownie you put in front of me. But here I am, guilty (in a good way) of both. What’s next? Conquering raw tomatoes or mushrooms? I doubt it.

*Image source: Max Straeten

Finally Friday.

We can't become what we need to be by remaining what we are. - Oprah

Let me start this Friday out by saying that I like my job. I don’t, however, like it as much as I like time off with my friends and family… if you know what I mean. With that being said, you will rarely find me asking for more days to work in the week, but this week? I could use at least one or two more. Being out last Friday/Monday put me really behind and my to-do list is literally off the page. Le sigh. I’m hoping that I can up the efficiency factor and head into the weekend feeling a little better about where I’ll find myself come Monday morning.

For the weekend? It’s going to be top notch. I can’t share all the details just yet because some of them are still top secret, but I can tell you that we’re having two fun family dinners, a fancy steak dinner for Christian’s birthday and we’ll probably head to the farmer’s market (where I’ll spend a ridiculous amount of money on the BEST watermelon I’ve ever tasted). Also, I have to find time to clean… the kitchen is clean, but that’s about it (oh! and the dogs need baths, I can’t even remember the last time they were bathed), it’s gross.

How was your week? Anything fun on tap for this weekend on your end?

Here are some of my favorite finds from around the interwebs:

We all have those little things that we’re so good at — the things we don’t even recognize because we’ve done them for so long? You know what I’m talking about? For instance, I’ve been using URL shorteners for years and it’s not even something I think about. However, there are plenty of people in this world that have never heard of bit.ly or goo.gl or all the others. Ever thought about sharing your obvious talents with someone else?

This paragraph on writing hit me so, so hard:

I didn’t start writing because I had a novel to publish or even an idea of what the hell that would look like. I didn’t start writing because I had some master plan about where this was all going. I started writing because when I was a kid, I saw an old man make people happy by grabbing a pen and not overthinking the words he put to paper.

I always find myself caught up in little nuances and I let it get in the way of just writing to make me happy and to make others happy.

One of the places I’ve always wanted to live is North Carolina — there’s something about having access to both mountains + ocean + southern charm that just completely draws me in. That’s why I have entered (every single day) to win this sweet little cottage in NC. Would you want to win a vacation home on the water?

Historic black and white photos always look so poignant and beautiful — I could frame a lot of them and never get sick of looking at them day in and day out. These updated, colorized versions of historic photos are amazing, and I’m pretty sure some of them even look like they could have been taken today (or any day). Sometimes I just love technology and what we can do with it.

There’s always that moment when making guacamole where you wonder if you’ve made too little (the shame!) or if you’ve made too much (the waste!). I’ve tried every trick in the books for keeping guacamole fresh and none of them ever work to my satisfaction. That’s why this tip on keeping guacamole fresh seems so amazing — it actually makes sense.

Apparently ketchup isn’t the most healthy condiment? According to some people, that are clearly not me. I even took the time to check out the back of the bottle last night and wasn’t completely repulsed by the calorie count — I mean, it’s a little high, but has nothing on, say, a dollop of chipotle garlic aioli. If I were to cut out store-bought ketchup (which I have no plans to do), I’d want to try this homemade ketchup recipe. I might try it anyways, because it sounds so intriguing.

** Update, I made a loaf of the paleo bread I posted about a couple of weeks ago and it actually turned out really well. I even messed up the ratio of egg whites and left out the honey, and it’s still definitely edible (even delicious). The texture is like a really moist pumpkin bread and it has a bit of nuttiness from the cashew butter. If you’re looking for a paleo/gluten-free/sugar-free/dairy-free bread, then this is the ticket (and here’s the recipe). Here’s how it looked fresh out of the oven:

Baking Paleo Bread - Lifeloveandgarlic.com

Finally Friday.

Your Mission

Happy Friday! This week f-l-e-w by! Usually when I have exciting things on the horizon, the days (and nights) just crawl… but not this week! We’re spending the weekend in Breckenridge with my family to celebrate a BIG birthday for my mom. There will be lots of vino, baby snuggles, game time, wandering in and out of shops + good food. I may or may not grace everyone with my fabulous rendition of, out-of-key, happy birthday, we’ll just have to wait and see.

I do, also, want to report back that Christian and I were finally able to pick a back splash for the kitchen and that Christian and his parents installed it last weekend (what a great birthday present!). The only hiccup is that the tile ended up looking a little more brown that I originally thought it would, meaning I might have to reconsider my paint decision. Ahhhh house remodeling, how you test me. I hope that you have a fabulous weekend!

Here are my finds from around the interwebs:

*note: this week is a little heavy on all things girly. Sorry, I’m not sorry.

Have you ever read a post that had you nodding along the whole time while simultaneously tugging (more like clawing) at your heart-strings? This post about what it means to be sisters (or best friends, or girlfriends) really got me – I haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Also, I want to send it to all my friends, because it’s so so so true.

I’m 100% addicted to the 40 days of dating experiment. Like can’t stop, won’t stop, will be devastated if they don’t give me some closure at the end of it all. Have you heard about it? These two New Yorkers (one a commitment phobe, one that jumps into serious relationships at the drop of a hat) decide to date for 40 days and write all about it. If you read it, no cheating, make sure you start at the beginning.

Can I just tell you that Sarah Jenks is one of the most on-point, inspirational people on my radar these days? Every single post is just so good that I think that she can’t possibly come up with another one. Then she does. Her most recent post covers feeling fat and worrying that others are thinking/talking about you. The real lesson is that we’re projecting our shame in not caring for ourselves. I can’t sum it up — just read it.

Just to lighten it up after those deep posts up top, here are 22 things that you might not know about the show FRIENDS. I’m a die-hard FRIENDS fan and I didn’t know many of these (guess I’m not as die-hard as I thought).

Since I’m going to be attempting to deal with my PCOS naturally I have to get creative about some of my food options. I stumbled across this recipe for Chocolate Chia Protein Pudding and it looks delicious – I wonder if it tastes as good as it looks?

Getting sucked into the interwebs is such an easy thing to do; I mean, there’s such good stuff out there. I’ve definitely found myself caught in the faux inspiration trap more than once — it’s definitely something to keep in mind while heading down the online rabbit hole.

And, just because I liked this post so much — was it the photos, the popsicles or the info, I don’t know! Here’s a great tutorial on taking awesome photos for your blog.

It’s called PCOS & I’ve got it.

So the title of this post let the cat out of the bag. Maybe I should have gone with something more like “It has to do with my ovaries & mood swings” or “That time I had too much testosterone” or “You know what sucks? My ovaries”. Guess the commitment to my creative juices just wasn’t flowing when I wrote that one out.

Get ready for a long read, because this one is a doozy.

All joking aside, though, it turns out that I have PCOS – Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome. It’s been a few roller coaster weeks, and if I’m being 100% honest, I’m really freaked out about going bald. It’s so vain, and maybe that’s a little peek into my heart and where I need some work — but what 27-year-old girl wants to think about losing their hair? I can’t think of one. Ahem.

Let me back up a little. 
*[Word to the wise, there will be a lot of talk about periods, ovaries and other such things – feel free to skip this if that isn’t your cup of tea.]

Last January when I committed to getting healthy I was desperate to get my stomach back on track. I’ve dealt with stomach issues for as long as I can remember, but it all came to a very painful, very uncomfortable head at the end of 2012. I was miserable. On top of that, I’d started having break through bleeding from the pill. Since the pill wasn’t keeping me from having my dreaded (awful, heavy, horrendous) periods, I decided to stop taking it. This decision seemed to make sense because Christian and I want to try to have kids at some point and I figured that it wouldn’t hurt to give my body time to regulate itself before then. The good news is that my stomach did get better, much better in fact – I’ve felt better than I have in a really long time these last 6 months. The bad news is that after that breakthrough bleeding and a small/light period after stopping the pill, I didn’t get another one. (Note: it’s really hard to complain about going period free for 6 + months, just saying.)

Mid-way through July I decided to email my “lady doctor” just to check and see if I needed to do something about this lack of period. We emailed back and forth some with the final determination that I just needed to come in to be on the safe side. I scheduled the appointment, which included a pelvic ultrasound as well as a more general exam.

During my ultrasound, the tech is moving the wand around and comments on the weird, sharp turn my uterus takes before settling in on the ovaries for measurements. As soon as the first one popped up, all I could think was that it looked like a little round cheese grater (I’m not sure why I settled on cheese grater, but I did). At the moment, I thought about asking if that was normal, but decided to just save all my questions for the doctor — it was probably just eggs anyways, right? Here’s what I saw:

Ovary

*this is not my ovary, but one that is eerily similar – source

My doctor came in and did a normal “lady” exam and said that things felt fine, but with the results of my ultrasound she was almost certain that I have PCOS… however in U.S. you can’t diagnose anything without accompanying blood work. She prescribed Provera and left me with instructions to come in to have my blood drawn once I’d had a reactionary period (on day 3).

Side note: I react horribly to changes in my hormone levels. Going on/off/changing birth control can throw me into a spiral of fluctuating emotions. During the 5 days I was on Provera and the week after I would go from neutral to crying to rage then back again in the span of 30 minutes. It was awful, awful, awful.

I had the blood test and went in last week to discuss my results which confirmed what we she already suspected – PCOS. My testosterone was high and all the signs pointed directly at PCOS. Here’s the summary, from Web MD of what that really means:

Polycystic ovary syndrome) is a problem in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance. It can cause problems with your periods and make it difficult to get pregnant. PCOS may also cause unwanted changes in the way you look. If it is not treated, over time it can lead to serious health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease.

*I’ve read varying numbers on how common PCOS really is — some say 5-10% of woman have it, while other sources go as far as to cite up to 20%.

After breaking the news that I, indeed, had PCOS we talked options: Metformin – Clomid – Weight Loss – Diet Change – Sugar Elimination – Chinese Herbs – Babies – Vitamins – Excercise. I’d been doing a lot of research so none of it was totally new or surprising. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to try to work through this thing naturally before I started choking down pills and talking the rate of having twins or triplets (which would not be ideal for my sanity).

In case you want the full rundown of PCOS, the Mayo Clinic does a pretty good job of covering it. But, for those that like the quick format, here’s the general symptoms and possible repercussions down the road. With PCOS, some of these symptoms may occur while others do not — PCOS doesn’t seem to look exactly the same for every woman who has it.

SYMPTOMS: 

  • Acne
  • Irregular or absent periods
  • Pelvic pain
  • Cysts on the ovaries
  • Fertility problems
  • Depression
  • Weight gain
  • Hair loss and hair growth (hirsutism)
  • Sleep apnea

ONGOING CONSIDERATIONS: 

  • Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Cholesterol Abnormalities
  • Endometrial Cancer

So, that’s where I am. Staring down a reality that doesn’t include nearly as much birthday cake as I’d like. I’m making light of this because it’s how I cope and how I manage to not spend hours each day spiraling down a rabbit hole of anxiety.

I’m going to spend the next two + months trying to get my weight down, trying to eliminate sugar, trying to cut back on wheat/dairy. If at that point, my levels aren’t stabilizing and I’m not having regular periods, I’ll look at going on Metformin to start. Like I said at the beginning of the post I worry most about losing my hair and how to deal with the acne that comes with being off of birth control. Since those are symptoms and issues that I can tangibly see and work on, they are at the fore-front of my mind. As for the fertility issues… Christian and I haven’t been “TRYING” to have children (I hate saying “trying” or even talking about “trying” – it sounds so awkward), so I think I’m in a bit of denial about how difficult that process might be for me when we choose to get serious. But, I’m choosing, most of the time, not to worry until it is my reality. Plus, you never know — maybe it won’t be an issue? Wishful thinking? Maybe.

Stitchfix, my dear.

Ok, before I even start this post let’s get something crystal clear:

1.) I am not the most photogenic person in the world
2.) I am not super fashionable – never have been, never will be

With that said, what you’re about to see encompasses both #1 and #2, and the only reason I’m posting them is because I *absolutely* love the idea of Stitchfix and love seeing what everyone else has gotten in their boxes. Essentially I’m doing this for the sake of internet stalking.

If you’re not familiar with Stichfix, it’s a personalized fashion service. You fill out a fairly extensive survey on your sizes, tastes, budget etc. and then you sign up for your first fix. It costs $20 to order a fix (but you can apply that towards anything you choose to buy). They ship your order for the delivery date you choose (you can also sign up for monthly boxes) and then you wait. Once it arrives you can try everything on and then “checkout” online before sending the items you don’t want back via a pre-paid, pre-addressed USPS bag that they include in the box. Since the selections are personalized, they are handpicked to your tastes and get better with each fix as they get to know what you like and don’t like.

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Here are the three items I didn’t go with: the dress was a little funky, the sweater was a little grandma/short and the polka dot blouse wasn’t quite long enough. Darn tall girl problems.

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There was also this bracelet, which is super cute, but for the price tag of $48, it didn’t seem worth it:

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This shirt below, however, was a winner. Since I typically find myself buying shirts that range from white to grey to black it will be nice to add a little color to my wardrobe. I loved it.

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One of the things that I love most is that each piece of clothing in your box arrives with a tag that provides suggested ways to wear that item. This is especially helpful if you’re fashion challenged, like me.

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The check out process was really easy and it was great to be able to add feedback on which pieces I liked, and which pieces I didn’t (as well as detail the aspects that didn’t work).

On the whole, the process was great and I’ve already signed up for my next box in September. Shopping isn’t my favorite thing to do, so being able to have someone pick out unique pieces that suit my tastes is right up my alley, I’m really glad I finally took the plunge.

Have you tried Stitchfix or something like it? How’d it go?

 

*Note: I was not paid, in any way shape or form to write about Stitchfix – I just wanted to share something I love. In a note of total transparency, the links to Stitchfix from my blog are affiliate links, but that’s it.