Friday, August 22, 2014

Oh Hey Friday

Who's excited for next weeks long holiday weekend?!?  I am!  Yes I am already thinking about it, because that means a week from now I will be gearing up for a much needed long weekend, which includes celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary!

Sometimes I sit down to write my Friday post and can't believe enough days have gone by since the last one to actually warrant a new post.  Ok not sometimes, pretty much all of the time!  Everything just needs to slow down, seriously.  Here's a few highlights of what I can remember of my week so far.

1|  Saturday night I got to watch my best friend get back on the competition floor again, making her debut with her new partner, and they killed it!  I'm so glad I got to be there and watch her shine and do what she loves to do!



2|  For the first time in longer than I can possibly remember Martin and I did nothing on Sunday.  Absolutely nothing.  I wore my pj's all day, and we lounged around and watched TV and did nothing special at all, it was fantastic.



3|  On Monday Martin and I had our first acupuncture appointment.  I am glad that he is doing it with me, and I am looking forward to the benefits that it can provide, especially the fact that it can help with stress relief, because I am in some need of that!



4|  I love hearing people speak about their stories, journey's, and life's experiences.  How they got to what they've become.  On Tuesday at work I had the opportunity to listen to a great story from a great gentleman in our company.  It's funny because talks like that pull me in and I could listen forever, but put someone up their lecturing about something and I can check out so quickly.

5|  Last night at work we participated in the ALS ice bucket challenge.  It was awesome to do it as a team!  And in addition to us being crazy and dumping ice water on ourselves our studio is also going to donate $5 for every lesson taught the first week of September!



How has your week been?  Where ever you find yourself, and whatever kind of week you had, I hope that you have a great, enjoyable and relaxing weekend.  See you next week!


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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Life Lately

Last week I was sitting in my doctors office and she said to me "studies have been done that show that the emotional stress that women struggling with infertility go through is comparable to the emotional stress that cancer patients go through."  My first thought that came to mind is what am I supposed to do with this information?  Is this supposed to be justification for the bad days?  Or do I not feel bad enough?  I wasn't quite sure what to make of it.  My guess was that was my doctor trying to somewhat relate emotionally to me, which I can't say she's been great at.

Needless to say this journey that we've been on has been a lot harder then I would have ever imagined, (I shared the first bit about it here) but it sure has taught me a lot.  About myself, about Martin, about my marriage, and about people in general.  I know there is a lesson to be learned in everything, and I'm not always sure what that lesson is at the time, but eventually I like to think I figure it out.

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It's funny to me, or maybe funny isn't the right word, perhaps interesting, how much I find that I don't talk about what I'm going through.  It's feeling like you are that anomaly, which really can't truly be the case because 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility, at least that's what statistics say.  I just don't personally happen to know anyone else who has gone through it, or if I do, I don't know about it.

Martin and I just found out last week that our second IUI didn't work.  If I thought that just getting a negative pregnancy test month after month while trying on our own was disappointing, getting a negative test after weeks of doctors appointments and days of pills and injections takes it to a whole other level.  I could have never imagined how let down I would feel, and I thought for sure after the first one failed and I felt how I responded to that, that I would be prepared to handle it if the second one didn't work.  I can't say I handled the second one any better.

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One thing I'm really not good at is feeling that lack of control, which is so hard in this situation, because it really isn't up to me.  The only thing that helps in this situation is feeling like I am doing everything that I can, so last Thursday when we got the news that the second IUI had not worked, after I picked myself up from my breakdown, I got to researching and looking around for what else we could do.  Having that feeling that I am doing something about it helps me so much, so on Monday Martin and I had our first appointment at an eastern medicine clinic.  A lot of studies have shown that combining eastern and western medicine can be really effective in overcoming infertility, so that is the next stage of our journey.  I had acupuncture for the first time on Monday, which I have to admit I was kinda nervous about, but in the end there really wasn't anything to be nervous about.  What I like the most is that once they put the needles in you are left alone to relax for quite a bit, I really don't know how long but my guess is 20 to 30 minutes.  I so often don't have that time during the day to do that for myself, where I put everything else aside and just take a moment to breathe and clear my mind, so I'm glad I am making that time for myself.  Here is to the next step of the journey.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Simple Solution: Bobby Pin Storage

I don't know about you, but I always seem to find bobby pins everywhere.  In my purse, on the counter, on the floor, in the car, on the couch. . . it doesn't matter where, they will appear.  This is mainly my fault because I take them out everywhere and I have no one good place to put them, they usually just hover on my bathroom counter till I need them again, which isn't great because then they get knocked all over the place.


I had an old mint container that was a perfect candidate to corral all of my bobby pins, I just wanted to get rid of the fact that the container said mints on it.  Washi tape to the rescue.  I may be a little late on this band wagon, as I've seen fun patterned washi tape all over blogland and this is my first project with it.  It's such a simple easy way to add a little something extra.

All you need for this easy little project is a reusable container of your choosing, some fun washi tape, and an exacto knife (because my top had tiny slits that needed cutting).


On a side note, if you haven't tried Trader Joe's Gingermints you totally should, super yummy.  The container is already super cute, in my opinion, but since I have containers floating around that actually do have mints in them I wanted something to distinguish the one with bobby pins inside.


1.  First, remove the top from the bottom, mine just easily popped off and separated.
2.  Next, I covered the top with the teal washi tap, one layer wasn't going to be quite enough as you could still see the text right through it.
3.  Then I covered the teal with the polka dots, starting with wrapping the edges first, like a present.  This is where I used the exacto knife to make the slits in the tape where the top attaches to the bottom.
4.  Continue to cover the top with the washi tape, trimming the edges or folding them under.  Finally snap the top back on, and voila, complete!


Now I have a place to corral all of those pesky bobby pins, hopefully that means I won't be having to buy as many new packages now or having to rescue them last minute before the vacuum cleaner sucks them up.

Are you on the washi tape band wagon? What's your favorite way to use it?


OurJoyHisGlory

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Summer Fashion Essentials

As I am currently in denial of summer coming to a close, actually come to think of it I don't think it is just me who is in denial, for this is the most summer like weather we've had in months, so perhaps the universe is also in denial.  That being said I plan to still get plenty of wear out of my summer essentials.  Summer essentials being those great pieces in your closet that you can never really have too many of.  The never having too many part works for me, works great for me actually, mainly due to my love affair with shopping.  I am a true believer in retail therapy, you know, as actual therapy, it really does work wonders.

I may love some retail  therapy, my wallet not always so much.  I love looking around for a great deal, hence my true love for stores like TJ Maxx and Nordstrom Rack, just to name a few.  But recently I found out about another great way to save when you are stocking up on your summer essentials.  Have you heard of Raise.com?  It's an online marketplace where you can buy discounted gift cards to tons of great retailers, including some of my previously mentioned favorites.  How awesome is that?  I mean, I'm going to spend money at these stores anyway, why not get a little more bang for my buck?  Now is the perfect time to hit the end of summer sales and stock up on summer essentials that you can still get some wear out of as we transition into fall.

Here is what made it into my summer essentials this year.  They are all classic pieces that have gotten plenty of wear from me this summer, and I plan on continuing to get good use out of them for the next few months.  Now that I know about Raise.com it might be dangerous!


Look 4 | Look 5 | Look 6 | Look 7

What are your Summer Essentials?


Friday, August 15, 2014

Oh Hey Friday

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Typically on Friday's I reflect back on the week and share 5 moments or memories that happened throughout, but I thought I would change it up a bit this week.  This week I am going to share 5 things that make me happy, because that is what I need right now!  5 random things, here we go. . .

1| Anytime I get to wander the isles of TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or HomeGoods.  I don't even have to come out with anything, I love looking at all the treasures and finding the great deals.



2| My morning coffee.  I love starting my day with my morning coffee.  I tried giving it up the last two weeks and yesterday I folded and had a cup, there is just something about it.  I only have one cup, and only in the morning, but I just don't know if I can give it up.



3| Anything with sugar.  I have the biggest sweet tooth, seriously the largest.  I have learned to curb it a ton over the years.  There was a time in college where I would go through sugary candy like it was nobody's business.  It didn't matter as much when you were dancing hours on end and religiously hitting the gym each day, but my 31 year old self can beg to differ.  Even though I've learned to limit myself, there is nothing quite as good as indulging in a sweet treat.  Gelato, Peeps (yes the sugary Easter candy, don't get me started. . .) ice cream, creme brulee, anything with frosting. . .you know I don't really discriminate.



4| My kitties, Max & Charlie.  Since Martin and I live on opposite schedules it's nice to not feel like I'm completely alone when I am home.  They snuggle and cuddle, even the grumpy one (that's Max, don't worry he knows he's grumpy).  It's always amazing to me how they know when you need attention, or a pick me up and they come and cuddle at those moments.  I also love the studies that show that petting your pets can help relieve stress, because I am in definite need of that benefit.



5| Being prepared and having a plan.  I am not a spontaneous, spur of the moment kind of person.  Anybody who knows me will attest to that, which is funny now considering at my job I constantly have to react and deal with spontaneous situations many times each day and I survive.  It's just not my preferred method of stress free living.  Sometimes my plan can be as simple as we'll go with the flow, but that's still a plan, to go with the flow, not just eh sure go with it, see the difference?  No?  Too bad, I do.

This weekend I'll be getting to do another thing that makes me happy, which is spending some time with my husband.  This weekend is a dance competition in Chicago, and though I am no longer competing I like going to support my friends and coworkers.  As much as it isn't Martin's favorite thing to do, I really like getting to get dressed up and go downtown with him for a nice dinner and evening.  Whatever is on your agenda this weekend, I hope you enjoy it!  See you next week!


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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Everyday Elegance: eShakti






A few weeks ago I was contacted by eShakti to try out their website.  eShakti carries a variety of tops, skirts and dresses and the cool thing is that you can customize all of them.  Every piece you can either order in a standard size, or you can provide them with your measurements and they will create one just for you within just 14 days of your order.  But  that's not all you can customize, depending on the garment you can adjust hem lines, neck lines, sleeve lengths and so on.  At first glance at the website it can be hard to remember that, when I was first scrolling through the items I wasn't sure how "my style" things were going to be, but once you  click into an item it gives you all the options you can adjust to make it fit your style.

I figured this was the perfect time to step outside of the box and try out a trend I had my eye on, the crop top and midi skirt.  Realistically I don't know how comfortable I would be wearing this out in public, it doesn't show much, but I have a feeling I'd be a little self conscious.   Maybe a brunch with friends would be the right occasion?

I went with the custom sizing option because I never truly fit into any one size.  It was nice because I have broader shoulders so structured tops tend to fit tighter across the shoulders and arms, and this did not.  It also fit perfectly to my natural waist, the only thing that seemed a little off was the height of the top, I seemed to have a little extra room at the top of the shoulders, but that could be because my garment was two pieces instead of one.  I would definitely try it out again, they have a lot of classic silhouettes that would be very timeless in your closet.

Right now eShakti has a ton of promotions going on if you want to try them out for yourself.  If you are new to eShakti you can register and receive a $25 gift coupon, they also have a buy one get one free promotion going on right now, and on top of it all they have offered all of my readers 10% off through August 24th with the coupon code ELEGANTAIMEE.

PS. This is my first time stepping in front of the camera for an outfit post, it is definitely going to take some getting used to - in fact I usually hate having my picture taken!  But my goal is to do it more often!


Crop top & Skirt| c/o eShakti
Purse| Steve Madden (Similar)
Shoes| Nine West (Similar)
Bracelet| Ross (Similar)
Earrings| Gift (Similar)

Although I was gifted the items to try for this post all thoughts and opinions are my own.

* Coupon code ELEGANTAIMEE
Code has to be entered in the ‘promotional code’ box.   It is not case-sensitive.  
Code can be used any number of times until the validity period. 
It can be clubbed with any other promotional offer, gift coupon or gift card in the same order unless explicitly specified otherwise in the offer conditions.
This discount code is not applicable on clearance / sale, gift cards & overstock categories.
Not applicable on previous purchases.
 

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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Zucchini Recipe Roudup

Now that our summer garden has started to harvest it's that time of year when you have more zucchini then you know what to do with, and we only planted one plant this year!  Though I'm not complaining because I love the stuff, but we probably have enough picked right now to make all of these recipes that I found.  Since they all sounds so good, that's a good thing!  Whatever we don't go through I plan to shred and freeze so I can throw it in recipes later.  Here's my round up of some yummy looking zucchini recipes in blogland.


I may have favored more of the sweet recipes due to my own sweet tooth, but there are some savory ones in the mix as well.

Zucchini Corn Pancakes  | Banana Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins | Coconut Zucchini Bread


Lemon Zucchini Penne | Zucchini Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies


Parmesan Lemon Zucchini | Chocolate Zucchini Coconut Cake | Cheddar Zucchini Cornbread



 Zucchini Cookies | Glazed Lemon Zucchini Bread


 Zucchini Cobbler Bars | Cheesy Zucchini Pasta Bake | Salt and Pepper Zucchini Chips


What's your favorite zucchini recipe?