Happy Hump Day Spoonies! I hope everyone is having a great week so far! I just got back from LA and Maui on Monday and I absolutely cannot wait to share all of the details with you guys! My first post, though, had to be about the amazing surprise that was awaiting me upon my arrival back in Maryland. If you guys are regular Crohnically Blonde readers, you probably saw my post about working with Spoonie Essentials Box (if you messed it, click here to get up to speed). I am so excited to have the opportunity to review their first box and let me tell you it was just that much sweeter that I came home to my box delivery after almost 24 hours straight of traveling. I figured what better way to showcase all of the goodies (and the serious usefulness of all of them for us Spoonies) than catch my jet lagged self chatting about it all on video. My brain was too tired to properly write sentences so why not blab about the awesomeness!
Check out my review and if you like what you see head over to SpoonieEssentialsBox.com to pick your subscription and sign up! Also, follow them on Instagram @Spoonie_Essentials_Box for some more fun reviews and discount codes. As always, feel free to comment or email with any questions or comments. I always look forward to hearing from you all!
When I was preparing for my vacation I had to dig through my piles of favorite makeup to decide what the tried and true items were that would make the journey with me. I figured it would be a great time for me to share my picks that are absolute must haves of the moment that I literally couldn't leave home without. I've tried a plethora of different products and over time I have realized what is worth the investment and what items you can go drugstore brand or store brand on. Recently I have really fallen in love with a lot of the Sephora brand products. It started with their foundations which I realized do well even with my sensitive skin and then I branched off from there, so that's why you are seeing so much of that! All products can actually be found at Sephora or Sephora.com besides the bag which was a hilarious Nordstrom Rack find via Matt. I can't make any promises about the smaller sizes being online or in store because I got them from special edition kits and such but the full sizes should be readily available.
1. Sephora Perfection Mist Airbrush Foundation- At only $28 per bottle this stuff is a STEAL. It has a buildable coverage that looks insanely natural and lasts, not kidding, all day. Honestly, I had wanted to try this for a while because I love airbrush foundations but the price tags on some higher end brand formulas were not so appealing. I thought that a lower price tag meant lower quality but on this product I have not felt that to be the case. I heard Stassi raving about it on her podcast so I took the plunge and here we are. I'm obsessed.
2. Kat Von D Lock It Hydrating Primer- This is a newer find of mine that I really am loving. I wanted a primer that was smoothing but a lot of the "blur" ones I came across are too drying and my foundation didn't set right over them. This primer is the best of both worlds because it has a blur effect but is still hydrating.
3. Becca Shimmering Skin Perfector Liquid Highligher in Moonstone- Under the brows, on the checks, on the eyelids. This stuff can go anywhere and I love it. Its a perfect highlighter because it isn't too shimmery and the finish is creamy not sticky. I use it mainly as a highlighter but also as a cream shadow if I am in a pinch or just want a natural glow. The Moonstone is my favorite because the gold tone makes me feel a little summery.
4. Sephora Bright Set Pressed Finishing Powder- This formula is both mattifying and brightening, meanwhile still delivery a blending effect to finish a look off. This is a triple threat that I cannot get enough of AND it is at a perfect price of $16. Spoiler Alert: The formula doesn't even upset my sensitive skin. Thank you Sephora!
5. Sephora Collection Bronzer Powder in Los Cabos- This is described as a "matte universal tan" and it is just that! I am obsessed with the color, finish, and staying power of this formula. For contouring purposes, layering over cream contour formulas, and an overall glow this bronzer is amazing. Dare I say.... this bronzer seems comparable to NARS Laguna..... Yup....I SAID IT.
6. Tarteist Lash Paint Mascara- Volumizing, lengthening, and packing a serious punch with pigment, this mascara is the bomb. The gentle formula doesn't irritate my eyes which is something that I often struggle with (hence why I love using Tarte mascara)! Not going to lie, this mascara is the closest I have gotten to "falsies" without actually applying fake lashes. Proof: Even Matt was fooled. He tried to pull my lashes mid Starbucks visit in the airport asking me why I was wearing fake lashes already (aka who was I trying to look good for hahah). When I screamed "owch those are freakin real!!!!) I think he got the point. You should too.
7. Sephora Collection Brow Thickener in Blonde- This is an easy way to add some amp to your brows in an effortless way. I also like the brow pencil from the Sephora Collection!
8. Ardency Inn Modster Liner- The finish is matte black which is very comparable to Perversion by Urban Decay. The staying power is also great and even lasted through 24 hours straight of traveling. I love layering this as my last step after false lashes because it gives such a sexy, thickening effect!
9. Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue Roller Ball- This perfume has been a long time favorite of mine. The crisp, fresh smell makes it perfect for any occasion which means it is a must have for your travel bag or purse. I also find that it blends well if I have some other fragrant product on either in my hair or on my body. Since it doesn't conflict, I don't have to worry.
10. A sassy bag- Enough said.
I know I've posted about The Skinny Confidential before but this week Lauryn and Michael's podcast absolutely hit home for me. They hosted Ally Hilfiger who is not only a freaking legend but also is a fellow chronic illness sufferer. She has Lyme Disease and in this podcast shares her crazy experience with getting diagnosed and how she copes now. Let me tell you, after listening I cannot wait to read her book and continue to follow her journey.
If you aren't a regular listener you NEED to get on it and especially because of this episode if you are a Spoonie.
You can find the podcast on iTunes (The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast) or on TheSkinnyConfidential.com.
Vacations are probably one of my favorite things in the entire world. I love traveling to new places, meeting new people, and also just plain relaxing. Unfortunately, traveling with Crohn’s is not the easiest and I have realized that it requires a decent amount of prep work and tolerance while you are on your journey. Between the increased activities, new foods, and often lack of sleep vacations can be a trigger for a Crohn’s flare no matter how relaxing they may seem on the outside.
To try and simplify things a little bit I compiled a list of five things that will help you have a smoother trip and actually enjoy yourself! I came up with this list after many rounds of trial and error and I finally feel like I have settled on what I like to think is a decent start.
1.Do your research
I am always super careful to research my destinations to make sure there are ample places for safe foods and things I know I will be able to eat. For those who haven’t read any previous posts or need a little background, those suffering with any form of IBD usually have some sort of dietary restrictions or “trigger foods”. For me I avoid gluten, uncooked veggies (aka salads), and other very specific certain things that I won’t bore you with. Knowing the places you can and can’t eat and having a game plan going into it eases your mind and makes vacationing a lot less stressful.
Isn’t it a saying or something that your own advice is always the hardest to take? I am living proof of that today as I am sitting here at LAX drinking a dirty chai being super pissed off that Burger King is the only freaking food option they have at 8:30am. I researched my final destinations but not the airports. This situation could have been avoided with a little research and picking up something from the Whole Foods the night before my flight. Noted.
2. Know your limits
A common mistake that I love to make is cramming my schedule with things that I think other people I am with want to do and doing everything I can to try and make sure they are having fun while completely disregarding what I need. Plain and simple you have to know your limits. If you know there is only one activity that you can handle per day and you need to spend the rest relaxing then that’s what you need to do! Don’t let others pressure you into doing things that you know you don’t have enough energy for.
3. Don’t feel guilty
This kind of builds off of number two. You know what is best for your body. This vacation is your vacation. Don’t feel guilty if you have to cancel plans because you packed too much into one day or if you have to turn in early at night so you can feel good for the next day. As long as you are communicating with your travel buddies about what the situation is you have absolutely nothing to feel bad about! I know this is a hard one to swallow but I just repeat it over and over in my head when I am feeling bad.
4. Communicate with you doctor beforehand
I always tell my doctor when and where I am going. I am known for having flare ups on vacation so we review some tips and tricks beforehand. He also makes sure I am all stocked up on my medication for the time I will be gone and this allows us to schedule my Cimzia shots around what time will be best/most effective. I love having a fresh dose to get me through traveling since it wears off towards the end of the four weeks but I do have to say my huge bruises on my stomach do require some explanation when rocking a bikini.
5. Balance is everything, so freaking enjoy yourself!
Full disclosure, I do get some shit for this advice sometimes but I can tell you that my doctor and I have discussed this at naseum and decided this is a pretty freaking good plan of attack. A mistake I have made many times before is worrying to much about getting sick on vacation that I let my anxiety get the best of me, avoid fun actives, and turn down a perfectly delicious pina colada. I could live my life not taking any risks, not trying anything new, and never having fun but you know what? I would still have Crohn’s…. So on vacation I do everything that a “normal” person would do just with some tweaks. Spoiler alert: I have drinks by the pool. I do crazy adventurous things. I stay up later than I probably should sometimes. And I love every minute of it. I also do things like still avoid my trigger foods and maybe eat a little more reserved since I know I will probably have a few cocktails and I make sure not all of those cocktails are loaded with sugar. I plan really freaking fun things to do, but also make sure I have time to relax. Most importantly I manage my expectations and don’t get disappointed if I don’t get everything done. As long as I have fun that is all that matters!
I hope this helps you all. I know that everyone has their own specifics about what works and doesn’t work for them so this is just an overview of what I have found makes my vacations infinitely more enjoyable. I would love to hear some feedback from you guys on what your tips are for vacationing!
To give a full disclaimer, let me tell you that I am still struggling to comply with my own advice. Isn't it the most difficult to take the advice you give others? I had wrote this post while in LAX waiting for my connecting flight and having a totally positive view on my upcoming stay in Hawaii. Last night I had a complete breakdown because we had a sunset dinner cruise that we had to be ready for at 4:15pm and I was running errands to get our condo set up all day and still super jet lagged. I didn't feel so great so I took an hour nap and woke up and felt even worse. They wouldn't let me reschedule our dinner cruise so I had to go with a full Crohn's situation going on or lose all of the money we spent (this thing was not cheap!). I ended up going and at first did not think I was going to make it but I actually ended up having such a great time AND they made sure to accommodate me with the most delicious gluten free dinner. While I didn't think I did a lot during the day, looking back on it, I probably did a little too much. This situation could have turned out really bad but thankfully this time it was great. This is another lesson to remind myself to take it slow and make sure you feel well enough to actually appreciate the things that you plan!
It is Bachelor Monday AND the first night of 2017 that Matt and I are making a delicious home cooked meal together. We were feeling extra lazy on this rainy day off before kicking it back into high gear with work starting tomorrow. That being said, we decided to go for a tried and true favorite that is not only easy to make but a tummy friendly meal as well! Unfortunately due to the holidays my Cimzia has gotten rescheduled three times and I just got a call today that it may not be ready in time for my appointment on Friday! It is going to be at least five weeks between injections which is the longest I have ever gone. Usually around week three I am feeling not so hot and ready for my appointment. This month I feel like I actually proactively planned things out well. I went on mini liquid diet spurts when things weren't feeling so great, doubled up on probiotics, and got my butt to acupuncture despite the crazy holiday schedules. Knock on wood, things this month have not hit the fan yet so I am extremely thankful but still cautious. I've been sticking to meals that I know don't cause me problems and this is not only one of those meals but also one of Matt's favorites (he loves shrimp!).
This stack is so simple to make! We usually nix the mayo sauce and just opt for some gluten free soy sauce instead. Other than that we follow the recipe pretty much completely although we do use frozen shrimp most of the time because when it is mixed in with all of this other goodness you can't really tell a huge difference so why spend the extra money. Hashtag Siracha on a budget.
Comment or message me if you try out this recipe or find any cool changes to it that spice things up a little!
Mental health advocate.
Sharing my raw and real journey through motherhood and navigating Crohn’s Disease. CrohnicallyBlonde is a place where I serve up my unfiltered commentary on chronic illness, mental health, pregnancy, and motherhood alongside lighter lifestyle content like beauty product reviews, travel tips, and book recommendations. My hope is that by authentically sharing my story I can help others going through similar situations not feel so alone and maybe even laugh along with me.