Happy Halloween everyone! This is my absolute FAVORITE holiday, mainly because I am obsessed with weird haunted things and I feel like Halloween is the official initiation of holiday season. This year Matt and I have been celebrating in a freaky zombie style kind of way full of a lot of costume makeup and scary movies.
Yesterday we kicked things off with a super last minute costume (thank you years of working at ULTA for providing me with ample makeup options!) which I have to say I think we pulled off pretty well.
Not sure if ya'll care about makeup details but I can share if you are interested, just contact me! It's funny how I haven't done professional style makeup in so long but when I do it all comes back and remember how much I love and miss it! Anyway, we started off the night at our friend's party and ending things at our house with horror movies and gluten free pizza. My ideal evening for sure!
Today (actual Halloween) we are keeping things low key and heading over to my parents' house to hand out candy and show off our puppies' costumes (there will be updates on those later, I can't wait to share, they are SO FUNNY). Whenever I am handing out candy I usually steal a good 10 pieces to keep my blood sugar from getting low of course (I love excuses....). Halloween can be a COMPLETE TRAP for those of us avoiding gluten because, lets face it, who really knows there is gluten in things like Twizzlers unless you are doing ample research?!
Today during my grocery shopping, shout out to Wegmans, I came across Simply Gluten Free magazine and fell in love. A whole post will come about this later I promise, but I came across an article about safe gluten free candy and I couldn't help but to share. To me it seems easy to determine what to eat and what not to eat. Number one, because I don't really eat candy and number two, the candy I eat is stuff that I know and buy, not things that are randomly given out to me. While reading this article I realized that one day when I have kids they most likely will have to be gluten free just like their mama to reduce the effects of these yucky medical issues brought on by genetics. How would I know what candy has gluten or doesn't unless I did ample research beforehand or better yet, had a guide to the good guys and bad guys? Well, now I am informed and I have this trusty little list to help.
I've included a link HERE to this super helpful guide that lists things out plain and simple. Now I know that I can dig into our cauldron of treats with confidence about what I am putting into my body. Halloween is A LOT more fun when you aren't sick from enjoying it!
Let's just say, this evening I will definitely be enjoying some Angry Orchard ciders and a few candy bars....
I can't wait to hear about what you all did for Halloween! What did you dress up as? What is your favorite gluten free candy? Or what struggles have you ran into being gluten free during Halloween? Anything you have feel free to share via comments or email.
Thank you again for all of the continuing support! That makes blogging just that much more fun!
In college my old blog focused A LOT on fashion. Those were the days when I wasn't dressing for a corporate environment and could rock whatever I wanted without second thought. Now whether I am on the clock or not, my style has evolved into what I like to think is classy but still trendy. I know when I landed my first corporate role I called my mom in panic about what to wear. Of course my mom sent me in an extremely conservative direction which I realized on my first day was not as necessary as I had thought. I have now blended my love for fashion with my need to be appropriate and customer facing on a day to day basis. I backtracked through my Instagram and picked the top 15 looks that are easy to recreate and pack a punch for either work or sometimes play. My usual go to is a mix of mostly neutral hues with the occasional pattern and statement accessory. Enjoy x.
This look is a personal favorite. There is something about a crisp button down that I just love. This is a pretty conservative look and great for work. I paired it with a statement necklace from J. Crew so spice things up, and this shirt has leopard print under the collar for a sneaky little surprise. The purse is simple and big enough to store my laptop and my planner.
I was feeling like a corporate Cher when I wore this. A lighter plaid skirt mixed with a fall colored long sleeve tee is the perfect combination, especially paired with a neural scarf. I added in a textured bag and some simply jewelry pieces to complete the look.
3. So Witchy
I am obsessed with this unique dress from the Neiman Marcus for Target collection a few years ago. The great thing is, it is a statement outfit just by itself. I usually pair it with a simple necklace and studs and a simple pair of black pumps.
This outfit is great for hanging out on the weekends or going to a bonfire! I love plaid paired with a patterned scarf. Also, Hunter boots are one of my must have wardrobe items. I got them in a bright red because they are rain boots, why not have fun?!
5. Mix It Up
Another case of mixing patterns. Black and white and cheetah print are just a few of my favorite things. This sweater is from Target and has become a complete staple in my wardrobe!
6. Pretty Pastels
Last year I became obsessed with pastels for winter. This pale pink wool coat has become one of my cool weather wardrobe staples that adds a bit of trendy fun to corporate outfits. I love a good leopard print scarf to add some pattern to the look, I am also a fan of houndstooth with this.
This outfit is to epitome of my style. All black and white, comfortable, and chic. I love all of the simple gold detailing that is consistent throughout. This striped cardigan from Nordstrom is EVERYTHING. It is so soft and I bought it in so many variations. Another personal favorite about this is my white grandma shoes, otherwise known as driving shoes which are my absolute favorite thing to wear.
8. Fancy Pants
I love patterned pants with a basic shirt and a funky necklace. These pants I got on sale at Old Navy and paired them with a black Portifino shirt from Express and statement necklace from J.Crew... add some plain black pumps and the outfit is complete.
9. Is Coffee An Accessory?
When in doubt go for a classic silhouette in animal print and a statement necklace. Coffee never hurts either.
10. Black n' Brown
Two of my favorite colors to pair together. I absolutely love this blazer from Target. It is great to pair with just about everything and is a heavier alternative to a lot of other options I have. The leopard print scarf helps to bring together the brown and black while adding an interesting element and the purse also adds some texture.
11. Talking Tweed
This textured dress is a closet go to for me. It has cute pockets in the front and has a very flattering silhouette. This dress is an outfit in and of itself so requires little need for accessorizing which is great for rushed mornings.
12. Studs and Stripes
When things get cold I love a good sweater/scarf combo. This outfit is one of my favorites when it gets close to the holidays and the maroon pants add a fun little pop of color. This can also be good for family holiday parties or outings, no just for the office! For social events I would pair with a fun boot or booty instead of basic nude pumps which I usually wear to work with this.
13. Wedding Vibes
This is a look that I wore to my cousin's wedding. I love the texture that is in the dress and the funkiness that the rock necklace adds. My absolute favorite thing about this though is the semi glossy cranberry lip that I created to match my dress. One of the greatest thing about the cooler months is darker lip colors!
14. Blanket Effect
I LOVE blanket scarves. They are absolutely my favorite. I make sure to incorporate them into any outfit where I think I might be chilly because I do not hesitate to spread it out and use it in true respect of its name! This one has some great cranberry hues but isn't to colorful to turn of a usually neutral girl like myself.
15. Funky Fur
Last but not least. Fur vests are one of my all time favorite cold weather accessories. This black vest I usually rock for a night out with a plain black blouse and black leather leggings. Sometimes if I'm feeling sassy I'll add a red lip and call it a night!
I know I am pretty late to this party but at least I got here. I have recently been getting really into The Skinny Confidential. It started out as a small love affair with The Skinny Confidential podcast and then it turned into her Instagram, then the blog, then I took the plunge and bought the book. By take the plunge I mean late night, two glasses of wine in, Amazon Primed it to my house on Matt's credit card. I thought it would be just another trendy, pretty coffee table book to add to my new house that I haven't even purchased yet. It ended up sucking me in for an entire Sunday afternoon and actually changing my outlook on things.
First off, let me say, when you take a look at Lauryn and her social media presence your first impression is that she is so put together and her content is so perfectly curated its disgusting. Then you read her real talk writing and listen to her podcast and you realize, holy shit, this girl is someone who I want to be my best friend.
This book is full of hilarious references, bright visuals, and most importantly, extremely helpful advice. Between the beauty tips, easy recipes, and workouts, by the end of reading it I was pretty motivated to get my shit together.
This past week I started Lauryn's work out that she demonstrates in the book and is definitely kicks your ass but it's the kind of ass kicking that can happen while you're watching Housewives (direct quote from the book). I also have tried a few of the recipes, which may or may not appear on Meal Talk Monday, but for know ya'll just have to trust me. Lauryn knows what she is talking about and is a refreshing voice of someone trendy, sassy, into health, but at the same time knows how to live a little.
I would like to start this post with addressing the picture I have chosen for this post and how truthfully humorous it is. They make stabbing yourself in the leg and/ or stomach look a lot more attractive than it really is. This is #CimziaGoals. The sad reality is on Cimzia days, I don't get to do this in the privacy of my own home. No. The only way my insurance will approve my treatment is to go into the doctors office each month to get stabbed there. I am never prepared for this day and usually end up wearing some type of extremely tight and uncomfortable work pants by accident which never turns out good. The puffy, swollen stomach and fatigue that linger for the next few days after the shot are annoying but the least of my worries. I feel like a lot of people think that finding your "right medicine" is the end of the road and then you are "good" and "all better" but that could not be farther than the truth.
Don't get me wrong, my Cimzia has absolutely changed my life. I went from not being able to get out of bed to living an almost fully functioning life. At first I was extremely hesitant about starting the biologic due to the horror stories I had heard and the risks associated with it. A lot of my research that went into it was through CCFA which has some great informative material that I will include a link to later in this post, but a lot of my research was from reading the experiences of others. I read those who had changed their lives through strictly diet and lifestyle changes and then others who had great luck with biologics. There there were other that had stories of debilitating side effects that more or less were worse than the disease itself. That is why I am writing this, to share my story for those who may be on the fence. I continued to shy away from the idea of these mysterious shots until one day I completely lost it and said that something needed to change.
The thing is, with these drugs you can't just decide one day you would like to start the regime. It takes months of fights with the insurance company which in the end covered $1,500 of the $3,000 treatment and we had to campaign to Cimzia to cover the rest. After about 4 months of back and forth I was finally able to start the treatment. As of now I have been on Cimzia for almost a year and while the results have been great I have noticed the effective timeframe drops more and more each month. I used to be fine up until about three days before my next appointment. Then five days, then a week, now down to only having about two weeks of true relief. Now don't get me wrong, I could change even more things about my life like completely taking out coffee and alcohol, or being on a full liquid diet 24/7 but that was something my doctor and I decided just did not make sense for me to live my quality of life at 25. I do consult with him when things get bad and we switch up my diet as needed. I just don't want to hear shit from people about what I eat/drink on here because it is all monitored by my doctor.
So now I am here with a good 50% of my life in relief. I've gained weight that I can't lose from this medicine. And I get sick way more often than anyone else I know because my immune system is shot. My medicine is losing it's effectiveness but if I switch too soon to another biologic that limits my options later in life. If I cycle through all of them in my 20's and my body becomes immune, what do I do if my situation gets worse? I'm not saying this to complain. I'm saying this to make people aware of the fact that there is not a "magic medicine" that can make everything better overnight. It is a process. I am so thankful for modern medicine and I am also thankful for the avenues I have explored in natural medicine (which is a whole other post coming at ya!). The harsh reality is that there are a lot of risks associated with biologics and there is no promise that they will work.
If you are a loved one of a Crohn's sufferer remember that this process isn't easy. Its a gamble everyday. And if you are a sufferer who is considering biologics, weigh your options and do what is best for you and your treatment. Even with the effects I've had I still stand strong in my decision and am happy I did what I did. Feel free to share your story in the comments. Also check out THIS link from CCFA. Very informative.
Stay strong little Crohnies.
If ya'll know me at all, you know that I crave Mexican food like it is my job. Any day, any hour, offer me Mexican food and I will eat it. Chicken tortilla soup is one of my all time favorites and now that the weather has cooled down I have been craving it like crazy.
My acupuncturist has been urging me to eat more soups for a long list of reasons I won't go into, but one of the main ones being soup is just a lot easier to digest. On days that I can feel a Crohn's flare up coming on I immediately switch my intake to be as liquid based as possible. Soups are a must. Instead of opting for store bought soups loaded with sodium and often times hidden gluten, I've been perusing Pinerest for some stable recipes for the chilly months.
I found THIS recipe from Half Baked Harvest and made a few tweaks to it (mainly just to make it easier) and boom! It was a hit. Both Matt and I loved it and we made a big batch that lasted all week.
The tweaks we made: added in a bunch of kale for some extra superfood love, used rotisserie chicken instead of cooking our own to save time, and used brown rice instead of quinoa because that stuff does not work with a Crohns tummy. As far as topping we opted for some plain greek yogurt, a little bit of shredded cheese, cilantro, and the homemade tortilla squares.
This will 100% be a staple in our household from now on. It tasted amazing and it was easy on the stomach. If I were feeling really sensitive this week I would have taken out the Greek yogurt and cheese we used to top it and decreased the spiciness a bit, but for a good week this was perfect! What other soups do ya'll recommend to try?!
I am the token basic bitch of fall. I love the smell of the crisp morning air, I love the way Sundays feel during football season, I love candles that smell like a plethora of Thanksgiving pies just exploded all over my house . I love anything Halloween related and haunted stuff is seriously my jam. This year I decided to get a little crafty last weekend when I was inspired by the pumpkin patch right next door to my house. The suburbs get yet another brownie point. I dragged poor Matt through the pumpkin patch dubbing him as my pumpkin carrier/transporter then made my way over to the craft store for some metallic acrylic paints and got down to business.
I am pretty proud of the outcome, considering it was a first attempt and a random Sunday afternoon project. Another plus to this method of pumpkin decorating, it is A LOT less messy and easier than carving. Let's be real, carving was not going to happen with two little pups parading throughout the house.
UPDATE: Can it get anymore basic? I'm finishing up this blog post while eating pumpkin spice popcorn. WHO KNEW that shit existed?!
I listen to podcasts all the time, everywhere, no matter what I am doing. Driving to meetings, doing my laundry, walking my dogs, grocery shopping. What better way to enjoy monotonous activities than with the sassy voices of my generation saying a lot of seriously real and funny shit in my ears.
I started with podcasts by listening to a little bit of everything until I settled on the genre I enjoy most. At first for some reason I was under the impression that podcasts were all about self help and bettering your business and TED Talk type of stuff which I am definitely into but for me that isn't really words to fold your laundry to. The first podcast that I stumbled upon that really spoke to me was my number one girl crush Stassi's podcast "Straight Up With Stassi". Someone that talks so openly about relationships, reality TV, and margaritas? Sign me up.
My obsession with podcasts grew and my choice of casts had to expand because the three hours of material that my girl Stas provides is only enough for about a day of driving for me. I branched out to a few others, some I liked, some not so much, and I narrowed it down to my tried and true podcasts that I listen to religiously every week.
I've compiled a list of my favorites below, which I highly recommend for regular listening. Enjoy xx.
1. Straight Up With Stassi- I don't know any description that can do this thing justice. Between the reality TV realness, the honest talk about shitty relationships, and truths about real friendship this podcast has everything a mid twenties lady could ever want to hear about, plus lots of wine and humor. And cool guests (think Vanderpump ladies, and upcoming Emma Roberts). Also, Stassi's sponsors are amazing. I have literally ordered basically everything she advertises. It. Is. A. Problem.
2. The Bitch Bible- Jackie Schimmel is a true gem. Her love for her dog is creepily amazing and her opinions on reality TV are so, so appreciated. I have never heard anyone say 'fuck' so much and I have never heard anyone describe their gastrointestinal issues in such a hilarious way. She is my fucking hero. Bible.
3. The Skinny Confidential Him & Her Podcast- I am in love with their chemistry and back and forth commentary. It makes me feel like my relationship is normal AF. Lauryn's commentary on confidence, health, and beauty are definitely to be taken to heart and her boo's entrepreneurial advice doesn't hurt either. The only way to sum this one up is #goals.
4. Be Here For a While- Rachel O'Brien, Stassi's BFF, has a comedic podcast that I really can't get enough of. Rachel is just so funny in a not "in your face" kind of way. She is just an overall cool girl.
5. Adderall and Compliments- Another friend of the Vanderpump crew, Annabelle is a comedian that hosts and equally as funny podcasts as her counterparts just with a different flare. She grew up with a hot pink tanning bed and matching Hummer. And lives with three cats. Enough said. She is amazing.
6. Heather Dubrow's World- I promise you these are not all Bravo related but Heather's podcast sucked me in, not going to lie. At first I thought it could potentially be too bougie for me but I was quickly proved wrong. Her discussions with assistant Natalie are great and hearing about her mothering experiences have made me see her in a human light separate from the Housewives and champs persona. She has a lot of valuable commentary on life and a ton of great beauty advice.
7. Mostly Mom With Tia Mowry- I'm not a mom but gearing up for motherhood down the road makes me feel like this podcast is a must. Tia is just so real and honest about everything motherhood and life related. Plus she has a great view on body image and some delicious sounding recipes to go along with it. Tia's laugh is also freaking golden.
8. Raw Talk with Sheena Mannina- This is the newest podcast I have been listening too and it may be the one that most speaks to my soul. Sheena and Amberleigh have some real talk about energy healing, good vibes, and aliens. There isn't really anything that I can say to explain this podcast besides just telling you to go listen to it. Basic Witches are what is up.
Let me know which ones ya'll listen to and what your favorites are!
If you know me at all, you know that I love a good taco. Like REALLY, REALLY love a good taco. And guacamole. And margaritas. Basically, any type of fresh tasting delicious Mexican food and I will be ready and willing to sell my soul.
Not going to lie this has been a serious issue in my life where literally every boyfriend I have ever had has complained about the same issue, that the only places I ever want to go to eat are taco joints. Well sue me for liking good food. That is 80% of the reason why I know I am going to marry Matt... because he literally DOES NOT CARE that for our nuptials I am requesting a DIY fresh taco bar, margarita fountain, and mounds of guacamole in place of a wedding cake. You think I am kidding? No.
Anyways, he is a smart man because the past two times I have had a super shitty day he has surprised me with a visit to THE BEST TACO BAR EVER. Located in Downtown Annapolis, this little gem is the perfect bad day remedy.
First off, their drink menu is out of control. The combinations of margaritas are ridiculous and nothing is too sweet. Also, they have garnishes that make them look bougie as hell. Not complaining.
Side note: I apologize for the grainy images, the lighting in there at night sucks... the only downside.
So after the first drink hits you and your stress level drops about 50%, you have the mental energy to realize the surrounding. This place is freaking cool! It is pretty small which kind of makes it feel exclusive. The wait that you usually have to endure adds to that but honestly there's a bar where you can wait and sample the amazing cocktails so it really is not bad at all. The environment overall has a cool vibe. Food is served family style on metal trays which adds to the cool factor and makes it zero percent stuffy.
Personally, my favorite thing to start with is their guacamole which is literally a scoop of creamy guacy goodness. Also pictured below: the Purple Drank. GAME CHANGER YA'LL.
I have to mention at this point that the gluten free options on Vida's menu are out of control. A majority of the tacos can be made gluten free with a corn tortilla and there are plenty of gluten free starters as well. Another plus, everything is so deliciously fresh so you don't have to worry about gross packaged bull shit being served to you. I always mix things up between different taco orders but let me tell you there has not been a single one that I have not liked. Matt also is a fan of every glutenous option he has opted for so it is a win-win for everyone involved.
I give this place a 10/10. Affordable, delicious, fresh, gluten free friendly, cool environment. No complaints besides that bad lighting at night for my Instagram photos. Speaking of Instagram, follow them if you want your mouth to water at every post. They have got some quality Taco Tuesday features.
If you end up visiting, comment and let me know about your experience!
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.