Next week kicks off Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week (December 1-7) and I have a few fun things up my sleeve to celebrate and raise awareness. To kick things off, I’m excited to share some details about a live Q&A session being held by Nori Health. If you are an IBD sufferer and haven’t checked out Nori Health yet, first off, definitely do so. They are an awesome online resource to help with managing the physical and emotional impacts of IBD.
Their resident health coach and nutritionist, Lisa Booth, is hosting the webinars next week and focusing on nutrition and pain management while dealing with IBD. Lisa has coached IBD & IBS sufferers for years in her work for Ginger.io, 8fit and now Nori Health. She understands the challenges people with a chronic disease have to deal with, and helps them discover habit changes that promote an optimal quality of life. During Awareness Week, she is trying to make as big of an impact as possible by bringing the community together to answer questions and provide help.
Events that focus on both community and education are always my personal favorites because they provide connection and value. Nori’s focus on providing an optimized life with IBD in all facets, from physical wellness, to mental health, to social life, makes me bought into their mission even more.
I am so much looking forward to the webinar next week and it is totally free to sign up so you can join me. Click here for the sign up link and note the schedule below. Space is limited so if you’re interested, make sure to sign up ASAP!
Monday, December 2nd: Live Webinar “Managing Pain Through Nutrition”
Monday, December 2nd - Friday, December 6th: The online Q&A is open! You can ask your questions online and Lisa will provide answers.
Friday, December 6th: Live Webinar highlighting and answering the top questions received throughout the week.
I hope to chat with you all as we go through next week and continue to celebrate our community of warriors that fight this disease!
I can't believe it is already the week of Thanksgiving! I feel like it just became Fall like two minutes ago and all of a sudden here we are and I'm putting together my list of holiday activities I can't wait to do this year. This week I finally started my holiday shopping and I'm trying to get a head start on deciding what to get everyone on my list so I can find the best deals for Black Friday/Small Business Saturday this weekend. I've already released my first gift guide (For The Girls) and I have a few more in the works. Throughout this week I am also looking forward to sharing some of the deals happening at my favorite places to shop, both locally and online. I wanted to start with Meritage Jewelers, number one because I love them, but number two, I want to give you ladies time before the big shopping weekend. If there are some things you want to strategically send your husband/boyfriend OR if you want to let them know about the deals happening at Meritage this weekend, now you have the chance. They make the whole jewelry buying process super easy and personal (they actually listen to your budget and style preferences!). They also have a full bar with big screen TVs in the back so it might feel kind of natural for your man to hang out here, just saying.
So let's do this.....
This past weekend I got a little sneak peek of the deals Meritage Jewelers are offering for Black Friday/Small Business Saturday, and I am ALL about it. Not only do they have some perks going on, they also have giftable pieces for everyone. I found everything from gifts I could give my friends/sisters to pieces I would put on my wish list for gifts from the hubby. I am loving the chance to partner with a local small business and let more people know about a jeweler that really takes care of you and works with your budget/style.
I’m sharing a few highlights from my recent visits to give you an idea of the options they have. If you like my picks and want to shop them for yourself (or your gift list), just show this post at Meritage this weekend and they will help you find the pieces.
Their selection of stackable bracelets are swoon worthy. Mixing different metals is a trend I love, and with these delicate pieces, you can make a statement everyday. These pair well with everything and are super lightweight.
I am also loving a matching set. They are great for everyday or a special occasion because you can dress them up or dress them down. This geometric gold set is perfect to wear with an off the shoulder dress for a holiday party. And this rose gold/diamond set…. I could basically live in this one.
I love these gold statement pieces, especially the stackable bracelets and gorgeous rings. These are perfect to wear alone or layer up for a bolder look.
My favorite giftable pieces are these diamond stud earrings. This is a gift you truly CANNOT go wrong with. There is no worrying about sizing and or style, they are classic, one size fits all gifts that ares super special. Meritage also offers a lifetime trade in program where as your lifestyle evolves and upgrades, you can upgrade your diamonds too. Talk about the gift that keeps on giving.
For Black Friday/Small Business Saturday, Meritage is ready to help you find the perfect gift with their impeccable customer service and expertise. They also make they whole shopping experience super enjoyable with the most personable staff (and full bar in the back of the store!). This weekend, to celebrate the kick off of shopping season, they are giving away a free pair of AirPods with any purchase over $1,500.
I can’t wait to see what pieces you are loving and for you to get spoiled (or spoil yourself) this holiday season.
With holiday season basically here, it is time to start making your shopping list for all of the loved ones in your life you are gifting to this year. I always feel like as you get older, the harder it gets to find the perfect gift for your friends and siblings. Once you're at a certain point in life, if you need it, you buy it, so what possibly can I gift you?
I am always a fan of the gift of experiences (a winery tour, a staycation at a local hotel, etc.), but if you are looking for some perfect gifts for you friends to unwrap, I say, focus on adding a little luxury to their life. I like to gift my friends and sisters things that they wouldn't necessarily splurge on for themselves or something that they didn't even know they needed. When they open a gift like one of these, I hope it brings back a little excitement instead of just checking something off of a wish list. I also get weirdly excited when I gift a product/item that I am so obsessed with and know the recipient will be too. I try so many products so I know I'm picking out the best stuff for the people I'm excited to gift to.
Of course, these luxurious/thoughtful/actually affordable gifts are sometimes hard to find, until you know about them... then you know. I've curated a list of my favorite giftable items that range in price from $15-$200, so you have some options on what to spend, or you can mix and match a few to create a perfect bag of goodies.
Barefoot Dreams Blanket
I'm starting with the most expensive item first, but also the most amazing. This was a gift to me from one of my best friends last Christmas (of course inspired by The Skinny Confidential), and it is probably one of the most used and favorited things I've ever gotten. I never imagined a blanket would be worth $180, but, guys... it really is. This is the softest, most durable, coziest blanket you will ever own. It is perfect to gift to a friend who just moved into a new home or really anyone. These come in a range of different colors and they even have a matching baby blanket for the new mamas in your life.
Barefoot Dreams Socks
If you want to go a little more cost friendly, but still gift the ultimate comfort of Barefoot Dreams, these sock are the way to go. They are a perfect little piece of luxury that you can look forward to when you get home from work or throw in your carryon for a long flight. If you are gifting a gift card for a mani/pedi or spa day, these are a great extra to throw in or you can make a little relaxation kit with these, a cute mug, and some mint tea.
Uncommon James Jewelry
You can't go wrong with these beautiful pieces. Uncommon James pieces are always trendy, but accessibly trendy so that you can wear them season after season, therefore, worth investing in. The quality is great and definitely feel a little luxurious. All of the pieces have a super delicate feel and can go with just about any style. This makes them great for gifting!
Gift Boxes from Winc
A good bottle of wine is one of my go to gifts, but I always feel like I'm missing a little something by just giving a bottle. Winc's gift boxes give a little festive extra-ness to your wine gift, which adds some personality and fun when you're opening it. I also love these for friends you have to ship gifts to, since Winc will package and send it directly for you.
Drunk Elephant Skincare
I am obsessed with this skincare and I wish I could gift it to every person I know, because its that freaking good. I love the mini sets that allow you to try a few hero products at a great price point. If you're going for a bigger ticket item, opt for one of their larger kits that contain a fuller range of products. Amazing skincare doesn't always make everyone's budget, especially when you're spending left and right around the holidays, so being able to give the gift of a little self care can feel magical.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This stuff Is a game changer. I've talked about it on the blog and my Instagram so many times before so I will spare you some of the details. This lip mask is great for everyday and overnight wear, and is especially crucial in the colder months. At $20 per jar, it can feel like a bit of a splurge for what you think you could use vaseline for. But seriously, that's why you need to gift this stuff. What one of your friends may not buy for herself, she will truly appreciate the benefits of this skincare essential. This is NO vaseline and definitely worth the $20.
Peter Thomas Roth Face Mask Kit
Or really any face mask kit. I love sampler style beauty kits that give you a chance to sample more than one product and indulge a bit. It might just be me, but face masks feel like a universal sign of relaxation so gifting a variety of them is truly the gift that keeps on giving.
Capri Blue Candles
The best smelling, most beautiful candles ever. You can never have enough of these and no one is EVER disappointed opening one. They are perfect for basically any lady on your list. I also love that they come in the standard size and the minis which are great to throw in with a gift card or a bottle of wine.
I love these monogramed totes from Marley Lilly. They are cute, cost effective, and super durable ( I know because I have a few myself). These are great for just about anyone of your list, but super special for the newly engaged or married ladies. There is nothing like seeing your new monogram as a bride to be! Marley Lilly also always has really great deals so you can spoil your friends without breaking the bank.
A Subscription Box
A subscription box if the ultimate gift that keeps on giving. FabFitFun is one of my favorites because it incorporates a mixture of wellness, home, fashion, and beauty products that will definitely appeal to most tastes. If you gift a year long subscription (under $200), the recipient also has the option to customize their boxes each quarter. I love this idea because it makes you feel like you are getting a special gift four times a year and you get to choose why you really want.
So, that's my curated list! What lovely ladies are on your gifting? Is there anything you are SO excited to give this year?! Drop a comment and let me know.
Also, make sure to check back and follow along on Instagram for my other upcoming gift guides and gift recommendations. You can also check out my Spoonie Gift Guide from last year!
Today is Remicade day which means this morning I was packing my bag and getting my comfy clothes ready for a day at the doctor’s office. I’ve said this before in posts that I try and make Remicade day suck less by making sure I have everything on hand to relax a little and feel as comfortable as possible. If I am going to be stuck in an infusion chair all day, I must be prepared.
If this isn’t your first Remicade rodeo, you probably already know this whole scoop on what you need to bring with you, but if you are just starting out on your infusion journey, take notes! The first time I showed up for my infusion I was in my work clothes with my iPhone on low battery. ROOKIE FREAKING MOVE YALL.
First I start off with what I am wearing. I always go super comfy, even if I am coming straight from work, I bring a change of clothes. I usually go for leggings or a cute pair of sweatpants on the bottom with some layers on top. I always have some type of thin material shirt or tank top with a sweatshirt or sweater over top. Usually the office is pretty cold so I love being able to snuggle up in an oversized sweater. There have been times though where blood draws or IVs have gone amuck and I’ve been stripping down in a sweat trying not to pass out, hence where the cool layer comes from. I like to rock a fuzzy sock situation when it is cold, or Ugg slippers/Ugg boots. Heaven.
I am pretty much always working while I get my infusions since my infusion days are Fridays. I make sure to bring my fully charged laptop (+ charger just in case) along with a fully charged phone. Obviously these are critical for me being able to actually do my job, but if you are lucky enough to not have to clock hours during your infusion, some key items are necessary too. I highly recommend bringing a device to watch Netflix or a read a book on. I am also a huge fan of Podcasts and Audible, so I usually listen to something while I am working. Hearing the medical beeps going off for a few hours isn’t super fun so having something else to listen to/focus on is comforting.
For listening to whatever content you choose I highly recommend AirPods. I never understood how amazing these things were until my husband got them for me for my birthday. I love that I they are wireless because you’re already hooked up to so many cords, why do we need another? I also love that I can super easily take calls from the infusion chair. AirPods have awesome sound quality not just for the user, but somehow they basically block out the background noise for whoever is on the other end of the line. I always get super self conscious when I am working from the doctor’s office because a lot of my job is taking calls. I don’t want to have to explain to whoever I am talking to why I am working while hooked up to an IV. Just not a necessary part of doing business. So that explains why I feel AirPods are so crucial.
Let’s stop here to give a big reminder to ALWAYS BRING YOUR CHARGERS. I said it before, and I will say it again.
Next thing I have got to have in my bag is DripDrop ORS for quite a few reasons. Remicade usually means blood work and always means an IV. I used to be notorious for having shriveled up, hard to tackle veins. Turns out, being dehydrated was making it worse. Well I was dehydrated because by time it was Remicade time my symptoms were flaring and, well, you know the story. Now I make an effort to handle my dehydration with DripDrop ORS the morning off and during my treatment to keep myself hydrated. It is also miserable feeling sick and dehydrated while getting an infusion. Believe me, I’ve been there before, on the brink of passing out, trying to hydrate and get your blood sugar together with an old can of ginger ale. By sipping on a big waffles vigor of DripDrop ORS, I am making sure to keep everything stable inside, so all I have to focus on is getting my infusion and getting home to rest.
To continue on the whole keeping your insides feeling good and your blood sugar normal thing, I always pack a snack. Whether I eat it or not, it is always good to have a protein packed snack on hand in case you get shaky or lightheaded. I’ve also experienced complications and delays which have kept me at the doctor’s office a lot longer than I originally expected. This means that meal times can be messed up and you can’t exactly run to the local deli with an IV in your arm. I usually opt for Bhu Keto bars, almonds, or cheese sticks to throw in my bag and snack on. These also are not obnoxious things to eat in public so I’m not disturbing my other infusion center mates.
Hopefully if you are new to infusions this will help you prep better and if you’re a vet maybe you’ll be able to add a couple of my tips to your usual list.
What do you bring for a long doctor’s visit?
Blonde babe. Maryland native. Crohn's crushing puppy mother to two sweet rescues.
Welcome to my unfiltered commentary on crushing chronic illness in your 20's and everything that goes along with that.