July Favorites

Can I steal a popular YouTube video topic and turn it into a blog post? Is that legal? Am I cheating? Who knows! But here are some of my favorites for the month of July!

  • ICED FRIGGIN’ COFFEE!! – I will be sharing a recipe for my homemade iced coffee SOON!
  • WordPress Plugin: Editorial Calendar – I just got this installed and haven’t had a chance to really try it out yet, but I think it will be an amazing tool for planning future blog posts!
  • Blogging Productivity! I made a list of over 100 blog post ideas this month!
  • Twitter Blog Chat! #bloggersdoitbetter – This month I discovered and attended my first ever Twitter blog chat and had a lot of fun! I gained some new Twitter followers (bonus!) and am planning on attending more of these chats in the near future!
  • WordPress: The ‘Distraction Free Writing’ tool is definitely going to be coming in handy! No idea how long that little feature has been around, but now that I’ve found it I’ll sure as heck be putting it to good use!
  • Pharrell Williams “Come Get It Bae” music video makes me want to learn to DANCE!

And for the heck of it, here are some UNfavorites for the month!

  • The weather! Too many rainy days. Cooler than average temperatures, Uhmm… it honestly felt like the end of September, not the end of July! What the what?!
  • I’ve been losing hair like craaaaaaazy lately, thanks a lot there thyroid. Seriously. Just keep my hair on my head where it belongs, mmmkay?!?

Cheers to a new month and getting back some of my blogging mojo!

Background Blogging.

You may not believe this, but I have actually been working on blog things… YES! It’s true!.. I just haven’t been posting anything! LOL.

Yesterday I started writing down a list of blog post ideas and that list grew from 10 topics, to 25, to 50, and today I have been adding even more to it and it’s currently grown to over 65 blog post ideas! I’m super excited about it!

My next step is to start planning out a blog editorial calendar, which is just a monthly calendar onto which I will figure out how often I want to put up new blog posts and then writing down the post topics on those certain calendar days. This will help me out tremendously with not only battling writer’s block, but being able to plan out and schedule blog posts in advance and finally starting to blog more frequently! Get excited!

Summer vacation (uhmm.. well.. yeah, technically it’s my child’s summer vacation from school that I’m referring to, but whatever) continues throughout August, so I’m not sure just how often I’ll be able to blog in August. Although, I am not sure why I’m even mentioning that as I only blog maybe 2 times a month as it is… uhmm, hello?! Preeeetty sure I can blog more than that!

I am looking forward to finally getting my blogging back on track and getting organized! Heck, I might even become so productive that I even start including PHOTOS in my blog posts! What!?

Current Developments: July 2014

Hi there! My name is Jenn and I am a horrible blogger. I have been blogging so very infrequently that it’s easier just to make a bullet list of the news I want to share!

  • New Favorite Band: Hedley
  • My son recently lost his first tooth! #excitingnewsinparenting He’s 6, by the way.
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  • Also on the parenting topic: my child can now ride his bike without training wheels! Whoo! He still needs practice with things like turning and stopping via use of the pedal brakes, but he is doing wonderfully with it!
  • I love the McDonald’s iced frappe’s and decided to save myself some money and try making something similar on my own… so now I make myself iced coffee at home and it’s pretty yummy! I will have to share my drink recipe soon on the blog for that! On a related note: I should have purchased the decaf instant coffee… whoa, caffeine overload! hah!
  • In thyroid news, my medication dosage was chopped in half again and now I only take 75mg worth of it a day! (Compared to the 300mg/daily that I originally started with, this is amazing!)
  • Also, related to thyroid problems, my hair and scalp has been really dry so I now coat my scalp and hair with coconut oil and put it up and let it absorb for 30 minutes to an hour before I have a bath or shower; I still shampoo and condition as normal and this treatment has helped out a lot with getting my scalp feeling normal and makes my hair feel super light and much smoother! So I’m loving that! Also, I only wash my hair like twice a week, not daily (unless it’s just feeling completely dirty and gross!)
  • I wrote this entire post while my hair was coated with coconut oil, and now it’s time for me to have a bath! Is that TMI? TTFN, blog!

Over half.

Somehow it’s already reached the month of July and the year 2014 is halfway over..

I’m glad that my son is now finished with school and on summer vacation, we have been enjoying the warm weather and spending much more time outdoors!

Speaking of spending time outdoors, I purchased a picnic blanket from Target and it’s basically become my favorite thing ever and I love using it! My son and I have already been on 3 (THREE!) picnic dates to a local splash park / playground; he runs around with whatever kids happen to be there and I hang out on the picnic blanket in the shade and read a book or listen to music on my phone, we  both have a lovely time! And of course we bring along a little food and a couple of drinks as well!

Recently we have taken to having ‘quiet time’ on our front porch in the evenings around dusk and we are all really enjoying that, and wondering why we didn’t develop that habit sooner. Our front porch is not screened-in but we haven’t been having much trouble with bugs yet (keep fingers crossed that it’s stays this way!) but I did have an idea to purchase ‘replacement’ gazebo netting as I figure we’d be able to hang it along the sides of the porch and it would probably cover our needs just perfectly.

I am so rusty when it comes to blogging, this post has taken me waaaaay longer to write than it should have! I wonder if this will be the month that I get back into the habit of being a regular blogger?? Hah.. yeah, don’t hold your breath!

Hey June, What’s New?

I guess it’s about time for what has turned into one of my bi-monthly blog posts, how sad is it that I can’t even manage to write a new blog post once a week?! I must try to change this….

Anyway, I thought I’d write a little post about what is new or currently happening in my super interesting and mostly news-worthy personal life (note: sarcasm) so let’s do that then, shall we?

  • First and most notable: I signed up for Grooveshark Anywhere which means that I now pay $5/month and can now use the Grooveshark app on my android phone and listen to pretty much any music that I feel like! Either ONline or most exciting, I can save music to my phone and listen to it OFFline whenever the heck I feel like it! And.. added bonus, it scrobbles to my last.fm profile so you can totally stalk me and see what music I’ve been listening to lately!
  • Because I’ve been listening to music with grooveshark A LOT Lately, I’ve noticed that I’m deeply in need of some new music for my ears so please leave a comment and give me some music recommendations!
  • The top 5 songs I’ve listened to the most over the past 7 days are 1) Hedley – “Pocket Full of Dreams” 2) Michael Jackson ft. JT – “Love Never Felt So Good” 3) Demi Lovato – “Let It Go” 4) Ed Sheeran – “Lego House” 5) Mat Kearney – “Ships in the Night”
  • I’m currently reading “The Help” on loan from the local library, and no, I haven’t seen the movie yet. I have this thing where I refuse to see the movie unless I’ve read the book first, and then it takes me a while to get to reading the book and then… I just never see the movie. LOL, do you do that? Or maybe it’s just that I don’t want the movie to ruin the book, or vice versa.. For instance, I’ve read all 3 books of The Hunger Games, and recently finished reading Divergent, and have yet to watch any of those movies. Or how I’ve never read or watched the movies for Twilight or Harry Potter even though they were (and still are?) immensely popular series.
  • I’ve just been wearing clear polish on my fingernails, it’s just easier… if it chips it’s hardly noticeable! ha! But I’ve been considering putting switching it up and applying some color, it’s just ugh.. so much more maintenance involved that way!
  • I try and make sure to at least watch the new daily vlog from the SacconeJolys on YouTube every day! Love them!
  • And it’s dinner time and I’m hungry, so goodbye for now blog! TTYL!

A Quick Thyroid Update

I mentioned a couple of posts ago about how I am currently back on thyroid medication to treat my hyperactive thyroid (grave’s disease); did I mention that I had let it go untreated for roughly 6 years?? Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that… but anyway!

I first saw the endocrinologist about it at the beginning of April and got blood tests done then to check my thyroid hormone levels, lucky me I get to go and have blood tests done every month so my doctor can keep track of my levels and increase or decrease my medication as needed to get things as close to *normal* as we possibly can.

(image source)
I started off with being prescribed to take PTU 100mg / three times a day, in addition to taking a beta-blocker once a day. After finally hearing my May blood tests results from my doctor, who discovered that my thyroid was now on the opposite end of the scale and had become hypoactive (under active), my dosage was lowered to PTU 50mg / three times a day and no more beta-blocker!! Best news ever! I certainly am not a fan of having to take medication 3 times a day, every day, so to go from taking a total of 7 pills a day down to just 3 pills a day is a wonderful thing!

P.S. Just for the record, I would much rather suffer through hyperactive thyroid symptoms than hypoactive ones! I’ll take muscle weakness over muscle & joint PAIN any day of the week, thank you very much. Ouch. I didn’t particularly enjoy the slower thinking, memory loss, or having sluggish movement symptoms either… it’s good to be back to feeling more normal, that’s for sure!

Broadway Nails imPRESS Press-on Manicure

A few weeks ago I received my first ever Maple Voxbox from Influenster, and the complimentary products included were two different patterned sets of imPRESS Press-on Manicure by Broadway Nails! I got a zebra print set, which I haven’t used yet, and the colored cheetah print which you’ll see in the below photos.

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Each set comes with 24 press-on nail covers, and you get 2 each in 12 different sizes. Once you’ve chosen the perfect size cover for each one of your fingers, and have made sure that your nails are clean and free of oils, you simply peel off the plastic sticker-like backing off each nail cover and press it firmly on over your fingernail. That’s it, all you do is press firmly, how easy is that?! I love that you don’t have to wait for it to dry, like you do with normal nail polish, and once these nail covers are on they stay on really well!

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For once in my life, I actually do have *nails* with some length to them.. meaning, I am no longer biting them down to the knubs! Apparently, these imPress press-on manicure sets are sold in two different lengths in stores, there is the regular length (which is what both of my sets were) and there is a medium length available for those with longer natural nails. Even though I actually have some nails now, I found the regular length nails to still be a bit too long for my liking, so I simply used some nail clippers and trimmed them down to a shorter length after I applied them and had no problems with doing that, they were quite easy to clip and I was pleased with the results. The above photo is my finished & trimmed manicure.

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The manicure stayed on extremely well through everything; hand washing, washing dishes, showers, etc. It was a full two days after applying the manicure before one of the nail covers started to loosen up and come off. And if I had nail glue available at the time, I would have simply glued it back onto the nail and continued on with life, but alas, no nail glue.. so after noticing that the nail size I had chosen for that particular finger was actually a bit too wide, I chose a smaller one and applied it to that nail. This time I chose to leave it the normal, longer length.

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Another two days passed before that same darn nail that loosened the first time started to loosen up again, and at that point I just decided to remove the manicure. It was easy enough to simply peel the nail covers off, this photo shows the removed nail covers.

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Afterwards, I noticed that my nails were now definitely showing signs of damage! Note to self: Next time use nail polish remover to aid in removal of press-on nail covers, those things really stick to your nails! This photo was taken AFTER using nail polish remover to remove any leftover sticky residue from my nails! If this happens to you, I found using one of those 4 sided nail buffer sticks can help out a lot, plus I use a 4-in-one repairing base coat (found it at Walmart – comes in a huge salon size bottle for a cheap price!) and that helps to really smooth things over and help my nails look much nicer!

Broadway Nails sells the imPRESS press-on manicure in a variety of both solid nail colors and various prints and patterns and I think they are definitely worth looking into purchasing! I was especially impressed with the quality of the product and how long it stayed on the nails for being such a simple press-on manicure. I’m especially interested in trying out the imPRESS manicure in the french tip variety as I noticed they look amazing in the photographs I’ve seen online!

I WAS NOT COMPENSATED FOR THIS POST, HOWEVER I DID RECEIVE A SAMPLE FOR MY REVIEW. ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN AND NOT INFLUENCED IN ANY WAY.

Hello, It’s Already Half-Way Through May!

How about a little bullet point list to get this first blog post in the month of May started off on the right foot? Hah.. blogger humor.

  • I’ve been feeling much better; like I actually have strength and energy and I feel almost normal. Whoo! Don’t take your health for granted, yo!
  • I’ve discovered that throwing the clothes directly from the dryer into a laundry basket and bringing them upstairs to fold is a wonderful thing, and it’s something that I plan on doing from now on! Yay for less time spent in the dark and musty basement!
  • I have been back on medicine to help control my grave’s disease (hyperactive thyroid) for about a month and half now, which is part of the reason that I wasn’t feeling so great last month, besides you know.. having the flu. Unfortunately the side effects of this medication include feeling usually tired and weak (try having this side effect on top of the flu, you wanna talk about some fun stuff!) and nausea which is always a great feeling to have. Not!
  • Oh, and since your thyroid effects all your hormones and controls so very many things in your body and this medication I’m now taking is supposed to help get my thyroid under control… anyway, long story short, I was due for a period 2 weeks ago; it never happened and I’m not pregnant (and I was already 99% sure I wasn’t pregnant, but I did take a pregnancy test as an added precaution. I might buy another pregnancy test and try it again in a few days, just because I really don’t want to be pregnant at this point in my life!) It’s honestly as if my body completely forgot about having my last period, which is weird but I know that it’s due to taking this medication…
  • Reasons to avoid taking thyroid medication: Having to take pills 3 times a day. Ugh, who wants to do that, really?! Also, prescription costs and doctor/medical fees. And having to get blood tests done every single month.
  • Spoiler alert! I’m going to be posting a review about a nail product soon!

Still Not Quite 100%

This sickness has really thrown my body for a loop this month! The good news is that my appetite is returning and I am able to eat some food, although it definitely takes less food for me to feel full.. in all honesty this is probably a good thing, as I have been overweight and was probably eating too much before.

Other good news is that I am drinking water constantly and have barely touched soda at all this month, so maybe I will be able to give up soda for good after this! I have also been eating way less as far as sweets go, simply because if you are barely eating you don’t want to be filling up on sweets, and especially not if you are sick or feeling unwell. So those are all good things!

My energy level is still low and I tend to sit down and rest for a few minutes quite frequently if I am being active and trying to get things done around the house and I am lying down in a restful position either in bed or on the couch any other time. It’s rather pathetic, but you gotta do what you can to let your body recover so you can get to feeling better!

I don’t have a headache…

I’ve spent the majority of April feeling mostly miserable and with the worst ever headache in my life, day after day.. In fact, today is the first day in the last 10 days that I haven’t had a headache. And cross your fingers that one isn’t planning on developing again soon!! I am soooo over it! I’ve had the flu – fever and chills, muscle aches, that awful headache, and I pretty much just have been 100% out-of-commission for the last 10 days. Now, thankfully, it’s easing up and on it’s way out and I’m starting to get my appetite back, hooray!

The bad part about being out of commission for the last 10 days? The house needs cleaned something terrible! Ughh.. why can I not be some type of magical person who could just snap their fingers and the house would be clean? Or sing a sing and animals would come in to help? Who wouldn’t enjoy that?