Friday, March 28, 2014

Happy Birthday To Me?

Today is my birthday.  I have strep throat.  Ugh!  This is only the 2nd time in my life that I've had strep and let me tell you it is the DEVIL!  I was fine on Tues.  A little tired but that is pretty typical for me so didn't think anything of it.  Went to bed early and woke up at 2:30 AM and felt like I was swallowing knives.  Life for real.  Fell back asleep for an hour and woke up again and it was worse. Took Advil.  I forced myself to get really for work and was in denial that it was strep even though I knew it was worse than a regular sore throat.

Once at work it got more painful by the minute and by 11:30 I was in my car on the way home. I was lucky to get an apt with my PCP and it only took him 2 seconds of looking at my throat to know it was strep.  "That looks terrible."  "No offense!"  He told me it was the worst he had seen in a while.  Great.  Lucky me.  Two days before my birthday and a weekend filled with plans.

If I'm being completely honest 2014 has not been a good year for me at all.  Actually it has been pretty Shitty.  Yes that is a Shitty with a capital S just to emphasize how bad it has been.  Let's see:

-lost iPhone in the snow bank
-coldest, longest, winter ever with still no hope of finding that iPhone
-migraines/vertigo for 4 weeks
-threw out my back looking (for the 100th time) for that iPhone
-missed St. Patrick's Day celebrating due to back injury
-strep throat
-strep throat on my birthday = double whammy
-coldest, longest winter EVER (yes that deserves repeating b/c it has been torture)

So. . . here is to hoping for a good start to my 37th year.  I can't even believe I am 37!  How the heck did that happen? 

Going to focus on all the fun things I have coming up including Opening Day next Friday!  Woo Hoo!

Ok so pity party over.  Hope I didn't give any of my friends and co-workers strep throat.

If you want to cheer me up on my birthday feel free to donate to my MS fundraising!!! 


Friday, March 21, 2014

Five on Friday

TGIF!  This week has been SO busy and I've stayed up WAY too late every night getting ready for my Trivia Fundraiser for MS on Sunday!  So here is a quick 5 things. . .

One
Peyton had a piece of her art displayed at their town art show. She is so cute and talented if I do say so myself! Love it!

Two
For years I've gone back and forth regarding if I like the look of Toms.  Their mission 100% YES but I just couldn't decide if I thought they were cute.  But I took the plunge a few weeks ago when Zulily had them on major sale and I must admit I'm kind of loving them.  It mostly has to do with the color since I'm obsessed with all things mint!

Three
I fell IN LOVE with this dress when I saw it featured by my beautiful and stylish friend Abby.  Then I freaked when I couldn't find it on Banana's website. Fortunately it was because it was already in their sale section.  Not only that but the whole store was an additional 40% off the day I was there so I scored it for a great deal.  Not sure where I'll be wearing it yet but had to have it!

Four
In honor of National Puppy Day today I have to share a picture of my friend's new Wheaten Terrier puppy Lucy.  I'm going to meet her tomorrow and I can't wait to snuggle her.  So cute!

And since we are on the topics of four legged friends I also need to share this short video.  I LOVE it and can't stop watching it.  I had a basset hound growing up and would love to have another one someday!  You won't regret this. . .




Five
I chose a winner for the Edible Arrangements giveaway yesterday.  Go here to see who it is!  Too funny that one of my newest Challenge Walk team members won.  I guess if she is going to walk 50 miles with me she deserves some fruit!  Thanks to everyone who entered and helped raise awareness about MS.

For the rest of March you can still buy your own and $5 will be donated to the National MS Society!







Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Humpday Confessions

I was chatting online with Kate last night and I mentioned that I wanted to blog but didn't know what to blog about.  She suggested Kathy's link up and as soon as I saw I could post a bunch of random crap I was sold.  I sure do love random!  So here goes nothing.

I confess. . .

. . . that if I could live in legging and tall boots all winter long I would.  Comfortable and cute!

. . . that my room/floor/bed looked like this for months until the other day when I finally cleaned it all up.  I won't comment on if it is still clean!

. . . that I wish I could enter and win my own giveaway!  I can't but you can here.

. . . that I am REALLY excited for my Trivia Fundraiser for MS this Sunday.  It is 5:30 to 8:30 PM so if you are local and want to come let me know.  There is still a little bit of room!  I have some AMAZING raffle prizes that you won't want to miss out on!  MS fundraising has consumed my life lately and I wouldn't have it any other way.

 . . . that this snowbank is my ENEMY!  Not only did it eat my iPhone (hopefully) but it broke my back.  Ok snowbank you win.  I give up until you melt.  But please melt fast.  This is half the size it was a few weeks ago but if anyone has a blow torch to speed up the process let me know.


. . . that I have not see the movie Frozen but this parody of Let It Go by this mommy blogger is
hilarious!  You must watch it right now.

. . . that I went for a much needed pedicure Monday just to get out of the house and to wear my hat on St. Patrick's Day!  No make-up, wet hair and yoga pants. . . that is how I roll (especially with a sore back)!

. . . that my 87 year old grandmother had a much cooler St. Patrick's Day than I did.  Drinking a Guinness in Florida is the way to go.  Cheers!










Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sweet Cupcakes with Boston Bloggers

Cupcakes + Bloggers = An Amazing Evening!

The other night I had the opportunity to attend a cupcake tasting at one of the most delicious cupcake bakeries in Boston.  Take it from me I know my cupcakes.  Remember when I did a "Cupcake Crawl" with Stephanie in Los Angeles?  See I wasn't kidding. . . I know my cupcakes!

We tasted at the Sweet location on Newbury Street which I must add is one of the cutest locations.  Who doesn't love a brownstone and a brownstone that sells cupcakes. . . just awesome!  The owner is the sweetest (no pun intended) and lives in the neighborhood with her family.  Her love for cupcakes is obvious and she takes so much pride in her work!

A cupcake ferris wheel! Squeal!  Love it so much.  So Sweet has all the traditional flavors you would expect and I sampled several of them.  SO GOOD!  Below you will see some of the more unique flavors (some of which are seasonal so get in there quick if you want to try them)!






They do special orders for parties and holidays.  They even deliver.  I know who I'm ordering my cupcakes from next time I need some.  They do weddings, gender revels and even told us that boys buy them to ask girls to the prom.  When did that get so over the top!?

Oh look I really was there!  Some of these events are tough to take photos with people in them b/c everyone is busy talking and filling their faces with cupcakes.  Ha!

It was such a fun time and anytime I can eat cupcakes for dinner I call that a win!

I may have eaten cupcakes for breakfast too.  Yes that is plural.  The one above and a St. Patrick's Day one.  Oops!  I couldn't resist.  They were so good.  Can't wait to go back for more.

Cupcake date anyone?


Sweet has other locations Downtown, Harvard Square and soon Chestnut Hill!







Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day From the Comfort of My Bed!

I love St. Patrick's Day.  It is one of those silly holidays that gives you a good reason to dress in green and drink beer.  Boston of course is the best city to celebrate this holiday in since we have a big parade and plenty of Irish people!

Well unfortunately this year I'm celebrating from the comfort of my bed.  On Saturday afternoon I decided to I would shovel some of the snow ice bank in my driveway.  You know the one (my iPhone 5 is hopefully at bottom of it).  Well it is taking TOO long to melt and since it was in the 50s I thought I would help it along by spreading out the snow a little.  Only problem was that it was somewhat frozen which made shoveling it difficult.  That is when it happened.  I was bent over to grab a scoop of snow and my back went out.  I felt an incredible pain go across my lower back and I was stuck. Oh and did I mention I was standing on top of the snow bank and my other phone was in my car. . . yeah I was stuck with no phone to call for help even if I wanted to.

Somehow I managed to walk to my car to get my purse/phone/keys and then walked into my apartment.  When I say walked picture me bent forward almost to a 90 degree angle hobbling. . . it was not a pretty sight.  Looking back I must have had some major adrenalin going b/c I really have no clue how I managed to make it to my bed.  Once I laid down I really couldn't move and was just waiting for the Advil to kick in. I couldn't lay flat and even breathing hurt.  I was in rough shape and more mad about the fact that I knew I would be meeting Emily for drinks that evening as planned.

So I went to the ER.  My friend Joana came and got me and I somehow managed to roll out of bed and walk to her car.  Fortunately the hospital is literally less than 5 minutes from my apartment.  Unfortunately the wait was OVER 2 hours.  I couldn't get comfortable. I couldn't sit and even laying down was not great.  I kept trying to get comfy but moving hurt so much.

The doctor came in to see me w/in minutes of me laying down.  He quickly diagnosed the problem and ordered some meds.  The nurse was in seconds later with the drugs and some crackers (since I hadn't eaten all day).  I took the meds and she said I could leave!  Ha!  Nothing like kicking me out after I waiting all that time to get in.  I ended up waiting about 20 minutes so the meds could kick in a bit.  Then we had to go to the next town over b/c it was the only 24 hour CVS.  They filled the scripts quickly and we were back home in no time.  Joana got me settled with some juice and candy (ya know the important stuff) and she was off.  It was after 10 PM by then I think!

I bought this adorable hat to wear to the parade on Sunday.  I knew it was going to be freezing out so I thought this was the perfect accessory.  I also picked up this green nail polish on Sat afternoon right before I hurt my back.  Needless to say I didn't get to use either.  I am so sad I missed the party and parade in Southie.  Oh well there is always next year. . .

I'm happy to report that I am feeling SO much better today.  I literally slept all day yesterday and really only got out of bed when I had to.  I'm still tight and sore but at least can walk a bit more normal. I plan to go back to work tomorrow.  I will need to take it easy for a few more days I'm sure.

I haven't thrown my back out this bad in over 5 years.  The last time I did it like this it was from coughing.  It is just crazy that the most simple thing can do it.  I never expected it to happen from "shoveling" since I've been going at that snow bank ever since I dropped my phone.  Oh and NO I STILL didn't find my phone.  The snow bank is still HUGE!  I need melting now!  Doubt that will happen today since it is 21 degrees out!  Ugh!!!

In honor of St. Patrick's Day I'll share one of my favorite pictures ever.  I did a photo shoot with Peyton and Ella just a few weeks after Ella was born.  Peyton was about 15 months at the time.  This is one of the few good ones and there are over 100 not so good ones. Ha!

Happy Birthday to my brother Scott!  (I doubt he reads my blog but just in case)!!






Still time to enter my giveaway!!!!!!










Friday, March 14, 2014

5 Reason MS is Annoying!

 


Friends often ask, "How are you feeling?"  I most often give a simple automatic response of "good." Because do they REALLY want to know?  And even if they do how exactly do I explain HOW I'm feeling.  Most times I'm not sure because describing many symptoms of MS is difficult to put to words.  The other night while out to dinner a good friend asked me that question and it got me thinking. . . 

I'm lucky.  For a person living with MS I'm one of the healthier ones.  I haven't had any relapses since my diagnosis, I don't have mobility issues, I don't pee myself (oh yes that happens to some people), I am able to take an oral treatment (yay Gilenya), I don't have vision issues. . . and so on.

As I'm so often told, "You look SO good!"  Ya know because people with MS are suppose to look bad or something.  Oh or the other great one, "You don't look sick?!" 

And you know what?  For the most part they are RIGHT!  I think I do look pretty good and I certainly hope I don't look sick!  But MS is annoying.  As with most "invisible illnesses" there are many things going on with my body on a regular basis that you can't see.

Guess what. . . those things are a nuisance and they.are.always.there.  Annoyingly reminding me all day long that I have MS.  I deal with them because I have to and it could be worse.  I think I have a high tolerance for nuisances.  I've adjusted and things that were once so bad are just annoying now.

Here are my TOP 5 Reasons Why MS is Annoying (in no particular order):

ONE

Migraines.  I never had the honor of experiencing migraines prior to my MS diagnosis.  Coincidence?  I think not.  Migraines suck.  Mine were under control for a couple of years and then my neurologist suggested I go off my preventive migraine med.  I agreed.  For a couple of weeks I was fine and then I wasn't.  Ugh!  For the last month I've had a constant headache.  Some days are worse than others.  I am not back on the migraine med and things are getting a little better - slowly.  Migraines are no fun.  While mine are not as severe as they are usually constant for days to weeks at a time.  Imagine having a bad headache for weeks?!  Not fun and definitely VERY annoying!

TWO

VertigoThis is kind of cheating because it totally goes hand in hand with the above migraines.  I've never had vertigo before. . . until about a month ago when the migraines came back.  One morning I was bending my head down to get something and I got this weird feeling in my head, almost lost my balance and had to sit down on my kitchen floor.  It isn't dizzy but almost like a motion sickness type of feeling.  So hard to describe if you have never had it.  It is not fun.  It has continued daily since then although much better now than it was in the first two weeks.

THREE

Hypersensitivity/Pins & Needles/Burning.  You know that feeling when you think there is a stray hair that has fallen out and is somewhere on your body. . . like across the back of your arm. . . OMG I can't stand that feeling.  I constantly feel like there is a stray hair on the back of my left arm.  There NEVER is!  What the heck?!  It isn't painful but my skin just hurts if that makes any sense.  It is SO annoying.  Also I often have this weird tingling feeling that is similar to pins & needles or burning mostly in my feet.  Also annoying!

FOUR

Spasticity.  You know when you lay down in bed at night and you are so exhausted and start falling asleep. . . then you twitch and wake yourself up?!  The worst right?  Well that happens to me - a lot especially at night when I'm trying to relax and fall asleep.  My legs will feel SO tight and HEAVY like cement blocks.  My muscle spasms are typically in my legs which is the same place I have pain/soreness.

FIVE 

Fatigue.  A boy is this annoying.  More than annoying actually.  It is exhausting! Ha!  So the thing about fatigue is that it isn't the same as feeling tired.  It is different.  It is hard to explain.  Probably the most annoying part is that it comes on very suddenly.  I can go from feeling pretty ok to feeling terrible.  Like hitting the wall times 1000!  When it happens I feel sore and find it hard to concentrate.  It can be very difficult to "work through" but sometimes I have to.  I've made several lifestyle changes to try to combat the fatigue and some seem to help sometimes.  I also take a medication that helps with it called Provigil.  Thank God for Provigil!!!


There are many more annoying things about MS but these are the 5 that are bothering me the most.  Good times I tell ya. . . good times.  But like I said it is all relative.  I've got it pretty good.  Annoying is manageable.


What annoys you about MS? 



 Enter my giveaway for an Orange Citrus Blossom here!!!






Linking up for FIVE ON FRIDAY!


 



 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lunch At Del Frisco's

A couple of weekends ago I had the opportunity to eat lunch at Del Frisco's during a Blog and Tweet Boston event.  Why would a gal who doesn't eat steak or fish go to a restaurant the primarily serves just that?  Well to hang out with my bloggy besties of course!  Also they do serve one of my very favorite martinis and I'm never one to pass up a free drink!

We got to sample The VIP (yellow martini above) which has Svedka Clementine Vodka infused with fresh Hawaiian pineapple and the Pomegranate Martini which has 360 Vodka, PAMA Pomegranate liquor and a splash of cranberry.  Both were very good but like I said The VIP is delicious!

We also got to try their signature red wine which is bottled just for Del Frisco's. It was good and I'm sure it pairs well with the steak!


My photos in this post are not in the order that the food arrived.  Let's just say the food started and kept on coming. . . there was A LOT of food and portions were VERY generous.  Everyone was so full including me despite not sampling a lot of the dishes (since I don't eat steak and fish).  The side dishes were SO good.  Those mashed potatoes - OMG!

Everything that came out looked beautiful.  Presentation was lovely and all the food was steaming hot.  I don't know about you but I hate luke warm food at restaurants.
 
Now let's talk about those onion rings. . . again A+ for presentation.  I've never seen them served like that.  Oh and leave it to me to knock them over while trying to sample one! Classy!!

I didn't take photos of all the steaks but there were many.  I think they sampled every one that was on the menu and that was after eating a ton of food (again not all pictured here b/c I got tired of taking pics).  Everyone was raving about the steak!

It seemed like the crowd favorite was the crab cake.  So if you go try it. . . Blogger recommended.  Ha!

Don't worry we saved room for dessert - kind of.  The lemon cake was as big as my head.  That is the actual serving size when you order it at the restaurant.  I will admit I was hoping for something chocolate but this was SO good.  The frosting was sweet, lemony and delicious. 

It was fun hanging out with Emily and the rest of the bloggers.  Oh and since Del Frisco's is on the waterfront we enjoyed great views of the Boston Harbor! 

So even though I don't eat steak or fish I would still go here again.  Everything I tried was delicious.  Let's face it. . . I'm going back for the drink!

The service was excellent and the manager personally welcomed us and thanked us for coming - we should have been thanking him for all of the free food he gave us!  Del Frisco's is all over the country so if you have one near you check it out next time you are in the mood for a good steak!



Our lunch was complimentary as part of this Blog and Tweet Boston event but all opinions are my own.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Ella's 5th Birthday Party With Sleeping Beauty


A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Ella's 5th birthday.  The photos were on my camera and I was without my laptop for over two weeks so I couldn't upload them.  I'm finally getting around to it and now I'm going to torture you with a lot of princesses, pink and cuteness.  You've been warned (and you have to make it to the end of the post if you want to see any photos with me)!

Ella LOVES Sleeping Beauty.  She is her favorite princess.  Ella had no clue that Sleeping Beauty was coming to her birthday party.  The doorbell rang and Ella answered the door and saw her!  It was PRICELESS!

Ella ran over and gave Sleeping Beauty a hug while all the other kids just stared in silence and disbelief.  If you have ever wondered how to a room full of kids quiet at a party just invite a princess.  We could have heard a pin drop!



Is it just me or is Peyton even more adorable with her toothless smile?!  I love it!

Sleeping Beauty immediately got to work. . . she read the kids a story, helped them made princess crowns, painted their nails and SO much more.




Each kid got the chance to walk down the "magic carpet" and it was so adorable.  These kids have so much confidence and know how to strut their stuff.
 


I really wanted to get a photo with Sleeping Beauty.  I thought it would have been funny for a FB profile pic but I didn't want to take away from the kids.  Haha!

Could they be ANY cuter!?  OMG!  Such a fun birthday party that I am sure Ella will remember for years to come!  Right after this all the kids left and family arrived for the 2nd party!

 Mirror, mirror on the wall. . .

I love this photo of Ella and I.  There were a few outtakes with Ella making funny faces but somehow we captured this one and it makes me happy!  It was just so much fun to watch her have such a wonderful birthday!

I got Ella a unicorn necklace.  Here she is opening it and then modeling it later in the night.  She LOVES unicorns!

I love this photo too.  Here she is all decked out in her princess dress, birthday hat, new princess sweatshirt and new unicorn.  All of her favorite things at once!  She is laughing in this photo b/c she is holding some a ball of tissue paper that she is waiting to throw at me!  Ha!

This is a crappy iPhone photo so that is why it is a little blurry.  But I had to show off the birthday banner I made Ella.  I think it came out SO cute.  I printed photos of her from the past year and my coworker made me the crowns (she has one of those computerized paper cutting machines - I forget which one).  I used all supplies I had on hand and I think it came out great!

Oh and we can't forget about Neely!  She didn't sleep a wink all afternoon but thought my lap would be a cozy place to sit.  {Don't tell her she isn't tiny anymore. . . she still thinks she is a lap dog!}

Now my birthday is just around the corner. . . maybe my mom will invite Prince Charming to my party?