Thursday, December 22, 2016

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Feat. My Ukelele

Hello World!

I haven't had much of a chance to blog or even get pictures taken of late, but I do have some stuff up my sleeve. In the meantime, you can hear me belt out Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas on my new ukulele!


Thursday, December 01, 2016

My weekend

Hello World!

I know that this past week I didn't get much of a chance to do any blogging, but it has definitely been crazy over here! So instead, I vlogged my Thanksgiving weekend and posted the video up on my channel this morning for you all to check out!

How was your Thanksgiving?
Were you crazy enough to go Black Friday Shopping?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Cali Dresses 5/5

Hello World!

Today is my review and outfit on the last of the dresses I bought while in California earlier this fall!
( 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,)
I liked it so much, while in California I bought the exact same dress except in a different color!
These two dresses have become such a staple in my wardrobe!
Being made out of a stretch like knit material they are super comfy, and easy to dress up and down.
One of the other things that sold me on the dresses though, was the fact that each one only cost me $8!
One seriously can't get much better than that!


The book I'm holding I was given with a collection of other hardbound classics by my Grandpa last year.
It was on my list to read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow last year, but I sadly never got around to it.
This year, along with that book, I was hoping to read Frankenstein, Dracula, and Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde. I accomplished reading Frankenstein, and Dr. Jekyll Mr. Hyde, but actually haven't had the chance to start on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow of yet.
As you can see my coat has been getting quite the collection of pins!
Due to my friends knowing that I wanted to start collecting them for my coats, most of my pins thus far have been from sweet friends contributing to it by bringing me pins as souvenirs on trips they have taken.
The scarf I am wearing I have had since I was 12 and it has been a staple in my closet ever since I can remember.
My great Aunt gave it to me for my birthday and due to it being a handmade knitted scarf, it is the comfiest and coziest thing in the world!

Coat: LizCountryWear
Scarf: Knitted/handmade
Dress: Q
Tights: Legale
Socks: thrifted
Shoes: Curfew

Are you one for creepy, and spooky novels?
What's been on your reading list of late?


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Brussel Sprouts with Bacon, Health Update and new Vlog

Hello World!
Health Update:
Okay, so we need a little catch up first.
In my last health update I'd left off with a visit to a new female doctor.
I really liked her.
A lot!
But after three visits she told me that my case was just too hard for her.
She couldn't figure out my old stool test results and thus wasn't sure how to treat me based on my blood work results.
So she referred me to yet another doctor.
At the same time, I have still not been seeing any improvement in my health and have still been getting worse.
Since I had been on the AIP diet for 90+ days (Woot, woot!) and there was no change we were wondering if I was on the right diet track.
90 Days is supposed to be the longest time it takes before a normal person would see results and a difference in their symptoms and health. 
For me, since I was seeing no improvement whatsoever and honestly REALLY MISSING COFFEE, we switched things up and I stopped my AIP (AutoImmunePaleo) Diet and started the SCD (SpecificCarbohydrateDiet) Diet plan.
Now the base line of the SCD diet is "...The allowed carbohydrates are monosaccharides and have a single molecule structure that allow them to be easily absorbed by the intestine wall. Complex carbohydrates which are disaccharides (double molecules) and polysaccharides (chain molecules) are not allowed. Complex carbohydrates that are not easily digested feed harmful bacteria in our intestines causing them to overgrow producing by products and inflaming the intestine wall. The diet works by starving out these bacteria and restoring the balance of bacteria in our gut..."
Our line of thinking is that obviously my gut just can't digest food properly.
(Which was something the third female doctor told me on my first visit with her and thus she said no raw veggies in my diet only cooked as they are easier on the gut.)
With SCD I'm eating only foods that have a single strand of a monosaccharide.
It's like I'm only eating one strand of a carbohydrate which is a lot easier to digest than foods that hold more than one.
So I have kept up with eating only cooked veggies, but also switched to the SCD diet.
Which I was on for just under 2 weeks when I went in to see my new and current doctor.
I, honestly, only have good things to say about him! 
I'll admit I had a slight reservation as it was my first visit with a male doctor.
I just wasn't sure how comfortable I'd be with that.
But at the same time I am in so much constant pain and suffer from other not fun symptoms finding a doctor who could bring me relief is more on my radar than my pride.
Plus my mom goes with me so it just isn't awkward.
And he was very professional!
He started the visit out by asking me tell him pretty much my health journey and everything connected with it from the beginning so he could form his own conclusions and ideas with out being biased from paperwork from other doctors.
At first I was a little annoyed as I get asked about my health SO often, it has become a boring subject to me ( thus by writing it down on my blog I can direct people here and it answers their many questions ) but by the end of the visit I really appreciated that he took that route in getting to know me as a patient as nothing went under the radars then as far as symptoms and something other doctors may have brushed off.
He could instead examine my case fully, getting the whole unbiased picture.
Some things I found out on the visit were:
  • My thyroid is off
  • I'm anemic
As we were talking to him, he asked if I had ever been tested for  Chrohn's, Celiacs, or even SIBO/SIBO ( Small-Intestine-Bacteria-Overgrowth/Small-Intestine-Yeast-Overgrowth ).
He was surprised as 
  • my symptoms seriously led him to think I may be suffering with SIBO/SIYO and
  • I have family members who have been tested with Chrohns and Celiacs.
Now the summary for SIBO/SIYO is that yes, we already know I have bad bacteria in my gut, but the good bacteria that is supposed to be there has moved into my small intestine where virtually NO bacteria is supposed to reside!
My current doctor feels so sure about me having SIBO/SIYO he felt that he could start treatment for me on it right away, but unsure of how severe I have it or if I have a Yeast overgrowth or Bacteria Overgrowth (yeast is definitely more severe) he wouldn't know if he should start me on conventional treatment or herbal.
So I haven't started treatment for that yet.Since that visit I have done more testing which included;
  • stool testing
  • a breath test.
The stool testing is to rule out celiacs and chrohns.
The doctor feels inclined to believe that I don't suffer with that, but he'd much rather be safe than sorry!
Also due to the fact that I have family members suffering with it he found it odd I hadn't been tested for it already.
The breath test is to know if I have SIBO/SIYO and to know how severe it is.
"...Breath testing measures the hydrogen (H) & methane (M) gas produced by bacteria in the SI that has diffused into the blood, then lungs, for expiration.  H & M are gases produced by bacteria, not by humans.  The gas is graphed over the SI transit time of 2 or 3 hours & compared to baseline.  Patients drink a sugar solution of glucose or lactulose after a 1 or 2 day preparatory diet.  The diet removes much of the food that would feed the bacteria, allowing for a clear reaction to the sugar drink...."
I have finished both of the tests and am thus in another waiting period.
But I honestly feel SO encouraged of late!
I mean there is a chance we are finally finding out what is wrong with me!
I could finally be diagnosed with a problem instead of wandering around feeling crappy all day and unsure if anything I am doing is even helping or perhaps potentially making me worse!
Apparently lots of the time SIBO/SIYO is at the heart of the matter but is rarely tested for.
The doctor I went to had heard of every type of food diet I had done and wants me to actually stick to AIP as it is the most nutrient full so he knows I'm at least getting good food in.
With the exception of adding coffee back into my diet ( as since it is a bean it normally isn't allowed on AIP )
See? Already he is a great doctor!
Because we all know, deep down on the inside, that coffee is heaven in liquid form.
Also upon reading the book Eat Right for your Type the one blood type that really actually gets health benefits from coffee is A!
Which I am.
So coffee is actually good for me.
Yet another reason to drink it!
So that's my update.
I know it's long.
Don't feel pressured to read the whole thing unless your really curious.
But I couldn't really post on today's recipe unless I had you all updated. 

The Recipe: 
Today's recipe has got to be one of my all time favorites!
Though...I'm disappointed with it at the same time.
One reason being that Bacon is considered an OK food on AIP but I have been very hard pressed to find a Bacon that has AIP safe ingredients!
I did find a SCD safe Bacon at Costco, so for the short time I was on SCD was when I tried this recipe. 
So even though this recipe was absolutely delicious, I haven't had it again since going back on AIP.

Their Recipe

1 1/2 pounds Brussel sprouts
6 slices bacon
Sea Salt

Wash Brussel sprouts, cut the stems off, and slice an X on the bottom of each sprout with a sharp knife.
Cook bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crispy.
Remove and set aside to cool, leaving the grease in the pan.
Sauté Brussel sprouts for about 15 minutes or until browned on the outside and cooked through.
When the bacon has cooled, chop into bite size pieces and stir in with Brussel sprouts.
Serve warm. 

My Version

1 stalk Brussel sprouts
1 package bacon
Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 425 and place uncooked bacon slices on a parchment covered baking sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes until it reaches desired crispiness.
Place bacon onto a paper towel covered plate to drain excess grease.
Pour bacon grease into a saucepan.
Cut Brussel sprouts off of stalk, washing if needed, and cutting an X on the bottom.
Place in greased saucepan.
Cook for 15 minutes until browned and soft.
Cut bacon into small chunks and add to Brussel sprout mixture.
Sprinkle with salt to desired taste.
Serve warm.

*Sidenote; I learned to cook my bacon up this way years ago and prefer this method as the grease stays in the oven and doesn't pop and make a mess of the stove top. I wish that I had steamed my Brussel sprouts though as I just found they seemed to burn instead of get cooked. In the end only half of them were soft. *

That's today's recipe.
Definitely a 5/5 star rating as far as taste and easiness goes.
And my disappointment lies more in the fact of how I haven't been able to eat this recipe since.

Also in other news, if you have made it to the bottom of today's post good job as I have a new Vlog up on my channel I'd love for you all to check out!

Are you a Brussel Sprouts fan?
Or maybe just the bacon?
Give me all the bacon.
And coffee!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Books with Good Looks

Hello World!

Last Sunday was a dancing day and dancing days until I get my driver's license involve me scrounging around for a ride until a find an unsuspecting victim willing to take pity on me and my brother's hopeless situation.
My hero last time was Abby from the Abby and the Pens!
In case you didn't know, Abby and I are also really close friends and we have had many numerous adventures and exciting tales together. (1,2,3 for some context.) So this is a bit of a S.O post to her!
Since Dancing doesn't start till 3:30 in the afternoon, normally, and our church gets out at 12:30-ish we often have a couple hours to kill.
We often do a fantastic job at murdering time by chowing down on lunch at a friends house but this time around after munching on lunch we headed to Third Place Books to amuse ourselves. 
I took along my big camera for the occasion so here are some of the pictures I snapped of the day.

None of us bought any books this time around and due to the fact that we had a little under an hour to actually poke around there before booking it to the dance hall, I didn't sit down and start reading any of the books either.
But we all agreed we needed to go back and do this again!

Are you one for snooping around in bookstores and taking random pictures of your friends, strangers, books and/or other odd things?
What's your favorite book?

Friday, November 11, 2016

Cali-Dresses 4/5

Hello World and people!

Today's dress I had been wanting to get for a veeeeerrrrrryyyy long time!
Not necessarily from the store I got it from, but the style and pattern I had been thinking were just too cute to pass up on.
For these cold months I have definitely been pairing it with a pair of tights for extra warmth and even breaking the rules by wearing another pattern and slipping a brother's plaid over the top.

I actually got these shoes from a girl I know from my church.
She found them for free and with my feet being smaller passed them onto me.
They are actually too big for my feet, but that just gives an excuse to be able to wear wool socks with the shoes.

Plaid: Cherokee
Dress: Q
Tights: Legal
Shoes: MADELINE Stuart
Earrings: Francesca's

That's all for today lovelies, how is your Fri-yay going?