Thursday, November 20, 2014

Adorableness overload

As promised yesterday, I am going to share what I consider to be amazing collages of my puppy Rocky, my one and only true love. I created these on November 12 to celebrate him turning seven years old. I hope you can fully handle his awesomeness and adorableness. Because I barely can and I live with him. :) 

This collage is from the first year I had with him. The two pictures with him on the blue-green cushion were when he was about nine weeks old. The middle picture on the top row was from dog training and he met his first girl friend. I have a picture somewhere of the German Shepherd with its arm/paw wrapped around Rocky. Please note how the toys were just as big as he was. He weighed a pound and a half when I got him at the age of eight weeks. The bottom row are pictures from his first snow, his first birthday and his first bath. 

Birthdays also mean holidays! Here are pictures of him celebrating Christmas, Easter, Cinco de Mayo and Valentine's Day. The picture on the far right in the middle row is him sitting next to all of the loot he got for Christmas in 2013. Such a spoiled puppy. To have nine pictures I added a picture of him in the winter time snow (same one as above, oops) as well as a picture of him sleeping in, a common occurrence on holidays.

Now that he is seven, he has grown up so much. He almost always has a smile on his face. These are some of my favorite most recent pictures. He loves riding in the car. He also, for such a tiny face, has an enormous tongue.

I think all of these pictures help should just how adorable, awesome, amazing and precious my puppy is. And yes, I tell him everyday he is perfect.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Time flies

Last week was a busy week. Mainly because November 12 was Rocky's 7th birthday! I can't believe he is getting so old. I'm in no way prepared for this. I'll post the awesome photo collages I made tomorrow in a new post. The week was also busy because I had quite a few things going on with meetings, a hair appointment, college football, etc. 

What I neglected to remember though is November 11 is an important day. November 11, 2013 is when I started on my pump. Holy crap, time flies by. I can't believe I've been up and running on a pump for over a year now. 

This experience has been wonderful. I'm gaining amazing control of my diabetes. Seriously. My pre-pump a1c was nearly 15. The three I've had since then? 6.8, 6.7 and 5.8. Bam! I feel like a rock star seeing those numbers. The pump and CGM have assisted me in catching high and low blood sugars before they became too high and low. It still takes a lot of work and the pump/CGM combo isn't a miracle or a new pancreas but it certainly helps ease the mind and lowers the amount of stress I have on a daily basis. 

I'm still not overly enthused or thrilled about having all these gadgets attached to me. I relish the short time between changing my infusion site and CGM. The tubing of my pump can annoy me like no other when I'm trying to get dressed and there is no where for the pump or when I'm trying on new clothes to potentially buy. I'm quite envious of my sister's OmniPod but I love Medtronic. Medtronic, if you are reading this, please get to work on creating your own tubeless pump. 

Sometimes the CGM acts up and constantly beeps at me for being high or low when my blood sugars are perfectly fine. I've had screaming fits filled with snark at my pump/CGM when this occurs. Especially in the middle of the night. There may have been one or two times when I wanted to rip it all out of my body and throw it all against the wall. Don't worry, I didn't. 

With all of that said, the benefits far exceed the negatives. If I have to put up with an annoying tube at times to have such great control and to be healthy, I can deal with the tube. Also, I have an amazing pump trainer who has taught me how to deal with these little things. I love how even a year later I'm still able to text/call/email her with questions or even good news (again, the a1c). 

November 25 is the one year anniversary of starting on the CGM. I might have to celebrate. Maybe some froyo. 

So, here is to one year of successfully pumping and to many more years. 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Stich Fix catch up -- fixes four, five and six

I've been horrible about blogging about my fixes from Stitch Fix. Things have been busy, I've had other things I've wanted to blog about and the summer was traumatic with my phone breaking (to no fault of mine), being replaced, the replacement breaking (again, not my fault) and being replaced. Pictures of my fourth fix were on the broken phone which didn't back up correctly. I'm still traumatized by this as lots of great pictures, texts, etc. were lost. 

With the holiday season rapidly approaching (or is it already here?), I wanted to check you all up on the goodies I've received from Stitch Fix and hopefully provide more reasoning to why you should sign up and/or sign someone you love up for it. Side note: Let's be honest, if you are going to sign up I'd love you to the moon and back if you would use my referral code:

Now all of that has been said, let's get down to the good stuff. The contents of three fixes I have neglected to blog about. Get yourself cozy because this is going to be a long blog. 

Stitch Fix #4: 

Alright, the pictures I took were lost in the chaos of my phones breaking. I hope none of you have to experience what I went through. It is traumatic. So, I've taken pictures of the lovely styling cards. It was this or no blog. 

First up, we have the Zayn Paisley Dot Print Fit & Flare Dress by Mystree

I wasn't sure about this dress just looking at it. I was concerned with the fact the pattern was over the area I try to stomach. But my rule is to try everything on because you just never know (remember the off white dress from fix number two? Perfect example). I tried it once and kind of liked it so I set it aside. I tried it on the next night and liked it a little more. Verdict: Keep!

The next item was the Halia Striped Pleated Skirt by Pink Martini

At first sight, it was love. I loved the colors and design. Of course I loved the fact it was a skirt as well since I prefer skirts and dresses to wear over pants and shorts. I was excited to try it on. I knew there was little chance I wouldn't keep it. And then I attempted to try it on. I couldn't get it on. So I looked at the size. They sent the wrong size. I did my best not to cry but I was quite sad I would have to send this back. If Pink Martini is out there and reading this, I would give nearly anything to purchase this dress. Hit me up please. Verdict: Unfortunately returned it. 

The next item was the Shoshana Cowl Neck Cotton Tank by Three Dots

Hmm, a white shirt. Without sleeves. Not so thrilled with it at first look. But I tried it on. Not bad. I tried it on with numerous skirts I have. It worked. I could easily pair it with a cardigan or jean jacket to cover my arms. Verdict: Keep

The fourth item is the Callie Denim Jacket by Kut From The Kloth

This stylist obviously gets me. A jean jacket is a must have item for me in the spring, summer and early fall. It easily goes with dresses and skirts when I want to cover my arms, especially for work. Sorry, I have a thing against bare arms in the workplace. Unfortunately, I had just purchased a new denim jacket from The Limited a few weeks before. I tried it on though because I liked the look. It didn't fit quite right though so I was unable to justify keeping it, especially since I just bought a denim jacket. Verdict: Return

The fifth item was the Sandra Layered Pearl Flower Necklace by Bay to Baubles. I don't have a picture of it. It was along the lines of a statement necklace. It wasn't bad but there was a slight tangle with one of the flowers so it didn't lay flat. In the five minutes of looking at it, the tangle was killing my OCD. I couldn't handle it. Verdict: Return 

Alright, so that was the fourth fix. Let's examine the fifth fix now. 

With my fifth fix, I asked for a colored blazer to wear with my numerous black shirts. I'm not one for jackets but my PR mentor often wears them and I admire her style. I'm trying to branch out of my comfort zone with Stitch Fix so I thought I'd ask. Unfortunately, they did not have a fun color blazer for me. Instead they sent me the Colbie French Terry 3/4 Sleeve Blazer by Tart:

I skeptically raised my eyebrows when I first looked at it but I tried it on. There were shoulder pads. And the 3/4 was a little longer on my short arms. You can see the coloring of it in the closeup picture on the right. While trying it on, it reminded me of a long, large cardigan or jacket you'd see a traditional grandpa wearing. Verdict: Return

Next up was the Raylin Vneck ABstract Print Dress by Mystree:

Like the blazer, I was skeptical. It fit well except in the chest area. Because it was so large in that area, you could easily see my breasts. I don't think that would fly at work. Also, the print on the dress wasn't as flattering as I would like. Verdict: Return

They also included the Ishara Lace Detail V-Neck Blouse by Daniel Rainn:

It was a beautiful color and nice fabric. I liked the detail on it as well. When I tried it on, it was too a little large and made me look quite boxy in the stomach. I don't want to look like a square box. I want to look pretty. Verdict: Return

Next up was the Layna Textured Fit & Flare Dress by Pixley:

I was unsure of it but tried it on. It actually looked cute on me and was comfortable. I put it in my maybe pile because I just wasn't completely sold on it but couldn't figure out why. I tried it on the next day and still wasn't sold on it. While looking at it later that day I realized what was off about it. It reminded me of something Thelma from Scooby-Doo would wear. The style of the dress is my style just not the print. Since I wasn't completely sold on it, I kept it in the maybe pile by its lonesome self. Verdict: Ultimately, I decided to return it. 

The last item in my fix was the Walt Striped Skirt by 41Hawthorn:

At first glance, it was cute. I tried it one and it was comfortable despite being a tight fitting material/design. Think pencil skirt, just shorter. When it was time to send my returns back, I decided to keep it rather than lose my $20 stylist fee. To feel my best in it though, I will be wearing some spanx. 

So, fix five was definitely a let down. But that didn't keep me from ordering my sixth fix

The sixth fix was far more stressful than any previous fix and took a little bit of the sparkle off of Stitch Fix for me. I actually contacted Stitch Fix while waiting for my fifth fix about needing a dress for an awards banquet on October 16. They were wonderful and assisted me in getting another one scheduled for October 10 while I was still waiting for my fifth fix. October 10 came and went and I hadn't received any shipping information. I frantically ran to the mall and bought a dress at Ann Taylor for the event. I talked back and forth with customer service about the bind I was in because my fix wasn't going to arrive as scheduled. I really never have occasions to dress fancy so if they sent something along those lines I probably wouldn't have the opportunity to wear it again and the fix would be wasted. I asked if they could overnight it and they informed me that no, they couldn't. My fix arrived on Tuesday. My event was on Thursday. Cutting it very, very close. Good thing I had my Ann Taylor dress. 

For the awards banquet they sent me the Bradie Vneck Belted Sheath Dress by Andrew Marc

Um...LOVE! The color is amazing. With the right accessories it would be perfect for the banquet. With simple accessories, I could wear it to work or other nice events. I tried it on and my smile faded. The dress fit except on the top. You could have fit a 20 pound turkey between my back and the back of the dress. I talked with my mom that night and showed her via FaceTime the dress on me. She informed me a tailor would be able to fix the dress but most likely not before the banquet. Again, good thing I had the dress from Ann Taylor. Verdict: Keep and get it to the tailor

To go with the dress, they sent me the Laila Double Pouch Clutch by Urban Expressions

I was unsure at first because I have a cute shimmery, ivory clutch from Coach. Casual yet dress. But then I examined the clutch. And it wasn't too expensive. It seemed like a great investment for my wardrobe. Verdict: Keep

Next was the Bixby Clover Print Blouse by BRIXON IVY:

I loved this. It is absolutely my style. The fit wasn't perfect though. It was tight in the shoulders to the point I was worried it might rip as I moved my arms around. Verdict: Return

They also sent the Drifter Graphic Floral Faux Leather Trim Blouse by Eight Sixty:

Oh no. Just at first glance...not my style. On the hanger, to me, blargh. On me, same reaction. Just no. Verdict: Return

Last item was the Emer High Waisted Cropped Trouser by Margaret M:

These are fantastic. There are no zippers or buttons. They remind me of yoga pants, just dressier. They are called cropped but they went to my ankles with a slight bunch. They have a slight "skinny jean" design so perhaps the word cropped should be replaced with skinny. Just my thoughts. For high waisted, they aren't that high. They went just above my belly button. Verdict: Keep

So, those were my last three fixes. Despite having one absolute horrible fix the others weren't too bad. My next one is scheduled for Nov. 25 with a request for items for my trip to Turks & Caicos. I'm excited to see what it will contain.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Checking in on my birthday resolutions

One year ago, I wrote about hitting the taking ownership of my life. Or at least of my diabetes. Part of taking ownership of at least my diabetes coincided with my birthday. I'm not a fan of my birthday. In fact, I wouldn't hesitate to say I despise it. We can explore that topic another time. I tend to have low-key birthdays focused on cheering my Huskers on to victory. One thing I always do though with my birthday, and usually completely on my own and at the end of they day is to make my "New Year's Resolutions." I rarely discuss them with others and tend to just internalize them. This past January though, I put them in writing on this blog. They were official. Yikes! I could no longer fail. 

So, let's check in with those resolutions I made last year for my birthday. 

Resolution #1 -- Improve my diabetic health. 

Success? Yes. Absolutely! 

Before starting my pump in November 2013, my a1c was dangerously high, hanging out with the number 14, hovering towards 15. Not good. Not good at all. I've had three a1c tests since starting my pump. Those results? In order were 6.8, 6.7 and 5.8. Having three in a row with those great numbers show these numbers are a trend, not a fluke. Highs are rare occurrences and when they do happen, I catch them early and am able to quickly correct. I still have lows and those pesky, scary lows still occur randomly. In addition to great numbers, I'm feeling better overall. It is a wonderful feeling. 

Resolution #2 -- Consistent workouts

Success? Not so much.

I hit a groove for awhile where I went hard on the treadmill for at least an hour at least four times a week. Then, life got busy and I forgot to make it a priority. Starting this new year of my life, this needs to be a priority. I'm not happy with the weight gain from the pump. I need to reflect and determine what will work best for me and how to stay at it. As always, any advice it welcome. If I put the drive I put into improving my diabetic health, I think I can accomplish this resolution. 

In conjunction with working out was eating healthy. I'm doing a really good job at this. I should work to continue lowering my carb intake but man, carbs are delicious. And it is frustrating that a fresh apple usually has 17 grams of carbs. But after seeing the nutritionist, I do know how many carbs I should consume a day and I'm definitely below that, minus a time here and there eating out with friends. 

Resolution #3 -- Earn my APR

Success? Um, YES! Hello, have you not been keeping up with this blog? I'm surprised you didn't hear me screaming from the rooftops (because really, there are not mountain tops to scream from in Oklahoma) about it. Any yes, I absolutely bought my Louboutins. I should really blog about them. As well as some recent Stitch Fixes. I apologize, I've been slacking on the fashion themed posts. 

Resolution #4 -- Being more involved professionally

Success? Kind of. I'm trying to be a more active participant with PRSA and AWC. I've served on a committee and have talked with current leadership about being more involved. It is a slow process but that is okay. Things can't always happen overnight. 

So, what are my resolutions for this birthday year? 

Well, obviously to get back on track with improving my weight. Maintain my diabetic health. I think I want to be a better home owner. As in, I want to make some small upgrades although I'm not sure what yet, to make the house feel like mine. Also, I really should finally paint and decorate the interior. Part of me also wants to focus on trying to find that partner in crime to potentially, eventually settle down with but the other part of me is over that and getting hurt and has become content to just be the crazy old chihuahua lady (you know I'm not having a house full of cats). I'm conflicted on which path to take in regard to this aspect of my life. I know I don't need to figure it out at this exact moment but I know I should figure it out sooner than later.  

Here is to another year. One that is hopefully as successful if not more than my previous year.