Lets Keep in Touch!

Thank you!  To everyone who follows and reads this blog!

Be sure to follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as well! Because as much as I would love for this to be a full time job, it isn’t. I am a pretty busy person, a full time job, I just got married, bought a house and I’m constantly making food that sets me back on my diet plans…So I may forget to get recipes or outfit information up on the blog regularly.

Follow me and if you see something you need to know more about, let me know! Your comments can be the push I need to update more often!

  • Instagram: @VeryVictoriaKaye
  • Twitter: @VeryToriKaye
  • Facebook: Very Victoria Kaye

Thank you again!

Things Fashion & Home DIY Bloggers Do That I Wish I Did But Will Most Likely Never Do

As any average girl can confirm, there are few things that every fashion or home or other successful blogger does, but that I just can’t seem to master myself. My life is not a lovely, neat and tidy and color coordinated love fest. My life is messy, it’s lazy, it’s sometimes fantastic and sometimes so incredibly boring and lame.

When I scroll through my favorite bloggers pages or Instagram feeds, I always catch myself  going “Oh, I should do that” or even “What a great idea! Awesome tip!” But in all reality, that is never going to be my life! I may try, but I’ll fail. At least I know myself!

  1. Always have beautiful flowers on the tables/nightstands
    1. No, I can’t do that. I’ll get what I think is a great bouquet at Safeway when we do our weekly grocery shopping because I can’t get to the farmers market every day. It will look terrible in one of the 3 vases I have and then it will just suddenly die. No warning, no slow wilt that ends with dried petals that could look great in someones fall or Halloween table scape. No. It just up and dies and then the water looks SO GROSS.
  2. Perfect little white vanity for all their makeup.
    1. WHO has perfect lighting in their bedroom/walk in closet and can have a vanity in there all year round? Nope. If I did my makeup in my bedroom I would look like an absolute freak. And white?! Dear Lord NO! I can’t even wear white jeans. Much less keep a pristine white counter top clean with all the things that go into putting on makeup in the morning.
  3. Keeping their nightstand so minimal.
    1. Mine looks like a case on Hoarders, I have my phone, 3 eye masks, eyeglasses, moisturizer, a light, an iHome, hair clips, head bands, hair ties, eye glass cleaning cloth, 2 pens, a notebook, a bottle of Tylenol PM , a bottle of Tylenol Arthritis, birth control and a Kindle. Thats just the top, don’t open the drawers. Just don’t.
  4. Magically have partners/friends that are GREAT at photography and are willing to help take 999,99999,999,999 pictures of you a day for your IG, FB, Twitter & Blog etc.
    1. My husband is (an amazingly, loving, best man I could ever ask for, I love him to death) a terrible photographer. He knows this. He tries when I ask, but it’s never good. Sometimes it’s passable, but it’s never good. So when I see all these bloggers like *Camera emoji* my boyfriend/my husband/my girlfriend/my wife/ my whatever….I’m like: HOW? Imagine for a moment how your life would be different if your life partner always took a great picture of you. However, honestly, if the only thing Alex is missing is the great photo taker ability, I’m still keeping him :*
  5. Not get exhausted from hosting all these parties for photo ops.
    1. I love my friends, I love having them over and cooking a great meal for us to lounge around for hours, but come on…don’t they get a little tired throwing so many parties and get togethers? I know its fun and when its fun it’s not as tiring and you can tolerate it more, but physically, that has to run you down a bit. Plus I hate doing clean up. Dishes are the worst.
  6. Keeping things tidy.
    1. If it was my house they were photographing, all the crap that wasn’t put away would be shoved just out of frame. I have things that just keep moving from table to counter to desk to couch back to table because I have no idea where it actually goes. My things don’t have a home where they live, they live in the wild. The wild that is my house.
  7. Do anything other than read other blogs and write your own blog.
    1. A lot of bloggers post daily, which is great for those of use who love their content. I want to get more things out of my head and on my blog! I’ll try and start posting daily! Yeah no. Reading and commenting on others blogs to get more involved in the community takes a lot of time, then planning out posts…making the posts…that usually lasts a day before I realize I’ll have no time for my husband, my other friends, reading books, sleeping, relaxing, watching tv etc. I could create that great recipe I came up with, stage a photoshoot with the perfect lighting and then type up a quick post. Or I could do the crossword with my hubby and watch some Netflix on the couch with the kitty on a gloomy day. I’ll leave the daily blogging to the professionals.
  8. Get their pet to look cute for the camera.
    1. Getting a good photo of my Louie is difficult. He always looks so grumpy and awkward. And when he is being all big eyed and adorable, as soon as I pull out the phone to take a picture, he walks away. I could never get him to sleep all pretty and curled up on the couch after I re-organized everything and the lighting was perfect. Nope.
  9. Have a “capsule” wardrobe.
    1. I swear I must take out half my closet every morning trying to get dressed (hence why my house is a mess I suspect). I know a capsule wardrobe is supposed to help that and keep that from happening and just be so much better for you mentally. But I can’t see myself having to do laundry every other day and wearing the same shirt 3 days a week. It’s just not my style. I do get a good purge of my closet every few months though when I read a bunch of those blogs in a row.
  10. Actually have the time/money/know-how to do that home renovation/big DIY project.
    1. Having just bought a house, I can tell you have I have 99 projects but I can’t figure out how to complete any of them. Even with both our fathers being skilled renovators/builders and me having a fairly clear idea of what I want, things just don’t get done very quickly or on budget. Not sure how they do it…it’s probably magic. Daily Posting Blogger Magic from the Internet.

That is just my little comical take on it all. Of course you must know I mean no ill will toward the bloggers that do any of the things above! I love those blogs because they are not me, they are outside my own little world of expectations and aesthetics. What is comical is that as much as I try to bring a little of that world into my world, it doesn’t stick as well as you would think. But I always try, because it is fun to try and do something new, even if it doesn’t work out. They light a fire under me to try new things!

ThirdLove: the best bras

Lets talk about bras!

Anyone else despise wearing bras? They are too tight and constricting one day, and then the next you can’t keep the straps on and your boobs don’t fit in the cups correctly. Plus, if you have bigger boobs and wear underwires they can just plain hurt at the end of the day. Its the best part of my day when I can come home and take off my bra.

I am always trying to find a better bra. I am also Facebook’s favorite kind of person, I click on ads. I click on Facebook, I click on Instagram, I like finding new things. So when I say and ad for ThirdLove, and they were offering a free in home trial of one of their best selling bras, I clicked!

Super easy to sign up and get your free bra, and within minutes I was done. My current bras were on the way out so I was really excited and hopeful that these would be great. Lets just say, when I wore the bra for the first time I knew they weren’t getting this bra back.

It’s the little things in life that make the difference. Like a really comfortable band on a bra, and the adorable little pleats on the straps. The bra just FITS really well and is actually pretty comfortable! I can wear it all day and I’m not constantly adjusting myself. I got of the 24/7 t-shirt bra and have since bought 2 more. I now have 2 nude and one pretty mauvey-pink for fun. ThirdLove has a bunch of other colors and styles of bras that I am planning on trying out too.

Price wise, they are comparable with Victoria Secret, and cheaper than the ones I was buying from Nordstrom. They’ve held up great as well, I’ve washed mine a few times and minimal fraying, shrinkage and other bad things. My husband even accidentally threw one in the wash (I usually hand wash mine) on delicate with some other things and it survived! I air dried it just to be safe though.

Give them a try, who else gives you a 30 day trial on a bra?!  https://share.thirdlove.com/x/hx6FFy. And they have a bunch of other styles and patterns, Third Love is a game changer for me!

Travel Diary-Mopeds on San Juan Island

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Yesterday, a huge thing happened. Monumental. Something for the history books.

Alex let me ride a moped!

Short back story, I have always loved mopeds and I’ve always wanted one. Alex (and my father actually) have always been staunchly against it. Thinking that I would kill myself somehow.

In Friday Harbor, there is a place called Susie’s Mopeds and you can rent mopeds for a few hours or a day and have a blast going around the island. I talked Alex into letting us try it out. I was surprised that I didn’t even have to try that hard! He said it’s because it’s a small island, not to many cars around now that it’s the off season for tourists and they were 49cc engines, so not very fast.

We started the day with breakfast at Cynthia’s, a little bakery and restaurant in a cottage house right next to the moped lot. They had some pretty good gluten free options and I got the pancakes. So good! Crispy on the outside, fluffy inside. And they weren’t the GIANT frisbee style ones you get at IHOP or Denny’s. No, they were the perfect size of your fist or a little bigger. Alex got Swedish Pancakes with lingonberry sauce. Next time I’m ordering my pancakes with that on the side!

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We ate everything…

Then it was off to moped! We signed all the forms and got our helmets, gloves and eye protection. Then it was time for a little lesson. Since neither of us have any experience riding mopeds, it was a little stressful at first. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get it! But after a few tries in the parking lot the training lady said I was good for a road test. She was kind of intense, but I get that she has to be for safety reasons. I passed the road test with flying colors and Alex did as well, and then, we were off!

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Epic fog, but so much fun to ride through!

 

 

Since our friends were coming in later that day for the wedding we were attending at Roche Harbor, we couldn’t do a full loop of the island. That would have taken all day! But we were able to make it out to False Bay and to the Lavender farm. But overall, just driving around was a blast. Everything here is so pretty. It was really fogged in on the coast, but the fields and scenery were still so captivating. Plus, so many cute street names: “Frog Song Lane”, “Sweet Earth Lane” & Rainshadow Drive” were a few of my favorite.

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Adventure is out there! 
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My JAG Jeans outfit for riding: Amelia Slim Ankle and the Magnolia Tunic.

 

The lavender farm you could smell when you got close. The fields weren’t in bloom, but still, thats how fragrant and amazing this place was. There are rows and rows of all the different types of lavender. We took a quick tour of the fields to see what was there, Alex touching everything so his hands would smell like lavender. There is a little shop as well that we had to go into. I wanted to buy everything! They distill their own lavender for essential oils and they put it in everything. Skin care, body care, food, cleaning products, ice cream, tea, EVERYTHING. I wanted one of everything.

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Happy face and cubby cheeks! #safteyfirst

We ended up getting massage oil, chocolate, white peony lavender tea, and lavender bitter sweet chocolate sauce. I wanted to get a ton of the bundles of the tired lavender, but they wouldn’t fit in the space under my moped’s seat and the would have gotten destroyed if I put them in the basket. I’ll make sure to swing by before we leave the island. I think a small bundle of lavender will look so great next on my nightstand in my new vase Alex got me yesterday at the antique shop!

If the weather is nice, give Susie’s a try! The price to rent them is great, and a super deal if you get them for a whole day. And because they aren’t too powerful, you don’t need a special license, just a quick training session! You’ll be exploring the island in no time, and there are so many more things to see than what we got too. I can’t wait to come back and spend all day riding around!

Travel Diary-Friday & Roche Harbor

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Alex and I are of the age where all our friends are getting married and/or having babies. Both of which are great things. But that means we have had a bunch of weddings to attend, also a great thing!

Alex’s friend from high school, Christine, and her soon to be hubby Steven are getting married this weekend in Roche Harbor in the San Juan Islands. They are a beautiful (no joke, both could be models) couple and are also the sweetest, kindest people I’ve met. We were so honored to be invited to the wedding.

Now, I haven’t been to the San Juan Islands in a long time. I believe the last time was in middle school when my 8th grade jazz band got a “gig” by playing on the ferries for a day. So now as an adult, getting to roam around on my own, I’m excited!

To get to the San Juan’s, we drive 2 hours north from Seattle and then took a 1 hour ferry to Friday Harbor. It is the cutest little seaside town! Adorable. Everything has that effortless “theme” of a seaside town, but it doesn’t seem too cheesy. I mean sure, a few places are clearly a little trumped up for the tourists, but that never hurt anyone.

We got a room at the Bird Rock Hotel in Friday Harbor, and it is so cute! It’s an old boarding house that they have renovated into a hotel, but still has that hodgepodge feel. Some rooms are just a bed and you share a bathroom with people, some are a standard-ish hotel room and some are suites with a private entrance, kitchenette and a living room. Alex got us a suite! We came a little too early to check in, so we asked the lady at the front desk for a lunch recommendation that would accommodate me being gluten free and while the first suggestion she gave us was closed for lunch (fall hours are kicking in since it’s the end of the summer tourist season), the next she gave us was still pretty good.

The Cask & Schooner is a ship themed pub and was pretty busy when we walked in. Lots of great stuff to look at on the walls and the decor was really intricate. The menu wasn’t too great for me being GF, but they had a few options. I chose the caprese salad, and Alex got a meat pie. My salad was, meh. 95% tomatoes, with just the tiniest bit of mozzarella on the side and a dash of basil. It was ok, but it looks like they ran out of cheese  and basil and were like,”That’ll do”. Alex’s food on the other hand was great! Flaky crust, the filling was well seasoned, and full of good stuff!

After lunch we roamed. The town is small and easy to walk since it’s not too hilly. So we popped into a few antique shops, picked up some glassware for Alex’s mother and a vase for me. And I even convinced Alex to let us reserve mopeds for the next day so we can explore the island more before the wedding. We checked into the hotel, and at the time there was fresh cookies, which Alex gladly munched on.

Our room has a private entrance in a side alley, so it’s very quiet and peaceful. I love this suite. I’m already telling Alex that we need to come back for our own little vacation next year. I need to steal some aesthetic ideas for the new house…

Roche Harbor is on the other side of the island, so we make the 15 or so minutes  drive for the rehearsal dinner. It’s a fun road to drive and we even saw deer!

THIS PLACE IS GORGEOUS! It feels like you are living in a post card or a painting. Roche Harbor Resort was someplace my mother suggested for Alex and my’s wedding (clearly we didn’t pick it), and Christine and Steven picked a great spot!

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The picture doesn’t do it justice.

The resort made some amazing food for dinner. Grilled flatbread with olive oil and parmesan, salads with everything you can imagine in them, prime rib, grilled chicken and grilled corn on the cob. Plus, one of the bartenders looked JUST like Jesse Bradford. I was very entertained!

The video grapher was a drone pilot, so we all had a good time just staring at it zipping across the water and above the shoreline. I wonder if they ever make blooper reels of people just staring at the sky and pointing at it with their mouths open?

Dessert was cupcakes and strawberries that were decorated to look like a bride a groom, complete with pearls for the bride and a bow tie for the groom.

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Speeches were at the end of the night, with all the groomsmen and bridesmaids making toasts and teasing the couple. Then Steven’s dad gets up, Michael Scott, not the Steven Carell-Michael Scott, but his speech would have done the Regional Sales Manager proud. We were all tearing up. The love that this couple has surrounding them is amazing.

It was a great evening. I can’t wait for the ceremony! But for now, Alex and relax, wait for the rest of our friends to arrive and zip about on mopeds all over the island! There is a Lavender farm on the island that I really need to go visit!

Gwynnie Bee

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Anyone else feel like shopping can be so hit or miss? Sometimes you go to the mall or any store and everything looks great on you, you feel great in it, everything is a great price and you find everything you need and the world is a magical beautiful place you are you just feeling fantastic. Other times, you feel like a package of Pillsbury biscuit dough that is sweaty and about to pop all over the changing room.

Plus, who has time to go to the mall and search through racks of clothes at store to try and find something cute in your size. It’s pretty difficult when you are cusp or a plus size. Thank goodness I finally checked out Gwynnie Bee.

What is Gwynnie Bee? From their website:

Gwynnie Bee is a monthly subscription clothing rental service for women sizes 10–32. It’s like having a department store as your personal closet—offering clothing for every occasion. Subscriptions include unlimited shipping and exchanges for a flat monthly fee.

Gwynnie Bee caters to subscribers throughout the USA. Our inventory has more than 3,000+ styles and 150+ brands in partnership (and growing!), with new arrivals every week. A Gwynnie Bee-infused wardrobe is a day-to-day opportunity to leave the house feeling like you’ve dressed the way you want people to see you. We help women discover, experience, and enjoy great clothes without limitations.

I had been seeing advertisements around for a while, but no one I knew had tried it out, so it took me a while to give it a shot. It’s nice that they give you a 30 day free trial, because I wasn’t sure if I would find anything. I’m a cusp size, so I can fit into some retailers normal size 16, but in some plus styles I find the proportions don’t fit me quite right. Nonetheless, I dove it!

I opted for the cheapest option ($50 a month for 1 item out at a time) put some things in my closet and in a few days I had my first piece. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. It fit great, it looked great and it was totally me. Very Victoria Kaye!

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I put it on before my husband came home and as soon as he opened the door, before saying  “Hello” he goes “WOW, thats great!”

I then wore this to work a few days later and I’m not kidding you, every single person in my office (about 15) complimented me on it. Granted, I work in a fashion company so even the men have great taste , but still. I knew I had to buy it. With Gwynnie Bee, you can return the clothes or you can buy when you have them at home. This one was such a great deal, I bought it! When the order went through, they sent me the next item on my list!

All in all, I’ve had a 50/50 split on things I love and things I like ok, but end up sending back. Mainly, it’s the sizing. I know my general size, but with every brand being a little different, it’s tough to get a winner every time. But, because they have the pre-addressed blue bag in every box, it’s super easy to toss it back in the bag, tell the site you’re sending it back and a new thing is on the way!

While you can “prioritize” you can’t really ensure what item you’ll get next. So if you are trying to get something specific for an event, I wouldn’t recommend. But if you are just looking for something fun to insert into your wardrobe for a few weeks or casual shop, it’s perfect!

So if you are a size 10-32 and looking for cute things, check them out here!  http://goo.gl/D9h8OD

They have lots of great things from dresses and tops to jeans and jackets. So step out of your comfort zone and try something that you may have never brought into a dressing room before. What do you have to loose?!

Sweet Potato Toast-Eggs & Bacon

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Since going gluten free I’ve been experimenting with food a little more. Trying to find some adequate substitutions for things that I used to love. When I came across a few pins on Pinterest about sweet potato toast and my interest was peeked!

I make a great sweet potato hash for big breakfasts already, you can check that out here, so I thought I would make another breakfast version for my first attempt of sweet potato toast.

You will need:

  • 1-2 sweet potatoes
  • scrambled eggs
  • bacon
  • shredded cheese
  • salt, pepper and other seasonings of your choice
  • other toppings you like (we used sliced tomato)
  • olive oil/butter/coconut oil/ghee (you pick!)

Start by pre-heating the oven to 400 degrees

Slice your potato into 1/4 inch slices. Too thick and they will take forever to cook and too thin they will burn.

Brush each side of the sweet potato with olive oil or coconut oil or butter/ghee…and then season with salt & pepper

I use a silicone non-stick sheet on my baking sheet, but if you don’t have one of those, you can spray with a non-stick spray or use parchment paper. Place your slices of sweet potato on the tray and put in the center of the oven. Bake for 15-20 min, depending on your oven. Check the slices, they should be a bit soft, but not squishy.

While the potatoes are toasting in the oven, make the eggs and bacon. Everyone has their favorite way to make eggs, so go with that! I used scrambled eggs on mine, but a fried of poached egg would work just as well! Especially if you are craving that runny yolk!

Once the potatoes are done, let cool slightly, and then top with eggs, bacon, tomato, cheese and more salt and pepper. ENJOY!

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Now that you have the basics down, experiment with more toppings! And share them with me please, I always love new ideas!

 

 

Bb. Curl: pre-style /re-style primer

Curly hair woes. If you have any type of curly/wavy/natural hair, you know.

My hair gets dry at the ends, oily at the roots, frizzes at the mere mention of moisture and the top layer goes “wavy-straight” after a day, but the bottom layers stay curly. So while I try and not wash my hair every day, sometimes second day hair just isn’t pretty.

Until the new line of curl products from Bumble & Bumble. Bb. Curl!

The Pre-Style/Re-Style Primer is amazing!

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I use it on my damp hair after my shower to help lock in the moisture and prep my hair for pretty curl days. I follow with my usual curling routine which currently is switching between the Bb. Curl Defining Creme and the Bb. Styling Lotion. I noticed a huge difference the first day! On the second day, when I woke up with my curls either flat, frizzed out and a full blown cowlick on the back of my head, I gave my hair a few more spritz of the primer and voila! I gave my curls a few scrunches and to my surprise, I was done. My hair was good for the day. It was moisturized, the frizz was tamed and I was confident that I didn’t look like a hot mess. Plus, there wasn’t a gross residue left on my hair.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when I get a kink or a line in my hair where the hair tie crimps it when I put it up in a bun throughout the day. This product helps so much! It’s my new GO-TO for mornings and my absolute must have for my hair products drawer. No longer am I stuck with having to wear my hair in a bun when I can’t wash it and dry it in the mornings. Just a little of re-style primer and I’m  (almost) good as new!

 

Adventures in Buying Your First Home

It’s been a busy year for me; I got married, and bought a home!

My husband’s parents were so kind and offered to give us money for a downpayment on a house. They knew that we wouldn’t be able to afford the downpayment ourselves for a very long time, and wanted to help us out. I am eternally grateful to them for allowing us to start our lives as husband and wife as home owners.

What I learned from buying our first home…

  • First things first: Get an Agent

Sites like Redfin and Zillow would like you to think that they are all that you need to buy a house. It’s a lie. You need a real human person who has been trained in Real Estate. You have to like this person, you have to trust this person. You will have to have a very long talk about what you want in a house, in a neighborhood, in transit options, ABOUT EVERYTHING. I had a 2 hour talk with my agent about even the littlest things, like, what if the house was a color I didn’t like, would that be a deal killer? Your agent is there to think of the things you don’t when you are all caught up in the fun and craziness that is buying a home. If you have a meeting with someone and you don’t click, walk away.

  • Budget

Then, you really need to look at your budget, and then be realistic in how much that can change. In Seattle, it was like the Thunder Dome. Since houses were selling the same week they came on the market and people are so desperate to find housing, people were offering WAY over the asking price for homes. We made an offer on a super cute stand alone town home, slightly above asking and we were turned down. Only because someone else was offering 100K OVER THE ASKING PRICE. Sometimes, we even lost houses because someone was paying cash. CASH. Who has that much CASH in their bank accounts to pay that much for something.

So we had to re-evaluate the budget. Yes, we could afford something at that asking price, but since all the homes in Seattle are going for over asking price, we had to start looking at cheaper homes that we knew we could get if there was a bidding war. Again, another reason to get an agent. They will know the range to show you so you can be the most likely to win a bid.

  • Expectations

Not all homes are brand new and perfect and pretty. If you are looking at a house that is over 5 years old, there will be some issues with it. Sometimes you can ask the seller to fix things, sometimes that will kill the deal. So really think about what you are looking for in a house. We ended up getting an older home (which is what I wanted, something with charm and history), that clearly needs some work in the backyard and some minor things fixed. But because I know those things are a) easy enough to accomplish and b) I know I can do them to my own standards and desires, I was ok with them.

We were looking for a house that was move in ready, but still enough of a blank slate that we can customize it to our own tastes. Besides, a little home improvement is good for the soul! It helps you get in touch with this hunk of property you just spent SO MUCH money on. It’s not an apartment where whatever goes wrong you can blame on the neighbors, or the landlord. You OWN this. You are landlord now. You might as well get to know your house and how it works and what is wrong and what isn’t.

  • Mortgage

If you aren’t paying cash, you’ll need a loan and a mortgage. So do your research! We talked to so many different banks and mortgage companies until we found the right one for us. It was a lot of hard work, confusion, intense documents and stress, but it was worth it. We are getting a great rate and plan that is perfect for us. We were referred to the one we chose to go with by our agent. Again, get an agent!


 

Alex and I have been the house for a few months now, and we love it. I love the huge deck, I love the huge windows, I love that I have a driveway. I love that it is OUR HOME. I can’t wait to do a few more renovations and really see what this house becomes.

We’ve still got a lot of work to do to make this look like a put together home and not a hodgepodge of boxes and old furniture. But when we’re done, it’s going to be amazing! I’ll most likely be sharing some of our DIY and other improvements!

Latent Tuberculoses

Yes, it is 2016 and when I went to the doctor to see what we could do about my lifelong fight with joint pain, I was diagnosed with Latent TB.

Quick Disclaimer: I’m not contagious! I can’t get anyone else sick. I’m not coughing up blood, I’m not wasting away in a sanatorium. I am not suffering from “consumption.” I simply (somehow) came into contact with someone who DID have Active TB. My body couldn’t fight it all the way off, so it’s been sitting in my blood, in my body for years most likely. It can become active and hurt me and infect others if it gets strong enough, but for now, I’m ok.

So when the doctor said: “Your blood work came back, strange.” My first response was to think, ‘well of course it did, I have ridiculously high levels of inflammation, which is why I was referred to you’.  After he looked at me and said “You have TB,” my jaw hit the floor and I probably looked like a dope. It’s 2016, I live in Seattle….I haven’t been anywhere near a place that has TB…or have I?

I was then referred to another doctor, the best infectious disease doctor in Bellevue apparently. He has to treat the TB before I can get treated for my joint pain (which btw, I still don’t know if it is rheumatoid arthritis or what).

Waiting for my first appointment with the infectious disease doctor, a middle aged woman and her young, middle school aged son come in as well. The mom chats with the nurse at the front desk while I fill out my paperwork. The nurse asks “What are you coming in for today?” the mother responded with a strangely light hearted “Oh he got bit by a monkey, needs his next shot.”

I paused, and casually glanced over at the kid sitting in the small waiting room with me. I have TB and this 13 year old boy had gotten bit by a monkey. 2016 doesn’t mean what I thought it meant anymore….

When it was my turn with the doctor we had a good long chat about where I grew up, where I vacationed, where my parents worked, where I went to school, how often I traveled, have I ever seen anyone with TB symptoms and so much more. When he asked when was the last time I left the county, which was 2 or so years ago to go to Vancouver, Canada for a hockey game, he chuckled. I have been all over France, all over England, he just shook his head. When I also said I had studied abroad in Australia, he laughed. After every answer I gave, he made a note on his chart and said,”safe.” We honestly have no clear idea where or how I picked this up. Best guesses is a plane or airport. I traveled a lot in high school and in college, and with going overseas and being in customs, who knows!

There are a few underlying issues I’ve had for years that this TB may be the cause of, high white blood cell count & fatigue to name a few. But no one ever thought to look at that. The only reason I know about this now was because it was part of the standard wide array blood tests my doctor ran during my RA consult. With all my other dietary issues and the fact that I was an athlete before my body revolted against me, it was never considered. I was healthy…just in pain.

So now I’m on a heavy dose of antibiotics. 3 pills a day, with more probiotics and vitamins on top of that to try and keep me feeling normal. But I don’t. I’m f**king exhausted at all times. My head is foggy, but cognizant. I WANT to do things, I KNOW what I want to do and say, but my body won’t let me. I catch my face in the mirror just looking terribly hopeless. I wake up with enough energy to get me to work, but the thought of anything more than that is crippling. I want to sleep, but I can’t. My mind is constantly going, trying to work things through, but my body needs to rest, and my body wins. It’s so FRUSTRATING!

I’m only 1 month into the treatment. Hopefully I can get through the next 3 months, survive the inevitable gastrointestinal issues that always come after you finish antibiotics and exhaustion and come out the other side much healthier and better. But we’ll see. Right now, I just need a nap. I always need a nap.

 

 

Serrano Pepper Margarita

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DRY Soda is amazing. It’s my guilty pleasure for soda. Made with just 4 ingredients, in incredible flavors, I never feel too guilty about choosing DRY over a glass of water.

This summer, they have brought out 2 new seasonal flavors:  Malala Watermelon and Serrano Pepper. Both are so great, but the Serrano Pepper flavor was perfect for taco night at my house, as a margarita!

DRY describes the Serrano flavor as “spicy, bright and savory.” While you won’t get a spicy, burning, tingle on your tongue, it has all the flavor of the pepper and it is most definitely savory. So, how to make it a grown up drink? Add tequila of course!

You will need:

  • 1 bottle (12 oz) DRY Soda Serrano Pepper -you will only need about 4-6 oz, so you can make more than one margarita with one bottle!
  • 3/4-1 oz lime juice
  • 3/4-1 oz triple sec
  • 1 1/2 oz tequila
  • Ice

Combine the lime juice, tequila and triple sec in a glass over ice. Shake well.

Fill the rest of the glass with the DRY Soda, top with a slice of lime and ta-da! A bright, spicy and savory margarita perfect for taco Tuesday, Thursday, any day!

But honestly, it’s also perfectly good straight out of the ice. cold. bottle.

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