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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

All is not normal in my autoimmune world.

I just saved a stinkbug in my window.  It wouldn't climb onto my hand so I had to force the little bugger onto a piece of paper then released him onto my back porch.  Thought you'd all like to know.  :)

So lately I've been exhausted.  Not just exhausted.  EXHAUSTED.  I tweeted the other day how a trip to Target just wiped me out & jokingly stated how I was going to take a 3+ hour nap.  Well, it turned out to be a 5 hour nap & I only woke up because Chris woke me up.  I just haven't had the energy for much of anything lately.  Well I found out why today.

So, going through my last few labs they looked like this:

11/11/2013
  • T4 - 12.0 High (Normal Range 4.9-11.7)
  • TSH - 0.192 Low (Normal Range 0.400-5.000)
Points to hyperthyroidism.

12/16/2013
  • TSH - 1.347 In Range
No other tests done so inconclusive.

1/24/2014
  • T3 - 207 High (Normal Range  75-165)
  • Free T3 - 4.8 High (Normal Range 1.7-3.7)
  • TSH - 0.157 Low
Points to hyperthyroidism.

So I changed my endocrinologist around the last blood test & hadn't had another one done until March 3rd.  I was actually going to wait until a week later, but I had just been feeling so crappy that my primary suggested to get it done right away.

3/3/2014
  • TSH - 9.38 OMG WAY TOO HIGH!
Points to hypothyroidism.

So that answers my question as to why I have been insanely fatigued and sleeping like a bear that woke up way too early from hibernation lately.  *sigh*  The T4 was off also but I forgot to get a copy of the lab because I really had my answer with the TSH being that high.  I don't think it has ever been that high before & I am surprised at the dramatic increase!

So my Armour is getting upped to 120mg & I have to have blood work again in 6-8 weeks.  We also tried to do a test for my adrenals but for some reason they couldn't test the sample they received so I have to have that redone.  They also want me to test my blood sugar to see if it's too low at times.  I have been tested for diabetes before & those came back negative so I think they are looking for hypoglycemia now.  I don't really know.  All I know is that my body is trying to kill me.

Thyroid, I know you no longer exist in me but I HATE YOU!  :(

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Spring with a zing. Review of Cherie Blossom by Harvey Prince.

Thanks to Birchbox, I had this great opportunity to try out Harvey Prince's new Cherie Blossom Eau de Parfum & tell you what I think.

http://harveyprince.com/

I'll try to build this up for a better understanding to those of you who have never experienced the seasons of the New England and Mid-Atlantic states.  Though I do sympathize with the insane storms everyone has experienced this winter, we are used to these type of things.  It doesn't mean we particularly care for it.

~

Spring is in the air!  Monday was in the 40's and Tuesday hit 50º!  That's shorts weather here in Western NY.  Birds were chirping, the ugly, dirty snow piles were melting and I could see the grass!  I was even getting that feeling of wanting to do some spring cleaning.  Then on Wednesday it was in the 30's and this happened...


Over a foot of snow & our 2nd blizzard of the year.  Being a Buffalonian I can't complain & I really don't complain if it snows after the holidays unless it's May.  I'm happy to say that's rare.  And just to give more perspective on the weather here, Thursday's high was only 17º, yesterday the high was 54º, and right now it's snowing outside.  Yay spring!

I stated a few things in my last post about why spring isn't my most favorite season, but I also posted some things I like about it.  Right before summer hits & the humidity of it kicks in, there is a time I love where it's warm enough to open the windows, I can hear the spring peepers singing in the creek out back, everything becomes very lush & green, I can enjoy my breakfast on the back porch, and there's this sweet smell of nature in the air.

THAT, my friends, is the time of year we anticipate after the long winter and Harvey Prince's Cherie Blossom takes me there.  It's a romantic, comforting, and uplifting scent of Somei Sakura, grapefruit, vanilla, and cool musk.  What I love about this is the sakura scent is very soft on my senses, the grapefruit gives it an uplifting zing, and the vanilla & musk are comforting, extremely light, and not overpowering.  Spring with a zing is a great way to describe it!


So it gets the thumbs up from me, but what about those who are close to me?  Everyone really liked it & I didn't hear any complaints when worn.  From my friends I got, "Oh that smells lovely!  What is that?"  I also got the thumbs up from my boyfriend & he is completely honest if he doesn't like something.  Usually I can tell by his facial expression before he even tells me.  My mom even liked it but said, "Don't wear that around your dad."

Which brings us to its strength.  If you are hypersensitive to floral scents or not a cherry blossom fan, stay away.  One spritz to your pulse point is enough as it goes on strong.  Yet if you do end up loving this fragrance, there is a downfall to it.  The fragrance doesn't last very long.  I thought I was just getting desensitized to the scent, but after just a few hours I would see if others could smell it & they couldn't.  The do have a rollerball of the scent that you can purchase, good for travel and application throughout the day.  Overall, it's a lovely fragrance that makes me long for a warm and beautiful spring.

~

Harvey Prince's fragrances are crafted in the USA, 100% hypoallergenic, not tested on animals, and free of benzene, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol, triclosan, and GMOs.  They are fair trade, using only fine ingredients with no toxic chemicals.  You can purchase their fragrances direct or through Birchbox.  Learn all about them here!

Thanks again Birchbox!  :)
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Sunday, March 9, 2014

Is spring in the air? Also February 2014 Birchbox review.

How is it already March 9th?  People complain how short February is but really, only by 2 days.  Why does it seem like it's a whole week shorter?  On top of that... daylight savings.  I love summer, autumn, winter, but spring is my least favorite of all seasons.

Sure, there are things to look forward to!  Bright colors, spring flowers, and the fact I can start wearing my nice shoes again without having to worry about the snow and salt.  What I hate most about spring is dirty snow, 30º temperature changes that sometimes occur in the matter of 24 hours, daylight savings.  Did I mention daylight savings?  Yeah, I hate that in November too.

Spring in WNY.
Winter killed my knee high boots this year also.  My poor boots lasted through a few good years & now I must say goodbye.  So I am on the hunt for some nice, heeled, cheap boots.  Cheap because the last time I spent $50+ on a pair, they didn't even last a full season.  I think I paid only $20 for the ones I must now send to the garbage.

Winter destroys all shoes here.
I went on a hunt yesterday & found a nice pair but they didn't have it in my size.  It's hard to shop for a pair online because, depending on the brand, I range from a 7.5 to an 8 size, also I sometimes can't zip the leg up because I have big calves.  Instead, I came home with a top & base coat of Seche Vite because it was BOGO at Sally Beauty, and a photo box from Michaels to put my craft ribbons in because they were all busting out of the old container I had them in.  I may venture out later today to continue my hunt.

~

February 2014 Birchbox Overview:

 


  • Retails $40 for 4oz. 
  • About the product: Created by Beverly Hills hairdresser Fernando Romero, the sugars from the agave plant will help hydrate, restore, and rejuvenate your hair in this lightweight oil.  There are no parabens, sulfates, or phthalates.  It's also said to help with color restoration.  Additionally, it's blended with coconut, vanilla, sunflower, safflower, and Madagascar baobab seed oil to help nourish and transform your hair's outer layer.  Use a dime sized amount and distribute through damp hair, roots to ends.  It can also be used as a body oil.
  • What I thought: Immediately after putting a small amount in my hand I noticed a sweet scent from it which reminded me of papaya.  The scent quickly went away after applying it to my damp hair.  I didn't try using it as a body oil because I received such a small sample.  I can tell you it's the lightest feeling oil I have ever used and I think when I am done with the other hair oils I've been using I'll switch to this permanently.  The price is average & it left my hair soft, silky, and feeling super healthy. 
  • I would buy this. 

  • Retails for $49. 
  • About the product: A collection 14 shadows, both matte and shimmer, ranging from nudes to black.  After 9 years of researching over 5000 eyes, the palette has a guide to help you identify your eye shape and master your best day, night, and defined look.  It also comes with a double sided brush and deluxe sample of their Full Exposure Mascara.
  • What I thought: I'm a fan of Smashbox shadows & have actually bought them for friends in the past.  Since I got this in my Birchbox, I didn't get the brush & just a small amount of the shadows in squares on a paper palette.  I do love the natural colors, they blended well, & were fantastic at making my eyes pop!  It lasted a full day without going dull or needing touch ups.  A little dusting of the matte shadow gave nice coverage but I had to apply more pressure to get the shimmer shadow to transfer to my brush and eyes.  Overall, it's fantastic but the shimmer left little, stray sparkles around my eyes and cheeks so those shades would be better for a night out instead of using it for a day at work.
  • I would buy this.

  • Retails $19.50 for 0.38oz.
  • About the product: Just one coat of this mascara should lengthen, thicken, and help curl your lashes.  It is paraben free with olive oil to help condition, and both natural and synthetic waxes to keep it from smudging or causing flakes.  Smashbox claims a 104% increase in lash volume, 32% increase in length, and a 34º increase in curl. 
  • What I thought: Another mascara.  (*sigh*)  It's really not bad.  No smudging, no flakes, one application does give good coverage, a little clumpy when applying probably because of the brush design.  So the lengthening was nice, adding volume OK, curling effect I didn't even notice & still felt the need to use my eyelash curler.  It's average.  If there weren't so many other mascaras I have tried, I might put this on my want list but I'm just not feeling this one.  Plus, when removing, it gave me those raccoon eyes so I had to put a little extra into my makeup removing routine.
  • I wouldn't buy it.

  • Retails $13.95 for 6oz.
  • About the product: Superhydrating moisture for your hands that is never tested on animals.  Massage product onto hands as needed throughout the day to restore moisture with the help of ingredients such as glycerine, vitamin E, aloe vera, almond oil, and botanical extracts.  Morelia Monarch is a scent of green tea and amber, over vanilla orchid.
  • What I thought: It's a very thick cream and a little went a long way with this.  After applied, it soaked in quickly to my skin leaving it well moisturized throughout the day without that greasy feeling.  I didn't feel the need to apply it as often as other hand moisturizers I have used.  I also ended up using it on my elbows.  It's well priced for the benefits it gave my skin considering around 2-3oz of good hand care creams through Bath & Body Works costs around the same as 6oz of this.  The only thing I didn't care much for was the scent.  The amber stood out too much for me and though I love green tea scent, it was drowned it out.  Looking through their site, there are many scents to choose from.
  • I'd buy this, but in a different scent.

Color Changing Nail Polish in Ride 'Em Cowgirl by Ruby Wing.
  • Retails $10 for 15ml.
  • About the product: Vegan & never tested on animals, Ruby Wing offers a large variety of polishes that change color in sunlight.  From glittery to scented, these polishes are non-toxic, environmentally safe, and they believe in giving back having supported causes such as GLADD and Autism Speaks, to name a few.  Ride 'Em Cowgirl is a glitter gold with iridescent specks that should change to a fiery orange when in sunlight.
  • What I thought:  I had put 3 coats of it on each nail to get good coverage & that got me a lot of compliments.  People thought they were professionally done or that they were the sticker/wrap polishes.  Winter here doesn't give us a lot of sun and I had almost a week of it just being its pretty gold shimmer, which was nice, but it made me think it was defective.  Then one day as I was leaving work, the sun came out & it turned this very pretty copper color instead of the fiery orange it was advertised as!  It took a bit over a week for it to start chipping and most of it removed by peeling it off. (OK, I know this is not good for the nail!)  The rest took a bit of elbow grease to remove, as do many glitter polishes.  It was really fun when it actually changed color and a lot of their polishes have a dramatic change, not a subtle one.  Birchbox said it had a slight floral scent to it, but I never noticed any.  I think it would be fun to wear it more in the summer.      
  • I'd buy this!
~  
 
I'm going to be honest.  I'm sick of receiving & writing about mascaras.  Because I have received so many though, and my friend had asked me about a good mascara, I think I'll eventually post about my favorites.

I've had so many ideas & I have a lot of posts started but my hypothyroidism has been kicking my butt lately.  I'm back to sleeping way too much and so I had my blood tests done early in hopes of catching something.  Even though I have been exhausted, I can say I don't feel nearly as bad & run down as I have in the past.  This is a great sign though still no where near to perfect or where I want to be.