Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Spring Cleaning and Organizing

Goodbye favorite pair of sneakers :( I guess 11 years is too long to have a pair of shoes....

Hi everyone!  Hope you guys had a great Memorial Day :) I'll share some pictures from mine later in the week.  I have definitely gotten the "Spring Cleaning Bug" lately so Robb was kind enough to take Charlie for an afternoon so I could work on organizing our bedroom and closet.  I thought I'd share some of the projects I've been working on.  Robb brought Charlie to ride the Essex Steam Train and CT Riverboat- Robb said he had a blast, that boy loves trains!

First up, I organized all of my necklaces and bracelets on these little hooks.  I like being able to see what I have at a glance so this solution was perfect for me :)  I bought the hooks for like $5 at Target.  I also picked up this earring organizer from Amazon a few weeks ago- looks nice and clean!  Although since I'm crafty I technically should have made one myself from an old picture frame and some chicken wire.....

I also have a clear box organizer for my bracelets and watches

and a clear organizer for my make-up (from Target).  I recently picked up the Urban Decay Naked palette and I looooooove it! 

Most other things in my bedroom I like to store in wicker baskets (also from Target).  Everything looks so much better in a little basket then it does just lying on the dresser or stacked in a pile!  It's also possible I have an Essie obsession :P

Next up I had to tackle the closet.  We have a pretty decently sized closet that has become overrun with stuff over the last year or so.  I decided to take out all of my purses and store them on hooks behind the second bedroom door.  This option worked really well- I just used cheap stick on hooks from Lowe's and my purses fit in that space perfectly.  You might notice I love Coach ;)  I typically can't actually afford Coach, though, so most of those bags are hand me downs from my mom!

I also organized all my shoes and got rid of probably 10 pairs that no longer fit and had been floating around for years taking up space.  I also sorted through all of Robb and I's clothes that were hanging in there.  There will be a BIG bag going to Goodwill in the next few days!

Lastly I took on our Master bathroom. This was easy because I stuck to the "make a place for everything" technique by using baskets and little glass jars.  I think it looks so much neater all segragated like this.

 Our shower is really oddly shaped (slanted walls) so there was never anywhere to put all of our shampoos and bath stuff, which was so annoying.  I finally decided on a little cubby system that is right outside of the shower, plus it holds all of Charlie's bath toys.  Look how much stuff it holds!  (PS all this stuff used to be on the bathtub floor.  seriously. it was very difficult to take a shower lol).

I also store lots of cleaning supplies, extra bottles of shampoo + conditioner, and hair stuff in a organizer on the bathroom door (the side that no one actually sees that leads into the bedroom).

So that's what I was able to get done on Saturday- I think it looks pretty good :) Thanks Robbie for giving me some toddler-free time to do it!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Stitch Fix for Plus Size Girls

Hi everyone! I was so excited yesterday to come home to a Stitch Fix box!  Now I'm sure you've heard about Stitch Fix already from the thousands of other ladies that have written about it, but if not I'll give a super quick breakdown.  You have to first get on the waitlist (took me over 2 months to get in!), and then once you do you fill out a Style Profile with your preferences (you can link your Pinterest account), sizes, etc.  Then you can schedule a Stitch Fix whenever you want- monthly, once every 3 months, etc.  I don't know how often I'll schedule my fixes-- maybe every 2 months?  Anyways, they send you a box full of 5 items handpicked based on your style.  You try them on, and send back anything that you don't like in a prepaid shipping envelope within 3 days.  Pretty neat huh?

If you think that's something that would be fun here is my referral code:
If you sign up through that code you'll get on the waitlist plus I get a $25 credit which sure would be nice!

I know so many people have done Stitch Fix reviews already but none of them was chubby like me so I really didn't know what to expect with my fix.  I was very pleasantly surprised by quite a few of the choices they sent, so I thought I'd show you and you can help me decide which items to keep!

SN: please don't mind my grossness.  I had just come home from work, and since I work in a lab I don't bother with make up and stuff.  Prepare yourself for dirty mirror selfies......

I love these little cards they put on the items with styling suggestions- so clever!
First up was this sweater, which I really didn't like when I pulled it out of the box. But once I put it on I decided it was super cute (PS that's my stupid work badge. I probably should have taken it off.  oops). Only problem with this sweater is that it's pretty pricey : / so I'm torn on this one

Next up was this super adorable girly red top that I LOVED but alas it was too small and I looked absurd   :(  Oh well!  Onwards!

My jewelry item was this cute bracelet set.  I told my stylist that I liked nautical anything so she sent these bracelets with stars on them.  I liked them but I don't wear bracelets very often, especially red ones, so they're probably not worth the price.

Next up was this tank top with beaded detail along the collar.  I liked this as well but too small!  Somehow it makes my boobs like gigantic though.  Robb liked that part haha.

Isn't the detail on the striping so pretty?

Last up was this striped dress.  I do have a pretty gnarly stripe obsession (which is probably bad considering I'm chubby) so I loved this dress as soon as I saw it.  I also like that it's a bit shorter than most XL dresses out there, I like to show off my legs some times :).  So the dress for me is a definite yes!

So that was my stitch fix! I thought my stylist did a very nice job!  I honestly half expected nothing in the box to fit because XL sizes are so varied between companies but I was pleased that a few things did.  I think another 10-15lbs and everything will fit a lot better, and that should be happenning hopefully by the time I get my next Stitch Fix :) I think next month I'll ask for some more pastels, like mint and coral, and maybe a necklace. 

So what do you think?  What should I do about that sweater?

ETA: See Stitch Fix #2 HERE and Stitch Fix #3 HERE

Thursday, May 23, 2013

CF Clinic Visit

Hi people!  Charlie just had a visit with the CF Center this week and I thought I would share a little update.  I'm so bummed since I haven't been able to go to any appointments for at least 4 months now, being so new at my job and just having taken a vacation.  The next one though, I AM THERE haha.

The CF Clinic is at the Htfd Childrens Medical Center and they get toy donations which they then give to their patients during long visits.  This has been awesome- these visits can go anywhere from 2-3 hours so when melt downs ensue it is really nice to have a new toy to distract Charlie.  Robb said this visit was 3 hours long so he walked away with a car and two monster trucks :) So nice of them to help us out like that and so generous for people to donate toys to Children's Hospitals.
Anyways, they think Charlie is doing well.  They took another throat culture to ensure that his psuedomonas is still gone (please please please!  I'll know in another week or so), and did all the normal fun check up stuff.  He lost a pound in the last 2 months, which isn't good but they think it was probably due to the fever he had.  Because of this and the fact that Charlie is super tall his weight/height BMI is only 15% (the minimum they want to see is 50%), but we're hoping we can add in an extra junk food snack everyday and get his weight back up there.

I also asked Robb to bring up adding in a new medication called Pulmozyme, which I think could be a great complement to his current regimen considering he's had some lung infections in the past.  Honestly, I really don't want to have to do yet another medication but I think this one would be worth it and a good preventative measure.

Here are Charlie's stats:

Charlie's Current Cystic Fibrosis Medications and Treatments

Gene Types: Delta F508 (∆F508) homozygous
Diagnosis via PK Screen: September 9, 2010 (2 weeks old), confirmed via sweat test September 13, 2010.
Age: 2 years and 9 Months
Weight: 33.4lbs (50-75th percentile)
Height: 40 inches (97th percentile, this kid is tall!)
Weight to Length Ratio: 15th percentile (boooo)


Albuterol (to help open his lung pathways): 3-5 puffs 2x per day
Pulmicort: adminstered via nebulizer 2x per day during vest therapy
ADEK Vitamins (to help him absorb the vitamins he cannot absorb from food): 2mL, 1X a day
Pepcid (to help him with acid reflux and malabsorption): 2mL, 2X per day
Creon 12000 Enzymes (to break down his food so he can absorb it): 3 capsules per meal
Periactin (appetite stimulant): 6mL, 1X per day
Vit-D-Sol (for a slight vitamin D deficiency shown in his bloodwork): 2.5mL 1X per day
TOBI (antibiotic for pseudomonas infection): 4 capsules, 2 times per day, every other month
Zithromycin (another antibiotic): 4mL per day- M,W,F Only
Salt (to make up for the salt he loses each day): 1/4th teaspoon per day
Chest Physical Therapy (to break up the mucus): 2 times a day via Hill-Rom "The Vest"

If you're wondering if administering all those medications is exhausting, you are correct!  Luckily our nanny does his breathing treatments Tuesday- Friday for us and then Saturday-Monday Robb and I try to split them up.  I'll tell you though, some nights when I'm tired from working and excercising I get SO SICK of having to put applesauce in a little ramekin and then sprinkle pills all over it.  I just want to be able to feed him without having to worry about enzymes first!  I inevitably take three thousand trips to the refrigerator because I'll get his food and then realize I forgot his milk and then I'll get his milk and then realize I forgot applesauce and then I'll get the applesauce and realize I don't have a clean ramekin and then I'll clean a ramekin and then realize the enzymes are in the other room.  It's just a pain, especially whenever we go somewhere having to bring applesauce, enzymes, a spoon and a little tupperware container for mixing  so he can eat.  It's not a HUGE deal but it just grinds on ya sometimes.  I can't wait until he's old enough to swallow those pills!  Woooweee that'll be a great day :D

I found another CF mom's blog who has a son, Bennett, who is about a year older than Charlie.  He has had a much harder childhood than Charlie- undergoing surgery as a newborn, having a G tube (gastric feeding tube, many CF kids have this to help with weight gain) and multiple hospital stays.  We're so lucky that Charlie is doing so well right now!  But anyways, she had a little blog post about raising a child with a chronic illness that I thought was very interesting. I thought I'd share it here since it definitely fits in with how I've been feeling lately.

(by Emily Perl Kingsley. (c)1987 All rights reserved

"I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability - to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this......

When you're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip - to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting. After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go.

Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland." "Holland?!?" you say. "What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life I've dreamed of going to Italy."

But there's been a change in the flight plan. They've landed in Holland and there you must stay. The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It's just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met. It's just a different place. It's slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you've been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around.... and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills....and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy... and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That's what I had planned." And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away... because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But... if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things ... about Holland."

And a few last pictures of my handsome man from the last week :)

 At a safety festival thingy- they had fire trucks, helicopters, ambulances, all sorts of fun stuff and Charlie was so overwhelmed he wouldn't go on any of them! haha, he did love that hat though :)

 Success after a day of fire trucks and the beach!

I just think this photo is really funny.  Charlie was watching Curious George with such devoted attention, his eyes were huuuuuge because he was focusing so intently so I decided to snap a quick picture.  He didn't even notice haha.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New London Food Stroll and Blog Reccomendation

Hi peoples!  Just a quick stop by today to share about the New London Food Stroll that I attended last week.  New London is a cute little New Englad town right on the water here in CT that's undergone some major updates in the past 15 years.  I used to go to New London all the time as a teenager to a little club called the El n Gee to watch rock concerts- which is still there!  Since then, New London has really become a fun, artsy town covered with murals and filled with yummy restaurants and bars.

Cute little Main Street, right?

Robb and I came to New London a few months ago when he had two of his photographs on display at their Hygenic Art Photography Show (one of which was an honorable mention! woot woot) but it has been a while since I've been back. I finally went back down last week for their annual Food Stroll.  It was the kind of food stroll I like, you pay for the ticket and then gorge on free samples :D (I hate it when you have to buy samples individually!). I never realized how many restaurants were crammed into downtown New London, we were going into a new restaurant every few steps to try out their food! Thank goodness for all that walking because I might have totally pigged out that night haha.  Lots of delicious samples, including many seafood dishes which I was quite happy about!  I think my favorite was a seafood paella with fried plantains and a teeny tiny mojito to go with it.  Perhaps I liked this the best because it reminded me of Puerto Rico ;)

Anyways, I went with a few friends- including Amanda, who has already written about the night on her blog which you can find HERE.  Amanda's blog is full of great content like fashion, decorating, crafting, and lifestyle posts .  She showcases her amazing and unique sense of style (plus she's cute as a button!)
 and has a weekly blog post called "Etsy Everything" where she shares some really awesome Etsy shops and their products.  So head on over to her blog and show her some love- you won't be disappointed!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Puerto Rico Part 3: What We Did

Hi everyone! I promise this will be my last post about Puerto Rico :P  This post is about what we did while we were down there, which quite honestly wasn't very much lol!  That's the point right?  Well you already know that we went out and got dinner and cocktails a few nights, and had a nice dinner at home, so pretty much the rest of the vacation was lounging!  Robb ended up shooting far longer than we had anticipated so we hung around the house most days.

Which of course lead to a sunburn of epic proportions (ps nice cleavage)

One day I went snorkeling in the back yard and found these little treasures :)  I tried to go a few other days after that but the ocean was too rough so I couldn't see anything :(

I also figured out the perfect recipe for beach waves.  Take that Pinterest!

I thought it would be fun, since I bought a new wardrobe before my trip, to show you guys all the cute outfits I wore.  But literally I only wore 3 outfits, i mean it was HOT.  Most days was a bathing suit (which is why I came home with about 50 bug bites.  quite literally. that might be an underestimate).  But at any rate, here are my beachy outfits that I managed to wear (you might notice I like stripes lol).

Our villa has a little atrium inside it and we kept discovering crabs in the living room!  It was so funny!  At first we thought one had escaped from the beach so we put it out on the sand, only to find it dead like a day later.  Then we realized that the crabs came from the atrium and were terrestrial crabs....oops :/.  We kept finding crabs downstairs though so after that we returned them to the right place!

And here are a few last instagrams from our trip (you can follow me at UserName: GlueMeetsPaper)

 Robb is always the photographer :)

The last day in PR we decided we would actually leave the house and explore around, maybe go horseback riding or jet skiing but of course it was a torrential downpour that entire day lol.

We had a great time but missed Charlie bear bunches!  He stayed with his grandparents and had an awesome time with them.  We did facetime everday but we also came up with this little calendar.  Robb asked me to make a little countdown chart for Charlie so he'd know how long it would be until we got home.  Of course he asked this the morning of the day we were leaving so I didn't have time to do anything super fancy but Charlie helped me pull this little guy together.  He put stickers at the end of each day as a marker for how many days until we came back :)

Friday, May 17, 2013

Puerto Rico Part 2: A Sunset Dinner on the Beach

Hi again! I'm here today to share some pictures of a really beautiful sunset beachside dinner Robb and I had, cooked by yours truly :)

We knew we wanted to do an on location dinner shoot at the house for promo photos but we figured we'd just grill up some hot dogs or something.  But then one morning we saw a food truck selling fresh fish so we decided to grab a fresh whole yellowtail.  There was also a little fruit and veggie stand nearby so I picked up some red onion, limes, avocado, and local mangoes.  YUM.  I wanted cilantro but it looked pretty bad so I held off. 

Anyways, it's always hard cooking in someone else's house but I thought we pulled it off pretty nicely!  I discovered some cumin, cayenne, and Adobo seasoning in the cupboards so I was able to make a pretty tasty dinner! 

I made a mango guacamole by dicing mangoes, an avocado, 1/2 red onion and then adding some salt, cumin, cayenne pepper, and the juice of 1 lime.  I love adding cumin to guacamole- it makes it taste so freaking good!

The fish was a little tougher since I had never cooked a whole fish before.  I sprinkled the whole thing with salt and Adobo seasoning and then stuffed the cavity with 1/2 lime cut into wedges and 1/2 red onion.  I wrapped the whole thing in tin foil and then we cooked it up on the grill. 

Here's our finished result- it was super tasty, fresh, and light.  Plus a beachside dinner at sunset can't be beat #amiright?

We had a few meals at home to try and save money but we did have some really awesome meals/cocktails during our vacation.  SO much of the food in Puerto Rico was fried so we had a bit of a challenge trying to find something light and relatively healthy.  Here are a few of the culinary highlights of our trip :)
LeFarm, Westport, CT

Wesport in the springtime, the town looked like a movie town, so pretty!

We stopped here on the way to JFK prior to leaving.  It was scrumptious!  It was pricey but totally fresh, unique, and tasty.  I got fried risotto balls with clam butter for a starter and shrimp and grits for dinner.  Robb got foie gras to start and beef cheeks for dinner-- this was one of the rare occassions in our relationship where he out ordered me!  I almost always choose the better dishes but Robb's food was definitely outright fantastic....unfortunately this trend continued our whole stupid vacation haha.
Escape at Casa Verde

BEST drink of my entire life.  No, for real.  All the drinks were made with super freshly squeezed juices, so the mojito was to die for.  That was great, but the BEST drink I've ever had EVER was a Cucumber Watermelon cocktail.  OMG.  It was muddled mint and cucumber mixed with fresh watermelon juice and vodka, chilled, strained and absolutely deliciuos.  Dinner was great too, but man those drinks were fantastic! (and if you wondering if Robb out ordered me here- yes he did, he ordered that drink first lol)

Villa Confresi

This place had wonderful beachside dining.  We went right at sunset which was superb.  While we were admiring the sunset we got these awesome cocktails made in a coconut!  Robb saw this online and was obsessed with getting a coconut drink from this place and they did not disappoint.  You can see approximately 100 drinks on our table for just the two of us haha.

Ode to the Elephants

The view from the roof top where we were eating
This was a cool Thai place in Rincon.  It was up many flights of stairs to a rooftop restaurant with awesome views overlooking the forest and the ocean.  The food was very yummy and reasonably priced but the service left something to be desired (this seemed to be a trend in PR)

Okay guys, one more Puerto Rico post and then I'll be done, promise ;)