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Friday, August 7, 2020

Modified Lip Service Maxi Dress

 


I have to admit I had a strong Poshmark addiction for while. It was way too easy to use the app to find 2nd hand clothing, shoes, etc. Most of my purchases were hits and a few were slight misses. This Lip Service dagger maxi dress wasn't exactly a miss, but it was way too tight in the chest. So, I gave it a chop and made the dress into a maxi skirt.

Poshmark listing, photo from seller.



I carefully cut off the top part which included the corset-like waist (it actually looked terrible on me anyways), and then cannibalized a separate skirt for the large elastic band. Pinned elastic to Lip Service skirt, ran it through the sewing machine and Voila! Breathed some new life into something that wasn't getting worn!

I used to be so afraid to modify certain pieces of clothing because, of the brand's label or thinking I was going to "hurt" the garment in some way. Pfffft, I've gotten over that. If it doesn't work and I can make it better to fit me (and have the confidence to not destroy it completely), I go for it! I did want to be a 'fashion designer' at one point in my youth, so I feel like I'm channeling that little dream. :)

Wearing:
Bat necklace: ebay (old)
Crystal chain necklace: Purgatory Playthings
Crop Top: Target
Skirt: Lip Service via Poshmark
Shoes: thrifted by Julie Ann, gifted to me. Brand: London Underground


I'm always striving to wear what I have and be grateful, but I'm not going to deny that I do like to hunt for new pieces. I've been window shopping etsy and ebay, but I have been staying away from Poshmark. I had to break up with her as it was toooooo tempting. Hahaha! I know Poshmark is only a USA app, so have any of you used any other 2nd hand app or site that I haven't mentioned?



Saturday, August 1, 2020

Daily Driver Attire



A lot has changed in the past two years since I paused on blogging, but more recently (in these pandemic times) Derek's and my life has changed drastically. I'm not going to dive too much into all the changes, but one major thing is that I am now driving Derek to work about 5 days a week. Andddd....



Derek is a tattoo artist and unfortunately due to the months of lock down and quarantine, his shop closed. The shop which he ran for 6.5 years. Closing a business during a global pandemic was traumatizing, to say the least. The old shop was basically around the corner from our house, so with him starting at a new shop that is much farther away, insert yours truly as the daily driver. Honestly, I really don't mind at all! I get Derek safely to work, I get out of the house and I get to wear some fun outfits to amuse myself. Dressing is a way to keep some normalcy for me and it helps to lift my spirits. I did giggle when I paired my sunglasses to my pants.


Wearing:
Modified Dr. D t-shirt by @drdtattoo (his IG)
Pants: Forever 21 (old)
Sandals: KOI Footwear via Pretty Little Things
Sunglasses: via a local shop


I do have admit every time I drop Derek off to work, I am in fear as COVID-19 is a VERY serious situation. Derek is at risk every time he goes to the tattoo shop and every time he is exposed to a client. I know he is taking all precautions, using extensive PPE protection, along his already diligent cleaning practices. I do have some peace of mind as the tattoo shop, as a whole, is following all CDC guidelines and then some. What worries me is everyone else. The people who don't wear a mask, those who don't wash their hands, those who are gathering in large groups and those people who don't think COVID-19 is real. And in turn he is worried about exposing me, that's why we both agreed on household practices to try and keep ourselves safe We will be getting tested regularly and as of our last test, we are negative. 

Please stay safe my friends <3




Thursday, July 30, 2020

Eight Months Post Op Hysterectomy Surgery: My Journey & Quest for My Health


Well, technically August 3rd will be 8 months post-op, but we don't get too technical on this blog! Hehe! As I slipped on this super casual and comfy outfit, I was reminded of last summer and the pain I was experiencing. Anything that was remotely "form fitting" or included elastic bands were almost unbearable to wear. I spent most of the summer crying in discomfort and absolutely hating that simply getting dressed was a challenge. I didn't feel sorry for myself, but looking back now, it was a terrible way to exist. 

**Skip the rest of the blog if you don't want to read about my GYN health journey**

Why at 38 (going on 39) did I have a hysterectomy? Well, the short answer is living with pain for years. The long answers is this: At 34, I started really experiencing terrible periods. Like, bleed-through-everything, pain that makes you double over and feeling like you got run over by a truck and MASSIVE mood swings, sorta periods. Admittedly, I didn't have a OBGYN at this time nor had any yearly check ups for several years. I figured, I was married, had no need for birth control and had good health care in the past, and the big one: no heath insurance. Well, luckily I was working for Cats Like Us at the time and they started to offer health insurance and I was able to get to a OBGYN. 

I was diagnosed with large ovarian cysts and started a regiment of birth control to try and shrink the cysts to avoid surgery. Luckily the birth control helped the cysts, controlled my periods and helped with the mood swings. Wahoo! This lasted a few years and then the pain started. The left side pain first started as a dull ache that would come and go. I addressed this with my OBGYN and she said, "Oh, that has to be GI issues and is definitely not gynecological." Well, that then started trying different diets (mainly going gluten-free) and having my general physician doing all sorts of testing. With no answers,  I wound up at a gastroenterologist. Now, to be fair, my mother has Crohn's Disease (she was diagnosed at 40-ish and is now 70, so yeah), so this was a legitimate concern. After being put on different pills and even having a colonoscopy, everything in that department was good. I do have IBS, but I also have anxiety (I take meds), so that wasn't something I was surprised to hear. What I didn't want to hear was, "We don't know why you have left side pain, maybe it's OBGYN related." I forgot to mention that this was December 2018 and I had the colonoscopy the day after my birthday. Meh, lol!

So, I took a deep breathe, gave myself some time and went back to the OBGYN in February 2019. I needed to get to the bottom of this left side pain. What did the OBGYN say to me, after I told her everything I *just* went through? The same woman who told me it couldn't be gynecological? She told me, "Ohhh nooo, it's definitely GYN and not gastro!" *Pause for internal screaming* She then sent me for more internal sonograms and again, no answers. 

Fast forward to April 2019. I was on vacation visiting my best friend in Arizona and that's when the bleeding started. Now, I was on continuous birth control and had been for years. So, I didn't get a period at all and if I did, it was a little spotting for one day and there was no period pain. So, when I started bleeding, I knew something was wrong. I didn't feel right and it hurt like hell! The bleeding continued for a month and once again I found myself back at the doctor. She wanted to address the bleeding first, so I was put on a completely different birth control at twice the dose and HOLY HELL that was torture. I felt like I had lost my mind for a month, both mentally, emotionally and physically. The bleeding stopped, but it was an intense roller coaster! And again, no answers. I was sent home several times with different medications and basically shrugging of the shoulders. I was even put on a medication that was for women who had surgery for endometriosis (it could potentially help with my pain even though I never had surgery?!), but I had to stop taking the birth control. So, when I ran out of the trial medication, I was in pain, the trial meds didn't even work, and I was confused about what to do next. I called my doctor several times expressing concern and I never got a simple call back. I was so exhausted and upset, that I called the practice's other location (there are two) and expressed to the receptionist my concerns and completely broke down. This poor woman was so kind to me as I squeaked out what I was going through, as the tears poured down my face. (I'm tearing up just typing this) I wanted to see a different doctor. I wanted to simply know what to do next as my body had gone through hell with different pills, tests and internal and external sonograms. I was at the end of my rope and all I wanted to do was get a simple phone call back. I felt like I was 'tattle telling', I feared that this was all going to get back to my OBGYN and I was going to be in trouble. I felt horrible that I had cried on the phone to a total stranger, and after hanging up the phone I felt venerable and small. And you know what? It did get back to the doctor. All of it. I got a phone call and an apology and thus another face to face appointment was made. And let me tell you, when she sat down and said, "Okay, let's start from the beginning", I was floored. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! I kept my shit together and went through the past 5 years of what I had gone through and this time I was not holding back. I said how disappointed I was that all these steps were made and nothing has come to a diagnosis. I expressed that I couldn't live my life with this pain, as I knew there was something that could be done. I would not except it. Nope. She listened and I got many apologies and things like, "These are the steps I had to take in order for insurance to approve any sort of treatments" or some bullshit like that. So, I said I would do whatever it takes.
Soooo, off to another internal sonogram I went as we were, "starting from the beginning".  

At this point I was in so much pain that I could barely lay down for the wonderful sonographer. Her and I had gotten to see each other a lot these past few months and she felt terrible for me. We would normally chat about pleasantries, but this sonogram session was painful and thus I just tried to not scream in pain. Her reaction was different too. When she was done, she got up and said, "I need to speak to the doctor right now". She left and I got dressed and as she walked backed in, she said, "The doctor wants to speak with you." I finally had a name to what was wrong with me, adenomyosis. It was the dear sonographer who spoke up for me, she was the one who 'got it', she really truly is an amazing human being. I felt like a weight was lifted and that I wasn't making it all up. I was in pain, I was not okay and I don't need to apologize for any of it. I got an answer! So what was the solution? A hysterectomy.

"HYSTERECTOMY!" I exclaimed to the doctor. I was shocked. Not only because I had never heard of adenomyosis, but I just didn't think a total removal of my uterus was a treatment option. I never wanted to have children, so that wasn't a concern, but major surgery was a concern. Luckily for me my OBGYN referred me to Dr. J (who so happened to be in the same office) and thus this tale of misery turns into a tale of joy. Dr. J is truly an angel. Not only did she listen to me, answer all my questions, she kept me in the loop every single step of the way. She really listened, like I could see the understanding and concern in her eyes. She cared for my welfare when I spoke of the years of pain and frustration. She laughed with me when I would crack my anxiety fueled jokes and most importantly, she was there. As in, she always returned my emails or calls and always had positive advice. 



I had a robot assisted hysterectomy on December 3, 2019. It was rough at first in the healing department, but I am now 8 months post op and looking forward to the future. I am free from GYN pain (unfortunately I'm experiencing some wicked back pain right now) and can't believe these past two years and how much I put up with. Not only with my health, but in my personal life. I am seeing things a lot clearer now as I can.....well, think! It's hard to live with constant pain. It's like an all consuming void. So, just know those who suffer, I believe you and I am here for you. 

Oh yeah, that doctor who gave me the run around? She's no longer with the practice and Dr. J is my official doctor! Wooooohooooo! If I have learned anything from this experience is don't let a doctor or anyone intimidate you or make you feel like your person isn't important. Be your own health advocate (if and when you can) and fight. 





Sunday, July 26, 2020

Kicking It Old School with a Hair Scrunchie



My hair is a non-style right now. I gave myself a quarantine hair cut several times, including shaving part of my head. I've cut my own hair over the years, so it wasn't that much of a shock when I took the clippers to my head. I am not quite sure what I want to do with this blonde mop, so I haven't visited one of my hair stylist friends.....yet. In the meantime, I've been wearing it up in a ponytail nub (it has been hot) as it's much easier to have my hair up when wearing a mask. I wanted to have the illusion of more hair, so I went back into the time machine that is my brain and thought, "HAIR SCRUNCHIE!". Literally faux hair on an elastic band that I used to wear all the time in the early 2000's.


You bet I piled them on! And check out that chunky digital camera!


This is one of the nicest faux hair scrunchies I have ever owned! On a whim I nabbed this one off Amazon, not expecting much and was pleasantly surprised! I walked downstairs after slapping it on, and I had to tell Derek that it wasn't my own hair! Of course, that was after I was dancing around humming some weird tune, which is normal behavior in our household. Hahaha!


Wearing: 
Hair Scrunchie: Amazon
Hair bow: Hot Topic (old)
Cross necklace: ebay (old)
Dress: Target, thrifted


I dunno, but outtakes are hilarious.

So yeah, I wrote about a faux hair scrunchie, because I'm not doing much these days outside of our home. I've been; working on the Coffin Kitsch etsy shop, sewing,  driving Derek to the new tattoo shop (that's for another blog) and forever trying to clean and organize our basement. I'm really okay with it all, honestly. So, silly little posts are good distractions! Take care and stay safe friends!







Friday, July 24, 2020

Anatomy of Our Home Tiki Bar: Welcome



The most asked question we get about our home Tiki bar aka 'The Hut' is, "Where did you get all this?!" This generally gets exclaimed when people first come into The Hut (well, when we could socialize safely) and we would give a general run down listing of where we have found things. So, I thought it would be fun share our special slice of paradise and do a little show and tell. 

The main focal point of a Tiki bar, for us, is the bar itself. This bamboo bar was purchased at The Christmas Tree Shop (discount home goods sorta place) and looked something like this:



We decided to not put on the roof, nor use the stools it came with (we already had the bar stools shown in the photo) and found that we need to reinforce the inside of the bar, as it was a bit wobbly. The bamboo top need a little help too, so I ordered a IKEA table top to place on top of the bar that made a HUGE improvement when it comes to making cocktails and much easier to clean. So, we took a store bought bar and DIY'ed it to meet our needs and our budget. Anddddddd the remaining bamboo pieces from the bar got repurposed into so many other projects!


Yeah, we have a lot of collectibles and I'm not going to get into about those specifics....at least not yet. *Wink* I just wanted to draw your attention to our seating area. Every single piece has come from Craigslist or was bought 2nd hand. From the chair to the love seat, the round rattan table to the serving chart that is in the foreground, it was all a bargain . Bamboo furniture is pricey as all get out, especially vintage bamboo and rattan, so I was over joyed when I found these beauties. I find that checking the 2nd hand sites regularly can really be worth it. just as long as you are safe and don't let pushy sellers win.


I used to HATE this corner, but now it's become one of my favorites! The giant Moai that adorns the corner is a large lightweight piece that our vintage seller friend nabbed for us. I have to admit when Derek said "yes" to this piece I didn't think it was going to THAT BIG! Hahaha! I added the greenery and flowers that I bought from a 2nd hand shop and had a lot of fun arranging the leaves to hide the edges of the Moai.

My beloved Chromcraft dining set now lives out here. It was in the dining room, but we need a bigger table. This set is a perfect size for the corner and I'm so glad it didn't get re-homed! It has been wonderful sitting here and having delicious home cooked meals and enjoying some tasty cocktails. We've been having a lot of tasty cocktails.....

So, I have to ask this question: When did rattan etagere (shelves) and rattan fan chairs get so darn expensive?! Sheesh! I almost pooped myself when I saw some of the prices on places like Facebook Marketplace. I was lucky to find the rattan shelf (ground) at a flea market last year and found the rattan shelf (wall) at a thrift store. Oh yeah, the chair was garbage picked from our neighbors, because we have no shame. Tee hee!


I am the most pleased with our bamboo couch find. The lady we bought it from via Craigslist was a character to say the least. It was in her Mother's sun room and though the cushion foam was in good condition, the fabric was stained and old. Not only are we lucky enough to know many talented people, we were able to take fabric that I already had (top parts of cushions are vintage barkcloth) and give them to a friend who is a professional seamstress. Not everyone that sews knows (or wants) to make things like cushion covers with zippers, so I was especially grateful AND they turned out wonderfully. 


This Tiki bar wasn't put together in a year or even two! We've lived in our house for almost 6 years and I finally feel like the bar has evolved into that sweet spot of being able to display our collection and use the space to its fullest potential. So, I just wanted to say that if this post inspires you or overwhelms you, just know this took time. Also! There is no "right or wrong" way to have your own Tiki bar, shelf, area, or whatever! We have the space, we are slightly insane, and this is the one collection that we extra nerd out about. So yeah, just have fun!


Wearing: 
Glasses: Voogueme
Earrings: Poshmark via retro_luxe
Top: Cats Like Us (sold out)
Barkcloth Wrap Skirt: vintage
Shoes: Target


What is that Plamp? It's time for some rum? OKAY!

Well, thank you for stopping by for a virtual visit to The Hut! I would like to dive more into our collection and share some of the art and collectibles we have, yet that's for future posts. I hope everyone is staying safe and sane during these uncertain times.