Tuesday, July 22, 2014

We Have a Winner!

I finally joined the iPhone cult, because Verizon was giving me hell and Sprint would work with me. But the downside is Verizon was a lost faster and I got more coverage with them, but whatever, Sprint was more helpful. ANYWAY I've been having the hardest time learning how to use this damn thing (even though I have an iPad and should know the basics) and syncing it with my computer.

But the giveaway is finally over! I will be emailing the winner or contacting them somehow. I'd rather not announce the winner publicly, just because you know, privacy issues.

But congratulations winner! You will know who you are in just a few moments! Thanks to everyone who entered, I will be doing another giveaway soon!

I love all of you and thank you for your input and entries! Congratulations to the winner, and I will hear from you all soon. Or you will hear from me. 

Update: I heard from the winner, Erika Sorocco, and got permission from her to be mentioned in this post. Congratulations again! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Inspired by: Stevie Nicks!

For the rest of the summer, I'm going to be stealing Stevie Nicks's style. I LOVE Stevie Nicks and Fleetwood Mac. Seriously I'm obsessed. I found making this post very difficult, because it's pretty hard to imitate her style. Mostly bohemian but she takes it a liiiitle further.

"I think they all went too far. Their jeans got too low, their tops got too see-through. Personally, I think that sexy is keeping yourself mysterious. I'm really an old-fashioned girl, and I think I'm totally sexy" -Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

stevie nicks boho

Flowy everything was a staple in her style. ALWAYS had long necklaces, a big cross necklace, or a moon necklace.

Stevie Nicks Bell Bottoms

There's an oh so famous shawl that she always wears and twirls around in. And of course, some aviators to top off the look! I was surprised at the amount of cute bell bottoms there are!

leather and lace

Stevie was always famous for wearing a bunch of black at once (glad I'm not the only one, practically my whole closet is black -___-) I just added a shawl, because we know how much she loves those, and a red lip just for some color. Side note: Leather and Lace is a Stevie Nicks song, just to clear that up.

Get a Stevie Nicks-esque crescent moon charm! You can wear it pretty much with anything. They have one on Amazon but I'm sure you can find them on Etsy or in another store. Halloween stores will probably be carrying them too. 

If you can manage to find a dress or a shawl THAT flowy and free, go for it. I had a really hard time trying to find something that would do her justice. Again, you can probably find one on Etsy or something. They would be awesome when it starts getting colder, too. 

Oh, did you know she made an appearance on American Horror Story? Yup! A character in that season named Misty completely idolized Stevie Nicks, and she made an appearance! 

What do you think? Do you like Fleetwood Mac and/or Stevie Nicks as much as I am currently? My favorite songs right now are Tusk and Seven Wonders right now, check them out! 
Would you try to dress like Stevie Nicks on a regular basis? Use her as a bohemian inspiration? Or play it safe and save it for Halloween? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

11 Websites You Need to Bookmark


I have a lot of pages bookmarked for inspiration, random cool stuff, post ideas, etc. But I'm saving those for my revamped Lovely Links series (coming soon). These are websites you really really should bookmark, most of them are pretty useful in real life.

1. Chandoo.org. I was looking for some office/receptionist/personal assistant jobs recently, and EVERY one of them required that you be proficient in Excel. This has the basics, formulas, charts, and everything else you need to know. You can do a lot more with Excel than I ever thought, and it's really complicated if you don't know how to use it.

2. Allrecipes.com. Good if you are looking for a recipe or need inspiration for recipes with a specific ingredient(s). You can save recipes you like, post recipes, and even make a shopping list. This works well if you have a smart phone, because you can pull up the app while you're shopping and see what you need. I'm stuck with my dinosaur of a Blackberry and don't have that luxury, but take advantage if you have a smart phone!

3. Lookbook is great if you need some fashion inspiration. There was a girl that I found on Lookbook and I absolutely adored her style, but I cannot for the life of me remember her name. I want to say she lives in Italy, but I don't remember for sure. I'd know her if I saw her, so I'm going to go searching after this post is finished! Lesson learned: make sure you add looks that you like to a collection. Oh you can also add your pictures and looks to Lookbook as well.

4. Spreeder.com. This is a website designed to help you improve how fast you read. I haven't tried it yet but I will this week and see if there is any improvement.

5. Yogameditationhome.com is a free website with a crap ton of yoga videos. You can select your age, level, health issues, etc. AND you can favorite videos so you don't have to search for them every time. There is probably somewhere that offers yoga classes near you, and I don't know about you, but I don't want to dish out the money and be self conscious the whole time because I'm new at this.

6. Instructables.com teaches you how to make things (with you know, instructions). Learn to knit, because why not?

7. Documentaryaddict.com. I use this site when I need a break from watching House, or I'm just bored and want to watch something really interesting. You can search by category, newest, top rated, and more. Seriously, when you're bored or have time to kill, watch a documentary.

9. Ted.com. If you're not feeling the documentaries, watch/listen to a TED Talk. You can also filter by category and such. All of the talks they have turn out to be really interesting, even if I have no interest in the subject they are talking about. You really will get sucked in.

10. Wolframalpha.com helps you with anything related to math. I JUST used this a few minutes ago because for some reason I was talking about physics with my mom and I couldn't remember the quadratic formula. Now I do!

11. Polyvore.com. If these were in order of importance to me, this would be at the top. It's SO necessary for bloggers (specifically fashion and beauty bloggers). You can create really cool pictures for your blog, and even import your own pictures if it doesn't have what you are looking for (using the Polyvore Clipper).

Well now you have some sites to sift through, I just cured your boredom. You're welcome. What necessary websites do you have bookmarked? Have you ever been on any of these?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Life Tips #1 and #2

1. Don't buy a razor without checking how much the razor blade refills are going to be. 
They can cost more than the razor itself! Don't invest in a "high end" razor just because it presumably takes hair off your skin better than others, because chances are you'll have to pay a million more dollars when the blades dull and you need to get refills. If we're talking about shaving our heads, then we're going to need something a little more intense probably. But my lovely ladies, taking hair off your legs, arm pits, bikini area, wherever: you don't need an expensive razor. Don't limit yourself to the pretty pink razors either, look at all of your razor options, even if it means getting a men's razor. Maybe invest in a good shaving cream, just because it moisturizes your skin and makes the shave smoother. Just don't stoop to disposable razors, especially if you have sensitive skin. By the way, did any of you ever try this scary thing? It didn't do a thing. Good marketing sucks.

2. Don't watch House if you are a hypochondriac. 
I don't think this needs an explanation.

By the way, I currently use the Schick Quattro for women as my razor. Not the scary one that claims to trim. It fits comfortably in my hand and I get a smooth shave; no complaints.

Also should add, I'm NOT affiliated with Schick in any way. Or House, though I wish I was!  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Lovely Links

I usually used to do these on Fridays to kick off the weekend, but I figured I'd do one on a Monday to kick off the week!

Having trouble picking the best nail shape for you? Beautylish guides you through, square, oval, squoval, round, etc., and how to get your desired nail shape!

If you also live in the Holy City that is Charleston, SC, then you're lucky like me. If you don't already have 4th of July plans, here is a calendar of events going on around the lowcountry.

Speaking of this national holiday, not sure what to wear? Here are some subtle and chic ways to wear red, white, and blue without going all out.

Again, if you're going to be out for the 4th, make sure to wear plenty of SPF that's right for your skin!

I'm sure you all have a favorite band or artist that you never get tired of no matter what. Well mine happens to be Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks. Watch her evolution of style (I LOVE #21) and steal it too. You can find Stevie Nicks-esque items on Etsy, Gypsy Moon, Jolly Chic, and get some more inspiration from Pinterest. She's the goddess of bohemian style and I love it. (I'll be doing a Stevie Nicks/Fleetwood Mac inspired post soon, I've just decided).

Note: If and when I have kids, I WILL be decorating and doodling on my kid(s)'s lunch bags like this. So cool!

Never read/seen the Harry Potter movies? Here are some Harry Potter words and names pictured by people who have never seen or read them. These are actually pretty hilarious.

And just for shits and giggles to kick off a good week, here's some adorable motivation to get you through the week! If he can do it, so can you. Hang in there!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Favorite Drugstore Product Giveaway

It's giveaway time! I can't do anything too extravagant yet because I'm catching up on bills and whatnot, but I can do a little one.

All you have to do is recommend me your favorite drugstore product out of one of the categories below, and if you win I will buy that product and send you one as well for your prize. If my paycheck allows I might be able to send you a little something extra too! It should be a good prize since you picked it :P

Drugstore Giveaway

So requirements:
1. Be a public follower on Breakfast at Gracey's
2. Comment ONE of your favorite drugstore products from ONE of these categories:

  • dry shampoo for dark hair 
  • hair scrunching product
  • shampoo/conditioner 
  • hair mask or treatment 
  • heat protectant spray 
**Edit: I worded the rules strangely. Please pick a specific drugstore product that you like from one of those categories. Sorry I didn't make that clear in the first place. If you have already entered without picking a specific product, I'll still count your entries and just email you what product you would like if you do win. Sorry again! 
Extra Entries:
1. Follow me on Twitter and tweet about the giveaway with your favorite product (make sure to tag @graceyloo252) +1
2. Do a blog post on the product you choose and why you choose it +3
3. Post about it on Google+  +2
4. Like Breakfast at Gracey's on Facebook +2
5. Post on the Breakfast at Gracey's Facebook page a specific drugstore product you enjoy, and make sure to link this giveaway! +3  

***If you participate in my book club I will add +5 automatically for you in my next giveaway!***

If you do any extra entries, make sure you either tag me or put the links in your comment. You can always recommend more than one product if you feel like it, but you still only get 1 entry. 

Also, make sure I can get in touch with you if you win. So if your contact info isn't available on your blog or Twitter or whatever make sure you leave your email address. 

The contest will end on Wednesday, July 16th. Good luck! 

Breakfast at Gracey's Book Club

So this is a really impromptu post, so it'll be short. I'm going to be hosting a book club of sorts.

Every month (or whatever time period) I will choose a book to read, and post how many pages the book is. Now all of you can pick a book around the same length, read it within the set time period, and then leave your thoughts, reviews, and recommendations.

For the month of July, I will be reading The Giver by Lois Lowry, which is ~180 pages.

So, choose a book between 150-200 pages, and have it read by the end of July (sooner if possible). Or you can choose to read The Giver with me if you don't know what else to read.

After the month is over/I finish the book, I'll do a post about what I thought about the book, if I would recommend it, etc. In the comments (or you can even email me!) I'd like you all to discuss the book that you chose and read this month. Even if you didn't finish it. My next book club reading might just be one of your suggestions if it catches my interest!

So, I'm posting this a few days before July even starts, so you have time to choose a book! 1.) Choose book around 150-200 pages. 2.) Have it finished (or at least tried to finish) by the end of July. 3.) Comment and discuss your book when the next book club post goes up.

I'm hoping this will motivate people to read more this summer, maybe we could even set up some sort of book exchange/trade if this goes well? We shall see! Feel free to tweet me your book choices and recommendations before you start, as well! I can make a list if people really need help choosing a book to read. Let me know what you think in the comments or email me! :)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

How To Be Happy

After having a tough day, I realized I've had many tough days lately. Some for ongoing reasons and some just because something crappy happened that day. I just wanted to do a post reminding you all to still be happy and do something that makes yourself happy at least once a day. If you're reading this, you probably enjoy reading blogs. You're off to a good start!

1. Find something you enjoy doing, even if you're not good at it. I really enjoy drawing, even though I'm not very good at it. It still calms me down and gives me something to focus on for a while that doesn't involve whatever is troubling me. You don't have to showcase your drawings if you don't want to, just do it if it makes you happy. Play around with colors and draw some happy images. Or even if they aren't happy, whatever comes to mind. Maybe you need to let out some anger by drawing some hardcore skulls or something. Whatever you need to do, do it.

2. Listen to music. I feel like this is a given in any post on how to be happy, but I figured I'd include it anyway. Fleetwood Mac always seems to make me feel better. Find an artist(s) that you can listen to forever and not get tired of, and start listening!

3. Singing the music will put you in an even better mood. Make sure you have a playlist on iTunes or Spotify or whatever you use just for happy music. Search for more happy songs and add them to the happy playlist as you listen to it.

4. Take a shower, put on some music, sing your heart out, and get some aromatherapy going. Hot showers are relaxing, and music just adds to the bliss of it. I was browsing the Fortune Cookie Soap website last night and noticed they had a product I'd never heard called "Steam Me Up Scotty!". They come in a set of 3, and you put one cube on the floor of the shower and let the steam take care of the rest. If you aren't in the mood to belt out some songs, take a hot bath and light some candles.

5. Read a book. It can take you to a place that's far from what's troubling you. Just be careful not to pick a sad book! 

6. Stop checking Facebook so often! Seriously, delete the app on your phone if you have to. You're dealing with troubles in your life, and people on Facebook tend to only post the highlights of their life. This makes you feel insecure because they make life seem so lovely while you are suffering. Especially stay away if you're insecure about your appearance. People sometimes spend so much time trying different angles and editing to get the perfect picture. You're just as beautiful as they are! 

7. Be nicer to people. Even if they are treating you like crap, maybe they are having a bad day, too. Don't immediately reciprocate by being rude back. If people see how nice you are to them, they will be nice to you too. Unless they're just a bitch, then they probably won't be nice back. But you still have an opportunity to make yourself feel better by not stooping to their level! 

8. Talk to people who are troubling you in your life. Maybe you disagree with the way your significant other is treating you lately, or how your best friend is ignoring you, or some other relationship problem in your life. It might be hard, but you won't regret it in the long run. If they are a toxic person in your life, you'll find out quickly if they don't listen to you. If they want you to be happy, they'll listen to your concerns and talk to you about possible solutions. 

You don't have to be happy all the time, but it's important to be happy overall with your life. Taking a few minutes out of the day for yourself and forget about your problems is a great thing to do. Retail therapy is always an option ;) Just be careful with that, too. Don't wanna run up a credit card bill! 

What do you to to keep yourself happy and sane, despite the crazy things in life? What are your favorite songs to listen to when you need cheering up? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Inspired by: Summer Fruits

I'm on a roll so far with my blog posts! I may even be doing too many (more than one a day), I'm just too excited to be blogging again I can't wait to post an idea when it comes into my head!

I was in H&M with one of my best friends about a week ago, and I realized that they had a LOT of clothes with watermelon and banana patterns on them. Bananas are my favorite fruit (and word, for some reason :P ), so I had to get a makeup bag with bananas all over it. I use it to hold my art pencils for when I draw though, not makeup. Anyway, I was inspired to create some outfits inspired by fruit to get even more into the summer mood. Hope you all enjoy! :)

1. Blue Raspberry
Blue Raspberry

I always found it strange that candy companies would name flavors "blue raspberry"…because that's not a fruit. Blueberries and raspberries are fruits (well, berries), but blue raspberries don't exist as far as I know! Nevertheless, I think the combination of blue and a raspberry color make an awesome color combination! I thought the little green earrings were a cute accent to represent the stems and leaves of blueberries and raspberries. I will definitely be rocking my blue dresses this summer, I just need to find some more raspberry-esque colored accessories!

2. Go Bananas!
Go bananas!

This outfit is my favorite out of the three, but I'm biased because I love bananas. The little banana shoulder bag is just too cute for words! This can easily be worn by anyone, most of the basic elements you probably already have in your wardrobe, with the exception of the banana bag. The shoes could also be switched out for some sandals or flats.

3. Mellow Watermelon
Mellow Watermelon

I would order that skirt in a heartbeat if I was tall enough to wear maxi skirts! It's such a perfect watermelon color, especially with the red crop top. I thought the necklace looked a little bit like watermelon seeds, which makes it even cuter. Again, the shoes can be subbed for heels for us shorties. I just wanted to keep them neutral here because the main focus is on the more "in your face" colors.

What's your favorite fruit this summer? Post or send me pictures of an outfit you made inspired by a fruit (or berry)! Also try and check out H&M's fruit patterned clothes and accessories, they're so cute! I'm going to go back for that banana bag!

**ALSO! I will be having a giveaway very soon, so stay tuned. I'll post on here with the official rules and such but I will also be announcing it on Twitter**

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Products I Will Be Repurchasing

I know I've done some of these before, and I will continue to do them! I think some of these products were even on my past posts on things I would repurchase, because I did and will continue to repurchase them!

Will Be Repurchasing

1. Mario Badescu Rose Hips Nourishing Oil- I used to mainly use this in the winter time because my face would dry out so badly, but I use it in the summer as well because it just adds a little extra moisture in spots that are needed. For some reason my skin gets very dry and flakey around my eyebrow area, so I use it before I put on my moisturizer and the flakes are gone! I also have a Benefit Creaseless Cream Eyeshadow that hadn't been used in a while and had dried out. I put a drop of this in the shadow, mixed it up with a toothpick, and it was good as new! It didn't look as smooth and pretty in the container as it did when I first got it, but still looked the same when applied to eyes. I'm not use exactly how safe it is to use around the eye area, but I have been and haven't had any problems so far! A little bit of this stuff goes a LONG way too!

2. Urban Decay Eyeshadow Primer Potion- I freaking love this stuff! I've gotten some samples of other eye primers (e.l.f., Lorac, and some others I can't recall right now) and this one takes the cake. Not that the others were bad, the Primer Potion just makes my shadow stay on alllll damn day. Sometimes I'm bad and fall asleep in my makeup, and when I wake up it's still there! Not as perfect as the day before, but it definitely works. Lorac is a close second, and the e.l.f. one isn't bad for the price, I just prefer the Urban Decay Primer Potion.

3. Mario Badescu Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs & Rosewater- I really, really like Mario Badescu products in case you haven't noticed. It's absolutely perfect to keep in your purse and spray it on your face throughout the day. Since I tend to have dehydrated skin, this acts as a little pick me up so that I don't get too dry. I also use it as a makeup setting spray so that my setting powder doesn't dry out my face too much. I am way too in love with this stuff, I'm on my third bottle!

4. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil- Eyeliner that doesn't have good staying power drives me absolutely INSANE. I don't want coon eyes halfway through the day. These puppies have insane staying power. I use it on my upper and lower lash lines and I get no coon eyes. They also apply very smoothly, so there is no tugging on my eyes when I put it on. I've gone through 2 full sized black pencils, and I also have a purple pencil that I sometimes put over my black liner. I love love love love these things. Get them. Now.

5. MAC Face and Body Foundation- I'd heard recommendations for this back when I first started wearing foundation, but I also had problem skin that needed heavier coverage. Now that my skin is acne free, I don't need such a heavy foundation. It's VERY watery, but it sets into your skin very quickly. This is especially good for summer because it feels so light, but I usually add another layer once the first one dries just to cover up a few trouble spots. I could use concealer for this, but I feel like concealer is too heavy to cover the extra redness around my nose and cheeks. I use e.l.f. studio concealer if anyone is wondering. I've had no breakouts so far, and it stays all day! I do set it with powder, though, just to make sure.

6. Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisture for Combination Skin- It doesn't make my face too oily, it doesn't break me out, and it doesn't dehydrate my skin. It's also affordable and I can get it pretty much anywhere. That's pretty much all I'm looking for in a moisturizer at the moment.

Apologies again for the repeats, I couldn't help myself. What are some products you loved that you will be repurchasing?

Summer Resolutions Part 2

I know this wasn't for this summer, but I did a post a while back talking about my summer resolutions at the that time. I figured I'd take the time to boast about the ones I completed, and list the ones I still need to do and add new ones. Unfinished resolutions in red, completed resolutions in green, and new resolutions in blue. There is only one, but there is one "iffy" resolution.

1. Drink coconut water-- I tried, I really did. I tried everything from Zico to Vita Coco to some other brands that I can't think of. I just don't like the taste, for some reason they taste kind of like tomato V8 but only slightly sweeter. I'll stick to water.

2. Do more blog posts-- I say this ALL the time, but I never stick to it. I have some reviews stacked up, but my lighting sucks everywhere in my house and I can't get good pictures. I'm vowing to actually post regularly now. Promise!

3. Read more books-- Not as many books as I'd like, but I have been reading more. Everything from Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Giver, to the Phenomenology of Perception and The Conscious of the Atom. My problem is that I read whatever I'm in the mood for at the moment. I think I'm reading 3 books at once now, and it's taking me forever.

4. Yoga-- Just like the reading, I have started doing yoga. Only not as often as I'd like to. But I have seen improvement, in body strength and flexibility and even in everyday life things. I used to have extremely poor digestion very frequently to only feeling nauseous/uncomfortable a very rare occasion. It might be a coincidence, but who knows. It might be a mental thing, but I feel better overall.

5. Learn calligraphy-- For some reason, I became fascinated and in love with fountain pens. They are so smooth to write with, and they make my cursive look amazing. They can be waaaay more expensive than a whole pack of BIC Pens, but I'd say they're worth it once you get used to writing with them. You can also pick from so many ink colors it's not even funny. As a step up from just writing in cursive, calligraphy is beautiful and so damn hard! I'm impressed by all of you who can write lovely calligraphy words and phrases.

6. Don't wait until the last minute to do my summer reading-- I don't have any summer reading anymore since I'm not in school. I'm just going to leave this with the above post about reading more books.

7. Save my money and not blow my paychecks on beauty products-- I FINALLY (and by finally I mean a few days ago) was able to re-open my savings account. I wouldn't really say I saved money, but I didn't really gain much either. I also blew my paychecks, just on a few different things than beauty products. Like Dominos Pizza, mainly so I can get their lava cakes. Mmmmm…

8. World of Warcraft-- I know, I know. My boyfriend payed for it the first time and unfortunately I got hooked. I'm stuck on level 88 and I'm trying to get to 90. It just seems like no matter hard I try I can't get past 88. It's frustrating, dammit! Don't get talked in to playing, it's money you don't want to be wasting. But it is fun and addicting. Don't buy it!

Did you make any summer resolutions last year, and did you follow through with them? Are you going to make any resolutions for this summer? What will they be?

WARNING: TMI. My IUD Experience [NSFW I Guess?]

This post contains womanly information, if anything involving the vagina, periods, bleeding, or anything medical that happens down there grosses you out, STOP RIGHT HERE! I'm pretty sure my family reads this, so family this is very personal so also feel free to not read :P
*I should also add I'm obviously not a medical professional, I got most of my info from my doctor and the pages and pamphlets I got from my doctor before and after this was done. This is just MY personal experience so far. Everyone reacts to things differently, so do what's right for you, girlfran! 

What is an IUD? 
IUDs are little T-shaped pieces of plastic or copper inserted into the uterus. Ouch, right? There are two types of IUDs: Mirena (low dose of hormones) and ParaGard (the copper one, no hormones, which is what I got). 

How do they work? 
Mirena prevents the egg from leaving the ovary, keeping sperm from getting to the egg. It also thickens cervical mucus can also block sperm to prevent it from joining the egg. 

ParaGard is essentially a sperm killer. Apparently, copper is a sperm killer, which I never knew. The copper IUD makes sure that there are a bunch of copper ions in the uterus to kill the sperm. So it's a sperm killer. ParaGard can also be used as an emergency contraceptive if used within 5 days of unprotected sex.

Both affect the way sperm moves so that they can't join with an egg (I'm getting most of my factual info from the paper they gave me when I was done, personal stuff coming in a second). 

IUDs are one of the more effective methods of birth control. See this chart for effectiveness of other forms of birth control, and IUDs are the most effective next to abstinence. Fewer than 1 out of 100 women could get pregnant every year, where as with the typical birth control pill 8 out of 100 women could get pregnant every year. 

Advantages of IUDs
  • Mirena
  1. Fewer menstrual cramps
  2. Lighter periods/less blood loss (sometimes periods stop after a few months)
  3. Less anemia (iron poor blood)
  4. Good for 5 years
  • ParaGard
  1. No hormones (main reason I chose it after MUCH research)
  2. Can become pregnant as soon as it is removed
  3. Good for 12 years. 12 years! 
  4. Can be used for emergency contraception within 5 days of unprotected sex
Disadvantages of IUDs
  • Mirena
  1. Low dose of hormones, if that bothers you 
  2. Can't keep it in as long as ParaGard (though, 5 years is a pretty damn long time!)
  3. Uncomfortable insertion process
  4. Cramping and/or back ache for a few days after procedure
  5. Irregular periods or spotting between periods in the first 3-6 months
  6. Expensive up front, but you'll end up spending less money over time
  • ParaGard
  1. Kills sperm, if that bothers you
  2. Uncomfortable insertion process
  3. Cramping and/or back ache for a few days after the procedure
  4. Heavier periods and worse menstrual cramps
  5. Expensive up front, but you'll end up spending less money over time
Risks (though, rare)
  • Perforation- The IUD could make a hole in your uterus when being inserted, and could be pushed through the wall of the uterus and damage your internal organs. Surgery is sometimes needed to remove the IUD if this happens. 
  • Expulsion- The IUD could slip out of the uterus, and you may become pregnant if this happens. It must be removed if it comes out even part of the way. 
  • Pregnancy- Extremely rare, since IUDs are one of the most effective forms of birth control. If pregnancy does happen, the IUD needs to be removed immediately and your doctor should make sure you don't have any issues or other health problems with you or your fetus. 
***Again, risks are very rare. 

Why did I choose to get the ParaGard IUD inserted over any other birth control option? 
  • I had been off and on different hormonal birth controls since I was probably a freshman or sophomore in high school. I felt more…myself for a lack of a better word, in between the times I wasn't on BC. Even on low dose hormone birth control pills, my moods were all over the place and my sex drive died. Every. Single. Time. BUT on the plus side my acne completely went away! 
  • My doctor recommended that I get off hormonal birth control because I suffer from pretty severe migraines. No, I don't just get "excruciatingly bad headaches", though that is mostly what it is, there are more differences than a bad headache and a migraine that people don't realize. Migraine sufferers get dizziness, tunnel vision, seeing "stars", sensitivity to light, extreme exhaustion, nausea, and even vomiting. Anyway, according to my doctor, hormones may even make migraines worse and/or more frequent.
  • I don't have to worry about birth control June 23, 2026. 2026. That's twelve years! I'm not sure if I will keep it in for the full 12, but I do like that I have that option. 
  • I could've gone with another option, such as condoms, NuvaRing, etc., but as you can see by my blog, I am very slack. I don't want to chance forgetting to put something on, or in.
My story
I have Medicaid, so the cost was not an issue for me. I had to go in for my birth control consultation (also free with Medicaid), and my doctor and I decided that an IUD would be a good option for me. She explained the difference between Mirena and ParaGard. The only reason I picked ParaGard over Mirena is because, even though a very small amount, Mirena has hormones in it. I want no hormones. None. She wrote me a prescription for Misoprostal (spelling?). I was supposed to put it in 2 hours before my appointment to soften and open the cervix more to make insertion more comfortable for me and easier for my doctor. Previously I was on the Depo shot, so I wasn't used to making an appointment since I could go in at any time to get my shot. 

I took the pill (by take, I mean shove a pill up my hoo-ha) and went on my merry way. Turns out they were full that day and I couldn't get it inserted. So I call back later that week and they say I have to wait until the end of the month because they ran out of ParaGards and had to order more. Fine. What about that pill that's supposed to make it easier? They said they'd call me back because the physician wasn't in at the the time. Because of a few unfortunate circumstances, I wasn't able to re-call my doctor until the day of the procedure. The receptionist called the physician and called me back. She said not to worry about the prescription, they would dilate my cervix there and numb my cervix. 

So, I finally get to my appointment. I'd read online that doctors have different ways of numbing the cervix: a spray, a cream, or a Novocain shot like you would get at the dentist. I ask what methods they offered; they only offer the shot. Great. On top of this painful insertion I have to get a SHOT IN MY CERVIX. YES it hurt, like a bad pinch in a place where you are not at all used to being pinched. I'm assuming it's even worse for us ladies who have never had kids, never had to get biopsies for cervical cancer, etc. Ugh. Lucky for me, I do yoga occasionally and my doctor has a very calming and reassuring voice. She suggested I take some deep breaths and relax my muscles (relaxing those muscles makes it MUCH easier). She even asked if I did yoga because mosts people don't have the mental power to detach a little bit and breath/relax like that. I'm not sure exactly the order of things that happened after that, even though she told me step by step what she was doing. I just kind of blanked out and focused on my breathing the rest of the time. The rest was just some more painful pinching and VERY bad cramping. Yes, it hurt very badly, but it was a fairly quick procedure.

I took 600 mg of ibuprofen about 45 minutes before my appointment as instructed by my doctor. I also got my Xanax prescription refilled just because I'm a complete wimp and knew I would basically have a panic attack and back out if I didn't take it. It also helped my muscles relax. I must say it helped tremendously. Obviously don't take a prescription that isn't yours; ask your doctor first and see if that's an option for you. 

Originally, I had a deal with my boyfriend that he had to come with me for moral support. We live within walking distance of my doctor, so we would have walked. It just so happened that my mom wanted to get some food in me before my appointment and also drove me and dropped me off home after the appointment. I can definitely say I'm glad she was able to drive me back because I was cramping WAY too hard to be able to walk all the way back. And it started raining right when I got done, of course! 

My appointment was at 2pm, I got back home around 3:30. The cramps when I got home were so bad. I usually don't have bad cramps when I get my period anyway, so it may have just been me adjusting to the new feeling. I still have very bad cramps right now (3:30 am!), but not as bad as earlier. I've been laying down, keeping up with my ibuprofen taking, and keeping a warm towel over myself to ease the cramps. I guess it's worth it so far? I'm not bleeding like everyone has been saying, but maybe that will come tomorrow. We shall see! 

Again, sorry for the TMI. If you have any questions feel free to comment or email me, I'll be glad to respond!

Update: I did indeed bleed like I had my period for a few days after the insertion, and have been spotting off an on since. The spotting is really nothing though, because it's REALLY light spotting. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Adobe Illustrator and I Don't Get Along

I've had Adobe Illustrator for a while now, and I'm still really now sure what I'm doing with it. Maybe I'm just not cut out for graphic design type things, but I'd really like to know how to use it better than I already am. I know the pen tool is the holy grail of Illustrator. So far the only thing I've been able to do is trace one of my drawings with the pen tool.

Eh, I guess I could make a coloring book? My drawing was crappy to begin with so that doesn't help me very much :P

Friday, March 14, 2014

What Book Should I Read?

You may have noticed in my side bar I have In Cold Blood by Truman Capote for what seems like an eternity now. I intend on finishing in soon, I hope. I have a little pile of books sitting on my desk that are unread. That's where you all come in! Choose one, or recommend another that you think stomps all of these books out of the water.

1. A Dog's Purpose by B. Bruce Cameron
Description: Those is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog's Purpose touches on the universal quest for an aster to life's most basic question: Why are we here?"
     Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of eight-year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. 
     But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again. Bailey wonders--will he ever find his purpose? 
     Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautiful crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose

2. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Description: Jonas's world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the community. 
     When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive a special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it's time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. 

3. Tinkers by Paul Harding
Description: An old man lies dying. As time collapses into memory, he travels deep into his past where his is reunited with his father and relives the wonder and pain of his impoverished New England youth. At once heartbreaking and life affirming Tinkers is an elegiac meditation on love, loss, and the fierce beauty of nature. 
**Disclaimer-I really did try to read this book, but the structures of the sentences and paragraphs drove me insane. I did find it quite boring, but if it's recommended by a lot of you, I'll give it a shot again. 

4. The Wild Things by Dave Eggers
Description: Max is a rambunctious eight-year-old whose world is changing around him: His father is absent, his mother is increasingly distracted, and his teenage sister has outgrown him. Sad and angry, Max dons his wolf suit and makes terrible, ruinous mischief, flooding his sister's room and driving his mother half-crazy. Convinced his family doesn't want him anymore, Max flees home, finds a boat and sails away. Arriving on and island, he meets strange and giant creatures who rage and break things, who trample and scream. These beasts do everything Max feels inside, and so, Max appoints himself their king. Here, on a magnificent adventure with these funny and complex monsters, Max can be the wilds thing of all. 

5. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Description: In understanding successful people, we have come to focus far too much on their intelligence and ambition and personality traits. Instead Malcolm Gladwell argues in Outliers, we should look at the world that surrounds the successful -- their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing. Along the way, Gladwell reveals what the Beatles and Bill Gates have in common, the reason you've never heard of the smartest man in the world, why almost no star hockey players are born in the fall, and why, when it comes to plane crashes, where the pilots are born matters as much as how well they are trained. 
     The lives of outliers -- people whose achievements fall outside normal experience -- follow a peculiar and unexpected logic, and in uncovering that logic, Gladwell presents a fascinating and provocative blueprint for making the most of human potential. 

6. Half the Sky by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuNdunn
Description: From the first married couple to win a Pulitzer Prize for journalism, here is a passionate call to arms against the oppression of women around the globe -- "the central moral challenge" of our time. Through inspiring stories of extraordinary women, Kristof and WuDunn show that the most effective way to fight global poverty is to unless the potential of women. They also offer an uplifting do-it-yourself tool kit for those who want to help. 

7. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Description: Ponyboy can count on his brothers. And on his friends. But not on much else besides the trouble with the Socs, a vicious gang of rich kids whose idea of a good time is beating up "greasers" like Ponyboy. At least he knows what to expect -- until the night someone takes things too far. 

P.S. I need new blogs to follow, some on my sidebar don't exist anymore :( 
If you have any recommendations or want me to check out your blog let me know! 
Love you all, sorry again I'm probably the slackest blogger ever.