Tuesday, April 22, 2014

PCOS -my acne journey

It is very difficult for me to put myself out there in this way. In person (specifically one-on-one), I'm very outgoing and can talk about PCOS, my acne, weight loss and gain etc...but really, my acne has always been a very embarrassing thing for me. There have been times I've brought it up just because I felt like it was an elephant in the room, and some of those times (as I supposed) the person was dying to give me "advice" on what to do for my skin. "Wash it every day!" they'd say. Better yet, they'd suggest I put toothpaste on it because the one time they had a pimple it dried it right up. Apparently, if you don't have acne and never have had it, you are the ultimate authority on problem skin, but I digress.
Check out beside my nose, to the right of my mouth, on my chin, and underneath my chin. This is a horrid pic someone tried to take of me that I must have forgotten to delete from my camera.

I was somewhat relieved when I found out PCOS aka hormone imbalance was the cause of mine. It gave me a seen enemy to fight. I didn't know yet how to fight it, or how long the road would be, but it was a starting point. I was ready to arm myself with info. Of course the first thing I did was ask my doctor. She told me to take birth control for the hormones to balance, eat-at most- two desserts a week and drink only water (part of PCOS is insulin resistance hence the "no sweets".) She said that if that didn't work she had some more drugs to throw my way. I asked if there were something natural I could do, and she said no. She told me that the birth control were gonna be something I did for the rest of my life, because there is no cure for PCOS. I was not happy with this, but decided to see what happened with the birth control. I took it for a few months, but I wasn't okay with the havoc it wreaked on my body and stopped.
I began to research and am now on two supplements, and have changed the way I eat as well as the way I care for my face. My breakouts have diminished, but not completely stopped; at least now it's only about once a month that I get a breakout. Years of acne have resulted in hyper-pigmentation that is so hard to get rid of. I would like to help others who struggle with this. It's not fun. It can really mess up your self-esteem. If you don't think you have someone in your corner cheering you on, think again; I would be happy to. Here are pictures of me now. I took close-up pictures with good lighting to show the dark marks on my face.
Haha, I was so busy making sure I got clear selfies without moving that I forgot to look pleasant. My eyes look completely glazed over. 

There is no way I can completely go over all of this in one post, so some of it will have to be saved for later. Feel free to contact me if you just want to talk about PCOS and acne, or if you have questions. 
Oh and I almost forgot...I started this conversation in a previous blog post. Find it here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Beginners Guide to Thrift Store Shopping

Last week my mom sent me to go shopping for my younger sisters. I went thrifting...and while I was out I thought, "I really rock at this! What I need to do is write a beginners guide to thrift store shopping!" Actually, I was taking pictures in my mind also, but I didn't take them on my camera so it doesn't matter. Let's begin!

1. Chronicle what you have in your closet that needs a match or know what you want in generalThe best way to do this for the first part, is to take pictures using a camera OR your phone. I pull out whatever I need a match for, and then snap a picture and then stick the camera or phone in my purse. If you're just looking for something specific that isn't a match for anything, make a list! You don't want to come home to realize that you never even looked for those vintage earrings!
2. Dress wellWear a top that's not too loose. Some thrift stores don't even have fitting rooms so a tank top or fitted t-shirt is best. On bottom I find it best to wear a skirt preferably with an elastic waist and plenty of flare. I like these because you can easily slip it off or even slip things on underneath it with minimal time wasted. Clearly I was thinking of chicks here, but generally guys don't go through as much when shopping because the sizes are much less complicated. Not only that, but they don't wear clothes that take ten years to remove.
3. Take your allergy meds. I put this here for laughs, but on the other hand, I have dust allergies and I'll itch and sneeze the entire day if I forget to take my allergy pill. 
4. Be focused. Thrift stores are not the same places they were when I was a child. They are-because they still have some of those same clothes lol-but they're not. Now, it's not unusual to see clothes at least sloppily color coordinated, and arranged by type. Don't go through all the shirts if you specifically want a pink one, and if you're looking for a vest, come away from the pants! 
5. Get dirty. Sometimes treasures are hidden. If you're looking for a perfect vintage suitcase, don't be afraid to pull out a few and see if there is one underneath. In second-hand shops, it's the norm for things to be piled up on top of each other. The pros also use this handy knowledge to hide things to come back for if they can't find it cheaper elsewhere. 
6. Be picky. Remember where you are. Check for tears, stains that may not come out, and missing components to items. If you're okay with sewing on that button or that tear at the seam, go for it! If not. Leave it.
7. Keep your eyes open. If you want to move on to pro status, know what tags are a percentage off for the day and specifically pick up items under that color. Victory will be all the sweeter for your work. 
8. Take a second glance. There are times when you see a shirt and it looks "ehhh" on first glance...Occasionally on second glance it looks better. Once in awhile try on things that you're unsure of and come out of your comfort zone. I've done it before and got compliments all over the place :-)

I hope this was helpful to you! Are there any tips I left out that you'd like to add? Let me know in the comments! 

Elisabeth Arona

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Childhood and old journals

So. I really have to get up the nerve to do this because it is so embarrassing, and yet sorta cute (if I may say so myself.) I found a journal entry from when I was about ten years old...I took a picture of it just below for you to read. Honestly, I was laughing and cringing at the same time.

Foreword: On the page before it, I was saying that mom had told me we were going walking around the block, and I didn't want to, this was next...
By the way, mom ALWAYS minded if I didn't make my bed. I was bonkers to write this down as evidence.
Your turn! Pleeeease tell me I'm not the only one with about ten childhood journals! This was semi-normal, right? Clue me in in the comments.

Elisabeth Arona

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

New vintage shopper

I've finally come to a conclusion. I must learn how to buy vintage. Surely there is a special technique that only certain people can know though, right?
I did a quick google search on how to identify authentic vintage and out I went to the thrift store. My goal? To find some cute vintage items to sell in my Etsy shop. You see, I have tons of ideas for sewing, but I also get caught up in the alterations, the custom orders, and just my own mind (wow that sounds bad). My main thought process is to make mostly vintage style clothes-very feminine-and even some maternity, but these things take time. So, here it is, my birthday and mom blesses me with her presence and goes with me to the thrift store down the street.
I specifically skipped Goodwill, just because I didn't want a place that charges the same for all like products (i.e. all skirts for 4.96, all books 1.00) and instead shop where all things were individually priced. It seemed more like a treasure hunt that way.
I took all the tips I learned from the internet, and began my search in the dresses. I was amazed that there were so many to choose from. I did use my search engine from my phone also to look up specific brands etc. I ended up buying only one dress though, a size 14 that my mom said they called a "shift dress" when she used to wear them. Honestly I was a bit nervous as a newbie buyer (although long-time admirer) of vintage and didn't want a bunch of stuff that I personally wouldn't wear that I'm trying to sell. As I paid a hefty $2 for my dress (it was like the cheapest dress there) the cashier remarked on how cute it was.
I got it home and tried it on to take pictures in it and realized that I must keep it. It is perfection-remember this is all in the eye of the beholder. I'm on a weight loss journey, and it's a teeny bit snug, but it looks great on my dress form which is a little less well-endowed in some areas than me. 
What are your thoughts? Do you have suggestions as a seasoned vintage shopper? 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kitchen pet peeves

Where there is a family living together in a house, there are some things done in the kitchen that drives the one semi-sane person in the family a little crazy. Here are my kitchen pet peeves:

  1. When there is a food or beverage in our home, it doesn't matter who eats the majority of it...whoever eats the last of it, is the one who is said to have "eaten it" and are given the stink eye. I think that's so lame. This is where the second pet peeve comes in.
  2. You grab the family sized bag of potato chips out of the pantry only to look inside and see that there is hardly a handful of crumbs. This is a tactic to keep people from saying that "all" the chips were eaten by whoever had the last helping. Now, you have to decide whether to eat them and take the fall or leave them and make someone else mad. 
  3. Now, if I were going to go with only three, this would be the last. Empty containers posing as full ones. Why are there always cracker boxes with no more crackers? Egg cartons with no eggs? Was it that hard to throw them in the compactor or trash? 
  4. Covering Tupperware containers with saran wrap is like a sin in my book. Either find the top for the container, use foil to cover it, or put it in a container the plastic wrap will really stick to!
  5. Picking the best part out of any dish. Unlike some people, I enjoy leftovers; however, I don't enjoy going to eat a dish that is supposed to have rice, sausage and pineapples in it, and finding only rice. 
So okay, I let that out. Tell me: What are your kitchen/food pet peeves?

Elisabeth Arona

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Iced in and okay

Icy trees are so beautiful!

I'm sure you've heard about all the complaints you care to about Georgia weather huh? My family has a lot to be thankful for. Our power didn't go out for the first (a couple weeks ago) or second (yesterday) storm! We were holed up here in the house "enjoying" each other's company. I just wanted to show a few little pictures of what the outdoors looks like.
The deck looked so pretty, I didn't step out on it though.

Monnie enjoying the outdoors
Monnie and Nece made dinner last night-chili-and as usual managed to argue and/or sing the whole entire time. They definitely get props for multitasking. Dad has worm beds downstairs, yes, it's basically what it sounds like. He has containers of dirt with worms in them, he feeds them and hangs out with them. "Bonding with the worms" is the phrase I use when anyone asks where he's at. Mom spent a lot of our "iced-in" time cross-stitching and reading when she wasn't on her cleaning spree. I managed to alter a pattern that I hope to have available soon and did some piano practicing. Hey, please check out IG to keep up with me (link below.) 


Enjoy the weather y'all!

Elisabeth Arona

Monday, January 6, 2014

Dear Achoo...

New year new you, right?
Well, I wish my cat had that mentality. She is precious, and I love her to death, but she could use some improvement. Her name is Achoo (real imaginative huh?) because I am allergic to cats. My allergy doctor told me it's fine that I get a cat as long as it is outdoors and I wash my hands after loving on her. So, I've written an open letter to this darling cat with some words of advice. 

Dear Achoo, 
You know I love you, but sometime I get really irritated when you run out to meet the car like a dog. I used to think it was cute, but when you roll over onto your back directly in front of the car I just want to scream. I'm glad you found a new friend next door, but money doesn't grow on trees so you should stop letting her eat your food. While we're on the subject of food, dad says you shouldn't have six meals a day no matter how much you beg. He thinks you're getting plump. Don't be hurt, but I did notice you've rounded out some too, it looks good on you though! Um, on the subject of begging, why is it you hear me in the mud room and start meowing? It's so hard to resist feeding you for the seventh time
I also think that you should reconsider how you go in and out of the garage. There is no need to meow at the door, and then when you're let in you run through the house and meow at another door to be let out. You could just walk around to the backyard the normal outdoor animal way. I feel like it's a new year, and you should consider changing these few little things. Either way I will always love you.