All posts by Danielle

Bossy & I know it, not afraid to show it.

Helllloooo there readers…any of them I have left, after all this erratic posting! I’m sorry. I just really don’t like writing just to put something up. I have to find something really moving or inspiring or something that fires me up to write. I know- so dramatic of me. I would just rather write about stuff that I think is cool or interesting, or think I would like to know/read about- rather than just tell you what I did over the weekend (no disrespect to any bloggers that like to do that, just not my cup of proverbial tea).

Anyways, I got something for you today. Cause it’s Friday, it’s going to be 60 today and well, I found something to annoy me enough to write about it.


Now we will play a short round of Mad libs (with my own personal twist) to introduce today’s topic. Just pick one of the words in the parenthesis to fill in the blanks.
THIS DAMN BAN BOSSY ________ (campaign, load of crap) IS ________ (really really great, annoying) AND I’M GLAD IT DIDN’T (come off as whining, totally came off as whining and didn’t catch on too much). 

Let’s start with this. I know I’m a little late on the whole topic- everyone wore their shirts and tweeted their tweets last week sometime. But it just took  me a while to marinate before I decided how absolutely pathetic and useless this really was. If you haven’t read up on it, look here or here.

Ok- so Sheryl Sandberg (Currently the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, went to Harvard, and was once the Chief of Staff for the US Secretary of Treasury) is all up in arms because one of her teachers in high school called her “bossy” and it hurt her feelings. I’m sure there’s a bit more to it than that- but what it comes down to is she is, and probably always has been an empowered woman who got shit done. I don’t think there’s a need to apologize, be ashamed of it, or let critics call you a name because of it that hurts your feelings so deeply. Apparently someone stepped on her toes and she got mad and started a campaign. Because that’s what powerful people do. They campaign. Or at least that’s what it seems like from House of Cards.

I think there is a huge misconception here. I think people are forgetting a small detail. You know, that fact that there is a huge difference between being a leader and being bossy. Leaders motivate, inspire, and energize their team. And they look at their “workers” as that, a team. Bossy people suck the life out of people, demand, and are rarely satisfied. And look at their “workers” as peons. It’s the concept of micro-management, versus giving someone a job and letting them figure out how to get it done.


Another flaw I find in this campaign is it’s posed as if the word “bossy” is gender specific. That boys are never, or can never be called “bossy”- instead they are viewed as leaders. Most people who have “Bosses” instead of “Leaders” (male or female) working over them-think their bosses are exactly that- bossy, jerks, arrogant, etc. And rightfully, so. The flaw is in the leadership, not the word.


Overall, I just think this makes women as a whole look weak, whiny, and pathetic. Like we have such hurt feelings over what people say about us. Or that it truly attacks the foundation of our equality or something. I think there are two thoughts that should flow through our minds if we are referred to as “bossy”.
1) What am I doing wrong?
2) What am I doing right?
‘Cuz #hatersgunnahate- amiright?


But instead Sheryl’s tactic is to start a campaign and get the Girl Scouts involved (And don’t tell me those Girl Scouts aren’t a little pushy when they’re peddling those Tagalongs outside the grocery store which you’re so desperately trying not to buy because you’ll eat the whole box in one sitting) anyways this campaign is centered around hurt feelings and how degrading a word is. A word that I (like most people) probably haven’t used since I was in the sandbox- and for those of us who haven’t caught up yet- it’s time to leave the sandbox. As for the young girls and future leaders she’s trying to impact- A) They don’t even care enough, and first chance some girl in middle school is mean to her- she’s going to call her bossy, or something worse. B) it’s part of growing up, you get picked on (note: getting picked on is different than being bullied) and it teaches you to have a thicker skin C) Lead by example. Don’t teach girls to complain over a word- teach them the essence of a better word so they won’t be called the negative word you dislike. AKA- RISE ABOVE IT.

no excuses

I mean, I’m not saying words don’t hurt or are never degrading- but come on…”bossy”? What gets me most is she’s quoted having said; “I was called bossy when I was in ninth grade,” Sandberg recalled. “My teacher took my best friend Mindy aside and she said, ‘You shouldn’t be friends with Sheryl. She’s bossy.’ And that hurt.”


I would bet you ten bucks and a beer/shot combo that the teacher that said this- was a woman. And here in lies the biggest problem. I think more often than we’d like to admit- women are the ones playing the victim, and holding ourselves/each other back or pushing each other down. While I don’t neglect that women make 77¢ to a man’s dollar, and that women make up only 4.6% of the Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 company CEO positions either. However, as unfortunate as it is, big things take big time- and I think women have just as much to learn about empowerment and empowering one another, as men do.


I think equality is important, rather- imperative in our society, I just don’t think stomping out a word is how we achieve that. Women, fist-to-hip, tapping our toes, finger wagging, demanding people not call us bossy is the exact picture of bossy we are “fighting”.


Instead- why not focus on building up and encouraging women who lead with strength, grace, tenacity, and energy. Instead of women who feel they have something to compensate for, who are everything you would both dread and expect them to be.


Or, maybe for a minute- be proud someone called you bossy at all. Maybe you know what’s going on ahead of everyone else, and have the voice and courage to call it out- and make things happen. I don’t think bossy is always bad. It’s all in the delivery.



d4302e51eb3bf26a3fa4de21ed6a6cef                             (I would just like to had three words to the end of this quote “or are becoming”)
Also, for a way better/longer version of this post- read Bossypants by Tina Fey. You can thank me later.

Spring is coming!!!

So it was great last week when it was 50 degrees and sunny and we were all happy- and then we got that fun little snow dusting a day later. I think winter is just trying to hold on for dear life and remind us that technically it’s still her reign for another week. #RUDE


BUT just because the weather is absolutely bi-polar, let’s not let that stop us from enjoying some (maybe premature) excitement about it warming up, because Spring is coming, and so is something else- by the same name.

Spring is a new rewards program which keeps track of your rewards through your credit/debit card instead of having to print or remember to use your vouchers. Not to mention you won’t be that friend who is always whipping out the discount voucher when it’s time to pay, it’s a new more discreet way to get the discount you want, without looking like the crazy coupon lady in front of you at Jewel. If you have a reward for a certain place and you use the credit or debit card you have hooked up to your Spring account it will automatically give you the reward credit to your chosen debit/credit account. They have a pretty big list of participating retailers which I’m sure will keep expanding as it catches on as well.

My first reward with them is a $10 gift to Taverna 750 which I am very excited to use. I’ll be sure to do a follow up post with my review of Taverna and the Spring system. If you are curious about trying Spring out for yourself, the perfect time would be their March 20th pop up events around the city. If you’d like to see the list of participating vendors click here.


And a big thanks to Chicago Blogger Network for setting this up!


Cuz what else would a blogger do at 3AM?!

You know when you wake up wide awake in the middle of the night you suddenly have the clearest train of thought ever: did I switch the laundry? Did I pay that bill? I should check my passport…I think it’s expired. You think of all the things your brain won’t let you remember during waking hours but seems to find extraordinarily important at 3 AM. Your to do list is steadily growing, and you might as well start on it now since you can’t sleep. Except that everyone else is tucked in and cozily dreaming like you should be.

Speaking of 3 AM- I’m not a very superstitious person, but when you wake up anywhere from 2:59:59-3:59:59 AM- it is automatically 25% more creepy. I mean come on, witching hour- have you ever watched any horror movie, ever? Next thing you know your mind wants to remind you of all things haunted/demon possessed, Chucky and his creepy ass laugh, the murderer that’s inevitably hiding in your shower- and why is that shadow over there moving towards me? Or how you can’t quite remember if you locked the front door. You break out in a cold sweat and start singing lullabies to yourself; “Jesus loves me…this I..”
Suddenly your spidey sense hearing kicks in- ‘What was that? Just the heat kicking on? No- it’s never that loud. Maybe just the wind? Right, ok- the wind.’ 45 seconds pass- “Ok, no but seriously-what was THAT?!’

Smash your eyes shut determined to sleep- after all the alarm is going to go off in what will feel like an hour. Then you’re sweating- literally, so off the blankets go- except for on your feet, those can’t be uncovered-the ghosts like drag you out of bed by your feet and if they’re covered they can’t (clearly- it’s like a rule or something). Then, .37 seconds later your leg is freezing. Back under the covers. And why does the cold side of the pillow not stay cold for as long as it takes to get cold again?

And now you’re realizing you’re uncomfortable so you roll over- but that’s not working either. Back the other way, eyes shut. Starting counting sheep, thinking about something boring and will yourself to fall asleep. Eventually, you get so annoyed you find yourself lowering the brightness on your iPhone screen because its about as bright as staring into the sun, and start writing a blog post- because what else should you do at 4:19 AM when you can’t sleep and there’s a murder in your shower, a ghost in the corner, and damn it- you know your passport’s expired.

To understand more of my predicament check this Buzzfeed article out. Or just be honest with yourself (and me) and tell me what lurks in your shower at 3 AM!

Or these:



















{Sweet Dreams tonight kiddos!}

And the Award Goes to…

Warning: This post is real long, anything in italics are transcripts of speeches which have the videos linked so you can watch them instead of read them, or read instead of watch. Your call.

Happy Day After the Oscars Day! While I thought most of the fashion was a total snooze fest (could there be any more nude/tan/cream beaded dresses in one place ever? Probably not, but a close second would be the “Misses” department at Lord & Taylor. I vote P!nk, Amy Adams, Charlize Theron, and Lupita Nyong’o (sans the headband) as best dressed. Honorary mention to Jlaw and Kate Hudson also.


Not surprisingly, Ellen was incredible- I mean the woman got pizza delivered. You automatically win my vote if you get pizza involved in the situation. 

Best speeches hair speeches were Jared Leto and Matthew McConaughey. Both of which have been criticized.

Which leads me to my whole shebang here (brace yourselves- I just jump right in).
We blame Hollywood for so much. For being fake, cynical, shallow and scandalous. And we love it (no matter how much we say we don’t we do- that’s why it is a multi-billion dollar industry). We subscribe to fashion magazines, follow our favorite celebrities on any and all social media outlets, and watch every second of footage on them- be it the in films, on the news, etc. Hollywood ends up as our scape-goat for our low self-esteem, our poor body image, for giving us false expectations about just about every aspect of life. For dehumanizing people, for manipulating situations or ideas, and working away at our moral fiber as a society.

But does art imitate life or vice versa (Oscar Wilde said:”Life imitates Art far more than Art imitates Life”- I like that). As grown  adults can we honestly say that a stranger, which is just merely playing a role, and doing their job has affected us and our behavior? That someone we have never met has put such a mark on our lives that we will conduct ourselves differently from that moment forward?

I think the answer, whether we’d like to admit it or not is- yes.

We pick up trends- habits even, we start saying phrases (i.e. Yolo, “That’s what she said…” for example), and every once in a while our opinions can be swayed by a celebrity in or out of character. They sneak in ever so subtly and eventually shape a part of our sense of humor, turn of phase, and the way we respond to things.

Do I think this is all bad? No. I think art saves us, shapes us, and refreshes us. I think we desire to see other human experiences brought to life by strangers to know we aren’t alone. I think we liked to be moved by things that are outside of ourselves, and yet still so close.

And this is where I want to talk about Matthew McConaughey’s acceptance speech from last night. It.was.awesome.  Here’s the video and below is the text of it.

86th Annual Academy Awards - Show
“Thank you. Thank you to the academy for this — all 6000 members. Thank you to the other nominees. All these performances were impeccable, in my opinion; I didn’t see a false note anywhere. I want to thank [‘Dallas Buyers Club’ director] Jean-Marc Vallee, [co-stars] Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner, who I worked with daily.”There are three things that I need each day. One of them is something to look up to, another is something to look forward to, and another is someone to chase. Now, first off, I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He has graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my hand or any other human hand. He has shown me that it’s a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. In the words of the late Charlie Laughton, ‘When you got God, you got a friend, and that friend is you.'”To my family, that’s who I look forward to, to my father, who I know is up there with a big pot of gumbo, and a lemon meringue pie, and he’s probably in his underwear, and he’s got a cold can of Miller Lite and he’s dancing. To you, dad, you taught me what it means to be a man. To my mother, who is here tonight, who taught me and my two brothers, demanded that we respect ourselves, and what we in turn learned is then we were better able to respect others. To my wife, Camilla, and my kids, Levi, Vita, and Mr. Stone, the courage and significance you give me every day I go out the door is unparalleled. You are the four people in my life that I want to make the most proud.”And to my hero, that’s who I chase. When I was 15 years old I had a very important person in my life ask me who was my hero, and I said ‘I don’t know. I gotta think about that, give me a few weeks.’ And I come back two weeks later, and they said ‘Who’s your hero?’ and I said, ‘You know, I thought about it. It’s me in 10 years. So I turn 25 ten years later, and that same person asked me ‘Are you your hero?’ and I was like, ‘Not even close.’ And she said ‘Why not?’ and I said, ‘My hero is me at 35.’ So every day, every week, every month, every year of my life, my hero is always 10 years away. I’m never going to attain that, I know I’m not. That keeps me the somebody to keep on chasing.

“So to any of us, whatever those things are, whatever we look forward to, and whoever it is we’re chasin’, to that I say Amen. To that I say, all right, all right, all right. To that I say just keep livin’.”

I literally jumped off my couch with the “Alright, alright, alright”. And I loved this speech. I love the genuineness, the candor, and the humility he demonstrated. I’ve read a few articles criticizing him, saying his speech was rambling, confusing, self-centered, or arrogant. A number of people were angry he “brought God into it”. And to this I say- “I think you watched a different speech” or “You’re nuts”. Some people criticized how he “called himself is own hero”. I think there was an immense amount of wisdom to that sentiment- aren’t we all striving to be a better version of who we are?

better than












ONCE in a while, when the veneer of Hollywood’s glamour and glitz starts to crack it is incredibly refreshing to see the humanness below the surface. If Mr. McSexy McConaughey wants to thank/mention God, his family, and his deceased father in his speech- well I’ll be damned, have at it. Because everyone- even Celebs are allowed to be, and should be much more welcomed to be human for a minute. If at the pinnacle of his career- he wants to spend three minutes thanking those who have got him where he is, I think he should. A la Richard Sherman and his championship post-game freak out- which everyone heavily criticized (including myself, until I read up on it a little more).

Overall, I think we spend so long idolizing these people as “stars” and rob them of the humanness they deserve (PS- this is not a “I feel sorry for famous people” post, just hear me out). Like all the people who criticized J-Law’s [second] Oscars fall as a publicity stunt or play to get attention. And to those people I say- “Why so cynical?”. So what she has two left feet?

I love Ashton Kutcher’s speech at the Teen Choice Awards from late last year.

“Um, First of all, um, I don’t have a career without you guys. I don’t getta do any of the things I getta do without you. Um you know, I thought that uh, it might be interesting.. You know In Hollywood and in the industry and the stuff we do, there’s a lot of like insider secrets to keeping your career going, and a lot of insider secrets to making things tick. And I feel like a fraud.

(PS- why is he saying “getta”- must be an Iowa thing)

My name is actually not even Ashton. Ashton is my middle name. My first name’s Chris. It always has been. It got changed when I was like 19 and I became an actor, but there are some really amazing things that I learned when I was Chris, and I wanted to share those things with you guys because I think it’s helped me be here today. So, it’s really 3 things. The first thing is about opportunity. The second thing is about being sexy. And the third thing is about living life. 
So first opportunity. I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13 I had my first job with my Dad carrying shingles up to the roof, and then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant, and then I got a job in a grocery store deli, and then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job, and every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.
Number two. Being sexy. The sexiest thing in the entire world, is being really smart. And being thoughtful. And being generous. Everything else is crap, I promise you. It’s just crap that people try to sell to you to make you feel like less, so don’t buy it. Be smart, be thoughtful, and be generous.
The third thing is something that I just re-learned when I was making this movie about Steve Jobs. And Steve Jobs said when you grow up you tend to get told that the world is the way that it is, and that your life is to live your life inside the world and try not to get in too much trouble, and maybe get an education and get a job and make some money and have a family, but life can be a lot broader than that when you realize one simple thing, and that is that everything around us that we call life was made up by people who are no smarter than you, and you can build your own things, you can build your own life that other people can live in. So build a life. Don’t live one, build one. Find your opportunities, and always be sexy. I love you guys.”

Thank God for a man in Hollywood addressing sex appeal (and it has nothing to do with appearance), hard work, and humility.

I love Seth Rogen for his speech at a Congressional Hearing earlier last week about Alzheimers- which is incredibly personal and hilarious.

SETH ROGEN: “Thank you very much for having me, Mr. Chairman, ranking member [Jerry] Moran and the members of the subcommittee. Thank you for the opportunity to testify today and for the opportunity for me to be called an expert in something, ’cause that’s cool. I don’t know if you know who I am at all — you told me you never saw ‘Knocked Up,’ Chairman, so [spectators laugh] it’s a little insulting.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know …”
SETH ROGEN: “It’s very important, guys.”
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): “I want the record to know, this is the first time, I will wager, this is the first time in any Congressional hearing in history that the words ‘Knocked Up’ have ever been used.”
SETH ROGEN: [Laughs] “Oy. You’re not gonna like the rest of this, then. [Senators laugh] First, I should answer the question I assume many of you are asking — yes, I’m aware this has nothing to do with the legalization of marijuana. In fact, if you can believe it, this concerns something that I find even more important.”
“I started dating my wife Lauren nine years ago when her mother was almost 54 years old. The first time I met her parents, being the mensch (Yiddish word for “person of integrity) that I am, I was excited to spend time with them and make Lauren thing I was the type of guy she should continue dating. It was this trip, the first time I met my now-mother-in-law, that Lauren first admitted to herself and then to me that something was off with her mother.”
“I guess the clues were, unfortunately, easy to spot since both of Lauren’s mother’s parents had Alzheimer’s disease. Soon after this trip, at 55 years old, Lauren’s mother was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s.”
“Now, at this point, my impression of Alzheimer’s was probably was I assume most people’s impression is — I thought it was something only, like, really, really old people got and I thought the way the disease primarily showed itself was in the form of forgotten keys, wearing mismatched shoes and being asked the same question over and over. This period, which was the only way I’d seen Alzheimer’s displayed in movies or television, lasted a few years for Lauren’s mom. After that, however, is when I saw the real, ugly truth of the disease.”
“After forgetting who she and her loved ones were, my mother-in-law, a teacher for 35 years, then forgot how to speak, feed herself, dress herself and go to the bathroom herself — all by the age of 60. Lauren’s father and a team of caregivers dedicate their lives to letting my mother-in-law be as comfortable as she can be. They would love to do more but can’t because, as you’ve heard, unlike any of the other top 10 causes of death in America, there’s no way to prevent, cure or even slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.”
“Another thing I didn’t realize until I was personally affected was the shame and stigma associated with the disease. It was before I was born, but I’m told of a time when cancer had a stigma that people were ashamed by. Celebrities and other public figures that were stricken would hide, rather than be voices of hope for people in similar situations, and although it’s turning, this is currently where we are largely at with Alzheimer’s disease, it seems like.”
“And it’s because of this lack of hope and shameful stigma that my wife, some friends and myself decided to actually try and do something to change the situation.”
“We started Hilarity For Charity. Hilarity For Charity is a fund we have, as a part of the Alzheimer’s Association, to raise money to help families struggling with Alzheimer’s and support cutting-edge research. That’s right, the situation is so dire that it caused me — a lazy, self-involved, generally self-medicated man-child — to start an entire charity organization.”
“It was through this that we felt we weren’t just complaining there was nothing to be done, but actively taking steps to do something. Instead of being disappointed that young people were so misinformed about the reality of the disease, we’ve started to educate them. We recently started a college program that allows university students to hold their own Hilary For Charity events, and in the months since it started, 18 schools nationwide had signed up to hold events.”
“The fact that we actually got college students to stop playing video games and volunteer their time is a huge accomplishment, especially considering both Xbox One and Playstation 4 came out this year — I’m sure these people know what I’m talking about [laughs].”
“I came here today for a few reasons. One, I’m a huge ‘House of Cards’ fan. [Senators laugh] Just marathoned the whole thing. Had to be here. Two, is to say people need more help. I’ve personally seen the massive amount of financial strain this disease causes and if the American people ever decide to reject genitalia-driven comedy, I will no longer be able to afford it. Please don’t.”
“Therefore, I can’t begin to imagine how people with more limited incomes are dealing with this. As you’ve also heard, studies show that Alzheimer’s and related dementia is the most costly condition in the United States. Yes, it’s more costly than heart disease in a country where, for $1.29, you can get a taco made out of Doritos. They’re delicious but they’re not healthy.”
“While deaths from other major diseases, like heart disease, HIV and strokes continue to decline, deaths from Alzheimer’s have increased almost 70 percent in the last 15 years. Over five million Americans have Alzheimer’s and at this rate, in 35 years, as many as 16 million will have the disease.”
“The third reason I’m here, simply, is to show people that they’re not alone. So few people share their personal story, so few people have something to relate to. I know that if me and my wife saw someone like me talking about this, it would probably make us feel a little less alone.”
“Americans whisper the word ‘Alzheimer’s’ because their government whispers the word ‘Alzheimer’s,’ and although a whisper is better than silence that the Alzheimer’s community has been facing for decades, it’s still not enough. It needs to be yelled and screamed to the point that it finally gets the attention and the funding that it deserves and needs.”
“I dream of a day when my charity is no longer necessary and I can go back to being the lazy, self-involved man-child I was meant to be. People look to their government for hope and I ask that when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, you continue to take more steps to provide some more. I would like to thank the committee again for the opportunity to share my story and to voice my whole-hearted support for the continuing work that pursues a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. Thank you very much.” [Applause]
SENATOR TOM HARKIN (D-IA): [Clapping] “Thank you Mr. Rogen, that was great. That was very, very good. Thank you, thank you.”


And while I know there are so many celebs that do great humanitarian things- I love watching them in the limelight taking those moments to be human, to show support for causes, and to call people/organizations onto the red carpet.

And to answer your questions- no, I do not like Angelina Jolie- I don’t care how many starving babies she adopts. #homewrecker

And Bono gets on my nerves too. #takeyoursunglassesoff #youreinside

All of this to say- cheers to the shreds of beauty we find in Hollywood, celebrity, and fame.

And the award goes to…. calling it like it is.

#WCBC Shops LM

Today I’m writing my first ever ‘Fashion Post’ about a piece I bought at an event. Just an FYI- This is a sponsored post. I did/can receive compensation from Langford Market in exchange for blogging about the brand. However, all of this was inspired by true/real events

So do you remember last week before I crawled into a hole and disappeared from bloggy world how I talked about going to a shopping event at Langford Market with Windy City Blogger Collective?

So, here’s the scoop. I’m going to start this story with something funny- and somewhat embarrassing because that will make up for my awkward “modeling” photos later in this post.

So I got off work and was heading downtown to the shopping event which was in Lincoln Park. I knew the general area where the store was, but wasn’t 100% sure as I had never been. Welp, I just spoke to my trusted friend Siri- who I have become newly obsessed with since getting the new Iphone. I’ve never had a Siri before. Well, me and Siri are now in a fight because when I asked her to take me to Langford, she took me to what used to be Langford. Which now looks something like this: langarm

Actually, at 6 PM on a really cold night- it looks a lot less appealing. Especially after paying for parking, and trying to jump the giant snow mounds in flats (with no socks) to get to the meter box (AKA- parking highway robbery box). So basically, Siri betrayed me and we aren’t friends anymore. After some further research, I found the proper address and ended up at the right place.

Which, by the way- is a delightful little treasure. The event was a lot of fun, and I met a few very nice girls which is always a bonus!

P.S.- Major cred to all fashion bloggers out there for multiple reasons. First, I don’t know how you manage to take these adorable, not awkward photos outside in the middle of winter. I was freezing my lady parts off, and the wind was legitimately trying to blow me over. Also, what do you do with your hands?! Ugh, honestly, the most awkward experience being photographed alone. You probably won’t be seeing a ton of fashion posts from me.

ANNDD we’re back. I found this super cute jacket which I am now more obsessed with than Siri.

It’s pretty light weight, but still warm and cozy. I styled it four ways, because I was trying to think of two ways to do it- and as I was thinking of it more and more outfits came to mind that I could work it into. It’s super versatile. So- here’s goes.

outfit1This was my more casual approach- crop jeans, flats, and a simple black tee.  I paired it with gold accessories- which you can’t really see. Oops.

Looks Two:
A bit dressier look. Everything under the jacket is Cabi (Carol Anderson by Invitation). If you need a consultant for Cabi, just click the link!
Shoes: Similar found here, here, here and here.

Look Three- AKA; My Favorite.
I’m a casual girl through and through so this was right up my alley- except for the fact of course it’s not Spring (even though it should be!) and I was really cold.
Pictured: Skirt similar here & here, Similar-ish Tank, Button Down-here or here, Shoes.

And Look Four- Fancy Sauce:
Similar: Dress 1 or Dress 1. Shoes: Here, here, or here.

Overall, this piece is great. It is super comfy, warm but not too heavy or thick and has some black detail on the shoulders which means you can wear it with just about any color! My only con with this piece would be the material seems a bit delicate so you have to watch out for snagging it or getting it caught on things. The shop itself had a ton of stuff for all different tastes- and everything was reasonably priced which makes life even better!

And that was how I was a model for a few hours. And it was weird.
Props to WCBC & Langford Market for hosting such a fun event. And of course, props to my one and only- who happens to be my photographer as well.

The End.


Pet Peeves

Okay guys- today I want to talk about pet peeves because, why not?

“A pet peeve is a minor annoyance that an individual identifies as particularly annoying to himself (or herself), to a greater degree than others may find it.” via Wikipedia.

Actually this is inspired by true events. One of my BIGGEST pet peeves is when there’s an ambulance coming down the street all lights and sirens- and people don’t move/pull over/stop/get out of the way. UHM HELLO!!! I’m sorry (not really) but I think that person in the back of the ambulance is having a heart attack or maybe just has a really bad paper cut that needs some serious medical attention- but either way, MOVE IT DUDE. Wherever you’re going isn’t as important as that person getting to the hospital- for them every second counts, you can wait at that light for a hot second. It happened this morning on my way to work- I pulled over to the curb (I was in the right lane) to get out of the way and this guy behind me cut into the center lane (where the ambulance was) to pass me and keep going. Then because people don’t get the concept of getting out of the way the ambulance had to drive in the oncoming traffic lane because people wouldn’t move! Makes my blood boil. Also, props to ambulance drivers, because I think I would start going at cars that were in my way demolition derby style. (Sidenote- if you’ve never been to the demolition derby- go. It’s amazing. NOT even kidding.)

This got me thinking about random pet peeves I have, and how funny it is that certain things bother people more than they do other people. So here you will find my complete list of pet-peeves.

Also- “they” think the phrase ‘Pet Peeve’ became popular around 1919. And the word ‘peeve’ actually came from the Latin for the word “Perverse.” Now, don’t say I never taught you anything here.

My [Random] Pet Peeves

  • Loud Chewers (see this Instagram post)
  • The noise Mac & Cheese makes when you stir it. Only a Mac ‘n’ Cheese Connoisseur would have this issue.
  • When people wear socks to bed (EWEEEE).
  • People that don’t move for ambulances, as seen above.
  • When people scrape their teeth on their forks.
  • When someone calls/texts you and you miss it, but call/text back right away and they don’t respond.
  • People that honk at you .0034 seconds after the light turns green.
  • Slow turners- you know you don’t like those people either.
  • People with music/TV ADHD- Please can we listen to the WHOLE song instead of you changing it at the best part!?!
  • Poor customer service- this one is pretty general, but it DRIVES ME NUTS.
  • When you call/email a company/event/professional about something and they don’t respond for DAYS or at all. COME ON. You are a company- answer my damn question!
  • When people use the words….ugh. I don’t even want to type them.”Panties” & “Moist.” UGH I need to go take a shower now.
    (My family & friends love to taunt me with these words- they even combine them in really gross ways to watch me wig the eff out. #RUDE)
  • People at the gym who get on the treadmill right next to you when there are other open ones that aren’t near to any other runners. GET OUT OF MY QUADRANT.
  • Couples who sit on the same side of the booth/table as each other when it’s just the two of them. WEIRDOS- sit across from one another- you’re creepin’ me out!
  • People who use too many hashtags. Stop yourself. 4-5 is the max, and even that’s pushing it. When you have a paragraph of hashtags I’m instantly annoyed.
  • When people squeeze the condiment/shampoo or conditioner bottles and then close them with all the air sucked out…just, don’t even ask.
  • When you ask for the guac at Chipotle and they shout at you that it’s an extra $2. “Yes, I know- this is not my first Chipotle rodeo. No, I don’t care. Yes, I want the guac. Just, yes- right there in my burrito bowl.” IT SHOULD NOT BE THAT HARD. I JUST WANT SOME GUAC.

I think 15 17 is a good number to leave things off at. It was going to be 15- but then I found THIS.
What about you?! Let me hear about some of your pet peeves. I need to know I’m not alone in this.

Keep an eye open for my post about last night’s shopping event!

Cara Box Link-up & Some Random

So let us start with this. I participated in my first Cara Box Exchange this last round. It was great fun- and I’m really excited for the next one! Today is link-up day where we show off the fancy stuff our match sent us.

One of my matches was Jessy, she blogs over at The Artsy Cajun. She is a fabulous gal who I had a ton of fun getting to know.

She blogs about all sorts of stuff and does a lot of fancy DIY type things. Here are some of the fun things I got in my box!

First of all- what a smarty pants- she put everything in a reusable shopping bag- I am a bag lady so this was exciting in and of itself. Also, super cute an Valentine’s-y (which you know I love if you read this post).

photo 1


Then she put a bunch of fun goodies inside- it’s funny- how did she know I’m slightly a bit of a wino? How did she know I paint my fingers/toes like once a week? Or that I write notes a lot? I don’t even know- I mean we talked and shared a lot over the course of the exchange- but man, she nailed it. photo 2PS- How cute is that ‘F’ she hand painted?! You can’t tell but it’s all sparkly. #CUTE

I think one of my favorite things though, besides the cute ‘F’ are these here Post-It’s. I have a problem with habit of Post-It hoarding collecting (please see Figure 2 for evidence). Anyways, these new ones- they are bright colored and say #yourock- I think YES about these!

Figure 1 (Cute, new ones for the collection)
photo 3

Figure 2 (I keep Post-It’s in two spots on my desk- all of varying color/size- you never know what you’re gunna need)


Anyways, lets not focus on my Post-It problems and instead let me say how much fun it was to participate in the Cara Box Exchange! I sent a box to Ashley who blogs over at Our Mitchell Moments and I think I was just excited to send my box  as I was to get one!

Thanks to Kaitlyn of Wifessionals who organizes this whole huge production! And of course, thanks to my match Jessy- who was such a delight to get to know, and sent me some very thoughtful stuff!

First- We need to take a moment to recognize the fact that it is SPRING outside right now. And how fabulous that really is. Or how I put on a skirt and a jacket today without fear of going outside and instantly freezing?! Hallelujah- I think this is really what I needed to keep me from throwing a real hissy fit over how cruel this winter has been to us here in Chicago.

Second- I am 1 stamp away from winning about 5 different prizes on this damn Jewel Monopoly game. I am SUCH a sucker for this stuff. That brings me to the following conclusions: A) I want your pieces if you aren’t playing- and no I’m not kidding. B) I HAVE to win something- even if it’s just the $10 grocery gift card or else I will be really upset. C) How in the world did I even get sucked into this?!

Third- Erica over at Erica Jacqueline did a lovely feature about me in her post yesterday, which you should check out if you haven’t already!

And finally, I’m going to an event hosted by Windy City Blogger Collective tonight at the Langford Market which I’m pretty excited about- you’ll get to hear more about this later in the week!

Well- I’m just rambling now, so off I go to obsesses over my Jewel Monopoly board….


A PSA for the Bro’s

Let this serve as a Pre-Valentine’s Day PSA for all you dude’s out there. Rather, you ‘Bro’s’ because you are clearly the only people left on the plant that are delusional enough to think the way you do. (GUYS- I have been waiting a HOT MINUTE to have a post where I would write about people being delusional. This is an exciting time right now).

To be honest- I don’t even know where to start. I’m all full of chuckles, and completely baffled by this whole situation. Sometimes, life hands you the best material.

How about we picture this. Picture your typical Bro. 6’1 maybe, works out, works at a GNC (maybe takes more than his fair share of “supplements”), drives a fancy car that has more balls than he does. You know the type- don’t pretend you don’t.

Well, long, long ago- in a land far away, a family member of mine may or may not have briefly dated this type of Bro (and by “dated” I mean talked to casually, had a couple dates with- the whole thing probably lasted a month). Well, this whole deal only lasted the space of month because this ‘Bro’ who we will call “Justin” to protect…well, I don’t know who I’m honestly trying to protect- but anyways. “Justin” invited my sister over for a little get together with him and a bunch of his friends. Well, apparently he forgot to mention to his friends that the girl he was trying to date on the side had no clue he had a long-term girlfriend. So, as we’re all standing in the kitchen having the awkward small talk type of thing that happens at parties, someone let the cat out of the bag- and needless to say, my family member decided that was enough of that. And, a big thank you to “Justin’s” friend who has a flappy trap- it really saved everyone a lot of time.

Well- let’s pretend we have a fancy little FF button on life and we move ourselves about 6 years into the future. Said family member (who if you haven’t gotten it yet guys- it’s my sister, but you’ll never know which one, I’ll never spill!). Anyways said family member sister is now happily married with some children, some three children (if you know me in real life, and haven’t figured out which sister it is- PROCESS OF ELIMINATION is a fabulous tool in life).

Anyways, I’m out one night last summer at my favorite local watering hole (BANDITO’S FOREVER) with one of my girlfriends. We’re bopping around the patio and are lucky enough to find two seats next to each other at the bar- so we grab them sit down and start BS-ing. WELL, I very quickly notice that the guy next to us on the right has NO SHOES ON. In a public place, I mean for Pete’s sake (who is Pete anyways?! And why do we always use him and his ‘sake’? I don’t even get it…) WE ARE IN A BAR- put some shoes on, you’re gunna get AIDS or something. Anyways, weird “Shoeless Joe” starts talking to my friend while I’m ordering another round of fireball shots distracted. Well we take our round of shots and are just minding our own business when the dude on the left of us (on my side, my friend got stuck with “shoeless Joe” on her side) pokes me and says ‘Hey, I think I know you’. Now, let me start by saying this- I do not recognize this person at.all. And I’m kind of taken aback at how he could have gotten a good enough look at me to conclude he knows me, as my back was mostly turned on him (facing my friend) and his facing his friends. So immediately I’m thinking this dude is just trying to hit on me. So me, being married, trying to just have a girl’s night with my friend, and completely disinterested in trying to put this guy down nicely- turned and said (very flatly, pretty bitchy); “No, I don’t think so- I don’t recognize you” and turn back to my friend and go to work on my drink.

Welp- that wasn’t enough- he pokes me again and says; “No, really, I do, I know you” (I must have confirmed his suspicions with my bratty response). He then proceeds to start listing off facts about my family. At this point I am intrigued, totally creeped out, and overall confused (he got me like a Venus Fly trap!). Well wouldn’t ya know it- its “Justin” who has shaved lost his hair (and probably stopped working at GNC and taking all those supplements- because he seems to have lost his muscles too). Well anyways, “Justin” is now married to his girlfriend who he loved so much from back in the day and now has a few kids. We play the awkward “haven’t seen you in six years, didn’t even really know you that well back then” catch up game and part ways. Because while I’m tied up in my conversation with creeper on my left who happens to remember random details about my family, and what my face looks like after 6 years (PS- I met him twice for about a total of 25 minutes altogether). My girlfriend is sucked into conversation with “Shoeless Joe” on her right—TALK ABOUT A CREEPER SANDWICH! No wonder those seats were open. “Shoeless Joe” offers us a ride home-which I turn down as I don’t let people who are creepy, who don’t wear shoes, I don’t know drive me home. So, we do what most women in weird situations do and go to the bathroom, run to exit and give the bouncers all the singles we have to call us a cab and hide around the corner so “Shoeless Joe” (who we are pretty sure got up at this point to come look for us) can’t find us until our cab comes. Ahhh, that was a fun night.

Fast forward to about a month ago- I’m at my local gym, listening to one of my best friends talk me through the intricacies of her latest relationship fiascos getting my sweat on. We forgot water so we walk up to the juice bar to grab one. A guy in line next to us (clearly, bro’s also don’t get how lines work) says; “Hey, I think I know you…” I look up and am like: ‘Huh? Why do I keep getting this lately?!’ (Those are my thoughts, in my head. I think I said something out loud like “What did I do this time” or “Depends on who’s asking” or something annoyingly overused like that) Well, I am going to bet you can guess who it was. Me and our friend “Justin” have our perfunctory ‘Long time no see, how are your kids, how’s your husband’ talk. It last about 3 minutes and my friend and I go back to doin’ our thang at the gym.


Today in a work meeting I get a text from my family member sister;

photo 3

And then this conversation ensues:

photo 2


So, clearly we need to travel wayyyy back to that kitchen and profusely thank Mr. Flappy Trap for saving my sister from “Justin’s” insanity. Because apparently this Bro thinks that when I bump into him a few times and don’t completely ignore his existence- I am “flirting”- you know, as I tell him about my husband, and ask about his wife and kids. I just can’t help myself…what can I say…?


SO- PSA of the day is this-


I don’t care who you are (unless you’re my husband- then this is totally flirting-because anything is flirting with you baby. 😉 Hahaha)- If I smile, and say hello, maybe ask about your wife & kids- THIS IS NOT ME FLIRTING. This is me being nice, and not ignoring you when you say- “Hey I think I know you”. Also, as a side note- let us remember the part of the story where I tried to ignore him at the bar until he started reciting facts about my life. Creeper.

I don’t know what your issues are Mister Bro- whether it be ego/narcissism/insecurity or some cocktail of all of that- but please, for the sake of any other polite women out there and Pete (let’s not forget him) GO GET A SHRINK. Work through your social issues-It will really help.

Also- just to show you how predictable the whole situation is:

 photo 1 (1)
*SERIOUSLY, Auto-correct? A mini can? You think you’re so intuitive, but you can’t even catch that one?! You’re not as smart as you think you are. Also, before you all start correcting my spelling of “Odyssey” I know. I spelled it wrong. I’m not Greek/don’t own a suburban family hauler with stick figure people on the back (see more on this; here– 4th paragraph in). I struggle spelling words sometimes- whatever. 

Alright ladies, please tell me I am not the only one who this has happened to?
I am dying to hear your stories! Spill the beans!




Show Some Love

VALENTINES DAY IS COMING. And I don’t care what you say about this being a “Hallmark Holiday” or being totally commercialized, blah blah blah- all I’m sayin’ is- don’t rain on my parade. The one time of the year that everything is covered in pink and red and sparkles and hearts- how can you be mad at that!? Unless of course, you are the Grinch of Valentine’s Day and your heart is two sizes too small. Then by all means, continue grouching.

grinch heart

Now that we cleared the air on that topic- I wanted to show you a great DIY Valentine’s Day gift (or if you really refuse to celebrate this holiday- it works as a birthday, mother’s/father’s day gift, etc.) that is thoughtful, budget friendly, and fun to work on! I made this a few years back for the mister and it still is one of my most favorite gifts I’ve made/bought for him.


I don’t really have a name for this- and everything I thought up for a name was really corny, so I’m just going to give you pictures and directions and you can name it whatever you want!

What You’ll Need:

  • A dictionary/encyclopedia (I found a really cool vintage one from  a used book store- you can use a new one if you want, I just wanted something that looked cool on the outside)
  • A Glue Stick
  • Clippings from magazines/newspapers/stickers etc.
  • Decorative Paper Fasteners (See below)
  • Stamp pad & stamps (or if you have nice handwriting you can just write)
  • Fancy paper/card-stock
  • Fancy scissors
    (the last four things on this list are optional, you can get away with using regular paper/scissors and just writing the words- it’s up to you how fancy/involved you want to get)


So, what I did was this. I made a list of all sorts of character traits, or things I think of when I think of my husband; I.E. strength, youthfulness, loving, caring, smart, etc. I then looked through a bunch of magazines/newspapers/stickers to find words that said those things, or related to those characteristics and cut them out.

In the first few pages of the book I made a cover page that looked like this:

(My husband’s nickname is “Flik”)


Then every few pages I would make a collage with one of the character traits I had written down. Like this:


Because it would take a long time, and a lot of words,  I didn’t do one on every page- so I fastened pages together with the paper fasteners like so: PicMonkey Collage


I also just glued some of the pages together with a glue stick.

image (1)
(This page theme was “Character”)

image (4)Add in little quotes, or love notes, or whatever comes to mind! 

image (5)


20140206-_DSC1327The End!

Do you have any great Valentine’s Day gift or DIY ideas?
What is the best Valentine’s Day gift you’ve given or received?

This post is a part of Helene & Sarah’s Valentine’s Day Link-up!

Helene in Between



Stories for the Fighters

Today is World Cancer Day. Unless you’ve been stuck under a rock today (which if you were, I’m terribly sorry and I hope you got help quickly and were unharmed) but otherwise, you probably know this.


“World Cancer Day is a chance to raise our collective voices in the name of improving general knowledge around cancer and dismissing misconceptions about the disease. From a global level, we are focusing our messaging on the four myths above. In addition to being in-line with our global advocacy goals, these overarching myths leave a lot of flexibility for members, partners and supporters to adapt and expand on for their own needs.” ~ From World Cancer

(Quick disclaimer- this is a long post- brace yourselves) 

My encounters with cancer have been fairly often, but somewhat removed. My Grandma had Leukemia (cancer which attacks blood cells) before I was born, and she lived through it. She would mention it here and there, but we have never really had any in depth talks about it. My Great Grandma (who I will post about again soon because she’s probably the coolest person I know ever, in all of life) had breast cancer and Melanoma (skin cancer)- and lived. My Grandfather on my other side of the family died of Pancreatic Cancer. While most wouldn’t call this ‘removed’ it came on pretty quickly, and he lived far away so I didn’t have the first hand experience of watching it all unfold.


So today, on World Cancer Day, I want to honor the stories and lives of those who have fought to tell the story of cancer life, whether they are here to tell of it themselves or not.

My best friend who I met in college, has lost her uncle and her father to cancer. I didn’t know her yet when her uncle died of Leukemia at the age of 34. But I knew her dad, and her family. I watched them fight through this experience, this life changing event and it was so foreign and yet felt so close to me. I watched my friend go back home for the weekend instead of go out like the rest of our peers were, or go to the hospital everyday after classes or work, I watched her grow into who she is today- before my very eyes. While her dad was going through some very serious treatments for Renal Cell Carcinoma (a form of kidney cancer), she managed to keep up good grades in college, and managed to graduate just 10 months after her dad passed. When I asked her how old he was when he passed she said;  “He was 49 years old, he couldn’t fathom the fact that he would be turning 50.” She is one of the strongest people I know, being able to bring humor into possibly the hardest situation of her life. I think she got that from her dad. I asked her to describe her dad in one sentence she said:  “It’s hard to describe my dad in one sentence. He was a lot of things. He had such a great personality and outlook, on even the worst situation. It rubbed off on people.” (FACT: It rubbed off on her)
I also asked her if she had to give advice to someone in the position she was in what would she say. She said; “My piece of advice would be to be patient. Nothing ever happens when you think/want or are told it’s going to happen. You might need to see 4 doctors, and try 10 different medications before you find what works. Also, be there for the other person in whatever way you can. They have it a lot worse than you.”
I have watched their family carry on his name, his memory, and his legacy in one of the most beautiful displays of love I have ever seen. And for that, I am thankful to them, and to Rich.

PicMonkey Collage
(This quote is from Mitch Albom‘s Five People You Meet in Heaven– which I hightly recommend) 

My next story is not mine at all, it belongs to my friend Chrissie. A girl who I met in college who was diagnosed with brain cancer this past summer. I’m not going to say much more about her story beside the questions you see me ask below, because no one can tell it better than her- and she does a damn good job.
Without further ado, my friend Chrissie:


So how did you discover you had cancer to begin with, I mean you’re a healthy, active female in your 20’s (she’s 24 to be exact).
I had been having headaches and a sharp pain in the back of my head for about a month. Finally, something told me to see my doctor. She didn’t seem to be too concerned, but sent me for an MRI anyway. We both thought it would just be a migraine disorder. One hour after the MRI, my doctored called and said I needed to get to the ER immediately for more tests because she could see a huge mass in a dangerous spot. Long story short, I barley had any spinal fluid left and I had surgery the next day. The surgeon told my mom he didn’t know if I’d survive. It was on July 23, that the biopsy results came back the tumor was malignant… Meaning brain cancer.

How would you describe yourself as a person who was diagnosed with cancer? Especially at such a young age.
Cancer does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone. BUT I am still Chrissie. I am still a daughter, friend, granddaughter etc…. Cancer does not own me or define who I am. It cannot take away who you are.

“Cancer does not own me or define who I am. It cannot take away who you are.”

What was your first thought when you heard the results? I can’t imagine what would be rushing through my head at that point?
I knew by the look on the Oncologist’s face when he walked in what he was going to say. My mom dropped to her knees and cried. I just stared at him like he was crazy. I thought, ‘This could not be happening.’ Then I just broke down. I was still recovering from major surgery and in immense pain and then I got this bomb dropped. Ironically, as my doctor was walking out of my room my pastor walked in. I took it as a sign from God that I had to fight and that I was going to make it through. But I was still terrified.

Besides your faith- what gives you the hope/strength/motivation to fight through all this?
I could have easily said ‘no’ to treatment and just given up- but I wanted to be an example. It took some time to find the hope, strength, and motivation to fight. I was mad at the world. I couldn’t walk without a walker. I couldn’t even shower alone. Then I started radiation, and I saw this little girl being taken away for her treatment. And it was then I decided I needed to fight and be as positive as possible to be an example for others. I’ve said all along if I can have just one person look at me and say “She did it, she fought- so I will too” then this is all worth it, and I’d do it over again.

 “If I can have just one person look at me and say “She did it, she fought- so I will too” then this is all worth it, and I’d do it over again.”

Ok can you kind of explain to me your path of treatment?
Well my Oncologist chose Proton Radiation Therapy. Proton Radiation Therapy is different than regular radiation in that it only targets the spot where the cancer is so that the rest of your body isn’t getting hit with radiation. I also had a spinal tap because the cancer cells could have dropped down into my spine during surgery but those results came back clear which meant I would not need chemo, just radiation. So I went 5 days a week for 6 weeks.

So outside of maybe some of the more obvious ways, how would you say having/fighting/beating cancer has changed/affected your life?
While I may be healed physically, I still deal with the emotional aspects of it all. Because it all happened so fast, I really didn’t have time to process. So that is happening now. It completely changed me. It showed me that I am strong, that I am a fighter, and the thing it did the most was show me how much love I have in my life. I cherish every moment that I get to spend with a loved one now more then ever. I say; ‘I love you’ every chance I get. And I just feel so thankful to be able to say I fought and I won.

‘And I just feel so thankful to be able to say ‘I fought and I won.’

Seems like it really was a fast process, how long were you dealing with everything as far as doctor’s visits and treatments and that sort of thing?
Since being told it was a tumor on July 17th until October 4th 2013, when treatment ended. During that time I’d have to meet with my Radiologist every week. And I had a nurse coming to my mom’s house, where I had to move in. I also needed physical therapy twice a week. Now, I need to have follow up MRI’s of my brain and spine every 3 months for 2 years.

What is one myth you would say you have heard or felt you experienced/lived through regarding cancer?
You always hear that cancer will ruin your life. That it’ll defeat you. Take away everything you love. That myth is not true. Yes, cancer is extremely daunting and scary and so hard to cope with but it cannot control you unless you let it. I chose right away I would not let it define me. I don’t want people to look at me and immediately think cancer. I want them to see me. My heart. Who I am. Cancer is just something you go through. It’s NOT who you are.

Cancer is just something you go through. It’s NOT who you are.”

What would you tell supporters of people who have been diagnosed/survivors?
I would say allow yourself to feel every emotion. Good, bad, and ugly. If you don’t and you bottle it up….pretend like it’s not happening, it will eat you alive. My advice would be to always live in the moment. It’s all we really have. Tell the ones you love, that you do and seek help or therapy if you need it. There is no shame it that. Most importantly, always believe you CAN beat cancer. No matter what the odds are. Miracles happen every day.

What would a piece of practical advice be? Like something that helped you feel better?
Taking walks once I was able was the best way to get out and clear my head. Also, self-help books with inspiring quotes are great to read before bed, or first thing in the morning. Also, if you feel as though something is not right in your body see your doctor right away.

For more about Chrissie’s story you can check out her blog.

Many, many, many thanks to my friends and my heroes Danielle & Chrissie and the many more I don’t have listed, or who I’ve yet come to know- who have or are fighting this battle themselves, or alongside someone they love. Thank you for your candid honesty, and your willingness to share your journey. Most of all, I respect your strength, grace, and will to fight on. Cheers to you.