Archive for December 2013

Happy Holidays

December 23, 2013

I'm signing off for the holidays but before I go, I just wanted to take a moment to wish you al the happiest of holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I hope this will be a time of warmth and wonder with your loved ones. Be safe and happy my friends! This year seriously feels like it's flown by and I'm so grateful for the time you've spent with me here. Let's connect again in the new year.

Christmas At Home

December 20, 2013

Living in New York City is great but one thing you don't really have in a 1BR Manhattan apartment is a ton of space. So while it would be cool to go all out on Christmas decorating, I keep it simple and easily storable instead. We have a cute 2.5 foot high pink tinsel tree that sits on our dining table. We don't usually eat on there but that's a story for another day. Hubster is awesome for letting me have a pink Christmas tree cause he knows how happy it makes me. Our stockings get hung on either end of our bookcase. Do you decorate for the holidays? How do you add your festive touches?

I want to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who took the time to read and comment on the post about my health the other day. I know it's not what I usually blog about but it's a reality I needed to acknowledge. I tend to be the sort who internalizes things especially when I'm unwell and it's not the healthiest thing to do. Opening up about my condition was actually quite cathartic and I truly appreciate all your kind words and support.

Gift Guide : For The Host or Hostess

December 19, 2013

Today's holiday gift guide has picks for the host or hostess. I think edible presents are always fun and appropriate as are home or entertaining related items. Is there something you usually like to give as host/hostess gifts?

Congratulations to Mandy at Lavenderlilac Dream for being the lucky winner of the Blue Nile necklace!

All I Want For Christmas...

December 18, 2013

I don't really talk about it much but the truth is I've probably had very few days where I've been completely healthy in about 2 years now. This has been something that has been tough to come to terms with cause it feels like I'm acknowledging that my body has been broken. I eat well and and I take care of myself so this struggle has been both frustrating and a real wake up call.

I was recovering from a wrist injury when I first started this blog. Those of you who've been with me for awhile will remember my bout with vertigo and tinnitus in the spring of 2012. That was a particularly low point since the condition left me bedridden and feeling like a shell of myself for the better part of a month. I still shudder to think at how sick to my stomach the mere sound of running water would make me for awhile and it really bites when laying down makes you even dizzier than standing up. After 6 months of Chinese herbal medicine treatments, I was able to recover from most of my symptoms though I did feel like a relapse might hit me early this past Spring. I was able to fend it off but I'd be lying if I told you that I don't live in perpetual fear of it coming back at any time. Since no doctor was able to diagnose me, I self-diagnosed myself and my ailments sounded like they could be due to a magnesium deficiency. I've been taking magnesium supplements twice daily along with epsom baths twice a week and it's been working so I'm sticking with it. Hydrating liberally and sleeping adequately helps as well. I've also continued to limit the time I spend on the computer since I found that prolonged exposure does trigger dizziness in me. That's not really an ideal scenario when you blog but it's necessary in my case. I don't know if I'll ever be able to completely kick this but I'm sure going to keep trying.

At the same time, I was also slowly developing a condition called adhesive capsulitis, better known as frozen shoulder. If I wasn't constantly dizzy and throwing up, I may have had a better realization of what was happening but the fact that I had something else wrong with me was just too much to process so I shielded myself with denial instead. By the time I was finally ready to deal with it, I couldn't even lift my left arm up halfway or reach around my back and the simple act of getting dressed had become excruciatingly painful. My doctor told me that it was bad but I could recover with physical therapy. It took 10 months of physical therapy and home exercise to regain my range of motion and become pain-free, well sort of anyway. There's still an ongoing presence of pain in my left shoulder and in my arm at times that reminds me that this condition can be recurrent. To prevent this, I still do maintenance exercises daily. I've been told the pain will go away eventually and I'm quite ready for that.

Of course it would be my luck that I re-injured my wrist towards the end of rehabbing my shoulder and ended up with a torn tendon. I wore a brace for 6 weeks while it healed before 8 weeks of physical therapy sessions. It still feels a tad prone to injury so I'm extremely careful and try not lift anything too heavy with my left hand. I also wear a brace on it when I sleep most nights to prevent it from turning and to keep myself from rolling or sleeping on it. Yes that has happened and it's no fun.

And then there's the ankle that I sprained on the way to my last therapy session for my shoulder. The irony of that is not lost on me. I was trying to avoid someone biking on the sidewalk and ended up spraining multiple ligaments and tearing tendons in my ankle. I had treatment and quite a few setbacks with this one. It was probably my own fault for walking too much on it before I should've and just kept re-aggravating the condition. I am unfortunately back in the brace and trying again to heal the torn tendons. The doctor has told me that if it doesn't heal this time, it will have to be surgically repaired and I'm trying my best to avoid that. This means laying off walking on it as much as possible for now. It's a good thing it's winter so I won't want to be out and it really hurts too much at the moment anyway.

If only good health came in a box that's really all I'd want this Christmas and many more to come. I realize it's not that easy and this will be another Christmas that I'm not completely well. While I'm accepting that for now, I'm also making a promise to myself to continue to dedicate myself to getting back to 100% or as close as possible. It's not always easy to stay positive when you're unwell and there are days when I just feel utterly defeated. I have to just keep reminding myself I could have worse things wrong with me and I'm lucky for that. I was once a real baby when it came to pain but since becoming a chronic pain sufferer, I'm so used to it that I hardly notice it anymore. If you've actually read this far, I didn't mean for this post to be a downer by any means. I just wanted to take a moment to acknowledge the incredible gift that good health truly is. If you're lucky enough to enjoy it, make sure you hold onto to it.

Eye Candy : Share Happiness with Elle Korea

December 16, 2013

Elle Korea's signature charity project "Share Happiness" brings together 50 celebrities and 48 brands this year to help raise funds to aid women and children in need. The photos from the campaign which feature a range of concepts appear in this month's issue of the magazine. These are some of my favorite images from the pictorial. The first photo of Han Chae Young otherwise known as Korea's Barbie doll has such a fantastic spirt of fun and glamour. The gorgeous actress gave birth to her first child in August and is currently appearing in the drama Pretty Man alongside Jang Geun Suk and IU.

Shoe Crush : Skipperdee Flats

December 13, 2013

These Skipperdee flats from Anthropologie look like they could be the perfect holiday party shoe for those of us who can't wear heels. The chic silhouette has a slightly retro-glamorous feel and the festive array of colors and textures they come in means there's something for everyone. I'm quite partial to the red glitter pair and now that they're on sale for $59.95, I think I may need to grab them. Which pair would you pick?

You still have a few days to enter the Blue Nile necklace giveaway!

Gift Guide : For Beauty Enthusiasts

December 11, 2013

Gift ideas for the beauty enthusiasts in our lives. I think the items on this list in particular may be the ones I most covet out of all the guides I've put together so far. A lovely package makes a beauty product all the more appealing but the ingredients are important as well. These items were chosen with that in mind. Are you coveting any of them?

1. Paul & Joe Beaute Nail Enamel Remover ($15) 2. Alice & Peter Cheery Cherry Eau de Parfum ($38) 3. Kissing Elixirs Fresh Breath Mist ($9.50) 4. Tony Moly Bunny Lip Gloss ($10) 5. One Love Organics Brand New Day Microderma Scrub & Masque ($12) 6. Rodin Lip Balm ($30) 7. Oribe Black & Gold Collection ($61) 8. Mason Pearson Pocket Mixture Bristle Hairbrush ($88) 9.Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Love from Paris Set ($45) 10. Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask ($55) 11. Kai Body Glow ($34) 12. Urban Decay Naked3 Palette ($52) 13. Rouge Bunny Rouge Blush Wand ($29) 14. Bobbi Brown Everyday Pretty Lip & Eye Palette ($30) 15. Bite Beauty Best Bite Set ($25) 16. Sonia Kashuk Gilded Cage Holiday Brush Set ($24.99) 17. Japonesque HD Eyelash Curler ($14) 18. Library of Flowers Forest Bubble Bath ($36) 19. Dr. Haushka Gesture of Beauty Set ($24.95) 20. Mary Jo Matsumoto 3FREE Nail Bliss Trio ($39)

Gift Guide : Gifts for Him

December 9, 2013
Mens Gift Guide, Gift Guide for Guys

Gift ideas for the men in your life. It can technically be said that the hubster gets gifts from me throughout year since I'm the one who selects and buys his entire wardrobe... yes everything. He's actually fine with that and quite well dressed for it haha. For those with significant others, do you shop for him or does he like to shop for himself?

1. Ray Bay Flat Metal Aviator Sunglasses ($145) | 2. Citizen Eco-Drive Chronograph Watch ($220) | 3. Forever 21 Dotted Bowtie ($6.80) | 4. Jack Spade Leather Index Wallet ($95) | 5. Minimergency Kit for Him ($13) | 6. ASOS Slouchy Beanie ($14.52) | 7. Ben Sherman Colour Block Scarf ($63.52) | 8. Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81 Sneaker ($74.95) | 9. BR Variegated Striped Sock $12.50| 10. Lands End Mens Polartec Aircore 200 Gloves ($9.99) | 11. Kiehls Facial Fuel Moisturizer for Men ($25) | 12. Yves Saint Laurent L'Homme ($62) | 13. John Masters Organics Hair Pomade ($20) | 14. Tumi 16GB USB Flash Drive Key Fob ($65) | 15. Triple C for J. Crew USB Phone Charger ($34.50) | 16. J. Crew Heather Cranberry Stripe Merino Sweater ($79.50)

Blue Nile Gift Guide And Necklace Giveaway

December 6, 2013
Blue Nile Review, Blue Nile Jewelry

If I had any type of preference when it comes to jewelry, I'd say it'd be an inclination towards necklaces. They're the item of jewelry I wear and own the most of. I usually prefer pendant styles though I have recently discovered a penchant for statement necklaces as well. The newest addition to my collection is this pretty sterling silver branch necklace which was gifted to me by Blue Nile. It's become a fast favorite since the modern chic aesthetic of this delicate style makes it such a versatile piece that works well with both casual and dressy outfits.

Blue Nile Review, Blue Nile Jewelry

In the holiday season spirit of giving, Blue Nile sent me a second necklace in a lovely blue gift box to give away to one lucky rolala loves reader. It would make a lovely gift for yourself or someone special. You can enter through the Rafflecopter widget below. This giveaway will run until midnight December 16th. Good luck!

In case you didn't know, Blue Nile is the largest online retailer of ethically sourced certified diamonds and fine jewelry. They are also a fantastic gift resource for affordable jewelry. I've rounded up some stylish picks that are all under $75. And you can save 10% storewide with the code BNHH10 until December 31st.

Blue Nile Review, Blue Nile Jewelry

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Style Crush : Keira Knightley

December 5, 2013

Keira Knightley proves just how cool and down to earth she is when she wore this Chanel Haute Couture dress for the third time to the SeriousFun Children's Network Gala in London earlier this week. She paired the petal pink ballet inspired tulle dress with a delicately embellished sheer long sleeved top and strappy gold Jimmy Choo sandals. This dress made it's debut at a pre-BAFTA party in 2008 and she wore it again when she married James Righton this past May. When you have a dress this fabulous, why not wear it again and again especially if you can style it differently each time. The third time is a charm as this latest iteration looks so chic and romantically elegant. Which look is your favorite?

There's still time to enter our  iPad mini giveaway and make sure you stop by tomorrow for a fun new giveaway!

Photo Source: Getty Images & People

Gift Guide : Gifts That Give Back

December 4, 2013

The holiday season is a perfect time for giving back and you can feel good and spread the holiday cheer to those in need by purchasing charitable and socially conscious gifts. 

One : BKR Water Bottle : $28 : These pretty glass water bottles come in a stunning array of colors and a portion of each purchase support initiatives that fund early cancer detection and combat the global water crisis.

Two : Perfect 10 Kookie Tin : $22 : Model Karlie Kloss collaborated with Momofuku Milk Bar in NYC to create these healthy dairy and gluten free cookies which are sweetened with agave. A portion of the profits from each tin will go towards providing 60 school meals to hungry children around the world through a partnership with FEED.

Three : One Hope Wine : $18.99 : One Hope supports a number of notable causes and offers a wide selection of wines. Half the proceeds from each bottle benefits a specific cause like the fight against Breast Cancer, supporting our troops or ending childhood hunger among others.

Four : MAC Viva Glam Lipstick : $15 :  Every cent from the sales this lipstick goes to the MAC AIDS Fund dedicated to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Five : TOMS Shoes : $54 : This popular brand stands by it's longstanding policy of donating a pair of shoes or boots to someone in need for every pair sold. They also recently launched a Marketplace that features carefully selected socially conscious products from other like minded companies.

Six: Krochet Kids Hats : $19.95 - $35.95 : Krochet Kids International empowers women in Uganda and Peru by providing them with jobs, education and mentorships through handmade hats and accessories.

Seven : Warby Parker Sunglasses : $95 - $145 : Through a partnership with VisionSpring , Warby Parker distributes a pair of glasses to someone in need for every pair of glasses or sunglasses sold. 

Eight : Wink Bags : $36 : Wink toiletry bags are filled with Soap & Paper Factory products and for each bag purchased, one is donated to the Ronald McDonald House Family Rooms which provides a resting place for the families of critically ill children in hospitals. 

Nine: Roma Rain Boots : $84 : For every pair of Roma Boots sold, a pair is donated to a child in need and 10% of all sales proceeds go to the Roma For All Foundation which fights childhood poverty and provides education.

Ten : Raven + Lily Leather Earrings : $24 : These earrings are handcrafted from locally sourced leather by marginalized Muslim women in Northern India. Proceeds from this jewelry collection fund literacy programs for women artisans and their children in the community.

Eleven : Michael Kors Watch Hunger Stop Watch : $295 : Michael Kors has joined forces with the United Nations World Food Program to fight global hunger. The WFC will deliver 100 meals to children in need for every sale of this watch.

Twelve : Hand in Hand Soap & Bath Products : $22 - $36 : Hand in Hand natural soap and bath products are made with resources and harvested ethically. For every bar of soap or bath product sold, they will donate one bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in the developing world.

Gift Guide : Gifts Under $30

December 2, 2013
Gift Guide
I've never been one to believe that a good gift is about how much money you spend. I do think the thought really does count and it's nice to actually give something to someone that they'll put to use so I tend to be on the practical side when selecting gifts. What's your gift giving style? Would you like to see any of these picks in your Christmas stocking?

In case you missed it, we're giving away an iPad mini!

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