if my life flashed before my eyes...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

I'm still in the recovery process from my eye shot, and I'll post more about that soon.  In the meantime, I didn't want to leave you guys hanging but I don't have anymore posts pre-written.  An interesting topic came up recently && I decided to use it for my post today.

"If your life flashed before your eyes, what 3 moments do you think you will see?"

I'd like to think that if my ENTIRE life flashed before my eyes, I'd see more than 3 moments aha.  But for the sake of the topic, I'll tryyy my best and choose 3.

  1. When my son was born: It was such a crazy whirlwind, NON traditional birthing story.  Maybe some day I'll share that with you.  Maybe. aha!
  2. When my mother died:  Easily the worst day of my entire life.  Not a happy memory, but it affected me more than anything ever has.  I know it'd be a moment that flashes by...
  3. When I met my biological sister:  Such an awesome moment for me.  Truly.  I'm so happy to have her in my life.  My son && myy significant other were with me, and I can't imagine it being any more perfect.  
I can't stare at this screen too long right now, it still gets my eye angry.  So I hope you enjoyed my little moments.  I wish I could elaborate for you a little more, but I'm doing my best!  I'll have an update on my eye condition soon.  I'm seeing Tori Amos this weekend [I cannot express to you how excited I am for this], so my weekend will be busy!

My Julep giveaway ends this weekend, and I'll post the winner on Monday!  Have a great weekend, and don't forget to get your entries in for the giveaway! <333

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National Parents Day 2014

Monday, July 28, 2014

Yesterday [7/27/14] was National Parent's Day. I thought I'd take a minute to get a little personal && tell you about my parents...

My mother had cancer when she was a child.  It was the 60s/70s and they did a lot of experimental treatment with her.  One of which was removing her reproductive organs && spleen.  She married my father at age 15 because they believed she wouldn't live long enough to be married as an adult.  Well she went into remission and they were married for 24 years & 11 months when she passed away too young at age 39 [from complications due to a sinus infection].  

[myyy grandmother & mom]

[my daddy with his parents]

Since my mother couldn't have children of her own, I was adopted.  My parents were always honest with me about this, and we celebrated the day they brought me home from the hospital every year as "Gotcha Day".  I was my mother's world, and she was mine.  

My parents were/are musicians.  I grew up surrounded by music and was taught early on to appreciate it.  I give my parents full credit for my love of all genres of music.  I used to say that I'd rather go blind than deaf because I can't imagine a life without music [now that I have vision problems, I'm not so sure how I feel about that anymore aha].  I live, eat, sleep, && breathe music.  This I learned from them.

I was raised to love everyone.  I was raised to be tolerant and non judgmental.  I was taught to help others.  I can honestly say I had the best childhood anyone could ever ask for.  I was raised by not only my parents, but by their band mates, my aunts & uncles, my 2 grandmothers, and my grandpa.  I had a village of amazing people and not once did I feel unloved.  Now obvi we didn't all live together, aha!  However, my dad's parents lived next door to us my entire life and at one point my other grandmother lived on the same block as well.  It was AWESOME!

I developed my love of baseball from my momma.  We lived in Kansas and she taught me how to be a true Yankee fan from afar!  Aha!  Every Yankee game I attend, a part of me is sad because she's not with me to experience it.  Then I smile and know that she is happy that I'm having the time of my life with "our" team.

[my mother && my son as a baby]

I love both of my parents more than anything && I am so lucky to have had the ones I have.  I miss my mother every single minute of EVERY SINGLE DAY.  I can only hope that I have grown & continue to grow into half the woman she was.  If any human had super powers it was her.  She juggled so much in her life & did it with a smile.  She was truly Super Woman.  My dad is the strongest & most intellectual person I know.  He can literally do ANYTHING he tries and excels at it.

My daddy taught me that even though I'm a girl, I can do anything.  He taught me how to change a tire on the car.  He taught me how to use power tools, and how to fix things around the house.  He made sure that I knew how to do things on my own, and if I can't, he is always there to help.  He's a wonderful man, and he's mine.  I'm a huge daddy's girl.  I still climb up in his lap when I'm feeling blue.  Which is quite a funny thing to see I'm sure since I'm NOT a small person! Ahah!

I think it's important to always tell the people in the life how much they mean to you, and today I'm shouting it from the rooftops! <333
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**pictures in this post are pictures OF pictures lol, sorry for the bad quality**

my gratitude journal

Friday, July 25, 2014

I think that Gratitude is veryyy important in every day life.  For several years now, I've kept a Gratitude journal.  I tried at first to end my day with my gratitudes, because there's something tranquil about your final thoughts of the day being positive.  However, I tend to not go to bed until I'm ready to drop [I have insomnia issues].  I've found that writing down my gratitudes from the previous day in the morning while sipping my coffee has worked best.  

I love starting the day remembering the best parts of the day before.  Giving thanks for the little things in life [and actually appreciating them] can have a MAJOR change on your outlook.  It completely changed my attitude towards life. 

Every day I write down 5 things I'm grateful for from the previous day.  Whether it's as simple as smelling a flower or as big as a new family member.  It's important to go with 5.  Even if you have to think hard... this is where you will learn to appreciate the little things.  When you start to appreciate the small things, you'll find that you'll no longer sweat the small stuff.  

If you're the type that can let a spilled Starbucks drink all over your kitchen [yes I did this recently, HUGE MESS] ruin your day, you'll definitely benefit from this!  Aha!  You can use any journal you like or even just a 3 ring note book.  Whatever you want.  I'm currently using this one here.

I challenge you to keep a Gratitude Journal for 1 month.  See how you feel after that month.  I bet you keep up with it! <33

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avastin day [pohs update]

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Today I will be receiving my Avastin shot for my POHS.  [I've obviously pre-written this post.]  Just wanted to remind you all that today is the day.  I may be absent for a little while, depending on how long it takes me to recover.  I tend to experience severe drowsiness && nausea for several days after my shots.  For my fellow POHS sufferers:  do you have the same experience with your Avastin shot?  I know my reaction to the shot is semi common, but I also know a lot of people have no reaction to it at all.

I will be doing a week by week update on the progress of my shot.  These have been very popular viewed posts in the past.  I want to offer support & info to other people with POHS.  There's not a lot out there for us.  

I've touched on myyy POHS before but I don't think I've fully talked about my condition.  My right eye has 100% central vision loss.  The scarring is too bad to come back from on it.  My left eye I'm working hard as hell to preserve.  It's the one I'm getting the shot in.  The POHS is active in that eye, and I'm doing everything I can to keep it from permanent vision loss.

Currently my vision in my right eye looks like this...

You can see that I have my peripheral vision && a slight spot in the middle that is clear.  Though that little spot provides no help in actually seeing anything.  This should give you a better idea of the severity of POHS, and obviously why I don't want my good eye to end up like this one.  I'd be severely vision impaired.  No longer would I be able to look directly at anything or anyone.  

Well there's a little bit of a peek into my syndrome.  For those of you that don't have POHS, this might help you understand a little bit more.  

*View ALL of my Presumed Ocular Histoplasmosis Syndrome posts*
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gone girl [book review]

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I'm having a reallyyy hard time writing a review for this book.  I finished it this afternoon and I'm not sure exactly how I feel about it.  It took me two tries and nearly two months to finish this book.  I just couldn't get into it in the beginning.  In fact I wasn't a fan of the whole first half of the book... It was nearly torturous to get through.

Gone Girl is a story about a woman, Amy Dunn, who goes missing on her 5th Wedding Anniversary.  The entire first half of the book is about the investigation of her disappearance.  Which is heavily leaning towards her husband, Nick Dunn as being a bad guy.  The story is told by Nick && Amy [via her diary] in a take turns every other chapter format.  I don't normally mind this format, however, Amy's chapters were incredibly boring to me.  I found myself skimming them.  You're supposed to feel sorry for each one of them for different reasons as they describe to you the problems in their marriage.  The problems themselves were trite and could only be classified as "first world problems".  I didn't find myself empathizing with either of them.  

The second half of the book slaps you in the face with a dark twist.  I admit it caught my interest at this point.  Mainly because I was trying to figure out how we were going to drag this out for another 50% of the book, after revealing that big of a bombshell.  Both characters are revealed as deranged, which was exciting.  It still just fell short for me.  

The ending [which I obvi won't reveal] was far more twisted than I expected.  I think it was slightly depressing, but fitting.  When I hit the last page on my kindle, I looked up at my son and said "that sucked".  However, as the day went on && I reflected on it more, there's a part of me that really enjoyed the ending.  

Overall, I just didn't get the hype of it.  The writing itself was great, the story was just missing something.  I'm anxious to try another book by Gillian Flynn though, and will probably see the movie in October.  It has Neil Patrick Harris, of course I'll see it!  Aha!

[myyy goodreads rating for Gone Girl: 2/5 stars]

Have you read Gone Girl?  What was your thoughts?  
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dealing with a syndrome [good vibes only]

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Dealing with a disease/syndrome/illness can be a veryyy trying time.  I've been living with POHS for several years, and only had my diagnosis for a little over a year.  It is incredibly difficult at times to stay positive during "flare ups".  POHS is an expensive syndrom and has no cure.  The main treatment available is an injection of medicine [avastin] into the eyeball.  The treatment can keep it under control for a few weeks or years... you just never know.  I've been incredibly fortunate so far to not have too many flare ups.  

I'm currently dealing with a flare up && will be getting my avastin injection this week.  It brings me down a little because the medicine makes me sick, and takes me out of commission for a little bit.  Not everyone reacts to the medicine the same.  I get incredibly lethargic for the next few days && have a moderate case of nausea.  

I've been dealing with guilt since the onset of my POHS.  I HATE having to spend so much money on this.  Obviously there is no choice here.  If I don't get the injections, I will develop scar tissue and eventually lose all central vision in my eye [my right eye is already in this state].  I hate that I have to pay for very expensive good insurance.  I hate that I have high out of pocket expenses for this syndrom.  I hate that I have to rely on someone to take to && from the doctor because I'm all eye patched up after the shots.  I hate that I feel so terrible for days afterwards.

.....this is the point I get to in my thoughts that I have to make myself STOP.  There is absolutely NOTHING I can do about this syndrome, except treat it && accept it.  Being angry or feeling guilty will not make it go away.  I'm stuck with POHS for life.  This is where I have to make a conscious decision to not allow the bad negativity to enter my brain.  Did I mention that POHS flare ups can be brought on by stress?  

I also have to remind myself to be grateful.  There are much worse things I could be dealing with.  I'm not trying to create a "woe is me" post here.  I'm being real.  I also want everyone else to know, that whatever you're dealing with, it's okay to be upset.  It's okay to be angry.  It's okay to be guilty.  You just have to recognize that you cannot allow those feelings to consume you.  Eventually, you have to step back and think positively.  Negativity will eat you alive.  

Good vibes only.  

Read more posts about my POHS:

Initial Diagnosis

2 days after Avastin #1

1 week after Avastin #1

2 weeks after Avastin #1

Dealing with POHS

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.june favorite [2014]

Monday, July 14, 2014

I hate to start out every "favorites" post by saying how quickly the month went by, buuuut it has!  I don't have a lot of favorites to share with you this month, I was kind of having major brain *farts* trying to remember what my favorites were!  

The NOT gently used eye shadow palette in the top picture is Petal Pusher by Wet & Wild.  I just adore Wet & Wild palettes.  They're affordable and provide a decent pigment.  I've had this palette for quite awhile and it kept getting ignored.  Myyy sister, [heidicupcake check her out!] did a tutorial on YouTube for this palette, and I gave it a go.  I used it quite a bit throughout June.  

I was finally out of my old makeup brush cleaner and needed to try something new.  I was in Target and found the Sonia Kashuk cleaner and decided to give it a go.  This is for spot/daily use, not deep cleaning.  I really enjoy it, I think it does a great job!  It was only $6.99 at Target.

Okayyy you guys this one was a surprise for me ahah!  I received the Crest Be flavored toothpaste for review.  I was hesitant to even try them because they ALL SOUND GROSS!  I expected to hate Vanilla Mint the least.  Nope.  It was disgusting.  I knew I'd hate the Mint Chocolate, and I did.  However, the Crest Be Dynamic Lime Spearmint Zest Flavor was surprisingly good!  The lime wasn't overpowering, and the spearmint wasn't a burn your mouth make you drool type of mint.  I was very shocked that I enjoyed this, and I'll likely purchase it for myself in the future.

In my May favorites post I talked about my new'ish haircut.  Well another product I've been loving for my haircut is Soy Paste by Sexy Hair Concepts.  This has done a great job at creating the piecy look I'm going for, without weighing it down.  I purchased it at Ulta for $17.95.

I know it's slightly cliche but I only burn Bath & Body Works candles.  I think I've mentioned this before.  I just love the fragrances [especially the fall & winter scents] and the scents just fill my entire apartment.  Love. Them.  I will say I only buy them when they're on sale...  At one of the recent sales, I purchased this Salt Water Taffy one and Oh.Em.Gee!  It smells absolutely DELICIOUS!  I'm completely obsessed with it.  Plus the label is adorable <333

FYI: I'm trying to get a few posts scheduled for you because my POHS is acting up again and I will be getting an injection in my eye very soon.  That takes me out of commission for a little bit.  I don't want my content to suffer... so I'm working hard to get some stuff scheduled.  If I don't, and I seem a little MIA this is why =(
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Julep Maven Box Giveaway [closed]

Friday, July 11, 2014

As you know, I'm currently subscribed to not one, but TWO Julep Maven boxes.  This month I'm going to give you guys an opportunity to try Julep Nail Polishes for yourself!  I'm giving away my July "It Girl" box, to one of my lovelies [maybe you!?]  

The Julep Maven July "It Girl" box contains 3 full size Julep Nail Polishes from the Limited Edition Poolside Collection:

  • Dawn- A gorgeous citron creme shade
  • Braiden- Graphite stardust [textured matte glitter]
  • Linden- Pool blue creme shade

Giveaway entries will be taken from 7/12/14-8/02/14.  

I have had some mixed reviews lately on the quality of this polish.  I thought it'd be fun to share a box with one of my readers, and get their thoughts!  I also wanted to use this as an opportunity to say "THANK YOU" for being my readers && subscribers! <333  
I appreciate and love everyyy. single. one. of you! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Julep is not sponsoring this giveaway.  I purchased this Maven box with my own money.  I'm not receiving any compensation for this giveaway.

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Best makeup deal of the year! 50% off!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Okayyy!  I got an email about an awesome deal happening today only!  You don't want to miss this... AT ALL!

Get ready for the best deal of the year from ELF!  50% off EVERYTHING! [Coupon Code below...] ELF is so affordable already, so this is a steal!  The majority of their stuff is a stinking dollar, and now it's fifty cents!  You cannot beat that!  I have my list ready!  Here's what I'm filling my shopping cart up with...

elf coupon code

[Prices Listed are BEFORE the discount]
  • ELF Studio Moisturizing Lipstick $3.00 in the shades: Party in the Buff, Pink Minx
  • ELF Mineral Lip Liner $3.00 in the shade: Peachy
  • ELF Luscious Liquid Lipstick $1.00 in the shades: Perfect Pink, Strawberry, Baby Lips
  • ELF Studio Contouring && Blush Duo $3.00 in the shades: Antigua, St Lucia
  • ELF Studio Blush $3.00 in the shades: Peachy Keen, Gotta Glow
  • ELF Baked Bronzer $3.00 in the shades: Los Cabos
  • ELF Studio Glossy Gloss $3.00 in the shades: Pink Candy, Wild Watermelon, Ballet Slippers
  • ELF Essentials Lipstick $1.00 in the shades: Flirtatious, Captivating, Sociable, Nostalgic
  • ELF Essentials Jumbo Lip Gloss $1.00 in the shades: In the Nude
  • ELF Studio Lip Stain $3.00 in the shades: Heartbreaker, Lucky Lady, Fashionista, First Date, Birthday Suit
  • ELF Studio High Def Under Eye setting powder $3.00 in the shades: Sheer
  • ELF Studio Matte Lip Color $3.00 in the shades: Nearly Nude, Tea Rose, Natural

This sale is July 8th ONLY!  You don't want to miss this!  They'll occasionally have a 40% off sale, or free items, but this is a great deal!  Hop on over to the ELF website and fill up your shopping cart for HALF OFF!  

Here's how I took advantage of the sale today!! Ahah! <333
Our Best Deal of the Year: Take 50% off everything on orders $35+ with coupon code OHYEAH

xo Emilee

Top 6 Android Photo Editing Apps

Monday, July 7, 2014

android photo apps

||UPDATE 07/24/2015||
This post is now over a year old.  While I still love the apps in this post, please note that there may be other apps out there that better suit you.  Technology advances so quickly!  I have a tutorial on my current favorite photo editing app, Afterlight, which you can view here.  The popularity of this post on Pinterest has been amazing, and I just wanted to provide an update for those still pinning this post.  Thanks for stopping by!!!


I've mentioned before how I do about 90% of my photo editing on my phone.  I take pictures with my phone, so the pictures are already there.  I spend A LOT of time running my family around.  I'm in my car A LOT.  I usually utilize this time to do photo editing.  I have found the perfect mix of photo editing apps for my Samsung Galaxy Note 3.  

express photoshop

1.]  Photoshop Express: I mostly use this one to clean up photos.  It has a great auto-enhance feature.  The best auto-enhance of any of the other apps.  It has the basics- cropping, straightening, rotating, flipping.  Adjust brightness && colors.  Plus, in app sharing option to all social medias.

a beautiful mess

2.]  A Beautiful Mess: I love love LOVE this app.  It's my go-to app for Instagram pictures, and Pinterest pin-worthy photos [like the one at the beginning of this post].  The options are endless with this app.  I love the adorable doodles you can add, and the versatility of the fonts.  I use this app primarily for my watermarks too.  I can't recommend it enough.  


3.]  InstaMag: This is a new addition to the mix.  It's a lot like another app I will be discussing, but offers a slightly more modern spin.  InstaMag makes collage pictures.  Offers over 10,000 possible layouts.  It's been my go-to app for the collage style lately.


4.]  PhotoGrid:  Here's my second collage maker in this list.  This one was my favorite prior to the newly available InstaMag.  I still believe that PhotoGrid has it's purpose though.  It's great to make a collage without too much fuss and distraction.  It's simplicity offers a sleeker collage.  It also has a video maker quite similar to "Flipagram", for Instagram.


5.]  PicsArt:  This is probably my favorite true photo editor.  This app has every function you could want.  I use it frequently to edit my son's blemishes, enhance picture quality, remove unwanted objects from the background of photos, blur objects out in photos, etc etc etc...  It really does offer just about anything you could want from a photo editor.  


6.]  Pixlr-o-matic:  This is a fun app to add random artistic touches to your photos.  This is myyy favorite app for filters.  It has sooooo many.  Seriously, if you can't find a filter that suits you with this app, there isn't one that will.  Not only does it have a plethora of filters, it has fun overlays that can add sparkle, drama, neon words, and more.  One of my favorite pictures of myself of all time [ahah okay, maybe not all time, but I use it a lot] is the one in my About Me section.  I edited this phone 100% with this app.  I highly recommend this app.




I've recently become obsessed with this app!  It's not reallyyy for photos, but you can use photos in it.  Magisto is a really cool video editor.  You select the video files and pictures from your phone, then choose a theme, and a song.  Then Magisto makes your movie for you.  I used it a few posts ago to create a quick unboxing video for Mt Baker Vapor.  I've had a lot of fun with this app.  It makes some fun little videos for ya.

There ya have the top 6 BEST photo editing apps available on Android [according to moi].  I can't recommend these 6 apps enough.  They're great and easy to use for anyone from novice to professional.  What are your favorite photo apps?

julep updated review featuring jamberry

Friday, July 4, 2014

Last month I posted a not so nice review on Julep nail polish.  I received my first box from them in May, and was not impressed.  At all.  The polish went on incredibly clumpy && started chipping the next day [using Seche Vite base and top coat].  I've mentioned before that I have over 300 bottles of nail polish, so I know what I'm talking about, aha.  Oh.  And that nail technician license I have also qualifies me a little ;]

Well in total [since I keep forgetting to cancel my subscription boxes...] I've received about 7 bottles from them now, with 2 more boxes on the way.  I finally decided to sit down and test out some other shades.  I loved them!  I honestly think I just got a bad bottle on my first shade.  Which is a great relief since I have so many bottles now!  So Julep, I'm sorry... aha!  I take it back... Maybe I should tell them about the bad bottle?  Meh.  The shade that I had bad luck with is the shade I'm wearing in these pictures, Kam.  It's a beautiful creamy mint color.  The formula was just awful though.  I can now say that I'm a satisfied customer when it comes to the other shades.


I also was given the chance to tryyy out jamberry nail wraps.  Heather Ruiz over at "No Polish, No Problem!" sent me some samples of jamberry nail wraps.  I had never tried jamberry before.  My previous experience with nail "polish" wraps was abysmal to say the least.  It was truly a hot mess.  I was pleasantly surprised with jamberry though.  It went on very easily and lasted several weeks [until I took it off myself].  You can also use these on your toes, which I think is absolutely adorable && I plan on doing!  Hop on over to her blog and check out the jamberry products.  The company is also introducing its own monthly subscription box!  


Have you used jamberry?  Tell me about it!

adorn your android [july 2014]

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Okayyy so this month's layout isn't exactly "summery", but I'm not a fan of summer so I don't care!  Idk.  When I was deciding what theme to go with this month, I was feeling a little fiesty so this is what I came up with.  Hope you enjoyyy! 

I decided to only show the home screen this month.  With showing each individual folder, it's a lot of pictures to load =]  If you go to my CocoPPa profile, emileeblogs, you can download every item I used!  

Previous Phone Layout Posts:

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