GretchCannon: 2019


Travel Blog / 4 Interesting Historical Facts about Indianapolis

I went to Indiana last month to visit my girlfriend and her family and I loved it. I wanted to share a couple of pics and some interesting historical facts about Indianapolis that I came upon!

Here is a picture of me enjoying the beautiful fall weather in Indianapolis. I live in Southern California, so this was so cool to experience. 

Background: Indianapolis, founded in 1816, was chosen as a city because of its great location. It was thought that the White River would provide transportation in and out of the town. However, the river was too sandy and shallow, so it was not a viable source of transport.
Indianapolis is the United State’s largest major city that is not on a navigable river. Indianapolis has now grown into one of the largest cities in the country, and a sought-after location to live. It has such a dynamic vibe and has something to offer everyone.  
Take a look at some of these Indianapolis homes for sale, and you will understand why. If you can't stay, make sure you add it to your vacation destination wish list. Indianapolis is a city with a rich history. Read below to find out some interesting facts you may or may not know.
4 Interesting Historical Facts/ Places in Indianapolis:
1. The Slippery Noodle Inn
If you are visiting Indianapolis and into history, The Slippery Noodle Inn is a must-see. It is Indianapolis' oldest bar and was rumored to be frequented by John Dillinger and his posse during Prohibition. Brady and Dillinger used the back of the building for target practice, and some of the slugs are still visible on the wall today. The Inn has changed names and hands so many times, but their whole history is documented and can be found on their website. The Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Interestingly, it is a stop on the city's ghost tours because it is rumored to be haunted by some of the past guests when the bar hosted a brothel. It was even used as a stop on the Underground Railroad during the Civil War. Stop in, have a drink, and enjoy the rich history.
2. Indianapolis 500
One of the most famous races in our country is the Indianapolis 500. The first race was hosted in 1911 and was attended by over 80,000 guests that had each paid $1. Forty drivers qualified for the competition, and the prize for the winner was $25,000.  
A tradition that still stands today is the winner takes a sip of milk in celebration instead of champagne. It is a great honor to be chosen as the local dairy that provides the milk to the winner.
3. The Birthplace of Sliced Bread
Ever wonder where sliced bread began? Look no further than Indianapolis. Taggart Baking Company launched its famous Wonder Bread in 1921. They were the first major company to sell sliced bread and remain a household favorite almost 100 years later.
4. Elvis
Elvis Presley, The King, gave his last ever concert in Indianapolis on June 26, 1977. He performed for a crowd of 18,000 at the Indianapolis Market Square Arena. Attendees report that he appeared pale, weak, and overweight. There is footage of the final concert that is available. Three months later, in 1977, he passed away in his home. Many die-hard Elvis fans still flock to Indianapolis to pay respects to The King.
I hope you liked this travel blog and research I did! I would love to post more like this in the near future!
Gretch Cannon


Ulta Beauty Haul

I recently purchased a bunch of fun holiday gift ideas and a few things for myself from Ulta Beauty. Here is a video haul - enjoy!!

All products are also linked here:




2 New Beauty Videos!

Happy November friends! I have 2 new beauty videos up that I wanted to let you know about in case you missed them! All products used are also linked on my LiketoKnowIt page here!

It had been forever since I filmed a YouTube video, so I did a Get Ready With Me & Current Beauty Favorite Products video that you can check out here or below.

I also did my October Beauty Empties on my 1st IGTV video!!
Click here to watch and let me know what other short videos I can film for you guys.

Leave a comment, enjoy the videos and let me know what else you might like to see! 



My Sunless Tanner Routine - 3 Steps!

My go-to 3 step sunless tanner popular request went live on my Instagram today! Not sponsored, this is the product I love & keep coming back to, so here’s what I do! Take notes or bookmark this post so you can refer to this later! Let me know if you try it!

Shop the entire post HERE

1. Shower or bathe & exfoliate w/ a body scrub, washcloth, or loofah. Dry & don’t put lotion on! I like to hold my hair back with one of these cute terry headbands. Super soft and stretchy. 

2. Use a hand mitt to apply the tanner (they have new colors like Deep Aruba or Tahiti Tan) & apply to 1 side of the body, 1 body part at a time..because let’s be honest, you’re gonna start & you’re gonna be naked, singing & feelin yourself & you’re gonna forget where you left off- trust me. I like this product bec it’s a tinted foam & I can immediately see it & it doesn’t streak. 

I put the mitt on my right hand and do: my right lower leg & knee (use sparingly on tops of feet, knees, & elbows -unless you want to look dirty AF, (which I often do), then the top portion of my leg & booty, then stomach & chest on the right, then right upper torso as much as i can contort.. then do the left arm & hand, switch the mitt & do the right arm & hand, then do the entire left side of the body like you did the right!

3. I got your back! Get it? Use a few pumps of your tanning product on the long handled mitt, I like to lay mine flat on the counter, then pump the foam on it. Then I turn around w/ my back to it and pick it up by the handles quickly & rub a dub dub, my back is tanned. Repeat if you have an extraordinarily large or long back, or you are clumsy like I am & are sure you missed a section back there that nobody will see anyway.

Tips: Stand on an old towel, use a little floor fan to help you dry faster, re-apply after 2ish showers, use regular lotion in between sessions to maintain the tan & not get dry splotchy sections, don’t get dressed right away, wash your mitts, & if you have any other tips, comment below!



May Empties!

May empties are posted to my Like to page!! 
Easy to click on and shop from the page above! 
Remember to follow me on the app:

What did you use up last month?



LikeToKnow.It Shopping

You can now shop my Instagram posts on the LikeToKnow.It app or website!
I wanted to type up a little mini how-to guide in case you have never used it.

  • Download the app to your phone:
  • Search under: "Influencer Search" on the right of the screen, then type in "GretchCannon", then simply click the "FOLLOW" button.
  • Then you can shop products from each photo, as shown below. 
  • You can always like my photos on Instagram, and LiketoKnow.It will email you the feed directly, OR if you see the little LiketoKnow.It circle logo on the bottom right of any image, or the Instagram post says it is available, you can just screenshot the post and shop it later! 
  • You can also shop via your computer at this link:
  • COOL HUH? So easy!!! 

Let me know if you have any questions! 


Twisted Silver Jewelry

Twisted Silver slays again!!! I can’t wait to wear these babies. Use code: TWISTEDGRETCH for 15% off your order!! I linked everything below for you, along with the price before your discount!
They are so gorgeous and unique - you will love everything you get from them and be hooked!!!

Listed and linked from top right, going clockwise:

7 Bracelet $60

Happy shopping! 

Don't forget, use code: TWISTEDGRETCH for 15% off your order!! 




Amazon Travel Finds!

I had a fun staycation with a girlfriend this past weekend at a local casino, and I got to try out a couple of fun Amazon travel finds that I hadn't used yet (makeup bag, and hanging bag). I loved them, so I wanted to share with you!

The makeup bag on the left is less than $10! It is so cool because its soft and has a drawstring, but it is collapsible, waterproof, and you can really use it to store anything, for travel or even at home. 

The larger hanging bag on the right is under $30 and worth every penny. Comes in a bunch of colors, so you can customize it to who you are buying it for, and it has SO many storage areas. It is also really durable and high quality material. 

I also want to remind you or share with you my Amazon page, where you can see EVERYTHING I love from Amazon! Click here!



March Empties!

Time for empties!! In March I went through all this stuff - 15 good ones for you guys!

  1. Candle: Love this French Lavender scent! 
  2. Face Cream: SkinMedica age defense lotion with SPF, I would definitely like to purchase the full size of this. 
  3. Lash Brush: Only $7 for 100 of these - it is a clean mascara wands to brush out eyelash extensions.
  4. Deodorant: This Tarte Clean Queen smelled so good! Loved it because it is vegan, hypoallergenic, and aluminum free. 
  5. Mascara: Great repairing and volumizing mascara from Tarte, made with amazonian clay. 
  6. Deodorant: Only $8, I like this invisible dry spray because it doesn't leave a mark on your clothes and really keeps you sweat-free. 
  7. Eyedrops: Can't stop going through these so fast! These eyedrops work quickly for allergies or irritation, without the burn. 
  8. Spray Lotion: My favorite, mess-free, lazy way to apply lotion all over me after my bath or shower! This link is for a 2 pack.
  9. Collagen: Unflavored peptides that I mix in my coffee for healthy skin, hair, bones, and joints. 10 grams of protein and 40 calories in 1 scoop.
  10. Hair Rubberband: Love these hair rubberbands that I usually get at Nordstrom Rack. They are making them a little different now though, so I linked those for you. I throw these out when they get stretched out from wear like this one. 
  11. Wall Scent: I love this one in Cinnamon Vanilla. 
  12. Face Cream: Amazing hydrator, I got every last drop out of this bottle. It is like collagen plumper in a lotion. So good! 
  13. Room Spray: Great spring and summer room spray from BBW!
  14. Makeup Remover: Awesome makeup remover for lids, lashes, and lips! 
  15. Face Cream: This is a great daily moisturizer, with the added bonus of daytime SPF 47 protection and argan oils. 
Some of the above products are featured below, the rest are on my Amazon Faves page

Don't forget to tell me what you used up last month! 



What's In My Purse & Purse Organization

I have never done a "What's In My Purse?" or "What's In My Bag?" post, and I LOVE seeing other people's, so let's dive in!

It is probably no surprise that I am a lover of Louis Vuitton purses. They never go out of style, they last forever, match everything, and I feel like they are just their own style icon.

For Spring right now, I am using the Louis Vuitton Neverful MM in Damier Azul. I love how lightweight it is, versatile, and stylish. Just a big bucket that is literally NEVER FULL. Or, in my case, I like to make it VERY FULL! I will occasionally purchase some LV "dupe" items you will see below, but as for the actual purses, I love the reliability and quality and style of the real thing, so I don't have any dupe suggestions for these! I have heard though that shopping on consignment sites like Poshmark or The Real Real, you might be able to save a little money on a great designer bag.

I got this felt insert (pictured below) to put inside the bag, in the combo Large/ Beige. I also use this nylon insert in Large/ Brown from time to time. I think these really help shape my bag, and if I am transferring my stuff from 1 bag to another, it makes it SUPER easy.

I love all the little compartments and I will show you what I keep in each one. I would actually love to scale down, but don't you just "need everything" you have in your bag? I feel like I do! Please tell me I am not the only pyscho carrying a 20lb bag because I NEED everything that is in it!?

I try to clean my entire purse out once a week, like on a Sunday night, by just dumping everything out on my bed or a rug. Then I go through the contents, throwing away things like protein bar wrappers or filing things like receipts. Then, I put away the 3998 extra lip glosses that have made their way into my bag that week, charge my tech stuff, and just put everything back together and organized again. AHHHH. Such a good feeling to start the week with, amiright?!

Here is a breakdown of some of the purse organization stuff I love (and pictured) and/or things that have helped me! If I forgot anything, feel free to ask!!! 

  • Felt Insert (see above for details!)
  • Clear Zip Bags - I recently starting using these instead of a makeup bag with designs on it, because I can actually see what I am looking for! Why didn't I think of this years ago? I have the small size, and you get 6 for about $12, so they end up being around $2 each and they lay really flat nicely too, which I think gives me a little more room as well. If I wasn't using the clear bags, I like to use just 1 big sturdy Makeup Bag LIKE THIS (an LV dupe that matches my bags), or the pretty ones you can get at Target now. 
    • Inside these bags, I have things like:
      • Lumify Eyedrops, extra contacts (I wear dailies in just 1 eye, so I just keep a couple extras in my bag, no case needed 
      • Floss Packs, with stick flossers in them (for when you get food stuck in your teeth after dinner!) + a couple of the same emptied flosser packs, but filled with hair ties, bobby pins, a tiny tweezer, a tiny nail file and nail clippers! I mean, I just don't know when I might need these things guys. And if I take anything out, there will be an end of the world scenario and I will regret removing the item!! LOL 
      • Misc: 
  • Starbucks Cup - only like $12-$15 for a cute reusable customizable cup like this!! I also use this section of the organizer for a water bottle, but I thought this cup was too cute not to include. 
  • Pill Organizers - Yes, I am "that girl" and I am not even a Mom! HEY - Allergies? I got you! Headache? I got you! Heartburn? I got you! You get the point... I got you. Love these because they fold over twice, and you can label each section.
    • I also forgot to include my daily pill organizer that I use day by day to take my medications and supplements on time. I love THIS ONE - it has been the most durable that I have found and does NOT open on accident, spilling your medications all over the car or your bag or your room. It is only $11 and mine has already lasted me a couple of years. I just put each day in my bag that morning and take it out at night when I get home. 
    • For trips, I also like to use these round containers for things like antacids or Tylenol, even spare change! 
  • Airpods headphones - in this rubber case to protect them and/or keep track of them with the keychain attachment; I also have and like THIS pair! Great for talking on the phone, or listening to music or your favorite podcast.
  • Portable phone charger - you need one of these if you don't have one! They are awesome for your purse, your work bag, and for traveling. You never know when you are going to need a charge!
  • Card case - This is a cheap LV dupe, I know!! But I just wanted something cute for my bag that I could carry extra cards in, that didn't cost me $300+. Shh, Mom is getting one of these in her Mother's Day gifts this year, too! The inside is a little lower quality with the accordion slots, but the outside is pretty legit and it works for what I need it for.  
  • Sunglasses (LOVE these $11 dupes for something much more ridiculously expensive - I own them in black and brown tortoise) & a Sunglasses Case (I use my skinny leopard zip one from my Quay x Jaclyn Hill sunnies).
  • Extra Glasses - either my prescription glasses or these blue light blocking glasses for when I am wearing my contacts.
  • Wallet - I use this Damier Ebene LV Wallet that has lasted me YEARS now, and you can now find some really good dupes like this too. I have had my eye on this one
  • Not pictured - keys with keychain - duh!!! I love this new repurposed LV and leopard keychain that I just added to my keys! And I carry this for self protection

I cannot imagine I forgot anything, but let me know if I did! I will sometimes get brave and carry a book or my ipad in my bag, too!! Sometimes a notepad if I need it too - but I try to keep my day planner at home, and use my phone for notes and calendar and as much as possible. STILL though, see - it is literally NEVER FULL. :) Mary Poppins bag, if you will....!!! TA-DA!

Please share any tips you have on purse organization with me!!! 
I love to hear it all! I would love to see your photos too! 




Spring Organization - My 5 Favorite Baskets!

The 1st full day of Spring I believe is today, although it is rainy and chilly here in Southern California! I got the Marie Kondo itch to do some organizing and spring cleaning while stuck inside today, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share some of my favorite organization products. I get SO much pleasure from seeing something neat, clean and organized, and I realized that baskets really help me organize my home! Check out all the baskets I love below.

1. Baskets for pantry organization

These "Y weave" plastic baskets can really be used in any room or closet in your house. They are affordable, versatile, come in lots of sizes and 9 different colors. You can also buy them in a value pack. This is just a photo of how I use them for the snacks in my pantry: top shelf = 1 medium size on the left with nuts and seeds, 1 rectangle size in the middle with all of my protein and snack bars, 1 more medium size on the right with fruit snacks, dried fruit, etc.; bottom shelf = left side individual snacks, middle popcorn, right side, more chips and snacks.

2. Baskets for closet storage

Seems as these actual baskets are not available online anywhere, but I found the newer model for you here. I like to use these on the short top shelves of my closet for things like: hats, belts, and scarves. These can be awesome for bathroom product storage too, even maybe office storage, or toy storage if you have kids.

3. Baskets for under bed storage:

These can be used under the bed, in a shelf, under a desk , in a closet - pretty much ANYWHERE in your home. And they are so easy to shop for and affordable. They come in neutral colors to match your furniture, like white, tan, brown and black. I use brown ones in shelving unit for files, and then under my bed to store blankets, bedtime supplements and medications, and extra pillows! You NEED these! They come in a pack of 6 for less than $25, and they are super easy to pop out from folded and assemble.

These white cotton, canvas and cardboard baskets come in various sizes and look so cute in my office space, on a shelving unit. They are actually advertised as "toy bins", so that would be really cute too. I love the pop of gold on white and how it matches my decor - click here.

I use these in my bathroom to hold: my feminine products, washcloths, and bath products. These would be perfect for a nursery too - anywhere you need some storage with a little bit of a decorative touch. 


In writing this blog post, I realized just how much I depend on baskets to store things in my home! They are so versatile, and you can find them in plastic, woven, cotton - pretty much any medium that matches your decor.

I hope you liked this blog post - I know it was a little different, but I was on a cleaning frenzy today and got inspired to share!

I would love to know of any great go-to baskets you use in your home and how you use them for organization!! 



Insta FriYAY Roundup

TGIF, I hope everyone is having a good one. I have rounded up my last 10 Instagram outfits and posted details for you below. You can shop all of my looks HERE as well. I hope you have a good, safe weekend, and remember - clocks SPRING BACK!! Whoohoo, more day light!

OOTD #1:

OOTD #2:

OOTD #3:

OOTD #4:

OOTD #5:

OOTD #6:

OOTD #7:

OOTD #8:

OOTD #9:

OOTD #10:

You can shop all of my looks HERE!



February Empties!

Happy March, Springtime, Daylight Savings-time, all the things!
I had a lot of empties pile up last month! Check out all the links and descriptions below.
You can shop ALL of my favorite things on AMAZON HERE - and am constantly updating this for you.

Clockwise from the top left:

  1. Collagen: Love this collagen protein powder in my coffee! It is so good for your hair, skin, nails & joints! Has no taste and mixes super easily. 
  2. Shower and Bath Gel: My favorite body wash. I keep 1 in the shower and 1 in the bath tub!
  3. Foundation: I love this foundation, I'd say it is a medium coverage, but feels good & lightweight - color: 120 = Y245 Soft Sand, for when I'm not tan. 
  4. Self Tanner: Always using this up and repurchasing, my #1 fav at home tanner. SO easy to apply, looks natural, and doesn't transfer or smell funny! 
  5. Lipgloss: This lip gloss produces lustrous, creamy color with a refreshing, minty, tingly sensation. I love this color - it is a nude-y pink sheer. 
  6. Day Cream: This was a sample size, but I linked the full size for you - which I have already purchased and started using. This cream offers hydration and broad spectrum UV protection in one product. Perfect for a day moisturizer under makeup or alone.
  7. Razor: The BEST razors to shave your face with! Buy these in bulk! 
  8. Perfume: Love this cotton-candy sweet perfume & it doesn't bother my Mom's allergies, so I always have it on my vanity. 
  9. Primer: Loved this sample and buying the full size - lightweight and smoothing to go under your foundation. 
  10. Eye Drops: These are expensive eye drops and run out too fast, but I love them so much! They make your eyes so bright and white and they don't burn. 
  11. Mascara: The big shot brush on this one features unique, wavy bristles that cradle lashes for a bold lash look. I would definitely rebuy. 
  12. Brush Head: I wore out and am replacing this acne attachment for my Clarisonic Mia
  13. Leave In Conditioner Spray: I ran out of leave in conditioner spray, and my Mom gave me this to use. I LOVED it! Hydrating, protecting, and smoothing. 
  14. Loose Powder: Laura Mercier's loose setting powder is the holy grail and softest of setting powders. I love this size for travel. 
  15. Night Cream: Another one you have seen before - the Estee Lauder age reversing line and wrinkle cream to use at night time. 
  16. Brush Cleaner Spray: I use this every day after I put my makeup on - just spray and wipe with a paper towel, and my makeup brushes stay soft and are never dirty.
What did you use up last month? 



Presidents Day Sales!

How is everyone doing? There are a lot of Presidents Day Sales going on, so I thought I would round some up for you in case you are inside and shopping like I am on Sunday night or Monday morning! California has been getting so much rain lately, so lots of inside days have been happening around here.

As always, rule #1 of online shopping is to use Ebates to get cash back and discount codes. Click HERE to sign up.

Ann Taylor: 40% off full-price styles & an extra 50% off sale styles with code SOSWEET. I am OBSESSED with this Leopard Coat! + 4% cash back with Ebates. Their socks and jewelry are good things to get during sales.

Banana Republic: 40% off almost everything & 20% off leather, suede, silk & cashmere. + 8% cash back with Ebates. I want THIS soft striped sweater for only $35! Discount is taken at checkout, but if you have a BR Credit Card, you can get an extra 10% off with code: BRCARD. They have a lot of good quality basics that you could stock up on.

Bauble Bar: Up to 80% off, end of season sale! + 9% cash back from Ebates. I went a little ham on this one, not gonna lie. So many cute styles for under $20!!!

Express: 40% off everything, an extra 50% off clearance! + 4% cash back with Ebates. I love this cute camo tee and this REALLY cute jumpsuit in a bunch of cute colors. Sale ends 2/19.

Gap: 40% off everything with the code GREAT & an extra 10% off online with code BOOST + 8% cash back with Ebates. This large work tote is really classic and cute, and I love to stock up on their lace undies. Sale ends 2/18.

J.Crew: 40% off your purchase with code YESPLEASE (select styles) + 5% cash back with Ebates. I want this leopard shirt so bad! Ends 2/18.

Macy's: Additional 20% off with code PRES on select items + 6% cash back with Ebates.

Nordstrom: Winter sale, save up to 40%, no code needed!

Let me know what you find, too! 



IG Roundup!

I think it is about time for an IG Roundup on the blog today! Here are 5 recent looks for you to shop easily here on the blog! 

1. Lucky Sweater:

2. Sherpa Denim:

3. Good Vibes Society:

4. Caliente Sweatshirt:

5. Yellow & Tan:

What do you have planned for February?
I can't wait to see all the rainy and cold weather fashion from everyone! 



January Empties

Happy 2019 and I have quite a few empties already in the new year - 15! I know everyone is on this Art of Tidying Up kick right now, so timing is kind of perfect to use up, declutter, and get rid of stuff! You guys know I get so much satisfaction from getting my money's worth on what I buy by using them up, and I love to share my thoughts on each item - how much I liked or disliked it and if I will be or have already purchased it again. Check out the deets below! 

  1. Epsom Salt - Love this one for relaxing baths. The coconut oil in this one makes it super nice. 
  2. Bubble Bath - This is a great smelling bubble bath that I loved adding to my nighttime routine. 
  3. Eyedrops - If you haven't tried these yet, you HAVE to! They do not burn and they make the whites of your eyes whiter in like 60 seconds, it is amazing. 
  4. Hair Spray - Good anti-frizz spray, that I would buy again. Love the new packaging! 
  5. Face Cream - This is a good night cream that is affordable and effective and you can pick up at the drug store. I love using this one when traveling. 
  6. Candle - Less than $30, a super luxurious feeling candle. Another lavender scent - my fav! 
  7. Shower Tanner - I don't LOVE this product, but there isn't really anything else like it, so I keep buying it just to have a tanning lotion that I can use sometimes in the shower before I get out. It is def. less messy! 
  8. Primer - Love this primer for before putting on my foundation and I would definitely buy it in full size now. 
  9. Toilet Spray - this stuff is amazing for travel, your guest bathroom, etc. 
  10. Mascara - Great black mascara, I loved trying this one out!
  11. Mascara - This is a really good one for lengthening! I love the brush on this one, it doesn't get all clumpy like some mascaras.
  12. Face Cream - Holy grail of soft moisturizing creams, I loved trying out this 1oz. bottle of La Mer that my Mom was allergic to and gifted to me! 
  13. Eyeliner - Not my Kat Von D that I love, but a close dupe for much cheaper! 
  14. Lip Gloss - $5 favorite lip gloss in the color Tiramisu. 
  15. Setting Spray - Less than $10, this is my FAV setting spray. 

What did you get through last month? 



December Empties

December Empties time! 

I have 16 products that I emptied out last month. Check them out below! I also keep these logged online at the images below, HERE and HERE, if you ever want to go back and look at all my products I have used up, or past months' empties blog posts.

1. Shampoo - Love the smell of this shampoo! You can get it at the drugstore. I have tape hair extensions now, so I can't use this right now, but when I don't have extensions in, it is the best! 

2. Lotion Spray - My ride or die easy lotion spray by Vaseline. I always have one on backup!

3. Concealer - NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer in Medium 1 - Custard. I found this hard to get out of the tube, so I might not re-buy unless my tube was a fluke! 

4. Dude Wipes - I order these wipes in bulk from Amazon. They are larger than baby wipes, flushable, and unscented! 

5 & 6. Stila Mascara - I love this HUGE Extreme Lash Mascara by Stila. It is blackest black and really pumps up your lashes. 

7. Lash Paradise Mascara- This drugstore mascara is a GREAT dupe for the Stila HUGE lash. 

8. Feline Noir Mascara - Ferocious black waterproof mascara. Great drugstore mascara. I think the packaging made me buy this one! lol

9. Makeup Remover Wipes - Clear complexion makeup remover wipes - love these. I try to experiment with all different kinds of wipes, I am not loyal to one. 

10. Black Eyeliner - Ciate Fierce is not my ride or die, but it was a good black eyeliner! 

11. Lip Gloss - NYX Butter Gloss in Eclair is only $3 guys and I LOVE this stuff! 

12. AM Face Lotion - I love this Neutrogena face lotion in the morning because the pump is easy to use, and it has SPF 15 in it. 

13. Brow Gel - Love my ABH clear brow gel to set my brows with. This was a sample size that I used up. 

14. Chapstick - This coconut and pear Burt's Bees chapstick (or lip balm) smells amazing like the beach, and is super hydrating. I don't love their original formula, but I do like most of the flavors like this. 

15. Body Wash - Love this warm vanilla sugar body wash from BBW. I used up this sample size on a trip to Utah in early December. 

16. Shampoo - Used up this sample size from Bumble and Bumble - Invisible Oil Shampoo. Wouldn't purchase a bigger size because I am trying to use specific hair extension shampoo now, but I liked it! 

That is all for December! Stay tuned for January empties next month. 
What did you use up last month?



Health Update - Surviving a Serious Blood Clot

Happy (belated) New Year friends. I have been pretty MIA since even before Christmas, because I had a serious health scare, and am hopefully finally on the mend. I wanted to post about this and provide a health update, not only to let everyone know what happened, but always to raise awareness and to be vulnerable and transparent. 

So, Monthly Plasmapheresis had been helping my Autoimmune Encephalitis via my Hickman catheter along with IV then oral steroids since August of last year, following an awful relapse in late 2017. Before the holidays this year though, I couldn’t breathe well - I thought I had a sinus infection & went to the ER. They sent me home on an antibiotic. A week later, things worsened to where I could hardly breathe, stand, lay down flat or sit up straight because my neck & upper body (abdomen, arms, neck, face, chest) were swollen to at least 3x their size. I went to a 2nd ER and a CT scan showed I had ”Hickman Catheter Associated Thrombosis”, a blood clot around or blocking my SVC (superior vena cava) vein, in turn blocking the blood flow to my entire upper body. I was put on a blood thinner IV and then released on an oral blood thinner on Christmas Day. 

Tough Christmas, but I was told it would take “a while” to see any improvements, so I was hopeful and tried to make the most of the time I had with my family and loved ones through NYE. About a week later, I noticed the swelling getting much worse and my breathing getting more difficult, so I went back to the ER. At the hospital they said the oral thinner failed to dissolve or break down the clot and I had "Superior Vena Cava Syndrome“, where my clot was blocking blood flow by 95%! I didn’t realize this alarming fact until much later because I was in such distress and also didn’t want to read or scare myself further and so I am still processing how life threatening and serious this was.

I had "Catheter Directed TPA Thrombosis" to treat the clot (a wire catheter was inserted inside my upper right arm across and into my left chest with strong, dangerous medication that would hopefully dissolve the clot). They later went in my vein again to take pictures, which showed that the vein was still 75% blocked 48hrs after the treatment, mostly due to the shape the clot grew in - sort of a spiral scar tissue wrapped up and down the vein. Who knows how long this clot was growing on my vein and catheter.. possibly started as early as August, and even though the Plasmapheresis was making me so much better, the vehicle used for it was slowly killing me?! The next day they decided to do a “Cavogram Angioplasty”, where a small balloon was inserted and opened  in my vein during the procedure so blood could flow a little more freely again. After the balloon was removed I showed an improvement at 50% bloodflow.  I also had my right lung / pleural fluid drained out. Just way too many scary new procedures and experiences I had to endure in such a short time day after day. I felt like yelling “Mercy!”, that I couldn’t take it anymore and maybe God would let me have some relief. I am just so glad I was at a good hospital and under the care of a great medical staff.

I continued on an IV blood thinner, and literally over the course of a few days, despite drinking barely any water due to sedation prep, I shed 20+ lbs of fluid my body was holding in my head and upper body because it couldn’t route through that vein.   Check out some of the photos. I am still in total shock. My arms and head wouldn’t move before, my Mom bought me maternity clothing from Target & I couldn’t move much without feeling like I was gasping for air. I slept on the couch to sit straight up, and I just was very uncomfortable and impatient, scared and frustrated.

I was released last Sunday on “bridge” blood thinner at-home injections to get me off the IV, and just moved on to an oral anticoagulant to break down the blood clot more and hopefully continue to improve, or at least make sure the vein doesn’t close up again. I was in the ICU from 1/6-1/12 and on 1/13 I finally moved to the next area up and was able to sit  in a chair for a while and walk assisted to the bathroom. In the past I’ve had some terrible autoimmune scares, a seizure and coma, chemo and angiograms, literally losing my mind and living being completely disabled due to my lack of brain activity and stupor. But this was different, a very close call to death if not treated properly & the progress of breathing better and then sitting up and then finally being able to move out of that bed after a week of trauma was incredibly hard and emotional. I got so overwhelmed and cried and cried - in fear of what all had happened and relief that these were the hard steps that I would take to try to get back on my feet once again.

Looking ahead - we wanted to avoid a stent being placed because it’s apparent my body doesn’t like foreign objects inside of it (breast implants, catheter, etc..), but I’m hopeful my Autoimmune Encephalitis symptoms have and won’t relapse from this - my steroids were upped to protect me from that, but the fear is always there that my body could fight itself again in the confusion. But, my swelling and breathing is much much better and I am home now setting up follow up appts - there IS a risk of the clot coming back or not dissolving, but hopefully the medicine will work and I can put this behind me. I am weak, but my mind and spirit are strong and I felt like I needed to share this story, for me to process everything and for you to be aware, or to motivate you in a time of hopelessness. Life is hard, not just highlight reels, and everyone deals with something.

Thank you to my loved ones that were by my side or came to see me or checked in on me daily. I feel like this is another near death miss and maybe only because I have so much love & support in this world and God has bigger plans for me - I  am here to keep fighting and pushing through. And in the process, I keep discovering more self love and grace. I hope to get back to my “regular” life soon.. not sure what this means for my Autoimmune Encephalitis treatment - but I am trying to see the good, be thankful I was persistent with the doctors and hospitals, even when I didn’t think they could help me, thankful I have a great support system and am never without love.

Let me know if you have any questions about any of the medical jargon, or even any of the emotional weight that comes with this and everything that has happened to me since late 2006. I have been told that I need to write a book one day, but for now, I have to share in bits and pieces with any small platform I have, because I feel it’s important to be real and honest and open.. and I definitely always want to help anyone who is going through something scary health wise, because we trust our bodies and when something fails it can be so hard to deal with or come back from. I need about 1 to 20 therapy sessions to start processing this and give love and hugs in person and in my heart to my wonderful loved ones, for staying with and visiting me, & to everyone else who was checking in with me or my family and praying for and concerned for me. 



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