Here's hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, family & friends!
Here's hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas filled with love, family & friends!
Can you believe there are only
Man, this year it REALLY doesn't feel like Christmas! It's partly because of the amazingly mild weather and no snow in sight, but also because of the lack of decorations in stores and around town in general.
This isn't going to stop me. I'm going to blast my Christmas jams and bake all the BEST Christmas cookies! I decided to make you a list of my favourite Christmas songs.
Growing up my grandmother lived with us and she was ALWAYS singing. Most of the songs (and a few of the singers) on this list I love thanks to her. They are the perfect Christmas memories for me!
She & Him - Baby It's Cold Outside
Elvis Presley - Blue Christmas
Otis Redding - Merry Christmas Baby
Bing Crosby - The Christmas Waltz
Frankie Ballard - Run Run Rudolph (Chuck Berry Cover)
And lastly, what kind of Christmas song list would this be if it didn't include a little Mariah.
Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You
These are just a handful of my favourite songs for the holidays, what are yours?
For as long as I can remember I've had horrible allergies, sinus infections and congestion. I get at least 3 sinus infections a year, and I'm always stuffed up all winter long.
After YEARS of allergy medications, nasal steroids & alternative and holistic forms of medication, I asked my family doctor to refer me to an ENT Specialist. I was really sick of the anxiety I was getting from putting who knows what kind of chemicals and damage to my organs from all the medications. I just wanted to feel better.
My appointment was made for 3 months later, so I sat and waited. Had good days, had bad days.
The day of my appointment I was SO excited and hopeful to get the confirmation and answers. I was SO disheartened by the end of the appointment. I don't think I'd been more frustrated.
The specialist was VERY cold. He blew into the room like he was being held up for something more important (I immediately started to get defensive, which to me, was warranted). He did a basic exam by putting a scope into each side of my nostril and down into my throat. Upon taking it out he said he didn't see anything wrong with me, and that I didn't sound congested at all. I told him my family doctor noticed my right side was restricted and that was why he sent me. He thought it was a possible Deviated Septum.
The specialist kind of laughed, but I kept informing him that I never felt like I wasn't stuffed up. He reluctantly decided to send me for a CT or CAT Scan.
(To be fair, he probably sees A LOT of patience that think they're sick and they know what's wrong when he doesn't. BUT that's no excuse for a poor bedside manner, at least in my opinion)
Three more weeks go by and I get a call for an appointment at the specialist's office to review my
Now, I was going with very low expectations that they had found anything, and that again he would tell me he saw nothing wrong. I had been planning all the things I was going to ask him. Should I see an allergist? Could it be something in my diet? Well, I got quite a surprise with the appointment.
It began with my CT scans. I was shown exactly what was going on with me. I was diagnosed with Silent Sinus Syndrome.
What this typically means is that the maxillary sinus (the one in your cheek) spontaneously collapses, bringing the orbital floor (the floor holds your eye in place) down, causing the eye to sink back into the skull, giving a person the appearance of a sunken eye and droopy eyelid. (see below)
Now, this is where I differ from a normal case.
I didn't have the physical manifestation of Silent Sinus because my right maxillary sinus never fully developed. Essentially this means I have a very tiny (the size of say, a pencil eraser) sinus. So the constant pain from fullness happened daily, because it just couldn't drain anything.
And that was only the beginning.
Next we moved to the left maxillary sinus to find a cyst (think golf ball) filling up space, making that sinus a fraction of the size it was supposed to be. So all that time spent being stuffed up and uncomfortable? Yah, there was good reason.
Third on the list of findings was that my septum is severely deviated to one side, making it (surprise surprise) restrict air flow.
So what's next? Well the only way to treat Silent Sinus Syndrome is surgery. The same with the deviated septum. And because my syndrome is a little different my surgery will involve creating a bigger sinus where there wasn't much of one at all.
The wait time is about 4-6 months, but I am so thankful to finally have some clarity with my problems. Am I nervous? Hell yes! Did I watch every nasal/orbital floor surgery/septum reshaping surgery I could find on YouTube? You know I did.
Unfortunately with the long wait for my surgery and the approaching winter season, I can count on several more sinus infections before I get this taken care of. But the good outweighs the bad. In a years time I will (hopefully) be free from all the pressure and sinus infections and finally leading a healthy life!
Lastly, I would like to stress to everyone reading this the importance of trusting yourself. NO ONE knows your body better than you do. If you know something is wrong, don't give up until you figure out what you need to make things right. I've been suffering for years with this problem and no one thought anything of it until I started asking for more.
If you have any questions for me, don't hesitate to ask! I'll do my best to help you!
This blog goes out to all those ladies that live for their planners. I need you!
I'm a big fan of organizing my life. I like seeing it on paper and planning accordingly. I like being able to see all appointments and work schedules in the same place. I'd like to start incorporating blog related items in the planner as well.
This is where I need all those planner addicts out there, I need YOU to help me find the best stickers, washi tape and other embellishments that I need to spruce up my pages!
I currently have a Webster's Pages teal and white striped A2 planner, but I'm thinking about making the switch to the A5 for more space on the monthly planner pages.
I'd love to see your planners! Post some pictures to my Facebook Page and let me know what you think of your brand/size etc! I'd love it if you could give me some ideas on how to decorate and organize mine!
A couple weeks ago I flew to Vancouver from Toronto for a lifestyle and blogging conference hosted by Jennifer Flores of Rambling Renovators (yes, this woman is a blogger with her own business to run AND yet she still had time to plan and organize a conference across the country at the same time! #GirlBoss or what?).
The Blogpodium conference took place at the Pan Pacific Hotel. The place was a maze of conference rooms on three levels! I swear if I didn't know where I was headed I would have been super late for the opening remarks!
Jillian Harris was the Keynote speaker. I don't watch too much of Love It Or List It, but that small woman is a giant ball of positivity. Her speech was inspiring and funny. She spoke about not really knowing what she was doing in the beginning, but also knowing she wanted to keep pushing ahead and not being afraid of diving in head first. This resonated with me most, because unlike almost everyone else in that room, I was a beginner, with a lot of confusion and little ideas when it came to choosing my path, but knowing that I wanted to be there.
Up next was the Camp Tech Google Analytics course with founder Avery Swartz. I can't deny my love for the nerdy, so I was really engaged in this seminar. Funny & informative, I could have spent hours listening to Avery!
Learning the ins and outs of monetizing with Gemma Bonham-Carter of The Sweetest Digs was not only incredibly informative, it was (like everything else today) fun. I really appreciated her in-depth and serious topic with humour and light delivery. She didn't say "don't do this, do this", but gave us options, told us what did work for HER and what may work for us.
Everyone who knows me well knows how much I love food. Lunch, catered by the hotel was amazing! Chicken, steak, veggies, pastas - you name it, delicious! I did a great deal of overeating (in preparation for drinks with some old friends later that evening), and man, was it worth it.
After lunch I sat in on the Spark Sessions "The Power of Visual Branding" with Gloria Chik of The Urbanebloc and Tania Yan of Olive + Piper. They offered so many beautiful visuals and the importance of staying true to your brand with visuals on both the blog and your social media platforms. I learned a lot from these two stylish women!
After a short break, I sat in on Jenna Herbut's seminar "Make A Living Doing What You Love". She taught me that if your first ideas don't pan out, don't give up. You have to keep plugging away until you find something to grow with. I valued that above all else from her talk.
I have to mention now, there were tables FILLED with desserts ALL DAY! I couldn't resist!
The last session of the day was with Poppy Barley's Kendall Barber & Caroline Gault (who by the way, laughed at all my jokes about being an adult with a retainer and a penchant for being hungover when I shouldn't be. Thank you Caroline for having a wonderful sense of humour towards this awkward girl!).
Firstly, if you haven't seen their shoes & boots before, GO NOW TO THE ABOVE LINK. Custom shoes for every foot? YES! YES! YES! Their story is a true Canadian success story of some wonderfully talented women that wanted to bring custom, quality product to women and men everywhere.
Kendall and Caroline spoke so deeply about dealing with road blocks, bumps, hitches and overcoming the people who act as "seagulls" and "shit on you" (Kendall's words, I swear!). I loved the idea of knowing that YOU CAN be you and succeed. You don't reflect the negatives that come at you when you're not quite getting things right yet.
I'm really glad I took a chance on myself and flew across the country to participate in this event. Although I didn't know a single person in the room beforehand, it was truly incredible to see people with similar personalities (re: taking pictures of EVERYTHING like I do - see friends, this isn't just something I do! Others take pictures of food, centrepieces and expertly arranged papers etc!), I sat with some crazy talented mom's, designers and lifestyle bloggers who were very positive and offered some great advice to a newbie like me. I left with a full notebook & a head full of ideas.
Lastly, the SWAG! Oh man! I wish I could bring it all home with me (sorry spray paint, you weren't allowed in carry-on or checked bag. But I do hope the mom ticket agent has fun with her kids and you!), I swear it added POUNDS to my baggage!
I'll leave you with two images of the positive words that were on the floors when we arrived! I can't wait for next year's Blogpodium!
The fall to me is the best time to read. Curled up on the couch with a blanket, a cup of coffee/or tea and a good book. I lose many of my days off to this pastime. I just purchased 3 new books to read this month, but as I add more, I'll be sending you a new link back here.
I decided to give this month a theme, I'm going to read books by humorous people. I want to laugh, smile and enjoy a nice light read. These are the top three books I'll be reading this month!
Modern Romance - Aziz Ansari (I've been meaning to read this for a few months, but kept holding off until I had an arsenal of other funny books to follow up with! Now is the time!)
What books are you reading right now? What should I check out? I keep a list of all recommendations so I can get to them too!