.hello. the next day

So I’m sure most of my usual readers saw my little rant last night. Sorry about that. We went to the doctor today for the follow up on Ran’s abnormal analysis.
Let me just start off by saying, my marriage should be picked up as a sitcom. Honestly. The ratings would be through the roof! Move over Modern Family, move over Will and Grace- there’s a new quirky couple in town! Seriously, our lives are comic gold. It doesn’t happen in real life that on your way to the man-gyno (my new work for the urologist, aka sperm doctor) that your husband gets stung on the face by a yellow jacket while checking the mail. Unless you’re us of course. Poor RJ had to walk in looking like Sly Stallone to his appointment today.

Check out that kisser! That face pretty much sums up his feelings on the events of today, btw. lol

We ended up really liking the doctor. He was young and funny and not hard on the eyes either. Ran said he bet he had a hot wife. lol As far as having him on Team Johnson in our quest to get pregnant, we’re happy with him. He’s dry and sarcastic and isn’t void of a sense of humor. Perfect for us! Where as my doctor is very nurturing and calming, they’re a perfect balance to the equation. We’re lucky in that respect. The news we got wasn’t so lucky though.
He said they go by two markers. If you’re 40/40/40 (motility, count, morphology) you’re in good shape, you should have no problems conceiving and everything is pretty well in a good range. If you’re 20/20/20 there isn’t a ton they can do to help. Ran is 31/17/10. That means, his motility, while not the best, isn’t really an issue. His count is borderline at 17.1 million but it’s enough for things like IVF and IUI. The problem is his morphology being at 10%. That means out of all of his seaman only 10% aren’t abnormal, the rest aren’t really viable. He’s going in for another seaman analysis, getting blood work done to check his hormone levels, and getting a scrotal ultrasound to see if there are problems with the veins. We’ll go from there when we get all those results back.
Not fun stuff. Not fun at all. It’s not an end all, no hope, give up kind of news, it’s just a your journey is going to be this much longer and nothing is guaranteed kind of news. I don’t know which is worst honestly. We’ve lived pretty much our entire marriage so far in some sort of baby making limbo. It’s never ‘the worst case’ but it’s always “we just don’t know how or when’. It’s frustrating when the one thing you want is exactly what you can’t promise you’ll ever have. If it was 100% either way I think it would be easier. Either 100% yes, eventually you will get pregnant, or sorry but there is no way possible you will never have a child  that is biologically yours, you need to start looking at other avenues- would at least give us some since of peace and stability  It’s hard hanging out in the middle when you don’t know what your future holds.

As much as I’m gripping and whining and pouting, I want to say, I’ve very very lucky and very blessed to be going through this with my best friend. If you’re going to be going through struggle there isn’t a better person to have next to you than someone who will let you cry on their shoulder, who will laugh with you about what’s going on, who will keep you sane, who will always be there, solid and strong. RJ is my rock and I adore him and as much as it hurts to say, if we never have children, I’ll be okay with that knowing no matter what, I’ll always have him and he will always be enough. ❤

A little vent

I know I’ve mentioned it, but never really talked about our infertility journey here on this blog. I swore I wouldn’t. I swore this would be a positive place filled with only positive things, but honestly, that’s not life and it’s certainly not mine. This is my blog and there is no sense in having it if I’m not going to be honest even when things are rough.
Ran goes to the urologist tomorrow for further testing. I’m having a more emotional time tonight than I thought I would. This has been a long time coming and I thought I was fine, but I’m not fine. I’m not scared, I’m just annoyed. We deserve this. We deserve a child. We deserve to become parents and I hate that it’s so difficult for us.
We started trying to conceive as soon as we got married. We got married 2 years and 3 months ago. When I was 15 I was diagnosed with Endometrious. I’ve had 2 surgeries for it. When I started seeing my new dr this year we found out I never had Endometrious. My scar tissue was due to the first surgery I had to correct the issue. The OB took out a duct that was never suppose to be removed. This was 10 years ago. We have no idea how it has affected my fertility since then. The 2nd surgery removed scar tissue from the first surgery giving the impression of Endometrious but only causing more scar tissue to develop. When I went to my new dr we found out I actually have PCOS with insulin resistance. I was put on medication to balance my blood sugar, but out of depression and sheer frustration, I stopped taking it.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Randy’s tests came back poorly as well. He has low motility and a low count. Where he should be around 70% he’s around 20%. It’s not the worst, but it’s not good. If I was perfectly healthy it probably wouldn’t be too big of an issue, but as I’m not, it makes us having a child that much more difficult.

Tomorrow we go in to get Ran checked again and to find out what we need to do to get him fixed. I wish I felt like this was a step closer, but it’s been so long and it’s been so fruitless I just feel like this is another step in the same spot. I feel bitter and totally whiny and really pessimistic, and I’m so sorry for that. I guess that’s just where I am tonight.

.hello. villainous beauty- ELF Disney Villain Cosmetics Collection

The Limited Edition Elf Villains Beauty Books

Those who know me know I’m a little more than obsessed with anything Disney. I get this honestly from my mother who would live in Disney World and decorate her entire house in Mickey Mouse if she could. I grew up watching every Disney VHS tape that came out of the vault and I still watch those same VHS tapes with my hubby weekly. I’m also more than a little obsessed with cosmetics, especially budget friendly cosmetics. When I first saw these on the ELF facebook page, I immediately headed to my local Walgreens store to hunt them up! No luck. Humph. So, I did what any sane person would do and drove an hour to the only other Walgreens on the website list that was suppose to get them. Not there either. Ugh. (But I did pick up the Katy Perry movie from Redbox while I was there. Worth it!) So began my harassment of my local Walgreens. I educated them on everything about the product, the name, photos of what each palette looked like, where other people were finding them in the stores, and anything else I could felt they needed to know. I should feel bad, but I really don’t. I had a precious session with twin boys yesterday and when I got home I didn’t do anything but feed our zoo and hop on the internet. I don’t know what made me look my caller ID but I did, and there it was. A missed call from Walgreens. I ran into my living room and check my machine. They’re HERE!! And 3 are behind the counter just for me! I got so excited, like a kid the night before Christmas! Well, by the time I got the message it was 10:30 at night…. Ugh. To try to satisfy some of my excitement I decided to find every review blog on the internet. After an hour of hearing me go on about them my husband told me to throw on some decent clothes and get in the car. That is how at 11:30 at night I picked up these babies! Not 3, but 8 of the 9 pallets our store got. They aren’t all for me though! 🙂 I have a set and I got some for my sister and a friend! I’m not greedy! lol

Elf Villains Pallettes

I’m going to break down each individual beauty book on it’s own so I can go into more detail about each without having a crazy long post but here is the run down.There are 3 pallettes. Cruella DeVil “Evil Everyday Eyes”, Maleficent “Sinister Smoky Eyes”, and Evil Queen “Devious Dramatic Eyes”.  Each book contains

8 eyeshadows
2 lip and cheek color pencils
1 eyeshadow primer
1 liquid eyeliner
1 set of false eyelashes
1 lash adhesive
1 built in ‘mirror’I think the greatest thing about these pallettes is the amazing tutorials that have a day look, a night look, and a transparency of the villain at hand with  each look on either side! They’re beautiful! The packaging on these pallettes go over and beyond! I just picked up one of the WnW Fergie pallettes and the ELF ones blow it out of the water! They’re hardcover books and they have elastic bands at the corners to keep them closed when not in use. On the left each includes a ‘mirror’ (I wouldn’t personally use it, but I love the touch it gives!) with the villain’s initial and one of their most famous quotes. The packaging and art work is everything you’d expect from Disney! Absolutely beautiful!The art work on the inside of each Villain palette! Amazing!I can’t wait to play with these! I’ll be doing a post for each beauty book with swatches and color break downs so keep your eyes open for more details on these fabulous pallettes!

I am a little disappointed not to see The Queen of Hearts (who is my all time favorite) and Ursula as sets, but my fingers are crossed that maybe we’ll get to see them in the future! Those would be some beautiful colors! Rich reds and golds for the queen and deep teals and plums for the sea witch.

Just from the first look, which do you think will be your favorite? Right now Cruella is mine. I’m a sucker for neutrals, what can I say? 🙂 I think Maificent will be the most popular. She’s getting rave reviews online and she seems to be everyone’s favorite villain!

f you are having a hard time finding your own beauty books, don’t forget to check out this interactive sightings map by nouveau cheap and don’t forget to add your pin to the map once you’ve found them!

.hello. home makeover: living room edition

This is another one of those blogs that I show a lot of eye candy from other places in order to talk out the project in my head so I can perfect it on ‘paper’.

I was recently told I have the ugliest couch in the world. Yep. Ugliest, in the world. Here’s its story. I found a chair (so ugly it’s adorable) at the thrift store for a mere $15. It was boxy and oh so seventies and FLORAL! Oh I was in love! I knew it had to have a place in my life so I had to find it a place in my home. I originally intended to use it as an extra sitting chair in my office, but when I went back 2 days later and found the matching couch for $35, I knew it was fated to be in my living room. You see, I reasoned with myself that every newly married couple has to work their way up in the furniture world, and most get passed down ugly patterned couches and chairs. Most are brown and orange with (what I think are) cabins and owls on them. I know this, because my grandmother had that set, and I’ve seen it in newly married friends homes as well, SO I was going to nip our ugly couch problem in the bud before we ever even had the chance to get one. I mean, before someone could pass us down the brown and orange, I’d beat them too it and claim ugly on our terms! And our terms just happened to be this fabulous teal, blue, and green floral boxed beauty! (This couch is very similar in style to ours and I just love what they did with it in their room!) Again, so ugly, it’s adorable. Yes, I’ve always known anyone who comes to our house doesn’t get as giddy over it as I do, but it’s so my style and right up my vintage grandma alley! The cherry was put on top of the cake when my mother called me letting me know my couch and chair were on the episode of Sanford and Son she was watching…. Yep. Good ol Fred bought the set new and he loved his as much as I loved mine! Now HOW am I suppose to be expected to give up on something that is a piece of television history?! My mother in law isn’t quite as keen on the relic as I am and has insisted that we get a new couch.

While going couch shopping, I thought I’d have a difficult time finding just what I was looking for. Something comfortable, yet very square. Neutral, yet easily punched up with the right throw pillows. And more than anything durable against the slew of animals we have, a very accident and mess prone husband, and a wife that demands to eat various drippy and crumbly things when blogging while watching Dawson’s Creek.

I love the thought of a neutral couch with punches of color and texture thrown in with throw pillows and accessories!

When I first started couch shopping a couple of years ago, I came across what I felt like was our perfect couch. The Talbot couch by Lay Z  Boy. It’s a doll of a thing, but even with the lifetime warranty, it’s just too pretty of a penny for us, but I loved the shape and knew I had to have something similar.

I also can’t get enough of Crate and Barrel’s Verano, but that price tag left me with sticker shock!

And then, out of no where, I found it. I found MY couch. And it has PINK pillows! What?!?! And really the price just can’t be beat! It’s number 2200 by Fusion furniture and I’m just in LOVE with it! The only thing that worries me about it is the dark color. I love love love the grey, I really do, but I worry about combining all of the colors in our home and tying them together with this sofa. Our kitchen is currently white, grey, and black with pink, teal, and red accents. Our connected dinning room is black, white and grey as well, but with unbleached cotton and burlap as accents. I’m struggling at the moment to pull these two rooms together and have them make sense, but that is what the living room was going to do. When we first bought our house 3 years ago every room had to be painted. I don’t know WHO picked the paint colors for the house before we got there, but the only thing I could figure is that they did it in the dark and where color blind after it went up. The kitchen and dining room where two toned, turquoise and dark almost black, brown. The living room was somewhere between army green and baby poo (along with the hall way and front bath. At least they were consistent, right?), our bedroom was dixie cup red (that solo cup was NOT my friend!), the bigger extra bedroom was lime green with with orange, blue, red, and yellow polka dots (you can’t make this stuff up) and the other bedroom was the color of a granny smith apple (the only color that stayed and is still here, and only because we were very burnt out on painting by the time we got to it).
For the living room, I used this photo I found in a Martha Stewart paint add as my inspiration and painted the walls Cake Stand blue (which really is as lovely as it sounds) and purchased dark wooden furniture to compliment the light walls.

We currently have the Avington collection living room set from Target (coffee table, bookshelves, and TV stand) that really looks great with the light blue walls.

Obviously not my house, but we have 2 bookshelves on either side of our TV stand, then the coffee table right in front of the couch.

I love this set, but I’m wondering if it will go well with the grey couch. The couch has some brown undertones to it, and the legs match the dark tobacco color almost to a tea so I don’t think we’ll have any problems, but just in case we do, I’m not objecting to painting these pieces. I’m actually working on a telephone table and coffee table set I snagged for a great price at the thrift store that I was planning on selling, but depending on how they look, I may just keep them and move my coffee table into the office as a printer shelf with storage. I’m painting the side table white and distressing it, then painting the coffee table base white and distressing it as well, then staining the top either the dark tobacco or ebony. I’m loving the distressed shabby chic look and I think it’ll be a great way of bringing in the burlap and other organic textures from the other room. I have to see how it will look with the current TV stand. That is my only doubt.

A frame wall is a must and I’ve already started collecting the pieces for that collection. I’m thinking I want to add floating shelves to that as well for more texture and a places to put odds and ends I want to add to the room without cluttering up the shelves and tops of tables. I love the different textures and colors of this frame wall from biesinger! (Note that neutral couch again!)

We just came into posession of a ton of wood. Too thin to build a deck with (darn it!) and currently taking up space in our backyard. Since the projects planned with it aren’t going to work, I’ve claimed it as my own to build what I see fit (and can manage by myself). My mother in law suggested a ‘wood wall’ somewhere in our house, and while I’m not sure I’m that brave, I really love these wood backed shelves from over the big moon!

I really love the direction of the wood on this shelf by Shanty 2 Chic. 

But in either instance I would distress the wood, refurbed barn wood style that I learned from House of Smiths to get the look I’m wanting!

I’m also quite obsessed with dressers at the moment. I feel the need to have one in every room of the house. Mostly because we bought a house with literally NO storage space. No attic, no basement, no garage, no workshop or out building (and a tee tiny laundry room outside, ugh.) so I have to find creative ways to store this and that inside our house, which is neither fun, nor practical most of the time. But with the addition of dressers throughout the house, we are able to store random bits that just can’t go anywhere else, or are only used seasonally. I’m currently on the hunt for a dresser for my living room. Storing movies, shoes, and random office supplies that find their way in there on long work weekends will be grand! Something like this from Natty by Design would be just delightful!

Finally, as I said before, our walls are currently cake stand blue, by Martha Stewart. I picked it not only for it’s light and airy quality, but also for it’s adorable name! When Martha Stewart switched her paint line from Lowes to Home Depot, she really screwed up by changing the names of the colors. She hit the nail on the head with the old names. Gingerbread, Flour Sack, Milk Glass Pink, Bakery Box, Party Dress. Sigh. I was in love. I couldn’t resist. While there is nothing wrong with this beautiful color, I’m ready for a whole new look in our room so I’m ready for a change. When I saw this dresser on Nesting Place, I just knew the color was everything I was looking for and more. It’s called Halcyon Green and it’s a dusty robins egg blue. Like The Nester said, there is nothing dirty about it. 

First I looked at Dragonfly by Behr. It was the original color I wanted my teal dresser, but I wasn’t patient enough to wait til the next day when HD was open so I opted for a Walmart shade of color instead. It ended up working out well, but I knew I wanted Dragonfly somewhere. After much debate though, I decided it was just too heavy for all four of our living room walls, and since I’m not an accent wall kind of person, it was out.

So as of right now Halcyon Green it is. It seems much lighter to me, but darker that Cake Stand Blue to give the room the lift I’m looking for.

I think once the room is done, it will be all I ever wanted and more. There are still accent chairs to replace, and curtains to find, but we’ll get there. Oh curtains. How I HATE shopping for curtains! It’s the most dreaded part of this whole ordeal for me. I’m just not good at it. I know this time they need to be lined, since the last one I bought were not and the light just pours in making them look cheap and thin (of which they are neither). But lined curtains just bother me. From the outside they look like you have sheets hanging in your windows. While there is nothing wrong with that, I just don’t see spending all that money when from the outside it looks like you’ve put your bed linens up. We don’t have blind on our huge front window so what ever curtain we get will show proudly through for everyone to see, so it has to be something I at least find nice to look at. I’m sure they’ll be the last thing we do in the room. I need to see how everything else comes together first so I know what they need to be.

So that’s the currently plan. It will probably change over the course of the renovations, but for now, I’m pretty much in love with it. Classic, colorful, and organic with texture and lots of things to look at. It’s going to be difficult, but I think it’ll all be worth it in the end!

.hello. short hair for a round face

So it’s that time again. It’s September so it’s time for the biggest make it or break it style decision of the season. Hair cut and color. I went shopping with my mother in law this week to work on my look for fall, and I knew I needed something easy to throw on, comfortable to work in, but that I could make work for client or vendor meetings. I decided to focus on a lot of structure, with trouser jeans, camis, cardigans, and belts to form the staples of my wardrobe and using things like scarves to tie colors together and dress a look up. I focused on a lot of neutrals as bases and jewel tones for my sweaters and cardigans. I also got a black high waisted skirt by Daisy Fuentes that not only looks flattering, but makes me feel sexier than I ever have in clothes before! I can’t wait to show it off to you guys! I’m getting some new headshots and photos together for my website so you’ll be seeing the look soon enough! For makeup, I’m channeling my inner Katie Holmes circa 2002-2003 (have I mentioned my obsession with Dawson’s Creek lately?) and going with a matte face, neutral eyes, deep blush, and berry colored lips. Very easy, very classic, and very easy to pair up with anything else. But the last and final piece to my fall look is the hair.

On to the entire point of this blog. The hardest part about finding a look for me, is my hair. It is flat and thin and overall, very blah. I keep it short because it gives it some sort of body and more often than not, I like my hair to look ‘messy’. This is because I’m lazy. I hate using heat tools on my hair, not to mention I’m not very good at it in the first place, but my hair is stick straight and will NOT hold a curl, so I can a) straighten it smooth and curl it under, or b) use a TON of product and mess it up like I just slept on it (which lasts oh….. 20 mins?). Not fun. Not versatile. But classic. As long as I don’t get the itch to perm it again, I doubt I’ll ever look back at my photos and think “What on EARTH was up with my hair?!??!” I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’ve had my bad hair styles (remember that perm I mentioned…). I did the finger in a light socket flip, and the chopped off to my ears gappyness, but over all it’s always been the same. Straight, to my shoulders (or slightly above or below), side part, side bangs. BORING, but more than likely what I’ll be doing tomorrow as well. While looking over hairstyles I always go back to my good old standbys. Kelly Clarkson and Mandy Moore. The two styles I’m bringing in tomorrow are these (no that’s not Mandy, that’s Rose. First time for her photo to meet my hairdresser!):

I know a lot of women with round faces try to make their face appear thinner with their haircuts. I personally love having a round face (I mean, my cheeks are simply precious) but I do give my face definition when applying my makeup. I suppose it’s all in personal preferences. I’m going to to have to embrace my hair thinness (oh if that thinness could just spread everywhere else!), but I hate layers so hopefully dear Bethany can help me out with that one. The think I like about Kelly’s cut here, is that while thin and smooth it doesn’t look flat, but it doesn’t have a ton of body to it either. It looks professional, but with the right kind of product and some time with some heat rollers, I’m sure a messy and tousled look wouldn’t be hard to achieve at all.

One style that I am obsessed with and I absolutely adore and plan on getting tomorrow are ultra short side bangs. Oh man! I love them!  They’re so vintage, yet fresh to me! The remind me of pinup girls from long ago, yet at the same time, they feel modern and hip. I can’t get enough of them. We went to see Mirror Mirror in theaters (which is a very cute movie, by the way!) and I could barely focus on the film because every 2 mins I had to lean over to my husband and express how precious Lily Collin’s bangs were. I was hooked! (Yes there are 2 photos of Lily in this one, so sue me, she’s beautiful!)

As far as the color goes, I was able to obtain my dream hair color ONCE and only once. I have no idea how it happened or why we can’t seem to get my hair to settle into it again, but it was the prettiest red that you ever did see. I’ll bring the photo in again tomorrow, and again, I’ll probably be disappointed that it doesn’t look like it used to (also bare in mind my hair was halfway down my back, holding curl like it never has before, and I was probably a good 60 lbs lighter, so really the color isn’t where the bitterness comes from. Ah, to be thin again!)

I know. We’re hot right? Sigh. One day, skinny me, one day I’ll see you again!

I’m so desperate to get this color back, if I need my hair stripped and bleached to achieve it, I’m fine with that. I also say that, because I’m not at all worried about damaging my hair. I mean, it’s as oily as it comes, so drying it out has never been a concern. I’m lucky that way I suppose! I’m not sure when Drew Barrymore went red, but I’m pretty sure she channeled her inner me when she did. I mean, it’s PERFECT! The color, the highlights, everything. I want highlights tomorrow. I mean, I want obvious highlights. Not just peek a boo ones, or ones here and there, I mean, “hey, look at her highlights’ highlights. I feel like creative professionals (okay, here I’m talking about hair stylist and photographers) always have obvious highlights and low lights. I know I’m probably crazy for this, but you rarely see them with just one flat color. I don’t want one flat color either! I want people to look at me and say “Hey! I love her hair! The color, the cut, the highlights, and the short bangs all scream amazingly creative and hot photographer!” Every one of them. lol Of course, I’m kidding, but I do want my outside to reflect my personality inside and right now, I just feel boring and blah. Check out these sassy reds and some very chunky and obvious highlights!

In the process of writing this, it’s helped me talk out with myself exactly the looks I want, so for the final collage of the night, you get my picks that I’ll be bringing to dear sweet Bethany tomorrow! And my final choices are……

Who didn’t see those coming? lol This is the latest photo of me taken a couple of weeks ago, but for traditions sake I’ll take another at the shop while getting it done. Fingers crossed it turns out just perfectly! I guess you’ll just have to wait and see won’t you?

Big fat huge shout out to my dear friend Joel over at J Price photography for this fantastic shot! I have a matching one of the hubby. I’m framing them for our bedroom! 🙂 Check him out at http://www.facebook.com/J.PricePhotos

Do you have any tips for short, straight, flat hair? How long does it take you to decide what you want when you get a new cut?