Lifestyle

Wellness Wednesday: Adult Nueroblastoma

Hi Friends!

As many of you may or may not know I’m currently battling Stage IV High Risk Neuroblastoma Cancer. Neuroblastoma is primarily found in children and is extremely rare for adults to get.

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control and crowd out normal cells. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body.

The types of cancers that develop in children are often different from the types that develop in adults.

Neuroblastoma starts in certain very early forms of nerve cells, most often found in an embryo or fetus. (The term neurorefers to nerves, while blastoma refers to a cancer that affects immature or developing cells). This type of cancer occurs most often in infants and young children. It is rare in children older than 10 years and adults.

To understand neuroblastoma, it helps to know about the sympathetic nervous system, which is where these tumors start.

The sympathetic nervous system

The brain, spinal cord, and the nerves that reach out from them to all areas of the body are all part of the nervous system. The nervous system is needed for thinking, sensation, and movement, among other things.

Part of the nervous system also controls body functions we are rarely aware of, such as heart rate, breathing, blood pressure, digestion, and other functions. This part of the nervous system is known as the autonomic nervous system.

The sympathetic nervous system is part of the autonomic nervous system. It includes:

  • Nerve fibers that run along either side the spinal cord.
  • Clusters of nerve cells called ganglia (plural of ganglion) at certain points along the path of the nerve fibers.
  • Nerve-like cells found in the medulla (center) of the adrenal glands. The adrenals are small glands that sit on top of each kidney. These glands make hormones (such as adrenaline [epinephrine]) that help control heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar, and how the body reacts to stress.

The main cells that make up the nervous system are called nerve cells or neurons. These cells interact with other types of cells in the body by releasing tiny amounts of chemicals (hormones). This is important, because neuroblastoma cells often release certain chemicals that can cause symptoms.

Neuroblastomas

Neuroblastomas are cancers that start in early nerve cells (called neuroblasts) of the sympathetic nervous system, so they can be found anywhere along this system.

  • Most neuroblastomas begin in sympathetic nerve ganglia in the abdomen, about half of these start in the adrenal gland.
  • Most of the rest start in sympathetic ganglia near the spine in the chest or neck, or in the pelvis. Mine was in my left pelvis area!

Some neuroblastomas grow and spread quickly, while others grow slowly. Sometimes, in very young children, the cancer cells die for no reason and the tumor goes away on its own. In other cases, the cells sometimes mature on their own into normal ganglion cells and stop dividing (this makes the tumor a benign ganglioneuroma).

I hope this was helpful in understanding what kind of cancer I have! Cheers!

Lifestyle

OOTD

Hi Friends! Happy Monday!

I’m popping on here to show my outfit details. I am working today so I wanted to wear something cute but comfortable. These shorts are so comfortable and this top is Prime. My whole outfit cost less than $40!

Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

Wellness Wednesday: How to Develop a Gratitude Practice for a Happier, Healthier Life

If you want more happiness in your life, learn how to develop a gratitude practice. It’s simple, free, and can have profound effects on your life. 

There’s been so much research on the benefits of practicing graditude. It’s pretty hard to ignore, but I will admit that I haven’t had a serious gratitude practice. I’ve done it, here and there. But I’ve never made it a formal practice.

The last time I heard about the benefits of gratitude, the information somehow struck me in a different way. I was listening to Bob Proctor, who is amazing individual that everyone should read, and he said to commit to writing down 10 things, yes 10, that you’re grateful for, every day, as soon as you wake up. 

I’ve always done a mental gratitude practice. In the morning or in the evening before bed, I’d try and name 3 things to be grateful for. It was never written and I can’t say it was something I did every single day without fail. 

In fact, I usually did my gratitude practice when I was feeling down or upset about something. I’d use it as a way to perk myself up to see that there were actually many good things going on in my life. I just needed to look for them. I still recommend this way of practicing, but I was curious to take things a step further.

I wondered what would happen if I truly committed to a gratitude every day?

Before we jump into all the benefits, let’s first talk about how to establish a gratitude practice.

How to Develop a Gratitude Practice 

As I mentioned, I used to just think about things to be grateful for whenever I remembered. Some days I’d forget. When I did remember, it would often be a reaction to a bad mood and I’d just be looking for gratitude to get me out. 

Once I started a regular gratitude practice, I found the bad moods didn’t come as often. I learned to get ahead of the negativity curve, and start my own positive status quo.

Write It Out

I really recommend putting pen to paper to get the most out of starting a gratitude practice. It’s so much more powerful to write down what you’re grateful for as opposed to just thinking about it. And yeah, ditch the electronics for this. No one needs more screen time. 

I have a little notebook and pen on my bedside table. I practically graze my hand on the notebook after I hit my alarm so it’s pretty easy to remember to do it.

I put the date at the top of the page and then just have a numbered list from 1 to 10 with a word or phrase next to each number.  

Each entry doesn’t have to be super long, but if you’re a freeform thinker and love journaling, then write as much as you like. If you’re already a little unsure if you can commit to starting a gratitude practice, then start with a simple list.

When I started my gratitude practice, all of my yoga teachers, my mail carrier, and delivery people got an even heavier dose of verbal appreciation from me. The unseen trash people, farmers, and delivery people have also been getting silent praise as well.

Sit Quietly

If you can sit quietly for a few minutes after you create your gratitude list to soak it in, all the better.

I put the date at the top of the page and then just have a numbered list from 1 to 10 with a word or phrase next to each number.  

When I started my gratitude practice, all of my yoga teachers, my mail carrier, and delivery people got an even heavier dose of verbal appreciation from me. The unseen trash people, farmers, and delivery people have also been getting silent praise as well.

Sit Quietly

If you can sit quietly for a few minutes after you create your gratitude list to soak it in, all the better.

Notice where the gratitude lives in your body. I’m gonna guess your heart is going to be all warm and tingly. Feel it and get even more grateful for the happy sensation.

Should a conflict arise later in the day causing tightness in your chest, try and tap back into that feel-good heart gratitude sensation. Hopefully that will cause the tightness to soften and you can reframe the situation and find something else to be grateful for.

Set the Tone for the Day

Starting your day with a gratitude practice gets you off on the right foot and that’s why I recommend writing your list in the morning.

When the first thing you think of when you wake up is all the things you’re grateful for, instead of how much you hate your job, trust me, you’re going to have a different day. 

I found that throughout the day, I wanted to add to the list. After about a week, I found myself looking for more things to write down. And you know what? I was finding them….everywhere.

What to be Grateful For

If you’re thinking 10 things to be grateful for everyday seems like a lot, start small. Really small. 

Ideally you’re waking up in a bed, with a structure over your head, and sheets, and blankets. You just nailed #1-4. Yes, those count.

One of the big shifts I noticed is how many things I take for granted….until something happens. For instance, I cut my pinky finger while whipping up a new recipe and it was catching on everything. Every time it caught, I’d think, dang, that little finger.  

After regularly doing this gratitude practice, my attention shifted to, I’m so happy that I have 9 working fingers. Why on earth would I spend any time and angst on one little scrape on such a small part of my body, but folks, this is what we do. This is how we live our lives! 

We see the little scrape and start beating up the poor little pinkies of the world, instead of stepping back and seeing the bigger picture. I find when you can focus on things outside of your tiny bubble, you can realize how good you’ve got it.

So start small with your gratitude list. Repeat the same items every day if you want. Soon though, you’ll begin seeing more and more wonderful things in your life. I know I wanted to add to my list at night or during the day as I discovered more to appreciate.

That’s the law of attraction at work right there. The more goodness you see, the more will find you. I’m going to need a bigger notebook. 

Share Your Gratitude Practice

Don’t believe me? I invite you to try this written gratitude practice for at least 14 days and see how you feel. Hashtag So start small with your gratitude list. Repeat the same items every day if you want. Soon though, you’ll begin seeing more and more wonderful things in your life. I know I wanted to add to my list at night or during the day as I discovered more to appreciate.

That’s the law of attraction at work right there. The more goodness you see, the more will find you. I’m going to need a bigger notebook. 

Share Your Gratitude Practice

Don’t believe me? I invite you to try this written gratitude practice for at least 14 days and see how you feel.

It really only takes a few minutes. It’s not going to hurt you. In fact, I do believe it can have profound effects on your life if you’re open.

Have a friend join you. Practice with your family at meal times. Commit to it and watch the changes come.

I talk about all of the benefits of gratitude in my next post, but I first wanted to get you set you up with the specifics on how to set up a gratitude practice. Then we’ll dive into the results of starting such a simple, but powerful daily exercise.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you’re just starting or are already doing a regular gratitude practice. Hashtag: #tiugratitude.

It really only takes a few minutes. It’s not going to hurt you. In fact, I do believe it can have profound effects on your life if you’re open. 

Have a friend join you. Practice with your family at meal times. Commit to it and watch the changes come.

I’d love to hear your feedback if you’re just starting or are already doing a regular gratitude practice.

Recipes

Taco Tuesday!

It’s Taco Tuesday and we’re taco lasagna. I made this a few weeks ago and this healthy but delicious dish did NOT. It’s packed with flavor and has just enough spice to get your juices flowing (that’s what she said, just joking!)

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 4 flat out wraps or similar
  • 1 C. Salsa
  • 1 TBSP chili powder
  • 1/2 of Mexican blended cheese
  • Instructions
  • 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

    2. Combine ground turkey and chili powder and brown on a skillet. Once cooked add salsa.

    3. Add a layer of meat mixture, 2 tortillas, 1/2 of cheese, meat mixture, 2 tortillas and remaining cheese to a 2 qt casserole dish.

    5. Cover with tin foil and cook for 25 minutes.

    6. University and brown cheese for 5 minutes.

    7. Let it sit for a few minutes and then enjoy!

    Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: 7 Foods for a Flat Belly

    With so many diets out there it’s hard to pin-point which one is right for you. One thing remains consistent: we all want a flat belly.

    Here are seven foods for a flat belly.

    Eggs

    Simple, I know. But eggs are a food that should be a staple in your everyday diet, and here’s why.

    Firstly, in one large-sized egg, you will find around 7 grams of protein, with 6 grams of fat and minimal carbohydrates.

    Not only does an egg contain a lot of protein, but it also contains high-quality protein.

    This is measured by the different types of amino-acid chains found in the protein source.

    Sweet Potatoes

    If you’re looking for a healthy carbohydrate source, look no further than the sweet potato.

    In just one potato, it contains 400% of your daily recommended vitamin A, making it very nutrient-dense whilst containing fewer calories than a regular, white potato.

    Spinach / Kale

    Yes, these leafy greens should be a staple of your healthy diet.

    I know it is not something that many look forward to eating or would like to eat every day.

    But the health benefits are amazing!

    So, if you can find a way to fit them in, you definitely should.

    Chia Seeds

    Packed with fiber, these healthy little seeds should become part of your everyday diet.

    Their fiber content will make sure your digestive tract will run smoothly and will also increase your satiety when you consume them.

    However, despite containing all this fiber, it’s the antioxidant qualities of chia seeds that is what makes this healthy food popular and recommended by experts.

    These antioxidants fight molecules that damage your cells and increase your risk of cancer as well as also helping with anti-aging.

    Almonds

    Many are aware they should eat nuts for a healthy, balanced diet.

    However, they are unsure which ones they should eat, and the quantities in which they should eat them.

    By far the best nut to consume for a healthy diet are almonds.

    Berries

    Berries are very good for you, and not only because they’re one of your five a day.

    They are high in antioxidants and help to fight chronic diseases.

    Not to mention the fact that, unlike some of the above healthy foods, these are very tasty and appealing to the palate.

    Oats

    This basic breakfast has become a staple in the diets of fitness fanatics.

    Plain and simple, yet packed with health benefits.

    This carbohydrate source is possibly the healthiest grain on the planet.

    I’m going to incorporate more of these in my diet in hopes to get a flatter stomach!

    Amazon, Fashion, Try On Sessions

    Amazon Try-On haul

    Hi Friends! We did good, this Amazon haul is amazing and everything is under $28!! Check out my stories for more details. Everything is linked in the bottom of the post!

    Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: Intermittent Fasting

    Hi Friends! Well I finally did it, I hopped on the Intermittent Fasting (IF) train. I’ve been following Lauren Gleisberg workouts for a few months and she recommends to pair them with IF.What is It

    Intermittent Fasting is alternating intervals of eating and fasting. Most commonly, the fasting period is 16 hours with the remaining 8 hours spent eating. Basically, as soon as you consume food you “break your fast” and your 8 hour interval begins.

    How It Works

    IF is an effective fat loss technique because it allows the body to switch from burning sugar/carbs to burning fat for its primary energy source. When you eat, the body begins to digest by breaking down food into smaller components to be used within the body.

    Part of what we eat is immediately used. The excess food is saved as storage to be used for energy at a later time. Our bodies actually have a preferred order that it follows when looking for energy, glycogen (carb storage) is first and fat last. When too much time is spent in the eating interval, our body has enough glycogen to serve as energy so it won’t look elsewhere (such as fat stores).

    Fasting allows your body to shift so it turns to existing fat stores to burn up as fuel.

    Basically by increasing the interval in which we do not eat, we allow our bodies to use fat as fuel.

    When we eat, the body begins the process of digestion: breaking down food into smaller components to be used within the body. Some of what we eat is immediately utilized. Excess food is saved as storage to be used for energy at a later time. Weight and fat gain is the results of too much food and “storage energy. Our bodies actually prefers glycogen first when looking for energy and fat last.

    When too much time is spent in the eating interval, the body has enough glycogen to serve as energy so it doesn’t look worse where (such as fat stores). When you fast it allows for this shift in which the body turns to our existing fat stores to burn up as fuel.

    To sum it all up…. if we keep replenishing our glycogen (carb) stores – such as through eating – our bodies will be less and less likely to burn up fat! By increasing the time we do not eat, we allow our bodies to use fat as fuel.Lauren suggest combing IF with weight training for best fat loss results.

    Benefit of Intermittent Fasting

    • Reduction of Body Fat
    • Improved Cellulite
    • Inflammation Reduction
    • Mental Clarity
    • Improved Energy
    • Self Control
  • Breaking Down Your Eating Schedule
  • Experts suggest 8 hours of eating, 16 hours of fasting. For me eating 11am-7pm (eating) 7pm-11am (fasting works best). I suggest slowly adjusting to your fasting schedule.
  • Eventually you will get to 8 hours of eating 16 hours of fasting.
  • 8 Hours of Eating
  • The second you eat or consume food you “break your fast”.
  • 16 hours of Fasting
  • After your eating window closes your fasting window opens.
  • I am not a licensed dietician, nor medical doctor, nor fitness expert. The purpose of this blog is to share my experience with weightloss, fitness and life in general and to offer a little entertainment along the way. If you are seeking a professional opinion on how you should achieve your goals, you should consult a professional. 

  • Health, Wellness & Beauty, Lifestyle, Skincare

    My Skincare Routine

    Happy Tuesday! Today, I wanted to talk about my skincare routine as so many of you have asked what I use! Generally speaking, I do not have a super time consuming routine and tend to only focus on a few products. I also drink plenty of water during the day, which I believe helps a lot, and I ALWAYS wash my face in the morning and at night.

    My Skin Type

    Let’s talk skin- I would say I have dry skin as certain areas can become quite dry (around my nose and mouth). As a teenager, I never had really had severe acne, but I will say that I did have mild acne with pimples mainly on my forehead and chin.

    I am very conscious about taking care of my skin and try to do small things to limit aging! I drink water constantly and try to get in at least 64 ounces per day. Fun fact- I hate sugary drinks like juice and soda and avoid them at all costs. I also never let my face in the sun- if I am laying out, I will cover my face with a towel or have a hat on. I think that limiting sun exposure, drinking fluids, and keeping your face moisturized (plus some good genetics- thanks mom and dad) can definitely help to fight the signs of aging!

    Skincare Routine

    About ago, I noticed my favorite bloggers were all using the same product, Tula. Being a beauty junkie and hearing so many people talk highly about this skincare brand, I jumped and bought some of their products! I did a little research and learned that TULA uses probiotics in all of their products. Basically, probiotics are the “good bacteria” we want in our bodies to help keep everything working like it should. By incorporating probiotics into their skincare, TULA’s products have been clinically proven to balance your skin, lock in moisture, and leave your complexion more hydrated and less inflamed. I was so excited to start using these products!

    Guys, I am not kidding you when I say that the first time I used their face cleanser, my skin was immediately so soft and glowing! I even made my mom use the face cleanser too haha! I started using a few other of their products including the Aqua Infusion Power Liquid, Pro-Glycolic 10% pH Resurfacing Gel, and the Hydrating Day and Night Cream and under eye stick. The power liquid is a super hydrating gel that always leaves my skin more dewy! The resurfacing gel helps to tone and exfoliate my skin, while removing excess oil (thank you!) and debris. Lastly, the day and night cream is a super thick product that is extremely hydrating (a little dab with do ya!). And finally the under eye Glow and Get it stick contains caffeine which instantly wakes up your tired eyes.

    Morning Routine

    First, I wash my face with the cleanser using my Clarisonic, then I apply the resurfacing gel with a cotton ball, then I apply the power liquid and last I eye the under eye glow and get it stick. I let my face completely dry and then start applying my makeup.

    Nighttime Routine

    At night, I do the same steps above, but at the end I apply the hydrating cream. Sometimes, I will just put the cream on a few of my more dry spots (around my nose and mouth), but other times I will just put it all over my face! 

    Below, I linked each of the items that I use!

    Masks

    About once a week, I try to do some type of face mask- typically on Sunday nights. My favorite face mask is this one– I love how my skin feels afterwards and I really do think it helps to unclog my pores. I feel like with so many masks I really don’t notice a difference afterwards, but I always notice that my skin looks better once I have used this mask. Although I will try out other masks, I always come back to this one. One of my other favorites include this one here.

    For those of you that would like to try out TULA, I would recommend starting off with one of their “starter packs.” These packs come with smaller, travel-size products so you are able to try the products for less! TULA has three different starter packs including the discovery kit (the one I started with), the clear complexion kit (for those struggling with acne), and the anti-aging discovery kit (for those who want more anti-aging products). 

    Over the last few months, I have definitely noticed that my skin is more supple, dewy, and radiant. I feel more confident not wearing makeup and am so happy with how my skin has transformed. I would highly recommend trying out these products if you are looking to switch up your skincare routine! *As a side note, this is not a sponsored post- I genuinely love these products and wanted to share them with you all!

    If you try out TULA, let me know how it goes! I would love to hear your thoughts on it and how much you love it! 

    As always, thank you for reading and sharing!

    Baublebar, Fashion, Sales

    Baublebar Sale

    Health, Wellness & Beauty, Wellness Wednesday

    Wellness Wednesday: Why I started using the Billie Razor


    I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve really been enjoying our Wellness Wednesday series every week! If you’re new around here, you can catch up on all of our Wellness Wednesday posts here. Today’s post is a little unique and to be honest, is covering a topic I hadn’t given much thought prior to connecting with the brand. But the more I learned about Billie – their product, their purpose – the more I realized just how important it was for me to try + share with y’all!

    It may seem pretty random to dedicate an entire blog post to the razor I use, but hear me out. There are parts of my beauty routine that I put a lot of thought, research, and care into. When it comes to beauty and skincare, I won’t use just anything – I’m pretty sure y’all know that by now. I really scrutinize the products I put on my face from foundation to moisturizer. I have tested out every concealer and self-tanner under the sun. I’m super particular about hair products and tools. But when it comes to shaving my legs? I literally just grab whatever razor has the most appealing packaging and seems most familiar to me. I don’t pay close attention to ingredients, pricing, or anything like that. SO when I had the opportunity to learn more about Billie, I decided it was definitely worth a look. I mean, if not every foundation is created equally, that same logic probably applies to razors, right?

    All about the Billie brand 

    Billie is a female-first brand that delivers both razors and body products (of amazing quality!) at a super discounted price. I had honestly never thought of getting my razors delivered, but then I realized just how convenient and, tbh, sanitary this is. (Am I the only one who forgets to regularly replace their razors/cartridges?!) A key part of the Billie brand, which I love, is the belief that women not only desire the same quality as men when it comes to shaving, but that it should be available at a reasonable price point too. If you think about it, when you hear about ‘quality shaving companies’ you most likely don’t think about products and services aimed at women. You think of guys taking care of their faces/beards, etc. You can read more about their brand and mission here.

     The products + my personal review

    When I received my Starter Kit a couple of months ago it contained the razor base/handle, magic holder (super convenient!), and two 5-blade razor cartridges. I also got some of the body products to test out and review, too. The Billie razor is uniquely designed to give you a close shave without being harsh on your skin. I have super sensitive skin and didn’t have any issues with any of the Billie products. My skin was insanely smooth and soft, and I didn’t have any bumps or irritation after shaving. Seriously y’all, it gives you the BEST shave! The blades are actually framed with aloe so I found that to be extra soothing on my skin. Another thing I love about the razor and all of the products is that they are totally toxin-free and made with natural, high quality ingredients.

    I also tried out some of the Billie body products: the lotionthe shave cream, and the body wash. All of their products are made with natural ingredients and the price point is extremely reasonable (the lotion is only $12). My fave was probably the lotion because my skin needs all the hydration it can get, but I honestly loved all of them! Every products smells AMAZING and is designed with the goal of leaving your skin smooth, hydrated, and healthy.

    How the Billie subscription services work 

    When you sign up for the Billie razor service, they’ll deliver your Starter Kit which includes a razor handle, magnetic razor holder, and two razor cartridges for $9. The price point is seriously unreal, especially for the quality! Then, Billie will send you four replacement cartridges however often you need them for $9. Another amazing part is you don’t have to pay for shipping! Shipping is free and you can always add on other products to your orders – like the body lotion, super luxe shaving cream, etc. It’s really that simple! You can get started by ordering your starter kit here.