Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why I will never buy anything from Caché again

Prom dress shopping was supposed to be a fun experience. My daughter and I went to Caché in Charlotte, NC to buy her a prom dress. She found the one she wanted, but the dress at the store was damaged, so they ordered one for us that would be sent straight to our home. About a week later, I get a phone call stating that the dress was not available in that size anymore. My daughter liked another dress she had seen there, but we decided to look around at more stores before settling on that one.

Several days later, my husband noticed that we had been charged for the dress that we ordered, but that wasn't available. I called the store, only to be told that I would have to come to the store for them to give me a return; a return on a dress that I never received. I asked to speak with a manager, and they told me to call back later. I called back the next morning, and the manager said she was the only person working, so she asked me to call her back in the afternoon. I called back that afternoon and asked to speak with her. She said that they were busy and she needed 10 minutes and asked if I would call back in 10 minutes. I finally got her to refund that dress that was never my dress to begin with over the phone.

After looking at other stores and not finding anything that my daughter liked, she decided to order the other dress from Caché that she had tried on that first day. I ordered it online with no problems, and I received it in the mail about 5 days later. It had a security tag on it that looked like it needed a device to take off. I called the store in Charlotte to ask about it, and they told me just to bring it down to them and they would remove it for me. I made a complaint to Caché's online customer service department. I wasn't asking for a discount. I just mentioned that they should check the items for security tags before shipping them out.

A day later, I got a return email that said I should be the one to remove the security tag (by that point my husband had figured out how to remove it), and that if it was removed, the dress couldn't be returned. I'm not talking about price tags or other paper tags attached to the dress. I'm talking about the security tag that the store removes for you before you leave the store.

I then decided to place an order for a bracelet and earrings that my daughter had tried on with the dress. I went online to do this, but it said that the order had not gone through and that the problem could be with Caché's website. I tried 4 more times on three different brousers in the next four days to no avail. I had received no confirmation that the order had been placed, only emails stating I still had items in my shopping cart. No charges had been placed on my credit card, so I assumed none of those had gone through.

After searching a bit on the website, I found the customer service number, and I called them and placed the order (let's mention here that their phone service cuts the representative off at certain points, so you are left guessing half the time at what they actually have said). This was after calling the store in Charlotte to see if they had the items, which they didn't. The order went through with the customer service representative, and I received a confirmation in my email about it.

The next day, I look on my credit card bill, and I had four different charges for the jewelry order. As you can imagine, by this point, I was furious with this company. Retail customer service should NOT be this difficult. I called a customer service representative (again with their phone service cutting them off at almost every syllable), and I told them about the charges and said that I would be giving them a bad review because of everything I had been through in dealing with their company. I was angry, and the customer service representative hung up on me. I then called back and spoke with a different customer service representative who was about as helpful as a used paper towel. Nothing was done to fix this problem.

I am still in the midst of trying to get these charges taken off of my credit card. Caché is supposed to be an upscale retail store, but I know that I would have gotten better service from someone at Walmart. I will never shop there again, and I urge any of you who are thinking about it to think again.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

If, and when life ends.....

Things I realize everyday... I will die. Everyone does. No one is invincible. I will probably die before I want to or think I will. My family and close friends will grieve.

Where am I getting this from? From my OH TOO numerous friends who have passed away from CF or transplant complications. They were sisters, brothers, friends, spouses, mothers, fathers, and all were children of a mother and father.

I don't pity myself. I sometimes do pity my friends.. those who haven't been able to graduate from college, raise a family, achieve their goals, etc. But I don't pity myself. My daughter alone has given me enough LIFE to be happy with what I've accomplished. Do I want to see my daughter succeed in college like I know she will, and see my grandchildren? YES, absolutely! But, if I don't, I still think I'm the most blessed and highly favored of them all. My girl is my world, and she is 18, almost entering college, and she is independent and sure of herself. That's what I wanted. That's what I strived for! She loves God, and she wants to serve Him after her degrees. It couldn't make me any happier. Do I love my parents, sister, and extended family? YOU BET! My mom has given me life three times. There is no repayment for that, except thankfulness. I'm thankful!

I love my friends.. you know... Nicole, Rhonda, Anne-Lewis, Angela, Kristin and everyone else who has stood by me through thick and thin. Then there is Lori, who succumbed to this disease way before I did. She was there for me too.. always. I have been so blessed and highly favored. If life ended tonight, I couldn't compain. I could only be thankful. I love you all!!!!! Family and friends.. thank you! XO

Monday, March 3, 2014

Oscar Fashion 2014

Oh, how I love reviewing style choices on the red carpet. However, I may have skipped this year had it not been for my amazing best friend Nicole. Thanks Nicole for making me work my brain tonight to come up with some reviews.

Like I did two years ago, I am going to only tell you my top five best dressed and top five worst dressed. As always, I look at the entire look, not just the dress, and I never, ever look at any other reviews before doing mine.

I'll start with my best dressed choices. I'll count down from my fifth choice down to my first. Then, I will go to my worst dressed in the same way, with number one being the worst. It wasn't very hard this year to come up with either list.

As always, I welcome and want your responses, your comments, your choices. Please comment on here or on my Facebook page. You can even comment anonymously here if you want.

This year, we had a lot of the same, monotonous dresses, but that happens every year. So I will focus on those that were different; those that didn't go with the flow, those that didn't stay with the trend, and those that took some creativity and thought.. even if they were horrible.

Remember, that I look at these actresses both onscreen and in pictures. I give them all a chance to shine, but unfortunately so many don't!

Let's begin with my best dressed list starting with number 5:

Let's take a look at Naomi Watts. For one thing, I absolutely love Calvin Klein's sophisticated, simple designs. Kudos to Naomi's sons for helping her pick out this dress The white gown with detailed beading and capped sleeves was stunning on her. She is one of those actresses who doesn't need a train or sheer cutouts to stand out on the red carpet. I absolutely loved her statement spider-webbed necklace and her swept up 80's hair... yeah folks, it's coming back. Her simple black and white geometrical clutch paired with her black shoes added just the right amount of contrast to her entire look. Her make up, as always, was impeccable.

Ok, I'll be honest with you. When I first saw Kristen Bell on the red carpet, I could only see the top of this gown. I was like "meh". Then I saw the dress from head to toe in a better lighting, and I can certainly see why she chose this sophisticated number. The strapless, corset gown has a lot of detail, even though it is a muted grey in color. I really liked the beadwork and the layered, ruffled mermaid bottom. The train added just the right amount of awe to this dress. Her diamond necklace (I adore necklaces on the red carpet), her perfect updo, and her great make up job completed this stunning look! 

Wow, did Sandra Bullock surprise me tonight. To be honest, I'm not usually fond of her style choices. Tonight, she looked like a movie star. Her navy/royal blue gown, with a sweatheart neckline was so elegant and stunning on her. I loved the way that the fabric of her dress gathered and crisscrossed at the side of her waist in contrast to her side-swept hair on the opposite side. It just all worked! The way it fell in front of her with the train behind her made it a flowing piece of art. Her simple diamond jewelry and simple, but classy make up gave her an exquisite overall look. Go Sandy! 

Charlize.... you were one of my best dressed last year. You obviously can't do wrong. I absolutely love her hair short! If anyone can do it besides Halle Berry, it is Charlize. The black, form-fitting Dior gown that she wore tonight blew me away. The sheer straps, low neckline, formed bodice, and layered mermaid bottom all just synced perfectly to eloquently showcase a gem of a celebrity. The diamond drop necklace was so absolutely perfect for this gown, and I would have cringed had it been anything but. Thank you Charlize for always showing us what Hollywood and poise should be! 


Lupita, OH Lupita. Can you ever do wrong? I cannot describe the state of awe I was in when I saw Lupita on the red carpet tonight. She said that she chose the color because it reminded her of Kenya. It just reminded me of a dream. This powder blue number that had a v neck that matched the v in the back, a belted look, and a full, pleated train that had lines of blue beading on it was the most stunning dress of the night. Her simple, short hairstyle with her rhinestone headband, and her simple gold earrings and bracelets were in perfect contrast to her dress. Obviously when Prada and Lupita Nyong'o get together to make a dress, they do it well.. no, they do it perfectly. 

Honorable mentions tonight include: Portia De RossiKerry Washington, Kate Hudson, and Jennifer Lawrence.

Now, we have the worst dressed of the night. I really hate this part, but they have to be mentioned. Hopefully, they will not repeat this again next year. Yes, hopefully, they will read my blog. :)

Sally, hun, what were you thinking? This nightmare of a dress made my eyes hurt. This beaded, pearled, embellished nude number was atrocious. I don't mind long sleeves on the red carpet, but this just looked like something a 2nd grader would design with the contents of their craft drawer. I'm not really fond of gold and ivory thrown together like someone vomited on it either. The hair? Well, let's just say she needs to see a hairstylist pronto. 

People always get on Angelina for doing her own thing. This year, she decided to jump on the nude, metallic bandwagon and unfortunately, she failed miserably. The bateau neckline with the long sleeves and belted center all could have worked. BUT, it didn't. I think of an old chandelier that had it's day back in the 1700s when I see this gown. Obviously, Jolie's hair and make up are perfect as always, but the dress makes me want to barf on some metallic, shear panels. No Angelina, just no! Stop trying to be so matronly when you are not even 40 yet.

Anne Hathaway was one of my worst dressed last year, and amazingly she had a similar dress in the way of the cut as she did at last year's Oscars. She just doesn't have it going on, and I really think she needs a new stylist, if she even has one to begin with. I don't mind her in black, but the triangular rhinestones on the bodice of this dress are hideous. Had it just been a straight halter dress with no embellisments, she would have just landed in the boring zone and not the worst dressed zone. Like last year, I think she picked out her gown hours before the event. I'm adoring her short hair, and obviously she has a great body, so why does she pick the gowns that she does? One will never know! 

Cate, Cate, Cate! She looks like she is going ice dancing instead of attending the most watched awards show on tv. The shear Giorgio Armani gown with metallic embellishments (that she even admitted were too heavy), looks, well, too heavy. There is nothing flattering about this gown, and it clashes horribly with her skin tone. I do like her old Hollywood hairstyle and her GORGEOUS earrings, but her gown leaves many to think that her sons grabbed any metal object from their garage toolboxes to slap on this horrible, nude gown. Get it right next time Cate! Let's go to the Oscars instead of to Disney on Ice!


Anna! You definitely get my worst dressed of the night. You are such a gem, but you certainly showed that you need a stylist when you debuted this "gown" tonight. The sheer cutouts at the top, sheer waist with star-like gems, and hideous pleated bottom of this gown made me wonder what you were smoking when you picked it out. I just have no idea. There was nothing pretty, sexy, flattering, beautiful, classy, or elegant about this number. You got it wrong sweetie, and for that, I'm giving you the worst dressed gong of the night! Let's try to do better next time!!!

Please let me know your opinions, and don't hesitate to disagree with my choices. I love all of your input. Thanks for reading!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pinterest Tips

I love Pinterest! I think it is an amazing way to hoard recipes, interests, fitness routines, etc in an organized, accessible way! I have learned a few tips since I started pinning, and I would like to share them with you. If you have tips of your own, please feel free to leave them in the comment section!

 1.) You can't think too small. When I started pinning, I set up my boards according to what Pinterest suggested, and I realized later on that I was filling up some of my boards, so that finding a pin wasn't as easy as it could be. Now they have a feature where you can search your own pins, but you still may not remember what you pinned 760 pins ago under FOOD or STYLE. Some of my boards are still very broad, but breaking food down to meals, drinks, sweets, gluten free, etc., makes it easier to find what you are looking for. I have even seen people who pin things to a bread or pasta board. Don't be afraid to separate your interests into their own individual board.

2.) Secret boards are great for further organizing your larger boards. I was shopping recently, and I was looking for colored jeans and suggested shirts/accessories to go with them. I started a secret board called Combos where I pulled out all of my pins of colored jeans and what to wear with them from my fashion board. It made it easy to just look at a board with the specific pins on it, and by having it secret, I didn't repin them for my followers to see again.

3.) Another great way to use a secret board is when you are having an obsessive moment (and most Pinterest users have them), and you want to pin a large number of pins at one time. You surely don't want to overwhelm your followers by having 50 pictures of doors show up on their page, so make it secret, and when you have pinned all you want to pin at that time, make it visible to all. They won't get flooded with each individual pin, but they will then be able to see your board and your subsequent pins later on.

4.) One more great use I have found for having a secret board is for recipes that I have tried and liked. Making it secret, again keeps your followers from seeing all of the pins a second time, and it organizes your recipes (or could be any ideas or anything else you've tried) into the ones you like and want to try/use again.

5.) Come up with clever names for your boards. This sets you apart from the crowd, and it draws people to your boards more so than if you just use the names that Pinterest suggests. So instead of "For the Home", you could use something like "My Humble Abode". It gets rid of the boring!

6.) Don't just be a repinner! Pin things that you find on the internet yourself or that you upload yourself. This puts more pins and choices out there for everyone else. You are actually contributing to the world of Pinterest instead of just taking something from it. I have one board where about 80% of the pins on there are ones I have added myself. It's fun to see who repins them.

7.) Go through your follow list occasionally and stop following those who have completely different interests. It will keep your page from being filled with things that bore you.

8.) If you don't want to follow all boards that someone has, just follow the specific ones you are interested in. I have no interest in certain things, and that can actually be someone's largest board. One of my celebrity boards has over 200 pins (my followers probably know which one I'm talking about) and is of no interest to some. However, it is the most interesting to others, so adjusting what boards you choose to follow helps narrow your page down tremendously.

9.) If you want to pin something with no message underneath the pin, just hit the spacebar. This is a great way to get around that annoying message that says a description is required! Some things are self-explainatory.

10.) If you are just starting out, don't get overwhelmed! Start out slow, think of things you like and start searching for pins related to it. I have a friend who has 26,000 pins! I think it was like 11,000 when I started pinning, and I was completely overwhelmed thinking I had to know everything there was to know about Pinterest that very day! No matter how big or small your board is, or how new you are to Pinterest, it's a lot of fun waiting to be had. The world of Pinterest is huge!

 I will add more tips as I think of them, but I'd love to hear yours. Happy pinning!!!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

What Healthy Means to Me

This is a repost from a few years ago. I thought it needed to be said again! XO My blog title is "Color Me Healthy". When you read that and see that I have Cystic Fibrosis, have had two organ transplants, and the various problems that go with those two, I'm sure you automatically think "Color Me Healthy" is referring to my physical health. That's only part of it. To me, health refers to the physical, the spiritual, and the mental. It not only means taking my medicine and complying with my doctor's orders, but it means feeling good about myself when I look in the mirror, feeling good about choices I make, and being happy and feeling at peace in life. I have never wanted to look sick. I can only remember a few times that I didn't at least fix my hair before going into the hospital. I remember my lung transplant pulmonologist coming into the room a week or so after my lung transplant and saying... "Well, I'm glad you FINALLY look sick." LOL. I always thought if I kept the outside looking "healthy", then that would help the inside. It has in a way, because it helps my attitude and outlook on life, and we all know that attitude goes a long way. There is another blog that I visit where a chat is taking place soon to tell others why you named your blog what you did. We are always working toward bettering ourselves, whether it be through knowledge, health, appearance, or spiritual growth. "Color Me Healthy" is me striving for all of these. Attitude and a love for life get you pretty far no matter what your challenges are! As you have noticed, my blog posts are about health, fashion, beauty, faith, prayer, family, friendship, and just about anything else that life is about. I hope I never focus 100% on one of these things, because that would mean I am neglecting other things that matter.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

How to keep your skin young, prevent damage, and heal damage


How to keep your skin ageless! This is my full skincare regimen, and you will notice that I use many different brands. They all work very well with each other. Above everything else, keeping your skin moisturized by drinking a lot of water and little caffeine, wearing sunscreen, and wearing big hats in the summer to protect your face is most important. Being 42 and being told that I have 25 year old skin is priceless. Here are the steps I take:

Morning routine:

I was my face with purity cleanser by Philosophy. It is a nice simple cleanser that I find very light and refreshing.

I then put SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic on my face. This is an antioxidant, helps build collagen, and helps your sunscreen work better.

Next, I put on this wonderful moisturizer by Karin Herzog. I use the Vita-A-Kombi 2 face cream, but if you are in your 20s or early 30s, you can use the number 1, which is more for prevention, whereas two is for prevention and healing.

The last step that I take in morning is to put on my sunscreen. You can get a sunscreen with 70 spf, and you will not get the coverage you will with something like Blue Lizard, which has not only a chemical barrier, but a physical barrier because it has zinc oxide in it. I also have the Blue Lizard sunscreen for my body.

Nighttime routine:

Again, I use Philosophy's purity cleanser.

Three times a week, I use this exfoliator with my cleanser. It works great, and is not too harsh. It's the Olay PRO X advanced cleaning system.

Three times a week, I also use this Olay PRO X exfoliating cleanser with the exfoliator above. My face feels so clean after removing all of the dead skin cells. You can use this more or less often as necessary.

Every night, I put on SkinCeuticals Hydrating B5 Gel. It helps with tissue repair and it replenishes nutrients.

My final step for the night is this Renew Overnight Moisturizer by SkinCeuticals. I use the formula for dry skin, but it also comes in oily.

I have been using self tanning cream since 1994. Having tried most brands out there, I keep going back to Clinique's line of self sun. I use it on my face and body. I never get sun on my face. That is the number one key to youthful skin!!!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Oscar Fashion 2013

My review is a bit rushed this year, because I have to travel in the morning, but I wrote most of my reviews while watching the red carpet event. Most of my reviews are based more on what the celebrity looked like onscreen instead of in pictures. As we all know, the lighting and angle of photographs can offset the entire look. I do have pictures attached though for those of you who didn't get the chance to see them on TV.

As always, I take into account the entire look, including dress, hairstyle, make up, and accessories. And I steer clear of all reviews before writing mine.

I guess the trending topic in all reviews this year will be "train". It seemed like the fad this year on the red carpet, and for the most part, they were very pleasing to the eye and added the right touch to the dresses!

First of all, this year didn't offer much when it came to fashion. As far as colors go, there were a good variety of colors tonight, whereas usually I've seen one color be repeated over and over. The styles of the dresses, other than the trains of course, also varied greatly. I will say; however, that there were few dresses tonight that just screamed "WOW"! On the other hand, other than Kristen Stewart's nightmare of a number, there were very few unimpressive dresses. (Kristen is not in my review, but you can find her dress here).

I will save my best dressed and worst dressed for last, so here goes, starting with these very talented nominees.

I will say that I had so much anticipation in seeing Jennifer Lawrence tonight. She is a sparkly gem, and she usually gets everything right. If you remember my review in 2011, she was one of my best dressed, and she hadn't even made a name of herself as a style icon yet. Tonight, I was just really disappointed in her gown. I loved her highlighted hair pulled back into a simple bun, her perfect make up job, and I even loved the top of the gown down to the drop waistline. I shouldn't have looked any further. The rest of her gown looks like a lampshade. Even the brocade design gives the impression of something that sits on my nightstand, instead of on one of the most stylish actresses performing today.

A ruffled beauty! If you know me, I have never been a big fan of ruffles, especially when there are as many as there are on Amy's dress, but I absolutely loved this pale gray, strapless, Oscar de la Renta gown. The full skirt and train could have been excessive had it not been for the understated bodice. Her diamond jewelry really complimented the gown! Unfortunately, Amy's messy updo knocked this whole look down a notch or two. Overall, I'm still impressed!

How cute is Quvhenzhane Wallis? Although, I thought this dress looked too old for her age, it was still a beautiful dress and she had an overall adorable look. Starting with her curly updo and crystal headband, down to her shiny ballet slippers, she was impeccably dressed. The blue gown, with it's black tulle overlay and crystal embellishments was Oscar-worthy for sure. Her wrap added a nice touch, and anyone who has been following this talented little actress knows she would show up with her puppy purse. Now THAT'S age appropriate!

Procrastinators unite... three hours before showtime! Yes, Anne Hathaway picked out her dress three hours before stepping onto the red carpet, and it shows! Remember your child's first ballet recital outfit.. in the NINETIES? This blush Prada satin gown reminded me of that. Even though it had a unique back, the rest of the dress looked like it came off the rack at your local retailer. I can't believe that Anne could go so wrong.

Age appropriate? Yes! Emmanuelle Riva looked very elegant in this caped, turquoise gown. Her stylish hairstyle, choker necklace, and bracelets added just the right touch to bring this from simple to elegant.

Mermaid gone wrong? This top 3/4 of this crimson gown was completely beautiful and had a nice fit for Jackie Weaver. I really liked the sheer top with its red sequined design and the crisscrossed sash across her waist, but her half up, half down hairstyle and the mermaid skirt, that made her look shorter than she is, ruined the look.

If you cross an angel with a rockstar, you get Charlize Theron on the red carpet tonight. This was a super edgy look for her, and how many actresses, other than she and Halle Berry can pull off this hairstyle? I thought the white gown with the slit neckline, beaded peplum, and simple train was stunning! 

This deep, metallic blue gown was made for Jennifer Hudson! The bateau neckline, and fish scale-like appliques over sheer sleeves and upper chest gave this gown a very unique look. Jennifer's bangs and her matching clutch were a nice touch, but her straightened extensions were overkill.

Legally wrong! Have we not seen Reese in a similar, unflattering dress before? This tuxedo type dress, with its roll over black neckline, satiny finish, and messy train was extremely unflattering. Reese's vintage curls and make up were perfection, however.

Adele had to redeem herself after the floral nightmare she wore to the Grammys. She certainly did that tonight. This Jenny Packham number with its simple bodice and skirt, black on black embellishments, and sheer sleeves draped so nicely on Adele's frame. I like that she has a half updo, and as always, her smoky eyes are quite entrancing. 

Artistic knockout! Naomi Watts shines in this charcoal, metallic, asymmetrical Armani gown. She certainly has the shape to pull this gown off, and the caped sleeve vs. the cutaway shoulder added a very unique touch to this otherwise simple design. Naomi's wavy updo was my favorite of the night! 

You cannot fully appreciate the beauty of this gown unless you see it onscreen! My mouth dropped when I saw Amanda in this Alexander McQueen masterpiece! This taupe dress had such an amazing halter neckline. The chocker at the top flattered her face and shoulders, as did the perfectly placed keyhole. I adored the way this dress draped her body so gracefully. The leaf appliques on the sheered overlay were beautiful as they appeared to be falling from top to bottom. Amanda's voluminous updo and understated jewelry were exactly what this look called for. Can Amanda ever get it wrong? I don't think so! She was my very close second when it came to picking best dressed.

This is one of those love/hate kind of dresses. And guess what? I love it, and I hate it! This Miu Miu number had a pale pink bodice that was adorned with everything from my daughter's craft drawer. Even though the top was a little busy, I still found this to be an interesting dress. The coral color worked great with Kerry Washington's skin tone, and the simple bow belt and train added just the right of normal to this dress.

Sheered Sally! This red dress, with its jewel neckline, long sleeves, and ruffled skirt and train was age-appropriate for Sally Fields, and the sheered sleeves and panels added a touch of youth to this look. Sally's teased updo was so "Sally". This was an overall good choice for her.

It's Christmas in February! As beautiful and glamourous as Zoe Saldana is, I was not very impressed with this pale gray gown. The top of the dress resembled a Christmas ornament I bought this year, and I'm not sure a silver buckle belongs on a ball gown. I did like the side bow at the waist, and the layered skirt and train. Zoe's hairstyle and drop earrings were elegant, and as always her make up was immaculate.

First of all... HOLY COW this girl can sing! And obviously Samantha Barks knows how to dress too. This low cut black Valentino gown was so simple, but yet so comely! Her gold statement necklace was the essential focus of her entire look.

Catherine Zeta-Jones looked much better onscreen than she does here in this photo. She is always so becoming in whatever she wears. The camisole neckline was flattering, as was the fitted bodice and the gold, metallic appliques over the blush sheer fabric. Catherine's classy hairstyle and gold, chandelier earrings added to the glamour of this entire look.

Octavia Spencer! You go girl! What a flawless blush dress! This one-shouldered tulle dress with a beaded bodice flattered her frame and is a show stopper! Octavia completed her look with bright lipstick, stunning diamond earrings, and a neatly styled updo. 

This was SUCH a surprising look for Jennifer Aniston! NOT!!!! As always, Jennifer Aniston takes no risk and plays it safe with a simple gown and decade-old boring beach hair. The Valentino gown would have looked so much better on someone who wasn't so bo bo bo boring! 

AND here are my picks for best and worst dressed! 

The worst dressed gong goes to.... Helen Hunt!

I wasn't expecting Helen to stun me, as she has never stunned me in the past, but seriously? This wrinkled satin mess was something she must have pulled out from the back of her closet. Having such thin hair should make someone want to get a hairstylist to help with styling on such an important night, but methinks she did this herself in the limo ride over. Her regal necklace was the only thing that saved her from being shoved off of the red carpet for embarrassing the Academy!

I am so thrilled to review my best dressed choice of the night! Here is the amazing Jessica Chastain!

Is it just me, or did this golden goddess just step out of old Hollywood? Jessica Chastain took us back in time with this alluring Armani dress. Everything about Jessica's look was tied together so well, including her red, wavy hair, red lipstick, and gold sequined mesh dress. I don't believe I have ever seen a more exquisite redhead in all of my 42 years. I definitely haven't seen one like this on the red carpet. I have a feeling that Jessica will be on many best dressed lists this year!

Every time I do a review, I am eager to hear your comments. Agree, disagree, or add your own personal review! Pictures are from, and you can also go here for excellent coverage of red carpet arrivals! 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

YES, there will be an Oscar fashion review

Watch out for my review.. coming after the Academy Awards Red Carpet on February 24th. I skipped last year, but only a coma will keep me from skipping this year's review... stay tuned!!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Merry Christmas 2012

It is hard to believe it is Christmas-time again! It feels like we just took the tree down!

I thought I would update any readers I may still have left. This year has been full of ups and downs, but mostly ups! The only surgery that I had to have this year was a cholecystectomy (gallbladder removal) in June. I had about three months of complications from the surgery, like high liver enzymes and inability to eat any fatty foods, but thankfully, things have settled down from that.

I have been in the hospital twice since June. One was for a port-a-cath infection where my port had to be removed. The second time was for shortness of breath and fatigue, and I had a lung infection that had to be treated. At the beginning of the year, I also had my second bout of lung rejection, but it was taken care of with solumedrol and a prednisone taper.

My 11 year double lung living-lobar transplant anniversary was in November, and my 4 year kidney transplant anniversary was 2 days later. I have my mom and uncle to thank for donating lobes, and I have my mom to thank for my new kidney! It's hard to believe that it has been so many years! I am beyond blessed with these gifts and with one of the best lung transplant hospitals in the world as my transplant center.

Jason is still working at the AT&T data center. He loves working there! He is currently dieting, since he has gained 20 lbs the past 2 years. We will be married 7 years this coming February.

Casey is a junior in high school now. She was inducted into the Beta Club and the National Honor Society this year. I am so very proud of her! She has made a decision about her future career, and she wants to be a doctor. She is mentally preparing herself for med school. She is exploring colleges and scholarship opportunities. Casey has been driving since January, and she will continue her flight lessons this coming summer so that she can get her pilot's license before applying to colleges next fall. She had lessons this past summer, but because of her's and her instructor's schedules, she was unable to finish them. She has chosen not to take lessons during the school year.

I hope that all of you are well, and you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!!!

This is a picture of Casey that I took yesterday as we decorated the tree. Her hair is growing out again. She donated 14 inches of her hair to Pantene this past year. :)

BLACK's black bow gloves worn by Duchess Catherine

As most of my readers know, I love fashion, even if I don't always dress like I do. I pretty much love all of the Duchess of Cambridge's style choices. She has amazing taste, and is so classy!

When I saw her in these black bow gloves, I knew I had to have them. Thankfully, the Duchess Kate blog has shared with her viewers how to get these gloves 15% off. Check out the blog, and check out BLACK's website!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Celebrity thin

As I'm working on getting "fit" and ready to run a 5k by next fall (maybe next spring), I've been researching a lot of healthy diets (as in to get healthy, not thin), and exercise blogs. What I've come up with A LOT of times is sickly celebrity thin photographs and how to get like that.

At one point in my adult life, I was 87 lbs. At that time I was 5'5" tall. Yes, I've shrunk since then, but I'm hoping that yoga gives me my height back. LOL. I wore children's clothes. I was smaller than the adult 00.

I went to a wedding back in 2001, and I was up to 92 lbs. The photographs that were taken of me, like the one below, show me in a dress that was a size 2 and had been taken in by an inch or two. It tells me that the celebrities today are "sickly thin" like I was, although mine was due to a chronic illness and not starving myself.

I don't ever want to look like that again! I want to have muscle and curves (I don't have many, but I want to maximize what I have by working out). If you want to look like the girls below, you will have to starve yourself, you will be unhealthy, and truly, the man in your life will NOT think it's pretty! Love your body, get fit, but be happy with what God gave you! :)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Truth about Lung Transplantation

Most of those who are at end-stage lung disease hear this statement when considering lung transplantation as an option: "You are trading one illness for another". Ok yeah, that's true, but it is not a reason to say no to transplant.

I do have the greatest respect for my friends who decide that transplant isn't right for them though. I recently had a young Cystic Fibrosis friend pass away, because her center turned her down for transplant, and she said she didn't have the means to travel to another center. In my heart, I think she was just scared, and she didn't want to go through the transplant process. That is very understandable, since it is definitely a scary surgery/recovery.

When I was being evaluated for a transplant, and undergoing the treatments necessary to get me as healthy as could be for a lung transplant, I knew no one who had gone through the surgery. Even though we should be thankful for all of the online support groups now, and the forums, and facebook for giving us a pretty good picture of what lung transplant surgery looks like, I still am kind of thankful that I knew nothing about the process at the time. I did meet two young women after I had been evaluated and accepted into Duke's lung transplant program who had been through lung transplantation. One had done extremely well, and the other was struggling, even after almost a year post-transplant. I knew it was the end of my life with my old lungs. There was no question that I would go through the surgery. I went in with a positive attitude and also with faith that no matter the outcome, I would be going home... either to my family or to heaven!!! It got me through, and it was the only reason I was able to have peace through it all.

Fast forward almost 10 years. I see the reality of those who have had lung transplants. The lungs are the single most solid organ that is more likely to be rejected by your body than any other. Even though I do know someone who is 18 years out of double lung transplant, I don't know many who are more than 10 years out. It's a reality. It's definitely not something we obsess over or focus on, but it is reality. Again, that is why I support the Lung Transplant Foundation, who's main goal is to fund research by doctors like Scott Palmer at Duke, who continue to find ways to combat chronic rejection in those who've had lung transplants.

As most of my friends know, I had to have a kidney transplant 7 years after my double lung/living lobar transplant. This will happen to about 15% of those who've had lung transplants due to the damage the anti-rejection meds do to the kidneys. That is only one of the possible complications that come with lung transplantation. The risk of cancer is much greater in those who've had transplants, because the anti-rejection meds decrease your immunity. I've had several friends survive these cancers, several friends who are still fighting, and several friends who unfortunately lost their battle to cancer after successfully coming through a transplant.

I have squamous cell carcinoma on my scalp. It is spreading, and even though I have treated it with topical medication and cryotherapy, I am getting new patches almost every few weeks. If surgery is the only final option, I'm not sure how much scalp I will have left. I'm so thankful that it hasn't gone beyond the superficial layer and that I have a great dermatologist, but this is just a reality of post-transplantation for a lot of folks.

When looking for a center to be transplanted at, I want to remind all of my end-stage lung disease friends to look for a center that cares more about getting you 10 years out than getting you 2!!! I cannot stress this enough. Most transplant centers today can get you off the table and through recovery. MOST centers today cannot or rather will not treat chronic rejection (an eventuality with those who've had lung transplants) aggressively. Ask your center what they do for you if you are suspected of having Bronchiolitis Obliterans (chronic rejection). If they say "we just put you on Azithromycin 3 times a week), leave immediately and find yourself another center. It's unacceptable! Getting you off the table isn't enough. I promise when you get 10 years out, you will want more and more and more. Am I being selfish? Maybe.. since so many don't even get the chance of a second life, but I'm also being realistic and telling you how you will feel!

I am thankful for my 10 years (this November) with my new lobes. I am so beyond thankful to my mom and uncle for their donation (my mom's twice donation). But I want more time. I want to see my daughter grow up and graduate and go to college and get married and have children. I am selfish. I want time. I beg all of you to be as selfish as I am.