[ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]

January 11, 2012 Comments Off on [ the good the bad and the ill – January 11th, 2012 ]

I guess this post has been quite a long time in the making. I haven’t made a full out personal update since June 10th and I haven’t updated at all since my last article in September for my old internship. There’s been a lot of reasons for this, most of it being the fact that while I find it cathartic in some way to vent on the internet and write things out, even if no one reads them, just to get things off of my chest, I’ve been unwilling to speak about the events of this summer and how things got so bad and really went down hill. Some pretty huge things have happened in not only my life but the lives of both of my parents that made the second half of the year (and continuing into the new one) fairly stressful and on some level, well on all levels, rather upsetting.

I’ll start with my Dad as its the shortest and simplest story. In May, actually while he was visiting me he got the call literally as he got off of his plane, he found out he’d gotten accepted to work overseas. Work overseas? What does that mean? That means my Dad got hired as a contractor to do supervisor work over in Afghanistan on military compounds. This was both amazing and horrible at the same time. This caused a lot of strain in our relationship both financially and other wise, but for him it was great. It finally got him up and working and making money again instead of feeding into a business that was quite a bit of money in debt after the economy crashed, that’s sort of the problem with being in construction. I’m so proud of him for going for it and taking the opportunity even though he’s doing a job at 60 that a lot of men at 40 wouldn’t even be willing to do. He’s hit another rough patch (after his second trip out from December to March he will no longer have work unless he finds something within the next month) and unfortunately we are no longer on speaking terms for now, but as everything usually does I’m sure once the stressors are down and he’s back in the clear things’ll get better between us.

This next paragraph is more difficult for me to write as it involves my Mom and a life treatening illness, and should explain why I’m a bit disinterested and meh about talking about me and my Dad’s issues, as they are pretty much non-issues in comparison.

In June I got a phone call from my Mom telling me she’d gotten some weird blood work back and been told she needed to see an Oncologist. I knew what this meant immediately but decided I just would push it to the back of my mind and not stress myself sick over it until we knew for sure. While I was visiting her in the beginning of August, what was suppose to only be a 2 week trip down, she sat me down one night and told me the truth: she had lymphoma. For those who don’t know, lymphoma is cancer. Not only did she have lymphoma in her bone marrow but her spleen was where the majority of it was an, well, by this point in time it was already rather enlarged in risk of rupture which would be, well, incredibly deadly.

This story is not all bad, August was also a good month for my Mother. In December of 2010 she compelted her General Education BA with a specilization in ESE education and from February until the end of May was a substitute teacher, unfortunately as is a rule in Florida she did not get the permanent hire for the position because a teacher who lost her job applied, however, in August she was offered a 2 month substituting position from a teacher that they knew would not be returning even when her maternity leave was over. In November, my Mother was called into the Principle’s office and officially hired as a teacher, less then two semesters of substituting and she’d reached her goal — this also meant that she now had insurance that would cover her cancer care, which was the most important and amazing news she got out of the experience.

Her doctor’s allowed her to wait until winter break to remove the cancerous spleen. On December 21st she went in to have the bloodflow cut off from the organ (procedure 1) on the 22nd the spleen was removed (procedure 2). Just to put into perspective to everyone how inflamed and enlarged the spleen was… your spleen is suppose to be about the size of an orange. After the spleen had decreased in size (they guess around a third) with the blood flow cut off (thusly feeding off of itself) it was still so large that the doctor said it reached from her rib cage to almost her pelvic bones, yes, that is a spleen that is about the size of the watermelon slice this woman is holding. She was in the hospital for a week and unfortunately had to go back in on the 28th to drain fluid that was collecting in her torso, however now she has had the drain remove and seems to recovering well. She’ll be allowed to return back to work but of course has to be very careful, something worrying since she works with ESE children (children with severe emotional and behaviourial issues). But we’re just glad the worst is over and hopefully she can put off chemo until next summer when it won’t jepordize the job she worked so hard to get.


Some of you may know but some of you may not but I’ve been struggling with my own health issues for about 2 and a half years now without having the slightest clue what was wrong with me. I was too dizzy to function some days. I was getting really achey and in March I fainted at the Glassjaw show after just 1 beer because I was standing on a balcony and had a vertigo fit (for lack of a better way of saying it).

Unfortunately my symptoms got much more severe about half way through May. I was sitting at my computer and I got up to go try and get Pickles out of the window (I do not condone yapping at midnight!) and about halfway there I lost all feeling in my legs after a brief moment where I felt like -every- nerve in them had gone off. I couldn’t get up off of the ground immediately and it took me about 3 minutes until I could get back to my chair. For the next two weeks I was in so much pain that I really didn’t leave my house and certainly could not make it to class. My regular doctor finally admited that since it wasn’t MS (which we had found out officially 2 weeks earlier) that with the new severe pain that she should have me tested for fibro myalgia. Why is this significant information? Because I’d been calling on and off for 2 weeks trying to get her to give me a recommendation for a rhumetologist so I could see if it was Fibro in the first place but she was insisting this was all being caused by a mixture of carpal tunnel (in my hands, which only hand minor numbness and weariness at this point, and certainly nothing comparative to the numbness and weariness in my legs even post collapsing). I was finally put on painkillers to control the pain and after a few days of being a bit loopy was able to return to school, unfortunately I had another pain episode that was, honestly quite a bit worse a month later that caused a devistating blow to my summer classes participation grade, because apparently two doctor’s notes, an e-mail from the school, proof I’m on painkillers, and not being able to walk is not a good enough excuse to miss a freshmen level course that I still got an 88% in based off my exams/papers (I however recieved a C+ because my attendence grade was dropped a full letter for missing 3 classes).

Unfortunately no matter how many places I looked for and called in the Chicago area, no one could see me prior to September 16th. For awhile it looked like I wasn’t going to get diagnosed until I returned from London, thankfully though after I returned to spend the remained of my summer with my Mother at the end of August a doctor in Daytona Beach was able to fit me in.

Diagnosis: Fibro Myalgia and a slight allergy to milk that I was previously unaware of but apparently that’s why it was making me a bit phlegmy.

I can’t not express enough how relieving it is to have a diagnosis, now I can go to my school and officially get academic consideration and assistance because of it and no longer just simply be at the mercy of whether a teacher wants to be understanding or think I’m a liar who is just hungover (yes, I’ve had that said to me over the course of this by a professor).

Well, I think that’s enough for today. In the next few days you’ll get a 100% good post, promise! I have loads of updates about what I’m doing in school now that I’m dying to share with everyone but I thought I at least owed the people who read my blog and follow my tumblr an explaining of why I mostly disappeared off of the face of the Earth.

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[ tonal mastery – 09.26.11 ]

September 26, 2011 § 2 Comments

Well ladies and gents I’m finally in the UK! So bring it on all you lovelies at the University of Wesminster! I want to see all of your fantastic fashion.

I was lucky enough to stumble across this Fashionista on moving in day! In true fashion major style she couldn’t just throw on a simple pair of sweats and a shirt to move in; she had to be dressed at least nicely with a pound of accessories on (rings, my favourite and own personal demise!) I want to talk about tone mixing today; we’re told never brown and black, simply never! But I present you, yet again, with a falsehood!

Style On over at CollegeFashionista.co.uk!

[ transitions – 09.12.11 ]

September 12, 2011 Comments Off on [ transitions – 09.12.11 ]

While the English weather has been cooling down for a good while, I’m still posted in the States until the middle of the month and its only just starting to taper off in Chicago! Fashionistas and Fashionistos alike find themselves in a constant state of give and take with the changing climate. We still want to sport our summer duds but its starting to get a little too chilly to do it. The lovely CollegeFashionista editor Amy Levin likes to call this season “Sall”, a term I think I’m going to have to borrow from her. The Fashionista for this week also did a great job of seamlessly blending her fall and summer wardrobes, but in a much brighter way! Personally I’m all for transitioning your brights and florals into fall wear. It’s a huge misconception, if you ask me, that fall and winter should narrow your colour options down to neutrals and darks. Rock an outfit that truly stands out and brings those bright reds and corals to the table.

Check out my first actual article for the International CollegeFashionista site over here! I’m so excited to start snapping photos of Westminster students! Bring it on Fashionistas and Fashionistos.

[ style guru bio #3 – 09.05.11 ]

September 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

Hair colours that hit every end of the spectrum from platinum blonde to pink to my current dark brown have graced the digital pages of CollegeFashionista since the beginning of 2011’s winter/spring internship. This is my third bio for the company as a whole, but the first for our UK site!

I’m a Florida and Tennessee raised girl studying in London via Chicago who spent all of her summers and winters in new York growing up. I’m a double major in both Media Arts and Public Relations as well as a double minor in Journalism and Anthropology. To put it lightly? I’m a bit of a mouthful!

To read the rest of my bio for the fall semester where I’ll be studying abroad and writing for the University of Westerminster, head over to CollegeFashionista UK!

[ drum roll please… – 3.31.11 ]

March 31, 2011 Comments Off on [ drum roll please… – 3.31.11 ]

I know I had talked about it on Tumblr but I hadn’t mentioned it to anyone else as I didn’t want to talk a lot about it and get my hopes up before I knew if I could afford to go or not…

I GOT IN AND I’M GOING!

On the 15th (of course DePaul waited until the last day they had to give us answers…) I got notification that I had been accepted for the Fall study abroad in London through the university. For a little we didn’t know if we’d be able to financially swing me being able to go, but after some figuring things out between difference in bills, grants they give to study abroad kids, and loans we can take out through the school I can go!

I’ll be studying through the University of Westminster (Harrow Campus, pictured above, photo obviously not by me) and focusing mainly on my Media Arts and Journalism degrees as they offer some great classes we don’t here at DePaul (Fashion Journalism and Colour Photography). It’s so crazy that if we do get the loan and I do go (they ‘pre-approved’ us but we’re just waiting on the official word) that I’ll be a class short of a senior when I come back next winter quarter (since the loan also means I can take another 2 classes over the summer). That puts me almost 2 full quarters ahead of schedule, which is awesome because that means if I do keep both majors and minors I’ll graduate in 4 years with everything I wanted to do completed. Needless to say, I’m really excited about finding out about this loan as it opens so many doors for me academically. I do wish I could intern through the university so they could find me my internship, but that’d require 3 FREAKING GRAND extra in tuition because the internship is 12 credits instead of the normal 6. So if I want to try and intern I have to find my own internship, which I’ve done successfully so far I’m just a little worried about trying to do it come August when I’ll still be in the states trying to find one in London before I get there! (PS. That’s Bella, Kat’s sister’s dog and my new BFF)

Now I have to do a little shameless promotion… Along with the fact that I used my CollegeFashionista stuff (and my newly revamped bio for this very blog) to enter ASOS’s Coachella contest, we have a super big event happening in Chicago tomorrow! Juicy Couture and the site teamed up to do a ‘campus tour’ and offer students (you don’t have to be a Chicago student, just have a student I.D. and be at the event) 20%, photo opportunities, and styling help!

I’m honestly more excited about meeting the other Gurus (I met Jose for the first time on Tuesday actually, very briefly) and Amy as I’ve conversed with them over twitter but haven’t actually had the chance to meet them.

There’s also a little bonus! For the Guru who brings the most friends out (someone will be asking you who referred you when you arrive) you can win a prize… so uh even if you don’t like Juicy Couture (which if you didn’t know,t hey’re so much more than sweatsuits and terry cloth purses, their spring collection is actually super cute with a lot of crocheted stuff) just uhm come out and pretend and say I sent you, winkwink nudgenudge.

On a completely unrelated non-big news note… I want to see the movie Hanna. 1) It looks good 2) I like all the actors in it 3) HELL YEAH PEOPLE WILL PROBABLY JUST SPELL MY NAME RIGHT NOW. Except not, but one can hope it at least stops the Hannah Montana stuff.

[ junior mints – 2.24.11 ]

February 24, 2011 Comments Off on [ junior mints – 2.24.11 ]

Next quarter is going to be another ridiculous one. I’m taking another extra class (3-4 is considered ‘full time’ at DePaul). It’s a little better than winter quarter though, if only because I don’t have any 14 hour days of just class. I did break two personal rules though; no classes that start before 10am and not classes on Saturday or Sunday. I justified both decisions easily though. My Mon/Wednesday Advanced Photography class is only offered Spring quarter and I’d rather continue with my photographic education (after this I still have to do all of my digital classes, but I’m done with film!) and I don’t want to risk screwing myself over by waiting until next year when I’ll be a senior Spring quarter.  I broke another personal rule for my PR elective: Event Planning. I’ve never seen it offered another time while I was at DePaul so I figured it was better to just buckle and take the Saturday class than to risk not being able to take an elective I’m actually interested in! I’m also taking French (MY LAST QUARTER EVER THANK GOD, I’m so awful at retaining language) and 3D Foundations on Tuesdays and finishing out my “Freshman” classes which also doubles as the last time I’ll ever have to take a math class on Wednesday nights. I’m pretty stoked since next quarter I’ll also be a Junior! A full quarter ahead of time because I’ve taken enough extra classes.

I can’t believe I only have 2 quarters left of winter quarter! That ‘spring break with a lot less sun and much more snow’ as my Film Philosophy professor liked to call it really threw a lot of things off. I’ll be shooting my final project for Intermediate photo this Saturday, which will be awesome since I’ll be done printing my other photo projects by then (ie – I’ll be done way before the due date so I can get my prints as perfect as possible!). I’m also not really stressing out because I only have one final exam that’s actually an exam (in French), two of them are actually only power points! I’m pretty much done with my PR class at this point besides helping my group mates put the power point together. I really only have work left in French and Photography! For a quarter that has been hellish so far, at least finals won’t be too dreadful (being almost guaranteed at least 1 A and 2 A-‘s doesn’t hurt either…)

I had my Study Abroad interview yesterday and I’m really stoked on the possibility of going! I found out there aren’t a limited number of slots and that the interview itself is to just assure the student knows what’s going on, seems ready to handle all of the stuff it takes to actually get over to London (paper work, financial stuff, etc.), and to make sure they’re willing to make the commitment. I know I’m more than qualified in those areas (I mean I’ve been moved out for over 3 years now and went over seas alone!) so now it’s more about figuring out where I’m going to get the money for it. It’s $7,600 just in program fees, not including flight or the fact that 4 classes in actually 6 hours over what my financial aid will cover so I’d have to pay out of pocket. I’m going to be doing a LOT of applying for grants and scholarships to try and make this possible because I feel like it’s an opportunity I just can’t pass up if it’s possible in any way for me to do it, no matter how hard it’ll be to come up with that large of an amount of money OUTSIDE of my normal tuition.

This week has been all about photography for me. I’m going to be spending all day Friday printing the photos from my last two projects that I spoke about shooting earlier this week. Today I modeled for Stacy as Faye D.’s version of Bonnie of Bonnie & Clyde fame. We went to the Lincoln Park Zoo and shot outside by the street, it was a lot harder than we imagined to try and not get an cars in the shot (after all cars are pretty different now than a hundred years ago!) Stacy was really excited about how the shots were looking as we shot them and I can’t wait to see them once she develops the film! I really feel as if I’m an awful model because of the way I tend to hold my jaw in photos but that’s probably just me being over critical. I’m still having a rough time finding another female model for my Marie Antoinette shoot, so if anyone is interested and in the Chicagoland area definitely get at me! You get free photos out of it!

[ mini – 1.30.11 ]

January 31, 2011 Comments Off on [ mini – 1.30.11 ]

So I did end up cutting my bangs back straight. I had a little bit of an issue though. I was cutting them and I sneezed and ended up slicing my nose open. This is why they look a bit wonky. After I sliced my nose open I was much too freaked out to finishing cutting them, thankfully I was most of the way done and am only missing a small amount of cutting on the right side of my face and some cleaning up in the middle. The fact that I was using a razor also resulted in them being a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I don’t think the shortness ended up being a bad thing! Just a new take on my regular old straight bangs. What I’ve taken out of this is… I need to invest in sheers and while I’ve layered my hair with a razor before, I will never attempt to do bangs with one again, ever, I just feel lucky I didn’t really do some damage to my nose or need stitches or have to go to the hospital.

Pardon how exhausted and tired I look in that photo. I hadn’t had a proper more than a few hours of rest or sleep in like 15 days at that point, and it’s definitely showing on my face here.

It was really nice to finally have a proper day off today. I normally plan it so I have either Saturday or Sunday off and Monday as a homework day (as well as the day I do my CollegeFashionista article). Today was spent sleeping in, walking Pickles (one of several nicknames Rupert will answer to), cleaning up my living room, and watching Inception.

I wasn’t very impressed with Inception but I wouldn’t complain about watching it again. I just have a very neutral opinion on it. I didn’t watch it by choice though, and that could have effected it. I had to watch it and then write up answers for 4 questions in response to it for my Film Philosophy class.

I also finally cleaned up a bit, I haven’t had the energy or the time to really properly clean my apartment since I started school since I’ve been so busy (not to mention dizzy). It’s so nice to have the pile of coats and sweaters off of my kitchen table and properly hung back up in the living room again. I also finally cleaned my bathroom, the floors were in dire need of scrubbing, so much that I assure you I don’t mind using up precious time of my only real day off in much too long to do so. Tomorrow I’m hoping to finish cleaning up once I finish my article and my homework. Tomorrow also means back to being busy! I have a load of homework I probably should have started on today (at least I did my Film Philosophy stuff!) but I know I’ll have time tomorrow and I felt I had deserved the relaxation much too much.

On top of Intro to PR and French homework I have to go to the Study Abroad department again because I’m still having issues with it not saving or submitting a lot of my information! I’m completely done with my application but I can’t submit it because nothing is saving! Very frustrating I assure you. At least it’s a distraction from figuring out where the hell I’m going to get $7,600 from.

Working at SPACE can be a little frustrating, but I know that’s just because I’m in a constant battle of needing to work on being more patient with people. I explained something 3 times to another intern and they still did it wrong (and they just kept standing around… doing nothing instead of ya know, taking a little initiative?) but that’s part of working in any industry, really it’s just part of being an adult and I really need to work on it. I need to be more patient or I know it’s not going to do me any good in the future when I actually am getting paid to work and need to keep a job for more than 3-6 months.

I have inserted the photo of vodka here just because it fit no where else and I thought it would be a little funny to insert it when talking about being a responsible adult, you know totally breaking down those typical college kid barriers, which I definitely feel like I do. I don’t serial date, I’m not out getting schwasted and fucking around on school and taking my drinking more seriously than my homework. I know way too many people who haven’t lived up to the potential I know they have because they just don’t care enough to actually apply themselves, and it’s really sad. I avoid this situation at all costs, but in return at least with myself I probably try and do too much at once. Actually, I know I try and do too much at once, and right now my body and health are paying for it. My fingers are crossed that it will be worth it in the end.

Anyways, back on topic. I had to write an on-the-fly article for CollegeFashionista this week because me and Amy agreed that the backgrounds of my last article and this one were too similar. Instead I took another new photo and will be writing my typical new article next week and the article I had originally written to go up tomorrow (or I suppose today by the time I finish writing this entry seeing as it’s 11:57) will be ‘submitted’ on the 7th to go live the 14th. It actually worked out for the best since my flight from Florida next weekend doesn’t land until 11am and I would have sort of been beyond pushed for time and running around like a chicken without it’s head trying to figure out where I was going to get an article from. Now I won’t have to worry about writing the article within like 4 hours of time after I’m back or writing it before I leave since I’ll already have it done. The new article going up definitely isn’t as good, but it’s still not disappointing! Just very… snowy?

Now that I have straight bangs back I’m itching to get back to having platinum hair… having the ombre was a nice change for a 2-3 months but come mid/late-February when I get my hair done next, I think I’m going to make my way back to platinum. I just feel like if I’m going to be blonde, I need to go all out. This nice little break for it has restored my passion for the platinum! I was going to go red come June/July but now that all hinges on if I go to England or not. I may actually keep this ombre until I know whether or not I’m going overseas or not. I love it but honestly half of the point was to darken my hair a little to give it a better base to go red in case I was going overseas, so when I was over in England I wouldn’t have to worry so much or spend money on getting my hair done so often (I can tone my own hair if it’s red, and I really only need my roots done once every 2.5/3 months instead of every 4-6 weeks when I’m platinum). So in all likelihood I’ll keep the ombre until mid-March when I hopefully get an answer about study abroad (cross your fingers for me everyone, please, there aren’t words strong enough to describe how badly I want to get accepted and go…)

Wow, this entry has gone on much longer than I originally anticipated for it to go on. I think it’s the relaxed feeling of the day and having been able to sleep in rubbing off on me. Now it’s actually legitimately almost February and it’s still blowing my mind how fast this year has gone. Is everyone keeping up with their resolutions? I didn’t make any this year because I never keep them, but I haven’t even started in on most of my goals yet and it’s frustrating! I’ve only started on the one to get accepted into Study Abroad haha. Hope everyone had a lovely week!

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