Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Bladder leakage at 32?! Yes. Ashamed? No, but I got help with Depend. + FREE sample!

 Thank you to Depend for sponsoring today’s post about the #underwareness movement. I am simply posting this disclosure in accordance with FTC guidelines. If you would like more info on the said guidelines, please leave a comment below and I'll happily re-direct you to more info! As always, all thoughts and opinions in sponsored posts where I either receive either free product or payment, are honest and my own!

To be honest, I have felt embarrassed when I've experienced bladder leakage.  Now when I look back, I can see that I started having moments of leakage when I was a child. I don't think I've talked much about my childhood here on the blog, but I used to walk until I was 11 years old. I was born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and unfortunately, my disease is progressive BUT it's a slow progression thankfully. When I did walk, I literally walked like a penguin; side to side, and slowly. I was bullied as a child. I was made fun of for walking like that and because of my weight, which has fluctuated all my life, mostly due to medication I need to be.
I remember raising my hand in class to ask for the pass to go potty. Walking as best as I could down the halls to the restroom, I would start to pee. Sometimes, I would need to go to the nurses' office to get a change of clothes, which ended up mismatching my top! I felt so left out. I couldn't be cool like the other kids!

Well, now as an adult, I no longer have to feel that way because Depend has created Silhouette Active Briefs that are a new moderate-absorbency brief that feature a thin design for complete comfort with the trusted protection of the Depend brand and a lower rise+ for an underwear-like look, fit and feel! I recently purchased them and as a category first, the product is available in black and beige colors. The black isn't super black, but close enough! I think it's  great to have an option of which color to wear when planning outfits! Hey, I am all about fashion over here! The trial pack I bought came with two briefs, some cleansing wipes and a four dollar off coupon!

It's true. Depend has made the Silhouette Active Briefs to look like underwear. They are soft. and they fit like underwear. I love that they feature a lower rise because I have a short torso and the distance between my belly button and my crotch is short and I just don't want any undergarments to sit near my boobies! haha. The sides have stretch to them and no pesky, scratchy tag on the back!

I had no idea, but there are more people with bladder leakage are in their 20’s than their 80’s. The average age of someone with bladder leakage is only 52! Also, more people with bladder leakage are 50 or younger than 60 or older! I am in that category at 32!

With these briefs, people can go about their lives without the shame or worry of bladder leakage. Depend has made a great brief for bladder leakage protection! I absolutely cringe at the thought of having to wear a diaper. Even my neurologist has told me that eventfully my bladder muscles will weaken to where I won't be able to control my bladder. Having to wear a diaper deeply saddened me. I promise I'm not THAT vain, but c'mon, what younger person wants that?! I am not trying to discriminate on age either. I am sure older people don't want to wear a bulky squeeky diaper either. As I write this, I recognize the social stigma attached to such events of bladder leakage.

It makes me so happy about Depend's #underwareness movement highlighting their Silhouette Active Briefs to support women who have bladder leakage. I am relieved and thankful too, for  when the time comes that I am unable to control my bladder, I'd willingly and more happily accept wearing their briefs versus an adult diaper! I know I'll feel like I can keep my dignity and still feel comfortable and confident living my active lifestyle! Britt is always on the go!

If you experience bladder leakage or know someone that does (which I am sure you do!), please check out to know more about the #underwareness campaign, support the cause and request FREE samples of Silhouette Active Fit! Yay!

Also, if you're into social media, you can help Depend as they go into their second year of their #undewareness campagin by every photo and video shared using #Underwareness and featuring Depend products, the Depend brand will donate $1, up to $3 million, through 2016 to fund charities that advance the research and education of bladder leakage. Now, how awesome is that! Bladder leakage is real. "The struggle is real." but the shame and stigma of bladder leakage doesn't have to be anymore.

Thank you for reading and feel free to share your story or struggles with bladder leakage with me. I'd be interested to hear how it has or is affecting you or what you do about it. We can come together as a community by sharing our common struggles and joys and funny ways we cover up and by doing this, we strengthen and lift one another up! Amen!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

weekend update + life update

Written January 6th. There's alot more to get caught up on, but let's start here.

As of three weeks ago,I was wrapping almost non-stop preparing for Christmas. A corner of my room was piled crazy high with gifts! I also got to visit with my mom and aunt v. We had Rubio's for lunch. Mmm! We laughed so much talking about my grandparents and about upcoming Christmas plans.  At least three days a week the past 2 weeks my room has been so messy with all wrapping materials out, shreds of Christmas wrap scrapped on the floor and price tags or tape adhered to my hands or clothes! I love it though.

Christmas was so great; I was so happy to spend it with my family.

I've been feeling a little better since a month ago (been sick since September for those who didn't know)...major respiratory problems. Had a picc line placed on October 9th to receive IV antibiotics. Went through two separate rounds for two different bacterias in lungs/trachea. I am still not feeling 100% better (phlegm still thick and green, gross, I know) and needing suction more than my normal, but I am thankful to have some energy back and actually do things outside of the house. It can get depressing being cooped up inside everyday all day. I now feel a cold a brewin'.

I went to my ward's Christmas at the beginning of December.We had a greek dinner, watched a short video on the birth and life of Christ, sang Christmas songs and socialized, socialized! Of course you know I took some photos with some of my favorite people! That was my first time doing something fun with many friends in three months!

I am still experiencing pain everyday. My back and arms especially have been the worst (the left leg has gotten some relief). I am still on pain medication. Met with a pain specialist a few weeks ago and he suggests I take a longer acting medicine and keep current pain med for breakthrough pain. It's been a mess and now just waiting for my primary dr (who is back on my team) to write the script for the new med...which might not be til January 30th.

I didn't send out cards this year (handmade or sending a bunch out). I narrowed my list from around 60 down to about 30. Extra special exceptions! :)

Talk soon!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Live On. Give On. + $100 giftcard giveaway for charity!

Special thanks to Medtronic for sponsoring today's post and encouraging me to live on and give on.
All thoughts expressed are honest and my own.

I am so excited to be a part in sharing about the Bakken Invitation sponsored by Medtronic! When I first heard about this, I felt a great connection, since one: I have overcome or am still overcoming physical and health obstacles, so I definitely felt like I could really relate to this year's Honorees, especially Joan Talkowsky of Tel-Aviv, Israel.

Before we talk more about Joan, let me share what the Bakken Invitation is. This award is given to ten people from all over the world who have overcome major health problems with the help of medical technology and who choose to help their communities despite the challenges they face. Wow, right?! It leaves me in awe how they might be feeling pain, depression or fatigue, but still make time and push themselves to not let their health issues come in the way of them giving back to their communities and living on with pure intent, happiness and a great sense of self. I should also note how each honoree not only gets to share their story but they also receive a $20,000 grant toward their volunteer efforts!! Amazing! All ten of this year's honorees are truly wonderful people who live on and give on. I love all of their words of wisdom of helping and leading positive lives!

Joan used to give her time at a hospital in New Jersey, helping "boarder babies"; babies who were born with drugs in their system. Soon after, she started feeling exhausted and out of breathe. Come to find out, she need a pacemaker asap! Since having that placed, she moved back to Israel where she volunteers her time translating for Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, which assists poor populations in Israel. She lives by the deep meaning phrase, "Tikkun olam", which in the Jewish religion means "repairing the world."

I am really inspired by Joan and her efforts. I love how she helps to repair the world, even after going through a hard time in her life that could have been fatal, but thanks to receiving a pacemaker, she proves that to, "take one little step out of your immediate circle," can be so fulfilling and life changing. Not only for herself but for the ones receiving help.

I also LOVE giving back when I can and I am grateful to be ABLE to help in the ways that I can.

I don't want to hear excuses from anyone about not helping others, their communities (no matter how great or terrible you think where you live is), or even your family or friends. YOU have the power to act. You have the power to help.

Here are five suggestions that you could give back and I definitely want to help more when it comes to tip number four! (new year's resolution, anyone?)

1//Give of yourself. 
It can be as simple as sharing a smile with the grocery store clerk, or paying it forward at a Wendy's drive-thru. While at the grocery store and you see a parent juggling items in their hands and they drop something, go pick it up! No act of service, of giving yourself, is too small. I know it sounds so cliche that you can make a difference. That you may feel that what you can do, what you can give doesn't seem like enough...but you're wrong! It is enough. You are enough. You are amazing, wherever you're sitting or standing reading this very blog post, you are destined for greatness.

Sometimes I believe the lie that I am insignificant or that because of my limited abilities, I can't help that much. Yes, I may not be able to help in the ways I desire, but that doesn't stop me from helping in a way I CAN. And those ways I can are more than enough. It brings me great pleasure to know (sometimes much later, sometimes never) that I made someone else's life easier, better or happier. You can't tell me you haven't felt that pure peace and joy before? And if you can't, then get on it because I promise your heart will have the warm fuzzies and you'll be smiling!

2//Rescue an animal from a shelter.
Often times, I see some friends on my facebook page rave about their new dog or puppy they bought from a pet store. Blah! Please! A little research goes a long way. Rescuing a precious pup or cat you can cozy up with not only saves their life but also brings joy and warmth and probably laughter to your home! Here in the valley of Arizona where I live, the no-kill shelters/rescues as well as the humane society are almost always filled to capacity. In order to reduce their numbers (not talking euthanizing) and help make more room for more abandoned or found pets, people need to adopt, adopt, adopt! By purchasing dogs from most pet stores, people are supporting puppy mills, where mama dogs and their babies are subject to terrible treatment and living conditions! Unimaginable!

3//Use your talents for good.
This past June, I got involved with the Southern California Bulldog Rescue via social media and helped raised money for their rescue! How I did that was I handmade greeting cards which were up for the online auction. I made the cards using scrapbook supplies and my creative mind! All monies pledged went directly to the rescue to help pay for medical costs, food or supplies (like a bed or collar) for the super cute bulldogs. I had never done something like that before and it made me feel so good to be able to contribute to a cause so dear to my heart: animal rescue! (if you couldn't tell by now haha).

4// Get involved in your community.
There are plenty of places where you could volunteer. A place where you fit right in. If you love babies, you could volunteer, like Joan, at a hospital. Maybe the homeless are near to your heart? You could organize a blanket drive or assemble ziplock bags of necessities which could include (a bar of soap, baby wipes, toothbrush/toothpaste, a couple granola bars, and tissue). I've been wanting to do that last idea!

5//Be a good neighbor or friend.
Have you ever noticed your neighbors? Or know of elderly people at your church? I bet you some might struggle with doing their yard work, finding transportation to a doctor's appointment, even going grocery shopping or needing a babysitter. By becoming aware of who lives next you or sits next to you at church, you have the opportunity to lend a helping hand. Just think of how relieving your help can be to those who need, who if it weren't for you, they'd be stuck in a bind!

What inspires you to give back? Go on and tell me how YOU will go on out and serve your community with the $100 prepaid Visa giftcard that Medtronic has provided! Your comment will serve as your entry for this giveaway.

*Giveaway ends on Decemeber 30, 2014.
Must be 18 years old to enter.
U.S. Residents only please.
One winner will be randomly selected.
Medtronic is responsible for prize fulfillment.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

mani monday

You've probably heard me say that I don't have my nails polished very frequently. To have my nails polished depends on my mood and maybe any special events that are going on.

Honestly, I go to a nail salon and treat myself to a manicure maybe 3 times a year. It is always nice to have your nails done. Because of the fact that my nail polish chips within the first two days of having them done (whether at the salon or done by myself), makes me think is this whole affair even worth it?! haha not so much really. That's not high on my list of priorities.

Now, when it comes to my toes, I HAVE to have them done every 4-6 weeks, in which case they always are done at home because I cannot transfer out of my wheelchair to those chairs at the salon.
I'm still happy with that though.

It seems I've set a record because my fingernails have been rockin' color twice within one month! whhaaaaa?!

Current manicure is brought to you by... Essie's St. Lucia Lilac!
I love that it's a demure lilac. It almost looks like it has a little grey in it, which gets me excited about Fall coming up! Autumn time is my most favorite time of the year!! (you will hear me say this more in the near future!) :)

This is the first time I used this color. It was actually part of a duo set that came with a cream shade, but I am not sure what I did with that one! Seeing this lilac color on my nails makes me smile.

Do you do your own nails? What color are your nails currently?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Boost your confidence with U by Kotex!

I was talking with a friend today about how I've struggled feeling confident lately, especially in the last few months. As my pain has increased, it's been leaving me feeling like a rag doll with insomnia + fatigue! I think anyone, especially women, struggle with feeling confident when they are dealing with any personal issues that include health, relationships, career, and life in general. Feeling like they just don't measure up. I KNOW that comparison is a killer of joy, yet I allow myself to wade in the dangerous current of the comparing game.
Feeling confident is a challenge especially too when you have your monthly period, or if you're like me, you never know when it's going to come for a visit! Since I was 12, my period has always been irregular. never a nice and neat pattern but more of a messy, pop up menace! I am so thankful that feminine hygiene care has advanced like U by Kotex's pads that feature a 3D caption core. This technology helps lock in wetness so you can feel relieved that you won't have a mess on your hands, err, underpants.
I love that I can count on U by Kotex to provide me an option of better protecting my undies, but also allowing me to worry about one less thing in my crazy but beautiful life! I think alot of us deal with  some of the same daily stresses or thoughts of life: bills, making plans, the future, finances, family, friends, what to eat for lunch or dinner, church responsibilities and shopping for necessities to name a few.

So you want to know a few of my secrets on feeling better about myself?

1//  Choose a cute or nice outfit that you love. adding some earrings on AND putting makeup on will make you feel like a solid woman who is ready to take on the world (well, your little world that is!) And if you don't wear makeup, no worries, maybe adding tinted lip balm fits your fancy? Instead of wearing pajamas or lounge clothes for four days in a row, I promise doing the above will hopefully help!  Believe me, I love wearing those clothes, but dressing up a bit does wonders! Btw, no matter what day it is, I ALWAYS wear perfume.

2//  Drinking more ice cold water with freshly squeezed lime juice. I know, it sounds so simple, right? Really, this beverage makes me feel better about what I am putting into my body plus, it tastes so refreshing! However, let me be honest and tell you that I still love + drink my Dr. Pepper! :)

3//  Be prepared. I am definitely a planner and I plan most things in my life, not only because I like to but because I NEED to. Since becoming on the ventilator, ha, my entire life did a 180! I'll have to write a separate post to better explain why I need to plan now. Ok, so back to being prepared. This year I bought myself a nice cross-body purse from Forever 21 and it's amazing what I can pack into it. It literally can be a life saver. Some notable things I carry with me are wet ones hand wipes, aspirin (in case a stranger out in public might be having a heart attack!), lipgloss, because that is an essential!, my coupon envelope for a current shopping trip! No one better get in the way of me and my coupons, a U by Kotex ultra thin pad (in case one of my girl friends needs one while we are out having fun), a photo of the St. George Temple in Utah because it's so gorgeous and I feel protected, and sunscreen because I don't want to get burned or skin cancer and I don't want you to either! Do you sense a theme here? Being prepared makes me feel smarter, securer, and enables me to help others which makes my heart feel great.

Guess what? You can click here to get your own free sample (that include a coupon too!) of feminine products that best meet your needs like the  U by Kotex pads or tampons to help you #savetheundies! I hope you like them!

How do you  boost yourself in the confident department? When do you feel the most confident?

* A huge thank you to U by Kotex for sponsoring this post. However, all thoughts and opinions are honest and my own.

Monday, September 8, 2014

weekend re-cap

*This post is not sponsored by Cafe Zupas, but if they were interested in sponsoring I'd be more than happy to work with them.

I firmly believe in order to appreciate the good you have to kinda know the bad. My little world hasn't been the brightest in months, most days blur into one another, but when I get to see my family or friends, my world is definitely brightened.

Friday, I took a nap and when I  say nap, I mean 2-3 hours of broken nappy time. and it's in the middle of the day.

On Saturday, I got together with my friends for lunch at Cafe Zupas. Omg, it's so delicious! There are a few other menu items that look appealing, but every time I get food from there, I get the same thing, a salad, but not any plain ol salad but: the roasted red pepper + asiago chicken ceasar salad,
because it's so dang good and I just want to eat it and I go with what I know, ya know? Cafe Zupas only has locations in Arizona, Utah + Nevada, sorry everyone else, but maybe they'll expand?

Our group, the BBB, aims to get together once a month or two and eat out at a different place each time we meet. We try to keep our group to no more than eight peeps at a time just to make it easier to sit together and to have a more quality experience. We have four core members (we had 5 but David got married and he + his wife, also our friend, moved to NYC), Jason + Scott (brothers), Diva Des and myself. We add new members that can rotate each time we meet so that different people can enjoy being a part of our get together as we cannot accommodate all at once.

So what does the BBB stand for? It means, Brioche Brunch Bunch. Say that three times fast. Jason and Scott came up with the name and founded the BBB, however, they made me president! haha.  Apparently, Brioche is a type of bread and they came up with the name after eating some brioche french toast at Ihop back in January.

I loved getting the group together this past Saturday. It was way fun! New members for this round were Amanda, Kjerstin and Mister Mister. He took the best selfie ever and it was not an easy task to get our whole group in one shot. Our bishop and his wife showed up at Zupas too, so naturally we asked them to join our tables! It was meant to be.

Sunday, I didn't make it to church because I was so dang tired. Saturday was the fourth night in a row that I was not able to sleep well because of extreme back pain. I ended up taking another nap Sunday and woke up around 1:30pm. I really missed being at church and I definitely plan to be there next Sunday! I can't wait. One good thing about Sunday was that A: I did get rest, B: I got a pedicure at home and my toes are re-polished a tangerine color! oooh!

How was your weekend? Do anything fun?