My New Michael Kors!


FarFetch UK  invited me to have brunch with them and a few other bloggers last week. Unfortunately, as my loyal readers already known, I haven't been feeling 100% since I moved, so instead I stayed in. It really sucked, since they had brunch at The Wolseley, which looked absolutely fantastic. I am quite sick of feeling sick and ready to get out there.

However, the company sent me this to DIE FOR Michael Kors purse, which was a real treat. I mean, how gorgeous is this? I can't wait for the days to get a little warmer so I can parade it out!

FarFetch is amazing because they have amalgamated over 400 boutiques into a one-stop-shop, meaning you don't necessarily have to hunt for a rare object somewhere in the depths of a boutique in Venice to find that bag you've been looking for. Unless, of course, that's your thing. But for me, I find the convenience of this really awesome, so that it doesn't take a year to go hunting through. And not only do they have hard to find items, but also items that are well known like those by Michael Kors and other well-known designers.

Thank you a million to those at Farfetch and I am so sorry I was unable to make it. I will, however, cherish my new handbag!



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Giveaway Time!

Toshiba Chromebook 2 Giveaway


 Hello readers, it's time for a HUGE giveaway. For February, I've joined Angie of My So-Called Chaos and some other wonderful bloggers to giveaway a Chromebook 2, an OGIO Hamptons Laptop tote, and other laptop accessories to one lucky winner! We're focusing on blog follows this month, so with this baby you'll be able to follow these lovely blogs as well as blog away on your own too! Or you know, do whatever else you do on your laptop. To get this party started, Angie asked all of the participants who their favorite blogger was (other than themselves), and why they were. I hope we'll all find some new fabulous blogs to read and love through these suggestions.







Who's Your Favorite Blog to Follow, and Why?

"Beth from Printcess because I love her book reviews, makeup, and generally amazing attitude :)" - Katy from Plays Well With Coffee

  "It's hard to pick one blogger because I love reading different blogs with different categories. I love lifestyle blogs and fashion blogs most! I would have to say I like Jasmine from CS+S blog

 Angie from My So Called Chaos, and Kimi from Kimi Who!" - Christina from Curvy Diaries

  "Lauryn from The Skinny Confidential. I have been following her longer than any other blog and since she started. I love her healthy living tips and inspiration." - Alexis from Chemistry Cachet

"Meghan from The Adventure Starts Here. I love the positive outlook her blog radiates. She shares kid friendly crafts, fun weekend updates, fashion reviews for the every day Mom along with meals that make me wanna get in the kitchen and cook! She is just a wonderful person and you can see that on her blog." - Stephanie from Wife Mommy Me

  "There are so many wonderful bloggers that I greatly enjoy, but right now I am loving Bridget & Casey from The DIY Playbook. I'm all about home decor and easy to do DIY projects for my upcoming home, so I love checking out their blog. Plus, their blogis full of wonderful room inspiration!" - Kimi from Kimi Who

  "Asian Cajuns It was one of the first blogs I found when stumbling into the blogosphere, where I felt like I connected to the bloggers. One of them also happened to live in Atlanta, my hometown!" - Esther from Local Adventurer

  "I've followed Esther and Jacob of LocalAdventurer.com since before I really got into travel blogging myself--I love their gorgeous photography and the emphasis on really exploring whatever city they're currently calling home." - Natalie of Cosmos Mariners

  "I really like Coffee With Summer because she is original and easy to connect with. Her blog has lots of engagement and I enjoy reading her blog each day! I also like Hey There Chelsie because she is authentic and a great story teller. Each post connects with her life in someway and that helps me get to know her better. She writes beautifully and her blog is gorgeous." - Ashley from Simply Ashley 



"Without sucking up, I do love Angie because she not only provides great content, but also is so supportive of other Bloggers. It's a great quality to have." - Anna of Anna in Wonderland

  "It's hard to pick just one. There are a lot of great bloggers out there but I really like Astig Vegan's recipes. She posts lots of vegan friendly versions of traditional filipino recipes. Now my filipino boyfriend and I can enjoy the dishes he grew up with." - Tish from The Veganista Foodie

  "Making Sense of Cents, she's so inspirational and has great content on finances." - Kimberly from Sweet Discord "Emily from Ember Grey, because she always is so upbeat and positive...she makes my day!" - Christine from Christine Everyday

  "I love Wendy of Wendy's Lookbook! She's such a fashion icon!" - Nicole of Violet and Vine

"Loving PaleOMG right now. So much tasty healthy food!" - Tiara from Ice Cream and French Fries

"Rebekah from Rebekah Eliz. I love that she has real fashion for real girls, and I can actually afford the things she posts LOL!!" - Ricci from Ricci Alexis

  "Amalah for her honest and real take on parenting." - Megan from Megan and Wendy

"Twinkie Chan because she is quirky and leads an unusually pink life. Her posts are engaging, positive and funny. Whenever I read her post, it feels like a friend is talking to me. In short, she is a super cool human being." - NaNa from Foreign Geek

"I really enjoy following Keating from High Heels and Combat Boots. We are both military spouses and her perspective is one that any military spouse could benefit from." - Amanda from Green Tea and Cotton

  "Julia from Gal Meets Glam. Not only is her style on point but she and her husband have real personalities. I love seeing their global adventures and watching the funny things they do on snapchat." - January from The Bouncy Ponytail

"Oof. That's a toughie! Probably Erica from Whimsical September. Her blog was the inspiration for me taking blog really seriously!" - Emilie from Burke Does

  "So many to choose from! Currently I really appreciate Pinch of Yum, both for delicious recipes, and also for blogging and photography tips/resources. I've learned a ton from them." - Mary from Vindulge

  "This is so hard to answer, there are so many amazing bloggers out there who I love to visit, I think perhaps at the moment it has to be Cattitude & Co. I love her open and honest views and the fact she doesn't care what people think of the subject she's talking about - no matter how taboo she will get it out there." - Sarah from Life in a Breakdown

  "Aussa Lorens @ aussalorens.com because she is hilarious! She talks about mundane things in a hilarious but also serious things in a very accessible way." - Anon from Flight and Scarlet

  "I love Cupcakes and Cashmere because her fashion style looks effortless and she has grown her blog into a huge brand!" - Dana from Pellerini

"Alex Beadon. Her energy and tips are outstanding and her content is always fresh." - Kara from Fit Chic Nextdoor

"Miss Budget Beauty - She's frank and honest and we're of a similar age and both parents." - Laura from Petit Moi - Big World

"I have a huge list of bloggers that I follow - and who I'm loving most at the moment depends on my mood. Right now I'm really loving Fiction-Food Cafe since it features food in fiction (something that I write, blog, and talk about often)." - Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen

Enter the Giveaway

One lucky winner will take home a Toshiba Chromebook 2, a Hamptons Tote laptop bag, and a wireless mouse. Giveaway is open Worldwide, but international winners will receive $320 cash instead via Paypal due to shipping restrictions. Entering below agrees to all terms and conditions within the Rafflecopter and entries will be verified. Giveaway ends on March 8th at 12AM MST.



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"I've Cured My Own Lupus" Decoded: What It Actually Means


In a world full of people where trusting the guy at the gym to alternatively cure their diseases seems more logical than to trust a trained medical doctor, there are tons of people claiming they have cured incurable diseases by taking a chance on advice from people without a degree. Here's what they really mean when they say "x diet cured my lupus."


Not so long ago, I wrote an article for XOJane expressing my frustrations at people without medical degrees who think they can cure lupus. It's become a relatively popular phenomenon for people without medical degrees to claim that they can cure illnesses that baffle physicians, simply by eating correctly. These people have "done their research" (aka have tooled around on Google and read books by people like Dr. Oz or David Wolfe) or have read a lot of blog posts by FoodBabe and Freelee the Banana Girl (neither of which have any expert knowledge in specific chronic conditions or even degrees in nutrition).

The Lupus Research Institute communicates very clearly that there is no cure for lupus. People will either ignore this saying they didn't realize the "community had reached a consensus" (as though people who haven't even read the latest research on the condition are able to cure it), or tout that it is a "big pharma" interest in keeping you ill and taking medication.

On that last note, I will say that all doctors were reluctant to put me on my medication because it is so strong. I have been asked to wean myself off of one of them because of its strength and did attempt, but my symptoms came back. I'm not sure doctors who stand to make money off of me being ill would want me to go off medication, but that's a whole story for another day.

You will also get people who say they don't understand why you would take immunosuppressants when you should be building up your immune system. These people lack the basic understanding of lupus, which in its nature is an overactive immune system. "Building up your immune system" would only make the problem worse. 

Ever since I wrote that article, there have been no shortage of people without medical degrees telling me how sorry they feel for me that I believe in science "like a religion." I lost an acquaintance because he (who studied exercise science) believed I wanted to stay ill as I didn't think the paleo diet sounded right for me. I've had people comment on my article that they've cured mild depression and acne through a diet change (in fact, several people have said this) and therefore I should be able to cure lupus. Whether or not they have cured their depression and mild acne through a diet change (or other outside factors that coincidentally helped their ailments), diseases are not a one size fits all.

I've even recently had a crazy zealot come on my YouTube telling me they don't understand why I take medication (that keeps me alive) that does nothing to improve my symptoms. However, what they don't realize is that it actually helps keep my able to do things...even if it isn't to the full standard others are able to. I was told the doctors want to keep me sick and I could have developed lupus from anything from my make-up to where I live...which also makes no sense since I haven't stuck to one type of make-up or lived in an environment consistently for more than 2 years since my diagnosis.

I digress. The point of this article is that when you're standing your ground against the type of people who blame you for your lupus, they will inevitably bring up someone who claims to have cured themselves of lupus. If you search for it, there will be a few people who are far between who claim that x diet or x non-medical treatment cured them completely of lupus and their lives are far better. And of course, anyone who doesn't do it is an idiot.

Lupus cannot be cured, so here is what those people really mean:

1) I never had lupus to begin with.
Some of these people may have struggled with lupus-like symptoms, but never have been diagnosed with lupus. Because in the alternative medicine community, there have been rumors that lupus is a build up of toxins, it is entirely possible that people are diagnosing themselves with it. Lupus is known as the "great imitator" because it does mimic many diseases and no two cases are the same. If people feel sluggish and have achy joints, they may jump to a lupus diagnosis from WebMD or something similar. That way, when whatever it was they had clears up or they stop eating something they were allergic to that was causing these issues, then they can say they have cured themselves of lupus.

2) My lupus is in remission
Lupus is known for its hallmark cycles of remission and flares. Some people with lupus experience remission for years on end in which they do not have symptoms at all and can go off their medication. This does not mean they have been cured or that it will not come back. This can occur as a coincidence when trying a raw, vegan, paleo, or whatever the hell "cure diet" is out there, or it can happen before the person tried the diet and then they claim the diet (or whatever alternative therapy they want to claim miraculous helped them) cured them. It is always the goal of physicians to have their patients go off medication, especially strong medication, so if someone can do that, that is fantastic. Again, this does not mean the lupus is cured or that it will never come back. 

3) I had medicinal induced lupus
Lupus SLE can actually occur as a side effect of certain medication if you are susceptible to lupus to begin with. The way to cure this form of lupus is to switch the medication. People can go off the medicine that caused the lupus to begin with and all of their symptoms will disappear. They can associate this with "beating" lupus or magic snake oil or a crazy diet, but this does not mean they naturally cured their lupus. The agent causing it was simply taken away.

4) I have discoid lupus
Discoid lupus presents only on the skin and usually doesn't lead to SLE. People may be confused of their own diagnosis and experience lupus SLE-like symptoms at some point when they only have the discoid variety. After the symptoms clear, they can claim that they were cured of lupus SLE by a magic juice, diet or potion.

I still don't understand why people without medical degrees have the hubris to say they can cure an illness they are not familiar with or have never studied. Or why people listen to them, only to end up either sicker or simply disappointed. Or why we should have a mistrust of the entire American College of Rheumatology.  Yes, individual doctors are only human and can be wrong, but I think I trust a coalition of people who actually study my disease and work with it daily over someone who studied sports nutrition/read an article online.






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World's Worst Blogger?


Hi everyone! Just letting you know that I've been a little side-tracked as since we've moved, I've been suffering from both the stomach flu and a sinus infection. The stomach flu seems to have left me alone, finally, but the sinus infection is still lingering and I'm having some residual pain from my surgery. Because I've left my job and started freelancing for a company in the US, I'm having to do a little work each day, which is just about as much as I've been able to handle the past couple of weeks whilst moving and settling in.

HUGE apologies and I do plan to get back in the saddle as I have a few exciting posts both ready to go and in the works.

If you follow me on social media, you'll be able to get updated when the next real content post goes up. I feel awful because I know people hate when bloggers get side tracked, but I am doing the best I can. And since there has been so much negativity in my life in the past year or so, I'm really trying to be patient with myself (which was my New Year's resolution) and not get angry at my body. And also not push myself to make mediocre content JUST to have content.

See you soon!




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My SunJuice Food Diary--Parody


Hi there. I invented this crazy thing called SunJuice on a total whim before juicing was even a thing. I've found that even if you're eating candy and hamburgers and smoking all day, a SunJuice (which is only $10-$14 per bottle!) will instantly make you feel just a little bit better. And then you'll up it to two SunJuices a day and then you'll find you're giving up smoking and eating a little bit better. It's like a magic elixir.

But because I've invented SunJuice, I know so many people have been asking to see what it is I eat in a typical day, so I thought I'd break it down for you.

Pre-Breakfast

I typically wake between 5 and 6:30AM, when I do 92 sun salutations to the Egyptian god Osiris. I also like to throw in a couple of Gregorian chant sets that I learned from my two months living amongst silent monks in the Swiss Alps. We don't use alarm clocks in my Venice Beach shack because I believe it disrupts the body's inner chi, so I wake when I feel naturally ready.

After my salutations, I have beetroot and Peruvian water tea. The water is taken through a purifying process by a local sherpa and infused with the well intentions of the spirits of my ancestors. I get this shipped to my house by the caseload every 2 weeks.

For my lazy morning beauty regime, I swallow SunJuice's Pure Himalayan Mud capsules, which have extra calcium, B-complex and fou ji resin to help keep my skin glowing all day.

Breakfast

I allow my son, Nascent, to wake when his body clock is ready, which is usually anywhere from 8am to 9am. Nascent is home schooled by his tri-lingual teacher Ho Sun. Although he's only 3, I think it's important that he takes his lessons in Italian, Polish and Mandarin. He's already doing advanced algebra and is working with Ho Sun to bring Kundalini yoga to kids who currently reside on Skid Row.

I digress.

I typically have about 10 activated strawberries, dipped in the milk curd of a 3-year-old virgin goat. This helps with brain activation and keeps me going all day, as well as helps my hair stay shiny and enhances my libido. I also have a handful of plain chia seeds and the warm Peruvian water mixed with froth created by mixing together scorpion juice and natural volcanic ash. This is loaded with vitamins and minerals, like vitamin L to keep your past lives balanced and and Q to make your nails grow strong. Afterward, I follow it up with three shots plankton and seaweed juice, to activate my third eye.

Snack

I'm not a big snacker, but today I'm feeling a little peckish as I make my way to the Sun Juice shop. I decide to have one of our grapefruit juice smoothies infused with shots of cacao, locally sourced rose hips and papayas grown by a shaman named Dom in Colombia. Dom uses organic, pesticide free farming, in addition to infusing it with a special prayer to the Norse god Odin for strength and emotional stability. Yum!

Lunch

Lunch was on the go and in between so many meetings, texts and cell phone conversations. I made myself an elegant rainbow salad of sun-dried tomatoes (dried by hand by nuns in Tuscany), organic pesticide free lettuce leaves, pomegranates from the tomb of Rachel in Jerusalem, apples from my educational visit to the orchard with Nascent and Ho Sun and a sprinkling of maca, the superfood we're focusing on at the moment. I added a little bit of lemon zest and SunJuice's salad dressing, which is infused with the kosher vegan tears of Buddhist monks from Tibet. This not only helps keep my spiritual balance for the rest of the day, but gives me a big energy boost.

Dinner

Before my alkaline restoring private blind German yoga session with my go-to girl, Dusk, I swing by the house and pick up Nascent where we go to his favorite restaurant, Essence of Karma in the Valley. I order my favorite: Mexican pepitas, dipped in anti-oxident rich pearl batter foraged from the shores of Okinawa. I have a side of green tea, infused with cayenne pepper and SunJuice's almond butter paste to maximize my focus during the yoga session. Dusk invented an amazing type of yoga that's done completely in the dark, wearing a blindfold to increase the trust in your own body. I always bring along a bottle of my Peruvian water mixed with my ancestors' good intentions to keep my body and spirit aligned and hydrated.

Before Bed

After three hours of intense blind yoga, I take a shower in water collected from the Amazon, infused with SunJuice's own mochi resin to restore any imbalance that occurred during the class. I tuck in Nascent and sneak downstairs for a night cap of SunJuice's mushroom and cacao juice mixed with our own free range chocolate. Although we make it at our Venice store, all of the ingredients are foraged by schoolchildren from Laos and Honduras, who do this in their spare time to help raise money for school supplies. I love indulging knowing I'm also helping these kids achieve their goals.

I do a 10 minute whirling Dervish routine before sliding into my eco-friendly and fair trade cotton sheets and drifting off to sleep.


---------

So, I've never really written parody before as I don't consider myself a comedy writer by any means, but I have become obsessed with Amanda Chantal Bacon's crazy food diary that resurfaced on the Internet. The radiant inventor of Moon Juice, Amanda eats at least $720 worth of products in one day, by herself, ALONE. And I can't stop thinking about it. Read the article here. 

See you tomorrow for some stuff this blog is actually meant for.








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Checking In



Hey all! I thought I'd write an annoyingly long rambly post just checking in with my readers and letting you guys know what's going on in my daily life. Since I usually post content 4 times a week, it must seem a bit sparse for the readers who follow me!


Firstly, Luke and I have moved house! We are in a new little one-bedroom flat with our little dog and are just so happy to be here. Although we had lived in the last house for over two years, there always seemed to be some kind of drama with the housemates, and to be honest, I began to doubt myself a bit as a person. I may go into that later, but as we were constantly being scapegoated/told off for any small mistake, in the last few months, I really felt unwelcome in my own home. (Of course, these are not the people that lived there when we moved in.) Additionally, the house has really fallen into disrepair, to the point of it being unhealthy for anyone to actually live there, so I'm kind of interested to see what happens with it.

Secondly, after moving, I came down with a terrible cold that was so bad I found myself coughing to the point of being physically ill. So after doing all of the heavy lifting with the moving, I've also been doing a lot of sleeping! Phew.

 I have had kind of a rough blow after blow since I've first moved to the UK....but maybe it's just a tough period in my life! At any rate, I did meet Luke and that, of course, makes me incredibly happy.


Sorry for the long rambly post...there will be more bloggy content up shortly. I think with my blog, as well, I set up way too many goals for myself far too quickly. It's great to have high expectations of yourself, but I was getting really upset for not generating 100% of my income off of my blog by now. Really though, I have done quite well without a niche, so instead of getting angry at myself, I should be, instead, happy with what I'm doing!

So there you have it. I have a couple of blog events this week which will put me back into the swing of things...and I will show you sneak peeks of the new place here and there.





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