The Flare Up Blues

So, I’ve been absent–but I’ve always been spotty about blogging. Seriously, I’m the worst blogger ever. And I own it. 

But it’s been different lately, and not in a good way. For a while I was happy, in a good mood, not in too much pain, I even went back to work! But I’ve been having this month long flare and it just keeps getting worse. I don’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t even game. I’ve been at work sitting in pain or at home lying in pain. 

I’m not one to complain but I’m scared and confused. First off, I don’t know when I should call a doctor, I don’t even know which doctor to go to! Internist? Rheumatologist? Physical Therapist? Neurologist? I have so many and I don’t even know if they can help me.  I’ve been dying to go back on infusions but I don’t wanna be dependent on them. I’ve been exircising, walking, stretching, going to pool therapy and water aerobics (in moderation of course) but it’s not getting any better. We even doubled all my meds and nothing. If anything it’s worse. 

I’m still in a good mood of course, that’s in my nature when I’m around friends and family but I’m tired.

I’m well aware this is common and a million Spoonie’s every where deal with this… but it’s fucking hard! I’ve put a hold on everything for now because I just can’t do it. I still have to work so it’s gonna be a long couple of weeks. Plus with the hurricane bringing rain in I doubt I’ll have any relief. Had to have help getting dressed this morning. It’s a big kick in the but when you have trouble doing even the littlest things. 

I’ll be ok. I’m always ok. I always have a smile and I’ll never give up. Just promise me you’ll never give up, ok? Well fight for us together. (That was totally a Skillet quote.) 

I love you all 

OXOXO 

Kat 

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In a Cookie Cutter World, I’d be a Macaroon…

So. Queenie and I attempted to make macaroons…again. This time it actually worked out (if you over look the fact our macaroons weren’t the color they were supposed to be).

Ever since I spent time in London I have been dying to learn to make macaroons for myself because I live in the middle of no-where and trying to find good non-frozen macaroons in East Texas is like trying to find a rock star at a rodeo. It’s possible, but highly unlikely. I love, love, love macaroons. They’re not just a cookie; their colorful pieces of art–not just a cookie being extra. Each macaroon seems to have it’s own personality and flavor! I tried so many in London, I’m pretty sure I had macaroons almost every day I was there!

Living in Phoenix, I could order them from the bakery down the road from my villa, but out here, most people don’t even know what a macaroon is. And I say most because the bakers in my area know what they are but don’t know how to bake them. And even if they did, they still wouldn’t because no one around here eats them. But in Dallas I hear there’s a bakery that makes them from scratch, by hand everyday and the left overs get taken to the shelters and food kitchens. It may be just a rumor, but I intend to investigate every tea room and bakery I can find regardless.

As for baking them myself….

Our first attempt at French Macaroons ended with a kitchen covered in almond flower, a batch of hopeless crumbling cookie feet and two very sad small town, rookie bakers. This time, however we did our research, bought better ingredients and learned from our mistakes.

I knew the basics, like what it meant to have egg whites hold a peak and what the feet needed to look like. But I didn’t know what to do when the feet stuck to the wax paper, or that you’re supposed to drop the cookie sheet so the air bubbles move to the top. There’s all of these baking secrets that no one tells you so when your faced with the traumatizing issue of your beautiful double chocolate macaroon feet sticking to the wax paper you frantically toss them in the freezer hoping they’ll magically pop off like their supposed to.

Reality check: I have never gotten anything to not stick to the cookie sheet, wax paper or glass dish. Fortunately, this is the 21st century and we have google.

I’ll link the recipe we followed down below with the pictures I took of our adventure.

This time we opted for Italian Macaroons and not French Macaroons because the recipe was said to be fool proof. I read so many cooking/baking blogs that said it took them years to perfect the French Method. Well, I don’t have years. Anita and I move in less than a month and I need to have the macaroon recipe perfected for our Sunday Brunch/High tea dates out on the balcony.

We have it all planned out, I even picked out a bistro table!

Any ways, tip for making macaroons: pay attention to what side of the wax paper you put them on, buy a rubber template, and invest in gel food coloring if your not using the natural color. We wanted our vanilla macaroons to be purple so we mixed red and blue… some of the batches turned out to be an ugly grey color and we were sad. Also, if you’re a spoonie like me–get a mixer. All the hand beating and folding brought me to tears and Queenie had to take over because my hands were hurting so bad.

Also, even with all of our preparing, the feet still stuck to the wax paper. Here’s what we did:

We took the wax sheet with the feet on top and placed the sheet in warm water. We used a separate cookie sheet with warm water covering the bottom of the pan.

And for god sake whatever you do, DO NOT LET THE MACAROONS GET WET.

It’s not that hard to set the wax sheet ON TOP of the water, or at least it shouldn’t be. We however had tried to pry a few off with a spatula, so there were holes in the wax paper.*le sigh*

Once the paper sat there for a few minuets the feet popped off like they were supposed to! It was like magic! Only it wasn’t… it was an accumulation of college ingenuity and a lot of frantic googling.

We will be experimenting with flavors now that we have the basic recipe down. We made vanilla macaroons with a chocolate ganache (google that if you don’t know what it is) and they were AMAZING. Enjoy the pictures below of our Macaroon adventure part 2.

The Recipe: http://sugarywinzy.com/basic-macarons-italian-meringue-method-with-raspberry-curd-filling/

Have a wonderful week WildeKats!

OXOXO

Kat

I Am Strong

So this week has been….well there are no words. I missed Krypticon because of some family drama and ended up taking some shifts at a family store so I wouldn’t have to be at home. Its been really hard mostly because I have come to a revelation.

I am scared of men.

My best friend in the whole wide world said something to me and she was completely right. My entire life, every man that I’m related to by blood has been very oppressive, manipulative, and just down right mean. Sometimes when your close to someone, it’s hard to see how bad someone has been treating you–or maybe you know and you just don’t want to believe it.

I’m not an abused person, but as I was thinking about it, I realized that C was right. I’ve only had three boyfriends in my entire life and in all three relationships I was so submissive and worried about what they wanted and not what I wanted. I’ve always been like that I guess, but its gotten to the point where I’ve had to leave work or public places because of panic attacks due to one text message. And I’ve been blaming it on the fibromyalgia and autoimmune stuff but now I’m really thinking there is an underlying issue. I’m in the process of moving away–which I think will alleviate most of these problems but I’m going to talk to my doctor again this week anyways.

C loves me to the moon and back and I love her even more, this girl had the next three  months planned out in like a millisecond as well as a plan B and C! Though, Anita and I are looking for apartments still, its nice to know I have C to stay with if I need to until then. And now that this issue is out in the open, I feel loads better. I have a plan, tomorrow I start making phone calls and hopefully by the end of the week I will no longer be in this crap town.

Allow me to quote Power Rangers “…how could such a small crap town cause me such misery?” This had literally been my life for 15 years. I was fine in Scottsdale, then my parents split and I was shipped off to back woods East Texas and the fecal matter hit the oscillator.

Did you guys know that the girl that played Kimberly in PR is playing Jasmine in the Disney live action Aladdin!? Or how about that BBC announced the 13th doctor and it’s Jodi Whittaker?? Oh man I’m so pumped… see I had been having such a great nerd day until a specific male someone blew up at me over a damn remote.

How dumb is that? You can’t find it? Okay, I’ll be home in an hour watch Netflix on your laptop and calm the fuck down. The sad thing is, I stood up for myself, I told them to chill and that this wasn’t worth getting so upset for then they proceeded to call me selfish. But I’m totes over it now, I had my mental break down, talked to my three best girls, I laughed, sent silly snap chats and now I’m blogging because I needed to say something.

Women are strong as hell. No man ever has to deal with the shit we go through. I don’t care if you’ve been in the military and have been over seas and seen some rough crap. That’s great and all, thank you, but let me tell you–women have been oppressed by men since the damn middle ages and it needs to fucking stop. Maybe not all women feel this way, maybe some women don’t care. But I care. My whole life has been run by men; my dad, my grandpa, my uncles, stepdad’s. Since the day I could talk I’ve had men telling me what I can and can’t do and it stops now.

I am strong. Just because I cry, or have anxiety attacks or use a blog to vent, I am strong. We need fear in our lives, without fear we wouldn’t know our limitations. We need hardships in our lives because without them we wouldn’t know what we’re capable of. I am capable of a hell of a lot more than this. And watch me prove it. I may not have the amazing job I want–yet. But I’m getting there. This is the first step right? Admitting it to myself?

I feel like I’ve hit rock bottom, so the only way is up now, right?

I hope you all have an amazing week. Go out there and kick some ass for me, doing whatever it is that you do. I’m certainly not letting this week keep me down. Tomorrow is monday. And maybe it’s a whole new Kat.

OXOXOX

Kat

My Chronic Emergency Kit

If you have a chronic illness then you know what it’s like to be out and about, at a family gathering, or be at work and then BAHM your doubling over, writhing in pain or dizzy AF.  I’ve been there. I live a busy life that I refuse to give up. I’m constantly at cons, conventions, weddings, out with friends or with family. Im hardly ever at home, and when I am I’m usually binge watching or playing video games. The symptoms can be a real pain sometimes, not to mention a huge inconvience. When a flare hits out of no where I keep a few things on me to help me cope until I get home. 

Since its summer time and the next few weeks are going to be pretty busy I thought this was an appropriate topic. 

I don’t keep everything in a fancy hello kitty bag like my friend Gem does, but the bag doesn’t matter it’s what’s inside that counts. I keep an array of things in my emergency kit, and when I list them all you’ll probably be thinking ‘Kat, is all of that necessary? Carrying that much stuff is mental!” But yes, it is necessary. I never know where I’m going to be or what sort of symptoms I’ll have. Lupus is called the imitator disease, fibro is more than just a pain disorder and with RA comes fatigue. I have skin issues sometimes, dietary issues, random pain, I get dizzy, shaky, nauseous, and brain fog is my worst enemy. The things I carry are helpful medical wise but also comforting. I’m that girl who carries a small stuffed animal at all times when I’m by myself because I get panic attacks and I need something to cuddle. Everything you carry should be tailored to what helps you physically and mentally. 

For starters I carry bottles water, the small ones in case I need to swallow an emergency pill or something. I also keep fruit snacks in my purse, or crackers depending on where I’m going. Having a snack on hand can help blood sugar issues or keep you from being nauseous if you have to take meds that require being taken with food. I also keep benedryl, OTC pain, nausea and motion sickness meds in a small plastic baggy. Aside from basic spoonie essentials here’s a list of other items I keep on hand. 

  • Lavender oil- calming essential oil 
  • Peppermint oil- energizing and good for headaches/migraines
  • Small toothbrush and toothpaste in case of unplanned vomiting
  • Cocoa or shea butter
  • Sunscreen
  • Perfume
  • Sunglasses
  • Chapstick (or Vaseline. Vaseline has MANY uses) 
  • Wipes
  • Makeup wipes
  • Banana bag Oral Solution packets(here’s the link, these things are a LIFE SAVER) 
  • Gum (peppermint always)
  • One dose of each medicine in case I have to stay overnight unexpectedly in the hospital, a family member or a friends house. 
  • Extra hair ties
  • Humbled extracts pain butter? It may be calssified as a cream. Who knows. Their amazing, but icy hot or Bengay works too
  • Icy hot roller stick with lidocaine. 
  • Deodorant 
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • Small stuffed turtle/hippo (I change them out. But their basically beanie babies incase of panic attacks)

There’s probably more to that list that I’m forgetting, I told you, I carry A LOT of stuff. But I have too. I even keep a change of comfy clothes in my car. I just know how unpredictable life is, and how unpredictable my body is. I hate having to rely on others so I come prepared to EVERYTHING for any situation. I’ve always been the girl to have bobby pins, safety pins, double sided fashion tape, or extra everything because when I was in high school I would always forget something when I went on a trip. Now, I bring loads of small things so that I’m prepared for anything. 

I keep it all in a small clear plastic airline toiletries bag, most of what I carry is travel sized so it fits just fine. It’s a bit snug but better safe than sorry right?? I’m usually wearing my psi bands, but if I’m not then I toss them in my purse/bag; the same goes for all my braces. I have one for both knees and both wrists. On particularly hot days I swap my water out for pedialyte or Gatorade. 

You may not need all of this, maybe you’ll just benefit from emergency meds, an extra dose of every day meds, gum, and a snack. Or maybe you carry something I don’t! I’d love to hear what all my spoonie buddies keep on them in case of emergency flare ups!! But whatever you carry, it should be based on your needs and your preferences. Anita only carries meds and snacks where Elsa keeps her daily meds and a notebook on her. Everyone is different, everyone’s illness is different. I will say that carrying an emergency/survival kit no matter what your illness is a smart move. Even just keeping a slip of paper in your pocket or I’m a medical bracelet/necklace to let them know you have an illness, allergies or are on specific meds is a good idea in case of the worst case scenario. You never know what will happen and I feel less anxious leaving my house every day knowing I’m prepared and have contingency plans upon contingency plans. 

If you have any ideas, suggestions or carry something bizarre coment below. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Have a great weekend my WildeKats! 

OXOXO 

Kat 

Summer Holiday and Wedding Looks

Hello Loves! 

It’s been a long week, but a good one I guess. First the Fourth of July then a wedding and today is my Papa’s birthday so I was up early ready to head to my hometown. 

I thought I would share some of my outfits from this week as an introduction to the post about my ‘Spoonie Emergency Kit’ that gets me through these hot(and cold) Southern days. 

I live in Texas unfortunately, so it’s pretty hot here–and humid. Having to be outside in the sun and the heat is awful in and of its self, add having a few chronic illnesses and you’re practically living a nightmare. But I have a few tricks up my sleeve, and a wardrobe that gets the job done. 

For the Fourth I opted for a crop top, shorts and a flannel. I knew I’d be outside most of the day and unable to lay down anywhere so I wore a crop top that doubles as a bra. Less layers, less sweat. I added a flannel so I’d have something to sit on if I needed to or something to cover my shoulders so I wouldn’t burn. I of course was lathered in baby sunscreen but the sun is brutal. As for my hair, well I’ll let you see for yourself. Enjoy this picture of me and Jar Jar Binks.  

Messy double buns with a red bandana. Oh, and my Star Wars Vans. I kept my makeup minimal, I used BB cream instead of foundation and neutral eyes with water proof mascara. The sun would give my cheeks a nice red tint so I skipped the blush and contoured my cheeks with bronze BB cream instead of my normal contour powder palate. 

After the Fourth it was time to head to San Antonio for Anita’s sisters’ wedding. We were invited to the bachelorette party which was at a gay bar where we enjoyed a drag show and some Karaoke. That night I was a little extra, I don’t get the opportunity to go out much mostly because I prefer to stay in and play video games on a Friday night. 

I will admit the leather skirt was not the best choice as I was sweating my non existent balls off, but damn did I feel fierce. I also wasn’t expecting the bar to be an outside bar. The shirt was a simple chiffon material that I got from a boutique some where, the same place the skirt was purchased. I wore my most comfortable (and my favourite) heels, did my full coverage makeup routine and added some touseled waves then hit the town! I didn’t wear any jewelry because after getting into that skirt and doing a full face of makeup I was lazy. But sometimes no jewelry can look classy too. Look at those roots, someone needs to get back to the beauty salon and get a touch up!! LOL. 

The wedding outfit was my favourite. I don’t usually wear bohemian style clothing, but it was the perfect style for an outdoor summer wedding. 

The skirt I purchased at that same boutique. It’s my absolute favourite! Or it was before it closed down, moved then got renamed. It still has some good pieces but it got a little too country chique for my tastes. The top was another gift I recently acquired, I was originally planning to wear it with some Levi cut offs but it ended up being a nice contrast to the skirt. I wore some nice jewelled sandals to complete the look, my hair was natural and pulled back into a half up fishtail braid and I went for a single gold choker necklace to complete the look. This coral dip hem skirt is one of my favourite pieces, I can style it so many different ways! I usually wear a loose white graphic tee with it to give it an edgy look, or a crop top for a casual summer look. I don’t do lace very often but I’m glad I did this weekend. 

On Wednesday I’ll put up the post about my ‘Spoonie Emergency Kit’ along with some ideas about how to choose what sort of things you should put in yours. 

I hope all of my US readers had a wonderful holiday and that my UK (and everywhere else) babes are enjoying their summers. I hear it’s pretty warm in England–stay cool and drink lots of water!! 

OXOXO

Kat

Summer Favorites 

Hello my beautiful WildeKats. It’s been a wild month for me, with some new symptoms popping up randomly and all the storms in my area I haven’t gotten much done creatively. But you all will be happy to know, I will be making an appearance at Crypticon in Kansas City as Black Canary ❤️ 

Now–I live in Texas unfortunately. And my family loves outdoor time. Being a spoonie and all I find it hard to participate in pool and lake days. But I am traveling to San Antonio for another wedding and we will be doing some activities on the river so I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my summer beauty necessities. I’ve talked about two of them before but they’re amazing products so you’ll see me rave about them again in the future. 

Summer means sun, sun means UV rays and aside from sunscreen (I use baby sunscreen) you’re beauty essentials need to pack a punch, literally. I am cursed with dry skin, so I generally go for moisturiser with UV protection all year around. Skin cancer is no joke and my family is prone to it, on both sides. *collective sigh* 


I usually go for PONDS but I sent my sister to the store for me and she brought me back an equate version of the same things, and honestly I see little difference. PONDS dry skin cream can be a little greasy, especially if you use it before you put makeup on. With the Equate version, it certainly looks like it would be greasy but it’s not. Once your skin absorbs the cream, that’s it. No grease, no shiny nose, no residue. I put it on in the mornings after I brush my teeth so it has ample time to absorb into my skin before a makeup routine. Which, during the summer I don’t use make up much. 

If you read my ghost hunt post, then you’ve heard me talk about Evian Mineral Water Mist. I know most of you are like, “Kat, you actually buy water in a spray bottle?” Well, yes, I do. This isn’t just water it’s spring water on steroids. No joke. I don’t know what Evian puts in this stuff but it’s amazing. I’m actually from Phoenix so I’m used to battling UV rays on a completely different level. This stuff isn’t just useful in the summer when you’re by the beach and you can feel your skin tightening up around your nose because is parched. This mineral mist is great for all year round-it refreshens makeup, is great as a pre primer moisturiser and the PERFECT secret weapon for looking like a model when you’re walking off a 14 hour flight from London (or wherever). I have used this stuff for years, and I usually keep a small bottle in my purse and beach bag. You can’t get the small ones from Sephora and Ulta, but the 10oz I order from Amazon bc I’m a prime babe. You can also get it from Ulta, they keep the 10oz on the shelf. 

Next is sea salt spray. Any kind will work, I like Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Texturizing Spray, but Bumble and Bumble is good and Nuetrogena has one from a reboot line. NYM has a great smell and I’m all about smell so naturally that’s the one I go for. It’s also readily available everywhere and I’m horrible lazy. You can spritz it on damp hair after the shower, a dip in the pool or the ocean. Or you can be like me and use it on air dried locks that have been in a loose braid all night. Like I said–I’m unbelievably lazy. This spray is my secret weapon. My hair is really fine so texture is nothing more than a day dream normally. Well not any more! Seriously, sea salt spray is the best. I’m actually gonna try the Nuetrogena one when I finish this bottle of NYM. I’ll be sure to post a reaction/review piece when I do. 

If you’re cursed with dry skin like me, then all hopes of rocking those hot AF lip sticks is just that–a hope. That is, if you’re not equipped with the right chap stick. I don’t wear lipstick much because of my perpetual dry lips, but NIVEA is slowly changing that for me. They have so many great options, everything from flavoured Vaseline to minty lip plumpers. I personally stick to the original smoothing formula. I slather it on with my primer and let it sit till I’m ready for lipstick at the end of my makeup routine. 

And last but certainly not least in my summer favourites list is sunglasses!!! Guys, I cannot stress how important a pair of sunglasses are for Spoonies. I don’t care what ails you, migraines, light sensitivity and sensory issues accompany just about every chronic illness to exist. I wear glasses so I order prescription sunglasses off line–pricey but I have to have them in order to drive. Sometimes I need them just to get through a work day bc the fluorescents are too much. But in the summer time when the sun is reflecting off the water, the glare is excruciating. If you don’t have a decent pair of UV refracting sunglasses you can kiss you’re relaxing day at the beach/lake/pool/river or wherever goodbye. I ordered the ones above from charming Charlie’s. These aren’t prescription but they’re just so damn cute! I only use my prescription ones to drive, so I have a plethora of trendy sunglasses to choose from for beach/lake days. 

There you have it WildeKats! These are my spoonie summer must haves. There are plenty more items that I keep on hand but these are the most important for summer fun! Have an amazing summer my loves. Rest up and have lots of gentle fun! 

OXOXO

Kat 

The Secret Life of an Independent Spoonie 

Hey WildeKats

I have a confession. 

I know when I write I usually paint this pretty picture where I’m full of motivation, strong and I’m busy kicking serious chronic illness tushy in killer-but comfy-outfits. And as much as I hate to break the euphoric bubble–I’m not actually like that most of the time. 

I use this blog to boost my own mood and to motivate myself. John Steinbeck once wrote a series of writing tips, one of which said to forget your generalised audience. He said that writing to all the faceless people who you hope to read your work is terrifying. Instead you should pick one person and write to them. 

Well. I write to myself. You are your worst critique and potentially you’re own greatest fan. 

In reality my life kind of sucks. Restless nights because of insomnia, pain riddled days, I’m pretty sure my prefrontal cortex forgot how to convert short term memory to long term memory and I’m nauseous all the time. This puts a big strainer on my social life. When I do venture out into the great beyond I usually end up spending two days in bed recovering. The many people who know me personally, they never see this person. The me that’s constantly beat down, sleeps in the bathroom and sips Gatorade just to stay somewhat healthy. 

I don’t have the luxury of a esteemed loved one who takes care of me. I pretty much do everything on my own. Yea, I have my dad and he’s great. But aside from reminding me to take my meds and keeping me company he pretty much keeps to himself. I have friends, many of whom have their own lives and illnesses. I don’t mind taking care of myself, I’m painfully independent. Besides I already have a husband, two boyfriends and a Turian lover courtesy of BIOWARE. 

I often find myself typing depressing posts and ultimately delete them because I’ve convinced myself that no one cares. But I care. I go back and read past posts about those days where I kicked RA and Fibro in the ass. I go back and remember how good I felt or how brave I was. 

I constantly have to talk myself into getting out of bed, remind myself to breathe and that I am not alone. I have all of you, and the countless other spoonies out there. Though I often tell them I’m fine. Not sure who I’m trying to convince with that, me or them… but sometimes it’s true. 

Sure I think it would be nice to have someone willing to sit with me on the bathroom floor all night, but until I find such a person I shall have to do it myself. I’ll have a cat soon, maybe he/she can be my knight in furry armour. 

Stay strong WildeKats and never stop fighting.

Oxoxo 

Kat