Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Guest Post from Kendra Thornton

Welcome to the Thornton Thanksgiving!

At this time of year, the air is chilly, leaves are falling, and families are starting to make plans for the holidays! Although I love all the holidays, Thanksgiving is probably one of my favorites because it's all about having an attitude of gratitude! This year all of our family's relatives will be here at the Thornton household. I'm so excited!   

In order to get ready for our special dinner, I've been going on Pinterest to get great appetizer and dessert ideas so I can spend time preparing great dishes with my children. As they continue maturing, it seems like they've developed an interest in helping their Mom out when she's in the kitchen. Although I'm always grateful for their help and want to spend as much time with them as I can, I have to remember to keep their food tasks as simple as possible. If it gets complex, it gets messy. For this reason, I want to find recipes that can be made easily! And making them has to be fun, too!

In my opinion, traditional Thanksgiving meals are always amazing. Personally, there are certain foods that I always prepare such as turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and my personal favorite-mashed potatoes and gravy. Although these staples are wonderful, however, I'm going to experiment with some new dishes this year. While I was doing research online, I found an article on Gogobot featuring the dishes that various luxury hotels are going to prepare for their guests for Thanksgiving!

To keep my family's dinner fresh and alive this year, I'm going to remake some dishes. Hopefully my family will appreciate my efforts at spicing up our beloved traditions. Recently, I read an article stating that the Waldorf Astoria of Orlando will be making a great pumpkin soup with lobster as an appetizer for their Thanksgiving dinner. Since my family loves soup, I'm definitely going to give this recipe a try.  

When I reflect on all the blessings and joy that I have in my life, I am constantly reminded of the fact that I have numerous things to be grateful for. And that's why I'm excited about one of my family's most treasured traditions of going around the table and mentioning several things that we feel grateful for. My kids and I are going to create Thanksgiving thankful craft tonight that will help us get our minds thinking of what to share on Thursday!

Maybe your family can adopt this great tradition during your own Thanksgiving dinner! No matter what you do this year, I hope your holiday is filled with great food and even greater memories!    

 Kendra Thonrton can be found on Twitter at or by searching for @KendraThornton

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I took the 30 challenge from Beautiful Live Skin Care System.

 I was contacted to review the Beautiful Live Skin Care System by Trusted Health Care Products.  I had great luck with their OraMD product I reviewed so I was excited to try their all natural skin care system.

I love how the bottles come customized with my name on it. Having an uncommon name it's always cool to see it on a product. 

I felt the easiest way to do this challenge was to keep a log of my 30 days.

Day 1 - Admittedly it's odd to put oil on your face. I like the smell. Not too overpowering.
I started with 3 drops on each half of my face and I probably didn't need that much. I ended up blotting some off my face after 5 minutes. A few hours later my face felt smooth and soft.

Day 4 - I think I've hit the "detox" stage where my skin is stating to break out slightly. I hope this stage doesn't last too long.  I have noticed that in general my skin is less dry than it has been.

Day 7 - I started using a little less of the oil each time. My skin is still soft and smooth and I'm having less of a detox reaction. Hoping my skin clears up soon.

Day 10 - Skin looks to be healing up.

Day 17 - I think my skin suffered a bit of a set back this week due to the stomach flu.  The only thing that is worse than the stomach flu is the stomach flu while pregnant. The skin on my facce is generally softer and I'm hoping that I have less breakouts.

Day 22: I'm having another small breakout but I think this one has more to do with entering my second trimester than it does the care system.  My forehead (which is normally one of my dry zones) hasn't been flaking at all.

Day 30: I finished my 30 day challenge and here are my overall thoughts on the Beautiful Live Skin Care System:

I gave this product quite a challenge. I started it at 9 weeks pregnant and I am now 13 weeks pregnant. My skin has been awful this pregnancy.I've noticed much less flaking and dryness in my skin as a whole. I'm still having some breakouts but they are more controlled and I'm pretty sure that has more to do with the pregnancy than anything else.
I do love how soft my skin feels after I put the product on. I also noticed a healthy glow when I apply the product. Since I put it on one side at a time I can really see the difference. My skin feels healthier and I haven't needed to apply moisturizer because the skin care system has left my skin so healthy.

I'm really happy with how this product has worked. I love the way it smells and the general health of my skin. It's a great product.

You can check out for more information or like them on Facebook. Everyone that likes the page gets $5 off their first order.

  “The manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out Beautiful A.M. Moisturizer (for women) or You’re the Man A.M. Moisturizer (for men) and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge. This is a one-time only offer!  They also agreed to include 2 eye-opening reports – The Poisons You Put On Your Face Everyday and Why Your Skin Care Products Have Never Worked: The Truth Revealed .”  That’s a total value of over $40.00. Click here to get your FREE Bottle and FREE reports now!”

They even have a men’s line of this skin care system – You’re the Man

Friday, August 2, 2013

OraMD Review - Cleaner teeth the natural way

 A couple weeks ago I was contacted by OraMD to try their all natural toothpaste. We all know how much I like free, but I also love natural products so I was happy to give it a go.

"Please be advised that OraMD may taste overwhelmingly stout over the first half dozen uses or so and you will experience a very strong, minty taste. You may want to start out using just a drop or two! This strong “burn” is actually the anti-inflammatory properties killing bacteria and does take about a week to get used to but the “burn” will decrease in time."

This was the information I was given upon receiving the product. I'm a big fan of mint so I didn't think it would be a problem.  Oh boy, it was strong. But I was expecting that so it wasn't bad.
The issue I had was more with texture. I'm so used to using a paste that just a few drops on my toothbrush felt strange to me. 
My teeth felt really clean after brushing so I wanted to find a solution. I decided to take some baking powder and add a little water and some OraMD to make a paste. This worked perfectly because now I had combined the cleaning power with whitening power as well. 

Overall I'm really happy. My teeth feel cleaner for longer. The product can also be used straight as a breath freshener.  While it may seem a bit expensive for a bottle it will last you a long time. Plus it cleans your teeth without all those added chemicals. 

You can check out for more information or like them on Facebook.

The manufacturer is willing to offer my readers one FREE bottle. They said they would love to have our readers try out OraMD and agreed to send one bottle FREE if our readers would pay a minimal shipping and handling charge.  They also agreed to include 2 eye-opening reports called 1) “The 6 Hidden Dangers In Toothpaste” and 2) “Why The FDA Requires A Warning Label On Your Toothpaste.”  That’s a total value of over $40.00.  Click here to get your FREE bottle and FREE reports now.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Coming Soon

I know posts have been missing as of late so I promise I have some things upcoming.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The big reveal

yes, finally it is time for the big before and after shots. These are the ones taken by my plastic surgeon. 
But before that let me just say how glad I am to have the PICC line out and how much more respect I have for people with ports/shunts. I know how hard to was for me emotionally and can't even imagine how someone with a life threatening illness would feel.
This thing went up my arm and emptied in to my heart

I knew I didn't want to have nipple reconstruction. For right now I've also opted to skip the nipple tattoos.  I did however get some great samples from Rub On Nipples that I am looking forward to trying. They were given to me because I have an adhesive allergy and they wanted to show me I wouldn't have a problem with these.

My right side is still a bit larger than my left but the swelling will go down over the next few months. It's not such a big difference that I couldn't live with it. My results have been really great. I am so thankful for Dr Cooper she has really done an amazing job.

Finally, my before and after picture after the jump.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Antibiotics and PICC Lines and Drains - OH MY!

I'm glad to say that my stitches have come out. I'll still have my drain and PICC line for another week though.
This is the lovely PICC line in my left arm

This week hasn't been without its own challenges. I ended up with an allergic reaction to my IV antibiotics. While it was nothing life threatening it certainly was upsetting. I ended up with a very nasty skin reaction on my inner/upper thigh area and on my outer vaginal lips.
My IV antibiotics have been switched and the cortisone cream/salve regimen I'm using is helping my skin heal.
My daily regimen

I've got another week on the antibiotics. It really sucks that I can't lift much while the PICC line is in.

So here it is, how everything looks now.
Picture after the jump.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sometimes it all just goes wrong.

This past week has been hellish.
On Friday my Surgeon marked a red mark on my left breast. Saturday I spiked a fever and ended up in the hospital on IV antibiotics.
Sunday I had emergency surgery to remove the implant. Apparently not all of my Alloderm had taken during my exchange surgery.  Luckily the on call surgeon was able to remove all the offending tissue and place a new implant (I was terrified of waking up with 1 boob).

Did I mention this was Mother's Day this was all happening on? 
Yeah, it sucked. I was in the hospital until Wednesday. I went home with a Picc line placed in my left arm, stitches and a drain on my right.

Now I'm home and dosing myself twice daily with IV antibiotics.  My left breast is swollen and I am admittedly pretty depressed about the entire thing. Everything looked so great after my exchange and now I've got all sorts of things running in and out of my body.

My mom did come in Tuesday to help out because I can't lift much with the Picc line in. Plus my right side is super sore.

I do remind myself it could be worse, it isn't cancer. But complications like this still suck and they can be demoralizing.
Ben will help me get a picture over the weekend of my current state. I'm just too exhausted now.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

4 days post exchange. The bruises are showing.

3 days after my last post and I'm even more bruised. This explains why I'm even more sore.
I know this is normal so I'm not worried about it. But I also know that some other people might get freaked out by bruises getting worse after surgery.

Picture after the jump

Saturday, May 4, 2013

1 Day Post Exchange

I want to bust out my best Billy Crystal impersonation and say "they look mah-velous".
I'm sore, bruised and tired but my breasts look great.  I'm lucky that I had a wonderful surgeon. It's exciting to finally have my permanent implants in place.

Can't wait to rock some cute strapless tops this summer. I ended up with 1300cc saline implants.
Picture after the jump.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Going under the knife again

This Friday is my exchange surgery. I'm excited and nervous. 
My expanders will be taken out and swapped for my permanent implants. I'll also be having the "dog ears" liposucked out.
I can't wait to be rid of these rocks in my chest.

Friday, April 26, 2013

A refreshing way to enjoy the weather

Spring is here and I can't wait to sit outside with a good book and a refreshing drink. I'm a big fan of natural stuff as well as things my whole family can enjoy.
I'm in love with this great Citrus Fruit Punch recipe. It's perfectly refreshing for the hot southern summers.
Here's what you need:

1 cup - mint leaves
1 cup - lemon juice
1 cup - orange juice (fresh squeezed citrus is always the best tasting)
1 tablespoon - grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon - grated orange peel
1 1/2 cups - Florida Crystals® Superfine Sugar (I love this because it's organic and has no additives)
2 1/2 cups - water
2 tablespoons - honey (I use my local honey for this)
Ginger Ale

Combine first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Set aside.

In 3-quart saucepan, combine Florida Crystals® Superfine Sugar, water and honey. Over medium heat, bring to a boil. Pour over juice mixture and let cool. Strain and store in refrigerator.

To Serve:
Combine 1 part juice mixture with 3-4 parts ginger ale. Serve over ice.

Makes about 16 servings.

The great thing about this recipe is you can you more or less sugar depending on how sweet you want it.  It's also a fun and easy recipe to make with the kids and will surely be a favorite for the summer.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Trying our hand at lacto-fermented pickles

Hope our probiotic pickles are good. 3 more days of fermenting before we try them.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Little Reflection and A Lot of Cloth

Normally I'd be posting my bi-weekly picture update. I'm holding off to post at week 15.  Mostly because we lived in Boston for 4 years. Our son was born there and we have friend an family in the area.
This week was very rough on us and I can't even imagine how it was for our friends in Watertown who were only a block from where the suspect was captured. They think he actually ran through their yard to get there at some point.

Today was the Great Cloth Diaper Change and we're hoping a new record was set. If you don't know about cloth you should find a local store and ask them about it.

Really hoping life can return to "normal" soon.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

And just so I can throw some crafting in here...

These are the cloth pads I made as a giveaway for the Great Cloth Diaper Change next weekend.

I hope whoever wins them likes them.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

12 weeks and a top I never could have worn before

3 months after surgery and I'm still getting used to my body. My right expander still has a weird dent in it and probably will until my exchange surgery.
I have found that yoga has really helped me gain back my mobility. Losing weight is just an added bonus.

It's really hard to take a good picture of yourself
Another added bonus is that I can now wear tops I was never able to before because I no longer require a bra.
Case in point this awesome halter I made myself.

I'm learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, which is important when you feel like you had Betty Rubble and Wilma Flintstone's plastic surgeon.
Pictures and more after the jump

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Skin tags - You can get rid of them!

If you're like me you've ended up with lots of skin tags after pregnancy (or even due to other conditions). While skin tags are benign most of us don't like the look of them and want to have them removed without paying a huge amount of money to a doctor.

Here are some natural options for removing skin tags on your body:

1: Castor Oil and Baking Soda mixed together in a paste and then applied to the skin tags 3-4 times per day for several weeks. Until the skin tags dry up and fall off.

2: Tea Tree Oil rubbed on the skin tag is another natural remedy that can be used. Just make sure that you don't have an allergy to Tea Tree Oil before you try this remedy.

3: Apple Cider Vinegar applied to the skin tag. This method can take several weeks and doesn't work for everyone.

4: My favorite natural remedy is Healing Natural Oils Skin Tag Remover. This all natural oil is gentle on the skin and removes skin tags painlessly. Only a few drops are needed and it is even safe to use on skin tags on the eyelids (just keep the oil out of your eye by applying with a cotton swab).

No matter what options you chose don't ever try to cut them off yourself. Either with a blade or dental floss. Doing this yourself can result in infection and scarring.
Go for a natural remedy and say good bye to those ugly skin tags.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

10 weeks and a surprising surge in energy.

My last fill was a month ago. I'm pretty happy with the size they currently are and don't plan to have any more fills.
For the past couple of weeks I've been doing yoga. Besides having really helped my flexibility I find in general I have more energy.
I spent so many years being in pain. My sciatica was pretty awful and exercising was difficult with my large chest and back pain. Since the surgery I haven't had lower back pain.
It really is amazing how not being in pain can change everything. I'm more active with more energy and I just generally feel better.
That being said I do miss sleeping in my own bed. I'd love to get a solid night if sleep but that is probably still a while off.
Pictures and more after the jump.

Monday, March 11, 2013

8 weeks post op and feeling a little alien

This past Friday was 8 weeks from my surgery. I've been facing one of my bigger issues which I think is causing some of my post surgical depression. My body feels alien to me. Expanders aren't soft, in fact it feels like having rocks in my chest. While I've gained a large range of motion (thank you yoga) I still can't shave my own armpits (thank you Ben for being so patient and doing that for me). I can't cross my arms...a position that used to be comfortable to me. Hugging has also become an art form of not slamming the other person in the body with my rocks.
It's frustrating and I remind myself in a very Machiavellian way that it is the end result that is the most important. And while having awesome boobs is a great end result, I mean the one where I have a much lower risk of breast cancer.

My last fill was 2 weeks ago and that put me at 1200ccs.  I decided to stop and give myself a month to let everything settle. I surprised myself by starting to think that I may be ok with a smaller breast size than I originally thought.

More info and pictures after the jump.

Monday, February 25, 2013

6 weeks and counting

It's been 6 weeks since my surgery. I've gone from 700ccs to 1200ccs in this time period.
There have been lots of emotional ups and downs. I am seeing who is really here for me. I'm very lucky to have so many people who have been an amazing support to me.

This weekend I made a big decision.
Story and pictures after the jump.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A few complications

I'm 5 weeks post op today. Last week my fill I ended up with a pinched nerve.
This week proved to be a little bit more complicated than that.
As you can see in my pictures I have an indentation on the side of my left breast. Apparently the suction from the drain caused an adhesion to form.
Since my scars healed well and I'm going through fills with no infection it would be silly to open me up to cut the adhesion. The occasion well either resolve itself because I massage it multiple times daily. Or when I have my exchange surgery later this year they will cut it.
However this causes a bigger problem for me. I am now filled to 1100 cc's. The expander now pushes on the adhesion on one side and on the nerve on the other. This causes me horrible pain every time I have a felt. Sadly it gets more painful with each fill because there's more pressure.
I have 4 more fills to go. I am hoping the adhesion resolves itself. I do understand that that would mean a great deal of pain as my flesh tears inside.
While adhesions are common after surgery my particular situation is not. I don't want this to freak anyone out. Normally fills would not be nearly this painful.While it would be an understatement to say this sucks I still don't regret my decision to have this surgery.
I've always had a very high pain tolerance. So Ben was pretty freaked out to hear me whimpering while I took a shower this afternoon. It isn't easy to be this uncomfortable and have it happen again each week. But I'm hanging in there. Four more fills to go and three months to let everything settle.
It still beats having cancer. I'm also lucky to have a great plastic surgeon who will actually explain to me why it would be a bad idea to have a surgery to remove the adhesion. Instead of just dismissing my worries.
This at least explains why my fills have been so much more debilitating for me than they should be. I will continue to work to soften the adhesion and do what I can to help my body heal. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

1 Month Later

Here I am. 1 month after my Prophylactic Bilateral Mastectomy. I admit that some days it still feels so surreal.  Healing is a hell of a journey but I have no regrets about my choice.

While I always knew I wanted to document my journey I never thought it would include pictures. Before my mastectomy I sat down with my mom and showed her pictures at different stages. She told me how thankful she was that she saw the different stages. Had she not see the after surgery images she would have walked out of my hospital room and had a melt down.

So I felt that sharing my pictures might help others going through their own journey.

My pictures and more information after the jump.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Just an update that I got through surgery alright and I'm currently recovering.
I will be posting more once it is easier for me to use a laptop.