As you guys are aware by now, Leopold Vaughn is one of my fur babies, and he's probably also the love of my life. My cats are my children. I know parents say they don't have favorites, but I don't believe it. My mom only had me, so I know I'm her favorite lol. But, when you have multiple children, you have one that you like slightly more than your other ones. That doesn't take anything away from your love of your other children, but you can't help but have one that's just a little more special. For me, that's my Leopold Vaughn. He was the first cat I adopted after my Reese died, and he was just a wee baby 8 week old kitten, but he filled a whole in my heart that was empty. Reese will always be my love, and no one can replace her, but I'm so grateful that Leopold is in my life.
Leopold is 5 years old, and he'll be 6 in August. He's always been a pleasantly plump sweet boy. He's fun and playful, but his favorite thing to do is sleep in my lap. About a year ago, Leopold started throwing up. I thought it was because he was eating too fast, because, his second favorite thing to do is eat. First it was just occasional, then it become more frequent, then it was basically after every meal. On top of it, he was ravenous. He was starving ALL THE TIME. He would fight me for anything I was eating, even an apple. He won't eat it, but it just showed how hungry he was. However, other than that, he hasn't changed at all. He's still himself, and always has been. We were back and forth to the vet; blood work, urine test, physical examination, the whole 9 yards. They thought it was maybe a thyroid issue (the coincidence right, tell me he's not my cat lol), then IBD. He went on prescription food, wet and dry, and he would eat separate on the counter from the other cats, who were eating on the floor. I would be his babysitter basically; stranding there while he ate, at his own pace, blocking the other cats from getting to him. And for awhile, the diet worked, then it stopped.
We went to our vet, and they recommended a specialist, but in the meantime gave him an anti-vomit and anti-nausea shot that helped him not vomit for a whole week! I took him back the Sunday before his appointment for another shot, which I was pleasantly surprised by how well this shot worked, but our vet said it was just a temporary thing and it's not something he can take forever. Then, when I set his appointment for the specialist, we got a snow storm, and had to reschedule it, so Kevin took him that following Tuesday. I was disappointed I couldn't go, but I knew Kevin would make sure he was in good hands, because he knows how important Leopold is to me. This specialist, for the price of $815, did basically the exact same tests as our vet. Now, after doing hours of my own research, I was already convinced Leopold have IBD, but only in his stomach, not his bowel. All of his symptoms were spot on with everything I read.
When the specialist called me to discuss the findings, he said that Leopold is pretty healthy. He said it could be a few things. IBD is possible, but it could be something called Triaditis, a common disorder in cats that has no cause, and basically, it affects the stomach, liver, and pancreas of cats. There's no cure, just treatment of the symptoms, and the cats can live a happy and normal life. But, there's no way to confirm it, unless they do exploratory surgery, which costs approximately $4,500 just for the surgery, not including any treatments resulting from surgery. If I had the money to spare, I might consider it. But, I don't consider it safe, not knowing exactly what's wrong with him, to put him under and just let them poke, prode, and take random biopsies from inside my cat. His liver is fine, as the blood work indicated. His pancreas is slightly inflamed, but that doesn't mean pancreatitis, it could be from everything going on.
So, the doctor suggested trying the pill version of the shot they gave him, which I found interesting, because my vet said he can't take it long term, but meanwhile, we've had it for almost a month, and have only needed to use 2 pills the entire time. His prescription was only half a pill every day, but he doesn't need that. I'm not going to overmedicate him if he doesn't need it. He's only thrown up three times maybe, since I've been logging everything for him. Once I'm pretty sure was because he ate too fast, and another was because Kevin fed him the wrong food. I've been sticking with a grain free diet, trying to stick with limited ingredient food, and try proteins that aren't typical; like rabbit, venison, and duck. I'm also feeding him 3 wet food meals a day, which wet food is preferable anyway for him. It's a more natural diet for them, whereas dry food is really not that natural. I still make sure they all have crunchies constantly anyway.
He went from being 9.2 pounds when I first started his weight log on 1/10/18, and now he's up to 10.8 pounds! He's putting weight on, keeping it on, and his coat looks better and you can see he's put on some weight! So for now, this medication is working, he's happy, and looking better! I'm so excited to see my sweet boy getting back to his chubby self! However, I still ask for prayers and positive vibes, because he's my baby. <3
I was born in 1988, so I'm a 90s child forever. Lisa Frank, CareBear and My Little Pony (OG, not this new garbage they have now), so much glitter, gel pens.. ALL THE THINGS. So, when I saw Beet x Beet made a reversible shirt that was black AND vegan? SOLD! They have a female version, but it's a crop top. I don't crop top anything. I like my belly covered. So, I bought the unisex top instead. I also ordered a "It's Not You, It's Meat" dolman top, also black. Anytime I can find anything black and also vegan related, I'm a happy Ashley.
I really love this "It's Not You, It's Meat" shirt. It's funny, super soft, and I love the fit. I love that off the shoulder, slightly slouchy look. I don't really like form fitting shirts. They say the shirt runs small, and I think they mean length wise. I got a small, but I mistakenly put it in the dryer, so now it's a little short. No need to fear, because I always have on a tank top underneath and it works just as well. Belly is still covered, and I can still rock my super cute shirt. This one was $28.
Now for my reversible shirt. Here's the outside of it:
Here's the reversible inside of it:
Look at that classic acid wash look! SO 90s! The grunge lettering only adds to the nostalgic feel. Plus a yin and yang sign is one of the ultimate 90s symbols. Each shirt is dyed from scratch for authentic one of a kind style. I got a size S, just because, again, I prefer my shirts a little bit bigger. It's super soft and comfy, although I will say, if you don't wear something underneath your shirts, you might want to with this, just because of the printing on the inside. I wear layers anyway, so it's not an issue for me. But, overall, I love it. It takes me back to the good old days. This was $35.
I had bought these when they were having a sale, because you know me, I hate paying full price for anything. And really, I love them. Most of their shirts are very plain, basic colors- black, white, and gray. You know, my 3 color groups lol.
I've gotten a few things from them now, and I really like everything I've gotten. Check them out!
Target is a real gem for vegan stuff. I recently raided their clearance section and found some awesome stuff for 50%+ off! I wanted to share them with you. Truth be told, I got a little overzealous and ended up buying something that was vegetarian. I got a little clearance happy lol. Fortunately, I discovered it before I used it, and I still have my receipt so I can return it. In the meantime, let me show you what I got.
Retailing at $14, this deep conditioning hair mask by Juice Organics is full of hair loving ingredients. Primarily coconut based, but with added B5 and plant proteins, plus organ and jojoba oil, and aloe, this mask will make your hair soft and luxurious! I got it for $4.98, more than 50% off retail price! Next up..
This Organ Oil and Shea conditioner is great for the cold winter months, when your hair needs a little extra TLC. It helps with split ends, and leaves your hair with a nice shine. It also helps with strength and elasticity. This retails for $9.95 and I got it for $4.98, about a 50% off discount. Next up..
This spray is good for year round protection of your hair. It does 5 things in 1 simple spray: UV protection, heat protection, anti-frizz, shine enhancing, and helps to detangle hair. I've already used this one, and I can say that I personally noticed a difference. My hair itself isn't necessarily thick, but I have A LOT of hair, making it thick, but also making it prone to knotting really easily. Even though I brush my hair before washing it, I still get all sorts of knots and it's like a 15 minute painful process to detangle it. This really eliminated that, and it did help with frizz. It was rainy that day, and my hair still looked sleek. I really like this, and like how simple it was to use. Retailing for $14.99, I got it for $7.48, so it was essentially 50% off! Lastly..
I'm going to save these summertime, when I think they'll really come in handy. I'm a sweater, I can't lie. These will be perfect for a really hot summer day, maybe at the beach, when I need a little freshening up. Plus, how great does the scent sound? Coconut and sugared flowers? Yum! Retailing for $9.00, I got these for $2.68, way over 50% off!
I couldn't believe these steals! I'm going to return the one product to Target that I grabbed that was vegetarian, and get my money back. I'm so grateful I was able to grab some essentials at a great price! Go check your local Targets clearance section, I hope you find some goodies of your own!
I've gotten a few things throughout the past couple of months, and I haven't had the chance to even discuss them with you guys! So, this post is going to contain a little of this and a little of that, with some reviews mixed in. Let's get to it!
This super soft long sleeve "Eat Like You Give A Damn' shirt, complete with some stickers and a "Compassion is Invincible" pin, is a bundle of happiness. I'm pretty sure I got a medium, just because I prefer my shirts a little bigger. The colors are light and dark gray striped with white writing. The big bold writing leaves a no fuss message, which I love. It's a good length, not too short and not too long. The neckline is good so I don't feel like I'm choking, and it matches like everything I own! The stickers were free, but I did purchase the pin for my pin boards, and it looks awesome up there. I bought these during a sale they had a while back (in October) when they were having 15% off. The pullover was on sale for $25, and the pin was $11, plus the 15% off. They we're great purchases, as is everything I've ever bought from Herbivore Clothing. They're one of my favorite companies. They've got some new pieces I want, but I gotta be good! I don't know if they have this still in stock; the pin I know they do though. But, check out their website, and make sure you're signed up for their emails, so you can get discount codes!
Another order from Herbivore Clothing, from awhile back, is this lip balm. Lip balm is life. Pancakes are life. Pancake lip balm? It has to be life x2 right? Unfortunately, it is not life x2, or even x1. I thought it smelled like maple syrup which was about the only plus side to it; however, my husband thinks it smells like wet laundry. Two vastly different smells, so I don't know how that works. He won't even talk to me up close if I try to wear it, he hates the smell that bad. Aside from the scent, the lip balm itself just isn't good! It was on sale when I bought it, so at least I didn't waste a ton of money. I think it as like $3, but boy, was this a disappointment. It's really rough, and doesn't glide on your lips. After basically pulling and tugging at your lips to get some on, it still doesn't feel moisturizing in the least bit. I mean really, it's rathe drying. I'm baffled by how, because shea butter is so moisturizing and good for your skin! I've tried warming it up, then using it, and it still doesn't do much. I'm sad, because I so wanted to love it, but it's basically trash bound. This one wasn't a winner.
Okay, so here's the outlier of my post, because it's got nothing to do with being vegan. But, Disney is life. And this quote by Scar is everything. It's how I felt almost every time I step foot outside of my house lol. Even though he kills Musafa in one of the saddest scenes in movie history and I literally cannot watch that part in the LionKing because I cry my eyeballs out, I am obsessed with this sweatshirt. It's a thin pullover, but the design is great. It's got that old school tattoo vibe to it. It was on sale for $15 from Hot Topic when I bought it, and I just had to share. If anyone else is also Disney obsessed, check it out.
Have you ever seen such a cute pin like in your entire life? Alba Paris makes beautiful designs. Some of them really tug on my heart strings, like one of her recent designs that depicts a person holding a crying pig saying "I got you," and that one makes me cry, like ugly cry. Because I can like feel it inside my heart.
But this design is adorable. A happy fox, big smile, a cute scarf, and a butterfly on its nose, still depicting a message "Wear faux, not fur" gets the point across without it being abrasive and in your face. I have this on my pin board as well, near my "Compassion is invincible" pin I mentioned above, and I love them both. This is my first pin from her, but it certainly won't be my last. All of her pin designs are beautiful, but a lot of them sell out almost immediately, probably because of that reason. I did a review on this pin, and received 20% off my next purchase, which is coming up next!
This is what I bought with my 20% off coupon, and it was already on sale too, so bonus there. This unisex pullover is another one of those shirts that states a message clearly, but it's not abrasive. "Vegan because I give a damn," and it's the truth. The cute pig design only adds to the message. Now, this is unisex small, but I swore I ordered a unisex medium. I checked my order, and I didn't, but I know I meant to, so that was my bad. It does fit, but there isn't a whole lot of stretch. I definitely won't be putting this in the dryer. I just like more space, and since it's not very stretch, a medium would be MUCH more suited to my comfort level, but I still love it and I'll still wear it! This was a recent purchase, so I know they still have it in this and other designs too. Check it out!
So that's it, finally catching you guys up on recent purchases, even if they go back until like, August lol. Thank goodness for staycations, since that's the only reason I've been able to catch up on this! I've got a ton of homework to do too, but I miss blogging. I miss sharing cool stuff with you guys! So, I'm trying to make it a priority to do one post a week. I thank you guys for sticking with me, even though I haven't been on here much. I certainly do appreciate it. I've got a lot more to review for you guys, so keep your eyes peeled!
Although the month has come to a close, I believe Thyroid Awareness should be a lifelong thing, not just a month long thing. Even though, the month is almost over, I still want to talk a little bit about your thyroid.
Your thyroid is your master gland; it controls literally almost every function in your body. A thyroid out of whack can cause more than 300 symptoms. Did you know that having an underactive thyroid (which is what I have, Hashimoto's Disease), can affect your cholesterol? It can decrease your HDL (good cholesterol), and increase your LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides? When I first got everything tested and saw my cholesterol was high, I was like WHAT?! Clearly, healthy eating is my thing. But, it's not a matter or diet, it's all related to the negative feedback loop that affects your thyroid.
Did you also know that when you get your routine blood work check (which if you don't, I highly recommend you do), they don't check your thyroid, unless there is a cause for concern? Because your thyroid symptoms can mimic other issues that aren't thyroid related, it's not often checked. So, be vocal! Ask to get your TSH and T4 checked. An overactive thyroid is just as dangerous as an underactive thyroid.
Are you cold a lot? My entire life, I've always been cold. I chalked it up to genetics. As it turns out, being cold all the time is a symptom of underactive thyroid. When you brush your hair, do you feel like your hair brush is constantly filling up with hair? Do you find hair like on your legs, and basically everywhere, when you brush your hair? Losing hair, or thinning hair, is another symptom underactive thyroid. How about dry skin, or dry brittle nails? Also symptoms of underactive thyroid. Even depression can be a symptom! All of these things you might not even think twice about, but you could have a whole storm brewing in your body under the surface if it's not taken care of properly and promptly!
Don't take your health symptoms for granted, and just chalk them up to nothing. You've got ONE BODY and ONE LIFE. Take care of it! And, don't let a doctor talk you out of a test. If you feel something is off, listen to your body. I'm fortunate that I have the World's Best Doctor, and he listens to what I say, and always asks my opinion on any and everything. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to be on thyroid medication for the rest of my life, and get blood work much more often than I want to to test my levels, but it's better than the suffering I was doing before. Am I healthy now? No, I'm still a mess. But, I keep trying, and I don't give up. Any weird symptom, I call my doctor. Bless his heart, because I feel like I'm dying all the time, and he always takes the time to hear me out.
If you figure out you have a thyroid problem, it can be scary. When I learned I had Hashimoto's, and that it's an autoimmune disorder that I'll have forever AND that it can make me more like to develop other autoimmune disorders, it took some time to let that absorb. It isn't easy, but it's now a part of my life. Just like my anxiety is, and my allergies are.. Hashimoto's is another health issue I'll have to deal with, but none of them define me. And, you shouldn't either. Break free from those chains, and take control of your life. AND GET YOUR THYROID CHECKED!
I think by now, you guys know that highlighter is an ESSENTIAL part of my makeup arsenal. I want to shine bright like a diamond! My KVD Alchemy palette is almost at its end, and I decided to order a new one awhile back. I mean, this was like during the fall. I'm seriously behind on my posting; school and work take up like all of my time, BUT, better late than never.
I want to say this: I ordered this during "sweater weather" season, and I was super excited to use it during the fall. But I didn't receive it until winter. I understand and respect that Tooth & Nail is a small company. I love small companies, and this is like my 3rd order from them I think. But the shipping with this was a mess. It took literally almost 2 months for me to receive this palette. TWO MONTHS! I kept sending emails, asking when it was going to be sent, and I was told I was in queue to have it shipped that week, a week goes by, nothing. Then, I sent another email and asked if they would refund my shipping because it's been over a month, and I was guaranteed it would be shipped at a faster rate at no additional cost that day, and nothing. The last email I sent, I didn't hear anything back until like a few days when I finally received a tracking number. So, to be honest, all of that left a bad taste in my mouth. If they were out of stock or something, then just say that. Don't promise me that it's going to be sent, but it's not. I wasn't happy about it, like at all. By the time I received it, it was no longer sweater weather, but jacket and scarves weather. You guys know how important customer service is to me. For the most part, every person that emailed me back was nice, but really I was lied to on two separate occasions. NOT COOL. But, at this point, I have it and I'm using it.
In this photo above, I used Hayride Heaven. The color is so pretty. All four highlights scream fall; crisp leaves, fluffy sweaters, a cool breeze. They're buildable, so you can shine a little bright or bright like a nightlight. Sweater Weather is my favorite; I love all the different shades in it. The white/silver would be too much without the multicolors layered inside.
A pleasant surprise was that the palette smells like. toasted marshmallows! I constantly sniffing it, and the scent lingers for a bit after you put it on, which is nice. The highlighter lasts, and also, makes a nice eyeshadow, since it's buildable. It's nice to put some underneath your eyebrows (only half my face was on at this point), because it give a little shine. And, a dab in the inner corner of your eye. Adding some white eyeliner first, then a pat of this to shine, will make you look more awake. Since my two cats have become LUNATICS between 3am-5am and they wake me up every single night, I look tired on a constant basis. Add that to the fact that I actually am tired on a daily basis thanks to my Hashimoto's, I look like the living dead most days. Thank you makeup!
I really appreciate that all of their makeup is vegan, cruelty free, and talc free. They make products for the spooky girl in me, and I love that. I want more things, but I'm chilling on spending because we're saving for a house. And, for $25, you get a quality palette that will last. There is some excess when applying it, so it can be a bit wasteful if you're not careful. They have great eye shadows too, since I have their Nightmare Before Christmas palette, but where they shine the brightest (pun intended) is with their highlighters. They have a bunch something for everyone, so check them out. But, don't expect to receive your product in a timely fashion. I might have just had a bad stroke of luck, but, if I order again, I won't hold my breath.
So, I had to retire my EcoTools Concealer Brush (RIP), and I couldn't find the same one, so I decided to try a different one. Let me first state, that picking makeup brushes for me is like IMPOSSIBLE. I start to break out in a sweat... the possibilities are endless! And, I have a lot to cover up (thank you acne!). After choosing forever, I decided on the Real Techniques Concealer Blush. It's more round, shorter, and a little fluffier than my other one. My EcoTools is flat and longer, and I wasn't sure this would provide a good coverage. But, I've tried their brushes in the past and have liked them, so I figured, why not? And, I had a coupon.
Surprisingly, it's pretty good. In fact, I think I like it better than my other one. Because it's rounded and a little fluffier, it actually blends better and more naturally. It's still dense though, so it conceals well, and it looks natural. It works with both liquid and power too. I think it was maybe like $10, if not less, so you can't beat it for the price!
So, we’re a little over a week into 2018, and I wanted to check in and see how it’s been for all my lovely readers? I hope it’s been better than mine, as I try to remain hopeful, some days are harder than others.
I’ve been sick, and I’ve got this annoying dry cough that’s worse at night and just won’t go away, and it makes sleep almost impossible. I kind of had like 3 meltdowns already. One of which involved really accepting that I have an incurable autoimmune disorder that’s going to affect me; physically, mentally, and emotionally, for the rest of my life. You’d think I would’ve accepted it by now, but I just haven’t. I still feel overwhelmed by it.
Mother Nature had a hissy fit and dropped this thing called a “cyclone bomb” (that’s meteorologist for ya, dropping big scary words to keep you watching and panicking) on pretty much all of the East Coast. Snow, temperatures in the single digits, wind chills in the negatives... it’s been awful. All I can think about are the homeless people and the animals, and my heart just breaks. I try not to think about it, because it’s too much for me to handle, but the beauty (sarcastic) of OCD is that you get these intrusive horrible thoughts ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME and I just imagine them in my head and I cry and cry and cry.
Speaking of animals, my Leopold has been sick for awhile, in and out of the vet, various tests and shots, and my vet concluded it’s either IBD or Hypothyroid. Wouldn’t that be something? Me and my cat being twinsies. No doubt he’s my baby, that’s for sure. He’s going to a specialist this week, and I’m prepared to put myself in debt forever if it means getting him better. I love all of my cats, but like all parents, I have a favorite, and Leopold is it. He’s my whole heart and soul. So, please say prayers for him.
Work has me forever stressed out and overwhelmed, and finding a new job has proven more difficult than I had anticipated. School has me even more overwhelmed, and sometimes it’s hard to juggle both. Add that to the Hashi’s brain fog, the acne my stress and jacked up hormone levels are causing, and the fact that my cats wake me up at 4am every day, so my sleep sucks, and I’m just feeling fantastic. 👌🏼👎🏼
This is really just the tip of the iceberg, and going into further detail isn’t necessary. However, my therapist always says: acknowledge the negative, feel it, but always add a positive. So, here goes my positives:
So, yes, I stepped into 2018 with essentially all of 2017’s problems, despite my cool WordPorn photo I used in my last post. But, I’m trying, and if your year has started like mine, don’t give up. We have a little less than 365 to make the difference we want, let’s do it together.
At this point, you guys know I just love Danielle Nicole's handbags. While I'm disappointed she now has a leather line, her Disney bags (which are all I buy), are almost always cruelty free. When I saw this Plumette crossbody bag, from Beauty and the Beast, originally $68, on sale at HSN for $12.46 with free shipping and 20% cash back at eBates, I was like SOLD! I read the description carefully, to ensure everything was cruelty free, and I ordered it immediately. I was elated!
So my bag arrives today, and it's beautiful. Even prettier in person. I love Plumette's personality; she's like saucy and a little flirty, and just fun. For the price, I was just thinking to myself like, this it too good to be true. And guess what? It was. Look carefully at the front of the bag it came in.
At this point, you're probably so focused on how beautiful the bag is you're not even paying attention to the bag. I know I didn't at first. The beautiful embossed detailing, the gold studs, the red gem for the eye, the detailed purple wings, and everything together was just beautiful. But look closer...
100% REAL TURKEY FEATHERS?! WTF?! I'm confused, annoyed, and disappointed. I called Danielle Nicole, even though I bought it on HSN, to confirm the materials. The woman I spoke to was very nice, and she confirmed that yes, this bag does contain 100% real turkey feathers. And I explained to her, that as a vegan, I can't use it. I told her it wasn't listed on the HSN website, and she explained by law they have to release all products and materials made to the company in order to sell their bags. She even pulls it up on the HSN website and agrees with me that nowhere on there does it says feathers. She said she was sending an email to HSN, and to some higher ups because this was unacceptable. I thanked her for her help, and reached out to HSN.
The woman I spoke to at HSN wasn't nearly as nice, and she's reading to me the exact same description that I pulled up on the website, which I have in front of me. But, she was looking at their internal website, not their customer website. And where it says "Shell" on the internal website, it says "Manmade and feathers," whereas, you can see if you scroll above to my screen shot, it just says "Manmade." And I explained being a vegan, and how this was really disappointing, and it's really important things be labelled correctly, not just for the sake of vegans, but for anyone with allergies to certain materials, and just in general. People want to know what they're spending their hard earned money on. She seemed less than sympathetic to my plight but, either way, she said I can return it for free and get a full refund. Clearly, the principle of it all was lost on her. Also, I'm really disappointed I can't keep this adorable bag! I even posted it on my IG, urging people to snatch it up while they can, and here I am, lying to them without even knowing it. So, if you're a vegan, DON'T BUY THIS BAG! Also, seriously, who in the world wants turkey feathers on anything in their life? I just don't get it.
In short, I am not a happy Ashley right now, and I have the bag ready to be shipped back tomorrow. So not cool. #endrant