Around These Parts…

It’s been an interesting five days in our household. As I mentioned last week, I was scheduled to have LASIK surgery on Thursday, and if you follow me on instagram or twitter, you probably know that I’ve had a pretty tough recovery. Apparently I fall in the very small percentage of people (less than 2%) that have complications from the surgery, and while my eyesight itself is and will continue to be fine, which is hands down the most important thing, it has made for a super painful recovery period. For the first two days following the procedure, it felt like my eyes were on fire. I could hardly open them, and when I did they would start to water and gush like crazy. Eye pain is no joke. When you can’t open your eyes and all you want to do is scratch your eyeballs out, it’s really really hard to focus on anything else.

Basically, it seems that I got some pretty bad epithelial defects, otherwise known as corneal abrasions, or in layman’s terms… eye scratches. Lots and lots of eye scratches. My eyes got all scratched during part of the procedure so I have scar tissue that needs to heal, and because of that, I’ve been in a lot of pain. Typical LASIK recovery is 24-48 hours. Well, I’m on day five and I’m just now able to keep my eyes open for prolonged periods of time and the puffiness and swelling is finally starting to fade. It no longer feels like I have sand rubbing around my eyes, and blinking no longer makes me feel like gouging my eyes out.

For those that are considering LASIK I want to make it clear that this is very very uncommon, I just happened to fall in that teeny tiny crappy percentage of people that have issues. In the past six months I have had three friends that had LASIK, all by the same surgeon I went to, and they had absolutely no complications. Two of them said they could have gone back to work the next day.

To make things even more interesting, last Wednesday my husband woke up super dizzy. Two days later he was still feeling this way, so he went to a doctor, and was diagnosed with “benign paroxysmal positional vertigo.” It’s not that serious, and usually goes away on its own, but it’s still vertigo and it still sucks. So between his vertigo and my eye problems, well, it’s been quite the party up in this household!

Once I’m fully recovered, I plan on writing more about my experience, because I think that had I known what to expect regarding complications, I wouldn’t have been so freaked out when they happened to me. Everyone I knew that had LASIK had raved about their experiences, telling me that they went out to dinner the day of the procedure…that they had no pain, no issues… and that it truly felt like a miracle. Well, when the opposite of that happens to you, it makes you think that you are totally f***ed and something is seriously wrong. Had I known that what was happening to me was somewhat common, I think I would have been a lot less terrified that I hadn’t just screwed up my eyesight for life, and that the pain I was feeling would eventually pass.

For those that don’t follow me on instagram, here’s a short photo recap:

For the first two days I could barely open my eyes, so I basically just laid in a dark room listening to audio books. It was very boring and very painful and very frustrating.

Kevin quickly realized that my pain would not be as bad if he liquored me up, so we got a little drunk on Friday night. I was still in pain, but the combination of wine and Valium made me much happier.

On Saturday I woke up basically the same, so I had to miss one of my best friend’s birthday parties. I had been looking forward to her party for a long time so I was very sad. Kevin and I decided to have our own party and celebrate in spirit. We took a reprieve from healthy eating and ate chocolate and cheese and pizza and drank wine and baileys and beer and tried to make the best of it.

By Saturday night, I was going stir crazy. My first shipment from PVBody had arrived, and even though it hurt to open my eyes, I wanted to try my new clothes on. They were WAY TOO TIGHT which for some reason made me laugh like a maniac, and the combo of wine, pain killers, and cabin fever made me add a belt and act like Olivia Newton John circa 1980 and have a weird dance party alone in my living room.

Kevin’s first reaction to this outfit was “that top makes your boobs look very flat.” Thanks husband, you sure do know how to make a girl feel special!

Side note: Despite suffering from vertigo, Kevin has been AMAZING these past few days, waiting on me hand and foot and just being the best person you could ever want around you when you are blind and in pain. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m very very lucky that he is mine. I love him so much sometimes I think my heart could burst.

Yesterday I woke up feeling significantly better, and my left eye almost felt normal. My right eye was still really puffy and in pain, so I covered it up and tried to watch TV. I was able to watch most of the Golden Globes and after resting my eyes for a bit, I finished up the night with the Girls premier. Progress!


That leads me to today. As I type this I’m still wearing my protective goggles because my eyes are still super sensitive to air and light, but they are healing. The mere act of putting this blog entry together has started to strain them, but hey, two days ago I couldn’t even look at a computer screen, so this is progress! Slowly but surely they are healing. I’ve yet to have that “oh my god this is amazing” feeling, but even with all the pain and complications, I don’t regret doing it.

How was your weekend? I hope it was easier than mine!


JayJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:28 pm

I feel for you! I once had an eye injury and woke up to the eyes on fire want to scratch them out sensation — after antibiotics and rest it was over but those couple of days were horrible!

Glad to hear you are on the mend!

MariaJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:50 pm

Oh my goodness gracious, I hope you’re feeling better soon :(
xo, Maria

Nicole MarieJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:52 pm

oh you poor girl!! i mean you still look great considering you couldn’t open your eyes! i would have killed someone if i had been that bed bound. but i’m glad you’re healing!

Patty McClainJanuary 14, 2013 - 2:06 pm

Relieved to hear of the gradual improvement. Hang in there. (Also pleased to know of Kevin’s attentiveness.)

MaureenJanuary 14, 2013 - 2:25 pm

That sounds pretty miserable! I like your coping mechanism though – sounds like the perfect way to power through the pain!

MarcieJanuary 14, 2013 - 3:32 pm

Oh my sweet sissy…I’m so sorry you’re not completely well yet. I will call you when I get off work at 5:30.

ritaJanuary 15, 2013 - 8:07 am

ah! i’m so sorry to hear about the pain and misery! i am petrified of lasik even though i know i would benefit from it… i am sure it will be worth it when everything is healed!

MerrittJanuary 18, 2013 - 7:21 am

This post is my worst fear realized – I’ve been wanting Lasik forever and now I’m terrified! haha.

I hope you are feeling better – eye pain really is the worst!!

The Style Scribe

Kayla @ Sealed With a KayJanuary 21, 2013 - 12:09 pm

Wow! You’re a trooper! Anything having to do with eyes not working correctly is painful! Hopefully you’re feeling better now with awesome vision! WOOHOO!

[…] Piccoult Audio Books – Okay… so remember when I had LASIK last year and had all sorts of compilations and couldn’t open my eyes for extended periods of time? It […]

National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month

Did you know that January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention month?

I did not, so I’m guessing there is a good chance that you didn’t either, probably because this is a new proclamation.

On December 31, 2012, President Obama declared January as month to bring awareness to human trafficking in hopes that we can all work harder to put an end to these horrific human rights abuses. He calls “upon businesses, organizations, faith-based groups, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery and to observe this month with appropriate programs and activities.”

Ever since my time in Cambodia, human trafficking has been one of the social justice issues I feel most strongly about. According to, it’s estimated that over two million people are trafficked each year, and over half of are those are children.

A lot of times we think of trafficking as something that happens mostly abroad, but it’s just a much a problem in the United States as it is in other parts of the world. The injustices that occur daily in our own backyard are horrifying.

So what can we do?

The first step is awareness. Educate yourself on these issues, and then get involved.

The Blue Campaign

The blue campaign works with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security components to combat human trafficking through a variety of efforts, such as enhanced public awareness, training, victim assistance, and law enforcement investigations.

Not For Sale Campaign

The Not For Sale Campaign offers multiple ways to get involved both at the national and local level.

The Project to End Human Trafficking

The project to end human trafficking offers educational lectures about human trafficking and works with multiple campaigns towards ending trafficking.

Half the Sky Movement

 One of my favorite, Half the Sky offers a plethora of ways to get involved and make a difference. From volunteering to donations to simply spreading the word, everyone can do something. At the bare minimum, go and read the book.

I know there a many more amazing campaigns out there, but these are just a few that I’m aware of.

If you have any others you would like to pass on, I’d love to hear them.

Change can happen, but it’s not going to unless more of us get involved.

Kari HughesJanuary 10, 2013 - 10:13 am

My friend and I opened a women made, fair trade company after being inspired by Half The Sky. We really looked at what we could do right now with what we have and where we are. Helping women build businesses by bringing their handmade goods to an expanded American market is what we chose to do and after a year and a half we haven’t looked back. We know the best way to keep a girl safe is to give her mother an income.
We have been following your blog since you came up on our half the sky google alert several months ago. Keep up the good work. :-).

Kari Hughes
Buy The Change USA

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 10, 2013 - 1:58 pm

Thank you for bringing this up! It’s such a serious issue that is not talked about enough. Like a lot of things, it’s easier to be “in the dark” than to be come “wiser.” Yes, I realize that sounds very simplistic in argument but, in the grand scheme of things, we’re behind on the times in keeping updated with what’s going on with the world. Ironic with how much technology we have at our fingertips!

My New Bra

Yesterday when I got home from work I was delighted to see a package waiting for me. I wasn’t sure what it was, but I was excited regardless (I kind of sort of majorly have a problem with online shopping…I order so much that I often forget what I’ve actually ordered…yes, I’m aware this is a problem and I’m working on it).

I opened it up and was thrilled to see what awaited me!

It was a new pillow!

But you see, this is just not any sort of pillow.


Yes. You heard that right. A pillow. FOR YOUR BOOBS!

For those of you that are confused, let me explain.

A few months ago I started to notice that when I woke up, I had chest wrinkles. As the day wore on they would fade, but as time passed it seemed as if these creases would stay longer and longer. Me, being the total freaker outer that I am, was less than pleased. I started asking my friends if they too were getting chest wrinkles, and was dismayed to learn that no, they were not. I turned to my other best friend, Google, and I learned that many women, especially those with larger chests, tend to get deep chest wrinkles from sleeping on their side.

I may not have a large chest, but I do sleep on my side.

So I started to try to sleep on my back, but no matter how hard I tried, even if I fell asleep on my back, I’d wake up on my side.

While complaining about my chest wrinkles and dramatically declaring that I was the youngest and most small chested person in the history of the world to get chest wrinkles at such a young age, my friend Lindsey said she heard about a boob pillow that prevented these horrendous creases!

I googled it and came across this Dr. Oz video about it, and I was sold!

(It’s embarrassing what an easy sale I am.)

Friends, meet my new bra:

It’s a good thing I’m married, because it doesn’t exactly scream sexy.

(the fact that I am posting these pictures is evidence of my love for you, dear blog readers.)

I slept with it last night and once I was able to stop laughing, I forgot I was even wearing it.

When I woke up this morning I ran to the mirror to see if it worked.

I still had some creases, but significantly less than I normally wake up with.

Only time will tell how long this love affair between me and my Intimia Breast Pillow will last, but so far I think it is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

ritaJanuary 9, 2013 - 9:02 am

oh my god. i’m dying over these pictures! this is hilarious.

i never remember to do it, but i’ve been told to rub the leftover night cream in my hands onto my chest to help protect the thin skin there and prevent wrinkles… i think i’ll stick with that vs. the pillow, i just don’t think i could do it!

SerenaJanuary 9, 2013 - 11:00 am

@Rita – I smother my chest with a ton of night cream most nights, and I started to put a wrinkle cream in the wrinkly areas, and it doesn’t seem to have helped much. I think the problem is that my sleeping position of choice is the fetal position, and I sleep basically curled up in a ball on my side. SUPER comfortable for sleeping, SUPER BAD for wrinkles. Ugh. Hopefully my new bra will help!!

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 9, 2013 - 1:00 pm

I had no idea this thing existed! When I saw your post title I didn’t think much about it. But, now you’ve got my interest in this thingamajig. I’m going to check it out! Maybe preventative? hehe…


Empirically ErinJanuary 9, 2013 - 4:29 pm

Omg this is hilarious!! What a good idea! I have a big chest and I always think about whether I sleep on one side more than the other and if it could cause more sagging on one side. Lol!!

MoJanuary 10, 2013 - 7:22 am

This is such great info! I was noticing the chest wrinkles too, but I could figure out where they were from. I mean, I don’t usually walk around in some crazy push up bra all the time that could create them. This is good Intel to have – I may have to make the same investment! I’ll wait til after the wedding though so he’s stuck with me and my booby pillow :)

Nicole MarieJanuary 14, 2013 - 1:53 pm

I am getting that ASAP!

BiancaJanuary 18, 2013 - 5:31 am

Haa!! you go girl! this is hilarious/great. I also suffer from those forsaken chest wrinkles! Cheers to you and your new boob pillow.

[…] Wrinkles. It seems like everyday I find some new sign of aging. From random sunspots to cleavage wrinkles to my first gray hair, it’s something new all the time. I don’t know if I’m just […]

A Few Things of No Particular Importance

Warning: Very random nonsensical post ahead.

1. It’s effing cold here. I’m sure if you are in the east coast and reading this you probably want to punch me in the face, but hey, for the bay area it has been freeeeeeeezing. I’ve officially started wearing my poofy winter coat I bought for a winter Chicago trip. So if I have to wear that in San Francisco? Trust me, it’s cold.

2. I’m getting LASIK on Thursday and I cannot wait. I’ve worn contacts since I was in 7th grade, so waking up and being able to see seems completely surreal to me. I can barely see my own hand in front of my face when I’m not wearing contacts or glasses, so I really can’t even fathom what this will be like. Have any of you had it?

3. I have become completely addicted to Breaking Bad. I think about it all the time. It terrifies me but I can’t stop watching it. Kevin and I started it a few weeks ago and we’re almost done with the third season. Last night I had a dream that I was selling meth and Gustavo was yelling at me. I don’t think this is necessarily a good thing. To counteract this, I just stare at this picture:


4. Kevin and I saw Zero Dark Thirty on Saturday and it was FANTASTIC. The torture scenes were really hard for me to watch (as torture scenes should be, I suppose), but it was so good. Jessica Chastain is phenomenal.

5. Speaking of phenomenal, have you seen Les Mis yet? If so, you must watch this video.

Happy Monday Friends! Only five more days until the weekend! We can do it!

MariaJanuary 7, 2013 - 12:45 pm

The thought of getting Lasik scares me, but it’s definitely something I’d like to do one day.
xo, Maria

RebeccaJanuary 7, 2013 - 1:35 pm

I was just saying the same thing about the weather here! I have friends on the East Coast who tell me I am insane, but the Bay Area seems a lot colder this winter than usual. I’m always in a scarf, jacket, and gloves now so that is definitely saying something haha. Good luck on the lasik! My brother had it done and he says it was the best choice he ever made. Yay!

SerenaJanuary 7, 2013 - 3:02 pm

@Rebecca – It has been SO COLD! I’ve been freezing. I think it seems even colder because you are not expecting it to be this cold, if you know what I mean.

@Maria – I used to be terrified of it, but recently two of my really good friends had it done and they said that it wasn’t scary at all and that they didn’t feel any pain, so now I feel pretty good about it!

nancy @ adore to adornJanuary 7, 2013 - 4:13 pm

OMG yes it is COLD!! I hate to say that when I realize others are actually freezing their butts but man…it’s cold! I’m a California girl so it’s tough for us! haha
I definitely want to watch Zero Dark Thirty! I saw Django Unchained and the Hobbit. Les Miserables is on the list (since we intended to watch it on Christmas Day but got side-tracked) but I think this weekend will be spent watching Gangster Squad…OH Ryan Gosling… Swoon. lol.

JessicaJanuary 7, 2013 - 7:01 pm

I love Breaking Bad!! I’m completely caught up now. I think we did all the seasons in a month! It’s just so addicting.

Hope Lasik goes well. My hubby needs it. He makes me read the street signs for him when he drives.

SaraJanuary 8, 2013 - 7:17 am

Hey – this is Sara from Syracuse! I had LASIK in 2005 and it was one of the BEST things I have ever done! I actually forgot about the hassle contacts until I was traveling with my sister somewhere and it all came back to me, seeing the paraphernalia. It’s been SO nice to not have to deal with that – especially waking up in the middle of the night for the babies! I try not to talk anyone into doing it, but since you already are – I think you’ll LOVE IT!

A Healthier 2013

Print available at anewhistory Etsy Shop

I know it’s so cliche to make all sorts of resolutions about eating better, working out more, being healthier etc. in the New Year, but oh well. I’m going to do it anyway, because let me tell you, December kicked. my. ass.

I usually consider the month of December kind of a wash for me. I just accept that I’m going to be eating and drinking my face off, and that I’ll inevitably gain a few pounds. So each December I eat what I want and drink with abandon. Vegetables? Yeah right. Daily after work cocktails? Meals that consist primarily of carbohydrates and sugar? Bring it on!

Apparently though, now that I’m 30, things have changed. My metabolism has changed. Those couple of holiday pounds I usually gain have somehow turned into almost ten. And let me tell you… ten pounds on my petite five foot two (and a half!) frame is A LOT.

I have always been blessed with a good metabolism. I NEVER worked out, I could eat whatever I wanted, and for the most part, I never put on any weight. People always said “enjoy it now, just wait until you’re 30” and I would laugh and be like “oh ha ha ha silly you, my mom has always been thin, I am just lucky this way.”

Turns out the joke is on me! Whose laughing now?


Kevin and I try to eat fairly healthy when we are at home, but December just killed me. Apparently my body can no longer tolerate a diet that consists primarily of refined carbohydrates and half a bottle of wine daily! On Sunday night I sat down and my favorite pair of jeans ripped in the crotch! And yesterday morning, I put on a pair of pants that used to be fairly loose, and I could barely zip them up.


I started to notice this slowing of my metabolism about six months ago, but I blamed it on other things… i.e. “must be my new birth control!” or “weight gain is common with this medication,” and while I’m sure both of those things didn’t help matters, I think the main culprit lies in my aging metabolism.

And that sucks.

So for 2013 I plan on eating better and moving more. More vegetables, less alcohol. More movement, less vegging out on the couch.

I’m not trying to do anything drastic here, I just want to have an overall healthier lifestyle. I don’t need to pour myself a large glass of wine (or two) every night. I don’t need to eat a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich for lunch three times a week (but oh, those things are so good!). I can still splurge on food and drink when I go out as long as I’m making healthier decisions the rest of the time. I just need to make myself do it.

And herein lies the problem. I really hate doing any sort of cardio work out, and I really don’t like vegetables.

But I’m going to try. I’ve been faithfully going to bar method at least three times a week for the past six months, but it’s not enough. I need some cardio. I’m certainly stronger, but I’m also… bigger, and well, that’s pretty much the opposite of why I started going. I need to mix it up with some form of cardio, and with that, healthier daily eating habits. No more grabbing my beloved chipotle for lunch. I will train myself to like vegetables, as hard as that may be.

So there you have it. My health goals for 2013. More vegetables. Less alcohol. More movement.

What about you? Was there a certain age when you noticed the loathed metabolism shift? Do you have any health goals for this new year? Or any tips on how to stop hating vegetables? Seriously, I do not like them.

(unless they are completely covered in butter and cheese, which kind of defeats the purpose, no?)

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MoJanuary 3, 2013 - 8:51 am

I was pretty much exactly like you. Could eat whatever, whenever, and not gain a pound. I think around 25, that kind of started to change, but when I turned 30 last year, that’s when the slow metabolism bus really hit me full force. I’ve wondered if it was better to have that time in your life where you could eat anything and everything you wanted, or if it was a curse because it made the transition into eating right so much harder. I just recently acknowledge that I can’t just work out to lose the extra lbs – I actually have to lay off the pizza. and the pasta. and the wine. (tears)

Anyway – I always HATE broccoli, but started roasting it recently which I LOVE! Maybe try that?

RebeccaJanuary 3, 2013 - 10:28 am

I am with ya on the vegetable stuff! And since I’m pregnant, they are an absolute must for me. The one thing I would suggest is maybe buy a juicer and actually “drink” the vegetables. My husband juices frequently and I will just have some of his because it helps me to consume more of the vegetables I would NEVER eat on my own (aka celery). I’m trying to be better about it but old habits die hard I tell ya!

SerenaJanuary 3, 2013 - 11:01 am

@Mo – I think it’s worse! It’s so much harder for me to start eating healthy now because I’ve never had too… I’ve never had to create healthy eating habits, so now I have to break some 30 year old habits, and that is HARD! I think it’s easier if you’re just used to thinking and eating differently. For me, I still have to stop and consciously tell myself not to eat something because my natural inclination is just to eat whatever I want. Ugh. Glad I’m not alone though!

@Rebecca – I’m with you on the drinking your vegetables! I actually used to make a green smoothie every morning, but I totally got out of that habit. I’m trying to do it again now. It’s so much easier for me to drink a smoothie full of spinach and kale than try to eat full servings of them whole. I just do not like vegetables. I’m jealous of those that do.

ritaJanuary 3, 2013 - 11:33 am

green smoothies! or juice… best way to get your greens in.

also – fritters! smitten kitchen has great recipes for cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli… we make them with gluten free flour and they’ve become staples during the week. served with a big salad!

RachelJanuary 3, 2013 - 11:42 am

This is a tough one! I am lucky that my mom fed us a ton of veggies growing up so I think I was just ‘trained’ to like them. But I think the best way is to just start experimenting with different recipes, spices, and cooking methods. You are bound to find a couple dishes you like and then maybe your taste buds will start to like more and more. Also, by cooking them yourself, you can start cutting down on the butter and salt a restaurant would throw in. I’ll send you some recipe ideas!

SerenaJanuary 3, 2013 - 11:50 am

@Rita – I’m definitely trying to get back into the swing of starting my day with a green smoothie. I also think the fritter idea is fantastic… the recipe you listed actually sounded…gasp… good to me! Who would have thought?!?!

@Rachel – I’d love some recipe ideas, thanks! You are lucky.. I grew up on Cinnamon Toast Crunch and lunchables, so the fact that I eat even half as healthy as I do as an adult is impressive to me! When I did the cleanse my palette definitely changed, and vegetables starting tasted better to me, but then I went back to my old ways and lost all of that progress. Ugh.

AshleyJanuary 3, 2013 - 2:11 pm

I’m all about starting 2013 healthy and fit! If you haven’t already, give spaghetti squash a try. I just top mine with tomato sauce and to me it’s (almost) like eating spaghetti noodles!

MadisonJanuary 5, 2013 - 3:06 pm

So I’ve never hard the greatest diet. I just eat whatever I want. And what I want is pretty much entirely junk. My metabolism hasn’t really changed at all but I definitely stopped getting quite so much exercise since I’m no longer in college or working retail. Sitting at a desk all day and then coming home and surfing the web makes it easy to gain weight. I’ve been trying the past year to get up and get more exercise but it’s hard. But the weight is slowly dropping off so that’s good. :) My health goals this year is to reach a size six like I was in college. A year ago I was a 14 and right now I’m a 10. So there’s been progress! I don’t like veggies either. Yuck! Good luck this year with your goals!!

JennJanuary 7, 2013 - 4:58 pm

For me, it was exactly thirty. My already curvy hips seemed to be a tad wider and my usual workout coupled with eating semi-healthy stopped cutting it. After kicking up the workout and talking with a few other ladies that went through the same thing, it’s the diet that has to change now. I dislike veggies a lot too, so I feel your pain! Pinterest has been a godsend for finding veggie recipes that I can actually choke down! One of my favorites is grape tomatoes, halved and then baked in the oven, sprinkled with a dash of brown sugar, oregano and s&p. Super yummy! My fitness goals are pretty huge this year as I’m trying to get in super good shape before the hubs and I look to start a family later this year! Best of luck – remember it’s mind over matter!

WhitneyJanuary 10, 2013 - 7:01 am

Story of my life recently. I’m 27. almost 28, and this is my first time working at a sedentary job since graduating. Up until a year ago I walked all over campus, and before that I worked with kids all day. After this holiday season, my clothes are just uncomfortable. I need to make some serious changes to my diet and workout habits. Like you I was able to eat whatever I wanted for the better part of three decades and now my body is playing a cruel cruel joke on me. I don’t mind veggies, but I prefer my food fried, covered with cheese, or filled with sugar.

[…] by whole “drink less, move more” resolution I made in the beginning of the […]