Posted in Nostalgia

“That’s Hot.” Makeup Products I Used In My 20s

January 2010

Please, Jesus, help me- this post is going to be way worse than my Makeup Products I Used In High School post.

Please believe me, I am laughing as hard as you are right now, and you have every right to laugh.

MTV’s hit show Jersey Shore had premiered on December 3, 2009, I had just turned 21 on December 14, 2009, and let me tell you worlds were rocked, wigs were snatched, and everyone wanted to be a Guido or Guidette, if you don’t believe me, go check your own photos from this time period.

I had to go perusing some old friend’s Facebook pages to even try and find a photo of me during this time frame, I am not sure where they are all at, maybe the attic, but after just having major surgery I will not be going up there to try and retrieve photos for this satirical yet historically accurate post.

So let’s take a look back at the makeup we used in late 2009 and 2010 to achieve the ultimate orange bronze glow, glitter on our body, sparkly eye look, heavy on the liner, we have all come to loathe!

Face:

I do not have a vivid memory as to what foundation I actually used back in these days, as I actually do not think I used one at all. I did, however, use a ton of concealer, pressed, powder, bronzer and blush.

I vividly remember using Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer, this was a brand you could find at Walmart stores, however, I believe, I heard once that Hard Candy was an actual high-end brand sold at makeup counters in large department stores at one point. If anyone can confirm or deny this, please let me know in the comments!

Hard Candy Glamoflauge Heavy Duty Concealer

Of course this concealer was applied with the amazing triangle beauty sponges, DRY (internally screaming).

WHY.

After covering my under eye circles, cystic acne scars, and whatever imperfections I needed to address, I would give myself a generous powdering with my favorite go to pressed powder L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder (with the sponge applicator provided in the packaging of course).

L’Oreal True Match Super Blendable Powder

The next product I would apply is a true gem to the makeup community and holds a special place in my heart forever, Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer…

Too Faced Pink Leopard Blushing Bronzer

At this point I had finally invested in some makeup brushes, my firsts included ecoTOOLS with bamboo handles- I actually believe I may still have one or two of these brushes still lying around, they are great quality and last forever.

I would use the largest facial brush and apply my bronzer oh so generously all over my face, with no regard for any contouring, my only goal was to achieve that beautiful orange, bronzed glow.

ecoTOOLS: My First Makeup Brush Set

My second bronzer of choice was Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips Custom Bronzer + Blush + Eye Shadow, and who doesn’t love a multipurpose product?!

Physician’s Formula Shimmer Strips Bronzer + Blush + Eye Shadow

The next product that you could always find on my makeup table or in my touch up bag was Too Faced Candlelight Glow powder. Now, to be 100% truthful with you, I had no idea what to do with this or how it worked or what it did. I will tell you that I did apply this very generously all over my face for touch ups.

Too Faced Candlelight Glow

My favorite blush was the Hard Candy Baked Blush in Living Doll, again found at Walmart. This was definitely one of those baked blushes that you had to scrape the top layer off of to get any pigment, but this bad boy lasted forever and packed a punch. Again, another product on the glittery shimmery side, but it was all about the shimmer back in 2009 (at least for me).

Hard Candy Baked Blush-Living Doll,

Eyes:

Too Faced’s Natural Eye Palette was the first high end, name brand eyeshadow palette I had ever owned, back in 2009. My bestie (hey Laida!) found these at Sephora, and we thought they were the sh*t, and we rocked the sh*t out of them. I can guarantee you that we both hit pan on “Silk Teddy” and “Nude Beach” very quickly in these palettes, it was definitely our go to all over eye color, I’m talking lid to brow bone coverage.

Too Faced’s Natural Eye Palette

I really loved these palettes so much, they came in a little cardboard box back in the day and there was a little pull-out drawer under the shadows that came with cards showing you where to apply certain colors to create the perfect eye look. I can tell you I certainly did not take the advice on these cards, but it is definitely a nice little touch on Too Faced’s behalf to at least try and teach its customers how to achieve a proper eye look.

Another personal favorite eyeshadow palette frequently used was the Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner. This stuff was the best, you got lots of different shades, shimmer and sparkle of course, and you could purchase it at Walmart for probably less than $10. Again, another multipurpose product, that was long-lasting, and a great little drugstore gem.

Physicians Formula Shimmer Strips custom Eye Enhancing Shadow & Liner

The eyeliner of choice was forever CoverGirl Perfect Point Plus Eye Pencil in Charcoal, on the top, bottom, and waterline of the eye, always.

Mascara of choice, the ever fabulous L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara in Carbon Black. I still absolutely love this mascara to this day and I always have one nice and handy in my makeup bag.

L’Oréal Voluminous Original Mascara-Carbon Black

Lips:

Lips were always kept cheap and simple, a shimmery gloss or a Wet n Wild $0.99 lipstick from Walmart; the lipstick game started to step up once we discovered Summer Love creamy lipstick by NYX.

Body:

I already know its bad and the risk factors and all that jazz, but the tanning salon was where it was at. How else was one supposed to acheieve an orange, bronzy, burnt glow with infinate freckles?

I decided to upgrade to a bronzing bed after using the regular tanning beds after a few years when I wasn’t getting enough bronze. My tanning lotion of choic was and always will be Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator Plus Bronzer indoor tanning lotion. I am imaginining the smell right now and it brings back memories of high school and tanning daily to get a nice base for vacation or prom.

Australian Gold Cheeky Brown Accelerator Plus Bronzer

Now, on top of our burnt, tan, orange, freckly skin we would apply Victoria’s Secret Bombshell Body Shimmer all over our chest to accentuate our cleavage, probably bought at the Victoria’s Secret Outlet Store or during the annual sale, this product was a must when going out to your favorite dive bar for the night.

To finish off the body, sprits on some Ed Hardy perfume for good measure.

I can’t even think about the fragrance of these ever again…

Hair:

So the last, and absolute final step to achieve the 2009/2010 going out is to put that straightener on the highest setting, never spray your hair with a heat protectant and just go to town straightining that mane.

Next youre going to tease the sh*t out of your crown area (which I had mine cut specifically for extra lift), spray with some Big Sexy Hair and then back comb it into a nice rats nest then go ahead and smooth out the top of your crown. Add any little bobby pins, head bands, or hair accessories- if you can’t acheieve full excellence on your own you may want to invest in a bumpit.

I hope you enjoyed this nostalgic post on the style trends and make up of the wonderful mid 2000’s, a time I like to fondly look back on and call “The Jersey Shore Days.”

Did you rock any of these looks? Were you as cool as me? Leave me a comment letting me know! I love to reading your comments on my nostalgia posts! Lets reminisce together!

I would like to dedicate this post to my bestie Laida, who lived these days with me and shared many free drinks at a really sh*tty local dive bar- love you pumpkin!

Posted in A Feminine Healthcare Journey

A Feminine Healthcare Journey-Resolution.

Yesterday, Tuesday, March 29, 2022, I finally had my long awaited surgery- A laparoscopy with incisions to remove my uterine cysts as well as taking a look inside my uterus to see what else was going on causing the pain and bleeding for so long.

In my last post, I mentioned prior to the surgery a blood test referred to CA125 test the standard range is <49 U/mL, my level was a reading of 102 U/mL. I messaged my doctor Monday morning to get some further answers regarding my high reading. My doctor got back with me right away and told me and explained that a level of 200 or 300 would be more related to ovarian cancer and my level of 102 was a high indication of the suspected endometriosis, which helped me breathe a little better, thankfully!

My procedure went well-my husband was told by my physician that I am in fact riddled with severe endometriosis, and lot was cut and burned out. My Fallopian tubes are very inflamed and there is an extremely low chance, well no chance, of ever having children. Both cysts were drained and sealed, so they will be unable to refill with debris or fluid. The left ovarian cyst was actually fused to my bladder, in which the doctor had to reconstruct part of my bladder wall due to the damage caused by the cyst.

I will be starting hormone blockers for six months which will be injections, 1 shot per month, so the endometriosis will subside from growing.

Today, I am very sore, in my abdomen as well as my throat as I was intubated, but other than that I am doing well.

I hope that in the future I have nothing but great updates to provide in my journey as I am now, hopefully, on the mend.

I do have a little gallery with two photos of my incisions, so please proceed with caution if you have a weak stomach for this type of imagery!

It’s honestly, not bad I promise!

Proceed With Caution

Thank you for your support, your stories of your own experiences, and I would also like to give a big fat shout out to my family, friends, and of course my husband, Sean, who have helped me though this journey. Without any of you, I don’t know where I would be. I love you all dearly.

Dedicated to:

Mommy

Aunt Shell

Chelsea

Laida

Chloe

Keri

Kellee

Aunt Ellen

Gramma

Meghan

Brenda

And of course my husband Sean

If you would like to have a cheeky little read on how we got to this point, please refer back to parts one and two of my Feminine Health Care Journey, linked below:

Please Help Me A Feminine Health Care Journey

Please Help Me A Feminine Health Care Journey Update

Posted in Our Wedding

Our Wedding Details-Small Touches To Personalize Our Special Day

You can go through all the wedding planning sites, magazines, and Pinterest boards you want, however, your special day is in fact-your special day.

When planning our wedding, things just fell into place naturally as we thought of them, and it truly made our day so special. There was a lot of meaning behind many of the things that we chose to do, and I would like to share with you those private details in hopes to inspire the newly engaged and or future brides to make sure that their wedding has special meaning to them.

It’s easy to get caught up in the perfect details, but always remember the day is about you and your soon-to-be forever partner, so make sure that you work as a team and make sure to pay homage to those little details that make the two of you and your relationship so special.

The Date

To me, my grandparents, AKA Nana and Papa, had the most beautiful love story of all. Married October 17, 1959, they managed to remain married through sickness and in health 53 years before my grandfather’s death in 2013.

I have always loved fall weddings and wanted to be married on the same date, however, in order to make that date work for us, we would have had to wait until 2025 (Friday) or 2026 (Saturday), so we opted for the closest date possible, Friday, October 15, 2021.

Bridal Gown

I have admired my grandmother’s wedding dress ever since I was a little girl. My grandparents had a beautiful oil painting made capturing them on the day of their wedding, and I knew that I wanted to have a dress with long lacy sleeves similar to my grandmother’s.

I found my dress at David’s Bridal, it was the first and only dress I tried on and bought it on a whim when I was shopping for dresses with my bridesmaid. I had found the dress pictured below on the David’s Bridal website (unfortunately, I believe, this dress is discontinued) and luckily the store had one on the floor I could try on, and I fell in love. I knew this was the dress for me, it was everything I was looking for and was a modern version of my grandmother’s dress, which I loved.

Bridal Tip: I remember my matron of honor telling me prior to trying on dresses to bear in mind that the store usually only has the largest size of the dress you are looking for, so do not be worried when you see what size they bring out, generally it is not going to be your size. The store associates will pull the dress back and clip it, so it fits your figure, then take your measurements and order you the proper dress size.

Oleg Cassini Shimmer Lace Long Sleeve Bridal Gown in Champagne
Papa & Nana 1959 – Amanda & Sean 2021 Adrienne & Amber Photography

The Venue

The selling point of our reception venue was the gorgeous stars and constellations on the ceiling of the ballroom. One of the things Sean and I bonded over in the beginning was zodiac signs; I am a Sagittarius and Sean is a Capricorn.

In the early days of getting to know each other, I was going through a breakup or two, and I had this nagging urge to go have my tarot cards read over Thanksgiving weekend in 2019. The woman reading my cards told me, “I see you with a Capricorn, you are going to meet him at work, and you will be together for a very long time.”

The only Capricorn I knew of and pretty much the only male in a female dominated office was Sean. At that point, we weren’t even that friendly-the only reason I knew he was a Capricorn was due to the fact I overheard him talking about it one to another coworker while fixing their computer.

Surely, I never thought Sean and I would end up together, let alone married one day! Once we started talking, I told him what the card reader had told me and his response was “I’m into that” and the rest is history.

We also loved the concept of dancing under the stars to what became to be “our song” Midnight, The Stars And You.

Ceremony Music

When I tell you I worked on the music for over a year and a half, I am not joking.

Of course, we had a DJ, however, I did want to have as much control over the music as possible for our ceremony as well as during cocktail hour and dinner.

At first, I started looking into different wedding ceremony playlists on Spotify, however I just kept coming up with the same cheesy quartet songs like “A Thousand Years” and I knew I wanted music that was more personal to Sean and I and gave deeper meaning to our ceremony.

I came across a group, Vitamin String Quartet, who did amazing instrumental music to both classic and modern songs (they even had a version of W.A.P). I started really digging into their catalog as well as other string quartet groups such as Midnite String Quartet and Tribute String Quartet and found the most perfect and beautiful soundtrack to our wedding ceremony.

Processional- These Days by Nico covered by Vitamin String Quartet

Flower Girl Entrance-Here Comes The Sun by The Beetles covered by Midnite String Quartet

Bridal Entrance-Stand By Me by Ben E. King covered by Tribute String Quartet

Recessional- Closing Time by Semisonic, covered by Vitamin String Quartet

Each song chosen had a very deep and personal meaning to me:

These Days by Nico released in 1967, most notably known for being in the 2001 Wes Anderson film The Royal Tenenbaums, first came into my plane of existence at a funeral. My cousin, David, father to my dear cousin Chloe, passed away from colon cancer in 2020, he was an avid movie and music buff and during his celebration of life service my cousin put together a beautiful playlist of songs and These Days was on the list. It is easily one of the most beautiful songs of the 1960s and is widely overlooked.

Being an avid Velvet Underground fan I was surprised I had never actually sat down and listened to the lyrics quite like I did at the funeral and the song perfectly sums up life and or the end of one’s life-

“I’ve been out walking
I don’t do too much talking
These days, these days
These days I seem to think a lot
About the things that I forgot to do
And all the times I had the chance to”

I come to tears every time I hear this song, not only for the loss in my family, but for the beautiful piece it truly is.

Here comes the Sun by The Beetles, written by George Harrison and was actually inspired by the long harsh winters endured in England, which he felt went on forever. However, the song has a different meaning for me…

I lost my only sibling, my brother, Jacob, almost nine years ago- I knew I would never become an aunt to any beautiful nieces or nephews biologically, and I swore I never thought I would get married. God had different plans, and I met Sean when his niece was fourteen months old. She is three years old now and will never remember a time in her life when “Aunt Amanda” was not around. She has single-handedly become one of the brightest rays of sunshine in my life, and I am so blessed to be her aunt.

The cover of the song is so beautifully performed and the lyrics, well they speak for themselves…

Little darling
It seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun,
And I say, It’s all right
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun
It’s all right

I mean, what can be said about Ben E. King’s stand by me? It is an absolutely beautiful song that encompasses every aspect of remaining by your loved one’s side through the dark times and knowing that everything will be okay as long as you stand by me…

“When the night has come
And the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we’ll see
No, I won’t be afraid
Oh, I won’t be afraid
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me”

Closing Time by Semisonic is the ultimate 90s classic and of course can be heard as the last song playing at any bar on the planet during last call.

As popular in the bar scene as it may be, this song, of course, has a bit of a deeper meaning in my world. As I mentioned before I lost my brother almost nine years ago- Semisonic’s Closing Time was on the NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL MUSIC VOLUME 2 CD which I proudly owned (released in 1998) and somehow my brother got his paws on it and played this song over, and over and over and over and over again, when he got his first CD player, thus causing an everlasting imprint on my brain having to turn it off at 3am when he fell asleep to it.

Not only was it the perfect song to close out our wedding ceremony, but I felt it was only right to use the song in a very important ode to my brother and acknowledging that even though he wasn’t physically there with us on our wedding day, he was there with me in my heart…

Closing time, time for you to go out
To the places you will be from
Closing time, this room won’t be open
Till your brothers or your sisters come

So, gather up your jackets, move it to the exits
I hope you have found a friend
Closing time, every new beginning
Comes from some other beginning’s end

Dinner/Cocktail Hour Playlist

I had a very specific vision as to what would be great music for cocktail hour and dinner. I wanted to make sure the music was of course meaningful but also upbeat and friendly for all generations.

I always loved listening to oldies with my grandparents in the car after lunch on Sundays after church, always begging my Papa to take us for a drive just to get a few extra quality time minutes in with my grandparents.

I opted for an “oldies” playlist, including lots of Motown (we are from the Motor City, after all) doo wop and hits from the 50s and 60s.

You can check out my dinner play list here.

Our First Dance

The song we chose for our first dance as a married couple is Midnight; The Stars And You by Al Bowlly, most notably known as the song that plays at the end of the film The Shining-one of our favorite horror movies.

Midnight; The Stars and You is also the last song that plays at the end of every Last Podcast On The Left episode (one of my favorite podcasts), which is where the idea of using that song as our first dance actually came to fruition.

I was listening to LPOTL one day at work (as one does) and I sent the song to Sean and asked him what he thought-he immediately replied “YES” and from then on it was set in stone that it was “our song.”

“Midnight with the stars and you
Midnight and a rendezvous
Your eyes held a message tender
Saying “I surrender all my love to you

Midnight brought us sweet romance
I know all my whole life through
I’ll be remembering you, whatever else I do
Midnight with the stars and you”

Father Daughter & Mother Son Dance

We opted to do a combination father daughter and mother son dance, the song that we chose is Heavenly Day by Patty Griffin.

I fell in love with this song when I first heard it in the Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House. In the series, Heavenly Day was the song the main character Nell dances to with her husband on their wedding day. I thought the song was so beautiful and becomes so haunting throughout the series.

The song lyrics are so beautiful and truly speak for themselves, especially on the day of a wedding…

“Oh, heavenly day
All the clouds blew away
Got no trouble today with anyone

The smile on your face, I live only to see
It’s enough for me, baby, it’s enough for me
Oh, heavenly day, heavenly day, heavenly day

Tomorrow may rain with sorrow
Here’s a little time we can borrow
Forget all our troubles in these moments so few

Oh because right now is only thing
That all that we really have to do
Is have ourselves, a heavenly day”

The Cake

Another thing Sean and I bonded over in the beginning of our relationship was healing crystals, minerals, and geodes. We spent many weekends going to different metaphysical stores looking for new specimens to add to our collections. Once we even bought a geode that we had to crack open ourselves- I told Sean to smash it with a hammer on my then desk, he warned me it was going to break the desk, I didn’t believe him, and… well we had to get rid of the desk once that bad boy was cracked open…

When searching for different styles of wedding cakes, we found these gorgeous style cakes that have carved out crevices that look like geodes. We opted for an amethyst look to go with our plum and gold wedding colors, however, upon entering the reception hall the first thing I laid my eyes on was a turquoise geode cake. I am not sure why and or how it ended up being turquoise, however, it still turned out beautiful and was truly a gorgeous focal point for our reception.

Custom gold cake topper created by Luxtomi on Etsy, you can find them here.

The Guestbook

In true horror movie fandom, our guestbook was custom designed by Sean and created by a seller on Etsy. It has a wooden front and back cover in which the famous pattern of the Overlook Hotel carpeting is burned into the front and back cover with a typewriter font that says Sean & Amanda Crosslin October 15, 2021.

Although, very few people seen or signed our guestbook as it was placed on a podium off to the side, it is a beautiful piece of memorabilia from our wedding that we absolutely love and another ode to one of our favorite horror films of all time.

Guestbook created by RedBerryGuestBooks on Etsy, you can find them here.

The Bouquet

I opted to have an artificial bouquet made in lieu of fresh flowers, so it would in fact last forever, and I could use it as a display piece in my home. These particular bouquets were made with eucalyptus and sola wood flowers, which are an extremely light wood derived from the plant Aeschynomene aspera that grows in wild marsh areas.

I found an amazing seller on Etsy who already and chose one of her previously designed bouquets as I loved the color palette she used- a lot of greenery with pops of lavender and plum as well as white. The plum did not overpower the bouquets and offset the bridal gown as well as the bridesmaids dresses and were an absolute perfect match. I also had boutonnieres made for the groom, groomsmen, and our fathers as well as corsages for our mothers matching the bridal and bridesmaids bouquets.

Bridal / bridesmaid’s bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres created by WildRoseFlowersDecor on Etsy, you can find them here.

All photos credited to Adrienne & Amber Photography, please check out their website here.

I hope you enjoyed some insight to our special day! I have been wanting to make this post for a while now, and I am so glad I finally am able to share the special details with you.

Look out for more wedding related content in the very near future!!!

Posted in A Feminine Healthcare Journey

Please Help Me. A Feminine Healthcare Journey: Update

We last left off on March 4, 2022, when I shared with you my current struggles with my cycle, constant menstruation, and excruciating pain. I had just found out the magnitude of the problem I was dealing with-cysts on both my right and left ovaries, which are quite large:

Right ovarian cyst- debris filled measuring 3.8 X 3.5 X 3.6 CM

Left ovarian cyst- debris filled measuring 7.2 X 5.1 X 6.3 CM

When I had initially written my first post it was a Friday evening and by Sunday afternoon I was taken to the emergency room due to excruciating pain and heavy bleeding.

In between my ultrasound results and going to the emergency room, there was a night my husband and I decided to hit the road and get out of the house for a bit. I remember the pain in my left side was absolutely becoming unbearable during the car ride and after hitting two stores I was in such terrible pain I was sweating, weak, and could literally feel the heat radiating off my body.

I came home, took a hot bath and a few Motrin, got into some comfy PJs and laid with my heating pad until I fell asleep.

The next day I was still in so much pain. At this point I had been bleeding since exactly January 15th, and it felt like my period had just started, ladies you know how those first few days are… It was like I was living in a repeating cycle of starting my cycle over and over again, every few days.

I don’t know if being aware that the cysts were there at this point was causing more stress to my body, causing me more pain, but by Sunday when I tried my old hot bath to heating of trick didn’t help, I knew I was in some deep sh*t. I called my husband from my phone whilst in the bathtub and told him, “I think we need to go to the ER.” I cleaned myself up, got dressed, into the car and closed my eyes for the ride up the street to the hospital- I could hardly breathe and couldn’t stop shaking.

Let me just give you the low down of my ER visit, which I am absolutely f*cking disgusted by…

When we arrived, I was taken back pretty quickly and put into an actual room, which I assume was due to the nature of my visit and or problems.

I was so disoriented due to the pain-one nurse on the left taking my blood pressure and one nurse on my right inserting an IV, while some woman with a rolling computer cart was asking me a million questions that I could literally not even find a breath to take to answer them.

Computer Lady: “First day of your last period.”

Me: “Umm, I don’t know, I’ve been bleeding since January…”

Computer Lady: “I NEED A DATE- beginning, middle, or end?!”

Me: “Middle…”

Phlebotomist: “Any prior hospitalization?”

Me: “No…”

Phlebotomist: “ARE YOU SURE?!?!”

Me: “Yes.”

Phlebotomist: “Well why do you have tape on your arm, it looks like you had an IV in.” (Running her fingers over the sticky remnants from a bandage on my arm)

Me: “I had blood work done Tuesday, here, upstairs… it’s…it’s in my chart…”

Phlebotomist: “Well it looks like you had an IV in…”

Me: “Where is my husband? Can he please come back now?”

Phlebotomist: “We don’t know if you have COVID. Doctor will be in shortly.” (Closes door and leaves me by myself)

Luckily, my husband was able to come back to my room, not without some backlash from the front desk.

The doctor ordered some more blood work, a urine sample, as well as another vaginal ultrasound.

A smiling woman came back and helped me into a wheelchair and wheeled me into the bowels of the hospital for my ultrasound.

Ultrasound Technician: “Are you bleeding a lot?”

Me: “I guess…”

Ultrasound Technician: “Are you going to bleed on my floor”

Me: “I don’t know…”

Ultrasound Technician: “I’ll put a pad down just in case…”

Now, why wouldn’t you do that anyway, knowing why I am here? I’ll never know. All I can say was I felt more than a tad bit humiliated.

I could tell she was getting some good images as the ultrasound took more than an hour. I was uncomfortable, but I was grateful-the more images she took, the better chance I had at getting help with my problems, I thought to myself.

When she was finished she gave me a huge sanitary napkin the size of a diaper and wheeled me furiously back to my room where my husband awaited my arrival.

The doctor came back about an hour or so later and regurgitated everything I already knew, and added in some new factoids-my right cyst had ruptured, and my blood levels looked slightly better that day than they did four days prior.

She then informed me she would need to do a pelvic exam. Now, I was expecting the regular pelvic exam with stirrups and a gynecological exam bed. I was so f*cking wrong.

A medical assistant came in and told me to take my underwear off-

Me: “But I have a pad on…”

Medical Assistant: “It’s fine just take them off.”

The medical assistant then proceeded to give me a bedpan, told me to put my pelvis on top of it and that’s how the doctor was going to do my pelvic exam. WTF I thought…

The doctor proceeds to come in and actually flip the bedpan over position my lower half on top of it and do the f*cking pelvic exam-all whilst my husband is watching-horrified.

The doctor then tells me to put my underwear back on, informs me I would be getting some kind of pain shot in my IV and to follow up with my gynecologist as I was going to be discharged.

After six hours I was finally discharged home and I already had a follow-up appointment with my NEW OBGYN for that Thursday afternoon. If I could just make it to Thursday I will finally have some kind of answers, I kept thinking to myself, holding on to my hope that I would soon get some relief.

Thursday morning came, and I was in absolute excruciating pain. I had punched in for work at 7 am, and by 8:30 I was crumpled up into a ball on the futon in my home office. I had sent a message to the CNP I had seen who ordered the original ultrasound I had in February and I received a call almost immediately from the doctor’s office “NEW DOCTOR” was out with a bad back that day and either I could reschedule my appointment or see ANOTHER CNP at a different location at 9:30 that morning. Furthermore, I knew the CNP couldn’t do sh*t for me, but opted to see her and try and get some relief. I called my boss to let her know what was going on, and next my mom to ask her if she could take me to my appointment.

So, I arrive at the office and of course the CNP couldn’t do or tell me sh*t. She did tell me my constant bleeding was NOT due to my large ovarian cysts, and prescribed me Camrese birth control pills to hopefully calm my ovaries down and stop the bleeding. She gave me 48 hours off of work to rest and hope the birth control kicked in. I should probably mention that during this visit the power went out in the office three times and my prescription as well as my doctor’s note for work all had to be handwritten- I wasn’t even able to schedule a follow-up appointment with my doctor/surgeon because, obviously, the power was out.

Thankfully, the pharmacy was on the way home for my mom, and she dropped it off for me after taking me home. But of course, there was a snag. The pharmacy did not carry this birth control and had to order it- so I was unable to start the pack that day-just my f*cking luck, I thought.

I slept that whole entire rest of the day, with my handy heating pad laying right on my sore little tummy.

The next morning, I decided I was sick of sleeping and got up and started blogging. The pharmacy finally called me that afternoon to inform me that my prescription was filled, and I could pick it up any time. Sick of being a shut in for weeks on end, I decided I was going to go pick it up myself. I also made a very bad decision to go to the Family Dollar next door to the pharmacy and pick up some household needs first. During my brief shopping venture the pain started again, I was so weak and unsteady, I even called my husband to tell him to be on standby in case something happened while I was out.

By the time I made it to the pharmacy, I thought I was going to pass out. Again, I was sweating, and I could feel the heat radiating off my body as my legs shook while I waited in line. Of course, an elderly woman was in front of me checking out her items as well as picking up her prescriptions and then had the audacity to ask for her COVID booster shot! I’m IN PAIN BACK HERE, LADY!!! *Please know I am jokingly saying this, and I am well aware that the world does not revolve around me- good job for getting your booster ma’am!*

That whole weekend, I felt like total sh*t. I was so fatigued, weak and nauseated, I could hardly get out of bed. I messaged the CNP I had seen, who prescribed the birth control, and didn’t hear back from her until two days later, and I quote:

“Hello Amanda,

Are you following the direction of (insert name) CNP which includes: Camrese to take two tablets for 3 days then to take on by mouth daily and not stop until she finishes the birth control pack.

If you have been using as directed, please allow up to 3 months for your body to adjust. Monitor your symptoms and address your concerns with Dr. (insert name here) on 3/19/22. Please proceed to ER if pelvic pain or bleeding becomes severe. I hope this helps, please contact our office if anything else is needed.”

No, as a matter of fact that didn’t help, and I did not even bother to answer back. Of course, I was taking the pills as instructed, why wouldn’t I? I just wanted all of this to stop, so I could get a moment of relief in my life after bleeding, cramping, and excruciating pain since January 15th.

Saturday, March 19th, after over a month since I had seen the CNP who originally ordered the blood work and ultrasounds, I FINALLY was able to meet my NEW OBGYN. I was so happy!

We discussed the ultrasound findings, and I was given two options-either wait out the three months for the birth control to maybe solve the problem or have a laparoscopy- I chose the laparoscopy.

I explained to my doctor that years ago an OBGYN I was seeing suspected that I had endometriosis- if you have been following, this was the same doctor who told me at 23 I needed to start a family as soon as possible… At that time I actually had scheduled a laparoscopic procedure, however, I cancelled as I had just landed my first job in my career field and I didn’t want to take the time off. Looking back now, it was such a stupid decision, however, hindsight is always 20/20.

With that information, my OBGYN agreed that it would be best to proceed with scheduling the laparoscopy to check out what is going on inside my uterus and ovaries and to drain and remove the cysts. He also stated that perhaps if I do indeed have endometriosis that the cysts could be endometrial cysts and in that case they would never go away, even while on the birth control.

I could have cried that day, I was so relieved that I finally was validated, that I was getting answers, and finally I would be getting the help I have needed for so long. If given the opportunity, I would have checked myself into the hospital that day and had the procedure.

Currently, we are at a good place. My surgery is scheduled for Tuesday, March 29th, the only thing I have left to do is more blood work-The CA-125 which will check for ovarian cancer. My doctor feels pretty confident that it is in fact not ovarian cancer, but he still would like to know what my baseline is prior to going in for the procedure.

So that concludes part two of this painful, epic journey. Everyone, if you could say a little prayer or send me some good vibes and or advice if you have had a laparoscopic procedure such as the one I am having, I would truly appreciate it.

Hopefully, part three will be an even better chapter in my story, with lots of healing and less pain!

Posted in books

My Top Five Favorite Memoirs You Need To Check Out

As a child, I was quite an avid reader. My parents read stories to me every night before bedtime-Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter books and of course The Berenstain Bears, which I believe was the reason I was coined the nickname “Sister” after Sister Bear (which then turned into “Sis” or “Sissy”), before my brother Jacob was born.

I vividly remember my mother reading me Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House On The Prairie books, as well as Beverly Cleary’s Beezus and Ramona books. One of my most cherished memories was my mother reading me the book Socks by Beverly Clearly in my upstairs knotty pine bungalow bedroom on my twin sized bed

Whenever my family took a vacation or frequent camping trip, you could always find me with a book stuffed in my face. My mom introduced me to Stephen King at a young age, and I was hooked. During many of these vacations or weekend trips, my family found itself at used book stores or local flea markets, each one of us always finding some kind of treasure. I remember acquiring a beautiful, used copy of Alfred Hitchcock’s Monster Museum hard cover book as well as four of the most well illustrated, gory and horrifying, Clive Barker comics.

Unfortunately, as I got older and into my college years, reading books for pleasure was no longer a “thing” in my life, which probably happens to many individuals who were quite avid readers in their youth.

Once I got on my own place and settled into life as an adult, reading became more prevalent, as I started to become interested in more diverse music and entertainment and became fascinated with the lives of the people behind the mic or movie screen. It was at this time I became a sponge for any knowledge I could get my hands on about the things I was interested in, which lead me to reading the accounts from the people who lived them in the form of memoirs.

I would like to share with you five of my favorite memoirs to date in hopes that a former avid reader such as myself will find them as interesting as I do and decide to pick up a book once again…

How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale – Jenna Jameson

How to… Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale

I remember picking up this book at one of the lowest points in my life. I was in college, just started therapy and mental health medication, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, I felt like I was going to crawl out of my skin constantly. On the weekends, I would take a ride to Barnes and Noble and just browse around and occupy my mind. I remember seeing this book and my interest piqued, clearly, the name of the book alone will do that to ya.

I knew of Jenna Jameson from actually not even watching porn, I knew her from the “E! True Hollywood Story” Jenna Jameson episode which aired in 2003 (I picked up the book around 2009). I remember the episode being so enthralling and so raw, not just because Jenna was in the adult entertainment industry, because her story was truly captivating. I knew I needed to pick up this book and learn more about her life, and boy does Jenna ever deliver.

This personal account of Jenna’s life is nearly 600 pages long. She details everything, word for word accounts of conversations, personal journal entries, photos, comic strips and my personal favorite her 10 Commandments. Hands down, this is one of the best books I have ever read. I love the scrap book feel of it. You can tell Jenna really put her heart and soul into writing and creating this masterpiece.

Jenna Jameson is an incredible woman who has overcome so much in her life. She is a beautiful person inside and out. I keep up with her to this day on Instagram, and we have exchanged messages quite a few times. She is an absolutely lovely person, and I highly recommend you check out How…to Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale for yourself.

You can purchase How…to Make Love Like A Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale here.

And I Don’t Want To Live This Life: A Mother’s Story Of Her Daughter’s Murder – Deborah Spungen

And I Don’t Want To Live This Life A Mother’s Story Of Her Daughter’s Murder

And I Don’t Want To Live This Life by Deborah Spungen is written by the mother of Nancy Spungen- notoriously known as the girlfriend of Sex Pistols “bassist” Sid Vicious. Nancy was known to many people in the scene as “Nauseating Nancy,” a groupie who was addicted to heroin and latched on to Sid Vicious for the notoriety. However, in this book, Deborah sets the record straight about her daughter and gives plenty of reasons as to why Nancy was the way she was.

Nancy Laura Spungen was born in 1958 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to her parents Frank and Deborah Spungen. She was born with severe cyanosis due to oxygen deprivation caused by her umbilical cord being wrapped around her neck, as well as a blood disorder in which she received multiple transfusions for in the first few days of her life. By the time she was released from the hospital, the doctors assured her parents that they had a healthy baby girl and to take her home and treat her as such. It ended up being so far from the truth, as recalled by Deborah.

Nancy was an inconsolable infant and would do “nothing but scream” as accounted by her mother. The crying and screaming fits concerned Nancy’s parents, who tried every avenue possible to find out what was wrong with their baby girl. At three months old, the pediatrician prescribed liquid barbiturates to stop the fits and thus thrust Nancy, at three months old, into a lifelong drug addiction.

Deborah also accounts that Nancy was a difficult child due to some type of mental afflictions causing her to go into violent psychotic episodes on multiple occasions, such as the time she threatened to kill her babysitter wielding a pair of scissors in her hand. These behaviors ultimately lead to multiple suicide attempts and later drug abuse.

It is also well reported that Nancy had a very high IQ and was extremely intelligent. She had an absolute love for music at an early age and once she got into the band scene she had a knack for knowing when a band was going to be big, and she was never wrong.

Nancy lived to be only twenty years old and was found dead under the bathroom sink, in her bra and underwear, in room 100 of the Hotel Chelsea in New York in 1978. The tale of Sid and Nancy is tragic and is overly romanticized. The relationship was a codependency on each other due to their drug abuse and mental struggles.

Deborah maintains in the book and in several interviews that the last phone call she had with her daughter, Nancy was set on getting her life straight, she had started taking methadone, and requested that her mother find a rehabilitation facility for her as well as Sid, and to let everyone know in the family that she loved them. A few days later, she was gone.

My takeaway from this book is that it is so very easy to victim shame, especially to those who have been dubbed the less dead (drug users, prostitutes, homeless people, etc.). But always remember, there is a family behind that person, a family who has gone through the addiction process with the addict and has been mourning them even when the addict was still on this earth. No matter what, that person is a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a cousin, a grandson or granddaughter, niece or nephew- to someone in this world who was loved and could not be saved.

As I said before, Deborah Spungen really sets the record straight in this book and gives her daughter the dignity she deserved. I cannot recommend this book enough, even if you aren’t a Sex Pistols fan, or have no idea who Nancy Spungen is, this book is an amazing read about a mother’s struggle with a difficult child, doing the best she could to save her from the evils of this world.

You can purchase And I Don’t Want To Live This Life A Mother’s Story Of Her Daughter’s Murder here.

I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol – Glen Matlock

I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol

I was A Teenage Sex Pistol is the personal account of Glen Matlock- The Sex Pistols original bass player, and his short time with the band. Glen was one of the founding members of the band and could actually play the bass unlike the attention seeking fool who was put in the band later, *cough* SID VICIOUS *cough.*

Glen was certainly given sh*tty treatment by the band’s “manager” the infamous Malcolm McLaren, saying that he was thrown out of the band because he “liked the Beatles.” Glen was a key player in the songwriting of the band’s only record Never Mind The Bollocks Here’s The Sex Pistols, released in 1977 and maintains that the band only wrote two additional songs after he left.

A lot of misquotes and misconstrued facts surrounding the departure of Glen Matlock leaving The Sex Pistols is part of the lore based on the narrative of Malcolm McLaren who generally liked to create chaos between band members and mismanaged the band until they completely went off the rails and called it quits during a live show in San Francisco in 1978 during their first and only US Tour, luckily for Glen he was already out and doing his own thing by then.

Glen Matlock went on to form other bands and I believe still makes music to this day. He has even joined The Sex Pistols several times on reunion tours with the original members of the band. He is a brilliant musician and I actually really enjoy listening to his group Glen Matlock & The Philistines, I really like the song “On Something.”

I am really glad that Glen wrote his own account of what actually happened with his departure from The Sex Pistols as so much information has been misconstrued, and in this book he was finally able to set the record straight and tell his own story.

Glen Matlock is a pioneer of the England Punk Scene and is a very interesting man overall. I highly recommend this book and highly recommend checking Glen Matlock out, he has provided so many great interviews not only talking about The Sex Pistols, but other music related topics, and has amazing stories to tell.

You can purchase I Was A Teenage Sex Pistol here.

Coreyography: A Memoir – Corey Feldman

Coreyography A Memoir

Even though I am a little too young (born in 1988) to have been around during the big Two Coreys phase of the 1980s, I absolutely love Corey Feldman. I grew up with Gen X parents who introduced me to movies such as The Goonies (my personal all-time favorite), Stand By Me, Gremlins, and The Lost Boys, which I completely watched the sh*t out of. Corey Feldman holds a special place in my heart from my childhood, regardless of what anyone thinks of him. I even have a coveted “Which Corey Is Your Favorite?” mug that my best friend had me made for Christmas one year.

Corey Feldman has been a controversial figure since the 1980s due to his friendship with Michael Jackson, which Feldman maintains was “absolutely pure and innocent,” and although he stands with victims of sexual child abuse allegations against Michael, he makes it clear that no inappropriate behavior was ever made against him by Jackson. Corey is also notoriously known for his underage partying with other child stars (he was also underage) of the time and drug abuse in the late 1980s and early 1990s- which he overcame and became clean and sober in 1995.

In his Memoir, Feldman paints the perfect picture of what life was like growing up in Hollywood in the 1980s and how the sexual abuse against children was running rampant. He has become an advocate for victims of childhood sexual abuse and molestation and vowed to expose those responsible for the sexual abuse against Feldman and his childhood friend Corey Haim, who tragically passed away in 2010 from pneumonia and other heart related issues. Corey Haim struggled with prescription drug abuse most of his life, attributing to the abuse he suffered at the hands of major Hollywood players.

This book is an absolute page turner, I remember taking this book with me to work and reading it on every break and lunch period, and then continuing to read it once I got home. I remember being so freaking excited when I finally came to the part about Feldman receiving the script for The Goonies and his account of working on set with Steven Spielberg and Richard Donner and all the amazing child actors. I love the account of the child actors seeing One Eyed Willy’s ship for the first time, as Richard Donner kept the details of the mockup pirate ship quiet, so he could get a genuine, candid reaction from the actors. What you actually see in the movie were the raw reactions of the actors-It’s little things like that which make the movie even more special to my heart.

I highly recommend picking up this book if you love Corey Feldman, if you were a huge fan of The Two Coreys growing up, love movie nostalgia, or simply love the 1980s decade, this is an absolute must-read. Feldman does a fantastic job telling his story and setting the record straight on his life and his experience in the entertainment industry, you will not be able to put this book down.

You can purchase Coreyography A Memoir here.

Lonely Boy: Tales From A Sex Pistol – Steve Jones

Lonely Boy tales From A Sex Pistol

Clearly, I am a huge Sex Pistols fan, and I’m not ashamed to show it. I have followed Steve Jones for years on Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and listened to old episodes of Jonesy’s Jukebox on YouTube before the show was revived in 2015 on 95.5 KLOS Los Angeles. I remember the day the show came back on the air, the first song Steve played was Personality Crisis by the New York Dolls and I remember having chills up my spine and thinking I really get to listen live and be a part of this.

Steve is known for his raw, no holds barred interview style, and doesn’t really give two sh*ts if he makes someone the least bit uncomfortable, which I actually adore about him. He was such an open book, upfront and forthcoming with his life experiences and his amazing knowledge of music, I thought to myself this man needs to make a book because I will be first in line to read it no matter what.

In 2017 his memoir Lonely Boy: Tales Of A Sex Pistol was released and you better believe that I had preordered that bad boy, and it was on my doorstep the day of release.

Steve is the third member of the Sex Pistols to write his account of the happenings with the band, and he is here to do it his way, as he says, “warts and all.” He was exhausted of everyone else telling his story for him, especially what transpired within the band. Steve is the founding member of The Sex Pistols and got the band rolling with the help of Glen Matlock, Paul Cook, and some bloke named Wally Nightingale who was later canned for the notorious John Lydon aka Johnny Rotten, coined the name Johnny Rotten by Steve Jones due to the state of his rotten teeth.

Steve Jones is an incredible human, he never learned to read or write until he was in his thirties, and never even knew how to play guitar until the band formed. He was an avid music buff, and essentially the music saved him from a life as a criminal. Much of the equipment to start the band was provided on Steve’s behalf due to his constant thievery. Steve notoriously broke into Hammersmith Odeon in London, disguising himself as a roadie, in 1973 and stole much of David Bowie’s set equipment, which is actually very hilarious and shows that Steve’s intentions to start this band were all there.

I loved reading the before and after the Sex Pistols information Steve provided in his book, as I was already a pretty avid Pistols fan, I really wanted to know more about Steve, his upbringing, and what happened after The Sex Pistols disbanded.

Again, highly recommend this book- whether you are a Sex Pistols fan, a fan of Steve Jones himself, or just want some really fascinating punk rock history, pick up Jonesy’s book. It is an absolute harrowing tale of how an abused and neglected child rose to the ranks and formed one of the most influential bands of all time and how music ultimately saved his life… and then almost killed him, and then saved him again.

You can purchase Lonely Boy Tales From A Sex Pistol here.