31 July 2015

All Clear!

Happy Friday!! Mike and I are home from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and I'm ecstatic to report that my scans were clear! NO EVIDENCE OF DISEASE! 

Pound it! 
This set of appointments at MD Anderson Cancer Center was different this time in a lot of was. The first and most game changing difference was I was meeting my new oncologist. My original oncologist had the nerve to retire after like 50 years of practicing medicine without even asking my permission. Whatever, Dr. Bedikian, whatever. ;) I'm sure it goes without saying that I was extremely nervous to be seen by someone new. I had developed such a wonderful relationship with Dr. Bedikian over the past 6 years. I trusted and respected him. I understood how he operated and he got me. He knew what I needed to get/hear in during visits order to leave feeling safe and healthy. This visit would mark the start of building a new relationship with someone else and that's scary! I can go more into this at another point if you're interested in more specific oncologist/patient stuff...just let me know.  Anyway, long story short, I really really like my new oncologist! He is a bit younger, but extremely confident and direct; both traits that are really important to me in my cancer care providers. It will be a long road to get to the place I was with Dr. Bedikian and we do have some changes to my follow up care as a result (ie. I have to go back in just 6 short months for FULL BODY scans) but that's ok. Whatever makes my doctor comfortable is what makes me comfortable.

Ok so, if you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I spent a whole lotta  time shopping/eating with a little cancer business sprinkled in there. Since moving to Alaska, I try to make my trips to Houston a little more focused on fun things like hitting all the stores we don't have access to up here in Alaska. It almost shifts my focus from scan anxiety to running around Houston like a crazy person trying to cram as much shopping as humanly possible into 48 hours. Trips to Houston now also serve as an excuse to squeeze a bonus visit in with either of my parents. It was Mom's turn to meet me in Texas so spending a little time with her (and having someone to watch Mike while I crushed it at the mall) was another nice perk. This trip I had another cool thing to look forward to, and that was seeing my friend Sam. Sam is actually my best friend's boyfriend who turned into my cancer friend when he was diagnosed with lymphoma about a year ago. It was nice to get together and talk about things in a way only another patient could understand. (Sam's scans were also completely clear, so shout out to Sam!!) 

Now, as much as I love the city of Houston, the heat...now that's some bullllll shit!

I'm almost embarrassed by how poorly I handled the weather. I've lived in both south Texas AND Arizona and I was whining like a little baby. It made me appreciate the amazing summer weather we have in Alaska even more!! I don't think Mike was all that amused by the crazy temps either... I mean, he had literally never been in anything hotter than 75 degrees his entire life! I've said it before and I'll say it a hundred times over, I'd rather be cold than hot any day! You can always add more layers, but you can only get so naked... 

Stolen from Sam via Brittany, completely unbeknownst to him.
Even though I did a TON of shopping, I didn't do much buying. Like, I couldn't even pulled the trigger on my pity purchase, which is very unlike me... I literally came home with two mugs, a hat for Mally, an outfit for Mike, and freaking Chipotle for Kyle. (Don't even get me started on flying that damn burrito bowl home...) Laaaaaammeeeee! I will keep you posted on the pity purchase though...this one will definitely be the craziest one yet and count for all special occasions for the next like 7 years. (HINT HINT!!! I'm having the hardest time deciding between this one and this one... Which one to you think I should get?)

Alright, I think that's all I've got to report. I hope you guys have a great weekend! Catcha Monday. :)

27 July 2015

SAHM Fashion Crisis || SOLVED!

A few months ago I shared a personal dilemma with you. It's a very, very "first world problems" kind of situation, but you know how it is...Anyway, you can read that post here. The gist is that I've been struggling to define or identify my personal fashion style as it applies to my life as a stay at home mom. This dilemma isn't due to the fact that I don't care about my appearance, I do. I feel more confident and I'm more productive when I make an effort to pull myself together. As superficial as it may sound, my appearance is important to me. ME. The fashion dilemma also isn't because I don't have the time to get dressed or curate a new look everyday. In fact, I would estimate that I "get dressed" approximately 4-5 times a day thanks to my kids' unruly bodily functions and messy playtime activities. Seriously, the amount of bodily fluids I come in contact with daily as the mom of two under two would require scrubs in a professional setting. Why in the hell would I want to be dressed to the nines for a day of leaking breastmilk, spit up, pee, pasta sauce and dirt? I. WOULDN'T! I don't. 

Here's what I do want... I want to feel good in the clothes I choose to wear. I want to feel pretty and comfortable but also not have to worry about that nastiness Mallory just wiped on me ruining my $200 jeans. I don't want to have to think twice about my choice footwear being comfortable enough for a trip to Target followed by a jaunt at the playground. What does this mean? This means I'm not buying heels to wear for two hours while I go out to dinner with my family on the weekends. It means I'm not buying those awesome button up blouses from J.Crew because they are restricting as all hell when you're carrying a heavy carseat, a thrashing toddler and your purse walking into the grocery store. It means I'm sure as hell not wearing those fun, trendy statement necklaces anymore because it makes my chest less snuggle-able to my infant son and makes me an easy strangling target for my toddler. I'm not going to put together a fancy-shcmancy, impractical outfit to leave the house for a few errands, only to change into something more functional the instant I get back home. The reality is now, I'M A STAY AT HOME MOM! I don't have a morning business meeting or lunch with a coworker or a cooperate training event at any point during my day. My day consists of caring for, loving, teaching, and playing with my children. My day consists of grocery store trips, play dates and housework. This is my real life and you know what? I absolutely love it! So why not dress the part? My part?

So, what is my style? How should I dress? What do I wear? I wear what works. Then I get one in every color. ;) For me, that means a majority of the time I'll be wearing, jeans, a fun tee and sneakers. Its a "look" that can be dressed up with a simple swipe of bold lipstick or by throwing on chic blazer/jacket or by adding a killer handbag. It's a look that is timeless. Most importantly, it's a look that works

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of occasions when I browse Pinterest and build an imaginary, fantasy-land closet of awesome pieces that just don't work for me right now. Or I find myself swooning over my favorite fashion bloggers' latest #ootd. I enjoy fashion and I LOVE to shop, but I've decided that it is totally fun, exciting and satisfying to appreciate someone else's sense of style and their bold, fashion forward choices while simultaneously thinking "I wouldn't wear that." I guess what I'm saying I've learned is that a big part of my style, during this season of my life is function and that is perfectly ok! I can work with that. I can make functional, chic! Moving forward, I want to focus my fashion related time, effort and money on growing a collection of timeless, versatile, classic pieces while cultivating a chic and PRACTICAL wardrobe for myself as stay at home mom. 

My hope is that this word vomit makes some kind of sense and that this "dilemma" is relatable for someone. I also hope you'll follow along with me as I periodically document my functional fashion finds and wear them on repeat with no particularly show-stopping deviation? ;) What about the occasional wish list post as I drool over the closet staples that I hope to add to my collection?

Remember I hinted at some upcoming subtle blog changes? This is kind of the biggest one...While I can't get behind being fashion forward (wrap your mind around that sentence) I'm definitely willing to drop some dolla dolla bills on skincare and beauty products... 

Disclaimer :: I totally get that there are stay at home moms who are are truly passionate about fashion. They get dressed in things I couldn't pull off on the daily because fashion makes them tick. That is a-okay! Do you! Fashion just isn't that for me... 

24 July 2015

Random Friday Chit-Chat

Happy Friday! This Friday is especially awesome for us because it marks the beginning of Kyle's block leave!! Thats nearly two weeks of straight up family time. YESSS!!

I say "nearly" two weeks because Mike and I will be gone for approximately three days during that two weeks. My cancer scans kind of crept on us this time. By kind of I mean big time! I literally booked my airline tickets and hotel room this week...I leave on Monday. Way back when, our intention was for the whole family to go to Houston and kind of make it a mini vacay. At the last minute Kyle and I decided that we would save a couple bucks and our sanity and just Michael and I would go. (Flying with two kids, one being an insane toddler, in the arms of two parents really doesn't sound that fun after all. Flying with a breast feeding baby all the way!) Kyle and Mallory have big outdoor activities planned while Michael and I are away and Michael and I have big shopping plans in between scans and doctor's appointments. See, we all win here. ;)

Oh! Did I tell you we sold our house?! Well, we went under contract anyway. Hate to jinx it... As much as I enjoyed decluttering and having a clean house, keeping it clean CONSTANTLY really quite sucked. It's nice to be able to actually live in our home again.Toys out, dishes in the sink, you know, the good stuff. Even if we are only in the house a little while longer...

funny real estate ecard

Back to the whole, having Kyle around for two weeks part. I'm really excited to have him around to help me with Mal. To put it as delicately as possible, she's been a real pain in the ass this week. "No" is a straight up reflex for her! She is excellent at sniffing out a moment of parental weakness (ie. nursing her brother) and exploiting the hell out of it. I mentioned her sleep regression yesterday, and I'm tasking Kyle with un-f*ing that situation first, then can he move on to tantrum negotiations. I mean really, whose child is this? (Oh hush Mom and Dad! I can hear you laughing from thousands of miles away.)

parenting comic

I want all the tassel keychains! Remember several weeks ago I purchased this one from the Michelle Ensign Shop on ETSY? Well, I use it every single day and looovvve it! 

leather tassel key chain

Then I saw this one (not freaking online, but it's pictured in the photo below) at H&M. Sidetone: Alaska finally got an H&M!!! It just opened last week. Needless to say we flocked... Anyway, It's only 5 bucks!! I mean really? That's basically free. So I tossed it in my shopping bag. I knew immediately what I would do; put the large black one on my Longchamp and the new colorful one goes on my keys. Easy. "But for $5 shouldn't I just grab a couple?" Really Amanda?! What are you going to do with 7304 tassel keychains?! 

leather tassel key ring h&m

I should have gotten more... Oh! H&M also has a tassel keychain that is very similar to my ETSY one if ETSY isn't your thing. The only differences were the color of the hardware and obviously the "leather" on the one from H&M is fake... but it's still super cute!

Speaking of shopping, have I told you about my new ish "stop making so many random impulse purchases prevention plan?" I don't think I have... Let me preface this by saying I'm a shopper by nature, not a buyer. Like, I could spend 3 hours at the mall and the only purchase I make is a coffee from Starbucks. Of course that isn't always so, but generally, that's the case. What I've been doing is keeping a running "wish list" in the notes section of my iPhone. I only add items to this list when I'm not actively shopping. Then, when I'm out shopping or browsing online and see something I think I want/need, I consult the list. If it's not on the list, I don't buy it. Doing this for the past month or so has prevented me from purchasing no less than 15 things. THATS CRAZY! Crazy. 


So, I've been in the throws of a blogging "come to Jesus" if you will. I've been writing this blog for a year and a half now and decided it's high time I really zero in on what I want things to look like. This all came about during my massive house declutter. I got the urge to simplify everything, including Marry Mint. Are these changes going to be noticeable to you? Maybe. The design will not change and as far as content goes, the changes won't be severe. The primary focus of this blog with continue to be my family, beauty and style, just presented a little differently. An example of the types of changes to expect would be : When I started blogging I intended to really develop my photography skills since taking photos is something I really enjoy. I've done NONE of that... The photography WILL improve on this blog. Another big thing is that I think I've finally come to a resolution to my fashion crisis...but that gets its own blog post. ;) I don't know. I guess it just feels good to have some peace about "cleaning" up my blog.

Hows that for a random ass blog post?! So we are going camping this weekend and I'm not sure how cell service will be, but I will try to update Instagram so you can follow along. Also, my trip to Houston is at the beginning of next week. We would greatly appreciate prayers for clear scans! Again, I will let you know how things are going via Instagram, so make sure you are following me there. (Shameless, I know.)

Talk to you soon and have a great weekend!