Thursday, July 28, 2011

Fall Lilly Pulitzer and High School Reunions

It's no secret that I wait all year for the Lilly Pulitzer fall collection. I know that most people love Lilly for the classic pinks and greens that go great in the spring and summer, but with my fair skin I love darker colors, which makes fall the best time to pick up some new dresses.

This year's collection is based on drama and Wizard of Oz, and the first batch of fall dresses is just now online and in stores. The blog promises prints with lions, monkeys, and scottie dogs (my favorite!!) and I can't wait to see what else comes out. I did already purchase this Evie dress that I've been eyeing since the preview catalog came out, so I can wear it to my high school reunion last month.

Look appropriate for this venue?

My fab friend LadyGrl who works in fashion in LA told me to pair it with a well-fit leather blazer and leather booties. Once it gets here I'll see how to accessorize. I'm usually more of a pumps and cardigan kind of girl, but her ideas definitely sound more Hollywood to me. 

Here are some of my other favorites that have been listed so far. I can't wait to see what else come out. I just love fall!

Do you have any favorites?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays

I'm a little obsessed with Pinterest, so today I linked up with The Vintage Apple for her "Oh, How Pinteresting Wednesdays". Below are some of my most recent, fav pins. Are you on Pinterest yet? I promise you'll become addicted - it's great for organizing your favorite web photos that you find daily.

P.S. Is it fall yet??

Source: None via katherine on Pinterest

Source: None via katherine on Pinterest

Monday, July 25, 2011

Get Organized

If you're on Twitter, you know that half of the people on there are enablers. Even if they don't mean to be, they post cute clothes, share photos of their houses, recipes, and other things that make you think, "Wow, that's amazing. I can't believe I didn't know about that. I am jumping on that bandwagon."

Well today everyone was getting excited about Erin Condren's Life Planner. They're basically the holy grail of organizers. And though I love me some iPhone calendars, I find so much satisfaction from writing every little thing down in my planner, on scraps of paper, and then checking them off.

The best thing is that you can get $25 off of Erin Condren's site for the Life Planner or any of her other super cute products just by signing up for Plum District, which looks like it's the Groupon for Moms. I'm having a tough time deciding between the Rad Plaid:

or the Zig Zag:

You can also personalize your planner with personalized photos:

I don't know about you guys, but I'm obsessed. Plus if you order yours early they'll include the rest of 2011 months in your planner. Score! All for just $25. This is one Twitter trend that I'm with. Sorry planking. 

Friday, July 22, 2011

POTS Syndrome and Faith, Part II

I think I left off when I finally got to meet my amazing cardiologist.

I had such high hopes of going to this cardiologist. I got in there and laid down on the table in fetal position because I was too dizzy to really sit. He came in and we did the usual of going over my history, lab results, and everything else the other doctors had done. Then he did a routine vital exam, which included my sitting and standing heart rate. My sitting heart rate was around 98 and my blood pressure was on the low side of normal. When I stood, my heart rate rose to the 140's, and my blood pressure dropped to the 90s. I was holding on the the edge of the table to stand and just praying that I didn't have to stand for much longer.

When Mr. Bee and I talked to him about the results, he was positive I either had POTS Syndrome, Neurocardiogenic Syncope, or Vasovagal Syncope. The only way to tell would be to do a Tilt Table Test.
I was put on a medication to help me with my dehydration and also a beta blocker for my heart. The beta blocker didn't work for me - within the first day my blood pressure was so low that I couldn't move off of the couch. I couldn't walk and had to crawl on my hands and knees with my head down to make it to the bathroom. It was not a good time for me. I remember Mr. Bee being so worried and wanting to take me to the hospital, but I told him I didn't think I'd make it in the car. He had asked me what I meant by that, and I didn't want to scare him and tell him I thought I'd die in the car.

I was on a 2-3 month wait list for the Tilt Table test. When the day finally got there, I first had an echocardiogram. The doctor was pretty sure my heart was ok, and that I just had a condition that was causing all of the issues. The testing was going very well until the technician started looking worried, which made me worry. When someone is looking at your heart and they tell you they're having issues seeing something and they need to call the doctor, you worry. The other doctor performed a Bubble Test, where they inject air into your veins to see your heart valve function. It turned out that I had a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale). When you're in the womb there is an opening between the left and right chambers of the heart. Once you're born, this automatically closes up, except for some people (like me). About 20% of people have this issue and don't even know. Fortunately mine is relatively small and does not require any surgery, but I'll have to watch it as it can cause complications later in life.

As if that wasn't fun enough, my Tilt Table test was a few hours later. I already felt so sick and was so stressed out from the earlier diagnosis that I thought I'd pass out before I made it on the table. They actually did two tests at the same time, so I got a neighbor.

During the test they basically make you stand upright while you're strapped onto a table with tons of wires attached to your body. They started at a 60 degree angle, so I was not completely upright. In under 30 seconds, I was convinced I was dying. I was sweating, shaking, and my heart felt like it was going to come out of my chest. Before the two-minute mark I hadn't completely passed out but couldn't see, my heart rate was above 200 and my blood pressure was unreadable. Fortunately that was all my doctor needed to see. They put me down and let me recover with IV fluids. My neighbor was not as lucky. He was up for maybe 15-20 minutes standing up. All I remember is he was talking to my doctor about the movie "Pet Semetary". I got freaked out, because why would you talk about horror movies at a cardio's office? Just then, his heart stopped. They put him down and started resuscitating him. He wasn't coming to, so they gave him a shot in the heart and he started breathing again. Meanwhile I was laying there watching all of this go down and freaking out. Basically, that guy had just Pet Semetaried in front of me. I was not willing to wait around for him to go all evil and start killing things.

As if that day wasn't tough enough, Mr. Bee and I were planning to try and have a baby that month pending my test results. The day I got home from the hospital, the book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" and my basal thermometer showed up. I bawled my eyes out. I was so sick I couldn't take care of myself, I couldn't have a baby, and I was convinced I was going to die. All of the medication I was taking gave me horrible side effects and didn't help. The world seemed totally against me.

The Tilt Table test had overwhelmed my nervous system so much that I was not able to go anywhere but doctor's appointments for the next 4 months. That meant no full-time work, no volunteering, no nights out with my friends. You'd think that my home-boundness could be useful because I could read, learn to play piano, knit, or do something useful. When you're sick, you're too tired to concentrate. I'd lay there with the TV on and not be able to pay attention to anything, and go in and out of sleep. It was a miserable way to live, and being a normally active person, I didn't want to put up with it anymore. So I didn't.

Part III coming soon!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wedding Reception Dinner Playlist

My co-worker is getting married this weekend, and I've been giving him (probably unwanted) advice on songs to play during the wedding. I dug up my old wedding playlist and thought I'd share some of the songs we played during dinner. I have a lot of these on my "Dinner Party Playlist". They're mellow and perfect for a romantic dinner in. Hope you enjoy!

Nature Boy – Miles Davis
Almost Like Being In Love – Natalie Cole
A Kiss To Build A Dream On – Louis Armstrong
First Day of My Life – Bright Eyes
If She Wants Me – Belle and Sebastian
New Slang – The Shins
If I Fell – The Beatles (Across the Universe version)
Until The Morning Comes – Thievery Corporation
Glory Box - Portishead
Sea of Love – Cat Power (in the movie Juno)
Satellite – DMB
One Day – Melody Gardot
Slow Like Honey – Fiona Apple
L-O-V-E – Nat King Cole
Come Fly With Me – Frank Sinatra
Besame Mucho – Cesaria Evora (from Great Expectations)
Two of Us – The Beatles
Between The Bars – Madeleine Peyroux (My favorite Elliott Smith cover of all time)
Dance Me To The End of Love – Madeleine Peyroux
When You’re Next To Me – Mitch & Mickey (from A Mighty Wind)

Oh, and I promise I'll get back into my story later today, I've just been on the go!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10 Pills Left...

10 more days of birth control pills. Just 10 more days. I've been MIA because I have absolutely nothing to report, but I'm so happy that in about 2 weeks I'll start treatments again to prep for IVF in August, and pray I get a September birthday present!

 I'm trying to stay really busy during this time, which isn't hard because Mr. Bee is taking the Bar exam next week, then we're going on a short trip to San Francisco, and then back to the doctor! Hope everyone else is doing well!

POTS Syndrome and Faith, Part I

I've decided to change things up a little bit and get personal. I don't think I've ever written the whole story of how I was diagnosed with POTS Syndrome, so I'll share it over the next few days and also share a little bit about my faith. I know that there are a lot of amazing bloggers out there who post about their health issues, and I really do think it helps to raise awareness. So no clothes posts for the next few days, just the cold, hard truth about me. BTW, I totally understand if you want to sit these out. We can still be friends.

I used to be well. Sure, I'd get taken down by the occasional sickness, but I was well. I used to play club soccer, went running daily, was president of my sorority's alumni chapter, in Junior League, and a marketing advisor for my college sorority.

In September of 2009 I got really sick. It started out with a virus that never got better. My doctor put me on antibiotics. And then more antibiotics. And more, different antibiotics. This same doctor didn't order correct tests for me and failed to look at my medical history, and was later investigated for negligence. But that's a different story. So on one of these antibiotic trips, I decided I'd get a flu shot too. That night, I had a bad reaction. Fever, chills and arm pain. I knew that people got reactions to the flu vaccine, so I went to work the next day. While I was at work, I knew that I was really sick and dehydrated. I called into my doctor's office and they immediately set me up with an IV to get some fluids in. My husband was called to come get me. I felt a bit better, but the next day I ended up in the hospital to get more IV fluids. This would become routine for me. I'd had to get IV fluids during college a few times, but had always attributed it to partying, stressing out and not taking care of myself.

My health started to decline more. I was tired all the time, my heart was racing and I'd be on the verge of blacking out. I couldn't stand without being extremely out of breath. I'd overheat while doing something easy like talking on the phone, and I'd go through bottles and bottles of Pedialyte and Gatorade a day. I couldn't keep any fluids in.

I went to a number of doctors who couldn't figure it out. I was tested for hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and all sorts of other things. I knew that something was wrong with my heart, but I'd had EKGs and they weren't able to find anything except a rapid heart rate.

I went through life half alive. I couldn't make through a whole day of work, I was too tired to read or watch TV, and was gasping walking up the flight of stairs to my apartment. I'd been to about 5 doctors at that point, and no one had a clue, except that I was getting worse.

My husband, who was in law school at the time, was taking a class with a girl he knew had a disability. He didn't know what was wrong with her, but he noticed that we had a similar body shape and that she walked like I did, kind of unsteadily and off-balanced. One day he decided to go up to her and ask what her illness was, all on the chance that it might help me. While he was talking to her, he found out that she had the same symptoms that I did. She wrote down all of her symptoms for him, questions to take to my doctor, things that made her feel better, and the name of an amazing cardiologist. She had been diagnosed a year prior with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS Syndrome). Mr. Bee immediately texted me and let me know about his friend. I didn't want to get my hopes up, but she sounded exactly like me. The symptoms all fit to a tee.

I had another doctor's appointment the next day with a specialist. I'd asked him about POTS Syndrome, but he had never heard of it. He listened to my heart and did another EKG, but didn't find anything conclusive. He was pretty sure I had an issue, but wanted me to go to a cardiologist.

That night, I switched my primary care doctor (I had an HMO) so I'd be able to see the cardiologist Mr. Bee's friend had recommended. I was able to get in with the primary doctor a few days later, and he gave me the recommendation to see the cardiologist.

Continued later...

Friday, July 15, 2011

Professional Good News

Our celebratory lunch shot
Out with the good looks like Mr. Bee and I are going to be permanent Nevada residents!

The other day he got a call from a job that he really, really wanted who offered him a permanent position! I had a feeling that he'd be getting a job offer that day, so when he invited me to lunch I asked if we had something to celebrate. He replied no, but apparently he got the call about 5 minutes after we got off the phone, so we did end up having a celebratory lunch!

The other good news is that I got a promotion at my work! I know, you were all thinking I'd be posting about Baby Bees sometime soon, but we're all just going to have to keep waiting for that announcement.

In the meantime, we're excited to go see the last Harry Potter movie tomorrow, and then Mr. Bee will go back into hiding while he studies for the Nevada Bar Exam he's taking in about a week. Looks like I'll be a Bar widow for a little while. Hope everyone else had a fantastic week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Buzz About: Pantyhose

via People Magazine
While browsing through the news today (ahem...People Magazine) I read an article about Kate Middleton bringing sheer pantyhose back in style. I was aware that royals almost always wear pantyhose to functions, but I couldn't imagine actually doing it myself.

After reading most of the comments, it seemed like there are many people who wear pantyhose daily, either for work or just around. Not just tights, but sheer pantyhose. Now I love me some tights in the winter, when it's cold. And not 100 degrees out. And not to work. But maybe I'm in the minority.

How do you feel about pantyhose?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Weekend Wrap-Up and Green Smoothies

Weekend wrap-up in photos:

Ok. I can explain.

1. My dog ran into the glass table outside on our patio and it broke into a million pieces (no furry people or non furry people were harmed). My husband decided the best way to get the small pieces of glass was to vacuum the patio. Then he thought it was so silly he took pictures.

2. We went to see Stone Temple Pilots on Friday night. It was A-Mazing. I think we sang almost every single song and had a blast dancing around with my work friends.

3. My dear friend Jami's wedding. She loves her chihuahua so much that he was in the wedding. I just had to sneak a picture.

4. My friend caught the bouquet! Now I just have to find the perfect guy for her.

This is my precious dog, Eleanor. Eleanor has severe anxiety. She's scared of her own shadow. We've been to behavioralists, used medication, read books, everything. So we're getting her a Thundershirt and praying it helps her with her fear issues. I'll let you know how that goes!

This is not pesto

It looks gross, but this is my green smoothie. My first. This is Kale, Apple, Apple Juice and Bananas. And it's honestly not bad. A lot of people make them with spinach, other berries, and even peanut butter. I'm going to be trying these out and trying to get all my nutrients in more during the day. We'll see how inventive I get.

I'm also going to start cooking new recipes at least 3 days a week. Get excited for my kitchen disasters or amazing feats of eats! This week I'm planning: Asian Turkey Meatballs, Coconut Chicken Tenders, and Falafels. Tonight we had Pad Thai, which is an old favorite. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's a Google+ Weekend!

First things first: Who wants to jump on the Google+ bandwagon? Is it amazing? I have no clue. Is it the next Facebook? Probably not. But if you want to be one of the early adopters, leave me a comment with your email address and I'll send you an invite!

This weekend should be fun. Tonight I'm going to see Stone Temple Pilots in concert. This is kind of embarrassing as someone who used to work in the music industry, but I have no idea what to wear. It's too hot for jeans, and the concert is at my work, so it still needs to be kind of nice-ish.

That's my proof that I did in fact used to be fun and go to a ton of concerts.

Tomorrow is my co-worker's wedding, which I'm really excited about! Looks like I'm going to have to shop my closet for something to wear to that too. It's around 95 here daily, so I'd love to wear something lightweight so I don't get too hot. Do you guys have any fun plans for the weekend?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I Accept the Blog Challenge

I'm participating in Jenna's Journey's Blog Comment Challenge and working on getting back in gear and commenting more. Sometimes it's hard because most of the blogs I read are in Google Reader, and then you have to click the blog, click to comment, figure out what the Captcha means, etc. But no excuses, I am on this train.

So hi to any of my new readers! Here's a few random things about me if you haven't been here before:

1. I live in Nevada with my husband (Mr. Bee), two dogs, and two cats
2. I had a pony named Razzmatazz when I was little
3. I am legitimately allergic to exercise 
4. I love shoes, books, and cardigans. 
5. I wish I could live inside of Anthropologie
6. I could live off of a diet of Chipotle 
7. I enjoy volunteering and am working to get my dog Tucker certified as a therapy dog

Nice to meet all of you!

Extreme Couponing

Christina, one of my BFFs and sorority sisters (the hottie in the colorful dress), started an amazing coupon website recently, and I am obsessed. I always look forward to her coupon emails and little notes that come in the mail with deals from everything to buying coconut water to special doggie food for Eleanor.

If you love deals, be sure to check out her blog! My personal fav of the month - free lettuce wraps from P.F. Changs. Love that place, and love the word free!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Weekend Recap and Apple Pies

Our 4th of July weekend started out making wishes on giant dandelions in our backyard.

We had lots of random adventures - watching a fencing tournament, outlet shopping with Mark Twain and some dinosaurs, and then hanging out at Walmart looking at the displays of tanks made out of beer cases and kegs.

And then there were some amazing hotdogs at Freeman's...

The weekend ended in me making my very first apple pie, which turned out amazingly. Here's a rundown with the recipe at the bottom.

                                                      Apple Pie recipe by Grandma Ople 

I went to hang out with some of my girlfriends last night and then we rushed down the hill with the dogs to see the fireworks. I love fireworks. 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays. Mr. Bee and I first started dating on 4th of July, 7 years ago. So it was our 7 year o'versary. Still love this guy more than anything.

Are you there God? It's me, Future Mom of Bee

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but every time I get my period I feel like the main character, Margaret, from the book, "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret." Of course, my version would be slightly different.

Are you there God? It's me, Future Mom of Bee. Boy am I glad to see Aunt Flo again. All of my other friends get to see her each month, but I only get to a few times a year. Thanks a lot, PCOS. Not that I'm complaining - This means I'm one step closer to having a baby in my arms. 

I finally got ahold of my nurse today, who told me I can start taking birth control pills again starting tomorrow. After a month of pills I'll go into my doctor for a baseline ultrasound. Then I'll do 2-3 weeks of Estradiol Valerate injections (twice a week). Then I'll go in around August 25th to do my frozen embryo transfer (FET). Just a month and a half. A month and a half to eat well, exercise and stay calm.

I have to say, even though I know that what is in the freezer is an embryo, I miss it. Them. All 20 of them. I fight the urge to ask the nurses how the freezer babies look. To think that these embryos have the potential to be our kids, and that they could just be 9 short months away from being babies, makes me emotional. It's probably all the extra hormones making me totally nuts.

I don't know how many updates I'll have in the meantime, but I'm really hoping that after August 25th this finally gets to turn into a pregnancy blog.  We'll see!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Hibernation Mode

If you've been a loyal Bees and Bows reader for a while (thank you!!), you might notice that there is a pattern to my blog. I blog all the time during fall and winter. Then the blog falls by the wayside for awhile. It's not a lack of love, I promise.

Summer is no bueno for me. I have severe heat intolerance related to my POTS Syndrome. Living in Nevada this summer is going to be a struggle. It's hard to look at the 10-day weather report and not see one day ahead under 96 degrees. Not going to lie, I've been pretty down the last few days hearing all of my work friends talk about days at the lake and 4th of July pool parties and knowing I'd be extremely sick if I went.

But to focus on the positive, I'm trying to figure out some fun, indoors-y things to do. Here's what I've come up with so far:

  • Take a cake decorating class at Michael's
  • Read books. Lots of books.
  • Take online web design classes from
  • Play my banjo more often
  • Online shopping (or window shopping...)
  • Write letters. Send them to everyone I've ever met
  • Learn new recipes. Figure out how to use the oven
  • Crank the A/C and ride my stationary bike
I tried knitting last summer. I am horrible. Simply horrible. If you have any other fun, indoor activities for me I'd love to hear them!