4.23.2014

living with crohn's disease - 1 year later.

It's hard to believe that it has already been a year since I found out I have Crohn’s (a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. I was diagnosed with moderate to severe Crohn's in my small and large intestines and stomach). The past 12 months have been an interesting experience and I thought I would finally update you on my health.
I feel 110% better than I did last January when I had to go to the Emergency Room for dehydration. I am so grateful that I am able to manage my condition and I know that is because I finally went to a GI doctor (after years of stomach issues), did the necessary testing, and started taking medication.

I have been taking Humera for almost a year now – h gives me a shot in the stomach every other week and it has dramatically reduced the number of flare-ups or stomach “issues” I have. During the first few months of treatment I kept a food journal to monitor what foods upset my stomach. The results were anything overly greasy, deep-fried, fatty meat like sausage, anything super spicy, milk, and lettuce (weird I know). I try very hard to cut those items  out of my diet and I try to avoid overeating in general. I learned the hard way (in Santorini of all places) that I cannot eat large amount of fried feta or have cheese at every meal (bummer). So, I am adjusting. I also rarely drink – I have the occasional glass of wine or prosecco but I don’t overdo it because it freaks my stomach out and it’s just not worth it. I have to also be really careful not to overeat at holidays –which are often full of tasty (and heavy) dishes. 

Last year I went through a lot of physical changes – I lost a lot of weight when I was sick. When the medicine started working and I wasn't losing everything I ate, I gained some weight because it was still constantly snacking on “safe” food like dry cereal, even when I wasn't hungry. I had to learn to listen to my body and only eat when I was hungry instead of snacking out of fear that I was going to get sick (severe diarrhea and cramping) and lose more weight.

I eventually figured out what the "right" amount of food was for me and I have a steady diet of small meals throughout the day– breakfast (usually oatmeal), a banana before lunch, a sandwich, yogurt, more fruit in the afternoon and dinner (followed by something sweet). This works for me but everyone is different. 

Now that I figured out what food to eat and vitamins – (I take a multi-vitamin, iron and calcium pill every day), I have a LOT more energy and I can make it through the day without collapsing on the couch after work. I have increased my weekly workouts and I do 30 minute classes five times a week (a mix of pilates, weight lifting, barre, self-myofascial core workouts and yoga). I LOVE feeling strong again and I am gradually turning that extra weight I gained into muscle. I typically workout in the middle of the day and it's a great stress reliever (which is perfect since stress is another trigger for my Crohn's symptoms). 

Although I have been feeling great, I do fear that my medicine will stop working. I fear I will eat the wrong thing at the wrong place and get sick. And since Crohn’s is a chronic disease I fear that I will have another flare-up causing my intestines to inflame again and I will end up in the hospital – with surgery as my only option of recovery. All of that fear aside, I realize I am lucky that I have responded so well to my medication and I am extremely grateful for the support of my family and friends – and especially my husband who gives me humera shots, takes me to the doctor and lovingly reminds me that “No fried green tomatoes does NOT sound like it will be a good idea for you to eat.” :)

I realize this is a “longish” post but I really want to raise awareness about the disease and to offer support to anyone who has to live with Crohn’s. 

So please, if you aren't feeling well - see a doctor and take care of yourself!
xo, 
jillian
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4.22.2014

spring stripes.

I'm not sick of stripes yet -- are you? good. Here are some cute stripe picks (all under $85) that can be worn now (think layers) and transition into Summer :

vintage cotton scoopneck tee $35 (25% off with code GOSHOP)  - pleated striped shorts $28 - soludos natural black lowcut espadrilles $45 - stripe market tote $55 (25% off with code GOSHOP)  - splendid stripe  navy tee $64 (20% off with code FLING) - maritime stripe tunic $80 (25% off with code GOSHOP) - factory stripe button-back sundress $34.50

Do you still like stripes or are you over the trend?
xo,
jillian
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4.21.2014

weekend good things.

HAPPY MONDAY! What a great weekend - it was beautiful in Chicago and I got to spend lots of time outdoors (no boots or heavy coats required!)
see more mini moments on instagram @cornflakedreams
On Friday night h surprised me with a trip to the outlet mall. I was determined to find some summery dresses and tops but I left with a pair of flip flops. He found polos, pants AND swim trunks! That's usually how it goes for us, it's rare that we both have a successful shopping trip. Ah well, better for the budget I suppose.
On Saturday we walked around our neighborhood -- I was ecstatic it was finally feeling like Spring and I could wear my favorite ballet flats. Since the sun was shining, I convinced H to take a few photos for my sidebar :) Later that day, H met up with a friend to watch a game and I had our place to myself. I indulged in a few of my favorite activities: Jillian Michael's yoga meltdown, a good book, a few magazines and a bright pink pedicureI made steak fajitas for dinner and we watched Twelve Years a Slave. It was such a moving story and really beautifully shot. And yes --- I cried and cringed quite at few scenes. 
On Sunday we went out to the burbs for Easter at my Aunt's house. It was really wonderful to see my family, play with my cousins and talk with my older brother and my future sister-in-law about their July wedding in the Bahamas. 

How was your weekend?
xo, 
jillian
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4.18.2014

five on friday.

Happy Friday! I thought I would try something new today and link up with Christina, April, Natasha and Darci for Five on Friday. 

ONE: I am currently reading The Last Love Letter from Your Lover by JoJo Moyes and loving it...no surprise there. 

TWO: I am really excited for season 2 of Orange is the New Black! They just released a trailer and it looks really good. (photo above via)

THREE: I recently bought a one-piece swimsuit from jcrew and I LOVE it. The wrap-front silhouette and grid navy and white polka dot print is perfect. It also comes in solid colors - I am tempted to buy another one in vibrant flame... and a summer straw hat (on sale 30% off with the code BIGSALE)

FOUR: I still love Fashion by Mayhem (you know that mom and daughter duo who make clothes out of construction paper) -- follow on instagram @2sisters_angie to see new creations.


FIVE: It's Easter weekend! That means I get to see my family on Sunday and have my last cadbury cream egg of the season ;) 

Have a great weekend! 
xo, 
jillian
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4.17.2014

a bed fit for a king (and queen).



H and I have decided that we want to upgrade to king size bed (mostly because I sprawl out during the night, leaving him close to the edge -- sorry, babe!). I am excited to buy a new mattress (we're thinking memory foam) but have no idea what brand to buy -- any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. A larger mattress means we'll also have to buy a new headboard or bed-frame, comforter, duvet cover and sheets! It's a lot to consider all at once, so I thought I would start with the duvet cover. I want to keep the room simple and avoid loud bright patterns. I found seven duvet covers that I think will create a relaxing and peaceful space: 
 grand embroidered black stripe cover / JR by john robshaw cosmos gray duvet / Dwell Studio modern border admiral duvet cover  (also in smoke gray) / hudson park Italian percale double-stripe duvet / sferra connery circles duvet / natalie embroidered quilt  

Which one is your favorite?
Do you have a mattress brand you recommend? xo, 
jillian
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4.16.2014

loving eyelet details: splurge and save.



I donated my winter coat the other day and packed away all of my wool sweaters (maybe a little too soon since it's cold again in Chicago). I am ready for  Spring and Summer weather AND clothes -- bring on dresses, skirts and shorts in light fabric. Lately I love everything eyelet -- a classic fabric for Spring -- here are a few of my favorite splurge and save options: 
SPLURGE: banana republic shift dress $130 - shauna eyelet skirt $165 - shoshanna wilson lake cover up $198 (take 25% off with the code INTHEFAMILY14 at checkout)vignette top $65 - eyelet hideaway top $90 (20% off with code MOODLIFT) - liv eyelet racer back dress $152

SAVE: eyelet shift dress $25 (I have this in navy and I can't wait to wear it to my sister-in-law's wedding shower!) - strapless dress $25 - spaghetti strap dress $25 - also available in plus-size $42 and maternity $35 - (15% off with code ONSAVENOW).  

Do you like the eyelet trend?
xo,
jillian
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4.15.2014

april houzz board: poufs.

This month my houzz ideabook is dedicated to the pouf! Love them or hate them you can't deny that they are a functional piece of furniture and they don't take up a lot of space in a room. I want a pouf for our living room so I can put up my feet at night :) here are a few of my favorites: 

 white faux leather pouf / varigated aqua pouf / navy bubble knit pouf / threshold striped navy pouf / yellow braided pouf / cobalt blue knitted poufgray knitted graphic pouf / bazaar pouf - See my full April ideabook here or browse through all of my Houzz ideabooks.

Do you like poufs?
Which one is your favorite?
xo, 
jillian
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