What a heavy week it has been — before I dive in, my heart this past week has especially been with Israel and my Jewish friends. Reading the stories of what everyday, normal families had to endure during Hamas’ terrorist attack last weekend is terrifying and heartbreaking. There is no defense for terrorism. I’m also thinking of Palestinian civilians caught in the crossfire, with no stable humanitarian corridor to escape. Take care of yourself and those around you this week – it’s more important than ever.
As I mentioned last month, I am usually more of a warm weather girlie, but I have really been enjoying fall this year. I especially am loving when the weather is in the high 60s/low 70s sans humidity — it’s truly the perfect weather. I have been loving working with my windows open during the week and rediscovering my favorite sweatshirts + comfy clothes. I know these temperatures are fleeting, so I am trying to soak it up as much as I can before the cold, dark days of winter are upon us. (I, for one, am so glad that my sisters and I already have a warm weather escape booked to Jamaica in February! Move over, seasonal depression.)
MY ANNUAL SKIN CHECK —
I am religious about getting my annual skin checks at the dermatologist done — I have pretty fair skin and have had my fair share of sunburns over the years, so I want to get ahead of any potential skin cancer. While I’ve had several moles removed before, it had been a while since my dermatologist flagged one of concern. At this year’s check, she pointed out a mole on my neck that was two different colors — so it had clearly changed since she last looked at it. I am in the camp where I always take off suspicious spots without thinking about it, so I told her to go ahead and remove it. She let me know they’d call with the biopsy results either way.
About a week later, I received a call from my dermatologist’s office that the biopsy came back with ‘severely atypical cells’ and they wanted me to go to a skin cancer dermatologist to do a more extensive biopsy for additional testing and to ensure the margins around the atypical cells were clear. Luckily, the office they referred me to was able to get me in the following week.
I was somewhat nervous heading to that appointment — while I’ve had previous mole removals before, I’d never have one come back with anything concerning. However, any nerves I had were immediately calmed when I met the doctor who would be doing the procedure. She had the best bedside manner and was such a calming presence. Before she started, she walked me through everything she was going to do and drew on my skin to show me where and how large the incision would be. She then numbed me up really well, and as she was doing the procedure, kept chatting to me and her medical assistant throughout, which helped keep me distracted. I didn’t feel any pain, but I did feel some pressure when she was stitching me up. The incision she made is a little over two inches long, and required five dissolvable stitches. She also put skin glue on top given the incision is right at the base of neck where there’s naturally lots of movement. She sent me home with a great care plan and instructions not to do intense exercise for two weeks, to ensure the stitches have a chance to fully dissolve and give the incision time to begin to close up on its own.
Luckily, everything on the second biopsy came back as not cancer and the margins are clear — so alls well that ends well. For the foreseeable future, I’ll need to go in for skin checks more often — every six months, instead of a year — but it’s something I am more than happy to do to stay on top of my health. Consider this your PSA to schedule your annual skin check if you haven’t yet!
WHEN ARE YOU DECORATING FOR CHRISTMAS THIS YEAR? —
I know, I know — it’s not even Halloween yet. But yes, I am already looking forward to Christmas. Historically, I’ve always waited until the weekend after Thanksgiving to decorate for Christmas — that’s what I grew up doing, and there’s nothing I love more than a good tradition, especially around the holidays.
This year, however, I’ve been thinking of decorating a little earlier than I historically have. My birthday is November 15, and after that milestone, it always starts to feel like the holidays to me. As such, I was thinking about breaking my own tradition and putting up my tree the weekend following my 33rd. Putting up Christmas decor is a lot of work, so it would also be nice to have a few extra weeks to enjoy having my halls decked. Plus, I like to spend the entirety of Thanksgiving weekend out in Fairfax at my parent’s house, so I usually don’t get time to decorate in earnest over the long holiday weekend.
I’ll definitely report back on what I decide — but in the interim, I’d love to know: when are you decorating for Christmas this year?
MY DAD RETIRED! —
My dad retired earlier this month — woohoo! (I’m only a little bit jealous…)
To celebrate this exciting milestone, my mom, my sisters, and I threw a party for him at our family’s favorite bar. We invited our local family, some neighbors, and a bunch of my dad’s high school + college friends. I love making koozies for family functions, so of course, I had to get some made. My dad is a huge golfer, so we leaned into a golf theme — and the koozies said ‘Let’s ParTee’ on them. I ordered both standard and tallboy sizes so whether people were drinking beers or white claws, they could keep their drinks cold.
We all had so much fun — and my sisters and I loved laughing about some of our favorite moments of the night the next morning. I especially loved meeting some of my dad’s high school friends and hearing stories about their wild times back in the 70s.
I’m so excited for my parents to enjoy this next chapter of life, and can’t wait to see what adventures it holds for them.
+ I dropped my phone earlier this week and didn’t stress one bit when I realized the screen was cracked because my actual screen was fine — my all-time favorite glass screen protector took the fall. I have been buying this brand for years, and — knock on wood — they haven’t failed me yet. Plus, they come with an amazing install device that makes putting on your new protector foolproof. It’s seriously the best!
+ If you’re looking for an amazing pair of black work pants, look no further than the Stevie Crop Kick Flare Pants. When I was in Old Navy recently for a return, I took a lap around the store, and these caught my eye. I grabbed a pair and knew the second I put them on in the dressing room that they would be on heavy rotation this fall. They’re so comfortable, wash + well so well, and look way more expensive than $30. If you’re a millennial like me trying to move away from all skinny-cut pants, the crop kick flare is a great first foray since the pant is still slim cut until the bottom. I have them in black in the petite length as I’m 5’4″, but I definitely want to add a few more pairs to my collection.
+ I have to sleep with white noise, and recently, my tower fan that I keep in my bedroom for that very purpose crapped out on me. (We had a good run!) As such, I was in the market for one again. I needed it to come stat because I couldn’t live without my ideal sleeping conditions for long, so I went to Amazon. After reading a bunch of reviews, I ended up purchasing this Dreo Tower Fan in white and I think it’s the best fan I’ve ever had. Historically, I always had a black tower fan, but I thought the white would fit a bit better with my bedroom decor — I’m loving the look. But beyond that, it functions incredibly well and seems to generate more cool air than other fans I’ve had. It is on the quieter side, but it still creates enough white noise. If you’re in the market for a tower fan, I can’t recommend this brand enough!