Meet Tracey...

Jun 27, 2013

Tracey is a 29 year old dental assistant who has turned being fabulous and fashionable on a budget into an art. This girly-girl knows how to keep her bank account in check by using products that can be found in any drug store. Although she looks and dresses like a pop culture princess she doesn’t spend like one. Tracey turns to magazines to get educated and learn what is worth the value.


 
"I'm a big ELF cosmetic fan. It's super cheap!” Tracey says. She mixes her ELF liquid liner pen with NYX MATT foundation. NYX foundation offers full coverage at a reasonable price. It can found at ULTA stores for around $9. Tracey also loves NYX eye shadows and Wet ‘n Wild liquid eye liner. To get a natural looking glow Tracey has just recently started using Victoria’s Secret self-tanner. This product is available at Victoria’s Secret stores for $15. Tracey promises it’s worth the money!

Like many, Tracey is very cautious about what she puts on her skin. “I’m pretty picky with what goes on my face because I'm prone to break outs,” she explains.  She currently uses Cetaphil face cleanser, bar soap, and moisturizer. Tracey says, “It's perfect for my skin type and it's not too harsh.”

To maintain her brunette coif Tracey uses an array of different products. She currently uses John Frieda’s Brunette’s Shampoo.  “I just recently went to brunette and that helps me keep my color vibrant,” she says. Tracey uses her Hot Tools curling iron to style her hair.  This product can create both tight and wavy curls. Herbal Essence spray gel along with a spritz of Grainier Frutis hairspray helps Tracey keep those curls all day long.

As far as her clothes, Tracey can often be found in her scrubs or work clothes. For when she’s off duty she goes to jean shorts, t-shirt, and other comfy items. When going out she loves to fun dresses. “Forever 21 is my go to store,” she says and boasts about their jewelry selection as well. Tracey also has different suit jackets that she can use to dress up a casual outfit. Tracey says, “I try to be unique with my outfits. I'm not about spending a lot of money on things, and you can do that without breaking your wallet.” You will also see Tracey trying out the latest styles including a high wasted jeans and shorts and big sunglasses.

To keep in shape this twin (yes, Tracey has a twin sister!) runs outside, does some toning exercises, and dances. This life–long dancer is not a huge fan of the gym saying, “I always stayed in shape by taking dance classes!” To wind down from her work outs and time at work Tracey will often grab drinks with friends or spend time with her large, loud Italian family. “I’m happy and content,” Tracey says of her life, “but there is still more I want to do! I know I just have to keep pushing for what I want.”

 If you would like your selfie published on A Cute Angle please e-mail BloggerAsh703@gmail.com.

The products that Tracey has mentioned can be found at your local grocery store, drug store, or at Target.

ELYSE

Jun 22, 2013

For the past five and a half months 20 year old Elyse has been undergoing chemotherapy for Hodgkin's Lymphoma. She was diagnosed in December 2012, but had unknowingly had it for almost two years.
 
A very unusual symptom started to appear at the age of 17. “I would get so itchy that without even knowing it I would end up scratching my skin open leaving small marks everywhere,” says Elyse. “I now have quite a few scars on my arms, legs, stomach, chest, and back - literally every inch of my body you could imagine.”
Lymphoma can cause a variety of symptoms - night sweats, weight loss or gain, excessive tiredness, fevers, and itching. The itching is caused when the immune system unnecessarily releases histamines. The histamines can be activated by a variety of things - hot or cold water, an uncomfortable fabric, heat, general anxiety, a regular itch, or dry skin. Elyse had visited a variety of doctors in regards to her itching for nearly two years leading up to the actual diagnosis. It was written off as anxiety, atopic dermatitis, or blamed on hard water from her shower at home.

Elyse also found a painless lump on the right side of her neck. It would change in size over the course of time. “At one point I thought it was gone, but a few months later it was bigger than it had ever been,” she says.
 
Not only was Elyse dealing with the stress of her symptoms, but also with the stresses of being a college freshman at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. Elyse said,
"I didn't feel normal and it impeded me being able to function normally away at college and really put me behind in my classes. Most days, it was easier to lay in bed than deal with the stress or anxiety of getting up and getting dressed."
 
Elyse finally visited the physician located in her dorm building. The doctor gave her a referral to a radiologist to have an ultrasound done on the lump on her neck. She admits not following up as soon as she should have so once back in her home state of Pennsylvania she was persuaded by her mom to get it looked at. Elyse and her mom then took the ultrasound to an endocrinologist, which yielded no results. Without any answers to their questions, Elyse then went to see her family doctor, Dr. Bendit, who urged that she have a CT scan immediately. This time Elyse acted and had the scan within a few days. She was on a date with her then-boyfriend when she got the results. The doctor explained her symptoms could be something serious -  like Lymphoma and that she needed to schedule an appointment with the hematology/oncology center at the St Luke's Cancer center. "That freaked me out. I had no words," explained Elyse.
 

Elyse having chemotherapy drugs
administered to her through her port.
Within the next day or two, Elyse had an appointment scheduled with Dr. Proothi, an oncologist. He examined the lump on her neck and raised an eyebrow when Elyse mentioned the itching. Elyse was then scheduled for a full body CT scan. Next was a required PET scan. A PET scan uses radioactive dyes to highlight cells that are rapidly dividing (rapidly dividing cells are a sign of cancer). The PET scan indicated that, indeed, there were spots that could be cancer in her neck and chest. The tests did not stop after the PET scan. Elyse then had to have an incisional biopsy to take a small piece of the lymph nodes in order for it to be tested for the presence of cancer. Due to the size and positioning of these inflamed nodes, Elyse had to be administered general anesthesia for the procedure (it is normally done under local anesthesia while the patient is in more a of twilight sleep rather than being fully put under).  Elyse was officially diagnosed with Stage 2 B-Cell Indolent Hodgkin's Lymphoma. "B-cell means that there are present symptoms and indolent means slow-growing," Elyse explains.

Elyse currently receives chemotherapy treatments every other week on Tuesdays and gets a Neulasta injection to bring up her white blood cell count and prevent infections. She also takes Claritin on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays to prevent achiness from the shot. "Lately, the days I feel the worst emotionally are the day or two before I go in for chemo," says Elyse. "I get grumpy and moody. I'm sensitive and a little depressed because I know that the next day I have to go somewhere and pretty much let them put poison in my body."
 
Shortly after starting chemo Elyse decided to shave her head and get a wig. She said, "I didn't want people to see me look sick." Elyse was provided with a free wig from an organization called Friends Are By Your Side (friendsarebyyourside.com). Friends Are By Your Side is an organization run out of a hair salon by celebrity hair stylist Martino  Cartier. The organization raises money to get wigs to women undergoing chemo treatments. "It provides them with a safe, supportive environment for hair removal to feel in control and feel beautiful," said Elyse. "They did just that for me. I have a beautiful wig, which I've named Patricia, and I'm learning to feel confident with and without it." ).
 
Not only was the wig a confidence booster for Elyse, but she has always looked to her family and friends for support. It is Elyse's best friend, Kayla, who has been her rock and motivator. A little more than halfway through chemo, Elyse was inspired by Kayla to start blogging, eating clean, and working out four to six times a week. She chronicles her journey with her blog, See Ya at Chemo  - seeyaatchemo.wordpress.com. On her blog she shares not only her journey, but also healthy recipes and her key workouts.  Due to chemo, Elyse can only workout every other week. "That doesn't stop me from getting a butt-kicking work out at the gym when I can," she says. She has already lost 15 pounds, and plans to lose 20 to 25 more. Elyse describes Kayla as a soft pillow to fall back on, but a firm reminder to get back up and push hard. "I couldn't have gone through this process if it weren't for my best friend Kayla. She was always there, and especially in recent months has been hugely supportive and motivating," Elyse says. "I'm on the road to living a much happier and healthier life now."
Elyse and Kayla working hard!

As for her future, Elyse has accepted that she may not finish college in four years. After leaving Marymount Manhattan College to move home for treatments she attended Penn State Lehigh Valley - a local Penn State campus. At Penn State Lehigh Valley, Elyse took general education requirements and applied for the BFA in lighting design program at Penn State's main campus in State College, PA. She was denied acceptance due to the fact that she would be behind the rest of the transfers her age. As a result, Elyse currently attends Northampton Community College where she is pursuing her Associates degree in theatre. She then plans to reapply for the program at Penn State and would eventually like to live in Manhattan again. The advice Elyse gives to others? - "Always stay positive, stay motivated, and know that you deserve nothing less than to give yourself the best - no matter what."
 
To learn more about Elyse and her story please visit www.seeyaatchemo.wordpress.com.
 
 If you would like your story featured on A Cute Angle please e-mail BloggerAsh703@gmail.com.
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Elyse at a climbing gym on her 20th birthday!



Elyse and her best friend Kayla


To learn more about Hodgkin's Lymphoma and other blood cancers or to make a donation towards research and education please visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's website - www.lls.org.












 

Meet Olivia...

Jun 19, 2013
Olivia is a fresh faced high school junior who is anything but the high school cliche. While most of her classmates are embracing the hipster style, Olivia is breaking the mold and finding inspiration though alternative music - listening to bands such as My Chemical Romance. Olivia is able to rock her punk style - consisting of spikes, skulls, and a darkish color pallet - by keeping her make up natural. The occasional eye liner and mascara set off her eyes. "Everyone needs to learn to accept themselves and love themselves and not worry so much about others or society," Olivia says of her not-so-traditional style choices. Such wise words!

This sixteen year old relies on ProActive and an exercise routine to keep her looking and feeling her best. One thing that may be surprising is that Olivia is a trained tap, jazz, and ballet dancer. She supplements her time at the dance studio with walks, additional work outs, and a healthy diet. She says, "If it tastes good you probably shouldn't eat it."

It is dance and music that keeps this girl motived. "Right now I'm overcoming a lot of battles and am going about life in a more positive way," says Olivia. We love to hear about positive attitudes here at A Cute Angle and send Olivia best wishes as she finishes high school, works to enter into the behavioral neurology field, as her style evolves, and as she becomes an adult!

If you would like your selfie published on A Cute Angle please e-mail BloggerAsh703@gmail.com.

Wearing the Pants

Jun 17, 2013
Photo by Nick Fleury


I chose these pants off the rack because they looked amazing and comfortable even on the hanger. They felt even more amazing when I put them on! These are my go to pants for almost everything - exercising, housework, lazy days, PJ bottoms, and - yes - I even wear them to the grocery store. They are perfect for traveling and I wore them in May on the flights to and from Europe. They kept me cool and comfortable the entire ten hour flight!

Only after experiencing their magic did I find out they are a certified organic product and made with certified organically grown bamboo and certified organic cotton.  According to the company's website, www.greenappleactive.com, benefits of bamboo include its anti-bacterial and deodorizing effects, its breathability, and natural thermal controlling properties. Bamboo fiber naturally blocks 98% of all harmful UVA rays (but don't forget your sunscreen! You will want to be protected from UVB rays, too).

Photo by Nick Fleury
Prices for bottoms from Green Apple run from $40 to $50 on the company website. I picked my pair up at my local TJ Maxx for $16.99! It was a steal! If you cannot find this product discounted, I promise it is worth every penny spent! They wash and wear like new every time. Visit greenappleactive.com to find retail locations and wholesale opportunities. These would be great to sell in yoga studios, dance studios, gyms, and fitness centers.

Green Apple's website also features a blog, newsletter, and how to get in touch with them via Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. A variety of products are available including tops, jackets, capri bottoms, and shorts.  Learn more about living green! www.greenappleactive.com.

If you would like your product reviewed on A Cute Angle please e-mail BloggerAsh703@gmail.com.

Photo by Nick Fleury


Blogger Ash has not been compensated in any way for the review of this product.
 
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