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Community Collab: What’s your bottle?

Posted by on Aug 19, 2016 in community collab, Creativity, featured, guest author, practicalities | 2 comments

This week we asked what water bottle do you swear by for our Question of the Week. Water bottles can be a super divisive topic and many people have specific brands they are crazy loyal to so it was awesome to see what you babes love! Here are some ideas for other babes to try out:   The Bobble This is my trusty bobble. Not only is it great for being able to filter water when you don’t have filtered water around, but it makes for the perfect infuser. I like to infuse strawberries, oranges, lemons, and limes and all the pulp stays in the bobble because of the filter! (Which is fantastic because I hate pulp.)   Liquid Solutions Travel Tea Tumbler   The Liquid Solutions Tea-Zer Tea Tumblr was suggested by Jennifer. You can infuse tea or fruit inside!   David’s Tea Glass Bottle Joanne sent us a picture of her David’s Tea glass bottle with a drink top and an inside filter. This one too can infuse fruit, herbs, or even loose tea!   Rubbermaid   Kyrie-Inn can’t have glass so the extensive Rubbermaid water bottle collection is perfect! They have every type of lid imaginable and are easy to clean out. She makes sure to drink two to three gallons of water a day to keep her blood volume up which is a good reminder to anyone reading to go drink some water!   S’well Pat is in love with the S’well bottle, which is one of the hottest water bottles on the market right now. (I see them everywhere and I’m so thankful that I now know the name of the maker!) S’well is great at keeping cold cold forever.   Teavana Stainless Steel Mug Denise is a visionary who saw how her stainless steel mug from Teavana kept tea hot for a super long time and decided to try it out with cold drinks as well. Luckily she found that it works just as well for cold water! She says even in the car it stays cool and fresh for hours.     Well babes, what do you think? Do you have a water bottle you love that wasn’t mentioned? Let us know in the comments below!     This post was written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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5 Reasons Why Leaving My Job and Working From Home Was The Best Decision I Ever Made

Posted by on Aug 15, 2016 in acceptance, career, coping, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, pain, practicalities, resilience, self care, Work | 1 comment

This post was guest-written by Jennifer Kain Kilgore. Find her at her blog, Wear, Tear, & Care here. Hi! My name is Jen, and I’m a 29-year-old attorney, editor, writer, and patient advocate. I have spinal fractures from two car accidents that required two cervical fusions. The jury’s out on whether I’ll need more surgery. I worked in an office for three and a half years after law school. At that point I was dealing with the fallout from my first car accident, which happened in 2004 and decimated my thoracic spine. Law school happened, and then my job, and then… another accident. That second accident became a barrier to a normal life. Eventually I decided to leave my job and work from home. Here are the reasons why it was the best decision I ever made. My health comes first now. I was living the dream: I had a legal job that started at 8 am, ended around 6 pm, had great coworkers, and allowed for a life. My bosses were cool. During my second year, however, I had another car accident. The moment the pain set in, I knew I’d eventually have to leave the traditional workforce. In the year before I left I suffered from increasing pain (which caused repeated vomiting and a hernia), insomnia, loss of control of my hands, limping, muscle spasms, and loss of my ability to focus. In the end, it wasn’t worth it. Now, I telecommute from a recliner. I schedule my day around doctors’ appointments. I work a schedule that flows with when I’m feeling best. Before, there wasn’t time in the day to work on my health, so it controlled me. I am much happier.  The “What should I do?” questions wore down my family –  especially my husband. I steered every conversation in that direction because I wanted someone to say, “No, you can’t work.” I wanted someone to make that impossibly hard decision for me. My husband begged me to think about my health while I thought about finances. How could I leave without a backup plan? What if I made the wrong decision? So I did what is generally inadvisable. I started a side-hustle, working on sites like and to create a cushion for when I made the jump. I don’t know how I did that, because the level of pain at that point was inhuman. I think it’s because I knew that leaving was inevitable. Now, having the weight of that decision off my chest feels unbelievable. I can breathe. I can think. And with that, I can work. I’m not paralyzed. My body doesn’t rebel. The longer I stayed in the office, the more my body fought....

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QOTW: What’s in your drink?

Posted by on Aug 12, 2016 in community collab, Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, self care | 3 comments

This week we asked for your favorite cocktail and mocktail recipes and you gave us some amazing ideas to try! Here are some great summer cocktail and mocktails.   Homemade Lemonade Thanks Upala for this crazy awesome recipe! You need:  The juice of 1 large orange The juice of 2 lemons The juice of 3 limes Spring or filtered water Approx. 3/4 cup of cane sugar (or white sugar, honey, agave if you prefer) To make: Boil a little water first in the teapot and let it cool a bit Mix in the fruit juices Dissolve in sugar and add more sugar until you achieve desired sweetness Add garnishes: orange, lemon, lime slices, fresh mint leaves, muddled mint, etc. Chill or add ice If you’re in the mood Add tequila and a splash of orange liqueur OR some light rum Make it bubbly with some seltzer water   Lemon Drop Cocktail Thanks Tonya for this super easy recipe! For 2 drinks, mix: 3 Meyer lemons 4-5 oz. vodka simple syrup   Fake Outs Thanks Tracy for these great ideas! If you want a mocktail that looks like a cocktail here are some ideas: For a “fake” cranberry + vodka: cranberry juice and diet Gingerale! For a “fake” gin + tonic: seltzer with a lime! (I’ve heard from my cousin that this one works well.)   Espresso Martini Thanks Gemma for this pick-me-up cocktail! Mix (vigorously): 50 ml vodka 35 ml coffee liqueur 1 shot of espresso Ice   Summer Delight Thank you Genevieve for this delightfully simple recipe. Mix: Raspberry lemonade Peach vodka Yum!   Fancy Water Peggysue gives a lot of great infusion ideas for water. Mix any fruit (except bananas) in water or sparkling water. You can add spices based off your taste. Carry around in a mason jar! Cantaloupe and mush melon are great for hotter weather. I’ve been really into infusing my water lately and my favorites are strawberry with fizzy water; lemon, lime, and orange in still water; and grapefruit and rosemary in still water!   What’s in your drink, babes? Any other great mocktail or cocktail ideas for the summer? Have you tried any of these drinks yourself? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below!   Post written by Alix Kramer, ChronicBabe intern and proud...

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Fashion Inspiration

Posted by on Aug 11, 2016 in Creativity, featured, guest author, inspiration, self care | 0 comments

So you’ve watched yesterday’s How To Rock Your Look #AWAPwednesday video and you’re feeling inspired to get inspired! Step one of vamping up your look is drawing inspiration from fashion bloggers, people whose literal jobs are to look fabulous. Follow the advice of the AWAP video closely and don’t start to feel stuck, though. Remember: you do not need to spend lots of money and change your physical appearance to look like these fashion inspirations. They are just here to help you get an idea of what looks you’d like to emulate!   First thing’s first If you don’t know what Bloglovin’ is, don’t worry, most people don’t. But basically Bloglovin’ is like twitter for blogs. You follow a bunch of fashion bloggers that you love and every time they post it pops up on your Bloglovin’ feed. It’s a great way to make sure you don’t miss anything new.   (A really fun sidenote: Bloglovin’ isn’t just for fashion blogs, even though that’s one of its primary uses. You can also follow Jenni there by typing in ChronicBabe in the search bar!)   As soon as you start your Bloglovin’ account I would recommend following Lookbook is essentially a dumping ground for amazing looks. Fashion bloggers and fashionable people from all over the world will upload their latest look to the site, just like the photo below from Lookbook. If you follow it on Bloglovin’ select looks posted to the site will come right to your feed. It’s a great way to not only see a quick look for inspiration but to find fashion bloggers you love that you can then follow.   Some of my faves Here are some of my favorite fashion bloggers. You might love them all, you might hate them all – it’s up to you to decide what aesthetic you want on your Bloglovin’ page and follow bloggers who fall into that look!   Happily Grey A clean, bohemian-chic blogger. Can’t get over this dress, tbh. And I’m always on the look out for statement dresses – flowy and loose is the way all clothing should be!     Hanna Stefansson Simple, Netherlands chic.     Neon Blush One of the first blogs I ever followed. Fashionable daily wear and a swimsuit focus. This whole look is fire.    Man Repeller Man Repeller is on a whole ‘nother level. Her website is more than a blog – Leandra Medine has created a fashion empire that’s all about not giving any f***s what people think. Follow for her fashion advice but also for her bad-assery. She is a must follow for her great sense of humor and very practical tips (Big Boob Styling 101, for example). She’s just...

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How to rock your look despite chronic illness #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Aug 10, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, Creativity, featured, inspiration, practicalities, self care | 24 comments

One question y’all send me over and over is: How do I look less frumpy? I get it. Many of us kind of live in PJs and sweat pants. But after a while, that’s a real drag – kind of boring and frumpy and bland. Who wants that kind of lifestyle? You can do better, babe. With a few simple steps, you can begin to rock your look – YOUR look! – and you’ll feel more put-together, more human, and more ready to conquer the world despite illness.     *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: What are YOUR strategies for creating a unique look? How do you save on awesome accessories? Do you think it’s important to rock a look even if you’re a sicko? Share your experience in the comments below. Want more #AWAPwednesday? Check out our #AWAPwednesday video playlist, which has more than 100 videos packed with practical advice, lots of humor, and bloopers. Lots of bloopers. Is there a question I can answer for YOU? Add it to the comments below, or shoot me an email. Until we meet again: Be AWAP! Smooches! (Loose) Transcript: Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of and today is AWAP Wednesday (that stands for As Well As Possible). Each week, I offer you my personal favorite tips and techniques to help you craft an incredible life beyond illness. Yes! I know you can. Subscribe to the ChronicBabe YouTube channel today to make sure you never miss another video, OK? One question y’all send me over and over is: How do I look less frumpy? I get it. Many of us kind of live in PJs and sweat pants. But after a while, that’s a real drag – kind of boring and frumpy and bland. Who wants that kind of lifestyle? You can do better, babe. With a few simple steps, you can begin to rock your look – YOUR look! – and you’ll feel more put-together, more human, and more ready to conquer the world despite illness. Pin it You’re using Pinterest, right? Time to create a board where you gather inspiration for your look. Don’t get intimidated by how put-together people are, or how much things cost; at this point, you’re just compiling a visual map for your look. Get comfy Once you’ve honed in a little bit on your look, consider more comfortable alternatives to some of the things you like. For example, I love a stylish black pant, but some days, I don’t want to wear anything tight – it flares me up. So I found some beautifully comfy black workout pants, grabbed a size up so they’re really flowy and drapey, and those are my go-to...

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I Am Sew Supportive

Posted by on Aug 1, 2016 in acceptance, community collab, coping, Creativity, featured, inspiration, practicalities, resilience | 3 comments

Post written by ChronicBabe Tracy Mooney   About a year and a half ago, I was talking to one of my sewing buddies on the phone. We both have autoimmune disorders and we were discussing the ways in which we set up our sewing rooms to accommodate our bad health days.   She said something like “It is unbelievable what we are willing to do just to keep sewing!”   I countered with “But we have already given up so much! Why would we give up something that brings us so much joy???”   As a senior editor for the quilting magazine Generation Q, I travel to buyer’s conventions like Quilt Market and VDTA/SDTA. I found myself often saying to manufacturers “You know, you can market this to people in wheelchairs, people with tremors, and people with arthritis.” Somewhere in these moments is where it became my unconscious mission to help our community keep sewing.   I realized the importance of continuing to do the things we love when faced with chronic illness. Being diagnosed with an incurable disease and facing chronic pain on the daily is incredibly difficult to process. It is so easy to fall into depression. It is so easy to give up hope.   Perhaps you sew, or love something else. Perhaps you are a runner, build models, paint, dance, garden, love woodworking, or car restoration – it doesn’t matter what your hobby is – it just matters that you keep doing it.   For me, I look for ways and products that help sewing enthusiasts modify the way they sew. This can be special glasses that help them see better, guides that fit on their machines to help keep the fabric steady, or even managing break time with ice breaks to minimize pain. What can you do to modify your favorite hobby ChronicBabe-style?   Recently, a friend of mine was experiencing a flare and found that she couldn’t join her running club. She was worried that she was missing out on social time with her friends and that they would move on without her. I suggested she look at other ways to participate. So she contacted the organizer and found they needed help setting up drinking stations. She was thrilled. She could still visit with her buds even if she couldn’t run because of a flare.   Some of my readers love quilting, but when they are in a flare don’t have the energy or physical stamina to sew. One creative ChronicBabe said she would stroke and refold her fabric collection. Another said she would sort and choose fabrics for her next project.     Be creative! Think outside the box! What is it...

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