Be a Babe: Subscribe & get a free Beginner's Toolkit + more. Smooches!

What do you do when you feel like it’s the worst day ever and you want to give up?

Posted by on Sep 2, 2016 in acceptance, ChronicBabe Basics, classic post, coping, fears, featured, resilience, self care | 5 comments

Special note: This is classic post appeared in 2012 on the original ChronicBabe site. And it’s an example of “getting back to the basics” we’ll be doing in the September 2016 Secret Club. Join us!   I’ve had them, and I bet you have, too: Those days when everything feels way too hard, like every small task is Herculean, like the world is out to get you, like nothing on Earth will ever be right again. The days when you feel like giving up. The days when you think it might just be easier to quit work, go on disability, and stop caring about your career. The days when you want to tell everyone you know to eff off. The days when you want to throw your purse in the car and just drive off into the sunset. The days when you want to kick your doctor in the nuts. The days when you feel utterly alone. The days when no one—not your nephew, your husband, your girlfriend, your daughter—can make you laugh, because there’s not a damn funny thing in the universe. The days that feel like a horror movie. The days when you turn out the lights, curl up under the covers, and sob yourself to sleep. The days when you Google your conditions endlessly, hoping someone has come up with a magic fix. The days when you feel like it’s not worth trying anymore. The days when you just don’t care. The days when you feel like it’s not worth it. The days when you feel like giving up. Yup, I’ve had those. You might be surprised by how often I hear this question: Maybe YOU haven’t felt this way, but how am I supposed to cope on the days when I want to give up? Oh, ladies. If you think I’ve never wanted to give up, you’ve got me all wrong. I’ve had plenty of those days, and I’m sure in my life I’ll have at least a few more. Even the most kickass ChronicBabe has moments of self-doubt and exhaustion and frustration. It just comes with the territory. So what do you do when you want to give up? First: Don’t. Next: Come here. Notice that there’s not just a website, but an entire community of women who have walked in your shoes. So you may not have someone holding your hand physically, but you’ve got thousands of women who can support you during your time of need. Then: Watch this 5-minute video of Bjork singing “It’s Not Up To You,” a song I find immensely comforting. The lyrics include this perfect bit: “If you wake up, and the day feels broken, just lean into...

Read More

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 Upwork.com and Flexjobs.com 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....

Read More

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...

Read More

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.nu. 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...

Read More

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 ChronicBabe.com 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...

Read More

How to look really good even if you feel really bad #AWAPwednesday

Posted by on Jul 27, 2016 in ChronicBabe Basics, coping, featured, resilience, self care | 2 comments

  Being a ChronicBabe often means we have to make sacrifices—and that can mean we spend more time managing our symptoms and less time primping and practicing good self-care. No more! I dare you to look good. I know you can. Here are my six favorite tips for looking good even when you feel really bad. It will boost your mood, sugar—promise. *AWAP = As Well As Possible Now it’s your turn: How about you: How do you preserve your self-care routine even if you’re flaring up? 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: My throat is scratchy, my fibro is flaring, and I definitely did not get enough sleep… But I look amazing. And I feel amazing, in part, because I look amazing. Today, I’m going to help you look fabulous, too. Hi! I’m Jenni Grover Prokopy of ChronicBabe.com 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?   All of us have days when we feel like crud, even non-ChronicBabes. But you’ve heard the phrase “fake it til you make it,” right? There’s real truth there, my loves. There are six things I do on crummy days that help me to feel gorgeous, which lifts my mood and helps me project an air of confidence and does wonders for my self-esteem. Here we go: Wash my face Even if I don’t have the time or energy to take a full shower, I wash my face and moisturize. Always. Put on mascara Some of you don’t wear makeup, and that’s cool, but some of us do. My little eyelashes are blonde, so when I don’t have mascara on, my eyes look really tired. So a quick coat of mascara does wonders. Put on real clothes As ChronicBabes, many of us spend most of our lives in PJs. Trust me–I loooove a good PJ pant. But on really crummy days when I want to feel beautiful in spite of my symptoms, I wave buh-bye to PJ pants and throw on a cute dress. It’s an easy way to feel “put together” in just one quick change. Drink water This is so simple and may...

Read More

WE’RE NOT DOCS!

Info posted here should not be considered medical advice; it's not intended to replace consultation with physicians or other health care providers. 

Every Babe needs to find her own path for achieving optimal wellness. While we do tons to help guide you, it’s up to each of you to make well-informed choices and live with the consequences. ChronicBabe.com assumes no liability or responsibility for stuff that goes wrong.

Links to other web sites are provided as a service, but do not constitute endorsement of those sites by ChronicBabe.com; we are not responsible for their content. We do our best to find the most rockin’ resources but hey, we’re human.

Take what you like from this space, and leave the rest. Use what you learn to make your life better. Be responsible for your own choices. And please don’t sue us. XO!

As Seen In