Today is Monday. I am usually off on Monday’s, but we started a project that changed my schedule for the next three weeks and I had to work today. This is how I felt:
Has anyone ever felt this way about a Monday? I feel like the start of the week is always a drag, especially when you only had one day off but I’m hoping that the week and this project will fly by so I can get back into the swing of things.
Retinitis Pigmentosa. I was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa when I was 8 years old. I will never forget the day I was diagnosed because I deemed it a day of torture. I was at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. the Number 1 Eye Institute located in Miami, Fl for over 8 hours having my eyes examined like a guinea pig. I actually will never forget that day for one reason, and one reason only: they took out so much blood that I, til this day, am deathly afraid of needles. I mean come on who takes out blood with long thick needles on an EIGHT year old!
Retinitis Pigmentosa, or RP as it is often referred to, is a group of inherited diseases causing retinal degeneration. Basically, the cell-rich retina lines along the back inside wall of the eye which are responsible for capturing images from the visual field start to slowly die. People with RP experience a gradual decline in their vision because the photo receptors cells (rods and cones) die. In most forms of RP, rods are affected first and because the rods are concentrated in the outer portions of the retina which are triggered by dim light, their degeneration affects peripheral and night vision. Night blindness is one of the earliest and most frequent symptoms of RP. RP is typically diagnosed in adolescents and young adults. It is a progressive disorder. The rate of progression and degree of visual loss varies from person to person. Most people with RP are legally blind by age 40, with a central visual field of less than 20 degrees in diameter. In families with X-linked RP, males are more often and more severely affected; females carry the genetic trait and experience vision loss less frequently.
So let me get to how I inherited this and stop boring you with all the science stuff (personally, I hate science so I get bored quickly)…My grandmother on my fathers side was blind from her Retinitis Pigmentosa. She went blind when I was a baby, probably around 2 or 3 so I’m estimating 1991/1992. My father inherited it from her and his vision started declining at a more rapid pace when he hit his 40’s, however he can still see centrally (thankfully) so far it’s just his night vision and his peripheral vision that have started degrading. I like to think he will make it to his 70’s before it’s all gone, or at least all semi-gone. Anyway, back to me. Because I am a female, I carry the genetic trait and Enzo, my son, would have most likely gotten the Retinitis Pigmentosa. However, my RP has (knock on wood) not progressed much, if any, in 19 years. I actually have a picture of what my eye looks like with the RP. Let’s take a look:
So this is a picture of my right eye from 2015. It looks exactly the same as my right eye from 2016 and extremely close to my right eye from 2010. As you can see, there looks to be little black chocolate chips in my eyes. That would be the RP in my eye. The retina is all the way in the back so them being off to the side and so little is actually a very good thing. My family is very grateful that my RP hasn’t progressed in so long and they still make me go to Bascom Palmer at least every three years to see the original doctor who diagnosed me just to make sure nothing has changed. His name is Dr. Lam and he actually discovered that my strand of RP is different of my fathers, it’s less aggressive which is probably why it hasn’t progressed.
Fashion Month has come and gone in the blink of an eye, but this years fashion month has got to be my favorite one thus far. These are some of the best outfits, best handbags or accessories, best beauty, and best shoes from the runways.
(picture c/o InStyle.com)
The RED PAINT DRIP BAG WITH CHAIN STRAP is MY favorite bag from the 2017 Louis Vitton show. I just love the unfinished paint look, I absolutely love the size and the chain strap, but more than anything I love that it’s a Louis Vitton.
Next up, Saint Laurent slouchy patent leather boots.
(picture c/o InStyle.com)
I love these patent leather boots, and honestly I never say those words. Why these? I like the color, I like the embellishment on the boot, but most of all I love the slouchy look of the boot. This is something I can see myself wearing for sure. It doesn’t hurt that it’s designed by the Saint Laurent team.
Now for the next look, it’s something I’m already totally into – big sweaters/pullovers. In London Fashion Week, this was definitely a star on the runway. From left: Ports 1961, Topshop Unique, Peter Pilotto, Joseph
(photo c/o InStyle.com)
I actually really love the bigger fit sweater/pullover style…so much, so that I generally never take it off! They’re cute, they’re comfortable and if I could find more, I’d stock my whole closet with more!
Now for some Milan Fashion Week, I want to show you the bags I absolutely drool over. First stop, Fendi:
Next up, Versace!
(pictures for both Fendi and Versace are c/o InStyle.com)
Now let’s take a look at the shoes of Milan:
SALVATORE FERRAGAMO (photo c/o InStyle.com)
FENDI (photo c/o InStyle.com)
I absolutely loved the Chanel Paris show and these were the accessories that caught my eye in the spaceship themed show:
Now lets see some outfits while we are at it!
(photos all c/o InStyle.com)
Just because I am obsessed with Balmain and Olivier’s love affair with the Kardasian’s I present to you this perfect runway look Kendall is rocking:
(photos c/o InStyle.com)
Honestly, I don’t know how all these beautiful models survive something so demanding and hard like “Fashion Month”. I know I could survive attending it, but working all those hours, walking the runways, making it to fittings and rehearsals, after parties…it truly is remarkable how these women can prioritize and survive on such little sleep and look so stunningly beautiful regardless of the lack of sleep. Kudos to them, their agents, and the fabulous designers.
Your favorite brunette
Have you heard of Spectacles? You know those really cool Snapchat glasses that record 10 second videos you can send your friends or use for your “stories”? You might have seen them, they look like this:
(photos c/o www.spectacles.com)
Well I recently got my hands on a pair and boy, oh boy have I been having fun with these babies. I have so far been snapping videos and making stories of anything and everything just because I can. Today I actually recorded me walking my dogs…just because that’s what I was doing when I was wearing the glasses. These Spectacles let me record anything I want to record and if I want to extend the video more than 10 seconds all I have to do is hit the button once more and boom! there is my longer video. It seriously is so fun and exciting.
The glasses come in three different colors: black, teal, and corral. The just recently opened for sale to the public at a cool price of $129.99 and they really are a hit. Spectacles are going to be game changers. I mean who isn’t obsessed with Snapchat these days? With Summer approaching in the upcoming months, I’m getting ready to be recording Snapchat videos up the wazoo! My stories are going to be filled with summer adventures and while I’m hanging out in the Spring, especially while I play in the parks at Disney on my days off – I’m going to be recording all my adventures. Can you imagine me recording my ride experiences? How cool is that going to be!
The spectacles are already cool, but I can’t wait to record all the cool things I’m going to be doing in the up coming months like the new Avatar land: Pandora at Animal Kingdom or my fun days at the beach or in the pool with my friends, or my time at the water parks when I have a day off and I’m on the lazy river! Adventure awaits and adventure with these spectacles is only the beginning. What do you recommend I do with my Snapchat Spectacles?
Of course I got them in black because black is timeless and it matches everything, but I think the teal is a fun color too…This is me with my spectacles before I recorded my best friend without her knowing I was even recording! (Boy did she get mad when she found out! (oops!))
Today my best friend and I had our first “photoshoot” for A Brunette & Her Blog. I was actually slightly nervous, but it was so much fun. I started by going to Sephora and having my makeup done for the photoshoot and then I came home and got “ready” while I waited for her. When she got here, we took a bunch of different pictures in different spots and different angles just to really get as many pictures that we could get to have options for the Facebook page, the blog, and other social media accounts. The outcome of the photoshoot actually came out really good considering it was our first time and we didn’t know what to expect or what we were doing!
Here are all the pictures we took and some of the bloopers that happened along the way:
Now for the bloopers…
I had a really fun time doing this first photoshoot and I hope to continue to do more as I grow the blog, especially once I get back to Disney and Orlando. I think I’ll have some fun places to shoot, especially because I have Disney as my playground 😉
Let me know where or what you’d like to see in some photoshoots or even in future blog posts! I’ll definitely take into consideration any suggestions 🙂
your favorite brunette
As some of you know, I was born and raised in Miami, Florida I just live in Orlando now because 1) I love it and 2) I work there for Disney. I occasionally (at least once a month, perferrably once every six weeks) I drive or fly down to Miami to visit my family, if they haven’t come up to Orlando to visit me or if work isn’t too busy for me to go down. I like to keep my distance because it helps me keep my sanity and I mean that with the utmost sincerity. As much as I love my family and friends, there’s only so much that I can handle at a time. Here’s why: we’re a large, loud, Cuban family and it tends to get a little crazy.
I am currently in Miami, or the 305 as my aunt likes to call it, visiting my grandmother because something happened that I ended up needing to come down earlier than planned.
This weekend I actually get somewhat of a break because my parents and younger sister are actually out of town so my time is more focused on my grandmother and my aunt, and my best friend Carmen. I have dubbed myself for the weekend “Ms 305” (for the first time) because I feel like I am feeling the Miami atmosphere the most I have in a long time. Take today as an example, running errands in the “305” everywhere we went Spanish music was around us. From Old Navy, to the USA v Dominican Republic World Classic Baseball game, I was surrounded by Spanish music. That’s something I don’t encounter often in Orlando.
Tomorrow is Calle Ocho, a yearly event hosted on SW 8th Street by the Kiwanii’s of Little Havana. That is the epitome of Miami Spanish culture. Sometimes it can be classy and sometimes it drops down to a tad bit trashy, of course as time and alcohol pass.
I love my hometown of the 305…hence why I don’t mind being called Ms. 305, but I can only take it in small doses. I feel like I don’t fit in here, which is probably why I love living in Orlando so much. It’s just a different world. It’s more relaxing and peaceful, homey even. I don’t feel bad if I want to stay home and just hang out and watch movies rather than go out and be at a bar or out drinking. It’s just not my style. But this is and will always be my home, no matter how awkward I feel about it. Orlando is just my new home, where I have started my adult life and most importantly my family: Enzo 💜
I guess I’ll always have two homes now, that can’t be too bad right? I have friends who have become family in Orlando and I have friends who have been family my whole life, plus my actual relatives in Miami. Sometimes it feels good just to know that I’m loved in more than one place.
Ms. 305 til I die…the 407 is just the place I can call my home ❤
your favorite brunette
First, let me start by saying one thing. I love my son, I would talk about my son all day if someone would just listen. I know sometimes it’s weird for people to talk about it because they think mentioning it is taboo or it would hurt me more, but on the contrary. I fucking love it. The March of Dimes March for Babies 5k is so important to be because of my son. See this is where my story begins:
I found out I was pregnant on July 23, 2013. I was both thrilled and nervous at the same time. It was during a time of transition for me. My baby’s father and I had decided we were just going to be friends after nine and a half years of dating, and I was in the middle of switching jobs. I work for Disney, and at the time I had been working at the Magic Kingdom on Main Street USA, doing everything you could possibly imagine: driving the Steam train, conducting the Steam train, working at the Town Square Theater with Mickey and his friends, driving the antique vehicles, and working as a trainer and on the parade route ensuring Guest safety. But I was about to embark on my journey at the Resorts and then I found out I was pregnant. Telling my family wasn’t really that hard for me, obviously at 24 the last thing they wanted to hear was I was not married and pregnant, but they were okay. I have a big family, and we are all (for the most part) really close. Crazies and all. It did help I had dated his dad for close to 10 years and it wasn’t someone they didn’t know. But even if it was, I knew they would support me and what I do, so I deep down I always knew I’d be okay.
Flash forward three months. It’s a boy. I always knew that it would be a boy, it was just our gut intuition [the father and I, because my family doesn’t have boys and they thought it’d be too good to be true]. So of course I was excited, so excited that I lied to everyone about when I would be finding out and sent scratch off cards for them to play a “guessing game”. Since I live in Orlando and our family is scattered through out Miami, New York, and Georgia, we couldn’t really have a guess the sex kind of party. I wanted everyone to be excited, because I was.
Now it’s two months later. Enzo’s first trip to NYC and my very best friend’s girls pre-wedding weekend. I was co-maid of honor with another one of my friends and we had planned this weekend to be as amazing as can be, and for us three it definitely was. Enzo had a blast with his two Tia’s and I had a blast knowing that I picked the best people to spend my last trip with before I had the baby. We saw the sights, we shopped, even Enzo got some new clothes. I was just so excited. November was right around the corner which meant holiday season AND my birthday was coming.
Into November we went. The Wednesday before my birthday, I had had roll over stomach pains. I mean, I pretty much thought then and there something was wrong with the baby so off to the hospital I went with a roommate I had at the time. I ended up having Salmonella poisoning and between my roommate, my parents, and Pio (the baby daddy) coming in and out to see me – I was freaking out. More for the baby than the Salmonella. What if something happened? What if this, what if that? Luckily nothing happened. He was as perfect as could be.
Flash forward into December. The beginning of December went pretty smoothly. My best friend was getting married, I had the time off, I was going to have the baby in March, and my baby shower was a month away. I was extremely happy and honestly at a great point in my life. We had the baby registry done, the gifts were pouring in from friends and family, everyone was excited. Life couldn’t have felt better…But then.
On December 11th, 2013 at 9:30 AM I had a regular doctors appointment which of course I was running late to and Pio was grumpy because I always nagged him to be on time, but I wasn’t (in my defense, I was the pregnant one!). This was the appointment where we found out Enzo had no heartbeat. For a second, I thought I, myself, had no heartbeat. There’s nothing harder to hear, or see for that matter, than your baby laying still inside you, with no heartbeat. Considering how perfect my pregnancy had been [minus the Salmonella] this was just the tip of the iceberg. It was extremely for me to grasp and come to terms with. I was in complete denial. Pio was my rock. He was trying to be 100% there for me, but still struggling inside with how sad he was. I commend him everyday for how he dealt with the news that day, because he never showed how broken he truly felt.
At 1:13 AM on December 12th, I delivered the most beautiful sleeping baby boy. Enzo Miguel Ferro. I can’t even tell you how gorgeous he was, I mean it helps that he looked just like me :)[from nose to his toes, all me!].
I got to spend the next couple of hours holding him, loving him, being the mother I am to him. My family and best friends hauled up and down from their respective homes to be there for us. My parents, his parents, my sisters, my cousin, two of my absolute oldest best friends. Everyone. There. For Enzo. For ME. He was the driving force in our families. Always bringing us together. He changed each and every one of our lives without us even really noticing it at the time.
It wasn’t until I got to Miami three days later, that I really think the grief set in. Grief is an extremely long and difficult journey, one I am still struggling to stay on. It is a battle I am constantly winning and losing. Grief in one word…SUCKS. It’s hard when you lose someone you love, it’s even harder when you lose your child. A piece of you. Your pride and joy. It’s as if a piece of you dies with them, at least I know for me that is the case.
I am truly blessed to say that Pio and I are still friends, even though we are no longer together the grief made our friendship that much stronger. He is there for me and I am there for him. We will always be connected by our son, but even more by our friendship. It’s what got us where we are today. Without him there would be no Enzo, and if there was no Enzo – my life would not be the same. I most definitely am not the same person I was last year, or the year before that. Every year I discover a different version of me, a different person emerges. Some days I have good days, others can be pretty dark but at the end of the day I am me. I am Kristen and I have a son. He was born sleeping, but he was still born.
Okay, done with the sappy stuff (hope I didn’t bore you). Here is the real reason I wanted to write this post: The March of Dimes, March for Babies 5k is coming up in April. Every year my family, friends, and I fundraise and go out to the walk and walk in honor of Enzo. This year I’m doing a location change. After three years in Orlando, I’m taking it home to Miami. This was so that more family and friends could come out and support me and Enzo. I look forward to the March for Babies walk every year. For me it’s the one thing I do that I know honors my son and his memory, and I’m not just helping myself with the grief – I’m raising money for a great cause and a real purpose. If any readers are from Miami, you are welcome to join our team and walk with us! The more the merrier 🙂 If you’re unable to attend you can always donate to our team. For me this is the most important day of the year. I don’t miss it for anything. Actually this year it’s my sister’s graduation and I won’t be going until after I complete the walk, that is how much it means to me. I adore my little sister, but my son comes first and this is something I do for him. April 29th couldn’t come fast enough. Now that we’re so close I get to actively start fundraising and encouraging my family and friends to come out and walk with us. I know that this will be a walk I’ll never forget because I am surrounded by so many amazing family and friends who are there to support me. I just can’t contain my excitement!
PS this is not a sponsored post, this is my personal opinion and experience. I am not getting paid or sponsored to post for March of Dimes.
your favorite brunette
Today, March 8th, is international women’s day. In honor of women around the world here are some quotes I thought packed a powerful punch.
The Oscars were this past Sunday and I have rounded up the 10 best dressed Actresses. My favorite part of award season is the red carpet and this year was definitely one of my favorites. I can honestly tell you there were a lot more than ten best dressed, but these were the ones that really stood out to me. They are in no particular order, because to be honest they are all just absolutely fabulous. From Emma Roberts in Armani Privé to Dakota Johnson in Gucci, these fabulous women were definitely at the Academy Awards to dress to impress and that they did. Do you have any favorites? Was there someone not on this list that stood out to you? Leave me a comment and let me know!
Taraji P. Henson
A couple of weeks ago I was on Carly’s website, The College Prepster, where she did a post on bags you can use for work and I instantly fell in love with the Dagne Dover bag so I placed an order instantaneously. It arrived not even 3 days later (I was shocked). I haven’t been able to put the bag away since I got it. I mean, considering it holds my laptop, my iPad, my agenda, my water bottle, my pouch with my markers, pens, and post it flags, and more would you be able to put the bag away? Dagne Dover created a sturdy, beautifully designed, well-rounded, masterpiece in my opinion and I am completely obsessed (I may be biased, but that’s my opinion).
Since I have a 13″ MacBook Air, I selected the royal blue 13″ bag which honestly is gorgeous. I have one other bag in this color and I have had it for years so it is safe to say I will have this bag for years to come, at least that is my assumption (and I usually assume correctly, especially when it comes to handbags/purses). I had heard of Dagne Dover before from a different blogger and it had piqued my curiosity but at the time I wasn’t in the market for a bag like this, now it comes in handy for school and for when I travel – especially for when I go home to Miami because I usually have assignments due for my Grad School classes. I’m telling you, this bag is so many levels of perfection that I can’t even begin to explain to you how perfect it is. Here. Let me show you exactly how perfect it is. First let me start by showing you which bag I chose from their website:
Now, let me show you what my bag looks like and how I organize it (I’m a little bit OCD, don’t mind me please).
PS this is not a sponsored post, this is my personal opinion and experience. I am not getting paid or sponsored to post for Dange Dover.
your favorite brunette