GretchCannon: 02.2016

2.29.2016

Ready for Spring! Happy March!

Valentine's Day is over, we are heading into March and St. Patrick's Day and Easter are right around the corner! We have had some 80-95 degree days over here in Cali! The weather has been beautiful. It is so crazy to wear a chunky sweater and boots one day, then dig through and try to find your tank tops and flip flops! 

I pulled down the winter decor, and have started spring cleaning. I did a little bit of decorating to try and get in the mood - I hope you enjoy! I have been inspired by the book: "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing" - all about the art of tidying up and how to clean your home and get rid of all of the things that don't "spark joy"! It can be a little cheesy, but some of the principles outlined in the book help get you going! I will be reading book #2 next - 
"Spark Joy: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up". Have any of you read either book? What did you think? Have you started your "Konmari" checklist?

What are you looking forward to this Spring? Here are some of my little inspirational picks:




XOXO, 
Gretchen

2.22.2016

World Encephalitis Day

As many of you know, I have suffered on and off with a debilitating autoimmune disease since late 2006. This year, I received a diagnosis - Autoimmune Encephalopathy. Some other recognized names include: Steroid Responsive Encephalopathy associated with Autoimmune Thyroiditis and Hashimoto's Encephalopathy. I won't go into detail today about the symptoms or the suffering or the treatment, but I did want to post my support to The Encephalitis Society, based out of the UK - because today, February 22, 2016 has been deemed World Encephalitis Day. They asked us to help get our stories out there and wear red today to raise awareness for this disease that patients, loved ones and even physicians still know little about. 

Keep reading below for a press release that was sent out about my story. 
Some other links with info include: 


After being misdiagnosed for almost 10 years, to have support and treatments to try and hope - mean the world to me. I am so thankful to my loved ones, my doctors, God, and my resiliance - that I didn't give up and that I won't. 


Press Release:

A Southern California woman is helping in a global awareness campaign about a brain condition that left her with a host of “terrifying” symptoms.

Gretchen Cannon, 35, lost her job and many friends when she was affected by encephalitis, a swelling of the brain.

It would take almost 10 years for her to be correctly diagnosed with the condition as doctor after doctor was baffled by the case.

Now she wants to raise awareness about the condition ahead of World Encephalitis Day on February 22.

Around 500,000 people are affected by encephalitis globally each year, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity or culture.

For Gretchen, the nightmare began in 2006 when the then fitness competitor became sick after having breast implants – either because of the surgery or the implant materials.

“I had two surgeries to remove them, but still suffered from terrifying symptoms ranging from extreme confusion, memory loss, depersonalization, fatigue, weakness, ataxia, distorted vision, hearing and speech difficulties, anxiety, depression, psychosis, dementia and more.

“I had a seizure, was in a coma, endured countless medical tests and lost my job, many friends and my quality of life.

“I couldn’t function as my old self, needed 24-hour care, and sought help from dozens of doctors that tried to help me but were perplexed by my condition.”

Without the proper treatment, up to a third will lose their life, while survivors can be left with a legacy of challenges brought upon by the subsequent acquired brain injury.

Over the years, doctors found a treatment that helped suppress Gretchen’s symptoms and she eventually was able to work and live a normal life again on medication and with minimal limitations.

However, in 2013, she suffered a debilitating two-year relapse that could not be controlled with her prior treatments.

Gretchen was finally diagnosed, 10 years after her first onset of symptoms, with Hashimoto’s Autoimmune Encephalitis, thanks to her USC Rheumatologist and by travelling to The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, in 2015.

“My symptoms have significantly improved. I now able to drive, read, watch television, and enjoy life a bit more.

“I live at home again but do not know when I will be able to return to work because I still suffer from lingering symptoms.

“But, above all, I am grateful for the diagnosis and relief I have received and want to bring awareness to this terrible condition.”

Gretchen, who was a marketing manager and fashion blogger, is now determined to raise awareness about encephalitis and is adding her support to World Encephalitis Day.

Led by The Encephalitis Society, this year’s event is asking people to “wear something red” on February 22 as part of the #RED4WED campaign to raise awareness and funds.

The public can also vote for the winner in a Short Film, Digital Art and Photography Competition that has attracted entries from across the world by visiting www.worldencephalitisday.org

Dr Ava Easton, Chief Executive of The Encephalitis Society, said: “We launched World Encephalitis Day so people affected by this devastating condition can come together to raise awareness about encephalitis.

“We still have a long way to go to make the public and some health professionals aware of a condition which affects more people than ALS and bacterial Meningitis and yet remains less well known.

“But by having survivors and their families come forward to show the human side of this ‘hidden disability’ can only be a good thing for informing the public about this condition.

“The sad fact is that not many people have heard of encephalitis unless it has happened to them, a family member or friend. We want to change that.”


You can follow Gretchen's journey back to health on social media @gretchcannon or through her blog at www.gretchcannon.blogspot.com.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

THE ENCEPHALITIS SOCIETY

The Encephalitis Society was founded in 1994, is a registered charity and the only resource of its kind in the world providing direct support and information to people affected by Encephalitis, and to their family and friends. In 2015/16 we provided support and information to around 250,000 people and 169,400 health professionals.  Our website received 190,000 visitors and nearly 700,000 page views from all over the world
The Encephalitis Society receives no Government funding and relies on income raised from individuals, businesses and grant-making organisations.

ENCEPHALITIS

Encephalitis is inflammation of the brain and is caused either by an infection invading the brain (infectious); or through the immune system attacking the brain in error (post-infectious / autoimmune encephalitis).

The condition is indiscriminate, striking adults and children alike, showing no respect for age, gender, ethnic origin or culture.  Mortality rates are high and in those who survive many are left with an acquired brain injury, the degree and severity of which will vary.  Their difficulties may include cognitive, physical, emotional, behavioural, or psychosocial consequences.

SYMPTOMS

The types of symptoms seen in Encephalitis reflect the specific areas of the brain affected by the inflammation. The range of symptoms and their rate of development vary widely and can make the diagnosis of Encephalitis difficult.

Infectious Encephalitis frequently begins with a ‘flu-like illness or headache. Typically more serious symptoms follow hours to days later. The most serious finding is an alteration in level of consciousness. This can range from mild confusion or drowsiness, to loss of consciousness, seizures and coma.  Other symptoms include a high temperature, seizures (fits), aversion to bright lights, inability to speak or control movement, sensory changes, neck stiffness, or uncharacteristic behaviour.

In autoimmune types of Encephalitis people can present with psychosis and hallucinations among other neurological presentations.  Sometimes these patients can be mistakenly thought to be developing psychiatric or mental health illnesses.

For a more detailed fact file on Encephalitis please see:
http://www.encephalitis.info/files/2214/5044/9682/Media_factfile_2015_v2.pdf

#RED4WED #WED222 #ShowYouKnow and #WorldEncephalitisDay


2.21.2016

Girls' Beach Lunch February Fashion

Had a fabulous time yesterday at lunch with my best friend, Kim. The beach and weather were gorgeous in Southern California. I had a lot of questions on social media about my outfit details, so here you go! Links and some photos below.







Links
Jacket (not pictured) | Liquid Lipstick | Eyeliner | Eyeshadows

Hope you enjoy and have a great week! I cannot believe that February is almost over!

XOXO,
Gretchen

2.04.2016

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - with Cream Cheese!

Hey guys - recipe time! I love chocolate chip cookies and if you are like me, you might like your chocolate chip cookies a little more thick and soft sometimes, am I right? I added cream cheese to these, you cannot taste it, and they were moist and delicious. I recently found out that I need to start eating more gluten-free foods and ingredients, so I am glad I got to enjoy these 1st! These are great as a Valentine's Day treat! My boyfriend and family loved them! I ate my fair share too, I am not going to lie! I gave them away in some cute baggies to some neighbors too with Valentine's candy in them. Lots of photos below!
Soft Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe - with Cream Cheese Recipe:
Makes: 24 cookies 
Prep Time: 10-15 minutes, plus 2 hours+ refrigeration 
Cook Time: 8-10 minutes  
Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup (block or spreadable) regular fat cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed in measuring cup (i love these cat ones!)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
Directions:

  1. With the paddle attachment, use your stand mixer (mine is like this one!), and mix the butter, cream cheese, both sugars, egg, vanilla, and beat on medium high speed until the mixture is creamy and light. It took me about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add flour, baking soda, cornstarch, salt, and blend for 1 minute in the mixer. 
  3. Add 1.5 cups of the chocolate chips to the mix (save the other .5 cup for later), and mix slowly in the mixer. 
  4. Use an ice cream scoop or cookie scoop to make cookie dough balls on the pans (3 pans of 8 each), cover the tops in plastic wrap, and put in the fridge for at least 2 hours to cool. 
  5. Preheat oven when ready for 350 F. Line a silicone baking mat (like this) or a cookie sheet topped with parchment paper with the cookie mounds a couple of inches apart. I push down the tops a little 1st, or roll the balls a bit if they seem like the shape is off. Use the rest of the .5 cup of chocolate chips to put on top of the cookies so they look super chocolatey all over the top! 
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on your oven, until edges look slightly cooked. The centers will be soft and moist. I tried different levels of height inside the oven and cooked on the different pans or sheets and the best for me was a parchment paper lined cookie sheet on the middle rack, turned around halfway through cooking time. 
  7. Cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then put on a cooling rack to finish cooling completely. 
  8. Serve immediately if you want (because you know you gotta try them), give to friends, and keep any leftovers in an air tight container for 5-7 days, or in the freezer for a couple of months. 
Ingredients:

Mixing:



One on the left/ top worked best:

Cooked:

Cooling: 





So gooey and yummy!!!

My little Valentine's treats: 
(Starbucks mug can be found here)



I hope you enjoyed this recipe! Let me know if you try it or have suggestions of your own! 

XOXO, 
Gretchen

2.02.2016

New Piano Decor

We got our stairs painted a couple of weeks ago - a faux wood paint. I love the contrast against the paint and stone and base boards. See below for piano decor info! 


Rug Throw - Ikea/ Amazon

Bowl & Balls - Home Goods
Similar: Kirklands /  ZGallerie / Target

DIY Vase & Music Sheets, tied with Twine - Michaels / Etsy / Amazon

Hope you enjoy! Groundhog didn't see his shadow today, so let's get ready for an early spring! 

XOXO,
Gretchen

2.01.2016

GretchCannon's Valentine's Day Gift Guide For Her

Happy February 1st! 

Wow, January flew by, didn't it? Check out my Valentine's Day Gift Guide For Her below. I had so much fun putting this together with some of my dream items that I would love, I think the special women in your life may love, or you may love to ask for (or buy for yourself - duh)!! I included some candy, some makeup, jewelry, other accessories for home and travel, and of course some beauty and fashion. I hope you enjoy! 

GretchCannon's Valentine's Day Gift Guide For Her


If I could pick anything from the above, I would love the pink candle, the gummies of course, the necklace, and maybe the Burberry purse. In my dreams! That is why it is gift guide and wish list. I hope you liked it, and feel free to share yours with me as well. I love these types of posts!

Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons Eyeshadow Palette • Too Faced • $49
How cute is this? Heart shaped eye shadows also infused with cocoa powder and chocolate scent!

bkr Glass Water Bottle, Cupcake Heart, 500 mL • BKR • $35
Seasonal glass bottle with silicone sleeve - high-end, limited edition and chemical-free. Super adorable.

Yves Saint Laurent ROUGE VOLUPTÉ - Silky Sensual Radiant Lipstick SPF 15 • Saint Laurent • $36
Love this color, this brand and packaging. Any pink or red lipstick would be a great gift for anyone on Valentine's day!

Diptyque Rosaviola Scented Candle, 190g • Diptyque • $67
I love this Paris brand for candles and this one is so pretty with the hearts and pink colors. It says it has the scent of lipstick, rose, and leather. Sounds devine!

Burberry The Small Banner In Leather And House Check • Burberry • $1,295
THIS BAG. In light pink or a medium berry color. So classic and high-end, yet trendy.

Coordinates Collection 'Compass - Legend' Engraved Cuff • $212
Personalize this so the person you give it to carries their favorite city with them always.

Jennifer Zeuner Rose Gold Initial Necklace • Jennifer Zeuner Jewelry • $325
A signature piece that has been in style for a while now and still going strong. Very modern and beautiful.

Christian Louboutin Patent Leather Heart-Toe Pumps • Christian Louboutin • $795
I. couldn't. resist. including these leather pumps with kitsch heart detail!

Miss Bendel Pave Bangle Bracelet • Henri Bendel • $148
I love all things Henri Bendel, and this looks like a more affordable version of a Cartier Love bracelet to me!

Jimmy Choo Otti Mirrored Square Sunglasses • Jimmy Choo • $335
I am seeing a lot of tan and clear colored glasses and sunglasses coming out right now, and these look amazing.

Wildfox 'Sparkle Heart' Sweatshirt • Wildfox Couture • $98
My favorite comfy sweater does it again. It is from Nordstrom and the heart sparkles. Come on.

Sugarfina Champagne Gummy Bears/1.5 lbs. • $18
These are made with real French champagne and I am not a huge gummy bear lover, but these are the BEST I have ever tried. If you get nothing from my list, get these!

Have a wonderful month of February, surrounded by love and loved ones. I love you all!

XOXO,
Gretchen

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