Monday, September 29, 2014

My Everything

While the blog is partially named after him, I realized I haven't really done a post on my sweet Henry.  (Slightly self-centered mom over here.) If you follow along on social media, you may have seen my posts over the past five days about what happened to Henry but I thought I would share more detail here and go into a bit reflection on how much I love my baby boy.

After church on Wednesday night, I stopped by Vestique in Charlotte where Caitlin was hosting a Girls Night Out shopping event. I purchased my first romper and was feeling pretty excitable as it was my Birthday Eve. When I came home, I instantly felt horrible. Henry was sitting by the door waiting for me and had gotten sick in several spots around the apartment. He held his head down low while I spent about an hour scrubbing the carpets around the apartment and I couldn't tell if he was still sick or just felt bad for messing the carpets and could sense that I was stressed out.

I checked him routinely that night but he seemed to be fine and we went to bed and did our routine like normal. He woke up multiple times throughout the night continuing to get sick. Luckily, I've trained him to go to the bathroom when I home for easier clean up. We sat on the bathroom floor for hours while I frantically looked up reasons for dogs vomiting on my iPhone. I came to the conclusion that it was just a bug (he had these before) and everything I read online said don't feed them for 24 hours to wait for it to get out of their system. So I decided this sounded like a solid plan.

The next morning we woke up and it also happened to be my 26th Birthday. I had sent my parents messages all throughout the night so I was waiting for them to wake up and get back to me. Meanwhile, I got ready for work and what I thought I would be an overly celebrated birthday. My Dad called and suggested I try to feed him and just go in a bit late to work to make sure that he could hold it down before leaving for the day and reminded me how serious it is when a large dog like Hens doesn't eat, then you know they are really sick. So, I go and get one of my bowls out of the cabinet and pour Henry a small portion of food. Nothing. Then, I try to feed him a pebble myself and he spit it out.

Panic followed. I started sobbing uncontrollably thinking he was going to die (I over-react at times) and called work to let them know we were going to the vet. I called the vet, which didn't open till 9, and they said they could see us at 11. Well, that wasn't going to work for me, so Henry and I loaded up in the car while we drove past what felt like every school zone in Charlotte with him lying quietly while I sobbed uncontrollably.

We get to the vet where we have to wait patiently until a room can be made available after 9. Henry starts to loosen up a bit and plays with his leash and barks at every passer byer and I'm thinking, "great, he's perfectly fine and here you have gone and overreacted again." Once we are in the room, they decide to do some blood work just to be sure. We wait patiently in the room and play for 30 minutes until the doctor came back. All I remember her saying is "liver failure." I started sobbing uncontrollably and wrapped myself around Henry on the floor in the vet. She mentioned something about going to get my options and I call my Dad in hysterics (Dad is always the one for emergencies.)

At this time, I have no idea what caused the liver failure and am convinced that this is the last day we will spend together and what will be my worst birthday of all time. She comes back in and explains in more detail that he had apparently gotten into something toxic on Monday or Tuesday of that week which is what caused him to be sick. The liver enzymes in his blood work was off the charts. The plan was to hospitalize him for that day so that he could be on an IV, liver medicine, and an antibiotic. She didn't make any promises but explained how we caught it very early and the liver is able to regenerate itself so that is what we will need to try to do and monitor closely over the next month.

I returned that night to pick him up and realized that may have renamed him Marley. He ripped out two IVs over the course of the day and caused a bit of a ruckus in the hospital but was doing well and that was all that mattered to me. He's home now with an extensive treatment plan that includes horrible smelling food formulated for liver regeneration, two antibiotics, and a liver supplement all of which he will be on for the next 30 days. My parents came up on Friday and we had to return the vet on Saturday for more blood work which showed improvements in his enzyme levels.

While he is still not 100%, he is on his way to improvement and that is all that matters. For that brief moment in time on Thursday, my life flashed before my eyes.

If you know me, you know Henry is my life. He is my puppy, my constant companion, my best friend, my child, my everything. We've lived in over five houses together across three states. He's the reason I can't wait to return home from vacation. We've been kicked out of patio seating due to someone's unruly behavior. He makes me rub above his eyes every night until he falls asleep. I cry almost everyday when I leave the house because I can't bear to leave him home. He's mastered the art of posing perfectly in every #ootd Instagram. I plan my weekend around him and how we can do more together. I skip out on dates because he's the best date there ever was. A large portion of my heart belongs to this little boy who is beyond charming in so many ways and can only be described as a lovable goofball.

Although, I know he will be OK, good luck getting me to do anything without him ever again. He is truly my everything and I am so thankful that I was a slightly over-reactive and rushed him to the hospital on Thursday morning. He keeps moving his head closer and closer to the keyboard which is his way of saying, stop typing. While this may not be a Shakespearian Sonnet, this is my love letter to my Henry and all of the pets we cherish so much.


Danielle and Henry

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Turning 26

Twenty Five was my "Golden Year", as I named it since I turned 25 on the 25th! The actual 25th day was incredible which included my mom flying in to Charlotte to surprise me at work, surprise dinner with all of my Charlotte friends, and a full day of celebrations.

The year turned out out to be even better. I took trips to New York, Paris, Boston, Chicago, Napa, Charleston, Seaside, many to Atlanta, and even a few home to Florida. I stood beside three of my dearest friends as they said "I do" and celebrated with 3 others as they committed their lives to each other. I bought a car. I ran a half marathon. I launched my own College Advising Program and have been overwhelmed with the support from my family, friends, and the community. I started eating better (thanks Holly) and finally have a fitness routine that I am happy with. I dyed my hair for the first time and started my lipstick collection. And lastly, I started this blog in my own little corner of the internet.

I've grown so much over the past year and while it can be a roller coaster of emotions sometimes, I am truly happy with where I am as a turn twenty-six today. Yes, there are days where I still feel behind some of my friends on life's major moments but instead of having fear or anxiety, I am turning it into hope and excitement for the future. There is so much more that I hope to accomplish and I know that I am only getting started.

Thank you to everyone for following along these past few months as I have started this blog and heres to more years together! I hope the day is filled with lots of birthday cake and champagne!

Cheers to 26!



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Outfit: Black & Blue + Bows

I've been waiting for a day chilly enough to wear my Kate Spade Bow Booties and since its the first week of fall, I couldn't think of a better opportunity. 

This silk sleeveless dress is on sale at J.Crew. 

I got these netta booties last fall when Kate Spade did one of their 20% off weekends. One of my favorite purchases, ever. They are back this year and they come in brown too

The black patent leather belt makes for a great closet staple. So many bows including this Kate Spade Ring and similar bracelet. (Have you pick up on how much I love bows yet?)



Tuesday, September 23, 2014

No Shopping September Cravings

I made a pact with one of my friends for "No Shopping September." Although it was tempting to break the pact and I tried to find loop holes, I have stuck to it. Meanwhile, thanks to Pinterest, Instagram, and window shopping at Monkees, I have found a few things that are at the tip top of my wish list. 

Kate Spade launched their new spot on collection and while I love every single piece, this Deco Dot Dorothy Coat has stolen my heart. I was already obsessing and then I saw it posted on History in High Heels and decided it moved from a want to need! 

I found The Providence Story through Instagram and now I want every single Blanket Scarf

I originally saw cute ballet flats on Pinterest but unfortunately, they were at Urban Outfitters which I don't support due to some of their insensitive designs. These by Yosi Samra are even better and I love that they put your initials on them. 

Again with the Tartan scarves but how beautiful is this one by Ralph Lauren

I feel like everyone on Instagram and in the blogger world has one of these Gigi New York clutches and I love this Navy Uber Clutch

I've really embraced leopard this year (remember these flats) but now I would love to add this Tory Burch Infinity Scarf to my collection. 

I've mentioned this Annie Griffin Collection skirt before and am still day dreaming about it. 

I saw this Elizabeth McKay sweater while browsing (no purchases!) at Monkees this weekend. I cannot wait till October! This is another one that I simply.... NEED! 

If anyone is looking for a last minute birthday gift, it's only two days away and I don't mind if my gift comes a few days late! :) 



Monday, September 22, 2014

26 by 26: Travel

One of the more ambitious goals for my 26 by 26 list was to take a trip that required a passport. While I thought this would be a well crafted trip consisting of months of planning after reading countless reviews and travel blogs, it ended up being a very spontaneous trip and as absolutely perfect!

One of my dearest friends, Molly, was living in Paris this past year and after many email conversations discussing a potential trip, I booked a flight with less than a month till departure. Not going to lie, I loved the way it sounded telling people I was taking a long weekend in Paris, very Blair Waldorf of me. 

I took the overnight flight on Thursday and arrived in Paris first thing on Friday morning. My version of an American Girl in Paris is never that glamourous. I don't speak the language besides Bonjour (which I mostly know from Beauty and the Beast) and Merci. I knew I had to take a particular bus but the electronic system was all in French and I may or may not have been yelled out for trying to look over someone's should while they entered their credit card information so I could memorize which buttons to push. Long story short, I figured it out and as Molly waited for me at the bus stop, she was told, "Don't worry, you're friend is on the next bus." Guess our friendship is that identifiable! 

Anyways, I made it to Molly and she immediately took me to get a hot dog. This American girl, was happy!

The best hot chocolate I have ever consumed. Seriously, perfection. 

Paris, being beautiful. 

We sent window sopping and played a little dress up in Chanel. 

Picking up our croissants on Saturday morning. If you don't know this about me, croissants are one of my favorite things. Croissants in Paris are even better. 

In the spirit of Fashion Week which was happening in Paris, we went to the Fashion Museum to see an exhibit on Conde Nast. Polka dots will always be timeless. 

We ran in to one of Molly's British friends and she told me I looked "chic" in my white coat. Basically, the best compliment to receive while in Paris and from a British girl. 

We brunched at one of the department stores. The department stores in Paris could be museums they are so beautiful. We felt very "ladies who brunch" at the department store and I would like to formally submit my application for the Real Housewives of Paris, now. 

Just a small part of it. My idea of what heaven looks like. 

Yes, please. 

Navy & Black. Glad to know I have the Paris style down. 

I bet Kate pick's up her fascinator's here. 

Even the street flowers are perfect. 

We went to a Champagne Bar (!!!) and discovered this charming little hallway. Molly takes the best mirror selfies so of course we were down for a little Instagram fun! 

We tried to go to dinner and the food was way too fancy for me and since I had been there for a little over 24 hours, I was very homesick. So what did we get for dinner, cheeseburgers and french fries. 

Chocolate shop that I am pretty sure was older than America (or maybe I made that up.) Either way, it was beautiful. 

Paris has the most beautiful doors. Seriously, obsessed. 


In all honesty, I may move. 

We ended the trip with a picnic by the Eiffle Tower as the sun set and the sparkles came on with champagne. Even with the cold temperatures, it was perfect! 

Caught in the act with my door obsession. 

Such a fun weekend with a sweet friend. I am eager to take a long weekend to London. Anyone want to come with? 



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Updates To The Blog!

Last week, I reached out to Carly, one of my favorite bloggers, to seek some advice for how I could update the blog since I have a few exciting things coming up in the next month or two. I was pretty impressed with how quickly she responded and couldn't wait to add her suggestions.

She suggested adding social buttons. Luckily, I found Heart & Arrow's Etsy shop, through Carly, one day this week and decided on the Misty Gray Icons. If you click on each one, you can be directed to my Pinterest, Instagram, Bloglovin, LinkedIn, and Facebook accounts.

Speaking of, I decided to  make a Facebook Page for Elle Paige & Henry! I've read this is the best way to share posts but hadn't taken the time to create a page for my little blog yet. If you've liked the page already, THANK YOU, if not, please do! It was pretty simple to create except I am embarrassed to say how long I spent crafting the cover photo.

If you're not on Bloglovin, which I strongly recommend if you follow multiple blogs, you can also sign up to get Elle Paige & Henry updates directly to your inbox.

Hopefully, you will follow along on all of my social media accounts! Stay tuned for more updates coming soon!



Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Slowing Down

I can't remember the last time when I left work and simply came home with nothing to do. I have an inability to sit still so I tend to overbook myself until I reach the point of exhaustion, which has been this week.

The last few weeks have all passed by in a blur of trips to Napa, playing host to what can only be described as the modern plague for a week, running, training, sore muscles, walks with Henry, trips to Charleston, Faith Formation Classes, Shake It Off and sadly, an entire package of Oreos. While I pack my life with nonstop, fun things to do, I know that I need rest more and I have not given myself much rest the past few weeks.

We got back to Charlotte around noon on Saturday but by time I unpacked, did laundry, went to Target, went to Whole Foods, cooked dinner, went through the mail, and checked my email it was past six before I actually sat down to breathe. I quickly went full speed ahead and dove into a busy week with two workiversaries (yay celebrations) but I quickly noticed that I needed my rest.

First, on Monday, I baked a cookie cake as requested for a workiversary on Tuesday. I didn't drink enough water that day and had a horrible headache but forced myself to go to yoga to stretch since I am pretty sure I have an injury so by time I got home with all of the ingredients for the cookie cake and did my baking, it was 9:30 (late by my standard) and I was standing in the kitchen with a splitting headache just waiting for it to cool enough to add frosting. I thought I had waited patiently, until the next morning when I discovered a sunken in concoction that was later described as a poop cake. Yay me. Tuesday, I went to work, went to my trainer, drove like a maniac per usual and came home to make cupcakes as requested for the second workiversary of the week (we need to stop hiring people in September, its my month!) I was pretty impressed with my flow and proud of my self control to eat a banana instead of the cake batter. Waited till all the cupcakes were done and was letting them cool completely before I was ready for frosting. After an hour had passed, I pranced to the kitchen eager to frost my cupcakes and call it a night. I go to lift the cupcakes out of the pan and find myself confused as to why they are sticking. I try my usual methods of flipping over the pan and then it hits me, I forgot to use cupcake liners. While I fight back tears on my second baking fail in a row (and I pride myself on my baking), I crumbled the chocolate chip cookie cupcakes into what was later named "mush." All the while, Henry has taken to a strong fascination of eating as many q-tips as possible. (Seriously, I've raised a weirdo.) In efforts to move past this catastrophe and losing my self proclaimed title of bakeralla, I decide to be proactive and iron my clothes for work the next day since I had to be there early for an interview. And what do I do? I decided to redesign my lovely shirt with the pattern of burnt iron. Ruined. At this point, I was near mental breakdown and just unplugged the iron and went to my room and cried myself to sleep. (Dramatic, I know. But crying makes everything better.)

So, if you are still reading after my saga, this is my proclamation of slowing down. Committing to less, taking my time, relaxing, and enjoying this life that I live instead of letting it all pass by in blurs that lead to tears.

Of course, I've overcommitted myself for the next few days but just wait till this weekend! I plan to slow down (or at least attempt to.)



Monday, September 15, 2014

Navy & Black & Brown

Fall is in the air and I am oh so excited! Growing up, I remember black and brown combinations being big no-no's and navy and black were not even considered. I've been playing around with black and brown for a few years and have always thought they compliment each other well and was thrilled last year when navy and black became an official thing. I love navy (#navyornothing) and at least half of my closet is black due to its slimming abilities so this really was my idea of fashion heaven! 

I put together this little outfit which is perfect for fall using the trifecta of navy, black, and brown! The entire outfit is from the J.Crew & Madewell family... love. 

You may remember my hot pink silk cami from here and here

Picked these up when I grabbed my Boy Jeans

I wore my black suede pumps I picked up on sale at J. Crew last year. I am drooling over these scalloped kitten heels

I received the stationery clutch as a Christmas gift from J. Crew two years ago. While it is no longer available, I am loving this and this

Of course, I popped by my favorite section of Dean & Deluca. 

Have a great week!



Friday, September 12, 2014

26 by 26: Run 2 Half Marathons

Last week, I shared my Trapeze Flying Lessons as part of my 26 by 26 List in honor of my birthday month. (Less than two weeks away, not that I have a countdown or anything!) This week, I thought I would share one of the goals I did not accomplish and a little backstory as to why. I set the goal of running two half marathons while I was 25 and I only did one.

This past year, my Mom really wanted to do The New York City Half Marathon in March. It's pretty difficult to get in through lottery but if you purchase a race entry and hotel room through one of their travel partners, its a bit more expensive but feasible so I surprised with her with two entries for her Christmas present. I didn't fully think this one through as the race was in New York City in March. I imagined flowers blooming and temperatures maybe in the 40s in the morning but warming up to the 60s by time we finished our race. I was wrong. Very Wrong.

When we boarded our bus at 4:00 AM outside of our hotel it was 23 degrees outside. Yes, 23 and luckily for us, a little windy. Mom and I were shivering so terribly we hid in port a potties to keep warm outside of the starting line in Central Park. As the faster starters were shedding their leaders in preparation to start, we were collecting foil blankets and sweatshirts to keep warm. 

Once we started moving, it really was a fun race. The race starts in Central Park and weaved around the park before heading through Times Square, along the West Side Highway, and then through a tunnel to the finish line. We were all smiles for the photographers! 

Upon our finish (Mom 11 seconds ahead of me) it had warmed up to maybe 25 degrees. It was then that I vowed to not do my second half marathon of the year. Quickly after finishing, I had an asthma attack which turned into hypothermia and time in the medical tent surrounded by numerous doctors, nurses, and talks of taking my clothes off to get me dry. (AHH!) While terrifying, I survived what I named my near death experience and vowed that the NYC Half was a great way for me to end my short lived half marathon career. 

This meant, not meeting one of my 26 by 26 goals I set for myself, but I was OK with it. Deep down, I knew this promise wouldn't last forever and Mom and I have since signed up for the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February. While, I am not proud of myself for how I handled the hypothermia incident and missing one of my goals, I think its important to share my not so glamorous experiences here as well. Sometimes, you don't make all of your goals for yourself but its equally as important to keep going and simply not give up. 

Happy weekend!