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Getting out on good days

health, pain, exploring, trends, art and design, foodAmanda VinciComment

I've been riding the chronic pain coaster for a couple of months now, one week of feeling great followed by another of swollen muscles and stiff joints. During an especially bad night a few weeks ago I made a promise to myself, a promise to  have to take advantage of my good days. Make the most of them, go out there and get inspired.

I work in and live right outside of the greatest city in the world (my opinion, of course). But the last thing I usually want to do during down time is get pushed around on the subways and walk down long city blocks. But I've been keeping my promise to myself, pushing myself to get our there and explore what NYC has to offer.

Here's some of what I've discovered:

Pietro Nolita is a perfectly millennial pink instagramable hot spot just north of Little Italy. It's owner, Pietro, designed this 25-seater restaurant to reflect the warmth and happiness of his home country (and family's) – Italy. The food is quite authentically Italian, and I loved my al dente Cacio e Pepe. Everything is as the napkin suggests, "pink as fuck"... including the drinks, some of the food, and the adorable bathroom. 

Which seat would you take? I'm amazed by the skeleton stools and there was no shortage of inspiration at Collective Design Fair that took place May 3-7 during NYCxDesign. Unfortunately I didn't keep track of the names of these pieces or the artists they're by, but here are some of my favorites from the collection!

WE WILL NO LONGER BE SEEN AND NOT HEARD. Yes indeed. Love everything about this.

The piece above by Zachari Logan especially spoke to me about struggles with chronic illness and body acceptance. I related it to my recent realization that my body and mind connecting is what makes me feel whole.

I have a list of over 1,000 restaurants I want to try. Not exaggerating. And The Lucky Bee has been at the top of my list for a while now. Yet another posh and adorable restaurant, this one serves a Thai inspired cuisine and delicious drinks. I was a little disappointed with my meal (not much on the menu for veggies) but my friends really enjoyed theirs. Go for the drinks and a snack, service was slow slow slow though.

I visited Gallow Green for my second time this week, thanks to the good people at Facebook hosting my work team for drinks and snacks. I absolutely love this rooftop bar and restaurant that's located on top of the McKittrick Hotel, home of the famously creative show Sleep No More. The drinks and food here are pricey but unbelievably good.

My summer goals are officially set: eat healthy (except when at a great restaurant) drink only a little (except for brunches!) and explore a lot (except for bad pain days... and work. Still have to go to work). Hooray for getting out on good days!

EH Reviews: Sock Style

style, trends, shopping, pain, eh reviews, chronic painAmanda Vinci1 Comment
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If there's one thing I've noticed in the online spoonie community, it's that spoonies have some great socks. And of course we do, they're a great way to express ourselves and be cozy and comfortable doing so. I'm a sucker for socks – fun patterns, silly sayings, chunky knits – I even collect a pair from wherever I go on vacation.

But socks could do more for you than just look cute and keep your feet warm. Because of my fibro, my calves tend to cause me a lot of pain.The muscles in my calves tighten, making the pain sharp and throbbing, especially during a flare. I purchased a pair of "old people's" compression socks at an airport newsstand. They were nothing special... but I was on my way to a 6 hour flight, and my legs were already pulsing with pain. They were worth the try.

Since then, I've used my bleak, unsexy compression socks to help me get the blood flowing on bad leg days. They help quite a bit, but gosh... do they have to look so unflattering?

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I was on the hunt for some cute compression socks I could rock without feeling like Grandma Moses. That's when I came across these bright colored beauties from Samson Hosiery. They remind me of the basketball socks all the cool kids are wearing, but they provide the same relief I felt with the "medical" pair. These unique socks come in an endless variety of colors, and provide compression gradually to help increase circulation. 

Samson Hosiery sent me 3 of their fun pair to try, the blue and pink were definitely my favorites, and fit the same as the purple. I have wide calves and size 8 feet, and they were just right. The 3rd pair was a slightly different neon green pair with great traction on the bottom of the feet, but a bit too long on my legs – I'm only 5'2".

Samson also carries compression sleeves, providing calf support without the foot being covered – perfect for under your pant leg when you're wearing flats or sandals. Their socks are all one size, unisex, and are performance socks... but if your performance consists of getting out of bed each day, these are perfect for you.

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Here are some stats about the socks:
15-20 mmHg* (medium support compression)

  • Help prevent and relieve minor to moderate varicose and spider veins.
  • Relieve tired, aching legs, and minor swelling of feet, ankles and legs.
  • Help prevent varicose and spider veins during pregnancy.
  • Help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
  • Used in post-sclerotherapy treatment to prevent the reappearance of veins.
  • Ideal compression level for those traveling long distances.

When I first wake up, I'm a little shaky when stepping out of bed. Pulling these socks on in the morning makes me feel like Ariel in the Little Mermaid when she discovers her new legs. They help me to feel stable, giving me a little boost in getting the day going. 

Check out all of Samson Hosiery's amazing compression socks, as well as their fun and unique regular socks over on their Etsy shop. Got to tell you... I've got my eye on their laser cat socks :-P

Sponsored. 

Comfy Fall Finds

blog, shopping, chronic pain, style, trendsAmanda VinciComment
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This fall, let's look good – even if we might not feel good. Luckily, fashion seems to be in our favor  this season. Drawstring drapey pants are everywhere, along with light loose tops and oversized cardigans. Get excited, leaves are about to turn, PSL's are being served and leggings are not just for your flare days. Here are some pain-free must-haves for the fall.

Cute coat
Throw it over whatever you've got on and like magic, you're well dressed and warm. It's a struggle to find something that's easy to put on/take off, and won't restrict your movement when wearing it. Unfortunately you'll never know until you try on about 100 different styles (and swear off ever shopping again) but this green zip-up from H&M is a great place to start.

Leggings to love
We all own our favorite pair of leggings. And yes, we know... leggings are not pants. BUT... what if they could be? I absolutely love these body fit leggings from Zara. They're high waisted with wide elastic banding on the hips, perfect for bad back days. They're soft and stretchy but thick enough to pass as pants.

Too tired tunic
Dreaded dress-up occasion? This tunic's got you covered (literally). Long and flowy, you can wear it with leggings or tights, or with no bottoms at all. I love the small metal detail on top that gives it a classy casual feeling without causing any harm. 

Cozy cardigan
Wish you could bring your big blanket out shopping or to a doctor's appointment? You sorta kinda can with an oversized cardigan like this one from H&M. The half sleeves are perfect for transitioning from warm to cool, and it comes in 4 patterns and costs only 14.99?! 

Perfect Portofino
The Express Portofino shirt is the shit. It's light and soft, fits just right and comes in endless colors and patterns. You'll feel like you're wearing a button-down pajama shirt, but will look like you're ready for a big meeting... or a nice dinner... or a trip to the supermarket... (seriously, it works for everything).

Check mate
Plaid shirts are a fall staple, but often these tops are stiff and itchy. I've been on the hunt for a cozy, comfortable plaid and I think this shrunken boy shirt from J.Crew is just the one.

Transitional tank
I'm super excited to say so long to summer clothes, but as the weather gets cooler, I still refuse to part from my abundant collection of sleeveless tops. I've become a purveyor of silk and cotton tanks in just about every color and pattern, because, like Michelle Obama, my arms were meant to be free! I have my eye on this adorable hashtag tank from Madewell. Pair it up with a cozy cardigan or button down when venturing outside and you're ready for anything.

Wrap it
My favorite purchase this season has been my oversized light weight scarf from RL. Wear it as a shawl, a scarf, a head wrap, a papoose for your ferret. Seriously... I do. Stuff it in your bag on your way out and know that you'll have a cute instant way to warm up.

Loose legs
Drapey drawstring pants are everywhere this season and I can't wait to grab myself a pair. My leg muscles expand and contract throughout the day, so a pair of these green drawstrings from Banana Republic would be a great fit. 

No mess dress
Sometimes I'm just too exhausted to pick out and put on multiple items of clothing. A solution to this is one great versatile dress that's comfortable and warm. Check out this Banana Republic knit contrast dress. It's loose fitting and cute as hell. It's appropriate for a work day or a night outing. Pair it with leggings or tights for that extra layer of warmth and ta-da, outfit complete.