Blood Clot Awareness Month!

If you have happened to peruse my about the owner page, then you probably know that I am a blood clot survivor. Because of this I am a HUGE advocate for blood clot awareness. So, today I wanted to write this post to illuminate some very important statistics related to blood clots!

Like my shirt? Want yours? Click here to buy! 50% of proceeds will go to DVT/PE awareness organizations!

Did you Know?

  • On average, 1 person dies in the United States due to a blood clot every 6 minutes.
  • Pregnancy increases a women’s risk for a blood clot four fold
  • The first symptom in 25% of those who suffer from a Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which is blood clots found in the lungs, is sudden death. DEATH!!
  • 10% to 30% of people affected by DVT/PE will die within one month of diagnosis.



  • Swelling
  • Pain or tenderness not caused by injury
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Redness or discoloration of the skin


  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath 
  • Coughing, or coughing up blood 
  • Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat

Who is at risk?

  • May Thurner Syndrome (Illiac Compression Syndrome) –> This is me!!
  • Hospitalization for illness or surgery
  • Major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, knee
  • Severe physical trauma, such as a car accident
  • Injury to a vein that may have been caused by a broken bone or severe muscle injury
  • Hip or knee replacement surgery
  • Cancer and cancer treatments
  • Use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch or ring
  • Pregnancy, which includes the six weeks after the baby is born
  • The use of hormone therapy with estrogen
  • A family history of blood clots
  • Overweight
  • Confinement to bed or wheelchair
  • Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed
  • Smoking
  • Age 55 or older
  • Long-term diseases such as heart and lung conditions, or diabetes

My Story

My blood clot came out of no where. I was completely unaware that I have a non-sensical, structural anomaly in my left hip. I have May Thurner Syndrome, also known as Iliac Vein Compression Syndrome. What does this mean? It just means that unlike most of population my iliac artery runs over, rather than under the iliac vein. Why does this pose a problem? Well it typically doesn’t unless you gain weight in your abdomen, like when you are pregnant. I personally made it 40 weeks before my condition reared its ugly head.

On December 4, 2016 my left leg ballooned up to larger then my pre-pregnancy waist size. The doctors didn’t believe that I had a clot at first, testing came back negative and they believed that my daughter was just compressing the vein causing the swelling, so they induced me on December 5th and Cordelia Joy was born. My doctors continued to believe that this was the case, that birth was the solution and released me home. I called the doctor multiple times but I was told that it was normal to have swelling post part and was offered tips on how to reduce the swelling with diuretics and elevation.

I went 10 days assuming my doctors were correct. It wasn’t until I lost the ability to walk completely that I sought the second opinion of a vein specialist. At this point merely standing would cause a massive burning sensation and immense pain. On December 15th I was diagnosed with a massive DVT (Deep vein Thrombosis) that stretched from my hip to my calf. Unknown to me I also had micro clots in my lungs that were affecting my heart causing tachycardia. In a weeks time I underwent thrombolysis and a thrombolectmy to completely remove the clot from my leg. I spent a total of 4 days in the ICU, away from my newborn daughter, being pumped full of clot busting medication.

It took months of recovery to walk normally and recoup a semblance of my prior lifestyle. I am incredibly lucky to have survived, many with similar symptoms would not have. Because of this experience I reassessed my life. I chose to leave my Wealth Management career to pursue my love of design & home decor. In 2017 I started Refined Relics Designs and never looked back.

It is so important that people are aware of the seriousness of blood clots, the impact they have and how many people are really affected by them. So please know the symptoms and be your own advocate.

Yes, count em. 2 IVs in one arm. One for pain meds one for iron.
My leg was pretty rough!
Ick catheters run through my leg for 4 days straight, thinned blood so much I needed 2 blood transfusions


Thanks for reading loves! <3

4 Modern Farmhouse Fads I’m Ready to Say Goodbye to in 2018

The modern farmhouse style has brought many really neat home decor trends into the limelight, we’re talking shiplap, vintage decor and the neutral white or grey palette. But…there are a couple trends we are ready to see exit stage right. Not that these trends are overtly bad, some are still wonderful. Just so crazily over done by everyone and their sister we have seen them lose all authenticity. Here are our top picks for the trends that needs to fade away in 2018.



While I fully embrace the gallery wall or shelving with lots to display, I am getting a little tired of the cluttered farmhouse look. By this I mean every surface in your home is so cluttered with decor pieces that it makes it feel unlivable. I don’t know who these people are out there that can make these spaces functional, but they must be without children, pets or possibly any other living thing that inhabits the home. The idea of having to walk through these homes with out knocking something over or god forbid cleaning it, makes me shutter. Farmhouse style should me cozy not cluttered.

Subway Tile

Now this one is tough for me, I LOVE subway tile. It is neutral, classic and gorgeous. Then whats my complaint? It’s in nearly every modern kitchen I see and I am ready for a little change. In my Texas house I completely ripped out the 1950s kitchen and replaced the backsplash with a high-end crackle glass lantern shaped tile in smoke grey. It was AMAZING, it was a perfect contrast to the white sparkly countertops and white cabinets.

Rae Dunn

Okay this one I have never 100% understood, so please don’t hate me. Rae Dunn is very cute, it is also very basic so why the hubbub? It has become so incredibly popular that you see it in 50% of the home decor posts on Instagram. It’s simple and cute, but far from unique. I have started to stray from this look, opting for ceramic accents that have a little more color, pop or a script style font. To each their own I suppose, your coffee stations are still looking mighty fly.


So Much White

White on white on white needs to stop. I love the crisp clean white palette, but when your decor is lacking in all color I’m starting to get a little bored. I love me some pops of color to accent a neutral palette, and personally I mix some grey in with my white to keep things from getting blah. This also brings me back to an earlier point, I want my house to still look livable and cozy. I would lose my mind in an all white scheme, knowing how clumsy I am everything would be stained. Coffee everywhere I swear.

These are just some of my humble opinions, tell us what home decor trend has you rolling your eyes and hoping for it’s exit in 2018?


Untouched Rustic Farmhouse, Yes Please!

We all dream of finding that diamond in the rough. That fantastic rustic farmhouse just waiting for us to rescue it, or for it to rescue you. I recently stumbled on this one online and I must admit I am drooling. I am totally unabashedly, head over heels in love with this truly untouched 1890s farmhouse. When I first saw articles about this house I really got giddy and knew I just had to share! Oh what would I do if I had access to this massive ornate farmhouse.

Lets take a look at the details!

Keller Williams / Anne Taylor Photography and Design

This 4,000+ square foot farmhouse is true to the Victorian Era, packed full of incredible ornate details. Most notably the railings of the farmhouse porch exhibit amazing design.

Wholly Shiplap Batman!

Keller Williams / Anne Taylor Photography and Design

Are we seeing an entire room of the authentic whitewashed paneling we have all come to know and love, thanks to the Lovely Joanna Gaines? Yes! Absolutely amazing, such drama to this room. Although there is obviously a ton of work to be done, this room still has so much appeal.

Look at these windows!

Keller Williams / Anne Taylor Photography and Design

I am a sucker for big rooms with lots of light. Take a peek at these massive windows in this room! These windows are also pretty characteristic of the era. Big panes of windows became popular during the Victorian period, and they really shine here.

What about that staircase?

Keller Williams / Anne Taylor Photography and Design

Now this isn’t the grandest staircase I have ever seen but It is certainly eye catching. A nice solid, appealing staircase is another must have on my renovation dream check list! I can’t have been the only little girl who dreamed about sauntering down a grand staircase as a princess or perhaps a Jedi…don’t judge me.



What would you do with this lovely home? Comment below!


5 Favorite Style Trends (Other than Farmhouse) That We Love

I know, I know farmhouse style right now is hot, and one of my personal favorite styles. All the chipping paint and authentic wear can make any antique lover swoon, alas that is not the only style I love. Here is my top 5 non-farmhouse trends that have me and many other designers drooling!


  1. Geometric Shapes

Whether is contemporary planters, cups or even the Himmeli (A traditional Finnish Christmas ornament) geometric shapes have become super popular. We are loving the contemporary and simplistic flare of his trend and how nicely it serves a purpose for small décor pieces and often as a plant holding accent.


  1. Copper

Copper, copper, copper. Now this trend has been coming back for a while now and I cannot help but absolutely love it. Not only is Copper a super easy material to get your hands on, the color is so often sophisticated and classy. Not sure if we can thank the resurgence of the Moscow Mule and the associated copper mug, but whatever the reasoning, we are pumped to be adding this trend to our holiday homes.


  1. Gold

Much like copper gold has become tremendously popular. It has become a mainstay in a glam or classy, often more modern home. Gold can be wonderful in small and large ways, whether it’s a small golden décor item, throw pillow or a gold coffee table, it can make a wonderful and feminine statement. We say feminine because it pairs so well with pinks and more feminine color pallets.


  1. Neutral

Okay, okay well maybe this one ties into the farmhouse style right now. Whites, beige and muted greys have become all the rage and the farmhouse style has don’t nothing but help this along. This simple and timeless trend has many a home décor nut opting for less bold colors and more white.


  1. Minimalist

Clean, simple, classic and timeless if that doesn’t describe this whole list then I am not really sure what else would. The minimalist style is definitely the clean freaks dream. While it is partially the opposite of what I warmly consider the farmhouse-clutter-chic, minimalism, give me the urge to reduce the clutter and go for clean, smooth lines.


5 Ways Joanna Gaines Has Changed the Game

Joanna Gaines and her husband Chip have become household names and genuinely started a whole style revolution! Following their announcement last month that this upcoming season of Fixer-Upper will be the final season, us loyal fans have had to come to terms with the fact our favorite show and favorite couple will no longer be gracing our television screens. In honor of this announcement we thought we would release our top 5 ways that Joanna Gaines has changed the style, renovation and real estate game!


5.) Wholly Ambition Batman

Photo Credit Mike Brake

Let’s just take a step back and realize that this is a woman with four young children, a small farm, husband and a massive multi-national brand all based in Waco, Texas. This is pretty impressive, amazing and downright insane. Now I lived in Texas for nearly 5 years in both the cities of Austin and Dallas, so I have made the trek through Waco on I-35 only a million times, and let me tell you, Waco while possessing a lot of the Texan charm, is nothing like the metropolises to the north and south. My husband and I purchased our first home in a Dallas suburb in 2016 for $208,000, spent a year renovating the small 1-story brick home and a year later sold it for $250,000 after about $20,000 worth of renovations. Pretty impressive, right? Well yes, but we were capitalizing on the ridiculous Texas and specifically Dallas real estate markets. Waco certainly does not have the same real estate values and growth that a huge city like Dallas has, and the fact that the Gaines’ have been able to do so much without having to sell out their Texan roots and move to a bigger city is stunning. People from all over the world literally travel to them in Waco to visit their store, specifically to shop and experience the brand the Gaines’ have established. Who else has that kind of brand loyalty?


4.) Artisan Love


The last couple years have seen a massive push for artisan made goods at all ends of the spectrum, from soap to furniture, and we have the Gaines’ to thank for at least a portion of this. On the show, you can see Joanna frequenting her favorite artisans and vendors. She returns to the same individuals for unique and custom pieces, and gives you a sense of the warm and fuzzies. These are real people who have worked hard to hone their craft and it is refreshing to see them succeed, especially when their goods are so impressive. Now it seems like everyone has some side business or Etsy shop where they distribute their passion projects to the masses.


3.) Shiplap


Okay, so who had even heard of Shiplap before Joanna Gaines? Now I can’t think of single home décor guru that I follow on Instagram that doesn’t at least have one shiplap accent wall. This ode to a time gone by sets hearts a swoon whenever she features it in the show, and now it is a massive trend in old and new homes. It is simple, classic and we all can’t but hope that this one sticks around for a while. Speaking as someone who has grown up in homes that predate the United States of American by a good decade or two, I love to hear people who know a thing or two about older home restoration. Now if only I can get people’s eyes from glazing over when I speak of horsehair plaster and square peg nails.


2.) Relationship Goals

Chip and Joanna
Via Magnolia Market

I think this is a big one. We love Joanna and Chip, and their whole darn family! Why? Because they are adorable! It is so refreshing to take a break from the Kardashian relationship variety and see a cute couple, obviously in love, who have built a wonderful life and company together. We just don’t see this enough and I think what these two have, have us all saying “relationship goals”!


1.) Farmhouse Style


Boom, here’s the biggen’. Quick do a quick search for home décor on Instagram, what comes up? I will tell you will see a lot of chipping paint, white and rustic accents. Throw in a destressed window and magnolia wreath and you have the starter pack for the farmhouse style! You can thank Joanna for this. People have been so receptive to this trend that regardless of your personal homes style you can see it time and time again. Even here at Refined Relics we embrace this style in our boxes and love to cater to this demographic that Joanna largely created.


While I think we can all say we are sad and disappointed that Fixer Upper will be coming to a close following the 5th and final season, we have to give kudos where they are due. We have all followed the Gaines on their journey through the years and watched them explode into a massive brand, one we are all obsessed with. For them to take a step back and focus on their family, we all have to smile and appreciate that this is part of the reason that we love them so much.


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