Happy Breathing with 2015 beginning

Hello Friends!

With all the emails and other communications, I hadn't realized it had been so long since I put up a blog entry on my site. But we have passed the one year mark since transplant, had Christmas at home, and now a day away from ringing in 2015. It has been an amazing ride.

When I think about where I was a year ago....living in a hotel with Craig at New Year's time, already anxious to come home (but unknowingly, that was still a month and a half away), I look back and see how quickly that time period actually was. I guess I "rocked it" in my recovery. I had some ideal numbers on the machines and made quick progress all the way around. Seemed like forever at the time.

And now a year later, I am not sure how we accomplished "stopping life". It seems like there is more to do than ever at work and around the house. I can't be home enough for the kitties and it seems like life is going 100 miles an hour. I certainly contribute to that, as my energy seems boundless. I have been back at work from almost immediately in coming home, working on theatre projects again, reading plays and books, doing yardwork, load ins and outs, going to friends' houses....doing normal things. I was able to do some climbing/hiking in the mountains, and a dear friend took me a couple of times to a reserve to see Bald Eagles.

I think Craig is more than thrilled that I can vacuum and do laundry again. He got a bonus when I shoveled the snow we got yesterday. I have dealt with some infections - that comes with the territory. I still have regular blood tests (and other tests as needed), still have regular appointments in Denver and still have constant adjustments to the medications. But anymore, this has become the new norm. And it's a lot better than the old norm.

So, to all those who have followed this long journey, thank you for continuing to follow. The road will continue the rest of my life; just down this new path. Yes, I still have CF, yes it is still a factor. But now transplant takes precedence and hopefully the CF doesn't interfere with that process.

With that I will close off with forward thoughts to 2015; looking forward to more traveling again, continue to find out what else my lungs can do, and look forward to the second anniversary of my new lungs; along with continued thoughts of my donor, EVERY day, so I can continue this new life.

Happy New Year!

Lara

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What Men Really Think About Our Clothes?

When it comes to fashion, most men could care less. Shopping? Same thing. Makeup? Not interested. But when it comes to how sexy a woman looks when she's all done up or just chilling in her sweatpants, men are all ears, or eyes we should say—they're visual creatures, what do you expect? They don't care about the hottest new fashion trends or how much a tank top opportunity cost (well, sort of), as long as it looks good on a woman and hugs her curves in all the right places, it's good enough for them. Common though, where's the fun in that? Men have to have a look they love on a gal, right? Here's what we concluded after careful consideration:
1. Men Love Women in a T-Shirt and Tight Jeans
Turns out the casual, au natural look isn't so bad after all. "It's sexy and shows off the curves, but still leaves things to the imagination," says Rafael, an LA based designer. Emma from UK would also have to agree, noting that her husband prefers her most when she's wearing boyfriend jeans, a t-shirt and no makeup.
2. Men Don't Love Women in Clothes That Look Like They Cost More than Their Car
What!? Guys don't love Chanel?!?! "Although it may look good," says Dan, a Manhattan based comedian, "it will make most heterosexual, down to earth men run the other way." Hmm, we guess high maintenance isn't really their thing?jeans for men
3. Different Is Good
"A different or unique outfit reflects a confident woman who is sure of herself," says Andrew Schrage, Editor of the Money Crashers personal finance blog. "Even if it's not the most physically attractive outfit, the thought behind it can be mentally stimulating," Awesome, we love this! Is this outfit too different?
4. Body-Con Dresses Are Great
No surprise here—guys love anything that's form fitting!
5. Yoga Pants Are Probably the Best
We kind of have to agree…they do make our tushes look good! "I don't know when they became an acceptable thing to wear out, but I'm just glad they did," says Mike of NC.
6. Oh, and High Heels Are Super Sexy as Well
This one goes without saying. Every guy loves a woman in high heels!
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Sting and Jennifer Lopez star at lavish Moscow wedding of oligar

Despite Russia's economic crisis, no expense spared at marriage of Mikhail Gutseriev's son to a dentistry student
Russia's economy is in recession as it languishes under western sanctions and low oil prices. Three million people fell into poverty last year.

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But oligarch Mikhail Gutseriev didn't seem to be feeling the pinch as he shelled out millions of dollars for his son's weekend wedding in Moscow, which featured foreign stars such as Sting, Jennifer Lopez and Enrique Iglesias.

Gutseriev, estimated by Forbes to be worth $6.2bn (£4.3bn), owns assets including the oil company Russneft and has also written songs for famous Russian singers. It was little wonder, then, that he brought in top performers for the wedding on Saturday of his Oxford-educated 28-year-old son, Said, to 19-year-old Khadija Uzhakhova, a dentistry student from the Gutserievs' ethnic homeland of Ingushetia.

J-Lo reportedly performed choreographed hits with a troupe of dancers, at one point joking that pronouncing the bride and groom's names was "the hardest thing I had to do today". She has commanded up to $1.4m for similar performances in the past.

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Sting, who served as the de facto wedding band with songs such as Message in a Bottle and Every Breath You Take, was photographed holding a bouquet and talking to a slightly awkward-looking Said. Other performers included Iglesias, French star Patricia Kaas and Russian singer Alla Pugachyova.

About 600 guests, including the Ingushetian president, Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, attended the celebration at the upscale Safisa restaurant, which was covered floor-to-ceiling with elaborate flower arrangements that Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper reported cost about $200,000. The bride was bedecked with diamonds and wore a custom-beaded Elie Saab gown, which can reportedly cost up to £18,000. The nine-tiered wedding cake was topped with a Muslim crescent moon and star.

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A second wedding celebration in London this weekend will also feature famous singers, according to Russian media reports.

The impoverished Ingushetia has the highest unemployment of any region in Russia, and media noted that the wedding probably cost more than the region's planned expenditures this year on health care and education.

Many social media users were disgusted by the extravagance, with one uploading a video of the elder Gutseriev advising Russians to "start saving on everything".

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Furne One leads the pack of master couturiers at Bride Abu Dhabi

Furne One leads the pack of master couturiers at Bride Abu Dhabi

From cake and centrepieces to haute couture, the capital’s biggest wedding show returns to Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre on Wednesday, bringing together under one roof everything a bride-to-be could need, including florists, caterers, event planners, photographers and, of course, ­designers.

Leading the fashion pack is Dubai-based master ­couturier Furne One, who will send exquisite wedding gowns from his Amato label down the catwalk.

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Established in 2000, and meaning “beloved" in Italian, Amato by Furne One ranks among the UAE’s most respected home-grown couture houses. Best known for his sculptural gowns and avant-garde creations, One was quick to break through the style ceiling and his pieces have been worn by the likes of Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez and Katy Perry, to name a few.

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“My creativity is inspired by my mother and my grandmother’s quintessential style," says One. “I have always tried to create exquisite and ethereal design tempered with a silent strength. My ­collections aren’t for faint-­hearted women, but ones who are comfortable in their own skin. Their ensembles are but foils to reflect their inner personas."

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Evening wear couture aside, much of One’s time is dedicated to realising the wedding dress dreams of high-net-worth clients from Europe, and in particular Russia. Royal brides-to-be from the GCC are also loyal patrons of his dresses which run the gamut from fairytale ballgowns to ­modern-day Mata Hari separates – ethereal, enchanting and highly individual.

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Amato recalls the most elaborate gown he created was for a wedding in Saudi Arabia. “We used real stones – hundreds of real diamonds and pearls – to decorate the gown. It took two months to finish and around thirty people worked on it. The dress was traditional in its silhouette– very princess-like and off-the-shoulder."

With the Amato atelier having grown organically in its fourteen years of operation, One now employs a team of around 50 artisans and works with almost 100 industry experts to ensure the smooth running of his couture empire. Wedding gown creation is a busy business that sees clients spending a minimum of Dh50,000 on a single gown and plenty more ­besides.

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“Ladies will also often need dresses for the days before and after the wedding." says One. “Traditions vary between nationalities but many order ‘new clothes’ for their ‘new lives’. They may want outfits for henna parties or ‘thank you’ cocktail parties, for example. Many request very traditional outfits for these, while others simply want party dresses."

As for current trends, One says this again depends greatly on where his bride’s come from, but classic lines tend to endure.

“A lot of brides are looking for very simple, very romantic styles of wedding dress. They also want it to have a vintage look." he says “The silhouettes tend to be very Cinderella – with a lot of tulle and French lace. With locals, they want very modern wedding gowns and they love texture. But above all, the dresses must be lightweight, not at all heavy and very easy to wear. Colour-wise, for mother’s of the bride and the family, ladies are loving deep colours like oxblood and maroon at the moment."

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Should newly-engaged pop star Kylie Minogue commission Amato to sketch her gown for her upcoming nuptials, the designer has a specific style in mind for the diminutive entertainer.

“I’d create something very romantic, a sensual silhouette." he says “Kylie’s dress should be definitely be long – not cocktail – and it would be backless. As for the colour, perhaps it should be ecru."