Halloween Cocktails

Thursday, October 30, 2014

With me being so ill lately it’s been very hard for me to blog. I had received some delicious wine from Once Upon A Vine and was so grateful to have the fantastic Sarah and Amanda from Handmade Mood jump in to guest post on some yummy Halloween cocktails! Just in time for Halloween these ladies have got you covered with three easy recipes! Be sure to take some time to visit Handmade Mood as well – it’s one of my favorite blogs!

Wicked Witch Mulled Wine



  • 750 ml Red Wine (We used Once Upon A Vine Pinot)
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • Zest from one orange
  • 2 dried star anise pods
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • (You can also just use 1 Tbsp of Mulling spices)


  1. Combine all ingredients into a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Simmer for 5 minutes, and pour through a sieve into a mug.
  3. Garnish with cinnamon sticks or orange peel.


hocus pocus hot chocolate



  • 2 c. whole milk
  • ¾ c. semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 c. Red Wine (we used Once Upon a Vine Big Bad Red Blend )


  1. Add milk and chocolate chips to a medium saucepan and heat over low heat until the chocolate melts, stirring constantly.
  2. Add the wine and cook until it’s warmed through.
  3. Garnish with Pumpkin Candy or Halloween Marshmallows!


Glinda’s Good punch



  • 750 ml bottle white wine (We used Once Upon a Vine Chardonnay)
  • 1 c. Orange Juice
  • 1 green apple, diced
  • ½ c. strawberries, diced
  • Cherries for garnish
  • Optional: Prosecco for a little fizz


  1. Combine wine and orange juice and chill.
  2. Divide the apples and strawberries between 6 glasses.
  3. Pour the wine mixture over the fruit, and top with a splash of Prosecco, if you want your drink to be bubbly!
  4. Garnish the glass with two cherries on a skewer.


 This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

Disclaimer: I received compensation and product for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.

The Worst Pregnancy Announcement Ever (Part 1)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

I had all these ideas about how I was going to announce this pregnancy. Yes – I’m pregnant (9 weeks to be exact). Unfortunately, all those ideas went out the window when severe Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) hit. If you noticed my “social media silence” it’s because the last 3 weeks have been probably the worst in my entire life. Four ER visits, a week in the hospital, loss of 14 lbs in two weeks, countless IV bags, PICC line placement, and more. We were forced to reveal to our friends and family that I was pregnant weeks sooner than we wanted to and no exciting pregnancy announcement surprises that I had eagerly looked forward to.

House Visit-13

The worst thing of all is … this was my rainbow baby. The baby that doctors at one time told me I couldn’t have. The baby I WANTED sooooo much. And then to have HG literally suck the joy out of me was beyond excruciating and even shameful. I want to share more about our journey to this pregnancy which was challenging in itself but I’m going to do that in a separate post as it’s a long one!

House Visit-1

Today was a better day so I wanted to take some time to update all of you who follow my sTORI. My dear friend and photographer, Candace, snapped a few photos of me when she visited today. You want to see truth? This is the truth of HG on a GOOD day. No makeup, hair unwashed, lying in bed all day on an IV. But the purpose of me showing these is to educate others on what HG is and to maybe help others with HG know what their options are and that you are NOT alone.

House Visit-2

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) is essentially severe morning sickness. Don’t let that fool you. What it actually means is it feels like you have the flu AND food poisoning ENDLESSLY. Unending vomiting, dehydration, body aches, breathlessness, excruciating heart burn, esophagus spasms, heart arrhythmia, weakness, it just doesn’t end. HG effects and estimated 1-2% of women and the cause isn’t exactly known. Many cases of HG end up in miscarriage or women terminating their very much wanted pregnancies to end their suffering.

I’d actually had HG with Luke but NOTHING like this. This was exponentially worse. After two weeks of being sick and 3 ER visits I woke up one morning confused and having a hard time breathing. I knew then that I had to finally give in and get checked in to the hospital.

House Visit-3

Thank goodness I did. I was so dehydrated that my body was Ketonic (basically acidic) and all the electrolytes that your body needs (Potassium, Magnesium, etc) were totally depleted. I had Pancreatitis. I’d lost 10 lbs. in a week and was getting an average blood pressure of 80s/40s. Sometimes dipping in to the 70s. My body was literally eating it’s own fat to survive. The baby was doing great. The baby was taking everything and there was nothing left for me.

House Visit-6

So the doctors hooked me up to endless IVs for 5 days full of all kinds of things my body was missing and began trying to figure out how I was going to make it through this pregnancy. Long story short we knew there was only one medication that worked – Zofran – and only via IV (the pills did nothing).

We tried for a Zofran pump which would have been the least invasive. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get the insurance to cover it and it was going to cost us over $10,000 PER MONTH! So my doctor elected to put a PICC line in. As you can see it’s in my right arm (I would have preferred it in my left but my pacemaker is on that side so they couldn’t). It runs in through my arm, up the main artery and then in through my chest. The doctor also set up home healthcare for me so nurses come to my house to care and monitor me.

House Visit-7

So my days right now pretty much consist of hooking up to my IV and giving myself my Zofran. I’m trying to also start working from bed. Doctor Daddy Russ is such a huge help and frequently does all my medical care not to mention washing my hair, getting me drinks and food, etc.

House Visit-8

I’ll be honest – today was my first good day in a long time. I really really hope that I’m going to have lots more good days and pray that the HG might go away by my 2nd trimester.

House Visit-10

In the meantime, I want to say a big thank you to some special people.

Daddy Russ: Thank you for being Doctor Daddy and juggling work, Luke, our household and having to care for me. Thank you for putting up with me on my dark days and letting me cry a lot. I’d have given up if it wasn’t for you. Thank you for reminding me what really matters. I love you.

My Family: Particularly my mom and stepfather who spent an entire week with me when Daddy Russ was out of town. I literally don’t know if I would have survived. My mom has taken off tons of work and really tried to nurse me through one of the worst weeks. To Pawpaw – thank you for taking care of Luke and helping out wherever you could.

My Friends: Thank you so much for all the flowers, get well cards, dinners and those who have visited me. You truly lifted my spirit when I was at rock bottom. Special thanks to all my San Antonio Blogger friends as well! All of your notes have meant so much to me!

My HG Angel, Jamie: Jamie was a stranger brought miraculously in to my life. She previously suffered HG with her pregnancies and has answered my endless questions, cried with me on the phone during my bad times, helped me pull myself together for my PICC line procedure and just offered such incredible support to me. I’ve never even met her in person but I’m incredibly grateful for her.

Fossil Creek Complete Emergency Care: After a TERRIBLE visit to a hospital ER I went to this urgent care center 3 times. I never waited and the doctors there not only provided me the best medical care they could but they also gave me compassion and spent much more time with me than any other doctor. On the day I woke up at my worst my mom called and they told her they’d be happy to take the responsibility of admitting me to the hospital. While waiting for the ambulance they ran tests so that when I arrived at the hospital, not only did I go straight in to my own room, but my hospital doctors knew exactly how to start treating me. I adored all their nurses and staff who did everything they could to make my family and I comfortable. I highly recommend this urgent care center.

House Visit-11

I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to blog but I’ll try to keep my sTORIbook going when I can!

If you or someone else you know is suffering with HG please visit the HER Foundation (click here).

This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

Fall Transitions

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall is all about transitions. Transitions of colors, textures, fabrics and more. I partnered with Julep to showcase one of my fall transition looks and I adore this handy graphic that they have created to show you how to transition your summer nails to fall! I could seriously flaunt all of their fall colors this season and would change my nail color every day if I had more time on my hands! Click here to see their current fall colors.

julep 2

1| Topshop Autumn Floral Dress

2| Topshop Heels

3| Julep Nail Polish

4| Topshop Foxhead Collar

5| Topshop Leather Bucket Clutch



This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

Zipped In

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

This past week I guest posted on Langford Market’s blog and mentioned how much I love shopping at this store. I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a shopping day with the lovely ladies there and had so much fun! They have a fantastic selection of really unique pieces. As soon as I saw this blouse I loved the zipper accent and cut. It’s a real statement piece and just feels rocker cool!

Orange Top-September-1

Orange Top-September-2

September Session 2014-12

September Session 2014-14

September Session 2014-18

Follow Landford Market on Facebook (here). Visit their website (here).

Photography Provided By:

rememory photography


This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

Disclaimer: I received compensation from Langford Market for this post. All opinions expressed here are my own.


Tuesday, September 30, 2014

This past week was really special for my family. Daddy Russ took off work, we kept Luke out of Mother’s Day Out and enjoyed a staycation! It was actually our first family vacation with Luke and we really made the week about him. Every day we did a different activity around San Antonio which was exciting for Daddy Russ because with him always working he’s not able to normally do these activities.

There is something special about watching your husband with his son. It’s a swelling pride and beaming joy when you see your child riding on your husband’s shoulders and laughing as they race along.

Here’s a few pictures from our week. Luke’s favorite two activities were definitely the Botanical Gardens Lego exhibit and the Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch!


The Botanical Garden’s Lego exhibit was so neat and Luke loved it! We treated it like a treasure hunt and hunted for the Lego sculptures. It featured nearly 500,000 Legos!
















The Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch is practically 20 minutes from our house and I’d actually never been. We had so much fun feeding the animals! I even got licked by a Kudu!






This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Tori

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