Where do you shop? Julie gets personal…

Where do I like to shop?

Well I like to shop almost anywhere!  Case in point, the love of my life and husband for almost 30 years (this coming Sept.) was recently diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.  We received this devastating news on Jan. 9th.  “You have a mass on your pancreas!” It came as a “gut punch”!  How could this possibly be true and it surely couldn’t be happening to us!  By Feb. 7th, we were meeting with the pancreatic surgeon to schedule the surgery.  As a result of my high level of concern and anxiety over what we were going to be told and all the steps necessary to get there, I found myself on the verge of a total meltdown.  I needed to time myself out and take a step out for minute.  When I did this, I happened to notice the Starbucks and  the hospital gift shop in the lobby.  More to come on this!


On Valentine’s Day,  Len had surgery to remove the tumor.  We were pleased and blessed with a pancreatic specialist/surgeon who was able to remove the whole tumor.  Len and I spent the next two days in Critical Care and the next four days in what I referred to as a “room with a view”…room 1105.  I was reluctant to leave the room as I wanted to be present to ensure he got the level of care I felt he deserved and needed as anyone would with the love of their life!  On occasion, I would stop down for a frappuccino or a diet pop.  I couldn’t help but notice all of the wonderful items in the gift shop as it was connected to the Starbucks.  One day I overheard a woman saying to her son, “What’s wrong with me?  I can shop anywhere!”  OMG, I could totally relate to that statement!!!  I chuckled to myself and thought I’ll have to come back and check it out.   Several items were catching my eye!


Friends and family rallied around us!  (Fashion Trends and Friends is as much about FRIENDS as we are about fashion!)  A co-worker prepared an amazing care package for me full of things I  had no idea I would need but that came in handy for both Len and I during our hospital stay!  The bag pictured above was a gift from Cindy at Christmas.  No denying the cute factor and appropriateness of this bag for a fashion blogger!  This bag made me smile daily and it was filled with the things my friend lovingly put together for us!  Len and I were overwhelmed with the numerous cards, texts, flowers, care packages, meals, and prayers…lots and lots of prayers…that we received and continue to receive!  We are loved and blessed!


Upon returning to the hospital to fill a prescription for Len several weeks after his discharge, I investigated the gift shop further.  I purchased the black and white top in the picture below.  Two weeks prior they had the same top but with black on the top and white on the bottom.  When I spoke to the owner of the shop and the sales clerk, they informed me that things sell quickly in the store.  They’ve had repeat customers for years.  Customers who come to the hospital for the sole purpose of shopping.  Some of their customers they know quite well…well enough to know about marriages, births, divorces, etc.


The gift shop had a wide range of tops, skirts, spring sweaters, scarfs, purses, jewelry, hats, sunglasses and flip flops!  I also purchased this top and scarf!  There are several ways I will style it for spring and have already created several completed looks in my mind!  Both tops are Charlie Paige.


Look at how cutely they wrap your purchase and the adorable bag!  True confession, I also have a thing for bags and like to save them!  This bag makes me happy and makes me smile!  Who doesn’t want to smile and feel happy when having to visit a hospital?!


I’ll shop anywhere!  We (FTF) have our favorite places to shop as you know those are on the blog.  However, I don’t limit myself and will shop anywhere!  Similar to the other shopper I can find things I like in the most unusual places!  Where do you like to shop?  Do you have an usual place that others wouldn’t think of shopping?  Leave us a comment!


I couldn’t end the blog without letting you know that Len doesn’t need radiation or chemotherapy!  The tumor was successfully removed.  He continues to recover as I write this because recovery is approximately six to eight weeks.  They took out 60% of his pancreas, his spleen and sixteen lymph nodes.   Len has been amazing throughout this process always positive always determined always thankful!  While I was getting the car and as Len was being wheeled out of the hospital, the nurse commented on how I was dressed throughout his stay.  Len proceeded to promote Fashion Trends and Friends and disclosed that I’m a fashion blogger.  The nurse stated that it now made sense why I dressed the way I did even for hospital visits.  I feel better and function better when I feel cute.  You already know this about me!

In the end, we know that this whole experience will have simply been a bump in the road on this adventure we call life!  My new mantra:  The little things are really the big things worthy of celebration!  Now it’s time to plan a wonderful trip this summer to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary!  Any suggestions where we should go?  It will need to include some good shopping!  LOL



  1. Terese Losch says:

    You both are truly amazing people and through all the tough times you have experienced, you seem to twist them and make them such a positive. I love this about you….

    I think there are hidden treasures just about everywhere. You just have to open your eyes a little further at certain times. Restaurants and gift shops are a wonderful gem for sure!

    I, for one, am very thankful Len is doing so well and recovering. I will keep him in my continued prayers!

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