12/31/2015

2015



2015 is drawing to a close and another year bites the dust. This year has been a whirlwind of emotions and lessons learned, but I guess when is it not? Every year makes you another year wiser. 

This year I learned:

1.Some people feel as though promises are simply made to be broken. Sometimes the only person you can really count on is yourself and that is fine. I know that through 2015 I definitely learned who will be there for me always and who will let me down time and time again.


2.I learned that road trips, though exhausting, can be really enlightening experiences and make you closer to the person that trip is shared with. I made two cross country trips in 2015 to Portland and back to Florida and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life!



3.I learned toxic people need to be cut out of your life. There is no reason to have someone in your life who is going to bring you down every chance they get. You have to do what is best for you.


4. I learned that I have the best partner in crime ever with K, I knew this in the years before but every year I have with him, makes me understand how lucky I am to have someone by my side no matter what the circumstances are.




5. I learned that no matter how hard you pray, loss is just a part of the circle of life. People grow old and sick and they die and we have to learn to move past that and continue our lives they way they would have wanted us to.


6. I learned that there is truly nothing in this life that I cannot handle with the right people by my side, that I am stronger than I give myself credit for and that I am smarter than most people like to think.


7. I remembered that living on your own is the greatest thing ever. I think I am not meant to live with anyone other than K, no roommates, no family. Privacy is underrated.


8. I learned that I am ready for 2016 to make her grand entrance tonight and to put 2015 behind me. I am excited to see what this year brings us and how we will overcome struggles and how much fun we will have. I am excited to see where this blogging journey takes me and how much I will grow!


Goodbye 2015 it was nice and at times it sucked, but you were another year that molded me into who I am now. I had tons of fun this year and I hope next year will be just as great if not better!
SEE YOU GUYS NEXT YEAR!

12/28/2015

Kate Spade Walk On Air

As much as I enjoy a cold snowy winter it was nice to be able to throw on a bathing suit today and go enjoy the beach.


So over Christmas I got this from K's mother:

It worked out so well considering I was in dire need of a good perfume! I've been rocking body spray as my only smell good for far too long. 


This perfume is not only the cutest bottle EVER but has an amazing fresh smell to it that lasts all day. As the website describes:
  • a light, white floral mix of lily of the valley, magnolia and crinum lily
  • top notes: linden blossom, maiden’s hair fern, solomon’s seal, calabrese bergamot, tunisian neroli
  • heart: lily of the valley, magnolia grandiflora, egyptian jasmine, narcissus absolute orpur
  • base notes: crinum lily, white iris, violet leaf absolute orpur

If your looking for something to kick up your game, I would definitely say that this is what your looking for. It has a light enough scent to where you can wear it to any occasion daily and leave people wondering why you smell so nice ;)



12/27/2015

Well Deserved Christmas Break




Sorry for the silence on the blog guys! I decided to take a well deserved few days off from blogging in the spirit of Christmas and spend some time with the family. Christmas went great for me this year, I always love making new memories with relatives and seeing everyone come together. All the presents I got were very much needed and appreciated as well, K's family knows me so well!
Although the weather was hot down here in Florida the Christmas spirit was alive and well.


 (yes I am the one getting blinded by the cute little 2 year old)



BTW, guys I had the pleasure of taking part in the pay it forward movement! Someone in front of me at the Starbucks drivethru decided to pay for my coffee, so in turn I payed for the person behind me. Things like that can easily make someones day and put a smile on your face. I urge everyone to give it a try, it was an amazing feeling and I definitely intend on doing it every now and again!




I will be returning to a semi-regular posting schedule now, starting with a post first thing tomorrow evening. A lot of my upcoming posts will feature some awesome products and reviews and maybe even one or two new years resolutions so make sure to come check back in!





12/22/2015

Tea Party Time



So on my first day back in Florida I had promised to attend K's family's annual women's tea party. I had pretty successfully dodged it for the past 3 years or so, I have just always seen it as a social anxiety situation waiting to happen for me. They are all very nice women and I love them all but sometimes they can be a little much when all 20 of them are stuck into the same room! 


To make matters worse...


I hadn't gotten to bed before 3am the night before! I woke up that morning feeling like I had been hit by a train. Nonetheless I pulled myself together, put a smile on my face and got dressed. Lucky K got to sit back at home and relax for a few hours. I feel like now, even two days after the fact, I have been nonstop since we got here. I had to push this blog post back two days before I could even begin to work on it! 


Anyway!


The tea party was being held at a place called the Tea Room, easy to remember and fancy to a fault. It was very elegant and kind of had a homey feel to the whole place, it was really quite lovely. It was nice to get the all the women in the family into one place so that I could see them all after an 8 month long break from moving to Oregon. I feel as though I had never even left, it was great to feel so welcomed.





We started out with some peppermint tea and some vanilla chai tea. I was quite worried seeing as I am not a tea drinker really, I mostly stick to coffee and even that is a relatively new habit. I love love love sweet tea on some ice but this was my FIRST warm cup of tea. It was so good, I honestly liked it a lot more than I initially thought I would. 




Next came the food. Now I will let you all know now that I am a huge eater, always have been. So when they brought these itty bitty little sandwiches and tarts I was a little bummed that I would still be hungry after this. I had skipped breakfast in the hopes of having a good meal here, no such luck. I was also slightly worried that there would be some etiquette that I was not aware of as to how you should eat these treats but luckily for me, if there was, no one else was aware of it either.


All in all it was a really good time! Tomorrow I finally have most of the day to do nothing and relax for the first time in what feels like weeks. Just in time to recharge my batteries before Christmas!

12/20/2015

Road Trip Comes To A Close



So guys... I failed at the whole post once a day everyday for my road trip! Truth is, I was so exhausted by the time we had lugged all of our stuff upstairs to our hotel rooms and walked the dogs we were shot. So sorry guys but stuff happens and I am here to tell you all about it now as I am comfortably in bed at our destination in Florida!


So where we left on in my last post (See it here!) I had just gotten to Saint George, Utah. 

Day 3

That third morning is when the exhaustion really set it. My whole body was aching and any amount of sleep I got was never enough to feel rested the next day. At this point the idea of another day on the road seemed daunting to me, but hey, what else can you do other than get to where you are needing to go. We decided that our next stop would be Albuquerque, New Mexico. I always found that driving through New Mexico can be a little boring and after the sights we had seen on the first two days it was kind of a let down. What I took away from New Mexico is cops. There were police literally everywhere!


(Colorado River)



Day 4 & Day 5

We were off to Dallas, Texas! K has never been a big fan of Texas but I have always had a soft spot for the area. I wish there was more to say about these days but there really wasn't much to it other than driving and sleeping! Same goes for Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama!  


Today was our first day back and I had been invited to a yearly tea party that K's family plans out for all the women in the family! I'll post more about that tomorrow! I hope you guys have had a great weekend and are as excited for Christmas as I!!! 

12/15/2015

Road Trip!




So if you have visited my blog in the past, you may know that I was set to take off on a cross country journey starting Monday! I am currently on route from Oregon to Florida and it has been quite the trip so far. I told you guy's I would be updating every day but I couldn't live up to that promise because last night I was so pooped and it was so late by the time we got to the hotel. Today I will be going over day 1 and day 2 of my trip so far and boy has it been rough.


So day 1...

We set off on the wrong note. K and I had been bickering back and forth all morning probably because we were tired and stressed out and we also had a late start... The plan was to leave by 10 but we didn't get onto the highway until about 12.30! We always have a tendency to leave later than we have originally planned.
So Anyway!

We were determined to get to our first destination which was Twin Falls, Idaho and had expected a relatively smooth trip. I had anticipated a few flurries and was told I should be fine with my all-season tires. So here is what ended up happening. After getting out of Oregon, we ran into a horrible death trap of a highway and it was snowing like crazy! We were slipping and sliding with our all-season tires that were supposedly meant for this (Never take anyone's word on this! Get some snow tires or tire chains!) So we had to slow down to 25mph and it added about an hour to our overall trip. There were cars in ditches, semi trucks flipped over and everyone generally being very cautious. We finally did make it to the hotel. After further investigation we saw that Wyoming (our next stop) is going to have a huge snowstorm over the next few days, we decided to reroute our whole trip. Doing this at 2am at the hotel was not ideal and heads were going to be lost at any moment.

(Eastern Oregon)
(eastern Oregon)
(We had chik fil a for the first time in 8 months, it was a picture worthy moment. Note to the wise there is none in Oregon! Looking worn and tired at this point!)
Day 2

Last night we figured if we go straight down Nevada, into Utah, to Arizona and so on and so forth, that we would only be adding a few hours we would probably lose anyway if we took our chances through a blizzard. So we found a nice Laquinta in Saint George, Utah and decided to post up!

I had no idea

How beautiful Nevada was! I had seen a lot of beautiful sights on the way to Oregon but Nevada definitely rivaled anything I had seen so far. The vast nothingness and mountains was breathtaking! I highly suggest everyone to drive through sometime. Now Utah... Where do I start. I feel like people have been getting ruder and ruder every state we get further away from Oregon. Drivers have no concern for other people and it was just a big mess of people cutting each other off! Utah also has very bumpy roads for the first 50-75 miles when you enter through Nevada. 

(Nevada)



So all in all, so far so good. We will definitely be a day wiser every time we head out on a new morning. Life is a learning process. Yay for making memories (:

12/11/2015

Preparing For Our Cross Country Trip

Packing is a pain in the butt, especially when you have to fit a whole room's worth of stuff into a tiny little sedan. So today K and I have been trying to get a little of our stuff together to prepare for our cross country drive coming up on Monday! K has only seen snow once and after looking at the weather we saw that it should be snowing the first two days of our trip! 





So all in all I guess you could say I am pretty excited for this trip, not so much for the 12hour days and sitting in a car but you just have to find the silver lining in everything! The world would be a very dull place if people couldn't see the best in it.





So far today we have filled our Ziploc vacuum bags with about 1/2 of our clothes so that should add some space we wouldn't have otherwise had and we are also packing our "on the road clothes" in separate bags so that they are easily accessible throughout our trip. Also we have started to gather some snacks to fill our cooler with, some fruit, potato sticks, and drinks so far.
(If your heading out on a trip yourself, check out my post for preparing for a road trip! )






I had such a good start on blogging at the beginning of this month but have slowed down a little, I just have been so busy but I promise this upcoming week will have some awesome posts about all the states we are driving through. I will try to post one everyday once we get to the hotel at the end of the day, so definitely stay on the lookout for that guys!




12/07/2015

The Story Of My Dumpster Dog

On June 12th 2013 I received a call from K saying his manager had found a puppy in a dumpster who was now in need of a home. I was initially hesitant to take in another dog but at the very least we were going to nurse him back to health. When we went to go pick up the puppy we had no idea of what condition he was in. As soon as I saw him my heart broke into a million little pieces,




Someone had left him to starve, the poor guy was flea ridden, hungry, pile of skin and bone. How could anyone do this to an animal, let alone someone who is incapable of fending for themselves? We figured he was around 2-4 months old, about the same as our lab/mastiff. Our lab was so eager to play with the little guy and this little one definitely had a little sass in him! 

We started with a regimen of feeding him beans, egg, rice and chicken every 2-4 hours to bulk him back up and get some weight back on him. We also gave him some Trifexis and Capstar to help eradicate any problem he may have with worms or fleas. 

Potty training was rough, he would do his business right on the floor or smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk, but hey, it was a learning process. 

He soon gained his energy and started gaining weight. He had a heart of gold and got along with anyone and anything you put in front of him. We gave him the name of Bradley after K and I's favorite band's singer. He quickly became a part of the family and I cannot imagine my life without our two little furry babies.
 
I hope that people will wise up and understand that having a pet is a lifetime decision, you cannot give up or mistreat any animal. If you get tired of your pet you cannot just abandon them in a dumpster. Every dog deserves a fighting chance with a family who loves them unconditionally. It breaks my heart to see pets who are left at shelters and are often overlooked because they are too old and not a puppy. 

Our healthy little loved baby

Spoiled as he should be!

Two of my favorite things on this planet


This post is to show that "one man's trash is another man's treasure"

12/06/2015

The 4 Beauty Tips I Cannot Follow


No matter which way you put it, there is a million and one beauty habits everyone says you should do. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge advocate for new tips and tricks but there are some things I just am not meant to do. Things I just plain suck at. So for a quick post I decided to list 4 of the main beauty tips I just cannot follow, I hope someone out there can relate!


Nails- Regardless of how careful I try to be, my freshly painted nails always look like a 5 year old painted them. Luckily I have K to help me paint them, and even with his help, I rarely ever paint my nails for this very reason. When I do, I will always use the Vaseline trick. Simply rub Vaseline around your nails and once you are done painting them, rub the excess nail polish right off.

(before the cleanup, yeah, I was not kidding!)



Wet Hair- They say you should not brush your hair when it is wet but instead comb through it... Well I don't know if it is just me but there is no comb out there that I have the patience to rip through my hair with. At least with a brush I get it over with nice and fast! I have tried letting it dry awhile before brushing my hair, but it always ends up super frizzy at the bottom. Not Good Folks.


Water- Water is great and essential to your skin, hair, and overall health. I hate it. Throughout the day, I easily go with only a glass of water. I guess I just prefer anything else. I have been making a real effort to change this, I am now at a daily goal of at least three glasses a day.


 Not popping your pimples- I know this leads to scarring and whatnot but when there is a second head growing on my face one morning when I wake up, it's time to go. I do however leave the smaller ones alone without an issue, I do not want scarring. Sometimes a girls got to do what a girls got to do.


So in short, it's not easy being a girl.

12/05/2015

What I Have Been Loving Lately


A girl can never have enough face mask's if you ask me. I love to pamper my skin every now and again and always love to try new, affordable, luxurious mask's to help erase the stress on my skin. 

I recently found the Que Bella mask at target and grabbed two of those convenient little packages right up in my cart. I had never previously heard of the brand but it  was so decently priced that I had to give it a whirl.

Here are the two I bought:
(worth noting: The packages look small but I got three full uses out of these bad boys!)




Que Bella replenishing dead sea mud mask: I tried this one first since I felt as though I would get a deeper cleaning with this! I put it on and at first was a little surprised that I felt a slight burning sensation? Considering I have had worse burning before I did not mind it and actually it stopped burning maybe two min into me having it on. I also found the smell of this particular mask very soothing and relaxing. After washing the mask off, I noticed that my skin did indeed look almost revived and very soft to the touch. Overall I was very happy with the results.


Que Bella pore minimizing mask: Well I have not tried this one yet, I have been trying to save it! 
Here is the full description they give on the product at quebellabeauty.com-
"The Que Bella Pore Minimizing Mask can be used as a full facial mask or targeted T-Zone treatment. Enriched with Rosemary and Cottonseed oil’s antioxidant qualities, this works alongside the cleansing and clarifying properties of Nettle extract to soothe sensitive skin, while the Camphor Extracts boosts the circulatory system. Iris Extract, Vitamin A and Zinc Salt soothe and rebalance your skin, leaving a refreshed, smooth sensation."
 Also reviews on this product are great. I have yet to stumble upon a bad review for either product!

Conclusion: I would definitely suggest this to anyone who loves a good face mask, spoil yourself for the cheap and get it done guys!

12/04/2015

Winter Updates


I am one to constantly be worrying about my finances, I will never buy anything without feeling remorse over it, even if it's necessities like groceries. This is a lifestyle I have adapted to since I moved out on my own for the first time. I always think that money I spent on something could have been better spent. But there are some days that I feel like I have earned it, for example I went and got K and I some starbucks! 




K always makes fun of me for getting a cold drink even in the middle of winter. My favorite happens to be the very berry hibiscus, it is so tasty and if my hands ever get cold holding it, well, I'll just ask to hold K's steaming hot cup of mocha! That's what those special someones are for right? ;)


 I don't know about you guys but I am finally getting into the holiday spirit, I added Christmas radio to my Pandora and have been listening to it all day long, no shame. 

Braids are totally acceptable when you are in no mood to deal with your hair, K loved the change of pace and I definitely would add it as a go-to look this winter!




Speaking of winter, is anyone else having a super hard time with dry skin? It seems like no matter how much lotion I smear on my face it still remains flaky. So I grabbed this cream from walmart in the hopes that it would revive my skin!

12/02/2015

Why Everyone Should Visit Oregon

 
 
I figured since my time here in Oregon is coming to a close I would round up a list off all the awesome reasons you should visit Oregon at some point in your life. Oregon has to offer beautiful scenery, a wide variety of foods and shops, and I am quite convinced you will never feel like you have breathed fresher air (unless you have been to Finland, but I may be slightly biased!)


1. The Goonies- I don't know about you guys, but when I first saw the movie Goonies when I was just a youngin, I watched all through the credits just to see where it was filmed. The beach in the Goonies is actually Cannon Beach, about an hour and a half from Portland. Granted when I went there it was by no means "swimsuit" weather but it was absolutely gorgeous, I was in shock and in awe of how beautiful this place was. If you ever come to Oregon this would be one of the things you must see, they also have some cute little restaurants by the shore that you should definitely give a try!
 
(Cannon Beach)
 
 
 
2. The hiking- Literally there are hiking trails everywhere! Oregonians love to hike and I must say I have never been more physically fit. Anywhere you go there are trails as far as the eye can see, look out for the hidden gems as well! The trail that became our go-to ended up being something we just happened to drive by and spot!
 
 
 
 
3. Summer- Summers in Oregon are amazing! There is so many outdoor things to do. With Oregon's abundance of rivers, one of the most loved summer activity is tubing in the river. K and I bought two tubes from walmart and I think we only ended up paying 20 something dollars and had a whole summer of fun. Our particular ride was about 4 hours and with snacks prepared and drinks ready, we comfortably floated down the river catching some rays.


4. Camping- So many camping spots to chose from, we ended up camping at Crater Lake which is just about the most amazing thing I have seen here other than The Gorge. They had great campgrounds with great trails nearby, also they accept you bringing your dog. Just make sure to look at the weather before you go, since it is in the mountains, even if you have a 80 degree day, you may end up sleeping in 30 degree weather!

(Crater Lake)

(Columbia River Gorge)


5. Downtown Portland- Known for their food carts and overall melting pot of people, downtown Portland does not disappoint. They hold festivals and events all the time as well so you can bet that you will never not have something to do while you are there. Some of my personal favorite spots are Powell's books, Sizzle pizza, and the abundant coffee shops!
 
 
 
So these are just my top 5 but you best believe this does not even begin to cover the half of it!
I hope you guys are starting to get into the Christmas spirit as much as I am!

12/01/2015

Top Tips For Preparing For Your Road Trip


As some of you may know, I found out recently that I would be moving back to Florida in the next few weeks (I will post my journey throughout the course! Be on the lookout!), my Oregon winter will be cut short and I am already just as stressed out as I was the first time around. I will be driving over 3,000 miles with a car full of my belongings and two dogs who cannot stand each other, all stuck into one small Camry.
Knowing this will be the second time I make this trip, I consider myself to be quite the pro this time around. My life has consisted of many road trips, through trial and error I have found the best and worst things you can do while planning and learned how to execute such a trip without losing my sanity.




Here is a list of my must-do's for planning a successful road trip! 


1. Plan your hotels ahead- You need to plan where you are stopping, make sure to have the rooms booked, make sure they accommodate pets if you have any, and anything else you may look for in a hotel. Personally I prefer a Laquinta all the way, I have found that they have the most lenient pet policy and don't charge extra for you bringing your furry little family with you. I also made the mistake while driving here to Oregon to not start looking for a Laquinta until we were a few hours away from being ready to call it a night. Not only was this very counterproductive for finding a cheap rate but I also found myself one night in the parking lot of a McDonald's at 2am cursing my stupidity after I realized that the nearest Laquinta would not be for another two hours... 


2. Pack your car ahead of time to make sure everything fits- You might just be overestimating your cars space, once you have all your stuff packed, take a moment and play some Tetris inside your car to make sure that stuff fits. There is nothing more annoying than on the day of you depart, realizing that you cannot fit all of it in your car. Do yourself a favor and check it out well ahead of time.


3. Make a shopping list for everything you may need throughout your trip- Personally for me that included: vacuum sealed bags for clothes, a netting to separate the pups in the backseat, getting one of those phone mounts that connect to your car so you can have your GPS right in front of you without having to look down at your phone. So take about a week and start thinking of things you will need. There is no such thing as overdoing it.


4.  Set a budget for your trip- Include food cost, gas, hotels, and snacks. All of this will add up quickly. You don't want to find yourself halfway through your road trip with only 2 dollars left in your pocket because you did not envision spending this much money. Expect the unexpected, take note of Murphy's law "What can go wrong, will go wrong." and prepare.


5. Bring a cooler in your car- You can pack your own drinks and snacks and not only save money, but have everything you need within an arms reach. You can decrease the amount of times you would be stopping and never will you have to settle for a warm drink again. The ice will usually last all day and the next morning you can refill it with ice from an icebox that most hotels have for free!


6.  Have an entertainment bag packed and ready- Whether you are traveling with kids, friends, or your partner, you are bound to have some mindbogglingly boring moments. The last thing you want to do is be stuck digging through your stuff for something to eat up your time. Make a bag of electronics, music, drawing stuff, cards, etc. to help you get through these tough times!


I hope that some of these tips help you plan for your next road trip, and remember it is all trial and error and no matter how much you plan, you cannot always plan for everything. Just remember to keep an open mind and a happy mindset and you will be fine

11/26/2015

My Very First Black Friday Experience




Living in Finland for over half my life somehow I had avoided taking part in black Friday. Every year I would read in the news how people went crazy and chaos was imminent as I comfortably laughed at how ridiculous these people were. I mean if we must take part in such a crazy tradition, why not just save yourself the trouble and shop online? So naturally when this Thanksgiving Day came around I had no intention whatsoever to take part in this madness. 

I woke up today not so ready to take on the day feeling tired from the night before (K had some surgery done Saturday and I have been caring for him ever since.) Nonetheless we were excited to be grubbing down on a thanksgiving meal and spending some quality time together! Then it happened, I don't know how, but somehow the subject of an xbox one came about and we found ourselves looking up the best black Friday deal for one. It was happening, I was going to be taking part in the madness I had been laughing at for years.

Here is what happened:


Arrival- I was hyped up on the way there, I figured if we were really going to do this, we were going to do it right. No shenanigans, head straight back into the electronics section in walmart, and try to keep wounded K from getting even more wounded. At this point I started to worry that this was not a good idea in his situation but there was no convincing him now. The parking lot was packed.


5 min into it- So huge backup at the front of the store for dollar and change towels. No worries, we are doing this, We got this, ain't no stopping team K and A now. 

10 min into it- This confidence has quickly faded, I have seen the crowd of people in the electronics department, I am becoming scared, help me. We find the Xbox one only to find out that there is a specific line somewhere in this god forbidden store and no one has the slightest idea where it is. So many associates put us on a wild goose hunt throughout this store, so many people are blocking every direction. I see K starting to get into a mild panic, we both hate crowded stores.

15 min into it- Found the guy we needed to find, he gave us a voucher. So we didn't get it today, at least we got it for the price we wanted it. Now we had to make it to the check out line.

20 min into it- Why can I not get through to a check out line?!? Why is there tape blocking every aisle like this is some sort of crime scene? I briefly consider climbing over peoples carts to make my way out of here but quickly decide better not, I am not that nimble.

25min into it- Phew! Made it to a cashier! We are out and done. I tell K to go ask an associate when we can come pick up the Xbox, they inform us that we have misunderstood and we could have one right now! Nice! We grab our Xbox and we were out of there!

 Conclusion- For now I am saying that I will not take part in this again but I think I know somewhere deep inside that I will. Maybe next time I will do it online, who knows!



I hope all of you are having a great thanksgiving! 

11/19/2015

Coca-Cola Conflict

I have read quite a bit on the negative impact drinking soda everyday does to your body. I will be the first to admit that I have a serious problem when it comes to soda. When I am feeling quenched I don't think of a tall glass of ice water, I think of an ice cold coke. Every morning I go to work I stop by a gas station or drive-thru and grab myself a soda, that is roughly a dollar a day, maybe two. I am spending 8 dollars at most on soda on my way to work and guess what? I don't feel all that great.

I have always been a huge fan but I guess it really sparked when I started making my own money years ago and was in control of what I bought. My mother rarely had soda in her house, she knew we did not need to have a daily dose of caffeine like that nor did we have to let our teeth rot out at such an early age.  I can honestly say I never really felt like I was having any side effects from my indulges until recently. I noticed my stomach was getting upset, I would get a headache when I hadn't had a soda all day, all around I would feel like trash all throughout the day.

Why am I doing this to myself?


I started looking up how other people were going about cutting soda out of their diet, now I know for a fact that I will not quit completely, I am not in the business of not enjoying my life every now and again


So I set up a little 3 day trial run to see how I would do:


Day 1- Have a few Gatorade's ready to go in the fridge, I figure as long as it is not soda it is a step forward. I have a cup of coffee before I leave to work and grab my Gatorade on my way out the door. By the time I pass my usual stopping point I am already feeling the want to stop and grab a dollar drink but I stay strong and drive past. All in all day 1 was pretty successful!


Day 2- Again I start my morning, shower, breakfast, coffee, makeup, grab Gatorade, out the door. This morning as I drive I did not feel the need to stop at all. Later on in the day I realize that my stomach feels awesome whereas normally it would be feeling not so happy. Even later on I notice that I did not get my regular headache from lack of soda, I credit this to the Gatorade. By dinner I realize how badly I am craving a soda to go with my dinner. I practically asked K to leave mid dinner to get me one. I have a problem. Still I hold true and Day 2 down.


Day 3- Painless drive to work, no craving on my way to work! Throughout the day I realize my stomach feels even better than it did yesterday. I am also noticing that I am feeling more tired than usual? I don't know if this is something that could possibly be due to lack of carbonated drinks but either way I make it through the day. By the time I get home, K and I decide we want to go to Wendy's. Game over! There is no way I have enough self control to go through a drive-thru and not order myself a tasty drink. It kicked me in the butt too later on, I felt almost nauseous afterwards. Whatever it was the last day anyway!


Conclusion: I think I could live without soda. I definitely know that I feel better when I am not drinking it for the most part. I think I am going to cut back to 4 sodas a week. I think that is a good starting point, hey we all got to start somewhere!


11/17/2015

Taking The First Steps To Relaxation

(updated)


Have you ever felt like you woke up one morning and the world decided to crash down on you? Well that has been my last week. I lost someone very dear to me, I found out that I will be moving back to Florida before Christmas, and my anxiety has flared up. Anxiety is something I have had to deal with for the past 5 years. It is something that just started happening and it literally comes and goes with no triggers. Example? Last night I was lying in bed thinking about taking my dog to the vet and him not liking the veterinarian...Tadaa anxiety attack.

I am not one to handle a lot of things happening at once with no plan and no warning. I have noticed myself getting crankier, I have had trouble sleeping, all in all I feel very blah. I cannot stand being so angry and upset all the time, I feel like I am losing who I am in the midst of this situation. Poor K is taking the brunt of it and he deserves none of my bad attitude.





Here are somethings I have begun doing on a daily basis to get me through this (and for anyone who feels like I do, please try this, it really does help!)


1. Take a bath- Granted sometimes the last thing I want to do is take a bath after a long day (odd right?) I just don't want to waste time soaking in a bathtub when I feel like there is so much to do. But regardless I come first, you need to make yourself a priority in situations like this. Fill up that bathtub, pour in some extra bubbles for a luxurious feel, and soak till you look like a raisin. Your muscles will feel relaxed and this really provides some one-on-one time with your thoughts. Who knows, you might even find the answer to your problems in there!


2. Keep busy- Something that works for me to get my mind off things is cleaning. I will clean the house top to bottom whenever I feel upset or anxious and it clears my mind up well. Plus you can take out that anger on your toilet with a scrubber and actually be very proactive! By the time I am done, I look around and feel at ease looking at my spotless home and most of the time I am too pooped to even realize I was worried about something before.


3. Talk it out- For some reason I hate talking about my feelings, I don't know what it is but I just feel like I don't want to burden people with my thoughts and worries. It's times like these that you need to make use of the friends and family that love you, venting will make you feel a lot better. Matter of fact just talking about this on this post makes me feel better about my situation!


4. Fake it till you make it- After I lost my loved one, I gave myself one full day to grieve. I decided to myself that the next morning, I would get up and face the day with a brave smile. What happened? The next day I got up, put on some clothes and pulled myself together. I found things to be happy about, I smiled and tried to laugh throughout the day, I exercised and I kept busy, eventually I did really start to feel less sad. I had to remind myself that life goes on and that there is hope for happiness even after you lose someone you care about. 


5. Take a you day- Last but not least take a day for laziness. Stay in your pj's because you want to, binge on netflix like it's no ones business, light up some candles, convince your significant other to give you a massage, hell, get yourself some sweets and engorge!


11/10/2015

My Dogs Hate Each Other!

( I hope this post does not make anyone fear dogs, truly, my dogs are the sweetest thing to ever face this planet, but just like with people, some dogs just don't get along!)


I live with two dogs that hate each other.
How did this happen?


About 3 years ago K and I had a friend who's dogs had just had a litter of puppies and they were now up for sale. Of course me being the type of girl I am, I immediately started trying to convince K about all the ways we NEED a puppy. 

Of course we got our baby in the next following days.

We made our way to our friends house and started to get acquainted with all the puppies. K wanted a brown girl puppy, I wanted a boy. So anyway this one in particular caught our eye and us thinking it was a she we brought her home. Soon after we came home and were exploring the outside with her, we realized she was a he. YES! I was so ecstatic this was exactly what I had been hoping for.

For the next year and a half we lived happily as a one dog family. We took him to dog parks, we fed him the best foods we could find, we gave him all the love we had to give.

One day I got a call from K saying that his manager had found a dalmatian puppy that someone had chucked into the trashcan (my heart sank.) They were not going to be able to provide him a home so K thought why not? Lets make our family of 3 a family of 4. 

For a year and a half more our puppies were inseparable.



Soon our lab started having fits of anger towards the dalmatian puppy, he would grab him by his scruff and growl but K and I were quick to put a stop to it when it happened. This all started when we had to have them at K's brothers house for a month in between moves. I am not quite sure what happened during their time there that made them become more aggressive but something did.

One day it happened. The dalmatian retaliated and it was a full blown fight, and K was at work. 
The lab is a 70 pound dog and the dalmatian is not small either, of course I made every effort I could to get them separated. I poured water on them, I tried putting objects in between them, finally I bit the bullet and grabbed them and tossed one across the room and the other one stayed with me. By some miracle they did not continue, and by some miracle I had gained superpowers for a moment. I called K in a panic, crying, not knowing how to cope and he ran home to come calm the situation down.

A few more fight erupted in the weeks following, every time I got them separated in time with only a few cuts and scars. 

Then it happened...

 By some miracle up until this I had managed to come out of every fight with maybe only a minor scratch on me. But this time I foolishly was careless with my hands and the lab ended up chomping down on my hand. I want to state now that I take 100% responsibility for this happening, I stupidly put my hand directly in the line of fire between two dogs who were trying to kill each other. Luckily my hand was released fairly quickly and I won't go into detail about the rest of the fight but it was not pretty. By some miracle I got them separated once again even with two deep cuts on my hand causing me agonizing pain. I put one dog in my car and left the other at home and raced to the hospital.

After this we decided to keep them separated every time K left since this seemed to only happen when he was not home. They seemed to be doing just fine with him and for the next 3 months we had only 1 incident.

Then it came time to move to Oregon. We drove here and the trip was a week long with both the dogs in the car right next to each other, only separated by a cooler, for hours at a time. But thank the heavens, no incidents.



 Eventually after living here for awhile we decided we needed to keep them separated 24/7 it was just not being fixed no matter what we tried. 

Behavior modification training is the next option, it is not cheap though so we are in a saving period to get it done. I have never lived with two dogs that have hated each other so much. I am at a loss as to what to do and quite frankly I feel extreme anxiety over this often. Maybe one day this will get resolved.

 Research shows the two males are more likely to fight than mixing a female and a male in one household. Sure wish we would've known that before!

11/09/2015

Why Legalization Would Be A Huge Step Forward For Our Economy

I have lived in Oregon for the past 8 months and I have noticed that people in the northwest have a very liberal look on life and guess what? It's working for them folks. Oregon has raised it's min wages up to 9.25 which is a huge difference from the 8 dollars most of the country has set it as. Public transportation in Portland is much more reliable and nicer to use. People are insanely active, happy, and the environment is so clean. I literally have never lived in a city where everything looks so put together. They are thriving





One of the things that largely contributes I think is:
Back in July the legalization of recreational marijuana came in to effect (people would be dropping dead with heart attacks if this EVER happened in Florida.)

 Oregon established early on that if weed became legalized:

  • 40% of tax revenue would go towards schools
  • 35% would go to state and local police 
  • 25% would go to drug treatment and prevention


That is huge! If we could have all that extra money going towards something like schools, why is it even still a question? I think as a country sometimes we tend to focus on the wrong issues and sometimes we have such a strong stigma towards things.
 

 First year of legalization in Washington:

Revenue was 70 million.  





 Let's look at the facts over in Colorado:

After being legalized for a year in Colorado, the city of Denver saw a major decrease in crime, unemployment rates decreased, and huge economic growth!
With all this extra revenue they are also working on scholarships to help pay for school, making it an actual possibility for kids to receive a higher education when coming from backgrounds that can't support that lifestyle.


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We need to bring our economy back up, we need to stop sending hundreds upon hundreds of people to jail for something as tiny as possession of weed, we need to start improving our schools now so that our kids can have a chance to better their education, we need to find more jobs for the unemployed and get kicking. We need to forget our preconceived notions on marijuana and look at the hard cold facts here.