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.


----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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. 

11/05/2015

My View On Vitamins



A few years back I went to a regular check-up at a new doctors office, I forgot what the circumstances were as to why I went to that particular doctor instead of my regular primary physician. Anyway! The moment I stepped into the building, I had a strange feeling about it. There were flyer's for botox and liposuction and most of the people walking in and out of the office had some serious work done on their bodies and faces. I am not judging but this was a little odd seeing as I was just coming in for a check-up and not any cosmetic work. 
 
Then I met the doctor...

She walked out into the reception area wearing the shortest freakum dress I have seen on a lady her age and some serious cleavage jumping right at your face.

Despite my reservations of the reliability of this visit, I followed her into her office and explained how my life was going and if I had any symptoms I wanted her to look into. I told her I felt pretty okay other than feeling fatigued. She immediately asked me if I was taking vitamins and once I answered no she promptly set me up to go get some blood work done to test my levels.

Fast forward a week...

I come back and she asks me if I am stressed. Of course I am stressed! I am young, living on my own, working my butt off, I have anxiety, and I am trying to keep a brave face through it all! Who isn't stressed in the world that we live in. 

Turns out my cortisol levels were off the chart, I was D-vitamin deficient, and B-vitamin deficient. She explained to me that this is the reason for my fatigue and could also be affecting my digestive system, clarity of my skin etc. 
So she gave me a sheet with an ideal diet, recommended doses of vitamins, and a walking schedule (to reduce my cortisol levels.) 

After the first month of doing this routine I felt loads better, I was waking up feeling more up to take on the world and also everything else physically seemed to be going a lot more smoothly.

( I did not however go see her again because she was not the right fit for me)

 I eventually slowed my roll with the routine and sometimes I even forget to do it at all for months at a time, but I still know when I am feeling down in the dumps to take some vitamins.



There has been speculation as to if vitamins are even necessary for a person to take, and some freak out about the fact that vitamins don't have to be FDA approved, but I say if it makes you feel better why not. But do keep in mind vitamins won't make-up for a shitty diet. If you are not nourishing your body with healthy foods rich in vitamins, exercising, and making sure that you are out in the sun everyday for at least a little while, vitamins will not work miracles on you.


In other news my weekend starts now! I am so ready! Time to throw on some pj's, cuddle up in bed, and watch some netflix!

11/01/2015

Lazy Halloween

What did I do for Halloween?
Absolutely gloriously nothing.
I spent Halloween being cozy, dressed up, having a movie marathon and it was awesome. I felt almost obligated to dress up this Halloween due to the fact that the past few I did not due to either being too busy, nothing going on, etc. So this year I decided to be a leopard! Being on pinterest constantly you find yourself some pretty cool DIY costumes that really take zero effort at all so I thought why not.

So this is what I ended up looking like!
(I had a plan to make some cat ears but crabbed out!)


I wish I would have taken a picture of the closeup but what can I say, hindsight 20/20.


This look was super easy to do and I would def do it again in a heartbeat first opportunity I have to wear it again!



So I started...

With a base. I used a heavier foundation for better coverage instead of the BBcream I normally wear. I topped it off with some concealer and some powder to set it in which gave me a flawless canvass for me to start drawing on.
But before I started all the drawing...

I needed to add a little color to my face it being so pale and all. When I bought the foundation I had in the picture above this one I was much paler so I ended up looking pretty ghostly. I had this Estee Lauder bronzer that I added to my cheekbone area, above my eyebrows and at my jawline. 
I did a dark brown on my lids and mixed in some gold tones to give me the right color, I also did a cat eye eyeliner and colored in my eyebrows. At this point I got a little worried with the overwhelming amount of eye shadow I had on being that I am not used to wearing this much. I felt like a 15 year old again. Luckily Kevin reminded me not to judge until the finished product was done.




I used the Almay intense eyeliner for the cateye and also for the spots. For the spots I just did a bunch of different sized ones around my face and colored them in with a brown eye shadow and some with gold to give it a two tone effect. I had planned on doing my whole face but for some reason it just wasn't looking right when I tried so I added a little twist and just put it on half my face. I also used this boootiful color on my lips to give the look some extra umph. 


I also conveniently had a leopard dress stashed in my closet from a h&m trip from last summer that fit like a glove into this outfit.


So once this was all said and done I set up our candy bowl for the tricker treaters and cuddled up with my man and some beers for a horror movie marathon on netflix.
We ended up watching babadook, the taking of Deborah Logan, and Circles.

I have to say Babadook was a little creepy but nothing we couldn't handle but definitely worth the watch. 

The taking of Deborah Logan was one of those paranormal movies, I would have to say that this was my favorite of all three movies. It had just the right amount of scare factor and I have to admit that I took a break because that movie was just a little too in my face. I don't know if the rest of you ever get that feeling when you are watching a scary movie but that has always been a problem for me because I am a very anxious person.

Circles was more of a thinker and kind of dragged out also missing a climax. 

So folks that was my super awesome Halloween experience. Maybe next year I'll go to a haunted house?