Monday, August 31, 2015

I Don’t Even Know What’s Going On

Confession: I had no idea the VMAs was this weekend. (but even if I did know, I still wouldn't have watched it)

I miss certain things about having cable: The Golden Girls reruns on the Hallmark channel, watching the news in the morning for weather updates, flipping through channels until I find something worth watching.

But I don’t miss the bill.  Kevin and I watch about an hour to two hours of TV on most days, so paying for cable isn’t worth it for us.

After being without cable for 6+ months, I’m starting to realize how much I relied on TV for updates.

I never know when new movies are coming out. I never know what new sitcom everyone is excitedly waiting to premier.

If you ask me what I think about the hurricane that just formed, I’d say, “OMG! There’s a hurricane?! Is it going to hit Texas?!”

When people are like, “Have you seen that new hilarious commercial where the guy does this and then the girl does this and then this squirrel is all like...” And I cut them off and say, “Whoa. I haven’t seen a commercial in over six months!!” (That’s a lie. I watch cable when I’m at my parents’ house.)

I have no idea what’s really going on unless I see a post on Facebook or Instagram.

I read the news sometimes (when I’m bored at work), but they don’t fill me in on everything that I’ve missed since I cut cable. They don’t tell me about the new movie that is on everyone’s must see list. They don’t tell me about what’s going on with Teen Mom people or if there is even a Teen Mom show anymore.

You know, like the important things that I must know.

But on a serious note… it really is amazing how much I relied on TV to get updates about what’s going on in this world. I now get most of my updates through Facebook and most of those updates are animal videos. Not that I’m complaining. But I would like to know that there’s a hurricane possibly coming to the gulf before it actually hits my house. 

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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Things I’ve Started but Never Finished

Fifty Shades of Grey Series – A drunk lady once talked to me for about 10 minutes about how wonderful the series is and how I must read it. Her husband kept rolling his eyes, which lead to them arguing about the books. He kept saying it’s about a man being too powerful, while she was adamant that it was the woman who was powerful. I think I read two chapters, so honestly I didn’t even get too far into the story to tell if I would like it or not.

Pretty Much Every Bucket List I’ve Ever Created – I am the queen of coming up with bucket lists per year (or sometimes per month) and never finishing them. I get about half way through them and then entirely forget their existence.

Almost Every Squat Challenge – I think I’ve tried doing a few of these. I make it about two weeks and then get bored. When you’re doing 50 squats in a row, going up and down and up and down, how could you not get bored??

Freshman Year Volleyball – I played the entire season and then when the off season came I decided hell no. The off season was too intense and too hot. It should be illegal to make kids run miles outside when it’s over 105 degrees outside.

Twilight Series – I was obsessed with these books when they first became popular. I was in high school and pretty much 95% of the girls in the school were reading the series. I read all of them until the final book. Why? Because I finished all the other books before that final book was published. I think I had to wait over a year for it, and I just didn’t care about the story anymore after waiting that long.

What are some things you've started and never finished? 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hello! A Little Life Update

I have been super busy lately which is why I've been a no-show to blog land. I usually try to find time to write once a day, but these days just seem to soar right on by.

But anyway, guess what I did! I hate when people ask me to guess what because I'll probably never, ever guess the actual answer.

I quit my job. I’m still not 100% sure how I feel about the transition. Although I’m excited to start my new job in two weeks, it’s always nerve-racking to leave a comfort zone and go into a new one.

A week ago, Kevin also quit his job! Talk about a coincidence. With the job market how it is, it feels crazy that we both had job offers a week apart from each other!

So what's next? We are both going to be on different schedules than what we were on at our old jobs. That means the dogs have to get used to a new schedule too. Hopefully we all transition smoothly into this next adventure!

I'll be sure to come back & tell you all more details.

I didn’t mean to take a break from blog land… I need to start setting aside time to write blog posts. I usually write during the work day (shhh), but I’m not sure if that will be possible anymore.

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Thursday, August 13, 2015

What a Kardashian Taught Me About Being Thankful

I wonder if Kylie Jenner understands how lucky she is. I use the word "lucky" loosely because I'm not even sure if she is really lucky. I just can't find another adjective.

Does she know how rare it is to get a $320,000 car for a birthday present? With the price of that car, I could buy a decent house in the neighborhood I want. With the price of that car, I could pay off my car, student loans, Kevin's car, and Kevin's student loans, and still have enough left over to go on a ton of great vacations and put a down payment on a house and put money towards a future kid's tuition.

When I went on vacation in Hawaii, I soaked up every ray of sun I could. I looked out the car windows constantly. I explored. I took in as many details as my brain would allow. But I also wondered if people who live there understood how great of a place it is.

Do they wake up each morning, open the blinds, and feel lucky to be there? Or is the beach such a part of their regular routine that they don't even think about being lucky?

Do they breathe in the ocean air like I did, realizing that my time there was precious because my plane was leaving in a few days? Or, do they let those little things pass by because they don't think their time there is limited because they live there full-time?

Kylie may not see how lucky she is because it may be all she knows. She grew up in a wealthy family with a lot of opportunities (and cameras and drama). & as far as I know, she's always been surrounded by wealthy friends and family.

I take my city for granted. I rarely wake up and think, "Wow! I'm in Houston. This is great!!" because I'm used to being here. This is my home. But, people who are visiting on vacation, sometimes they say how great Houston is and how lucky I am to be here all the time.

Am I lucky? I guess so. I am alive after all.

It's like when I go to California and tell people they're lucky to be there. They look at me and probably think, "Lucky? I'd rather be in the Bahamas" or somewhere they think is nicer.

Our opinions are based on our lives, our experiences, our pasts. I'm sure there are a few people in Hawaii who are even wishing they could be somewhere else.

So I wonder if Kylie ever thinks she's lucky that she's able to buy a mansion and Hermes bag. Or, does she think about it the way I think about Houston? A lot of people love Houston, but I forget to love this city – because I’m so familiar with it. I’ve been here almost my entire life.

Does Kylie forget to be thankful because she grew up rich all her life, and being able to buy a mansion and travel the world is just the life she's always known?

**Note: I used Kylie Jenner as an example because I saw someone post that her boyfriend bought her a really expensive car. I really have no idea if she feels thankful or not. And, no, I don't keep up with the Kardashians.  But I do know that before her birthday she actually went to a Children's Hospital with care packages and donations. **
Thoughts for Thursday

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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The I Wants

When I was in high school and would tell my parents, "I want this and this and this..." they'd tell me I have a case of the I Wants. The I Wants went away for a few years, but it's a sneaky little thing that pops up when you compare yourself to others and what others have.

I'm sad to say that I have the case of the I Wants right now.

I want...

new work clothes.
my student loans to disappear.
a house with a big yard.
a king sized bed.
to be able to go out to eat however many times a month I want.
a fancy, fast car.
nice furniture.
a long vacation exploring a country.
a living room big enough for a real Christmas tree.
to be able to buy myself jewelry or clothes whenever I see something I like.

It's easy to get caught in the comparison game. 

My coworkers go out to eat every lunch, and I'm here eating leftovers. I'm staying at my parents' house with their nice furniture and huge bed, and I want it. My friends talk about buying themselves clothes and going shopping. Kevin's mom is on a super long vacation in Europe.  I hear people who don't have student loans talking about their lifestyles, and I'm here paying almost a full paycheck each month to my student debt. I drive by houses with For Sale signs, and I wish that I could even have a small chance of buying it.

The comparison game and having the I Wants is dangerous. If you let yourself get wrapped around what everyone else has and what you're missing, you forget to focus on what you do have.

I have...

Supporting family & friends.
A reliable job.
A degree from a great University.
A reliable and new-ish car that gets me where I need to go.
Enough money to buy groceries, gas, and necessary items each month.
Fun money to go out to eat a few times a month.
A wonderful boyfriend.
A place I can call home that has water, electricity, air conditioning.
Two beautiful puppies who keep me entertained.
All the electronics I need, plus some (TV, computer, laptop, iPad, iPhone, camera)

Even though there are a lot of things I want, I have a lot more things that I'm grateful for. I know some people who have the nice cars, but they don't have a supporting family. I know others who go shopping and buy everything they want, yet they have thousands of dollars of debt.

I know, compared to most people in the world, I am lucky. A lot of people don't even have a place that they can call home.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Dreaming & Wishing & Hoping

Kevin & I hunted for houses earlier this year because we dreaded living in another apartment. We never purchased anything, and we ran out of time to keep looking. Our budget was tight and low considering the city we call home. The houses we did see were mostly foreclosures full of leaks, mold, holes in the walls, nasty carpet. Houses no one wanted.

The only houses we saw that were worth moving into sold within a day or two, giving us no chance to really submit an offer. I stalked real estate listings each hour. One morning I found a newly listed home, so I called the realtor and he booked an appointment for us to see it that day at noon. When noon rolled around, the realtor called to tell me the sellers already have 4 offers and there really isn't any point to go look since I would be 5th in line (meaning all the people before me would have to back out).

That's how fast things were (and possibly still are) moving here.

I'm happy we didn't end up buying a house though because we were looking in a part of town we don't really want to be in. The neighborhood was great, but it was a suburb outside of city limits and traffic going that direction is an absolute nightmare.

Just for giggles, I decided to look at houses online yesterday just to see what was out there. I found a perfect house for us. It even has a pool!

The catch? It's about $400,000 out of budget.

A girl can dream...

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Monday, August 10, 2015

The Power of Makeup

It takes me only a couple of minutes to put on make up. I wear 4 items (an eye shadow base, eye shadow on top of the base, mascara, and eyeliner). Five items if you count my non-tinted moisturizer.

I'm sure I would look better if I wore foundation (I have red marks, acne scars, and dark circles under my eyes that could be covered), but I just don't want to because 1) I don't really know how to put make up on and 2) I'm trying to cure my acne and I don't want to clog my pores with foundation, blush, and concealer.

It's been a year and a half since I had my terrible break out, and I'm still trying to heal my skin. For the first year, I hated the way I looked. Sometimes I still get really upset with my face (I say I look like I have chicken pox), but most days I've accepted it and realized how great I look compared to when I first had my bad breakout/allergic reaction from switching products.

My point is: I don't wear make up that hides anything, except for the eye shadow (it hides the purple-blue veins that you can see through my thin eyelids). When I take off my eye makeup, I pretty much look the same except my eyes are less defined because I don't have my mascara or eyeliner on.

Now to my point...

Have you ever seen Wife Swap? Years ago there was an episode with one wife whose husband has never seen her without make up. Ever.

How does this happen? Does she sleep in a full face of make up every night and then wash her face and put a new layer of make up on before her husband wakes up? Do they not go swimming or take showers together? Does she never get sick with the flu and have no energy to waste on applying make up?

I cannot imagine putting that much effort into make up or wearing make up every second of every day.

Most importantly, I cannot imagine being married to someone who wouldn't want to see me without make up. Or someone who would want me to wear make up every day because he thinks I look better with make up on than I do natural. What the hell is that?

Then you have people like this jerk who sues his new wife because she looks really different without make up on.  What the hell is wrong with you?

But really, I can't understand how you even date someone/live with someone/get married to someone and they never see you without make up on. How is that even possible?

But let's not just blame this only on guys. There are plenty of women who choose not to let their husbands ever see them without make up. Some worry their husband won't find them as attractive, but others say they do it because it shows how much they love their husbands.

‘On our first date, Carlton said he loved the effort I put into my appearance,’ says Susan. ‘It’s not an effort to make myself look perfect for him, it’s a privilege. It’s a way of showing how much I care about him and making him believe I’m the most beautiful creature to grace the Earth. Carlton has never seen me without make-up — and he never will.’ Source
Do you know how I show Kevin I love him? I cook him dinner or dessert. I dress up in a cute dress when we go on dates. I show interest in his hobbies. We talk and watch  movies and dance.

But I don't wear make up (or even nice clothes) 95% of the time that we are together. When he gets home from work, I'm usually in pajamas or a ratty old t-shirt. Because, hello, I want to be comfortable after a 9 hour work day.

But does he care? No. Because he loves me with & without make up. In sweats & in a black dress.

Would you wear make up 24/7 if your boyfriend/husband asked you to? And, if your boyfriend/husband did ask that of you, would you consider breaking up with him?

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

My Dog is Not Aggressive

This past weekend we took Bear and Zoey to the vet for their annual shots.

The vet wanted to put a muzzle on Bear before she even introduced herself to him. She said she didn't want him to bite.

I wanted to laugh. Bear bite? Yeah right. 

When she kneeled down on the ground next to Bear to put the muzzle on, he sniffed her and then leaned into her to cuddle. He then stayed like that while she drew his blood and gave him two shots.

When we walk our dogs, take them to the dog park, or introduce them to someone new, most people go directly to Zoey. The blonde, freckled, smaller lab who would probably be a model if she was a human.

Not many people go to Bear first. Maybe it's his size? Or his coloring? I know it's not his personality. If people were afraid of the dog that showed more fear/aggression, they'd be hesitant of Zoey. When she's around new people, she squeals, backs away, barks, raises her hair... does anything to show she doesn't like you. She even snapped at one of Kevin's friends once. (Once she gets comfortable, she is the biggest lap dog. She will be your best friend!)

Then you have Bear on the other side of the spectrum. He is sociable, goes up to strangers, loves to cuddle with anyone, trusts everyone. Yet, people are hesitant of him.

Yesterday I was walking both dogs after work. A lady was looking in her backseat about to grab something when she spotted Bear. Even though we were about 25 feet away from her, she screamed bloody murder and JUMPED into the backseat of her car.

I know some people are afraid of all dogs, and I don't mean to make fun of them or say their fear is stupid. I'm afraid of a lot of stupid things myself.

But, to be afraid of one dog in particular, especially when that dog is Bear? I don't get it. He wasn't barking or growling. He was wagging his tail & happy to be outside.

I mean, look at his smiling face.. how could this guy be aggressive?

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Everything is Awesome

Hello, August. You sure arrived quickly this year. It seems just like yesterday I was shooting off fireworks for July 4th. This August, there are a lot of awesome things going on/things I'm focusing on:

College Graduation Anniversary: I walked across my University's stage, accepted my diploma, and hoped I wouldn't fall down the stairs just four years ago. I spent my last summer there finishing one class, writing a 72 page research paper over Sex Education, and counting down the days to August.

Reading What Alice Forgot: I read the first eight chapters of this book while paddling around in the apartment pool. I felt a little crazy with my random bursts of laughter, but this book is plain awesome so far.

Meal Planning: Like I mentioned yesterday, I'm starting to meal plan to save time after work. I enjoy cooking, but sometimes after work all I want to do is plop down on the couch and read or watch Netflix. Meal planning is great so far, and I definitely love using the crockpot to cook the major part of the dinner while I'm away at work.

Exercising: I started going to the gym again thanks to Kevin's persistence. He goes about 5-6 days a week, and he always encourages me to go. I finally gave in and went on Saturday and thought I was going to pass out on the elliptical because I'm super out of shape and haze zero endurance.

Saving Money: I set a budget and created a huge excel file to track everything, but I'm still not meeting my expectations. I cut down on a lot of spending, but somehow these things pop up and blow my budget. Life happens. My car died last Friday, so I had to buy a brand new battery. That was fun and unexpected.

What awesome things are going on in your life this month?

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Monday, August 3, 2015

Laziness & Chores

How do you define “lazy?” Is it someone who lounges around on the couch all day binge-watching Netflix? Is it someone who is active but rarely does any chores around the house? Is it someone who doesn’t have motivation to do anything?

To me, lazy means that you have things you should do – and things you know you need to do – but you don’t have the motivation to do them or you don’t want to do them because it takes too much effort.

I am a lazy person even though I love staying active. You'll rarely find me staying indoors and binge-watching TV all day, and you'll also rarely see me doing my laundry.

I can go about two weeks without doing laundry, which means that when I finally do decide to do my laundry, it can take up a good portion of the day. And how fun is that to spend your entire Sunday sorting, folding, and hanging clothes? Not too fun.

I also don't clean as often as I should. I honestly forget to. I forget that it's important to wipe down counter tops and mirrors. I forget that I should dust my bookshelves and mop my floors. I forget to clean the toilet and shower/bath. I only remember when I see the dirt. But if something looks clean, then I just believe it's clean.

I'm grateful that Kevin remembers these things. Kevin cleans the kitchen and bathroom. Kevin sweeps the floors. Kevin does his laundry all.the.time. If it wasn't for him, I would probably never (okay, maybe not never) clean the apartment.

I need to make a chore list, and I need to make sure to do the chores during the work week. The weekend always gets to me, and I cannot stand staying indoors when there is a whole lot of fun going on outside.

Don't get me wrong. I don't like dirt and piles of clothes everywhere. I don't like a dirty kitchen (I do the dishes about once a day) or a bathroom counter that's covered in makeup. But, when I can take those piles of clothes and shove them into a laundry basket.. and I can take my makeup and shove it into a drawer.. then that mess suddenly disappears until I'm forced to deal with it a few days down the road. And by the time I deal with it, it's of course a lot worse than it was when I first noticed it.

After I get home from work, I spend about an hour to an hour and a half walking the dogs, cooking dinner, and doing the dishes. We eat dinner when Kevin gets home and then we clean the kitchen, pack our lunches, walk the dogs many more times, and finally relax on the couch to watch an episode of NCIS. It's hard for me to make time to go to the gym or to think about doing laundry, but I'm finding that I just have to do it. No more excuses.

I think my afternoons will become freer because I'm starting to do crockpot meals a lot more often. My goal is to have a crockpot meal every night. We usually eat at home Monday - Friday after work, and we also get invited to our parents' houses for dinner a few nights a week.

The crockpot meals will cut my cooking time in half. When I get home, the main portion of the meal is ready and all I'll have to do is prepare the sides (mostly a salad or a veggie).

We tend to do dishes once a day and clean the kitchen after we eat. Other than those chores, my plan is:

  • Monday- sweep floors, vacuum
  • Tuesday- clean bathroom (heavy), laundry
  • Wednesday- **big brother - usually go to Kevin's dad's house
  • Thursday- **big brother - usually go to Kevin's dad's house
  • Friday- dust bookshelves
  • Saturday- meal planning, grocery shopping, clean kitchen (heavy)
  • Sunday- laundry, meal prep for week

How do you get the motivation to do chores around the house?

P.S. Blogs are so silly. I can't believe I'm writing about my chores.

Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey

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