Link Love

For some unknown reason, I took this page down a while back. I now have too many links to keep up with and stores I love that I want to remember.  Therefore, welcome back Link Love page!

Affordable Art:

Society6

Minted

Jewel Scent (Ring Candles)

Featured Products I want:

Love Wish Lanterns (print, pillow sham, or rug)

Personalized Dog Pillow Cover

Mosaic Light Fixture Cover -by Artsaflutter

Dandellion Earrings -by VillaSorgenfrei

2015 Etsy Feature- Roses and Butterflies (Vintage Shop owned by Sherry)

The 2nd 2015 Etsy feature that I am doing is on a vintage shop named Roses and Butterflies.  Something I love about vintage shops is that there is a story behind each piece. Sherry’s store offers a variety of vintage from jewelry, household items, furniture, photographs, pillows, etc! I found the owner to be extremely friendly and open about herself and her shop.  I’m happy to present Roses and Butterflies to you and hope you get the chance to stop by!

vintage

In Sherry’s words, here are the answers to questions I asked her.

What is the name of your shop?

RosesAndButterflies (Owner: Sherry)

When did your shop open?

Opened: December 29, 2011

What do you sell?

-Actually started (listing): March 2013

-Actually first sale (a double, meaning two to the same person…and my very first sales!): May 9, 2013

What is the story behind your shop?

With my parents at a very young age (7 years), because of growing up poor, my parents got creative in entertaining me and my brother. So, going to Flea Markets was a way to do that. My parents gave me and my brother 25 – 50 cents to spend and trust me when I say it took me quite awhile to find anything I wanted more than another…hence my Love for Vintage started and has continued all my life. Back then, little plastic horses or kitty cats where my passion…even at 7 years of age…LOL…it was in my blood and energy…for sure…because my parents, especially my Mom, instilled in me a Love of Animals and Nature, like gardening and flowers too.

How do you choose pieces to sell in your shop?

Since I love many things, it can be overwhelming at times, but, it usually is something I really like to own myself. But, I am branching out, and embracing other items too now. You see, I really like: metal, china, crystal, flowers, birds, cats, dogs, horses, animals, nature, photography, painting, etc.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Nature, Beautiful things, the colors of the Rainbow! So many things. My Mom’s Love of Pretty things; My Grandma’s Love of Doilys and Lace. My Kitties. My Angels and God! Not necessarily in that order.

Other information the owner wanted to include:

Besides Vintage, I do make some things and they are ‘OOAK’ (one of a kind), which are:

Fabric Garlands
Floral Arrangements.

What are your goals for 2015 in your shop?

To list more consistently; To take and play with the photography more and to learn more about Business here on Etsy, through the Forums, their Classes, etc. Sharing and experimenting with different items to sell.

To sell another ‘100’ items this year alone…that is big for me…but, if you don’t dream, what have you?

Looking forward to you visiting my Shop “RosesAndButterflies” on Etsy…and finding something you love and purchase for yourself, a friend, a family member, or whomever. Enjoy your visit and thanks for that!

I wish to thank Jenny and her Blog for featuring me here! I so very much appreciate it!

2015 Etsy Feature- Customized Wine Boxes by Arrowsarah

One can almost never go wrong with giving wine as a gift!  Arrowsarah‘s shop gives a customer an awesome alternative to throwing the bottle into a bag with some crumpled tissue paper.  The owner of Arrowsarah, Angela, sells beautifully designed wine boxes, champagne boxes, and signs.  Wine can be a gift for Christmas, Birthday’s, and basically any other holiday you can think of. On Valentines, we can drink it with significant others or with one’s we love in celebration of being single! I appreciate Angela’s shop because it gives wine a chance to dress up as classy and distinguished. Below is information on her shop (in her own words) and a link to it. I hope you visit!

COUPON CODE: Good until the end of April 2015!

arrowsarah

When this was posted (Feb. 19th 2015) Arrowsarah had:

  • 5 stars (681 customers reviewed)
  • 1,573 admirers
  • 2,480 sales.

ABOUT ARROWSARAH:

When did your shop open?

November 2008.

What do you sell?

I sell customized wine boxes, champagne boxes and signs. I also sell wooden box purses and a little bit of jewelry

What is your most popular design sold in your shop?

My wine box with the two birds and the branch located here.

What inspired your shop to open?

I was laid off from my job in advertising and I couldn’t find a new one. I was always crafty as a kid, so I decided to start making some stuff and post it on Etsy to see how it did. It was a slow start, but I’m pretty proud at how far I’ve come.

Do you have any advice for other etsy shop owners just starting out or struggling to get sales? Just keep at it. Your buyers will come. There is someone out there that will love exactly what you are creating. It may take some time, but just have patience and work on your skills, improving your shop, etc. whenever you have the chance.

FIND ARROWSARAH on:

Facebook
Twitter : @arrowsarah_etsy

I miss doing Etsy Features! Looking for a few shops!

I posted on Etsy today to see if I can find a few new shops to feature. I do this for FREE every once in a while because I find it to be a lot of fun! If you are reading this from Etsy, know that I respect how much work it takes to open a shop and how tough it is to get started.  I enjoy  helping people and am happy to look browse some shops and pick out a few to feature on muffins&mocha. Best of luck to everyone!

Post Here if You Have An Etsy Shop You Want Considered

rosehearts

Hanging in there….

I am hanging in there with school. It’s really hard as I almost have dropped out on several occasions. I am tired, burned out, and extremely stressed trying to work a full time job and go to school part time.  Several people advised me to find the school’s counseling services though (that are free).  I recently found a very nice counselor that is going to start helping me weekly to manage money, stress, eating, and life in general.  That is really the only thing keeping me going academically right now…the hope that maybe things can somehow get easier.

sunrise

I really liked that tree picture above :) I took it recently during the sunrise before work.   I wish I had taken the other side of the tree so I could get to canvases and put them next to each other. I will have to try that with a tree sometime in the future. Anyway back to what I was saying…..

My best friend Jordan and her fiancee Jay are getting married in a week. I’m so happy for them as they make an amazing couple together. He is military, can wear a leather jacket, loves her music, and knows what it means to protect.  She is tatted, loves VWs  & Mustangs, enjoys acting, and can keep Jay on his toes :) I wish them the best of luck. She is going to show her tatoos during her wedding, wear high heels with big hearts on them, dawn a leather jacket (as will jay) that is spray painted with words, and is getting married in a restaurant.  I’m her maid of honor and I am honored to be that after being friends with her since we were fifteen.

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I continue to put things in my etsy shop so eventually I will have a collection of pictures on there :)

Skyland Photography

I have to work the next four days on. Which means Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday I work around 38 hours. Then on Tuesday and Thursday I go to school. Wednesday is the only day I have “off” if you are not counting the amount of laundry I must do, food I must by, errands I must run, bills I must pay, etc. Think about me, as right now I am struggling.

Parking Lot Tree Photography

Those random shots one takes before leaving the mall parking lot of the trees.  Oh wait, I am one of the few people that stops to do that hahah.  The sky looked stormy tonight! It caused the trees to look really  beautiful against it though.

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leaves

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First Day Back To College. Fuck.

Today was long, exhausting, challenging, frustrating, and over all was just hard.  Today was my first day back going for my Bachelors at a private college here in Charleston, SC. I have decided to go back for Bachelors of Education. Do I have a passion for it? Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I do not. However, I used to be a teaching assistant and have worked with children for years.  It’s something I feel confident with and know that in time, I can learn to enjoy it.  My passion will always be photography and working with animals.  I love both and actually just tonight passed up a great photography opportunity. Once I saw my work load in class, I realized community college homework was over. I’m going to call that phase of my life “nap time.”  This was the FIRST day and I had to read pages 9-45 in text book on religion, Chapter 2 in other religious book, pages 1-23 in Health book, take religion quiz, print out past notes and future notes in religion, and go back over my readings before THURSDAY (notice today is Tuesday). I work 37-39 hours a week at a very fast paced physical job at a vets office. There is no down time where I am allowed to study and our shifts are 12 hours. I wake up at 5:30 am and come home at 6:30 pm.  There is a two hour break in the middle but I can’t concentrate when I know I have to go right back to work :( . I’m going to have to learn to though…..

So just for laughs, here are all the things that went wrong today:

-I passed the exit for the college several times (thank goodness I left early)

-I could not figure out where to park and realized I had parked in the staff/faculty parking lot. Relocated car to the STUDENT parking lot after first class. (Thank goodness there was not a tow)

-I wore flip flops. It was cold and rainy.Feet were freezing. Many girls had on nice leather boots. Others nice shoes. I don’t own nice shoes. I work in mine and they are dirty. It’s something I have to buy ASAP along with an umbrella!!! Found pair in car I was taking to gym that do not fit great. I also didnt bring socks. So I had to put them on with no socks and just hope no one noticed……

-I FORGOT PAPER. I mean who does that. Here I am coming up in this college with a really high GPA and I don’t even have a notebook with me. Definite FML moment. Let’s just say I took notes on my syllabus….

-In Health class we were asked to write down one person we would spend thirty minutes with. I put Becky, my sister, who died of breast cancer almost two years ago. It kills me even typing that. I’ve numbed the entire thing with her passing away out because I psychologically can’t believe it’s true. Well, our teacher not only says we all have to get in alphabetical order according to the last name of the person we wrote down but that we have to get in groups to get to know one another and talk about it. REALLY? Could she not have told me that before? I wrote something real personal that I did not want to have a long conversation about. One of the girls in my group, Ashley, had lost her mom five years ago. She wrote her name down which was comforting to me that not everyone put famous people. However, still very sad and though we could connect on that level, it just brought back pain for me. I cried all the way home.

FUN TIMES!! Anyway, I told myself going in that this was going to be the worst day.  That sounds negative but it is true. The first time I start something new is always the hardest time.  Once I experience it and can prepare for what it’s going to be like, I calm down and relax a lot. There is no way, there will ever be another day like today. The two teachers I have do seem nice. Very different personalities! My Old Testament teacher is a short stocky man with a good sense of humor. He doesn’t seem like he will require us to ever participate, speaks fast but draws stick figures on the board, and has a kind side that tells me he is an unusual person. He gave everyone his contact cell, said they can call 24 hours a day, and that he was willing to pray with them or his wife could as well. ::twilight zone moment::  My health teacher is a short stocky woman who is also always trying to be funny. The thing is with her, she really isn’t all that humorous.  Though cheerful, she says she does not believe in extra credit unless you earn it on an assignment, requires all cells up or you are booted from class, and seems to think the class is related to public speaking/english class. Hopefully she will calm down a little but with my luck, she will continue to act as if she had a large energy drink 30 seconds before class.

Anyway, that was my day :) Hope everyones day went a little better. Really quickly I would like to say that despite all of that, I am proud of myself. It was VERY hard making the decision to go back to college. I originally signed up for 4 classes but dropped down to 2 fast because I felt myself backing out and wanting to drop everything. I was overwhelmed and defeated. Something I rarely do is just NOT try to do EVERYTHING. I had to be realistic so I made a sacrifice to go through this at a snails pace. I’m just taking it day by day. I don’t want to know how long this all is going to take or what is happening next semester for sure yet. My focus is making it back into my classes and doing that in a cycle until April 2015. <3 Thanks to all who have supported, believed, and prayed for me. It has gotten easier. The choices are just as hard but am I safe, fed, have friends, good job, go to church, work with animals, still do photography……YES.

MY ROOM HAS BEEN SCHOOLIFIED

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Old Ferris Wheel against Mountain Backdrop

There is something about old Ferris wheels and fair rides that I just love. They hold stories and moments that you can almost feel by being around them.

FerrisWheel

My roommate saw this one and immediately wanted an 8×10 matte finish print. I think it is the most amazing feeling to have people not only like my photography but WANT it.

JennyOhio

This is one of the first few times I ever pulled over on the side of a major high way. I almost past it but just could not do it. I had to stop. I have more pictures to edit from this site.

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That is where it was ^ .

Hope everyone has a great 2015 !

Ohio1

The Massive Road Trip

From December 30th 2014-January 2nd 2015 I got the opportunity to finally take four days off of work. So of course, I put my feet up, drank coffee, and had a movie marathon. NOT. hahah! I have been wanting to travel for a while and go see a good friend in Ohio named Sam.

Traveling up there I got to go through several different states.  Starting in SC I drove through NC, TN, KY, and OH.  It was so much fun!!! I loved TN and all the mountains that were surrounding me.  For the FIRST time I:

-Drove through a mountain tunnel (and experienced my radio shutting off in it…creepy!)

- Pulled over to the side of major high ways to take pictures

-took a selfie of me and my dog (Daisy) in front of the mountains in KY

-I turned 27! And was told I am getting old (Thanks Flor lol)

I wanted to share some of the photographs I took along the way with you!!! <3

ohio3

Miamisburg, OH

DaisyandJennyRoadtrip2014

Daisy and I wearing matching hoodies (completely un planned!!)

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Sam and My cup from Spencers in OH!

Ohio9

I turned 27!

Ohio8

Sam took me to a park and just let me take pictures!!!

ohiotree

That is all for now! I have a lot more to edit ! <3 Hope everyone had a save New Years and that 2015 is amazing. Oh and my facebook status on Dec 31, 2014 for my New Years resolution was:

December 31, 2014 at 11:13pm ·

 My new years resolution is to: Love myself a great deal more. Every year I make resolutions to make myself “better.” This year, I am reversing that. My goal is to not only feel but absolutely know that I am enough. And to believe with all my that one day someone will agree with that.

My Chihuahua ate a Chocolate Santa

melody

Melody wishes everyone a Merry Christmas and to all, a good night <3

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Daisy is like Swiper the sneaky fox from Blues Clues! She decided to open one of her presents a day early on Christmas Eve. She was so adorable doing it that i just let her have at it. I tried to assist her but she did not want help unwrapping her gift haha! She almost even ate the pack of coupons that came with it!!

Christmas2014

Just to show my dog is made of nails, on Christmas Eve night she sneaked one of my chocolate santas that was on the bed (my bed), unwrapped it from its wrapper without making a sound, and devoured the santa.  I just about lost it. It was a larger piece of milk chocolate so I grabbed my roommate. Her, her gf, me, and Daisy spent the next thirty mins in the bathroom trying to get her to throw it up. We used peroxide which is what they use in the ER to get dogs to throw up. This of course did NOTHING other than make daisy burp like crazy. Despite the panic, she turned out to be just fine.  Maria, my roommates gf, stated that Daisy reined from Mexicans (she is Mexican herself) and that they are tough so she would survive!! hahaha! Then she confirmed she was Mexican by stating, “remember, they are on the Taco Bell Commercials~!.” hahahah

dogshame

I got up at 5:15 AM this morning and left work around 7 PM. This was a long day at the Kennels.  I am convinced only Kennel Techs and gas station associates work on Christmas!! Tonight, if you wanted to eat out, your ONLY option was the Waffle House in a not so safe area.  :p

I hope everyone had a really nice, safe, and happy holiday!

JennyChristmas2014

BeautifulSky

Trees and Sky Photography + mini update

Recently, I’ve found something very beautiful about trees. I keep wanting to photograph them! This picture above was taken outside my work on December 2014. It was sunrise and the sky was beautiful. There is something about dark trees against a lit up sky….

This is a mini update.  I got my leave approved so I will be going to Ohio for my birthday (Dec 31st!) to visit a good friend.  After working nine months and not ever seeing a four consecutive day off stretch, this is really exciting.

Right now, it looks like I am going back to college for education in January. It’s been a hard decision. I struggle between doing things I am passionate about (photography and animals) and doing a career in which I would be able to live comfortably.   I don’t even want to be rich…I just want to be able to eat more than turkey sandwiches .

The stick shift didn’t work out. I thought I got the hang of it but broke it again. :( So my grandfather ended up helping me get a 2013 Nissan Versa AUTOMATIC that is beautiful and good on gas.  It does not need any duct tape which is super exciting.  I can also travel in it without feeling like it’s going to fall apart or blow away at any given moment. CANNOT EXPLAIN WHAT A RELIEF AND HOW GRATEFUL I AM.

I’ve been going to the gym more after work which is good! I don’t think about my x anywhere near as much as I used too. Every once in a while something makes me sad but there are no longer days where I cry all the way home because I miss the way things were. I honestly don’t remember the way things were or what it really felt like to not want to love those times.  From where I was last December to where I am today is really amazing. I’m stronger, independent, have more self worth, have held one full time job, getting back into school, starting to date again (that’s a while different post), and am beginning to be able to balance my life better. I feel like the past several months I have been surviving. Now it’s time to actually start LIVING. :)

Trees

Thank you to all who have supported me, been there through my divorce, and given advice.  <3

downtownflower

Book Quotes I Love

Out of a list of 51 book quotes, these were some of my favorite <3

“One must be careful of books, and what is inside them, for words have the power to change us.”
—Cassandra Clare, The Infernal Devices

“In our village, folks say God crumbles up the old moon into stars.”
—Alexander Solzhenitsyn, One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich

“She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.”
—J. D. Salinger, “A Girl I Knew”

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart; I am, I am, I am.”
—Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“In spite of everything, I still believe people are really good at heart.”
—Anne Frank, The Diary of Anne Frank

“How wild it was, to let it be.”
—Cheryl Strayed, Wild

“At the still point, there the dance is.”
—T. S. Eliot, “Four Quartets”

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/jenniferschaffer/i-am-i-am-i-am?fb_action_ids=10152429734116073&fb_action_types=og.comments

Because I just have to record this unbelievable crazyness a.k.a MY LIFE

Today, I was already bummed about having to work a half day.  I mean, really, what can you get done in a HALF DAY.  I decided to take my camera, grab some coffee, and head to church.  Unfortunately, I never made it past the coffee. My car started making a knocking noise. Earlier that day it had been making the same noise.  However, this time it got louder and then sounded like it was dying (literally).  My original thought was that I must have a flat tire.  Managed to drive the car into the first turn I saw which thankfully was a neighborhood and park it. Jumped out to examine tires only to see… NOTHING.  Popped the hood (like I know what in the world to look for….) and could tell the engine was hot. Then put the hood back down because, well, I knew I had no idea about engines.  Tried turning the car back on and although it would start and shift into gear, it would NOT move. Tried it a few more times with no results.

THANK GOD FOR A CAR PHONE CHARGER

Whenever there is an emergency, my phone is guaranteed to be dead.

I had my roommates girlfriend come pick me up.  I was parked in front of one of those houses that it seemed like people just kept coming out of.  There were about four cars in front and a pair of the most ferocious sounding pit bulls I’ve ever heard in my life. Like, they kept sounding like they were turning on each other. There was a dog warning sign  on their yard. I wanted to yell “no shit, really?”

When my ride came I of course gather up everything out of car. Because I am stressed, I panic about where my phone is (its in my hands). Which I realize when it slips out and breaks into three pieces. Thankfully, I don’t have a flimsy iphone that breaks at the drop of a hat. My battery managed to pop out though and fall underneath my un moveable car. I literally lay flat on the ground and reach with all my might for this tiny black square.  I was able to retrieve it.

Once leaving the car, I came back to the house. I had to cancel work because I could not get there. I am seriously about to be fired. So I probably need to go ahead and start a plan B, as plan A is going up in smoke. My friends have been amazing though with rides and letting me borrow their car.

I feel like I am suffocating though.

My camera,dog, and I took a walk where I photographed a lot of flowers. Here are some of the pictures below. I was happy with how a lot of them turned out.

FallRose

Hawaiinbeauty

beautifullypink

pinksky

The Lemons VS. Lemonade October Vent

THE LEMONS

Lemon slices background

Recently my  clutch in my car went out, again. Meaning that in THIRTY DAYS I managed to destroy the brand new one I had just gotten. So currently it’s being fixed by a company that can never give me a straight answer as to when exactly I’m going to see my car again.  There is nothing like being car-less, dealing with horrible customer service,  and living far away from work.

Meanwhile…..

For over a week, I’ve had a stomach virus from hell.  We are talking throwing up, fever, chills, cough, etc.   Basically, I’ve felt like I was literally going to die (or wanted to anyway).  There was even a particular day when I was too weak to take off my socks.  On one of my lowest points I threw up several times in the shower. Another good one was when I had extremely violent chills. My entire body shook for what felt like forever.  My fever medication being right in front of me but I was too weak to get up and walk two steps to it. FUN TIMES. I missed almost two days of work due to this illness. You have to love it when employment wants you to work when you have something extremely contagious.

Meanwhile….

I feel like I am absolutely surround by negativity. I will not name specific people but I will say, there are those who just talk about lemons ALL the time without even the slightest attempt to make lemonade.  I’ve found I have stopped responding to people and just being silent when they talk. To a strangers eye, I’m listening.  However, what is actually occurring is me restraining from screaming.  It seems as if people hate their lives, jobs, friends, bodies, opportunities (or lack there of), location, home, schedule, financial state, ETC……….. It’s not that I don’t get it. I have those days where I wish I could die now and call it a day.  But every day? Really? It’s draining to have to listen to this type of thing constantly.

The Lemonade

Thirst Quenching Lemonade in the Summer

The car SHOULD be fixed in the next few days

My good friends have showed their loyalty with helping the through the car ordeal. K has let me borrow her car and taken me to work.  While S has taken me home and allowed me to spend the night with her so I could make it to work the next day. J came to give me a ride to rental car place.

I get paid tomorrow. For a few days, I can pretend I am not poor :)

I’m much better than I was & am now keeping food down.

My roommate and I cleaned out kitchen area today. Now all the boxes are in the attic and we can see the kitchen table.

Moments I’m Selfish

Ever have those days where you feel like you just can’t do it anymore?  Those thoughts that scream it’s too expensive to eat, have fun, pay rent, buy gas, and just all around live?  I’ve been living off frozen dinners because financially (and emotionally) I’m too drained to make actual “real” food.  Lately, I have felt sorry for myself and angry at my circumstances. I want to be able to change things that I do not have the power too.

Why? Why Me? Why now? When does it stop? It’s not fair. I feel alone. Fuck my life.

No, actually, what isn’t fair is how selfish I am being.

I encourage you to check out this link:

Why This 29 Year Old Is Choosing To Die

Brittany was diagnosed with a deadly form of brain cancer.  Knowing there was no way to get around death, she chose to live each day to her fullest.  Despite stage four brain cancer, she did some amazing traveling and even made plans on a destination to reach before she was to pass away.  Brittany chose to move to Oregon, a state where it is legal to allow terminally ill people to terminate their life early.  The point being to avoid a painful death.

She has found a way to be optimistic.

I have to realize that if people can find a way to truly live in situations like that, then I can find the strength to get through my MOMENTARY problems. It’s a goal of mine to be more thankful. Starting with, I’m truly thankful for my LIFE.

How A Chihuahua Has A Fabulous Day

I’m unsure why everyone doesn’t get married in October!! This weather is AMAZING here in Charleston, SC. I decided I could not go to the lake downtown today without my “little.”   It’s wonderfully comforting how dogs are there for us every day. I have not been there for Daisy as much as I would have liked to lately.  So today, I gave her a great day.  We went to the lake together:

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And she enjoyed the view:

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I took a few random pictures. One that I really  loved is below. It reminds me that where there is light, there is hope.

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After the lake we went to Petsmart. She got to come inside :) I picked her out some little treats and one of those toys that is filled with crinkle type paper as opposed to stuffing (my dog will rip that shit out in two seconds). Here is an example of puppy pad explosion:

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  She didn’t look at all interested in Petsmart  but when we got in the car, she dove head first into her bag:

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Daisy did 5 lapse around the lake today, which is a lot for a seven pound chihuahua! She was proud and wanted to announce her accomplishment.  She is now passed out in her very over stuffed dog bed at home <3 Love my dog.

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I hated it so bad that I fell in love

  I’m one of those people that doesn’t do things they have no desire to do.  I’ve always been stubborn and down right hard to reason with.  Anyone that  is responsible for changing my mind should truly heroic.

Back in April 2014 I acquired a 1999 VW Cabrio.

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This old, disheveled, and completely helpless car deserves a post of it’s own. I named her “Popcorn.”  Let’s just say it once rained and I nearly drowned in Popcorn, NEXT to the beach. Realizing that this was not a good vehicle situation, my grandfather lovingly located a stick shift VW Jetta.

Ok, just hearing the words stick shift makes me go..

FUCK

Why? Well, because it’s not something I’ve ever considered trying again. I’ve tried a total of twice. Once, in New York with an X.  Him, being extremely trusting, aloud me give the whole stick shift thing a go.  Let’s just say, I literally started rolling backwards in traffic.  We stopped car and switched places ASAP. Then the second time, my soon to be x husband let me experiment in a parking lot.  He quickly realized too that I was never going to get it. Ever.

My grandfather brought my “new” (aka 2000 Jetta) down to Charleston, SC for me, I believe, August 2014.  After a few hours of practice, he said I was starting to get it.  Also, stating that he had to take his false teeth off the dashboard twice and  put them back in his mouth hahahah. He has always been hilarious.

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Up until recently, I HATED driving this car.  I have never felt so much anger and frustration at trying to get used to something.  I stalled in drive-threws, in the middle of high ways, parking lots, and really anywhere a car can stop. FUN TIMES.  I’ve realized I have insanely low self confidence.  If I don’t get something immediately I feel so defeated that I discontinue it or beat myself up over it.

A few days ago, my roommate asked me to move her AUTOMATIC car.  I get in it, and push on the break (like its a clutch) while pushing in the gas.  I’m telling you, smoke came out from under the tires.  I almost could not figure out how to drive the damn car. It was the longest and loudest re park job I have ever done in my life.  Not to mention, I parked the car going the opposite way it should have been on the street.

After this experience, I appreciated my car a great deal more.  I realized that I felt I had more control when driving my car.And I am happy to say, I no longer hate driving a stick shift. I’ve also come to the realization though I may be resistant, I am an adaptable person. I’ve gone from having a home to being homeless, from being jobless to working overtime, from being very sickly to extremely healthy, from one location to another, etc.  My confidence has gone up realizing that I can not only live but thrive in all different settings.  Though I may  very likely cry, cuss, yell, and vent in every other way shape or form along the way, it doesn’t stop my strength from pulling me through.

It’s an amazing feeling to prove your own self wrong sometimes.

Things That Drive Me CRAZY

This has not been the most positive of days. OK, if I am being honest, the past few days have been rough.  Work has been exhausting, drama has been draining, and I’ve just started feeling all the way around BURNED OUT.  It’s important to be positive but at the same time, it’s also just as essential to be human and feel negative emotions (hence this post).

So here is a list so I can get it out and vent…  If I am lucky, I will help someone out there feel less alone.

broke

1. I AM BROKE ALL THE TIME.  You know those books that explain how to save money or cut cost…. yeah I can’t possible decrease anything any more.  I pay one set fee for rent/electric/and water combined.  My dog eats less than 1/2 cup a day (tiny chihuahua) so cheap food. I hardly ever have money for enough food to last me till the next pay check. I’m too tired to cook. Have not gone “shopping” in more years than I can count.  I can’t figure out how to financially make it. I don’t understand how people do it, I really don’t.

drama

2.  DRAMA.  I cannot stand working with people who I know talk or say things about me or my team in the office.  I understand wanting to talk or having an opinion. But it’s really not professional to talk about anyone within a business setting.  I don’t want to know at any point what people think about me or my work ethic. All that matters to me is that I feel confident that I’m doing the best job I can do. I work full time (sometimes over time), do physical work constantly, and am always exhausted.  I don’t need high school crap on top of it…. Why can’t everyone just be professional and get along as a team? We don’t have to like each other, but functioning together would be awesome.

divorce

3. WATCHING PEOPLE GO BACK TO THEIR X’s. I’m unsure if this is a jealousy thing or a confusing thing for me. People often come to me to advise them during their break up.  They explain how unhealthy and painful the relationship was. Then, after often only a short period, they get right back into that relationship. I can’t fault them because I’ve done the exact same thing!! I ended up marrying a man that broke off our engagement right before actually getting married.  It just looks different to be on the other side of the coin.  I struggle with the temptation to fall right back into old habits too.  I miss and will probably always love my X.  I don’t just hall off and marry someone for the hell of it. Seeing people get back with theirs make me wish I could in a way (even though I know it would not be healthy).  However, at the same time, I also feel drained from trying to be there for people and help them while seeing them revert right back to the same situation. It makes me want to scream ::DO YOU HAVE AN ADDICTION TO BEING MISERABLE?::  It’s confusing…..

datingtruth

4. DATING.  OK, this is just not going well. I tried dating one guy from church. I am sure he is a truly nice guy but after one date, I realized I had never been so uninterested in dating someone in my entire life.  I like extremely respectful men that do not expect something on the first date (no matter what kind of relationship I am looking for). I truly this other guy at first that took me on a few dates. But then he did the whole “I don’t think you are ready for this” thing which of course totally crushed me. I sobbed in his car and told him how he was wrong (he wasn’t). But of course in the moment you don’t realize it. We were just at different places.  DATING IS STRESSFUL. And bottom line is… though I hate being alone… I don’t know what I want. And until I do, I should not be with anyone.

So yeah anyway….that is my rant for tonight.  :)

Are you curious or do you actually care?

I once read that “One should be careful who they tell information too.  There is a difference between being curious and actually caring.” The older I get, the more I find this to be true. So many people at work or in every day life ask you questions just to start a conversation or gather information to pass around.   It’s exhausting, hurtful, and makes it very hard to figure out who can actually be trusted.  Determining who wants to know about our lives without having a motive is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Thankfully, I have a handful of friends that I feel confident actually CARE. One huge representation of one is a guy from my past. When we were younger (like thirteen years younger than I am now), we dated each other long distance. We were kids but actually did truly love each other. His parents didn’t know we were together, as he lived a long ways away from me. On one of my letters, I put a lot of hearts which his parents saw and opened.  That was the end of our adolescent dating years.

hearts2

  We every once in a while would keep in touch but had years where we just parted ways and did our own thing.  I never forgot about him though, as he had a kind heart which is an extreme rarity these days.  So in 2013 when I was going through my divorce, I reached out to him.  I’d like to say that in the beginning it was because I truly missed HIM. But I was vulnerable, sad, hurting, and extremely lonely. ((Why do we girls go to that place of feeling like we are worthless??)) Anyway, he did respond and the more we talked, the more I realized I had really missed him.

This person for the past nine months has listened, advised, understood, comforted, and invited me to his home. I got to meet his sweet family and enjoy getting to know him after years and years of being apart. Many men would try to take advantage of a woman that is weak and going through a divorce. However, he was always respectful and never once did that. There was never an expectation, form of repayment, or other for his support in my life. He was just there to be my friend. And that was enough for him.

Upon hearing that I was sleeping on an air mattress, extremely sick, and paying off a bed on lay away..he offered to help.  I have NEVER accepted money from a friend. Coffee, books, thrifted furniture (YES) but money…no. It’s not that my friends would not have offered it at one point or another (and vice verso), but everyone is always poor & trying to stay alive. For a minute, my x husband had come back into my life and claimed to want to help me in some way. I told him about the bed, how I was sleeping on the floor, and so miserable.  Never once did he offer $5 to help me pay off the bed. Nor offer me dinner, dog food, clothing, or anything that would help my quality of life.  And yet here was my good friend, who didn’t have much, willing to step up and help me.  If this doesn’t let you know  a lot about someones character, I don’t know what does.

I realized which person actually cared about my situation and which person was just curious about it.

My amazing grandfather wanted to go ahead and get a jump start on me getting a bed ASAP so he went ahead and paid it off.  Despite that, my friend was willing to help pay him back for doing that for me.  Today, I received a check for $280 from my friend. The ENTIRE  amount my grandfather had put down. I never get to pay my grandfather back for anything sadly.  I just never have the extra money or ability to do it. So the fact that I can now, makes me incredibly emotional and thankful to this person.  I’ve always had a really hard time allowing anyone to help me.  I never feel secure and have always braced myself to lose everything.

So to my friend who did this for me, THANK YOU. For offering, keeping your word, going above and beyond, and showing me there is still good out there.

Silence During A Breaking Point

cant I’m coming to the realization that I never allow myself the option of admitting that I can’t handle a situation. I’m a fighter (verbally). I like to state my point and have the last word, because on some yet to be discovered planet this is “winning.” Up until recently, I didn’t realize how unhealthy this way of thinking was.  I never walk away from comments that define me wrong, challenge me, insult me, or hurt me in some way. I’ve always seen that as an open door to prove my point and show a person exactly who I am through anger.

Then it changed.

Recently, I chose to not respond to comments I disagreed with. I chose to let someone repeatedly contact me that I really wanted to stop.I let them write me a goodbye letter full of apologies and promises that they had irreparably broken. I let something end without fighting it out.

My body told me:

 I just can’t do this anymore…

I can’t hang on to a relationship that was over a long time ago…

I can’t continue selling myself this short…

I can’t handle feeling this desperate for attention…

What happened next was that:

- I recovered very shortly after from a sinus infection that i thought was going to kill me

- I stopped stuffing my face with tons and tons of food

-I purchased a membership for Planet Fitness

-I bought an ipod shuffle and loaded it with music I love

- I felt and continue to feel stronger

 Knowing your breaking point and listening to it is HUGE.  Ending a toxic unhealthy relationship, no matter how sad, is essential to ones survival. I used to think I could not make it without a certain person. Turns out, I can’t make it without myself. I need to take better care of myself emotionally, spiritually, financially, and physically. That is the goal for not only 2014 but 2015 as well!

Stronger September

I’ve realized that when life gets really hard, I often deal with it by just plain old NOT DEALING.  My way of comforting myself I guess is by numbing life out and put on this mask that screams: this girl is absolutely fine.  I kid you not, I was told by a sweet girl I work with that she would have never known my car just broke down because when I came to work I was smiling and looked like I had just eaten some waffles. (I’ve gotten amazing at that masking thing apparently). I’m unsure why at certain points I can handle blogging and others I cannot. Each time I’ve tried to come back to this, it’s been a bit of a failed attempt.  Here is some good news though….

I believe I am not at a better, stronger, more mature place than I’ve probably ever been.  Below is a picture of myself and what my facebook status from a few days ago:

“It’s true. You really do all the sudden realize one day that a weight is just gone. My eyes have looked so weak and sad in pictures for like the past 9 months. Having taken a picture today, I just looked at and realized,\the intense emotional weight from my marriage ending that I’ve been carrying around is gone.”

I'm Stronger,jpg

For those that do not know, my soon to be x husband told me he wanted a divorce on Christmas of 2013 at my in laws house. Romantic stuff right? The next six months were the most traumatic, hurtful, and confusing months of my life. Want to talk about hitting a breaking point!! I literally thought I was going to die. I’ve moved to two different locations, gone through three different cars, gotten in a car accident, cried more tears than I thought was even humanly possible to produce, and felt a sense of helplessness that went deeper than the ocean.

But through all of that, I survived.  Within two months of being told about the divorce, I found and continue to hold the same full time job (often working over time). I went to work looking like crap and went home looking worse. But what’s the most amazing thing for someone that has just had all that has made them feel safe stripped from them is that, I went.  Looking back today, I’m proud of that.  And I’m better.

There are so many other things I want to say, but for tonight, this is good. It’s a start. And I’ve officially started over. <3 Thank you to all those that have followed me, supported me, and advised me.

My life is a WRECK (literally)

beautifulstorm

Ever have those days where not a damn thing seems to be going right? Well, that was yesterday for me.  I was even upset to an extent at the fact that I was still alive.  So here is what happened…

I was returning to my job, the vet clinic, from lunch. I took an exit that merges onto a main highway. Being that it had been raining all day, the road was quite wet. While going down the exit, I lost complete control of my truck. It’s rear wheel drive and very light in the back so when it started sliding, I could not regain control of it. I managed to slam into the ramp on the right side going probably 35 mph.  I bounced off of that and skidded back into the road. (had I turned to the left instead, there was a huge grass area that went straight down. The truck I’m sure would have flipped).  I managed to get my truck off to the side of the road to evaluate damage. Passenger side headlight hanging out, front bumper on ground, smoke coming out of struck, something leaking heavily under it (which come to find out was radiator fluid), truck would not move. Long story longer, I had to call person im divorcing from to come and help me. Thankfully, he does. He finds me on exit, we call cops, EMS come because my neck and arm are hurting, and triple A towing shows up. We pretty much looked like a circus. I was ok, just had whiplash. Due to angle I hit, airbags did not deploy.

I don’t react normally to this accident. I found myself wishing I had turned left and the truck had flipped. I’ve been trying to move out of our apartment to start the separation from my x. He’s made it so clear he doesn’t want me there, is tired of me trying to find a place, and wants me out (which is not even legal come to find out). I’ve been working full time, packing up my life, trying to find a residents, going through a divorce, and am suffering from extreme exhaustion.

The night of the accident I did find this rose above and photographed it. There is something about rain on flowers that is beautiful to me. I think it’s important to remember that even in a storm, there is beauty.

I have found a new residence to go but it will be ready in a few weeks. So I have to survive all of this until then. My x worked on my cabrio today and got it to where at least it is not leaking horribly like before. This did up my moral knowing that I would not drown inside my car if there was a sprinkle outside.

The more I’ve gone to a divorce support group at my church, the more I have realized the need for help during a divorce. It’s not even about getting legal help (which is also good) but about emotional support. So many people, both men and women, feel scared and left without recourses during a divorce.  Many of us never in a million years planned to be in this situation. I’m the first one to raise my hand and explain how traumatic divorce feels. It’s like everything good and safe that you have come to know is stripped from you piece by piece. But here is the thing, if you surround yourself with people going through the same thing, you can rebuild and empower each other.

I can’t help but wonder if I would make a good lawyer. The kind that deals with divorce and helps people through this…..

Just a random idea of the day.

I’ve missed you guys. Nothing personal that I’ve been away. It’s just my life has been very hard lately. For all who read this and have continued to not give up on me, thank you. I know soon, it will get better.

Craigslist Car Shopping…The JOYS

Hello Friends :)

DaisyandJenny

Hope today is going great for you. It’s Monday and I am off from work. Thank Goodness because I am SICK. You know it’s bad when I am having hot tea with honey for breakfast. I’m telling you, nothing feels better on a sore swollen throat than some tea!

So on to what my topic is….

CAR SHOPPING

Raise your hand if you hate car shopping with a passion?

Here are my main issues:

#1. Often times, women do not have the slightest clue as to what to look for on a used car. While we were taking care of our dolls, boys were putting together leggos and building guns out of straws. Hence, why their understanding of engines is probably so much higher haha. I’m not including those super cool women who know a car and are not afraid to get dirty!  Just, if you are like me, you don’t know what to look for.

#2.  Sticker price, firm price, varying price, willing to take an offer, etc.  I have no idea how to price a car! I can go onto Edmunds.com and get an evaluation. But then, there are always those people who say, well I put a lot of money into my car with new parts. So just when I think I know how much a car is worth, that totally throws me for a loop.

#3. PRESSURE.  I new I could not go into a dealership and finance another car. I had to buy it outright to eliminate monthly payments. This left me with craigslist car& truck section.  So if you have never looked for a cheap car on craigslist, you probably don’t know they sell like IHOP’s all you can eat pancakes. You have to be fast, get to the seller fast, make an offer fast, etc.

#4 Oh and then there are those vehicles with Title issues. For instance, I ALMOST bought a Honda the other day. Went to get money and was about to head out to the person when their title went “missing.” All the sudden, the person said he could not find it. Wanted to know if I wanted the vehicle for a cheaper price with no title!!! hahahahha NOPE. I may not know much, but I know that buying a car that could have just been stolen is not always the best of options.

Anyway, I finally ended up getting a car yesterday. I used to have a VW Cabrio in which EVERYTHING broke on it. Top leaked and it all around fell apart on me. So what “new” car do I ultimately end up with? Of course, a VW Cabrio haha.  I’m sure I paid too much too. But here is the thing, the man said he took good care of it, got oil changed, the AC & heat work, radio works, tires look good, great on gas, and it drives well. It’s old as everything but I am proud of it because it is the

<3 FIRST CAR I’VE EVER OWNED <3

No Car Payments

No full coverage insurance

Nadda

Now if I can just get the top to come UP once I put it down………   :)

covertible

Still Chugging Along

Sorry it’s been a while guys. I’m still alive! I just feel like I am working all the time. I can’t complain though when the majority of my customers are similar to this:

Mocha,Tux,Jenny

Today, I was off and too exhausted to do anything. I just did 3 back to back (10 hour) days. That may not seem like anything to some people but coming from me, it FELT like a lot!!! The most productive thing I did today was go through some of my life. Meaning, I through away old cards, a picture, etc that tied me too my last relationship. Being dumb, I read a lot of the letters which was hard. It’s so painful to read and remember falling in love, the excitement, the romance…..  To go from there to where him and I are today it’s really sad. But it’s over. This was my room:

funtimes

I met someone recently again from my past.  I used to date him when I was very under age haha. It’s crazy how if someone was good to us though, we always remember them. I believe some people are put in our lives to be their at certain points, but maybe just not the entire way.  He’s been kind to me with allowing me to vent about my life and the craziness of it all. If for nothing else, it means a lot to have another person in my life like that.

So… the cutest thing I can share with you today is :

puggy

Why yes, yes I did. And I better receive it looking just like that :)

Hope everyone is well. Thank you for your continued support and following my journey. I’m thankful you are here.

FREE PRINT DOWNLOAD from Trendy Peas! “You are my Sunshine”

It’s been a while since I have done a free print download ! I woke up this morning to see that the lovely artist I used to work for had posted a free one.  Patchi of Trendy Peas is sharing her ” You Are My Sunshine Print” with you :) I hope you enjoy!

You Are My Sunshine Free Download

sunshine

What I need is not always going to be what you understand. Maybe you won’t necessarily agree with my choices.  Most likely, you will hate my ideas. at one point or another 

But it’s not your life is it? Or your path. Or your dream. Nor destination.

So love me for being brave enough to make choices. For allowing myself to be vulnerable.

Know that I’m going to be wrong A LOT.

But that is life.

And for the first time, I’m choosing to live it.

 rose

 

Motivation & Comfort for the bleeding soul

 

Just because I needed to hear these things today.

I’m sure other people do too.

Before you read this though, just know that every good person deserves someone to say this to them at one point in their life:

beautiful2

If your heart is broken, know that you are not alone.

But also note, there is hope. This point in your life WILL pass.

You are right, you will never be the same.

Your beauty will be more elegant, your head much wiser, and your strength much more noticeable in time.

Live for this, if for nothing else.

absolutely

different

lovedog

verse

forest

adore3

Canceled Interview-Decision I Own

Hey guys,

Hope all is going well. I have the next two days off. Unfortunately, blogging has become like working out for me. In order for me to do it, I must be completely relaxed and on a “weekend.”  My schedule is pretty damn awesome at the vet I must admit.  I usually get two days off in the middle of the week (so much for having to survive 5 days to get to Saturday!!), get one weekend day off a week, and a two hour lunch break in the middle of the day. The downside is that I have to work long shifts the four days a week that I do work. Often between 9.5 and 10 hours of standing, scrubbing, and being pulled through the halls by a gigantic dog. :) I’m thankful though.

Not too long ago, I applied for a detention officer position.

detention officer

This was before the Kennel Tech position that I have now.   I have always been a bit interested in criminal justice and on a whim (and out of financial desperation) decided to apply for a position that came available online. I got a call back, did a written test for it, and just the other day got a call for an interview. Getting this position would have been a longer process, as a lie detector test amongst other things was involved.  I had only a short time to decide whether or not I was going to pursue it. Just about everyone I talked to gave me thumbs up, saying go for it.  I love working with animals but the pay is no where near what I would have gotten if I had worked for a detention center.  I asked a good friends mom what I should do. She said that it was my decision to make. That no one could choose for me.  I completely agree that sometimes we want someone to choose for us or push us in a direction because the weight of a decision feels so incredibly heavy. I asked my grandmother if she still would have gone into her major of music in college if her husband had not been there to support her. She said Yes. That she loved music. That every day when she came home from school she would play her piano when she was younger. I just realized….

MONEY IS NOT EVERYTHING

money

Not even in desperation. If you have a full time job that you can at least SURVIVE off of, then you must breathe and realize you are okay.  I realized if I had gone for the other job I would have had plenty of toilet paper, socks, and food in the fridge.  But would I regret leaving where I am right now? Would I miss the schedule I have? Would I be sick all the time due to the 12 hour morning AND night shifts? The answer is YES.

I decided to cancel the interview.

Did I make the right decision for the rest of my life? Probably not. Did I make the right decision for where I am right now in my life? Yes. Too often I make decisions while considering my present AND my future. I panic as if the decision is going to be the last one of my entire life. Fact is, we get decisions and choices every day. And if we lack them, all we have to do is decide whether we want to go see a movie and then choose if we want someone to go with us. :)

Anyway, that is my little job update as to what is happening right now. I am about to post another blog about the lovely events of my debit card and someone going to town on it yesterday. FUN TIMES.

Anyway, hope all is well! Stay warm out there!

adore2

 

 

 

Skinny Taste Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili Healthy Recipe, Education Update, and New Job

This past week a few positive things have happened.

1. I finally got a full time Kennel Tech position at a Veterinary Office in Charleston, SC.  These type of positions have seriously been non existent.  A few weeks ago I got fed up from not getting any call backs from vet offices that I just started calling around to everyone I had previously applied too. By chance, this one place was actually hiring. They were able to look up my resume and I got a call back the same day for an interview. From there I did a job shadow, they called references, and ultimately offered me the job <3.  Full time. I work 4 days a week for about 9-10 hours a day. I wake up at 5:30 AM and am incredibly thankful that this job pulled through for me.

meandadog

2. I called my grandfather, who has believed in me through it all, and asked for $50 to apply to The College of Charleston. He sent me a check for $100. He is amazing. Not because he sends me money but because he believes in me. He’s spent his whole life going without things because he appreciates what he has.  It’s because of this that he has been able to help me along. I applied for the Studio Art major. The fall semester does not even start until August. Still have to do my taxes, update my FAFSA, and get my transcripts in. But first step is applying, and that was done today !

cofc

4. I made a crock recipe that turned out good last week. It was another one from the SkinnyTaste website.

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Crock Pot Chicken Taco Chili

This was really good and very easy! I believe I cooked it 5 hours on high but went by all of the ingredients. I just got that boil in a bag 10 minute brown rice instead of white rice. Definitely try this out!

So that’s what is happening this week :) Hope everyone is well !

Listening To & Loving Myself

Tonight I got to talk to my granddad.  He is the sweetest, funniest, and strongest man I know. Not for his age, not because he is related to me, but because he just is all the way around as a person. I told him I was feeling extremely lost with what career I wanted to go into. He explained that “the Lord tells you as much as you can understand at one time.”  He went on to say that he did not start off knowing where he wanted his end goal to be.  His interest was in the church and that is all he knew. He said if he had known he was going to go on to be a preacher he would have never pursued his career in the church because the thought of it would have been too overwhelming. He followed what he loved, learned from people, and was led into his love for the position he held for many years as a Baptist Preacher. Before you shake your head and go “wow your life must have been tough,” just know that he never once pushed religion on me. I was raised in a Christian environment but I cannot tell you a time he quoted scripture to me. He left his job at the door and raised me with love. The older I get, the more I appreciate him for that.

This is the first semester I have taken off college in years. Normally, I go to school through the semester. I feel almost like I am going through withdrawals not having deadlines to meet.  I also know that I want to get my Bachelors Degree.

Nursing has been what I have been trying to convince myself lately I want to do. Being a nurse provides a stable career, quite a lot of money, and medical benefits. Who doesn’t want those things?

I don’t love nursing though.

I love Photography. It’s my drug. Art in general.

I am at a crossroads where I must choose whether to pursue a degree that is good for me or a degree that I will enjoy obtaining.

My grandfather who drove me to my first day of school with our golden retriever Glory in the truck, is sending me $50 so I can apply to the College of Charleston. It’s a very well known historical college here in downtown Charleston, SC.  Looking on their long list of majors…. I just came upon this major tonight:

  Bachelors of Arts in Studio Art

In this major I could study photography, drawing, sculpting, printing, etc. In order to graduate, you must make an exhibit of your own personal work to present.

In how many languages can I say : YESSSSSSS.

So this is my new goal, to go apply to the college for the Fall semester.

I have no idea what I am doing. I have no idea if I am going to be able to make money with this degree. I have no idea if Ramen Noodles are going to be a main staple of my diet shortly.

But here is what I do know: I would absolutely love taking these courses. I would love the pumping adrenaline resulting from the fight to make it. I would never look back and regret the portion of my life where I practiced what I loved most.

For the first time in my life, I’m learning to love myself. And with that comes accepting that I am withholding the talent I have been gifted with.

love yourself

Turkey Stuffed Peppers- Skinny Taste Recipe! HEALTHY

So last night, my brother asked me to come over and hang out with him for a movie night. Can I just say, I adore him. Seriously, he is like the male version of myself lol.  Anyway, we made a fire, laid out a blanket, and watched movies. At one point he came up behind me and just wrapped his arms around me.  If this all sounds romantic, please know that we are just very affectionate with each other. Last night put me in a much more positive mood!

Hence, why I am posting a recipe post and not a depression post <3

I made stuffed peppers yesterday that were so delicious and healthy. I’ve really been trying hard to lose some weight. It’s back to finding healthy recipes.

IMG_3374

Skinny Taste Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Once done, you can add a bit of cheddar cheese to the top if desired.

I actually loved the idea of adding the 1/2 can chicken broth to the bottom of the pan for the peppers.  It made them a lot softer. In many recipes, they say just to stick the peppers in the pan resulting in very crunchy peppers.  I would highly recommend this recipe!

The only alteration I would make is use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce instead of 1/4 cup. The consistency of the meat and rice just seemed like it needed a bit more sauce. Other than that, I followed the recipe and added one more pepper (4 peppers in all).

The “ice storm” in Charleston, SC

Schools, Stores, Vet offices, etc, have been shut down.  Grocery stores have been raided of waters as well as milk & eggs (rumor has it).  People have been acting as if they were preparing for a category 4 hurricane. Meanwhile, I found myself exploring my apartment complex with my tennis shoes and camera in tow. I’m just going to let people be ridiculous and do something that is actually productive :) .

icesignedicygreensignedsnowflowersignedicebranchsigned

Hilariously Horrible

Today has been one of those days that was so horrible, one almost has to laugh.

#1. Go to doctors appointment to find out I have a $89 copay. Where the fuck did that come from? They run my debit and of course, I don’t have that much money in my account. So I go to call Nick to try and get him to transfer some money…

change

#2. Go out to car to retrieve phone. Left the damn phone at home. Get in car and speed home to try and get ahold of him before appointment.

#3. He’s at training and doesn’t even get the message for like the next 8 hours.

crybaby

#4. Cancel appointment, and go to Starbucks. A guy that works there has  clearly been enjoying the attention that consists of our conversations while I drink coffee. Today, I observed him getting really uncomfortable when a customer walked in and then out with their order. Not really paying attention, he later tells me that the guy that came in is someone he is still really into. That this guy has come to his house for a date in the past and he cooked him dinner. Explaining how everything was perfect but… I kind of dazed off after those few sentences. Is this really happening? Are you seriously gay? Are you kidding me?   (nothing against gay people at all. I just really thought he was straight so it was a shock).

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#5. In an effort to try to make friends that have something in common with me, I ask the guy who prints my photography if he would ever want to hang out. I feel like very few of my friends adore urban photography, as I do.  I just would like to do some things “I” enjoy. I received a very kind email back pretty much kindly declining due to being busy, having a girlfriend, and a son.

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#6.  A counselor in the meantime  has been trying to return my call all day. He feels he can help me with all I am going through (if he only knew). When I finally call him back I find out that I would have to pay a copay upfront of $85 and insurance would reimburse me a lot of it.  He kindly knocked price down to $50 a session when he heard dead silence on the other end of the phone. If only he knew that this is what I spend on groceries a week……

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Yeah…. I’m going to bed NOW to prevent anything else from possibly  happening.

Cry

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So something about me that people either love or fear is how open I am. I share with the world how I am feeling. I’m thankful that I have had  many days where this blog has been colorful and bright.  Each post I make is a representation of what I am going through as a person.  I feel that when someone puts their heart (literally) into their blog, others can feel it.  Tonight, I watched an ABC wedding of Shawn and Catherine  (The last couple from The Bachelor). I witnessed them say their vows Live, watched as Shawn cried when he first saw his bride, and how the preacher (Shawn’s dad) welcomed his new wife to the family while expressing how in love they were with him.  My facebook status shortly after watching this wedding was something along the lines of “I don’t know whether I want to drink or die.”   Is it possible to do both? I cried through the majority of that special tonight.

For those that do not know, I am going through a “separation.” What the hell does that word even mean? It’s not like I am flying off to another country. This is not one of those deals where things may work out, issues can be worked on, or trust can be repaired. I’m being left by someone I have loved beyond what words can express. Someone whom I have stood by in the darkness of hell and the light of heaven. I feel confused, angry, and unbelievably sad. I’ve been left before but never by someone I was married too.  The last time, I numbed out the pain by crying very little. On one of the rare occasions I did cry, I curled up like a child to my brother and sobbed.  I should have done it more. I didn’t allow myself to feel enough. It was some kind of survival mechanism. This time, I refuse to run, hide, or ignore. I want to feel the cruelty of life, the betrayal of promises once made, and everything in between.

Tonight, I share the piece of myself that feels with you.

Motivation to Challenge Yourself

If you hear a voice within you say “you cannot paint,” then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced. –Vincent Van Gogh

I absolutely love this quote above.  There are always so many doubts going through my head.  Often, I feel there is a voice saying “YOU CANNOT DO THIS.”
Instead of allowing that voice to be right, I would like to really focus on proving it wrong.

I did something for the first time a few days ago!!  I walked across the ENTIRE Cooper River Bridge and back.  My friend absolutely insisted that we must make it to a light pole a ways away from the end of the bridge to ensure that we had walked the 5 mile trek.  I felt like we should be awarded medals and receive a standing ovation by the time we got to the end. The feeling of completing the walk though was amazing. I really did something I did not think I could do.

I need to do more of this kind of thing….

Cooper River Bridge

Connecting Downtown Charleston, SC to Mount Pleasant, SC

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Just because you are a women does not mean you have to reproduce. Or Breast Feed. Or any of it.

I have been struggling with trying to get myself to want to have kids for a while now.  I see women when their cute little girls and envy them. Their the ultimate picture of adorable. However, when it comes to having kids, I don’t want too at this point. I’m not really sure why either.  I am 26 years old and as of a few months ago, had a husband who wanted to have a baby.  All I would have had to do was say it.  Maybe I am selfish. The majority of my life I have struggled with being really over weight.  Some people may call the idea of not having kids due to body image ridiculous. However, I don’t care. I really just want to get my body in shape & fall in love with myself.  The idea of sacrificing my body, time, and future for a child feels  a bit like lying on a bed of nails. I salute every mom who willingly has made changes in their life so that they can raise their child.  I just don’t feel like that woman is me though.  Maybe something will change my mind in the future but if not, I need to come to terms with the idea that this is OK.  What the “majority” of people are doing is not always right for everyone. I’m finding more and more that I am the exception as opposed to the rule.

What do you “want” to do? MAKE IT STOP

I am really starting to hate the question: what do you want to do with your life?

People that ask me this question tend to think I am confused. But, I’m not. It’s called being numb. I’ve always been surviving.  When you are in survival mode, you think of a plan of action that will keep you ALIVE.  I’ve never had time to really think about or go for something I “wanted.”  Since I don’t have an answer like “I want to be a Fire Fighter” I hope the answer below will suffice.

What I want to do with my life, you ask?

I want to rewind

I want to heal

I want to feel

I want to witness

I want safety

I want to visit

I want dream

I want to laugh

I want to cry

I want faith

I want forgiveness

I want to provide

I want satisfaction

I want to be proven wrong

I want rest

I want time

I want exceptions

I want beauty

I want blood

I want art

I want to travel

 

If the above needs were met I may just start to see a path in my life.  A path that had a sign telling me where I was going.  When this happens, I will be more than happy to put a label on what exactly it is that I want to do with my life.