Saturday, August 1, 2020

How to Help a Spouse With a Problem

Relationships have both good and tough times. Unfortunately, many couples don’t know how to relate when one is struggling with an issue. This is mainly because some people choose to hide behind their problems instead of discussing them. It is best to visit couples rehabs before the physical and emotional distance causes irreparable damage to the relationship. You won’t be sorry you put in the extra effort to save your marriage.

If your partner requires space, give it to him or her


This may seem counterproductive, especially since the absence of communication has been the cause of breakdowns in relationships. However, sometimes, when experiencing a tough time, some people need space to think about their options before discussing what they are going through.

People have different reactions to the challenges they are facing. Couples are not any different because each partner has their unique traits. You need to appreciate the kind of person your spouse is and provide support accordingly.

If he or she will resent any forceful attempts from you to make the problems go away, it is best to give it some time. However, don’t allow too much time to go by without addressing the issue.

Sometimes listening is enough


It is natural for couples to stand by each other and help lessen the burden one partner bears. However, sometimes trying to fix things does more harm than good. It is great to have an opinion or even voice it, but there are times when the best you can do is to give a listening ear.

This way, even when you offer your advice or opinion, your partner will be confident that you understand what they are facing. Additionally, allowing your spouse to speak will help them come to terms with the issue.

Seek help from a professional or third party


If your partner has trouble confiding in you out of concern of overburdening you or possibly out of shame, it is best to seek help from someone who can get him or her to open up. Some couples, depending on the foundation of the relationship, have a difficult time communicating during tough times.

During this period, each one suffers quietly, and this often breeds resentment. Instead of allowing things to become worse, it is best to seek a third party’s assistance, preferably someone in whom your spouse can confide.


Use the support system you have at your disposal


As a couple, what has been your support structure? Who are your confidants? It could be your family, friends, or anyone who shares the same beliefs as the both of you.

While some people find it easy to discuss their challenges with strangers, some are more comfortable talking with those in their circle. This is especially important if the problem is too big for you and your spouse to solve. You never know, one of your close confidants may have the solution to your problems.

Read your spouse’s body language


If your spouse has trouble initiating a conversation when they have a problem, you should be the first to bring it up. Quickly identify any changes in behavior so that you can find out what the problem is before your spouse falls into depression.

For example, is he more on edge? Does your spouse indulge in more alcohol than usual? Have their sleeping patterns changed? The responses will give you a glimpse of how troubled your spouse is, so you can raise your observations when you seek to find out what is wrong.

 

Work through the problem as a team


You and your spouse are partners, through the good and the bad. If you have been making important decisions together, then the problems your spouse faces should not be any different. You need to work through this as a team.

Let your spouse know that they are not alone. Whatever challenges they face, you will find a solution together. If the problem is as a result of an addiction where therapy is necessary, take the time to attend some of the sessions. This will encourage your spouse to do everything to overcome their problems.

Be patient and understanding


This is very critical, especially if your spouse’s attitude has strained the relationship. You need to be patient and understanding, especially if they are trying to come to terms with their situation. Keep communication lines open, even when your spouse doesn’t want to talk.

Being patient to someone who is lashing out can be tough, but it will be worth it if you don’t respond with indifference or anger. If your spouse feels your support, he or she will be more positive about confronting the situation. The issue will also be resolved much faster if you both confront it together.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

What I Wish I Would Have Known As a New Mom

Being a mom is one of the best experiences that a woman can ever have. In motherhood you get to raise babies that look up to you. You also offer them guidance and teach them good moral values. You learn these practices, as your baby tends to mature. It helps you create a strong bond with your baby that can improve your relationship in the future. However, things can be challenging, especially if you were not well prepared. This can be devastating as a new mom since you lack the experience. Here are is what is wish I would have known as a new mom:

1) Sleepless Nights End
Babies are one of the most exciting beings that you will ever get. They come with so much joy that you cannot resist watching. They can be so charming when handled with care. You can check out Mommyhood101 to get guidelines for what to expect when you are a new mom. A new mom may lack the knowledge of knowing that certain things in children always end.

In this case, sleepless nights can be a challenge to new moms since babies will always wake you up at night. At times, this may be for you to breastfeed them or change their diapers. The good thing is that this always ends once the baby is mature.

2) Teething
Raising a baby as a new mom is always a learning experience. You get to learn things that you can correct once you get a second baby. Some can be stressful to learn, but with time, you can adapt easily. Teething is a process that each new mom will experience. This is when a baby starts to develop new sets of teeth. This process affects the babies differently, where some may cry a lot. Here you can invest in gadgets that help soften the teething process.


3) Multitasking
Life without a baby can be easy since you can perform different tasks at the same time. This is because your mind is more focused on the things that are driving you now. On the other hand, things can be quite different from being a new mom. You will require learning how to multitask on your chores, career, and, most importantly, the newborn baby. This can be hard at fast, but with practice, it becomes easy. For instance, you are cooking for your family and as well as breastfeeding your baby. The best approach you need to know is starting with crucial parts. This helps relax your mind and get a good sleep.

4) Dads are also Great Parents
Most women may underestimate how men are capable of handling babies since it is believed that women should take responsibility. What you did not know is that dads can make good parents too. When raising a child, you are supposed to share responsibilities since everybody has a life to live. It might be hard at first since it is a new experience for everyone. You only require learning and supporting each other. For instance, if you tend to go shopping, you can always account for the support of the dad to take care of the baby.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Summer Lovin'

Summer is here in full force. Summer this year will be different than summers past have been. There will be less social gatherings, more time at home. I am mostly a homebody anyway, but I was still a little bit disappointed that summer fashion will not be as important as it usually is.

However, I will not let that stop me from having a great summer. It won't even stop me from having fun summer styles to get excited about. In fact, I just grabbed some super cute PJs, and they are the total embodiment of social distance summer.

What says "Summer Lovin'" (indoors) more than Grease pajamas? They are so cute, I can't stand it. Now, when I lay around, watching Grease all summer, I will actually feel stylish. I won't be "lazy", I will be responsibly maintaining social distance. This is a dream come true, honestly.

The adorable Grease Pajamas from TVStoreOnline come in two styles. They are essentially "men's" and "women's" styles, but if you think I am not wearing both, you are dead wrong. Awesome is awesome, regardless of gender. Never let stupid labels stop you from wearing whatever you want.

Look how cute these "Pink Ladies" Pajamas are! The shorts are especially good for summer, since it gets so hot, though I am very self-conscious about my legs, so I don't wear shorts often.

Thankfully for me, the "T Birds" Pajamas are pants, for when I want to be more covered up. Actually they are long sleeved, too.


But I actually sometimes wear the pants from these with the Pink Ladies top, they go together perfectly. So I have 3 ways to wear them. Well, 4 actually, I could totally wear the T Birds top with the shorts, too. Talk about versatility.


So basically, I am lounging around, in style, having the best summer ever. Obviously, things are messed up right now, but we can still be positive in whatever ways we can. We will make it through this. Stay safe. Keep singing.

And for even more to get excited about enter below for your chance to win any (in-stock) item from TVStoreOnline. Good luck!

*Although I received these items at no cost, to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Flagged

I have seen a lot of talk, lately, about the confederate flag and how some people are upset that most people want it removed from use. It is strange to me that lack of empathy those people posses, while still expecting that people should empathize with their desire to use such a hateful flag.

While I would love wax poetic about why that flag is degrading and why it was never something to have pride in in the first place, I think, instead, I should just mention that there are many other types of flags for one to have pride in.

In fact, it is currently Pride Month, so there are literally pride flags to mention. There is the gay pride flag, lesbian pride flag, bisexual pride flag, asexual pride flag, transgender pride flag, etc. Even if none of those thing applies to you personally, you likely have a friend or family member to whom it does apply. And even if you don't, supporting the underrepresented is extremely important.

If you think that's too "political", although equality and basic human rights are not political in the slightest, there are things lie sports team flags. My husband has several in support of his favorite teams. These are fun because it's a way to show pride in the college you went to or a team you grew up watching with your parents, or just your support of a team you like. It helps you feel more connected, like you are a part of it, instead of just a spectator.

Of course, there is country flags, like my husband has an Irish flag, because he was born in Ireland, and there are even state flags. State Flags, as far as I know, are not a novel idea, by any means. However, that does not mean I actually know anything about them. I've often found myself presented with a flag and wonder what it was for, only to discover it was a state flag. For the longest time I could not even identify the Florida flag. I have lived here my whole life.


Flags have never really been my thing, but it was interesting to look at all the different state flags and I actually kind of love the idea of flying your home state when you move away and things like that. A way to keep a piece of your roots with you no matter where you go. A real piece of history. Of your personal roots, not some "cause" that was never the right side.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Hitting the Books

Most people might not know this about me, but I love to read. Actually, to be more accurate, I used to love reading. In recent (and not-so-recent) years I have very much gotten distracted by life. It had gotten to the point that I cannot even remember how long it has been since I have read an actual book all the way through.

I have half-read along several books with my son during the school year, so that I could better help him with his school assignments. I have read things online, short stories written by friends or that are part of fandoms that I am interested in. But I have not read a whole book in years.

During the time, it never felt like it had been that long. Now, looking back, it feels like a lifetime. Like I am starting at the beginning or something. That seems absurd, but maybe it is fairly correct. I've missed out on every single book released in the past 5 years at least, let alone all the classics I had never read before that. It makes me sad to think about.

And I am so excited to be diving back in to an exciting world, or many, many worlds, of fiction, but I am also very overwhelmed. I don't know where to start. I have always been a sucker for angsty plots. I like a thrilling, even heartbreaking read, as long as it has a satisfying ending.


And as much as I love fiction, I also love non-fiction. I love reading people's struggles and accomplishments and the lessons they have learned and the wisdom they can share because of all that. I love being able to see how much we all have in common, no matter who we are or where we are from.

In fact, I have always wanted to write a book. My sister and I have discussed it more than once. We've had a very interesting life. My siblings and I have all faced many hardships and even our mother before us. We have tried (and sometimes failed) to break generational "curses" and to be better people and leave a better example and legacy for our own children. I feel like we have a story that, unfortunately, many can resonate with.

We have never taken it super seriously, but it is something that we have always had in our heads. I would really love to look more into self publishing and how that could work for people like my sister and I. Using Sam Haskell as an example, it worked out phenomenally well for him.

Just being able to sit and write out all my experiences like that would be incredibly therapeutic, I think. I always tend to use writing as a way to vent my emotions anyway. I have done poetry when I am feeling sad or depressed or stressed out for as long as I can remember. Being able to take it a step further and actually publish something meaningful would be so incredible.

I think someday we are really going to do it. I feel like it is something we both need to do. Until then, I will lose myself in all the amazing stories that other people have bestowed upon the world. That is more than enough for now.

Real Estate Investing

A few years ago my husband and I first began, tentatively, to look for investment opportunities. Neither of us had ever really had any experience in that area, and we didn't even know where to start. My husband's father had quite a bit of success with investing. He offered us some advise, which we were extremely grateful for.

I wish that we had been more outright and asked him more. He has since passed on, making that impossible now. The wisdom he did impart us with was still incredibly helpful, though. In addition to helping us discover the best interest gaining savings accounts, like CDs, his biggest recommendation was real estate investment.

He had experience with it. He had taken affordable, less than desirable properties, and fixed them up, creating thriving business and attractive renting and sale prospects. He often rented out his own second home during the months they were in their primary home, and offered us so many tips on the best ways to go about that type of property renting.

We were actively looking for a place to do that type of thing a couple years ago, and then life got in the way, as it so often seems to do, and that had to take a backseat. Now, we are starting to revisit the idea real estate investment. More specifically, wholesaling real estate.

We have just discovered this type of real estate investing, and it seems really interesting, since there appears to be very little risk involved. It is also ideal because we would not be tasked with providing any of the repairs. I am excited to really dive into this, and use it as at least the starting point of our investment experience. Once we have really gotten the hang of it (and started to build up a nice little nest egg from the profits) we could move on to more complex, and costly ventures.


Ideally, the goal will be to eventually own a second property (or more than that) that we can rent out. For profit would be wonderful, but my father in law told us that it even if you rent it out at just enough to cover the mortgage and taxes, you are still coming out far ahead, since, in such a case, the renters are buying your property for you. Down the line, you will still own another property that you technically didn't have to pay for.

As I mentioned, we would like to do this at least once, so that, with the house we have now, and the other property, we would be able to have a home for each of our children. Though the ultimate goal is to acquire two additional homes, so that each child can have one when they are old enough, and we would still have our own home.

Being able to provide for our children in such a way is very import to us. My parents were not able to do that kind of thing, and I understand and adore them for everything they have done. Still, I want my children to have more. My husband feels the same. His parents were able to do more, and he wants to surpass that, still. Hopefully, in addition to whatever assets we can pass on to them, we also can install some useful knowledge, like my husband's father has done for us.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Chill Out this Summer

It's time, summer is almost (officially) here. In Florida, it's been here for weeks already, but that doesn't mean it won't get even hotter. Imagine wearing a huge jacket, while sitting by a campfire, inside your oven and then you can imagine what a moderate day in Florida summer is like.

So, to say things are about to heat up is an understatement. And when you consider the fact that a lot of indoor activities are still closed or, at least, not fully safe for social distancing, then the demand for outdoor fun is only increased. At least around here we have the beach, not that we go, it's always slammed without out-of-towners.

There is still picnics, and walks and bike riding and a multitude of other outdoor activities. All of which will be hot as can be. The need to stay hydrated and cool is essential. Literally, there is so much risk involved with being in that kind of heat without proper hydration.

I guess what I am saying is, get a cooler and truckloads of ice bags and make sure stay cool and drink water. I hate water, believe me, but many other drinks can act as a diuretic and dehydrate you further, and that is the last thing you will want.

In addition to truckloads of ice and water, sunscreen is very important, too. Even if you don't burn, which you still might, you can still cause skin damage, like sunspots and wrinkles, and even get skin cancer. Sunscreen and shade are your friend.

Summer might look a little different this year, but lets enjoy it. Maybe it will be the best one yet. Embrace the new normal and have fun, and be SAFE.

Sunday, June 14, 2020

The Future of Mobile Messaging

In today's fast paced world, mobile messaging is more important than ever. It is vital to be able to reach your audience in their comfort zone. Meaningful engagement is essential to successful business. You have to make a connection and it has to be accessible. Staying at the forefront requires being up to date, or even ahead of the times.

Getting in on the future first is a great way to get a leg up in your business. Especially the future of communication since the relationships are the most important aspect of any venture. That is why having an innovative messaging platform is such a great asset.

I am really excited by the new possibilities. I love the idea of a cloud based communication platform. It makes so much sense that it seems obvious. It's crazy how the future comes along and makes you wonder how you ever managed things before. It is so seamless and makes it easy to track and automate your engagement.


I love easy it is. Everything that takes the place of phone calls is a step up, in my socially anxious opinion, but there is "next level" and then there is "out of this world", and this new solution from Syniverse is definitely out of this world. It almost makes me feel a little silly, getting so excited about something as mundane as a tool for my brand, but this is really useful.

There are so many invaluable features, like language translation that translates (properly) your message before dispatching it to your international customers/subscribers. Analytics tracking helps you learn what is working well and what could use some improvement. Learning your audience is they key to keeping and growing it.

Omni-channel engagement allows you to ensure that customers receive seamless communication across all platforms. And with template management and automated orchestration, you can be sure that you are communicating effectively and relevantly on all platforms in every situation. Having triggering messaging that is coordinated by case needs is so helpful.

SMS verification allows for security for peace of mind, with customers knowing that they are protected. It also keeps your business safe and secure. Confidence is so important. Knowing that you are protected and having your customers know they are protected, as well, is worth so much.

What I really love is the backing of a team of experts. These experts will help you create a custom mobile strategy, and deploy mobile campaigns and programs, anywhere in the world. That is especially useful for me. Even when things are straightforward and user friendly, I always like to second guess myself and worry that I am doing something incorrectly or not as effectively as I could be. Guidance and reassurance are really invaluable to me.

Overall, this is a really challenging time for so many companies, and customers, too, for that matter. Every tool is important and building for the future is essential. The future can be daunting, but it's all we have and we can make it spectacular. That starts with using the most innovative solutions. See you at the top.

It Really is a Craft

Just because more things are opening up does not bean that COVID has gone away. In fact since "phase 3" efforts have started, cases are on the rise. People are trying to go out and socialize and do things just for the sake of doing them.

I get it. We, as a species, crave companionship and interaction. It is natural, but we still need to use caution and stay home when we can. As an introvert, I am always down to stay home, but more than that, I just appreciate having a chance to relax and enjoy a little extra leisure time. Netflix and I are having quite a good time together.

I do more than Netflix, of course. There is also Youtube. So clearly, I am being very productive. I've recently found Melvin Brewing and I am really enjoying all the videos. They are super interesting, way more than I thought they would be. I am just starting to learn more about craft beer, and there are so many different kinds and methods and it's really neat.

It's cool how anything can be art, in a way. Fashion, cooking, beer. Anything. There are so many kinds of talent and self expression and I just love getting to learn about them. That's what is so cool about craft beer. I love that attention to detail and high standards of quality. And I love the uniqueness and the passion and supporting real people and small businesses over huge corporations.

If we ever needed a really good craft beer, this is the time. We could all take a little time calm our nerves with a nice, refreshing, craft beer and use our extended isolation time to reflect and grow and find ways (small or large) to make the world a little bit better for our fellow humans.

I know it's small, but I plan on spreading the love for Father's Day. I want to show all the dads in my life a little extra love and make sure they know that they are still appreciated, no matter how hectic or grim the world can sometimes seem. I know my own dad will be getting some cool craft beers from Melvin Brewing. The Killer Bees is his favorite.

My brother will be getting the same. Well, not the same. He's getting Back in the Haze. That's more his speed. I love how amazing the cans are. Another form of art. It makes me want some just to display or something.


Whether drinking to yourself, your father, or just waking up to another day in this sometimes hard, always crazy, but potentially beautiful world, take a little extra time to savor the flavor and all the heart and soul and passion that goes into it. Take a little extra time to appreciate the art and make a toast to doing better and being thankful and enjoying life.

Take care of yourself, take care of others, and take a sip of a delicious craft beer. Drink it all in. We'll get through this like we always have and maybe this time we'll learn something and come out for the better. Until next time, take care.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Happy Mother's Day from TVStore Online.

First and foremost I want to wish all the mothers out there a very happy Mother's Day. Secondly, I want to, once again, rave about TVStore Online. Shocking right? I don't care if I'm predictable, I love TVStore Online.

My Mother's Day gift to myself was more Harley Quinn cosplay items. I can't get enough and TVStore is always there to provide my fix. This time, I picked up the Birds of Prey Cosplay Shorts to go with the jacket and shirt I got last time, the Daddy's Lil Monster Shirt, Puddin' Choker and Spiked Wrist Cuffs.


I especially love cosplay pieces that can double as regular clothing/accessories. Technically, all these pieces can be worn alongside regular clothes. One their own, none of them are too much, too costumey. The choker is the most blatant, but even that would be super cute with a simple outfit.

Of course, they have a ton of other Comic, TV, Movie, and Music themed clothing and costumes, too. As much as I tend to fixate one one or two things at a time, I am actually very invested in tons of different "fandoms" so there are so so many things that I want on there. It's really the holy grail for pop culture nerds like me.

If you want a Mother's Day gift for yourself, or any type of gift/treat for any reason at all, you are in luck, because TVStore Online is awesome and are providing a giveaway for you all. One lucky winner will receive their choice of one (in stock) item from TVStore Online. Just enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck and, once again, I hope all the mothers have a phenomenal Mother's Day. Be safe, everyone.

*Although I received these products at no cost, to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 4, 2020

How to Watch Thousands of Hours of TV and Movies for Free


Sometimes we have to find ways to cut back on our spending, whether it’s because an unexpected bill has landed at our feet or because we’re saving up for a special occasion. Regardless of the reason, it means we have to find areas to reduce or completely stop spending money each month.

For many, a TV package is a significant expense. According to the Motley Fool, the average
American spends $96.18 every month on a cable TV package. Since most only watch around 11 of the almost 200 channels they get for that month, they’re actually paying $8.74 for each
channel that they watch every day.

This presents a really easy way to slash your spending since it is possible to get streaming services that offer up the same and similar content for much less. Many also offer free trials, so if you use one after the other you can get a lot of TV without spending any money. You can still get them on your big screens too using devices like Google’s Chromecast or the Amazon Fire range.

Watch Esports for Free


Esports have become incredibly popular in recent years, with some sources saying that more than 1 billion people watch esports competitions worldwide. They are essentially competitive video game leagues and tournaments, with huge brands like Intel, the NBA, Red Bull, and Dell all investing in esports.

You can watch a lot of esports and individual gamers on streaming platforms like Twitch, with live esports matches taking place all the time and plenty of replays and highlights available too.

Twitch also carries a lot of poker content, with both live and online tournaments streamed through its service. Poker fans can find even more coverage of live events and other special programming from PokerStars TV.


Watch Disney Movies for Free


Disney has decided to go it alone with its streaming service instead of relying on the biggest players like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix. It launched its Disney+ service in several countries recently and offers a free trial to new customers.

The trial only lasts 7 days so you should start it when you know you will be able to take advantage of it for the following week. You’ll then have access to classic films like Beauty and the Beast, as well as more recent releases like Toy Story 4.


Watch Broadway Shows for Free


The average cost of a Broadway show is over $100, and that doesn’t include concessions, travel or any other costs you may incur. Thankfully, you can watch them for free when using the BroadwayHD free trial.

Like the Disney+ trial, it only lasts 7 days, so be sure to plan ahead before you use it. Once signed up, you’ll have access to hours of Broadway classics, critically acclaimed shows, and even remakes of famous Shakespeare plays.

Watch British TV Shows and Films for Free


While not everything produced for British TV screens translates well for American and international audiences, a lot of it becomes a hit around the world. Shows like Downton Abbey and Doctor Who are loved by millions of people across the globe.

To capitalise on this, British TV companies ITV and the BBC have joined forces to create BritBox, a streaming service dedicated to British films and TV shows. Sign up today and you get a 30-day free trial, plenty of time to binge-watch Peep Show, Friday Night Dinner, and Plebs.


Watch Thousands of TV Shows and Films for Free


Then there are, of course, the more generalised streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. They each offer a month’s free trial for you to watch anything in their extensive libraries at no extra cost.

They each have large collections of licensed content from major studies with films like Inception and TV shows like Family Guy. They’re all investing in their own programming too, with hit shows like Orange is the New Black, The Man in the High Castle and House of Cards all being original productions from these platforms.

You will eventually exhaust all of these free trials, but when you do the monthly cost of even a few of these combined will be significantly less than the average cost of cable TV, meaning you’ll be saving money way into the future.

Monday, April 27, 2020

The Extended Impact of COVID-19

We all know that COVID-19 is causing many problems all over the world. Of course, the most obvious being the health risk. While immunocompromised individuals and the elderly are more at risk for serious sickness and fatality, it can affect any age group or prior health status. Young, healthy people are still dying from this disease as well.

And obviously, that is in no way unimportant, but there are many other hardships that are being caused by this pandemic. Many are suffering financially because their workplace is "non-essential" and they are out of work. Many are essential and are having a hard time with still being at work while the schools are shut down.

There are shortages on toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and basic food items. I live in "hurricane country" and I have never seen shortages like these. It's scary to wonder if there will be enough meat, or bread, or eggs in the stores. And the supplies that are available seem to be priced higher than they would otherwise be. Not price gouging or anything ridiculous like that, but no sales on toilet paper or anything. It's not really plausible to do that at a time like this. But it's definitely another strain on a budget that is already stretched too thin.

There are still more problems, especially with the boarders closing and the restrictions in place for travel. Immigrants are getting the worst of these restrictions. Many cruise lines are banning people based on nationality. People who hold a Chinese passport are banned from boarding their ships. That is a disgusting form of racial profiling that should have no place in our society.


I've seen quite a lot of that kind of bias. It makes me so sad. We should all be coming together (metaphorically) to lift each other up and help one another through an ordeal that we are all facing together. Instead we are a house divided against itself.

For example, I noticed that our local Chinese restaurant is closed. With stay home orders in effect it is not that shocking, however restaurants are essential businesses and most are still open, including the small, independent ones. Knowing how diligent the family that owns that restaurant are, I sadly suspect that the reason they are closed is because of irrational fear and negative reactions to them based on their nationality.

I hate that, on top of feeling isolated and cautious, and worrying about work and supplies and everything else that I also have to think about racism, or at the very least ignorance. We should be above that. And what is really strange to me is that some people seem to think it's not happening. Even if you haven't seen it directly, it is still happening. Jean Danhong Chen has some great articles about the impact of COVID-19 on Chinese nationals. They are really informative.

I know we are all just trying to get through this, but we can't truly be okay unless we are coming through it together. If we only look out for ourselves I don't feel like we deserve to make it. If we start hoarding and blaming and turning a blind eye to cruelty and injustice then what is the point? We can be better. We have to be. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Shower them with Love

Times are so strange right now. I know we are all feeling the physical and emotional effects of social distancing, but some of us are impacted even more than others. People are unable to have their weddings, their funerals, baby showers. It's hard.

I recently saw a viral video of a mom being given a "drive by baby shower". It was so sweet. Her friends and family basically made a parade of their vehicles and each took a turn stopping, getting out and placing a gift in her yard. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen.

Now, I am not suggesting that everyone has to do such a grand display. I know that it is not always possible or practical. However, there are still ways to celebrate and support expectant mothers. The easiest way is probably to order gifts online and have them shipped directly to the mom-to-be. There are several online baby supply stores that are still shipping.

I never actually got a baby shower. I don't know many people and it just never really happened, but I know how vital they can be to some mothers. In times like this, especially, any semblance of normalcy is so reassuring. We need to be there for one another in all the ways that we can.

As rough as all this is, I think, or at least I hope, it will help us realize what things are truly important. For example, material things are great, even necessary in many cases, but they can never replace the feeling of love and companionship. So while sending gifts and supplies is a great help, the recipient will still be missing your company. Because you are the real gift in their life.

When this is all over, instead of going back to "normal" we should try to surpass that. Go into appreciating everything on a deeper level. No longer taking people for granted. No longer taking casual gatherings and simple coffee dates and movie nights for granted.

I am already planning all the fun "girls days" my sister and I are going to have. I am so looking forward to having nail appointments and lunch dates and "boring" hangout sessions in the living room.

And, though it's pretty far off, as in, not even a thought in her head yet, I may or may not already be planning her baby shower. It's never too early, right? Like I said, I will be making everything count from now on.

Monday, April 20, 2020

Sustaining Our Planet

As hard as this whole quarantine ordeal has been, it has opened our eyes, collectively, to the negative impact that humans have on this planet. Just form the short time that people have been outside less, pollution has started clearing, quite noticeable. This includes air pollution and water pollution.

Obviously, I am not suggesting that people remain locked away in their homes even when the pandemic is behind us, but we do need to start looking at ways to help the earth. Now, no one can confidently say that "there's nothing we can do" "our changes don't matter", etc.

We all need to start finding ways to lessen our footprint. Recycling, walking or biking to nearby places instead of driving every time. Carpooling. Reusable shopping bags. Reusable tumblers for coffee instead of disposable cups. Not using plastic straws, etc. There are many ways we can make a difference.


We, of course, need our leaders to make the big changes as well. One huge area we need to focus on is renewable energy. There is no reason that we have to pollute the planet just for power. Not when there are so many other options. I am not saying this like I am some sort of expert. In fact, I don't know as much as I probably should, but I do know it is necessary and completely feasible if a proper effort is made.

I've been looking a lot to Douglas Healy to learn more, as well. He shares a lot of great information that I would generally not come across anywhere else. There are always more resources to find, but he is a good starting point.

Global or at least national renewable energy is obviously the goal, but that doesn't mean that we can't, as individuals, move towards renewable energy on our own. If you have the means, if you own your own home and can afford to do so, installing solar panels to power your home is a really good step. If you can't go quite that large, you could do solar panels to heat your pool (if you have one).

There are hand crank flashlights and radios that you can use instead of consuming so many batteries. There are even solar powered device chargers, so you can charge your phone, tablet, etc using solar power. They are great for camping, hiking, etc, but are also just good for anywhere outdoors, like at a sporting event or on a picnic, or fishing. Anywhere you want to charge your device away from an outlet. Plus, you are saving electricity.

So, we all start doing our part. We keep making small changes, big changes, getting informed, campaigning for what is right, voting for the people who share our concern for the planet and our vision of a more sustainable future. That part is essential. We have to use our votes. We have to make sure that we elect people that are going to get things done and take us forward, not pull us back into coal mines and fossil fuel dependency. Be the voice. Be the change. And be well until next time.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Social Distancing While Self Employed

It's not new information that social distancing is affecting us all. So many people are out of work (for the time being, at least). That includes many self-employed persons, such as myself. While I can still write from my home like nothing has changed, I am still affected in the capacity that with PR firms and business and manufacturing centers being shut down, there are no products to send or no one there to send them.


I am trying to work on other things when I can, but things are hard all around. Of course, there are other self employed people who are even more severely impacted. There are individuals that have had to shut down completely, in some cases leaving them without any income at all. Not only that, but some still have expenses to pay for the business that they cannot even use at the moment. Things like rent, utilities, maintenance, security systems, ect.

For some, this loss of income is could be crippling. It's always hard to stay afloat when you fall on hard times, but when, as a country, and a nation, we are all on hard times, it can be nearly impossible. Some of the support systems we could otherwise rely on have also been shut down. We can just have a garage sale, or babysit or be a handyman for hire.

Not being able to be close to people affects us more than just socially, that's for sure. And as much as it's disheartening to have usual safety nets go by the wayside, I feel a slight cause for hope in the fact that there are still some ways to stay afloat.

While taking out a loan can maybe seem like a cold, impersonal way to keep your head above water during this turbulent time, it is obviously way better than the alternative. And, really, it's not so bad. I've looked into self employed loans pretty thoroughly. There are many options available, and interest rates are not terrible at the moment.

The most important thing is to not give up mentally. Don't let your drive or your spirit be hindered by these hardships. From the ashes we will rise. We will overcome, we will be wiser and stronger. We will skip "normal" and move on to bigger and better and more beautiful things. And for now, all we have to do is make it. Get through. Have hope. Be hope.

Another thing you can do, if you have the means, is support self employed people and small businesses. If you have local restaurants open and you're buying takeout anyway, choose local. If you're buying/sending gifts for anything, check out Etsy or other small businesses online. Even if you can't help financially, you can always support small business by sharing links or recommending them in (social distanced phone/text/email) conversations.

Support is priceless right now. It costs nothing to care about others and to life people up. We are all in this together (but at least 6 feet apart.) Be kind, stay safe.

Being Prepared for Everything

In the midst of all of this chaos and uncertainty in the world, it is very easy to get wrapped up and preoccupied. And it is all too easy to end up with tunnel vision, only seeing the risks and consequences of the virus. And as much as I wish that was the only thing in the world that could go wrong, the sad truth is that life still happens. Other health problems, other financial hardships, other injuries.

I had actually thought myself into this bubble and sort of forgotten all of that. I literally overlooked the fact that there are still other things that put my family and I at risk. One of which, I was painfully reminded of, by seeing the aftermath, is car accidents.

Even though people are going out less, there are cars on the road. Essential workers, people getting essential supplies (which is why I was out to see the sobering remains of an accident.) And while I hope it's not something that will happen to me, or anyone I care about, or anyone at all, for that matter, it's important to be prepared.


If you are in an accident, no matter what else is going on, you still need to focus on the accident, document everything, seek medical treatment, if needed, file insurance claims, and, if necessary, talk to a lawyer. If the other driver was at fault, you might need to take legal action. Just because there is so much going on with COVID-19, doesn't mean that other things are not still important.

If you need a car accidents attorney, find one. I recently found a car accident lawyer Tampa, and it's a small comfort to know where I would turn if I ever needed it. To have a plan in place in case the worst should happen. The preparation, no matter how minor, helps me feel less worried. We could all use a lot less worry right about now. 

Of course, not everything is doom and gloom. Being prepared is just smart planning. But there are many other things to plan for that are much more comforting. Like planning what fun things you will do when this is finally over. A spa day, a day at the park with the kids, a nice dinner out, all of the above. Planning on traveling, seeing family and friends that you've had to be away from for too long.

And you can also plan fun things while you are still in social distancing mode. Like planning a fun craft for each day, or a new recipe to try each evening for dinner. Sending nice, long, letter style emails to people you can't see in person. Playing dress up. Having a theme week (PJs day, crazy hair day, etc.). Anything to make some good memories in spite of the inevitable fear and despair.

We are all together in this, even when we feel alone. You are still living, life is still moving forward and being part of this pandemic, and separate from it, as well, all at the same time. And we will persevere. Be kind, be safe.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Caution! - TVStoreOnline Meets Harley Quinn

You all probably know by now about my love affair with TVStoreOnline. I am a huge nerd and pop culture is basically my whole life, so it's only natural that I want to dress the part. That's where TVStoreOnline comes in. They have all the fabulous clothes and costumes to feed my pop culture addiction.

Currently, I am head over heels for my new Harley Quinn cosplay pieces. Harley Quinn has always been one of my favorite characters. I've always wanted to be her. She's damaged, of course, but so am I. And she is also strong and beautiful, and crazy. I love everything about her. Especially her style. Ever since I saw Birds of Prey, and even before that, I have been drooling over her outfits.


Now, thanks to TVStoreOnline, I can have a few of her fabulous fashions for my very own. I am really excited about all of them, but my absolute favorite is the iconic Caution Tape Jacket. I also have the super cool, coordinating, Harley F---ing Quinn Shirt, also from Birds of Prey. I was tempted to get the matching shorts, for a complete look, but something else caught my eye just a bit more. And I have fat legs anyway, so I guess it worked out.



These cosplay pieces are so awesome. They are excellent quality, like everything that TVStoreOnline sells. The fit is great. I love these so much. I can't wait until I can wear them somewhere fun, like Comic Con, but right now that will obviously be awhile. I sure enjoy playing dress-up while Social Distancing, though.


So the other item that caught my eye was the gorgeous Sequin Chemise from Suicide Squad. I have been in love with that dress forever. It's so vintage.

WB1622-HarleyChemiseDress-Harley-Quinn-Sequin-Chemise-Dress-with-FringeWB1622-HarleyChemiseDress-Harley-Quinn-Sequin-Chemise-Dress-with-Fringe

I just love these pieces. They make me happy. TVStoreOnline has a lot of other great Harley Quinn pieces that I am drying to get, as well as so many other heroes, villains, movie and TV characters, bands, and much more. If you love these pieces, or anything else on the site, it's your lucky day. TVStoreOnline has been kind enough to host a giveaway. One lucky winner will get their choice of any one (in-stock) item form TVStoreOnline. Enter via the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!

*Although I received these items at no cost, to facilitate a review, all opinions are 100% my own.*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Organize Your Closet Like a Stylist

Stylists always seem to have their lives together, and part of that is because they keep their closets organized. That way they easily and with little stress choose what outfit and accessories they're going to wear every day. How does a stylist organize their closet? Read on to find out.

Image via Flickr by Aninha Miranda

A Professional Organizer's Opinion

Stacey Agin Murray, a professional organizer, says that most of us only wear 20 percent of what's in our closet. She suggests donating, selling, or throwing away anything that isn't used often, then putting every day clothes in the middle of the closet, with weekend and special occasion clothes around the edges. She recommends high-quality hangers and says to never use the wire hangers from dry-cleaners. Those can permanently damage sweaters by leaving dents. She says to leave some breathing room between hangers. Squishing your clothes together too tightly can cause them to lose their shape. Murray also says don't forget your socks and underwear. Organize them by style and color, and make sure they're easy to reach and visible.

Andrea Rapke, an organizational blogger, recommends hanging everything if you have the space. Not only will that make everything visible, but it also keeps shirts wrinkle-free. She organizes her jeans by color, from light to dark. You can also organize them by cut.

What Stylists Recommend

Personal stylist Amy Salinger recommends organizing by silhouette rather than by color. All the pants go together, then by wide-leg, boot-cut, skinny, etc. Salinger says to not store your shoes in shoe boxes. Make sure everything is visible. You can use clear storage bins for accessories, but make sure you know what's inside each bin.

Jenny Gering, the stylist for the TV show The Americans, agrees with Salinger's recommendation. She organizes clothes by style and then by color within those styles, so she can reach right for her blue turtleneck. She also protects vintage items in plastic garment bags. The older the item, the more delicate it is. There are clear garment bags, but you can use solid-colored bag with labels so you remember what's inside each one. Gering uses a muslin sheet with Velcro-ed canvas tags to hang her necklaces, which is a good space saver for small closets.

Making Your Closet Work For You

Tan France, the style expert for Netflix's "Queer Eye," uses every inch of space to its maximum potential. His closet is an odd shape, so he had to be creative. He added shelves to maximize the floor space and hanging racks for the vertical spaces. He keeps his clothing and accessories separate. He added a floor-length mirror to create the illusion that the space is larger than it really is. He can also check out his reflection right there while getting dressed!

The most important thing all stylists agree on? It's about maintaining the space. Keep it organized by putting everything away every day. A place for everything and everything in its place will keep your closet beautiful.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Productivity from Uncertainty

We all find ourselves in the midst of uncertain times. While we adapt to the changes in our every day lives, we must try to find the good. It is important that we not let our spirit be dulled by any "missing out" mentality. Instead, we should focus on all the ways that we can benefit from the time away from work and other other social situations we would otherwise be in.

One of the best ways I can think of, besides finding ways to help others, is to complete tasks we have otherwise been putting off. For me, that is home improvement projects. It is the perfect time to organize, de-clutter, deep clean, decorate, or renovate your home.

I have a significant amount of de-cluttering and deep cleaning to do. I will be sorting through our surplus of toys, clothing, and more, thinning the herd and deciding on what we can donate. I love to donate anything we don't need. Not only does it help me keep our home less cluttered, it makes me feel a little better knowing that just maybe something we donated can help someone else, even if only slightly.

Once I finish the de-cluttering, organizing and deep cleaning, I plan to seek out other home projects to keep me busy and productive. I hate feeling aimless, even if I usually love to procrastinate, too. I am odd in that way. Anyway, some other projects I have in mind are finishing our front porch. It is "completed" already, but I feel like I could make it much better.

Specifically, I would love to fully enclose it, and add a screen. And then of course add tables, chairs and the whole lot, to make it a nice gathering area. We gather out there all the time as it is, but I would love for it to feel more cozy and inviting.

After the front porch, I would love to do something to the back porch. It is not enclosed at all, but it is set up perfectly to add a deck or something. We already have a lot of deck & dock supplies, so we wouldn't need much to begin. I think having that kind of added space in the back would really open it up and make it another nice gathering area. As it is, we don't use the back yard much, but it is quieter (since our front porch is closer to the road) and larger. Once we get it overhauled, I know it will be wonderful.



And of course, I, as we all should, will use this time to work on myself. To think of the ways I can be there for others, build my children's' character and self esteem, to teach them life skills and make memories and be grateful for all the things we have. I will use the time to appreciate my family and all the blessings we have. To be proud of the people they are and to try to be proud of the person I am. We will get through this, and we will come out stronger than ever. Take care of yourselves.

5 Reasons Why Golf Will Improve Your Health


The Great Game of Golf

If you are looking for some leisure and freedom, you might consider golf to fill the void. It is good family fun and you will appreciate the added health benefits aswell. Golf and good health tend to go together. It may surprise you to know that the game of golf will reduce your stress level and give you added serenity. There are many more health benefits that are associated with playing golf. Golf is more than a sport because it has much to offer in terms of benefits to your health and your frame of mind.

Five Reasons: Golf Leads to Improved Health

It may surprise you to discover that the average game of golf will leave you feeling invigorated and more energetic at the end of the game. If you are looking for reasons to add quality activity to your life, you will be interested in the list of health benefits that involve golf. It is safe to say, playing golf has the ability to improve your health in amazing ways. Here are five good reasons to enjoy a great game of golf:

1.  Added physical movement

The game of golf involves much physical movement. The golfer will enjoy a higher physical fitness level. Keeping your joints and muscles moving will only benefit you in the long run. The moving and swinging will add strength to your body while incorporating better overall balance. A golfer has better mobility because their muscles and joints are being used and gain more strength in the long run.

2.  Weight loss

If you are looking to shed a few pounds, count on golf to foster weight loss and get you back to a healthy weight. The physical movements will take a few pounds off the scale if you play on a regular basis. A healthy weight may reduce your visits to your doctor. A lot of people assume that golf is a low-calorie burning sport however you would be surprised to know that the continuous walking and swinging are great exercises for the core and legs and a great way to shed some extra pounds while having fun.

3.  Improved sleeping patterns

After a game of golf, addition to added physical movement and weight loss, you can expect improved sleep because your body is going to demand a regular sleep routine. After a great game of golf, expect to sleep better and feel better. According to research at Golferpros.com, physical exercise releases endorphins and these are like a cocktail or hormones in your body which lead to great sleep.

4.  Better mental health

when you are outside in nature, your mental health improves because peaceful surroundings ward off anxiety and depression. The added movement will keep your mind from drifting into unhealthy thoughts because you will need to stay focused on your game. Fresh air and green surroundings add peace and tranquility aswell.

5.  Social engagement

You are sure to meet other golfers who are going to enjoy lively conversations, friendly greetings and shared interests during a day of golf. Added social engagement will impact your mental health because new friendships keep people feeling connected and involved in life. It has been scientifically proven that interacting in group sports help people with stress and anxiety and are a great part to a balanced life since we are as humans social creatures.
These five reasons ought to convince you that golf has the ability to improve your health in many grand ways. There is more to know about playing golf and the improvements it can weave into your life.

A Clear Focus and a Game of Golf

Golf involves exercise which has proven to add benefits to you health. There is more than just physical exercise in a game of golf. Consider incorporating added concentration and focus into your life with a game of golf. Your brain will start to get into shape because playing golf requires memory skills, concentration skills and added focus. This will challenge your brain in wonderful ways. Expect to prevent mental decline as you age. Brain exercise is just as important to your health as physical exercise. Enjoy a clearer focus with a great game of golf.

Golf and a Happier Life

When you are healthier and your mental health is up to par, you will naturally enjoy a happier life. Golf is much more than a game. The great game of golf can add many happy years to your life.