After Christmas Coast Trip

Skylar and I decided to take a quick trip over the coast after the Christmas buzz wore off. The holidays are always something of a struggle for me mentally and just getting away from it all helps a lot, sometimes. The Pacific Ocean is one of my favorite places, so Skylar said, "Let's just go and dust off our brains a bit." Sounded like a great plan, so that's just what we did.






Five Simple Things

 Hello.

Phew.. Well, the Christmas holiday is over and now onto the new year. Hopefully, 2020 will come in without any fanfare and we can get on the right track with things. We don't normally set New Years' resolutions in our house, but secretly, I think we all try to change a few things for the coming months. At least we try to stay on track, but sometimes things take a weird turn and make us rethink our plans. And, that's fine. No one should ever strive for perfection, there's no such thing. But, we should all strive to improve our situation and life every day. If you didn't already know, I am taking classes in college again to work towards a degree, once more. It's a real shame that making too much money holds you back from actually wanting to improve yourself overall. Jeff brings in too much and therefore, I can't apply for aid because of that, so paying out of pocket really is hard, at times. This semester isn't so bad, because the classes I need were available at the community college here. But, once I'm done and need to transfer to the four-year college, yikes! Student loans are in my future, for sure. On a more positive note, here are five things that made my week a little better than stressing over college money and loans. 

1. These Shadows.

Having issues with anxiety and panic attacks lately (more on this later), Skylar has been coming with me to my college campus and walking with me to my classes. I am extremely grateful to have two people in my life that understand my mental health issues and support me 100% through everything that I struggle with. For years I denied that I had any problems and now addressing them has helped me a lot in the long run. I won't sugar-coat this, but it's been so hard to overcome some of my mental obstacles that I deal with. I realized that keeping them bottled up and inside was doing a lot of damage to me overall. I'm glad I was brave enough to get help and I am even more grateful that I have support from Jeff and Skylar. It really means a lot just to hear one of them say, "you're going to be okay." 
On a side note: If you know someone struggling with a mental health issue, don't shut them out, or tell them what they're are feeling isn't valid. I can not begin to even explain to you the additional damage you are causing by saying that, or anything negative towards that person. Just don't do it.

2. This Kid.

Speaking of Skylar, he turned 16 in September. I can not even believe it. I feel like, just the other day we were talking about getting him a bike to learn to ride, and wondering what books would be better books for him to read as a teenager. I know most parents say the phrase, "They grow up so fast," but honestly Skylar is growing up at just the right speed, and we are so proud of the young man he is becoming. He's such a good kid and I am so lucky to be his mom and hear his voice calling me "Mumu." (He is stocking our food cabinet from a grocery run. We are doomsday and prepared preppers in this house and we like to have things on hand. We recently purchased this cabinet, and it's been serving as our food "stash" lately. Skylar likes to keep and inventory of what comes in and goes out, too. He likes to be organized like his mom, paint me proud.)

3. Mallie Jean.

Our sweet, little, Mallie Jean has been coming into her colors lately and she has a personality to go with it. She's spunky and still has a bit of the wild mallard in her, but overall she's becoming a cool duck to watch interact in the yard with Happy and Fern. She walks around the yard as if she's trying to talk to the other ducks and even Hardy, and she does this head bob where she tucks her head down and bobs up and down doing short quacks at the other animals. She doesn't like being held all that much, but she will come close when we throw out some cracked corn to them. She's a sweetie. we bring them into the bathtub from time to time, away from each other, so they get to be around us and not turn too wild. We mostly let them be in the yard, though, because they're ducks, they don't need constant supervision. Our snail and slug population has drastically decreased with them, as well as the fleas, so they have been a great addition. 

4. Mighty Nest.

With our efforts in being more sustainable and living more simply, one of the items we completely cut out of our life and haven't even purchased in the last three years is plastic wrap. With Oregon passing the single-use plastic bag ban here, we decided to continue on the journey and cut out other plastics from our everyday use. We replaced it with Bee's Wrap. If you haven't heard of this, you are really missing out. I love the original design of the Bee's Wrap, but they come in other patterns as well, even a National Geographic design. You can get your hands on this Bee's Wrap for free by going through Mighty Nest and signing up for the monthly Mightfix. The first one you will start with is the free one with the Bee's Wrap. 
You can use this invite code at checkout or click here to get started:
FREEFIX2-248876AE864C

5. IKEA Furniture,



Skylar has been looking for something to display his train collection and we've had our eyes on these cabinets with glass doors for awhile. Not sure if it's exactly what he's wanting, but we are getting close. Once we decide on an actual shelf system and display, I'll be sure to share it here. His collection is amazing and he is so proud of it, so hopefully we can find a good one. 

Have a nice weekend.

Christmas (2019)

Christmas was chill and pretty laid back. We did a few present runs to finish up some personal gifts we wanted to give, and spend a little time in and around the Portland area, but as far as a hyped up holiday, we really don't do that much anymore. Most of the time when we did do a hyped up, stress-filled holiday, it wasn't our choice. Isn't it great to be an adult and set boundaries that are better and beneficial for yourself? I sure like it. Portland during the holidays is always busy, but it's also always festive and pretty. Here's a highlight of our Christmas holiday this year.

The famous reindeer sign in Old Town China Town in Portland, Oregon. Always love seeing the red nose light up before Christmas.

The downtown Christmas tree in Portland's living room.

 
A house a few blocks over made our day with the Buddy the Elf blowup in their front yard. I was driving home from class and noticed it. I just had to turn around and take a picture of it because it's one of our favorite holiday movies and we keep it on repeat in our house during Christmas. 

Hope you had a very merry Christmas. 

Fog Pictures

 I've always been a horror fan since I can remember. Along with the horror, I've always had an interest in anything "spooky" or "scary" in general. Fog is one of those things. I feel like fog takes you away to some mysterious place, sort of like a dream, maybe. I been so lost in the "fog" most of my life. With seeing things differently than most people and also feeling like I could disappear from life in general through fog, itself. Although fog is nothing more than moisture in the air, collected into one spot, and sits in that spot because of tiny water droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air, with no wind or breeze to push it along. The National Geographic Society states that fog can also be considered a low lying cloud. Whatever "fog" is, it's one of my favorite things in this world. Because of that, I have decided to dedicate an Instagram account to just pictures of fog. You can view that account here, it's under Fog Pictures, and along with that, here's several pictures that I've taken and featured on the page. Fog doesn't get enough credit for being the amazing, and beautiful sight that it is.






Five Simple Things

 Hello. 

Hope things are well on your end. Things are slowly getting back to focus here with the holidays coming up. I usually get my Christmas shopping done early and the only "stress" I have is shipping them out to family and friends back in Arkansas. I have stopped doing Christmas holiday cards, and that's a huge relief. When Christmas greeting cards become a chore, or get judged to some degree, it really takes the fun out of them, entirely. So, with not doing those yearly anymore, I can focus on more important things for the holidays. Bad side of not sending out Christmas cards, we don't get ones in return. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but oh, well, there's more things to be upset over than that. You can see out last Christmas card photoshoot here. It was a lot of fun for us. Here are some things that are worth mentioning this week.

1. IKEA Chairs.

We've been looking into replacing a chair in our TV room, but haven't decided on a good one yet. We really like the look of these gray ones from IKEA, and this display really set the tone for us. Still not sure, but this one is a big "maybe." For the curious, this chair is the STRANDMON line.

2. This Pre-lit Tree.

We normally get a real tree for the front room of the house, but decided to get a fake, pre-lit, tree for the TV room. I liked how it looked so much that we are probably going to leave it up all the time.

3. Eleven Cat.

December is your birthday and even though someone dumped her out, she's been such a great kitty. Since Meia died, it's nice to have another cat around the house to take care of it and if I'm being completely honest, I miss the hell out of my cat and Eleven has helped with the healing.

4. Lava Rock.

It's that time of year again, where the roads of covered with lava rock. Coming from a state that never used anything even remotely close to this, I still find this incredibly cool. I mean, think about it, it's rock that came from a volcano, used on roads during icy weather. To me, that is super cool!

5.  Skincare.

I've been trying to get better at taking care of myself and my skin. I was a diehard user of Burt's Bees Tomato Complexion Soap and when Clorox bought the Burt's Bees company, they discontinued it. I have been on a hunt for something just as affective and I am still searching, but in the meantime, I am working on some different skincare techniques. One being the cleansing soaps with hemp stem cells, and using facial oils for moisturizer instead of lotions. I also use a green clay mask once a week and exfoliate once a week, as well. I have oily to combination skin, so it seems to be working so far. Drinking a lot more water, has also helped, as well. 
Here are the brands I recommend:
(click the image to purchase)



Have a nice weekend.

Five Simple Things

 Hello.

It's the middle of winter here and we are in for lots of rain, as always. Winters here in the Willamette Valley certainly do many things, but one thing they do the most is bring on the depression. There's a few things to look forward to with all the cold and rain this time of year, but the sadness isn't one of them. Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of things to do during this time of year when it's raining hard. Not even hiking, or getting outside. It's just days and days of it and after awhile, it really starts to get to you. But, in the middle of the all the rainy, depressing days, there are a few things to be thankful for. Here are five of those things that made this week a little less melancholy. 

1. This Image.

This drawing was created by a friend and he did such a wonderful job that I can't help but show it off. Definitely a very talented artist, he is. (Thank you, Jerry, I love it)

2. These Vintage Toys.

These toys were at the Eugene, Oregon, Whole Foods location. I used to have a record player similar to the one on the bottom shelf, when I was a kid. It ended up getting broken, but it's nice seeing them for sale again. I was tempted to buy it, but passed because it would have just been an impulse buy.

3. These two random things...

Walking along the city streets, there's a lot of things to take pictures of. I seem to be more drawn to the obscure items than anything else, lately.

4. Eleven cat.

I will never understand people that dump animals, hate animals, abuse animals, or even disregard animals and people that are suffering. But, on a positive note, we gain some great pets because of these people. This is Eleven, she's named after Eleven from "Stranger Things." She can't move things with her mind, but she can knock things over with her tail and that's just as good, right? 

5. College bathroom changes.

Come as you are. It's nice to see the college making changes for everyone to feel important, especially when using the restrooms.

Have a nice weekend.

Portland Squirrel

 A weekend in Portland was rewarded with a few needs and this curious squirrel that followed us around for awhile. He was very interested in what we had in our bags. We even let him sniff the bag. Hope he stays healthy and well in the city.