Posts filed under ‘Life’

The Importance of Spaying Your Pet

CAUTION: This is going to be a very long entry, as I’ve had a long, stressful week and I’m not good at breaking my thoughts down into fewer words. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I got my cat Gracie 7 years ago as of this August. A girl from school had a cat who had a litter of kittens, and she and her family were looking to find them homes free of charge. Me, being a cat lover, was all over that, naturally. Despite having 2 cats at home already, my 22 year old, carefree self thought another cat would be a wonderful addition. I was still in school and unemployed, but since I was already feeding and taking care of the other 2 cats financially I figured adding one more to the group wouldn’t be an issue. In that aspect, I was right. When Gracie got to be around 6 months old my mother was asking me when I was going to get her spayed. I looked into it, and it wasn’t exactly cheap. There were clinics around that did offer lower prices for the surgery, but I was just starting a new job (that didn’t exactly pay the best) and because she was a strictly indoor cat I decided to push it off. For the next couple of heat cycles the same topic came into question, and it was always the same logic- she’s not outdoors or around male cats that aren’t neutered, so it’s not a pressing issue. I was warned about the possibility of her being at a greater risks for certain types of female cancers (reproductive, mammary, etc.) when she became older, and even though I never, ever thought that was no big deal, I wasn’t particularly worried about it. After all, it was a risk, not a guarantee, and older cats tend to have some sort of ailment to cause them to pass away. I did look into it seriously about a year or two ago, when I finally seemed to have a stable income, but as I searched the internet for information I found a lot of risks about spaying an older cat, which worried me and turned me off to the idea.

Fast forward to last Saturday. I got up early to get ready for work, and from what I can recall Gracie seemed her usual self. Of our 2 cats, she’s the one that follows me around most, stays with me every night and therefore wakes up with me every morning. It was super early so I was rushing around trying to get ready (as is normally the case) and though I know she was there and I remember interacting with her before I left, I didn’t really notice her acting any differently. After work I came home, we ran to the grocery store, cooked dinner, and I went out to take advantage of Memorial Day sales and bought a new bed. It was a pretty busy day, so I didn’t have time to notice in the midst of everything that Gracie had been hiding. That night my boyfriend and I rented a movie, and as I always do, I went to look for Gracie so she could come in and cuddle with us. I checked every possible hiding spot she’s been known to be in, and when I didn’t see her there we got out the treats and shook them. Still no Gracie, which was the first time I realized something wasn’t right. She is always ALL OVER treats. I can’t even go into the cupboard we keep them in for something else without her showing up and waiting for a snack. We finally found her and carried her into the room, gave her a few treats, and she still showed no interest. She also seemed very quiet and just all around lethargic. She’s normally very energetic, affectionate, and VERY vocal. At this point it was very late on Saturday night. I googled a few local 24/7 vet hospitals and after getting an idea of their pricing ultimately decided to wait until morning to see if she seems better. I didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something that could’ve been nothing. I hardly slept due to my worry and anxiety, and woke up early Sunday morning to check on her. She was still acting the same, so the process of finding a vet open on a Sunday (not to mention a holiday weekend) began. Google pointed me to the Banfield Pet Hospital which is located within Pet Smart stores. I remembered a coworker of mine using them for her dog and giving great reviews, so I figured that was my best bet. There’s a Pet Smart literally 2 minutes away from my house, so instead of calling I decided to just pop in when they opened so I could ask questions and see if they had any openings. I also wanted to pick up some canned cat food since she usually prefers that over the usual dry food, and because she wasn’t drinking either I figured if I could get her to eat this it at least would give her some moisture.

I get there and explained my situation to the girl at the desk as best as I could. I hate to say it, as I didn’t have all that much interaction with her, but she wasn’t the friendliest. I didn’t see her do it, but I just felt like she was rolling her eyes at me the entire conversation. Anyway, she said they didn’t have an opening until the next day at 2pm, and from what I was explaining to her it didn’t sound like an emergency situation at the time as long as I could get her to eat and drink something that day. I took the appointment, bought my cans of food, and returned home. Gracie still showed no interest in the canned food, so at this point I was at a loss. Her appointment was in over 24 hours, and not knowing what was wrong with her I was worried she wouldn’t even make it to that point. Luckily my coworker suggested I try calling the Pet Smart she goes to. Despite it being 30-40 minutes away, I felt I had no choice. By some grace of God they had an opening that day, and shortly after I made that they called me and offered me an even sooner time after someone else cancelled. Needless to say we packed up Gracie and headed out there immediately. As I was putting her into the carrier, I noticed some discharge coming from her rear, which made me even happier to be getting her in ASAP.

When we got there we were pretty much taken in immediately. They did a standard exam- temperature, weight, blood work, etc.- as I explained her symptoms and my concerns. Because she wasn’t spayed, their first suspicion was an infected uterus. Her temperature was a bit raised as was her white blood cell count, which are both key indicators of an infection. They explained to me that the only cure was surgery, essentially an emergency spaying procedure, where they remove the reproductive organs. Spaying, while invasive, is a generally simple procedure. However, with her being sick, somewhat dehydrated, and the uterus being swollen due to the infection (aka pyometra), it made the surgery extremely risky (and therefore much, much more expensive than your average desexing opertation). I was able to sign her up for a monthly insurance plan they have, which cut a lot of the prices down, but I was still responsible for $60 that day, and $550 for her surgery. That was hard to swallow both emotionally and financially, but without the surgery she would’ve died within days. Because they were fairly certain at that point that it was a pyometra they did allow me to bypass having XRays done, which saved me $180. I was skeptical, but ultimately nixed them just in case something else went wrong and I needed the extra money. I’m convinced the Dr. we saw is a living saint. Not only did she come in early first thing the next morning to do the surgery (they just didn’t have the time that day), but it was also on a holiday. Since they don’t do overnight stays there, they sent her home with me with a prescription for antibiotics to start her on. This made me a nervous wreck. We knew what was wrong and had her set up the next morning for what needed to be done, but there was still no guarantee that she’d make it through the night. Giving her the medicine was no easy feat, either. They were out of liquid, so twice a day I have to basically shove a pill down the back of her throat and rinse it down with a syringe full of water.

The next morning we took her in at 7am and dropped her off. I pretty much slept in a couple 20-30 minute intervals the previous night, so by the time we got back after taking her I was exhausted. Even still, I couldn’t really fall asleep until they called, which was about 3 hours later. The Dr. explained that it was indeed a pyometra and that everything so far was going good. She was waking up from surgery, and they’d be keeping her until about 4:30 for monitoring and to keep her on an IV of fluids. I was elated. Even though there was still time for complications to arise, the hard part was over. I was really concerned about the anesthesia because she’s a really, really small cat. It turns out the discharge coming from her bottom was a good thing, as gross as it sounds. It meant the infection was draining a bit rather than filling up the uterus, which would’ve made it larger, harder to remove and far more prone to rupture and ultimately spreading the infection throughout her torso. We got so lucky in so many ways. At first I was thinking how the timing was so bad financially (we were on vacation less than 2 weeks prior, and I had just purchased a new bed) but the timing actually worked. I actually had the money in my savings to cover the cost of surgery, I was off work for Memorial Day and therefore able to take her in without worrying about calling off, and it didn’t happen while we were on vacation. She would’ve likely been dead before or soon after we got back if that were the case.

As soon as I got her home, she seemed almost like her old self. She was excited, meowing, and ate some canned food almost immediately. While this was very comforting, it was also worrisome considering I was told she’d probably be extremely lethargic and sleepy and may not regain her appetite until the next day. And here she was already trying to jump around on things, which isn’t good for her incision. We took her back in the next morning because the Dr. wanted to check her red blood cell count, which was a bit low before surgery, and it seemed to be rising back to normal. It’s been 4 days since her operation now, and pretty much everything has been going very well (knock on wood!). My main concern this week was that she didn’t poop despite the fact that she’s been eating regularly. Drinking has been a little more of a struggle, but she’s a little diva and tends to dislike drinking water out of bowls, haha. I was able to trick her by giving her ice water in a regular drinking cup, because I swear she only likes water if it’s coming out of the faucet or in a cup that I plan to drink. ๐Ÿ˜› When they called me to check up on her 2 days post-op I mentioned that she hasn’t pooped yet. They said her antibiotics, pain meds, and the fact she didn’t eat much prior to surgery would back her up, but if it doesn’t change in a couple of days to call them. When I still didn’t see anything in the litter box (besides pee) last night I set my alarm so I could wake up and call them as soon as they opened at 8 this morning. Sure enough, 2 hours prior to my alarm going off I was woken up to the sound of her digging around in the litter pan, and she pooped. I never thought I’d get so excited over my cat pooping (and simultaneously leaving a pile of litter on my floor) but I was elated and had to wake up my son and boyfriend to tell them the good news, lol!

Needless to say, she is doing excellent, and I couldn’t be happier. She’s not a fan of the e-collar she has to wear but she’s becoming more and more used to it. I know there are still freak complications that could arise, and we still have to make sure her incision heals properly without any issues, but for the first time I have nothing but hope and positive thoughts. Money is going to be tight for a while, and who knows how long it will take me to build my savings back up, but it is more than worth it to have my cuddly, sweet little Gracie with me and hopefully with me for at least the next 10 years. โค

For more information on Gracie's condition and for other risk factors of not spaying your pet, just google Pyometra. It's extremely dangerous, and fatal if it's not caught and dealt with immediately. Even if surgery is performed, there's still a chance they will not make it through the surgery and/or recovery. We were extremely lucky in that Gracie's liver, kidneys, and other organs were not yet damaged by her infection and lack of eating and drinking prior to the surgery. Moral of the story? Spay/Neuter your pets! Yes, it does prevent unwanted pregnancies, but there are several health benefits that string from having it done as well. You may think that $200-$300 seems like a lot at the time, but it’s far more affordable than a $700 emergency, high risk, surgery, and definitely more affordable than losing your pet.

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May 30, 2014 at 12:36 pm Leave a comment

Healthy Meal Options I’ve Been Loving

It’s been almost a year since I started my weight loss journey. I did fall off track a bit in the fall (by off track I mean I wasn’t consistently eating healthy, and more or less ate anything I wanted on the weekends), as the holidays were just way too full of delicious meals, treats, etc… But lately I’ve been doing much better and even entered myself in a “biggest loser” challenge between some co-workers as added motivation. I thought I might as well share some yummy dishes I’ve been eating lately that taste great but are great for you! Some are to be made, while others are just products you can find in stores!

1. Morningstar Farms Veggie Burgers
I absolutely love these. My favorites are the Original Grillers, Tomato Basil Burgers, and the Roasted Garlic Quinoa Burgers. I was never too keen on the idea of veggie burgers in general. Several years ago I tried a Boca burger and was far from impressed with those. Luckily a co-worker had me try a bite of her Morningstar Farms griller and I was surprised to find that I liked it! Liked it a lot, actually. I usually will pair them with some ketchup, onion, and a whole grain wheat bun.

2. Taco Salad
This is something I came up with using taco leftovers one day, and ended up being obsessed. I know taco salad is not something that’s never been done before, and is done several different ways, but this is just my way. I start out with lettuce and add in other veggies (usually for this salad I only add onions and red bell peppers). I then top it with fat free or reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese, fat free or light sour cream, some low-sodium taco sauce, and I sprinkle a bit of taco seasoning over the top. SO GOOD! It tastes seriously just like a taco. To bulk up the salad I’ve also added some grilled chicken, or even leftover ground turkey that was used to make actual tacos.

3. Lettuce Wraps
I literally just ventured into using lettuce as a bread substitute like a week ago, but I am hooked. I use heads of iceberg lettuce and carefully pull the leaves off in big enough sheets that I can fill them and wrap them up. I add different types of veggies depending on my desires of the moment, a lean meat such as chicken or turkey breast, and then use either low fat cream cheese or hummus as a spread. I was worried that it would more or less taste like a wrapped up salad since that’s basically what it is (and after eating salad SO. MUCH. I have a tendancy to get sick of it every now and again), but I was pleasantly surprised and this has become one of my favorite lunches for work.

4. Spaghetti Squash
I am a hardcore pasta/spaghetti lover, so I use spaghetti squash to help curb my cravings. I bake it with a bit of olive oil and garlic powder, scrape it, and top it with my favorite pasta sauce (which at the moment is a Tomato Vodka Cream Sauce by a brand called Paesana.)

5. Zucchini Pizzas/Lasagna
Another pasta substitute! To make the pizzas I cut my zucchini in long planks, reminiscent of the shape of french bread pizzas. I top them with spaghetti sauce, a little big of garlic powder (I’m a garlic fiend), and low-fat mozzarella cheese. Stick them in the oven until the cheese is melted and the zucchinis are a bit tender, and enjoy! For the lasagna I like to cut the zucchini in medallions, and slice a tomato as well. I then get an oven-safe container and start layering…zucchini (laid out so they cover the entire surface), sauce, tomato, garlic powder, cheese, sauce, etc… Bake it for about an hour or so at 375 and serve!

6. Special K Cinnamon Pecan Cereal with Vanilla Almond Milk
This is amazing. The cereal is amazing, and the milk is so good even my 9 year old loves it. It’s a not-so-guilty way of satisfying my sweet tooth.

7. PB2 and Oikos Vanilla Greek Yogurt
Another dessert favorite of mine lately. I like the Oikos brand vanilla the best out of the few I’ve tried because I find it to be more vanilla flavored and a bit sweeter than others. It’s delicious on it’s own, but to really take it up a notch I like to add a 1/2 serving (1 TBSP) of PB2 powdered peanut butter. It’s super addicting.

8. Frozen Breakfast/Dinner Favorites
Now I know there’s some controversy over frozen meals. That they’re not really that good for you, that there’s too many preservatives, etc… but sometimes I’m running late and don’t have time to make breakfast or even put together my lunch, or I get home after a day of work and am too hungry and tired to wait for something to cook, so these are ideal. I usually grab either the Lean Cuisine brand or the Weight Watchers’ Smart Ones brand. For breakfast my favorite is the Smart Ones English Muffin Egg and Sausage sandwiches. The canadian bacon ones are pretty good, too. As for lunch/dinner favorites I like the Lasagna Bake with Meat Sauce from Smart Ones, and my favorite Lean Cuisines are Four Cheese Cannelloni and Sesame Chicken.

So there are some of my favorite current healthy eats. What are some things you like to eat when watching your weight?

February 24, 2014 at 8:35 pm 1 comment

Just a Quickie…

I just wanted to take a minute and post a bit of what’s been going on in my life… in a nut shell, at least. I’ve been super busy. Not so busy that I haven’t been able to relax and breathe, but busy enough that in the free time/alone time/time I could be spending blogging I’ve been watching endless TV shows on On Demand and Netflix, playing Candy Crush, and watching make-up tutorials on YouTube. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I went to Hershey, PA for a weekend with Jon and some friends to see Justin Timberlake and Jay Z in concert, as well as hit up the amusement park. My brother got married about 3 weeks ago, so up until then it was a lot of bridal shower planning, bachelorette party, dress alteration appointments (the only downside to losing 38 lbs. has been paying nearly $200 to have an $85 bridesmaid dress taken in), rehearsal dinner, and then the actual wedding, which I must say was a great time and I’m so happy for my brother and new sister-in-law! The somewhat stressful moments leading up to it were all worth it when everything came together, and it was a blast. If I get around to it I may write up an entry just about the wedding… we’ll see. Oh, and of course I’ve been working! Not crazy long hours or overtime or anything like that… but I typically work a 12pm-8pm shift during the week. That’s pretty much all day considering I wake up around 8am and get Tyler off to school, relax for about 20 minutes before I get in the shower, do my hair and make-up (big production, let me tell you), get dressed, eat a quick breakfast, and get out the door to drop Jon off at work and head to work myself. By the time I get home, around 8:30ish on a good night, I check up on Tyler and his homework, grab some late dinner, then I’m in bed relaxing with my ipad and all of the entertainment that comes along with it. Granted I could easily blog from my ipad, but I’d drive myself insane trying to type up an entry on the touchscreen keyboard!

I really wanted to post a quick update to thank everyone for all of the feedback I’ve been getting (still!) about my 3 Day Military Diet Review post. It really was a great way to kick off my general diet so I just wanted to share my results, and to have seemingly helped and/or inspired even just a handful of people feels amazing. I’ve been trying to answer as many of your questions as best as I can, but all of my information just comes from the various websites I’ve researched it through myself. So if anyone has any further questions or concerns that I can’t answer properly or don’t get to fast enough, just turn to Google. Amazing thing, that Google. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Feel free to keep the comments coming, though! I love reading about everyone’s progress and experiences! And thanks again for the feedback! ๐Ÿ™‚

I do have a couple of reviews that I plan to post once I get around to typing them up, other than that we’ll see where the wind takes me and if anything exciting happens that I need to share!

October 2, 2013 at 11:16 pm Leave a comment

3-Day “Military” Diet Review

I’ve mentioned on here several times about my desire to lose weight. It was last May/June, I believe, that I decided I was going to take getting healthy seriously. I managed to lose 10 lbs by the end of last summer, which I was proud of, but at some point I just totally let it go. While I luckily did not gain the 10 lbs back at any point, my eating habits were back to pure crap. Fast forward to early March of this year. Not only is it a good time to start dieting for summer, but my brother is getting married this September. We went in to have our bridesmaids dresses fitted and ordered, and I was not happy with how I looked in the dress nor the size I had to order. Size 16… for a 5 ft. tall girl. Ick! Now these dresses run much smaller than most other clothes, and my pants size is easily 3 or 4 sizes smaller than 16, but it still made me feel disgusted with myself (and it didn’t help that two of the other girls were ordering sizes 2 and 4!). On the bright side, it finally clicked in my head that I need to pursue a healthier lifestyle. Not only that, but I love fashion, and at the moment I absolutely dread shopping for clothes.

That following week I started dieting. The only reason I waited a few days to begin was because I had a few gift cards to restaurants that would likely have been major speed bumps in my road to weight loss had they have been staring at me in my wallet during my journey. I started out by searching the internet for some fad diets. I went in knowing that they are just that- fads- and that the results are not only varied, but not permanent. I needed to do something drastic, though, so I decided on trying the 3 day diet. It claims that you can lose up to 10 lbs in three days, but I would’ve been happy with 5! I will post the exact diet at the end of this entry, along with the few substitutions I made. The first go was really successful. I lost 7 lbs! Was it hard? Absolutely. The portions are so much smaller than I was used to, so I was hungry a lot. Not to mention many of the foods weren’t something I typically cared for, especially without much seasoning or flavor allowed to be added, and not everything was easy to substitute so I just sucked it up and did it. I did gain 3 or 4 of those lbs. back after going off of the diet, but then lost 5 more lbs. the 2nd week.

I only did this diet twice over the span of 2 weeks. After doing so well the first time, I had originally planned on doing it once a week until a big chunk of the weight was off, however, the food is just so bland that it was highly unlikely I’d stick to it. It did help me with portion control, lowering my carbs, and giving me a whole new appreciation for the taste of veggies and meats (that aren’t covered in sauces)! I decided to try eating healthy by myself without a strict diet controlling what I put in my stomach, and the weight is still coming off (I’m going to do another post about my current eating habits)!

Anyway, while most people would advise you to avoid fad dieting and anything that claims to help you drop heaps of weight in a small amount of time, I have to say this experience was a positive one for me. I do agree that it’s unhealthy and unrealistic to continue a diet like this for a prolonged period of time, but it worked as a great motivation for me. Seeing 7 lbs come off made me have more confidence in myself and gave me the push I needed to continue with my healthy eating. I’m sure it also gave my metabolism a boost and helped shrink my stomach a bit so I was used to smaller meals. It also made me realize that I could actually get full off of just meats and veggies! My new mentality is eat to live, rather than live to eat!

Here is the diet, with the substitutions I made marked by an asterisk (*) and in italics. The plan I followed and copied is from this website!

DAY 1
Breakfast: 1/2 Grapefruit, 1 Slice of Toast, 2 Tablespoons of Peanut Butter, and Coffee or Tea
*I drank a cup of water with 1/2 tsp of baking soda and an orange in place of the grapefruit. I used whole wheat bread, untoasted, and put the peanut butter on it. I added 2 packets of Splenda to my coffee.
Lunch: 1/2 Cup of Tuna, 1 Slice of Toast, and Coffee or Tea (any brew, as long as it’s caffeinated)
*I substituted the tuna for a 1/2 Cup of plain chicken, cooked with Pam Cooking Spray, and seasoned with a small amount of salt and pepper. The bread was whole grain wheat, and I added 2 packets of Splenda to my coffee.
Dinner: 3 ounces of any type of meat, 1 Cup of Green Beans, 1/2 Banana, 1 Small Apple, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I ate (roughly) 3 ounces of chicken for my meat. I don’t have a scale to measure food, so I more or less just eye balled about a half of a small chicken breast. I cooked it in a pan with Pam Cooking Spray and a small amount of salt and pepper, as well as on the green beans.

DAY 2
Breakfast: 1 egg, 1 Slice of Toast, and 1/2 Banana
*I ate my egg scrambled, with a small amount of salt and pepper, with whole grain wheat bread toast. I still drank 2 cups of coffee sweetened with Splenda. I need my caffeine not only to maintain energy, but it’s an excellent appetite suppressant, too!
Lunch: 1 Cup of Cottage Cheese (Or 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese), 1 Hard Boiled Egg, and 5 Saltine Crackers
*I went with one slice of cheddar, and cooked it with 1 scrambled egg into an omelet, as I just cannot eat hard boiled eggs. Scrambled eggs aren’t my favorite thing in the world, either, but much easier to swallow!
Dinner: 2 Hot Dogs (no buns), 1 Cup of Broccoli, 1/2 Cup of Carrots, 1/2 Banana, and 1/2 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I used Oscar Mayer regular pork hot dogs. I cooked the broccoli in a pan with cooking spray and seasoned with a small amount of salt and pepper. I boiled the carrots and used salt and pepper on them, as well.

DAY 3
Breakfast: 5 Saltine Crackers, 1 Slice of Cheddar Cheese, and 1 Small Apple
*I broke up the slice of cheddar to eat with my crackers. I saved my apple to act as more of an in between breakfast/lunch snack to try and curb my hunger better at work, and it really helped! I still drank 2 cups of coffee sweetened with Splenda.
Lunch: 1 Hard-Boiled Egg, and 1 Slice of Toast
*I ate a scrambled egg with salt and pepper on whole grain wheat toast.
Dinner: 1 Cup of Tuna, 1/2 of a Banana, and 1 Cup of Vanilla Ice Cream
*I ate 1 cup of plain chicken cooked in a pan with Pam Cooking Spray and a small amount of salt and pepper in place of the tuna.

April 6, 2013 at 3:20 pm 121 comments

Dear Death, Go Fuck Yourself

2013 is only 1 month old, and it seems like there has already been so much death around me. Luckily only one those deaths truly effected my day to day life, but there is still 11 months left. I’m hoping the year from here on out is smooth sailing, but I can’t help but wonder if the number 13 is trying to prove itself as a real bad luck charm. And it doesn’t help that my dad is having surgery one week from today. He’s just having a small, totally benign, mass removed from his chest but I don’t like the idea of him or anyone I love having any kind of surgery!

So, here is why this year has me freaked out already. My father’s aunt passed away in early January. We had visited with her literally one week before that, while we were visiting my dad’s side of the family for the holidays. She has been sick for a while, and sure didn’t look good when we saw her, but it was still weird for her to have went so soon after. On the 9th, I came home from work to my eldest kitty-baby not doing well at all. She was almost 18, and has been steadily losing weight for months, but this time it was much worse. Her meow sounded awful, she didn’t want to eat (which was VERY rare for her!), and could hardly walk the little bit she actually got up. I’ve had pets die before (hamsters, fish, and 2 cats were hit by cars when I was younger) but I’ve never been faced with the decision to actually have one put to sleep. I know most people say it’s what’s best, and that you’re doing them a favor if they’re in pain, but I really struggled with it actually being my decision to end her life. It was hard… so hard. I got her when I was 10, so she clearly has been a part of my life for a long time. I can only hope I did the right thing and that she’s in peace now, and I definitely hug my remaining two kitties a little longer each and every night. RIP Miss Harley, my sweet angel baby. โค

Anyway, aside from those two, one of my co-workers lost her mother two weeks ago. I've overheard a few clients telling the stylists about deaths in their family, my best friend's aunt nearly died due to a surgery complication, and this past Sunday a kid my brother was friends with up through middle school died in a car accident. He was only 26, and wrecked on a road I drive on nearly every single day, to and from work. So scary, and such a shame. Ugh, bring on February (as long as it means improvements)!

To add a bit of positivity to this post, I did file my taxes this morning. It was such an accomplishment for me considering I’m usually the asshole on April 15th rushing to get them done at the last minute. It was super easy, and literally took me like 20 minutes. I used the same website that I used last year, TaxAct.com and assuming that this year goes through without any problems, I will definitely continue to use them in the future. It cost only $17.95 to e-file both the state and federal taxes, plus I’m getting back WAY more than I had anticipated, and all directly deposited into my checking account within 21 days. I only worked for 6 months last year, and they didn’t seem to be taking very much out of each paycheck, so I was pleasantly surprised!

January 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm Leave a comment

Holy Brrrrrr!

So it is currently 7 degrees out. Tyler had a 2 hour delay this morning due to the low temperature, and it’s not expected to rise much throughout the day. It goes without saying that it is fucking cold here at the moment. But you know what? I think this is much more tolerable than 90+ degree temperatures during the summer… hell, even 80 degrees is pushing it for me. Just think… when it’s cold out, you can always grab a comfy blanket, put on a coat, hat, gloves, etc. There’s hot chocolate and coffee to warm you up (or your choice of alcoholic beverages- never fails as an internal heater ๐Ÿ™‚ ). And you can pump up your heaters/fireplaces. While you always have AC in the summer to cool off your place, that’s about the only effective way to beat the heat. Fans just push the hot air around, and in order to get any real relief you almost have to stand directly in front of them. Swimming pools are nice, but not everyone has that luxury, and after a while your skin gets all shriveled and gross. You can dress in nearly nothing, but even if it were socially acceptable to walk around butt naked you’ll still be hot, and you can’t exactly take off anymore layers at that point. Not to mention the sweaty grossness that comes along with being hot. Summer is just a gross, intolerable time of year. So there, my friends, is my debatable opinion on why winter is easier to deal with than summer. Kindly stop flooding my twitter and facebook newsfeeds about how you’re so cold and put on a damn coat.

There is no doubt in my mind, though, that these people that feel the need to post status after status about how cold it is are going to be the same people come June whining that they’re too hot. Let me also make it clear that this is Pittsburgh. We have cold winters and hot summers… the weather in general may be changing, but that simple fact never has.

January 22, 2013 at 11:20 am Leave a comment

Kinda Late…

I may not have blogged for a while, and January may be half over already, but I love me some memes to get me through my boredom. So, here is my 2012 wrap up!

1.What did you do in 2012 that youโ€™d never done before?
Nothing super special that I can think of at the moment. And if it’s not sticking out in my head, chances are it wasn’t very exciting. I did get to see Madonna in concert in November, which was cool. And considering that was apparently the first time she’s performed in Pittsburgh since 1985, that’s obviously something I’ve never done before.

2.Did you keep your new yearsโ€™ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I don’t recall if I made any half-assed resolutions last year. If so, it’s safe to say I didn’t keep them. This year I planned on dieting (which lasted all of one lunch hour- but I WILL get back on the ball) and start saving money from each paycheck.

3.Did anyone close to you give birth?
I know several people that had babies, and my cousin had her daughter in August, but no one particularly close. I’m somewhat close with my cousin, but she lives 3-4 hours away so I don’t see her very often.

4.Did anyone close to you die?
Not in 2012, no. This year has been awful with people I know passing away and it’s only 17 days old!

5.What countries did you visit?
None. I didn’t even travel out of Pennsylvania. Sad.

6.What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?
More peace of mind, and definitely a more stable income. And if you want to throw my own house in there, please do.

7.What date from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
November 6th was the Madonna concert, but I only remember the exact date because it was the same night as the presidential election, and she was all kinds of excited when she found out Obama was re-elected. Also 4th of July, only because I had a job interview the very next day that I felt really good about, and started my new job a few days later! ๐Ÿ™‚

8.What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Finally landing a new job after about 8 months of being unemployed. It’s not the best paying job in the world but I really do love it.

9.What was your biggest failure?
Probably my diet. I did start “dieting” in early June, and by August lost about 10 lbs. It’s not a huge accomplishment, but it was a start. Then came the holidays and while I luckily didn’t pack the lbs. back on, I’m still well above my ideal weight and my eating habits are back to crap.

10.Did you suffer illness or injury?
Nope, not really.

11.What was the best thing you bought?
I can’t recall anything note-worthy.

12.Whose behavior merited celebration?
Mine, in the sense that I finally found a job and managed to work the crazy hours that came with another receptionist getting fired after a few months. They were still barely 40 hour weeks, but it was 6 days a week, which was tough.

13.Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Jon’s brother… such a sad, sad individual.

14.Where did most of your money go?
Food! Groceries can be expensive, not to mention a lot of the time we order out because I’m too lazy or tired to cook, haha. Plus, I’m not one for packing my lunch very often, so buying food at work took a toll on my bank account, too.

15.What events did you get really, really, really excited about?
I was excited to start my new job, to see Madonna live, and for all of the holidays!

16.What song will always remind you of 2012?
Probably “Broken” by Seether and Amy Lee, and “A Whole New World” from Aladdin- they became staple karaoke songs when we hung out with our friends, lol.

17.Compared to this time last year, are you:
i.Happier or Sadder? I’d like to think happier.
ii.Thinner or Fatter? Thinner, but still fat, lol.
iii.Richer or Poorer? Richer, but not rich by any means.

18.What do you wish youโ€™d done more of?
Spend time with Tyler. There’s always more time to be spent with your child!

19.What do you wish youโ€™d done less of?
Bitching. I tend to bitch about a lot, and even if a lot of the time it’s well-deserved, life’s too short to complain about everything.

20.How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas day me, Tyler, Jon, my mom, and my brother went to my other brother and his fiance’s apartment, along with her parents, for Christmas dinner. Jon and I left after a few hours and came back to my house to relax and watched Ted. ๐Ÿ™‚

21.Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?
Either Jon or my Dad. I’m so not a phone person…

22.Did you fall in love in 2012?
No more than the past several years!

23. How many one-night stands?
None.

24. What was your favorite TV program?
I started watching a ton of TV shows this year, mostly thanks to Netflix, which is weird for me since I usually hate trying to keep up with stuff on TV. Dexter and Pretty Little Liars would probably be my favorites, but I also religiously watched Nip/Tuck, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Make It Or Break It, America’s Next Top Model, Californication, Girls, Revenge, The Voice, The X Factor, and multiple shows on the Food Network.

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didnโ€™t hate this time last year?
I donโ€™t think so.

26. What was the best book you read?
None. Pathetic, isn’t it? I may have read some of “The Carrie Diaries,” but I can’t remember if I bought that in 2011 or 2012. Either way, I didn’t make it any further than chapter 5, and now that it’s a TV show I’ll probably just watch that to get my Sex and the City fix.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery or rediscovery?
Nothing, really. I haven’t heard anything on the radio this year that particularly got me excited. I won’t deny that I know the words to Justin Bieber’s two big singles… can’t lie, haha.

28. What did you want and get?
A job! ๐Ÿ™‚

29. What did you want and not get?
My own place, but that wasn’t to be expected this year.

30. What were your favorite films of this year?
I think I actually went to the movies once to see Titanic 3D, which wasn’t new… I can’t think of any new movies that I loved, either.

31.What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 27, and I honestly can’t remember what I did. Probably not much, to be honest.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Reaching my goal weight and/or finally moving into my own place.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?
Anything bright, colorful, animal print, and sparkly!

34. What kept you sane?
Jon, Tyler, and my kitties.

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most/least?
The usual… Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake, Christina Aguilera… my 3 all-time favorites!

36. What political issue stirred you the most?
Meh… I’m not into politics. Yes, I care about my future and especially my son’s future, but I just cannot stand getting into it with people about something that once upon a time was personal. And I cannot stand when others get into it about political issues, either. Both parties end up sounding like complete morons.

37. Whom did you miss?
No one, really. I mean I always miss all of my family and friends that don’t live close, but it is what it is.

38. Who was the best new person you met?
Hmm, I do love pretty much everyone that I work with. They are a great group of ladies, which makes the job that much easier. ๐Ÿ™‚

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:
Persistance pays off! (In regards to my job hunt- I interviewed with the salon in May and got a call saying the position they were hiring for was no longer available since the girl who was leaving decided to stay. In July I noticed another ad posted on Craigslist so I called immediately, and it paid off!)

40. Do you have any lost feelings of others.
For others in general, yes. People seem to be getting crazier and crazier by the day.

Hope you all had a great 2012 (and holiday season, since I was too busy to even think about blogging in December) and much love and luck into the new year!

January 17, 2013 at 11:57 am Leave a comment

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The Amy Blog

Hello, I'm Amy! I was born in '85 and live in Pittsburgh, PA. I became the mama of my wonderful son in 2004, and also own 3 kitties that I treat like children. I am a self-admitted cosmetics and beauty addict, but I also enjoy fashion, music, art, and am totally guilty of reading way too much celebrity gossip. :P

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