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Depression: The Real Story

Depression is “intense sadness — including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless — lasts for many days to weeks and keeps you from living your life,” according to WebMD. It and other mental health problems are the leading causes for suicide in the United States. Depression isn’t something to be taken lightly and if not treated correctly can cause major damage.

Symptoms of Depression

Most people go through sad periods in their life, but according to the DSM-5, a manual doctors use to diagnose mental disorders, you have depression when you have five or more of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks (WebMD):

  • a depressed mood during most of the day, especially in the morning
  • feeling tired or having a lack of energy almost everyday
  • feeling worthless or guilty almost everyday
  • hard time focusing, remembering, or making decisions
  • can’t sleep or sleep too much
  • no interest in activities almost everyday or feel no pleasure from activities
  • often thinking about death (not just being afraid to die) or suicide
  • feeling slowed down or restless
  • losing or gaining weight

You may also:

  • Feel irritable and restless
  • Lose pleasure in life
  • Overeat or stop feeling hungry
  • Have aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that don’t go away or get better with treatment
  • Have sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings

Most people have these symptoms at some point in their life, but if these symptoms last for weeks then you should seek help.

Beating the Stigma

Most people think that people with depression are 1.) making it up to get attention 2.) don’t need drugs to make them feel better 3.) or are hypochondriacs and aren’t really sick. Despite all of these stigmas depression is a real thing and it is okay to ask for help! Some people with depression may not need medication to help with their symptoms others do and that is okay! We need to get rid of the idea that depression isn’t a real illness. If we can say that schizophrenia and bipolar disorder are real illnesses then depression is too.

Don’t Just Assume

Anyone can have depression. Not everyone presents depression the same way. Most of the time you don’t even know that someone has depression. They can seem like the happiest person, but when they are alone they are depressed and have to force themselves to go out. Never assume that someone you know doesn’t have depression, honestly never assume anything about a person’s mental health because you don’t know.

What Can You Do?

Simple be kind to everyone, you never know what they are dealing with. Let your friends and family know that you are there for them. Let them know that if they need anything that you will be there. Don’t patronize people, don’t make them feel like it is their fault or that it is all in their head. Listen! Sometimes people just need someone to talk to, so just listen. Don’t give them advice, they get that enough from doctors or psychologists. Most of the time they just want people to acknowledge that they are really sick and that their depression is real.

If you have depression or think you have depression, talk to someone. Reach out for help! There is no shame in asking for help! If you go to the doctor when you are physically sick, then why not go to the doctor when you have a mental illness? Depression is a real illness and should be treated as such! Too many people have taken their lives because they’ve felt that there is no hope or that they can’t get help. Our society has too long looked down and ostracized people who have depression. Now is the time to change that and it starts with YOU!

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What I Wish I Knew Before Giving Birth

Every birth and pregnancy is different, and every mom deals with it differently. My pregnancy was pretty easy and I am very thankful for that, but there are some things that I wish I had know before going to the hospital to be induced.

Induction Takes A While

When I set up my induction date with my doctor, I was aware that on the first day I would arrive at the hospital at 3:30 and start the induction with a catheter and then be given pitocin the next morning. What I wasn’t aware of was that even though I was given medicine that didn’t mean my son would arrive soon after that. I wasn’t aware that it would take more than 24 hours after the catheter for me to welcome my son.

So Many People

This is a big one for me. For all you expectant moms, after you give birth expect a non stop coming and going of people from your room. And I’m not talking about family, I’m talking about nurses and other hospital staff constantly coming in your room, needing signatures and giving pamphlet after pamphlet. The nurses I had were great, but after labor and giving birth you would think they would give you time to adjust and spend with your new child, but nope. By the time the lactation nurse came in my room after giving birth (sometime early afternoon) I was in tears because I was so overwhelmed. So just an FYI there will be tons of people coming and going from your room.

How Important Water Is

I was wanting to breastfeed, but was unable to because my son had a tongue tie that made it hurt way too much to breastfeed. So I had to go the formula route. There is NOTHING wrong with giving your baby formula, but the water you use to mix the formula is so important. You MUST boil the water because there are bacteria and other minerals in the water that babies can’t fight off or digest. I wasn’t sure whether you had to boil the water or if it was just a suggestion, so when I feed my son formula for the first time after the hospital I had just used tap water. This caused my son to throw up everywhere and made me feel horrible. So just know that you NEED to boil the water.

Epidurals

Again this was something set up before giving birth, but looking back I wish I had gone without the epidural. Sure it kept the pain away but by the time I was pushing it had worn off. I wanted so bad to be able to walk around and not be confined to the hospital bed. The doctor had informed me that I should start pushing when I felt pressure or the need to go to the bathroom, neither of which I felt. Since I didn’t feel that the doctor had to tell me when to start pushing. Whenever I have another child I won’t be getting an epidural.

As a woman and a mother I know how powerful and strong my body is. The fact that my body can help another human grow and then push that human out is AMAZING! Every birth story is different and unique. Don’t every let anyone talk down to you just because your birth was different than there’s. Don’t ever let anyone talk down to you because you are using formula. You are AMAZING and WONDERFUL no matter what anyone else thinks, because you gave birth to a tiny human.

I hope that these four things help all expectant mothers reading this. It’s not meant to scare you. I just want everyone to be as educated as possible. Have a great day!

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Summer Time Fun With The Kiddos

If you are anything like me, coming up with fun activities for you kids to do over the summer can be hard. Well I am here to help! Here is a list of summer activities you can do with your kids.

10 Fun Summer Activities

1. Go to a park

The park is always a good go to during the summer. Most parks have a playground area where your kids can run wild and use up all of their energy. Plus it can give you parents a chance to relax while your kids play.

2. Go to a fair

Fairs are just as good as parks, despite the slight cost of fairs. But they are great ways for kids to expel their energy and maybe even win some fun toys.

3. Play in the sprinklers

Especially on the really hot days, playing in water is a great way to cool down!

4. Do a scavenger hunt

Setting up a scavenger hunt might be hard work but it will payoff when you see the smiles on your kids’ faces when they figure out the clues and find the prize. It is a good way for kids to build their investigative skills.

5. Make a ball pit

What kid doesn’t love a ball pit? All you would need is an inflatable pool and plastic balls to fill it up and presto! you have a ball pit that your kids will love. This is a great way to entertain your kids during the summer.

6. Color

If it is too hot outside and you want to give your kids something to do coloring is always a good option. Give your kids some crayons or markers, a coloring book or blank paper, and watch their imaginations run wild. When I was a kid, I always used to color when I was at my grandparent’s house and it was always a lot of fun.

7. Play with sidewalk chalk

This is another good way for kids to use their imagination and be outside. Give them some chalk and send them outside to draw on the sidewalk or the driveway.

8. Play tag or hide ‘n seek

Playing tag or hide ‘n seek lets your kids run around like crazy and just act like the hooligans they are, but it gives them a chance to run around and play.

9. Go to a children’s museum

This is another activity that you will have to pay for, but it is worth it. Children’s museums are designed for children to run around and still learn about history or dinosaurs and so many other things. I mean who doesn’t want to mix fun with learning?

10. Make a blanket fort

This is especially good for rainy days. Take chairs or use any furniture to put blankets over and the fort is made. I know when I was a kid making forts with my brothers was one of my favorite things to do. It is so fun to pretend that you are a king/queen or prince/princess of your own castle. This allows your kids to use their imagination and gives them something to occupy their time.

So there you go! 10 Fun summer activities that you can do with your kids. Get your kids outside as much as possible and just have fun. I hope you all have a fantastic summer!

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Crocheting

Why I Do It

I taught myself how to crochet almost five years ago and honestly it is one of the best things I have done. I love to crochet (I also knit, but enjoy crocheting more). It is such a good way to spend my down time and plus I get something out of it. I have made a few blankets, hats, a bag and I just recently finished a shirt. It makes me feel important to be able to make something with my hands. I think that handmade items are treasures and it makes me sad that more people don’t do it. Although handmade items are on the rise again. I think that it brings people back to a simpler time when all clothes were handmade. I crochet because it calms me down and lets me focus on something other than the stresses of life. Having the ability to crochet is something I never want to give up. My mom has recently decided to start learning how to crochet and it makes me so happy to be able to share this with her! It gives us the opportunity to be closer and spend more time together, plus we get to make stuff!

How I Started

Originally I wanted to learn to knit, I had just started watching Doctor Who and really wanted to learn how to make the 4th Doctor’s scarf. Sol my parents bought me a little starter kit that came with needles, some yarn and a pattern. From there I took to Youtube to learn the basics. After about a year, I decided to try my hands at crocheting and took to it like bees to flowers. I loved it! I learned all I could and began to dream about making beautiful blankets and clothing items.

My Works So Far

I am a perfectionist at heart so I haven’t made a whole lot of items. I tend to start making something and then think that it doesn’t look right so i undo my work and start over. It is really frustrating because I don’t make as many items, but the finished product looks the way I want it to. The items I have completed are a couple hats, a few blankets, a bag and a shirt. I want to build up a good stock to try and sell them, but I’m not there yet. You can visit my Facebook page to get a quote or send me and email at smarks6@gmail.com to ask about prices! Here are some pictures of the items I have done so far:

 

I have been wanting to start my own side business selling my crochet work. If you are interested in buying any kind of crochet (or knit) work let me know! If you would like me to teach you or think that I should post video tutorials comment down below! I would love to be apart of spreading the joy of crocheting!

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My Son One Year Later

Growing Up

It has been awhile since I have made a blog post, I have been so busy with my son, watching him grow up and learn new things. Two days ago was his birthday and it has been and emotional year. My son has gone from an 8 pound 20 inch baby to a 22 pound 31 inch one year old. It has been great to watch my son grow this past year, from not being able to move a whole lot, to being able to turn over, to now being able to crawl and pull himself up.

At the beginning it was hard for me to adjust to having a tiny human that depended on me for everything. There were many days that I just wanted to scream. Despite it being hard I knew that I loved my son more than I hated how much he cried, so I soldiered on. I dealt with the sleepless nights, the waking up at 2 in the morning, the constant need to have me hold him, I dealt with all of it because he is my baby and I love him.

Many Changes

My son has finally started sleeping through the night, it took awhile for that to occur which did not make me happy. He is now onto strictly solid foods and he is babbling like crazy! He can’t walk just yet, but we are getting there. I am so fascinated by how drastically babies change over the course of a year. He hardly looks like he did when he was born, they look like two different people! He has eight teeth, four of which decided to come in all at once.

My son is definitely a character. He will sit in front of me and, instead of crawling to me to be picked up, he will look at me and cry until I pick him up. He loves throwing things. Not hard throwing, more like tossing. When he is in his pack n’ play he loves to toss all his toys out of it. If he is at my parents house, he will toss all the stuff off their

end table in the living room. Overall he is a happy baby. He loves to give kisses and I am teaching him where my nose is. He loves food, and I mean all kinds of food! Anytime I am eating he will open his mouth wanting a bite.

First Birthday

Yesterday we had a small birthday party of Raiden. Raiden got a few gifts, like a tractor that he can sit on and push, a plush bus that sings “The Wheels on the Bus,” and a dinosaur bucket that comes with some plastic balls. He got to play with his cousins for the first

time. My son has met his cousins before but wasn’t crawling when he met them so he couldn’t play with them. It was a nice day. He didn’t get into the cake like most babies you see, but I think that was because he was full. He got to spend more time with his great grandpa too, which was super great

My family means the world to me and I love them with all my heart. The next few years are going to be great as I watch Raiden grow up even more. If you want to see daily posts of my son follow my Instagram page.

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Resolutions? More Like Goals!

New Year’s resolutions, everyone has heard of them and everyone has had them, but I hate the word resolution. It only ever makes me think of failure and giving up, because let’s be honest who really ever keeps their resolutions. So for 2018 don’t make resolutions, make goals. Goals doesn’t have the same negative connotation that resolution does. Let’s vow this year to have New Year’s Goals not New Year’s Resolutions because you should take even the smallest steps to set yourself up for success. So here are some of my 2018 GOALS!

1.) Blog More

As most of you know I recently started up my blog again and it is going a lot better than I thought it would. But I can do better. I can blog more. Blog like crazy, because I want this to be good. I want it to be what I do with my life. So one of my New Year’s Goals is to blog more, not necessarily everyday, but enough to keep up my traffic.

2.) Crochet/knit More

Crocheting and knitting has always been a hobby of mine and for 2018 I want to kick it up a notch. I want to be able to sell what I make. I have always wanted to be able to work from home and use what I’m good at to turn a profit. So for 2018 I want to do more of that. I want to improve my skills and crochet/knit more so I can sell my work.

3.) Laugh More

You may be looking at this and thinking that I must have had an awful 2017 to have laugh more as a goal. But 2017 was a pretty great year. What I mean by laugh more is to not take everything so seriously. I’ve always had that problem and it has caused problems in my relationship in the past. So for 2018 I want to laugh more and not take everything so seriously.

4.) Get Organized

I have tried in the past to have a journal or a planner but it never really seems to help. So for 2018 I want to start bullet journaling and try to get organized that way. Especially if I start blogging more and start selling needle work I am going to need organization.

5.) Start up a Youtube Channel

Another thing I have been wanting to do is Youtube. Youtube can be another great way to get money and again I love the idea of making money from home. So this year I want to start-up a Youtube channel and see where it goes.

I have plenty of other goals like spending more time focusing on my family instead of on my worries, but I think this list of five is a good place to start. I look forward to keeping you all up to date on my crazy normal everyday life in 2018! Happy New Year!

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Arctic Cool Cooling Technology Review/Give Away

Cooling Technology

Recently I was given the chance to review an Arctic Cool shirt. Arctic Cool makes workout gear made with #HydroFreezeX Technology that whisks away moisture and keeps you cool while you workout. #HydroFreezeX is a cooling technology the wicks away moisture and keeps you cool and dry. The cooling technology starts to work as soon as you start sweating and continues to work the entire time you work out. As long as you are sweating the #HydroFreezeX technology will work to keep you cool and dry. While the main purpose of the shirts is for working out you don’t have to only workout in them you can wear them around the house or out on errands. The shirt that I was given by Arctic Cool is a black v-neck and is extremely comfortable and breathable. It is made out of a polyester/spandex blend but doesn’t feel sticky like most spandex does and is lightweight

Arctic Cool Purpose

Arctic Cool launched back in July of 2016 and is the fastest growing apparel company that incorporates the hydro freeze technology. The company “believes that the power of technology combined with the will of the human spirit can help everyone to train harder, go farther, and reach their maximum potential.” They wanted to give people great apparel that serves as the best of both fabric worlds while at the same time stepping up to a higher plan of apparel science and that is Hydrofreeze.

Personal Experience

As I stated before the #HydroFreezeX technology actually works. As I worked out I could feel the cooling technology start to work as my body temperature rose. I could even feel it working as i just worked around the house. This cooling technology is so innovative and something that I really needed in order to keep going at working out because getting all hot and gross doesn’t make me want to continue to work out, but the Arctic Cool shirt kept my body cool and after my work out left me feeling cool and not as worn out. The Arctic Cool shirt is a shirt that I like to wear even when I’m not working out because it is so comfy and lightweight. The shirt is also flattering. It isn’t too tight, but isn’t too lose either, it fits just right in all the places it should fit.

Shop Arctic Cool

Arctic Cool offers other shirts aside from the black v-neck that I received. The also sell long-sleeved shirts, tank tops, polo shirts, headbands, towels, and shorts all made with the same #HydroFreezeX cooling technology. If you want to buy any of Arctic Cool’s products you can click here to shop their website.

GIVE AWAY!

Along with doing this review, in collaboration with Arctic Cool, I am going to be doing a give away and the winner will get to choose ONE product of their choice from Arctic Cool. To enter the give away please do ALL of the following:

1.) SUBSCRIBE to my blog to get updated on when I add new posts. Don’t forget to confirm your subscription or you won’t be entered.

2.) FOLLOW me on my Instagram here

3.) COMMENT “done” on this post along with your Instagram tag so I can keep track of who completes all the steps

The give away will only last until 5 pm EST on January 7th, 2018. If you want a chance to get your very own #HydroFreezeX Technology for free then SUBSCRIBE, FOLLOW, and COMMENT!

You can also follow Arctic Cool on their social media:

Instagram: @ArcticCoolGear

Facebook: @ArcticCoolGear

Twitter: @ArcticCooloGear

Youtube: Arctic Cool

If you want to read more about the #HydroFreezeX Technology or about how to use Arctic Cool you can read Digital Trends and 10 Ways to Use Arctic Cool.

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Costa Rican Extravaganza

Costa Rican Extravaganza

On June 16th, 2013 I took the trip of a life time! It was one of the best trips I have gone on and I experienced so much. The trip was to the beautiful country of Costa Rica and was one of the best trips I had been on at that time of my life.

The trip occurred the summer between my junior and senior years of high school. I went with some students from my high school, specifically those in Spanish classes, and our Spanish teacher as well as a group of students from a Muncie high school and their Spanish teacher.

June 16th

We had to be at the airport around 4 am to get our luggage checked and we didn’t start boarding the plan until after 6 am. The first flight was from Indianapolis to Houston, Texas, which took two hours and we have a two and a half hour layover in Houston.  9:45 am (Central Time; 10:45 am Easter Standard Time) came around and were finally on our way to San Jose, Costa Rica. The flight there took three hours and we arrived in San Jose at 1:15 pm (Central Time; 3:15 pm Easter Standard Time).

view of Costa Rica from the plane

Flying on a plane isn’t bad, but it isn’t the greatest either. I am the type of person that can’t sleep in moving vehicles and that includes planes. Most people can fall asleep because of the motion of the vehicle, but I can’t and being up at 3 am was not fun. But I was so excited to go out of the country especially with friends. Honestly the scariest part of the whole process of getting to Costa Rica was going through customs when we landed in San Jose. I’m not sure why it was the scariest, but I was concerned that something would prevent me from going any further and continuing on the trip.

Finally in Costa Rica

But everything went smoothly and we all got through customs to meet our tour guide Victor. We then got on a bus to go to our hotel, El Gran Hotel de Costa Rica. On the bus ride to the hotel Victor shared with us a phrase that they use often in Costa Rica, the phrase was “Pura Vida,” which actually translates to “Pure Life,” but according to Victor Costar Ricans use it to say hello, goodbye, ask how you are doing, and to just get rid of your worries.

We finally got to the Hotel de Costa Rica around 3 pm and were given our room assignments. After we put our luggage into our rooms we went back to the lobby to get instructions from Victor. After getting the instructions we were allowed to go out in groups to explore San Jose. I walked around with a group from my high school that included Kelsi Maxwell and Abby Morgan, my two friends that I was rooming with. Our Spanish teacher, Señora Thompson, went with us as well. As we walked around we saw many Hispanic vendors selling different things on the side walks. I was so interesting to be immersed in the different culture and be surround by all the people.

June 17th

The next day we left the hotel at about 7:45 am to head to Arenal Region. On the way we stopped and visited INBio Parque to get a glimpse at all the different wildlife and plant life of Costa Rica. We saw so much at INBio Parque. We saw frogs, iguanas, tarantulas, sloths, turtles, and different plants and trees. I have always loved zoos and nature parks so walking around INBio Parque was one of my favorite parts of the trip.

Poás Volcano

After INBio Parque we went to visit Poás Volcano. When we went it was foggy around the volcano so I didn’t get very good pictures of the volcano but it was still a great experience.

 

Las Iguanas

After the park and the volcano we made one last stop at Las Iguanas which was a little town that was full of iguanas. They were all in the trees and it was really cool to see that they just live so closely to people and roads and stores. After all the stops we finally arrived at Hotel Vista Arenal.

Hotel Vista Arenal

It was an extremely nice hotel and the room we stayed in was pretty big and pretty close to a outdoor pool.

June 18th

The third day, June 18th, we went to visit La Fortuna waterfall. When we go there we had to hike down 550 steps to reach the waterfall. The trek down wasn’t too bad, but going back up those 550 steps was hell. The waterfall was beautiful though and we were able to swim a little ways down from the waterfall. It was a nice way to spend part of the afternoon.

La Fortuna waterfall

After the waterfall we went to Arenal Lake to go kayaking. This was the first time I had ever been kayaking and it was an experience. Kelsi and I did a two person kayak and it was difficult at first to get momentum and get into a rhythm of paddling but we got the hang of it and it was great. To this day I still love kayaking, but i prefer a single person kayak to a double kayak. In between the waterfall and the lake we stopped in La Fortuna, the town, and had lunch and walked around the town looking in the different shops and taking in the scenery. I noticed that no matter what town we went to or stopped at there were dogs every where.

Baldi Hot Springs

The last thing we did on the 18th was visit Baldi Hot Springs. The hot springs were great! they were very relaxing and beautiful. It was a great way to end the day especially after walking up and down all those steps at the waterfall. The hot springs had different areas that ranged in temperatures from 93 F to 152 F. Baldi Hot Springs also had a bar area that could be accessed from inside the hot springs as well as from the outside. There were some hot springs that had waterfalls within the springs that made the experience extra relaxing.

June 19th

The following day was chalk full of adventure. To start off the day some of us went on a little walk to a farm a little ways away from the hotel to milk cows. That was an awesome experience in and of itself because I had never milked a cow before. After the little walk and after breakfast we checked out of Hotel Vista Arenal and took a four hour bus ride up to Monte Verde. On the way to Monte Verde we took two small stops. The first stop was in a little town to use the bathroom and buy water or snacks and the second stop was at a school. We got to look around the school and in the classrooms as well as watch two girls and two boys dance some traditional Costa Rican dances while wearing traditional clothes.

Zip-Lining

After the school we continued on to Monte Verde and made another stop to go ZIP-LINING! Zip-lining was amazing! There were 6 zip-lines that increased in length and height in the rain forest. Going up to the last zip-line was an up hill walk that took a little while and it was wet and muddy and I ended up falling. After the last zip-line we had the option to do a Tarzan Swing which dropped you from 140 feet! I have always been a little afraid of heights and wasn’t sure if I wanted to do the Tarzan Swing but I did and it was awesome! After zip-lining we went into Monte Verde and walked around town and went into different shops. While we were there I saw a dog sitting on the seat of a motor bike. It was one of the most interesting things I have ever seen.

Children’s Eternal Rainforest

After the events of the day we finally got to the hotel. Hotel Villa Verde was a really cool hotel in the middle of a forest. Victor told us that the hotel occasionally has scorpions although it was getting better because of the pesticides that the hotel would spray. He told us that if anyone found a scorpion to catch it and bring it to him and he would give a $20 reward. Kelsi, Abby and I found the scorpion and we got the $20 which was super cool but scary at the same time.

June 20th

The next day, June 20th, we went on a trip to plant a tree which was really cool. We went to the Children’s Eternal Rainforest to plant the trees. We broke up into small groups of four and each group got to plant a tree. I was really great to be able to give back to nature in that way. After that we went back to Hotel Villa Verde and just got to hang out and relax. It was nice to be able to relax and not worry about having to be ready at a certain time to go somewhere.

June 21st

On the 21st we made the trip to Jacó. Before getting to Jacó we went on a riverboat tour called the Jungle Crocodile Safari. On the tour we got to watch one of the guides feed some crocodiles which was super scary. The hotel we stayed at in Jacó was within walking distance of a beach but we weren’t allowed to swim there because the currents were too strong. After arriving at the hotel around 1 pm kelsi, Abby and I walked on the beach for a little and then we went walking around Jacó with Señora Thompson, Mrs. Chruchill (the Spanish teacher from Muncie), Rachel, and Sean (two of Señora’s friends who were our chaperons). Walking around was a lot of fun and the shops were really cool.

June 22nd

On the 22nd we went to Manuel Antonio National Park and spent time swimming and walking a small trail at La Playa Blanca or the White Beach. Swimming was a cool experience because we got to swim in the Pacific Ocean and that was the first time I ever swam in an ocean! After swimming we walked around an open market where there were many different booths with people selling various items. I bought a dress that was made with the same colors of the Costa Rican flag. Then we went to each lunch at a restaurant called El Avión (The Airplane). It was a really cool restaurant. Our hotel room was awesome too. In the bathroom there was a jetted tub, but unfortunately it didn’t work. We also ended up finding a gecko in our hotel room which was super cute.

June 23rd-25th

The last couple of days went by pretty fast and we mainly just went back to San Jose to get ready to travel home. On the 23rd we stopped in Sarchi to look at the world’s largest ox cart which was awesome. Then we finished our trip back to San Jose. On the 24th we went white water rafting which was scary for me because I don’t like to go under water, but it was really fun. In the middle of rafting we took a break and had fresh pineapple which was delicious! After white water rafting our guide for rafting gave us all leaves that he had wrote on commemorating the rafting experience. We went to the airport on June 25th to make the trip back home.

My trip to Costa Rica was an amazing experience and I had a blast. There were many things that I wouldn’t have thought about doing had I not gone on the trip. It was a spectacular trip with great people and I am extremely grateful that I got to go.

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Time For a New You!

As New Year’s Day fast approaches you are probably trying to figure out how 2018 is going to be better than 2017. You might think about doing a New Year’s Resolution (or a few), but let’s be honest you will probably keep it up for a couple of days and then stop. Don’t worry about resolutions like losing weight, exercising, cutting out pop or cutting down on sugar. If doing any of those things won’t make you happy then don’t do them.

Make 2018 about you! Make 2018 about doing everything you want to do and everything you have always wanted to try. Make 2018 about taking risks and facing your fears! Make 2018 about changing up your style or doing something different with your hair. A new year doesn’t have to be dragged down by pointless resolutions that won’t last but a couple of days. If you tell yourself that the new year will be about me exploring who I am and what I want, then you won’t have to worry about keeping up a resolution everyday.

So since this is a fashion blog, I of course am going to talk about changing up your style for the new year. For me my style is geared towards comfort more than anything. I want to feel comfortable in my clothes, which means I wear A LOT of leggings. For 2018 I want to branch out of my comfort zone of leggings and sweatpants and try to include things like jeans, slacks, more skirts and dresses. I have dresses and love to wear them, but I never do because I tell

tried something new with my hair the summer of 2016

myself that there isn’t a reason to wear it. I mean the dresses I have I consider formal dresses and I never have a reason to wear them on an average day. But for this coming new year I want to mix things up a bit and wear a dress just because I want to and not worry about people wondering why in the world I would be wearing a dress, “umm because I want to duh!”

So in order to accomplish breaking out of my comfort zone I need to expand my wardrobe. It means that I need to go through my clothes and get rid of everything I know I won’t wear and everything that is either getting too small or too worn out. Before starting any kind of change in your life you first need to evaluate where you are and what you need to get rid of in order to make  the change happen. Sometimes that means getting rid of people too. Real change requires sacrifice and if you aren’t willing to make that sacrifice then the change won’t happen. So if I’m not willing to clean out my closet and add new clothes to my wardrobe then my style won’t ever change.

Senior year of high school and I still didn’t know what I was doing with my clothes *face palm*

My clothing style has changed so much already from when I was younger to now. I used to have horrendous style and was just awful at picking out clothes that were flattering on my body. I’ve definitely gotten better at picking out clothes that look good on my body and good together, I used to be awful at matching clothes, but what kid wasn’t.

But if fashion isn’t your thing then find something and do it, like I said make 2018 about you. We keep forgetting that personal mental health is so important and affects ever aspect of your life. So if you aren’t taking care of yourself it’s going to be hard to take care of other people. So take that trip you have always wanted, change your clothes or hair, get a tattoo, just do something that will make you happy for once. Stop worrying about making everyone else happy and take time

Towards the later end of my senior year and early in college I finally found my style

for yourself in 2018.

Be the you that you need to be! Make the best of 2018. Happy Holidays and Have a Happy New Year!

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Raiden’s OOTD

I may be a little biased here but my son is the cutest baby ever! He has the perfect chubby face with his little chubby cheeks and beautiful eyelashes. He is chunky, but not too chunky where he can’t fit into his clothes. I love my son so much and absolutely love to get him all dressed up and looking cute! He is such a joy and a little stinker sometimes,

but it is worth it when I can get videos of him growling and making the cutest noises. 🙂

His OOTD (outfit of the day) today features a Harry Potter onesie and Gryffindor pants. The onsie says “Snuggle this Muggle,” and that is exactly what I want to do whenever he wears this outfit. It perfectly reflects my love for Harry Potter as well as accentuating Raiden’s cuteness.

The outfit is available in different variations on Etsy. The specific one you see Raiden wearing is only $12.00 on the Etsy website. Not featured in Raiden’s picture is the red and gold hat that the outfit comes with. The outfit itself is a little big for him, but the hat it too big causing it not to stay on.

I hope you enjoyed seeing Raiden’s OOTD! Subscribe to my blog to see more OOTDs and other fashion tips, tricks and styles.