Health, Opinion

10 Scale-less Victories

That time of the year is creeping upon us… bathing suit season. I haven’t been in a bathing suit in years. I haven’t had time to sunbathe or be in a pool since my mid 20’s. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not just pale, I’m becoming transparent. It’s probably not healthy to be this blindingly white.

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A lot of folks make that New Year’s Resolution to themselves to start January 1st to get back in the gym and start to lose that weight to be bikini season ready. This is why you’ll see your weekly ad for Target the week after Christmas, but before New Year’s will always have gym clothes, workout dvds, water bottles, weights, yoga mats, and FitBits on sale. They know people will buy this stuff with good intentions to workout, but really, the gym clothes see more action running errands than running laps and that FitBit will be in a junk drawer in a month. This is also the week you won’t see your normal gym goers because they get annoyed by the New Year’s peeps who flood their gyms.  No worries from me, I don’t go to the gym… they have mirrors and people who judge.

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I had a whole different perspective on things. I started with good intention a year ago to try to start slimming down in hopes my boyfriend would propose and I didn’t want to be scrambling trying to lose weight quickly and in an unhealthy way to try to be wedding dress ready. I started with Weight Watchers (doing it on my own with low cost apps and Pinterest recipes because I’m not paying and arm and a leg to join something that’s meant to be motivation….  and the only Weight Watchers near my house is beside of a McDonald’s, that’s just mean). I lost a few pounds and fell off the wagon.. hard.

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My boyfriend, now fiance (yeah that did happen) had heard of the Keto Diet and while he didn’t have much to lose, he convinced me to try it with him. He shed a crazy amount of weight that I wasn’t aware he possessed. I lost a few, but felt so deprived and like I was no longer walking, but gliding on a grease track from the amount of coconut oil, butter, and bacon grease I was consuming. I was drinking Bulletproof Coffee, people (coffee blended to frothy perfection with coconut oil and butter). So again, I jumped off the wagon and went back to the land of breads and pastas.

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Currently I try to stay under 1,500 calories a day (suggested through My Fitness Pal) and I finished a 6 week combo of Beachbody programs: Cize and PiYo. Shaun T and Chalene Johnson are amazing for motivation! I am currently in my 3rd week of Jillian Michaels Body Revolution. Talk about getting your ass handed to you! While I’m back on track and have been for weeks, the scale isn’t budging the way I was anticipating, which is completely infuriating. I’ve had to calm myself down from going into total fits of rage and emotional breakdowns by reminding myself that it’s not all about the number on the scale.

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So here are my Top 10 Scale-Less Victories 

  1. Post Workout High – Some days, no matter how much I love Shaun T, Chalene or Jillian, I don’t want to workout. I’ve had a long day at work, the commute home has pissed me off because people don’t know how to drive, I’m sleepy, and/or I can think of so many other things I need to be doing. In all honesty, none of my workouts take very long – all are less than an hour. Sometimes I just have to push myself to press play because I love the way I feel afterwards. I get that “Post Workout High”. I’m sweaty, I feel like I did something good for myself, I burned calories, but I feel electric light bursting out of my pores. I feel happy, I feel more energized than I did before and I like I can take on the world! Once you start getting that feeling on a regular basis, you don’t want to take rest days and you’ll push your tired, yet fabulous, ass off the couch and get some of those feel good vibes.Image result for post workout high meme
  2. Feeling Healthy – I think it’s the work of a subconscious genius at work that makes you start to make healthier eating decisions when you workout. Almost a little angel on your shoulder whispering, “why do you want to undo everything you just worked for by eating a large pizza dipped in Ranch by yourself?” I’ve started eating healthier breakfasts, the new Marketplace Lean Cuisines and fruit is my go-to for lunch, and dinner normally consists of a grilled meat of sorts, brown rice, and vegetables. Nothing is bland, things taste good, and I started taking vitamins for good measure. However, if they didn’t want people to overdose on vitamins they shouldn’t have made the gummy vitamins so damn delicious. They say the workout isn’t the hard part, the “diet” part is way harder. I agree. I can move my ass, ok? I don’t always want to keep in mind the amount of calories I’m actually consuming. Tracy Anderson had it right, you have to have a good relationship with food. Working out is something you have to do, but it’s bad to use words like “cheat” or “diet” because it weighs heavy on your relationship with food because you feel like it’s forbidden or bad. Aside from making healthier food choices, I’ve also noticed I’m drinking more water, have better strength and flexibility, and am sleeping better.                                                               Image result for healthy eating memeImage result for healthy eating meme
  3. More Confidence and Higher Self-Esteem – When you’re overweight, you feel like you’re constantly being judged. You’ve had people tell you, “oh you’d be so much prettier if you lost weight”, you have felt the eyes on the back of your head (or on your ass) when you order what you really want at a restaurant, or people assume that you must eat anything and everything in sight to be as heavy as you are. When you start to workout, that starts to go away. I don’t care if people look at me when I order that burger and fries or a plate of nachos. I know I burned off the calorie equivalent to that donut that’s sitting pretty on my desk this morning. I know what I eat because I track it. *Side Note: Yes, it is a pain in the ass to start food tracking because they will be times you forget to track your meal or you won’t have a calorie count at your favorite local restaurant, but apps like My Fitness Pal make it really easy and after a small amount of time, it’ll become second nature to track* I know that I workout and while I may not be a size 2 (I’m a large frame build and 5’10” and personally think I’d look sickly if I was ever that small) I know I’m getting healthier and sometimes that means more than the size of my jeans – which will never be universal because that would make sense if all brands were consistent in their sizing.Image result for self esteem gif
  4. Fun Workout Communities – One of the greatest keys to success is support. It’s hell being the only person in your household or out of your group of friends who is working out or trying to eat more healthy. Sometimes it feels like everyone is out to sabotage your efforts, “You don’t need to workout today! Just be lazy!” “It’s one cheat meal, it’s not going to hurt you!” Oh, if they only knew that the one cheat meal they were referring to makes the scale jump 2-3 pounds the next morning and takes a couple of days to come back off the scale. One of my friends created a Facebook Page of her friends so we could all motivate and congratulate one another. It may sound “nerdy” and “uncool”, but it’s nice to have a place where people want to be supportive of one another is refreshing compared to the body shaming we get in every day encounters. Image result for workout communities gif
  5. Becoming Inspiration for Someone Else – I’m not saying it’s cool to be placed on a pedestal because that’s weird, but sometimes it’s nice to have your hard work admired by someone else in a similar position. I have friends who have inspired me to get off the couch and try something new and see my own results. I’ve also had others tell me I’ve done the same for them. Maybe it’s just the word “Inspire” that does it for me…. ya think? Image result for inspire meme
  6. Compliments – This could easily go for number 5 because it is a compliment when someone tells you that their hard work inspires them, but sometimes a compliment can be taken negatively too. I recently came back to work with people I hadn’t seen in about a year and they all said, “Wow! You look great! Such a skinny mini!” Sooo, was I a hippo before? Fatty Fat Fat? I wasn’t sure how to take it, so I took it with a pinch of salt and shot of tequila. It does feel good that while the scale hasn’t moved in weeks, people are noticing that you look smaller. My fiance told me last night, “you’re really starting to look more toned.” I was so focused on losing fat I hadn’t noticed the added bonus of toning up and adding some sexy muscles to the party. Related image
  7. Loss of Inches – I started keeping track of inches lost because when the scale fails, I often see a loss on the tape measure. I hate the saying, “Muscle weighs more than Fat”. No… no it doesn’t. Which weighs more? A pound of feathers or a pound of lead? They weigh the same. It takes way more feathers to equal that pound and just a small little piece of lead and fat and muscle is no difference. Fat takes up more room and muscle is more dense and therefore doesn’t take up as much real estate on your ass, but a pound is a pound. If you’re interested in the areas I measure weekly it’s: neck, right and left bicep, chest at the armpits, chest at the nipples, diaphragm (under bust around the rib cage), waist at the most narrow point (about an inch above your belly button), abdomen (lower abs), hips at the widest part around the booty, right and left thighs, knees (right above the knee cap), and calves (fullest part of your calf). Trust me, it’ll be that scale-less victory you will treasure.Image result for where to measure body measurements
  8. Fitting Into Old Clothes – I have some really pretty clothes that I bought in my skinnier days and I haven’t worn in years. I use these as a gauge for success. It’s like obtaining a whole new wardrobe without the cost! Yay for Saving Money!!! However, if you find yourself not liking the old clothes, even though you fit in them again, please consider donating them. I suggest a homeless shelter or clothing closet at a church. Goodwill sounds like a great idea, but really, most of the time the associates who work there pick through it first and it’s not going to those most in need – if you can pay for it, you’re not the most needy population.Image result for clothes meme
  9. Cute Workout Clothes – I love shopping for workout clothes. It’s like a little treat to myself. Between Marshall’s and Target, you can get some cute and yet durable workout clothes. Now, I did have my favorite sports bra. It was my favorite because I never used it for it’s intended purpose which is to keep the girls down during the workout.  When I started doing Cize and PiYo, I realized that while cute, this sports bra was freaking lame! It was for those women who only want to be seen in sporty clothes at the grocery store. I couldn’t get into Downward Dog or do the Cize Bounce without my ladies popping out. Not cute. When I realized that my workouts were becoming more regular, I splurged a little on a new sports bra and it was worth every penny! There is no crazy jiggling, there’s no pain, and no more having to spend half the workout adjusting the goods.Image result for workout high meme
  10. Not Feeling Dessert Guilt – I just burned almost 400 calories. Trust me, I earned those few sweet bites of gelato or that glass of wine. I know, I’m not a dog and don’t need to reward myself with food. I don’t see it as a reward. I see it as me living my life and my life includes guilt free dessert. My dad has always had a good outlook on food and what seems to be a healthy relationship with food. He eats breakfast every morning, loves vegetables, eats a variety of cuisines, and he’s not big on sweets. He claims it’s good to have what you want, “in moderation”. This is coming from someone who is not a dessert person – he’d rather have key lime pie or some sort of fruit cobbler as opposed to ice cream, cookies, or cake. I had hoped his views on food would rub off on me, but alas, they did not. I have a huge sweet tooth and love the savory just as much. I refuse to feel bad over my love affair with coconut cake. After all, there are 2 “s”‘s in dessert for a reason.                                                        Image result for dessert gifImage result for dessert gif
Story

Am I Being Punk’d?

I have seriously thought about writing a book about all of the crazy work related stories my friends and I share. It would be just some sort of long essay or collection of short stories if I chose to write about my experiences only.  While I’m sure we’ve all had our fair share of cringe worthy tales or daily annoyances in the work world, I thought I would share one of my greatest “WTF” moments I’ve ever experienced on the job. Hopefully once you read about this totally true and horrifying tale of human stupidity, you’ll feel better about having to come up with a cheesy reply to, “well if there’s no price tag, that means it’s free right?!”

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Years ago when I was in college, I took a summer job at a local pet shop. Looking back on it now, I don’t know why I ever got involved with a pet shop. I’m against designer dogs and want to throw up at the thought of someone spending $1,000+ to finance the dog when you can go to your local animal shelter and save a life as well as find a new best friend.

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This particular evening, I wasn’t scheduled. I went in because I was waiting for a co-worker to get off work so we could catch a movie. That’s how innocently my evening began. The shop phone rang and the manager looked puzzled as she asked the caller to hold. She looked at me and said the phone call was for me. What? No one knew I was there. She asked me to take the call since they called for me personally. What ensued next could have never been imagined in my wildest dreams.

Phone Conversation:

Me: “How may I help you?”                                                                                                                 Customer: “I don’t know if you remember me or not, but I bought a rabbit from you about a week ago.”

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Ok, so I thought it was innocent enough, but honestly, I had no clue who this man was. I worked at a pet shop and we sold a lot of bunnies. I immediately went into panic mode as I thought, “great, this man is calling me to complain and raise all kinds of hell because the damn bunny was probably sick or had wet tail and died.” I collected myself.

Me: “No sir, I’m sorry, I don’t recall you specifically. Is there an issue with the rabbit?” Customer: “Well, I don’t think so. It’s like this you see. We bought the rabbit and set it’s cage up and everything’s been fine. We had company over yesterday and they brought their kids with them. We were all sitting around and having a good time and they got real upset when they peered behind us into our utility room. They grabbed their kids and told us that they were leaving and not coming back until we got control of our animals.  We had no idea what in the world they were talking about until we looked into the utility room and see our Rottweiler trying to get to the rabbit through the cage… you know… sexually…. in any event, I was calling to see if there was any kind of spray or something that I could spray on my rabbit to make my dog not want to mate with it.”

My facial expressions do a really poor job at hiding my reaction thoughts. I know this. What I wasn’t aware of how my face went to pleasant,

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to concerned,

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to horrified,

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to “you’re so stupid I’m now having to squint to deal with this conversation”

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in no time flat. I also wasn’t aware that my facial expressions had drawn a crowd of my co-workers dying to know who I was speaking to and what had caused my face to go out of control.

Me: “Sir, they make behavioral sprays for animals to keep them from chewing or biting and possibly to train them to not bark, but for that specific purpose, no.”                 Customer: “So you’re telling me there’s nothing?”                                                                      Me: “Sir, I’m going to ask you a question, but I think I already know the answer to it. Is your dog fixed?”                                                                                                                       Customer: “What do you mean fixed?”                                                                                              Me: “Did you follow the advice of Mr. Bob Barker at the end of every Price is Right and get your dog spayed or neutered?”                                                                                      Customer: “Well, I don’t know.”                                                                                                        Me: “Not to be rude, but how do you not know something like that?”                               Customer: “I got him off a buddy of mine and he never mentioned anything. I know I haven’t done anything to him.”                                                                                                         Me: “I’m going to go out on a limb and say that your dog isn’t fixed. You will need to make an appointment with your vet office and have them examine the dog and possibly make an appointment to get him fixed.”

It’s at this point in time that I’m completely unaware that I just opened Pandora’s Box. Maybe I had this coming to me. Maybe I should have just hung up after the first 20 seconds of the conversation. However, had I done that, I wouldn’t have this juicy story to share with all of you.

Customer: “I don’t have money for a vet and that sounds kind of expensive. Is that just something I can do myself?”

Related imageMe: “NO! No! You can *not* do that yourself sir. Do you understand what I’m saying when I say ‘get your dog fixed’?”                                                                                               Customer: “Honestly, no not really. I’ve never really had a dog.”                                           Me: “Sir, do you know what a vasectomy is on a human man? Well that’s kind of what they’ll do to the dog… but they’re going to remove them all together.”                           Customer: “OH! Oh.. good Lord… I’m glad you told me that! I would have f*#%ed his world all up if I would have tried to do that myself, huh?”                                                    Me: “Ya think? Sir, if you can’t afford to have the surgery done, maybe you should reach out to your local animal shelter or even to the vet’s office. Maybe they have a discount program or know of someone who will work with you on a payment plan. Just to re-cap our conversation: there’s no spray for your rabbit and it’s not a problem with your rabbit, it’s a problem with your dog, a problem of which he needs surgery to correct.”

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At that point I don’t remember saying good-bye to this man. I just think I was in shock. Is this real life? Oh yeah, real life. It would only happen to me. Was this a local radio station playing a prank? Was it someone who worked there trying to see how far I would go with the conversation? Apparently, in the name of good customer service, I’d go pretty far to not hang up on what could have been someone’s ultimate Punk’d prank.

I would love to be able to tell you all that this was the end of this story. Unfortunately, this man had the brass balls to call me a week later to just “check and see” if anyone had come out with a spray to deter his dog from the rabbit… I wasn’t so nice the second time around. I may have made mention that he probably didn’t need to own animals if he couldn’t be a responsible pet owner…. but that’s just a “maybe I said it.”

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Thankfully, I’ve never had to discuss inter-species erotica with another customer in the past 12 years, so that’s something… right?

Restaurant Review

Rollin’ Smoke BBQ

West Virginia is known for a lot of things: scenic beauty, Coal Country, Civil War history, the Hatfields and McCoys, The Greenbrier, and being the home state of Jennifer Garner. One thing that people would probably never think could come out of West Virginia is amazing BBQ. However, I beg to differ.

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The original Rollin’ Smoke BBQ is located in Big Chimney along the Elk River. Imagine an eclectically decorated carnival food truck and huge black smokers with a porch and now seating built around them on the side of a mountain overlooking a beautiful river. That’s where Rollin’ Smoke BBQ sits. If you blink, you could pass it. Once I was introduced, I fell in LOVE!

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My fiance had already been to the location a time or two taking the advice of a friend’s grandfather. He looked at my fiance (who was single at the time) and said, “Are you married?” to which my fiance replied, “No, not married.” The man nodded and said, “Good, go to Rollin’ Smoke BBQ and get the brisket.”

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One evening my fiance said, “Do you have an issue with restaurants that look like nothing much?” “Are you kidding!? They have the BEST food!” So for date night, he took me to the carnival food truck on the side of the road. I decided that since it came so highly recommended, I would order the brisket as well. The dinner came with 3-4 thick cut pieces of brisket, 2 sides (I chose coleslaw and macaroni salad) and a dinner roll with butter – we live in WV, all dinners should come with a dinner roll and some butter.

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At the time, this location did not offer much seating for dining so we drove down the street to Coonskin Park. We found a picnic table that overlooked the duck pond and as I reached into the white plastic “Thank You” bag, I was surprised by how heavy the To-Go boxes were. I opened my box up to be greeted with a heavenly aroma smoked meat and a sweet and smokey BBQ sauce. I have eaten BBQ in some of the most talked about BBQ joints in the South and I have never had a brisket so tender and moist (yes I cringed as I typed that word). It’s been a love affair ever since.

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This past weekend, we made a visit to our favorite little red carnival style food truck to discuss the possibility of them catering our wedding. Yes, I am not ashamed to say I am not a “Fru-Fru” $50 a plate bride. I’m low key and casual and BBQ is where it’s at! I decided if I’m going to serve my guests BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, I may actually want to try it first. Normally, I go for the brisket or Cornish hen. This pulled pork sandwich was HUGE and served on a fluffy, yet strong, bun.  The meat was sweet, but rich in smoke flavor – real wood smoke people, not that crappy liquid smoke that some BBQ joints will douse their food in. The potato salad was made of big pieces of red potatoes and they weren’t sopping with mayo. Their baked beans are the things of dreams – thick, rich, decadent. I didn’t want to stop eating, but at some point you reach the “full” point. Just thinking about it makes my toes curl. An employee stopped to ask how everything was (which really, if you had seen the look of joy on my face, the question wasn’t necessary). All I could manage to say was, “This is the kind of BBQ Prince would sing about.” I meant every word.

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If you are ever in the Charleston/Sissonville/Elkview/Pinch area, you have GOT to at least go there once in your lifetime. Seriously though, try to go as much as you can! Friendly staff, delicious food, hearty portions for not a lot of money, and some of that famous beautiful West Virginia scenery.

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Story

Hell is a Clown…

I have never really been a fan of clowns. What better day to discuss why I now suffer from coulrophobia than the day after the new Stephen King’s IT trailer is released.

I wasn’t always this way. I remember being little and going to see the circus and I even dressed up as a crazy clown one Halloween – looking back it was like a mix of Heath Ledger’s Joker and Jem from Jem and the Holograms. Then I turned 6.

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What could have possibly happened to a 6 year old that would have traumatized them so bad that they now suffer from a phobia??? Stephen King’s 1990 made for TV movie, IT. That’s what happened.

When you have older sisters, you want to do what they’re doing. Naturally when they wanted to watch a clown movie, I wanted to watch it too. I should have taken a hint that when they lined my bed with every stuffed animal in our shared bedroom for protection that something bad was going to happen.

In 5 minutes I had seen the face or pure evil and horror and screamed when I realized the little girl who was just singing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” was dead. That seemingly harmless clown hanging out in her mother’s laundry fresh on the clothes line just ate her. How was this a movie that was shown on ABC? Just how!?

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I sat in pure terror not even able to blink for about 2 hours. I have not been ok with clowns since. I can get down with some Killer Klowns from Outterspace as they just seemed silly, but it was real legit Ringling Brothers clowns that would forever haunt my dreams.

I would have night terrors that Pennywise the Clown was at the edge of my bed or I would see him on the cover of the book (my parents bought the book with the stupid movie poster on it, good one folks) and see his facial expressions slowly change from a frown to a sick twisted smile or he would even leap out at me!

One might say, “OK, so you don’t have coulrophobia, you just don’t like that specific clown.” Nope, don’t even go there with me.

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When I was in my mid-twenties I took a trip to the beach with my parents. They had a mini van with a TV/DVD player built in. As I was hanging back with my nephew enjoying a little flick, my mother tells me not to look out the window. How dare she tell me that! I’m an adult! We’re passing by Lake Norman (which is absolutely beautiful) so how could I not look out my window. It’s at this time, I look out my window to see a clown in full makeup, shaggy powdered wig, a hobo type outfit, looking like he just walked out of my private circus hell, driving in the car beside us. As if it was an image from a movie, he turned his head to look at me, smiled, waved, and kept trucking until he got off at the Davidson College exit. I screamed, threw a beach towel over my head, cried and hyperventilated a little, and didn’t move until we were in Charlotte.

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As I got older, I started to wonder if clowns were really just perverts in disguise, sort of like mall Easter Bunnies and Santas. That’s come across everyone’s mind at some point right? The fact that these grown adult men have chosen to sit on a chair for hours, getting sore butts, with the possibility of being sneezed, thrown up, or peed on, just to have children sit in their laps all day… let it sink in if you’ve never thought about it. Is that part of the creepy factor? Underneath they’re all just a bunch of Herbert the Perverts parading around as John Wayne Gacies?

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Maybe it’s the painted on expressions. They are really dark, hollow, sad, sick, and/or twisted and we would never know because there’s a jolly lying expression that’s glaring back at us, masking their true feelings… or intent… Whatever the cause, it still doesn’t change the fact that every time I see one I break out into a cold sweat, my heart beats out of my chest, my stomach leaps into my throat and I feel paralyzed. Good job Stephen King and Mr. Tim Curry. You successfully gave a whole generation of small children everywhere coulrophobia with some white face paint and rotten razor blade teeth.

 

Opinion

Basic Things You Should Know Before You Hit Adulthood

I recently ran across an article on Facebook, one of those “So Many Things You Should Know How to Do Before You’re an Adult” articles. That struck a chord with me as – hey, I work with adult learners, I’ve managed in retail, I know things people struggle with because I see it on a daily basis. I’ve decided to spread some good cheer in this arena as some of these things are things I wish I would have known from days long forgotten.

  • How to Write a Professional Resume – Surprisingly, they don’t teach resume writing in high school. They don’t even really teach it on most college campuses. I feel like it’s pretty basic. You need a resume to be taken seriously. Most jobs that you will want to apply for after college will require at minimum a resume, cover letter, and 3 references. Why are we not teaching this stuff in school? I have decided I will share another post later on how to actually write business articles (resumes, letters, etc…).Image result for Elle Woods Resume
  • How to Write a Cover Letter – I think that a lot of people, especially millennial types believe that a cover letter is “old school”. I see a lot of adult learners who believe that if they can’t get the job by filling out an application and dazzling the interviewer (or let’s face it, 16 year old kid behind the cash wrap) with their personality, then it’s not the job for them and it’s the company’s loss. Horrible way of thinking. Cover letters are not often mentioned in job descriptions as they are expectedRelated image
  • Importance of a Thank You Note – This goes for job interviews or receiving of a gift or help in any way. It is very poor manners to just expect people to give you a gift at Christmas or to help you out because they’re family or your BFF. It’s also incredibly rude to think that an interviewer should be honored by your presence at an interview. Do yourself a favor and break out some good quality stationary and write a personal letter of gratitude.You might be surprised by how far it will take you.Image result for thank you letter gif
  • How to Interview Properly – I could speak for hours on how to interview and what’s expected (I promise, I will write a whole “How To” on this topic alone). When I get adults in my class, I’m surprised at the amount of them who think wearing jeans, a shirt, and flipflops are appropriate interview attire. I’m also alarmed at the amount of them who state that they never had to interview for a position, started off by telling the interviewer their life story (family drama included), or fell into answering questions that are actually not legal for an interviewer to ask as they revealed answers that are protected by Equal Opportunity Laws. Insert Face-palm Here.Image result for cece facepalm gif
  • Keep Detail Records of Past Employment – If I could give myself some amazing sound advice when I was 16, it’d be to keep a detailed list of employers along with addresses and phone numbers, supervisors names, dates worked, job duties and pay as it’s asked on every single job application you will ever fill out in your entire life. These are simple items that most job seekers can’t recall. Image result for past employers gif
  • Difference between Then/Than, Where/Were/Wear/We’re, To/Too/Two, Their/There/They’re, Your/You’re– Or anything else that could fall into this category. For some unknown reason, people expect Word or whatever processor they’re using to change these words to the correct form if it’s wrong. Guess what folks? The computer won’t change it because it’s detected that the word is spelled correctly and if you don’t know the difference between those red, blue, and green swiggly lines then you might find yourself in a sticky situation. Not knowing the difference shows you didn’t pay attention in English and not changing the mistake shows that you need to work on your editing skills.
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  • How to Write Checks – I was helping an employee of mine years ago ring up a transaction at the store we worked in when I saw her staring at the customer’s check. I asked her what the problem was and she responded that she didn’t know what information to input as she didn’t know what the computer was asking for because she had never written a check. This girl was 18-19 years old and a freshman in college. We also were not her first employer. I helped her find the info and I told her to hold the check for a minute once we dismissed the customer. I had to point out the different areas of the check, explain what was suppose to go there, and how to endorse it. Needless to say I was really thrown by having to explain that to someone who was 18 years old and had worked in retail before. I felt as if the system failed her. I asked her how she was going to pay her bills, pay vendors, pay employees one day. With a credit card she said… aaaannnd I’m done.Image result for writing checks gif
  • How to Pay Bills – This shouldn’t be that difficult with all of the options that are out there these days: pay cash, write a check, pay online, have it automatically deducted everything month. Some places don’t allow for you to pay online or deduct it from your checking account (my local city fees and trash collection make you jump through 5 flaming hoops to be granted permission to do so and then will still charge you a big fee for every transaction) this is where learning how to write a check comes in handy. Related image
  • Dangers of Social Media – I’m not just talking stranger danger here. I mean learning to keep your social media pages neat, clean, appropriate, and how to use the damn privacy settings. I can’t look at the news without reading about someone who has been fired due to something they wrote on social media. Know the basics – employers can look at your social media to aid in hiring decisions, most use 3rd party companies to scan through like a credit check and anything posted within the last 7 years will be included on said report, they can’t use anything protected by equal opportunity to aid in their hiring decisions, they can use photos of you being drunk, in itty-bitty bikinis, racially charged posts, political opinions (yes political postings are not protected by the first amendment, sorry), your personal drama or anything else that they believe conflicts with their culture against you. Oh, even if you have your profiles set to private, it’s still on the internet so once it’s posted, it’s free game (make sure your friends don’t have anything to gain by screenshotting your pages). Image result for dragrace gif
  • How to Sew – If a button pops off your favorite shirt, are you really going to trash it? No! At least you shouldn’t if you know how to fix it. Don’t take it to a tailor or beg your mom to do it, learn how to yourself and save time, money, and energy.Image result for sewing gif
  • How to Do Laundry – Again, my OCD could make for a whole post, but I’ll try to keep it short. If you live on your own, you will run out of clean clothes at some point and no one wants to be friends with the smelly kid. Learn your specific washing machine settings. Know to separate your clothes: whites on hot, darks on cold, your undies should be washed separately and those little mesh bags for your bras are a God send if you’re going to throw them into the washer and not hand wash them. Know that you shouldn’t be using fabric softener on your towels because it will mat them down and make them rough – you can save your rough towels by washing them in vinegar and hot water to remove fabric softener residue. Not everything can go into the dryer! Cotton will shrink in a high temp dryer so invest in a clothes rack to hang clothes to dry that are too delicate for your dryer.Image result for sheldon laundry gif
  • How to Sweep/Mop/Dust – Again, I was shocked when a younger employee of mine did not know how to mop a floor as Mommy or Daddy always did it for her. Dust your furniture before you sweep (please for the love of your furniture do not spray cleaner and then walk away, it will eat your finish off). Sweep all of that dust you just knocked into the floor off the floor. Then mop: traditional mop and bucket, Swiffer Spray and Mop, Steam Mop… whatever you have.Image result for schmidt cleaning gif
  • Importance of Your Credit and How to Run Your Credit Report – When you’re young, you don’t care about your credit because it’s seemingly meaningless. I get it. However, as an independent adult your credit will determine a mortgage loan, car loan, and possible employment outlook. Foreclosures, bankruptcies, repossessions, delinquent medical bills, late payments on bills and credit cards will all affect your credit score. Consumers have the right to receive a free annual copy of their credit report: http://www.equifax.com, http://www.experian.com, http://www.transunion.com, http://www.annualcreditreport.com, or Credit Karma. You can challenge things that may show up (like a family member used your social to open a credit card or put a utility in your name). It’s scary, but it happens more than people think.Image result for credit gif
  • Know How to Make Food That Doesn’t Come From a Microwavable Package – You need to know how to boil water at the very least. Learn to make pasta properly, eggs a few different ways, and not to burn your toast and you’ll be on your way. Oh, and please, for your health, know that you can’t serve chicken “medium rare” or any way other than cooked all the way through. Are you trying to give yourself salmonella poisoning?Image result for cooking gif
  • There’s a Warm Drawer on Your Oven – Ok, so this is taking the internet by surprise, but that drawer that you probably have your cookie sheets in under your oven, it actually has a purpose. It’s a Warm Drawer. It will keep your food warm until you’re ready to serve – will come in handy if you’re cooking a couple things that require 2 different oven temperatures. However, it’s not going to heat cold food. If you have a gas oven, you will probably know that drawer can make the things you’re storing in there incredibly hot, especially if they’re metal. Image result for oven warmer drawer gif
  • Importance of Recycling – People my age aren’t too big into recycling I have discovered. There’s nothing sexy about trash, I know this. However, I feel like a piece of trash if I toss something I know can be recycled. I was pissed when my local recycling company decided they were no longer accepting glass or plastics that were a number 3 or higher. They did decide that they weren’t going to make people continue to separate their recyclables into categories as a way to try to boost the amount of people who recycle. I will see red if I come home to find beer cans, food cans, milk containers in my trash, ask my fiance. I’m not asking people to purchase composting toilets, but let me put it this way: the less plastic or recyclable trash that goes into the trash, the less will end up in our water supplies which is poisoning ourselves, the less will end up in the ocean killing off beautiful animals and making your seafood taste disgusting. Image result for brie bella compost toilet gif
  •  Learn to Use a Computer – HR professionals will say that they’re tired of seeing people list computer skills like typing and Microsoft Office products on resumes because it’s common knowledge. Is it really? I have older adults who come through my program who have never touched a computer before because they’ve always worked in hard labor positions. I also see younger generations using their phone or tablet only and not knowing how to do things on a computer because they’ve only used their phone and it’s really just to check Facebook. Typing is a valuable transferable skill. Learn to do so with more than just two thumbs.Image result for computer gif
  • Learn to Write Without Text Speak – The next person who turns in an essay to me using “u” instead of writing out “you” should be horsewhipped. My fiance’s English teacher in high school predicted that texting would be the death of the English language and I believe she’s right. There is no room in the professional world for lazy writers. If you seriously can not respond to an email or write a report that does not contain things such as “lol” “j/k” “u” “b”, ok I can’t write anymore of that nonsense out, you will not make it in your career. While we’re at it, don’t use text speak while you’re actually talking! Don’t look at me after you’ve said something horrible and respond with “JK!” Image result for text speak gif
  • Know How to Work a Car – This means know how to change a flat tire, check and change your oil, and jump a car. Picture it, you’re out late driving home from work or a friend’s house and suddenly your tire blows. Hopefully you have AAA and you can call someone to change your tire for you, but you’re probably going to be waiting for at least an hour if they can even respond. In my state, they’re looking at de-funding Courtesy Patrol. It’d be quicker for you to do it yourself and get the hell home, don’t ya think?Image result for changing a tire gif
  • Know Your Social by Heart – Almost every application I see asks for your social. You need it at the doctor’s office, when applying for a credit card, opening up a bank account, and times you honestly think you wouldn’t need it. It’s strongly urged that you never carry your social on you unless you truly need to (like the employer needs a copy for your hired file). If you keep your social and driver’s license in the same wallet and you happen to lose that wallet, any stranger on the street would have everything they need in order to steal your identity. Keep it at home and put those 9 digits to memory.Image result for stating your social security number gif
  • How to Read and Write Cursive – A lot of schools have taken this out of their academic teachings, but I believe a parent should be teaching it at home if the education system isn’t going to do it for them. Your children will not know how to read historical documents or be able to sign their names to a contract, check, or employment application without this knowledge. Image result for reading cursive gif
  • How to Calculate Your Pay – There’s a business in my office building who was over paying their employees. The human error was caught in an audit and therefore employee paychecks were cut to correct the error. Can you imagine the hell that brought into my building? People cussed their bosses out and threw toddler temper tantrums down the hallway and past my office so I got to experience it in it’s full glory. Here’s the thing, if these employees knew how to calculate their pay and know roughly how much to deduct for taxes, they could have brought it to their employer’s attention much earlier and it wouldn’t have been a huge shock when the error was corrected. Image result for paycheck gif
  • How to File Taxes – It’s one of the privileges of being an adult. There’s a saying that goes, “I don’t have to do anything other than live, die, and pay taxes”. Oh how true it is. You can Google just about anything these days and how to file your taxes and which forms you need to be concerned with should be something you Google or YouTube. There are sites where you can file your taxes for free or discounted rates instead of paying those kids who had a week’s worth of training a small fortune to do it for you. Image result for paycheck gif
  • Why You Should Resign With Class – I love teaching how to resign appropriately because when this topic gets mentioned, there’s always at least one in every group I get who tells me how they quit because someone did them wrong or spoke to them “disrespectfully”. I’m here to tell you right meow that no one cares. When an interviewer asks you why you left your previous job and you start to tell them a little story about how you weren’t the favorite and you were picked on and spoke to rudely so you flipped your boss off and told them to take this job and shove it, who do you think looks bad? It’s not your former employer, they’re not even there to defend themselves. You just look like you’re going to be drama and difficult to work with. If you hate your job that much, do some off the clock job searching and once you’ve secured a new position, put in your two weeks notice and make sure you work those two weeks with grace and dignity, it’ll only look better on you and you might come out with an awesome letter of recommendation to use later.Image result for quitting your job gif
  • How to Forgive – I know, you’re not Jesus and you don’t have Alzheimer’s so therefore you don’t forgive and forget. I wish my older self would have told my younger self to forgive others, not because they deserve it (let’s be real, some people really don’t deserve forgiveness), but because you do. It will wear you out to carry that much hate in your heart for someone who isn’t worth the Charmin Extra Soft they wipe their ass with. They don’t care enough to apologize, and often times don’t think they have anything to apologize for *Hello every Ex I’ve ever Had* so you learn to accept that that’s who that person is and how they choose to operate. Fine, forgive them and move on – with them not in your life. Cut your losses and go.  Related image
  • Own a Tool Kit – Own it and know how to use it. At the very least, know the difference between a Philip’s head and flat head screwdriver. You can tighten that loose screw yourself, you can hang that picture or those curtains yourself. Fun fact, when you spend $500 on a new dining room table for Pier 1 Imports, you’ll have to screw the legs on yourself…unless you want to pay $150 for someone to deliver it, put it together, and haul the trash away. Image result for tools gif
  • Discover Your Telephone Voice – We have become so use to texting or emailing people that we have forgotten how to speak to people on the telephone. Also, as an adult, nothing turns someone off more than the fact that your mom is making your appointment for you.  I once witnessed a 45 year old male at an appointment with another agency and he completely ignored the person he had the meeting with as he was busy playing on his phone, but his mother was in tow to have the conversation for him. I told the worker he should have told the mother to pop her titty out her son’s mouth and have a seat in the car because he was a grown ass man and could talk to another adult about adult things by himself. I also had a boss when I was in high school who still lived at home and his mother would call the store and ask us to tell him that she made his hair appointment for him. You’re over the age of 18, you can make your own doctor’s appointments, hair appointments, and order your own Chinese without the help of a parent. Image result for telephone gif
  • Learn CPR/First Aid – 70% of emergencies happen at home and not in public where there’s a chance of a nurse or doctor shopping or having lunch or having a defibrillator in the building. Most people don’t want to be CPR certified because they’re scared that they will be sued if they see an emergency and don’t respond or if they do respond and they further injure the person. It’s not a thing, unless you live in Vermont. Most cases, you’re the only one there who knows that you’re certified so really it just becomes a case of personal ethics – can you live with yourself knowing that someone may have died and you could have helped them?Related image
  • Dressing Appropriately – You’re wearing your PJs because it was a quick trip to the store and you weren’t going to be gone long, right? You walked into class with sweatpants and the shirt you slept it because it’s just class and you’re just happy to be able to be up and get to class with your hangover, right? No… no no no.. NO! You never know who you’re going to run into when you’re out. You could run into no one, but as life has taught us, you will run into everyone you know when you’re wearing leggings, a strappy tank top, boots that are actually house slippers, and your hair that’s been styled by an egg beater. It could be your child’s teacher, the future love of your life, or a future employer. Stop dressing like a toddler or like you just left the tennis court or gym to run your errands. While we’re at it, leggings are not appropriate as pants. I know this Lularoe trend is happening and I’m not knocking it, but if your shirt does not cover your ass or your kitty cat, then you might want to switch to jeans. The other people out in public should not be subjected to your visible panty line, ass crack, camel toe or wrongly placed graphic print on your leggings. Image result for appropriate clothing gif
  • How to Detect Lies – This one is fun because most people lie through their teeth. I will never understand people who lie for no reason. I had someone tell me that they had a jeep at their parents house in another county. Ok, fine, you own a Jeep, to my knowledge you don’t even currently have a license – just to have their sibling bust them out – not only is the jeep the siblings, but the person has never had a driver’s license before in their life. Who does this crap? If you study communications or psychology you will probably learn how to detect a lie with subtle body language. When a person is lying to you, their eyes will normally look up and to the right. Why you may ask? The right side of your brain is your creative side, the left side is the logical side. If they look to the left, they’re trying to recall fact, if they look to the right, they’re trying to come up with more bull to feed you. Beware of people who can lie to you while looking you straight in the eye – that means they’re toxic.Image result for lie gif
  • How to Listen – The greater communicate is the one who talks less and listens more. A video went viral of a professor trying to teach a class about racism and she went off on a student who was told to listen, but instead sat there with her hand raised. The professor made a great point that the student wasn’t listening as when you have your hand raised your inner self is going over whatever it is that you want to ask or say and you’re only  actively listening for your name to be called. I know I’d get a lot more done at work if people listened to understand and didn’t listen to respond.Image result for listen gif
  • How to Defend Yourself – I am guilty of this one. I live in West Virginia and have never shot a gun, to be honest, I’m terrified that I would accidentally shoot myself. I even live in a conceal carry state and still, have never shot a gun. I’ve watched enough SVU to know to scratch the hell out of my attacker to get some DNA under my fingernails, but it shouldn’t get to that point. Basic self defense should just be something you make sure you have. You should know not to drink your drink if you’ve left it unattended I don’t care how nice that person you were talking to seems. You should know not to be on the phone while walking in a parking garage because while you think someone one try to attack you because you’re on the phone and that person can be a witness, it’s not going to deter them and you’ve made yourself an easy target because you’re not paying attention to your surroundings. Also, never go running or jogging while wearing headphones. So many runners go missing and end up dead and the thing they all have in common is they were listening to music. While it may power you through your workout, you’re not able to hear someone come up behind your or a car losing control beside you. Image result for AHS gif
  • Learn a New Language – Most of us take the required foreign language courses in high school just to be able to graduate. Speaking a second language fluently may be able to put an edge on yourself in a competitive work world. Yes, Spanish would come in handy in a lot of southern and western states, but what about French? What about American Sign Language? Food for thought.Image result for language gif
  • Learn to be a Host – Growing up, my mother would tell my friends where the food or drinks were and tell them to help themselves, she didn’t wait on me so she wasn’t going to wait on them. I understand that, but when you’re hosting other adults or families, attitudes seem to be a little different. You want to take coats, offer beverages, make them comfortable. When you show respect to your guests, they’ll respect you… and your home.Image result for welcome to our home gif
  • Stop Apologizing – People apologize for everything, so much so that “I’m Sorry” has seemingly lost it’s meaning. Does this sound familiar to anyone else, “I’m Sick” “Oh, I’m sorry..”, “My pet raccoon died today” “I’m so sorry!”, “Someone broke into my car and stole all of my pennies” “I’m sorry!” Are we really sorry for these things? No, we’re not. Let’s be honest, unless we gave them that plague like cold, killed their pet, or committed that B&E, then no, we’re not sorry. That’s also not what someone in that position wants to hear. Instead, add something to the conversation: “Oh, there’s a horrible cold going around. How about you go home and not share it with the rest of us and feel better.” “I hate to hear that your pet died, is there anything I can do for you?” “Bunch of damn good for nothing thieves! Why the pennies!? I hope you called the cops and your insurance agent.” Image result for apologizing  gif
  • Know When to Apologize – Just like not apologizing for something you have nothing to do with, you should know when to apologize. You bumped into someone’s car while backing out at the store. You spilled wine on your friend’s white blouse you borrowed and just so happened to be wearing during the spill. You broke a glass at your mother in laws. You ate the last cookie instead of offering to split it. You slept with someone’s boyfriend/girlfriend. Yeah, you should apologize for these things. Image result for apologizing  gif
  • Ask for Help – Subtle modesty does not become most people. If you don’t understand how to do something at work and what’s being taught to you by a professor, please ASK FOR HELP. Don’t preface either by saying, “I know I’m annoying you with all of my questions” or “I hope you don’t get mad that I’m asking” first of all, at work or school it’s someone’s job to make sure that you know what’s being taught and that you understand how to do your job properly – they’re paid to answer your questions so unless they want that paycheck to no longer exist, they will happily answer your questions. I would rather someone ask me 100 questions and fully understand how to do something than act like they understood, mess up, and I have to find a way to try to fix it. If you’re down on your luck and you’ve lost your job, your home, your family or anything else like that – it’s ok to ask for help. There are so many organizations that are available to help you get on your feet and assist you, but you won’t know that until you ask.Image result for ask for help gif
  • How to Give/Receive a Compliment – These go hand in hand. I feel like women especially have a hard time receiving a compliment because we feel like we have to one up each other. “I like your shirt” “Oh, thanks! I really like those shoes. Are they new?” “No, I just found them in my closet, but let’s talk about your hair. It’s perfect!” It’s a nasty little game of who can get the last compliment in and the one who gets the last one in, wins. Why do we do this? Do not give a compliment to receive a compliment. You should only put out a compliment if you are being sincere. If someone compliments you, say “thank you”, don’t feel compelled to have to give one back. “You like my hair? Thanks. My friend Sally has her own shop on D Street. I can give you her number if you would like.” Not hard ladies. Image result for compliment gif
  • How to Respond to Criticism – I see this being one of the most valuable skills we can develop, but you have to start early… young.. real young.. I read a quote from Patrick Murphy which stated, “uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. Let your kids get use to someone being tough of them. It’s life. Get over it.” This is the day where participation trophies reign supreme. Teachers are afraid to criticize a child for poor performance because they’re terrified of having a room full of pissed off parents wondering why the teacher doesn’t like little Johnny. People think Abby Lee Miller is a monster because she criticizes children and their performance, work ethic, and professionalism. I may not agree with her screaming, but kids should get use to the fact they’re not perfect little angels who do no wrong and there’s always room for improvement. Being able to sit there, listen to the criticism (regardless of whether or not you believe it’s true), and applying the changes your supervisor or instructors want to see is not a bad thing. It will not always be your way and you have to be open to change.Image result for abby lee miller gif
  • How to Tie a Tie – Clip on ties will not do in the professional world. They are easy to spot and can send the message that you’re laid back, don’t take yourself or your job seriously enough to learn to tie a freaking tie, or that you don’t respect the situation that calls for a tie: prom, formals, induction ceremonies, graduation, interviews, work, funerals… I believe there’s a lot of life situations that require tying a damn tie. Watching a 5 minute YouTube tutorial video won’t kill you. Image result for suit and tie gif
  • Knowing Your Bra Size – Laugh all you want, but ladies who wear the battle scars of an improperly fitted bra know that’s no laughing matter. There’s actually at least 8 health effects, some dangerous, from wearing the wrong sized bra: breast pain, back pain, sagging breast, shoulder and neck pain, blockage of the lymph nodes, it can ruin your posture, may trigger breast cancer, and can cause skin abrasions. Again, tons of tutorials and a little simple math can prevent this if you’re too shy or embarrassed to go to a department store and be measured. Image result for dolly parton gif
  • How to Shake Someone’s Hand – I’ve had people ask if they really have to shake someone’s hand at an interview. The answer is yes, why wouldn’t you? Germaphobic? Don’t know where their hand’s been? Well they don’t know where your hand has been either. It’s trust that you washed your hand before meeting them. If you’re that worried about germs, avoid touching your face during the interview or while talking with this person you’ve just introduced yourself to and carry some hand sanitizer to use when you’re finished speaking to them – or excuse yourself to the restroom afterwards to wash your hands. Most importantly, master a firm handshake – not a sweaty limp fish shake or that manicure shake where you grab someone by the nails and shake. Image result for handshake gif
Product Review

TubShroom Money Saver – A Review

I told myself that when I started my blog, I was going to do some good honest product reviews and suggestions as I hate when people lie to me to get me to buy something – did I mention I have a 2 degrees in PR/Advertising? Ha!

One of the latest things that I bought because the infomercial was just too magical to ignore was the TubShroom. I know you have seen this thing:

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See!? Familiar right? So I guess I was curious if this little thing actually worked or if it was going to be a worthless piece of plastic I was going to chuck into the trash.

Guess what y’all?! IT WORKS! It truly is magical!

Some background: I am part Cherokee. I have thick heavy hair that I normally throw into some kind of bun thing on top of my head for work so it’s out of my way.

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Anywho… did you know that on average you lose up to 100 hairs daily? When you wear your hair up all day, they don’t just scatter the about. They will normally dislodge themselves when you finally allow your Rapunzel tresses to come flowing down and for me that normally doesn’t happen until it’s time to shower. Here is where the clogged drain comes into play. I would have to snake the drain or try to unclog it which would normally mean going out to and buying Drano or some other type of pipe clearing chemical.

My issues with that is A) I’m going out and spending money on something that is literally going straight down the drain. I hate wasting money. Marketing evil geniuses I tell you. B) I don’t like chemicals! I don’t want to breathe them, I don’t want my dog around them. There’s enough pollution out there that I don’t need to be adding to it. C) If you’ve tried the “natural” method of baking soda and vinegar, you know that only works so well. It might work on a small, barely slowing down the water flow, clog. It’s NOT working if it appears that a Wookie took a bath in your tub.

So this little TubShroom is a little rubber lifesaver! Or money saver I should say! I purchased mine from Amazon back in November for $10.39. I chose grey. I felt like it was a good neutral choice for my bathroom and didn’t scream out against my chrome fixtures. This little baby does it’s job! All the hair that went down the drain was wrapped around the base and stayed out of my drain! Something you will have to do after each shower (or before the next, whatever rubs your Buddha), you will need to clean the hair off of it. If you let it go for a couple days, you’re going to see that your tub will be fill with water and won’t drain as quickly because the drain holes in the base of the TubShroom are clogged with hair and water can’t pass through. One itty bitty set back, but, here it is at the end of March and I have not poured chemicals down my drain in 4 months when I was having to do it once every 3-4 weeks.

At my local Target, a 32oz. bottle of Drano is $4. You use half to a whole bottle per treatment depending on how bad your clog is. That means $4 every 3-4 weeks. I could have easily spent $12-$16+ on Drano in 4 months time. I didn’t. I spent less than that on a little piece of rubber that isn’t polluting the water supply, damaging my pipes, or releasing toxic chemicals into the air me and my family are breathing. So worth it people! If you were every questioning whether or not this little thing is worth it, it is! Every penny!

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