baby, Opinion, Uncategorized

Don’t Put Your Faith Into Gender Old Wive’s Tales

A few months ago, my husband and I were over the moon delighted to find out we were pregnant! I faithfully used the Flo app on my phone to chart and analyze BBT and CM and all of these other crazy things that you just don’t think about until you’re really trying to conceive. I charted every menstrual symptom you can possibly have for the entire month of May (I really got down to being serious in May after no luck in March and April). Let me pause here. Flo is a free app. I downloaded it when I went off birth control in October and used it to chart my cycles, but this thing has a lot of features, and has some good articles based off of what you input into it. I know they have fancy gadgets with fancy apps now for tracking ovulation and getting pregnant, but before you throw down major bucks that you may not have – give Flo a try.

June 1st was calculated to be the first day of my period. I just so happened to have a digital pregnancy test handy at the house from where we had been trying so as I got ready for work, I took it. I didn’t think anything of it, I was so convinced I was about to start my period anyway (little did I know at the time that those period cramps I thought I was getting was really implantation) and low and behold I picked up that test and it was a BFP (Big Fat Positive!) I freaked out, I cried, my husband was still asleep in the next room. I took a picture of it on my phone because I didn’t believe it. I thought I was seeing things. I went to work, had a normal day, but rushed to Target as soon as I got off and bought another 2 pack of tests (Clear Blue – one with the old school plus sign and one digital). Did I tell anyone? Nope. I wanted more confirmation that I wasn’t crazy before I said anything. I took the old school test first thing the next morning and there wasn’t a lot happening with that plus sign. I ran some errands, got some food with my husband, and took the digital one around noon and as soon as the test got wet it popped back with a “Pregnant”. Again, another photo was needed. So I decided, that was all of the proof I needed – 2.5 positive pregnancy tests. I planned how I was going to tell my husband that evening and did so in the cutest little special way (to us at least). He was a happy shocked, he hugged me, I cried. The next day we told our parents. After my first doctor’s appointment we told my siblings and then after my first trimester, we told the world.

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I wanted a girl. I wanted a girl sooooo bad! My family wanted a girl. There are already 2 grandson’s and a girl was what everyone was waiting on. I wanted someone to do their hair, makeup, buy frilly pink things for, take to dance class, and be my Disney Princess who inherit my entire childhood full of dolls and collector Barbies.

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My husband said he didn’t really care, but I still think he was on team blue. My dad is an OBGYN and will tell you that no matter what you do, there’s a 50/50 shot on gender. Well, technically, there’s a 51% chance you’ll have a girl and 49% chance you’ll have a boy, but you get the picture.

I didn’t want to hear that there was nothing I could do to tip the scales in my favor. I researched and read every article that claimed if you eat this, do this, don’t do that, you’ll have a girl and followed them religiously.

When I got pregnant I started really paying attention to my symptoms and getting in tune with what was happening and here’s where the Old Wive’s Tales on Gender come into play. We’ve all heard them, some may be true for some but in all honesty, they’re just for fun and you can’t put an ounce of faith into them at all, but you can still hope and pray that there’s some truth to them.

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Morning Sickness: If you have it, it’s a girl, if you’re not sick, it’s a boy


They say if you have horrible morning sickness it’s a girl and if you’re lucky to escape it, it’s a boy. Well, first of all, let’s clarify “sickness”. You do not have to be throwing up everything but your shoes to have “morning sickness”. Morning sickness can be nausea and no vomiting. This was my case. I was so nauseous all day and night. I didn’t want to eat, the idea of food sometimes just made me more ill. I had a horrible aversion to meat. The thought of meat, look of it, smell of it, would make it worse. My husband grilled his food outside and ate it outside so I didn’t actually throw up. One day I had a burrito bowl from Chipotle and felt ok. I was going to take the leftovers for lunch and as I grabbed them out of the refrigerator the thought of guacamole and hard leftover rice consumed my soul and I thought I was going to throw up right then and there – I still feel this way about Chipotle – I will eat tacos and burritos from anywhere but I won’t touch Chipotle. I sympathize with women who spend a lot of the pregnancy (especially the first trimester) throwing up because that sounds like no one’s idea of a good time, but really, I felt like if I would have just been able to throw up I would have felt sooo much relief. Then I’m reminded of Kate Middleton and how she was stricken with horrible morning sickness in all three of her pregnancies and decided that maybe the nausea isn’t that bad after all.

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I give myself a big fat CHECK in the Morning Sickness Box: Girl

Baby’s Heart Rate: Anything over 140 is a girl, under 140, it’s a boy

At my first doctor’s appointment the heart rate was 170. At my last appointment when they were able to tell the gender, I was at 146. Please understand that your baby’s heart rate will be higher and will drop the more it develops – that’s normal, don’t be alarmed and think something’s wrong with the baby.

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Heart Rate: Girl

Carrying the Baby: High it’s a girl, Low it’s a boy

Alrighty, so I wasn’t a little skinny mini when I got pregnant, I already had a bit of pooch in my belly area (I like to think this is happy newlywed weight, don’t judge). When my baby bump started showing I was surprised that it seemed like I was getting bigger in the top of my belly rather than my lower belly considering that’s where the baby is. My husband touches around and above my belly button all the time saying “gosh, it’s tight! It’s like a drum!” For the record, my husband is allowed to touch the bump. I don’t know how I feel about others randomly coming up to me and wanting to touch my stomach.

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Position of Baby Bump: Girl

Mom’s Cravings: Sweet it’s a girl, Salty it’s a boy

FOOD! Oh it’s a pregnant woman’s DREAM, well, when you get past the feeling sick part.

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When I first got pregnant I wanted SWEET stuff and I wanted it ICE COLD. Think: popsicles, frozen fruit, juices with ice, cereal with ice cold milk. I had to run out and get a Berry Cheesequake Blizzard from DQ because it was the cold, icy, fruit sweetness that I craved and had to have. Then it started to progress into carbs and sweets: potatoes of all kinds, breads with real cream butter, danish, bagels, cookies, brownies, cake, cheesecake, donuts (but only from Donut Connection not those airy lack of substance Krispy Kreme ones). One night all I wanted for dinner was a corndog, cereal, and lime jello… so that’s what I did…

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Here lately the cravings have been for things of my childhood and things I haven’t had a for a long time: Big Macs, potato soup from Shoney’s salad bar, pan pizza crust from Pizza Hut (no other pizza will do and to be real, I just want the crust – that buttery delicious crust), Jello 1-2-3 (which is discontinued and makes my heart hurt), but I still want juices and all the sweets.

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I honestly don’t have a thing for salt. I think being pregnant makes the salt more pronounced so now if I eat anything that does have salt in it, it REALLY stands out like I just licked a block of salt. So gross.

Cravings: Girl

Sleeping On a Certain Side: Right it’s a girl, Left it’s a boy

This one I don’t put anything into because of my personal medical reasons. I HAVE to sleep on my left side. I have a pinched nerve or something in my lower back on my right side. I feel it all of the time, but it’s livable, however, when it flares up I can’t move. The only way that it doesn’t feel inflamed and like I’ve been shot or stabbed is if I sleep on my left side. I slept on my left side before I got pregnant and I still have to. I try when I can to get some right side in, especially now that I have one those glorious pregnancy body pillows. To no avail, it really starts to hurt and I have to switch to my left.

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Sleeping on the Left: Boy

Beauty: Stolen it’s a girl, Glowing it’s a boy

They say that little girls steal their mothers’ beauty. In my first and into my second trimester that could be correct. Or it could just be hormones. I feel like everything is just puffy – face, fingers, feet, belly, boobs… everything… I have that double chin thing going on and even my nose looks wider. I have more breakouts and they don’t just occur on your face either. On top of breaking out more, you can’t use acne treatment that has salicylic acid, BHA, Differin, Retinol, Tazorac, or anything related to these things in it because they’re linked to birth defects. I tried a cream cleanser from Burt’s Bees but I just don’t like it – it smells almost medicinal and doesn’t feel like it washes off clean. Also, you’re advised not to use cream hair removers and your skin is more sensitive so waxing may cause a lot more pain than normal. You get the pleasure of walking around like a zitty, hairy, puffy, monster.

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Beauty Has Been Stolen: Girl

Attitude: Moody it’s a Girl, Happy it’s a Boy

At my first doctor’s appointment, my husband asked the medical assistant when do I get to the point where I’ll become nicer. She said when the baby turns 18. I blame this one on hormones SO HARD. I cry at EVERYTHING. My husband pointed out how big my boobs have gotten and I cried feeling like a freak of nature. I cried at my kitchen not being clean to my standards. I have cried during the beginning of UP, during episodes of SVU, at the World Wildlife Federation commercials (but really, I cried at those before I was pregnant and I still got mad at the thought that some jackass is filming that snow leopard with it’s paw in the trap instead of helping it). I get SO MAD SO QUICKLY. I will go to zero to a hundred in .02 seconds. I will snap and say mean things. My tolerance for stupidity is non-existent. I am so easily annoyed and have no filter. But when no one is pissing me off and I’m fed I’m oh so very happy.

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Attitude Moody AF: Girl

Mayan Calendar: Both Even or Odd it’s a Girl, One Even and One Odd it’s a Boy

Ok, so the Mayan Gender Calendar predicts gender based off of your age at conception and the number of the month in which you conceived. If your age and month are both even or if they’re both odd then they predict you’ll have a girl. If your age is even and the month is odd (or vice versa) then you’re predicted to have a boy. Age of conception for me was 33, month of conception is 5 – both odd numbers.

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Mayan Prediction: Girl

Chinese Calendar

I don’t even know how to explain how the Chinese came up with this chart for predicting gender… and I’m not going to try… so I’ll just post it up here:

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Chinese Prediction: Girl

Key Test: Grab by the Narrow End it’s a girl, Grab by the Wide end it’s a boy

To me, I think this should be reversed, but hey, that’s just me. They say to lay a key on a table and if you go to pick it up and you grab the key by the narrow end (the part that goes into the door) it’s a girl. If you grab it by the wide end (the part you hold to turn) that it’s a boy.

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Key Test: Girl

Ring Test: Circles it’s a girl, Swings Back n Forth it’s a boy

This one fascinates me. I think it’s because the ring can be completely still and then suddenly start to move. Now that could just be the fact that I don’t have steady hands, but that’s ok. I’ve also seen some predictors that say it will circle for a boy and swing back and forth for a girl so who’s to say who’s actually right in this case. So I’m just going to go with the one above. The tale is that if you put your wedding band on a piece of string (some even say a strand of your hair) and place it over your baby bump that it will begin to move and whether it circles or sways that it will predict the gender of your baby.

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Ring Test: Girl

Hands: Soft and Warm it’s a girl, Dry and Cold it’s a Boy

If your hands are soft and warm (especially warmer than usual, bonus if your feet are hot too) then it’s said to be that you’re having a girl. If your hands are cold and dry and you feel yourself running for the hand cream, it’s a boy. My extremities have been warmer and I thank my Cherokee heritage that they’re soft from our naturally oily skin. However, keep in mind that the more pregnant you become and the more frequent your bathroom trips become, your hands are probably going to get a little dry from frequent washing.

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Hands Warm and Pillowy Soft: Girl

Out of 12 of the most famous Old Wive’s Tales for Predicting Gender we have:

11 for a girl       1 for a boy

Good thing I didn’t run out and start buying all pink based on these because we just found out we’re having a BOY!!!

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I think everyone was worried about me being disappointed that it was a boy. Hell, I was worried that I was going to be disappointed that it was a boy because we had all wanted a girl so bad. My husband says he didn’t care as long as it’s healthy, but I secretly think he wanted a boy all along and my FIL in over the moon that it’s a boy and his last name will carry on. But when you feel that little baby move for the first time and you’re sure it was a movement and not just indigestion – a real flutter of movement and you see their little hand on that screen wave at you and their little heart beating, it really doesn’t matter what color you’re painting your nursery. In the end, you’ll have a happy healthy baby – the only person alive who knows what your heart sounds like from the inside and that’s just beautiful.

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Opinion, Romance, Story

It’s All About That Right Wedding Music

My husband and I got married back in October. To this day, people are still talking about my wedding playlist and asking how we came up with such an eclectic assortment. I didn’t want the norm, I can tell you that much. I didn’t want to be a cookie cutter bride with everything looking like I bought it at Michaels or Hobby Lobby. In fact, I made the majority of my centerpieces. I had a Disney themed wedding, each table with a different Disney movie or park attraction theme. I had no bridesmaids or groomsmen but a single flower girl who wore a sweet simple pink dress and a floral and wire Mickey ear headband that I had made. My husband’s tie clip had a hidden Mickey on it. My husband was a very sweet sport about it, considering all little girls start planning their wedding from childhood and we all have a vision of what we want. As long as we took our honeymoon at the beach, anything for the wedding was free game.

The “Sit Around and Wait” Music

I am not one of those people who is going to make people sit for God knows how long listening to classical music. A boring sonata or two may have given people the impression that this was an uptight, elegant affair. What better way to give people a glimpse into the theme and suck them in than having this music that’s normally boring and stuffy turn into music that played on my theme? I opted to have classic Disney tunes on piano play.

Parents Processional

My father in law walked my husband’s stepmother in, my nephew walked my mother and my mother in law in to “When You Wish Upon a Star”. At the beginning of all Disney movies, they play a rif from this song while you see the Tinkerbell and Cinderella’s Castle. I knew it was perfect and sweet and went along with the theme.

Flower Girl Processional

I wanted my flower girl to have a sweet special moment to herself. I had her walk down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Why you may ask? This one had special meaning to me and my husband. One of my favorite movies of all time is The Wizard of Oz. When my husband officially asked me to be his girlfriend, he took me out to dinner at one of the fanciest restaurants in all of Charleston. When we went home, we cuddled up and watched The Wizard of Oz and during the movie, he officially asked me to be his girlfriend (aaaawwwwwww!!!!!) So it was very important to me to have this song in our wedding.

The Bride Processional

I’ve never been one to conform to traditional in what people would probably expect. I was not walking down to the damn wedding march or Cannon D. Nope, not me. I’ve been to too many weddings where that has been the song of choice and the majority of them have ended up with people being miserable or just ended. I chose to go with a song, written by my first love George Harrison, that has often been said to be “the most romantic song a man could sing to a woman” and man do I agree! I didn’t want words sang though as I walked down the aisle because what happens if I start singing??? What happens if I end on a weird part of the song??? We didn’t do a rehearsal so I wasn’t chancing weird things happening. Instead what I got was a sweet moment with me and my dad. I tried not to cry, and I didn’t get teary eyed until he gave me away and gave my hand a firm squeeze before he sat down (and QUE the waterworks now as I write this!)

The Recessional Music

There’s that “send off” moment when everything is said and done and you’re now legally wed and you just need a song that ‘gets’ it. This song for me was “Cupid” by Sam Cooke. I remember watching Innerspace when I was younger and having such a crush on Dennis Quaid (don’t act like you didn’t for a minute either). He was so handsome, and the moment this song starts playing and his towel gets caught in the cab door and he’s left to stand in the middle of the road naked while his true love leaves :::sigh::: but I feel like this song kind of resonated with me and my husband. When we met, I wasn’t looking for a relationship and I was very naive on picking up on those “Hey, I really like you” signs he was laying down. I almost feel like he said a little prayer to Cupid for me to get it.

Announcing the Bridal Party

Yeah, I went a little hipster I quess with this. “Uptown Funk” by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars is just FUN and it’s like “Hell YEAH” we’re about to have a great time!!!! That and the fact that our parents are in their 50’s-70’s made it that much more hilarious on my part to see them enter with this. Oh yeah, and my dad also got a little preview of the music and did a hilarious little jig to this on his front porch, so, yeah, it just had to happen because that’s all I was going think about when this song played.

Bride and Groom Entrance Music

Did I really Rick Roll my wedding? Depends on how you look at it. “Never Gonna Give You Up” is actually mine and my husband’s song! Who knew right?! Where did we come up with that song???? Well, we were watching Family Guy one night and it was when Peter and Lois meet and go to the dance at the country club and it’s a very Back to the Future type of moment. It dawned on me while they’re talking about “songs” that me and my husband didn’t have a “song”. I didn’t know if people even still had “songs”. Brian is starts belting out Rick Astley and my husband lovingly says “that’s it!” What????? Really??? YES!!!! I loved this song since my childhood and he liked it too and it just made sense. 80’s one hit wonder becoming our song? Done…

First Dance

Anyone who knows me, knows my life long obsession with David Bowie and Labyrinth is REAL. Like, I watch that movie at least 10 times a year, I have a Jarreth doll, I wore out my VHS copy, the soundtrack was the first CD I ever owned, the nickname for my dog is Lady Dinnimus because she looks a little like Sir Dinnimus. She just does… I had also recently turned my husband onto David Bowie as he believes Lazarus is one of the best, trippiest music videos he’s ever seen. It just made sense that our first dance had to be to “As the World Falls Down” by David Bowie.

Father Daughter Dance

Get me right in the feels with a special wedding moment. Here in West by God, a lot of girls choose overly sappy songs like “Butterfly Kisses” or some sad as hell country song that will make most guests slit their wrists with rusty spoons and hang themselves by their burlap table runners. Again, not me! I didn’t pick out my Father Daughter dance song, my daddy did and I think that it has soooo much more meaning that way. His song of choice was “Pretty Maids In a Row” by The Eagles. Honestly, I think he chose this song because we both love The Eagles and because it has lyrics such as “why must we grow up so fast?” “and the story book comes to a close, gone are the ribbons and bows”.

Mother Son Dance

My husband is not big on this kind of stuff, he’s not big on dancing, sappy songs, or anything that is traditional wedding. I played him 100s of songs and the one we settled on was “In My Life” by The Beatles. We’re both fans of The Beatles, and let’s be real, it’s just a good song.


I did do corny with my Cake Cutting song, not going to lie. I like Maroon 5, I like happy sweet poppy goodness. I just think of weddings when I hear “Sugar” by Maroon 5. So I chose this song, it was our cake cutting song, and months later is when my husband tells me he hates Maroon 5…

Bouquet Toss

Most people would choose “Girls Just Want to Have Fun” or “Single Ladies”. I love me some Cyndi Lauper. I hate Beyonce. That’s right. I said it. I think Beyonce is overrated, overhyped, and I just can’t. “Single Ladies” reminds me of being in my 20’s and watching lonely single girls feel better about themselves. Not my cup of tea. Instead, I went with “John Wayne” by Lady Gaga. My mother pointed out that this song really don’t have anything to do with being single or whatever, but I didn’t care. I wanted “Move Bitch” by Ludacris and she told me it was too vulgar. She never really listened to the lyrics to “John Wayne”, but to me it described how I felt when I met my husband. I was sick of the everyday guys because they had been all the same and now I have my wild as hell husband who knows no fear is forever keeping me on my toes. Like when we ended up at the hospital getting his face stitched up on Easter… or when I come home and he’s bought a $550 weight set… constant surprises. All girls want that right?

Garter Toss

How can you have a “sexy” moment in a wedding and have it NOT include Prince??? Is it even a wedding if Prince doesn’t play??? I don’t think so. So not only did we have Prince, but it was “Kiss” because of course it was. Do I really even have to explain in depth why you need Prince in your wedding? Didn’t think so..

Sweet Moments

When planning your wedding, people will tell you it goes by fast, and they’re not kidding. I feel like there was half of a room of people I didn’t get to talk to, my grandfather snuck out at some point and I don’t know when that happened, people will pull you in 5,000 different directions for photos and event moments, and speeches and people don’t want to stay at a wedding for the full 6 hours you paid for the DJ. So you need to take a few moments to yourself and those you love. I did this with a few songs. One was “September” and “Land Down Under” for my oldest nephew because they are inside jokes between the two of us and that child decided he was “too old” to dance at a wedding with his aunt.

Another moment that I loved is when my aunt and I hit the dance floor to “Marry Me” by Dolly Parton. It was the only country song that played and I know it came out of NO WHERE for people so let me explain. My original theme for my wedding was kind of like a Sweet Home Alabama feel. My grandmother, who unfortunately passed before I got married, introduced me to Dolly Parton and we loved watching her movies so Dolly has a special place in my heart.

Another band that I absolutely love is Fleetwood Mac. Stevie Nicks is my inner witchy gypsy soul come to life. I love her version of “Crystal” that she did for Practical Magic and when that song came on, I found my husband and pulled him to the dance floor and made him dance with me because I felt like after all of the photos and little traditional wedding get together times, that we had not spent our reception together at all. I needed my husband and I needed him with my Stevie

So there you have it. My wedding soundtrack. I hope that answers some questions for those who have asked, inspires some who are freaking out over these details, and makes those of you who weren’t there feel like you were.

Opinion, Story, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day When You’re Trying To Become a Mom

Mother’s Day is suppose to be a time to celebrate the sweet ones who birthed us or raised us. Sometimes though, it’s a painful reminder. If you’ve lost a parent, lost a child, or are trying to have a child, seeing all of these cheerful posts can hurt.

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After my mom lost her mother in 2014, she had us stop celebrating Mother’s Day with her. It was a painful reminder to her that she couldn’t call her mom, send her a card, or tell her Happy Mother’s Day. Almost four years later, it’s safe to say she’s still in the Anger phase of grief, I can’t blame her – but more on that later. My mom tells us that she doesn’t need a special day of the year to feel our love and I fully agree with that statement.

When Motherhood is a sorority that you’re desperately trying to pledge to, rejection can be hard. I read an article this morning that if you’ve only been trying for 8 months that you have no cause to complain, but I’m going to have to disagree.

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Trying to plan a pregnancy is hard, especially when you have so many items that could be going against you. They say look at your mom and her pregnancies to get an idea of your own. My mom took fertility drugs to get pregnant with me because she didn’t ovulate and she desperately wanted to get pregnant. With my brother, she wasn’t planning, didn’t think she could with all of the difficulties she had with me, and of course when she wasn’t trying or thinking about it, she got pregnant.

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I was also on birth control for 21 years. Yeup, that’s correct – 21 years. I was put on it when I was 11 to regulate my cycles because 4 periods a month was more than me or my parents could take as I was a little angsty. I tried several different oral contraceptives, but was on the Nuvaring for like 9-10 years. Naturally, I was naive thinking everything I read about “oral birth control” wrecking havoc on your body couldn’t possibly have anything to do with me because I wasn’t on oral birth control.

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When my husband and I got married, I took out my Nuvaring and never looked back. You hear all of these wonderful things about how you’ll lose weight and your body will go back to normal, you’ll have a sex drive again. Well, some of these things are true. In my case, I gained weight, my hormones have gone crazy, acne, facial hair, emotions are all out of whack. If your sex drive goes up and through the roof then you cry thinking your husband will have nothing to do with you because you’re a fat, hair, pimply, wildebeest.

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I went off in October. I had a normal 28 day cycle in November and December. In January I was late. I was nauseous, my breasts hurt, my back hurt, I could smell everything, I peed all the time, every sign in the world was pointing to “you’re pregnant AF”. I ran out and bought all different kinds of pregnancy tests. All of them came back negative.

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Confused and defeated, I was told “well, maybe you tested too early. You need to wait a week”. I waited a week, tested again – first thing in the morning – negative. I didn’t get my period in February either.

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I began to freak out. What was wrong with my body? I started to research the internet, anything I could get my hands on. I kept seeing articles where if you had been on birth control, it could take a year or more for your body to begin ovulating again. That the periods I could have had in November and December were flukes, they were left overs from where my body had been on autopilot for so long. I finally got my period back in March. In April when I started feeling those same familiar feelings of nausea and fatigue, I took more tests… all negative.. then I got my period.

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Everything still pointed to “it’s going to take a year for your body to go back to normal”. At 33, I didn’t want to hear that it could be a year before I could even really begin trying to have a baby.

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This isn’t how I planned things. Life never goes as planned though right? In my 20’s I thought I’d be married by like 27-28, have my first baby or at least be pregnant by 30. I didn’t like the idea of being an “old mom”. In my 20’s, I finished college, started a long “career” in retail due to an economy collapse which made PR jobs a nightmare to land, especially in a non-urban area like in WV, and completed a master’s degree. I started going to bars and living that life – all of my friends went to bars, I dated here and there until I met someone who I thought was going to be “real”. Turned out he was a real loser – no career goals or ambition, a drug problem he tried to hide, cheating he did an even worse job of hiding, verbally and emotionally abusive, and just made a fool of me for 4 years.

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When I finally found my inner bad bitch and walked away I felt… free… I didn’t have someone blowing up my cell phone accusing me of all the things they themselves were doing. I didn’t have to question every girl who was on his Facebook or the Plenty of Fish profile he told me hadn’t been active in 5 years (coughlifecough) or any female who bumrushed him in public really… most importantly, I was no longer the “crazy ‘ex’ girlfriend who refused to believe it was over” or whatever lie he was telling girls as to why his relationship status hadn’t changed to single. I was FREE for the first time in 4 years and it felt AMAZING. I felt like a crippled bird who learned to fly again.

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I was going to do ME for a change. I started working out and losing weight. I quit smoking. I wasn’t going to bars as much as I was hanging out with friends and re-connecting with people. If a rebound happened in that then oh well. I needed to find ME again and did what I had to do to feel something for myself again. I also started to think about my future. I made appointments to see houses as I was in the market for real estate.

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I showed up to my first ever real estate appointment and when I was expecting an older guy with a potbelly and several grandkid photos in his wallet and ended up meeting a young athletic guy with blonde hair and bright blue eyes and a killer smile. I thought this guy has to have a girlfriend so any romantic thoughts were kicked out of my head. At the end of our appointment, he Facebooked me. I started receiving text from him that I could have sworn were meant for his friends and not me. It really did not dawn on me that this guy was into me at all. Even our first date was not something I was suspecting as a date. Maybe it was because I wasn’t use to being thought of in any real way. Maybe it’s because I never thought a guy would try so hard to get me to come over to make dinner for me.

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Almost five years later we have: bought 2 homes, become landlords, adopted a doggie, made career changes, started businesses, suffered loss and tragedy, gotten engaged, gotten married, and began planning a family. I never thought 5 years ago that I would have someone in my life that I wanted all of this with after everything I had gone through. My husband is truly my best friend, my other half. He’s my person. Words cannot describe how in love I am with my husband. A little of him, a little of me would make one gorgeous creature. We have discussed baby names, nursery themes, we agree 100% on how we want our children to be raised…

And every time a pregnancy test comes back negative it’s a soul crushing ‘oh wait… not your turn”.

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I have loaded up on prenatal vitamins, Vitamin D, and as we’re trying to have a girl, I’ve taken to a gender friendly diet (at least according to 1000 different articles on the internet), I have red raspberry leaf tea on my next grocery list. I have 2 different ovulation trackers on my phone and log BBT, cervical mucus, all activity, and all symptoms.

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Still, I feel bitter. I feel jealous. I feel a sense of unfairness that some figure from above has decided it’s not the right time for me… I feel pissed that medical professionals say “well, you haven’t even been trying for a full year yet so…. you can’t be upset…”.

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I know that we have yet to be labeled “infertile” or “reproductively challenged” so others may be shaking their head telling me I don’t know heartache in this department yet, but maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge because you either haven’t been here or worse, you have been here.

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I hope that this is the last babyless Mother’s Day, and my thoughts and heart are out there to all of the hopeful Some Day Mommas.

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Opinion, Romance, Story, Uncategorized

Musical Budget Date Night Idea

Why is it that some of the best “date” nights really just involve basically staying at home?

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My husband and I are not the people who like to go out on date night once a week or twice a month or whatever people do. We work Monday-Friday and because he owns his own business, the work never truly ends. When I get home on Friday I don’t want to go out. I want to put on comfy pants and rescue my boobs from boob jail and have a beer or a glass of wine or a glass of whatever strikes my fancy at the time. Saturday is the busiest night ever to go out and I don’t want to deal with crowds of rude people. We’re not a chain restaurant people anyways. Going out can also be fancy and expensive. Getting all dolled up to spend $100 at dinner or $50 on a movie is just not my idea of a good time.

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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized what a homebody I really am. I also realized how much I like cheap tasty bad for me food. When I was starting to diet and exercise for our wedding, we started doing a once a week cheat meal on Fridays. I’ve cooked all week, I’ve worked all week, I want a night to relax with some guilty pleasures. This is our night to get pizza, Chinese, Mexican, to go from one of our favorite local restaurants (I *will* but doing reviews on our favorite local spots) or the one fast food staple we’ll actually eat, Taco Bell.

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Random side story on Taco Bell. As I stated before, we are not really a chain food people, we’re not even really fast food people. Our idea of fast food is Panera. I hadn’t had Taco Bell in probably 5 years or something crazy like that. All of a sudden, I started seeing commercials for their $5 Cravings Box. I don’t know why but I wanted one. I wanted one so bad. Little did I know, my husband’s dirty little mind was thinking the same thing. We drive to Taco Bell and order the Cravings Box and this neat little fast food present was full of nacho chips, a burrito supreme, crunchy taco, and a cheesy gordita crunch. All of that plus a drink, it’s SUCH a good deal and SO much food! I however I’m not a big fan that they now replaced the nachos with cinnamon twists and swapped out the burrito supreme for a 5 layer beef burrito. I DEMAND the ORIGINAL! My Taco Bell is also pretty on point with their presentation too. Every item looks like it needs to be photographed for their menu so I can appreciate the additional love they give their food.

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So as corny as this may sound as a “date” night, you could actually make it really fun, special, and meaningful. It’s not about saving money, that’s just an awesome benefit. It’s about hanging out with your chosen person and enjoying their company and cutting loose!

We go and grab our Friday Night Special. No matter where we go, we drive together to pick it up. Our fav Chinese and pizza places allow for online ordering which is very convenient because as soon as you hit “Submit” on your order and jump in the car, it’s ready by the time you get there and you don’t need to worry about additional delivery fees.

We will open our feast and yes, put it on plates. We’re not total cavemen. Grab a glass of wine or a few beers and park our butts on the couch. Then, we grab the remote and turn our Firestick to YouTube (or most recently the internet browser since Google and Amazon can’t play nice with each other). We then will spend hours watching music videos! Crazy right?! Lord knows MTV isn’t going to show these gems. However, we have learned to appreciate and love each other’s favorite artist. My husband is like 4.5 years younger than me and had a different upbringing when it came to music than I did. I was fortunate enough to be born in the mid eighties and get to be fully conscious of the 90’s where I submerged myself in alternative music, but I’m still my parents child and was raised on The Moody Blues, The Eagles, Alice Cooper, etc… I’m a fan of anything I can sing and or dance to.

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My husband has said that some of his favorite times with me has been me educating him on music through the videos on our “date” nights.

So how can you really make this “special”? If you know your significant other’s favorite artist, try creating a playlist in advance of their music videos. Play the videos of  songs that have importance to you: song that was playing when you first met, had your first date, had your first kiss, etc… For example, I have a playlist of our wedding music.  It was special to us and whenever I hear those songs, it brings such happy memories. (I have had people ask about our music choices so I will dedicate a whole new post to going over it.)

This is a night to discover new music, new artists, new songs from your favorite artists, or that the songs Family Guy inserts for comedy effect are real (yes, my husband had to learn through me that “Rock Lobster” by the B-52’s was a real song, not something Seth McFarland made up). Dance in your living room, perform for your date, get as crazy as you want to – er, just don’t get the cops called for a noise complaint…

Here’s a few of my favorites that have become his favorites:

Opinion, Story

Workplace Etiquette – Bathrooms

I’m sure this is bound to be a multi-part post, but for real, what is it about sharing a *work* space that turns people into the most disgusting pigs of all time? Or are people truly like this in their every day life too? If so, this is what’s wrong with the world.

My number 1 Workplace Etiquette Pet Peeve is probably other people’s bathroom habits.

When I worked in retail, I expected the bathroom to be a place of whoa’s. At one of the stores I worked in (thankfully on my day off) it appeared as if someone had taken Alli and ate too much fat in one meal and blew the bathroom up. Honestly, I’ve never heard of such a thing being true, it was always said in expression, but no… a lady had gone into the women’s bathroom and had massive explosive diarrhea and it wound up in the toilet, on the toilet, on the floor, on the wall behind the toilet, and the shitty panties were left in the trashcan… EW. Yeah, in my experience, most ladies who use the ladies room are not ladies in the manners and etiquette department…

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Now, I work in a professional office with professional people and I swear, the bathroom behaviors truly are not any better. I question things a lot… like how hard is it to flush all your business down the toilet? Flush it twice ok? A courtesy flush…

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Why is there soap in the floor? Running down the wall? Is this the building that drips soap?

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Why do you feel like you have to announce to the office that you’re going to the bathroom? If you make a mess in there of any kind, we now know who to blame…

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Why is there shredded toilet paper? I know we have to keep buying this cheap horrible 1 ply toilet paper because it’s cheap. It doesn’t help my life when you struggle to tear your portion of it off properly and it’s mangled or if you’ve just let it go down to dirty floor. No one should wipe themselves with floor debris toilet paper.

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Who keeps buying these horribly scented air freshener sprays? Do they think they’re working? They’re not. All I smell is stale apple cinnamon potpourri that’s been sitting on Aunt Edna’s coffee table for 5 years mixed with poo-stank. No one thinks pina colada poop is a pleasant office smell. “Shit the Bed Fred Clean Linen” shouldn’t be a thing. Maybe we can stop wasting money on sprays to mask what you did and get some of that essential oil spray to spray in the toilet before the darkness happens..

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Why is there water EVERYWHERE?! Did the toilet overflow? Did you shake your wet hands all over the place trying to dry them before you grabbed a paper towel? Did you shower in here? Please… at least tell me it’s water…

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Normally, I’m one of the first people here. I also work in a predominately female office. We have two single person bathrooms – one for the public and one that is employees only with a pass code lock on it. As being one of the first people here, I can safely say I know that I’m one of the first people to use the bathroom – the first if the seat is up because that means the custodian scrubbed the toilet and left the seat up as his sign to say “ladies, the toilet is clean, please be the first to touch the clean seat.” At least, that’s what I hope he’s saying….

Anyways, I got to the office one day and noticed that the toilet seat was up (so it’s clean) but someone had gone into the bathroom and washed their hands and threw the paper towels in the floor… In. The. Floor. right in front of the trashcan. Then I walk in far enough to see the inside of the toilet, it’s been used and there are fecal streaks running down the bowl and there’s still a few solid pieces in the toilet. GROSS! I flushed the rest of this person’s business down the toilet and walked to the other side of the room to wait. There are two trashcans in this bathroom and they’re both empty, as the paper towels this animal used are in the floor. When I feel it’s safe I return to the toilet, do what little business I needed to do (all this work for so very little..) I reach for the toilet paper and notice it’s a brand new roll… I’m the first one to use it… and here’s where the questions come in:

Who poops with the lid up? Did you poop and then put the lid back up? Were you in such a hurry that you forgot to put the seat down? How did you not fall in? Did you do a hover poop?

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Why am I using a brand new roll of toilet paper, but there’s not an empty roll in any of the trashcans? Did you not *use* toilet paper? What kind of savage are you?

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Would it have killed you to put the paper towels in the trashcan? You were so close, why would you have left them in the floor??? Did you use paper towels instead of toilet paper? Did you leave them there because you didn’t want to pick them up and risk touching your own dirt?

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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

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:,,,, 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