Outfit of the Week #1

I’ve decided that to make this a bit more personal (because obviously pouring my heart out on the internet isn’t personal enough 😉 ), I’m going to try and share one outfit a week that stood out to me. What we wear does tell a lot about us. Now, I would not consider myself a fashionista by any means, but I live to be comfortable. I tend to buy shirts that make a statement and involve something I stand for. In the photo below, I’m wearing a shirt by Arm The Animals, a site I found through Instagram. It’s a charitable clothing company that not only promotes adoption, but hopes to raise awareness of the importance of caring for your pets as well. I’ve put a link to their site below along with their mission, taken directly from their site. I highly encourage you to check it out. Not everyone has time to volunteer every Saturday or the money to donate to their local humane society. However, we all wear clothes (or should be anyway!). Why not support a non-profit and ARM THE ANIMALS in the meantime?

“My doctrine is this: that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and we do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt.” – Anna Sewell, English Novelist

http://www.armtheanimals.com

“The ATA Mission: Saving Animals & Defining The Aesthetics of Activism!

Arm The Animals was born from tragedy in 2010 as an attempt to express the inexpressible. Created following the untimely death of our founders sister who a lifelong animal advocate and “pet parent” to a dozen rescues, Arm The Animals would serve as a living tribute and means of carrying on a legacy that was ended too soon.

Starting online with a simple website, ATA began attending every animal event in Southern California where their designs spoke directly to most of the attendees. By creating universally relatable designs with no political agenda attached to them, ATA had a design for almost every person who saw them and they soon began making friends in the world of animal rescues.

ATA soon formed relationships with these rescues and began donating to them on a consistent basis. We develop designs and/or collection that speak to the core values of our partners and donate a generous portion of the proceeds from each campaign. We also provide product free of charge for partners to sell and keep and even host full web stores on our website. ATA has worked with and donated to over 50 different animal welfare organizations most of whom are smaller in size, so any amount of money really does make an impact with shelter, food, vet bills and other basics all rescues simply must have.

ATA is not a non-profit organization: it is a regular apparel business that has made “giving back” a core goal of the company. The group consists of regular, down-to-earth people who actually care about the world around them. We are all close friends who grew up with animals, have rescue pets of our own, and agree that the current plight facing innocent discarded animals can not only be helped, but fixed! Is this naive? Maybe, but every “impossible” task has been overcome in the same way – by taking a first step!

The current animal euthanasia statistics are staggering! Every year 4,000,000 – 5,000,000 animals are euthanized because people simply don’t do the basics for their pets. It’s no longer an option to spay, neuter, feed, water and love your pets – it’s mandatory! If you make the decision to own an animal, you should at least have the heart to make sure they are healthy and cared for! I think we can all agree on that.

In no way is Arm The Animals is a “fly-by-night” idea or “one time” charity project; we have truly committed everything we have and everything we are to this company and we plan on doing for the rest of our lives. Although our goals are incredibly lofty, we have no doubt that we can make a huge impact! With passion, drive and your support, we believe anything is possible. We hope you feel the same way and decide to support us. Together we CAN make a difference… Actually, we already are making a difference.”

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Shirt: Arm The Animals (on sale for $13.50 at time of purchase)

Shorts: H&M (bought at a thrift store for $3!)

 

Rest and Relaxation

I’m a go-getter. When I am determined to do something, I do it, whether it’s 9am or 9pm. I love checking things off my list and feeling productive. However, doing too many things can cause exhaustion, which I’ve been known to push through. Well, I think God has been trying to tell me to slow down and I’ve avoided Him. Up until last night that is. Matt’s been gone since 6am Tuesday morning, so I’ve had a lot of time to myself (again) this week. I worked all week like usual, along with caring for the pets, the yard, preparing for family visits over the next week, and working out daily. I had full intentions of spending this Saturday at the humane society walking dogs since I haven’t been there in almost a month and make sure Matt has a home cooked meal when he gets home tonight. Poor guy hasn’t had one in weeks and I’ve been living on smoothies because I hate cooking for one. I was invited to go white water rafting (which I’ve never done before) tomorrow with coworkers, so I wanted to get as much done as possible before then.

Apparently God had other plans. I was walking Miner and Leia last night like I do EVERY SINGLE DAY and sprained my good ankle when I stepped on some gravel. I must have looked ridiculous hobbling home with 120 pounds of dog in front of me. Now, for those who don’t know, I injured my left ankle stepping off a friend’s porch last year and my doctor suspects I may have aggravated an old injury, therefore, surgery may be in my near future. My right foot has been my only good foot for a year and now it’s definitely sprained. I woke up this morning with a lump on the side of my foot the size of a golf ball. It’s been wrapped, put in Epsom salts, I’ve taken Ibuprofen and Arnica, and have used ice over the past 18 hours. I literally have done everything I can to keep it at bay so it doesn’t get worse, but I have to spend ALL DAY sitting with it elevated. It’s torture. I have to keep telling myself this is a sign for me to take it easy. The dogs need to be walked today, but there’s no way I could walk half a mile right now (much less two miles). My laundry is not done. The floor isn’t vacuumed and the porch isn’t cleaned off like I wanted it to be. My to-do list is sitting on the kitchen counter waiting for Matt to cross items off once he gets home later 😉 I am still planning on rafting tomorrow if at all possible, so I know I have to keep it easy today.

Spending today on the couch was not how I intended to spend my Saturday, but it is important to take it slow sometimes. I rarely, if ever, just stop and absorb things around me. Heck, as I am sitting here typing, I can look up at my living room and see beauty in things I never really noticed before. My snake plant is still alive, which is more than I can say for other things I’ve attempted to plant before. Miner is so peaceful sleeping next to me that it’s wonderful to see him so content. I can see my workout calendar on the wall and realize how fortunate I am to have a body that is strong and complete a PiYo workout in one session. I see my Temple owl on my wall and am thankful I was able to achieve a Master’s degree and pursue an education not everyone gets to experience. I really do have a lot to be thankful for, including much needed rest and relaxation.

“Ah! There is nothing like staying at home, for real comfort.”
― Jane Austen

WV State Fair 2016

If there’s one thing about me you should know, it’s that I love carbs. French fries, mozzarella sticks, bread, popcorn, nachos: You name a carb and there’s an 80% chance I’ll enjoy it. When the WV State Fair comes every August, it’s only appropriate that I inhale carbs that will go my hips and I know I’ll complain about a month later. Well, I spent 3 days at the fair working the Division of Rehabilitation Services booth for work and 1 evening with Matt and friends, so I had four days to indulge myself. I am usually a pretty healthy eater, but I ate nachos all 4 days I was there (GASP!). I also may or may not have had a root beer float, popcorn, a chicken gyro, a WV famous cinnamon roll (in my defense, Matt and I did share it), and the also famous Ben-Ellen cinnamon sugar donut. I won’t lie when I say every single calorie was worth it 🙂  The fair only comes once a year, so might as well take advantage of it, right?

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The fair is a huge attraction to West Virginians and individuals of the surrounding states. There are rides, games, lottery stands, horse shows, a calf birthing exhibit, rabbits on display, and more. It truly is an experience for those who have never been to a fair. It’s not huge by any means, but it’s a ton of fun. I can’t get over how expensive everything was though. It is so easy to spend $50-$100 on food and games that before you know it, your wallet is empty. $1.25 a ticket for a ride?! That’s insane. Matt and I went on the Wild Mouse, and I must say that I don’t know when I became such a chicken. I LOVE roller coasters, I really do, but there’s something about the jerking and sudden stops on the Wild Mouse that made me yell in Matt’s ear the whole time with “AHH!” “I HATE YOU” and “It’s official. My life will end on this thing.” I can’t handle spinning rides without getting sick, so I’m pretty much a bore in the rides department. All in all, the night Matt and I were there with friends was to celebrate my dear friend Amy’s birthday, and I hope she had a great time.

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“I see nothing in space as promising as the view from a Ferris wheel.” -E.B.White

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Love this small town we live in.

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Our annual fair photo

Dad’s visit to the Wild and Wonderful.

My dad has only visited our place once since we’ve been here (two years!), and with all the stress going on in his life, I’ve been trying to convince him to visit for awhile now. He arrived Thursday night around 10:30 and left Saturday at noon. It was a short visit, but I’m sure he was glad to get away. He slept in Friday morning (I took off work, so it wasn’t huge deal to do nothing for a morning) and then headed to The Greenbrier to show dad a landmark WV is proud to show off. The Greenbrier is a luxury 5 star resort in White Sulfur Springs that has been around for over 200 years. Although the decor is not exactly my taste (picture something out of That 70’s Show only with pink and green instead of orange and yellow), the place itself is stunning. There are outside activities including horseback riding, a swimming pool, gardens, and then the bunker, which is what we were mainly interested in. President Eisenhower was presented with idea of building a bunker under The Greenbrier in case of an attack in 1958 and the building took three years to complete. Although was never used to host individuals during The Cold War, it was used by the Senate and Legislative Parties for many years. It was the first bunker to be built in the United States. It was kept a secret for 30 years until a reporter leaked it to the Washington Post in 1991. Since that time, rooms are still used for activities on the premise, but as an actual bunker, the place has not changed and is not used for its designated purpose.

I am not into history and wasn’t sure what to expect during the tour. However, the tour guide was excellent and it was cool to see something to historic and meaningful. Dad was fascinated by the old equipment used to do the cooking and the electronic equipment that would have been used to communication in case of an emergency. He was extremely impressed with The Greenbrier and had a wonderful time. The links to the Greenbrier and the bunker tour are below if you would like more information about them.

http://www.greenbrier.com

http://www.greenbrier.com/Activities/The-Bunker/Bunker-History

Matt was home by 5:00 and then after a quick haircut, the three of us went to Bellacino’s for pizza. Now my dad has been in the restaurant business for a LONG time and it’s hard to impress him when it comes to cooking. (He called my homemade chicken dry!) He LOVED Bellacino’s Chicago Style pizza, which says something. We then picked up a huge tub of popcorn at the local movie theater and rented My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 at Redbox. It was hysterical, so hysterical that Matt and I went out the next day and bought it. In case one were to ask, yes, I am proud to be Greek 🙂

Lastly, we took him the Dutch Haus restaurant (located at our two terminal airport) for Saturday morning breakfast. He was, again, impressed with the food, which made us happy because we love the restaurant. If you haven’t been there, go. They use local free-range meat and eggs and take time in their cooking. Sometimes too much time, but the food is fantastic. Dad left right after lunch to head home to his bistro in PA and although the visit was short, I’m sure it was much needed for him. Thanks for coming dad; hope you had a wonderful time!!!

PS-In the middle photo, he’s loving all over Miner and Leia. There’s something special about puppy love!!!!