a traveling Wife: 12/01/2014 - 01/01/2015

2015 - New Year's Reminders

Monday, December 29, 2014

It's about that time of year when everyone mentions how quick this year went by. Yada. Yada. Yada. Then they share their New Year's resolutions in hopes that if they publicly announce what they want to change, they might stick with it. I'm not going to do that.

I don't believe in New Year's resolutions. I've made them in the past and they last all of 3 days. Or more. A resolution is making a promise to yourself, or others, to make some type of self-improvement. I, on the other had, am going to make reminders for this coming year. A reminder to push myself in the right direction to do something.

Not sure what I mean? See below for my 15 reminders for 2015.

1. Entertain and embrace change

2. Know your mistakes and own them

3. Consciously take care of your body

4. What you have does not prove your worth

5. Laugh and love

6. Be gracious and humble

7. Be honest. To yourself and others

8. Enjoy nature

9. Walk proud

10. Be yourself

11. Try new foods

12. Give time, not money

13. Take the time to learn something

14. Express yourself

15. Don't rely on social media

Happy New Years! Do you have any New Year's reminders?

Life of a Dog / Day in the Life of Roxi

Monday, December 22, 2014

Well erro there! I'm Roxi, Mommy and Daddy's furchild. They think I'm silly and love sharing stories about me. Mom wanted me to help with today's post by having me participate in a Day in the Life of Rox. Happy reading. 

I get Roxi out of her cage in the morning and she slowly crawls out from her cave.
Goood morning! Can I snuggle?
She hops in bed to greet her Dad. Then head dives under the sheets to the end of the bed where she curls into a ball.
I need a few more minutes of sleep. Don't bother me. And definitely, don't move.
One minute goes by and she is in my face licking it.
I'm hungry. Is it time to eat? Let's eat. Go feed me. I'm hungry.

I get out of bed and put Roxi's collar on; better known as her necklace.
Oh man, I forgot I was naked. Put that thing on me. It's mine, not yours.
To the kitchen she runs to eat. Scarfs her food then is ready to go outside. She stands on the end of the deck making sure nothing has changed in her backyard.
Shed - check. Trees - check. Fence - check. Grill - check.
Then she does her business and waits at the door.
'Erro. Anyone want to let me in? It's cold outside. 'Erro! Oh, hey. Finally!

I leave for work and all hell breaks loose.
I'm going to lay on the bed. Nope, that's not good. I'll move to the couch. Was that the mailman? Shit, is that a burglar? I'm going to go hide on the bed. 
*Who knows what she actually does during the day. We haven't invested in cameras. Yet.*

I walk in through the door after 11 hours at work.
O. Ehm. Gee!! You didn't forget about me.
I crouch down to hug and kiss the little pup.
Gimme. Gimme. Gimme all the kisses.

After putting my lunch bag away, it's time for a walk.
A walk? A walk? A real life walk? This. Is. Happening.
I take one to many seconds to find Rox's leash.
A walk! A walk! Remember we are going for a walk. Why am I so short? I must get your attention. A walk!

Walking down the street and a neighbor dog is out walking to.
HEY YOU! I'm super excited to see you. Have we met before? We must shake hands, 'er, sniff butts. Please. Please. Please. Come over here!

Back in the house, I take her coat off and...
It's so darn cold outside. I must run. Run around the house to warm up. Oh wait, is that one of my babies. Mommy should play. Play. Play. Play. Mommy, can we play? 

I sit down to catch up on reality TV.
Oh, fine. You don't want to play. How about I snuggle on your lap? Make room. I want you to put that blanket on your lap. No blanket, no snuggle. Put the blanket down. I want to lay on your lap. Pleeease. Do it. 
I finally get the hint and put the blanket on my lap.
Phew. About damn time. Wait, is that a squirrel in my yard. STRANGER DANGER! STRANGER DANGER!
I yell at her to knock it off.

She finally comes back to my lap, but then Dad walks through the door.
O. Ehm. Gee!! You didn't forget about me.
He crouches down to kiss the pup.
Gimme. Gimme. Gimme all the kisses.

It's dinner time for the adults (AKA real humans).
Guys, I am right here. I am a starving pup. I would like whatever you are eating. Just a taste? No? But I'll be here if you drop anything. Anything at all. I promise I will clean it up. See Mom, you won't have to vacuum. Come on!

Roxi gets tucked into bed and her necklace comes off.
Don't forget about my treat. I will not be able to fall asleep without my treat.
She gets her nightly treat and I close her cage door.

And the same thing happens the next day...

Until next time, 

The RIGHT Way to Shop for Souvenirs

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The airport lines start to wrap around the check-in counter, then you wait again to go through security, only to wait in line one last time to board the plane. Most of us have been there before. Whether it be for a romantic vacation, short getaway, or traveling during the holidays. But once you get to the destination it will all be worth it. In most cases.

You may or may not have your itinerary planned out. You know where you want to go, what you want to see, and the cost associated with all of that. However, if you are anything like me, I do all my research before hand and travel with no itinerary. This leaves so much more time for exploration and just living like the locals. I also do not stay in hotels. 

Gosh, I think I need to write a post about traveling without an itinerary and another post about not staying in hotels... Stay tuned!

Anyway. The best part about vacationing is the memories that you bring back with you. I was once told to buy one item from each trip to remind me of it. Not just an ordinary ol' souvenir that says, "I've been to ...". The cost and size should not matter because it will always remind you of that time you were in [place your vacation here]. 

Due to this amazing piece of wisdom, I have a few tips while shopping for souvenirs.

1. Don't go to a souvenir shop. Or do just to get ideas of what you don't want. I have purchased numerous coffee cups, shot glasses, t-shirts, posters, etc that have all made their way into the trash man's truck. Try and avoid the abyss of a souvenir shop. That coffee mug that cost you $20+ will not remind you of your vacation.

2. Ask the locals. Ask them where they shop. Ask if there is a local handmade store. Ask if there is a specialty (non-produce) food of the area. The locals know all, so ask for their advice. 

3. Look around. Not all souvenirs need to be purchased. I'm not saying to help yourself to a five finger discount but nature could be your best friend here. I do not know all the laws if you are traveling out of the country, but you might not be able to travel back with sand, rocks, shrubs, plants, or whatever you can find from the Earth.

When I traveled to Costa Rica, they were redoing their tile sidewalks. There were hundreds upon hundreds of tile lining the streets waiting to be disposed of. I thought it was a great idea to take 4 of those tiles to use as coasters or trivets at home. It was a perfect idea and every time I put a glass on my coffee table I am reminded of my trip. 

4. Take pictures. Is there a funny sign that you want to remember? Go take a picture of it. Are you standing in front of the most beautiful view? Ask a stranger to take your photo. Are you traveling with family? Take candid shots of them shopping, exploring, or just relaxing. These will all be fantastic memories to remind you of your trip.

5. Buy something useful or something that matches your home decor. Again, if you just purchase random items from a souvenir shop, you will likely through them away within a year. But where you are visiting might have some unique tools, kitchen supplies, or decor that you have never seen before.

When I traveled to Amsterdam, I was blown away by the houses. The row houses are just absolutely beautiful and I could see myself living there. While stopping in the cutest, little furniture shop, there was this tealight candle holder that was a tiny ceramic row house. It matched perfectly with the decor of my home and it was useful. I love lighting a tealight and using the candle holder. It reminds be of the romantic and cold nights walking around the city. 

Now I can't stop thinking about all the fantastic trips I have taken over the years. Do you have any tips for souvenir shopping?

It's My Birthday

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Today I am going to take it easy because it is MY BIRTHDAY. Don't get me wrong, I will be partying hard with the couch and a bottle of champagne later!

Over the last few weeks, I have reflected about my life. Where I have been. Where I am now. Where I want to be. What I have accomplished. What is left to experience. That got me to thinking about a things that are really important or just fun to accomplish. There will come a time that I will no longer be able to celebrate my birthday on this earth and I want to make my bucket list a priority.

1. Go to Europe
2. Go back to Europe
3. Go to Africa
4. Learn a different language
5. Get a tattoo
6. See the Northern Lights
7. Go Sailing < this partially happened in Costa Rica on a catamaran 
8. Ride in a hot air balloon
9. Name a dog Bob (or Anderson Pooper)
10. Buy my dream home
11. Flip a house for profit
12. Learn sign language
13. Test drive a car I cannot afford
14. Go 3 days without social media
15. Learn to play the guitar
16. Get over my fear of needles
17. Run a half marathon
18. Jump off a cliff into water
19. Work (and get paid) for a non-profit organization
20. Paint a canvas
21. Be a contestant on a game show (I would settle for an audience member too)
22. Get a collage degree
23. Read a book/novel in one day.
24. Pay it forward - purchasing someone's meal, groceries, etc. 
25. Try an exotic food (i.e. horse, insect, puffer fish)
26. Master forearm stand pose
27. Get married
28. Run a half marathon in a different country
29. Try snowboarding
30. Set foot in North America, South America, Asia, Europe, Australia and Africa

I have already completed a few items on my bucket list, but I have a lot more to go. What's on your bucket list?

The Good with the Bad

Monday, December 8, 2014

Often, time gets away with us, leaving this poor interweb-home empty and lonely. Often, real life bogs us down and we forget about other commitments. Often, real life isn't as glamorous as bloggers make it out to be.

While this page has been neglected for several days, I have been reminded what life is really about. Thanksgiving wasn't all that long ago but it is always a good reminder to be thankful each and every day. It is important to take the bad with the good and not worry so much about what could have been done.

October 31st, my Dad made his way to the hospital only to be moved to another hospital, and then hospice. He was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and made his exit to a pain-free life November 29th. We had a beautiful memorial to remember his life and to celebrate his new beginning. My mom, sister and myself were all there for his passing and it was a relief to see him no longer in pain. No longer suffering. No longer holding on to the fight that never should have happened.

Sometimes, we get dealt a shitty hand of cards.

All of the support and love throughout these past few months has been unbelievable. Friends, family, neighbors, strangers - offering help, an ear to listen, food to feed us, flowers to look at, fetching our mail, and so much more. There are just a few things that they can't help with; the stories left untold and advice not yet given by my Dad. Those are items that cannot be replaced.

Now I will move on and continue to use my memories as a way to connect with my Dad. As I turn yet another year older on Friday, I need to make it a priority to live life! It ends far too soon, often without notice.