Thursday, January 24, 2013

Saying goodbye to pets....not easy....

This morning, we had to say goodbye to our 11 1/2 year old rescue dog, Pez. She passed after complications from some surgery so instead of picking her up this morning to come home, we must now adjust to her loss. She was a good companion to us and to her beloved Hannah and to our great dane, Matilda and she will be missed. Safe home Pezzie. There's a giant mountain of Milk Bones and Hannah, happily waiting for you in a spring time park....

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Contributing to Yahoo is a joke!

Apparently when you send in articles to Yahoo, they are extremely picky about what they want to publish. SO I will just post what I wrote on there...HERE! The article was supposed to be about keeping a New Years I wrote about keeping the resolution of "giving back to your community"! Enjoy, and please pass on the advice to anyone looking to volunteer!!!

We have all clinked glasses at Midnight with "visions of change" dancing in our head, but where do we start? It's simple really! I have put together "5 Steps to Giving Back". Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to keeping your resolution and making a difference in someone or somethings life! 
Step 1- Decide which organization you want to assist. The Greater Lansing Area has many organizations in need of assistance. There are Homeless Shelters, Food Banks, Animal Shelters, Health Clinics, Safe Houses, etc. If you are nervous about volunteering, maybe stick with something you are more comfortable with. 
Step 2- Decide what kind of assistance you want to provide. 
Do you plan on just writing a check? Gathering donatable items? Volunteering your time? Throwing a fundraiser to benefit the organization you chose? This step you should take some time to think about. Places that need assistance are more than happy with anything you are able to provide. Nothing is too small. If you plan on writing a check to donate- Call your organization and ask who the check should be made out to. They may ask you to drop it off in person, or provide you with an address to send the check. If you want to collect items to donate- Once again contact the organization or check their website. You may be surprised the items some places need, it can be anywhere from a washing machine to kleenex! If you chose one of these two options, all you have to do is collect the items and drop them off/send them into the organization you chose. If you want to be more hands on, move on to Step 3. 
Step 3- Getting involved. If you are planning on giving your time by volunteering, you must contact your chosen organization. They will provide you with a list of volunteer jobs that need filing. They will also give you times and dates to come in to discuss your part in volunteering. Some volunteer jobs at Safe Houses and Homeless Shelters may require a more in depth interview to be sure you would be a good candidate in assisting. Some may even have a training day for you to better understand what happens at the organization. If you choose to throw a fundraiser, a staff member will sit down with you to discuss your plan, and the next steps to take. 
Step 4- Pass on the word! If you ever give back, make sure to pass on the word that you did, and what you did! You may be surprised how many people never know where to start. With these steps you can now assist others in giving back as well! 
Step 5- Give yourself a pat on the back! Congratulations you just kept your Resolution, and helped someone in need! Giving is the best gift and it is the best feeling in the world. 

Here is a link to search for volunteer opportunities: 

Samantha grew up in East Lansing, she has compiled hundreds of hours volunteering, spent her winter break collecting donatable items and making blankets for the cats and dogs at a local animal shelter. Over the years she has helped raise more than $500,000 for the Greater Lansing Food Bank, by assisting in running the Empty Plate Auction.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Truth Project 2013

What if you found out that your deepest, darkest secret was something you had in common with countless other women? If you could write that secret down with complete anonymity and send it to a place where it could join thousands of other secrets women keep hidden in the deepest parts of their hearts, would you?
Be a part of The Truth Project 2013 
We are gathering these truths into a book project throughout the calendar year of 2013. 
We do not want your name. Mail us a brief note saying the thing that you dare not say out loud. Your truth may be one sentence or one short paragraph. It does not matter why or how it happened; it matters that it did happen.
Please do not share the names of people that may be involved with your story. Please, do not give us your own address or contact information. You may type or legibly, handwrite your contribution. We prefer that you mail your truth contribution to the address below and, again, please do not give us your return address. If you would like to share your age or the state or country where you live, we would appreciate that, but it is not necessary to participate in this gathering of anonymous truths.
It is our sincere hope that as you read through the hundreds of entries, you will see that you are not alone and that our common stories; even those that appear to be our darkest moments, are shared and understood by sisters in secrets everywhere. We hope that this revelation of shared secrets will allow you to lay your burden down, even if it is just for a moment. And we hope you will know that none of us are ever, truly, alone.
Visit the blog below for instructions on how you or women you know can participate in this project. Please feel free to pass this along to any women you know.
Mimi & Samantha, Co-Authors and mother & daughter

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


Have you ever had a secret that eats away at you? One that you would never say out loud? What if you could share your secret anonymously, and realize that your secret might be the same secret someone else was keeping? Check out a project my mom and I are working on....and please feel free to contribute....

Remember: This is anonymous. Your secret is safe.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Why not??

So I decided to start writing on more than one website and get paid for it:) I'm now a Yahoo! Contributor! I'm in the process of writing new articles and waiting for them to be published. So be sure to check them out when they are because the more people that look the more I get paid (I need that money to pay bills obviously, but also to travel and take more pictures and entertain you with my witty words about travel and fun!)!!  Here's the link and I appreciate it everyone!!!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2013- "I really mean it this time!"

Just a few days have passed in 2013, and I've promised myself changes!  I have always been a relatively healthy eater, but over the last few months of spending time on that island, and the holidays being at home and having, well, you know..."home cooked food". Things weren't looking too good on the health front.

SO! I decided to take things BACK into my own hands and take charge of my health for this year. I'm a pescetarian. I have been for about 7 years now. So trying to find healthy meal options (breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner) are a little harder than you would think. Replacing protein for instance took me a while to figure out. Most healthy recipes and workout eating plans have you eating lean protein, for this they compile a list of grilled chicken, and lean meats. This of course doesn't work for me, so I stick with  seafood! Shrimp, Tilapia and Salmon would be my top choices for fish during the week. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE sushi, and scallops and lobster....BUT these things are not very budget friendly and HOLY CRAP! Do you know how many calories are in 1 roll of sushi!?!?? Day-um. A lot.

I'm sure you are aware of Pinterest? I think I was a little late in the game discovering this awesome gem. At first I was thinking "oh great another laaaammmme online thing people that are bored do". OH HOW I WAS WRONG! Well, the bored thing is true....really true. BUT the lame part is not. I have spent a lot of time putting together my Pinterest boards which are now full of fashion I like, beauty tips, exercise options, foods and recipes, pictures of awesome animals, funny quotes and pictures, and inspirational quotes for those days you need a pick me up and SO much more! Here is the link to my Pinterest page...I believe my page is public so you can check out boards and pins!

Samantha's Pinterest!!!

Here's my thought on this whole "Being Healthy" thing. Do what is right FOR YOU. Don't try and follow some of these crazy bullshit (sorry for the language) routines that have you eating 700 calories a day. THAT SHIT IS NUTS! Let's be real here. We are humans, we eat food. We drink. We workout for a week, and then we "forget" one day and lose an entire week of exercise. I am guilty to all of the above. Here's the reality. If you want to be healthy, you have to choose to be healthy for YOU. Not for anyone else, do it because you want to feel stronger going through your day, or because opening your closet and wearing the first thing you grab is AWESOME, or because you simply want to see what your body is capable of!

After doing lots of reading and researching on how to be fit and healthy. Here's the group consensus on what's good and what's bad in the health department.
1. Eat your veggies!
~DUH! but for real, people really don't eat as many as they should! The closest to raw you can keep them the better! They are a great way to snack, eat celery or apples with peanut butter and raisins!! 
2. Eat your fruit! 
~ Another DUH! Fruit is a great way to start off your morning, and right before/after exercising! In a hurry after work heading to the gym? Eat an apple! 
3. Eat protein! 
~This doesn't mean sit and eat a burger every night! NOOOO red meat is ok every once and a while, but NOT every night! Protein also means: Salmon, Chicken, Spinach, Beans, etc!
4. Eat Whole Grains!
~Be careful with this one here, if you study up on Whole Wheat vs. Whole Grains you may be surprised what you find. Whole Wheat has a CRAP load of sugar!! Whereas whole grains will keep the product closer to the grains actually pulled from the earth. Your bread should LOOK like it was made from grains. Not SUPER white and so soft you can roll it into tiny bread balls.
5. Drink Water!
~No joke. Do it. It is SO good for you. Your hair, skin, nails, and body will thank you. It will keep you full throughout the day and wash out the toxins in your system! (Vamp up your water with fresh lemon or cucumber if you get bored of just plain water!)
6. Eat at the correct times!
~Don't skip breakfast!!!! Don't do it! Your body has been starved for at least 8 hours over night, and if you are also on a workout program, you know how bad that is for muscle development and your glucose levels. Eat throughout the day! Bring snacks with you (fruit and veggies for example, pre-portion them and take them along!)
7. Moderation is key!
~ You will have days where you want to eat a piece of pizza...GO FOR IT! Just don't eat 4 slices!!! No one got fat from 1 piece of cake. Ever. Eating healthy is important, but there's nothing wrong with having a slice of pizza and a beer while watching the game! Just regulate what you're eating!!
7. Workout!
~ It's not a bad idea when you are first starting to transition to a healthier you, to first work on the food then start adding in the workout. But get MOVING! Go for a walk! Bike! Hike! Run! Swim! Something to get your body in forward motion, and believe me, that "A body in motion, stays in motion" TRUE! Once you start moving and getting to the point in your workouts that you are sweating and pushing your body to amazing limits. You WILL keep going! 

These are the common notes in all the research I have done on getting fit!  Now keep these things in mind. 
-Everyone is DIFFERENT! Our body shapes, our metabolisms, where we are starting and what our goals are! I could be in the best shape of my life and NOT have the "gap" between my legs...why? BECAUSE MY BONES WON'T ALLOW IT! I will also NEVER be a size 4. If i was...I would be dead. (I'm 5'10 and right now around 165lbs, I've been athlete all my life and you will see me lifting 20's before ever seeing me with bean string arms. YUP I JUST PUT THAT ON THE INTERNET!)

-CHANGE DOESN'T HAPPEN OVER NIGHT, OR EVEN OVER A WEEK! Don't expect to eat healthy for a week and lose 10lbs...that shit is crazy, and I want to slap anyone that thinks they can do that in a healthy way. It is NOT good for you! Most of the weight you are losing is water anyways. This isn't an over night thing. Don't get discouraged, just know that you are starting your change. One day at a time! 

-BE REALISTIC! Like I said above, everyone is different and change doesn't happen overnight. Keeping those things in mind, apply those to your goals. Do this for YOU!

-SET A GOAL! This year I plan on taking part in 5k's, 10k's, Warrior Dash and Tough Mudder. All races that will challenge me and test my strength! This for me is fun. I like a challenge, and if I have a REASON to be healthy and workout, I'm more willing to do it. (The inner athlete in me is dying from having no team sports). 

-IT ISN'T GOING TO BE EASY! If someone is saying it is, they are lying to you. Change is hard. If you don't think it is, you're probably not really changing. You are going to have cravings, and temptations. It is up to you to say no. No one is standing there with a fork full of chocolate cake trying to cram it down your throat (if there is, re-evaluate who you are friends are).  Get a support group of friends, family, significant other, anyone! Writing down what you're eating and what you are doing to workout is a great way to help as well. There's something that happens in your brain when you write down everything that you eat during a day. It's a serious reality check!

For more information on exercises, food, and inspiration, go to my Pinterest page!

Here is a great website for healthier meal options that I find myself going back to everyday: Skinny Taste!

I wrote this blog because I couldn't find enough things that were straight forward when it came to changing your health/fitness. Also I feel like I should put a disclaimer saying I'm not a doctor. So don't go and sue me for putting my thoughts on a blog! :)

I will continue updating throughout the year on how the change is coming. I will also post different races I am taking part in, and of course photo's!! If you have any questions, feel free to comment!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goodbye 2012, Hello 2013!!

With 2012 coming to a close, I say goodbye to yet another chapter in my life. 

Last year was composed of moving on! Letting go of crappy jobs with crappy bosses and crappy coworkers (Not saying I'll never be in that position again....but let's hope not for this entries sake :), let me also make clear that not EVERYONE I worked with was crappy, but the majority. Crappity crap CRAP.

I don't need to cover everything that I did last year, the traveling, adventuring, discovering and photographs all speak for themselves. SO I will simply say adieu to 2012!!!

As for 2013. We all make our New Years resolutions, and usually about 2 months in, we've already forgotten what we toasted to. This year I'm working on that not happening! I'm shooting for 6 months. JUST KIDDING! I am focused on getting a good job, something maybe new to my normal job field, but using everything I have already dabbled in. The job could bring me new opportunities and my finances would be pretty happy too:) I also plan on adopting 2 cats, instead of from the Humane Society, I will be getting them from the Ingham County Animal Shelter (I can't stand the thought of perfectly healthy animals being put down because no one can take them home!!! :( ) 2013 also brings along my 10 year High School reunion....Holy. Crap. Does THAT make a girl feel old!!! It will be awesome to see old friends again and reconnect with people I lost touch with! 
So 2013...I have big plans for you, you BETTER have big plans for me!!  AND of course, there will be more traveling and photo taking!:) 

So stay tuned for another adventurous year!!!