Friday Favs – Officially Summer!

 

Sure, it’s been a billion degrees for over a month, but now it is officially summer! It’s a season of big changes for me, which has life feeling pretty chaotic at the moment, but I know it’s for the better in the long run. (Sorry to vague blog, but more on all of that soon!)

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately!

 

1. The new season of “Real Talk Radio with Nicole Antoinette” (one of my fav podcasts) came out last Friday and it’s been so hard not to just binge listen to the whole season. (She releases 8 episodes every 2 months.) This season’s episodes touch on topics including writing, courage, grief, and more. It’s so good, you guys! (I never know how to link to podcasts since everyone uses different apps to listen, but you guys are smart, I trust your ability to find it!)

 

2. I just found this artist on Instagram and I’m really loving her work.

 

3. I’ve been feeling really overwhelmed lately, to this week I decided to try to figure out one thing each day that will make my life a little easier. I SO suggest doing this. Take a look at the things you do all the time and see if there’s any way to either semi-automate them or just make them 10% more convenient. One of the best examples of this is when I finally gave in and bought an extra phone cable to just keep in my car so I didn’t have to grab mine anytime I left the house. (and then grumble about having to go get it from my car at midnight because I left it in there and my phone is dying.) I can’t even imagine how many hours of frustration I saved myself with that $5 purchase.

Along the same lines – I have kitty litter boxes at both ends of the house, and I spent YEARS filling a little bucket with litter to take to the other box each time I cleaned it before it *finally* occurred to me to just buy containers of litter to keep at both boxes. Also? Stick a trash can right inside your front door so you can dump junk mail as soon as you walk in the house.

 

4. Speaking of cat care supplies, it’s time for this week’s review of something awesome that Chewy sent us for their #chewyinfluencer program! This week it’s Instinct by Nature’s Variety Grain-Free Wet Cat Food Cups in the Tuna flavor.

Here’s how that went:

 


 

5. I am serious need of a quick getaway, so I’m planning to head back down to Northwest Arkansas sometime in the next few weeks. There’s a new Georgia O’Keefe exhibition at Crystal Bridges Museum, and I still have a museum membership that I received when I worked with the museum last year to cover the amazing Chihuly exhibition. (You can find that post here. I LOVED those stunning outdoor pieces!)  Funny enough, I was checking out a list of the top articles of 2017 on GoNomad, and I was excited to see that an article about Crystal Bridges made the list! Definitey a sign that I need to revisit it. (The GoNomad article is here – Crystal Bridges, The Great Museum You’ve Never Heard Of) I think I’m going to see if GoNomad would be interested in an article about Eureka Springs; You can’t cover Bentonville and not discuss its super-quirky neighbor! (My upcoming plans involve quite a bit of travel writing, btw, so prepare for lots of updates to that “Destinations” tab up at the top of the page!)

 

Tomorrow is my one day a week job at the thrift store, so I’m preparing to curl up with a book soon and attempt an early night! (I’ve gone in on less than 3 hours of sleep the past few weeks. I’m not good at mornings!) Will this be the week I finally get some decent rest? Let’s hope! (I’m considering sharing some of the weird things that show up at the store in my Instastories on my personal Instagram, so be sure to follow if you aren’t already!)

Happy Weekend! 

 

Friday blog linkup

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Friday Favorites – Mid-June

 

Happy Friday! I haven’t been up to anything interesting this week (work + being sick), so no big intro, just this week’s list of favorites!

 

1. Rain, Rain, Rain

 

The AC in my house doesn’t work, so despite fans and white curtains to keep the sun out and basically everything else I can think of, the temperature in here usually hovers in the mid to upper 80s. As a result, I get SO EXCITED any time it rains lately! A storm last night dropped the outside temperature from 93 to 73 in the course of like 90 minutes, and there was enough wind that the cooler air was able to get into the house and actually cool it off. HEAVEN. I’ve been looking at one-room air conditioners like this one on Amazon, but I just don’t have a spare $300 right now, so I’ll just keep hoping for rain!

 

2. True Facts

I came across one of these on Facebook and lost a large chunk of time binge watching them. Here are a couple to get you started:


(I am calling armadillos “Turtle Rabbits” from now on, btw.)

 

3. Y’all know that Chewy Box day is my cats’ favorite day:

 

 

So, here’s something embarrassing – we got a 24-pack of the Purina Pro Plan True Nature Ocean Whitefish & Salmon Grain Free cat food this month for the #ChewyInfluencer program, and I just realized that I forgot to take pictures of it, and the cats have already eaten it all. Huge blogger fail.

 

Let’s just pretend that I took this photo instead of stealing it from the product page! Check out my mad photo skills!

An embarrassing amount of scrolling through my iPhone photos going “Where are the Chewy pics?” aside, these went over quite well with the meowers. They’re grain-free, made in the USA, and free from artificial colors and preservatives. My cats usually aren’t big pate fans, but they do love fishy-flavored things, so I think that won out here.

In good news, I do still have one can of the other food we got this month, so I’ll have actual photos next week! WOOT!

 

4. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the GoodRX app is SUPER handy. Most doctors seem to have no concept of what prescriptions cost, which gets annoying. The last time I asked my doctor to please make sure my Rx was affordable, I got to the pharmacy and found it was $55. LOLNOPE.

On Tuesday, I had an infected tooth so painful that when the dental assistant BARELY grazed it with her fingertip while taking an x-ray, I jumped about a foot and immediately started sobbing. (Of course, I also managed to get the hottest dentist ever, which is totally what you want when you’re gross from crying and generally looking terrible because you don’t feel well.) Anyway, he had to prescribe antibiotics and I was able to pull out my phone on the spot and make sure that the one he picked was something I could actually afford. They had actually stayed late to see me, so I knew that if I got to the pharmacy and couldn’t afford whatever they picked, there was no hope of calling over to request a change, so I wanted to be sure we were cool before I even left the chair.

The app also provides coupons and shows prices for the pharmacies near you. This isn’t sponsored, btw, just trying to save y’all some dollars. On a side note, does anything in the world taste as horrible as Clindamycin?? I can’t swallow pills so I have to open the capsules and dump the powder into a tiny bit of coffee (the bitterness of the coffee is the best thing I’ve found to mask the awful taste) and it’s just blechhhhhhh. It’s 2018, why don’t we have gummy antibiotics yet?

 

5. It’s 3 p.m. on Friday and I still don’t have a #5 for this list, so… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Have a fantastic weekend!

 

Friday blog linkup

 

 

 

 

 

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Friday Favs- June.

 

Happy Friday, and happy June!

I started this post last week and it had an intro about how hot it’s been and how much I’ve sucked at blogging and blah blah blah, but then I decided to go run errands and finish it up Friday evening, but then… Sam. (See my last post if you missed it.) It was weird to re-open this post to finish it and see those petty complaints from Friday morning. It’s hard to take your previous concerns seriously after something like that.

I also mentioned that I’m working on a big thing, something I’m hoping to accomplish by this fall. Keep your fingers crossed!

(Friday morning post script: Well, shit, Anthony Bourdain. I’m going to miss your moody music-hotel room instastories. Thanks for making travel writers look cool.)

 

Here’s what I’ve been loving lately!

 

1. I found this tote bag at Dollar Tree of all places:

When I leave the house, I usually have several things besides my purse, like a notebook, bottle of water, etc, so I’ve been loving tossing my purse plus all of the extras in here when I go. Plus, I then have a reusable grocery bag handy, as long as I’m not buying anything too heavy. (I mean, it was $1, it’s not super sturdy.) They also had some super cute anchor and pineapple-print bags, so if you live near a Dollar Tree I’d suggest stopping in to check them out!

 

2. I got to hang out with my tiny perfect pony friend last week:

 

 

The down side of being freelance is that I’ll occasionally have a REALLY slow work week, and that throws my budget off. I had one of those last month and thus had to cut some non-essential spending, which meant no riding for a whole month. I missed it so much! While I was away, someone else rode Folklore in a local show and he was awesome. Such a good boy!

I moved my lesson to 10 a.m. instead of my usual noon in hopes of escaping the super hot heat, but it was still HOT. I took a few breaks to walk but I didn’t want to “waste” lesson time just walking, so I tried to keep them short. I was SO HOT by the end, though, that I only let Folklore graze for a few minutes and then untacked him and groomed him as fast as humanly possible so I could go drink water and blast the AC in my car. I didn’t have as much water as I wanted, so I drove straight to Walgreens (about 10 minutes) and stopped in the bathroom there to splash some water on my face, but was surprised to see that it was still BEET red. At first I thought it was sunburn, but nope, just flushed from the heat. Bought a liter bottle of water and drained it in record time, considered going back in for another one.

So basically, I need to come up with a better plan for riding this summer! My trainer said I could start coming at 9 or earlier instead, so hopefully that will work? I might also look into getting my own riding helmet – I use one that belongs to the barn and it’s the black velvet kind, which is obviously NOT the coolest thing to have on your head in the summer sun.


I’m not a fan of how the white ones look, but I guess not passing out would be worth it?

 

3. My cats’ favorite day of the month is always when we get a big box from Chewy.com that’s full of kitty food or treats for us to review for their #ChewyInfluencer program. This month, we got a 24-pack of Purina Pro Plan cat food, which Captain Kitten was kind enough to model for me:

 

 

We got the Seafood Variety Pack, which had salmon, a seafood stew, and tuna.

 

I don’t usually buy small cans like this since I have several cats to feed, so it’s a huge treat for the cats when Chewy sends some over! The variety pack had three different flavors, and they all seemed equally popular. These are finely diced meat, which my cats seem to prefer over pate or big chunks. Definitely kitty-approved!

 

 

4. I always stop and look at the chameleons when I’m in a pet store (If I wasn’t convinced the cats would find a way to eat them, I would TOTALLY have a pair of chameleons.) but last night I was treated to the following surprise:

 

 

5. The Show Us Your Books link-up is coming up on Tuesday, but I had to go ahead and share a note now! I’m listening to the audiobook of Mary Roach’s “Gulp”, and in the chapter on pet food I learned that outdoor cats are usually either birders or mousers – rarely both. I don’t know why, but that struck me as so fascinating! I always assumed they just saw prey as prey and were equal opportunity hunters. What else do I not know about the tiny weirdos who live with me?

 

May your weekend be lovely and summery and full of beautiful things!

 

Friday blog linkup

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Sam

I’m going to keep this fairly short, but I wanted to share that I lost my Sam cat on Friday.

I got home from running errands and found him by the back of the house unable to move his back legs and panting hard. It was already almost 6 pm so no local vets were still open, and the closest emergency vet is like 90 minutes away, so I was in a bit of a panic as I texted a woman I went to school with who is now a vet. She told me to go ahead and bring him up to her clinic and she’d meet me there. I spent the almost hour-long drive talking to him, asking him to hang on, trying to make sure he understood that we were going for help.

About 45 minutes into the drive, his panting stopped, and I had a feeling that was a bad thing, not good. I could tell he was still breathing at first, but the next time I tried to check it was impossible to tell while still driving since he was facing away from me in the kitty carrier.

When we finally made it to the vet clinic, I let my friend know before I even got out of the car that I didn’t think he made it, and she agreed as soon as she saw him, but took him inside to examine anyway in hopes of figuring out what happened.

He had no visible injuries, was only 5, and had always been the picture of health, so I had no clue what might have happened except that it had to be something internal. The first thing she had asked when I texted her the symptoms was if he had a history of heart murmur, and although I’d never known about it, she was 95% sure that he’d had an undiagnosed one that had caused a clot towards the back of his body, thus not being able to use his back legs and the blue-ish back paw pads when she examined him.

I was obviously a mess. I’d been running on adrenaline from the minute I found him until we arrived at her office a little over an hour later, so my brain couldn’t quite wrap around the idea that my little guy was gone. I’m still working on that.

 

Sam was pretty much the perfect cat. He had such a funny personality – he loved to be held upside down like a baby, he’d go sit by the back fence to taunt the neighbors’ dogs, he LOVED his little brothers when they were born and would even let them “nurse” on him when they were babies. If I overslept, he knew how to yell and wake me up. He let me put hats on him for silly photos. And of course, he was polydactyl, and always walked with his extra thumbs sticking out in a way that made him look like he wore high heels.

 

 

We should’ve had at least five or ten more years together, but at least it was pretty quick vs. being some kind of drawn out illness. And I’m SO thankful to know what happened – I owe my friend big time for going back to work at 7 pm on a Friday night so that I didn’t have to go to the emergency vet, which let’s be honest I really couldn’t afford anyway. If she hadn’t examined him I’d still be totally confused and probably blaming myself in every possible way, but she said that finding him sooner wouldn’t have helped – there’s not much they can do when this happens except euthanasia to end the pain quicker. It’s still SUCH a shock – he was basically my age in cat years and a super active, healthy, happy guy.

I’m doing better than when I lost Jasper back in February, but ugh, I’m going to miss his little feet so much.

Friday Favs -Middle of May

 

 

Happy Friday, friends! I’m finishing this post up in between a busy morning of writing work and a trip to Target. (YAY!).  It’s supposed to be **92** tomorrow, so I’m REALLY happy that I’ll be working at the thrift store, since I don’t have air conditioning at home. #WillWorkToAvoidHeatStroke. If that kind of weather continues, I’m going to have to go back to writing at the library, which is kind of the worst because I have to put on pants and they frown upon bringing a cat for company.

Anyway, here’s what I’m digging right now!

 

1. I go in phases when it comes to food. I spent the last coupe of weeks eating way too much Tasty Bite, now I’m back on Morning Star black bean burgers. Sometimes I’ll put those big pickle slices from the refrigerated section on them, but mostly it’s just burger, cheese, bun, BBQ sauce. Given that it’s less than $4 for a four pack of black bean burgers and buns and cheese are super cheap, you’ve gotta love a meal that comes out at like $1.25!

 

I always seem to get on a burger kick this time of year. Anyone else? Are there any other good black bean ones I should know about? (Most veggie burgers seem to be mushroom-based, which… NO THANKS.)

 

2. I’ve only got about 10 pages left in my Morning Pages notebook, so I’ve been looking out for a new one. I was so excited to find this one at Walmart!

(I love that you can see cat food & coffee in the cart… I feel like I buy those two things every time I shop!)

I LOVE dragonflies, and I’m totally into this pattern & colors, so I’m looking forward to writing in this. They come in 3 different colors/patters, and there are also full-size one subject notebooks in similar prints.

One of the other options

 

3. I’ve been decluttering and yesterday that involved finally flipping through some free newspapers I picked up on my last trip down to Eureka Springs. I’m SO GLAD I DID, because I found these gems.

First, I discovered that the Eureka Springs Independent has a “Constables On Patrol” section. The one about the lamb is my favorite:

 

 

Second, I came across this amazing typo:

 

4. Y’all know I loooooove Chris Hayes:

 

Well, he has a new podcast! I finally found time to listen to the first episode, and as expected, it’s really good.

 

5.  This last one is kind of a favorite, kind of not. I’d been looking for a really pale purple nail polish with glitter, and found this one. It looks awesome for the first day or two, but then it starts looking REALLY bad.

 

Important question to end on: What’s on your summer/beachy playlist? I need new music!

 

Friday blog linkup

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