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Showing posts from 2021

Scout's passing, my first heartbreak.

Three years ago my son came back from his freshman year of college and decided he wanted to take a different career path other than college.  After being home a month he decided he was ready to get his own dog. We had a 5 year old lab and didn't think we wanted another dog in the home. We tried and tried to talk my son out of getting a dog. My son is kind of impulsive, does things, and never really thinks anything through. He went one afternoon and picked out a 10 week old lab that some people had leftover from a litter. Since he was already 10 weeks old, they had dropped the price dramatically to just $125 for a full yellow lab. June 2018 Scout became a part of our family whether my husband or I were ready. It is hard not to love a puppy but we both knew the struggles coming with training, house breaking, and chewing.  My son being a 19 year old who thought he knew everything quickly realized how little he knew and how stubborn Scout could be. I had never seen a dog dr

Stitch Fix Review

I started a monthly subscription to Stitch Fix several months ago. I have adult children now and felt like I could finally afford to provide myself a much needed updated wardrobe. The clothes I had been wearing to work each day were of poor quality and several years old.  I remember my daughter coming into my closet and pulling several pieces out and stating how long I had been wearing them. She had recently graduated from high school and some prices she remembered me wearing when she was in elementary school. So I decided to give Stitch Fix a try. The hope was to find clothes that helped me look more professional and stylish. Cost: When Stitch Fix sends you a box they charge you up front a $20 styling fee. The good thing about the fee is it is applied to anything you purchase. So, as long as you purchase something from the box, you don't lose you $20 dollar styling fee.  The cost of the clothes varies tremendously based on what you style preferences are. I personally have cheaper

My favorite and least favorite US destinations: Hershey, PA

Hershey, PA sounds like the place should be as magically as Disney World right? This is the place Milton Hershey invented what we know today we Hershey chocolate. I had envisioned a magically town that would draw millions of visitors a year.  The town: When you first pull I to town there is a cute welcoming sign with chocolate candy bar characters, misleading you to think the rest of the town is decorated much like the sign. There are light poles that have what resemble Hershey Kisses on the top. Again misleading because these two things are about the only things that give any indication that you are in Hershey, PA. If you choose not to stay at the Hershey hotel and pay a small fortune to do so, then you will most likely be driving 10-20 minutes in and out of town to stay at another hotel. We stayed at a Holiday Inn in a neighboring community and had everyone in our dance studio's credit card information stolen and used fraudulently the same day as we checked in. Most o

Confessions of a dance mom 2

Let's hit on a topic that drives me nuts, costumes. I totally understand that groups costumes need to be chosen by the teacher or choreographer to hit their vision but solo costume should be up to the dancer. If the dancer doesn't feel good in the costume it will show through their dance. This is their time to be themselves in a dance and that includes the costume choice. Dancers should get to voice their opinions in the decision of the costume. A great teacher will be open to the discussion. A teacher on a power trip will shut you down and try to control everything. I was fortunate to never have the power trip teachers or maybe they just knew it wouldn't work with my daughter and I, but anyways we always had a say. Not even a say but we just made the decision and the teachers supported it.  Does it really matter? Yes and No Yes, when you have a great costume it does send a message to the judges that you mean business and are there to compete. Even though costum

Confessions of a dance mom 1

I spent 13 years in the competitive dance world. Man I have got a lot to say after 13 years. I watched so many things evolve, change, become better, and always become worse. I will break this into several small sessions to hit many topics without writing a book each blog. So session 1? What else besides the dance, duh. When we started dance 13 years ago, my daughter was 4 years old.  She is now 19 years old and a student at AMDA college in Los Angels getting a Dance Theater Bachelor of Arts Degree. I remember running to my computer at home and watching numerous YouTube videos for the next amazing dance move, costume idea, or song choice.  Back then it was like a guarded secret which YouTube channels had the good stuff.  You see the really competitive parents back then in dance didn't like to share information. Fast forward to today and the information is at everyone's finger tips and easily accessible. It has been quite amazing to watch the world change before my ey

My favorite and least favorite US destinations: Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg, TN  Gatlinburg is in the Smokey Mountains National Park, it is a two for one. You get the great town of Gatlinburg and a national park to visit in one trip. The town of Gatlinburg is fun and quant with an old western and bluegrass feel. The main stripe in town is lined with endless shops to spend your time and money. Rafting, horse back riding, hiking to Clingman's Dome, ski lift, and the sky bridge are just a few of the popular activities most visitors enjoy. The scenery of the Smokies Mountains is breathe taking.  This is a place I have visited twice. To be honest, I would revisit tomorrow if I was able to. When others say they want to take a vacation and not sure where to go, I always suggest Gatlinburg. Add in the bonus of it's neighbor Pigeon Forge and a visitor has everything they could ever want. Pigeon Forge reminds me of a bigger and better Branson, MO. Go-carts, fun houses, Dolly Parton Stampede, restaurants you name it, Pigeon Forge has it all

CBD a year later

So here we are almost a year later, how is the CBD treatments going? I updated a previous blog with updated information.  After a year most thoughts I had a year ago are still the same.  Remember these feelings I posted months back? Labs are prone to bad hips and lose some of their mobility as they age. I watched the loss with a previous lab we owned and eventually he had to be put down. He was 16 years old but his mind was still viable. Putting a dog down who stills understands what you are saying but lacks the ability to even stand anymore is one of the most heartbreaking things I have ever done. Experience is key in life! After we went through it, we made a decision to do the things needed to reduce some of that pain and suffering for our next dog. No matter the cost! I remind myself, I went and chose Josie, she didn't come pick me out. I owe her the best life I am able to emotionally,  physically, and financially give her.  Yes still strongly feel the same way. We h

My favorite and least favorite US destinations: Wisconsin Dells, WI

Living in the Midwest, you grow up hearing about how great the Dells are for a vacation. I had this vision in my head of a beautiful area full of lakes and boating activities. I had heard the area was the indoor waterpark king of the world. I had heard so many things..... We visited the Wisconsin Dells, often referred to as the Dells in the summer of 2017. We had to spend a week in the town for my daughter's dance competition. If you really want to get a true feeling for any city, I suggest spending a week. By week's end you will know if you would like or never wish to return.  So did I love it? Lodging is very expensive in this town. Most people come to visit the waterpark resorts, so it helps swallow the price a bit. We choose not to stay at one of the resorts, as we were there to compete and wouldn't be using the waterpark facilities. We did check into a resort for a few nights at week's end when our daughter was done competing. Finding other lodging that

Tic Tok Couch

I bought one of the Tic Tok couches for my family room a few months ago. This couch replaced a much larger pleather sectional that had begun peeling. We placed our order through Nebraska Furniture Mart over the phone and had the couch delivered a few weeks later. To be completely honest my husband got the measurements wrong in his head and thought this couch was the same dimensions as the couch it was going to replace. Not quite! Upon delivery, we realized this new couch was much smaller in size and the chaise was on the wrong side. Thinking we made a mistake we called Nebraska Furniture Mart to see why the wrong side was sent and was told it was their error. The couch was advertised as being a left chaise but is only manufactured as a right. The company did refund one hundred dollars for their false advertisement. After debating whether to keep the couch or return, we decided to keep and rearrange the family room to make this new couch fit against the wall.  Pros: Smaller

My favorite and least favorite US destinations: Yellowstone National Park

So I have been following where my blog is usually read and surprisingly there are several readers in other countries. So I thought I would put together a list of my favorite and least favorite US destinations I have traveled to. I will split this into a several parts, because frankly I have a lot to say. I have traveled a great deal in my life and feel like I have good insight to share. My family is huge traveling advocates. I could stand on my soap box and tell you all the reasons you need to travel, but if you are reading this I am going to assume you already unstand the value of traveling. Take the trip! So my go to first suggestion to anyone and everyone who asks where I suggest is always and will always be a national park. This one is almost too difficult to include in this list because there are sixty-three of them. Now I haven't been to all of them but the ones I have been to have all been mind blowing and beautiful in their own ways. When in doubt, just visit a

Kitchen wall came down

My house was built seventy years ago. Well, seventy years ago home floor plans were much different than the open concept most enjoy nowadays. Having a ranch style home in the Midwest equalled a home that was small and cut up into several small rooms. Several years ago we added a huge addition onto our house. The addition included a garage, 3 bedrooms, laundry room, family room, and three bathrooms. After completing the addition we were tasoed with how to tie in the old part of the house with the new addition.  The worst part of my home would be my kitchen. The original kitchen had no room for a table, no counter space, and barely enough room for more than a few people to be in at once. Having everything else new and big in the addition drove me nuts that the kitchen was still unacceptable and barely conventional part of the house.  Over the years we added more cabinets and counter space, added a small room off the kitchen room to place a table, and kept things t

How I win at Christmas gifting each year

To say I love Christmas and gifting is an understatement. My children are young adults now so I have many years experience under my belt. Add in the Type A personality that drives my brain crazy to over analyze gift giving and success is the only achieveable destination to end with. I am one of the most organized Christmas shoppers you will ever come across.  I had a few young adults ask how I pull off great Christmases for my family year after year. So here is my steps to having a great Christmas: 1. Save all year, Yep your read that right. Start now or even better yesterday. I have $50 taken from my bi-weekly check and deposited into a Christmas savings account. It has to be a Christmas savings account so you don't have the option to spend it early. Now to clarify, the money in this account is only what I saved. Even though our money is joint, I feel accomplished having saved my share for Christmas. My husband has money set aside with his union and receives a seperate

Mammoth Cave National Park

We visited Mammoth Cave National Park during the pandemic. We needed a place we could drive to on a quick weekend trip. Traveling from Missouri made this destination easily accessible. Mammoth Cave is the world's longest known cave system.    Much of the cave was closed due to the pandemic. We were only allowed to take the Discovery Tour. We did have to pre-purchase our tour tickets for a cost of $8 per adult. This national park doesn't have a fee booth that you drive through like many of the other parks. So though we had previously purchased an annual park pass eariler in the summer, it didn't do us any good at this particular park. We were still required to purchase tour tickets.  I wasn't extremely impressed with the condition of many of the buildings we passed as we traveled to the visitors center. My husband made the comment that one could tell this is a neglected and not as visited park as the others.  The drive in is scenic. You drive through a forres