10 Things Things That Made My Life Easier.

I’ve gone over much debate with myself about making a list post, but I’ve finally narrowed down what I’d like to post about. All the points on this list have helped me in one way or another and I hope they’ll help you too, cause who doesn’t need help every once in a while.

Before we get started I am in no way an affiliate with any product or business on this list. I use them because they work and hopefully they’ll work for you.

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  1. Save money without thinking about it with Albert! I’ve been using this app since December and it has helped me save money, by putting a little bit here and there into a free savings account on the app. You can set a goal and take funds out at anytime. I am horrible when it comes to money management, but this app has helped me understand it a little better. You can add your monthly bills to it and your bank account info and it’ll tell you where to cut back on spending and how to help lower any monthly bills you have. It’s 100% free so if you don’t like it it’s no big deal.

 

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2.  This app is great for getting rid of things around the house you don’t use anymore. My friend Kayla introduced me to this app and I’ve bought a few things off of the site. You can sell pretty much anything from old clothes,collectibles, and even furniture! It free to join and all the money you get from selling you can either use it in the app to buy other people’s stuff or you can have it deposited into your bank account. It’s helped me give life to my old clothes and it’s helped fatten my wallet a little.

 

download (1)3.Ever just get bored and go walk around Walmart? Well why not turn that boredom into a gift card! Shopkick is this really neat app that I’ve been using on and off for about four years now. One you launch the app you just click on the store you’re going into and Shopkick will give you points just for walking through the door. You can also earn points by scanning products with your phone’s camera. When you’ve racked up those points you’ll be able to exchange them for digital gift cards for thousands of stores.

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4. For those of you with Comcast internet this app is great. Xfinity Xfi lets you control and see your internet usage. You can see what types of devices are connected and you can assign them to a specific person in your home, also you can control who has access to the wifi for example if its dinner time and you want everyone at the table you can turn off individual devices it really helps so you’re not screaming across the house yelling “dinners ready” like a lunatic. I mostly use it to help reset the router if there is an issue with the internet and to check and see when the most usage is occurring.

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5. If you don’t already know about Venmo its a great free app that allows you to send and receive money from friends and family. My friend Carmen showed me this about two years ago and it’s really come in handy when I don’t have cash, but need to pay someone back for lunch. It’s easy and free to set up and you can connect it directly to your bank account or paypal. It helps a lot if you have teenage kids or kids in college all your kids have to do is ask for a dollar amount through the app  and you’ll receive a request. You can even put in a description about what the money’s for.

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6. If you’re not good with credit cards and need some help getting your payments together give Tally a try. It’s a credit card manager that helps keep all your cards in one place and instead of making several different payments each month Tally takes them and makes one lump sum that you pay off each month. They also offer Debt Management, Late Fee Protection, and lines of Credit. This is great for a person like me since I forget most of the time when my payments are due. It’s free to download so it can’t hurt to try!

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7. If you enjoy online shopping  then you need Dashlane. Dashlane helps store all your logins for all your favorite sites it’ll also keep record of your confirmation numbers from your purchases so you wont have to dig through your email. The app is free, but the do have a premium option ($4.99/per month) which is worth it if you do most if not all of your shopping online.  It’ll also help protect you from identity theft.

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8.Yes, I know the name is funny, but it’s actually a really neat app. If you’re at the movies and that xlarge soda is rearing its ugly head you have two choices hold it till your kidneys float or run to the bathroom and hope you don’t miss anything important. Well with RunPee you can pick the perfect time to go! Just pick the movie you’re seeing and RunPee will tell you when the best time is to go use the rest room. You can even set a vibrating alarm to let you know when its time to go.

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9. Ever go to the gym and see something on the TV that you want to listen to, but you can’t hear it or its muted? Well Tunity is a neat app that allows you to scan any nearby tv and it will allow you to listen to what is on that tv through your headphones or speaker. It’s a fun and free little app to use especially if you’re like me and enjoy watching Food Network while you work out!

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10. Ever go on instagram or online and see an outfit you really like, but there’s no way to tell who made it or where it came from. Well with Screenshop that all ends now! With this app all you do is upload a screenshot of a photo of the outfit you like and voila! Screenshop has just uploaded tons of pieces similar to the picture! It’s really neat and it might not make your life easier, but hey it sure is neat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Love is ugly

Love, it’s the strongest word known to man, one four letter word can make us or break us. It should never be taken or spoken of lightly. So why do we live in a generation of people who use it to describe every relationship they’re in? Are they actually in love? Or are they just saying they are in love to describe the lust they have for someone?

In reality love is painful and ugly, but it can also be beautiful and life changing. Love can make us do insane things we normally would never do. It can change us into a person we barely recognize, it can change our way of thinking. It can consume us in ways we didn’t think possible, but it can also break us beyond repair.

How can something so powerful and good, be turned into something so casual and meaningless? For example if you had all the money in the world would you be upset if something like you car broke down? No, you’d just go out and buy a new one. The car was meaningless, you could walk into any dealership and buy a brand new one and not even bat an eye at how much it cost. Well the word love has morphed into that, it has become almost meaningless to some, and to others it can be the only thing that matters.

When we just throw the word love around we lose its actual meaning a purpose along the way. It becomes just an everyday word. Love shouldn’t be used to describe something we like, but wouldn’t be too upset to lose. Love is everything that is good and every struggle you’ll have. A relationship where there is love is not easy or perfect though it may seem. It look years of struggles and fighting for each other, it’s about the long sleepless nights taking care of your sick husband even though you’ve just worked a 9 hour shift and all you want to so is sleep, it’s about sitting at home for weeks watching tv and eating ramen because you can’t afford to go out anywhere, it’s about holding your wife while she’s crying after she just found out she has cancer and telling her everything going to be okay, when in reality you have no idea.

Love is ugly and hard, but it’s also so beautiful. We’ve forgotten the ugly parts of love, because we want everything to be just like the movies. We see love as some superficial thing, we think buying someone flowers or expensive gifts is love and yes as nice as those things might be, who’s gonna be there for you when all the money’s gone or when your looks fade away? Who’s gonna hold you and be there for you when it seems like the whole world has turned is back on you?

Diamonds fade and flowers die, but the true love you find with someone when the chips are down and there is nothing left to lose. That’s the kind of love you want, you want that love when you’re in old and grey, you’ll want someone who’s lived a life with you, you want a comrade who’s bought battles for you and with you and if you’ve found that kind of love don’t let it go. It’ll be messy and stressful at times, but I’d rather have someone live a life with me then be a temporary fixture.

“Love says: I’ve seen the ugly parts of you, and I’m staying. Our culture doesn’t love love; It loves the idea of love.It wants the emotion without the sacrifice.” -Matt Chandler

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PC Culture and why (some of it) isn’t so bad.

We’ve all heard of PC Culture and if you haven’t it is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society (Thanks Wikipedia!). The cultural movement or the “culture war” started in the mid to late 20th century it took its gotten more momentum in the past five years due to a younger and more excepting generation of peoples.

Now I understand there is some confusion about what PC actually is, unfortunately it has become morphed into this whole cry baby and hurt feelings stance when in actuality that isn’t the case. PC culture can help us to become better people, it can help us become more aware of the plight and injustice done to our fellow man and give us a reason to help fight that injustice. For example my very good friend Carmen, she’s a feminist, activist, academic, and all around wonderful person and shes helped me a great deal with understanding how the culture works and that’s not some movement for some thin skinned crybabies.

She has introduced me to a fellow activist, Alexis Wilson who has pulled me farther down the rabbit hole so to speak. She is a sexual advocate, feminist, fellow blogger, social media rock star, and just all around amazing woman. She has helped me have a better understanding of the black community and the struggle’s they face daily and a grasp on sexuality and how a person can and should be able to express themselves without being shamed.

PC culture isn’t a bad thing, but it can be seen that way to the untrained eye. I’ve taken it upon myself to make my own judgement’s on the culture and to learn as much as I can from the people in my life who have spent their whole lives living and perfecting it. I’ve come to see that a lot of people refuse to move out of their comfort zones. They refuse to take a step in the direction of their true selves for fear of being ridiculed, bullied, mocked or even attacked. Now think for a second, how great would it be if we lived in a society where we could be who we truly are and be with who we truly love without dehumanizing someone, just because they decide to have a different lifestyle choice then us.

Why is that wrong? Do I not deserve to be treated like a human being because of a medical condition I have? Am I not entitled to the same pay as the rest of my coworkers? Am I not allowed to be who I truly am if  I decided I am not comfortable with the gender I was born with? I’m not hurting anyone, I’m not forcing my way of life down your throat. You see how that sounds? It sounds insane that someone based off the color of their skin or their ability to walk can be judged and treated lesser than anyone else just because some people are uncomfortable with their way of life.

So you see PC culture isn’t as bad as some people would like us to think. All its asking is for us to accept and respect someone who lives their life just a little differently than yours. We all just want to be loved, respected, and accepted by our fellow man, but in a world filled with hate and bigotry it can be hard to see the value of a person and it can be hard for us to accept someone who is a little different, but if we just educate ourselves and make an effort to better ourselves and become more understanding then we might just get to live in a world without hate.

If you’d like to learn more about PC Culture and other great articles about liberation and celebrating freedom of the self go and follow Alexis Wilson’s blog Blaqtavist right here on WordPress!

Gay flag pinted on fist.

But First Coffee.

If you don’t already know, I am not a morning person. I never have been and quite possibly never will be. I can not physically function anytime before about 11AM and before you ask yes, I am and adult and yes, I do value my sleep more than a dragon values its virgins and gold.

  This is the most accurate depiction of what I am like if anyone attempts to speak to me before 11AM and without at least four cups of coffee.

I am by all account a night owl, I love waking up late and staying up late. I work in a hotel at the front desk and if you are unfamiliar with how the shifts work at a hotel, well I am here to tell you. We have three shifts AM, PM, and Night Audit. Now AM is usually 7:30 AM-3:30 PM, PM is 3:30 PM-11:30 PM that’s my shift and Night Audit is 11:30 PM-7:30AM.

I have gotten it to the point at my job that most of my coworkers and managers know better than to schedule me for a morning shift, but if this happens and it does from time to time they are usually to afraid to tell me. I have not reacted well to this before. See related gif below.

Okay, that’s a little much, but I think you get my point. I just can’t do mornings, its in my blood to sleep late, I was born at night after all. I’m sure if I tried harder I’d become a morning person, but my night owl personality say “Screw that” and I kind of agree. I hate feeling exhausted to the point I can’t keep my eyes open, or being able to fall asleep standing up like a horse.

I commend morning people! Good for you all that can get up at the butt crack of dawn and be a productive member of society. Look at you! You breakfast having overachiever! My husband is a morning person, he can get up at 9 AM, have a cup of coffee and go about his day. Me on the other hand, he’ll wake up and do his best not to wake me up because he fears waking me up to early and having to suffer through several hours of hearing me cursing out everything including the cat that gets between me and a cup of coffee.

Now that I’ve adequately dogged on mornings, let me tell you why I love being a night owl. My favorite thing about waking up late is I feel more rested and by the time I wake up most if not all of the people I hangout have been awake and alert for hours now. I also enjoy the fact that almost all stores are still open and usually aren’t as packed as they would be in the morning, like the grocery store or the pharmacy.

I could list a thousand reasons as to why I enjoy sleeping in, but I’ll save that for another day. For now I’ll be slowly morph into some semblance of a human being seeing as I’ve been awake since 6:45 AM and it’s just barely hit 10:00 AM. God save my soul.

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Three Blind Mice: How others can see our issues when we can’t.

Have you ever been looked back on a past relationship and noticed all the bad things about it that you never noticed when you were actually in it? Do you look back on it and thing Why did I ever stay? Why didn’t I see all the blaring signs that this was not okay?

Well the long and shot of it is, you chose not to see the flaws. When we’re in a relationship we have a tendency to see through rose-colors glasses, we tend not to see the issues in our own relationships because we’ve become immune to it. We don’t see any issues with it because we either are comfortable or in love with that person when in reality we loved the person they once were.

Now I’m not talking about just romantic relationships I am talking about all our relationships we have, like friendships, partnerships, ect. We can become blind to the hurtful and unjust ways someone can treat us. We accept the fact that this is just the way things are and we become complacent and comfortable after spending months if not years being treated like less than what we are and what we deserve.

This is where the hard part comes in. TRUTH. Remember when you got so upset at your friend, colleague, or family member when they told you something they found wrong in your relationship? Remember when you finally found out they were right? That’s what I mean when I said we look through life with rose-glasses. Others can see the hurt and pain someone else is causing us, but we can’t, we chose not to. Now I’m not saying take everything anyone say as truth, but just listen to what they have to say.

Don’t dismiss it and don’t get angry about it, most of the time someone is trying to tell you something that is hard to hear because they love and respect you. They want to see you at your best and they want nothing, but the best for you.

We can’t sit in ignorance forever, if we do that will just lead us to our own unhappiness. Don’t waste your wonder years on someone who is just down right no good for you. Spend that time with someone who is worthy of your love, respect, time, and companionship. Don’t waste another moment one someone who will never see or understand the value of your worth.

We all make mistakes and that’s okay, its apart of being human, we’ll never stop making them, but we do need to learn from them. So listen to a friend or someone you can trust and listen to what they have to say, they might just be seeing something you’re blind to.

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Tattoo’s and the stories our bodies can tell.

What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word tattoo? Do you think biker? Gang? Unemployed? Well growing up that’s what I hear, that tattoo’s were reserved for “dirty people”. Now I understand tattoo’s haven’t always had the best rap, until recently so I don’t fault anyone for having those ideas placed in my head. I mean I am someone daughter for crying out loud. Of course my parents didn’t want to see their precious angel covered in tattoo’s, but as I got older I started to understand the meaning behind why people are so addicted to getting them.

I went under the needle for the first time when I was eighteen, young, dumb, and stupid. I went to a tattoo shop over the summer with a high school friend of mine and got a four-leaf clover tattooed on the left side of my pelvis. It didn’t have any meaning other than the fact that I am Irish and Scottish and it looked cool. That first tattoo cost me $100, which now I understand was way to much money to pay for something no bigger then a silver dollar, but it’s apart of me and I’ve grown to love it. My next tattoo wouldn’t be till five years later, I got a stitched heart in red and black with the words famiglia inside it. I got this tattoo with a friend of mine, I have since had that tattoo covered up, by a beautiful water colored owl.

The reason I had my tattoo covered up was due to a falling out with that friend and the owl was there to remind me to always be wise about  my decisions in life. My next tattoo was not one of happiness. It is a black rose with the number thirteen inside it. I received this the day I lost my first baby, Friday April 13th, 2018. I was devastated and I needed something to block out my pain. I needed something to remind me that my baby was real and was mine. It is by far my favorite tattoo I have.

You see, I am not a “dirty person”, I am not in a gang, and I am not a biker, I am married and employed. I own a home and I drive an SUV. I am defined more by my actions then my tattoos. My tattoo’s tell my story, my pain, my happiness and for many people this is a type of therapy. I’ve gone with people to get tattoo’s to remember a lost loved one and tattoo’s to help a rape survivor reclaim her body. Tattoo’s aren’t meant for bad people. they are there to help people express how they feel in a way that helps them grow. I look back on all my tattoo’s and remember the lesson’s I’ve learned. They can help someone close a chapter of their life and help them move on.

Tattoo’s can be painful and are permanent, not to mention expensive pieces of art. So trust me when I say getting a tattoo isn’t just a spur of the moment idea, It’s a life altering one. We save and wait months to get a tattoo, we research artists and go to consultations. We pay deposits, and buy all the things we need to help heal and protect our artwork. Not to mention researching the tattoo show to make sure they are licensed in the stated and they have passed their blood born pathogens tests.

We don’t go into this lightly and for many of us our tattoo artist is like our therapist. They see our happiness and our pain and they listen to us, they share an understanding. They work so hard to make us feel comfortable and safe.  We sit for hours with artists as they painstakingly get every detail and line perfect. This is our therapy, this is what helps us heal and move on so we can close that chapter of our lives and start a new one.

So if you’re not into tattoo’s I understand and I don’t judge you for that, but I hope instead of seeing a “dirty person” I hope you see the warrior behind it all. I hope you see the woman who’s lost her babies and still fights the good fight, or the veteran honoring his service to this country, or the rape survivor who bravely says to the face of her attackers “this is my body and I am taking back whats mine”.  My body is a temple and I’m just painting the walls.

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Selfish or Self-Preservation?

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while, with the holidays and personal life crisis’ I haven’t had much time to write, but I am back with some interesting questions. I have found over the past couple of months that there is a mutual relationship with being selfish and self-preservation. Now when we hear the word selfish we immediately associate that would with something bad like only caring for one’s self instead of the needs/wants of others. Well I’ve been thinking. Is that such a bad thing? Is it so bad to want to focus on your own need and wants over someone else’s?

I think not, They say on airplanes during the safety briefing “Please fasten your own mask before assisting others” meaning you can’t help anyone if you don’t help yourself first.  I think in order for us to grow as human beings we all have to be a little selfish, for example the mom who hides in the bathroom just so she doesn’t have to share the cupcake with her screaming kid on the other side of the bathroom door or the spouse who just wants to take a drive just so they can have some alone time with their thoughts. I think in order for us to keep our sanity and to survive we all must be a little selfish. We everyday are faced with making choices that could either benefit us or benefit someone else and in the midst of that we generally make the decision to make someone else happy instead of ourselves.

Why is that? Are we incapable of our own happiness? Are we so afraid of offending someone by declining a favor, or going out to dinner, or listening to someone’s problems for hours on end? Are we afraid of losing favor with someone if we don’t bend to their will? That to me is insane, how am I as a person, supposed to be a loving wife to my husband, a good employee to my job, and a caring friend if I can’t take care of my emotional needs first? It’s not possible for us to give every bit of ourselves to everyone else and be left with nothing in return. Now I’m not talking about doing someone a favor and getting nothing in return, I’m taking about having nothing left in our emotional arsenal to defend off our own attacks of self-worth and emotional distress.

If we have nothing left for ourselves how are we supposed to defend off attacks to our own personal well-being? We all have to be a little selfish for our own self-preservation. We all need that alone time to just gather our thoughts, we need that emotional down time to scream, kick and curse just to let out that steam of pent-up frustration. We need to all be a little selfish, so we can continue to be the best wife, friend, partner, mother we can be. Some people might not understand it and some might not agree with it, but it’s something we need. So don’t feel bad if you need a break from your kids or your wife and don’t feel bad if you choose to ignore that phone call from your friend. You can’t help anyone if you can’t help yourself first.

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