Apr 29, 2015

4 Gadgets I Never Thought I'd Own

Recently I've become quite the gadget geek. A year ago if you would have asked me if I would ever try a Kindle I would have responded with a resounding "No!" It's not that I have anything against a Kindle or any gadget for that matter, I just thought I didn't need it or wouldn't use it. Wow was I wrong. Today I have several techy items that I swore I wouldn't get. However as the world changes so do I, and here a few techy things that I love that I never thought I would own.

Hello, iPhone


When I had my Android a few years back I used to tell my boyfriend that I would never switch over to an iPhone. I was convinced that an Android was the best cell phone out there. Well I finally gave an iPhone a try about a year ago (I have the iPhone 5s), and I am hooked. Not only do the apps conflict on this phone a lot less than with the Android, I can take screen shots and do a bunch of other cool things. The only frustration is that sometimes I download SO many apps I don't have enough space to update my phone. Oops!

Entertain Me Kindle Fire

I used to think that a Kindle Fire was so cool, but I never thought I would use it. Why would I need a Kindle when I could do all that and more on my cell? Well, BK gave me one for Christmas last year and I've loved it ever since. You'll find me late at night in bed watching my favorite TV shows on Hulu. This is mainly what I use my Kindle for -- watching TV and occasionally reading. I used to play games but quickly got bored. The Kindle is quickly improving now too with awesome features like the ability to contact customer service on your Kindle itself if something weird happens while you're enjoying the entertainment. And I don't know if it's just me but I'm experiencing far less problems like my Kindle randomly turning off on me. The battery lasts for forever too! I think I've watched four shows in a row (shhh don't tell anyone). Plus they're super affordable unlike the iPad. Sorry, iPad users! ;)

Take Me on an Adventure Kindle Paperwhite

This by far is my favorite gadget and this is the last technology accessory on earth I thought I would buy. I have always been a huge fan of books. I love their smell, turning the pages, and looking at the pretty covers. What sold me on the Paperwhite though was just how many books you can store on it and the backlight that adjusts in any room or outdoor space. I thought about getting a Nook but after already being familiar with my Kindle Fire I decided to stay loyal to Amazon. Just joking, I read about it and it sounded like the perfect accessory for me to encourage me to read more.

Also, after I discovered how much easier it was to read a book on a small tablet as opposed to bringing a bulky book on my travels it was a no brainer! I now bring my Paperwhite with me everywhere and find myself "collecting" books even though I will never run out of space! Speaking of reading, I need to start reading again. My Paperwhite makes it simple to read on the go because it's lightweight and easy to stick in your bag or purse. I love it, seriously.

Make Me Fit Fitbit and Polar FT4

This is one accessory that I haven't used a lot and I'd like to start using it again. I don't think I read enough about it and I quickly grew tired of it. I like that it vibrates when you have met your walking goals -- but I guess I was looking for something to motivate me more, which is why I prefer workout watches that count calories by using your heart-rate. I got the Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor and working out has never been so accurate!

What gadgets aka technology accessories have you purchased that you thought you could live without?


Apr 26, 2015

Why You Gotta Be So Mean

Mean people suck, don't they? They go around and try to suck out other people's happiness, all because they're jealous, insecure, or unhappy themselves. People like this don't usually make good friends, and they also try to wreak havoc in your life by bringing you down and making you feel like something you're not.

Lately I've had a slew of people I've worked with who have been this way. I've had clients drop me out of nowhere, tell me basically that I'm not good enough, and treat me unkindly because they feel like they can. I get that businesses have to make business decisions or call me out on a mistake, but it's when people are mean and not professional about it is what rubs me the wrong way. Or when I know I didn't do something wrong and they insisted it was me. Where's the trust?! A few times I stood up for myself, but a few other times I just let it go. However, since I've had such a bad streak lately of mean people it's starting to affect me. I mean, after dealing with that so many times how could it not affect me? (Yes I'm going to include TSwift gifs in this post.) ;)

via giphy
I'm trying so hard to just push my feelings aside. The bigger person in me just wants to let it go, but the angry person in me is still a little bit bitter. And it's hard for me to trust that future work won't be the same.

Don't get me wrong, I've worked with a lot of GREAT people that I got along with fabulously. And I am still working with some incredible people. When I start letting the negativity get to me I remind myself that I do have people that appreciate my talents and that I shouldn't let the negative experiences sour the rest. It's just that if I were to be honest the negative comments always sting the most, don't they?

And here's another thing. Freelancing = communication via email, Skype, and the phone sometimes, which gives mean people an excuse to be mean. They know they can't see you day to day. They know that if they say something tacky or hurtful that you have to just shrug it off because they are paying you and for the most part they think they can get away with it. Also, what if you believe in the site or brand you're working on? You just can't leave them high and dry, now can you? I've been in a similar situation like this a few times now.

I don't know why but I've had horrible luck with a few people in particular, and instead of cutting out I've held on because I believed in the site, wanted to make more money, or I had faith that things would get better.
via giphy

Will things get better? I hope so. Will I find more amazing people who appreciate my skills and talents? I really want that. I need that. How can I learn from this going forward? Well, I can refuse to be treated unkindly and I can stand up for myself. For most of my life I've allowed people to step all over me.

"You're so sweet Sierra."
"Thanks for being there Sierra."

You're welcome?! I've improved with my boundaries and they're always a work in progress, but it's still very much a struggle for me. I want to be there for people but I need to learn to say no. To put myself first both personally and professionally while still being a stand out freelancer. And you know what? That's okay and I can do it.

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate...fakers gonna fake, fake, fake, fake...I'm just gonna shake it off, shake it off, off, off, off... (Yes I know I'm covering two totally two different songs in this post, lol.)

via giphy

Yes I love Taylor Swift and whenever I start getting overwhelmed with mean people, I'm going to shake it off and also sing "Why you gotta be so mean..."

I already feel a lot better.


Apr 18, 2015

Why Intimacy Goes Beyond the Bedroom

As BK and I get closer to being together 8 years...yes 8 years, I've found myself thinking a lot about intimacy in our relationship, and intimacy in any relationship for that matter. After being with the same man for almost 8 years I've not only been blessed to feel an intimacy that makes me feel completely loved and adored, but an intimacy that goes beyond what happens in the bedroom. For some people they may find after much reflection that they're in a relationship that's solely based on sex, but I'm here to argue that being a relationship is such more more than that. Here's why intimacy is so much more than what goes on in the bedroom, and what intimacy means to me.

1) Great Conversation

When BK and I met the one thing I really like about him right off the bat was that he was just so easy to talk to. And he still is. Our conversations have always flowed and we never run out of things to talk about. This is especially great when I am in Arizona, because believe it or not BK is the talker in our relationship, and I do a lot of listening. We talk about our lives, world news, movies, our family, Candy, and whatever else we like to talk about. BK loves to know the ins and outs of everything, so often we have very long conversations and I love it. A great conversation can take you far...especially one day if you have limited mobility and you and your significant other need to entertain one another. Find someone you can talk to for hours and you'll never get bored!

2) Affection

Affection for me means hugging that person, giving them a quick kiss on the lips, or laying next to them and not necessary touching them, but having the comfort that they are there with you. I love laying by BK while we each watch our own shows on our phones/Kindles, or having Candy in between us while we all cuddle together. It truly is the best feeling in the world. Intimacy for me is not only being intimate sexually, but being able to be affectionate with my best friend when I'm having a bad day. I also love to give BK a hug whenever I feel like it, which is nice since we both work/study at home. It's nice being able to go around the corner and give him a quick hug while he's working away and vise versa. Depending on how affectionate you are, find and stick with some sort of affection you both can look forward to daily.

3) Enjoying the Same Hobbies

BK is definitely an outdoorsy guy, and through the years I have learned more and more to love the outdoors myself. We both now love to hike, bike, go to the ocean, and go walking with Candy of course. We also love to eat out (a little too much I might add), walk around town, or get a salad to go and have a picnic lunch. Having the same hobbies is nice because we never run out of things to do, but at the same time we can do our separate hobbies (ie me going hiking) whenever we feel like it. It's nice feeling the intimacy from sharing things that we both enjoy, and I love the fact that we both can go on a hike because we both love the same thing. If you have the same interests and hobbies, life is more fun together!

4) Sharing a Love for a Fur-Baby (or Child)

Since Candy has come into our lives BK and I have grown closer because we both adore Candy and naturally we both love taking care of her. It has been fun seeing that caring side of BK and BK gets to see the puppy mom in me. Plus it has given us great practice for if/when we have kids one day. Try getting a fur child if you want the "practice," but honesty sometimes I feel like Candy is just as much work as a child, simply because she's so needy and I love her just as much as I would my own child! If you have children or fur-babies of your own, allow them to help your relationship grow as you become excellent parents together!

In closing of course I think sex is good! Who wouldn't! ;) It's great if you have that sexual chemistry, because obviously a relationship needs it in order to work long term. However, what happens if you can't have sex for a while due to a health reason, or you're having a long distance relationship for a time (hello Mer and Der from Grey's Anatomy), or you both get busy? Don't base your relationship on just one form of intimacy, because there is so so much more a relationship can offer you. If you're in a committed relationship I hope you both find an intimacy that you feel satisfied with, both emotionally and physically. I'm thankful I have, but of course BK and I are always learning, growing, and improving our intimacy together!

Apr 9, 2015

The Best Way to Brush a Small Dog's Teeth

Did you know that dogs can get periodontal disease over time? When I first took Candy to the vet when she was just 4-months-old one of the first things my vet told me was to brush Candy's teeth regularly. At first I thought there was no way. Candy could hardly sit still when she was that young! However over time Candy has now gotten used to me brushing her teeth and happily complies, even though I know she doesn't enjoy it.

Brushing your pup's teeth is super important for his or her good oral care. Believe it or not, your pup's oral health effects their overall health. Periodontal, or gum disease is a common and serious problem in dogs but luckily brushing their teeth helps prevent it.

Vets estimate that 85 percent of dogs that are over the age of five have periodontal disease, which according to ASPSA, "develops when food particles and bacteria collect along the gum line and form soft deposits called plaque. Over time, the plaque turns into rock-hard tartar. If tartar isn’t removed from your dog’s teeth, it will eventually inflame his gums. As the inflamed gums begin to separate from the teeth, pockets form in which more bacteria grow, causing periodontal disease to worsen. At this point, your dog can experience severe pain, lose teeth, form abscesses in his mouth and develop a bacterial infection that can spread through the bloodstream to the kidneys, liver, heart or brain."

All of that sounds pretty scary, huh?

Since Candy is not only my pet but she happens to be my best friend, I want to do everything in my power to keep her healthy. This is especially the case because little dogs are known to build up more plaque on their teeth than larger dogs. This is because their teeth are closer together. I aim to brush her teeth once daily, but sometimes life gets in the way. I at least make sure I set aside some time every other day to brush her teeth in the early morning before she eats, but when I'm able to brush them daily I see a huge difference. Really brushing your pup's teeth 3 times a week is better than nothing at all. Start with a few days and build up over time. It'll become a habit for both you and your dog.

When I first started brushing Candy's teeth she was pretty resistant. At first I just used my fingers with some dog toothpaste to get her used to the feeling. As a puppy anything foreign in their mouth pretty much freaks them out (except for delicious food or treats obviously). Slowly over time after she got used to my finger (with the puppy toothpaste) I began using a finger brush. I've found the soft flexible and rubber ones are the best. This finger brush on Amazon is very similar to what I used when Candy was still a puppy.
via Amazon

A few notes about finger brushes -- first make sure they are soft. Part of a dog's fear of something new being in their mouth is if they don't like the feeling of it. If you are using a hard plastic finger brush (you'd be amazed what they sell at the pet stores) of course they're not going to want their teeth brushed. If your pup is ready to "graduate" to a finger brush after they get used to your finger start slowly and be extremely gentle. I had to use a lot of praise with Candy and if she wasn't going for the finger brush on a particular day I would stop and then start again later. A dog can sense your patience is and more willing to work with you if you give them a lot of love and praise. Oh and don't forget the treat afterwards. Just make sure it's a healthy one since you just brushed their teeth. ;)
via Oral-B

Now that Candy is a year and a half I use a baby's stage 1 toothbrush (see above). Yes, you read that correctly. A baby's toothbrush just happens to be the right size for her mouth and the bristles are super gentle but hard enough that they will work on the plaque. It was actually BK's idea to use a baby's toothbrush and it works perfectly for Candy. Just like with the finger brush she had to get used to the toothbrush. Now that she's used to it she will allow me to gently lay her on her back, pull back her lips (while holding the top of her muzzle gently), and begin my brushing. This is how she usually looks below when I do her brushing. My hand is not pictured but she keeps her mouth open like this: 
And of course here's the happy girl after her brushing is all done: 
Remember it's all about being patient and finding what works best for your pup. Not every dog will respond kindly to getting their teeth brushed, but with a lot of consistency and being patient over time they will get used it. If you want to start now and your pup is already two-years-old, that's okay! It just may take them longer to get used to it so be extra patient. You'll feel great knowing you are doing your absolute best preventing periodontal disease, which can lead to other health issues for your pup. Make a point to brush your best friend's teeth for a healthier and happier dog! 

Happy brushing! 

Apr 3, 2015

Wearing Leggings Under Short Shorts (Yes it's a Do!)

I don't know about you, but leggings worn under shorts are definitely a do! Why? Well if you like wearing short shorts like me but don't necessarily have the legs for them (raises hand) black leggings hide any "flaws" you might have. Plus, who wants to wear shorts shorts during the spring when it's still slightly chilly out? I don't. I just bought a pair of Free People shorts with lace on eBay. According to the sizing they should fit, but everything seems to run small or extremely large on Free People. Sigh. So hopefully they will fit.

Just check them out. Beautiful! ;)

Here are 5 pictures of bloggers and fashionistas who are wearing their shorts with leggings (or tights) underneath with pride. I happen to think they look fabulous! I can't wait to give this look a try myself.





via Dormify