Cat On A Leash

My apartment complex is shaped in a large U and in the middle is a nice green area where people sit, kids play and birds chirp away in the trees. Several times I’ve noticed a tuxedo cat roaming around on a leash! I know that there are leashes for cats, but I’ve never seen one in action. Today, I got to see this cat up close and personal. The owner was walking him and she noticed my Minnie in the window and asked if she was a Maine Coon, which she is. I told her to hold on and showed her my tuxedo cat; her cat on the leash is also a tuxedo. She laughed and brought her cat up to our window. I thought my brat, I mean cat, Chase, might growl, but he was a gentleman and just stared back at the cat. I don’t think any of my cats would ever tolerate being on a leash; I think they’re so used to being indoor kitties, that taking them outside would be a culture shock. But, they enjoy watching the other kitty getting his exercise.

 

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To Reunion Or Not To Reunion

I’ve joined my senior class Facebook page, but I honestly don’t recognize many. Granted, we’ve all grown up and many have married, so I may not recognize their married name. But, I also don’t recognize their faces or even if they have their maiden names listed. Some of it could be due to my memory issues, thanks to fibro and RA. But, I wasn’t a fan of high school and wasn’t popular, at all. In fact, I hated just about everything to do with high school. I really don’t have any long term friendships from high school and quickly moved away, after graduating from my hometown’s college. I thought about moving back several times, to be closer to family. But, every time I consider it, there are many things that make me decide to stay where I’m at; which is about two hours away. I recently saw that we are approaching our 25th year anniversary, wow, don’t I feel old! Yep, I graduated in 1992, but they’re already talking about making plans for a reunion. I didn’t attend the other reunion, which I think was held for our 10 years. I really don’t remember many people and I don’t really think I’d have much to say.

Today I was thinking about it, and joked that it might be fun to go to the reunion with a “fake” life story. Like I’m a world traveler, or my husband is overseas and we’re so wealthy, living in the Hampton’s most of our time. I like to think I’d get my hair done up, makeup put on beautifully and possibly rent a nice car to arrive in. Since I didn’t attend the previous reunion, I have no idea what goes on at these things. I assume it’s a bunch of talks about kids and what they’ve done since they’ve last saw each other? I don’t have kids and I really don’t want to tell people that I’m legally disabled. I much rather like to keep that my own “secret”, granted, I say it on here, but I hate that look of, but you look just fine. I probably won’t attend and I’m ok with that. Maybe they’ll post pictures and I’ll still stare and wonder who the hell that was? For now, I’ll smile, looking at my graduation picture, thanking God above that I’m no longer in high school and far away from it.

I personally left that part of my life, far, far behind. Do you have any desire to attend your high school reunion?

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My Quick Fix on Decreasing Sound in my Apartment

About a year ago, my life was full of turmoil over my upstairs neighbor. We had a lot of issues, that I won’t rehash, but I’ve blogged about, many times. Today I was reading a post from the site, Apartment Therapy, and they asked a question about what you dislike most about your home? Well, that’s an easy answer for me, the lack of insulation and poor sound proofing. I realize that my upstairs neighbor can likely complain about our TV or voices, etc, since we can clearly hear him. I mean, I hear his phone ring and then hear him saying “hello”. I’ve lived in many apartments, and this is the first time I’ve lived in one where the sound proofing was apparently “left out”! I researched many ways to try and cut down on sound, such as adding thick drapes to shield out some noise and there’s even a spray paint that’s supposed to cut down on the acoustic sounds. But, all of this is costly, and we can’t do anything major, like adding a layer of insulation and sheet rock. We’ve alerted our new neighbor about the poor sound insulation, but that hasn’t done any good. He wears his cowboy boots everywhere, including above our bedroom at all hours, even at 4am, waking me up. It’s just a courtesy thing, and sadly, a lot of people don’t consider that their walking in heeled shoes would be a nightmare to the tenant below them.

We’ve learned that talking to our apartment manager was useless and only made the situation worse, much worse. So, we’ve decided we have to learn to deal with it, because financially, we’re not in a position to move. Plus, we’ve been here for five years and we really do love our apartment, with that major exception! I will say I’ve found a fairly decent solution to cutting down on some noises. I have a TV in my bedroom,  but because I have etiquette, I would never play my TV after 10pm as a common courtesy to my neighbor. I would certainly hope he wouldn’t turn his TV or radio on after a certain time, as well. The solution we came up with is, is getting wireless headphones. I researched online and we decided on a pair of RCA wireless headphones that we purchased on Amazon. We ended up loving them so much, we got two more pairs for our other TV’s. The sound quality is great and it blocks out all outside noises. I never feel guilty about watching TV late, in bed, and I can wear them walking around my house because they’re wireless. Another great feature, is that they run on rechargeable batteries! So, when my neighbor is having his loud days or it’s late at night, my wireless headphones help me to enjoy my TV show, versus cursing out my obnoxious neighbor!

Here’s a link to the headphones we got, I have had zero complaints and would highly recommend them to anyone! And no, I don’t work for RCA or get any financial gain from writing about them; although, that would be completely welcomed!

 

My Makeup Box Subscription Obsession

A few things I’ve been obsessed with lately are makeup subscription boxes! I mean, what’s better than getting a monthly box of makeup goodies? In my opinion, not much! If it were up to me, and not my checkbook, I’d be getting a box a day! But, for now, I get ipsy, which I really love. One of the best things about ipsy, is that they not only send cool samples of makeup products, but they always send a cute makeup bag to go with it. The bags are always different and really cute. Some of which you could totally use for your purse and one I thought would make a cute clutch bag. I also love birchbox, which I have sent to my mom, for a special mommy to daughter treat. Birchbox does have a male version of a box, but I can’t speak to how to great it is, since I’ve never purchased it. Both of these monthly boxes cost $10 per month. each,so overall, it’s not too much of an expense. My favorite is julep. If you see any of my pictures from instagram, you’ll quickly see that there is a tie between cat pictures and nail pictures. Julep is mainly about nail polish, but they also have great makeup selections. What I really love about julep is that they’re cruelty free! This is of course a very important topic for me, since I’m vegan, and an animal rights activist. Julep is a bit more at $20 per month, but they give the option to skip that month’s box and/or provide a choice of a selection from another box. When you sign up, you take a maven style quiz; I happen to be “classic with a twist” which explains my style perfectly. However, if I want to mix it up, I can certainly go into my maven box display and choose another box to be sent to me instead. I’ve yet to have a month where I’ve decided to forego a month. Who are they kidding? But, at $20 per month, I have to make sure that I really want that month’s selection. Typically, they send two nail polishes and a lip gloss or blush or eye shadow. It’s so much fun to receive my monthly box, it’s like Christmas opening them up. I’d love to start receiving the Elf box, but it’s a bit more and only comes out every 8 months, so I’ll pass for now. There are much more options for boxes, and it’s not only limited to makeup, there are nature, food and stationary boxes. Very fun! I’d say you get your money back because the samples are sometimes more than sample size. I’ve received full size item’s that I may not have considered purchasing before getting them in a box. I’ve recently took advantage of a 50% off sale with Elf and got some great deals for only $12. I absolutely love a DEAL! I also got a great deal from the body shop. Both Elf and the Body Shop are cruelty free brands, which is very important to me. Julep also let’s you get your first box for free, find the code on their website, http://www.julep.com/rewardsref/index/refer/id/444525/. You can also join ipsy by going here, http://www.ipsy.com/ladynicole. You can join birchbox by going here, https://www.birchbox.com/invite/r43h6.

 

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February Julep Box

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February Ipsy Box

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One of my favorite Julep Colors

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March Ipsy Box

If you check out my instagram pictures, on the right of the blog, you’ll see that I typically provide pictures of all of the bags I receive. It’s fun and fairly inexpensive. Granted, they’re a luxury item and it’s my one vice. I’ve always loved makeup, especially nail polish. I inherited that love from my grandmother, who was a Vanda saleslady. Anyone remember that makeup? She was always decked out, even when she was going to church. I remember when she started to get ready, from her hair, to face to her nails. It was an all afternoon affair, since she attended the Saturday evening mass at St. Augustine Catholic Church. She was a beautiful woman, who loved looking her best. She was and will forever be, one of my favorite role models. Love you Grandma!

So, if you love to pamper yourself and get a monthly gift of fun and unique makeup products, they you may just want to check out getting a box of your own. You can always cancel at any time. I mean, getting makeup next to a bunch of bills, does tend to take the sting out of it! I hope you enjoy your monthly boxes as much as I do! Enjoy my makeup friends!

My Kind of Vacation

A friend of mine is currently on vacation and posting pictures of a lot of the things she’s encountered. I haven’t been on vacation, well, ever. I mean I lived in California and we went to the beach a few times, but a formal vacation? No. My husband and I have never even gone on a honeymoon. I just can’t afford a vacation. Granted, I know there are mini vacations that aren’t far from home or many are taking “staycations”, which is a vacation where you stay at home, but go out and do things together in your town. Truth be told, I don’t like vacation. I hate staying away from my home for any length of time. The idea of not sleeping in my own bed isn’t appealing, at all. Even when I visit my family, I want to come back the same day. Thankfully, we don’t live too far from each other, so driving two hours to get home, isn’t an issue. I don’t ever want to be away from my kitties, except for maybe a few hours, but definitely not for a week. But, I know I’m in the minority. Most people dream about a vacation on the beach and time away from their daily life. But going to the beach sounds like torture for me. I hate the heat and hate being in the sunshine. I’m much more of a Fall person and enjoy cool days and even cooler nights. Perhaps a trip to the NorthEast would be fun in the Fall.

However, a vacation is not in the finances, for a very long time. Nor is it a priority for me. But, I thought about the things at home that I really enjoy and can feel like a “vacation” to me. Perhaps vacation isn’t the right word, but I think it’s important to focus on the things you enjoy while at home, so you can make it part of your routine. For example, I love candles. I always have a candle burning. There’s something soothing about it and calming. I don’t buy expensive candles, but love a bargain. When Target clearanced their Christmas Glade candles, I bought them all; all 24 of them! They were half of their original price, so it was a steal. Plus it was my favorite scent of cinnamon apple. So burning a candle is not only comforting, it helps make my home smell nice. Years ago I bought a candle holder that has a design on it, so when a candle is lit, the design is flickered onto the wall, which gives the room some ambiance.

To really enjoy my day, I have to have certain food items. Like mints and gum! Yes, these are weird things to desire, but I must have them! I also enjoy my carbs, like the jalapeno chips I get from Whole Foods and Daiya cream cheese and bagels, yum. I know it’s awful for you, but I also must have my diet coke. I don’t enjoy alcohol, so diet coke is my vice. I also enjoy having my TV. Yes, I’m a TV junkie and there are shows I just love to watch. Specifically, almost any show on HLN. I love watching court trials and every night I watch Nancy Grace. I’ve recently also started to watch Jane Velez Mitchell’s show. I love watching the on the case show, which highlights the daily court drama that they’re covering. I also get twitter updates from various news and court feeds, because I love to be kept updated to all the breaking news!

Every day I like to “dress up” in semi cute clothes. In no way do I dress up like I’m going out on a date. But, I like to feel like I look “cute”. I don’t want to be frumpy, even if I’m wearing yoga pants, I can always put on a cute top. I always, always, have my nails painted. This is something I do at least once a week. I love having painted nails and love playing with color. A perfect day is a day I receive one of my makeup subscription boxes! It’s a great feeling getting your makeup box, like a special gift! It’s fun receiving makeup or nail polish straight to your door!

So, give me a cute outfit, polished nails, lit candles, my favorite snack foods and a TV, and we’re all set for my kind of vacation!

Deleting the Negative

Yesterday I noticed I had received two comments on a couple of old posts; since I’ve been a slacker and haven’t blogged recently! One was a very sweet and heartfelt comment from a lovely woman who left a much appreciated comment that I will cherish. Another comment was from a not so nice person. He thought I was being petty about my former neighbor who was accusing me of stealing, even though I caught her stealing clothes from me! I suppose you can’t please everyone online, and people can be really tough and mean when they’re hiding behind a computer screen. It takes a lot of hate and anger to post a rude comment on someone’s blog; but I put myself out there, so negative comments are bound to happen. But, because this is my “happy” place, I promptly deleted his comment. It’s not that I can’t handle his comment, but because I don’t want to have negativity in my life. Anyone that knows my traumatic situation with my former neighbor knows that I was the victim and anyone in my situation would have done what they could to alleviate it. Again, she was evicted for her criminal activity, not me!

But, reading that comment makes me realize how far I’ve come from where I was back when I blogged about my neighbor in July 2013. I won’t lie, that negative comment did upset me, but the longer I thought about it, I realize that anyone can be a hate mongering troll on the internet. You can disagree with someone without being rude! But, I’ve given the troll enough of my attention. My blog is my happy place, if I want to keep it drama and negative free, then I will. Granted, we all have to vent and once I do I feel better. I still think about my former neighbor, both in fear she may return, as well as hoping she is doing better and changed her life. Since my former neighbor moved out, we have a new neighbor who isn’t so quiet. But, I’ve decided to deal with it because I can’t handle any more issues with neighbors, or anyone, for that matter. I tell myself that I need to avoid negative people, per doctors orders.

So, if you’re a troll, I’ll delete you. If you disagree with me, that’s fine, just be cordial about it.

Moving on with the Next Chapter

As you know, if you’ve read my blog or follow me on twitter, I no longer work. I no longer work due to disability, mainly due to disabling arthritis and fibromyalgia. It’s hard because, as you will often hear, “but you look fine”. Yes, I do not typically look like I feel bad at all. In fact, I think most of us with invisible illnesess try very hard to hide and cover up how we really feel. I know, as a woman, I have always felt like I needed to present myself very well made up and strong. You will rarely find me bemoaning how I feel, it’s just not me. I have always stuffed my feelings and try my best to present myself in the best light, even though I’m miserable inside, at times. However, even though I have really awful days, I still try my best to find the silver lining. I am and will always be, a glass half full type of person. I will always remain positive. The truth is, I will have my disability whether I’m negative or positive, so I tend to focus on that which I can do. That’s how I get by, everyone deals with things differently.

I have found that I spend a lot of time focusing on the negativity I’ve experienced by my neighbors. If you’ve read my blog, you will see that life has been really tough since they’ve moved in. I cannot say for certain that they are behind all of the negative things that have occurred, but I do not know anyone else who has such hate towards me. Since I last wrote, we have felt safer moving our car to a more crowded parking spot and purchasing a PO Box. These changes have cost us money, but it’s helping my peace of mind. I realize that my neighbors are sick. They need my prayers more than they need my anger. So I’m really trying my best to keep my faith and mind in love and compassion, even when I’m at my wits end! However, I don’t want to focus all of my time on them. I realize that I write a lot about them. It is helpful in that I can release my feelings through writing. But, I also want to focus on positive things. I can’t say that I won’t ever write about them. but I want to move forward. We decided to renew our lease and in many ways, I’m deciding to renew the way I think about them.

I am a proud, certified, and verified TV Addict! I have always been a TV fan, even as young as 5, I can remember staying up late on the weekends watching music videos. I recall watching the very first episode of the Oprah Winfrey show and sneaking up late at night to watch the crazy antics on the Morton Downy Jr Show, that’s a blast from the past! However, I do tend to spend more time on TV watching than any other activity. So, I’ve made a list of things that I want to start getting done during the day, including catching up on some TV shows. I’ll likely never give up on TV watching, I have no desire to give that up. It’s a hobby and I love it. I am not afraid to admit that. The following are a few things that I want to start including into my daily or weekly routine. I think I do better with lists and writing out what I want to accomplish. I love organization and checking things off a list. Here are the things I’d like to start including in my new routine:

Reading, Blogging/Writing, Cleaning, Organizing, Exercising, Praying/Rosary, Budgeting, Couponing, Menu Planning and TV Watching! Of course this list isn’t comprehensive, I can always add more later. But, if I can attempt to accomplish some or all of these things within my day, as I’m able, I will feel like I’ve added more purpose to my life. It’s easier to sleep at night knowing that I’ve done more than just watch TV. However, I realize there are days where watching TV is about the most I can accomplish, and that’s ok too. The key is to accept what I can do and push myself as much as I’m able to do.

It gets too easy becoming stuck in a rut. I want to have some value and accomplishments within my day. The next chapter is waiting to be lived.