Blackout Tuesday

Hello Fan Friends,

I am writing to and appealing to you on this Blackout Tuesday to encourage you all to raise your voices and speak up about the racial injustices our fellow Americans face each day. I am an ally in support of justice, equality, and human rights FOR ALL. To all my friends who are and have been personally affected by the senseless killing of George Floyd, please know I stand with you in outrage and pain. Please know that you are LOVED and your lives hold as much VALUE as my own, and anyone else’s for that matter. You have the right to be seen, heard and respected as a citizen of the world.

You have the right to a world that is peaceful and free from prejudices. You have the right to be treated with equality, regardless of the color of your skin. You have the right to be protected from harm, injustice, and hatred.

You have the right to protest these injustices that will help you to make a positive change in the world.

You also have the right to your opinions and feelings, even if others don’t agree with them.

It costs $0.00 to listen to our brothers and sisters both within our country and around the world. We live in a world where people long to be heard and their struggles seen. Isn’t it crazy how smart our phones are yet how merciless and indifferent humanity is to one another? We live in an age of social media which brings us so close together, and yet we are alarmingly distant. Regardless of your faith or lack there of, it is important to love one another. To stand up for those who are being disadvantaged. Simply ignoring an issue because it does not affect you makes you part of the problem. Silence only gives voice to the oppressor not the oppressed.

In my Christian faith, Jesus Christ called all of his disciples to, “love one another as I have loved you.” and yet people regard others as intangible. They turn a blind eye to the isolation and despair some suffer simply because they have the privilege of not experiencing that suffering themselves.

As the author and creator of ‘Are You There Friday? It’s Me, Brittany’, I will continue to speak up and give voice to the voiceless. Throughout my life I have had the privilege of learning from, building personal relationships with, and working beside so many amazing people who do not deserve to be treated any differently than I do simply because of the color of their skin. I encourage each and every single one of my followers to speak out, stand up, and stand beside our fellow siblings in Christ. Our neighbors, our friends, our extended families all need us.

As an ally, I’d like to close by taking this opportunity to welcome anyone would like to reach out and use this site as a platform for a guest contribution post. If you are interested, please email me at: fridayswithbrittany@gmail.com.

Your voice matters and your life matters. When Black Lives Matter, then we’ll live in a world where All Lives Matter.

You can help the family of George Floyd (including the daughter he left behind) by clicking the following link to donate: https://www.gofundme.com/f/gianna-floyd-daughter-of-george-floyd-fund . Don’t forget to reach out to your county and local government to get involved with working with legislators to make your city a safer place. Things only change when people like YOU have the courage to take a stand.

I Attempted To Germinate Pineapple Seeds In A Jar

Good Afternoon Fan Friends!

This will be POST # 1 of the ‘Brittany tries to grow fruit plants at home’ series. Today I’m going to attempt to germinate pineapple seeds that are viable enough to pot in soil. Pineapples are probably the most slow growing plant but also probably one of the most hardiest to care for. They don’t always fruit right away and can take up to 5 years before they start barring anything truly edible. They are a rather tropical and good looking plant to have around. Since I am not exactly trying to grow a pineapple per say, I don’t mind waiting and in the event that one did so happened to bloom I’d happily enjoy the ‘fruits of my labor’-pun intended.

Giving just a little bit of background on myself as a gardener, I do not have a green thumb. In fact, everything I touch dies. A friend of mine raises aloe plants as well as a variety of other plants. When Tom and I helped she and her husband move, she took it upon herself to gift me this little baby aloe plant. I am a serial plant killer, it’s not that I try to kill them but I can follow care directions by the book and still have it dead as a door nail within a week of its arrival to my window sill. Despite my rather desperate pleas to not take it, my adamant testimony that it would probably die in my care, my friend did not budge on her stance of gifting me with the baby aloe plant. She told me, quite plainly, that not even I can kill the hearty aloe plant. I’d literally have to overwater it to kill it. A plant I didn’t have to remember to water daily? Sign me up! I figured I’d give it a go and flash forward to today, I can proudly say I have actually kept that plant alive for three years. Not bad for the girl that kills plants faster than directions say they will flourish in!

My aloe plant

Granted, while my aloe plant is still a little small, (I only recently re-potted it), it is fairly easy to care for. I only have to remember to water it once, maybe twice, a month in the summer and as long as I am making sure it is in a place where it’s getting plenty of sunlight it pretty much thrives all year long-without much assistance from me. Unfortunately for me, the fact that I have actually kept this plant alive for as long as I did gave me confidence to try something a little more complicated-this could be a good thing or bad thing.

Before we delve into the how let’s talk about the what pineapples really are besides a delicious snack. Pineapples are a tropical herbaceous perennial belonging to the bromeliad family. Basically they can grow to about an inch shorter than me at 5’1 putting them at approximately 5 feet in height and 3-4 feet in spread. Believe it or not pineapples were once a delicacy afforded only to the very wealthy in Europe during the 1700s.

What I found most fascinating to learn about these plants is how growing them is very simple. They have extremely tough leaves which lose little water through evaporation. They also have small root systems ( much like other bromeliads), and are not fussy about the quality or quantity of their soil. Anyone who really knows me knows that I despise a needy and picky plant. It absolutely broke all preconceived notion’s that I had regarding my ability to successfully grow one. 

Since they’re not picky and have small roots, they tend to make excellent container grown plants, this is especially awesome for those of us (like me) whose climate is less than tropical. If you do live in a warmer region, kudos to you because growing pineapple plants in the garden is a match made in heaven that you should at least try once.

After researching just how easy they were and how many people were able to keep these bromeliads in various climates I had to wonder: Were pineapples the hip new houseplants for amateur gardeners without green thumbs?

I got my seeds from a store bought pre-sliced pineapple, so the way I see it as whether or not they grow might not have anything to do with how well I follow directions. The seeds just might not be viable, in which case, I’ll try the other more popular method of growing a pineapple from cutting off the crown section and potting it in soil.

Please note that I will be doing an update once a month on how my seeds are doing. I have no guarantee that this will work I am simply trying something a little unorthodox. Typically, much like the lima beans I would grow when I was in elementary school, this could be done by taking a wet paper towel and placing the seeds inside a zip lock airtight bag. However the idea of waiting three months with a moist paper towel that can easily mold inside a bag, inside my house, didn’t really appeal to me. So I did what any ordinary girl in the 21st-century would do, I went on YouTube. 

I stumbled upon a YouTube video by Diane Mumm Garden Videos. In the video ‘How to Plant Pineapple Seeds-grow pineapple from seed’, Diane tries three popular methods for germination. The first batch of seeds she simply planted in soil, the second she placed the seeds in a jar and the third batch she did via the wet paper towel route. Diane did regular updates and it turns out her most successful batch was the ones grown or rather germinated in a mason jar. Without getting into too much detail, you can watch the video yourself here:WATCH Diane’s video HERE!

The method I am going to write about today showed that more productive process. Since Diane found that after trying all three methods the mason jar method worked the best, I figured it would cost me nothing to give it a whirl. It’s important to note, that I may not have anything to plant until September. As I may have previously mentioned, pineapple plants take forever to germinate (as well as fruit) so if patience isn’t your forte, you might want to sit this one out. 

Before we begin, please note my new DISCLAIMER page, by accessing this website you are AGREEING to the terms listed. The step-by-step method I am providing is not guaranteed to work and you should therefore always do your own independent research before trying it yourself at home. Also please note: I am not a gardener but there are plenty of talented and fabulous Youtubers who are excellent gardeners that can answer any questions that you have. Now that that’s out of the way, here’s what you’ll need:

1. A Mason Jar

2. Pineapple Seeds

3. Water

4. Plastic wrap

Most people suggest growing a pineapple from the crown, however this seed method is also, while time consuming, affective from what I’ve seen in Diane’s videos. First thing that I did was I pulled the seeds out of the fruit. When I cut up my pineapple, I took notice of the little (blackish brown in color) dots imbedded in the fruit. These are the seeds so I plucked them out and set them aside.

Once I finished enjoying my snack, I rinsed off the seeds so that they were no longer sticky.  I found this to be a very important step because I did not want to attract fruit flies or gnats by allowing them to smell the sweetness of my pineapple seeds. 

Next, I set aside a clean mason jar. It can be any size as long as it allows ample room for your seeds to germinate. The mason jar I used was medium sized.

Once I had my seeds and mason jar it was time to begin the next step. I placed just a little bit of water at the bottom of the mason jar. I was careful not to use too much as I did not want my seeds swimming or floating around in too much water. Next, I dropped my seeds in, covered the top with plastic wrap, and tilted the jar on its side, gently rolling it. Being careful not to tilt it too much, I did not want any water escaping. I made sure to tilt it until I felt the seeds were spread out, the purpose of this is to avoid having seeds germinate too closely together.

Finally, I placed my jar in a place where it will get plenty of sunlight. I recommend doing this in the summer months because pineapple plants are tropical fruits and therefore thrive best in the summer. During the winter months it is advised to keep them in a sunlit area in a room where the temperature does not drop below 50°. 

Within three months, I should begin to see my seeds begin to sprout. When this happens, I can transfer my seeds to soil. I will be sure to document the next step, providing that mine actually achieve germination. As with anything else, gardening takes practice. It’s trial and error type experience. While I do not have the answer yet to the question I posed earlier in this post, I am convinced I will have one within the next year. I’ll either be successfully enjoying a beautiful indoor pineapple plant or writing about what a failure these processes were for me- there’s no in between when it comes to plants.

As I mentioned before, I do not have the best of luck with plants so therefore I tend to grow ordinary, non fussy, low maintenance plants that are not extremely complicated and complex. While the chances of me actually killing the seeds before they can germinate are also very high, my aloe plant has given me the confidence in wanting to try to grow different fruit plants just too see just how easy it is to do at home. Some of the plants I talk about in this series may die and some of them may thrive. The point of this series will be to show you, the reader, what you can and can’t grow if you have a brown thumb like I do.

Right now, the weather in my part of the globe is very warm and humid so I will be sure to document whether or not I feel this was the best way for someone with little to no gardening experience to grow a pineapple plant. As mentioned, I will also be trying the other method of growing a pineapple from the crown. During this time and at the end of the summer I will be able to, based off of my own experiences, tell you which method I feel works best. As mentioned in my disclaimer it is important before trying this at home that you do your own research what works for me might not work for you and that is OK. Finding your own method is key to finding success with your plants.

Have you ever tried growing fruit plants at home? Leave a comment below and join the conversation! I love to hear from each and every one of you.

In Loving Memory of Chloe Dawn Hackett ♥️

Good Afternoon Fan Friends,

In the Broadway Musical ‘Wicked‘,made famous by Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel as Glinda the Good and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West, the song ‘For Good’ is a powerful and poignant song which highlights that despite the urgency of both iconic characters needing to go their separate ways they had been changed “for good” just by knowing each other. Chenoweth famously begins the tune:

“I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason. Bringing something we must learn. And we are led to those, who help us most to grow if we let them. And we help them in return. Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true, but I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.”-Wicked

While Glinda isn’t so sure of her belief in fate she does acknowledge that the time she spent learning and growing beside her friend significantly impacted her for the better. This leads me to ask: Where’s the line between the people who change our lives for the better and family pets who are like people that change our lives and hearts for good?

The biggest line between our human companions and our furry ones is that humans are all flawed. Human nature is to disappoint or fall short of expectations and sometimes hurt sometimes without ever meaning to. It’s as the age old saying goes:

To err is human, to forgive divine. All people commit sins and make mistakes. God forgives them, and people are acting in a godlike (divine) way when they forgive-Alexander Pope

Furry companions do this and more for us. They love us humans even when we fall short of perfection. They love us: unconditionally, completely and Christlike. They forgive us without question, even when we’re short sighted and short tempered, but above all they love us. They love us completely even when we’re hard to love and that is why their lifespans are significantly shorter than our own.

Our canine and feline companions are born with that hard wired ability to be loving, merciful and compassionate. Who but the family furry friend will share in our daily life: the joys, the excitements, the sadness and disappointments? Most human beings spend their entire life learning through blessings and lessons how to get closer to God by being selfless, loyal, loving and compassionate but our furry friends and family members already know how to do these things. Jesus calls us all to “love one another as I have loved you” but it’s animals that have mastered that particular skill not the humans who were given dominion over them. Ironic, isn’t it?

Many a woman and man have said, ‘I hope to be half the person my (dog/cat) thinks I am.’ I think that is because although they live significantly shorter lives than ours, while they are here they make us want to be better people. I believe sincerely that people who say, “it’s just a dog” or “it’s just a cat” need that type of love from us the most. Throughout my 12 year relationship (4 of which I spent married) with my husband, we have been told when we expressed our desire to raise dogs over children that we, “don’t know unconditional love until you know the love you’ll hold for your child” to this I usually smile, sheepishly and say, “Have you ever known the love of a dog? Because God spelt backwards is Dog and that unconditional love they have in their hearts of us is the closest thing we’ll get to Christ on Earth.”

I’ve read about tragedies in the paper of children growing up to kill their parents and sometimes parents who kill their children but I’ve never read about a dog who killed their owner. I have read about dogs who got put down for protecting their owners. These stories get me crying every time. There’s only one person who loves us at our worst and would lay down their lives for us other than our fur angels and his name is Jesus Christ.

We can stand to learn a lot from the furry companions we open our homes and hearts to if we just: Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Teaching preschool for 9 1/2 years I imagine the world would be much different if our school teachers were dogs. You’d learn valuable lessons like:

▪️Always running to greet your loved ones when they get home.

▪️Never passing up the opportunity to go for a joyride.

▪️Allowing the experience of fresh air, long walks and the wind in your face to be pure Ecstasy.

▪️Taking naps.

▪️Stretching before rising.

▪️Running, romping, and playing daily.

▪️Thriving on attention and affection.

▪️Avoiding biting when a simple growl will do.

▪️On warm days, stopping to lie on your back on the grass.

▪️On hot days, drinking lots of water and laying under a shady tree.

▪️When you’re happy, dancing around and wag your entire body.

▪️Delighting in the simple of being around those you love.

▪️Being faithful.

▪️Never pretending to be something you’re not.

▪️Knowing that if what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

▪️When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently.

That’s the secret of happiness that we can learn from a good dog-which is why when I got the heart wrenching text from my Father yesterday evening that they were making the difficult decision to put down our furry family member for the last nearly 13 years-I crumbled to the floor and ugly cried until no more tears could fall.

My husband and I (with my Parents’ blessing) drove that 30 minute drive to my family home where I grew up and said goodbye to a dog who’d given me the kind of love, loyalty and devotion I could only hope I repaid in even a fraction of the same way. For that entire drive, her whole 12 1/2 years of life flashed before my eyes: memories of the crying puppy that I fell asleep on a cold tile floor to snuggle, a playful adolescent who would play fetch, snuggle on the couch, and comfort me through all of life’s beautiful and dark moments and finally even the old senior who although tired still managed to trot up to the door to give me attention and love.

Before I left last night, I didn’t say goodbye. I said I’ll see you soon, because time in heaven works differently than here on Earth. I’m confident she’ll be able to plead my case and get me into heaven one day, when my work here is done to be reunited with her for eternity.

This morning, it was with a very heavy heart that my family and I announced that our beloved Chloe Dawn Hackett died peacefully, alongside her family of nearly 13 years. On this day, Friday, May 22nd 2020, under the care of the Ocean County Veterinary Hospital staff, heaven gained an exceptionally beautiful, loving, furry angel.

Chloe was brought into this world October 31st 2007 and became a valued member of our family in January of 2008, she quickly became our daughter, little sister and ultimately a dog legends are made of. Chloe arrived in our home with the ability to make herself completely comfortable by playfully tormenting her big fur brother Chase. Having the energy of an F5 tornado and barking ferociously at any animal or person that intruded on her turf, Chloe quickly began building loving relationships with all those who came in contact with her, whether it be family or friends. She was loving, loyal, and wouldn’t hesitate to yell at me whenever I had to leave home for long periods of time. She was the first to greet and the last to see me off.

A lover of dog beds and stuffed animals, Chloe had many hobbies. Some of Chloe’s favorite activities included barking at things not there, cuddling alongside you, comforting you when you were happy or sad, playing tug of war and fetch, and trying to figure out who exactly was “the good girl.” In her spare time, Chloe dreamt violently, thrashing her legs, presumably chasing those asshole squirrels who dared enter her dreams. The quickest way to Chloe’s heart was with a quality scratch of her rear, and a shake of her paw.

Chloe Dawn will be greatly missed by many, but none more so than her loving family. Through thick and thin, we loved her with all our hearts, and though the pain we’re feeling without her here is great, it in no way would compare to having never had her in our lives. Chloe Dawn leaves behind her lovingly devoted Mom and Dad, Liz and Joe Hackett, an older sister, Brittany Schmidt (Hackett), a Brother in Law Thomas Schmidt, and a big brother who held her in his arms until the very end Joseph Hackett; predeceased by her Grammy, Mary Doyle; her big fur brothers Petie and Chase; Uncles Tommy and Jimbo; and many amazing family members and friends throughout the years.

While it well may be, that I will never see my Chloe girl again in this lifetime, it needs to be said that so much of me is made of what I learned from her and she’ll be with me like a paw print on my heart. All the pain, the sorrow and profound sense of loss is worth it because, much like most parents can say for their children, I can honestly say: you just don’t know the depth of true unconditional love until you’ve shared your home, bed, snack and heart with a dog or cat.

This post was shared and written in memory of Chloe Dawn Hackett:

10/31/2007-05/22/2020

“Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May she rest in peace.

Amen.”

The Best Kept Secrets About Simple Ways To Cosmetically Fixing Up Your Home

The listing photo for my home pre-purchased

Buying your first home is probably the most exciting feeling in the world. If you’re anything like me, you have a vision for what each room will look like that’s straight out of the “For Home” ideas you’ve pinned on Pinterest. As time goes on you realize it takes time to do these things and unless your name is David Tepper and you own the Carolina Panthers you probably aren’t fixing things up as quickly as you think.

What we had to start with…

Just because you aren’t Rockefeller, it doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to cosmetically fix little things that can make a huge difference in upping the resale value of your home. We took that drab yellow color and painted it my FAVORITE paint of all time: Sherwin Williams in ‘Sea Salt’. Just the paint job itself brightened up the kitchen and gave it relaxing vibes.

It’s no secret my little family and I plan on relocating to the Carolinas in the not so distant future. Baring all other obstacles are met: finding a job, a town that fits the vibe of what we’re looking for, and of course building our dream home I look forward to taking you on our journey with us! There’s still so much to be done around here before we can move on to phase 2. Which makes me wonder: If beauty is in the eye of the beholder could otherwise budget conscious individuals still get top dollar without breaking the bank, more importantly exactly how powerful is curb appeal and cosmetic beauty in the eye of the potential buyer?

I set out to find just how to make the most out of a limited budget and I think you all will be pleasantly surprised with how you can fix up a kitchen for under $200.00! Cosmetic fixes, as I mentioned in my earlier post where I transformed my living room, can be the easiest fix when it comes to fixing up your space. Never underestimate the power of a good paint job, so when it came time to fix up my kitchen I knew just a few little cosmetic nip and tucks could make a huge difference in the future resale of my home.

Here’s a BEFORE picture of my kitchen as well as my checklist for what I felt the kitchen really needed to regain its identity and character:

As you can see from the picture, the kitchen situation we inherited wasn’t ideal. The dated, broken cabinets, tired looking beige stove hood and countertops gave this kitchen a rather deteriorated vibe which was in fierce contrast to all of the updating and bringing into the 21st century we’ve done. What I proposed to Tom was to fix these cabinets’ doors and give them a much needed facelift with some grey paint. I also wanted to replace that MUCH DATED stove hood and give the countertops a new lease at shelf life with some wax. The labor was FREE because we did it ourselves so bare that in mind that your total cost will probably reflect in your decision to DIY or have someone come to do it for you.

Our Checklist and Pricing Estimate:

▪️Paint (tax included) comes to $42.00

▪️Roller for cabinets comes to $8.00

▪️Hinges in fixing lazy Susan and pantry cabinet comes to $12.00

▪️Glosser (tax included) comes to $9.00

▪️Wax (tax included) comes to $5.00

▪️New Stove Hood (tax included) comes to $49.00

▪️Bringing the GRAND TOTAL to: $125.00▪️

Aside from the cost of supplies, the manual labor when spread out took us a total of 21 hours. This included restoring the cabinets to their former glory, using two coats of paint and gloss, as well as replacing the stove hood and waxing countertops. That said, it was all worth it when you see the outcome in these AFTER pictures:

As you can see, when it comes to simple cosmetic fixes, a little bit goes a really long way! Would you believe me at all if I told you these cabinets are the same cabinets in the before picture? We took these tired, off-white cabinets and fixed all the doors (some of which were pulled off and missing when we moved in!) before we painted them a cool neutral gray to give them a new and refreshed look. We plan on adding some knobs to give them an overall brand new look, I’ll add an updated picture to this post so keep checking back in the next few weeks to see how that turns out. We also took the beat up beige stove hood and replaced it with a sleek black stove hood to compliment the black and stainless steel stove. Finally, we waxed the countertops to give them a glossier, fresh, new finish.

I really hope this post helped for any of you who are looking to up the resale value of your home without breaking the bank. Please feel free to leave a comment below, and don’t forget to hit that follow button so you don’t miss any future posts!

*Please note both my Twitter and Instagram profiles are ‘request to follow’ if you’d like me to accept your request please send me a DM referencing this blog so I can accept you!*

The Advanced Guide to How To Get Rid Of Mom-centric Ads When You’re Childfree

Hello Fan Friends,

Greeting from day, I’m not really sure what day it is, in quarantine. More days in isolation mean more unmotivated days job hunting and social media browsing. I’m not sure about any of you other single or (in my case) married 30 something old years but I feel like Facebook makes rather bold assumptions that if you’re a female in your 30s your biological clock must be deafeningly loud.

When I tell people that Tom and I are happy dog parents with no intentions of procreating, I’ve gotten reactions similar to if I had told a nun I’d become an atheist. The shock of breaking such an intensely imbedded social norm is enough for me to feel like maybe, the purpose of this blog can be geared more towards showing I’m not hedonistic for not wanting to be a Mom. While I’ll always have recipes, home and lifestyle posts, tarot/spiritual DIY projects, I’d like to focus on branding myself and this blog as Childfree. Since it’s something I feel really strongly about, I feel like NOT writing more posts geared towards people with similar lifestyle choices as me is inauthentic. That’s not to say there wouldn’t be things my parent audiences won’t be able to relate to: after all, there’s plenty of things such as food, drinks and DIY home projects I will write about that you can relate to but if you’re hoping that within the next 5-10 years this will become a more “Mommy-Centric” blog, it’s not going to happen.

I hope my audiences, even those with kids, read all my posts with an open mind and realize womanhood isn’t one size fits all. I love kids, they just aren’t for me. Which makes me wonder: Are social media outlets giving up on pushing the advertisement of individual interests verses the interest of what society deems acceptable?

I recently joined two childfree, closed Facebook groups. It was really nice to meet likeminded individuals who faced similar scrutiny from society from going against the grain. Charlotte* (name changed to protect the identity of this member) made me aware of something I didn’t know I could have control over and that’s my Facebook ads. I noticed, probably in my mid-twenties, as friends of me I grew up with or grew apart from during college began embarking on parenthood I got more ads for diapers, children’s stores, and just overall Mommy-centric ads. I would usually hide them or mark them irrelevant until Charlotte* recently posted on how to manage my ad preferences and my life was changed forever.

Here’s how to do it:

🌀Change your ad preferences!🌀

In the Privacy Shortcuts menu: scroll down to Ad Preferences, and click on Review Your Ad Preferences. Next you should see something entitled Hide Ad Topics. Now, before you ask this isn’t completely fool proof, but I put ‘parenting’ in which helped cut down on a lot of unwanted ads!

🌀Remove your off-Facebook activity🌀

Once you’re in the Privacy Shortcuts menu: scroll down to Your Facebook Information, View or Clear your off-Facebook Activity, and hit Clear History. After this, under More Options, go to Manage Future Activity and switch it to off. * This actually stops Facebook from using what you look at off of Facebook to do targeted advertising as well as allow you to keep your privacy!*

🌀Change your personal information🌀

In the Privacy Shortcuts menu: scroll down to Your Facebook Information, then Access Your Information. Scroll down to Profile Information – here you can change/remove details such as your age and gender to prevent FB algorithms targeting your profile for certain ads.

🌀Finally, hide any irreverent ads that do sneak in!🌀

This system isn’t perfect but it can safe you the hassle of bombardment on a regular basis. You can do this by clicking on the 3 dots in the top right corner of the ad in question and then scrolling down to “Hide ad”. Mark it as irrelevant– this helps Facebook to ‘learn’ what ads to not show you in the future.

I really hope this helped for any of you who wanted a more personalized experience on their social media platforms. Drop a comment below, and don’t forget to hit that follow button so you don’t miss any future posts!

*Please note both my Twitter and Instagram profiles are ‘request to follow’ if you’d like me to accept your request please send me a DM referencing this blog so I can accept you!*

April Radio Silence Brings May Updates-and; Chili’s 🌶 Skillet Queso Recipe!

Being in lockdown sucks. Literally. I mean the fact that I’m out of work and home 7 days a week sucks food right out of my fridge. I have a confession. We’re friends, right? I haven’t weighed myself in over a month. It’s not that I’ve been awful in my eating habits, more that I’ve been very inconsistent and wanting comfort food. With COVID-19 reeking havoc on my home state here in the United States I’m trying not to focus on the scale right now and just get though this difficult time. I’m Carolina Dreaming. That some time, within the next year or possibly two, I can leave my Jersey roots behind and embark on a new adventure in a new state. It’s May and we’re struggling with maintaining temperatures in the 60’s let alone significantly warming up. Moral of the story? The closer you are to Canada the cooler your temps stay longer. It’s not ideal but since our stay at home order statewide has been in affect I haven’t necessarily had to deal with it too much.

I turned 31 earlier this month, and I had a virtual birthday party on Zoom. It was a lot of fun I must say but also can we talk about how sad it was not to being able to hug my friends and family? That said, I wanted to post about something exciting…mainly food. This nifty recipe became famous at a restaurant here in the US called Chili’s. It’s usually served with warm, salty tortilla chips and while it’s not healthy or keto-it’s very good for the soul.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16 ounces Velveeta Cheese
  • 1 cup milk (preferably Half & Half if you have it)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 15-ounce can no-bean chili
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • juice of 1 lime juice (about 1 tablespoon)
  • tortilla chips, for serving
  • Here’s what you’ll need to do:
    • Cut velveeta cheese into cubes. (optional. If you don’t, it will just take a little longer to melt, no biggie) Add all ingredients (except for tortilla chips) to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours or on high for 1 hour.
    • Stir until everything comes together. Cook on low for 30 minutes – 1 hour (As much time as you have before serving)
    • Serve with tortilla chips & Bon Appetite!
  • I really hope you enjoyed this recipe and that you’re all staying safe during this pandemic.
  • Message from Our Guides 4/13-4/17 2020

    A message from our guides and angels for the week of 4/13-4/17 2020:

    This is the week in which we are being called to examine our lifestyle patterns. St. Raphael reminds us to stay hydrated and avoid processed or chemical filled foods & beverages. It is easy to feel cooped up and go with what is easiest to prepare but the reward for eating more fresh and organic produce will mean more energy and productivity to devote to our dreams, desires, families, health and overall life purpose. Raphael is our guardian angels’ “boss” or “manager” so to speak his name literally means “He who heals”. He is the Saint who is overseeing and protecting us here on Earth in terms of health and is a patron Saint of all those in the medical field. He is watching over and guiding them.

    Although we live in a scary time, we are being called to be brave. This card is being brought forth to remind us that we are being protected and guided during this time of uncertainty. Do not give in to the media machine of spreading fear-instead be courageous and rely on your inner and personal strength to get through. Be the light in your friends and family’s lives by focusing on the positive within this situation. Did you wake up healthy? Are your families remaining safe and together? Give thanks and praise to your chosen higher power for this in and of itself is a miraculous blessing. Do your best to see God in everyone, including yourself, during this time. This is an opportunity to grow spiritually and develop a higher sense of self-esteem. Do not hide from the negativity, face it with grace, love and prayer. Prayer for the world is powerful doing this will help the conflict to resolve itself in a miraculous way. Your role is to remain positive, speak only truth and be brave.

    We can look to Saint Michael to help us shore up our confidence so we can fearlessly face this crisis together. St. Michael is with us, protecting us from negativity and helping us to remain positive and filled with faith. He is ensuring that only people and situations of the highest integrity can come to us. He is calling us all to have faith in God’s power to keep us safe and secure. As we navigate through life right now it’s normal to feel intimidated by the situation at hand. Remember God doesn’t bring anything to us that we are unable to get through together. Heaven has sent us powerful companions (such as Saint Michael) to aid us in all ways so that we’re never alone. Michael is also our guardian angels’ “boss” or “manager” so to speak his name literally means “He who is like God”. He is the Saint who is overseeing and protecting us here on Earth in terms of spiritual protection and is a patron Saint of all those in law enforcement. He is watching over and guiding them.

    The final card is a call for us to move our bodies and stay active during this time. It’s very easy to get lazy and be inactive during this time of self isolation but we must stay moving. You can do this by dancing to music, playing with your children, exercising, and so on. This movement will aid you in ushering in a fresh new start and keeping your body healthy during this time.

    Hope this uplifting message from heaven gave you all a sense of peace. Xoxo