Category: Coffee and Confessions

Writers Block & Other Things

Hello Fan Friends!

I know it has been such a long time since I updated and I promise it’s with good reason. In addition to me having probably one of the worst writers blocks I’ve experienced in quite some time, I’ve had a lot of stuff going on in my personal life which prevented me from being as active as I wanted to be. For starters, I got a new job so the last few weeks post Fourth of July I have been focused on learning everything I need to be successful in this new professional venture of mine.

My favorites for the month of July and August will be posted sometime this weekend and I can’t wait to share with you all the things I love, mainly Schmidt’s low carb bread. I am also really excited to share with you my low-carb grilled cheese recipe. Grilled cheese is one of the things I missed most about my old lifestyle since adopting more lower carb eating habits and I am BEYOND thrilled to share with you how you can still enjoy a childhood classic with sacrificing a ‘cheat day’.

This week was really rough week where I am located on the east coast here in the USA. We were hit with a tropical storm, Isaias, which left us without power for over 20 hours. Let me tell you all, it’s amazing how much we take for granted the ability to plug in our cell phones into outlets within our homes. Having and trying to get a full night’s rest with no air-conditioning in the house was no fun either.

I think the scariest part about the whole experience with Isaias was getting my first ever tornado warning in my 31 years of life living in my state. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a basement to head into so I needed to scoop Draco up and run us into the bathtub. Thankfully the tornado did not strike my town instead it hit a town about 20 minutes south of me. It was still a super scary experience for us, both Draco and myself, especially since Tom was at work when it was happening. Thankfully God provided and we weren’t affected with any damage just the loss of power but majority of my state lost power too so we weren’t alone. 

The power at my job was also affected and not yet restored so as a result yesterday, after the power was soundly restored, I took Draco for a much needed walk with my best friend, Jen, who came by to join us. Draco was very happy to get out and get some exercise, I felt bad because I haven’t been able to walk him as much as I usually do as a result of going back to work. I figured I would take advantage of the fact that I didn’t have to go into the office and treat him to a nice walk. Boy was it hot though!

I would like to give a very special shout out to MindBeautySimplicity (we share the same first name too, how cool is that?!) for her wonderful comment this morning. As a writer, we are motivated by the comments we receive, knowing that my blog has made such a positive difference in someone’s life motivates me as a writer to post more frequently. It’s also a reminder to everyone who stops by, please leave a comment, it’s nice to know I am missed and what I have to say matters. Keeping content fresh and relative isn’t always easy for us writers we have to stretch our minds and really think, “does my audience care about this?” Hearing from all of you and knowing what you enjoy reading about helps me narrow down what content to post.

At any rate, I hope this update finds you all safe, well, and healthy. I look forward to posting more frequently as I adjust to my new routine. 

Happy 4th of July!

In lieu of a full post this week, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all those who celebrate, here in the USA, a very happy 4th of July!

Those of us who live here in the USA were the privileged few to have been born in free country. We were able to breathe the fresh free air since our birth. We remember our national heroes today. Together we have proved ourselves worthy of freedom! On this special day, let us take come forward and make a promise to take our nation on the path of prosperity so that people can live a happy life. Happy Independence day to all.

June-what? Understanding the Historical Significance of Juneteenth

Google pays tribute to Juneteenth 2020

This morning was much like many during this Quarantine: I woke up, checked my social media accounts, e-mails and poured myself a cup of coffee. In these quiet moments I feel gratitude as I take my first sip of delicious French vanilla. Facing me, from my perch at the kitchen table, on the wall, hangs my bachelors degree in history. It’s a piece of paper that I paid thousands of dollars to be an accredited historian. I do not have my doctorate, in fact, I was encouraged by the chair person of history at my university that I should not pursue it because it was a lot of schooling and there was no guarantee that I would even become a professor or hired on full time.

My original plan was far from building this blog. When I first set out and created this blog six years ago, I did it as a means of leaving my family and friends something, an imprint of who I was and what I enjoyed for the inevitable day when I’m not here anymore. I’ve talked a lot about my anxiety, I’ve also spent arguably a lot of time reflecting on my inevitable end. Why is this introduction necessary? Because I originally had goals and aspirations to become a high school history teacher. Unfortunately, the obstacles to become one are much too unrealistic, unethical and expensive.

Imagine for one second, if you will, going in and paying close to $150 to take a test where you are timed. All the while focusing you can see the minutes and the seconds ticking down on the right side of the screen. So you do your best, you’ve studied after all, and alas you missed the passing score you need by three points. Initially you would think, ‘no big deal, I’ll look at what I got wrong and study harder next time’, the problem is that the Praxis is an unforgiving obstacle which doesn’t tell you what questions you got wrong. It offers zero guidance and it’s usually in favor of those who can retain useless information and great test takers.  After a while, this could bring down even the most confident person. Shelling out money simply to be told your just not good enough and we don’t fancy telling you why. Alrighty then!

That degree that hangs on my wall, is a daily symbol that sometimes the things we have so intricately planned for our life just don’t work out that way. It is also a daily symbol that when one door closes, another one will surely open. Sometimes the things we hold dear to our hearts, the things we are so certain we are going to do with our lives are not what we were meant to do with our lives at all. It took me the better part of two years to walk away. I am not someone who gives up easily, I am always willing to fight another day. One thing I am not willing to compromise is my self-esteem and self worth which were completely demolished and distorted during this period in my life. Today’s post, is a somber one, it highlights the struggles many African Americans faced since the very first Juneteenth. It is also an opportunity for me to teach you something I didn’t learn about until I was in college and probably wouldn’t have learned about unless I was a history major.  One of the many issues I have with the way schools are run here in the USA today is that so much of American history is left out of American classrooms. There’s an old saying, history books are written by the winners but who are the winners? Does anybody win when nobody is educated on the whole truth?

Around Twitter I have seen so many posts saying ‘I was this years old when I learned about Juneteenth.’ and holy guacamole is that sad! Americans, regardless of their racial background, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity should know the actual history of Juneteenth. So what is Juneteenth? I’m glad you asked!

Juneteenth is actually the oldest national commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. It came about on this date (June 19th) in 1865 that Major General Granger of the Union army and his soldiers went down to Galveston, Texas to announce the Civil War was over and all enslaved African Americans were now free. Sadly, this announcement came two and half years after President Abraham Lincoln’s infamous Emancipation Proclamation ! President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into affect on New Year’s Day (January 1st) of 1863 but Texas basically chose to overlook it since there weren’t too many Union soldiers available to see to this new executive order being enforced.

Once General Robert E. Lee surrendered in April of 1865, the arrival of General Granger’s regiment to Texas, ensured that this executive order was no longer being ignored or rebelled against but enforced! Why it took President Lincoln’s executive order 2 1/2 years to be carried out is debated often amongst historians. Some believe that the messenger who was sent down to Texas was killed, others believe it was just deliberately ignored to maintain labor force on the plantations. My personal belief is that it was the latter. I believe Texas deliberately chose to ignore and look the other way with the new executive order. The idea of the messenger that was sent was killed (while not totally unbelievable) definitely raises some red flags on accuracy.

Think for a moment: If you were a Union general who sent one of your soldiers to deliver a message to a state which valued slavery that said slaves were now free and your messenger did not return, would that not be sketchy to you? The fact that we don’t know the name of this messenger and that there’s no actual historical backing that he was killed-it was merely speculation-tells me Texas got the message loud and clear but chose to ignore it.

So as General Granger and his men arrived in Texas one of the first things he enforced was General Order Number 3 which stated: “The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired laborer.”

As you can imagine, the jubilation and pure unfiltered shock amongst the newly freed African Americans was immediate and contagious. While some former slaves stayed on their plantations to navigate a new relationship with their former master now employer, as a now paid employee, others ran off as soon as word reached their ears about General Order Number 3. The celebration of Juneteenth is a reminder that even though President Lincoln had abolished slavery 2 1/2 years before it took a literal regiment to see to it that this new executive order was enforced everywhere. Holding Texans responsible for enforcing these laws reestablished United States’ authority in the newly rejoined southern states and ultimately freed all African Americans.

For so many of these newly freed slaves, The most logical destination was to go north where many of them sought to find real freedom. Juneteenth celebrates these challenges that these newly freed men and women faced in new territories. It navigated their struggles in finding their place in a society that saw them for so long as lesser than. June 19th was coined Juneteenth and celebrated earnestly by the decedents of freed African Americans as a time to spend with family, reflect on their past and pray for a brighter future.

When I look at the way our country is today, seeing the renewed vigor of the Black Lives Matter movement in marches on raising awareness and leading protests, there is no doubt that this Juneteenth will be very special. Even NFL football teams, such as the Carolina Panthers, have shown their respect for this little known holiday by closing their offices on this date. As for the question I posed above: If history is really written by the winners does anyone win if the true historical significance of a day isn’t remembered and shared?  I would say boldly, no. There are no winners when the citizens of a country remain uneducated about the historical significance of a day which impacted the lives of millions of African-Americans, particularly those in the southern states who cling to the abomination that was slavery as a means to control others deserving of human rights. Rather it’s a reminder, if you will, about how far we’ve come as a nation but also how much further we have to go to ensure that all men and women feel safe, equal, and valued within the country they call home.

If you’d like to learn more, be sure to check out these fabulous resources:

National Registry Juneteenth Organizations and Supporters

What I love about this site is it tells you not only the history but customs which those who celebrate have such as foods, clothing and the history of festivals which struggled to be celebrated in public places before the Civil Rights Movement.

What is Juneteenth?

PBS gives an in-depth timeline and historical walk through on Juneteenth and its impact on African Americans in this easy to read, highly educational article. Plus it’s PBS, which fondly taught us so much about our nation’s history in our youth so I’m not going to lie, it’s nostalgic too.

The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth

The Smithsonian is a historical accredited institution that has a wealth of information on all things historical. The post linked has a brief overview of Juneteenth as well as historical images which give information regarding regarding this lesser-known holiday.

I really hope you take the time to do your own research and learn about this historically important day. Wishing each and everyone of you a blessed Juneteenth! Have a wonderful day!

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:

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: . 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.

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:


“Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord,

and let perpetual light shine upon her.

May she rest in peace.


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!

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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

    5 Things You Can Do During A Pandemic

    Because sometimes the more the media harps on something the more fearful the public becomes…

    Remember on New Year’s Eve when we all thought that 2020 was going to be the best year for all of us? Yeah, I do too. With the news spinning an apocalyptic narrative and more and more people getting sick with the coronavirus it can be very easy for people (like me) who suffer from severe anxiety to be more and more prone to panic attacks. Panic attacks (when severe enough) can mimic heart attacks. Chest pain and heart palpitations are not uncommon in people with crippling anxiety. The worst thing someone with anxiety can do is to listen to the news and all the other posts on social media which suggest the world truly is ending.

    If you suffer from anxiety, like me, I’ve put together a nifty little five-step list that you can do to take your mind off of everything that’s going on. While this is not to downplay the severity of those that are part of the at risk group of people whose lives could be threatened by this virus, it’s rather something you can do to keep your own sense of sanity during this period of time. 

    1. Go for a walk-One of the best things you could do is re-connect with nature get outdoors and take a walk. Take time to appreciate nature. Spend the energy you would use worrying about things you can’t control (namely other people’s hygiene habits) and just focus on what you hear and what you see around you. A squirrel climbing a tree? Birds chirping in the sunlight? These things will help you to center yourself and reconnect with whatever higher power you believe in.
    2. Read a book-when I was young my favorite book to read was Harry Potter. I loved being able to insert myself into another world to get my mind off of my life for a little while. Reading a book can be a great way to take your mind off of what’s being read and written about in the news. The key here is to use your imagination to focus on what the characters are going through, imagine that in your mind, and go for it. You will be surprised to find how much time will pass that you spend not worrying when you pick up a book and read.
    3. Practice social distancing and spend time with the people you live with-This is a really good time to sharpen up your monopoly skills against those you live with in your home. Instead of going out to restaurants and bars consider instead ordering takeout and hosting a game night with the people that you live with. Not only will this take you back to a simpler time when winning a game was the most important thing, but it will also help you to appreciate your loved ones and spend some much needed time with them.
    4. Watch some movies-While this is not the time to go to movie theaters, this IS a really good time to catch up on watching some of your favorite classic movies. Gather your loved ones, the ones that you live with, and watch some of your favorite movies. Each night have someone else in your home pick the movie to watch and then talk about it afterwards. What did you like the best? How did you feel about the ending? Having these discussions will keep your mind off of what’s going on in the outside world at least for a little while.
    5. Wash your hands and pray-While the world is having a melt down pray that whoever you believe in (no matter what your faith is, even if you have no faith at all) heals the world. Keep your hands clean and pray to God or whomever you place your trust in, to keep you safe and healthy. Put all your worries and fears in their hands and keep the faith that tomorrow will bring forth a better day for all of us.
      As a bonus something you can do to help is also keeping a journal. Keeping a journal is a good way to release any fears or concerns that you have about what is going on. One of the worst things someone with anxiety can do is simply to keep it in you have to let out the toxic thoughts someway and journaling is a good way to do this. Going back at what you’ve written, you can look at your fears and legitimate concerns and see what is warranted and what is not.
      Remember to exercise caution, my friends, by washing your hands and practicing social distancing. Know that you are only in control of your own personal hygiene. You cannot control the way others take care of themselves only how you care for yourself. 
      Stay safe, stay healthy and above all: stay calm. We’re all going to be okay in the end.