Category Archives: Life

Introducing KitKat, our new kitten

A few weeks ago, the unthinkable happened. I lost my dear cat, Pookie. I never in a million years expected to love a cat as much as I loved her- I am not a cat person. At least, that’s what I continue to tell myself. After losing her, the thought of harvest season coming up around us made us realize that we needed another cat for at least one reason- we needed a mouser.

Adoption

My husband and I looked at many different humane society websites in our search. We wanted to make sure that if we got another cat, we adopted one that needed a home. Little did we know that my oldest child was doing the same. We found one particular kitten that we all were drawn to. A kitten at Paws Humane named Dash. I believe I described her as the ugliest cat I had ever seen, but something about her eyes just drew me in.

I applied for adoption that night. The next morning, Micheal came to me with his research and showed me the same kitten. He had no clue that I was already looking into her though.

Micheal sent me this picture, a screenshot he had taken from the website as well! I told him that we would consider it. A few hours later, we got a phone call that we were approved to adopt Dash, we just needed to visit her first! It was late afternoon, and they were supposed to have 4 more kittens come to the adoption floor the next day, so we decided to wait until morning to visit.

The Process

We arrived at Paws an hour before opening. We were so excited to see Dash. That hour wait seemed to last forever with three kids. When they finally opened, we signed in and immediately went to Dash’s room! She was just the best.

After about 30 minutes of playing with Dash and getting to know her, I stepped out and told them that we would like to move forward with the adoption. We didn’t bring a pet carrier (I didn’t think that far ahead) so we had to purchase one there. The great news was, Dash had already been spayed, so we were able to bring her straight home.

There were a ton of forms to sign, almost like when we closed on our home, but it was worth it! About 30 additional minutes (and about $85) we were headed out the door with our new family member!

A name change

After getting to know our sweet kitten, we decided that she was in need of a new name! The boys and I decided to name her KitKat.

Feeling at home

In the last several days, KitKat has definitely made herself at home! She loves to sit on top of the couch while I work and watch over my shoulder. She was a little skittish around our dogs in the beginning, but has warmed up to them now. Her favorite place to hang out in the entire house is on top of her new litter box.

I love this litter box, it looks so much nicer than any other ones we’ve ever had!

Reasons to adopt a cat:

  • It makes better financial sense to adopt than to get a free cat. Adopting a cat means that she will come spayed, and with all of her shots.
  • You save more than one life. Adopting one cat makes room for another in the shelter.
  • Controls overpopulation. When you adopt, your pet comes to you spayed or neutered, so you have no worries of unwanted kittens.
  • Animal shelters take great care of the cats and other animals they are entrusted with.  Some may have been neglected before arriving at a shelter, but once there they are given needed treatments, vaccinations, medicine, care, behavioral screenings, and lots of attention by trained, experienced, and professional staff members; they are ready to join their new family. 
  • Cats and pets in general are great for mental health, especially during a time when we are at home and social distancing so much.  This can be mentally taxing and cats can greatly help reduce anxiety, depression, cabin fever, and a host of ailments that are typically seen when we are cooped up and can’t get out as much as we would like.  And cats make excellent senior companions as well.

Until next time,
Alicia

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Our Meal Plan and The Recipe of The Week

One thing that I have done in an attempt to make my life easier is start writing a weekly meal plan. It’s so much less stressful to be able to go straight to my meal plan when someone asks “What’s for dinner?” instead of playing a guessing game.

How cute is this sign?!?!?!

I sit down once a week and take into account one meal that each person in the house would like, and I also go to my Pinterest board that I keep recipes in and find recipes that I would like to try.

After I’ve made my meal plan, I create a shopping list for my husband. Steven does all of our grocery shopping on Friday nights when he gets off work. This works out great for our family. He buys anything extra that he wants, and I don’t waste money at the store (I’m forever overspending).

Saturday-

Burgers (Steven makes the BEST burgers). This is a once a week staple for us!


Sunday-

Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup – This has been on my Pinterest board for a while now, and I cannot wait to give it a whirl!

Monday-

Instant Pot Spaghetti and Meatballs – A favorite for the boys (and ME!).

Tuesday-

Instant Pot Chicken Burrito Bowls – We usually do Taco Tuesday at our house and I needed a change, so to the Pinterest board we go to!

Wednesday-

 Instant Pot Baked Ziti – This is a quick pasta, which is a staple in our home! We love us some pasta!

Thursday- 

Instant Pot Shrimp Scampi – Steven has been begging for scampi for a while now, so I’m super excited to try this Instant Pot version!

Friday- 

Instant Pot Hibachi Chicken – Hibachi is my favorite meal and I cannot wait to try this recipe. If we weren’t already having shrimp the night before, I would want to add in shrimp instead of chicken.

Shopping List

  • Meat
    • Hamburger Meat
    • Frozen Meatballs
    • Chicken Breasts
  • Dry/Canned/Etc.
    • Soy Sauce
    • Apple Cider Vinegar
    • Yum Yum Sauce
    • 12 cups Chicken Broth
    • 3 cans Black Beans
    • 3 cans Whole Kernel Corn
    • Tortilla Chips
    • 2 jars Spaghetti Sauce
    • Taco Seasoning
    • 2 cans Rotel
    • Long-Grain Rice (uncooked)
    • Ziti Pasta
    • 1 can Crushed Tomatoes
    • Dried Basil
    • Dried Oregano
  • Baked Goods
    • Bread
    • Hamburger Buns
  • Produce
    • Onions
    • Garlic
    • Lime
    • Mushrooms
    • Ginger (fresh or in a jar)
    • Green Bell Pepper
    • Red Bell Pepper
    • Lemon Juice
  • Dairy
    • Sour Cream
    • Butter
    • Milk
    • Heavy Whipping Cream
    • Shredded Parmesan

I am so excited about this week’s meals! We have lots of new meals that we can have, and some old favorites as well!

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Back To School

As we prepare to start another strange school year, I have to admit I am more than nervous. Officially, I am the mom of a high schooler, a middle schooler, and a pre-K student. This will be JW’s first experience with school, as the pandemic prevented him from going to a head start program, so my nerves for him are especially high.

The pandemic has stolen so much from so many, but the children in school more than ever. In our school, and many others, instead of moving from class to class, middle and high school students must sit in their seats all day while the teachers circulate in and out of the classrooms. This is especially hard for neurodivergent students. It hurts me to think of how their grades are suffering. It hurts me to think that they are unable to socialize as they should be able to as well.

Thankfully, my youngest will have a mostly “normal” year at school. There are special precautions taken, sure, but he will get to play and be a kid.

As they travel back and forth to school on the bus, they will have to wear a mask. There will certainly be a lot of emphasis on hand washing and hand sanitizer, and temperatures will be taken before access is granted to school property. I grieve for “normal” because I fear that it may never actually return.

Another feeling…

Even with my grief, I am excited for them. My oldest, Micheal, is going into 10th grade. He has three years left in high school. Kyle, my middle son, is going into 8th grade- his last year in middle school! Oh, and JW, he has been excited to go to school since the first time he walked into the building! I am so very excited for him!

Let me tell you the funniest thing- Everyone thought that I was going to lose my mind about JW starting school. I handled that with no tears at all, however the thought hitting that I now only have two more first days of school with Micheal tore me apart inside.

Until next time,
Alicia

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10 ways to earn extra money in a small town

Are you from a small town? Have you just moved to one? Are you trying to figure out how to earn some extra money? I’ve been there! Allow me to share some ideas that have worked for me and several friends in the past when we needed to earn some extra money.

How to Make Money in a Small Town: 19 Ideas

10 ways to earn extra money in a small town

Babysitting-

Babysitting | First 5 California

Good and reliable babysitters are always in high demand! Whether it be for the work day, after school, or just for the occasional date night. If you love kids and this is something for you, advertise on social media, but don’t stop there! Make a flyer to put up at the local grocery store. Let people know when you’re available and whether you’re more comfortable coming to them or having them drop the kiddos off with you.

Tutoring-

5 things to consider before you hire a tutor for your child

My best friend is a teacher and has a great side hustle tutoring students throughout the school year and even several weeks during the summer. It has worked out amazingly for her! She has a set clientele and never worries about extra money for events and vacations.

Part-time jobs-

54 Small Business Ideas for Anyone Who Wants to Run Their Own Business

A lot of small business owners can’t always afford a full time employee, but they may still need the extra help. It never hurts to ask. Bonus points if you walk in with a resume (that includes current contact info!). Just be up front about when you can and cannot work, most will happily work with you!

Online-

Blogging is always a nice source of extra income, but there are also other wonderful ways as well. A friend of mine does online surveys in exchange for gift cards, which is pretty cool!

Crafting-

Pin by Melissa Mazzie on Craft Fair table ideas | Craft fair displays, Crochet  craft fair, Craft booth displays

I know several ladies who have a Cricut or Silhouette and make vinyl decals and shirts, but even if that’s not something you’re interested in, there are still so many things you can do. You can sell hand sewn or crocheted items, and so much more. My sister-in-law makes doorhangers that she cuts herself and handpaints (after putting in long hours as a teacher).

Flipping furniture-

How to Flip Furniture : Before & After Tutorials - Upcycle My Stuff

Another close friend of mine was laid off from her job several years ago and used it as an opportunity to follow her passion- redoing antique furniture and selling it. She and her husband now have several successful businesses that branched off from this. Not only does she repair and paint furniture, they also do custom builds, and she is paid to decorate homes! I also recently found out that she has started helping to plan weddings because people love her tastes so much!

Offer grocery delivery-

I am always shocked at home many people in my area do not have a drivers license or access to a vehicle. People that have both have a great opportunity to either get paid to take people shopping, or go and do the shopping for that person! I know a few people who do this, but I’m a little unsure as to how much money that make doing it.

Sell gently used clothes and home decor-

  • Another friend of mine stumbled onto a GOLDMINE selling gently used ladies, babies, and kids boutique clothing. We all have kids roughly about the same age and were in groups that are specifically geared towards reselling boutique clothing. My friend Crystal was smart enough to start buying these clothes and “flipping” them for a profit. She now makes enough that she does it as a full time job!
  • I LOVE decorating my house, but when my tastes change, I enjoy selling my home decor online for a profit.

Dog walking-

The Fine Art Of Dog Walking | Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center

When you live in a small town, odds are that you travel for work. This can be especially hard on pets, and a dog walker in a small town could really do well!

Start a cleaning service

Best Cleaning Company WordPress Themes - Web-MATIC Design

A Facebook friend of mine couldn’t back to work full time once her kids were in school because there were no daycare options in her area for after school care. She took a chance and started cleaning a few houses once a week to make some extra income… This quickly turned into a full time business that actually employs three other local moms. The great thing for all of them is that they only work during school hours, so now none of them are working to pay for childcare!

Extra income in a small town

As you can see, it is not impossible to earn extra money in a small town. You may have to get creative, but you can definitely do it!

What do you think? Have I missed anything? Let me know how you earn extra money in a small town!

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Time to start working out

I posted in my goals that I intend to start working out this month. I plan to begin walking/running at least 30 minutes daily. As part of this, I am starting the C25K (Couch to 5k) program AGAIN. I love running, but it is always hard for me to get started, so that’s why I love the couch to 5k program, plain and simple it just works for me.

Another thing that I want to do is start jumping rope again. I plan to start slow- 50 jumps a day to begin with and adding maybe 10 a day? I’m not 100% sure, simply because I cannot remember the last time I jumped rope. I do know that I am planning to order a mat to jump on.

I am also using an app to keep track of my measurements as well as my weight called Body Measurements. It has reminders which work great for me, because without a reminder, I will not weigh or measure myself. I will say that I am more concerned about my measurements than my weight, I am hoping to feel more comfortable in my skin again, and to have a reason to want to buy new clothes.

Ideas?

Do you have any other ideas that might prove helpful? I would love to hear them! Please comment below.

Until next time,
Alicia

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