Doing the Right Thing is Expensive

27267552_2022572737757295_210116761_oAs we all, probably, know, I got a kitten a few months ago! Her name is Sid and I adore her. As a pet owner, I wanted to do the responsible thing and get her spayed. As much as I love her, I know that the world doesn’t need anymore kitty cats.

Because I’m poor I wanted to do this in the cheapest, but yet still legitimate, way possible. I went to the Dunn County Humane Society because they have a Reduced Spaying/Neutering application. They asked me a few questions to see if I was able to apply and it turns out, I wasn’t! Because I’m not in low income housing or on food stamps, I wasn’t applicable. Which seems RIDICULOUS to me. I made around $10,000 last year. The ENTIRE year. I just wanted to do the right thing and get my kitten spayed; you’d think that the Humane Society would be willing to support something like that. I am a full time student and I work when I can. Meaning, I don’t have $200 to just throw to a Vet. I’m sure there are plenty of other people in the world in the same situation!

As you can tell, I was pissed.

MN Snap.png

I didn’t want to pay $200+ to get Sid spayed but I also wanted to do the right thing. That’s when my sister told me about the MN Snap program! The MN snap program goes around offering reduced rates for rabies vaccinations, spaying, neutering, micro chipping, and all the other great stuff that is necessary when owning a pet. There rules are 1.) Be a MN resident 2.) Make less than $47,000 a year. Done and done.

I got Sid spayed on Saturday for $50. Ryan and I had to spend the whole day in Bloomington but we made a day of it! I got Sid spayed for very cheaply and I spent the day with Ryan.

I understand not being able to spay or neuter your animals because it is ridiculously expensive. I completely understand. What I learned though is that there’s options. When I started investigating more and more, I realized how many there actually were! Not all of them were doable  for our situation; but they were still out there! I urge you all to look into your options before deciding you can’t afford it. There’s so many animals out there, especially cats, who just keep on reproducing. I think it can happen 2-3 times a year and they have 4-6 kittens every time!

I’m just trying to do my part as a pet owner and I urge you all to too.

-kk

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Hormonal Birth Control Pt. 2

HormonI did it, I decided to jump onto the hormone free bandwagon. I’ve been off my birth control for around 3 weeks now. And I’m here to update all of you on the changes that have come from it.

Week One: I got quite a few nasty headaches the first week; which, I know can be caused by a drop in estrogen. Such as when you go off of birth control. I didn’t know if this was from the lack of birth control though or if it was from my new air purifier. The headaches started to clear up after I stopped leaving the purifier on all the time but my body also had been off of HBC for 6 or 7 days when this happened. Otherwise, I felt pretty great this week! My appetite started to decrease so I stopped binge eating so much and I wasn’t as much of a grazer.

Week Two: I haven’t been exercising as much, because I’m home and without a gym. I have been focusing more on HIIT circuits because I’m able to do them at home. So yes, I’ve been doing more cardio. I weighed myself this week and I had lost around two pounds. This was surprising to me because it was Christmas! I can’t confirm if this was from dropping the HBC or not. I also haven’t been feeling as bloated lately. My appetite still hasn’t as ravenous as it used to be. I’m hoping this is a permanent change.

Week 3: I should be getting my period soon, if it comes when it should. I know that it’s really unlikely that it will come at the right time but we can hope! My face hasn’t really broken out and nothing else has changed!

Week 4: My period did not come when it was supposed to; however, I got cramps and I felt like I was having my period. Just without the period. My face didn’t really break out but it’s not as smooth as before. Otherwise, everything else is going really well. My appetite is still down and I just feel better not taking it.

Conclusion: If you’re nervous about going off birth control, I say just do it. Worse case scenario, you have to go back on it. Nothing extremely crazy happened to me but my body may not be the same as you’re body.

Going through this experience as well or have before? Let me know!

-kk

Doggo Heaven

26994560_2014603118554257_2077797_n.jpgLast week my dog, Apollo, passed away. He was suffering from cancer and it hit him hard the last few days of his life. He lost around 10 pounds in three days, he wasn’t eating or drinking, and the only thing that made him feel better were meds that just made him sleep all the time. He passed away in his sleep and, thankfully, he didn’t seem like he was in very much pain.

Now, we’ve had this dog for almost nine years or ten years. I lose track. It just sort of feels like he’s always been here. But this dog was the neediest, most loving dog I’ve ever met! He would just sit and wait for you to pet him and he just wanted to be near you all the time. He loved attention. He was stupid but he was also smart; which I realize doesn’t make sense. But you know those people that are super book smart and people dumb? Well, Apollo was that way.

He knew all the commands and he basically taught himself how to walk on a leash! He was awesome, I loved him and I wish I could have been there with him in the end.

I would highly recommend getting a Boxer; there was three of them in my family and they’re all amazing dogs! They’re all super friendly, good with children, and their life goal is just to be loved by someone.

I’ll miss him greatly but I hope that Doggo Heaven is everything he could ever dream of.

-kk

Changing Your Brain

Brain.jpgWhen I was sixteen years old I was in a really bad car accident. This resulted in a brain injury that I struggled with. A lot. Imagine you’re sixteen and you can no longer do all the things that you used to enjoy doing. Being in too loud of an area gave me piercing migraines that left me in tears, reading a book for longer than fifteen minutes made me fall asleep, and I couldn’t remember things the way that I used to. I was sad and I didn’t think I’d ever get better and I didn’t even know where to start.

Luckily, one of my many sisters is kind of a hippie and all about happy thoughts and mindfulness. She sent me this article called, “Mindfulness Can Literally Change Your Brain,”. 

It was all about how being present and practicing non-judgmental thoughts can change your brain waves.  After eight weeks, of participants completing a mindfulness study, there was an increase in the density of the gray matter in their brain! Grey matter is linked to controlling memory, emotions, speech, decision making, and self-control. This is all information that needs to be processed by the brain! A lack of grey matter can be linked to schizophrenia and adolescents experiencing a first outbreak of psychosis have lower levels of gray matter.

Mindfulness should be considered a must have in order to keep our brains healthy, help us making better choices, promote self regulation, and to protect ourselves from toxic stress!

So sit back, take a deep breath, and try to commit to being more mindful. Become more aware of how you feel, how your body feels. Connect all these together and just remember to think about it.

I know that trying to be more aware of what my brain was going through, how it was reacting to certain situations, and remembering that I need to take care of it helped me a lot in the long run.

-kk

Shopping Free Year?

I like to think I have a lot less stuff than other people. I like to think that I spend less money on new things than other people. However, that’s untrue. I like new things. I like new clothes. I LOVE new work out gear. I don’t know why but I get a sense of satisfaction from buying new things.

This year though, I’ve decided to minimize the amount of things that I’m buying. I got the idea from Abby O’Keefe’s Youtube video about her minimizing the amount of things she’s buying. She’s not doing it to save money but so that she can value the things she already has more and more! I’ve decided to join her in this! I’m also doing it to save money but hey, we’re in different positions financially.

She has a few rules for her self like she can’t do more than two experiences on herself a month (massage, nails, spa), if she needs a new something, like a pair of shoes, she can buy those, and if she has gift cards from her birthday or other events she can use those.

I made my own set of rules for this because we’re in different parts of our lives!

  1. So I’m starting an internship in June, I have to wear business casual clothes. I’ve decided that if I find something versatile for that, like black pants, I can buy it.
  2. I get to spend my Lululemon gift card on some new leggings when I got to the Mall Of America this month because I’ve been saving that bad boy!
  3. I can buy gifts and experiences. These gifts must be for other people though and these experiences can only be twice a month. Also, I have to put $100 in my savings account each month.
  4. Purchasing things like shampoo, lotions, or makeup, when I run out of them, doesn’t count towards this challenge.

I’m really hoping i can make this work. I think it’ll help me value what I already have more and I’ll save some money in the process. Hopefully, I’ll save enough money to take myself on a nice vacation!

Interested in joining me? Let me know!

I started this on the 11th of January but it’s never to late to start!

-kk

Volunteering and Adopting

I started volunteering at the Humane Society in Dunn County. Who doesn’t love getting Boggie.png volunteer hours while working with animals? I mean, today I walked a dog for an hour. For free. I don’t have any obligation to this dog and I still got to hang out with him for an hour!

I know I have a cat. But my first love was dogs. I grew up with English Mastiffs, three of them to be exact. They were big and they were the best cuddle buddies! We’ve got one left, Boggie is 13 years old and I can’t believe he’s still standing.

To satisfy my dog walking and loving  cravings, I head over to the Humane Society. It solves my problem and it helps out a great organization! The main employees of the Humane Society are unable to give the animals as much attention as they deserve. That’s why they have volunteers to help out with this!

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I have the capability to give Sid the attentions she needs. The food, the vet appointments, the medicine, the attention, and the care she needs. That’s why I have a pet. Going into the humane society makes me realize how many animals needs someone who can do this for them. They’ve already adopted out 9 or 10 cats this month and there’s still so many that need to be adopted! I have a feeling this is a much smaller Humane Society than a lot of other places.

If you have the capability to give a pet everything they need, I strongly urge you to adopt and not shop. Also, if you don’t have that capability but still want a pet. Go out and volunteer. You’re still getting time with animals and you’ll be making a difference for that humane society.

If you have a pet, did you adopt? Tell me your story, I’d love to hear it.

-kk

Let’s Talk Self Love

26855527_2008076635873572_1066665252_n.jpgI’m currently a 20 year old girl. Or woman, I suppose I’m a woman.

My body is still changing in ways that are new to me. I’ve put on thirty pounds since leaving high school. I just recently decided to stop taking birth control. I’m surrounded by women who pick their bodies apart piece by piece. And here I am, trying to make sure that I love myself.

My body has changed a lot in the past 6 years of my life. I got my period when I was 16, so I started developing that womanly figure. I gained a few pounds and was kind of uncomfortable in my body. I wasn’t sure how to change it though! I thought cardio was the way to go. Side note: It wasn’t.

Then I unexpectedly lost 20 pounds. This wasn’t a good thing but I was excited about it! I was skinny again; my old pants didn’t fit and now I was a size zero in most brands. However, I lost my period and I was always cold and underweight. It wasn’t a good time in my life but I loved my body for being skinny!

And here I am, three years late. I’ve gained around 30 pounds, on top of the 10 pounds I needed to gain, since coming into college. I’ve dated boys who have told me that I wasn’t skinny enough when I was 125 pounds and that sentence crosses my mind often. My current boyfriend, thinks I look amazing and says he doesn’t even realize I’m 155 pounds. Which is always lovely to hear but I wanted to love my body the way he does.

I started weight lifting my sophomore year of college and I stopped thinking about my body as just a shell that I’m walking around in. I started thinking of myself as a machine! A machine that I had to be able to fuel with delicious and healthy foods in order to grow stronger. In order to do the things that I loved to do, I had to stop putting so much emphasis on being as little as I could be. I had to start realizing what my body could and would do for me if I gave it the proper nutrition.

My body is master piece. It may not be able to fit into size 0 jeans anymore but I can guarantee that it wouldn’t have been able to go rock climbing or on four hours hikes when it could fit into those jeans. I found a way to love myself even when others around me couldn’t find a way to love themselves.

I think it’s really important that you find a way to love yourself. Focus on one new thing that you love every single day. Don’t just make it the physical features, think mental, talent, or skill wise as well.

Finding a way to love yourself is a very important part of growing up; I don’t think there’s enough emphasis on this. I wish there was more.

This is just my thoughts on self love. I hope it inspires you to go through the journey of finding yourself.

-kk