Live in the Moment

I have lived near Wisconsin Dells for over a year now. However, it wasn’t until this past week that I put much effort into taking advantage of my surroundings. I was so caught up in what was happening the next weekend or when I was going to visit here or there that I forgot to enjoy what was at my fingertips.

Well, I finally did it. Last week I went to the Tommy Bartlet Show, the Dells Lumberjack Show and Circus World in Baraboo. Now, reflecting on those shows, all I can think is: why didn’t I do that sooner?

I have never been to the circus and I wait until I have lived in Baraboo for 14 months before I go? What was I thinking?! As over a dozen horses raced around the stage performing tricks I felt a small void from my childhood fill. I was seven years old again and all my dreams were coming true.

The Tommy Bartlet Waterski Show brought back some serious nostalgia of when I used to attend local waterski shows as a kid. But this time there were tougher tricks preformed and new feats entirely, like jet ski and jetpack performances.

The Dells Lumberjack Show was amazing. Not many people know this, but I tried log rolling for a night in college. I could stay standing for maybe a second and a half. The talent the men in this show possess is truly fantastic. Two thumbs up for sure!

Now I waited until the end of the summer season when all three shows were bearing the end of their season before I finally put my foot down took a moment to enjoy these shows. It should not have taken a looming deadline for me to enjoy events in my area.

Do the silly things. Attend the annual events. Thrift a little. Make sure you aren’t too busy looking ahead that you miss what is happening now. I mean, I rode an elephant for goodness sakes! Live in the moment. Enjoy it to the fullest.

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Meet Lisa, the elephant we rode at Circus World!
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Decorating Your Apartment

 

 

It’s that time of the year again. Leases are coming to an end and hopefully you find that perfect apartment… now what?  If you were like me, then decorating your own can be very intimating.  I went from living in a closet in a house with five guys to owning a five room apartment all by myself. However somehow (thanks to all the advice requested by my friends), I must have pulled it off. Here are some of my tips (I’m so modest guys) that anyone can use when starting their new life away from home in a new apartment.

You find yourself buying things for the first time.  Shower curtains, sofas, microwaves… so many things you didn’t know you needed.  And then there are things that you don’t need, but it makes living three hours away from your family and friends feel more like home.

Let’s start with the things you need.  There are a few things you need to sort out before buying these things; like what will fit in your apartment, how long you will be living in this place, what you already have, and your budget.  Budget.  You are a new adult with a crappy paying job and loans to pay back, (who needs to eat) it’s okay to be cheap!  There are some really great things you can get for almost no money at all! Thrift shops are wonderful!  With that though, there are a few things to know.  NOT ALL THINGS SHOULD BE BOUGHT USED.  Trust me, sometimes it’s just gross.  Sofa with a slight rip in a cushion for $15.00 from Goodwill.  Good!  Buy that!  A microwave for $30.00 that you found on your college’s “Free or Sale” Page… don’t do that.  It is probably smelly and will break three weeks later.  So things to buy used.  Big furniture items: sofas, chairs, cabinets, tables, bookshelves, desks, etc… Things not to buy used. Appliances, microwaves, beds, shower curtains, towels….aka things that are need to be sanitary, or electric, or you eat off of…just spend the extra money on it. In the long run you will be be happier.

Next, how long you will be there.  This one is actually pretty easy.  Chances are, your first place right out of college will not be the place you grow old in.  With that, don’t sweat over getting stuff that will last.  Temporary.  You need decent, temporary items.  On the other hand you are also living in this place for probably a year or two…so it should still feel like home. I have been in my apartment now for almost two years, and that $15 sofa is doing great! Will it make it out of this apartment…nope…it will die on the street when I leave, or will go to some other poor, recent post-grad.

That brings us to the next part of apartment decoration, the actual decorating part of it. This is your space.  Go crazy in it.  That weird Narwhal thing you made in that art class you pretended to take? Um, that’s cool as shit.  Put that on display.  That reading corner you wanted to try on Pinterest…there’s a corner.  Those tins you found at a garage sale?  Cute as hell, and makes it look like you cook with cool things. Win win.

 

There are little things that will help brighten any apartment, and make it feel more like home.  You can start with flowers.  Such a simple thing.  You need three things: a vase, water, and flowers…actually scratch that, you don’t even need a vase. That stein you got from that one beer-fest you don’t remember? Great. Use that. But I digress…flowers. They come in all different kinds, you can get them almost anywhere, you can even grow them yourself.  Actually just do that. Potted plants are wonderful. That little bit of responsibility is very rewarding to see how they grow, and this little guy needs you.  Needs you to care for, water, and talk to when you both get lonely.  In return he gives you oxygen!  Who needs to open windows when you have that? Another really easy quick decorating tool is wall art.  Whether you are a painter or like funny posters, get something on those walls!  It’s a quick fix to dull walls if you can’t paint!  It’s all in the details. Fill your shelves and walls with things that make you happy, things from your past, things you want to become.

 

Put in the extra time to make your apartment something you are proud of. You will start to understand why us 24 year-olds start to spend Friday nights in our pajamas rather than at the bars…

Make your place yours. It will make you feel more at home in this new city you have settled in; which can be a really scary, lonely process. The small things matter. Even that plant.

Learn to Improvise

All I need is a reindeer…
The Grinch looked around
But, since reindeer are scarce, there were none to be found.
Did that stop the old Grinch…?
No! The Grinch simply said,
“If I can’t find a reindeer, I’ll make one instead!”
So he called his dog, Max. Then he took some red thread
And he tied a big horn on the top of his head.
-How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Why every Twentysomething Should Try the Tough Mudder

The Tough Mudder is an event that spans 10 Miles with over 20 obstacles. Sound impossible? I promise it’s easier than you think. I believe every twentysomething should try it. Let me tell you why.

You’ll realize you’re stronger than you think

While ten miles filled with over 20 obstacles may sounds intimidating, I promise it reall is easier that you think. What’s awesome about the Tough Mudder is that it is not a race, it’s an event built on teamwork. You don’t have to run any of it if you don’t want to. Ten miles may sound like a long distance to walk, but it’s not. You’ll hit the halfway point way sooner than you think. As you complete the course, you will realize how strong you really are. Last year I convinced my boyfriend and his brother to do it. Both of them went into it thinking it would be nearly impossible and now both of them agree it is easier than it sounds. It’s a great self esteem boost. And if you truly cannot fathom completing a ten mile course, they offer a Tough Mudder Half now. You won’t regret it.

Your faith will be restored in Humanity

You will be surprised how helpful other participants are. There are some obstacles along the course that your team will not be able to complete without first getting help from others on the course. Not only are people willing to help, they will go out of their way to assist you. That, in addition to the words of encouragement you will hear, will have you leaving on race day feeling better about yourself and those around you. Plus, you’ll meet some really fantastic people.

You’ll feel amazing when you are done

The feeling you get when you walk across that finish line and receive your headband is absolutely amazing. You conquered ten miles filled with over 20 obstacles. Hell yeah!

Your team will feel like family

There is no awkwardness on the course. You may need grab someone’s butt to give them a boost, but that’s all it is, a boost. Mud will get into every crevice on your body and that makes for some interesting conversion. Not to mention the celebratory conversation you have when you conquer an obstacle. By the end of the course, your team will feel like family.

You’ll want to do it again

Before you know it, you’ll have a headband collection. Trust me.

Now, before you write this post off and tell people I’m crazy just think about it. How cool would it be to know you completed the Tough Mudder? Really cool. I promise. Just consider it.

 

Puppy Update

I’m going to be completely honest with you I did not have time to write a blog post this week. I just have not had time to write and I do not have any prewritten posts ready. I am sorry.

Instead of trying to crank out a post that might not be very well written I am just going to give you a few updates on my puppy. I apologize to all the cat lovers out there.

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He’s talkative

When we picked him up the first day the woman warned us that his mother was a talker and corgis have a large personality. Boy is that true! If Thor doesn’t get his way, if he’s hungry, if he’s feeling tough or pretty much any other emotion. You will know it. Although he doesn’t bark much he’s constantly talking.

He’s almost potty trained

Yes, you read that right. He has had very few accidents recently and is getting very good at going to the door and whining when he needs to go out. Occasionally he lifts his leg a little when he pees. I am so proud!

He’s a chewer

Anything he can get in his mouth goes in his mouth. Since he still has his puppy teeth his nips can be pretty painful. We are working on it though and he is getting much better at understanding no. Even if he does wait until you aren’t looking to do it again. Little stinker!

He hates his leash

He will not walk on a leash. He will completely spaz out of we try. We worked on it a little yesterday but we still have a ways to go. A long ways.

He’s kind of weird

Sometimes I really wish I could understand what he is thinking. He is very clumsy and sleeps in the weirdest positions. Sometimes it feels like he stares right through  you and for no reason!

He’s the best

Even on on the days he is naughty or gets up a million times at night, he is simply the best. I like my adorable dork to pieces.

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Thanks for reading! I promise to have a real post next week!

 

The Sloppiest of Joes

I will be the first to agree that the last few months have been touch. Not just for me, it seems to be a tough time of year for just about everyone. Sometimes tough times call for comfort food so let me share one of my favorite twists on the standard sloppy joe. It involves Chicken Gumbo soup and a whole lot deliciousness.

First, let’s not fight over whether it’s called a Sloppy Joe or a Spanish Hamburger or whatever else. Let’s just agree it’s good and move right along with the recipe. Here is what you will need:

One pound ground beef
One small onion, chopped
One stalk of celery, chopped (optional)
One can of Chicken Gumbo Soup
Ketchup (to taste)
Mustard (to taste)

Brown the beef with the onion and celery. Drain. Add the soup and simmer for five minutes. Add ketchup and mustard to taste.

Yes, is is that easy. Plus it’s souper good! Pun intended. Enjoy!

Things you hear when you get a puppy

I am officially the mother of the cutest little puppy on the planet. Seriously, he is absolutely adorable. I may be a a little bit bias but look at this picture and tell me I’m wrong:

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He’s not perfect. He’s still working on potty training and sleeping through the night. However, he is already doing better than I thought he would be at this point. Although he does have a chewing problem. Meaning he literally wants to chew on everything and I mean everything from hands to furniture. We’re working on it.

Anyway, prior to bringing Thor home and over the past few days there are few things people have told me about my new baby. Some of the tips and compliments were appreciated while other things surprised me.

First, there is the obvious. Tons of compliments about Thor’s unbelievable cuteness. And who can blame them? He is adorable as most dogs are.

Then there are the training tips. Most of these are super helpful. As a first time dog owner it’s great to know what works and tips to make my life easier. Thor, like most puppies, is a troublemaker and it’s reassuring to know not just what is written on training websites but also what has worked with other pets.

It’s the input I received prior to getting Thor that surprised me the most. People are very opinionated about dogs. Let me explain. (I promise to try my hardest not to over explain).

Not surprisingly people prefer one gender of dog over the other and they are not afraid to tell you why. Just bringing up the topic of a future pet elicits this list of reasons why this gender is better and don’t even consider getting the other gender. That would be a huge mistake.

Then there’s the name. Some people believe there are only certain types of names that are okay for dogs and this is why. It’s tough to pick a name for your pet and when we finally settled on Thor, not everyone was thrilled. People are not afraid to tell you they don’t like  your pets name and why.

Finally, there are the questions about where you get your puppy and the breed. Are you rescuing the puppy? Why  or why not? Did you know those dogs are some of the best behaved because they are so grateful to be rescued? Did you know that those dogs have the most issues because of their backgrounds? Did you know that breed has this big problem?

It’s a lot to think about. Fortunately, I am super happy with our decision. I know my little corgi is going to be a lot of work, especially while he still gets up at night and works on his potty training. But also he’s a ton of fun. While he only weighs about three pounds he has a huge personality with the perfect amount of weird. I love you Thor.