Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How to unlock a car door with a tennis ball! (This works, ladies!)

Have you ever locked your keys in your car and subsequently felt like the biggest moron, ever? Been there, done that a few years ago. I was under a lot of stress at that time and it was not a fun moment! (Thankfully, a family member had spare key and I was able to call them and get back in my car one very embarrassing hour later.) Now, I know how to spare myself the issue! I saw this idea on Pinterest a while back and decided to try it out to see if it actually works. It does! Yay! So, now in addition to everything BUT the kitchen sink, I'm also keeping a tennis ball in my purse! (And just in cause I somehow manage to lock my purse and keys inside of my car simultaneously in the future, I'm planning to duct tape one underneath my car so that I can get to it if need be. (I had one of those magnetic spare key holders underneath my car for a while, but it feel off while driving at some point, so I no longer have it).

RIP Davy Jones and Jan Berenstain: We lost two incredible people this week!

Growing up, I absolutely loved reading the Berenstain Bear books! I had most of them and would read them over, and over again.  Those books taught me many valuable life lessons; I even loved watching the movies and TV series that went along with the books. As I've grown older and now participate in READ therapy visits with my therapy dog, I've also seen another generation of little ones that have grown to adore the Berenstain Bear books as much as I do. I was very sad to find out that the amazing co-author of those books has passed away. Jan Berenstain was an incredible lady and her books were loved by countless people the world over. She will be missed!

In addition to loving books when I was younger, I also grew up with an insatiable appetite for music! I listed to a bit of everything! Rock, Opera, Oldies, Country, name it, I liked it! I even started out my college career as a music major, so needless to say, I was sad to learn today of Davy Jones' death. He was the front-man for the Monkees and a very talented musician! He too will be missed! 

My favorite song the Monkees sang was, "Daydream Believer"

I love that even as he aged a bit, he still had a blast preforming this song live! That's a true musician's heart! RIP Davy!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Today is World Spay Day!

Today is World Spay Day! 

Unless you're a responsible, ethical breeder or you show your dog in Conformation, please be a responsible pet owner and have your furbabies spayed/neutered! As a former animal control employee, I know first hand that  having your pet altered can help cut down on the pet overpopulation and numbers at shelters, back yard breeders/puppy mills, diseases, temperament/behavioral issues, and so much more! It can also help ensure that your pet does not develop reproductive cancers and conditions that could cut short the lifespan of your beloved best friend! Please be a responsible owner! 

If you're local, the Memphis/Shelby County Humane Society offers a discount spay/neuter program for only $50! You can't beat that price! You pay the Humane Society $50 up front, and then they make and appointment and give you a voucher to take to the vet of your choice to have your pets surgery done. (you'll have a list of at about 10 to choose from.) I did this with Mykelti and couldn't be more pleased! 


I swear, some people just need a damn high-five to their face...with a chair! I am so sick of being treated like a doormat by people that I try so hard to be kind to and go out of my way to help! Today, I REALLY had to resist the urge not to tell a certain person EXACTLY how I felt about their rude, insufferable, horrid attitude! Seriously, hateful person who shall remain nameless, try treating others with kindness once in a while! I'm beginning to believe that you were you raised by brazen, manner-less, savages! Who knows, maybe if you actually attempt to be nice, you'll quit being such an awful person that nobody wants to be around! (Doubtful!) If your attempts to be polite and actually act like a well-mannered person do not work out, have no fear! I know of a fantastic place where you can go and shove your attitude... 

(Since it's probably frowned upon in most civilized establishments to high-five a bitch in the face with a chair, I will instead choose to go to sleep now. It's WAY past my bed time! )

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday's Quote of the Day:

Dr. Seuss said it best! Every Monday, my therapy dog Ranger and I volunteer two hours of our time READing with the children at a local school. The above quote is one of my absolute favorites! You never know what kind of a difference you might make when you take the time to read with a little one and help others learn. It doesn't matter if you read with your own child, or others you work/volunteer with; pick up a book and enjoy!!!  

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Should Be Fun To Watch

Should Be Fun To Watch

CGC, AKC Brake's Femme Fatale! She passed her test!!!!!

I have a bit of exciting news to share with you lovely readers: My sweet Australian Shepherd, Mykelti,   passed her Canine Good Citizen test today! Yay!! I've been preparing her for this test since I brought her home as a young puppy. The CGC test shows that handlers display responsible pet ownership skill, that your dog has a sound temperament, and that your dog is reliably trained. Mykelti is my second Aussie to pass this test on the first try; I absolutely love working with Australian Shepherds, they're so smart! Her big brother, Ranger, is a Canine Good Citizen as well, and also a registered therapy dog. I'm currently working with Mykelti to help her follow in Ranger's paw prints on her way to becoming a registered therapy dog! It takes at least a good solid year of training and preparations to really get them ready for these tests, so we have done our best to continually train and diligently work together.  The CGC test is essentially an unofficial "mid-term" evaluation for therapy dogs-in-training to see how their skills are. It is a pre-requisite for the therapy work that we do, so I am thrilled that Mykelti preformed well today! She still needs a bit more training to prepare her for the Delta Society/Pet Partner's evaluations in a few weeks, so we will be pressing forward and training even harder! (The PPSAT test is a  22 part Skills/Aptitude test and she and I will need to preform near flawlessly in order to pass.) So, please continue to think of us and pray as we continue to train and prepare! I so enjoy going on visits with Ranger and seeing the smile and happiness that he brings into the lives of others through the gift of therapy work. I can not wait to have a second wonderful dog as my partner as well! 

CGC, AKC Brake's Femme Fatale...aka "Mykelti"
(Taken after she passed her CGC test today! 12 months old.)

CGC, AKC Brake's Lone Ranger & CGC, AKC Brake's Femme Fatale
Both of my little CGC'ers, Ranger and Mykelti! I'll be training my Pit Bull x, Macy next for her CGC test if her health holds up! 

Are you interested in training your dog to become a Canine Good Citizen? It's not just for therapy dogs, your pet can take the test too! It can help you with lower insurance rates and even land you into the housing you want by showing others that you and your dog are both responsible members of your community! If you would like to learn more, please visits THIS link to the AKC's information! If you are local, I'd be happy to recommend some excellent training facilities. If you life out of state, the American Kennel Club has a list of training facilities and CGC evaluators on their website that should be able to help you out! 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fresh Prince, text style!

I dedicate this post to my lovely blog readers that grew up in the 90's and loved watching episodes of "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" half as much as I did! I know the opening song by heart, so I found the following below rather hilarious! Enjoy! :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sara Bareilles - Oh Darling (Live from Abbey Road)

(Be sure to pause the music in the right side bar before you press, "play"!)

This is hands down the best cover I have EVER heard of this song. I adore Sara Bareilles!

Fun Fact Friday!

10 Randoms, in no particular order:

1. Hi, my name is Lydia, and I insist on decorating for every single holiday...St. Patrick's Day, yup! Already decorated for it!

2. My dogs sound like that furry thing from Star Wars, Chewbacca (I think that's it) when they play

3. I simultaneously love and hate Shaun T. from the Insanity workouts. I like to curse at him and call him every filthy thing I can think of when I work out, but afterwards, I love him!

4. I clean when I get mad...we're talkin' OCD clean my entire house top to bottom.

5. I secretly love watching, "Ice Loves CoCo". I love the way Ice T absolutely adores his wife!

6. Olay Silk whimsy body wash: zooooomg it smells insanely good! Go get you some, ladies!

7. My aunt recently introduced me to my new favorite store, Kirklands! For years I always thought it was one of those Christian book stores, so I never checked it out. (Not that I'm opposed to Christian book stores, but I just didn't see what the big hype was over it every time my family talked about the place. I was thinking, "If it's anything like Lifeway, what on earth is the big deal? You go in, you get your book and you leave, right?"...Long story short, two weeks ago my aunt took me there and I discovered that not only is it NOT a bookstore, it is my new happiest place in the world! Seriously? It's like a high-end Hobby Lobby, but even cheaper on some things! Holy Cow. I love that place!

8. I love earrings; I always feel put together and feminine with a nice pair of earrings on.

9. I'm pretty darn OCD about keeping my house spotless, but my car....yeah, no comment! (and now off to clean it!)

10. My purse probably weighs at least 40lbs...I should really empty some things out of it!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kellie Pickler - Best Days Of Your Life

I absolutely love Kellie Pickler! She's such a spit fire and a fun musician! This is one of my favorite songs of hers. Enjoy, my lovelies!

(Please be sure to pause the music in the right side bar before you press, "play"!)

Lint: What are you giving up?

Today is Lint. Although I'm not Catholic (nor Pagan, for those of you who have done your research on Lint!), I still practice Lint each year. I embrace the concept behind its practice and find it a good time to focus and reflect on the things that are important in life. One of the primary concepts behind Lint is to focus on Christ's life, suffering, death, and resurrection and to learn how you can mature and grow from Christ's example.    

So on the note of Lint, this month I will choose to: Give up and separate myself from negativity and worry. More specifically, the negativity and worry that some of my family members have caused towards my other family members and I. 

I chose "negativity and worry" because those are the things that have been weighing me down the most lately and really wreaking havoc in my life. I have lost countless nights of sleep and a bit of my health to worrying over several of my family members and the negative decisions that they've made. To make a long story short, some of the people that I love the most  are so caught up in their detrimental lifestyle right now, that they won't allow anyone help them. What frustrates me the most is knowing in my heart that I would do absolutely anything in my power to help the people I love and care for, especially my family! What devastates me the most is knowing that, and watching them push others and I away in order to seek a wreckless path of destruction instead. So for now, I am putting my attempts to help them on hold and instead focusing on what I need to do for the other people in my life and for myself. If I'm am worn down with worry, I won't be able to set a good example for others. So, I need to focus on keeping myself collected, positive, and strong right now. 

Sometimes you just have to know when to let go of things, no matter how difficult the circumstance. Lint is a good reminder of this for me.  Sometimes, people don't want to change or get help, and the people around them have to make a decision. Enable them and let them continue in their downward spiral, or step back and let go until those they love are ready to make a change. I will not choose to enable bad decisions and detrimental lifestyles, so for now, I have to walk away knowing in my heart that I did every possible thing to help and that the rest is up to them.  It's heartbreaking, but I know it's the right things to do. Sometimes, I just want to shake some of my loved ones and tell them to get it together! And to be honest, I've pretty much done everything short of that. It's in God's hands and out of mine though. All I can do is hope and pray that they make the changes they need to in order to have a good life and know that I will always be there for them when they hopefully do so.

Sorry for the slight rant and lack of specifics: I'd just rather not go into it. If you think about me or my loved ones though, please pray that some of my loved ones will see the path their headed down is a negative one and that they will choose to make positive changes instead. In the mean time, I think Lint is a great time to separate myself from the negativity associated with all of that and to instead focus on the positive things in my life that I CAN impact instead. So, that's what I'm choosing to do!

~ What are you giving up for Lint? ~

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Duckface: DON'T!

Duckface? Just say, "No"!

Ok ladies,
      I love you, but seriously: some of you need a wake up call! Seriously: stop it with the Duckface! What on earth were you thinking?! I'm not sure when exactly it became "trendy" to act like a duck rather than a lady, but I'll be the first to tell you that this Duckface thing is NOT attractive! You look like an idiot! Seriously, just cut it out and try smiling instead for your next picture!                       

Current State of Affairs!

I've seen this post on several of the blogs I read lately, and thought it'd be a fun post: 
Current guilty pleasure- Watching YouTube video's by my favorite vloggers and beauty guru's, and Godiva Dark Chocolate Pearls (all it takes is 2-3 of those little gems to nix my chocolate cravings and they are so yummy!)

Current nail polish- OPI's:  "A-ROSE AT DAWN...BROKE BY NOON"

Current play list-  Pitbull, Adele, Sinatra, Breaking Benjamin, Eminem,Ella Fitzgerald, Ben E. King, She & Him, Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne, Arcade Fire, James David Carter, the list goes on for miles and miles...

Current read: "Henry, the Dog with no Tail" -The READ children that my therapy dog and I visit with adore this book! When they finished their assigned books and still have time left over, I break out this book! It's about an Australian Shepherd (like Ranger) who does not have a tail like the other dogs and wants desperately to "fit in".  He learns an important lesson about what really matters and that his friends love him for who he is, not who he isn't. The kids we read with love that book and I love the lesson that it teaches them! 

Current drink: NAKED Coconut Water + Pineapple...oh so delicious!

Current food: Spaghetti with whole grain pasta, fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, and bell peppers 

Current favorite show:  Law and Order SVU, It's Me or the Dog, Pit Bulls and Parolees, CMT Pure Country, Cross Roads, Criminal Minds, Family Guy, Modern Family, "Ice Loves CoCo" and all of the "Teen Mom 1 & 2"/ "16 and Pregnant" shows.

Current wish list:  A love life...seriously! A Borzoi, a new Djembe, Philosophy Unconditional Love body wash, peace within my family, and quite a few other things...

Current needs: Sex, Love, Rock and Roll. Oh, and on a less exciting note, a trip to the eye doctor...I need new glasses/contacts!

Current triumphs: I'm almost  finished with my second week of Insanity! YAY!

Current blessing: My dogs; I absolutely adore them and love that they are always by my side no matter what kind of day I'm having! 

Current excitement: Red Hot Chili Peppers concert with my best friend, this April!!!

Copy, paste, and fill this out for your  blog! I'd love to read your answers!!! If you don't have a blog, feel free to leave your response in the comments below!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Safety First!

Hello my lovelies,  
              Today's blog post is about a very important issue: 

(Be sure to pause the music in the right side bar before you press "play"!)
 Yes, I thought it would be simultaneously hilarious and twisted to play, "Burning Down The House" to go with this blog post! Keepin' it classy! ;) 

Ok my lovelies, here's what I want you to do today: Take 5 minutes out of your 24 hour day to make sure your home is fire/safety-ready!

-Have an emergency plan and know it like the back of your hand. It doesn't hurt to practice. If you have a family, have meeting spots set up so you all know where to meet if something were to happen to your home. 

-Make sure that you have copies of all your important documents and files saved in a water-proof folder at your disposal. (Maybe one tucked away in your car (under a spare tire in the trunk, not your glove box) and one in a P.O. box or another relatives home in case something happens at your house.) If you have pets, be sure to include copies of their rabies, microchip numbers, and medical certificates.

Now, it's time to check your fire extinguishers and make sure they are within a normal range! If yours is not within normal range, you should be able to take it to any fire station near your home and have them adjust it. If you don't have a fire extinguisher, you can pick one up at Walmart, Target, Lowe's, Home Depot, and lots of other places. They aren't very expensive, and they might just save your life! Make sure that the one you buy is rated for the room you're putting it in. (Mine is by First Alert and it's rated, A,B,C for the types of fires it's appropriate for.) I keep mine in my kitchen under my sink and have a small label on the door it's behind so that anyone in my home can find it easily. (I plan to add a second one to my bedroom the next time I go to the store, just because ya never know!). If you have a two-story home, make sure you have at least one on every floor and that you have safety ladders near the windows as well.

~ And on the note of fire safety, it's time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure the batteries are working! 

If you don't own a Carbon Monoxide detector, you need one! Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas, so you might not know if it's in your home until it's too late. I have two detectors by "First Alert". They plug into wall outlets and have a battery backup in case the power runs out. I try to check all of mine monthly to make sure that they are working properly. 

Here are a few helpful links:
If you have kids...
If you have pets...
Tons of helpful safety videos: everything from carbon monoxide to fire safety!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Favorite Cereal

Kashi Go Lean Crucnh: Mixed Berry Crumble

So this week I decided to try out a new cereal for a change of pace, and found one that I love! It's called, Kashi Go Lean Crunch: Mixed Berry Crumble. It is so yummy that it deserves it's own blog post review! Not only does this cereal taste delicious, it's also very good for you! This cereal is a great way to start off your day or stave off late night cravings. It has toasted grain clusters, and dried blueberries and cranberries. I love it! 
I've been eating mine with fresh fruit (strawberries,etc) added to it. Such a yummy combo!

I picked mine up at Target, but you can find it at Kroger, Wal-mart, and most other grocery stores as well! Enjoy my lovelies! 

Friday, February 17, 2012

Breaking Benjamin - Rain (acoustic live)

(Be sure to pause the music in the right side bar before you play the video!)

A day in the life of a therapy dog

Every Thursday, my therapy dog Ranger and I go through the same routine. I spend several hours grooming him (either on Wednesday night after agility, or early Thursday mornings.) Once he is all clean and handsome, I grab our gear, put on my uniform and ID badge, and he get his therapy bandana on. Next, I walk him, put his seat-belt harness on him, and then we're on our way to our therapy visit for that day!

Yesterday (Thursday) was our visit to our favorite Adult Day Care. The people there are beyond fantastic, and we always have a blast on our visits! On a typical visit, we see around 35 people. Ranger enjoys all of the attention he gets; he always has a happy face and wiggles his stubby tail when he sees everyone!

Ranger has developed an uncanny ability to sense which people need them most attention and love from him on each visit. On Monday while we were on a therapy visit to a local school, it was a little boy in our READ program who was struggling to get through his book that day. Ranger sensed that the little boy was becoming stressed and frustrated, so Ranger instinctively stretched his body across my lap and snuggled in close to the boy to gave him kisses. The little boy pet Ranger and began to relax and feel at ease with his new friend beside him. He then started to calm down and began to enjoy his book!

As Ranger and I have matured a bit as a therapy team, we've learned to pick up on each others signals and I use Ranger's senses to our advantage. I try to be a very observant handler with him, and always keep one eye on my dog and one eye on our surroundings so I can continually make adjustments as needed. Therapy teams are like a pair of scissors: The handler represents one scissor blade, and the dog represents the other blade. Seperate, they are no good to anyone, but together, they can make a fantastic team! As his handler, it is my job to be the best advocate that I can for my dog, and as my pet partner, it is Ranger's job to watch my cues and commands and stay well-behaved at all times. One of the ways that we stay "sharp" is by continually training and working together.

At the facility we went to yesterday, there is one lady in particular there that he adores and has a certain bond with. She is quiet and calm, and always welcomes Ranger with a big smile. She doesn't say much; the Dementia has robbed her of that capability; but, no words are needed to understand the bond between human and canine on our visits.  Everytime that Ranger and I walk into a room at this facility and he see her, he will very gently tug on his end of the leash to let me know that he wants to visit with her. Yesterday in particular, was a very sweet visit. She was not feeling well and was snuggled up with a blanket. You could tell that she was not having the best day. Once she saw Ranger however, her eyes lit up and you could instantly see her mood and her day improving! (Therapy dogs have have that "magic" about effect!) I asked her if she would like to visit with Ranger and she nodded her head to say, "yes". I then positioned Ranger close to her and knelt beside them both so that she could pet him and visit. Ranger snuggled in as close as he could get to her. That's when he did the sweetest thing; he looked into her face and as gently as he could, he laid his head on her arm and gave her kisses; all the while, she grinned from ear to ear! Ranger snuggled there with her for several more moments before we went to visit the rest of our friends. The entire room could feel the warmth and love that Ranger shared with that sweet lady yesterday. As a handler, I live for moments like that! It absolutely melts my heart that I am able to share this sweet dog in such a positive light with others. I look forward to the day that Ranger's little sister, Mykelti follows in his steps and becomes a registered therapy dog as well! 

~In a funny side note, one of the other things that I've also noticed on our visits at the Adult Daycare is what a "ladies' man" Ranger is! He is quite the canine Casanova! The little ladies there LOVE him and get the biggest kick out of petting him and giving him kisses. Of course, Ranger doesn't seem to mind that one bit! Yesterday after our visit, I noticed when I was putting him into the car that he had lipstick all over him! If you look closely in the picture below, you can see pink lipstick. (On the other side of his face, he had bright red lipstick all over him lol; it took me a while to get it all off of him once I got him back home!)

What do therapy dogs do in their spare time? Squeeze in a power nap, of course! Being a therapy dog + and a Casanova is a tough job! ;) After we got home from our visit yesterday, Ranger took a nice, long nap! 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Coconut Water: So yummy!

One of my new favorite things is coconut water! Before I started "Insanity", I was researching and trying to find healthier options for some of the things I eat and drink. That's when I discovered the little gem that is coconut water! It's delicious and so good for you! Coconut water is the fruit juice taken from a young coconut before it ripens. It has more potassium than a banana, calcium, magnesium, electrolytes, and no nasty preservatives or added sugars. It's fat free, cholesterol free, gluten free, helps with urinary and digestive health, can prevent and help break up kidney stones,etc, and oh yeah...It tastes pretty freaking awesome! It's kind of like Nature's own version of Gator-aid, but minus all the added junk! 

Although this video is about the "O.N.E." brand of coconut waters which I haven't tried yet (couldn't find them in stores), I have tried the "Naked" brand of coconut waters and LOVE LOVE LOVE them! My favorite is the "NAKED: coconut water + pineapple juice". It's so yummy! You can find them at your local grocery store or Super Target. (I found mine near the chilled vegetables)

 Go Get You Some!

Want to learn more about this "super drink"? 

(Remember to pause the music in the right side bar so you can hear the video clip)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A cautionary piercing tale:

This post is dedicated to any of you lovelies that like piercings. Here's a huge suggestion: If you know you're going to have an MRI, surgery, or any sort of test that requires you to remove your piercings beforehand: Go to your local tattoo shop (If you're local, I can recommend my favorites) and have your piercing changed into a plastic retainer before you have any tests done. 

I post this to hopefully save you guys a little grief. Tonight I had to go and have my Tragus fixed because my initial ear piercing had shrunk so small. I was NOT happy! 

~A little background: two weeks ago, I had to have two different MRI scans (one for my neck and one for my brain; on different days). I had to remove all of my jewelery for the scans. Since I was nervous wreck about needing the scans in the first place, a piercing retainer was the LAST thing on my mind! I was only in the first scan for about 45-50 minutes, but my Tragus had already close up so much that it was tough just to get a regular earring in until I get get the shop to put my original labret stud in. Since I knew I was going to have another MRI scan the next week, I just wore a small earring in that ear until I got the other scan over with. I figured that there was no use in getting it fixed just to take it out again. So, since my scans were over with for now, I got it fixed tonight. 

I sincerely think that having your piercing stretched is more painful than the initial piercing!

Holy FUCK cow that hurt!

So lesson learned, had I just got a clear plastic retainer in the first place, I could have prevented the need to have my piercing stretched out and saved myself a little pain!

You live and you learn my lovelies...


 I truly think one of the greatest things about being a handler to a very special therapy dog and a second one in training, is that you you have the opportunity to share your dogs with other in the community and give back a little bit of joy into the lives of others! 

Working dogs serve such a great role in the lives of others. Whether they are a Service dog that helps someone with a handicap regain a bit of independence and mobility, a Military or Police dog that helps keep our communities and our soldiers safe, or a Therapy dog that serves in the community through enriching activities and therapies, they all play a great role! (Therapy dogs and Service dogs are not the same; this link explains the difference.) I specifically have been blessed with a terrific Therapy dog and a second one in training. It is such a blessing to know that others can enjoy the company and love of my best friends as much as I do! 

I have a bit of a prayer request. If you think about us over the next few weeks, please keep Mykelti and I in your prayers! My sweet little therapy dog-in-training, Mykelti will sit for her 10 part Canine Good Citizen test at the end of the month. Please pray that we do well and are a successful team! If she does well and passes her CGC test (pre-requisite for Therapy Dogs), she will sit for her 22 part therapy test this Spring and hopefully follow in her big brother Ranger's paw prints!  She has already done 3 special events as a therapy dog-in-training and was very well behaved at all of them! I truly think she will make an exceptional therapy dog and bring a lot of joy to others when the time is right! Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we train and prepare to test! 


Ranger likes to visit our friends at a local adult daycare to brighten their day up! He is a registered therapy dog through Delta Society/Pet Partners and MidSouth Therapy Dogs and Friends. 

Ranger is also a Reading Education Assistance Dog through Intermountain Therapy Animals. (If all goes well with Mykelti's testing, she will hopefully become a R.E.A.D. dog as well!) He helps children with learning disabilities such as Dyslexia, learn to read through Animal Assisted Therapy at a local school. Ranger helps sound-out difficult words with his paws, gives kisses when he senses a child is stressed over a difficult sentence, and makes reading a fun learning experience just by spending time with the children we visit with! 

Being a therapy team is a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well! Interested in becoming a therapy team? See if you have what it takes! Delta Society/Pet Partners

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Review: Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Daily Eye Roller

Do you get bags and dark circles under your eyes? Do those pesky annoyances drive you insane? They make me crazy too! I don't have so much of an issue with bags under my eyes (unless I cry), but I constantly have an issue with allergies and dark circles! Not the glam look I'm desiring!

I found a product that helps me nix those issues and thought it was worth mentioning to my lovely blog followers:

 Garnier Nutritioniste Skin Renew Daily Eye Roller

It's amazing! It's gentle on sensitive skin and delicate eye areas and it works fantastically well for me! I wear contacts also, and have never experienced an issue with this product in relation to that. I've had mine for several months now and really love it! If I have a day where my eyes are puffy and I just can not get my contacts in (I have super dry eyes and sometimes my face gets puffy....yay...not!) I will put eye drops in, roll this on sucker all around my eyes and lay down a few minutes with closed eyes...give it about 10 minutes and then all is right with the world, and my eyes!

There is a new Garnier Anti-Dark Circle Eye Roller that I'm planning to try that's targeted more specifically towards dark circles (this one is more for puffiness). I'm planning to try the new one out and do a review. I will let you guys know what I think about it! For now though I'm content with this Eye Roller and a little concealer!

The Garnier Eye Rollers are available at Ulta, most drugstores, and places like Wal-mart and Target. It's between $10-12 depending on where you are, but there's no need to even pay that when most papers/fliers send out weekly coupons! 

Insanity: Day 1 "Fit Test"

Want to try INSANITY also? Visit this link

Today I started Day 1 of INSANITY. Day 1 is comprised of a "Fit Test". Let me just say that this "fit test" is not like anything else I've ever done! It's a damn workout in itself! BUT I mean that in a good way; you feel awesome afterwards, so it's great in my book! I plan to update this with new Fit Test results 4 more times during my first 60 days of Insanity so that I can track my results/improvements! Hopefully I make a lot of progress! 

The Fit Test is comprised of 8 different exercises. You do as many as you can for one minute each. These suckers are tough, but if I can do it, so can you! Here's my results:

1. Switch Kicks: 92
2. Power Jacks: 32
3. Power Knees: 71 (these were my favorite!)
4. Power Jumps: 23
5. Globe Jumps (four jumps = 1 rep): 6
6. Suicide Jumps: 10 
7. Push-up Jacks: 17
8. Low Plank Obliques: 25 (these are tough!)

I also realized halfway during the last exercise that I REALLY need to buy some new tennis shoes! It's been over three years since I purchased my last pair, and it definitely didn't help with they just slipped off my feet during the last exercise! There's absolutely no padding left in them whatsoever either, so I will definitely need to make a trip to the shoe store this week to resolve that! The Insanity trainer recommends cross-trainers since they offer more support than typical running shoes, so I think I will look at those this week! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


These are a few of my favorite things!

1.Turbie Twist hair towels :They are 1,000x easier to use than regular towels, dry your hair more quickly which results in less of a need to damage your hair with heating tools, and they hold up forever! (I still have the original two I purchased over 5 years ago! The lady that I used to Nanny for told me about them ages ago, and I've been hooked ever since!) I will say, there is a significant difference between the Turbie Twist brand and the knock offs you see at places like Dollar Tree (which do not work and attract lint like crazy). Invest a few bucks and buy the real thing! I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond. Target, Sally's, CVS, and lots of other places sell them also.

2. PURR- perfume by Katie Perry. I honestly have never recieved more perfume- related comments than I have in the past week! I recently purchased Katie Perry's "Purr" perfume on a whim while I was at Target. I was looking for something similar to my favorite night time scent that I am currently out of (Estee Lauder's Sensuous Noir: everyone was sold out the last time I went to the mall. ) The price and the quantity looked good, so I decided to give "Purr" a try. (I sprayed a little bit of the sampler on my wrist and walked around Target to do my shopping for a while; when I noticed how well the perfume worked with my body chemistry, I decided on purchasing it!) I couldn't be happier! I jest not, in the past two weeks that I've been wearing this, I have recieved ten, yes ten compliments from different people! Crazy! This perfume is a winner in my book; it has a lasting scent, it rivals my favorite night-time perfume (and I'm VERY picky), it has very pleasant floral and sensual notes to it, an adorable bottle, and the price per ounce is a steal! You can purchase this at most drugstores, Targets, and department stores. (In a side note, Katie Perry has recently launched a new fragrance called, "Meow". I will have to sample it in stores and report back; if it's half as good as Purr, it will merit my vote!) 

3.Con-Air Pro Hair Clips: I love to use hot curlers on my hair once in a while. I have naturally wavy hair, but sometimes I like to take it up a notch! I've found that it really makes a difference what type of clips you use when you use hot curlers. (A lot of clips leave unsightly dents in your hair...eek!). With these clips, you negate those dents because they wrap around your hair and the groves in them allow your hair to fit through without leaving a mark, if that makes sense! These clips are fantastic! I bought mine at Sally's beauty. (I had a $5 coupon from my membership, so since they were origionally priced at $6, I only paid $1 for them...yay!) 

4. Maybelline Baby Lips "Cherry Me"- Not only does this lip balm taste great, it leaves your lips soft and moisturized. It is non-sticky and it leaves a gorgeous cherry scent on your lips that tastes as good as it smells! You can find them at any drugstore or Ulta!

5. Fit & Active Mixed Berry Pomegranate Nonfat Smoothies (Buy them at Aldi. They are only a few dollars for a 4 pack!). I like to shop at Aldi on occassion. They're a discounted food chain that offers great prices on a lot of items. (I like to get some canned/pantry items for there and get my produce from places like Kroger.) One of my favorite Aldi items is their inexpensive smoothies. I typically make my own fruit smoothies at home on a regular basis, but sometimes I just do not have time to drag out the blender when I need to get ready in a hurry. That's when these little gems come in and work as an excellent substitute for my homemade ones! They taste delicious and are low fat! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Hey McDonald's, My Dogs Think Your Insulting Marketing Techniques Are Lousy!

(Click to enlarge.)
(Ranger,Macy, Mykelti)

As a responsible pet owner and a PROUD MOMMA to three dogs, one a beautiful Pit Bull mix, I am NOT "lovin'" McDonald's shady new marketing techniques! All evening I've been left scratching my head and wondering what on earth were these morons thinking?! The ingredients they put in their overly processed foods are dangerous enough, but now they're using shady marketing techniques that insult loving family pets in homes all across the United States. Let's take a stand and NOT support them with our business!


This is the video that has sparked all of the controversy:
This is our outcry and the disapproving response thousands of pet owners have voiced in response to McDonald's heinous advertisement: America's Bark Off To McDonald's (I had a little trouble with the links; just copy and paste them into your search engine and the entire video should show up!) 

Want to show your support for these amazingly sweet and misunderstood animals? TAKE A STAND! Call them, email them, snail mail them, whatever it takes! Let them know that it is NOT acceptable for them to use our beloved family pets in their negative, hateful advertising schemes in order to make a dirty dollar! I have already emailed them and plan to call them tomorrow as well to complain. (If I receive a response back, I will post for all to read.) I plan to boycott McDonald's until they issue an apology to all of the responsible pet owners and dogs across America. Want to do your part? Join me in taking a stand by contacting them to let them know you disapprove of their recent actions: Lets take a stand for those who do not have a voice!

Want to do even more?

Consider doing your research and seeing if your home might be a good environment for one these amazing furbabies!  If it is, go adopt your new Pit Bull and enroll in a reputable obedience facility near you so that you both get started off on the right paw! If you are unable to adopt for whatever reason, consider volunteering at your local rescue! It's amazing how much these sweet pups can benefit from a friendly volunteer's attention and walks! If you don't have the time to do either, please consider doing your research and donating to a reputable Pit Bull rescue (or other rescue of your choice). (This is where I adopted Macy from. They gave her a good home for over two years until she went to live in her forever home with me! They are one of the ONLY shelters in this area that does not automatically euthanize the Pit Bulls that walk through their doors; instead, they give them a safe place to stay and try to find them a safe forever home. Nobody wanted Macy. She was in heart failure, solid black, and a Pit Bull mix: none of those things were in her control, but all were "strikes" against her chances of finding a home. Macy patiently waited, and waited, and waited for a home. Then one day, while I was visiting to adopted a new friend for Ranger, Macy greeted me with a kiss and "adopted me"! She has been such a blessing in my life ever since that day! She always gives me kisses and snuggles. She is one of my best friends! She is a Pit Bull mix. She has stolen my heart!)

Other fantastic organizations:

Bad Rap

Hearts of Gold Pit Rescue (Memphis Based!)

Villalobos Rescue Center


If you do decide to adopt a new member for your family either through a reputable rescue or responsible breeder (I use and support both, personally), PLEASE enroll them into a reputable obedience class so that you can both start out on the right paw and be a fantastic represenative for your breed! (This is also a great idea even if you have an existing pet; you'd be surprised just how smart dogs are and how capable they are of learning regardless of age/breed!) The American Kennel Club can help you find a great training facility in your area! I would also highly recommend that you work towards becoming a Canine Good Citizen through the American Kennel Club. This test helps to show that your dog is of a sound and safe temperament (It does not matter if you have a pure breed or a mix). Whatever you do, PLEASE BE A RESPONSIBLE OWNER! 

~Socialize your pet, Educate yourself, Be a good advocate for your breed/mix, Train diligently, and most importantly, love your pet and have fun!~
Canine Good Citizen Information

My sweet girl, takes a stand!
"Hey McDonald's, my name is, Macy. I am a rescued Pit Bull mix. I show nothing but love and affection towards everyone that I meet! I am much safer than your processed foods and your shady marketing techniques!!!" 

~UPDATE~ This is the sorry excuse for an "apology" that McDonald's issued this week in response to their add. It's pre-recorded and couldn't be more insincere! The "appology"

Breast Cancer Awareness: Lets take a moment to think about what really happened this week with the Susan G. Komen Foundation

~Preface: When I originally created this post and saved it to edit, Susan G. Komen had yet to retract their statements and reconcile with Planned Parenthood.~

Before you continue reading, I encourage you to play this video. 
(Be sure to pause the other music in the right sidebar before pressing "play")

Good day my lovelies! I'm going to warn you in advance that the topic below might step on a few toes. If I offend you, I'm apologize.  My intent is only to draw awareness and support for Breast Cancer screenings and testing. As we all know, Breast Cancer affects every single race, ethnicity, religious, political and economical background. Breast Cancer does not pick sides; it picks its victims with an unequivicebly savage recourse. Breast Cancer Affects Us All. Instead of being divided, we should be united in this front to help save lives. This is what the post below is all about. I hope you read the following and it stops and makes you think today. You don't have to agree with my view point or support my opinion, but at the very least, please give the topic some thought. 

(Feel free to leave a comment below with your *polite* opinions!)

Explain to me how it is that the Susan G. Komen foundation, who for years has been at the forefront of Breast Cancer screenings, fundraisers, and testing, finds no qualms, no problems, and no consequences with pulling funding and support for the preventive care and screening of Breast Cancer offered at Planned Parenthood locations. 


~Lets just preface the rest of my rant by saying that I am extremely Pro-Life.~ 
(I believe that life begins at conception and that all life is sacred and precious. That is my personal and religious conviction, and I make no apologies for it.)

That being addressed, although Planned Parenthood does preform abortions, I also recognize and have researched that they spend far more of their money, time, and work to preform other things that benefit thousands of people. Things such as: cancer screenings, pap smears (which also screen for cancer and STD's), sexual education, pregnancy testing/birth control, etc to help women who can not afford their medical care. 

Now before you go all crazy one me, please do not make the assumption that all women who use Planned Parenthood's services are "lazy and don't work" or want an abortion. This is simply not true. Take me for example (I'll be a "martyr" for this cause because I truly care about it). What about people with pre-existing conditions who can not acquire health care regardless of their work status? What about women who spend upwards of $400 a month just for health insurance coverage that STILL doesn't cover all of their medical bills...(we're talking into the thousands, folks). I'm one of them. My temporary Cobra insurance runs out in May. After that, I will likely not be able to find coverage because of my pre-existing conditions (Those conditions alone require costly medications and medical testing to keep me healthy and to keep my heart and lungs functioning) . Food for thought! Although I do not currently use Planned Parenthood for birth control, breast cancer screenings, or other medical care personally, I will likely need those discounted services in the future. I would have no qualms about seeking out those services in the future in order to stay healthy, if the situation merited. Why should I be punished for that? 

-Why should thousands of women be punished for seeking out preventive care and screenings that could be potentially life-saving? 

-Why Should Any Woman Be Punished For Being Proactive or going to the doctor if they find a lump?!

The answer is: They should not!

And the true answer behind all of the recent events and chaos is: It's all politics!

Here's a great idea: Let's take politics out of the picture, and do what's right for ALL women by keeping these life-saving screenings and preventive exams open for all of the women who need them! 

(Photo credit given to "The SCAR Project")

And if you're a man and you're reading this, I applaud you. Breast Cancer can and does affect men too. Yes, men too can develop Breast Cancer. Maybe you didn't know that before, and now you'll keep yourself informed as well. Maybe this post just might change your life...

~Stepping off of my soap box now!~

Once again, this post is not meant to offend or harm, only to enlighten and raise awareness....

~Have a good day my lovelies!~

Music Monday: Lydia's Music Picks of the Week

Good day my lovelies! This week I thought I'd start you out on the right musical foot with a few of my favorites. Below are my top ten picks of the week. Some are by their original artists, others are covers. Enjoy!: 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Friday Randoms

Enjoy today's list of randoms:

1. Last night I decided it'd be a great idea to join the INSANITY and order the workout DVD's...wish me luck! I can't wait to try it and see the results! (I've been doing my research for a while now and decided that would be the best for my lifestyle. I'll blog more about that later!)

2. Last night I went against every fiber in my being and tried Mykelti out on a head halter to gain a little more control over her on our loose leash walks and heeling positions. She astounded me and took to it quite well! (For the record, I'm a flat buckle collar type person, and that is my preferred tool for my dogs. I firmly believe that a well trained dog only needs a flat buckle collar (Unless you have a bracho. dog like a Pug; they should ALWAYS wear a harness). That being said, I do believe other training aids can be beneficial in the short term, such as a proper fitting, well introduced head halter in this case. (In Mykelti's case, this will be used as a very, very temporary training aid to perfect our loose leash walks over the next two weeks before her CGC test.)

3. Susan G. Komen Foundation is NOT on this pro-lifer's nice list right now. (I'll blog more about that later...)

4. On the aforementioned note of Insanity in number one, I tried a bit of the Insanity workout that my friends had, and it was killer! (yet I surprisingly enjoyed the "torture" because it was so high energy!) I think I just might wind up liking it...

5. I hate eye doctors. As a result, I've worn my last pair of contacts way past their prime and I am currently wearing my "back up glasses" since my originals were Wal-Mart cheapies and broke...I will have to go to the eye doctor soon...yikes!

6. I'm thinking about getting my hair done again next week; it's long overdue! Maybe I'll add in a few more highlights and a good trim. I absolutely love the girl that does my hair! If you're local and need someone, let me know and I'll message you the salon's info.

7. I learned the other day that McDonald's previously used "Pink Slime" in their burgers. GROSS! Even though they're supposedly eliminating it from their ingredient list now, I still don't want to know what else is in their food. As if I need another reason to avoid fast food...ICK!

8. Current nail polish:  Sally Hansen's Complete Salon Manicure in " Pedal to the Metal" (purple silver) with Sephora by OPO's "Indi-go With the Flow" (bluish-purple glitter) as a pretty glittery top coat. Such a cute combo!

9. I'm having another MRI done today at 3:00...say a prayer for me if you read this! I'm SICK of these tests.

10. I created a Twitter account! Follow me: @LydiaNichole85

Follow me on Twitter!

Today, I decided to lose my "Twitter Virginity" and create an account! Hope you all enjoy my random musings!