Living with pain

Living with chronic pain can be a literal pain in the ass. And if you are like me, you are constantly met with older individuals that claim, “You don’t know what back pain is, wait till you get to be my age.”

Listen, this is not a competition or pity party. I am in pain literally every damn day and I don’t need your damn comments. I don’t need to justify or prove to anyone what I am going through. The only time I tell anyone my back hurts is when it’s crippling and I’m on my last leg. I’ll even say “my back hurts.” To get out of things; not because I don’t want to do it, but because I physically CAN NOT.

But yes there is a stigma behind being young and in pain. We only complain because we don’t want to do something, or were bored seeking attention.

When you live with an invisible chronic pain or illness, the last thing you want is people to feel sorry for you or think that you’re untrustworthy or a slacker. I hate when my back debilitates me so much that even the act of sitting down to enter codes is unbearable. It’s my job to sit and be on a computer. I’m not throwing bales of hay on my back, and then complaining about back pain. That is understandable. But just because I’m not working a labor intensive job, doesn’t make my back pain any less real or crippling.

Even though my back pain was brought on suddenly, it was because of years of overworking it. It’s also because I may have fucked it up on a failed attempt at the long jump, and even because I have a slight case of scoliosis. So it has never been pin-pointedly confirmed WHY I have back pain. But I do. And it fucking sucks.

On extremely bad days, the only comfort I get is laying in a fetal position, praying someone will rip my spine out of my back just so I don’t have to feel the pain anymore. I cry because it is so unbearably painful, and I cry harder because there is nothing that I can do. It’s there and it will always be there. I think to myself, “I don’t even remember what it feels like to not have any kind of pain. What is that even like? To not have to squirm around to try and discreetly stretch out the knots in your back. To sit through an entire movie.”

On good days, I get a false sense of hope that maybe my back is getting better, maybe I don’t need to go to the chiropractor anymore. Maybe I don’t need to take an ungodly amount of pain killers just to function.

Chiropractors, massage therapy, exercise, acupressure, electro therapy…all of it really does help me. It helps me feel like I am making progress and reduces the amount of times I have muscle spasms and the hours in which I am paralyzed with pain. But it will always be there. I have to take each day at a time. I want everyone to be aware that ANYONE can be suffering with some kind of pain. Young, old, male, female… And only we understand how it feels. I just want people to understand that everyone is dealing with something. I want people to please be considerate.

How to Prepare for a Summer Road Trip

Road trips are fun and exciting; there’s no doubt about that! If you’re planning a summer road trip, you probably already feel the excitement. You know, that fire in your belly. Don’t let that fire make you forget about some important things.

You need to make sure that your car is in a perfect condition before you put the pedal to the metal. Here are some important things that you should consider and check before you hit the road.

Air conditioning

If you want your road trip to be pleasant, and you don’t want anyone being cranky in your car, then you have to make sure your air conditioning is working as intended. Switch it on and make it run for some time on full blast settings. If the air coming out is not freezing cold, take it to your local mechanic and let them take a good look at it.

Safety equipment

As they say ‒ safety first. You don’t want to go anywhere without having high visibility jackets, warning triangles, and first aid kits. You never know when your car will break down, or when you’ll need to help a stranger on the road.

Tires

Even though you’re planning a summer trip, all-season tires might be a better choice for you because they give a much smoother ride. Of course, don’t forget to check the tire pressure at a gas pump and make sure that the pressure is at the manufacturer’s recommended settings.

Coolant

Keeping your engine cool is always important, but especially during a summer road trip. Check the guide in your car manual and follow the instructions to check the coolant levels. Ideally, the level should be right between the minimum and maximum markers. If you don’t have a car manual, your best bet would be finding a reliable mobile mechanic. The greatest thing about them is that they come right to you, and they’re very thorough.

If you want to make sure that your car is in a perfect condition for a road trip, make an appointment with them and let them check your car in front of your home.

Windscreen wipers

Don’t laugh! Just because you’re going on a summer road trip that doesn’t mean you won’t need the windscreen wipers that are working as intended! Check that the wipers are running smoothly and thoroughly cleaning your windscreen. If they’re not working perfectly, then buy new ones at any car shop. Be sure to refill your windscreen wiper fluid reservoir, too.

Documents

Your driving license and an insurance policy should be with you at all times. Put them in a purse or a box and keep them in your car at all times. If you’re traveling abroad, be sure to check what documentation you’ll need there months before going there. Sometimes getting necessary documentation can be a long process, so you need to apply in time.

Food

What really counts is the journey, not the destination, and what’s better than eating your own road trip food while driving? Prepare some healthy road trip food with your friends before you hit the road and enjoy!

If you don’t want to bring food with you, then you need to find perfect places along the highway where you can get your belly full. Find places that appear on various TV programs and places that are highly rated on Trip Advisor if you don’t want to end up in a bar that looks like a bar from “From Dusk Till Dawn”.

Entertainment

Being entertained during a road trip is equally important as having all your documents with you. Sure, you’ll be entertained because you’re driving, but what about your passengers? Remind them to bring their laptops, iPads or books.

 

Photos by pexels.com

My Top Essential Vegan Foods

It has been over a year since I decided to go “vegan.” I say that in quotations because I really only became so due to my lactose intolerance. It has only been since recently that I decided to make a conscious effort to eat completely Vegan both for my health and welfare of animals. I plan on writing an article on the reasons why everyone should go vegan, but that’s for a later time.

I’m here to tell you about my staples as a vegan. The foods I need to have in my house at any given time.

  1. Frozen Vegetables. I find frozen veggies are the best way to get your full helping of veggies a day because they are so easy to dump in your lunch and go. Or if you don’t feel like creating an elaborate spread for dinner, just steam these suckers and BAM, side dish! I buy my bulk sized frozen veggies from Costco. At $6 a 6lb bag… that’s a steal! That’s about $1 a pound, where most frozen veggies from normal grocery stores are $3-$5 a pound bag. I usually get the normandy blend which has a nice mix of broccoli, carrots, yellow stone carrots and cauliflower. Basically it can go with anything.
  2. Tofu. As a newly converted vegan, I still have yet to master the several ways of cooking tofu. I have fried it, marinated it, and souped it. I haven’t ventured into uncharted tofu-territory yet. I have accumulated several recipes that involves cooking tofu a little bit different than what I am used to. Now with my own house, I will have the freedom to experiment to my vegan hearts desire! Tofu is one of the cheapest “easy” vegan proteins I buy. One $1.99 block will usually last me 3/4 of the week. If I only eat tofu with my meals (lunch and dinner) I feel its also the most versatile protein out there (in my opinion) because it can act like chicken on a BBQ pizza or rice and veggie dish. It can be a noodle substitute for stew and soups. It can be a creamy alternative in smoothies. Or my favorite EGGS! It has the same consistency as scrambled eggs, perfect for a Sunday morning homemade brunch with the boyfriend.
  3. Brown Rice. Richer in fiber and a great way to fill up on carbs, brown rice is the right rice! Without breaking the bank rice is a great item to stock up on. Again, my 20lb bag of brown rice is from Costco, and they are never overpRICED! I love making rice in big batches so I can scoop some with my lunch for the next couple days. My go-to quick, easy, simple lunch is Rice and Veggie Tofu bowls. Just sprinkle some soy sauce and  I have a yummy and filling lunch that has all the nutrition to keep me happy and healthy! I will say, I have had to convert Ryan from a life of over processed white rice because I ain’t about that life! We’re only going to eat the least processed kinds of food in my household!
  4. Oatmeal. Another easy food that can be souped-up! I love having oatmeal for breakfast! I will usually do something a little different each day with my oats but even just plain is good if you’re on a tight budget. I will usually put chia seeds and honey in mine for a basic oatmeal breakfast. But if I’m feeling fancy I will go balls-to-the-wall and but chia seeds, honey, walnuts, berries, and granola in it! (can we just talk about the literally shits though! so much fiber to keep you regular!) I have also discovered homemade oat flour so of course you best believe I buy this in bulk!! I have made the most amazing and delicious vegan chocolate chip cookies using my homemade oat flour and I cant get enough! Thank god Ryan has an heavy duty Blendtec blander! That thing gets shit done!
  5. Fresh Fruit. I have always loved fresh fruit, whether it be in smoothies, in oatmeal, in salads, or even by themselves as a snack. I love fruit. Its naturally sweet for those sweet-p.m.s.-tooth-cravings! I love making fruit salads in the summer time, and sometimes instead of oatmeal for breakfast, I’ll make myself a smoothie. Apples, bananas, and oranges are my favorite all year long. But in the summer there is a magical fruit that takes all the happiness and shoves it into a spherical ball of deliciousness. Watermelon is my all time favorite food. Not fruit, FOOD! I could eat it all day everyday! I guess strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and black berries are good too. But WATERMELON THOUGH! I have one in my fridge as I write this! I can’t wait to eat it!!

What are your staples as a vegan/vegetarian?? Everyone is a little different but I’m sure you all have some foods you just can’t live without!

5 Things I wish I knew AFTER buying a house!


Did you get the hint??? well if not…

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!


After 2 and a half years of hard work and enough patience to make a monk twitch, Ryan and I are officially HOMEOWNERS! At 23 and 31 years old, we are the lucky millennials! It’s been a tough road but we did it and we could not be happier! But there are quite a few items I want to add to my previous list of “Things I wish I knew before deciding to buy a house.This is the “big news” I have been waiting to tell all! I knew you’d understand why I had to take a step back from my blog for something as big as a…FREAKING HOUSE!

Make way for Anxiety!

Being apart of the Law of Attraction community, I have learned how to be more positive and “let go” of feelings that don’t serve me…But holy shit has buying our house turned me back into a nervous wreck! Well, more specifically waiting to see if our offer was chosen. So yes, you find a house you like, then you have to write up an offer and submit it to the seller in hopes they like what your bringing to the table. If they don’t…well back to hunting. But if they do accept it…well we’ll get to that.

What I’m talking about is that limbo you’re left in from submitting an offer, to waiting if they accepted it! That was the LONGEST WEEK OF MY LIFE! We had a few miscommunications…the seller picked our offer a day sooner than we were notified… yeah we were the last to know if we got OUR house! But we got it! So if your looking for a house, be prepared for splitting headaches, stomach butterfly swarms, and nubby chewed fingernails. And if that wasn’t bad enough…

Hurry Up and Wait

So if your offer gets accepted, you almost have your house. But first you need to start escrow…which has been a whole other ordeal! Every day we are getting emails from our loan officer asking for this document, and that document, and the same papers 3 different times. And Once we send them in…we wait, for the next thing we need to send in. It’s like the most confusing sprint race ever. We rushrushrush to get paperwork submitted, then waitwaitwait till something else comes up we need to turn in… rushrushrush… waitwaitwait…and repeat for 25-30 days. This part has been the ultimate test of patience… I have had to send the same thing multiple times because someone on the other end loses it, forgets about it, or little email gremlins snatch it out of thin internet air.

Best advice, exercise that patience. Meditate, take deep (non hyperventilating) breaths. Be cooperative. Be organized. And be understanding… if all else fails just scream (preferably into a pillow) or hit something (again, preferably a pillow)

Mo Money Mo Problems

So remember how I said you need to have saved a lot of money to buy a house? Well I mean it! Save save save! Just when you think you have enough money, save!!! Escrow is a patience testing, money hungry nightmare!  You need to place a “deposit” to start escrow ($1,00-$4,00) you need to pay for a home inspection ($300-$500) pay your realtor commission ($5,000-$1000 or nothing if you are as lucky as us to have your grandma as a realtor) and any remodeling that needs to be done (<$100->$10,000) And then there is utilities and gas and electricity and internet and furniture and living essentials and cleaning supplies…. Ya… LOTS OF MONEY!

Have Mercy on Us!

So you are basically at the mercy of the seller the entire time this house buying ordeal is going down. Since we are first time home buyers, we didn’t have the confidence to barter back what we wanted and didn’t want. Or in this case how long we had to wait. Like with escrow, you are waiting for someone else to make the call, but at least with escrow, escrow is more or less on your side… The seller, however, is not. S/He does not care that you have plans and schedules to abide by. They don’t care if you are trying to remodel and have 5 other people waiting on them to GTFO. They don’t care that you have waited 2 1/2 long years to get this house. They don’t care if they contracted for a shorter escrow and then take it back and decide to take an extra week to move out. THEY DON’T CARE!

So as much as we wanted to show them a piece of our mind…we kind of just had to smile and nod. We waited patiently (on the surface) like good little first-time homebuyers for them to finally hand over their keys. I mean if we wanted to… once you close escrow and the title transfer is complete, you OWN that house so you can charge them rent or kick them out! But We didn’t want to push our karma. I suggest everyone play nice and be civil. We own the house so that’s all that matters.

Organization is the key to not ripping out your hair!

This is my last and final thing I wish I knew before buying a house. And thanks to Ryan’s need for organization (and mine too) We actually had this in the bag! We literally printed out, sorted, and filed EVERYTHING! We were always 2 steps ahead of everyone. We were adamant about buying a new filing system for everything house related while buying the house. But even before that, I suggest you start organizing your whole life 2 years in advance to purchasing a house. I had all my pay stubs from 2014 to present, I had all my retirement paper-work together, I had all my tax information at hand. Everything was as easy as flipping though tabs and pulling out the year/month/day of paperwork. Escrow is soooo nitpicky and they will ask for anything and everything so being organized will give you a leg up! It’ll still be stressful, but at least you KNOW where everything is and are not scrambling around to try to pull paperwork out of thin air.

I want to personally thank everyone who helped us with our home buying endeavor. Our agent, our loan officer, our notary, our employers, our parents, our friends. Everyone was extremely supportive and helpful during this journey and I can’t wait to enjoy this new chapter in my life. And you best believe I will have remodeling pictures for you all! It’s the least I can do for you for being so patient.