Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you spend your day filled with great food and your loved ones! Happy Thanksgiving friends!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Queen of Our Castle...

 My little co-pilot otherwise known as Isabella is the Queen of our castle! She is the only little lady in a our home full of rowdy boys other wise known as her animal-brothers! Bella is 12, I found Bella when I was in college in a box outside of a Wal-Mart and we have been together ever since! Bella has lived in 7 different apartments and homes with me and she is quite the trooper! My first child and we have essentially grown up together. We have grown into Women together....
 Over this Summer I noticed that Bella was drinking water to excess and not wanting to use her litter box anymore so last week we took this little lady to the vet for a check up. They ran a lot of different tests and we found out the results last Thursday and have been processing them since.
Our Bella has Kidney Disease. The vet thinks that it is only in Stage 1, so that is great news. Kidney disease is not curable and is not really treatable either which is hard to hear. Currently she is still happy as a little clam and as bossy as ever which is good!
Bella could very well have many years more with us which we HOPE and PRAY for but it will be a waiting game. Knowing when the time comes that we will have to make a decision, knowing that we only want her to be happy, healthy and not in pain.... that is the #1 goal. All of my family is devastated.....this little girl is very loved.
Matt and I go back to the Vet on Wed to learn more about what all this means, different ways to help her get the fluids she needs and things to look out for as we navigate this new road together. And then we will go on loving her, snuggling her even though she hates to be cuddled and forcing our love on this independent little cat! And the litter box issue? Well..... we have started by laying out towels in certain areas she seems drawn towards and we will go from there!
Just wanted to let you all know!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Give Away Winners~

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Addison is TOO adorable. You always get me with these charity things you post. There are so many worthy causes out there though that you make people aware of. You may not be pounding pavement but, you are making people aware of things out in the world through your blog. You are getting at least one person to help with each blog post me)and I am sure many more! 
November 19, 2014 at 11:23 AM
Blogger Becky said...
I'm not sure if my first comment went I'll do it again. Sookie is favorite...she is not nice and not the kind of cat I wanted, but I still love her. She came into my life at such a hard time, that I owe some of my healing to her.
You passion for animals is one of the many reasons I love you.
November 19, 2014 at 11:43 AM
Blogger sarahbert said...
I would love to read this book! I just added it to my wish list on Amazon! My puppy Tasha is a rescue and she always makes me smile after a rough day on the job (I'm a child welfare social worker). I love the idea of combining kids and animals to benefit therapeutically from working dream is to someday have an office therapy dog!! Thanks for sharing this!
November 19, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Well sadly I only had 3 people enter but I am SO Thankful that they did!!!!! BECAUSE>... I am going to send ALL 3 of you a copy of this book because I luv ya!!!
SO gals....... Shoot me over an email with your Full name and address and I will ship these all out before Thanksgiving!!!
You da' BEST!!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

My Gentle Barn (Give Away!!!)

Ellie Laks founded The Gentle Barn in Tarzana in 1999; it was a dream of hers since she was seven years old. Animals were always very healing and nurturing to her as she faced the challenges of growing up, finding herself, fitting in, feeling understood, etc. She majored in special education and psychology, and with her special love of animals and children, The Gentle Barn was a perfect way of putting all her talents and passions into one.
Jay Weiner joined The Gentle Barn in 2002 as a volunteer, but fell in love with the place and the two joined forces to heal even more children and animals. Like Ellie, Jay also turned to animals for the support, love and nurturing he needed as a child.
The Gentle Barn started on a half-acre property in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, CA. In 2003 Ellie and Jay moved The Gentle Barn moved to a six-acre paradise in Santa Clarita, CA. The property is complete with large horse and cow pastures, a red and white barnyard for the smaller animals, an organic vegetable garden, lots of shade trees, and a panoramic view of gorgeous mountains. Our over one hundred and seventy rescued animals are safe and happy at The Gentle Barn, and there is plenty of room to welcome our visitors and the children we host.
The ultimate goal is to open Gentle Barn's across the country so that every animal and child can have a place of healing and safety and where they can be seen for the perfect beings that they are. Since its inception, The Gentle Barn has been home to hundreds of animals and host to over 400,000 people.
 This is one of those posts where my mind is all over the place! I have so much to say but don't know how.... are you with me? I fell in love with The Gentle Barn years ago thank to the Ellen Show and since I have donated and always keep a link on the left of this blog to their site. Recently their founder Ellie wrote a book (above) called My Gentle Barn and I finished it last night! This book spoke to me in so many ways.....
1. Amazement at all the good she and the barn has done
2. Guilt.... why can't I do more? Why am I not pounding more pavement for animals?
3. Sadness over the stories of each animal told
4. Love. Pure love.

I need to spread this message, pass this book that is so filled with love on to others!!! So I am going to Give Away my copy in hopes that when you are done you will then pass this copy on again!
Do you want my copy of My Gentle Barn???
Here is how to enter!!!!
Just leave me a comment! Easy peasy and tell me what animal in your life has touched you.
How to leave me a comment??
1. At the end of this post in PINK click on the word comment! And the link will prompt you to do the rest!
I will announce a winner on Friday and I will ship the book out to you on Monday!!!!
Here is a wonderful example of just one of the animals living at The Gentle Barn and how easy it is to help!

Addison - Donkey
Addison was forced to pull heavy things. He was beaten when he refused. He was finally confiscated from that man and brought to the Gentle Barn where he was taught to trust and have fun. His favorite thing is to have his head and ears rubbed.

To learn more about The Gentle Barn click HERE to visit their site!!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Out of This World...

Last Friday night Matt and I went to see our first movie in like a month and if you know us that is a long time!!! So needless to say I was stoked and the fact that this was a Christopher Nolan movie had me really excited! The whole time I waited for this movie to come out I thought the trailers and celebrity interviews were so vague and there is a reason...... How in the world do you describe this movie without the person having not seen it? (eek that was a mouthful) You can't! So ya that makes this "review" very complicated! But I will say this movie BLEW MY MIND! Like for real.... the concept is unreal and it is visually stunning! This really is a must see!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

So, I met 2 of my favorite authors....

I can't believe how lucky I have been over the past 2 months....I not only met 1 of my favorite authors but TWO!!!!! Both Lisa See and James Frey have books on literally my top books ever I was over the moon to meet them!
Lisa See is very smart, quite and matter of fact. She did drop a bombshell on me that I have been waiting for...she is part Chinese. Since the majority of her books are Chinese Historical Fiction I always wondered what interested her in this and now I know. She is a rock star in the literary world and I am so glad I met her!
 Oh James Frey....I sure do love you and after meeting you I love you even more. James not only talked to us, answered questions but he spent individual time with each person there. I mean he was so humble and surprisingly funny! We actually bonded over our shared love for conspiracy theories and all things weird!
I am one lucky reader!!!!

Friday, November 7, 2014


I am at the end of a very short pier so be warned before reading ahead..........

You guys I am literally besides myself in despair today....well this entire week actually.
Migraines....... before I start let me explain that there is NO cure........ this isn't something that I "caught". This is a life long illness that is hereditary.... My Mom has these and woman on both sides of my family have I am screwed.  Having migraines is just the same as having any other chronic illness and all we can do is manage and treat.

Now....moving on. Here it is Friday, today I want to clean house, grocery shop and tonight Matt and I are going to see Interstellar but once again I am dealing with a migraine. This is day 7 in a row and I cannot explain to you what I would do to never have another migraine again. You know in my head part of me thinks I just cannot ever have a child because somedays I cannot even take care of myself. Several days a week I am so sick and at some point of the day with a migraine I could I ever care for another human being? At those times I cannot even get out of bed without wanting to die. It is such an awful thought and so unfair. And sadly unless you have a chronic pain illness you literally cannot understand and that is not your fault.

My life is 100% ruled by my migraines....every single day all I can think about is...
"Please God let me feel good today"
"Please God let me feel better"
"Please let me wake up tomorrow and feel ok"
And this goes ON AND is the first thing I think of every morning and the last thing I think about before I fall asleep.

This is a very short list of everything I DO and have DONE to manage my migraines and it is exhausting:
I have been going to a neurologist for 10 years
Tried at least 10 different daily preventative meds
Tried Botox
Rarely drink
Never smoke or around smoke
No drugs (although maybe I should living in Denver now.....ha)
Must get at least 8 hours of sleep and cannot get 8 hours one night then 6 the next or I am sick
Never skip a meal, always carry snacks
Get massages, get scalp massages
Tried essential oils, natural remedies
Try to manage stress
Keeping a schedule each day to keep my body in a routine
Limiting my diet

I mean this list goes on for DAYS................... I will try anything once! It is no wonder why people with chronic illnesses are more prone to depression.
I try to live my life like anyone and have fun. Dealing with chronic pain for over 12 years, it is amazing how much I can handle. I live my days and try to work thru the pain but somedays I can't. I can't imagine how tired Matt is of hearing me say EVERY SINGLE DAY..... that I don't feel well. Sometimes I could just cry my eyes today. It ISN'T fair!!! It's not. I would do anything and you can't even imagine what I would give up to never have another migraine again. And yes, I am lucky so many people are dealing with so much worse than I am.....but this is my life.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


 We only really did one "excursion" on our vacation in Mexico and we did it because it made Matt so happy! About 5 miles from our resort is the stunning resort compound of Mayakoba (HERE) and next week the PGA will be having a tournament at their beautiful golf course! In fact this is the only PGA tournament in Mexico and Matt got to play the course!!!!!
 And me? I was the BEST cart driver around!! I also tried to capture the day for us both and I picked out a few of my favorite pictures that best showcase this beautiful course!
 This course has 3 parts......beach, jungle and is truly the perfect essence of Mexico!

 Here was my favorite hole.... I mean this is unreal!

 I was so funny....I literally got out of the cart and ran up to the hole to look over at the beach and ocean. It sounds repetitive but it was one of the most beautiful places I have I been......and ya, Matt was overjoyed!

 This was so cool...... In the middle of that fairway is literally a cave! It was so neat.....
 And yup, our little friends were all over the course and they pretty much made my day!!
 Someone told me they look like little Brontosauruses and that cracks me up.....they do!!!!
It was a great day and Matt even Birdied a hole......which will be neat for him to watch the greats like Rory and Tiger next week play the SAME hole!!!!!!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Beach Book Review!

Matthew Turner knows it doesn’t get better.
His younger brother Luke was bullied mercilessly after one of Matt’s friends outed Luke to the whole school, and when Luke called Matt—on the brink of suicide—Matt was too wrapped up in his new girlfriend to answer the phone. Now Luke is gone, and Matt’s family is falling apart.
No matter what his girlfriend Hayden says about forgiveness, there’s no way Matt’s letting those he blames off the hook—including himself. As Matt spirals further into bitterness, he risks losing Hayden, the love of his life. But when her father begins to pressure the school board into banning books because of their homosexual content, he begins to wonder if he and Hayden ever had anything in common.
With brilliant sensitivity and emotional resonance, bestselling author Ellen Hopkins’s Rumble explores bullying and suicide in a story that explores the worth of forgiveness and reconciliation.
I have loved Ellen Hopkins for years thanks to my "Cousins-in-law" (is that even a thing)!!! Ellen Hopkins doesn't just write books she makes an experience for the reader. She not only writes her books in prose but she really touches the boundaries of everything that young people face today. Although I will say that even though her books are geared towards teens I am not sure at what age I would actually let a teen read these!
 Her new book Rumble deals with suicide, bullying and how to deal when a family member comes out of the closet and I loved it! I read this book in 2 days by the pool and I highly recommend this book to any Ellen Hopkins fans or anyone looking for a new author to love.  Be sure to check out all her past bestsellers!!!
And yes, I sure do miss Mango-Ritas by the pool.....if only I had my own personal pool butler at home (or a pool)

Secrets Maroma Beach

Ok guys.... I am back and I have a vacation picture overload for you guys!!! We got back last Wednesday night and here today when I look back it seems like a dream! We don't get to travel like this and this was our first true vacation since our honeymoon 7 years ago so this just all seems so unreal!!! 
 Secrets Maroma Beach is in the Riviera Maya outside of Cancun and it is one of the only all white sand beaches in Mexico! The resort was everything I hoped it would be and more!! And ya....the fact that we splurged and got the swim-up suite was AH-mazing!!!!!!!!

 Something I couldn't get over is how stunning the water was.......the blues and greens were out of this world! It was so fun!

 On the Friday I spent the whole morning in the Spa and it was so wonderful!! The entire set-up was so relaxing and just beautiful! It was such a treat!

 I don't have too many pictures of us to be honest because we didn't do much and that was perfectly fine with us! We spent our mornings by the pool and our afternoons at the beach!
 The resort constantly had waiters walk around all day and get you anything you need from drinks, water to food......I sure do miss being waited on like that! haha!

 The resort had 6 amazing restaurants and we got to try each one........Sushi to French to Mexican and they were all so delish!!!
 So these little critters were all over the resort and to us they looked like a mix between a raccoon-puppy-monkey and they were just the cutest!

 This is our private patio that opened to the pool!!! Matt loved spending his afternoons out here while I napped inside!!!
 This is where the resort has their weddings.......perfect isn't it?

 You know we were sad to leave but happy to come home to our fur-kids!!!!!


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