Friday, December 29, 2017

No New Year's Resolutions

This year, I will not be making any New Year's’ resolutions. Why? I have never been able to successfully accomplish them. At most, they last a couple of months and then they are forgotten. Am I the only one? I doubt it.But why haven’t mine worked?

Most New Year’s resolutions I set for myself I lose the motivation for after a while. Sure, that work out seemed like fun but three months in, it is more same old same old. I lose interest as if it was just a fad or it has become too mundane or boring to do. Even better, I decide to take on too much at once. I decide I’ll go through everything in order to organize, trash, or get rid of what is necessary. I make myself try to do it as soon as possible and become overwhelmed. I may just have too much “stuff”. (Currently working on this so more details to come maybe.)Other times, life has just got in the way. I will catch myself missing it on one day, then that day turns into a week, months, and the dreaded year. It is the never ending cycle.

So while New Year's’ resolutions don’t work for me, they may work for some people. I will still set goals that can be accomplished, with stride marks attached. I will strive harder to meet my short term and long term goals. I will work on myself and focus on my friends and family. No more worrying about the tossed aside and forgotten New Year’s resolution.

Are you setting New Year’s resolutions? Ever had any work? Have any goals? Let’s talk about it so we can hold each other accountable.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Accepting Myself and Being Body Positive

In a few recent weeks, I had been noticing that many of my fall and winter clothes that fit last year were tight or didn’t fit at all. I was uncomfortable with the knowledge of my “new” size and that a good portion of my wardrobe was being put in the “get rid of bin”. (Also known as the clothes you try to consign or the  give away pile) I was being hard on myself because my bra size has changed, my hips and thighs are bigger, and I had began to wish my stomach was smaller. Then I read an interesting fact that changed my mindset.
I can’t remember how it was exactly phrased or where I even read it on the internet, but it said that according to today’s sizes and fit, Marilyn Monroe would wear an 8 in most brands. It got my attention because it’s the size that most of the clothes I am currently able to wear are (that don’t have an elastic waistband attached, that is). She has been deemed one of the most beautiful women to be a star in Hollywood. She was supposed to have the ideal hourglass figure and was labelled as a bombshell! So I took to the internet for more research and to become more body positive.
I bing-ed “sizes of famous women in today’s sizing” knowing it would list Marilyn Monroe as well as others that would be my new size and to see if the fact I read was true. I found plenty of information and began to feel better about myself and accept the “new” me.
The sizing scale that we are subjected to these days is different than the one that was being used in the 1930s-1950s. Today’s sizing can start at 00, 0, or 2 in most brands whereas it used to start at sizes 8,10, or 12. So with this knowledge, it is harder to say that Marilyn Monroe was “plus-size”.  With the measurements found online, she would mostly be an 8 or 10 in most sizes of clothing.  That would make her around the same size as me or a little bigger! So, I should probably be a little nicer to myself. For more reasons than that but the wheels started clicking at this point.
While the average American woman has been said to be a size 14, recent studies are saying the new average woman is actually a size 16.The average woman has also gained 2.5 inches on her waist. This means we are embracing more curves, showing ourselves more love, and stating that despite the models we see in various forms of media, bigger can be better! Many people, including celebrities, are accepting themselves. Amy Schumer took to haters on Twitter with “I am a size 6 and have no plans in changing. This is it. Stay on or get off. Kisses!” Melissa McCarthy created her own clothing brand Seven7 to cover more sizes of women. After her own struggles with her weight, Khloe Kardashian, who is a size 6-8, started her show Revenge Body to help others. No more body shaming, we are becoming body positive!
I am just starting my journey in accepting myself as I am now, but I want to see myself in a new light. I want to figure out how to accent what I like about myself. I may see that I have more of a tummy than I would like and stress over it more than I should, but if I learn to camouflage it, maybe it will be the last thing on my mind. If I see the clothes and the stores as the problem, the numbers and sizes on the tag shouldn’t matter. I will strive to learn what brands and styles work for me and shop accordingly. (Until then, you might be seeing me in a lot of sweats.)Here’s to the journey for the rest of 2017, 2018, and beyond!
(If you are reading this, feel free to share your struggles, encouragement, and any suggestions you may have. I would love to make this a platform to open up conversations.)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Chicken legs

( this article includes my own unsolicited opinions.)

We bought chicken legs on sale a while ago and I had been pushing them farther back in the freezer. I wanted us to cook and eat them, but I also didn't want to under cook them. With the summer heat rearing its ugly head, I didn't want to bake them in the oven either.( does anyone else feel like the oven causes an insane temperature rise in their house?) The best bet for me to use was the slow cooker. But how long to cook it for and winch temperature option to use were beyond me. I did what any Millennial would do( or should do) search on Bing. ( get points on being to use for gift cards and such, it's awesome.) I found a super easy recipe from another blogger ( which I can't remember the name of, but she did claim she couldn't cook). I didn't follow her recipe to a T, but I did cook mine for 6 to 8 hours like it was suggested. The first time, I cooked my chicken for almost 7 hours. The second time, I cook the chicken for 6 hours. I just poured barbecue sauce over an even layer of chicken legs after putting them in the slow cooker. Next time I make them I will try it with another sauce (maybe teriyaki or a marinade).

Any readers have any recipe ideas they swear by or are afraid to try?

Sadly, I didn't take any pictures of my attempts of the chicken legs because I wasn't thinking of the blog or of making it a post at the time. Maybe next time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The First Married Valentine's Week

As fresh newlyweds, (it's been over 5 months since our wedding) spending money is limited and I have always hated Valentine's Day. My husband, on the other hand, loves it. So I made this past week (Tuesday-Tuesday) Valentine's Week.

Every day except Saturday and Sunday (we were rather busy) I wrote him a love letter. Each letter had a Bible verse and an explanation of why I chose that verse as they pertained to our relationship. Writing comes somewhat easy to me and I wanted to give my husband something meaningful.

Some letters I sent with him to work. Some I wound up sending them to him over Messenger. (Technology helps during the bad work days.) Some he received at home after work. Last night, he read the last one using the flashlight app on one of our phones right before bed.

Even though these letters weren't much, they meant a lot and they are useful in making sure my husband knows he is loved.

Hey readers, how have you celebrated Valentine's Day? What has worked for you all?

Sunday, January 29, 2017

My New Favorite Show

I have recently began watching a different show that is new to me and I hate to say it, but I may be addicted. My new favorite show happens to be Rizzoli & Isles, which I am watching on Hulu. (I am even watching it as I write this, starting Season 4.) Rizzoli & Isles is very similar to other crime shows I watch, but it has an unique center and highlights different viewpoints that I rather enjoy.

The main characters, Rizzoli and Isles are both female leads. This is still a rarity,despite the calls for equality. These female leads are independent, run their own lives, and are well established in their careers. Neither one of these women are married or with children, but it doesn't seem to truly affect them, even when persuaded to "settle down" or get married by their families.

Their families aren't exactly "normal" as well. Rizzoli and Isles are the best of friends, that are almost like sisters at times. Isles has a biological and an adoptive family. Her adoptive mother worked a lot when she was growing up. On the show, it is learned that her biological parents met in college, with her father being a mob boss and her mother now being a prestigious doctor. Her biological mother was told that she died at birth by her biological father. Her biological father did this to protect her. Rizzoli's family isn't perfect either. So far, her mother and father divorced after 35 years of marriage despite their Catholic upbringing. She has two brothers, in which one gave her a nephew. The mother of this nephew slept with both one of the brothers and also their father. It temporarily complicated the family dynamic. Rizzoli's mother is currently living with Dr. Isles. She also plays a traditional mother role to Isles, when the need arises.

Another choice that I appreciate by this show is the fashion choices made for the characters. Dr. Isles is very fashionable and classy despite any work circumstances. Even in the episode I recently watched, in which she wound up having to wear rain boots,she remained to look classy and put together. Rizzoli is rather opposite of Isles. Rizzoli loves to be comfortable. She wears sensible shoes, simple basics, and a lot of solid colors. She looks professional most of the time, with her clothes showing hints of masculinity. When the show shows her at home, she can be seen in sweats or lounge wear. When her role requires her to dress up and be feminine, she looks out of place and sometimes awkward, but still beautiful.

As I am halfway through the fourth season, I cannot wait to see how the characters grow, the family dynamic changes, and what else happens. For Rizzoli and Isles' uniqueness to show, I feel they could have been in any profession, however, I feel they would not receive as much respect. I feel like that in any other profession, they would have been considered difficult, rude at times, and too strong. Despite it all, they are great examples of strong independent women on television, even if it is a work of fiction. This is a great show that defies society's expectations.

(Post is no way sponsored by Hulu or any other resource)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Tab takes on... The Hardest Letter to Write

Dear Pa,

These holidays were rough. Even though you weren't here with us physically, you were in our thoughts and on our minds. There have been a lot of thoughts on my mind lately that you need to know.

First off, I am so thankful for the skills you taught my husband and the great example you were to him. You taught him the importance of hard work. He tries to tackle anything and everything. If an issue arises, he is ready to find a solution. Just like you were. The time you two spent together made an impact on his life. Because of the example of your and Ma's relationship, he treats me very similar. He will do anything and everything he can for me, even if it means he must sacrifice something he wants or needs. He waits on me hand and foot when he can, just like you did for Ma. I am so glad he had such a great example and that you both were such an influence on my husband's life. We are so glad to know what almost 50 years of marriage looks like.

I am so thankful you were able to come to our wedding. It was so special to have you there. It was an important event of our lives. I am so sad that you won't be here when we start raising a family. You would have so many stories to tell our future children, I am sure. Cody won't be able to come to you for advice on fatherhood and/or other things he would or could come to you for.

Thank you for being the constant man in his life. Cody still says you taught him everything he knows. He also says that even though you were his grandfather, losing you was like losing a father. All I know for sure, is if he becomes half the man you were and can teach our future kids all of the things he learned from you, I will be more than happy. The way he is with the nieces and nephews now shows me that it will be possible but he has some big shoes to fill.

Most of all, I will never forget the last words you said to me. You told me that I was lucky to have married your grandson and that Cody would never know how proud you are of him. Don't worry Pa, he knows. I just wanted you to know what was on my heart and mind. We will all see you later Pa, in heaven. Keep working on those houses with Jesus, as we tell your great grandkids.

Until then,


Monday, January 9, 2017

Tab takes on... Proving that District 13 of The Hunger Games is the Secret City of Oak Ridge, Tennessee

After reading the Hunger Games, especially Mockingjay, it is without a doubt that District 13 is located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This is to be proven by the aspects of secrets, nuclear war, nuclear weapons, bombs, airborne divisions, and many other ideas to be explored. Some of these ideas may be a different in fiction versus reality, with the potential of the fiction to be a reality at some point if the occasion was to arise.

Secrets is one topic that Oak Ridge and District 13 both share. The best example of this from District 13 is found in chapter 2 where it is mentioned that almost all new construction of the district was done under the surface and that most of their citizens spent most of their day underground. There are many reasons District 13 was this way. The main reason was because they did not need to be detected so that they could win against the Capitol. District 13 needed the Capitol to believe that they were gone and wiped off the Earth. Oak Ridge and its importance for the atomic bomb was and still partially is one of the best-kept secrets around. At its start in the 40s, as the area we know it as today, very few residents out of 75,000 knew what was actually going on. (New Republic) The workers only knew the exact tasks expected on themselves. (The Atlantic) The land used to make these areas were to be used for the "war effort" as the people and farmers living on the land at the time were told. (Secret Cities) In a way, both District 13 and Oak Ridge were kept secret. Just as District 13 was kept a secret from the capitol and the rest of the districts before the uprising, Oak Ridge was kept secret from the rest of the world as well. Oak Ridge was unknown of as well. It was "the city that didn't exist". It wasn't on any map. To entice workers to come, it was simply known as Clinton Engineering Works. ( Still today, it is labeled as the Secret City. It stayed a secret for many years or decades.

Another common factor that District 13 in Oak Ridge share somewhat is an Airborne Division. District 13 has an Airborne Division that is housed separately. (Chapter 5) While Oak Ridge does not have an Airborne Division, there are two options that Suzanne Collins could have been considering when she was writing Mockingjay. The more likely option would be the 101st Airborne Division, located in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which is about 3.5 hours away when driving. A more local option would be the McGhee Tyson Air National Guard base, which takes about thirty minutes to get to when driving.(Mapquest) There is not a specific distance or time it takes mentioned in Mockingjay to how far the Airborne Division is from District 13, but if District 13 what is to be in the Oak Ridge area, these would be the only options.

A drastic difference between District 13 and Oak Ridge is how long it took to be built upon and developed. Chapter 14 of Mockingjay states that District 13 is the work of centuries. Oak Ridge, however, was a community built with speed in mind. It was intended to be temporary. (Secret Cities) Many buildings and structures from then are still here today and are still being used, less than a century later.

The most important factor in both of these areas would have to be the role they each played or could play on nuclear weapons and on nuclear war. In chapter two, it is said that District 13 was the face of a nuclear weapons program for the Capitol before the Dark Days with another nuclear arsenal out West. In reality, similar circumstances were at hand in the 1940s. Oak Ridge had and still has massive facilities to modify and create nuclear materials for weapons. (The Atlantic) There also was a location out west, in Los Alamos, New Mexico that armed, tested, and built the bombs that is now defunct.(Secret Cities) None of this had been attempted before. Despite that, there was no time for mistakes or practice trials. Whatever happened, happened. Today, Oak Ridge holds two of the neutron science research centers in the world with the government still being the main employer. (

While District 13 may be a fictionalized area, it is still possible that it was based on Oak Ridge. The common subjects of secrets, airborne divisions, nuclear weapons, nuclear war, and other similar interests make reality set in to this fictionalized world. For what may not be possible today, could become our future tomorrow. More advancements in technology and science could make it happen before we know it.


1. The Atlantic article - The Secret City by Alan Taylor, June 25, 2012. (The Atlantic)

2. article - Oak Ridge and the Town the Atomic Bomb Built by Kay Grant, June 1, 2010. (

3. (Mapquest)

4. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. (Chapter)

5. New Republic article - A Visit to the Secret Town in Tennessee That Gave Birth to the Atomic Bomb by Lewis Falstein, November 12th, 1945. (New Republic)

6. Secret Cities of the Atomic Bomb Documentary part 1 & 2, YouTube. (Secret Cities)

Friday, January 6, 2017

A letter to an author

Dear Suzanne Collins,                                      I have read all three of the Hunger Games book now. I am an avid reader but your books seemed to bypass me until I had to read the first Hunger Games for one of my college courses. I became instantly hooked. (The only reason it had taken me so long to finish the series is because I couldn't find Mockingjay.)
I know all series must come to an end, but I was saddened for the Hunger Games series to be over. It left me with questions and wanting to know more. What happens to Katniss' and Prim's mother,Gale, and Haymitch after chapter 27 of Mockingjay? Does their mother come back to District 12 ever to see her grandkids or does she know that they exist? Does Haymitch ever sober up completely or does he die of alcohol poisoning? Does Gale find love again? Does Gale start a family of his own? Was there a Hunger Games with only the Capitol's children or did that idea go away after Katniss shoots President Coin? How is the new Capitol? What all happens in the time between the end of the final chapter of Mockingjay and its epilogue? What are Peeta and Katniss' children taught about the Hunger Games in school? Are the victors of the Hunger Games still honored as they were before or is it different now?                                      I know that is a lot of questions, especially all at once. I also know that the Hunger Games series was written for older children and teens mostly. But as an adult reader,I just seemed to be asking myself more and more questions. I am glad to find books like these that can make you think as a reader but also can be interesting for more than just the intended audience. This series will definitely be seen as a classic in the future.
A fan