Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Real Bathroom Issue: Why would you do this?!

I literally can't even...


Who does this?!?


I spent way more time than I should have in the bathroom this morning because most of it was wasted on ripping small pieces of Charmin's arse-wipe in to my hand. I had MAYBE 3 inches to actually do some weird shadow puppet move to find the end of the rainbow.

Who even puts a handrail right there?? Why couldn't they fix the darn thing after they installed it?! I KNOW the person that installed either of these must have thought this was some cruel joke. One last jab to take out on some poor, vulnerable, individual just wanting a tree, to wipe their bum with. Well, mystery person, you've accomplished it.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Where to Take a Shower While Traveling: Love's Travel Stop

While traveling recently, I came across a slight problem. A cold, dark shower. No electricity. No hot water. Blegh! Too scared of the abyss, I panicked and called Love’s Travel Stop. For those unfamiliar with this, it’s a truck stop. Are you crazy?! Why yes.. yes I am.

“Isn’t it dangerous!?” “Don’t get stabbed!” “Please don’t die.”
No, I didn’t plan on dying at three o’ clock in the afternoon and I definitely did not plan on going in to an environment where I thought I was going to be stabbed. I’ve been around enough to know that if something is going to happen, it will. No matter how much forethought and planning you put in to something. This, is a wonderful example of how fear consumes us from the unknown. A reason why so many people don’t fully indulge in what life has to offer.
Well let me tell you, that was the best damn shower I’ve probably had in a long time. Just mildly scalding with enough pressure to take the paint off of your car and I LOVED every single drop!
Let’s have a recap.
I called first to see if they even offered public showers.
Love’s Travel Stop Rate: $11.00/person.
What’s included: Matching blue towel, facecloth and liquid body soap located on the wall in the shower. For my experience, there was an outlet to plug in a hair dryer, or in my case, my phone charger (because I like to live life on the edge of 2%). A toilet, to contemplate more of life’s decisions or read your Facebook on, is located next to the shower. So, if you’ve had Taco Hell, you’re in luck! There was a fan hanging on the wall, but it didn’t have any awesome features to share.
What to bring: Your nasty bits, your own towelclothes, beer, shampoo/conditioner, soap (if you’re sensitive to lab made chemicals), toothbrush/paste, and FLIP-FLOPS. *I highly recommend flip-flops in any public shower. There’s too much bacteria on the ground that could ruin your dating life or your day, if you’ve got the foot fungi. Protect yourself and just wear them in the shower, plus they dry quickly. I was just kidding about the beer, unless you’re in to that kind of thing.
The experience: I’m not going to lie, I had no idea what I was about to encounter, so I stayed in my car for a minute and thought to myself, “Do it for the blog! No, it’s for me…I stink! But blog!” I grabbed my bag of clothes and flip-flops (noted above!).
I wandered like a goldfish to the counter and shyly asked, “Where do I go for showers?” The clerk pointed with her finger as if Dumbledore (Harry Pothead I mean Potter reference) was showing the way as I continued swimming through the sheeple to the second counter. “I’d like to pay for a shower,” I said. A complete stranger standing next to me dealt his loyalty card and replied “Here, this should cover it.” Never in my life would I have imagined some completely random dude would offer to cover an $11.00 shower at a truck stop, but he did. Thank you truck stop man!
You’re given a ticket with a number, almost like waiting in the Publix deli line, but not as appetizing. I found a seat in Subway and caught up on Judge Judy. I’m fairly certain she’s a vampire because she doesn’t look like she’s aged at all. She still looks the same after all these years!
After my number was called, I was handed a blue towel that looked like it had been stolen from a Dr. Seuss book, and a long wooden sized ruler with a key. Note to self, to open the door, you must turn the lock all the way and THEN turn the handle and THEN walk through. Otherwise, you end up awkwardly close against the door.
For extra protection, I placed my trusty running shoe in the corner of the door and the wall and my small pocket key-knife on top of the soap dispenser. Who needs a gun, when you have the hands of Jet Lee?! Scrub-a-dub-dub, I was finished in the time it took to read One Fish, Two Fish.
Feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world, my first quest was to check out at the counter and let the lady know Thing One’s towel was left it in the bathroom. The second was to buy myself a chocolate bar and slave for 12 hours.


Suggestions: Definitely bring your own towel. Wear flip-flops. Go during the day if you can help it. Arrive early. It could very well take 20 minutes before your number is called.

Kate, from http://www.adventurouskate.com/ recommends traveling with a big rubber door stop. For those that are unsure about the idea of using a public shower, it's one extra barrier to keep the peepers out.














 
 



If you enjoyed my article, please leave a comment below or share it with your friends. Thanks!



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Benefits of a Minimalist Lifestyle


Minimalism is
          Simple
          A lifestyle - finding happiness while loving, being driven, and adapting to change.
          A choice - living with less, is more.
          A philosophy - a practice of keeping elements that only bring value and enjoyment.
          Uncomplicated - and less stressful.
          Organized - thoughts and spaces.
          A tool - to find freedom.
          Peaceful - enjoying life and focusing on what truly matters.

Minimalism is not about owning a certain number of items. The lifestyle is about being happy with less. If that means you are happy with a 20 piece wardrobe or even 288 objects, then you are well on your way to becoming a minimalist. The main idea is to erase negative influences, mainly clutter and people. Disclaimer: I do not literally mean erase people. I may not like them, but they're good to keep around. Sometimes. ARgh, you get the point. Anyways, minimalism is a choice which also has many positive benefits, which you'll understand by the end of this post, I hope.

The effects of clutter and negative energy:
Visual stress
Anxiety
Too much time wasted looking for items
Not enough time to do anything
Working too hard and too long
Unhappy feelings and emotions
Wasted money and food
 
What is Visual Stress?
Visual stress is the difficulty in distinguishing objects due to disturbing visual patterns.
"It can be responsible for print distortion and rapid fatigue when reading."
- www.ceriumoptical.com/vistech/visual-stress.aspx
This fatigue is exactly what occurred along with anxiety, as I stated above. It mentally hurt looking at my own possessions and caused psychological discomfort because the mind is trying to organize or process all of the items, especially in the photos below. Minimalism is a philosophy and therapy needed, to reduce the clutter, and release negative influences from clouding your vision.

Before

After

http://www.theminimalists.com/minimalism/
The Minimalists Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus
These gentlemen work as a team to define minimalism and enjoy a meaningful life with less stuff. Their blog has a plethora of information regarding the basics of being a minimalist, getting rid of life's clutter, wardrobe essentials, money, and so much more. I highly recommend digesting all of the content these guys have to offer.
"Minimalism is a tool used to rid yourself of life’s excess in favor of focusing on what’s important so you can find happiness, fulfillment, and freedom" - The Minimalists

http://mnmlist.com/minimalist-faqs/
mnmlist Leo Babuta - creator of Zenhabits.com
Both sites are an eye opening to a new happy lifestyle. Learning how to let go of possessions, objects and how they consume us, and distractions, are some key points in mnmlist's blog. Opening your mind to zen thoughts and keeping your life calm, zenhabits.com is extremely refreshing by way of reminding us to slow down.
"It’s a way to escape the excesses of the world around us — the excesses of consumerism, material possessions, clutter, having too much to do, too much debt, too many distractions, too much noise." - mnmlist

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/what-is-minimalism/
becoming minimalist Joshua Becker
Joshua Becker and his wife decided learn how to become minimalists and for the past couple years, they've been blogging their journey, views, and thoughts along the way. The transformation over time, including their writing, shows amazing results and progress. Not only is it motivational, it's refreshing to be able to have a connection that they were once beginners too.
"Minimalism slows down life and frees us from this modern hysteria to live faster." - Becoming Minimalist

http://lovingsimpleliving.com/2012/03/what-is-minimalism/
Loving Simple Living Lorilee Lippincott
Not only is this woman living the simple life, she's sharing it for the world to see. She's mastered writing and publishing a book of her own, wrote articles to help with the hustle and bustle of modern day consumerism, and even travels simply. This is a very admirable woman because she's in control of her life and loves it!
"The idea is to not be limited or distracted by material possessions." - Loving Simple Living

http://exilelifestyle.com/minimalism-explained/
Exhile Lifestyle Colin Wright
An extremist in owning little possessions, this man is my biggest roll model as far as living the nomadic lifestyle on 55 items and writing his own content for an income.
"What Minimalism is really all about is reassessment of your priorities so that you can strip away the excess stuff – the possessions and ideas and relationships and activities – that don’t bring value to your life." - Exhile Lifestyle

http://www.minimalstudent.com/minimalism-101/
minimal student Jessica Dang
Also working her way from the bottom up, Jessica is living the simple lifestyle and working on her school all while being happy with less. She's found the secret to happiness for herself and works hard to share it with others on her blog.
"It’s about finding happiness in what we have already, instead of chasing something that is always out of reach" - minimal student
   
What are some steps to help transition to a simpler life?
Write a list of 10 things that are important that you absolutely cannot live without.
Find a good friend to help you determine items necessary to keep or toss.
If you feel overwhelmed, start with one box, or a section of your room.
Keep your favorite spot in the house simple, as an example to follow for the entire house
Only focus on the list of 10 objects and separate all leftover items. Place them under your bed. If there's too many belongings, then place them in the corner of your garage. This is my 3 month plan. If you haven't reached in the bag, get rid of it.
Use samples from the internet, like I have, to keep yourself focused for the lifestyle you want.
Write down 5 goals on a dry erase board and look at it every day to help stay on task.
Also find a quiet place to meditate or at least think alone, without interruptions.



Benefits of a minimalist lifestyle and my personal observations:
Less visual stress
Less time looking for possessions
Less cleaning
Reduced anxiety
Positive energy
Minimalist Wardrobe
More time



References

Monday, May 2, 2016

Wilmington, NC

04-29-2016 1352 Wilmington, NC


Morning.

It’s spring. Warm sun, cool breeze, and the sound of nature. Birds speaking a language only Mother Nature understands. I look up. 3 yellow triangles are reaching for the roof of the porch I’m sitting on. They’re freshly hatched baby Cardinals, screaming for a regurgitated meal. Yes, I had to add that in there.

I’m getting ready to explore my favorite quaint little town with my host turned bestie! While I wait, the shade offers me serenity while gazing at the sun glistening off of my Honda FIT. The plan is to hit downtown and enjoy a wonderful lunch, eventually returning to craft handmade pasta noodles.
I am all smiles as I finally have a day off to catch up on appreciating the little things life has to offer. Including nature therapy and writing my little heart out. I can think clearly now that my car has some organization, my clothes are clean, and this last job is complete.

Transitioning into a minimalist lifestyle has allowed me to concentrate on opportunities and experiences rather than worrying about gathering countless belongings. I’d still be doing laundry if I was the same person 2 years ago. Instead, I’m sitting on a hardwood floor, creating and sharing my stories, while listening to Thievery Corporation on Pandora. This outlet provides me a medium to enjoy reading what I’ve experienced and I couldn’t be happier, besides my foot going numb on occasion.

This morning, I’ve been able to learn about other bloggers, start a plan for budgeting and meals while on the road, and enjoy a beautiful “movie scene.”

Afternoon.

I could hug the Earth fur I'm so happy, especially having 24 hours of freedom from the Man. I was brought to Wayfarer, in downtown Wilmington, and had it in my mind that I was going to order a mouth-watering sandwich and dip. Well, our waitress ended up seducing both of us into ordering the Special. Said special included oven-baked fried chicken, layered with bacon, layered with a hard-boiled egg, layered with cheese, lettuce, and other special sauces of which, I've since forgotten due to the food induced coma we were left in.

Waddling down a couple blocks, we made our way to a local family-run book store and the Cotton Exchange - which includes a conglomerate of smaller businesses along the river. Fun fact, yes the building was actually used during the Cotton Exchange periods of our lovely American History.

After spending more than I cared for, I made it back to the house with rocks, a face tube, sage, essential oil bug spray, and books. It was time to make epic handmade spaghetti noodles! The ingredients - just flour and eggs.

Evening.
It's a little after 6pm. Craving tacos from a food truck, the noodles were left on the counter to harden while the two of us ladies were off again to the Fly Trap! We met with her gang and played Old Maid, waiting on the deliciousness to come rolling in. Literally. I had myself a taste of blueberry sour beer, not my favorite. It kind of reminded me of the Kombucha I had, for the first time, when I was valleyganting the Cotton Exchange. I, instead, chose the Farmhouse Ale. A little hoppy for me, but would suffice until the meat-stuffed tortillas were placed in my icy hands.

Alas, after devouring said tasty steak cilantro filled tacos, it was time for me to go. I said my goodbyes to everyone and started preparing for my 4 hour drive back to Chapin, SC.


Till we meet again Wilmington!