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Here’s To Being Brave

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This was a hard week. A few things came up that challenged my character and my patience at work. I was able to get through it, but not without a lot of deep thought and complaining to my close friends and family. Sometimes you just have to vent. Am I right? Anyway, I experienced a situation at work that I did not feel was handled properly. A pretty big decision was made that involved me, but no one mentioned anything before hand so I was somewhat blindsided by the news. I felt shocked and belittled, like no one cared to ask my opinion on the decision OR even mention it to me. It sucked. I ended up leaving work three hours early because I was so upset and just slept the rest of the day.

Right after I heard the news I asked the people involved why I wasn’t told about the decision. I was met with sarcasm and push back. I decided to take a break from the situation, and think before I said something I would regret. The worst part was someone told me that what I say doesn’t matter because of my job title. Who knows, maybe they’re right. However, that is not going to stop me from speaking my mind.

I used to be afraid of other people when I was young, then I grew up and realized what a strong woman I am. If I’m really passionate about something I am not afraid to speak my mind and fight for what I believe is right. I don’t go looking for problems by any means, but I certainly don’t run from situations that I feel are unfair or immoral.

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When my fiance called my dad and asked him if he could marry me my dad said to him, “I hope you know how independent and strong willed she is. She’s not afraid to stand up for herself.” That being said, I’m glad Eric has put up with me thus far.

I was inspired to write this because of all the women who recently stood up for themselves and chose to be brave.

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My point: Don’t let other people intimidate you or make you feel like you’re not strong enough to defend yourself. You can be strong enough, stronger even. If you truly believe that what you’re standing up for will change things for the better, don’t hesitate. Even if you don’t think things will change or you’re being met with sarcasm and push back from others, be brave. Do it for yourself because no one else is going to do it for you. So in conclusion, practice kindness, but take no shit.

❀ – Paula

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Book List πŸ“š

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Whenever I have a break from school I usually choose a book to read. Over this break I have 4 weeks that I don’t have to study so I chose 4 books to read πŸ€“ 1 book for each week.

I’m at that point in my life where I’m excited about the future, but I’m praying everyday that I’m making the right decisions to get me where I want to be. Normally I lean more toward the happy books. The books that make you feel good and make you laugh. This time I decided to go for books that I can learn from and will get me thinking about my own future and what I truely want for myself.

Here are the books I plan to read each week:

1. I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

I was drawn to this book because I know how important it is for young women to be heard and be brave enough to stand up for what they believe in. Even if they are facing strong pushback from others.


East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Reading about this book I feel I can learn much about life struggles, acceptance and handling guilt.


The Road Less Traveled by Scott Peck

This book talks a lot about confronting and accepting problems we may experience in our lives.


The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan

When I first saw this book I noticed that a lot of the stories focused on how short life is and that we need to make the most of the time that is given to us. I also read that the author of the short stories (Marina Keegan) passed away tragically in a car accident shortly after college. This really made me realize just how short life can be.

Happy reading! πŸ“

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Holiday Prep πŸŒ€πŸŽ„β„οΈ

Hey everyone! I’m in a really good mood right now. I just finished my fall classes so I can focus all my attention on the holidays. In a few weeks I fly home to Michigan to see my family. I can’t wait to bake with my mom, hang with my dad and brother, go to church on Christmas Eve, and see all my besties at my bridal shower.

I actually began my holiday festivities the night before thanksgiving this year when I baked 2 pies for dinner the next night. I stuck with tradition and made a pumpkin pie along with a pecan pie. So much YUM.

I just love this time of year. Everything seems to be right and good in the world. I could give Hallmark Channel a run for their money when it comes to Holiday cheer. Yep, I’m that Christmas cray cray.

I actually put up the Christmas decorations a few days before Thanksgiving. Yes, I am (as my hair dresser likes to refer to me) one of those people. My Christmas tree means a lot to me though so I like to put it up as soon as possible. This tree reminds me of how far I have come over the past few years. I bought this tree when I first moved to Florida and I didn’t have much money, so I bought it for 30 dollars at the local Walmart. I didn’t have much money, but I had the holiday spirit. The tree was sparse and it didn’t have many gifts underneath, but it was mine and I loved it. I still use this tree, but this year I dressed it up a little more.

Side note: my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel has discovered that it is really fun to unwrap all the gifts that I put under the tree. I came home from work a few days ago and it looked like a 4 year old had been unleashed on Christmas morning. Needless to say, the gifts have all been wrapped again and are now living on the kitchen counter until Christmas. She has also made several attempts at the stockings hanging above the couch, but I won’t get into that right now.

This year, since we are planning and paying for a wedding, I made a lot of Christmas gifts for friends and family.

Making gifts for people can help save money and it’s so much fun to add a little bit of yourself to each present. I pride myself in getting gifts for people that I know they will truly enjoy. I DO NOT like buying a gift for someone just to buy it. I always put thought into it, that’s the fun part after all!

For Eric’s Aunt and Unlce, who are HUGE Auburn fans I made a wreath with a sign in the center that says “Mr. and Mrs. AU”

We also got them some Michigan State drink koozies because, you know, I always have to add my school in the mix. And I knew they would enjoy it.

For a couple of my patients and co-workers I made cookies in a jar. It’s a fun gift that they can make with their family and enjoy for the holiday season.

About a week ago, Eric’s mom and I made 4 different types of Christmas cookies for the neighbors and I delivered them to their doorsteps. I think it put them in the Christmas mood.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday season!

My parents cabin in Michigan πŸ’™

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Cubby is 2!

So today is my dog, Cubby’s birthday. She’s 2. I love her so much and her life deserves to be celebrated today and everyday. She makes me want to be a better person.

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When I was in elementary school my parents bought my brother and me a golden retriever puppy. She lived to be 14 and she taught me so many things about life as we grew up together. Here are some of the things I learned from her:

1. If you don’t like the way someone is treating you, move away from them

2. Don’t hold grudges (I try not to)

3. Unconditional love

4. Be nice to everyone

5. If you want the food, eat it

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Those are just a few things my first dog, Zoey, taught me. If it weren’t for her I may not have wanted to get my own dog so badly. When I finally got into a position at my job where I could afford a dog I went and got one! Day after day I stopped by the local animal shelter and every time I was pleasantly surprised to see that most of the dogs had already been adopted. Even though that meant I had to keep looking. I ended up adopting a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy from twin sisters who were in college and couldn’t afford a dog after all. As my mom said when I facetimed her and told her not to get mad at me “NO YOU DIDN’T! YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED A CAVALIER SPANIEL!” She was happy and couldn’t wait to meet her. As it turns out, I met my fiancΓ© at the dog daycare I was taking Cubby to. It was like a β€œmust love dogs” type of situation πŸ’—

Butttttttttt raising a puppy is hard work! And I don’t think I will do it again until I have kids so they can learn the lessons that come along with raising and caring for a dog. I stayed up many nights, cleaned up numerous accidents (thank God for tile floors), and endured the incessant barking at the tv when an animal comes on the screen (how dare they). However I will say this, the harder my life gets, the more I can’t wait to get home and spend time with the dogs.

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I don’t think my dogs will ever know how much I love and appreciate them, but I try to show them everyday. So for my little Cub Cub’s birthday, I baked her a cake. It didn’t turn out exactly how I wanted it, but since she eats leaves on a daily basis I didn’t think she would be too judgmental. Don’t worry, our other dog Floyd got some cake too! ❀️

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Stuffed Acorn Squash πŸ’›

It’s been awhile since I posted on here! You know, life gets in the way. Work, school and other commitments have been overwhelming me recently and I am looking forward to taking some time off for the holidays. πŸ˜„

We got a little taste of the holidays this past weekend when Rosie and her husband Toney came over for a Friendsgiving πŸ¦ƒπŸ½πŸπŸˆβ€οΈ. We had a lot of fun and Rosie got to try pumpkin pie for the first time!

Tonight I decided to try to cook healthy (kind of). I made stuffed acorn squash. The recipe is super easy. Here goes.

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Makes 2 servings

Takes about 1 hour

Ingredients:

1 acorn squash

1 large potato πŸ₯”

2 tablespoons butter

A vegetable (I used corn) 🌽

1 package ground sausage

Directions:

Cut your acorn squash in half

Place squash in a baking dish squash side down with a little bit of water in the pan.

Bake for about an hour or until squash is soft.

While squash is baking, prepare your potatoes and sausage and corn.

Simply cook the ground sausage in a pan and boil the corn in a pot.

Boil the potatoes then mash with butter. (You could also add cheese if you would like)

I added the corn to the potatoes and mixed together.

Pile the sausage and potato/corn mixture into the squash and enjoy!

Super simple 😊😊😊

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Inspired


Hey everyone,

I just wanted to take a minute to talk about the hurricane that recently came through the northeastern Caribbean islands and eventually made a turn further north to hit Florida.

To start, I would like to say that I have been living an extremly comfortable life here in Florida over the past year. I just bought a house, got engaged to my love, started my second bachelors degree, work full time at a wonderful hospital, got involved at church, and am the proud mother of 2 beautiful rescue dogs. When news of the hurricane began circulating about a week ahead of the storm, people started to get nervous. I was particularly worried because, being from Michigan, I had never experienced such intense weather conditions. I was getting more and more worried that my comfortable life as I knew it would be taken away from me.


About 3 days out from landfall most floridians had accepted the fact that we were all going to experience some part of the storm. Gas stations sold out of petrol, grocery stores sold out of water and canned foods and people all over the state were evacuating.

On Friday, the hospital I work at had a meeting to announce that they had created their A-team and B-team groups. The A-team were the people who were scheduled to go in to work and spend Saturday night through Monday night at the hospital. The B-team were the workers who would relieve the A-team on Tuesday. I was scheduled on the B-team. Hurricane Irma was predicted to hit Florida on Sunday and move through Monday.

When I left work that day I got a frantic call from my mother saying that “the storm had shifted west and it was definitely going to hit my area and I needed to leave right now!” Seriously, I will buy you a plane ticket home, she said. I told her that wasn’t necessary and I would call her later that night. (My dad spent a lot of time calming her down at that point.)

When I got home we started preparing for the storm. I didn’t realize how stressful this situation was until I snapped and yelled at my fiancΓ© for some small reason. I also got sick, and later got an uncontrollable nose bleed which I have learned can be brought on by large amounts of stress. I heard what Irma had done to some of the islands it passed over and it was devistating.


We didn’t have boards to put on the outside of the windows, so Eric went to the store and bought a mass amount of cardboard to tape to the inside of the windows. He was so sure of this method, but it proved to be ineffective when we (spoiler alert) came home after the storm and the house was fine, but all the cardboard had fallen off the windows onto the floor. πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†

Saturday around 5:00 pm, after we had covered the tv’s and moved everything we cared about to the bathrooms, we left to go to Eric’s parents house down the road. We wanted to go there because of the huge oak tree in our front yard that has not been trimmed for some time (our bad). My worst fear was part of that tree falling on our house or one of the neighbor’s houses. When we got to his parent’s, they told us they wanted to go to Orlando because it would be safer. I wasn’t excited about this idea because we all had dogs. They had secured reservations at a Disney resort, but it wasn’t available until Sunday morning. I did not want to be on the road for a long period of time on Sunday because I didn’t think it would be safe. It was at that time that I contacted my friend Rosie.

I asked Rosie if she and her fiancΓ©, Toney would be gracious enough to let us stay at their house Saturday night. She said yes! We were so grateful. We got in the car with the dogs around 7 pm and there was no traffic on our way to their place. It couldn’t have been more perfect. We stayed up until around 2 am talking and getting to know them. That is something good that came out of this storm. ☺️

The next day we packed up our stuff again. We said goodbye and thank you to Rosie and Toney, and headed down the road to a dog friendly hotel in Orlando. The hotel was great!

On the way there we were able to get gas, and a little more hurricane food before the storm hit that night. It’s worth noting that everywhere in Florida looked like we were in a zombie apocalypse. I’m actually really happy that everything was closed so the workers were able to prepare for the storm and be with their families.

My mom was calling me every hour to make sure we were still alive. I re-assured her that we were safe in our cozy dog-friendly hotel room. At one point I went out to the lobby to get some coffee and there were a bunch of people talking and playing board games. That instilled a sense of calm in me.

Later that night the winds really started to pick up and the storm had shifted toward our area. Eric and our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cubby slept through the whole storm. And snored too! I personally don’t know how they could sleep. Floyd, our Jack Russell/Beagle mix and I stayed up until 4 am listening and watching the storm. He would bark and growl when he felt the winds were being too loud.

Irma: The beginning

The winds calmed down a bit around 4:30 am and I was able to drift off to sleep. A few hours later around 8 am the dogs woke me up and we took them out to go to the bathroom. The winds were still at tropical storm force. I checked my car to make sure nothing had fallen on it. All was good. We went back inside and down to the lobby for breakfast. I have never seen a longer line for a waffle maker in my life.

We checked out around noon after the storm had calmed down a bit. There was a lot of traffic on our way home. I was bitting my nails (and getting yelled at by Eric to stop) the whole ride back worried about what we were coming home to.

Mass electrical outages, trees down and flooding. Just a few of the fears running through my mind. When we turned down our street I couldn’t look and I told Eric to tell me if it wasn’t too bad.

NOTHING. A few small branches and plants down but other than that, no damage. I couldn’t believe it, I was so relieved. We went inside and surprisingly still had power. Unfortunately a lot of people have been without power for almost a week after the storm passed. We put everything back in the house, and have been trying to get back to life as usual.

It wasn’t until 2 days after the storm that my emotions came out. We were sitting in a work meeting and my boss was talking about how great everyone was during this stressful and freighting time. One of my co-workers who had to work through the storm away from her family, began to cry…and a lot of us started to cry. We all experienced fear, adrenaline and a sense of being totally out of control.I think that is what bothered people the most was feeling out of control of their own lives, and fear of the unknown.

There is some good here though. We have been witnessing help for those who need it. I received many calls from friends and loved ones asking if we are okay. It’s the little things that count. The governor ordered a stop on all tolls throughout the state and all hotels were told to accept dogs. The outpouring of love and support was just…endearing. My thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family of those who lost their lives.

There is a lot of good with bad. Sometimes you have to search for the good…but it’s always there. ❀️

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Mrs. McGuire’s Oatmeal Cookies πŸͺΒ 

Hey everyone! Hurricane Irma is finally gone! What a crazy past few days this has been here in Florida and I am happy to get back to normal again.

I decided I needed to make cookies to celebrate the end of the storm. These things are honestly the best. I got this wonderful recipe from a co-worker and I will never make any other kind of oatmeal cookie again. Here’s how I made them:

Makes 24 cookies

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

3/4 cup shredded coconut

3 cups oatmeal

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup white sugar

1 cup butter

1 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Directions: (super easy)

Mix all ingredients together (no particular order) I use my stand mixer


Roll the dough into balls and place on cookie sheet


Bake at 350 for 12 minutes


ENJOY!!! ☺️