Thursday, September 20, 2018

"In The End, It Doesn't Even Matter..."-Linkin Park

Robin Williams. Chester Bennington. Kate Spade. These three names share the same sad demise: suicide. People who seemed to have it all together; who "had it all". Proof that things are not always what they appear.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States per SAVE, and approximately 123 people die of attempted suicide each day. Most of these cases are due to untreated/undiagnosed mental health issues. 

The CDC published an article in June stating that suicide numbers have risen 30% across the US since 1999. 

LGBQT kids are 3x more likely to kill themselves than straight children, and men are 4x more likely to commit suicide over women. 

Yet, there is still such a stigma with mental health/depression/anxiety/bipolar/suicide. And there is a lack of appropriate care when it comes to mental illnesses.

You used to have the ability to go into inpatient treatment for a "mental breakdown"; there were psych wards and "insane asylums". Now our mentally ill walk around begging for money or are on disability because they don't have the resources to help them get better.

I was talking to my therapist the other day about how I believe that medicinal marijuana is something that needs to be made legal. That, of course, is a topic for another day BUT I also discussed that I feel that there isn't enough emphasis on mental health care with insurance companies and providers alike. Hell, I was only able to start seeing a therapist because my boss happened to get us a Blue Cross plan that covered it. Never in my life have I had mental health coverage! Which would've been great for me as a teenager...

I don't talk about this a lot because it never became a serious issue, but I've contemplated suicide numerous times. Mostly in my late teens/early 20s. I don't feel it's something that I need to willingly share for pity or attention, but it's something that I did suffer with. I was more scared of death than my need to want to die, so luckily I never followed through. But I've definitely had those "why am I still here?", "what's the point?", "I hate my life and it's never going to get better" moments. But believe me, it can. If you work at it, and you don't succumb, it can get better. But some people are not as self-aware...and to them, it may feel like the only option. That's when it's important to look out for the signs.



There are many resources found online that help you to see the warning signs. Also, many things can be easily spotted if you're paying attention.

Big life changes, loss of loved ones, loss of a job, a failed relationship--these are all potential triggers for someone already battling depression and anxiety. When someone you care about goes through a major life change, be sure to check in on them; let them know that you care and that you're there for them. 

There is also the National Suicide Hotline, which lends a listening ear to those who may not have a great support system and are having suicidal thoughts. You are anonymous and you can speak to someone who truly cares and volunteers their time to help you through whatever it is you may be going through.



One person is too many to lose due to such a preventable end. Don't be afraid to reach out to someone, be it you or them that need help. We need to end the stigma and we need to unite as a whole to help end suicide. We need to do better to expand our resources and our empathy for those who struggle differently than we do. We are all a product of our upbringing and our surroundings, our genetics and our personal morals. 

Be kind; everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about...


Monday, September 3, 2018

The Winds of Change Have Come and Gone

I think I wrote in previous entries that this past winter was a very hard one for my depression. I think I may have been the lowest that I'd ever been. Not to the point of suicide or anything, but I was very unhappy...very lonely...very sad. I had started discussing it with my therapist at the end of last year but things were not getting better. I felt secluded, far from the few friends I had, very much alone and stressed/depressed/lethargic; and the sadness was so overwhelming that I was too drained to put forth the effort to go do things. All I did was work, sit at home alone ( Nate works a lot ) and nap. Oh, and eat.

So at the end of April, right before my trip, I broke down. I stayed in bed for 2 days and just cried. I knew what I had to do. I didn't know if it was going to help or what, but I gave it until I came back to finalize my thoughts. And when I did, I knew I had to go.

Nate and I broke up in May. 

I haven't made it public ( well, until now ) I've told my close friends, and family knows because Carol let them know. I couldn't live in Dover anymore, among other personal stuff. Nate and I don't hate each other. We are still friends. I still care about him. But I needed to come back to Carlisle. I needed to be closer to people and be in an area where I have the ability to walk to the grocery store when it snows instead of being trapped behind 3.5' of snow for 2 days. It's not the friendliest town. I don't have many friends here anymore. But I needed familiarity. I needed a new start. I needed independence. I needed to start over.

And starting over sucks. It's scary and it's hard and it's expensive. But it needed to be done. Sure, things aren't better like the flip of a switch--there are things that I want to do and goals I want to achieve. And the first few months haven't been how I'd imagined them either. So I'm just taking one day at a time and trying to be as true to myself as I can be without hurting anyone along the way.

In any case, on a less serious note, I found a cute apartment in town that I absolutely adore. It's more money than I've ever spent on a place but luckily, I make more than I did 3 years ago when I was living here before. I'm not going to state where exactly I live ( of course ) but I'd love to show you around!

Let's start with the living room:

I spy a pug looking out the window

My Sofa's Unlimited couches!

The sliding doors that separate the rooms is one of my favorite accents

View from the bedroom looking out

Some old stuff and some new stuff to tie the living space up. The high ceilings and the deep-set windows are also a big reason why I fell in love with this apartment. Also, this little feature:


Although I don't have a coat closet, I do have a washer and dryer! So no laundry mat for me!

My bedroom is huge, with plenty of space for activities. I have been thinking about getting a treadmill or elliptical to put in the room eventually. I also created a Pug Wall, so that will be fun to build on to!

Just put new sheets on the bed!

Nice sized closet and lots of floor space; hate that I don't have central air, though

This area still needs a tad reorganized

The start of the Pug Wall


The kitchen is decent. I wish I had a little more counter space, but it does the job:

Old school stove

Miss having a dishwasher =(
And then there's the bathroom. Oddly enough, you have to walk down steps to get to it. Annnnd it's only accessed through the bedroom. Luckily since it's just me, it's not a big deal. 

Older sink--no counter space, but the medicine cabinet is luckily deep-set

View looking down from the steps; it has a decent sized tub, too

The tile is old but I tried to spruce up the space as best I could

So that is my humble abode. Sure, it's not where I expected to be at 31 years old. And sure, I wish I was a lot more "settled" in life than I am. But what I DO know is that I'm a strong woman--I'm independent and try to stay true to myself and others. I don't want to buy a house just for myself, nor do I want to invest time and money and emotions into things that I'm not 100% about. I'd rather take my time in life to try to get things as right for me as possible instead of making rash decisions I later regret. I'm doing okay and hope to only get better as time goes. I need to focus on myself and my needs/wants/hopes/dreams. No excuses. This is my safe-haven and if you need me, this is where you can find me 😘


 

Friday, August 31, 2018

Meet Miss Olivia!

I have a new addition to the Dunn clan.


Meet Miss Olivia Benson Dunn!

The picture I saw was posted on Rye's page
I was looking through Facebook one morning and saw that my vet clinic posted that they had found kittens. I was not seriously thinking about adopting another pet, especially a kitten ( I absolutely hate the rambunctious kitten stage! ) but when I saw her I immediately had to have her. I've always wanted an orange domestic long-haired female and she. is. beautiful. She and her 3 siblings were found dumped in the woods during the week-long rains about a month ago. Dr. Kirmayer's mother in law found them in a box and called him immediately. They dewormed them, fattened them up and tried to tame them as much as they could. I met Mandy and one of the rescue pups Penni at the clinic and met the kitten--and I went home with her not long after!



At first she was very skittish and hid mostly under my entertainment center. But since then, she's blossomed into a very curious and brave little kitten. I told Mallory I was thinking about getting her and that's when she suggested the name Olivia. I added Benson because I love Law & Order SVU ( and yes, I found out shortly after that Taylor Swift's cat has the same name--it was not done on purpose ) 


She's still unsure of Lola but we are getting there. Lola could care less about her, as she's a loner and isn't bothered by other animals. But I'm eager for the day that they are cuddling with each other on a regular basis =)


I can't wait to see the lovey little baby she becomes! *fingers crossed*



Thursday, August 30, 2018

Nifty Thrifty

It's been ages. A shit-ton of shit has gone on between Mexico and now. But I don't want to make that my first "blog back". So we are gonna talk about some awesomefuckingdeals I've gotten over the last few weeks!

I'm a big fan of thrifting. I like to frequent CommunityAid and online consignment-based apps like Poshmark or even eBay! Also, Facebook Marketplace has been an awesome place for scoring deals. I ended up getting a microwave and Keurig for $60 total from a guy in Mechanicsburg!

My first purchase from eBay in a long time was for MarioKart for the Wii. I still have my system and never got the game, and since the Nintendo WiiU and Nintendo Switch came out, I couldn't find any worthwhile Wii games at my local Gamestop. I scored the game ( which looked like it was NEVER played ) and a Wii wheel for $23.50...with $3.75 S&H. So for $26.25 I got all of this when the game itself probably would've sold used and in not-so-great condition from Gamestop for $25. Plus, I got another game for $5 in EUC ( aka. Excellent Used Condition ) from another eBay seller.

After that find, I decided to take a look at handbags on eBay and found out that Goodwill of Silicon Valley lets you have the ability to shop their high-end donations online! I bid on a gently used Kate Spade handbag and ended up winning it for $42 with $6 S&H! When I received it, the quality was even better than I expected--it looked like the bag had never been used!




Then yesterday I realized that it was the last day for me to use my $5 anniversary rewards with Kohls, so I got on the app and took a look around. I happened to have a 40% off purchase coupon in my Wallet! I found a super cute pair of slide-on booties for $20.99, but with the discounts came to the low price of $9.59! I paid almost as much just to ship the shit! But even with shipping it's less than $20 which is less than I would've paid for the shoes alone!




A little research and patience can go a long way. I got a really nice set of couches from Sofa's Unlimited for a grand total of $596...that's for a love seat and a sofa. I got 5 brand new couch pillows from someone I graduated HS with for $20 when I saw she had them on Facebook.  I asked online if anyone had an iPhone for sale because my battery was shot--got an offer to buy a red 7 Plus for the amount they'd get for trade-in ( the cheapest I'd score a phone like that ) I got some great steals shopping at Ross for household essentials, but that's always a given. But it's true that the best way to keep your money is to spend it wisely when you do. And to use your resources!

Where are some places where you've gotten good deals? What consignment stores/apps are your favorite? 

And as always: ya girl be ballin' on a budget 😉


Sunday, May 13, 2018

Viva La Mexico

We got back on Friday but I've had a rough weekend emotionally since then. But since I'm feeling a wee bit OK today I thought I'd blog about my trip.


We flew Delta on the way in and I was impressed by the airline. We had individual televisions so I watched Ingrid Goes West on our way. Very odd movie--not what I was expecting. I was a tad anxious but it was a fairly smooth trip. No turbulence and the landing was nice. On our way back, we flew Spirit. It was not as good of a flight. Of course, it's cheaper to fly that airline ( but in all honesty, I think we paid just as much to fly Delta there ) but checked baggage was fucking $50 and the seats were shit. We had a rocky ride home and it was delayed by, like, 30 minutes. We finally got to my house around 9-9:30 PM.

View from our window

Our room

Anyways. Since Mexico is an hour behind us, we got to our room around 2:30 PM their time and immediately put on our suits and went down to check out the pools/water. I'm a travel virgin, so seeing the clear Caribbean waters took my breath away! It's like a saltwater bathtub of gorgeousness. We snapped a few photos and then went upstairs to lounge around a bit before dinner. We just decided to go to Coba, the buffet, on the first night. 

Beautiful

Dippin' my toes in the Caribbean

Day 2 we mostly spent poolside. We saw some dude trying to finger his woman's asshole in the pool ( I didn't see it personally, but I saw the aftermath ) We also met a girl who was alone because her friend wasn't coming in until later that day, so we invited her to hang with us until she arrived. Unfortunately, we think that she and her friend later stole from us so...not cool. I'm out a Lularoe Lindsay I was using as a coverup and Mal is out a pair of Tommy Hilfiger sandals. C'est la vie. We ended up trying out Hippy Chic and Moonlight that day ( meaning we had 2 lunches so, that evening I didn't feel very well ) Hippy Chic was more American food like hamburgers and chicken nuggets, while Moonlight was Italian. I had the best Hawaiian flatbread pizza there O.M.G. 

That pizza was to die for!

Poolside

Day 3 is the day I'm pretty sure we both got pretty hammered. Haha. Todas las cervasas!! We met a very nice couple from Canada with whom we spent a good part of the day talking to in the pool. I participated in the toplessness of the resort on this day and we had a grand ole time. I think we went to lay down around 5 PM that day "before dinner" and ended up both passing out until almost midnight! We both woke up still drunk, and since we missed dinner we ended up ordering room service. I had an awesome spaghetti carbonara...then we both crashed again. Then around 3 AM we heard commotion outside of our door. We still don't know what happened...if someone was drunk and disorderly, they were foreign and we just couldn't make it out, someone fell...but Mal checked through the peephole to see a guy being escorted by security!

Before dinner

Selfie in my new romper get-up

Day 4 we, again, hung by the pool. We ended up going to Moonlight for dinner and then went to Kinky Nightclub to see what that was all about. Well, they ended up having karaoke that night and oh Lord was that fun. I did not participate because I was just a little too drunk to sing in front of a bunch of strangers, but this one chick completely KILLED IT with "Ice Ice Baby" and then this little Asian girl went HAM on "Hit Me Baby One More Time..." We stayed for a while but, since we are old, probably dipped around midnight.

Day 5 was normal routine, then we ended up checking out The Box for dinner. It is gastropub style and the food was AMAZING! Mallory said it was probably one of the best meals she's ever had. I was very impressed by it. It's a small restaurant with 4 courses so it was first-come-first-serve, but we got there early enough that we had no issues.

Shrimp with blackened tempura was dinner at The Box

And then Day 6, our last full day there, we kinda both just took time for ourselves. I read in a cabana by the Hidden Pool for a majority of the afternoon. I ended up not using as much sunscreen the last day which was a poor idea. My tattoos now have sun poisoning and I'm trying my hardest not to scratch them. Anyway, I stopped for sushi for lunch and then met up with Mallory. We swam a little bit, then headed back to the room to relax until our dinner reservation. We finished our trip eating at the Japanese fusion place Sakura Sunset. The food was yummy and the atmosphere was marvelous. 

The Hidden Pool

Lunch at Sushi Bar

After dinner shot post Sakura Sunset ( our last night )

We left the hotel on Friday around 11-11:30 and got back to my place around 9:30 so...it was a long fucking day. 

Then this weekend...hasn't been the greatest. Unfortunately, even when on vacation, your problems don't disappear. And depression never takes a vacation so...yeah...

I had a wonderful time at the resort and a great time with Mallory. It was relaxing and chill and, since we aren't in our early 20s anymore, we didn't feel the need to run around like crazy doing things. And with work being crazy and full of unnecessary drama and dealing with horrible depression/my racing mind this winter, I definitely needed a break.

But now it's back to life...the reality that is. There's some things that need changed; I need to get back to the gym, I need to stop eating so much crap, I need to get a better handle on my mental health. And I need a better sleeping pattern because mine is totally off! Haha. 

Luckily, I took tomorrow off. But when Tuesday comes, it's back to the grind...

Friday, May 4, 2018

Daaaaay Onnnne

It's a dreary day in Central PA buuuuut my vacation officially starts today!

I will be spending 7 days and 6 nights in Riviera Maya starting in just over 24 hours!

My New Years resolution for 2017 was to spend less money on objects and more money on experiences. Unfortunately though, Haley got sick and after spending thousands of dollars in vet bills, I did neither. So I made it my goal to save the money up to go on my first ever "out-of-the-country vacation" before the next inevitable disaster arose. After talking to Mallory and searching Groupon, we decided on an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

Funny story: when Mallory booked the resort, it was listed as "adults-only, all-inclusive resort". After further investigation ( details about the resort itself via their website--which I'll link to this post ) is actually a couples resort! HAHAHAHA! But after reading reviews on Trip Advisor, it seems that many non-couple groups have gone to this location--I'm assuming because of the same type of Groupon deal. 

We will be staying at the Grand Oasis Sens ( I now realize the Sens must be short for "Sensual" given the context ) We have a direct flight of about 3.5 hours straight to the Cancun airport, and our hotel is a 15 minute drive from there. We leave tomorrow at 10:15 AM!

As I type this, Mallory is on the PA Turnpike headed toward me. I'm currently in my bed, in pajamas, snuggling my puggle. Although I would've liked to sleep in a bit longer today, I'm enjoying just relaxing and thinking about the upcoming week.

We haven't really decided on doing any excursions due to, I guess, a bunch of people being kidnapped and killed by the Cartel down there...and, you know, my anxiety. LOL. I would've liked to gone snorkeling in Cozumel but apparently a few months ago a ferry blew up on its way there. But then again, we all gotta die someday! So we shall see what the week has in store, prices and what sounds good.

For the most part, I'm pretty much packed. I need to get a magazine and we are getting mini bottles and snacks. Our plan for today is a trip to Carlisle and getting lunch, along with Sweet Frog ( for her ) and Rita's ( for me ) Then we have mani/pedi appointments at 3 PM because my nails are so grown out and my toes/feet are grosssssss. And Mallory thought it wise to just stay in Baltimore overnight so we don't have to drive to the airport early tomorrow morning. So that should mean discounted daily parking rates, too. So I assume we will head that way shortly after our appointment.

Then one sleep and it's off to Mexico!

I'm very nervous but also super excited. I don't think it will be real to me until I'm on the plane.  

What are the essentials YOU pack for a vacation? Maybe it's something I missed. I gotta double check and make sure I don't forget anything muy importante!

And if you'd like to see pictures of my trip, you can find me on Instagram. My name is crazy_puglady.

Adios perras! 

 

Monday, April 23, 2018

My Last 2 Boxes

I didn't renew my Birchbox nor did I decide on a new subscription. I got my last two boxes in February and March, and ( as you can see ) I haven't made much progress with reviews. 

So let's get on with it, shall we?


February

ARROW BOOST Color Enhancing Lip Balm
So, I tried this on. I saw it on the Birchbox ads and yadda-yadda-yadda. To me, it reminds me of "mood lipstick". It also reminds me of kid-makeup. Why? Because the pink is farrrrrr too pink for my liking and I don't think it's flattering whatsoever. Also, when I applied it, I got pink *around* my lips, also. Since it's more of a balm, it doesn't really stay put. It made me think of when I eat a red or pink Popsicle and make a mess of my face with it. 

Number 4 Super Comb Prep and Protect
Smells great. Gets out the tangles.  Nuff said.

CLEAN Reserve Amber Saffron
This scent is light and floral and I really really liked it. 

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-in-One Lactic Acid Treatment
I've used it once or twice. It smells kinda bad ( due to the lactic acid, of course ) but I got no rash or discoloration. Always a plus in my book.

The Beauty Crop Wing Woman Liquid Eyeliner
The pen is just that--a pen. It's pretty hard at the tip and it feels like I'm using a marker to put on eyeliner. BUT--the precision because of that is great. And it goes on fairly dark, so you don't need to run it over your lid 582 times to get it all filled in. I like this eyeliner. Just be careful as to not take your eye out, LOL!


March ( and my FINAL! )

M.A.C Cleanse Off Oil
The first time I used this, I used it on a makeup removal round to remove my eye makeup. Apparently I was a little too aggressive because when I was done, my vision was blurry and I had raccoon eyes. I'm not good with remover oils soooo that's probably one reason. Also, I didn't read this until now but I guess you're to rinse so maybe THAT'S why ( hahahahaha! )

Supergoop! Daily Correct CC Cream
I really like this product and I've been using it quite frequently. My chin is a disaster lately and this CC cream is uber helpful in helping me try to conceal the monster. I use this all over my face, a concealer stick on the site and then a pressed setting powder. Viola! Slap on some mascara and a bitch ready for the day!

amika Brooklyn Bombshell Spray
As I've said before, I love me some bombshell spray. I only tend to use it if I am going to blowdry my hair, but sometimes I'll use it on my part to keep the flyaways down ( there are a lot more of them as I get older... )

ModelCo Luxecreme Long Wear Lipstick in Sienna
Love the color. Love the matte finish. DON'T like that it says "long wear" and I felt like it wiped away faaaaairly quickly. Anytime I get a new lip color I wear it to work and ask Jim what he thinks. This lasted on my lips maybeeee 3 hours. By lunchtime, it was pretty much gone.

Smashbox Cosmetics Insta-Matte Lipstick Transformer
I haven't this, honestly, because all the lipcolors I have currently...are already matte. But it states to avoid use on glosses, laquers and balms. So you are only to really use this product over a cream-based lipcolor.

Well that's all folks! I guess I'm going to have to start coming up with better topics to write about since I won't be receiving any box subscriptions anytime soon. Work's been crazy, Mexico is coming up, life as a whole is in a whirlwind, my anxiety has been on overdrive and my sister is expecting baby #2 in July...so maybe I will delve into all of that stuff.

I guess just hang tight and we will see where we go from here.