30 day May challenge

I decided mid last month, while feeling my energy levels finally start to rise, and a new sense of motivation emerge from within, something that’s been lacking for quite some time now, I’ve been in a semi dorment state the last few months, semi lol.. I decided I was going to do a 30 day challenge in May!

The challenge consists of:

1. Wake up at 7am. (I used to wake up at 6 when I commuted downtown but since wfh life happened, it’s usually been 830/9 and roll out of bed straight to work)

2. Workout/yoga everyday of the work week. Weekends are for relaxing.

– Monday – Shoulders/arms/back

– Tuesday – Yoga/stretching

– Wednesday – Abs/core

– Thursday – Yoga/stretch

– Friday – Legs

3. Take a walk outside to my neighborhood park.

4. While there – journal and read. Write down my affirmations, as well as notes about the previous day like a log. Read – currently reading “You are the Universe” – by Deepak Chopra. Highly recommend!

5. Make sure I’m getting my daily water intake – 2 900ml bottle fulls, minimum. As well as daily vitamins/immune support!

6. After work, depending on how long my day goes, use night time for outlying projects I have in the works.

Current outlying projects (I like to start things and not finish them 🤦‍♀️)

1. Lion/sheep painting.

2. Family eye portrait.

3. Alphabet series.

Day 1!

Yesterday was the first day, it went well! Today did as well! I’ll post about today, tomorrow! This really isn’t about losing weight or become super muscular or an Instagram model or something, it’s really just about health and taking care of my body like I should. I’ve always had a decent health routine going but I’m never consistent and I always find myself coming up with all the excuses to just retract back to my bed and watch tv. I won’t be upset about any added benefits I see on my body from this challenge though! Haha

The base of where my body is starting this journey.

I watched a motivational video recently that talked about using the “count to 5” method to get yourself to do the things that are hard to do. Essentially when you wake up, or have to do something, you count 1.. 2.. 3.. 4.. 5.. and then get up and do it. No waiting around, because if you let yourself wait, your brain will come up with a thousand and one excuses as to why you shouldn’t do what you need to do.

This is the plan! This is another form of accountability for me! Follow along, join in with your own version of the May challenge or follow mine, let’s get shit done this month!!

P.S. Avocado and gardening updates coming later this week!

Welcome to another day of gardening!

I talked last time about how my mom inspired me to turn the back corner of my backyard into something beautiful, well yesterday I finally had some time to work on this!

I work on the computer all day, and then stare at my phone the rest of the time. Don’t judge, we all do it! Being able to go outside and look at dirt and nature, is actually quite therapeutic for me.

I spent 3 hrs on this yesterday, well into the loss of light, but I made a nice few minute video to show you the condensed version below!

First, I shoveled all of the dirt in that area, removing weeds, and other roots that would normally take up that space. I left some of them, after disrupting their roots, as a fertilizer for the new plants that will live there. There’s a ton of rocks all throughout that space, so it took me a while, but who knew digging dirt could be fun?! There’s something pleasing about a shovel going through hardened soil, breaking it up and showing the life underneath.

I then proceeded to mix the soil, more of that in the video, and then spread it over the old soil, to mix. I also put some food from my compost bucket in the back corner as extra feed for the soil. In case you don’t know, a compost bucket it just a bucket full of food scraps. Things like egg shells, raw vegetable scraps, fruit scraps, and just about anything living and natural that you didn’t end up consuming. A great way to reuse and recycle things that would normally go into the trash and go to waste!

Once my soil was prepared, I proceeded to make rows, about 30 or so of them.. it’s a large area, and then plant various flowers and some veggies to help them grow as well. My mom told me that planting dill around the edge of flowers beds helps with getting good insects and avoiding bad ones, so I made sure to spread some of those around the rim as well.

I honestly don’t know what all I planted haha my mom gave me this big bag of various dried flowers and other seeds, so I kind of just took from there and went at it. I’m excited to see how it will all turn out!

Now, I’ll proceed with watering the area once a week, and I’m keeping it covered for now with a piece of thin plastic, with holes, so that my dogs, or birds, can’t dig them up.

Once they’re a little more grown through, I can leave them open and allow them to flourish. For now though, the plastic keeps them protected, while still allowing them to get the sun they need!

Video below of yesterday’s work! I tried VO for the first time 😬 let me know how that is haha

Thank you for watching, and follow along to see how this all turns out! If it’s a big failure then you’ll at least be here for the journey! ☺️

Prepping my botanic gardens!

Influence to motivation!

My parents were in town this week, and I hands down, get all my gardening inspiration, tips and guidance from my mom. I read on my own, for sure, but she’s my main mentor. Usually these tips and tricks happen over the phone, as we’re states away, but this time I was able to see her work her magic in person. A complete different experience!

We decided to plant some various flowers, mint and flowers that attract monarch butterflies by my back wall. She’s so speedy! When I was doing everything myself it was such a struggle! But I made a big mistake then, I waited way too long to start prepping the soil and getting the weeds out. By then, the weed roots were huge and so hard to get out of the soil. For some reason I chose to do everything with hand tools too. I mean, jeez, way to make things harder for myself. A shovel! Why didn’t I think of a shovel?!

My mom showed me how quickly you can rip out weeds, while they’re still young, shovel up and flip the top few inches of soil, add manure, and some natural compost as fertilizer for the soil, and then get ready to plant whatever you want!

Every time she sees a worm, she gets excited because that means the soil is good and nutritious. 🙂

Watching how excited and simple she made it, and fun, I decided to take on another part of my backyard. I know what it grows into in the summer, and it’s weed central. It’s nice and green, but I rather experience my own botanic gardens for a summer!

I won’t have the energy and time to do it forever, and who knows when my back will give out, so while I can, I might as well use my body and make something awesome!

I’ve started digging up the soil and getting all of the weeds out. Then I heard today it was going to snow, go figure! So I’m waiting a little and then I’ll start nourishing and updating the soil to get it ready for flowers!

It’s so nice to have a hobby that’s outside, away from the screens I look at all day long.

In veggie garden news, I have emptied them out and I’m waiting on a charger for a drill so that I can make drainage holes at the bottom! More to come on that once I’ve got the equipment.

Thanks for following along! 🙂

Avocado babe

Last year, I decided to take an avocado seed from an avocado I ate, and plant it. I looked online for the best way to do this and ended up going with this method:

1. Put a toothpick in four corners of the avocado horizontally around the perimeter. I did not have toothpicks at the time so I used plastic flossers. Yes, those disposable sticks they make for flossing. It was harder to get them to stick through the seed, but eventually it worked.

2. Prop the toothpick avocado float on top of a mason jar. I used a pasta jar.

3. Keep the water up to the bottom of the avocado seed, but try not to get water on top.

4. Wait!

This was a year ago. I set everything up and waited and waited and waited. At first, it seemed like nothing was happening, and I figured I got tricked. Then, after a few weeks, the seed started to crack. Then, all of a sudden, a little root emerged. It stayed small and within the seed, as the seed continued to crack more and more. It cracked so much that I thought it was literally going to break in half! You could see the whole inside, it was like two huge walls only held together by a little ball in the middle.

I kept watering, and watched as the outside of the avocado started to mold over a little, because of the water. I figured this surely meant it was done for, but I kept it on the windowsill and kept watering it, just in case I was wrong.

Then, all of a sudden, the root started to grow. 6 months in and the root was actually starting to look like something! As months went by, the root kept getting longer, and thicker, and started to wind around the jar like a big fat tentacle.

What an interesting plant! How cool too, that you can watch the root growth!

Now, we come to the present. On Friday, last week, after sitting dormant with this huge root, and nothing happening on top… a little sprout starter to emerge from the seed! Eureka! It was not all for nothing! Now this sprout is pushing higher and higher everyday! It’s been about 5 days and it’s grown what looks like an inch every day! I feel like a proud plant parent right now:)

All this without any weird chemicals or fertilizers, literally just sunshine, water and oxygen. What a miraculous wonder!

Picture of the avocado baby below! Took a whole year, but she’s finally ready to transform and enter the world once again! All this from a simple decision to plant the seed, of my eaten avocado, instead of throwing it out. 🙂

Health story!

I had this fun little random health adventure happen at the end of March which led me to the ER and on a wild doctor goose chase to find out what was actually wrong with me! Video below if you’d like to hear the story! I apologize for any cursing in advance!

Since that wonderful adventure, enough time has passed for me to start getting bills. I was only at the ER for 4 hours, and all that was done was pain management, a scan, and some tests were sent out. I am then shocked when I receive this baby in the mail..

….that is the price of a used car.

It made me think about all the people currently getting the different v, and then experiencing adverse effects. I mean there’s a whole database on the cdc that lists people with adverse effects. Mind you, only a small percentage of people report anything. So then, what bills are those people getting?! If a kidney stone, pain management Er visit, ends up costing 11k, how much does fixing blood clots cost? Or neurological shaking? Weeks in the hospital?

Then I started thinking about how the manufacturers have all relinquished anyone’s suing abilities in case anything goes wrong. Which means the people who are struggling are now responsible for all of those debts. I mean my goodness, that is a scary thought.

If you have a job, and benefits, then you’re ok, but what about everyone without a job? Or self employed? I freelanced for a year and I remember what insurance prices are like as someone who is self employed. Even the cheapest option was at the lowest $350 a month. I mean you are just forced into lifetime bill payout. That’s crazy.

Don’t come after me in the comments for the above. It’s just a curious thought. If a person passes too, do those bills then transfer to their spouse or next of kin? I don’t know but either option doesn’t sound too promising or helpful to a family experiencing a loss. It all seems semi backwards, really.

Mind you, this is only the first bill. Also, the shoulder surgery I had a few years ago was 15k. How this, compares to that, I don’t even understand. How this is close to that in price? Makes even less sense.

This whole experience just once again reiterates why I’m growing my own veggie garden. Why I am turning to natural medicines, plants medicines, and ways to feed the body, mind and soul so that each part feels it’s best and is functioning it’s best.

Remedies, and medication are not supposed to give you more side effects, sometimes worse than what you’re trying to cure. Medicine is supposed to work with your body, enhance it and allow it to do its job without any blockage. Our bodies have everything necessary to properly function, heal, change, and adapt. You just have to be aware what works for your specific cocktail, and listen when you’re body tells you what it does and doesn’t like.

I plan on continuing to post about the garden, but also mind, body, soul info and thoughts. Everything is connected. I’ve been posting on my Instagram, but it always ends up cutting me off mid thought. This longer form ability to write has been really nice.

Thank you for being here, thank you for reading 🙂

Tomato update and replanting!

The tomatoes have started sprouting like crazy! So quick too, even after just three days there were already about three sprouts peeking through, now there’s around 10! I don’t even think I have room for all of them, but it sure is exciting!

So many tomato babies poking through!

Since the last videos, I have planted peppers and cucumbers, in the same process as the tomato germination. I’ve had some life events take all my time this week but I’ll be back soon with the first steps of the transformation of the hay tubs or the main two veggie gardens.

In the meantime, enjoy a simple video of me replanting the mint my mom gave me! Replanting was always daunting to me, either I would lose all the roots during the transfer, or overwater, or choose too big of a pot, etc., not many made it. But I feel like I have finally figured out the steps!

I think the main thing is to keep some moisture in the soil of the plant you are going to move, so that the soil doesn’t separate and crumble while free without a container. Also, it’s important not to overfill the second pot, because if you do, then you end up really pushing the plant and existing soil into the second pot, and it usually ruins some roots.

Only packing down the soil slightly is important, as well as keeping the environmental conditions similar to before. That way there’s less of a shock and adaptation for them.

Let me know if you have any other helpful tips on replanting I may not be aware of!

Thanks for watching!

First step, Tomato prep!

Welcome back to the gardening journey! The first step is to prepare a separate bucket to be used for tomatoes, seeing as those need to be germinating, like yesterday!

I’m using a bucket I used last year, but it didn’t really work well because I didn’t do much for draining. This year, I’m going to fix my mistakes and make it right! In the video below, you’ll see the steps needed to take any soft plastic bucket and turn it into a wonderful pot for large vegetables. From the holes at the bottom, to the different soil and drainage levels and possibilities.

One thing I forgot to add to my soil mix in the video, was PERLITE. I went back and fixed it after the fact, but definitely a needed step. Perlite helps your soil drain and not get all mucky and fungus-ey from sitting water.

Let me know any questions you may have, happy to help! Or any tips or fixes you may know, that I don’t. Always happy to learn and improve, along with you!

Starting the tomato process!

Recap of video if you prefer to read!

1. Get a soft plastic bucket of some kind, they sell them at Walmart super cheap.

2. Use either a drill, or a butane torch and a screw driver to make holes at the bottom for drainage. honestly I was able to just use the screwdriver without heating it up even. It went through the plastic no problem.

3. Cover the bottom few inches, in my case it was about 4, with either dry leaves, rocks, or even styrofoam to allow water to drain out of your soil and through the holes. It will also add more oxygen underneath your soil which will help nourish it as well.

4. For the soil, use a 1:3 ratio of manure to top soil. The one thing I forgot to add in the video was perlite. Definitely add that as well. You don’t need too much of it, but it should be dispersed throughout your soil mixture. Then add this on top of your drainage layer, all mixed up together (the topsoil, manure, and perlite)

5. Water your soil, and let it sit till the germinated plants are reading to be replanted in a larger container.

And that’s it! In the next post I’ll show you how I terminated my tomatoes! Let me know if you have any questions or comments! Thank you for being here and joining me on this journey 🙂

Starting my own veggie garden in the backyard!

I’ve been having some weird health things happen recently and it’s made me much more aware of what I’m putting into my body! Weirdly enough, you’d be surprised how many foods contain gmo ingredients, or chemicals, or other weird ingredients that can set your body out of balance without you even knowing!

Knowing this, I decided it’s the perfect time to start my own vegetable garden at home! That way I can go and get my own veggies, free from weird additives and chemicals. I want to share the knowledge I learn through this process, and from my wonderful mom who has the magic of a green thumb!! I’ve been asking her questions throughout and learning a ton, so I figured why not share this information and maybe it can help one of you start the journey as well!

Right now is the perfect time to start gardening, especially if you live in the Midwest, because the frosty temperature are just about gone, and certain veggies, like tomatoes, need longer to germinate and therefore need to be started sooner.

My individual situation is a bit different because I have 4 dogs, so instead of planting things in the ground and watching them trample over everything, I’ll be using two horse hay containers and prepping them for raised garden beds. There’s a ton of room in each of them so I think I can really make this pretty awesome. I’ll be turning them into diy greenhouses, mainly for protection of the plants, and to assist them in their growth.

I’m taking videos of each part of the process, first one below! Explaining my plan and showing you where everything will be. Let me know of any questions, or tips you may have to make this the most spectacular garden!

Post Traveling Thoughts

I’ve been traveling for the last 11 days. I went from Chicago to camping in the Rocky Mountains, to spending a day wandering through Denver. I flew from Denver to Portland, saw the city, the nature and the culture there. Then last but not least, I took a four hour train ride to Seattle and spent a few hours there exploring the city, before flying back to Chicago.

The trip was eye opening in many ways and I’m glad I was able to make it happen.

Rocky Mountains National Park

There’s three main things that I think I got from it all.

The first thing is that it’s very interesting traveling on your own. I seem to have this personality, and I’ve always had this ability but never noticed much about it, I can essentially start a conversation with just about anyone. I ended up meeting 3 different people all from very different walks of life while waiting for my plane, sitting on the train and sitting on a plane. Each one of them was very different. Two of them were immigrants, either first or second generation. Each of them spoke perfect English and had lived in America most of their lives.

It was really interesting getting to know their unique stories and histories and it made me realize how much we, immigrants, from all over the world, are really the back bone of this country. America is a land of immigrants and we all work very hard to get by and make this country what we all sought to get out of it when we moved here. It’s crazy to me that all of our differences are now getting painted out to be our faults.

I’ve lived in Chicago most of my life, or the suburbs, whatever. Regardless, in Chicago, you can literally try just about any type of food, go and listen to just about any type of music, see any type of dance. It’s a city of culture and a true mixture of everyone’s backgrounds blended together. That’s what makes it so beautiful! We’re so used to it that it’s just a normal part of living here! This should be celebrated!

I found out while traveling that Portland for example, while screaming about diversity and inclusivity, is actually a pretty white community. There isn’t much diversity and it’s gotten to the point that everyone is screaming about it so much, that it’s become a joke. Lots of people joked about this on multiple occasions! Diversity isn’t as ingrained in the actual culture there as much as it is in Chicago, people just mainly use it as a point of judgement or calling people out. So strange.

I really do believe that we are all different for a reason and that’s what makes our world beautiful. If we were all the same, we’d be boring robots, and what kind of a world is that?! We might as well be taken over by programmed AI at that point!!

Oregon Coast

This all leads into the other thing I learned while traveling. That is that we all choose very different paths for our lives. I feel like we know this, and obviously see this on social media and such, but we never really experience what that means.

For example, both my sister and many of her friends are studying and working in the psychological field. Their days consist of hearing people’s struggles, their troubles, traumas, anger, frustrations etc. All of this is very heavy information to have to process everyday, to separate yourself from and still try to live your life, not influenced by them. Yet, they love it! They’ve devoted more than a decade of their lives just to studying all of this!

I met a man that works in the educational field as part of the administration. His days are filled with traveling from Oregon to Washington and else where, for meetings, for presentations. He spends his time writing out memos and financial documents, plans on improving the educational system.

I met a girl who’s in school to become a lawyer and yet works as a cam girl right now to pay for it all. I also met a man who’s a lawyer, who struggles with his sight and yet is on a computer or phone all day, figuring out legal issues for a electric company.

I’m over here filling my life with art and animation. Spending my days on the computer or in the studios working on adding beauty and telling compelling and enticing stories to the masses.

At first, after hearing some of these other jobs I felt like my job just sounded like a cop out. “I make art!” Haha and yet each job is important. Each persons path is just as much an important string in our societies tapestry. Without art, the universal, emotional language of the world, we wouldn’t be able to connect as well, across countries, cultures and languages. We wouldn’t have something to ease our emotions or make us feel something.

There always has to be a balance between good and bad. There always has to be something you can fall back on and just enjoy. Just purely enjoy. Or cry at. Whatever it is. Art connects the world and while it seemed to me at first like not as important, I take that back. I think it’s a fundamental piece of our well-being. I mean we spend hours as a society just looking at pictures and listening to music.

Art throughout Portland

The third thing traveling made me realize is how awesome my home actually is. I think that when we spend so much time sitting on social media and scrolling through people living in Ibiza, people going clubbing every night and living this extravagant lifestyle, all these very curated photos, articles and thoughts, it makes us feel like our life is shitty. We forget to appreciate what we have. We lose sight of the people around us that feel like home. That we don’t get tired of and can just be with, without expectations or judgement. There’s something so pure in that. Also, this whole mountain craze makes anyone who doesn’t live in the mountains feel like they’re doing something wrong and need to move as soon as possible!

Well guess what? I went to the mountains, to different places in the mountains! Yes, it was beautiful, but in Colorado for example, the dryness KILLED ME. I had intense headaches, couldn’t breath and the dryness was just making my entire experience miserable. The mountains in Oregon, while also beautiful, are just cool scenery. Everyone climbs there, and that’s cool, but I’m not a climber. Nor am I a snowboarder.

Rocky Mountain Views

I feel like we’re conditioned through social media to think yes, this is what I want and need because look at all these happy people with their pretty photos! We don’t really stop to think, “but will this be right for me?”

I realized I prefer my scenery, where I moved. Lots of water and greenery and forests around and yet just a bit of a commute away, a flourishing and culturally rich city. A city full of diversity, hard working humans, art, culture and beauty. Just about anything I want to see or experience, I can do here. Most of all, all the people I love and care about are here! Yes it gets cold, but in Portland it is gloomy and rains A TON, in Colorado it gets crazy hot and is super dry! No place is going to be perfect, but this one feels like home.

I think traveling is meant for giving you perspective and also a change of routine that allows you to value your normal life and your normal routine. Next time you’re scrolling through social media, don’t forget to think about the possible negative parts of things that people don’t show you on there and really count the things you are thankful and grateful for. There’s so much there ❤️

Our home