Welcome to the Story of a Millennial

Let me introduce myself to the world of the internet: My name is Ri. I’m a mid twenty-something with a dream of getting out of my retail work, and into something different down the road. I have a dreamer’s mentality, while in the midst of working in a small town USA store.

I love all things animals, and have an infinity for the canine family and owls. Cooking is a half hobby, and photography is another work in progress for me. I adore all things planning and organizing, so if you’re in need of any of those things, or to learn about them, you’ve come to the right place.

This blog is my writing outlet, as I want to share life through my own lens, as a rural girl who is interested in just as many things as a dog’s nose is.

Feel free to go follow my social media sites. I post plenty of pictures on Insta and Facebook, and Tweet sporadically.

Book Reads of 2019: Quarter 2

To continue on from last quarter’s round up of what I’ve been reading (instead of individual book reviews, or monthly book reviews/lists, outside of series), here’s my list! I’ll link all reviews of series I’ve read, and any other reviews of books, if I’ve done such things (yes, I type this up as I read each book).

I hope my lists of books help inspire your reads, either by you literally reading some of what I’ve read, or searching the books, and finding suggested reads, from my reads!

Here’s my formal list for April-June:

Never Split the Difference
Red Queen
The Gods of Guilt
The Beautiful Brain
The Alice Network
Harry Potter Series (Books 1-7, if we’re counting)
Quititch Through the Ages
Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts: the Crimes of Grindlewald
More Bedtime Stories for Cynics
The Mystery of Alice
I’m fine, and Neither are You
The Darkwater Bride
Elisabeth II: Life of a Monarch
The Dead Drink First
Even Tree Nymphs Get the Blues
The Great Gatsby
A Proper Pursuit
Anxious, Depressed, and Joyful

If we’re counting, I’m up to 51 books so far. 51 FREAKING BOOKS! I am so stoked, proud, and half shocked of myself! So many books, adventures, and inspiration. I didn’t initially make even 50 books this year a goal, let alone with the rate I’m going, close to 100 (maybe even more, assuming I make a dent in my physical library/kindle non-audio library).

I announced on my Facebook page (go and like it, if you haven’t already!) my Quarter 3 book series, and the fact that I’m already making a dent in it! I already have my 4th quarter series picked out (got it as a bundle!). Is there any recommendations from you? Let me know in the comments!

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Book Series Review: Harry Potter

Let’s be honest: this is one of 2 DEFINING book series of my childhood for me, in terms of length, and more of the “advanced reads” for us 2nd-5th graders. The other series in my mind? Limony Snicket’s Series of Unfortunate Events, of course!

I’m all of a sudden thinking that this should be my next book series. I accidentally did a book series in both the first and second quarter of this year, so why not make it a whole 2019 vibe?

I’ve changed a handful of my minor goals already, due to my recent move, so why not add some flare to my reading?

I’m on a 25-30 book a quarter reading thing, I’ve noticed, through my own 2 book allowance from my Audible subscription, plus the originals that I get as well, plus the audio book versions of ebooks available on Kindle Unlimited. I do also use the 30% off that I get from having an Audiable subscription, or if it’s cheaper, buying credits at sets of 3.

With my job, and wanting to get away from podcasts (I still get into my odd topic ones, about once a month), and as much as I love music, I have truly fallen for audio books! I work graveyard shift, and retail no less.

Policy wise, we’re not supposed to have anything audio on, either through headphones, or phone speaker, to help customers, but I have yet to have a complaint from a customer. They’re usually very sympathetic, and ask if I’m listening to a podcast or book, since it’s clearly not music.

Anyway, to this *everyone who is 20-35 has already reviewed this series* book review, let’s get on it.


So if you’re heavily prejudiced or totally under a rock on this series, it’s deep, but not that deep. There’s things that every person can take lessons from, just like any other book, fiction or non-fiction.

It’s not a demonic series, it really is a classic struggling main character, fighting evil, while learning about himself, and going through the typical middle school to high school level issues, like the school dance, sports, and education. So for those who want to hop on that battle, read on for my review, and if I don’t convince you, just read the series or watch the movie adaptation. I promise you won’t be converted to World-ism (Satanism isn’t what you think it is either…I’ve gone down that rabbit hole. Is anyone interested in that? Let me know!)


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

This is the book that started it all. The book where you learn some of Harry’s past, and learn to hate the Dursley’s and Voldemort.

Harry, of course, finds out that he’s a wizard. He doesn’t look anything like his aunt, uncle, and cousin, as they don’t care for him, and the cousin is already half a bully already, at 12. I say half, because the kid gets worse with his chubby a** entitlement from here on out.

Harry of course enjoys the firsts of going to Hogwarts, from going to get his things in Diagon Alley, to figuring out how to get on platform 9 3/4, to meeting Ron and Hermione (who will become his closest friends, and Ron’s family will basically adopt him as their own son….like they don’t have enough kids of their own!), as well as Draco Malfoy and his clan of idiots.

During his first year at Hogwarts, Harry, and his newly-found friends discover the stone in the school. What the stone is called, is different if you have the British version or the American version of the book, but it’s the same darn thing. The stone is meant for eternal life, and is what Lord Voldemort was spoiler alert originally after, in his quest of power.


Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

This is where we see some development of Ginny Weasley and Harry’s relationship. It’ll take until the end of the series to actually see them properly pan out, and it’s the most frustrating thing.

We learn how to play human wizard chess, and that a diary is more than just a diary. Never trust a diary that will write back to you!

Personally, this is the most forgettable/toss away book of the series. It’s important to the series, for hind sight, and understanding the horcruxes that need killed, to conquer Lord Voldemort, but to me, it’s just a “meh” feeling book, more so as a filler book, to bridge some gaps.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

This is the book where things get interesting, for the series. We meet Sirius Black, Harry’s God-father. Harry leaves Pivot Drive, and essentially this starts the “I’m pretty much a Weasly, as far as Mrs Weasley is concerned”, but he’s not a flaming ginger (#gingerpride here…love me some Mrs Weasley!).

Yes, this is the part where the notorious car-in-tree scene happens. Can’t forget that! Foreshadowing here, but it plays nothing to the war at Hogwarts in Deathly Hallows, but it does make for a comical Ron-like luck scene. We’re bot all made out of luck, ya know!

Still would love to see a full blown fight between Hermione and Draco, and would love to also see Hagrid pull some stunts, but the story wouldn’t pan out like it had, if my dreams came true.

Your heart really starts to feel, if it hasn’t already, in this book. If you don’t start to feel, WHAT KIND OF MONSTER ARE YOU?! (kidding….but am I?!)


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Spoiler: People die here.

This is the book where Quidditch happens but doesn’t happen.

Harry gets to attend the world Quiddtich cup (like a soccer cup or Olympics to us muggles) with the Weasley’s. The dark mark comes out to play after the game, which causes a mild headache for Harry, as he had dropped his wand, and his wand’s last spell was the same curse that casted the dark mark into the sky.

The minister of magic’s elf gets let go because of this stuff. She lands up working alongside Dobby in Hogwarts, but is ashamed by not being assigned to her family, as her mom and grandma worked as house elves for the Fudge family.

From there, a century’s old occurrence that was dead, came back to the school age academic traditions, called the Tri-Wizard Tournament. Names from each school are picked from the Goblet of Fire. There’s so many stigmas and assumptions, including the reason on why it’s been so long since the last tournament.


Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

Spoiler: People die here.

This is my favorite book of the series. It’s right after a pivotal year for Harry. He finds his strength in GoF and he acknowledges it in this book.

You get less annoyed with the Dursley’s at the beginning of the book, because Harry fights off 2 dementors in early August, just weeks before school starts.

With that, he nearly gets expelled and his wand broken, but he is saved by Headmaster Dumbledore, because who else?

He continues to have detailed dreams that are in essence déjà vu, but more immediate, instead of a little more delayed like before. He manages to save Mr Weasley’s life due to his dream.


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry dives into the history of Voldemort, via the memories of Headmaster Dumbledore. He’s also given Sirius’ property, belongings, and house elf, Kreacher. Harry releases Kreacher to serve in Hogwarts, as that’s where house elves feel best: serving (well, if you disregard Dobby and his oddness as an elf).

Side note: Kreacher isn’t in this movie randition?!?!?! MUST REWATCH MOVIES AND KEEPING THIS IN MIND

Harry’s potions textbook has been in the hands of the half blood prince, but no one knows who it is. Harry makes a forecast of it might have been his father, about mid-year, but is it?

Snape is bound by an unbreakable vow to help Draco Malfoy, bounded to Draco’s mom. There’s some foreshadowing with this, in my mind. And the task? Well, let’s just say 3 words: Dumbledore, tissues needed.


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

This book is where EVERYONE DIES so be ready with a box of tissues. This book is where you finally see why Snape is the way he is towards Harry, from the dislike of his father James (really for taking Lily, in his mind), to how much he actually felt for Lily, to how much he truly cares for Harry.

You’ll also find a love for Professor McGonagall. Oh how Maggie Smith played her so well!

You thought you were sad when Cedric died, and Dumbledore died? Well, prepare to be sadder!

Past spoiling the WHOLE DANG BOOK for ya, people die, including Harry, our favorite trio doesn’t do school, but embarks on the crusade of the horcruxes, and we get all of the final insight and backstory that we can get from a book, from the characters we love, love to hate, and actually just hate.

Let us cry now.


There’s a few books past the actual series, and a movie that has a “behind the scenes” audio book to it, and I recommend to listen/read those books as well. It’ll help with backstory, and keep the wizarding world alive for you, until you decide to read/listen/watch the series again.

Yes, I don’t like the added political commentary of authors, directors, and even musicians. Entertainers are meant to entertain. They can have their own personal cause, but this era of the “don’t buy my shit if you don’t stand for x/every ounce I stand for” is truly uncalled for. And this is coming from someone who is truly more libertarian on things. I’ll like a series for the series, but I don’t have to stand by the creator entirely, to like said series. This goes for someone like Rowling, who is more outspoken lately, versus any other author that I find, and like their work. End of my little Ted Talk.

If you haven’t at least read or watched the series once, WHAT ARE YOU DOING HONEY?! Get on it!

Book Review: Anxious, Depressed, and Joyful by Sierra Mafield

Disclaimer: I paid for this product, I was not asked to review it for my money (as in, I’m sharing and reviewing out of my own free will, because I feel like this might help at least one person), and unless noted/updated, I don’t have a discount code for you. But this ebook is only $17, and it does help a female small business owner/entrepreneur.

I paid for the product myself, in honor of helping her, as well as helping small businesses take off from the ground. Sierra is such a stunning young woman, and if you can help her via buying this, her future work, or currently helping her take care of her and her boyfriend’s dog Izzy (torn doggy version of the ACL), please visit her website here, or the GoFundMe for their doggo.

All links, before and after this notice, will open up in a new tab (not new browser, but new tab), for convince, and to make sure you don’t lose your spot!


So for the proper post, this is all about Sierra’s FIRST EVER eBook! I’m so here for it, that I spent $10 of my hard earned money on it! She deserves it, and I know, I used the coupon code on it, but she still deserves money for HER HARD WORK on it!

If you’re wondering what’s going on, Sierra’s ebook is ALL ABOUT mental health and striving to find things that ACTUALLY WORK. Past the pills, past the fluff of “take a bath 3 times a week” or “Eat xyz foods” or “Don’t do this, this, and that”. Things that work for mental health is as diverse and as unique to the person that has the mental health issues! So a medicine that works for one person, doesn’t work for the next, from dosage to even the type of medicine itself.

We need to get back to more homeopathic and natural type of treatments, like reducing stress and finding balance, but like Sierra says, medicine has its place, for those who truly benefit from it.

Sierra’s ebook covers a lot of this hands on, with an “insert response here” approach, to see where you can personally improve, and see where medicine or therapy can compliment you, and you don’t have to be so co-dependent on medicine, but have it truly help you along your journey.

Insert some Ariana Grande “Thank You, Next” Album Vibes here
Really feeling the “bloodline” vibes
follow it by “Fake Smile”


Improving yourself and your mental health doesn’t come from a place of hatred and self-doubt.

YASSS QUEEN. This is something that has stumped me while I’ve tried to grow and overcome my past, my issues, and my head-talk. You won’t have a better relationship with yourself if you beat yourself up over every negative thing you say about yourself, or over whatever you’re anxious or depressed about! It’ll take you nowhere but leaving you where you began, if not maybe worse off.

You must make a conscious choice to create your happiness. It’s your job! And I’m not talking about material things, here. I’m talking about your emotions, your career, the people you spend time with, and what journey you will take in this life to really create your joy.

YAS. Find out what makes you happy. It’s trial and error, and it’s okay to try things, just to find out that it’s not your cup of tea. And you can like something, and not want to do it day in and day out either. It can be a monthly activity, a quarterly thing, a spuraticly done thing, whatever.

Happiness is work, and so is having mental illness! I’ve been there, and probably will revisit my mental illness many times before my life comes to a close. Sierra shares that yes, it won’t go completely away, but instead of waking up each day waiting for it to come, take each day by the nuts and go with it! If you have an hour with mental illness effecting you, let it be. Your afternoon went to shit? Give yourself the space, but come back to happiness. Don’t live in your mental illness, live with it!


In part two, Sierra starts to share some tools to help you work with your mental illness. She starts off with goal setting, which is awesome. We need structure even more so, if we have mental health problems. Yes, that may even include medication and therapy visits, because both can work, and do work for a lot of people.

THERE’S NO NEED TO FEEL SHAME ON ASKING FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP

Therapy and medication should be complimentary to your efforts on managing your mental illness, and will never hinder your progress on understanding yourself and your MI. Don’t let anyone shame you for seeking help, using medication, or not using either. No exceptions, no excuses, nothing!

One thing I really appreciate in this part, is that Sierra shares a handful of goal and intention oriented questions, to get you clearer on what it is that could end up bringing you happiness. This is so helpful, because we do get so lost in our mental illness, that we can’t even bring ourselves to know what questions to even ask, let alone how to answer them.

The questions aren’t just “how do you want to feel?” or “what’s your dream job?”. It’s “What do you want to accomplish outside of having a dream job?” and “Do you want to travel? Where to?”

Her next motion for you to do, after answering these questions, is to feel through them. Start to manifest your dream life by sitting with your answers, which are your future! I truly believe in the power of manifestation, and that is exactly what these questions do, is guide you into a positive manifestation mindset.

After that, and she makes it known that you can, and more like should, take a breather, but to make those answers a reality. Make attainable action plans for them. SO. IMPORTANT. Manifesting isn’t all just absent minded, wishful thinking. It’s setting intentions, throwing it out into the universe, then doing what you need to do to get that damn ball rolling so you do land up manifesting what you want for your life, and out of your life!

I really like that she emphasizes the “make it into bite-sized chunks” so that it doesn’t send your mental illness into a frenzy, but something manageable!

Next, she dives into triggers for your mental illness. We have to plan, and know, what our triggers are, in order to heal and manage our mental illness. In a way, this helps your goal planning, and keeping you in-the-know when it comes to what might set you back, if left unchecked.

Knowing your triggers will help you heal and move past them (sometimes, yes, it’ll only to be a certain extent, but still, what you need and can heal from, will help you in your mental health journey. Yes, it might take years too, and that’s more than okay!)

Triggers can branch into even the people you surround yourself with. You don’t need to completely cut someone out of your life, but you can limit time with them, or create boundaries (or reshape the boundaries really) with those who aren’t doing yourself the highest good. One thing to do, is have a good heart-to-heart with them, and if a good middle ground can’t be obtained, then limiting your time with them (or if it’s so bad, cutting them out of your life) is something you’ll need to do.


Now for everyone’s favorite section: practicing self love and self care. But you have to do it right and very mindfully! This section is a PREACH GIRL, PREACH section for me, even though I struggle with finding that self care balance and routine. Your girl right here KNOWS that struggle bus like you wouldn’t believe!

Having, and sorting out, self-care practices is totally needed, and having a list somewhere of what you can do, is helpful. There’s those days where you’re more in the mood for one type of self care than another, and sometimes you know you’re not feeling another type of self care, and vibing with that, and having a list of things you can do will help SO MUCH!

Part of self care is having personal forgiveness and grace! YAS to all of it. We have forgotten personal grace, and that effects how we treat ourselves and others. Self care and grace helps us deal with others better, and situations as well.

Here is where Sierra shares some tips to get you out of your head space, and into the world of getting better, and living with mental illness. From journaling and learning, to gratitude.

Practicing gratitude will help ground you, and help create better thinking patterns. I find that it helps when you feel like you’re going down that depression rabbit hole. It’s not an “end all be all” cure to it, but it helps me get out of the funk faster, and it helps make it not so emotionally deep.

Journaling is one of Sierra’s hallmark staples. She even thinks that if you don’t like journaling or don’t feel the need for it, you’re thinking of it wrong. Journaling should be a release, a brain dump, but it’s also a brain dump! Make action plans to help you feel better, and think better there, instead of JUST venting.

Then, another good exercise for you, that she recommends, is to look back on your entries! You’ll learn more about yourself: triggers, habits, and how you handle things (and where you can improve, whether its having that heart-to-heart conversation and setting boundaries, to not allowing yourself to drink more than a glass of wine on stressful work days).

She even gives you 30 prompts to get you started, if you need help overcoming the daunting task of journaling. How nice of her!

Now, the backbone of helping you thrive with mental illness: daily routines! Morning and/or night time routines help us all. Just like brushing your teeth twice a day, implementing routines will keep the brain better equipped to handle some sh*t.

This is where she mentions adding in even just one act of self care into your routine, and take baby steps into working them into your life. Like one new habit each week, that you want to have in your routine. It can be even as simple as showering each day (like even just getting in the shower, and only washing your body. Trust me on that one, depression makes even showering a self care act in my book!).


Everything I’ve learned from having mental illnesses, and being surrounded with people with mental illnesses, is that it’s just apart of life. It’s all about the overall reaction, from how you handle the day to day, to how you handle changing jobs, if you decide to marry and have kids, to going to this or that event. You can accept your mental illness and deal with it, and plan on how to deal with events, based on your mental illness and energy levels from it.

There’s no “one size fits all/most” thing. I hope to share all what I can, to help give ideas for everyone out there, hence why I’m writing about this.


If you want to keep up with Si, past this ebook, follow her on:
Insta: @sierramafield (click here)
Facebook: Sierra Mafield-Blog (click here)
Podcast (Monday Uploads): Young Mental Health (iTunes, Stitcher)
Blog: sierramafield.com


Follow Me:

Insta: @ribix13
@planningmillennial
Facebook: Rianna Bixler (click here)

Father’s Day 2019

An open letter to my father, and all the men who have stepped up to the role in my life,

Thank you.

To my own father: thank you for sharing your love of cooking, conversations, and nature/home. Thank you for giving me space to be me, learn what I liked, didn’t like, what boundaries I should have, strengthen, and allow to fall down and be restructured. You’ve done more for me in that regard, more than you might think you have.

To those men who shall remain nameless here (there’s a handful of you), who stepped into the father figure role for me in my childhood: thank you as well. Thank you for looking after my best interests, my heart, and allowing me to be a “second” daughter. Thank you for your fatherly love and guidance when I was struggling.

To my living grandpa: thank you for being a secondary father to me. I appreciate photography, both taking and looking at, because of you. I appreciate enjoying life, the simple things, and margaritas because of you. I see Welch’s grape soda, Nilla Wafers, and classic cars, and think of you.

To my late grandpa: Thank you for being. You taught me to appreciate peace and quiet, simplicity, and enjoying little things, like a chocolate milkshake from McDonald’s. Thank you for the wonderful memories in your last years of life, and for the time I was too young to remember anything, thank you for seeing me as the daughter you always seemed you wanted, manifested into your granddaughter. Dad has said that he’d rather be a grandpa first, dad after that. I’m proud to be your granddaughter.

Thank you to all the active fathers out there. It’s a struggle (I’m sure even more so nowadays) raising kids, especially us daughters. I hope all the best for those future dads, wherever you are in your paternal journey, and I hope you learned plenty of things from your own father, and I hope that he stays around in your life, to give you advice when you need it, and frustrate you when he sends your own kids back spoiled and sugared up, because that’s what grandpa’s do.

With love,
Ri

New Chapters and Sparking Change

This is my personal journey, from living in a decent sized rural city-town (16,000+ people), to a 7 street mining community that has just over 100 people, about 4 miles outside of the Walmart, that is on the outskirts of former said city-town.

This isn’t a culture shock for me. Moving back out to PA was a culture shock. Visiting to CA last summer gave me a taste to how much city life is cool, but also an anxiety trigger for me. I love my space, both as an introvert, and as someone who loves nature and mid 50’s to 70’s weathered days. Moving to CA from PA was also a culture shock.

This is more of a shock to my soul, my higher self, that I am closer to where I should be, closer to the things I want to do, closer to my callings. I mean shock not in a bad way, but more in a blissful way, that I need to orient myself into.


In the most pure way, I never envisioned what my 20’s would look like, and I don’t know when exactly I stopped dreaming past wanting a home good enough to have some dogs.

I wanted to be a vet, a dancer, a journalist, and a photographer at varying points in my childhood. I appreciate those who go into the vet field, but my heart is too sensitive for that line of work. I never kept with dance, so although I wouldn’t mind following dance, martial arts, and gymnastics as a hobby. I’d love to take off with journalism and photography though, since I keep up with writing and camera work more regularly.

With my growth, and who I’m with, and where we’re at now, we can save some dogs, and I can take my writing and photography talents to work, and share our stories. Plus I can cultivate some other talents and traits!


Something my boyfriend noticed, is how living in the apartment, I was ok with being outside of work, but I wasn’t happy. I now have a pep to getting out of work.

I wouldn’t say I was depressed or suicidal, but I was just “meh”. With a month of living here now, I truly feel the difference, even after working a full week, and a few of them as well.

Reflecting, and even in the months leading up to the move, and looking for a house to call home, I know why. I know why (in a heartbreaking way to even myself) I would drink a little too much.

I had what was mine, but in what I felt someone else’s home, someone else’s place. Similar to impostor syndrome, but with a place that I lived. Mail addressed to me came to the apartment, I had a room of my own that I could do (within reason, as it was a rented apartment) what I wanted. I could walk around the apartment as I pleased, cooked, cleaned and do everyday things, wherever I felt like.

But I still didn’t feel like I was apart of it. No matter the stage, even once I felt comfortable to start exploring some minor decorating, like adding tapestries to the white walls (really so that I could sleep during the afternoons, but it was also a nice range of color and art work), and switching up the kitchen table’s tablecloth.

I didn’t grant myself the permission to call the place mine, that was part mine. And I should have. I paid equally as much in bills as my boyfriend. I contributed as well when there was 3 of us. I worked, I cleaned, I made food for anyone and everyone who was in our apartment.

In part, with this impostor feeling that I didn’t get over, I took it out in all the wrong ways. Although I couldn’t put a name to it, I feel like this is a major thing for me, as we’ve been now out of that apartment for a solid month now, and I’ve yet to experience the need for those coping mechanisms.


As I’m easing into my role in our home, I feel like it’s ours, like it’s mine. I have true presence and authority here. I think I’ve been feeling more and more impostor-like for a long while now, even prior to living with my current (and long term) boyfriend.

I’m genuinely content, and rather happy. I have the space to work out what I need to, and I don’t feel a sense of dread or disgust like I used to.

I’m not sure what the rest of this chapter entails, and I’m really okay with that, as I’m sure it’ll be all of what I need it to be. I have a good feeling like this is really going to start my “on top of the world” journey, and I mean that in the most humblest of ways, and in the most genuinely “I can’t wait” feeling.

Breaking free from all of the chains and walls I’ve made for myself will happen here. Having everything that I’ll need to feel like I’m doing good in this world will happen here. I won’t have everything I want, but I’ll have everything I need.


Yes, I don’t like where certain things are headed in our political climate. Yes, the outside world of death, friendships ending, and people doing horrible things to each other, to animals, and to the planet are sad and sickening. And yes, I wish I could change things, but I can’t.

But I can, and did change my life, and helped change my boyfriend’s life. I help with what I can directly influence, and I feel like I can do a lot more, and will do a lot more, the more I grow into myself.

Easter 2019: DC Edition

So like last year, when I started this blog, I’m doing Easter with my dad. It’s not like last year though, in a different way. Last year, we did every major date for the Catholic Lenten season. This year, we didn’t, due to obvious reasons (catch up here).

Miss last year’s Easter? Read here, this, the last one I swear.

For this year, my dad and I are only doing Easter weekend, mostly due to our own project that we’re working on, plus all of a sudden getting a house!

Last year we were aiming on visiting our nation’s capital for Easter weekend, and going to the National Cathedral, but landed up staying in my home state, and going into Pittsburgh. Not saying it was a bad experience at all either!

This year, although we haven’t done anything Lent based, dad and I are going down to DC area for Easter Saturday mass, and might be going to Easter Sunday mass at the same church, St Paul’s on K street.

Follow on my Instagram for more in depth pics and a handful of stories (not during mass though!). I may do a live on my blog page too!

We went to St Paul’s on K Street for Vigil Mass, and stayed in town on Easter Sunday, and did some sight seeing in the National Mall. My only “missing out” was the Holucost Memorial, and possibly seeing inside of the National Cathedral. Someday soon though, dad and I’ll be back, and I’ll make sure that those two are visited!

Moving 2019: A Documentary of Tips From Our Home to Yours

So you heard we’re moving, huh? Or did you find me because you’re moving yourself? Well congrats!

Well in mid February 2019, I was notified through my email that a house that had previously became off the market, that we were looking at, we could look at, from some unforeseen reasons. We went to see the house mere days later, after this email notification.

So let me back up a hot second to tell you more. I have been leisurely looking at homes on the app Zillow (let me know guys if you want to sponsor me, on a future post!) for a hot minute. I’d say about a year at the point where I saw this house.

I saw a local listing, just a hair closer to our job than we are, but on the other side of work. It was too good to be true, and we were like “let’s at least look at it, at if it is too good to be true, at least we tried”. So I messaged the agent.

We missed the deal by hours, literally.

I was low key bummed, but it felt too good to be true. I replied back to the agent, saying that if for some reason it fell through, that we’d love to look at it still. He was ok with that.

A week goes by, no response. Ok, I started to assume the original person actually got it and liked it enough. 10 days go by, same thing.

2 weeks though, while I was working with my dad on our project, I felt the calling to check my email, late in the afternoon, right before we were done with the meal, and eat it.

There’s the email that changed everything. “Are you still interested in this house? This isn’t going so well with the first person”

AHHHH!!!!

After some weather delays, we go to see the place that Friday morning, after we get off. We signed a week and a half later on the place.

Nothing major wrong with the home, just some very minor cosmetic needs (cabinets and counters in the kitchen, garage door needs some help on the treads, and the back fence needs help, and the yard needs weeded/TLC). So literally move in ready, basically.

Anyway, let’s get into some tips to help a move!

Tip 1: Ask your local grocery store for their boxes

Places like Walmart are really nice about saving boxes for you. Do not underestimate PopTart boxes, on the retail end. They’re PERFECT for game/DVDs. You can get 44 a box, so for us that haven’t downsized our DVD collections and those who have gamers who have kept their disc games.

Over sized boxes are great for fluffly things like blankets, towels, or rugs, but DON’T PACK THOSE FULL WITH MODERATELY HEAVY ITEMS. You’ll be breaking your back, and as the current retail worker that I am PLEASE SPARE YOURSELF.

Get some smaller boxes, just smaller than those PopTarts boxes, for things like wires, candles, and silverware.

This will help you with not spending unneeded money on your move. Plus, you can always return the boxes back to at least the company you got them from, like Walmart, and they’ll recycle the cardboard. Just ask! Or if you have a fireplace, or fire pit, that’s some easy fuel for summer fires.

Tip 2: Prioritize how you renovate/decorate the place.

A great tip I got from one of my managers I had, prior to her retirement, is if you’re going to live in the house as you renovate, start with your bedroom. Even down to repainting the walls.

We’re kind of doing that. I did the painting and Mr is adding the cabinets into the kitchen, as it’s SO MUCH EASIER to do that type of stuff prior to having our stuff settled in first. So yes, we didn’t move in right away, even though it was able to be moved into when we got the place. The lack of kitchen storage and counter space would have been an inconvenience but it could have been done.

I suggest to do as much as you can prior to literally moving in, even down to doing a good vacuuming and sweep, and even wiping down the walls (add some scents for personal enjoyment) prior to moving things in.

Tip 3: Give yourself some time!

This will save your sanity, any relationships you have (if it’s just you and your partner like Mr and I, or if you have kids as well, or dependent parents).

Especially those of us who work, and if you have kids, allow the kids to conquer their own space, for what their age allows them.

Tip 4: Make a plan.

Or a to-do list. Break shit down. Usually done best by room, and of what you use infrequent enough to pack now, and frequently enough to set aside boxes/room for them later on, closer to moving date.

Think of these last 2 tips like packing for a vacation. You have the clothes that you’ll have for the trip itself, but then the flight clothes, and you have to leave out your tooth brush, toothpaste, hair brush, and other toiletries that you’ll need to pack the day of.

Even take a “staycation” for this. Make the plan, schedule it off, and even if your kids have their school or extracurriculars, you can do what you need to do, and plan time for when they can do what they need to do, so that they can build on being a human, and it’ll help you on your own packing.

I did the whole “packing as a kid” thing, as a traveler and as a mover, from about 6-17 years old, plus my moves at 19, 20, and now at 24. I always mapped out what I needed as a traveler, and it helped me with the moves I’ve done.

By the time my 16th birthday came, I made 30+ plane trips. So in my current 24 years of living, I’ve made 11 moves myself, let alone leisure travel.

Tip 5: KonMari Your Sh*t

You don’t have to go ham on the Marie Kando method but her method does help! Even if you can eliminate some shit from your life, as you pack, and donate it go for it!

Rethink how you store, see, and handle things as well. Yes, I have my 5 year plaque from work, hung. I want a frame for Mr’s 5 year as well, and if we find his 10 year paper, I’ll frame it and add it to our list of frames somewhere in our new home.

Consider what’s really important, is what this process is. It’s not exactly minimalism but true joy, regardless of what the item is. This has been my life lately, and not in any pressuring way either.

Tip 6: Listen to some good music/Create a good playlist

Somewhat off from what Marie Kando says about audio during sorting, during packing, if good music or neutral music gets you ok with packing, go for it. In a way, sure you might not be as thorough but I feel like there’s a lot more positive emotion there, for what truly gets to you.

So yes, don’t listen to a radio remix. Make a playlist from your favorite artist, and listen to that. Or 3 artists.

There’s 3 songs from Taylor Swift’s Reputation album I go after (Ready for it, I did something bad, and Look at what you made me do) (all YouTube versions).

I’ll also go with my long term band here as well for music reference, Panic! At the Disco. (Hey Look Ma, I Made it!, the annoying single of High Hopes, and let’s go for a ham of a jam of Victorious.)

I have no idea what you’re into, but the taste of MY band should share with you a taste of who I am (Panic!). I love the TSwift as of late, Ariana Grande (7 Rings vibes). I like Fly By Midnight as well.

Tip 7: Still live your life

Regular life is stressful enough. Then moving, Then keeping a “love yourself” concept. Take an extra 3 minutes in the shower, and let your face/hair set for a little longer. Take the time to shave because you want to.

Yes, you’ll have to sacrifice your free time to packing for a month, but if you try and balance it, and allow space for it, it won’t feel so disgusting.

Make sure to still get your beauty rest! When you feel like you need 10 hours, go for it. If you’re feeling good and can feel good at 6 (like I did yesterday, with transferring the name on the water bill) .

Tip 8: Balance talents

This means between you and your partner, then who you each know, and what your tasks are.

This shouldn’t be one sided! Sure, “unbalanced” ok, but if ya’ll are using your talents and resources (friends, or if one makes more or has discounts somewhere like at Lowe’s) that’s how it should be. Not a literal 50/50 but the equal of talent, or resources.

I know negative things about cabinets/counter tops outside of what I want. Mr and I know a guy who is like “Let me help!”. Babe knows basics, but with this guy’s help, we’ll have better stuff. And with me learning how to stain (which with my painting skills), I’ll have that basic skill for a long while, I’ll learn something, and it’ll add to the “home” of our house.

Outside of relationships, (and speaking as an introvert like you wouldn’t believe!), talking to who you work with will really help. Either through their side work or they’ll know someone who can help, you can save money!

Tip 9: Clean as You Go

One major thing that I did from the start, is cleaning as you go. Your current place and your new one alike.

For your new place, as you tailor things like carpeting (or lack there of) and paint, do things like vaccuming and dusting things that are already there (even the shelves that are placed in closets and laundry area).

Prior to moving in, this is the only real time to really clean all the nooks and crannies of the house, that post moving in, it’ll be more of a hassle to clean some areas (the TV console area, under the bed, etc).

I’d even go as far as to say that this is the best time to do a deep scrub on carpets that you do have. Polish the wood you have into your home as well.


For your current place, as you pack, clean and dust. Then once everything has been moved, do a decent clean of the place.

So for bookshelves, like with what I started, pack the books, DVDs, video game discs, and whatever else you’re keeping on them, then wipe the shelves down with a Clorox wipe. I do a bookcase at a time, since we have smaller bookcases.

For regular used stuff (desks, TV consoles, kitchen stuff), as much as we sometimes get lazy about even doing the dishes, clean as you use. Even if you don’t use things that often (like our living room TV isn’t the best used TV in our home), dust that off when you DO use them.

Bedding and other odd things (if you have rugs in the home, throw blankets on the sofa, and the like), I’d say throw a good day in on laundry, and clean them either right before you move, or right after. And don’t underestimate my “day of laundry” here! Clean them good…take good care of them and order in pizza or get take out or gas station food (fill your tank if you’re going out…your future self will thank you, I’m sure).


Both have the same process in my mind (mostly, depending if you’re renting or selling your home, or upgrading your own home to rent out your current place), but their process is reversed really, in the most ideal scenarios.

What odd hacks do you have for moving that you can share?