Personal Bucket List

I have been making changes in my life, changes to find myself again. I am happy with my life overall, but there are things I gave up to have kids early. Things I did not get to experience. I am overjoyed to be a mother, I am loving being a wife, but I also have to remember I am me too. Sometimes, us women get labeled as mom or wife, but people seem to forget we are also individuals. So I decided to make a bucket list of things I want to do. I am going to accomplish them, some may seem silly to others, but to me they are important! So here is my Personal Bucket List:

  1. Write a book
  2. Learn a new skill (a list for this was made too)
  3. Start a dance fitness class
  4. achieve my goal weight
  5. inspire someone
  6. Visit NYC
  7. Visit LA
  8. Visit New Orleans
  9. Visit Disney World
  10. Visit Vegas
  11. Be in a commercial
  12. Be successful
  13. Do volunteer work
  14. Send a care package to a soldier
  15. Write a Children’s Book
  16. Learn to belly dance
  17. Master a Hand Stand
  18. Go Ice skating
  19. Run an entire 5k
  20. Take a pole dancing class
  21. Drive a motorcycle
  22. Overcome my fear of planes
  23. Ride a unicycle
  24. ride in a limp
  25. attend a luau
  26. attend a POW WOW
  27. See a spectacular fountain
  28. adopt a puppy (never had a puppy!!)
  29. Visit a real haunted location
  30. Touch a pyramid
  31. Drive route 66
  32. See a glacier
  33. Watch changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace
  34. See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre
  35. See a Volcano
  36. See a real Japanese gardens
  37. Have a boudoir photoshoot

There are many more to be added! No I have no illness, I just want to live my life while embracing being a mom and a wife. I will be documenting these things, and I hope you will join me. Please follow my blog for more!

With love,

Snooks

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Common Sense Diet-Goodbye Fad Diets

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Diets. We have all heard of them, most of us have tried them. I have tried quite a few of them, and I tell you one thing, They are not for me! In this post, I am going to cover the top diets of 2019 (not sure how it’s possible since we just started the year) and what I think of them if I have tried them.
So a little background. I used to be 120 all through school, until I started popping out kids and went through the stresses of life. I got up to 234 before I knew it. November 2018 I decided I was going to lose the weight my way, I was giving up on those fad diets and doing it right. January 2019 I am down to 197, yes, I still have a way to go to get to my goal but that’s not too shabby for 2 months! So let’s get right into these diets!

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One of the most talked about diets is the KETO diet. This one I have tried. The keto diet is a low-carb diet. The body produces ketones in the liver to be used as energy. By eating little carbs, you force you body into something called KETOSIS. Ketosis is a natural process the body initiates to help survive then food intake is low. During this those ketones break down and burn the fat in your body. There are “benefits” to the keto diet. Some of those are weight loss, controlling blood sugar, mental focus, increased energy, helps with epilepsy, helps control cholesterol and blood pressure, and can help with acne. But what are the side effects? There is a thing called the “keto Flu”. The “keto flu” is what it sounds like, it is flu symptoms you get from eating the keto diet, without actually having the flu. This is the transition period in your body. It is supposed to only last a week maybe two before stopping. So what can you eat on the keto diet? Meats, anything goes basically here. Fatty fish such as salmon is a good choice. Eggs are great. Butter and cream but try to always get the organic and grass-fed, you want to make sure you are eliminating the chemicals. Cheese, nuts, healthy oils, avocados, low carb veggies (green veggies, tomatoes, onions, peppers) and condiments (salt, pepper, herbs, and spices). Avoid anything else! That includes ketchup, bbq sauce, sugar-free diet foods, alcohol, fruit etc. Now, I tried this diet, my husband and I both did. He felt great, and lost some weight. I, however, did not feel great. I lost 5 pounds in a month, but I felt like I was hit by a bus. That “keto flu” lasted a month for me. The food was so plain, I got tired of it. There is research now, and my doctor also has said, that the keto diet should not be used long-term or by those who do not have a health condition it is known to help control as it can actually affect your heart in the long run. And it is a temporary thing. Yes, people lose a lot of weight when they stick to it, but one mistake kicks you out of ketosis, and once they stop the diet, most gain the weight back. We also found that this diet is kind of pricey, as you have to buy as much organic as possible. Here is a sample recipe.

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Another diet is the MEDITERRANEAN DIET. This diet is based on what people in Mediterranean countries eat. It is a high consumption of veggies and olive oil with moderate consumptions of protein. Fish is a big one in this diet. You can have potatoes, whole grains, and fruits as well. This diet is heart healthy as it helps lower the “bad” cholesterol build up in your arteries. This diet is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality as well as overall mortality. Has a reduced incidence of cancer, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. One of my fave bonuses of this diet, a glass of wine is good for you! They do suggest having no more than 5 ounces a day for women and no more than 10 ounces for men, and of course do not pick the sugary wine! I tried this diet as well with my husband. I have to say the food was great, the cooking/recipes were easy. There was flavor and there was color! The down fall for me was that I am not a big seafood person, and this diet wants you to eat mostly fish. You can have chicken or other meat only 2 days of the week at a max. I did feel great when eating this diet, and did lose a little weight, but I did not like the fish, I just didn’t eat it. Here is a sample recipe.

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The last one I will talk about is the DASH DIET. It stands for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. It is promoted by the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute, because it does have benefits to stopping hypertension. It emphasizes on the foods you’ve always been told to eat (fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein, and low-fat dairy). It discourages foods that are high in saturated fat, full-fat dairy, and tropical oils. Also, avoid sugary foods and drinks on this diet. You should add one vegetable or fruit serving to every meal. Try to have one maybe two meat free meals per week, use herbs and spices to make food tastier without using salt. Snack on almonds or pecans instead of chips. Try to use whole-wheat flour instead of white flour, and take a 15-minute walk after lunch or dinner or both! This is a convenient diet and easy to follow, but because of the emphasize on fresh fruit and vegetables. Here is a sample recipe. If you want to lose weight, you need to exercise as well, diet alone will not help it fall off. This diet I have really followed, but I try to eat like this usually.

Fad diets have always been around, and they seem to change constantly. Just when says it helps with certain things, you find out later that there are some negative sides to it too, like the KETO. I decided that I was going to just eat healthier. I eat veggies and fruit, more veggies than fruits usually, because fruits can be sugary if you have too much. I eat mostly chicken, and red meat is rare. We hardly if ever it pork, but that’s just a preference. We do not “snack” and we only have a dessert once every few weeks. I exercise daily usually 30 minutes at least of cardio sometimes more, and we do some DDP Yoga. That works for me, and I am not restricted. I can still go out to a romantic dinner with my husband and make the right choices. I can live my life without having the “diet” looming overhead. Do what you find is right, but for me, it is the “common sense diet”.

Here is some information on each diet.

Keto

Mediterranean

DASH

Inspire your marriage

I was recently contacted by the author or Inspire Your Marriage, and he asked me if I would be willing to share a story of a difficult time my husband and I worked through, and we have kept the marriage alive. I shared a story with him that I haven’t shared on here yet. It was a difficult time in my marriage, my husband and I really took each other for granted. It caused a lot of heartache and a lot of resentment. It led to us falling apart. But through that we found each other. We re-discovered each other. We are now stronger than ever and are happier than ever. If you want to read the details of my story, you can find the link HERE.

I checked out his site and it is filled with a ton of inspirational stories and advice! I highly you encourage anyone reading this to check it out.

Please like and follow my blog. I would greatly appreciate it! And thank you to Inspire Your Marriage for featuring my story.

As Always,

Love Snooks ❤

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What I Have Learned About My Anxiety

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Anxiety is described as a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. It is the lying awake staring at the ceiling at night asking yourself an infinite number of questions. It is the wondering if anyone really cares about you or are they all just waiting for you to fail. It is the constant questioning yourself and doubting yourself. It is the unsure feelings, it is a lot of things to different people.

134961-134797 So what have I learned from my anxiety?

  1. It makes me cry.
  2. It makes me become obsessive.
  3. It makes me paranoid about silly things.
  4. It makes me sad and frustrated.
  5. It makes me doubt myself.
  6. It makes me hypersensitive.
  7. It makes me feel exhausted all the time.
  8. It makes me lose interest in everything.
  9. It makes me feel jealousy.
  10. It makes me NOT ME!

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It makes me worry everyday that today is the day my husband will find a better person and move on. It makes me worry that I will never find my true purpose. It makes me give up on stuff when I do not excel immediately because I feel that it’s just because I am a failure. It makes me count my flaws every day. It makes me get out of bed and check the door 3 times to makes sure I really did lock it because I do not trust myself. It makes my heart race. It sends me into panics when my kids stay with grandparents, because I am out of control and I can see the worst possible outcome coming true. It made me instantly dislike all the female co-workers my husband had, even if I had not met them. It made me sad and frustrated with myself. But with all of that it has made me take control!

I am sick of living this way. I finally stepped up and talked to my doctor who put me on a low dose of a medicine that treats anxiety only. It helped a lot. But then I decided I did not want to depend on medication for the rest of my life, so I needed to find a way to cope naturally. I began to get healthy, eating better, working out, and that helped. When I work out I found my self at ease, smiling, laughing, not worry one bit. I look forward to working out, I crave it.

I still have my days when I worry, but for the most part, I have it under control. But it took me taking a step back and assessing why I felt the things I did. They say admitting something is the first step. So I admit, I am riddled with anxiety, all the jokes people poked at me for the worries were right. I am not crazy, I care too much. Anxiety sucks, and for some it is worse than how I had it. But do not let anyone tear you down. I encourage you to take a step back and assess what’s going on. Talk to your doctor, find your therapy. For my sister, who also has anxiety and depression, she enjoys to write. My grandmother who has depression and anxiety likes to journal. Some like to paint, some like to cook. Whatever it is, do it and do it with passion.

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Love,

Snooks

 

Being A Self-Critic is the WORST

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From as long as I can remember, I have been the worst critic of myself. I look in the mirror and see the flaws, the imperfections. My husband will say how beautiful I look in a new shirt, and once he turns a way I roll my eyes and grab ahold of my fat. I hate that I am short, because I look like an Oompa Loompa. I want to have those long thin legs, super model body. I want to be those girls in the magazines. I want different hair, curls are no fun. I want to be more successful. I want to better understand myself. I want to have smaller boobs, I want a smaller butt. I want a new everything.

But here is my real question; when does it all change? We are brought into this world with innocence, no hate. We do not even know what flaws are. We do not see people as white, african-american, asian, or hispanic. We do not see people as skinny or fat. We do not see poor or wealthy. We see people. We think that we are little angels. We live life, we play, we get dirty, and we make friends daily.

At some point though, it all changes. We look in the mirror and see things we don’t like. Like a lightbulb comes on in our over critical brains. It causes us to be less confident, it causes us to hide ourselves. But what causes it?

Is it the magazines, always over-criticizing women.

Is it the movies that only seem to have perfect women, that we do not look like?

Is it the adults who have developed this mentality silently judging us, giving those passing glances?

Is it the bullies in school?screen-shot-2018-06-19-at-1.20.26-pm

Is it society?

I personally think that it is a mixture of all those things. I know they all played a role for me. I had family who liked to point out my flaws, that I gained weight, or even at the perfect weight for my height would tap my stomach and tell me to suck it in or do sit-ups. I had girls telling me I was the biggest cheerleader on the squad. I had boys turn me down because I wasn’t a different girl. But you know what, I don’t care anymore.

I am me, and that makes me unique. No one else is like me. I have fallen in love with myself. I am by no means in love with every aspect of myself, I still see flaws. But I have learned to love those things that make me different. Yes, I have curly hair, but I can straighten on some days and let it go curly others, I have options. I have freckles that people wish they had, or so I have been told. I have dimples, gives me character. I have a unique name that I absolutely love, though I get mistaken for a “he” when I answer phone calls.

My point is, WHO CARES IF YOU DO NOT FIT THE STATUS QUO?

You would be way more dull if you did. Love yourself, you are made unique. Love your flaws, they are you. Those little girls and boys are watching. Start a trend. Let them know it’s okay to have flaws, and to look a little different. Enjoy life.

As Always,

Written with Love,

SNOOKS xo img_0400

Jessica Phelps

I am very passionate about unsolved cases and missing persons. I hate that they get put on a shelf and seemingly forgotten. So I have decided that I want to help renew the information. I want to renew the knowledge. My blog may be small but I am hoping it grows. Maybe I could help bring some justice and closure to families. This is the first one I came across. The story of Jessica Phelps.

“Jessica was a bright and happy child. Her smile was infectious and she always lit up the room. She was extremely smart and intuitive for her age. She was very giggly, independent, and also had a sassy side to her.”

That is how Angie Spade, Jessica’s cousin, described her to me. Angie was Jessica’s babysitter, cousin, and the family spokesperson on the case, you can find her facebook page dedicated to finding justice for Jessica here.

On the sunny summer day of July 1, 1997 in Flint Michigan, 4-year-old Jessica, her mother, and her younger brother returned home from a trip to McDonalds. Jessica’s mother decided to go take a shower, when she got out of the shower she did not see Jessica and assumed she snuck outside to play with neighbor friends, as it was common. When she went outside, she did not see Jessica anywhere. She gathered some neighbors and friends to help her look for little Jessica but they had no luck. Panic really sank in, and they notified the authorities.

Fast forward to April 2, 1998, a man doing some excavating came across skeletal remains in a ditch 15-20 miles from Jessica’s home, and contacted authorities. After two days, it was confirmed that the remains were Jessica’s.

The police had some ideas of suspects but they had no evidence. DNA was not helpful because she had been exposed to the elements for too long. With no leads, the case went cold. There is a new push for information, but the police are heavily relying on public information and tips. The Police do believe she died from asphyxiation.

Someone knows something. Flint is a big city, population in 1997 was 133,640 people. Houses are just a couple of arms length apart. It was during a sunny summer day, people are typically sitting on their porches. Someone needs to speak up, even if it’s a small detail, it could help!

Please reblog this if you’d like,  follow my blog for my updates and further stories of missing person or unsolved cases.

You can find My facebook page dedicated to missing person and unsolved cases here.

If you do have any information please call crime-stoppers at 1-800-422-5245 or the Flint PD at (810)237-6800

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Personal Struggle-Inspirational Story

I started out by posting on facebook if anyone would be willing to share a personal struggle with me and answer a few questions. I knew that it was a long shot, because in today’s society everyone keeps to themselves. But I had one brave soul reach out to me and I began by asking her these questions;

1.What struggle or struggles have you encountered?

2. What have you learned from your struggles?

3. How can your struggles help you?

4. What is your advice for someone else struggling?

5. Was there a time you did not think you could get past your struggle?

This woman, who will remain anonymous, poured out her heart to me. It is something that needs to be out there, because it could help a lot of others. The following is what she wrote me back;

“Your struggles are how you grow. I know that seems strange, but be it a small obstacle, or a huge wall in your way, it is still a struggle, a decision…do I turn right or left, how is this choice going to impact the rest of my life. My life was hard from the time I can remember. I feel that my ma protected me from as much of the pain and the hurt as she could, but some of the pain remains so deeply imprinted on my very core. I feel the pain of childhood trauma, and I realize there is many who just say get over it, but sometimes it isn’t that easy. Yes it happened so many years ago, but the young child, the little girl, is still inside, still screaming out for someone to help her. I have gone to counseling, I have been in many survivors groups. I know that the counseling helped. I feel uncomfortable in group settings, I tried many times. The best thing I find is to journal. My lifeline is my journal. I have written one from a young child. Hidden thoughts. Pain, joy, scared, my journal doesn’t judge me. When I was younger I read and read, losing myself in a book, any book. I wish I could just tell every child out there, life gets better, that the fear and feeling of never being good enough goes away. Life can get better, and yes every day you need to make the choice to just make it through the day, a day becomes a week, a week becomes a month, a month becomes a year. I never thought I would make it through the pain of the abuse, but I did. I would tell anyone to not suffer in silence, tell someone, and if they don’t listen, talk to someone else, and it doesn’t have to be a secret, stomped down and pushed down, strangling you, minute by minute. Talk to a friend, a teacher, a neighbor. Talk until someone listens. So yes, struggles make you who you are, how you grow, but some struggles just seem so big of a wall that you cannot face it alone. Find someone, talk to someone, and write your thoughts and fears down. It does help. It is just for you. No one reads my journal, I used to hide it. Once you get to be my age, I can leave it where ver you are sitting and writing, yup, I still journal, it is my life line. Childhood trauma still comes back and haunts me, the feelings just don’t disappear, but you find ways to cope. Don’t let the person you fear win. I didn’t think I could make it through, hiding the pain, I have felt the despair of do I want to feel this way and struggle everyday with this feeling of being a waste of space, but then I think of my babies, and I realize I did do a couple of things right. I can’t be a waste of space if I can make two wonderful souls like I have and I make it through one more day, week, month, and next thing you know a year. Just take it day by day, the days add up. You remember that you are not a waste of perfectly good air, and you talk to someone. Write down your thoughts and feelings. It may be hard to start that, but it will get easier. You may find, like me, your journal becomes your best friend. But my advice is people of any age is to talk, to let your story out. Don’t blame yourself for things out of your control. It is hard to do, oh how I know, but it gets easier. Life gets better. YOU are worth the air you breath, YOU are not a waste of space, and YOU are worth! Never hurt yourself to stop the pain. YOU are need. I am still here 50 years later, he didn’t win, I DID!”

When I first read her message, my heart ached for her. I cannot understand what she must have and still feels. I have been through my own struggles. My biological father isn’t someone I would brag about. He is a liar, a disappointment, and a hurtful person. He always lets me down, and I barely hear from him. I have been told how awful I am. You see, my dad liked to play the mental warfare game. He liked to play games with your mind. I would cry a lot from the hurt and think what is wrong with me. It led to a lack of confidence and trust issues, I just assumed everyone was going to disappointment me in the end. It wasn’t until I was 26 that I finally said enough! This is my life and you will no longer do this to me. He is the screw up NOT me! 

We all have our own struggles, and some may seem bigger than others. But to the person they are affecting, it is a heavy boulder on their shoulders. Please reach and out and talk. If anyone reading this needs advice or wants to talk to someone who will not judge and who doesn’t know their personal life, feel free to message me, everything is confidential. 

If you are having suicidal thoughts please call the suicide hotline, they can help! 

1-800-273-8255

Please always remember; you are worth all the jewels in the world, you are indomitable, you are superman or Wonder Woman, you are a light in someones darkness, you have a beautiful soul, GOD loves you, and you always have someone who will listen.

Have a blessed day xo

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