Single mother needs a car!

My little sister is my best friend, and when she comes upon hard times I try and help anyway I can.  She’s a single mother and things haven’t been easy for her but she always manages to make it through.  I’m not going to get into all of her personal struggles but all I can say is that she’s a pretty strong woman because I would have curled up in the fetus position and just cried for days at this point.  But her kids keep her going and she makes it work out, one way or another.

Well, just last week her car was repossessed.  Yup, it was horrible.  She woke up at 2am to the sound of her car alarm and when she ran to the front door, the tow truck was pulling down the street.  I can’t even imagine.  When she told me the next morning, I had knots in my stomach and anxiety all day for her.  Yeah, I’m a severely empathetic person and sometimes it’s really REALLY bad.  I will actually feel sick to my stomach over someone else s crappy situation.

Anyway, I have been letting her use my car as much as I can but this is definitely not a long term solution.  We live in different towns, have different work schedules and she has her kids that she needs to get around etc. etc. etc.  Fortunately there have been a couple of nice days that I have been able to take my motorcycle to work but that isn’t an everyday solution.  Because of our work schedules, she drops me off at work instead of me dropping her off and keeping my car.  She picks me up after work and brings me home and I just have her keep my car to pick me up again in the morning.  Otherwise there would be extra back and forth trips to drop her off at night then go back early in the morning to get her.  She lives in the other direction and I’m on the way to both of our jobs so it makes sense for her to pick me up on the way.

So basically, she’s had my car for a week and I don’t have one.  Hey, how did I lose my car over this?  LOL  Oh well, we do what we can do for family right?

Then I had an idea.  I’ve heard of these GoFundMe campaigns going around and thought, why not?  I have seen people raising money for all sorts of situations so why not see if I can do this for my sister so she can buy a car?  So that’s what I did, I created a campaign to raise money.  She doesn’t need anything fancy, just something dependable and safe.

So if you have a moment, please go check it out at “Single mother needs a car”  to read more of her story and help if you can.  Even if you could share the link on Facebook or re-blog my post, you never know who is willing and able to help.

Thank you for your help and consideration and have a blessed day.


998626_10201880786719934_1354787751_nMy beautiful sister and niece

 

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I cut the cord!

cable-sucks

Yeah baby!  That’s right, I finally did it.  I got sick of paying through the nose for cable and internet so I cut the cord.  I turned in my digital cable box and internet modem and have been cable-less for about five weeks now.  I’m not a tv junkie but there are a handful of shows that I like to watch, but for the most part I haven’t missed it too much.  I am a big movie buff and my boyfriend is an even bigger movie buff so we’ve been watching a lot of dvd’s lately at my house.

Cutting the cord from the monopoly of cable companies seems to be a bigger trend lately than I thought.  And from what I see, most people figure out what they are going to do as an alternative BEFORE cutting the cord.  But not me, I just got fed up of paying almost $200 a month for the minimal time I watch tv so I just ripped it all out and turned it all in.  My plan was to figure something out fairly quick but I just kept getting side tracked on it and here I was over a month later staring at a blank 42″ flat screen tv in my living room.

Then yesterday on Facebook one of my friends posted that he was considering getting rid of cable and he had been researching other options.  He’s a tech geek so I knew his research would be reliable.

Quickly into the conversation I knew I had my answer.  He recommended getting a Chromecast.  I was like “Huh?  What is this Chromecast that you speak of?  And why haven’t I heard of it before?”  I think of myself as fairly tech savvy and I’m usually on top of the newest gadgets but lately I have been crazy busy with life and it seems I’m out of the loop.

marquee-productSo off to Google I went and found that it’s a device (that looks like a flash drive) from Google that simply plugs into the HDMI port on the back of the tv and streams audio/video via wi-fi using your smartphone, tablet or laptop.  Seriously?  How cool is this?!  And it’s a one time purchase of only $35.

Then you just download the supported apps and stream away……or as they call it, casting.

It supports YouTube and Pandora which are both free, so I was playing videos on my tv while I was downloading other apps.

I downloaded and signed up for both Hulu Plus and Netflix.  Hulu Plus offers the first week for free before being charged $8/month and Netflix offers a month free before being charged $8/month.  So I have plenty of time to get a feel for both and decide if I need both or just one of them.  Even if I kept both, $16/month is far better than almost $200/month on cable and internet.

Oh so I bet you’re wondering how I’m streaming via wi-fi since I turned in my equipment right?  Well, I have awesome neighbors that live upstairs who had no problem with giving me there login to use their wi-fi.  I figured that I would need to find internet service that wasn’t through the cable company to make this all work but I didn’t have to.  I will get my own internet but for now this works and I have time to figure that out.

So let’s break this down.  I don’t have my bill from the cable company with me but I know it was about $180/month rounded up.  That’s a whopping $2,160 a year….for television and internet.  What a rip off.

I bought the device for $35, and that’s a one time cost.  If I end up keeping both Hulu Plus and Netflix that’s $16/month which is $192 a year.  I’m not sure I’m going to keep Hulu Plus but for the cost purposes here we’ll assume that I will.  There are other apps for the Chromecast that have a monthly membership fee but I honestly don’t feel the need for any of them at this time.  The only other piece of equipment that I’m going to get is an antenna so I can watch the free local channels and from what I’ve looked at already, I’ll spend about $50 for that.

happy-girl-jumpingSo for the first year I’ll end up paying a total of $277 for my tv viewing pleasure, rather than the ridiculous $2,160 for cable.  That’s a $1,883 a year savings.  And the second year I won’t need to purchase the equipment again so if you subtract that cost of $85, then my second year cost is only $192 for the year.  HUGE price difference don’t ya think?  I’ll now pay just over the cost for ONE MONTH of cable for the entire year.  Such a no brainer.

I seriously couldn’t be any more excited about my decision, I feel liberated even.

I would love to hear from others who have cut the cord and what alternative you use now.  Are you happy you made the change?  Share your pro’s and con’s of your decision.

 

Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw Vegan, oh my!

Hello, my name is Cheli and I’m a vegan.  Yes, I’m one of “those” people.  LOL

It’s funny how I get different reactions from people who find out I’m a vegan.  Some act as though I’m bizarre and wonder how on earth I could survive without eating meat.  And others are very interested about it and don’t treat me as though I have the plague.  I’m not sure why some people find vegetarianism so odd but to each their own.

I am NOT one of those animal activist type who preach that everyone should stop eating meat and I would never try to convert someone to the dark side.  However, if someone decides to talk down to me about my choice to not eat meat then I will certainly point out their bad choice of eating meat.  I am more than capable of having a calm and adult discussion about why I don’t eat meat if somebody is interested, but the tone of the conversation completely depends on the other person.  I don’t judge what you eat so please don’t judge what I eat.  But I digress.

So I wanted to post about the differences between being a vegetarian, a vegan and a raw vegan.  Some people get confused by this and are very interested in understanding the difference so I hope this helps.  I may later do another post and go into some of my experiences and the pros and cons of them but for now I’m going to keep to the topic at hand.

A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, fish, fowl, or, in some cases, any food derived from animals, as eggs or cheese, but subsists on vegetables, fruits, nuts, grain, etc.  And to make things more confusing, there are two types of vegetarians:  A lacto-ovo-vegetarian is a vegetarian who includes dairy and eggs in their diet and a lacto-vegetarian includes dairy but NOT eggs.

A vegan is a vegetarian who omits all animal products from their diet.  So of course this means no meat, fish, fowl, dairy or eggs.  How I like to say it is, if it has eyes or came from something with eyes, I don’t eat it.  LOL

And last, but certainly not least (as this is my favorite), a raw vegan is a vegan who does not cook their food.  The theory behind being a raw vegan is that if you cook your fruits/veggies above 118 °F then the vitamins and nutrients are destroyed.  The raw vegan diet consist basically of raw fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds and grain.  But don’t let that fool you into thinking that they eat a boring and bland diet, quite the contrary.  The diet can be as simple as mono meals (meaning one particular fruit or vegetable in a sitting) to gourmet raw meals that would tickle even the fussiest of taste buds.  It also consist of a lot of juicing and smoothies.

I will be sharing much more on being a raw vegan in the future as this is what I am.  If you have any questions on any of this or would simply like a vegan buddy, feel free to hit me up.

 

Homemade natural deodorant/antiperspirant.

Yesterday I was browsing a vegan group that I’m on and came across a post that someone shared about a recipe for natural and chemical free deodorant/antiperspirant. I thought to myself “damn I can make that and would much rather use something natural and chemical free”. Then I looked at the recipe again and realized I had everything to make it.

I couldn’t wait to get home and whip a batch up. So as soon as I got home, that’s exactly what I did. It was so quick and easy.

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I kept peaking at it to see if it solidified yet, it was like watching paint dry.

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I put it on this morning then kind of forgot about it throughout the day. Well I just got home from working all day and realized……IT WORKS!!! This stuff is amazing, I had ZERO perspiration all day. I wasn’t actually expecting it to work but it did.

So I want to share the recipe, try it out and let me know what you think.

1/4 cup refined coconut oil
1/4 cup corn starch
1/4 cup baking soda
20 drops essential oil (optional for scent)

Slowly warm the coconut oil on the stove top. Once it’s melted, add in the mixture of corn starch and baking soda. Mix well until it’s creamy. Add in the essential oil and mix well. It WILL solidify so don’t add extra corn starch thinking it’s too creamy. It is thin and creamy when you first pour it but below is a picture of it the next day to show that it does become a solid form.

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This recipe made enough to fill a 4 oz. mason jar perfectly. Next time I’ll probably pour it into an empty deodorant container for easier application. But scoop out a pea sized amount and rub it under each armpit.

And there you have it. All natural, chemical free deodorant/antiperspirant. It’s healthy, quick and easy to make, for a fraction of the cost of store bought.