My distaste for the #MeToo campaign

know this post will be one of my most controversial posts I’ll ever compose but, hear me out before you automatically turn the other cheek. After all, I do enjoy debate and hearing other people’s opinions on hot topics!

Before I joined the military, my aunt and I had a very heated argument about my decision to enlist. It wasn’t about the fact that I was enlisting, it was the fact that I’d be entering a male-dominant world, and she was concerned about my safety. I already knew what type of domain I was stepping into, and I knew that I could also take care of myself in those types of situations… And, unfortunately, yes, those situations have happened to me. I’m not immune to sexual harassment and I’m not special to avoid those situations. I’d like to say that I’ve left those situations “unscathed” in a way, and I prefer not thinking about them, but its campaigns like #MeToo that remind me of the situations and how very wrong we’re approaching it.

The massive “witch hunt” that’s circulating Hollywood right now is no different than what occurred in the Air Force in 2012, when a lot of former trainees came forward with sexual assault allegations against their training instructors. Then it transformed into a wider issue, spanning all over the Air Force. Now, I’m not discounting everyone’s story because I understand that initially coming forward can be scary – you get a lot of doubt stuck in your head that maybe you’re exaggerating things, maybe people won’t believe you. Its unfortunate that those who have real and valid claims are overshadowed by people who are more open and probably not speaking the whole truth… and the actual truth behind their claim is to get some type of recognition, beit positive or negative. It doesn’t really matter at that point, it’s attention; however, in no way am I discrediting anyone’s story or situation, but I feel that they should be treated in a more private manner.

Maybe I feel this way because I’m somewhat of a private person myself, but I’m more than willing to share my experiences on a personal level if you asked me. I hate attending sexual assault prevention classes or the like, mostly because there is, at least, one individual who opens up like a canary; sometimes, they don’t even need prompting to begin sharing their story. Can you call it bravery when someone is completely open about sharing something so private in open forum? For me, the answer is no. Yes, we all like to share some sort of experience to make ourselves relatable, but in this day and age, I just feel like people need validation – that its almost cool to be the victim of any sort.

IF we are empowering people to stand up and speak out against their assaulters, shouldn’t we empower people to every prevent this from happening? Again, I get it, we’re not always able to protect ourselves from the unknown. Hellknow that considering that it happened to me twice already… but we should probably slow our applause when someone is so open and detailed when it comes to remembering their experience. Give them the tools to be successful, and I’m sure we can protect ourselves.

Another thing about how we’re treating sexual assault in this day and age is that we’re empowering the victim and shunning the perpetrator but, what if the victim is not telling the truth? What if the stories, the accusations were false? At that point, when everything’s said and done, it doesn’t matter if the accused did or didn’t commit any offenses. Their name has already been dragged in mud and there’s no coming back to that. We should also be more selective in how we go about pressing charges against the accused instead of lighting them up ASAP.

I’m truly sorry if this happens to offend someone, but like I said earlier, I am willing to discuss/debate on my point of views. How are you feelings about how we’re treating sexual assault cases?

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Co-parenting is not competitive parenting

When I was going through my very bitter divorce, my ex-husband painted a picture of being the “perfect” parent for our son; therefore, the courts should agree with him that it would be in the best interest of our son to remain with him… This part, was at the beginning of our divorce, when we had to attend mediation for the sake of our son. When the situation got serious, as in, yes, we are having this divorce, it was like he just “vanished”. No response to the courts, and costing me a very pretty penny because I “lawyered” up just in case.

When our divorce was finalized, and he learned that I changed the parenting time schedule to him only having our kid every other weekend, he flipped out and called me every derogatory word associated for a woman. The “new” parenting time only lasted a couple months before he decided to leave the country… Yes, country. So, instead of having time with his son every other weekend, as planned, he decides to just leave. As what every “perfect” parent would do, I assume.

Now, let me put things into perspective – yes, he is overseas for his job, but he is not in the military. We agreed that he would call every Sunday to speak to our son, but he has gone weeks and months not even e-mailing me or trying to reach out to our son. Video-chatting and phone calls are not the only way that he could reach out to our son, because he also has our address, which means he could, at the very least, write to him.

Any way, compare this to my experience when I was deployed for six months, and faithfully reached out to him every week to speak to my child. Mind you, at the beginning, I actually spent every free moment I had, texting and calling my ex and my son, just to see how they were doing. That was short-lived because my ex insisted I called them only on the weekends to “save conversation and not make things boring”… Umm, okay? I did what my husband wanted, and even then, there were times that I’d call and my ex would say “Oh, he’s not here, he’s with so-and-so”. spent a couple weeks and months not being able to contact my son merely because my ex didn’t want me to. Of course, there are always two sides of the story: my son’s father may be very well busy where he’s at, much like how it was when I was deployed. However, the fact always remains that kids will surely remember who or what parent was always there, and which parent wasn’t.

Yeah, kids are pretty materialistic when they’re young, but when they become teenagers and emerge into adults, who’s going to be there for them when times get rough? You can’t just throw money at problems and expect them to go away… Although, I’m sure some people would disagree. Either way, kids need their parents and they don’t need toys or lavish things. They need memories and experiences. Most importantly, they need to know that someone’s out there, looking out whats best for them. Co-parenting is not about who’s the coolest parent, or which parent is Mr/Mrs. Money bags. In fact, throwing money at your kid to simply win their love, loyalty, and respect is the worst thing. It undermines the other parent’s effort in showing them actual love and affection. Co-parenting needs to be on the same level, where parents can just set aside their differences and anger of each other for the common good, which is their child(ren).

Sorry, for the long background story. This has been something that pops up in my mind very often. Are you in a co-parenting relationship? And if so, were you and your child’s mom/dad able to come away from competitive parenting?

Our Costco shopping list

DISCLAIMER – If you have no control over your impulses at Target, you probably should not get a Costco or Sam’s club membership!!

…Of course, that is totally a joke, but I’m also serious! More than half of the times my husband and I go to Costco, we find ourselves debating on buying one of the items they have sitting out near the entrance of the store. The last thing we randomly bought from that section were pairs of gloves; my husband avidly uses them but, for me, I’ve used them once. And I seriously do not know why I talked myself into getting them because its not like I work outside in the elements like he does. My only justification would be for next year when its college football season again, and I have to do medical coverage for the game-watchers. I seriously could’ve waited…

BUT, if you’re looking into getting a warehouse membership to save on groceries, here are some other things to consider: Are you buying for yourself, or for your family? How willing are you to eat the same stuff in a week, or even in a month? Do you even see yourself eating everything you purchase instead of wasting?

For us, we will probably be Costco members for life due to the fact that we have two young boys; those two young boys will eventually grow into teenage boys that will come with LARGE appetites. So, buying in bulk seems to be the best way to go for us. Before we started this routine list of items, I was really hesitant about eating the same thing over and over again; in this case, we’re talking about chicken. One of my biggest problems is eating out because of the variety, and also convenience (let’s not forget about that!). However, eating out costs SO much and surely not good for your body over time. It took us about several months to come up with a solid grocery list that would sustain us and also not waste food. We tried to look up Costco grocery list ideas from Pinterest, but we didn’t like that most of them contained a lot of processed or sugary foods. However, if we looked up “healthier” Costco options, it was basically just one list to go to which contained mostly frozen items. While a good majority of our list also has frozen items (BTW, it took some moving around in our tiny freezer to get everything to fit), its not everything.

Anyway, here’s what our Costco grocery list looks like. Typically, we’ll go through most of these in about 2 weeks but, there’s no waste and everything’s put to good use:

  • Starbucks Mocha Frappucino (12-pack) – $16.55
  • Canned chicken broth (12-pack) – $6.49
  • Orowheat Wheat bread (2-loaves, you can mix and match!) – $5.79
  • Organic eggs (2 dozen) – $6.49
  • Frozen organic broccoli (4 individual packs) – $6.99
  • Frozen stir-fry – $7.69
  • Frozen organic brussel sprouts (4 individual packs) – $8.99
  • Frozen chicken breast (about a dozen breasts) – $16.99
  • Frozen Evol vegetarian breakfast burritos – $10.79
  • Quinoa and wild rice mix packets*
  • Individual organic brown rice bowls*
  • Frozen wild sockeye salmon*
  • Columbus 2 lbs salami slices*

The last four items on the list is something we also buy, but we didn’t get them this last Costco trip. We’ve been mostly eating at home now because I’ve been looking up quick and easy recipes we could make for dinner. Check out my Pinterest account to get some weekday dinners, I do intend on making a post about our favorite Pinned recipes. Be sure to check back later.

Hope this helped you all out, or at least gave you some ideas on what to get at Costco 🙂

Is being a stay-at-home parent a real job?

I got the “inspiration” to write this post while I was trying to prep for tonight’s dinner and my 6-month old was in the background screaming his head off… Who would’ve thought that babies were so needy? I say that as a joke, of course.

I’d like to give myself the title of “part-time stay-at-home mom”, but I feel like I’m stealing the title from true stay-at-home mommies and daddies. Truth be told, I have no idea how stay-at-home parents do it! I barely have enough patience playing stay-at-home mom on the weekends. And I know that stay-at-home parents get a bad rap, I hear the complaints all the time at work. Honestly, I don’t think its necessarily fair for the “working” parent to complain about their significant other staying at home all day with the kids. Yes, it is a choice, but its also a big role to fill.

Why do I say that? For one, I seriously do need time away from my munchkins. As much as I absolutely adore them, it is such a pain to try and entertain a 6-year old AND a 6-month old combined. Oh yeah, and don’t forget our two fur-babies, who are special cases in their own ways. It seems simple to make sure the kids are fed, they’re well-groomed, and well-behaved, but what about the time in-between those tasks? Honestly speaking, being a medic is way more easier, because I know what to do with my down time while I’m on the clock. Being with my kids? Well, I know there’s a lot of activities I can nab off of Pinterest, but that could involve money, messes, and going places.

I’ve also mentioned it before in my first blog post (read it here) that I absolutely hate leaving the house on my own with my kids to corral. I mean, its somewhat of an easier task than, say, a mom of twins, because I just have one infant to lug around in a bulky car seat. My 6-year old is mobile, and for the most part, independent when to comes to going out in public. Anyway, so you have this problem – most stay-at-home parents actually stay home while the other is away at work. The only times I leave my house during the weekends when my husband is working is for coffee at a drive-thru Starbucks. I get cabin-fever very easily!

And because most stay-at-home parents choose to stay at home while their significant other is “getting the bread,” there is literally minimal “me-time” for them, if anything. Of course, I’m sure things get easier for them when their kids are school-age and they have a little bit of time to clean or do whatever. However, I know that some parents choose to home-school their kids, like my sister… I seriously have no idea how she manages that, while I struggle to remain calm when trying to help my 6-year old with his math (BTW, what is up with this core math stuff?!?? Its the bane of my existence!). She tells me she gets somewhat of a break on Mondays, when all the home-schooled kids in her area meet up to have some sort of socialization time with the other kids. Most of the time, I see her with her kids still. So, I’m assuming she doesn’t care about what little personal time she has to herself? I suppose you just get used to it, but by the time my husband gets off of work, I’m already shoving the kids in his direction. I know, thats totally unfair to him because he just got off of working 6-8 hours in retail. I try my best not to do that to him often since I know that I’d get an attitude if and when he does that to me.

Another expectation that I hear from working spouses for their stay-at-home spouses is that the house needs to be clean. I don’t think most of them truly expect to come home to an immaculate house, especially those with children. However, I know the expectation of a somewhat organized house is there. First off, my house is nowhere near where I want it to be, in terms of cleanliness. I mean, our house is clean in ways that the dishes aren’t piling and there’s not dried up poop from the dogs in random places of the house. Our house isn’t clean in terms of organization – we still have things packed up in moving boxes and we moved to Colorado in September… This kind of goes back to the fact that stay-at-home parents don’t have enough time to themselves, and that’s including cleaning up. It used to be a hassle for me with my 6-month old because he started getting antsy whenever someone put him down in his bouncer. He’s somewhat mobile now and we got a walker for Christmas, but I still have to keep an eye on him in case he decides to put his hands in the trash… I know stay-at-home parents do their best in finding ways to clean about the house or do little chores here and there. I just haven’t found those ways yet!

Lastly, the biggest complaint I hear about stay-at-home parents is that they don’t do their fair share in bringing in some type of income. This one really irritates me because, 1) if you really had such a problem with your husband/wife staying home, why didn’t you have that conversation yet or why haven’t you been on them a little more about getting a job, and 2) they’re actually saving you money… Well, I know there are some stay-at-home parents that blow their partner’s paycheck (trust me, I know that situation all too well with my ex-husband), but that is definitely a deep and personal conversation to be had. Anyway, its true, stay-at-home parents do save some money. First, by providing a baby-sitter for your children (with both kids, we fork out about $800 per month for daycare services). Second, most are apt for the meal-prepping and cooking home-made meals (no need to figure out what you’re having for dinner or even having to spend money on take-out!). And finally, most are extreme couponers! My sister is one of them, and I still have a lot to learn from her! In terms of couponing, the most I ever do is Ibotta or the Target app. Extreme couponing actually saves a significant amount of money, and you sometimes get great deals!

If you’re a stay-at-home parent, I seriously commend you for all my reasons and more! If you’re spouse is a stay-at-home parent, make sure you let them know from time to time that you appreciate their efforts and let them have their own time alone! They are truly something special in their own rights and ways!

2018 goals

Happy New Years!! It’s time to start running and taking off with your New Year’s Resolution’s and goals!!

People say to “speak your goals into existence,” and you’ll be able to achieve them… but there’s also a belief that if you tell everyone about your goals, the lesser likelihood of them coming to fruition. Sooooooo, which one is it?

Believe it or not, I’m more of a private person when it comes to speaking about my goals; those that need to know my goals and intention do know, and others, well don’t. And I’m not that way because I’m a butt about it, its a part of me being humble and trying not to speak so much about myself. I also feel like if I say something on FaceBook, I feel like I’m more apt to achieve or do that goal, otherwise I’m a total let-down or failure. Some of my goals are kind of just “in the cards” or “right time, right place”.

For instance, my main goal for this year is to make the next rank (Technical Sergeant/E-6 in the Air Force). Its highly attainable, however, it also depends on the amount of time I put into studying. And, by all means, I am definitely not a book-smart person. The last time I actually put forth the effort in studying was 2 years ago, and I didn’t even make it. I felt like a complete let-down and total loser for not making it. Hopefully this year, I’ll actually persevere and make it, but it just depends if I’m in the right time and right place. 

Another professional-type goal for myself is to hurry up and put in my application for the Inter-service Physician’s Assistant Program (IPAP). I’m intending to submit my first package in by 2019 or 2020. Highly do-able, but my life will generally suck in the meantime. I’m also coming up to the five-year mark which means most of my classes will likely need to be repeated. Either way, if I don’t get accepted to the IPAP, my Plan B is to switch my degree plan to obtaining a bachelor’s degree in nursing. Next year, I’ll have 10 years of military service under my belt and it would be such a waste to quit at 12-13 years… Might as well ride out the 20 years at that point and collect retirement.

As far as my husband’s and my combined goal, we’re planning on getting rid of our debts together. Since well now have two kids to claim on our taxes for this year, we’re estimating a good tax refund that will take out a good portion of our debts. The rest we’ll just have to find a means of paying it and not using our credit cards. This is such a huge problem for me because I am quite a spender but, if I’m dedicating myself to constant studying for anything, I should theoretically be spending less… At least, I’d like to think so.

My last goal for 2018 is to pay more attention to my Perfectly Posh business. Its not so much as to finding people to recruit under me or “building my company.”  I’m looking more into spreading my reach-out for new customers and not making money just on myself. I’d like to say, with a new baby and moving to a new base totally messed up my Feng Shui,  but it probably didn’t. I do enjoy selling Perfectly Posh and being a total advocate for them, but I think it’s time to make money off of it instead of losing money from it.

Four goals for this year seems to be a good way to refocus on myself and my family, what do you think? What are some of your goals you’d like to see become a reality?

 

Ways to help you focus on blogging (and MAYBE profit off of it)

Well… I already broke down and paid for the Premium service that WordPress offers its’ users. It cost me $96, or $8 per month. Hopefully, this blog will be my blog that I stick with and potentially make a profit.

I know that I previously made a post about how you’ll probably not profit off of blogging/vlogging (read that post here), but I’d like to also say I’m optimistic and think I could fulfill my dream of owning a successful blog. So here are some of the ways I’ll keep myself focused and hopefully convert my dream into a reality. Hopefully these tips will also help you keep focus and own a successful blog too!

Realize there’s no such thing as instant success or fame – Okay, I know that there are ways to achieve instant success/fame, considering things can go viral within minutes on the interwebs; but the reality of that actually happening to me doesn’t seem at all possible. Unfortunately, I’ll probably have to put in a ton of effort to achieve a well-known status.

Don’t limit yourself on what you can blog about – I know I mentioned in “Why you probably won’t profit off of blogging/vlogging” that, in order to have a successful blog, you need to be interesting. While this is true, don’t limit yourself to what you can blog about. I mean, this blog doesn’t really have a purpose other than the fact that I like to write about random non-sense. If its important for you to even make a blog about, I’m sure someone else in the world will be interested to read what you have to say.

BLOG like its your J-O-B –  I did put down $96 in order to maintain this blog. My justification is, if I routinely post on my blog, I pretty much wasted my time not investing in my blog. So here’s to hoping that I didn’t waste another $96 in blogging. This is also like investing in a business – you have to put some money down in order to start a business. You know its true! In order to join up any independent consultant business, you have to put money down by ordering their “new consultant kits” or “starter kits”. I know the same goes when you want to start up a shop with Etsy… I think I’ve made my point with this. If I want to make money off of blogging, I’m going to have to create some sort of schedule to keep going. I mean, you don’t get paid at any job if you don’t show up or do anything!

Stick to your word, and keep to your schedule! – As mentioned in the point above, I need to maintain some sort of schedule. I figured that if I pay attention to my blog 30-minutes to an hour each day, and post something for the days that I’m off of my actual job, I should be okay. The problem with my last blogs was that I just lost interest or the motivation in continuing the blog. I have so many great ideas to post, but writer’s block gets in the way or I just don’t get it past the draft blog. I think its time to stop making excuses and starting doing.

If writer’s block gets to you, find some inspiration – Honestly, my inspiration comes from FaceBook (lol). You know there’s a lot of discussion going on in social media websites, and it doesn’t have to be about politics, current events, etc. Buzzfeed is also an EXCELLENT source of inspiration. They’re always up to something that’s interesting to talk about, or maybe even re-enact.

Here’s to hoping that I actually stick to my plans and not ditch them!! Do you have some ideas on how you stay motivated in your blog(s)? I’d love to hear them, and drop off your blog in the comments as well! I’d love to hear what you’re interested in!

 

Why you probably won’t profit off of blogging/vlogging

[Updated 26 Dec 17 – This post’s name was changed from “Blogging/vlogging (don’t quit your day-time job, kid)” to “Why you probably won’t profit off of blogging/vlogging. The “It takes money to make money” section was added.]

 

Last night, I mentioned to my husband that I started up yet another blog. His response was a very audible groan… Okay, I get it. Its not the fact that he’s unsupportive, its the fact that I have literally stated this to him almost a million times before. Being able to stay at home (alone, with no children, of course) and get paid to update my blog/vlog would be an absolute dream job for me; buuuuuut, lets be completely real here. Here’s some honest reasons why you shouldn’t put all of your eggs in the blogging/vlogging business and think you can make it big.

Those famous bloggers/vloggers didn’t get instant fame – Face it, we live in a world where we demand instant gratification, instant reward, instant whatever… This is literally the prime reason lots of bloggers/vloggers, including me, have failed before you. You cannot and should not expect instant fame and success when you start up your blog/vlog. Sometimes, it takes a couple posts, or even a thousand posts, before you’re discovered and have a steady number of followers… But if you’re that determined in making a name for yourself this way, you could buy a domain and try a hand at advertising your blog. That always has its risk and benefits, but still keep it in your mind that you need to put some work into it in order to achieve some sort of “fame.

You need to be interesting – This may very well offend people but, I DON’T CARE. This is some honest piece of advice, whether you want to hear it or not. Sometimes we get a great idea to run with (Ex: I had an idea to create a blog around my love for my FujiFilm Instax cameras), but then you end up finding yourself running out of ideas to keep things relevant. In order to stick out of the crowd, which is essentially what blogging/vlogging is all about, you have to be creative… Now, some people also push the envelope way too far in trying to maintain their relevancy and to entertain their followers. A LOT of YouTubers have done pretty ridiculous things to be famous, and that has come at a price, unfortunately.

You really need the time and dedication – I say this primarily with vlogging in mind. I suppose blogging fits into this well considering you have to write what you want to say in a way that will keep people interested. Writer’s block is a REAL thing. I’ve had this on-again, off-again relationship with vlogging. I truly love doing it, but it takes more time editing your video than actually filming it. I’d say it probably took me a good couple hours editing videos for my YouTube channels before I threw in the towel.

It takes money to make money – Although NOT completely impossible, it is difficult to make money off of a free blog. You can use keywords that would be searchable on Google or other search engines, but just think about how many other blogs would pop up before yours. Blog servers, such as WordPress, has packages you can purchase to upgrade your blog so you can be seen by more viewers, and also find a means to make money… However, before you start making payments towards a blog, you still have to make sure you have the time and commitment in maintain said blog.

Be mindful to your future self – Digging up information for just about anyone has become a cinch; therefore, you should probably be careful on what you say or do on your blogs/vlogs. Sometimes, you can take things back… Granted, if you don’t really have a huge follower population or your post didn’t get a huge spike of attention. Either way, most things can’t be taken back now-a-days on the internet. Imagine going to an interview for your dream job, and your boss found a video of you getting absolutely obliterated from keg stands… Awkward.

So there you have it, my reasonings of why making blogging/vlogging a profession just won’t work. Have you encountered other reasons why blogging/vlogging didn’t work out for you?