Flying with my Dog

I recently got the courage to try something I have been wanting to do for a long time.  I took Mowgli on his very first plane ride!  I was very anxious to fly with him (alone might I add) my first time and wanted to document the process and all of my helpful tips!

Click here to watch on YouTube!

I registered Mowgli as an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).  I did this for a couple of reasons:  Mowgli has major separation anxiety which causes me to have anxiety if he is not with me and I was afraid to have him fly in cargo as there have been many animals that have sadly died being transported that way (also would cause me more anxiety).  I should also note that there are other ways to fly with your pet if they are not an ESA, but this is the option that worked best for my situation.

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What is the ESA process?  How do I fly with my dog?

I was really nervous to fly with Mowgli as he is a large dog (I’m talking 80+ pounds) so I researched EXTENSIVELY and did everything from call airlines, read blogs, watch YouTube videos, and talk to my vet.  I am not an ESA expert, but this is what I would recommend. 

  1. Research airlines and their ESA policy – Before you decide to travel with your pet, I recommend doing research on the airline(s) you are considering flying with.  Most airlines have an ESA policy, but you may want to read the “fine print” to make sure it will work in your situation.  Simply do a Google search on the airline name and “ESA” policy or look on their website for the “Accessibility” section.  Things to look for: pet weight requirements, breed restrictions, time needed to submit paperwork, etc.
  2. Book a plane ticket – Book a ticket with an airline that you have researched and will fit your needs.  I recommend booking out as far in advance as possible to make sure that you have seats left to choose from.  Only book with an airline after you have researched their ESA policy AND I would highly recommend you book directly through the airline (don’t use a third party platform like Expedia).
  3. Fill out and submit the required forms – Based on the airline, the forms will vary, but typically there are at least three forms that you are required to submit at least 48 hours before you travel.  I would recommend submitting them as early as possible.
      • Mental Health Form – This form must be filled out by a licensed mental health professional.  If you do not have one, you can pay for a service online to match you with a licensed professional who can write you a letter if you fit the qualifications.  NOTE: Some online websites are sketchy and will just take your money and will not write acceptable letters.  I used a website called Waggy.  It was all done online.  The cost was $98 and I had to fill out a mental health questionnaire.  I received my letter the same day, and had to email them to get an additional travel form for the airline I was taking as it wasn’t as common.
      • Veterinary Health Form – This form needs to be filled out by a licensed veterinarian and will ensure that your pet is up to date on the required vaccinations and that your pet has never harmed anyone.
      • Animal Behavior Form –  This form is for you to fill out and certifies that your animal is trained, well-behaved, and listens to your command.  If you are at all concerned about your animal’s behavior towards strangers – do not certify them as an ESA.
  4. Call the airline to confirm your travel reservations and upgrade your seat if needed – After you submit all of the required ESA forms, I highly recommend you call the airline and verify they received your forms and that they are good to go.  I would also ask about any other things you should know when flying with an ESA on their airline.  If you are flying with a large ESA (aka my 80 pound Golden Retriever) I would highly recommend making sure you get a bulkhead seat or a seat with extra leg room (first class or business class).  From experience, Mowgli would NOT fit under one seat in the normal cabin.  Some airlines will upgrade you free of charge, but if they wont, you will need to pay to secure a seat.
  5. Print out all documentation – Once you are cleared to fly with your ESA, print all of your required forms and any other documentation you think you may need.  I was never asked to show any documentation once I got to the airport, but in case something goes wrong, you will want to make sure you have copies of everything!

What do I do the day of my flight?

  1. Skip a meal, limit water and wear them out – I am not a vet – so please verify with yours first.  My flight with Mowgli was 3 hours long and it left at 3pm.  The morning of my flight I did not give Mowgli breakfast and I took him to the dog park to get out all of his energy.  I let him drink water until around 11am and then we left for the airport around 12:30pm.  You know your pet better than anyone, but I felt better knowing if he got sick his stomach wouldn’t be full and I didn’t want him to be holding his bladder on the plane.
  2. Arrive at airport 2 hours early (no online check in) – One drawback of flying with an ESA is that you cannot check in to your flight online.  This means that you will have to wait in the airline check in even if you do not have any luggage to check.  Budget extra time in case the airport is busy and have your printed forms on hand in case you are asked to show them.  Also make sure your pet goes potty before you get to the airport.
  3. Security – I was most nervous to go through security but it turned out to be a breeze.  The TSA agents were extremely friendly and let me walk right through the metal detector with him.  Many articles/videos I saw said that you needed to unleash them and walk through separately.  This was not true in my case, I was able to walk through the detector with him on a leash with no problems.
  4. Waiting at the gate/boarding – We had an easy time waiting at the gate as there were not many people around, but you will want to find a quieter spot for you and your pet to wait for boarding.  Remember that it is all new sights/smells so your pet will be very stimulated by all the new-ness.
  5. During the Flight – One drawback of flying with an ESA is that you cannot check in to your flight online.  This means that you will have to wait in the airline check in even if you do not have any luggage to check.  Budget extra time in case the airport is busy.
  6. Arrive at airport 2 hours early (no online check in) – One drawback of flying with an ESA is that you cannot check in to your flight online.  This means that you will have to wait in the airline check in even if you do not have any luggage to check.  Budget extra time in case the airport is busy.

Helpful Tips / Ideas

  • Get TSA PreCheck – It is $85 for 5 years and if you fly often it will save you so much time.  Also with an ESA it is especially handy because you don’t need to remove your shoes/liquids/laptops/etc. when going through security. It makes the whole process 100 times easier.
  • Get a “lead” with no metal instead of leash/collar/harness
  • An ESA harness is not needed
  • An ESA card or certificate is a scam
  • Talk to your vet about meds
  • Your dog is not allowed on the seat
  • Have passenger etiquitte

Pet Things to Pack in your Carry-on Bag

Pack light (I packed a small backpack) and only carry the essentials you need for your flight.  These are some handy items:

  • Poop Bags & Wipes (hopefully your pet will not have an accident but it is always better to be prepared)
  • Blanket for your pet to lay on when they are on the ground
  • Toy or chew that will keep your pet distracted (don’t pack anything that squeaks or smells bad)  I love Nylabones!
  • Stuff your pockets with treats so they are accessible at all times
  • Airline required ESA forms (always have these handy)
  • Collapsible water bowl or something similar (I don’t give Mowgli water, but if there is a flight delay or you get stuck on the runway you will want to have it on hand just in case)
  • Lint roller if your dog sheds
  • Puppy pad if your dog is trained to use them (many airports do not have easily accessible dog “potty” areas)

Magic Monday!

A World with Color

Walt always appeared to be challenging the status quo and attempting to find ways to improve the quality of everything his studio created.  In the early 1930’s, Walt and his team of animators were already experimenting with something uncommon at the time – color animations.  Unfortunately, the technology that Walt needed to produce the stunning color animations he desired did not exist at the time and their current methods were very expensive and created sub-par results.

In 1932, the company Technicolor, released a three-color process that was exactly what Walt believed he was missing.  Still, at the time, creating color animations was three times as expensive as creating traditional black and white, not to mention, the additional production costs needed.

Walt’s brother, Roy, who managed the studio’s finances, was strongly opposed of experimenting with color animation. He couldn’t understand how the studio would cover all of the additional costs.  In addition, their current contracts for Mickey cartoons and the Silly Symphonies did not pay extra for the animations being in color.  From a financial perspective, creating animations in color was a poor financial decision for the studio.

Technicolor was not financially strong at the time as they were having difficulties convincing studios to spend the additional money required for color.  Walt wanted it badly and Technicolor was supportive because they wanted to showcase what their company could help create and attract other users.  Through negotiations, Walt agreed to make thirteen Silly Symphony cartoons in color and Technicolor agreed to allow Walt to use the three-color Technicolor process exclusively for two years which would give his studio a competitive advantage.

Still opposed to the idea, Roy was left to figure out how to fund these increasing costs to support Walt’s desires (this was hardly the first time).  Luckily,  the Disney brothers found the support of Attilio “Doc” Giannini who worked for his brothers bank, the Bank of America.  He was known for investing in new ideas and was familiar with the film industry.  Doc agreed to loan them the money they needed which allowed Walt to pursue his passion of creating color animation.

Despite the many people who were skeptical about creating color animation, the studio was rewarded when Flowers and Trees was released in 1932 in Technicolor and went on to win an Academy Award.  Color soon became the way of the future.

Silly Symphony Cartoons Part Eight – 1937: A deeper realism ...
Source: http://www.insidethemagic.net

 

Magic Monday!

The Disney’s

Walt Disney is one of the most well-known names in households across the globe, but many do not know much about the family that shaped him.  Walt Disney was given his middle name, Elias, after his father, Elias Disney.   Elias was strict, religious, hard-working, frugal, and suffered through many financial failures and disappointments throughout his life.  Walt’s mother, Flora Call, on the other hand, was much softer and a well-educated school teacher.  Elias and Flora were married in Florida on January 1, 1888.

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Elias and Flora Disney

On December 8, 1888 the first Disney child, Herbert Arthur Disney was born.  Not long after Herbert’s birth, Elias and Florida moved from Florida to Chicago where Elias’s younger brother, Robert, was living at the time.  Elias moved to Chicago with the desire of financial stability and they arrived in Chicago in 1890.   At this time Flora was already pregnant with her second child and Raymond Arnold Disney was born on December 30, 1890.

The third child of the Disney family, and the brother that Walt was closest to, Roy Oliver Disney, was born on June 24, 1893.  Following Roy, on December 5, 1901 Walter Elias Disney was born.  Two years later, the youngest Disney child and only girl, Ruth Flora Disney was born on December 6, 1903.

Learning more about the family that shaped Walt is very telling of the man that Walt was.  Similar to his father, he was a go-getter, hard-working, and wasn’t content doing one thing for too long.  Like his mother, he had a softer side as well as a sense of humor.  Most people are not familiar with Herbert or Ray the two eldest Disney sons and it is generally due to the fact that Walt was not close to them, thus, they are not frequently discussed.  Ruth and Walt kept in contact, but by far, Roy was the closest to Walt of all of his siblings.  Roy was known as the financial brains to Walt’s creative genius and he is responsible for overseeing the opening of Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in the years following Walt’s death.

Take a Look Back at Disney in the Year 1923 - D23
Roy Disney (left) and Walt Disney (right)

For anyone who is interested in learning more about the Disney family or Walt’s life, I highly recommend the book “Walt Disney” by Neal Gabler.

 

 

Five not-so-popular tips for the Disney College Program

I completed my Disney College Program in 2017 where I worked as a custodial Cast Member at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.  I always get a lot of questions about my experience on the program and love to give advice that you don’t typically see online.

Keep reading to see five tips that many people don’t talk about that I would give to ANYONE who gets accepted to the DCP!

  1. Pack WAY less than you think – I stuffed my car with so much stuff that I never even unpacked it all from my trunk during my program.  If you’re living in program housing, you will not have much space to utilize so don’t over do it.  Also keep in mind that you will be wearing a costume for 5-6 days per week so you do not need a ton of outfits.  You will want lounge wear for before/after work and maybe a couple of “going out” outfits, but let’s be honest, you will go to the parks and you will see ALL the cute Disney merch and you will have a discount.  YOU WILL BUY CLOTHES!  So pack as little as you can and thank me later.  Check out my more detailed packing list here!
  2. Make a bucket list and make a plan to complete things each week – I made a bucket list before my program began which was a fun way to get excited about the program and I highly recommend it.  I did make time to experience a lot during my program, but there were so many opportunities that popped up and I said “I’ll do that later, I’m here for 7 months”.  Well…let me tell you, most of those things I said I would do later, I never did.  Once you get in the routine of working 40+ hours per week you are exhausted and believe it or not, you will not have the desire to go out and do things…DO IT ANYWAYS – this is usually a once in a lifetime opportunity.  You can sleep when you’re dead! 🙂
  3. Don’t waste your precious money on groceries – this one probably sounds strange, but let me tell you a story to illustrate my point. While living in CP housing your paychecks will not be that big.  Each Thursday (payday) I would get paid and go to the grocery store.  I’d buy healthy things for breakfast, things to pack in my lunch bag, and things to make for dinner on my days off.  It was REALLY hard to leave the grocery store without spending at least $80-$100.  I know that doesn’t sound that unreasonable for food…but then…Thursday night I would stop at McDonalds, Friday night my roomies would want to go out to dinner, Saturday we would order pizza, Sunday I’d eat dinner at work, Monday I’d have my leftover restaurant food, Tuesday I’d eat at the Parks, etc.  Basically, all of my planned meals would go out the window and I was wasting SO much food.  Not to mention it was almost like I was paying double for meals because all of my groceries were going to waste.  It ended up being cheaper for me to eat out and skip stocking up on groceries.  Is this healthy?  Probably not, but you will be working so hard you will not be in the mood to cook and if you’re in a role that walks a lot like I was, you will burn off everything you eat. Trust me, I love to cook, and I rarely did it (and I still lost 25 pounds from all of the walking).  If anything, I suggest stocking your freezer with some cheap, quick meals in case you are home.  Just remember 95% of the time, you won’t be home!
  4. Pick your roomies in advance and keep the peace – I was blessed to have INCREDIBLE roommates for the DCP.  But I credit this to the fact that we chose each other ahead of time.  Can you go random and have your roomies be cool?  Yes.  Does that happen often and is it worth the risk? NO!  Find the DCP Facebook group for your arrival date and look for people that are similar to you.  Be honest…if you are not a clean freak, don’t plan to live with one.  If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t room with people who do.  If someone just seems “off” to you, don’t room with them.  Remember, if your “home” life is toxic, it will make your DCP miserable…so try to find people that you will get along with!  I got lucky and some of my DCP roomies are now my very close friends. 
  5. Don’t forget to think about the future – There is nothing wrong with doing the DCP just for fun because that is exactly why I did it. What I will say, is that when I finished my program, I had no intentions of going back to work for Disney.  Luckily I completed my program satisfactorily and did not have any reprimands when I left.  Later, when I applied again to work for Disney, I was an attractive candidate.  Maybe you know right now you want to work for Disney long term or maybe you just want to experience the program for fun, but my best advice is to give it your all and don’t burn bridges.  I sometimes called out sick when I wasn’t, but I never allowed myself to get a reprimand.  I followed the rules (mostly) and I did a good job in my role.  I had good relationships with all of my coworkers and I stuck out the program and finished it.   Had I not done any of those things, I probably would have never been hired back.  This is basically a nice way of me telling you don’t screw it up! You never know where this opportunity could take you, but if you blow it, you don’t get another shot. 

Happy Earth Day!

For a seemingly “normal” day of quarantine, today is extra special! If you haven’t heard yet, today is the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.  I am even more excited to write that it is also the 25th Anniversary of the Disney Conservation Fund.  While working at Animal Kingdom I have been able to experience the intense focus on conservation efforts and how much our Cast Members care for the safety and happiness of our animals.  I am so proud to work at a place that cares SO much for the planet.

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Photo Credit: Disney

FUN FACT: Did you know that Disney’s Animal Kingdom and Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge are accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA)?  This is a HUGE deal to our properties as the AZA sets the “gold standard” for things like animal welfare, veterinary care, and conservation.  According to the AZA website, “Fewer than 10% of the approximately 2,800 animal exhibitors licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture are AZA accredited!”

Many of our Guests get to learn about the Disney Conservation Fund when exploring the Parks, but there are many unique ways to donate to the Disney Conservation Fund.  Below is a list of a few of my favorite, less-known ways to donate!

Fun Ways to Donate to the Disney Conservation Fund:

  • Buy a Flat White Latte at Starbucks  Next time you are at Animal Kingdom, stop by Creature Comforts (Starbucks) and purchase a Flat White Latte.  A portion of the proceeds will go to support the endangered Cotton-top Tamarins.  You can also visit these cute monkeys as you sip your latte as they are just steps away from Creature Comforts.
  • Take a behind the scenes tour at Animal Kingdom  Animal Kingdom offers a few different tours that take you behind the scenes to get up close with the animals and learn more about Disney’s conservation efforts.  For example, the proceeds from the Caring for Giants tour I went on recently all went towards helping African Elephants!
  • Buy a mini banner at Nomad Lounge Nomad Lounge located at Animal Kingdom embraces the spirit of adventure.  Upon entering the lounge, you will find banners hanging all over the ceiling.  You can also share your own travel adventures and purchase a mini banner for $1.  Your mini banner will be displayed in the lounge and $0.85 of it is donated to the Disney Conservation Fund!

I hope you can try out one of these unique ways to donate next time you visit Animal Kingdom.  Also know that you can donate to the Disney Conservation Fund at most Animal Kingdom registers and Disney will match 100% (P.S. you can get a commemorative Disney Conservation Fund button).

“You’ve probably heard people talk about conservation. Well, conservation isn’t just the business of a few people. It’s a matter that concerns all of us. It’s a science whose principles are written in the oldest code in the world, the laws of nature. The natural resources of our vast continent are not inexhaustible. But if we will use our riches wisely, if we will protect our wildlife and preserve our lakes and streams, these things will last us for generations to come.” – Walt Disney

 

MAGIC MONDAY

Gertie the Dinosaur

When walking around Disney’s Hollywood Studios you may notice a giant green dinosaur in the middle of Echo Lake that is seemingly out of place.  After all, we are not in Dinoland, aren’t we in old-age Hollywood?  Why is there a brontosaurus in the middle of Hollywood?! You start thinking to yourself “hmm…I must have missed that Disney movie…”

Who is Dinosaur Gertie at Hollywood Studios and Why is it There
Photo Credit: http://www.disneyaddicts.com

As it turns out, Gertie the giant green dinosaur has not been featured in any Disney movie, but Walt Disney Imagineering does not make “giant” mistakes, and Gertie is in a perfect spot.  Gertie the Dinosaur was one of the first animated short films that premiered in 1914. The short film was created by the American animator Winsor McCay.

Many credit Gertie the Dinosaur with founding the idea of adding personality to animation.  One of Walt Disney’s most well-known achievements was being excellent at creating animation with not just personality, but by also incorporating story and emotion.  There is no doubt that Gertie the Dinosaur influenced how animation was going to be created in the future.

Even though Walt was only a child at the time that Gertie the Dinosaur premiered, he discussed the importance that Gertie played in animation during “The Story of Animated Drawing” on his Disneyland television series in 1955. (See a clip of this show in the link below) Walt credits McCay with being a pioneer of animation.

“Winsor McCay’s Gertie and other animation novelties stimulated a great public interest and created a demand for this new medium. This, in turn, encouraged other pioneers to creative efforts that in time, led to the establishment of the animated cartoon as an industry.” – Walt Disney

Make sure to stop by and check out Gertie the next time you are at Disney’s Hollywood Studios!

Click here to watch a clip from “The Story of Animated Drawing”

 

 

Caring for Giants

A few months ago I found the perfect way to surprise my youngest sister.  She was visiting for Christmas break from Wisconsin and I wanted to find something fun for us to do together.  My sister, Kylie, LOVES elephants, so I surprised her with the Caring for Giants tour.

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Caring for Giants is one of the tours offered at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  This tour gives you a close up look at the African Elephants.  If you have taken a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safaris, this is basically a “behind the scenes” look at the elephant area.

Details:

  • The tour is approximately one hour in length
  • The tour is $30 per person (as of April 2020)
  • Only for ages 4+
  • Check in for the tour is located at the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk which is located near the entrance to the Kilimanjaro Safaris (arrive 15 minutes early)
  • You can reserve space on the tour by calling Disney (407) 939-7529 or you can stop by the Curiosity Animal Tours kiosk to see if they have space
  • You will be with a small group of around 12 people
  • You will be escorted backstage, driven via bus to the elephant area, and you will be walking/standing for the majority of the tour
  • You will get to experience the African Elephants from less than 100 feet away
  • You are not allowed to take pictures backstage, but pictures/videos are welcomed once you are near the elephants
  • You get to learn more about elephants from experts (sometimes even the cultural representatives from Africa)
  • All profit from this tour goes directly to elephant conservation efforts

What this tour does not include:

  • There are no food/snacks/beverages provided
  • There are no restrooms once the tour begins (use the restroom before your tour)
  • You do not get to pet/ride the elephants
  • You do not get to tour where the elephants sleep/eat

Review:

I really enjoyed this tour.  It was only an hour long so it went rather quickly, but if you have a love or an appreciation for the elephants, you will enjoy this behind the scenes look.  We were also excited to get to see baby Stella, who was very playful.

The value of this tour at only $30 per person is very reasonable – especially since all of the profits go to helping elephants!  I would highly recommend doing this tour when the weather is cooler or in the morning as you will be outside and it could be very hot in the afternoon in the summer.

If you want a longer tour of more safari animals, check out the Wild Africa Trek!

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A close up of baby Stella!

Quarantine Update

This has been a challenging time for all of us.  Never has anything like this happened in my lifetime and some days have been harder than others.  Although I am an extrovert and desperately miss socializing (I would give anything to go enjoy a drink at a bar right now), I have been trying to focus on the positives and wanted to share my happy thoughts!

  1. I am healthy and so are my family and friends!  Even though this virus has impacted many people across the globe, I am grateful that I am healthy and that the people I care about are too.
  2. I am employed!  Working for Disney during this time has been a new experience.  We all have had to change the way we do our work to incorporate more technology (lots of video calls) and our roles are beginning to change too.  Disney unfortunately had to furlough many people, but I am blessed that I am not one of them.  This is definitely something to be thankful for while I see so many people suffering and struggling with unemployment.
  3. I have been learning more than ever!  Not only have I been learning new roles at work while some of my coworkers are being furloughed, but I have been taking extra time to grow.  I have been listening to lectures on Khan Academy, a free resource that has many different lessons (I have been studying US History). I have also made the decision to start studying for the GMAT so I can hopefully start school this fall to get my MBA.
  4. I found my passion for reading again! I have always loved to read but I have been doing it slowly.  I am usually so busy that I read a little here and there but I don’t make the time to sit down for a few hours and enjoy a good book.  That has changed during quarantine as I am already on book #6!  I forgot how much I loved to read and hope to keep this habit going strong when life resumes back to “normal”.
  5. I am focusing on me! With no distractions and no excuses it is easier for me to focus on myself.  I have been working on creating a routine that I want to maintain when “normal” life resumes.  I have been taking a relaxing bath on Sundays, working out for an hour each day, going on lots of walks with Mowgli, focusing on healthy eating, and really trying to enjoy simple things in life like going to the grocery store and playing card games with my sister.

I have found that when you are like me and used to a life of constant craziness, it can be difficult to learn how to slow down.  But through this time, I have found an appreciation for living simply.  Not every day is easy, but I hope that everyone is staying home and staying safe as best they can so that we can all come back stronger and wiser!

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Thanks Aunt Lynne for the masks!

 

January Obsessions

I can’t believe that the first month of 2020 is already over! So far 2020 has been full of exciting changes for me.  Many people who know me well, know that I often find products/services that I fall in love with.  I decided this year I wanted to start doing a monthly recap of my favorite products each month.  See my January Obsessions below!

Iron Flask

IMG_3506Like many people, one of my daily health challenges is drinking enough water.  Luckily, I like the taste of water (I know many people don’t) but my biggest issue is having COLD water.  I have a hard time drinking water if it is at room temperature.

My sisters both have Hydro Flask water bottles that are amazing as they keep your water cold for 24+ hours…but they come with a crazy price tag of around $50.  I was determined to find a cheaper product and luckily found the Iron Flask on Amazon.

I have the 40oz Iron Flask in the color Bubble Gum and I paid under $30 for it.  It comes with three different lid styles and when you fill it up with ice, it keeps water cold for days.  It is AMAZING!  There are many different sizes/colors to choose from, but I love the 40oz size because I do not have to refill it that frequently throughout the day.

Check out the Iron Flask Here!

Home Chef

New year, new health goals…right?!  Well luckily eating healthy has become WAY easier for me since I found Home Chef.  Home Chef is a food delivery service that ships your ingredients and recipes right to your front door once a week.  You can use their app/website to make your meal selections and then BAM all of your meal prep/planning for the week is done.

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I absolutely love this meal service for a few different reasons…

  1. The recipes are all delicious – I have yet to try one that I don’t like!
  2. All of their dishes are relatively low in calories.  Most meals I’ve tried are around 400-700 calories, but you can easily look and see what the nutrition info is before you select the meal.  This makes calorie counting SUPER EASY!
  3. Each meal is packaged individually and most items are prepped/measured out for you.  This makes dinner SO painless.  Usually I can throw together a healthy, gourmet dinner for myself in under 30 minutes. Score!
  4. When you order for the first time they send you a binder for your recipe cards.  This way you can save all of the recipes you purchase and make them again in the future.

For $35 off your first Home Chef order, click the link below!

Try out Home Chef here! 

Furbo

Calling all pup parents! One of my favorite Christmas presents I received was my Furbo.  This is a camera for your home that allows you to keep an eye on your pup from an app on your phone. You can talk to your dog AND it dispenses treats!

I love/hate the Furbo app because it lets me check in on Mowgli while I’m at work, but it also sends me alerts when he is barking!  This week I was alerted that he was barking and was able to use the Furbo app to find out he accidentally locked himself in Lindsey’s bedroom.  Thanks Furbo!  Highly recommend one of these if you are a dog lover…it is very helpful (and also a little extra home security!).

 

Bubbly Water

Maybe this one seems a little crazy…but I am OBSESSED with Bubbly water.

One of my IMG_3512New Years Resolutions for 2020 is to eliminate soda.  Regular soda is full of sugar (empty calories), and diet soda is filled with sketchy chemicals.  I’ve made the switch from drinking soda to sparkling water or iced tea and I haven’t missed it yet!

My favorite flavors of Bubbly that I have tried so far are Peach, Blackberry, and Grapefruit.  It is light and refreshing and it gives me the “fizz” fix.  Sparkling water is not sweet like soda, but it does hit the spot!  I probably drink at least one a day and I keep a whole case of it at work.

 

 

 

How to Make Money…FAST!

Yesterday I posted about Murphy’s Law and how things go wrong when they can go wrong.  I briefly talked about how I was able to save up $1,000 relatively quickly and it was primarily by selling things that I own.  Selling things is really quite simple, so I wanted to give some tips for those that want to make some money off of their unused stuff!

Not sure what to sell?  I get it!  I didn’t think I had much to get rid of until I started going through each room of our apartment and thinking “do I use this often?” and “is this going to be something I need in the future?”  I found a lot of items that I really didn’t need.  For example, with the launching of Disney+ and the general popularity of streaming services, I decided I no longer needed to have Blu-ray’s or my Blu-ray player.  I made over $250 on selling my Blu-rays!

Listed below are my favorite selling platforms and how I have sold all of my stuff I deemed unnecessary!

Facebook Marketplace

  • Facebook Marketplace can be used if you have a Facebook account. It posts the items you want to sell to the “Marketplace” which is essentially your local community. (think Craigslist, but less sketchy)
  • I found selling larger or more complex items on Facebook Marketplace is easier than a platform like Ebay as there are no selling fees, you don’t have to ship your item, and you can make cash, fast! (I made over $900)
  • Examples of items I sold on Facebook Marketplace were my MacBook Pro, Disney Blu-ray Movies, small kitchen appliances/tools, Blu-ray player, and puppy items that Mowgli no longer needed.
  • I never once felt unsafe meeting up with people to exchange items, but most people are open to meeting at a local gas station/Starbucks if you don’t want them coming to your house.
  • Tip: many people want a “deal” so if you want to sell your item for $50, set it at $60 and expect that people WILL try to ask if you’ll take less (and if they don’t bargain, then more $ for you!)

Ebay

  • I have bought and sold items on Ebay for years!  It is very user-friendly and is easy to create an account.
  • I find that smaller, more luxurious items are easier to sell on Ebay as they are easier to ship and you will most likely get more money for them.
  • Examples of items I have sold on Ebay were my Clarisonic electric face brush, Beats headphones, old cell phones, unused protein powder, and designer purses/sunglasses.
  • Tip: make sure that you charge enough for shipping or you can get burned!  For example, if you are selling an item for $20 and you list it with “free shipping”, paying $14 to ship it at the Post Office is going to cut into your profits!  I recommend shipping using the USPS Priority Boxes because they are free at any Post Office, they will tape the box for you (also free), and each size of box has a fixed price so you know exactly what to charge for shipping.
  • One thing to note with Ebay is that the do have selling fees.  Typically you do not have to pay to list your item, but if it sells, Ebay will usually take a small percentage of the selling price.

Poshmark

  • Poshmark is relatively new to me but it is a great network to sell clothing and accessories.  You can list new or used items from your closet to sell!
  • This app is great to sell unused things in your closet that you would normally bring to a consignment store…think about those jeans that are too big, those boots you don’t wear, or that nice watch you no longer use!  It is like a garage sale…through an app.
  • Poshmark is relatively “risk-free” as they send you the USPS shipping label to use when your item is purchased and all buyer payments go through the app.
  • I’m still new to this app, but if you have a lot of clothes/accessories you want to sell it is worth checking out!

Hopefully this gives you some inspiration on how you can clean out your cupboards and closets and make some money off of the things that you no longer need!  One person’s junk is another person’s treasure 🙂