What I’m watching, and you should, too!

Thanks to Netflix and Hulu, it always seems like I’m discovering a new show to binge-watch.

Here are my latest finds that I’m obsessed with:

Flickr

Flickr

“Being Human” (UK version). My mom had watched the U.S. Syfy version of “Being Human.” It sounded kind of weird, but I recently stumbled across the UK BBC version of the show. I watched the first episode, and while it was quite strange, it was also very engrossing. Brett began watching episodes with me, and we are both hooked. The show follows a vampire, werewolf and ghost living together in Bristol while they try to maintain their humanity. But of course, everything that can go wrong, usually does. You can watch “Being Human” on Netflix and Hulu.

Flickr

Flickr

“The Last Man on Earth.” I convinced Brett to watch this show with me, and we both absolutely love it. It follows the exploits of Phil Miller, who is seemingly the last man on Earth living in Tucson, Arizona. Phil is ridiculous, but you can’t help but root for him. Each episode adds in some new twist that throws all of Phil’s plans out the window. “The Last Man on Earth” airs on Fox, and you can also watch it on Hulu.

Flickr

Flickr

“iZombie.”Β “iZombie” is one show that is a little weird, but wonderful at the same time. Liv Moore is a medical resident who becomes a zombie after an outbreak at a party she attends. She begins working in a morgue and with a detective solving murders. The real kicker: She eats the victims’ brains and gets flashes into their life to discover how they met their demise. “iZombie” airs on the CW and is available on Hulu.

Flickr

Flickr

“Bloodline.” I have to admit, this show took me a little bit to get into. It wasn’t something I sat down and watched in a few days. I described it to Brett as a “slow burn.” After the first few episodes, I was itching to know what the heck is going on with this family. It follows a group of siblings in the Florida Keys who seem to have an idyllic life until their oldest brother returns after years away, and it all begins to unravel. “Bloodline” is available on Netflix.

What are shows that you think are worth binge-watching?Β 

In sickness and health

I didn't take photos while Brett was unwell, but this is basically what our home looked like last week.

I didn’t take photos while Brett was unwell, but this is basically what our home looked like last week.

Brett’s wisdom teeth had been bugging him for a while. He would have a few days where his entire mouth would hurt, but then it would go away. After a really bad bout of pain, he decided to head to the dentist to see what needed to be done. He found out one of his bottom wisdom teeth was infected, and all four wisdom teeth needed to be taken out as soon as possible.

After seeing the oral surgeon, he was told that because a nerve was so close to his bottom teeth, he would need to be put under anesthesia to remove the teeth. He seemed pretty nonchalant about it, but I was nervous. He has never had to be put under before. All I could think about was that he would be one of those people who would have a terrible reaction to it. (Yeah, I can have a pretty glass-half-empty outlook in these situations.)

On the morning he had surgery, I sat in the waiting room, trying to focus on reading a book. I kept sending up little prayers for all to go well. After about 20 minutes, the nurse said he was finished. She brought me into a discharge area and asked me to wait behind a curtain. Two other patients were wheeled back and given the clear to leave as I waited. My heart began to race. Finally, after about 15 minutes, a nurse wheeled my groggy husband behind the curtain. His blood pressure had been a little low, and it took some time to wake him up, but otherwise everything went well. He kept making jokes, telling me I was pretty and asking when he could eat. I couldn’t help but laugh and be relieved.

While I knew getting your wisdom teeth out can be pretty awful, I didn’t realize what an ordeal it is for the first few days. Once Brett was settled at home, I went to the grocery store to fill his prescription and stock up on soft foods. I strolled through the aisles, picking up pudding, Jell-O, applesauce, ice cream, Ramen noodles, soup, potatoes (for mashed potatoes) and macaroni and cheese.

The next few days weren’t fun for Brett. He slept upright in the recliner to avoid putting pressure on his face. Meals were bland and soft. He was in pain, groggy and very hungry. I tried to brighten up his day by making him shakes (his favorite was peanut butter and Nutella), homemade chicken noodle soup and ensuring he had plenty of blankets and pillows.

Over the last week, I have learned that it can be difficult to be a caregiver to someone who isn’t feeling well. I’ve had to be creative about what he could eat. I had to keep track of when he could take his medicine and when he could start “irrigating” his mouth (it’s as gross as it sounds). He wasn’t able to work or help out around the house for a few days, making me realize how much he helps me. I actually enjoyed taking care of him and making sure he was comfortable, but I’m incredibly happy to have my healthy husband back!

Growing up can be awesome

I celebrated my 25th birthday in November.

I celebrated my 25th birthday in November.

Getting older freaks me out.

My metabolism isn’t what it once was, so having doughnuts for breakfast isn’t really an option. Working out is kind of a necessity, unfortunately. Spots on my skin I never really noticed before magically make themselves known, and often cause me to examine them until I’m convinced I have cancer. My back hurts if I sit too much during the day. And issues I never really cared to think about, such as health insurance, taxes, loan payments, etc., are now my problems to figure out.

And while I ponder over whether I’m getting crow’s feet, I’m enjoying getting older. This is definitely not a feeling I expected to have when I was 21, in college and thought life couldn’t get any better. Newsflash: It does! Β Here’s why:

1. I feel successful and accomplished in my career. When I graduated from college, I was working part-time as a reporter, hoping and praying it would turn into full-time work. It did, but not in the direction I thought. I took a full-time position as a copy editor, not a reporter. While it took months for me to feel like I knew what I was doing, I’m so glad I chose that path. It gave me skills I didn’t have before, and opened doors for me when I moved to a new city. I know there is so much more to learn, but I work hard at my job and it has paid off.

2. Brett and I make a comfortable living. I can’t say I have ever struggled to get by, but there have been times where I worried about having enough money to pay off all our bills. We still have bills, and there continue to be times I get a little worried about money. However, as we progress in our careers, we are able to live a more comfortable life. We can go out when we want to, splurge on items we couldn’t when we were in college and are able to save money for the future.

3. I can go where I want, when I want (most of the time). I do miss the days of having extended breaks (Christmas, spring break, fall break), but most of those breaks were spent at home with my family. Don’t get me wrong, I loved spending time at home. But now, we don’t have to plan around school AND work schedules, and we have a little more cash to spend on vacations. I haven’t gone to Europe yet, but hopefully someday soon!

4. I can choose who I want to spend time with and who I want in my life. I wish I always had this mentality, but when you graduate from high school with a class of 28, your friends are the people you have known since kindergarten. This is not always a bad thing; my best friend is someone I have known since elementary school. But high school is a very small pond. In college and beyond, there is an ocean of people who care about what you think and enjoy the same things as you. As an adult, I have found people who inspire me to be a better person and share my passions. I’m not a person with an overwhelming abundance of friends, but the ones I do have I cherish each day.

My husband dressed up as the Doctor during the season premiere of "Doctor Who." It doesn't get much cooler than that!

My husband dressed up as the Doctor during the season premiere of “Doctor Who.” It doesn’t get much cooler than that!

5. I have someone to share everything with. Marriage is seriously the best when it’s with the right person. I never really knew what I was missing until I met Brett. I had one other serious relationship before, but I have never felt for someone the way I feel for my husband. I can tell him anything, and I know he won’t judge me but will try to help me in any way possible. I have someone who wants to do all the things I enjoy (most of them, anyway), and I get to go home to my favorite person in the world each night. He encourages me to pursue my dreams and makes me feel like I can accomplish anything. He still gives me butterflies, and I’m convinced that will continue to happen until I’m 95. πŸ™‚

6. I feel like I’m becoming the person I was meant to be. There are still days where I feel like a little kid trapped in a world where I’m forced to make adult decisions. It’s terrifying, but it can also be liberating and awesome! I have learned so much about myself through college and my years post grad, and I’m proud of who I am. I have accepted that I will always worry more than necessary, that I will cry when I’m angry, that I’m extremely impatient and that I worry too much about what people think. On the other hand, I have gained so much confidence in myself and my career as a grown-up. I know there is still a long road to travel to accomplish everything I want to be in this life, but so far, I like the woman who looks back at me in the mirror.

Paying it forward with a little love and kindness

I have been wanting to find ways to give back for a while now. I have done a little research into volunteer opportunities, but the ones I am interested in seem to have volunteer times when I’m working. I know the right opportunity is out there, I just need to find it.

Until then, I have found other small ways to pay it forward. I have seen blog posts about random acts of kindness and finding ways to bring a little cheer into people’s lives. Along with that, I have had people I hardly know or don’t know at all do incredibly kind things for me. It has inspired me to pass on the love. Each week, I’m hoping to perform at least one random act of kindness.

Before Christmas, I had gone through our coat closet and found about six coats we no longer need. They were in great shape. While, I normally donate items to Goodwill, I really wanted these to be given to someone who was in desperate need. After doing some research online, I discovered the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission.Β Their mission statement is: “The Central Wyoming Rescue Mission rescues and reconciles the homeless and needy with the love of Christ restoring them back to society as healthy, productive, independent community members.” I decided to donate the coats to CWRM, but I wanted to do a bit more.

The items I donated to the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission.

The items I donated to the Central Wyoming Rescue Mission.

Their website listed a variety of ways to help out including donating items they needed for their cause. I purchased a few of the items on the list and donated them to the shelter. It was simple, and I know it will be put to good use.

Here are some ideas I hope to put into action within the next few weeks:

  1. Purchase Starbucks for the person behind me in line.
  2. Send a letter/card to a loved one to brighten their day.
  3. Donate blood.
  4. Bring in treats/snacks for my coworkers.
  5. Donate items that can be reused by someone else i.e. eye glasses, books, cell phone, electronics, etc.
  6. Volunteer at a nursing home.
  7. Donate supplies to an animal shelter.
  8. Pick up trash in a park or wherever I see it.
  9. Tell a loved one how much I love and appreciate them.
  10. Pamper my husband. (Buy him coffee, make him dinner, do his chores, etc.)
  11. Give a generous tip.
  12. Start recycling! (I should already do this, but I admit it, I don’t. Time to be kind to Mother Nature!)
  13. Send a care package to my nieces and nephews.
  14. Help someone who may be in need by offering up my place in line, holding open a door, helping with grocery bags, etc.
  15. Participate in a fundraiser.
  16. Email an old teacher about how they have inspired me and thank them for being awesome.
  17. Leave flowers on someone’s car. (So cool!)
  18. Plant a tree.
  19. Donate used books to the library or an organization that needs them.
  20. Make a memory box for a loved one.

I’m sure more ideas will come to me as I go along, but I’m excited to give this a whirl.

What are ways you have helped give back to others?

When the going gets rough, try these relationship tips!

I can’t think of a time in life that isn’t really hectic or chaotic at some point. For every quiet, relaxing day, there are six days filled to the brim with work, appointments, meetings, etc. On top of that, we try to squeeze in time with friends, family, our pets, not to mention time for one another.

I’m not going to lie, it gets tough. My schedule changed recently, and I have been working three days and two nights a week. It hasn’t caused major upheaval, but it has taken a little bit of time to become accustomed to a new routine. Luckily, I have a fantastic husband who picks up the slack when I’m not around. I would be a frazzled mess without him.

While I by no means am an expert in marriage and relationships, there are a few things that have helped Brett and I keep our lives in working order while still finding time for one another:

1. Use what time you have to see your significant other. There are days where I wouldn’t see Brett at all if I didn’t make it a point to see him. We go out to lunch together before I head to work and when he has a break. He will bring me Starbucks when he gets off work, and I take a quick break to hang out with him for a bit. He also brings me dinner when I can’t take a break. It’s not glamorous, but any time you can get together is valuable! And those days or nights when you get more than just an hour together, enjoy them!

2. Share the weight of responsibilities. To all you control freak ladies and gentleman out there, I’m talking to you. I fall into that category, and there are still household chores I won’t let Brett do (laundry is off limits!). However, if you ask for help, I’m going to bet your partner will be willing to lend a hand. Brett is a terrific cook and is more than happy to cook a few nights out of the week. And while he helps me out, I try to return the favor by helping with yard work or fixing little things around the house I know I can do myself.

3. Plan fun activities and down time. I have a habit of packing our weekends full of weekend getaways and/or time with friends and family. I wouldn’t trade these moments for the world, but it’s also nice to just be home with absolutely nothing planned. Sleep in. Go to brunch. Catch a matinee. Or just spend the entire weekend in bed watching Netflix. Do what you love. You deserve it!

4. Make sure to have plenty of face time. I strongly encourage sending each other a nice text during the day or calling for a quick chat over lunch, but being able to look in each other’s eyes and have a real conversation is priceless. Whether you are at home making dinner or out on a date, make sure you find a few times during the week to have face-to-face conversations.

5. Show your affection. Brett and I are pretty lovey-dovey, so this isn’t too difficult, but sometimes we don’t take the time to give each other a good, long hug. Hugs are the best! If you come home to someone who is going to give you a bear hug or smother you in kisses, I’m sure your day will be much brighter!