Taking it all in…

Happy blogiversary! The month of September marks my one-year anniversary of this blog. I believe I originally started blogging around 2013 (Paws For Thought), but decided to scratch it and start fresh. I was 18-years old at the time and just beginning college, then after my sophomore year I don’t think I wrote much. I guess I chose to start over because I wanted something more serious and adult-ish, or whatever.

Now that I pay my rent and have a full-time job with insurance, I do feel a lot more adult-y. But at the same time I still feel like most people look at me as this naive little girl with bambi eyes who doesn’t know anything. They say that the “teens” are an awkward, in-between stage, but I highly disagree. It’s your “20s” that are the true awkward, in-between stage.

It’s crazy to think about all the changes that have happened to me in the past few years. I feel like I have to pause for a moment and appreciate all the hardships and struggles I went through to get to where I am today.

I never imagined I would meet so many people and make so many friends in a such a short timespan. I figured that after my first year of college, I would stop making friends. But everywhere I go, even though I consider myself slightly antisocial, I still find myself making friends all the time. I may not stay in touch with everyone, but they have all enriched my life. I have learned to accept the fact that people will float in and out of your life like seasons – you can’t hold onto everyone. But that doesn’t make a person any less special or important to you. You could have a friend for years, or just months, or maybe even just weeks or days, and still think to yourself later on, “wow, I’m so glad we met!” The past few years have truly taught me the beauty of letting go.

Life is strange, life is unpredictable, life is full of surprises – good or bad – but you deal with them and you move on. Life is how you see it: you can look back on a certain time in your life and only see the good times, or you can look back and only see the bad times. Our mind likes to classify every single thing as “good” or “bad,” just to make us feel like we’re in control, but the truth is that good and bad always seem to be mixed together (like the ying yang symbol). And that’s what I’ve learned.

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Big news!!! My new job as an animal care tech!

So, a very huge thing has happened in my life: I was recently hired as a laboratory animal care technician! I’ve had three other jobs before, but this is my first “real” job, basically. I had to put in a lot of work to get here and I’m proud of myself for making it. I could potentially remain with this company for years (maybe even decades, which feels presumptuous to state, but it is possible) while continuing to cultivate my career path.

I am still currently in the “training” process right now, but I am certainly getting a feel of what my position is all about. I really enjoy the environment. Having the opportunity to work in a laboratory setting is something I am grateful for. I have always been passionate both animal-care taking and scientific research, and my current position lets me become involved with subjects. The job can be somewhat stressful because there is so much pressure to do everything correctly (one little mistake can ruin a whole study), however it can also be peaceful at times – it’s never too noisy, you get to do certain tasks on your own, and there is no line of impatient costumers to worry about.

I certainly feel like this is the job I was meant to have right now. I really can’t say for sure where I will go from here – it’s nice to know I have options. Within the next few years I think I would like to continue furthering my career and applying for promotions. However, it’s very hard to say where I will be 10+ years from now. I’m still interested in creating my own business someday. Presently, I’m very content with my career.

Social media cutback

Lately I have made an effort to reevaluate how I use social media. I have a history of deleting my Facebook or Instagram account just to come back to it a few months later. It has been a love-hate relationship with me for a while now.

“Social media” has now become a very broad term. When it comes to platforms like WordPress blogger, Pinterest, YouTube, etc., it feels perfectly fine to use. But when it comes to Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc., it feels completely overwhelming. Those are the type of social media platforms  (especially Facebook!) that bother me. It’s a complete invasion of privacy and it pushes other people’s lives in your faces. The thought of keeping up with over 500 people is exhausting. There’s something unsettling about receiving updates from those who can’t even bother to personally reach out to you. Although, it’s nice to stay in touch with family and true friends.

So instead of completely abandoning Facebook, I decided to start over with a new account reserved for family. And I’m still on Snapchat for now, but my list of friends is quite small and mainly reserved for more of my closer friends rather than acquaitences.

I appreciate blog websites because they are full of depth and seem more real, instead of quick, shallow posts that are just aiming for “likes.” And places like YouTube and Pinterest are practical: you can learn new things and your privacy is more protected.

Overall, social media is a distraction. It takes us away from the moment, has us dwelling on the past, comparing our lives with others, and this incessant need to “put on a show” to constantly convince the world that we are doing great. Over 10 years ago, people still managed to stay in touch with one another. And besides, spending quality time with someone in person is incomparable to watching a showcase of their lives from afar. In a way, social media can actually make us feel less connected to one another.

Kitty’s Favorite Spots

Cats seem to have a knack for finding the strangest places to get comfortable in. Since moving into the apartment, Venus has found a few go-to spots for cat-napping.

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The closet is actually Venus’s bedroom. She likes to jump up into the cubby and lay down on the second-to-bottom shelf. That way she is up high enough to feel safe, but not so high that she’s too scared to jump back down. She turns the clothing into her blankets. Very comfy, indeed. It’s also nice and dark in there.

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Another popular choice for Venus is the bathroom. This is her second bedroom. It’s nice and dark in there as well, until someone rudely barges in and turns on the lights, then obnoxiously makes a lot of noise by flushing the toilet and running the sink. Umm, excuse me? I’m trying to rest here. Go away.

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Every cat knows that sitting by the window is where its at. That way you can people-watch or dog-watch, or even bug-watch if you’re lucky. Can’t miss out on all that exciting action. And yes, her body looks quite strange in this photo.

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Recently, a chair has been placed in the middle of the room. Why? Who knows. But this is the ideal opportunity to find a new spot to chill at.

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And of course, my favorite spot of hers is when she sits at the end of the bed. But why is it that cats always insist on sitting at the end of the bed instead of right by your pillow?

Every day brings new opportunities to lay in new spots… who knows what she will come up with next!

Recipe: Overnight Oats

I had been wanting to try overnight oats ever since I heard about them a few years back. They look so cute in those trendy mason jars on Pinterest. FINALLY, last night I decided to give it a shot.

This recipe is extremely convenient for busy mornings. You can switch up the ingredients as you please. Variant recipes I have found online include “Tropical Overnight Oats,” “Apple Pie Overnight Oats,” and “Cinnamon Roll Overnight Oats.” I decided to start with something basic.

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Ingredients:

1/2 cup of oats
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
1 tbs chia seeds
Frozen fruit (banana, strawberries, blueberries)
1/2 cup of milk

Step 1: In that exact order, place ingredients in a mason jar. Hold off on pouring in the milk until the very end.

Step 2: Shake it up!

Step 3: Place in fridge for the night (around 8 hours or so).

Step 4: The following morning, simply pull it out of the fridge, take off the cap, and enjoy!


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Final results… Success! It was very tasty with a creamy texture — similar to a fruit parfait. It was extremely filling; I could hardly finish it. In the future I would probably use a flavored yogurt instead of plain. I also hope to try the many different varieties of overnight oats.

Cat Leash Adventure

The other day, Kevin and I took my kitten Venus for a little hike. We feel bad that she is stuck in a small apartment and we wanted her to get some fresh air. Hopefully next year we will be able to have access to a yard or at least more space. However until then, we have to be creative.

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We leashed Venus up, put her in her carrier, and drove her to Fonthill. From there, we carried her to the woods and then safely let her out of her carrier while holding onto the leash. She wore a pink harness to keep her secure.

Venus did much better than we thought. We could easily tell that she loved being outside, surrounded by wildlife and all the different scents for her to smell. At times it was hard to keep her on the trail, but overall she didn’t have any issues. By the end of the walk she was panting. We had waited until evening to walk her but it was still very hot outside.

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Finally, we brought her back home (she hates the car). She gobbled down her dinner and then slept like a rock for the rest of the night!

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Watching TV (aka the fish tank) together.

Marilyn Monroe’s Breakfast

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I recently came across an article revealing one of Marilyn Monroe’s unusual diets. For breakfast, she would drink warm milk mixed with 2 raw eggs. Afterwards, she supplemented her meal with a multivitamin. Then, she skipped lunch and had meat for dinner with five raw carrots, followed by an indulgent hot fudge sundae for dessert.

I’m always fascinated by strange diets. I could never skip lunch, nor do I eat meat, and I don’t even like chocolate. But her breakfast… hmm. It actually sounds quite nutritious. It is unprocessed and probably takes about a minute to make. I did some online research just to double check that raw eggs are safe to drink. It turns out I am not the only one who was interested in trying this weird recipe.

Well, I gave it a shot this morning. I decided to opt for cold milk, because heating food destroys nutrients and if I really wanted to consume heated eggs, I would just have them scrambled on a frying pan.

I drank it very slowly. Obviously, it was rather bland. So I added a teaspoon of honey to make it sweet. It still didn’t taste right. Maybe I really should’ve used warm milk instead. I think most of the eggs sank to the bottom, because as I finished up the glass, the texture became extremely gooey. Eww. So I chucked the rest and now my stomach feels iffy.

Yeah, I should’ve known it was going to be gross, but I really wanted to like it. Nope. Don’t try this.