Lie Down With Dogs…

There is that old proverb, “If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas.” For the most part, it is a warning about the type of people you surround yourself with. It is wise advice, but my dogs don’t have fleas. And to be quite honest, on most days, I prefer their company to that of most humans.

I don’t hate people. I just have a low level of tolerance for childish behavior and bullshit. My dogs, Horatio and Marisol, have never once left my company and proceeded to take anything I have said or done, and embellish upon it, while repeating it to someone else. Dogs are loyal. We all know that!

Horatio and Marisol are content with just listening and pick up on my moods. They offer me unconditional love and endless cuddles! I don’t have to choose my words so they don’t offend anyone. I don’t have to smile or laugh in the right places when someone interrupts me, only to proceed to tell their obviously much more interesting story… I mean, why would someone interrupt you in the middle of speaking otherwise? Right?

Wrong! It’s rude and selfish! I know everyone does it from time to time, but if you allow someone to consistently disrespect you in just the tiniest ways, like interrupting you constantly, it can escalate until you are practically their “go-to” person to heap criticism and abuse upon.

Dogs won’t do that. Dogs will always be excited to see you! They want to love you and be loved in return. Unless they have been treated poorly, then they become untrusting and act out. Who is at fault in that instance? A human!

Dogs will sit patiently, for the most part, and listen to your tales of sorrow and woe. They will be excited and jump around when you are happy. They don’t ask questions or criticize you. They don’t mock your sadness or try to diminish your happiness.

People do. They shouldn’t, but they do.

So, I guess I am writing all this to say, I would rather wake up with a few fleas than constant negativity.

Then again, just like fleas, you can prevent negativity from becoming an infestation in your life. You can’t take a pill or wear a collar, but you can set healthy boundaries. You can remove toxic people from your life. You don’t have to feel bad about either. You can do things you enjoy and you don’t have to feel guilty about it. You can make yourself a priority.

Like your dog does…

Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this little tidbit and get the message I am trying to convey. Feel free to leave me a comment or send me a message! I would love to hear from you!

Until then, as always… Peace, love, and butterflies. ☮️ ❤️🦋

Oh, My! Your Grace!

I am usually the person who likes to read a book or book series before I watch the show or movie. In my opinion, the written version is much better, and I love the added details often left out because of timing or budgeting restraints. However, I do very much enjoy seeing beloved characters and plots come to life on screen. It gives me great pleasure to put faces with the characters and see how closely they coincide with the vision I created in my own imagination.

Now, there is this show Bridgerton on Netflix. It is based upon a series of books written by Julia Quinn. The first season focuses on the book, The Duke and I, and follows the relationship of Simon, The Duke of Hastings, and Daphne Bridgerton, as they navigate the complicated society and marriage market of 1813.

I’ve not read The Duke and I. Yet… I have every plan to do so. Posthaste, if you will! However, Bridgerton, the show, has quickly become one of my all time favorites.

The show has been brought to life by producer Shonda Rhimes. Her name may sound familiar to a lot of you. She created, wrote, and produced one of the longest running and most popular medical dramas on television: Grey’s Anatomy. She is also well known for it’s spin-off, Private Practice, and the political series, Scandal.

I haven’t seen one episode of any of the above named shows. I don’t know why. They just weren’t my thing. Bridgerton is another thing all together.

I cannot rave enough about this show. Besides everyone looking incredible in their costumes, the sets being absolutely beautiful, and the wonderful racial diversity, the main thing that draws me into watching it one more time is His Grace, The Duke of Hastings.

Be still, my heart! Has there ever been such a man? So noble. So beautiful and yet so tortured. Misunderstood, but so good underneath it all. And dear God, Rege-Jean Page is an absolutely flawless specimen of male human being! You know when they describe people as having a smoldering gaze? This man. He definitely can start fires with a look!

Okay. I will stop gushing. Even though, I can’t help it. I have a major crush on this fictional character. Look out Damon Salvatore! You have some competition! (If you don’t know who Damon Salvatore is I will be writing about him at another time. Stay tuned!)

I want to mention what I feel was something so cool and unique. It surprised me and I absolutely loved it! THE SOUNDTRACK! The music is beautiful! Popular tunes are playing at balls with classical instruments and it is absolute perfection! I will admit I now have the version of “Thank U, Next” from the soundtrack as my ringtone!

More about Bridgerton itself…

This show is full of twists and turns. It is narrated by the mysterious Lady Whistledown, who gave me 19th century Gossip Girl vibes. There is a conspiracy about who she actually is and an investigation to expose her. When the identity of Lady Whisledown was revealed, not to the show’s characters but to the viewers, it was who I had suspected. I hoped it would go in another direction with the mysterious gossip writer, but I was not disappointed because I was happy this particular character was stronger than one would originally have guessed.

Also, there is the backstory of Simon, who is just stepping into his role as The Duke of Hastings at the beginning of the show. It is sad. It will rip your heart out and piss you off at the same time. I felt for him. Truly. I know it was fictional, but I am aware of people in life who have been treated so poorly when all they want is the love and approval of their family. Because of his mistreatment, it set the course for how he dealt with many relationships. Including his relationship with Daphne Bridgerton.

This is where things may get a little controversial. If you don’t agree with me, I am perfectly okay with it. I am not quite sure if I like Daphne or not. After I read the book, I may change my mind, but her actions in the show, without giving too much away, were a bit selfish and at one point, extremely over the line. She was completely disrespectful of her husband and his wishes without understanding his reasons. She ultimately did something I found appalling. And she did it after insisting they marry and accepting his terms of marriage. Until that point they were happy. Thus, we have the dramatic plot twist that drives the wedge between the star crossed lovers.

Speaking of lovers… There is a lot of sex in this show. A lot. It’s pretty hot and it’s not a show I would watch with younger kids. Trust me on this one. Even in the first few scenes, you will have some explaining to do. It’s not raunchy sex. Or vulgar and distasteful. And it’s not there just for the sake of having a graphic sex scene thrown in. It flows with the plot. However, its just not something I would let the little ones take in unless you want to tell them exactly where babies come from!

There are so many characters in this show. Some you will love. Some you will despise. Some you will pity. But it is a show everyone can enjoy. I think it is beautifully done. Obviously, I do, because I have watched it about five or six times all the way through now and eagerly await the next season!

Until then, I will be reading the Bridgerton series and dreaming of the Duke of Hastings…

You can watch Bridgerton on Netflix and the Bridgerton books are available on Amazon.

This post is not sponsored in any way. These are my own thoughts about a show I enjoyed.

I hope you enjoyed this blog post! Stay tuned for more! Leave a comment and let me know if you have seen Bridgerton or read any of the series of books based on the Bridgerton family…

Until next time, as always, peace, love, and butterflies! ☮️ ❤️🦋

New Year, Same Me?

I kept promising myself I would write more. It was one of my main goals in 2018. I didn’t do it. I made the very same promise to myself in 2019. I let myself down again. I could list a hundred depressing excuses, including depression itself, but what would be the point? I just didn’t do it!

Why is this year going to be different? This 2021? The year when we all are supposed to overcome so many things worldwide… Because I know I am capable of doing so! I found strength I never knew I had. It was hiding inside of me. Just waiting for me to stop hesitating and holding myself back.

I spent almost an entire year away from social media and it was refreshing. Actually, it was just the thing I needed to gain some perspective about how I wanted to spend my time interacting with others online. I also gained valuable insight about the time I desperately needed to spend offline. The time I needed to focus on myself and my family.

Now, I am not going to wax all poetic and pretend my time away was perfect and full of sunshine and cotton candy. Hell no! I spent a lot of time depressed. I neglected to take care of my health and gained about forty pounds. I barely moved off the couch unless it was absolutely necessary. I was social distancing before it was necessary. Things were rough even before the pandemic, but just when I thought there was no hope of anything getting better for me… It did.

It didn’t happen overnight. It was a progressive sort of thing. It started with our house. We had moved in August of 2019 into a new home. Well, a new home to us. I was excited at first, but the excitement wore off rather quickly. Somewhere along the way, it started building again.

Though we had wanted to move to another state, somewhere warmer, I fell in love with my house here in Indiana and started to decorate. I added the little touches I had always dreamed of having, and on the day our new sofa was finally delivered, after months of delay due to COVID, I took a nice long look around. I realized this wasn’t just a house in a state I really didn’t like at all. It was a home. It was OUR home and I love it. I had made it into everything I dreamed of and I take pride in it.

From that point, I realized there were other things I loved so much in life and I had not done them in a long, long time. Reading, for example. I used to consume books. I could easily read an entire book in a day, and think nothing of it… Other than I was satisfied for having done so and disappointed because it was over! Therefore, I began reading again. Before I knew it, I had read over twenty books in a month! I was so surprised! Why had I waited so long to escape into the prose of the brilliant authors I loved so much? And I discovered new authors and more books. I am still, to this day, reading as much as possible. I refuse to give up a hobby again I enjoy so much.

Then during one of my many sessions with my trusted and beloved therapist, she suggested I start journaling. Journaling had been something I had done most of my life. I had stopped over a decade before she suggested it. I don’t know why exactly. I just didn’t do it anymore. I still had stacks of journals dating back to when I was a teenager. Others before then had been lost or thrown away. I am not sure what happened to them. I guess it doesn’t really matter now. So, the next time we were out, I bought an inexpensive journal. Nothing fancy. And I began to pour years of pent up emotion into this cheap, multi-colored book. It helped. Before long, I was recording the events of each day. Unloading all my frustrations and memorializing all the happy times. It was just what I needed. It jump started a transition into a kind of healing and motivation to take care of myself!

Taking care of myself became a priority. I knew, in order to survive, not just the pandemic, in general, I had to do more… More for me. I had to find a reason. For once in my life, that reason couldn’t be anyone else. The reason had to be me. My own health and happiness. I got off my butt and I started eating better and moving more. I drank more water. I got more sleep. I started saying no to things I would feel obligated to say yes to in the past. I set boundaries and removed as much toxicity from my life as possible.

I felt guilty, but I pushed that aside and I found the strength to keep going. I started doing everything I loved again. I did my makeup. I got my hair done. I bought some new clothes. I laughed at silly things. I held my husband’s hand more often. I sang in the car. I watched old shows I loved. And I kept on reading and journaling.

Finally, I found the courage to return to Instagram. I was so afraid at first. I had been away so long and I had basically disappeared at the end of 2019. I didn’t know how my return would be received by others. Fortunately, I was afraid for nothing, because I was welcomed back by a lot of my old friends and I have connected with a whole new group of amazing people. I have been enjoying my time creating content for Instagram again. I love what I do. I had forgotten how much satisfaction I get from creating a post about a product or makeup look and sharing it with everyone. It’s not even about the likes. I mean… The likes and comments don’t hurt. Everyone wants engagement! And I love the feedback, but the whole process and interaction with others is what gives me the most satisfaction.

Now, here I am… It’s the beginning of 2021. I have lost the weight I gained and then some. I have cut my hair shorter than it has been in years. So am I the same me after all? Maybe not. Perhaps, I have been working towards a better me for a while now and 2021 will be the year when I just keep making the changes I need to live the life I deserve. The one I owe it to myself to live. My best life!!!!! Isn’t that what everyone really wants?

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more… I plan to stick to my goal of writing regularly. I hope you enjoyed this blog entry. And as always…

Peace, love, and butterflies! ☮️❤️🦋

(Please note that I do take what is happening in this country and worldwide very, very seriously. I do pray daily. If prayer offends you, I will not apologize. That is my personal way of dealing with the stress and sadness of what is happening. However, it is my personal choice to refrain from directly discussing anything political at this time. Thank you for your understanding!)

Goodbye, Miss Sunshine…

I recently took a hiatus from posting on social media to rest and reflect upon recent events that have taken a toll on me both physically and mentally.  It all stems from social media, and connections I have made there, and connections in my personal life.  While I have been blessed with some wonderful and amazing people through my activity online, I have been exposed to a dark side.  A side that has depressed and disappointed me… Offline has been an abyss of dissatisfaction for a long time.

I have cried. I have lost sleep. My whole routine has been off. Everything has been negatively affected. It’s not healthy. It’s not acceptable. It’s NOT going to continue in this manner.

I know you’re probably thinking I shouldn’t take things so seriously.  I do try, but you see…  I have a heart.  I genuinely care about people.  A close friend recently advised me to not get so emotionally invested with people. Especially online. You know what?  I am going to take this inspiring woman’s advice.

Here’s why…

I am not perfect.  No one is.  I make mistakes.  I actually have a life.  With responsibilities, and you know, stuff that has to be done. I can’t be to everyone exactly what they want me to be. I am human. I am just one woman. I need time to focus on my personal life and my health. I want to enjoy things and avoid stress and drama.

Then there are the “friends” you talk to regularly that are unable to comment publicly on your posts. Nope. Done. If you can’t support me publicly, then don’t expect the same from me. I support people like I am getting paid to do it, and don’t mind it all. I get enjoyment from seeing other people do well and complimenting them. I like to uplift people. It’s part of who I am. I wasn’t raised with a lot of encouragement and kindness, so I try to spread it around like it’s confetti. Right now, it feels like it’s been fertilizer. You picking up what I’m putting down?

I don’t like being used either. People who know me in real life know I am a direct person and have shut down many conversations by asking the hard questions or pointing out the obvious truth everyone else avoids for the sake of not ruffling feathers. I will speak up. I will say what no else does. I am not rude, but I am not intimidated by truth. So, if you suddenly pop up out of nowhere, after having known me for years, get me to do something for you, then immediately show you had ulterior motives, I have my scissors ready. I have family I haven’t spoken to in years. I am not going to cater to someone who takes advantage of my kindness under the guise of “friendship”.
That is the cold, hard truth.

I also do not and will not play games. I am too old to try to keep up with being popular. I had my fair share of that back in the 90’s. I just am not going to conform to fit in. I am who I am, and I am okay with that. I am not part of the “you can’t sit with us crowd.” I have reservations at a better restaurant. I am fine eating alone. I never liked high school cafeteria food anyway.

I am not saying I don’t appreciate the genuine people out there. I most certainly do. The ones who make an effort to support me. To speak up and stand by me. To check on me. To chat with me. The ones who accept me for the eccentric person I am. Who are okay with my flaws. Don’t mind my direct and honest way of dealing with things. The ones who recognize that no matter what, my intentions are good and I am led by my heart. I know who each and everyone of you are. I am touched and thankful for the messages of support. I am extremely grateful and overwhelmed by the generosity of those who have sent me beautiful gifts and cards. Thank you! So very much! I love you. YOU ARE APPRECIATED! Peace, love, and butterflies to y’all. ☮️❤️🦋

As for what happens now, well, buckle up… It’s about to get real. Say goodbye to Miss Sunshine. There’s some stormy weather on the horizon.

Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

Lately, I have been witness to so much unnecessary meanness through bullying.  There have been children who have been treated with incredible cruelty by others, people online treated with disrespect by others hiding behind screens…  I could go on and on.  We all know it’s out there.  I mean, it’s been going on forever.  Right?  We’re not naïve.  Unless you have your head in the sand, you have seen or heard of it and it only seems to be getting worse.

Why are we treating others so terribly?  Is it the need to fit in with other people?  Is it unhappiness within?  Or is it just that some people are wired to be cruel to others?

I am not a saint.  Please, don’t get me wrong!  I have been mean.  There are times when I have been downright nasty.  I regret those actions, but I was able to mature and develop into a different type of person.  One who believes in the power of kindness and spreading positivity…

Why did I change how I behaved? I knew what it was like to be treated with malice.  I felt the heartache and seemingly unending tears when someone would say something so incredibly cutting to me that it was as if they had sliced off a piece of me.  I have been overweight, and reminded, not so kindly, that I was.  I have been mocked for loving all the “girly” things I do:  makeup, haircare, shopping, etc.  I have been made fun of for wearing too much makeup.  I have had nasty rumors spread about me.  Complete untruths which made it back to me through multiple people.  I have even had so-called “friends” attempt to try to engage in gossip about ME with family members.  So, I know it’s painful.  Therefore, my mistreatment of others had to end.

How did I change?  I became more spiritual and started thinking more positively.  I made a vow to myself to always find something nice to say to people.  No, I am not Mary Poppins.  (And yes, I think someone recently referred to me as an “empty headed Mary Poppins knock-off”…)  I am not running around complimenting random strangers, but if I notice something nice about someone, I make it a point of telling them.  It isn’t hurting me or even taking any real effort to say, “Your nails or pretty.”  Or something of the like…

I would like to see more people TRY to spread some kindness.  You never know when a little bit of kindness is going to make a world of difference to someone.  It could make their day.  It could make the difference in their life.  You just never know.

Isn’t this all just really common sense?  Treat others well.  Think before you speak and act.  Common sense.

I want to leave you with this.  It is something I wrote when I was struggling and I was faced with a lot of negativity from those who were supposed to support me…

“I have worked too hard for this very tenuous grasp on happiness…  Darkness waits at every turn to encompass my light.  I cannot…  I will not…  Be drawn into that slumber.  The one which threatens to destroy my destiny of greatness.  My candles are flaming.  I replace each one as it burns out.  Do not be the breath of negativity trying to extinguish my fire.”

Thank you for reading.  Spread kindness.  Stay positive.