Surviving the Depths: Living in the Basement

If there is one think that I have learned in my life so far it is that living in the basement sucks. You do it for many reasons: cheaper rent, cooler summers, the occasional bigger space; But it really sucks.

Recently, I have been blessed with the opportunity to move into an above ground dwelling and I couldn’t be more happy. However, I was thinking that many of you might also hate the basement yet not have the luxury of moving at this time. I thought I would share some ideas to make your basement stay a little more pleasant and give you my thoughts on surviving the depths.

Continue reading “Surviving the Depths: Living in the Basement”

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You wrote that where?

Do you have so much homework you feel like you can’t do anything else? Are you stressed out of your mind because every thought is consumed by upcoming deadlines? Welcome to the homework club! It is not always easy to manage school alongside with the rest of your life. You might have bills to pay, extra curricular activities to attend to, a significant other to be with, or Netflix might be calling your name.With all this on your mind motivation can be difficult to get when you have so much on your plate, but after many years of procrastinating and brainstorming I have found a helpful solution.

Let me tell you a secret…

Continue reading “You wrote that where?”

Tips for Dealing with Migraines

Ahhh sweet darkness. You will know what I mean if you get migraines frequently. Although I suffer from pretty consistent daily pain, nothing has made me feel worse than a migraine. My unfortunate journey into life with migraines started a few years back when I returned from a trip to Peru. My doctors do not really understand why I get them, but some guesses might be stress, weather change, or nerve damage. Over the years I have consulted many different people about how they deal with migraines and I have come up with a few myself. I thought I would share some of these tips in case it might help anyone else out. Of course it goes without saying, make sure you consult your family doctor before trying any of these tips. I am not a doctor and therefore know very little about the human body. It is important to ask a doctor so that you can be assessed with all your health history and personal context in mind.

1. Talk to your doctor

I know some people don’t like to see the doctor and I have already mentioned this above, but it is really important. There are certain medications people should not take when they experience frequent migraines and it is important to rule out other more serious conditions.

2. Take Advil (if you can)

I’m not a drug pusher, but sometimes a girl just needs an Advil. If you feel a migraine coming on it can help to take an Advil before the pain really starts. I find that the best time to take the Advil is right when I notice any aura in my vision. Keep in mind that there may be a point in the onset of a migraine in which Advil will no longer help you. I have personally found that once I reach the point that light hurts my eyes, Advil does nothing.

3. Relax

Relaxing is so important if you want to prevent and help a migraine subside. I have found that releasing neck tension really helps the severity and frequency of migraines. You may want to read a book, take a bath, or just sleep!

4. Embrace the Darkness

No don’t become the next Darth Vader, but yes do find a place where you can sit in darkness. Light can be one of the most pain inducing things when you have a migraine. Find a place where you can shut the blinds and turn off the lights. If this is not possible, consider buying a light blocking sleep mask. Resting in the dark for even a short time can help give your body that extra time to curb a bad migraine.

5. Hot or Cold

Hot or Cold can become your best friend when you have a migraine. Typically I find that placing a cold wash cloth on your forehead or over your eyes can do wonders for a bad migraine. Sometimes a hot wash cloth works better. You might even find benefit in drinking a hot or cold beverage. However, migraines tend to have a mind of their own so you might need to do some trial and error to see whether hot or cold works best for you.

6. Water

It is super important to stay hydrated when you a have migraine. Just like any headache or sickness, water helps flush bad stuff out of your body and replenish it. Dehydration causes many problems in our bodies so it is best to drink lots of water to help your migraine.

7. Hit the Hay

If all else fails and you cannot get rid of your migraine, just go to sleep. A short nap could be enough to rid yourself of the migraine. Likewise, sleep is one way the body can repair itself.

8. Keep a migraine journal

Sometimes it is helpful to figure out why you might be getting migraines. Do you get them every time it rains or snows? Does eating chocolate start a migraine? Do you get one if you don’t get enough sleep? Are you feeling very stressed? There are many different types of triggers for migraines and it can be helpful to know what triggers your migraines. If you are able to narrow it down, you may be able to remove some of the triggers from your life so that you can be migraine free.

 

I hope some of these tips might help you. Remember to ask a professional for help if you suffer frequently from migraines!

What do you do to help curb your migraines?

A Rusty Pail

We have all been there: Too many things to do and not enough time, Commitments to your friends and family, or maybe the financial pressures of the world are weighing you down. I do not want to be a Debbie Downer, but sometimes life is just a full of crap gathering in a rusty pail. As you grow older, there are so many more responsibilities and challenges that come into your life. I think the biggest challenge is simply figuring out what to do with your life. This has been a big struggle for me and my husband lately. I believe we are blessed in many ways, but things just seem to be a big mess. I have no clue what type of career to have or what I should do for work. All my life I’ve really only wanted to be part of a family and have children of my own. I feel like that is what I have been called to.

Now, I’m sure there is someone out there reeling in shock that an educated woman would want to be a homemaker in this day and age. However, I cannot think of any greater joy than raising my own children. On top of that joyful thought, I think I could do well in many careers. I have a good education and have experience in many different fields. I have worked in ministry, worked in a library, worked as a copy-editor, and so many more areas. Despite this, I cannot help but feel lost in regards to where to go from here. Do I pursue the current masters degree I am in now? Do I pursue a different one? Do I start a family? Do I do nothing? All of these questions racing around make me question why God has yet to direct me. I have prayed for direction and yet I still feel lost. Does God always tell us what to do? Maybe that’s just it. Maybe God is open to all the ideas I have. Or maybe I am unwilling to listen.

A lot of these feelings come down to being lost and a sense of hopelessness. It is very difficult to choose the “right” path to take when the world has so many different ideas of what success is. It is difficult to have a feeling of success when you have very little money and you are told financial freedom is success. It is so difficult to save and to get your life on track especially after accumulating school debt. Let me tell you, debt is one of the worst things you could do to yourself. I do believe having some debt from school is an investment, but it is still a very stressful experience. Given the rant above, what is success? Should I feel successful? Should I feel successful even if I have no idea what to do with my life?

I want to say yes, but I have no idea why. A roof over my head, food to eat, and people who care are successes in some sense. However, where is God in all this despair? Maybe He is the calming force that is telling me everything will be okay while that rusty pail is filling up. Whatever it is, I will hold onto that small cry of yes until I have the means to say I am successful for… Yes.

November/December Goals

I’m a little late on the draw with my November goals so I thought I would combine November and December. Maybe at the start of December I can do a check in to see where things are at.

I’ve done a lot of thinking about what I should work on this month  and have come up with quite a few different goals. Some are personal, some are a bit more trivial. Either way, I hope that these goals might inspire you to work towards some goals you may have for yourself!

1. Mail/Give Out Wedding Thank-Yous.

This goal naturally flows from last month’s goal. Now that all of these cards are written I have to give them all out. I’m hoping to finish this goal by December 1st so that I no longer have to worry about them.

2. Write More.

This is another goal that has carried over from last month. I really want to continue writing for my own personal development, but also to share with others. My goal is to write at least once a week.

3. Read my Bible More.

I feel like I’ve been doing a poor job of this lately and think it is important to pursue. If you want to walk the walk, you should know the talk. In other words, its important to know what you believe.

4. Relax More.

I am horrible at relaxing. This is something I’ve talked about before, but I’m really trying to work towards.

5. Remain Calm

Marriage teaches you a lot of things. I have learned in these past few months that I really need to remain calm even if I am extremely frustrated. I have a tendency to say things that don’t need to be said or to say things in unkind ways. I don’t think doing that is helpful to any situation. I hope to minimize these experiences and learn ways of remaining calm under stress.

6. Be More Healthy

Like everyone else, there are some things I don’t love about my physical appearance. During the years of my undergrad, I gained weight, which is fine. However, I do feel that I could stand to loose a few pounds to remain in a more optimal health range. (I’m on the border between a healthy weight and overweigh for my height). Additionally, I have some dietary restraints that make me feel quite unwell at times. I would like to continue finding meals that do not make me feel sick and meals that give me energy.

I think that these are all the goals I have for the next little while. Hopefully I can make some more progress on them!

What goals have you set for yourself?

October Goals Double-Take

Hi everyone,

So this past month I made three goals for myself. Overall I think I did fairly well, but I’m a little late on discussing them. I think my greatest accomplishment in October was finishing ALL of the thank you cards for my wedding! I can’t even begin to describe the weight that has been lifted off of my shoulders. It is really difficult to write hundreds of personal thank you cards. I guess now I have to make sure they all get delivered!

The other two goals I had were to write more and to schedule more. I think I have improved in both of these areas, but am still not where I want to be with them. As far as writing goes, I would really like to post something once a week. I find writing blog posts to be a good release of emotions and ideas. It is nice to have someone to share them with. Likewise, I really would like to do better with scheduling my time. In particular, I’m still struggling with blending my husband’s schedule with mine. Perhaps once we figure out what works best for us I can share it with all of you!

Thank you for helping me be accountable and hopefully I can continue to grow in these areas. Stay tuned for more monthly goals!

How do you stay on track with your goals?

Horror

Zombies, Ghosts, Chainsaws and Blood, lots and lots of blood; these are just a few sights you might encounter as Halloween draws near. Although the things of Halloween or even horror movies seem harmless, I believe that there is much more to them than just fun and games. Let’s be blunt here and state one bias I might have. I am a Christian and my faith guides me away from these things, but I want to talk about this issue for reasons outside of my faith. Despite my stance on horror which was partially formed  because of my faith, not every Christian agrees. Many of my friends do participate and celebrate Halloween. They have no problem with horror movies or books. Their claim is that these things are harmless and do not affect their lives. They explain that being scared is part of the fun as it gives them a rush of adrenaline. However, I would like to explain my side of things. Continue reading “Horror”

Tips for Moving

I am a total move amateur but that won’t stop me from giving my two cents on it! Just so everyone knows where I am coming from I have only moved officially once. I did live in dorm a few times during my undergrad degree but I don’t think that really counts. On the other hand, my husband has moved at least 7 times in his life. From a newbie’s perspective here are some tips I have discovered about moving!

  1. Throw stuff out. 

While you are packing get rid of stuff you don’t use or don’t like. Either donate it, give it to a friend, or if it is busted you can toss it in the trash. It really isn’t worth all the extra time and effort to move all the things you are going to get rid of. Once you are in your new place you won’t want to have to sort things much either.

2. Make a list of missing items.

This kind of goes along with the first tip. While you are cleaning and packing make a list of all the items you need to replace or that you will need in your new house. I didn’t do this, but I regret not taking the time to write things down. It takes a while to get everything unpacked and you don’t want to buy things you already own. Plus its nice to have a family wish list so that each month you can set aside money for things you really want or need.

3. Try not to spend too much time on one thing.

I must admit that I cried so much while I was packing. I have never moved and that made everything I picked up sentimental to me. My fiancé (now husband) suggested to stop thinking about all the memories connected to each item and to try to pack quickly. It was hard but this advice did seem to help.

4. Label stuff.

Label the boxes you pack up! It is a simple tip but very effective. I really wanted to know which boxes had what in them so we labeled all of them. It paid off well as we were able to get our most important items unpacked quickly and leave less important boxes for later.

5. Enlist help.

If there is someone you can trust to touch your stuff getting help is really useful. Packing and unpacking goes much more quick if you have more hands to help you. My husband, family, and some friends ended up helping us move. Thank you folks!

These are just a few little tips I picked up in my first move. I’m sure the next time I move I will come up with some more. I hope that they can be of some use to you too!

What is your best advice or tips for someone moving? 

Thank You Thank You

Hi there!

I’m not sure how many of you are Canadian, but I sure am and today is Thanksgiving! I just wanted to make a quick post and list some things that I am thankful for. I find the world we live in is often consumed by wants and needs, yet it forgets to be grateful. I do not want to diminish the fact that so many people in the world have real needs that are not being met. It is very true that I live in a part of the world where very few of my needs are not being met and more should be done for those who go without. However, I wanted to post this thanksgiving list not just because of the holiday, but also because so few people in the world give thanks for what they do have. (I certainly am guilty of not giving thanks when life really isn’t that bad). I believe that there is something to be said for seeing what you have in a positive light, even if it isn’t that much in comparison to some Hollywood star. When we look at things positively it is much easier to feel empowered to make change and to have better health. So without further adieu, here is the list:

  1. My Faith

My faith helps keep me grounded and gives me strength when I feel like I cannot carry on.

2. My Family

Although its just me and my hubby, I am grateful for our marriage and for starting our little family. I am also thankful for my biological family and for my in-laws.

3. Friends

A good friend is worth so much. I’m blessed to have a few that are very supportive and fun to hang out with.

4. Home

I love Canada. It is beautiful, safe, and full of opportunity. I am also thankful for a roof over my head.

5. Employment

I am so lucky to have a job when so many do not. I’m extra lucky that my co-workers are pretty awesome too!

6. Education

I am so lucky to be educated when so many women are not allowed to learn anything in various countries.

7.Tea

Perhaps it is minor in comparison so far, but I sure appreciate a good cup of tea!

This is just a very short list of things I am thankful for. I’m sure I could spend all night coming up with various things I am grateful for. I hope this will inspire you to remember the good you have in your life even if you are in a darker season right now. I encourage you to make a list too (even if it isn’t Thanksgiving where you live)!

What is something you are thankful for?

-Katie

Goals for October

Hi everyone,

I am a really goal orientated person and thrive when I have some laid out ideas of what I would like to accomplish. Goals are a tricky thing since you have to be well motivated to achieve them, they have to be attainable, and you have to be willing to possibly fail at reaching them. I have been feeling a little lost since I haven’t had goals set in awhile. Today all that is changing! I am going to make a small list of goals to hopefully achieve this month. I am going to start small and see how that goes. I am also going to try to write about how the goal setting went at the end of the month! (Look at me already setting a goal haha!) Okay here it goes!

  1. Finish the thank you letters for my wedding.

I have no idea how many of you readers are married or have ever been given the task of writing thank you letters. Right now, thank you letters are the bane of my existence. They haunt me every where I turn in my apartment! I am so thankful for all the lovely wedding gifts we have received and really do want to show my appreciation, but handwriting hundreds of cards was a huge mistake on my part. I think my hand is literally going to fall off! This month I hope to conquer the remaining cards and deliver the rest that remain on my coffee table.

2. Write more.

I love to write. I really do. I find that it is the best way for me to express my thoughts and my ideas. I feel more confident when I write and I love to explore where my mind takes me. I have contributed to some published material in the form of editing, but I would really love to pursue some of my own personal ideas. I want to write more blog posts and I want to start writing the books that have been floating around my mind for years. My goal is to write something (non-school related) at least twice a week.

3. Schedule more. 

The past year or so I have been so busy that my brain is fried. I keep forgetting to do things  and I know that I thrive better when I schedule things out. In fact, when I write a to-do list it often relievers stress for me. When I write something down, I feel like I don’t have to worry about it anymore. This goal is basically to use my agenda more. I want to be organized and de-stress myself so that I do better in school, my daily life, and be more healthy in general.

There you have it! Three goals that I want to achieve in the month of October. I think they are fairly attainable goals and I am excited to try them out. I look forward to telling you all how they went at the end of the month!

What is a goal you have set for October?