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Human, Woman, Wife, Mother, Daughter, Sister, Friend & Aspiring Unicorn Breeder

8.31.2014

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

I absolutely adore discovering new and wonderful things and so I thought that today I would share some of them with you. You may already be familiar with some of these things and some of them may be brand new to you. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

#1. Beauty Subscriptions 
A beauty subscription is just what the name implies: a box filled with beauty items (makeup, skin/hair/body care, etc) that is sent out to you monthly/quarterly for a small fee. Two of my favorites are ipsy (join HERE) and FabFitFun (join HERE). My cousin introduced me to ipsy several months ago and, though it can sometimes be hit or miss, for the most part I've really enjoyed it. For $10 per month I get deluxe sample and full size new makeup/skincare products from different companies (drug store to high end). Most months the full size products cost more than the $10 monthly cost, so all in all it's a really good deal. But my favorite box by far is FabFitFun. At $45 a pop it sounds a little pricey, but it's a quarterly subscription and you generally get at least $150+ in higher end products: from Morrocan Hair Oil, to designer jewelry, to glitzy Zoya nail polishes and luxurious Pur-Lisse moisturizers. It's a no-brainer.
^Above: Summer FabFaitFun box^
^Above: Several items from my Ipsy boxes^

#2. Grain Free Pet Food
Ok, so this one isn't for me exactly... but I do benefit from it. Let me explain: dogs and cats are carnivores (which means they eat meat), so when you feed them food filled with grain/corn they can't properly digest it. This in turn leads to a myriad of problems such as intestinal disturbances, skin & fur issues, bone & joint problems, and general malaise. We had no idea we were doing our pets a disservice by feeding them regular old doggy kibble. In fact we thought because we bought the more expensive brand (Iams) that it was better... Wrong. Since switching them to grain free food (Purina Pro-Plan) their energy, skin, coats, and general smell has improved immensely! Sure it costs more, but because it's meat based they actually eat less and more importantly their health improves, which in turn saves on vet bills. Plus they seem to like it better. It's a win/win.
^Above: the Pro Plan cat food cat looks like our Baby-Kitty^ 

#3. Ruby Rockets
These little popcicles have become my go-to treat (find locations HERE). They're low calorie, dairy/GMO/gluten free, filled with probiotics, and darn-it they taste good! I've only tried the Galaxy Green (a kiwi, avocado, spinach), and the Orbit Orange (carrot, sweet potato, orange) - but they also make a Rock-It Red (strawberry, sweet potato, beet) that I'd like to try as well. They're refreshing and delish, with just enough sweetness to kick your sweet-tooth cravings to the curb. Plus they're actually good for you too! 
^Above: Ruby Rockets - Galaxy Green^

#4. TV Series Based on Book Series
This isn't new to me because I followed True Blood from the very beginning to the very end, (I read the book series first). But I've found a couple of others that I'm quite enjoying. Game of Thrones (never read the books) and Outlander (read 1 & 1/2 of the books). I'm undecided on whether you should read a series first before you watch it. I'm nosey and go on Wikipedia to find out everything that's going to happen if I haven't read the series (I love spoilers), but at the same time I will get aggravated if I've read the series and the tv show doesn't follow them. So like I said, undecided. At any rate, if you've not checked them out you really should!! 
^Above: Sookie Stackhouse Novels (True Blood)^ 

#5. Switch-Flops
I know fall is approaching, which means that for most of you the flip-flops will get shoved to the back of the closet to make way for boots, but a. I hate my feet being enclosed in anything and b. I'm middle aged and forever hot-flashing, so c. I will wear flip-flops pretty much all year round. Switch-Flops are amazing in that you buy one pair, but completely change how they look by switching out the band around your foot. It's ingenious really... there is velcro all across the top of the band and you simply peel off one ribbon and add a ribbon of different color/design and voila! - new shoe!! Much less expensive than buying 47 different pairs of flipflops to match everything in your wardrobe. 
^Above: my lovely Switch Flops^

So that's it. A few of my favorite new discoveries. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!! 

Much Love,
Flippa 

8.30.2014

The Tale of Sabine

I haven't written one in a while, so here's a poem. I think only two people in the world will get it, but only one will laugh...

THE TALE OF SABINE

This, my dear friends, is the tale of Sabine... a most roly and poly of the doggy-ish breeds. 

A french bulldog she claimed, (though not her true origin), she'd bark at any single thing she perceived as a sin.

Oh Sabine loved to bark and strut tail about town and kick other pups when she thought they were down.

But never by name, mind you. That would not do. Sabine, though a shrew, lacked real shrewdness, 'tis true.

Yes her swagger was great, and that bark was still greater; twas' the greatest of all of the great agitators. 

But her loudness of bark was a misrepresentation, her bite always seemed riddled with much hesitation. 

To the litter of kitties she'd go dig all around, looking for fresh sorrid new things to be found. 

"Look here stupid pups and see what I've gathered! It's the bonbon of kitties" and then shit she would slather

upon every surface, just so to be seen. She just knew that this shit was special, poor Sabine. 

But the cats would just laugh and swipe at Sabines nose; they cared not what she did with what they would dispose. 

So away she'd go angered, all yaps and all growls, that she'd been so enamoured with what came from cats bowels.

When cats turned away though, she would start anew, and gloat about all of the shit that she spewed. 

Please, take heed and listen to my catty confession, that though Sabine will never learn a real lesson

know that shit is all you'll be left with in the end, when your bark is worse than your bite, my dear friends! 

Snarky face Kitty pic by: Me 

8.26.2014

Moths & Flames.

There are moths and there are flames. 

Moths are always attracted to flames. They're drawn in by the flames vibrant light. But the very thing that draws the moth close is the very thing that burns them out... and they end up hating the flame for being what it was in the first place.  

A moth is fragile and unsure. In it's quest for life it chews holes in it's surroundings, leaving mess and decay. It flits around searching out the warmth of flames. It will never produce it's own light, and so it seeks out a source to provide it. Moths generally congregate together, a mass of fluttery confusion, forever unsure of their flight... Occasionally feeling the sting of the flame, always wondering about it, but never achieving it's brightness. That is their existence. 

Flames are beautiful and bright. They do not seek out other flames for light; they create their own. Now this does not mean they are better than moths. They give more to the world than the moth, true, but they also take much. The entirety of their glow is sustained by sucking the oxygen from the space around them, suffocating everything in their vicinity. They attract you with their warmth and sparkle, but burn you if you get too close. That is their existence. 

The flame is no better, no worse. Its existence and purpose is just different than that of the moth. The flame knows this. The moth does not.

Flames are often left alone after a spell. You see, they are not tolerated for very long because their essense is just too much for the moths to bear. This is ok though.... flames need space to breathe and replenish their light. 

Moths will always come and go, but the flame will continue to burn just as bright. 

Which are you? 

Internet Picture By: The Internet.


This is MY affirmation: I am a flame

If you get close to me you will one day feel the stinging burn of my words and actions. 

It is inevitable.

You may think that the closer we are the less likely it is to happen,

when in fact the reverse is true. 

But it is because I burn brightest when I care for you. 

Though oftentimes I'm the hearth at which you will find warmth and comfort,

sometimes I will burn out of control,
in an effort to help you contain your messes.

And sometimes my fire rages for no reason at all.

But know that I'll always be a light to guide you, if needed. 

Some flames may burn brighter.

Some may burn stronger.

Some may burn longer. 

But I will burn.

I will not lose my light. 

So when I'm too much for you to handle,

do not blame me for being exactly what you knew I was, 

when you sought me out. 

And please, 

do not complain when I singe your wings. 


8.24.2014

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Stew

I have another (easy) recipe for y'all. My family devoured this one!! The nice thing about this particular recipe is that it tastes even better the follow days. Now mind you, I feed a family of five and need to have enough leftovers to send dinner to work with my hubby. I had enough to feed us twice with leftovers for hubby. So if you want to half this recipe I believe it would work just fine. 

Creamy Crockpot Chicken Stew:

1 - 2.5 lb bag of frozen chicken tenders 
1 - 15 oz can of EACH: canned diced tomatoes, canned artichoke hearts, canned black olives (all of them drained)
1 - 8 oz pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
4 medium potatoes
1 tbsp of minced garlic
2 tbsp finely minced fresh basil
Shredded mozzarella to taste


• Thaw and cube the chicken.
• Wash and cube the potatoes.
• Cube the cream cheese (needs to be cold).
• Halve the black olives.
• Quarter the artichoke hearts.
• Put the chicken into the crockpot and top it with the potatoes. 
• Put the remaining ingredients on top of the potatoes.
• Cook on low heat for 8 hours - (around halfway through you will need to stir the ingredients to mix them up). 
• Serve straight out of the crockpot and top individual portions with shredded mozzarella cheese. 
• Eat and enjoy!

I served it with toasted & buttered bread and it was delish! I hope you love this recipe as much as my family did!! 


Recipe & Pics By: Me 

8.20.2014

Italian Cornbread Bake Recipe

I love to cook.

I love to be creative and create occasions to enjoy food. I made arroz con pollo the day before yesterday so that my kids got a taste of their Puerto Rican heritage. I made pinto beans, turnip greens with vinegar, and sweet cornbread yesterday so that my kids got a taste of their Southern heritage. Told ya, I like to create occasions. 

Anyway, I had a few cornbread muffins left over so I though I'd just get creative and fly by the seat of my pants tonight. So I decided upon a casserole. 

I really like making casseroles because they're easy, you can get all kinds of creative and hide all sorts of veggies in it that your kids normally wouldn't eat... and the kids eat the hell out of them. So I thought to myself, "Self, let's see what we have in the pantry and see what we can do!" This is what I came up with...
 
Italian Cornbread Bake

5 - leftover cornbread muffins
1 - 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (drained)
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken 
1 - 10 oz can white chunk chicken (drained)
1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons of finely chopped basil
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

• Preheat oven to 350.

• Grease a 9x9 glass pan with crisco (or butter/olive oil/whatever).

• Crumble the cornbread muffins in a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT THE BREAD CRUMBS), and mix well. 

• Pour the mixture into the greased pan and top with the bread crumbs.

• Bake for 25 - 30 minute or until golden brown.

• Eat and enjoy! 

Recipe & Pic By: Me 

8.12.2014

Please Don't Kill Yourself...

Depression is debilitating.

I'm not talking about a bad day where nothing goes your way and you're left feeling pissy, deflated, and in need of a merlot at the end of your day. True depression is debilitating in a way that one simply can NOT comprehend unless one has struggled through it.

The death of Robin Williams has really struck a chord within me. I cried when I read the news. Not because I knew him. I never got the pleasure of meeting him. I've only ever seen him on a screen. 

I cried because I know exactly how he was feeling when he made the decision to take his own life. 

I've never told my story before, but I'm going to now in the hopes that it will bring hope/help to someone out there who is thinking of checking out too early. So here goes (and please try not to judge me too harshly)...

There is a point in my life, about eight years ago, when I thought I was going to lose my struggle with depression. I couldn't eat and I wasted away to 115 pounds. I didn't shower for a couple of weeks at a time. I couldn't get out of bed... even opening my eyes was difficult.

I checked into a mental health facility, three times in two years, at $15,000 a pop. We told the kids that I went to visit my cousin in Atlanta. She was gracious enough to play along with the charade for the sake of my children. 

At one point I was taking nine different prescription pills, several times a day (as prescribed), in an attempt to maintain some semblance of sanity/happiness. When that didn't work I added alcohol to numb the pain. I drank to a black out almost every night. There were many days I'd show up to work still drunk. I had an affair with a married man and broke up another family. I quit my high paying job on my second go-round in a mental health facility. I left my family and moved out of my house. I was banned from my in-laws home. Toward the end nearly everyone I knew shunned me because I was so out of my mind. 

There's a period of about three years that I can't even clearly remember. Huge blocks of time that exist as memories for every around me... but not for me. 

I can't tell you just how disconcerting it is to go somewhere you've never been, only to be told that yes, you have been there before and blah blah blah. Yep that's what it sounds like: blah, blah, blah... Because how can you have spent an entire day somewhere when you have absolutely no recollection, no memory of it? 

Most people who know me have absolutely NO clue about any of this. Some know snipets. Some made up things. Some spread rumors. It doesn't really matter though. Here's the thing....

This was me: I was a successful business woman with a great job, a loving husband who spoiled and supported me, and three beautiful, perfect children. I had a lovely home in the suburbs on the good side of town. I drove a nice car. I had a big circle of friends. I had everything a girl could want.

And still I was saddled with a crippling sadness that left me so stricken that I saw no other option than to end it all. 

I tried several times. Lucky for me I wasn't very good at it, (or I was found in time), so I failed several times too. 

For the sake of my privacy, I won't go into the icky details of those attempts. Some of them are too disturbing for even me to think about. But I will tell you that I feel so fucking lucky to have made it through relatively unscathed.  

My husband went down to the depths of hell to fight for me. I still have my beautiful family, a nice home, nice cars, and a nice life. I no longer have a fancy corporate job, but that's ok. Everything is ok. Even if I had lost everything, I know that everything would still be ok. And that's what I want you all to know. 

It's going to be ok

It will get better.

You are loved. I love you. I may not know you, but I do. 

I know your pain. I've visited hell and I have the scars forever burned into my soul.

You will have scars too. Some may be visible, some may not. But it will be ok. You will be ok. It will get better. I know it may feel like the night will never end, and you may have been stuck in the darkness for years... But the sun will shine for you again. I promise you, I promise you it will get better.

It did for me and my world is so much brighter now because of it! Yours will be brighter soon too. I promise you. Just please, don't take your light away from the world... I may never meet you, I may not know you. BUT I DO CARE IF YOU LIVE OR DIE.  

And to those of you who have never been through it, to those of you who say, "Snap out if it" - stop saying that. In fact, don't talk. Just listen. And if nothing is said, just be there. Just. Be. There. That is honestly all that's required of you. 

True depression is debilitating in a way that one simply can NOT comprehend unless one has struggled through it. Sadly some of us don't make it through. 

To those of you who've lost that struggle: I dedicate this little blog post to you. 

To those of you still struggling: If you are feeling suicidal I am begging you to please talk to someone, go to the emergency room, or call the national suicide prevention hotline at: 1-800-273-8255. I care what happens to you.