July 31

Sunny’s Bath Time

Every single dog gets smelly once in awhile, and sometimes you don’t have an option to wash your dog at home. It could be for several reasons including not having a bath tub, hose outside, or are worried about the hair clogging the drain. I have always been a bit skeptical about taking my dog to a place where you self-wash the dog. I keep saying that I could do all of this at home on my own. However, a nice lady at Pet Valu (not sponsored)  gave me a very nice coupon to try it out. I found out that it may actually be safer and cheaper in some instances, to take your dog to a self washing bath. So, I decided to take Sunny and try it out!

 

This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the Promotion Page. 

 

I don’t wanna bath!

Pet Valu provides several things for Sunny’s bath time. First, they have a fairly deep bath area for your dog to get into either by using the steps, or in my case, picking up the dog and placing her inside the tub. They have a restraint to put your dog on while you take off their harness or their collar so you can make sure they get all clean! They have sprayer that you control the temp and the pressure. They also have an actual dryer, towels, about 10 different choices on shampoo, and towels. All of this being provided is worth it to me, but that’s not all because your pup will also get treats while they get their bath! Normally the cost of this service is $10.00. You don’t have a time limit on your bath, but it’s nice to aware of the people around you who may be waiting to also take a bath.

Poor Sunny was very afraid when we started the process. The lady who works at Pet Valu went and got a calming spray to help with her fear. That as well above and beyond what they normally do, and I can tell you that it worked. Even though Sunny looks scared, she really did calm down and eventually she enjoyed herself. First, I got the proper temp for the water, and slowly sprayed her down. Sunny didn’t like this part of the bath. Next, my friends read off all the shampoos they had ranging from ones that were good for shiny coats, shedding, or even itching. I decided to use one for Sunny’s bath that had tea tree oil. This is a great essential oil that helps will everything from itching, to any skin problems. It also smells really good and this made her coat very soft.

I massaged Sunny with the shampoo, and let it sit for around five minutes. During those few minutes, I was able to reach over and pick up some lovely complimentary treats to feed Sunny while she had her bath. Sunny did try to get out a few times, but that is pretty normal. Once the shampoo settled, I then sprayed her off, and grabbed the dryer. Sadly, there wasn’t any instructions that told me how to turn this on or off, so it was a lot of trail and error before I got it to work. It is at least cool air, so it won’t hurt your dogs, and it has 3 settings to help with the drying process. This was too scary for Sunny, so I switched to using a towel. The whole bath process took around 15 minutes.

 

So, here is what I learned about taking your dog to have a bath at a self-washing station. First, walk in and see the place before every taking your dog. I did this the day before, and it was important for me to feel the place out and make sure everything was safe. Always ask for instructions, even if there are posted. They may tell you some tips that are not listed anywhere. Wear clothing you don’t mind getting some dog hair on, or possibly that will get wet. I didn’t realize until it was too late, but they had an apron that I could have put on while I was giving Sunny her bath. I was covered in dog hair and went home to change. Be relaxed yourself, because your dog may feel your anxiety and it could make bath time a lot harder.

Is this worth it? I think it really is, especially if you don’t have a space to clean your dog. Again, I encourage you to check these places out before walking in with your dog, ready to give them a bath. Some places require a reservation, or some take walk-ins only. I only have experience with Pet Valu, so this is the only one I can give an opinion on. I really had a great time giving Sunny her bath. It was cheap, and a simple process. Sunny was afraid, but then started to relax as it went on. I think that’s pretty normal for most dogs who don’t like bath time in general. I would take Sunny here again. I give it a 5 out of 5 stars!

What do you think? Have you ever taken your pup to get a bath at a self-wash station. Leave your comments below using the hashtag: #dogbath

July 16

The Handmaid’s Tale: A Review

When the Hulu show, “A Handmaid’s Tale,” started two seasons ago, I wasn’t interested. I remember seeing bits and pieces of the movie from the 1980’s and it wasn’t very good. However, as time went on, I kept having friends tell me it is a show that I must watch. Being the faithful reader, I decided to read the book before watching the show. “A Handmaid’s Tale,” is a book that is written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood which came out in 1985. This book chilled me to the bone and I devoured it in one sitting. I decided to go ahead and try the series, which was up to its third episode at this point. I was truly struck by the sheer beauty of the lights, the color, and the camera work. Clearly the setting is as much of a character as the people involved in the story itself. The complex story and the amazing acting is what keeps me coming back again and again, even after I am truly shocked by what I have seen.

This post contains affiliate links. See the Disclaimer on Promotions Page for more info.

 

I have gone back and forth about doing a review about this series for two simple reasons. First, everyone else is doing it and it may be getting a bit old for some people. Second, this show is so raw, that it is painful. It is so hard to discuss the subject matters without seeing real life examples and realizing we may not be so far off from Gilead, which is what is left of America after the fall of, well, everything. The book and the series have some major differences, but for the most part, the heart of the story is the same. We hear about the world through a nameless Handmaid in the book, but for the series, they call her June. She is one of the many nameless women who are forced to become a vessel of human life. They say the revolution didn’t happen over night, but by the time they paid attention, it was too late and they had already lost.

While it is never clear at this point what happened, there was a revolt of a group of people who are extremely religious. They were able to overtake the government, killing everyone in their path and setting up their own agenda which is their interpretation of the Old Testament in the Bible. The root cause of this take over how terrible the fertility rates are around the world. They blame many things on this including food, environment, and even lifestyle. Soon, women are forced to be stripped of everything that they are outside of a man. This means they can’t work, use money, shop, or do anything without a man. The laws are strict and many pay with their lives. Women are divided into certain classes and they are expected to perform that role in society for the rest of their lives. The Handmaid is a woman who has given birth to a live child at some point, and is still fertile. A Maratha is a woman who can’t have children and become maids. Wives range from lower class to high officials. An Aunt is a woman who oversees the Handmaids, and is one of the only women legally allowed to be able to read and write. It is forbidden otherwise. Men have less of a class system, but it is still there. They have guards, drivers, lower class men, and high officials that are self proclaimed Commanders. A Handmaid only goes to the high ranking Commanders, and their wives.


One may be asking what a Handmaid does? Sadly, she is forced to live in the home of a Commander and his wife where they have a ceremony once a month. The Handmaid is  rapped by the Commander, while his wife holds her down. They are trying as a group to get pregnant, and then if there is a resulting baby, they keep it and kick the Handmaid out. They not only rape her, but then they steal her baby if she gives birth to a living child. When I said before that they strip everything away from women, this includes their name. Their real names are forbidden and while they are serving as a Handmaid they are known and addressed as part of the Commanders name. For example, June’s Commander is named Fred, so she is Offred. (Of-Fred) These women also have other roles such as shopping for groceries for the household, and the occasional stoning to death of a person who broke the law. They also are shown off, and of course treated as objects instead of humans. They have a certain amount of time to stay with a family and get preggo. If they fail to many times, then they are sent off to the Colonies. That is a place that will kill anyone who works there slowly and painfully. This is a bunch of land full of toxic waste.  These  “bad” women strip the layers of soil until they get to a point where they can use the land to plant food. But they are given nothing to protect them, so their skin, teeth, and nails fall off and the eventually die of cancer or other issues related to this job.

In this world, there is no trust and no friends. Or it least it seems that way. Every move they make is watched by  armed guards. If you have stepped one toe out of line, or seem like you did, then you are subjected to either being hung, shot, sent to the Colonies, or they disappear and no one truly knows what happened. People are taught to snitch on one another, which makes is hard for anyone to form a bond to revolt. However, the need to survive and fight is deep and is enough for underground networks to be born. There are many people who escape to Canada, which is a safe haven for anyone in this terrible world. Many people are killed trying to escape, but there are those who make it out including June’s husband Luke, and her best friend, Moria. However, both June and her young daughter, Hannah were taken. In the books, we never find out what happens to Hannah, but in the series we find that she has been adopted in a home,  and will be a handmaid when she is old enough.

In the book, we hear this tale through a recorder many years in the future. This whole story is part of a discussion from people around the world, trying to understand this terrible stain of the past. They are trying to keep from repeating the same mistakes.  One may point out that June is an unreliable narrator since we only hear her story. However, there are countless recordings from other people who can back several things up. They just can’t find records of June or her family ever existing. That doesn’t mean anything, but can we trust everything that June says to be true?  I think the readers and the viewers fell a connection with June and tend to take her at her word. We get small clues in the series that this is also a story that is being told from a future point in time.

There are so many ups and downs involved in this story that it is almost hard to keep watching. However, it brings up so many themes that we need to discuss as a society. It’s so hard because it’s holding a mirror up to our world and seeing that we don’t like what we see, and what could be. For the next post, I will be going into more details and thoughts about specific issues, but I think it’s important to really understand the material before going into the issues of the terrible things brought up in this story. It’s not a story for many women, it’s real life, and that is horrific.

 

What do you think? Leave your comments  with #hmt

 

July 6

Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Underdogs, as I sit here writing this blog post, I currently have 9000 comments in my spam folders! 9000 comments! Of course, weeding them out is very hard and very time consuming. I hate to miss the comments that are actually real because you took the time to address something, or ask me a question. I guess the spammers cared enough about pretending to care and commented on posts, and on photos in order to get something across that has nothing to do with me or this site. It comes with the game of blogging, so that isn’t an issue. It’s just strange. I thought I would take the time to address some of the strange comments and questions that I get from the Spam blocker, because some of them are very strange. So very strange!

*Affiliate Link Disclaimer: See Promotions Page for more info: 

 

For those of you who are actual fans, and real readers, I love you all so much. I’m so sorry it has been harder than normal to get to your comments recently. One spammer got in and boy do they like the sound of their own voice. I go through each one to make sure I’m not missing my normal comments. I love your thoughts and your questions. These are just some terrible examples of the thousands of questions I get asked in the spammed comments. It’s not fair to anyone, so maybe this can put an end to the overuse of the same crazy questions over and over again. I have a feeling it won’t, but I’m hoping those people actually take the time to read this and direct their comments here! I love my followers, and my fans. Thank you for being there for me. I hope this doesn’t come across as bitter. It’s just a huge waste of time in order to continue to write, and get to you, the real readers, who leave the real comments. Spam should only be a food that is wildly debated, not something that we have to weed through!

 

 

  1. I am female. I have been addressed as sir, or mister way too much. Look at my page, you can see I’m a woman.
  2. I will not give out any tech advise. I don’t have any tech training, so if you want help, I would ask a professional company.
  3. Please stop telling me my last post , or my last several posts sucked when you are commenting on a photo. If you have actual reasons why they sucked, can you at least care enough to let me know what articles and give me examples of why.
  4. Stop asking me for to help you find a professional writer. What do you think I am?
  5. Stop leaving me random stories about Jesus, or even worse, little creepy stories about kids talking to their parents about Jesus which sounds more like a horror story than anything.
  6. While I love the compliments about how, “you guys run the page,” it’s all me. I do everything so there is no crew. That is why I don’t talk about anyone else and not give any credit to anyone else. It’s not because I’m being rude, it’s because it’s all done by me.
  7. If you are going to post how much a post moved you, make sure it’s on something that makes sense. For example, don’t tell me that you have been researching for 3 days on the topic of what my 100th post was on my blog. Or how the post I put up about being gone on vacation but would be back in a week changed your whole life. At least try to pretend to read these things!
  8. If you are commenting on one post, but asking me about a previous post from a few days ago, can you help me with which post you are talking about? It would be nice to give me a title, or a description of the blog post. Otherwise, I will just think it is another Spam bot.
  9. I am not an expert on themes. I work with a company that has templates. I would ask your current blog hosts for help on your themes.
  10. My contact information is on the website. (I may repeat this a few times.)
  11. I am a poor speller. The dialect I use matches not only my country, but the states I grew up around. I can see why this can be confusing.
  12. I am a blogger running my own empire here. It is a learning curve and if I stop learning, I stop growing. I will make mistakes. You people doing spam need to step it up too!
  13. Keeping that in mind: I do not accept unsolicited articles or posts. I will not edit, or improve your work. I will not suggest themes, photos, or anything like that unless you hire me for a job. Time is money and not to be rude, but I’m not going to spend my time doing something for you for free. Let’s all be blunt here, we all have to make money. Our time is worth being paid.
  14. One of my personal favorite comments says, “I’m not sure where you get your information…but…” There is this little thing called research. You can also follow the links provided in many of the articles where you can find supporting material for the article. I research everything. I can make mistakes like any human, but each blog post takes hours of research before even starting a first draft.
  15. I don’t know anything about online grants. I’m sorry, I can’t help you. This is a blog about conspiracy theories, supernatural, and lifestyle. I have no idea what you are talking about.
  16. I don’t know anything about AOL.
  17. If you want me to contact you, please provide your contact information on the Contact Me page.
  18. If you want to use part of my blog, then use the contact me form.
  19. If you want to collaborate, there is also a tab for that, or use the Contact Me form.
  20. I didn’t realize how many hours are spent looking for ways to make simple peanut butter cookies. I see there has been over 1000 hours of research on this very topic according to your comments.

 

 

I am going to randomly answer some of these strange questions. Especially the ones that are out of left field. For example, asking me if I know the bottom line of a supply running about in a post about cats. It’s so much to take in, but keep your eye out on the comments. Some of these Spam comments are so bad, they are good and deserve a glance. So Spammers who aren’t actually bots, here is some advice for you. If you are going to comment about how life changing something is, please make sure the article matches your words. Actually, make sure that your comments match the blog post in the first place. While it’s nice to name your source of how you got to my blog, such as Google or Bing, it doessn’t mean it’s a real comment. I don’t need to know about how your brother’s cousin’s uncle’s next door neighbor and you were doing research about this very topic and finally found it on my site. But you post on a photo, or a blog that was about cereal. Try to at least pretend you have read any article that I have posted. I work hard, I expect your Spam to be worth my hard work. Do better! Try harder. Or better yet, leave this page alone so my real fans, all 3 of them, can leave real comments, not a whole bunch of the same comments right down to the spelling errors, posted over and over again.

 

Peace, get out!

Category: Review | LEAVE A COMMENT
June 18

Tag: The Review

Underdogs, if you haven’t seen the new movie, “Tag,” please be aware that this post will have SPOILERS! If you don’t want the movie spoiled, then please don’t read past this paragraph. If you must, then at least check out my affiliate links and know if you have any questions you can check out the Disclaimer on the Promotions page!

 

Tag_(2018_film).png (220×326)

This week, a new movie called, “Tag,” came out staring Jeremy Renner, Ed Helms, and Jon Hamm. Isla Fisher and Rashida Jones also have parts in this movie making this a pretty nice rounded cast. I actually didn’t hear about this movie until I went to see Deadpool 2 and saw the trailer before the movie started. I recall hearing about this true story years ago on the radio. Tag is about a group of friends who have been playing the same game of tag for over 30 years. For the entire month of May, it is a free for all for this group who is doing their best to not get tagged. Each member of the group has been it, except one who is rumored to quit after this season so he wouldn’t end his 30 year winning streak.

When we begin, May has started and the last person who was it, Hoagie(Ed Helms) is pretending to want a job at Callahan’s (Jon Hamm) work. Callahan is giving an interview to the Wall Street Journal about the insurance company that he works for, and in the middle of his interview, Hoagie tags Callahan, thus starting the journalist, Rebecca, following this group of friends around and chasing this very unusual story. They find out that Jerry (Jeremy Renner) is getting married and didn’t tell them. Since he is the one who has never been tagged, and there is a rumor that he will retire this year, the whole team decides to go crash his wedding and get Jerry.

What follows next is a hilarious adventure of the group of male friends trying to get Jerry before the clock strikes midnight on the last day of May! We find that there rules that they follow to the letter. The reason the group was not told about the wedding was so the day would go off without a problem, and the bride could have a nice day. For example, since they started this adventure at the age of 9, no girls are allowed. However, that doesn’t stop the support of the women in their lives. They also make a rule that they won’t do anything during the rehearsal, the photos, or the actual wedding itself.

It is really fun to see what lengths this group will go to in order to tag the next person. There is only one winner who has bragging rights for the entire year. The next year, the game starts all over again. They have disguises, dresses, and even take some serious classes to keep one upping each other! While it’s a simple story, it is a story that is funny and kind. The heart of it all is this group of people who keep connected because of a silly child’s game. Is it really that silly, because this group seems to have kept a part of themselves alive that many of us lost as we got older. What is wrong playing a game like this for the rest of your life with people that you love? There are a lot of funny and some surprising dramatic and tough moments in this movie. There is a lot of laughable moments, but this movie may not be for everyone. I think if you show up to this movie in the mood for some light-hearted fun, then you will have a good time. While it’s predictable, it is a fun journey. I would give this move a 4 out of 5 stars just because of the sad part that kind of took us out of the magic a bit. Stay around for the end credits to not only see real life footage of the people who inspired this story, but also to see the cast sing Crash Test Dummies! It is worth it!

 

Have you seen Tag? What do you think? Leave your comments down below!

June 4

Solo: A Review

“Solo: A Review” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions Page. 

 

AudiobooksNow - Digital Audiobooks for Less

 

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY! STOP READING TO AVOID ANY SPOILERS! 

 

 

Underdogs, while I am a Star Wars fan, I am not one of those people who can name stray characters, names of ships, or non cannon plot points. I want to say upfront that there is no wrong type of fan of anything. Just because you like something does not mean you have to know all the ins and outs or you are not a true fan. We don’t do that here, so all types of fans are welcome. I am just setting up my level of experience in Star Wars to let you know that while I love these movies, grew up with them, and have read some of the books and comics, I missed a lot of references and Easter Eggs in Solo. That also being said, I can see how this film would be difficult to make just due to the sheer fact that most of us played Star Wars as a child and made up our own adventures. Solo may never live up to our own imaginations and our own creativity.  I don’t think Solo was as bad as everyone is making it out to be. However, I see one glaring thing that the movie missed that really needed to expand upon. That is who is Han Solo?

Here is a short recap of Solo. The movie starts with Han and his girlfriend Qi’ra trying to escape this strange planet that seems to have lots of children and young adults stealing and working for a fish gangster. It seems like they are all afraid of her, but no one is standing up. Han steals a ship and tries to escape, but Qi’ra gets left behind.  Han promises that he will find her someday, and promptly joins the Empire to escape. Three years later, he is fighting in a war with people who are not part of the Empire, and finds a way to join their team. This isn’t before Han makes friends with an awesome Wookie named Chewy! They eventually get into some trouble,with several of the team getting killed.  They also lose the shipment that team was in debt to for Vos, who is part of the Crimson Dawn. Who happens to be Vos’ number one? Why it’s Qi’ra of course! Let’s just say the reunion was strange at the very least.

Han, Beckett, and Chewy along with Qi’ra who was ordered to join them, go seek out a way to get more of the original shipment that was lost. Basically, it’s fuel that they need. Qi’ra introduces Han Solo to Lando, and they set off to get the fuel. Eventually, they get it, but with lots of double crossing, Beckett ends up dead, and Vos is ready to kill everyone! Qi’ra kills Vos and encourages Han Solo to go ahead of her. Instead, she leaves him behind after talking to Darth Maul and we know that she is truly gone. The story ends with Han getting the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a bet during a card game. We also get an idea that the next person Han is going to go see is Jabba the Hut.

 

So, what did we learn about Han Solo? What happened to his parents? Did he have brothers and sisters? What planet did he come from? How did he learn how to speak Wookie? He says briefly that his Father was a pilot, and they weren’t close.  He gets the name Solo from the recruiter for the Empire after he asked who Han’s people were, and he said he was alone. Why is he alone? Did his parents sell him? Was he actually close with his family but had to put it all behind him to survive? Of course, I couldn’t help but to think of Rey in these moments and how close their stories are, because we still know nothing. I still think Han is Rey’s father, but that’s another debate. Here, I am let down because I know just about as much about Han Solo’s life as I did before walking into the movie. Was it a nice adventure? Sure, but seriously, can you actually tell me much about Solo’s life outside of the very few details that I mentioned above?

I have heard people accuse Disney of watering down the Star Wars stories, and having a lot of problems with the line of Star Wars stories coming out. I actually loved “Rouge One” more than “The Last Jedi.” Solo was a nice story, and I don’t blame Disney for not hitting the plot points that I wanted to see. They are keeping this story going so many others can grow up with it just as many of us have done. It was not a bad movie. I was so excited to see some of Jim Henson’s creations and having the main female character be called Qi’ra was pretty cool. That was going to be Rey’s name at one point, but this is a throwback to other Jim Henson’s characters from many years ago. It was pretty cool.

 

I did have an issue with Darth Maul showing up and then having to have it explained to me how in the world he could still be alive. If he was alive, it would have ruined the entire time line. I don’t watch the Clone Wars, so I had no clue that they brought him back to life and he would have been alive and well during this time. While it’s a nice nod to the Clone War series, many Star Wars fans, like myself, have never seen it. I feel it makes things more complicated. Then it goes back to the questions of how much are you taking from this series for the newer Star War Stories? There is a lot of source material out there, so if we don’t know when we walk into the theater if they are borrowing from the comics or a book written in 1988, are we going to be lost. I’m saying don’t make a huge plot point something that people have to go search for in order to make sense of the situation. The amount of knowledge that I have about the Star Wars universe should have been enough to not wonder what in the Hell just happened. If someone was a fan and knew even less Star Wars knowledge (which is fine!) I believe they would be even more lost!  I  think this is an issue that Disney will need to address going forward.

What is my final verdict on “Solo: A Star Wars Story?” It was okay. It wasn’t the best movie that I have ever seen, but it wasn’t the worst. I did enjoy it, but I was let down because I thought that we were actually going to learn more about Han’s past. I still don’t know much about his backstory. I really want to see a Princess Leia movie because she totally deserves her own story! I will give this movie a 3 out of 5 stars. It was fun, but not what was expected. I think there was too far of a reach to understand the plot if you don’t know Clone Wars.  I also think they left out too much about the background of Han Solo for us as the audience to know much more about him.

 

What do you think? What was your reactions to Solo? Leave your comments below!

 

 

 

May 22

Thirty One:Large Utility Tote

The post “Thirty One: Large Utility Tote,” contains affiliate links. For more information see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Underdogs, as you know, I am a Thirty One Independent Consultant. I have been working with this company for over a year now, but have been a customer for years. I absolutely love Thirty One because it’s more than just a bag! This is an opportunity for me to have my own business and do something that I love to do, outside of blogging. It’s been a struggle at points, like everything. However, it means enough to me to keep on trucking and keep moving forward. It is easy to say that you like a product when you sell it. However, I really stand behind these items. You see, I made a choice to take the huge risk and start my own direct sales business. It wasn’t about making money for someone else, it was about being my own boss, and doing something that I love with a product that I love. It was something I invested in because I believe in it. This is not a job that I took in sales and had to learn to like the product. This is a product that I already love that I get the opportunity to sell.

Large utility tote for only $10 in May 2015 with any $35 purchase!!!

Each month, Thirty One has a customer special. This month is the most popular, which is the Large Utility Tote for only $10.00 when you purchase $35.00 worth of product. The cool thing is, you can get several of these specials. It’s for every single $35.00 that you spend. So, if you spend $70.00, you can get 2 customer specials for $10.00 each! It’s a lot of fun! Since the Large Utility Tote is one of the best sellers, this is a very awesome month! I want to take a few moments to talk to you about what the Large Utility tote is and what you can use it for! It is a wired tote that is collapsible. It holds it’s shape, which is a huge help. It is very easy to clean and it can hold up to 50 pounds! Of course with almost any product from Thirty One, you are able to personalize the bag to your liking!

I want to give you some real world ways that I have used the Large Utility Tote. While there are lists that are out everywhere on how to use these, I want to give you examples from my real life. You can see for yourself why this is not only one of the most popular items, but why it’s so essential for every day use. Don’t forget to check out my website to see all the options that you have! https://www.mythirtyone.com/us/en/ltebrinke

 

*Hospital Stays: As a caregiver, I am always in the hospital. I took 2 Large Utility Totes with me to carry everything home including clothing and flowers.

*Youth Group Activities: I work with a youth group called Job Daughter’s International. For our last big event, I took SEVEN Large Utility Totes to carry everything. Trust me, I filled each one!

*Fundraisers: Speaking of youth groups, we do a lot of fundraisers. The most recent one was a Mystery Dinner. I took 4 large utility totes to hold food, prizes, cups, drinks, napkins, plates, and more.

*Vacation: I went to Disney World over Spring Break this year. Not only did we take 7 cinch sacks, 1 rolling cooler, 1 weekender bag, 7 mini zippers, but we also took 4 Large Utility Totes. I used them for everything from groceries to packing clothing.

*Big Grocery Store Trips: If you are like me, you hate going to the grocery store and avoid it as much as possible. This results in having to go on some big grocery trips sometimes. I have brought up to 8 Large Utility Totes with me to the grocery store. Mostly because it is so much easier to carry these inside than having a whole bunch of individual bags. It makes it easier on my back, and my arms!

*Carrying Books: I am part of several organizations, and I need to carry books. Not just a few books, but several and a laptop! While there are other options for bags to carry these items, the strength of the totes is the most important thing for me when I’m carrying all these books!

Thirty-One Personalization Ideas | ... personalized gifts for being in their wedding. Thirty-One has got you

 

These are just a few reasons to use your large utility tote from Thirty One! I know there are many other reasons, but I am constantly using mine! I use at least one every single day. I really hope that you take a look at my website, and take advantage of this huge customer special. The month of May is by far the most popular for Thirty One! See what you can create! Remember, you are helping a real person pay their real bills when you support a small, independent business. Try it out today! https://www.mythirtyone.com/us/en/ltebrinke

 

May 1

Is Thanos Nature?

The post, “Is Thanos Nature,” contains affiliate links. For more information, please see the disclaimer on the promotions page. 

 

 

Attention: From here on out, you will see Spoilers from Avengers Infinity War. If you don’t want to know, don’t continue to read this post. 

 

 

 

 

Underdogs, if you haven’t seen the Avenger’s movie, please think about reading this at a later time. As you know, I am a huge Marvel fan and was super excited to see Infinity War. I knew going in how tough this movie would be to watch because many of our beloved super heroes wouldn’t make it out alive. Of course, this all comes at the hands of Thanos, the biggest baddie in the Marvel Cinematic universe. He has been a huge presence and threat for the last several years, however it seems as though no one really understands why. Thanos is set on destruction, but what is the point to all of his anger and rage? Is he actually angry? Or, is Thanos not a villain at all, but is actually the one that brings about the cycle of life no matter how hard it seems, and no matter how high the cost is to himself or others.

See the source imageThanos is on a mission of death, but in his view, he is bringing life. He tells Gamora when he took her as a child, he saved her life. While she argued this thought process, he pointed out that she would have starved to death if he had left her. Her home and people were starving and poor. The land was dried up and there was little vegetation to support those who lived on the planet. Now, children’s bellies are full and a land that was once dying is alive and thriving. Thanos is traveling the universe to get the Infinity Stones in order to destroy half of all life in the known universe. Why? Not because he is angry, but because he is determined to bring balance,rebirth, and regrowth. This is a very pragmatic view and he will stop at nothing to obtain his goal, including doing things at a tremendous personal cost. Because of his power and his vision, Thanos also had very loyal followers who were known as the Children of Thanos.

 

Why is all of this important? It is to plant the seed that Thanos is not a hero, nor is he a villain. He is nature and brings with him the cycles of life. It is not pleasant, but it is something that needs to be done. Nature brings life, but it also takes it. The seasons change from death to life, however you can’t get life without death. Nature can be beautiful such as a sunset, beautiful flowers, and green grass. However, it also brings tornadoes, earthquakes, and flooding. Thanos is the one who believes that he needs to bring death in order to have a better life for those who remain after the storm. Could he be correct in this assumption and have to do something terrible and destructive in order to bring balance? The seasons change, but if they didn’t and the natural process of life and death did not happen as it needed, all balance would be lost. This cost could be a lot higher than the lives taken through Nature. If Nature is abused, it will fight back at any cost.

 

Image result for hindu goddess kali

Could Thanos be more like Kali? (This thought process is not meant to be offensive at any way, but a comparative narrative.) If you are not familiar with Kali, she is a Hindu Goddess known for being the destroyer. Kali’s name means death, destroyer, and time. She is also presented as blue and has been accused of having a heart made out of stone. Sound kind of like Thanos? Kali is a warrior, and a killer. She doesn’t just murder for fun, however. She kills to bring balance. While she may seem scary to many, Kali is revered as the Mother of the Universe and has fiercely loyal followers. People see her as a protector. Because she is part of the universe, or was around before the universe as some think, she isn’t good or bad but just is. The universe needs to be restored and that is what Kali’s calling is all about. Doesn’t that seem a bit like Thanos? (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kali)

 

While the ones that are lost during Thanos’ reign of terror is heartbreaking, could Thanos just be doing a very tough job that needs to be done? There is no arguing that people abuse the planet which is our home. We misjudge it and misuse it, as well as ignore the messages of Mother Nature. Thanos is not a hero, but is he really a villain? He is doing what he thinks needs to be done in order to save the universe and restore balance. However, he does this without much thought or care as to the cost of what he is doing. Never the less, he makes the choice to continue down his path even when he could have walked away, because his goal is so important to him. His children help him with this task, knowing that they too could eventually be part of his deadly solution. Is Thanos a madman, or is he just acting on the cycles of life?

 

What are your thoughts about Thanos? Is he Nature? Does he represent Kali? The Marvel universe is full of mythology and gods and goddess so I think any of this is possible. What are your thoughts? Leave your comments down below.

 

 

April 30

Corleone’s Italian Restaurant

The post, “Corleone’s Italian Restaurant,” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

Image may contain: food

Underdogs, one of my favorite places in the whole world, is Savannah, Georgia. I hope that I can retire there someday. In the meantime, I have to settle for a visit. However, if you ever get a chance to go to Savannah, make sure that you check out my favorite place to eat there which is called, Corleone’s Italian Restaurant. This little gem is just a bit off the beaten path. It’s not your typical tourist place to eat, but it is worth the adventure! Located on 44 MLK BLVD, this restaurant literally has some of the best food I have ever tried! I have never had to worry about reservations, but they do take them. Take a look at their website here and see about their hours and reservation options. https://corleones.com/

 

No automatic alt text available.

I first went to Corleone’s with my two best friends back in 2010. It was by accident that we happened upon this place. We had missed our bus to get to the airport and had awhile before the next one would come along. Since we had already eaten our lunch, we thought we would try getting something sweet. We walked for a bit and saw Corleone’s and thought we would try it out. Why not because it was such an excellent name! We had such a wonderful experience! The moment we walked through the door not only were we treated like locals, but also treated like family! We all tried the deserts and were hooked! The atmosphere was awesome! It was laid back, and it was like we were in someone’s house with mama cooking the family recipes in the kitchen. We had such a great experience that we came back for dinner! When I left Savannah, I was so sad because I had fallen in love with the city. I also knew this place would be a staple for me anytime I came to the city!

 

I was able to come back to Corleone’s this last month and bring another friend! The atmosphere was just as awesome as it was the first time I walked through the door! We went for lunch, which makes the prices a bit cheaper. While I have never complained about the prices here, it is nice when you are on a budget. I got the lasagna which was around $8.00. The food tasted just as good as I recalled. The noodles were soft and the cheese was plentiful. The sauces was so good that I wanted to pick up my plate and lick every last bit! I would have done it if that hadn’t been so rude! Truly, it’s hard to describe how good this food is, and how at home this entire staff makes you feel!

I know that people go to Savannah and want to try other famous locations for food. However, I have found that going just a tiny bit off the tourist area, you will find places that short wait times, cheaper prices, and much better food. I don’t feel like fighting to get into a restaurant during my relaxing vacation, and there are many places in Savannah that are like this in the city. I think it’s much better to do yourself a favor and seek out other places that aren’t the super famous restaurants. Corleone’s is truly one of the best places in the city to eat, so don’t miss out! PS: They have some great merch as well! I highly suggest that you try out Corleone’s the next time that you are in Savannah!

Image may contain: 1 person, hat

 

 

AudiobooksNow - Digital Audiobooks for Less

April 24

Kona Leashes

This post, “Kona Leashes” is part of an affiliate program, however it is not sponsored blog. For more information, see the disclaimer on the promotions page.

Image may contain: dog

As you all know, I have two awesome dogs, and my roommate has one awesome dogs! For the longest time, I only had 2 leashes for all 3 dogs because I didn’t have the money to purchase a new one. I also ran into a bit of issues with Sunny, my newest baby. While she is a smaller dog and only weights 15 pounds, she is very strong. She is kind of a box and can break leashes if she really wanted to. I have had them snap on more than one occasion because she is so strong that she can easily get the snap to come loose. I happened to be contacted by Kona Leashes https://www.konaleashes.com/ on my Instagram page, who asked me to consider being a brand ambassador. This meant that I got to try out one of their leashes which I desperately needed for Sunny.

Image may contain: dog

I was very excited for this chance, but worried about the price of the products. I understand that they aren’t cheap. However, they are specialty products and I have seen leashes priced quite high in chain stores. Please don’t get these confused with Kona Dog Treat items because these are not the same companies. These are “Durable Rope Leashes” for your pet! They come in several different colors and sizes, and you can choose to have a grip added if you would like. The best thing about Kona Leashes is that it is an investment that you can live with. First, they offer a lifetime warranty on all of their products. That is really important to me because my dog is a tough little cookie, and I can see her being a bit crazy and finding a way to fray the rope.

Secondly, but most important to me, is that Kona Leashes donates dog food to shelters. For every item that you purchase, they will donate dog food. There are several options for a donation place, but you can also email the company and suggest a donation to your local shelter. Since 2016, Kona Leashes has donated around 2000 pounds of dog food. This is a win-win situation because you are getting an excellent product with a lifetime warranty, and you get to help out other dogs in need!  All products are also made in the USA, and I believe they are made to order. I’m not 100% on that, but I ordered the smallest pink leash, which was 4 feet, and added a grip for comfort, and because Sunny is an evil little thing and likes to pull.

Pink Camo Knot Climbing Rope Leash

While this product is aimed at very active people and very active dogs, I believe it’s a great product for anyone. Kona Leash started off for a person who liked to take their dog hiking and running. That meant that they needed a strong leash to make this happen, so they created Kona Leashes with the durable rope, and the carbine which is the clip that  hooks onto the dog’s leash. This has proven to be very helpful for me because again, Sunny is very strong and with the clip, I never have to worry about Sunny breaking free. I got her the Pink Camo Knot Climbing Rope Leash that is 4 feet, and recommended for dogs under 30 pounds.  The grip was extra, but I am happy that I added this option since my hands are not hurting after walking her around.

I feel that I am an active person, but not a hiker or anything like that. I don’t think that Kona Leashes are “too much  leash”for my dog, but just perfect for this very curious little puppy! She really likes to run, sniff and play, and I like to pretend that I can keep up because I always take two dogs out to potty at once! Having a strong Kona Leash gave me a lot of confidence because I have never felt like it would break, snap, or the clip wouldn’t work. The pros are what I listed above, and the cons are the price. Everything is kind of a high price. However, if you look at it for an investment, with the confidence of the lifetime warranty as a backing, I think it will help you feel better about your choice to try out Kona Leash. Because of this, and how easily it handles my active Sunny, I give them 5 out of 5.

 

 

If it’s in your budget, I would recommend trying out Kona Leashes by going to the website listed below. https://www.konaleashes.com/ Since you are my readers, you will receive a 20% discount when you use the code: KL20 at checkout. I’m super excited to see that they now have light up collars! I’m also planning on getting one for Indy as soon as I can get him a new leash. You shouldn’t be purchasing a new leash every few months, and Kona Leash will help if you have that issue. I wouldn’t trust any old leash to my fur babies, so when I say consider them for yours, understand that is coming from a place of love for animals. I want them all to be as safe as possible, and I think Kona Leash could be for you too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 23

Disney Travel Tips: Part 2

The post, “Disney Travel Tips: Part 2” contains affiliate links. For more information, see the Disclaimer on the Promotions page. 

 

Traveling to Disney can be stressful, but it can also be fun if you find yourself prepared with some very basis ideas and tips! For many, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so you want to do your research as much as possible before you start your trip. I recommend taking advantage of free things like YouTube videos and get some tips from people who go to Disney all of the time. Also read blogs like this one! For this blog, I am going to include some tips that are about traveling with someone with a medical disability, as well as give you some other helpful tips. Disney is actually amazing at being accessible to almost anyone, on almost any ride. They are far better than any other theme park I have ever been to, so it is important to be prepared to make their day as magical as possible. The cast members at Disney are excellent at helping this happen! If you want to read the first part of this blog, Disney Travel Tips: Part 1 take a look at the following link! http://www.andtheunderdogwins.com/disney-travel-tips-part-1/

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

1. Traveling with a person who has a medical disability:

There are many types of different disabilities that can produce a challenge for traveling. While many parks aren’t equipped to handle this, Disney is excellent at making this experience magical for the entire party. Your first stop into the park should be at Disney Customer Service before you venture into the park. Talk to someone behind the desk and let them know your situation because you may qualify for something called a Disability Pass. This is only for certain circumstances so you will need to be prepared to ask about the pass, and honestly tell them about the circumstances. If you qualify, they will link the pass on your magic band. This will help with wait times, and will help with getting on and off rides as easily as possible. This is on a case per case basis so don’t expect this to happen with any situation. It doesn’t hurt to ask, but you will need to Magic Pass to make this happen. This price is small compared to the amount of ease and help that the pass will give you if you qualify for it. Again, major disclaimer: not all cases will qualify for this pass so you may or may not receive one for your trip. Have medical proof, such as a doctor’s note, with you just in case it’s needed for any reason.

2. Renting Scooters and Wheelchairs:

If you don’t have your own wheelchair or scooter, you may want to think about renting these items at the park. There are some advantages and some disadvantages to renting these items at the park. First, they will be costly, but you get a portion back at the end of the day after bringing the items back at the end of the day. Beside the cost, the biggest issue is that these items are a first come, first serve basis. While they are well equipped in most of the parks, it is an issue to get anything at Magic Kingdom. You may be stuck waiting for hours, or not get one at all, and you may accidentally waste your day. That is hard especially since you are limited to your time at the park and you want to experience it as much as possible! One great thing about renting at the park is if that anything happens to the item that you are renting, you simply need to talk to a cast member. For example, the battery runs out on the scooter, you talk to a cast member and they will bring you a new battery. If the item stops working for some reason, they will replace it so you can go along your day. If you are a park hopper, then your items will be there for you at the next park if available. Of course, if they are sold out at the other park then you may be out of luck. You may want to look into rental companies and weigh the costs and pros and cons of renting yourself verses renting at the park. Of course, if you rent elsewhere, you have to take into consideration transportation of that item to and from the park. There are places that will deliver, but you will need to do your research and see if you should do one over the other.

3. Renting a Baby Stroller:

Another item that you can rent is a baby carriage, or stroller. This has the same situation as scooters and wheelchairs such as a first come, first come basis, and a deposit that you will get back at the end of the day. While this is a nice thing to have at the park, it is so much better to find a cheap stroller and take it with you. You can find many choices on Amazon prime, and depending on where you are staying, you can have that item delivered to your resort or your hotel which will be waiting for you when you arrive! If your kid can fit into a stroller, then I recommend that you have one. First, your child will not be able to walk around all day. This can help with exhaustion and keep the adults from having to carry a child in the heat. Second, you can use the stroller as a place to keep bags and drinks. Keep this trip as easy as possible and don’t worry about a kid being too old for being in a stroller. If they fit, let them sit! I saw kids who were at least 10 years old in a stroller, which was so much easier for everyone involved!

4. FREE PINS!Image may contain: 1 person

If you think there isn’t anything free in Disney you are wrong! While you won’t find a lot of free stuff, you can get free pins every single day if you want! There are 4 available that  I know of for sure, however, there may be more. The first one says, “First Visit to Disney,” the second is “Celebration,”  the third is a wedding or anniversary pin, and the fourth is a birthday pin. You are able to get these in several places including the chamber of commerce on Main Street at Magic Kingdom, any customer service area at any of the parks, or even some regular shops like where you get the Mickey Mouse Ears personalized. There is a space on most of these pins that you can use a sharpie pen and personalize them. You can celebrate anything you want and you can get a new pin each day that shows whatever you are celebrating! PS: These free pins may get your other free items at Disney. You may get some free samples or even a free cupcake! Those are never promised, but take advantage of the Pins for everyone in your group! If you can’t find them, then ask a cast member to help you out!

5. Popcorn!

 

While most things are the park are price pretty high, investing in popcorn buckets or ones with ears like this one is an excellent idea. These are $10.00 each but they are worth it! I wish I would have known about these earlier or I would have taken advantage of this every single day we were at the park! I suggest buying one the day you get there and then you can bring it back each day, at every single park. Then, you an get a refill for only $2.00 as many times as you want! They can’t refill the bucket due to sanity reasons, but if you bring it, they will give you the refill price and a whole fresh box of popcorn. Those boxes actually carry more than what is in these buckets so it is an excellent deal. This is like movie theater popcorn so it’s very tasty. You will just need to pay attention to places that sell popcorn and see if they have a refill price listed. The other cool thing about this bucket is that it hooks to a stroller, or bag so it’s easy to get around with. They close tight, so you don’t have to worry about spilling the contents. It also makes a great souvenir when you get back home! We bought 2 for our party of 7 and it worked out great!

 

 

6. Order food with your Mobile App:

Image may contain: food

 

I can’t stress the importance of the Disney Experience App!! Seriously, take the time to download this free app because it is worth it! While there are several places that you can sit down and eat at, unless you have a reservation, you won’t get in them. If you want to try these places out, use your app to make your reservations up to 30 days in advance. What many people fail to realize is that every single place to eat at the parks have an online menu on this app, and the ability to do a mobile order. This allows you to get a place to sit, such as at Paco’s Bills, and look at the menu with your group. You can then order online, and pay right on the app. Then comes the best part! You will get a pick up time and will go pick up your food at the mobile order window which will be clearly marked. There is hardly ever a line at this window, since they are very efficient at speed. Most of the time, it is ready even before your scheduled time. This typically is a very quick process, but depending on how busy the spot is, the time can very. This is the only way to order food at Disney, and saves you from waiting in line for a very long time. It’s a waste when you can do everything from your app. Less wait time means more park time! You can do this with almost any place in the parks, however some of the smaller places like stands don’t take part in the mobile ordering at this time.

 

 

7. Gift Cards:

There are a few reasons to use gift cards when you go to Disney. First, it is a great way to put a certain budgeted amount on the card for a specific reason. For example, you want to purchase a few souvenirs at the park, but you want to make sure that you don’t get swept up in the magic of Disney and pay for things that are out of your range. If you have a gift card with a set amount, then you may be able to stand a bit more firm and only spend what you brought on that card. Second, if you like Starbucks, they have a few locations at the park. While they don’t honor the rewards, they will take the gift cards, and your purchases will still get you the stars if you are part of their program. I suggest purchasing your gift cards before hand at Target. (NOT A SPONSOR) The reason for this is they have the red card, and you may be able to save up to 5% because of their program. This may be a small amount of money, but save where you can! I am not sure if the red card program is available in all areas, so do your research. Even if it’s not, I still suggest purchasing gift cards before you go to Disney. This will help out a lot on your trip. You can also purchase gift cards to restaurants that you plan on eating at while you are at Disney.

 

Bonus Tip:

As I state in my previous post, you should bring your own refillable water bottles with you to the park. While there are lots of areas that have water fountains to fill up your bottle, there are a few places that are very hard to find anything. For example, if you are on Main Street, you will find drinking fountains by the bathrooms. However, if you are where most of the items for Aladdin are, you won’t find a water anywhere. I ran around that place 3 or 4 times until I asked and was told the nearest water was a ways away. Keep this in mind when you are walking around the park. Fill up your bottles whenever you have a chance. Stay away from as much soda as possible because this will only cause dehydration. Drink lots of water, and of course, use sunscreen!!

There were a few more tips to help plan your adventure at Disney!  I hope these will help you out and if I think of any more, I will make another posting. I had so much fun, and the tips I got before I left were a huge help! I hope that a few of those tips will help make your experience a tiny bit more magical! If you have any tips, feel free to share them below.