Posted in Doggy Reviews, From Kibble to Raw, Uncategorized

Goat’s Milk and Why I Love It

I love pro- and prebiotics. I eat Greek yogurt religiously and take supplements for myself, and I force feed my boyfriend his own as well. So naturally, I’m going to be feeding my animals pro- and prebiotics as well. The easiest way for me to administer The Biotics for me is through goat’s milk.

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT!

I am extremely fortunate that my animals enjoy eating things that are good for them (also not good for them like cheetos [Willow] and pretzels [Maui]). I don’t have to struggle to hide pills in various types of wizardry to get Willow to take her meds, and I don’t have to force feed either of them their supplements. That doesn’t stop me from wanting to make them more palatable. Willow’s pills are always wrapped up in some Greenie’s Pill Pockets and Maui has special treats for when I do something particularly unpleasant like nail trimming or looking at his teeth. I have recently started giving the kids a digestive supplement by The Honest Kitchen called Perfect Form that they aren’t super crazy for the taste of. Maui picks at his food if it’s just sprinkled on top of it and Willow just kind of halfheartedly laps at it.

Goat’s milk is my FAVORITE way to hide them in it. Its got a decent fat content, which hides any flavors they may not like and also helps keep their joints healthy. It’s chock full of probiotics and prebiotics that help balance out their guts. I’ve noticed a difference in their poops color and consistency (namely smaller, darker and a bit dryer) but the best of all is that I’ve noticed a HUGE decrease in the amount of gas they have, both burps and farts.

I’ve used a couple of different types of goat’s milk: 1. Answer’s Raw Goat’s Milk 2. Primal Raw Goat’s Milk 3. The Honest Kitchen Pro Bloom Instant Goat’s Milk .They each have their own pros and cons, and hopefully I can outline them a little bit here.

I didn’t notice a huge difference between the Answer’s and the Primal. They are both sold frozen due to their short shelf life and have to be defrosted before serving. I usually put it in my refrigerator either a full day or two days before I wind up needing it. If I need a shorter defrost period, I’ll leave it on my counter for an hour or so and use whatever defrosts in that time. They both usually have a little bit of sediment in them (which is totally fine! It just separates during the freezing process) so they have to be shaken up a bit. The downside to them is that the smallest size they come in is a pint and I just don’t go through it fast enough. I usually wind up having to throw a bunch of it away before ever getting close to the bottom.

My favorite is the Pro Bloom. I make it as I need it, it’s shelf stable, and it’s VERY inexpensive for the amount that it makes. I give Maui about an ounce a day (he’s a 4 month old, 3ish pound kitten) and I give Willow about 4 ounces a day (5 year old, 45ish pound doggo). I find that too much more than that gives them soft poos. Naturally though, this is going to vary based on your own particular animal. It took me quite a while to figure out exactly how much Willow could take each day and I’m still working on adjusting Maui’s levels to be perfect for him too.

So what do you think about goat’s milk? Something you may want to include in your pet’s diet? Leave me a comment and let me know!

Posted in Uncategorized

The Hippie (Sort Of) Home

Once upon a time in my dreamy and carefree youth (HA!), I worked at a summer camp called A.R.E. Camp. I had a blast, worked incredibly hard, and learned a lot about holistic/alternative living. I ate 90% vegan all summer, lived in open-air cabins, all but entirely removed sweets, processed foods, and caffeine from my diet, and learned the importance of limiting the amount of chemicals in the household.

Growing up, I lived a bit differently. I was raised using Clorox scrubs in the kitchen sink, bleach in the toilet, windex for windows and mirrors, and sanitizer wipes for the counters. We were never overzealous with cleaning supplies or the use of chemicals in our daily lives, but we were never skimpy with their use either. I remember every month, the kitchen would smell overwhelmingly of bleach when the kitchen sinks were soaking for stain guarding and germ-killing.

Now that I have my own home, I have been given the opportunity to decide what products to use to clean and I’ve been faced with a task that was far more daunting than I thought it was going to be. There are more types of dishwasher pods, dish soaps, surface cleaners, laundry detergents, and floor cleaners than Khaleesi has Dothraki. The products that I naturally gravitate toward are not necessarily the best products, but the products with the best advertising. So I did a bit of research to determine what would work best for my sort of hippie household.

I wanted to focus on products that had a strong homeopathic footprint. I have a dog at home, and I prefer not to have products around that could do her serious harm if she were to ingest a small amount of it. Not to mention, I cook on these counters. I don’t need to be worried that there’s too much ant killer on them.

My favorite solution is the Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day brand.

I use almost exclusively Mrs. Meyer’s products. They produce handy dishwasher pods, counter wipes, multi-surface cleaner, laundry detergent, and more. I have used the lemon verbena, lavender, and honeysuckle scents and I love them. They are fresh, floral, and best of all, not overpowering. They pack a punch, scrub away any toothpaste grime, shower scum, toilet bowl yucks, and counter crusties that I could possibly wish for. It’s cruelty free, which means no little animals get harassed by scientists, and the products themselves are biodegradable.

I haven’t tried too many other “green” product lines, mostly because why mess with what works? While I’ve made a good start, I still have a lot of products to replace.

Posted in Uncategorized

I am a Server, Not a Servant.

As I’ve said before, my day job is a server in a restaurant. It’s not my ideal job nor is it what I want to be doing forever, but I really enjoy it for right now. I’m young, I’m healthy, and since I can do it, why not? However lately, I’ve been seeing a meme go around that features a picture of a firefighter, EMT, and a police officer right above a picture of a bunch of servers. It was captioned “If you can’t tip them (the emergency responders), why would you tip these (the servers)?” Needless to say, there were plenty of people in the comments agreeing with this sentiment saying things like “my menu doesn’t say price + tip,” “take it up with your bosses if they can’t pay you a livable wage,” even going so far as to call servers “servants.”

It obviously made me feel some type of way.

My hourly rate, as a server, is less than the federal minimum wage. My paychecks are less than $150 per week. Without the tips that people give me for my service, I wouldn’t be making enough to live.

But here’s the thing: I and any good server out there bust our asses for the tips that we make. My job is not just writing down what a table orders and bringing it out to them. A lot of the time, I’m required to bus my own tables. I have to pay attention to how fast or slow my customers are eating to make sure that the appetizers don’t come out at the same time as the dinners. I have to make sure that unused dishes are cleared so that there is somewhere to put the new plates of food. I have to know what’s in every dish, not just to be able to recognize what it is when it comes up in the window, but to also let customers know if there are any allergens in it. Remembering that this table needs napkins, that table needs water refills, this other table needs two, no three sets of silverware, and that other table’s food is up, but this other table needs their check because they’re going to be late for an appointment, is challenging and stressful. Not to mention making sure that I’m doing a good enough job to earn my 15-20% tip. We are opening, and closing, cleaning the dining room and the server’s side of the kitchen.

A lot of people think serving is easy. They get impatient when we’re slow, they’re rude when they want something immediately and it’s not brought, and they sometimes ask ridiculous questions (“Are there nuts in this pecan-crusted chicken?”). Don’t get me wrong, there are fantastic customers sometimes. The other night I had a family come in with an absolutely adorable little girl. We talked, we joked around, we had a good rapport…and they left me $3 on a $40 check. My mentality most of the time is a small tip is better than no tip, but when it’s slow and every table counts, that stings a little. Especially when I take the time to build a connection with my tables.

I’m not asking for every table to put 20+% tip down on the table. I’m not demanding that anyone put anything down that they don’t think I deserved. However, I resent people assuming anything about me or about my profession. My job isn’t any easier or harder than anyone else’s. Part of the dining experience is to have someone serve you, and pay them for their service. If I sucked, okay, I don’t deserve a big tip. If I was amazing and you feel moved to do so, leave me a giant tip. If you think I did a ton of work or you felt that you were particularly specific that night, be generous. If I was inattentive or absent, leave me less. But realize that, no matter what, a service is being given and you have to pay for it. If you aren’t able to or don’t want to pay your server for their work, then go to a restaurant that doesn’t have servers.

Now, before anyone goes and starts and says “it should be the restaurant’s responsibility to pay their employees a livable wage,” imagine this scenario: you go into a run of the mill restaurant. Nothing fancy, nothing exotic. Just a regular restaurant. You get a nice meal, you get drinks and appetizers, and your server is okay. Your  meal comes to a close and all of a sudden, your entree is $30. Your appetizers are each $15 and your dessert is $12. Because let me tell you, in order for a restaurant to pay each and every server a livable wage, that money is going to have to come from somewhere. It’ll either come from cutting down on the quality of food (which some restaurants do), or it will come from raising the prices paid by the patrons. As it currently stands, meal prices cover the business overhead, ingredients, chef salaries, hardware, flatware, and furniture. It pays for the POS software, the electrical bills for the coolers, freezers, and lights, the gas for the stoves and ovens.

If this is the poop-storm that comes up from tipping people and allowing the amount paid to be chosen yourself, imagine what would happen if the average dinner price was $30 a plate to pay for employee salaries.

And the final little complaint: servers don’t even claim 60% of their tips. Wrong. Every day, more than half of my tips are given to me on credit cards. I legally have to claim all of my credit card tips because there’s literally a record of them. I still have to claim my cash tips too. I count my tips for the night, then my boss counts them and we both record it. It’s not like we’re sitting there and purposely trying to avoid paying taxes. And although some restaurants do try to do that, the vast majority of them are doing things properly and according to the law.

So, long story short, if you didn’t have to get your own food and drinks, and didn’t have to clean up after yourselves, you need to tip your servers. Because they bust their hump every day to make your dining experiences good and pleasant. Maybe someday the economy will be such that servers won’t need to depend on the tips of their patrons to make a living. Until that day, we depend on your generosity and appreciation of our hard work.

Posted in Uncategorized

When Your Boyfriend’s Outgoing and You’re Just…Not

My boyfriend Vinh is an incredibly friendly man. He makes friends with people in drive-thru’s, servers at restaurants, even the guy who started our cellphone plan. He’s on texting terms with the guy who sold him his car, and he’s got literally thousands of friends scattered between the east and west coast. Every time we go to a public place, a festival, or the grocery store, there is someone coming up to him and saying hello. Even when we are driving down the road, he will see friends in cars driving past or on the side of the road.

Everyone at his workplace thinks he’s the bomb diggity, he’s got a million adopted younger siblings, and customers go out of their way to go visit him regularly. Whenever I mention that he’s my boyfriend, the immediate reaction is “Oh! He’s such a nice guy! He’s so friendly! He would recognize us right away!” (Which, I’m gonna put it out there, he doesn’t. There have been many situations where he’s excitedly greeted someone, they parted ways, and he mutters to me under his breath that he had no idea who they were.)

I love that he’s so outgoing. It’s one of the things that drew me to him. I love that it’s so easy for him to connect with people because it makes our experiences with people in the service industry really easy. He makes people WANT to do things for us because he makes them have fun. He makes them laugh and have fun and breaks up the mundanity of their workday. I love it when I get to work with customers like him, because you can’t help but like them and remember them the next time they come in. Everyone likes my man, and he likes almost everyone too.

Then there’s me.

That’s not to say I don’t have my own positive qualities. I have lots of them (dramatically throws hair over shoulder with lots of anime sparkles). But for now, we are just going to focus on this one.

I have a tendency for introversion. When I’m first meeting people, I’m quiet. I gauge how interested the people I’m meeting are, and that will result in my response. I’m super careful when I’m meeting new people, and a lot of people mistake that for me being standoffish or stuck up. Where he is an outgoing dancey delight in social situations, I’m a wallflower who prefers to hang out with people I know. While he’s out having dance battles, I’m sipping my drink and completely content watching him and cheering him on.

Sometimes it’s awkward to be the only shy one in the group. People don’t know how to talk to me because they aren’t sure if I’m just a jerk or not. And sometimes I wonder if his friends don’t expect someone more outgoing to be with their most personable member. They all have their stories to tell, and jokes that they know, and memories to share. When I tell stories, I tend to babble because I get nervous and give a lot of back story, which usually makes the story sound really odd. Then the vicious cycle of awkward-embarrassed-babble-awkward starts again and I just kinda stop talking after a while. Sometimes I can’t help but feel jealous of how many people he knows who really seem to like him, and it makes me want to just stay home sometimes.

But being there with Vinh makes me feel so much better. It makes me more confident, because I know that he thinks my stories are interesting, he listens to me, and he doesn’t draw attention to the fact that I feel embarrassed. He holds my hand, puts his arm around me, and kisses me on the cheek, making me feel supremely confident that no matter how badly I embarrass myself, he’ll be there to make me feel better.

I am supremely lucky to have a guy who is so socially adept that he makes up for my lack thereof with great ease. Leave me a comment below about who or what makes you feel less awkward in social situations!

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Welcome to my Weirdness!

Hi! My name is Carolyn and I’m super weird. I guess that’s kind of self-explanatory, considering the name of this blog. I’m a little lady who lives in upstate New York with my lovely boyfriend and my silly noodle pup. These two are the lights of my life and will make frequent popups here and there.

This blog, along with its sister channel over on YouTube will be chronicling some of the super exciting and incredibly awkward moments that make up my life. I will also be touching on some of my favorite things to use for various reasons and some stuff that I felt was completely and utterly useless and stupid. (Clear as mud, right?) I like to do a lot of DIY projects with Pinterest inspirations, so I will be giving you guys the dirt on those too.

I’m really excited about this blog, and having you all come on this journey with me. Feel free to leave me comments about stuff you like, relate to, or would like to see me touch base on.