Blog| Weekend Recap

This weekend was a busy one. Friday we kicked it off with our Lubbock Artist Collective Halloween Gallery reception on Friday the 13th. Yeah, pretty much a perfect date to have it. We had some amazing art from local artists in the collective and got to celebrate and eat treats and chat with our favorite people.

It’s been crazy to think it’s been one year since we started the artist collective but the art and progression of so many of the artists has been wild! It makes me so excited for future galleries!

Afterwards, Rony and I had a shindig at our house, had friends over, and got to share one of our favorite horror movies, The Babadook. Rony even has a handmade replica of the pop-up book from the movie signed by the director. It was fun and we got to play the Halloween expansion of King of Tokyo before hand as well.

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The next day was a lazy, errand running day which was capped off by going to a 7 HOUR LONG Horror movie marathon. Our theater, Alamo Drafthouse, did a 4 movie marathon called Dismember the Alamo and we got to see 4 old horror movies all at once. It was a trial.

I almost died. Rony fell asleep a bit in the last and best one. Some were good, some were mind-numbing. We saw Slaughterhouse, Eaten Alive, Grizzly, and Day of the Beast. The last was my favorite, mostly because it had a pretty good plot. I’m not a fan of dumb, bad gore, horror movies and Eaten Alive gave me a headache.

But we survived!

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Before

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After

Sunday we got up early, ran more errands like costume shopping, groceries, getting Almond’s presents and treats for her birthday party, and getting flowers. We were seeing our friend act in the Addams Family Musical and wanted to get her something and finally got to see the play!

It was wonderful. I’m actually a big fan of theater and musicals, Rony less so, but we both enjoyed it a lot and Alex was wonderful <3

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On the way home, we stopped at a Pumpkin farm and picked pumpkins, got ingredients for Almond’s cake and cupcakes, and finally sat down and finished watching one of our movies while I worked on my Inktober.

I ended up staying up until 1am making Almond’s cake and then making frozen pumpkin treats for her. Her and Leon got to lick the bowl and spoons.

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And now we prepare for Disneyland in a few days. I’ll be taking lots of pictures and will definitely make posts when I can! We’re all excited and anxious but what better way to see Disneyland than during Halloween season!

And of course, I’ll do an Almond party post too. My little baby is turning 2 and time flew so fast.

Until next time.

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-Sam <3

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Blog| Social Media Free Weekend

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I’ve been seeing a lot online about these digital detox challenges and camps. Essentially, You spend a weekend to a week without social media, your phone, or television. Pretty much any electronics.

I will admit: I am addicted to my phone. Mostly because I handle everything through it. Events and business contacts and the different things I’m in charge of are all handled through Facebook, Messenger, or Email. I’m a control freak so I need to constantly be able to be reached at all times.

Yes, I am glued to my phone and usually have it in my hand all the time. Which isn’t great. Notifications give me anxiety so I always have to check them to make them go away (turning them off just gives me anxiety that someone is contacting me and I don’t know). I have two laptops and hardly use them because I have my phone! A few minutes can turn into a few hours and more times than not, my productivity goes down the drain with my battery life.

So I thought maybe it was a good idea to try one of these “detoxes.” And even though no one was forcing me, boy did I make a lot of excuses. I couldn’t do it this or that weekend because I had events or meetings and what if someone tries to get a hold of me??? Rarely do I have a weekend where nothing is happening. I was just going to have to suck it up.

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Saturday

I compromised and instead of nixing out all digital devices, I pledged no social media (and email/games) which is what I use a majority of time on my phone anyways. No Facebook, Instagram, Email, or Snapchat. I don’t really use Twitter or Tumblr and I made an allowance for Youtube (on the TV only) because we don’t have cable.

My routine is I usually wake up and mess around on my phone for an hour or two before I get up. This morning was the first day we actually got Fall weather. It was cool and cloudy and rainy and the dogs were snuggled up with me. I ended up sleeping until 10-11. Yep. Good start.

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Instead of grabbing my phone, I grabbed one of the many books I had on my bedside table that I’ve been meaning to read. I had started Alias Hook forever ago and hadn’t gotten very far so I picked that up again. I think I got about a third of the way in by 1pm and then we had to get up and get ready.

First on our agenda was our friend’s pagan meet up at the park. We finally got to throw on some layers and were all set to go….except then we accidentally locked ourselves out the house without our keys.

Our house has two different locks. We always lock the bottom one as we leave and then lock the top deadbolts with the keys. Naturally, I turned the bottom lock and shut the door as we left. Rony hadn’t grabbed the keys thinking I had them and I hadn’t because I thought he had them. And the backdoor was locked.

So, naturally, I picked our front door’s lock with bobby pins. I’m not even lying or exaggerating. Rony was upset because we were going to be late and were going to have to call a locksmith and I figured it didn’t hurt to try to break in ourselves. I had seen different videos on picking locks (for writing purposes!!) and if that didn’t work, I was going to try the credit card trick. Luckily I had a few bobby pins in my purse. I stripped them, looked into the key holes at the tumblers inside and somehow managed to get it unlocked in five minutes.

Rony was impressed (so was I, to be honest) and we are now going to make sure those other deadbolts are locked at all times because holy shit it should not be that easy to get into our house.

The pagan get together was nice and we had a good time chatting with people and eating snacks. We didn’t get to stay long because I had an art meeting after that and Rony had to drop me off.

When he picked me up, we got Starbucks and food and snuggled on the couch while he watched the news and I kept reading my book. I am a fast reader. Always have been. I finished that book in one day. It was about 11 at night when I was done and cleaned a bit before bed.

At the end of the night, I had 57 freaking notifications and it was kiiiiiiiilling me.


Sunday

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Sunday was another lazy morning, snuggling with the dogs. Rony totally forgot about the Magic Prerelease happening and was going to do that at 1pm and I was determined to get the house totally clean by the end of the day. We did all the laundry, put the animals away and let the kittens out of the room to play in the entryway and let Mae Mae roam the house, and swept and mopped the dinning room and kitchen.

I took breaks to start reading Basic Witches and we ate cereal for breakfast. The dogs ran around the house and as Rony was getting ready, we finalized our 31 Days of Halloween movie list. I sketched out Inktober ideas in a new sketchbook he had bought me and drank tea and it was surprisingly very relaxing.

Yes, my phone went off all the time. I had to put it on silent. I almost just straight turned it off, but then I had anxiety that something would happen and no one would be able to reach me.

That was really the hardest part. There was so much anxiety from not checking those notifications, even though I knew none of them were important or pressing or needed immediate attention. I have an admin team now for the Artist Collective to take care of things, people could get a hold of Rony if they really needed me, and nothing was life or death.

Did I want to Snapchat or Instagram my day? Absolutely. Did the world fall apart because I didn’t tell everyone immediately my feelings on Basic Witch as I read it? Nope.

The house got cleaned, we were productive, I spent time with all the animals, the house smelled WONDERFUL (seriously, Bath & Bodywork’s Fall candles are the best), and I didn’t feel this claustrophobic cluttered feeling from my surroundings anymore. The laundry even got all put away.

We hung out at Rony’s work for a few hours and I did more sketches in my notebook. I filled up about 5 pages in it and figured out my Inktober theme for the month. My planner got filled in and updated and I felt a little more prepared for October. I even packaged up some orders I’d been meaning to fulfill.

The weekend was over and all in all, I had 107 notifications.

And wanna know what? NONE of them were important. None were life or death and I didn’t miss out on anything just because I waited a whole weekend to get to them.

I think that helped. It had been a while since I was able to have a nice, relaxing weekend just with myself and a book and Rony and the animals. I felt relaxed and productive and realized I didn’t need to be attached to my phone all the time.

So will I do it again? Definitely. I think a break is needed from social media every now and then, especially with how it is now in days. It’s a break from the comments and arguing and constant need to post post post. I don’t need to check up on other people’s lives when I have my own to live.

-Sam <3

#FindLeon and What to Do When You’re Puppy Goes Missing

It’s been quiet on here for a reason.

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Saturday, August 26th at 8am our dogs got loose. I noticed within 10-15 minutes of it happening and raced into the backyard, calling for Rony as I did so. They dug a hole in the corner of the yard and pried off a couple of boards off the fence, escaping into the alley. Almond is a runner and has escaped a few times, giving us heart attacks as we chase her down and she plays keep away, but this was Leon’s first time being gone. He follows Almond wherever she goes and would have followed her out that hole.

Almond was found crossing one of the major, busy streets by Marisa and was brought home safe. We didn’t find Leon.

For 6 days/144 hours, he was missing.

We hardly slept at all. We ate whenever we had a chance to pause, scarfing down chips or snack bars, or whatever people would bring us and go back out. We’ve searched almost non-stop, from 7am in the morning to 1am at night. My bones and muscles ached from walking, my fingertips were raw and peeling from posting flyers, and any ground I had made on getting over being sick was shot to the wind and I felt awful. I couldn’t breathe from congestion and my eyes were swelling shut and I kept having migraines. We couldn’t stop though.

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Saturday was not only going to be my first Pride after coming out but it was also National Dog Day. It felt like being stabbed every time I saw people post pictures of their dogs while I had no clue where Leon was. Was he safe, hurt, taken, hiding, scared? We’ve checked the shelter every day and nothing. They have a binder of deceased dogs and it was nauseating to flip through, hoping we didn’t see him every day.

That first day, we walked 6 miles looking for him. Sunday we walked 10-11 miles and then Monday 3 miles. All together, we walked 32 miles looking for Leon. We visited every shelter and pet store and groomers, giving flyers. Asked people on the street. Checked every tip, no matter how crazy. I’ve made hundreds of lost pet posts online and taken out ads and have done everything. He had his tags and collar on when he went missing and was micro-chipped, but no one had found him or called or brought him in to a vet or shelter.

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On top of it, we also adopted 3 kittens that are about 4-5 weeks old. Mae Mae took a while, but she’s adopted them and is feeding them and watching over them. We think they belong to one of our strays that passed away last week. Our neighbor heard them crying in her backyard. They’re cute and distracting and kept me busy, which was good because I was so near falling apart.

We have literally posted over a thousand flyers. That’s not hyperbole either. We literally have printed and posted around 1300 flyers. We’ve put them everywhere. Every time we found a blank area, we put them all over. We asked businesses, put them in high populated areas, shopping centers, the university.

This is what hell feels like. Being in pain, exhausted, but not being able to stop or else the hopelessness crushes you because your loved one is out there and you don’t know if they’re hurt or scared or being taken care of by a good family.

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We got so many tips that ended up being different dogs or dead ends. Our most promising ones were a girl that said she saw him with a kid and a mom less than 10 blocks from us, in the direction he was seen running. She said she tried to see him and the mom cussed her out, saying she doesn’t care where he came from and that he was theirs now. The location wasn’t far from our house and we staked it out for 2 days, but when we finally saw the dog it wasn’t ours.

An older man called and thought he saw Leon by the park by his house. I raced over at lunch and he ran to the park to show me, but it was also the wrong dog. Two different ladies in our neighborhood said they saw him with a dog gang. We woke up early at 6am, and scouted the streets looking for them. We found them in 15 minutes. It was 3 Chihuahua looking dogs and a white/brown pit. They were sweet and ran up to the car and gave kisses. Not much of a gang, but also not Leon.

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At the same time, we had a lady say she thought she saw him by his house and was trying to track him down. I was texting her when I got a call at about 630. A guy said he may have Leon ten blocks from our house. I described Leon’s tail and figure and he said he was almost sure it was him. We turned around and drove there, looking for a corner house and a guy with a dog sitting on the porch.

When we found the house, we burst into tears because it was finally Leon. I ran out the car before it was even fully stopped and ran to him. He jumped and wagged his tail and licked my face while I sobbed my heart out. This whole week it hadn’t sunken in that he was gone, like at any time I’d wake up and he’d be home. I couldn’t see how we could do so much for everyone else. Events, charities, promo-ing, dog sitting, fostering, helping other people find their animals. While searching we helped like 3 people and took in the kittens. We needed luck on our side and I refused to let go that our dog was gone forever, but it was starting to feel so hopeless.

Having him in my arms was heaven. The guy had been walking his dog near the high school and had grabbed one of our flyers. He saw Leon and managed to grab him and called us, waiting on the porch until we showed up. Him and his partner had lost their dog a year ago and knew how it felt and were so happy to find him for us, they didn’t want the reward. We’re going to donate it to the Humane Society and aid or Hurricane Harvey.

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Leon was skinnier, but uninjured and happy and still had his collar on even. We have no clue what he had been doing for almost a week and had patrolled that area so many times that we don’t know how we didn’t find him.

I sat in the trunk area with him while Rony talked to the guys and just cried and hugged him and called everyone. Almond was excited when we got home and Leon drank all the water and ate 4 cups of food. They ran around and played and it was like he hadn’t left.

It took all morning to call and let everyone know and just relax and know he was okay. It still feels surreal but he’s home and I can’t thank enough people for helping us search for him. We literally painted the town in his flyers and we have him back.

It’s been an exhausting process but it paid off.

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So, if you are missing your dog, all I can do is write down some tips that we learned. No one can say we weren’t dedicated to finding him and he’s probably the most famous lost pup in town now but it got results:

Tips for Finding your Puppy

  1. Immediately search the entirety of your neighborhood as fast as you can after they go missing
  2. Find all the Lost and Found Facebook pages/group and post to them all daily
  3. Post on Pawboost
  4. Post on your neighborhood app (NextDoor is the one we have)
  5. Check the shelters every day, don’t just call. If you do it an hour or so before they close, most of their trucks should be in from picking up animals.
  6. After a few days, email or check the shelters of nearby towns. Dogs can travel a lot at night
  7. Put some of your dirty clothes or their toys outside so if they’re lost, they may try to find their way home. Don’t put food because you’ll just attract other dogs.
  8. Post flyers on all major intersections, busy areas, and stores that will let you
  9. Give flyers to every vets office and groomers/boarders that you can
  10. Put flyers on your car and put a big sign in your yard so that if someone finds them, they know where to return them
  11. Check with neighbors, anyone outside, or joggers in your area.
  12. Follow all tips, no matter how far they are from your home.
  13. As soon as you can, see if you can get your friends to do a search party
  14. If your dog has a microchip, register it as Lost and make sure to tell your vets office
  15. If someone has seen him in your neighborhood, try to walk from your house to the tip spot and see where they could have gone from there
  16. If you can afford it, do a Facebook and Instagram ad.
  17. Post on Craigslist
  18. Ask your mail carrier when you see them, police officers, or city services if you come across them. They drive around constantly!
  19. It’s weird, but don’t be afraid to ask homeless people and give them flyers. A lot of times they’re very happy to help (especially if there is a reward)
  20. Don’t give up hope.

And when you get them home, make sure your fence is secure! Nail any loose boards, pour concrete along the bottom, or if you can’t then chicken wire it down so they cant dig to get under it! You can bend it along the base and stake it down!

I can only hope this helps someone else looking for their baby. Our animals are our children and it felt like my heart had died while he was gone. We couldn’t go on with our lives until he was home and I’m so glad he is. I’m never letting him go.

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-Sam <3

 

365 Project| 36-47

Since I’ve been sick, I haven’t been up to uploading all my daily photos so here’s pretty much 2 weeks of photos in one post!


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36: We did photos early in the day with my sister and then ended up completely wiped out.

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37: I spent most of the day passed out and finally got hit with the full force of being sick.

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38: I went to work and then got sent home with a fever.

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39: I’ve been staring at the ceiling in our bedroom too much. I haven’t been able to stay awake long enough to do anything.

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40: Had to cancel my dentist appointment and reschedule. Finally went to work and then came home and passed out.

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41: Slowly getting my energy back. Cleaned up the house a tiny bit and watched Rony sketch for a bit. My to do list is piling up but haven’t been able to bring myself to do anything.

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42: It’s been raining all week and the pumpkins are growing like crazy. This poor little vine started encroaching into an anthill and we watched for like 20 minutes as they chewed through it and dragged the tiny piece around, trying to figure out where to put it.

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43: The Perseid Meteors were happening so we had an astrology party. Unfortunately the clouds moved in and we couldn’t see anything, so we came back to the house and did Tarot readings and hung out.

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44: I was feeling okay enough that we got to take Leon to Puppy Day at the pool and taught him to swim. He was timid but liked all the other puppies and it was a good experience. All of us passed out for the rest of the day.

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45: I left work early and got my tooth pulled. Marisa took me and dropped me off and I was out of it for the rest of the day. My face was swollen because they had a hard time getting to tooth out so my jaw and gums was bruised. Still kind of sick.

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46: Mae Mae, our friendly stray cat, has been hanging out a lot more. She’s pregnant and we’ve been talking about fostering her and her kittens. We put all the animals away and I let her walk around and hang out during the storm. She needs to go to the vet first before meeting any of the animals so after the rain, she went back outside (which she was fine with. She’d been meowing to go back outside).

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47: Rony’s mom gave us this tiny vine and it’s been growing like crazy, almost 2 inches a day. I got sent home sick because my eye swelled shut. All the medications I was taking dried them out and I ended up scratching one with the guck happening. At least my plants are doing well.


-Sam <3

365 Project| 29-35

It’s been a busy week so let’s check out how I did. So far going strong.


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29: Between dog sitting, vet trips, cleaning, and Ladies Night, Saturday was chaotic. Afterwards we all got together to play games, eat pizza, celebrate making it through my Vegan challenge, and just hang out.

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30: We like to feed the dogs in their kennels since they’ll steal each others food and get mad and sometimes they throw fits and pout when we do it. Leon loves to tear apart his beds and fill his kennel with stuffing and Almond will toss everything out of hers.

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31: Our little cactus grew another head. We’re gonna use these neat skull cups we found and turn them into plants to give them more room.

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32: I went to the dentist to deal with a toothache and came out with two more prescriptions, one for an infection and the other being pain meds. The amount of medication I have to take a day is ridiculous.

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33: We finally got a new car and that meant saying goodbye to our baby red one. I’ve had it pretty much the entirety of mine and Rony’s relationship. The first thing he ever got me was this sticker from the farmer’s market back in his home town. We’re gonna try and get a replacement for the new car because I can’t say goodbye to that yet.

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34: The shop is picking up which means I’ve been getting orders together and trying to get them shipped out. There was a time when I would get 30 in a week and was drowning in orders to go out in the mail. Things are steadier and I’m okay with that.

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35: Friday was Demo’s big day. After 2 years we were finally getting his arm amputated. We got him packed up and corralled him into the crate and then dropped him off at the vet. His surgery went really good but they went ahead and kept him there overnight just to check on him. We officially have a 3 legged cat and hopefully he’ll be much better.


-Sam <3

Blog| I went Vegan for a Week

My sister and I like to give each other challenges to do. One, it’s a way for us to bond and do fun things and two, we like to brag when the other starts losing.

I challenged her to do the 365 Project and she challenged me to do a week of being vegan.

Guess what I’m doing now?

Goal: Eat vegan from July 24th to Ladies Night on July 29th and see what the effects are on my body and if I won’t die of hunger.


Day 1:

I was not prepared. At all. We got back from Ruidoso Sunday evening and I went straight to a dinner party then passed out. In the morning, I was tired and exhausted and went to grab something for breakfast only to find nothing I could eat.

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I drink my coffee with cream and sugar so I couldn’t have it and had to drink sweet tea instead. I was starving. Went home for lunch. Finally found some rice and a bag of steam-able veggies to eat. It was the saddest little meal I’ve had. After desperately searching the house some more, I realized the garden veggie Pringles chips we just bought were vegan.

I think I downed half the can.

After work I went to the grocery store and got some fruit, salad stuff, fake vegan meat, chips and salsa, and almond milk so I could eat cereal. I forgot pasta sauce since the sauce we had already was four cheese, to my dismay.

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I ate a salad for dinner, snacked on chips and salsa, ate a cup of Special K cereal with almond milk, and drank V8 fruit blend. I had a headache, was tired, cranky, and couldn’t seem to feel full. Day 1 was awful.


Day 2:

I was exhausted! Seriously, I slept through my alarm then had to run and throw on clothes and eat some more Special K for breakfast. My stomach felt like a black void and I had the worst headache. It’s the kind that feels like your head is split open and makes you nauseous.

For lunch I went crazy because I was starving. Tomato soup, slices of bread, chips and salsa, and the veggie Pringle chips. I gorged myself because I was so hungry and just wanted everything in sight to get into my stomach.

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After work, I was still starving. I snacked on baby tomatoes and homemade pickles. Ate another cup of cereal. I was also exhausted and the headaches were persisting. I spent a good amount of time just laying on the couch with my phone, trying not to take a whole bottle of pain medicine.

For dinner, I wanted to try something beyond rice and veggies. I had bought some meatless vegan chicken strips and googled how to make your own teriyaki sauce. With some modifications (because I didn’t have everything and I was too lazy to go to the store), I made the sauce with some steamed stir-fry veggies and added the chicken. All of it went on top of some white rice and boom, dinner.

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Surprisingly, it was very delicious. The chicken didn’t taste just like chicken, but close enough and the texture was kinda similar. But the sauce was good and I even ate the vegetables I usually hate.

I passed out early for bed and dreamed of cakes and cream cheese and everything I couldn’t eat.


Day 3:

I was less tired in the morning but did wake up starving again. I realized the food I was eating just wasn’t lasting that long. I made the effort to get up, fix my hair, eat a big bowl of cereal, and take some fruit to work. Since I’ve had to forgo coffee and I forgot to make more sweet tea, I drank water at work.

The headaches were still ongoing but I looked it up and it’s apparently my body detoxing from dairy and meat. I chewed some gummy vitamins for good measure and drank more water.

I started to dislike Almond milk less, though I wouldn’t drink it straight. It was a weird tan color I just couldn’t get passed. In cereal it wasn’t bad, I’ll give it that.

Lunch was tomato soup again since we ate all the leftovers and I didn’t feel like salad. After lunch I was fading fast. I could not. stop. yawning. I drank even more water and finished off my Pringles to keep myself awake.

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Marisa was supposed to make a vegan dinner, but ended up losing her debit card (RIP debit card) so I settled for a spinach and tomato salad with Italian dressing. I’m starting to notice that certain flavors are starting to be overpowering. Certain things are too sweet, the Italian dressing was overpowering and too much. It’s strange.


Day 4:

Today was the first day that I didn’t get awful headaches and didn’t feel like I needed a nap every other hour. I ran out of cereal but found out the “butter” we had was actually vegetable oil spread and I could eat it. So I made toast with jam.

I’m drinking more water and more fruit. A lot of bananas and peaches from the store, snacking on tomatoes. Vegetables I hated and would pick out of my food I’m just shoving into my mouth because I’m hungry and don’t wanna hassle myself with picking them out.

Lunch was a dull affair of leftover tomato soup with bread and veggies. Most of my lunch break was spent cleaning up the dogs’ kennels since Almond had an accident due to an upset tummy.

I snacked on salsa and chips, finished my tomatoes, cried over my forbidden donuts and Lunchables.

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For dinner I decided to cook again. There was some gnocchi in the cabinets and we had another bag of meatless chicken. I cooked them up, threw some steam-able veggies into the microwave and then mixed it all together and made vegetable and chicken gnocchi with plain pasta sauce. It was pretty good and very filling! I actually liked it a lot and say of all the vegan stuff I bought, I liked the meatless chicken the most.


Day 5:

No headaches! It was a miracle! I ate toast again for breakfast and had some tea and found I was less tired for once. My sleep schedule was still all crazy and I ended up staying up too late coloring my coloring book, but I wasn’t dead on my feet so that was good.

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I ate leftover gnocchi for lunch and decided to cook meatless ground beef tacos for dinner. Honestly, it didn’t taste that much different from regular meat. I seasoned it like normal and topped it with tomatoes and spinach instead of lettuce and put a little salsa on it. Rony and I both ate them all and agreed that the meatless beef was pretty A+. 10/10 would buy again. I think next time I’ll try and incorporate it into other dishes and see how it holds up.


Day 6:

Saturday was the last day of the challenge. I had to get all the way through Ladies Night and then I could stuff myself with pizza and donuts and anything I wanted.

We were crazy busy so I ate cereal for breakfast in between running around. Around 2, it finally settled down enough that we decided to go out and eat. I wanted to try and see how easy or hard it is to order vegan food at a restaurant so we went to one of our favorite Thai restaurants. All I could think was that I was pretty sure most of the noodles are made with egg and I’d have to suck it up and get a fully vegetable plate and this was going to suck.

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I got lucky. My favorite dish, Lard Na, was made with rice noodles and they had a tofu option so it was all vegan. I’ve never had tofu but Rony recently got won over by it so I figured I would try it to.

During the whole week, I was surprised by how less picky I was getting. Usually I pick out cabbage and any weird vegetables I don’t like. Sometimes I was too hungry to care and shoved everything into my mouth, everything tasting like pure gold in my mouth from starvation. I was less anxious about the tofu at that point. And it was actually not bad. The gravy had soaked in and it didn’t really taste like anything and the texture reminded me of a less chewy version of tripe in menudo which I love. I was pleasantly surprised.

Rony got tofu as well but it was fried. I tried his and it tasted like weird egg but I’d eat it. It wasn’t bad. I ate my whole plate and felt full and happy. I was proud. It was my last vegan meal and I had expected the worst, but the whole week was better than I thought.

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Ladies Night came and I survived. I did ALMOST ate a cookie on accident though. Tabby had picked all the M&M’s off hers and I didn’t want it to go to waste and had put it in my mouth right as I realized it wasn’t vegan. So I spit it out and almost cried. I would have been so mad if I ruined my whole week in the last hour.

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We all went to my house and ordered pizza and played games and drank to celebrate Ladies Night and me ending my veganism. The taste of cheese pizza had never tasted so good. I ate chips and bread sticks and dip and hung out with my friends. I even drank the cold brew coffee that had been sitting in the fridge.

We laughed and listened to music and stayed up until almost 3am. It was a good end.


Final thoughts:

I will tell you, I threw a fit when my sister gave me the challenge. I couldn’t survive without dairy. It was gonna be awful. I was gonna die. This was too much work. Even Rony was like “hell no” and didn’t want to do it.

But I genuinely surprised. Yes, the first few days were hard as I figured out what I could or could not eat, figured out my intake, and suffered through dairy detox. I was miserable and tired and grumpy and just wanted to shove donuts into my face. After I got groceries, tried to cook and got things I could eat then it actually wasn’t bad.

I noticed I started to crave dairy and cheese less, I ate less sugar and caffeine, and cooked a lot more. I started looking at labels and taking vitamins and eating less processed food. The few times I seriously craved foods was in places like the mall and when everyone but me had junk food.

Were there downsides? Yes. I’m going to be honest. I had gas all damn week. It was crazy. Everything gave me gas and I hated it. I was also hungry all the time, ranging from “maybe I should snack” to “holy shit I’m going to eat paper if I do not get food.” I would have to eat very filling lunches to last me from breakfast until after work when I would eat fruit or something small to relieve the hunger pains before dinner.

I was tired, fast food was almost completely out of the question, and the groceries were slightly more expensive for less items. Lubbock is a small town and does not have that many vegan/vegetarian options and I hated spending so much on groceries.

But at the end of the week, I was super proud and it’s made me think a lot about my diet currently. I gave up red meat, but all of the meatless options were just as good as actual meat. So now I think I may be giving up poultry eventually and just eat fish. When we go to Seattle, we’ll be able to get fresh, local fish and that way I don’t have to feel guilty about the meat/poultry industry.

It’s weird to be making all these dietary changes but I have to admit that I did feel good at the end. I didn’t change weight, but my body felt healthier and I had to consume so much food that was plant based that I wouldn’t really have to worry about overeating. If I had worked out this week, I’m sure I would have saw some changes.

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So how have things changed almost a week later?

Monday I drank two sips of coffee and felt like my heart was going to explode from caffeine. I hate some chips and a cookie and felt sick all day. Cheese is almost unappetizing to me and I can’t go back to regular dairy milk. So far turkey meat doesn’t make me queasy but I essentially can’t go back to a regular diet without feeling nauseous and worse than I did at the beginning of the vegan challenge.

I won’t keep being a vegan, but unless I want to feel like crap for a whole week, I can’t go back to eating how I did. So I’ve cut out coffee and soda and a lot of sweets and dairy. If I do eat junk food, I can only eat a tiny bit or else I feel awful.

But I’m kinda okay with it. Yes, I would like to go back to eating whatever I wanted but in the end, I understand that it’s my body telling me it does not like it. So I’ll be like a weird lenient vegetarian.

In a month or so, I’ll let you know how it goes :)

-Sam <3

July 2017 Ladies Night

Ladies Night is always going to be my favorite event to put together, not just because it’s the first thing I started but because I love seeing all the women and girls in our community come out and make friends and find something new in an industry I love.

AR2_8384AR2_8403AR2_8394AR2_8395For this Ladies Night we had featured artist Julie Raven Art, who did the art for our flyers/poster and was doing magical girl commissions and selling prints. Jazmin Cruz was demoing Lipsense lipsticks with a cosplay twist and Caitlin Spikes was previewing coloring pages for her graphic novel Pirate Captain Morgan.

My sister Amanda was our very first photographer at our first Ladies Night and it was actually her first time shooting anything and was the kickoff to her business. I was very excited to have her back, knowing how much she had progressed from when she first started.

And better yet, my little niece Tabby came along and got to hang out with us. I was very excited to have her there and be able to hang out with a bunch of girls.

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We had a really great turnout right at the beginning and Julie pretty much got a line right away. I bought my sister some lipstick as a thank you for photographing and Jazmin did demo’s all night. Caitlin brought some coloring sheets of the art from the graphic novel. The art is all done by Chris Nazario and should be going to print in December. They’re also going to be launching a Kickstarter soon.

We also had a bunch of Wonder Woman movie posters that were donated to the event by a very nice patron of Star Comics and so we got to hand those out for free.

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We had a ton of new people show up and chat and I got to hang with my nerd girl crew, who of course all dressed up because I love them. Usually it’ll die down at about 8 to 8:30 but this time we had a ton of people still hanging out at almost 9 when the event is over. Snacks and drinks were had, posters picked up, comics bought.

The boyfriends/husbands all hung outside and talked until we let them in at 8:30. It was a great night and I was so happy to see everyone have a good time. Ladies Night is always a night that just makes me so unbelievably happy.

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Again, thank you to everyone involved with making this happen! Thank you to Star Comics, as always, for being the best comic shop and friends a girl could ask for. Thank you to Julie Raven Art for being an amazing artist and producing the cutest Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur for the event flyer. Thank you to Jazmin Cruz for demoing her makeup and helping out the wonderful ladies all night and Caitlin Spikes for bringing her coloring pages for the kids to work on!

And thank you to my sister Amanda Raylee Photography for taking pictures of the night. All pictures seen in this post were taken by her! Lastly, thank you to my boyfriend Rony for doing the graphic design of the flyers and posters!

We have one more Ladies Night this year in the Fall so be sure to come out to that one! In the mean time, this was amazing and I love you all.

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-Sam <3