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.

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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

365 Project| 22-28

This week was a mix of busy family and friend outings and I don’t think it’s gonna slow down any time soon.


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22: We spent the day in Ruidoso, hanging out in the cabin and relaxing. It was beautiful and was just a wonderful chance to breathe.

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23: We went to the shops in downtown Ruidoso and antique shopped before heading back home. I loved all the knick knacks and interesting things for sale.

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24: Rony’s mom gave us a few new plant babies, including two tiny succulents.

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25: I found a bug shop on Etsy a month ago and splurged and they finally came in. They’re absolutely gorgeous and I love them already.

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26: A friend of ours was in town and we went to the pinball bar to have drinks and play games.

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27: I needed a downtime day and finally sat down and starting working on one of my coloring books. I got a few as gifts but haven’t colored in them and I was excited to finally do so. I even sketched a bit as well.

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28: My sister, niece, and nephew arrived in town so we went and hung out with them after work. Rony is Tabby’s favorite person to hang out with so she was excited to play with him and show him all her things. We went and saw him play soccer and then all (well, except me) got ice cream.


-Sam <3

Blog| Ruidoso Finds

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I love Southwestern decor and design. I think it’s my culture coming through, but I love the detail and colors and how most things are handmade and hand woven. I told Rony that when we move I would love to take some with us because who knows when I’ll come across authentic Southwestern items up north.

The cabin was lovely and full of knickknacks to explore and appreciate. We fell in love with the table and chairs which were turquoise and had Zia symbols carved into them. It was a homelike house surrounded by woods and mountains and it was wonderful to explore.

It rained a bit around lunch time on Saturday and so we sat outside under the overhead and just enjoyed the breeze.

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On Saturday for a bit and on Sunday we visited downtown Ruidoso to explore and shop a bit. Ruidoso closes down pretty early so we didn’t get to go too many places on Saturday but we did get most of the exploring done on Sunday to make up for it. I’ve actually only been to Ruidoso once before on a couple trip with Rony and some friends the first Winter we were together. Most of the shops were the same, but we got to explore a few new ones.

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We checked out a tea shop and book store and searched through an old antique shop with Rony’s mother and grandmother.

I love antique shops. I love the weird mix of items displayed together and the look of a bunch of lamps all cluttered on a table, license plates stacked on top each other, and a bunch of antlers in a bathtub. It’s unique and interesting and I just love it.

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We looked around and found a few neat things like a wooden plant holder, an old film projector, and a pair of skulls. Rony and I are always on the hunt for more skulls and he was super excited to show me. I loved the colors and shape of the horns and how one of the faces was broken off. I still have plans to find a skull and cover it in crystals and plants so I’m always looking for broken, cheap ones.

The skulls were $65 and $75 which seemed to be about the average price from all the ones we found. I loved the smaller one and Rony and I debated about it. I already passed my $50 budgeting goal for the month and felt bad since I just bought another Becky Cloonan Mondo poster (I know, I did awful this month).

We decided to ask if they would be willing to take $50. At least he said no, but then came back and said that’d be fine. He had thought we wanted the larger one with the broken face. Rony’s mom got a few things and we got the skull boxed up in the car.

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We checked out the shop a bit more and I convinced myself not to buy more things. I settled for taking pictures and then we walked down the street. Ruidoso is a weird mix of being old fashion, hip, and just selling selling whatever they think tourists would like. We saw chainsaw carved alien statues, decorated fidget spinners, dream catchers, and hand painted skulls.

The thing I’ve always loved about New Mexico is that art is everywhere and they will plant flowers wherever they can. I can very much appreciate that.

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Now we are home and I’m back to trying to make Lubbock a bit more colorful.

We got a couple of rainbow dog neck tutus as souvenirs for the pups so we can bring them to the Pride festival next month and found some neat Nightmare Before Christmas figures for the Halloween room.

Rony’s mom gave us some knick knacks from her trip to Europe and we’re finding a home for our new skull. We had a lot of fun exploring Ruidoso and hanging out with Rony’s family. The break from the grind was nice and slowing down is good every once in a while.

Ladies Night is Saturday, my sister is in town Friday, and I’m currently working through my Vegan challenge. Keep an eye on the blog for a lot of things happening :)

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Until next time

-Sam <3

Blog| Family Cabin

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Friday we took off with Rony’s sister and her boyfriend to visit his mom’s family. We were all gonna stay in a cabin in Ruidoso and hang out and it was my first time meeting his extended family.

I am aware of how weird I look and how traditional Mexican families are so yeah, a little anxious. My family has had time to take in how weird I am so I made sure I was on my best behavior, or as good as a tiny tattooed girl with a side shave and blue hair can be. I brought my camera and took pictures the whole weekend, documenting the trip so they could have it later on since it’s not often all of Rony’s siblings get together with their family.

The cabin was nice and very southwestern which I’m a fan of and everyone was very warm and welcoming. I got fed a lot which I’m use to around family. Unfortunately, I also had back pain on the way there and was having some nausea and motion sickness so that wasn’t great.

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We played games and I got taught a card game called Cadillac and almost won the pot but lost out to Rony’s cousin in the last round. It was probably revenge for beating him in King of Tokyo earlier. We broke a surprisingly hard pinata and laughed as all the boys toppled to the ground after being spun.

Rony loves to teach people board games and got to teach all the kids King of Tokyo which then turned them into addicts and he had to play about 6 more times with them.

We had not only a wild horse come up to the house but also a family of deer. We even got one to eat some seeds out of our hands. It was amazing to see them be so comfortable and just walk right up to the house.

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It was a good weekend and a nice break from events and work and constantly being on the go. I like hanging out with his family and talking about what we’re up to and seeing them all interact. It was very similar to my family so I was comfortable right away. We went to downtown Ruidoso a couple of times, but I’ll save it for another post.

We’re learning to appreciate these times with family a bit more with the possible move and I’m glad we all got to get together. It’s not easy to find time but it was worth it.

Tomorrow I’ll post about downtown Ruidoso and all the neat things we found!

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-Sam <3

365 Project| 15-21

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15: Ryder has started meowing to go outside a lot lately so I’m working on training him to walk with a leash. There’s been progress but we need to work on his listening skills.

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16: I’ve been having an insect obsession and have started adding them to all my paintings.

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17: Work night. Sometimes I just like working in the kitchen rather than my office.

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18: I got anxious and frustrated and needed a release so I chopped off half my hair in the bathroom. I feel better.

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19: Dinner at Marisa’s house with some friends. I snuggled her puppies and ate good food and watched people play board games.

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20: Packing for our weekend trip to Ruidoso. Almond and Leon are not thrilled but they get to spend the weekend with Marisa and her pup Cooper while we’re gone.

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21: On the road. Texas is a pretty great place for sunsets but off to New Mexico we went to spend the weekend with Rony’s family at a cabin.


-Sam <3