Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Do Zoo Keepers ever sleep?

We have officially lived in the new house for over a month.  Most everything is unpack (just don't look in the guest room and don't expect anything to be hung on the wall when you visit).  We absolutely love it and hope after a few years of living there maybe the landlord will let us buy it (yes we love it that much).  Goose and Slinky adjusted within a few hours, Duck, on the other hand, is having a really hard time.  Anyone had issues with their pets adjusting to a new house?

Mr.Duck and Corey being Goofballs as usual
  The old house is the only home he ever knew, Slinky & Goose have both moved many times so we are thinking that is part of the difference.  He was almost fully potty trained at the old house.  At the new one he does better with ringing the bell we have on the door but he also has this new where he wakes up at 3am to go outside.  If I do not get up to let him out he will just in the floor.  Let me tell you how not fun it is to clean that up at 3am.  He has been sleeping in our bed for about 8 months now, so when I tried to crate him he whined the entire night and I got even less sleep.  Anyone have suggestion on how to help him adjust?

Monday, July 29, 2013

The Power of Prayer

As an interfaith couple Corey and I have spent many nights discussing our belief differences, similarities and even subjects we are unsure of.  For those of you that do not know, I am Jewish and Corey is Baptist.  Obviously there are a lot of similarities in the two religions, one of which is the power of prayer.

In the past, I was never a big fan of personal prayer.  I have always believed in thanking G.d for what I have, for saving my people and for the general good state of the earth.  But then during my experiences in my new Temple, Corey's Church and people offering to pray for us during certain events in our relationship, I opened up to the idea of personal prayer.  I was not sure if it is because I feel that it makes those who support us feel better or if I believe G.d is really listening, either way it was making a difference, things started to go our way.  My previous dislike of personal prayer was that I believed there are so many big things going on and I have so much to be thankful for.

Every curve ball life has thrown us during our relationship has made us stronger as a couple, because we always face them together, as a strong and absolutely full of love couple.  Of course, as we start to plan our 2nd wedding anniversary, life "had" to throw us another curve ball.  All I can think to do is to ask those around us to pray for us.  This time around I think it is because it makes me feel better and maybe, if I have done enough good with my life, G.d will answer.  I can only hope pray.

One of the many things I love about my religion, belief and heritage is there is not a list of ABC that I must believe in, but an openness to my own interpretation.  Obviously this changes with your Temple and whether you are Orthodox, Reform or Conservation (I consider myself Reform).  At my temple, the Rabbi will read a passage in Hebrew, Translate it and then tell us what he thinks it means, but he also invites us to interpret with thought-provoking questions.  I absolutely love this and wish I could attend services more often.  I took a Biblical Hebrew course in college and truly discovered how many different ways each word could be translated, some of which can completely change an entire sentence & passage's meaning.  I don't think this is confined to just the Old Testament, but that is what we were translating and what I know.

Do you believe in the power of prayer?  When you tell someone you will pray for them, do you really?

As we struggle with another curve ball, all I can do is ask you keep us in your prayers.  Because I do believe that G.d is listening, whether he can change this or not.

P.S  NOT trying to start a religious argument, I am very open and supportive of different religions but I will never convert from Judaism and Corey will never convert from Christianity.  Neither of us want the other one to and it is just one of the many amazing difference that make us work so well together.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Our new Hobby.

Over the last several months I have been searching for a new Hobby.  I really thought I wanted to get in to Photography (and I might still down the road) but every time I had the opportunity to invest in a DSLR I just got scared it would be a waste of money for me.  I loved Hiking but with Corey's new 6-day workweek we never have the time to drive to any good trails.

Corey used to be very in to Road Biking, before he moved to Richmond.  Road biking has never really sounded fun to me though. Riding around cars, racing, hunching over all the time for more speed...just not for me.  Mountain Biking however sounded like something that could be fun and good for me.

I started messaging around on facebook to see if any of my friends were in to mountain biking.  It turns out a good friend from Middle School, that I recently reconnected with is, what good timing!  Last Saturday I rented a bike from River City Outfitters and we went around Brown and Belle Island.  It turns out that although I am not that fabulous at it, I had a lot of fun, burned a ton of calories and Richmond has a plethora of trails!

Corey and I decided we would rent bikes together on 4th of July.  We went to Pocahontas State Park and rode two different trails.  The first one was fabulous, it is also a hiking trail but with lots of hills so good for both of us.  The waterfall in the pictures below is in the middle of the trail, just another reason to love Richmond.  I love that we are so close to all this fabulous nature.

I was feeling good after the 4.8 miles of the first trail and let Corey convince me to go on a second trail. Well to make a long story short, we got lost!  The second trail was not marked well at all, the map they give you at the gate does not help you at all and couldn't pull up anything on GoogleMaps (tree cover was too thick to see anything on the maps).  Our 8-mile planned ride for the day turned in to 11.25.  I have neverbeen so happy to see an Exit Sign!

Luckily RO did not end up charging us extra even though our 2 hour ride become a 4-hour ride.  Man look at those calories burned!  Once we went to Tropical Smoothie for some Protein Shakes, Showered, collapsed (napped) on the sofa and recuperated we were both surprisingly ready for more.  Since my first ride Corey had already been doing a ton of research on bikes and even gone to a couple shops.  He already knew he loved biking and is super excited I enjoy MTB (Mountain Biking). Once he rode he was sold (I was afraid he would miss the speed of road biking).  We had planned to rent until the end of August but when we did the math we realized that by that time we spent all that money renting we could buy us both bikes.  The fact that RO closed too early on weekdays for me to rent was a real bummer too.  So on Saturday we ended up buying Bikes and going back to Pocahontas.

My New ride.

Corey's new ride.
We were much more prepared this time.  We had a much better app (that showed up the trail we had ridden as we were riding so we could retrace our steps if needed) and a map from the bike store.  I was amazed what a difference riding a nice bike fit to me made!  We didn't ride that far because my muscles were still sore and the humidity was insane that day.

I did fall twice on Saturday and have trail-burn and a HUGE bruise to show for it.  

I've been applying Miracle Oil to them both so thankfully they are fading pretty quickly, but doesn't look like I'll be wearing skirts to my parties this weekend.

Tuesday after work I went on my first solo road.  There is another park about 15 minutes from our house.  They have graveled double trail (hiking and biking) with plenty of single trails (biking only) all over the place.  It is not quite extreme for experience riders but perfect for my skill level.  I worked a lot on stopping/starting, riding while standing and a few hills.

287 calories burned in 40 minutes is a lot better than any 40 minutes I've ever had at the gym and it was a lot more fun.  My muscles were killing me, Corey says the ride was good for stretching them out but I admit I only kept riding because the breeze felt amazing.

Four years of a stronger-better me!

Four years ago, I made a simple decision that changed my life forever, in the best possible way that could ever happen.

After years of holding two jobs and still struggling, on July 1st 2009 I took the leap of faith and started my own business (this post isn't about Pure Romance itself but what starting my own business did for my life).  When I made the decision to become a Pure Romance consultant I did it because I was dead broke, on the verge of filing bankruptcy and constantly playing the "will I get paid enough money before they notice my check is going to bounce" game.  Seriously, these are the things they don't prepare you for in college.  It was not a good time in my life but I was too ashamed to tell anyone.

At the time my night job was being the worst bartender in Richmond and a Cocktail waitress.  I absolutely hated it, but a friend owned the bar and it was "decent" money.  A friend had a Pure Romance party and I arrived with $15 in my pocket.  While I was in the ordering room the consultant told me that she had already profited $250, I wanted to laugh in her face for lying to me, but I didn't.  Instead I went home and read everything I could find on Pure Romance & every company like it.  I realized she was telling the truth and I was hooked.  For a few weeks I saved every penny I could, seriously picking up pennies off the floor when cleaning the bar at night (no really).

My kit arrived and I read every single piece of training material that came with it, along with everything they had online.  For my first party, I invited my closest 6 friends over so I could practice in front of people.  While setting up I realized I did all this research about the company and income potential yet completely neglected to think about the fact that had an immense fear of talking to strangers & groups.  I started flipping out.  OH MY GOSH WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?!?! 

The party started and all 6 of my amazing friends showed up.  Four of them even booked their own parties and to my complete surprise they all purchased something!  I had paid off my kit (and the pennies I literally counted to get it) and made profit!  Once I realized that no one would ever know if I was messing up, the fear of talking to strangers and groups melted away.
A few months later I started to see a real change in myself.  Most importantly I felt more sure of myself.  I realized the jerk-balls I had been dating were so beneath me it wasn't even funny.  I finally bought some "adult" (work) clothes, was consistently paying bills AND buying groceries.  The money was fabulous but the greatest gift of all was my self esteem and the fact that the money allowed me to go out with my friends.  With this new found self-esteem and finally being comfortable with myself, I signed up on a dating website.  I also realized that I actually really enjoyed the finance portion of my hourly job and decided to pursue it as a career.  I had found the perfect combination, I would work numbers during the day and on the side I would do Pure Romance, on my own schedule.  This would let me have my dream job, a sexual health educator and therapist with the money to match but no graduate school required!  I had held on to my bar job for those 1st couple of months, it was so nice to finally say goodbye to it.

I was so surprised how welcoming all my friends were to the company.  It was and still is so different from all the other companies out there.  Being a consultant forced me out of my shell which helped tremendously in my personal life!  Friends say I am a totally different person and I love it.  But I also know without this decision I never would of met my Husband, bought a new car, paid down/off debt, paid for our wedding,  etc etc!

From my very first National Convention in August 2009
I absolutely love hearing how I have helped women, couples and men.  It is not just the edu-tainment aspect but also how to bring the romance back and how that helped them finally get pregnant, repair their relationship, improve their self-esteem etc. etc.

A HUGE thank you to everyone who has supported me all these years.  I definitely would not be here without you!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Eating Pinterest (sort of)

If you have visited us over at Pinterest you know I have a healthy obsession.  Corey loves it for Recipes but we share an account so my obsession looks even more insane, especially on nights when we are both on our Ipads pinning!

With the move and half our kitchen still packed up paired with his new 6-day workweek, Corey hasn't really had time to create any new recipes lately so Pinterest has been our best friend.  I even used the grill earlier this week!  I am not sure why I used to be scared of cooking on it but now I love it!

We've had plenty of Pinterest fails but last week we tried two recipes that were amazing, without too much tweaking.
(We didn't take a photo so this pic is from the source blog)
The first was one I made.  Bird's Nest Breakfast Cups.  We used Maple Turkey Sausage from Jimmy Dean, the Maple adds an amazing flavor, and we put them on Buttery Pillsbury Biscuits. They turned out amazing and will definitely be a staple in the Bell house!

Over the weekend Corey made this salad, he did add a lot more lime to the dressing but other than that not too many changes.  Below is our version.
This was SO good!  Was great for wraps as well.

Earlier this week he made Lime Tequilla Chipotle Shrimp Kabobs with inspiration from this recipe and this one, they sound delicious!  Can you tell I love lime?