What Should Have Been

I started this blog with a purpose and had so many goals when I published my first post. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those same goals in mind. I simply lost my way a bit these last couple of months. I let my mind wander and get focused on several other things. Some real and worth the focus and some that kept me trapped within my own mind.

What I wanted was to be posting two blogs a week, growing a following of readers who enjoy and believe in what I publish. That is still what I want and what I am striving for. I want to be able to begin my van life journey sooner rather than later but it has not exactly gone to plan.

The biggest part of my recent life that swayed me from blogging is freelancing. I’ve picked up a couple of side jobs writing blog and Instagram content. Putting so much time into writing content that would make me money set aside the writing that was supposed to be my therapeutic path back to happiness.

Since my last blog post in July, I have lingered in a strange limbo state of depression and being just okay. This is one of those things that I just can’t explain. I don’t have a clue why the depression sank over me like it did. I don’t know why I have yet to shake it off and return to my new normal. I’ve discussed it with my therapist and she confirms that there does not necessarily require a cause for depression to take over. It is a disorder that is always inside me regardless of any medication I may take. Depression can be an unpredictable beast.

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So what I had hoped to be a thriving blog has turned into a fizzling collection of articles. What I had hoped would be a fruitful road to my dream lifestyle has turned into a hazardous, disappointing journey thus far. But that’s how life is, isn’t it? A rollercoaster of unpredictability and failures before a life of success and consistency.

I have a lot of ideas and goals that I would like to make a reality. I see a lot more for myself than what I am right now. I’m still on my road to recovery and will be for some time. But as I go through day after day, I know I am meant for something more than Netflix binges and working a low-paying youth worker job. I respect my job and those who do it with me, but it is not something I plan to do for any significant amount of time. I strive for a more ideal and creative way of living and I plan for that to include my form of income.

Things very well might not work out the way I imagine them to. I definitely hope that they do and I am willing to work hard to make it happen. It would be a disservice to myself not to try. The support of my friends and family help me to believe in myself. In fact, it was my mom who questioned me about my blog’s inactivity. She bugged me about it for a couple days until I talked to her about it. It was that small conversation that kind of snapped me into writing therapeutically again.

So here is to the reboot of my therapeutic journey through this blog. Not all posts will be like this one and act as a journal. In my mind, it is a very adventurous journey so I hope you stick around to be a part of it!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

8 Yoga Poses to Improve Your Zen

In my opinion, for all it’s worth, yoga is a fantastic way to either start or end the day. For me, I have been doing my best to do 15-20 minutes of yoga every morning after/while drinking my smoothie. I’m not a huge breakfast person but I know it’s, as they say, the most important meal of the day so I drink a nice, big green smoothie.

I have a pretty high-stress life right meow, so I’ll try pretty much anything to help myself relax a little. So I started poking around the web, mostly on Pinterest. I had done yoga before, although that was to a class that could probably have passed as yoga for bodybuilders.

While I’m no expert, I’ve done quite a bit of research on different yoga poses to implement into my own routine to help de-stress. Here are my 8 favorites that help me improve my zen:

WARRIOR I

All of the warrior poses help to build stamina and strength and Warrior I is a great place to start. This pose helps open up the hips while working to strengthen the core and legs. The slight backbend really allows the body to open up and stretch out.

CAT/COW

This is technically two poses, but they make such a good combination that they really should just be lumped together perminately. This combination pose is great for people with back pain as it helps to stretch out the spine and hips.

DOWNWARD FACING DOG

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This pose is the pretty much like the king of yoga poses. It does it all; arms, shoulders, hips, spine, and legs. Enough said.

PLANK

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I. Hate. Planks.

However…this pose is AMAZING for helping build core strength. I do it for that reason alone because core strength is an area I need to work on. This pose also helps build strength in the wrists, arms, and shoulders.

SEATED FORWARD BEND

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If your hamstrings and calves need a good stretch, this pose should be in your yoga routine. I’ve had this in my own routine and it definitely burns the first few times. But having done it almost every morning for a little while now, I can feel a difference.

CHILD’S POSE

Again, for those with back pain, this is a good pose to practice. By extending your arms out in front of you, it allows your spine to stretch out and get some relief.

TREE POSE

This pose is great for improving balance and I definitely need help with that! A good tip is to find a spot straight ahead of you and focus only on that spot while you take deep breaths. It helps me from falling over at least!

CORPSE POSE

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It might sound silly, but sometimes it’s good to just lay down and breathe. That’s exactly what this pose does. I find it best to end my routine with corpse pose to give my body and mind a quick break before moving on with my day.


I won’t say that some days I struggle with the motivation and desire to do yoga in the mornings. Most recently, I’ve struggled to even pull myself out of bed. So if my darkness gets the better of me, I always try to get some yoga in at some point in my day, even if it’s late at night.

Basically, don’t sweat it if you’re low on motivation sometimes. It happens and it won’t last forever. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling myself!

I’d love to hear what your favorite yoga poses are! Leave a comment below!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Why You Should Make a Vision Board

Figuring out life goals and keeping them in focus can be a struggle. I know I struggle with focus and motivation regularly. That’s why everyone should have a vision board! Check it out!

Figuring out life goals and keeping them in focus can be a struggle. I know I struggle with focus and motivation regularly.

A vision board is a tool to help put chosen life goals into perspective and provide a visual representation of those goals. This week at work, one of the group therapy sessions was to create a vision board for how the kids wanted to improve their mental and physical health.

Tools Needed:

  • Magazines
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Paper/poster

First thing you’re going to want to do is think about what parts of your life or daily routine you think could use a visual cue to help you stay focused on your goals.

Next you go through the magazines and look for things that inspire you and fit the idea you’ve thought up in your mind. Don’t worry if some things that catch your eye don’t make sense…that’s part of the fun!

Cut those things out. Since the kids at work can’t have scissors, we ripped out the pictures. I actually like the look of the ripped paper, too!

Glue everything on in the placement you want and voila! I got a little extra and doodled in the empty white spaces that hadn’t been covered by magazine pieces.

Let’s disect my vision board. Some things I put on there simply because they make me happy; the corgi, panda, cats, and smiley balloon. The word ‘awesome’ honestly just looked cool and fit with the aesthetic of my board.

Phrases like ‘make life unexpected’ and ‘miraculous experience’ help remind me to live life to the fullest and not take it for granted. ‘Portion control’ and ‘refresh’ help me to remember to eat healthy and not stress eat. And by stress eat, I’m talking a whole pack of Oreos!

The yoga chick represents my newfound love for yoga. I’ve implemented it into my morning routine to help keep myself relaxed and balanced.

Your vision board is exactly that…yours. Make it how you want it and hang it up somewhere you know you’ll see it every day. I put mine on the mini fridge in my room.

If anyone decides to make their own vision board or already has one, I’d love to see them! Drop a comment below!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie

Adventures With Albus: Gettysburg College

It’s been a bit since I’ve updated the blog and what better way to get back on track than with a new Adventures with Albus! This past Sunday, my moms and I took the whole gang over to Gettysburg College for some sun and fun.

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It was VERY hot out so we were prepared with plenty of water and walking in the shade as much as possible. The pups got their fun in by chasing a couple of squirrels up trees.

20180701_110948155772524.jpgSomething fun I got to try out on this adventure was the new pet carrier backpack I ordered off Amazon! Let me tell you, this purchase was definitely worth it! I say that very prematurely as Albus has only been in it once and it didn’t go exactly as planned.

He jumped out, effectively trying to hang himself as I was a good cat mom and clipped him in. This was easily fixed since my mom was there and was able to help me get him on the leash. While Albus gets adjusted to the bag, I’m going to go on outings with my moms and the dogs as much as possible to have some extra support.

On the way back to the car, I put him back in the bag because I knew he wouldn’t walk there on his own. He had an accident and let’s just say I’m very glad I had the kitty bath wipes with me! I’m also glad I had enough sense to line the bottom of the backpack with a pee pad just in case. I think this accident was more to the fact that he had to use the bathroom but his litter box was in the car. He was definitely nervous, as he always has been with carriers, but I am confident that he will adjust.

Some good news though, Albus didn’t drool AT ALL when in the car. This is wonderful progress for him in his journey to getting more used to the car. He also didn’t hide and get all mad at me when we got home like he used to, so more progress!!

Honestly, if the backpack carrier doesn’t work out, I won’t be super heartbroken. A little sad, yea sure, since the backpack is fluffing cool! But Albus’ comfort level is more important to me. If anyone has used a carrier like this for their cat, I would love to hear what works for them! I know every cat is different and some cats just like being in carriers…but any advice is welcome!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie ♥

Quidditch Changed My Life

I get told, if I had to guess, around ten times a week how weird or nerdy I am by the kids at work. This is undoubtedly due to my unashamed love of all things Disney and the fact that when the girls watch Disney movies, I know all of the words. I also talk about Albus…a lot. Some girls have even started asking how he’s doing every now and then. But with all my love for Disney and cats, there is one thing that my true nerd spirit holds dear.

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Harry Potter is the series that brought the creative part of myself out of my shell. It’s the first world I really escaped into and one of the few I feel at home with. I seriously can’t count the number of times I’ve read these books. That doesn’t even take into account the number of times that I’ve listened to the books as well (I just started Prisoner of Azkaban yesterday). As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t like music that much right now, so I turn to audiobooks. Even though I’ve read and heard the story so many times, it is just as much of an engaging story as the first time I read it.

So it wasn’t a surprise to any of my friends or family when I joined my college’s club quidditch team.

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Coming in as one of those fan-girl Harry Potter loving nerds, I was pleased to find just how physical the game is. If anyone were to ask my mom, she would tell them that she has never seen me be more competitive than when I was on the quidditch pitch. I would definitely have to agree. I’ve played plenty of sports in my life and did well. However, being on this team of misfits has been more fun than all of my sports experiences combined.

Not only that, but the quidditch community as a whole is simply amazing. I’ve met several wonderful people through traveling for tournaments and even doing some summer fantasy tournaments. Being a co-ed, full contact sport makes an even playing field for male and female players in that all are treated the same and follow the same rules. This, I feel, helped add to the overall family feeling because it wasn’t a sport aimed towards any kind of specific person. There were several people on the team who had never read the Harry Potter books or seen the movies.

When I first started at Lock Haven University, I was a lonely transfer student with no friends in the area and my cats were three hours away. I was in kind of a dark place after my last college experience, so I was nervous about starting new. I got lucky, though, that one of my first roommates became one of my closest friends.

I attended the club fair that is a college staple everywhere and saw three hoops in the distance. I didn’t stop at any other table. I beelined right for it and saw a group of students tossing around a volleyball. They were all extremely friendly and genuinely excited at my interest in the club. After that, my dark place slowly faded away as I was welcomed into this family.

I use the word family to describe the team a lot because that is exactly how I see them. Just about all of us have graduated and new, young players are carrying on what those before me built and what we all helped to grow and sustain. I may not talk to all of them on any kind of regular basis, but I know if I were to see them, it would be easy to fall back into conversation as if I had just seen them the day before. Some I do talk to quite often and some I consider my closest, truest friends.

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Photo credit on watermarked photos belongs to Isabella Gong Photography

Remember that fantasy fiction trilogy I mentioned…well that close friend co-author of mine is none other than my best friend, Zach. Without this team, he and I would never have met and would never have become basically siblings.

My parents were very supportive of the quidditch team and treated them like family as well. My mom even drove Zach about 5 hours from a tournament to his family because his nose had been broken. They traveled to almost every tournament, even though it meant spending money on hotels, gas, and sometimes event tickets. But they loved seeing how happy I was out on the field and were happy to make the trip to see me at my best.

Not going to lie, there were ups and downs with the team just like any other family. At times it was so stressful that I debated quitting. There were so many internal couples that it was hard to keep up at times. But my love for the sport and my love for my team kept me going. Any drama that had happened was settled eventually and I can easily say that I am on good terms with everyone from the team. Being with them taught me so much about myself as a human being and a lot about who I want to be going forward. They took me in as a lonely transfer student with no one and helped me transform into an almost whole adult.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t be where I am today, as cliché as that sounds, without this group of people. They showed me that anything is possible and it’s okay to struggle because those who love you will always be there. I gained so much confidence in myself while I was a part of LHU Quidditch and I wouldn’t trade my time with them for anything.

To any of my teammates who may be reading this, thank you for being fucking awesome. I love you guys more than you know!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Road to Van Life: MONEY

While eventually embarking on my van life journey and documenting all I can, I also want to document and share my road to van life. One of the biggest factors to consider in wanting to travel full-time is money. I racked up quite a bit of debt through student loans. So for the foreseeable future, a hefty amount is going to be coming out of my bank account every month. [Tip: Avoid private student loans if you can.]

I’m also aware that, just because I will be traveling in a van, doesn’t mean there won’t be expenses. I’ve given a lot of thought to exactly what kind of budget I’ll need in this next stage of my life. I don’t see myself minding working on the road because I will be able to travel and set up shop to work wherever I would like. If I can find a cute spot with free wifi, GREAT! If not, I plan on having internet access somehow for when I go off-grid.

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Van Expenses: Gas is a HUGE and obvious one. I also will more than likely have a car payment, which I don’t mind. I don’t want to buy an older van and risk having to pay more money fixing the van than traveling. In addition to that will be auto insurance. Since it will be my traveling home, I’ll need more protection. Maintaining the van will require me to budget some money aside as well. Not to mention the costs for the actual van build.

Personal Expenses: Maintaining a healthy lifestyle for myself means groceries and not just eating out for every meal. I plan to have a fully functional kitchen space so that I can make my own meals from wherever I am. I’m pretty simple with my regular food choices but definitely not afraid to try new or weird things. I’ll also need some kind of health insurance since I am quite accident prone. No one ever really plans to use their health insurance, but it does provide peace of mind and is pretty mandatory to have.

I also have to factor in that, even though there is a lot of free stuff to do on the road, at some points there may be something really cool that I really want to do. I want to be able to have that freedom to pick a new activity to experience every now and then. For example, I really want to road trip to Alaska. My dad has said he would go with me, so I would want to make sure I had some money set aside to make that trip special.

Traveling With a Pet: This adds a whole other set of expenses. Albus is a very healthy kitty (vet confirmed today at his annual exam) but that means giving him the best I possibly can. Albus started out his life not so healthy and once I adopted him I knew I would do whatever I could to make sure he stayed as healthy as possible. I pay more for a better quality food and pay more for a better, more protective flea and tick preventative. Just because I’m downsizing my life doesn’t mean I will downsize his. Yes he may be in a smaller space that he’s used to, but he will be cared for just the same. He even has pet insurance.


Having so much in student debt, going through bankruptcy, and taking a huge pay cut means I have very little in savings. I plan on spending the next year saving up as much money as I can. There are two main reasons for my savings; the van build and a cushion to have for emergencies.

I’ve had to seek out multiple outlets for money in order to maximize my savings. My main source of income is my job as a mental health worker. It unfortunately does not pay enough for all that we do or deal with. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job and working with the kids…not every day is stressful and some days are fun. However the stress that it does cause, in my opinion, is just not worth it for the long-term.

It doesn’t earn me much, but I pick up a few hours here and there hosting at a local restaurant. Basically I’m a fill-in for when people want some time off. This suits me just fine because that leaves room for my more important side job–freelancing. I’ve started putting myself out there now so that I can build a reputation for myself in order to have it be my full-time job on the road. I’ve been able to obtain a part-time position as a social media content developer for a small marketing company that works very well with my schedule. This has literally just started, but I can tell it is going to lead to great things!

It might sound corny, but I really do officially feel like I am on the road to van life! I can daydream and browse Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube all I want. But actually obtaining this freelancing position gets me going in the right direction towards making van life a reality. If anyone has any advice on freelancing whether it be social media content or article/blog writing, I am all ears! Well…eyes. Leave a comment and let me know!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

 

WTF is Kombucha??

I’ve been on a bit of a health kick lately, trying really hard to eat well and work out every day, even if that’s just some yoga in the morning. A health drink, that I used to turn my nose up at without even having tried it, recently became a new love in my life.

I had been seeing all these glass-bottled health drinks for a while but at the time, I had no interest in health drinks and would just stress eat and drink soda. Then a couple months ago, I passed it in the store and thought I’d give it a try. When I first saw the term ‘kombucha tea’, I just figured they were another tea brand. Little did I know, they were very different from your average Arizona tea. So when I first tried it, I was caught off guard by it’s vinegary, slightly bubbly taste and texture. It also probably didn’t help that I got the one with chia seeds in it…

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of chia seeds. I put them in my smoothies and on my avocado toast all the time. If you haven’t seen what chia seeds look like after soaking in liquid, they get surrounded by little squishy sacks. So the texture of those amid the weird, unexpected taste that followed made me cringe at first. I’ll admit I was pretty ready to just chuck the whole bottle and go get some Arizona Arnold Palmer.

However, I think about my friend Amber who is really into organic food/drinks, holistic remedies, and all that shit. I had asked her what it was one time and she said it was really good and really good for you. She had definitely said what it was, too, but it didn’t seem to have registered with me what she really meant. But what really stuck with me was that she always said not to judge stuff by the first sip. So I held my judgement and tried it again. Let’s just say I got used to the taste.

Kombucha has been around for a very long time. I’m talking ancient. It’s base is tea, then sugar and ‘SCOBY’ (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). Then all that is fermented into kombucha! At first I was skeptical since one of the main ingredients is sugar and it is claiming to be healthy. So I delved deeper into my research and found that the yeast and bacteria actually eat the sugar to release the CO2 that gives the bubbly carbonation. While it doesn’t take all of the sugar away, it takes most of it out. That’s science for you!

That being said, kombucha does have quite a few health benefits that make it worth getting used to the bizarre taste and/or texture.

Heaps of Probiotics

The probiotics are basically just bacteria. Except this bacteria is good for a healthy belly. They help with digestion and can help with weight loss.

Loads of Antioxidants

If you can fit antioxidants into your diet through food or drink, do it. It has been shown that getting antioxidants that way is more effective than supplements. This is a good way to amp up your liver!

Reduce Risk of Heart Disease

This is more-so connected with the fact that kombucha uses tea as the base. Green tea is the best, leading to better health effects. It is even shown that green tea drinkers are 31% less likely to develop heart disease.

There are a lot of suggested health effects there have yet to be proven but are in the works. For me, what is proven is enough for me. I’m not super crazy about being healthy and still eat things I want like pizza or Oreos. However I try to eat it less frequently and implement more healthy options. I do like salads, quinoa, wraps and such so it’s not hard for me to find things.

I’ve seen a lot of articles in my research about making your own kombucha. However those articles say that it could be pretty disastrous if you mess it up…so I’ll stick to buying mine! My sister likes it and has been drinking it lately as well! She’s been more dedicated to her health journey so far than I have so I use her a lot for inspiration and motivation to keep going with my health goals.

Next time you’re walking through Whole Foods or the organic section of your grocery store, pick up a bottle of kombucha and try it out! It’s definitely not for everyone but if you don’t try, how will you know?!

Sorry if this post seems lackluster as, I will admit, it was rushed a bit. I’ve been busy the last couple days painting a wall for my mom! I also wrote half of it while also hosting and cleaning tables to makes some extra $$$!

Be on the look out for some guest blogs coming in the future! I’m also happy to say I’m getting my foot in the door with freelance writing and content/social media managing! Full-time travel here I come! Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie❤

5 Tools For a Happy and Healthy Cat

If you’re a cat mom (or dad) like me, then you know that every cat is different and likes different things. Just like people, a cat’s personality is their own and getting them to change habits can be challenging.

I have mentioned my cat, Oreo, before. She was completely different from Albus. She loved sitting in laps, giving kisses, and chasing a toy in circles until she got too dizzy. Oreo had a very different personality in that she definitely thought she was a dog!

While Albus prefers the company of dogs, he is a cat through and through. He loves to be pampered and only snuggles on his terms. Luckily for me, he enjoys snuggling on my bed so I get plenty of Albus snuggles to keep me satisfied. As I’ve also mentioned before, Albus is very intuitive. If he senses that I’ve had a rough day, he gives me some extra lovins.

Anyway, I’m basing this post on Albus and what tools work to keep him a happy and healthy kitty! (In no particular order)

1. Treat Mouse

Albus LOVES his treat mouse. It’s made by Temptations which is perfect because Albus only eats Temptations treats. I’ve tried other kinds but the only other ones he’s eaten are the Greenie’s treats. My mom got it for him a year or so ago for Christmas. I had to 20180605_1331331100559379.jpgreplace it because Albus kept playing with it after it was empty and lost the head. My mom had bought him a back-up but then he chewed the ears off of that one!

I usually give him the treat mouse before leaving for work in the afternoons. While Albus definitely loves his treats, if I fill the treat mouse completely he will bat it around and eat about half of the treats then leave the rest for later. He’s pretty lazy with it and doesn’t really bat it around too much, but it makes him happy so who am I to deny him!

2. Kitty Bath Wipes

These things are literal life savers. Albus is HORRIBLE about getting in water when it’s not on his terms. Obviously cats groom themselves and Albus is well-practiced in ass licking. But having the bath wipes to help freshen him up like once a week keeps him from getting smelly. He doesn’t mind the wipes until I start going for his tummy so I save that spot for last.

3. Interchangeable Wand Toy

This is the greatest toy I’ve ever bough for Albus and I’ve bought him a lot of toys to try. Albus can be quite picky and gets bored easily. He doesn’t like going after the same toy

day after day. The metal clasp makes changing the ends very easy, so every few days I switch the end piece to keep him interested and active. Since he likes treats so much, I try to get him to exercise a little to balance it out. Albus has some serious hops and takes no prisoners. I found this gem at a PETSMART. He’s also really weird though and sometimes just prefers to chase and chew on the stick part of the toy.

4. Kitty Tunnel

Albus’ favorite spot to play is inside his tunnel. I actually need to get him a new one because the one he has now is all torn up! He goes into what I call his ninja stealth kitty mode to hunt his prey. This helps him get enough stimulation, which cats typically thrive for in order to keep their hunter instincts alive.

5. Revolution Flea, Tick, and Heartworm

Since Albus likes going outside and going on adventures, it is important to think about what the dangers are for a kitty traipsing through the wilderness. Before I officially adopted Albus, he got a very bad case of fleas. So bad that it had resulted in worms. When I officially claimed him as mine and took over his care, I went through a lot of time and money to get him the care that he needed to make him healthy.

Revolution is different because it goes above and beyond your average flea and tick protector. This topical medicine also protects against heartworm. For that reason, it requires a vet’s prescription. It’s also a little pricier due to needing a prescription and the added protection from heartworm. But in my opinion, it’s definitely worth it to have peace of mind when out adventuring.

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Like I said, every cat is different and have routines and tools that work for them. I obviously have more than five tools that I use for Albus, these are just the ones that are the most prominent in his routine. For example, I got Albus pet insurance in case anything particularly unfortunate were to befall him.

It’s going to be interesting to see how I can transform to van life with a cat and still keep his life engaging and active despite living in such a small space. Of course, he will be going outside A LOT more than he is now so that, I hope, will help from both of us from feeling too cramped up.

I would love to hear from my fellow cat parents what works for their fur babies! I’m always interested in hearing what works for others, especially those who also have adventurous kitties! Also, if you’re a vanlifer who is traveling with a pet, drop a comment below! I am trying to do as much research as possible on ways to make a traveling lifestyle easier on pets so that Albus can be as happy and healthy as he would be in a house!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Adventures With Albus: Devils Den

Yesterday I was quite nervous about the weather. It was supposed to thunderstorm later in the afternoon. I picked up a hosting shift at my second, part-time, job but I also really wanted to get Albus outside for a while. While I was working, the sky was bright but cloudy and the wind picked up at times. However, I was fortunate and there was no rain! I worked briefly from 12-2:30pm, only getting a couple of hours in due to it being slow. So I went home, made myself some lunch, and got Albus ready!

Getting Albus into the car is always the hardest part of our outings. He is still nervous and I think when I picked him up I pressed on his bladder because he peed on me. This isn’t the first time it’s happened, so I wasn’t really phased. I got Albus in the car and

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turned on the A/C then went inside to change. I set up a little litter box for him in the back of my car. I’m happy to say he used it… took a nice big shit as soon as we left the driveway.

I sprayed the pheromone spray that I have mentioned in a previous blog. I didn’t notice a huge change in his behavior in the car so I’m not sure that it lessened his stress at all. However, since I paid like $20 for it, I’ll keep using it to see if it works over time.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on why cats struggle so much with the car. Kind of like harness training, training a cat to ride in the car should really be done from the start while they’re young. Unfortunately I skipped that step when I was harness training baby Albus. That is also the case with anyone who adopts an older cat. Albus’s behavior is anxiety based as opposed to motion sickness. He has never gotten sick in the car, just peed himself occasionally. His drooling is also a behavior that points to anxiety. My goal is to get Albus out and in the car more and more, especially over the summer, to show him that the car isn’t a bad place. So hopefully his anxiety goes down after having the car be put into his semi-regular routine. His vet has prescribed him Prozac to try to help with that, but Albus is a horrible pill taker. My mom actually suggested just last night after I mentioned the Prozac that it is available in liquid form for humans. My plan is to discuss this possibility with my vet. I’ve mentioned it before, but Albus is my biggest concern when preparing for van life. I think he will be fine as he has adjusted to several new apartments in the past. However, this will be a lot smaller and mobile. That is why I plan to make my van the most cat-friendly van on the planet. My design for the van will revolve around him and his needs first to make sure he is comfortable in our tiny home.

So back to the adventure. Living in Gettysburg, there are a number of places that are quite close to take Albus. Yesterday I decided on Devils Den. Devils Den is basically a bunch of really big rocks that was the spot of something important during the Battle of Gettysburg in the Civil War. Not exactly sure what that important something was but if it is of interest to you… google it.

If I was to have any advice for someone trying to get their cat to be an outdoorsy cat it would be to be patient. Albus loves being outside, yes, but he hasn’t really ventured outside the yard and surrounding immediate areas or truck stops on a couple of long road trips. So when I take Albus to a new place, he is very cautious of his surroundings and sometimes takes a bit to get the courage to explore. After lounging on the rocks for a while, Albus decided to explore and eventually settled on some grass to graze on.

 

Where we stopped in the video is where we sat for the following 15 minutes because some people walked by and he just wasn’t quite sure about them. Like I said… patience is the key. While he may sometimes act like a dog, he isn’t and takes a while to get comfortable exploring new places. We went at his pace and I sat and relaxed when he decided to lay down for a bit. He is very much the boss on our outings and I have absolutely no shame in that.

While we were sitting in a more grassy area, several people asked if they could pet him and showered him with compliments of his beauty and soft fur. I think the extra head scratches made him feel a little more comfortable as he soon got up to explore after the people left.

All in all it was a very good day. Yes, Albus was stressed out a bit in the beginning, but this is a process. Before, he used to be mad at me and hide somewhere in my room the rest of the night. Last night, he disappeared for about an hour then came out to snuggle and receive head scratches.

Keep an eye out for my review of Sons of Anarchy coming out either later today or tomorrow morning! If you like Adventures With Albus, give it a star! I also love getting feedback, so don’t by shy to drop a comment below! Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥

Moms Are Joining Van Life?!

So to be honest, I had definitely planned to put this blog post out yesterday but got caught up watching royal wedding documentaries on TV and then I finished up Son’s of Anarchy and was in absolutely no shape to function after that. I’m talking ugly cry kind of shit.

Moving on!

Technically, yes, my moms want a van life. Just not quite as an involved one as I do. They really want to purchase a conversion van. They also like traveling, but prefer the comfort of hotel rooms or houses they rent for a week or two. So we set out yesterday morning to Doylestown, PA to check some vans out that they had seen online. They asked if I wanted to tag along, so of course I went! I wanted to obviously be there to give them my third-party opinion on the vans and also see if there were any cargo vans that I could look at to help get an idea of what I will want when it comes time for me to purchase my van.

Unfortunately, the place we went only sells smaller conversion vans, so no options for me. However, we looked at a few for my moms and it was pretty cool. We sat in four vans; two Chevy Explorers and two Ford Transits. Part of why my mom invited me to go with them is because, while she is around 83% on board with me living in a van, wants me to observe every possible option. That, for her, includes looking at conversion vans and class b camper vans.

They want a conversion van for road trips; the most frequent one being to Maine. Their plan is to eventually retire to Maine, but we still vacation there often. This August, in fact, they rented a house right on the coast for two weeks. It’s going to be the two of them, me, my sister and maybe her boyfriend, and the four doggos. They were also kind enough to invite two of my friends from Massachusetts to go along, so that might happen as well! I got close with two lovely ladies at my old job and it would be great to go on a trip wtih them. They came to visit me not long after I moved and I visited with them as well when I went back up to get my furniture.

Anyway, the main purpose of getting a conversion van is to have lots of space for dogs or humans to travel. They might even get a portable toilet if they deem it necessary. However, like I said, they prefer the overnight comfort of a hotel or rented house.

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Looking at the vans we did yesterday only pushed me more towards my desire to convert a van into my dream tiny home on wheels and to do that myself. Doing it myself ensures that I can make it exactly how I want it. I have done a lot of research on converting a van and that usually led me to YouTube. There are several channels that have a lot of awesome content about how they live van life and what has or hasn’t worked for them on their journeys. Eamon and Bec as well as Minimal Millennials have been two of my favorites to keep up with. Definitely check them out on YouTube and Instagram!

A perk of hanging out with my moms for the day is that it almost always means free food. We decided on Chickie and Pete’s near Philly as we were driving by it on our way home. None of us had been there before, but we all absolutely loved it! The atmosphere was great and they had a large variety of sports going on several TVs throughout the bar area, which included softball! I love watching softball and definitely miss playing. My mom and I shared crab bruschetta and a lobster pizza while my stepmom got a classic Philly cheesesteak. I’d definitely recommend this place if you’re looking for a sports bar in the Philly area.

All in all it was a good day, even though it was raining the whole time. Keep an eye out for more posts in the next couple days including a review of the emotional rollercoaster I went on while binge watching Sons of Anarchy. I’m also hoping to get Albus out on another adventure here in the next couple days if the weather cooperates with me!

Until next time!

Love always,

Caitie♥