To The Person Lost Inside Of Their Own Head

They say you’re supposed to be safest with yourself. But what if inside your mind is the most dangerous place?

You’re an over thinker. You think of every single possible outcome but you tend to focus mostly on the negative ones. In your mind, good things don’t happen to you–or when they do, something bad is surely not far behind.

That negativity seeps in from your mind to your body and you don’t do anything remotely productive for days. Staying in bed, going in-between sleeping and binge-watching Netflix, seems like the best thing in the world because you just can’t bring yourself to get up.

When you do get out of bed, you’re rundown and tired but try to compensate with exuberance. Except that doesn’t always work out. You put on a front and act as happy as possible because that’s how you want others to see you. Happy.

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Your thoughts get so loud that the anxiety peeks out as tears show up uninvited, but you’re in public so you try so hard to hold them back that it physically hurts. You’ve gotten pretty good at hiding it, but sometimes you can’t stop them so you excuse yourself because crying in public is frowned upon.

Due to all of this, you’re pretty sure you’re just crazy despite several others telling you the opposite. Your mind rallies behind the negative thoughts and feelings until you feel as though there is no positivity left within you.

If any or all of these sound familiar, know that you are not alone. I know all of these things to be true because they’re me, too. I get so negative in my mind that I’m all but fully convinced that I’m going to be stuck for the rest of my life. Stuck in one place, doing one thing, with just one person: myself.

Being alone in the present isn’t what freaks me out. Being alone for the rest of my days with 20+ cats for company is the scary picture in my mind. I fear I’ll never get to see all that I want to because I’ll never get out of the financial hole I’ve found myself in. I get stuck on the thought that I’m not good enough to do or be anything but what my life and self currently are.

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I think I’m crazy because my thoughts won’t stop and won’t gravitate anywhere near positivity. They consume me and make trying to do anything else an intense struggle. I meditate, work out, write, and more to try to distract my mind into motivation. It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it does long enough for me to forget about the things that stress me out for a bit.

You may have gone through some shit to get your mind where it’s at or you might not…and let’s not forget that everyone’s definition of “going through some shit” is different. For me, my last relationship really messed with my head from the verbal/emotional abuse and manipulation. I’ve been struggling long before that, but a part of me broke over the last couple years.

If you are someone who knows a person lost in their head, please be patient. It’s a tough road to journey on and it doesn’t help to have others saying things like “suck it up, it gets better” or “you’re just being crazy, you’re fine”. Instead, be supportive and ask if there is anything you can do to help. Honestly, most of the time the answer will be nothing. It’s literally the thought that counts! Everyone needs a little help now and then even if it’s just needing a shoulder to cry on.

If you’re like me, we are stronger than we think. These feelings are not forever and will fade with time and work. How much time is impossible to say. It sucks now, but finding your way through is all you can do.  Whatever we’ve gone through, it’s happened and we can’t change that no matter how much we want to.

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We are all different. Find what works for you and your mind. Meditate every morning or throughout the day if needed. Watch a sappy movie with your favorite wine (or in my case, tequila) and get a good cry in. Check if your employer has an employee assistance program that offers free therapy sessions.

This blog is a safe space for everyone and especially those on their road to self-recovery. Comment anonymously if you choose, but remember that we are worth every bit of effort to get our minds back on track! Together we can lift each other up during our lowest times to thrive and live our best times.

Love always,

Caitie♥

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

My Bankruptcy Experience

Six months ago, just seeing or hearing the word bankruptcy would send my mind and body into frantic mode. There I was, a 24 (now 25) year old that had just moved back in with her moms and needed to file for bankruptcy. If you’ve read my introductory post then you know what caused me to make the move and file, but for any new comers…here’s the story:

Before moving home I lived in Massachusetts. I moved there after college, wanting a change of scenery and to start my life on my own. I was supposed to move there with a friend but that fell through so my moms put out a lot of money to make the move still happen. A couple of months after being there I decided to put myself out there on match.com. Long story short, I met a guy on there…fell quickly…and due to having a scummy landlord, moved in with the guy. Fast-forward about a year and we’re engaged.

In that time he convinced me to open some credit cards; mostly store cards like Lowe’s, Macy’s, a furniture store, etc. At the time it made sense…we got an apartment together and we wanted it to look nice. He had pretty bad credit, so the cards had to be in my name but I wasn’t overly worried because we both had good jobs. But a couple of cards turned into like eight and the payments got a little crazy and confusing.

Then he went on disability from work for his back issues. He had legitimate health issues, but his issues went much deeper. During this time is when I saw the true man he was and it was not the man I wanted to be with. When he asked me to marry him, I said yes. Not because I was ready but because I felt like I couldn’t say no. Don’t get me wrong…I loved him and still do love him. A part of me always will. But his faults and his lack of determination to get help is what made me leave. He was degrading, condescending, and just flat-out mean. He never got physical but would often say that he wished I was a man so that he could.

Since he went on disability, he was only getting a fraction of the salary he was and thus we had to rely on my lesser paycheck. I eventually just stopped paying all the credit cards because I couldn’t keep up, especially with my student loan payments. I talked to him about it and he convinced me that taking out a personal loan to consolidate was the best option. I agreed that it was the best option and it would have been…had he not run all the cards up again once they got paid off with the loan.

So I was in such a big hole that there was no rescue anywhere in sight besides bankruptcy. He told me we would do it eventually together and then we would both have good credit. I went with it. But then his disability ran out, he applied for long-term disability but got denied and he worked his way into getting unemployment. He didn’t even put any effort into finding a job…just went through the motions so he would get paid.

Fast-forward to me leaving him the day after this past Christmas and moving home. My mom helped me find a bankruptcy attorney through her work’s Employee Assistance Program. The attorney made everything seem MUCH less scary than what you hear or read about bankruptcy.

The process was relatively simple and the worst part was waiting. Here’s a rundown:

  • Had a phone consultation explaining my situation and getting facts about bankruptcy.
  • Compiled a list of my debt and sent it to my attorney.
  • Met with attorney to sign off on petition to file for bankruptcy.
  • Waited about 2 months for my bankruptcy hearing.
  • Went to bankruptcy hearing that lasted all of 5 minutes.
  • Waited 60 days to see if any creditors would fight the bankruptcy.
  • Got a letter in the mail saying all of my debt was discharged.

Little side note: student loans are pretty much the only thing bankruptcy won’t take away. Sucks, I know.

As I said, the waiting was the worst part, as it usually is in situations where the end result is unknown. But when I got the letter in the mail last week saying my debt was discharged, it felt like a massive weight came off of my shoulders. I was at work when the letter was delivered. I took a break and checked my phone and there was a missed call from my mom. She doesn’t call me at work unless it’s important so I called her back and she asked if she could open it. I told her she could because I didn’t want to wait the rest of my shift wondering what it said. She read it to me and BAM! Insta-tears…happy tears…tears of relief.

The bankruptcy went through and I can now start rebuilding my credit and continue rebuilding my life. I know I still have a long road ahead of me. However, through therapy and a lot of self-care, I feel ready for it.

To anyone who may be debating filing for bankruptcy, get informed by experts and have a person-to-person conversation. Getting a consultation does not mean you are roped into filing. It’s simply to help determine if your situation deems bankruptcy necessary. In my situation, it did.

Check to see if your employer offers an Employee Assistance Program. Using my mom’s made finding a good, affordable attorney very easy. They can even help find therapists and often offer free sessions!

To those in the middle of the process, hang in there. If you have anxiety about worst-case scenarios like I do, then believe me when I say I struggled internally with the waiting. My patience was pretty thin during my process. But it does end and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I would also stress the importance of a good support system. Having people to rely on can make a huge difference in handling any situation but especially one as stressful as bankruptcy. Not only have my moms helped me financially, they have been there for me every step of the way. My sister and my friends helped a lot, too by giving people to vent to.

Having people is good and I have some pretty good people.

I’m actually looking forward to what comes next in my life. I’ve struggled a bit recently with motivation. Having the bankruptcy done and over gives me a new look on the future. I have been working really hard, technically working three jobs at the present time, saving up my money. I do not want to make she same mistakes I made before. I’ve done some big ‘me’ things lately, like my new tattoo (Follow me on Insagram! @caitiep08). I am budgeting and holding myself accountable when I do spend money. It won’t be an easy or short path but it is one I am excited to take and I can’t wait to take all of you along with me!

If you aren’t already, follow my blog! You can either create a WordPress account or simply enter your email to be notified when a new post goes up! I’d also love to hear from anyone who has gone through bankruptcy and what helped them to get through it…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.

hp books

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♥

 

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♥

Blogging Is Hard?!

Goooooood morning!!

I was thinking as I woke up (way too early) that I have been blogging for a little over a month! That, for me, is pretty crazy. I had been thinking about starting a blog for a while. Then one day I said, “Screw it!” and here I am. It also dawned on me this morning that in the first month of blogging, I haven’t been the most organized of bloggers. Through research and simply just viewing other blogs, they seem to have some sort of posting schedule. I obviously know that not every blog does this, but it seems that having a structured release schedule could help with collecting loyal followers. A main goal of mine with this blog is to create content that people actually WANT to read and WANT to come back for more every week.

With that being said…I will now be posting blogs on Tuesdays and Thursdays! As today is Thursday, this will count as today’s blog. I may let out the occasional Sunday (except not this Sunday as it is my 16-hour day at work) post as I want to provide as much content as possible.

Which leads me to my next point. I NEED YOUR HELP! I absolutely love feedback and hearing from people! I would love it if you could comment below on this post and let me know what kind of content you would like to see! I am open to pretty much anything and am always looking for new, fun ideas.

In addition to content ideas, I am very open to guest blogging. This goes both ways, meaning that I am open to having a guest blogger on Just a Girl and Her Cat and I am open to guest blogging on your site!

Something I’ve learned in my first month of blogging; it’s a lot harder than it looks! Part of the reason I want your input on the kind of content you’d like to see is that it’s hard coming up with that shit on your own!! Thinking of  topics and content on a regular basis is a bit more than I expected. I obviously have several great idea, it’s just hard sometimes to pull it all together in a cohesive post. If any of my fellow bloggers have any advice for me, I’m all ears!!! Constructive criticism is a part of life and I am no stranger to it. I take every bit of criticism in every part of my life and use it to drive me forward into a better person, blogger, cat mom, etc.

I have a HUGE passion for writing and want to reach as many people as possible! So please comment and share my blog! I have also attached a follow-by-email widget along the side. You do not need to create a WordPress account in order to follow! Simply enter your email and you will get notified when I upload a post! Easy-peasy!

I apologize for the short post but this topic, I felt, required a quick and to-the-point kind of approach!

 

Follow me on Instagram (caitiep08) and Snapchat (caitiep15)!! If you take just a peek at my Instagram, you will see that I fill it with mostly pictures of Albus! I hope to continue filling it with beautiful pictures of our adventures this summer! Check it out!

*Side Note: I revamped the look of the site! Let me know what you think in the comments!!

Until next time…

Love always,

Caitie♥