Seeking inspiration.

So July is coming to an end. I would really love to start posting regularly on here again.  Today I realized, that I just need to stop thinking about it and just DO IT.

Too much planning can cause one to feel overwhelmed.  Structure is needed though in order to avoid feeling overwhelmed from another perspective.  When I feel stressed out I know creating a list helps me organize my thoughts and it helps me create a game plan.

As for this blog though… I can’t treat this like work or chore.  I ENJOY writing and I love using it as an outlet for expressing my thoughts.  (Even more so when I get comments!) …so I need to just dedicate time to writing.  Whether it be straight on here on the computer or in a notepad. …and I NEED to POST.

So… now that I’ve got that off my chest.  What should I write about? Please feel free to comment and share any ideas of what you’d be interested in reading about.

Thanks!

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Prayers for Orlando, Florida

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Prayers to all the victims and their families of the Orlando shooting this morning.

The BBC understands the name of the suspect was Omar Mateen, aged 29.

Police called the shooting an act of terrorism, but said they did not know if it was domestic or international.

It is believed that the suspect was not on a terrorism watch list, although he was currently being investigated for an unrelated criminal act.

Relatives have been gathering at local hospitals desperate for news of their loved ones.

http://www.bbc.com/news/36510272

I appreciate that political leaders are refraining from jumping onto their opinions on the media before hearing the facts from investigators, because they definitely have an influence to how we as a nation react to this tragedy. So many people are already jumping to conclusion about how this is a “Gun Issue” or “Terrorist Issue” on Twitter, Facebook, etc.  This is not a time to place the blame on “lack of gun control” or using it as an opportunity to blame religion or any other theory to support personal political views.

I am impressed about how the citizens of Florida and particularly the city of Orlando going out of their way to do what they can to help the victims and their family by going to the local blood banks and donating blood.

What you can do to help Orlando:
Donate Blood
There is a particular need for O Negative, O Positive, and AB blood types. They are asking that people not go to local hospitals but go straight to blood banks

Provide Counseling
They are currently needing counselors to help with the hotline for victims and their families. Those who need counseling can call 1-407-228-1446 also

The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida also are offering counseling/support at 942 N. Mills Avenue.

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Unsubscribe Me

Unsubscribe Me

I decided to finally actively clear out my personal inbox.  It would be so much easier for me to just start a new personal email but I decided that I’m just going to clear out my inbox and start unsubscribing from certain mail listings.  I get literally hundreds of emails every day and it’s gotten a bit ridiculous. As I type this I am staring at the 832 unread emails notification icon.

The other day I received a contract job offer and I almost missed it because I had other emails sitting in my inbox waiting to be read. I mean, that’s additional income that I almost didn’t take advantage of because I’ve gotten so used to glazing over my inbox waiting for an interesting subject line to pop up. I like advertisement I do, I like catching awesome deals at stores/shops I regular frequent (online as well as offline) however, there are just some subscriptions I know I don’t need so from here on forward I am actively unsubscribing. Wish me luck.

Do you have a clean inbox? What are some of your organizing tips when it comes to emails?

Get over your blankpagephobia!

So I’ve been staring at this blinking cursor for about 3 minutes now. How many of us blog owners have come across the same feeling of intimidation and fear of that BLANK PAGE and ever-blinking cursor? It’s like it’s screaming at you “ah-ha! You can’t type anything…you are doomed to stare at this blank page.

Our muses are always around… we just sometimes need to quiet that voice inside our head that is distracting us from writing the words down that are just waiting to be expressed. Sometimes it just takes that initial typing even when you’re not sure of what’s going to come out. Why be afraid? It’s not like you can’t erase it if it’s not “good enough”.

I think too often do we let that ‘voice’ talk us out of writing and the next thing we know it’s been months since our last blog entry. Sometimes we just got to put our foot down and choose to get over our blankpagephobia!

Top 10 things to do fall asleep faster.

  1. Turn off ALL electronic devices.
    Whether it’s your phone, iPad, TV, etc… turn it off or at least put it out of reach. Try not to use any of these devices at least 30 minutes before going to bed. No checking your email, text messages, etc… it’s time for bed.
  2. Take a melatonin.
    Sometimes we need that extra nudge to fall asleep. I think over-the-counter “sleeping aids” are known to have addictive attributes so when I need it I prefer to take natural melatonin.
  3. Read a book.
    It never fails, when I read a book while in bed it only takes a few chapters before drowsiness takes over especially if I’ve already done at least 2 other things on this list.
  4. Listen to natural sounds track.
    There is an APP that I like to use called Sleep Pillow because it allows me to choose certain sounds (crackling fire and rain is my favorite combination) and I can choose to have it loop and set a timer so it will automatically shut off after a certain amount of time.
  5. Take a shower.
    If I don’t do anything else this is the one thing I do every night. Showers have a way of regulating your body temperature and I sincerely believe showering before bed really helps one relax. At the very least I recommend you wash your face, it makes a difference.
  6. Make the room cool temperature.
    I get cold very easily so this one isn’t as critical for me however my husband cannot fall asleep at all if the room temperature is not cool.
  7. Take the time to stretch.
    When you find yourself tossing and turning sometimes getting out of bed and stretching your arms and legs help.
  8. Drink water.
    I don’t mean drink a whole bottle of water or anything because that will definitely wake you up in the middle of night because you’d have to use the bathroom. Sometimes half a glass is enough to satisfy your thirst. While you’re at it though, you should probably relieve yourself in the restroom if you haven’t already.
  9. Put on loose clothing.
    Some people like to sleep naked. I can’t do that as I get too sweaty when I don’t have clothes on (weird I know). Jeans, longsleeves, socks (unless it’s really cold for some reason) will not do, put on some loose clothing to ensure a successful wind down to dream land.
  10. Make the bed.
    When all else fails get up, make the bed then crawl in. I know it sounds crazy at a glance but seriously, if nothing else has worked, why not? 😉

Discount Tire to the Rescue!

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My tire pressure light came on in my dashboard driving to work today.  I pulled into the parking lot at my job and checked out my tires and sure enough I had somehow managed to run over a nail.  My boss told me to go to Discount Tire because if the tire isn’t flat chances are it’s in a spot that can be repaired.  So that’s how I spent the first part of my morning.  Three things about today’s experience:

  1. It took an hour to do.
    This is because there were 4 other customers in front of me yet they were still able to take care of me within the hour.
  2. Workers were friendly and efficient.
    In the hour as was sipping coffee and watching everyone not a single employee was just standing around…everyone was working on something. It took them a few minutes to take care of the people in front of me before I even got to the counter but they made sure to greet me and assured me that they would be right with me soon.
  3. IT WAS FREE!
    I really thought I was going to have to come out of pocket for the repair but it didn’t cost me a dime!  They did try to offer me a warranty for all of my tires considering they were all relatively new but I decided to opt out of the warranty.  If I do end up having tire problems again within the next 6 months, I may have to consider it though.

Overall it was a fantastic experience – I made it a point to not stress and just get it done so I’m really glad it all worked out. 🙂

My new ride…the Mazda CX-5 (Grand Touring)

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2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD

I’ve had this car for about three weeks and I must say I ABSOLUTELY love it.  In my life I’ve had two other cars…

First it was a 2001 Kia Rio (aka Josh the green dragon as my friends dubbed it) which sported a fluorescent green color.  The driver’s side door did not open from the inside and the window did not roll down (I know, totally unsafe!) and when getting food from a Drive Thru require the person behind the driver to place and receive the order. Fun times.

Second car was a white 2003 Ford Focus  who spent her last days with my brother in law. (Not quite sure the status of that car or if she has any life left.) I put a lot of miles in that vehicle.  I traveled from Texas to South Carolina in that car to visit my husband after he graduated from boot camp (boyfriend at the time) accompanied by my best friends Isabela and Megan. Fond memories.

NOW we’re going to talk about the newest addition to the family… My Titanium Flash Mica 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD with parchment color interior. She is a beauty.  (If you’re in San Antonio and are in the market for a new vehicle go see Joey Esparza at IPAC Mazda. No he did not pay me to mention him but I thought I’d do him this favor since he had to deal with us and treated us quite well actually.  Not your typical car sales person…no intimidation, no gimmicks, just honest, just facts, good customer service. You’re welcome Joey!)  This is officially the largest purchase my husband and I had ever made together however there is absolutely no buyer’s remorse going on whatsoever.  Note to self: must activate 4 months free trial with XM/Sirius satellite radio.

Gosh… where do I start?  I haven’t really talked about the car much and I’m already at 300 words.  Oh well, I hope this post helps you out if you are considering the CX-5.  When it comes to car shopping it’s important to establish what is exactly important to you.  For my husband and I… considering how many miles we travel per month (at least 800 miles) – we needed a car that has great fuel economy. The idea of a cross over or a SUV appealed to us because we liked the idea of having plenty of storage space.  After research we narrowed down our options to the Honda CRV EX-L and the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring.  Something to note for you taller people (I’m 4’11” so it’s not a problem at all for me) but the CX-5 has more headroom than the CRV.  The Honda CRV EX-L was great and had a very luxurious feel with the leather interior and it had FANTASTIC lumbar support that made driving it extremely comfortable.  It was the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring though that offered little things that ultimately won us over and in this post I will cover the features that attracted me the most.

The Command Control
By the armrest there is a multifunction control center where you are able to easily navigate through the functions displayed on the touchscreen monitor. The touch-screen display is deactivated while in motion so the commander allows you to toggle through available options while you’re driving.  Because of its convenient positioning and ease of use it is relatively safe to use while driving.  The steering wheel has multifunction capabilities as well as far as changing tracks, volume adjusting, etc however personally I like to use the phone options and cruise control adjusting exclusively available on the steering wheel while leaving the commander control to assist me in controlling the radio and navigation system.

Ample Cargo Room
Because my husband and I enjoy camping, visiting Costco, and traveling (usually with our dogs) we were most interested in getting a vehicle with loads of cargo space without being required to sacrifice fuel economy. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring offers PLENTY of cargo room and features an easy release 40/20/40 fold down rear seats.  It’s incredibly roomie back there.

Bose Center Point Surround Sound System
This is by far the nicest sound system I’ve personally ever had in a car. The 9 speaker setup allows me to hear parts of songs that I didn’t even know existed!

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° Fold Down Seating
Have you ever found yourself in a position where you needed to take a power nap in the car?  We regularly take long trips so sometimes yes we do find ourselves needing to pull into the nearest rest stop to re-energize and this vehicle conveniently offers the ability to lay the driver and front passenger seat all the way back.  Note: I don’t know the exact angle the seats fall at but I thought I’d throw 180° in the description to try and help you paint a picture.

Blind Spot Monitoring
The 2015 Honda CRV EX-L also had a lane departure warning system however it required you to view the display which just felt unnatural to me.  I’m sure in time I could have gotten used to it but this is such a large purchase why settle?  In the CX-5 you are given an audible and visual warning light (on side view mirrors) if there is another vehicle in your right or left blind spots.  You definitely can’t ignore but it’s relatively subtle as to not be distracting either.

Mazda CX-5 Wheels (19-inch Alloy)
I just about died yesterday when I popped a curb but was relieved to find that my rims remained unharmed.  I know this is strictly cosmetic here but I can’t help but ADORE these wheels.  The Sport model’s 17-inch Alloy wheels are cool and attractive (and some say the riding experience is smoother with the smaller wheels) but these 19-inch alloy ones are just plain SEXY.

IMG_20160114_182402Rearview Camera
I don’t know how I managed to get by without this awesome feature all these years.  I was reading on a forum the other about someone complaining that the camera isn’t HD quality.  I found that topic very amusing – I simply need to see if there is anything or anyone behind the car while I’m reversing.  When there is a car moving behind the car a clear warning alert sounds off just in case  you are not looking.

4 Months Free XM/Sirius Radio
I probably will cancel the service near the end of the free trial (because they will charge you as soon as it is over if you don’t) but satellite radio is AWESOME. I probably won’t listen to the 100 sports stations they have available on there but I’m sure the option is ideal for some individuals out there.  There are at least 15 stations that I like so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of this feature during the rest of the next 4 month free trial.

Let’s talk accessories
So some accessories that we have in the car that we like but are completely optional (but I still recommend):

IMG_20160102_1453040Steering Wheel Cover – I bought this one off of Amazon (Leather Steering Wheel Cover for Mazda CX-5 CX-7 CX-9 Mazda5 Mazda6) which I honestly hesitated to buy because I didn’t know how well it would work for the 2016 Mazda CX-5.  Another buyer did leave the comment that it was perfect for their 2014 CX-5 so I decided to take a change, I mean how much different can steering wheels change from year to year?  I am happy to confirm that it is PERFECT for the 2016 model.  Why get a steering wheel cover?  In my opinion the grip on the steering wheel is MUCH better.  Just a hint to those considering the 2016 Grand Touring black leather interior the red stitching on the steering wheel is brighter compared to the red stitching on the black leather seats.

Roof Rack – offers the foundation to store bikes, snowboards, etc. OK so we don’t ski or snowboard but hey the option is there if we decide to pick up those hobbies!

Navigation System – not 100% reliable I’ve found but is good enough to get to where I need to be.  It also indicates traffic cameras and speed limits, which is nice.

Retractable Cargo Cover – allows us to keep our valuable out of plain sight (not that we keep them regularly in the car but hey the option is nice.

All Weather-Proof Floor Mats – Considering how much rain we’ve encountered and we like to hike on dirt trails these floor mats are a MUST.  We are able to simply hose them down to clean them which is awesome.  The cargo mat especially is a MUST HAVE if you have dogs or do outdoorsy things because it is so easy to keep clean. When you have dogs that shed like crazy like ours this is an awesome investment.  The amount of time you’ll save from cleaning the cargo area is absolutely worth it.

I could probably go on and on about this car but I will wrap it up here considering that I am now over the 1,000 words mark!  Are you considering the Mazda CX-5? Do you own this car?  Chime in with your thoughts and leave me a comment.  Feedback is always appreciated. Thank you for reading!