Tuesday, May 30, 2017

7 States in 6 Days

Last week we hit the road for vacation and managed to find ourselves in seven states in only six days of travel. When we left California we flew to Denver, Colorado for our hour long layover. It was raining when we landed in Denver but it didn't delay us.

Three hours later we found ourselves in the eastern time zone and in Columbus, Ohio. A lot of people have asked me why we fly into Columbus when there's an airport closer to my mother's house. We fly into Columbus because it's the closest airport that Southwest Airlines flies into and since we have a companion pass that allows my husband to fly for the bargain price of $11.20 round trip, we will take the time to drive those extra miles.

After a few hours drive, I was reunited with my mom in West Virginia. We stayed in town for three nights and hit up some of my favorite restaurants while I was in town. While their some of my favorite places, they were new to my husband. I tried to take him to different places than his last visit. This time he got to try out Stewarts Hot Dogs and Cams Ham. He loves Stewarts and can't wait to go there again on our next visit.

While we were in town, we also visited my mother's business and hung out with her for a little bit on the one day that she had to work while we were in town. I spent many hours there before/after school/summers/etc.

In addition to visiting my mom, we all drove through Kentucky to get to our favorite place, Pigeon Forge/Gatlinburg, Tennessee. This is our happy place. Each time we go there we stop at our favorites and always find something new to do as well. My mom and I determined that we've been here at least 50 times. This was my husbands second visit and he can't wait for his third. It makes my heart fill full that he loves going there.

This time while we were in town we went to the Dixie Stampede, The Comedy Barn, The Christmas Place, visited The Islands, shopped Book Warehouse, Christmas Collectibles and tons of other shops! We even stopped and saw an impromptu Elvis show.

The new attraction that we did in Pigeon Forge was the crime museum, Alcatraz East. In the winter we had seen it being built and knew that we wanted to visit it on our next trip. This place was really interesting. They had tons of artifacts from serial killers, modern criminals, Gangster days, outlaws and terrorists. One thing that was I was most excited to see...

The Ford Bronco used in the O.J. Simpson car chase. This day will always connect me with O.J. seeing as how it happened on my 10th birthday. I remember sitting in our living room as a kid and watching this unfold. We were mesmerized by the events unfolding on tv and couldn't stop watching until we knew how it was going to end. So when I was able to see the bronco up close, I was in hog heaven.

In Gatlinburg, we weren't able to ride our beloved SkyLift due to the fires that took place in the winter. It was badly damaged and had to be repaired and replaced and wasn't opening for another week. So we did something we hadn't done in years and rode Ober Gatlinburg. When we got to the top, we did some things we had never experienced and enjoyed the wildlife encounter. We got to see black bears feed, encountered raccoons, owls and even reptiles.

We also rode the Ski Mountain Coaster and it was a blast!

Much to my husbands disappointment (he's not a fan of heights) we rode the Chair lift to the top of the mountain. When we got to the top we were rewarded with amazing views. While the fires did major damage in areas all along the mountains, this place will always be wonderful and it will come back in time. #mountainstrong

When our time came to and end and we had to leave, we travelled back to Columbus and this time flew into Las Vegas, Nevada for our layover. By that time we were tired and maxed out with our luggage quota. While it's good to be home, I can't wait to get back to see my mom and be in our happy place.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

No One Wants To Talk About This

No I'm not talking about miscarriage today. I'm talking about something less important but important none the less. I'm talking about something that 35 million people around the world have experienced.

Nail fungus.
totally my thumb nail

Ewwww, gross! Yuck! I know that's what you are thinking but guess what? It can happen to you! It happened to me a few months ago and I want to bring more awareness to how it can start and how to get rid of it.

Take a look at these beautiful nails. Look at all the fun, colorful designs that I displayed.
How did I go from super cute nails to a nail fungus? Well let me tell you. For a year, I was going to a nail salon about every three weeks. I started with fake nails being placed on my real nails and once my real nail became long enough they could just start filling them in. I kept doing a fill for months. My real nails were doing great and growing out like clockwork. At least that's what I thought. Once day I was working and I noticed that my thumb kept itching. I noticed that it was a little red and swollen around my nail. I was only a few days away from getting my next fill so I decided to go home and remove the gel color to see why my finger was itching so bad.

I got home, removed the gel color and once my fingernail was clean proceeded to immediately freak out at what I saw. My nail had black underneath. The sides were completely loose from the nail bed and my poor little nail was barely hanging on. So then I took off all of the gel polish and took stock of my real nails. I had this black fungus under 8 of my ten finger nails. Guess what I did once I calmed down? I called the nail salon and cancelled my appointment. I told them that I got a nail fungus from them and their response to me... We can give you some free nails.

Um... no. You need to learn how to clean your tools.

Think about it. Even if they clean the tools, all it takes is one person who has a nail fungus to have picked the same polish that you do. If miss may over there picks that seafoam green you were eyeing for vacation and has a fungus that's going all over the brush that's in that polish bottle. You use the same one and then bam! So obviously the salon wasn't watching this or they weren't cleaning their tools after each use.

So then I went on a 9 month quest to get rid of the fungus. I tried over the counter nail fungus. I tried a prescription cream. The doctors took a nail culture and still couldn't get a final name on what kind of fungus it was. Then I started asking my friends, my mom then suggested that I try Apple Cider Vinegar. I went out and bought the biggest bottle that I could find of Organic Apple Cider Vinegar that I could find, got a bowl and dunked my fingernails into it for 5 minutes at a time. Have you ever just smelled it? It's a very strong smell. My fingers would reek of the smell but I didn't care because guess what? After two uses, I could tell my nails were looking a little better. The fungus started to pool together under my nails and was getting closer and closer to the edge. 

Once the fungus got so close, I actually had to dig the fungus out and trim the nail to the quick. I thought I was going to lose all of my nails. I had to keep trying things. I had to explain to people that my nails were not going to cause them to immediately get it by being in a room with me. It was rough but after a few months the fungus was gone and then began the long repair of getting my nail shape to take hold. Because the fungus had lived in the dark under the gel paint, it had got really strong and reshaped how my nails looked. Slowly, my nail beds took their normal shape and finally 10 months later my nails are starting to finally go back to what they were before. Granted my nails are really short but that's better than a fungus and that's better than them being an inch from falling off.

I have no idea if I'll ever go back and get my finger nails done again. If I do, I definitely won't be going back to that same salon. I'm also going to ask them about how they clean their products and how often they change out their nail polish. Remember it can happen to you! Even if your just getting a manicure. So ask questions! Watch them clean their tools! Ask for a new nail filer, etc! Keep your nails looking good and fungus free!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Secure All the Time

Recently, I was hacked and a lot of my information stolen. Living in a such technology savvy world, being hacked is one of the worst things that can happen. I had to spend so much energy on correcting things, changing accounts and getting access to my own information again. I wish I had heard of AVG before my hack. Have you heard of them?

AVG is dedicated to your online security. They protect devices, data and people. They are a security pioneer, offering a wide range of protection, performance and privacy solutions for consumers and businesses.  They are now a part of the Avast family of world leading digital security products, dedicated to keeping people around the world safe.

They even have a free antivirus app! Now I'm protected!

Think about it... devices, data and people... everything is connected. In our homes, our offices, and umpteen places in between, the Internet is almost always within arm's reach. We often don't think of protecting our phones besides using a passcode. Their AVG AntiVirus guards against viruses, spyware, thieves, & snoops.

Apart from being protected from viruses, my favorite thing is the Camera Trap!

See who's got your phone or tablet
Now you'll know if an annoying brother—or master thief—tries snooping on your phone or tablet. When anyone fails 3 times to unlock your device, Camera Trap will take a secret photo of them and then email that photo to you with the time and location of the incident. How cool is that?! You can find out who's trying to look at your phone and guess what? It's free with the app!

Another feature with the app that I love is that if something happens and I lose my phone, I can remotely find it, lock it and even blast an alarm at full volume to help me find it. But say that I lose it for good? I can remotely wipe all of my information from the phone.
Besides their free antivirus app, they offer several different amazing services. Check out AVG.com!