Beginners Guide to Fat Tuesday

Do you know what’s a unique word? I’ll tell you: paczki.

I’ve been able to properly pronounce the word paczki all my life because my parents have always celebrated Fat Tuesday. You could always count on my dad bringing home a dozen paczki’s after work. You know, because he loved us.

It doesn’t matter much to me the quality of my annual paczki because they’re just that delicious. Although, being a picky eater puts me at a disadvantage, the cheese or Bavarian cream filled are always the first to go.

Every single year I forget that Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras are one in the same. It wasn’t until I saw the movie Rio that I learned that I learned about the Brazilian celebration of Carnival. Parades, parties, loud music and dancing – an extroverts kind of thing.

The reason it’s often called Fat Tuesday is because of the fatty foods consumed the day before Lent begins. How do you know when Lent is about to start? All the fast food chains exclusively advertise their fish products. For those observing the six weeks of Lent (usually those from the Catholic Church), it involves giving up certain foods and or extravagance.

Ideas of Things to Give Up for Lent:

  • Chocolate
  • Sugar
  • Facebook, Twitter, the Internet
  • TV
  • Technology

I’ve personally given up Facebook, TV and chocolate in previous Lent seasons. I know someone who gave up sugar and chocolate, that’s an inspiration! I think my hardest year was giving up soda.

The act of giving up something you indulge in for Lent is to prepare your heart for Easter. It helps to remind you of what’s really important in life.

-Kristina Wise

P.S. Check out Rio, it’s a great family-fun movie full of laughs and tropical birds.

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Pantone Color of the Year: Greenery

Last year I loved learning about Pantone’s color of the year which, for 2016, was Rose Quarts and Serenity. I attempted a piece of artwork with it and hung it up on my bedroom wall. Now I’m more conscience of the colors around me.

When I first found out that Pantone chose Greenery for 2017, I was disappointed. Why such a leafy green? It reminds me of houseplants… all those poor, helpless plants I’ve killed. *Queue adulting failure tears.*

Then I was uplifted. My favorite college basketball team, the Michigan State Spartans, are green and white. Grass is green, the leaves on trees are green, so are some lizards, cats eyes, my 2017 journal is sort-of green, and I keep noticing more.

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“I invite you to count the colors in your bedroom.” -Phoebe Buffay

It’s kind of fun to look around the room you’re in and try to count the colors. It’s a great way to get your mind off of stress. Here are the things I can see from my desk that are green.

Sharpie, notebook, Iphone charger, sweater, organizer, sticky notes, lightsaber, pen, battery, catnip, turtle, books, shopping bag, another turtle, more sharpies, you get the idea.

Happy counting!

-Kristina Wise

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I Didn’t Hate 2016

There’s a reason why we don’t have cable TV in our house. We always use adblocker on the internet and don’t read a lot of magazines.

The world wants to tell you how to feel.

I don’t need to be told to wear more make-up, have designer clothes and furniture, vote for this person because the media says so, do this, don’t do that.

You know what? I’ve gotten this far by making decisions myself. People I know call me smart (thanks home schooling!), level-headed and classy. They also call me passionate about what I believe, that’s usually referring to my faith and religion, and of course my love of Star Wars.

I have standards and convictions, and I usually set the bar too high for myself. That’s something I’m working on. Folks, I finally understand how hard dieting is. If I go out to eat and the waitress asks if I want a cola, I suffer an internal struggle until I can overcome myself and reply through gritted teeth: “No thanks, water will be fine.” Yuck!

There’s so much I could rant about regarding how I want to live my life. As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety, I try to stay positive and uplifting. Especially since I work in customer service. I hate being depressed! I don’t know the people I meet, and I don’t want them leaving the store feeling worse than when they came in. I smile, I ask about their day, and I wish them well. I sure can’t remember everyone I meet, and it’s sometimes hard trying to care about other people’s problems, but I try.

For the last month my facebook feed has been filled with people complaining about 2016, how it’s ‘the worst,’ and how next year will be so much better. I’m in the midst of creating a photobook for this year (I heart Shutterfly), and let me tell you, it’s been a crazy year for me too.

However, I haven’t experienced this year being quite as bad as the internet says it has. Sure, my grandmother died. I worked at a job I disliked for a few months. The apartment was hot as heck this summer and I almost had heat stroke twice.

BUT…I have a wonderful husband who loves and cares about me. I currently work at a job I enjoy. My pets are silly, have unique personalities and are awesome. I finished writing a novel this year. I got to travel. I struggle far less from depression. My family has been there when I needed them. I have everything I need.

So, let me ask you this…

How many celebrities am I supposed to care about? How many TV shows am I supposed to follow? What ridiculous music genre should I be listening to? Do I HAVE to wear Victoria’s Secret underwear (BTW, my husband say’s no)?

Am I a terrible person for not following mainstream trends?

You know what? I don’t care! I do care enough not to wear my pajamas out in public, but I’ll save that rant for later.

My whole point here is, 2016 didn’t completely suck. I’m willing to put negativity in the past and bring forth positivity into my present and future.

Here’s to another year in the books and a new one to enjoy.

Have a great 2017!

-Kristina Wise

First Moodboard

A couple of days ago as I was catching up on my blog reading, I came across a Moodboard. The name, followed by a group of images seemed self-explanatory. You upload pictures, whether they’re yours or you find them online, and assemble them in to sort of a collage. It’s a simple and fast way to express your emotions.

My first Moodboard is themed on October comfort.

http://www.gomoodboard.com/boards/yJTZSBZy/share

-Kristina Wise

Amope Gel Insoles

One of my new favorite internet money earning websites is crowdtap. I’ve been taking polls, surveys and reviewing products for a month and so far I’ve earned $40.

Added bonus, I was selected to receive a sample of the new Amope Gel Activ heel insoles. They arrived today and I stuck them right into a pair of heels.

I wish I’d had these for my wedding.

I couldn’t believe the difference they made to my heels! The insoles are textured, so it’s easier for your foot to grip them rather than slide around.

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Happy Feet!

-Kristina Wise