I can’t believe it’s taken me a year to wrap up this story, but here we are. Our long journey has come to an end, in an unexpected destination.
If you remember reading our previous articles, you will know we started this journey by hiking the C & O canal. The goal of this trip was to actually trek the entire thing, but unfortunately things didn’t work out that way for us.
COVID was hitting as hard as ever, and we decided to move our journey to a city-to-city tour via bus and train transportation. We had a blast traveling the East Coast all the way to Denver, Colorado.
Our next stop was Las Vegas, NV. Very exciting for the both of us, since neither of us had ever been this far out West before, and this was a city that movies were made of. We had a blast for the first couple of days, then we started planning ahead for our next stop, Los Angeles.
As we looked towards our final destination, a crazy mix of events was going on. California had a surge of wildfires, and the highest number of COVID cases in the country. To top it all off, they even price gouged their hotel. Zig and I looked at each other, and we realized if we went through with our plan, we would be homeless in a week.
So we decided to stay! Vegas was an unlikely home for us, but we truly made it our own. Trust, there was plenty of struggle trying to make it real. From being denied apartments, to difficulties finding employment, to building a house from literally nothing.
We found our little slice of paradise in the middle of the desert and have been working towards success out here ever since.
New Model For: Binky’s Bows
We are super excited to announce that Cheeba will now be an official model for Binky’s Bows.
How did they meet?
In the Winter of 2019, Cheeba was vacationing in New Jersey. She happened to go to a wine festival in Cape May County, where many vendors had posted up. Amongst them was Danielle—owner and artist of Binky’s Bows. Her cute hair accessories caught Cheeba’s eyes, so she HAD to take some home. Danielle had a unique style of putting specific sports team on dainty bows. It was refreshing to see that sports gear could also be cute and classy. Cheeba’s been following Binky’s Bows ever since.
Who is Binky’s Bows?
Binky’s Bows is a small female-owned business based out of Cape May, New Jersey. They sell hair accessories varying from clips to headbands in multiple styles. Binky’s specializes in children’s accessories specifically, but can make any style in adult size as well! Plus, they can do order sets, like matching cheer bows. Not only does Binky’s have adorable hair accessories (in multiple different fabrics for all styles to love), they ALSO have phone accessories! Cheeba has been gifted pop-sockets from Binky’s Bows in the past, because everyone knows how much she loves them.
What to Expect
Cheeba’s wardrobe just got whole lot more fashionable. Stay on the lookout for Binky’s Bows’ product on all future posts; including unboxing, giveaways, discounts, and more!
The Importance of Self Care
Many people have differentiating opinions on the importance of self care. Some people view it as a waste of time. Other view it as a vital necessity or survival. I think it falls somewhere right in the middle, possibly leaning more toward the necessity side.
To the people who view it as a waste of time: I hear you! I know my workaholic friends can’t fathom taking a moment for yourself to do “nothing”.
But what is nothing? A cup of tea while breathing the morning air? A face mask before bed? 15 minutes of a good book?
We weren’t meant to work until we die. We were meant to enjoy life and take comfort in its simple pleasures. Working yourself to the bone makes you sick. You have to take care of your body so that it can carry you for a long life.
It’s good to be mindful of all actions. Be consciously aware of the present moment which you live, and live with purpose! When you start living life consciously, you start listening to what your body needs.
It’s worth noting that self care is both physical and mental. Do your joints hurt? Are your feet sore? Take a moment to pamper yourself. Are you depressed? Is something weighing on your mind? Do some breathing exercises and take a hot bath.
Your body is a temple and it’s worth taking care of. What do you think? Share your thoughts on the comments!
It’s been a long fight, but there has finally been some peace.
Many of you know I’ve been a strong supporter of the BLM movement ever since it caught momentum in 2020. Injustice is something I could never stand for. Regardless of what the medium is. I won’t stand for climate change ignorance, the same way I won’t stand for the oppression of people.
The United States has a twisted history with people of color. And I’m not just talking about African Americans. We’ve stolen land from the Natives who were here before us and robbed them of all natural resources. We decided that people were property, and then oppressed them under the guise of freedom.
Systemic racism has led our society to corrupt institutions. People of color are targeted and given less opportunities then their lighter complexion neighbors. We’ve seen this first hand with Rodney King. Police officers caught on camera violently beating a man to death, and were completely absolved of all charges. It’s to the point that it’s disgusting.
But this year, we finally had some peace.
On April 20th, 2021, Derek Chauvin was found guilty of all charges relating to the murder of George Floyd. A man who was suffocated to death by a knee to the neck. This justice is for everyone. His family, the African American community, and the entire nation. Healing starts by holding people accountable for their actions. On that day, the justice system decided that Black Lives Matter.
That doesn’t mean that it’s all over and everything goes back to “normal”. There’s still a long fight ahead for reparations. In the meantime, we take the wins and keep fighting the great fight.
Keeping Up With A Daily Practice
Brushing your teeth. Exercising. Calling your family. Doing your makeup. Meditating. Everyone has a daily practice, whether they realize it or not. Today I’m going to share some struggles of my own, and solutions to keeping up with yours.
A practice doesn’t have to be extravagant. It can be as simple as reading a book. If it brings you joy, it’s important to make time for these things. One of my daily practices is yoga. I’ve practiced on and off throughout the years, but it can be difficult keeping up with it daily.
Often times our lives become clouded by uncertainty. My car broke down. My child has a field trip. Relatives are coming into town. This is a good thing! Life would be boring if we saw the same thing day in and day out. But this also makes it challenging to find time for the self on a daily basis. Sometimes I find myself running to the bathroom at work just to have a few minutes to myself.
How can we keep up? Well, it honestly comes down to self discipline. I’ll be the first to admit, that I’m an emotional person. Perhaps sometimes, too emotional. While it’s nice to have these, it’s important not to give in to them. Too much of a good (or bad!) thing, is not healthy. The same way people watch what they eat, we have to watch our time.
Time is such a complex enigma. Sometimes it feels never ending and other times it flies right by. Nevertheless, it’s constantly going. And every minute that we spend, we cannot get back. If you feel like you’re burnt out from work, you probably are. We dedicate so much of our time to building someone else’s pockets, we often forget to fill our hearts.
Simple reminders such as a sticky note in your bathroom or a notification on your phone are a good day to remind yourself to give yourself some time. You are a magical being full of power waiting to be unlocked. Make time for yourself, because you deserve it!!
We as a society tend to be very wasteful. We finish using an item, and we toss it away as if nothing. But where do those items go? They usually take YEARS to fully decompose, and much of our trash ends up in our water systems. Today, I’m here to give you a few ideas on ways to reuse regular household items that you may otherwise throw away.
1. Old towels -> Soap Saver!
Do you never know what to do with that last little piece of soap after you’ve finished the rest of the bar? Use some old towels to create soap savers! Just a few cuts, sewing the ends, and the job is done! As an added bonus, it will even exfoliate for you.
2. Old towels (again) -> Reusable Swiffer Rag
Swiffers are great. They’re a super easy way of getting the grime off our kitchen and bathroom floors. But the wipes they come with are really wasteful. Similarly as the soap savers, just a few cuts and a quick sew, and you’ve got yourself a reusable swiffer wipe! Some people add velcro as an added method for it to stay put.
3. Coffee Cans -> Utensil Holders
The containers that hold our delicious hot beverage are often made of metal, and can be reused for a variety of things. One of them, is as a utensil holder! A quick paint job will help your favorite new kitchen decoration match the rest of your house!
4. PastaSauce Jar -> Reusable Container!
I love tomato jars because they’re made of glass. People use mason jars for a number of things, one of them being just a regular household container. Check out the idea below where someone used it to make themselves a lunch salad!
5. Wine cork -> Mini Planter
The cork material is perfect for starting little seedlings. Of course with a green thumb, your plant should grow fast, and therefore you probably won’t use them long. But they’re adorable while they last!! Boiling wine corks allows them to become maleable enough for cutting without breaking. Try this trick out for yourself!
6. Wine cork (again) -> Bath Mat
Cork is good for a number of things. Using the same boiling method, wine corks and be cut in half and glued together to make a mat! You can make your mat any size you want, use it for the bathroom, or in the kitchen!
7. Plastic Bags -> Yarn!
This one is a super new crazy and intuitive one. I’ve never even heard of this until recently. Below, please find the video link to the person who figured out this neat trick! It basically involves lining up the bag and cutting in the right places. Neat!
On January 20th, 2021, we welcomed a new president to the United States government. We finally get to put behind the horrible chapter of the Trump era. It seems like most people are ready to go “back to normal”. But what is normal?
Over the past four years, we’ve had a rise in multiple movements; such as the Black Lives Matter movement and the far right wing movement. On January 6th, the far right wing movement made a statement like no other.
Before I unravel the horrific events that happened on that day, I would like to thank The Washington Post, for their visual timeline of events that day; and ABC News, for their documentary “24 Hours: Assault on the Capitol”. It was extremely brave of the reporters who risked their lives to document history, and later produce this project to showcase the truth. If you have not seen it, I HIGHLY recommend it. Streaming in Hulu.
On January 6, 2021 supporters of the Trump movement stormed Capitol Hill. Having recently moved to the West Coast, I didn’t hear much other than that. I was under the impression this was a simple protest, where things got slightly out of hand, and some people climbed a fence. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Starting early in the morning, thousands of people flooded the National Mall, disputing the results of the election. These people came angry, and ready for war. Several people spoke at this rally, including Donald Trump.
By 1pm the protestors storm the weak barricade meant to protect the Capitol and congressmen inside. Barely thirty minutes later, the protestors had completely breached the grounds and many people were on the Capitol steps. By 2:30pm the (now terrorists) had breached the building and were coming inside for war. Video footage shows flags being burned, statues covered in blood, elected representatives’ belongings destroyed. This was a mockery of democracy.
Congress had to evacuate through secret passages, after being alerted that suspicious packages (which we now know we’re pipe bombs) had been placed throughout the bipartisan committee headquarters. While all this is going on, ex president Trump tweets to “Stay Peaceful”.
At almost 6pm (terrorists have now been inside the building for over three hours), police fire into the mob and a woman is shot. She was standing close enough to the new police barricade inside the building for this to happen; and the officer wouldn’t have fired if they didn’t feel threatened. The shot alarms the entire mob and people start clearing out. By this time, the national guard has been arrived and they set up the largest red zone perimeter DC has seen.
The district has a 6pm curfew, and it is announced over loudspeakers that anyone on the streets after 6pm will be arrested. And just like that, all those terrorists who raped and pillaged the Capitol of its essence, get to walk home Scott free. Of course, after the fact, they’re trying to find all these people based off their social media posts. It’s really a shame the difference of treatment that these horrible people get, in comparison to the peaceful protestors of the Black Lives Matter movement.
So I leave you with this: what happens now? What is our “normal” without Trump? We allowed society to become this because we have not addressed the issues of systemic racism that have plagued this country for years. People say now is the time for unity, but it seems like there’s only one side who actually wants to do that. Who’s going to get reparations for the emotional pain & suffering the Proud Boys have done to us? Who’s going to pay for those reparations? When will we actually be able to move forward together as a people?
It starts with you. Stick up for the little guy. Stand up to the bully. Kindness and positivity are the biggest influences in this world. You are stronger than you think. Act courageously. Be respectful. You have the power to influence the people around you, who will then turn around and say “I would like to be like that as well”. Have faith, and may the force be with you.
This article is a sequel to “Hiking the C&O Canal: #Troupe2Cali pt.1”.
On July 1st, Ziggy and I set out on a wild whirlwind adventure, where we hoped to hike across the United States. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic our dreams were squashed. We hiked the C&O canal for over a week, but could go no farther than Hancock, MD. Adapting to the circumstances, we began our city to city tour towards the west coast. Check out the places we’ve been, where we’ve stayed, and what we’ve done!
Where to stay: The Scholar Hotel
Where to eat: Gibbie’s Pub & Eatery
How to Travel: Mountain Line
What to do: Check out WVU!
Where to stay: The Hilton 4 Seasons (heart of downtown)
Where to eat: Beto’s Pizza
How to travel: Über
What to do: Pittsburgh Zoo
Where to stay: La Quinta by Wyndham
Where to eat: Melt Bar & Grill
How to travel: Local bus lines!
What to do: Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Where to stay: Super 8
Where to eat: Tubby’s
How to travel: Scoot around town using the electric scooters!
What to do: Check out the Waterfront towards Canada or Downtown! We caught a live performance by a local reggae band in the middle of the day.
Where to stay: Super 8
Where to eat: ANYWHERE. The food in Chicago is the best in all U.S.
How to travel: Über
What to do: Check out the local districts, such as Boystown!
Where to stay: Travelodge by Wyndham in Wheat Ridge
Where to eat: The Little Man Ice Cream Factory
How to travel: We like to walk, but you might want to Über around this big city!
What to do: Check out Rocky Mountain Goat Yoga!! We watched a movie and got to hang out with goats all night. Super cool experience!!
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The consequences of COVID-19 have been difficult for everyone. In some ways, it can be especially difficult for 20 year olds. With no sort of stability, high expectations, and literally nobody around us, this seems like a recipe for disaster. Today I’d like to share a bit of my story, and how the pandemic has affected my life for the past 6 months.
Like many 20 year olds, I pursued a college degree after high school. Upon graduation in 2018, the market left me with a broken economy and only restaurant jobs hiring. The coronavirus outbreak began in late fall/early winter 2019. Coming into the new year, I said: NO MORE! Tired of accepting less for myself, and I’m going to struggle until I find something worth my time.
Come February, I would become employed as Head Teacher of a preschool. It was a dream come true for me!! I was finally given the opportunity to show all the wonderful things I am made of... and I was EXCELLENT. Thus far, that has been my best employment experience yet. Then in March, just as fast, I was laid off from my job due to COVID-19.
Losing the job that finally values you for what you’re worth is a very tough thing. Especially when the circumstances are beyond you. Come to find out, that was just the beginning of my problems.
Applying for unemployment. The application is a mess! The original site was ineffective and and it had to be completely revamped. Getting all the information together for unemployment was difficult to say the least. Having started a new job in the new year, it was not recorded on my previous tax record. I had to wait until the site was updated (again) to manually input my information. Due to a delay in filing my taxes, I never received my stimulus check either.
The months of April, May, and June were some of the most difficult in terms of surviving. My household was already down to one source of income when I lost my job due to COVID-19. With no real relief package from the government, we were forced to use every last drop of our savings. There were many days we went hungry and told ourselves we weren’t. There were times we had to ask family for help buying us groceries because we were down to just the spices in our cabinets.
Thankfully, things didn’t stay horrible forever. We had help from friends and family who brought us food and supplies simply out of kindness. Ziggy finally started receiving his unemployment in May, and I received mine in late June. We made arrangements and left the house of misery that was weighing us down.
While following health & safety protocols, Ziggy and I began backpacking across the country in search of a new home on the west coast. Our trip has taken many detours because life isn’t “normal” to say the least. On the trail, not all water wells have a pump, and not all campgrounds are open. While traveling, there are spaces in between seats and people coming around to check face coverings. When going into a museum we have our temperature read before going inside.
Zoo’s aren’t as enjoyable because it’s a game of avoiding people. There were many animals we didn’t get to see up close. Most cute pictures end up looking the same because of the face coverings. And if you take them off for a pic, you’re judged. Can’t wait inside for my food to go with Ziggy, because there’s only one person at a time allowed. I miss being able to hug and see my parents on a regular basis.
The good news is that COVID-19 isn’t inevitable. There are plenty of health and safety precautions people can take for this pandemic to go away. Wearing face coverings and washing your hands are excellent virus defense. Staying home and limiting interactions with others is another great way.
While this may seem like the biggest road block into starting our careers, fear not!! Time is a wonderful thing. My time quarantined from March to July was where I did some major self discovery. I decided to go back to school and pursue a graduate degree. I decided that my job does not define me, and I am capable of achieving anything I can dream of. If you’re young and unsure about the future, use this time to find yourself. Namaste!
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