Alpacas in Ohio

Alphacas in Ohio

It's so hard for me to believe it has been a month since I visited Ohio and took these photos. This adorable group of Alpacas live near my parents house. I always look forward to seeing them and snapping some photos. The faces they make really crack me up. Some of them are really cute and other have some really crazy eyes!

Alphacas in OhioAlphacas in Ohio

They are very unsure about my camera. They are just wondering where the carrots are??

Alphacas in Ohio
Alphacas in Ohio

This brown guy was my favorite. He actually put his ears down the way a dog would when I was talking to him. I'm sure he was just scared of my camera. I tried to pet him but he wouldn't let me. Again, they just want carrots.

Alphacas in OhioAlphacas in Ohio
Alphacas in Ohio
Alphacas in Ohio

When will you see me with the biggest smile on my face? When I am surrounded by animals.

Alphacas in Ohio

I hope to visit the farm sanctuary in Colorado again this year!
Also on my list of places to visit is The Wildlife Sanctuary located in Keenesburg, Colorado.
View my post about when I visited the Peaceful Prairie Farm Sanctuary HERE.
If you haven't ever visited a sanctuary I urge you to! It's a great experience!!!


Lovely Blogs

SponsorPost Annika
Post I love by Annika: Gods Own Junkyard

SponsorPost Michelle
Post I love by Michelle: So Far

SponsorPost Emma
Post I love by Emma: Meet Chloe

SponsorPost Kim
Post I love by Kim: Back to My Blogging Roots

I hope you will go visit them and say hello! They are favorites of mine. :)


32 Things Before 32 // Pink Hair

Pink Hair pic4

While I was on my vacation in Ohio I knew one thing for sure, that I wanted to dye my hair pink. I have had a bottle of pink hair dye for the last 2 years and I have never used it. After looking at Pinterest for hours and falling in love with light pink hair, I wanted to give it a try. The color I used is called Bubble Head Pink and is rather bright! By mixing the dye with bright white conditioner I was able to make my own light pink hair dye.

Pink Hair pic1

I colored my hair pink two times while I was on vacation. The first time I did it I didn't add a lot of pink dye. I was so scared of my hair being too bright! After my first attempt you could hardly even see any pink in my hair at all. Good thing though was that the conditioner left my hair super soft and healthy looking. My hair benefited from it big time.

Pink Hair 2

The second time I dyed my hair I used almost the entire bottle of pink dye and just added some conditioner to lighten it a bit. I also put it on my hair while it was wet. It seemed to go on much easier that way. I left the dye on for about an hour. It turned out much better. The same day we went and visited my family and they called me Strawberry Shortcake all day long!

Pink Hair pic3

The dye faded pretty quickly. Which was fine because I had to go back to work. I am still not sure how they would react to colored hair so I just don't chance it. It's kind of a "common sense" thing not to do it where I work. I am not even supposed to have a piercing but I get away with that.

Pink Hair pic5

During my trip I had two strangers say something about my hair. A guy at a gas station in Nebraska told me he loved it. A different guy mumbled under his breath, "Pink hair" and shook his head in disgust. hahaha People are funny aren't they!? I miss my pink hair very much. It was fun while it lasted. I will defiantly be doing it again. Especially since I know I can wash it out fairly fast.
Have you or would you dye your hair a fun color?

You can see all my 32 Things Before 32 posts HERE, including the full list.


Simple and Cheap Hassle-Free Bathroom DIY Tips

Today Helen from Helen Davies Interior Design is going to share a guest post with you about decorating your bathroom. Cody and I have two outdated bathrooms in our house that we plan to remodel. Helen shares with us some great DIY tips for decorating and updating a bathroom. I hope you enjoy her ideas. I know I will be using a few of them....

Day in, day out, we put a lot of stress and strain on our bathrooms, especially when you have a young family like I do, and these spaces can start to feel a little worn and unloved pretty quickly. Well, without resorting to a full-blown bathroom renovation, here are a few quick, cheap and easy DIY upgrades, that will have your bathroom look fresh and revitalized in no time.

We can always do with some additional storage to house those extra shampoo bottles, bath toys and cleaning product . But these storage units don’t need to be dull. Stenciling is a cheap and easy DIY idea, be creative, make your own designs or visit your local craft shop for stylish patterns. Pick a style and stencil your bathroom furniture, cupboards and shelves. Use colours to complement your bathroom suite, why not add a little stenciling to your walls!


Alternatively give your bathroom furniture a new look by sanding down the old dated varnish and painting it in a new bright colour. Add some wallpaper to the inside of your furniture for that extra designer touch or try a little painting.

We are all guilty of buying cheap bathroom mirrors with the intention of framing them but never get round to it (I know I am anyway) now is the time to frame it. My favourite idea is to use old tiles and create a stylish mosaic, go down to your local builders yard and they are sure to have some old broken tiles they will give you for free. If you like the rustic look use some drift wood to create a beach style frame, why not add some shells to!


I have seen lots of bloggers create giant letters recently (I love them) This is simple to do and your kids can get involved to. Find some old wood or if you are handy with a jigsaw cut out letters and spell ‘wash your hands’ in a piece of wood. These can be hung on the wall of your bathroom. Don’t forget to paint these and make them look stylish and unique.

Shower curtains offer an affordable way to quickly refresh dull looking or cheap bathroom suites, you can make the shower curtains yourself. All you need is some old pieces of fabric (Lets be honest we all have heaps of scrap fabric we need to use up) create a patch work design or use old curtains to create a solid shower curtain. Make sure to use your old shower curtain as a base so that your new patch work does not get wet!


Don’t forget to add some finishing touches, some candles, coloured bathroom towels and cute bathroom accessories will help create your new bathroom look, so what are you waiting for? Go and get crafty!!

Helen Davies is a keen blogger, Pinterest addict and currently works as a freelance writer for Better Bathrooms.
Find her blog HERE.

Thanks Helen for sharing your ideas with us!
My decorating wheels are turning! I can't wait to design my bathrooms.


The Vegan Project // Dan's Progess So Far

The Vegan Project

It's been about a month since Dan first started making some vegan changes to his diet. When we started the vegan project we decided to just take it slow. Instead of Dan just completely changing everything over night. In my post last week I talked about going grocery shopping with Dan and shared a video of him trying his first vegan sandwich. You can see that post HERE if you missed it. Our grocery trip happened around Easter weekend. About a week later I received an email from Dan updating me on his progress. I can't put into words how happy I was the entire time I was reading it! Now I would like to share it with you...

Hello Jess,

The recent changes I've made to my diet are working really well so far. :) This morning I weighed in at 173 lbs, which is the lowest in many, many years. It was around 178 when you were here. For the last two years I've been around 185, and then before that I was over 200.

One thing I've really been enjoying is Spinach Leaves. I bought a medium size container the other day just for the hell of it, and I've been just eating the leaves non-stop. They are really a great treat to munch on. I started with one leaf, and would just continue eating them. For some reason I always thought spinach had a very different taste, maybe like kale. I didn't really like the kale I tried, but I'm really happy about the spinach. I just can't believe I've never tried it before.

I haven't had any meat or dairy products that I am aware of since the day before we all went to the zoo, March 29th. The night before we all got together, I had two chicken sandwiches from Chick-Fil-A on my way home. But since my PB & J sandwiches at the zoo, I've done extremely well. I have even been giving food to my parents that I no longer have the desire to eat. Foods include a pound of butter, some of that shredded cheese I showed you, soup requiring milk, that large jug of Hawaiian Punch, powder (sugar) to make Iced Tea, and probably a couple other things. I'm going to watch that movie you let me borrow, after I return from my vacation. (Peaceable Kingdom) I did watch Vegucated last week. :)

When I visited my parents last weekend, I just brought my own food. I ate the rest of the vegan pizza we had cooked together. And yesterday, I packed strawberries, pistachios, and a non-meat sandwich. Things THEY were eating included birthday cake for my nephew, steak hoagies, and pizza. Back when I hung out with you a year ago when you became vegan, I remember you saying how certain foods would make you sick just looking at them. At the time, it was hard for me to fully understand because I was still eating those foods. When my mom offered me cake, and those other foods, I just told her, "I'm good", and "I brought something". If you looked in their refrigerator, it's twice as bad as mine was. I've eliminated almost all the crap from my home. I did have 2 Sprites today, because I don't want to waste them. But, I'm positive I won't buy any more. I have 5 left. There are a couple other bad foods left. Most I've given to my parents. I don't want any new food that is unhealthy coming in my house.

Dan's first Vegan Tacos!
Dan's Tacos pic1

There are several aisles I won't even need to go down any more at the grocery store. All the bad snacks, cheeses, and sugars I don't want a part of right now. Only a week or so in, I feel very comfortable being able to make these changes last. Of course time will tell, but I'm feeling really good about it, and you know that's not always an easy thing for me. I did have to work late two nights last week, but I stopped at Subway and got the foot-long Veggie Delight on Wheat. No cheese or mayo. I had lettuce, tomato, pickles, spinach, olives, and oregano. When I've gotten home earlier, I've been eating those Boca spicy Chick'n sandwiches. I was shocked at how much I LOVE them! I didn't try those when you were here, but those are so awesome. I can't believe it's not real chicken. It made me so happy. I put a little of the organic ketchup on one, and also ate one with spinach. I'm sure I'll try different toppings in the future. I already had to buy another box of those...actually 3 more boxes so they would last! I bought some healthy wheat buns for those sandwiches. I already know I can eat those instead of Chick-Fil-A. They are just as good.

It's been going great so far. No more turkey sandwiches in my lunchbox for work! And no more Cheez-It crackers. I drank only water for lunch last week, and like I mentioned, I just have a few Sprites left til those are gone. My vacation will be interesting. I think I will have to make a few exceptions, basically because I had the trip planned for a couple months. I may have *some* bad foods, but not everything. I will stop at the grocery store and mix in some good things. But, I know when I get back I'm gonna stick to my healthy foods, so that's good. Oh yeah, those Snicker Doodle cookies. I said I would mail them to you if I didn't like them. Haha! Well, you are not getting them!!! Those are excellent too. I'll eat two or three as a treat. Much better than times I'd be on the computer eating 8 or 10 chocolate cookies just because they were convenient.

Also today, I made my first pizza. It turned out alright for my first one, but there are some changes I need to make. It ended up a bit runny, so I need to eliminate a bit of the water so it cooks better. But the toppings worked out well and I ate just over half of it. So, I'm sure I'll get better at it over time. When I was making the "cheese" with the cashews, I started thinking that was probably the most complex thing I'd ever cooked in my life. It's something simple to start out with, and I can learn from my mistakes. I didn't heat up the tomato sauce, so that's something I need to do next time. That's why it was so watery I think. I did buy a blender ($30), and a rice cooker from Target ($40). I used the blender to chop up the cashews, and that's probably the first time in my life I've ever used one! Hopefully I can make some rice this week. Looking forward to trying that out.

Dan w-taco

This has all been very exciting so far. I will save a few bucks from eating at Chick-Fil-A once a week. It will take a little while getting used to buying ingredients instead of everything already made. If I can get back to the grocery store next time when it's not so busy, it will be even better. I will keep you updated so you've got stuff to use for the blog whenever you decide to do that. I just wanted to be as thorough as I could so you've got enough for your next update. Right now, I am very optimistic. Looking in other peoples carts and seeing the crap just makes me want to eliminate the bad stuff immediately.


VP greendivider

I am so proud of Dan's progress so far! I was pleasantly surprised at how easily he changed over. He was able to find things right off the bat that he loved. I couldn't believe he had already cooked the pizza himself. I hadn't even gave him the recipe yet, he got if off my blog! My next step is to get some recipes together for him. He mentioned how he is going to be watching the movie Peaceable Kingdom. I haven't done an actual post about the film here on the blog yet. I think the only way you can watch it is by purchasing it from their website. It's a film about the farming industry. Probably the hardest thing I have ever watched in my entire life. I am curious to see how Dan handles watching it. It's very graphic, real and honest. A lot of things that most people wouldn't dare watch. I am so thankful that Dan is being as BRAVE as he is.


Homes of the Future // Living Green

From a very young age I always dreamed about building a huge house. I always dreamed of designing all the details myself. I would sketch out ideas and look at design magazines. Design and decorating has always been a creative outlet for me. Over the past few years I stopped dreaming of a big houses. I started to ask myself, "Why do I need something huge?" Yes, more rooms to decorate, but that means more stuff. Which equals more money. No thanks. Even our current home is larger then we need. I have always loved homes with a modern and contemporary look, like this one...


It almost looks like a piece of artwork or at least an art museum I suppose. Since our life has changed so much due to the military, we have no idea what our future holds. Where will we live? Will we stay with the military or will we break free? The thought of breaking free is AMAZING! To be able to live where ever I want in the country, yes please! After searching the internet for green type houses I stumbled across a company called Blue Sky Building Systems. They build these very modern looking homes that are almost completely made from recycled materials. Ever since I watched the video below I haven't stopped thinking about them..

Blue Sky Home

Even though they say the homes are affordable, I doubt that they are for my current income! ;) I find these homes so fascinating and they look a lot like the houses I used to dream of having. I love that it uses solar energy. This is such a huge thing for me. If I can't afford one of these particular homes someday, I at least want some solar panels! There are so many companies out there that specialize in solar energy products. The company VELUX has all kinds of information and products on their website for sustainable living. I really enjoyed this video from their site...

Roof windows and solar panels? Sign me up!
VELUX also designs blinds that custom fit all their roof windows.

I think it would also be neat to just buy an older house and convert it into a green home by adding solar and wind energy to it. Or how about buying an old school bus and converting it into a home? May not be for everybody, but it's pretty cool! Here is an awesome video about how one couple did it...

There are so many ways to live a greener lifestyle. I look forward to the day when I can put some of these things effect into my own life. Now my dream of owning a large fancy house has been replaced with living in something green and environmentally friendly! I found this website which shares 21 Amazing Off-the-Grid Houses! Very inspiring!

A few months back I did a post called Ways I have Gone Green, check it out if you missed it.
Happy Earth Day everybody!


At the Moment

At The Moment April192013 DadThis post is going to be a little different then my last few "At the Moment" posts.
Today I just wanted to share my thoughts and views on blogging currently.

It's been a few weeks since I was visiting my family and friends in Ohio. I have to say it was a bittersweet experience. You never feel like any amount of time you spend with your loved ones is enough. The above photo is of my dad. He doesn't even know that I took it. The picture was taken while my dad and I were shopping at one of my favorite thrift stores. It was really nice to spend the time with him. Moments like that are worth the 1,200 mile drive. The only things we bought were some old books and a vintage purse that my dad put on Ebay to sell.

Something shifted in me when I was in Ohio. Actually, it started before my trip do to a falling out with a friend. However, when I have something bad happen to me I try to immediately find good in the situation, learn from it and move on. That's exactly what I did. I realized a few months ago that I have such amazing friends back in Ohio. I learned to appreciate them more and hold on to them tight. Let them know that I am thinking of them often. Make a better effort to keep in touch. My trip to Ohio made me realize that I'm not alone. Even though I feel that way often living in a city that I hate, my friends and family are still there, just miles away.

Needless to say the goodbye is always so hard when the visit is over. The distance is really hard on my parents and I miss them a lot already. I'm tearing up just writing this. You might wonder what the heck does any of this have to do with blogging or why am I sharing this with you? Well my trip caused me to get behind on my posts and my reading of other blogs. The feeling was overwhelming. It hasn't left yet either. Some days I feel like a slave to my computer and my blog. I have started to ask myself, "Why am I doing this?" I know we all go threw this at some point. You don't even have to be a blogger to feel this way. It can just be the amount of time you spend on the internet.

There are so many things that I want to do. Learn to knit, exercise daily, clean my house, get organized, draw, talk to my friends, hang out with Cody, ride my bike, go to the park with my dogs, plant flowers, decorate, remodel my house and the list goes on. My schedule and typical daily routine does not allow time for most of these things. I find myself stuck in a rut. (Sorry for the cheesy rhyme.) I am on the blog too much. Designing and editing photos which takes hours sometimes. Even though I love it and it's fun, it's too often. Time and life is so valuable! Why am I devoting so much of it to my blog?

So that leaves me craving change in my life. I laid awake the other night thinking about how much simpler my life would be if I didn't blog. How much time I would have for new hobbies and just life in general. This is NOT me saying goodbye or that I am quitting my blog. This is me just stating what a lot of us go throw and feel from time to time. I have met some amazing people threw my blog and I hope I meet some of you someday in real life. It's really cool to be able to connect with people from all over the world and build friendships with my readers.

I put way too much pressure on myself to get 5 posts up weekly. I do however LOVE all my posts and that's why I do them. I write out all my post ideas ahead of time and always feel excited about all of them. My pictures aren't always perfect, my topics might not always be for everyone, my grammar is horrible and I'm not a great writer, but they are ME. I have been blogging for 6 years and I am always changing the direction of my blog. With that said I am going to attempt to force myself to blog less. It may only be one less post a week, I'm not really sure yet. I will still blog often of course, I'm not disappearing.

I started to realize that all my favorite blogs that I read don't usually post daily. Do I judge them for this? NO! (Good for them.) Will I still always follow them and read their blog? YES! I even talked about this in my last VLOG. I talked about how we all need to stop putting pressure on ourselves. So I am taking some of my own advise and making more time for real life. Because we all know that time passes us by way too fast not to! As I think about why I blog, I want to remember it's always going to be for me. A way for me to look back on my life and old posts. I do like to inspire others with my blog, but it's just not a popularity contest for me. It's become so hard to stand out in a world flooded with blogger's. I'm just going to be me and hope that some of you like me enough to stick around. :)

I never knew that a trip to Ohio would awaken so much emotion in me.
Change is good and so is "feeling".
Thank you always for stopping by, leaving comments and your on going support!


Trip to the Cincinnati Zoo

This was just going to be photos, but I decided to say more. I know there are a lot of mixed feelings about zoos. As much as I love being close to wildlife, it does break my heart as well. Before going vegan and becoming an "amateur animal activist" I never thought anything about all the animals caged up. Seeing a wild animal caged or stuck in a tiny exhibit is heart breaking. Going to the zoo has just always been a tradition for me.

Trip to Cincy Zoo
Trip to the Zoo

It is nice to see the zoo promoting recycling. I say this because I don't think of Ohio as a very "green" state.

CincyZoo Dan RecyclingTrip to the Zoo
Trip to the Zoo

One of my favorite things about the Cincinnati Zoo is the insect house. They have a room filled with butterflies and orchids.
I really enjoy photographing them. It's such a peaceful place...

CincyZoo Butterfly
CincyZoo Orchid and ButterflyCincyZoo Orchid
Trip to the Zoo
Trip to the Zoo
This guy was beautiful....
CincyZoo White Bird
CincyZoo Flowers and Penguin
My favorite part of the zoo was feeding the goats. If I could have a pet goat I would.
CincyZoo Feeding Goats
Best photo of the day was one that a lady took of us together. How nice of her!
CincyZoo Us
Cam, Dan, me and Cody (My besties!)

Our trip to the zoo was one of the only warm days while we were in Ohio. The weather didn't cooperate at all. This time last year there were tons of tulips and other flowers in full bloom. It was kind of a bummer to not get to see that this time. However I had a great time with my friends and Cody! This may be my last time visiting a zoo. Honestly when I went to the farm sanctuary in Colorado I had more fun. There is a very different feeling from a sanctuary verses caged animals. You feel the happiness and the love from the animals that are living free. :)


A Few of My Favorite Things #7

Favorite Post by VIC
Image Source / Brett Plank
Vic wrote this great post called, Monday Motivation: What drives you?
She wrote about her love for photography and why it is so important to her. It touched my heart because it's how I feel about photography. I just was never able to put it into words. She did a great job describing her feelings on picture taking.

Favorite Project
1 2 3 4

I really want to teach myself how to knit. While I was visiting in Ohio my aunt mentioned something about coffee cozies. The light bulb went off over my head! I thought making a coffee cozy would be a good thing to try out since I have no idea what I am doing. I found this pattern that I plan to try out. I hope that I like knitting. I really want to make stuff!

Favorite Advise Traveling by Kitty
Traveling Tips by Shell of Kitty & Buck

This post is so helpful. Shell listed all kinds of tips to help you out with traveling and the hardest part (I think) PACKING! I am so guilty of over packing. Just this past trip I felt like we took our whole house with us. I hope to challenge myself during our next vacation to "pack light" and use some of her tips!

Favorite imagePicture 1
Image Source

Oh how I am dreaming of a hot air balloon ride this summer over the Rocky Mountains. Sadly I missed a great sale on Groupon for a ride at half price. I'm sure there will be another one though. This has got to happen. What a wonderful experience it would be.

I found this post by Katherine very interesting. She explained why she doesn't thrift. She had lots of good points and reasons. I've always loved shopping second hand and I think I always will. It did make me think about buying from smaller shops though! I'm all about helping out small businesses. :)

I really enjoyed this post by Shai talking about her Eco-Conscious daughter.
It made me feel like there is hope for our planet!


Collecting Color // Black & Green

COTM B&G pic1
I have an obsession with road signs.
COTM B&G pic2
My Glasses // Pine Needles
COTM B&G pic3
Green & Black Converse // Cat Paw
COTM B&G pic4
Leaf Detail // My Camera
COTM B&G pic5
Green Packaging // Chloe's Nose & Whiskers

This months color scheme for the Collecting Colour Challenge was Black and Green. I actually had a hard time finding things that were black to photograph. I simply do not have a lot of things in my home that are black. I should of looked harder when I was out and about. I am really loving these photo challenges. They are really fun! Next months color scheme is Green and Pink. If Spring ever arrives here in Wyoming I would love to photography some flowers for next months challenge.

If you decide to do this challenge, please leave a link to your photos in the comments so I can check it out!!
Go HERE to link up your photos!
The Collecting Colour Challenge is hosted by Good Things.