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I’m Having a Good Week!

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This has been an amazing week here in Crystal-land! 😉 Here, let me list the ways in which life is being awesome since I feel like I haven’t truly been able to share great news for a while without it being tinted with super crap. I’m Losing Weight! My weight loss and strength training is chugging along really well. I’m down 10-11 pounds since mid-June.  I started at 177-178 pounds and was at 167 by last weekend. I joined a few more Dietbets, and am even hosting a $10 one, so I’ll be motivated to continue losing weight even during our upcoming cruise. I won about $60 total from the 4 last month, so my “meh” feelings got pushed aside by the holy-hell-this-is-working feelings. Cruise Time Again! About a week ago, we booked another 7 day cruise that leaves at the end of the month. I booked us for another Chef’s Table experience onboard too. I’ll be taking the stairs instead of the elevator whenever possible and eating lots of small meals instead of pure binging. That combined with some swimming and walking-the-track time should equal fewer pounds packed on during that week. But gorging on food or not, we … Read more

I’m Still Here

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Yeppers, I am still here.  My most recent miscarriage, has made me crampy and tired, but I’m physically fine.  Medically, my two follow-up blood tests have shown my HCG falling like it should and I have another blood test this week. As usual, I can’t easily write informational posts when I’m sad.  It’s like my give-a-shit turns off.  But I can vent. My Current Mood In this specific case, I seem to have enough energy to keep up with pet sitting, my online business emails, and to stay in touch with friends and family.  Then I just want to eat donuts and nap. And I have been eating ALOT of donuts and taking MANY naps.  Yeah, I know the donuts are working against me, but if you mention that below, I will most likely tell you to fuck off.  That’s the sort of mood I’ve been in. I don’t have the classic 5 stages of grief.  I generally just vacillate between angry and sad/depression for a while and then bounce right to moving on. I am sincerely happy that pet sitting is awesome even when I’m not.  I get to pet, play, and talk to all the dogs and cats like usual, and … Read more

Another, Scarier Miscarriage But I’m Okay

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For anyone following along, Len and I have been trying to get me impregnated for a couple of years. Our Last Try We went from cool-if-it-happens to we’re-going-to-actively-make-this-happen around October 2016.  I bought some ovulation sticks, peed on a dozen of them over as many days, had sex when they indicated we should, and we got me pregnant in November 2016. Well, that ended in a miscarriage in January 2017 with a blighted ovum (dumbass scary name for just no baby in the basket). This Attempt at Baby Making We waited a couple of months and I started peeing on ovulation sticks again in March 2017, which led to me getting pregnant again.  I was worried about another miscarriage and had been making them give me blood tests as soon as I peed positive. Up to the beginning of last week, I had taken 3 blood tests that had led to Progesterone suppositories but generally good signs, so they were going to wait two weeks to give me my first ultrasound.  I requested a fourth blood test because I wanted to see higher numbers and that the suppositories were really working (no one wants to keep using vaginal suppositories if they … Read more

How to Be Content with Your Life

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How to Be Content | Tips for Practicing Self-Care | Goals in Life | Achieving Peace | Enjoying Life | Living in the Moment

I’m 34 years old.  My life has been great, yet I still wake up some days and feel completely unsatisfied.  I felt like a raging success when I leapt into self-employment in 2011, about 16 months after starting this blog.  My husband joined me in 2012, I started a second successful business in 2014 (Crystal’s Cozy Care Pet Sitting), and we are still doing well with our businesses, yet I’ve lost that soul singing feeling of triumph.  Why Do I Feel Like a Failure?  Because I suck at being content.  My online business peaked 3-4 years ago but is still chugging along.  I’m making efforts to grow it again.  My pet sitting business is blossoming more every season, and we just hired our first official pet sitter team member.  Yet, I keep comparing myself to others and feel like all my efforts are “meh”.  Since I started researching contentment and making a list of steps for myself, I figured I should share it with anyone else out there kicking their own butts for no good reason. How to be Content Weirdly, being content is harder for me than making money.  Yet contentment comes in handy no matter where you are in life.  It is a priceless … Read more

3 REAL Ways to Make Money from Home AND How to Get Started IMMEDIATELY

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3 Real Ways to Make Money From Home and Get Started IMMEDIATELY | Legitimate Work from Home Jobs

Yeah, I know there are gazillions of posts about making money from home.  How is this one different?  Well, my husband and I make $75,000+ per year doing these three things.  On top of that, keep reading to see how to get started right now! 1.  Blogging The most frequently asked question I get about my online income is, “How do you make money blogging?” You make money through advertising deals, selling products and services, or using your blog experience to get other jobs online too. You can get the traffic to sell ad space, your products, and/or your services by growing your site. So first, you need a site and you have to start writing. To start a blog, you’ll need to choose a domain name (like and buy it.  I used Go Daddy to buy my URL and it costs about $15-$20 per year.  You will also need a website host (a company that uses its internet servers to support your site). I use Bluehost for all of my secondary sites (smaller ones, $6 a month for all of them combined) and Pagely for my big one since it’s too large to fit in a discount host server … Read more

The Luxury of Minimalism

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Minimalism with Kids | Toy Minimalist | Staying Sane as a Parent | Minimalism is a Luxury

I’m away from the online world this week, so here’s an awesome post from Revanche at A Gai Shan Life.  She and I have only met in real person once so far, but I consider her one of my closest friends.  If you don’t already read her blog, open it right now in another tab and check it out after you’re done here.  Revanche lives in constant pain, she lives supporting others, she lives for her family and friends…key word here…she LIVES.  And she’s been blogging about it all in heart-wrenching and uplifting detail for more than 10 years. Our Spring Culling I maintain a strict policy on JuggerBaby’s (JB’s) toys. I refuse to break my neck in an unintentionally hilarious pratfall dancing over the seemingly inevitable mountains of two-year-old appropriate possessions. The one challenge to this rule is one that I can’t, in good conscience, say no to. We see my aunt twice a year and without fail, she has a pile of used toys, books, and clothes, carefully cleaned and curated for JB’s health and education. She’s not wealthy, she’s the self-described “poorest of the whole family”, so she’s gotten good at rescuing abandoned things at the church and … Read more

Suffering from Burnout? The Signs and Ways to Recover

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Have you ever worried you were suffering from burnout? It's a REAL thing and knowing the signs of burnout is one of the most important steps for keeping your mental health and physical health from deteriorating. I'm pinning this to remind myself!

A person can be their own largest liability.  Ever work yourself into a tizzy?  Been too exhausted to do your best?  Think you’re ready to quit even though it’s the best job you’ve ever had? Could you simply be burned out? Burnout is a HUGE differentiating factor between success and failure in many fields, especially pet sitting.  I’m starting to understand the full ramifications from my own experiences, stories from other pet sitters, and from attending the 2016 Petsittingology Conference. Signs of Professional Burnout These are a combination of signs I’ve either noticed or found at the Mayo Clinic online: You become more cynical and pessimistic than usual. You start dreading calls and texts offering you new business instead of being excited. It’s hard to want to go to a job and/or it’s hard to start when you’re there. You start spending less time at each job or task. You start to justify a worse work ethic. You start eating and/or drinking more to cope. Your sleeping or eating habits are changing for the worse. You are developing unexplained aches and pains. Luckily, even if you are suffering from burnout, there are ways of bouncing back. Ways to Recover from … Read more