1. Add Brita® to your Back to School List

    Written by Randi on August 19th, 2014 at 6:20 PM // Category: Sponsored

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Brita for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

    As classes begin again, back to school shopping has started unless, of course, you are waiting until the last minute. I’m sure there are lots of things that you need for this coming school year. From book bags to laptops, even toiletries and so much more. I think there is one item that is commonly overlooked and I’m going to explain why you need to add Brita® to your back to school shopping list.

    My back to school list is slightly different since I attend school online. My must-haves are my laptop, pens, printer and paper, and an agenda. Recently, I’ve made the choice to add a Brita® to my back to school list so I can stay hydrated and make healthy choices despite not having much time to excersize. 

    Brita® has an amazing filtration system that reduces the number of impurities in your very own tap water and leaves you with healthy, great-tasting water. If you’re like me, you probably prefer bottled water to your tap’s water. It doesn’t have to be that way. You are paying for your water anyway. So, why buy overpriced bottled water? Think of the money you’ll save when you have your very own filtered water pouring from your sink. Do you want filtered water to go while you shuffle from class to class? Add a Brita® water bottle to that list, as well!

    Brita®is good for the environment because it reduces waste. Odds are you aren’t recycling your water bottles, anyway. You can help the environment and have delicious water at the same time.

    It’s also great for you because you’ll want to drink more water, and drinking water regularly makes you feel better and more energized. If you don’t like water, that’s fine. I used to be that way, too. Unlimited filtered water from your own sink’s tap can improve your enhanced drinks like homemade Iced Tea or lemonade, Soda Stream drinks, or even just the Mio or Crystal Light drops and mixes.

    You don’t have to go out of your way, either. Brita® products are available at Target. Stay hydrated, stay happy, and stay healthy this school year.

    Visit Sponsor's Site

  2. The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

    Written by Randi on August 7th, 2014 at 5:13 PM // Category: Family

    I may have mentioned that my brother was moving out. The last day he was here, he gave me money that he owed me for watching Mya, and he felt bad that he gave us such short notice that he tossed Andrew some money for partial rent.

    The good:

    My brother really only took his TV and clothes.  He left his furniture, bed, dresser, night stand, and even a large dog crate. This is great because now we have an extra room, mainly for the kids. While we have a 3 bedroom apartment, the middle room is a railroad room which means it has no door and you have to walk through it to get to the bathroom or the back room (my brother’s room). So, we turned that into the cat’s room. We had all intentions of getting a LARGE cat tower for them but things happen and it hasn’t happened yet. However, they aren’t without as it has our spare recliners (that moved up there when we got a sectional), a spare bed from my mom’s house (and before that the spare bunk beds), a dresser, and a window. So, they are pleased with that set up. We had intended on letting one of the kids stay up there on our weekend with them but there is no TV so that didn’t work out.

    Regardless, now we have a room for them, and extra closet for us, and access to our tiny attic space. Not to mention, our electric bill will go down drastically since every time I walked by my brother’s room, there was something on despite him pulling a 24hour shift.

    The bad:

    I’m sad to see him go. I mean, of course it was bound to happen, but just like it was hard to move away from my mom, this is just as hard. My brother and I have lived together since he was born. Although he’s pulled away from the family quite a bit over the last few years, namely whenever he has a girlfriend (suddenly it becomes all about her family) it was nice having him around. I fear not seeing him now except on family gatherings. We are hoping that isn’t the case but my mom has decided to try and thwart that by making mandatory Sunday dinners for all of us.

    We don’t see our Aunt and Uncle. I honestly, couldn’t tell you what my Uncle is up to since the last time I saw him was Bampa’s funeral. Things went south with my family after his death and we all had a falling out but we didn’t see our Uncle that much before that anyway. I fear that this might happen with my brother. His attitude as of late makes it seem like he’s so much better than us, the same way our Aunt and Uncle are. I’m afraid he’s not going to make an attempt to see us unless he has to. As it is now, he only calls my mother when he needs something.

    This means, it’s now just Andrew and I. Which is what I’ve wanted for a while but it still makes me sad to think about how old I’ve gotten, I’m on my own now, I’m losing the last bit of my childhood. It had to happen eventually but I didn’t think it would be scary.

    The ugly:

    I don’t go in my brother’s room. Despite growing up together, we are completely different people. My brother is all redneck, it’s all about hunting, fishing, guns, etc. I’m afraid of guns. He had quite a few, most of them inherited from my grandfather. I have irrational fears about guns. I don’t touch them or even like being in the same room as them. Loaded, safety on, etc, it will find someway to shoot me. So, I never went in there.

    I made sure he had removed them all with the stuff he was taking on the last day he was here. I needed to get in there and get it rearranged for the kids to sleep in there. As soon as I walked in, I honestly didn’t feel like I should be in there. His TV was gone but everything else was there, coats, boots, decorations, shell casings, air conditioner. It didn’t feel like he moved out. I had told him he didn’t have to worry about cleaning it because what I had seen of it, it wasn’t bad. I figured a quick sweep and I could move everything where I wanted.

    Oh how wrong I was. Once I did my initial sweep, I started moving things. Oh dear lord. There was garbage stacked behind his dresser, next to it, in his closet, behind his night stand, under his bed. Soda bottles, condom wrappers, papers, moldy dishes. I rearranged and swept everything into a pile and I walked out. It was late and I didn’t feel like dealing with that right then.

    I still have to go up there and finish it and I’m not looking forward to it. Once I do, though, I can get my organization underway and get the house in order.

  3. Aaron Carter LIVE in my Living Room

    Written by Randi on July 31st, 2014 at 7:14 PM // Category: General

    I am working on a new theme. I’m not totally in love with it, though, so there is still some time before that happens.

    Tonight, I’ll be watching Aaron Carter Live from Nashville while sitting in my own living room. :) Thanks to an awesome fan, both Breya and I have tickets to watch his virtual concert on StageIt. In addition to that awesome news, he announced a new single (that hasn’t hit iTunes yet) and a local concert in November. It’s been a while since he’s been in the area and I have been waiting. You may remember my first EVER blog post on this blog back in March ’12 being about my concert and Meet and Greet with him.

    I have to talk it over with my mother but I may be taking Breya to see him (and meet him if we can swing it). I’ve had her hooked on AC since she was in diapers and she’s been begging to go with me. I’m just worried about pushing/shoving in the crowd. I don’t want to have to punch someone in the face. It’s an all ages show and the crowd is 98% girls (the other 2% is the men who were dragged along by their girlfriends. I think she’d have a blast, though. Breya is turning 9 at the end of this month and I was only 10 when I saw him in concert for the first time. The difference, though, was that for my first, he was in a large venue with seats. 

    Since the last concert, I’ve been planning on making t-shirts specifically for it, and maybe a poster with a clever slogan. I’m excited and I know she would LOVE it if I took her with me. :)

  4. Bella & Loki

    Written by Randi on July 26th, 2014 at 2:48 AM // Category: General

    As you may know, we took 3/4 cats to the vet today. We didn’t get good news.

    Bella has the feline herpes virus, which explains her chronic upper respiratory infection since birth. Loki, although he appears extremely healthy, has tested positive for FIV.  It’s possible Bella has FIV, also, since it isn’t likely an FIV- cat gets herpes. Bella has never been tested. We’ll be doing that soon.

    I left the vet a sobbing mess but thanks to my savior and bigger cat lady than I am, Jenn, I am feeling so much more optimistic about both diagnoses. I hope she knows how much it meant to me to take time out of her day to talk me down and help me understand what it is we are up against.

    I was sent home with eye drops and an immune system booster for Bella. The vet tried to get me to agree to euthanasia for Loki. Based on my conversation with Jenn and the research my mother and I have done, I won’t be pursuing that option unless he needs it, which I hope is at least years down the road.

    Since there is a chance that Loki does not have FIV and tested positive simply because he still has his mother’s antibodies, were going to play it day by day, and have him retested at 6 months. In the meantime, precautions to prevent infecting the other cats are no different than the things I would do for a healthy cat.

    Although it isn’t good news, it’s not the worst news and I’m thankful for that.

  5. It Was A Good Day

    Written by Randi on July 24th, 2014 at 1:45 PM // Category: General

    Andrew brought home the air conditioner that he ordered last week. 12,000BTU on sale for $250. Thank you, Best Buy (and SlickDeals). I love it. In addition to the AC sent from the gods, Andrew brought me a wake up coffee and sandwich from Dunkin. I don’t know about you but that’s the 2nd best way to wake up (you know the first ;])

    It’s a big and awesome AC, too, so I opted for the side window behind our couch (rather than the one on our porch) to prevent the obvious in our neighborhood. Andrew moved the couch out while I did my morning routine and when I came down, it was lighter and animal toy land. And soooo much dog hair. I clean, I sweep, I vacuum but when you have cats it doesn’t matter. It’s like they aim for the places you can’t reach when they play. Anyway, around the lighters, and dog hair, and cat toys lay my favorite bra that I honestly forgot I had.

    It Was A Good Day!

    So, how can this day get better?! It can’t. Tomorrow is Friday. The Friday I get the kids. So, I’m going to be spending the rest of the day cleaning. Tomorrow is a busy day and I’d like to make it as easy as possible by wiping out the housework today.  Andrew took tomorrow off to make it less stressful. He has to get his car inspected, first thing tomorrow. Then, we are off to grocery shop, something that is long overdue. At 4:30pm, Loki, James, and Bella have a vet appointment. Loki needs his initial exam and shots, James somehow contracted ear mites (which still baffles me as no one else has them), and Bella has yet ANOTHER eye infection.

    I don’t know what it is with her. This has been off and on since we got her. Other than that, she’s completely healthy. The only thing I can think is she loves pets so much that she rubs the side of her face on EVERYTHING. Seriously, we watch her do it. I think she keeps scratching her eye. The vet doesn’t even ask to see her anymore and just keeps calling something in but I need to get to the bottom of this. Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s not.

    After the kitty appt, we have to go pick up Zack and Breya. My mom claims Breya has been better, so we’ll see. She was given a grounded that everyone followed through with. Usually, and my mom is the first to admit, that after a day or two, she forgets or goes soft no matter what we did. That wasn’t cutting it for Breya. Even at her father’s she was grounded which I don’t believe has ever happened. Maybe she’s learned to think before she speaks. I learned quickly with a few slaps to the mouth (probably why I knew enough to mutter insults when my mom left the room or when he back was turned and Breya screams them in my mom’s face). My mom doesn’t want to do that because, clearly, times have changed.

    In other news, my brother told me he was leaving at the end of the month. Does anyone else remember when he told me that back in (at the end of) May then didn’t move and got a fucking dog instead? Yeah, that wasn’t 30 days notice either. At least this time, he apologized for being so late. He’s never here anymore and I think I played a huge role in that by not watching Mya anymore. He had to find other arrangements and did with his girlfriend’s roommate. So, if he wanted to see either of them, he has to go there. He’s NEVER hear anymore. So, I saw it coming. He’s leaving his furniture which is great. I can’t wait to get in there and rearrange it the way I’ve told him to do since we moved in. There would be so much more space. It also means that we get an extra closet (his is bigger than ours), and the entrance to the attic.

    I don’t know what we plan on doing with his room yet. I may just leave it as a spare bedroom for my siblings or my brother in law with just a hint of storage space. That way, it’s still there for my brother, just in case.

    This was supposed to be a short blog post. I should probably blog more to keep this from happening.

  6. Making the Transition

    Written by Randi on July 18th, 2014 at 2:55 PM // Category: Relationships

    I love my siblings. It’s more than a normal Big Sister, Little Brother/Sister thing. I was a lot closer to Breya than I was Zack. I was 10 when Zack was born. I was 14, with Breya and from the moment she came into the world, I treated her like my kid. Regardless, I am close to both of them. My brother, doesn’t seem too interested in spending time with either of them. I don’t know what it is, exactly, but it makes me sad for them. If I’m being honest with myself, I am what my aunt *was* to us and my brother is what my uncle was. The only reason we ever saw our uncle was because he lived with our aunt. That makes me feel even worse because I couldn’t tell you what my uncle is up to now. I haven’t seen/talked to him in years. We (I mean the rest of my family excluding my brother) do not talk to my aunt anymore either but that’s because she chose her husband over her niece and nephew. That won’t happen with me. Regardless, that isn’t what this is about.

    Zack was my annoying little brother for years. He was loud, obnoxious, and energetic. Miraculously, he outgrew that and Zack and I have so much in common now. He’s laid back, funny, and mature for his age. I never thought I’d be able to say this (because he’s a boy and I didn’t think it could happen) but we can talk to each other. At least, I can. I hope he feels the same with me. He’s a joy to have around. 

    Breya was my adorable baby. There were many times where she preferred me over our mom. She was always following me around and I loved it. There were hugs and kisses a plenty. Somewhere along the road, she stopped being my adorable little sister and turned into a pain in the ass. Don’t get me wrong, I love her and I think that’s why it’s so hard for me to grasp. She has her moments still of wanting to cuddle with me, she comes and hugs me and tells me she loves me, but it seems like the next minute I’m being verbally assaulted or disrespected. And I think, maybe it’s my fault. I’ve treated her all these years like she was my kid. That’s not the case anymore because I don’t live with her. Maybe I forgot to transition from parent to sister. She didn’t seem to have that problem but she’s reminded daily whereas I only am when she’s here.

    I get her giving my mom this attitude and sass. I don’t condone it but it makes sense. I did the same thing (although I waited until my mom left the room to mutter insults under my breath and Breya just blurts it out). This just isn’t what I pictured. I always thought I would be the one Breya came to. My mom and I talked in great lengths about it. I have the permission to keep Breya’s secrets (as long as they didn’t warrant intervention) and help her where needed (advice, birth control when the time came, etc). If she views me as a parent, that’s not going to happen. She’s not going to come to me with anything if she fears being punished or scolded by me.

    The thing is, I don’t know how to fix it. When she comes over to my house, I have to parent. I’m in charge. When she’s here, it’s like I never left. I can’t let her get away with murder, either, because that makes it more difficult on my mom. I have to find a happy medium.

    Maybe it’s time, I sit them both down separately. I’ve been meaning to do it for a while now. I want them both to know that I’m here for them to talk to. Zack is getting up to that age and I want him to know that if he needs anything or has any questions, that he can come to me. If he can’t for whatever reason, he has Andrew or my brother (if he can ever get a hold of him) to talk to. Both of them know, my mom and I talk constantly and we tell each other everything. I want them both to know that if they need me to keep quiet about something, all they have to do is say so. Breya may need a bit extra to help her understand our relationship and how I’ve made some mistakes but I hope to rectify them and be there for her, not as a parent, but as her sister and her friend.

  7. Getting It Together

    Written by Randi on July 13th, 2014 at 3:49 AM // Category: Blogging

    Although I didn’t post it, I started a to do list entry on Friday of things I hoped to accomplish before the end of the weekend. Surprisingly, I completed well over 75% of it.

    I finally got Last.fm working on my PC 1. I was also able to grab new songs, even though they haven’t technically been added to my computer yet. Once I do that, I can fix/make more ringtones.

    Of course, one of the biggest things I *didn’t* complete was cleaning my house. I did most of it, I swear, but I also didn’t get too far into tearing it up to slowly put it back together again. I reallllly need to organize. I did do my desk, though! It looks much better and gives me that extra motivation needed to get things done. I’m slowly getting it together.

    Since I did so well, I want to do a little blog tidying which as always, includes a redesign. I don’t know what I’m aiming for just yet. It will, of course, be added to my portfolio site 2.

    Of course, the creative bug has hit me and I’m too pooped to actually get started on it. I hope the mood is still there tomorrow. It’s certainly time for a change.

    1. It didn’t require a clean up like I initially thought.
    2. Which still needs to be created..
  8. The Summer Destination For Good Times

    Written by Randi on July 11th, 2014 at 3:48 PM // Category: Sponsored

    This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Bahama Breeze for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

    Are you looking for something fun to do this summer? Do you need an adult night, away from the kids or are you looking for something new to try with the whole family? Why not visit a Bahama Breeze this summer and have a good time.

     photo ScreenShot2014-06-18at15323PM_zps53f4b66d.png

    Bahama Breeze is a restaurant with so many Caribbean-inspired foods, delicious tropical fruity drinks, and a wonderful island atmosphere. Bahama Breeze is the summer destination for good times. There is so much going on this summer at Bahama Breeze. They have a new event called Bahama Breeze Summer Beach Bash. So, grab your friends and take a trip to the destination of the the summer. You and your pals can escape all the stress of real life and party with good music and all the fruity drinks you can stand. 

    The Summer Beach Bash starts 6/23 and ends 8/3. You can listen and dance to live music that features the sounds of the Islands and try their brand new signature cocktail, the Bahama Breeze Ultimate Pineapple, a frozen drink served in fresh cut pineapple. On Saturdays during the event, they have a mojito bar where you can choose your favorite fruits and delicious rum, and watch the bartenders work their magic.

    They even have a contest going this year. Are you a selfie master? If you attend the Summer Beach Bash, you can display your selfie skills and enter the #MyBBSelfie Instagram contest for a chance to win Bahama Breeze gift cards and swag!

    Go with your friends or take the whole family and have a terrific night with an authentic island feel. Remember, the party is already started and only goes until August 8th. So hurry up before it’s too late! You don’t want to miss out on the event of the summer.

    Visit Sponsor's Site

  9. A Wasted Gift

    Written by Randi on July 10th, 2014 at 10:53 PM // Category: Friends

    I lost a really good friend today. Even though my stomach is in knots and my heart is broken, I know that this is way less painful than standing by and watching him inevitably kill himself.

    An addict will always be an addict but when you’re given a second chance with a gift that is hard to come by, you need to take that seriously. You’re essentially spitting in the face of the person and their family who has helped keep you alive. They are the reason you are here today. You should be grateful. I’m sorry that you’re not. 

  10. Goodbye, randidotjpeg.com

    Written by Randi on July 9th, 2014 at 3:16 PM // Category: Design

    It’s gone. It expired this morning. If you hadn’t noticed, I took the blog down because I was (eventually) going to start a portfolio site. I was losing interest in the name, though. 

    Well, lack of funds (this week anyway, since I kept putting it off) pushed my hand at getting a new domain. I already have one in mind but will start working in the meantime to make myself earn it.

    I have to get my design career off the ground. I’ve pushed it off long enough and really, we need the money. I have to work out the details, like contracts, fees, estimates, time frames, etc but once I do, I’m going to be looking for people interested in buying discounted design work to build my portfolio.

    I have a job lined up but if I spend my life waiting on them, I’ll never get anywhere. My best bet is to start finding my way in the meantime. That starts with getting a handle on HTML5, also.

    I am rebranding myself but also reinventing myself. Hello, new me.

OHAI, I'M RANDI!
I'm Randi, short for RandiLynn. I'm a 20-something design student, furmama, gamer and pokemon master in training from Northeast PA. I've been with my boyfriend, Andrew, for 6 years. I live, eat and sleep HTML & CSS. I spend my time creating pretty web stuff, blogging, gaming, or reading.



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