Third Float’s A Charm

It takes some time to fully adjust to a new routine. And for some reason I decided it was a good idea to switch my meds at the same time I switched my work hours.

Intentional it was not, but here we are. I’ve been feeling a little down in the dumps for the past few weeks, but I know it’s normal. I would probably feel that way just switching one thing. So I am cutting myself a break for feeling “blehk” with two major changes happening at the same time.

I’ve been dealing with depression and anxiety for years and years, so I am pretty good at staying at a “meh” level. Which sounds like a bummer and kind of is, but it’s way better than allowing my negative thoughts to over take me. So, meh it is.

Before a recent concert we did through work, I decided to book another float at Capitol Floats. I went in at noon, and check-in for the show was at 3:30, so I was cutting it close. Which of course heightened my anxiety. Sometimes I am a big ol’ dummy.

But the good news is, everything worked out. It was my third time floating and I did my normal “try to float in every possible position” for a good 10-15 minutes. Then I  decided to just count my breaths for as many as I could with the hope that I would just zone out.

My first time floating I kept the blue light on and the music. The second time I turned off the light, and that was a big improvement. However, I wore my watch which I would recommend never doing. You WILL check the time throughout the float and that takes away from the experience and makes it really hard to be in the moment.

So, I was ready to give it my all on this float. And let me tell you…something just clicked. I forgot my watch, I turned off the light AND the music, and counted. I counted over 100 breaths.

In fact, I thought my body way numb because I had no real grasp of where it was. Turns out, I was just so relaxed that I was basically one with the water. Which sounds whatever, but it’s true. Suddenly the lights and music turned on and I was like, “I DID IT!”

Apparently the third float is often the magic one, which makes sense. The first time you do it, you get the concept but putting it into practice is so awkward. The second time you know more of what you’re doing, but an hour in a float tank still seems a little absurd. But that third time…it was so therapeutic.

I got out feeling lighter and more relaxed. Even if it was just for a few hours, I didn’t have those nagging knots in my stomach. Of course, that made me a lot more productive and open at the concert. And it’s always nice to feel like you’re doing good work as an employee.

The time between float two and three was greater than I wanted it to be. I was aiming for three weeks but work and car problems got in the way. It was probably about a month in between, but even floating once a month is turning out to be super helpful

I also just made an appointment with a therapist, so I am interested/excited to see how the combination of both works out for me. Bouts to be addressing my mental health on all of the levels. Like a boss.

Capitol Floats is a local company that I have the pleasure of partnering with in exchange for my honest review(s). All thoughts & opinions are my own.

To The Boy Who Saved My Life

It has only been one day since we had to say goodbye to our sweetest Mudge. I am trying to stay as positive as possible, but I still have to constantly battle tidal waves of sadness. I can’t change what happened and I can’t bring him back, but I can tell his story and our story in hopes that at least one person will read it and take a chance on a shelter pup. That’s what we did, and our lives will forever be altered by the force that was a 40 pound pit bull mix with a big ol’ fat head.

The squeaky squirrel he picked out on his birthday…and then immediately tore apart.

I have to start from the very beginning. I have always wanted to volunteer at a shelter, but my schedule was often weird, and I didn’t think I had the time to dedicate. Zach (my boyfriend) knew someone who volunteered at the Burbank Animal Shelter and set up a time for me to go there and chat with her. Of course, while I was there, I had to look at the sweet pups waiting for their forever homes. And there he was – the quietest, saddest little bub named Badger.

A before and after of our handsome boy.

He was fat and dirty and easily overlooked in the shelter, in fact, he had been there for 6 months already. For some reason, I knew I had to have him, and I knew that if I could get Zach to come to the shelter and see him it would be a shoo-in. He came, he saw, I conquered. In fact, the first time we asked to see him the kennel attendant was actually shocked that someone was interested. We took him into the yard at least four times and each time he peed on everything and hid under the bench while he chewed on a ball. He did NOT care about us being there. But, I still just felt like I had to have him, if only for the notion of giving a senior dog (he was supposedly 9ish) a home for his last few years.

Then I went through a series of, oh god what am I thinking moments; Will he pee everywhere? Will he eat the furniture? Will he kill Timmy? Will Timmy kill him?

Continue reading “To The Boy Who Saved My Life”

My Experience Fostering A Dog (Or Two)

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I’ve adopted three dogs and each one has changed my life. The first helped mold me into the person I am. The second taught me not to judge a book by its cover and showed me that my capacity to love was way larger than I thought. And the third has really tested my patience and adaptability. I still love her though.

Having my own pups, and volunteering at shelters, has really made me want to bring in more animals. Of course, I don’t own my own house and two dogs that don’t like each other is a special kind of challenge. But being a dog foster has been on my bucket list for years. Which, I shared a few blogs back. You can see the whole list here.

Zach and I have actually taken in two dogs, both for short periods of time…and countless more strays that we’ve housed for a night or two. As a foster mom for a short period of time, I will say that it’s definitely a rewarding experience, but man, it can be hard.

Jonsey Bonsey

Our first real foster was a pit bull named Jones, who I like to call Jonesy Bonesy. He was about 60 pounds and a year old so he had ALL the energy. I’ve never had a big dog, so it was a little tougher than I had anticipated. But, we made it work.

He was such a cutie and so funny. I’d sit with him at night and get him to settle down. He’d just lie next to me and chew on his bone. After a week, Jones definitely thought he was mine—and I got a little attached. I mean, how could you not?

It wasn’t long until a family put in an application to adopt Bonesy. We corresponded via email so that I could get a sense of what they wanted from a pet and feel out if their lifestyle and home situation were compatible.

Then they came to my house to meet him and hung out for about an hour. I could tell they were serious and had really done research before picking a dog. They didn’t want just any dog; they wanted Jones.

That is one thing that worries me about the next time we foster, way down the road (probably when Timmy passes). That I won’t pick up on something and help place a dog in a bad environment. Thankfully that wasn’t the case with Jonesy.

He had a playdate with the family’s other pibble and they got along swimmingly. I follow them on Instagram and get to see videos of them playing and being the best of buds.

But man, it was hard letting that guy go. And I didn’t even have him for that long, nor was he the perfect fit for me. But he relied on me to take care of him for a while and we bonded.

I can definitely see why people fail at fostering. That’s another one of my life goals though—to be a foster failure. AKA adopt the dog I am supposed to be temporarily taking care of.

A Girl Named Doodle

The other foster dog we had was an 8-pound terrier mix we named Doodle. I found her in a parking lot and somehow got her in my car. It was probably because she was very tired and I had cheese.

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👋🏻 I’m Doodle Bug, at least for right now. I found this girl in a parking lot near work. She was covered in fleas and had no collar or chip. I’ve turned her paperwork into the shelter, but I’m hoping to keep her until she’s adopted. … Unfortunately little Doodle has worms, but hopefully that’s all she’s battling. She’s 10 pounds and probably on the younger age. She loves to zoom around and get belly rubs and lovin’. … If you’re interested in taking her in, I’ll totally dog sit whenever you need. Just DM me and I’ll keep everyone updated during the process. Check out my story to see her in action. . . . #theadventuresofdoodlebug #adoptdontshop #sactowndogs #dogsofinstagram #916 #sacramento #dogstagram

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This girl was covered in fleas, had worms, a huge burr on her butthole and was dirty AF. Of course she wasn’t chipped and had no collar on. So we brought her in, cleaned her up, and let her nap her face off the first night.

Neither Zach or I are small dog people, but Doodle was cool. She was super weird, which we love, and small dogs can get away with having a shit ton of energy because you can just pick them up and move them.

I posted photos and videos of the Doods on social media and had a lot of people interested in adopting her. I took her to Bradshaw Animal Shelter to get vaccinated and ultimately spayed so that she could be adopted through the facility. But since we had the space for a small dog, we were able to host her so she didn’t have to be in the shelter.

But, she didn’t last long. As soon as she was able to be adopted, Tom from the morning show swooped her up. I am still waiting for him to bring her in so that we can chill. I just hope she remembers me.

All in all, fostering an animal is hard work. It can be frustrating, it can be time consuming, and you might not bond with the animal. But it is SO worth it. If you have the space, I recommend doing it at least once.

And We All Float On…In A Float Tank To Help With Anxiety

We are two months into 2018, and I’ve been trying to take some steps to manage my sometimes crippling anxiety. And when I say steps, I’m talking small, manageable things that aren’t going to feel overwhelming.

The first thing I did was purchase a small diffuser to use at night. When I go to bed, I use a few drops of a lavender essential oil which is pretty soothing. Not just the scent, but the sound of the diffuser as well.

Also, I bought a lovely little notebook and I’ve been writing one positive thing that happens to me each day. Which can be a little tough, but so far I’ve been able to do it. It helps that I can always use Timmy’s cuteness and snuggling ability as an entry.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked for recommendations on handling anxiety and someone recommended trying out Capitol Floats. Which was cool, because I’d actually tried them out back in December.

Image from Capitol Floats

If you’ve never been floating, it’s essentially a tank of water loaded with enough salt to make you bouyant. Like the name suggests, you just float on top of the water in the small-ish chamber.

The first time I visited the facility, I could definitely tell that floating would be helpful. This zen feeling just hits you as soon as you walk through the doors. I felt it was something that would take practice though. It’s like meditation—it has immense benefits but you can’t expect to just be good at it. Clearing your mind and relaxing is hard. Doing it for an hour is a big challenge, at least for me.

But, I am at a point that I am willing to take it on. Capitol Floats hooked me up with the three float package, which is generally what they recommend starting with. My plan is to go once every two weeks and reassess at that point. But I wanted to share my journey because I know I am not the only one out there struggling with anxiety.

The Floating Process

So when you book your float, you’ll pick a room. Each room has a shower and a float tank.

Room 4

You get undressed (we are talking full nakedness here), pop in your earplugs (provided to you), then shower to get off oils and whatever else you’re carrying around from the day. When that’s done, it’s time to enter the tank and hang out for 60 minutes.

The tank itself is heated, and you can listen to some soothing music and keep the  blue light on if you so choose. Let me just say though, I kept the light on my first float and turned it for the second one.

Image from Capitol Floats

For me, floating in total darkness made a huge difference. You just kind of melt into the water and become one with the space.

Now, an hour is a long time. On my second float, I did really well in 20 minute increments. I forgot to take of my Vivofit so I was checking the time occasionally which was a hindrance. My goal is to make it the whole hour without checking, but that will come with time and experience.

I don’t remember exactly how I felt after my first float, but I was so relaxed after the second one. They also have a really cool post-float space with water, kombucha and materials to harness those creative juices that are at their peak.

Note that you are going to be super salty, literally, after you float. So, maybe don’t go right before an event. Give yourself some time to decompress.

Image from Capitol Floats

Each float is different, but I am excited to see how I do on the third one. You’re encouraged to go in without any expectations, which is helpful. Focus on your breathing to begin with, then just let the float happen.

I will be going back in in about a week and a half, and I will definitely follow up with how the next float goes. Hopefully I remember to take off my Garmin so I can’t check the time.

I’ve been working on this whole anxiety/depression thing since middle school, so I definitely know that finding ways to manage that work for me is a journey. I think I am on the right path though.

Capitol Floats is a local company that I have the pleasure of partnering with in exchange for my honest review(s). All thoughts & opinions are my own.

My Top Five Restaurants In Sacramento [With Photos!]

Hi. My name is Jenna and I love food. A lot. It makes me super happy.

I’ve only been in Sacramento for a little over two years, and every time I start to make a dent in my list of places to eat, I have to add like three more. I’ve done pretty well though, so I think it’s time to share my faves. Then hopefully you’ll tell me what I need to add.

First let’s go for some of the places that didn’t make it but that I enjoy.

Cafeteria 15L because the place is huge and the patio is awesome. Also, bottomless mimosas are always a yes in my book.

As far as burgers are concerned, I know In-N-Out isn’t strictly Sacramento, but it’s here and it’s good. Not the fries, just the burger. I also loves me a good cheese skirt from Squeeze Burger.

And I’m currently obsessed with the Tai Pho at Pho Saigon Bay, the donut ice cream cones at Sweet Dozen, and the ridiculously amazing hot chocolate at Ginger Elizabeth’s. Oh, and Chando’s Tacos has never steered me wrong.

5. Mikuni Sushi

It took me a while to actually make it into Mikuni. There is a lot of hype surrounding this place. Plus, I am not the biggest sushi fan. But I have to say, I was impressed. The first time we went for happy hour and it was a pretty good menu—selection and price wise. The standout for me was the Mikey Handroll.

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The happy hour at @mikunisushi is 🔥

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I could eat 12 of them. Plus the staff and the atmosphere are  pretty darn great.

4. Cabana Winery

We stumbled upon this tiny place when we used to live in East Sacramento and were pleasantly surprised. The food can sometimes take a while and there are only about six tables inside, along with a bar, but the chicken apple pizza makes up for it.

We’re talking chicken apple sausage, apple slices, arugula, onion, a lemon honey glaze and gouda. These are a few of my favorite things. Sadly, they have moved their tasting room to Lodi so I might have to do a little road trip soon.

3. Frank Fat’s

I am so glad I picked this as one of my Dine Downtown places this year. All of the food was good, but the Walnut Prawns was literally the best shrimp dish I have ever had at a restaurant. Or anywhere for that matter. Three of us went and I ate 80 percent of the prawns. Sorry dudes.

2. Selland’s

Or really anything in this company: OBO, Ella and probably The Kitchen but I am poor so I haven’t been to the last one. I have never had something I didn’t like at one of their locations and I love the whole “see your food before you eat it” thing.

Plus, there are a lot options and you get points. One day I’ll earn that free pizza.

1. South 

We take everyone that comes to visit us here to eat. It is my favorite place and home to the best fried chicken and biscuit I have ever had. Even the kale is straight up delicious. It’s a place where I order the same thing every time—Petey’s Chicken with a side of mac and cheese—but try samples from whoever comes with me.

Go there. Get the fried chicken. Bring me some.

Now with all that said, I still have some places on my list to try: Empress Tavern, Fox & Goose, The Federalist, Burgers and Brew, One Speed, Tower Cafe, Canon and Aioli Bodega to name way more than a few.

But what wasn’t mentioned here that you think I NEED to give a try?

Things To Do Before I Die: My Bucket List Version 2.018

Last week I posted about my old bucket list from 2012. Without ever looking back on it, I managed to check off all but one thing over the past five years. I am pret-ty impressed by that. But now, I need to update this sucker.

Learn to Sew

This is the one thing I didn’t quite manage to accomplish. I did take a three session class and acquire a sewing machine. But I was a little strapped for cash and time last year. I will probably always feel that way, but I refuse to just leave the machine in the box. I want to be a hemming champion so this stays on the list.

Leave The Country

Traveling is always going to be on the list. But, hopefully this year I can actually get to Canada. It just seems ridiculous that it’s so close and I still don’t have that stamp in my passport. I’d also like to get back to Europe. I need to explore Ireland, Scotland, England, Greece and Spain.

Become A Chopped Champion

I am not seeking validation for my cooking skills. I don’t want to be on the show, I literally want to learn to chop…and julienne and all the other fancy knife skills chefs have. I don’t know why, but I think it would be so cool to show up to parties and prepare fresh veggies. I’d be the lady that for some reason knows how to chop stuff really well.

Knit A Solid Scarf

I started a mustard-colored scarf during a Sip and Knit class and I still haven’t finished it. Not because I can’t or don’t want to. Just because it’s so awful that I don’t know what I am going to do with it. Probably force Zach to wear it. But, I want to learn how to knit like a more-skilled beginner and be able to fix my mistakes. Then I can knit scarves for shelter dogs. Is that a thing? It will be.

Adopt A Bonded Pair Of Dogs

This one is for later down the road. When Tim dies at a really old age, I would like to start fostering older dogs or adopt one that Little gets along with. Then, when they both leave this world at like 22, I want to adopt a bonded pair. They are generally harder to adopt out and tend to be in the shelter longer than single dogs. I also clearly want to keep fostering pups throughout life. My other goal is to be a foster failure, which I assume will be really easy.

Go Skiing

This one should be really simple, considering I live two hours from Tahoe. I had a really bad experience when I was a kid skiing and have not tried it since. It’s been like 25 years, so I should probably get the sport another go.

Start A Web/Graphic Design Certificate Program

I love Photoshop and design in general, but I have never learned how to actually use the software. I’ve just made do and played around. I know that web and graphic design are key elements to any communication job, so it’s a skill set I need. It’s also one that I enjoy and one that ties together everything else I do (writing, blogging, social media, on air etc.)

Buy A House With A Pool

This is like the ultimate adult thing in my head. I am not ready for it yet. I don’t fully know where I want to live for a long period of time. I’ve been out of Indiana for over five-year now, but I’ve been in three different cities since then. One day though, imma have the best pool parties. (They’ll just be me with a drink in my hand on a float and my dogs nearby.) Also, I am poor.

Have A She-Shed

Which as Alex Dunphy points out, should just be a shed. I try to decorate with Zach in mind for most projects. But I would love to one day have a small, get-away space that’s just for me where I can go balls to the wall on florals and rustic decor.

Order One Of Everything At A Restaurant

When I feel like I can do this and not regret it financially, that’s how I’ll know that I’ve made it. Zach thought about taking me to McDonald’s and doing this when he proposed. He didn’t. He should’ve. One day.

See The Juliana Theory Live

I didn’t go see them in Michigan in high school. Then they broke up in college. THEN they had a reunion tour. I bought tickets, and then they decided to reunite and work on a new album and canceled the reunion tour. I mean, it’s cool new music I guess. But I don’t want to see new music on tour. I want to see the songs I already know and love and never got to see in person.

Be A Judge At A Food Competition

I’m looking at you Sac Burger Battle and Sacramento Donut Fest.

Take A Cross-Country Road Trip In An RV

I don’t know why I want to do this. I feel like I will actually hate it since I get carsick and that’s a lot of time in a vehicle, but it just seems like something everyone needs to do.

Go To A Calligraphy Course

Putting a good ink pen on paper will never get old to me. I don’t know about you, but I am SUPER particular about my pens. I loves me a good Sharpie Ink pen or a ball-point pen. I’d love to be able to create pretty cards and quotes just for fun.

Stay In A Unique AirBNB

It could be a yurt, treehouse, tiny house or even an airstream. If it has string lights, that would be even better.

What To Know Before Diving Into Mermaid Hair

Diving into mermaid hair. Get it? Anyways, for about one glorious month in the spring of 2017 I had super pretty rainbow hair. Or unicorn hair, depending on your preference.

I stumbled upon a stylist about an hour outside of Sacramento who had a really lovely profile. She was looking for hair models and I always wanted to go pastel so I figure, why not? I work in radio, I’m young-ish, I really enjoyed her work—it’s now or never! So I set up the appointment.

It Takes A Pretty Long Time

Obviously it depends what color(s) you are putting in your hair. And what color your hair is at the time of mermadizing it. I had “virgin hair” i.e. not colored and it took about six hours to go from medium brunette to colorful mermaid hair. But, there was also another gal there getting a mermaid makeover as well so I am sure that kind of slowed the process down.

Bleach Is Required

Unless you  have light blonde hair, you’re probably going to have to get your whole head bleached. And we all know that bleach isn’t good for your hair. Like I said before, I decided it was now or never so I was willing to take on some damage. I can’t remember how long the bleach was on, but I want to say about a half hour plus the time it took to put it all on and wash it out.

Some Colors Fade Fast

My transformation included a lot of different colors. We’re talking pink, purple, green and a ton of different blues.

Day one mermaid hair.

I’d say the pink was pretty much gone after the first wash and definitely disappeared by the second.

The pink is pretty much gone four days later.

The dark purple and blue made it the longest, and I was able to help them along with a few products.

Right before going back to brown.

Color Conditioners Are Your Friend

If you’re going to get on the mermaid hair train, you’re going to want to pick up something like Overtone. This can be a lifesaver when your hair starts to fade. After you wash your hair, you put the conditioner on the parts of your hair you want that color then leave it there for 15 minutes.

I found that the darker the color, the better the result. Extreme Teal and Extreme Silver were my faves. I also tried Manic Panic which worked, but took more time and wasn’t the shade I really wanted.

Upkeep Is A Pain

Sure, putting conditioner on is easy enough, but I didn’t always have the 15 minutes to wait. And that’s not counting how long it takes to get it on your head. Sometimes I’d put two different colors on at the same time or only want to do certain strands.

Plus, if you get the product on a surface, it’ll turn it that color so you have to get it off of the sink or tub (or wall if you’re a hot mess like me) fairly quick. And it’s not super cheap—$17 a bottle adds up. You’ll also want to get a sulfate-free shampoo so it doesn’t strip the color.

It Is Pricey

I was lucky enough to be a hair model for my stylist, so I paid a nominal fee for the actual hair color and tipped on top of that. But, if you know how much a regular color job is or a balayage, you have an idea of what to expect with mermaid hair. Then there’s the hair care products, maintenance and the cost to get back to a more natural shade. With all that said, it’s definitely an investment.

Getting Back To Natural Can Be Hard

Naive—that’s what I was when it came to this one. I expected one trip to the salon and one color correction to get the job done. I just had my third visit to get closer to my natural color. I can’t say for sure that this is going to be the case with everyone. I had a lot of different colors in my hair and it didn’t hold the brown well the first two times.

Hopefully the third time’s a charm! Thanks to Heather Grabin at Evergreen Salon & Spa for making my head pretty.

It’s Fun!

When it comes down to it, I don’t regret my month + of mermaid hair. It was fun and I got a lot of  compliments. Plus I think it actually suited my face, skin tone and personality. My stylist was cool, so it didn’t actually feel like six hours when I got it done. Using conditioners was annoying but I’d do it every four days when I washed my hair so it wasn’t that bad for short-term.

The Bottom Line

It was just personally too much work. Everything combined was more upkeep and time than I was willing to commit to and more money than I anticipated or wanted to spend.

But if you read all this and still want to take the plunge, I say go for it! Even if the color doesn’t last forever, the pictures and memories of your mermaid hair will.