Sunday, June 28, 2015

DIY Fairy Garden

As you may have seen in my last post (Weekend Recap: Father's Day Photos), my mom and I made our very own fairy garden for my dad that doubles as a hummingbird feeder. Because he loves hummingbirds so much, we decided we would make the coolest feeder possible for them! (And, I think my mom just really wanted to make a fairy garden.)

In order to make this little fairy garden, my mom and I got most everything from Michaels, and what we didn't get there, we already had at home. The piece of wood was found on our property, and we thought it would be perfect for this little project!

The whole process was a bit messy, but it turned out well! We just started out by placing the little jars we fill up with the hummingbird food (sugar and water), and then we started putting on all of the little additional details.

 Here is the whole thing completed! I love how it looks as a whole, and when you look at each individual detail! There are so many little adorable details all over it, so it's cool to look at it closely!

 We put little lights on it as well so it lights up at night. We of course bring it in at night since we don't want the outdoors to damage the lights!

My mom and I were so pleased with how it turned out! My dad ended up loving it, although the hummingbirds are still a little unsure about it. We put little tiny straws into the jars that are surrounded by flowers, so we're just waiting for them to get a little bit more used to it. I'm sure with time they'll be more willing to check it out! For now, it's just really adorable to look at and use as a sweet little decoration.
This project would be so perfect for little kids as well! I'm sure they would have an absolute blast making this, and then playing with it once it's finished. I remember I had this little fairy book when I was a little girl, and I absolutely adored it. There's just something so fun about fairies for little kids! And even as adults, we're all still enjoying this little project!

Have you ever made a fairy garden before?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ten Things To Do This Summer!

Summer has officially started, and I can't explain how excited I am! I'm so ready for sunshine, heat, and fun with friends! It's been super nice just relaxing and not worrying about school, but I'm getting kind of tired of doing absolutely nothing. Since I want to have more fun (and I'm sure you do too!), I thought of ten things you could do this summer!

1. Go to the beach
This is so much fun to do with friends, and you even get to take a mini road trip (depending on how far away you are from the beach). This is one of my favorite things to do in the summer because I absolutely love the sea and the beach. Plus, the beach is usually a little bit cooler, so if it's a really hot day just go to the beach and cool off!

2. Go to the river
If you don't live by a beach, chances are there's a river near by! This is great in the summer because you can just float in the river on an inner tube, or just swim around and cool off! Again, going to the river is great on a hot day because you can just jump in the water and you're instantly cool.

3. Go take a hike
Hiking is something that is so fun and also great for you! The views are always so breathtaking, and once you reach the top, the whole hike is so worth it! It may be hard at times but just keep trying to imagine the ending. I also really love hiking to a water source, like a waterfall or watering hole so you can jump in the water after the hike up! 

4. Go on a picnic
Picnics are so much fun because you can go to a cute little park with a blanket, basket, and friends, and eat some really fresh food! My favorite foods for picnics are salads, potato salads, melons, berries, sandwiches, fruits, and vegetables! Even taking some snacks to eat at a park is really fun, because you get to enjoy nature and good company.

5. Watch the sunrise or sunset
This is another personal favorite of mine, because the time right before the sunrise, and right after the sunset are my favorites! It just seems like the world takes a little pause, and everything's waiting for the sun. I also really love sunrise hikes! They are so rewarding because you hike up to the top of a mountain, or wherever you go, and get to watch the sunrise! It's also really fun to pack a light breakfast and eat it while you watch the sun.

6. Go to the movies to cool off
When it's super hot, sometimes it's just nice to go to the movies and cool off while you watch a good movie. I really enjoy going to the movie theaters, and it's always even better when you go when it's really warm because you get to be nice and cool! Some towns also have fun movies in the park, or drive in movies, so you should definitely check those out!

7. Go out for ice cream
Ice cream is probably my favorite dessert, especially during the summer heat! It's so much fun to go out to a cute little ice cream shop with friends on a hot day to enjoy some nice cold treats. Quirky little shops are even more fun to go to, so make sure to look those up in your area!

8. Go to an amusement park
Even if you don't live near places like Disneyland, there's probably a smaller amusement park near you, or a little summer fair going on! These are so much fun in the summer because there are cute little carnival rides and booths. State fairs (if you're in the United States) are also so much fun to go to at the end of summer, and there are countless carnivals that go on during the beginning and middle of summer!

9. Go to a pool
Something that's really fun during the summer is laying out by a pool, and swimming in one to cool off! Simply hanging out with friends in a pool is so much fun, and even indoor aquatic parks are a lot of fun! This is a great thing to do, again, when it's warm so you can just cool off and have a good time!

10. Go on a road trip
Road trips are so much fun during the summer, especially when you're going to a cool destination! It doesn't have to be to somewhere super grand like Disneyworld - just a simple trip with friends is really fun! There's just something so exciting about packing lots of road trip snacks, making fun throwback playlists to listen to, and enjoying time with friends in a car.

Alright, well those are ten ideas I had in order to have fun this summer! I want this summer to be the best one yet, which is a goal I seem to have every summer. If you try to make all of your summers the best, though, you end up with a slew of summer adventures that you can fondly look back on.

I also made a video about this on my YouTube channel, and I'm really proud of how it turned out! :)

Do you have any fun plans for this summer?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Weekend Recap: Father's Day Photos

I'm sure you are well aware that Father's Day was yesterday, and if your friends are anything like mine, all of your timelines were flooded with adorable "Dad and Me" pictures and posts! It was really cool looking through them and seeing all of the love! I spent the day with my parents at home, just lounging around the house for most of the day. It was relaxing, and exactly what my dad wanted. I, of course, was taking snapshots throughout the day, so I thought I'd do a roundup post of yesterday, as well as some pictures from the whole weekend.

Mmmm the cinnamon filling for the pancakes.

Look at those beauties cookin'.

Cinnamon roll pancakes! I made these for my family, and they were pretty darn good!

Look at that little smile!

And of course TJ was taking his morning nap right underneath me while I was cooking.

Sweet little moment between my dad and Miki.

Aaaaand then Willow sees Miki is getting brushed... she of course gets right in the middle of it!

My mom and I made this little fairy garden for my dad that doubles as a hummingbird feeder, since he loves birds!

The card I made for my dad.

It even lights up! I'll be doing a whole post on this in the coming week so be on the look out for that! :)

Perry apparently did not want to be photographed...

I had to show you guys the close-up.

Angel never looks amused when I pull the camera out, but I promise she's a sweetheart!

So there were some little snapshots from my weekend! I love relaxed weekends at home because you get the chance to just be lazy and spend time with your family (and puppies and kitties)! My family had a wonderful Father's Day, and I cooked for my parents the whole day so they could also relax and do nothing! It's nice to be able to do that since I'm home from college for the summer.

How was your Father's Day weekend?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)

Friday, June 19, 2015

Gluten Free Breakfast Ideas!

When I found out I had to stick to a gluten free diet - you can read more about it on my post How To Eat Gluten Free - I knew breakfast would be a little difficult to figure out. I usually ate some kind of cereal that had wheat in it, so at first it was kind of hard adjusting. But, after reading from sources online and just simply going to the grocery store to check out my options, I've come up with some really solid go-to recipes for breakfast!

1. Gluten Free Waffles From Vans.

I've always loved waffles, so when I found the Vans Gluten Free Waffles, I was super excited because not only are they healthy, but they taste great too (I promise this post isn't sponsored by Vans, I just really am addicted to their waffles). They have a couple of different flavors which pleasantly surprised me, because usually gluten free foods come in one flavor - and I have seen before where the box lists the flavor as "gluten free." So the fact that this brand offers many different flavors made me super happy. I like to stick to the all-natural one (just your run-of-the-mill waffle), but I've had the blueberry flavor as well and it's really yummy! I just put peanut butter on them, and depending on how I'm feeling that day, I either put chocolate chips or banana slices on top!

2. Gluten Free Toast and an Egg

Can we just appreciate how good this egg looked before I tried to flip it?

Since I was a kid, toast and an egg has been one of my favorite breakfast foods. It really fills you up (especially this 7-grain kind!), and gives you a lot of energy for the rest of the day. I have also been obsessed with Cajun seasoning lately - I have been putting it on everything guys - and I put some on my egg and it tasted amazing! You seriously need to try it. I just put grape jelly on my toast with no butter or anything since I'm not the biggest fan of butter, and it tastes great! This is also a really fast breakfast for days that you don't really have time. And nowadays, gluten free bread doesn't taste any different than regular, so you can have your toast and eat it too!

3. Omelette With (optional) Salsa

You know this is full of Cajun seasoning.

Another obsession of mine: salsa.
Omelette's are such a great breakfast food! Not only do they taste great, but they are great for you! I fill mine with sautéed vegetables, Cajun seasoning, and a little bit of cheese, and top it all off with a generous amount of homemade salsa! My taste buds are probably numb from all the spices I put them through, but ohmygosh does it taste amazing. Seriously, add in some bell peppers too and this is heaven!

Well, there you have it! Three different ideas for gluten-free breakfasts! There are definitely more that I love (gluten-free pancakes, oatmeal, Puffins cereal...) so if you want some more ideas, just let me know! I seriously always wake up hungry so it's super important for me to always have solid breakfast ideas I can regularly fall back on. And since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I like to keep them healthy so I can get my body ready for whatever!

What is your favorite breakfast food?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :) 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

New Blog Name...Kinda!

As you might have already noticed, I changed my blog name (kinda)! Stnkrbug has always been a part of my "brand" but my overall blog has been named "It's a Bug's Life." When I first made my blog, I didn't think just "Stnkrbug" could stand on it's own, so I felt the need to think of a longer name. However, I got my very own domain yesterday, so the move to "Stnkrbug" felt right. My tagline is now "It's a Bug's Life" and I am so happy with my decision! I have been called Stnkrbug my whole life, so it's only natural to have my own place on the internet called that as well. My YouTube channel is also called Stnkrbug, so I love how everything matches now. My whole blog is still the same - I won't be changing what I blog about. The only thing that has changed is the name of my blog! I say only, but I feel like a name change is pretty big!
I've been feeling so inspired lately - probably because I'm home for the summer and don't have to worry about school - so this change has come at the perfect time. I think it's really going to propel me forward with my blog! I'm so ready to commit myself even more to my blog, and I can't wait to see where this summer takes me. I have VidCon in about a month (okay 35 days, but it's not like I'm counting or anything...) which is going to be so much fun and a great opportunity to meet other online creators! I really want this to be a summer filled with creativity and inspiration with everything I do: blogging, YouTube, and also writing! Writing is one of my biggest passions, as I'm sure I've mentioned before, and I have decided to start writing a book! I don't really know where it's going to take me, or if it's even going to be a success, but it makes me excited and happy so I'm doing it! I'll update you guys throughout the process, so hopefully it's a fruitful one.
Well I just wanted to quickly update you guys and let you know about the name change! I hope you all like it, because I'm in love! :)

What are you excited for this summer?

Have a wonderful day! :)

Also, I leave you with this picture my mom took of me the other day and swore up and down it was cute. Mom's will be mom's! (I'm still super glad to be home hehe)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dear Freshman Year

Dear Freshman Year,

I learned a lot from you this past year, and not all of that knowledge was from the classroom (or lecture hall, for most of my classes). Thank you for teaching me how to be an adult, and that I can be completely self-reliant but still lean on my parents when I need to. Thank you for making me realize that family isn't always flesh and blood, and can be found in those people you awkwardly meet at your very first floor meeting. Thank you for showing me just how great my parents are, and that it's okay to call them while crying when finals get to be a little too much. Thank you for allowing me to be truly young and carefree - if only for a night - with some of the best friends I've ever made. Thank you for teaching me how to live with someone I don't exactly get along with, and how to make the best of a bad situation. Thank you for forcing me to break out of my shell in order to meet people that I'll probably be friends with for the rest of my life.

Freshman Year, you were a difficult, crazy, exciting, adventurous, brand new year for me, and I'll be eternally grateful to you. As I sit here in my kitchen at home and recall all that happened this year, it truly seems like a whirlwind. When I look back to last September, I remember a girl who was absolutely terrified to leave home. Now I see the girl I am today who has so much more experience in the real world. While it's nice to be home now and have a break, you were truly a blast Freshman Year. I made some amazing friends, and learned that I really can rely on myself, even if I don't always have to. I've had to make real-world decisions because of you, and I'm so glad that I was able to learn how to do so. A year ago, even the thought of those huge decisions would have me shaking in my boots (or Birkenstocks, as I always wear).

Freshman Year, you were probably one of the most difficult years school-wise. I was definitely pushed to my limits by you, but I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Getting eight hours of sleep this year was nearly always impossible, but I also wouldn't have made a lot of the memories that I did, had I went to sleep at a healthy time. My grades would've suffered as well, and I had to pull many all-nighters in order to do well in my classes. I'm glad I learned that all-nighters are a lot better when they're spent with coffee and friends. Speaking of friends, I learned from you, Freshman Year, that it's okay to lean on them and let them help you with tough situations. It taught me that my friends really don't mind listening to me list my problems, and then helping me find solutions to them. I wouldn't have made it through this year without the friends I made, and also my best friends from home.

Without you, Freshman Year, I would not be the person I am today. While I've always been mature for my age, this past year has taught me more about the world than I ever could have imagined. I thought I already knew a lot about being an adult, but I really didn't. I know I have a lot more to learn from the next three years in college, but you, Freshman Year, have taught me a lot. It's crazy to think four years ago I was finishing my freshman year of high school; it really seems like worlds away. And in just three years I'll be finishing college. I promise I'll try and make every year count, but you'll always hold a dear place in my heart.

I'll never forget my memories from you, Freshman Year, and I know I'll be telling some of these stories to my children one day. Hopefully all of the friends I made during this past year will be there when I do so, and we can look back on you with all of the fondness in the world. I'm excited for the next three years, but I promise I'll never forget you. You are just the beginning to a brand new chapter in my life, and I'm so excited to continue my journey.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Dealing With Endometriosis

So, what is endometriosis anyway?
Endometriosis is a condition that a lot of people don't know about, but is becoming more and more prevalent among women today. It's a disorder that is oftentimes very painful, where the tissue that usually lines the inside of the uterus grows outside of it, usually around the ovaries, bowel, or the tissue lining the pelvis. The extra tissue outside of the uterus causes cysts to occur because the tissue has no way to exit. These cysts are very painful and sometimes have to be removed with surgery if they don't go away on their own. Endometriosis can also cause scar tissue around the uterus, which can lead to fertility problems later in life.

My Story
(Side note, this story contains a lot about periods so if that isn't your cup of tea, you have been warned)
I have always had really bad cramps while on my period. Even from my very first one, my periods have always lasted a solid week - sometimes even 8 days. My mom was the same way, though, so we really didn't think anything of it. Fast forward a couple of years, and I was working as a camp counselor over the summer when I started to have really bad pains in my lower stomach. They persisted through the night, and finally in the morning my parents took me to the ER. The doctors first thought I had appendicitis since they found fluid in my stomach around where my appendix was. A surgeon came to my room and told me not to eat or drink anything because they would be performing an appendectomy on me later that day. Naturally, I was terrified because all of a sudden I would be getting surgery when I thought I just had a bad stomach bug.
One of the OBGYN's (women's doctor basically) in the hospital saw the results from the CT scan and thought that instead of having appendicitis, I must have had a large cyst that had just burst, resulting in the fluid around my appendix. They told us to go home and wait for a day, and if the pain subsided a bit, then the most likely cause of the pain was the cyst. We did just that, and my pain did lessen. After all of this, I had to go to an OBGYN in order to determine the cause of the cyst, which meant multiple doctor's visits and ultrasounds. Seriously, I think I've had more ultrasounds than a pregnant lady. So, once they were pretty sure the cause was endometriosis (all of the symptoms were there, long and painful periods, the whole cyst fiasco, pain in my lower stomach random times throughout the month, etc.), my doctor decided to do a laparoscopy to know for sure I had endometriosis, and to get out any scar tissue or remaining cysts.
This time, surgery wasn't so scary (although I did almost pass out while talking about it - I don't do so well when talking about myself getting surgery, but with other people I'm fine...weird I know) since I had time to prepare, but I was still nervous to see what the doctors would find. About a week and two small incisions later, my doctor told me I did in fact have endometriosis, and that there were a couple of ways we could keep it under control since there's no cure. She decided to put me on a really low dose birth control to keep a handle on the hormones that cause the extra tissue to grow, and if that didn't work, I would have to get a shot every three months that put my body in a controlled menopause state. My family and I opted for the birth control since there were a lot less risks, and it worked really well for a couple of years. Recently, I have been developing cysts again more frequently, so my doctor decided to change up my prescription, which has helped a lot.

How I Deal With Endometriosis
Now that my endometriosis is mostly under control, the pain has lessened immensely. Before we knew that I had it, the pain was sometimes unbearable which caused me to occasionally stay home from school and lie down for most of the day. I had no idea that other girls didn't get such bad cramps, or feel pain in their lower stomach throughout the month. I'm actually really allergic to ibuprofen so I can only take pain medication with Tylenol in it, so I typically just lie down and let the pain subside. Using a heating pad can really help sometimes, too! Since the hormones that cause the tissue to grow uncontrollably are under control, I have a lot less pain, and a lot fewer cysts.

Why I Decided To Post About Endometriosis
When I first heard the term "endometriosis" I had absolutely no idea what my doctor was talking about. We of course came home from the doctors office and researched it as much as possible, and found some great resources. It turns out it is a hereditary disorder, and affects the women in my own family on my dad's side, and a couple on my mom's side as well. Endometriosis is something that needs to be talked about a lot more because it's affecting more and more women. It's something that can easily be controlled once known about, but also something that can get out of control if let alone. There are some great resources, like the Endometriosis Foundation of America, that have information about endometriosis and just general support. I learned a lot from their website when I found out I had endometriosis, and it made the whole situation feel a lot more manageable!
I wanted to post about endometriosis, though, so there's a little bit more awareness about it. I really think more people should know about it, because it's something more and more women are suffering from, but they don't even know it. Early detection can literally be life-saving, because some women become infertile if left untreated. This has happened in my own family, and it's so sad when it happens, especially to women who really want children.

-Pain in the lower stomach and back, especially during your period
-Excessive cramps during your period
-Heavy flow
-Excessive fatigue, especially during your period
-Basically, every symptom during your periods are far worse than normal

-Pain medication
-Hormone Therapy
-Low-dose birth control pills
-Surgery (laparoscopies usually)

When should I see my doc?
If you are having sever symptoms during your period, you should just go see your doctor to get things checked out. Periods suck in general, but if they are debilitating to you, then you should really go in. Early detection is key with anything, so it never hurts to ask your doctor if you could be experiencing endometriosis. It can be a little scary at first (I was only fifteen at the time so I was quite terrified to say the least), but it'll work out in the end, and you can always take someone with you to the doctors! I had my parents with me every step of the way, and the rest of my family was there for me after my surgery to constantly check in on me, so that was really wonderful.


Wow, this ended up being long! I've been wanting to write about endometriosis for a while now, though, because like I said, it's something that I believe needs more awareness. I'm also in the middle of dead weak (finals are in a couple of days!), so it was nice to take my mind off of studying and just write about something that's been a big part of my life in recent years.

Have you ever heard of endometriosis?

Thank you so much for reading, and have a wonderful day! :)