Thinking Out Loud~ 11.19.15

Happy Thursday! You know the drill by now… if it’s Thursday we’re linking up with Amanda for some Thinking Out Loud!


~ I’ve been in a funk over the last few days and my self-worth has taken a huge hit. It mostly started Monday night, though the weekend was a little rough too. I knew that things would not become instantly perfect when I moved to Oregon, but at least I am closer to support now when things get like this. And having people around keeps me from just pulling the covers up over my head and spending the entire day in bed. I was at a point yesterday when I was ready to quit everything… the blog, social media, all of it… obviously I didn’t.

~ Instead of quitting the blog, I contacted BlogLovin‘ because my new posts have not been appearing there for over a month. I received notification this morning that all is working again. It’s pretty difficult to grow your blog if no one is receiving your content.

~ Because I am still not working (I really thought I was going to get that job, but alas it turns out I did not), I am devoting more time to the blog and to reading other blogs. I am reading less fitness & weight loss blogs and more simplify and personal lifestyle blogs right now since that is where my head it at currently. I finally checked out Tiny Buddha yesterday and I am so glad I did (it’s amazing)!

FKM Holiday Card Exchange

~ As I am going to be celebrating the holidays for the first time in a few years, I decided that I wanted to send out holiday cards this year and maybe make some new snail mail pen pal friends at the same time. I would love to send you a holiday card this year!

~The past few years I put together a list of X number of things I wanted to achieve that year (birthday), unfortunately, I never really did much on those lists. I just did a bit of a 5 year plan this week, even though it is no where near my birthday and still 6 weeks until the new year. I created a list of 50 things to achieve before I’m 50 (which is 5 1/2 years away). I’m a little hesitant to share the list because I haven’t done well with past lists, but I still might share it… some of the goals are pretty lofty. I picked 10 of the goals off the list to work on in 2016, so I’ll be creating a plan to achieve them over the next few weeks.


~My lack of progress in the job search front has been pretty discouraging (as you may have guessed from my comments above). Mostly it’s because the longer it takes me to find a job, the longer it will be before I can find my own place, and the longer it will be before I have my kitties with me again. I miss their faces sooo much and seeing them just once a week right now is tough on all of us. Disney is getting more settled and this past week did not have to be attached to me the entire time I was there, so that’s good. Cheshire is still acting up, so hopefully he will settle a bit more soon… he’s always been pretty high spirited.

Well, I think that’s everything for now. My life is not that exciting right now… if I did a “day in the life” post, people would probably fall asleep reading it! Once you finish reading this post, please visit the other posts linking up today!

Holiday Card Exchange

In years past I have sent out hundreds of Christmas cards to friends and family. It was one of my traditions to write a new holiday poem each year to include, then I would spend my evenings signing and addressing cards to send out. Over the past few years I lost my traditions and didn’t participate in the holidays due to loneliness and depression. This year I will be celebrating the holidays again and spending them with my family.

FKM Holiday Card Exchange

Because I have always enjoyed sending (and receiving) cards throughout the holiday season, I thought I would see if anyone was interested in doing a card exchange this year. If you would like to receive a card from me this year, please email me at fitkittymama {at} gmail {dot} com with your address and let me know which holiday you celebrate (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, etc.~ if you do not celebrate a religious holiday, a New Year’s card is certainly an option). If you have a blog or website, please let me know this as well, I would love to check it out!

One of the aspects of my ideal life is to make connections. I think creating a holiday card exchange can open the door to new connections and new friendships.

If anyone is interested in doing a larger exchange and would like to share their address with others to send and receive more cards, I will be more than happy to set this up as well!

Please share this post with your friends if they would be interested in participating as well! I will be collecting names and addresses through December 5th.

Sundays are for Sharing vol 2.5

Happy Sunday! This was a great week for some incredible posts that I want to share with all of you. As you read through these links, I also ask that you take a moment to send healing thoughts to the people of Paris and to the friends and families of all those affected by the recent terror attacks.


Will Phone Apps and Websites Replace Therapists? from Fighting for Wellness

Why All Body Sizes Belong at the Gym from FitSugar

Love This Pain | Can We Become Addicted to Our Pain? from My So-Called Chaos

Unlocking Your Calling from Savouring Simplicity

Experts Say to Eat Dessert to Prevent Holiday Weight Gain from FitSugar

How To Set Boundaries During the Holidays from The Everygirl

That Time I Cried in the Tomato Patch from Back to Her Roots

What Happened to Hobbies? from The Everygirl

The Power of Enthusiasm from Daily Cup of Yoga

Ways to Brighten Someones Day from It Starts With Coffee

The Most Important Moment from Zen Habits

How I Restored My Creativity from Savouring Simplicity

Seeking Abundance? Ditch These 5 Habits from Best Kept Self

And this week’s Featured Blogger:

Cassie from Back to Her Roots

I met Cassie briefly at a blogging conference several years ago and knew that I immediately needed to check out her blog. Cassie is a hobby farmer and shares recipes and life on the farm… from her adorable toddler to the chickens they’ve raised. I love reading Cassie’s posts because I feel like I am just having a conversation with her… I even read her recipe posts if I’m not interested in the recipe itself! And her photos are amazing, probably some of the best that I have ever seen on a blog! I definitely recommend you check out Cassie’s blog… starting with the link I shared above!

So How’s it Really Going?

I have been in Oregon just over 2 weeks now. I’ve talked a bit about how things are going, but I wanted to touch a little more in depth on some of the issues that I was having in Seattle that I hoped would improve once I was closer to my family. On the whole, I am doing a lot better, but reality is that nothing is ever perfect and I am still struggling with a few things…

To be completely honest, I am surprised at how easy it was for me to switch back to sleeping at night. There were times over the last year on my days off when I would be up all night and still sleep during the day. It was horrible trying to get things accomplished! I am having no problems sleeping at night and for the most part sleep right through. I do occasionally wake up once or twice in the middle of the night, but I am usually able to fall right back to sleep. Right now I am falling asleep between 11p-12a and waking up between 8a-9a. I am letting myself sleep when I’m tired and not forcing myself to wake up earlier than my body wants. Considering this is part of my ideal life, it’s been pretty awesome. I know that I will have to adjust my sleep schedule a little when I start working again, but I am hoping that I can continue to get about 8 hours each night, which seems to be where my body is the happiest.

My stress level has been pretty low for the most part, though I do find myself stressing about what I’m going to do if I can’t find a job before my money runs out. Truthfully though, I have a good prospect that I have already gone through 3 stages on and I am just waiting to hear back from them to move forward. I’ve only been here 2 weeks, so it is completely OK that I am not working yet. And I still have money, so it’s not like I’m in danger of running out next week. I sometimes thing that some part of me just likes to be stressed. Overall, though, I am doing good. Having this time to focus on me and take things easy has been really good.

Oh anxiety, what am I going to do about you? I’ve suffered from social anxiety for a very long time, but have been suffering more and more driving related anxiety in the last 6 months or so. I was hoping once I was done (for the most part) with bus commuting that this would go away, but sadly it has not. I am not anxious every time I am in a car, but definitely on the drive up to my brother’s (curving roads, steep drops) and I get anxious sometimes when I’m not with my family that they will get in an accident. And we won’t discuss the drive down from Seattle and my anxiety level following my dad and brother in the rental truck. I was completely comfortable with my own driving, but watching them in front of me was making me freak out (the torrential downpour and speeding semis didn’t help matters). Honestly, I have no idea where is form of anxiety came from and I find it pretty confusing, but I am working on ways to handle it better.

Being surrounded by people who know and love me has certainly helped here. I won’t say it’s all been sunshine and roses, because there have been a couple of nights that I have felt a little down, but the loneliness is mostly gone. I do miss some friends from Seattle and my kitties, but having the connection with my family has been really good. I want to become more active to build more connections (another item on my ideal life list), so I have started looking for groups around the area. So far there are some slim pickings, but I am still looking!

I am still experiencing pain in my ankle, mostly when I’m walking, but I am still working on the mobility in the joint. My hip is still stiff, though most of the time doesn’t bother me. I have been doing a lot of work to loosen up my hips in the past two weeks, so I think that is helping. I am changing up my supplement routine (more on this soon) and incorporating some more joint support there as well. I am hoping this will be the last puzzle piece to really help me move past this and get back to some longer walks again. I hate that I can only walk about a mile right now without issues; I miss longer walks.

There has been some improvement in this area. When I first got to Oregon, I experienced a caffeine withdrawal headache for the first 2 days, but the introduction of caffeine back into my life eliminated that. I also had my typical 2 migraines around that time of the month, and they were actually pretty moderate. I have experienced maybe 2 ice pick headaches since moving to Oregon, which is a huge improvement. I know that I will continue to suffer from my hormonally triggered migraines, but I will continue to work to minimize them and treat them as holistically as possible. The reduction of additional headaches has been great though and hopefully this is something that I can continue to maintain when I re-enter the workforce as well.

Overall, I feel pretty great. I am happy, rested and connected. I don’t feel any pressure right now which is allowing me to fully relax and take care of myself so that I am stronger and and ready to take on the challenges that I will face once I am working and out on my own again. The best part is knowing that even when I am living on my own, I will have support just a short distance away so I won’t be so isolated again!

Tell me… how are you really doing?


Welcome to Downtown Oakland




One day last week my mom and I headed into the downtown area where they live so that I can take pictures. Downtown is essentially one street with businesses and another street that is both businesses and houses. The whole of downtown Oakland is approximately 6 blocks and includes a tavern, 2 restaurants, a wine vault, a hardware store, a couple of antique stores, the post office, a vet, a hairdresser and a small market. The police station is at city hall, which is the old school building and also houses the library. A new coffee shop just opened and another restaurant is supposed to be going in as well.




Oakland is a historic town and is on the winery tour. While the city is large as far as the actual mileage, most of it is open land or houses. Within the main downtown area, for about a mile, the houses are pretty close together, but once you get out where we are, a couple of miles away, things start getting spread out. It is not unusual to see deer or wild turkeys wandering around town.



In the main downtown area there are 2 small parks, one right by the train tracks, the other is behind the shops. There is also a newer school and several churches in town, but I didn’t get pictures of them.



To me, Oakland seems like it could be that perfect little small town where everyone knows each other and they meet for ice creams or to gossip while they get their hair or nails done. My parents have been here just over a year, but are just now started to participate in things around town after all of my dad’s health issues last year. I have personally met exactly no one yet in the two weeks that I’ve been here… but I will.

Let’s Catch Up~ Out Loud

Happy Thursday! It’s time to catch up after a quiet few days here on the blog, so let’s join up with Amanda and do some Thinking Out Loud!


~ The last few days have been busy and I haven’t been home much with errands, parents’ medical appointments and a trip to see my kitties. Today I plan to stay home and rest, since I am feeling a little “off” and hope that I’m not coming down with anything.


~ I feel so guilty every time I leave my brother’s place after visiting the kitties. Disney cries as soon as she knows that I’m there and attaches herself to me like a leech (literally, she climbs onto my shoulder and won’t move for almost my entire visit). If I leave the room for any reason she starts crying again. Cheshire is a little more self-sufficient, but he still craves love and attention from me while I’m there as well. He tried to climb into my lap, but Disney was already taking up most of the real estate, so he kept his back feet on the tower next to me and just had his front legs and head on me (or he would just curl up on the tower right next to me). I love them both so much and can’t wait until we can all be together again.


~ Speaking of us all being together again… I have not been able to find a single apartment complex in Roseburg or Sutherlin that takes cats! There are several in Eugene, but with staying at my parent’s, Eugene is just too far to commute. The good news is that I have found several houses for rent in my price range that do accept pets… so it looks like I will be renting a house this go around (kind of excited about that actually).

~ I am hoping for some news to share on the job front in the next week. Nothing is confirmed, just a really promising possibility. In the meantime, I am still scouring the job listings and sending out resumes and filling out the ridiculously long online applications.

~ This year I will be doing something new on the blog that I have never done before… I will be sharing some gift guides! These will not be sponsored, I just felt like since there isn’t a whole lot going on in my life right now, and I will be celebrating the holidays for the first time in forever, that this would be a good time to put together some gift guides. I am in the process of curating them now and will start sharing 2 per week starting next week. I plan on doing a total of 6.

~ I know I mentioned the temperature last week and how much colder it is here than Seattle, but the temperature has dropped even more and we aren’t even to Thanksgiving yet! I am wearing thermals under my clothes (and pajamas) in the house! I even had gloves on part of the day yesterday. Right now I am in 2 layers of clothing, socks and I’m under a blanket! There isn’t a heater in my room, so I go out in the living room occasionally to warm up, but then I’m super cold again once I come back in here to get on the computer. This is one of those moments I wish I had a laptop and could work on the couch.


Well, I think that brings us up to speed… I encourage you to check out some of the other great blogs that are linking up this week!


Sundays are for Sharing vol 2.4

It’s Sunday, so that means it’s time to share some great posts that I read throughout the week. I love sharing these posts with all of you, hopefully you will find something here that you enjoy… and maybe a new favorite blog to read. One of my favorite things is finding a new blog to love!


8 Ways to Learn to Love Yourself  from Living the Before

50 Positive Things to Say to Yourself While Trying to Lose Weight from FitSugar

Ask Anastasia: “I Had Self Love, And Then I Lost It… Now What?” from Anastasia Amour

The Power of Meditation from Fitfluential

How to Create a Working Blog Schedule from Chloe Social

The Life-Changing Magic of Finding Your Purpose from Simplicity Relished

Addicted to Busy: When Busy is Really Avoidance from The Everygirl

How To Get Back On Track With Your Goals from Making Sense of Cents

How To Create A Holiday Gift Guide from The SITS Girls

Are We There Yet? // Thoughts on Making Progress from Manifest Yourself

Going Back To My Escape Plan from The Daily Tay

How To Budget For Travel – A Complete Guide from World of Wanderlust

And this weeks Featured Blogger:

Katie from Talk Less, Say More

I started reading Katie’s blog off and on a few years ago around the time I went to my first (and only so far) blog conference. I have really gotten into her blog over the last few months and feel like I can relate with a lot of what she is talking about. In addition to some amazing introspective posts like this one and this one, she also has a Music Monday series and a great Fitness Friday series. Katie was also one of the ladies behind the truly amazing (and inspiring) 50 States in a Year project. Take a moment and check out her blog today!

Water Conservation

You’ve seen me mention that my parents live kind of out in the middle of nowhere. No really, but they do live in a pretty spread out city away from the hustle and bustle of the larger cities in Oregon. The closest large city is Eugene and that’s about an hour away. Most of their shopping, medical appointments, etc. are done in Roseburg, which is about 20-ish minutes away.

Because my parent’s live so far out, they are not connected to the city’s water and there isn’t a well on their property. Basically my parents have to have their water delivered by truck, usually around once a month-ish. The water is then stored in 2 large tanks to be pumped into the house for use. This means we have to be even more conscious of water conservation.

We conserve water in a variety of ways, from not letting the water run when brushing our teeth or washing dishes, flushing less often, and taking shorter, less frequent showers. There is also a separate tank that captures rain water for the yard and fruit trees and vines. (Did I not mention the fruit before?)

My biggest concern when I knew that I would be staying with them for a few months was the shower aspect. My hair can get pretty oily between shampoos, so I tend to wash my hair every 2-3 days. While my showers are normally pretty short, I still didn’t want to burn through my parents’ water supply faster than normal. I had decided that, at least while I’m not working, I would try to stretch the time between shampoos as much as possible, figuring that I would just have to deal with oily hair for a while.

While I was picking up supplies last week, I found a dry shampoo from my usual brand and decided to pick that up to try to see if it would help me extend out my time between washings without all of the oiliness. So far I have been pretty pleased with the results! My hair is by no means oil-free, but there is much less build up of oils over the course of several days than there would be without it.

Currently I am using Herbal Essence’s Naked Line (Shampoo, Conditioner & Dry Shampoo {affiliate links}) and I really like the scent and how light it feels on my hair. So many brands use a lot of perfumes and dyes that just cause a lot of buildup over time, but this one leaves my hair clean, light and fresh… and really allows my curls to come through, even a few days after my hair has been washed.

Full Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post and I am receiving no compensation for writing this, this is simply a brand that I use and believe in. All thoughts and opinions are as always, my own. I do use affiliate links through when I share products I like and do receive a small compensation if you click through the link and make a purchase on Amazon. I will always tell you when I use an affiliate link.

Creating My Own Space

Since I am currently staying with my parents, it was important to me to create a space of my own in order to feel comfortable and productive while I’m here. I know that I will be here at least 2 months, maybe more, and I wanted to have a place to call my own while I’m here.


I am using my parents’ guest room, which also acts as my mom’s sewing and craft room. Since it is already furnished and decorated, I had to meld my personality in with what is already here. I did bring my desk and a small bookcase with me, as well as some plastic drawers for storage. This allowed me to bring my computer and a small selection of my books. My mom also cleared the little set of cubbies next to the bed for me to use as well.


I brought a few pictures, some of my favorite stuffed animals, and a few other trinkets with me, including the gorgeous scarf Perry brought me home from Spain for my birthday. By working my things in and around what was already here, I have managed to create a comfortable, relaxing room.


My biggest challenge was my clothes, since there isn’t a dresser in this room. I solved that problem with one of the sets of plastic drawers and a hanging organizer. Since I only brought fall & winter clothes with me, everything easily fit in the space available.


The second set of plastic drawers holds my toiletries and accessories, as well as my teas and supplements (plus my good spices, I didn’t want them exposed to the elements in storage).


For now, I have everything that I need. If I were to be staying here longer than a few months, I might have some issues with the limited space for books and clothes, but on the whole, it works.

Thinking Out Loud~ 11.5.15

Happy Thursday! Though to be completely honest, I kind of forgot what day it was… the curse of being unemployed I guess. Anyway, let’s link up with Amanda again today and get some serious Thinking done… Out Loud!


~ Because I initially forgot that it was Thursday, I took a bunch of photos for tomorrow’s post this morning, thinking I would be putting it up today. At least I’m prepared for tomorrow! And no, it’s not the neighborhood pictures I talked about yesterday.

~ The temperature in Oregon where my parents live is much colder than the average temperatures in Seattle, so I am already realizing that I will need to invest in a lot more winter clothes once I am working again. I am basically living in my slippers or socks right now to keep my feet warm!


~ I do not understand why some online applications have to take so freaking long to fill out. With the competencies attached to some of them, one application can take over an hour! That kind of limits the number of applications I can get done in a day. But I am still plugging through and sending out as many as I can each day.

~ Now that I have the time, I am starting to devote extra attention to some of the behind the scenes blogging stuff. I have 2 webinars coming up, plus 2 new partnerships I’ll be talking about down the road. I am also reading up on some great blogging articles that I’ve had pinned forever. Maybe I’ll finally get my media kit put together this month! And learn how to use Pinterest for the blog.

~ It’s kind of weird being so far away from everything. It is completely relaxing, quiet and beautiful, but strange not having a 7-11 a 3-minute walk away if I’m in the mood for something. It keeps me from snacking more than I should though.

~ Speaking of snacking… I found my all-time favorite ice cream when we were at the grocery store on Tuesday and had to bring a pint home. It may be cold here in Oregon, but it’s never too cold for Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter Chocolate ice cream!


Well, I think that’s all I’ve got for today. As always, please check out some of the other great blogs that have linked up with Amanda today as well!