RAK #7: Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz

This is the seventh of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!
I did this RAK while out to dinner with my parents – we saw a family with five adorable little kids and I decided to pick up their tab. This RAK is in honor of Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, also known as “Ommy” and who was 22 years old. He was known for making people laugh and always bringing joy to the room. Rest in peace, Ommy.

RAK #6: Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera

This is the sixth of 49 random acts of kindness (RAKs) that I’m doing to honor the victims of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting. Hopefully each small act puts a little bit of happiness back out in the world!
For this RAK I donated to one of our local Little Leagues – they were running a fireworks stand to raise money and someone broke in overnight and stole almost $12,000 worth of fireworks.

This RAK is in honor of Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, who was 36 years old and married. He was known as a goofball who loved to dance and was working two jobs to get by. Rest in peace, Eric!


Doggy DNA Testing

Soooo… I DNA tested my dogs. Yes, I’m THAT girl. Let me start with how each of these hooligans came into my life.


I picked Shadow. I had just bought my first house and was a single twenty-something living alone. My parents came over, we went to the pound and started looking around. When I walked past his kennel, I knew. As it turned out, Shadow had a rough start in life. He was found tied to a tire, with bad water, and when he came home he had Giardia (a parasite that causes diarrhea). He was two years old and I was in love. The pound had told me that he was a lab mix of some sort… perhaps with some sort of pittie breed in him. He’s now 11 years old.

Happy 10th Birthday Shadow!

Brady, on the other hand, picked me. He showed up at the ranch one day and over a period of time slowly moved in. He would stay the night and then started bringing his toys over. He got along really well with the other seven dogs at the ranch. One more, though, was not really an option. One day I had gone over to the ranch to visit and went to leave… as I was pulling down the driveway, I saw a blur of dust in the field behind me in my rear view mirror. I stopped to get out and send him back up, when he jumped in my car. We chatted with his owner, who agreed to give him up, and the rest is history. He was definitely a lab, but with something else mixed in… turns out he was a pound puppy before his prior owner.

Meet Brady!

I thought it would be fun to DNA test both of them and try to figure out what they’re mixed with. Here are the results:

Shadow: 62.5% Labrador Retriever, 12.5% German Shepherd, 12.5% Rottweiler, 12.5% unknown

Brady: 62.5% Labrador Retriever, 12.5% Border Collie, 12.5% Shetland Sheep Dog, 12.5% unknown

While you may look at both of them and just think they’re labs, I find the results both fascinating and telling. Brady is easier to see – he’s definitely got the lab body, but the lighter eyes and longer muzzle of the border collie (and the fur length). In Shadow, while I don’t see it outright, the rottweiler is definitely in there – in the set of the ears and the shorter muzzle.

I used the Wisdom Panel kits (on Amazon) and it was totally a blast! It also tests them for genetic predisposition to drug resistance/allergy, which was kind of cool too!

Brady’s New Friends

Today I headed over to my parents house with Brady to introduce him to their two pups, Tucker, the lab and Gracie, the golden retriever. They literally had the best time three dogs could have… they raced around the yard, swam, and chased each other.

The boys swimming:


My sweet boy swimming:


Brady got a little tired and decided to chill out for a while:


He was very good about sharing his toys too!


I took a couple videos too… I haven’t seen Brady do much swimming in a pool, but he clearly knows what he’s doing! In fact, no matter where he was, when I said “jump” he dove into the pool!

Finally, every good day has to end with a little treat on the way home. For me, it was a number 2 with no onions and a Diet Coke. For Brady, it was a no-salt hamburger patty. Life is good!

Bullet Journaling: My First Attempt

You may or may not know that I have a slight planner obsession. Yes, I’m talking pen and paper planner. I’ve tried “going digital” several times over the years, but there’s just something about writing out my plans that I love. I absolutely love my Erin Condren Life Planner, which I’ve been using for the last few years. I even have a separate Instagram account set up for my planning snapshots.

Recently, however, I’ve been intrigued by the bullet journal craze. What’s a bullet journal, you ask? The creator of the system, Ryder Carroll, defines it as follows:

“The Bullet Journal is a customizable and forgiving organization system. It can be your to-do list, sketchbook, notebook, and diary, but most likely, it will be all of the above. It will teach you to do more with less.”

Of course, I googled it. What comes up will blow your mind… it’s so much more than just a bulleted list (but it can be just that if that’s what you want it to be!).

I decided to dive right in and see what bullet journaling was all about… I ordered my sunshine yellow dot grid Leuchtturm 1917 notebook on Amazon (tip: these suckers are HOT! If you decide to get one, Amazon seems to be the place to go as most retail outlets and some of the online ones are sold out). I chose the Leuchtturm over the Moleskine after reading a bunch of reviews that said that the Moleskine ghosted (you can see the show of the writing on the next page) or bled through more often. I’m really happy with my choice… the paper quality is amazing! The dot grid version was also essential… it’s basically graph paper, but without the connecting lines (just a dot in each of the four quarters). It allows you to write as if you had a line (straight line writing for those of us who have OCD!)  and to draw.


Here’s the premise of the bullet journaling system – use the least amount of effort so that it does not become a chore. Which is going to completely contradict when I show you what I actually did in mine. But that’s ok, because the idea is that you can be crazy into it one week and “slack off” the next. The other appealing part to me is that you can change your weekly (or daily) layout as often as you want. Don’t like how you organized yourself this week? Turn the page to a blank page and make it different for next week! The possibilities are endless!

The whole system starts with the future log… essentially, it’s your calendar for the next 6 months. This is the place that you come to write everything down. Dentist appointment in December? Circle the date and write it down. You’ll have a chance to create monthly calendars, so this space doesn’t have to be anything fancy. In fact, your monthly calendar doesn’t have to be fancy either – lots of people just write the dates down the side and put the appointments on the corresponding line. I enjoy a good monthly calendar, so I drew mine out and added some goal tracking.



After that, you can basically do whatever you want! I started with a page that I labelled “July memories” where I’ll draw, write, etc to remember things that happened in July. I followed that up with a page called “Books to Read”. I stole an idea from basically everyone who has a bullet journal and drew a somewhat cute little bookcase with the names of books I want to read on the little books. I’ll color them in once I’m done with them.

I followed that up with another calendar. Why you ask? Well, there’s a bunch of folks who do a monthly doodle “challenge” – the idea is that they give a prompt and you draw something in each day’s box. Drawing has never been my forte, but I like the idea of working on it!

Finally, I dove into my weekly spreads. This is where the rubber meets the road in the bullet journal. Again, the idea is that it has to be functional for you… if it’s not, change it!

Here’s one of the different weekly layouts that I will be experimenting with over the month of July:



For those who freak out when everything is not perfectly in order, there is an indexing system at the front that you use to identify where your calendars, weekly logs, collections, etc are so you can always flip the correct page. I’m still having a hard time with that (thus I did the next 4 weeks layout), but am going to give it the college try in August. There are so many other things you can do in the bullet journal – actual journaling, meal planning, drawing or sketching, and more!

I haven’t bought my 2017 planner yet (even though Erin Condren launched in early June) and I might hold off even longer… I am very much enjoying the creativity and flexibility of the bullet journal!