Home to Roost:Petsitting for Thanksgiving

Pets

It’s been a little over a week since I last posted. I was kind of still processing some family drama and trying to disconnect from some other things that were bothering me. Thanksgiving is tomorrow though and GUESS WHAT?!

I’m watching a farm!๐Ÿ

I seriously love my job. I can’t believe I’ve been petsitting fulltime for going on 2 1/2 years. 12 years total if you count the previous years where I was only doing it as a hobby in conjunction with restaurant jobs. I feel like that part of my life was so long ago that another person lived it sometimes!

Anyways, I’ve been waking up at 6:00am and going nonstop throughout the day, mucking stalls, feeding animals several times a day, turning them out in the pasture, cleaning up after them and just loving on them! I am watching 22 animals right now.(Funny, when I said that, it sounded like a band name, kind of like 21 Pilots!๐Ÿ˜‚) There are dogs, cats, burros, goats(one is a fainting goat!), miniature ponies and even a pig named Patty!๐Ÿฝ

I am so grateful for what I GET to do. I think it is so funny how, often times, we are defined by what we do. I mean, in a way, it makes sense, because often times, our jobs shape us into who we are, but I’m glad that with my job, I shape myself, continually, each and every day. I follow my values, my core set of beliefs and I don’t have to compromise on what’s important to me, like spending time with family. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

Even though I’m technically “working” this Thanksgiving, it kind of feels like a vacation to me, except I get paid. ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

It’s been sort of nice staying here on this farm and working every day, taking care of animals that need and depend on me. I haven’t turned a tv on in the last 48 hours and have been reading in my downtime, watching the animals in the pastures or looking down at the river. It’s so peaceful here, miles away from the family crap and dysfunction I was dealing with of last week. Now, granted, I go to spend Thanksgiving with family tomorrow, but I’m not really dreading it like I was last week.

Last week, it had me all down. This week, I am zen and I will probably just tell people that they would be much more charming if they weren’t constantly speaking ill of other people. ๐Ÿ˜‚ But really though. A little give and a little take. It’s all about balance. Keeping the peace…but also speaking your mind when it needs to be spoken.

I’m not sure what tomorrow has in store…or even next year! But I am so happy that I am no longer defined by my “job”. It is what I do and it makes me so happy! I don’t wake up dreading tomorrow, I just wonder what new animals I will befriend on this crazy, fun, exciting, petsitting journey!

Not gonna lie, I feel like Newt Scamander sometimes, being around more animals than people, but it is cool. I can’t wait to see The Fantastic Beasts movie, maybe I can talk Tim into seeing it this next month!๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŽฅ

P.S. When I work on the farm, I don’t always look like this, but you can bet these overalls are vintage!๐Ÿ˜‚ They are Washington Dee Cee brand and I found them at an estate sale for $5!๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป They retail for $100-$200. They have removable straps and are so cool, comfy and great for working in–I knew I had to have them for working on the farm! The boots are some rooster rain boots from Cracker Barrel from a few years ago.

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5 Ways to Make Your Dreams a Reality

how to, Life

If only life were as easy as a Disney movie.๐ŸŽฅ๐Ÿฟ

Well, I take that back. A lot of Disney movies have one or both parents missing or dead and some pretty bad stuff can happen in them, but what I mean is…Disney movies are typically full of characters that are dreamers.

You all should know the plot and formula by now, if you’ve watched any amount of them. The main character has a dream to do something or be something and…they usually end up doing it. Sometimes, they might need a push or something or someone else in the plot pushes them forward, but the point is, they usually achieve whatever their “dream” is.

Now, it isn’t always easy, but I think in our culture today, we associate dreams as being easy. It’s easy to dream and fantasize…but not so easy to take action steps to get us to our dreams.

I’m not saying I’ve lived out every single one of my dreams, but I have gone to Italy, something I’d only dreamed about doing before. The other day, I was watching an Indiana Jones movie that was set in Venice for part of it and I couldn’t believe that I had actually been there! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

So, here are 5 practical tips for how you can take action steps and get closer to making your dreams a reality!

1. Don’t set so lofty a goal.

Dreams are big for a reason, but sometimes–we can dream too big. You should always aspire to something, but start small. For example, I would love to travel the entire world, but I instead made a more realistic goal: to go to Italy for 17 days. And you know what? I did it! Start with smaller goals and work up to your big ones! ๐Ÿ’ฏ

2. Always be working to better yourself and learn things.

No Instagram success was built overnight. No CEO of a Fortune 500 company sat down at that desk after just turning one measly application in. The truth is, it takes hard work.

If you aren’t getting better, you’re usually getting worse or just…staying average.

For example, I’ve wanted to get better at social media lately. This has resulted in me reading up on everything to do with the subject. I’ve also wanted to invest more in my Instagram photography, so I’ve been looking at cameras. Read all the books you can, research and study because nothing happens by accident or overnight.

3. Make a list of things you can do each day or each week.

I don’t know if you’re like me, but if I don’t make lists, I’m prone to forget things! It’s not natural to constantly be working on the same thing or to remember everything you’ve been mentally digesting, so make yourself lists. 5 Action Steps To Start My Own Blog. 5 Things to Do To Improve My Photography. 5 Ways to Save up for My Next Out of Country Trip.

When you write things down, you not only sort of will them into existence, but you make them more concrete. You hold yourself accountable. You make lists for the grocery store and that stuff is all gone by the end of the month! Why not invest in yourself and your personal skills and dreams by making a list to help you achieve those dreams?!

4. Stop looking sideways.

I REPEAT—with a bullhorn and with emphatic tone—–STOP LOOKING AT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE DOING!

Okay, you can. To an extent. But do not get sucked into the trap of comparison. Instead of saying, “I wish I had what she has.” or “She makes doing what I want to do look so easy!” say, “What can I learn from this person?”

I’m going to use Instagram as an example because it has been on my mind lately, but I used to look at other travel bloggers and hate myself. It wasn’t until I realized that these stylized images are just that—stylized. They are literally only a fraction of a second of those people’s days and lives!

Instead of comparing myself to that fraction of a second, I attacked my own battle plan. I looked at what I could do to change my own feed. How could it be better? How could I get better at taking pictures and telling a story? Think of positive things and positive things will come!

5. Never give up.

It’s easy to give up, but dreams aren’t achieved easily. Think how much better your dream will taste and be when you actually GET IT.

So, get out there.

Stop making excuses.

Stop looking at everyone else.

And focus on YOU.

The going will be tough and you will have naysayers. Put in your earplugs and blinders and get to it.

How To Be Your Own Boss

how to, Life, Pets

Okay, settle in, because I’m about to spill some truths and blow your MINDS.

…Sorry, I just thought that was a really cool intro. Anyways…

I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog already, but some of my newer followers may not know that I am a fulltime petsitter!๐Ÿพ I own my own business, I am my own boss, and I watch cute dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, actual pigs and even entire farms–for a living! I was Rover before that was even a thing, SO. ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

Petsitting was something I started doing when I was in high school and was always something I considered a hobby. It was fun, getting to care for cute pets in my spare time. I never would have imagined that I could make money doing it! Enough money to live comfortably, but most importantly, enough to quit my part time jobs in restaurants to do something I really loved doing.

I’m sure you know the feeling: working a dead end job that literally sucks the soul out of you. I was tired of dealing with grease traps and people who didn’t tip and working with the occasional convicts who would somehow move up the chain of command faster than I ever could, even though I was a hard worker. I guess they had intimidation on their side? I’m all of 5 foot 2 and not very threatening.

I was sick of being passed up for promotions. I even worked an office job at one point—it was super weird. I got a lunch break and a headset and everything–and while that felt super validating at first, I soon started to realize it wasn’t for me.

We work to live, not live to work.

What I realized was, in working for other companies and other people, it was always going to be about their goals, their vision, their dreams. So, naturally, they would do everything in their power to forward those things. It’s not that it’s wrong—that’s just how businesses work. I got sick of the mind games. The promise of a career, which would only really benefit me 30 years down the road, which by, at that point, I would have spent the best years of my life chained to a desk…or literally taking other people’s orders.

So. I quit. ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป

Now, it didn’t magically happen overnight. That just makes for a really good story, doesn’t it?๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ

I had been working part time jobs and also doing the petsitting on the side. I literally started a Facebook page to get my name out there because, no one knew I existed.

And you know what? It worked. The more I posted, the more people shared, and the more they shared, the more petsitting gigs I got. It got so busy that I was stressed way too much, trying to get to my part time job at a bakery and do petsitting at the same time. It was only getting busier. What if I just did that fulltime?

So, I did. ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿป

And that’s where I am today. I get to wake up every day and do something I love doing. I still can’t believe it either sometimes!

I actually have even written a little ebook available on Amazon about how I got started, along with some tools for how you can do this yourself! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป

And maybe your thing isn’t petsitting. That’s what makes the world so unique—everyone has their own talents and things they love to do. So, I thought I’d give a few basic tips at the end of my story for how you can be your own boss!

1. Look at what you love to do.

Really stop and think about it. It’s hard because a lot of times, we do what we love without even thinking about it. It’s a thing that comes so naturally to us, it’s like breathing. Maybe it’s art. Maybe it’s making the best foam latte anyone has ever seen. It could seriously be anything! It’s the thing you’ve gotten so good at, you could do it in your SLEEP. Don’t discount it. It may not seem possible that you could make money doing this thing that you love doing, but TRUST ME, you can! Identifying what it is is the first step.

2. Take it seriously.

The biggest mind game is the one we play on ourselves. Don’t look at the can’t, shouldn’t, don’t, never‘s. Instead, focus on the can, should, do,always‘s. Ignore everyone else for a minute. Even ignore your own common sense and what you know to be true—imagine the possibilities, not the obstacles. Once you get in this mindset, you’ll see that you can literally do anything. We hold ourselves back more than anyone else ever does!

3. Make it official.

Facebook it. Instagram it. Make it more real for yourself by sharing this thing that you like to do. The more people know what you do, the more they’ll want to check it out, retweet it, support it, but more importantly, YOU. You are the biggest part of this. People don’t just buy into something you do, they buy into you as a person. Once they see you taking it seriously, they will too. It’s kind of weird how that works, but it does.๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ Also, you may see other people doing this thing you want to do—but you do it differently. That’s what makes you and your business unique.

4. OWN it.

It’s not just enough to realize what you want to do and get it out there in front of the world: you have to own it also.๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป

Critics getting you down? Ignore them and OWN it. Someone else saying they can do what you do easily and do it better? Throat punch them. ๐Ÿ˜‚ No, just keep doing what you’re doing, because usually, the more critics you have, the more signs that you’re doing something right!

I think one of the coolest parts of my job has been being in charge of something. When I want to make a decision? I run it by me. When I want to give someone a discount or I morally feel against something, I run it by me. I’m the boss, so I only answer to myself. It has been one of the most freeing things in my life to make my own schedule, decide what the vision and goals for my company are and just live the life I’ve always wanted.

I hope this inspires someone out there. It is possible. You heard it here, from the girl who sucked at algebra in high school and dropped out of college. It doesn’t matter what level of education you get—I’ve met plenty of idiots with bachelor degrees, so a piece of paper does not matter at the end of the day. Neither does having an idea and not acting on it.(Sorry, had to throw in some tough love.)

The only thing that really matters is showing up. Having initiative, guts and creativity. Dream big, guys.

I want to know in the comments—what would you do if you could do anything for a living? What job would you want? What is something you are passionate about?

-Averyโค๏ธ

5 Ways to Cheer Yourself Up When the World is Full of Hateful, Nasty Scumbags

how to, Life

Good afternoon!๐Ÿน

Now. I know if you were to go by the title alone, this blog entry seems like it might be a little…negative. But really. I don’t think everyone is mean and nasty. I genuinely think that, for the most part, that that old man who flipped me off in traffic for blowing at him when he was swerving into my lane…must have just been having a bad day.

Or that lady who said the other day when I was buying a bouquet(for myself, as it turns out, because that’s how I do), “You must be buying these because you’re celebrating something. Must be nice to have good things happening in your life.” in the most sarcastic tone I’ve ever heard…must have just been going through something.

Alright, let’s be real. Sometimes, people are just…people.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t still believe there is good.

So, here are a few things you can do on those days where you’re just…really annoyed with or feeling hopeless in regards to humanity at large.

1. Treat yo self.

Really. This is such a mood booster! I don’t care if you buy yourself flowers or a foot long from Subway! To each their own. Do something or get something for yourself. Don’t get something because you think it will impress someone else—factor everyone else out of the equation for a few minutes and just do something or get something that you actually want. If you don’t like coffee, than don’t fake it like that time I thought it’d be a good idea to go to a cafe and “work on” my computer. I didn’t get anything at all done. I honestly don’t get how people go to coffee shops and get work done. How is it conducive to work?! I think we’re all just lying to ourselves and each other and looking busy. ๐Ÿ‘€

But anywaysssssss.

2. Do something nice for a stranger.

You thought this was going to be a self centered list, huh? Well, NO. Sometimes, you just have to take care of yourself in order to take care of others better. ๐Ÿ’ฏโœจ

I personally like buying the food of people behind me at drive thrus. Or giving someone an extra tip. It’s the little things that you don’t even have to do that are the best!

3. Surround yourself with positive people.

This should be common sense, but a lot of times, we find ourselves hanging out with Debbie Downers, fun suckers and just people who like to put us down whenever they aren’t feeling so hot.

Find good friends who are glass half full kind of people. You’d be amazed at how much it will change your mood!

4. Find an outlet.

For me, my outlets would be playing random 90’s computer games on my PC, thrifting and going to estate sales, blogging and photography and so many more things!

Just find something that makes you forget everything else for a while.

5. Imagine the possibilities.

I’m a little bit of a daydreamer. I like to imagine possibilities rather than impossibilities.

When you think in positive terms rather than negative ones, it can change everything. Seriously, if you’re always doom and gloom, than no wonder the world always seems like it’s full of nasty hateful people! We all have days where this may seem like the case, but just accept that other people have bad days too and don’t let it ruin or affect your mood! Don’t let someone’s 5 minute temper tantrum or blow up cloud over the rest of your day.

Hope you guys have been having a good week and remember—you can always believe there is good, but we should also be the good!

How I Became a Girl Boss ๐Ÿ‘Š๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’๐Ÿผโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿพ

Pets

It’s hard to really pinpoint when things changed for me. Looking back from where I am now, I can hardly believe what I get to do for a living. I am continually amazed and blessed by all the opportunities that have come my way.

What’s my job, you might ask?

I’m a petsitter.

But I wasn’t always.

I actually used to be a chef. Before that, I scooped ice cream, waited tables and was even a hostess at one point. I basically worked every position in a restaurant…except maybe bar tending or managing. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ When I was a chef, I was used to always being caked in flower, having to clean grease traps and putting up with the public’s every order.

There are parts of kitchens that I miss. The rush. Filling orders. Getting to use really cool knives and carrying them in a fancy knife roll. (You wanna see my knife collection? ๐Ÿ˜‚ It’s best if you say that in the accent of The Butcher from Gangs of New York.) There are also parts I didn’t like–like aforementioned grease trap, people who don’t know the difference between medium and medium well—if you say medium, there’s a touch of pink, don’t care if you’re from Minnesota or Arkansas, that is what that term means—and weird hours.

But ANYways, back to the topic at hand. How did I become self employed? How did I get such a cool job of watching pets for people?

Honestly? It was a happy accident.

I’ve always loved animals. I had always grown up with them, taken care of them and just loved being around them. When people didn’t understand those unspoken feelings I had when I was upset, my pets always did. My dogs would always lick my tears off my face, crawl up into bed and lay down next to me until I dozed off and the very next day, they would follow me around, wagging their tails and just wanting to be loved. Isn’t that what we all want? To be loved?

After a few years in restaurants, 5-7, I was burnt out. I had been going to college and…that didn’t pan out either. I just didn’t care about any of it. And when I don’t care about something, there’s no hope.

I quit college, where I was going to get a culinary degree. I quit cooking and started working as a hostess. Still, working in a restaurant, but not having to get burnt by fryer oil or having to crouch behind a cooler to sneak a bite of food because in that business, if you don’t smoke, you don’t get a break.

I went from job to job for a while after that. I tried working in an office. That really wasn’t for me. It was a mold, water, fire and suicide remediation cleanup business. I got a lunch break and I honestly didn’t know what to do with myself.

From there, I worked at a salon as a receptionist and then I was back in restaurants again, working in a bakery and icing cakes and feeling dejected.

I then started up a petsitting page on Facebook. I had been doing it on the side up until that point and had been wanting to get more serious about it. I posted every day or every other day and I started getting calls and messages.

The rest, as they say, is history. Now, I watch people’s pets while they are gone and get paid to do it. I stay in 3,000 square foot homes sometimes, homes with pools, homes with incredible views, and watch pets and take care of them.

This weekend, I got to watch a farm with 6 dogs, 2 cats, 3 burros, 2 miniature ponies and 5 goats! And yes, 2 of them were fainting goats, but they did not faint for me this weekend! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I honestly have to pinch myself sometimes. I cannot believe that this is my life and that this is my job. I know it’s cheesy, but now I really know what people mean when they say, “Do what you love.” I love my job.

I am so glad that I get to do something meaningful and not slough off to a job I hate every day! Every day is honestly an adventure—sometimes I don’t know where I’ll be next, who I’ll meet. My job has also given me free time to focus on blogging, YouTube and social media, whatnot. And for that I’m grateful! I generally have more time to spend with my family and my grandparents, which is very important to me.

I have even been able to plan this trip to Italy with my grandfather, going over to his house a lot of days when I have finished checking on pets.

There is such a freedom and a peace now in my heart and I thank God for that. I am so glad that I get to wake up each day and have an actual purpose. Things make sense now.

When I look back at those years that I saw as wasted in restaurants and in college, I guess it makes sense now. It took me going through all of that…to get to where I am now. โœŒ๐Ÿป

A+

A Musing

I was never an A+ student. I was always one of those kids that people thought was a “straight A” student because…I don’t know. I had both my parents? I wasn’t ever really acting out and I was shy? I don’t know, but it still makes me laugh.

I was a B and C student, average, at best. I never really “succeeded” in school, but from a young age, I remember just not caring. The only reason I found myself wanting to be “better” was because I didn’t want to disappoint someone else.

I was more creatively inclined. I was in band and loved music. I was great at English and Creative Writing, but I sucked at math. There came a time though, when I was in high school that I started to realize…how pointless and dumb some aspects of school were. I liked learning things, but I thought life was a better teacher. Experiences were a better teacher. And I should want to be better for myself, not for everyone else. I needed to break apart from the huge, people-pleasing streak I have in me and start doing things…just for myself.

It’s taken a while to get to this point in my life. Did I get a college degree? No. But am I happy? Yes. I can truly say that I have a job that I love. I am self-employed and own my own petsitting business and not a day feels like work to me.

I guess I just wanted to write an inspirational post today because I thought someone else out there might need to hear it.

Don’t ever feel like you have to live up to a single letter on a page or report card. Don’t ever do something if your heart isn’t in it. And don’t try to better yourself just because you think that will make someone else happy–you have to want it too.

It hasn’t been but in the last 5-6 years that I have started making deliberate choices for myself and I’ve gotta say, it feels good.

Success is measured, often times, by people who believe the letters they are assigned on a piece of paper, the people who fall in line and do as they’re told.

Even though I got B’s and C’s and sevvvvvveral D’s and F’s, I knew that wasn’t me. I didn’t let it define me.

I know some might say that I didn’t have “work ethic”, but I do. I just genuinely hated algebra. ๐Ÿ˜‚

If there’s any advice I can give, having been on this earth for 27 years, it’s don’t sweat the small stuff. College doesn’t define you either. Do what you think you were meant to do. The rest will fall into place. โœŒ๐Ÿป

โค๏ธPetsitting: My Favorite Pictures I’ve Taken On The “Job”โค๏ธ

Pets

ย  I love petsitting. โค๏ธ

I seriously have one of the coolest jobs in the world. I get paid, essentially, to take care of pets. Feed them, play with them and cuddle them, take them for walks and just spend time with them! If you had asked me 2 years ago if I’d thought I would be doing this full time, I probably would have looked at you like you were crazy!

I think that’s how it works most of the time. We see our hobbies as only that: hobbies. Lucky for me, I was able to combine my hobby and passion into a fulltime job that I love. โค๏ธ

I’ve actually been thinking about doing a webinar series on what I do and explaining it more in depth. I don’t know if anyone would be interested in knowing how I do what I do and how I make a fulltime income off of loving on pets, but if I do something like that in the future, I will post a link here on my blog! If you are interested in something like that, drop a comment on this post! ๐Ÿ‘‡๐Ÿป


I wanted to make this entry an appreciation post full of all the cute pictures I’ve accumulated over the last 2 years of pets I’ve watched. I knew I had a lot, but I didn’t realize just how many! ๐Ÿ˜‚ I spend a lot of time with pets, so usually, I can catch them doing some pretty cute and funny things!

Here are some more of my favorites!


Elvis and Oscar the pugs!


Bella! She had very good manners, as you can see here. ๐Ÿ‘‹๐Ÿป


Trudy! โค๏ธ She is adorable!


Callie the pig, just sunbathing. โ˜€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ŽโœŒ๐Ÿป


Hilde, the giant schnauzer, and Daisy the Australian Shephard mix!


Chin Chin! I got to celebrate his 1st birthday with him! ๐ŸŽ‰


Frank and Jack, the brother kitties! ๐Ÿ˜ฝ


Rocky and Lola, partners in crime!


Oliver, who’s always up to play fetch!


Patches and Belle! โค๏ธ


Jackson and Cali! They loved jumping in the pool.


Little Miss Leah! She looks like she’s smiling here! ๐Ÿ˜


Hazel the Dachshund and Chewie the Boxer!


Leo, the very photogenic cat who is always ready for a closeup. ๐Ÿ“ท


Max, Ozzy and Darcy! This is a record breaking photo, right here. It’s hard enough getting one pet to look at the camera! Two is difficult and three is unheard of!


Shiloh, my favorite little floof and American Eskimo! โ„๏ธ


Doodle! My first pet I ever watched. I started watching her in high school.


Jingles the Boston Terrier! And on the bottom, Lola and Fletchie!

I have so many great memories from petsitting and these are just a few of my favorite pictures. I’ve been to weddings, pet birthday parties, I get to swim in pools and stay in some cool places all around Knoxville—I still can’t believe this is my life.

Anyways, hope these pictures brought a smile to someone’s face! They still make me laugh looking at them sometimes! If you have a pet of your own, give them a hug! We’re the lucky ones they have chosen to call friend. โค๏ธ