Finance-Side Hustle 5 Dog Sitting

The first time I ever agreed to take care of a dog for money was when I did it in exchange for reduced rent. That’s when I learned the hard way what questions to ask before agreeing to take care of a dog. The dog had bitten a dog walker and she would not come back to walk him. I was not informed of that before I agreed to the conditions. The dog was very misbehaved and would try to run and tackle me every time I left the house (it was part shepherd, so its instincts were to keep the pack together). Needless to say, that situation ended poorly.

On Friday, I get a frantic text from a friend asking if I can dog sit. I don’t necessarily agree, I ask for details. The next thing I know I get a call from his wife saying “Thank you for doing this” blah blah blah. Ok, guess I’m doing it. It is really inconvenient being all the way in Newton. Having to bring all my food. I could go on and on about why this sucks, but that’s not going to help the situation. A lot of me agreed to it because my ex called me selfish and all of my being wants to prove him wrong. I told my friend this, and she said that this was me being used.

They haven’t paid me yet, which I am unhappy about. I know they will be generous because I’m speaking it. I’m also eating some of their food. They told me I could.

Here are some pictures. His name is Puchini…

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The first night he whimpered and barked outside my bedroom door until 3am. I refuse to sleep with a dog in my room. I kept getting scared that there was actually someone trying to break in, but I knew if I caved he would continue barking because he got attention. It worked! The last three nights he’s scratched the door for a few minutes then gives up. Praying that happens tonight.

This is him whimpering over my shoulder looking for attention.

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I’ll update with how much I get paid when I finally get paid. Hopefully it’s good spending money for my Colorado trip!

Fitness-Exploring…Newton?

As I’ve alluded to, I’m currently dog sitting in Newton. Have no fear, there will be a post about that.

What else do I have to do beside walk the dog then explore. I turned to Atlas Obscura once again to discover the Echo Bridge which fatefully is a five minute walk from me. Well this is what it first looks like.

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As I recall, there was a platform to my right that I should’ve went down to experiment with echoes, but I didn’t. Maybe tomorrow. At the end of this bridge there were some school boys doing some recreational drugs.

Here are some views from the bridge.

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I went over the bridge and down this pathIMG_9652

And saw a great view of the bridge from the bottom.

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And kept going and found a dam.IMG_1156

There were two love birds sitting on the path. Gag. I felt like falling asleep the whole time, I was pretty drowsy because I didn’t really nap before I left even though I tried. This path ended, so I turned around and went back.

I crossed another bridge, obviously they hold great pride in their towns because the town line is clearly indicated.

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I muscled through the drowsiness until I got to the end of this other path.

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I finally turned around and made my way back home. There were only a couple times I was fearful of being alone.

I pray the man I one day marry is more adventurous than me.

Fitness-Mixing it up

Ideal Guilt-ridden Sarah had plans to go walk the dog, do spin class, then hike the blue hills. If you’ve been following you’ve seen a small margin of the eating I’ve been doing.

Today I had all the time in the world in the morning to kick ass beat myself up for all the food I’ve been eating. Well, I didn’t end up at spin class. I did walk the dog twice and go to the Blue Hills to hike. I joke about how if I ever get arrogant about how in-shape I am, I go for a hike and am humbled. I was ready for something different beside running.

I told myself to be daring, to be adventurous. What did I end up doing? Taking the road to the top instead of a trail. WOMP. But, I did discover something new at the Blue Hills, this observatory.

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But I see why no one goes there. There aren’t pretty views. That’s why everyone goes to the Great Blue Hill to see this…

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Which is oddly only about a two minute walk from the observatory. There’s some sort of lesson in this adventure about how there are undiscovered things hiding two minutes away from you, but I’ll leave that to you to learn on your own.

I spent about two hours roaming the park and met this really great guy from Israel who’s name I can’t pronounce. He’s a computer engineer, of all things.

Here’s a really cool path I could’ve taken to the top (but didn’t).

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This was the road I took instead. See that lady in the distance? She was dragging a tire tied to her waist to the top. Made me feel like a slacker.

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I spent a little over 2 hours walking through the trails before I called it quits so that I had time to nap, shower, walk the dog again, and head to the BBQ I was attending in Cambridge. They have a zoo there near where I parked, so I dropped by a couple exhibits. Here is an otter doing backflips. IMG_4764

Here’s a bald eagle, AMERICA.IMG_1826

Speaking of America…this was spotted at the BBQ I went to… IMG_6087

#winning. As was my adorable outfit for this year. Shirt was $30 from Marshall’s, it’s Michael Kors. I love it. Another thing I wouldn’t have bought during my debt pay off stage. It made me feel so good about myself. Worth it! The skirt is actually from my bathing suit which is also wicked cute, but I don’t have a pic of.

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Fitness, Finance, and Faith-Lobster Roll

Today I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with a very dear friend of mine from my Hofstra days, Julia. She was instrumental in me forming my faith and being a role model for me. She was in town from Tacoma, Washington for another mutual friend’s wedding.

She really wanted to eat a lobster roll while she was here. I have had one other lobster roll in my life. Typically my family eats lobster straight. I did what any millennial does, googled good lobster roll places in Boston. I found Luke’s Lobster Place. It’s kinda like B. Good for seafood. They are very transparent where the food is sourced from. Here’s a picture of outside the store.

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That chalk board has a list of where the seafood comes from. Disappointingly, the lobster came from a harbor in Canada. This was the only downside to this place.

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Here are a few pictures of the decor. Very festive.

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Here’s the menu, albeit a little blurry. It was a sunny day out. Kinda expensive, but as expected for seafood. Very basic. They were pretty trusting because you were responsible for grabbing your own drink and chips from the cooler and shelves.

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Despite not being from Maine, the lobster was pretty good. The lobster roll as a whole was delicious. It was loaded with lobster, the roll was gently toasted, and they went very light on the mayo. The slaw was wicked good and of course the Cape Cod chips were amazing. Coincidentally, I had that blueberry soda when I had my first ever lobster roll in Portland, ME. That soda is manufactured there. Deliciousness.

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Fitness. I have eaten out quite a bit this weekend. I’m trying not to think about it and I’m also trying to make up for it in activity. I’m currently dog sitting in Newton, so I ended up walking to the T-station, walking around Boston Common waiting for them, then walking home from the T-station. I also ran a half hour this morning, then took the pup out again for another quick walk when I got home. I’m going to spin tomorrow morning and perhaps a hike, I haven’t decided.

Finance. I have also spent quite a bit of money this weekend. I’m trying to not to think about that either. It’s ok to enjoy myself and splurge, right?

I keep saying I’m going to do a re-assessment of sorts of my life. But honestly, I wouldn’t have done this weekend any differently.

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Finally, faith. Seeing how Julia and Trevor worked as a team in the very short time I was with them was really inspiring. There was no drama, only coordination and team work. Both the kids loved them equally and were so well behaved. I know that it can’t always be as easy as they made it look, but I admired them all the same. I know there must be a lot of work that goes into this. Also sacrifice, also love. They took every moment and struggle in stride. The way Trevor served his family was beautiful and I realize why waiting for a man like him is worth the wait. Only love could produce as cool of a kid as Alana.

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Finance-Top of the Hub

Yesterday I knocked a long-standing item off my bucket list, going to the Top of the Hub, a restaurant at the top of the Prudential Center in Boston. This is one of those splurges that I wouldn’t do while I was on my relentless pay-down-debt fight.

This-THIS is my reward for paying off my debt. So I can enjoy experiences like this guilt-free. This is why it’s worth it to be diligent about paying off debts.

I sometimes get stuck between enjoying the moment and taking pictures, so I honestly don’t have good pictures, but I’ll post the few I do have.

You have to check in with an ID at the lobby of the Prudential Tower and take the elevator to the 52nd floor. Then you’re warmly greeted, brought to a table that has already been plated to just be de-plated so your food can get plated (the funniest things about these restaurants. I get it… but.)

Then they come around with bread (they don’t simply leave it on the table). Then they come and pour your drink, OH AND they had my favorite Cider! Lookout Farm Cider was the first hard cider I had ever tried and it was delicious. It’s from a farm in Natick where I used to live. I had it in August right before my study started. I had been looking for it and my friend happened to see it and order it on the menu! So anyway, they pour your cider, but it doesn’t all fit so they leave the bottle on the table. Then after you drink some they come and finish pouring for you. My point is, the service was magnificent. We were treated like royalty. When you go to places like this you’re spending on money on great food and great service.

We both picked from the prix fixe menu, which includes three courses for $30. The portion sizes were perfect. I didn’t leave feeling stuffed.

I’ll show the pictures from West to East. Here’s looking back toward Fenway Park, you can see the Citgo sign if you look close enough!

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Here’s the Mass Ave Bridge. The bottom is Newbury and Back Bay. Across the way you see MIT. This is the view we had for dinner. My friend thought the East view was better, but I disagreed, I liked the river. Then we agreed the corner table had it best.

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Here’s the rest of Newbury and Longfellow bridge.

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Next you will see the hatch shell all decorated for the Fourth of July!

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Then Boston Commons

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And finally the Hancock tower.

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And finally here’s us. Ok, when we were taking the picture I envisioned us separated and in the space between would be the view. I didn’t communicate that very well. That’s why we’re awkwardly standing with weird distance in-between us. Good1

All in all:

  • you get what you pay for.
  • I would 100% do this again, but only if it was on a date. (It was hard not to be bitter at all the couples there)
  • I would love to do it at night.
  • I would ask for the corner table.
  • I would not worry about price.

Fitness-Float

Today I tried a new relaxation therapy-Floating, at  Float Boston. Yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking, I can do that in a pool and not pay $60. This is SO different. Basically there’s a giant tub of Epsom salt and you float in it for 60 or 90 minutes (or longer if you buy more sessions, but those are the standard).

First you put in ear plugs, it’s really annoying getting swimmers ear normally, imagine how it is with dense liquid. They provide silicone ones for you. It’s best to put them on when your ears are dry. I don’t think I did it quite right but it worked fine. Here’s a picture with the prep material. Ear plugs, petroleum jelly for cuts, make-up remover.

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Then you have to shower. The bath water is sanitized using UV rays, but obviously that can’t zap out dirt.

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Finally, you get in the tub, disguised as a chamber. Or vice versa?

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It took me what felt like forever to relax my head. They give you floaties you can use (see the blue thing hanging from the wall in the shower picture?) but my ego was like “nahh I’ll be able to relax”. Well I regretted not grabbing it because it felt like by the time I was going to be able to relax I’d have to get out. Thankfully the guy gave me tips to move my arms around, which I did, and I ended up putting them behind my head as a little support. This helped, but then when I’d take them away it was still really stressful. Eventually I turned my attention to other things. After what felt like 45 minutes my body adjusted and relaxed and it felt like I was in a zero gravity chamber but had this even pressure on the backside of my body.

Then it felt like another 45 minutes passed…. and another 45. Sitting still for an hour is not my strong suit. I was pretty bored so I started trying to sink my different body parts, pushing myself from one end of the tub to the other, stretching my back. I thought about leaving early, but the fact that I paid for it made me stay. And I wanted to get the full experience. There’s music that plays that cues you to leave. I was able to truly relax and it did feel nice. I didn’t feel like sleeping, just felt restful.

Finally the music played and I hopped out. The liquid is pretty slippery and it makes your body and the tub slippery. I was clumsy trying to open the hatch, it’s kinda heavy. Then you shower again and head on your merry way. I didn’t think to bring a hair brush, but thankfully I live a five minute walk away so it wasn’t long before I had one.

I don’t know that I’d do it again, but I gave it a shot. Actually, that’s a lie, I can totally see myself doing that when I am pregnant. I do feel relaxed, but I’ll have to report tomorrow if there’s any more noticeable difference. My muscles did feel more relaxed on the whole while in there.

Tips

  • Definitely DO NOT shave. I made the mistake of shaving my arm pits, and even that bothered me for a while when I was in there.
  • Definitely bring conditioner/hair brush
  • Don’t stress yourself out trying to relax, just let it happen by taking your mind off it
  • Have fun! I played with the buoyancy, it was cool
  • I would probably keep my hair loosely tied next time. Mine was down.

 

Faith-Friendship

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This is my friend Steph and her boyfriend Chris. Steph was coordinator of the bachelorette party I went to over the weekend and introduced me to the friend getting married.

Steph is one of the sweetest people I know, but she also packs a punch when she has to. She reminds me to live as none other than a daughter of God.

She invited me to a bible study tonight at her place. We read Matthew Chapter 1 which includes the genealogy of Jesus and Joseph’s dream. Joseph had to be told by God in a dream to not be afraid, he didn’t have all the courage needed to take Mary in. I can’t be so hard on myself when I feel scared. It’s normal.

After bible study we went and watched fireworks. Because Somerville has their fireworks on June 29th, as you do. She lives a ten minute walk from me, I walked to her place. I love living in the city again.

I’m happy for her, and I’m happy I can say I am happy for her. Today was a great day.

Fitness-Exploring Somerville

I didn’t feel like going out today, but I knew I had to. To incentivize myself I picked a place in Somerville that I had not seen yet but was listed as a place to see when I googled “things to do in Somerville”. It was 1.2 miles away, so I figured at the very least I could get a half hour ish run in (which is where my fitness journey started). I’d be stupid not to enjoy the beautiful weather. I knew I’d feel better. What else was I going to do anyway. I should be grateful God gave me two working legs (among many other things) to enable me to use. Get my point? For every lame excuse I could come up with I had to come up with at least one other to get me out the door. Usually it takes more than one reason. The destination is the most helpful, I’ve found.

This is because I’ve vowed not to become my parents. Come home from work, cook dinner, sit on the couch and watch T.V., and go to bed. Growing up I felt so sheltered and bored. I work really hard to not turn into that.

I was in a “I could give two Fs” attitude, which essentially means crossing a lot of crosswalks without the walking man sign. I only almost got hit once. Well that attitude works until you come across one of these:

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Which in fact doesn’t care whether you give an F or not, because it does not care what you think. I was literally standing under it looking to see if I had time to beat the train as the bar came down. Wtf was I thinking? The people in the cars must’ve giggled as I dodged back to the road.

I made it to my first destination, the Somerville Round House

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Thrilling, right? 1.2 miles down. Without really thinking about it, I continued onto the river. Running is one of those things that once I start I don’t want to stop (most of the time).

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Made it! 2.5 miles. Check another place off my bucket list-some pedestrian bridge over the river. Then I ran the last 2.5 miles back.

I think tomorrow I’ll go visit The Micro Museum

Maybe I’ll grab a Union Square Donut while I’m there.

I highly recommend checking out the website Atlas Obscura. I heard about it from a Podcast I listened to featuring the author. It’s essentially an encyclopedia for not-your-average tourist attractions in different areas. It’s a cool way to learn about interesting places to check out!

Fitness and Faith-The hippie in me

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Supposedly there have been studies that show getting out in nature is a mood booster. I could use some mood boosting. Thankfully, we have been blessed with decent weather and I had time between my two jobs to visit Cutler park yesterday.

Maybe I make fitness and health look easy, but it’s not always. I did not want to do this yesterday. I had tripped and fell over a root at this same park a couple weeks prior, I am still nervous about my calf strain/pull, I mostly felt like going home and sleeping, and I knew I would use the time to converse with God over things I was upset with Him about. I’m not sure what causes me to say yes to these things despite my excuses. If I figure it out maybe I’ll write a book, or a blog post.

This park is beautiful and the weather was near perfect. I try to be in the moment and not take pics, but I couldn’t help but take one of the incredibly luscious woods I was surrounded by. There’s also a beautiful pond and a really cool marsh. Maybe I’ll update this with more pictures.

I started out my walk with an Our Father, it’s my default prayer I use to get my attention on God. Then I proceeded to get in arguments with Him, cry, get distracted, ask a lot of unanswered questions, the usual.

At one point I hear myself apologize. Apologize for not having more Faith in Him. In His plan.

The reason I started walking was because my friend was meeting me to run. When she arrived we both decided to keep walking instead of run. We walked for two hours. She reminds me of me. She’s looking for someone who will make her better, trust her, and she agrees you’ll know within six months if someone is the one.

After all was said and done, I walked 6.5 miles. Contrast that with today-I came home, took a two hour nap, and was going to check out this running club but it started thunder storming I was worn out.

Yesterday, I felt happy and relieved I went for a walk. Today, I felt happy and relieved I didn’t put a ton of pressure on myself to get out.

There’s no “perfect” answer. There’s the best answer for you at the time and in your situation. Whatever your decision, don’t beat yourself up over it (easier said than done).