It’s never enough

Whenever we are doing something it feels like we are being judged. Maybe not directly or literally, but the feeling is still there. It feels as if what we are doing isn’t as great as that thing someone did or that our accomplishment wasn’t as great as we thought.

If we are women we never lose enough weight, we never wear enough make up, we don’t look fresh enough, pretty enough, thin enough, tall enough, we don’t laugh enough… And this goes the same way with men. They’re not masculine enough, their muscles aren’t big enough, they are not handsome enough, their voice isn’t deep enough, they don’t make enough money… IT’S. NEVER. ENOUGH.

And why is that? Huh? Why is it that it doesn’t matter what we do, there’s always going to be that Facebook post that will show that your friend got a promotion when the only thing you got is a raise? The funny thing here is that you were happy about it until you found out about your friend. Why can’t we be happy about our accomplishments for more than a few hours?

The awful part is that we keep struggling to make it enough. And maybe we don’t want it to be what others think is ‘enough’, we are happy with the things the way they are, and maybe, just maybe, we should allow ourselves to be happy because of that. But we can’t. We keep trying to make it ‘enough’. We go on crazy diets that we hate, we wear those heels that hate our feet, we accept that awful job because the pay is great. It’s not the job we want, but is the job that maybe will be considered enough.

But the thing is, it will never be enough. And we have to learn that and live with that. We have to learn to be happy because we deserve it. It IS enough, even if we don’t feel it that way. And I’m not talking about giving up and not achieving your goal because you ‘should feel happy with what you have’. I’m not promoting conformism, don’t get me wrong! I’m talking about allowing yourself to feel happy when you achieve your goal. I’m talking about recognizing your triumphs, your ups and your downs. Realize that if you are happy, then it is enough. If you are happy then enjoy the feeling, share it with the whole world and do not wonder what others think of you.

We need to learn that it is enough and that we are enough. Set your goals, think where you want to be and try to get there and enjoy the journey. Enjoy your triumphs, celebrate every time you get closer to where you want to be. Don’t care about what others have to say about your goals, how long you are taking to get there or anything. Listen to yourself and enjoy yourself; I think that’s the key to realize you are enough.

Have you ever thought you weren’t enough? Do you still feel that way? How did you overcome that?  I would love to read your stories: please share them with me in the comment section below!

I hope I see you next time… bye!

Betta fish: The myths and the truth – Part 1. 

Maybe you just finished setting up your freshwater tank and you are thinking on getting a Betta. And as you should, you are doing a little research about Betta fish before getting one and you are reading a lot of things about these particular fish. So today I’m going to talk about Betta splendens: this beautiful creature that we all love and is so neglected in our society. I’m going to enunciate some of the things that are said about these fantastic animals and I’m going to tell you which ones are true and which ones are false.

“Bettas can live in a glass of water” – FALSE!

This is the worst and most frequent lie. The fact that they can survive short-term in a glass of water does not mean they can live life at its fullest in that glass. I guess you would be able to survive living in a closet, but you wouldn’t call that ‘living’, am I right? Well, the same goes for Betta fish. They actually enjoy swimming in their tank.

“They live in muddy and dirty water in the wild, that’s why you don’t have to worry about water changes” – FALSE!

Yes, they live in mud puddles (yes, that’s their natural environment) but that does not exactly translate to “dirty water”. One thing is a crystal clear water and other thing is a fishtank with a 0 ppm ammonia reading. Those are two different types of ‘clean water’. When we do water changes it’s not because the water is ‘dirty’, we do it to remove the nitrates in the water (assuming that we have the proper filtration system). So the fact that they can live in muddy waters does not mean they can live in waters with high ammonia readings.

“Because their natural environment are rice puddles, that means they don’t like to swim” – FALSE

Maybe they don’t need a very deep tank, but they do like to swim for thousands and thousands of miles in the wild. They actually need to swim in order to live a full life. If they don’t swim much they are probably going to die withing two years. That’s why they need at least a 2.5 gallon tank.

“They don’t need anything to survive. Just water” -FALSE!

They need a heater because there are tropical fish and if the water temperature is too low they go into an hibernation state and that’s not good for them. Also they need an air pump. The fact that they can breath oxygen from the air (they have a labyrinth organ that permits them to breathe air) doesn’t mean that they don’t use their gills to breath, so yes they need oxygenated water. They can survive without an air pump but, like I said, that does not mean ‘living life at its fullest’.and they are going to die within a couple of years. And last but no least, they need a filtration system. These are fish that can tolerate a little bit of ammonia in their water for a little time and they are not going to die because of that because they are hardy.  But they need a a filtration system in order to maintain the proper conditions for them to live life at their fullest.

“These are very aggressive fish” -TRUE

These are not friendly fish. They don’t do well in community tanks. Of course there could be some exceptions, but that is not the rule. Males can’t be in the same tank as others betta males, they are literally going to fight until one of them ends up dead. On the other hand, female bettas can be friendlier towards other female bettas, and maybe (if you are lucky) you can have a sorority tank -which is a tank full of female bettas- but it’s a risky thing because they might end up killing each other or hurting themselves pretty bad. Also I would not recommend having a male and a female betta in the same tank. It’s really risky. If you have a community tank you have to do your research because it’s a species that doesn’t get along with a a lot of species, specially with those that like to bite fins or those with huge fins that resemble other bettas.

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This is Pinky: my female betta. I love her very much.

There are a thousand myths about these fish so I’m going to write several articles  regarding this issue. I’ll write ‘Part 2’ soon!
So next time you see betta fish in a store and they are in tiny cups or you hear a seller telling a client that  Betta fish don’t need much to live, and saying things like “they are ok like that”. Say something, speak up! Because those fish are going to die in a year or so without their owners really knowing why. This is not about shaming these owners; is about educating them because most of them don’t know that what they are doing is not ok. They trusted the seller and they bought the fish maybe because they’ve always wanted to have a fish that they were desperate enough to believe a fish can live in those conditions!  So lets go and educate people about this, let’s raise awareness!

What do you think about these amazing little creatures? Have you ever saw one in a tiny cup? Do you have a betta? Do you have any questions about them? Maybe other myths that we can debunk? I would love to answer to all your questions in the comment sections below! I hope I see you next time… bye!

Owning a pet

Have you ever wondered what owning a pet really is? Sometimes I feel that people don’t understand how big of a deal it is.

I feel that owning a pet is such a huge responsibility and it’s a decision that should not be taken lightly. If you think about it, you are taking care of a living thing. And the reason why I feel people don’t actually get it is because I hear comments like ‘Since I’m never in the house I will get a cat, they don’t care if you are there or not’ or ‘I want a fish and I don’t want to spend that much on a fish, so I’m going to get a Betta; I heard they can live in a glass full of water’. Nooooo! Let’s just say this is a huge no no!

Please, if you’re reading this and these thoughts ever occur to you, keep reading.img_20170127_123228327

You can’t get a cat because you can’t have a dog. They are not the same. Yes, cats are independent but it doesn’t  mean they don’t care to be alone. I guess you can be on your own for a few days but eventually you’ll miss the company, right? Well, the same way goes for cats. People think that cats don’t give a f**k about them, but that is not true. They actually enjoy the company! And that’s why you end up having so many lonely and aggressive cats: just because people think “they like to be alone or they don’t care about being alone”. The fact that they can survive for a few days by themselves doesn’t mean they like it!

And why does this misconception happen so often? Because people don’t tend to inform themselves about the pet they are about to get. Having a pet is not just giving them food and cleaning their waste, it’s about caring, spending time with them, loving them, doing what’s good for them and trying not to be selfish. You want a fish but you don’t want to spend a lot money on it? Then don’t have it. Fish are expensive if you want to have them under the proper conditions. Do not buy one because you are selfish and you want to fulfill your whim, think about your pet. The fact that they are animals does not mean they don’t feel or the fact that you’re feeding them does not give you the right to have them under bad conditions. I know someone could get lonely and want a new pet but… I think that having a pet because ‘you feel lonely’ it’s a little bit selfish. You have to be aware of all the things “owning a pet” actually mean: It’s a long term commitment. If you have a pet you can’t be lazy: if you have a dog you have to walk it and you have to train it, if you have a cat you have to play with it and spend time with it, if you have fish you have to clean their tank once a week, feed them… And you can’t expect your pet to behave as a human would, they are animals and you have to be aware of that. They have an instinct that goes beyond your rules. If they don’t like to be petted then don’t get mad at them. They are your friends, not your servants.

And I know what you are thinking “But there are so many stray dogs and cats, isn’t it better if they are at a home, even if they are not properly taken care of?”. Well, this one is a though one. But I actually think that the reason why there are so many stray animals is because people don’t actually get what owning a pet is. If you can’t take care of the pups or the kittens then neuter your pet. And if you can’t neuter them, then assume the responsibility and try to find them a new home where they are going to be properly taken care of. Do not leave them on the street because it’s too much of a responsibility!

Like Taylor N. Dean once said in one of her videos, “No animal is cheap … No matter how cute an animal is […] are you ready for everything that’s gonna come? It could get sick […] It’s not all just fun, there are some serious side effects of owning animals […] The main thing is they don’t live anywhere near as long as you do. […] Although they are just a part of your life, you were their whole lives. The things you do for them is all they got to experience. The world you make for them  is their life. You want to give them the best life you can during that time. You don’t want to deprive them of giving them the best they can have for the time they’re here because you chose to take that animal in, you chose to make it yours so now it’s time to give them the best life you can”

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And with this I hope I raised awareness of how important is to own a pet and to inform yourself before going and getting one. It’s a beautiful thing and I love it, but if you are considering to have one, you have to be aware that it’s a responsibility and a long term commitment.

What do you think about this? Do you have any pets? I would love to know your point of view regarding this issue. And if you feel the same way about this please share this post with your friends and family! Let me know what you think
in the comment section below! I hope I see you next time… bye!

 

 

Valentine’s Day: What I think about it. 

Since tomorrow is Valentine’s Day I thought it would be cool if I wrote something about it. So here I am: writing.

So, what about tomorrow? It’s just another day, right? But somehow everyone manages to make it feel so special. It’s like for just a day love is literally in the air. Everyone is talking about love, but somehow it gets tainted.

Don’t get me wrong, I like Valentine’s Day and I don’t have anything against it. It just seems so weird that just one single day can have such an impact on people. I mean it’s just a day. There is no difference between February 14th or February 20th, but somehow couples seem so much more in love on the 14th than on the 20th. Lonely people feel more alone  on the 14th than on the 20th. Where does that come from? Well, let me tell you something… it’s in our minds.  There’s a build up during this month. They start playing those romantic classics on the TV: Titanic, The Notebook, Pretty Woman, etc. There are hearts everywhere you look when you go out for a walk. The stores, don’t get me started on the stores: everything is pink, white and red. Everything is about what you buy for your special loved one in order to make her/him feel special. The music that sounds on the stores talks about love. Even we have Valentine’s Day specials on our TV shows.

Everyone is talking about this day, about having or not having a special someone. And well, unless you have a strong mind, it’s impossible to stop all these things from getting under your skin. And that’s what makes you think you need to buy gifts for your loved one or you have to have a loved one. It makes you think that you have to do something on that day. That it doesn’t matter if you do awesome things during the whole year. If you don’t do something on the 14th… you are a bad lover. I think we need to change that.

I think we don’t need gifts, they are nice, of course. I personally like receiving gifts, but I like them during the whole year. If your loved one can’t buy you a gift for Valentine’s day because he/she doesn’t have the money right now, that doesn’t make him/her a bad boyfriend/girlfriend. I think gifts are nice, but not mandatory. We have to learn that since this special day is in our minds, we shall perceive this as a personal reminder: maybe, if you can afford a gift, buy him/her something that says “I love you, thank you for being the way you are and loving me the way you do” but also do something nice and try to do that every now and then during the whole year. It doesn’t have to be a diamond. Not even chocolates. Maybe a little something made with origami. What’s important is that you take the time to do something and that you do that often, because love is love and you don’t have to wait a whole year to show it.

And what about loneliness? Well, that’s though. I know, I’ve been there several times. Since this whole day is in your mind try to remember: It’s just a day. There is nothing special unless you make it special. Wanna make it special? Then make this day all about you or your friends. Love yourself. Surround yourself with people you love or go and treat yourself. Be happy to have you as your companion. Because having someone special to share this day is great, but being happy and at peace with yourself: it’s amazing.

This day, and any other day, you have to try to be happy and at peace. Tell the people you love that you love them. And don’t do it because is Valentine’s Day, do it because as any other day, love should be in the air. This day is special as longs as you allow it, it doesn’t have to have power over you. You are the one that has the power to make it special, as long as you want it.

I would love to know what are your thoughts on Valentine’s Day! Do you agree with me? Do you think I’m completely wrong? Let me know in the comment section below and tell me what you think! I would love to see you next time… bye!

 

 

 

The five senses’ box: A St. Valentine’s gift idea for your loved one

Hello again! Today I’m going to share with you a gift that I find perfect to give on Valentine’s day. I’m the type of person that loves to give gifts and I always enjoy buying all the stuff I need and putting it together to make an amazing gift. And that’s why I thought it would be a great idea to share this gift with you. It’s very personal and unique, you are going to be able to really make it yours.

What I’m talking about is… the five senses’ box!  It’s a box that will have five different gifts in it; one for each sense. This gift could be something for both of you to enjoy or you can make it all about your loved one. It’s up to you!

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Smell: You can buy something that you both enjoy, kind of an aromatic candle to light on when you’re together or it can be a perfume for your loved one that you know he/she loves.

Sight: It could be a movie that you both like or that has a sentimental meaning for both of you: the one that you went to see on your first date, the one you were watching when you first kissed. It could also be a book that holds special meaning to you and you want your loved one to have. As you can see you can get as creative as you want.

If you are creative, and you can use Photoshop, you can do a little booklet about you two. You can write stuff in it and it can have a lot of photos of you. That’s the one I used as “sight”, only that I didn’t know how to use Photoshop so I had someone else do it for me.

Taste: You guessed it, this gift would be something to eat or drink! If you want to keep it classic, it could be chocolates. You’d still would be giving chocolates for Valentine’s day but you’d be doing it your own way (and I think that’s pretty cool). It also could be something your significant other likes or something you both could enjoy. If you have money, It could be a card to a nice restaurant so you can enjoy a romantic dinner together.

Hearing: Ok, here is when it gets a little vintage. I would recommend to give a CD. It could be his/her favorite CD of all time or you can record a CD with special songs that remind you of you two. Or a CD with songs that hold a special meaning to you two. You can also give a pendrive with those song, but do you see? It’s kind of generic, let’s try to keep it romantic and a little vintage too!

Touch: This could be a jiggly-retocadoplush toy but it doesn’
t have to be a teddy bear. If you want to give a teddy bear because it means something to you it’s ok, but if you don’t… come on, think of something else! It could be a stuffed animal that represents you or your loved one. And the fun part is… you can do it yourself! Look for a tutorial on Pinterest or Youtube. I, for example, did a handmade Jigglypuff and it was a lot of fun!

And that’s all! If you want to go the extra mile, you can decorate the box yourself. What I did was to buy a wooden box and I decorated it myself, so my boyfriend could use it later. And I wrapped all the gifts separately with little tags on it that had the sense it represented written on them. Oh, and I threw in little cardboard red hearts that I cut.

It’s a really special gift and your loved one would absolutely love it!

I guess that’s all. Let me know if you tried this in the comment section below! And tell me if your loved one enjoyed it!

See you next time… bye!

 

 

How to get rid of ich in your fish tank without using any chemicals.

Hello again! Today I’m going to talk about something that if you’ve been in the fishkeeping hobby for a while you may have encountered once or twice. Yes, I’m going to talk about ich: those white dots that infest your tank.

What is ich?
Those white dots (that look like sugar grains or salt grains) are an ectoparasite (an ectoparasite is a parasite that feeds from an organism but from the outside, kind of like lice for humans or fleas for cats and dogs). This ectoparsite is a protozoan called  Ichthyophthirius multifiliis.

It’s very dangerous for the skin and the gills of your fish. If you don’t control it, it can be deadly. But don’t worry, here you’ll learn how to fight it!

How did it get in my tank?
Well, it’s usually introduced by a new member of your fish tank from another tank that was already infested. If your fish are stressed because of high levels of nitrites or ammonia or even temperature swings they become and easy target for ich.

How do I prevent it?
Try to keep your water parameters stable and if you’re going to add new  organism, have it in quarantine for a while (14 to 21 days). Don’t buy fish if you see that they’re sick. If you can’t quarantine your new fish (because you lack the extra equipment) even though it’s not the safest way, here is what you can do: after acclimating your new fish -as usual- use your net and add only the fish. Never add the water from the travel bag to your aquarium. Never.

How do I know if my fish are infected with ich?
You have to try to keep an eye on them. When you’re feeding them, try to look at their fins, their gills and their bodies. If you catch it early you can attack it before it gets really serious and out of control.
If your fish is sick, you’ll find little white dots (like salt or sugar grains) on their bodies -like I said, it could be on it’s fins, it’s gills, etc. Also you may see your fish are acting weird, they will hide, they will scratch against any surface.If you see any of these things on your fish, even if it’s only one… you have to act.

How do I fight it?
Once you spotted a white dot on your fish, even if it’s  only one… That’s it, the whole tank is infected. So removing that specific fish it’s not going to help. You have to treat the whole tank.
Now I’m going to tell you the treatment that I use and works great for me. But remember, this treatment is for freshwater tropical fish and it’s up to you to do the research and find out if your fish can handle the high temperatures.

So, as you have guessed, what I do is I raise the temperature of the tank to 82° F (I do it gradually) and a I do a 30% water change every two days for two whole weeks. Even if I don’t see any more dots I keep going until the two weeks are up.

If you’re going to try the heat treatment, please be sure your water is well oxygenated. Add and extra air stone or an extra air pump if it’s necessary. You have to have in mind that oxygen is less soluble at higher temperatures, so you have to make it easier for your fish to breath.

This is what works for me. And I highly recommend it because you don’t use any chemicals and you don’t alter your water parameters, you only raise the temperature. This treatment takes time and you have to be persistent with the water changes, but it’s been the less harmful was to fight ich that I’ve found.

Well, this is it. If you have any questions you can leave it in the comment section below and I will answer them! See you next time… bye!

 

 

Review: Sentry Calming Collar for cats

Hello again! Today I’m going to do a review about a product that has saved my life. Ok, maybe it didn’t save my life but it made it waaay easier. I’m talking about the Sentry Calming Collar for cats. I’ve been using it (well, not me, my cat Kirara) for two years now and I’ve seen a LOT of improvement. When it was the time for me to decide whether or not to use the collar, I searched online and I didn’t find much. Yes I found the technical details or the reviews on Amazon but what about the average buyer that’s been using it for years? What does he have to tell me? So here I am, I’m going to tell you what I have to say about the Sentry Collar for cats after using it for 2 full years.

This is NOT a sponsored post. Sentry is not giving me money or products to write this, it’s my honest opinion about this particular product because I’ve found it so helpful that I needed to share it. 

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Why did I have to start using Sentry Collar for cats?
My cat Kirara suffers from anxiety. She has always been aggressive towards people and terrified of them (except my dad, my boyfriend and me) and she used to be so on edge all the time. One moment she was fine, the next one she was biting your arm off or running and biting your leg when you walked past her. I honestly, even though I didn’t enjoy it, didn’t care much about the bites or the scratches on my body but I could tell that she wasn’t having a good time either so I decided to take action. I talked to the vet and he suggested I should give those collars a try because the collars helped a lot of stressed cats.

How did I start using it?
Before I actually buy it (because here in Argentina they are really expensive) the vet suggested I buy a regular collar and place it around her neck, to see if she could handle having a collar (since every cat is different, there are cats that don’t handle collars very well) because there was no point in buying the Sentry collar if I wasn’t going to be able to put it on her. And that’s what I did, and it didn’t seem to bother her at all. She wore it for 1 full week before I decided to buy the actual one.

What happened when my cat start using it?

At first, nothing. She didn’t even realized she was wearing it and there was an overwhelming lavanda smell wherever she would go. But then, after a few days I could tell something was happening, something good. She started to sleep more, to get closer to me and my family. She would rub herself against my legs more often and she wasn’t so on edge when someone walked near her. Also, she started to purr more! It was so nice!

Several weeks later I could tell she was more relaxed. The attacks were 90% less frequent and she wanted to be petted more often. Besides, when strangers came to the house she would hide instead of going crazy and attacking my guests, as she used to do.

And now, after two years I can tell she is happier, less afraid of the world that  surrounds her. And the collars lasts longer. At first, after three weeks, the effect of the collar would wear off and she would start acting anxious again, but now the collar lasts two whole months before she starts to behave anxiously and the aggressiveness isn’t as much as before.

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Would I recommend Sentry Collar for Cats?
Absolutely, in fact, I did recommend it several times. For example, my aunt’s cat was about to die. The cat wasn’t eating or grooming himself because of how anxious he was.  It was really sad. My aunt was desperate so I suggested she should try the Sentry Collar for cats. It literally saved his life. He started to eat, he felt safe around people and he fully recovered.

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So, there you have it: my experience using Sentry Calming Collar for cats. Do you have any questions? You can leave them in the comment section below and I would answer them! And, tell me, have you ever used Sentry Calming  Collar for cats?

I guess that’s all. See you next time… bye!

This is a lifestyle blog where I share things that I think are worth sharing and where I ramble about society and life itself!