Lost & Found

We lose ourselves in books, but we find ourselves there, too.

Let me first start off by apologizing for being MIA for a while… I have been having a difficult time gathering my thoughts together to write a post that isn’t all over the place.

Lately, I have found comfort in reading again. When things get too tough, I escape my reality in mystery or fantasy novels. When I’m ready to face my thoughts head on, I turn to my favorite author: Ellen Hopkins.

Although she writes works of fiction, her characters are extremely relatable. I have read every book Hopkins has written so far and have never made it through one of them without feeling a strong connection to one, or more, of the characters.

Her stories make me laugh, they make me cry, they give me hope and they give me strength. They help me remember that I’m not alone in my struggles. They pull me out of the darkest corners of my mind. They inspire me to take chances. They scare me out of making (certain) bad decisions…

Hopkins leaves no emotional stone left unturned. She dives head first into the deepest, darkest problems that many of us face and isn’t afraid to talk about them, which makes her books SO hard to put down. She makes me face those demons and I love her for it.

So if you’re ever looking to try out a new author, mosey on over to the teen fiction section and pick up one of her books. A fair warning, her writing style takes some getting used to (it’s written in poetic verse) but it is definitely worth it.




kids these days.

Not to sound rude or anything… but what is wrong with kids these days?! Most of the children who come into my workplace are terrible little monsters. Don’t get me wrong, we all had our phases where we were awful, but some of these kids are off the hook.

Typically, I am very patient with very small children, but it really ticks me off when older kids act ridiculous. If you are old enough to know better, then be respectful!

Honestly, when did it become acceptable to run in a library? Since when is it okay to push another kid around, throw things across the room, or to talk/laugh so loudly that staff can hear you before you even walk thru the front door?

Where did this sense of entitlement come from? When I have to scold an 8 year old for using foul language, it makes me worry for future generations. Fingers get pointed in all directions when it comes to topics of this nature because we just want to pin the blame on someone.

Instead of assigning blame, we should take a step back and figure out how we can fix the problem. Sure, if your kid says “oh, I learned these cuss words from my friend Sam” or “I behave this way because Mary gets away with it” your first reaction would probably be to keep your kid away from Sam and Mary.

Will that really fix the problem though? I sure know that when I was told to stop speaking to someone or not to hang out with a certain friend, I only wanted to do it more. I found ways around my restrictions, which is just another form of bad behavior.

It seriously just feels like a continuous circle of nonsense.

Until next time!



mirror mirror on the wall…

“That stinking mirror doesn’t lie. Every time I walk by it shouts out, ‘Hey. Chub. When are you going to lose those 15 pounds of ugly-ass flab?’”
Ellen Hopkins, Perfect

We’ve all thought that way, right? I know I sure have. It is that mentality that led me down a very dangerous path at one point in my life.

When I went away to college back in 2007, I had hoped for an experience that matched what I saw on TV. Things, of course, were not always peachy perfect like I had dreamed.

Since PE units were required to graduate, I took an aerobics class my 1st semester at Columbia. I liked my instructor so much that I took a fitness course with her each semester that followed. The exercise helped keep my (undiagnosed at the time) anxiety at bay. When the runner’s high couldn’t keep me going, my girlfriends brought me back to the surface.

Near the end of my junior college career, however, I fell too far down the rabbit hole. My roommates were awful, my neighbors were obnoxious, my ex had officially moved on, I was getting ready to move back home… it was all too much for me to handle.

All I wanted to do was run far, far away from my problems.

So I started running every morning in my cross training class. I argued with my instructor to let me run instead of lifting weights or doing yoga or whatever else was going on. All I wanted to do was run. I would participate in whatever activity was asked of me and when she announced our “free time”… I’d run to the treadmill.

I became so fixated on reaching at least 1 mile a day. If I ran out of time and didn’t complete my mile in class, I felt defeated and angry. I’d spend the rest of the day kicking myself and figuring out ways to make myself better. I’d run on the par course to make up for the distance I didn’t reach in class.

Once I became completely obsessed with controlling how much running I could get in each day, I also became obsessed with checking my weight. I checked it every single morning at the beginning and end of my cross training class. I checked it every time I saw a scale in a friends dorm room. I looked at myself in every mirror and hated what I saw…

By this point, I had actually lost a ton of weight. As I mentioned in a previous post, however, I was always the “fat” kid so all the mean comments anyone had ever made about my body stayed in my mind and drove me to pure madness.

I was the smallest I had ever been and I still thought I was fat. I look back at those photos now and wonder how I ever thought I needed to lose weight. I was absolutely terrified of being even an ounce over 135 lbs, the weight I had reached from working my ass off.

Yes, I honestly thought I was a whale when I was at this point!

I only ate when I was in front of my friends because I didn’t want to deal with questions… and I only ate what I knew I could run off. When I binged on junk food or ice cream, I felt ridiculously guilty and beat myself up about it.

Seriously… if you are struggling with weight loss, DO NOT BUY A SCALE! It will legit drive you crazy. It will tempt you every second of every day and if you give in, you’ll may develop an eating disorder like I did.

Trust me, you do not want to fall into the trap of such unhealthy weight loss like I did. I have since gained it all back plus a ton more!! And now it is 10xs harder for me to lose what I have gained because I want the quick results I got all those years ago.

I know it’s tough… but you (and I) need to focus on something other than the number on that scale. A scale cannot determine your worth. It cannot show you how beautiful, creative, loving, or strong you are.

Let’s all celebrate the NON-SCALE victories! What are non-scale victories?

  • Your clothes fit better
  • You have more energy
  • You’re stronger
  • You have more confidence
  • You feel HAPPIER
  • You are HEALTHIER

Until next time 🙂




Standard definition – a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children,considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not

Urban Dictionary  – people you love and love you back, not necessarily blood or biological, but you trust them and they trust you, and they take care of you and you take care of them.

Now I don’t know about anyone else, but I much prefer the Urban Dictionary explanation of the word family. There are many people in my life that I consider family that are not related to me by blood or common ancestry and I can honestly say I do not know where I would be without them.

There is my college dorm family, my library family, my old WWA work family, the Fresno Fat Loss family…. each group has helped me through some pretty tough times and each in their own special way.

When we were away at college, the girls at the dorms supported each other through thick and thin. Whether you are 20 mins from home or hours away from home, you truly start to miss your biological family and that’s where your dorm buddies come in. You learn to open up and let certain people into your heart. You start going to dinner together, helping each other study, participating in random shenanigans together… and when you hit a road block, some of those people will help you past it.

Those are the people who become your family. Those are the people who give you their shoulder to cry on. You go to their place when your boyfriend breaks up with you and have bowls of ice cream. They make you laugh while you’re a blubbering mess… and no matter how many times you make up and break up, they are still there for you with a tub of ice cream. When you get a phone call with bad news from home, they are there to keep your spirits up. When your birthday rolls around, they are there to surprise you with decorations and cake and candles. You watch one another graduate, move home, get married, start their own families…. that bond is never broken and it’s incredible.

My library/work family is just as great. We know each other’s favorite foods, joke about the crazy things our spouses do, talk about our kids/grandkids/nieces/nephews… We help each other plan vacations, encourage each other when we are on diets or starting new exercise regimens, some of my coworkers even helped me make crafts for my wedding! Although we get moved around a lot from branch to branch, I know all of the wonderful people I work with are just a phone call away.

The same goes for my newly established Fresno Fat Loss family! We have known one another less than a month, but the bond that we have created is strong. I hate working out with every single ounce of my being and I seriously struggle to get up for my training sessions… once I am there, though, my mindset changes.

Even though I hate being sweaty and the work outs are brutal, my trainer and partner are just awesome. Words cannot describe how working out with them makes me feel. When I have to miss sessions, it throws a kink in my whole day. I get really sad that I didn’t get to see those incredible people. We laugh, we cry, we sweat, we encourage each other to take just one more step… just one more minute… 10 more seconds… a longer, healthier life.

Recently, we have each had things going on at home that most would let hinder their progress. Instead of letting it drag us down, we pour our hearts out to one another, hug it out, and move on knowing we can trust each other… knowing that love and support are just a phone call or text away.

Seriously, I’m telling you that feeling is indescribable and I’m so blessed to be so quickly accepted and supported by them.

Until next time,

XO – Tink



she gets so sick of crying…

Let’s get something straight here.


Although I have only had this blog up for a few weeks, I have been advised (multiple times) to take it down. I have been told that anxiety and depression should be dealt with privately…

But guess what? I am tired of feeling ashamed.

That narrow-minded way of thinking is what got me here today. Not having a safe place to open up or ask for help is what made my condition worse. All these years I have felt like an animal trapped in a cage and I finally have the courage to escape.

After realizing that some of the people who mean the most to me do not support this method of coping, I thought about deleting all of these posts and never writing again. I sat in my living room while my husband slept and I cried. Tears of disappointment and anger streamed down my face as I tried to figure out what to do with myself.

I found an old journal from one of my college English classes and frantically flipped through it to find an empty page. As I was doing that, I found tons of crinkled, tear-stained pages… that is when I pulled myself together and told myself I would never go back to that place.

I do not ever want to feel that alone again. I do not want to resort to pouring my heart out in a tiny book and crying myself to sleep.

I want to help others stay away from that dark place. I want people to realize that they are not alone…. there are a ton of other people who feel the same way but do not have the support or encouragement they need to reach out and ask for help.

Although I do not have all the support I had hoped I’d have, I am thankful for those of you who have lifted my spirits and kept me going here.

To those of you who are still hiding in the shadows, always remember this:
“We all have a story to tell, whether we whisper or yell.” – HeIsWe

Get out there and write your story.
XO – Tink

Tink’s Guide to Disney

Since my husband and I were Disneyland AP holders last year, we have continuously been asked how we make the most of our time there. We always receive the “next time I go to Disney, we are taking you!” comment, so I figured it was time to write this little cheat sheet down!

1st things first… if you’re like us and feel the need to be at the park right when it opens, prepare to wait outside 30-60mins before the park opens. If you have a 3+ day ticket, you are entitled to Magic Morning at Disneyland. This allows you early access to certain rides in the park 1 hour before it is open to the general public. Check the calendar on the website to see which days you have this opportunity.

In my opinion, Magic Morning was not worth it. We were only able to get one 1 ride in that hour because SO many people want to take advantage of that extra time. However, if you are staying at one of the Disney resort hotels, you also have Extra Magic Hour at California Adventure. My husband and I found that going into CA Adventure an hour early was well worth it! We were able to hit most of the rides there and park hop to Disneyland right when they opened their front gates.

If you have park hoppers and you choose to go to CA Adventure first, you are going to want to get to the Fast Pass distribution area for Radiator Springs Racers as quickly as possible. It is easily the most popular ride in the park at the moment and the wait time goes up pretty fast! A word of caution, do NOT be alarmed if your FP says to return at 5pm and it is only 10am when you received it. This is normal for that ride, which is why I cannot stress enough to get a FP 1st thing in the morning.

After grabbing your FP for the Racers, head on over to Grizzly River Run to get your FP for World of Color seating areas! There are standby viewing areas for the show, but they fill up quickly and are far from Paradise Bay. If you are not interested in watching World of Color (do it, it’s magical!) then feel free to head to the pier and get in line for Toy Story: Midway Mania! This ride is super fun, but does not have a FP and the line gets pretty long later in the day. Again, if you are not interest in watching WOC, it will serve as a great time to get on Toy Story because the other rides that surround it are closed early for the show.

The other big rides at CA are Soarin’ Over California, Tower of Terror, California Screamin’, and Grizzly River Run. Each of these attractions have FP machines as well. If you check the bottom of your 1st FP, it will let you know what time you are able to acquire a new one. The wait time to obtain a new FP is 2 hours. Feel free to hit all the other fun little rides while you’re waiting for your next time slot to come up!

Now… if you choose to make Disneyland your 1st destination, you will want to rush over to Space Mountain and either get a FP or get in line immediately. At the moment, this ride has undergone a Star Wars transformation for Season of the Force, so the line gets a lot longer a lot quicker! FP will also go quickly for this ride. It may be 2pm and the sign will say “FP no longer available” … so don’t say I didn’t warn you 😉

Other rides that have FP distribution at Disneyland are as follows:
* Splash Mountain
* Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
* Indiana Jones
* Star Tours (also extremely popular right now)
* Buzz Lightyear’s Astro Blasters (only available during peak season)
* Haunted Mansion (also only available during extremely busy days)
[[A word of caution about Star Tours: if you suffer from motion sickness, do not get on this ride. As much as I love it, I can no longer handle it without getting sick!]]

Make sure you take advantage of all of the FP opportunities throughout the park! There is a whole lot to see and I wouldn’t want you to miss any of it 🙂 Again, if you like shows, Disneyland also has an incredible nighttime spectacular for you to watch. Unlike WOC, you do not need a fast pass for Paint the Night. Now… there are usually 2 showings of this parade, choose wisely! People have started to line up earlier and earlier for the 1st run through, so if you do not want to wait for the 2nd one, be prepared to fight for a spot on Main St. about 3 hours before the show!

Don’t get me wrong, sitting down for the 1st showing has it’s perks. The fireworks start 10 mins after PTN, so if you have a clear view of the castle from where you are sitting on the parade route, you will also have a great view of the fireworks. HOWEVER… if seeing the projections on the castle and the Matterhorn during the firework show isn’t important to you, then find any spot in the park where the sky isn’t blocked by a ton of trees and enjoy the fireworks from there!

Moving on to the 2nd most important thing: FOOD! We tend not to be at CA Adventure around meal times, but when we are, we like to hit up the burger joint right next door to Soarin’. It is a pretty decent sized burger and you get to add your own toppings at the burger bar after you order. They also serve sandwiches and nuggets for the kids. Another great option is the Cozy Cone Inn at Cars Land. My sister-in-law introduced me to the deliciousness that is the Macaroni and Cheese cone! They also serve chili cone queso, chili verde in a bread cone, and churros with a very tasty caramel dipping sauce!

At Disneyland, our favorite place to have dinner was Big Thunder BBQ (REST IN PEACE!)…. now that it is gone to make room for Star Wars Land, we have found new favorites. If you are looking for a good bang for your buck, head on over to the Little Red Wagon and get yourself a corn dog w/a bag of chips. If you prefer fries, head to the Stage Door Cafe for your corn dog. Another great place that didn’t break the bank was Carnation Cafe on Main St. There you will find a really good burger, sandwiches and comfort food such as meatloaf.

If you’re in a sharing mood, head on over to our absolute favorite spot for lunch: the Plaza Inn. At this big pink restaurant (near the entrance to Tomorrowland) you can get a huge portion of fried chicken w/mashed potatoes and veggies, pasta, pot roast, giant salads, and an array of tempting desserts.

When it comes to snacks, BRING YOUR OWN! We carry 2 bags: 1 with Goldfish crackers, peanut butter cracker sandwiches, trail mix, snack size candy, fruit by the foot, beef jerky, etc… in the other bag, we carry our own WATER. Before we bought our insulated bag (can be found in the fishing aisle at walmart) for our drinks, we would freeze bottled water and wrap them in paper towels then double zip-loc bag them to keep them cold and to keep our other belongings dry.

You will find a ton of goodies to eat at the park, but they will be expensive, so I highly recommend bringing some of your own like we do. Water will kill you too at $4 a pop! If its a really hot day, you’re going to drink A LOT of water. Your bag will be heavy at first, but the more you drink, the easier it gets and you won’t end up in the hospital from dehydration! 🙂

That being said, don’t forget to set aside a little bit of cash for the snacks that you can only get at the park! We like to save money any way we can while at Disneyland, but a Dole Whip is well worth the $$$!!! The popcorn at the park is also phenomenal. Why? Because you can carry it around in your souvenir bucket all day and as you munch throughout the day, it will taste just as fresh as when you bought it. ALL DAY LONG. No joke. And on your way out, do not forget to pick up an adorable character themed caramel apple. I know I can’t help myself… haha!

Oh, one more thing! If you have young children in your party who are not tall enough to get on the big rides (or are frightened by them) TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE RIDER SWAP SYSTEM! It will save you a ton of time and it will ensure that all the adults in your group get to enjoy all that Disneyland and CA Adventure have to offer.

Now… Disneyland may be the Happiest Place on Earth, but you will encounter some not so happy people throughout your time there. Don’t let them get to you! Bad attitudes tend to be contagious, but when you encounter these people, take a deep breath and SMILE. You’re at Disneyland!!! Make friends with people in line. Have conversations with the Cast Members and be nice to them! Some of them will surprise you with a little extra magic for making their day a little easier 🙂 Soak up all the wonder and magic and enjoy your day…

… and never forget:


Shooting Stars.

Last week, I came home a bit late after spending the evening with my family. My husband wasn’t feeling well, so I stopped at the store to pick up soup and juice for him.

On my way home from the store, the weather started to drastically change. It was a pretty clear night, but strong winds came through and pushed the remaining clouds away to reveal a star studded sky.

When I got out of the truck in front of my apartment building, I looked up and saw a shooting star amongst the other stars burning so bright.

In that moment, I found myself smiling up at the sky and thanking God for showing me such beauty. In a city filled with smog and street lights, it can be hard to see the stars most nights… but out in the country or up in the mountains, it is a site you can cherish every day. Growing up on the outskirts of town, I was lucky enough to enjoy that view with my family each day. When I went off to college in a little mountain town, I was again blessed by starry nights.

There were countless times I sat on my bed and gazed out the window for hours… and last week that was all I wanted to do. I wanted to go back in time and stare out that window or sit on the balcony and feel the cool breeze on my face while I counted stars.

Those are the simple moments that I treasure most… because it’s the little things in life that make life worth living.


Tink 😚