How to prepare for a cruise from someone who has never been on a cruise before.

(Because you should take advice from someone who has no real prior knowledge)

This Sunday, I am going on my first ever cruise, and with the normal stress of working sales/retail, this trip could not come at a better time! The following are ways that I “prepared” myself for this upcoming adventure.


If you are like me and are tragically allergic to the sun, decide if you would like to get a spray tan in an effort to not blind other cruisers with your pasty white skin. **revision: do not do as I did, and get said spray tan without making sure you are not allergic to it, ie: if your skin is sensitive enough where you cant be exposed to that much sun, spraying chemicals all over like icing on a cake may not be the best idea..unless a rash and hives are your thing :/ 

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Try on every piece of clothing in your closet in an effort to convince yourself you don’t need to buy new wardrobe. Change clothing combinations so much, that out of pity and fear, your cats no longer have the desire to watch you change and suddenly can’t look you in the eye.

Manicure and pedicure. If you are smart you will apply terrible sunless tanner AFTER nails are done so that the nail tech doesn’t think you have some sort of rare skin disease that they should be worried about. Its never good when they break out plastic gloves before doing your manicure.


Google several different ways to successfully sneak your cat on the boat with no one noticing.

Diet until bikini ready body is good to go buy a new or bigger swimsuit/cover up/tarp

Go against your own, silly advice and realize that you totalllly need a new wardrobe and so does the hubby.

Take the 15 days worth of outfits for your seven day cruise and gently throw them into the spare bedroom to separate them from the non-vacation outfits, and to keep them from getting wrinkled before the trip. Nobody wants the ‘non-vacation’ clothes to be jealous and who has time to iron?


Buy wrinkle release because let’s face it, even after all the time you spent babying your clothes before you packed them. The 10 hours you wait to have your luggage delivered to your room..they will be wrinkly again.

After calling port authority and realizing it is illegal to smuggle non-service or aid cats (cause people totally have those) on board and out of the country, con some schmuck your best friend in the whole entire world who you love for ever and ever and ever to come watch your cats while you are gone! (I love you Liz lemon)Nothing kills a vacation high more than coming home to two cats who are low on water, food and attention. Prepared to be clawed.


Save all ports of call in your phones weather app. When you are having a bad day at work, being able to see that its 85* in Montego Bay MAY ease the pain of not being on vacation yet. Or it could make you more irritable..just depends on the situation.

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Find new ways to work into conversations that you are in fact getting ready to go on a cruise. For example: Liz: Hey Jennifer, do you know what time it is? Jennifer: It is currently 6pm. What are you going to do next month when I am on a cruise for a week going to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, and I am not around to tell you what time it is. Liz: I think I will survive.” Or. William: Hey Jennifer, will you pass the peanut butter? Jennifer: Sure! You know, next month when I am on my 7 day cruise to Jamaica, Grand Cayman and Cozumel, I will have the same waiter at each dinner who can pass me the same peanut butter all week? William: yeah, I don’t care”

Alienate your friends on Pinterest by creating a “cruise” board and filling it daily with silly pins with titles such as “cruise packing list, cute cruise outfits, cruise nails, 10 things you didn’t know about cruises, how to save money on a cruise..”

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Lastly, and this is a serious one. Go to Facebook, and type in the search bar the name and date of your cruise, (Carnival Magic March 2nd) More than likely, this will bring up a group that has been made by some other awesome cruise goers. Here you can share information about best cruise practices, great excursion ideas, and even plan little events to get to know other cruisers ahead of time! May sound weird, but a lot great advice and funny moments have been shared by the wonderful and spirited people who have joined this group and it gets you even more excited for the fun and memories that are about to be had!


If My Cats Had Instagram….

It is no secret that I am a huge user of instagram. I live under the principal that it didn’t really happen and it must not have tasted good if it was not documented on instagram. With that being said, two of the biggest stars featured daily are my two cats, Rowdy and Mosby.

The following is the world of Instagram through the eye’s of two precocious cats

(if you want to follow their new instagram @therealhousepetsoftexas)










Hypothetically Speaking..16 Questions to Make you Think ‘Critically’

I’ll be the first, second and third person to admit it, critical thinking has never really been my “thing’, but I was recently challenged by a fellow blogger to answer a series of 100 questions designed to make any person dig deeper into their mind and soul. Now don’t worry my short attention span readers, I will only post 16 question and answers at a time, so breathe a sigh of relief!


What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received?

Exact quote from a customer “for someone who doesn’t pluck their eyebrows…they are pretty even and natural..” Why thank you Ma’am, I quite enjoy your facial hair too! (Quite certain they worked for Hallmark.)

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ϟ What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé?

I can pick up pretty much anything from change to clothing items with my toes, and then I can toss it in the air and catch it with my hands! Pretty sure if this was an Olympic sport I could be a Gold Medal champion #prehensiletoes

ϟ What’s the most out-of-character choice you’ve ever made?


My sophomore year of college I got my nose pierced, up left upper ear cartilage pierced and my right foot tattooed. The tattoo is the only thing that remains to this day.

ϟ If a mysterious benefactor wrote you a check for $5,000 and said, “Help me solve a problem — any problem!” … what would you do with him or her?

I would help them with the problem of my checking account not having an extra $5,000, then deposit said check, go buy some more cat food an extra gallon of milk write a quick Facebook status about it, and call it a day. Oh and World Peace.

ϟ What’s going to be carved on your (hypothetical) tombstone?tombstone

“Jennifer Lynne Shidler 11/05/1987-01/01/2079

Here lies Jennifer, daughter, sister, wife and terrible scpelller”

ϟ What are you FREAKISHLY good at?

This is a long but glorious list..1. As mentioned before, I can pick things up with my toes 2. Professional cat/bird wrangler (read my bird wrangler activities HERE) 3. Dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes if absolutely need be. 4. The ability to sleep in until noon and STILL feel like I barely got any sleep. 5. Best ‘singing in the shower’ Cher impression this side of the Mississippi

ϟ What’s one dream that you’ve tucked away, for the moment? How come?

Voice pretty much tone deaf and would love to learn not to be…I have ‘tucked’ it away for now because I have yet to find the vocal coach who can endure all that I have to ‘offer’

ϟ What are you STARVING for?

I am starving for attention. Doesn’t this blog reek of that?! 😉 Other than that..I could realllly go for some TOKYO from Terre Haute Indiana!

ϟ If you could have tea with one fictional character, who would it be?

Harry-Potter-UK-Tea-Shops--2451After confirming fictional means fake or not real, I wouldn’t mind grabbing a spot of tea with one Mr. Harry Potter J

ϟ Do you have a morning ritual?

Hit alarm exactly 3 times, throw covers off of me wildly, bonus points if I launch my cat across the bed, scream..”I don’t want to go to work” get ready in 20 minutes and leave without grabbing my lunch

ϟ Do you believe in magic? When have you felt it?

carnival_magicIf by magic, you mean the Carnival Magic, a large cruise liner positively brimming with fun and magic..then yes..I believe in magic!

ϟ What’s your personal anthem or theme song?

I really like Beautiful by the great Carole King. Listen to the song HERE. You will not be disappointed!

“You’ve got to get up every morning
With a smile on your face
And show the world
All the love in your heart

Then people gonna treat you better
You’re gonna find, yes you will
That you’re beautiful as you feel”

ϟ Do you ever think you could live a life without Facebook?

People have lived in a world without electricity, cars and toilet paper…but now that we have seen the error of our ways…would you go back to a pre-toliet paper world?! Didn’t think soo…but in all, no I couldn’t. seriously. :/

ϟ What’s your definition of an ideal houseguest?

One that doesn’t mind that I cannot cook, I work weird hours, and that my cats will do everything in their power to get into whatever room you are in that has the door closed, just to watch you sleep and or shower. My cats do not know how to love you from afar…

ϟ If you had an extra $100 to spend on yourself every week, what would you do?

As lazy and terrible as it sounds I would totally hire a cleaning company to come in once a week to freshen up my house. Anything to keep up with my two fur ball cats that produce more cat hair per capita than apple produces iPhone’s in a year.

ϟ If you could sit down with your 15-year old self, what would you tell him or her? Me at 15 years old! PUT THE BURGER AND POP DOWN AND GO OUTSIDE AND PLAY…oh and there is this guy named Matthew Shidler…he lives just south of Terre are going to meet him your freshman year of college (that’s right..your going to college) more attention to him because when you meet him again your junior year of college, he is going to change your life! 🙂

Someone challenged me, now I am challenging you! How would you answer some of the worlds toughest questions?! If you write a blog, link back to me if you post this..or answer some of your favorite questions in the comment section below!

A Bird In The Hand Is Worth Two…In The Dryer….

What better way to return from a blogging hiatus (sorry guys)  than with a touching tale of a woman, her two cats, and un-wanted house guest residing in her dryer. Let me start from the beginning

I was told when we first bought our home, that part of the ‘fun’ of owning your own place was being King Queen of the castle and getting to make your own decisions. For instance, If I want a hot pink wall in the laundry room, than hot pink it shall be. (I promise I do not really have a hot pink wall)

What they did not tell me was that with a new house, comes the opportunity to explore different career paths. For instance..

General Contractor/Repair Man.  Lets say you make your husband move the furniture around just one last time because you are just positive that table will look better just a smidge to the left, and he ‘accidently’ knocks a hole in the wall, you get to repair it..not a landlord. 

Plumber: in this instance, you find yourself in an unseasonably cold Texas winter, and while you are used to cold winters and pipes freezing in Indiana, your Texas house…and its brand new sprinkler system is not, and you find yourself outside at 10pm with a hair dryer, old new towels and duct tape hoping to thaw them before they explode.


 Animal control: This time, your comfortably asleep in your bed, its your day off and you have no plans other than to be lazy. Suddenly, as if you are a character in the children’s book “The Night Before Christmas” a loud noise comes from the other end of the house. Thinking its the cats fighting, you threaten them with the water bottle, again, and go back to sleep. Order seems restored, until it happens again. This time, you get a little more aggressive with the yelling and fire a warning water shot in the general direction of the noise and again, go back to sleep. It is then you realize that one of the cats has burrowed himself into the blankets, presumably out of fear. Now, slightly freaked out because you know the cats cant be the source of the noise, you get out of bed, change your clothes (because your high school gym shorts and spaghetti strap shirt are not proper attire when you have an un-wanted house guest..) grab your phone and head to the origination of the noise.

A Strange Sound Comes From The Dryer


Nothing, and I mean nothing, makes a 26 year old woman feel like a 5 year old girl faster than a weird noise coming from a what should be silent dryer. You better believe I was hysterically calling/begging/demanding my husband to come home from work and rescue me from certain death.

To kill time and to make sure there was a witness to my death just in case Matthew did not make it home in time, I face timed my mom.

A single mother with two strong willed kids, my mom is, of course, trained and experienced in hostage situations, and was able to comfort scare me, until my animal control specialist arrived home.

30 minutes, a pile of clean/dry socks and an extended grabber later, Matthew and I were now the proud owners of a tiny brown sparrow who thought it would be cute to slide down our dryer vent. She, however, did not stay long. Like a white dove being released at a wedding..this sparrow had better plans that did not involve being fluffed and folded.




a noisesnakeoutside

Blair witch All gone