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Avoid The Porch Pirates This Holiday Season

three beige colored boxes on the floor
Photo by Element5 Digital on Pexels.com

It’s the holidays and you know what that means? Presents go missing off the porch or even under the tree or whatever you put presents under! In the past you could have a package dropped off on the porch without a problem, but those days are long gone!

Porch Pirates or as you can call them……thieves have shown up in neighborhoods across the country!

Nothing can ruin the holiday cheer like a person walking up to your house and steal in broad daylight something from you. Here in the Seattle area there has been an increase of packages missing, outdoor objects disappearing, car and home break-ins, that have caused many neighbors to start installing security cameras and the Ring doorbell to deter or catch these people in the act.

Still, there are simple things to do to protect those packages during the holidays and year round.

1. Get a P.O. Box
It is a federal crime to steal someone else’s mail or packages. BUT, it has not stopped people! A few years ago I signed up for a P.O. Box at the local post office after mail started disappearing out of the street mailbox. Anything deemed to be important (bills, banking, birthday cards, etc.) is sent to the P.O.Box and anything not important (advertisements, catalogs, etc.) goes to the street mailbox. Any packages sent to the P.O. Box will be held securely in a locked box and the key along with the notification will be put in your P.O. Box for you. Anything that is too big would be held securely with a notification to pick it up put into the box as well.

2. Send It To Work
Some employers allow employees to send their packages to their work’s address. My current employer gives this option to all employees to send their personal packages (things consider valuable or health related) to the shipping receiving department. This option is only secure as the environment you work in. 

3. Amazon Lockers, Amazon Hub & BoxLock
Amazon Locker is a self-service parcel delivery service offered by online retailer Amazon. Amazon customers can select any Locker location as their delivery address, and retrieve their orders at that location by entering a unique pick-up code on the Locker touch screen. However, certain third-party sellers on Amazon may not be able to ship to an Amazon Locker, due to their use of other shipping services such as FedEx or UPS that require a signature. Amazon Hub is a delivery locker for apartment lobbies. The delivery locker accepts packages from all carriers (FedEx or UPS).

The BoxLock is a new app-based lock connects with delivery companies designed to prevent theft of delivery packages left by the front door. In addition to the anti-theft aspect, packages are protected from bad weather. When couriers get to your house, they scan the package for their system (they all use handheld mobile scanners) and then scan the label with the BoxLock. Once the label is approved by the lock, it opens and allows the driver to leave the package inside. After you get a notification of delivery.

4. UPS Stores
If you know the carrier is UPS, you can have it held at the UPS store location for pick up. Customers receive a notification telling them their package is ready for pickup at any of their 9,000 store locations.

5. Signature Required
By having a signature required, shippers cannot leave the package without a signature from you. UPSP recommends this for those who will not be able to receive the package at a certain location (home).

Or get a whole new security system

 Ring Doorbell System & Google’s Nest System
I have seen recent notifications on Facebook about neighbors sharing neighborhood watch videos from their Ring doorbell. If it was not for one said neighbor I may not have known there was a suspicious man walking up to people’s houses when no one was home on our block! The same goes for Google’s Nest system. I friend of mine recently installed on for her home and she has a peace of mind now after her house was broken into. I know there will be a security system in my stocking this year!

Image result for ring doorbell
Ring Doorbell
Image result for google nest
Google Nest Doorbell

With these simple ways of protecting against package thievery from ruining the holiday cheer, you will have a merrier holiday season!

 

Disclosure: This post does not contain affiliate links or paid advertisement for the products mentioned above. I do not make a commission on any of the above products.  All opinion are my own!

Beauty of The Skyhomish River

Early crisp clear mornings, when summer starts to fade into autumn and all around nature is still waiting for the sun to rise. These are the moments I live for, the moments when the quiet sound of nature waking up for a new day. Here near the shore of the river is where life takes a pause, a breath, and a reflection.

Funny how in the constant movement of our lives, we forget to bring ourselves back to a peaceful state. A state of peace we search for in our busy lives, but never seem to find within ourselves. The state of peace for me has always been fishing. It does not matter if I caught anything or not. It is more about being in the present moment of peace within nature-within the energy of flowing water.

With the autumn season, the stillness of a crisp mornings and evenings along the Skyhomish River only magnifies how beautiful nature is if choose to pause for a moment in time to soak it all in.

A beautiful morning on a river bank…..

Skyhomish River-Monroe WA

Commit To Being Healthy| 200 Days of Becoming Healthy Version of Me

At the beginning of the year I had this goal about my health and fitness. It first started as a diet goal of being on Whole30 for at least 90 days. Turns out instead of being on a “diet,” I refocused on being committed to being healthy for 200 days leading up to the Refuse To Abuse 5k. Now after 200 days of this goal, I thought it was time for an update and overview of how I felt throughout the whole process. No, I haven’t loss the weight I thought by the end. In fact, I’ve gained some, but I think it’s important to share what I’m going through so others who are going through similar things can feel encouraged to keep striving toward their goal. First- I will not be sharing comparison pictures because as one blogger pointed out, a picture does not do justice to how a person feels about their results. To base how healthy a person is by how they look you will miss the real important aspect of being healthy is. Second- I am still continuing on this goal for the rest of the year, just not documenting it every month from this point onward. Third- it is never too late to start being committed to being healthy! Just start today! Okay lets get on with the recap!

Recap

The two-hundred days of this goal started January 2nd to July 20th.

How Was I Successful?

I finished the 5K in 45 minutes! Also I have a better understanding of the definition of being healthy is for me. Even if I did not loose weight I had planned to, I was still successful in figuring out what healthy lifestyle moving forward in my thirties.

Finished my 5K and added this new bling to my collection!

What Didn’t Go So Well?

Having accesses to unhealthy food at work. There was always temptations flouting around at work when it came to food. It seemed there was always some catered event, leftover pizza in the break room and the office candy bowl. I know if a fact I’m a stress eater, and anything chocolate is my weakness. The first 90 days on the Whole30 was brutal when Kit-Kats are staring at you and all you want is to eat all the Kit-Kats by the end of a stressful day. Also the food truck rotation didn’t help much either when someone in the office kept stealing your lunch ( who steals salad?).

What Could I Have Done Differently?

We all wish stress could magically disappear when we are trying to improve our health. If I could go back over the last 200 days, I would change how I managed all the stress. In a few of the posts on this goal I noticed there was a pattern of stress needing to be dealt with. I could have added more self-care time to my week to manage all the stress from a job that was too demanding at times (boss emails you Saturday night about work the following week!). Also working more on the mental health side of the equation than just the physical side. I focused more on the physical aspect than the inner mental aspect which could have contribute to unnecessary food issues.

How Do I Feeling?

Runner’s high is one hell of a feeling! I feel better about myself for completing this one goal of committed to being healthier version of myself for 200 days. I feel whole lot better physically and mentally than I have in a long time. There is this optimism present in my life right now even when current issues with stress from major events happening while doing this. The Whole30 is known for the non-scale victories of clearer thinking and more optimistic outlook after being on it for more than thirty days. Its like a runner’s high!

What Motivated Me?

Motivated by crossing the finish line at a 5K is what motivated me to do this. After all it had been a few years since I ran my first (and probably only) half-marathon. Taking up running again after a few years off had it’s challenges, and training for a 5K was a good starting point to get healthy again. Another factor motivating me was the fact I had for some time had an unhealthy relationship with food and yo-yo dieting kept me in a cycle of self-hating which took a form of doing Whole30s at the beginning of the year only to fall off the healthy train after completing them. By combining the two, it helped me stay on track.

Non Scale Victories

  • Falling asleep more easily and staying asleep.
  • Healthier gums and whiter teeth (Dentist noticed this at my last check up).
  • More optimistic, laugh more, and more outgoing in social situations.
  • Recover more effectively from exercise.
  • Outside more often.
  • Need less caffeine to get me up in the morning.
  • Healthier relationship with food.
  • Hit a new personal best in running and in healthy eating.
  • Fewer blemishes, longer stronger nails and thicker hair.
  • Less bloating after eating.
  • Became more consistent in moving and exercise throughout the day.
  • Drank more water throughout the day.
  • Improved performance at work.

Need To Improve On- Non Scale Victories

  • Not using food as: comfort, reward or as stress management.
  • Handle stress and anxiety better.
  • Improvement in mental health.
  • More defined muscle tone and leaner appearance.
  • Not getting cranky when I haven’t eaten in awhile.
  • Longer mile hikes without legs giving out.

I Give Myself 4/5   Stars

As you can see, even after seven months in on my goal I still have some improvements to make. Being committed to being a healthy version of myself takes time, patience and constant improvement daily to stay healthy. As I said above, this goal is not done with me crossing the finish line of my 5K, but keep striving to improve further until the end of the year. One thing I have learned is being healthy is a lifestyle change that you have to make an effort to make changes on the daily. Being committed to being healthy is one large goal with many mini goals needed to reach the target goal. Either way, diet alone does not get you there, but a combination of diet, exercise, and self-care helps to get there in the end. To all my reader who followed along, thank you for the support as I document this journey to crossing the finish line at Refuse to Abuse 5K!

Cheers to a well done goal!

Blog Posts In This Series:

30 Days Whole30 60 Days Whole30 90 Days Becoming Healthy 120 Days Becoming Health 150 Days Becoming Healthy 180 Days Becoming Healthy 20 Days Before Race Day

Running The Bases| Refuse To Abuse 5K

What does a person do on a beautiful sunny morning in Seattle? They get up early to run 3.1 miles around a baseball stadium. This past Saturday I participated in Refuse to Abuse 5k at T-Mobile Park. The race benefited the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (WSCADV), a non-profit that seeks to end domestic violence through advocacy and action for social change. This advocacy towards ending domestic violence is close to my heart since I am a survivor of dating violence and as of today eight years later, I am thriving in a life I could never have imagine if I didn’t get out of that relationship. For a few years I have wanted to participate in this run, but it was not until this past March I could finally do it. Yes I did the whole thing by myself with my mom at the finish line cheering me on.

Sooo… I got up at an early hour to make my way to T-Mobile Park for the fun 5K race. For the past few months I have been training for this moment, and the day had come to see if it worked.

I started out some how in the section where all the walkers were instead of the joggers. By the end of the 3.1 miles I came into the finish line running my hear out. YEP!

I did do mostly power walking through most of the course, but there were times where I jogged a bit to make up for lost time. At one point I jogged-more like ride jogged- down the ramps from the top deck to the players tunnel. A part of the course ran through areas normally restricted to to the public like the tunnels below the stadium where all the player locker rooms, Mariner offices and operations are all located. I even saw people handling player uniforms before the game that night!

I did same most of my energy for running across the warning track towards the third base line where the finish line was. I think some people where a little muffed by my full on speed past them, but who cares I wanted to run the bases from home plate to third ( I know backwards!). Just having your name announced as you cross the finish line like done at the beginning of a game was to awesome for words.

I’m the one in the background!

After coming across the line, I strolled towards the bullpens to collect my prize, a medal to commemorate what I had just done. Having my mom waiting to cheer me after finishing was my “grand slam” and me finishing was my “home run” after all those years of healing.

Runner’s high was real!!!

I finished my 5K at 45 minutes and 10 seconds! A little bit slower than my last, but this time I stopped to take it all in.

Seeing T-Mobile Park all lit up by morning sunshine so early in the morning is a breath taking sight to behold, and as one person has said to me, magical-majestic. Time truly holds still in that moment.

Seats At First Base| Night At A Mariner’s Game

Weekend of July 20th was a very busy weekend not only for the Refuse to Abuse Mariner’s Care 5K, but the weekend where all baseball fans turn their attention to Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame inductees. This year the Mariner’s own Edgar Martinez was inducted into the class of 2019. For both Saturday and Sunday the Mariners celebrated this monument milestone with Funko Pop heads of Martinez, replicate plaques and a live streaming of the event to all fans in the ballpark before the afternoon game on Sunday. Oh how exciting to be a part of history-baseball history.

The game on July 20th was against the LA Angles (yep saw them in June) and this was the night to celebrate not only getting a free collectable Funko Pop of Martinez, but to celebrate all the hard work leading up to me crossing the finish line earlier in the day at the Refuse to Abuse 5K (more on it later this week). Originally I was going to go with a friend, but the friend ended up bailing on me last two weeks before show time. In the end I found someone else to go with me in the end. Hence my Dad enjoying a beer, Mariner dog and watching baseball live in action.

The Funko Pop up figuring was handed out to the first 20,000 fans entering the stadium. At one point while walking to our seats, a guy bought (yes bought) one of the Funko Pops off us for $20. I still cannot believe that happened to us! Apparently theses Funkos’ will be worth some money on the eBay market once Edgar Martinez is established in the hall of fame.

Edgar Martinez

Our seats this time were the best! I had picked them out back in May after the discount tickets were available from Refuse to Abuse 5K. The seats were along the first base line, and had a great view of the action. Throughout the game, there were so many foul balls flying into our section and at one point a person in the first row did get hit pretty hard by a foul ball. The kicker, those where my original seats before Ticketmaster timed me out for taking so long to pay! I could have ended up with a ball!!

There were a good few people who were Angles fans sitting near us. At one point there were some crazy comments going on around us over one of the players on the Angles team. Mike Trout is the name. At one point a few of the Mariner’s fans started to call him “salmon” as if something funny. There were three Angles fans with jerseys with Mike Trout’s name on them sitting in front of us.

There were a lot of crazy moments in the game, and a few moments where you could not believe you just witnessed some funny thing a player did. I have always loved baseball when it is not being serious all the time, but has some humor to it. I even got to see my favorite third baseman Kyle Seager. Man I love baseball pants!

At the beginning of the 9th inning, it was time to start making our way home before the large crowds started. At this point the game was a tie with 2-2 since 4th inning. When I got home, the score had changed to 2-6 with the Angles beating the Mariners. At least the game was good and not watching a team loose without a fight.

As you read this, by the beginning of the coming week, another Mariner player will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Maybe one day the Mariners will make it to the World Series. There is always next year!

Commit to Being Healthy| 20 Days Before Race Day

WOW! Today is the day after seven months working towards my 5K goal of being healthy! Twenty days before the race has always the critical crunch time were habits could slip or go extreme. I decided to caution on the side of not over doing it, but still keeping a watch on diet leading up to the morning of the fun run.

Here is the twenty day recap before race day…

How was I successful?

After all the celebrating the 4th of July with an all American BBQ, it kept the rest of the days in check with adding a little more fruits and veggies at all meals. The food trucks at work did not call to me at all, but the awesome chicken salad did! The weather here in Seattle has been interesting again. Some days it has been overcast, and other days it is sunny. Even on the overcast days, I still was able to get out and exercise.

What didn’t go so well?

During the last twenty days there has been some stress of moving to a new job (more coming on this transition later). Seems like most of the past months I have been dealing with stress in general. At some point by the end of the year I may finally get a handle on the job stress. Stay tune for that!

how I am feeling?

Feeling I can finish strong in the 5K! Feel I still have some improvements to make as I continue with my healthy habits.

How I kept motivated?

Motivation over the last twenty days came more from the fact I will be running around the ballpark and get to see a baseball game after completing the fun run. Also what motivated me is I get to support a cause close to my heart and have fun doing it at the same time.

I give myself 4/5 stars