Dry February: So Over It

I hated Dry February.

I hated it for the same reason I would hate cutting ANYTHING completely out of my diet: it sucks.
I didn't have an iron clad reason to stop drinking- I wasn't concerned that I might be facing addiction, I hadn't developed any new allergies or health complications... I mostly just wanted to see if I could do it.

I did not last the full month.

On February 17th I went to a brewery with my boyfriend and some friends, and I really wanted to try his weird beer (it tasted like kielbasa, but in a good way), so I did. 
Then I asked my friends if failing at Dry February would make for a better blog post, and when they agreed that it would, I sampled a flight (which amounted to about a drink and a half).

Wearing flannel while sipping beer at a microbrewery. WHAT AM I?
It tastes like sausage....... and that's a good thing??

I didn't have a beer because I felt like I needed to, I had a drink because I wanted to. 
I like drinking different drinks, not because of the affects of alcohol, but because the flavors are interesting and because I might be a closeted hipster. 
(I do wear a lot of flannel and very tight pants.)

After that, I was pretty much back on the wagon until almost-disaster struck.
I abstained for another week or so before I had a very exciting day at work that left me REALLY WANTING a glass of wine.
I can't go into the details, but for all you cabin crew people reading this, just know that my training kicked right in and no one had ANYTHING on their laps for that landing. 
A Flight Attendant's worst day of work if often pretty traumatizing. We were very lucky and everything ended up being totally fine. 

So when I finally got home, I had some wine and declared my Dry February experiment over. 

Here's my conclusion:

I don't want to completely eliminate anything that I enjoy from my life. 
Whether it's alcohol, ice cream, or anything else delicious, it's best in moderation. 
It's a good idea to pay attention to your consumption of ANYTHING and to be aware of what you're putting into your body. 
Depriving yourself of things you enjoy just isn't worth it, but do be honest with yourself about what you actually enjoy.
Are you drinking champagne because you genuinely like it, or are you drinking it to fit in when you'd rather have ginger ale in your glass?  Don't just do it for the insta.
Friend, go have the bartender fill your glass with whatever floats your boat.
(As long as you're of legal age and someone else is driving.)

I like champagne. I like vegetables. I like licorice. I have a passionate love affair with French Fries.
Some of that is cool. Some of that isn't. 
But I'm going to keep on enjoying the things that I like because I like them. 

You. Do. You.

Two Years Later

On February 23, 2015 I started Flight Attendant Training. 

In the last two years, a LOT has happened. 

So many new experiences, adventures, and people have been a part of the past 24 months... Sometimes it's a little overwhelming to think about how much has changed since I walked through the doors of the training center. 

76 Domestic Layovers
7 International Layovers
5 new states (for a total of 41)

This is the morning of the very first day of training. I was nervous, sad, and I had absolutely no idea how phenomenally my life was about to change. 

When you practice together on fake airplanes you end up bonded for life.

With my friend Andre before we left for our initial operating experience! We were hired together on the same day. 

Right before we jumped into a pool to practice saving some lives.

Roommate Kate! 
Two years later at recurrent training: everything changes, everything stays the same. 💖

Yesterday was the most exciting/scary day on the job so far, and I am so grateful for the changes that have taken place in my life because of it.

Thanks stars. 

Happy Galentine's Day!

I love Leslie Knope. 
More than a few times, I've been compared to her and I'm always flattered. 

One of the best things to come out of Parks and Rec is the fabulous tradition of Galentine's Day.

I wanted to share with you my favorite Galentine's Day tradition.

Two years ago right now, I was walking through one of the hardest times of my life. I didn't have a Valentine but I did have awesome lady pals who were holding my hand as I went through hell. 

So I started crafting cards for them. 

There were some embarrassing mishaps early on involving glitter glue, but now I've got my favorite format down. 
Glitter washi tape. Knope compliments. Heartfelt words. 

I am so lucky to have so many cool, hilarious, strong, and gorgeous women in my world. 
THANKS Chi Omega, Miss America, Girls State, Flight Attending, and other awesome ways I've met cool women. 
I usually can't eat waffles with my gal pals on Galentine's Day, but I CAN spend the day celebrating awesome women and letting them know I care about them. 

Here are a few of the cards that I put together this year:

Valentine's Day is lovely, but honestly, I'm way more excited about a day devoted to inspiring women, glitter, and breakfast food. 

Happy Galentine's Day! 

Packing List: Flight Attendant Training

Exactly two years ago I was getting ready to leave for Flight Attendant Training, and I was trying to figure out what the heck to bring with me. 

Packing for training is complicated by two factors:
1. You're about to live in a hotel room for six weeks.
2. You don't know where you're going after those six weeks are up. 

Normally I abhor overpacking, but in this particular situation there are so many different factors that can come into play. Location of training, your base, whether or not you'll be able to go home before going to to your base, if you're moving to your base, time of year, weather, etc.  

Here is a general list of things that I packed when for initial training. 

Business Casual Attire:
Two pairs of pants
Trouser socks
Three dresses
Two blazers
Four button down shirts
Three blouses
Two skirts
Ten pairs of pantyhose
Black flats
Black heels (less than 3in)
Additional flats
Additional heels 

Casual Attire:
Workout Clothes
Gym Sneakers
Casual tops
Casual shoes
Flip flops

Seasonal Clothing:
Warm coat

Facial Care routine items
Extra contact lenses
Makeup remover wipes
Hand sanitizer
Enough medications for two months (prescription and OTC)
Vitamin C Supplements
Hair dryer

Class Supplies:
Folder for loose papers/handouts
Post it Flags
Post It Notes
Masking Tape
Flash cards
Tote bag to carry class stuff in
Swimsuit that you can wear a shirt and shorts over

Other Items:
Laundry soap (I brought a baggie of soap pods)
Quarters for laundry
Water bottle
Extra phone battery/external charger
Chargers for phone and tablet
Reusable grocery bags (these are great for laundry)
Plastic baggies
Power strip/extension cord

Things to keep in mind:
-You're going to get uniform clothes and luggage while in training, so be ready to leave with more than you came with.

-Depending on the time of year and your base options, you may want to bring more or less seasonal apparel. I trained in Dallas and got based in Philly over March, so I had to make sure I had some transitional coats etc.

-Honestly, you probably won't NEED all of this for your six weeks of training, especially if you have access to a washer and dryer, but you will probably want most of it when you get to your base. Think through the logistics of getting to your base now. Will you fly home to collect your things before driving to your new city? Will you fly straight from training to your base? If you're flying to your base straight from training, I'm going to recommend that you take advantage of checking as many bags for free as you're allowed to. 

-Store your suitcases under your bed. You can keep a bunch of stuff that you aren't currently using in your bags during training. Use them for storage.

Have more questions? Email me: highflyingadoredblog@gmail.com

Maizie the One Eyed Wonder Pup

My boyfriend loves dogs. 
He is that guy who points out every single dog we see in public and who will intentionally change his route in order to encounter those dogs and pet all of them. 
(In Vermont, where there are dogs everywhere this can get a little excessive.) 

So, of course, we've been talking about getting a dog together since we started dating.

Let me just say here that I have two cats who still live in Arkansas that I miss very very much. They'll come to live with us (hopefully soon now that the campaign is well over) but the options are to either drive 17 hours in each direction or fly four flights with two cat carriers and other luggage. 
That much travel isn't nice for cats under the best circumstances, and I don't want to make it worse for them by taking it on alone. So for now, they're in Arkansas where they're very loved and well taken care of. 
(Related: anyone want to transport some cats with me?)

Martin and I have been perusing PetFinder for months, hoping we'd find just the right pup who we knew was meant for us. 
We were looking for a dog who liked cats, kids, and were open to a dog with special needs. We particularly wanted to adopt a dog who could be trained to be a therapy animal in a setting with kids, like a children's hospital or a school. 
Martin's school has a therapy dog who his kids just love, and I've seen the wonders pets can work with sick kiddos who are stuck in hospitals. 
Specifically, we were hoping for a Pit Bull because they're such a wonderfully sweet breed. There are so many stereotypes and misconceptions about them, most of which are totally unfair. 

Then, instead of a Pit Bull, we brought home a Maltipoo. 

Shannon posted on Facebook that she had a lead about a sweet little Maltipoo pup who was having a hard time finding a home because she only had one eye that would open.
Knowing how adorable her Noma is, I immediately sent her a message to get some more info.

Ten days later, we became puppy parents to the cutest and sweetest dog in the entire world. 

A photo posted by Maizie Altersitz-Bright (@maizietheoneeyedwonderpup) on

Shannon has been an amazing fairy dog-mother to our little Maizie.
She drove ten hours with Noma to pick Maizie up, took care of her for a week (including taking her to the vet!), crate trained her, helped house train her, and then brought her up to Philadelphia with her husband Aaron (who had literally just gotten home from a deployment) so that she could join our little family.

Noma and Maizie had a lot of fun together. Rumor has it that the Leyko family enjoyed Maizie so much that they want her to visit for playdates very soon.

A photo posted by Noma here! 🐾 (@nomalikesonoma) on
A photo posted by Noma here! 🐾 (@nomalikesonoma) on

The past few days have been filled with so much puppy love...and also puppy parenting.
We are OBSESSED with Maizie. 
We are also obsessed with getting her to tinkle on the puppy pad. 
So far we have about a 75% success rate, and given that we've only had her for three days I'm feeling pretty good about it.
I did think we'd have longer before we were cheering over a tiny creature's poops, but here we are.

We've been taking Maizie on adventures to coffee shops, restaurants, and even to visit her cousins (both human and puppy).
She is seriously amazing.
She's friendly with everyone, she's snuggly, she's playful, she's sweet as pie, her bladder control is so great when we're adventuring, and everyone who glances at her immediately falls in love. 

I did, however, become one of those pet owners who created an instagram account for their dog.
I refer to her as "the baby" far too often to be unembarrassed.
But good sweet lord, your heart would melt too if a 1.5 lb bundle of blonde fur and joy wagged her whole body when you came back to sit on the couch.
And to be fair, her insta mostly exists so that I'm not spamming people with constant dog photos on my other social media accounts. Except for my stories. Those are all puppy action.

She loves physical contact and riding in her sling or whatever article of clothing she can fit in.

A photo posted by Maizie Altersitz-Bright (@maizietheoneeyedwonderpup) on

We have officially become sickening.
But have you seen our dog?!?

If you want to, you can follow her over at @MaizieTheOneEyedWonderPup

As I type this, she's currently in her little bed on the couch with us cuddling her teething toy. I literally can. not. even. 

Heart eyes. 

Dry February

I'm not a big believer in New Year's Resolutions. 
I'm also not a big fan of this "New Year, New You" idea. 
Like, I'm pretty great already thanks, just need a few tweaks here and there to be phenomenal but I'm doing pretty well. Kthxbye.

In 2017, I'm not trying to be a different person, I just want to a person who fits more comfortably into clothes I already own and love. My goal for this year is to be healthier so that I feel better and am more physically ready to do things that I want to do in the future.

Each month I'm planning on focusing on a different health conscious goal in the hope that I'll rebuild healthy habits that have fallen by the wayside in the past few years. 
(I mean seriously, it's been a heck of a five years. I ran for office twice, had at least ten different jobs, got married, got divorced, drove all over the country, started a totally different career, and a bunch of other things. Yeesh.)

In January my focus was on starting to physically move again. Getting back on that gym life track with the elliptical, doing a few minutes of yoga or pilates everyday, or even just walking aggressively on layovers, I've been pretty good about being more physically active each week.

Now that February is here, it's time to add another layer.
Dry February.
No alcohol for 28 days. 

I have plenty of friends who don't drink alcohol. 
Whether they just don't like it, they're overcoming addiction, or they're opting out for health reasons, I think it's cool that they're pushing back against cultural expectations that say they should drink to have fun. 

I, however, am not a sober person. 
By most health standards, I'm not a particularly heavy drinker. 
I have a drink or two a few times a week, usually while cooking dinner or at Pub Quiz. 

That said, I do love wine. And microbrews. And sparkling wine. And cocktails.
I'm a fan, and as I learned in my early 20's, I am someone who can hold their liquor and can be relied on to always drink responsibly. It's something I enjoy and something I'm proud of. 

My plan this month is to drink an additional glass of water whenever I would normally have an alcoholic beverage, on top of just abstaining from alcohol. Hopefully I'll come out of this lighter and better hydrated. 

I'm going to give this a whirl and see what happens. 
Did I choose February because it's the shortest month? You bet I did.
Will I be able to go 28 days without a single glass? Let's find out!