What you see online does not portray what animal ownership is really like

Pet ownership online is extremely glorified, every time you see a goofy little pet your initial instinct is to scream “I want one!” because it’s cute and doesn’t seem that difficult to care for.

What is posted on Tumblr and other networks does not accurately display what it’s like really working with these animals on a daily  basis.

Here’s a few personal examples:

Online: “All the birds online do this, it must be a common behaviour, they all must love it! I want a bird so I can do this!”

Reality: Months of refusing human contact, seldom wanting to be around people, every moment of my free time spent training and working to create a positive bond where she would then allow me to do this, not all birds like being touched, there’s never a guarantee they would learn to like it

Online: “Wow this is neat, I want a bird so I can do this, I would look really cool!”

Reality: Years of setting up a good diet, years of basic training, years of trust building, her refusing to cooperate, lack of training interest, struggling to get her back on track, months of learning the concept, making sure the right muscles develop properly, feeding a diet to help muscle development, training her so she flies correctly without harming herself, gaining her confidence so she takes off on her own,

Online: “I want a bird so I can take it out for walks and show off!”

Reality: Months of getting used to the harness, learning to put on the harness, learning to be comfortable with the harness on, getting her used to the outdoors, climate adjustments, watching her behaviours, making sure every outdoor experience is a good one, months of recall training and trust building so if something goes wrong there’s a better chance of her coming back.

Online: “Aw they’re so cute I want them!”

Reality: Introducing them properly, making every encounter positive, weeks of quarantine, making sure they get used to each-other over the course of a few months, setting up multiple food bowls, eliminating aggression that occurred, spending a lot of time trying to figure out what they’re fighting over, solving the problems, there’s no guarantee two birds will ever get along

Online: “wow what a pretty blue! I want a blue bird, it’s such a cool colour!”

Reality: Trying to set up a proper diet, refusing to eat vegetables, developing fatty liver disease, feather pigmentation faded, spent several months trying to convert her on to a fresh food diet, running out of ways to serve foods so she’ll eat it, finally converting her, struggling to convert her on to pellets, spending every single present day working to feed this picky eater, spending hours preparing meals just so she will be healthy

Online: “wow those feather sure are pretty! I want a bird to be flighted so it can fly to me on command!”

Reality: Years of proper training, setting her up on the right path, making sure to exercise certain muscles so she can control her flight, bird proofing the entire house, having loads of safety precautions put in place, doing training to exercise her brain so the reactions develop properly, putting obstacles in the way so she learns to maneuver, flight training so she has the strength to fly against winds if she ever escapes, recall training in case anything goes wrong, working to build confidence in her flight abilities, daily flight sessions so she continues to build muscle.

That doesn’t even include all the cage cleaning, expenses, socialization, stimulation and day to day care these little birds need.

Almost everything online is glorified to some extent, if you see something you think is cute or that you would like one in the future please research it! Get hands on experience and learn about them, there’s a lot more that goes on behind the scenes that you may think.

Beak Trims Are Not Normal

Parrot beaks are composed of bone covered in a layer of keratin, the same substance our hair and fingernails are made of. The keratin layer of the beak continues to grow throughout the life of the bird to replace parts that become worn down. Unlike fingernails, parrots should not ever need their beaks trimmed, this is not a normal grooming requirement.

A parrot with an overgrown or misshapen beak has a health problem or a lack of proper environmental enrichment. There are numerous causes of beak overgrowth including:

Liver Disease
Improper Diet
Lack of Proper Toys
Birth Defect
Low Vitamin A

Diets composed mainly of seeds are high in fat which can affect the liver and low in vitamins which directly impacts how the beak grows. Parrots on seed diets should be slowly switched over to pelleted diets supplemented with fresh vegetables.

Proper diets also help parrots because they must manipulate the food with their beaks which helps keep them worn down. This is also why having lots of toys and other environmental enrichment activities is important. Birds that simply reach into a dish to eat and don’t have to work for their food become bored and the beaks overgrow from lack of use.

Some parrots are on wonderful diets and have lots of toys and other activities and still have beak problems. Often these are due to bird defects like an over or underbite or trauma. X-rays are often needed to diagnose this and these birds do need frequent beak trims but this is not common.

Trimming a beak is not a simple task like trimming a nail. The entire beak has to be assessed and it must be correctly shaped. Simply trimming it short in one spot will change how pressure is applied to other portions of the beak which will cause even more malformation. An understanding of the physics of the beak and how even a small change will impact the entire organ is very important. Sometimes we have to make very small changes over several trims to slowly force the beak to grow correctly.
Because there are so many reasons the beak may be in need of a corrective trim it is very important to do a complete medical work up and find the cause. The concern is that if there is a medical problem not only should we address it and fix it, but the stress of a beak trim on top of an illness can actually be fatal in some birds.


Listen, this is a very beautiful man. Ladies will find a way to mate with him even if proven difficult.

Managians arnt like domestic turkeys who have been selectively bred for their (detrimental) size and built, but they do have a problem with obesity much like Ocos. Gone are the days of a diet of regular vegetables and the occasional kill, now Managians indulge in a diet saturated in bread, meat, sugar and booze. Unlike Ocos who tend to get very insecure about the topic of their bodies, Managians men are all about being as huge and colorful as possible reguardless of ~means~

There are two things I love about this clip here. One is Iggy’s hand gesture after his blindside link with Noctis. The second of course is the banter between Noct and Iggy.

Ignis: Chop-chop

Noctis: How about this?

Ignis: Impressive, Noct. You’ve grown stronger.

Noctis: Must be thanks to my balanced diet.

Ignis: The one that excludes vegetables?

Noctis: Yep, that’s the one.


Birding on a budget - Fresh Foods

Buying in bulk, and proper storing of fresh foods, washing away dirt, keeping in airtight sealed bags and kept in the vegetable crisper of your fridge, will ensure they last up to 2 weeks.
For even longer lasting fresh produce, buying from a veg & fruit market or grocer will allow them to last long. This is because supermarket bought fresh food are generally stored for longer and some are frozen for non-seasonal purchases.
I mean sure, there’s nothing wrong with freezing, its just I find once they are thawed and left on the shelf they have to be eaten within a few days otherwise they degrade faster? (just my personal experience) 
Markets that provide fresh foods, are picked the day before or on the same day.

When I’m making the veg ready for my birds to eat there are a few different ways I like to do it.
Usually I create a chop for 3-4 days by finely chopping into small cubes, I use around 5 different vegetables.
Then after that batch is finished I will add fruit for the next few days in a new chop with the same veg.
To vary different chops there are a few ways to give and display veg to your birds. Putting vegetables in the blending for finely chopped veg (apparently this releases extra nutrients the same as cooking) or grating certain veg.
Every alternate day I’ll add various seed chia/flax/sesame or grated/chopped/whole nuts to the mix.
You can also give whole slices of fresh foods like carrot, apple, whole kale/spinach/silver beet leaves. Put a piece of corn with large slices of broccoli, carrot, capsicums, greens, apple, pear, banana etc. on a fruit kabob. (I usually do this when the vegetables are looking worse for wear but still edible).
A combination of all the above is a good option too.

Feeding in all different ways create stimulation for your birds and provides enrichment, its also cheap to give fresh foods when you do store them and prep them correctly.

Meal Plan Tips!

This is what I use as a guide for my diet plan. I am actually pretty picky myself so my diet consists of mostly the same foods all the time, but it’s good to switch it up! The stuff in bold is what I prefer lol like I said this is a “guide” and the key is to make sure you are eating clean and well rounded. My sister wrote this plan for me as she is a personal trainer and nutritionist. Don’t be afraid to be creative and try new things! You will find what works best for you.  


  • Chicken Breast (Boneless/Skinless)
  • Turkey Breast
  • Lean Ground Turkey
  • Salmon
  • Tuna
  • Top Round Steak
  • Top Sirloin Steak
  • Lean Ground Beef
  • Lean Ham
  • Egg Whites or Substitutes
  • Non-fat Cottage Cheese
  • Ahi
  • Pork Tenderloin
  • Filet Mignon
  • Tofu
  • High Quality Protein Powder

**Remember Muscle=Metabolism! Every time you eat protein you are feeding your muscles which speeds up your metabolism.

***BUT don’t over eat your protein and always try to eat the leanest kinds of protein. The more you are working out, the more protein you should have in your diet.


**You can eat as many green veggies as you want all day long!

  • Broccoli-My personal favorite.
  • Asparagus
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Green Beans
  • Green Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Tomatoes
  • Peas
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Artichoke
  • Cabbage
  • Celery-VERY good for weight loss.
  • Zucchini
  • Cucumber
  • Onion
  • Bell Peppers
  • Squash

**Always try to eat fresh veggies! Frozen is ok but canned is not great.

***Try to stay away from corn, it is a vegetable BUT your body can’t process it very well and it slows down your metabolism.


(1 serving=the size of your clenched fist)

  • Red Baked Potato
  • Sweet Potato
  • Yams
  • Pumpkin- Another favorite! Add a little cinnamon and a dash of stevia to kill a sweet tooth!
  • Steamed Brown Rice
  • Steamed Wild Rice
  • Whole Wheat Pasta
  • Oatmeal (plain!!! Not packaged! Add fruit if you can’t eat it plain.)
  • Beans (black, garbanzo, pinto, or kidney)
  • Strawberries
  • Apples
  • Melons
  • Oranges
  • ½ banana
  • Greek Yogurt (nonfat)
  • Whole Wheat bread
  • High Fiber Cereal
  • Rice Cakes
  • Whole Grains
  • Cream of Wheat

**Make sure you cut your carbs out after 5pm and stay away from white carbs (white rice, white bread, white tortilla, etc.)

Good Fat Sources

**Use these sparingly but make sure to include some in your diet. The earlier in the day you eat these is better!

  • ½ Avocado
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Cold Water Fish (Tuna, Salmon, etc.)
  • Natural Peanut Butter
  • Almond Butter!
  • Low-Fat Cheese
  • Low-Fat Salad Dressing (Balsamic Vinaigrette or and Vinaigrette is good!)
  • Raw Nuts
  • Olives
  • Olive Oil (Cook with this NO BUTTER!!)
  • Safflower Oil
  • Canola Oil
  • Sunflower Oil
  • Flax Seed Oil (The healthiest!)

**These are your EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) the more you workout the better it is to have these because it helps you burn bad fats more efficiently.




**Drink lots of water! Always have water in your hand! You should be going to the bathroom every 15-20 minutes. Lol. DO NOT drink soda or juices or energy drinks. You can drink unsweetened green tea. Your urine should be very light colored.

**Prepare your meals ahead of time so they are ready when it is time to eat.

**Eat every 3 hours to make sure you are keeping your metabolism high! Make sure you are consuming protein every 3 hours.

**Eat before you get hungry!! This will prevent you from overeating.

***Remember no carbs at dinner!

***HAVE A CHEAT DAY! Take one day off a week so that your body has to keep guessing and you don’t plateau. This also helps you stay motivated.


Breakfast: 1 Protein, 1 Carb, 1 EFA (Good Fat)

(3 hours later…)

Snack: Protein Shake (You can also have a handful of raw almonds or veggies)

(3 hours later…)

Lunch: 1 Protein, 1 Carb, Veggies, 1 EFA (Good Fat)

(3 hours later…)

Snack: Protein Shake

(3 hours later…)

Dinner: 1 Protein, 1 Veggie

(3 hours later…)

After Dinner: I always have a protein shake after a workout which is after dinner because I typically go around 8 or 9pm. Also, you can have one if you feel hungry before bed. 

No More Secrets

Felicity was thinking about that day last year when Oliver moved out. It felt like they were inside an iceberg. Their life together had stopped moving and Oliver seemed like a stranger to her. Felicity’s feelings were raw and it took everything in her to keep from screaming. Oliver’s stuff was in boxes and both of them maneuvered around them like they were landmines. It was a horrible day.

Felicity walked into the kitchen and almost started to cry. On that day he left, Oliver told her he didn’t need his pots and pans, his spice racks and cutting knives. He left it all behind, probably thinking that Felicity could make better use of them. The whole year and a half they were apart, Felicity cooked no meals with those implements. In fact, she just avoided using the kitchen—except for the microwave and the coffee maker. It wasn’t because she couldn’t cook (she couldn’t) but because every time she went into the room, Oliver was still there.

There were so many memories here—good and bad. Felicity looked at the main counters of the kitchen and could still see indentations from the bullets Darkhe’s ghosts had fired. That had been a crazy night. Darkhe almost killed her mother. Curtis was nearly killed as well. She could only stand there, helpless and unable to protect those she cared about. If Oliver and John hadn’t crashed through the upstairs window and disrupted Darkhe’s intentions, he mother would have died.

Felicity moved out into the living room. Looking back on that time, she almost couldn’t recognize the person she was then and who she is now. Everything that came after: her father, Havenrock, Oliver being heroic and killing Darkhe, her decision to stay and continue to fight by Oliver’s side, that sweet time in the Bunker with him, her meeting Billy—it all put her on a downward spiral. Oliver was still an open wound in her heart, but she could not go back to him, she could not be a part of his life while she felt left out of it. Oliver wanted to talk about what happened between them, but it just didn’t feel right to her, even after they shared sex with each other. She told him she loved him, but it wasn’t enough if he did not trust her completely. It was about him not including her in the danger and turmoil and decisions of their lives, not as Overwatch, but as his partner and wife.

Felicity suddenly felt hungry. She thought about going back into the kitchen to make a sandwich but decided against it.  It was Oliver’s kitchen again, and a little anticipation moved through her at the thought of listening to the sounds of him making them dinner again, something delicious. Tonight, maybe. And tomorrow—breakfast in bed perhaps.

Felicity picked up her cell and texted Oliver, asking him to stop on the way back from his storage unit and pick up something to eat. When she was done, Felicity moved over to one of Oliver’s boxes. It felt good putting his things back into place. She opened the box and saw a notebook lying inside. Actually, there seemed to be several of them. Curious, Felicity took the top notebook out and opened it. It was Oliver’s writing, and as she started reading the first sentences, Felicity realized she had stumbled onto Oliver’s private thoughts:

August, 2016

           I don’t know if this journal is such a good idea. But Felicity told me that facing my demons, dealing with the horrors and the darkness they created will eventually bring closure. She told me to embrace our life together. I would not be the man I am today without her. So I thought about it and decided on this journal. I trust her. I always have.

Felicity wasn’t hungry anymore. She took Oliver’s journal over to the couch and went deeper into the mind of the man she loves.


Oliver pulled the U-Haul up in front of the building that housed his new/old home. The last of his stuff was in the back—about five trips worth up to the loft. On the seat next to him was a bag with their lunch—two Big Belly deluxe’s, an order of onion rings for him and cheese fries for Felicity. Over the last year, while they were apart, Oliver had changed his diet; more fruit and vegetables and less sloppy burgers. Yet when Felicity texted him suggesting he get something to eat, it seemed almost nostalgic that he get the burgers.

The moving could wait. He grabbed the food, made sure the truck was secure, and went into the building.


Felicity dug further into the box and took out the remaining notebooks. It was like finding a rare book, (Felicity was thinking Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness.) The value of Oliver’s writing was priceless. It told his story, raw and unfiltered. A small part of her felt guilty, as if she was spying on him. But he told her when they decided to move back in together that there were no more secrets between t them. Did that include this journal? Felicity reasoned that if he didn’t want her to read it, he wouldn’t have so casually left it out like this.

She turned another page:

Lian Yu

Slade told me to go into the tower and take out the radio operator. Kill him. Once the radio was secured, we could send a message to Slade’s people, coordinates to the island. I was still inexperienced in this kind of stuff. Yes, I killed that merc with a rock, smashing his head into unrecognizable pulp, but I was crazy insane when I did.  This time, I would have my wits. I guess Slade’s plan was a good one—maybe if he had ten highly trained ops guys instead of a greenhorn ex-billionaire playboy.

Felicity was completely lost in Oliver’s words, turning the pages almost hypnotically as his life on the island unfolded.


She did not hear Oliver come into the loft. When he spoke her name, Felicity looked up from the journal and saw him standing inside the door, a bag of Big Belly in his hand and a look of being startled on his face. Guilt swept through her again.

“Oliver…I’m…I found…Oliver, I’m sorry.” She was in complete babble mode.

He put the hamburgers down on the entry table and moved over to the couch. “Felicity, it’s alright.”

Felicity got off the couch and wrapped her arms around his neck. “Oliver, I never would have pried into your personal stuff…I thought I would help unpack the boxes…but I couldn’t stop reading…”

“Felicity,” he spoke in the ear. “It’s okay. I told you I didn’t want to keep more secrets from you. I haven’t written anything in there since…well, since we broke up.”

She entangled herself from him and stepped back. “Oliver, these are not secrets. They’re…they’re you.”

“Yeah, I guess so. A part of me. But are your sure you want to know the person in those pages?”

“Oliver…yes. With all my heart and soul.”

He nodded. “Okay, but Felicity, we should eat first. You might need strength to get through them. But before you lose yourself in my words, can I ask you a question?”

“Oliver, anything.”

“How far are you in the journal?”

“Well, you and Slade just took over the radio in that tower. Pretty exciting, by the way.”

Oliver nodded but had nothing to add.

Felicity looked over at the bag of food on the table. “Did you get me…”

“Cheese fries,” he finished for her. “I did.” He shook his head with mock disgust. “Felicity, you do know that they’re not very healthy?”

“Oliver, after everything we’ve gone through all these years, cheese fries is the least danger to my health.”

Oliver chuckled. “Fair enough.” He nodded at the notebooks. “That might not be so healthy either; I mean mentally. There is a lot of disturbing and violent stuff.”

“Oliver, I’ve been shot, paralyzed, responsible for the death of an entire town, paralyzed again via EMP, almost killed in an elevator shaft and tortured by Chase—I think I can handle it.”

“Felicity, okay. I’m not saying you can’t. But there are some pretty brutal and graphic moments I’m not proud of.”

“Oliver you said at the beginning of this that you trust me. That is something I will never doubt again. But you need to trust me now. There is nothing in here that will change how I feel about you. I love you—darkness and all.”

Oliver smiled at her. “Felicity, I have an idea. Why don’t we eat first, then go upstairs and make love. I have a sudden desire to hear you call out my name in ecstasy. After, I will read my words out loud to you.”

Felicity took his hand. “Oliver, that’s a great idea. But forget the food—I want some of that ecstasy first.”

She marked her place in Oliver’s journal and they went upstairs.

@hope-for-olicity @louiseblue1 @lovelycssefan @tdgal1 @dmichellewrites @memcjo @it-was-a-red-heeler @wherethereissmoak