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Meet the Kotter Critters ❤️

Sandy- 11 years beagle mix rescue

Jennifer- 6 years domestic short hair rescue #blackcatlove

Gypsy- 3 years German Shepherd Boxer mix rescue

Annabelle- ? Years (happy Kotter friend)

Preston- Happy Kotter son 12 years (about 8 on video) 😘

Frankie- 8 months terrier mix rescue

Visit Happy Kotter on YouTube to see the latest…

Link :Happy Kotter Critters on Youtube

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


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I just recently came across the Google Arts and Culture app and decided to give it a try. The app is free on the (iOS) App Store and I believe it is also free through Android as well as Google devices.

Google Arts and Culture allows users to explore museums worldwide, get a real-life sizing perspective of notable works and try taking an “art selfie”

The art selfie feature allows you to snap a picture of your own face “a selfie” and compares your feature to works of art.

You can also tour museums and take a virtual walkthrough viewing paintings and sculptures and architecture.

I am excited to keep exploring this app and all it has to offer. Give it a try and show me your “selfies” in the comments 😁

Enjoy the video review and don’t forget to follow, like, subscribe, and drop your selfies 😁

Follow Happy Kotter on these platforms 🙂

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Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). Affiliate links: Some links may be from affiliate programs and are denoted with an *. This means that HappyKotter is reimbursed by the retailer or advertiser at NO COST to you. For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

There are so many ways to save money! Truth is it can become a bit overwhelming to learn a store’s policies and practices for maximizing savings on products that you are going to use anyway.

Random thought: Why are there ads for Toilet Paper? Who needs to be sold on the benefits? 😉

Convenience comes with a price tag. Start saving money NOW! The easier it is to get items that you need=the more money you will pay to purchase them. Think about buying a soda/coke/bottled drink at the gas station instead of in a larger quantity at the store. You are going to end up paying the same or similar amount for 20 ounces that you could pay for 2 liters. That does not make much sense, does it?

It has nothing to do with the quantity of product you are buying and everything to do with the convenience of buying. We live in a world where you can buy or have just about anything with very little time to wait or very little effort has to be made to consume.

There are still ways that you can have the things that you want and need without the hefty price tag that comes with instant gratification.

Make sure to watch the video AND enter the Facebook giveaway for your chance to win a mystery box (minimum $50 value!!) and learn some tips on how to start saving money now.

Enjoy 😊

See below for some helpful links!

FYI *affiliate links* Affiliate links may be contained below and will be denoted with an *. This means that when you use this link and/or make a purchase, I will receive a small amount of compensation from the company. This is completely FREE to you 🙂

Happy Kotter on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnaKK-fqeJfHNu_FHgaQrVg?

Enter the giveaway on Facebook: www.facebook.com/happykotter

View CVS online, weekly ads, and coupon policies: www.cvs.com

Looking for a great deal on Amazon*?: Shop Amazon Gold Box – New Deals. Everyday

More posts from Happy Kotter:

Follow Happy Kotter:

Start Saving Money Now

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Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

….Full Video Available.

Have you tried any new beauty products? Or, products that have been around forever, but never made its way into your daily/weekly/monthly routine?

I love mascara and have always been happy with my own eyelashes. This was new for me! I have tried false eyelashes in the past and always hated them. The eyelashes either peeled off after a short time or felt like they were weighing my eyelids down. None of that makes me feel “pretty” or more confident.

It was time to give this beauty addition a try. I went to the drugstore and purchased two sets of KISS eyelashes. One set is a classic glue on and the other is magnetic. The eyeliner/adhesive is magnetized so the eyelashes just adhere to the liner instead of relying on glue.

Want to see more? Check out the video on youtube and subscribe to the Happy Kotter channel to stay in touch and up to date with content created and shared.

Links for the products I used in the video can be found below. I am excited to know your thoughts on false eyelashes or your experience with these products.

*Disclaimer* I am an Amazon Affiliate. That means if you use my link to purchase a product I may receive compensation for referring you there. This is 100% free to you! I just want you to know, use of those links helps support the Happy Kotter vision and I appreciate you!

Links to products if you want to try them for yourself!

Glue on eyelashes “faux mink” https://amzn.to/2UsPchL

Eyelash Adhesive (must be purchased separately) This one is comparable to the one I purchased at the drugstore: https://amzn.to/381MljH

Kiss Magnetic Eyelashes: (Comparable pack) https://amzn.to/31uzsw3

Alternatively: Complete Kit Available via Essy Naturals (Magnetic): https://amzn.to/38358vb

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


I have technically been A.B.D. (All But Dissertation) since mid-November, but I took an extra class so it feels real now. Completed the last assignment for Fall 2019. Finalized grades for the classes I teach. 

Did I tell y’all I sold an actual craft that I made with my hands on eBay? Even inspired by satire, Art (that I made with my hands) traveled across the country and I got money. That’s the wildest and most not intentional happy goal I have ever accomplished. I don’t want to seem presumptuous, but is this how Michelango felt looking at a slab o marble? When he was like “Mike, you got this buddy. The entire universe exists in this finite space, and you, you rugged magician, are going to set it free. 500 years from now some ABD doc will use this as reference for a joke post on Facebook. Also, Facebook will be created as a social platform provided to those enrolled in an institution of higher education. It will evolve to a platform encouraging those with acceptably private thoughts to share them with the masses for validation. It’s ok though, not here to judge. The internet has successfully interposed a barrier to authentic interpersonal interaction but creates a safe barriered platform for people who may not speak out otherwise. There will be too many Trump memes. Also, the United States will be a thing and democratic elections will take place to establish a guidance system for the greater good and allocation of available resources. I forgot my favorite chisel. I can’t even with this today. What do I have to do to get a frosty cold Iced Macchiato with Almond Milk? Almonds make milk against intuitive reasoning. After I finish with this rock, I might take up ceiling painting. Nobody else is doing it. Haters are my #motivators. Hashtags will be confusing pop culture and functional reference between generations. The “number sign” and a way to track your own musings or ensure visibility to folks with a shared sentiment will make it nearly impossible to foster clear communication between Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Xennials, Millenials, and Gen Z. Honestly, it is not any single generation’s fault that the waxes and wanes of human development and progressive change from generation to generation. One cannot simply expect an idyllic existence. Light doesn’t exist without darkness. The moon would not illuminate if not for reflection and placement of the sun as the earth spins on an axis. This crazy Copernicus kid is working on proof that the earth is not stationary but the sun. His time will come. I sure hope Mom’s making Stove Top.
( *I used google here for some historical accuracy*)
(**Yes, I am ok)
(***Yes, This is exactly how my mind processes thought when left to its own devices)
(****Trust roughly the first seven sentences of this post. The rest is utterly ridiculous.)

Want more? Subscribe to Happy Kotter and check out the info below! 

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!Image


Dollar General 11/16/2019

I love saving money!

Dollar General (DG) is a great place to stock up and save, especially on Saturdays. More often than not, DG offers a Saturday only $5 off a $25 purchase of unrestricted items. The coupons can be found printed at the bottom of paper DG receipts or with digital coupons on the DG app and website.

If you don’t have it yet, visit www.dg.com and sign up for savings. Redeeming digital coupons is easy. While you are checking out, enter your phone number through the card reader and all applicable digital coupons are applied at the end of your transaction. Simple Savings.

Make it handy. There is also a Dollar General App (available through Android and iOS) that gives you access to weekly adds, digital coupons, the DG cart, store locations, and more.

Ibotta offers savings above and beyond your digital and print coupons! Use this link to sign up and save us both $$


Before you shop:

  1. Check the ad
  2. Check the digital offers
  3. Make a plan…..

Think about whether you are shopping to stock up or to save money on some short-term essentials. You can pair digital offers and sales with paper coupons as long as the digital and the manufacturer coupon are not for the same item (you cannot double dip) but you can stack a deal (we can cover this another time).

1. Check the ad. You can find your LOCAL ad a few different ways:

  • Go to the store. The print ads are generally at the front of the store and several copies along with special ads will be available.
  • Check your Sunday paper. If you’re looking here for coupons, don’t overlook those print ads!
  • Online. Go to www.dg.com and find the link to the online ad.
  • Check the app. (see below)

2. Check your digital and print offers.

  • Digital coupons can be applied to your purchase by simply entering a phone number at checkout.
  • You can sign up to view offers at http://www.dg.com or Download the app. (See the iOS version below)
  • Identify the high value deals that can be combined (this is good practice for “stock up trips” otherwise scan deals for the ones that are best for your needs)
  • For this trip:
  • $5 off $25 (pre tax)/ $2 off $7 Suave purchase – Both DG store deals
  • $3 off 2 Suave Professionals Products/ $1 off 1 Suave Men’s product
    • TIPS: Check the product specifications so you pick the right products. DG Store Deals are not the same as Manufacturer Coupons and can be “stacked” to maximize your savings. Time matters. Most often, you can get the biggest BANG for your buck on Saturdays as opposed to other days of the week.

3. Make a plan: I prefer to write things out on paper so that I can scratch and edit as needed. I have also made spreadsheets, but for a DG trip, writing works nicely.

If all goes as planned, I will leave the store with 17 products at a cost of about $10. The retail value (without coupons/discounts) should be about $25.65. Going in with a plan gives you some mental parameters to stick to while shopping and matching that plan with the reality is motivation to forego impulse buys and saves you money.

Did it work?

The Total for all products before savings were applied:

$10.99 (subtotal) + $15.90 (Total savings) = $26.89

Anticipated about $25.65. There are some differences between online prices and in-store. $1.24 is not a huge concern. We’re still saving! I also made a “round up” donation to St Jude- item #18

The $11 in digital coupons applied to the bill + an additional $4.90 in sales/multi item discounts. (WIN)

$15.90 (total savings) / $26.89 (total retail) = 59.1% savings overall

$10.99 (subtotal)/ 17 (number of items)= 64.9 or $0.65 per item!

There are MORE ways to save on this trip, BUT I want to note:

It is not important that you can take this list and replicate my trip by picking up the same items, but that you learn how to create a plan to shop and make savings meaningful for YOU and your home 🙂

Ibotta! If you do not know Ibotta, let me introduce you……

See the pretty pink IB square in the lower left there? Get this! Ibotta offers real (CASH) rebates on items that you buy! There is always a variety to choose from and you are not forced to compromise quality for savings. This is separate from the manufacturer and store coupons and discounts that you are already using. Best of all? It is FREE to use! You pay nothing extra for the service. Get your money 🙂

Want to make both of us happy? Use my referral code and make $$ for both of us! (This is a phone app, Ibotta does not work for computer (online) shopping.

Eve’s Referral code: cgjdvap

Sign up- check your stores (that you’re already shopping at)- and add the offers that you want to claim.

When you’re done shopping:

  • Make sure you get that RECEIPT! This is your money.
  • Open the Ibotta App, choose your store, and hit “upload receipt”
  • take a few quick pics, confirm your offers, and get your $$!

Today’s rebates: $1 on the purchase of 2 Smartfood products

  • $2.95 each at DG. If you buy 2- it’s $5 total (store discount)
  • Ibotta $1 on 2 Smartfood Popcorn
  • Ibotta Popcorn (any brand) $0.25.
  • Without discounts:
    • $2.95 x 2= $5.90 (the store discounts $0.90 on 2)
    • $5 – $1.25 Ibotta Rebates = $3.75 or $1.88 each
    • $2.95- $1.88 = $1.07 saved per bag OR
    • $1.07/$2.95= 36.3% savings from retail. (You’re saving over a third of the retail price JUST using the store deal and Ibotta)

I also saved an offer for tic tacs (buy 2, 1 oz packs) and I DID NOT check the item. The tic tacs I bought were 0.63 oz and didn’t match *sad face* $0.50 rebate loss

Ibotta $$ can be redeemed once you accumulate $20 in rebates/savings/bonuses.

You can withdraw to PayPal and gift cards a plenty 🙂

I have withdrawn savings to cover gas costs for family vacation and most recently for an early family Christmas gift <3 (I will share more about that later!) Again, Ibotta is FREE for you to use!

Want more? Subscribe to Happy Kotter and check out the info below!

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!Image


As you continue to read, imagine we are talking. I will be me and you be you. It is perfectly fine as you digest what you have taken in and begin to give it meaning that you change roles. Maybe you are me, maybe you are still you thinking about a time that you have talked to a me in your life. Maybe this makes no sense to you and you are still reading because dammit, you are intrigued.

“How about that weather?” 

-“Weather” never ceases to exist, and at some point in the past, whether it be recent or not, you and I both have experienced it before. What about the jet stream? Or climate change? What about clear skies and starry nights?

“Whew, long day huh?”

-Each and every day is a measurement of time, which is finite. This day is the same in length as other days. Are you tired? Overworked? Underwhelmed? It’s not a long day. Maybe you need a hug, or a nap.

Well, it IS Monday!”

– Yes, every week. Monday continuously happens. I believe Garfield also hated Mondays. Whatever stuggle is being tied to “Monday” is likely unconnected. Commiting a robery? Well, it’s Monday! Thursday and you would’ve been in a real pickle. Stub your toe? Wreck your car? No, you did not succumb to an interruption of situational awareness. It’s Monday!

“The rain! The heat! The wind! The ultraviolet rays! It’s cold! I’m melting! Are my elbows sweating?”

I simply cannot. No, I can. Because like some social psychopath I have studied the ways of the people in an attempt to appear normal when I’m approached with small talk. If you’re at all familiar with my background and think I should have a better, more professional, and possibly concise way of describing that feeling, I do not.

I crave connection. Meaningful connection. A long conversation about the weather, or current projects, or about what joys and troubles the time reminds us of, I can do that. Too often, “How are you?” is uttered in such a rush that it becomes something to say instead of an invitation to empathy. I feel the same way about “I’m sorry.” You can read about that too: I Stopped Saying I’m Sorry

I like “Hello’s”. If the purpose of sharing a phrase is to acknowledge another person, that does just the trick. If you ask me (or someone like me) a follow up question, then a stream of thoughts, feelings, memories, and connections start that I am unable to stop. A little obsessive? Maybe. I would love to share with you a funny anecdote or a great article I read. I could be tired, and maybe in that moment what I need is for someone to simply let me know that whatever struggle is present will pass. There could be no negative, it could be a really great day and what I would love to share is hope. I can have a really great conversation about any number of things.

The interaction is so mechanical. Let’s talk about research and your interests. Ten or one thousand small, meaningless interactions make me tired. Repeated stimulation with no resolve, makes me tired. So that I can avoid being a bother, I shut off.

In my limited time, I have learned a few ways to combat the way small talk makes me feel.

  • Make eye contact. Acknowledge that someone exists. If you’re shy (and I mean that in a way that someone is shy and experiences a real fear when interacting with people) maybe try it once. Let it happen and see how it works. 
  •  If you’re going to engage in small talk, see it through. Don’t say something for the sake of making noise.
  •  (THIS ONE IS ME!) If silence makes you uncomfortable, practice. I’ve worried myself countless times wondering if the silence wasn’t filled would somebody spot that I am a person that lives with depression or anxiety or due dates or I haven’t folded the laundry that I washed 3 whole days ago. I engage in public speaking more than I would have told you I was willing to 10 years ago. It has taken a long time to learn how to just hush instead of using fillers like “like” and “ummmmmm”. Pause is ok.
  • You love small talk. Don’t get irritated when you say something and the recipient wants to engage. Otherwise, pause.
  • I am inspired by people that make other people feel important. The key ingredient is time. Giving someone your time is a gift that cannot be replaced.

How do you feel about small talk? Any additional tips or thoughts?

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


Getting into college is only the first of many hurdles in higher education. The application process alone varies from institution to institution. The determination to succeed can not diminish just because you’ve made your way to that acceptance letter. In the many (many) years I have been a student, I have picked up on a few things to consider if you are struggling.

Do you know how to study?

  • Important note: Do you know how to read a textbook? I’m dead serious here. These books are set up specifically to teach you a great deal of information. If your approach is too casual, or you just don’t know what to look for, you could miss out on a lot of important information. When it comes to test time, that is going to hurt your chances of making the grade you want. For some tips on reading your textbook, check out this wikihow: https://www.wikihow.com/Read-a-Textbook
  • Are you studying in an environment that works for you? Make sure you have a place where you can devote your attention to your work. This could be your home, a specific room, a library, or anywhere you can get some distraction free time. Let go of your devices, especially social media, if this is a source of distraction to you. Your performance in the classroom is affected by everything you experience outside of the classroom and that is different for everybody. Set yourself up for success!
  • How do you learn? I’ve read a lot in favor of knowing your own learning style. This can help if a specific method isn’t working to make information meaningful to you. I have a hard time listening to lecture and retaining information. If you would like to learn more about learning style, I recommend the VARK quiz. This one is free and can be taken online. http://vark-learn.com/the-vark-questionnaire

Are you spending enough time on your schoolwork outside of the classroom?

  • Cramming is not the answer! Your best learning does not take place an hour before the test. Never does. Have I written assignments last minute? Yes. Have I crammed for a test? Yes. Did I always get the lower grade I deserved? No. You may be able to pull this off from time to time, but it is going to catch up to you! Give yourself time to destress before a test. Do yourself a favor now and absorb what you can so you won’t have to “relearn” it later.
  • How much time are you studying outside of class? Before you assess this, let’s talk about a few things. Is this course/content difficult for you? What are your semester goals? Your overall educational goals? Is there something else this grade could affect (scholarships, club affiliation, etc.)? As a general rule, it is good to study two hours for every credit hour you take. Let’s say you’re enrolled in a 3 hour civics class (x 2 hours study). Then you would need to engage with that content 6 hours per week.
  • Enrolled in 15 hours for the semester? Then 30 hours of your week are comitted to your student success friends. Have a job? A family? Want to sleep? I will do another post on time management at a later time 🙂

Do you know your instructors/professors?

  • Let me say it again. Do you know who the people are that are teaching your classes? I spent so much time avoiding asking for help because I was afraid they would know that I didn’t always understand what was going on. I did not know how to contribute what I did know and ask for help when I needed it. Part of that was due to being intimidated by whoever was teaching the class.
  • These people have office hours, email, etc. for a reason! Now that I am the person at the head of the classroom, I would be crushed to know that someone didn’t make it just because they didn’t feel like they could reach out to me. It’s really that simple. These people are just as human as you are and every one of them has been a student (they may still be one somewhere). Have no fear, ask for help if you need it.

As I wrap up this post, I realize that there are numerous areas that I haven’t even touched. Working toward making someone else’s journey through higher ed a little less painful or awkward or weird is why I’m still here.

Imagine a world where the brightest minds just need a little push to thrive or the space to feel safe to try and succeed or try and fail and try again. That’s where we are. There are students who don’t speak up or ask for help. There are ways that we can make it better.

I would love to continue to write about achieving success, overcoming boundaries, and such. Are there any other areas that you would like to see covered? If I haven’t experienced it myself, I bet there’s a resource for someone who has.

If you are interested in contributing or collaboration, please send me an email: happykotter@gmail.com.

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


  • After searching nearly 10’s of dozens of posts trying to learn about what is needed to start a successful blog, here it is, a getting-to-know-me post filled with random tidbits and other nonsense. Let’s pretend I did this first.


Proceed if you dare….

  • Please tell us, when you were born?

-It was a year unlike any other. Sting and The Police made stalking poetically melodic, and McDonald’s released the Chicken McNugget.

  • What’s your full name and are you proud of it?

– J. Eve Kotter. It’s mine, so of course.

  • Are you named after someone, if yes then after whom?

– Yes, I am. I am named after an aunt and a license plate.

  • Where are you from?

– Transplant Kentuckian by way of Illinois.

  • Which one is better, Basketball or Baseball?

-Football. Football should have been an option.

  • Who is your favorite person in modern history?

– Steve Jobs was pretty cool.

  • Who is your favorite writer in modern history?

– Brene Brown

  • Who is your favorite musician from the 20th century?

– Tom Petty, Heart, Pat Benatar, Aerosmith, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Pink Floyd, Prince, Eric Clapton, so many more, and Britney Spears emerged in the 90s, so she counts too 😂

  • Do you love animals, if yes then which one you love most?

– Yes, monkeys. All of them. Fond of all the primates, let me at em.

  • Do you have children? And how many?

– Yes, I have two. They’re tween and teen and still act like they know me in public. We’re doing well. Thank you.

  • If you have children, what’s their name?

– I call them Ladybug 🐞 and Monkey 🐵

  • What is your favorite drink of all?

– Water has done some pretty good things for me.

  • Do you have a favorite basketball player?

– No, I do not.

  • What is your greatest achievement in high school?

– Staying alive.

  • DO you want to have a business?

– Of course, I DO.

  • Which business you want to have and why?

– Hustle quietly. That’s personal….for now.

  • What is your most favorite scene from movies?

– The one where Brenden sings Por Ti Volare at the F****** Catalina Wine Mixer 😂

*Step Brothers, 2008*

  • If you love snakes, which one is your favorite?

– I’m no expert, but I am too aware of Freud to answer this.

  • Do you love music? Which genre is your favorite?

– Depends on my mood. A lot is missed if you commit to music choice by tag alone. I am always up for Blue October (alt. rock) though 😋

  • How tall are you? Have you dreamed of being even taller?

– 5’9″. I can reach all the stuff, so I’m good. If I could get taller instead of losing weight, that would be awesome though.

  • What is your favorite number and please tell us, why?

– I don’t have a favorite number, because that’s not something I’ve considered.

  • Have you ever been on any bridge? Do you like bridges?

– Yes, I have crossed bodies of water of various size. I like that they serve a purpose.

  • Do you have fear of anything? If it’s not secret, please tell us what you fear the most?

– I fear to bite into undercooked meat or pasta 🤢

  • Where are you working right now?

– I’m my office. Location is undisclosed.

  • Have you ever dreamed of being a successful lawyer?

– No, I prefer to argue without an official record.

  • Where do you want to travel?

-Ireland. End of story.

  • How do you describe yourself?

– READ: About Eve

  • Can you describe yourself in just 3 words?

– Determined, Gritty, Succeeding

  • What are the most powerful 3 words that changed your life?

– A new normal.

  • Who you admire the most, mother or father?

– Pardon me, That’s a shi**y question.

  • Do you have siblings? How many?

– Yes. One.

  • How many books do you read during summer vacations?

– I’ve been back in college since 2013. I don’t have a summer vacation 😂

  • Are you technology lover, if not, why?

– I am a technology user. I don’t have strong feelings about it.

  • What do you prefer, Windows or Mac?


  • Which brand is your favorite, Apple or Samsung?


  • Who is the most valuable person in Tech world, Steve Jobs or Bill Gates?

– Both men and companies have made admirable achievements.

  • Who is your favorite male Youtuber?

– My son. And that guy that makes the Sylvester the talking cat videos. The King of Random is pretty cool too.

  • Who is your favorite female YouTuber?

– I can’t think of one.

  • How do you feel right now?

– Little tired.

  • Can you remember the first time you felt angry?

– I’m sure I was a baby. No, I cannot.

  • Can you remember the first time laughed?

– Again, babies do this. No.

  • Who is your favorite comedy movies actor?

– Will Ferrell

  • Who is your favorite stand-up Comedian and why?

– George Carlin. Smart, hilarious, and unhindered by social norm.

  • Which Home Alone movie is your favorite?

– The correct answer is the first one.

  • What was the reason you cried the last time?


  • Do you know where your career will be in 10 years?

– No, I’m here for the experience.

  • Do you love your work and is this your dream work?

– I really do and yes it is.

  • What is your favorite moment from childhood?

– Being in my grandma’s yard. Road Trip to Pittsburgh.

  • Do you have pets, Cat or dog?

– 1 Cat, 2 dogs, 2 sugar gliders, and the aforementioned children 😋

  • Do you love fishing, if yes then why?

– Yes, because I said so.

  • What Is your favorite Burger and why?

– McDonald’s cheeseburger, onions only, and ranch. (Hush)

  • Which one you prefer, Coke or Pepsi?

– Regular Coke, Diet Pepsi

  • Which ocean is your favorite and why?

– I could choose the Atlantic because it’s the only one I’ve visited, but that’s unfair given the existence of alternative oceans not being considered based only on my lack of exposure.

  • Which one is your favorite, Barack Obama or George Bush?

– With zero political influence, Bush is adorable and I love listening to Obama speak.

  • Which candidate was your favorite during the latest US Presidential elections?

– The one that wasn’t a misogynist.


Leave a comment if there is anything else you would like to know about me.

And, check the disclaimer for content info and such…..



“Consider the daffodil. And while you’re doing that, I’ll be over here, looking through your stuff.” – Jack Handy

Multi-Faceted Personality Dis-Order….

The idiom “wear a hat” is far too simplistic for the inner turmoil associated with adjusting your personality and skillsets throughout the days to fit in various functions. I picture all of my “hats” on my head in some Dr. Seuss-esque fashion, and I am doing everything I can to keep them balanced before they tip over.

It is possible to be loving, funny, humble, ambitious, logical, and kind. For each of your desirable attributes lurks the polar opposite, don’t-get-out-of-bed, conspiracy-theory-loving animal. *Cue the circus music* I have an ambitious and addictive personality. There are times when ideas become so robust that I can spend hours in focus on one single thing. The rest of the hours are a mad dash to pick out the one thing I need to accomplish the task at hand. Does my mom-brain lead, my work-brain, my student-brain, friend-brain, leader, follower, partner, etc.?

Venn diagram *image for illustration*

Each circle on the Venn diagram represents an area of your being. It is the “hat” you wear. We can name these 3; self, family, and work. Self is where your passion is cultivated. This is the area where you pray, meditate, exercise, eat healthy, and sustain happiness. Family are the people closest to you. Family could even be modified to include  an umbrella for friends where the highest knitting between individuals are family, because sometimes the people we choose become our family. These are the people that are proud to know you whether you follow your dreams or support you because they know your value and want to see you thrive.

Work is what you do. The circle where you earn money, advance knowledge, and develop marketable skills. In the midst of being three separate and defined areas, you begin to find overlap creating four brand new areas including one all-inclusive confluence…..of hats.

I picture each circle as a bubble. The bubbles have the ability to grow and to shrink, but never fully detach from the others. When the bubbles are balanced, the confluence is steady and reliable, a comfortable place to stay. In the middle of self and family, I am a mom.



2) Mom

“How can you put your self before your own children? Those sweet angels deserve everything and the whole world and ….”

” How do you pour from an empty cup?” How much time did I spend neglecting my children’s needs because I did not take care of their mom? They get the best of me, not what’s left of me.

Even out your bubbles! A dear friend just asked “What is it that you’re missing”? Take yourself back to that area where you keep passion and drive and ambition. Look at how you are operating every single day and verify that is in line with a goal. Make sure that what you tell yourself energizes you and does not hold you back. Make time for the people that care about you regardless of the return. Own each and every one of your hats. If they fall, there are too many, different sizes. Secure your foundation and build up. Let what you bring in to those overlapping areas feed your soul, not your pocket.

Be gentle. Be selfish. Be balanced.

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


Beyond some superficial discussion, I have not said this out loud…

The reflections here are my own and are not intended to be representative of anyone other than myself. Take what you need. Leave what you can.

Some of my favorite people have been beautifully broken. The best part about a break in perfection is the unique way that healing takes place. Scars are not made to match another, but to represent a story, an experience, or an injury. I love to know that at some point you have failed, learned a lesson, and found that part of you that wants to carry on. I admire what happens to people when, for a moment, the obstacle looks much larger than the will to overcome it.

Imagine that on any given day, without warning, the baseline that you encounter falls at less than zero. You are wading just below the surface. The waves are insurmountable and your arms are weak. The only thing that unites your lungs with the air you need is a brick. As you grab the brick, you are able to float briefly. You can see the sunshine. You breathe in deeply. Then you are back under. This happens repeatedly and in short enough intervals for your body to sustain life. It does not end.

Take yourself to the shore. That is where you can find me. Watch as someone you love gasps repeatedly. There are moments when the time above water lasts for a moment. You can see that if they just let go and relax, they will float. In this time you can speak, you can dream, and you can hope. Then the waves rise and the brick comes back. You are not equipped with the tools to break this cycle. Left helpless, but hopeful, you are an onlooker to destruction.

In brief, I am the child of addiction. There is no simple way to encompass what that means. There is no further validity in giving a vice a name. There are groups, complete with manuals, for people like me. There are people that think addiction is a weakness, a complete an utter lack of perseverance. There are also people that are not correct. There are people fighting to survive now. And, there are people that are watching at a safe distance, probably silently ripped to shreds.

There is relief now. There is no worry when a car accident has been broadcast that I could know the driver. There are no more questions when my phone rings. The days of wondering how it could end are a safe distance behind me. I find myself in a parental place. I hope that for a moment, or for a collection of moments, there was peace. I want to believe that joy permeated every part of his being for a moment.

I am thankful for an incredible work ethic. My improvement, though, is determination to succeed without sacrifice to self. What would my life be like today if I was never able to lose myself in textbooks? What if he never gave me my first complete set of encyclopedias? What if I never watched football? What if my lullabies were never written by Kipling?

My father passed away. I was naive. Although there are always stories, or someone else’s experiences, I made death a romantic process. There would be a time to be old, and health would decline in a way that was not tragic. In my bubble, I imagined, there would be sadness, and I could see it coming. Sudden, ugly, and painful were not on my imaginary menu of experiences. It is impossible to say what was felt, because a combination of everything and nothing does not have a word.

I have stumbled repeatedly over what kind of message I wanted to relay when I decided there was a message to give. There are moments that can not be duplicated. I am the child of addiction. I am also the child of a father that did everything he could with everything he had to make sure I did something more than he could. Fear-driven rage turned to empathy with time. I have genuine compassion for anyone touched by the pain that addiction can bring. We cope differently. I have learned that the best relationship I can have with some people is a complete absence of one.

Grief will not expire. I do not want to meet the day that apathy wins over an intense emotion. One extreme will not exist without the other, and I remind myself of that when the feelings are blue. When thinking about my own approach to spirituality and death, as concrete as it is, there is poetry. I will, often without intention, assign a song to something or someone. The following is where I keep myself close to my father.

Take What You Need. Leave What You Can.

Audioslave- Like a Stone

“On my deathbed I will pray
To the gods and the angels
Like a pagan to anyone
Who will take me to heaven
To a place I recall
I was there so long ago
The sky was bruised
The wine was bled
And there you led me on

In your house I long to be
Room by room patiently
I’ll wait for you there
Like a stone
I’ll wait for you there

My daughter took a photo of me.

There has been a long fought battle between myself and my confidence. I have been a woman every day of my life, and I am aware of the way I look, the way I present myself, and the way I feel about it. The moment I became a mother the desire to set a positive example of esteem, confidence, and self-care skyrocketed. I have not, though, done as well as I imagined. If I was challenged to identify a list of failures, this one takes the cake.

I am soft, I am nurturing, and I am built to do so. There are parts of me that are in direct competition with my perceived intelligence. There are plenty of things I would change. I have practiced positive self talk and I truly believe a lot of the things I tell myself. I tell my children that they are beautiful. I want them to believe every day that their bodies are amazing and capable of incredible things. As they are navigating life, this is their vessel and they should be proud. I do not want them to compare themselves to popular images of the ideal form, and it breaks my heart to think that they could ever question their value based on their appearance. They are beautiful.

I hate my nose. Contouring is an evil blessing. Please do not make me look at a still shot of my profile. Then, my daughter took a photo of me.


I am in love. Not because it is my face, but because I get to see what she sees. This was taken in a silly moment in a store floral section. My face is an intricate collection of all of the faces before me. My children are influenced by mine. I have absolutely no business modeling a facade of confidence when I still talk openly about my distaste for the shape and structure of my nose. It seems silly.

My challenge, if I dare to create one, is to let someone whose opinion is valuable to you take your picture. See what they see. Look at where the focus lies. Choose not to believe all of the negative things you tell yourself and change the direction of some of that thinking. It is a wonderful surprise.

XO – J. Eve








Confessions of a 12-year Undergrad

5) You are going to fail at something…

It was 2005. I just started my junior year at SIUC after transferring from a local community college. That is as romantic and dramatic as it gets. I failed, and failed hard. I tried to hang on and could not do it. There are a million things that I am not skilled in, but I failed something I loved, and it deflated my self-esteem.

Maybe I am not “smart enough” to be a psychiatrist. We simply are not born with a finite degree of intelligence. We are malleable and moldable creatures with potential. Through changes of major and a complete career change, I never became “smarter”, but I have become a more competent student.

4) Everyone questions their life choices around midterm…

I remember when I shower cried over math. Every term led to some deep introspection about my life choices. I considered dropping out more than once. I stopped out more-than-once. Do I need to keep trying? Why am I trying? What else can I be good at? Are there enough points left to save my grade? All of it.

Students face this crunch in cycle. I have seen it happen. When you feel all alone and on the edge of failure, reach out. You are not in it all by yourself and no one wants to see you throw it away.

Side note: Study! With an open book now an then. It helps!

3) What you learn outside of the classroom is just as important as what you learn inside of it…

I spent several years as loosely engaged as I could manage with my campus and the strangers on it. I spent just as much time keeping my academic life separate from everything else.

It’s Thanksgiving and you have a plate full of food, but you are the type that does not want anything to touch. You have to spend more time consuming the structure and dynamics  of your plate that you can’t enjoying what is offered. Hopefully, you figure out that the turkey tastes good with the gravy on your potatoes, that cranberry sauce is amazing with the turkey, and the gravy can go just about anywhere with no complaints. (I am still clean eating! This illustration is fantasy as much as anything right now!!)

I was in graduate school before I figured out that engaging with my campus was beneficial and that there were a plethora of opportunities for growth supported by a world of people that literally only want to see students succeed. I spent a lot of time figuring out that my life inside and outside of academia was symbiotic. One feeds the other and vice versa. What you learn inside the classroom is just as important as what you learn outside of it.

2) Success takes time…

A lot of it. There is no race against anyone else. What you offer cannot be duplicated. Chill. End of story.

1) Do not mistake confidence for competence…

January 1, 2018 I made the decision to actively practice self-care in its many forms particularly encompassing mental, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. Ideally, in the space I am now, the optimal intersection of the three would be within finger’s reach. Realistically, it doesn’t work that way, and if it were to be obtained with so little effort, the duration is surely fleeting.

Insert: *Something Inspirational, yet simply profound*

There has been no such moment, but a ton of baby steps and results. I began with diet; reduced refined sugar intake. Nothing crazy, just maybe don’t hydrate solely with Coca Cola. Easy enough. I joined the next challenge when presented by a friend: be active one hour a day for the first 60 days of the year. Motivational mini-goal: Complete a 5k in 30 minutes. For consistency in measurement, I used 3.2 miles.

Day 1: #5kin30


February 11:


Concurrent Challenge: #100m30d

100 miles in 30 days. To make this a little clearer, here is a photo of the distance from Murray, Ky. to Nashville, Tn. (117miles)


One step, two step, 100.39 miles…….


In the first 60 days of 2018 a lot of things happened. The time on the treadmill, with the weights, doing cardio workouts, and dancing gave me time to reflect. I had time to check out and analyze what I had done, how anything and everything affected me, and how I could most appropriately move forward. My “next step” became the focus of the challenges and improved me -physically, mentally, and spiritually.

*I lost 23 pounds!*


PhotoCred: Degreesearch.org

Why yes, 23 pounds is a healthy pug and three hamsters. 🙂 Measuring that in sticks of butter? 4 sticks= 1 lb. 23lb=92 sticks of butter. 92 less things I have to carry around with me every day.

Today, March 6, I am on day 4 of clean eating for 21 days. Through challenges and taking risks, I have met amazing people, formed new bonds, and have the opportunity to achieve goals with family I do not see often solely because of geography.

Day 4:21 update 

This is where I am today. Take what you need. Leave what you can.



Get to know me tag! I have done some get to know me type questionnaires in the past, but this time I turned on the camera and made it for YouTube.

The Get To Know Me Tag is a great way to find out more about content creators you follow.

BTW, Subscribe to Happy Kotter on YouTube and sign up for notifications to stay in touch and be the first to hear when new content is posted.

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Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


It’s a party! Getting creative with gifting for a friend of over twenty years.

When giving cleaning supplies has run its course and there is a pandemic afoot, get creative.

I planned a birthday experience, and of course, recorded it for YouTube 🙂

Luckily, I had a willing participant to comply with the off-center ideas that I have from time to time.

With a letter outlining life since 1984, a special “getting older” set of gifts and an updated interpretation of The Newlywed Game: Friends Edition.

It’s a Party! On YouTube 🙂

Check it out.

Follow Me On Youtube and make sure to get notified when Happy Kotter posts new content.

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!


Happy Kotter is hosting a gift card giveaway on Facebook for passing 250 page likes! 3 winners will be chosen to receive a $10 Starbucks Gift Card <3

In order to enter and review activities and rules for entry, go there and check it out!

Giveaway ends Wednesday, March 10, 2020 @ 5PM CST


Want to head straight to the post? Visit this link:

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Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!

Coming up for March 2020…..

Happy Kotter is partnering up for a book review. Since the theme is health and wellness, I wanted to start with sharing some of my own experiences and make the commitment to providing the most reliable information I can.

I have tried so many “fad” “yo-yo” diets in my lifetime. The key to success in living a healthy life is to adapt to an overall lifestyle change.

I am looking forward to sharing this information and (new) book with you.

Let me know below if you would like to take part in the challenge with me! We will begin the week of March 23rd! Information and recipe advice included!

Enjoy the preview and Happy Kotter @ The Gym

Also, Happy Kotter on Facebook bypassed 250 “likes” this morning (3/2/20)!

Join me there for the next Happy Kotter giveaway starting Tuesday, 3/3/20!




  hours  minutes  seconds


Happy Kotter hits 250 (Facebook) Giveaway!

Eve is a mom, student, daughter, sister, blogger, doer, thinker, and more. Any and all blog content should be viewed as opinion and any sources should be verified prior to using any of these words in that particular order to form your own (opinions). For more, visit: Happy Kotter: Disclaimer. Have a great day!