Need Workout Motivation? Time To Get Sweatin!

Have you ever had trouble getting yourself to the gym? Or even once you’re at the gym, you don’t feel like putting in a lot of work? Same.

One thing that really helps people get into shape, is good motivation. If you think about it, our biggest motivator is usually ourselves! All it takes is something to jump start your energy.

Get Sweatin is a clothing company that helps so many people get motivated to work out – and work out HARD – at the gym. Their t-shirts have hidden text that only show up once you’ve sweat through them!

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Sometimes the best way to continue motivating yourself is to physically see the work pay off. Imagine walking out of the gym with your shirt soaked in sweat, showing off how hard you worked to get results. Count me in!

With my discount code ANDIESCHILSTRA you can get 15% off your order online! They have many shirts to choose from, so pick whatever text motivates YOU the most! Use my code here for your special discount: https://dealspotr.com/getcode/xh8kn

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I’d love to see your results using this awesome shirt! What motivates you?

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Big Bear Cool Cabins – Lift & Lodge Packages For Your Winter Getaways

My family LOVES the Thanksgiving holiday and planning our entire weekend around meals, however, the second Thanksgiving dinner is over, my mum puts up our Christmas tree. We aren’t big Christmas people, but we really enjoy the winter season and decorating our house with lights and gnomes all over the place.

When my siblings and I were younger, the winter season was the best time of the year, solely because we would take family vacations! We’ve gone skiing in Switzerland, spent the holidays at our grandparents’ winter house in Vermont, and even visited the Ice Hotel in Sweden!

Winter getaways are the best time to cozy up next to a fire, go explore the outdoors, and have quality time with your family.

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In the breathtaking mountains of Southern California, Big Bear Cool Cabins is a great location for your family’s winter getaway. Their cabins are located on Big Bear Lake, about 2 hours outside of Los Angeles. There is SO much to do there as a family. Activities include skiing and snowboarding, tubing, snowshoeing, tree climbing, bobsledding, nature walks… you name it!

When booking your winter vacations, check out Big Bear Cool Cabins and their special lift and lodge packages! They have over 350 properties, ranging from single-room cabins to entire lodges for you and your friends and family. You can get one of three exclusive winter packages for your family’s winter trip:

Package #1 includes discounted lodging on participating properties and 2 adult lift tickets valid at Snow Summit or Bear Mountain.

Package #2 includes discounted lodging on participating properties and 4 adult lift tickets valid at Snow Summit or Bear Mountain.

Package #3 includes discounted lodging on participating properties, 2 adult lift tickets and 2 Child tickets valid at Snow Summit or Bear Mountain.

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Find the perfect fit for you and your family, and take advantage of these special winter packages provided by Big Bear Cool Cabins! Everything you need to know about the cabins and what services they provide can be found here. Book your cabins over the phone, and you can receive these lift and lodge packages for your stay from November 25th through April 1st!

Make sure to go to this website and book your winter getaway now!
https://www.bigbearcoolcabins.com/special/mid-week-lodge-lift-packages#.W_2X9ZNKh-U

Pet Qwerks Dog Toys Review

Every so often, I feel compelled to get new treats and toys for my dog, Pablo. Pablo is a long-haired dachshund, and the only thing he loves more than attention is new toys. He is definitely an avid chewer, so I have to get tough toys for him, otherwise, they will very quickly be ripped apart. Any soft toy I bring home ends up in a million pieces, just minutes after Pablo gets a hold of it. I’m always looking for new, durable toys to test on Pablo to see what he likes the best, and what will withstand his chompers ripping into it.

PetQwerks was a new brand I heard of, that creates fun and creative toys for all kinds of dogs. They have an assortment of interactive toys, as well as chewable toys for your furbabies to enjoy. PetQwerks sent me some pretty great stuff, so I’ve graded them based on durability (how well they hold together with my dog who loves to chew) and my then enjoyability (how much fun Pablo had playing with the toy).

1) Pet Qwerks Doggy INCREDIBUBBLES for Dogs. THEY DON’T POP! Peanut Butter Flavored!

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First up, we have flavored bubbles! I immediately loved this product, because it is so unique and was a really fun way to interact with my dog outside without having him try to eat normal chemical/soapy bubbles. Pablo loved running around the yard, snapping at all the peanut butter bubbles blowing around.

I would rate this toy 9/10 for enjoyability, based on how much fun Pablo had eating them and running around, and I’d rate it 10/10 for durability!

2) Pet Qwerks Dinosaur BarkBone® Dog Chew Toy with REAL BACON. For AGGRESSIVE CHEWERS! FDA compliant Nylon. (Made in USA)

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Next up is the Dinosaur BarkBone! These bones are very durable and are great for avid chewers like Pablo. I normally don’t give Pablo any rawhide products, as I know he chews things up and swallows big chunks of plastic sometimes, but this bone was flavored and fun for him to chew without any danger of him swallowing big pieces of nylon. There are plenty of teeth marks in the toy, but Pablo enjoys chewing the ends and trying to rip tiny pieces off of it.

I would rate this toy a 7/10 for enjoyability, and an 8/10 for durability. Great chew toy!

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3) Pet Qwerks Bacon BarkBone® Dog Chew Toy with REAL BACON. Hefty, easy to pick up curved bone. For AGGRESSIVE CHEWERS! FDA compliant Nylon. (Made in USA)

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Like the Dinosaur bone, this curved BarkBone is flavored with reacl bacon. Pablo seemed to enjoy the Dinosaur bone a little more, simply because the ends of it were more textured and easier to chew on. He still has some fun chewing this bone, but he does gravitate more to the Dinosaur bone. This bone is a little more durable and a little less soft, which is great for big dogs with tough teeth!

I would rate this bone a 6/10 for enjoybility and a 10/10 for durability, based on its toughness.

4) Pet Qwerks Talking Babble Ball Dog Toy, Wisecracks and Makes Funny Sounds When Touched!

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This Babble Ball is something else! I was excited to play with it at first as it is a very unique toy, and most reviews say it’s a hoot, but Pablo ended up being scared of the noises! The ball talks to you or giggles when you touch it, which started Pablo every time he got close. I think it has very funny comments, but my dog didn’t end up playing with it much since it scared him a little bit! I think dogs will have a lot of fun using this toy if they are interactive and like bouncing around the room chasing toy balls like this, but my dog took caution when approaching the Babble Ball because he knew it would make noises at him. Funny to watch!

I would rate this toy a 3/10 for enjoyability, simply because Pablo got scared and didn’t mess with the talking ball. I think other dogs would really like playing with it, though! I would also rate it a 9/10 for durability since it’s a tough plastic ball that would be hard to tear into.

5) Pet Qwerks Plush Hedgehog with CUTE CHATTERING ELECTRONIC SOUNDS!

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Last but not least is this adorable hedgehog plush toy. Pablo immediately grabbed this from my hands and started playing with it. The toy made giggling noises when squeezed, and it perked Pablo’s ears every time it chuckled. Plush toys are never my first choice when buying something new for Pablo, as he’s a chewer and really tears into soft toys like this. Because of that, within 10-15 minutes this toy was torn open and Pablo was getting into the plastic and batteries on the inside of the toy. At that point, I had to toss most of the inside bits, but Pablo really had fun running around with this little guy and trying to tear it open.

I would rate this a 9/10 for enjoyability, and a 2/10 for durability because my dog is such a savage when it comes to plush toys!

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Overall, Pet Qwerks has some very fun toys that my dog really enjoyed playing with. Based on whether your dog is a chewer or likes playing fetch, there are plenty of different products to choose from, and you’ll be sure to find the best fit for your pup’s needs.

If you’re looking to try some new toys for your furbaby, you can use my personal promo code ANDIESCHILSTRA for 25% off your entire order at Pet Qwerks! You can find that code here, and be directed to the Pet Qwerks website to use your 25% off: https://dealspotr.com/getcode/UEIKY

Happy shopping, from me and Pablo! 🙂

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Who threw the apple?

My family is an extra cool family – or so I like to think. I have a mum and a dad who are very different but are so in love it’s insane, and I have an older sister and a younger brother. The best thing about my family is that I consider them all to be some of my best friends. Other kids may think it’s odd to tell their parents everything or to be really close to their siblings, but I can’t imagine my life being any other way!

Now, although my family is the greatest family ever, we do have our moments…

There is a never-ending mystery in my family that began YEARS ago (around 2004 to be exact) and has never been solved. This mystery seems to be one that will be taken to the grave – and I mean that quite literally. The story behind it seems odd, but I will share a step-by-step analysis of this mystery as well as the conclusion I have come to over the years.

This mystery is one we call: who threw the apple?

One day, my family came home from grocery shopping. When the items were all brought inside and put away, my father stood in the dining room, staring out of our big glass windows that made up the walls of the entire first floor. He noted seeing something in the grass on the side of the house, and proceeded to go outside to find out what it was. When he returned, he held a beautiful red apple in his hand. We were all confused at first, wondering what in the world an apple would be doing in our backyard! We then noticed that there was a “Pink Lady” sticker on the apple, making it a store-bought apple rather than one from the imaginary apple trees in our backyard. I quickly ran to check the fruit bowl we had on the dining room table, and SURE ENOUGH – we had 5 new Pink Lady apples in the bowl, with the 6th one missing!

The mystery here may be easy to guess at this point – we had no idea who threw the brand new Pink Lady apple into our yard. There are a few conclusions we all quickly pointed to:

1 – While taking in the groceries, someone on the street decided to take an apple from our open trunk and toss it into the grass of our yard.

2 – One of the children thought it would be funny and threw the apple into the yard.

3 – Mum thought one of the apples was already bruised and gross, and she threw it out into the yard.

4 – Dad wanted to secretly start a pointing-fingers game, thought he was funny, and threw the apple himself before “noticing it” in the yard.

5 – A ghost did it.

As you can see, there are many ways this apple could have ended up in the yard.  Facts are facts, and the only thing we know FOR SURE is that this apple in our yard came from the new pack of Pink Lady apples we had just purchased and brought home. As for my conclusions, I have come to the following –

My mum – She is the opposite of someone who would waste food, especially if we just purchased it, and would never in a million years find it funny to create some sort of mystery. On top of that, the apple looked great and wasn’t bruised at all, so it shouldn’t have been tossed out. In my mind, my mum is the LAST person who threw this apple.

Next up, myself – Being the angel child that I was back in the day, I decided to run upstairs to avoid bringing in tons of groceries! I came back down when the deed was done and when my dad noticed the apple in the garden. Believe me? Up to you. All I know is that I was a little sneak and I ran away to avoid doing a chore.

My younger brother Steffen – I wasn’t the only angel child around, so this twerp ran upstairs with me! We were like Thing 1 and Thing 2 back then.. always trying to avoid doing the dishes or taking out the trash, so we went hand in hand up the winding stairs to hide from the heavy lifting. I can vouch for him here, and he can vouch for me! Done.

My dad – This is the tricky part, because on one hand I don’t think my dad would want to tick off my mum by throwing new food into our yard, but on the other hand, I have this “whoever smelt it, dealt it” thing going on in my head that makes me point to him! My dad saw this apple hidden in our grass before anyone else did. It also wasn’t the most obvious thing to point out, seeing as it wasn’t right next to the window, so how did he notice it so easily? Half of me thinks he did it to start a mystery, and another part thinks he’s just really inquisitive and wanted to know what was in our yard. Still up for debate.

Lastly we have my sister, Jenna – Jenna is my #1 suspect. Young angst at its finest, Jenna was left to carry in groceries with my parents as her two younger siblings ran away from the job, and she got m-a-d. I don’t know why she would do it, but all other things point to Jenna as being the apple thrower because no one else can be! She readily denies it, and will literally deny it on her death bed even if it was really her. This is the biggest problem, because I’m scared I’ll never know who the culprit truly is!

The question of who threw the apple often comes up at family gatherings, and fingers immediately begin to point one way or another. It has become such a crazy, ongoing mystery that the debates and accusations often get heated and people get upset really quickly. At the end of the day, SOMEONE threw that apple, and my whole family is determined to know who, even if it takes another 30 years.

So… who do you think threw the apple?

You know nothing, Jon Snow

Game of Thrones has been a hot topic for a quite some time now. I had never been a loyal viewer, until about three weeks ago when I decided to join the bandwagon of fans and see for myself what the hype was about. As of Sunday night, I finished the series. You could say I enjoyed it…

There are some characters in GOT that you are meant to despise, and others you’re meant to love. It’s interesting how I feel very strongly about a few of the characters, but my thoughts on others seemed to change over time (if you consider 3 weeks “over time”). Here is a list of the top 6 characters that hold much importance, and why I either love or hate them.

WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS

Tyrion Lannister: The imp. What a guy. Tyrion comes off as a jackass quite early on in the series, seeing as he’s a Lannister, but he proves himself a hero in my eyes on multiple occasions. He not only hurt Cersei by sending her daughter away, but he also killed his father Tywin while he was taking a nice poo. Good one. Tyrion also cares for people even if he tries to hide it. He didn’t touch Sansa when they were married because she didn’t want him to. Most men in GOT do the complete opposite, so seeing Tyrion be so gentlemanly was a rarity on this show, and painted him in a good light.

Cersei Lannister: This woman is probably the most cold-hearted, empty, scheming little thing in the entire series. Her one redeeming quality was that she loved her children, but they were all prophesied to die – and they did. Her daughter and oldest son were poisoned on account of what Cersei and her family had done and how they treated others, and her youngest son jumped out of his window when Cersei blew up his one true love. Not such a great mother after all. Cersei is truly an evil character that I could never see fans supporting (although blowing up the High Sparrow and his faith militants was so badass) and I don’t expect her to grow into a lovable character by any means.

Daenerys Targaryen: QUEEN OF ALL QUEENS! Daenerys is the hottest, baddest, strongest woman on the show, and she becomes so empowered on her mission to take back the Iron Throne. Mother of Dragons and Breaker of Chains – Daenerys has the most powerful ruling of ethics, promising to abolish slavery and punish those who betray her. She’s young and beautiful but such a strong ruler that you simply cannot dislike any part of her. She was in the very first episode of GOT and I fell in love with every part of her life – from her brother dying an awesome but cruel death, to finding real love with her arranged husband, to her being unable to burn while she kills horrible men around her, to her killer army and dragons that she will one day rule the world with. She S-L-A-Y-S.

Sansa Stark: Sansa was not someone I liked very much – not only just in the beginning, but until season 6 I hated how annoying she was if I’m being honest. However, she is one of the characters that dramatically changed over time. She went from a bitchy little girl who followed every command she was given, to a strong, beautiful warrior who helped her brother win a war and killed the most evil creature of a man for what he did to torture others. She also started playing the “game of thrones” when she lied about Littlefinger killing her aunt in order to save him. Bold move. Sansa started out as a shy little princess but grew into a stunning fighter that I’ve come to love. Extra credit: she’s also a ginger. Winning.

Arya Stark: This little girl went from a foolish tomboy to a bad-guy-slayer in no time. She was pretty irrelevant to the series at first, except for her being a Stark, but she then learned to fight blind, used the Many Faced God to kill bad guys (including that horrible blonde girl who beat her up constantly), and even got revenge for the murders of her brother Robb, mother Catelyn, and their entire army. She’s a pretty cool kid that has survived a lot and lost even more, so I’m a pretty big fan of hers, as you should be too.

Jon Snow: How does one even begin with Jon Snow…. Jon was rumored to be the bastard son of Ned Stark who died in season 1, and has never lived a day without being reminded of the fact. PLOT TWIST – HE ISN’T! WHAT WHAAAAAAT?! He was sworn to protect the Northern Wall, and when he made a pact with the Wildlings and saved many of their lives, his own brothers murdered him. But LOW AND BEHOLD the Red Woman does ONE good thing in her much too lengthy and horrible existence, and she brings him back from the dead. Like what? Although Jon broke his vows by sleeping with the badass archer Ygritte, he is the most loyal and good man in the entire series and by far the biggest fan favorite. Little did he know that he would go from being a bastard to now being claimed the KING OF THE NORTH! KING OF THE NORTH! KING OF THE NORTH! Speaking of plot twist, here is some confusing but V IMPORTANT information:

  1. In one of Brann’s visions, we see that Ned Stark took Jon Snow from his sister’s hands as she bled out and died. Jon never really knew who his mother was, but here we find out that his mother is Ned’s sister. Amazing fact number 1.
  2. Secondly, an unseen character who died before the series begun was Rhaegar Targaryen, who is Daenerys’ oldest brother (not the one who died in season 1). Rhaegar was married, BUT “kidnapped” Ned’s sister (although rumor has it they ran away together) and slept with her. Ned’s sister then gave birth to Jon Snow WHOOOO IN FACT is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen.
  3. SO now – Jon Snow isn’t really a bastard, because he was born from a true Stark ANDDDDDD he is the son of a Targaryen. What the actual what…..

Game Of Thrones is called the series of Fire and Ice. Starks – ice. Targaryens – fire. Oh my lord, Jon Snow is the true heir to the Iron Throne and the bond between fire and ice. I’m dead.

*whispers*  You know nothing, Jon Snow.

Jojo Shmojo

** Major spoiler alert … Continue reading at your own risk **

Well. Last night was the finale of Jojo’s season of the Bachelorette, and I’m pissed.

I’m pissed because Jojo sent Luke home two rose ceremonies ago. Biggest mistake she made this entire season. The song *Fix You* rang in my ears and I cried watching him leave. I forgave her for not seeing through Chad’s douchebaggery earlier on, but this…. this I cannot forgive. Did Jojo regret sending home the one genuinely kind man left in her group? No.

I’m pissed because Jojo kept saying she had worries about Jordan and felt like she was falling for the same guy she has always fallen for – the bad boy – who ends up breaking her heart. But did she listen to herself? No.

I’m pissed because before the finale I was actually torn about which horrible man I was rooting for, but as soon as the finale started, I chose the only clear winner – Robby. Did Jojo? No.

Now, let me break down how last night’s episode went. Jojo first brought Jordan home to meet her family. Jordan came off as a fun guy, but was low-key really awkward making her family wear ugly hats at dinner. Not so cute. After her overnight with Jordan, they had both agreed that asking her father’s permission to marry his daughter was priority numero uno. By the end of the night, Jordan didn’t even ask. Nice going.

Next, Robby was brought into Jojo’s house. Immediately, her entire family sees how in love he is and how ready Robby was to get married and start a family. Robby has an incredible conversation with Jojo’s parents, asking their permission for their daughter’s hand in marriage, and they give Robby their blessing. Robby also brought Jojo’s father to tears, making this a very special first impression.

After both men were gone, Jojo asks her family’s opinion on both men. The entire family basically says ,”yup Robby.. he’s the one yes absolutely great yes go for it that’s it case closed amazing yay Robby.” Jojo’s dad then adds that Jordan didn’t ask for his blessing, and after hearing that they liked Robby more, Jojo breaks down crying. What?

Jordan eventually realizes he messed up, and he calls Jojo’s parents and receives their blessing via Smart phone in a dramatic last minute scene that totally changed the game- well played.

So – after Jojo’s whole family basically picked Robby for her, after Jojo debates over one man being amazing and smart and handsome and loyal and honest (Robby) versus a man who she’s more sexually attracted to and reminds her of her exes (Jordan), and after the entire universe is screaming at Jojo to pick the man who won’t let her down… Jojo picks Jordan. Brilliant.

I’ll admit… I cried. Not because I was totally in love with Robby as I was with Luke, but because seeing a man so in love with a woman who then stops him mid-monologue while professing his love to her, just to tell him she loves him but isn’t choosing him, is never an easy thing to watch. Robby may not have won Jojo, but this Ken will find his Barbie one day.

Here, we learned a great lesson – when the whole world says go right, Jojo will go left. You do you, girl. Jojo and Jordan were clearly meant for each other, and I’m sure they’re excited to move into their new house in Dallas and enjoy the few months they’ll share before things go south when Jojo steals Jordan’s hair gel. I would never wish bad will onto anyone, but I can’t wait to write about the day they break and say I told you so. Good riddance.

#TeamRobby #MoreLikeTeamLukeButItsTooLateToApologize #Byeeeee

Chipotle is my liiiiiife

I know I’m not alone in saying that Chipotle is life. It may make me “basic” or you might think Chipotle is going out of style, but this kid knows what I’m talking about. Get on our level.

Chipotle recently came out with a new piece of branding content called Chiptopia, which acts as a rewards system. Each time you buy a minimum of $6 worth of food at Chipotle, you swipe your Chiptopia card. After 4 swipes, you hit “Mild” status, giving you the reward of a free burrito or bowl of your choice. This system goes on until you’ve passed “Medium” and reach “Hot” status after 11 purchases. When I heard about this new program, I went N-U-T-S. I can get rewarded with free Chipotle by eating Chipotle? Hell yea, sign me up! I then devised the perfect plan:

I asked my coworkers to team up with me to reach Hot status three months in a row, because doing so lands you the supreme reward – free Chipotle catering for 20 people. We would all use my one Chiptopia card, taking turns buying Chipotle for lunch on workdays. The end goal would be to get the catering reward, because we only have 6 people in our office so we’d be set for life with that much Chipotle. So far, so good. We’re nearing Hot status for the month of July, and the sweet, sweet taste of Chipotle catering is getting nearer. You may think this is cheating… and you’re probably right. But word around the block is other offices are doing the same thing, so that makes it ok… right?

Now, ordering the right kind of meal at Chipotle is also very important here. You can get a bowl, tacos or a burrito for over $6 which makes this pretty easy to achieve. But you also only get one card-swipe per day, making your meal choice that much more significant. If you ever buy tacos, you’re lying to yourself. You don’t like Chipotle. You like wasting money. Burritos are a commendable choice, but you’re still not doing Chipotle right. The burrito bowl is the clear choice here. You get more food than you would in a burrito, but you can also ask for a tortilla on the side….. like duh, you just got a fatter burrito by getting a bowl. Sick.

As for the contents of your bowl, you can’t smother it in sour cream without ruining a gloriously delicious $8 meal. If you do, you end up with a bowl of white mush that tastes like old milk. You also can’t order brown rice just because you think you’re being “healthier.” News flash – you aren’t. Brown rice has more calories and carbs, as well as about 80% more arsenic than white rice, which is linked to problems like cancer and diabetes. On the other hand, however, white rice has less micronutrients and has a higher glycemic index, meaning it is broken down by your body faster and causes a higher insulin response. The debate goes on and on, but neither rice is insanely good or bad for you. Order the type of rice you think has the best taste, and get the beans that give you the least amount of gas, and move on.

Now comes the best part: the meat. The best advice I can give you is to go for chicken. Steak is a fair enough choice if you’re one of those meat loving people, but please stay away from the soggy pork and crumbly sofritas. Gross. You then CANNOT skip the pico de gallo, otherwise your bowl is immediately a waste of space. Extra pico, both spicy sauces, corn, cheese and lettuce = BEST BOWL OF YOUR LIFE. You might be thinking – hey, what about guac? I thought you were basic? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered–

Guacamole is incredible, don’t get me wrong, but if you’re smart you’ll follow this little tip: get guac on the side. Why? Reason 1 – you can literally taste the guacamole more if you fork it out of the to-go container and top each bite off with it. Mixing it throughout your bowl drowns it in other flavors, making it a waste of $3. Reason 2 – if you don’t finish your bowl (which happens often because it’s a lot of food) you can take it home and eat it later or the next day without an issue. If guac is in your bowl, it’ll oxygenate and turn brown, ruining your leftovers! I know I know, pretty clever.

The point of this all is – Chipotle is awesome, Chiptopia is a great thing that you need in your life, cheating is acceptable if you’re not the only one cheating, and you need to get a burrito bowl with guac on the side if you want the best bang for your buck. You’re welcome.