Ancestry DNA Results

After about 2.5 months from the date of ordering to now, I finally got my Ancestry DNA results. While I am not a patient person to begin with, it was my fault in hindsight. I took advantage of the Black Friday sale and placed my order along with a huge amount of other people. This tied with it being given as gifts for Christmas made a huge influx of DNA samples arriving at the lab at the same time which caused longer than normal wait times. If I was to do it again I would choose a time that did not revolve around a big sale period or Christmas.

In this post I detailed the steps from receiving the sample kit to mailing it off. It was really quite easy if you follow the steps. Just don’t pull a Sara and keep forgetting you are not allowed to eat/drink a certain amount of time before providing the sample. I had to restart my timer three times.

I got the email telling me results were ready while I was just opening my eyes the other morning. I always check my emails before I get out of bed but when I saw that my results were in I flew out of bed and started my computer.

And my results were……drumroll please…….

Ancestry DNA #ancestrydna

To be honest I  had no idea what to expect going in. You hear your parents talking about things over the years so you kind of cobble together some ideas. My dad being adopted left one side of my family blank although we knew his last name before adoption was Abrahamson. This made us believe that there might have been some Scandinavian in there but as you can see Scandinavian is only a small percentage. What I’m truly shocked about is the high percentage of Great Britain, tied with the Irish (I had no idea that I had even a bit of Irish so this was a pleasant surprise) that equates to over 68% of my genetics. It’s pretty crazy that most of my ancestry seems to come from those two neighbouring islands.

Ancestry DNA #ancestrydna

When you click on your results you can see each segment in more detail. Each genetic breakdown is shown on the map with different circles radiating out from the strongest point of your genes. The Great Britain gene seems to stretch out to cover Denmark as well which makes sense since my maternal Grandpa’s family seem to come from that area (still trying to figure all this out). I also seem to have a significant portion of Eastern European that doesn’t pinpoint an exact location, which is probably because of all the shifting of borders, countries, and people over the last 2000 years. Because yes, this genetic study goes back as far as 2000 years. I’m currently taking advantage of my 2 weeks free on Ancestry trying to decided if I want to get a membership. I discovered a lot of information on my maternal Grandfather’s side last night to add to my family tree (I thin kI have found ancestors all the way back to 1474 so far) , tonight I am going to try my maternal grandmother. Women aren’t as easy to search as men (unless they were a big part of history, but even sometimes) since they were generally considered property to be passed from father to husband so the searching is a lot more difficult to find records for.

Ancestry DNA #ancestrydna

When you do the DNA the site immediately begins to update you on all the genetically connected people that have also taken the test (it also updates every time a new connection arrives in the lab). They range from close family, all the way to 8-10th cousins (which are not as easy to find connections and prove you are related). I have 93 people who are listed as 4th cousins or closer so far. One of those connections is for a second cousin, which was shocking to me and through my quick and poor investigative searching I believe that this person may be from my dad’s unknown side. This is very exciting for me as well as him to finally have some information. I am looking forward to see how much I can dive into this.

I think one of the most interesting parts is that while I knew I was European, I didn’t realize that I was almost genetically full blood European. 99% to be exact with 1% to break that up from the Caucasus. So much history comes from this area like the Trojan War (Homer’s Illiad), The Battle of Thermopylae with Xerxes, Constantinople, the Crusades. The history lover in me wonders if that 1% possibly came from some big historical event that I have read about. I’ll probably never know, but it is fun to think about.

Have you ever had any success using Ancestry to find out your family history? How far back were you able to go?

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What I Wore This Week

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

Outfit 1 – Jacket • Zara (similar) | Sweater • H&M | Pants • H&M | Boots • (similar) |
Outfit 2 – Sweater • Zara |
Outfit 3 – Cami • Mango | Cardigan • H&M (similar) | Jeans • Gap | Boots • Topshop |
Outfit 4 – Cami • Mango | Jeans • Gap | Army Jacket • thrifted (similar) |
Outfit 5 – Sweater • Zara (different colour) | Jeans • H&M (similar) | Shoes • Adidas | Purse • Zara |
Outfit 6 – Sweater • Zara | Jean Jacket • Really old (similar) |

I’m taking a break right now from researching some genealogy to make a quick post. I got my DNA results back from Ancestry which is why I am researching. I plan on making a separate post for that this week.

This weekend the weather was glorious. So beautiful and spring-like I could almost believe that winter was over but since it is still only February I know that we are still in for cold and snow. It was nice to only have to wear a sweater out though and leave the windows open. I love spring and wish that it lasted longer. Its seems to go from cold to hot rather quickly without much in between so I am thankful for these nice couple of days. I even enjoy the mud and slush from the rapid melting even though I had to play hopscotch over the puddles.

Tom’s at Value Village right now (Sunday morning) , and he always sends texts of things he finds on his solo shopping trips to see if he should get it. He just sent me a picture of an amazing pair of red Puma’s and I was so excited, but they ended up being too big for me when you convert from men to women’s sizes :( Now I’m super bummed and want to search online for a pair of Puma’s in that colour, even though they won’t be the $5 they were at VV.

Something that I am looking forward to as winter starts to wrap up and summer gear floods the stores is a new pair of sandals. I have no idea what style I am looking for this year (I think it’s been 3 years since I bought a new pair) so I am excited to see what styles are out there. I usually only have one pair of sandals that I wear through the summer since I also wear my Vans slip-ons a lot and/or sneakers and flats. One or two pairs is all I need. I can’t imagine having so many shoes that I needed to dedicate an entire closet to them. I’d have no place to put them, and I’d rather save the money for a vacation anyway ;)

Have you spotted any great sandals yet? 

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What I Wore This Week

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #wiw #ootd #livelovesara

Outfit 1 – T-shirt • Madewell | Blazer • H&M (similar) | Leather Pants • H&M | Boots • DSW (similar)
Outfit 2 – Camisole • Mango | Cardigan • Mango | Pants • Zara (similar) | Shoes • Converse
Outfit 3 – Kimono • Madewell (similar) | Jeans • H&M |
Outfit 4 – T-shirt • Brandy Mellville | Jacket • Zara | Jeans • H&M | Boots • DSW (similar) | Purse • Zara (similar) | Beanie • (similar)
Outfit 5 – Dress • H&M (similar) | Jacket • Zara | Boots • Frye | Purse • Zara (similar)

I’m going to premise this by saying that this is a generalization. This in no way applies to everyone, but I found it was relevant to my personal experience which is why I am talking about it. This totally makes it seem like a big deal topic buts it not, it’s just about clutter ;)

I was sitting around my condo yesterday trying to clean and organize it but it felt like no matter how much I seemed to do there was no progress being made because there was just so much stuff. It made me think of something I read recently about how there is a correlation between lower-income people (or people who have experienced substantial periods of being low income) tending to be more “hoarders” than people who grew up well off. People who have lived their lives comfortable without any financial worries are able to embrace and instil very minimalistic living space with a lot less effort or personal conflict. They say this is because if you don’t have much you tend to hold on to things. You hold on to stacks of old books, linens, dishes, have emergency food supplies just in case money gets low, keep broken things because you can “repair” them (even though we all know how often you actually repair something when you say you will). It’s harder to let things go because this is the sum of your wealth, your assets. The physical evidence of where your money has gone. It is hard to part from them because of the sacrifices you made to buy them. The sense of accomplishment or success you might have felt after saving for them. They were goals, aspirations, and achievements and the thought of getting rid of something with such emotional ties when you are used to instability is frightening.

This kind of resonated with me.  I truly believe that growing up lower-income and really struggling financially for the first 10 years of our marriage makes it hard for us to get rid of things. I am constantly overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that we have sitting around and would love to just load up a truck to get rid of it all (or move and bring nothing so we can start over) out it’s easier said than done. When it comes down to it I find myself second guessing my choices. Refolding and placing back on a shelf the items that I so easily tossed into our donation bag we keep by the door just a few days earlier. Things that have worn out their usefulness are now just hanging around adding to the clutter in case the find another use. I have caught Tom more than once buying things for the girls because he can and not because they need it and I think it’s because there were so many times we had to say no because we couldn’t afford it. There has been only one area in my life that I have successfully been able to pare down and that has been with my wardrobe. Even that took a long time and many separate culls because I still had/have difficulty letting things go. Everything else is a constant work in progress.  I can go open a drawer in any room of the house and find things that can easily be tossed and no one would be the wiser but I find myself just slowly shutting the drawer because “you never know”.

I have read several books on decluttering and cleaning and they all make sense. I just find myself having difficulty applying them to my life. I visit the unf*ck your habitat website often, have their app (which is called Unfilth Your Habitat. I guess the F word isn’t as marketable) and they have book now.

Here is the book description from their page:

Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better than Your Mess is the housekeeping and organizational system developed for those of us who’d describe our current living situation as a “f*cking mess” that we’re desperate to fix. Unf*ck Your Habitat is for anyone who has been left behind by traditional aspirational systems: The ones that ignore single people with full-time jobs; people without kids but living with roommates; and people with mental illnesses or physical limitations, among many others. Most organizational books are aimed at traditional homemakers, DIYers, and people who seem to have unimaginable amounts of free time. They assume we all iron our sheets, have linen napkins to match our table runners, and can keep plants alive for longer than a week. Basically, they ignore most of us living here in the real world.

Now that sounds right up my alley. In fact I am ordering the Kindle edition right now. No need to add more book clutter ;)

*There really wasn’t much point to this post than me realizing that our struggles with clutter might be directly linked to our past financial struggles and I had a light bulb moment. Now that I made the connection I am consciously trying to work through those issues.  

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What I Wore This Week

What I Wore This Week #ootd #whatiwore #wiw #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #ootd #whatiwore #wiw #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #ootd #whatiwore #wiw #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #ootd #whatiwore #wiw #livelovesara

What I Wore This Week #ootd #whatiwore #wiw #livelovesara

Outfit 1 – Black Blouse • H&M (similar) | Leather Pants • H&M | Hat • Thrifted (similar) | Shoes • Adidas
Outfit 2 – Shirt • thrifted (similar) | Kids Shirt • Zara (similar) |
Outfit 3 – Striped Shirt • Everlane | Jeans • H&M (similar) | Hat • Thrifted (similar) |
Outfit 4 – Embroidered Shirt • Zara (similar) | Leather jacket • Zara | Jeans • Gap |
Outfit 5 – T-shirt • Zara (similar) | Blazer • H&M (similar) | Jeans • H&M (similar) | Boots • DSW (similar)

Another week down and it felt like it passed and was very unproductive. My firsty first illness in a while took me down hard and things seemed to fall to the wayside this week. Today I have no voice which I guess the kids are rejoicing in but it’s frustrating not being able to talk loud if need be. I have two massive piles of laundry on either side of me right now waiting to be folded. I hate folding laundry although I would rather do that than clean a bathroom (anyone want trade?). I don’t even want to get in to the rest of the place. It’s amazing how quick things go downhill when you aren’t consistently maintaining them. And to top it off I can’t take a lot of medicines because of weird reactions/side effects like hyperactivity at night, but drowsiness during the day, jumpy legs, and just overall sketchiness, so I have to take children’s cough medicine to lessen the effects even though it is much less potent. Here’s to a healthier week.

My package from Mango arrived late last week and I am really happy with all the pieces. The cropped jeans are actually cropped on my 5’3″ frame without needing any other shortening (the aren’t as cropped looking as they are on the model but they don’t look like I am trying on kids pants). There is zero snow on the ground at the moment which is so unusual for us but I have taken advantage of that and wearing a lot of seasonally inappropriate clothes as my rebellion against winter ;) I’m sure it’s going to come back and hit us full force in no time but I am enjoying it while I can. Currently it is windy and raining and is more reminiscent of October weather than January.

I’m on a British drama show kick at the moment. Do you have any good ones that can recommend?

 

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What to Pack for Venice, Italy – Packing Light

What to Pack for 3 weeks in Venice, Italy Packing Light Packing list #packinglight #packinglist #travellight #travel #travelwardrobe

Tank • J. Crew | T-shirt • J. Crew | Striped Blouse • Mango | Black Blouse • H&M | Grey Long Sleeve • Madewell |
Striped Shirt • Mango | Black Sweater • H&M | Versatile Blazer • Madewell | Blue Dress • Madewell |
Black Dress • Gap | Cropped Denim • Mango | Dark Denim • Topshop | Black Pants • Gap | Jacket • H&M |
Scarf • AHAlife | Hat • Madewell | Sunglasses • Jonathan Saunders | Flats • Sam Edelman |
Sneakers • Nike | Boots • Sam Edelman | Purse • French Connection | Crossbody • Vince Camuto

Often when I do packing posts they are for single locations, but occasionally I get requests for several cities (many times within the same country). So I have to do a little research on averages, highs, and lows of temperatures as well as precipitation. I also take in to account the types of activities that each city offers, as well as some dos and don’ts of fashion (some places are much more conservative, while others quite laid back). These are the types of things that affect any clothing choices I may make, even if it’s just a suggested sample wardrobe.

While this list says What to Pack for Venice, Italy this trip is also encompassing Florence, Rome, Taormina Sicily, Sorrento, and Capri. I noted that the average temperatures for these locations are all within a closer range so the packing options will be easier. This trip is planned for May and will cover all these cities over a 2 1/2 week span. As for weather this time of year is considered prime for many because you have not hit full tourist season, the flowers are in full bloom, it is not yet too hot like mid summer. The average is 19°C with a high of the mid 20°C’s and a low of 13°C.

Mornings can leans towards cool so a light scarf, and jacket will suffice, as well as for evenings. Dark, slim jeans are always a good option, with light blouses, or long sleeves. I included a couple of dresses (but a skirt would work too), the blazer is very versatile because it can also be tied at the waist to look like a cardigan (the retail photos show you how you can wear it). For footwear I suggest sticking to flats because of the cobblestone streets, stairs, and the amount of walking that you will probably be doing. A running shoe and Chelsea boot give some good walking shoe options as well as for cooler temperatures. The mule is a dressier option but also works well when the day warms up, but a sandal or ballet flat would also be a good choice.

Outfit Options will be in the next post.

What is your perfect temperature? Mine is 17°C.

 

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