The "Bear in Mind" blog project is meant to be my outlet to put thoughts of all aspects of my life into a digital form.


You'll find a wide array of content here as I write whatever is on my mind from my family, to different passion points, to how I go about my career in the world of digital advertising, and more!


All thoughts are my own. :)

I've been a bit MIA from the blogging and that's because we had a whirlwind major event happen earlier than expected. Our daughter, Kaylee Riesz, has officially arrived! She came into this world on May 4th at 12:05 PM weighing 5 lbs and 1 oz at 17.5 inches long. She's very tiny, and healthy. We are so lucky to have her here 3 weeks early.

As for her birth story, it was surprisingly fast and easy. And I know that's not something a typical first-time mom would say, but honestly the whole labor and delivery went so smoothly. Of course, at times it was painful with contractions at 10 cm dilation yet once the epidural kicked in, I was finally able to bear the pain and bring Kaylee into the world. Ken was right there by my side. He was patient with my frustrations and held my hand all the way through it. When they placed Kaylee on my chest for the first skin to skin contact, it was a moment that we wouldn't forget. Both Ken and I went silent. We could only admire what we had created and truly bonded with her at that time.

Now that it's been about 10 days since her birth, we have been at every beck and call that Kaylee has. We're trying to set a better routine but with a newborn that kind of goes all out the window. She's by my side 24/7, and I've started to see what she loves.

She's quite a flail-er. She loves to move her arms and legs, and she's quite strong! We have a swaddle pod that keeps her super contained, and although she doesn't quite like it - it has helped a ton in getting her to stay asleep for longer periods of time. Also, she loves to be held, especially by Dad. Dad has already spoiled her and carries her around as much as he can. I think she loves the warmth and comfort of his body.

Only time will tell us more about her, and we can't wait. We want to know her personality, which features she starts to settle on from mom and dad, and how she will learn and develop. This is an entirely new adventure. We're so excited to see what's next and take the journey together as a family.

My parents were actually the first to introduce my brother and myself to gaming (and they may have regretted it at some point). Gaming not in the entertainment sense, but in the educational one where they had bought several different CD-ROMs and installed software into our shared computer that sat within our playroom. My parents encouraged us to play all the different grade levels within the Jumpstart series. If you don't remember these games, you were totally missing out.

I recall exploring these digital worlds and accomplishing a variety of mini-games throughout them. My brother and I would challenge ourselves even further and play grade levels ahead of us. This experience transitioned into upgrading our gaming even further. We convinced our parents, like most children, to buy the latest and greatest consoles like the N64 and Playstation. We each got our own individual Game Boys and when the next newest handheld gaming device launched, we would again beg for it. Gaming became a way for our parents to distract us, but it became our way to escape. I think they recognized that gaming would stimulate our minds in a way that other mediums did not.

Fast forward to today, I'm about to turn 29 and I still game pretty much on a daily basis. I wouldn't say I'm addicted to gaming whatsoever, rather I would say it's my hobby and a pastime. I don't game for more than 2 hours a sitting and while others may sit and watch a tv show or read a book, I love being able to entertain myself in a more interactive digital format. I would say I'm not the best player nor expert in any game. I simply enjoy the challenges gaming brings (which I'll get into), and the ability to play with others and work to a common goal.

When I met my husband, I was also never turned off by his gaming. I would say he has a much stronger relationship with it as he can game for hours on end, but I would never say he prioritizes gaming above me. He's truly an introvert, and gaming allows him to not only escape into different types of worlds but also connect with all sorts of people around the world. I often hear him talking through his mic and conversing with close friends, different teams, and strangers all around. Although he doesn't expend the energy by going out to bars on the weekend with friends, he truly takes the time to simply play a game with friends, and honestly, it's no different than the former experience.

There shouldn't be a stigma against gaming. It's truly a positive, mind-stimulating hobby. You learn to create solutions to problems, or you find out about different experiences with simulations, or you open your imagination and creativity even further through building something entirely new. Games are a way to go outside of certain boundaries and interact with a challenge hands-on in a digital form, and that's what I truly love about it. It's not what people think as a waste of time and marked as "bad for you".

Interestingly enough, my grandfather who is almost 90 has an Xbox and he uses it to exercise his mental health daily. He always tells me about what new game he's already completed or where he's hitting a roadblock. I think this surprises a lot of my friends when I mention this, but if you met my grandfather he's at a point in his life where he's the healthiest he's ever been. I believe he hasn't had any dementia or confusion, for one - because he has great genetics, but secondly, he avidly exercises his mind.

I hope to only continue this hobby myself well into the rest of my life and you bet our daughter will be introduced to gaming at an early age. We don't have plans to move her away from this hobby, and if Ken had his way - he would have raise an eSports athlete if he could. We're honestly pretty excited to raise a fellow nerd! :)

So, to start - I do not have a green thumb. I have pretty much killed every plant I have ever owned, yet I want a house that is absolutely filled to the brink with all sorts of plants. It's currently my dream vibe.

Recently, I've brought 3 new plants into the fold. As a responsible plant parent, I'm going to do some decent research on how to care for these new babies with the hopes of keeping them alive longer than a year. Let's go!

The first plant I've chosen from the local Home Depot is a lovely Calathea. The leaves on this little baby can only be described as velvety, with a distinct pattern. I believe I had this plant before, which I had called my bitch plant mostly because of how finicky she was. She was much more mature and would respond horribly to light and water I gave. I didn't quite get the balance right and unfortunately, she did not make it. So here's what the internet has told me to care for my Calathea moving forward.

  1. This is a low light plant. Because of its broader leaves, it can absorb light relatively easily. They need bright light, but not direct. These plants usually sit on the jungle floor. If I start to see the leaves get a bit burned and lose color, the light is too much and needs to be moved!

  2. Calatheas like it moist. They don't want lots of water as to be soggy, but rather think tropical humidity. Water might need to be distilled, as it doesn't like the chemicals in tap. Misting the leaves is okay to do!

The next plant I got which I know is a new one for me is a tiny Parlor Palm 'Bella'. I was attracted to this one because it kind of looks like mini bamboo, plus found it in the bright light section so I thought this could be perfect for my windowsill.

  1. Bright, but indirect light. Some sun will be helpful, but harsh direct sunshine will scorch the leaves in time.

  2. Underwatering is better than overwatering. The plant should stay evenly moist, meaning the soil should never be completely dry or overly wet. A good rule of thumb would be to water the plant once a week and adjust according to how quickly the soil dries.

Finally, the last plant I got is a pot filled with a variety of succulents. Sadly, I've been able to kill succulents in the past. This one can have the most light as these are obviously drought tolerant. The key is to only water the succulent when the soil is dry, however, I tend to be bad at gauging this - it can go a few weeks without any water. So here's what I have to tell myself...don't water this plant...if you want to, just don't.

Ok, that's all 3! Wish me luck! :)