Saturday, April 19, 2014

In Search of my Happy Places (Part 2)

{If you missed Part 1 check it out Here}

I absolutely love, love, love Barnes and Noble. I'll be more specific and say that I LOVE the Barnes and Nobles with the "built in" Starbucks. I am not sure whether there is a location without a Starbucks café anywhere around the country, but just in case.

I am privileged to have a location walking distance from my apartment and is definitely one of my favorite places. I come here on Saturday or Sunday mornings and get so much work done! I usually bring my breakfast with me but always get coffee of course because it would be kinda' imprudent for me to just sit here without buying anything.

On the "grab and go" breakfast menu today:

Almond butter & Strawberry Jam on Ezequiel raisin bread.

I have been coming to this particular location for about 5-6 years (even before I moved to the area). I know the "traffic" well enough to know that I need to be here at least within 2 hours of opening time because it tends to get super busy, particularly in the afternoons, and there is no way to focus or get anything done. However, during morning hours it is always so peaceful and I feel so focused on whatever I need to get done, specially for school.

I know there is probably a lot of issues around the fact that this is a private company that's only after a profit and that maybe I should be supporting local shops. Trust me, if I had a local/independent shop I would support it but there is none around my way! I've also heard issues with B&N having a Monopoly when it comes to book stores and how they've run out the competition. In  all honesty, I don't think about any of that. I feel good here. I love it. Brings me Joy to be surrounded by people simply having a cup of Joe', reading and enjoying there time here. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that!!!

I plan to head to the gym after this to get my sweat on so, lets get this day started! Happy Saturday everyone! <3



Tell me--- What's your favorite coffee shop/book store? (if they are located in NYC I would love to try them out).

I was not compensated for this post in any way, shape, or form. I really do like this place. the end. :)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Rekindling My relationship with Myself

Its been a while since I've spent quality time with myself.

This may sound odd but as AMAZING and wonderful as a relationship can be and as much as I look forward to falling in love again and spending time with a significant other; this time on my own is reminding me of how much I also enjoy time with me. With Mabel.

I went shopping earlier and while driving I caught myself smiling when I realized that hey! I am on my own again. I am learning to be on my own again and that's perfectly okay.

Being alone is not the same as being lonely. And I am far from lonely.
I am healthy.
I have a family that loves me, and whom I love.
A God that loves me.
I have a roof over my head (a nice one).
I have clothes to wear.
Food in my fridge.
An education.
A job.
An exciting Future.
And the list goes on...
My door is open to LOVE. I am not giving up on it because of previous circumstances that will have no effect on my present or my future. However, until it walks in to my life again. I will enjoy this time with myself and make the absolute best of it. <3

Cheers and TGIF!

Fortunate Friday {Good Friday Edition}

Hello dear friends!

It is good Friday today. To all of my dear Catholics out there, a day to reflect and to be thankful for everything that the one up above did and does for us. I am missing my mom as she is out of the country visiting her family. We would go to church every good Friday and take part in all of the activities.  I may have to do that on my own this weekend. My grandma is having a family dinner this evening so, looking forward to that.

I took today off from work to catch up on school work and to at least enjoy one day from my so called "spring break" without having to rush around and just to find some time to relax.

I woke up super late today catching up on sleep and then enjoyed a yummy breakfast.

In addition to the above noted "tasks" my apartment is in some serious need of deep cleaning and I may also go grocery shopping. I also woke up with the strange urge to purchase new sheets, a new comforter, new underwear, new everything! I may even paint my apartment (having painted it since I moved there over 2 years ago!).

 I've also been on some serious need of getting a bookshelf for the gazillion books I have at my place but I am not sure if that will take place today. I am just excited to "revive"  my apartment. and myself. :)

Will keep you all updated, of course.

Without further 'ado here is what I am feeling fortunate for this week:

1. God's unconditional love in my life and the feeling that I know for a fact he is always looking out for me. I cant explain it but when things are chaotic in my life and then when they finally fall in to place {sometimes miraculously} things make perfect sense and I cant attribute that to anyone else but the one up above! 

2. Co-workers that become amazing friends-- Not sure how this happened but I have become very close with one of my co-workers whom is fairly new. She has been such an amazing support system and I just feel so positive and optimistic around her. That's when you know you've met a good person!

3. Uplifting radio shows that motivate me-- I listen to a motivational show on Spanish radio which always manages to put a smile on my face. Do you listen to any uplifting shows?

4. The courage to talk to one of my managers about something (will share the topic on a post coming soon).

5. Finally finding Almond Butter!! (Quick Trip to Trader Joes)-- I made a gazillion trips to the whole food by my job with no lunch and yesterday I finally found my beloved almond butter during a trip to TJs! I also picked up a few staple items.

6. The time I've had to reflect on my experiences and getting to know myself better (does that process ever end?)

7. Optimism towards the future, finally feeling good again.

8. Things finally making sense, and self-forgiveness!

9. The courage to be more open on the blog (super freeing!)

As you may all have heard, one of the best known authors of the world, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, passed a way yesterday. I read several of his books growing up and I was very, very saddened by the news. I dedicate today's 'quote of the week' to one of his best sayings:

"What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it". GGM

Tell me,
1. Do you listen to any uplifting shows or podcasts? Please share!
2. Any plans for the weekend?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thoughts from the Soul Thursday

I went through a painful breakup recently.

It took me some time to realize that it was over considering I still lingered with the idea of getting back together. I would wake up and constantly think about what I could have, should have, or shouldn’t have done and with incredible feelings of regret that would try to take over my mind at least every 5 minutes. The pain and suffering came as contractions. I haven’t had a baby yet but from my understanding; contractions first come slowly and then come very close together until eventually the birth happens (this is a very condensed version). 
In my case, and as it probably is in these kind of situations, it was the other way around. The contractions right after the breakup where VERY close together. I would be perfectly okay for a few minutes and then the excruciating pain, suffering; regret would come again-- Unannounced and aggressively. One of the main reasons for this was the fact that I remained hopeful that things would turn around. Although being hopeful brought some brief relieve; it wasn't long until the pain would gear its ugly head again. I soon realized holding on to the idea of what we were was not taking me anywhere.

The good thing about any kind of significant suffering in life is that time heals everything. Things may hurt like no tomorrow for some time until they no longer have an effect on us. I am not here to sugar coat anything. Memories hurt. The idea of "what could have been" hurts. Having to fill the void of someone you got so accustomed to hurts. Deleting future plans from your mind hurts. The thought of waking up in the morning and having to face reality hurts. For some time even going to sleep on an empty bed hurt like hell. But then it doesn’t hurt anymore. And that’s probably one of the most liberating feelings in the world! Welcome peace, & serenity. Welcome. I missed you.

The bad news—having to pick up the pieces of your heart, put them back together, and live again. The best part? Living again! Is all how you look at it, see? I was so consumed in this relationship that things that made me happy took a back seat. In other words, I stopped doing every single thing that brought me joy when I was single: Running, blogging, reading magazines, watching my favorite shows, being joyful and optimistic, planning for the future. I don’t blame him for that. I blame myself. Why? Because I replaced all those things that brought me joy with a person and then I expected that one person to bring me just as much (or more joy) than the things that intrinsically made me happy when I was on my own. If that’s not the key to unhappiness I don’t know what is.

Yes. There were red flags from the very beginning. We started off as friends and I knew the type of person he was prior to us getting romantically involved. However, in love you take chances and that’s what I did and I don’t regret it. In retrospect, I knew better but I decided to listen to my heart and you know what--- that’s TOTALLY okay. Is life. Life ends. We have to live it. I just have to remember to take my brain with me next time I want to jump in to something without a parachute.

One of the main things I learned from this relationship:
1. My happiness depends on me and me alone. Giving up the things that made me happy and replacing them with a person and then placing the responsibility on that person to make me happy will only take me down one road (the one I was on when things ended).

2. People are who they are and they don’t change. The more we push a person to change the more complicated things will get and the more arguments that will arise. People change when THEY want to change and IF they want to never because anyone is forcing them to be a certain way. We either accept the person as they are, put up with whatever it is that bother us and "hope" that one day things will change…or we simply walk away.

3. If you can clearly identify a pattern of the type of people that constantly break your heart; you’ve won 80% of the battle! (The other 20% is not falling in to the same pattern again).

4. It is true what they say--- never, ever, ever, go to bed angry with your significant other. If its someone you want a long term future with (otherwise, who cares ;).

For some time I wanted to hold on because the idea of letting go and starting fresh was too painful. The idea of transition was painful. Today I accept that I had to go through that pain but also realize that the pain was illogical because I wasn’t happy, most of the time I was miserable, and I knew it! Yet I still wanted to hold on to the idea of what "could be". And that was probably my biggest misconception.

So how did I heal? It wasn’t easy at first and it takes time but I promise you that the other side is wonderful and it will wait for you with open arms.

"When someone leaves is because someone else is about to arrive". -Coelho

The strangest thing is that once that was over someone asked me out almost immediately. The person that asked me out didn’t even know I had a boyfriend so it had nothing to do with me announcing to the world that I was ‘newly single’. Although I was very flattered I declined because it was too soon and I knew in my heart that I needed some time to heal and be okay on my own again. My point is that I am almost certain that when we finally let go of something that’s not currently meant to be in our lives we open up the doors for things that should be. I like to think of it as clearing the space for my true destiny—whatever that may be. And It may be scary but is also exciting.

Exciting > Scary

Until I am ready to date again and reunite with the love of my life I will be keeping occupied by doing the following activities; including but not limited to:
  • Working out

  • Cleaning out my fridge (and my apartment) of any reminders of that person

  • Going grocery shopping for fresh produce! Goodbye orange juice!

  • Food prepping

  • Writing out a workout schedule for myself

  • Planning trips to visit people around the US

  • Planning dates with my friends (the ones who remain)

  • Watching my favorite shows while browsing my favorite magazines

  • Learning to cook with mom

  • Spending quality time with family and loved ones

  • Taking care of myself inside and out

  • Meditating (Finnally try some Yoga?!)

  • Meeting new friends

  • Meeting new people

  • Moving forward

The future is bright!!!!!!!!!!!!
I am happy. One day this will be a very distant memory. I choose Joy :)

I share this not for any kind of pity but because I am sure there is someone out there that can relate and make feel peace from reading this right now. We are never alone!

As for my ex, he is not a bad person. I hold no grudges. I have no regrets. Maybe we will go back to being good friends or maybe we’ll go back to being acquaintances or maybe the future may have different plans for us. Maybe the love will blossom again one day under different circumstances. Only God knows!

One thing I know for sure is that when people are meant to end up together there is nothing that will keep them apart and when they are not, the opposite is also true. So I move forward in peace, leaving the rest in God’s hands and with this, I finally let go and and I fly...

Friday, April 11, 2014

Fortunate Fridays: The {I have good people in my life} Edition

Hey lovely people!

Hope everyone had a great week! Welcome to another edition of fortunate Fridays. I am so happy the weekend is finally here and cant wait to relax for a bit. This coming week is my spring break so I am super relieved to finally have a little bit of time off from full time school & work which has been quite the challenge to balance out.

How was your week?

Here is what I feel fortunate for this week:

1. Lunch trips to the farmers market and getting Red Mango with my favorite co worker

2. Having someone else give you their perspective on things
3. Homemade food after a long day (thanks mom!)
4. Bloggers that lift up my spirits. Favorite blogger these days--- Erica D. House
5. Warmer days (need I say more?!) can’t wait to run in this nice weather!
6. My amazing dad whom took it upon himself to take my car to the mechanic and fix some major issues it had (this definitely made my week). My car feels like new!
7. This amazing post

Favorite saying this week:


What do YOU feel fortunate for this week?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Smooth Commute {and diet pill for breakfast?!}

Good morning all!

Happy hump day!

I had a pleasant commute this morning to work. I have been staying at my parents house this week considering my sister is on vacation and I can sleep on her bed. The commute from my parent's to my job is soooooooo much smoother than the one from my apartment. To make a long story short, it cuts my traveling time by about 20-30 minutes which is the equivalent of like 3 days in NYC time (I kid, I kid.).

Anyway, sleeping over at my parents also meant bringing over some of my foods that I had prepped for the week. Packing was a little stressful (isnt it always) but I managed to bring over some of the stuff including my banana bread which I am having for breakfast this morning with almond butter and a cup of joe'.

Yesterday while wondering the streets of wall street with my co-worker we went to Lot Less and amazing store with amazing sales and which I am obsessed with. I found these little pockets of almond butter for $1.
I ran out of almond butter about 2 weeks ago and have made sporadic visits to whole foods where they continue to be out of stock. Not sure what may be going on but I may pass by today again and see. But anyway, the little pockets are perfect for now although the jar would be a better deal of course.

So on to this diet pill situation….this morning as I made my way towards the cafeteria at my job to grab some coffee I ran in to a co-worker. This girl is absolutely beautiful and has a nice full shape which many would qualify as "over-weight". As we walked together she commented on how "hungry" she was but that she didn't want to break her diet. I asked her what does she mean? She responded by saying that she cannot eat anything for breakfast aside from a cup of tea. Then I asked her, what about lunch? she proceeded by saying she can have lunch but it has to be "light". She is on some kind of plan which involves diet pills from a fairly popular company I don't want to mention here. I felt sorry for her.

I felt sorry for the situation and I felt sorry for the ignorance of some people whom still believe that starving themselves is the proper way to lose those extra pounds. I don’t blame her. I blame the manufacturers of those companies whom, for the sake of profit, could care less about deceiving people about their "miracle pills". I can assure you that the CEO and high level executives at these companies eat pretty well and aren't starving themselves having a pill and some lettuce each day. I don’t want to judge. Maybe I don’t know the whole story. All I know is that the description of this diet she is on didn’t sound good.

I have to admit that back during my teenage years and maybe even very early 20s I would borderline starve myself in order to achieve that "idolized" skinny shape. Thankfully, through the years I have realized that deprivation is a sure way to fail in this area. There will come a time when your body will pretty much "attack" you and make you crave everything under the sun in order to get back those calories it had been deprived from for so long. The cravings will become so incredibly intense that you will have no choice but to give in and start the cycle all over again. This is a miserable way to live and I can attest to that because I've lived that first hand.
With failure comes experience and today I know that starvation is not the answer. Calories, fat, carbs, protein, etc. It is all necessary for a well-functioning body and all works in unison to make you healthy and bring you to your healthy weight. It may be easier said than done but it is true. Our bodies are incredible machines and they will tell you what they need. If you starve it and deprive it you better believe that the first thing that will pop in to your head when you cant take it anymore wont be the healthiest food choices; and this is one of the reason for that yo-yo cycle.
Anyways, these are my two cents and some venting on the situation. What are your thoughts on this?


Monday, April 7, 2014

In search of my Happy Places (Part 1)

Hope everyone had a great weekend and a great Monday!

This weekend I spent a lot of time with my parents. I decided to pay them a visit on Saturday and pretty much stayed over at their place until this morning (my parents live about 15-20 minutes away-- driving distance-- from my apartment so it is kinda' nice to have them close). I have to admit that it just felt good to be in their presence and to feel the love that only parents can provide. I kinda' missed that. It's been a while since I spent an entire weekend with them. For some time now I have been trying to put together a list of my personal "happy places" and my parent's home is without a doubt on the list.

While at their place I got my hair done (Saturday), wen to mass and then got my nails done (Sunday). I also ate some good homemade food and indulged in a bit of apple pie and vanilla ice cream yesterday. My mom loves to bake random stuff so whenever I am over there I am almost guaranteed to be surrounded by some kind of dessert.

Mass was great and brought peace to my heart. It emphasized the subject of surrendering our troubles to the lord once we have done what we can. Sometimes we forget to let go and let God do what needs to be done. Felt good to be reminded of that.

Additional pics from the weekend:

Made Banana Bread on Friday night (had several bananas that were past the ripe stage and I mean super-duper passed. Perfect for some delicious baking):

A failed attempt at Kale Chips. I have a feeling I didn’t leave them in the oven long enough. Recipe called for 15-20 minutes but next time I may go for the 30. Needless to say I threw out almost the entire thing:

A visit to the library where I found this awesome book:

Didnt go to class today. Needed a mental health day!!! So i am here relaxing for a bit!

Cheers to a smooth week!