Sunshine Blogger Award!

Hello Everyone,

I have some amazing news to share, I have been nominated for my first Sunshine Blogger Award. Since I started blogging, I have always wondered how these awards work, and now I finally feel like I’m part of some inner circle when it comes to blogging.

I want to thank popsiclesociety for nominating me and will leave my list of nominations at the bottom of the page. How this award works is the blogger who chooses me gets to ask me any questions, I answer them, and then I nominate 5-11 other bloggers I think deserve this award too.
The sunshine blogger award goes to other bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring!

The rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you!

Use the “Blogger Sunshine Award” logo on your post and list the rules.

Answer the 11 questions that the selector asks of you.

Nominate 5-11 bloggers you want to give the award to.

Ask the following bloggers 11 questions of your own.

Q&A from popsiclesociety:

1. Do you think that we are alone in the universe?
I think this is a difficult first question, I don’t think we are the only living organisms in this entire universe, but I don’t know if there are other living beings that look and talk like us in outer space. I do believe somewhere there are bacteria and maybe even a type of plant waiting for us to find.

2. What makes you feel happy?

Simple things. My sisters’ freckles and gap-tooth grin, my dog wagging her tail and looking back at me, the smell of moms bacon sizzling on the frying pan. Walking through the town square smelling burned coffee on the crisp, chilly air. Looking up at the sky that’s always changing but always beautiful. I’m that person who stops to smell every flower even when it makes me sneeze or lays in the grass to look up at the clouds, I stare too long at someone I love because those are the things that make me happy. Not just one thing.

3. Do you smile every day?
Oh yes, I smile every day. My whole life is full of joy and laughter. I love joking and being sarcastic, and my family is like that too. My job is full of giggles so hard our tummy’s hurt, my home is filled with a child’s laughter and a dog barking.

4. Do you like traveling?
I love to travel. Well no I hate the traveling part, but I like to meet new people and experience new places. I love to eat different foods and see different colors and views of the world. I never really remember a place I have been, but I remember the colors I see. When I close my eyes and think of the places, I look at the colors that flash behind my eyes and those colors are what I am addicted to when I travel.

5. If you are a gentleman when was the last time you gave flowers to a lady and if you are a lady when was the last time you received flowers from a gentleman?
Why do I have to receive flowers from a man? I haven’t gotten flowers from a man or women in a very long time, my ex never gave me any even though I so badly wanted them, but I buy myself flowers and plants. Life is about the lens we choose to see through, the colors we want to look at, and I think having plants and flowers in your room really help start your day off good.

6. What motivates you to keep going every day?
I swear it’s the little things in life. My little sister, as annoying as she is, she is my biggest fan. I come home, and she calls my name and even when I had a long, brutal day I give her a hug and a kiss and I know I’m home safe ready to take on another day. It’s my dog whining for attention letting me know everyone supports me. They are what keeps me going in this chaotic world.

7. How do you keep up with your blog and your followers? Do you have enough time?
I feel like I never have enough time, I stay up late, wake and up early. Lately, I have been getting up working out, and then I’ll write and check my blog. Sometimes I focus more on the book I am writing than my actual blog, but lately, I have been finding a solid balance between work, reading, writing for me and writing for my blog. It’s been a challenge, but I am finally developing good habits for my writing and life in general.

8. Between becoming a cyborg or dying what would you choose?
I would choose to die. I truly believe when it’s somebodies time to go they know it, and they are ready for it. I mean this isn’t the case for some people, I know that there are horrible things that happen in this world and someone may not be ready to go, but I do think things happen for a reason and I think the universe has some chaotic plan that I am supposed to go along with.

9. Are you a curious person?
I would like to think so. I think things and ideas can be magical and I’m always to find out what magic makes them work.

10. What’s your favorite food?
I have this undying love for pita bread, vegetables, and hummus. I could eat this meal every single day of my life if I could.

11. Have you ever been to Antarctica?
No, I have not been to Antarctica, and I’m not sure I would want to go. There are a lot of rules there, and I wouldn’t want to ruin any habit for an animal accidentally.

The bloggers that I choose:

Sammytheauthor

Hunida

HajraTalat

A Dude Abikes

Layefa

Questions from me to you!

1. What is the story behind your blog name?

2. What is your blogs goal or mission statement?

3. What is your biggest pet peeve?

4. Do you have any routines throughout the day that help you write?

5. Daily, what small things inspire you?

6. What is something you fear the most in life?

7. If you had a choice between dying and living the same day over on repeat, which would you choose?

8. Would you rather be rich and super unhappy or poor and incredibly happy?

9. What are some of the goals you hope to accomplish this year?

10. What puts a smile on your face even when you’re in a foul mood?

11. What is something you would like to pass on to the next generation? (an idea, a skill, recipe, anything goes)

I am so excited to read your answers!

Connections and Coffee

Having Coffee with me,

If we were to have coffee, I would take you to my little coffee corner shop, that has the best hazelnut coffee. We would stand in line, and you would notice that I get a ceramic mug instead of a to-go cup. I’d turn to you and tell you I enjoy sitting and tasting my coffee if the time is available. You would order behind me, and I would sneakily pay for both drinks, after-all I was the one who invited you.

I would go over to where the cream is and actively avoid it going straight for the low-calorie sweetener instead, you might tell me it’s terrible for me, I would nod my head like I am super concerned and yet still dump two packs into my mug with a smile.

If it were summer, I would insist on sitting outside, I would choose a table I could see the crosswalk and both nearest bars, and hopefully a table that would also allow me to see the front door. Id set my purse down and sit on the rickety chair immediately getting comfortable. You may struggle with the old chairs, and that’s okay they get time to get used to, they aren’t exactly meant for comfort.

I would give you a small smile and turn my attention to everyone around us. I would tilt my head and listen to the ongoing drunk conversations of desperate college girls. I would look at the newlyweds already drunk and arguing, I would judge the girls walking in stilettos on brick, and I would smile at the group of recovering alcoholics drinking coffee.

Finally, I would grab my mug, inhale deeply, close my eyes, and gulp down my bittersweet coffee. I’d open my eyes and look at you. I’d turn my attention to you and ask all the uncomfortable questions you don’t want to be asked. Why don’t you talk to your mother? What are your fears? Are you lonely? Do you unconsciously choose to be alone? Tell me what you believe that others don’t? What is something you want but your family is against? Why does your eye twitch, is it from too much coffee? Is it from stress? From this you would either walk away from me or be intrigued, you would also find out I can be just as open if I feel our connection.

You would ask me questions, and I would be open, but if I genuinely felt a connection, a spark of magic, I would have fun and joke around. I would tell you funny stories, you would see my sarcastic playful side, you would see unbound humor that can make some uncomfortable. You would see how passionate I am about life. I’ve always felt deeply, I’ve always felt emotions to the very core of my body. If we spark, we will ignite the earth with our friendship.

You would then realize, form the very first moment our eyes met I was judging you. Not in a wrong way, I was asking myself questions. Do I feel comfortable you? Can I laugh easily with you? Can I look into your eyes and see depth? Do I feel a sense of honesty from you? Do I see a passion, a spark within you? Depending on these answers, we may or may not have coffee again. It is not a win or fail test, it is me being able to decide for myself who I would like to be friends with.

Even if I never see you again, it was a pleasure to sit with you, it was a pleasure to observe others with you. Life is about connection, some connection is forced, and harsh, other relationships are easy and meant to be. I aim to have real connections with everyone if I don’t feel like we are meant for each other in some way I won’t try to force our relationship, and neither should you. At the end of our time, I would expect you to be as open and honest as I am.

In this world of grey, I try to make my emotions transparent, I genuinely try to be a good person, and I try to share my happiness with others. So, after drinking coffee, I would take my mug inside to the baristas, wave at them with a smile, walk back outside toward you. Give you a hug even if we don’t see each other again it was worth meeting someone new. At the end of it all, I would hope that you see there are still good people, and I would hope that you give more people a chance, trying to find the most real, most authentic connections possible.

Inspire and Connect

So, this year, even though it’s only been one day, my friend’s daughter, who I look up to in so many ways, asked us on our chat group what word we would choose for the new year. She said she likes to pick an innovative word every year that focuses on all aspects of our daily lives. I thought this was a great idea.
My two words for this year are inspiration and connection. Last year I didn’t set myself goals, I didn’t have any focus in my life, and I had no direction. Last year I had no inspiration, and I didn’t inspire others. I was more focused on how others viewed me or what they thought of me. In other words, I focused on things that didn’t matter. Last year helped me grow; I learned a lot about the things I did and why I did them.
After last year, a year of growing and honesty, I will focus on connecting with myself and others. This year I am helping set up a coffee stand from scratch, helping train the new employees, creating recipes, and hopefully, I will connect with my new team. I want this new stand to inspire every person that comes through.

I want to focus on connecting with my surroundings, and with the community, and be inspired by these connections. Everything in New Hampshire has inspired me in some way or has helped me grow inch by inch. I’m not a new lady this year, but each new year is shaping me into the person I want to become. These two words I have chosen will help develop this year into what it should be.
What is your word for this year?

New Year Goals!

Hey Everyone,
I want to start off by saying Happy New Years!

Last year I didn’t make any goals for myself. I wasn’t motivated to do anything besides work, and I was working so much that I wasn’t driven to do anything in my spare time. This year I plan on working a lot less and focusing on my health and happiness, and some of my readers know this is a huge theme in all my posts. I do have things that I would like to start doing and things I want to start doing again.
Goals for 2018:
1. Blogging a few times a month- I want to blog more and write about things I love. Last year I blogged every few months, but this year I would like to pick a day of every week to post something.
2. Workout 4 times a week- Since I have moved I have been good at working out almost every day, but this year I would like to create myself a set schedule, so I know what to expect and get a decent workout a few times a week.
3. Diet- When I say diet I don’t mean doing any fad diets, but I would like to be more careful about what goes in my body, and I would like to cut out processed foods.
4. Volunteer- I would love to find an animal shelter I can help. I have always loved animal’s way more than people, and I think it would be a fantastic goal to set myself. So, if anyone knows a good animal shelter in New Hampshire, let me know!
5. Attitude- Overall, I am a happy person, and I try to look on the bright side of things, but lately I am feeling unmotivated to do much, and I want to get out of this rut. I think accomplishing each of my goals will help me stay motivated and help with my attitude and outlook on life.
6. Finish School- I want to finish as soon as possible! I am almost there; I need to stay focused and just go for it.

I know everyone will be making new year’s resolutions, and what their goals are, but I feel like writing it out and posting my goals publicly will help me stay motivated to start and finish them all. I would love to know what everyone else has set for themselves and how they plan to accomplish their goals?

Back To Barista.

When I first moved to New Hampshire, I got a grownup job I thought my family and friends would be proud of. It turns out it was one of the worst jobs I have ever had. I ended up stressed continuously about going to work and dealing with the owner, and I was always in a state of anxiety. I was never happy.
I initially took the job because the manager at the time was a fantastic leader. She was incredible, I talked to her for an hour, and I knew I wanted to learn how to be a good leader from her. I should have looked more closely at the company; the owner was a nutcase. It was her first business, and she was so rude to everyone that all her employees ended up leaving. After few days, I noticed four people had quit, and then the manager who hired me, said she was also going. The person who had stayed the longest was only there for a total of five months.
I tried so hard to stick it out, and I wanted everyone to be proud of me for jumping into my new life so quickly. Every day I went to work, untrained, unprepared, and scared of the owner. Every day I had to deal with more passive aggressive BS that was thrown my way. Finally, one day the owner broke me. I excused myself to the bathroom and cried. I sat on the toilet and just cried for three minutes. Wiped up my tears continued with the rest of the day. I carpooled with my mom home, and she knew there was something wrong, I was wound up and on the verge of tears again. My mom and I talked the whole car ride home, and she told me to quit.
I never once said I loved this new job, I was never thrilled, and I never wanted to be there. I have never had a situation like that. I’m sure it won’t be the last one I hate, but I hope it’s the last one with a horrible owner.
I ended up applying to a new store, closer to home, and back to doing what I love. I am going to be a barista. It isn’t as “grownup” as the last job I had but I’ve decided I don’t need a grownup job right now, and I shouldn’t be concerned about making other people proud. I should focus on being happy, and be myself. That’s why I moved here.

Communicating Effectively

Anyone who knows me well knows I have a tough time communicating under pressure, or when I get super emotional. I am the type of girl who feels so strongly, sometimes words can’t describe the pain or happiness I feel, so I stop talking. Or say the entirely wrong thing, my words always come out wrong.
In all my relationships, I have had this problem. I wasn’t able to effectively communicate at some of the most critical times. I didn’t have the tools, or knowledge to say precisely what I meant. In my defense, I am genuinely a good person, and I tried my best to avoid conflict because I hate any confrontation, partially because I don’t know how to talk my way through problems openly.
I’ve recently moved back in with my parents, and good lord the communication in the house is worse than mine has ever been. My dad is like Mr. Anti-communication, he refuses to talk about things, and totally gets pissed when we ask questions he doesn’t have the answers to. I am 100% like him.
Watching my parents, I have learned some good tools to deal with my communication problems. When I didn’t have all the answers people always said it was weird, or my answers didn’t make sense. WELL, they were right it didn’t make sense because I didn’t understand what was happening, and that is no reason for the other person to get suspicious or frustrated. The right answer is to help me find the answers, help me find the truth. My mom does this with my dad, and I would say 85% of the time when they work together to find answers to a situation, the communication always opens after both people understand what is happening.
The next thing I have learned from watching my parents is it’s okay to step back and breathe before saying something. Emotions run high in this house (mine included), and I notice both of my parents take a real step back and breathe for a minute before they say anything else. I haven’t ever done this; I am that person, when you accuse me or freak me out, I go off. Mostly because I don’t believe I did anything wrong, but I can’t explain that. I say the first thing on my mind, and it’s usually not what I mean. There are so many times I would have just breathed it out before saying anything, at work, at home, in school. This tool could have helped me so much through my teenage years; I wish I had learned these lessons earlier.
The third thing I have noticed is my mom listens… my dad sometimes does. I am a lot like my dad, I hear things, but it doesn’t necessarily connect. My mom tries her best to look from his point of view. I say I do this, but the damn truth is most of the time I can’t. I think this is something that comes with life experience, and age, I’m not there yet. I have tried to see a situation from someone else’s point of view, and I can’t because I am so focused on proving myself to them that I am clouded.
The last thing I learned is some important things can’t get worked out then and there, it might take a few days to find the answers or to come up with an agreement, but you can always hug and kiss before bed. I know people say, “don’t go to bed angry.” I agree, but I also know some things take a few days, and the best you can do is tell each other you love them, hold each other, and move past it for the moment.
I think these are essential tools for any relationships, whether it’s in school, work, or personal life, these are some of the tools you need to be good at communication. I’m not an expert by any means, and these are just a few things I have noticed and wanted to work on. I won’t be the most open person you know for a few years, but I can start taking small steps to get there. I find it way easier to write on my blog, where I can fully think about things, rather than in person. I know there is a lot more to learn, but that’s why we get such a long life, so we can keep learning every day.

Health & Happiness

Ever since I quit my barista job I have become much happier. I was so focused on getting money to help pay rent and save up for my goals, that I became stressed. I was starting to become a person I wasn’t happy with. I was over worked, tired all the time, I didn’t work out, and I didn’t sleep well. Now I am the opposite. I sleep, and work out, and eat better all because I am not pissed off at the world. Why should a job that should have been so fun, stress me out so much? Well the honest answer is, it shouldn’t, and I am way too young to be tied down to a job that makes me feel like a zombie.
I learned a valuable lesson, I need to put myself first. At this point in my life I should be the center of my own life, and I need to do what makes me happy. I learned that it is okay to have a day to yourself for a mental break. Mental health is just as important as physical health and if your job doesn’t understand that, get out quick. I was becoming so overwhelmed, I didn’t want to do anything, I was dealing with so much at work that I was irritated constantly. I was not me.
I’m not saying I stopped paying rent or stopped helping around the house, I didn’t even give up on saving for my goals, but I am saying that I am not focused on work right now. I am focused on me, on my happiness, on my overall health, and I think this is exactly what I should be focusing on in life. Actually, I think all 20-year old’s’ should take a break and focus on themselves. I wish someone told me to find a job I can be happy with, save for my goals, and still be able to work on myself, it would have made an enormous difference.
Most people tell me to work hard and make as much as you can so you can live better later. Well that may work for you, but that doesn’t work for me. I would rather be happy, physically and mentally healthy, than work myself to death. In twenty years, it will still be the same answer. I want to be healthy not rich. This doesn’t mean I don’t ever want to work again, I do, I want to save for my goals, and have enough money to live nicely, but I think health and happiness should come first, and everything else should come second.
Let me ask you a question. If you worked every day of your life, and have three hundred thousand in your bank account, but you die because you didn’t take care of yourself, what was the point? Sure, you can leave it all to your family, but they probably wish they had you and not the money, they probably wished you would have taken care of yourself at the end of it all.

picture link: https://www.google.com/search?biw=1366&bih=652&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=health+yoga&oq=health+yoga&gs_l=psy-ab.3..0l4.1893.2596.0.2825.5.5.0.0.0.0.175.626.0j5.5.0….0…1.1.64.psy-ab..0.5.624…0i67k1.pIPrTrgg-JU#imgrc=Ovco4k-uWEoE8M:&spf=1500501115141

Chapstick and Bubblegum

Today I had a difficult day, a terrible day. I found out a lot of things that I didn’t want to. I learned sometimes being an adult isn’t so much fun. So instead of focusing on the bad, which is easy to do, I wanted to write about things that make me happy. Things that make me smile just thinking about them. This is my list, everything on it means a lot to me, what are some things that make you happy?
1. Hearing my mom read bed time stories. Yes, I’m 21 and I still love listening to my mom read kids stories to my sister. It brings back the best memories, her voice is soothing.
2. The smell of fresh strawberries. The moment I walk into whole foods and I can smell the ripe strawberries, it reminds me of summer and happiness.
3. My mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls. Gluten-Free and to die for.
4. My boss’s peach cobbler, only had it once and dream about it. Now I buy peach yogurt in hopes it will be just as good. (it’s not)
5. The sound of rain hitting chimes.
6. My sisters smile. Her smile hits her bright green eyes, and she always has mischief in them. I always can tell when she is truly happy, there is no hiding it.
7. The smell of nutmeg, it reminds me of my great grandma brown.
8. The smell of clothes straight from the dryer. It smells like home.
9. Seeing cherry trees blossom and turn into cherries. I used to always pick cherries with my grandma, I would eat the super bitter ones and make a face. She’d tell me they weren’t ripe yet.
10. Bubble gum. My dad has a dog named Athena, I used to give her walks, she somehow always found bubble gum to chew on. Every. Single Time.
11. Chapstick. I used to put Chapstick on my dogs’ lips because I thought they were chapped. Now both dogs are addicted to Chapstick and steal the whole stick any time it’s in the house. (sorry mom, I’m the reason you can’t have anything nice.)

Sometimes it’s good to take a minute and appreciate the small things in life. The stuff that seems unimportant but holds great meaning to you. I smile every time I think of my mom reading stories and the strange dog who loves bubble gum. In truth this post made me feel a lot better, and I hope you get a small kick out of it too.

Secrets Of a Pissed Off Barista

People seem to think being a barista is easy, but those people are wrong. There is no easy job, you will always have to deal with weird, angry people, you will always have to put in effort, and you will always have someone who is upset with you. So in reality being a barista, working at McDonalds, working at a library, or being a successful president of a company, are all hard jobs. All are equally shitty, and all will pay you less than you deserve. Adulthood sucks.

Being a Barista is mentally and physically demanding. Most people wouldn’t think being a barista is a very mental job, but in reality it is, and it’s hard. Every week I have to go through orders and figure out how much we are going to sell, I have to lead people into doing their best. Someone is always mad at me, or wants me to lead others a certain way and I have to figure out what is best for each individual person. I have to remain insanely calm even when there is pressure. The only people who can work with the public have extremely tough skin, and won’t let anything effect their job performance. People eventually take a toll on you.

My job is also super physical, which explains why my feet are always killing me at the end of the night. I walk at least six miles at work every day. I lift heavy boxes, and I run back and forth as fast as I can, all while keeping a smile on my face and giving the best service I can.

So after explaining my job, here are the not so secret, secrets, of a pissy barista:

  1. Every time you order a Frappuccino my soul dies a little.
  2. Your iced Cappuccino is a waste of my milk.
  3. I will charge you for the extra caramel sauce because the tube is more than my checks.
  4. I will never split up drinks for you, and I will give you the cheapest, smallest cup.
  5. I will secretly always side with my coworkers, because they are usually right, and you’re wrong.
  6. When I got home, I get drunk, and reenact the rude customers I had that day.
  7. We all laugh about the horrible customers in the back.
  8. If you don’t know your own drink order, I make what I think you will like.
  9. That one penny you left me as a tip, is probably long gone on the floor,
  10. If you repeat something more than twice, you may or may not be getting the opposite of what you asked for.
  11. I really don’t care if you’re entire day is “ruined” because of my actions. I just pretend like I care.
  12. It is my job to be super happy, and upsell you on everything. So don’t you dare be mean to me if I am doing my job.
  13. My bosses make more fun of the bad customers than I do. So you probably won’t want to talk to my managers.

All this being said, next time you go get coffee at your local shop keep these things in mind. Don’t be rude when the baristas upsell you, and don’t pity them because of their job. Being a barista in a busy coffee shop has taught me more skills, and life lessons than any other job I have ever had. It is by far the hardest and most rewarding job.