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!

Workout Winter!

My latest workout routine,

Lately, I have been on a total health kick, this doesn’t just mean eating well, but it meant adjusting my workout routine too. I’ve become focused on health throughout my entire body, not one specific place. I think one of my last posts was miscommunicated and here is why.

I told my readers I wasn’t focused on diets, that was one of my goals this year, what I meant by that was I’m not going to focus on fad diets. Rather than starve myself for a week or only eating 100 calories every three hours, I am going to focus on good whole foods and count my calories. I want to make it clear, counting your calories and watching what you eat IS NOT A DIET IT’S A LIFESTYLE.

I have really focused on what I am eating and what makes me feel good. On the other side of the is the workouts I have been doing, and I’d like to share with you some of my favorite exercises!

1. Mountain Climbers

mountain-climbers
Mountain Climbers

2. Kettle-bell squats

kettlebell squats
Kettle Bell Squats

3. Planks

Planks
Planks

4. Russian Twists

russian twists
Russian Twists

5. Walking uphill on the treadmill for 40 minutes

better.jpg

I usually do this full workout routine on Sundays, Tuesday, and Thursdays. Then on Mondays and Wednesdays, I walk for 30 minutes uphill. It has been a lot of work staying motivated enough to do this fitness routine, but it has been worth it. I am starting to notice differences in my appearance and feeling more confident in my body. I realize I will never be model thin, but I will be able to be a good wait for my height and body type.

What are some of your motivation tips for staying on track? What are some of your favorite workouts?

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.

My Favorite Bloggers!

Hello everyone!

Today I wanted to give a shout out to my favorite bloggers who inspire me daily. The blogs I try to read every day or any time they post because I love their writing, the tips they share, and the inspiration they give. Here is the list of blogs I read and keep up with, I kept it to a few though I try to read a lot more and try my hardest to keep up with all my followers and their vlogs as well.

1. Carrots ‘N’ Cake– This is my favorite to read when I need advice on food or exercises for a new workout routine. The writer (Tina) even includes images and videos that show you how to do each exercise and it really helps me stay motivated throughout the week to keep working out.

2. Olivia Rink– I first found this blog through Instagram and fell in love with her office space, I got so hooked on her home décor photos that I started reading her blog. She has everything from petite fashion, to fitness, to home décor. I am obviously in it for the home décor; her small apartment is to die for.

3. Honestly WTF– Is one of my favorites to read when I need a good DIY (Do It Yourself) project. The pictures are fun to look at, and one day I hope my blog can look as put together as this one.

4. Hanna Travels– I love this girl! She travels all over the world and has a true sense of herself. I would love to see the places she has been, and I aspire to be as carefree and courageous as her.

5. WhyToStop– First I love her blog name, she has everything from fitness tips, to style, to weight loss, and even advice on relationships. If you’re on WordPress often, check out her site, she has some excellent posts that may help you get through a difficult time.

6. The Diary Of Ellie– I love the style and theme of her WordPress blog, she is one of the blogs I read when I need new beauty ideas or skincare tips.

7. Damsel In Dior– I love the theme of her WordPress site, and I aspire to make my page look as clean and cut like hers. She has everything from lifestyle to fashion and beauty.

8. Nerd Fitness– This is one of the last blogs I try to keep up with. I love that they have advice that’s usable in every day normal lives and not just for super thin Instagram models.

There you have it folks, my shout outs to the blogs I read, and hope you all get a chance to check them out. Also feel free to comment your favorite blogs to read, I would love to check them out.

Goals For Fall And Beyond.

Hi Everyone,

This is officially my 30th blog post, and I couldn’t be prouder of myself. Two years ago, I never would have dreamed my blog would grow as big as it is today and I really want to say thank you to everyone who reads my posts, comments, and supports me.

Every year I like to make a list of goals that I want to focus on. Instead of doing this January 1st I love to do it in the fall right before it becomes winter. This way it helps me through the winter when I seem to get a little gloomy.

Last year, I honestly only accomplished a few of my goals where were:
Blogging more
Dieting
Volunteering
Attitude

I did most of this, in fact, I still volunteer once in a while at the local humane shelter, but honestly, I don’t feel like I took last years goals seriously. They were so cliché, and so basic that I didn’t really put thought into them. I was also just beginning to blog and trying to make it easy to read. I focused on the wrong things. This year I have come up with a new list that I actually want to focus on, stuff that I don’t care if anyone else agrees with because it’s for me not for them.

1. Be a little more selfish with my time. I deserve my time. I recently looked at a photo of myself and wished that I still looked like that. My mom said “Do you know how much time you spent making yourself look that good? Priorities change.” Yes, they do, but the thing is I still really want to feel good about myself, and I am learning to love myself. I am allowed to be selfish with my time and put effort into myself.

2. This year I will actively choose the lifestyle I want to live. I will not be dating men who tell me how I should live, I will not let my friends tell me what sort of lifestyle I should have. I will actively choose which direction I want my life to go.

3. I will read more. Recently I have been making excuses or prioritizing other things over something I enjoy. I always tell myself I am too tired to read, or a movie will be alright while I fall asleep. Well screw the excuses, I love to read, and I will read as much as I can, especially during these winter months.

4. This year I will not focus on dieting, I will focus on living my healthiest life. I hate diets I won’t stick to them, but if I focus on creating a healthier and happy environment, I am more likely to stick to it. I have been in the process of doing this, and now it’s time to make it my goal officially.

5. I will travel more. I have recently been on a few trips, and I love to travel. I like to talk to other people, I love to experience different cultures, and I love to eat delicious food. While I am young, while I live with my parents, I will make it a priority to travel. Why would I not take advantage? Why would I choose anything other than living life free?

6. I will start saving for retirement. Yes, I am young, no I probably don’t need to save right this second, but I know myself. If I don’t start now, I will wait till the last minute, rush, and stress myself out when I do retire.

7. I will finish the book I started writing. Anyone who is a writer knows sometimes it’s hard to start and finish a book, especially when it’s so close to your life. Before Aruba, I had this idea, a what-if-idea, and began playing scenes out in my head. I started thinking of my character before I even wrote her on paper, I got attached to her, and that’s when I started writing. First, for almost a month I worked on the outline. During that time, I kept asking myself if I was ever going to start writing or if it was just an idea. One day after I deemed the outline worthy, I started writing, and rewriting and writing more.

It’s super important to set attainable goals and set ones that you actually care about. Yes, I accomplished almost all my last year’s goals, but they didn’t mean much. I would have chosen many different goals last year had I really taken the time to think about things. Before setting your goals for this year take the time to think about who you are, what you want, and how attainable they are. Life is all about choices, so choose carefully what you focus on this upcoming year.

Personal Fears

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything, and something inspired me to reach out. Lately, I have been writing in my journal every few days to get my thoughts out and share my feelings, sometimes they’re too personal to say to someone else. I used to journal all the time but stopped when I was with my ex because I never felt secure enough or like I had any privacy to write. I started back up again and wrote something that I was surprised about. Sometimes my personal writing goes in all sorts of directions because I’m writing for myself so I will write the first thing that comes to mind. This time I was shocked where my writing had led me.

The first thing that I wrote in my journal was I should never have feared being alone, or not being in a relationship, I should have feared the wrong companionship.”

The second thing I wrote was “I am proud of who I’ve become.”

It shook me that I wrote that. I can never say these words out loud, and because I had stopped journaling, they have never come out. Sure, I will say it on a blog or on a Facebook post, but there is something so uplifting about writing it down in your personal journal, it makes it more meaningful.

I’m not saying I will never be in another relationship, but I am saying I have raised my standards, I will not give up my freedom for a man, and I will not be confined by a man. There are certain things I will do for me, to keep myself whole in a relationship. When I start fearing companionship is when I will leave.

A little over a year ago I had thought my life was over, I was horribly sad, and waited way too long for a man who didn’t want me for who I am. I wasn’t proud of myself, I was a shell of a person who let others dictate life. I am no longer that person and good freaking god I am so damn proud of myself, and the fact that my wandering mind came to the same conclusion is a reason to celebrate.

Next week I will be going to Aruba, which I would have never dreamed about, and I will be going with my best friend. Finally the birthday trip I never had.

Lessons Learned Through Travel

There are some things in life you can’t learn in school. For instance, most people don’t know how to be a decent human from the courses we take, it’s something we learn by surrounding ourselves with others. You can’t learn to be happy in a classroom, sure you can be satisfied in one, but where do you learn what happiness is? By being around others who are happy. Each and every day I learn something new, I meet new people, and I genuinely enjoy my life.

Lessons I have learned through travel.
1. The world does not revolve around you.
2. Money comes and goes.
3. Not all forms of education come from sitting in a classroom.
4. I am happier when I am learning in the real world.
5. Some people have it worse than me.
6. Some people have it better than me.
7. Resorts do not show the real side of a country.
8. When you travel alone, you should be cautious about where you are going and who you are talking to.
9. That being said, do not be scared to talk to people and be open.
10. There is always a reason to smile.

Boston  Aruba October 2018.

High Standards.

Hi Everyone,

It’s been a while since my last blog post, and I thought it was about time to share what’s going on, things I have learned and things I have been working on.

I want to start by saying Superman flew away, and I am 100% okay with that because as it turns out, I’m more of a Batman kind of girl. I just didn’t know it.

When I was in High School, I never understood the concept of dating. I didn’t realize that someone could go on multiple dates, see numerous people and not have a boyfriend. To me, dating was with one person you thought you loved, and as it turns out, it’s nothing like that.

My expectations are high, my standards won’t be lowered for anyone. This is a beautiful thing, I don’t ever want to feel like I need to settle in my life. Unfortunately, this makes dating hard. I have been on many dates with many excellent men, but they aren’t for me. They may be good people, but I never see our paths going further than a few months, and that’s not what I’m looking for. I’m not ready for marriage, kids or anything substantial, but I am looking to grow with someone and build a bright future.

There are nights when I feel empty like I should settle just to hold someone again, but then I remember everything that I have accomplished alone, and how I have improved myself with the help of my family. There are a few things I have learned from dating people.

1. I am allowed to have high standards.

2. I am allowed to make my expectations clear from the very beginning.

3. I am never allowed to settle for a fake relationship.

4. I am allowed to feel strongly and passionately because whoever I end up with will accept this.

5. I am strong on my own.

6. I can love on my own.

7. Finding a life partner takes time and patience, and it may not happen for several years, and I am okay dating and waiting for the right person. Even if I end up being 45.

8. I am happy where I am in life, and I am proud of myself.

9. I actively choose who goes in and out of my life.

My past relationships failed because I was with people who didn’t understand me, and that was partly because I didn’t recognize myself, or I wanted them to view me in a certain way. That’s all gone now, I’ve worked on myself, I know myself better than I have before and it’s because I have sat alone, talking to myself getting to know what’s beneath my blue eyes and gold hair. When was the last time you truly reflected on yourself? Circumstances change, we grow and mature.

Self-Love

When was the last time you met a person and thought to yourself “Wow they really love themselves? They take care of themselves, and it’s obvious they’re happy, and they make everyone else happy too.” As I grow older, I find myself thinking that less and less. I see more miserable people than happy people, I see more frumpy women than put together women, I see fewer smiles and love than ever before. I see detached people shying away from happiness lost in a world that won’t ever be happy for them.

I don’t want to end up like this. I have finally decided I will not let the world make me cold, detached, frumpy and pained. I will be whole, and I will love myself and everyone else in my life because the truth is I don’t think people give or get enough love these days.

By love I don’t mean romance, I mean genuinely caring for someone else, helping them create a happy moment even if it’s just for one minute. I will not turn out like most of the people I know, because I am better than that.

I have been practicing self-love since I moved to New England and practicing caring for others. My mom always says being able to take care of someone else is a gift, I’ve revised this statement, it’s true, but I think caring for yourself is just as much of a gift that most people do not acquire till they are older. Caring for yourself is just as important as caring for others.

How can you possibly love someone else if you can’t even love yourself? How do you expect to care for a friend, a boyfriend or a child if you do not care for yourself? Most days I believe our world is corrupted, I see more bad than good. But there are rare moments when I give myself so deeply to someone, and they return that connection, that’s what keeps me going. It may be for a year or two or just a fleeting second, but those deep connections when I can stare into someone else’s eyes and genuinely smile is what I live for.

A few things I do to love myself:

1. I sit and listen to myself breathe. Once upon a time (and still occasionally) I would get panic attacks and curl up in a ball and repeatedly check my heartbeat to make sure I was alive, I would listen to myself breathe to make sure I wasn’t dying. This was not self-love this was stress and anxiety. Now I sit in the morning and thank some higher power that I’m still alive. I listen to my heartbeat, and I’m thankful for it, I listen to my deep breaths and feel every cell in my body waking up with each sip of coffee.

2. I take long hot showers in the mornings. I let the water pour down me and wash off yesterday. In my mind, it’s a way to start fresh. It’s a way to give every day a new chance to be the best.

3. I let go of my past and write goals for my future. Every day I say goodbye to something that has pained me. I acknowledge that it hurt, and let it go. I write one thing I want to accomplish by the end of the day even if it’s as simple as painting my toes.

4. I take care of myself. I brush my hair, put on earrings, and try my damn best to look put together even though I am anything but.

5. I sit on my porch before I go to work. I think it’s important we all are outside for a few minutes every day. We always work inside, workout inside, read inside. But when was the last time you just sat outside and watched all the animals in your yard?

6. I make time for myself. On my days off I will go get my nails and hair done because that’s what I like to do. I go to a bookstore and pick out an overpriced booked that ill finish in an hour. I’ll go sit and have tea somewhere enjoying my alone time.

7. I will invite a friend over for movie time. There is something so appealing being in someone else’s presence and not feeling pressured to do anything. I think society makes us believe we should always be doing something fun and outrageous, but I am 100% good curling up on the couch with my hair up watching some show I won’t watch any other time.

8. I smile at myself and give myself one compliment each day. Even if I look like a bum, there is something good about me. Sometimes it’s as simple as “My braids turned out perfect today.” Then I try to smile at someone else and give them a compliment too, but only when I mean it. A fake smile or a compliment that is not genuine is entirely pointless, and everyone can tell you don’t mean it.

I think people confuse self-love with vanity or being obsessed with yourself when it’s anything but. When we learn to love ourselves, we can be real with others and share pieces of our lives. I’m trying to be more open, meet new friends, and accept them as they are. I’m not always good at this, but I am growing and learning.