Stack your blocks. A blog restart.

Hello blog readers!

It has been quite some time since I blogged last. I’ve been really missing it. Whenever I needed to write I’ve been handwriting in my personal journal. Especially on days when life gets you down. Writing really makes me address, reflect, and progress. I use to write for myself and still do mostly but I miss blogging. I miss sharing my thoughts with the world. In my everyday life I dont always verbalize what I want to say. “Save your breath” I think to myself. Sometimes I rather not say what I want because will it even matter? I hear people talking all day but are they really saying anything?

Today I decided that I want to start blogging consistantly again. It’s not easy with everyday responsibilities but I could at least commit to posting once a week. I’ve also decided that what I share should help serve people. I want to share information that would benefit others and I want it to be authentic. I want it to be organically beneficial to you reader. In other words, I want it to make you consider my words for it’s benefits and not as a gimmick. I want my writing to be sincere and honest. The resources we have to share ideas, thoughts, and information is powerful. I want to use that power to not only help myself but other too.

With that said, today’s blog is appropriately titled “Stack you blocks”. If any of you may have heard this phrase already then perhaps like me you have terrible posture. I mentioned to a coworker how much I slouched and how I’m not sure what good posture is suppose to actually feel like. As a physical therapist she responded with the simple phrase “stack your blocks”. Unsure of what this meant, I attempted to see if I could feel it out. After rolling back my shoulders comfortably (not too much), tightening my core, and pulling myself up as if there was a string on the top of my head, I found it. I finally felt how “stacking your blocks” should feel. Try it. Some people think standing up straight involves arching your back or squeezing your shoulder blades together but too much of this will only strain your back muscles. It should feel comfortable for the most part. It may not come natural to some especially my well endowed, shy, hunched over self. However, with practice and awareness of “stacking your blocks”, it should become more natural overtime. This is just one simple change that can dramatically change your posture, reduce pain, and make you look more confident. I hope some of you will give it a try and be more aware of “stacking your blocks”. I myself will be making a conscience effort to have better posture.

Leave me a comment or reply to let me know if you try this. Let me know if you have any suggestions to improve posture. I want to hear your story too. I hope you enjoyed reading and find it beneficial.

Skincare Routine

Hey now friends! Happy Tuesday. As you may have already guessed by the title, this post is about my daily skin routine. I am 27 but get mistaken for being younger all the time. One of the most asked questions I get from friends and people that I meet is ” What do you do to your skin?”. In the last few years I have become more dedicated to my skin. I have a consistent skin regimen that I follow in the morning and night. It is not a 10 step Korean skin care routine although I do admire that commitment. This routine involves a basic prep and 3 steps.

Skin Prep- Skin preparation entails the cleansing of the face. Use your favorite cleanser to wash your face. Use eye makeup remover to get off water proof mascara and eye makeup. In the evening I will either wash my face or use a micellar cleansing water to remove make up and impurities from the day. You can also do a mask prior to cleansing your face instead of a cleanser if desired. I would not recommend doing a mask more than 3 times a week as some masks can dry out the skin.

Step 1. Toner- After my face is dry from cleansing I apply toner. Toner helps to further cleanse, hydrates, reduces the appearance of pores, and nourishes the skin. Depending on the ingredients of the toner it can also restore the ph of your skin. I liked using a toner that contained Vitamin E for the evening and a lighter toner in the morning before applying makeup.

Step 2. Skin Essence- Essences are different from serums because they are a bit thicker and more concentrated. Essences hydrate and restore the ph of your skin. They are also anti- aging and improve the look of your skin. I use 2 types of essences, one in the morning and a different one in the evening. I apply the product with my hands to my face and pat it in until dry. Typically an essence should be used after applying serums.

Step 3. Face Moisturizer- The last step of my skincare routine is applying moisturizer. This step is to further hydrate and nourish the skin. It also locks in that moisture throughout the day and night. I tend to use lighter moisturizers during the day under my make up and thicker ones when I sleep. You can also apply a lighter or thicker layer of moisturizer instead if you are committed to a particular product.

This is just a general guide of how I take care of my skin. This may not work for everyone. I have combination skin with an oily T-zone, occasional hormonal breakouts, but very dry otherwise. I can say I personally have seen a dramatic improvement in my skin. My skin has improved to the point that I can wear very minimal make up or none at all. If you forget what should be applied first just remember to cleanse the face and apply products according to their thickness and consistency.

I also wanted to mention that I do apply a primer prior to makeup in the morning but that is more pertaining to makeup application than skin care. However, a good primer can also improve texture and nourishment of your skin. If you are interested in specifically what products I use or recommend please leave a comment and let me know. There may be a later post this week of what products I have used, loved, and recommend to try. If you try this skin routine please let know what you think and your results. Also if you have any skincare secrets or tips of your own I would love to hear about them. As always, thank you so much for reading.

 

Don’t feel bad/sorry about these 5 things.

Hey now friends. You ever feel like a bad friend when your friends want to have a night out and you just want a night in? Maybe that is the Grandma in me talking but I’ve come to accept that I’m not going to be apologetic or feel bad about 5 certain things. Here is what I’m talking about.

  1. Don’t feel bad when you are tired and just want to sleep. There are so many times when I just want to sleep and my friends give me crap for not staying up. Don’t be sorry that your body demands sleep. If you are tired sleep.
  2. Don’t feel bad when someone deletes you off of Snap chat/Instagram/Facebook, etc.  I typically add anyone from snap chat. The other day I had someone snap chat message me saying that we never talk.That I watch their stories never say hi so they deleted me from snap chat. I calmly said, “Okay, no worries. Thanks for letting me know.” It honestly did not matter to me and I was actually taken back by his courtesy to inform me like that but I didn’t take it personally. If someone doesn’t want you watching their stories respect that. Adding to this don’t feel bad when you delete someone either. You can bet I deleted them as well. I even deleted a coworker off of snap chat today because he was sending me way too many useless snaps. That may be kinda mean of me to say but that is how I feel. Sorry not sorry.
  3. Don’t feel bad eating when hungry. If you are overweight like me you probably have had those moments when you don’t want to eat in front of coworkers or opt for a salad instead of that yummy Chicken Parm at the cafeteria. I’m telling you, don’t feel bad. Everyone eats. Even if they give you that “You’re eating that?” look, eff it. Life is too short not to eat what you want. Now how much you eat of it is a different story.
  4. Don’t feel bad when you are being frugal. There are so many times when sudden plans or unexpected expenses come up and you end up spending all you money. Like when you run up your bar tab when going out with friends. Or when attending a last minute event that you need to get a new outfit, transportation, and a gift for the guest who happens to be the roommate of your best friend’s sister in law’s cousin. It’s happened. I know FOMO may feel like a valid excuse why you suddenly feel you have to shell out your hard earned money but it’s not. It is perfectly okay to decline an invitation because of your budget. Really it is. If you really need to attend try setting a budget for yourself otherwise, don’t be sorry. Have some will power. If your friends give you crap for this one event, remind them how many others will come along.
  5. Don’t feel bad for needing your me time. I need to follow this one myself. I am a culprit of not managing my time properly. I have had many instances  where friends want to make plans and I end up doing house chores and binge watching K-dramas or Netflix. Then you also have those times when your best friend wants to hang but you are spending time with your boyfriend or vice versa. First world problems. On a serious note, don’t feel bad when you just want some time to yourself. I work 7 days a week and still have to juggle time between my boyfriend, my bestie aka my wife, and most importantly myself. I’ve declined invitations to bonfires and such because I needed to work out. I know, my will power is incredible…but not really. Prioritize what is important to you and don’t be sorry about it.

As always thank you so much for reading.

The truth is…

The truth is I feel worthless sometimes. I am writing this post on my phone right now, with tears running down my face feeling defeated. A lot of the emotional issues I have including my anxiety are attributed to the relationship I have with my mother. I have seen counselors, psychiatrist, and even take medicine for all the mental and emotion scars I have. Though I am way better than I ever was, it is incredible how one little moment can break you down and take you back to such a dark place. To me, it’s the little things that make me happy. Whether it’s a silly kpop boy band , a new article of clothing, or writing a post on a blog that barely anyone reads, about something as silly as my resolutions or the Top 5 favorite things of the week. Those things make me happy. There is a bigger picture here. Bigger than you may have ever seen or considered. You may see someone who isn’t the best writer and may write about trivial things. That’s probably what I think most people see. However, there is more to that. Writing about things that make me happy is an outlet and could all possibly bring happiness to others. It’s about a person that may be struggling, and having a hard time and could use a distraction. Although the issues may not disappear at least they could feel happy about something. I read blogs all the time about similar situations/feelings and I always try to make them feel like they are not alone. That’s all I want. For people to know that they are not alone. That I’m not alone. Perhaps what I see in others is a reflection of what I see in myself or use to see or even want to see. Again, I’m probably getting a little bit side track but bottom line, do what make you happy and know your worth. You matter. If only I can tell myself that too when it counts. As always thank you so much for reading. You matter more to me than you will ever know.

Playa Del Fuego 2016

Hey now friends! Long time no see. It has been about a month since my last post. Even though I have not been posting for a while I have still been actively reading blogs, liking posts, and commenting. I just wanted to give a little update on some of the things going on at the moment. I have just returned from my Playa Del Fuego part 2 or Spring PDF 2016. Previously, I had written about my last playa experience in October 2015 and how I could not wait to return. Sadly, it did not live up to the original playa experience but nonetheless this trip still had its benefits. In terms of creativity and open-mindedness, I definitely gained some new perspective and motivation of sorts for new projects. I also feel that the bond between my bestie and I became stronger due to some of the challenges we faced. We became very aware of the trust we have between each other which is very meaningful and fulfilling. I also came to appreciate other strong bonds like that of family and significant others which have always been appreciated but just even more passionately.

Lastly, I have learned how precious natural and organic items are. When we think of natural or organic we often think of plants or food, which is true but what i’m talking about is a little more in depth than that. Anything in this world, anything that is not natural or organic was created by ideas. The most precious organic, natural items to us in this world is the human body and soul. What we are born with is organic. That is something to be treasured. Our body is our temple and vessel of our soul so why not treat it with respect. I have learned that. I want to love and appreciate my body and want to do what is best for it. Yes, there is also things such as self expression like dyeing your hair, tattoos, etc. Regardless of these being stressors on the body they are still organic ideas from the soul which help others see how you feel and who you are. Self expression is beautiful. Maybe I’m contradicting myself but it is something I believe. Okay, I am done with my hippie talk. I hope you all are having a fantastic week. As always thanks for reading. Until next time folks.

 

I KNEW IT! WAKE UP CALL NUMBER 2

Hey now friends. Happy Friday! Today I received some bittersweet news. For the last 6 months I have been struggling with my health. I was sick for 3 weeks with what was diagnosed as an upper respiratory infection but later realized it was actually pneumonia. I also was struggling with my weight, fatigue, and some mild depression. I wasn’t sure what was causing these things but I assumed it was exhaustion from being sick for so long. Six months later I finally have some sort of diagnosis for these symptoms. I have hypothyroidism. I had suspected this for a while but even my doctor was skeptical. I had expressed to her how I had gained 30 lbs in the last 6 months and  felt very fatigued and moody. I do take a anti depressant for some anxiety but that wouldn’t cause my other symptoms. She ordered the TSH test but said that most of the time when patients suspect their weight gain is due to their thyroid, it is not. I felt like I was crazy. Like people thought I was making this up. Welp, today I found out I was right.

Though I am not happy about the news I’m just glad I know there is a cause for it. Now I just have to get back on track to getting healthy and losing the weight. I am so completely relieved. If any of you have hypothyroidism, had it, or knows someone with it please let me know. I’d love to hear any stories or advice you may have since I am new to this. As always thanks for reading.

Mini blog series. This is not Alaska.

Hey now friends! Happy April. On this lovely spring day it is 22 degrees out. No, this isn’t Alaska. I actually live in Jersey. The weather has been insane this year. You never know whether to wear army pants and flip flops or to put on a parka. It’s nuts. Anyways, I’m sorry I haven’t been keeping up with my top 5s posts these last 2 weeks. I have been preparing to start my new job soon which I’m really excited about. I have also decided to do a mini blog series in the next few weeks. I have to do some planning and preparations before I can start that new blog project but get excited. It involves food! Haha, of course it would. I’m such a foodie. Anyways, I will let you know more info when the time comes. Hope everyone has a fantastic week! Thanks for reading.

 

The Truth

The truth is…I may regret this one day.

I think about you night and day.

A love that never was and never came to be.

Was it something real, or was it just me.

It was never a good time for us for many reasons.

You were too young, and I was in a wrong place.

You denied any feelings and I had to let go.

I still wonder today, and I still hope.

I hope that my intuition is true and that one day ,

you will regret this too.

2020 update

Redemption.

No. This was all in your head. And may still be. Only got one more shot. Your head says no but heart says something else. I simply do not know anymore.

For My Mother on her Birthday

Hey now friends. A while back I read a post from one of the many lovely bloggers I follow on word press. His post was about his father for his birthday. I thought it was very beautiful for him to share his father’s story and to let him know how much he appreciates him. That post left me with such a lasting impression that I have decided to do the same for my mother.

Today is my mother’s birthday. She was born on March 14th in Colombia, 49 years ago. She is the youngest of five siblings. She has three sisters and one brother. She was raised in a very strict household as my grandfather was in the military and my grandmother was a housewife. At the age of 18 my mother left her family and hometown to come to the United States seeking what I assume was a better life. She met friends who quickly became her family. She had her best friend named Grace who she is still best friends with today. I am not sure how or when my mother met my father but she became pregnant with me at the age of 20. Four months after her 21st birthday I was born. My father and her had many ups and downs and eventually went their separate ways. She became a single mother at such a young age.

A few years later she began a romance with one of her close friends. He was her best friend and quickly became a father figure to her first child. Nine year after giving birth to her first child she was pregnant with her second. She had her second daughter at 29. She lived together with the father of her second child and two daughters for almost 7 years before going their separate ways. Once again she became a single mother of 2 this time. She has raised her daughters alone to this day.

At the age of 40 she received some life changing news. She was diagnosed with breast cancer and had to go through surgery and radiation. Luckily, it was caught early and after 5 years she became a breast cancer survivor. During that time she also received some more devastating news. Two years after being diagnosed with breast cancer her mother had unexpectedly passed away from a brain aneurysm. She knew she had to go back to her home town immediately to be with her family. She left her then 20 and 10 year old daughters for a month. They understood that their mother needed her time to morn and be with her family. When she returned, she came back a changed woman. She became more spiritual and made health as well as family a priority. The next 4 year after her Breast Cancer Survivor status were also a health roller coaster ride. She had several heart and bone health issues including an irregular heart beat and tendinitis in her foot. She also had a rheumatoid fever, infection, and GI issues.

Today is her 49th birthday. On her 49th birthday she is getting a 4 hour CAT Scan of her GI tract to see if she has some sort of infection that has been affecting her heart. She will also be taken out for a lovely birthday dinner by her two daughters.

This is brief description of her life. The information provided is based on what I know about her but I am sure there is way more to her story that I am not aware of. This must be weird for some but my mother and I are not very close. We have our own person issues that were not discussed in this blog because I feel like that is more my story rather than hers. When it comes to my mom we have our issues but I love her regardless. She is a strong, resilient, passionate woman. Although I may not like it, I really am just like her. I know I possess all the great quality she embodies but I also posses all the bad ones. We don’t always see eye to eye but I still love her unconditionally. I am very grateful that she is celebrating yet another birthday with her daughters. This year especially I have learned how special and meaningful birthdays can be. I use to think ugh birthdays who cares, you are just getting old and closer to death. Now I am not like that at all! I think every birthday should be treasured. It is a gift to have lived yet another year in this life. Not only treasuring life but appreciating that you as a person were created and your soul came into this world is so important. Birthdays are precious and need to be celebrated every single year. I will conclude this post wishing everyone a very Happy Birthday  for this coming year. It is truly a gift so enjoy it.

I didn’t know I had a disability.

When you think of the word disability the first thing that comes into my mind is being physically handicapped, or having a mental condition like down syndrome or dyslexia. I never knew that the anxiety I had been battling for over a decade was considered a disability.

I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety at the age of 13 after confusing it for depression. I can remember having panic attacks as young as at 9 years old. From age 13 to 17 I was lucky enough to have counseling once a week provided by my school. I always thought they provided the counseling because they wanted me to cope better in high school which is all very true but now I understand that it was required. It was required for my school to provide some sort of assistance because my anxiety was considered a handicap.

After high school I took a year off from college, mostly because I was unsure if I would be able to manage being at a university with a ton of strangers. I settled for community college but it was not always smooth sailings. It took me 2 years to do  1 year of pre requisites for their nursing program. Once in the nursing program I could feel my anxiety at an all time high which contributed to changing my major a year later. After finishing up with my new major Exercise Science at community college , I transferred to a larger university to complete my Bachelors degree. This was one of the most difficult times in my life. My anxiety was worse than ever before and making me depressed. I always felt like there was a cloud over me and never had moment that was calm and stress free. I finally sought help.

I reached out to the counseling services at school and they provided me with weekly counseling and once a month sessions with a psychiatrist. Turns out that my social anxiety had evolved to performance anxiety with mild depression. I received much needed counseling and medication to help with my condition. My counselor also suggested I tell my adviser and professors about my anxiety if it was interfering with my performance. I decided to tell my adviser about it and she understood. She told me that she would need a written document from my counselor with my diagnosis and that special accommodations could be made due to my disability.  That is when I finally understood. After years of struggling, this is when I became aware that I have a disability. I am disabled. Just because it is not visible does not mean it is not a disability. It’s a hard pill to swallow but I understand now.

Thankfully a year later I graduated and feel like I am in a much better place. However, it is still hard for me to think of myself as disabled. I have a job interview coming up and I remember them asking if I have a disability on my application. I answered no prior to my realization. It was not required to answer this question, but what if I had said yes? Would people see me differently. Would I have not been chosen?

When I tell people I have anxiety, they all say things like “me too”, or “many people do it’s normal”. It’s not normal though if you need medication. It is not normal if interferes with your everyday life and you avoid situations and opportunities due to irrational fears. It is a condition where your brain’s fight or flight mechanism to recognize endangering situations is not working properly. A little nervousness is not anxiety. Everyone gets nervous and anxious when it comes to nerve racking  moments but when it’s an irrational fear or a common situation that feels deadly that is not normal. I know I am not normal. I never act like I’m normal. I know there is something wrong. I now understand it is a disability. I just never knew how severe it was. Condition sounds better than disability but at the end of the day I am disabled. I wonder if I will ever be able to say that aloud.