Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Spring, is that you?

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Two weekends ago, we got a glimpse of spring and let me just tell you how thrilling it was. It’s amazing the things that excite me as I get older. We got up to 49 degrees that day and you would have thought it was summer with the amount of people that were out and about enjoying some much needed fresh air.

Since I live closer to the restaurant we were trying out for the first time, Cinthia drove to my house that way we could drive to the restaurant together. I could not get over how nice it was outside that I actually waited for her in my driveway just twirling around with my arms stretched out under the sun. Yeah, I seriously did that. It felt real good. I bet our neighbors had big smiles wtf on their faces if they happened to catch me ;).

Anyway, we made brunch plans to eat at Maxims 22, a French inspired restaurant and had such a great experience. We started off with a delicious cheese platter and ended with an incredible French toast topped with vanilla ice-cream. Oh I can’t forget to mention the most tastiest mojitos.

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We were stuffed to the brim afterwards and decided on a little walk to burn off some calories. OK, not really, more to enjoy the beautiful weather we were having.

We ended up finding this beautiful wall mural that was completely a highlight and summarized the day we were having. First real feeling of spring this year and we find a flower painted wall. I mean.

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We popped in and out of shops and found a few that we can’t wait to check out this year.

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After all the walking we couldn’t help but to get an ice cream cone when we walked pass an ice cream shop. I know, how were we not full? We got ice cream at Bank Street Creamery but we ate it inside because let’s be honest 49 degrees isn’t yet summer weather. It was a really great day and I’m looking forward to many more days just like it these coming months.

I hope you all had wonderful weekends and that you have great weeks! ♥

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Priorities: Our Home

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Growing up, I lived in a small two bedroom apartment in the Bronx with my three sisters, mom and dad. Yes, you read that right. There were six of us and let's just say that privacy was not a part of our lives growing up. We could have definitely done with a little more space but we lived just fine without it.

I would say that it gave me quite a bit of perspective because when I went off to college and my roommate was complaining about the size of our dorm room, all I could think was, wow … this entire right side of the room is all mine?! I can do with it as I please?! I was not one of my peers that complained about the size of our dorm room.

This "being OK with small living" trickled down to when we purchased our first home. For Sean, size meant that you had made it. For me, size meant absolutely nothing. There were just two of us (no animals at the time) so we did not need size. It took a while to convince Sean but soon he saw things my way ... you know the whole happy wife, happy life ;).

Our first house was small, yes, but it was warm, cozy and welcoming. It was a home filled with lots of laughs, love and happiness. We welcomed friends and family into our tiny abode but I always felt that we had plenty of room.

When we had to leave our first home I felt a ridiculous amount of sadness. So many good memories were made there but I knew that wherever we went we would make it home.

When we were looking for our second home, I once again did not want an excessive amount of space. Sean was harder to convince this time around but in the end we reached a happy medium. At that time the argument was that we wanted kids so we would need a little more space. I agreed that was a good reason but I still didn’t want it to be extreme considering how I grew up. Yes, space is great and all but wasted space is not.

And considering our circumstances now, I’m glad we went the route we did. Even now, I feel like we may have a little too much space and our house is not big by any means. I’ve always wanted my home to be warm, inviting, colorful and full of personality. I’ve never been one to need all the new, big and shiny things. And lately, I’ve begun to see just how rare that is. Not to say that people who want big, lavish, updated homes are wrong but nowadays it is so easy to see what everyone is doing and what everyone has. So easy to want to keep up and portray an extravagant lifestyle even if it means spending money you do not have. I sometimes scratch my head and wonder how people could need so much space. Is it really necessary? And now thinking about our carbon footprint it makes me wonder even more but that’s a post for another day.

Our priorities should never be about keeping up with the Joneses or what it feels like lately, showing off. I don’t think that I’ve ever scrolled through Instagram and seen people proudly share their "outdated" kitchens because somehow we’ve made it that, that is not good enough. If someone is sharing their outdated kitchen it's because there's going to be a renovated after to reveal very soon. Somehow we've made it that self-worth is the amount of likes you can get from a picture and well that linoleum floor isn't getting it. Our priorities should be making sure that our homes feed our spirits. Should be places that at the end of the day you feel happiness to be able to curl up on your couch and drink a glass of your favorite beverage. Should be a place that you feel safe and warm.

It has become way too easy to compare our lives with strangers on the internet. So easy to actually believe that you have not made it because your kitchen is not massive, with an intense amount of natural light, white cabinets and marble countertops. The thing is that when we die, those things do not go with us.

Instead think about what home really means. It is the place that you can escape to from the outside world. So make it a place full of all the good you want in your life. Happiness, laughter, love, peace and warmth. The memories you make in your home is what outlast it all. Just think, in the 60s and 70s wood paneling was in and now not so much ... but I bet that the memories made in that wood paneled home still remain.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Currently

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feeling excited that Sean and I are heading to South Beach on Thursday with Colleen and her husband (Eric) to celebrate them turning 40. Sean recently turned 40 and Eric will be turning 40 in a few weeks so we’re celebrating together. South Beach is also special to me and Sean because it is the first place we ever traveled together :)

craving a frozen beverage … I can’t wait for all the Miami vices and piña coladas in my near future.

needing to start packing tonight!

thankful that spring is right around the corner … even though my allergies are a pain in the spring, I am so ready to welcome warmer weather!

wanting to talk to my mom.

loving my sisters … I really don’t know what I would do without them.

missing my mom … always and forever.

wearing a black dress with a grey and black poncho

looking for new work shoes. The ones I wear on the regular need to be retired very soon.

thinking about how ‘The Handsmaid’s Tale’ could actually happen in real life. I just finished watching it recently and had so many wtf moments. I can’t wait to see how season 3 plays out. If you have no idea what I’m talking about you can check it out on Hulu.

hoping that you all had a wonderful weekend and that you have a wonderful week! ♥

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sean's 40th birthday celebration

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Getting older is a privilege that not everyone is fortunate enough to experience.
Hence, every birthday is a blessing and every year we grow older should be celebrated.

As I shared a few days ago, Sean turned 40 on the 14th. We have a mini trip planned to celebrate his 40th for the end of this month (that's the real party, haha) but he wanted to also be able to celebrate him reaching this milestone surrounded by friends and family. He requested a low-key and chill gathering for his 40th birthday.

We had already made plans to be in Upstate NY with Sean’s best friend (Luke) the weekend before his birthday. So, it made sense that since practically all of Sean’s friends and family are in Upstate NY that this would be the best time to celebrate his 40th; as it would not require any travel for his friends and family in NY.

We asked Luke and Danielle (Luke's wife) if it was OK if we could have some people over to have cake and well, Sean’s friends are Luke's friends so it worked out really well. I got a list from Sean of the people he wanted there and reached out and there were only a few who couldn’t make it; including my two sisters and dad who is actually in India right now.

Luke's kids (5 and 3) were so cute about the party and helped begged to decorate and picked out Lego party plates and napkins. They were so proud of themselves, haha. We had a really, really great time. I had maybe a little too much fun. But best of all was seeing how happy Sean was to be celebrating with his friends and family.

Sean loves himself some roulette so I thought it would be awesome if Margaret could make him a roulette cake and she knocked it out of the park. She will never cease to amaze me with her talent. Everyone was in awe of the cake. She made it as if the ball had rolled into #14 for Sean’s birth date and I thought it was such a neat touch.

My niece (Nadiyah) took majority of the pictures shown here. I think from now on she just might be the one to take the pictures during these type of gatherings since she just loves doing it and gets to practice. She told me that when she goes to college she is going for photography and I think she’s going to be incredible.

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This is how kids plates always look at parties :)
I think it's cute that Nadiyah captured that.

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Luke and Danielle have the best play room and that is where most of our friend's kids remained until cake time :)

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I cannot believe how big Joey and Cate (Colleen's kiddos pictured below) are getting.

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Me and Veronica (Sean's sister)

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Cake time

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Sean and his friends from elementary school

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Alright, all of that to tell Sean that I hope that his 40th year is the best one yet.
I hope it is filled with everything you desire. I hope you laugh, smile and love hard. I hope that all your hard work pays off in ways that you can’t even imagine. I want you to know that you are loved, valued and appreciated. Happy 40th birthday, babe.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Priorities: Being Kinder to Myself

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It is human nature to be our worst critics but I think because we believe it is part of our nature we’ve accepted that it is OK to not be kind to ourselves. At least, I had. It was just last year that I began to truly be kinder to myself. 2016 and most of 2017 were the worst years for my self esteem and after a full year of just beating myself up, I decided that 2018 was the year that I would not allow me to break me down.

It isn’t easy to change bad habits but there were a few things that I decided that I would change to make it easier to speak truth and good to myself. Because the thing is that the way you speak to yourself matters.

You won’t automatically become kind to yourself in a day so for every bad thought I would think about myself, I had to tell myself (out loud) two good things about myself. Saying things out loud made things real to me. And with me telling myself two good things, I felt like the bad thing was essentially crossed off. It was almost like getting two things for the price of one. And soon enough, (although not really soon enough) the good was overshadowing the bad.

I began to ask myself, would I talk to my sisters or my girlfriends this way? The answer was always no. I always talk to my sisters and girlfriends with kindness even when I’m being brutally honest about something. So, why was it so hard to do the same with myself? Every time a negative thought would creep in I would ask myself, would you say this to a friend? And if you did, how would that make them feel? How is this making you feel?

The next thing I started doing was asking myself, why am I thinking this? Is there any truth to what I’m telling myself? A lot of the times the answer was actually no.

I use to stare at myself in the mirror and critique everything I thought was wrong with myself. And I find that this was the hardest to do but then I had to start telling myself everything I thought was right with myself. And in the end, it was never a vanity thing. In fact it would be something like, your eyes are just fine because you can see all the beauty in the world. Your belly is just fine, you get to enjoy all your favorite foods. Your arms are just fine, you get to hug all your niece and nephews. Your legs are just fine, you get to travel and walk around new places. And basically that’s how I turned a negative game into a positive one. Lately, I find myself admiring myself and it’s such a good feeling. I feel like I walk with more confidence and don’t want to hide anymore. This talking good to myself was actually working. But I had to be consistent. Something that I knew needed fixing and something that I wanted to fix.

There is no easy fix when it comes to loving ourselves. It takes time and consistency to undo bad habits. But when I finally saw the damage that I was doing to myself and that my feelings of anxiousness was because of my thoughts, I knew I had to start somewhere. I’m not sure why it took me a while to realize that I control my thoughts. I was the one who allowed them to seep in whether they were true or not. It was realizing that I could counter the bad thoughts with good thoughts. I’m not 100% there yet ... but I can feel myself getting there and that to me makes a world of difference.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy 40th birthday, babe ♥

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i posted this on instagram but figured I could post it here too.

Hey mista, you're the big 4-0 today! Say what?! Crazy to think when we started dating you were "rapping" 28 and switching lanes whenever you would switch lanes while driving. I found it incredibly corny but then it caught on and each year I'd laugh as the numbers got higher.

But you know what? 40 and switching lanes has a nice ring to it. I'm looking forward to laughing along as you rap 40 and switching lanes this year. I love you babe (so, so much) and wish you the happiest birthday.

P.S. Today also marks our 12th dating anniversary! 12 years?! Time flies when you're loving your most favorite person in this world. #youremyperson

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February Love List

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February the month of love.
I figured why not do the cliché thing and make a list of the simple every day things that I love.

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- Making breakfast sandwiches with Sean Saturday mornings. This is a highlight of the week for me. We buy “special bagels” and I’m in charge of the bacon while Sean is in charge of the eggs.

- Lighting up my favorite scented candles when I get home from work.

- Listening to soca music (played extremely loud) while I do chores throughout the week.

- Texting my sisters throughout the day. If I’m busy a certain day and am not able to get to the text(s) right away I always know that 50+ texts will be waiting for me.

- It’s not pitch black on my drive to work in the morning anymore. So awesome to see that we are already beginning to get longer days and nights.

- Trying a new recipe (that is easy and delicious) that becomes a favorite.

- Laying in bed to watch a show (Schitt's Creek right now, SO funny!) after a long work day.

- The daily morning calls from Sean. He calls me as soon as my alarm clock goes off and man sometimes I'm like you couldn't wait a few more minutes but by the end of the call I feel happy, refreshed and ready to take on the day.

- Treat time for the fur babies. You want to see happiness? Come to my house during treat time.

- My daily prayers before I walk out the door. It's amazing how the prayer I do before I walk out the door always allows me to feel as though I have protective gear on.

- When the forecast is above 40 degrees and there is no sign of rain or snow.