Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Priorities: Being Kinder to Myself

IMG_8221

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 ♥

IMG_3186
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

IMG_6178

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.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

- 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.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Seven Magic Mountains + Vegas Snapshots

IMG_9745

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know that Sean and I have made it a point to go to Vegas at least once a year since 2008. We got engaged in Vegas in 2008 and after that decided that it was our "special place". 2018 was the only year since 2008 that we made no plans to go to Vegas. Mostly because we went to Vegas October 2017 and with it being so far in the year we decided that we didn’t need to go again since we already had pretty extensive travel plans for 2018.

We told ourselves a while ago that we’d never go to Vegas again in January … and well, we lied. We did. We said we wouldn't go to Vegas in January for weather reasons only but we were surprised this year with pretty great weather and gorgeous blue skies.

The only regret I had about not going to Vegas in 2018 was thinking that I was going to miss the Seven Magic Mountains. Well, lucky for me us it was extended and we were able to see it. It’s an art installation that is right in the middle of the desert. I think that is what the draw was for me. It’s being able to see such life and color smacked right in the middle of a dusty, empty location. It was really neat and not crowded due to the time of year.

IMG_9744

IMG_9775

IMG_9747 IMG_9758

IMG_9757

IMG_9761 IMG_9750

IMG_9754

IMG_9768 IMG_9770

IMG_9774

IMG_9777 IMG_9771

IMG_9773

Later that evening we planned on seeing the Michael Jackson experience but the lead got sick so the show was cancelled. So we went to Fremont Street and that is quite an experience. We went a few years ago but during the day and let’s just say it is such a different experience at nighttime. To be honest, it is a little bit weird but oh so entertaining. There are so many random acts up and down the street and you can’t help but stop to watch these quirky performances. I really loved a group (I think they were family) that did some crazy things with their body parts and there was a saxophone player that I could have listened to all night.

thumbnail_IMG_9584

thumbnail_IMG_9660

thumbnail_IMG_9598

We did not intend to make it such a long night but a few too many shots and we were rolling into bed at 5 in the morning. Sean’s mom was hurting the following day, ha. OK, she wasn’t the only one hurting. Let’s just say that Sean and I don’t handle hangovers the way we use to. Our Saturday was completely shot. I think of the 24 hours we were only up 5 hours that day. Talk about a waste of a vacation day. We’ve learned our lesson. The only times we were up was really for food. Lunch at Smashburger and dinner at a delicious Mexican place, Hussong’s Cantina, which is the home of the original margarita!

thumbnail_IMG_9610

thumbnail_IMG_9611 thumbnail_IMG_9613

Since we went to bed very early on Saturday we were up early Sunday morning to enjoy our last full day.
We walked the strip, popped in and out of casinos and just enjoyed a blue sky day.

IMG_9779

IMG_9778 IMG_9783

We stayed at the Excalibur. You know that we're trying to stay at every hotel on the strip. Well, it's pretty awesome to look at and has $5 roulette (we loved this!) but the beds are uncomfortable, haha. You win some, you lose some.

IMG_9785

IMG_9786

IMG_9787

IMG_9789

IMG_9808 IMG_9793

IMG_9795

IMG_9796

Every time we go to Vegas we end up getting breakfast at Las Salsa Cantina.
It is quite inexpensive and our food is always good.

IMG_9798

IMG_9799

IMG_9803 IMG_9809

IMG_9804

IMG_9807

Every trip we try to visit one casino that we haven’t visited and it was to Aria this year.
They have a gorgeous restaurant in the casino and I really would like to eat there someday.

IMG_9815

See? Hard to resist taking a picture.

IMG_9813 IMG_9818

IMG_9820 IMG_9822

When you’ve gone to Vegas as much as we have, the trips begin to look the same.
But due to my intense desire to document life, I am of course blogging it here.

I hope that you’re all having a wonderful week! One day closer to Friday! ♥

Friday, February 1, 2019

Our last day in Las Terranas, Dominican Republic

IMG_8254

On our last day we woke up early as we had gone to bed rather early the previous night. We woke up in time for the sunrise but as luck would have it, it began to rain so our sunrise experience wasn’t exactly what we pictured in our minds. Either way, it was still beautiful and so peaceful. I mean, you have to be insane to not appreciate that you woke up and was able to watch the sunrise.

IMG_8123

IMG_8118

IMG_8124

IMG_8129

IMG_8132

IMG_8138 IMG_8141

IMG_8134

When we went back to the house Paulo had a delicious breakfast waiting for us. We indulged, got ready for the day and then Sean and I headed to the beach despite of the rain. We ordered some drinks at Porto and then just puttered around until our mid-day massage appointments.

IMG_8149 IMG_8144 IMG_8150

thumbnail_IMG_8845

thumbnail_IMG_8836

thumbnail_IMG_8839

thumbnail_IMG_8868

thumbnail_IMG_8878

We both agreed that this was the best massage of our entire lives. We went back to the house and showered and then took some anniversary shots. At least that is what Sean called them to get me to take one with him.

thumbnail_IMG_8852

thumbnail_IMG_8853

The one pictured on the left is obviously mine.
Big baby over here.

thumbnail_IMG_8841

We had lunch at a small local restaurant called El Zapote Restaurante that was recommended to us by Paulo and Maria. It's a very simple style restaurant but the food was so, so good. I think I should mention that the restaurant is not on yelp and only locals were there. Due to this I'm not entirely sure how to share location, etc. It was also on this day (Sunday) that we saw that DR came alive. Everyone was out and about. Music playing loudly, people barbequing and lots of dancing. I loved it!

thumbnail_IMG_8861

We went back to the house to relax some more and then got ready for the night. We were spending our last evening in DR at The Mosquito Bar. We really loved this little bar. We caught a gorgeous sunset and proceeded to take a million and one pictures.

IMG_8157

IMG_8178 IMG_8186

IMG_8190 IMG_8177

IMG_8209 IMG_8204

IMG_8216 IMG_8224

IMG_8221

IMG_8223

IMG_8228

IMG_8236 IMG_8245 IMG_8238

IMG_8240

IMG_8246

IMG_8252

IMG_8259

IMG_8260

IMG_8264

IMG_8269

IMG_8275

IMG_8288 IMG_8283 IMG_8290

IMG_8324

IMG_8301

IMG_8297

IMG_8309 IMG_8308 IMG_8310

IMG_8316 IMG_8312

IMG_8317

IMG_8319

IMG_8321

The DJ played all the rap music from the 90s and we were completely in our elements. It began to rain quite heavily which made us run from the beach and into the bar. We were all just a little soaked but we had a great last night. This trip was even more than I imagined and will always be remembered as one of the best vacations I’ve taken. 2018 was good like that :).