Sunday, November 28, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Christmas has to be my all time favorite holiday of the year. From the bright and shiny lights to the joyous carols that play on the local radio station (Warm 106.9 <-- Click to listen to continuous Christmas favorites!), I am filled with a spirit that I hope to keep all year long. I can remember being a young child going to my grandmother’s house and seeing my family mingling, seemingly enjoying each other’s company while being surrounded by the many decorations that my grandmother took precious time to place just perfectly throughout the house.

Although I was young and the gifts I received were always intriguing, my favorite part of the festivities was the tree. I used to lay as a child underneath the Christmas Tree in my mother’s home as a child just staring up to the top mesmerized by the sparkle and shine. While I always took part in decorating my mother’s tree, this year I had the privilege of decorating my very own tree and I must say that I was pretty impressed with my final product.

While I'm just beginning my holiday decorating rampage, I am excited that the tree is up to keep my hype for the remainder of the season.  It's my way to create the memories I had as a child when my mother and grandmother set the tree up nicely for all to admire. 

I hope that all of you enjoy your Christmas this year and can find the little things that make your own individual perception of this magical holiday special to you.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Winter Wonderland!

I live in Washington and while we get tons of rain throughout the year, we dont get too much snow that actually sticks.  So I decided to take it upon myself to take a few photos of my neighborhood two days in the making of our very own Winter Wonderland.

November 22, 2010

November 23, 2010

Now I know what some of you may be thinking about my supposed "Winter Wonderland", that it's not such a wonderland at all, in fact the level of snow we've recieved this Thanksgiving is NOTHING compared to what you may recieve in your part of the United States, but to me, this is Holiday Season heaven and I wanted to share it with all of you!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Don't Take Losses for "Losers".

What I have learned about success so far is that you can’t take losses for losers. Basically, separate yourself and your ambitions from the people you choose or may not have chosen to surround yourself with. No, I have not started up my own business or invented some kind of technologically advanced light bulb. I’m still just a 23 year old college student trying to find a job in this sad excuse for an economy, so some of you may not consider me a success just yet – BUT that opinion only comes with your own personal definition of what success means to you – as we all measure it differently.

I come from a city that is supposed to be the third largest in my state and to my surprise one of the scariest cities to make an appearance in. Whenever I go to an unfamiliar city and tell people where I am from I get a lot of funny looks or many people asking me if I am afraid to walk the sidewalks alone, even during daylight. I have often found that many outsiders believe that the moment they step a toe beyond the boundary line that separates their city from mine they believe they will be mugged, or robbed - maybe even shot. This assumption is ludicrous to me yet I was born and raised in my particular city therefore everything about it is familiar to me. At the same time though, I can understand where they get their assumptions from. According to Neighborhood Scout, my city has a crime rate of 97 per one thousand residents and 90% of all communities within my state have a lower crime rate than my city. The statistics aren’t saying much for us huh? The point is most of the people I know tend to say that the city is holding them back from achieving their dreams; it’s the city’s fault that they aren’t accomplishing much with themselves. I say that’s bullshit. Besides if it’s really the city’s fault that so many people are committing crimes or choosing to accomplish absolutely nothing with their lives then why haven’t they picked up and moved? You have to start somewhere.

When I say “Don’t Take Losses for Losers” I mean exactly that – don’t dumb yourself down just because the people around you have allowed that to happen to themselves. Don’t blind yourself to opportunities just because the people around you aren’t looking into the opportunities that surround them. I know that there is this whole theory that all one has to do to become successful is eliminate the “bad eggs” from their social group, but if you don’t have the ambition and drive WITHIN YOURSELF it isn’t going to matter too much who you hang around. There are some highly successful people who come from poverty stricken homes and are the first to graduate with a four-year degree from Achieve-Your-Dream University. Believe me this comes from my own personal experience. My mother is the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year University. I don’t come from a long line of Surgeons, Lawyers, Financial Advisors, etc. I have never had too many friends who made wise decisions, in fact most of my friends make completely stupid decisions thinking that the results wont turn out as bad as we all know they will; then they blame the city or their surroundings for a decision THEY CHOOSE to make THEMSELVES – no gun held to their head. I am one of the only people I know among my group of friends who holds a job let alone has obtained two Associates Degrees as well as a Certificate while currently working on two Bachelor’s degrees without taking the summer off. I also work an internship. Tell me THAT isn’t motivation and drive?

I have taken the widely popular advice of getting rid of some of my “bad egg” friends thinking that it would get me further faster and it turns out, I’m still going the same pace I’ve been going while they were around. Mind you, my schedule is completely crammed leaving little time to hang out with my friends anyways, but that came from a choice I made for MYSELF. When I am around them, I choose NOT to fall into their peer pressure – “smoke this” “drink that” because my drive and ambition is too high; I’m at a level that no chemical substance could take me to. I’m not going to fall into the trap of a loser just because they fell into the trap of another loser and got stuck. I’ll lose everything if I MADE THAT CHOICE. I refuse to take losses for losers. I do come from the same city as every person I know who has fallen into the trap of a loser and I do get how difficult it can get to differentiate oneself from all the others and not succumb to the peer pressure of …. Lets say for example, having five babies and living on welfare for the rest of your life. Yet the way I see it, the way I have shaped my experiences, maybe my city doesn’t have the highest success rate as other cities but I feel like this is where I have to make my start. If you want to achieve something in life you have to learn to throw the excuses in the trash and face the news that unless you were born into a wealthy family, hard work and determination are the only things that are going to get you the riches you probably dream about. It doesn’t matter where you are from, it doesn’t matter who your friends are – people break the mold all the time. What are you going to do to get to that specific place in life that you dream about?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Cheer Up Busy Bee & Decrease All That Stress!

Although I am only 23 years old, I am notorious for worrying about anything and everything that can go wrong in my life. I become paranoid at the simplest mistakes and wrong turns that we all make as human beings. I work like a maniac; sleep has become a hobby and cooking dinner has become a chore. I recently interviewed with a newly established mortgage agency and when asked “What do you like to do to unwind from life?” - I could not answer as quickly as I probably should have been able to. I can answer anything from “What motivates you to do your best” to “What kind of skills do you think you have to offer our company” quickly and efficiently, but ask me what my hobbies are and I draw a blank. I’m so stuck on my personal plan for life that I don’t take much time to unwind, to enjoy myself or the people in my life. I live on my own, I spend a lot of time in my vehicle - Alone; therefore much of my time is spent with myself. Most of my time when I am not focused on work or education is spent fighting with my inner demons. This causes me to feel quite unhappy and I begin to feel the urge to shut myself away from the world for a little while. THIS IS NOT A GOOD THING PEOPLE!
I made a personal decision today to work on my schedule more; find time to enjoy myself, enjoy my friends and family - GET A REAL HOBBY - and not cram my schedule with tasks to the last millisecond. Not having time to unwind or having to heat T.V. Dinners in the microwave every night for dinner isn’t very healthy. Worrying constantly about anything and everything that can go wrong can be stressful and unhappiness in life could be the result. I decided to also erase the negative feelings and thoughts that I harbor. As humans we tend to focus more on the negative things in life because they leave a deeper scar on our emotions than the positive things. Remember as a child feeling like you had to misbehave sometimes to get attention from your parents because your “bad” siblings were getting all the attention? Negative feelings also take time to put in line - kind of like the parent to the misbehaving child - we constantly feel like we have to tend to the issue. Tending to these negative issues take time and most certainly take all the joy out of our happy moments. I decided today to give the positive aspects of my life more credit, afterall, the positive things in my life are contributing to my happiness which ultimately contributes to every smile I allow to grace my face. Why allow the headache of life and negativity increase our stress level? Its unnecessary.

Stress can lead to many other health problems too such as Depression, Aches & Pains of any kind [hmm … maybe THAT’S what the pain in the lower back side of my neck is], Digestive Problems, Heart Disease, etc. We’re all trying to live our healthiest life as long as possible right? Take some time to unwind busy bee, you and I both deserve it!

There are plenty of ways that we can decrease the stress in our life. Simple things such as a change in our state of mind or personal expectations can really help a lot. Lets be realistic - none of us are perfect. And just as much as we ourselves aren’t perfect, we shouldn’t expect anyone around us to be perfect. Cut down on your schedule if you’re like me and you over cram it. Make some time to relax and unwind, even if it is just a moment at Starbucks enjoying a Frappuccino in between work and school. Relax, maybe do a few breathing exercises. I once took a Crime & Issues class where we had to do breathing exercises every now and then - Breathe In “I know I am breathing in”, Breathe Out “I know I am breathing out”, REPEAT. Its supposed to help you to relax and become aware of yourself and your surroundings. We are often so busy that our simplest activities become so routine we don’t even realize we are doing them. Make sure to always maintain a positive outlook on life. Optimism can most definitely make a stressful situation seem less stressful; easier to handle. Make sure to always get a good nights sleep and treat your body well. Regular exercise boosts endorphins which are sometimes considered the body’s painkillers acting as analgesics reducing the perception of pain. They make you feel better!

At the end of the day, nobody needs or wants to be a highly stressed out individual. These type of people aren’t usually too fun to be around. So how about we work together to turn our frowns upside down and do our best to live a stress free life! Let me know of your tips of how you decrease the stress in your life! Here’s my head start:


Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday, Monday.

Today has been a good day I must admit. I usually don't look forward to Mondays at all just because I am so busy I want the feeling of a relaxing weekend to last FOREVER. It's almost like coming back to reality, those Mondays. My weekend was spent in a fantasy world even if in that world I was laying in bed all day eating pint sized ice cream and watching Sex and the City: The Movie over and over. For some reason, this Monday has been different. The sun is shining, yet here in Washington you can tell it's still winter because regardless of how sunny it is outside, you can walk out and breathe in the freshly brisk air. I love it. I want to live some place where the weather is like this more often than not. I love the sun, not a fan of the heat. Miami, Florida it is with great sadness yet no disappointment that you will most likely never be blessed with my presence. Sorry.  This .......

..... is beautiful to me.  Wherever this scenery is, that is where I need to be.  New York City perhaps?  Chicago, Boston, it sure isnt here in Western Washington.

Nothing spectacular happened today, it was just a good day.  I felt great, energized, and the day isnt over.  I still have to attend my Corrections class tonight after leaving work but I feel like I could get a full-body workout in afterwards.  I feel like I could go home and cook up a dinner meal for every night this week all tonight.  I could spring clean my apartment.  The point is, I felt so good today for no specific reason that I was clearly able to think about the joys in my life, ones I never really think about because my mind is too boggled with work or school information, or I'm stressed beyond the norm.  I have this new outlook today that I want to continue having.  I have this sense of calm overpowering my being and I want it to stay. 

On days like this, we should all remember to take the time out to appreciate our surroundings; appreciate our talents, our interests, the things that make us happy.  I know our lives get pretty busy sometimes, but today was a day that reminded me to bring forth thoughts of what I appreciate in life.  You see, nothing spectacular happened today.  It was just a good day.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


This lady, yes the cartoon lady pictured above, she resembles me on most days.  Well, all except for the blond Peggy Bundy hairstyle [was her name Peggy?].  It's only Tuesday and I had the most difficult time getting out of bed this morning.  I dont know what my issue was but I had an issue.  I'm one of those weird individuals who likes to research anything that has to do with improving daily life so today I researched How to Get Out of Bed in the Morning ... WITH ENERGY!  I found some very interesting tips, things that make sense, yet techniques I never thought with my great amount of common sense to try.  Here's the link to the website if you want to look at tips that I may not have listed in this post: How to Wake Up with Energy in the Morning.

So, here are a few that I thought I would point out:

  • Keep your room at 60 degrees or below farenheit.  This tip was new information to me.  Jim, the man who created the website I got these tips from, says that it is important to breathe in cold air so that when you wake up, your eyes will be exposed to this cool air.  He says that this is the most important thing you can do to make waking up in the morning easier.  This one kind of throws me for a loop because even though I dont sleep with my heater turned up to an insanely warm degree, it's actually the coldness that keeps me from wanting to get out of bed in the morning.  I would always prefer to stay underneath my warm blankets than to step out into the freezing cold of my 50 degree temperature room.  I think I will try this one though because the point is to wake up feeling ENERGIZED, not feeling like you're vacationing on South Beach.

  • Put your alarm clock at the opposite end of the room; the stupidest thing you can do is put it within reaching distance.  EXACTLY!  I am very guilty of this I must admit.  I use my cellphone as my alarm clock and the only reason it is near me at night is because my somewhat long distance boyfriend calls me every night around my bedtime.  I'm usually not in bed to go to sleep though, I've got lots of homework and studying that I do while I'm sitting in bed.  The point is, I always find myself pushing snooze on my cellular alarm every single morning.  I mean, there is not one morning where I get up right at the first ring of my alarm.  I'm also guilty of not hearing my alarm go off because I've rolled over my cellphone in my sleep haha.  This tip, I am going to try.  TONIGHT.  I personally think this will be the most beneficial tip for me because I'm not one of those people who gets up just to go back to lay down.  Nope, once I am physically out of bed, thats it, I'm up.  My issue is getting out of bed to begin with.

  • Make sure your schedule is set up to get a full 8 hours of sleep.  Okay, so do you see the cartoon lady pictured at the top of this post?  I know that lady isnt a depiction of me alone, she represents working women everywhere!  I cant get 8 hours of sleep every single night, my schedule doesnt allow for that kind of luxury!  I am a full time working woman, and full time college student.  Even though my job ends at 5 p.m., my education does not end at 8 p.m. every night.  I go home, make something to eat and STUDY STUDY STUDY, because I have to.  Sometimes I fall asleep on my notes haha.  Not good.  What I think I need to do is put a fine tooth comb to my daily events and see how I can eliminate any amount of wasted time so that I can fit two more hours of sleep in each night. 

  • Take your shower in the morning - NOT the night before.  This one, I got down pat as a habit.  I didnt make it a habit so much for the energy as I did just because I feel cleaner when I take a shower in the morning as opposed to at night.  I am a personal hygiene freakazoid.  I'm not as bad as some people but I do keep hand sanitizer in my purse and an extra toothbrush in my desk at work.  I do not like to feel grasy or dirty.  When I wake up late in the morning to the point where I HAVE to wait until night to take a shower, my day is already bad no matter what kind of mood I am in.  Yet on the energy side of things [because this is what this post is about], taking a shower in the morning truly does help to wake me up.  I encourage all you night time shower takers to try a shower in the morning and see/feel the difference.

  • EAT BREAKFAST.  Jim says a breakfast shake and a power bar will do wonders.  I am a guilty woman of not eating breakfast every day because I am too rushed.  I recently started to make a habit of keeping some kind of breakfast food handy at work though because I work in an office and usually in the morning before I get started on any serious projects, I make sure to have something to eat and a cup of coffee.  This is a new habit of mine though and I am not too sure if it makes me feel more energized yet or not.  Maybe the point is to eat BEFORE you get to work, not after when you've already did the whole morning routine thing.  Regardless of whether eating breakfast in the morning makes you feel more energized or not, EAT BREAKFAST.  I'm no expert, but everything I've read about healthy living had eating breakfast as one of the most important things to do during the day.

These are just a few of the tips I found the most interesting.  Check out the website How to Wake Up with Energy in the Morning for more interesting tips on waking up in the morning with energy.  Also, another website that I stumbled upon a few months ago was How to Become an Early Riser.  It's another one that offers great tips for those who want to wake up early enough in the morning and not have to be rushed.  I know that is an issue I am still working on.  What kind of tips do you all have for waking up early and feeling energized?