Lifestyle

Do you have a self-care plan?

You’ve found your spot and you’re finally ready to rest for the night. It feels like five, maybe ten minutes when all of a sudden, your alarm goes off. You wake up and what are your first thoughts? “another day, another dollar”, “here we go again”, or my favorite, “is it Friday yet?” if this sounds like you, you are not alone. Don’t you love being an adult? Or better yet, having to act like an adult 90% of your life. I mean, bills have to get paid, your family has to eat, you practically have to work to pay bills and survive. Am I right? Even though our everyday lives consist of a routine, I’m here to tell you it’s time to break that habit. When was the last time you actually put yourself first above anyone else? If you have children you tell yourself they come first above anything else, but when was the last time someone made sure you were okay? You see, husbands/wives nor children understand what it’s like to put everyone else first besides yourself. If you are a stay at home mom, you get judged for not working, not having a career, pretty much for being a “bum”. Well, that’s not true. Even though you’re not really actually getting paid to feed others, or to clean after their mess, or to cook for them, you’re there to make sure everyone’s sanity is okay. The same goes for moms that work. You’ve had a long day, you get home and you immediately switch to mom/housewife mode. It’s fucken hard. No one warned us how hard it is to survive in the real world. Nothing gets handed to us, nothing in this world is free. Anxiety, depression, is real. If you’re reading this and often feel like your life consists of a routine, I’m here to tell you that you need to break that habit, that you need to start caring about yourself more than usual. You’re a single mom, so what? You’re going through a divorce, so what? You’re worried about next week’s test, so what? How do you think you’ll survive without self-care? When was the last time you asked yourself if you were okay? or maybe you just need someone to hear you out? Maybe you just need a hug from a friend and someone to tell you-you’re doing just fine? When was the last time you really disconnected yourself from social media? Self care is real and it’s important. Without caring for yourself you leave no space to care for others. You know those days where you get home stressed from work? It’s real, and it affects your family. Why would anyone want to live under your negative cloud? Work and homework start piling up, but you leave no space for yourself because you think it’s SELFISH. Let me remind you that self-care reduces the negative effects of stress and promotes a healthy work-life balance. Make self care a daily act that’s part of your routine, and I promise, you will start feeling better about yourself.

Here are a few ideas to get you started, but remember, make it a daily routine.

  • Try a new fitness class- (For real though, how many times have we told ourselves we need to work out? But not just to look good in the outside, but to feel better in the inside. Remember, you physically want to look good, but you also want to emotionally feel better. Not to mention, you’ll be more energized after that workout, get it, girl!!).
  • Read a book- (How often do we say we don’t have time to read? instead of being on social media before bed, grab a book or a magazine and start reading. Trust me, it’s good for the soul).
  • Eat Healthy- (Guys, this is real. How often do we eat like crap and feel like crap? leave that nasty junk food aside and look up some delicious and healthy recipes).
  • Sleep routine- (We often go to bed late because “We can’t sleep.” We can’t sleep because we either have too much on our minds or because we’re just not tired. Find a routine after dinner. Go for a walk, take a warm bath, and get ready for bed. Remember, our bodies need at least a good 7-9 hours to function. Set your alarm clock, but for Pete’s sake, put that damn phone away).
  • Church- (This may not be for everyone, but perhaps you’ve fallen out of your routine of not attending church? Maybe you’re the type of person that needs to connect with others to bring you closer to your beliefs? If so, try going back to release some stress and to focus on yourself).
  • Friends/Family- (When was the last time you shared some good laughs and memories along with the people you love the most? Go out and spend time with them. Release stress and talk about your day, talk about your feelings. Better letting everything out than in. At least for your own sanity).
  • Goodbye Electronics- (You can get a break from social media and believe it or not, you will not die. When having dinner, put that phone away. Movie night with the kids? Shut the phone off. We sadly tend to put our attention to other people around the world than our own family. Make sure you make time for them and not those memes or videos you keep scrolling to every five minutes).

If you want to survive, put yourself first above anything else. If these ideas don’t work for you, find something that does. Maybe you’re the type of person that needs a vacation to clear your mind, or perhaps a spa date. But above that, remember that self-care is something that should be taken seriously by taking care of your own mind and body. You know the saying, “if you don’t love yourself first no one will,” well it’s entirely true. If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of those precious little creatures that call you mom. If you can’t take care of yourself, no one else will. And please, take 30 minutes of your day, to focus on you.

Lifestyle

Valentine’s Day Ideas

It’s mid-January, and you’re not quite sure what to get for your special someone. Remember a few years ago it was about a walk in the park and dinner? Well, times have changed. It seems that V-day is no longer about spending time with your other half, but about the gift itself. Sadly, everything we tend to do in our everyday lives is always posted on social media, and it has become a habit for people to live off “likes” than by reality. If you agree with me, then after reading this blog, promise yourself this year will be different. Let this year be about spending time with one another and not about purchasing the most expensive gift to impress others. Live in the moment of celebrating Valentine’s Day without any mobile devices, or without having it to post on social media. Give your special someone all the attention they need, trust me, that’s more valuable than a piece of jewelry.

1.Movie & Dinner

If you’re the type of person that enjoys going out to eat to restaurants, what better way than to show your love for that person by taking them out to the most expensive restaurant in town, right? Wrong! Girl, I’m sure by now you have heard of YouTube and Pinterest. Google some ideas and surprise him with your cooking. Who doesn’t love a home-cooked meal? Test your inner chef skills and whip up some deliciousness for your better half. Don’t forget to grab a movie from Redbox or you can always rent it on Apple iTunes. Got kids? No problem. Wait until they’re sleeping to enjoy a romantic night with a side of wine or two. And remember, put those cell phones away.

2.Karaoke

Have you ever wanted to channel your inner Mariah Carey? Well, here’s your chance to do so. Take some time to make reservations at a Karaoke place in your city. Go out for dinner and start getting those vocals ready to have a great time with your partner. This is a fun way to spend time together, after all, Simon Cowell won’t be there to judge your singing skills.

3.Go to a Concert

Have you never been to one? Well here’s your chance. Visit https://www.stubhub.com to find concert tickets and gift them to your other half. Is his favorite singer coming to town that month? You don’t have to go out of your way to purchase the most expensive ones. I’m sure he or she will be happy to even attend it with you. Wear that wild and daring outfit you have sitting in your closet and enjoy a couple of beers while listening to some music together.

4.Cooking Class

Many of us stick to our daily routines of cooking. We often complain when our husband’s can’t cook a soup. Well, here’s your chance to teach him. You can always google it but look up cooking classes for couples. This is a great way to not only spend time together, but to work as a team. Best of all, you and your other half get to cook a delicious meal and eat shortly after along with some drinks.

5.Painting with a Twist

Was Art one of your other half’s favorite subject in school? purchase tickets to attend your local painting studio and have some fun painting and sipping on wine together. It’s a great way to interact as a couple without any other disruptions.

6.Bike ride for Two

If you live in a big city and know how beautiful the paths are, make a date by renting two bikes and take a stroll downtown. Not only are you getting a good exercise out of it, but both of you are not being distracted by electronics. Grab some lunch or dinner after that bike ride, after all, you’ll need those carbs after that long work out.

7.Comedy Show

Visit your local restaurant/bar and check if they have any local comedians you may want to take your other half to see. It’s a great way to laugh together, while enjoying some food and drinks.

8.Theme Parks

Are both of you up for an adventure? Are you and your other half fearless? Purchase some tickets and head on over to ride rollercoasters. Remember, the trip is about spending time together and still interacting with one another as the ride is dropping both of you. Ahhhh!!

9.Ghost Tours

Depending on your location, you may be able to find a ghost or haunted tour. If you both share the interest in ghosts, or scary shows, then this is a great way to spend Valentine’s Day together.

10.Camping

Have you and your other half been so busy with work and school that a break is much needed from everyone and everything? go camping to a spot you both have never been to. Leave for the weekend and turn all devices off. Great way to spend time together without any interruptions.

Military Spouse Stories

Leaving Yuma with Love

Gibson Family 2018

Oh, the joys of being a military wife. One day you’re hanging out with your girlfriend when you suddenly get a call. It’s not just a call; it’s THE call. The call you’ve been patiently waiting for, the reason you’ll be stressing out for the next (drumroll) 3 months. Just when you thought you had your life put together, your home, even your job. After all these years, your kids are finally used to their school, they finally have friends in the neighborhood, and well you, you’ve finally made friends. Oh, but it’s not a seasonal friend, it’s family: a group of people you consider family that gets together on holidays and other special occasions. But when your phone rings and your husband gives you the news, it changes everything. For some, it’s a massive weight off our shoulders to finally know where you’ll be moving next. For others, it’s bittersweet. You see, being an adult is sometimes being like a kid. You find your comfort zone, and that makes you put together for the next couple of years. But one thing’s for sure, once you click with certain people, you never want to let go. You have your inner circle, the people you trust, the people who have been there when you’ve hit rock bottom — the people that know your darkest secrets, but also the people that are there to lift you when no one else understands. Your regular friends don’t quite follow you as your military friends do, which brings us back to moving away from the inner circle you’ve loved for the past three years.
I recently came across a spouse that recently found out she is PCSing to North Carolina where her husband Beau Gibson will be stationed on Camp Lejeune. Just by sitting down and hearing her story about her upcoming move, made me realize that not only does this affect our families. But as a military spouse, it affects us as well. I messaged Paige Gibson and asked her to meet with me to further discuss her experience from her move from Oceanside, California. To Yuma, Arizona.


MkAnahy: Paige, what was your first thought when you moved to Yuma, Arizona?

Paige: My first thought after finding out we were moving to Yuma, was a bit interesting. I had never heard of the place let alone knew it existed. When my family and I drove into this desert place in the middle of nowhere, I thought “holy crap, this is where I’m going to be living for the next three years? Really? The lettuce fields are cool to look at, but I’m nervous to be here.” As you can tell, I didn’t love it. I loved the house we first moved into, which was in the Foothills, approximately 15 minutes from base. We explored the place and found Yuma’s shopping mall, The Palms, drove around downtown and got passes to the water park which was honestly the best thing we could have done for our family! I got spoiled in Oceanside before moving to Yuma, so it took a few months to adjust to all the surroundings. I then realized my daughter loved her school and her friends and wanted to make it a positive move for her and eventually began to adjust to the area little by little. It’s a small place and easy to get around and to meet my friends here helped me see the good in Yuma.

Mk Anahy: When you got to Yuma, did you make friends right away? And if so, do you still talk to them?

Paige: Yes, well it took two months. My husband’s friend that he went to Intel school with was also PCSing to Yuma but didn’t get here until a month and a half after us. My husband said that his wife and I would get along well and turns out we did! She was my first friend here and still is to this day! I met a lot of couples after hosting BBQ’s and made friends with many cool people. People that turned into my best of friends! I hope they get stationed by us again!!

Mk Anahy: What were some of the challenges you faced while being stationed in Yuma? Was your husband gone all the time? If so did you look for resources to keep you busy? Did you work while being in Yuma? Did your husband’s workplace make sure to include your family in events and up to date with any training your husband had to attend?

Paige: Thinking back, some challenges I had in Yuma, was having to take care of my baby that was only a month old. I was fortunate enough to be able to stay at home with him while I’ve been here. A challenge was having to move on base after living off base for quite some time because the owner of the house we were renting from decided to put his home on the market. I’m so glad it happened because I was now closer to my friends, but I also feel safer living on base. It wasn’t the same for my daughter; it was challenging for her to switch schools. I contacted the school liaison on base, and she helped me narrow down the best school for my daughter to attend. When we moved to Yuma, I remembered the school liaison was a resource provided for the military families. My husband was gone during our first summer in Yuma with training in 29 Palms. Although I knew there were resources out there, I reached out to my friends for help. My husband’s shop was very communicative with the families. We hardly received any information regarding our husband’s training dates or any special events for the families. That was one thing I enjoyed from my husband’s old shop in Oceanside. They took care of the families and provided them with different resources.

Mk Anahy: What is the best thing that happened to you or your family while being stationed here? Why type of bond did you make with your inner circle that your regular friends back home will never understand?

Paige: The best thing that has happened here was my friends! My daughter (who is 10) made some great friends, and so did my husband, son and me. We have a special bond because we share somewhat the same experiences that most of my friends from back home don’t understand. It’s essential to have at least one loyal military spouse to talk throughout all your troubles with the military lifestyle. Being a military spouse is challenging but making friends have someone to talk to, or to have someone to have a few drinks with while watching movies keeps you sane. It also creates some memorable moments with the people you love the most!! Although we faced many challenges, we also learned to cherish the good memories every day and be grateful for the people you meet in your life.

Roadtrips

Yeeeehaw! Hola, Texas

Everything is bigger in Texas!! or so they say (wink, wink). So let me rewind the story just a tad bit… Our family moved from Tampa, Florida to Yuma, Arizona in a matter of a couple of weeks, yes! So, I’m sharing with you the road trip adventure, but also the places we stopped to eat at. Now that I have your attention, we made it to Texas (yeeehaaaawww). We spent two days in Texas; our first night was in Houston. Let me start by saying I loved Houston. So much to do, so much to see. I can see why everyone loves it there. I was excited to try their Tex- Mex, considering how I’m used to Mexican food from back home (yes, it’s not the same, but delicious in their ways). Although I wanted tacos that night, we ended up eating Sushi. My oldest loves sushi, and we wanted something different, so why not right? We decided to go to Eurasia Fusion Restaurant

.www.eurasiasushi.com/

Their happy hour was excellent, everything was half off, but most of all, it was also delicious. After eating dinner, we decided to drive to Wal Mart (aka Wally World). O-M-G this wasn’t like your regular store from back home. It was no shit like a theme park. It was huge guys, huge!! So before I continue, one thing that caught my eye, was the fact that 99% of the women were dolled up just to go shopping. I’m talking about high heels, brows on fleek, full face make up on, all dressed up. I’m not going to lie, I was jealous. I mean, I was seven months pregnant, in my shorts, old raggedy shirt, and vans. Yeah, momma was not home anymore. I mean, props to you girls because I can barely do my make up every other day haha. Bak to the shopping, I felt like I was in heaven. After living in Florida for three years, I never really found the Mexican products I enjoy eating. So it was no shocker to see everything there. I probably spent like $100 on Mexican cereal, cookies, drinks, and omg, the chips! I was like a child in every damn aisle. I felt like I was ‘home’ (sigh). After checking out, we decided to head back to the hotel and take the boys to the pool. After all, it was boiling outside. That night, we decided to end our day in Houston at a taco place (FINALLY). So this taco place was just around the corner from the hotel we were staying in, and man oh man. They had a salsa bar guys!!! and it was beautiful 🙂 
We decided to eat at La Tita Gorda Taqueria. I could not find a website for them. However, I’ve attached the link from Yelp! If you’re ever in the area, you will not be disappointed.
www.yelp.com/biz/la-tita-gorda-taqueria-houston

Even though we didn’t have a chance to do other things, for instance, amusement parks or aquariums since we were limited on time. We had a great experience driving around and tasting different food. I felt like I was on an episode of Man Vs. Food for a second. Houston, I have nothing bad to say about you, you were terrific and overall fun! 

San Antonio, I heart you! 

Another day, another drive! It was not a bad drive, I mean 3 hours went by so fast. We left early to take advantage of the day, after all, we wanted to visit our long-time friends we met in Arizona. Once we arrived, we met with our friends and cooked in their home. So, let me say this, I had never been to an H-E-B. Holy mother of pearl, if you’ve never been to that grocery store you are definitely missing out. It was beautiful guys, just beautiful. So nicely organized! I literally wanted to take the produce section home, oh and the bakery section too. The store was clean, and the employees were super friendly. The guy’s decided to BBQ, while my girlfriend and I resumed up on gossip (you know you’re guilty of it too). We had a great time at their house, after all, sometimes all you need is a good time at home with great friends. The day was coming to an end, therefore, we decided to head back to the hotel to get ready for next day’s adventure. We stayed in San Antonio for two days and figured we could do The Alamo the next day with the friends. The following day, we had breakfast at a cafe place, and crepes were terrific. I do apologize about this, but because I was having so much fun spending time with my girlfriend, I didn’t pay attention to the restaurant, sorry guys! Anywho, we decided to drive out to the Alamo and the Riverwalk. It was very hot and humid, but that didn’t stop us from having fun. We had a lot of fun, although it was packed, and did I mention hot? That evening, we decided to eat at a Seafood restaurant. I’m a seafood lover, but not really a Red Lobster type of person. More of ceviche, aguachiles, fresh clams and oysters. Our friends recommended Las Islas Marias Hillcrest. www.lasislasmarias.net/
 Guys, if you’re looking for a different menu when it comes to Seafood, look no further. After filling our stomachs with delicious food, we decided to head back to the hotel, pack, and rest for our next day’s drive to Arizona. The closer we got to our destination, the more anxious I was feeling. We ended our last stop for breakfast at Tacos Chinampa. www.chinamparestaurant.com/

Roadtrips

Lousiana, Fast!

Adios Florida, and hello Lousiana! After leaving Florida, it kept pouring on us the whole way, As if the state itself was sad to see us go. I’m not even joking, the rain….would….not….stop! It was incredibly annoying because all my kids wanted to do was to swim. However, that was not possible (thanks mother nature)!! So you can imagine how awesome it was spending time as a family cooped up in a room… together…with our two dogs. Anyways, before making the drive from Panama City to New Orleans, we decided to stop in Alabama to grab some food. Alabama is known for their BBQ, so of course, we had to catch some of that deliciousness. We stayed at Meat Boss (which was terrific by the way). 

meatboss.com/
Their BBQ is just fantastic, and to be honest with you; I would recommend them if you’re ever in their area. Click in the link to view locations. 

I apologize for my squirrel moments, ok, so where was I? New Orleans, yes. Once again, we stayed at La Quinta Inn, and they were just amazing. The fact that we were able to stay in dog-friendly hotels was just amazing in general. Even though it was pouring, that didn’t stop us from venturing the area. Now, if you know me, or if you’ve seen my Instagram (mkanahy), you’ll see how much of a foodie I am. I love to cook, but I don’t mind being treated either. While traveling, my best friend app has been Yelp. Yelp is a website where you’re able to look up restaurants and view reviews. Anyways, so I looked up a restaurant that was not only located near Bourbon St., but Louisiana is known for their fantastic crawfish, so needless to say, I chose a seafood place. We ended up going to Oceana Grill. If you click on the link below, you can view the menu of all the delicious food they have to offer. 

www.oceanagrill.com/

The food was just fantastic!! I love seafood in general and ended up ordering their Oyster Rockefeller and the Taste of New Orleans which had a mixture of seafood and sausage.

After dinner, we decided to walk around the famous Bourbon Street! Let me say; this would make a great girls trip! I mean, have you seen the movie? Yup, it gets crazy, however, definitely not kid appropriate lol. It’s kind of like a mini Vegas, with the flashing lights, bars in every direction, insane semi-nude people everywhere. The difference is, there is no gambling around, but undoubtedly plenty of bars and strip clubs for men and women (yikes). Luckily, it was early when we were there, but the craziness was just getting started. On a Thursday lol. There is so much to do, so much to see, so much to eat, and so much to drink (literally). If you’re ever in the area, take some time off that busy schedule and head on to Bourbon Street for some crazy shenanigans! Although I would have loved to stay there an extra day, we were anxious to head on to our next adventure the following day to Texas. 

Roadtrips

Panama City

So in August, my family and I  moved from Florida to Arizona. It was the longest yet shortest week ever (if that makes sense). Let me rewind the story a bit. My husband received new orders to move to a new state in a matter of weeks… literally four weeks to be exact. In those four short weeks, I had to leave my job; I was able to finish school. And well, I had to start sorting things out before the big move. Let me start off by saying, you have no idea how much shit you have until you move (like LITERALLY). Like I’m not even joking, it was the longest yet shortest weeks of my life. To gather all that you have built, bought, cherished, and all those memories you’ve made the past three years to all of a sudden move (again, because I should be used to it, right? wrong). Luckily, kids were still on their summer break, so it wasn’t that bad, but with the pregnancy and work it was a little stressful for me. Anyways, so we threw stuff away, painted our old house, fixed the house, and eventually, movers came and took all of our stuff. THE END. Just kidding, so I left my job, and I will not lie, I kind of miss it. Not the work itself, but I miss my regular customers and of course the people I used to work with. I did not cry after leaving Florida, for I was ready to pack and go. I was prepared for a change, I mean, aren’t we all? 

Our road trip was a blessing and a curse together. Our first stop consisted of spending the night in Panama City which is about six hours away from Tampa (not too shabby). So wait, wait…. before I continue with this post OMG!!!!! do not ever stay at this place.
www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34542-d275390-Reviews-American_Quality_Lodge_Panama_City-Panama_City_Florida.html

Holy Mother of Pearl!!!!!! Ok, so my “lovely husband”, decided to stick to a “low” budget hotel, etc. Well, who wants to spend like $200 just for one night? Exactly, so without a doubt and without looking at the reviews (totally my fault) I agreed. I said, “if it’s cheap and decent, why not.” Well, he probably heard the word cheap because JESUS, TAKE THE WHEEL. He took us to the streets, not even joking. And before anyone jumps on me, I’m talking about druggies outside, non-smoking rooms smelling like complete SMOKE, roaches all over the wall, and people drinking in and out of rooms like a complete mess. So, Of course, I was pissed, not the way I wanted to start my road trip but it happened, we are human people, mistakes do happen. After a five minute talk, we both agreed on requesting a refund and getting the hell out of there ASAP. Did I mention it was pouring cats and dogs? Well, it was horrible outside. So I spoke to the manager, and I was furious because she gave me the look of “I’m used to people bitch about the rooms but unfortunately, no refunds.” Like are you kidding me, lady? No worries, keep the money and off we went to another hotel. Keep in mind we are traveling with two kiddos, and two dogs. Yes, had to take my furbabies with me. After receiving a warm welcoming at La Quinta Inns & Suites, I was able to sleep like a baby. That was just day one guys, day one!!!! Did I mention how bad it was pouring outside? 

Last but not least, before the night ended, we stopped to grab a bite after all that chaos. My husband chose to eat at a Mexican restaurant which was… okay… I mean, their beans were great, but I don’t recall the place we went. After we got home, I washed clothes at the hotel (the chores never end, not even when you’re on vacation) and called it a night. It was the longest….day….ever… Check out my dogs; also they were like WTF???!!!

Roadtrips

Living La Vida in Florida

While living in Tampa, Florida, I now realize there was so much to do and see. From beaches to parks, you name it. This past summer, my mom and sister were visiting from Southern California (which was a blast by the way). The first thing they asked me when I saw them, “what are we doing tomorrow? What’s there to do in Tampa? where are the hot spots?” Then I realized that I didn’t know much about my surroundings. So yes, if you ask me what’s there to do in Tampa, I will reply with a brief answer like, uh… the beach? Wrong. This beautiful city has a lot to offer. I felt terrible because I had to work, I couldn’t take many days off, but I figured I would try my best.  I don’t mind theme parks, but my mom and sister are not big fans of it (especially since it’s expensive), so I figured I tried my best to make their vacation memorable. If you enjoy shopping, well so do I, however, not always in a mall. We decided to drive to Sunshine Thrift Store which is in South Tampa, and they still have good deals. This time I didn’t see people fighting over items lol. Let me tell you that you can find pretty good deals at the local thrift shop here. The next couple of days went by so fast! I let her borrow my car to take my sister out, but I’m glad I did since I had to work. Other must-see places they visited were; Clearwater Beach, walked around Downtown Tampa (through the Riverwalk), and we went out to Ybor City. If you’re ever in Tampa and want to go out bar hopping or to clubs, try visiting South Howard aka SoHo where you will be around ‘lots of college kids, but they have plenty of bars. Ybor City has a lot to offer as well, as it’s a whole strip of clubs, bars, restaurants, movies, tattoo shops, omg you name it! SO MUCH TO DO IN YBOR through the day, but mainly at night. If you’re a person that loves the beach and you just can’t get enough of it, here are some of my favorite beaches so far;. Treasure Island, Fort De Soto, Clearwater Beach (if you don’t mind a crowded beach), and if you’re up for a drive, try Ana Maria Island, Panama City Beach., and last but not least, South Beach in Miami 🙂

During the month of January, they have something called Gasparilla Parade (for both children and adults on different dates). I’ve experienced it on 3 different occasions and it has been a blast! To learn more about it, click on the link below.


www.813area.com/travel/gasparilla-history-why-we-celebrate.html

If you’re up for theme parks, in Tampa they have Busch Gardens (which isn’t too bad if you’re not a fan of big crowds) and Adventure Island (water park) that’s right across from the park. Orlando is about an hour and thirty minutes from Tampa. Therefore, you have Disneyworld (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studio’s, and the Animal Kingdom). Other parks around the area; Universal Studios, Sea World, Legoland, Fun Spot America, Gatorland, among others. So much to do in Orlando, if you have the money for it. Summertime here in Tampa tends to be super humid and of course HOT! My family and I used to drive up to the beach, fish, go out to the movies, go out to eat to different places. I mean it when I say it, there’s so much to do. It’s a beautiful part of Florida, and if you ever get bored in the area, my advice to you is to drive to different places. While my mom was here, I also decided to take them to Miami. We had such a great time in South Beach. We walked around, ate like there was no tomorrow, enjoyed the beach, and even took a peek where celebrities live. Miami is roughly about 4 1/2 hours away from Tampa. The drive isn’t bad. However, Miami’s traffic is horrible and super expensive. Worth visiting the area if you plan to attend the state of Florida in general. 

New Years

New Year, New You?

Goodbye 2018, Hello 2019!



It’s a new year, which means it’s a fresh new start for some of us. Let’s talk new years resolution. Did you actually sit down this year to write about the changes you want to see? Or maybe you told yourself you want to travel more? Perhaps you don’t want to overwhelm yourself with all these bright ideas I have to offer, but it might get your thinking cap back on.

1.Budgeting: We often tell ourselves we don’t have money for certain things we want to buy. However, don’t tell yourself you can’t afford it. For every paycheck, you receive, set aside a decent amount for the item you wish to purchase. It might be a purse you have been eyeing for months or a pair of shoes, maybe that cute outfit you’ve seen online. Start budgeting, and start small, I promise it will make a difference with your spending habits.

2. Traveling: This is one of my favorites because we always tell ourselves, “I don’t have money to travel, or there’s nowhere to go.” Well, if you think that way, you’re never going to leave your comfort zone. Think about the area you live in. Do you live in the desert? Perhaps going to rivers, lakes, even renting quads to drive around the sand dunes. Of course, if there is a beach around your area, reserve a hotel for the weekend and enjoy some time needed with friends or family. You can always plan to travel to other countries or states you’ve never been to. Just make sure you make plans and put money aside for the trip.

3. Health: How often do you tell yourself you want to lose weight? Is it a constant yo-yo diet? How would you feel by keeping those couple pounds off not just for the year, but forever? If you find yourself trying hard crash diets, I recommend hiring a personal trainer, or try Beachbody, or even weight watchers? You’ll sure save a big chunk of money doing this yourself, but, will you stay committed to the plan? Not only do you want to look good in the outside, but you want to feel good in the inside as well.

4. Learn a new skill or hobby: Getting out of your comfort zone is very important. We are often scared of trying new things, or even the thought of the word “trying something new.” Ever done Kayaking? How about painting? There are many things out there that we can find relaxing. It’s just a matter of trying different things to find a new skill or hobby we probably never knew about.  Don’t be afraid and give it a try. Remember, you won’t be the first or last to burn a cookie if you find baking is one of your hobbies.

5. New job: Perhaps you’ve been in the same company for years, and have yet to see a difference in a pay increase, or maybe you’re career shifted in a different direction. Don’t be afraid to open that old resume you have saved in your laptop. Update your resume with your latest skills, and workplaces. Ask yourself if you’re happy in your current workplace and look online for a new job. Sure it might pay the bills, but you want to follow your passion and not your paycheck.

6. Quit Alcohol/Smoking: Exactly how much do you spend on alcohol or cigarettes a week? If you think about it, it adds up and comes in handy with budgeting. Think about how much money you would be saving if you didn’t purchase it? Be honest with yourself, when drinking, what good does it do? Makes you forget about problems for a couple of hours, but it still comes back. Alcohol and cigarettes are temporary, remember you can always seek help if needed. For the new year, try cutting that toxicity out of your life. Besides, no one likes kissing someone with cigarette breath.

7.Procrastinating: Sounds familiar? Don’t worry, you’re not the only one that does it. However, planning out and listing goals for the day usually helps to stay on track. Have a deadline coming up at school? Or reaching a goal at work? Break that big goal into pieces every day. Believe me, not only will it a huge weight off your shoulders, but you’ll be stress-free knowing you’re taking your time doing it right than wrong.

8.Volunteer: Ever wanted to feel good about yourself by giving back to your community? you can find volunteer opportunities anywhere you go, including in your local church. Or you can also volunteer at your local community food bank to prepare dishes for people in need. Believe me, a couple hours of volunteering makes a difference.

9. Play more: Everyone’s always busy with work or school, even both. Take some time during the weekend to go out and do some of the things you enjoy doing. Are you a huge baseball fan? Purchase nosebleeds tickets and invite one of your friends to the game. Remember that with the chaos you run around all week, you should always make time for yourself.

10. Spend more time with family/friends: How often do your family members or friends ask for your presence whether it’s for a holiday or to just hang out? Remember to always make time for them. We often get carried away with our responsibilities at home but make an effort once in a while to give your family members a call or pay them a visit. Not only does it bring you guys together, but it makes a difference to catch up on each other’s everyday life. 

Christmas

Christmas Traditions

Can I start off by saying how fast this year went by? Whoever was prepared for Christmas this year and got their shopping done early, well, God bless their soul. But if you’re a procrastinator like me, well high five! This month has been a busy one for all of us. From celebrating two birthdays, and countless days and nights of being sick, the truth is, I’m over this month. Christmas is one of my favorite holidays, and what better way to celebrate it other than being close to family members, right? This Christmas I felt super exhausted the night of Christmas Eve. Between a baby and being sick, I was done by 8 o’clock at night. My mom ended up cooking since she decided to host this year. I’m so glad she did because she’s a great cook. This year her menu consisted of tamales, pozole, turkey legs, mashed potatoes, mushrooms, and hot chocolate — pure deliciousness under one roof. Because we move every three years, our tradition of cooking on Christmas Eve still stands. This year my husband had to work the day before. Therefore, my mom ended up cooking a buffet for all of us to enjoy. Boys had a blast; we had fun as we conversed with other ‘adults.’ Since we celebrated that day with my mom, we decided to cook a feast on Christmas Day. This year we had a couple of people over and had pernil, Arroz con gandules, pozole de Pollo, tamales, and my favorite, coquito! 

There are a few things we do in the household aside from cooking on Christmas. Couple of traditions we do with the kids is the Elf on the Shelf. For those who have never heard about it, the elf “moves” around the household every day and is in charge of watching the children see how they behave that day. The Elf then goes back to the North Pole at night and reports to Santa Claus on whether the children were naughty or nice. He then comes back the next day and shows up in a different spot in the house. Might sound silly, but it’s a great way to keep the Christmas spirit around the kids and prevents them from misbehaving. We purchased it off of Amazon, just click on elf on the shelf to take you to the link. 

Elf on the Shelf

We have been using Morrisson (the elf), and the Jimmy (the reindeer) for a few years now, and my boys get ecstatic when they visit them every Christmas.

A significant tradition in the house we follow every Christmas is my husband dressing up as Santa Claus. The secret is out, glad my kids don’t follow my blog. Every year he dresses up and I just so happen to have a secret camera that catches him every time he drops by on Christmas Day. My kids are getting older, not sure how long we can keep doing this. But, it’s an excellent way for them to remember the things we used to do for them to share it with their children in the future. It’s exciting to see their little faces light up the next day as they look at the pictures of Santa dropping off presents or seeing him in their rooms.

Last and not least, a tradition we have in the household is to take at least one family picture before Christmas. We don’t have to match for the picture, but I want to be able to have pictures of my children every year for every Christmas we spend together. Call me crazy, but I like printing them out and compare and see how much they have grown. Little things like a family picture make a difference. I want my boys to grow up knowing that on special holidays like Christmas, it’s not always about presents, but spending time as a family with traditions to follow. They know the real reason behind Christmas, which is the birth of Jesus. But like most families, we enjoy celebrating Santa Claus as well.

What are some traditions you follow on Christmas with your family? And do you think they are important? Drop a comment below.

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