Life is so fucking weird, man. Most times I can't even wrap my head around how weird and strange certain aspects of my life can be. For example, dating. You meet someone, you two connect, start a relationship and become one person. You share milestones together, learn and grow together, the time goes by and the next thing you know, you can't stand each other's presence. Weird and strange right? How about when you, out of nowhere, start thinking about someone a lot or a moment that you shared in the past and then as the days and weeks pass, you receive constant reminders from the universe in the form of advertisements, songs etc. of that person or that thing/moment that has occupied so many of your thoughts. For me, those reminders came in the form of advertisements for low fare round trips to Mexico in practically every subway station and throughout NYC.Read More
I love reading, its a way for me to learn and allow my soul to travel through different times and places. One of my favorite things about reading is writing down quotes that speak to me or make me think deeper about how it relates to my current life. I thought maybe instead of keeping a journal I can share them here on my blog, with you guys and maybe inspire one of you to pick up the or any book for that matter and find some quotes that speak to your soul.
Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
"I love you, I will never leave you, I will always take care of you"
"let your life be like a snow flake, which leaves a mark but not a stain"
"when you're lost in those woods, it sometimes takes you a while to realize that you are lost. For the longest time, you can convince yourself that you've just wandered a few feet off the path, that you'll find your way back to the trail-head any moment now. Then night falls again and again, and you still have no idea where you are, and its time to admit that you have bewildered yourself so far off the path that you don't even know which direction the sun rises anymore"
"il bel far niente"- Italian for "the beauty of doing nothing"
"l'arte d"arrangiarsi"- Italian for "the art of making something out of nothing"
"beauty attracts beauty"
"parla come mangi" Italian for "speak the way you eat" or "say it how you eat it"
"why are you so sure that your micromanagement of every moment in this whole world is so essential? why don't you let it be?"
"there are only two questions that human beings have ever fought over, all though history. How much do you love me? and whose in charge?"
"I was not rescued by a prince; I was the administrator of my own rescue"
"they say that an oak tree is brought into creation by two forces at the same time. obviously, there is the acorn from which it all begins, the seed which holds all the promise and potential, which grows into the tree. Everybody can see that. But only a few can recognize that there is another force operating here as well- the future tree itself, which wants so badly to exist that it pulls that acorn into being, drawing the seedling forth with longing out of the void, guiding the evolution from nothingness to maturity. In this respect, say the zens, it is the oak tree that creates the very acorn from which it was born."
"in the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. in the end, maybe its wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices."
"we must get our hearts broken sometimes. this is a good sign, having a broken heart. it means we have tried for something."
The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
"you don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, but you do have some say in who hurts you."
"omnis cellula e cellula" (dutch?) "all cells come from cells" Every cell is born of a previous cell, which was born of a previous cell. Life comes from life. life begets, life begets, life begets..."
"some infinities are bigger than other infinities…. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for our little infinity."
"it's hard as hell to hold on to your dignity when the risen sun is too bright in your leering eyes."
"...sometimes it seems the universe wants to be noticed."
"the marks humans leave are too often scars."
"grief does not change you. It reveals you."
"as he read, i fell in love the way you fall asleep. slowly, and then all at once."
"you are going to live a good and long life filled with great and terrible moments that you cannot even imagine yet!"
***part two will be out eventually, stay tuned.
So its clear that I've been neglecting the BLOG section of my website for quite some time now.
After I wrote and published my last post back in Dec 2014. I was feeling a bit down about myself. I was sucked into this black hole of feeling insecure and discouraged about what I was doing. I felt, as I scrolled down any social media platform, that everyone was progressing in some way, shape or form in their lives, while I was still where I was when I started. Along with not liking the way I looked and feeling bad about myself. I knew I had to make changes in my lifestyle and get balanced again so that I could get out of this funk. But I had no idea how or what to do.
I know this sounds crazy and unlikely but one night in the new year or days before I had a dream. In that dream I opened my own doors, paved my own way to creative ideas and projects. In this dream, I was surrounded by amazing, inspiring people telling me that I am better than the state of mind I was in and can accomplish whatever I put my mind, heart and soul to and work hard at. ( I'm also the type of person who prays and talks/asks God for signs, so there's that too) Anyway, I knew this dream was a sign from wherever you believe. Big changes is what I spend most of my 2015 year doing. I'd like to take this time now and share the list of changes I have made.
Diet. Ever since I can remember this has been on my To Do List, New Years Resolution's List, New Task's List, you get the idea. I have been saying I will eat cleaner for a very long time. Well I am so happy and excited to let you know that I have finally made that happen. I have done so much research on diets and eating clean but I wanted something where I could still eat meat and all the foods that I really love. Then I heard about The Paleo Diet . Its been three months and my life, skin, and of course body feel like new. I can sit here and type that I feel better, stronger, have more energy and if you've seen me recently you might have commented on how flawless my skin looks. I'm not joking, I've told people I'm 27 and they think I'm lying. Needless to say I'm loving it.
Exercise. "I can eat whatever I want because I go to the gym on a daily basis" I'm embarrassed to admit that I am quoting myself here. Diet and exercise go hand in hand whether I like it or not. So NOW, after my work-outs I grab a salad or some grilled chicken and fruit. The hardest part for me about working out is getting to the gym. So once I accomplish that, I hop on the treadmill, stair-master, whatever my vice is that day and I don't get off for at least 30 mins. P.S. I became friends with squats, I do squats, I am one with the squats. I started out by taking a group exercise class that my gym provides and that helped boost my confidence at the gym.
Focus. I've learned that It's very important for me to stay focused. This year I focused on things and activities that make me happy. Focus on my family and friends. Focus on my career, hobbies, and art. Focus on ME and MY life. I don't worry about what others think or might be saying about me anymore because I've learned that, that says more about them.
Priorities. I am a master at dreaming and making plans. Actually making them a reality and accomplishing them, not so much. I write down a list of things that I want to accomplish and that are important to me and my individual growth. I do this all the time and I've learned that these lists help me keep my priorities in order whether its at home or in my career.
Skin-Care/Make-Up Routine. Maybe it was stress related or maybe I was just born with it but acne and blemishes on my face kept getting worse. And don't even get me started on the dark circles under my eyes. At 27 I honestly felt I shouldn't be looking like I hadn't slept in days; especially when I DO get sleep. I did research on natural skin care products and procedures and also researched what some of my favorite celebrities use in their daily routines. I discovered Aveda and use their plant based products religiously. As far as my make-up routine goes: Moisturize, fill in eye brows, curl eye lashes, and top it off with a highlighter on my check bones and little blush too. Super easy and fast.
Kitten. I bought a cat. I know, I know. Shame on me for not rescuing but can I tell you that Seal Point Himalayans are not found in shelters very often, I looked and called many to ask. I knew the breed I wanted and color. I researched and asked friends about where they got their kittens. Long story short I found him, bought him, picked him up and I still don't know if half the time he wants to kill me or if he loves me. Regardless he is the best thing that has happened to me. We make each other happy. Life is better with a cat.
Projects/photo series. Shortly after bringing Diego Rivera home, (thats the name of my cat)one fall morning my boyfriend took a photo of Diego and I laying in bed cuddling. I posted the picture on my Instagram account and it got a lot of positive feedback. Later that week a girlfriend of mine told me how much she loved the picture and how I should think about photographing other girls and their cats. Needless to say, that is how my Power to the Pussies photo series was born (Thanks Jen). That personal project then inspired me and gave me the confidence to explore my photography even more by creating other series and asking other people to help me create my visions. You can find those in the Portfolio section of my website.
With that said,.
I reached out to new creative people. Scrolling down my Instagram feed, every photograph that I come across, it instantly inspires me. I try to keep it that way. I try to follow people that are exploring their own art and visions. I respect that and that is what inspires me to try harder and explore my own artistry. I also realized that a lot of people live around me. I email them, DM them to hang out and create. If it works out awesome, if not, no worries. Life goes on.
Worked with said creative people. Again, Instagram has given me the capability to reach out, work with, as well as become friends with some awesome creative individuals. I participated in a few "Insta-meets" this year and look forward to future ones. If you ever see one being hosted anywhere near you, I highly recommend stepping outside your comfort zone and giving it a go. You'd be surprised to find how awesome it is to be around people as creative and fun as you. I know I was!
Touched based with old friends. One of my best friends from high school is getting married next month. A couple of weeks ago we celebrated her Bridal/Bachelorette. I want to share with you guys the text I sent the group the day after our festivities: "Spending time with you all, even if it was for one day, made me realize how much I miss you all. Made me realize that now matter the time and distance, real and original bonds can't be broken. I felt like Saturday night was like we never even moved away and became real people. I miss you girls and love you all so much and cherish the times we spend together. Can't wait until the next time."
I spent most of this year really challenging myself in my artistry but also took the time to get myself, mind, and body more organized by loving and taking the time to listen to ME more. 2015 has been a huge learning/growing year and I look forward to continuing the lesson.
I love Christmas, I love everything about it! The music, the baking, decorating, gift wrapping, but I especially love making gifts for my friends and family. This year I've been obsessing over vintage glass bottles so I decided to put them to use this year.
When it comes to wrapping gifts, I like to keep things very simple. That way there is no guilt lingering in the air as it's being ripped opened. Last year I did the same brown paper and just added some rosemary leaves to the twine. This year I wanted to do something different. I got the idea to write on the paper from Oncewed.com; click on site name to get the tutorial.
After making the gifts, my second favorite part of Christmas is giving them away! Call me cliche but I also love the look on their faces once it's opened. To me Christmas is all about that! The thought and effort behind the gifts as well as being surrounded by the most important people in your life.
Now if only there was a tutorial somewhere online on how to make it snow!!! Happy holidays everyone!
I don't live a perfect life at all, far from it actually. I find myself wishing and hoping certain situations and relationships in my past could have worked out differently. These thoughts sadden me to the point of not being able to talk about it and completely shut down. One day I found myself pondering, overlooking the New York City skyline from an amazing rooftop I sneaked my way into and had an epiphany. Instead of dwelling on the negative side of things, I'm now making it a point to learn from my experiences in a more positive light, change and become a better person than I was at my darkest hour.
I've learned that life is how you see things in perspective and how you react to it overall. I can focus on the could have beens/should have beens in my life or I can focus on the people and un-materialistic things that I currently have in my life, appreciate and be thankful for them. The energy it takes to be sad about the past and how life could have/should have been is the same amount it would take for me to just learn from it, let it go but over all just let life be. So why not do just that, be happy, appreciate and thank God for the current love and friendships I have at this very moment. Now, let me be clear that I don't have this mentality down to a T yet but the more aware I am and work towards it, I find it easier to get through my day to day and am also more pleasant to be around; I think at least =P.
I'd like to take this moment now to reflect and be thankful for all the positives in my life. I am ever so thankful for my having life, and good health, my sister and her beautiful growing family, my amazingly supportive boyfriend and his incredible family. I am thankful to work in and live near my favorite city. I am thankful for my few but loyal friends and the new ones I've made recently. I am thankful for my favorite app, Instagram who has connected me with the most creative people I have ever met. My favorite foods (pizza in particular) chocolates and sweets (even if I eat way to many of them). I am thankful for coffee, music, horror movies, Quentin Tarantino, my kitten Diego. Being able to use my hands and feet on a daily bases. I am thankful for being able to experience all the seasons to their full potentials. I'm especially thankful for the Holiday Season though, because there is nothing like having a day to share it with those closest to you, appreciate them and be thankful for what you have in that very moment.
Thank you all for the love and support you have shown me throughout my blogging endeavor and I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Where does the time go? Did November sneak up on anyone else? It is now considered late in the apple season but there are still orchards that have them. With that said if you haven't done so yet, get out there and go picking!
If you are anything like me you'll end up bringing home so many apples that you're head will spin. I'm here to tell you that this is totally fine because I have made a list of ways for you to preserve those apples before they start rotting away in your home.
Make Apple Sauce
Turning your apples into sauce and/or jam is a great way to create a delicious treat that will last you for some time. Spread it on toast or serve it as a side with your chicken cutlet or roasted pork dinners and let the compliments and finger licking commence.
Click here for the recipe I use--- Homemade Apple Sauce Recipe
Make Apple Cider
If you think making your own apple cider is difficult, you thought wrong. Time consuming... oh yea. Most of it is just letting the apples simmer for 2 hours, after all is said and done you will have mason jars full of delicious homemade apple cider. You can heat up the cider on cold winter nights or make a tasty sangria for your next dinner party. The possibilities are endless!
Click here for the Apple Cider recipe I use--- Homemade Apple Cider Recipe
Click here for the Spiked Apple Cider recipe I use--- Homemade Hard Apple Cider Recipe
** Click here for instructions on how to properly can/seal your preserves-- All About Home Canning
If you would've asked me a year ago what my favorite dish to cook was, I probably would've had an ulcer while turning red as a tomato, after embarrassingly admitting that I didn't know how to cook. That quickly changed thanks for my very best friend Jen who taught me how easy it is to look up a recipe and follow directions. After many wonderfully looking and especially delicious homemade meals in her beautiful home, I was inspired to do the same. It's crazy what you can find on Pinterest if you just search. That's what I did to find dinner recipes that include fresh apples and/or apple cider.
Click here for the recipe I use--- Apple Cider Sage Pork Chops with Caramelized Apples
Click here for the recipe I use--- Apple Pie Pancakes
Click here for the recipe I use--- Apple Cider Baked Chicken
Click here for the recipe I use--- Roasted Sweet Potato and Apples with Pearl Onions and Crispy Sage
*Keep your eyes peeled for her food blog Birdiecooks.com coming very soon!
Baking is probably one of my favorite past times. I especially enjoy inviting my nephew over and having that extra helping hand to crack open the eggs or stir all the ingredients together in a bowl for me. My second favorite past time is indulging in all the sweets we made together or it may just be a guilty pleasure.
Click here for the recipe I use--- Apple Pie Cake
Click here for the recipe I use--- Spiced Apple Cider Donut Holes
Click here for the recipe I use--- Apple Pie Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream
As you can see, there is no reason to let all your apples go to waste, as the apple recipes are endless. The important thing is to have fun while doing it all and to always add that special ingredient to your cooking and baking, TLC.
What are some of your favorite fall recipes? Please share them with me in the comments below!