August Photo-A-Day

I’m going to be trying Fat Mum Slim’s photo-a-day. I always save her lists every month in futile attempts to complete them, but alas, futile attempts they are.

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I’ll hopefully keep up with this every day for the month. Just please don’t hold me to it.

August 1st:

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I know it’s an eye. But it’s who it belongs to that fits with something beginning with N.

The eye in the picture is my godmother’s. Her eyes are green and the picture doesn’t do them justice. She’s my godmother. In Spanish we call our godmother, “madrina.” When you’re a little kid and can’t say “madrina,” you find your own little cute way to say it. So you refer to her for the rest of your life as “Nina.” I never knew she had another name until I grew older. It was a mind shattering realization. “You mean other people don’t call her Nina?!” Yeah…

August 2nd:

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I think it’s pretty to the point. I miss him. Always. All the time. I feel so incomplete without him. Every day. Every breath. Boy, am I sounding melodramatic. But seriously. He’s seriously the best boyfriend in the world. I can’t wait to be his. To carry his name. To wake up to him every day.

Forever.

I’m incomplete without Andrew.

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Second Blog

I made a blog to connect with my friends from around the country. I miss them terribly and I hope this will be good for us. This is the about page.

http://challengeddirectionally.blogspot.com/

“We are a group of friends committed to regain the art of long-distance friendships. Staying close with friends can be a challenge, and at times seemingly impossible. But the truth is—between hectic schedules, different time zones, and new adult life responsibilities—it’s a struggle. Sometimes hurried phone calls, quick text messages, and wedding advice via Pinterest has to be enough. We all relish connecting with our friends face-to-face—the miles erased when we take a long weekend together, or sit down for a drink after a long day. But it is possible to feel connected, even when life and distance have gotten in the way. This is the way we decided to connect.

Challenged Directionally is the title we named this blog to connect from all over the country. It’s a challenge. We live different lives, do different things, go in different directions. Hopefully this will bring us all closer together even though we are all far apart.”

Follow us!

Commitment

com·mit·ment

[kuhmit-muh nt] noun

1. the act of committing.
2. the state of being committed.
3. the act of committing, pledging, or engaging oneself.
4. a pledge or promise; obligation.
5. engagement; involvement.
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Commitment.
Is there a scarier word?
When the word “commitment” is mentioned, people get all nervous and start twitching.
Don't be this guy.

Don’t be this guy.

Everyone I work with knows that I have a boyfriend. (Side note: He’s completely wonderful, if you didn’t already gather.) Apparently me not dating or flirting with anyone else automatically flashes in people’s brains that I’m engaged. Because why else would I be…shall I say it…committed. Cue gasp.
All this week at work has been interesting. I didn’t realize how forward and rude people really are. Particularly the men. I haven’t spoken to the women at work about this but I’m sure there are plenty of women at my job that have the same mindset as the men. So don’t think I’m picking only the men here. Women are equally at fault. For the sake of this post, you men are my target.
Now, I get along with everyone at work. I laugh when they act silly and say stupid things but this has been happening more frequently and it’s had me thinking about their true intentions. This one particular person, who I shall call, Al, will walk smoothly to me and ask if I’ve broken up with my boyfriend. When “no” is the reply, he’ll say he’s waiting for me with a twinkle in his eye.

Whatthewhat.

First it was an “lol” moment. As if. Now it’s, “Get the heck away from me, you freak.”
“I’d convert to Catholicism just for you.” Ummmm….? I have the one guy tell me that Andrew and I look so cute together that he’ll take me off of his “Girls to Get With” list because he thinks Andrew and I will work out since we’ve been together for almost two years. Someone told me today that he’ll be Muslim so he can have two wives.
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These are the petty stories that I have to rant about. The two that really sparked my frustration started when this one lead of mine, Chris, calls Andrew my fiancé. Don’t get me wrong. I love hearing Andrew being referred to as my fiancé, but he isn’t yet and I don’t want to ruin that feeling before I’m even engaged. So I do what I always do, which is to correct.
“He’s not my fiancé yet.” I say.
“Aren’t you engaged?”
“Not for a while.”
“So that means he sees other girls?”
“No.” I say in disbelief.
“Oh, you do?”
“Uhh, no.” What is he thinking? “Just because I’m not engaged doesn’t mean I’m seeing other people.”
Some other guy butts in, “She’s Catholic. She doesn’t do that. The church controls what she does.”
I throw in that I don’t date, I court.
Chris says, “I’m Catholic too. I’ve been married three times.” Sitting in church doesn’t make you a Christian, buddy. No, I didn’t say that, but I wanted to. “Why don’t you get engaged then? What’s taking so long?”
“We want a short engagement. We hear it’s harder on staying chaste and pure and would rather keep ourselves away from that position.”
I get a blank stare at this point.
Really?

Really?

Will, my other lead, asks me today why I’m not married yet.
“Because we’re waiting until he’s finished with school.”
“What does him finishing school have to do with getting married? You can’t do both?”
“Without an education, he can’t get a good full-time job. Without a good full-time job, he won’t be able to support the both of us.”
“Can’t you do what you’re doing now and get married?”
“No! I’m not going to live away from him. He lives two hours away from me!”
“So? Marriage is just a piece of paper.”
Our society has a crooked view of commitment.
Commitment
I understand I’m different from the norm. I stay pure. I view marriage as a lifelong commitment. A forever-and-always commitment. When you commit yourself to a person, you are PLEDGING your whole life to the other person. You don’t need to be married to be committed. Andrew knows without a doubt that I wouldn’t betray him. I offered him my spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental commitment. Vice versa.

1639 The consent by which the spouses mutually give and receive one another is sealed by God himself. From their covenant arises “an institution, confirmed by the divine law, . . . even in the eyes of society.” The covenant between the spouses is integrated into God’s covenant with man: “Authentic married love is caught up into divine love.” 1640 Thus the marriage bond has been established by God himself in such a way that a marriage concluded and consummated between baptized persons can never be dissolved. This bond, which results from the free human act of the spouses and their consummation of the marriage, is a reality, henceforth irrevocable, and gives rise to a covenant guaranteed by God’s fidelity. The Church does not have the power to contravene this disposition of divine wisdom. – Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Sorry, for ranting. But once I started this, I was committed to finishing.

Books

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I love reading! I never understood when people say they didn’t like to read. My heart would break and my IQ would lower a point each time I heard that someone would rather watch the movie of a book than to actually read the book.

What the what?!

Read the book first THEN can you watch the movie. Geez.

Read the book first THEN can you watch the movie. Geez.

Now that summer is here in about *checks calendar* 10 days (whhhhaaaaat!) I have been making my book list of the books that I would love to get through during the summer. I don’t know why I’ve waited until the summer is almost here in order to make this list or to even attempt to read books. It’s not like my schedule changes or I go to school that I had to wait till now.

Albeit, I did. Now what?

I am going to at LEAST down 10 books before the summer is over. I have a full time job and I’m so busy that I forget that I need to read. Reading is like getting away without leaving the comfort of your own bedroom. Who wouldn’t like to read?!

You're never too busy to read.

You’re never too busy to read.

I know this happens to quite a number of people but don’t you just love the smell of books? The smell is breathtaking. I love opening them and walking around with my nose LITERALLY IN the book. It’s like a high that rehab can never cure.

*sniffsniff*

*sniffsniff*

I never want a cure, fyi.

One day I was smelling the inside of a book and thought how wonderful it would be if there was a perfume with that smell. This was a couple of years ago but I had found it! I never bought it because I was a poor college student (now a poor non-college student) but the reviews seemed that the fragrance was really legit. It’s almost like the smell of new shoes. Those smell good too. Just not in the same way. Shoes smell new. Books smell old.

Book hangover. This is me every time.

Book hangover. This is me every time.

Life is just easier with books.

It really is. I can’t imagine life without it. Sure, it’s nice to watch a movie that a book is based of off but don’t base the book off the movie. It doesn’t work.

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“If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are. Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable.” – Robert Pattinson

I’m not sure if he really said this but if he did, good for him!

Do you have any good book suggestions I could add to my list?

Yankees vs. Rays

If anyone knows me, they know that I love the Yankees. My boy will make a big fuss about that because if I don’t know their wins and losses on command, I’m not a fan. 

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Definition of FAN

: an enthusiastic devotee (as of a sport or a performing art) usually as a spectator
 
I don’t have to watch every game to be a fan. I think random games, when I want and have time, suffice. 
 
I think he’s only giving me a hard time because he is a Tampa Bay Rays fan. We live in the Tampa area and he is adamant about cheering for your home team. I was born in New York, therefore I am a Yankees fan.  
 
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We had a really good time! The Yankees lost, although they won the series already. The win wasn’t a big deal to us. Haha! For the record, my boy bought me that pink Yankees hat for my 16th birthday. And yes, I am wearing a Rays shirt that I bought but you can’t see it. Which is what I meant to do. 😉
 
He bought me some ice cream and cotton candy. I love warm and glazed pecans!
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I love going to sports events with him. It’s always so much fun! Even though we’re at different ends of the spectrum. 
 
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Forks Over Knives

My aunt is friends with this girl who used to be 155 pounds of chunk and now she’s 128 pounds of muscle. She’s about my age and she looks great! That’s what I want to be. I asked my aunt to message her and see what she’s doing or what she’s done to look that way. She replied to my aunt saying that she watched Forks Over Knives. It’s a documentary on the plant-based diet. You can find it on Netflix.

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It literally had me change my life. I mean, today is my first day starting it, and I hope it does change my life. During my research, I saw a woman say that after 3 weeks of it, she was able to get rid of her chronic asthma and lung disease. For someone who has bad asthma, I’m hoping I can be rid of it. I tried going to a farmer’s market yesterday but it was really tiny and had more of household and homemade items than produce. So I went to Publix and bought tons of spinach and fruits and vegetables.

Today I made myself a spinach smoothie. I kind of just threw things together and drank it this morning. It was a little tart. I should have added a whole banana instead of half. But it was really good!

Spinach Smoothe

I put it 2 cups of strawberries and half a banana with 2 big handfuls of spinach. Don’t forget to add a cup of water!

I brought grapes, the other half of the banana, and sunflower seeds for snacks throughout the day. Salad is going to be for lunch but I haven’t had time to decorate my salad. I highly suggest you watch the documentary. Only an hour and a half long. I’m sure you won’t regret it.

smoothie

When I get home tonight, I’ll be doing Zumba for exercise and maybe squeeze in some yoga. I’m not sure how my body will be handling this new transition but we’ll see! I’ll keep you all updated.

It has been a while again. Don’t you just hate it when life creeps up on you?

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Anyway, straight to the point: I’m determined to lose weight. See, I’m the type of person that when it comes to me, I’ll be very determined and have this go-get-em feeling but as soon as I feel the slightest bit discouraged, something someone says or even getting sick, I stop. I have this awful tendency to bring myself down. 

I go through peaks where I either feel fantastic or borderline hate myself. My weight has been fluctuating between 120-135 for the past 4 years or so. I’ve never been “fat” just thick. I’ve never been consistent with my health. 

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I want to look like her!

Which brings us to today.

I recognize that I need to find balance in my life.  I don’t have to be perfect to be happy.  I don’t have to work out every day to be in good shape.  I don’t have to have a list of do-not-eat foods to ensure that I eat well.  Moderation is key in all parts of life.

So here I am, working on a new me.  I’m kind of starting from scratch. I ordered Zumba DVD’s because I love Zumba and I hope to be incorporating Yoga into the workouts as well. I’m going to focus on the way I feel.

This chapter of my journey begins now

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*EDIT*: For those of you who don’t know, I’m also selling AdvoCare products. The pros use it, I use it, and I do have so much energy when I do.
https://www.advocare.com/130351994/default.aspx

Just in case any of you are interested in the products. We’ve been around for 20 years so I think it’s safe to say we’re pretty legit. My aunt has lost 26 pounds on the 24 Day Challenge!advocare-logo1

Brittany’s Senior Night

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Tonight was my little cousin’s softball senior night. She plays varsity softball with her high school. She’s been playing for as long as I can remember. I went to her softball night and she gave a short speech and walked across the field to her parents. It was sweet. I took a few pictures and wanted to share them with you.

 

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She’ll be graduating next month and going to St. John’s University in New York for photojournalism. Pretty exciting stuff. She’ll be able to teach me things when she gets back, haha.

Brittany's excited parents and coach looking on!

Brittany’s excited parents and coach looking on!

Proud to say the least.

Photo Editing

My cousin recently got married and I haven’t had any time to actually edit the pictures. I went through them today and decided which ones were actually worthwhile and the other I deleted. Then I had to go through them again and see which ones I actually wanted to edit. I only have a handful of them and I have yet to edit. This will take a while but I hope to get them finished by the end of the week. For now, here’s a preview!

 

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Farmer’s Market

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Last Saturday, my wonderful boy took me to the local farmer’s market where I live. I felt so wonderful going and experiencing that kind of atmosphere. There was a whole section of plants and flowers that it gave me the urge to plant my own garden!

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We were both hungry from not having any breakfast so we went inside in search of something to eat. The smells were delicious!

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I’m gluten intolerant so buying food normally is always a challenge. Not here though! We were able to find a booth that sold crustless quiches! Lorraine quiche was so good! Even Andrew liked it and he’s normally not a fan.

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It was such a beautiful Saturday with gorgeous weather and people wearing pastel colors since Easter was the next day!

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Overall, I think we had a fabulous day! Much giggles and time spent together.

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He always makes it more special by just being with me! I can’t wait to see him tomorrow!