Twelve Days of Blogmas!

Every year I see my favorite YouTube channels and friends online taking part in Vlogmas, where they post videos of themselves doing festive things all through December up until Christmas.  This year I wanted to finally take part.  I’ve tried the YouTube thing in the past but it most definitely isn’t my forte like writing is, hence, BLOGMAS!

Instead of starting on December 1st like most, I’ve decided to shorted in to just 12 days, beginning on December 14th. I’ve got my posts outlined and I’m excited to share a little of the Christmas season on my blog. Tune in every day (or, better yet, sign up to receive an e-mail every time I make a new post!) starting on the 14th to see what I’ve gotten myself into this holiday season.

I’m really excited about the upcoming posts I have planned for this blog, as well as the future for this blog in general.  I hope you join me through the holidays and into the new year.

Question of the day: What is your favorite Christmas tradition or activity?

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Halloween at the Disneyland Resort

At the beginning of the month I flew to Anaheim by myself for a two-day trip to the Disneyland Resort.  The trip was planned last minute because I had a three day weekend and flights were cheap. Taking this trip was really important to me and I loved the freedom of going alone.

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The entire reason I wanted to make this trip is because both parks were decked out in Halloween decor and it’s the only season I haven’t seen at the DLR. I’ve been in late November when Christmas was already up as well as January and May when the parks are normal.  With Halloween being my favorite holiday, I had to take the opportunity to go.

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Every time I go to Disneyland, I come back to Florida with a little extra Pixie Dust. There’s just something really special about the Anaheim parks that Orlando doesn’t have for me anymore. I wouldn’t trade my life here to become a West Coaster, but going to Walt’s Original is definitely a spiritual experience for a Disney fan like me. Being able to visit the parks and feel the more relaxed vibe is incredibly refreshing, especially since working in the busiest attraction in Walt Disney World. It was nice to walk around and take it all in, even if it wasn’t my first time.

Okay. Let’s talk about Halloween now. Or, more importantly, Haul-O-Ween at Radiator Springs. To be honest, this was the entire reason I planned this trip. I’m not a huge fan of the Cars franchise (the first one is the only one I acknowledge anyway), but Cars Land at Disney California Adventure is my favorite area after Paradise Pier. When I saw pictures of it decked out in Halloween decorations and was being marketed as Haul-O-Ween, I had to go.  The entire area is re-themed and it’s the most perfect overlay I’ve ever experienced. Even the rides have been re-themed to Mater’s Junkyard JamBOOree and Luigi’s Honkin’ Haul-O-Ween, complete with songs like “Monster Truck Smash.”

Haunted Mansion Holiday was perfect, as usual. It was the first Fastpass I got (God bless the Maxpass system!) and I had forgotten how wonderful it is. It’s been almost two years since I last experienced the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay, and it didn’t disappoint.

The only holiday overlay I was disappointed with was Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy. Personally, I think Hyperspace Mountain (The Star Wars overlay) is way better and expected more from this one.

Last, but most certainly not least, but the characters themselves were dressed up in their best costumes. Namely Mater, but everyone else was cute, too.

In addition to seeing the resort decked out in Halloween goodness, I also finally got to experience Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission BREAKOUT! and Monsters After Dark (the nighttime Halloween overlay). I was a little skeptical of the Tower of Terror re-theme, but was so impressed by how it turned out. Sorry to say it, but it’s way better than the old Tower. 22221693_10212539302030573_9140802413234848474_n

Disneyland is always going to be my favorite, because their food is just plain better than ours. Not only is it better, but we get our discount on almost all of it. In my day and a half there, I got the most out of my eating experience.

I’m planning a real Disneyland trip in May with Skylar, and I’m excited to be able to have a few extra days to not rush around the parks as much as I did this trip.  It was lovely being there alone and being able to stop when I wanted and enjoy the parks in a different way for a short time, but I am ready to go back for longer and with friends to enjoy it together.  I’m still trying to convince my boyfriend to go with us this next time. But I’m so happy I was able to spend a day and a half in the happiest place on earth and enjoy the holiday a few weeks early.

Purpose

I wrote this for one of my classes, but I think it’s important and I would like to share it here. Maybe it will motivate someone into creating their own goals.

What is my purpose?  Why am I here?  What good can I do? These are very common questions people ask themselves, especially in early adulthood.  For their entire lives everything has been done for them, or maybe there have been expectations places upon them from parents or other adults.  As they themselves become adults, everything feels messy and scary; at least that’s how it has felt for me at times.  Some people are lucky and have known what their purpose is since they were very young; others may not know well into their forties and fifties.  Feeling like there’s no reason for you to be here can put someone in a dark place.  Finding your purpose can be enlightening and inspiring.  My purpose is to help others find themselves through communication to encourage them to make a better life for themselves.  I’ve only just begun my journey and have set clear goals to make the most of my life.  Personally, I want to change my lifestyle to a healthier one.  Academically, I want to complete my degree in communications, as well as become certified in life coaching, herbalism, and holistic healing.  Professionally, my goal is to work for myself, be able to travel the world and coach from wherever I please, and be financially comfortable enough to not stress about my bills.  Starting off small, my personal goal is simple, but will take a lot of will power to achieve.

I’m on the path to health.  My goal is maintain a healthy weight around 180 pounds, continue to train for faster half marathon times, and eventually embrace a vegan diet.  These things all take time mental and physical strength, but in the long run will make my life so much more pleasant and safe.  This goal is important to me, because I’ve always struggled with my weight and my relationship with food.  As a child, my parents had the same struggle and I watched them try every fad diet and program they could to lose the weight.  My grandparents have diabetes and other medical conditions that I refuse to get.  The only way to prevent these diseases is by changing my lifestyle now while I’m young.  This is also why I want to study holistic healing and herbalism.  I fully believe that everything we need to heal ourselves can be found in nature and I want the knowledge for myself.  I’ve been a vegetarian for almost a year now and it’s been easy for me.  I never thought about cutting out meat until this year, and it seemed like the natural answer for me and I’ve never looked back.  Someday, I would like to become a vegan and cut out animal products entirely.  This is a little more difficult, as most food products have milk or eggs or butter in them. However, cutting these things out and replacing them with plant-based items will be better for my health overall.  Still, the challenge will be putting more effort into my grocery shopping and ordering at restaurants, not to mention the willpower to give up “real” macaroni and cheese.  Two solutions to this and to my overall health goal obstacles will be meal prepping to prepare for an entire week’s worth of meals, and focusing on the bigger picture of keeping myself healthy in my mind and body.

My college education has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride.  After graduating high school in 2012, I attended university for two full semesters before moving back home and transferring to a different institution closer to home.  There, I worked two jobs and only took one class to be eligible for an internship.  After accepting my out-of-state internship with the Disney College Program, I put my education to the side until I discovered what I wanted to study and began working full time.  Now, almost four years later, I’m ready to complete my degree. My goal is to graduate from UCF in 2020 with a degree in Technical Communication and a minor in Mass Communication.  I also plan to take many certification courses through online institutions for Life Coaching, Herbalism, and other forms of holistic healing. I am very passionate about natural healing through essential oils, herbal remedies, and crystal healing.  Learning about energies is something that has become fascinating to me over the past few years, and I believe in its power wholeheartedly. While my ideal career is in coaching and writing, I want the knowledge that comes with healing to be able to offer extra help to my friends, family, and clients as necessary. A possible obstacle will be money.  Money is always an obstacle for most things to help you grow academically or professionally.  However, through scholarships and loans, I will be able to remedy this.  Finding the time to fill out scholarship applications and saving money by cutting out frivolous spending will also help me achieve this goal.

My ideas for what career I want to pursue have changed a lot through the years.  As a child, the first thing I wanted to be was a dolphin trainer at SeaWorld.  From there I wanted to be a veterinarian, then a Broadway actress.  As I grew up and began my college education, I went from an education major to public relations.  Now, I’m not too far off with communications.  My career goal is to become a certified life coach, helping people make and achieve their own goals, while making enough money to support myself and my family, and travel the world as I work.  I’ve always loved talking to people and to help them sort out decisions they need to make.  Life coaching take that idea, but instead of telling your friend what she should do, you give her the tools to discover for herself what she truly wants.  I think this is a powerful career that is very important to those on a journey. I want to be able to have enough clients that I can support myself financially, while still giving each client the individual attention he or she needs.  I want to live a debt-free life in a small home where I have the freedom to travel with my husband and dog, seeing the world and writing about my adventures.  An obstacle to overcome is my own personal self-doubt.  I’m afraid of how people will perceive me as I embark on this journey.  Two solutions are to meditate and get rid of those negative thoughts, and to possibly hire a life coach myself.  Both of these things will help guide me and get into the proper headspace as I grow and go along this path.

Goals are very important to make sure you’re making the most out of your life.  Having a purpose gives meaning to those goals and why you’ve set them in the first place.  For me, having goals like living my healthiest life, completing my degree and certifications, and having my dream job as a self-employed life coach all help each other.  My three goals all support my purpose statement, which is to help others find themselves through communication to encourage them to make a better life for themselves.  If I can’t meet my own goals, I have no right to help others make theirs and hold them accountable.  Achieving my goals means everything to me to make my life better, as well as the lives of those around me.  Attending Valencia College is a small part of what will get me to achieve my goals.  Without Valencia, I wouldn’t be able to complete my college credits and go on to UCF and graduate.

Snapchat Spectacles

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A few weeks ago, my roommate, Cody, came home from the mall with a pair of Spectacles from Snapchat. After five minutes of me judging him for buying them, I found myself on their website placing an order for my very own pair.

Let me tell you, these glasses are so fucking cool. They connect via bluetooth to your phone and Snapchat account. To take a video, you push a button on the top of the frame and the glasses will record ten seconds of whatever you’re looking at.

Once your video is imported to your Snapchat, you can access it in your Memories and edit it, add text or emojis, and save it to your Camera Roll all before sharing it on your Snapchat Story. What I think makes these really cool is that it gives you that first-person POV feeling with the immediate sharing abilities that you get with Snapchat.  Go-Pros give you a similar perspective, but that requires uploading to a computer before you can share it with anyone online.

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The Spectacles come in three colors: black, pink, and teal. They are $129.99 with free shipping and they come with a protective charging case (!!!!!), a charging cable, and a Snapchat ghost-shaped cleaning cloth. In case you missed it, the way the Spectacles charge is with the case itself. To do this, you charge the case and when you place the glasses inside, the case charges them. So cool.

Along with being such a fun product, the sunglasses are actually really high-quality, which surprised me. Not only do the lenses and frame feel sturdy, but the UV protection in the lenses themselves are better than any pair of sunglasses I’ve bought from Forever21 (shocker). You also have the ability to change out the lenses for prescription if you chose to.

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Yes, these were expensive glasses for only serving one purpose. When I first heard about these I immediately thought about Google Glass and how that never really took off. I assumed this would be a similar product. However, as someone who is very invested in social media both for fun and as a future career, having another resource for accessing followers and produce content makes this product worth it to me. Plus, I love teal.

Personal Development Success and Failure

I think there’s something really important in trial and error. It teaches us that having desires alone won’t get us where we want to go; we have to maintain motivation throughout the entire journey if we want to succeed. I don’t believe that leaving a goal incomplete is a bad thing as long as you made an effort in some way.

Did I make thirty-one entries in my journal or on my blog? No, but I brought conscious thought to the idea of writing and keeping myself accountable in other ways. To me, that isn’t failure.

However, I do want to continue the mindset of having short and long-term goals and holding myself accountable to moving to reach them. Pausing, inching forward, and dead sprinting are all acceptable; moving backward is not.

At the beginning of the year I set monthly goals for myself both here and in my bullet journal. That’s a practice I miss. I’d like to continue that through the end of the year as a way of “checking in” on my long-term goals to ensure I’m on the right track. These goals usually range from professional, personal, and financial, and completing even one per month is a success to me. Stay tuned.

Do you have a favorite way of keeping track of goals? Do you use sticky notes on your bathroom mirror, journal about them, or just keep them mentally? I’d love to hear others’ ways of keeping track of their personal development!

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Photos from Disney Date Day

I was able to spend pretty much all of yesterday at Disney with my boyfriend. The plan was just to go to EPCOT, but when he needed to pick up his paycheck from Magic Kingdom, we just made a day of it, ending at Animal Kingdom. DSC_3184DSC_3176

As I’m trying to get back into doing the things I claim to love to do for fun, I brought my camera along to document parts of the day. While my photojournalism may not be the best, it’s something I’d really love to work on. I’d like to be able to tell a story with both words and photos.

For now, I wanted to share a few of my favorite shots from the day. I wish there had been a way to document the torrential storm Christian and I found ourselves walking through to get back to the car, but the life of my camera and phone were more important.

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Motivation Monday

Through whatever you want to call it, magic, prayer, the Law of Attraction, meditation, I have brought my goals into reality. I’ve brought love, abundance, peace, health, and motivation into my life just by expressing it to the Universe. My budget is under control, I’m healthy mentally and physically, I’ve been blessed by the most incredible boyfriend and friend group I could ever imagine, and I’m inspired to share the drive I have with you. 

Anything you want, you can attract. The power to obtain your desires is already there. There’s no better time than now to ask the Universe to make it so! I want to encourage you to change the world around you by taking the action you’ve been putting off.

 I can’t even begin to express the light that I feel when I think of the blessings in my life. It’s all because I stopped making excuses for why I shouldn’t or couldn’t start right away. 

The Next Thirty-One Days

Today is not only the first day of July, but it’s also the first day of my personal writing challenge. In my last post I mentioned wanting to write every day for at least a month as an exercise of my own motivation. Throughout this month I want to inspire you to either join me in your own personal challenge, or at least get you thinking about your own passions and goals.

To go into more detail about what I plan to do in this month, the idea is for me to continue the practice of writing for the public. In the last few weeks I’ve done a lot of thinking about my future and what I want to see myself doing professionally. Every career choice I have involves heavy writing. I’ve been so out of practice with my blog because I haven’t given myself the time to make it a priority. Through this month I want to give some updates on my life, share the positive light that I’ve gained, and even write about some of the products I’ve been enjoying recently.

My schedule at work is still a little bit insane at times. I don’t expect myself to publish a new blog post every single day, but I would like to put out several a week. Regardless, even if there isn’t a new post here, my journal will still be getting lots of love and attention from me.

One of the things I want to share from this challenge is this: If you love something, do it. Make it a priority to work at it every day. Even on days that I don’t write, I’m planning out topics I’d love to flesh out or making outlines for posts I want to publish in the future. No matter what your passion is, make it a priority. Your soul will feel so much better when you remember the things that bring you peace and joy and actually get out there and do it.

What are some things that bring your soul joy? I would love to hear from you either in the comments or over on my Facebook page. Is there something that you would like to do every day for this month with me? I have so many things I’m adding into my routine that I’ve let slide in the past so I’m sure you do too; maybe you’d like to hit the gym every day, or practice your photography or read. Find your passion and think of ways to include it in your daily routine! Share those thoughts with me! I look forward to hearing your responses and maybe seeing your progress through the month if you’re inspired by this.

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A Challenge For Myself

I’ve been MIA for so long it’s hard to know where to even begin again. The best way is to say that I miss writing whenever I leave it behind. Everyone has crazy lives and mine is no different, but I want to make a better attempt at taking time for the things I love.  I saw a post somewhere that talked about if something is important to you, why wouldn’t you do it every single day? Reading that resonated with me. My ideal career involves writing, yet I can hardly sit down at my computer to write a single rambling post about my boring life once a week.

So, as an exercise, I want to challenge myself to write every single day for at least one month. Some of that might be reflected on my blog, while some things may be more personal reflections in my journal if I don’t have the time to formally write out an entire published post. I have found a lot of journaling prompts online that I want to use as inspiration, in addition to my lists of ideas I’ve come up with in the past about potential topics. As my schedule normalizes, I truly do want to make more of an effort to use this space as I go through life.

Some things I’m sure I’ll write about in the coming days I think about a lot are topics like “What do you want to be remembered for?” and “Where do you see yourself in the future?” I hope to search deep within myself and discover some direction and share it here. Whether any of the things I write about stick with me through my adult life, I’d love to keep them as a record of how I felt at this point in my life. I hope you stick around to join me for that.

This is just a placeholder or short reminder that I’m here. I haven’t forgotten about my passion for writing, but I have let it fall to the side and haven’t made it a priority recently. I want that to change. I’m taking a lot of energy and putting it into my personal development (both physically and mentally) and I’m very happy with the direction my life is headed. I’m very excited to update this blog and start publishing content with some depth and purpose. IMG_2730.JPG

International Women’s Day

It’s amazing to realize how much you change as you grow up. I realize that’s part of coming into adulthood; the time between adolescence and adulthood is filled with so much drastic change it only makes sense. However, I can see a 95% difference in myself from how I was in my teenage years. Growing up in Bible Belt, Texas I obviously had a more conservative outlook on most things. I didn’t understand the LGBT+ community, I didn’t know any people of color, and I was ashamed of being a woman. 

Anyone that knew me back then versus now remembers the days where I was embarrassed to have breasts and hated going bra shopping. I had conditioned myself to look at my own body and demeanor with disdain because my femininity was wrong or dirty. Having boobs was sexy and sex is dirty and girls are supposed to have purity rings and not be aware of them being sexual beings. Or something like that. All of this was something I had made up or assumed; while my parents never mentioned anything about the birds and the bees to me or made me feel ashamed, somehow I still did. Really, many of these feelings followed me into college and down to Florida. It wasn’t until I began to see body positivity firsthand that I realized my femininity is something to be proud of. 

These days I can say without hesitation that I believe in true feminism. I believe in encouraging girls and women to love themselves as an A cup or a EEE, to love their curves and stretch marks and Fred Flinstone Feet. Women need to hear that makeup doesn’t make you beautiful, but if winged eyeliner and a killer cut-crease makes you feel empowered, then by all means go for it. It is entirely your opinion and choices that matter and not that of society. Show your stomach if you want to! Exposing some tasteful sideboob doesn’t make you a slut unless that’s how you would like to self-identify. True feminism advocates equality for men and women alike, realizing that men face just as many social pressures as women do. Opening my eyes to love myself as I am has made me a stronger woman and I want to encourage other people of all genders and identities to feel the same. 

On this International Women’s Day, I celebrate all women. This includes trans women, women of color, republican women, democrat women, immigrant women, women with disabilities, and every other type of women out there. So much of the mainstream society tries to pit women against each other by making everything a competition and putting them down. Telling me I’m not girly enough or not as thin as this woman is a way to break down my mind to conform to the bullshit. We all need to stand together as sisters and use our differences to make us stronger as a group to defend against that bullshit social norm. 

In the past, I’ve felt guilty for going to Starbucks and being perceived as a “basic white girl” or expressing my emotions and being called “dramatic and hysterical”.  Now I realize how silly that is and have chosen to embrace myself for who I am. If I can choose to be unapologetically me, then maybe I can inspire more of my brothers and sisters in the world. I’ve been brushed off when I talk about not wanting to have children, as if this makes me less of a woman. When I asked my gynecologist about a tubal litigation he told me I was too young to make a decision like that when I know in my heart that it’s not something I am going to change my mind on. I’m louder and more independent than most men are used to, and I’ve accepted that that is the reason I’m single; it will take a very special man to be able to handle me.  I talk openly about sex and zit popping videos and other “non-ladylike” topics and I’m proud of myself for having the freedom to vocalize my opinions and feelings. 

As a woman in the United States I realize how lucky I am. Compared to how women are viewed in other countries around the world, here in America we have so many rights to be thankful for. Not only am I lucky enough to be a woman in America, I’m also lucky enough to never have experienced a sexual assault when 1 in 6 American women have. While I am extremely fortunate to not have this history, I never want to take that for granted and forget the women who have suffered through harmful situations because of their gender. From the women in other countries fighting for education and jobs to the women around the world who have been assaulted or live in fear of assault (not to mention the women who have not survived these battles), I want to live to support them and not let them be forgotten. Because I am one of the lucky ones, I feel like it’s part of my duty to stand with victims and offer encouragement to my sisters to stay strong through whatever life throws at them. 

I’m grateful for the changes I’ve made since high school. I’m proud to be a woman, and I’m even prouder to be the strong and independent woman I am. Being raised to speak up for myself and encouraged to do anything I set my mind to, I’m using my voice to stand with my fellow women in their right to live the lives they want and not the ones expected of them. Liking Starbucks, not wanting children, listening to bubblegum pop music, wearing pink lipstick and getting your nails done, playing sports, being covered in tattoos and liking sex doesn’t make you more or less of a woman. It makes you you. The most important lesson I’ve learned as a woman is that mine is the only approval I need. I want to support women around the world in their own journeys and battles to achieve their rights and find their individual voices.