Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Not Your Usual Valentine's Day

I feel as if Valentine's Day just crept up on all of us, especially those of us still currently covered in snow. I don't feel as if it's going to be spring anytime soon, and I'm beginning to wonder if this grey and white world is going to last forever, if I will never see another green blade of grass again.

Now Valentine's Day has never been a huge day for Sal and I, because we celebrate our relationship, and show our love for each other each and every day. Many couples may say this, but we really don't need any day in particular to show each other we love one another. So, when I found out that Sal was going to be at his internship all day, I didn't take off of work. I figured it made no sense to sit at home, when I could be at the hospital sharing love with all of the children that were hospitalized that day. I helped a generous family pass out teddy bears and balloons, donated by them personally. I spread more happiness when I pushed around cupcake cart for both the children and their families. It felt great to be able to share this love to those that might not be feeling very loving or joyous.

Due to the snow we got, Sal ended up having off from his internship for the entire day. Now you may be thinking that after work Sal and I had made plans to see each other, but you'd be wrong. Weeks before, I talked to my friend and we decided that we were going to spend Valentine's Day together - get each other gifts, go out to dinner, drink a little wine, and enjoy the night. We've celebrated Valentine's Day together before, so when she suggested this, I thought it'd be a perfect night! We didn't need boys to make us happy or feel loved on such a Hallmark holiday... we had each other, and there's no kind of love like the love you have for your best friend, of 6 years I might add! We didn't make reservations, thinking that not everyone goes to California Pizza Kitchen for Valentine's Day... boy, were we wrong. We definitely should have made reservations. Oh well! It gave us some time to walk around the mall and search for a bench to sit and wait. When we finally sat, we decided to exchange gifts, and when we did, the look on our faces had to have been priceless. We both handed each other a box, of a similar size and weight. We looked at each other, and then continued to open it up. Lo and behold, it was the EXACT SAME ALEX AND ANI BRACELET... the Best Friends charm... hey, at least we knew where we stood in our friendship! After laughing so hard we were crying, we figured out one of us had to return one, because we couldn't both be wearing the Best and Friend charm, together. So I decided I would return mine, and find us matching charms that represented us in our very unique ways.

Soon we found ourselves at dinner, clinking our glasses of wine, and chatting the night away.

Of course, I was sad that I didn't see Sal at all, but we saw each other a few days later, and spent a few hours together, cuddling. He showed up to my house with beautiful red roses, in a vase, a hilarious card, and a bottle of wine, to be shared at a later date. We love our wine, and sharing wine tasting experiences together has become "our thing." I've always told him that I would trade all of these material things that I own for experiences... traveling to new places, trying a new hobby, or going on an adventure. I never ask him for anything anymore, but I'm also just as grateful when he shows up with a bottle of wine in hand, or a movie he knows I've been wanting to see. He doesn't ask me for anything, and actually never has, but he's always happy when I show up with surprises for him.

So it wasn't a usual Valentine's Day, but it was pretty close to perfect if you ask me. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

DIY: Thanks A Latte Gift

Ever just want to show that you're thankful for someone in your life? Maybe they gave you a shot when no one else would, stood by you through thick and thin, or they show you love each and every day. If they're a coffee lover, I've found the perfect gift, that definitely goes a long way.

All you need is just a little note, paired with a gift card, of any amount, to their favorite coffee place.

I decided to give this to my boss for Christmas, but it's the kind of gift you can give any day, or any holiday, just to show your thanks!

Thanks A Latte Adapted from Jasey's Crazy Daisy

What You'll Need:

'Thanks A Latte' Printable 
Giftcard {Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, etc.}
Hole Puncher

Here's How: 

1. Print out 'Thanks A Latte' printable, and cut each circle out using fun scissors.

2. Punch hole into cutout and gift card with hole puncher, and tie with ribbon.

3. Add your name & give to the one you're thankful for!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Boots & Bourbon

When someone says, "let's go, grab your boots, we're going out," there's no questions, aside from who's driving!? Now that country music has made its way back up north, I'm glad that most of the bars are making one night a week, country night, and at the bar we chose, it just so happened to be Friday night. I know, I know what you're thinking... how do you still go out if you were just saying you work on the weekends? Well, put quite simply, I choose to be the DD. I don't normally drink anyways, so when I'm out I have an excuse not to drink. I can still have fun, and make it to work the next morning without a hangover (because really, who likes those anyways?). After picking everyone up, and picking our spot at the bar, we were ready for a night that would never end. I waited a bit for my friend to arrive, and once she did the bar seemed to get a little rowdier!

Now, country artists have a way of saying every thought that's ever crossed your mind in any given situation. They speak from the heart, and whether it involves a break up ... yes I'm talking about you Taylor Swift, drinking a beer ... which everyone at a bar lifts their drink up while singing in terrible key, or that best first kiss you ever had. I mean right now, I'm listening to a song called 'A Life That's Good' by Lennon and Maisy, and really that's exactly what it's about. It doesn't matter if you're not a country music fan, you just become one when you hear a relatable song.

The music kept playing, and before we knew it my friend and I were up on the bar... dancing. Never in my life did I think I would have the confidence to get up on the bar and shake it, especially sober, but I did. Having my best friend right beside me definitely helped, but when you're so focused on moving to the song, all those wandering eyes down below become a blur. The bar soon became crowded with boots, and my friend and I were sweating. It's one thing to be dancing with your best friend, it's a whole different thing when random girls come on the bar and push their way between you. We jumped down, and jumped right back up when a different song came on, and there was more room. I sucked down water after water, but that didn't matter, I sweat even more every time we went up there. It was a good workout, if nothing else.

But to me, it was much, much more than that... I was able to shake it with such confidence, and I had such a memorable time, that I would do it again in a heartbeat. Why we are so afraid to do what we want? Why does it matter what people think, if we only get one life to live anyways? I mean, while it was great to see everyone looking up at me on the bar, it wasn't why I did it. I did it for me. I did it to look back on and say... that was one hell of a night!

While I was up there, Sal was down on the ground, getting hit on more than once, which I don't mind. I know who he's coming home with at the end of the night, the girl he's been with for over 6 years. It gives people confidence when they feel wanted, and it enables our relationship to grow stronger. So when I got down off the bar one last time, it was all I could do not to drag Sal to the dance floor and dance. I brought him to the dance floor eventually, after dancing with my friend and his, and we danced... he even threw in some latino moves... mind you, we're still at the country bar, but that's what makes him, him. You may think that passion runs out after 6 years, but I can promise you that it doesn't. It's still there under the bright lights, you just have to want to see it. All of us were out on the dance floor, and I wish the camera could have captured the feel of the air. It was just pure happiness.

It was even better at work the next day when I received a text message saying that we made it on a random girl's Instagram because we photobombed their picture. Whoops! 

Monday, February 3, 2014

Breakdown after Breakdown

It's not unusual for me to breakdown, when the stress or anxiety becomes too much, it's almost always likely to spill over. These breakdowns occurred more often in college, as the homework piled up and the course load wore me down. At that time in my life I had to complete assignments, tests, and papers, while working a part time job, volunteering, and eventually interning. Breakdowns were bound to happen. However, now I don't have school, though I'm thinking about going back, but I do work a 40 hour full time job, traveling to and from work for 10 hours total a week as well. In some ways, my job as a Child Life Specialist requires me to be a sponge, soaking up all of the pain and suffering of every potent that I come in contact with. My personality enables me to get through this each and every day, but it might've piled up subconsciously, without my notice. When I have days off from work, I am able to dissociate from work, and enjoy my days off, especially when I'm traveling, going off on another adventure. Lately though, with all this snow, I haven't been able to go anywhere, and my "weekends" off have been spent inside. Sure I get away to the gym, or to dinner with Sal, but for the most part I feel as if I'm stuck inside. Everyone seems to be busy with their lives while I'm off. I mean, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are no ones ideal days off, especially when all of your friends work a Monday- Friday job.

Thankfully, Sal has more often than not, been there for me during these breakdowns. We sit down, and through tears (mostly mine, okay all mine), we figure out my thoughts, and how to work through it. In the past, it's been easy, take it one assignment at a time, Sal will help by reading a paper or aiding in my studies, but now I'm an adult, and adult with a real job in the real world. It's been that way for almost a year now, so it doesn't come as a shock to hear it. This time it was more difficult to fix, of course. We figured out an easier solution, after he calmed me and I was able to see reason. I would make a to-do list of all the things I've been wanting to accomplish, including some of the goals on my 2014 resolution list. It would be things I could do on my own, instead of relying on others. I would take each day as it came, and if I had to lay in bed for the day due to snow, I would, without complaint. This winter has taught me that some things happen, and you can't control it, so you have to take what it is and make the best of it.

It helps when someone is there to support you during these times, but it's also important to boost yourself back up as well. Remember the little things in life that make the day that much better... a good workout at the gym, a hot cup of tea, a good book, a new DIY project or recipe you want to test out. It doesn't have to be something huge or luxurious, only something that makes you brings about those feelings of happiness, even if it's just a small smile at the end of the day. It's important to take days and make them yours, regardless of the weather. It's something I'm still learning, but I'm slowly getting the hang of it.