The story of how I met Sophie is sort of my favorite one to tell; mostly because I have no idea how or why it happened. I had always heard that pets choose their owners but I never really believed in that until now. I had spent years just browsing the cats for adoption at PetSmart I figured this was any other day like that.
It was a Tampa day when I lived in Florida and one of my main stops was PetSmart since it was right next to Whole Foods. I was talking to my friend Adonis and walked over to the adoption center. I saw Sophie, through the window and immediately felt drawn to her. She wasn’t doing anything special, she was just there. She wasn’t super active and she wasn’t a kitten as her info card said she was 10. But she was tiny. Too small to believe that she was 10. I don’t exactly remember what her info card had said (and I wish I did). I went to find an associate because I wanted to meet Sophie.
She was really skittish. And yes, small. The associate told me that a woman runs the adoption agency they work with and that Sophie was found. She also told me Sophie had been at that PetSmart for 3 years. It was harder to get her adopted since she wasn’t young.
I should probably explain where I was in this point of my life: a year earlier I had a mental breakdown to the point where I almost called 5150 on myself and it triggered hallucinations. It wasn’t anything big or serious at the time — I just kept seeing a cat follow me around my apartment or stare at me. And I didn’t have a cat. I was frequently home alone. Because of the mental breakdown I was also going through a separation/divorce though my ex at the time didn’t want to acknowledge it… or the divorce papers he hid somewhere in his closet. This wasn’t some short marriage either; we had been together since we were 17. He was the bestest friend I had even known and he was literally my partner in crime. Until one day he just wasn’t anymore. Until one day he said my anxiety and OCD make him feel trapped and he turned to other girls to help him feel normal. Our relationship was broken and there wasn’t a way to fix it, we both knew that. We had been together for 12 years and literally grew up together. Learned how to be adults together.
One month after I adopted Sophie, we filed for divorce.
I know there isn’t a Friday Finds post up today and that’s because a lot has been going on all week and I’ve been… in a really angry mood. I could say I’m not sure why but that would be lying and I won’t lie to you or myself. Esp when it comes to my mental health. My therapist started me on a sort of booster anti anxiety med to take along with the Zoloft. It’s like.. it’s suppose to help calm me and help stop the small hallucinations I get. Oh and help me sleep. And it does, but I take it before bed so through the day I’m trying to figure out how to deal with everything.
Makes me miss the days of Xanax.
Tums has been in that stage where she was too much energy and she’s draining me. I know she has BIG emotions for such a little thing and trying to come up with ways to diffuse her melt downs while still trying to keep my shit together? I feel like this is some kind of level up. Is this how my exes feel? JFC. It’s usually easy to manage, it’s just when her dad comes home she starts acting out… and it makes sense why she does.
Gave in and got this for the Switch, I know the new one is coming out soon but I couldn’t remember if I liked Harvest Moon. I haven’t gotten very far just yet but the opening scenes are.. sad. I just needed a new game to farm and craft on. Currently waiting for the Sanrio Amiibo cards for Animal Crossing to come out. I also tore down some of my waterfalls in my entrance way cause I’m gonna make smaller ones. Or more hills. I don’t know. But it wasn’t enough cottagecore vibes for me.
I absolutely love when I find toddler toys for review that Tums actually loves. One I got her in Dec was a truck with shapes your match around it. She likes to build, so she basically just stacked all the blocks but she would spend hours doing this. Another that I just got her about a week ago is this set of 100 blocks (I know, RIP me) that she can build different things with. It’s helped give her something to do in the morning while I make her breakfast and she’s not crying cause I’m “away”. I also got her like a new age Etch a Sketch that’s actually really cool. And she’s been drawing on it. I taught her how to draw hearts. I’m working on butterflies next!
I amazes me how she’s not even 2 and we have our routines. There’s little things she makes sure to do for me, even if I don’t ask. She’ll put the morning juice on the table if I hand it to her. She starts the dish washer after I ask her to shut it. She shuts the laundry room door every single time she see’s it open. She also covers up all the plugs in the office with those plug cover things. I got colorful animals. But she doesn’t put random things in her mouth and she doesn’t play with the actual outlet. She knows it goes there. She also hands me my phone or my Kindle as soon as I get in bed. And she puts her toys away, oh she also picks up after herself! And if she catches me crying she usually punches me in the face. We’re working on that one lmao.
I gave in and upgraded this blog to a business plan; I honestly hate how limited the paid tier is despite how much it costs. And sure, it would be A LOT cheaper if I had just re-created the whole blog on my actual hosting service but I feel like I spent years building THIS blog up and idk, I’m weird about things sometimes. I’m still trying to figure out how set up extra things with the business plans like my usual plug ins and all that other “extra” stuff.
I finally got my iPad back yesterday, it had stopped completely charging a month ago and after a week of no results I decided to bring it to Geek Squad to repair while it was still covered. They said it would take 3-5 business days but it took about 2 weeks before I heard anything back. But she’s home now and she’s set up. Kinda. I just gotta organize everything all over again.
I also caved and upgraded my iPhone8 to the iPhone12 (and not the mini for once). I was super against the idea of it because my dad’s last text message to me is on my 8. Thankfully since the phone is paid for I didn’t have to trade it in, so I still have it. But I got the iPhone12 in blue. I hated all the other color options. And I don’t believe in phone cases, and no I never drop/break my iPhone either. OCD is good for something sometimes. I’m in love with it so far! The camera is SO much more than my 8 was! And I actually like the bigger screen. The only downside for me is that it uses the USB-C cable and well, everything I have is the lightning cable.
Tomorrow I start on organizing the closet and the office. Oh and also attempting to make wax melts! I’m pretty excited about that! And Sunday I’ll be sharing a ton of small businesses I bought Disney shifts from for our upcoming trip!
I know word vomit posts aren’t suppose to have pictures but eh, whatever.
I hope you all are having a great Friday and have a fun weekend planned!
I can’t think if I’ve done a monthly recap post here… I know I try to do them regularly on my review blog. But I feel like Feb was significant. At least in the aspect of growth and the universe slapping me upside my head pretty much all month.
My bro said something super interesting the other day;
You need to learn something; until you learn or come to terms with whatever it is, God is going to keep sending you back to figure it out. You ain’t done it in your past lifetime, so now you here in this one doing the same ass shit.
When I say I love blogging, I mean it’s all I’ve ever thought about since I started in 1999. I’m always looking forward to writing my blog posts or about my day. Writing has been my therapy forever and people have tried to take it away from me. But honestly, there’s just something about blogging for me that goes beyond passion. I don’t know why or how. Or what I’m suppose to do with it. But I literally think about blogging ALL THE TIME. So I’m considering what he’s saying and trying to figure out what it is I’m suppose to be doing.
Let’s get on to the recap before I go into the in my feels stuff.
EOS Creme Brulee lip balm
Self Care YouTube videos
I discovered cozy gaming both on YouTube and on TikTok. I also discovered cozy living. I won’t go as far as say Hygge because it’s a bit different than that. I’ve come across a ton of awesome self improvement channels that I can not wait to binge watch! I’ve missed watching normal vlogs on YouTube and I’m so glad I found these! I also decided to take my gaming name a little more seriously; so, introducing my gaming TikTok as well as my gaming blog that has nothing on it right now but will!
I also discovered, I don’t like snow as much as I thought I would! We had crazy snow here in TX and the state wasn’t prepared for it since it’s never happened before. Which is weird, what is Texas prepared for? We were lucky enough in our area that our power and water didn’t go out. But just in case I made sure all of me and Tum’s devices were charged and that every battery bank of mine I could find was fully charged as well. I also made sure to keep candles either lit or nearby. I had never experienced snow before and while it was cool to see snow falling and see inches of snow outside as well as on my balcony; I had absolutely no snow gear so I couldn’t go play!
How cute is her channel theme? I love that her channel focuses on home and gardening! I find the older I get the more I wish I was better at gardening (my mom is crazy talented with keeping every single one of her plants alive), but I can’t even keep a freakin Cactus alive. I don’t know. Is there hope for me?!
I’d really like to start living a more mindful and fulfilling life. I feel like since moving to Texas I lost the freedom feeling of being inspired and my soul being where it belongs. And it sucks. It’s a weight I wake up with every single day. And I don’t know how to ease it or make it stop. So I’m trying to shift my perspective as much as I can before I lose my shit.
Watching videos like the ones Muchelle posts really helps me to remember the art of slow living (which has never been a thing for me). That taking care of ME is more important than anything else besides you know, paying bills and making sure my girls are fed. I’m working on it ok?
I love Aileen’s videos because as an Asian American it’s so easy to relate to. It provides some insight and that someone understands the struggles we go through with our parents and our upbringing — but also to say it out loud. I’ve always wanted to start a Filipino American blog, if anything to just get the trauma of it all out and hopefully find closure at the same time. Watching her videos have been truly therapeutic.
Of course this all started years ago when I stumbled on Kalyn’s channel and when she created her brand/podcast Koze. The idea of slow living was beyond what I could understand at the time, but I loved watching her simple videos of doing things the cozy way.
Feb Reading Wrap Up;
Sadly I only read one book in Feb, but at least it was a book I really really liked, right?
I read and finished the second book in this series; the audiobooks are fantastic. I’m on Bridge of Souls now and I’m enjoying it just as much as I did the last 2. However Bridge of Souls is actually creepy. Like the concept is. But it takes place in New Orleans, I guess it has to be much more creepy than the rest. I’m scared to find out if this series is a trilogy, I’m not ready for it to end!
Tunnel of Bones is probably my favorite of the 3, and not because she was in Paris. Or because a ton of yum French foods were featured. Or because I’m obsessed with France. The story of the demon boy was so interesting. I get it was suppose to be creepy and I guess it could be but I could not stop listening. I didn’t dare to Google it and find out if it’s a true story or not. But I have been wanting to with a few of these!
Yes it’s a middle grade series, but it’s one of those MG reads that I would SO prefer over every genre. The friendship between Cass and Jacob is so wholesome. I ship their friendship; I won’t mess it up by saying I ship them. You don’t need to date your best friend, sometimes just being bff’s is enough.
February had a lot of ups and downs; things I’m still trying to deal with and make sense of, even if they’re tucked in the back of my mind. For now. But I’m confident I can figure this out, that I can make sense of these things.
So here’s to March; a month of starting the healing process. It’s gonna get wild ya’ll.
Every year for the last 6 years I’ve done #OneLittleWord; unfortunately the graphic program I used to make my previous ones has decided to just… disappear. I knew the day would come lol. So this year I created my own graphic.
I don’t know how I feel about it. But here it is.
My #OneLittleWord for 2021 is Courage.
Courage; to do the things I’ve recently been aware I’m re-afraid to do. Courage; to convince myself the lies my mind, my anxiety and my OCD tell me are false. Courage; to heal properly, even if getting there will hurt like hell. Courage; to see my friends and family again. Courage; to BE better cause Tums deserves the very best side of me.
The courage to finish writing a book. The courage to really go in on blogging and content creating. The courage to go back to school and finish my final year and get my BA in Communications, how much of a game changer that will be. The courage to stand up for myself, knowing I’m standing alone. The courage to remind myself of who I am because how can my oldest friends know and I sit here and act like I don’t?
I spent 2019 in the dark and I spent 2020 in a hazy fog. I’m finally feeling myself reach the less foggy area’s of the things that have recently happened. But even when I’m in the clear, the fight isn’t over. The fight is never over, it just changes. And that’s fine. My life would be boring if I never had to fight something.
My boundaries and my roots are incredibly important to me, and I will make that loud and clear in 2021. And this time no one is going to stand in my damn way.
I debated on doing one of these this week; Christmas/New Years week always feels like some really weird in between gray area. I lose sense of time, of what day it is. Even with a strict list of what posts are suppose to go up this week all I can think of is but I really just want to sleep. It’s been cold af here in TX and I’m not living for it. I hate the cold. So much.
There aren’t many links I’ve discovered this week but I am having fun reading everyone’s yearly recap posts and 2021 goals posts! So if you have one please link it below in the comments, I’d love to read yours!
Cnet talks about 6 Useful Amazon Echo Tips You Should Be Using; My dad gifted me my Echo Dot the year before he passed away. And he was so excited for me to have it. We use it for almost everything in this household. I even got an Echo Show for my bedroom and planning to get a Kid’s Echo Dot for the office/Tums playroom!
Fast Company is talking about The 26 Best New Apps of 2020; I’m always on the hunt for a good app to fall in love with — though I really need to organize my ISO’s. But we’ll talk about that part later.
I signed up to be a contributor at ThriveGlobal; It’s been a goal of mine for awhile to publish writing. I just… don’t know what to write about. They have a ton of interesting articles covering a bunch of different subjects.
Shealea from Shut Up, Shealea (interesting blog name for sure) talks about 23 Books by Filipino authors; I’ve been trying to add more Filipino authors as well as learn more about my culture in 2021. There’s a lot I don’t know and there’s a lot of differences when you learn about it from a Philippines versus Western stand point. I want to be able to educate and expose T to as much of her Filipino culture as I can and as someone who’s first gen Filipino American, I worry a lot of the things I was exposed to will be lost since I don’t have those certain roots to the Philippines itself. I try to speak Tagalog and Cebuano to her as much as I can but it’s not enough for her to pick up, I don’t think. Which also worries me.
The downside to the holiday being over? Putting the holiday decor away. Ugh lol.
How was your week? Did you find any cool links around the web?
2020 has showed us a lot of things about ourselves, our surroundings, our company we keep and about society. There are a lot of things I still carry around with me that I shouldn’t. That I don’t need to. Pain is hard to cope with. Loss is even harder. I’m the type to cling on to the darkness because the light just means what goes up must come down. And you can’t go down if you’re already there.
But I also need to remember; I’m not some broken teenager with a notebook full of secrets. I’m not that girl who constantly wished for someone to notice her and love her just as she is. I’m not searching for someone to fill a void in my life anymore.
Cause I love myself more than anyone could ever love me. Except maybe my mom and my daughter and my cat. I learned that I don’t need some dude to make me feel my worth because I know my worth. And at times I tend to forget. 2020 made the heavy things even heavier, and I’m tired of carrying it all around with me.
I’m not one to actually fully heal from anything. I kind of just store it away and pull it out from time to time. So I’m not entirely sure I’m capable of healing. But hey, there’s a first time for everything, right?
I have a tendency to ask my friends whenever it seems like they’re stuck at a fork in the road: if this was your life one year from today, would you be happy?
My bro has a habit of throwing the same question at me sometimes: but what do YOU want?
I want SOBADLY to bring this feature back to at least one of my blogs but it’s so time consuming and my Sunday’s (when I’d usually write them) is so packed with cleaning and prepping for the week. Today however, I’m going to attempt to do this even if it has to be the short version.
I managed to wrap, pack and ship 3 out of 5 holiday packages, before Dec 10th. THANK GOODNESS. My bank account may hate me, but whatever. I’d totally rather get it done early than scramble around like I usually do. There were so many new things at Bath & Body Works and I write all that kind of stuff on hazearella but I did grab hand soaps and body washes, my stores were completely sold out of candles for candle day/weekend which is nuts. I ended up exchanging my candles for store credit instead which is fine, do I really need more candles?!
This week has been a blur, but I feel like I spent a good amount of time just relaxing. I’ve been stressed out of my mind but you know, what can you really do?
Ironically one of my grocery stores has Peonies?! So of course I grabbed one. I also saw that Trader Joe’s has Calla’s but I forgot to grab one. Maybe next weekend. Tums found a new favorite show that has to do with a monkey get his ass whooped by other animals. It’s pretty funny but I don’t see how this is a show for kids. Tums seems to like it and I don’t know if I should be impressed or worried lol.
I also attempted to take more “Christmasy” pics of her for the Christmas card but I’m honestly at a loss at what I want the card to be. I wish we could do a family holiday photoshoot but Bubba doesn’t really like being in pictures. I will never understand what is it with guys and NOT wanting to be in photos, esp with their kids. It’s getting a little harder to take photos with Tums since all she wants to do is play, maybe this is why when people do family photos with a toddler it usually looks candid.
Our Hello Fresh* (here’s a code for $70 off) meal we made this week was Stuffed Bell Peppers and I really liked it. I ate everything, including the Bell Pepper which I usually don’t gravitate towards. Bubba also made me a homemade Peppermint Mocha with crushed up Candy Canes. He really went above and beyond with this one lol. It was so good. Like ridic how good it was, I had it two nights in a row! He also made Tums her own “Hot Chocolate” since she wanted my whipped cream lol.
Hit up my friend JR who I misssss! I love the friends that you can go months or YEARS not speaking to and falling back into conversation with them is just as easy as it’s always been. These are my types of people. Even if they all got jokes about me lol, can’t blame them, they’re 100% right lol. JR and I use to work at Six Flags together in Cash Control, so us and a bunch of other people spent 12-18 hours a day in a small room together counting money. Weird things happen when everyone is tired and hungry and just want to go home. But these people became friends and family to me and I’m so so glad I still talk to some of them even if it’s years apart. It reminded me of how much I miss being home in Cali and how much I miss being near friends and family. I miss knowing there were people there I could hang out with or just grab lunch with if I was in a bad mood. People who know how to read me and know how to handle my moods without judgement.
I never really feel lonely, ever. I’ve always been one to stay to myself and even though I have a lot of friends, I’m also good just being alone. But the longer I’m in Texas with absolutely no one who knows me that I’m able to hang around is really really starting to irritate my soul. I feel so isolated here. And my friends really do try super hard to make sure I don’t feel alone even if they’re in CA or FL but I also miss the vibes of those states. Texas feels like an angry mom who you have to walk around eggshells on and shit talks your every attempt to be creative. This is my least favorite state to live in. I don’t even feel like I can be 100% myself here without feeling like someone will have something to say.
Probably the root core of most of my anxiety and depression lately. Covid doesn’t fuckin help, at all.
Taking photos of a toddler is SO hard these days, like child just STOP moving for like 5 seconds. Tums got her rainboots I got her, they light up. She LOVES them. She’s been wearing them around the house like crazy every day since she got them.
Bubba got his advent calendar but he’s been giving them to Tums. Sigh. She’s ready to be potty trained as well and ironically I got a training potty for review. That I just had to stop mid blog post to put together since it came in. Looking at it now, it’s a kind of weird concept. So instead of changing diapers… I have to change this bowl thing?!
Yah this will be fun for my OCD, I can see it now.
We fully moved into the new place (which I swear I feel like a broken record at this point, my bad yall) and now it’s just a matter of organizing things, sorting through things I want to keep and get rid of, cleaning, and cleaning some more. I had plans to decorate but due to money issues (isn’t adulting fun) that’s gonna have to wait. I also need to buckle up and be way more mindful of what I’m buying. I really want to replace my desk and my night stand but I haven’t found one of either that I actually like, so.
This week I want to focus on staying calm and trying to control my OCD as I go through and clean the new place. I want to focus on not letting the feeling of being overwhelmed distract or discourage me; and I know that’s a lot to be asking but I really really want to try to manage these emotions this week because I KNOW they’ll come up.
I want to focus on making this place the zen, clutter free home I’ve always dreamed of. I also want to make Tums’ play area the way I envisioned it. Which will probably take a lot longer than I’d like to admit. But it’s a process, right?!
I’m trying to keep up with blogtober as best as I can despite missing Saturday and Sunday; maybe I’ll keep the weekends free since Saturday is usually errands day and Sunday is usually my full home cleaning day. If only people got paid to be mothers lmao (as I hold the baby on my lap while typing this)!
I hope you’re all having a wonderful day and I’m wishing you a wonderful and productive week!
Something my dad constantly, as in every single morning, told me as he was waking me up for school and as I struggled to want to even be alive. And despite how frustrated I made him, he never yelled or got overly mad.
But this is something that has stuck with me my whole life.
It might had contributed to what I call my White Rabbit Syndrome where I feel like I’m constantly racing against time. WHO KNOWS.
Today marks one year since my dad passed away after a 8 year battle with Cancer. Whew, counting that blew my mind. While death from Cancer is never a positive outcome, obviously, he was lucky to had lived that long. My dad had his own anxieties that showed up when I was really young. He was obsessed with the fact that he was dying long before he was even diagnosed with Cancer and that was hard to deal with since he’d use it as a reason against an argument or that “I don’t feel good, I might be dying, I don’t know,” I almost feel like being diagnosed brought him some sort of weird anxiety relief.
And at first, it didn’t see so bad. He had radiation therapy and he was constantly sick but it wasn’t anything that seemed like it would disrupt how our lives were normally lived. So I’ll admit that for the first few years it was hard to imagine there was Cancer because nothing really changed. He wasn’t losing hair or weight or anything. A year after he was diagnosed I got my job back at Disney World so in 2013 I moved back to Florida. We came back to visit that December. In October it was my dad who called and told me that my dog passed away. So to be there without him that year was really hard for me.
I never went back after that. I never saw my dad after that.
And that will always be the hardest thing to swallow.
This week has been pretty slow; I’ve been invested in working on my food blog and on me and my BFF’s travel blog (which still needs A LOTTT or work). So I haven’t really been bookmarking a ton of things or on Twitter as much as I should or I guess feel like I should be! I hate the new WP editor btw, it definitely lags my laptop and it’s just so frustrating!
〉 I’m sharing Joy the Baker’s Let it Be Sunday post; she shares a bunch of great podcasts I’d like to give a try!
〉 I’m a sucker for Coconut Agua Fresca so when I stumbled on Pinch of Yum’s post about Cucumber Agua Fresca I immediately saved it hopes I could replace the Cucumber with Coconut!