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Everybody's working for the weekend

September 27, 2013

Happy Friday to everyone! Miranda tagged me for the Sunshine Award earlier this week. Thanks girl!

Here are the "rules"...

1. Link back to the blog who nominated you for the sunshine award.
2. Include the sunshine logo in your post.
3. Answer the questions given to you by your nominator.
4. Nominate bloggers who add sunshine to your day!

1. What is your absolute, least favorite household chore? Vacuuming, hands down. Since we have a dog who sheds on the regular, we have to split the vacuum duties. It sucks. 

2. What was your favorite subject in high school?  I don't think I had one clear winner here. I loved my English, Social Studies, and senior year I loved my AP Psychology class. Math has always been my least favorite subject. 

3. Do you prefer to live in the city, or in a more rural setting? To be honest I have lived in mostly cities. So to quote the great Carrie Bradshaw- "I'm what you call a bonafide city girl."

4. What is your biggest obsessive habit? I hate to admit it but definitely checking my iPhone too much. I'm trying to work on it. 

5. Do you ever eat cereal for dinner? Not really. But I have had fro-yo for dinner in the past. 

6. On Friday nights, do you like to go out or stay in? It depends on the week. If it was a stressful week at work I like to unwind at home on Fridays. 

7. What color do you wear most often? Purple. Anyone who knows me can tell you it is my favorite color.

8. Least favorite day of the week besides Monday? Tuesday. It is not the halfway point of the week, or close to the weekend. It is just annoying old Tuesday.

9. Do your family and real life friends know about your blog? My husband and immediate family are aware of it. My sister has a cooking blog and is the only family member who has read it. I don't really talk about my blog to my real life friends. 

10. The beach, or the mountains? Being a Florida girl I gotta say the beach.

Its my turn to tag people for the award. I choose:

Cece @ Pink Sunshine
Kim @ Little Pink Droppings
Kelly Louise @ Petite Ramblings

Your questions

1. What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
2. Favorite holiday and why?
3. Extrovert or introvert?
4. What is the one food you can never get tired of?
5. What is your biggest pet peeve?
6. Where did you go on your first date ever?
7. What is something everyone else loves that you don't?
8. Fall or Spring?
9. Favorite celebrity.
10. Love sports or hate them?

I used to be a journalist

September 25, 2013

The first time I remember wanting to be a journalist was the 5th grade.  My love of words and curious nature made it seem like the perfect answer to that pesky what are you going to be when you grow up question you get as a kid. Truth be told, I was a dorky kid. Dorky as in I loved to read and actually read most of those informational state books for kids. For fun. I held strong on the journalistic aspirations until about junior year of high school. That was the year I signed up for a psychology elective and was hooked instantly. I entered college with thoughts of majoring in psychology but my trouble with the math pre-requisites made me question my choice. So it was back to plan A and that is how I ended up majoring in English. While I was in college I wrote for my college paper for my last 2 years. I loved it. I’m one of those people that thrive on working under a deadline and the hunt for the story.
After much instance from my parents who kept telling me that I must watch The Newsroom, I relented last weekend and I’m almost done with season one. I. love. It.  Watching the show takes my back to those days of working on my college paper and the rush of getting the story. Newsroom scratches that journalistic itch that still lives within me. Anyone else watch this show?

Misconceptions about me

September 23, 2013

We all know the famous quote that says don’t judge a book by its cover, right? You have probably heard it a million times by the end of your childhood. Humans by nature make assumptions about a personality shortly after meeting them.  We just can’t help it. Sometimes people can be spot on with the assumptions, but many times people get it wrong.  I once had someone at work tell me that I looked like the kind of person who wouldn’t like a horror movie right after a conversation about favorite scary movies.  How does someone look like they wouldn’t like a particular kind of film? It got me to thinking about some of common misconceptions people might have about me.

  1.That I’m a fragile and weak person.
Ok I kind of get where this might come from. I’m a naturally skinny woman who lacks muscles or anything that screams I can kick anyone’s butt. Yes, I am probably not your girl if need someone to lift a heavy box, but is that the only definition of strength? I like to consider myself an emotionally strong person so I think my exterior might be misleading.  

                                              2.     That I don’t eat anything. Or eat very little.
Remember when I said I’m a skinny girl? I get people thinking that I don’t eat large amounts of food or have a hearty appetite. But this skinny girl loves her food. My husband jokingly says that he has to keep me on a feeding schedule or I get hangry.  He is right. Oh and I don’t wear a size zero. Telling me that I must wear a size zero will get you automatic side eye.

                                         3.     That I am (insert wrong ethnicity).
My first week at Florida State I went to a freshman mixer event at the Student Union bowling alley. This guy started talking to me when I noticed a name tag on his shirt that read President- Jewish Student Union. I thought nothing of it until he was really trying to get me to join the JSU. I politely told him that I wasn’t Jewish but thank you for inviting me. Dude goes off for a full 5 minutes on how I must be Jewish, no way I’m from Hispanic parents and they must be lying. People usually look at my black hair and prominent nose and start to play the what ethnicity is she game. The most common guesses are Jewish, Greek, and even got Eastern European once. What is even funnier is that whenever I visit Puerto Rico with my parents I always get spoken to Spanish and my Rican roots are never questioned.
                                 2004- My most Hispanic looking picture I have. 

Random Wednesday Rambles

September 18, 2013

I took this from Miranda @ Young, and In Progress as I was suffering writer's block for a coming up with a blog post. An FSU fan helping out a fellow Seminole!

1. Why do you blog? 

I have always had a love for the written word since I can remember. I have been an avid journal keeper for most of my life and I majored in English. After graduating college I ended up becoming a middle school teacher for almost 7 years and had very little time to devote to writing. I felt I lost my writer voice and this past April this blog was born. I blog to have a place to express myself and share my thoughts. 

2. What is your favorite blog post you have ever written?

My favorite two posts so far in my blog are Why I left teaching in which I talk about my decision to leave the teaching profession this past year and my post about my decision to be childfree.

3. Are you addicted to anything food related? (For example, coffee, soda, chocolate...)

I'm definitely a recovering chocolate addict and soda addict. So far I am doing better at cutting down on the soda than chocolate. 

4. Do you prefer snail mail or email? I miss the days of snail mail. Nothing beats getting a hand written note or card in the mail. But I love the convenience of emails and texts.

5. Do you have any unique talents?

Hmm I can make my tongue touch my nose. Does that count as a unique talent?

6. What is your favorite method of travel? (Plane, train, automobile...?) A few years I decided to take the Amtrak from Orlando to North Carolina to visit my sister last minute. Worst. choice. ever. It was basically a glorified Greyhound bus on tracks. I'll take a car or plane please.

7. Would you live underwater in a submarine for an entire year in order to win $3,000,000? (Sorry, that was kind of a strange question.) Probably not. See I am a claustrophobic so living in a submarine for a whole year isn't going to work for me. 

8. What is your favorite style of clothing? It really depends on my mood. I'm usually a t-shirt and jeans girl, but I'm getting more in dresses as I get older. 

9. Are you right handed or left handed? Righty.

10. What is one place you are dying to travel to but haven't had the opportunity? 

Hmm so many. I want to go to Prague, South Africa, Italy, and Spain.

11. N'Sync or The Backstreet Boys? Choose wisely. 

NSYNC. No question. 

A day to relive

September 17, 2013

I'm jumping back on the Blogtember wagon today. Truth be told I haven't been doing all of the blog prompts, just the ones I am drawn to. Today's prompt is about choosing a memory that you would like to relive. Two months shy of my year wedding anniversary I would definitely love to relive my wedding day. It was such a day of love, friends, and family. I have great memories of getting ready with my sister and bridesmaid that I have known since freshman year of college. It is very rare to be able to get everyone you love in one room all together.

The soundtrack of my life

September 12, 2013

Helene in Between

When I heard about Helene in Between's music themed link up I was instantly excited. Music is such an integral part of my life and I connect memories to the music in that section of my life story.

Madonna- Like A Prayer

I can't remember the exact moment that I first heard a Madonna song but I was instantly hooked. This song came out when I was in the second grade and I clearly remember asking my mom if she would buy me the cassette. From the ages of seven to eight I was often babysat by my cousin and her husband who was a straight up religious fanatic. This nut job would go on tirades about how Madonna was evil and that I was not allowed to watch that filth in his presence. I would sneak listening to the cassette whenever he was not around me. I got caught a few times and that resulted in verbally abusive comments from him. The songs ultimately became a way to escape the uncomfortable feeling I had when this person would yell at me. 

Jeff Buckley- Last Goodbye

In my last relationship before meeting my husband I dated a guy who had recently gotten divorced. Of course looking back I can see the many red flags early on that I just glossed over because of the strong connection I felt with the guy. The weekend before we ended up breaking up was when I first noticed he was acting strange and distant. I was listening to my iPod on shuffle when this song came on and the lyrics spoke directly to my relationship. As I listened to these lyrics, Why can't we overcome this wall 
Well, maybe it's just because i didn't know you at all, tears rushed my eyes as I came to the realization that this was the end of the road for us. 

The Pretenders- I'll Stand By You

I was the kind of bride who was far more interested in picking the right songs for the ceremony than what kind of flowers to have. Funny enough my florist screwed up the color combos on the bouquets, but I digress. When I found an instrumental version of this song I knew that it would be my walk down the aisle song. The lyrics perfectly describe how I feel about my husband and marriage in general. Now that it was part of my wedding ceremony it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

She said I think I'll go to Boston

September 10, 2013

Today's Blogtember prompt was to describe a distinct moment when your life took a turn.
*Bonus points if you know the song my blog title is in reference to.

On an early May weekday evening in 2006 I had come from a destressing yoga class when I looked at my phone to see a voicemail from my boyfriend. He had been acting distant since the previous weekend and my insides started tightening up when I thought about calling him back. Reluctantly I pressed dial on the phone and braced myself for what was to come. An hour later he showed up to my apartment with my favorite strawberry-banana smoothie in hand. As I glanced down at the Planet Smoothie cup all I could think was that this ass actually brought me a consolation smoothie. Hey Denise sorry I'm about to break up with you, but please enjoy this smoothie. My gut instinct was right and two hours later he walked out of my apartment for the last time. This is not the distinct moment; no this is the catalyst for the moment in which my life took a life changing turn.

This particular break up hit me hard. I remember not wanting to leave my apartment and barely eating. It also brought ideas into my head of escaping Florida once and for all. I wanted to go somewhere new that wasn't littered with memories from the past 25 years of my life. I wanted to escape my pain. So after 2 years of teaching I had decided that I wanted to get a master's degree in school counseling. My original major was psychology with plans to become a family counselor so this idea of mine didn't appear to be too far-fetched. My dad's side of the family had a few of them living in Worcester and one of them had strong alumni connections to Assumption College. So I started researching the idea of going to graduate school at Assumption and living up there. It seemed like a great plan at the time. I had been to Boston for the first time the year before and loved it. That spring break I took my first solo trip ever to tour the school and get the lay of the land.

I took this picture after arriving in Worcester, MA for the first time

As I walked around Boston bundled up in my Florida version of winter clothing, I felt the love for the city all over again. I thought to myself, now is the time to venture out of my Orlando comfort zone. The next morning I got up early to take the train from Boston to Worcester to see my potential new city. Growing up in a city with no real public transportation (I'm not counting our lackluster bus system) I felt so adult taking the train. Less than a hour later I got off the train and into what six months later would become my new home. Moving away from everything and everyone that is familiar is not for the   weak. My year living in Massachusetts was arguably one of the toughest years I have experienced. I encountered many challenges from being the lone outsider in my program, feeling isolated in a new city, and the harsh New England winter that taught this Florida girl how to shovel a car out of snow. The girl who walked around Boston that March day grew into the independent and strong woman that I am today. So I will always have love for Boston.
                                            A selfie in my Boston hotel room 2007.


September 09, 2013

I remember taking a version of the Myers-Briggs test during my graduate course work and I think I scored the same back then, ISFJ. I have always been more of an introvert than extrovert.  I prefer a small get together to a large party of people I don't know. Whenever I do attend a large gathering of mostly strangers, I find myself needing to recharge afterwards. This is just part of being an introvert I guess.


Like most Is, ISFJs have a few, close friends. They are extremely loyal to these, and are ready to provide emotional and practical support at a moment's notice. (However, like most Fs they hate confrontation; if you get into a fight, don't expect them to jump in after you. You can count on them, however, run and get the nearest authority figure.) Unlike with EPs, the older the friendship is, the more an ISFJ will value it. One ISFJ trait that is easily misunderstood by those who haven't known them long is that they are often unable to either hide or articulate any distress they may be feeling. For instance, an ISFJ child may be reproved for "sulking," the actual cause of which is a combination of physical illness plus misguided "good manners." An adult ISFJ may drive a (later ashamed) friend or SO into a fit of temper over the ISFJ's unexplained moodiness, only afterwards to explain about a death in the family they "didn't want to burden anyone with." Those close to ISFJs should learn to watch for the warning signs in these situations and take the initiative themselves to uncover the problem.
I found a lot of the descriptions in the personality profile to be pretty spot-on for me. I tend to have a small group of close friends and the rest I consider acquaintances. My loyalty runs deep for those I consider a friend and it hurts when it is not returned. I am also guilty of "not wanting to burden others with my problems." I know that is not a good quality to have and I am working on  it.

Disconnected and it felt so good

September 04, 2013

This past weekend was pretty great. My birthday fell on the Friday before the long weekend and that kicked off the fun. Between my parents taking me out for a birthday dinner, a 90's themed birthday party (a small party but still fun nonetheless), college football coming back finally (Go Noles!), and lots of quality time with T, I had all I could ask for in a long weekend. What I don't have to share is tons of photos. I thought I would be snapping lots of pictures during these events but I found that I was letting myself live in the moment. Usually I struggle with just embracing the moment and letting myself just get lost in the present, but I did just that this weekend. So instead of photos I chose to laugh with old friends over my favorite 90's songs, spend time developing a new friendship with a former co-worker who it turns out I have more in common than I thought, and listen to records while having in-depth conversations about the future with my husband. And it felt damn good.

I have finally joined the twitter world! Denise @alifelesstravel if you want to follow me.

Where I Come From

September 03, 2013

I really enjoyed participating in Jenni's Blog Every Day in May challenge and so I'm excited that she is hosting another blog challenge this month. The prompt is to describe where we come from as a person. Great prompt.

I come from hard working parents who left Puerto Rico for better career opportunities for my father after he graduated from law school. My mom was the first in her family to graduate college, so my parents raised my sister and I with the belief that if you want something in life, you will have to work hard for it.  Even to this day I believe that life does not owe us anything and if you want to succeed it is going to take hard work. I was also raised to fully embrace my Hispanic roots. My parents made sure I learned to speak Spanish at an early age and that I grew up with the traditions of their island. Being a first-generation Hispanic American I straddle both cultures on a daily basis. I wouldn't have it any other way.

I come from a place that is overshadowed by a talking mouse and dubbed the happiest place on earth. Growing up in Orlando is probably a kid's dream, but the reality is quite different. I remember being in the third grade when we got pen pals from a third grade class in Pennsylvania. My teacher had instructed us to write about what we liked to do and to ask our pen pals what they did for fun in PA. When we got our letters all the Pennsylvania kids kept asking about Disney. Did we go there everyday? Could we get them tickets? This was the first time I realized the perception of my hometown to outsiders. What is funny is that even today when I travel outside of Florida I get those same questions from adults. Most locals have at least one friend or family member that works for Disney. That is how we get into Disney for free. This is how my parents were able to take us once a year for the first 12 years of my life. So I became over the Disney experience at a younger age. I don't have the best relationship with my hometown, even at an early age I knew this place didn't quite fit. I have left twice, once to go to college in Tallahassee and in 2007 I left for Worcester, MA and lasted a full year there. Orlando is a city that caters to tourists. We have 3 major theme parks and 99% of tourists never venture outside of Disney property. To say my home city lacks culture is an understatement. We have some cool places to eat and hang out, but you really have to look for them. I have always felt geographically displaced. We have talked in length about leaving this city and hopefully in 2 years that will be a reality. I leave you with photos of my some of my favorite parts of Orlando. (Photos courtesy of