Home

Hello! Now that we’ve settled into our home, I think it’s about time I start writing again. This has been an incredible year of blessings and big moves for sure. Between our move into our dream home in the suburbs, to others close to us moving near and far, it has been a year of change. Luckily, it has all been great and for me, that comes with self reflection. I’m a thinker – always have been, always will be. Lately with all the moves, I’ve been thinking about what this life is really about as far as family and love. My sister, moved to another city — a great city filled with opportunity and bursting with energy. It was a difficult decision, one that required lots of thought, but ultimately, the right move for them. If you have a sister, and you are fortunate to be close to them, you understand how strong the bond is. It’s been nearly 2 months, give or take, since their move, and the feels are kicking in. I miss her!

While staring out the window one day one our fall drives around town, I started thinking about how location doesn’t matter. Yes, logistically it’s not possible to pop by each other’s homes, but the relationship doesn’t change. You see, because home is not where people are, it’s what is in your heart. After our parents passed away, going back to our childhood home was always hard. It’s not a ‘break down cry’ type of hard, but it’s a feeling in your gut. Because you know when you walk through those doors, mom and dad are no longer there, and it’s just a house with 4 walls that have witnessed laughs and tears, and now stand still in silence. Mentally, it was exhausting for me and still is to this day, but it’s a burden that I’ve dealt with because well, business as usual. Responsibilities don’t just disappear so it’s our obligation to maintain what we can. Now that we’ve bought our first home, I understand the struggle it took to get there and the feeling of pure joy when we got the keys. So it takes me back to my parents and knowing they must’ve felt the same when they bought their first home.

When she moved, I couldn’t help to get saddened by the fact that she doesn’t have a childhood home to come back to – So the saying “home is where your heart is” should really be “your heart is where home is”.

If in this very moment, everything was taken from you physically, the love and memories don’t fade. In fact, they are appreciated that much more. That is, if you train your mind to think that way. Small moments throughout the day may spring up memories you’ve otherwise forgotten about. Literally, the smallest of moments. Just today I was eating an apple and I had a flashback of my childhood. When we were kids, our grandparents lived with us, and every time my grandma would eat apples, she would slice them super thin – thin enough that you could practically read through the other end. She would feed them to us when we were little. Same with grapes – because of our “aversion” to the skin, we’d sit together and peel the skin off grapes before eating them. Moments like those were so minor and yet, so many years later, they are still thought about.

Treasure your heart and the memories it holds.

 

Sincerely, Love.

Flashback

Hi, and happy belated mothers day to all you mommies out there. Today, I wanted to write more of an anecdote style post about memories that recently came into my mind (that I don’t want to forget). 

As you know from my previous post, my husband and I have been in the hunt for a home. There is 1 in particular that really caught our eyes. Well fast forward, we were discussing how beautiful the yard was and the endless gardening possibilities. He asked me if I’ve ever gardened before and I was instantly hit with a flash back, one that I forgot existed. Growing up, my mom was super handy around the house. Whether it was installing a ceiling fan (by herself mind you), or doing lawn work, she was all in. You know when you buy new items for house that you have to assemble yourself with tools and million pieces? I don’t remember her ever getting frustrated or handing it off to my dad to do. She did it, always. I admired it back then but even more so now. I can remember being a young girl, and her calling me and my sister outside to help her garden. She’d give us tasks fittingly – dig a hole here, press down the soil there, etc. As we’d dig, we would come across worms in the soil. “Eeeww I don’t want to do this”, we’d whine. But she’d have us fling them away and continue. Once the holes were a decent size, she’d put the flowers, seeds, whatever in, and have us put soil back on top patting it down. We’d water them and step into the distance to admire our work. In those moments, you have no idea how meaningful those memories will one day become. 

My mom loved to sing. Any time an indian song comes on while I’m driving, it takes me back to those years of sitting in the back seat, getting annoyed because we couldn’t listen to Britney Spears. Every time she’d cook (pretty much every day), she’d sing. Well either sing or yell at us for not helping. I never realized it at the time but I guess we come from a family of music lovers. My dad installed speakers throughout the house, so no matter what room you were in, you’d hear indian prayer songs blaring. It wasn’t an every day occurrence – he saved it for Sunday mornings while they did projects around the house. When all we wanted to do was to sleep, our parents had other plans (musically wake us up). This past Sunday, I caught myself doing the same thing and I realized how habitual it has become for me. On the weekends when I’m doing housework, I always blast indian music and sing along. I don’t know why it took me so long to connect that to my past, but I’m so glad I did.

One mother’s day, the last we shared with our mom, we gave her a simply made photo album. It was pink with quotes throughout. We scoured photos and taped them on the pages hoping it would be perfect for her. After she passed away, while we were going through her belongings, we found that album. Inside, she had written the date and a simple but touching note – ‘I’m so proud of my daughters’. To this day, I reread it, and the fact that it’s in her handwriting makes it that much more special.

It’s not about the gifts or how extravagant occasions are – if it comes from the heart, it’s enough; more than enough – it’s everything. And you have absolutely no idea what an impact you have on a person if you don’t open up and express yourself. Not every situation is ideal. Like every family, we have had our bad times, but those haven’t dimmed the light on the good times. Because once those good times are gone, you mostly forget about the bad times – either that or you use them as a tool to help you in other parts of your life. This is just my experience, so please know that I sympathize with those who do not feel the same or have not had the same experiences. I can only speak from my personal truth. My goal of this post besides sharing what is so dear to me, is to also give light to expression and how awareness and speaking from your heart can make a huge difference even if it’s just for a moment. 

Sincerely,

Love.

It’s a new decade (for me, atleast)!

That’s right, I turned 30! For many, it’s a dreading moment – “ahhh 30!”. Without sounding superficial or fake, I couldn’t feel more blessed. I don’t want to babble on about how great it is, blah blah but instead I want to share my experiences thus far and what changes I’ve noticed.

SO turning 30 is a big deal, especially for women I feel. You are no longer in your 20s and that can be scary for many. This notion that you’re officially “old” now is ludicrous. Each year getting older is a privilege that not many have. So I’ll take it, over and over again. I have so much and more in my life that so many are not fortunate enough to have, most of the blessings given to me from above and out of my control. I don’t take that for granted for even a second.

In my late twenties, I had a vision of what life would be like when I turned 30. I remember having a specific conversation with my husband about my dream of going to Orlando and swimming with dolphins. I envisioned a baby by now, after buying a home. I thought I’d have it all together. And I do (kinda), but a different version. We don’t have a baby yet, and we’re working on the house buying dream, but despite all this, I’m happy. And sure, this sounds simple, but it has surprised me. We have a plan laid out and so far, the ball is rolling. When your team mate is on the same page as you and both of you are working towards a common goal, what more can you want? I’ve always been the type of person who wants instant gratification, and more often than not, it doesn’t always happen that way. When I was younger, I would come up with out of the box ideas, and when I’d share them with my dad, he would always shut me down. His most common response was “don’t tell me your dream, show me your plan”. I’d get discouraged and throw a tantrum internally since I was so hard headed, but how right he was. Funny how growing older makes you realize lessons from childhood. That has always stuck with me, but because I’m stubborn, I still want what I want instantly. My husband is the opposite. He will work towards it and knows that no matter how long it takes, you have to keep working for it. I’m slowly embracing this mindset, and have seen a drastic change in how content I end up feeling. Patience is key and as long as you are working towards a common goal, it will be achieved.

Since turning 30, I feel more confident in myself and the choices that I make. Granted it’s only been a month, so I hope it’s not just a fluke. I’ve gained a sense of knowing that I have value and to stop judging myself so much. There’s enough people out there already judging you and categorizing you into a box so why even bother doing that to yourself? I’ve noticed my assertive behavior at work, because finally I can see the value and knowledge that I bring. Up until this point, I’ve always been nervous to speak up, afraid of any potential for conflict (see more on this in my previous posts). But I’m recognizing that conflict is not always a bad thing; in fact, it can be quite pleasant and a tool to help you grow if you utilize it correctly. To be a people pleaser often entails always saying yes, never speaking up even if inside you don’t agree. But what about your own views and thoughts? There are many effective ways to get your point across and still be true to yourself without just riding on someone else’s words. And it’s vital for yourself to share, and own it. You don’t know what world you can open up by just being yourself and engaging in discussions. Don’t shy away because you are afraid someone will be upset with you; instead look at it as an opportunity to open up your mind and potentially their’s as well. As long as you aren’t purposely trying to hurt someone, it’s okay to not always agree. That’s how you can learn. If you’re always around yes people, the limit to advancement caves in a bit and prevents growth.

I know it all sounds very preachy, but perhaps this is my way of reminding myself of these truths. Words are just words without action behind them but at the same time, they are also very powerful. They are what you replay at night while lying in bed, or driving, or working, or doing anything really, so chose that soundtrack wisely. Own who you are and recognize that there’s only 1 you- that’s pretty damn special. Continue working on the person you want to become, but still embrace who you are at this moment. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy but you’re still standing and that speaks volumes.

 

Sincerely,

Love.

My POV

Hi there, and welcome to another post. Earlier today, as I was scrolling through my facebook feed during a well needed lunch break at work, I stumbled across an article I instantly saved so I can later read at home. Later meant now. After reading it, it hit every nerve in my body and completely represented my thoughts. I want to give big props to the writer, Lisa Schmidt, for expressing her views in a direct, deep way filled with honesty and truth. It’s articles like these that remind me I’m not crazy for feeling the way I do at times, and that grief never goes away. Click to read the full article

Take a moment and read the full article above. I wanted to give my views on her list in hopes that it can one way help a person understand they are not alone. Below is her list exactly as it is said in the article. Below each entry, I have written my views in bold/italics.

1. “My phone is never more than 1 foot away from me at bedtime, because the last time I did that I missed the call that my mother died.”

I insanely can relate to this feeling of worry; for me, anytime my phone rings and I don’t recognize the number, my body goes into fight or flight mode unsure of what the news is on the other end. It’s a big reason why I’m not much of a phone person.

2. “The very thought of my mother’s death, at times, made me physically ill for about six months after she died. I literally vomited.”

Although I was not physically ill, I had nightmares for months. For years, I would ‘see’ her. The dreadful images of her passing away was so traumatizing that I had to take some time out mentally to focus on healing. You must control your thoughts in order to stop from being afraid, and that has helped me. I also was unable to go my parent’s basement (that’s where she passed) for years – in fact, to this day, my heart beats so fast when I do have to go, but it has transferred to any basement at all. I do it anyway because I’m an ‘adult’ and it’s illogical for me to still be afraid.

3. “Their deaths have at times ripped the remainder of our family apart. I did my best to honor their wishes and sometimes that made me the bad guy. The burden of that was immense, but I understood why I was chosen. It made me stronger as a person, so for that I am grateful.”

Oh how much of this hits the nail on the head for me. After my father passed, my sister and I honored him in the best way we could. We saw his struggles dealing with some people, and didn’t want to go down that same path. Forgiveness has happened, but at some point, so has distance. It’s the only way to ensure our mental health stays sane and we can focus on ourselves instead of gossip. All too often, it’s curiosity over compassion, and we are not okay with that.

4. “I’m pissed that my son didn’t get to experience them as grandparents. I watched it five times before his birth and I feel robbed. He would have adored them and they him.”

Although my husband and I don’t have kids yet, I have played this scene in my head over and over again. We are completely and utterly blessed to have my in-laws whom I consider my own parents, and we can’t wait to experience parenthood with them. My parents will only be known to our children through stories and pictures. Our kids will never be able to meet them, and they never had the chance to be grandparents in this lifetime.

5. “I would not trade my time with them for anything, but sometimes I think it would have been easier had you died when I was very young. The memories would be less.”

Being that my mother passed when I was 17, I can honestly say it’s a different kind of pain. I wish I knew who she really was – not just as my mom, but as a woman. I wish I was able to have talks and ask for advice wife to wife, woman to woman and learn through her experiences. When I was younger, she’d teach me how to cook- oh how I hated being stuck in the kitchen while my friends were having fun. Now, I’m itching to get her chicken curry recipe and how she so effortlessly has a full meal on the table every day. 

6. “Don’t [complain] about your parents in front of me. You will get an earful about gratitude and appreciation. As a “Dead Parents Club” member, I would take your place in a heartbeat, so shut your mouth. Get some perspective on how truly fleeting life is.”

Complaints are valid – we all have different perspectives, and there is nothing wrong with venting. But deep down, I wish I had the chance once again to complain about my parents. I’d do anything for just one more day with them, to annoy me, lecture me, and at the end of it all, to love me.

7. “It’s like being a widow — a “club” you never wanted to join. Where do I return this unwanted membership, please?”

Yes, and yes. I’d return this membership in a heartbeat.

8. “Other club members are really the only people who can truly understand what it does to a person. They just get it. There is no other way to explain it.”

It’s not people’s fault for not understanding – a loss can only fully be felt when you experience it. It’s quite difficult to put yourself in someone’s shoes to something as life changing as this. However, there are many people in the world who have lost a or both of their parents – research and find a group that can help you if you are struggling with coping with a death. With so many resources out there today, it’s your best shot at living happily and healing. Open up to people, even if they can’t fully understand. They will sympathize and may help you heal.

9. “Life does go on, but there will be times even years later, you will still break down like it happened yesterday.”

Completely, 100% accurate. It has been 15 years since my mother passed and 5 since my dad, and so often it hits me like a brick. There are moments where I’m literally shocked to know they are no longer here. For years, I thought perhaps it was denial, but it wasn’t. It’s a part of the healing process. Grief never fully goes away. I compare it to having scars on your face. Some days, you may cover them up and conceal them completely shielding them from view, making you think you no longer have them; other days, they are out there, raw and fully exposed, reminding you of the heart break. Every so often, I get an urge to call my mom or dad, completely forgetting that it’s just not possible. 

10. “When you see your friends or even strangers with their mom or dad, you will sometimes be jealous. Envious of the lunch date they have. Downright pissed that your mom can’t plan your baby shower. Big life events are never ever the same again.”

For me, it’s not so much jealousy or envy, but more of an ‘aww’ feeling. To see children with their parents, going out for lunch or spending time together is a true blessing, and I’m so happy seeing memories being created in front of my eyes. I take that and look at it as an opportunity to develop happy times with those in my life. It’s unfair to yourself if you take away the chance at smiles and laughter simply because your parents aren’t here. Every day is a new day to form stronger bonds with the people that you do have in your life – not more or less important than your parents. You have to allow yourself to be open and accept love from those you love so dearly. Yes, you can no longer have that with your parents but one day you’ll meet again. And if you’re spiritual and/or religious, you may find that you feel their presence often so they aren’t too far away.

This article really touched me in many ways, and I truly hope it helped you in one way or another. As I previously mentioned, I admire her openness and honesty, hence it was my inspiration for this take on my views.

 

Sincerely,

Love.

Let’s try it!

HI there! I can’t believe I’ve waited this long to share this amazing product, but better late than never! Bath & Body Works has a stress therapy lotion that I’ve been OBSESSED with. It’s official name is Aromatherapy Stress Relief Lotion. It comes in a couple different scents, but the one I’ve been diggin is the Eucalyptus Spearmint. Musky and strong, it reminds me of many of the lotions my husband uses because of its earthy tones. And yet, it’s super soft on your hands and feels fresh and clean. Because of its aromatherapy purpose, you should breathe deeply when you use it. Sure it doesn’t instantly fix all your troubles, but it’s oh so relaxing. And the scent is captivating. I fell in love with this so much that I couldn’t help but purchase it in body wash form.

If you’re looking for a new product that relieves stress simply by smelling amazing, go for this product. I’ve spoken to several people who are equally in love with this product. Every time I use it, people comment at how amazing it smells. It’s a must re-purchase with me, and at the rate I’m going, that’ll be sooner rather than later.

Eucalyptus Spearmint Body Lotion - Aromatherapy - Bath & Body Works

 

PinkHearts: What you give…

Hi and welcome back!

I’m sure you’ve heard of the word karma. In case you haven’t, it means what you give is what you get, in a nutshell. Your deeds, attitude, and overall actions have a way of coming back to you albeit good or bad. There are plenty of books on this topic, specifically about how the universe brings you what you put out there, and I have a fascination with the concept of this. Because it’s so hard to track and there is minimal fact based research, it’s quite unnerving to people who don’t necessarily believe in this ideology.

What you give out to the universe, you will receive abundantly in return. A lot of this has to do with your perspective and how you choose to process certain occurrences throughout the day. I’ve written more about this in another post so feel free to submerge in that reading. Essentially, how to decipher even the smallest of events creates a ripple effect onto other aspects of your life. For example, you wake up to a gloomy morning which puts you in a crabby state of mind. Sunshine makes you happy – not rain and gloom. Now because of your damper mood, you are more short tempered, releasing that negative energy onto those on the road, colleagues, and whoever else you encounter during the day. On the flip side, if you love rainy weather, you’re feeling ecstatic. You’re happier and excited for what’s to come in your day.  You are in control of your reaction, always, and you can turn a less than ideal reaction into something beautiful even if it’s your version of beautiful. We all have bad days, I get it. Please don’t take my words as a literal version of how to “be happy” or just have a “good attitude”. Everyone’s trials and hardships are so vastly different that there is no way flight to achieve your best life. So for me, my attitude is one of the only aspects of my life I am able to control, and that’s powerful.

Good deeds shouldn’t be done with the intent of wanting something in return. The feeling itself of helping someone in need is so fulfilling that nothing more is required, and yet, lo and behold, karma still comes back. Maybe not right away, maybe not in a month or even a year, but one day it will as long as you’re willing to recognize it. Our kindness builds on itself and in a subconscious way, trains us to have a brighter outlook. On the other hand, if you treat people unjustly, that too will come back to bite you. If at the end of the day, you only think about your own needs and desires without doing any due diligence to be a shoulder for someone to cry on, you’ll be left feeling empty in the long run. Now, without a doubt there are jerks in this world, but that’s the karma they have to live with, not you.

Recently a dear friend of mine experienced an unexpected, life changing moment. Standing inside his neon green restaurant peering out the windows, he noticed a car stopped across the street in an unusual spot, stopping halfway between the road and a parking lot. The constant movement inside the car can be seen. Instantly, he had a gut feeling that something was wrong. Assuming they must’ve been in a car accident, he ran across the desolate street to offer assistance. Inside was a woman in the drivers seat and a man in the passenger seat – a man who, without a doubt, needed a doctor right away. His head against the seat in an upright position, his eyes stoic and fixed in one position, and with his mouth slightly open. Bystanders had already called 911 but that was minutes ago and there were no noise of sirens anywhere to be heard. So from what he had learned from watching medical shows on tv, he began the resuscitation process being careful with every move he made. After minutes of this strenuous, panic inducing process, the man nudged him, indicating a sign he was doing better. Seconds later the ambulance arrived. He saved a man’s life. As my friend was telling us this incredible event, chills ran up and down my spine, tears welled up, and in that moment, I recognized how powerful your actions can truly be. When my husband called him a hero, he shrugged and said no, he was just doing what he could to help someone in need – which makes him even more of a hero. He may not have changed the entire world, but without a doubt, he changed someone’s entire world.

No matter how big or small your deeds are, do them. Be proud of the fact that in your own way, you’re making an impact on someone, and that can create a ripple effect in their own life.

Sincerely,

Love.

Facial TLC

Hi there,

Since it’s been a while since my last favorites post, I’ve had many updates and new products I’m dying to share! But for now, I wanted to focus on some facial tlc. Keep reading for my new discoveries and why I love ’em so much!

Masks:  I enjoy trying out new face masks, but because my skin is so sensitive I’m reluctant to just slabbing anything on. Trendy, high cost products just don’t sit well with me or my wallet. I went into Sephora looking for a mask that fits my skin type and discovered the White Mud Exfoliating Mask by Estee Edit. I was fortunate to try it on in the store, and knew I had to have it. I have combination skin, and weather is a huge factor in how oily or dry it’ll be. This mask is 2 in 1 – exfoliator and mask. The microscopic beads are so smooth that it really digs deep into pores and is gentle on sensitive areas of the face. Once you exfoliate, just leave the mask on your face for 5 minutes. While rinsing, I’ll exfoliate once more while removing the product. It is super hydrating and my skin is left feeling fresh and soft. It’s a mid range product – definitely more than what I normally pay but worth the bucks in my opinion. Buy it here!

 

Cleanser:  In my original favorites post, I raved about Cetaphil and how gentle it was on my skin. With that said, my skin needed a refresher. It was getting too comfortable with Cetaphil and stopped feeling as fresh as it should. SO while in my recent Sephora trip, I purchased Murad Clarifying Cleanser. I love how minty and refreshing it is, and you can instantly feel it tingle on your skin. The application tip is an added bonus as it releases just the right amount of product without it going to waste. I have started alternating my face cleansers (roughly 5 times a week using Murad and the other 2 with Cetaphil). I especially love it in the mornings as it instantly provides a cooling effect and wakes me up. On my acne prone skin, Murad has been working wonders thus far. If you’re in the market for something new for your skin that’s different than many products you may have tried, I’d definitely try this out. Check it out!

Toner:   Following your cleansing routine, it’s important to go in with some toner. Now I must admit, I have been on and off with this part of the process, but I have noticed a huge difference in my skin when I’m consistent with toning after cleansing. The toner is alcohol based so it is quite strong on the skin but that’s one of my favorite parts. You instantly feel it working. At first, the sensation took my aback because it was quite tingly, but after a few seconds, that feeling subsides and you’re left with clean skin. Use it with an exfoliating cotton pad for the most bang for your buck. It penetrates the skin, removing any residual makeup leftover after cleansing. And it’s my favorite part of the process. Click to tone!

 

Finish off with your favorite moisturizer and you’re good to go! I will be talking about some more favorites later on this month so stay tuned.

Note: Everyone has different skin types so these products may or may not be suitable for you. Always test before diving right in to ensure you’ve found what works for you!

Sincerely, Love.