• Yummy Recipes

    Pumpkin-Apple Pie Oatmeal

    I’ve been greatly enjoying this little breakfast concoction a ton lately. It’s the perfect tasty recipe to satisfy you until you enjoy the large Thanksgiving feast later in the day. This meal evokes the scents and flavors of autumn, but it can be enjoyed year-round.

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    Serving Size: 1

    Ingredients:

    • 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
    • 1 cup of water
    • 2+ generous spoonfuls of pumpkin puree
    • Turmeric
    • Ground cloves
    • Ground cinnamon
    • Ground nutmeg
    • One apple diced (save one half of diced apple for later)
    • Raw pumpkin seeds

    In a small pot, add old fashioned oats, water, and half of the diced apple**. Set to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally.

    Once oatmeal is simmering, add the desired amount of pumpkin puree. Stir. Then sprinkle in a generous amount (to taste) of the spices and stir them in.

    When the oatmeal has thickened, turn off the stove and serve with the other half of the diced apple and pumpkin seeds. You can also sprinkle more cinnamon on top.

    **Adding the apples with the oatmeal will soften them but still leave them a teeny bit crunchy. If you want softer apples, cook them with some water before adding the oatmeal.

    If you try this recipe, let me know how you enjoy it! Have a great Thanksgiving everyone!

    xx Vic

  • Yoga

    Some Challenges of Being a New Yoga Instructor

    I’ve been teaching yoga for about two months now, isn’t that crazy?

    Anyway, teaching has been going really well. I work at an awesome community center at 5:45am on Fridays, which is very early, but it’s a wonderful way to start the day. The women I teach leave feeling empowered and I leave feeling energized. Serving as a yoga instructor is all that I thought it would be, and more. I’m so grateful to be able to teach, especially because yoga job opportunities seemed bleak when I graduated.

    While I love teaching yoga, I’ve come across a few challenges in the last two months that I want to explore. I’d like to find some solutions so if any of you have suggestions, please comment below!

    Some Challenges of Being a New Yoga Instructor

    1. Engaging with students

    I feel hypocritical to acknowledge this yet also self-aware, but I have somehow fallen into the trap of doing what I’ve criticized yoga teachers for doing, which you can read in this previous post.  To summarize, I don’t know my students’ names and lately, I haven’t been offering individualized modifications.

    I learned to teach yoga without using my own mat so I would do minimal demonstrations. Now, I bring my mat with me and I tend to find myself hovering on it rather than walking around and looking at my students’ bodies. Last week I left my mat at home to hinder me from demonstrating, but I still had a difficult time engaging with my students.

    Perhaps I feel dissuaded from offering individualized modifications since the last few times I did it, one student, in particular, was resistant to it and basically ignored me. This isn’t an excuse not to offer modifications to other students though. This week I aspire to look at bodies more closely so I can make recommendations.

    In regards to not knowing my students’ names…I just need to learn them. I excused myself for a while for not knowing their names because the class is so early in the morning and people aren’t particularly talkative or because nobody seemed to be a regular. Now, I finally have a group of regulars and there are only four peoples’ names I don’t know. I will learn them this week.

    2. Connecting to the local yoga community 

    I’m unsure how to resolve this other than getting a membership at a local studio. To be honest, I don’t want to do that because yoga memberships are expensive and I don’t know how much I’d use it since my schedule is so volatile these days. I have a membership at the community center I work at and I barely go as it is!

    I’d love to connect with the yoga community where I work but it’s difficult to do so because I teach so early in the AM so no other teachers or students are present. Most of the yoga classes at the community center are later in the morning, which so far has been when I’m working. They also don’t have classes later than 7pm and during my last job, I was still working at that time. Once I have a regular schedule I can probably figure out how to attend yoga classes at the center regularly. Until then, I think I have to rely on an online yoga community and the community I create with my students.

    3. Integrating spirituality into classes

    Since I’m not working at a yoga studio, there isn’t much spiritual integration in yoga classes I’ve attended at the community center. This is a little frustrating since I’ve become more interested in the spiritual nature of Yoga rather than the physical practice. Currently, I don’t even “Om” in class. I hope to integrate this by the end of the year and then teach classes that incorporate the chakras. More research is necessary to do this but I think it’d be awesome!

    4. Maintaining a strong personal practice

    As a result of limited community class availability, as well as dealing with my own hectic schedule, it has become difficult to maintain my own daily practice.

    Oh, an injury has discouraged me from maintaining a daily practice too. I somehow injured my right hip flexor about two weeks ago, which was extremely painful and debilitating for over a week. The pain woke me up in the middle of the night and I had to pick up my leg to get into the car…it was horrible. The pain is minimal now, but the muscle is still tender and healing, so I have to be extra cognizant of how I feel during my practice.

    I would be less upset by the sudden inconsistency of my practice if I at least meditated and/or journaled instead, but I find that if I don’t do the Asana, I rarely take the initiative to do the more spiritual work.

    A yoga community would help foster a regular and strong yoga practice, which is super important to have as a teacher. The classes I take from others, whether that be via YouTube, an app, or in the presence of a teacher, inspire the classes that I teach. Due to the weakening of my yoga practice, I have not been as inspired as I’d like to be. I’ve actually become a little jaded with the classes that I do teach because I struggle with switching classes up. Since I’m not working now, I need to carve out time weekly to take yoga classes from others. Whenever I do resume working, I will have to determine how to continue a strong practice.

    5. Continuing the study of Yoga

    I believe that continuing to study Yoga, and by that I mean the Eight Limbs of Yoga, excluding Asana, is the most important activity a yoga teacher should do. Yes, I can learn more about the other limbs by taking classes, but I think learning is done more effectively when you’re studying traditionally, ie reading lots of books.

    I have at least two Yoga books I want to finish reading, one of which is all about the chakras so that would be useful for the chakra series I want to teach. I have other Yogic books I want to read when I finish those two books too…it’s just a matter of carving out the time to read them.

    It’d also be helpful if I had a yoga mentor to sit and talk with too. One of the yoga teachers that ran the training is local to me so maybe I’ll reach out to her to talk about the Sutras or something.

     

    So…I suppose that even when you “graduate” from yoga teacher training, or from University, or from anything…there is always more learning to do. Being an expert in anything is a lot of work because the world is always changing thus there is always more to learn about the present in addition to the past.

    It’s helpful that I spent some time to write about the challenges I have as a teacher because this helps to hold myself accountable. Again, I’d love any suggestions anyone has to offer too!

    xx Vic

     

     

  • Red leaves on a large tree
    Short Stories

    To the Ones I Used to Know

    Most of you are alive, but to me, you only continue to exist on the page. Specifically, the pages of my blog.

    The structured black words on my blog have memorialized most of you, so if you ever forget about those times we stayed up too late, got in trouble, kissed, or argued, you can probably find those memories here. They did happen, I promise. I was there and I wrote about them.

    I’m not saying this because I’m trying to prove something to you. I don’t need to prove anything. Believe me or not, the evidence that we associated at all is here. It’s just a little unsettling sometimes.

    My writings are all I need to be flung back into the past when we sat next to each other at dinner, slept next to each other in bed, or were even in the same room together. Every time I read my old writings, it’s like watching a movie I hadn’t seen in years. I know how it ends, but I forgot the journey to the ending.

    But then again, that is why I maintain a blog: I write about the journey so I don’t forget.

    Most of you that I’ve journeyed with are gone from my life, yet your impact is undeniably relevant even to this day. Your impact lives in my words on the page.

    Thank you for sharing some of your time with me.

    xx Vic

  • beauty and fashion

    8 Fall Festive Outfits of the Day #OOTD

    Autumn is my favorite season, thus my wardrobe has been very autumn-esque since August! I always take poor quality photos of my outfits, but I haven’t shared any of them on my blog since 2014!! So today, before the holiday season takes over, I thought it’d be fun to share some of my favorites this season. One day I will take photos with better quality and with better lighting, but in the meantime, bear with me.

    Hocus Pocus Forever

    My girlfriend kindly surprised me with this Binx bag from Disney’s recent Hocus Pocus collection. I’m obsessed with this bag and I’ve been using it nonstop. It’s the perfect mix of eccentric and practical.

    The shirt is also from Disney’s Hocus Pocus collection! The front says: Don’t light the black flame candle, and the back is pictured below.

    My sister has glow-in-the-dark shirt Disney Halloween shirt. Disney had some awesome gear this year!

    Plaid Party!

    The outfit above features my pastel pumpkin-colored pants from Hollister! I purchased these about three years ago when my sister was working at Hollister and I was working at Abercrombie. I matched my pants with an orange stone necklace my late grandmother had given me. Peep my green Halloween socks with witches!

    The second plaid outfit above is newer. I purchased the pants from Target’s latest collection. They are comfy yet kind of stiff and loose…basically, the quality isn’t amazing but they will do for now. They look very cute though!

    My shirt is from Abercrombie from about a year ago. My bag is Binx obviously, but in this photo, you can see my witch hand sanitizer case more clearly! That hand sanitizer case was part of a set from Bath and Body Works, the other one being a vampire, which my sister has. They have magnets inside so they connect when they’re next to each other, it’s very cute. Also, I’m holding my Buffy comic book because Buffy is the best thing ever.

    Working Girl

    These next few outfits aren’t all super fall-esque, but they’re very cute!

    This was my first day of work outfit! It features old pants that need to be donated and my mom’s old shirt and sweater. The necklace is a jasper and turquoise necklace, which matches the details on my shirt.

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    My mom got me the pants above recently for work! They’re from Kohl’s and they’re quite funky since they’re a black and white checkered pattern and ankle-length. They’re stretchy, comfy, and high-waisted, and I felt fabulous in this look! The shirt is also from Kohl’s but it’s about four years old now.

    Casual Working Girl

     

    The sweater above is my mom’s old sweater, and I really love it. The style is fun and perfect for fall. I wore it with my light grey jeans, which remind me of scarecrows because they’re frayed at the ankles, from TJ Maxx.

    This look is one of my favorites! I bought the earrings from the yoga studio I attended in the summer. They’re blue on the outside and orange in the center. I matched the earrings with the pendant that my step-grandma’s mom had, and this orange shirt my mom got me from the clearance section at Old Navy!

    The sweater is my mom’s and the pants are the same grey ones from TJ Maxx.

    Halloween!

    My Halloween look this year included my witch sweater from TJ Maxx and my Buffy cosplay coat from Hot Topic’s Buffy 20-year Anniversary collection last year! It has beautiful details that only Buffy fans would understand. I also wore Halloween bat earrings from Betsy Johnson, but I didn’t snap a pic of them.

    Those are all my fall-festive outfits! Did you like this series? Should I bring it back?

    Let me know in the comments below!

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    My Birthday Week Recap!

    My 23rd birthday was definitely one of the more epic ones!

    6 November – Election Day

    First of all, our campaign was victorious! It was such a great feeling, especially since it was the last day of the job. All of those long hours really paid off. We won by 53%, which makes it even crazier because if we hadn’t been campaigning, the Referendum that we were advocating for definitely wouldn’t have passed.

    We all celebrated at a local bar, and my boss and my family friend kept buying everyone rounds of drinks to celebrate. Since my birthday was only a few hours away (it was the day after Election Day), my family friend kept insisting we do toasts, not only for our success, but also for my birthday. Then my boss, his girlfriend, and I went to another local bar and had a drink there. We waited until it was midnight, AKA officially my birthday, and then he got me an Uber home.

    7 November – My Birthday!

    The next day I was quite hungover, which was a little annoying but thankfully I wasn’t nauseous. I just had a headache from dehydration from all of the cheap glasses of wine I had consumed.

    My girlfriend came by early in the day to take me to my car, which I had left at the first bar. Then I dropped the car off and we went to my favorite Thai place for lunch! Afterwards, we went to my alma mater to hang out until I went to dinner with my family.

    My second favorite place to eat is a Spanish restaurant which is located where I went to school, and that is where I ate with my family! This was the third year in a row that I’ve eaten there for my birthday because the food is absolutely divine and the atmosphere is wonderful as well. My last two birthdays have been on a Monday and a Tuesday though, so they weren’t particularly lively when we went out to eat at the restaurant. This year, however, my birthday was on a Wednesday and they had live music! I love live music, so I was living it up. It was some groovy salsa band and they were fantastic!

    Here are some pictures of what we ate!

    Homemade guacamole with a variety of homemade plantain, sweet potato, radish, and potato chips
    Homemade guacamole with a variety of homemade plantain, sweet potato, radish, and potato chips
    Vaca frita con maduros y arroz con abichuelas and a white sangria
    Vaca frita con maduros y arroz con abichuelas and a white sangria
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    Yucca fries

    8 November

    IMG_2733

    The day after my birthday I bought these beautiful boots that I’m obsessed with, thanks to my grandparents! They’re by Marc Fisher, whom I’m only familiar with because I had purchased a pair of boots by him two years ago! Those boots are only booties though, whereas these are killer tall boots! The story behind them is pretty amusing too…

    I went to DSW to search for booties without a heel because I only have one pair without a heel. I tried on about twenty pairs of booties, but I didn’t love any of them and the ones that I did like didn’t fit my feet right. They were either oddly too loose or too tight. Even my mom tried some of the booties on and noticed that they weren’t fitting properly.

    After being disappointed with the booties, I decided to try on tall boots. I have two pairs of tall boots but only one of them is more “professional,” so I thought another nicer pair would be great. My mom found these and I tried them on, and it was like a Cinderella moment! The shoes fit like a glove! When I was walking around to see how they felt, a shopper stopped and stared at me and said, “Wow, those are nice boots.” Then I turned around to show her the back of the boots where the studs were, and she was pretty stunned. I then decided that those boots were mine, and I’m so glad because I love them so much!

    9 November

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    My mom is having the bathroom redone so they turned off the water for a few hours. Thus, I took advantage of the community center yoga class and shower that day! I took a great class and then I took a nice hot shower and got super fancy for the day, including my beautiful new boots!

    Then I went to lunch with a friend from high school who I hadn’t seen in over a year. We caught up at Panera, then migrated to Starbucks. My girlfriend had a job interview in the area so she came by to join us. Then we got two bottles of wine from the liquor store and took the party back to my parents’ house, where they were having their own little gathering. We all drank wine and ate my mom’s burgers and chatted, it was so much fun! Then we watched the first episode of the new Sabrina series on Netflix. Unfortunately, I don’t have a photo with my friend, but I will see her one more time before she goes back to New Hampshire!

    10 November

    On Saturday, my girlfriend and I went into the city! We were going to go to a museum but by the time we arrived, neither of us wanted to go. We ended up walking around to see the local sites instead.

    Macy’s had already decorated the store inside and Bryant Park was bustling with shoppers at the boutiques, people dining, and ice skaters. My girlfriend wanted to ice skate but I don’t enjoy ice skating so we ate poutine with duck bacon instead. It was fun to be in such a busy and festive environment!

    Then we went to the Amazon bookstore! I had been meaning to go there for a few months but I never had the chance. The Amazon bookstore is different than other bookstores because they include the star rating of the book as well as a quote from a reviewer. They also do what Amazon is famous for doing, which is suggesting books you may like based on a book you have read. For example, they had a shelf saying if you read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, you may like other poetry books. Amazon’s bookstore also included some Amazon technology. It was a cool environment. I don’t believe they included book prices though…

    After the bookstore, we walked to Rockefeller to check out the tree! It was also a bustling environment but it wasn’t as fun as Bryant Park was.

    11 November

    On Sunday, I spent my day crocheting myself a new hat! The last time I made a hat for myself was four or five years ago, but I had loomed it. You can see it in the photos of me in NYC, but below is a better picture of the type of yarn. It’s a beautiful yarn but it’s not very warm and it’s just time I made myself a new one! So I followed a tutorial on YouTube, which was surprisingly super easy, and now I have a nice new hat! I’d like to get a pompom for the top of it.

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    My old loomed hat

    That sums up my birthday week! It was such a fun time and I’m grateful to have concluded my 23rd year on Earth, in this lifetime, with people I care about.

    Now I’m back to reality, which includes finding a new job and resuming studying for the GRE. I have a new strategy for getting a job this time…I’ll talk about it more if it works out.

    xx Vic

  • Speaking My Mind

    Twenty-Three

    I can’t believe my birthday is tomorrow because October seems to have come and gone so quickly. I did my best to enjoy October, although I didn’t get to watch all the Halloween movies I wanted to because my work schedule is so hectic. I also wasn’t able to go apple picking or carve a pumpkin, but I’ll try to do those things next year!

    Anyway…aside from a family birthday dinner, I don’t have anything special planned this year. I’d like to go to the city this weekend but we’ll see how it goes. In the meantime, I thought it’d be fun to revisit my birthday posts on my blog since I’ve written birthday posts since 2013! Time really does fly…

    Eighteen

    Nineteen

    Twenty

    Twenty-one

    Twenty-two

    I hope y’all had a wonderful Halloween and I hope November is going well so far for you! Today is my last day of work and I’m working like 12 hours, so my birthday tomorrow will be extra sweet since it’ll be a well-deserved break. After today I should have more time to write so there will be more blog posts coming soon!

    xx Vic

  • Poetry

    Oh, The Horror

    [A double feature
    That defines the human race
    With science fiction]

    They were just married
    Sought help at Frankenstein’s Place
    During the downpour

    What they were in for
    They did not quite understand
    ‘Til the Time Warp dance

    From Translyvania
    Was a transvestite convention
    And new inventions

    Frank N. Furter
    Brought Rocky to life, to love
    Someone for himself

    Then things got crazy
    Seduction caused destruction
    Concluded with dance

    Some odd people died
    But the newlyweds survived
    They went home that night…

    [Humans are insects,
    Crawling on the planet’s face
    Without true meaning]

    © 2013-2018 Vic Romero

    HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

     

  • Speaking My Mind

    Plant-Based and Sugar-Free Living

    I’ve changed my diet a bit more since my last post, so I thought it was about time to update y’all! I have now excluded all sugar from my diet, including honey. I’ve also been eating plant-based as much as possible, with the goal of one plant-based meal per day. Usually, I eat some sort of animal protein for dinner.

    Cutting out sugar has been harder than reducing my meat intake. Sugar is addictive, so the difficulty can probably be attributed mostly to that, although I do love sweets in general. Now, when I crave chocolate (yes, I’ve even reduced my chocolate intake. When I do eat chocolate, I eat 85% cacao because there is less sugar), I opt for fruit. My go-to fruits lately have been apples and grapes. I like to pair my apples with grocery store-made almond butter. They make the almond butter there for you and it’s delicious!

    Overall, I enjoy eating a more plant-based diet. It feels better in my body and I get to support local farmers because I buy most of my produce from them! I’ve been using Sahara Rose’s new Ayurvedic cookbook to make plant-based meals, and they’ve been so tasty. I can talk about recipes I’ve been trying from her book another time, but I highly recommend you check out her book.

    One day, I would like to be vegetarian, but I’m hesitant to do so now because over the summer I lost a couple of pounds…which isn’t bad necessarily, my weight does fluctuate a little bit, but I’m afraid I’d lose more weight by becoming vegetarian. I’m also afraid of having vitamin deficiencies. Plus I don’t want to have such a prohibitive diet because cutting out dairy and sugar are difficult enough…to exclude animal protein would be even harder. So for now, I’m just doing the best that I can to eat lots of veggies and plant-protein while avoiding sugar and dairy.

    xx Vic

  • Holding hands on the train
    Poetry

    When You Meet Your Soulmate

    She pursued me with

    An intensity I had never experienced before.

    It was electrifying, yet terrifying

    I was afraid to get too close

    Afraid to touch

    I didn’t want to be shocked

    By the electricity that coursed between us

    Gosh, this type of love is dangerous

    It’s passionate yet soft

    Curious yet hesitant…

    I wasn’t ready for this

    Was I?

    I wasn’t expecting this

    Why not?

    I didn’t have all the answers

    I just didn’t want her to stop

    Wanting me

     

    © 2018 Vic Romero 

    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  • Speaking My Mind

    13 Days

    Finally, a moment to sit and write.

    This past week has been hectic because of my temporary full-time job, so I apologize for my absence. Whenever I return home from work, I want to numb my mind by watching TV, but I’ve been too tired to even do that.

    Anyway…I wanted to chat about my personal life because it has undergone a serious transformation. Namely, my relationship with my family has changed. This has been an ongoing transformation since I moved back home, I just hadn’t thought about writing about it because…I’ve had so many other things I wanted to say I suppose. Plus, sometimes I focus on negative things when I write rather than positive things, and what I want to talk about is extremely positive. It’s still a little surreal to me because I would have never thought, four years ago, that I’d be where I am now.

    One of the first great things that have been going on with me is that I haven’t been fighting with my mom at all. Both she and I have grown so much and we handle our volatile emotions so much better. We both utilize different methods to control our emotions such as a spiritual practice, writing, and Yoga. My mom and I actually share Yoga together now because she attends the class I teach on Friday mornings. It’s a really nice way to spend a little time together because, during the week, both her and I work a lot, so we don’t get to talk much. Yoga on Friday mornings is a beautiful way to check in with each other as well as start our day on the right foot. It’s really sweet we practice together too because she was the first one to suggest I do yoga teacher training, and here I am, now certified and teaching a class that she can attend. It’s so lovely.

    My girlfriend has been coming by the house weekly since September or so, which has been great. Aside from being able to see my girlfriend, my parents are able to see her and get to know her, which is helpful to make them feel more comfortable with my sexuality. My mom really likes her (she told me!) and we all chitchat and drink wine together. It’s so much fun! I never thought that’d happen!

    My aunt invited my girlfriend to Thanksgiving, so my girlfriend is coming. My aunt most likely knows my girlfriend is my girlfriend due to my social media, but the rest of my family probably doesn’t. My girlfriend will be introduced as my friend just to avoid drama at my aunt’s house. My relatives that know me will know though, which is all that matters to me.

    I’ll have to update y’all after Thanksgiving to share how it all went down. In the meantime, I will be trying to enjoy any bits of Halloween that I can! I haven’t watched any Halloween movies yet, which is tragic because there are only 13 days left. I probably will be watching Halloween movies until after Thanksgiving.

    xx Vic

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