Today would have been the second-year anniversary with my ex. Although we didn’t quite make it to two years as a couple, she was part of my life for more than two years and…I didn’t realize how much of an influence she had on me until she was gone. She has seemingly tainted everything.
Parts of my wardrobe were either gifts from her or they are from activities that we did together. Places we went together, that I still frequent, remind me of her. Some items I use daily are gifts from her. She’s permeated most, if not all, aspects of my life.
I also hadn’t realized until recently that it was never possible for things to end well between us because we hadn’t been on the same wavelength for a long time. So…processing that has been devastating.
A few other things have been difficult to process as well lately.
Tomorrow my cousin would have turned twenty-eight. I wish she was still here with us.
I haven’t really talked about this much, if at all, but my mom is beginning treatment next week for her cancer. She was diagnosed the day after my cousin passed away, so it’s not exactly a new situation. She’s doing well, but what she is enduring is scary and exhausting. This will be her first time doing any type of treatment. Yoga has been helping her tremendously though. She goes to all of my yoga classes and has been practicing pranayama (breathing) and mindfulness in her everyday life, especially when she goes to the doctor. I’m really proud of her.
Then things will become a little sunnier.
A few weeks after she begins treatment, my sister will graduate from college. I’m so proud of my sister, but I can’t believe how fast time flies.
The week after my mom is finished with treatment and after my sister graduates, my family and I are going on a much-needed and well-deserved vacation to Disney to celebrate all of the endings and to welcome the new beginnings.
So…while April may be a difficult month, it’s watering the soil to support growth in May. Hopefully there will be many flowers.
Recently I bought a bunch of professional clothes before I knew I was going to be working in a casual office. By “casual,” I mean Uggs and leggings or jeans and t-shirts. It’s very casual. That may be partially attributed to the fact that I work in a warehouse as opposed to the sleek corporate office I was in before.
So now, I’m one of the most fashionable and probably the most over-dressed employees. I’m okay with that though. I’m used to standing out a bit due to my consistently eclectic wardrobe. I don’t think I was nominated for “Most Unique” in high school because I’m weird. I mean…I am weird, but who isn’t?!
Below are some new outfits I’ve worn recently that I love. Scroll through, be inspired, and enjoy!
1. Burnt Orange Delight
I am obsessed with this dress!!! It’s a Free People dress, but my mom got it for me on clearance at Macy’s. I love Free People, but not the prices of their clothing. Thankfully their goods can be found on sale at Macy’s or TJ Maxx! You can’t really tell in the picture, but the dress wraps around the waist and I tie it in a bow in the back. I love it. It makes me feel simultaneously feminine, flirty, and professional.
My earrings are paintings of coquis, or frogs found in Puerto Rico. My mom bought them for me on one of her trips to Puerto Rico to visit my grandma. My orange gemstone necklace is a stone that my dad’s mom had. My aunt made all of the gemstones she had into necklaces and gave them to all of my cousins. I chose the orange one. The smaller necklace is a sweet charm my maternal grandparents got for me.
My shoes are one of my new purchases and the brand is Indigo Rd. I adore the color, and they’re surprisingly super comfortable. I wore them when I visited my friend a few weekends ago, and we did a ton of walking and they didn’t bother my feet at all. (I have very flat feet, so comfortable footwear is extremely important to me).
2. Pretty in Pink
I am obsessed with this skirt!!! I bought a ton of colorful professional skirts from Express for spring/summer, and they are all fantastic. Right now I’m attracted to hot pink, which is kind of unexpected for me. Then again, I have loved the color in the past…but my relationship with hot pink is complicated, to say the least.
The color of this skirt is technically called Flamingo Pink, which causes me love it even more because it reminds me of a project I did in 3rd grade about the species. Did you know that flamingoes get their pink color from shrimp??
My shirt is my mom’s old shirt, and my mom got me those cool, flower-printed tights a few years ago. My heeled-booties were a gift for either my twentieth or twenty-first birthday. They’re Marc Fisher. I love that brand.
My Betsey Johnson earrings are a gift from my mom back when I was in high school. My heart chain necklace is a hand-me-down from my step-grandma’s mom. Lastly, my green flower necklace is something I pulled out from the depths of my dusty closet. I probably bought it in middle school.
3. Angsty Holiday Cheer
This skirt is so unique! My mom got it for me from Kohl’s around the holidays, which is why it has a wintery plaid print. I’m wearing it with a red sweater from Old Navy and super old lace-up boots from Aldo.
A perk to working in a casual office is that I can integrate some of my edgier pieces into my outfits, such as these boots! My mom got these Aldo boots for me a few years ago to replace a pair just like them that I had back in high school.
My necklace is another hand-me-down from my step-grandma’s mom. My earrings here are also Betsey (I love her stuff) and I’ve also had them since high school.
4. Chic yet Fiery Professional
I planned my outfit around these new shoes I got on clearance at DSW. I’ve been looking for a loafer to wear during the warmer months because I won’t be able to wear my wonderful tall boots during that time. I have several heels that I can wear, but I didn’t have a nice flat shoe, until now!
The shirt is my mom’s old button-up and the sweater is a gift from my maternal grandparents from Eddie Bauer. My pants are from Kohl’s, and they’re super soft and stretchy.
My shoes are Franco Sarto. I love the silver heel accent.
I’ve had my necklace since middle school. I got it from a woman who had a jewelry shop in her basement.
5. Busy Bee
I actually got a few compliments on this outfit at work!
My skirt is from Express, and it actually has pockets as you can see below. I love that it has a paper-bag feel with the ruffly top. My shirt is from Abercrombie and Fitch.
When I was looking for loafers, I came across this pair of shoes by Naturalizers. I didn’t need them, but I loved them and I am a big fan of this brand. I have a few other pairs Naturalizers. Their footwear is very comfortable and they have excellent styles.
When I brought these shoes home, my mom loved them shoes so she got herself a pair too haha
My flower bracelet is Betsey Johnson. I got it for my 8th-grade graduation with a matching necklace, earrings, and ring.
I’m only wearing the matching earrings for this look though. They’re bees! They match my yellow and black ascetic perfectly!
6. Ice Queen/Silver Everything!
I don’t think I’ve worn this much silver/grey before, but I definitely want to do it more often! I felt so chic.
My sister got me this sweater from Aerie when they came in a truck to sell things on campus. It’s super soft and I love the glitter in it! My pants are from Kohl’s, and I adore the pattern and zipper accents. You can see a better picture of them below.
My new shoes scream Duckie from Pretty in Pink. I love them so much not only because they feel so 80s (I love 80s stuff), but also because the color is so unique and I’m a big fan of buckles. They’re just a super cool pair of shoes. I wish I had found them sooner, although I don’t know if they existed until now.
Anyway, my mom got them for me spontaneously when we were returning a pair of shoes to DSW. We found them in the clearance section, and they seemed destined for my feet. They’re Bleecker and Bond.
My ex got me these wonderfully warm, furry, and glittery socks from DSW. The socks look beautiful with my shoes.
My necklace was a gift from my maternal grandparents. I probably got it in high school, so I don’t know where it’s from. My earrings are simple and I think they’re from Kohl’s.
That’s all for now! I’ll be sure to share my other looks soon!
What was your favorite look? Where do you like to shop? Let me know in the comments!
I apologize for my absence last week. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold on my first day of work, so when I wasn’t working, I was sleeping. I’m grateful to report that I feel significantly better and that I’m back to my regular self!
Aside from being sick, the last few weeks have been insightful and exciting. Before I started my new job, I took advantage of being unemployed by going on small adventures.
The first two days of the week, I subbed at my previous temp job so I got some extra spending cash for my adventures. On Wednesday, I went to my alma mater and ate lunch with my sister. Then I spontaneously had dinner with my ex. On Thursday, I caught up with my friends from my Europe travels. It’s always wonderful to see them. Friday, after teaching my AM yoga class, I went to the city with my sister. Because it was so nice out, we walked a ton, it was fantastic. Then on Saturday, I visited a friend’s new apartment and neighborhood. The area had such a LGBTQ/hipster environment, it was cool to experience. On top of everything, I subbed for a yoga instructor all weekend.
I suspect all the adventures, plus subbing all the yoga classes, were taxing on my immune system, causing me to get sick. It was well worth it though.
Last Monday, I began my new job! I’ve been enjoying it a lot. My boss is kind and supportive, my coworkers are lovely and helpful, and the work has been challenging and exciting. The only thing I’m having a bit of a difficult time with at this new job is the amount of sitting I do all day.
I’ve worked in an office before, so it’s not like I’m completely unaccustomed to a desk job. However, the previous office I was at was larger, so important places like the bathroom, the printer, and the kitchen were further apart, thus I walked more. The office I’m at now is significantly smaller, so I take probably 10 steps total to either go to the makeshift kitchen, to get something from the printer, and to go to the bathroom. All the sitting causes me to feel antsy, so sometimes I stand at my desk while I work. Unfortunately, the desk is not accommodating for working while standing, so I can’t stand for very long. I may get something on Amazon to make my desk and thus my workspace more comfortable. And/or I may go on a brief walk during my lunch break. If you have suggestions or thoughts, please share in the comments!
Another new thing going on in my life: last week I taught my first yin class at the local community center/gym I regularly teach at. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to teach an additional class and to teach a different yoga discipline. I am continuing to research workshops to take to expand my knowledge so I can integrate it into my classes. I have one in particular that I most certainly want to do, it’s just a matter of finding the courage to register.
That’s about it for me. A lot of new seeds have been planted before the Spring Equinox. I’m eager to see what blooms.
This is a list of my favorite items from Christmas. Not all of them are gifts, but most of them are. The gifts I received this year were particularly thoughtful and I love them.
1. The toasted tartelette eyeshadow palette by tarte
I used to rock all sorts of colorful eyeshadow looks, some of which you can find on my website by searching “Lookbook.” After my cousin passed away, however, I veered away from eyeshadow in favor of just eyeliner because I was depressed and I also didn’t want to spend the time doing my makeup anymore.
When I went to Ulta with my mom for the annual holiday sale, I picked up this sophisticated palette because I wanted to explore my makeup creativity again. This palette has more sophisticated shades than my older ones, making this palette more versatile for all occasions. I’ve greatly enjoyed creating dramatic looks and neutral looks with these warm shades!
2. Yoga Bolster
I asked my mom for a bolster for yoga for Christmas, and she delivered! She got it at Walmart so I assume that the price was reasonable, although I know they have reasonable ones on Amazon too. I love having a bolster for my home practice. It totally elevates my yoga experience. Plus, it matches my yoga mat so nicely!
3. Gluten-Free Holiday Doughnuts
My parents met someone that owns a gluten-free bakery, and they only make doughnuts on the weekend. My dad got twelve of them because they looked so pretty! They were tasty too, but I barely ate one because they’re very sweet and I try not to consume sugar.
4. BBC Radio Production of Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
My favorite type of podcasts are ones that are basically old-school radio shows: there are actors, sound effects, and lots of suspense/drama.
I wanted to read some Agatha Christie novels and when I saw that there are radio adaptations of her books available through my local library, I was so excited! This was incredibly entertaining to listen to, and I want to listen to the others!
5. Lush’s Mask of Magnaminty
This is an old favorite that I reintroduced to my daily routine. I mean, I don’t use it daily, but I use it several times a week (which may still be overkill). When I used it in college, I was always complimented on the pepperminty smell of it. It’s such a nice treat to start my morning with it because it’s invigorating and leaves my skin feeling luscious. They did increase the price a bit since I last bought it about three years ago, but I think it’s still worth it.
6. Lands’ End Holiday Slippers
My mom got me these for Christmas, aren’t they fun? Slippers are so useful and cozy, and I love the holiday cow on this pair!
7. Prep Naturals Mandoline Slicer
My dad surprised me this year by getting me this super thoughtful gift because he knows I like to cook and that I spend an exorbitant amount of time cutting produce. (In the past, he’s gotten me useful, albeit not for everyday-use items, such as a flashlight for your head). I love this gadget so far, but it can’t be used for all vegetables. For example, I tried cutting a pepper with it, but the pepper was too soft.
For veggies such as cucumbers, carrots, celery, and probably onions too, this is great! You can adjust how thick you want your produce sliced and it comes with a safety shield and glove! It also came with a spiralizer, which I’m dying to try.
8. Tea Strainer
I found this individual tea strainer on Amazon, and my lovely girlfriend got it for me for Christmas! It’s wonderful because it comes with a small dish to set the strainer in when you don’t need it anymore. There is also a nice long chain with a hook that you can use to hold the tea strainer in place.
My tea tastes so much better now that I’m not cooking it in the pot of hot water.
9. Immersion Blender
For some reason I didn’t take a picture of the box or of the item, so here is a picture of a sacral chakra soup I made with it! My girlfriend got me this too for Christmas. The blender has several speed settings and it also included a whisk that you can attach to the blender, it’s super nice! I’m eager to make other soups with this blender!
My sister got me this puzzle for Christmas because she saw a puzzle I had completed with my girlfriend so she assumed I enjoyed puzzles. I do enjoy puzzles, but I have never completed one of this magnitude before!
It’s fun to do the puzzle together though. We stay up late working on it and we listen to old classics like the Cheetah Girls and One Direction. It’s been a nice bonding activity. Hopefully, we will complete it before she returns to school!
For the first time in four years, I had an anxiety attack.
It completely caught me off-guard, despite the fact that I had been nervously calling my girlfriend, my sister, and my mom on the phone for an hour before it had happened. Also despite the fact that I’ve been practicing some negative daily habits for weeks as a result of a Vata-imbalance.
For me, that entails following my whims: I fall asleep whenever I want to (AKA never a reasonable hour), I sleep in late, I create ideas but I don’t bring them into reality, I stress-eat, I distract myself with interminable episodes New Girl (which is a great show), and I lack a routine for diet or otherwise.
Anyway, right before the anxiety attack, I was driving during one of the phone calls with my girlfriend, and my answers to her questions quickly became hysterical to the point where I couldn’t breathe and I had to pull over. It was horrible.
The last time this happened to me, I was preparing for midterms as a first semester, first-year student at a large University. I was also recuperating from an awful breakup, I was homesick, and I was just…learning how to flourish when everything was incredibly new and overwhelming.
I was afraid of failing my classes, nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make friends, and worried that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in college.
While my circumstances are completely different now– I’m a graduate of that University, I overcame homesickness, and I have an amazing relationship that is so much better than I could have imagined– I am now learning how to flourish as an adult. It’s incredibly new to me and it’s overwhelming.
I published a post recently about my fears, but they’re rather surface-level. My more deep-seated fears include being afraid of making a “wrong” decision, nervous to embark on something “too risky,” and worried that I can’t succeed in the real world.
All of these fears have ultimately culminated in the stunting of my growth. My fears have become my reality because I haven’t been challenging them…instead, I’ve been holding myself back to prevent myself from my perception of disaster. Then I’ve been blaming everyone else for holding me back.
After my anxiety attack, my sister pointed out that I have a difficult time making a decision because I have all these “ideas” but I hardly execute them. She also informed me that I doubt and second-guess myself consistently. How can I expect to move forward if my energy is so self-destructive?
Prior to the post about my fears, I wrote about manifesting and persistence. While they are extremely vital methods toward success, they are insufficient if the way I treat myself is negative. So, more importantly, how can I channel positive, confident, loving energy toward myself to raise my vibration and ultimately attract other high-vibe opportunities that would enable me to achieve my goals?
Well, this anxiety attack was a wake-up call that I’m not okay with holding myself back any longer. Now is the time to break this cycle and challenge my fears. Now is the time to take risks that may not always be successful, but that’s part of learning! Now is the time to try.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
These last few days have been emotionally tumultuous for me, so I’ve been recharging in Starbucks sipping on iced pumpkin spiced lattes. They’re a delicious treat and I feel a bit better after consuming them. It’s also nice to be out of my house considering I did not leave my house at all in the last two days…which is probably not healthy but I don’t really have anywhere to go these days. Not leaving my house is definitely one of the many reasons I feel emotionally out of balance as a Vata person.
In Ayuverda, which is the sister science to Yoga, I am predominantly a Vata person. I can explain this more in a different post, or you can look it up…but to explain briefly: Ayuverda is a method of characterizing everything in the universe, and there are three Doshas that can be used to describe it all in a very detailed manner. Everything has all three Doshas, but sometimes one is more prominent. Vata is only one of the Doshas, and in regards to how this Dosha appears in people, it includes being tall and slim, physically cold, creative, and idealistic. Some of the things that imbalance a Vata person are a lack of schedule, stress, and instability. I have been experiencing all three.
While I have stability in the sense that I have a roof over my head, clean water, and food, everything else in my life feels unstable. It’s the dance that all twenty-somethings that graduate from college have to do, and I feel like if someone were to rate my performance thus far, it’d be a lackluster rating.
The lack of a schedule, while everyone else is busy with school and/or work, is really getting to me now that my sister went back to school. For the first time since I was born, I’m living at home with only my parents around. It’s kind of weird honestly…so I’ve been spending a lot of time in my room.
There have been perks with that though because I’ve finally been making progress with my room. My mom bought me some new furniture to store items in and my room feels so much more peaceful. I have to tidy up my floor now and then do some more minor organizing, but I plan to get the biggest stuff finished this week. I will share pictures soon.
The only tasks on my schedule lately are job interviews, which is super stressful. All of my interviews have been phone interviews so I don’t have to go anywhere and I also haven’t been getting dressed for the day because I spend so much of my time at home. My interviews seem to be going well for the most part. I did have a terrible interview experience though…perhaps I’ll talk more about that in a different post.
I know I have said this before, but maybe it really is time to look for part-time work? At this point, based off of my interviews, I won’t be working until October 1st at the earliest, but that’s assuming I get second-interviews and then a job offer before then. If that doesn’t happen, I may end up not working until December, January, or even later. Ideally, I’d like my part-time work to be yoga related…but considering how volatile my self-esteem is these days, it’s so hard to put myself out there face-to-face with someone. My girlfriend recommended I put teaching yoga on the back-burner for now because when the time is right for me to teach, I will be able to teach. I do have a yoga audition today though…but yeah maybe I’ll hold off on it for a while.
It feels like I’m just “holding off” on everything. I’m postponing taking the GRE, applying to grad schools, and thus, attending grad school. I am also postponing getting a yoga job and it seems like the universe has decided for me that I am postponing working full-time for at least another month.
People don’t talk truthfully enough about the frustration, depression, and self-doubt that comes with graduating from college and then trying to get a job. I feel like people only talk about those feelings in hindsight once they get a job, so their perspective on the situation is different at that point. They see their challenges through rose-colored glasses because they had overcome the job-hunting challenge.
Well let me be honest: post-grad life is grueling.
College is super stressful, but this is a whole different type of stress because you will be on your own and you will be trying to be an “adult.” Plus you will get asked by everyone you interact with the dreaded “so what are you doing now that you graduated?” and as the months go by and if you still don’t have an answer, you will seem and you will feel more pathetic. All you will do is worry because you won’t want to dread that question, you will want to answer it and you willwant to be excited about your answer, but you will have no idea what/when/how you will have the answer.
Every job application you send out will feel desperate and you will just hope that the employers can’t tell. You will feign enthusiasm in every interview you manage to get, but the second you leave you will be overcome with negativity and self-doubt. Every rejection you get will feel personal, because it kind of is, and you will doubt every decision you’ve ever made in college ie maybe you should have studied something else, maybe you’re not an ideal candidate for any job because of XYZ.
It will feel like everyone is judging you, especially your parents/guardians, especially if you live with them because everyone is judging you. “Judging” is essentially what employers do. No one will judge you as much as you judge yourself though.
Right now, on the mental and emotional spectrum of Esther Greenwood in The Bell Jar (clinically depressed) to Don Quixote from Don Quixote (unaware of his senselessness but unwaveringly believes in himself, disregarding the ridicule from anyone else), I feel closer to Esther Greenwood. I would love to be more like Don Quixote.
Hence why I got dressed for once to be seen in public, went to Starbucks, and got an iced pumpkin spice latte.
Pumpkin spice, everything will hopefully be nice eventually.
Yesterday was the two-year anniversary of the passing of my cousin.
It had actually slipped my mind that this anniversary was approaching because my sister was preparing to move back to school so I was spending a majority of my time with her and my mom. What caused me to remember the anniversary was that I started thinking about my cousin more than I usually do.
I always think about her…but this was different. She was at the forefront of my mind when I woke up and thoughts of her were affecting my mood more strongly than usual. It wasn’t until a couple days of this that I remembered the anniversary of her death was approaching.
I’ve been practicing strengthening my intuition by simply using it more, so intuitively, I felt that she was reaching out to me. Perhaps she wanted some attention or perhaps I subconsciously wanted to actively remember her, or both. So, I decided to start talking to her.
It may seem a little unusual, it’s a little unusual to talk about it honestly….but it feels right to me.
I talk to her when I’m driving, which is usually to my girlfriend’s house because I don’t really drive anywhere else. The drive is about an hour, thus it’s a decent amount of time to talk to my cousin about what I’ve been up to, thoughts/feelings that I have, and I also ask her some questions. Sometimes she asks me questions.
My cousin was like an older sister to me, so allowing myself to communicate with her is…comforting and familiar. I used to call her frequently and she was always there to provide the insight that only an older sister can offer. I don’t have an older sister, in fact, I am the older sister to my sister, so the relationship I had with my cousin was and still is really special.
Another way that I’ve been remembering and honoring my cousin is by rewatching Freaks and Geeks, which is a show she had told me to watch during my sophomore year of college, and we had talked frequently about it. It’s a perfect show to watch as autumn approaches too.
At the end of the day, the little things I’ve been doing to remember my cousin are more focused on who she was to me when she was alive on Earth rather than focusing on how devastating it is that she is gone and feeling solemn that she isn’t growing with our family anymore.
To me, it’s more important to remember the life one had as well as acknowledging their spirit. It reminds me of some of the African spiritual practices I’ve read about in Jambalaya, which I haven’t finished yet but I highly recommend it. So many cultures have traditions for their ancestors…I want to make my own for my cousin as well as my other ancestors. I don’t know what I’m going to do yet but I will let y’all know what I decide to do!
Please provide me with inspiration! How do you remember and honor your ancestors?
A couple of years ago, my step-grandmother introduced me to the world of lentils. She had shown me a lentil soup recipe that I then cooked on my own until high school consumed my life and I temporarily stopped cooking. I forgot about lentils after that since it’s not a staple in my mom’s Puerto Rican- cooking, or in any other heritage that I am regularly exposed to. It wasn’t until my girlfriend, who is Indian, brought Indian cuisine into my everyday life that I remembered my love for lentils.
Plus, since I want to make more vegetarian dishes, it’s a great ingredient for a variety of meals!
I decided to make spiced lentils that I hoped would be similar to a delicious Indian lentil dish I had had. They were not very similar because this lentil dish is Moroccan-inspired, but they were still fantastic! I got this recipe from Minimalist Baker, which is my favorite recipe site as of late. I love this website because they make vegan/vegetarian meals, and many of them are very simple to make. They usually require only a couple of ingredients, most of which I have at home, and they aren’t time-consuming either. I definitely recommend checking them out!
This recipe called for green lentils specifically…I’m unsure why honestly. I don’t know the difference between lentils. Perhaps it’s akin to differences in beans? I’m a lentil-novice still, so my apologies that I don’t know more.
I got these lentils from ShopRite, and I thought that compared to other lentils, the green ones were more expensive. That was also because they only had organic green lentils. I don’t know why they didn’t have nonorganic green lentils, but my girlfriend recommended that next time I go to the Indian store to get lentils.
Aside from lentils, you also need a whole red pepper, onion (I used yellow), tomato paste, fresh garlic, apple cider vinegar, and a crap-ton of spices.
Then, all you have to do is cook the lentils until tender and blend the other ingredients to make a sauce. Once the lentils are cooked, drain the excess water and mix in the blended sauce. Bam, that’s it!
The cool thing about this recipe is that you can add as much of the required spices as you want so you can make it as spicy, acidic, sweet, and salty as you want! I will forewarn y’all though to taste it as you go…and maybe to slowly add the fresh spices too.
I personally feel like I added too much garlic and onion to mine. I thought I used the required amount, although I didn’t measure anything…but because you don’t cook the sauce, the bite of the garlic and onion remains pretty intense. If you have sensitive stomachs, and even if you don’t, perhaps cook the onion and garlic a little before you blend it, or cook the sauce after you blend it…or both! I wanted to try cooking it to see how it affected the flavors, but I didn’t get a chance. I expect to make this again so I’ll try it for next time.
Anyway, here’s the mixture of the sauce with the lentils.
Below is the dish with my girlfriend’s spicy Indian rice as well as some fresh parsley and cilantro on top. Another time I had this fish with plain jasmine rice and then another time with my girlfriend’s not-spicy Indian rice, and those ways I had it were better. A super flavorful rice competed too much with this spiced lentil dish.
The last thing I have to say about this recipe is that I find lentils to be a little confusing to make. The only other time I’ve made them has been in soup, which takes awhile to cook so they end up being prepared properly. In this situation, however, my girlfriend felt that I had undercooked them. I ate all six servings myself and I had no idea. I’m going to watch a lentil cooking video next time to ensure that they are prepared properly.
Do you like lentils? How do you like them prepared?
I’m going to make a new lentil soup this week so stay tuned for that!