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!
What have been your favorites from the holidays?
It only makes sense to offer a sugar and dairy-free beverage recipe after criticizing Starbucks for its lack of options. Ironically, I’m writing this while sitting in Starbucks drinking a black blond roast that unfortunately kept me up all last night. The solution to my exhaustion due to the four hours of broken sleep I got? Drink another black blond roast from Starbucks, of course.
Anyway…this recipe is very simple and you can modify it as much as you want!
Ingredients for one serving:
- A mug of 3/4 water and 1/4 nondairy milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
- A generous tablespoon of unsweetened baking cocoa powder
- Dashes of cinnamon
- Coconut whipped cream (I didn’t know this was a thing until recently, but it changed my life!!)
Pour the mug of water/nondairy milk into a small pot. Set to medium heat and allow it to heat up.
Once it’s hot, but before it starts to boil, take it off of the stove. Add the baking cocoa powder and as much cinnamon as you’d like. Stir.
Then pour the hot cocoa into your mug and top with coconut whipped cream and more cinnamon.
You can use sweetened nondairy milk and/or natural sweeteners such as maple syrup or coconut sugar.
If you try this recipe, let me know how you like it!
Since my campaign job ended at the beginning of this month, I’ve resumed looking for a full-time job. Although it hasn’t even been a month of this hustle, I’ve fallen into some negative thought-patterns again. It’s actually affected my health this time.
My thought-patterns were challenged the other day though when I was confronted with a small, yet powerful omen and reminder of the effectiveness of manifestation. I noticed the omen when I was partaking in the mundane task of waiting in line at TJ Maxx to return a bracelet. Before I divulge, let us rewind a bit…
A few weeks prior I went to TJ Maxx to find gifts for the holidays and for my mom’s birthday. As I meandered through the aisles to survey the goods, I came across some cool planners.
I love planners. Well, not just any type of planner. I am loyal to my pocket-sized, leather-bound agenda with gold trim pages and a ribbon bookmark from Barnes and Noble. I carry this agenda with me at all times in case I need to write down an appointment or remember to do something.
Since 2019 is quickly approaching and since I hadn’t yet repurchased the agenda I am so fond of, I scoped out the planners that TJ Maxx carried. I considered getting one of the planners that had cool graphics and stickers (my typical agenda isn’t as cute and affirmative), but I ultimately decided not to purchase one for several reasons. First of all, the planners TJ Maxx carried were all spiral-bound, which I loathe, plus it was larger and heavier than I prefer. I thought to myself that if it was $5 cheaper, I would buy it regardless just so I could have a planner for 2019. Now, let’s fast-forward to the other day…
When I was in line to return a bracelet at TJ Maxx, I was thinking about the frustrating conversation that I had had with my girlfriend about the woes of job-hunting. I was feeling rather negative, especially because I had to wait in a long line to return one small item, but I decided to take advantage of my time by examining all the products that they have in the checkout line.
Right before I was the next one at the register, I noticed a lone 2019 agenda that was stamped with “Nevertheless, She Persisted.” I actually have a t-shirt with that statement on it, but in that moment, it was exactly the reminder I needed. It was my good omen. Although job-hunting sucks and my efforts feel futile, I must persist. Eventually I’ll find what I need.
I picked up the agenda curiously, dubious that I would actually like it since I’m so particular and loyal to the brand only available at Barnes and Noble. Well, shockingly, this specific agenda was identical to the interior of the agenda style that I am loyal too. The size of the agenda was a little bit bigger than the pocket-sized journal, but it wasn’t heavier and I could still carry it in any purse. This stray agenda was also not spiral-bound and it had a ribbon bookmark, just like my old one. As if it couldn’t get better, it was also $5 cheaper than the agenda that I had looked at a few weeks back, making it only $5.
It all seemed too good to be true. I was at TJ Maxx, after all, so this agenda had to have a flaw. I inspected the agenda for damage, and it was in mint condition, ironically akin to the color of it. So, I bought it.
You can regard this whole little experience in the line at TJ Maxx as just an odd coincidence or a small dose of good fortune, but I perceive it to be a small sign from the Universe that the Universe hasn’t forgotten about me. In fact, the Universe is unfolding as it should, and all I have to do is continue to persist. It’s not about worrying whether I’m persisting in the “right” direction…whatever I do is what I’m meant to do in the moment. Just keep going. Keep persisting.
In addition to it being a good omen, I also believe I manifested this agenda. I’ve been putting it out into the Universe for a few months that I needed a new agenda. I had actually written in my old agenda, repeatedly since September, to get a new agenda for 2019. Despite my need, I kept postponing going to Barnes and Noble to the point where I doubted I was going to get an agenda in time for 2019. I had even requested my girlfriend get it for me. She didn’t get it for me though because she wasn’t supposed to, and I kept postponing going to Barnes and Noble because I wasn’t supposed to go. I was destined to find this agenda at TJ Maxx. It wasn’t the one that I wanted; it was actually better.
If I can manifest a $5 agenda that contains a ton of significance, I can manifest the job that I need and want too. From what I’ve learned from The Alchemist so far, as well as from all the podcasts I listen to, manifesting is as simple as asking for it, being open to receiving it, and paying attention. I was very open that day, despite my frustration. In fact, I had been talking to my cousin in the car that same day about “signs” and about how not all negative setbacks indicate that you shouldn’t be pursuing your destiny. Sometimes they’re just roadblocks that you need to overcome.
So…if you needed a sign that you are on the “right” track, or if you needed a reminder that your efforts are worthwhile, or if you needed to remember that all the power you need is within you, this is it. This is your good omen.
Nevertheless, We Persisted.
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.
Serving Size: 1
- 1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats
- 1 cup of water
- 2+ generous spoonfuls of pumpkin puree
- 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!
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.
I stood shivering outside as I waited for Heidi to answer.
Just when I thought that my fingers were going to snap off and when I thought that she wasn’t going to open the door, she did.
My heart fell to my stomach as I stared at her beautiful self. Her hair was pulled into a messy bun, and she had flour all over her apron and face.
“Oh, it’s you,” she muttered. “What do you want?”
Today has been too good of a day.
I didn’t have to see the girl I crush on at work. Although I worked alongside the girl that I am jealous of, it wasn’t a big deal. I was too busy working to socialize.
My boss, whom I’m not very fond of, gave me a lunch break. I usually never get a break during my Sunday shift. And he even paid for my meal. That rocked. He was being weirdly nice.
Then I left work when I was supposed to. That never happens. I got about seven bucks in tips. It was good.
When I got home I ate and watched an episode of The L Word. It’s really great. Kinda dark and serious…can’t watch that many episodes at once.
After that I watched three episodes of Gilmore Girls with my sister, and now I’m moping. While scrolling through my Dashboard. (That’s a Tumblr term…I’m a Tumblr girl now).
Had a snow day today….which was really nice. I made a Tumblr! I’m kinda addicted because there are tons of beautiful babes on there…and Fall Out Boy. I love Fall Out Boy.
While I was reblogging pics of hot chicks and feminist stuff, I was also bumming out on the couch with my sister watching shitty television and snacking.
I have been trying to come out to my sister for awhile now…I came really close to telling her yesterday. And then again today. I would be like: hey, Alex (that’s her name) I want to talk to you about something…
Then she would reply like: about what? are you okay? you’re making me nervous.
Because she was nervous, I would feel nervous so then I would say: is Erik coming for Christmas?
Blah. It’s so depressing.
My friend from a writing app that I used to use suggested that I write down what I want to say and just give the note to her. I associate notes with bad news and I also find notes to be rather lame…but seeing as that words fail me, I think it’s the best way to go.
- I want to be kissedGently by your full, lovely lipsOr eagerly, like you have finally foundWhat had been missingBefore I came aroundI want to be kissedNot beneath mistletoeBut in a room that is lit up, glowsTwinkling with icicle lightsI want to kiss until they burn out well, after midnightI want to be kissed by youAnd I want to feel you want meI want to feel the tremors overtake your bodyI want to hear you moanI want that passionThe sparks will inflame in the brick fireplaceAs the kindling fire between us will also burst into flamesKiss me foreverI don’t want to get coldOn these icy winter nightsAnd kiss me to consoleI want to be kissedYour warm lips, I missKiss me desperatelyCling to me, like it’s the last timeThat I will be yours and you will be mineKiss away your angerKiss away your despairKiss me any way you likeBut please just…kiss me©VicRomero
Hope all you Americans had a great Thanksgiving. For those that are not American and/or did not celebrate Thanksgiving with a feast, I hope your Thursday was better than all the previous Thursdays of 2013.
My Thanksgiving was good. I went to my aunt’s house and told my entire family I got into college. I also impressed everyone with my vast knowledge.
Aside from that, the family gathering/feast was just okay. I prayed (whoo Christianity), ate more than I should’ve (like a good American should) and excessively shivered because I was cold and uncomfortable sitting on a hard wooden chair. Eating exhausted me so I took a nap with my head on the table. After my nap I finished the Rainbow Boys trilogy, and watched my cousin flirt with her boyfriend.
My family kept teasing me because I wore a blazer…they were like: good luck at the job interview, Victoria! *snicker behind hands*
I don’t understand that. When I had red/blue/purple/green hair, they didn’t make any jokes. They were probably just jealous of my poshness yesterday. They were all wearing jeans and sweaters, which is so not posh.