Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Fa la la la.... Happy New Year?

I absolutely cannot (and refuse) to believe that there are only 3 days left in 2011. I can't even fathom that it's been a year already. It seems like just yesterday we were beginning 2011, and now we're about to begin 2012? Unreal.

The reason for my crazy title on this post was that I didn't want to gloss over Christmas and talking about/asking about how wonderful it was! (So hence the fa la la la, well you know since it was just Christmas, and now it's already almost New Years!) So, Christmas! It was absolutely amazing! I have to say, even though I talked about how I really enjoy receiving on Christmas in my last post, this Christmas was really different for me. I did get some really amazing, expensive things for Christmas (be sure to watch my 'haul' coming soon!) but as much as I love what I received, I loved watching my younger siblings even more. Christmas has become a holiday that is so gift centered that I really find myself not enjoying it as much as I used to. But I don't know, something about watching my little sister open the American Girl she wanted for over a year really re-sparked the Christmas spirit in me.

How was your Christmas? I hope it was absolutely stellar!

Now onto the New Year, and my resolutions! :) I am really looking forward to the new beginnings that a new year offers! 2012 is going to be a bit scary and daunting, but I really am ready for a fresh start. And what better way to start fresh than with some New Year's Resolutions?

1. Eat healthier. -- This is always on my list, but it rarely happens. It's so difficult at school where all they serve is gross, cheesy, artery-clogging foods, but I am more determined than ever to make it work this time.

2. Run more. -- This one is purely because of how good I feel when I do it. No more explanation needed.

3. Don't dwell on the past so much. -- This is another one that I've been working on for a long time, but it's a constant work in progress. It's not easy to let go and move on, but it's something that needs to be done.

4. Spend more time with my friends and focus more on them for a change. -- This past semester has been busy, with all of us running in different directions doing different things, but it's time for me to re-group and focus more of my energy on my group of friends and our group dynamic.

5. Conciously work on being less selfish. -- We're all human here, there is no one that can say that they are not selfish at all, but we can all consistently work on being able to think of others before we think of ourselves, and I think that this is something I need to do.

6. Put more time and energy into my passions. -- Writing on this blog, talking about fashion, making secret YouTube videos I never end up posting, playing around with make up, attempting to be daring, playing around with different styles and trends, these are all things that I absolutely love and enjoy. It's time to really put more of myself into these things, and try to really make myself happy with them. :)

7. Continue Journaling. -- This one is self explanatory, to me. Journaling has helped me so much, and I really want to keep up with writing things out.

8. Save more money. -- With getting off campus for next semester being a goal that my friends and I are really working towards, needing a new computer (eventually), needing to get my iPod repaired, wanting to go to Miami, and visit San Diego again, saving money is going to be key. I don't know how I'm going to do it, but I'm going to look at strategies, and if anyone has any tips, I would absolutely love to hear them!

9. Make the Dean's List. -- This only happened one time in my entire college career, and I'd really like to do it again! But I want this to be my goal and mission for 2012, to make the Dean's List for both semesters, this coming, and then the Fall semester.

10. And last but not least: Be more courageous. -- I definitely have made a mission to show people that I'm not anyone's pushover, and that I am my own person and I won't be talked down to. This took a lot of courage and I want to push that courage into other arenas. I want to be more courageous with how I dress, what make up looks I try. I want to be fearless.

So those are my resolutions. What are yours? And Happy New Year, look for my upcoming Video Blog on Christmas!


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry [Almost] Christmas!

Here we are! It's almost Christmas! I'm home with my family, and could not be happier. Well... I guess that's kind of a lie, but we'll get to that in a minute. 

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Regardless, it's Christmastime and I'm pumped! I won't lie, I love giving at Christmas, but I love receiving as well, and I heard from a good source that I'm going to have a pretty stellar Christmas! On that note, I do plan on doing another Christmas "haul" this year as it got lots of positive feedback last year! And I love video blogging but I feel that without a specific topic the videos I record often lack focus and I obviously don't end up uploading them.

My oldest brother J is on his way home tonight, he should be arriving in roughly an hour and a half! He's the only one coming home for the holiday, what with B & A not being able to get leave due to exciting news I'll share soon, JM & N spending the holidays with her family in Los Angeles, and E not being allowed leave at this particular moment either. 

My dad had a new idea for our tree this year, [I didn't get to decorate with the family because they didn't want to wait until I got home three days ago, and who can blame them?] by decorating it all with red and gold balls. Normally we have a plethora of random ornaments from Tinkerbell [can you guess who picked that one out?] to a Holy Bible. But over the years, our tree has begun to look cluttered. So this is the new idea, decorate with two colors of ball ornaments. Like so:

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And then tomorrow morning, on Christmas Eve, we will enjoy homemade cinnamon rolls, hot cocoa, and we will each hand select one ornament we love to add to our "department store tree" as my 16 year old brother N calls it.

I love spending Christmas at home, there's nothing like being able to see the mountains and enjoy the cold weather and snow, which we got today [although it will melt by tomorrow because temperatures have been in the 40s all week.] But I do miss the city already. I ache to spend Christmas in the city and experience it! The lights outside are always so pretty before Christmas, and I can't wait to really start my own traditions when I start really living on my own. Take a peek at Christopher Columbus Park in the North End. Gorgeous.

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Now onto the less exciting and happy part of my week... sciatica. It would seem that I now have this condition. At least that's what my mother and I have used the internet to diagnose this back problem that started on Tuesday. I think it's either that, or a pinched nerve. Tuesday I met my mom to come back home from being at my grandparents' house for the weekend, and as I leaned to touch my suitcase, something happened in my back that was extremely painful. We can only assume that it was a muscle spasm in my lower back. Tuesday was rough, Wednesday was better, and yesterday I was barely in pain. That is, until I went to Wal-Mart with my mom to finish running some food shopping errands and sneezed. The sneeze caused me to bend funny and sent my back and left leg into a spasm episode. Today has been filled with more spasms and pain, lots of Tylenol-taking, heating, and napping. This is really hurting me, obviously physically, but mentally as well. 

I have been craving a run since I left school. It's been more than a week since I last ran, and it's awful. Even today on the way back from getting my last Christmas present to give, I was mapping routes in my head, wondering the mileage, thinking about the gear I would need to brave the snow, envisioning the high I would get as I closed in on my last mile. Dreaming about the following shower and relaxation that would follow. Thinking about how much I was wanting to run [and still am wanting to] was driving me nuts. I was literally on the verge of tears. I've never wanted to do something that I could normally do so badly, and not be able to do it. And here's the worst part: my dad says that even after my back has healed [fingers crossed that happens super super soon!] I should still give my back another week to be safe before I start running again. That means that even if my back was better tomorrow, or on Christmas, it would be 2012 before I could run again! :( I'm so upset about it, I've never had back problems, other than pain from poor sleeping habits, before and now it's ruining something I absolutely love to do! :(

But other than that, this break has been good to me. I want to keep this short, so I'll leave you here, but I'll be sure to write again soon! I have so much more to write! {all images found on Tumblr, or taken by me}

Peace, ♥, and happiness! :)


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Extras From Style Icon...

Just some photos left over from Part 1 of my Style Icon series that I thought were nice. Enjoy :)

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Monday, December 19, 2011

My Style Icon [Series Part 1]

I have often thought about the one person I could really call my personal style icon. For a long time, I didn't even know that I had one. But after a lot of thinking, you begin to discover your own personal style, things you would wear (even though practically, you never would), people you find inspire your fashion choices, and you eventually find a real niche where you think your style could be.

Even though it's not a life-altering revelation, I think I may have finally found at least one of my true style icons. Now, people have different definitions of a style icon, so let me briefly describe what I mean when I say that. I mean a person whose style I completely adore, idolize, and admire. It's a person whose bravery and daring experiments I admire. It's a person who has a style that I would emulate should I be able to.

So I've decided to start a series called "My Style Icon." I think it's going to be a fun addition to my blog, where I can bring in my love of fashion and beauty without it taking away too much from the original purpose of this website.

And with no further delay... I would consider one of my style icons to be:

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The one and only, Kim Kardashian.

Now... don't think that this means I'm Kim's biggest fan, or anything remotely close to that. This post is simply about her style, leaving her personal life, business, and all other things aside.

So Abby, why Kim K?

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Well, simply stated, Kim knows how to dress. Oh, you wanted more detail than that?

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Let's see... Kim is not afraid to go from club fabulous, to comfy and chic, to super casual, to edgy, to old Hollywood glam all in the same day. She's not afraid to go from dark brown/black hair to blonde the next day. And she looks flawless doing so.

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Just look at her Fashion Week ensembles. She really isn't afraid, and she has this air of confidence around her no matter what she's wearing or where she's going. Kim knows how to accentuate her curves for a sexy look, but also knows how to play it down when it's time to look more polished and classy, or even business appropriate. [As seen below.]

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Her style is so versatile, yet it's all so.... Kim.
It all has the Kim K stamp all over it, and fits her personality so well.

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She never strays too far into the unusual, just like me, always falling back on a nice pair of jeans, boots, a blazer, and a scarf when she needs to.

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She always looks so glamorous and put together, even when at the airport.

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Kim keeps her make up natural, yet bold, always accentuating her amazing facial features, usually using a gorgeous smokey eye, and never without lots of lashes.

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She's daring, yet just the right amount of daring. She never goes too outlandish, which is what my taste is all about.

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And even in her 30's, Kim is not afraid to keep it young and fun.

Simply stated, Kim's look is timeless, but still fun and trendy. She always looks put together and like she's ready to tackle anything. Kim's sense of style is incredible, not to mention what I wouldn't give to have her hair. Swoon.


Oh, and her wedding dresses.

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Regardless of how you or I feel about her wedding, and impending divorce... her dresses were absolutely stunning. I can't imagine wanting to look any more gorgeous on my big day.

So there you have it. Part 1 of my "Style Icon" series. Possible contenders for the next installment? Who knows? Maybe Taylor Swift (even though I strongly dislike her), Rachel McAdams, Selena Gomez, or even Emma Stone. Just not Taylor Momsen... (snide giggle.)

That's all for now.

Peace, ♥, and happiness! :)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmastime In My City...

Welcome to Boston.
Arguably the prettiest city ever.

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It's almost Christmas here.

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The city put up lots of lights.
This is Fanueil Hall.

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And this is Quincy Market.

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It looks really pretty at nighttime.

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This is a giant Christmas Tree.
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And this is my friend Kiara in front of the giant tree.

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This is my ctiy at Christmastime. And I love it.

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Sunday, December 4, 2011

Seeing The Light At The End Of The Tunnel, Learning to Appreciate What I Have, and Savoring the Last Moments of a Crazy Semester...

Well here we are at the beginning of the last week of classes, and who would have thought that I'd be where I am right now? I can tell you that I certainly didn't! I have to say that as hard as it's been, I've grown from the past 3 months or so of experiences and I've learned to rely on no one but myself and my friends to be happy. I've found my peace, and I'm feeling more like myself every day. It's a sweet feeling.

I've also grown because of running. This is not to say that I am a runner, but rather that I am working on becoming a runner. Working up to my first 2.3 miles was so difficult, then my first 3.5 which ended up being closer to 4.5 and today we (Kiara and myself) ran 5 miles. Well, that is to say we ran most of it, but were forced to walk some of it as well due to the fact that we're not quite there yet... We've also been running frequent 5K's since arriving back at school from Thanksgiving break. I would be lying if I said that running has not been an outlet of mine since everything happened with me. It has allowed me to free myself, see what I am capable of, and prove to myself that I am strong. There is nothing more satisfying than coming off a 5K having just reached your runner's high. It's really a magical feeling, and I feel like I'm on the absolute top of the world. :)

So, I suppose this is all to say that I've seen the light at the end of the tunnel (as of about a week and a half ago) and that I've been making steady progress ever since. And it finally feels wonderful again...

In addition to seeing the light, I've also learned to be thankful for all that I have, and sometimes even all that I don't. I made a conscious decision this year to ask my grandparents for something very inexpensive for Christmas instead of asking for a MacBook, and this is the first time that has happened in years. While I think saying that I'm proud of myself for it would be a little self-indulgent, I have to say that I am proud of the fact that I realized that it's ridiculously selfish for me to ask a lot of my grandparents when they already do so much for me. I should instead simply be thankful for what they have given me already, and what they give me on a daily basis, their love and affection. Even if they can afford to give me something expensive, that doesn't mean it's acceptable for me to ask for it. I'm an adult and I need to be more considerate of other people at this point in my life. That's just simply a part of growing up. I am disappointed that it took me this long to figure that out, but I am glad that I realized it before too much longer had passed. And I'm learning to be thankful.

And lastly, I'm savoring these last 2 weeks of school. With an upcoming Christmas party for me and the girls at my grandparents' house next weekend (see what I mean, what kind of grandparents offer to host a party for you and your friends?) and lots of fun holiday activities like skating and Secret Santa in between, it should be an amazing finish to a rough start to the semester, emotionally speaking.

All in all, this semester was tough to get through, but my friends made it happen for me by consistently being there for me when I needed them, not getting agitated with me when I was being ridiculous, and supporting my "recovery" of sorts. For that, I am beyond thankful and I don't know how I will ever be able to repay them for it. So a special thank you to KYC, KMC, CLV, KAM, RJ, KSR, BRC, and MABS. I owe you ladies my everything, I don't know where I would be without you... ever.

Peace, ♥, and happiness :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Beyond Thankful.

On this day of giving thanks, I am so very thankful for so many things. If I took the time to list them all I could be here for a really long time. So I'll keep it simple.

I'm thankful for my family, who will always be there for me no matter what.

I'm thankful for my friends who keep me sane, and keep me grounded, constantly reminding me of who I am.

I'm thankful for all the opportunities I've been given in this life.

And mostly, I'm thankful to be alive and well, on this, a day of giving thanks.

Let's all pause more often to remember what we're thankful for.

Peace, ♥, and happiness. :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Leaving the City is Never Easy.

It's almost Thanksgiving! And I have to say, that a house filled with 13 people is going to be very interesting.

I will admit that I was not originally stoked to come home, and I still kind of wish I wasn't here. It's not that I don't enjoy being with my family, it's just that I don't enjoy being in this state, in this house, in this town. There's something about it. I will never come back here for any extended length of time. It just won't happen.

I also wasn't stoked about coming here because I felt like it wouldn't help me any; although, being in Boston has proved to not exactly be what one would normally call helpful either. (As witnessed when I ventured to my grandparents house this past weekend and felt the first amount of peace I've felt in 3 months being in the city and at school.) I guess initially, I felt like something about being here with my brother and his girlfriend wouldn't help me feel any better about my situation. (More has been added to the story that has put me in this frame of mind since the post I wrote about D, that has not exactly helped me to move on.)

But ever since I got here last night, I've felt even more at peace than I did this past weekend. I mean, I still think of him, I still miss him, but I don't feel him around me everywhere I go like I did when I was travelling through South Station yesterday. I feel like I've finally gotten away from whatever it was about him that was trying to hold me back. That doesn't mean that it's not going to continuously be a struggle to move forward, but it does mean that I am feeling significantly better, and less sucky. And for once, I'm not lying to myself about that. I'm being completely honest with myself. It's something new I've decided to try.

I still feel like crying tonight while I write this (only refraining of course because my family does not know about my situation, or even that D ever existed.) but I feel more like crying because I'm getting there finally. I feel like crying because I'm happy to be somewhere that I feel he can't reach me. I feel like crying because this is the first time that I've felt happy away from the Latin club. (Which has, as of late, been the only place I can get close to feeling like myself again.)

I'm sick of seeing this sad, mopey, frustrated, tired girl around. I'm tired of feeling locked up. I'm ready to see a happy, vibrant, loving, free girl, much like the one I am deep inside. And I have a feeling that she might be making her way to the surface again.

So it's never easy leaving the city. But sometimes it's necessary to feel better, move forward and be yourself again.

I'm beginning to be thankful for that.

Peace, ♥, and happiness. :)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Difficult.

It's hard to try to find yourself again after you were so sure of who you were. It's even more difficult when you still know that you are the person you always knew and thought you were, yet you can't seem to get back to it. It's difficult to have to try to make it through every day, when it used to be that you were trying to get through a month. It's difficult to feel like you don't want other people to worry about you, but that's all they seem to be doing.

It's difficult to want to move on, be yourself again, be happy, and feel okay again when you're ready to do so, but for some reason there's some force that won't allow you to. It's difficult to wonder when you're going to get better when that's all you want to do. It's difficult to care about someone when you don't want to. It's difficult to wonder about things.

It's difficult to make it through a day without wanting to cry. It's difficult to lie to yourself all week and tell yourself that you are okay, and that you're almost at a point where he doesn't matter anymore when you really aren't.

All these things are difficult. But what makes them easier is knowing that your friends stand behind you 100% and are committed to seeing you happy again. What makes them easier is people who are close to being perfect strangers that are willing to be there for you, listen to your problems, and tell you that they'll be there for you always. What makes them easier is knowing that you have a support system that won't get overly upset at you when you take your crazy frustrations and feelings out on them, but instead embrace you with a hug and tell you that it will all be okay.

What makes them easier is knowing that even though it doesn't feel like it, the clouds will part and you will be okay eventually, and that you have people there even when that's not happening.

It's difficult to deal with all of these things, unless you have people in your life that make them a little less difficult. :) And for that, I love my friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Confused.

I've never felt more happy with my location, and certain aspects of my life than I am right now. I'm here in Boston, having a great time, with my friends, doing interesting things. One could even argue that I've done some things I care about. That said, I've never cared less about school, schoolwork, and putting my all into everything I do academically.

If you know me in real life you know that I always give 100%. I was the kid in high school that wasn't pleased with a 99, it had to be a 100. I was always striving to do better. But now that I'm here, in my third year of college I have a lot of doubts that me continuing to give 100% really makes that much of a difference.

For example, I got the best grades I possibly could in high school and ended up at my first choice college given what I was told I could accomplish. But I didn't push beyond that. I knew Simmons was the best I could do. Now, since Simmons is the best I can do, I don't see the point (beyond keeping my scholarships) in going the extra mile because in real life practice, it hasn't really gotten me anywhere. I don't see the point in giving 100% anymore when giving 70 or 80 yields the same result.

I'll write a paper. It needs to be 3-5 pages. I'll spend 3 hours on it, make it barely 3 pages, and get an A- or a B+. Those are good grades. And in my opinion, if I had truly given 100%, it may not have made that much of a difference.
But even though I'm not giving 100%, 100% of the time, and that is okay with me in the moment, afterwards I'm angry with myself. I'm sick of not caring about anything except for the weekend to come so I can be free to have fun with my friends.

I feel so lazy, and confused about my work ethic.

I've never been like this.

That is why I am confused.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Purpose, Passion, Fear, And Fulfillment

I had a conversation with a friend tonight.

I discovered I don't have a real passion.

I talked about how that makes me feel like my life will be unfulfilling.

I also talked about how scared I am of that.

I contemplated whether not having a real passion makes you not have a purpose.

I know that this was a conversation worth having. It just was hard to face the reality of my fears, and what I know to be true, versus what I won't admit to myself is true.

This conversation partly came about after watching 13 Going on 30 Sunday night. During the scene in which Jennifer Garner is completely inspired and consumed by her re-design project for the magazine she works for, I made the remark that I didn't think I had something in my life that gave me that kind of passion to work on something. I have never felt that I wanted my life to be consumed by something like that.

The following night, in our conversation, my friend told me that she felt her passion was Victorian literature. She lives for it, and it stimulated by it. It's something that inspires her and something she's passionate about.

Another friend of mine is quite obviously passionate about being a nurse in the near future. Yet another is definitely passionate about politics, and public policy (to be specific.) They feel strongly about these things, they want to put all of their being into them (more or less.)

But for me, it's kind of funny, that even though I know Education is something I'm interested in, and I will be happy to have as a future career, it's not my passion. Teaching is not something I will love completely. It's not something I can see myself pulling a Jennifer Garner over.

I decided that if indeed I did have to name a serious passion about anything in my life, it's the people I have in my life. I care deeply about them. And that's both a blessing and a curse, because while I have you, I feel like the most fulfilled person on the planet. But once you're gone, or I lose you, the way I feel is that if I'm not something to you, what am I? If I don't have you, what do I have? Not that not having you in my life makes me worthless, but rather that I feel like I don't have much to give if I can't give to you. I don't feel fulfilled if I don't mean something to someone, or can't give something (whether it be of myself, or a material object etc.) to someone I care about, regardless of who they are.

I've always been a giver. It's just in my nature. Sure, there are times and moments when I am a selfish person who likes to take, but more than likely I will give of myself rather than take from someone else. I'm always thinking of others, how I can make them happy, how I might be able to offer them advice or something else of myself. But when I don't have another person to think about, it makes me think of myself. And I start to feel selfish, gross, and annoyed with myself.

It's quite an interesting conundrum.

These are the serious thoughts of a college junior. I hope you think about this sometimes too...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Columbus Day Weekend Sin Palabras (Without Words)

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Partying. Hiking. Apple Picking. Beaching.
What a wonderful way to spend a long weekend.