About Me: Q & A – 2015

This weekend I was reminded of how valuable this outlet is in documenting my life. The years seem to be flying by and I want to remember as much as possible! Who was I at 27 years old? What did I enjoy doing in my free time? Where was my heart? I’ll do my best to post these questionnaires more often. My  archives are proof how much my likes and dislikes change throughout the years. I like that I’m no longer afraid of change and instead let it excite me!

What do you do for a living?
I work in customer service (celebrating 7 years with my current company this month!) Photography is one of my greatest passions and I’m incredibly blessed to also work as a photographer in my free time! I hope to one day be able to answer this question with a simple: LIVE.
Who do you love?
I do my best to love everyone that enters my world. When I’m sitting in traffic feeling frustrated with other drivers – I take a deep breath and send them love. When I’m dealing with difficult customers I try putting myself in their shoes for better understanding. Learning to see things in a new perspective regularly has helped me excel in both my home and work life. My heart overflows with love for my family and close friends. And with each personal project I tackle, my love for myself grows more and more every day.
How old are you?
27 and a half! I can’t believe I already reached the half way mark! In all honesty, I feel as young as ever. I hope to always hold a youthful heart. When I was a teenager, I remember thinking twenty-four was soooo old. Last night my sister called me out on almost turning thirty. I said, BRING IT! I’m so happy to be alive!
Do you think you are a good person?
I know I haven’t always been, but YES! Me, right here, right now… damn good. I believe in leading by example and do my best to stay true to my values. Hiccups will always happen but we need those incidents to become BETTER than before.
How often do you laugh?
Every hour if I’m lucky! A life without laughter is so dull. I know, because I lived it. These days I tend to laugh at myself more than anything. I’m silly and a little unusual but my heart is light and I’m happy 🙂
What makes you smile?
My niece and nephew! I’m so amazed by them simply existing in my world. Love! I photographed an engagement proposal last week and couldn’t stop smiling (I also cried). Puppies! Vegan restaurants! Listening to my record collection! Shooting stars! And HUGS!
Where do you live?
Pearland, TX. The town I grew up in. I moved back here in May in order to accelerate my financial goals. Living 5 minutes from work is definitely a huge perk. I’m still contemplating where I will live next. The possibility of moving out of state is very likely.
What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
I try to remember to first pause and say Thank You. Then I do a quick yoga flow to stretch my well rested body and drink warm water with lemon! (no cell phones allowed in my morning routine).
What is the best thing that could happen to you right now?
Traveling the world with someone I love while building wealth and giving generously to those in need.
Picture yourself in 5 years from now:
I’d like to be in a loving, encouraging, committed relationship, with a thriving photography business, surrounded by wonderful friends and family.
Name the thing that annoys you the most:
Favorite movie?
Star Wars: A New Hope & The Empire Strikes Back, Into the Wild, Interstellar, When Harry Met Sally and Amelie

Favorite television show?
Super Soul Sunday, Oprah’s Master Class and Tiny House Nation

Favorite food?
Black bean burgers, avocados and sweet potatoes

Favorite beverage?
Water and green juice!
Favorite book?
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment – Eckhart Tolle
What I Know For Sure – Oprah Winfrey
Favorite song?
Morrissey – Suedehead, Chromatics – Cherry, Bon Iver – Holocene
Favorite color?
Light purple and white
Sum up your life in one sentence:
I live a simple life in a familiar city, where I’m always searching for lifelong learning. 

On Gift Giving

Confession: I’m a giver! Unfortunately, this has gotten me into some financial trouble in the past. I absolutely love giving! Everything from hugs, gifts, large tips, donations! My mind is constantly looking for sentimental ways to give to anyone and everyone! This may sound all good and fun but the way I was giving was harmful. It’s difficult to fully give when you don’t have control of where your money goes. Credit cards have become a way of life, the normality. But borrowing to give is not giving at all. The borrower becomes slave to the lender. I don’t know about you but I value my freedom! By eliminating credit cards there’s no more room for mindless spending.
So much of money management is behavior management.
Money reflects what is going on in our hearts.
With Christmas fast approaching, we are well into the “shopping season” and I can’t help but notice the excess amount of advertisements flooding media outlets. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of using credit cards during the holidays. But there’s a better way! A healthier way we can slow down and enjoy the holidays with more peace of mind. So how did I kick this damaging habit to the curb? I started using a Christmas budget! Each November (sometimes October) I sit down with a notebook and pen to devise a plan. First, I write down the names of everyone I’ll be giving a gift to. Then I choose an allotted spending amount for each individual, depending on what I’ve saved this year. I make a list and check it twice! Saving to give is so much more rewarding! Giving every dollar a name serves a bigger purpose – in my life and in my heart.
Do you overspend or stress out during the holidays? Try a Christmas budget this year and let me know if you find it beneficial.
Try everydollar.com for a simple, online budgeting tool
Happy Budgeting!

4 Ways to Heal a Broken Heart

I recently went through my first major breakup in a really long time. I had forgotten how difficult it is, returning to the single life. No more late night pillow talk, weekend getaways or shoulder kisses. Man, do I love those shoulder kisses! The end of a relationship can sometimes feel like a piece of yourself has left along with your partner. And I guess that’s somewhat true. I’m not the same girl I was when I met him. But I’m a hell of a lot better than before.
So even though it’s painful and challenging, remember this process is proof we’re alive and growing! How lovely it is!
Here’s a little advice to help ease the pain:
Do you have any advice on healing? I would love to hear what got you through your toughest breakups 

30 Days of Meditation: A Simple Guide to Meditation

What is meditation? For so long I believed meditation was a tool to handle stress and tune out. But actually- the true purpose of mediation isn’t to get away from it all, but to get in touch with it all. To not only relief stress but to find peace within. So, mediation is really about clearing space and making room for what is needed. It’s about that quiet space between each thought.
Your core consciousness – whether you call it the spirit or God is the window to the infinite world. It’s a field of possibilities, pure potential, infinite imagination and creativity! It’s a place where you become the observer of your thoughts and that my friend, is the power of intention.
Where: Choose a safe place where you will not be disturbed.
When: I personally found mornings to be most beneficial. Life feels remarkably quiet upon waking.
How: (this one has a few important steps)
  • I attempted to mediate in lotus position but had some difficulty when my foot kept falling asleep. Ouch! After a few weeks my body adjusted and I was able to sit in the position for longer periods of time. Being comfortable is most important! Although, I don’t recommend lying down because our minds are conditioned to sleep and staying awake becomes a disturbance.
  • Thoughts are going to dance around your head, especially in the beginning – this is normal. Don’t try to do anything with them – simply let them be. If you find yourself thinking about each passing thought just return to focusing your awareness on your breath. As you progress you’ll notice yourself slipping into the space between thoughts more and more.
  • When we pay attention to our breath, we are in the present moment. Take long, deep breaths at your own pace. Find a natural rhythm and allow your breath to flow in and out easily and effortlessly.
Duration: 20-30 minutes was favorable for my lifestyle but everyone is different.
I hope you will find some of these tips helpful in your own practice. Having a set goal of 30 days definitely helped me to stay motivated and focused. Before November I tried fitting in mediation here and there but the true benefits are an effect of consistent practice. During this challenge I noticed myself becoming particularly aware of my surroundings. Sights, smells, sounds – it was all so vibrant! I love moments like that, glimpses of true bliss.
What was the strangest part of this experience? Well, one morning after mediating something told me to release facebook. Not just deactivate the distraction (which I did multiple times throughout the year) but to rid my life of it completely. I deleted each “friend” one by one and couldn’t remember the last time I spoke to most of them. It seems mediation also helped me to clear space in my daily life. What a wonderful surprise! With results like that, there’s no question I will continue to explore this peaceful practice.
Do you mediate? Tell me about your experience in the comments below 🙂
December’s Challenge: 30 Days without a Cell Phone

Thanksgiving Tradition: Vegan Tamales

Last weekend my cousin and I made vegan tamales! Tamales have always been one of my favorite holiday traditions. But having gravitated towards a more health conscious lifestyle we decided to try a vegan alternative. If you’ve ever made tamales you know it’s an extremely time consuming process. We finished in a total of six hours! I know, it sounds like a lot but it’s part of the tradition’s joy. You gather around the table with family members conversing and being fully present in the task at hand. To me, the quality time spent with loved ones is just as rewarding as biting into the finished product!
What is your favorite family tradition?
We made our own variations from these recipes: One, Two and Three.

Mariah Turns 10!

My sweet Mariah turns 10 years old today! I will forever credit her with saving my life the day she was born. This girl has the biggest heart I have ever known. She’s always thinking of others and loves giving hugs!
I believe we can instill the value of living positively and making the best of what we already have by talking with our children honestly. By asking thoughtful questions we can encourage conversation and help them develop a healthy mindset. Also, I bet these answers will be pretty darn cute to look back on when she’s older.
  1. What five words best describe you? Pretty, Crazy, Lovable, Smart and Creative
  2. What do you love doing that makes you feel happiest? Being myself
  3. What do you know how to do that you can teach others? How to be a goof-ball
  4. What is the most wonderful thing that ever happened to you? I hit the ball
  5. What is the worst thing that ever happened to you? I got hit by the ball (she’s really into softball right now) haha
  6. What are you most grateful for? My family
Happiest Birthday my darling niece!
I am so proud of you and the lovely lady you are becoming.

DIY: VISION BOARD – What do you desire?

I believe in the power of manifesting your future. For the past ten years I’ve created vision boards and nothing compares to waking up with the realization of what has materialized from dream to reality. I’m left speechless every time! and filled with immense gratitude for the journey of getting there.
Begin by writing your vision list. Who do you want to be? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do during this lifetime? Then create a collage of words and images that help build emotion and energy around your vision. Visualize and FEEL it is already yours! Confession:  I used to hide my board in my apartment whenever I had friends over. I often wondered why I was so terrified to let others view my wishes/desires. What was it about the future that made me feel undeserving? In sharing my list with the world today, I am declaring my worth and my intentions. To be unapologetic about what I want and affirm my potential to make it happen!
Personality: I am playful, encouraging and loving.
Career: I inspire personal growth and wholehearted living.
Relationship: I have a passionate, loyal, successful husband who adores me.
Finances: I am able to live, travel, save and give graciously.
What’s on your vision list?
Invite a few friends over, grab a stack of magazines, scissors + tape and start creating!