Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sarasota on a Rainy Sunday

About a month ago, Charlene (from Charlene Zale) and I took a day trip down to Sarasota. The forecast looked a bit grim that Sunday morning, but we refused to let it alter our plans in any way. It took roughly an hour and a half to reach our destination. Once in Sarasota, we wasted no time in making our way to the first stop on our list of places to visit ― Bookstore1Sarasota. It was a charming little shop with a very nice selection of books, so it's really no surprise that we spent a good amount of time looking through everything they had to offer.

By the time Charlene finally picked out a book to purchase, we were both ready to get our caffeine fix from Buddy Brew Coffee. Thankfully the coffee shop was within walking distance of the bookstore. As I was sipping the last of my vanilla latte, Charlene realized that she had a big dilemma on her hands. The memory card in her camera was full. However, it didn't take her very long to track down a nearby BestBuy and buy a new card. We really dodged a bullet there. By the time we got back to the car, the clouds cracked open and it started pouring.

It was nearly lunch time, so we figured it best to pop into a restaurant for a bite to eat. We quickly decided on First Watch. It's one of my favorites, but Charlene had never been before. I knew they offered a wide range of healthy dishes, as well as vegetarian options for her. Our food was delicious, but I didn't expect anything less. It seemed like we finished eating just as the sun started coming out. It gave us the perfect amount of time to explore the Main Street area + St. Armand's Circle. The clouds were starting to grow dark again as we broke away from the hustle and bustle of the shops to visit Lido Key. After enjoying some time on the beach, I was concerned we wouldn't get back to the car before the rain started falling again, but we made it just in time.

The drive back to Tampa was a bit nerve-wracking, as heavy sheets of rain seemed to fall for miles and miles. We were both finding it difficult to see the road in front of us, but we finally drove out of it. Besides that, the trip was awesome! I'm looking forward to more adventures together in the future. There's never a dull moment whenever we hang out. Well, I suppose I've said enough. Now, onto the photos. I'm also sharing the vlog / montage that Charlene pieced together at the end. She really has a knack for video editing!

Saturday, July 01, 2017

July Goals

We're officially on the downhill slope of 2017. I realize I say this every month, but where did June go? I feel like my life is stuck on fast-forward. Each day seems shorter than the one before. It makes me sad, but it also gives me a good reason to live every moment intentionally instead of simply going through the motions. I've noticed that I tend to guard my time now. I view it as if it were a sacred gem, a cherished possession that mustn't be mishandled. Anyway, I wasn't able to get through all my June goals, but I slashed through half of them. July is going to be very busy for me (work-wise), so I won't be aiming too high this month.

J U N E  G O A L S

(✘) Start writing in my gratitude journal daily.
Nope. I only managed to do this for about three days. Smh.
(✘) Finish reading the rest of The Circle.
No, but I did get through most of it. I still have about 100 pages left.

(✘)  Take my niece + nephew to the gun range.
Negative. Just couldn't work it into our budget for the month.

(✔) Go to the beach at least once.
Yep. I was able to visit Lido Key with Charlene (post coming soon).

(✔) Reorganize my bedroom closet + drawers.
Yes. This was actually done the day after I shared my goals here.

(✔) Go see Wonder Woman in theaters.
Heck, yeah. And it was nothing short of incredible.

(✔)  Locate my sketchbook + start drawing again.
Affirmative. I only sketched two pieces, but it still counts.

J U L Y  G O A L S
two . thousand . seventeen

(01) Get outside more (if the weather allows).

(02) Finish reading The Circle + reread The Night Circus.

(03) Plan at least one inexpensive date night.

(04) Go to OneBlood to give a donation.

(05) Take my niece + nephew to the gun range.

(06) Try to create some semblance of a schedule.

(07) Reorganize my desk in preparation for school.

What are some of your goals for July?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Currently // June

EATING · All the summer salads. Chicken, strawberries, sunflower seeds. Sweet corn, zucchini, yellow squash.

DRINKING · Iced tea (since it's so hot). I've also been trying to incorporate an apple cider vinegar mix once a day. I combine about a cup of hot water, a tbsp of ACV + a tsp of raw honey. It gives me a little energy boost.

READING · Still making my way through The Circle. I need someone to keep me accountable when it comes to reading. I've had every intention of setting aside more time to read, but I just find myself being sucked into the Netflix vortex. I did the math. If I read 35 pages each day that's left in June, I'll be able to finish it.

WATCHING · I've jumped back into Doctor Who after missing skipping the last two seasons. I didn't really care for the Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi), but I gave him another shot. I mean, it's not like anyone could live up to my personal favorites, Eleven (Matt Smith), or Ten (David Tennant). With that being said, I guess he's not so bad. We also started a new (to us) sci-fi series last night called Dark Matter. So far it's really interesting. Lastly, Lifetime movies. Something about rainy days makes me want to watch drama-ridden movies.
LISTENING TO · Thanks to Charlene (from Charlene Zale), I've been jammin' out to the soundtrack for Wonder Woman. And, no, I still haven't seen it! We're planning on going next week. I know it's going to be incredible!

PLANNING · How to make the most of the rest of the summer. June is pretty much gone. I'm sure July will follow its lead. I want to make sure I'm taking full advantage of the time.

WISH-LISTING · Ever since giving G an ancestry DNA testing kit from 23andMe for his birthday last week, I have been wanting one too. I'll probably ask to be gifted one for my birthday, but December seems so far away.

LEARNING · More tips for living a minimalistic lifestyle. It's been about a year since I started fully embracing the idea of minimalism. The older I get, the less it takes to truly make me happy (material-wise). 

FEELING · Well rested. I've had a lot of time off from work in the past month. So much so that I've been getting a bit restless (the rain hasn't been helping). Nevertheless, I'm still thankful for some down time.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Five Things I Miss About My Dad

❝A great man is one who leaves others at a loss after he is gone.❞
― Paul Valery

Well, it's been a long time since I've opened up and let those feelings of sadness bubble to the surface of my heart. I used to be the type to hide painful memories deep down like a treasure chest. I'd throw away the key + burn the maps in hopes of never having to revisit them again. However, I've since learned that it's much more beneficial to release the grief from time to time. It's alright to be emotional sometimes. It's okay to break down when I think of everything my dad has missed and will miss. It's normal to miss him and wish he was still here.

I had this long, somewhat melancholy post typed up and ready to share yesterday morning. After mulling over my options of pressing publish or keeping that entry to myself, I chose the latter. Instead of focusing on the sorrow that will forever be tethered to June 13th, I want to redirect my thoughts + emotions to reflect a sense of celebration. I want to honor my dad by rejoicing in the years he lived, the life he led, and the memories we shared. I sure do miss him, but I've found peace in knowing it's more of a see you later rather than a good-bye.

It's hard to believe that yesterday marked five years since he passed away. Sometimes it feels like it hasn't even been that long, while other times it seems as though it's been so much longer. There are so many things that I miss, things I never thought I'd be so adamant about trying to remember forever. I thought it would be nice to document five things I find myself missing most often (five things for the five years he's been away).

01. I miss his big ol' bear hugs. My dad always had a way with hugs, let me tell ya. It was like no matter what I was dealing with at the moment, being wrapped up in his arms made me feel calm + safe. It's was my refuge.

02. I miss hearing him say "you've really outdone yourself this time, girl" whenever I'd try out a new recipe that he enjoyed. My hubby has said it a handful of times in hopes of keeping the memory alive. It makes me smile.

03. I miss his crazy contagious laughter. Even thinking about it now makes me chuckle to myself. You see, it wasn't just one of those normal laughs. No, no, it was one of those bust-a-gut, tears-rolling-down-your-cheeks, accidentally-passing-gas, bellowing-through-the-house kind of laughs. It was special, that's for sure.

04. I miss hearing him tell his stories. Although I've probably heard them all a hundred times before, I'd give anything to hear some of his wild anecdotes again. Be it from his time in the Navy, his days of being a tugboat captain or all the years he spent working in the port, he always had the most interesting tales to share.

05. I miss that sheepish grin he would get on his face right before he'd try to sneak sweets from the pantry. I can't remember a time before my mama started telling him that he should lay off the sweeties. Ha!