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!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Little Letters // June

It's hard to believe that I've never participated in this 'little letters' link-up hosted by Kristin (from Taz + Belly) before today. Although it's been quite some time since I've written any letters, it's still an activity I'm fond of.

Dear RAIN, Thank you for making an appearance this week. The sunshine state really needed everything you had to offer us (for four whole days). From deluge to drizzle, every moment you stuck around was appreciated. I enjoyed staying cozy at home + getting my indoor tasks done. Also, thanks for not overstaying your welcome. I was starting to wonder if you'd ever move on, but you knew when to let the sun take the stage once again.

Dear WENDY'S STRAWBERRY MANGO CHICKEN SALAD, Please know that you are far too flavorful for your own good. I'm really diggin' all those toppings you've got goin' on the diced mango, the strawberries, the honey roasted sunflower seeds + the perfectly grilled chicken. And that dressing? Delicious! So, I'm hereby appointing you as my salad of choice when I'm on-the-go this summer! You should feel honored.

Dear BLADDER, You're probably thinking I have it out for you. You should know that isn't the case. I promise I'm not tormenting you on purpose. I know you've been feeling overworked + underappreciated lately, but you need to realize this entire process is for your own good. You should be proud of yourself, because transporting and expelling over a gallon of water (+ coffee) a day is no small feat. Keep up the good work, buddy!

Dear INSTAGRAM STORIES, When you first came 'round, I didn't know what to think of you. I can't say I was a fan from the start, but you are growing on me. I'll make it a point to show you more attention going forward.

Dear FRONTIER COMMUNICATIONS, I'm sorry, but we're done. We can no longer handle your ever-increasing rates, your pixelated on-demand shows / movies, your laggy internet speeds + your DVR that's constantly on the fritz. Don't you go worrying about us. You'll be pleased to know that we'll be in better hands with Spectrum.

Dear BACKYARD BUNNIES, I am so very pleased that you selected our backyard as your permanent residence. It's been a few months since you first moved in, but I haven't had a chance to tell you both how much you're loved. Watching you graze around the porch is such a treat! I'm glad you guys feel safe enough to stay with us.

Dear HUBBY, As you know, your birthday is right around the corner! I know this year is a wee bit different than years past since we've been tightening the reins on our finances, but I am really excited to give you your gifts next Thursday + spend the day celebrating! You deserve nothing short of the best, my love.

Monday, June 05, 2017

SPC · Digital Media

Okay. There has been a slight shift in the overall direction that I'll be taking when it comes to furthering my education. Initially, I had planned to pursue a degree in web development. However, after much consideration, I decided that wasn't the right path for me. I've always been a very creative person. Starting from a young age, I gravitated toward anything that involved art. Be it photography, drawing, painting, collages, pottery, calligraphy, graphic design, even interior design. You name it, I've probably been interested in it at one point or another.

During one of my orientation classes, we were asked to take a five part assessment. It combined our interests, personalities, leisure activities, values, and skills to compile a list of careers that would best suit us. We had to save the careers that peaked our interest from that list. These were my top choices ― commercial designer, exhibit designer, graphic designer, interior designer, photographer, web art director. Did you notice a pattern there? Almost every career I chose involved design. That was the nail in the coffin for me. I had to switch.

Honestly, I had been going back and forth between development and design for a few weeks before taking that assessment. I decided to dig a little deeper and do more research, which is probably what I should have done from the get-go. There was a lot of good information floating around, but one website cleared everything up for me in a single paragraph (as shown below). I think I was under the impression that developers had much more say in the design elements of a web page. I'm talking colors, text, graphics, etc. I'm not saying that there aren't developers who can do both, but the majority of companies have a design team + a development team.

❝Web design refers to both the aesthetic portion of the website and it’s usability. Web designers use various design programs such as Adobe Photoshop to create the layout and other visual elements of the website. Web developers take a website design and actually make a functioning website from it. Web developers use HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP and other programming languages to bring to life the design files.❞ // Purely Branded

I really loved the idea of pursuing a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) degree, but I had to get real with myself. I find the development side fascinating, but it's not something that I am at all passionate about. Design, on the other hand, gets me fired up. I don't mind coding, but eventually I would have started to hate it if I couldn't help create the actual design. I'm still planning on learning some basic programming as I'm sure it will benefit me. There are tons of helpful online resources + tutorials I can use to learn at my own pace.

So, with all that being said, I'll now be working towards a digital media degree (digital graphic design being my primary focus). The best part is that graphic design will open up an array of opportunities. I won't have to limit myself to creating websites. I could eventually branch out into different areas of visual communication, such as graphics for books + magazines, advertising campaigns, branding + logos, packaging, etc. The possibilities are endless and I'm finally at peace with my decision! Now I'm even more excited to get started in the fall.