Uniquely Me

Who Am I?

There are times when I sit and compare my life to others…I know who I want to be…but why hasn’t it happened yet? Why are other people successful and I’m not? Why does it seem like my life has no purpose?

There are times when I often ask myself these questions and ponder.

Why can’t I just commit and do it? Why am I wasting my life making lists of things to do and then not sticking to them?

After much thought and research I concluded that:

  1. I am just too lazy
  2. I am not smart enough
  3. I don’t actually want to change (this one is hard to swallow)
  4. I am too scared of what might happen
  5. I link more pain to the possibility of failing than the potential of success

It’s Up to You

I have spent the past few months reading many books, articles, watching YouTube videos and have decided that regardless of what the reason is….I don’t want to keep living my life the way I currently have.

I have practiced the habit of gratitude and prayer but obviously not consistently. I can’t seem to stick with anything. At least when it comes to building new habits and destroying old ones. I read one of the most helpful and insightful books recently called No Excuses! The Power of Self-Discipline by Brian Tracy.

I Am ME, But I Can Change

The largest key that I am missing in my life is the POWER of self discipline…I capitalized the word power because I feel it truly is a power. A power that I have been lacking and misusing. A power that I am so grateful to have discovered, even at this late stage of life. I cannot express how much I related to the questions and excuses that the author talked about. I felt like he was speaking to me….and not in a good way. I honestly want to change, I know I want to change. It’s just that I am so used to living my mediocre life. Just doing things to get by and not really actually living.

Another key lesson or power I have been learning to embrace is self respect. I can’t stress enough how much you need to learn to respect yourself before asking for respect from others. I feel like I have lost myself after I became a wife. My priorities changed and I lived for my husband. I had this mentality that if I made him happy then I would be happy. I realized that in order to be happy I must be happy, starting with learning to respect myself and living for me. If all you do is listen to the opinion of others and live by their words, you will find yourself in a spiral of confusion, identity crisis and a whole group of other negative feelings. I have recently caught myself in this predicament and am taking steps to make worthy changes. At one point, I felt like I didn’t have a voice or opinion or that anything that I did or said wouldn’t be considered, which it often wasn’t.

Now that I know that the problem lies in my subconscious I am taking active measures to change that first. Here’s to this on going journey of self change and improvement.

It took me awhile to even write this post and get back into the habit of blogging. At first, I told myself it was because I was too busy and uninspired but now I know that those were just excuses that I just used to comfort myself.

So if anything this is my comeback post, I know that if changes are to be made they will be made by me and no one else. If my life turns out a way different than what I intended, regarding things in my control, then I know that it is because of my thoughts and actions that those results are what they are.

I have learned a lot about myself these past few months. I have started to begin the practice of self love. A healthy respect for myself, which I don’t think I truly ever had. Reading and saying these things aloud, make me feel sad and pathetic but the first step is to stop lying to myself and making excuses and blaming others.

I can’t sit back and complain anymore especially if I am just living life and doing nothing. These days have been somewhat exhausting but I know I have to pull through because I have a new reason to live my best life….the best reason and motivator…a baby on the way!

Stay tuned for future posts!

Stay strong and beautiful!

 

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Secret Pregnancy Post…4 weeks along

Could It Be?

I was going through the dreaded two week wait and was failing…testing and testing..knowing that it was too early but feeling so many symptoms.

TMI warning

There were a handful of symptoms I had that raised my suspicions that I may be pregnant. I had gas like it was no ones business…I had trouble sleeping and would wake up every morning at 5 am. My forehead was always super warm and I was extra bloated. My nipples were on fire.

I was at work a couple days later and felt like Aunt Flow was going to appear at any moment….the next day came and no AF. So i went to the dollar store after work and there it was the faintest line you ever did see.

Thank You God!

I am so happy and hope this little bean sticks…but I am a bit worried as I suffered an early miscarriage this past December. The lines have been getting darker and darker so I splurged on a Clearblue digital and ‘1-2 weeks’ appeared. I began to cry with tears of joy and excitment. I am so grateful that God has blessed us.

Hoping for a happy and healthy pregnancy journey!

Stay strong and beautiful!

My Therapy

Life can be Stormy

For the past few weeks, I have to admit that I have been feeling rather down and somewhat depressed. I just feel so sad and helpless and am so disappointed in myself. I should have done more by now; I’m so far from where I want to be.

My blog posts have become fewer and fewer and I am just getting by in my desire to accomplish things. The little drive that I once had has diminished and some days I just feel like sleeping all day. But I know I can’t, I have a job to do and a life to live.

The Sun will Shine Again

On the flip side, I have sacrifices to make, lessons to learn and adventures to explore.

If there’s one thing in this life that can put a smile on my face, it has got to be music. I pretty much like all types of music. From country and classical to hip-hop and broadway and everything in between. I also enjoy the music of different cultures and different languages. It truly is like therapy to me.

So fast forward to the greatest ‘me time’ moments, when I just lay on the couch and listen to songs I grew up listening to. Hit after hit, it takes me back and I can’t help but feel happy and calm. If only I had more of these moments, I could get my drive back.

Just Go For It

I then set out to seek opportunities and just really going for whatever I felt would be beneficial to me. Amongst those opportunities was the chance to travel to the States for a few days and without hesitation, I said ‘let’s go!’ They say that travelling opens your eyes and keeps you humble. It is so interesting to see how people in different areas of the world live and work on a daily basis.

It really makes you appreciate what you have and also teaches you that if you work hard, you can also play hard. Who wouldn’t want to travel more and go on vacation whenever they wanted? However, like most things in life, travelling comes with a price. I have recently made it my goal to take life head on and conquer my fears. No more self-sabotaging, full of doubt mentality. I believe that I can do whatever I mould into my mentality and will not apologize anymore.

I used to think that my actions were helping others, but come to see that all I’ve done is neglect my own growth. Someone recently told me that whether I do something or not, nobody cares. The challenge is to keep striving to stay relevant and achieve your own goals. People will notice you at some point or the other, but it is not your job to get people to notice you. Your only purpose is to create your best life!

Below are pictures from my adventures in Los Angeles and Las Vegas. We went on a bit of a food tour and sampled a few bites from several popular foodie spots.

Las Vegas ahhh the city that never sleeps, With its bright lights and countless hotels, there’s something for everyone in Vegas. The hotels in Vegas are super creative and fun to look at.

We were there for 3 days and the trip ended with a Celine Dion concert live in Vegas. Let me tell you, that woman can sing! I was so impressed and a wave of tears just washed over me, because I was so happy and felt so blessed to be able to have this experience.

Travelling opened my eyes…it has given me drive to do what I do and do it well. It was the ‘pick me up’ that I needed and now I am focused to do well so I can have more of these experiences.

What are your travel plans or what do you do when travel opportunities come your way?

Stay strong and beautiful!

Planning the Perfect Vacation: Part 2

So in my previous post, I shared my experience and tips about the planning process of the perfect vacation. In this post, I will be discussing my experience with Ratings, Reviews and Extras.

Ratings

Ratings are not always as they seem. It is good to understand that a four or five star rating in Cuba or other popular destinations are not equivalent to four or five stars in say, Canada or the US. So when a hotel or resort claims to be a four star, it’s more likely a two star.

Reviews

The most important aspect of choosing a place to stay is reading the reviews. Reviews need to be taken with a grain of salt, because mainly only two types of people take the time to write reviews; those with great experiences and those with horrible ones.

It is also good to consider that their experiences won’t necessarily be your own so if they had a horrible room experience chances are likely the same thing won’t happen to you. However, issues that relate to food, bugs, shows, mannerisms, beach and pool are probably what to read about so you have a good idea of what to expect.

Extra, Extras

Why not indulge in a once in a lifetime opportunity while you are lazing away. Excursions or extras are great add ons that you can participate in. Generally, prices per person are charged in USD. The resort you stay at will have a booth where an excursion specialist can help you choose and register you for tours and activities.

My husband and I went on a Catamaran tour which included a cruise to a few small islands, snorkelling, lunch and a show as well as interaction with dolphins.

In my next post, I’ll be discussing what to pack and how to prepare for your trip!

Have you had good or bad experiences when travelling?

Stay strong and beautiful!

Planning the Perfect Vacation (Mini Series)

VACAY

This will be another mini-series and I will share my experience and tips that I found useful when planning my upcoming vacation. Everyone in life can benefit from travelling and relaxing. Although it takes some time and research; it is well worth it!

So you’ve decided that it’s time to take a break from the old 9 to 5 grind. To you, I say good for you! It’s definitely important to take care of yourself while striving towards a work-life balance and allowing yourself to live a little.

There are a few steps that are key to the vacation planning process.

Choose Your Destination

It’s good to choose 3 to 4 places you would like to travel to. The world is such a beautiful place so geographically it depends on what you want to get out your trip. My husband and I wanted to go somewhere hot and sandy so we narrowed it down to Mexico, Cuba and Dominican Republic. Choosing your perfect vacation spot comes down to recommendations from friends and family,

Set a Budget (and Stick to It)

Generally sites and travel companies offer packages that include the flight, meals, drinks and transfers. It is very important to set a budget and not go overboard. You should have a general idea of how much you want to spend per person. The most popular package is the all-inclusive which includes flights, transfers, meals and drinks; the best bang for your buck. It helps to choose up to a maximum of 4 different websites or sources to make your comparisons, anything more than that becomes overwhelming.

Decide Travel Time

So you have a few destinations in mind and a budget. Next, decide when you would like to take the trip. Obviously there are months where travel rates are cheaper than others but it is up to you. Generally for hot countries, peak travel times are from Mid December to Mid-March when most children will be on their break. It is a good idea to start looking for tickets a few months in advance as prices fluctuate daily. It was somewhat stressful watching the great differences in prices only to feel a constant need to check other sites. 

How many days would you like to travel for? How much time off can you take from work? .Will you be travelling with/without children? Are you travelling in a large group or just as a couple?These are all helpful when determining the realistic length of your vacation.

Do Your Research

My husband and I decided to go to Cuba for 7 days. At first I was extremely against travelling to any hot, sunny destinations because of the zika virus especially since I had an early miscarriage a few months ago. However, after much thought and the likelihood of infection I decided that it’s now or never. So with that we are taking precautions to protect ourselves from the bugs and critters we may encounter.

In my next post, I will cover topics such as: Ratings, Extras and Reviews.

I would love to read about your experiences with vacations and all inclusive resorts! Comment below! 

Stay strong and beautiful!

Gratitude Challenge

The best attitude to have towards anything in life is gratitude…

When you are grateful, you are in a blessed state of mind. So to start the new year, I committed to having an attitude of gratitude each day of the month. Whether it be to thank God or the Universe, there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for.

January 1, 2017: I am thankful that I am alive. It is such an amazing time to be alive. I vow to live more and take life more seriously.

January 2, 2017: I am grateful for friends and family. Without my friends and family I would not be where I am today. The constant push that I get from them is incredibly motivating.

January 3, 2017: I am grateful that I have a roof over my head. I am currently living with my in-laws with my husband. There is not a day that goes by that I am not thankful that I have such a great relationship with each person in our household.

January 4, 2017: I am so thankful today for a speedy recovery after my miscarriage; my body is healing and it shows.

January 5, 2017: I am honoured to be able to enjoy the comfort of being able to take charge of my life and to learn from my mistakes.

January 6, 2017: Today I am just so happy and blessed that I am close with my family and cousins; what a great time we had tonight.

January 7, 2017: Thank you for my family’s health; I know that health is never to be taken for granted.

January 8, 2017: Thank you for opening up my eyes, I truly felt your grace today. Your message at church was so relevant to my life, I felt as if you were speaking to me directly.

January 9, 2017: Thank you for my older sister; there are so many lessons that I have learned from her.

January 10, 2017: Thank you for allowing my husband and I to celebrate today; I can’t believe it’s already been 4 months.

January 11, 2017: Thank you for the magnificent man I get to call my husband. I am so lucky to have met him and to be married to him. He truly pushes me to be a better person and I am so appreciative of his honesty (as harsh as it may be at times).

January 12, 2017: Thank you for all the dogs in my life, Each one of you bring me so much joy and always put a smile on my face with your weird behaviours.

January 13, 2017: Thank you for guiding me to some new apps to keep my health and fitness in check….also thank you for technology.

January 14, 2017: Thank you for showing me a glimpse into my passion. It’s days like this I love.

January 15, 2017: Thank you for allowing me to receive ample blessings from the Evangelist today. I look forward to what you have in store for me.

January 16, 2017: Today I feel blessed that I am able to trust those around me and truly value each of their opinions.

January 17, 2017: Thank you for the boost of confidence I received today; every bit is helpful in regaining my confidence.

January 18, 2017: Thank you for putting the right people in my life. I really appreciate the path you have set up for me.

January 19, 2017: Thank you for allowing me to help others; it gives me such joy when I can make a difference in someone’s life.

January 20, 2017: Thank you for reshaping me and never giving up on me. I strive for consistent and meaningful improvements in my life.

January 21, 2017: Thank you for lessening my fears today. I am so grateful for all the lessons you have taught me. I am slowly beginning to have faith in myself again.

January 22, 2017: Thank you for giving me the strength to improve and for showing me that failure is part of success.

January 23, 2017: Today I walked a lot and though my feet hurt I am so blessed for my body and the ability to walk and run.

January 24, 2017: Today I share the joy and happiness of my newly engaged BFF! Thank you for sending her someone who is truly meant for her and makes her so happy.

January 25, 2017: Today I slept in and it felt great. Thank you for letting me rest today.

January 26, 2017: Today I  went to dinner with two of my girlfriends. Thank you for sending me such dear friends to share this journey of life with me.

January 27, 2017: Thank you for allowing me to be so productive today. I feel motivated when I make progress.

January 28, 2017: Thank you for the extra me time today. I was able to read my book in peace and it was very relaxing.

January 29, 2017: I am so grateful for the health of my family and friends. Thank you for taking such good care of my loved ones.

January 30, 2017: Thank you for the gift to learn. I know what I need to do and will begin to apply self-discipline and ultimately master it.

January 31, 2017: Thank you so much for allowing our closing to go smoothly. We move into our new place very soon and are very excited!

Thank you God for all of these sweet and unbelievably precious blessings.

What are you thankful for today? Would you be able to come up with at least one thing to be grateful for each day?

Stay strong and beautiful!

 

 

 

Our New Place

A couple weeks ago my husband and I met with an amazing realtor. We discussed that we would like to purchase a condo and move out of our in laws place.

We couldn’t believe how competitive the condo market was. Units sold within 5 DOM (days on market) and we went to check out a few in different areas. Our checklist was pretty simple, we required:

1. A place that was close to a bus stop or a subway station;

2. At least one bedroom anything more was a bonus;

3. One parking space and a locker;

4. Something that would be easily rented down the line;

5. An area that would hold its value;

6. A good area with a safe neighbourhood;

7. A unit with functionality; namely the kitchen;

8. Well lit, clean and spacious;

9. Within our budget; and

10. Close to the highway for commuting to work.

We were reluctant to purchase a condo since there are monthly maintenance fees. We thought about it long and hard. After several discussions, we decided that we could stay at our in-laws for another year or two and save up for a townhouse or we could just bite the bullet and go for it. After I found out we were pregnant I was extremely stressed about raising our child at our in-laws. I didn’t want that to be the case. After my miscarriage, my eyes were opened and I began to see all the preparation that goes into raising a child. I saw this as the first step to starting our future family.

We are so excited that we found a unit so fast….3 days to be exact. The condo met all of our requirements and bonus it has a small den as well. It all happened so fast in the past we have gone house shopping but it was for investment and a house so there were no emotions attached.

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly we got the unit and I’m even more thrilled about how soon we will be moving in.

We will be moving the first week of February. I’m eager to move in and have already started to purge what we don’t need and packing what we do.

In a future post, I’ll share tips for choosing a condo that’s right for you and how to: packing and moving from a house into a condo.

How has 2017 been for you so far?

Stay strong and beautiful!