Last Week I Reached My Breaking Point + What I Plan To Do About It

DSC_0092.JPG

Hello Lovely,

It’s not easy to say this, especially when I haven’t even spoken to my family about this. Before I can get into that, first I have to give you guys a little back story into what’s been happening lately. As with many families, there’s going to come a time when you don’t agree or even argue about things. No family is perfect, and over time family dynamics are bound to change. For years my family has consisted of my mum dad and brother, but I never got along with my brother; NEVER. It’s the most antagonising tit-for-tat relationship that is simply not healthy. Then my parents got divorced and I got a step dad. I wasn’t thrilled about this change (I’m not thrilled about any change) but it did bring something new: I now had pets. My step dad paid for me to adopt two cats. I still remember the day I picked them out at The Bahamas Humane Society. Their names are Ichigo and Rukia and they would go on to become very important members of my family.

For 11 years, I took care of them. Even when their fur began to irritate my eyes, I took Zyrtec and pushed through. They weren’t always the best behaved, but most house pets cause some level of trouble. But my mother desperately wanted to get rid of them. So when they thought my niece was allergic to the cats, I had no say in the fact that they had to go. The only thing I controlled was which home they went to. I was lucky enough to place them in a loving home. The week I spent searching for a home was rough. I cried at my desk on Monday and moped around the whole week. Luckily by Thursday, I found someone who wanted them. But after giving them up, I honestly broke down in the snottiest bought of crying. She had to console me, and I almost considered putting them back in my car and going back home.

This experience made me realise one very important thing: I need to move out. There have been many reasons I stayed in my mother’s house for so many years, but now my reasons to leave are beginning to outnumber the reasons to stay. Outside of the dynamics surrounding why I had to give up my cats, I knew this wouldn’t happen if I had my own place. I also genuinely need the space to create without having my materials and tools tossed around the house, constantly in someone’s way. I don’t plan on moving out before March because I plan on travelling next month, but I am hoping that by the summer or shortly afterwards, I can be in a place of my own. I have no idea how to live on my own or how to pay rent but I definitely need to learn wouldn’t you agree?

What I'm Reading & Why I Chose An Anti Self-Help Book

Hello lovely,

I’m so guilty of ignoring reading. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy reading, but my life is drastically different now from the days when I was able to finish thick books in three days or less. I used to read long after my parents sent me to bed, and often travelled with a book everywhere I went in case it was boring. Now worry that I have so much going on that I just don’t make the time. And even when I do have the time, I find myself thinking about other things and unable to concentrate. But when I saw this book in my best friend’s house on Christmas, I just had to have it! After she lent it to me, I couldn’t wait to dive in, but of course I made excuses. It wasn’t until j forced myself to sit down and read it, did I realise why this was the book I NEEDED in my life. The book is called F*ck Feelings by Dr. Michael and Sarah Bennett.

DSC_0291-2.jpg

I genuinely only read books that contain profanity because it feels real. I’m not perfect, so I don’t need a book that pretends to be perfect. And that’s why I chose an “anti-self help” book. I know I don’t have my life together, but I just can’t relate to the yoga moms, who drink smoothies instead of eating real food and take a bunch of styled photos for Instagram. The book offered answers to common issues we face in adulthood. Even the description tells you:

Need to stop screwing up? Want to become a more positive person?
Do you work with an ass? Think you can rescue an addicted person?
Looking for closure after abuse? Have you realized that your parent is an asshole?
Feel compelled to clear your name? Hope to salvage a lost love?
Want to get a lover to commit? Plagued by a bully?
Afraid of ruining your kid? Ready to vent your anger?

DSC_0289-2.jpg

What are you reading now? If anyone picks up the F*ck Feelings book, I’d love to chat with you about it!

A White Woman Called The Police On Me

DSC_0108-01.jpeg

Hello Lovely,

This past weekend I went to Miami for a girl’s trip. I wanted to take a few photos for my Instagram, so we went out really early Sunday morning. When my friend Tiana snapped this pic of me, I was outside of a home decor store in The Shops at Pembroke Gardens. Thinking it's a Sunday and I'm not bothering anyone I looked at the items through the window. When I turned around, I noticed a white woman in her car on the phone looking at me. I figured that she was the store owner or at least a manager. Not thinking anything of it, I kept walking and we kept taking pictures. We went for a cup of coffee then came back to the strip. When we were about to leave all of a sudden the police was there asking if she was okay. I was trying to ignore them because I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but when the police officer saw us with my camera, I couldn't help but notice that he rolled his eyes in annoyance like he was saying, "Seriously this is what you called me for?" Thankfully the officer never approached us and we were free to go.

DSC_0091-01.jpg

Sadly, this experience isn’t anything new. I've encountered racism before and I've seen the news stories about white women calling the police on innocent black people. I even got sick of it and refused to give them any publicity. But at some point, there needs to be consequences for these actions. Elizabeth "Duffy" Johnson, Permit Patty, BBQ Becky, Golfcart Gail, the Georgia woman, and Cornerstone Caroline, these women shouldn’t be allowed to hide behind their despicable cowardly actions. Even if I waned to buy any of her overpriced, moderate designed items, I wouldn’t after that kind of treatment.

Many years ago, my father was surrounded by police officers and sheriffs when he went to the bank with some friends because people thought it was strange that 5 black men in a van would go to the bank in Ft. Lauderdale. It's disturbing to have the police called on you for simply taking pictures in a public space while being black. In America, I’m more than aware of how quickly these situations can escalate and go wrong. I wanted so badly to approach her about the it but I was going to church afterwards (Church By The Glades) and just wanted to be at peace. Living While Black is a serious problem and most encounters don’t end well.

I pray for everyone still struggling with racism, hatred or intolerance of any kind in their heart. There is no place for people like you in this world. ✌🏾

Currently: Obsessed With Wigs

Hello Lovely,

This is going to sound weird, but within the past three months I have become obsesses with wigs! I made three wigs earlier this year (not the best job but also not bad for a rookie). I really enjoyed the process but I just couldn't figure out how to attach the closure. After everything, there's really only one wig that came out pretty good and I wear it fairly often. So what do I see in wigs you ask?

IMAG3252.jpg
26730690_1848347748523218_8189574031121536496_n.jpg

I do not have the time to constantly fix my hair. Even with protective styles, I get tired of it after only one week. I'm really non-commital with hairstyles, so wigs seemed like the perfect answer! I think it's really cool to completely transform your look by simply throwing on a wig. The best part is there's no commitment. At the end of the day, I can take it off and go about my business. And underneath my wigs, my hair is usually in a braided/twisted style so that if anyone were to snatch my wig (I've watched waaaaaaay too much reality TV), at least my hair would still be cute underneath. I know there are so many rules and regulations to wear a wig properly, but when have I ever been the kind of gal to follow rules?

IMAG3292.jpg
IMG_20180601_151355.jpg

I know that I'm never going to be the one to always have my nails done, or my face, "beat".

Weekend Diaries + Outfit Post

Hello Lovely,

I wish I could say this was an easy week for me. I started the week off with going to the beach on National Lazy Day, but after that things got a little difficult and disappointing. Lately I've been really hard on myself. I'm super critical of all my creative work, totally mad at my hair right now for not being "pretty" like the other natural girls on TV and still struggling to eat without feeling sick (thanks to acid reflux). A few projects I'm working on are proving harder than I thought they'd be and the prognosis isn't looking so good, but I'm determined so I'll keep trying. But hands down my favourite moment of the week was catching with one of my best friends. While we were eating a thunder and lighting storm began, trapping us at the coffeehouse. It might've been a nightmare for some people, but little moments like that make me grateful for great friends and hilarious conversation.

20800197_10211864974473585_3982590653433192448_n.jpg

If you've been a longtime reader, you know I'm heavily involved in my church. I'm the Creative Producer so I'm in charge of making sure the service runs smoothly, looks good and everyone knows what they're supposed to do. It requires a lot of communicating and every time a volunteer is needed, I'm usually one of the mandatory people there. That included being at a book study at 5:30 in the morning and staying until 10 at night the next day to prepare for a yard sale. The yard sale was another early morning (6 am call time) and church this morning. Needless to say I am wiped out!

IMG_20170820_143810_217.jpg

I return to work tomorrow (not sure where I'll find the energy from). To prepare I've been planning outfits to make my mornings easier. I decided to try out my new heels from Shoedazzle to see how comfortable they would be before wearing to work. I'm so glad I did. I HATE THESE SHOES! To be honest I'm starting to hate all Shoedazzle and JustFab shoes. The heel is comfortable so standing and walking is no problem but the back of the shoe chafed my heel so badly within the first hour of wearing the shoe that I had cuts and needed band aids just to keep wearing them.

DSC_0032.JPG

The jacket is from Primark. I think I spent £8 or £10 on it. I wanted to wear it when I went out for dinner in London but with the outfit I had picked, it ended up looking like a lab coat. I felt like one of the Captains from the anime Bleach. It was not a cute look. So this is the first time I've been able to successfully pair this jacket to pull a look together.

DSC_0036.JPG

The skirt came from H&M, which I bought last December while shopping with one of my old girlfriends from college and the blouse is pretty old from a local clothing store called Adam and Eve. And the ring is from a store called Six in Switzerland. I got it on sale for 2.50 CHF (Swiss Francs) 

DSC_0070.JPG

Here's to hoping this week gets better. I can't wait to show you my outfits at the end of the week. Have a great week everyone!

Weekend Diaries

Hello Lovely,

This week has been great. I’m still working on my patio furniture but I finished the bar. There are still somethings I want to do with it, but it’s functional now. I got my final grade for grad school and guess what? I aced my final course! I’m still awaiting official word from the university that I have graduated and I can’t wait to get my diploma in the mail. I also had fun with a friend of mine who visited from Toronto. We went salsa dancing and I went to a street party with my best friend Krista.

I was finally able to sleep better this week, but poor eating habits triggered my acid reflux so I’m currently nursing that. I also recently started reading the Qur’an, something I’ve wanted to do for years. So far it’s an interesting read.

Speaking of interesting reads, these are some of my favourite reads from around the internet this week:

·        Make chores fun with this app

·        This is one of my new favourite shows on Netflix.

·        These instagrammers know how to stay fit

·        I love her DIYs

·        I’ve got to have some of these doughnuts

·        These are some great organisation tips

How was your week? Did you do anything exciting on the weekend to celebrate or unwind?

Currently: Dating

Hello Lovely,

I'm not ashamed to admit that after a little over two years I made the decision to end my relationship. It wasn't so much the distance as the differences I could no longer overlook. After a very heated argument that we've had more times than I can count, it's like a light switch went off in my head. I just couldn't do it anymore. It had nothing to do with whether or not I loved him. I loved him dearly, but it just wasn't working. We weren't working. And we weren't going to work either. In that moment, I knew for sure that had we gotten married, I would've divorced him. So I did what I had to do.

I was fine with my choice. I know I made the right decision. All I had to do was move on. So I did. And I'm proud to say that next month, I'll be making my final presentation for my master's degree. I can't believe this moment has finally come! It took a lot of sacrifice but I did it!

 While this is a personal blog, I am very cautious of what I write and share. But whenever I experience something I feel is worth sharing, I want to share that wisdom with others. I've compiled them into mini chapters, so to speak, all based on my personal experience with dating. So this is what 2 years of a long distance relationship coming to an end, culminated with 3 months of dating availability has taught me about dating and myself:

DSC_0389.jpg

1.     Picky is not necessarily a bad thing.

Any time a guy asks me what I look for in a partner, I always lead with, “I’m picky.” I’m not ashamed of this. My pickiness is not unrealistic; and by leading with what I want it lets the “unqualified” know not to bother. Why waste time with someone who only wants to waste your time? Letting someone know you have standards that are non-negotiable creates an opportunity for respect and allows you to weed out the undesirables. Only weak people are intimidated by standards.

2.     Forgiveness is important

OMG! Who am I for even saying this? I am the master of holding grudges! I recently started dating someone who acted unforgivably. We stopped talking and it actually hurt me. But last week he reached out to me to apologise. I’ll be honest, I was ready to forgive him so I felt relief after we talked it out and now we’re friends again. That’s because I had to accept the advice two of my best friends gave me:

3.     Nobody is perfect; including yourself

People are going to mess up; it’s a part of life. There are no perfect boyfriends, just real ones. It’s still up to you to decide how much imperfection you’re willing to deal with, but remember that you yourself are also a work in progress and there are going to be things your partner doesn’t like about you.

4.     Always date your best friend

But none of that would matter if you date your best friend. That was my biggest regret in my last relationship. We got into a relationship after only two weeks of knowing each other. Take the time to really get to know the person you’re about to spend the rest of your life (or the next three months) with. Loving your best friend is much easier than loving someone you’re still getting to know. You won’t know everything about your partner, but it’s much more fun when this person has unconditional respect for you before romantic relationships become a topic.

5.     Listen to the warning signs

I can’t stress this enough. There were so many red flags in my last relationship; as early as one month in. even when I met him, I didn’t feel the butterflies I thought I would but chose to ignore that. There will be warning signs in any kind of relationship, some are minor but you know when it’s a biggie. Listen to your heart. If something feels off, it probably is. Address these issues head on so that everyone is clear moving forward.

6.     Pick your battles

Not everything is worth fighting for. Sometimes you just know that something will end in an argument or worse a fight. The warning signs are there and in that moment you have a choice. Fully commit to this sinking ship or walk away? If you’ve already made it clear where you stand on something minor, no need to keep nagging your partner if they don’t get it right. For example: your partner getting stuck in traffic and being late to a date, vs. your partner always ignoring your requests to do something that makes you happy.

7.     Be intentional

Someone can’t give you what you want if you’re not clear about what you want. Be upfront, honest and intentional. Go for what you want and don’t be apologetic. As long as you’re true to yourself, no matter the outcome, rest in knowing you made your needs and wants clear with no crazy mixed signals.

8.     Games are for kids

This ties in with the above note. No one likes the guy at the bar who takes your number then takes a week to call. And worse, he doesn’t call back for another 3 weeks and the only reason he did call was because you initiated a drop call to get his attention. While I already counted three strikes against him from the initial meeting (my friends though I was too harsh) it turns out I was right about him so it didn’t hurt me. No one has time for games so I simply didn’t make time for him.

9.     The ring didn't mean a thing

Last year when I went to St. Croix to meet his mother, I told him bluntly that I could spend over $600 on airfare to meet his mother and still leave him if I continued to be unhappy. When we did eventually break up, he threw in my face that I was throwing away two years of blah blah blah. While this may have been my longest relationship ever, no matter how long you’ve been with your partner, dissatisfaction in one area will lead to dissatisfaction in other areas of your life. You don’t have to stay if your needs aren’t being met intentionally. There’s only so much anyone can put up with.

10.  Change is good but don't change too much.

Everyone changes in some way during a relationship. Your partner can encourage you to be the best you possible but remember no matter what changes you make in life, don’t lose who you truly are. Don’t change so much to make someone happy that you can’t remember what makes you happy.

There are days when it really hits me that my long-distance relationship is over and for a few seconds, I get an empty feeling. I’ve never been a fan of the dating process because there are so many jerks out there. But with friends that are more like family, I feel more confident in getting back on the dating scene.

I hope my experiences help with whatever decision you’re facing or need to face. What is the best dating advice you’ve ever gotten? Share it in the comment section below.

XoX

Currently: How We Spent The Holidays

Hello 2017!

Welcome back! Did you all have an amazing Christmas?

Christmas in Miami is definitely not the same as Christmas back home in The Bahamas. But every year I spend with my boyfriend, is a different experience. If I were home, I would’ve spent Christmas in church, so to spend it doing anything else just feels weird.  I didn’t get to go to church this Christmas season at all. To be honest, I spent most of the season sitting around the apartment either watching various crime dramas or the Mythbusters marathon. When I wasn’t home, I was exploring wherever Uber could take me.

I surprised my boyfriend by coming in a day earlier than I had promised, and whisked him off to watch Star Wars on opening day. We even went shopping in Lush afterwards on a whim. It's been five years since I shopped there so I've missed that store. I treated myself to a new camera this Christmas (it’s been four years since I upgraded) and my boyfriend got me the perfect zoom lens for it! I was also able to get my closest friends and family presents that they loved, so that was a great feeling. I spent Christmas and New Year’s Day with my boyfriend’s family. On Christmas Eve we went to a block party together and we spent New Year’s Eve dancing to J-Lo (don’t tell him I told you that).

My Christmas holiday was full of good cheer, traditional fixings and family visits.  After church, my husband and I, house hopped to family and close friends, visiting the entire spectrum of relatives from grandparents to siblings and god-kids.  The famous pound cake from Freeport was super moist and flavourful as always and our end of day count of fruit cake slices was nothing short of 6! We had just about every cake imaginable, with no shortage of walnuts in sight.  The traditional meal of ham, turkey and vegetables also had an English flair with extras such as balsamic glazed Brussel sprouts, oven baked potatoes and English sausage.  

After a competitive game of Dominos, we teamed up to play Cranium and emerged as the winners of the night after many Charades, Sketching and Brain teaser inspired rounds (Go team Sweeting!).  I must say, I truly loved how I felt the joy of Christmas through sharing time with my loved ones.  It was one of my best Christmases.

How was your Christmas break? Did you do anything or go anywhere exciting? Share with us your Christmas moments in the comment section below.

 

Currently: Hurricane Matthew Aftermath

Hello Lovely,

Today is a bittersweet day for us at Life By Olivia. It’s a holiday in The Bahamas but no one feels like celebrating. We managed to survive the hurricane but some people weren’t so fortunate. Along with excessive flooding, there are some people on the island who lost their roof, their cars and their entire home. We saw mass panic as persons flooded and swarmed the gas stations buying sometimes $10 at a time into their fuel containers in fear of there being no fuel or not being able to make it safely to home or work.  Gas stations actually ran out of gas and the average wait time was anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour. Reports of even greater damage are still coming in from the other islands. Many homes are still without power (we went three days) and some don’t have running water either. The damage was even worse in the other Caribbean countries that Hurricane Matthew hit. Haiti has a death toll of at least 800, which they expect to rise more. We are praying for solutions to everyone affected by this storm.

This photo is as of October 6, 2016

This photo is as of October 6, 2016

On a brighter note, we saw sparks of hope with persons providing relief items and clean up during the aftermath, and even brotherly love during the hurricane itself. 

Mechelle: Although my home suffered damages that have to be addressed and an assessment of lost items and electronics were done , I am happy to say that I have experienced the pleasant, hopefully and bonding aspect of the natural disaster.  After evacuating our home, my husband and I spent Matthew’s duration with relatives who were nothing less than hospitable and nurturing. In a house of 13, it’s easy to lose your way or grow weary during the long hours of no power, small kids vying for attention or lacking your own ‘space’.  But this paled in comparison to the home cooked meals on a gas stove/oven that was whipped up without complaint and was more than enough to feed us all, at least twice per day.  I loved snacking on roasted vegetables like pumpkin and sweet potatoes, coconut water and V8. There were old island stories shared, moments outside by the pool, impromptu group games (Name game anyone?) and Guitar lessons.  There were certainly more smiles than frowns and at the end of it all, we exuded gratefulness. Grateful for life, food, family, shelter, hope and receiving the all clear.  I too am grateful for my second family: my friends, who shared no negativity and always highlighted the silver lining throughout this experience.  It may have seemed like the longest most uncertain moment of our lives at that time but we made it through wholly.

Olivia: One of the best ways that we prepared for the storm was by getting snacks. I was happy to snack on Cheetos, ramen noodles and Crystal Bay. Our water stayed frozen for two whole days in the freezer so we were really grateful for that. For me, our roof was damaged by a neighbours aluminium shutters that came loose at the beginning of the storm flew over two houses, hit our roof and then landed in our next door neighbours’ yard. It was a scary moment especially when my mum’s bedroom and bathroom ceiling began leaking. Even scarier was realising that my neighbours’ three year old daughter with Down Syndrome is still on a feeding tube, and with no power for three days, the machine now needed to recharge. I was complaining about not having a fan blowing on me, while they were literally in a life or death situation. So we were really grateful when the power was restore at 3:04 the following morning. For four days I slept on the couch because I just couldn’t bear the heat in my room. During the day we either sat outside in the garage or took a drive just to see something other than our four walls. Some trips were made at two in the morning just so we could cool down enough to sleep. My most exciting excursion was going to Home Fabrics, the local craft store and looking at the Halloween decorations and costumes. I got a lot of inspiration and I can’t wait to start some new projects. I went to church yesterday and there were less than 25 people (not counting the volunteers). I was so grateful to be unharmed that I had to give thanks and see if there was anything I could do to help anyone else.

Now that the worst of Hurricane Matthew is behind us (at least impact wise), it's time for us to assess and share our current situations.

 

CURRENTLY – MECHELLE

Reading: The Two Minute Rule by Robert Crais.  An engaging crime thriller lent by a good friend. Thanks Hun!

Loving: I am lovin’ this bar of Kerrygold Garlic and Herb butter.  I’ve always seen it in the dairy aisle but never purchased it.  Constantly thinking: ‘I can make that, so why buy it?’   ‘It probably won’t taste fresh or earthy.’  Boy was I mistaken.   Found in a slender 3.5 ounce size and wrapped in the signature gold paper, my husband picked it up and thought it would provide more flavour to our dishes without the hassle of dicing and prepping ingredients.  I tried it out on a roasted pumpkin that I had quartered and deskinned after cooking.  It.was.DIVINE. I was pleasantly surprised at the burst of flavour and even more so at the list of green herbs including Dill, Thyme, Chives, Parsley.  I also used it on the top layer of the turkey and cheese panini and it accented it nicely with a golden brown effect.  If you normally cook with butter or even use it as an accent (toast, bagels, crostini, etc.), I would recommend you try it!

Planning: I’m planning to create a life size Vision Board.  I was reminded of the depth of it during a seminar last week and want to take my mini paper version and make it life size

Anticipating: I’m anticipating trying numerous lipstick swatches at the local MAC store.  I saw some nice shades on YouTube and would like to see if they’re just as fun and functional in person ;).  I’m thinking shades like Heroine, Viva La Glam and MAC Red.

CURRENTLY – OLIVIA

Reading: I downloaded a series just before the Hurricane hit called The Girl in The Box. I’m not head over heels in love with it, but so far I’ve finished the first book so I might as well finish the series. I’m also reading a book called Best Supporting Role by Sue Margolis. Another book I’m not head over heels in love with it, but I’ll finish it eventually. I’m really picky with my books.

Loving: I’m loving the support I’ve seen since the storm hit. After our roof was hit, a random neighbour didn’t even wait for the all clear, he grabbed his ladder, a tarp and some nails and started patching our roof. A friend at church offered to give people ice if anyone needed them. Seeing that kind of support really made me feel better about the current state of things.

Planning: I’m super excited to plan new Fall-themed recipes for you guys and already have a few lined up to try out. Including Halloween Bark that I plan on giving out at Trunk or Treat!

Anticipating: I can’t wait for two things this month! Trunk-or-Treat at the end of the month at church and the VIVA women’s conference the week before that. I can’t wait to share my experience with those!

The aftermath continues and recovery will honestly take more than a few days but I am taking it day by day, with positivity in my corner. 

Share your story with us. What impact has this experience had on you?  Did you receive support from family and friends?  Were you able to help others?

 

 

Currently

Hello Lovely,

I hope you all had a wonderful and productive week. I know that it’s so unlike me to post randomly at the end of the week after such a long absence (you know I’m a M-F, 9-5 kind of girl) but these past two weeks have been nuts, both good and bad. You’re probably wondering where the heck I’ve been for the past two weeks. Well if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I’m on vacation in Miami and I just got back from Tampa on Monday after surviving four days with my insane family. Don’t get me wrong, I love most of them, but I can only tolerate them in small 2 hour doses before I want to just lock myself in my room for solitude.  But of course when you’re sharing a hotel room, there’s no such thing as solitude. Let me back up a bit, mmkay?

I’ve been holding something back for fear of how some people would take it. In December 2011, I graduated college at the age of 21 with my Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. I was under a lot of pressure at the time and ended up having to take some time off before I could continue my studies. Fast forward to March 2013, I’m a secretary at an investment firm and finally enrolling in an online programme to get my Master’s in Marriage and Family Therapy. 3 years later, I’m still a secretary, but it in a school, still studying and still feeling like life is just passing me by. Until July 22, 2016, which was my last day of work. I put in for unpaid leave but was told I had to resign due to some extenuating circumstances. It created a whole circus of problems for me, but at the end of the day none of it mattered. I had finally quit my job. And while some may look at it as me now being unemployed, on the contrary, I start my new job on August 17 (I know why in the middle of the week). This new job created quite the stir on my old job. I guess you could say I’m being promoted (it’s a different school, but within the same system, hence the whole circus of resigning), which is why I’m happy to say that only 5 years after getting my degree in Psychology I’m finally using it. In two weeks I am going to be a guidance counsellor for an elementary school (Grades K-6).

So that’s what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. Creating lesson plans, finding materials that I could use because in my country Guidance counsellor have to teach on character traits; and at this school, I’ll basically be planning EVERY event, so I’ll need to be prepared. I’ve never done anything like this before so it’s nerve-wrecking, but I have been receiving amazing support from my family and close friends and especially my boyfriend, whom I’ve chosen to spend all of this time with, while I prepare. Truth be told, this is the most time we have ever spent together consecutively in our relationship. I have so many thoughts going through my head it’s unbelievable but I will try to keep you updated, as much as I can, given the sensitive nature of this situation for me.

Time and place: 10:41 am, sitting on my boyfriend’s bed watching him pay his bills and trying to convince him to go to IHOP for breakfast (I think he intentionally started paying his bills after I asked to send me some kind of message).

Celebrating: Finally getting to use my degree. Even though it’s a scary new journey, I know that God will guide me through it because this is his will. Please keep me in your prayers!

Reading: I just finished Honeymoon in Paris by Jojo Moyes (which I totally hated, but is still worth the read because it’s so short) and started I am Malala while I was in Tampa. I am in love with I am Malala. I already said before reading her book that I was considering naming my future child after her. I was shocked to read about her life in Pakistan. I couldn’t imagine having to knock on the wall and talk to my neighbour friend through a hole, or having to hide my TV in the closet for fear that a fascist team will break down my door and smash it to bits because I’m being influenced by the Western culture. I definitely could relate to the power outages but for different reasons. I would recommend everyone read the book. I plan on using it with my kids when school starts. It’s the perfect reality check and a great read for parents and little ones. She has a youth edition if you don’t want to expose your kids to too much graphic descriptions.

Loving: The fact that my boyfriend has IONTV so that I could watch Law and Order and Law and Order SVU all day, along with Blue Bloods, Leverage and Criminal Minds (which I just found out are great shows).

Planning: I’m planning to drag my boyfriend out of the house to go to IHOP for breakfast (because he really needs it now that he’s on the phone with his credit card company and is apparently the victim of credit card fraud) to try their new Waffle Croissants (How did they make two already perfect things better?) as well as some activities to keep myself busy for the next week for the blog and currently prepping my camera for a day of fun in the sun and sightseeing!

Anticipating: We’re supposed to go to The Venetian Pool in Coral Gables next week and I can’t wait! A few weeks ago I even bought a sports camera similar to the GoPro and I can’t wait to use it! We’ve played around with it already and the quality of the photos is great at 12MP and can’t wait to try the video. Also, again, those Waffle Croissants at IHOP! I seriously LOVE IHOP!

What are you currently up to, celebrating, reading and looking forward to? Share your recent experiences (good or bad) in the comment section below!