Engagements: How soon is too soon?

I am obsessed with the Pete and Ariana engagement after what seems like 3.5 seconds together. I just want to go ahead and say that I am absolutely here for it! With that said, the question is out there. How soon is too soon to get engaged?

Beyoncé and Jay-Z dated for 10 years before getting married. My parents had two kids by the time they got engaged. Jennifer Lopez is out here in these streets talking about “el anillo pa quando?!” It’s fair to say everyone runs on their own timeline and every couple is different.

Matt and I were engaged after being together almost two years and being friends for four. We had just taken the leap of moving in together with no roommates and adopting the most adorable beagle mix puppy, Izzy. It was June, the weather was getting nicer and we were both stressed out. He suggested taking of a random Wednesday and going for a day trip. He said he would plan it and I didn’t have to do a thing, so I of course accepted.

At first it wasn’t a huge deal, it was just us playing hooky for the day. Then, as the day got closer, and Matt started getting more excited, he started making all these comments about how he can’t wait for the day to come or how he planned a big surprise trip. I remember I had one moment, a couple of days before, where I thought it was possible that he was proposing to me. Matt used to get home an hour or so after me so I had a good amount of time on my hands that night. I looked everywhere, even in my secret gift hiding places and I couldn’t find anything. The next logical step in my mind was that he planned for us to go sky diving. I know that sounds crazy but we were talking a lot about it at the time and it was in the same area we were going. (We still haven’t gone sky diving actually.) Plus, we shared a one bedroom apartment, if there was a ring I would have found it. Eventually, he did tell me we were going to a vineyard. Something I had never done and had always spoken about doing.

The day of I got dressed, and ready like normal. We were going to drop off Izzy at my parents house in Jersey first and then head out. Before we left I went on the computer. I don’t remember what i was doing, maybe something for school but that doesn’t matter really. Matt got on the computer after me and he was freaking out. He started asking me if I was going through his messages or looking through his stuff on the computer. I hadn’t but the irrational, neurotic girlfriend I was, had sirens going off in my head. I spent the entire drive thinking he was keeping something from me; that he was cheating. I was telling myself that the minute we get home I would go through his entire computer while he was asleep. Judge all you want; I was deranged. I forgot to mention, the drive was two hours! I had plenty of time to boil over. Matt was so nervous he wasn’t speaking much either but I was too busy making shit up in my head to notice.

We arrived right as the vineyard was opening. There were no other customers just us, so we went in and decided on what wine tasting we wanted to do. Once we had our first glass of wine we headed out on the grounds and walked around. I remember we were talking about our life together and what comes next and I was thinking I get it, no pressure. We’re good. I honestly knew at some point we would get married so I didn’t feel like there was much to talk about. The when didn’t bother me in that moment. As we’re walking back from the vineyard to one of the grassy areas, there were these picnic tables and so we sat on top of the table and we’re talking. I look away for a second and the next thing I know Matt is getting down on one knee. My immediate reaction was to start crying. I don’t know why. I was just so happy in that moment. Spoiler alert! I said yes.

We spent the rest of our day fielding phone calls after my mom posted on Instagram that we were engaged so we had to post confirming that we were. We got very drunk and stopped at McDonald’s on the way home to get anything to eat. Later we got a good laugh out of me thinking he was cheating on me. Turns out when he went to log in to the computer a picture of the ring or a message about the ring, or something along those lines, was pulled up. He thought I had seen it and the surprise was ruined. Also, the ring was hiding in his shoe! The one place I never thought of searching.

Looking back I’m not sure if I would have been mature enough to handle getting engaged right at the beginning of our relationship. I do understand the feeling of not wanting to leave his side and instantly knowing that this will be my person forever. Me and Matt spoke about getting married right from the start. We just both knew it would happen when it was supposed to happen. Putting time lines and restrictions on things like that seems silly. How soon or how long you wait doesn’t dictate a marriage.

Overall, I wish Ariana and Pete a ton of happiness. And for anyone reading this, I hope you don’t let time dictate your happiness either. I hope you’re going after the things you love no matter what they are. Life is too short.

Besos! xoxo

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Verse Of The Week

Lately I’ve been really stressed out. Incredibly so. I’ve been working at this new job for almost 5 months now. I feel like I haven’t accomplished anything yet and I’m so out-of-place in the environment. I also just generally don’t like the job but I made the change for reasons outside of that so I’m sticking with it. But the anxiety is real.

Coming into work 30 minutes early every day to try to give myself a leg up. Trying my hardest to make the situation work. I feel like at the end of each day I’m wondering where the time went. How did I get through another day and still not accomplish anything ground breaking. And I feel this way about things outside of work too. My credit card is maxed out right now. How the fuck did that happen? Again?! My student debt is rising and I don’t have a degree. Why the hell not? When the hell will I finally be done?! I’m not pregnant yet. Kill me now. Seriously. This is a thought that has crossed my mind.

What’s worst is that is affects my mood, my sleep, my energy levels. This thought that I have been wasting time, that I have not done anything of significance yet. So, when I flipped open my bible this morning and came across this verse I thought it was pretty perfect. The days were fashioned for me. God knows what he’s doing. He gave me this set amount of time on earth to do what I have to do and he knows where its going to take me. I have the same 24 hours as Beyoncé and I’m working my hardest to make the best of them.

To allow myself to become stressed and anxious over time is a disservice to my day. It’s taking me out of the moment. I need to be present and stop rushing things. When I’m dead I won’t be remembered for that one time I answered all my emails in the day or crossed off everything on my to-do list. If I quit my job tomorrow the company would not fall apart without me. There is this constant pressure to put everyone elses needs ahead of our own but maybe it’s time to start prioritizing our days based on what would make us happy? What is the most important to us?

I made the feature image a picture of my dog Izzy today because to her time doesn’t matter. She doesn’t care if we spend 5 minutes in bed or 4 hours on a hike. As long as we’re together shes happy and she has everything she needs. I want to live more like Izzy. I think that’s beautiful.

Besos! xoxo

The Light We Lost

I’m not sure where to begin, so lets start at the beginning. Lucy and Gabe are at Columbia University the day of the September 11th attacks. This harsh, cruel and catastrophic event catapults them into a thirteen year love story that has just as many lows as it does highs. Just when you think you know where the story is going, where you might end up with these characters, author Jill Santopolo switches it up on you. She rewrites the rules.

Maybe it’s the fact that I am a married woman who can look back on what her love life use to be or maybe it’s the thought of being able to love multiple people at once. But I felt connected to Lucy in so many ways. I could relate to her, to her questioning, to her resilience and persistence. I was able to put myself in her shoes and wonder what her husband thought about her, and her actions. Wonder if the love of her life thought about her.

I devoured this book! Read it in the mornings after I got out of the shower still wrapped in a towel, on my lunch breaks, before bed, at the dinner table. I couldn’t put it down. I wish I was part of an actual book club that met once a month because I would love to hear other people’s opinions on this. I would love to see if my husband had different thoughts about Lucy and Gabe’s story and how it all played out. I am being purposefully vague here because I don’t want to give away the beautiful details in this book. I want you to read it and enjoy it as much as I did and then come back and tell me everything you thought about it. Deal?

I will say this is one book where I was satisfied with the ending. It left me wanted to know more; biting at the bits for pieces of resolution. This book felt like gossip, the kind that sticks in your head for weeks. The kind that starts fights over dinner. This book left me with questions and thoughts that I will be mulling over for weeks. I will most likely read it again now that I know everything, and see if my opinions change.

In even better news. This book will be made into a movie!

To get the book before then head over to your local library or get it here.

What’s next on your reading list?

Besos! xoxo

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Whole Wheat Vegan Banana Muffins

I am 100% guilty of always buying a bunch of bananas and never finishing them. Like, every shopping trip. The worst is that Matt doesn’t eat them and knowing this I still commit to eating all these damn bananas. No worries right? You can just freeze them right? Wrong. I’ve run out of room in my freezer for frozen bananas. So when I realized that I have four very very ripe bananas on my counter I decided to go a different route. Plus I had my mothers voice in my, “there are children starving in this world and you’re wasting food?!”

So I made whole wheat banana muffins! And because I am vegan so are they. These muffins are great for a dessert paired with ice cream or even for breakfast if you need a quick grab and go. They are nice and moist and keep in the fridge for at least a week. The best part is you can add in different things so each time is a different flavor. I love it!

Lets jump right in shall we?

Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour

Wet:

  • 4 very ripe bananas (like the peal is already sliding off on its own but not totally black)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

First things first preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Then mix all your dry ingredients together in a bowl.

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Next, mash your bananas, use a fork, a potato masher, whatever. Its cool if there are lumps still in there too. Don’t sweat it.

Add your wet ingredients to your mashed bananas and mix it all up. Once that’s done, add the wet mixture to your dry mixture.

The name of this game is not to over mix anything or your batter wont rise properly.

At this point you can add anything you want to the mix. Walnuts? Dope. Dark chocolate chips? Yum! Blueberries? Say no more fam!

For this post I didn’t add anything because I didn’t have anything on hand which is still totally awesome and delicious.

Divide the batter into your pre-greased muffin tin. I used my jumbo muffin tin so it made 6 but you can use a smaller one and get about 12 muffins out of this batter. If you want you can add extra toppings to the top of your muffins.

Bake these beauties for 24-26 minutes, until your muffins are risen like muffins should and if you stick a knife or a toothpick or a chopstick in the middle it comes out pretty clean. It should be a nice golden color. If it’s getting a little burnt on your tops before the middle is cooked all the way just move it down to the bottom rack and breathe easy.

Let it cool for like 5-10 minutes until it wont burn the top of your mouth when you eat it.

I had mine with some non-dairy ice cream for dessert. When eating them like leftovers you can microwave them for a moist muffin or cut them in half and toast them with a bit of vegan butter for a crunchier take. Trust me you wont regret it.

If you try this recipe out make sure to leave a comment and let me know how it goes.

What are your favorite go to recipes?

Besos! xoxo

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Verse Of The Week

This week I want to put out a call to prayer. I pray for all those who are suffering, have suffered or might suffer with depression, anxiety, and any other mental illness. With the passing of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade I pray for peace of mind. I pray for the strength to overcome the demons in our minds.

Lord, I pray for healing for the families who have lost loved ones from suicide. That they may feel your love and safety. I pray that those who are struggling find help, that they know that they are loved and not alone. I pray that they forgive those who have left them. God, I pray for peace.

Amen.

If you or someone you love needs help please think about reaching out to someone. Know that you are loved. If you need someone to talk to feel free to send me a message. I’m here for you.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255)

Besos! xoxo

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Homegoing

Homegoing a novel by Yaa Gyasi, took me longer than usual to read because of how strikingly intelligent and personal it is. We’ve all heard the analogy that getting to know someone is like peeling off the layers of an onion. What Yaa Gyasi does is grow the onion before your eyes, building it layer by layer by layer. It’s fascinating.

Homegoing is the story of two sisters born in Ghana living in different tribes. Their mother, having been raped as a slave by her owner and having Effia, set a fire and ran away leaving Effia with her father. Later returning home, marrying and having Esi. The two sisters don’t know about each other until much later when their paths lead them to very different lives. Effia marrying a rich Englishman slaver who lives in the castle off the Gold Coast and Esi being sold into slavery and being kept in the same castle; in the dungeons.

The intriguing part about this book is that the story does not end with the two sisters. Each chapter visits the next generation on each side. Looking at Effia’s son and then his son and then his daughter and so on. Sandwiched in between those stories are the stories of Esi’s daughter, and then her son, and then his son, and his daughter and so on. Each chapter building onto a history you didn’t know you were learning. The frustrating part is that the chapters are not fully formed. They are not perfectly rounded, summarized or laid out in a way that you get each persons full history. They are messy and you pick up some of the history here and then you might get a clue about what happened to this person from their child in the next chapter. But never the whole truth. As if you are learning about your own family and parts of their past. I’ve never read a book with this kind of layout and I’m surprised no one thought of it sooner.

A theme I picked up on is the justaposition of wealth and happiness. How having wealth does not mean your children and their children will remain wealthy. Also, none of this gaurentees happiness or in some instances safety. This book breaches hard subjects like slavery, segregation, and the reality of a prison system designed to prolong slavery. It visits the other side of slavery that we don’t hear about as much; what happened to the people who stayed? Who survived. Who sold other tribes to keep their own safe. How the next generation learned and grew from Africa and how the opposite side grew apart from Africa.

This is the problem of history. We cannot know that which we were not there to see and hear and experience for ourselves. We must rely upon words of others.

I don’t want to spoil the ending to this book because I highly recommend that you go out and buy it right this second. BUT I’ll say this. The ending seems like it’s crafted to be open to interpretation and I have a couple. One of my interpretations sort of cleans up the story and brings it full circle and I’m not sure that’s what I want from this book. My other is that I come away thinking you can never truly know everything. You can learn as much as possible but you may not ever get the full story.

What’s your next read?

Besos xoxo

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Verse Of The Week

I have this thing I do when I get nervous or when I’m walking alone in the dark. I pretend to call someone and speak to them in Spanish. I know its weird but I do it. It started when I first went to college. I didn’t have a car at the time so I would walk the 45 minutes to and from school. Some nights I couldn’t get a ride and I would have a late class, or meeting, or event and I would have to walk home by myself at whatever hour it was. I think the first time I did it my phone was dead or no one was picking up or something. So when I see some guy walking towards me in the dark I just act like I’m already on the phone with someone. I’m not sure why it makes me feel better but it does.

I started a new job a couple of months ago and I realized the other day that I had started doing this on my way to the car. What am I afraid of? It’s not dark out, it’s not an unsafe area, I’m heading to my car. But still I do it almost every day. I realized it’s because I don’t know the people that well. I don’t want them to get a chance to ask me an uncomfortable question or to get too close to me. I’m afraid of how they will judge me or how they will digest my opinions. To be fair if you were never born and raise in Long Island it is a different world. The interactions are different from anything I’ve ever experienced and because I’m grown now I don’t really know how to navigate them. I definitely have a fear of saying or doing the wrong thing and I think because I get so much anxiety from that; I say and do the wrong thing a lot more.

When we first moved to Long Island I let my fear overcome me. I was discouraged from doing even the smallest things like go to the supermarket. To this day I still can’t get the nerve to go to church every Sunday. I don’t know anyone there, I don’t know the priest names, I don’t have a role to play in this church like i did in my old church in Jersey. I tried going a couple of times. Mostly alone. Matt came with me a couple of times too but still I cannot find the motivation to actually attend service regularly. And it’s not for lack of wanting. I really liked the service and the church is beautiful. I just feel so out-of-place. I’m so scared that someone is going to turn around and be like “what are you doing here?” or “she doesn’t even go here!” And don’t get me wrong I know how crazy that sounds but the amount of anxiety I get from it is ridiculous.

So how do we move past this fear? How do we live our day without the anxiety? Sometimes the answer isn’t always so simple. Sometimes you need to put your trust in God and know that this is just a stone in your path. Just a section of your life. You have so much more living to do! There is a world beyond your fear; beyond your anxieties. Waiting. Waiting for you. Just think back to the last time you were anxious or fearful. Think about how far that feels now, how small that anxiety seems like today. You survived that. You grew from it. Take that fear and make it part of the journey but don’t allow it to be the narrative. You are strong and rightfully fearful. Take your caution and get past your struggle. Do not be discouraged. Do not be afraid.

Hopefully in the upcoming weeks I’ll be saying I’ve moved past my fear, that I’m going to church again. Pray for me friends.

What fears are you allowing to dicourage you from living your best life?

Besos! xoxo

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