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Grief Has No Timeline

When my mom first passed away, someone will said that you will never get over her death, but you will learn to live with it. At first, it was something that I just brushed off, because it was the week after she died. As time went on, I realized that she was right.

Last Sunday was my mom’s 59th birthday. This was the second birthday that I will not be spending with her. And, it still stings. It doesn’t matter that it is my second one without her there. It still serves as a vivid reminder that she is no longer with us.

I know that I am not the only one that grieves the loss of a loved one. I know so many people that have lost mothers. Or people who have lost fathers, sisters, brothers, etc. In the instance of my mom, I know that my grandmother misses her daughter every day. I miss her every day. My uncle, her nephews, niece and friends miss her as well.

But, grief can be isolating. For me, it truly comes in waves. All of last year, I focused on getting through it all – her birthday, the holidays, her funeral, etc. This year, it’s different. Now that life has slowed down in a more positive direction, I’ve had more time to think about how much it hurts that my mom is no longer with us. When I got my full-time job, all I wanted to do was take my mom out for dinner, just like I did three years ago when I got my first one.

So, that person who told me that was absolutely right. I’ll never get over it.

One of the things I hate about grieving is the simple fact that I am expected to. And, I agree there is a time when you need to come into acceptance that it happened. But, it never will not hurt. I will never apologize for grieving my mom, because I am allowed to. I lost my mom suddenly at 24. There are so many moments – both good and bad – that she will miss. I’ve come to realize that it will be a part of me, and I am allowed to feel whichever way I want to no matter what the time frame will be. I am not going to apologize for feeling my emotions. It is perfectly healthy to do so.

The perception of grief is that it goes through stages, and that many people out there don’t know what to say or do when someone in their life is grieving. My answer is this: let them grieve and feel. Many
times I have held my grief in for the simple fact I was worried that it would make someone uncomfortable. I mean, I get it. What else can you say when someone is upset about their loved one being gone?

No matter what the time frame is, grief will be a part of my life. And, sometimes that means I might not want to be around people.

Sometimes, that may mean that I need to take care of myself before I help someone else is. And, that is perfectly fine. I think the biggest takeaway with dealing with the loss of my mother is learning that it is okay not to be okay, and it is okay to express that to those around me.

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Mid year Book Freakout Tag

I’ve seen this tag on both booktube and blogs and I couldn’t resist participating in this tag. 2020 has been a great year for me in terms of reading. So far, I’ve read 58 — this is thanks to the pandemic and audiobooks. Now let’s get right to it:

Best Book You Read in 2020:

Hands down, it is The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin. This book got mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I really enjoyed it. It was romantic, but had moments that I didn’t see coming. It’s about Cecily Gardner, who goes to a bar to forget her ex. She reaches out for her cellphone to call him — only to be stopped by a man at the bar. They fall in love. All goes well, that is until he disappears in the 9/11 tragedy. It seems a little heavy, and yes it is, but it’s a book that grabbed me from the beginning.

Best Sequel You Read in 2020:

China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan. I actually read the first book in 2018 and for some reason or another, I didn’t pick it up right away. I bought the Nook version last year to read while I was in San Diego, but I never got to it. I read it this month and loved it. Just so it doesn’t take me two years to pick up the third book, I actually read it as soon as I finished the second one. I definitely thought that it was entertaining and enjoyed both of them.

A New Release That You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To:

Definitely Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory.

Most Anticipated Release for the Second Half of the Year:

Probably the two Colleen Hoover books this year and Katherine Center’s new book.

Biggest Disappointment:

Definitely the Hunger Games Prequel. I hated that book so much.

Biggest Surprise:

I think the biggest surprise was that this year I’m slowly getting into fantasy again. I’ve read the two Cursebreaker books, as well as Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare and loved both.

Favorite New Author (debut or new to you)?

Jane Green.

Newest Fictional Crush:

I don’t have many of these, but definitely Theo in the Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory. He treated Maddie like a queen and he was such a great friend to Alexa.

Newest Favorite Character:

Definitely Eliza from Eliza and her Monsters. I found her to be relatable to me, as we are both content creators and I just really liked her.

Books That Made You Cry:

Hands down Falling by Jane Green.

Books That Made You Happy:

The Heartstopper comic series by Alice Osman.

Favorite Book To Movie Adaption You’ve Seen This Year:

Hands down the After series. I flew through them in January and was obsessed with the movie.

Favorite Review That You’ve Written This Year:

N/a

The Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought or Received so Far:

A beautiful edition of Little Women, which is one of my favorite books of all time.

What Books Do You Need to Read Before the End of the Year:

There are so many, but here’s a few:

  • What You Wish For by Katherine Center
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  • One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Roomies by Christina Lauren
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What I Love Wednesday: June 24th

Wow, it has been a while since I’ve written a one of these. However, I have had a lot of new favorites recently, so I couldn’t resist sharing. So, here’s what I’ve been loving lately:

Current Reads:

I am currently reading to The Lies That Bind by Emily Giffin, and listening to the Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish. Both books are amazing. While the Tiffany Haddish one is about her hardships and talks about abuse, it has some pretty entertaining moments. I highly recommend you listening to the audiobook if you can. Furthermore, the Emily Giffin one is about a woman who meets the love of her life only for him to get lost in 9/11. It is no surprise that I’m obsessed with this book — she is actually one of my favorite authors. Therefore, I highly recommend this one. I already halfway through and can’t put it down.

SV Decker Gold Jewelry:

Yes, I know I talk about this brand all of the time. But, there is good reason. The quality is there. I recently picked up a few new pieces, included the Celestial Ring, an opal Hamsa necklace, and a Moon Necklace. I also picked up some larger statement hoops (the size small to go with my xs ones), just in time for summer.

Overtone Hair Color:

I am starting to get some grays, but didn’t want to dye my hair just yet. Enter Overtone. It is basically a hair mask that has some dye in it, and actually helps condition your hair. I’ve used it a few times a week, and have already noticed that my gray hair has gone away. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it stains your bathtub, but if you scrub it does come out.

Now many of you may be skeptical about this, but I really have found that it’s very healthy for my hair and looks amazing. I got mine in the Espresso Brown and use the daily conditioner whenever I wash my hair to maintain it. If you don’t want to color it, you can also just try their clear repair mask too.

Pride Apple Watch Band:

Every once in a while, I really want to get a new Apple Watch band. I only buy the Apple made ones, so needless to stay, my band wardrobe is very small. In honor of Pride Month, they issued a few new rainbow bands. While the rainbow striped one was a little too much for me, I loved the Nike Edition one. It’s not only supporting the LGBTQIAA community, but I love the colors and it looks like a white watch as well. Definitely perfect for summer.

What are you loving this week?

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I Took A Break

In life, we need breaks from things. That’s why we have summer vacation, lunch hours and weekends. These can be things that we enjoy, things that we dread and everything in between.

When everything with the George Floyd shooting happened, it opened a conversation that I couldn’t comfortably blog because I wanted to give those muted voices a chance to be heard.

So I took a blogging week off.

Then, I went back to work full time — which was an adjustment since the COVID-19 happened, I had gotten so used to working from home. Chances are, in my sweatpants.

Between that and dealing with some things with my mental health, I just couldn’t blog.

And, that’s okay.

I am learning not to be so hard on myself. The pandemic really helped me gain some traction on the blog. It helped connect me to new bloggers and helped me grow. And, I am so grateful for that.

I know that I will never be able to be a full time blogger. For me, this is a hobby that I enjoy. And that’s okay. These last few weeks, I’ve really realized that I need to take some time for myself. Yes, that means that everything doesn’t get done. But, if I don’t take the time to give myself some TLC, how am I expected to put in that extra oomph in my other roles.

Bottom line? At the end of the day, putting yourself first is the most important step you can take. And, if you find things that fill you with joy, you do them. And if you need to take a step back, well that’s fine too.

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Yes, Hello Fresh Is Worth It. Here’s Why.

Note: I was not compensated for this post in any way.

Breaded chicken, broccoli and couscous

I will be the first to admit this: I actually am not so experienced in the kitchen. Since my mom died (she did all of the cooking), all I knew how to cook was pasta, pizza, and potatoes that I made in the air fryer.

What helped me a lot was going to the hot bar during Whole Foods. However, since the pandemic started, I realized something. I really need to learn how to cook, because I can’t rely on takeout forever.

Enter Hello Fresh. It is a weekly meal service that comes with at least three meals that are quick, already measured, and come with very clear instructions for a little over $60. For someone that lives alone, this equals one freshly cooked meal and lunch the next day.

So, I decided to try it.

And, I love it and do not regret it.

I have the basic of the basics for the plan — three meals for two people.

Here’s how it works: you can pick out whether you want meat or no meat in the plan. Every week, they give you a bunch of choices, and you can pick three of them — and even add in extras like garlic bread, avocados and extra meals.

Now, let’s talk cooking. Prior to this, cooking gave me anxiety. This help remedy it. It gives you a step by step guide of what you need to do. It helps that everything is measured out for you as well, since that is half of the battle.

At first, I was nervous about it. However, after following the directions, it came out amazing.

Since getting Hello Fresh, I have made tacos, burgers, and other various chicken dishes. Many of the dishes have a lot of vegetables, which makes me happy because I have been wanting to get more in my overall diet.

Overall, I highly recommend getting Hello Fresh for a number of different reasons. For once, it does help you learn how to cook. Two, for about $10 per meal, you get a lot. Three, it helps get you out of your comfort zone with food and try new things. And, if you live alone like I do, you get lunch ready for the next day as well.

It’s a win-win all around.

So, if you want to try to save some money on takeout and learn a new skill, definitely check it out.