What I learned from having roommates

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Ah, roommates…

So I feel like that dreary nine month period in which I shared my life with roommates deserves a proper blog post. Mainly because of the strange going-ons that I experienced on a daily basis. I moved in with people who I didn’t know  in an effort to save money and pay down debt. Happy to report that the debts are now alleviated but during that time, it was one hell of a ride. Living with other people taught me many things but above all, the big one that stood out was, you really learn about a person from how they keep their living space. It wasn’t before long where I came off as the OCD neat freak of the house. I’ve always been one who with age, kind of fell into an AM routine and had an ingrained need for order and cleanliness. See below:

  • Wake, wash face
  • Brew coffee
  • Make bed
  • Pick up anything strewn on the floor
  • Check laundry; throw in a load if needed
  • Unload dishwasher if needed, etc. etc…

Apparently my roommates didn’t share the same ideology as I. Our respective rooms, without any effort, were like night and day. Mine, neat and orderly, art on the walls and photos of friends and family. I even had flowerpots adorning my side of the deck. And the roommates? Many times their rooms looked like a tornado hit, littered with cups, dishes and leftover Chinese takeout. Piles of laundry beckoned to get done. There was seemingly no order, no structure. Laziness seemed to be the name of their game.

Without trying to sound like a complete bitch, I just didn’t quite grasp how people couldn’t take their butt from the couch and pick up after themselves. We’ve all seen them: you know, the kind that leave little trails around the house. Trails of half full cups, crumbs scattered about, a skillet from like, two days ago. Yea those were my roommates. It’s not that I’m allergic to roommates, I’m allergic to slob roommates. Yea. That’s it.

So, partly to recount my time there and partly for your comic relief, below I’ve highlighted some memorable weird and head scratching moments from my nine month stint with those people. The roommates.

  • L. was blatantly unaware of her menacing hairball left in the bottom of the shower every time she exited. Initially,I would grab it and stash it in the trash. Then, it got old. One day I finally spoke up, reminded her to be considerate since we both shared that bathroom. It seemed to work for a bit, then she fell into her old slob habits once again. I took her hairball and slathered it on the side of the tub for her to see the following morning, 6:00 am sharp. 🙂 It never happened again.
  • The spice cabinet in the kitchen was always stocked. I tend to cook many things with olive oil. The roommates followed that trend. Only thing was, when they used the olive oil they never replaced it. Never offered to buy new. Just take, take, take. So like a parent does with a child, I took the toy away. Yes, I hid olive oil in my room. I was an olive oil sleuth. And guess what, it worked after like two months of no olive oil.
  • Toilet paper; paper towels. Necessities of a household right? The roommates and I took turns with these purchases. Then, chronic laziness set in. It took like, forever to restock. Seriously. We were out of paper towels for a straight month one time. Many trips to the grocery store, I was tempted to pick some up but then thought, what’s the point? Toilet paper also took forever. I bought my own but eventually burrowed that in my room too, curious to see how long it took before they realized they had nothing to wipe their behinds with.
  • If I dirtied a dish, I took it down and washed it. It didn’t get the opportunity to stand idle in my room for hours let alone days. My roommate J. apparently found it too difficult to walk his dishes down to the sink and wash them. One day while emptying the dishwasher, I noticed there was next to nothing left. No cups, very few dishes and one bowl. Pffft. He didn’t start taking his dishes down promptly until someone pointed out there was no dishes left. Really?
  • To make matters worse with the dishes, many times they weren’t even washed thoroughly. I would grab a spoon and it was greasy. Or there would be cemented food  on a bowl because someone was too lazy to exert some elbow grease in there. It was maddening. One day, while unloading the dishwasher and putting the washed items away, I threw all the dirty, greasy dishes in the sink, and left them there out of frustration. I wasn’t about to wash someone else’s dishes; these were people in their twenties, fully capable of washing dishes. Or so I thought…
  • When it came to laundry, B. didn’t understand why her whites had a bland pink cast to them. I told her “Separate whites, reds and darks and that won’t happen.”  B. always threw everything in there like a jumbled colorful soiled mess. She nodded and said, “Ohhhhh…” Yea; you gotta be smarter than the washing machine darling.
  • The refrigerator was separated into respective sections for our own food. My groceries were on the bottom, L.’s in the middle, and so on. I began to notice my milk would be opened, or my three pack of New York strips were down to one; a stick of butter missing…I didn’t say anything but started to label my food. This seemed to ease the confusion. As if people can’t differentiate between the bottom shelf and the top? I guess that was too hard.
  • On occasion, L. would dog-sit a tiny, yapping Chihuahua. The most useless dog I’ve ever seen. Anyway, the dog wasn’t potty trained and emptied out his bowels or bladder wherever he so pleased. Problem was, when L. went to clean up after the dog, she would simply wet a washcloth and that was all. No Lysol, no Resolve, no actual cleaning agents. Hello! Poop carries bacteria! Ewwwww!
  • B. didn’t have a nightstand. Out of the kindness of my heart, I let her borrow my pastel green wooden table for a stand-in. Key word: borrow. One day while distributing mail, I see a nice sticker placed on my table. I get pissed. It would’ve been different if I had actually given her the table but that wasn’t the case. I ask her about the sticker, she plays dumb, doesn’t even apologize about defacing the table. Her boyfriend later peeled it off, throwing his hands up in the air exclaiming how it wasn’t the end of the world and how I shouldn’t have made such a big deal about it. But I honestly didn’t feel like I did. I felt it just had to do with common sense, it’s not your property so don’t deface it. But then I realized I was dealing with some truly immature individuals and this is why they could never understand my frustration. A few months after that last episode, I promptly gathered my things and moved out, never looking back.

So was there any contact following my much anticipated move? You can bet your ass not. I can now look back on the time with the roommates and laugh, but it was anything but a laughing matter the whole time I lived there. Frustration, anger, disbelief. I was otherwise living with people who had no clue what cleanliness, respect or consideration meant. I often times felt like I was too mature to even live there. If anything good came of it, it was definitely a learning experience. Without suggesting people have to do as Camille does, it just showed me that I just don’t mesh well with slobs. Point blank. If you’re a slob, stay away from Camille. Far, far away. Thanks.

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The Rut

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Life...

The dreaded rut. All of us make a visit to it at some point in our lives, sometimes more than once. It could be a creativity rut, relationship rut, career rut…or a rut that is all encompassing, accompanied by an incomplete feeling, having climbed the mountain but still having yet to reach the top…meet Camille, she’s 27 and just experienced her first real, rut (shake hands).

My rut, if you will, was more all encompassing. Having been out of touch on the blog  for quite sometime, that was the first clue that something was incomplete for me. Because this, this is my space; to vent, to wonder, to live, to just, be…in addition to other outlets (art, creating things, working out) there were a lot of things that just, seemingly, came to a halt. A big one would be my relationship.

Relationships. Marriage. Romance. I guess I’ve always held a more nontraditional rationale toward these things than my fellow female peers. I was never one who was in a hurry to begin my life with my undisclosed Prince Charming, marry, and pop out some babies. I was always content on my own path, always discovering myself, never tiring of that task…

With these things being said, the crumble of my almost 2 year relationship to Martin was a sad break, but not a surprising one. We as humans, mentally, are equipped with this little thing called intuition. Certain situations in life, intuition is called upon to help us figure out how to deal; to look at things through a deeper scope. The mind is a powerful thing; it can either foolishly convince you that you’re feeling something or shout out with alarm, that you’re truly not feeling something. Couple this with far too many loose ends, and you’ve got the fall of Martin and I.

I’m not going to take this post as an opportunity to bash him, but there were just, far too many things that just never came full circle and his unwillingness to take the initiative to improve these things. Also, a quite peculiar tidbit: there were no ‘I love you’s’. Not even when we lived together. Initially I, being one who doesn’t fall in love easily, didn’t think much of this. But the more and more I thought about it and also through some exchange with friends, I saw how truly odd this was. Here I was, sleeping next to, eating dinners with, taking trips with this man, who I really was unsure of my feelings for. I knew that I sincerely enjoyed my time with him and deeply cared for him, and that there was definitely no shortage of affection; but did I love him? I felt that, by the two year mark I should have known if I did or didn’t.

Without making it sound like it was all on him, I myself had some quirks. Martin’s quiet, passive way sometimes collided with my chatty and excitable Gemini-like nature. I’ve always been one who’s an advocate of speaking up when something isn’t right; Martin is sometimes too laid back with things. Case in point: my many differences with the roommates on cleanliness. Times where I’d go down to grab a dish to make some food, and it was greasy, or there was buildup still attached to it. I was thoroughly disgusted, thinking, What the hell, these people are in their twenties and can’t even wash a dish properly? Really? Martin many times would remind me, “Oh it’s not that big of a deal; just wash them again.” Wait. What? Or, “People are different, you have to make sacrifices.” While yes, I agree with this statement, I also believe that when sharing a common living area, there must be some ground rules, no? If not, then everyone is free to throw to the wind as they may, this resulting in a collision of beliefs on what is acceptable/unacceptable. Many times, our conversation would be poked with long, awkward silences. Sometimes the conversation was just so…dull. I sometimes found myself getting along better in conversation with male friends, but not my boyfriend. Hmmmm. In the end, I found myself turned off, and not truly in love. I enjoyed my time with him, the memories vivid and happy ones, but I increasingly felt like the relationship had run its course. I was unafraid to go on alone, that’s how I knew it was indeed done, when I didn’t even feel the need to try anymore, I was just so…disconnected.

In addition to the shortcomings in my relationship, I began to feel myself slip into a somewhat understimulated state. My eating habits took a dive, my appetite in hibernation mode. I had the occasional crying spell. I wouldn’t describe myself as depressed but more or less disenchanted. I stopped taking photographs, took a hiatus from modeling, stopped blogging, stopped delving into my artsy side and creating things, even slacked off on my workouts at the beach. Hell, my own birthday, which hit on June 19, went by without the usual dinner and bar hop with friends. With the exception of having the traditional cake and ice cream with the family, that was the extent of my 27th birthday festivities. Things were just so…drab. And I wasn’t a fan.

But, aren’t you the master of your own domain? Aren’t you the controller of your thoughts and mood? This axiom is one that I’ve learned over my twenties with much trial and error. In adolescence, due to that pesky surge of hormones coupled with that awkward coming of age time in your life, you let your thoughts control you. In your early twenties, you begin to grow mentally, recanting the stupid things you did in your youth and (hopefully) learning from those; you mature. By your mid to late twenties,  you’re a little more polished, realizing that it’s indeed you who are in control. No one else. So  I pulled myself up out of this aforementioned rut, looked myself in the mirror and reminded myself that, everyday holds promise, paving the way for new opportunities. So I could choose to be melodramatic and sulk, or I could carry on with life. So I asked myself, What kind of day will I have today? It’s ultimately in your own hands.

AND LEST WE FORGET ABOUT THE MOVE…

Wow, I feel like I’ve got so much to catch up on. Within the last two months, I also moved into my own pad (happy dance!). I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love, love, love waking up in my own spot, the quiet and empty mornings, the freedom to strut in my skivvies if I just so please. Having lived on my own for a few years before the roommate saga, I am happy to report that although quite a learning experience, I have no desire to revisit that chapter of my life again. Cheers to independence!

Of course, moving into a new place called for the proper trip to my furniture mecca, Ikea. I took great joy in assembling most everything in the apartment by myself (who says you need a man?!). The great thing about Ikea is how simple their stuff is to put together. Below, some pics of the new pad…

My Ikea shelf. Love!

I filled this Ikea vase with Peonies...

Ikea wine rack. Was super-easy to put up. Now I just need one more bottle in there!

Love this floral kitchen brush; and these little Oriental guys are my salt & pepper shakers (bought in Norway).

Kudos to Mom for spotting this at Ikea. Coolest knife block ever. Ever.

Love this frosted glass Ikea lamp & the branch pattern...

This Ikea lamp in the living room gives a nice warm ambiance at dusk...

And not to forget, the new curtains! When I moved in the living room window was nothing more than a sad, sorry and outdated conglomeration of mini blinds and dirty glass. Cleaned it up, nixed the blinds and here we are…

Sheer curtain detail...

Courtesy of World Market and Bed bath & Beyond. Both are good for eclectic home furnishing finds. 🙂

It’s my birthday :-)

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Today is my birthday folks. Yep, turning 27. Ah how life starts to fly by the older you get. I don’t fret it, it just reminds me to cherish the day, to remember the good times as well as the bad, and learn from them. To hold on to fulfilling relationships and break away from toxic ones. To practice self improvement. A birthday is another year of happiness, and the pursuit of it.
Today I’m going to my grandma’s where we will have a small get together in honor of my being born on this glorious June day. To be honest, so much has been going on in my life lately ( moving, relationship issues and etc.) I haven’t even thought of what I’m doing to celebrate my birthday. Sad.
In years past, I always had a big dinner with friends which included a bar hop after. This year, haven’t even thought about it. That’s okay though, I’ll figure something out.
As I write this post from my mobile phone, I’m reminded of how much I have to get internet for my new place!
Cherrio all…

How I know I’m growing up…

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Lately, I’ve been thinking about things. Noticing things. Paying attention to things that, I never really gave a wink to before. They say when you grow up, you begin to look at things through a different scope, seeing through a more mature, more refined, more intuitive lens. In June I’ll turn 27. Ah, that much closer to 30 (sigh). No, really birthdays don’t scare me, unlike some women who associate them with aging and decay (you know the type that refuse to tell their age), I look at them as, another year on this great ride called life. The thing I do notice is, with each year that goes by, I begin to see life a bit differently, that is, put simply, from a more mature perspective. Below are a few things that, as I’ve gotten older, rank high on my priority list, things that I provide more undivided attention to.

FINANCES

If you would have asked me five years ago about investing, mutual funds, retirement or anything having to do with financial security, I would have flashed you a blank stare. Because five years ago my mind, although not completely immature, was just, in a different place. I wasn’t thinking about important issues like how to divvy up my money. I wasn’t afraid to work. I enjoyed working hard, earning things, and that feeling of fulfillment that tagged along. But I didn’t give an inkling of thought to investing some of my earnings so it could work for me later in life . I was more worried about scanning the racks at my favorite shopping haunt Forever 21 for the latest designs or checking out a new nightspot in Orlando. Obsolete things. The things that I deemed important at that time now seem so, adolescent and petty in nature. Nowadays, I think more about down the road, not just right now. That sexy top I wanted from Forever 21 the other day? Well, I took the $50 and invested it to my mutual fund instead. Score!

PARENTING & CHILDREN

These days, I find myself observing children and their parents. This is something that, I never would have noticed or cared about a few years back. But, due to my age nearing to 30, maybe it’s nature’s way of reminding me that I have this amazing thing called a maternal instinct, something that never reared its head until recently. I see parents and kids everywhere, whether it be a restaurant, mall or theme park. And I study the interaction between the two and think, what would I do in that situation? Some scenarios that have spiked my curiosity…

  • Fair skinned toddler at a theme park. Skin is rosy, it’s obvious they’ve got a little sunburn going on. Sans hat, sans sun protection. What the hell, mom?
  • Obese kid of about 7 or 8 years old, grazing on french fries and drinking soda. Not only is the kid flooding excess amounts of sodium and sugar into his system, but, he’s also setting himself up for a long list of other health issues down the road; heart disease, diabetes, hypertension to name a few. The parents should step in and encourage healthier meal alternatives, such as fresh fruit and milk.
  • Kid who stays indoors all day, due to lazy parents who think it’s easier to plop him in front of the television for entertainment than to take him outside, where he can play at the beach, a park, or chase animals. As stated in the post https://camilligence.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/limiting-tv/, kids have energy, kids need a platform to express themselves. There’s nothing wrong with spending some time with their favorite TV personality, but, in moderation.
  • I have a friend who constantly cleans up behind her child. That’s the worst thing you could do!  By constantly picking up a child’s plate after dinner or his scattered toys, you’re not teaching him anything when it comes to accountability and responsibility. Children who are old enough to eat independently are old enough to pick up after themselves, starting with picking up their own dishes following every meal, and gathering toys into a collection place, like a bin or play room.

EXERCISE

When I was in high school I would, on occasion, take the family dog around our suburban neighborhood for a jog. Then, I moved out, got my first place, and something happened. I got busy. Busy with school, work, life…the newfound responsibilities of adulthood thrust me into some kind of exercise rut. I stopped exercising, devoting more time to work and school but foregoing time for myself. Bored and restless with the order of my life then, I found that I predisposed myself to feelings of depression and listlessness. The same old routine day in day out, became mundane. But what I didn’t realize then was that there was so much I could have done to change the way I felt. Fast forward to my life right now: I live across the street from the beach. I make it a point to get out there three times a week (sometimes four if I’m feeling particularly ambitious) for a combination of speed walking and jogging for 4.5-5 miles. I feel like my day is more complete after a rigorous, sweaty workout. Not only for my mind, but for my body. I realize the physical activity I get now will thank me later, by lowering high blood pressure, decreasing body fat, and building muscle to name a few. And not to forget that rush of feel good Endorphins from the brain, making you feel invincible, unstoppable, like a driving force nothing can contain.

NUTRITION

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more conscientious as to what I throw into my mouth. You know those people in the grocery store scanning the nutrition labels? Yea, that would be this girl right here, me. I know some might think it’s a bit O.C.D, but I beg to differ. I don’t read every label but I do pay attention to salt content and fat, and how much processing is involved. I believe the closer your diet is to the Earth, the better. Meaning, fresher is healthier. A large percentage of my diet is vegetables and meat, I steer clear of anything processed or with a shelf life. Hot pockets, frozen pizzas, boxed dinners, canned vegetables, ugh. And fast food? When I was in my early twenties, I would hit the drive-thru late at night, prime body metabolism slow-down time. And not to anyone’s surprise, I blossomed to 152 pounds. Poor lifestyle choices. Oh, but what does the beauty of a new day, a new month and a new year bring? Maturation, and change. I didn’t like what I saw on the outside or how I felt inside. So I changed it. Now,I think I visit a drive-thru once every two or three months. It’s a rare occasion. And it’s usually after some alcohol consumption ;-). Everything in moderation.

CAREER

Never before has the importance of a structured, thorough education and appropriate job placement occurred to me until these dire economic times. With so many people unemployed in the States and throughout the world, it forces you to think hard about your educational goals, with attention to career choice. My parents (like many) told me, do what you love, follow your passion. Well, unfortunately if your passion happens to be art, you’ll likely have a hard time making it, as most artists don’t seem to really make bank until they die, forcing the monetary value of their works to skyrocket through the roof. Sad but true.So this has led me to reevaluate my own educational goals. Is there a market out there for what I’m studying? Something that interests me but also something that I can live comfortably off of? Because in this economic age, a career in which you can build a life from, is a necessity.

Ah, yes, the road to adulthood. A rocky, sometimes slippery and uncertain trail, but the learning on that hike, makes it all the more satisfying…

Beauty of fragrance- my favorite perfumes

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Perfume. It’s been around since creation. For centuries, it’s been synonymous with femininity and the measure of beauty. You see a beautiful woman crossing the street. You take a second, admire her facial structure, smooth and supple skin, ruby lips, cascade of hair, and…that scent…a smell of sandalwood and floral, delicate but strong enough to leave an impression on the mind.

Thank your Olfactory nerve for that. Of all the human senses, our sense of smell is instrumental in raising memories of a specific person or place. Remember that bakery on the corner you used to visit every Friday as a kid? The smell of the cinnamon buns and bagels lingering in the air, putting your taste buds into a frenzy? The same applies for people in our lives. Often times, we associate the very thought of them with their scent. Interesting isn’t it?

I believe perfume is a powerful accessory in helping someone discover who you are. The scent to which you’re naturally attracted to describes a lot about yourself: your temperament, your beauty, your poise, your confidence…

As women, intriguing and attractive creatures that we are, we each choose a perfume that reflects some corner of our persona. You could own a soft, floral scent when you’re feeling particularly girly, and also own a dark, spicy musk when you’re feeling sassy and deviant. It’s the beauty of perfume; helping us to express ourselves for that particular day, week or month.

So I decided to share with you some of my personal favorites…

Smell good stuff!

Descriptions from left to right:

  • Kenzo Amour– Martin bought this for me two Christmases ago, and I’m still intoxicated with it. A woodsy, sultry scent with light floral undertones. Good for a romantic night out. Seductive.
  • C.O Bigelow lemon & orange blossom- I snatched this up at Bath & Body Works. Lemon and orange married together evokes thoughts of sunny days. Cheerful.
  • Body by Victoria- We all know Victoria’s Secret claim to fame in the perfume department. Although Love Spell was one of their best selling scents of all time, I prefer Body because of it’s fresh, bold scent. Fresh and playful.
  • Lancome Hypnose- my all time favorite (so much, I have two). Passionflower and vanilla make for a captivating, alluring scent. Beauty in a bottle.
  • Butterfly Flower (lotion)-  By Bath & Body Works. A fresh and light blend of tangerine, mimosa petals and orchid to name a few. You’ve got to give this one a smell next time you’re in Bath & Body Works.
  • Versace Pour Femme- A woodsy and feminine musk, with cedarwood, amber and kashmir wood. Intriguing scent but not too overpowering.
  • Kenzo Flower- Light, powdery and delicate. Casual enough to wear daytime. Captures girlish innocence.
  • Eucalyptus Spearmint Stress Relief (lotion)- Part of Bath & Body Works’ Aromatherapy line, this refreshing combination of fresh eucalyptus and cooling spearmint is enough to help you detox from any bad day. I sometimes I apply it to my temples if I’ve had a particularly trying day at work.
  • Vera Wang Princess-  A strong floral and fruity concoction. Love the bottle too! Good for a night out with the girls on the occasional dance floor.
  • Beauty Rush Slice of Heaven body mist (Victoria’s Secret)- Spritz some on, absorbs nicely into the skin and lingers. Smells like cake!

*Also, some perfumes on my ‘to buy’ list:

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb

Lolita Lempicka Fleur Defendue

So ladies, I’m curious. What are your favorites? What do you wear on an adventurous night out with the girls or a romantic dinner with your special guy?

Camille’s rules to live by

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  1. SPEAK YOUR MIND– Always stand up for what you believe in, if something is getting under your skin, address it; even if it means producing some friction.
  2. EXERCISE– Not only will it strengthen your heart, but the numerous other benefits: decreased body fat, a sound mind, and personal achievement are winning factors.
  3. EAT A FRESH DIET– I’m talking vegetables and fruits. And not canned (full of salt). Being that I practice a low-carb diet, vegetables are a a large part of what I consume. Not only will the fiber keep you feeling full longer, but vegetables are packed full of vitamins and minerals. Translation: good for you!
  4. HAVE A CRAFT OR HOBBY- Partake in something that benefits you mentally and physically, something that stimulates your mind. For me, it’s anything artistic, something I can create with my own two hands. For others, it might be carpentry, reading, gardening or cooking.
  5. TAKE TIME OUT FOR NATURE– Get lost in the beauty that surrounds you. Appreciate the small wonders;  birds chirping, flowers blooming, the wide open ocean. Being outside getting fresh air is always beneficial too.
  6. SOLITUDE– Many of us have our social circle, but making time for just you as equally as important. When you’re alone, it forces you to reflect and examine your own life, helping you get a better understanding of who you are.
  7. BE ORGANIZED– I’ve never been a cluttered person, but I know some who are. Not only does it make it easier to find things, but also, have an organization for your life. Organize the flow of your day, get the groceries, clean the house, laundry and make time for a cup of coffee while you’re at it.
  8. DON’T PROCRASTINATE– Above all, I can’t stand people who say they’ll do something then never do it. I think it’s important to make an effort to accomplish things. There’s personal satisfaction from completing tasks in a timely manner. You will never see a huge pile of laundry in my room or dirty dishes sitting in my sink.
  9. PRACTICE CLEANLINESS- When you have a clean home, that’s a happy home. Who wants to come home to a sloppy place? Clean your bathroom once a week, wash sheets once a week and clean up after your messes. This is a big one for me- can’t stand people who leave a mess everywhere they go. Clean it up!
  10. AVOID TOXIC PEOPLE- You know the ones. Full of negativity and bitterness. Always complaining, always gossiping. Ewww, you’re toxic. Step away and never come back to my life please.
  11. BE A BARGAIN HUNTER– This is essential, especially in today’s economical prolapse. I always frequent stores such as TJ Maxx, Marshall’s and Ross to name a few. They have all the products you’d find in a department store for way less! Score!
  12. PRACTICE GOOD SKIN CARE- In my early 20’s skincare was the last thing on my mind, while I was baking in tanning salons. But now in my mid-twenties, I pay more attention to it. I slather on SPF 50-70 when at the beach or exercising outdoors. My bathroom is stocked with moisturizing creams, Alpha- hydroxy and green tea scrubs, and Retinol multivitamin anti-aging creams. Hey, it’s your skin. You only get one!
  13. TAKE CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT– Take care of the Earth, after all, it’s all we’ve got. Our survival depends on how we treat the environment. It angers me when people litter, don’t recycle, or insist on driving cars spewing burned oil and pollution out.
  14. BE RESPECTFUL- Respect other people’s property, have consideration for feelings, and always have a mutual respect for your significant other.
  15. SHARE HOUSEWORK- In this day in age, there’s no reason why men can’t help out. I’m one who believes both people in a relationship should share household responsibilities. I really take a disliking to men who expect their women to cook, clean and do the laundry, and never offer to help. My guy helps with laundry, cleans up after his mess, and does the dishes. When both people take part, it makes a home run a lot smoother, and you gain a deeper appreciation for each other.
  16. NEVER STOP LEARNING- Education is the one thing no one can ever take from you. Education shapes who we are and plays a role in overall development. Study hard in your desired field of study and in the summer months, take a class in something for fun, whether it’s Nutrition, Art History or French.
  17. HAVE A MORAL COMPASS– I never succumbed to peer pressure during those adolescent years. Perhaps from the fear my dad instilled in me and also from my own non-curious nature. Of course, always had the curiosity of a thrill but never into drugs or anything self-destructive. It’s important to know when to draw the line when it comes to things that make you uncomfortable or things you know are wrong. Don’t be a pushover.
  18. LOVE STRONG- When you start tossing around that l-o-v-e word, love without limits or fears. Nurture your relationship, feed it appropriately, with lots of listening, affection, compassion and warmth.
  19. HAVE A TOUGH SKIN– The world will chew you up and spit you out if you let it. Life is a game of survival, only the toughest will endure. Don’t sweat the small stuff. People aren’t always going to talk to you how you want or treat you the way you’d like; keep on truckin’!
  20. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS– Be the best possible version of yourself. Not someone else who you aspire to me. Don’t try and emulate others. Focus on you, be original.
  21. FACE YOUR FEARS– You’ll be running from life forever if you don’t face what scares you most. I’m guilty of this, avoiding what scares me or makes me uncomfortable a few times, but truth is, you can’t. Inner strength comes from facing fears, making you more resilient. We always makes things out to be worse in our minds than what they really are; you’ll probably surprise yourself.
  22. DON’T LIVE OUT OF YOUR MEANS– Many of us always want what we can’t have. But when we have what we cannot afford, that presents a whole other slew of problems. Isn’t it better to live within your means and have some money by the side as opposed to slaving the dollar every month to afford over-the-top expenses?
  23. DON’T SETTLE– Maintain your personal standards, whatever they pertain to: cleanliness, relationships, parenting, dating, personal development, career. Don’t throw your hands up apathetically and accept, keep true to what you hold dear!
  24. BE OPTIMISTIC- If you let them, negative thoughts will trap you. Don’t dwell and ponder on the negative in your life, use these setbacks constructively; let them be a test to your strength of character. And remember, tomorrow could be brighter than today, you never know what life has in store for you.
  25. LOVE YOUR WORK– There’s so many people out there today who hastily got into a high-paying profession (doctors, lawyers etc.) just for the big bucks and guess what: they’re not happy. You have to passionate about your work. That way, reporting there everyday seems like less of a chore but something you look forward to everyday.
  26. BE INDEPENDENT- Never put yourself in a position where your sole survival depends on another. Make your own money, have your own car. Rely on you to make things happen and get things done, no one else. There’s a certain strength that comes from being independent.

Summer is around the corner…

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When I was younger I had a garden. I planted and transplanted everything from herbs to lilies. I even made a little path running through it, outlined the garden sections with stone, and added some upright logs so people could sit and just ponder life for awhile. I was meticulous, raking leaves and other debris that were in the way. It had to be clutter-free, much like my own life current day. Fast forward to right now…Unfortunately most apartment complexes don’t offer a small lawn for gardening, so, I’ve been thinking of what I could do to make up for this shortcoming. With summer right around the corner, temperatures rising, the days becoming longer, I wanted to do something with the deck outside my bedroom.

I’ve kind of fallen into a routine in the mornings. The über- important task is brewing my pot of coffee (caffeine addict!), and then secondly to go out on my deck, gaze upon the ocean. There’s an undeniable calm and tranquility that I get from getting lost in the ripple of the waves, the subtle scent of salt hanging in the morning air…Originally hailing from Ohio, I bask in the enjoyment of having the ocean breeze greet me every morning. But there was something missing, even from my having the ocean within arm’s reach.

Some flowers!

I had to spruce up my deck somehow and I thought, I’ll bring that same childhood garden that once flourished to my deck- on a smaller scale :). Flowers never fail to put a smile on someone’s face. They’re universal symbols of happiness, love, friendship, vitality, and in addition, small reminders of the beauty of nature. So I went out, gathered some colorful perennials, some terracotta pots, and the creative juices began flowing…

Given my artistic nature, I couldn’t just have some regular old terracotta pots, I had to jazz it up, give it some extra kick. So I painted them bright, cheery colors, even putting polka dots on the biggest one. I just love creating things, it’s more personal and you get a great sense of satisfaction knowing that you made that and didn’t buy it.

Anyway, thought I’d share my little summery tidbit.

Art + flowers= happiness

Welcome summer!

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