I’m not sure about you but the end of the year is always the busiest for me. I’ve done a lot of self-reflection and discussed a lot about my plan and our future with S. He’s been so supportive of everything I’ve done and everything I plan to do. He’s my rock when I feel weak and when I’m too scared to move forward, he’s right beside me encouraging me and pushing me to go beyond my boundaries because he knows I can do it (or so he says).
Here’s a little background on me. I grew up with computers and have been around them for as long as I can remember. My father was a Network Engineer and he used to teach my brother and I little tidbits which is why my life revolved around IT. My dad had his office/work computer, we had a family computer and eventually we all had our own because my dad liked to build computers and wanted the best for us. Then I discovered the internet and websites. I had a Geocities and Angelfire if anyone remembers those. My sites were filled with neon colors and littered with animated gifs because that’s how things were done back then. Plus I must have been about 10 or so. Then I got a little better, my dad got me Photoshop and my first book to help me tug along, Web Pages That Suck. He really supported me in my craft and mind you I might have been dabbling in graphic and web design since I was a kid but I was never formally taught and it was only a hobby along with gaming. As I got a bit older though, I thought this would be my life’s career, this is what I’m going to do. Honestly, I didn’t pursue it because I was scared. Scared of the real world, scared of the future. I put it on the back burner and lived life in the real world where I made mistakes and learned a lot of life’s lessons. The path I’ve taken in the IT industry somehow led me back to where I started. I actually traveled full circle only I had some obstacles along the way and constant reminders of what I should be doing.
So with that all said, I’m going back to school. I’m going to be happy in all aspects of my life or at the very least make the effort. All I know is that I want to do something creative whether it’s making short films, art or writing. Something that challenges me and gives me freedom at the same time.
I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and the topic about our body issues and how it affects our relationships came up. She’s gone through changes as a new mother and that is just another story in and of itself. As for me, I’ve had issues with my body on and off for years. I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 23 and it’s been a long battle of hypothyroidism and trying to normalize my body since then. That and coupled with just getting older, my body is just not what it used to be. I remember the days of eating whatever I wanted and not gaining a pound. Now, I really have to monitor my intake and activity.
When you don’t feel good about yourself it’s difficult to be able to pursue an intimate relationship with someone else. The thing is, you can’t really expect someone to accept you, flaws and all if you can’t accept and love yourself first. To prove us wrong though, my friend and I have two wonderful men that support us in so many ways and in their eyes, we’re beautiful. To them, that may be the truth but it’s difficult to accept what you see in the mirror as beautiful when at times you don’t even recognize yourself.
At 30, I am my biggest size and weight I have ever been. I’ve gone through depression and just about every emotion you can imagine. After meeting with a doctor for a prolonged persistent cough, I realize I need to make a huge lifestyle change not only for my health but also for my happiness. Who know You may expect to see more fitness and health related posts because that’s just what I’m going through right now. I’m not trying to change who I am, more so trying to find old self and fitting into clothes I still have in my closet instead of having to buy newer and bigger clothes.
Here’s to finding happiness with myself and everything else in my life.
Halloween is almost here! Huzzah! I used to love getting dressed up and going trick or treating as a kid and after I went out I’d hide in my closet and eat candy in the dark. I was a weird child growing up. I didn’t even have a walk in closet so you can imagine me sitting in a narrow closet with bi-fold doors. Then I graduated to blanket/couch forts which seems to just get better with age.
Since experiencing Halloween as a child, I haven’t really contributed back to the younger generations. Sorry, kids. I live in an apartment and well, it’s not very fun trick or treating in an apartment complex. I had friends that used to come to my neighborhood to trick or treat for that very reason. Besides, Tyler would go crazy with all the knocking and in turn drive us crazy with his barking. He’s not perfect, but I love him.
So as an adult, what am I going to do for Halloween? Well, I’m getting doughnuts with my brother at a family friend’s new shop, B. Doughnut, I’m going to have myself a little horror movie marathon and then hang out with some friends doing adult things and drinking adult beverages. I’m also going to be wearing my comfy Kigurumi. S just got himself one as well. We’re going to be comfortable, warm and it’s going to be awesome!
Since Halloween is literally right around the corner, I’m not going to have time to see all the movies I want to before Halloween Day so here are my top three picks for this year.
I’m an Olivia Wilde fan and I love horror movies so this one definitely had to make it on the list. Although I watch all kinds of horror films right down to gore; I prefer suspenseful ones that keep me on my toes because really, it’s mostly about the experience. This one, to me, seems like a new take on a classic, Pet Sematary.
This has been on my Netflix list for a while now though I haven’t seen it yet. I have a wild imagination, even now. I could scare myself silly with all my thoughts that I tend to try to convince myself nothing is there yet the more I do the more scared I become. This movie will probably give me nightmares. I hate having to convince myself there’s nothing in the dark corner; especially when I’m home alone and Tyler just starts growling and barking at nothing, that really gets me going as well.
I have loved the Insidious series since it’s release. I haven’t been too impressed by other horror movies that have released recently but this is definitely one of my favorites. You know how some movies produce sequels and just keeps dragging it out and it’s just not as good as the first? Well, I think this series is an exception. They still manage to keep everything fresh while tying the stories together.
While I do love the aesthetic of a good ol’ paper book, I don’t always like carrying around so much with me. Plus, there’s just so much you can take with you digitally versus a physical copy that at times can be heavy depending on the content. Here are some of my favorite apps that I use for reading on the go because nowadays, it’s all about instant gratification.
Amazon Kindle (iOS | Android)
I’ve shopped at Amazon for books for years and when they introduced digital versions I had to jump on the bandwagon. While I like carrying around books every once in a while, it could get tiresome during a long commute and lugging around other heavy items. You can have a completely separate digital reader or just download the app on your tablet or phone and have everything in one centralized location. Now, when I want to read a book, I launch the app, pick a book from my personal library and bam. I can even make notes and bookmark pages without worrying about creasing or damaging pages.
Feedly (iOS | Android)
Remember when Google Reader was a thing? I miss it. I used to subscribe to varies blogs and online magazines and be able to read everything in one place but then it was discontinued. I had been searching for a while for an RSS reader replacement and came across Feedly which has been wonderful! The layout is very easy to navigate and read. You can categorize your subscriptions, bookmark and even share articles and posts.
Bloglovin’ (iOS | Android)
This is another RSS reader but it’s also great for networking for bloggers. You can find similar blogs to yours as well as other blogs you follow. It’s also currently what I’m using for subscriptions for my blog since I haven’t formally set up any update notification. This is such an invaluable tool for bloggers in general because of the traffic it can produce and daily emails to your followers. The app itself is easy to navigate and it’s minimalist design makes it easy on the eyes.
Audible (iOS | Android)
Sometimes audio books are nice to have so you can get dramatized readings from actors and even the authors themselves. Also, if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you’ll receive a 3-month trial subscription and one free audio book each month! After the trial though, the subscription is $14.95/mo. I think it’s worth it if you like to read but say you can’t because you’re driving and stuck in traffic, then this would be a great alternative for you. The first book, which I got for free was Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance. So far, so good.
Goodreads (iOS | Android)
This is pretty much an app for a huge community of book clubs! I can see what my friends are reading and we can discuss books and recommendations. Now while I love the idea of the whole concept, other than making “reading wish lists” I haven’t interacted much with friends on the app because, well honestly I haven’t been very good at keeping up with the books I’m reading. But, once I get caught up, we should chat! You can check out my profile here.
EXPLORE |Maryland Renaissance Festivalthis is their last weekend of the season! READ |theSkimm, a newsletter catching you up on the latest current events. WATCH |The Lazarus Effect, this is one horror film I’m looking forward to seeing since it was released on Netflix; mostly because I’m an Olivia Wilde fan. WEAR | If you go to the RennFest, definitely pick yourself up a Flower Crown. They’re not just for music festivals. In fact, you can wear it any time you want to feel festive. Just do it. MAKE | get your fall fix with a diy Pumpkin Spice Soap.
I had a interesting conversation with a neighbor in the elevator the other day. I walked in with Tyler, it was just the three of us. She complimented Tyler on his good looks and how well behaved he is. I thought that was nice. Then, well, then she started saying how much he looked like Toto. “You know, Toto, from the Wizard of Oz? You must get that a lot.” No, not really..and Toto was a Carin Terrier. I don’t blame her though, The original Wizard of Oz is a 1939 film which most people saw when they were really young and just don’t know the difference between dog breeds. Heck, I am no expert myself.
This is Tyler, he is a Yorkshire Terrier. He is Royalty. He only sleeps on sheep skin and eats the finest cuts of steak. He does not have patience for red lights or stop signs, he wants you to go. You must give all your attention to him. Never let a PS4 controller or your phone come between you two. If you have any of those items in your hand, he will squeeze himself in between to remind you. If he wants to take your seat, you must move. He cannot be bothered with being commanded to sit or stay. He commands you. When you are called upon, expect to have treats ready or be prepared for his wrath.
Also, if you’re curious. I have never been Dorothy for Halloween.
In the age of smartphones, it’s hard not to rely on the little electronic device to update you on traffic, news, weather or even just to help pass the time with a game or two. Personally, I haven’t driven a car in over a year. It’s pretty hard to believe given that where I live, the walk score is only 56. I live in Virginia and work in DC. I pretty much rely on public transportation or a car service to get me to where I need to go. Luckily there are some apps out there to make, my life and hopefully yours, a little easier.
Citymapper (iOS | Android)
Citymapper is actually new app for me. I discovered it after I got tired of switching from www.wmata.com to map my trips and an app made exclusively for DC Metro and Bus to check on delays and schedules. It wasn’t a very reliable app but it was what I had at the time. Citymapper, does it all. It provides walking, bus, metro and taxi (Uber) time estimations. It gives you delays and best routes all in one screen. It also works seamlessly with my Apple Watch. For an added bonus, to minimize walking on the metro, they even tell you what car to enter. This has been a life saver and on top of that, it’s not exclusive to DC. If I go to NYC or Montreal, I can use it there too!
Waze (iOS | Android)
Every now and then S will take us someplace and I am usually the navigator. Waze has been an amazing app delivering us real-time traffic updates, where cops are and speed cameras. It’s also a community-based app so most of the updates come from other users. The GPS feature will show you the shortest route and reroute just like you would find in Google Maps but I find that this one just has more bells and whistles. Also, it’s like a game so you can get points and level up to get a crown. You know me and games, we go together like peanut butter and jelly.
Uber (iOS | Android)
Uber, let me just say that I’ve been using Uber for years and they are much nicer and cleaner than most taxis. You order an Uber, get an estimate of when your driver will be there without having to wait outside hailing a car and still have time to grab another last-minute drink before your driver arrives. They also do a lot of promotions. S and I used Uber one year for Valentine’s Day and they had roses for the ladies. It was a really nice gesture that made the trip more personal. We didn’t even have to do anything extra. Our first trip to NYC, we tried a taxi once, had a bad experience and ultimately used Uber for the rest of our trip. I think I’ve only had one bad experience with Uber since I’ve used the services and that one bad apple sure didn’t ruin it for the rest of the drivers.
I felt like the native weather app that Apple had was sort of, well, boring. Sure, they’re getting their information from The Weather Channel but the translation on the Apple Watch was really lacking. Carrot also has a much better interface on the Apple Watch that provides me about as much data as I would see on my iPhone whereas the native weather app is very minimal. It’s also a weather app with personality. You really have to check it out to see why.
Spotify (iOS | Android)
Okay, this one is a little tricky. I’m all about supporting artists so sometimes I will get an album whether it’s digital or physical. However, I’d rather have my phone space for more apps (I’m kind of a hoarder), photos and videos. With Spotify, I can listen to radio mode of music that I’m feeling at the time and even create my own playlist. The best part is that I can listen to it on offline mode which is perfect for being in the tunnel on the metro where reception can be really spotty. See what I did there?
Bonus: Are you terrible at keeping up with current events? I am. I was introduced to theSkimm by a friend and it has been a pleasant and short read for my commute. They summarize the news for me and link me to relating articles if I want a more in-depth read. So every weekday morning around 6:00am, there’s a newsletter waiting for me in my inbox. I highly recommend it if you want to be up-to-date with current events but other news outlets just aren’t for you.
Hi there! Do bloggers hibernate? Wait, I think that’s bears. I get the b’s mixed up. Anyhow, how have you been? It’s been a while, hasn’t it? There are so many questions and so much to tell you. We should grab coffee sometime and catch up; or tea if you’re into that.
Did you get yours yet? I did. So let’s chat! Let me first start off by apologizing for the unannounced absence; I should not have left you in the dark when I had made the original decision to make parts of my life public. When things got overwhelming for me with work, the blog and my personal relationships; I had made a conscious decision to take a break from blogging to reprioritize and reassess. I needed to realign myself with my purpose and rediscover my passions.
Sunday Scene was born as an escape and a creative outlet for myself. It was a place to motivate me to go out, do more and experience life outside of my comfort zone. The intentions were there but the process to generate daily content was easier said than done. Here I was, trying to have my own little niche on the web all while trying to conform to the expectations of being a lifestyle blogger that turned into a feeble attempt at creating a community-centered site. I obviously wasn’t ready for that. I had so many ideas and plans that I just didn’t know how to follow through with so it left me and my site feeling empty. It’s also difficult trying to build something bigger than yourself with just a team of, well, one. Trying to be like everyone else, I began to lose sight of my vision and it became something that I wasn’t doing for myself; something I couldn’t wholeheartedly pour my heart into.
Unlike your average lifestyle blogger, I am not a graphic designer or entrepreneur. I do not blog full-time. I don’t rely on this as my main source of income. I work a “nine to five” in the IT field where it’s always changing and fast paced. I’ve constantly had more roles and responsibilities added onto my plate. Yes, it’s stressful at times but I also like a good challenge. I’ve been tasked with creating media, marketing and assisting with event planning for events our office holds for our stakeholders. It’s been a very busy couple months. However, with my break from the blog and social media, I’ve been able to spend quality time with loved ones, focus on work and even have time to myself. I think a break is exactly what I needed to get my head on straight.
What’s in store for Sunday Scene? I’m keeping it simple. I’m going to write about things and experiences I actually care about and not force myself to generate generic, well, BS for lack of a better term. I’ll post when I can and though I’ll still have series, they won’t be on a weekly basis despite the alliteration (e.g. Tuesday Ten). I like alliteration, can’t you tell? Sometimes you’ll find outfits on here, my journey into leading a healthier lifestyle and weight loss (being in a happily committed relationship does not always do wonders for your waist line), recipes and restaurant reviews because I love food and maybe a doodle or two. It will be a giant confetti bomb of fun!
So with that, welcome to the adventures and misadventures of my attempts at adulthood.
I’m a commuter so I like to have everything I need at hand. Lately, I’ve been using the Transport Tote by Madewell which holds everything in place for me. Mine already has a lot of wear and tear and a bit of water damage which makes me a little sad.. Anyway, the bag itself only has one other small compartment enclosed by a zipper. I usually keep my keys and money in there for when I need to grab something important fast instead of fishing for items in my bag which I normally do. It’s a deep tote but I still love it. Here’s a rundown of typical everyday items I usually have on me:
As you can see I don’t carry a whole lot and I don’t carry a cosmetics bag either. I carry what I think are my essentials and I always need food. I’m always on the run and don’t always have time to stop for a proper meal so I make sure to have something to nosh on while I’m in between places. I also like to have spare bandaids and Advil on me too in case I get a headache or hurt which happens to be fairly often.
The hand lotion I’m currently using is Gold Bond. I know, when you hear that name you think of elderly people’s products. I can’t stand overly smelly products so I tend to go for something more neutral. The Gold Bond absorbs pretty quickly and keeps my hands moisturized despite multiple hand washing. I have both paper and digital items that I can take notes on. I usually carry an Anker battery, cable and wall chargers just to make sure I never run out of juice. Not only do I use my iPad and phone for productivity purposes, I also play games. I also almost always have an umbrella on me because the weather can sometimes be unpredictable.
I also try to bring a camera with me when I can remember because I never know what will happen on any given day and I don’t want to miss something spectacular. Inspiration is spontaneous, it doesn’t make appointments. I would take photos with my smart phone however I just dislike the camera on my current phone. I’m waiting on my work contract to end before I get a new phone and I think I’ll be switching back to the iPhone from Android. Sorry, guys.