happy birthday, dear blog

Welp, it happened again. I missed my blogs birthday due to the craziness of the holidays and traveling. I started this blog on New Year’s Eve three years ago and while I haven’t been able to keep up on it like I want to, I really appreciate what it’s done for me over the years. It has given me a creative outlet that I wouldn’t have had otherwise. I still plan to continue this thing, so I hope that’s okay. To Rambles & Rose, I say “THANK YOU”.

Happy 3rd Birthday!

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Cheers!

-xo

This is 35

My birthday began with a delicious breakfast at Molly’s Souper in Upland with my Dad. We really love that place! It’s the epitome of a home style cafe and the food and service are always great. We ate and talked for a couple of hours and it was a great start to my day.

After that, Daniel and I headed east to the desert! We rented an Airbnb in Twentynine Palms for a cozy getaway.

We stopped in Pioneertown, CA since it was on the way and I had heard some good things about it. It was the cutest, little old-timey town! We looked in shops, pet a goat named Nacoma, and took some photos. Check it out!

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Nacoma and I weren’t sure about each other at first, but then we warmed up (plus, I gave her a treat, so she had no choice but to love me).

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Pioneertown was really cute! It was quiet and quaint with a lot of cool photo op spots! Daniel is such a trooper for walking around with me in the cold and for taking pictures of me whenever I found one of said spots 🙂 Here are a couple more pictures:

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After Pioneertown, we decided to head over to our Airbnb. However, we made a few pit stops along the way, all of which involved FOOD (no surprise there, right?) I made sure to get my free birthday drink from Starbucks, which was a strawberry refresher of some sort. It had dragonfruit mango, peach, and something else. I took the barista’s word for it when he said it was good. We also stopped at Popeyes so I could try one of the chicken sandwiches that is apparently so good, it makes people go crazy to get them (I.e fights, brawls, riots, even death…. sad!) So, as you can imagine, my expectations were high. After eating it, I must say…. I would punch a person or two to get one if I had to! Kidding.  But they are soooo good! I can see what the craze was about (minus the violence), because those things are delicious….

We also stopped by Pie for the People, which was a cute pizza place that had a bunch of original pizzas and a cute atmosphere. I didn’t get a picture of our pizza, but it had potatoes on it! So different and delicious! We took it back to the Airbnb and enjoyed it there.

We wanted to make sure we got to our place before dark, so after all the food shenanigans, we headed straight there. We had to take a few dirt roads to get there and the town itself seemed a little run down. Houses and trailers looked abandoned and there weren’t many cars on the road. We pulled up to this cute little house and I recognized it right away from the pictures. It was so cute and cozy! Here are some of my favorite parts of it:

The dining room and kitchen were so cute with the hand-drawn mural and teal cabinets! The velcro dart game grabbed our attention and we played for awhile. It was really fun! And that solo-standing pink gate…. gahhhhhh it was everything! Such a cool touch.

One of the things we decided to do during our night in, was complete a murder mystery box. For those who don’t know what that is, it is a box sent to you that has a story of a fictitious murder, with all documents such as the evidence, the police reports, etc. in order for you to solve the crime. We had a ball, y’all! We are really into crime documentaries so this was right up our alley. Check it out!

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Daniel 100% SOLVED THE CRIME! We were going back and forth on who we thought the suspect was and I was totally unsure and thought way too into it. He pretty much named the suspect and the rationale verbatim to the answer that was given at the end. It was so much fun!!

The next morning, we decided to get up early to watch the sunrise. We figured we would have a front row seat to something really beautiful, so we sacrificed sleeping in to head out into the cold and watch it. We made sure to check what time it would be rising so we didn’t miss it or go out too early. (This was us waiting…)

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And this was the sunrise shot I got:

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SUCH A FAIL! The clouds were too thick to see anything and there weren’t any cool colors either…. wah wahhhhhh! We tried… and then back to bed we went!

We left our cute Airbnb and on our way home, we wanted to drive through Joshua Tree National Park since neither of us had been there. We figured it would be a scenic route to get back home. Luckily, we didn’t have to pay to get in and there weren’t too many people out. We were able to get out and get a few shots:

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And that was my birthday! It was so chill and different than any other birthday I’ve had. I love trying new things and exploring new places! And I feel so lucky that I have a partner in crime who loves do to the same. We always have the best time together. I am so grateful for him and can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for us.

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Here we go, 35… show me what you’ve got!

-xo

just checking in

Hey Y’all,

Life has resembled a whirlwind lately. I just finished my first quarter of my last year of grad school (… only 6 months to go!) and now I’m preparing to go on a little vacation for winter break. I am so in need of a getaway! I will fill you in on the trip when I get back! 😉

This next year is going to be crazy, but in the best way possible. We are closing in on securing a home purchase, which will hopefully be settled in January. I will be graduating in June and then we will be getting married in September! A lot is going on… and I cant help but feel that I’ve abandoned this blog in a lot of ways.  I still want to continue it and hop on here whenever I can, but lately it’s really been a struggle. I truly enjoy writing, even if no one reads it. I feel like it is a great outlet for me and is always something I can refer back to if needed. I think a part of it is finding something “perfect” to write about. I hold back because I feel that my posts will be boring or “not good enough”. I don’t want to feel like I can’t just come on here and say “hey” or share something short and sweet (or not so sweet).

I just wanted to check in and say that I’m still here. I haven’t given up on this blog and I plan to write more this next year, although it may be after I finish school. Thank you for sticking with me.

-xo

Love Yourself Challenge – Part 4

So, I started this challenge a couple years back and I wanted to take a moment to continue it. This post will be dedicated to “Body Love”. This will certainly be a challenge so bear with me if it gets awkward.

1.) When you think about your body, what is the first word that comes to mind?

Hmmm… the first word that came to mind was athletic, but let me explain. I am definitely not the most athletic person and I can be in MUCH better shape. Sometimes I think I have an athletic body, because I have visible muscle without really having to work for it. My arms, while a little flabby, look pretty muscular when I flex. My legs, while currently hosting a family of cellulite, also look muscular when I flex, especially my calves! I feel like if someone were to not know me and just look at me, they would think I work out more than I do.  I just have a naturally more muscular body, thanks to my dad. But again, my body fat percentage is probably much higher than it should be, ha!

2.) What’s something you’re grateful your body has allowed you to do?

I am grateful my body has allowed me to push it farther than I thought I could. There have been times that I have ran more in a month than I did in 10 years. There have been times I stayed on the stair-stepper 20 more minutes than I thought I could. I think my body has been pushed harder in my thirties than it has ever been. I am proud that my body has allowed me to accomplish certain goals that I have set for myself.

3.) Name 5 things you really, really love about your body.

Oh goodness, this will be hard. Okay let me try… (1) I love the shape of my legs, maybe because they are a little thicker. I like the look of muscular legs and I feel like I can achieve that pretty easily. (2) I like that I’m overall pretty proportionate and I don’t gain weight too fast. I mean I gain it, don’t get me wrong, but it takes longer than I think it should. (3) Is my smile a part of my body? Haha! I like that part, thanks to braces! 😉 Okay this is getting harder…. (4) I like my nail beds…. and that I have a pinky toe nail! haha, I can’t believe I said that (what the heck?!) And, (5) I like being a little curvier overall. I actually prefer it.

Okay that whole thing took some weird turns. I need to work on this stuff, clearly.

4.) Say something nice about your least favorite part of your body.

I always imagined I would bring up my feet for a question like this, since they are too big for how short I am (hehe), but honestly, at this point in my life I’ve moved passed that. The part of my body I like the least right now is probably my stomach/waist area. I just wish it was smaller. BUT if I have to say something nice about it, I will say that I like that my stomach has brought me so much joy in allowing me to eat all the food that I LOVE. 😉 It has been a temporary home for pizza, and cheeseburgers, and hot cheetos, and for that I am grateful. I also like that my stomach/waistline is not too far gone and I can probably get it where I want it with some attention at the gym (and in the kitchen). But then there’s willpower and that is a whole different topic….

5.) Post a picture of yourself where you feel good about your body.

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This was right before I ran 6 miles with very little training. I almost died, which is why you get the before picture as opposed to the after. But my body made it through and for that, I am proud.

Thanks for being pretty cool, body. I promise to learn to love you more!

-xo

 

 

the weekend

We were in LAS VEGAS this past weekend to celebrate the boo’s birthday! We both agreed it was a blast! We both also agreed that this trip differed from any other Vegas experience either of us has had. I thought I would share a bit of why…

We arrived in Vegas around 6:00 pm on Friday. We checked into the Tropicana, which is much better than I remember. They must have renovated it. I wish I would have taken pictures! Once we dropped our luggage off in our room, we immediately headed to Wicked Spoon, a buffet at the Cosmopolitan.

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We really liked it! I few of the highlights for us were the shrimp & grits, the macaroni & cheese bar, and the gelato station. Each portion was individually plated, which was a nice touch. My only beef with buffets is that I can’t eat my money’s worth! I did, however, get to try a wide array of things so all-in-all it was a good experience.

After we left the buffet, we walked out to the strip to head back to our hotel. It was hot and there were people everywhere. Not shocking right? Right, but it definitely pushed us to get to our hotel quicker. Our plan was to maybe change and get back out to the casino. Once we got back to our room, the exact opposite happened. We put our pajamas on, got in our nice, big comfy bed, and stayed there for the rest of the night. It was like 10:00 pm (if that) mind you. We both laughed that the thought of being in a comfy bed was much more appealing than walking the strip.

The next day was his BIRTHDAY! 36 never looked so good 🙂 We started the day by going to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign since neither of us had ever taken a picture in front of it out of all the times we’ve been there.

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We then took a little 15 minute drive to a breakfast place called Truffles N’ Bacon. I found it on Pinterest, I believe, and their food just looked too good to pass up. We ordered disco tots, that included tater tots, smoked brisket, cheese, some delicious sauce, flaming hot cheetos, jalapenos, and tortilla strips. AMAZING. He ordered the steak and eggs, which came with hash browns and biscuits and gravy. Also, AMAZING. Then for dessert, we shared the ube french toast. It is a Filipino spin on french toast with a sweet yam concoction all over it. And it was purple! Y’all, this was INCREDIBLE! We are still talking about it and are planning when we can go back. This will definitely be a place we stop at any and every time we are in Vegas.

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After breakfast, we did a little shopping for the birthday boy at the Nike outlets. He got a few pairs of shoes, which made him happy! And of course that made me happy….(Even though the Nike store was no where on my list of to-do’s in Vegas! Ha!). After being tourists, breakfast, and shopping… we figured we should get a little rest in before our evening. And so we went back to our hotel, and you guessed it, napped.

Our evening plans were to see Wicked at the Smith Center near downtown. I literally gave him a list of shows to see in Vegas and he chose a musical (one of the many reasons why I am obsessed with him). We got dolled up a bit and headed over. I had seen this play before, so I knew exactly what we were getting into. The venue was beautiful and had a great view of downtown Vegas from a balcony. Perfect date night! And he LOVED IT (despite the two drunk girls in front of us that I had to regulate on during intermission). Definitely a successful birthday date night.

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After that, we decided to grab some food. We stopped by In N Out (again, obsessed) and took it back to our hotel room. After we ate, we spent some time in our casino at the Tropicana. He played blackjack and I played the slots. We stayed up until like 2 am! Can you believe it?! I barely can… I’m pretty sure the nap had much to do with it.

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The next morning, we woke up before our alarm, and decided to head back home in order to avoid traffic. We didn’t want to risk staying later and then taking twice the time to get home.

And that was our trip! How different it is at this point in our lives. No clubs, no bars, no drinks, no hangovers, no crowds, more sleep, comfy beds, reasonable bedtimes, leaving early… It is so funny what becomes more important to you when you get older. Comfort and being well-rested is at the top of my list! I literally had the best time with my best friend just being together. It didn’t have to be this action packed, filled-to the brim, weekend. It was perfect for us.

Until our next trip….

xoxo

unplugged

I have noticed something about myself lately. I am too involved with things outside of myself. I know that sounds a little vague and I will explain, but I ultimately want this post to be something that will allow me to vent some thoughts as well as keep me accountable for change.

First off, I am on social media WAY too much. It has become habitual, when I wake up in the morning, when I’m bored during the day, before I go to bed at night… it’s constant. It has come to the point where I am looking at the ‘popular’ feed much more because I have already looked at everything there is to see from the people I follow. I just scroll and scroll… wasted time and energy. Being on social media so much takes away from plenty of other things I could be doing, things that could actually benefit me. Starting today, (or right now actually), I will only go on social media when I have something to post. I know that seems like a bit of a cop-out, you might be thinking: why not get off of it altogether for awhile? And I agree, but I have this weird complex about posting pictures of things that are important to me after they have happened. I like my Insta to be an actual timeline of things I’ve done and seen. So, to post something way after the fact would just irk me. I am going to commit to taking a break from the daily ‘scrolling’ of social media for awhile so I can devote my mind to other things.

For those who know me well, you know I am a passionate person. I have strong convictions for equality, social justice, religious freedoms, etc. It literally breaks my heart to see people going through the things they do. Poverty, police brutality, systemic oppression, mass shootings… so many things weigh on me and as you can imagine, living in today’s world, it gets HEAVY. While I feel it is my duty as a compassionate human being to advocate for people, I am getting to the point where I just can’t. I find myself getting in debates with people and it’s just so discouraging. Or I read threads on social media (another reason I need to take a break) and it just hurts my heart. I need to unplug from this political climate for my own mental health. I need to allow myself to be silent in times that will tarnish my spirit if I don’t. This is something that is very hard for me to do, but I will be diligently praying about it.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that, lately, I have been living too much in the future. I have really great things to look forward to: vacations, purchasing a house, finishing school, getting married… but dreaming of the future is becoming a thing that I always do. And when I settle in the reality that I still need to wait for these things, I get a little down. I will literally jump on Pinterest and search for ideas for things that are months and months away. I enjoy being a planner and I do like thinking of the future, but it’s becoming too much. I need to start focusing on today. What can I do today that will add to my life? What can I do today that will bring me some kind of happiness or joy? Going to the gym needs to be one of those things. But other than that, maybe read? Or record a song? Or write a blog post? Something that will help cultivate a happy daily life. Don’t get me wrong, I am SO EXCITED for the future…. but my life is happening right now and I need to focus more on that.

I get in these ruts sometimes, and when I do, it makes it hard to get out of. But I think unplugging from the things I mentioned will give me a way out. I won’t feel so bogged down by outside things and that will allow me to focus on me. Just me.

-xo

b a l a n c e

 

balance wheel

So, on my last blog account, I used the image above (from Living with Intent: My Somewhat Messy Journey to Purpose, Peace and Joy) to map out what I have going on to see how balanced my life really is. I really want to take the time to do it again, because I really don’t feel super balanced right now. I want to have a visual of what I need to work on to create more peace in my life. So I think I am going to address each category and then make suggestions on how I can improve on that part of my life. Here we go….

Spirituality & Sense of Purpose– I feel like I am lacking in this department. I used to go to church more, meditate in prayer, and even write in a prayer/gratitude journal. I haven’t done much of that lately. I have definitely prayed about things going on in my life, but I don’t feel like it is enough. I don’t necessarily feel like church is the answer, but I really want to start writing in my journal again and I would prefer to get out in nature a bit more. I feel the strongest spiritual connection out there. Suggestion: Write in a gratitude journal weekly and plan at least one day out of the month to get out and experience something beautiful like the mountains, beach, sunshine…anything.

Rest & Sleep- I feel like I get decent sleep considering the circumstances. My schedule is a little crazy right now with school and work so sleep is important to me. I try to get at least 7 hours a night if possible, but there are times I just can’t. Suggestion: I think the only way to improve my sleep patterns is to really just be better organized with my time. I need to make sure I get everything done by a certain time so I’m not staying up too late. And of course fit naps in over the weekend if at all possible.

Good Nutrition & Exercise- So this category has definitely taken a hit. A MAJOR HIT. Ever since I started school in fall of 2017, I have not been on a great gym schedule. This past year has been an absolute embarrassment.  I generally try to eat healthier for the most part, but even that has been bad lately. I just can’t seem to get it together.  Suggestion: Try to go to the gym 3 days a week and make time for at least one extra activity on the weekend. I’d like to start taking classes at the gym and maybe run Mt. Rubidoux on the weekends. I think my eating habits can improve, but I’d rather not commit to a crazy diet right now. Especially since food makes me happy and I look forward to eating, HA!

Relationships: Family & Friends- So I feel like I am doing much better in this category than I was when I started school. I make time for my relationship, my family and my friends and they bring me so much joy! I don’t think this category needs much improvement right now. I do great with the free time I have.

Work, Financial, & Career- I am really loving my job right now! I am saving money for the future while still doing things I love. I think this category is set 🙂

Intellectual Stimulation- I am working on a master’s degree right now so if that’s not enough intellectual stimulation, I don’t know what is.

Creativity & Play- My biggest sources of creativity right now are this blog and singing. And I have been slacking on both. Suggestion: I think I should try to record a singing video once a week. I don’t have to post it to social media, but I just have to do it. And I think a blog post once a month isn’t too hard to do. I like writing blogs, I think I just haven’t thought to do it with all that’s going on. I’ll get back on track 🙂

So it looks like I’m doing okay when it comes to relationships, work, and intellectual stimulation. Now, I can pay a little more attention to being creative, being healthy, and cultivating my spirituality. Revealing areas I need to work on is a start!

-xoxo

daniel

In another blog post, I mentioned a “special someone” that I met at the beginning of last year and that he deserves his own post. Then in the questionnaire I just posted, I started talking about him like y’all actually know who he is (whoops!). So, I figured I needed to take a minute to write a little something to let you in on a really cool person in my life.

Meet Daniel

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Roma, Italia 2018

How we met: ONLINE. Okay, I get that isn’t the most romantic story you’ve ever heard, but honestly, how else are you supposed to meet people without dragging yourself to a gritty bar every weekend? That just isn’t my speed or scene at this age. Online dating can be super annoying and discouraging and it definitely isn’t for everyone, but I am now an example that it CAN WORK by being patient and most importantly TRUE TO YOURSELF. The app we used was Bumble, which is like Tinder (Ugh, I know) except for the fact that the women get to make the first move so as not to drown in a plethora of creepy messages. So I was basically in control of our initial conversation. I swiped on him solely for his bio that said he knows more Disney songs than me and that he is known as the fun uncle. I thought that was sweet and different. He later swiped on me (solely for my photos…typical, ha!) and we matched! We messaged for a couple of days, graduated to text for the next couple days, and finally promoted ourselves to phone conversations. We would talk for hours every night and we even FaceTimed a couple times before meeting. Everything was easy and enjoyable. Then, we met, and that was that…

Qualities in him that I LOVE: He is very genuine and attentive. He makes me laugh every day. He has a compassionate heart. I know I can trust him. He values family just as much as I do. He is kind to strangers. He is affectionate and never leaves me guessing about how much he cares for me. He is forgiving and patient when it comes to our relationship. He is smarter than me. He is easygoing, but assertive when it matters. He is self-aware and reflective. He makes me feel safe both physically and emotionally. He always asks “What can I do to help you?” He gives really good massages. He is spiritual and is continually strengthening his relationship with God. He brings me peace. He is absolute best friend/husband material.

Cool things we’ve done together: We’ve taken two pretty big trips together this far. In June 2018, we took a trip to Rome, Naples, and Barcelona.  I was a little worried about traveling together, because they say it’s an experience that can make or break a relationship. This trip was fun, easy, and brought us closer together. We had such a great time that we decided to plan another trip for holiday break. We went to Prague, Berlin, Paris, and Brussels for Christmas 2018 and New Years 2019. It was a magical trip and we experienced so many cool things. One that lead to our current relationship status….

Current relationship status: ENGAGED!

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He proposed in Prague, Czech Republic on 12-25-18

He has added to my life in so many ways and I can’t wait for what the next chapter will bring.

-xoxo