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LIFE: Adios 2013, Hello 2014!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"Today you are you. 
That is truer than true. 
There is no one alive 
who is youer than you."
- Dr. Seuss

Mirror selfie at Eataly
Eataly 12/2013
I used to sit and make a list of resolutions for the New Year, but I'm not a fan of doing that much anymore. I often find it a lot more personal to kickstart major personal changes on my birthday, but even then - I have a theory that waiting for a specific time to start something only puts unnecessary pressure and stress on getting it done and sometimes the "challenge" of having a deadline can often cause you to fake success in fear of disappointing yourself or others. On the flipside, you may just abandon ship if hitting the finish line isn't in sight by the "time's up" mark.

Fundamental changes are important and they take time. Anyone who successfully loses weight and keeps it off can tell you that. 

So while I don't have any resolutions, just goals that I'm still working towards and hoping to realizar next year, I will make this promise to myself - from here on out I promise to be as true to who I am as I possibly can. 

Hoping you all have a great New Year's Eve & Day! I'm looking forward to what 2014 will bring us :} 

LIFE: Put your "trash" on Craigslist

Friday, December 27, 2013

"One man's trash is another man's treasure."

Every time I hear that saying I remember the days when I lived out in Long Island and how I'd window shop my wealthy neighbors' trash from the car. Perfectly good TV's, desks, chairs, couches ... it hurts even now to think that all that went to waste and not instead donated to the Salvation Army or Good Will. 

Good thing that in the age of technology, you don't even have to donate to an organization - you can find a pool of "trash" window shoppers right on craigslist! 

Earlier today I posted an image of a Encyclopedia set in the trash and an IG-er commented the following: "Why couldn't someone post this on Craigslist? (Sigh)" There are "appropriate" responses to this, but none of them could really make up for the waste. 

Perhaps people don't think anyone would want this... but then again I've seen crazier stuff given away on CL and even crazier people who jump on the opportunity! 

What do you think? Have you guys posted your trash on craigslist? 

EVENT: Indie Video Game Exhibit at Museum of the Moving Image

Friday, December 20, 2013

Photo Source: Museum of the Moving Image Website
TGIF!~ Although I haven't been keeping up with my Blogmas challenge as religiously as I would have wanted to, I'm really proud of myself for having posted A LOT more frequently than ever (and not just garbage nada kinda content either...) Take a few minutes today to pat yourself on the back for the effort you put into life! 
Okay, on the post!

Earlier today I saw Flavorpill's post about the Indie Video Game Exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image that opened on December 14th. The exhibit is interactive allowing visitors to play up to 25 original arcade games for the awesome price of $12! There are also chances to enroll in tournaments!
For more information check out the Exhibit's Page.

TECH: LINE Camera App = Christmas Fun Photos!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Last night I downloaded the LINE Camera App which was recommended to me either on LINE itself or somewhere in the App Store. I'm a sucker for free camera apps, so I went ahead and downloaded it to check it out for myself. I haven't been able to stop!~ I took pictures (I already had) of all the animals I know and made cute little Christmas card-like images of them! 

This is a perfect way of making a Christmas card on the go if you don't really have time to take the perfect holiday picture or if you can't find time to go online and search through hundreds of layouts and such. I made two of these on the train ride to work!!  

I'm thinking of getting the one of Nestle and Mr. Cadbury (my guinea piggies) printed as holiday cards!

Instagram Tip: If you're going to use LINE Camera to make images for Instagram, make sure to set the ratio of the crop 1:1 so that Instagram doesn't cut out any of your amazing creation in the transfer over!

LIFE: Wrap it up!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Things you used to do in college that you don't do anymore... 
Decorate your [front] door with wrapping paper! 

Living in NYC is expensive and it's no surprise that most of us here don't own - we rent.
Elevators aren't mandatory, doormen even less so and cheerful decorum? - hahahahahahaha! 
So, you really have to take charge and spice up your life :) 
Make coming home more exciting even before you walk through the front door! 

My roommate and I threw a party this past weekend, and I thought it'd be real exciting for the guests to get into the holiday spirit from the moment they walk into the apartment. It's amazing how a $8 investment can really liven things up. I loved the way this turned out, and the wreath my roommate made really popped against the red! 

It's always the little things :) ~ How do you guys get yourselves into the holiday spirit?
What are ways that you guys spice up your everyday activities?

VIDEO: What are YouTube Fans Called?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Going off of True Blood's "Trubies," I'm thinking Tubies? (Too-bees) Yes? Alright, we'll figure that out later.

Anyway, earlier today I received an email congratulating me on being part of the first 5% to "discover" one of the top ten videos of YouTube in 2013!~ Finally (!!) recognition for all the hours that I've spent on YouTube watching cat video after cat video ( I kid, I kid. ) but seriously, it was pretty cool to get that email. (Props YouTube, props.)

Of the 10 videos, this was the only one I hadn't seen! (/gasp) Evian totally blew me away with this cute and clever ad for their campaign. Still can't believe I missed it, but better late than never right?


Btw, with the exception of last Saturday and the first two days of December, I'm not doing too bad with this Blogmas challenge! :) 

FILM: "A Band Called Death" & "The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975"

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Today is the first official Snow Day of NYC!~ :} It's a day for hot chocolate, PJs, Christmas lights and working your way down the Netflix queue and FINALLY getting around to some of those films you saved for just this kinda day! (That Charlie Brown Christmas joint would really hit the spot right about now.)

This past Sunday was cold and cloudy, the right combination for staying home and re-discovering my Netflix account. I got to watch two documentaries A Band Called Death and The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975. Both films were motivational and inspirational. If you're looking for thought provoking non-fictional films, look no further! 

If anyone else has seen any of these, I'd love to know your thoughts! 

MUSIC: "Right Down The Line"

Monday, December 9, 2013

Today's Blogmas post is #MusicMonday oriented.

I'd usually rave about a recently released track obsession, but actually this track by Gerry Rafferty is a 1970's throwback and it's been on repeat for the past week on my Spotify.

It's such a sweet and honest track - the perfect dedication song! (hint hint fellas ;})

Although I'm at work late tonight, this week's already starting off great!~ And  listening to this is only making it better.

LIFE: The Interborough Playdate

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Was so excited to finally get a chance to hang out one-on-one with my girlfriend yesterday. It was a much needed ladies day out! First we hit up the Brooklyn Flea in Williamsburg for some browsing pleasure - I can see how someone could easily go through 4-5 hours of their day shopping around in there. The food court alone is a maze of delicious smells! Before heading out, we made sure to stop by and take some pictures - Christmas sweaters, lights, hats and all!~ 

Then we headed on over to the Lower East Side to check out what all the hype about Otto's Tacos was all about.  (I'm about to drool just thinking about it... ) Between my girlfriend and I, we got to try out four of the six tacos they offer - Carnitas (Pork), Chicken, Mushroom and Shrimp. Let me just say that what really makes these tacos stand apart from others I've tasted is at the foundation - the tortillas that are used are all handmade (right there, in yo face!) and are oh so tasty! Nothing is greasy and everything is cooked to tender perfection. My only complaint is that there's no bathroom !! :{ Since tacos are eaten with your hands (usually) it'd be nice to have a place to sanitize my hands. I'd recommend bringing a bottle of hand sanitizer with you. But overall, I'm marking it down as a successful discovery! 

Fueled with taco goodness, we were energized enough to both find some great dresses on sale at MACY*S and Banana Republic! 

Shopping Tip: If you're on a budget, (Hello!) start your shopping from the BACK of the store. Most sales racks are housed there, and there are often GREAT finds that are more affordable! ;} 

Oh! And here's a picture of me and the infamous Astor Place cube - I was getting my Superman on!

FOOD / DIY: Spiced Orange Air Freshener

Friday, December 6, 2013

Earlier today I was craving my grandma's bacalao, so when I got home I settled for second best - rice with octopus, squid, tuna & a red onion salad!~ ay ay ay que rico! ;} 
As much as I love these seafood dishes, the lingering smells aren't as pleasant - especially when it sticks to your clothing! And naturally, abuelita's got a home remedy for that!

For this you'll need the following: 
- 1 orange

And one or more of these: 
- cloves
- cinnamon (sticks or ground) 
- ginger (preferably ground) 
- ground nutmeg 

-  Peel the orange**
- Fill a medium size pot with luke warm water
- Add the orange peel and a pinch of any of your ground ingredients and/or a few cinnamon sticks.
- boil on a medium low heat
- Enjoy the amazing smell!~

**If you keep the orange peel in tact all the way through the peeling process, you'll have the chance to make a wish at the end. This belief was passed down to me from my grandma, and till this day, I always do my best to keep the peel together :)

Happy wishing!

LIFE: "Practical Genius"

Thursday, December 5, 2013

I'll begin with an excerpt. (page 59)

The "Nothing"
Remember the 1984 children's film, The Neverending Story? It was based on a German fantasy novel about a young boy's quest to save Fantasia, a land without boundaries that was created by the dreams and hopes of mankind. Fantasia was slowly dying as people lost their imaginations and ability to dream to an emptiness and despair that were referred to as the "Nothing."

"People who have no hopes are the easiest to control," said the servant to the power behind the Nothing... I think that today many of us are unconsciously falling under the power of the Nothing, abdicating our imaginations and courage to dream and hope and tell our whole stories in the real world. (end quote)

I got the book Practical Genius: The Real Smarts You Need to Get Your Talents and Passions Working for You a few weeks ago when I attended a Latina Empowerment conference hosted by Proud To Be Latina. I've finally gotten around to reading it (and I'm about half way through), and it's been a very encouraging and empowering read thus far and although it is FILLED with quotables, I felt that the excerpt above hit close to home.
It's always worth examining and learning different ways to discover and incorporate our personal passions into our professional goals and this does a good job of providing a solution.

(Photo source: Guardian Express)
I'd like to take a second to acknowledge the passing of a hero and great inspirational leader, Nelson Mandela. The passing of our heroes often remind us of how human they still are, despite their greatness and how in being human ourselves we have within us the same capacity to be as great.

Mandela, I promise to honor your legacy through my words and through my actions.

FOOD: DOUGH (Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Welcome to the second Blogmas post (inspired by Anna Saccone).

Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I was introduced to some of the best doughnuts in NYC (and they happen to be a few blocks away from my apartment !!!). Dough is a quaint little spot in Bed-Stuy where the doughnuts are made by hand (Bonus: you get to watch them make it from behind the window in-store!). They've got your typical glazed and cinnamon sugar flavors, but I wanted to try one of their more exotic flavors including their blood orange filled doughnut and their passion fruit glazed sensation!

A bite of these and a good ole cup of Cafe Bustelo made my Saturday afternoon all the better.

For a dose of dough on social, check out their Facebook page.

And while we're on the topic of food, here's a picture of the amazing enchiladas that my roommate cooked up a few weeks ago when my Mexican food craving was going hard.

LIFE: Making Christmas!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The countdown has officially begun! In a little over three weeks I'll be celebrating Christmas 2013 with the family. The year feels like it flew by, but when I look back to where I was last year I see all the amazing progress that I've made and all the hard work seems that much more worth it!~ :}

Before I dive into anything else I just want to highlight my awesome find first!
While on Google searching for Uncle Grandpa memes (don't ask... ) I found these awesome images featuring Pizza Steve (Uncle G character) and I clicked through to the source and hit the mother load of awesome!

Nina Levy is a mother of two that takes "napkin lunchbox notes" to a whole other level!
Definitely check out her blogspot and Facebook page! This is pretty f*cking dope (excuse the language)!

Artwork by Nina Levy ( source: Daily Napkins)
With 22 days left until the big day I'm quickly assembling my present pile and since my gifts will have to be a bit smaller than usually I wanted to try and up my gift wrapping game. I've been watching YouTube videos on different styles of wrapping and bow making.

Here's one I'm going to keep as creative arsenal :}

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