February 2017 Gratitude

I'm a firm believer in showing gratitude for the things that we receive. I like to take a few minutes at the end of the day to write them down and so here are all of the things that I was grateful for in February. 

February-2017-Gratitude

  1. Spending time at the park
  2. Max sleeping in bed with me
  3. The rain
  4. Dance nights
  5. Taking my shoes off after a long day
  6. Starting water week
  7. School starts. My final FM class
  8. Falling asleep early
  9. I think I'm ready to take this fashion entrepreneur class
  10. The rain, again
  11. Hulu
  12. It being warm enough to go to the beach today
  13. That I don't have to pay of going to the doctor
  14. Spending time with Gary
  15. Antibiotic ointment
  16. Starting my morning with Daybreaker
  17. That Max didn't fight me when I gave him his bath today
  18. Getting off work early
  19. Reading while taking a hot bath
  20. Being able to trust the Universe
  21. That Gary comes back today! 
  22. Almost two weeks into my fitness
  23. Salads from SaladFarm
  24. Started Vaquita ad
  25. Work out Rest day
  26. Did the beach clean up
  27. Taking Gary to the Aquarium for his first time
  28. My bed after a long day

Do you regularly write down the things that you're grateful for? What are some of the things you were grateful for in February, or this month so far? 

Amanda ❤

My Dad Made Me A Feminist (And He Doesn't Even Know It)

With the word 'Feminist' being tossed around so aggressively these days like it's the worst thing a woman can be, I like so many other women in the world will proudly admit to being one.

Does that make me bad? No.

Do I hate men? Quite the contrary. 

What I can tell you is that I've been a feminist probably since I was about 10 or 11 years old. Although I didn't know there was a word for it back then. 

My-Dad-Made-Me-a-Feminist

By the title of this post, you can probably guess who turned me into a feminist, although he did have some help from my mom. 

You see, when I was younger and in about second grade my mom would continually tell me that "can't" should never be part of my vocabulary. If you put your mind to it, worked hard and stayed determined, I could do anything that I set my mind to. 

And I grew to believe it. 

So as I was growing older my dad would come in and do the rest. 

"Get an education." 

"Get a good job." 

"Never depend on a man."

"Never put all your money into a joint bank account."

"Don't cry over a boy."

"Learn to do your own taxes."

"Learn how to change your own tires."

Because my parents were divorced, one of these lessons would be drilled into my head almost every weekend.  So I knew how to change a tire before I even knew how to drive. I knew that if I wanted something, to never depend on somebody else getting it for me. 

By the same token, my grandparents lived in a small town in Mexico where gender roles rule. Women and girls stayed in the house cooking and cleaning, while the men and boys got to go out and do things. They played sports. They played video games. 

Well guess who would be the one to get into trouble almost every day for questioning and rebelling against those gender roles? You guessed it! Me. I was constantly getting into trouble for playing video games in the small arcade, for climbing trees and throwing rocks and breaking glass bottles, and just being too aggressive for a girl. But I didn't mind. I liked it. I would hear my mom's voice saying, "Don't let anybody tell you that you can't do something." 

And if you were to ask my father whether or not he's a feminist, he would probably tell you that he wasn't. But here's the thing guys, if you want your daughter to get an education, so that she's gets a good job, so that she can support herself and not have to depend on a man, then you're a feminist. If you want your wife to be someone who works and contributes money to the family income, then you're a feminist. If you leave her to choose her own clothes, then you're a feminist. 

So Dad, thanks for making me the person that I am today. 

Amanda ❤

Photo A Day 2017 Week 1

Earlier this week I decided that I needed to start using my dSLR more often so I've been lugging it around with me for the past week. And I'll be honest, it's been so long that I've actually taken photos with it that I've almost forgot to take photos on a couple of days, but I'm slowly getting back into it. So bear with me for the first couple of weeks as I get a handle on taking photos again. Honestly, this Mental Floss article was the inspiration behind picking up the camera again. So every Monday, I plan to show you my week in photos. I don't intend to post the stories behind them or any other notes, just photos for the sake of photos. 

So here's to week one being down and 51 weeks more to go! 

Palm Trees; California; Sunshine

Birds of Paradise

Hollywood; Villa

 

Max Ammo; Girl and Cat

5-365-2017

Max Ammo; Orange Tabby

Latte Art; Barista; Starbucks

Amanda ❤

How To Be A Good Starbucks Customer

How-To-Be-A-Good-Starbucks-Customer

 I know we've all seen those articles about why Starbucks baristas get your name wrong. Revenge and them being bored are usually what that whole thing gets chalked up to, but as a Starbucks barista myself, I'm going to let you in on a little secret. 

Promise not to tell, right? 

via GIPHY

Ready? 

Here we go. 

It's because it's loud. 

Yup. There it is. That's the reason we get your name wrong sometimes. Also, it's kind of your fault as well, but.... hey!

For anyone who has ever worked retail, we know that the saying "The customer is always right" is total bull. Yes there are times when they're right, but there are also times when they're so terribly wrong.  So I'm here today to tell you how to be a good Starbucks customer because being a good Starbucks customer can come with a few perks. 

  1. Use Your Big Boy/ Girl Voice.
    So a majority of the time we end up writing the wrong name on your cup simply because we can't hear. There are so many noises going on behind the counter that you don't even realize. A couple off the top of my head are: Blenders blending, steam wands steaming milk for lattes, the espresso machine grinding espresso for shots, the safe beeping letting you know that it's ready to be open, the ovens beeping letting us know your pastry is ready, the coffee timer beeping letting us know it's time to brew more, the Ditting machine grinding beans for fresh coffee, the two hour timer beeping letting us know we need to change the sanitizer water, people having conversations in store, people having conversations on their phone, music playing, and depending on the store, the air curtain that starts up every time the door is opened. There is A LOT of noise.

    And these are all usually going off at the same time. 

    Here's how it might be your fault: You're speaking as loud as a shy 5 year old. Have you ever wondered why it seemed like we were always yelling at you? It's because we can't hear. When we say, "I can't hear you" and lean forward, that doesn't mean speak more quietly because yes, I'm trying to read your lips as well. 

    via GIPHY

  2. Assert Yourself
    This is for most of the people who use mobile order. If I'm on bar, yes I see you standing there, and unless you're a regular who I know by name or face, I have no idea whether you used mobile order, or if you stood in line. Don't just stand there on your phone or stare at me while I make drinks expecting me to know who you are, because I've learned to ignore the people standing around waiting.  I'm focused on these 20 drinks that are in front of me that need to get made. The only way I'm going to notice you is if you're standing there and I don't have cups queued and let's be honest, if it's the morning time, who knows how long that's going to be. 

    You are an adult. You just paid $4 for a drink. Assert yourself. Ask for what you paid for. 
    "Hi, do you have a mobile order for Josh?" 
    "I sure do! Here you go!" Proceeds to hand Josh said drink . 
    And that's when other people who have been standing around waiting for *their* mobile order come forward. We've been trained to call out mobile orders when they're done. If you're not in the store when it's finished, you might not hear that, so don't get mad at me when you've been waiting for 15 minutes and still don't have your drink. Come ask for it. 

    Like I just mentioned. We've been trained to call out mobile orders when they're done. If you ARE in the store when we call out your drink, again if I don't know your name or face, don't assume that we know who you are. I don't know whether you paid in store or through the app . 
    "I have a mobile order for Stephanie."
    If you don't let me know that you're there, then I'm just going to assume that you're still on your way to the store, and I'm going to continue to make drinks. A simple, "That's me!" or "Right here" will reduce your wait time. 

    via GIPHY


    3. Picture Us As Your Bartender
    With all those "Don't talk to me before I've had my coffee" or "But first, coffee" people out there, your morning brew is what you NEED in order to function for the day, right? Tips are pretty important to us. We notice them...and the people who give them to us. Just like being at a bar, you know you get better service or small perks from your bartender when you tip well. They're more attentive to you, they'll give you a shot on the house, etc. Now without incriminating myself, if you're a good tipper, more likely than not, you'll get little perks here and there from your local barista too. We're just trying to make the experience right for you. 

                

via GIPHY

I know I'll get the inevitable comment of, "Well if you don't like your job maybe you should get a different job" or something along the lines of those who work at Starbucks not being the smartest. This isn't a rant post about how shitty *YOU* think *I *feel my job is. I actually love my job but this is more of a guide to help people get the best experience that we're trying to offer customers. What I've written are my own thoughts on how to get a better Starbucks experience and no way reflect the company. :) 

 

via GIPHY

Amanda ❤

52 Quotes For Your 2017 Bullet Journal

The new year has just started and maybe you're starting to organize  your new bullet journal. OR you're like me and have been getting your bullet journal ready for a few weeks now. Either way. I like to have quotes in my BuJo to look at every week and so I've compiled 52 of them so you could put into your own BuJo if that's something that you also like to do. Let's go! 

52-Quotes-For-Your-Bullet-Journal-2017

  1. Happiness itself is a kind of gratitude. -Joseph Wood Krutch
  2. Some pursue happiness - others create it. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
  3. Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you have. -Dale Carnegie
  4. Happiness is a vine that takes root and grows within the heart, never outside of it. -Paulo Coelho
  5. Remember that happiness is a way of travel-not a destination. -Roy M. Goodman
  6. In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. -Anne Frank
  7. When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree. -Vietnamese Saying
  8. No wind favors he who has no destined port. -Michel de Montaigne
  9. True goodness springs from a man's own heart. All mean are born good. -Confucius
  10. A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval. -Mark Twain
  11. Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace. -Buddha
  12. Be patient and calm for no one can catch fish in anger. -Herbert Hoover
  13. Action is the foundational key to all success. -Pablo Picasso
  14. I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies. -Aristotle
  15. Manifest plainness; Embrace simplicity; Reduce selfishness; Have few desires. -Lao Tzu
  16. All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; Then success is sure. -Mark Twain
  17. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy. -Norman Vincent Peale
  18. If I have lost confidence in myself, I have the universe against me. -Ralph Waldo Emerson
  19. Self-confidence is the first requisite to great undertakings. -Samuel Johnson
  20. I am not a has-been. I am a will-be. -Lauren Bacall
  21. Put your future in good hands- your own. -Unknown
  22. Energy and persistence conquer all things. -Benjamin Franklin
  23. Remember that the man at the top of a mountain didn't just fall there. -Unknown
  24. Never let your head hang down. Never give up or sit down and grieve. Find another way. -Satchel Paige
  25. You just can't beat the person who won't give up. -Babe Ruth
  26. Winners never quit; Quitters never win. -Vince Lombardi
  27. Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm. -Sir Winston Churchill
  28. It's not what happens to you that determines how far you will go in life; It is how you handle what happens to  you. -Zig Ziglar
  29. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you, always. -Oprah Winfrey
  30. I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. -Thomas Jefferson
  31. Pleasure in the job puts perfection in the work. -Aristotle
  32. You do your best work if you do a job that makes you happy. -Bob Ross
  33. Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do. -Von Goethe
  34. The man who has no imagination has no wings. -Muhammad Ali
  35. You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do. -Henry Ford
  36. Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible. -Tony Robbins
  37. If you can dream it, you can do it. -Walt Disney
  38. One way to keep momentum going is to have constantly greater goals. -Michael Korda
  39. Honesty is not a policy, it is a state of mind. -Eugene L. Hote
  40. It takes less time to do a thing right than to explain why you did it wrong. -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
  41. I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. -Arthur Rubenstein
  42. Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks about changing himself. -Leo Tolstoy
  43. Character is what you are in the dark. -Unknown
  44. One minute of patience can result in ten years of peace. -Italian Proverb
  45. You are responsible for you. -English Proverb
  46. Love all, trust few, do wrong to none. -William Shakespeare
  47. It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself. -Eleanor Roosevelt
  48. A bad workman blames his tools. -Chinese Proverb
  49. We learn by watching and listening. -Japanese Proverb
  50. Win or lose, do it fairly. -Knute Rockne
  51. The time is always right to do what is right. -Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  52. Imagination was given to us to compensate for what we are not, and a sense of humor was provided to console us for what we are. -Francis Bacon

And there you have it! Go ahead and write them down in your bullet journal or stick them in a place to give yourself some motivation/inspiration! 

 

Amanda ❤

Peach Colada Shakeology Recipe

Hey guys! 

For December I have a goal of working out at least twice a week. It doesn't matter the workout, just as long as I'm getting in some physical activity. So far, I'm still on track. I'm still doing my Beachbody workouts, but admittedly, I don't really drink the shakeology which is something that I feel I could do better on. 

I get bored pretty easily so it probably comes as no surprise that I just can't drink the same thing everyday without getting tired of it. I thought I could share some of the shakeology recipes that I come up with. 

Peach-Colada-Shakeology

Peach-Colada
What you need: 

-1 scoop of Vanilla Shakeology

-1/2 cup of coconut milk

-1 cup pineapple juice

-1 cup of frozen peaches

and

BLEND! 

 

Let me know what you think! 

Amanda ❤

The Story of Max

If you follow me on Instagram, which you totally SHOULD be doing, you'd know that I'm just a teensy-tiny bit obsessed, and in love with my cat Max. So I wanted to share the story of how he came about. But first, you need to know the story of Gin. Go ahead and click the link to read that first. 

So after having Gin for a few months and coparenting him, yes we did that. But since I picked him up initially for Bub, that meant that he was always at Bub's house. Soon I started getting sad when I would have to come home. I wanted a baby to cuddle with me at night and who just wanted ALL of the cuddles. At first, the idea of getting a second cat (for myself) was just a joke. We're not allowed pets in my building but a girl can dream, right?

But even in my joking, I was very specific about what I wanted. I wanted an orange and white girl tabby. Girl mostly because at the time we still didn't know whether or not we wanted Gin to father a litter, and I had had an orange and white tabby when I was younger named Garfield. Logic, amirite? Anyway, in my head I made up an elaborate tale of Gin and my imaginary tabby being boyfriend and girlfriend and having beautiful babies and we'd all be a big ol' family. Hahahahaha. 

Well soon the joke started to become real. I REALLY wanted a baby of my own to cuddle with. 

Well, one night Bub told me that there was a cat at his cousin's church who had just had a litter of kittens, and one of them was an orange and white tabby. He wanted to know if I wanted one. YES! YES! YES! YES! YES! You don't have to ask me twice, YES! 

Well, the cat had just had the kittens and so the owners of the cat wanted to wait a few weeks  so that the mother could take care of them. Well, a couple of weeks pass and I'm at Bub's house. His cousin asked him to come help her fix something at her church. I waited for him to come back by doing homework and watching Netflix. A couple of hours later he called to tell me he was on his way back home. 

The sun had set and I'm incredibly lazy so I was watching Netflix in the dark when he got back home. He told me to close my eyes as he turned on the light, so I obliged. When he told me to open them, he was standing in front of me with TWO new babies. The one I had been waiting for, and a new one for him.  Baby-Max-April

Silly-Max-April

After a few days of trying to figure out a name for him, I was listening to Bub playing a video game when I heard, "MAX AMMO!" It was settled, my new baby's name was Max Ammo. His sister was named Liona. 

He stayed with Bub for the first few months as I tried to see if I could bring him home with me. Plus, he was still so attached to Liona and we kind of didn't want to break that up so early. It was adorable. They had each other meanwhile Gin wanted nothing to do with either of them. Gin eventually got used to them and soon became protective of them. During that time we thought we had figured out his personality. He was aloof. Shy. He was picky. He wanted affection but only on his terms. He didn't want you to touch him, but if you held out your hand he would rub himself against it. 

Max-Sleeping-August

Finally, I was able to bring him home with me in late September, and what we thought we knew about him completely changed. Back at Bub's house we would have never been able to pick him up since he would always run. At my house, he wanted all the affection. Even now when I get home he does nothing but cry and rub himself against me because he's so happy that I'm home. I got what I wanted. I got my baby who would sleep with me at night and loved all the cuddles and kisses.

Max-Paws-Close-Up

Now at this point, everyone tells me he's the most spoiled cat alive, which I doubt, but I do love him so much. Especially when he looks at me so adoringly like the apple of his eye. He gets new toys about every month and even though he hates it, I buy him sweet little clothes and costumes. But I really just love it when I'm laying down in bed and he comes and curls right up on my right shoulder and starts purring. It's the BEST feeling ever. I always joke that if I feel like this for a cat, I can only imagine how I'm going to feel if and once I finally have an actual child. 

And now you know the story of Max Ammo. ☺️

Amanda ❤

To The Friends Who've Stayed

Friends-Who-Stayed

    Dealing with mental illness is no easy feat. Not for the person who it afflicts nor for the people who love and care for said person. It is stressful, isolating, confusing, intense. The depths of one's depression can become impenetrable. Their Anxiety; uncomfortable and labyrinthine. But it is not yours to deal with. As someone who struggles with Anxiety, Depression and Panic Attacks, the only thing I can ask of the people who care for me is simply this: Be there. Be there to the point where you feel like you're being annoying, because no matter how many times I tell you I'm fine, or try to smile through it and tell you that I'm gonna be okay, I also don't want to be alone. 

    Not that I don't want to be alone, but because I CAN'T be alone. I can't be alone because that's when the chatter starts whispering. And the longer I'm alone, the louder those whispers become, until I'm enveloped by a looming shadow roaring an onslaught of all my insecurities at me. And trust me, It knows them well. 

Be there. Stay there. 

    Stop by with a small pizza. If I'm in the midst of it's clutches, my appetite is probably nonexistent, so really, the pizza is for you because I don't want you to be uncomfortable around me and I want you to eat. So even though you're coming to take care of me, I'm still trying to take care of you. And if I DO attempt to eat, don't be surprised by how little I eat before I say I'm full. Don't comment about how skinny I've gotten. If I've lost a considerable amount of weight lately, it's either because I'm currently in Its clutches, or am emerging from it. 

But to the friends who've stayed. Who've sent me private messages asking if I'm okay, or insisting that we hang out. I probably won't answer you or I most likely really don't feel like being out, but I go because I'm trying. I know that if I don't forge these connections, they'll sever. They won't be there the next time I need them. So if you could just bear with me and let me ramble about my cat, or whether we sit in silence, I appreciate it. I appreciate YOU. Don't think that I don't. 

Staying there, even when you feel like you might be annoying let's me know that you're going to be there when I get better, and can socialize with you more. Where I don't mind going out in a group or doing something more involved. When we'll be able to eat a large pizza together instead. 

Being a friend to a person with mental illness is probably one of the hardest, consuming things that you may ever do, but I promise it's also probably one of the most rewarding things you can be. 

To the friends who've stayed, thank you. 

Amanda ❤