My Guilty Pleasures

Hybrid teaching has forced me into an uncomfortable position. Most days I leave work angry, stressed and looking for comfort. While looking for solace, I’ve become more attentive to my guilty pleasures because they provide some sort of peace. My guilty pleasures may seem like the norm to most people, but they really keep me from focusing on things I should be doing like folding clothes, completing a project for work, or planning a lesson. But we all want to feel satisfied, right? And there is no real rule to the rights and wrongs of feeling content. What are some of your guilty pleasures? Are you able to relate to any listed below?

  1. Listen to read-alouds – I love reading and have always been an avid reader. However, I’ve gone from reading 10-12 books a month to 10-12 a year, if that many. Because I don’t spend as much time reading, I’ve started listening to kid’s stories. I totally enjoy listening to children’s stories and find myself thoroughly entertained.
  2. We’re going to need more wine. – Oh, that was a title of Gabrielle Union’s book and clearly my new motto. If nothing else helps, drink a glass of wine. I’ve had more glasses of wine in the last year than I consumed in the previous 20 years. Not the best solution for someone trying to shed a few pounds.
  3. I eat chicken wings every Wednesday. Crazy huh? I cook on Mondays and Tuesdays and my husband cooks on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Wednesdays are extremely busy days for us and instead of cooking, we typically eat takeout. My takeout is always chicken wings, flats only.
  4. Scroll through people’s entire Instagram feed – I am a obsessed with fashion. When I find a person that has great fashion sense and likes color blocking, I will peruse their entire feed for inspiration.
  5. Shopping for dresses – I don’t even know why I still look at dresses. I have so many dresses that I forget I have dresses. But, I am obsessed with colors and flair and dresses are easier. I don’t have to worry about coordinating pieces to complete an outfit.
  6. Watching Law and Order – I will sit around and watch reruns of Law and Order for hours. I’ve seen almost every episode, I know how the story ends yet I am gratified when Law and Order is on the screen.
  7. Taking pictures – I’m not a selfie type of girl but I will ask any random person to snap a picture of me. My personal photographers include my husband, my son, sisters, friends and even my students.
  8. Eating ice cream after 10:00 – Why is it I never want ice cream at 7:00 or 8:00? I always desire ice cream when I should be heading to bed. And I always fill that craving even when I shouldn’t.
  9. Signing up for rewards programs – I have signed up for tons of rewards programs and then I get upset when I receive 300 emails daily. The number of emails are overwhelming but I know when I need a coupon or I am looking for a specific item, I’ll find it attached to the deal of a lifetime.
  10. Adding items to my Amazon cart – I add about 10 items per week to my Amazon cart and then I save it for later. LOL! At the end of the year, I go through all of my saved items and decide I’m not interested in half of the things I have saved. LOL!

I know we all have our own set of guilty pleasures. Different strokes for different folks. I would love to hear what kind of guilty pleasures you have. Maybe I can replace some of my unsatisfactory ones with some that are a little more passable.

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30 for 30 – Part II

Spring is officially here and it’s time to enjoy the outdoors. If you read my post 30 for 30 – Part I, you know I’m trying to complete 30 activities in 30 days. I’ve compiled a list of random things to help me reset and find a place of peace as I approach the beginning of the end of a very stressful school year.

Last year during this time I was on the downside of graduate school and looking for the strength to make it through. There was no family vacation, no impromptu staycations, just weekly trips to Target and Walmart looking for toilet paper and Clorox wipes. Well, I’m ready for it all this year. Kind of… So here’s the second half of my 30 for 30 quest in trying to gain some sense of normalcy now that most states have opened back up.

  1. Go Kayaking – I’ve been kayaking before and enjoyed it, but my arms were tired and my son had to do all the work. However, on a nice, calm day, kayaking would be a very relaxing activity to try again.
  2. Have a garage sale – I have so many things I need to get rid of, even after making donations to Goodwill. I’ve considered a virtual garage sale but I’m not really sure how that works. Do I ship the items once they’re sold or do I package the items and have people stop by a general location to pick them up?
  3. Fly a kite – I joke about a gentlemen that often attempts to fly his kites at the park. It’s so entertaining because he often fails but he seems so fulfilled trying to get his kite going. During those moments, I’m able to envision a child with no worries and I need to get to that space if only for a few minutes.
  4. Beach, beach, beach – Beaches are our go to place. If we can’t find anything else to do, we will find time to escape to a beach.
  5. Get a mammogram – This is a real serious matter. I’ve had breast exams before but I have officially reached the age where mammograms are a part of my well woman exam.
  6. Seek a nutritional specialist – At my age, my body doesn’t bounce back as well as I would like. Although I exercise, my eating practices are horrific. I think making adjustments to my eating habits as well as my workout routines would be beneficial.
  7. Butterfly garden – I love the sight of butterflies. I’ve visited butterfly gardens/museums on multiple occasions and I always find a color to focus on. The first time I visited the Butterfly Museum I was immediately drawn to butterflies that were blue. The most beautiful creatures out there.
  8. Attend a baseball game – I know NOTHING about baseball. But I do love that the games are outdoors and the peanuts are always fresh.
  9. Write a letter – We are in a world of instant everything. Send a text. Just call them. Letters and postcards are treasures. Last year while cleaning, I came across letters from my parents and friends that were sent to me when I first went off to college. To go back in time and relive those moments were priceless. To revisit a conversation with my dad who is now deceased was momentous.
  10. Join a book club – At one point in time I was a member of a book club. I thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie, engagement and monthly dinner with men and women alike that could appreciate a good book. It also forced me to read even when I don’t think I had time.
  11. Try new recipes – Last year I practiced cooking breakfast because I pretty much suck at breakfast. Eggs, sausage and biscuits, that’s where I draw the line. But with practice, I’ve been able to slowly add to that list. I’ve also tried some new dinner ideas and would like to add to the catalog.
  12. Color/Paint a picture – This is a very soothing activity. My husband and I just did a paint party at home and it was completely silent as we both relished in the moment.
  13. Play Board Games – I am highly competitive and enjoy games of all sorts. Typically we play cards because it’s quicker to finish a card game but again, the point of this is to be present in the moment and be at peace.
  14. Visit the Oasis on Lake Travis in Austin -We travel to Austin often but have not really explored many of the local restaurants. This is a must for me. The problem is my husband is going to want to kayak on Lake Travis. I’m still kayaking in the smaller bodies of water, not ready for Lake Travis.
  15. Tour my city _ I’ve lived in the same city all my life and still get lost going around the corner. I have no sense of direction so I travel closer to home for everything. This makes me feel safe and at ease. As a result, I don’t know much of what my city has to offer.

Whew! I have a lot to accomplish in 30 days. Fortunately, I have already started on some of my activities. While I want to experience all of these in 30 days, I don’t want to stress myself for the sake of my 30 for 30 experiment. What kinds if activities do you all partake in during the spring and/or summer? Any fun and daring adventures you have to share? Drop your ideas below.

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30 For 30 – Part I

Spring is the season when I find myself the most productive, but it’s probably because it’s the season when I’m the most busiest. Spring brings track season, end of school year festivities, closet cleanings, daylight savings time which means more time to spend outdoors and the list goes on. Because we spent last spring quarantined, I am looking forward to doing something other than worrying myself to the point of anguish as I did last year. Spring officially begins Saturday, March 20th and I have created a 30 for 30 list, 30 activities in 30 days for 2021.

  1. Clean my closet (well at least my dresses and skirts) – Dresses and skirts are my favorite clothing articles to buy. Because I have so many, some get lost. Every spring I clean and shop my closet. I find pieces to revamp and create a “new” wardrobe for the summer.
  2. Read – Spring starts my reading marathon. I don’t know if it’s the daylight hours, a more relaxed schedule or spending countless hours at track meets, but I definitely read more.
  3. Go strawberry/blueberry picking – I attempted this last spring but got to the farm too late, or something like that. I’m not sure what happened but I didn’t get any blueberries.
  4. Visit a park/playground – My husband and I used to do this every Sunday after church. I don’t know why we stopped but I want to revisit this practice. It set the tone for a peaceful and productive week.
  5. Get ice cream/popsicles from the popsicle truck – Why are the popsicles on the ice cream truck not sold in stores? I’m going to need a bomb pop, the popsicle with bubble gum for eyes, and the packaged snow cone with the bubble gum at the bottom of the packaging. Please pray I don’t have to chase the ice cream truck because I don’t think I will ever catch it.
  6. Visit a flea market – I haven’t been to a flea market in years but I find them fascinating. I’ve been seeing a few advertisements for flea markets and would like to visit one I’ve never been to before.
  7. Dye eggs – I DO NOT, I REPEAT, “I DO NOT like dying eggs!”. but it’s a tradition at our church for the kids. I’m always entertained by the mess I create. Anything for the kids!
  8. Exercise more – Spring and summer are the periods I hit it hard. This is the time I will sometimes opt for two a days or try new things such as Zumba or Hip Hop Dance. Lately, I’ve been setting a weekly goal to run 15-20 miles/week. Setting a weekly mileage goal has gotten me going a lot more than simply saying I’ll work out 3-4 times a week.
  9. Try Pilates – I know this is a part of exercising but this seems like something a lot more challenging to take me out of my comfort zone. I tend to do what is comfortable for me but it’s time for something new and improved.
  10. Sit on my patio – We bought patio furniture last spring and I spent a few days outside but not as much as I would have liked. Sitting on the patio enjoying an adult beverage in the evening was very refreshing and I am going to enjoy a few more of those days this year.
  11. Spring Clean – I’ve already started this task and after last year’s spring cleaning, there’s not much more to do other than throwing away the house. However, I know there’s still clutter in places and there are some areas that could use some organization such as photo storages and teaching materials/resources.
  12. Get a facial – I’ve never had a facial. I do most of my self-care at home but I would like to experience a professional exfoliating and peel.
  13. Staycation at Jellystone Park – Jellystone Park is about a 45 minute drive for my family. I’ve done the cabin camping thing a few times and enjoyed it. This is somewhere close enough to enjoy the camping thing again.
  14. Buy tee shirts – I’m going to try and buy some tee shirts that I will actually wear. I’ve mentioned before, I have a hard time buying tee shirts that I feel comfortable wearing. They are always too snug or too big. I’m going to figure this tee shirt thing out,
  15. Go to an amusement park – We don’t have an amusement park in our city so going to amusement parks requires us to travel. I love rollercoaster rides and will stand in lines to ride every single ride in the park. I have not been to an amusement park since 2018 so it’s long overdue.

What are your plans for the spring? I think spring cleaning is the norm for most households or just is it just my household? Any good, safe ideas that I can enjoy? Drop them below.

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“Old Words are Reborn With New Faces”

“Quotes help us understand, inspire, motivate, clarify and show our approach to things around, this is why people and I love quotes.” Takyou Allah Cheikh Malaynine

Quotes are truly an escape for me. They provide a story, a feeling, a connection. I am constantly looking for quotes to match my mood, life, personality and dreams. I keep a journal of quotes to reference whenever I need to be encouraged or when I want to read something shorter than a chapter of a book. Quotes always give me a sense of power. Currently, I’m learning to let go of lingering feelings of spite and resentment and instead embrace the beauty that surrounds me daily. Below are a few quotes that have helped me understand and welcome change, which is inevitable.

  1. “Expectations lead to disappointments.” – I know I’m not the only one that expects people to treat others a certain way. We have expectations of what others should say and do and then we end up disappointed because they don’t live up to our reality. Now, I’m learning to take the approach of, “It is what it is.” Nothing surprises me about people and even when it does, I shrug and keep going.

2. “To be happy is the choice I wish to make in spite of the circumstances that are strewn in my path.” – This has been hard for me, but I’m finally finding peace in the midst of people’s ignorance. I’m learning to not let their stupidity control my moods.

3. “Master your emotions. Control your moods.” – Self explanatory. It dictates everything and can make or break you.

4. “I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions, I want to use them, to enjoy them and to dominate them” – This one right here! I promise you, my emotions can make me weak and feel the need to hang my head low. But I’m a fighter, so I can’t let my emotions get the best of me especially on those difficult days. As with any battle, I keep pushing until I come out victorious.

5. “Never stop being a good person, because of bad people.” – I promise I want to treat people the way they treat me but it’s not a part of my design. I’m learning to accept mean and evil people and know that I don’t have to change because of them. In a world that is ruled by money and power, people will trample over you for positions. I know that what’s for me is for me and I can’t worry about other people’s journey to distinction.

How are you getting by these days? Do you need motivation to get you over hurdles in your life? Do you read books, take vacations, color, or like me, do you find quotes to fit your mood?

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Graduation Ideas

I know it seems a bit premature but graduation season is quickly approaching. One of the conversations I encountered with many moms last spring was the conversation of graduation gifts for our high school seniors. All of us had children that were traveling miles away from home to begin their college careers and we wanted them to be more than prepared. We took into account the idea of them not having their own transportation, new living arrangements, spacing in the dorm rooms/apartments and even the grocery stores and retail shops close to the campus. Keeping all of these factors in mind, we were able to give our babies graduation gifts that would help them navigate in the world of the unknown. Below are some of the items we gifted to our seniors.

  1. Money – Cash is always a bonus for seniors. It gives them the option of saving or using it to purchase any additional items they might want or need for campus life.
  2. Grocery Store Gift Cards – We researched the areas near the campuses and found the local grocery stores and purchased gift cards to the stores closest to the campus. Surprisingly, there were some students that did not have a Walmart close to their new home.
  3. Uber Eats/Door Dash Gift Cards – Because most freshman can’t have a car on campus, this gave them the option to purchase food off campus without needing a ride. It also gave them the option to pay for a ride somewhere if needed.
  4. Amazon Gift Cards – Because Amazon has everything you need, right?
  5. Self Care Packages – We created packages that had every hygiene product they could think of. This included soap, deodorant, washing powder, fabric softener, toothpaste, wipes, cologne, mouthwash, floss, body wash, shampoo, etc. Can you imagine how much we saved them by purchasing products they would need daily? We not only saved them money but a trip to the store. Oh, and as a bonus, my sister in law added a container of quarters so my son didn’t have to find quarters for laundry.
  6. Sweet Treat Care Packages – This was the same as the self care packages except it had all of their favorite snacks. This was a hit!
  7. Luggage – Most of our boys are athletes so they have to travel. The suitcase they packed their things in to move in is not sufficient for a team trip. Having suitcases of multiple sizes helped a great deal as some of their events can last up to three days and some as few as one day.
  8. School Paraphernalia – You know as freshman, we’re excited to wear our school apparel. So many students rush in the bookstore spending all of their coins on tee shirts and other gear to wear when the upperclassmen arrive. Save them the trip and buy them a few items before they hit the yard.
  9. Sheets with a high thread count – Ha! It matters. It’s bad enough you have to sleep in the twin size bed as a full grown adult. At least have quality sheets on it.
  10. Chargers, cables, extension cords – I don’t know that I’ve ever seen so many plugs and gadgets in one place. The number of trips to the store to buy cords and chargers and I don’t even know what some of the stuff was, but it helped get all of my son’s mess connected.

Of course we bought the other essentials but those items were purchased throughout their entire senior year. We found our student athletes were able to save time, money and resources by having these things available to them. My son, in particular, was able to get through the entire first semester without having to go to the grocery store. Well, part of that was also because he was too lax and sometimes lethargic. The point is there was no dire need to run to the store because he had enough to accommodate his needs using the items gifted to him. What are some items you’ve found beneficial for high school graduates?

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Seasonal Bucket List

While I’m still in a phase of being slightly nervous about the idea of being around large groups of people or unfamiliar people, I am now finding that I need to let go of fear and try to experience some sense of normalcy in my life again. As I see more and more people doing outside, I want to ask them what makes them so comfortable with congregating and what precautions are they taking to stay safe and healthy. As we approach the spring season, which is my second favorite season, there are some things on my seasonal bucket list I want to enjoy. Although we are still in the middle of a pandemic and have just experienced one of the worst winter storms in my years of living in Texas, I too, am planning to start doing outside in this season. While many of the things I want to do are annual things, I missed Spring 2020 so I need to make up for lost time.

  1. Strawberry/Blueberry picking – We tried blueberry picking last year but there were no blueberries. I ended up picking sunflowers for the sake of picking something.
  2. Wine tasting – Wine tasting or tastings of any kind have been sparse. Even when stopping through Fredericksburg, we were not allowed to sample/taste any wines. It was a “buy and bye” approach.
  3. Visit Big Bend – I feel like the passengers on the Southwest commercial when they ask the question, Wanna get away?” Why yes, I would love to. Unfortunately Big Bend has been Big Booked. One member of the family has been calling hotels literally everyday to see if there have been any cancellations.
  4. Take a photography class – I’ve done one photography class and wanted to challenge myself to one more. I’m considering a virtual class but I’m definitely taking at least one more class.
  5. Attend Karaoke Night – I have not done karaoke since 2015 I believe it’s time to take this voice to the stage and make some people laugh or cry or leave.

My list is short and limited but my willingness to live again is substantial. If you’ve traveled or have been out and about as usual, what helped you escape your fears during this day and time?

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Survivor Part II – Teacher Edition

While I’ve never watched Survivor, I definitely understand the premise of the show. With limited options, you must show you are able to fend and provide for yourself. In becoming an educator more than twenty years ago, I don’t recall a single class or contract alluding to the idea that I could possibly have to mirror a contestant on Survivor. Yet, for the past year, that’s how I’ve felt. I feel like I’m on a deserted island trying to figure it out, not only for my sake but for the sake of trusting students that depend on me everyday, if for nothing more than consistency.

This week I watched the news and witnessed students being interviewed. I heard the tales of students feeling defeated and experiencing anxiety more than usual. And then one student complained about a teacher taking four days to respond to her email. That morning I watched my balloon spin across the room as all of the air I had blown into it vanished. I was deflated. I noticed every student being interviewed was attending school virtually while few teachers have that option in most states.

I was bothered because in all my years of being an educator, I have noticed people seem to believe teachers are invincible and have some type of super power that keeps us void of experiencing all the tragedies that others experience. I am sick and tired of fighting for us to be acknowledged as human beings first. The high school student was upset the teacher took four days to respond to an email. Let’s go down the list of reasons it might have taken so long.

  1. The teacher was experiencing health issues. Not necessarily Covid, but we are in the middle of cold and flu season. The teacher needed an opportunity to regroup so he/she could better support the students.
  2. It was a high school teacher. He/She is probably teaching an additional 150 students in addition to the 150 students that are assigned to them under normal circumstances. Your email was just one of hundreds that needed a response.
  3. The teacher probably had a faculty meeting because clearly we don’t have enough meetings at this point. We love being online all day.
  4. The teacher had training for state testing. Because while students were at home, we were still being prepped for this seminal moment that dictates the teacher’s future more than the student’s future.
  5. The teacher has a family. After countless days of logging in early and logging out late because the teacher is not sure if students understand the concept, the teacher decided to focus on what is more important. Or if the teacher has a spouse like me, the spouse said, “Enough is enough. Shut it down.”

These are just a few of the reasons the teacher might not have responded but the list could go on until next week. Too many people have become way too comfortable with being inhumane with regards to educators. These very students have parents at home that could offer a little more support. I’m sure they also have siblings that could provide them with assistance. But the idea that you’ve made it to high school and you don’t have the gumption to try and figure something out after four days behooves me.

As educators we are asked to pivot everyday. We have to transition from online to face to face and vice versa with a snap of a finger. We are living by the motto, “Stay ready so you won’t have to get ready.” Last week all of my face to face students were made to quarantine with the exception of one student. I had to come to work everyday to teach one student while everybody else was expected to receive instruction online. I found out after the students should have been in class, they were not coming and I was supposed to rush and send them an invite although their scheduled time had passed. Let’s not mention, I couldn’t put them on the schedule because their face to face class time overlaps with a virtual class (different content I might add) so access to create a new class was denied. Oh, and did I mention some of the students didn’t have technology so I had to create packets and drop them off to students that had been quarantined? My point…we don’t want to hear it. We’re being put on the front lines everyday and for what? To hear criticism, to never feel appreciated, to have more duties assigned to us.

This is our reality, today and everyday. The next time you hear someone complaining about a teacher, on behalf of me and my fellow educators, encourage them to get over themselves. Please and thank you.

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Am I Good Enough?

Recently an acquaintance of mine posed the question, “Who first told you that you weren’t enough?” Very few people responded and I wondered if it was because most women are embarrassed to say they don’t recognize their worth or have allowed someone to devalue them. One bold young lady replied, “Me!” to the question and that one word held so much power. I did engage and my reply was, ” I honestly don’t think anybody told me. I think the way I was treated in some of my relationships caused me to believe I wasn’t enough.” So in essence my reply was the same as the one other brave soul that took the time to respond.

I’ve recently started to question events and try my best to recall at what point in life did I lose the confidence I had as a budding teenager. The first thing that comes to mind is what I allowed in my first significant relationship. I was a little too forgiving and too understanding. I would allow myself to be mistreated, get fed up and leave the relationship. Because I was the one that walked away, I was also the one that had to humble myself and return. It took months for me to realize I was never walking away, I was being pushed away. However, when I was pushed away for the last time, I think I let some of my pride and dignity get caught on the wrong side of the door.

Another thing that bothers me now is realizing that while my mom was very supportive in attending my events, she never extended encouraging words to me. My mother was at EVERY SINGLE EVENT but I can’t remember a time hearing her say, “Job well done!” or “You are smart.” Through countless honor roll ceremonies, first place standings at track meets, perfect scores on standardized testing and the list goes on, I never heard a positive phrase uttered. My value was, however, attached to my presentation. She would comment on my appearance and make sure I was always neat. Now I understand why I focused so much on the image that was presented to others. For years I would look good on the outside but feel like crap on the inside. I would find myself never satisfied and would buy more clothes, more jewelry, more shoes, just more stuff in general because I was attached to a fa├žade, an illusion.

Probably the most relevant incident I witnessed that has continued to hinder me is how my mom allowed herself to be abused. My mother was abused verbally, mentally and physically, and she stayed. Day after day, week after week, year after year, I found myself drained watching her tattered soul being ripped apart even more. I didn’t understand the “for better or for worse and until death do us part”. If what I saw her encounter is what those vows consisted of, I wanted no parts of it. As a result of the abuse she suffered, her children became her scapegoat. She got revenge by causing more damage to herself and thinking she was hurting her husband. Then she used us by making us keep her secrets because she knew we would never reveal the skeletons in the closet for fear of her being abused again. This behavior taught me to never let my guards down, do unto others before they do it to you, and it also taught me to settle. To keep from dealing with the sizeable offenses, I settled for allowing people to slide with the minor things. No one was using me as a punching bag, I wasn’t getting cussed out so it was all good.

It took me many years to recognize I needed to heal. I am slowly growing more comfortable with who I am again. I am learning to celebrate me with all my flaws. And I’m starting to acknowledge that even if I’m not enough for anybody else, I am more than enough for myself. I don’t have to mistreat people just to make sure they don’t mistreat me. Sad to say, I’m just realizing I don’t even have to interact with people that mistreat me. I have that option. As I move into the next phase of life, I pray God continues to grant me the opportunities to grow into the blossoming flower he designed. Because even in this moment, I am more than enough.

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“Born Under a Bad Sign”

I was born under the zodiac sign Leo which is a fixed sign. Leos are known for stabilization, determination, depth and persistence. While definitely known to get things done, Leos also have some substandard qualities that are quite infuriating to others. Leos are also know to be very rigid, stubborn, opinionated and single-minded. Others might consider us exasperating, I call it balance.

I find it quite funny to hear people say, “Oh, you’re a Leo? Makes sense now.” I’m entertained because I have no clue what that means. What makes sense? The narrative of the Leo you’ve created in your head? Your bad experience during your one encounter with a Leo. I am always amused when I hear what people think of Leos and the crazy myths that are attached to the zodiac sign.

  1. Leos are selfish – Wrong! While Leos like being the center of attention, they will do for others even when they sometimes can’t do for themselves. These are the moments you will never see us seeking the spotlight. We are very reserved when we are helping others in a time of crisis.
  2. Leos aren’t problem-solvers – Wrong again! In an effort to prove we don’t need anyone, Leos will figure things out. Most people might not be in agreement with the way we do things but you better believe, it will get done.
  3. Leos are lazy – Leos like to rest. There’s a difference. We definitely want balance. We are not going to overwork ourselves because society says we have to be the boss. We believe in working hard, playing hard and then sitting down.
  4. Leos are dominating – GUILTY! We like to be in control or have enough influence over people to get things done they way we want it done. We take charge of situations and usually dominate most of our relationships. Leos are natural leaders.
  5. Leos are arrogant – Some call it arrogance, I call it confidence. We definitely value and love ourselves. However, I feel life humbles even the best of us. Therefore, we have a hefty portion of confidence mixed with a healthy dose of humility.

The reality of it is Leos like to bask in the spotlight and celebrate themselves. I agree with most of what is said about Leos and I definitely fit the profile of your typical Leo. What does your zodiac sign say about you? What are some of the myths you hear about people born under your zodiac sign? And do you agree?

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Fragrance Faves

“Scent is the strongest tie to memory.” – Maggie Stiefvater

Am I the only person that attaches scents to moments and people? The first perfume I bought as a college student was Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden. It was during this time I met my future husband and he absolutely loved the scent. Because Sunflowers is the first remembrance he has of me that is associated with the sense of smell, I keep a bottle of Sunflowers to wear occasionally. No matter how many different fragrances I use, Sunflowers is the one he easily identifies with a quick whiff.

While I keep Sunflowers as a reminder of the beginning stages of my relationship with my husband, I definitely like to update my fragrances. I try to find something new and refreshing every year. I am learning that I truly enjoy fruity aromas. However, in the colder months I try to find a heavier scent. Last year I experimented with a lot of perfumes and at this moment, these are my top five.

  1. Bond No. 1 Central Park West – I’ve tried several Bond No.9 scents and this by far is my favorite. It is very aromatic and long lasting. While Bond. 9 is a pricey fragrance, I find it to be worth the coins spent. It is the ONLY fragrance I’ve used that lasts all day long and this is a scent I enjoy wearing year round.
  2. Tocca Florence – Tocca was something new I tried last year. I purchased a sample set and fell in love with Florence. It is described as a gardenia dominated perfume. I also enjoy it because it has a subtle hint of the odor I associate with Bond No. 9 Central Park West. It’s very light and smells beautiful and is perfect for the spring.
  3. Kilian Princess – This is also a new scent for me. While this scent doesn’t last as long as I would like, the aroma is very sensual to me. In addition to the aroma, the packaging screams enchanting.
  4. Dolce and Gabbana Light Blue – This is my second attempt at this particular fragrance. The first time I tried it, people kept telling me I smelled like a lemon. While it is a fruity-floral scent, the lemon is not what I was going for. I received a few samples and tried it again and started to think I had been duped when making my first purchase of this perfume. It is magically delicious and long lasting.
  5. Anais Anais – I think this will forever be one of my favorites. I recall coming across the name of this particular perfume in a book and it was associated with a woman being sensual and erotic and I needed it. While I love this scent, erotic is not what comes to mind. This scent reminds me of grandma’s house. Yet, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Do you wear the same scents year round or do you have specific scents for different seasons? Do you try new fragrances frequently or go with one you know. Drop a few suggestions below of some of your faves.

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