Life Lately....AGAIN

You should've seen the way the Gorillas were looking at Alan. 

 Okay, I have to admit, seeing this little guy sleep was just too precious. 

So, recently after our long vacation for my birthday, we had Alan's family come and stay with us for a weekend. Alan's family is big on food, meaning his mom is an outstanding cook (seriously, chef Ramsey doesn't have much on her), and her husband loves to try new plates and new places(think Adam Richman); yeah, a whole lotta food entered us last weekend. I'm not so thrilled about indulging in so much food, but I can't say I didn't enjoy it. We always seem to go out on an adventure with Alan's family, last year it was Disney World, Key West, and Miami; this year it was San Diego--not so impressive, but still enjoyable. *Sigh-- Can we hit the rewind button to a whole year and go back to Key West, I loved it there. It's not a place I'd like to live for more than 6 months, but I sure would love to take annual summer trips out there, now it doesn't even seem within grasp since we moved to the complete opposite side of the country---hmmm, maybe Hawaii could be in our future? A girl can only dream, right? While we weren't cracking open coconuts straight off the tree this year; we did manage to make it to one of the World's favorite Zoos. Personally, I am not that big on zoos, I mean, I enjoy seeing animals I wouldn't otherwise see, but I can't help but to feel sad for those little/big creatures. I don't care if they rescued them or whatever one may argue; it just isn't natural to see pandas in California. My favorite part of the zoo wasn't seeing the animals, but seeing Lyla observing, learning and taking in all of it-- I know she loved the Zoo, she doesn't know any better; to her, the zoo is just one big place where tons of animals live and it's "Super cool!". The morning we went to the zoo, I woke up with a few sniffles and was just hoping that my allergies wouldn't get too bad, but we all know my luck--there was a severe pollen alert that day and the moment we made it to the animals that eat hay, live in hay, poop hay; my life was over. Allergies always come at the most inconvenient times, and there's nothing that really helps besides hot showers, ten boxes of Kleenex and a whole lotta sleep. After an entire day at the zoo we were all craving some Italian food , and Alan's step-father suggested Bucca Di Beppo. I wish I hadn't been so preoccupied with blowing my nose to get pictures; it was quite a unique place(though it is a chain), to be seated they actually had you walk through their kitchen and surprisingly their kitchen was pretty clean. If you're ever downtown with a large group that's craving Italian, I suggest this place because their portions are to feed a family (literally) and it's quite delicious. 

I found these little beauties in the zoo, aren't they lovely?

Easter came around and we were just so exhausted from all the recent traveling, we decided to just stay home, barbecue, and relax. We've been out of routine for a few weeks now, and it has completely thrown all three of us off; Lyla has been fussy, I've been extremely fatigued, and Alan (sorry babe) has been a little moody --he's going to kill me for that later.  I'm so relieved to feel a sense of balance in our lives this week; we've been hitting the gym daily this week, eating better and getting a good night's sleep. Missing the gym really throws my attitude off it's rocker; it's almost as if my body has become dependent on exercising, just like when I'm hungry and I don't eat, I become hangry.  Ever since I started reading Eat Pretty, I have been paying close attention to how my body reacts to certain food intakes and it's quite amazing how many signs your body does give out, letting you know what it needs more and less of or can completley do without. It's a must read book and you mustn't wait any longer to read it! Currently, I am sitting down will a tummy full of phó, watching Vanderpump Rules; I can't get enough of it no matter how hard I try, I am emotionally invested and slightly ashamed to admit, but whatever. Hope you all are having a lovely week, and if you have any tips on how to get back into "real life"  after a long vacation, please, do share!

A two year old's body art. 

Find your own path, baby girl. 

I have a special place in my heart for Asian gardens.

The soup that is now in my belly.

Negative Body Image: Enough Is Enough

First off, what is body image? Body image can be both positive or negative, it relates to how one feels in their body as well as how one perceives their body.

One thing that I have always struggled with has been body image.  I've never really cared what other people have said about me because honestly, I am like 50 times harder on myself than any one could ever possibly be. My struggle with self-image got to a point where my self-esteem was just (for lack of a better word) shit; I couldn't take a picture without feeling disgusted with myself (if you notice there's not many pictures of me), I compared myself to everyone who passed by, I opted to stay home as opposed to going out--what kind of life is that? It's a real waste, if you ask me. There's so much to see in the world, so many amazing people to meet, so many memories to be made; once I realized I was missing out on all of that, I had enough.

A lot of people assume that negative and positive body image start and end at your physical appearance and I've come to find that that's furthest from the truth. While your physical appearance might play a part in why your struggling or not struggling, it doesn't end there. I believe that what you put into your body, how positive your mindset is, personal experiences, and the quality of the life you live, all play key roles in how we perceive ourselves. While going to the gym/exercising is as easy as just doing it; converting a negative mindset to a positive one can be more challenging. I found it helpful to find the source of why I was I was feeling the way I was. For me, it was a multitude of things; I had a baby, I was away from my normal environment, I was struggling in my relationship, I didn't have many friends around, I had developed negative mindset and I stopped maintaining myself the way I used to. Once I recognized what was really putting me down, I started taking little steps to help me feel better. When I became consistent with applying these steps to my life I noticed a big difference in the way I perceived myself and my body. Though body image is something that I still struggle with, it's no longer something that I let stop me from enjoying myself. I wanted to share with you some steps that have been beneficial to me, in hopes that they will also benefit you. 

Eating Healthy This might go as a no brainer, but eating healthy is vital for both your body and mind. I've been doing a lot of reading from Eat Pretty and have gained a lot of insight on how different types of food affect our bodies as well as our emotions. Also, diet, is a stupid word, throw it out of your frickin' vocabulary. Eat whole foods as much as possible and avoid fast foods--yes, eating  fast food/junk food can and will alter your mood, if your'e interested in reading how, you can click here. 

Drink Your Water You'd be surprised how much a little dehydration can negatively impact your performance. Water is one of the most critical nutrients for our health, including a healthy mind. I  noticed when I'm hydrated I have more energy, my skin feels better, I'm less bloated, I don't have headaches, and I'm less irritable; which means I'm more positive. If you don't like the taste of water (Yes, water does have a taste) you can try adding fruits to your water to give it some natural flavor. 

22nd Birthday Vacation!

This year has been by far my most favorite birthday in all 22 years of my existence. I originally had planned a ton of birthday posts to add to my blog, but I just needed a break and after thinking about it I definitely owed it to myself to enjoy some down time. We took a seven day vacation and went to see my family in my hometown which was just an awesome time because I haven't celebrated with them in a few years- nothing beats Mom's cooking. Speaking of which, for dinner she made me teriyaki salmon, wilted lettuce, pasta salad, and asparagus. On top of that, I had chocolate cake for dessert. I'm spoiled right? The food doesn't stop there though, my mother-in-law made me ceviche and I'm pretty sure there is no one on this planet who makes it better than she does--this is not up for discussion. On top of being fed deliciousness, I finally had the time and babysitters (my parents) to go out and enjoy myself with my husband and friends. When we lived in Florida we never went out together because I wasn't about to just leave my first born child with someone I didn't know, it just wasn't happening--I still haven't found a babysitter living in San Diego, but I'm so lucky to have family and friends around now that offer to watch Lyla so we can get some us time. After spending time in the mountains, we headed up the coast to SLO (San Luis Obispo) where it was so gorgeous we didn't want to leave. We stayed with my brother who lives right in the middle of downtown so we could just walk everywhere. People think San Diego is one of the best places in California, but honestly SLO will put it to shame on any given day.

Alan put a lot of effort into making me feel incredibly special all week long and I was definitely feeling the extra love from all around--this was a birthday for the books, for sure

Easter Basket for Her

An Easter Basket wouldn't be complete without a Golden Egg
Bubbles and Bunch Of Carrots just seem to fit with Easter.
Stuff a Beauty Blender inside of a plastic egg for a cute surprise.
Essie Nail Polish , just a must have.
Mine as well get some Essie Spring Collection Polish  too while you're at it.
These Pink Loafers just scream Spring.
Sun 's out, guns out , time for a Short Jersey Top.
Add a pop of color with a Key Chain.
You can't go wrong with a Small Shoulder Bag.
Some High Waist Shorts will go perfect with that top.