Rediscovering My Love For Reading

Growing up, I always loved reading. I mean, you could catch me for hours at a time with my nose in a series of books. Even after coming home from a long day of school and doing all the book work that it entails, including my homework in the evening, I would still want to do more reading; just for fun. I would often fall asleep with 10+ books in my bed because one of my favorite things to do was to interchange between a variety of books, reading whatever I was inclined to at the moment before blissfully drifting off to sleep. I was a huge bookworm, that was my thing and as a result I had such a great imagination and an amazing ability to write. But to be honest, I haven’t delved that deep into books in a looong time; probably about 10 years to be exact.

The last time I actually read a book and finished it was close to 3 years ago! So what happened? How did this book lover suddenly neglect that love for so many years? Well it all started when High school rolled along. Once the book work amplified like it did, I just had no time for reading. I often stayed up till 3 in the morning just to get my homework done and most of the time, it still somehow wouldn’t be complete. So with working non stop on school work and with no time to even consider having a hobby or to even get a solid night’s sleep, any extra reading just went right out the window. I had no time or energy for it. Once I finished with schooling, I quickly got married and had a baby. While my daughter was still in the baby stage, I again had barely enough time or energy for any reading. But now that my girl is 3.5 years old and very much independent, I now find that after all these years I finally have extra time for my literary endeavors.

I’ve just started reading Pride and Prejudice (which is embarrassing to say considering it’s a classic). I decided to just start with a tried and true book since I had no idea where to start. As a side note, I just can’t believe how much brain power it takes to read. To focus all your attention on one thing, to picture the scene, and to decipher the advanced language that is being used; and to think that I used to do that all so effortlessly as a kid! It’s so sad to think, but for a while when I could’ve read a book, I opted instead to watch videos because it was just the easier thing to do, it didn’t required no effort at all. Now my mind is really being challenged to work harder and use my imagination once again.

I want to start a series here where I review books that have films based on them. Then I want to also review the movie and talk about how true it was to the book and which one I preferred. From my experience, the book is always better than the movie but who knows, maybe I’ll come across a movie that will change my mind.

Tell me, what do you guys think? Are you trying to learn to love reading again or is it a love you’ve never strayed from? And how do you feel about me starting the movie and book review series? I think it’ll be fun. It’ll be something I can really see myself enjoying and I hope you guys will too. Please give me your book recommendations down below too. I’m in desperate need of some.

Hope you enjoyed!

-PaulaπŸ’›πŸŒΊπŸŒ΅

My Goals For The New Year: 2020

Every year, as some of you may know, I love to set goals for myself. I’m a very goal oriented person. I write down what I want to do and I then I just do it (as Nike would say πŸ˜‚) So I thought I’d share with you guys my plans for this new year. Maybe it’ll help to inspire some out there and in the end, I’d love to hear your goals too. I’d love to get some new ideas. So without further ado, let’s get right into it.

  1. First, I’d like to continue to grow my blog. I’ve been posting regularly now for a few months and taking it really seriously. I’ve seen growth even in that short amount of time so I know that if I keep at it, then I’ll soon reap the benefits. So I just want to continue posting every week, at least once, but two times would be a dream. This is my job now so I want to treat it as one.
  2. My second goal would be to lose at least 10 more pounds. I’m guessing I have about 15 left to lose but I really can’t tell. I know though, that losing 10 would make a huge difference and would leave me with not much extra weight. So I feel that if I can knock out those 10 pounds, it will cause a huge change in the way my body looks and from there I shouldn’t have much more to lose. For those who don’t know, I’ve been losing weight for 4 months now and in that time I’ve lost 22 pounds. It’s really transformed the way I look. I’m so proud of my hard work. But there’s still a bit more I’d like to lose so I can feel my very best and be my most confident self.
  3. Next, I would like to develop a hair care routine and at the same time, grow my hair a few inches more too. I have never had the best hair. And it’s not because I have difficult hair or anything, I’ve just never really known how to care for it. I’ve always had a frizzy head of hair and it was pretty much always a hot mess. It wasn’t until this past year or so where I’ve been using hot tools on my hair and actually getting more of a smoother, shinier look. But now I see the heat damage starting to creep up on me. It’s nothing serious, just a bit on the ends. But I know that If I don’t take care of it now, it’s just going to get worse. So it’s time to finally implement a hair care routine. I’m talking hair serums, deep conditioning, learning to style without heat, the works. I want silky, gorgeous, shiny, long hair, but I know it’s going to take work to get it there. That starts this year!
  4. I also want to start reading books again regularly. I’ve always loved reading ever since I was a kid. But with all the many books we had to read in High school, reading during my leisure time was the last thing I wanted to do. Then after school ended, I got married and soon after got pregnant so all my time and energy went towards my baby. But now that the baby stage is over, I’m finding I finally have that vigor back and with it, a desire to read and to consume knowledge. I want to better myself, I want to get to the root of personal issues I have, I want to learn new things. I can do all of that with reading. I’m starting to get that hunger for devouring books back so I want to feed it before it goes away.
  5. I’m really looking forward to going on daily walks once the weather warms up. We just moved into our new home a few weeks ago so right now we live by a canal. There’s a beautiful path that goes all along it with flowers and greenery that I just can’t wait to walk. It’s still pretty cold here in California, but as soon as the weather warms up, even just a little bit, I plan on walking out there. Ever since losing my weight, I’ve been keeping active everyday. I want to keep that up though even when all my weight is gone and I think walking outdoors is a fun, relaxing way to do so. So as soon as I’m able to, I’ll be out there.
  6. Another thing I’m really looking forward to is upgrading my closet. Now that I’ve lost a good amount of weight, everything is pretty loose and baggy on me. For some clothes that’s perfectly alright, like a sweatshirt for example. But for a fitted dress, it just doesn’t look right when you’re swimming in it. I’ve been buying myself a few items here and there but only if they’re on clearance. That’s simply because I’m still in the process of losing weight. So although I do want some clothes that fit me now, I also don’t want to invest too much into them since I know they won’t be fitting me for long. With the clothes I’ve been buying, I’m starting to get a bit more adventurous with them. I’m not buying just regular old skinny jeans. Instead I’m opting for a fit and flare sort of pant that cinches at the waist and opens wide toward the ankles. I don’t want to just wear casual clothes anymore. I want them to be fashionable and just my style. I don’t want to play it safe. I’ve also been wearing heels more which is something I’ve never done before. It’s just part of my everyday look now. So I’m excited to add to my heel collection (right now I just have 2 πŸ˜‚)
  7. Another goal I have is to have friends and family over a couple of times every month. Since moving into our new home, we’ve had people come over pretty much twice a week, every week. I want to make sure we keep to that pattern and throw fun parties for our friends too. I have a lot of kid themed parties that I can’t wait to have. Not many people throw those parties where we live but I think it’d be so fun for Lulu and her friends. I’ve always been so shy when it comes to having people over. I just always over think it and worry if people are having a good time. But my husband has helped me a lot with not over thinking and as I get older too, I’m less self conscious and shy. I love being hospitable now and I just can’t wait for all the parties we’ll throw and all the memories we’ll make too.
  8. I also want to continue homeschooling my daughter. She’s only a toddler so she’s not technically enrolled in home-school; we’re just practicing. But I want to make sure that I keep up with it, work on it daily, and am seeing progress in what my daughter is learning. Right now she knows her shapes, colors, ABC’s, she can match, and draw really good. I think that’s all so good especially since she’s not even 3 yet. I’d like to teach her phonics next (the sounds each letter makes) and then from there we’ll work on forming words and eventually reading. I think we’re making really good progress. But like I said, I want to work hard to stick with it. If I’m going to be homeschooling her, then her education is in my hands and that’s something I take really seriously. So I just want to make sure that it’s something I can honestly do.
  9. This last one is actually something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I was a kid. I want to maybe write a book this year. Crazy, right! I’m not talking about just an e-book. I want it to actually be a physical book that you can touch and feel. I’d like to write and illustrate it myself to. I would probably start off with a children’s book since it’s a genre I love, I have a daughter of my own who I could read it to, and I love to draw cartoons which would be perfect for a book of that category. It might be a bit of a stretch since I’m still trying to get my blog off the ground; I may have to focus on that first. But I’ve found websites that you can use to help you write and publish your own book. I think it’d be amazing if I could make that a reality this year.

Those are my goals for this coming new year. They’re definitely different from the ones I’ve had in previous years; they’re new and exciting. I’m looking forward to it all. Please do let me know any goals you have for this new year. I’d love to get even more ideas. I just wanted to mention too, if you guys are enjoying my blog and would like to help it grow, please subscribe down below to my weekly newsletter. You’ll basically be emailed a notice only once a week letting you know that I’ve posted something new on my blog. Don’t feel obliged to do it but if you like the things I write and would like to see more, I would deeply appreciate you taking the time to subscribe. Thank you so much 😊🌻

Till next week,

Paula

My Goals For The New Year (2019)

I’m sure most people would agree that the start of a new year is the perfect time to set new goals. It’s like a fresh start to a whole new and improved you! It’s a time I look forward to because it motivates me to work hard on bettering myself. I think it’s so important that we’re constantly growing and becoming better in life and goals help you to do just that. So I thought I’d share with you my goals for this year in hopes that maybe it’ll help motivate you with your own.

1. First and foremost I really want to work on building my blog up to the point where it becomes my business. This is a goal that I’ve had for a while now but never really stuck with it. Mostly because I thought it wouldn’t work out. I was basically setting myself up for failure. But after hearing lectures from others who built a business out of their blog, I realized that all I really need to do was put in the work and be consistent with it. I believe in myself now and I know I can do anything I set my mind to. So I’m ready to put in the work.

2. Another top goal that I have is losing 20 pounds! For those that have read my previous posts on weight loss, this may seem confusing to you. I know at one point, I renounced weight loss and said I was going to just accept my body for what it was. But you know what, that didn’t work for me. I was still uncomfortable with my weight and was just acting like I was fine with it when I really wasn’t. I was tired of feeling self conscious and always feeling nervous once the warmer weather came around because I no longer could cover up. I’ve already been working on losing the weight for about 2 weeks now and I’ve seen great progress. So I just want to make sure that I stick with it until I’m happy and confident with my body (which I’m guessing will be around 20 pounds lost).

3. I want to continue working out consistently at least 3x a week. I used to work out really consistently before I had my daughter, who is now 2 years old. It’s not her fault at all, I just think I’m more tired now and busy so it just takes more of an effort to get it done. Since she’s been born, I’ll have spurts of working out for a whole month but then I’ll stop and won’t exercise again till months later. So I just want to be more consistent with it during this new year because I know I’d make great progress. I’ve been working out now for about a month and a half so I want to make sure that I stay with it and that this isn’t just another one of those months where I workout hard and then don’t do anything for a while. 

4. Along with goal #1, I want to take classes, read books, and watch videos on growing my blog and becoming a better writer. I want this to be my profession so I really want to take it serious and educate myself so I can become the best that I can be.  

5. I’d like to also expand on the recipes I make for dinner too. I think I cook really good and my husband agrees too but I just want to shake it up a bit. We tend to eat chicken (or any other kind of meat), rice or couscous, and roasted veggies or salad. It’s really yummy and I love eating those kind of meals but I also know that it can get boring eating the same thing everyday. I’ve tried changing it up in any way I can, by using different grains, meat, and veggies. But we’ve pretty much tried every variation you can think of so we just need some new recipes in general to help us out. 

6. I also want to switch all (or at least most of) my makeup and beauty products to natural ones. My main reason being that conventional beauty products have been known to have carcinogens, hormone disruptors, and so much more junk and it’s all making us sick. This is something I’ve been knowing for a while now. I started switching my products back when I was pregnant with my daughter. It was more important to me then since I wanted to make sure that she was able to develop as healthy as possible. But once she was born and things got busy with a new baby, that all kind of took a back seat in my priorities. Lately, I haven’t been feeling well, like my hormones are not right. So I’m doing all that I can to get them balanced and cleaning up my beauty products is a huge part in that.  And if we can prevent ourselves from getting sick or developing certain diseases, then why not do it?

7. I also want to choose to watch more documentaries and educational things on TV too. I just want to constantly be learning new things and expanding my mind. It’s good for you too, just to constantly be learning new things and challenging your brain. I don’t want to waste my time watching reality TV shows and sitcoms. Those are fun and entertaining and I definitely will continue to watch those, but I also want to make sure that I’m taking the time to actually learn new things too.

8. Another big goal of mine is to save up enough money so that we can visit Massachusetts this year. That is my home and it always will be. I miss everything about Massachusetts. The city I lived in was filled with mainly Dominican people which is also my family’s nationality so it just feels like family no matter who I talk to over there. I miss that and I miss the culture, the sense of humor of the people, the greenery, and of course I miss my friends and family. I just feel like a part of me is missing and was left behind in Massachusetts and until I go back, that part of me will just remain empty. I can’t wait to simply get reconnected and back in touch with my roots. It’ll also be the first time that my daughter will be visiting my hometown so that’ll be really exciting. I think it’ll feel so nostalgic taking her to see all my favorite childhood spots. I can’t wait!

So what do you think? These are pretty much my main goals for this upcoming new year. Are any of yours similar to mine? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoyed this post and that you were able to get a little something out of it.

Till next time,

Paula