Goodbye, Two Thousand Fourteen

audrey

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The end of another day. Another week. Another month. Another year. Another decade. Tick tock. Tick tock. The clock seems to move faster and faster, it’s face creeping up as if to say “Hurry up. You don’t have much time left. Get moving or stay where you are. Safe and sound.” Safe and sound. There is nothing wrong with that. But how do you grow if you remain static? How do you gain if you do not risk? How do you create if you do not do?

I have so many thoughts in my head about all of these things. My answers and conclusions stem from a myriad of sources. From growing up as an immigrant in a new country. To attending (GASP!) public schools. To being raised in one religion with parents from two different religions. From the cycles of being lower class to middle class to upper middle class to top 5%. To being raised in a household dominated by women. From my worldwide travels. To the many occupations I have pursued. But now is not the time for any of this. (Afterall, time is moving. Tick tock. Tick tock.)

Instead, I just want to say that I have really learned so much and have had a tremendous growth spurt in 2014. I am thankful for all of the blessings and lessons 2014 has provided. And all of it was because I took risks and chances. So, even if time is creeping by, one BIG thing I’ve learned is that there is always time to do the things you want to do and pursue the dreams you’ve always wanted to. No matter how young, old, thin, fat, short, tall, green or yellow you are. I have big plans for 2015 and cannot wait to see what blessings and lessons my actions will bring. As they say, the best way to predict the future is to create it. That is plan numero uno for me.

Happy Holidays

white tree

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I had the intention to put up a white Christmas tree my parents had in storage for many years. My parents have had many trees over the years. So many, my sister inherited a very large and beautiful green tree befitting her home. My other sister probably would have inherited one too, except she likes to put up a “real” tree. And by “real,” I mean real.

My idea was to have a white tree with lots of lights and white and gold ornaments. Then I went to Target with my sister and did not find said ornaments, so I changed my mind and decided to have a white tree with colorful ornaments. So I went home with my loot and then I opened the Christmas tree box to find said white tree was actually brown. Ewwww. WT_? My husband decided to throw it out and I had to tell my parents the bad news. My mom was sad even though they have not used the tree in decades (hence the “browning”).

My husband said we could get a new tree. (Although, if we had foraged through my parents’ stock, they probably would have had an extra one I could use. Not that they would let me considering I discarded the white/brown one.) Instead, I decided against it and so we will not be putting up a tree this year (#firstworldproblems, anyone?).

This got me thinking about what Christmas means to me and how I want to celebrate going forward and what traditions I want to continue/begin. I love Christmas decorations (hence the overabundance of holiday decor pics on my Instagram). Therefore, even if we discover that we have a tree not to our liking, we will be sure to get one (even if it is on Christmas Eve). However, I won’t be waiting so long to put up my decor. Going forward, I’ll be sure to put up my decorations right after Thanksgiving, which is what my parents typically do. After all, why not have more time to enjoy the decor? It’s not like I can have Christmas decor up year-round, or can I?

More importantly, Christmas is also a time of celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I won’t go into depth about it, but I’ve had a hard time reconciling religion. I finally made my peace when I realized that religion is an ongoing dialogue and reflection and not as static as some see it, and something I will always be thinking/talking about. I’ve been fortunate to have friends and family who come from a diverse group of beliefs and non-beliefs. And what this has reminded me about Christmas is that it is also a time for family and friends. So instead of wallowing in the non-white Christmas tree I wouldn’t have this year, I want to rejoice in all of my blessings: past, present, and future. And, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! May your holidays be filled with lots of laughter, merriment, and most importantly, love.

xox, Lourdes

A New Decade

van go{via here}

Today I am entering a new decade. December birthdays can be somewhat bittersweet. I mean, yes, I am thankful to have been born and yet, having my birthday just days before Christmas, well, you know how that story goes. Not to mention my Jan Brady place in the family. But enough melancholy, I have finally come to appreciate that my birthday is so close to the birth celebration of Jesus (I’m a believer) and the new year for me is also close to the new year for everybody. So, really, it’s a great time.

I celebrated as I have done for so many years now, by taking a trip to Las Vegas. I love Vegas because it really is an adult playground. There’s something for everyone. I’ve seen most of the shows (O remains a favorite) and have been to some of the best restaurants (Nobu and Mesa Grill are tops). The shopping is amazing and there are always new things popping up. This year, though, I decided to start a new tradition. While we will continue our annual Vegas trip, we’ll do so in the summer. Maybe, we will come back for certain birthdays, but for now, it will be a summer thing.

The last decade was a time of self-reflection and self-discovery. (So, basically, a lot of selfishness. Lolsob.). From reading all of the self-help books (Wayne Dyer, anyone?) to going on silent retreats, I’ve learned so many things about myself and life in general. The next decade is going to be about action. Taking action on everything I want to see, do, and create. Words can only take you so far. (I do realize the irony of starting this blog, BTW.)

So, here’s to a new year, a new decade, and a new journey! And, while I know I can take the “safer” route and be happy (keep a corporate job and stay in the same place), my heart yearns for new adventures and more risk-taking. I leave you with an excerpt from one of my favorite poems:

two roads{via here}

xox, Lourdes

Let’s Do This!

lets do this{via here}

So I’ve had this idea in my mind for many years now. I was taking a web design class back in 2008 and sent my sisters some ideas for my new blog/website that I wanted to create. After some less-than half-hearted attempts, here I go. I guess it’s safe to say that I am a “late-bloomer.”

I have been reading and lurking on blogs since the early ages of blogging. Salon, anyone? Of course, in the early days, there were only a handful and I was hungry for more. I had my own ideas in my head, but could never get the nerve to start one. Then came the flurry of fashion, personal style, design, and lifestyle blogs. I was consuming so much, I didn’t have time to create my own. (I fully accept that this was an excuse and not a reason.)

I’ve seen the blogging platform change time and time again. From micro-blogging (hello, Twitter and Instagram) to advertorials, I wasn’t sure where I could “position” myself and if there was room for me anymore. But, hello, we live in a world with a population of over seven billion (!) people and growing. Sure, not everyone has internet access, but even if you take a micro percentage of that, it is still a lot of consumers and not enough content. And so says me.

Earlier this year, I was heart broken to read that one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, decided to quit blogging. I did not see that coming. Yet, between 2013 and 2014, as I saw their success shoot through the roof, I asked myself “How do they find the time?” I mean, between the parenting, marriage, personal life, and all of their projects outside of the blog, I was getting tired for them (emphasis on “for” and not “of”). I envied their energy and was sympathetic when I saw some less-than stellar content than I expected from John and Sherry (Ha! As if we are on a first name basis!). So I guess it shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise when they wrote their final post. I admit, I miss reading about their daily lives and seeing their creativity unfold, but I know they will still be around (they have a book coming out in 2015). I look forward to the book and have very high expectations. Plus, I can still keep up with them on Instagram.

All of this is to say, the internet is still young, blogs may come and go, but there is always room for fresh content and new voices. Even if no one reads this but me, I am thankful that I have a place to put forth my ideas and maybe put to rest this burning desire to finally create my own blog/website. After all, it has been said that “If it’s still in your mind, it is worth taking the risk.”

I intend for this to be a place of positive energy, thoughtful exchanges, with lots of fun sprinkled in between so I will not tolerate any nastiness or unkind words. It is one thing to say “I do not like that outfit/design/destination/recipe because it looks frumpy/is too boring/complicated to navigate/does not taste good,” and another to say “you’re ugly/your design taste is horrid/I would never travel to somewhere so foreign/I hate ‘insert any ethnicity here’ food,” which is, simply, way harsh.

Whoa! I did not intend for this to be so long. A “Hello there. This is Lourdes and welcome to my blog.” probably would have sufficed, but that’s not how I roll (Sometimes. Other times I can be short and succinct. I promise.).

So, yeah. Hello there. Welcome to my blog, or Tribe. Hope you stick around to see all of the things because there will be lots of them.

xox, Lourdes