Paradise, Here We Come

The honeymoon is booked!!!

Seven days in paradise with my soon-to-be-husband, I’m so excited. Lorenzo booked our flights and hotel a few days ago. We will be staying in Honolulu at one of the local hotels, and he’s already looking into a few things for us do to like visit Pearl Harbor, going on a Sunset Cruise to visit the other islands, and swimming with sharks. I don’t know how I feel about swimming with sharks and I’m not even sure why he wants to do it, but I think its one of those things I’ll have to see how safe it looks before trying it.

I know there is going to be a gap between our actual wedding date and the honeymoon, but I know the time will go by quickly. The only thing I want for the actual wedding date is a veil. I haven’t started looking for one yet so I know I have to get on it. I have to get an outfit-maybe a dress- and I already have a millions pairs of shoes to choose from so I’m all good there. I will also need to get new name tapes for my military uniforms; I can’t forget to do that. Lorenzo and I also discussed getting some premarital counseling just to get a professional opinion about our relationship and I’m all for it (I wanted to be a therapist when I was in college so I’m very “pro” therapy when its needed).

Hawaii was definitely on my bucket list of places to visit and not only am I getting to go, but I get to go on a romantic adventure with the love of my life (is that corny or what?). I think we may find a miniature trip to take before the actual honeymoon, but that is still up on the air.

I need to get a new bathing suit.

Did I mention how excited I was?

A Product Review: Tea Tree Oil

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before but I have a little issue when it comes to shopping. Other than my insatiable love of stilettos I also have a thing for beauty products, particularly those that claim treat acne.

Somewhere, at some point in time, I read that Tea Tree Oil helps treat acne. I probably read it in one of the millions of beauty magazines I’ve read during my 20’s but I’d never tried it before because the “Tea Tree Oil” I’ve seen in the beauty supply stores in New Jersey looked cheap and fake to me. I’ve read so many different things treat acne that I stopped believing that anything other than the “cleanse, tone, moisturize” routine would work.

So anyway, last month I had the mother of all pimples show up on my cheek and let me tell you…that thing was a mother- uh- something else. It was really something else. It felt like there were two pimples trying to come up from under a blanket at the same time, but they just couldn’t get to the surface. Its was kind of gross…and painful. It left a HUGE bruise on my cheek. I started out using a spot treatment from Murad that I had on hand but it just didn’t seem to be doing anything so I used the Tea Tree Oil.

I noticed over the course of 2 or 3 days that it dried up and was significantly smaller; even the scar was smaller. The Tea Tree Oil has a strong smell and I think I over did it because after a few minutes it made my eyes water, but that doesn’t matter because I’m SOLD!

I’m teaching myself to be more patient with beauty products, I tend to switch them up every month or two just to “try something new”, but I’m going to stick with this one. Tea Tree Oil can be used for many other purposes as well, like using it to treat sunburn or ringworm. For now I’ll stick with using it for my acne and Lorenzo’s occasional razor bumps. I think I’ll add this to my “favorites” list.

To Be or Not To Be…Profane

My friend Tia called me the other night to catch up on things. We discussed the weather, work, future career goals, and Lent. I’d decided that I wasn’t going to participate in Lent this year, I’m not saying I gave up on it like I have with New Years Resolutions, but I think I just checked out. Most people (I know) “give up” some sort of food, bad habit, or indulgence for Lent instead of using the time for prayer or personal growth. I’ve been on a personal growth journey since I’ve moved here so I just didn’t see a need to pinpoint a time frame to do it.

Somehow or another Tia got me to give up Facebook (which I don’t mind) and cursing (I kind of mind). I’ve given up on the idea that I could actually give up cursing a few years ago. I’ve come to terms with it, its just a part of who I am. Now, while I’m not a raging potty mouth 24/7 I like to let out an occasional F-word a few times a day. Sometimes it just makes me feel good, other times it just sounds better in a sentence. Many people in my life (here in Atlanta) don’t think that I use profanity in any way so when I simple things like “damn” they look at me with a surprisingly shocked stare. That’s how you know I have it under control- that took years of practice.

The only time I succumb to it without a fight is when I’m with the military. I don’t have a clue what it is about being in uniform that makes me cuss like a sailor. But it’s not just me, if you ever get a chance to hang around a group of soldiers and just listen to them talk you will hear so much unnecessary and excessive foul language that it may blow your modest mind. Its like a reflex…we can’t help it. I used to avoid my grandmother for days after I returned from a weekend with the military. When Lorenzo and I first met I didn’t think he used foul language at all because for months I’d never hear him use it, that is, until I asked about his military career…then it all came out.

TalkingThe problem with some is that they feel like using foul language is offensive, unladylike, and shows a lack of intelligence or minimal vocabulary, but I find that opinion to be…one sided. Some of the most intelligent people I know let one slip every now and then. I find people who curse are just being honest, and sometimes honesty needs an occasional F word. What’s wrong with that?

What have you given up or taken on for Lent (if you participate)? How you feel about using foul language?

 

Random Snippets of My Life

1.

I’m starting to get really homesick. I want to go home for a while-at least a week- but I have no clue who Lorenzo and I would stay with because I don’t want to get a hotel and then everyone is going to have work so what would we do all day? Some of my siblings are moving soon, so it would be hard to get everyone together and it’s like pulling teeth to get a day off of work at my job. I’ll have to figure something out.

2.

Lorenzo has become a little preoccupied with frozen yogurt lately. Sunday, my brother, his girlfriend, Lorenzo and I went shopping at Perimeter Mall and we stopped by the food court for some food. We also stopped by Pinkberry for some fro-yo as an after dinner treat; and for the past two days he’s been wanting to go back. Mind you, last night Atlanta was in the middle some kind of “storm” where there was going to be “frozen rain” and all this black ice but he wanted to get frozen yogurt. It was frozen outside! He went to get dinner tonight and came home with more frozen yogurt from a place called Yogli Mogli. I don’t know what’s going on in his head right now.

3.

I really can’t wait to get married, but I’m hoping that people would stop asking me- or rather forcing their opinions on me. One of my co-workers from New York got married about 7 months before Lorenzo proposed, and after I announced the engagement she gave me the absolute best piece of advice that I’ve remembered and stuck with throughout the past year and a half: everyone has an opinion. She told me that everyone was going to have something to say about how Lorenzo and I should plan our wedding, but to remember that this is for US so plan it how WE want to. She was SOOOOOO right. I’ve never been one to ask other people their opinions on what I should or should not do, primarily when it comes to how I spend my money, so all these people who’ve been telling me how I should have the wedding of my dreams have been more annoying than helpful. Of course I don’t want to be rude because I know their suggestions are coming from a good place but sometimes I just want to scream, “Let us have OUR day OUR way!”

4.

I find myself feeling tired a lot more than I should. If my mom was alive she would accuse me a being pregnant. But then again, when I was in high school, every 15 minutes she was accusing me of being pregnant: if I wanted to sleep in on the weekend or didn’t want chicken for dinner for the umpteenth time- I was pregnant. Whatever. I think I just need to exercise more.

5.

I’m not a huge TV person- I have my few favorite shows that I watch faithfully: Sons of Anarchy (before it ended), The Walking Dead, Scandal, and How to get Away with Murder… but now I have to watch Empire because my team won’t talk to me unless I watch it and discuss it with them on Thursday mornings. They also looked at me crazy to because I didn’t discover shrimp and grits until I moved here. What do they want from me? I’m a Yankee…remember?

 

Happy Valentines Day

Happy Valentines Day folks!

I wish you all nothing but love, chocolate, flowers, diamonds, and all the other good stuff from your significant others. Single? Love yourself, take yourself shopping and have lunch or dinner with your friends to celebrate how much you love each other.  Me? I personally don’t care to “celebrate” Valentines Day but I don’t think Lorenzo believes me. I keep telling him that we don’t need to do anything but he’ll make plans anyway. I think that he thinks that I’m trying to set him up or something- but I swear I’m not.  So tonight we are just going to make dinner and watch movies with some friends. Sounds like a good night to me.

When I was younger, I used to make a big deal out of Valentines Day- I just kind of went along with the hype. If I was single I would just wish for the day to be over and if I was in a relationship it still wasn’t a big deal for me because the guy I was dating didn’t make it feel special. If I tried to make it special, I was met with hesitation so I gave up on the notion. Lorenzo on the other hand has always made me feel loved- even in the beginning. He makes me feel loved everyday so I don’t feel a need to use holiday to express it. I’m lucky like that, I guess.

In other news, I had some family members celebrate a birthday. My sister Val celebrated a 20-something and my niece Jordin celebrated her first. After my brothers and sisters turned 18 I just stopped keeping track of how old they are. I  still get a little freaked out when I realize that the babies and teenagers I helped raise are now in their 20’s. It makes me feel old so I just don’t do it anymore.

Birthday Jo Val&JoI’m sure Val celebrated her day the way most young adults do: anything containing lots of alcohol. But Jo and her sister Miyah- who turned 4 on the fourth of this month will be celebrating at Chuck E. Cheeses with their friends. My other sister Morgan- Jordin’s mom promised me lots of pics. I can’t wait :)

A Quick Story: A Week In Jamaica

I’m going to tell you about the time Lorenzo surprised me with a trip to Jamaica for my birthday.

Lorenzo and had our first official date in April of 2011; we met Chicago and spent 3 days together. His birthday was in June so I shipped him a few gifts and watched him open them while we chatted on Skype. With my birthday being only 2 months later, when asked what I wanted I responded that I just wanted to come visit him in New Mexico for a few days.

He agreed to that, but then a few days later called me and told me that he needed me to take a week off from work. When I asked what was so exciting about New Mexico that I needed to stay there for a week, he told me that he changed the plans and that I also needed to get a passport. He didn’t tell me where he was taking me, so for 2 months I was racking my brain trying to figure out where we were going. He didn’t even email me my plane ticket until 6am the morning of my flight.

314930_10150270834547680_1707998_n

298572_10150270834522680_4518718_n

We stayed at the Sunset Jamaica Grande in Ocho Rios for 8 days. Every day we were there we did something different. The first day we wandered the resort, lounged by the pool, and explored the private beach. They have the attractions set up so that you can stay there all day, and the resort provides transportation to and from the locations for free. The second day day we went to another location where we watched a few shows where they let people swim with sharks and sting ray’s, went on a nature walk, and then swam with dolphins. The next day we went horseback riding we also got a history lesson on the island, went on a tour, and got to take the horses out in the water.

306395_10150270835727680_2554009_n

293970_10150270835902680_7584341_n

There was another day where we went on a chair lift to the top of a mountain and zip lined all the way back down. By the end of the week we spent the last two days relaxing at the resort spa, going to a talent show, and visiting the local shops for souvenirs. It was a great trip-the best birthday gift I’d ever received. The only thing that went wrong on the trip was the day before we were scheduled to return home, Hurricane Irene had reached the East Coast and I almost ended up stranded in Jamaica. Lorenzo got to go back to New Mexico with no issues and I miraculously got a flight to Charlotte, NC but had to stay there for 2 days before I could get another flight to Philadelphia and have my sisters come pick me up.

317385_10150270835352680_7999686_n

314336_10150270834807680_6935650_n

I had a lot of firsts on that trip. It was the first time I’d ever swam with a dolphin, rode a horse, went jet skiing and kayaking, tried curried goat and jerked lobster, and traveled out of the country for non-military related purposes. I would love to visit again but I know there are so many other places I need to see first so Jamaica may just have to wait. Jamaica is a beautiful island. The people are friendly, the water is clear and beautiful, and the food is great. Our only regret was not venturing outside of the resort more often than we did when we came to the food. With every trip we take, we learn a new lesson to keep in mind for the next one.

Super Bowl 49 and Other Stories

Super Bowl Sunday should really be a holiday.

I mean, think about it: football is a really popular sport in America and even though there are many people who don’t like the sport or follow the games they will still watch the Super Bowl either for the commercials, the half-time show, participate in bets, or just because the parties are fun. Everything stops for the Super Bowl. I remember hating football for years because it just seemed barbaric and pointless- but I still watched EVERY Super Bowl, even though I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I should start a petition or something.

Anyway, I am not happy that the Seahawks lost, I feel like they gave it away by passing the ball instead of running it. That seems to be the general consensus on Facebook and Twitter. Even though I am a fan of the sport as whole, the Giants fan in me can’t force myself to root for the Patriots, plus I always tend to root for the underdog. But can I be honest? I enjoyed the game, meaning I’m happy it wasn’t a blow out, but it didn’t start getting interesting to me until the last 2 minutes. I’m not even going to talk about the “scuffle” at the end-that was just childish.

Katie Perry

Katie Perry put on a very classy, family friendly, and entertaining halftime show. I’ve always loved her music and I was pleasantly surprised by Missy Elliot’s surprise performance. It was drama free- there were no wardrobe malfunctions and electrical malfunctions (yes, I’m talking about you Bey). I wasn’t a fan of the commercials though- the only two I really liked were the Doritos commercial with the guy on the plane and the Dodge commercial with the people who were 100 years old. That’s it.

Other than hanging out with our friends in Snellville for the Super Bowl,  Lorenzo I went to Rays in the City with one of his co-workers and his fiance on Saturday night. We were able to hang out with this couple on another occasion at the Suite Lounge and it seems to be an on going thing. Rays in the City specializes in seafood and steaks, but they also had sushi too, so you know Lorenzo and I were all over it. After dinner we went to Lava Lounge in Midtown to have a few drinks and listen to some music. I enjoy hanging out with other couples; its something I never got to do much with other boyfriends. Plus with me being new to this city, it gives me a chance to see more and explore. So maybe one day when I’m talking to someone and they start naming random places, I’ll actually know what they are talking about instead of nodding along aimlessly.