Get to Work! | Express Haul

As you know, Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and passed. Well, I decided to get in on the hub lah and purchase a couple of items from Express. To me, Express always has the best formal and business professional attire and I personally needed more of that in my own wardrobe. I purchased four items to make a total of two outfits that I’m going to show you today.

The first outfit is a mustard yellow suit with an ivory blouse. It has to be my favorite out of the two because I love color and outfits that pop! You can purchase the items here:

The next item I got was a navy blue short dress that has a knot tie in the front. It’s very comfortable and flows effortlessly. It also has long sleeves for the colder months making it a perfect addition to any wardrobe. You can get your own here:

This post is not sponsored and all items were purchased by me! All thoughts are my own 🙂

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Love Hurts | Reflection

The thing harder than falling into love has to be falling out. If you think about it, your whole world changes drastically. No longer can you reach out and share moments with that lover or they comfort you when times get hard. This time they caused a hard time and there is nothing you can do about it.

Here I am, yet, again going through a gut-wrenching breakup. I may be doing dramatic, but this is a tough pill to swallow and hurts like hell.  I really thought things were going to be different with him and it hurts that he is literally the same as every other guy I’ve dated in the past. I honestly don’t even know where things started to go wrong. Maybe I’m just that much in the clouds to where I don’t see what is truly going on around me. We went from one day of him introducing me to his family and us spending every day together to me reminding him of his ex so he wants to call it quits.

The good news is I’ll eventually be okay. This is not a death sentence although it may feel that way and it isn’t the end of the world. He’s not the only man I will love in my life and certainly not the last. In fact, he met me when I had things end with another ex. It’s almost like the circle of life.

I still can’t get over the fact that I truly thought we were going to last. How stupid of me to believe and hope for a change in something where I don’t have all of the control. I forgot there was another brain and feelings making the decision for me. I forgot that there was the possibility we wouldn’t be in sync. I forgot. The 23-year-old dreamer forgot to only be an optimist and not put all of her eggs in the basket. Trust me it will happen again unless I remember to remind myself and that is perfectly okay.

I’ve learned that even through these hard times it doesn’t affect your value and you can still hold your head high. So here I am. With my heart broken, but my head held high ready to conquer love and not let this experience turn me negative because I deserve so much more than that. We all deserve so much more than that.

The next time you find yourself hurt by love, let me tell you that you’re not alone. You will get through this and everything will be okay. Your optimism will pay off in due time and you can’t let the negativity of one bad event change your whole outlook. There will be someone different who rocks your world and reminds you of why you had to go through this eventually. At least this is what I hope for myself and for you.

So it’s true, when all is said and done, grief is the price we pay for love. – E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

The Best Way to Get Omega-3 Without Eating Fish | Health & Fitness

If you’re anything like me, you want to get your nutrition from different types of methods and foods. If not you’ll get bored and your health will wane. To keep me in tip-top shape and not getting tired of fish, I eat Chia Seeds. I like to add them to oatmeal or my smoothies as a quick way to gain omega-3.

About Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are part of the mint family and come from the desert plant, Salvia Hispanica. They are believed to have come from the Central America region and were part of the Aztec’s diets. Today this tiny seed is used for many nutritional benefits and can be easily added to pudding, oatmeal, smoothies, and even pancakes! But, you can use your creative juices or google to find out how else to make chia seeds part of your healthy treat.

The Benefits

Chia seeds have so many great benefits it’s hard to name all of them. For starters, Chia seeds raise good cholesterol also known as HDL. I have personally had to fight against high cholesterol for years even as petite as I am. I don’t know if Chia seeds are to thank, but I do try to consume them a couple of times a month, and my cholesterol is finally healthy.

If you have digestive problems, chia seeds can help with that too! That is because it has the right amount of fiber that will keep you regulated and feeling good.

These seeds are also useful for naturally regulating your blood sugar. Now, I’m not saying stop taking insulin if you’re a diabetic, but I am saying if you’re a non-diabetic whom occasionally has a drop in their sugar, chia seeds can be useful to keep your blood sugar at a healthy level.

Are Chia Seeds Cost Effective?

You can get chia seeds for as cheap as $4 or as expensive as $20. It all depends on how much you get and the brand.

Chia seeds may not be a complete alternative for fish, but they can be a great addition especially if fish isn’t your thing. I love chia seeds since they are an easy addition to any food or drink. Being high in Omega-3 makes them a great healthy option to include in your diet.

Downtown Dallas Adventures | Photography

This weekend me and Veronica decided to go exploring in Downtown Dallas. We got some really good shots and I can’t wait to go back again! Here is a little bit of what our adventure had in store:

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First Baptist Dallas
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Christmas Tree Upclose
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American Flag
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Me and the Wreath
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Ornament
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DMA Fountain
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Red Tour Bus
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Me!
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Me!
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Christmas Tree
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Architecture
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Reunion Tower

Moments Captured by Canon Rebel T7i

Learning to Let go text

Learning To Let Go | Reflection

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I deserve and don’t deserve. Sometimes that ends up involving other people especially when it comes to relationships. I realized that it is so true when they say you teach people how to treat you, and it is important to have self-love and be assertive at all times.

It’s Not The End of the World

Over time you start to realize that just because one door closes there is always another door just waiting to be opened. That is something I’ve had to personally learn in growing as an adult and developing my character as a human being. It’s so easy to feel like life is over and that you’ll never find something or someone as good as what you had.

To me, that is romanticizing. I guarantee once you find the right something or someone you’ll find out that you didn’t really have it as good as you thought. It also goes to show you how our memory isn’t that good. It’s always playing tricks on us and making us think things were better than they actually were.

No worries though. We’ve all been there before. Coming to terms with let’s say a job or relationship isn’t the ultimate sign that you’ve made it and have nothing else once those are gone is no way to live. There is always something or someone better. God or the universe didn’t make our purpose to stick with the first thing to find us.

Love Yourself First

I can’t stress enough how important self-love and self-care are. When you show love and care for yourself you don’t have time to allow anyone to treat you less than you deserve. You will stand up for yourself even if you’re standing alone and will hold up your beliefs regardless of what others say.

It’s so easy to put others or their opinions before yourself but don’t do that. You deserve to be your own biggest support. Loving yourself doesn’t mean you can’t love others, but it does mean that you will make sure you’re taken care of.

It’s not selfish. It is a necessary part of life because if you don’t put yourself first then who will? Having a great opinion of yourself and knowing exactly what you stand for makes all the difference in the world. I’m personally to the point that if my assertiveness makes you uncomfortable then you need to move around and out of my face.

You Won’t Have to Force It

When something or someone is meant for you, you won’t have to force it. I am a true believer in everything falling into place at the right time.

The best relationship I’ve had came naturally and I never felt like I had to force to get his attention or get him to show interest. That’s how you know it’s real and meant to be. When someone is consistently having you beg and fight for their attention then you need to let them go. They’re not for you and there will be someone who is.

When it comes to relationships there should be a mutual effort and respect. When someone doesn’t respect you it usually shows in their efforts toward you. We’ve all wanted someone so bad that we ignored the signs that they just weren’t that into us.

In return, we’re left hurt and confused as to why they didn’t feel we were good enough. I’m here to tell you that you are good enough. It truly is them and not you!

I had to learn that the hard way, but the reward of finally being with someone who does care and shows the effort I deserve is so much more rewarding. If anything it makes you that much more grateful when things do start to go right with the right guy or girl.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This is still a struggle for me. I tend to be on the dramatic side, but I’m getting there. Sweating the small stuff makes things worse 9 out of 10 times.

When you meet someone who sweats the small stuff there is usually perfectionism that drives this force underneath the surface. I’m learning that being perfect isn’t worth the superficial relationships you form and the cost of your peace of mind.

All perfectionism does is make you feel worse and like it’s the end of the world when shit falls apart. Not everything is going to be perfect and not everything is meant to be perfect as well.

People aren’t perfect and you have to accept them for who they are. You’re not perfect and you have to accept yourself for who you are. If you’re still trying to find out who that is, that is that is perfectly okay because most of us are.

Learning to let go can happen in all types of instances in life. You have to know which battles to choose and what is worth fighting for. One battle you should know is that you are always worth fighting for.

Through it all there is light at the end of the tunnel. You’ll find that someone or something that sends you to the moon and back.

Learning to just let go and cease the perfectionism can make a world of a difference in how you view yourself and interact with others. Also, it is never worth staying with someone or in something who makes you feel small and insecure. If you’re feeling like you are constantly putting in the effort with nothing in return, you’re probably right. That is a huge warning sign and you need to get the hell out while you can. My challenge for you is to let go, be assertive and love yourself unconditionally.

Veteran’s Day | Guest Post

Veteran’s Day.

This day means a lot to so many people. It is a day to honor those who served this country, both in the past and present. It is a day that we feel immense pride in being American, in living in a place known for its freedoms—freedoms that have been fought for and earned time and time again, thanks to veterans.

For me, it’s always been a day in which I can commemorate my grandfather, Mar Arradaza—or shall I say Captain Mar Arradaza—who served in the US Army during World War II. I grew up hearing stories of my grandfather, of how he fought bravely in the Philippines in one of the bloodiest, most pivotal conflicts this world has ever seen. Of how he’d escaped from being a POW three times (I’ve endearingly started joking that if there was one thing my grandpa was good at, it was escaping), one of those times being from the Bataan Death March where up to 18,000 Filipinos were estimated to have died.

He’d been face to face with death several times, and yet each time he managed to escape its grasp. He ended up living a long life and died at the age of eighty-nine in his home with a legacy of ten children and twenty-four grand-children left behind him.

When I honor my Grandpa Mar, I tend to think mostly of the glory of his achievements. To me, he was almost larger than life. He was a war hero.

However, oftentimes I forget that these achievements didn’t come without great sacrifice. He might have escaped death during the war, but that doesn’t mean he escaped fully intact. Most who come back from war rarely ever do.

You see, my grandfather suffered from PTSD.

It wasn’t until decades after he retired that they’d finally diagnosed him. Most of my memories of my grandfather were good, peaceful memories, and most of his grandchildren could likely say the same. However, my mother, my grandmother, and many of my aunts and uncles had far different experiences.

They say he was excessively strict growing up, bordering on cruel. He was easily irate and would punish his children far too easily and perhaps far too much. For much of their lives, many of them feared him; some even grew to resent him. This is not to mention his treatment of my grandmother—his wife—who would often experience his wrath in full force. Hardly any of his family would have described him as a kind man in the past.

No one really thought that his behavior was a result of his time in the war until he had a psychiatric evaluation as an elderly man. When they diagnosed him as suffering from PTSD, it suddenly clicked for my mother, the why for his behavior: the war had scarred him far more permanently than anyone had ever imagined. By this point, however, the resulting collateral damage to his family had been done. His children and his wife had perhaps been able to forgive him in time, but the scars would forever remain.

 

Though he had always been the most memorable veteran in my family, my Grandpa Mar was not the only one. In fact, on both sides, I have aunts, uncles, cousins, and even my brother who have served or are currently serving in the military. Often, I tend to forget my other grandfather, Grandpa Jesus (pronounced the Spanish way, “hay-soos”) had also served.

Growing up, though I’d still been proud, my younger self-hadn’t been quite as impressed hearing about Grandpa Jesus’s time serving. He’d been a cook in the US Navy during the 50’s. Unlike Grandpa Mar, he hadn’t served in WWII, hadn’t seen combat, and had been medically discharged within years of him joining the navy. He also never really had any stories that I remember him telling us about his time serving.

I’d always heard that he’d become schizophrenic while in the navy which had ultimately led to his discharge, that it had something to do with government experimentation, but I’d always brushed off these stories as conspiracies. After all, every memory I have of my grandfather was him sitting in his wooden chair in the corner of the kitchen, smoking and listening to the radio.

There was nothing to me that indicated that he was “crazy”, and I figured if this experimentation was true, surely I would have heard about it in my history class, or there would be some kind of letter from some politician lying around reading something along the lines of, “Hey, sorry we made you take some weird drugs that would mess up your mind for the rest of your life, that was absolutely inhumane of us to do and was totally our bad.”

It wasn’t until much later that I realized that these “conspiracies” were actually way more substantiated than I thought. There are plenty of instances between the 50’s and 60’s in which soldiers were experimented on by the government, oftentimes without the soldiers’ consent. In the 60’s, Project SHAD (Shipboard Hazard and Defense) was specifically conducted on U.S. warships, where biological and chemical warfare agents were sprayed over these ships in order to “determine how well service members aboard military ships could detect and respond to chemical and biological attacks.”

While it’s too late to prove whether my grandfather’s schizophrenia was truly a result of whatever the government did to him, regardless they took responsibility for it. Well, what responsibility they could while still being classified at the time. When he was medically discharged, he received full medical benefits for the rest of his life, as has been given to many other victims of human experimentation by the US government since. Unfortunately, he would very much be in need of those medical benefits for most of his retirement.

This was something I did not find out until recently, along with many other things about my grandfather during his lifelong recuperation.

I had not known about the voices my grandfather would hear, urging him to do violent things to his family. I had not known about how there were several instances where he almost did act on these thoughts, resulting in him being hospitalized for months at a time. I had not known that it wasn’t until they started injecting him with his medication that he finally seemed to get better, which is why most of my memories of him seem so much saner. Normal.

Grandpa Jesus died in 2007, on Independence Day to be exact, and like my Grandpa Mar, left behind a large family that loved him. And yet, the impact my grandfather’s mental illness had on his family was lasting. My father, as well as supposedly many of his siblings, are still traumatized. Like with my mother’s family, he may be forgiven, but the wounds still run deep.

I may have different memories of my grandfathers, but their impacts on both me and their families run parallel. I am glad that I was able to experience much brighter times with them, to be able to see them at peace, without the demons in their heads. However, now that I know what they each were dealing with, it breaks my heart to see how their personal suffering affected their families in the long run. I am proud to say that both of my grandfathers were veterans, but unfortunately, I cannot do so without acknowledging that they paid a heavy price.

When men and women serve our country, we sometimes don’t realize the extent of which they give themselves to do so. Mental illness is not something we tend to immediately think about when we think of what our soldiers and veterans go through to do their duties and keep us safe, yet it is most prevalent among them. Studies have shown that at least a quarter of non-deployed military members suffer from at least one mental health disorder, while suicide remains one of the leading causes of death among veterans and active duty military. The numbers only continue to grow, and people are only finally trying to understand why this is occurring.

It is for this reason that this Veteran’s Day I would like to honor these men and women for continuously putting not only their bodies but their sanity on the line for us. I also encourage you all to thank a veteran as well as anyone currently still in the military for all that they sacrifice of themselves to complete their duty. I can only hope we will continue to educate ourselves about this and make an effort to improve the mental health and wellness of our veterans, because they deserve to live a life of peace after all that they endure.

By Veronica Valera AKA @lifeofnicah

 

 

 

Photography | DBU Scenery at Night

As you may or may not know, I’m currently going to graduate school at Dallas Baptist University. Lucky for me the campus is absolutely breathtaking. So, while I was there one night this week I took a few shots to show just how pretty the campus is.

Captured with a Canon EOS Rebel T7i

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Fashion & Beauty | Look Book Fall 2018 + Sideways (Foodie Finds)

The adventures of Nicah and Paige continue. Today we went to the Harbor in Rockwall, TX. We decided to put together my first lookbook for the blog and it came out great! The look we were going for was business casual to casual. We ended the night with some delicious BBQ from Sideways. Enjoy!

Hair Credit: Natalie from Forney Salon Suites

Moments captured with Canon Rebel T7i

Poetry | Just A Season

Can’t keep focusing on what could have been
Gotta keep pushing forward like a gust of wind
Though my heart is heavy, it is what’s best
The troubles and worries are put to rest
The present is a gift that’s not guaranteed
You’ve got to make the best of life as it is
Not on a fantasy of what you think it should be
I started making my dreams into plans
Then reality set in
To whom I left behind
I’m sorry; I can never see you again
You couldn’t keep going
Our season has been met
I understand the flame is gone
Now onto the future with my plans
The lessons you taught will not be taken in vain
But like an old teddy bear
We eventually have to let go
Even when it is hard to be alone

@turningthepagebypaigeredwine