Light at the End of the Tunnel

Over a month ago, I came back to the blogging scene with high hopes and invigorated energy to get back onto the blogging band wagon. But then I froze.  I froze, panicked & fell into a hole.  I don’t know if I should call it depression or just a funk.  I didn’t know how I got there, I just did.  And worse yet I could’t shake it.

For the past two years that I’ve been blogging on and off, I believe that I’ve always presented myself as a happy go lucky kinda gal. Because typically I am.  Still there is a part of me, that struggles with this feeling of despondency.  There are those instances that I spend too much time in my head, thinking of all the what-if’s and regrets.  Comparing where I am to where I should be; how I’m not parenting the way I envisioned or how guilty I feel for yelling at the Pollitos; whether I’m living up to my parents expectations and dreams.  The list goes on and on, until I find myself deeper into a dark tunnel with no end in sight.

I feel like I travel along this tunnel for days just looking for a sliver of light.  When I do finally find a fragment shining in the depths of this self-inflicted pit, it takes me even longer to hightail it out of there.  And all the while I’m conscious that I have no business in there and try my hardest to run out of the burrow, I’ve scurried into.  It feels like a vicious cycle.  I know better but I seem to lack the tools to dig myself out.

From the outside looking in, you would never imagine the frenzied commotion my being is lost in.  I’m still smiling and upbeat.  But its all a spectacle, so not to, have to explain to the world where I’ve failed.  Failing is that ultimate fear of mine, one which happens to creep up at the most inopportune time.  It’s paralyzing.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve set out to accomplish something and I’ve gone nowhere.  It’s almost like I’m afraid of disappointing myself and yet it comes to fruition because I haven’t begun, let alone finish my intention.  See what I mean about a vicious cycle?

I like to write things down… grocery lists, to-do lists, goals, schedules, etc.  Even more I like to check off things from my lists. There’s a sense of satisfaction in doing so.  The goal list is the one with the least amount of checks.  The lack of checks manifests into guilt and that annoying inner voice telling me… “You should know better. Just do better.”  I scream back at her and tell her… “I KNOW!!!”

Friday while running on the treadmill, I can’t explain it, whether it was an epiphany or just finding the courage to stand up for myself to myself; but I gave myself permission to fail.  Yes, fail.  Isn’t there a saying something like… Failing means at least you’re trying. Well I want to try!  I want to see how far I can go.  I truly do.  My desire to see the distance is stronger than my fear.

This is still a new feeling, one that I’m holding tightly to.  Beyond a shadow of a doubt, a heaping ray of light has discovered the dark tunnel which I was so deeply rooted in, and is lighting my way out.  As I put one foot in front of the other, I remind myself I AM A WORK IN PROGRESS.

Thanks for just listening and allowing me to profess the scary truth behind my stagnation. 

Abrazos, Sapphire

Hello Monday {Milestones, Ideas & Fresh Start}

It’s a new week, a fresh start! The month is almost over & Summer right around the corner.  Woot Woot!

So, let’s say some Hellos & link up to the Lovely Lisa.

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Hello Rain.  Seems like you’re here to stay.  At least it’ll be warm for the next few days.

Hello Milestones.  Lil’ Red has been up to lots.  Enjoying Cheerios for the first time.  Cutting two more teeth.  Zooming around in his walker.  Turning 9 months old.  Sigh! It’s all going by so quickly.  Can’t I just hit the pause button for a bit.

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Hello Ideas.  There are ton swimming around in my head & even more written down in my journal & typed on my cell.  Now it’s time to prioritize them & get to working.

Hello Photo Shoot.  Gordita is getting dance portraits taken this week.

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Hello NYC Road Trip.  We’ll be spending Memorial Day Weekend in NYC for a change.  I’m looking forward to catching up with friends.

Hello Week 3 of Insanity.  I skipped a day over the weekend. But I woke up nice & early today to get back on the wagon.  It feels good & I’m loving the difference I’m seeing in my body.

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Hello Parmesan Wonton Chips.  I’m planning on trying this recipe this week.

And here we are again, Friends!  Time to get another week underway!  Have a great one!

Abrazos, Sapphire

Listen to the Beat {Running Music}

I’ve been hitting the pavement quite a bit as of late, and having a great time with it.  However, I recently did a 5 miler race with my co-worker & let me tell you that it went horribly.  I wasn’t a quarter of a mile in and I wanted to quit.  I just couldn’t find my groove, my legs felt heavy & my brain foggy.  Lousy race or not, I did manage to finish but with a weak time of 53.4 minutes.  I’ve known for some time that every run won’t be my best; I just hadn’t realized that neither will be every race.

Two days later I ran my typical four miles, did great time and enjoyed myself.  Go figure!

I wonder if my new playlist had anything to do with it.  I have to admit my previous running playlist had gotten pretty stale.  I’m one of those runners that NEED their music.  There’s two schools of thought when it comes to music while running.  The purist are all about listening to their bodies, their breathing, foot falls & taking in the scenery.  While runners like me use the music to zone out, get into a groove but also take in the scenery.

I put my new playlist together on Spotify.  Here’s what I’m rocking to these days, a little bit of hip-hop, house and pop.

may running playlist

Do you ever find some runs or races are better than others?  How about music are you a purist or do you need your tunes?

Abrazos, Sapphire

Encouraging words on Mother’s Day #JOHNSONSBabyCares

Disclosure:  This is a compensated post in collaboration with Latina Bloggers Connect and JOHNSON’S Baby.  All opinions are my own. 

Whoever coined the phrase “Being a mom is the toughest job.” was right on the money.  Nothing or no one can truly prepare you for the ride of your life.  Whether you’re a first timer, a seasoned mama or have multiple children, you’ll always feel challenged and sometimes even pushed to your limit.  However, I’m pretty certain that all those distressing moments will never outweigh the wonderful ones, such as nuzzling your sweet baby, playing and giggling with your son or chatting with your daughter.  These are the moments that make all the chaos worthwhile.

Johnson's baby cares

JOHNSON’S® Baby CARES, the brand’s charitable platform dedicated to improving the health of moms and babies, recently launched an e-card digital platform, which allows you to send upbeat messages to moms across the nation, all while raising funds for the global children’s humanitarian organization, Save the Children®.  Each digital Care Card created on Facebook, sent, shared or ‘liked’ JOHNSON’S Baby will donate $1.00 towards one of Save the Children’s® programs, such as Early Steps to School Success, an early childhood education initiative.

With Mother’s Day just a few short days away, I wanted to encourage the many mothers in my life.  I especially wanted to brighten the day of one friend in particular.  I met Toniann a few years back, when I was a consultant for a well known direct sales company and she was a guest at one of my parties.  We kept in contact through Facebook (of course).  Toniann is a first time mama to the cutest 8-month old twins.  She and I reconnected recently, when she introduced me to clean eating, in fact she’s now my BeachBody Coach.

I created a digital card for Toniann to let her know what a ROCKIN’ job she’s doing as a mom.

Johnson's Baby Care Card

Toniann… Happy First Mother’s Day!  I just wanted to let you know that I think you’re doing a spectacular job.  Between juggling the babies, a hefty school load, maintaining a home,  dedicating yourself towards the health & wellness of others and yours… YOU ARE DOING IT!! Your hard work hasn’t gone unnoticed   You’re an inspiration!  Your beautiful twins are lucky to have you as their mother.

Is there a special mom in your life, that could use some encouragement?  Visit the JOHNSON’S® Baby CARES Facebook App to send her encouraging words on Mother’s Day.

Abrazos, Sapphire

 

The Dish on Clean Eating

Eat Clean

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Type “What is Clean Eating?” into Google and I’m certain you’re gonna find a wealth of knowledge.  In late January, I definitely did.

I had become intrigued by the concept, after seeing a ton of photos of delicious looking meals, my friend Toniann was posting on Facebook.   She had begun her weight loss / clean eating journey just a few short months earlier.  I reached out to her & she gave me the 411 on Clean Eating.  She even invited me to become a part of a Challenge Group she was putting together for the month of February.

And thus started my journey.

As I told her, following the birth of Lil Red I was pumped to get back into shape.  But then life happened.  Life with 3 kids happened.  I didn’t seem to have enough arms or hours in the day.  Plus as I have the tendency of doing, I over-extended myself.  Something I’m working on fixing.  Anyhoo, by January I knew that I had to do something.  I was especially tired of looking at all the clothes in my closet that I couldn’t fit into.  Soooo frustrating!

On February 1st I jumped into Toniann’s group with an open-mind & ready to make changes.

Here’s the dish on Clean Eating.

It can vary depending on who you ask.  This is what I’ve taken away the last few months.

Clean eating is the concept of eating food in it’s most natural state or as close as possible.  Enjoying plenty of fruit and veggies; lean protein; complex carbohydrates and healthy fats.  It’s steering clear from preservatives, additives and all the other junk put into most pre-packaged meals.  It’s also about eating several small meals a day (5-6); drinking a ton of water, at least half your weight in ounces; choosing organic when possible; learning how to read food labels; understanding portion control.  We’ve become this nation that is always on the Go-Go-Go, leading us to neglect our temples & more times than necessary opt for meals coming from a clown’s mouth.  As a “clean eater” you are consciously making the decision to carve time out of your day, week or month to prep good healthy food.  It’s also about embracing brown baggin’ lunch.  You’re accepting that food shouldn’t be laced with a ton of chemicals, dyes and who knows what else to taste good.

Some believe in eliminating certain foods from their diets, like cheese, dairy, sugar, white flour and fast food.  I subscribe to notion of “Everything in Moderation.” Nevertheless, I have dumped sugar, white flour and fast food, but I NEED cheese.  Ohhh just thinking about Babybel cheese, I get all gaga.

Then there are others who allow themselves a cheat meal either weekly or monthly.  A cheat meal would be considered a dish that isn’t particularly clean (i.e. cold cuts, hot dogs, donuts) or high in fat and calories.  Initially, I too allowed myself one cheat meal a week.  But I noticed how I was seeing food & becoming way to critical.  So instead, I stick true to the main concepts of clean eating, but won’t kick myself in the butt if I decide to have a bowl of Kix, a day or two after I’ve had my cheat meal.

That’s clean eating in a nutshell.

And here it is April and I MUST tell you that I am feeling AH-MAZING!  I’ve lost weight & inches. I’m almost back to my pre-preggo weight. I have a ton of energy.  My skin is glowing.  I’m working out regularly. And most importantly I have made this paramount lifestyle change, that is benefiting me and in turn my family.

I’m also giddy with excitement to share everything that I’m learning about clean eating, my experiences and the yummy recipes I’ve been trying.  So let me share with you that my go-to place for deliciousness is the wonderful blog The Gracious Pantry.   Instagram has also been a tremendous place for inspiration.  I’ve begun following other users that follow the Clean Eating Lifestyle.

I’m gonna sign off here, because chances are that I can keep talking about this.  This is what happens when I get all charged up about something.  But I will tell you this, come back tomorrow cause I’m gonna share with you my first clean recipe.

Abrazos, Sapphire

A Father’s Project {Rhys’s Rhyme: Ode to Hearts}

I’m back!  I hadn’t expected to be gone for so long. Actually, I hadn’t expected to return today either.  I’ve been planning my return, working on some fun new things to share.  But at this moment I just can’t contain myself.  In fact, I want to climb to the highest rooftop and announce to the world, how enamored I am of my husband.  For today he’s made me love him that much more.

Rewind a few months back, when The Hubz sat me down and read a poem.  In truth it was an ode, and Ode to Lil Red.  He brought me to tears.  He spoke of our son’s journey into this crazy world, and how Lil Red overcame what defined the beginning of his existence.  He went on to share his vision with me.  How he intended to turn his words into a book.  Of course, I loved his concept.

So, for the past month The Hubz has poured his heart and soul into this project.  He’s worked on it day in and day out.  He found himself an illustrator and expanded the story line.  He put the finishing touches on the book just this morning.

Folks, I am absolutely over the moon to announce that my wonderful husband published his first book:  Rhys’s Rhyme: Ode to Hearts  The book is available in hard and soft cover on Blurb.com and as an E-book on Blurb and Lulu.com.

Rhys's Rhyme: Ode to Hearts

Rhys’s Rhyme is the composition of a father’s love and the fortitude and moxie of a mighty little redheaded baby boy.  It proves that courage can manifest itself in the smallest of packages.

To say that I am proud of my hubby is an understatement.  His devotion to his children is ever more apparent, in his beautiful creation.  Robert you’ve gotten me positively verklempt.  I love you today, tomorrow and always.

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Update & Correction (4/1/2013):

The book is available on Blurb.com either in soft cover for $17.99 or as an e-book for iPhone & iPad for $7.99.  See links below:

http://www.blurb.com/b/4178269-rhys-s-rhyme-ode-to-hearts

http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/382356-rhys-s-rhyme-ode-to-hearts

It’s also available on Lulu.com as an e-book for $7.99.  This version requires ePub Reader.

http://www.lulu.com/shop/robert-a-serrano/rhyss-rhyme-ode-to-hearts/ebook/product-20951782.html

Hello Monday, Hello Holidays

Yes, it has been some time since you’ve heard from me.  I’ve been on hiatus for several reasons.  The biggest and most important reason….Gordita.  Since our temporary relocation to Philly for the birth of Baby Boy, she became the epitome of Terrible Two’s.  Then by the time we got home, she wasn’t the baby anymore, but the big sis and seemed to have been yearning more attention and with reason.  With her need & my lack of words so to speak, I decided a break from blogging would be a good thing.  Her and I have been crafting & playing a whole lot.  Just having lots of fun mommy and daughter time.  It’s been great.  She’s still her crazy, not-as-terrible two year old self and I’ve once again found words & ideas to share.  So here I am!

And I’m gonna start the week right with a few Hellos….

Hello to the Holiday Season.  I’m really looking forward to you, this year.

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Hello to my new treadmill.  I’m ready to spend some time with you this week.  Thanksgiving dinner wasn’t very nice to my waistline, but it was soooooooooo good and worth it.

Hello to the newest member of our family, Gumball Butterscotch.  She arrived this past Saturday and the Pollitos are excited to have her.  But in all reality, I think I’m most excited about this new family tradition.  I have a ton of ideas for her. Let’s see what she gets herself into. {Maniacal Laugh}

Hello glue gun, epsom salt, paint, modge podge & other crafty items.  Tonight marks the first meeting for a group I started called, Poconos Pinterest Peeps.  If you guessed that, we’re going to be crafting, you’re right.  I can’t wait to tell you more about it tomorrow.

Hello to a Trip down Memory Lane.  I’ll be heading to my elementary school later on in the week for a ceremony to open up a time capsule, which we buried some twenty years ago.  There I go aging myself.

Hello Family Game Night at the Lil Giant’s School.

Quite a busy week for us.  Bring it on.  I’m ready to take on the world (the result of a few cups of coffee…teehee).  How about you my fine friends, what are you saying Hello to?

Linking up to the Lovely Lisa.