Posted in Awards, Concepts, Culture, Nature, Quotes, Social Justice

Spreading Peace with the GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD I (GAMBA I)

Kamal’s Blogging Café: To learn more about the award and its rules, here is the link. https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/2020/08/08/great-achiever-mahasiddhi-blogger-award-gamba/

Hello everyone!

A few weeks ago, I met a new blogger named Kamal who has introduced a new initiative with her new Great Achiever Blogger Award to spread peace among the blogging community. She is an ambitious visionary, and the award itself has such a beautiful origin story!

It has given me an extreme happiness and immense pleasure that I am here to introduce a ‘GREAT ACHIEVER “महासिद्धी” BLOGGER AWARD‘ to expand peace in our global village- WordPress. This award goes to a real achiever and successor who has been giving their creative feelings and thoughts exquisitely presenting a good perfection of work of art in WordPress Writing.

I am from a birthplace of Gautam Buddha who enlightened many parts of the world in his lifetime by his wisdom and knowledge of equanimity, or peace of mind which is achieved by detaching oneself from the cycle of craving that produces trouble. And, from a lap of Mount Everest, giving an adventurous taste of mountain climbing to the people around the world. The most important thing is purity from the Himalayas, everyone get tastes of pure water flowing from mountain to the hills and then Terai region spreading tranquility in spring.

“महासिद्धी” is a term for someone who embodies and cultivates the “Siddhi of perfection”. A Siddha is an individual who, through the practice of sādhanā, attains the realization of siddhis, psychic and spiritual abilities and powers.

We are a member of a global village “WordPress” to help shape the world peacefully through our continuous effort to dedicate and invest our valuable time for writing giving a perfection, i.e. “महासिद्धी”.

What an introduction! Thank you, Kamal. ❤ I’m truly honored and humbled by such serendipity. Throughout my journey in blogging, earning a badge for reaching particular criteria is a fascinating concept. I apologize for replying sooner as I have many other obligations outside of my blog.

However, spreading peace is a wonderful cause I can easily rally behind during these times. Unlike a peacekeeper, a peacemaker is neither passive nor fearful. Throughout history, society has a myriad of approaches for maintaining peace. The complexities of human nature, being what it is, has demonstrated conflicting ideas of how peace will transpire.

It takes diligence to remain calm within your heart in the midst of chaos. I have known many bloggers who have done this well but are award-free. Thus, I will open this nomination to any of my readers who would like to contemplate and explore these ideas.

Rules & Regulations

  1. Thank the person who nominated you, with a link to their blog.
  2. Make a Post of the Award with a Statement of PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT as above. Tag your post with the #greatachiever.
  3. Mention the rules and regulations.
  4. Ask 7 questions of your choice. One of the questions must include “PEACE” and one for “SAVE Environment”.
  5. Nominate at least 7 fellow bloggers or more to 21 bloggers and notify them.
  6. Follow @kamalsbloggingcafe (https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com) to secure certification as a badge to get a chance of collecting badge of GAMBA WORDPRESS SHINING STAR AWARD for PEACE & SAVE ENVIRONMENT. For more details, visit https://kamalsbloggingcafe.wordpress.com/award/.

Musings

I like to imagine climbing Mount Everest one day, but I think I’m content watching the incredible views in a documentary while I condition myself. 😉 If you are not familiar with the Terai region, these flatlands stretch along the border between Nepal and India. They can be quite beautiful in the spring time.

Image Credit: Knowledge @ Wharton

With such sweeping, natural beauty, it’s unfortunate to know that the country is struggling with many challenges such as natural disasters, cycles of extreme poverty, and political instability, to name a few.

Image Credit: Sagarmatha Dispatch-Gazette
http://sceenius.com/2015/07/27/flatlands-of-nepal-the-terai/

Some of my readers are aware that I was raised with mixed religious traditions. Sometimes, my hybrid, eclectic upbringing has led to some friendly tension with my “pure” friends, but c’est la vie! (That’s life!) 🙂

Years ago, one of my classmates once called me a “Bodhisattva“. I had no clue what that was, so I looked it up.

A person who is able to reach nirvana but delays doing so out of compassion in order to save suffering beings.

Oxford Dictionary
Image Credit: Stephen Lucas
Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitesvara), Bodhisattva of compassion

My father’s brother was a Buddhist monk. When I was a young girl, I attended various beautiful temples with some lovely gardens and fountains. My dad said Buddha’s birthday was near my own which I thought was a fun piece of trivia. There I spent time with and learned from other monks and more devout Buddhists.

Image Credit: Dan Pancamo
This photo contains an example of some of the colorful, architectural elements that I remember most

Kamal’s Questions

  • How can you be a good blogger as a member of WordPress Global Village?

If by “good”, you mean integrity: I pay it forward and recognize other bloggers whenever I can or when time permits. I help others enjoy the blogging process and encourage them to keep growing in their craft if they’re new. If they’re veterans, I participate in their challenges. I enjoy interacting with other bloggers, and I learn new things everyday.

  • Could you please define a word “PEACE” from your point of view?

I’ve experienced many peaceful moments singing with groups of people in harmony. I also enjoy digging my toes in the sand and feel the ocean wash over my feet as I see the sun rise.

Image Credit: Wallpaper Cave

A picture is worth a thousand words.

American adage coined by Henrik Ibsen

For the past few years I’ve been following photography entries for the Global Peace Photo Award inspired by Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Alfred Hermann Fried and Tobias Michael Carel Asser. The photos are quite compelling. Here’s one I absolutely love!

Image Credit: Maria Turchanova, Russia
The World as a Manifestation of Love
  • How can we save a tree?

Sadly, I’m trying to save a weak crepe myrtle tree that has developed some lichens. It’s been fighting to stay alive for a very long time. I need to apply some herbicidal soaps and add more mulch. I feel like I have to accept the inevitability of the cycle of life on this one, but I will keep trying so long that it’s showing signs of life and sprouting new leaves.

  • Do you think human trafficking is still a crosscutting issue? 

Yes, human trafficking is one of the largest crimes in the world and intersects with a variety of studies. “This Power and Control wheel outlines the different types of abuse that can occur in labor and sex trafficking situations.” -Polaris Project

Image Credit: Polaris Project
Domestic Abuse Intervention Project’s Duluth Model

It’s even in my own backyard! A few years ago, the store where I worked at made national headline news. A trucker was smuggling illegal immigrants across the border in a large 18-wheeler truck. One of my coworkers reported suspicious activity in the parking lot and heard yelling inside the truck. The individuals in the truck bed were suffocating in summer weather, had no water, and no restrooms. Some died due to asphyxiation, and many were treated at the hospital.

Infographic Credit: Department of Homeland Security (Blue Campaign)
  • What thing do you sacrifice to make a happy family environment?

One thing we sacrifice is our pride and need to be right. We apologize when situations warrant it.

Pride is the longest distance between two people.

Kushandwizoom
  • Which animal do you like most? Why? 
Image Credit: Pixabay

The panda is one of my favorite animals. The symbolism behind the panda as a spirit animal really resonates with me.

  • What do you think about the journalist or Youtubers? 

Youtubers and journalists have a platform to share news, photographs, and information that they have gathered and researched with the public. They share their opinions, their truths, and sometimes deliver a new angle on an existing topic. Journalists expose themselves to potentially dangerous situations everyday. Youtubers also deal with their particular trolls. I feel that those who move forward in such situations are courageous and resolute.

Freedom of the press is a pillar of our democracy.

MSNBC
  • Is a movie-star play a vital role to aware most of the people around the world or just they present their performance to earn money?

There is a wide spectrum of the type of movie stars out there. Some movie stars try to raise awareness about many pressing issues. They play a role in the movie to enact change or shift the public’s mindset about a topic. Sometimes, they raise money to donate to a charitable cause. Audrey Hepburn danced in underground concerts to raise money for the Dutch resistance during World War II for instance.

Image by skeeze from Pixabay

There are also movie stars who have done a movie purely for the money. I feel that there is no shame in this sort of honesty as money is a necessity. Acting is a profession, and they don’t call it “show business” for nothing. Do I feel that some are overly paid exorbitant amounts of money? Sometimes, but it’s peanuts in relation to an underground network of elite individuals who the public doesn’t see or know about.

Sometimes, actors would just like the cash and openly admitted it like Ben Affleck, Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Paul Bettany, Richard Dreyfess, Eddie Murphy, Jackie Chan, Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Alec Guinness, Michael Caine, Marlo Brando, Betsy Palmer.

Image Credit: Fanpop
Ben Affleck in the movie, “Paycheck”:

My Questions

  • What does peace mean to you?
  • How do you resolve conflict?
  • What is one thing you do to help the environment?
  • How does security play a role in maintaining peace?
  • What kind of food makes you feel at peace with the world?
  • If you won the Nobel Peace Prize, what would you want the award recognize you for?
  • If you were sign up for the Peace Corps, what kind of work would you consider?

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time! 🙂

Featured Nighttime Image by David Mark from Pixabay

Posted in Awards, Quotes

Um, Honey? Can I be Jubilee for a While?

Bzzz! My sister has recently taken up the new hobby of bee-keeping during this crisis. All my siblings have been rather proactive and have been an inspiration to me. So, honey and bees are the theme of my post today!

As a hardworking busy bee, you can say I’m constantly searching for all sorts of “flowers”: various blogs on WordPress to read. These awards allow me to celebrate the community garden!

For bees, the flower is the fountain of life. For flowers, the bee is the messenger of love.

Kahlil Gibran

I would like to thank Maria Cristina Gino Baroso who has kindly nominated me for the Liebster award. She’s such a warm, friendly woman from the Philippines. I love her hospitable spirit. She features remarkable stories of beautiful people of all shapes and sizes, some overcoming all sorts of adversity. I also enjoy reading her slice of life stories from delicious food to an interesting coin collection. Her questions are featured below:

Image Credit: Image by PollyDot from Pixabay

What do you do first when you wake up every morning?

The morning light trickles in through the blinds. I snap off the nightlight by my window and throw my arms up to do a nice yoga stretch. My back loves it after I had slept like a curled shrimp.

What do you do last before you sleep at night?

Last night, I dozed off to an episode, “The Power of Miracles“, of Morgan Freeman’s TV Series, “The Story of God“. My feelings before going to bed are one of awe and inspiration. The night before I finished the first season of the Arthurian fantasy drama, “Cursed“. Exciting adventures with the fae have been full of suspense and intrigue!

Image Credit: Wallpapercave

Who’s the first person you greet, “Good Morning” when you wake up? What do you like best, coffee or tea, and why?

I greet my roommates once they wake up and start making some tea. Lately, it’s been earl grey or mint. Sometimes, I like a raspberry zinger or citrus tea with honey. Whatever the mood calls for! I love the various herbs, fruit, or leaves in tea that I don’t necessarily get with coffee. I also associate tea with relaxation whereas coffee gets me pumped up for the day. Though there benefits to both, I’m not much a coffee drinker. Though, I love the smell of it!

What do you usually offer your guests when they come visit you?

What I offer guests who stop by is dependent on who it is. Some of my guests are very picky. A few examples are pho, blueberry waffles, banana bread, Dr.Pepper, water/tea, mixed nuts, ginger/sesame candy, Danish cookies, strawberry shortcake.

How would you treat someone who has just disrespect you publicly?

I confront those who publicly disrespect me. I will not let them get away with belittling me and others. I take a moment to collect myself because otherwise my emotions get the better of me. Afterward, I calmly speak my mind and say what I need to say in front of their face. Typically, I cry once I get home to release the tension.

Did you receive a love letter or a friend’s letter? What’s your favorite line from it?

I love getting letters, cards, creative notes whenever, wherever. I’ve kept cards that my classmates have given me when I was 10 years old. Sometimes, I revisit them when I need a reminder. They represent a time and a place, but they always pick me up!

😉 Infatuation letter – My god, though… do you know you are the only girl I’ve ever met who has used the phrase, “but I digress”?

Love letter – But I feel like… I don’t know. I just feel very happy and lighthearted. I have no idea what is coming… yet I’m excited for it anyway. Thank you, Sa. And yes, believe me when I say, I love you.

😀 Letter from a Friend – I got to tell you, Sa, that Birthday Card you sent to me, is a keeper (it goes right into my vault). Thank you. You can’t imagine how it lifted my spirits.

Do you believe that first love never dies?

I believe first love never dies or rather, it’s the memories that don’t die. I will never forget my first love. Random things trigger my memories as they fade in and out. They make me laugh and cry. When I reminisce sometimes, my chest tightens, and it feels like my heart hurts. Other times, my heart is fluttering and beats fast. I’ve grown so much from that experience. We both did, and I cannot go back even though it lingers in my life.

What is your personal mantra and why?

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash

Having a heart of gratitude for all blessings and the abundance that is unfolding in my life helps me keep things in perspective.

If you’ll be the president for a month, what would you do to end this COVID-19 pandemic?

Coronavirus: 5 things New Zealand got right
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the country no longer has any coronavirus cases. It has also seen very few COVID-related deaths. What has been the key to New Zealand’s success?

DW Made for Minds article

If I were president, I would take a leaf from New Zealand Prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.

1) Swift and tough lock down – Decisive actions
2) Consistent, effective communication of rules
3) Ramp up testing capacity and mask production
4) Willingness to learn from science

I’m not sure the American people will respond like the New Zealanders though. Press conferences directly to the public helped achieve public buy-in in other countries

If you’ll be a superhero, who would you be and why?

Image Credit: Pinterest fanart

I got to learn more about Jubilee from X-men this past year. She. Is. Awesome. Wow! Not only is she bubbly and not to mention powerful, this spunky, optimistic character has overcame quite a bit of trauma. Even when she lost her powers, she tenaciously strives to remain a superhero by other means. Fans have shared more of her powers in greater detail. 10 skills that many people may not know about her:

  1. Pyrotechnic Energy Blasts – Sometimes, it’ll be nice to see fireworks!
  2. Absorb Energy – Always a must have when you working various projects!
  3. Explosively Charge Objects – Detonate…maybe I’ll keep this one under wraps. 😉
  4. Wondra – Super strength and the ability to fly 100 mph to avoid traffic
  5. Force Fields – Resistant to physical injury and protection from earthquakes is nice.
  6. Ghost Mode – Pass through substances without getting hurt. HM!
  7. Gymnastics – Olympic-level gymnast. Just plain cool!
  8. Evade Telepathic Detection – Hide from mental probes.
  9. Vampire powers – Need I say more? Accelerated healing power is a nice plus
  10. Turn Into Vapor (Mist Mimicry) – I always thought about flying with a cloud

Nominees

It’s hard to find people who haven’t received an award already! You’re not obligated to respond, but I was grateful to have encountered your posts this week.

Questions

  1. Favorite comfort food?
  2. First book that made you cry?
  3. Does writing energize or exhaust you?
  4. Best money you ever spent as a writer?
  5. Favorite under-appreciated novel?
  6. Bloggers you enjoy reading?
  7. Your spirit animal?
  8. What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?

Thanks for following along. If you want to check out my other Liebster entries to learn more about me, check it out here! Until next time! 🙂 ❤

Image Credit: Just Bee and Me
Posted in Awards

Ideal Inspiration Award

Inspiration is some mysterious blessing which happens when the wheels are turning smoothly.

Quentin Blake

Good morning! I’ve noticed that there are several new followers on my blog. Thanks for stopping by, I hope to visit you all soon! A few weeks ago, I was nominated by the founder of the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award. “Rising Star” offers website design and development training, motivating ideas, and SEO blogging tools. Thank you!

Rules:
Thank the person who has nominated you and provide a link back to his/her blog.
– Answer the questions.
– Nominate up to 9 other bloggers and ask them 5 new questions.
– Notify the nominees through their blog by visiting and commenting on their blog
– List the rules and display the Ideal Inspiration Blogger Award logo
– Provide the link to the Award Creator: Rising Star – It’s all about Inspiration

  1.  What inspired you to start a blog?
    My boyfriend gave me the idea after I graduated from college as I was pounding the pavement looking for a job. He thought it would help me have fun with the process. I didn’t really think too much of it at the time, but I’m glad he did because I found joy creating my blog.

  2. What inspires you to write?
    Life experiences, current events, and a burgeoning imagination waiting to be freed from the incubator of my heart and mind.

  3. Who is your ideal person?
    It’s difficult to say as an absolute ideal person doesn’t exist, but rather an ideal is something to aspire to. When I was younger, I looked to several saints for guidance. I would say that an ideal person is a servant: selfless and compassionate. I did come across a quote that left me awestruck:

    “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”
    -Robert F. Kennedy


  4. How long do you think you will blog?
    I hope for the rest of my life. There’s no way to tell what will happen or how my blog will evolve, but as musician John Michael Montgomery says, “life is a dance you learn as you go.”

  5. What else you do along with blogging?
    You will find that I’m eclectic. My blog is the wild west where creativity roams. In the real world, I currently work as a technical writer for a cyber security and software development firm. I work on my master’s program in technology and innovation management. I help people address their health goals, identify their dream trips, and address any skincare needs. I intermittently volunteer with Habitat for Humanity and a youth literacy group. I love to garden and read. 🙂

Nominees:
I don’t know if your blogs are award-free. You are not obligated to respond, but I gifting you a compliment. Some of you I just started to follow. Thanks for inspiring your readers!

1) Rehana @ My Experience and Motivational Thoughts : She always shares a short thought provoking statement that will encourage you on your life journey
2) Angelie @ Voyage Onirique : I love her beautiful selection of images. I have borrowed some of them from time to time.
3) Zeeshan Amin @ Five Lessons: Success Stories for Angsty Professionals : He covers “famous historical figures such as scientists, entrepreneurs, leaders etc. and narrates their success stories while extracting useful lessons for others to emulate”
4) Newtan @ Newtan XYZ shares some excellent tips on personal development and success, how to improve productivity and growth.
5) Shankar Subedi @ Think Like a Plant share incredible macro photos of plants and bugs
6) 轻艺术 慢生活 (Light Art Slow Life) : I enjoy the author’s interpretations of various Chinese poems and slice of life posts.
7) Michelle Navajas @ michnavs : Her posts are rich with meaning and full of inspirational stories and ideas.
8) Guramrit Kaur @ Strong Traveller : A fascinating and informative travel blog full of beautiful places to visit.
9) Anya @ Anya Abraham : I enjoy her detailed discussion of a variety of topics and books. Tagging along her adventure through life.

Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite restaurant?
  2. What books are you currently reading?
  3. Where do you want to go when the pandemic is over?
  4. Share an image that features an aspect of yourself.
  5. What inspires you throughout your life?
Posted in Awards, Events, flashback, Nature, Quotes

Personal Life & Award Update

I hope everyone is well and healthy! Hence, the reason for my orange filled banner to encourage people to take care of their immune systems. 🙂

I want to apologize for my late blog posts for the A2Z challenge. I’m currently coping with the death of a friend who I had a real deep, caring connection with. For those of you who understands how that feels, it can be quite an emotional roller coaster. I’ve been sleeping and resting after being thrashed around by my feelings, memories, and thoughts.

Yet, I can just imagine him telling me, “Sa, hike with me. The beauty will surely make you feel better.” I will miss him dearly.

Imagine my smile when I woke up from my melancholic slumber to find a nomination in my inbox for The Real Neat Blog Award. This is actually the first time I’ve been nominated for this particular award. Thank you kindly James!

James has published a few books and possesses an otherworldly sort of imagination. One of the titles to his book, “The Haunting of a Marcasite“, surely has me intrigued. Stop by his blog for an interesting read and step into another world of memorable characters!

Rules For The Real Neat Blog Award :

  1. Display the Blog Logo in your blog.
    (I re-made my own banner, but you can find logos online. 🙂 )
  2. Thank the Blogger who nominated you.
  3. Do not forget to link to their blog for nominating you.
  4. Answer all the questions they have given you.
  5. Nominate 7 to 10 other Bloggers of your choice.
  6. Ask your Nominees 7 questions.

James’ questions:

What is your favorite place to get away to?
There are so many beautiful places in the world that I would like to visit, but I can only speak to places I’ve been to. There’s physical places where I’ve only visited once in my life.

Like… Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. Visited this wondrous place 11 years ago and its natural beauty astounded me as the captain navigated our boat between the rocks. I was in awe and wanted everyone I knew to experience this with me.

Image Credit: Forbes

Right now, in the midst of this “self-quarantine”, my favorite place to get away to is here on my blog as I drink a good cup of tea. I’ll be working on my challenges today and check out the worlds of other A2Z participants!

If, you choose to become a famous actor or screen writer? What would you choose?
I’ve really enjoy memorizing lines and acting in theater plays. I relish the idea of performing on stage playing a role and entering the mind of another character. Even though I enjoy creative writing on a small scale, I never really thought of screen writing before. Acting feels instinctual to me whereas writing requires a lot more work to imagine an extensive and cohesive plot line. I’ve known a lot of people who were highly skilled in it though. We tend to work together quite often!

What is your favorite holiday ? Why ?
It’s difficult for me to choose as it’s split between traditional and non-traditional holidays. There seems to be a holiday for anything and everything. There are some “holidays” that I celebrate everyday.

That being said, I’ve celebrated many holidays with friends and family. I enjoy the big, traditional holidays as they allow me to reconnect with loved ones such Christmas, Thanksgiving, Lunar New Year. However, I’ve had some very meaningful, quieter moments celebrating Passover, Veterans Day, Palm Sunday and Lent.

I also like World Water Day, Earth Day, Random Acts of Kindness, National Comic Book Day, and May the 4th be with You.

Ice skates or Rollerblade?
Ah! I love both equally. I have great memories for ice skating and rollerblading!

Style is that which indicates how the writer takes himself and what he is saying. It is the mind skating circles around itself as it moves forward.

Robert Frost

What are your favorite toppings to put a pizza ?
Pineapple, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, black olives

A strawberry milkshake or a vanilla milkshake ?
Strawberry milkshake! I love strawberries! I found out that my birthday lands on National Pick Strawberries Day. 😉

What is the funniest show you have ever seen ?
Movie wise I kept laughing throughout “O Brother, Where Art Thou” & “Miss Congeniality”!

As for TV shows, it’s difficult for me to choose! There’s funny shows that I think I can only watch once like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Big Bang Theory, & Malcolm in the Middle. There’s other shows that I can watch more than once like How I Met Your Mother, Simpsons, or Gilmore Girls.

Bloggers Nominated:

  • America on Coffee: Coffee shops have been near and dear to my heart. I love the random assortment of music and shows that are shared.
  • Kate @ Holistic Life by Kate: Beautifully designed site, chock-full of mindful resources to help others live a better life.
  • Dr.Tanya @ Salted Caramel: The positive & sound advice she gives is a beacon of light. I appreciate her wisdom. She hosts “Blogging Insights Series” and shares great pointers.
  • Mr. A @ A Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing: Shares excellent book reviews and tips spoken from the wisdom of life experiences.
  • Sadje @ Keep it Alive: Her short stories and poetry tie in with wonderful lessons. She hosts “What do you see?” creative writing challenge.
  • Jay @ Fragrance Writer: He writes some beautiful poetry about fragrances, life experiences, and is willing to collaborate with other poets to create great works.
  • Tatiana @ Travelways: Her blog is incredibly rich with unique experiences and beautiful photos. It’s a visual delight!
  • Ann-Christine @ Leya She features some beautiful photos on her photo blog that bring a lot of peace to my life. Motto: “To see a world in a grain of sand…”
  • Zy Marquiez @ Breakaway Individual.com: He has written on an assorted array of topics from creative writing, culture, health and biotech with an interesting take on issues.
  • Dracul Van Helsing: Published Sherlock Holmes fanfiction & vampire novels; He also regularly writes intriguing fiction tales related to current events
  • Sandomina @ Insightful Geopolitics: Informative posts about the mysteries of space and global threats
  • The Alchemist Studio: Enjoy checking this studio’s pottery collection and listening to random thoughts and musings
  • Mollie @ Frugal Hausfrau: I enjoy checking out her savory recipes and mouthwatering photos to match.
  • Andrea @ Cooking with a Wallflower: She covers tasty dessert recipes, travel trips, and blogging tips on writing quality content.

My blog compliments your blog! You’re not obligated to respond, but I just wanted to take time to appreciate the hard work you put into your blogs.

Questions to Nominees:

  1. What kind of music are you listening currently to calm or motivate yourself from the “outside noise & news”?
  2. What has been your greatest achievement this past year?
  3. What kind of skills do you want to develop in the months ahead?
  4. What on-screen villain is most intriguing to you?
  5. Do you have an outfit that makes you feel great about yourself, seems to boost your confidence, or makes you feel invincible? 😉
  6. Was there ever a movie or documentary that inspired you to take action or made you want to learn more about the background story?
  7. What kind of activities do you and your best friend do together? Do you have a favorite funny memory that you share?
Posted in Awards, awareness, Books, Concepts, Crafts, Culture, Dance, Dreams, Events, exercise, fiction, flashback, Food/Recipes, Freedom of Expression, Makeup, Music, Nature, Photography, poetry, Quotes, Social Justice, Technology, Volunteer Experiences

Twenty-Four Seven | Daily Inkling #7

Daily Inkling

Just when I think I’m going to be doing haikus for the rest of the year due to my tight schedule…

Blogger “Normal Happenings” has tagged me in an interesting challenge that seems to coincide with a random daily horoscope I received a few days ago from a free Vedic astrology app called Yodha. (By the way, I like your new branding! It’s bold and glowing like a neon sign. 🙂 )

Happy new year! For those of you who are new to my blog, welcome! Thank you so much for following my blog, and I will be swinging by to read yours as well. I see a lot of new faces out there, and I just want to say hi! This is my fun, personal blog where I typically write about all sorts of subjects in a variety of formats: poetry, story, photo-story, music. I’m about to start another blog for school related stuff, but that’ll be shared on another post!

Image from Shivashakti

You may wonder how did I encounter Vedic astrology? Well! One day, I was chatting with a young lady about the staggering synchronicity in both our lives, and she told me about how she regularly talks to her Vedic astrologist for all sorts of decisions. She said that she made some of the best business decisions of her life with his guidance and that it is a lot more accurate than western astrology. I was skeptical because there are a lot of quacks out there as you well know, but intrigued nevertheless.

So, I downloaded the free Yodha Daily Horoscope app where authentic Vedic astrologists from Nepal share with you their insights. I started learning more about it. Apparently there are Indian universities that offer advanced courses in Vedic astrology despite scientists protesting about it being a pseudoscience. Jyotisha is the traditional system of Hindu astrology. Its etymology is from the Sanskrit term, “jyoti” meaning “light heavenly body”. The term Vedic astrology came about later around the 70s.

Below are the sort of messages I get. This is one I received this morning:

“Due to your nature, you are a rather positive person. You are someone who can find a silver lining in most of the situations. Perhaps you are aware of this gift and know how to implement it. At times, you can put a smile on your face even when the circumstances don’t naturally warrant it and in doing so you can spread good vibrations to others. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that not everyone has that gift and you may be dealing with someone who doesn’t. The planets are encouraging you to show how it’s done.”

Astrologer P. Bhattarai

Anyway, back to the horoscope that inspired this post! She mentioned how when time and money permits, I enjoy traveling to an exotic locale and experiencing new things. However, lately, I may be seeking a more spiritual experience which may not be a physical location: a journey to understand myself better, gain a deeper understanding of myself, be more conscious and aware. I thought Daily Inkling’s prompt might help me explore this arena!

Write 24 talking points between current you and you from seven years ago. Consider teaching yourself something you’ve picked up since then.

Twenty-four Seven

Seven years ago was the year 2013. A pivotal point in my life: the beginning of a lot of new things, drastic changes to my lifestyle. This is a rare occasion when all of my category boxes on my blog have been checked! I’ve chosen 24 random topics to discuss in no particular order: then vs. now!

1) Career

2013: Grocery store cashier – Served a lot of people from all walks of life! I love to meet new people and listening to their stories.

Image by Charles Thompson from Pixabay

2020: Technical writer for a cybersecurity firm & vacation business manager – nice balance between the two!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay 
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2) Books

I read a lot of books during both years, but I’ll just mention two for now:

2013: Shantaram, an epic, philosophical tale of an Australian convict opening up clinics in the slums of India

“Some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. Some things are so sad that only your soul can do the crying for them.”

― Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
Image by billy cedeno from Pixabay 

2020: The Atlas of Happiness: The Global Secrets of How to be Happy – People worldwide share unique testimonials of what made them happy

Optimism isn’t frivolous: it’s necessary. If we feel hopeless all the time, if we’re always in crisis, the natural response is to give up and stop trying altogether. But we can’t let snark win. Problems are there to be solved. Challenges, to be met. We can be aware of the bad while also being mindful of how we can make it better. … Empathy is essential, and learning what matters to people on the other side of the world helps us all. Understanding how different nations view happiness can impact how we interact with one another going forward.

Helen Russell
Image by Daniela Dimitrova from Pixabay 

3) Friendships

2013: Friends were there to lift my spirits, give me warm cup of tea when going through a new challenge, have fun in the cosplay contests at school. Really enjoyed checking out the Ghostbusters!

Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay

2020: All of the above still applies, but my friendships seem to have more depth and honesty. Also, true friendship has a way of helping me see things in myself that I didn’t think was capable.

5) Nature

2013: I took my family and friends to check out the Arboretum gardens in Dallas, TX during special holidays like Mother’s Day

Image by: Dallas Arboretum

2020: I hope to visit Vanderpool, TX sometime and bask in the warm glow of the “lost maple trees” during autumn

4) Love

Image by Larisa Koshkina from Pixabay

2013: Infatuated by a gentle young man I met one beautiful autumn day while feeding the birds at the pier down by the lake. A rather electrifying meeting, though the relationship never developed due to my fear of commitment.

Image by philpace from Pixabay

2020: Enjoying a long term relationship of 4 years. Its been a dream come true filled fun adventures, humor, and passion with the normal ups and downs of life.

6) School

2013: Attended community college on a digital forensics academic track. The most memorable project was where I developed a website for a hypothetical geologist living in Colorado. He was studying various types of gemstones he found during his excavations. I researched stories of legends surrounding their origin.

Image by Robert Ramsay from Pixabay

2020: Currently working on an online masters program for technology and innovation management track. The most memorable project so far involved a hypothetical four million dollars granted to me to develop a civil engineering software application from start to finish.

Image by dewikinanthi from Pixabay

7) Volunteer Cause

2013: I worked with a group of friends with Habitat for Humanity. Learned a lot about house building and painting!

Glendale

2020: Currently helping a school teacher collect cans and plastics with the Rotary Club for a contest with Pepsi Co.

Novyy Urengoy, Russia – June 17, 2018: Bunch of different empty soda aluminium cans.

8) Music

2013
2020
2020

9) Recreation

2013: Had a thing for barre workouts!

Image from Haute Living

2020: About to do Hot Yoga with my cowokers!

Image by Sofie Zbořilová from Pixabay

10) Sustainability

2013: Back when Google+ was around, I heavily got involved with a sustainability discussion group for many hours. The discussions intrigued me. I wanted to learn how to be eco-friendly and be up to date with all of it.

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

2020: I’m itching to get plugged into community initiatives regarding sustainability issues. They’re looking for ideas, and I hope to contribute in someway!

Image by 95C from Pixabay

11) Blogging

2013: I fancied the idea of being a student blogger on campus. I applied, but was turned down for the position. It may have been because the writing sample I sent was about the sound of a lovely bell ringing off in the distance as I was walking around the campus lake to class. Maybe they want more samples about student life? 🙂

Below is the walkway of the lovely campus I used to walk by often.

2020: Didn’t matter! Here I am blogging my heart out on my own without anyone else’s approval! I don’t know why I thought of it sooner! 😉

Blogging my thoughts has been a freeing, exciting experience. Thank you to my readers for making the experience so worthwhile!

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

12) Fashion Interests

2013: Bold floral-print Sunday dresses

Image from Popsugar

2020: Bandage skirts, Currently love them! Sorry no picture of me in them, but I love to wear them with leggings

Wheretogetit.com

13) Television

2013: 30 Rock, CSI Miami, Supernatural, Glee

Image by CW

2020: Meteor Garden, Witcher, Miraculous Lady Bug

Image by Otakucart

14) Movies

2013: Frozen, Iron Man III, Man of Steel, The Croods, Monsters University

Image by PixarPost

2020: Star Wars (2019), want to see Mulan, Artemis Fowl, Sonic

15) News

There were a lot of news stories that deeply affected me and my path trajectory.

2013: Nelson Mandela’s death, Boston Marathon bombing, Edward Snowden

Nelson Mandela was a leader whom I was captivated by. Boston Marathon and Edward Snowden prompted my interests in security.

2020: Hospital Janitor Forges Lasting Friendship Between Two Boys in Isolation After Noticing a Love of LEGOS

The news story above impacts me because it deals with one of my favorite childhood pastimes. My first major Lego project was a pirate ship. Always fascinated by adventure even then! Will be going to a Lego Brick Fiesta event with some friends this year to indulge in this interest!

Image by Andrew Martin from Pixabay

16) Sports

2013: Followed Maria Sharapova tennis matches quite a bit since I practiced developing my forearm swing at the tennis courts!

The Guardian

2020: I might go check out some Spurs basketball players play! Matt Bonner signed my basketball. He was so down-to-earth and friendly!

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 25: Matt Bonner #15 of the San Antonio Spurs drives the ball against Trevor Ariza #3 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the game at the Staples Center on January 25, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers defeated the Spurs 99-85. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

17) Technology

2013: I was really curious about consumer drones. Always felt tempted to buy one to take awesome aerial photos and videos from the sky!

Phantom Quadcoptor

2020: Right now, I’m super curious about the Click and Grow smart garden!

Image from Click and Grow

18) Favorite Hang-out spots

2013: White Rock Lake, Dallas, TX

I enjoyed walking sections around this park almost every day. Seeing the scenery change with the seasons is a great beauty. I once walked around the whole park which took four hours! There are some incredibly beautiful views, expansive hiking trails, fishing spots. There’s also a well known ghost story as well about the Lady of White Rock Lake! One of my favorite memories is sitting on a wooden bench on top of a hill and seeing the sunset as the breeze is blowing the tall grasses.

Image from Applespice

2020: Riverwalk & Pearsall Park in San Antonio, TX

I enjoy walking downtown and checking out the riverboats with curious spectators gliding by in this river. At night, it’s bustling with tourist activity. Families and couples are dining in the restaurants. Some of my favorite memories here was when my brother visited me and we got to listen to a beautiful mariachi band singing a lovely serenade and when my boyfriend and I celebrated Christmas slow dancing in the island platform.

Riverwalk, San Antonio, TX
Image by: Thrillist

I love to go jogging here with my exercise buddy early mornings! The fields and the hills are incredible. Breathing in the fresh cold air is refreshing.

Pearsall Park, San Antonio, TX

19) Languages

2013: I was trying to continue my Spanish studies on Babbel

Image by Babbel

2020: Duolingo’s mascot, a little owl, has been guiding me in learning Spanish and Vietnamese basics. It’s been fun learning from their podcasts too!

Image by Duolingo

20) Theatre

2013: For an English literature assignment, I had the opportunity to watch a live Shakespearean comedic play, Taming of the Shrew.

2020: Curious about the Miss Saigon musical in town!

21) Environment

2013: Fascinated by Google’s chart that compiled deforestation rates by country

2020: Currently checking out Mongobay’s environmental snippet summary

Image by Mongobay – Lemurs!

22) Health

2013: Learned about Healthcare.gov’s crashing website as millions of Americans tried to sign up for healthcare under the Affordable Care Act. Stress is relative though!

Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

2020: Everyone around me is getting the flu! Got my flu shot. Learning about personalized AI medical care innovations

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

23) Games

2013: Played Juice Cubes a bit!

2020: Curious about Smash Hit and Megaman Zero!

24) Quote I lived by

2013: Eleanor Roosevelt impacted me from an early age.

Do the thing you think you cannot do. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.”

Eleanor Roosevelt
Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

2020: Right now, these below! More to come later!

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction

Germany Kent

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.

Socrates
Image by Ylanite Koppens from Pixabay

 That was fun! See you soon everyone! Hope you enjoyed it! 🙂

Posted in Awards, Books, Dance, fiction, flashback, Music, Nature, Quotes, Social Justice

A Sunshine Odyssey

Good evening everyone! There’s a lot for me to celebrate in life today! I just love to do the best I can with what is given to me. It’s a thrilling feeling to partake in such a creative adventure! When I receive a gift of an award, it’s a confirmation of appreciation from the giver. Someone out there has appreciated something I wrote and shared. If I left the world a more inspired, compassionate, and hopeful place, an award to me serves as a catalyst for me to continue reaching for better horizons.

I’ve been nominated at least 15 times this past year for Sunshine, Mystery, Solidarity, Kindness, Liebster blogger awards. I’m grateful for your friendship and support via your comments. It gives me great joy to consistently be recognized for these qualities here on WordPress. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t actually receive any real trophies because I don’t have space for that. 😉

Many thanks and kudos to these hardworking bloggers! Rory @ A Guy Called Bloke, Sadje @ Keep it Alive, Mr. A @ Barbarian in Gentleman’s Clothing, Irene @ My Slice of Mexico, Mel @ Crushed Caramel, Kiwi @ Kiwi Katastrophes, Laura Bailey @ All the Shoes I Wear, Jenna @ The Sunshine Artist, Myexpressionofthoughts @ Beauty lies within yourself

I have taken a different approach with my award nominations today and wrote a story from their questions about myself in third point of view. Pictures are from Pixabay. It will be a blend of fantasy and truth! 🙂

I was inspired by Word of the Day – Odyssey

“HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME?” Ciar, god of darkness, gradually began to suck the remaining light in the galaxy into his mouth which resembled a terrifying black hole.

Sa, space warrior princess from the kingdom of Texas, was temporarily distracted by his impeccable rock hard abdominals, but she was more preoccupied with his black hole. One non-negotiable, unalterable term in this life, is that Sa will survive.

“Sorry? What’s that? I can’t hear you!!!” Sa just used her most commonly spoken phrase against the god of darkness. Will you look at that? 🙂

“Golly, whatever did I do to him?” She unhappily fought against the immense forces that threatened to kill her. What does Sa do to cheer herself up when she is unhappy? She hums a tune of an electrifying song. In this case, the theme song of Ghostbusters galvanized her and became her saving grace.

Ghostbusters 2016 Theme Remastered (Walk the Moon Version)

She pulled a glittering lever, and was not prepared for the recoil. Space X’s Falcon Heavy rocket thrusters propelled her out of Ciar’s influence. Elon Musk gave her a parting gift, his most powerful rocket, and wished her good luck on her odyssey. Commandeering a rocket ship is one talent Sa would love to improve upon! Sa thought back to when she read Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy scanning her memory for any clues. “YEE-HAW!” Ciar’s bad breath is the least of her worries.

Ciar’s army has besieged her beloved hometown. Ciar’s rhetoric was powerful, and he has swayed the minds of various citizens to commit heinous acts and convinced them they are doing right by the kingdom by terminating who they felt to be the enemy. Who was the enemy? A neighboring community whose was seeking asylum from the ravages of their own war-stricken home? It’s an event that has changed Sa’s perspective on how we live in society.

In the next twelve months, Sa looked forward to the day when the migrants would be settled into their new homes with the help of RAICES, the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services. One of her friends told her how hard she has been working around the clock to help furnish their new homes. Sa shared a value with her friend: caring for those who have difficulty defending for themselves. If she won a lottery, she would love to get each of the boys she met while visiting her friend a pair of printed Oxford leather shoes and help them feel fabulous.

One great thing about being in outer space is that Sa isn’t like the dwarf, Sneezy. Her seasonal allergies don’t act up! Drenched in sweat, Sa glanced outside the window and marveled at the moonglade against Earth’s ocean surface. “Now this is something to write home about on my blog!” Filled with nostalgia, she missed swimming in the sea with the dolphins and her friend, a marine biologist.

Sharing an oceanography and geology course together, Sa admired her friend’s determination. The marine biologist was studying and documenting how the threat of global warming was affecting the dolphin population. The dolphins were having a difficult time adapting to the changes to their habitat, changes to their migration schedules, and it’s even affected their ability to reproduce.

Sa opened up her laptop and began typing a post so that her family can read her latest adventure! Sa was grateful for her parents for teaching her how to be brave in the midst of adversity. She once studied her family tree in the genealogy department held in the third floor of the public library. Even though her roots were derived from diverse backgrounds in monasticism, education, art, aquaculture, one quality was clear: bravery was the connecting link to Sa’s ancestry line.

One of her fondest memories was with her father when he taught her how to play basketball despite her not being too athletic. He pushed her to the edge of what she may have thought her limitation was, but he showed her that she isn’t as fragile as some people made her feel. He nurtured her bravery every step of the way.

She pondered on what they were doing now. She missed washing dishes side-by-side with them. A single tear floated in zero gravity. It’s the little things that seem to get to her. Before Sa left Earth to fight a galactic battle, she filled out a Texas Tree Survey from the Arbor Day Foundation. She felt so proud of herself for taking the time out to complete this survey. She received a gift for 10 free flowering trees (5 American Redbuds and 5 Dogwoods).

Despite being a space cadet, she remained hopeful for a better future for Earth and all its creatures. She knew that there were other people out there who would be wiling to plant trees, rebuild habitats, and help nurture the planet back to health. Her only regret is she might not see the delicate trees grow into the royal beings that they are. Its blooms are startlingly attractive to her when cloistered together.

Her penpal, Cassandra, would get a kick out of this blog post! Although Cassandra chose the monastic life in the convent as a nun, she loved reading about her childhood friend’s adventures in the world. The last time Sa connected with her was by passing her in while shopping in a mall outlet. It felt so good to see an old friend!

If Sa died in outer space today, she would want the world to know that she loved Earth so much. She is a caring, adventurous gal with a sense of humor who would do anything including fighting the god of darkness to protect her loved ones! ❤ 🙂

Posted in Awards, Crafts, Events, flashback, Food/Recipes, Music, Quotes

Sunshine Blogger Award #5 from Proscenium – Life, Relationships, Movies

The Sunshine Blogger Award is per recognition award for bloggers who inspire readers by promoting positivity and bringing joy

Good afternoon everyone! I would like to sincerely thank Jason @ Proscenium for nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. He hosts the fun Friday Follies photo challenge (hilarious entries from participants), takes interesting photos and gives a slice of his day while promoting other bloggers. Please stop by and take a look into his world!

Rules for Award:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link back to their blog so others can find them.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the blogger who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers and ask them 11 new questions.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts. (In my case, I tag!)
  • List the rules and display a Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or your blog site.

Jason’s Questions

Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up? If not, what did you always want to be “when you grew up?” Was there a reason why?

Short answer: yes and no. 🙂

Image Credit: Berzin @ Pixabay

When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a doctor “when I grew up”. I imagined taking care of a clinic full of sick stuffed animals who needed care. I just wanted them to be happy again so that we can drink tea together. I always felt called to help people feel better. I was sensitive to those who were suffering. In college, I attempted to do a pre-med track only to get burnt out in the process. I didn’t get much sleep in those years and didn’t eat properly either because of the stress of maintaining a decent GPA to get into medical school.

I was rattled and a train wreck three years into the program. I later explained to my parents that perhaps this isn’t the right path for me and decided to do some soul searching. I asked myself what were things that I enjoyed doing: listening to music, art, writing, crafty activities, gardening, tinkering with tech stuff. Changing my course wasn’t easy at first. In the course of my recuperation, I decided to participate in a “Trash-to-Treasure” environmental contest hosted by my school after reading a story about some inventive dresses made out of recycled products.

There was a deadline to the project so I decided to go with a simpler project. I was later inspired by a curtain made out of plastic bottle parts and enjoyed the process of connecting all the pieces together. Time just flew by and I had fun!

What is/was a relationship deal breaker for you?  Why? Is that the same for friendships?

As understanding and patient I can be, I’ve had quite a few deal breakers even in the midst some redeeming qualities they may have. Some deal breakers for me for relationships and friendships alike were individuals with abusive personalities, poor hygiene/uncleanliness, and laziness. It’s difficult for me to cut ties due to my desire to help people through problems, but there are times when it is necessary for my own well being.

  • Anyone who has been around abusive people knows that they create an incredibly toxic environment for you and they will drain you physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Sometimes, they can be logical and knowledgeable yet hurtful with their arrogance. Constantly taking a beating figuratively and literally eventually takes its toll. Taking care of myself means giving myself space from those sorts of individuals.
  • Poor hygiene has always irked me. It is very difficult to be in close proximity around someone who doesn’t bother to brush their teeth or take regular showers. I can take note of their compassion, but at a distance?
  • Laziness bugs me because if people won’t make the effort to work on a relationship, why be in one? It reveals to me that they don’t care, and if they don’t care, then I won’t feel adequately cared for. Laziness is different than resting or recreation. I’ve always been surrounded by hardworking people all my life and I’ve seen the fruits of that labor play out in various facets of their lives including their relationships.

What’s something you can’t go a day without doing?

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.” 

― J.R.R. Tolkien

Eating! Good food can instantly change my mood and worldview on life. I love the delectable colors of this vegetable skewer!

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

― Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own
Image Credit: Pixabay

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done for love?

There was a relationship I had which didn’t last, but it taught me a lot of important life lessons. The craziest thing I think I did for love was that I got down on my knees and cried in front of this individual. In hindsight, it doesn’t sound too crazy, but at the time I refused to be vulnerable because I didn’t want to show any weaknesses. I set up so many walls that guys used to think that I didn’t have feelings. They would never see me cry, and I never wanted someone to take advantage of my heart. The moment I tore down the walls I built for myself, I was open to what was going to happen, and that scared me.

Genius lyrics
“.. When you built your walls too high
And there’s no one to love you
When you trap yourself inside
…”

What scene in a movie has evoked the most feelings out of you?

There are certain scenes in movies that stand out in my memory. Life changers.

Typically, the ones that have evoked the most feelings are the ones I don’t think I’ll ever want to see again: war, WWII, Holocaust. Movies about featuring the depravity in the Holocaust like Schindler’s List, Sophie’s Choice, Boy in the Striped Pajamas. The final scene in Schindler’s List where Oscar talks about saving one more life, the scene where Sophie is asked to choose which of her children shall survive, the scene where the boys go to the gas chamber…

Though I have never watched Passion of the Christ, I assumed it was going to evoke many feelings. My family and I avoided it for the brutal violence and the newspaper report of a woman getting a heart attack while watching it in the theater.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some movie scenes that evoked incredibly positive emotions was the Amazonian training scene in Wonder Woman, the grandmother remembering her father in Coco, women achieving their dreams in Hidden Figures, Circle of Life in Lion King.

11 Nominees

You are not obligated to respond to this award nomination, however it is a wonderful way for me to recognize your blogs! Thank you for being here!

Questions

  1. What will be your next inspiring endeavor?
  2. What is your native language? Are there any other languages you would like to learn?
  3. Describe your favorite restaurant.
  4. What was the last compliment you received?
  5. What is the most courageous thing you have ever done?

Thank you again for reading! Have a wonderful day! 🙂

Posted in Awards, flashback, Music, Nature, Quotes

Sunshine Blogger Award #6 from Wondering Belle

Good morning! These past few days, I’ve been enjoying a moment of respite as I indulged in my hobby of sewing. I’ve been walking been on nature walks with friends, and I can’t help but feel inspired by mother nature. I like to thank Wondering Belle who has graciously nominated me for a Sunshine Blogger Award. I really enjoy these as I get to know my questioner better by the questions he/she asks and introduce a new person to my readers! She enjoys having fun exploring the wonders of the world through her lovely writing! Here are the rules:

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post/or on your blog.
  • Notify the nominees about it by commenting on one of their blog posts.

Belle’s Questions:

What makes you the happiest about your blog?
I love taking photographs of my walks in nature, writing stories and poems, and documenting my adventures and explorations alongside quotations and prompts by others. I have so much fun doing these questions too!

What is your all time top goal?
It’s rather funny – this was the same question that was on my recent scholarship essay which I titled “Metamorphosis” inspired by a quote from Metamorphoses by Ovid, a Roman poet:

“As wave is driven by wave
And each, pursued, pursues the wave ahead,
So time flies on and follows, flies, and follows,
Always, forever and new. What was before
Is left behind; what never was is now;
And every passing moment is renewed.”

I later found this photo shared by Helene Vaillant and felt like I could relate to the profound changes a caterpillar goes through to become a butterfly.

I concluded my essay with some goals I wanted to achieve with my degree:

“By embarking on a Master of Science in technology and innovation management at NCU, this endeavor will help me reach my goals of helping my community develop a stronger cybersecurity defense line by creating a unique and new product or service that maximizes the best use of resources, time, and money. The specialization in project management will enable me keep up with the trends, implement breakthrough research and development which can serve as a catalyst for social change. “

I know my goals will evolve as I continue to live my life. On this blog, it seems that I talk the least about it. My blog serves a different purpose outside of my career path. I think my top goal here is to inspire bloggers to enjoy the writing process.

What is one thing on your bucket list?
I want to take a few weeks to go check out the vast collections at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC someday!

Aviation Hangar
Photo Credit: Dream Vacations

Where would you suggest someone go visit?
A place that my family and I have visited that I would suggest someone go visit is the Grand Canyon. Encountering its sheer magnitude from the North Rim for the first time made my jaw drop! It’s absolutely breathtaking!

Photo Credit: KeYang @ Pixabay

What do you think would make a difference to this world?

I think Gandhi was onto something when he said this. I think of our inner lives affect our actions in the world around us and nurturing the garden within us can bear fruit.

What is a hobby you wish you had more time to enjoy?
500 piece Thomas Kinkade Disney Dream collection puzzles. It’s a super magical collection and I can only manage 15 minutes a week or less. It’s a relaxing hobby for me and reading about its benefits such as “accelerated ingenuity, thought process support, dopamine production, meditation” on dumblittleman is intriguing. Yes…I should play more! 🙂

Image Credit: Barnes & Noble

What is your favorite song right now?

Earlier this month, I came across decision that made me somewhat upset, and I imagined what would it be like to be separated from those I cared about for even a short time. Although I decided to stay close to loved ones, Freya’s beautiful voice captured a piece of what I was feeling.

Standing on the platform
Watching you go
It’s like no other pain
I’ve ever known
To love someone so much
To have no control
You said I want to see the world
And I said go
I think I’m lost without you
I just feel crushed without you
I’ve been strong for so long
That I never thought how much I needed you
I think I’m lost without you
Read more: Freya Ridings – Lost Without You Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Emeli Sande’s lyrics is also currently resonating with my spirit.

You’ve got the words to change a nation
But you’re biting your tongue
You’ve spent a life time stuck in silence
Afraid you’ll say something wrong
If no one ever hears it
How we gonna learn your song?
So come, come on
Come on, come on
You’ve got a heart as loud as lions
So why let your voice be tamed?
Baby we’re a little different
There’s no need to be ashamed
You’ve got the light to fight the shadows
So stop hiding it away
Come on, Come on
Read more: Emeli Sandé – Read All About It, Pt. III Lyrics | MetroLyrics

What would you like others to know about you?

I have two dream catchers dangling above my bed. I love my dreams, always makes me ponder about life throughout my day.

Image credit: Pixabay

Have you ever written a book? What is the name of that book if so?
No, not yet, but what I hear from many authors is that writing a book an exhilarating, nerve wracking, time consuming, and rewarding experience! Ideally, I think I would want to stay in a small cabin by myself in the mountains somewhere with few distractions. I’m not sure what the solitude would do to me though. Perhaps, it would be a profound experience!

“I like the mountains because they make me feel small,’ Jeff says. ‘They help me sort out what’s important in life.”

― Mark Obmascik
Image Credit: Switzerland @ Pixabay

What is one thing that would make you happy right now?

A fruity ice cream bar! The impending summer weather is making me say that!

Image Credit: OyeHaha @ Pixabay

List 5 things you love.

Animals, Sunshine, Exploration, Writing, Loved ones, Art

Image Credit: Julius Silver @ Pixabay

11 Questions

  1. What are your plans for the the summer?
  2. What is one of your favorite posts that you’ve written on your blog?
  3. What place in the world would you want to visit?
  4. Which book had an impact on your life?
  5. If you were an animal, what animal would you be?
  6. What is your favorite memory from your childhood?
  7. What is your creative style? If you’re curious, here’s a quiz!
  8. What have you done to pursue your dreams lately? How about today?
  9. When you think of your home, what immediately comes to mind?
  10. Describe the greatest adventure of your life
  11. When did you last push the boundaries of your comfort zone?

11 Nominees

There’s no obligation to answer this award, but I wanted to recognize your beautiful blogs today and thank you for bringing some sunshine into my life. 🙂 ❤

  1. Michelle @ Mws. R Writings
  2. Subbashini Meenakshi Sundaram @ Exploring the World Around Us
  3. Ester @ Travelling Around the World
  4. Michael Ogazie
  5. Ilona @ easydiet.blog
  6. Ailish Sinclair @ Stories and Photos from Scotland
  7. Imelda @ My Wall
  8. SkyNRainbow
  9. Megan @ ESL Ventures
  10. Rachel Alexandra @ Roots and Rosemary
  11. OUKASnation
  12. RadGamer @ Rad the Poet
Posted in Awards, awareness, Books

Mystery Blogger Award

A few months ago 🙂 … I was nominated for the “Mystery Blogger Award” by Jenna, The Sunshine Artist. Thank you Jenna for the honor! She will whisk you away to magical worlds of beautiful poetry and positive images which I look forward to reading in the mornings. I love her imagination and creativity, so if you haven’t already, please stop by!

WHAT IS MYSTERY BLOGGER AWARD?
Mystery Blogger Award” is an award created for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

RULES

  1. Put the award logo/image on your blog
  2. Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  3. Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog
  4. Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  5. Nominate 10 – 12 people
  6. Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  7. Create 5 questions of your choice for your nominees

Three Things About Myself:

  1. I love to create vision boards!
  2. I enjoy volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.
  3. For a period of time, a persistent turtle kept coming back to my front door, even though I would drop it back in the lake where it belonged. It really wanted to stay with us!

Jenna’s  Questions

If you had to sum yourself up in 3-5 words, how would you describe yourself?

Isn’t this the truth?

I wish I only had 3-5 words! I must have described myself in a myriad of ways! Many people have said many things about me, but if there is anything that I am consistently, it’s that I’m inquisitive, trustworthy, conscientious, accommodating, kind.

If you could make one rule that everyone in the world had to follow what would it be and why?

It’s very difficult for me to imagine myself as a benevolent autocrat at the moment! 😉 Universal rules…I feel like my “rules” can sometimes be easier said than done, but if we pondered and acted on these thoughts of spreading and feeling joy, caring of others, tending to your own happiness, how will the world be?

Happiness helps alleviate stress, improves social life, builds rewarding friendships, and boosts motivation, creativity, and productivity. Caring also helps builds strong relationships and strong communities. “Strength in numbers”. Feeling joy helps the heart and helps you enjoy life.

What’s a book that you’ve read or a movie that you’ve watched that had a big impact on you and why?

I have different categories of impact, but four movies came to mind. When I was a child, “Spirited Away” by Hayo Miyazaki changed my life. It was such a magical, imaginative movie that will take you on a wondrous adventure that taught me lessons in loyalty, friendship, and courage.

Scene from Spirited Away

Another movie that left a huge impact on me was a breathtaking, beautiful, yet sad, intense Italian film called Life is Beautiful (La Vita e Bella). I first watched it when I was 13 years old. It made me laugh and cry as to how someone could find the beauty in situations that were cruel.

Scene from Life is Beautiful

Afterwards, the books and movies that had the impact on me were the ones that I read and watched during freshman year of college. That was my biggest culture shock! I was exposed to a host of worldly problems I never even heard of.

A classmate of mine in my ethics class passionately brought to my attention the scary world of female genital mutilation. She was upset and yelled out, “No one cares!” Our entire class was silent. American National Public Radio covered the topic several times since 2014 to raise awareness, but I saw her point.

In my mind, many people want to shut their eyes from these issues because life is hard already and they just want to enjoy as best they can. Seeing how upset she was made me make a promise to myself and to her to spread awareness of the issue. Almost Muslimah shares her feelings and goes into detail about it here.

Seeing the things that many girls face around the world everyday, one movie that stands out in my memory is “Girl Rising”. What would our world be like if you can empower young girls to be all they can be? No longer invisible, but powerful.

The last movie I watched that left lingering thoughts was “Water and Power: A California Heist”. The greed of certain individuals for “blue gold” was eye-opening considering the scale. It impacted me so much that I constantly raise awareness by bringing it up in my conversations. I was also very fascinated by the field of journalism and the change it can bring in the world.

What’s an adventure that you haven’t done yet, but would love to have and why?

I don’t think I shared all of my adventures yet! I once had a dream that I was visiting a magnificent, sparkling library that was underwater. I think watching “The Meg” scared me and wrecked that idea. 😉

One place I would like to visit is Claude Monet’s Garden in Giverny, France. I would stay in the area for a month. I would set up a picnic blanket, sit outside with many canvases, and start painting what I see while eating some chocolate covered strawberries and sandwiches. I would write all sorts of stories of events that would happen in my paintings. It would be more of a retreat from the city life and my tech pursuits. Being in nature always refreshes me and Monet’s paintings have inspired awe since I was 12!

If you were to enter a parallel universe where everything is the opposite what would that look like to you?

Oh my! Where do I begin? I cannot possibly cover it all. I just recently watched an episode of Star Trek Voyager where the computerized doctor is suddenly human. What if I woke up one morning and found out I was robotic? Instead of the suburb life, I live in the scorching Amazonian jungle where I would zipline to work/school with my pet toucan on my shoulder as I upload information via satellite for current events. Underwater ironing has became a famous sport and I’ll be watching the world cup championship on a flexible OLED screen. Fish would be flying in the air, birds will be swimming in the seas!

There will be no pollution because inventors and designers were finally able to implement cool devices to handle the issue. Okay… I might be getting outta hand! 😀

 PH Conditioner Skyscrapers
pH Conditioner: Floating Jellyfish Skyscrapers Combat Air Pollution While Producing Fresh Water (Photo Credit: Inhabitat)

Blogger Recognition

Most of my blogging friends are busy delivering content so I would like to give a shout out to these bloggers! I find poets and photographers to be a mysterious bunch, as I feel that I’m curious about their musings and what they see with their world lenses. 🙂

Two Mysterious Questions

What theory or explanation do you have for why these 400 pine trees in Poland have grown crooked?

I wonder if the environment has affect its growth?

You’re working alongside Carmen Sandiego trying to catch some art thieves who are now after YOUR favorite art pieces. What is your favorite work of art and what will you do to protect it?

Posted in Awards, flashback, Food/Recipes, Quotes

Sunshine Blogger #4 from Keep It Alive

The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes.

William James

Good morning! A few days ago, I was celebrating a friend’s birthday at a movie theater by seeing another superhero movie: Aquaman. Again, I loved the visual effects, the action, the laughs, and adventure!

My fourth Sunshine Blogger nomination is from Sadje from Keep It Alive! Thanks Sadje! She has some lovely stories as she weaves three or four tales a day from various word and photo prompts! She is a prolific writer and a popular lady here on the blogosphere.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?
“The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive, and inspiring, while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.”

Once nominated, if you choose to accept, write a post where you:

  • Thank the person who nominated you for the Sunshine Award and link back to their blog
  • Answer the questions set by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate other blogs and give them questions to answer
  • Notify your nominees through social media or commenting on their blog
  • List the “rules” and display a Sunshine Award logo in your post

Sadje’s interesting questions are as follows:

Which one, do you feel is your best post?

Objectively, I’m going to my stats for this. I don’t visit it too often so this is a surprise to me! My top 5 posts outside of my About page are:

Subjectively, I’ve enjoyed the process of writing each post and taking or finding pictures for each one. I love the stunning flowers I take pictures of. Such beauty is hard to rank. I feel that I can do better with time. 🙂

How do you get inspiration for writing?

Many things inspire me in a multitude of ways! It can be almost anything since I’m fascinated by a lot of topics and easily amused. I love it when I find obscure connections between current events! Photographs, artwork, illustrations, life experiences I want to make sense of, relationships, jokes, food, my educational experiences, books I’ve read, my travels, television shows, movies, quotes, other’s blog posts, random ideas that pop into my head and I want to explore them further by writing about it.

If given a choice would you choose traveling by train or ship?

I enjoy travelling by train! I like to cozy up with a book as I pass by beautiful scenery. I easily get sea-sick by ship and have to take motion sickness pills. I once went crab fishing with my aunt in North Carolina and the rockiness of the boat made me vomit most of the afternoon. However, I’ve always wondered what a cruise ship would feel like! Maybe it’s a smoother experience!

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

Angry Birds – The early bird gets the worm… and turns it into a friend.

Generally an early bird! 🙂 I’m far more productive in the morning!

Which would you say is the best part of your life?

I cherish time spent with my relationships in nature. I enjoy travelling and having fun with my family, my roommates, my friends, and my boyfriend. I’ll share more stories about them later!

How was life in childhood for you?

Photo Credit: Realtor.com

I had a very charming and idyllic childhood for the most part. I was raised in a suburb of Dallas, Texas. In the cul-de-sac, my neighbors came from a variety of countries. It takes a village to raise a child. I was raised by teachers of all sorts of subjects, professors, engineers, doctors, bank tellers, business owners, mechanics, hotel housekeepers from a melting pot of religious and ethnic backgrounds. We all looked out for one another and I felt safe. We talked about many subjects underneath the sun when I would stop by to visit or when some of them babysat me.

They also had children my age. Playing with them was a blast! We had water gun fights, roller bladed in the sidewalks, played baseball, basketball, soccer. The girls would have long talks hanging out on the bed of my friend’s dad’s red truck till the moon popped up. We played outside for hours. Sometimes we stop to feed the ducks in the lake nearby. I am very fortunate to have such rich and vivid memories.

My loving parents worked hard to give us wonderful experiences. My siblings and I are close. My parents doted on and cared for us very well, and I’ve always felt loved and happy even though we weren’t rich. It was filled with fun family parties, road trip adventures, a wide range of music, fishing trips, visits to libraries and museums, and a love of nature.

My dad loves to grow several types of fruit trees around the perimeter of our backyard. I would help him take care of the flower and vegetable garden where we grew squash, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, mint. I would harvest the fruit off the trees and we would share our surplus with our friends and other family members. He also taught me lessons in construction, mathematics, and mechanics.

My mom was a stay-at-home homemaker while working as a seamstress on the side. I learned a lot of domestic skills. I basically learned how to sew my own clothes and other neat things. I would have fun cooking gourmet meals and baking wonderful treats with mom in the kitchen.

Are you a coffee person or a tea addict?

I don’t drink coffee at all, but I do love tea! It’s a wonderful stimulant to get me going in the mornings nearly every day. It also relaxes me when I might be going through some stressful moments. I also love to invite friends over for tea and cookies while we catch up with each other’s lives.

Food that you cannot resist?

Oh! I am a foodie! I love a variety of dishes as well as a lot of desserts! I love various types of pasta, seafood, breakfast food, lightly whipped desserts like eclairs or tarts.

What should be the first thing a child be taught?

There’s so much to teach children! However, I think some important lessons a child should learn is to show gratitude, respect, kindness, and be a life long learner. If they throw a tantrum, they should learn that they will not always get what they want by acting rudely.

How are you enjoying blogging?

I love it very much and find it more rewarding than other social media sites I’ve tried. I feel like I can express my thoughts more easily here. I’m thankful to you for being a great community! Right now, it’s fun to write stories for an audience.

What are your ambitions for your blog?

It’s an evolving entity. I would love to collaborate with other bloggers on a project of sorts. Perhaps we can tackle a challenge together and write our accounts. Someday, I might invite bloggers to write on my blog about a particular topic.

I want to incorporate some thorough book/movie reviews of some books/movies that I’ve recently read. I want to write more about my studies in depth and explore more literature which is a passion of mine. I want to be more comfortable expressing opinions about a variety of other subjects. I do a lot of sketch work as well and would love to share that with all of you!

I also hope I can also spread more sunshine and beauty to your lives by sharing inspiring quotes, snapping pictures that leave me in awe, or sharing stories that have touched my heart.