April A to Z Blogging Challenge: G is for Giveaway (surprise included!)

#DailyWings: “Things never go the way you expect them to. That’s both the joy and frustration in life. I’m finding as I get older that I don’t mind, though. It’s the surprises that tickle me the most, the things you don’t see coming.”
-Michael Stuhlbarg

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

The great thing about having a big sister when you’re really young is that you get to meet all of her popular, older friends – and because you’ve got the squishy cheeks, the kiddie dimples and a habit of trying to copy what they do, they love you. (It’s also pretty awesome when your big sister doesn’t mind you getting all of this attention.)

It was the year 2000. I was seven years old when I attended my sister’s friend’s bat mitzvah. It was hosted at some party venue in Boston, and I can still remember looking down from the second floor and seeing all of the boys and girls on the dance floor. There must have been a disco ball, because the whole room was shrouded in colorful party lights – purples and blues and pinks.
READ MORE

April A to Z Blogging Challenge: F is For Fangirl

#DailyWings: “There are too many books I haven’t read, too many places I haven’t seen, too many memories I haven’t kept long enough.” -Irwin Shaw

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

In my last blog post, “E is for Eyes,” I mentioned that my sub-par vision as a kid was due to my tendency to stay up late and read books under the covers. Those adventures I embarked on with characters like Harry and Ron, Meg and Calvin and the worlds I discovered with them were sooo worth getting glasses (and even worth getting caught once in a while!). You know I just had to dedicate an “April A to Z” post to all of the books I loved to read as a child and made me fall in love for reading, writing and everything related to words.
READ MORE

April A to Z Blogging Challenge: E is for Eyes

#DailyWings: “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
-Jonathan Swift

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

I started having vision problems toward the end of fifth grade when it became too difficult to read the dry erase board in Mrs. Garcia’s math class. The equations were fuzzy and, more often than not, I had to squint my eyes to clearly see anything that was far away.

It wasn’t until I took that routine eye exam at school – the one where you have to read letters with one eye open and move a step back after every reading – and realized my vision was no longer excellent that I admitted to my parents that maybe it was time for me to see an optometrist.

My first pair of glasses had thin, pink frames that were oval, like my eyes. I picked them out for myself because I thought they looked sweet, feminine and innocent – all adjectives I wanted to be (or at least appear to be) back in sixth grade. In some ways, I prided on being a kid with glasses because I felt like they made me look smarter, or at least well-read. I did – and still do – attribute my sub-par vision to late nights spent under the covers with a flashlight and good book (sometimes, I’d hide away in my closet).
READ MORE

April A to Z Blogging Challenge: D is for Drexel

#DailyWings: “Happiness . Not in another place, but in this place…not for another hour, but this hour.” -Walt Whitman

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

Some of my earliest memories take place at the preschool I went to in Boston called Drexel. I don’t remember what the school looked like from the outside, but my teachers were named Barry and Betsy and they were the kind of lovely, patient and kind human beings you’d imagine would make good preschool teachers.As a preschooler at Drexel, I must have been around five or six years old, if not younger. The golden gates of childhood had only just begun to open, and I was starting to learn how to develop friendships with children my age rather than with nurses or my sister’s friends.
READ MORE

April A to Z Blogging Challenge: C is for Crush

#DailyWings: “The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.” -Albert Einstein

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

A few days before the “A to Z” challenge actually started and while I was collecting suggestions for childhood memories for me to share, someone requested that I blog about embarrassing moments since they’re “the best.” Another person requested a story about my first crush.

Incidentally, one of my most distinct memories of childhood involves an embarrassing moment and my first (major) crush. Today, I’m killing those two birds with one stone. Enjoy!

~ ~ ~

 In fourth grade, I took a “Like liking” to – you guessed it- the most popular guy in our class. His name was Warren, and he also happened to be the nicest boy in the class (no wonder everyone liked him). It wasn’t just that he was an A-star soccer player, or that he had dimples and pretty blue eyes and wore mousse in his chocolate brown hair like “a gentleman.” It was that he got along with everyone, and was polite to even the nerdiest, weirdest social pariah. You couldn’t help but like a guy like Warren, especially in the fourth grade.
READ MORE

April A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015: B is for Barbie

#DailyWings: “I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.” ― Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

Blogging From A to Z

Here’s me letting you in on a little secret: I hate taking showers. I don’t like being naked and freezing while I hurriedly lather soap all over my body. I can’t stand the surfaces of bath tubs and shower room floors; in fact, one of my shower time “rituals” is to put a small towel on the floor and stand on it while I wash (don’t worry, that towel never touches any part of me besides my feet). I rejoiced after reading this article.

Bath time during my childhood was a different story. Back then, bath time was about “popping bubbles and exchanging dimple smiles” in my small kiddie tub. It was about bonding with my sister Hope, who often helped with my hair wash, and getting some “me-time” after hours of having nurses watch over me (although, sometimes, they were the ones who gave me the bath). It was also about testing to see how long my Barbie dolls could last in the water before their hairstyles were ruined. I remember how good it felt to just slouch my back farther and farther down so my entire body practically floated in the water.
READ MORE

April A to Z Blogging Challenge 2015: A is for Alouette

#DailyWings: “Music is the strongest form of magic.” -Marilyn Manson

Blogging From A to Z is an annual month-long challenge in which bloggers around the world are invited to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day corresponding to a letter in the alphabet (26 week days = 26 letters). For this year’s A to Z challenge, my theme is personal anecdotes, or “childhood memories.”

Alouette, gentille alouette, Alouette, je te plumerai.

On the first page of Alfred’s Basic Piano Library, a colorful illustration of a bird with large, cartoonish eyes wearing a black beret and striped shirt smiles dreamily, its mouth open as if to sing.

“Alouette” was one of the first songs I learned how to play on the piano. I started piano lessons at seven years old per the will of my mother, who had my sister Hope playing the violin at an even younger age. My parents bought me a piano and we set it up in the living room, between our squishy green couch and a floor lamp. I want to say it was a Yamaha – the piano, I mean – but my memories aren’t perfect.
READ MORE

The Couples’ Makeup Challenge Pt. 1: My Partner Does My Makeup

#DailyWings: “I’m not saying that putting on makeup will change the world or even your life, but it can be a first step in learning things about yourself you may never have discovered otherwise. At worst, you could make a big mess and have a good laugh.” -Kevyn Aucoin

Back in mid-February, I announced that Andrew and I would be participating in the ever-popular “My Partner Does My Makeup/I Do My Partner’s Makeup” challenges. We decided to split the challenges into two different posts, and after I reached the following Facebook milestones:

Once I hit 250 Likes on “Facebook,” Andrew will get to do my makeup with full discretion (i.e. “My Boyfriend Does My Makeup Challenge”)

Once I hit 300 Likes on “Facebook,” I will give Andrew a full face of makeup!

If you visited my Facebook page recently, you might have noticed that I’ve reached that first milestone of 250 Likes! I’m really excited and want to let you know that I appreciate all of your support. I know 250 Likes may not seem like a big deal to some people, but I don’t want to take anything for granted. Whether or not you follow me on social media, and regardless of how long you’ve been following my blog (or if this is your first time – in that case, welcome!), it means a lot that you take the time to “visit” me and my little online abode!
READ MORE

April A to Z Challenge Theme Release: Childhood Anecdotes as Literary Prose

#DailyWings: “The days are long, but the years are short.”
-Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I haven’t been blogging as much this month because I’ve signed up to participate in April’s A to Z Blogging Challenge! For this month-long blog event, “A to Z” bloggers are challenged to write a blog post every week day for the month of April, with each day focusing on a letter in the alphabet (there are 26 weekdays in April and 26 letters…get it?). This particular blog challenge, founded by, typically garners more than 1,000 participants. I’ve been following “A to Z” for quite a few years, but I haven’t had the courage to sign up until now.

For my own sanity, each “A to Z” blog post won’t exceed 500 words. My main goals for participating in this challenge is to 1) interact more with you all and the rest of the blogging community, and to 2) simply have fun writing.
READ MORE

#1000Speak: Showing Compassion in the Office

#DailyWings: ʺIt is a wonderful seasoning of all enjoyments to think of those we love.ʺMolière

Since I jumped on the #1000Speak blogging wagon a couple weeks ago, it’s been one of the best and most inspiring blogging events I’ve been a part of! I’ve met so many people who have wide open hearts and extraordinary experiences. If you don’t know what #1000Speak is, it’s an online initiative to spread kindness and share stories of compassion. Back in February, I shared my thoughts on the Chapel Hill shooting, namely how it’s affected me, what the legacy of Deah, Yusor and Razan means for the rest of us and what we can learn as a society about tolerance and activism moving forward.

To me, compassion is about finding light at the end of the tunnel and providing support for the ones we love during hard times. Rather than use abstract words to try and explain what compassion is, however, I want to continue the #1000Speak trend by sharing another story of compassion, one that hits close to home for not only me but also a group of people that I work with every single day.
READ MORE