Posted in Events, Food, Friends, Holiday, Photography, Travel, Work

Memorial Day Weekend

Well, I had an interesting, but very good Memorial Day weekend. I hope everyone had a safe and fun holiday!

Saturday, all I did was just.. work. Nothing more, nothing less. At least the good news is that I got out early.

Sunday was the usual.. church, watch some YouTube videos, slept (I really wish I had money to travel to downtown Chicago, but… that was a no-go.), and just prepared for tomorrow.

Memorial Day… it was quite interesting. My Mum and I went to the Memorial Day Prayer at our church. Just like Labor Day, it was packed. We all had to be there (Choir included) at 6 a.m (I dislike waking up early in the morning, but since my job has started scheduling me to working freight and Ship From Store fulfillment, I had to get up at between 3-4 a.m. It’s rough, but I’m starting to get used to it… SLOWLY).

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20170529_061336You can actually see people on their knees at the podium and walking back and forth, praying for peace, children, the nation, and much more. Even the Pastor was praying along with all of us. There were tears falling, cheering, clapping, singing, and dancing at the end of the prayer meeting.

Afterwards, my Mum and I went home, ate breakfast, and prepared for the Memorial Day BBQ at our job (..and I dozed off beforehand).

Several hours later, we headed up to the job, and had fun at the BBQ.

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20170529_155731(These hamburgers are ready to go and be grilled)

20170529_155812(Almost all of the ravioli was gone)

There were desserts, chips, drinks, hot dogs, hamburgers, and of course, watermelon there. It was fun.

20170529_160451(The LP grilling)

20170529_160519(The view from back of the store)

20170529_164257(Finished at last. The hamburger was good)

So that ends the tale of my 2017 Memorial Day weekend. It was slightly better than last year’s, I’ll say that. Hopefully next year I’ll be cooking and having a BBQ with my friends… and going to different places.

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Posted in Books, Events, Games, Holiday, Photography, Travel

Free Comic Book Day

Yesterday was Free Comic Book Day, and I… I totally forgot about it until I saw my friend’s post about it on Facebook. So… after I realized it, I quickly looked up comic book stores in my area (Sadly the one near my house shut down last year or two… I can’t remember though). Turns out, the nearest one is just about no more than 20 minutes from me. I decided to go ahead and went to the shop. Here’s how it all turned out:

20170506_164541I seriously wanted to enjoy this day, since it always comes around the first Saturday of May. Also, this was my first time in a VERY long time since I went to a comic book (The last time I went there was when I was a kid).

20170506_164550I highly recommend this comic book store if you’re at or near Homewood.

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20170506_164810Free comic books galore!

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20170506_170056Ah, the original Teen Titans. I’ll take them over the new Teen Titans any day.

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20170506_170742There was a photographer that wanted to take pictures for the Homewood and Flossmoor Chronicles. This guy was part of it. Also, I’m (Along with several others) part of the paper! It was weird (..but awesome), cause it just went from a conversation about me doing photography as a hobby, to being part of the local town paper! I was actually excited about it, and still am!

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20170506_171451They were a special guest at the comic book store.

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20170506_171621Last picture that I took before I went to this park nearby and went home to prepare for church in the morning. It was fun stopping by there, and I also made a new friend too! Next year, I’m bringing my baby with me.

Posted in Events, Family, Fashion, Friends, Holiday, Photography, Travel

Easter (Resurrection) Sunday 2017

20170416_101937Churches are usually packed every Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Sunday.

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20170416_102830It’s so wonderful to see the young and old come together during Easter Sunday. Also, babies and children in their Easter suits and dresses… too adorable!

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20170416_103353The choir has the day off, but not the praise and worship singers. Somehow I got to be seated in the front, on the side.. which is pretty cool!

20170416_103359It was so packed, that they had to make room in the gym.

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20170416_111254You can’t really see the pastor, but he was up there at the cross, preaching today’s lesson.

20170416_112836It is time for the Passover offering.

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20170416_115507The end of the service. They actually had the virtual choir up there, which was pretty cool as well!

*A few extra photos*

20170416_120209Angel and her husband

20170416_120622AunaLisa and I (With Natalie ‘photobombing’ in the background, lol)

20170404_184910Sparta Dome, located in Crown Point, Indiana. We were in there for a Easter Sunday video shoot the following last Tuesday.

20170404_185954Tiny drone

20170404_190155Setting up for the video shoot. Overall, the shoot was a success, and it was featured in yesterday and today’s service. Hopefully everyone’s Easter is going good so far, and that the children are finding all of Easter eggs!

Don’t eat too much candy though, or you’ll end up with an upset tummy.

Posted in Holiday, Personal

New Year’s Resolution List: Time to Stick With It

  • “Getting out of debt.
  • Achieving my weight goal.
  • Moving to a new city/state/country.
  • Going back to school.
  • Getting my life back on track.
  • Moving out of my parents’ home”.

…and on, and on.

I’m more than likely sure that these are almost everyone’s goals (..and more) for 2017. Oh, and I know that I’m late, but happy New Year! I really hope everyone had a great new year! As for me, it was great.. went to church with my Mum and soul mate on New Year’s Eve, and went out to eat on New Year’s Day.

Yes, it’s also time (or been time, since I’m like…, 10 days late into the New Year to post this blog post) for the annual New Year’s Resolution list!

For starters, I just wanted to say I’m really hoping that 2017 will be the year that I will accomplish everything on my list. Last year… I kinda accomplished a few things, but most of them were put off, cause I procrastinated A LOT, and also due to situations that were out of my league. However, some of the things on my list will finally come to an end this year, and others… will be set in place and more than likely, accomplished, whether it be this, next, or the following year.

Anyway, I have a lot on my resolutions list, but I’ll talk about the top five that I want to start and/or accomplish this year. Feel free to talk about your top five (or more) in the comments section! 🙂

1. Getting out of debt (..and raising my credit score)

Almost everyone whose into some sort of debt has this goal. Like me, they want to become debt free, so they can have a happy, stress-free life for themselves and their family. I want to become debt free, so I can get my credit score up (That’s also number one on my resolution list) to buy a house (I know in the past I said that I wanted to move into an apartment, but I found out that it’s much more affordable to buy than to rent these days. Also, Touré and I were talking bout it months ago, and we agreed to go with a house instead of an apartment), and other things that would be necessary to buy or rent, that would require a good credit score.

For those who don’t know, or are new to credit scores and whatnot, a credit score of 700+ would be considered good enough to rent an apartment, buy a house, getting a car loan, ect. If your score is between say… 650-699 (I know it’s possibly incorrect, but I’m just going off of the top of my head. I forgot what score it is to be considered “decent” to lenders and whatnot), then you could possibly get away with it, but in some situations:

  • You’re more than likely gonna have to find a co-signer in order to even rent an apartment
  • Pay a higher interest on a credit card, loan, or a car if you’re leasing or paying a car note
  • ..or end up paying a higher percent on a fixed-rate, ARM (Adjustable rate mortgage), or even a jumbo mortgage (I’m still learning more about these types of mortgages and steps to becoming a homeowner, so I may or may not be correct about that).

It would not be a good idea to apply for mortgages, or try to look for an apartment, or even apply for most credit cards, loans, or even a car (New or used, probably) if your credit score is less than say.. 650. You could get a credit card, however, your credit limit won’t be as high as you would want. That said, if you’re starting out, and want to get a high credit score for when you say.. get your dream job (Yes, your credit score does affect you getting a good job), a house (Like me), an apartment, ect., then start out applying for a credit card and whatnot. Be sure to not apply for too many at once.. it will lower your credit score and you will get marks on it too.

…Okay, I’m getting off topic here. Back to my list.

2. Getting a full time job

With my current situation of working part time at a retail store (Yes, working part time can be good, but if you’re trying to earn more income, so you can start building your emergency savings, retirement, or getting out of debt, then it can be bad), the chances of having enough money to pay bills, getting debt down, and still have money leftover to possibly spend (That’s another one on my resolutions list, is to stop spending money on wants) are slim to none. That’s why I’m starting back my job hunt, so I can finally start working full time, and I can start paying off my debt, saving money to invest, put away in savings, and ultimately, so Touré and I can finally move into our first home. Which brings to:

3. Saving money to become a first-time homeowner

Once I get a full time job, I can start saving up for a new home. My ultimate goal is to move out by no later than the end of 2018, early 2019 (If we don’t have enough money to move into a new home by next year, then it’ll be the following year. I hope it’ll be next year, though). I did a lot of research on which locations that we could move to (Based on crime rate and housing), and so far, I found eight places that we could move to (It would’ve been 10, but two of them had tons of houses that were way above our price range, and we’re don’t want to move into a condo… “yet”):

  • South Holland
  • Lyons
  • Hometown
  • Homewood
  • Worth
  • Merrionette Park
  • Bolingbrook
  • …and finally, Oak Forest. Yes, these cities are considered to have low crime rates, based on Areavibes. You can check it out (..and also see where your city or neighborhood stands on the list) on www.areavibes.com

I really want to move close to Chicago (Like say… 15-30 minutes away, at the least. There are a few places that I mentioned above that are close to it), but we might have to stay close to family and friends. Who knows.. we have until the end of next year to really think about it.

4. Going back to school

Originally, I was supposed to go back to school next month, but I procrastinated on getting the paperwork and transcripts done (Also, I’m strongly considering going back by this fall, so I can start finding a full time job at the moment), and like I said before, there were certain situations that were out of my control. I’m gonna get it done as soon as I can.. and as soon as I have the money to get the transcripts.

..and yes, I will stop procrastinating as well this year. Last, but not least:

5. Start investing

Once I get number two out of the way, it’ll connect with my final important goal on my resolutions list, which is to start investing. If I can start before or by the end of this summer, then my goals will be falling into place sooner than expected.

It’s time to get 2017 started on the right track!

Posted in Events, Family, Fashion, Holiday

Christmas 2016

My Christmas was really wonderful this year. I got some presents from family members and my soulmate, like gift cards, this skirt that my Mum gave me:

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…Games, toys, and more!

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My family came by, and so did my aunt’s pups. In fact, I caught two pictures of Suki, the youngest pup:

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20161225_150949 Somehow when my aunt opened up her gift that my Mum gave her (Which were the slippers), Suki started to chew on them like it was one of her toys. It was funny, nonetheless.

I hope everyone had a great Christmas this year! Thank goodness 2016 is almost over. I wonder what 2017 will bring in store… hopefully something good.

P.S., R.I.P to all of those celebs who died this year, including Carrie Fisher and few others who died a few days ago.

Posted in Events, Holiday, Photography, Travel

Pre-Christmas Madness: Downtown Chicago Style

The following pictures were taken in Downtown Chicago, at night. Even though it’s still a bit too early to be putting up Christmas decorations at this time, it’s still pretty cool to walk around the city and just take a peek at what type of decorations they put this year.

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Also, since the Chicago Cubs won the world series, I decided to go ahead and take these photos as well:

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20161105_204830_001I already posted the Cubs celebration photos onto my photography page, so if you wanna check it out, here’s the link: https://photographyisahobby.wordpress.com/2016/11/08/chicago-cubs-celebration-the-aftermath/

P.S., Happy Veteran’s Day! Also, next Friday is the day I turn 27. In all seriousness…

I’m ready.

Posted in Events, Holiday, Personal, Relationships

2016: New Year, New Changes

20160101_000513*Touré and I celebrating New Years together for the very first time. It was a blast!*

I’m making this short and sweet, but I just want to tell all of you viewers and readers Happy New Year to you all! 2016 is finally here, which means new changes and such! For me, it’s all bout major financial planning, budgeting, decision-making, and putting my babe and I’s goal of getting our own apartment into place. So far, I’m actually doing a good job on my goals. I’m starting to resume my job and apartment hunting search, I’m slowly, but surely starting to eat out less and buying more groceries, and Touré and I are starting to build a budget plan together. So far, 2016 is starting to become good.

I really hope that everyone had a good New Year’s Eve and Day! I had to work both those days, but I got off early, which meant that I got to spend time with the babe. Now it’s time to start putting the New Year’s Resolution plans into place.

So here’s to 2016! Let’s make this a good year everyone! *Raises a Starbucks venti hot chocolate in the air*

Cheers!

Posted in Holiday, Personal

Starting the Holiday Season: Double Whammy Style

Finally… I can rest from what I can say was the worst, most tiring, craziest week ever in my five years of working in retail. Why? Well for one, my anxiety occurred for not one, but four straight days in a freakin row!! Oh, and guess what else came on Black Friday? The freakin curse (A.K.A. Code Red for those who know what that means. If not, then I’ll tell ya: Aunt Flo!)!! So, for me.. guess what that means when the curse comes to life: Anemia symptoms.

For those who haven’t read my past blog post about my anemic life, or if you readers and/or viewers are new to my blog, then now is a good time to tell all of ya something: I am anemic.. iron-deficiency anemic, as a matter of fact.

Before ‘the curse’ comes (..and this part is a bit of TMI, I know, but lemme say this: Before, the 2nd and 3rd days are usually the heaviest for me. Now, it’s the 1st-3rd day (Depending on how early or late the curse comes to make me suffer)), 95% of the time, I either get extremely fatigued (Which happens a few days to a week before it begins), or have a constant taste for chocolate. Then, when it begins, so does the anemia symptoms. To me, I get fatigued, headaches, nausea (Yes, that actually happened to me today while I was at work), dizziness, and so on. It usually happens between the 3rd and 4th days, and sometimes on the 1st and 2nd days. So yea, it sucks to be anemic.

Right now, as I am writing on here (..and listening to Tonight the World Dies by Avenged Sevenfold. I love the band and the songs, and this song (Along with 2 others) always gets me emotional), I’m resting and preparing for the final two weeks of school. Earlier today at work, I was feeling really fatigued, really cold, a bit nauseated, and also suffered from a headache that didn’t subside until an hour ago. It was all due to blood loss.. globs of blood loss, I might add (It happened to me yesterday at work, as well. Worst and longest 6 hours ever). I rested when I got home early this morning and when I got home at round 6:20 p.m.

Alright, enough of the anemic talk. I know all of you readers/viewers are wondering about my anxiety, and how I actually suffered from it. Well, to tell the truth, I actually suffered from it when I was a kid. It’s a bit too long to explain what truly caused it, but let’s just say that because I got picked on back in grade school (Me usually being the shy and quiet person that I was when I was a kid, and now.. although I’m not shy anymore, but I do become quiet at times), being afraid of what my friends would say if I told them why I couldn’t do stuff that the parent didn’t want me to do or go (Like go to the Taste of Chicago), and habits that I developed (Such as biting my cheek, my nails off, or the skin of my bottom lip, which are all anxiety habits, I learned bout a few weeks ago), I learned that I actually suffer from minor anxiety.

Now, for the question that I’m probably gonna get: Do you or have you ever suffer from anxiety or panic attacks? The answer is only once. Other than that, I’ve never suffered from any anxiety or panic attacks all throughout my life. The good news is that I’m slowly, but surely overcoming my anxiety (Both minor and relationship, which yes.. one can have relationship anxiety. Believe me, I suffer from it, but I’m overcoming that as well). Also, as of this summer of this year, I am no longer depressed.. yay me!

Hey, if I can overcome that, then I can totally overcome the other problem. It’s not gonna be easy, but I can and will get through it. Right now, to help with my anxiety, I usually do one of several things (Which would help too for those who suffer from it. Give it a try!):

1. Listen to music (It helps out A LOT, especially nighttime jazz, rock, and heavy metal).

2. Travel to wherever your heart desires, or take a walk and enjoy the outdoors (Another way that I relieve my anxiety is I usually add listening to nighttime jazz and walking around downtown Chicago (Either in the day or night.. mainly at night) by myself. It works wonders for me).

3. Talk to someone. I usually talk to my brothers, sisters, or my baby whenever my anxiety rises (I don’t like telling people my problems, cause I fear that they may use it against me, but just talking to someone about it really does help). They understand and try to help calm me down. Now I found another motivation to help me overcome it: My brothers, sisters, and of course, Touré.

4. Writing down or drawing my thoughts (Although I should be writing em down more often, I’m getting into the habit of it, but it helps).

5. Find a coloring book and just.. color (I heard it really helps with anxiety, but I have yet to try it. I’m gonna buy a coloring book and see how it goes).

6. Singing and dancing (It, too, also helps)

Finally, 6. Video games (It also helps out A LOT. I usually play Metroid, Michael Jackson: The Experience, Kirby’s Dream collection, Pokémon, and other video games either by myself or with Touré).

I gotta say this again, this year’s Thanksgiving and Black Friday was a double whammy for me, and it was not good at all. I’m just glad that after working 6 straight days in a row, I can finally rest. Whoa, look at the time, it’s 7 minutes to midnight! Now I must be getting to sleep. Gotta prepare for school tomorrow.

P.S.,

It’s almost time to say goodbye 2015.. and hello to 2016.

Posted in Friends, Holiday

St. Patrick’s Day

007My best friend Lawrence is part Irish and so are a few of my college friends, so to celebrate it, he decides to wear green (and so did I, but my shirt is too big for me). With that said…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Posted in Events, Fashion, Holiday, Personal, Photography

Welcome To December: The Game Changer

Oh boy… where can I begin?? Well, I do have some exciting news: I finally have my own car!!!!! Yes people, I finally have my own car!! It’s a Toyota, of course (My family all have Toyotas, so… it’s a trend), and one of my family members gave it to me as part of my birthday gift! She actually has a new car, so she gave me her old one.. yes it is in excellent condition.

So yea.. my birthday was on the 18th last month, so now I’m a 1/4-of-a-century-years-old now.. man I feel old. ._. So yea, how have I been? I’ve been having depression episodes again.. and yes, suicidal thoughts in the past few weeks. This was after I’ve turned 25, and before I got my used car. My Thanksgiving was good, but like last year, I had a headache, cause I didn’t know how things was gonna turn out, but it turned out well. I did have Thanksgiving day off, for once.. that was a blessing in itself. I went to work on Black Friday at round 3 a.m. and didn’t get out til 12:30 later that afternoon.

I actually spent Thanksgiving with Lawrence and his family members for a little bit, then went back home to lay down and rest my head. He took care of me, so that was nice.. 🙂 My head cleared up in a few hours as well.

Oh and guess what?? I have a new tablet!!! 020I got it on Thanksgiving at Best Buy. I do have a old tablet, but I’m thinking of selling it. The next step is to get me a new computer and give my old one to my Mum as a Christmas present. I’m also gonna get her a new tablet as well. I know these presents (New computer and tablet) will cost me over $300-400, but I will be saving it in the next two weeks. Right now I’m broke, due to getting the title and license plates and stuff like that.

006This is what I wore on Black Friday. I could wear red and green that day, due to m

001..and that’s me hours after I came home from work.. and before I got my hair done too.

So yea, the next step for me is to find a full time job (Which I am doing right now), and after that, getting the apartment!!! 😀 So I’m excited… too excited that I finally have a car!!! My life is starting to get better.. slowly!! Thank you God!!

P.S., I’m almost done with school.. next Thursday is my last day for the semester. Sadly I won’t be able to go back next semester, but next fall I will.