Monday, July 14, 2014

5 Sites That Will Make Your Interior Design Project a Dream Come True


Photo via Plume Magazine- Tinsley Mortimer
If inspiration is what you are looking for to transform your space (meaning your apartment), but like me you are not a full blown interior designer, then look no further than into the arms of the array of blogs and websites that are found online.

Obviously, the internet offers an array of sources that will give you ideas that are both practical, budget friendly, but [most importantly] will give you the home you will want to walk into after a hard day of work or stay-in on Sundays.

Here are the top 5 go-to websites when I am in need of some inspiration of my own:

Photo via HomeGoods

HomegoodsBlog: Big stores like Homegoods or Home Depot, have excellent blogs with lots of information that can make you a promising interior designer or home improvement professional.

Photo via Houzz.com


Houzz: Take inspiration to the next level, on all levels, with this website that offers a vast amount of home improvement/decorating/updates. When Paul and I are idly watching something on TV or on YouTube or on our way to fishing trips to Montauk, I am definitely on my Houzz App. It answer questions like "What Goes With Dark Wood Floors?" Gives you lots of ideas in the process and you may learn new tricks from professional interior designers and regular people who just have a thing for interior design. 

Photo via Ikea.com


Ikea: This was my original inspiration source back when I only had a bedroom to decorate. A lot has changed, but never my idea that Ikea knows best. It’s, also, super affordable, super cute, super practical, I love putting the furniture together. Everyone knows that I simply love Ikea.

Photo via Pinterest.com


Pinterest: Perfect source that leads to a vast amount of other blogs and interior designers that you can’t afford but can definitely copy.

Photo via Joss & Main- Plume Magazine



Joss& Main’s Plume Magazine: The Joss & Main store is a perfect addition to your shop around (if you are looking for furniture or accent pieces for your home) list, but the knockout is their Plume Magazine.  

Photo via Joss & Main

Sunday, July 13, 2014

#Manhattanhenge

To make a short story short...I did not see it. 
Manhattanhenge 

I positioned myself on 57th Street and Broadway thinking that there would be less human traffic there and it would be a more comfortable place for a set of 2 1/2 year old to hang around the area with nothing to do other than hang around on the street for about an hour.

The girls hung out at the Public Space by Brooklyn's Diner with Paul while I was at the corner chatting away waiting for this event to happen. 

Everything looked promising, until like 20 minutes prior to sunset when a cloud started covering the West...and along with other people, that were standing there for a picture, realized that perhaps we weren't going to be able to see it. 

A woman, Dawn I believe, that I befriended while I was there made a good point in saying that perhaps on 34th Street we would've had a better view. But her, the couple from Boston that were visiting, and myself were precisely at 57th Street because we did not want to go all the way to 42nd street or even worse 34th street.

Still, I did not get upset over it. I was just glad that I was there because it was part of my 50 Things To Do this summer and as usual, I was in the process of talking myself out of it during the day. 


Younger me, wouldn't have gone. I would've talked myself out of it. There is always "next year" or younger me would've been able to get to 34th street in a jiffy if I was there and saw that situation [with the clouds]. 

Nonetheless, it was still cool because I got to talk to 3 beautiful strangers and everyone should know just how much I LOVE talking to strangers. I really do. 

Bonus: The couple was Gay. 

I don't mean anything, I just simply love Gay people and Gay couples. I love them to bits. There's something so beautiful and natural about it. 

Manhattanhenge is when the sun lines up with the city's grid. It happened twice this year, once in May and the from from yesterday. I had seen one before out of coincidence but didn't have my camera to take a picture of it. 

Until next year when I promise to be a lot more professional with my Nikon D5200 that Paul got me as a Valentine's gift after he heard me saying [to someone else] how I used to go around Manhattan taking pictures of the places that I had been in so that I didn't forget that I had been there. Earth to Paul: I had a simple point and shoot! But I ain't complaining. I shouldn't have dropped that photography class back at BMCC though. 

I stole these from Instagram. A reminder of what could've been. 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

One Moment In Time

Out of all the things and occurrences that happen to us on a daily basis, I must admit, just like many other women [and maybe even men] out there that the simpler things always get to me.

I’m talking about a lovely moment I shared with Paul on Sunday, a moment that my spirit really needed in order to keep trashing what’s mundane about daily life.

It was nothing. We were at Astoria Park late on Sunday walking around the track with the girls. Lately, I just let things be, turning away from my constant need to be in control. As of late I have comprehended that there is no need for me to be in control, at least during the summer. 

Why? Because I don’t need it.
Why not? Because I don’t enjoy myself.

That’s the bottom line. I don’t enjoy myself. I want to see the girls through Paul’s eyes and let them be. I don’t want to have the constant need to protect them, hurry to them when they fall, and even worse, get so upset because they fell.

I used to fall so many times as a child, scraping my knees and all, only to be confronted by an upset mother. That’s why I would have hell last year at the park. I take their falls to heart and become angry with them.

Paul lets them be. It annoyed me more than anything. I would think him very irresponsible and not capable.

Around a week ago, Paul drove us to the park. I didn't want to be in it because of the girls and explicitly told him that they were under his care. And I saw them playing while I was sitting on a bench, like nothing…and I relaxed.

On Saturday, again Paul wanted to take the girls to the park. I was not available. I wasn't going because I was reading a book. So, he took the girls.

I watched them cross the street and disappear into the darkness of the block. An hour later, they returned, all happy and tired.

So, on Sunday…I completely let go.

It just happened. The girls began running and there I went after them. I didn't do so out of the necessity to protect them, surprisingly I was running with them. And Paul ran too.

So, we were going around the track. Stopping, walking, running, jogging, laughing, talking…and the girls found some long sticks and kept “writing” on the ground. They kept throwing their sticks up in the air and even though I held my breath a couple of times about to blurt out “watch it!” or “Don’t do that!”, I could only squint.

And then we were playing. Paul and I, playing on some stretch thing that went in a circle. We ran over it, over and over. I could only run over it 5 times and Paul could do so 14 times. Naturally, my laughter would not let me even give Paul a formidable opponent in our game.

And that was the moment.

We held hands for the remainder of the walk in the park. We didn't even have sex that night even though we stayed up until 2 am having eaten some grilled calamari and octopus on the balcony. We just sat on the couch while I wrote a review on Goodreads and he looked through Facebook, we later looked up Soccer players in the World Cup from Albanian heritage. And then we got up and went to sleep.

It was placid. To have this guy sitting on the same couch as me wearing a nightgown, my legs over his, he would absently caress my legs and it was all non-sexual.


I thought about the moment in the park. I have learned as much in my four years of relationship, I have learned to treasure moments like those to make up for the intricacies of our relationship in the mundane world. 

And that was that. The most beautiful part? I didn't have my phone. I did not take a picture. It's only in my memories and now on here. And years later, I'll read this and remember that moment better than if I had taken a picture of it. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Thor Perris Dog (The Dog)

I have quickly recovered from a very heartbreaking experience. The experience? Giving away Thor. Yes, Thor Perris Dog, my dog.

It’s something I know I need to do. I cannot stand Thor’s fur all over the place and on things I’m going to eat. There’s the tension when the girls are playing with her, which I get very angry about as I don’t want the girls playing with Thor. It’s not that Thor minds, she does not seem to mind, but animals are animals and even humans act like jerks at times…when an animal snaps for a second, it can lead to a lifetime of misery. We are not allowed to keep dogs here and if you weigh the unbelievably comfortable place that we have and the rent that we pay with that of keeping a dog, you must be nuts to keep the dog and lose the place…etc.

Rationally, I should have been broken up with Thor a long time ago. On July 3rd, I had made up my mind. I found a person who liked her and wanted her, and I was obliging enough to think about it.

 “Freedom” I thought. Not having to have the thought that I must come back home to walk Thor and to feed her. If I could lose this 1 problem, I would have 98 problems. I wouldn't have to think that I need to vaccinate her in order for her to be groomed. Never mind, the fact that I can get a fine if I’m found walking a dog with outdated vaccination.

I had time for all that years ago. I even welcomed it. I was grateful for Thor as she was one of the tools I used to better myself. Thor came to me at a time of emotional need. I think that I was 23 and I had all the time in the world since I had been fired from a job. I would spend endless hours basking in a depression of being broke. I hated myself because I seemed to be going nowhere in life. I hated that I wasn't able to find a new job right away and with time I had too much self-pity for any sunshine to come in.

And then I heard that Thor was home. My Sister-in-law had given a puppy to my brother. Oh goodness, we couldn’t have a puppy in the house. Andre did not know how to take care of animals. He loved them, but soon became irresponsible with the pets he always brought home. Someone else had to take care of it. His love, it seemed, was only for show and tell.

I had to tell him that the puppy couldn’t be, even if it was always in his room and stayed there all the time, even when he went to work. I went to the kitchen and his door was open, there was a puppy jumping from one bed to the other and I opened my mouth.

I didn’t say “puppy come here”, perhaps I asked if that was a puppy and the puppy came running towards me with the blind energy of all puppies. She was beautiful and playful. She looked like a mixture of a Rottweiler and something else. I fell for the puppy. And that was our first meeting.

One day, I went to the kitchen and opened the water faucet and Andre’s door was miraculously open. The puppy, her name was “Princess”, came out and wanted everything to do with the sink. It did not take long for me to realize that she was thirsty. I asked her if she wanted water and she wagged her tail fervently.

Naturally, I gave her water. When Andre came back from work, I heard that she got beaten because she had peed in the room. That’s why he didn't give her water throughout the day. What? He does not give her water, seldom walks her and expects for her to not pee? He has to be kidding me. What else is missing? I took a look the next day in his room. No signs of dog food, which means that the dog would eat leftover bones that he would leave on a plate or anything leftover she could find in the room.  

No water, no food. Sometimes, you have to be serious. I started taking matters into my own hands. He was terrible to deal with, not that he was that with me, but I didn't want to hear him. What can you tell someone like that?

During his time at work, I would give her water and take her to the park. I found that she was used to peeing on soft ground (like a bed or carpet) and so I would walk her to the park and she would pee there. The beatings stopped. But I guess that he noticed that someone was doing such a thing, perhaps he knew that it was me and that’s why he did not confront me, but he started taking the leash with him to work.

I don’t know who would think that anything stops me when I feel compelled to do something.

I took the belt from a bathrobe and used it as a leash. When the collar was gone, I used a necklace one time (which she broke by pulling) and then I made a collar from a belt.  I, also, went out of my way to buy this dog food by using the little money that I had to buy her food.

In the meantime, I knew that this puppy wouldn’t do under the “care” of my brother. This puppy needed a new home with an owner that would happily take her walking twice a day like she needed, let her run in the park, buy her the right food to regulate her stomach, train her, treat her well, and everything good and lovable humans are supposed to give their pets.

I had to take matters into my own hands if I was to find such a responsible home. There must be someone out there for this dog. And her name was not “Princess”; she did not look like one. I could never call her that name. I called her Dog.

When people started asking me about her name, “Dog” wouldn't do and so I named her Taurus. Taurus like the zodiac sign of the Jewish guy I was into during those days but ended things. The guy was not handsome at all, he stood at my own height when I did not wear heels and maybe even shorter and had this belly and frog legs, but wow did he have sex appeal. I thought myself so in lust with him, a mini obsession. Everything for me became obsessive when I was that young. I was not able to control so many emotions and I hated that. I took everything personal and to heart. So, I had to step away from that situation, although I must confess that he was the one who removed me and it was a good thing that he did.

But people thought that I was saying “Torres”, why would I name a dog Torres? What kind of name is that for a dog? Why don’t I just name her Juanita? Am I really saying “Torres”? I couldn't trust my English.

So, being Hispanic I had the need to assign Dog her very own nickname: I would call her “Chu Chu” and then finally her name came to me while I crossed Vernon Blvd. and she pulled me suddenly and I blurted out “Tor”.

That felt nice, she was definitely “Tor” and then people would think that I said “Door” or “Dora”. I didn't flush, however they took it, her name was Tor. And then from Tor the pronunciation became Thor. Voila! That was it.

I had made up a completely different name altogether. That name spoke to me like you don’t know how. It spoke to me when I first said it like that, “Thor” on that sunny summer day in Rainey Park. “Thor”, it sounded like music to my own ears. How amusing. I must’ve made up a name or so I thought.

“T-H-O-R”

Would you guess that I didn't have an idea of what or who Thor was? I had never heard the name. I had never heard that word in my life up to that point. And then, I googled it: “Thor” God of Thunder.

It was a marvelous coincidence. Perhaps, somewhere hidden in my memories I had heard of such name. But no, my upbringing and the memories that I kept of my childhood revolved around rainy days spent outside being rained on for pleasure.

Once a cyclone was passing through Dom. Republic and I was there, wanting to be part of it outside.

I was restless sitting inside the house with all the windows closed and my aunts protectively hurtling us into one spot. I had found it ridiculous. Being protected from what monster? I never forget wanting so desperately to be outside or at least to be able to sit by the window. The house was magnificently huge and completely concrete with the second floor to be blown off, if anything was going to. I could only hear the wind and the sound of so much rain and it haunts me that I was not able to experience it.

Even then, Dominicans don’t go around talking about Greek or Roman mythology. Thunder was thunder, something from nature I enjoyed. I did not care about the fact that as soon as there was a thunderstorm, the orders were to stay away from the windows and cover all the mirrors. I would sit in my bedroom, wanting to peek out the window to see if I saw any…I never saw one. I couldn’t peek. I was too obedient, it did not take an army of reasons for me to do what I was told.
 
My dear childhood home
But we were able to bask in rainstorms. There are few pleasures that are better than running around in the middle of a rainstorm as a kid and as an adult.

So, she was “Thor” and it made sense. How the name came to me, I’ll never know, but I’m glad it did.

Soon, I found out that people don’t like mutts. People in NYC are not fond of big dogs. They would look at her paws and immediately say that she was to be huge. They couldn't keep a huge dog in their apartments. The fashionable dog to have was a Yorkie, hell even I wanted a Yorkie. People did not trust her unknown heritage.

Little by little I found myself spending a lot of time with the dog.

Until one day. Andre gave her a beating because she had peed in the room and poor dog. It went on for what seemed like forever. When he finally released her, she ran into my room and hid under the desk. She wouldn't come out from there and when she did she was limping.

That was it. From then on, I never gave her back.

I hid her in my room. When she had the urge to run out of the room to greet him when he came back from work, I started tying her up. Because he would take her and disappear with her behind a closed door and then I would see her the next day. I could not be tranquil knowing anything close to that could happen under my nose again and that I wouldn't be able to do anything about it. I tied her up to my desk. He never came looking for her. Soon she understood and started resisting her own urges to run to him.

Her safety became my priority. I grew too attached to the dog for her giveaway to be meaningless. Others could be like my brother and she was already terrified. She faints when she hears people screaming. This person has to be placid.

For 8 years, I have played the role. But I have not been the same ever since the girls were born. Even before that, I left her behind when Paul and I moved in together. I felt so much guilt. My guilt never waned, until last year when I became woman enough to bring her back to my side.

Soon after, I realized that I was not that person I was. I have failed to take care of her. I give her what she needs, but not more than that. I haven’t had the time and when I do, I want to do nothing.

So, last week I summed up all the courage or cowardice that I had and gave her away after 2 days of deliberation.

I knew that I would cry and torture myself with guilt. I would punish myself by never again having another dog. But I looked into her and after like a year hugged her and kissed her, I told her that I was going to give her away. Took her for a walk, met the man and gave her away.

Hours passed while I cried. I would feel better tomorrow. Just like when my Father passed away. But Thor was not dead, she was alive. I would forever be mortified about her well-being. Perhaps the guy will leave her at his shop. She is a house dog. She is a gentle dog and maybe the guy would be rough. If there are others dogs, they would abuse her. She would become mean.

Even worse, the thought that Thor loved me would kill me. Maybe she did not understand. I didn’t want her to wait for me. Perhaps she would sit by the door every single day, refuse to eat or drink water, because she waited for me. She would die of love.

Like Lassie, the dog we left behind in Santo Domingo. When my mother would call, she was told that the dog sat by the door looking outside. The dog wouldn't eat, within a month or two of us being here, Lassie didn't wake up one day. I’ll never forget how I felt.

I had been sad to be leaving my room and my toys behind. I was sure my dolls and teddy bears would surely miss me. Especially, since I would put them to sleep at night. People would see them and think nothing of them. They would probably give them to their kids. But these kids wouldn't take care of them. They wouldn’t nurture them.

In my worries, I had not included Lassie. It was not my dog, it was Andre’s dog. I seldom played with her. I looked after one of her puppies who died in agony a few days after a rock fell on him. The dog did nothing but cry all day and night. Until, its death comforted me. It was easy for the other puppies to die because of bacteria I guess.

But Lassie, I did not know she could feel until she was depressed enough to die by the door of the house. Dogs are something else.

So, I cried and cried because I still mourned Lassie and I was sure this would be the fate of Thor. I wouldn't know when she would pass, though I was sure I did the right thing as I also felt relieved.

I was really bothered when the bell rung. It could be Mary in one of her surprise visits. My red eyes and wild hair told of a face that was not in the mood to talk about God. I stepped on the balcony to find the guy from the first floor asking me “Is that your dog?”

Thor Perris Dog taking a dump on his grass.

Thor had done what Lassie knew she could not. She was out of breath and visibly bewildered. I did not have to even say to go upstairs. The minute I opened the door she swift by me and ran up the steps into the apartment, no greeting. I found her where she likes to be.

She was by the side of the bed where I sleep, there she sleeps. She sleeps wherever I sleep. When I’m on the computer, she sleeps next to me. If I fall asleep on the couch, I’ll find her right next to me on the cold bare floor, if it’s winter. She’s under this very desk right now sleeping.

For the first time, I had a short heartbreak. I don’t know if I’ll keep her because sometimes we have to stop protecting in order to enjoy loving. I’m not her protector anymore and I know that someone out there is looking for her, her real owner is looking for her.

That’s all my intuition tells me. This person would know that her name is Thor and only Thor.

But perhaps, if I look closely and outside the righteousness that I constantly feel…Outside being duty bound, with the burden of her care and shelter, I can only think that Thor knows that person.

She has proven that she believes that person is me. She ran around 2 miles, crossing streets, and defying onlookers to arrive back here. She ran up the steps and looked at me weird from the side of the bed.

I felt like she was saying “The person is you you dumbass!" 

Thor Perris Dog



Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Summer 2014



Collect experiences not things…but first some real time fashion! 
Summer 2014

Summer 2014 by felinafox featuring navy shorts

I have never been a summer person.

The only times that I remember thoroughly enjoying summer was when I first set a personal record of 34 read books that included like every “Goosebumps” ever written [at the time]. I was 11 or 12 years old and my reading had taken another obsessive level of staying up late. I would read my book at night with the aid of the moon light that would come through my window and when it was gone, I would go to sleep too. I used every waken hour to read, but my favorite time was when I would sit downstairs on the step of the front door of my building with my Mother next to me. Back when our summer afternoons revolved around sitting in front of a building with other neighbors gossiping and talking about novelas.

My other 2 times was in Summer School. The shame of summer school was soon gone on the very first day of Earth Science, Math and being introduced to The Big Apple Games. I loved those games so much! My friends, brothers, and I would spend the rest of the day at school. It was great. The second year I was back and it was no different.

I loved learning in the summer, period. When my daughters are older I will definitely put them in summer tutoring programs if they don’t get themselves into summer school. I know what you are saying “Summer Day Camp”…oh yeah, another summer time favorite, when I worked at Roosevelt Island’s Summer Day Camp…but nothing like learning academics during the summer.

Last year was the worst summer ever because I was not a size 4 anymore and I did all I could to keep my body covered most of the Summer. No beach, no pools, no thing that showed off too much skin. So, I vowed that I would make the biggest effort to enjoy summer with my daughters. I am no longer alone and can get away reading 78 books in 93 days (my top record reached in the summer of 2008). I still can't believe that I couldn't do much last summer because I couldn't get over being a size 8. 

But this year, I am going to make summer the best time ever!

So, I am planning it…calendar, day planner, my body "as is" and all.

This Meme has made me want to do my very best to make this summer memorable

Monday, June 23, 2014

It is a First Moon Party



I don’t understand how this commercial could offend anyone. Are we serious here? I think the web has forged people to write articles for the sake of writing them and not ever making sense. I love NPR but this article had me fuming! 

When I saw this commercial I thought that it was a lighthearted commercial and hilarious at that. Why? Because I remember the awkwardness of not having your period and being the last person in your group of friends and in your class (maybe the entire 8th grade) to not get her period.

The day that I got it was at school and you can bet that my Mother received me, at the end of the day, outside with a bottle of champagne, maxi-pads, and what seemed like tears in her eyes. If I was trying to play it cool despite the fact that my “Best Friend” told everyone (including the guys in our class...and the guy who I seriously had a crush on) on our way out that I had gotten my period, I really could not hold the mortifying thoughts when I saw my Mom there with that bottle, tears, and smile on her face. I did not want my brothers to find out…yet.

I was the only girl in the house and they already did not want to have me near them, imagine if I had my period. I didn’t know how my life was going to transition that March 26, 1998 (I always remember that date).

So, watching the commercial brought back those memories which are funny to me now. My friends started getting their periods in the 5th grade…by the 7th grade all of them except for me had period, period, period [not Flo]. They had conversations about it, they had cramps, they giggled, they didn’t do gym class, they had breasts, and got invited to all sorts of hookie parties…and I was there looking like a 12 year old.

I didn’t want to get it either (because I wanted to keep being one of the boys at home)…but I seriously wanted some breasts. I have never cared about fitting in, but why did I have to be the one who looked like a 12 year old? They drew hearts and boys names in Art class while I was set on drawing my name in bubble letters or coloring coloring pages with crayons (I love crayons and I still color coloring books).

Funny, I always wanted and even considered breasts augmentation for when I would be 30 years old and now (I’m still a cup B, but they are so full) I want my old breasts back.

Some people need to take a step back and realize that not everything is done to hurt another. Like the woman who wrote this article, I think that the problem is you actually. A commercial is meant to exaggerate circumstances (like in the movies).

Mother’s don’t go around wanting to humiliate their daughters; we know that there are no maxi-pads with glitter (what kind of adult are you?). Don’t be talking about it so much to your daughter woman.

When I was about 9 years old my Mom called me to the bathroom and showed me her used maxi-pad, she told me what it was, I already knew (I don’t know how, but I did), she told me that one day I was going to get it, I said “Esta bien” and went along with that knowledge. Years later she received a phone call at her job where I told her that I got my period.


I got gifts from my parents, special dinner, champagne, maxi pads, and they didn’t even tell my brothers what was happening so they [my brothers] assumed that I got another award at school or maybe they knew what was really happening and were themselves [they didn't give 2 cents about it]. That was it. We don’t need to be mortifying our daughters every time we can with the Period conversation. 

So, the one who needs to stop embarrassing her daughter is you. (I'm talking to the writer of the article). Grow up woman! Calling a Period "Flo"...makes me wanna laugh. 

World Cup 2014 Staples