Life Update: What’s Really Been Going On

Hey guys,

I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe throughout everything that has been going on in the world recently.

Life has been really crazy, and I’m not even just talking about with quarantine anymore…..but that’s a conversation for another day.

I wanted to make this post today to be honest with you guys and let you in on what’s been going on with me recently. I made a YouTube video talking all about it a few days ago which I’ll leave linked here if you want to check it out.

I wanted to be able to make a blog post talking about it because I know I sort of have a different type of audience here then I do on my other platforms and that parts of my audience would rather read then watch videos on things like this, so here we are.

I know in my previous blog posts I had mentioned how I was really content throughout our time in quarantine and actually really enjoyed it and was getting a ton of work done, but I guess deep down, that wasn’t true at all.

My guess is that although originally I was content in the beginning and okay with being home all this time, the more time I spent at home, the more it started to get to me….

* * * * * *

About a month ago on May 14th, I suffered from what I can only assume was my first panic attack. It was a random Thursday afternoon at about 5pm, I wasn’t doing anything out of the ordinary other than working like I always did, when suddenly I started to feel really weird internally. I started to feel lightheaded and almost like my heart rate was dropping. So, I went into the kitchen to see and talk to my mom in hopes that it would distract me and the feeling would go away, because I figured that I was probably just sitting in front of my computer for too long. When I got up, I felt slightly worse, and I told my mom what I was feeling, that it felt like I could barely breath and like I was going to pass out at any minute (thankfully I didn’t though). We weren’t really sure what was happening so all we did was have me drink really cold water and throw some cold water on my face and neck. After I just walked up and down my driveway to get some air and stretch my legs…..that was the first episode. It went away shortly after that, but it was the  official start of me having anxiety.

The next serious/scary episode was about 3 days later when my mom and I decided to take a little walk to this store nearby our house. Well that “little walk” ended up turning into a 5 mile one when we decided to walk to this Target that’s about 20 minutes more or less away. The walk going was nice, we took our time and just enjoyed it all, but once we actually got to the Target, everything changed…we got there and the line to get in was a little ridiculous, but people were telling us that it was going relatively quick, so we decided to wait about 5-10 minutes on line and see how far we got. As SOON as we got to the back of the line, I immediately started to feel almost exactly how I did on Thursday, and like I was going to pass out. I obviously got very nervous since we were in a very public place and it was just mom and I. Within 2 minutes, I ended up telling my mom that we should just go, so we did. I honestly don’t even know how I managed to get home. The whole walk home was miserable, my chest was tight, I was lightheaded and my right arm started to feel numb-ish. It was all just very scary. We finally ended up getting home, and again, everything ended up being somewhat okay and going away.

The days following this one were on and off…..one day I would feel anxious and uneasy, the next, I was fine. The whole thing was just really scary because who ever wants to feel like they can’t breath, even if it is all mental? The more it happened, the more freaked out and anxious I was throughout the day; constantly feeling nervous, constantly feeling my heart area to make sure that it WAS beating, etc. It was even scarier not knowing WHY any of this was happening. We had our guesses, but we had no way to know for sure.

Due to the circumstances of COVID-19, relatively everything was still closed at the time, and the last thing we wanted to do was go all the way to the hospital with all of this going on, if it wasn’t serious,  AND rack up a ridiculous hospital bill for the check-up. However, the Tuesday following Memorial Day weekend , we were FINALLY able to get an appointment with my primary physician. It was the most exciting and nerve-racking thing. Exciting because I was FINALLY going to find out if something was wrong, but nerve-racking because what if something WAS wrong and serious?

Sure enough, thank GOD, my doctor checked all the important stuff (my heart, lungs, stomach and blood pressure) and everything internally was fine to him. Although he’s not a therapist in any way, shape or form, based off of everything I was telling him that I felt, he basically confirmed what we were all assuming it was, which was stress and anxiety.

As soon as we left the doctor I almost instantly felt a wave of relief. Yes, it still sucked that I was feeling and going through all of these things, but unbelievably relieved to know that it was nothing seriously wrong with me internally. It also almost entirely confirmed what we assumed it was, so we were then able to actually look into things and treatments for anxiety. It gave us some type of clarity.

Ever since than, I’ve been doing research like crazy online, readings books about it, and looking for recommendations for how to help my anxiety.

It’s been a little over a month now that I’ve been dealing with this, and although it can be really scary, there are good and bad days, and I can honestly say that things haven’t been anywhere near as bad as they were when it all started. I think I’m finally getting a handle on this.

* * * * * *

I want to apologize because I almost feel like I lied to you guys about how I was feeling in my previous posts, but it wasn’t my intention. I genuinely felt like I was content and okay with being home working all this time, but deep down like I said, I wasn’t. I guess between quarantine from the virus and everything else going on in the news/world, it really started to get to me.

It got so bad that I couldn’t focus on my work, and I was barely eating and sleeping. Anxiety can be such a scary thing if you don’t know or learn how to control it. It makes you feel like you’re losing yourself and you have no control of getting yourself back.

In my next post, I’m going to be sharing with you guys some of the things that have been helping me cope/ease my mind and anxiety for the past month, so make sure you stay tuned for that.

I hope this post was informative and gave you guys a better sense of where I’ve been and how I’ve really been doing. It’s been really hard, and it’s kind of felt like I’ve lost myself in the past month or so, but everyday I’m working towards getting better, stronger and healthier again, and I can’t wait for the day that I can finally say I’m 100% feeling myself again.

It was also really important for me to share this with you guys in hopes of it possibly inspiring someone else to come out with their story and showing them that they’re not alone. I know that was a major issue for me when this all started was that I felt really emotional and alone, because I could explain it a million different times to a million different people, but them knowing that I’m healthy and never actually experiencing it for themselves, they’ll never really understand. So, if you happen to be someone going through this as well, please feel free to comment below or reach out to me privately so we can talk about it and connect. I would love to hear from you guys about it.

Thanks you guys for reading and following me on this new little journey of mine. I hope you continue to stick around and hopefully see a better me soon.

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

Follow Me On Social Media! 🙂 :

Instagram & Twitter: @Thatleogirlem

Snapchat: Carpe_diemx33

TikTok: Emilyc.hernandez

Facebook: Emily C. Hernandez

YouTube Channel: Emily C. Hernandez

For Business Inquiries, email me at: emilyhernandez817@gmail.com

Best Things To Do/See In New York During The Holidays!

For my 4th Blogmas post, I thought it would be cool and fun to share with you guys some things that I think are really great to do and see during this time of year around New York City.

I’ve lived in New York ALL my life, and I can honestly say that the city is such a magical place to be in during the holidays. Personally, all of the shows, attractions, etc. never get old (it could just be because I’m a Christmas fanatic in every sense of the name, but that’s completely besides the point haha).

I do, however, know that it can also be a bit overwhelming to be in the city during this time of the year BECAUSE of everything that’s going on. Plus, there’s so much to do and see, how would you know where to start?! So, I hope you guys find this little ‘guide’ so to speak, helpful in assisting to narrow some of those things down for you! 🙂

These aren’t going to be in any particular order because, well, when do I ever put things in a particular order? And, I literally love going to do and see EVERYTHING that I’m going to mention, so there’s no way for me to order them in any specific way haha.

But anyway, let’s get started!

* * * * * *

  1. Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes (In Radio City Music Hall).

Diego and I actually just took his mom and nephews to see this show this past weekend. It was their first time seeing it, and our 3rd. It’s quickly become a mini holiday tradition of ours to go every year.

This is something that I recommend for EVERYONE (whether you live in NY or are just temporarily visiting) to go see at least ONCE. It’s such an amazing show filled with skits, Christmas music and just generally a great time. It runs for about 90 minutes, and is a great show to go see with a significant other, family, your kids, friends, etc. Scroll down to see some pictures from the show.

For this show, I suggest using the TodayTix app because they tend to have pretty good (and sometimes cheap) ticket options.

IMG_2628

IMG_2597

IMG_2646

IMG_2639

2. The Botanical Garden Holiday Train Show

This is another great attraction to do with family, friends and/or a significant other. If you’re not from New York, this specific attraction is actually in the Bronx, but 100% worth making the trip to. I took my family and Diego to see this for the first time (it was also my first time), last year right before Christmas.

I wanna say that it’s been open for about 2 years now, because I remember when it first opened in 2016 it was SO popular that it was next to impossible to get tickets for it. Every single day from the time it opened until it closed for the season was completely sold out. So, last year I jumped at the opportunity to grab some tickets, and we all loved it. The way everything was set up from the trains themselves, to the mini set ups for each section, it is SO well put together. Plus, if you buy tickets for the train show, it also automatically allows you the opportunity to be able to walk around the garden a bit afterwards which, in itself, is beautiful as well!

I’m leaving the link here in case you guys wanted to buy some tickets for this!

Image result for botanical gardens holiday train show

Image result for botanical gardens holiday train show

IMG_0539

IMG_0535

3. Holiday window display(s) and other holiday attractions around the city.

When you’re in the city during the holidays, it’s almost impossible for you to somehow miss all of the decor, window displays and attractions, just because a lot of them just happen to be all around each other. Some places in particular I recommend walking through/by are 5th and 6th avenue, just because you’ll easily be passing a lot of the “main” holiday attractions like from Saks 5th Avenue, Barneys, Lord and Taylor, Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, etc.

Plus, all of these places (although they do get pretty busy and packed), are GREAT for videos and pictures of these things if you’re into that for memories sake.

Image result for saks 5th avenue light show
Saks Fifth Avenue

Image result for saks 5th avenue light show

Related image
Macy’s Herald Square

Image result for macy's christmas windows

Related image
Lord & Taylor
Image result for rockefeller christmas tree 2018
Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree
Related image
Radio City Music Hall and surrounding holiday attractions/decor.

4. Ice-skating!

Ice-skating is definitely a go-to thing to do while you’re in the city. Obviously other cities and places have ice-skating as well, but what better then being able to do it in some of the most popular places in New York like Bryant Park, Central Park or even Rockefeller Center?!

Plus, this is a perfect little date night to have with your significant other. Super cute and romantic, and these are definitely other great spots to be able to take cute and memorable pictures.

Related image
Rockefeller Center
Image result for bryant park ice skating
Bryant Park
Related image
Central Park (although they have 2 different ice skating rinks here, one called Lasker and one called Wollman’s rink, the one pictured is Wollman rink).

5. See and buy stuff from the holiday markets around the city (i.e., Bryant Park and Union Square (14th St.) holiday markets).

This sort of piggybacks off the ice-skating suggestion just because, right outside of the ice-skating rink at Bryant Park, they have these little holiday market shops where you can buy all sorts of things from snacks, to clothing, jewelry, etc.

They are the PERFECT little shops to stop at before heading home for the night, especially if you happen to be doing any last minute Christmas shopping for people. They also have mini holiday shops/stands like this in 14th Street, Union Square if you happen to be in that area instead of around Bryant Park.

Related image
14th Street Union Square Holiday Market
Related image
Bryant Park Holiday Market

6. Cocoa & Carols Holiday Cruise

And finally I want to suggest the Cocoa & Carols holiday cruise. Personally, I think this would be the CUTEST little date to take your significant other on. It’s super chill, not that expensive, and also pretty romantic. HOWEVER, this little excursion is also just as good for family and friends as well (it’s what you end up making of it).

The entire cruise itself goes on for about an hour and a half, and when you buy a ticket, it comes with a complimentary beer, glass of wine, champagne or (the more obvious one), hot cocoa! There are also cookies and other sweets that are included as well. You get to hear and sing along to Christmas songs, and you’ll end up seeing a TON of some of the most popular attractions/sights of New York like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, Battery Park, South Street Seaport, etc.

*Groupon and Goldstar tends to have pretty good dates and deals for this excursion btw, so you should definitely check that out!*

The link for Goldstar I’ll leave here for you to easily access. And the one for Groupon, I’ll leave here .

Related image

Related image

Image result for cocoa and carols cruise

* * * * * *

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and that whether you’re already from New York, or just visiting, that this helped you in some way, shape or form to narrow down some of the (best) things to do/see in Manhattan while you’re there during the holiday season. It can definitely be a little crazy here during this time of the year, but I think it’s definitely worth the wait and trip.

Thanks so much for reading, please follow, like, share and comment, and I’ll see you guys on Sunday for my next Blogmas post! 🙂

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

Read More

Meeting My Favorite Author For The First Time!!

If you happen to follow me on social media (which if you don’t, you totally should…all my info for that is always left at the end of my posts), you would have seen that this past Tuesday, October 16th, was SUCH an exciting day for me.

I got to meet my favorite author and pretty much the person who is responsible for inspiring me to want to write as more than just a hobby.

The author I’m referring to is Nicholas Sparks, who I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with his work. He is the author who wrote best-sellers like The Notebook, A Walk To Remember, Dear John, The Last Song and SO many others…many of which were later turned into films.

Since it’s still so fresh, and I’m still really excited about it, I thought it would be fun (like most other things that I try to do) and share my entire experience of it with you guys!

* * * * * *

The Waiting Process

I had literally been planning for that day for about 2-3 months in advance since I first heard about the event happening.

It was a big deal, I was SO excited.

I had actually taken off from work to be able to go to it, because I didn’t want to risk missing anything from the event.

So, I made sure to wake up extra early (at about 5-6 am I believe), get ready as fast as I could (doing my hair, makeup in about half hour which I’m PRETTY sure is record breaking time) and rushing out the door. I managed to get to the 14th Street (Union Square) Barnes & Noble store by 8 o’clock. The doors didn’t open until 9 though, so I had (along with many others) to wait outside for an hour.

Personally, although it was REALLY cold that morning, it didn’t feel like all that long of a wait (thank god for social media and YouTube).

Once the doors opened at 9 you were directed to the main cashiers to be able to purchase the book and receive your wristband for the event. After getting both, you had the option of either coming back later when the event started at 12:30 OR just hanging out in the store until it was time.

IMG_0789

IMG_0800

I was still freezing from being outside AND starving, so once I got my book and wristband, I quickly made my way upstairs to the Starbucks to get my coffee and something to eat. After getting those, I thought I was being “smart” by running upstairs to get to the floor that the event was going to be at so that I could secure my good seat…I quickly realized once I got up there that a TON of other people had the same idea as me 😂. It was all good though because I still managed to be pretty close up, in like the 3rd row.

By the time I actually got myself settled with my seat and other things, it was only about 10am, so I still had about 2 and a half hours to kill before the event started. Again, the waiting really wasn’t so bad for me honestly. In that time I was able to watch YouTube videos, read the synopsis of the book and author’s note, and even walked around the entire store and managed to come out with 4 extra books then what was originally intended. Needless to say I was very entertained lol.

While I was clearly having the best time EVER wandering around my favorite store and finding more and more books for me to buy by the second, before I knew it it was 12:30 and the event was about to start.

* * * * * *

The Event

56139014488__C17F619F-C3B3-4E4D-8BD4-47EC2A9532E1

The event itself was pretty cool and fun. The events coordinator for the store introduced Nicholas Sparks a little bit, then had him come up on stage to say a few words before the meet and greet/book signing actually started.

IMG_0824

When he finally came up, he spoke a little bit about his previous books and what led him to write this one specifically (the name of his book is Every Breath if I didn’t already mention that). He spoke about a few key points in this specific book like the characters, their backgrounds, what inspired certain details in the book and a ton of other things that I don’t want to get TOO detailed about because I don’t want to spoil anything. He also took a few questions from the audience which I thought was really nice because a lot of people don’t do that.

I even got to ask and have him answer a question!

I’m one of those people that gets SO nervous about things like that and second guesses whether or not I actually want to and/or should, even if I really DO want to. Anxiety freakin’ sucks man. BUT, I literally had to tell myself to get over myself and just ask my question because how often am I ever going to get an opportunity like this again, ESPECIALLY with my favorite author?

So that’s what I did, I got up the courage to raise my hand to ask a question, and sure enough…he picked me! 😄 My question was, “What advice would you give to aspiring writers like myself who can only hope to be half as successful of an author that you are one day?”

He answered by saying “Speaking for myself, I love to read, so you of course have to read a lot. But you know what else I think helps me? TV and movies, and you know why? Because they’re stories. And if you’re talking about TV, every 8 minutes they kind of have to end on a cliff hanger when a commercial is coming because they have to keep you tuned in. Well that’s very handy in writing as well whenever you end another chapter, because you have to end in a way to make them, your readers, want to turn that next page. So there’s lessons to be learned from any form of good story. So you have to read, learn to value stories, and to see how stories tick and wind, and practice honing reasons why one book is better than another.”

I paraphrased a lot of what he said obviously, otherwise I could’ve gone on forever with his response, but that was pretty much the gist of it.

After he answered my question was when the meet and greets and book signing actually started.

* * * * * *

Meeting Nicholas Sparks Officially

As if simply asking him a question from afar wasn’t nerve-wrecking enough, I was about to finally meet him officially too!!

The whole process went relatively quick, I mean obviously right? There were over a hundred + people there waiting to meet him and get their book signed so of course he had to keep the line moving.

But regardless of the fact that they (his people?) were trying to keep the line moving smoothly and relatively quick, I thought it was really cool and interesting to see the interaction he had with each of his fans. He was really friendly and managed to go out of his way to speak to his fans individually as much as he could, and was even willing to sign as many copies of his book as you bought.

At one point I even saw that there was this girl who had brought every single book she had of his in hopes of getting them all signed by him, and he actually did it. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I just think little things like that says a lot about a person/celebrity (in a good way), because he could’ve easily said no since there were so many people waiting, but he still made the time to do it in between signing his recent book for others.

Anyway, once my time came up, I was SO nervous. I didn’t actually know what to say to him, I wanted to make sure the picture(s) came out nice and a million other things were going through my mind too.

Ultimately, I actually got a couple of good shots of our interaction (see some of them below) and as for what I said to him, although it came out all jumbled up and I’m sure he didn’t understand half of it, I told him that he was my absolute favorite author and one of the main reasons that I decided to take my writing more seriously and hopefully become a successful author one day like he is. He said thank you so much, encouraged me to always keep trying and writing, gave me my signed book and I was on my way.

IMG_0842

IMG_0845

IMG_0869

* * * * * *

Overall, although it wasn’t the ‘longest encounter’ ever, generally, it was a really great,  and very much worth it experience.

I don’t typically tend to do things like go to events like this, ESPECIALLY by myself because of my anxiety, so that alone was a BIG deal for me. Being able to step out of my comfort-zone to meet my favorite author, get to ask him a REALLY important question (to me anyway), get my book signed by him AND get a few pictures with him…what better?! He was also really nice about it all which made it even better.

I can’t even tell you guys how inspired and motivated I felt leaving the event that day, like I had so many different ideas for the blog going through my mind, so many things I wanted to start working on with my writing, etc. It made me really excited for not only my future, but my WRITING in the future. I’ve got some really exciting things coming soon for you guys and I can’t wait for you to see them.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Thanks so much for reading, please like, share and follow if you aren’t already, and I’ll see you guys in the next one! 😊

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

Read More