The Christmas Tag: Let The Festivities Begin!

Hello and happy Sunday everyone!

Another end to another weekend…as bittersweet as it may be, I hope you guys enjoyed it and rested up for the start of the new week tomorrow!

I’m super excited because today I’m going to be officially starting my first day of Blogmas!!

I am, however, just going to be doing my own version of it, MEANING, although most bloggers and/or YouTubers tend to try and post every single day/night for the month of December, I’m going to just do it twice or three times a week. Nonetheless, I will be making sure that they’re as fun, creative and holiday-related (to some extent) as possible! 🙂

So, for today’s post (and technically first day of Blogmas for me), I thought it would be fun to do none other than the Christmas tag! Mentioning a few of my personal holiday favorites along with past experiences, traditions, etc.

So, without further adieu, let’s get started!

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  1. What is your favorite Christmas film?

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There are SO many (which I’m going to be doing a completely separate post about later on), but if I had to choose out of them all, I would have to probably say The Santa Claus movie(s), starring Tim Allen. I literally never get tired of those movies and think they are SO cute.

2. Have you ever had a White Christmas?

None that I remember on the day of, but there’s been some a few days before and/or after.

3. Where do you usually spend your holiday?

At home with family (my parents and brother) and Diego.

4. What is your favorite Christmas song?

The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) by Nat “King” Cole.

5. Do you open any presents on Christmas Eve?

Amongst my family, the only thing(s) we open on Christmas Eve are our stockings, but aside from that, Diego and I usually tend to exchange gifts with each other and open them that day.

6. Can you name all of Santa’s reindeer?

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen…..(and Rudolph). And to be honest the only reason I really know them and can recite them so fast if you asked me in person is because of that one scene in Jingle All The Way starring Arnold Schwarzenegger (which, if you haven’t watched it before you totally should 😂).

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7. What holiday traditions are you looking forward to most this year?

I guess I would have to say the Advent calendar my dad always gets my brother and I every year (no matter how old we are), watching the 25 days of Christmas on FreeForm, and also watching A Christmas Story all day on AMC  on the actual day of Christmas with my family.

8. Is your Christmas tree real or fake?

Fake!

9. What is your all-time favorite holiday food/sweet treat?

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I LOVE the holiday pillsbury sugar cookies. UGHH they’re pre-baked already, but god do they never get old 😍  (which fun fact: they have ones as E.L.F. themed now that I am SO excited to make!!!)

10. Be honest: do you like giving gifts or receiving gifts better?

Honestly, if you know me you know that I LOVE giving gifts to others, especially the people I care about most, and even if I don’t get anything back from them in return. I’m just that type of person. I go all out every year for the people I care about. I love and would much rather know that I’m making other people happy in that sense then get anything else. To me, that makes me the most happy.

11. Most memorable Holiday moment?

Last year in general, although it was really hard, was also really memorable, because it was the first Christmas in YEARS that we had spent it without our cat Spencer. And everyone in my family knew how difficult it was for me personally, so they all (in their own separate ways/gifts) got me a lot of great things to help me not only cope, but also to just remember him.

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Like my mom got me this picture of me and Spencer blown up and put on a canvas, which actually hangs on the wall in my room now, and Diego got me a bracelet that was engraved with “For my love, From D & S,” which was pretty special and actually made me cry (both of them).

12. When did you realize the truth about Santa?

This is terrible, but I must’ve been like 9-10 and to this day I really don’t remember what was up my ass that one Christmas morning, or who pissed me off or why it happened, but I just remember being really upset and yelling at the top of my lungs to my parents “AND THAT’S WHY SANTA ISN’T EVEN REAL!!” and so from then on, my parents stopped all of the ‘Santa is real’ charade with me and just got me gifts like a grown-up (so to speak) 😂.

13. What makes the Holidays special for you?

Honestly, I just love the general feeling and giddiness that comes along with it all. The music, decorations, events, etc., it’s just all really fun and exciting and never gets old for me. I’m 23 years-old and to this day, I look forward to it and all of the cheesy little things that come along with it every year.

14. Have you ever made a snowman?

Not on or for Christmas, but yes my brother and I have tried (and failed) several times before.

15. How do you decorate your house for Christmas?

I/we (my family) love the holidays and always do our best to go all out. And personally,  more so now that I’m older, working and making my own money, I tend to go all out even if it’s just for my room (which I’ll be showing you guys in a separate post soon).

16. When do you start getting excited about Christmas?

Anyone who knows me knows that November 1st is when I start getting excited, decorating and listening to Christmas music lol.

17. You have been granted one Christmas wish….what would it be?

To have one big Christmas party/event with my entire family (from both my parents’ sides), because it’s been a LONG time since we’ve all gotten together in that way sadly, and I know it would be a great and memorable time for all of us if it were to happen.

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I hope you guys enjoyed this Christmas Tag post. Please like, share, follow and comment, and stay tuned for my next Blogmas post in a few days! 😀

-Xoxo, LeoGirl ❤

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Apple & Pumpkin Picking 2018!

Happy Monday everybody!

I hope you guys had a good, fun, relaxing and productive weekend like I did! 🙂 Today’s post is going to be about something SUPER Fall-like, which if you haven’t done, you definitely need to at some point!

I’m talking about going Pumpkin and Apple picking!!

This past weekend (on Saturday), me, Diego, a few of his family members, and some of our friends went to a farm to do some pumpkin and apple picking, and we had the BEST time. We went to Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard, which if you are from New York, it’s in North Salem (Westchester). I’m going to leave their website linked here for anyone that is interested in checking them out.

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If you’re anything like me, then you probably haven’t gone to do something like this since you were a kid. Up until last year, I hadn’t gone to do this since I was in like 3rd or 4th grade and they took us as one of our school field trips!

Diego and I had found this place last year, but for one reason or another, only got to go by ourselves. We ended up loving it so much, that we KNEW we had to go back this year and bring some of the people closest to us this time around so they could enjoy it as much as we did the first time, and that’s exactly what we did.

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We spent the majority of the afternoon there up until it was closing time for them (which was at about 5:30pm). We all had an amazing time and got to eat great food, pick a TON of apples, and buy some goodies from the store they had on their location.

One thing to mention about this place in general though, is that it’s all cash-only. So if you’re going to make a trip up here, come prepared with that. Personally, I brought $100 in cash and that was more or less fine to hold me off for the day and everything that we did. However, worse comes to worse (although I know people try to avoid this because of the added fee(s)), they do have an ATM on location in case you wanted/needed to take out more.

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One of the really cute things this farm has is their little Country Store. It’s actually one of the first things you see when you’re driving in to the farm. It’s decently big, and super festive for the Fall/Halloween season.

Inside the store they have everything from baked goods, to produce that they grow themselves on the farm, to homemade jams of all different flavors, and even decorations and pumpkin carvers for the pumpkins you pick up there.

This is also where people would go when they place any orders for pies around the holidays to pick them up (which I’ll talk more about later on in the post).

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Although obviously the main attraction(s) here would be the apples and pumpkins, they also have a ton of other things to do as well. There were countless amounts of amazing food vendor stands, little games and activities for kids, somewhat of a petting zoo for kids (which included horses, chickens, and goats), and even live music.

The food was AMAZING. Granted, I am a picky eater and will mainly stick to the foods I know and love like burgers, chicken tenders, fries, etc., BUT nonetheless it was all good.

I’m sure people would say/think that the food is slightly overpriced for what you would normally get anywhere else, but I think it’s pretty worth it considering everyone there  makes everything right in front of you, so it’s all fresh for the most part.

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Something I highly recommend for people to try when you come here is the HUGE turkey legs that they always sell. From what I’ve seen, it’s definitely a best-seller. Diego absolutely loved it last year, and ended up being one of the first things he wanted when we came this time around too (pictured above).

Among the foods I just mentioned, they also had things like ice cream, fried oreos, cider donuts, fresh squeezed lemonade (which btw 10/10 recommend that you try the strawberry lemonade because WOW.), and pumpkin pie cheesecake.

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This is the strawberry lemonade. I believe it was $3 per container like this. We legit kept going back to get more, and by the time we left, we had gotten like 4 or 5 of them. SO good!!

One of MY personal favorite parts of all this was definitely the pumpkin pie cheesecake…….you guys, if you know me (as I’ve mentioned several times in several different blog posts), I am SUCH a picky eater, more so with regular food as opposed to desserts, but nonetheless picky.

 

HOWEVER, when Diego and I came last year, he managed to get me to try a sample of the pumpkin pie cheesecake they had there, and I swear I fell in love after that. So much so that I ended up placing an order for the big size that they had to be able to have that as one of the desserts at Thanksgiving last year, and I FULLY intend on doing the same thing this year as well!! So worth it, and they are all handmade by this cute little family that’s always at the farm!

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Overall, it was a really great and fun experience. Diego and I had a lot of fun last year when we went, but I think it was even better being able to experience it with some of the people closest to us this year as well.

If you haven’t been pumpkin or apple picking, but have been considering going lately and aren’t sure which farm to go to (and are in the NY area), I 100% recommend Harvest Moon Farm & Orchard. It’s a great place to go with a group of your family or friends, and is super kid-friendly as well.

I hope you guys enjoyed this post, and I’ll see you in the next one 🙂 !

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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Paw Prints On Our Hearts

This is a post that I never thought I would have to write or ever even think of. It’s something that not a lot of people tend to fully understand unless they’ve actually had one or experienced it firsthand; and that is witnessing and/or experiencing the death of a pet.

On Friday, November 3rd, at about 1 o’clock in the afternoon, I lost my absolute best friend in the entire world. If you knew me, you knew him, there was no way you didn’t. And even if you didn’t know me and you had me on social media, you still knew him somehow because I would always post about him; pictures, videos, etc.

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I’ve never known a loss like that before, and me just being the way that I am, have thought about it numerous amounts of times before; what it would probably end up being like, how I would probably feel, how my family would feel, and what we would even do after it happened. But believe me when I say that it was nowhere near the sadness and pain that I actually felt when I found out Spencer was gone.

I suppose when I really think about it though, my dad has it the worse than all of us in my family because he was alone in the house with him and the one who found him. He said it happened right after he sat down from making his lunch on Friday, he was about to take the first bite of his sandwich when all of a sudden he heard a fairly loud “hmmm,” it was like a huge sigh coming from Spencer. That was when he realized Spencer was behind him, so he turned around and was like “hey Spence, you okay? What’s goin on fats?” (because that’s what he would call him). And typically  when he would call him like that, Spencer would jump up and run to wherever my dad was, and this time he didn’t. My dad saw that he was sleeping, or so he thought, so he looked at him closer and realized he wasn’t seeing his stomach move up and down like it typically did when he was sleeping. He got nervous, and his initial reaction was “oh no, god no…,” so he got up, went closer to him to get a better look, and that’s when he realized that Spencer was gone….

It was basically like he heard Spencer take his last breath.

My dad hadn’t told anyone because my mom, brother and I were all at work and he didn’t want us to freak out halfway through the day and rush home. It wasn’t until about 3-4 pm that he finally got a hold of my brother, broke the news to him about what happened, and asked his advice on how to tell my mom and I. My brother agreed that he shouldn’t tell us until we got home where we could grieve in the comforts of our own home for as long as we needed.

It just so happened, however, that my mom was working this weekend and wouldn’t be home until the next day, Saturday afternoon,  so he felt he should wait until than to tell her. I on the other hand, happened to have to work late that day, so by the time I finally got home it was about 7 o’clock; we had dinner, spoke like normal about how our days went, and that was that. I don’t remember if it was when I first got home, or after we finished having dinner and we were cleaning up that I had asked him where Spencer was and he never gave me an answer about it. Actually, he kind of just ignored it altogether and started speaking about something else.

I found it weird because my dad is a neat freak, so he’s that type when we finish eating, he rushes us to finish up so we could move out of his way so that he can just clean everything up. But this was different, this time I was washing my hands from having finished eating and I don’t know if I was actually “taking long”, or if he was just really anxious to finally tell me what he had been bottling up all day, but he came out of nowhere and was like “hurry up! Aren’t you done yet????” And I just looked at him like …..okay…..? Are you really getting mad at me for this right now? I was just really confused. And then he came out with it. “I have something to tell you,” he said. “What?,” I said. And if you know me, you know that I automatically get really nervous when something like that is said to me (thanks a lot anxiety). “I don’t like this,” I said to him. And all he said was “Spencer….,” and I just backed away and knew. “No…..no no no no no!!” And that’s when I just dropped to the floor and broke.

I’m pretty sure I scared the fuck out of him because of the way that I broke down. I have never broken down like that before; I was screaming, crying, and hyperventilating. I literally felt like I couldn’t breathe, as if someone, an actual person that I knew and loved had died. I scared everyone that I had spoken to that night, my dad, brother and boyfriend. No one ever seen or heard me break down like that, I was inconsolable, and all because I knew that I had lost Spencer forever.

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People would tell me all the time whenever I told them how much I loved Spencer, like “Oh really?…but he’s just a cat?” But he wasn’t “just a cat”, he was so much more than that. I can’t even fully put into words how much more than “just a cat” he was. It was like he was part human, part horse, part dog, and then cat. If you heard the way he slept, he snored like a grown man. When he was slightly skinnier, younger and able to run around, you would hear him running around the house, galloping like a little horse. We had taught him the tricks of fetch, and how to roll over like a dog. He was the most chill, loving, funny little fat cat you would ever meet. Even people that had a strong disliking for cats, lost that entire feeling they had about them when they met Spencer. It was almost like how could you NOT love him after meeting him.

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We had Spencer for 13, almost 14 years. I still remember the day that we got him. It was nearly mid-October, and my parents didn’t say a word to us other than that they had a surprise for us. I remember being in the car with my parents and brother, and there being a towel, a little bottle, and a few other baby-related things, almost giving us (or mainly me) the impression that we were going to have a baby. They had taken us out to breakfast at this diner, then afterwards I remember being in the car, driving past all these houses until we stopped at one in particular. A friend of my mom’s, her name was Susan Downes. My mom introduced us to her, and we didn’t end up going inside the house, but I remember being in front of it, and if you stuck your head out towards the right a little, you saw these little things running to the opposite side towards the house next to theirs (which at the time I obviously didn’t know what any of them were). But I came to find that those little bunny type things that kept running back and forth were actually kittens. We kept watching them run from side to side as if they were playing tag with each other. It was the cutest thing! Then I remember seeing her husband coming towards us and having one of them in his hands, and then it all clicked….we were getting a kitten! It was the most exciting thing ever. It just so happened that that first one her husband brought to us was black, and my dad didn’t think that was “the one,” and it wasn’t until he went back to the backyard that my dad saw this little gray and white one run across by himself, that he knew, THAT was the one that had to be ours. So Susan’s husband grabbed that one, and that had officially become our new little baby. Picking his name was pretty easy because we had just so happened to be on Spencer St., and we ended up really liking the name and felt it suited him really well. And from than on, he had officially become the newest addition to our little family.

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Nearly 14 years later, and here we are. Who knew such a chubby little animal would come to mean so much to my family and I. This little four-legged animal that probably didn’t know or understand half the stuff he’d encountered throughout his little life, managed to touch all of our lives so deeply with just his presence alone.

Spencer, I love you so much, WE love you so much. You have no idea how unbelievably loved you were and how devastated we are now with your absence. You were anything but JUST a cat; I don’t even know what to consider you, like a little brother? A son? A friend? My best friend…you were always there. In the mornings when I would come out of the bathroom from brushing up, sitting right outside the door. When I was getting ready to leave for work, sitting by the door watching me as I got my stuff ready. When I came home late at night from work and the gym, sitting next to me while I had my dinner. When I wanted a little snack at night, following me to the kitchen so that you could get a piece of whatever it is I had, especially if it were chocolate. When dad was vacuuming the house, if I was downstairs you come and sit next to or under me because you felt safer that way, or you would run upstairs and find where I was to stay with me until he finished. If I was sad, upset or even if I was just plain relaxing in my room, you would come and just lay down and fall asleep right next to me and my bed and stay with me there for the entire night.

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I think that’s what I’ll miss most, your presence next to me. Just having you next to me, even if you were just sleeping, something so simple and innocent, me looking at you would make me smile. And now that’s gone, and I really don’t know how things are going to get better from this if I’m being completely honest.

I don’t know how people do this…I love animals, always have and always will; and if you really know me you know that if I could, I would have a ton of cats and dogs live with me in my house, but after this? I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to do it again. Life and death is inevitable, and I know that, but the amount of pain I felt and the memory in general that followed from this is something I’ll end up carrying with me for the rest of my life.

You are so loved and will never be forgotten or replaced little one.

“Sometimes, the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

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I love you Spencer, and I’m going to miss you so much.