What I’ve Learned From 2020

Hey guys,

Long time, no see. Happy New Year! Happy 2021!!

I HATE going this long without posting anything, and I’m really sorry about it, but life has been crazy the past few months for me, as I’m sure it’s been for everyone else as well.

BUT, regardless, it is a NEW year, new beginning and chance to reinvent your(my)self! How exciting is that to think about?! People always like to make the “new year, new me” jokes, but why can’t you change the way you are for the new year? Isn’t that always the point of getting excited for the new year to begin with? Creating new goals, new memories, new habits, etc. etc.? I can’t speak for everyone, but that’s definitely always MY mentality when the new year rolls around.

Because of this, I wanted to reflect a bit and have my first post of the year be about some of the things that I learned from 2020 and hope to change and/or build on for this year (since Lord knows there were a shit ton of things I think we can ALL take away from last year).

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So let’s get straight into it….in no particular order:

  1. Patience

    I think we all learned the hard way last year that patience really is a virtue. This was SO important all throughout 2020, for multiple reasons. Whether we liked it or not, we had to be patient with everything going on all throughout the pandemic. As frustrating as it was, and continues to be at times, we all had to trust and have patience that everything was going to workout, fall into place and go back to how it used to (and no I don’t mean that we’re going to go back exactly how we were before, but that’s besides the point).

Personally, I was also forced to learn a lot about patience professionally. I was at my last job for almost 4 years and DYING to get out and finally find something within the field I loved. And it was one of the MOST frustrating things for such a long time not being able to do anything about it. I was agitated every single day that I had to get up and go to work. Not because of the people or the work itself, just out of frustration for the fact that it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. Until November…when I least expected it, I got a call about an interview for my dream job at my dream company, and within 2 weeks, I had secured the position!! When you finally decide to release control and least expect it is usually when things really start to fall into place. Trust the process and realize that God’s got you, always!! He knows what He’s doing.

2. Gratitude

I don’t know about you guys, but gratitude was a major thing that I learned in 2020 as well, which is funny because I’ve always been grateful for the things and people that I have in my life, but I guess because I was always so ‘on the go’ pre-pandemic, it never really hit me HOW blessed I was and should be. The pandemic and everything else going on in the world at the time, and even now, really shows you that nothing is ever promised in life, so live like today’s your last day on earth and always be grateful for everything and everyone in your life whether big or small.

3. Health

This one is also kind of funny just because I’ve always strived to be healthy and fit (to some extent) when I was big into dieting and working out pre-pandemic, but throughout 2020 I really made myself buckle down and take my mental and physical health a lot more serious. I really made it a priority to recognize the type of things I take in mentally and emotionally via TV or social media, as well as the foods and what not that I put into my body. I’ve never been one for taking vitamins, but after everything that’s gone on, I’ve really realized how important it is, especially as a woman because of everything our bodies go through as it is. I may be slacking a bit on the working out part of physical health, but I do plan on getting back into that slowly but surely in the coming days/weeks.

4. Working smarter, not harder

This pandemic and being home for as long as I have has really put things into perspective as far as my content creation on all platforms. Since everything was shutdown and we were forced to stay home, it forced me (and everyone else that does the type of work I do obviously) to REALLY get creative. It can be difficult as it is sometimes to come up with content ideas in general, but add in the fact that we had to stay home for as long as we have been and feeling like there’s only so many things you can do and show within your home?? Geez, taking creativity to a whole other level. And it still can be challenging sometimes, but the key really is to just work smarter, not harder. Play to your own personal interests and pick the brains of your audience, and it’ll end up being simpler then you think.

5. Self care

This one also plays into the mental health part we were just talking about, but in 2020 more than EVER I realized how truly important it was to put down and step away from your phone/computer and practice self-care. Whether that’s pampering myself, doing the things I love or just being by myself, it’s so important to take care of yourself (in all ways). It really does wonders for your mental health. It gives your mind, body and soul a chance to relax and rejuvenate itself either for the rest of the day or the next day. Please please please prioritize your self-care treatments, whatever that may be for you.

And finally, 6. Surrounding yourself with good vibes

This is just as equally important as everything else I’ve mentioned. I know we’re in the middle of a pandemic and we really aren’t supposed to (or shouldn’t) be seeing other people, but if you are one of those people that are still doing this, please make sure that you are at least keeping good company and positive vibes around you; whether that’s family, friends, significant others, etc. There is enough negative and scary crap going on in/around the world without you adding on to it by keeping bad company around you. Nobody needs any sort of extra negativity lingering around them and it is SO important to keep good people and vibes around you. It helps keep your spirits up when things are rough, and this also doesn’t just apply to people; be sure to keep good/positive music, scents, etc. around you. When you surround yourself with good vibes and energy, it not only makes you feel good, but also ends up mirroring into your own life.

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I hope that you guys enjoyed this new post and took something away from it. I know that I say this A LOT, but I am officially back and my goal for this year is to post at LEAST once a week, twice if I can. So please don’t be shy in dropping any/all suggestions that you may want to see from me on here.

If you enjoyed it, please make sure to drop a like and hit that follow button if you’re new! 🙂 Also don’t forget to follow me on all of my other social media accounts to stay up to date with everything I’m up to and working on (they’re always mapped out below).

Thank you guys for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one!

-Xoxo, LeoGirl 

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Giving Back This Holiday Season

Hi Guys! Happy Sunday!

I hope everyone had a GREAT and long Thanksgiving weekend, whether you spent it with family, friends, significant others, etc.

As we all know, Thanksgiving is a time for us to all be thankful/grateful for everything we have in our lives at the moment. It’s a time to really step back and realize how many blessings we truly have compared to those that may not be as fortunate.

That being said, in today’s post I’m going to be speaking about an event that Diego and I put together this past Wednesday in order to be able to give back a little during this holiday season to those that are less fortunate.

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The Process to Gather Supplies & Put Everything Together:

This event was something that Diego and I had spoken about doing together for a few years now since we had gotten together. We always knew we wanted to be able to help out the homeless around New York, but it was just a matter of actually planning it out and right timing. Last year we got pretty close to doing something, but for one reason or another, it never ended up happening.

So, this year, we knew for a fact that we wanted/needed to make it happen. Just amongst ourselves, we had played around with the idea for a few weeks leading up to November, but it wasn’t until November 1st that we actually made it known to people through our social media accounts what we were actually trying to do (which was to create care kits for those that were homeless and then pass them out around the streets of New York). We asked our friends/followers to contribute and/or donate any supplies and money that they could, while also (if they could) donate their time to help us put everything together and come out with us to distribute everything.

Time went by super fast which was a bit nerve-racking because we weren’t sure if we were actually going to have everything in time to make our event happen, but thankfully, everything happened the way that it was supposed to, and before we knew it, it was Tuesday, November 20th and the day that we were putting all of our little care kits together.

Each care kit came with: 1 sandwich, 1 water bottle, 2 snack bars, 1 pair of socks, 1 hat, 1 pack of tissue, 1 small bottle of hand sanitizer, a sweater or jacket and a cup of hot coffee if they wanted it.

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We didn’t actually have a set number of care kits that we were going to make, we just knew we wanted to make as many as we possibly could with the amount of supplies that we had.

After putting everything together, we ended up seeing that we were able to make a total of 47 care kits for people.

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Wednesday, November 21st: The Day We Passed Out The Care Kits:

Diego and I knew that we wanted to be able to go out and distribute everything that we had the day before Thanksgiving in hopes that it would be/feel slightly more significant and memorable to these people (not to say it wouldn’t have been significant regardless, but nonetheless). Unfortunately for us though, we realized a little too late that we were going out for this on one of the COLDEST nights of this Fall/Winter season thus far.

There was about 8 of us that night going to pass out all of the care kits and although it was freezing outside, and we had ended up starting slightly later then what we originally intended, we continued to try to stay optimistic….

Like any major event that you end up putting together in your life (especially when it’s a first-timer), there was a lot of nerves and excitement building up around the entire thing.  Excitement, because we knew we were doing a good thing (or trying to) for these people that we didn’t know, but knew needed it. And nerves, because none of us had ever done anything like it before, so we didn’t necessarily know how to go about doing it.

There were also a ton of other things going through our minds about it like how to go about approaching these people and how to truly even decipher if they were homeless or not (without trying to accidentally offend anyone), etc. But, before we knew it we were in the city and it was officially time to pass out the care kits.

We went all over the major parts of the city like Penn Station, Madison Square Garden, passed Times Square and Bryant Park, Grand Central and even up to 51st street (which actually ended up being our last stop), which I am proud to announce that we gave out every single one of our care kits to people that we saw that night!! 😀 (scroll down to see pictures from throughout the night).

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Our General Experience From The Event:

Thankfully, I think I can speak for everyone when I say that although we were all super nervous in the beginning, we were all pleasantly surprised by the end of the night at how smoothly the entire thing went, and also at how unbelievably grateful everybody we encountered was.

I don’t exactly know what I expected, but I definitely don’t think it was to get as positive a reaction as we did from pretty much everyone we gave a care kit to that night. I’m not really sure why, but I just didn’t. The reactions from most people were stunning, in the best way possible. Although there were SO many different ones, 2 examples in particular stood out to me the most…

The first woman we saw and gave a care kit to, Charmigne, was probably the sweetest woman I had ever met, especially for someone in her situation. I went up to her with Diego’s nephew Aden, simply asking if it was okay with her that we gave her one of our care kits. She answered, “of course,”  which then followed by her asking us our names. We introduced ourselves, she introduced herself, and then she continued by commending us on the work we were doing. She said it was amazing to see us, such young people, walking around attempting to help people like them, especially since it was more than she had seen people of higher power (our government) do for people like them (her words).

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She then proceeded to ask Aden if he prayed, he said yes. She asked him if he would mind saying a prayer with her, which he got a little nervous and said that he didn’t pray out loud around other people. But she saw the rest of our group standing at a distance behind us, and asked him if he would feel more comfortable doing it if everyone from our group did it with us, to which he said yes. So, I called them all over, we all held hands, said a few things we were grateful for, said a few of our hopes for her and the people that we were going to encounter that night, and before we knew it, we were on our way. But not before she was nice enough to let us know certain areas in particular to head to, to be sure we saw others in her situation to be able to give our care kits to.

The second example was actually one of the last experiences we had of the night, and it was these 2 guys Eric and Shan who were just as grateful as Charmigne was, but they also just kept questioning why we were out there, in the freezing cold doing what we were. We responded by saying that we wanted to do what we could to give back a little this holiday season, and they were just in awe. They couldn’t believe we had actually willingly wanted to be out there, and expressed to us that it was people/kids like us who were actually slowly but surely saving the world…

Who would’ve thought? Our small gesture of wanting to put together these little care kits for people, would really be enough to have them completely look at the world differently, at least for a little while. I don’t know about anyone else that was involved, but for me, those 2 examples alone were enough to make the entire 5 hours that we were walking around, 100% worth it. Obviously there were a ton of others, but these were the ones that stood out the most for me.

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Overall, we were all so unbelievably happy at the positive responses we had continuously received throughout the night, not only from the people that we had given the actual care kits too, but also from our families and friends that had known about us doing this.

And I think I can speak for everyone when I say that it was definitely a humbling, eye-opening experience for us all, because although sometimes we may say we are thankful for everything in our life, we do also sometimes tend to take for granted the “little” things like having food, shelter and clothes. Things that we sometimes don’t even think twice about, because we never really had to. An experience like this definitely puts all of that into perspective.

Personally, I wish that we could’ve done more, but you know what? Looking back at it, considering we managed to be able to give out every single care kit we had, I don’t think we did bad at all. Plus, this was our first time ever putting something together like this so it was definitely a learning experience, and there’s always next time to be able to try doing something more, bigger and/or better.

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I really want to just take a second to thank every single person that was involved in helping put all of this together….whether you had donated money, or actual materials/food, or even just donated your time to be able to come out with us and pass everything out….thank you SO much; because without you guys, we wouldn’t have been able to make it happen. Irene, Jailene, Victoria, Tabatha, Chris, Mom, Tyler, Genaro, Pablo, Leslie, Alfred, Miyenia…thank you to all of you. You guys really did not have to help us in the individual ways that you did, but we are both so unbelievably grateful that you did. Thank you for helping us put our first little event like this together and making it as much a success as it was, and hopefully next year, or sometime soon we can put together an even bigger and better event.

I really hope you guys enjoyed this post. Please like, share, follow and comment, and I’ll see you guys in the next one!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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23 Things I’ve Learned At This Point of My Life

In light of my 23rd birthday today, I thought it would be nice to share with you guys 23 things that I’ve learned this past year and throughout my life in general thus far.

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In no particular order:

  1. Always put yourself and your happiness first, no matter the person or situation.

2. Don’t be afraid to take risks.

3. Not everyone is going to have the same mentality as you (regardless of in a positive or negative way).

4. Always make time for yourself at some point in the day, whether you’re reading, writing, going to the gym or doing something as simple as a skincare routine, it’s necessary for you to take care of yourself first to many extents.

5. Be grateful for everything in your life, whether big or small.

6. Don’t take things so seriously in life or personal.

7. Sometimes its okay to just walk away (from a person or situation).

8. Not all friendships are meant to last, no matter how long you’ve had them.

9. It’s okay to spend and enjoy time by yourself sometimes, in fact, it’s kind of necessary.

10. Don’t be afraid to lean on the people around you, whether that’s family, a significant other, or your closest friend(s). I 100% get not wanting to feel like a burden to people with your problems, but there are people around you who genuinely care about you and want to be there for you (even if it may be a handful or select few of people, they ARE there).

11. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and fail.

12. Give yourself credit when it’s due, no matter how big or small the accomplishment, task, etc. is.

13. Treat yourself occasionally! Obviously try not to go overboard, but everyone deserves to be treated sometimes. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you, do it for yourself. Get a mani/pedi, do some retail therapy, whatever it is that you want. If you know you’re a hard-worker and you deserve it, then why not?

14. Don’t ever be sorry for who or how you are. Unless you know it’s a bad habit or something that you need to change, but don’t ever let someone make you feel bad for being a certain way because chances are, you’re that way for a reason.

15. If you never try and put yourself out there, you’ll never really know what you’re capable of (in any/all aspects).

16. The type of energy and vibes that you send out towards people and to the world in general, is exactly what you’re going to get back. Nothing more, nothing less.

17. It’s okay to not always be okay. You don’t always have to be strong all the time, no matter what people or society in general may say or make it seem.

18. Everyone does things at their own pace, “Just because you took longer than others, doesn’t mean you failed or aren’t good enough.” Therefore, don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

19. Don’t let your issues and/or mistakes define who you are because they don’t. Learn from them and move forward with your life (to the best of your ability).

20. Make the best out of everything currently in your life, whether it’s a situation you’re dealing with or material things you may have (or lack thereof).

21. Hard-work NEVER goes unnoticed (believe it or not), someone will always recognize it and give you credit for it, trust me.

22. Have fun and do things that make you genuinely happy, because life is too short to do anything BUT things that make you happy.

23. It’s just a bad day/week/month/year, not a bad life. Don’t take a shitty day(s) and make it seem like you have a horrible life. Take whatever’s happened to you on that day(s) and use it to have better days later on.

Thanks for reading!

-Xoxo, Leo Girl ❤

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