Tag Archives: life

Gratitude and Me

So I’ve been trying this whole mindfulness meditation thing lately. And its been working out pretty well. I’ve established a pretty standard morning routine, which I am totally not a morning person to be clear. But it seems that mornings have become increasingly easier. I can process my thoughts. During  one session, I could very clearly hear a voice say “You have everything that you need”. Hearing that released like, this blanket of calm. We spend so much of our lives searching for, wanting more, that we don’t really acknowledge what we have. I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts and the guest said something that resonated with me.

“When you appreciate what you have, those things begin to appreciate”.  I’m not saying that appreciating the warmth of your blanket on a cold winter day will increase the amount of blankets you own. But appreciating the one you have will have a positive influence on your perception of its value. Value truly is perception based.

I take all of my most recent life experiences as lessons in gratitude. Every day that I wake up, I’m grateful. I’ve been trying to keep a running list of the things I’m most grateful for. Putting it all on paper really makes it seem like I have so much, which is exactly the point. A few of my most recent faves:

Living in the City

Most people see it as a headache with all of the noise, the traffic etc. But I like to think that during my brief time here so far, it has truly helped me to expand my horizons even more. It has helped me to move beyond a lot of the limits I had placed on myself. And honestly, there’s so much underestimated beauty here.

Morning Coffee

The best feeling is waking up, setting my intention for the day and having a nice cup of coffee while wading through my thoughts. Its always a plus when I’m able to do so while the sun rises.

Fresh Flowers

Instant mood booster.

Do you have your own special way of expressing gratitude?

Year in Review: Inner Musings of a Wandering Soul

As I type this, a steady stream of sirens can be heard outside my window, coupled with the ongoing conversations and honking horns from the Metro rail below.  And after a full month in my new studio, I have to say, its actually kind of growing on me.

I’ve always had this idea in my head that I could never afford to live in the city and I had pretty much convinced myself that I wouldn’t like it either. I’ve never lived in the city in my entire thirty-one years of living. It’s either been the hood or the burbs. But there’s a first time for everything, right?

What Made Me Do It?

I just wanted to try something different. Das it.

I feel like this year, the Universe and I developed a budding relationship. I began to trust it more. I let my guard down. Thoughts and feelings that I never would’ve thought to act on, I did it this year. Maybe its because this is the year that I experienced one of my worst bouts of depression. I mean ugly cries, days without eating, no sleep. I lost ten pounds in a little over a week. I was functionally depressed because I mean, I still had to go to work. The beginning of the year started on a high as I waltzed right into the Thirty Club. From Cartagena to Cuba to Spain, I was on top of the world. Inspired and energetic.  And then Life was like “you’re having way too much fun kid…here, hold my beer”. It knocked me on my ass so hard late summer. Plus, I was working in a place that wasn’t a good fit. The days dragged on, so much so that I had lost track of what day it was on a consistent basis.

In the midst of another non-stop, anxiety-driven ugly cry session, I heard a voice say “Life happens. But at the end of the day, you still gotta live bish”. Its crazy how amidst all the emotional clutter and static, I was able to hear that voice. Maybe therapy was finally starting to pay off? You know that saying “God doesn’t always give you what you want. But he sure will give you what you need”? Well, I needed a swift kick in the ass.

Manifest Your Motherf***in Yes

On a whim, I went on a bookstore binge and purchased Jen Sincero’s “You Are a Badass”. It literally saved me. Journaling my positive affirmations on a daily basis. Trying to fix myself, wishing and hoping for the slightest bit of relief. It’s like that hustler college student I was at twenty, working three jobs and getting shit done by any means necessary. She pushed through. The more I did these things, I wasn’t even focused on the brokeness I had been feeling for the last three years. Shit just started to happen, ya know? And now,  well, Universe is basically bae.

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth- Pema Chödrön

Shit is just clear now. And honest. Laughter. Unspeakable Joy. Truth. Hope. AND my new job is awesome and exactly what I’ve been praying for (Name it and CLAIM it boo!). I officially realized that no matter what happens, Life still has to be lived. You have to become one with it as it ebbs and flows. Its like this constant restructuring of the way you think, the way you feel. But almost always for the better. Am I always the picture perfect vision of sunshine and rainbows? Haha, catch me before 8 am, pre-coffee and find out.

It almost sounds too good to be true, huh? You may be thinking “Yea, I know… just start reciting quotes and positive shit and all will be well?…ok girl”. But real is real. That’s literally all it takes. You gotta start somewhere.

I’m not going to “New Year, New Me” you guys to death. I’m always going be the same Latricia. Still goofy af. Still sarcastic af. Still dramatic AF. Still down to earth. Just a little bit more hip to this game called Life.

May your 2018 be filled with a shit ton of boozie brunches, dope concerts, spine tingling vibes and bountiful blessings.

 

Fall-ing in Love: Colors in California

This year I couldn’t have picked a better way to spend my birthday. I hopped on a flight with the intention of stuffing my face and loving on my niece and nephews. That’s always fun and usually by the third day, I’m exhausted. But it’s worth it. I also did a little research and realized we were in close proximity to the Paso Robles wine region. Now y’all know I love my wine!

We had limited time but I was successful in convincing my big sis to day trip with me for some tastings and just an all out girls trip. And we had a blast. Our first stop was LeVigne Winery in Paso Robles.

The grounds of this place were gorgeous. It’s also kid and pet friendly. My niece had her fare share of fancy fruit punch soda.

Also, she had a blast taking pictures with Aunt Trici.

But everywhere we turned, we were surrounded by bold and beautiful splashes of color. Having a glass of wine on the patio was the perfect way to end our visit to LeVigne.

For our next adventure, we trotted off to Jack Creek Farms in nearby Templeton. I wanted my niece to have some fun of her own. I had read online that they allow you to pick fruits from the orchard.

Once again, the colors y’all…

It’s like your brain goes through a range of emotions being surrounded by so much beauty. And I’m so glad I got to share this with my sister and niece. I’ve been to Napa/Sonoma a few times, but I think Paso Robles may be my new favorite.

My Summer of wanderLUST: New Orleans

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I was determined to have a jam packed summer, full of road trips and lots of sun. I made it happen, and it was glorious. First up on the list was New Orleans. Because you can’t ever go wrong with NOLA. I spent a great deal away from Bourbon Street. I know thats usually the go to spot for out of towners, but seriously, there are SO many unique and cool things about New Orleans outside of Bourbon Street. However, making at least one appearance for a hand grenade is ok.

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Somewhere on Bourbon.

This trip, I visited Frenchman Street as well as the Garden District. I was blown away. In all my years of visiting this wonderful city, I never witnessed the beauty of these places.  The Frenchman Street Art Market was definitely on my list. So many cool things to see and buy from the local artists.

Out and about. Frenchman St Art Market
Out and about. Frenchman St Art Market

 

The Presbytere, New Orleans
The Presbytere Museum, Mardi Gras Exhibit

 

The Presbytere
At the entrance of The Presbytere

 

Audubon Park
Audubon Park

 

Just wandering through the park.
Just wandering through the park.

I know you’re wondering about it. And yes, the food was delicious! But I mean, its New Orleans, what did you expect?

Gumbo from Stanley in the French Quarter
Gumbo from Stanley in the French Quarter

 

A triple treat! Jambalaya, Crawfish Etouffe, Red Beans and Rice
A triple treat! Jambalaya, Crawfish Etouffe, Red Beans and Rice

One of the best things about driving through Louisiana on the way to New Orleans are the pit stops in between. Cracklins are a must!

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My mom’s side of the family resides in the Greater New Orleans area, so naturally, I spent a lot of time there growing up. But somehow, this trip was different. This trip stirred up a fire in me that I thought had died out. Life gets hard sometimes and trying to maintain your sense of imagination and creative spirit can be taxing on the mind in the midst of it all. This trip, I did a lot of self reflection. The long walk through beautiful Audubon Park leading up to the riverfront was freeing in its own right. As some of you may know, my mom died when I was eight. I couldn’t help but take in all the beauty around me while thinking “Man, my mom grew up here? In such a cool place?”. I feel like I was supposed to experience this New Orleans. I don’t really know much about her, but I feel like my sense of adventure comes from her. And in a way, I feel like I connected and shared this moment with her spiritually. This was the start of something good.

Random Ramblings: Spring Fling in the City

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As someone who considers themselves a country mouse, I admit that being in close proximity to the city is pretty convenient (without traffic, of course). I would definitely say that I’m more of an outskirts dweller. City life just ain’t for me.

But, then there’s those times where you enjoy venturing off into the big city and exploring. The adventurer in me likes that aspect. There are so many places to explore, depending on your interests. I’ve been in the Houston area for about a year now and last year was officially my first time ever going to the Houston Livestock and Rodeo Show. It’s kind of a big deal.

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This time of year is especially my favorite. Its the time of Spring festivals and crawfish boils (not just a Louisiana thing, mind you). The weather tends to cooperate more as well making for a nice day out on the town.

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So come on Spring, let’s get crackin’!

Backyard Musings: Elements of Serenity

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You ever drive through your hometown and set out to discover the yet to be discovered? Or maybe set out to capture the beauty of the unappreciated? That’s always been a goal of mine, even from a little girl. I was always determined to find my town’s best kept secret or at least pretend that it was.

Beaumont,TX (my hometown) is full of treasures. Although buried deep or often gone unnoticed, there are many points of interest I’ve always been drawn to. I’ve been going to Collier’s Ferry Park (or as the locals call it “The River”) since I was a little girl. My uncle would pull out the boat and we would go tubing during the summer. Every trip I would feel a rush of excitement, as if I didn’t only live ten minutes away. Even as an adult, I still sort of get a little excited. Often times as I got older, I would go just to be able to think. The silence is so calming. You could literally hear a pin drop. Its been said that pure silence is the best time to hear God speak. Either way, my little moments at the River have helped me think through many life decisions.

In recent years, my hometown has been the center of much controversy and scandal. It has seen many changes, some for the good but a lot of bad. Crime rates have rapidly increased alongside a failing school district. But somehow, I can’t seem to find it in my heart to completely forget where I’ve come from. I visit often, mainly because of family. But also because there is no place else like it. And because of places like the River, in all of its simplicity, still manages to exude a whimsical blanket of serenity whenever I’m near. To me, it feels like the calmest, quietest place in the entire town. Many of my friends who left vowing never to return may think I’m stuck in a fairyland for writing this. But I understand that no place is perfect, and there will always be trouble anywhere you go. I just choose not to let the bad completely overshadow all of the good that I’ve grown to appreciate. We all have our own things we find beautiful; our own aesthetic truths. Doesn’t always require a trip to a completely foreign place to realize either.

Random Ramblings: Finding My Way Back

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In case you didn’t know already, I initially went to undergrad for Fashion Design. How I ended up in Accounting, I’m still trying to figure out, but I like it. I eventually changed over to Merchandising after the last straw with the teaching assistant in my drawing class. Art is such a subjective area, there really is no right or wrong. Either you hate it or you love it. And the type of person I am, I worked my ass off to get the best grades possible, only to be met repeatedly with mediocre grades. Mind you, I had been drawing my entire life just about. It got to a point where something I loved so much instantly became a pain in the ass. So I switched majors. Some may say I was a quitter. I’d like to think I was more of a misguided freshman that didn’t really know exactly what was worth fighting for at the time. But I think I left my creativity at the switch.

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Random drawing from my first drawing class 10 years ago

I love art museums, shows, exhibits. I could spend all day roaming through them. That Iove I never lost. But I’ve found that over the years, its become increasingly harder for me to visualize things, as I have always been a visual learner. Picking out clothes, coordinating decorations, etc requires much more effort than it used to. And all the while I’ve been thinking “I miss my creativity, how do I get it back?”.  It’s true what they say. If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.

Still life sketch from undergrad
Still life sketch from undergrad

Welp, after sitting on the thought long enough, I went out and bought a sketch book and some pencils. I haven’t sketched in about 6 years. So you can imagine that the first sketch was rusty. But with the help of YouTube for some refreshers, I’m slowly easing my way back in. I try to carry my sketch book with me everywhere. Eventually, I want to get into figure drawing. I have always sucked at it and I switched majors before we really got to studying it. I miss my artsy, fartsy self. Late nights in the art lab, analyzing works for hours at a time, scaling still lifes with my pencil, re-upping on acrylic paint… all of it. I’m slowly getting back to it. The beauty in this life is the fact that you don’t have to be confined to just one thing and versatility goes a long way. Artsy Analyst has a nice ring to it.

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Tulum: Day 3

My final day in Tulum. It was bittersweet. Such a chill place. So I made the most of it and did some more exploring. I caught a taxi to the Mayan ruins. The level of creativity and intelligence to build something so intricate before its time definitely demonstrates the ability of the human mind.

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I even made a new friend.

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After a walk through the entire site, it was beach time. The day was perfect. Just enough breeze to keep you comfortable.

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I decided to walk the beach side a little more for lunch. I found this really cool spot, El Prez. I had the best beer battered fish tacos ever. Like, EVER. And they take credit cards, one of the few places that did without charging an outrageous fee.

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And the drinks… A Hint and a Whisper… Gin and real lavender.

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I am definitely coming back to Tulum, especially now that I know what to expect. Its charm has truly captivated me. And there were so many more places I wanted to go, and in due time, I shall. Tulum was very international. I met French, Canadian, Argentinian and Australian travelers. Lots of back packers. If you are truly looking for a unique beach experience with a little bit of jungle thrown in the mix, I highly recommend Tulum. Keep in mind that its off the grid, with no connection to power lines ( hence the wind turbines you see along the beaches). It is definitely eco- chic.

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Farewell, Tulum! We shall meet again.