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Live your best life….now…and let others live theirs!

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Hi my loves!  I am back!  My quick little trip to Miami was fantastic!  I can’t say enough about South Beach.  There’s just something about that town. I know people are like “Oh God, bitches go to Miami and this is all they talk about for months!” Well for good reason I think!  

Has it changed over the course of my years visiting? Absolutely! But, I still love it.  I love that everything and anything goes in Miami. I was there for two nights and I have to say I made sure to enjoy every second of it. 

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Welcome to Miami….

I remember about 15 years ago, (Yes I am aging myself, but who gives a shit? Not I!!!), Miami was a lot more BOU-gee than today!  85% of the people down there were fit and beautiful and took lots of care in their appearance. 

Many locals got to mingle with international tourists and if you didn’t go with some kind of bank you weren’t going to have the same experience! (of course, guys this was MY experience, but I would love to hear about yours)

People were so put together and beautiful that people watching was a sort of soft porn.  Like really!  From the bartenders to the servers to the hosts at the restaurants to the random guy riding on a bike down Ocean Drive – they were all fit! 

Even the 77 year old I met like 15 years ago was dashing and debonair with his white hair and white suits!  Oh! and let’s not forget the COPS!  I think it must be a requirement that you’re fit and good looking to become a cop in South Beach.

Anyway, I am a people watcher so I loved watching all these beautiful people waking by – back and forth, back and forth.  They reminded me of the stingrays swimming back and forth, back and forth in Belize.  No lie!

Even though all the eye candy was fun back then, I love SOBE more now.  Why?  I love it because NOBODY!, I mean N O B O D Y seems to feel self conscious in Miami.  Nobody seems to have any hangups about their bodies or clothing or who they are with or going solo.   

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People watching…. Not really but I like this pic….LOL

It feels to me as if people of all genders, ages, races, and sizes go to SOBE and transform themselves.

Women and men strut around with such confidence in their wigs and heels, coverups and bright ass speedos,  young and old as if they didn’t have a care in the world.

Even better is the fact that nobody seems to judge.  I can sit in front of Mangos (MY FAVORITE PLACE!!!)  www.mangos.com/miami/ and just watch as the crowds walk by for hours.

SOBE is the place to go if you want to get lost for a few days.  If you want to disappear and just breathe.  Pretend to be someone else or just be yourself.  It doesn’t matter.  

I stayed at the Whitelaw Hotel www.whitelawhotel.com/‎.  It was my second time there.  Located on Collins and 8th.  A block from Wet Willies  (not a fan but Hey! Call A CAB!)  and the News Cafe – Gianni Versace’s breakfast spot and a couple blocks from Mangos (. whitelaw3

The hotel is cute and swanky.  They belong to the South Beach Group https://www.southbeachgroup.com/en/home/ and sponsor a free happy hour from 6-7pm everyday in all their hotels. I would definitely stay there again.

But anyway, Ocean Drive is not the only place to people watch.  You can do it all over SOBE, even on Collins Avenue where you can find any number of cute bars and restaurants with outdoor seating like the Bacon Bitch   https://www.baconbitch.com/   which sponsors a fine menu of bacon inspired dishes and asks you if you’re the Main Bitch? Side Bitch? Naked Bitch? Extra Bitch? and several other bitches?  

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Which bitch are you?

I’m Extraaaaaa…lol…Hey! Extra is what got us into the Fountainbleau pool party on Saturday.  As I dressed my daughter asked, “Mom, You’re wearing that to a pool?”  

I was like, “We are not going to a pool, we are going to the Fountainbleau!” and so I rolled up in there like the bou-gee chick I totally am NOT! but it got us a bed and some drinks and MORE importantly we met some pretty awesome guys who shared their bed and their bottles with us.  

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#bathrooomselfi @thefountainbleau

A smorgasbord of people from all walks of life intertwined with local SOBE-ers and Floridians just soaking up the sun, eating good food, and living their best life.

It’s a skip, hop and $250 (approx.) airplane ride away from the cold, dirty streets of NJ and it literally is like stepping into another world.

So if you haven’t been, please go check it out! And if you have let me know when you want to go back!  I’m in there.  

Because living your best life doesn’t require a lot.  Only requires the thing that you love or moves you or gives you joy -anything from sleeping a weekend away watching Netflix and drinking wine, or doing having a self care day, or reading a favorite book for hours. Or visiting distant places.

Living your best life is one in which you get joy from the little and big things and you take care to not deprive others from living theirs. So tell me how are you living your best life?

liveyourbestlife

 

LolaUncorked♥

 

 

 

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We are raising (insert 8 letter word – starts with A and has two Ss)…

Disclaimer: As you will be able to tell this blog was written on Friday.  Due to my daughter’s baby shower it just sat waiting to be revised. Hence, the Happy F-ing Friday! LOL

This week I was completely enchanted (good word) when:

  1. I walked into a bar and someone who follows my blog came up to me and was like “What the hell?!?! You haven’t posted a blog since May 10!!” It was May 15th.  She continued on to say that she went onto the blog at work looking forward to a new post and was totally disappointed not to find one. (Insert tear here).

   MY blog guys!  She looked forward to MY blog.  I feel like this officially makes me a     blogger!!!!blogger

2. I was speaking with a co-worker who I invited to read my blog back when I started.  She never mentioned it.  After a seriously rough day at work (I recognize I am blessed, but still it was rough) she said, “OMG, Ms. Formentin!” She still calls me that making me feel all old and shit.

Anyway, she was like “I have been reading and following your blog and I love it!

“I especially like the one about the guy with the socks.” LOL.  She said it is so relatable and “I love how you express yourself.”  (insert second tear here)

Both of these made my day and it reminded me that I need to be more consistent with my blog.  And so here I am!  Because it really is all about connecting with people.  The images, the followers, the comments – THOSE are all secondary, maybe even third on the list of why and how I want to grow this thing.

Anyway, so here I am!  Happy FUCKIN Friday!  Yes, HAPPY FUCKIN Friday! What a week!!

I need to talk to you guys about our kids! Kids growing up now. Little boys and girls. The little monsters that we are creating!

As you all know I am educator.  I am in my 13th year of teaching.  Three years longer than I originally anticipated.

I’ve taught 1st, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades.

I’ve taught in urban and suburban schools.

Over the span of my thirteen years in teaching, I have witnessed what I describe as an epidemic decline in the integrity of our children.  This is manifesting itself as a severe lack of empathy for others. I know I sound dramatic, but that’s because this current situation is serious.

Every year, educators all over the world, face behavioral challenges in their classroom.  Author included.  However, I have never experienced some of the issues like the ones this year.  Challenges is definitely an understatement.

These kids are downright rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate and mean.  BULLIES!!! (Another disclaimer: Not all of them.  A select few.) .

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There’s actually a book about it!

They have no fear of authority.  They talk back.  The mock.  They mimic.  They hit.  They gossip.  They walk out of classrooms.  Talk about teachers to their face.   They want to have the last word.

OMG! I am a grown ass woman and let me tell you I still fear my mom.  These kids do not care.  And they will tell you.

  • I don’t care about my grades.
  • I do it because I want to.
  • I do it because I can.
  • She’s so annoying and ugly. (Talking about a sub)
  • You’re a ________________ (insert N word here). (Yes, the “N” word!!! At the 4th grade level.)
  • This is boring.
  • I just want to go home.

The responses run the gamut.  I’ll tell you what, had I ever responded this way to any adult and it got back to my mom, you best believe I would not be here today.  Back then it was a community affair – that saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” village.jpeg

My brothers grew up in the Dominican Republic.  I remember one time they were acting up on the way home – I don’t know what.  But I do remember that by the time they got home, my uncle had heard about it and he took a branch right to them in the alleyway.  Yup.  Community affair.

The crazy thing is I can’t even blame the kids today because as we all know this is LEARNED behavior.  Kids are born with a clean slate.  Yes, some traits are inherited but we also know most traits are learned.

Who are the real culprits here? Parents!  Parents in combination with technology are single- handedly ruining this generation of children.  And I believe it is going to get worse before it gets better.

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Put the technology down and TALK to your kid!

As parents we are so wrapped up in whatever it is we wrap ourselves up in – careers, fitness, homes, making money, travel, socializing – that we forget that our single most important job is – OUR KIDS!  If you’ve been blessed to have them.  Raising them, loving them, protecting them.

Clothing and putting a roof over their heads does not make us parents.  Loving alone  does not make us parents.  Making sure our kids go to school does not make us parents.

Parenting involves talking to our kids and engaging in conversation.  Listening attentively without the phone in our hand.  Being present.  Listening to both the spoken and unspoken words.   Modeling behavior like speaking properly, helping the elderly, volunteering, kindness, dressing age appropriately. The list is endless.

We think that because kids are absorbed in their technology that they are not paying attention to us, when in reality, I feel like they are way more aware.  It’s like the brain is soaking up the conversations around them and being filed for later use.

Have you ever had a conversation with let’s say your best friends while your child is playing on an iPad or smart phone nearby?  You think your kid is completely absorbed paying you no mind.

A few weeks later your kid will ask something like, “Who got arrested?” or “Oh, like daddy’s friend who went to jail?” You’re like mouth-wide-open because you swore at the time he wasn’t paying attention.

THIS IS TRUE STORY.  My grandson Max did this.  He will bring things up a week or two later that he subconsciously listened to and stored.

It’s the same thing with behavior.  You may think that when you are cursing out the salesperson because they were rude or disrespectful or just having a bad day, that you’re teaching your kid to defend himself, when what you’re actually modeling is to be rude and disrespectful.  If you’re not explaining why you are doing what you’re doing, and this is your pattern, it becomes their pattern.  kidadults

What do you think happens when you call that kid’s teacher and lie that the child was sick and that’s why he didn’t finish his work?  But in reality he was fine.  The child learns to lie, to make excuses, to not take responsibility for anything because his parents got his back.

Your children spend a good portion of their day in the classroom with teachers, other adults and other kids.

There is nothing uglier to me than that kid that E V E R Y O N E knows because of his shitty behavior.  Parents THIS is NOT cute.  Start modeling the behavior that you want to see.  You want an honest child, don’t lie.  You want chivalrous young men, open doors.  You want a classy daughter, don’t be twerking and then posting that shyt on social media. PARENTS BE WHAT YOU WANT THEM TO BE

Look I am not and haven’t been a perfect parent.  We all make mistakes. But as we grow older and we see this overwhelming inundation of technology and the effects it is having on our children, we need to be more mindful of the things we say and do in front of our children.

Because once that foundation is rooted, it becomes twice as difficult to undo.

Just don’t be the parent with the a*@hole kid!

This is one of my favorite quotes about kids! We have no idea how we damage our kids…

“All parents damage their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass, absorbs the prints of its handlers. Some parents smudge, others crack, a few shatter childhoods completely into jagged little pieces, beyond repair.”
― Mitch AlbomThe Five People You Meet in Heaven  

LolaUncorked♥

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Because you are worthy and deserving..

Hey! Guys and Gals!  Happy Friday! Happy Memorial Day Weekend!  Happy long weekend! Happy almost end of the school year to my fellow teachers everywhere! There is light at the end of the tunnel.

However, that light for many teachers is a dim and “POOR” light.  Summer is a struggle for lots of teachers.  Even teachers who set up summer bank accounts somehow manage to run out of funds two weeks before September.

Recently, I was thinking of my impending summer break and my bank account.  And you now how that is: One thought led to another.  I thought of how much money I needed for summer bills, then to having to dip into the little savings I have, to finally thoughts of the realization how “poor” I really will be and should stick to peanut butter and jelly.

And like all crazy folks I started thinking about why I didn’t have more. Why can’t I be rich? How does so and so have so much making less?  Right? We all do it.  Am I not good enough, smart enough, savvy enough to have more?  We start thinking there is something wrong or some reason why we are unworthy and undeserving of having more.  Perhaps we are repaying a karma. Who knows?

But, why do we believe ourselves unworthy and undeserving off all the wonderful things we want?

Why do we believe we don’t deserve that awesome house? or job? or car?

Why do we believe we don’t deserve to travel to our hearts content? Or get paid what we believe we’re really worth at work?

Why do we believe that we don’t deserve a fantastic relationship with a wonderful loving partner who takes care of us mentally, physically and spiritually?

I’ll tell you why – because we live in a society with a scarcity mindset or a scarcity mentality.

Many people have what’s known as a scarcity mindset or scarcity mentality. In the simplest terms, the scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough — whether it’s money, food, emotions or something else entirely — and as a result, your actions and thought stem from a place of lack. 

https://www.debtroundup.com/scarcity-mindset-keeping-you-poor/ Jul 16, 2014

Currently, only 3.5 million (or 3.5%) of the 100 million households in America are considered wealthy.  As of 2016, there were 43.1 million people living in poverty in the U.S.  That leaves approximately 53 million Americans that are supposedly “ok” financially.

Of course, this is based on a poverty line of $25K for a family of 4.  I mean can even one person live on $25K a year? Probably not, making that 53 million totally skewed.

Anyway, back to this scarcity mentality.  With all this said, yes we live in a society where we hoard whatever we have or come into because we are afraid there isn’t enough to go stephen-covey-570749around. We don’t care if in that hoarding we are taking away from someone else because it is every man for himself in this country.

 

What we don’t realize is that our thoughts create our reality.  If we believe we don’t have enough we will attract not having enough.   Our universe and everything around us is energy.  Our thoughts are energy.  Our words are energy.  Emotions are energy.  From science class we know energy  makes things happen.

Energy lights up a bulb.  Energy makes a car move.  Energy makes our pulse quicken and our heart pump faster.  Energy makes our thoughts turn into reality because what we focus on is what we manifest.

When we think we don’t have enough, we begin to behave as if we don’t have enough.

Folks!  Listen up: There is more than enough food, money, and love to go around!!!!!  It’s a matter of thinking it into existence!!!

Think about this scenario: Have you ever been up at night stressing over your bills and bank account?  Maybe you stay up all night thinking about it.  Tossing and turning. You lose sleep.

You are so exhausted in the morning you might oversleep and get to work late – getting yourself in trouble with your boss.  Your tone for the day has unfortunately been set and you keep falling deeper and deeper.

You’re so cranky you snap at co-workers or clients (maybe killing a deal).  You are so exhausted you can’t focus or complete a project – getting yourself in further trouble with your boss. 

All this negative energy continues impacting your performance (over time) and before you know it, you’re let go and NOW you really are in lack because you’re not getting a paycheck.

Listen, this is an extreme, but not far-fetched.  This is how our thoughts create our reality.  You think so much about scarcity and lack eventually you really end up lacking. However, this whole scenario could have and would have played out differently if our thoughts about it and reaction were positive.

But wait, know that these thoughts and feelings are not rooted in money itself.  They are rooted in feelings of unworthiness.  Feeling that we don’t deserve EVERYTHING we desire because of a bunch of baggage we have been carrying around for years.

If you want to get all the things you desire, first and foremost, be grateful for everything you have because at the end of the day someone has less – way less!

Believe that you already have whatever it is you are wanting. Act as if you already have it by giving thanks for it.  Visualize having it, feel the feelings of joy of owning it.

This is not only for material things. This works for that relationship you want.  It works for emotional and mental health.  Speak it into existence.  Don’t worry about how or when its coming just be thankful that it’s already here.

This sounds like mumbo-jumbo but the energy and thoughts you create when you are feeling happy and abundant attract more things that will bring you those feelings.

There is enough to go around and the moment you think it, see it, speak it, it is yours.

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♥LolaUncorked

 

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Half centuries’ worth of lessons….

I remember as a kid thinking that I would never make it to 40.  To me 40 was so old.  I always said I don’t want to live past 60.  No lie! With each passing decade, I would push it back.  Ok, 70 doesn’t look too bad and now as I am embarking on my last year in my 40s, I am thinking that hey, 80 is looking pretty good. LOL!

As I approach 50, I’ve been thinking a lot about my life up until now, lessons learned, and things I still want to do!

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This is what 49 looks like!PC| Joanna Martinez

This blog is about the important lessons that though I wish I had known then what I know now, I understand that these lesson came at the time I was ready to receive them.  I am not going to share 50 lessons, but I will share a few important lessons from my 20’s, 30s and 40s.

In my 20s, I was already married.  I got married, had my first by 23, bought a house, two new cars, worked.  I had lots of friends and my family.  By 25, I was separated.  All of the wives from our circle dropped me, except for two.  I guess I was contagious.  I noticed that the wives who dropped me were the ones that would run their mouths at get togethers.  Talking about how horrible their husbands were, and how they checked their phones, and lied about going out.

In the beginning of my marriage, I was like hey! My husband is great and so is my marriage.  I couldn’t understand why they wouldn’t leave their marriage if they were so miserable.  I noticed that as time went, I started to pick up some of their bad habits.  Became negative.  Didn’t trust my husband.  Wanted to go out and party.

We started having lots of trust issues, which led to arguments and fights and eventually a separation.  These women were by no means the cause of our separation, but I can definitely say that the culture they created influenced me in some ways.

It’s like that saying in spanish “El que anda con perros aprende a ladrar.” He who runs with dogs learns how to bark. Well, I was surrounded by so much negativity, I became unhappy.  I started to become like them, miserable, distrustful, at times, many times dishonest.

Instead of trying to make it work, I ran.  I wanted out.  Marriage was too hard.  And all those wives made it seem like it would only get worst.  So I left and guess what, many of those women are still with their husbands.  Some of them even hit on my ex husband while we were separated and even once we were trying to make things work.

The lessons that I learned is that couples need to KEEP YOUR ISSUES PRIVATE! Nobody needs to know about the argument you had, or that he or she cheated, or didn’t come home.  Misery loves company!  Men and women alike can be vultures circling, waiting on prey, literally.  The minute there is dissent between a couple, especially, if you guys seem to have it all, there is someone waiting to step in and snatch it up.  Keep your business to yourself and if you go out after a fight, put on a HAPPY FACE or stay home.

DO NOT CREATE A CULTURE OF MISTRUST by going through pockets, emails and telephones and whatever else these days.  Most times when you go looking for something you will find something and unless you are ready to address it, leave it alone.

COMMUNICATION is key!  I was a horrible communicator.  Didn’t want to talk about the issues, clammed up, shut down.  This is the worst thing EVER!  Talk, talk, talk, address the issues as quickly as they come.  Have weekly or bi weekly check ins just to gauge the relationships’ health status.

REMEMBER YOUR RELATIONSHIP IS SACRED! TREAT IT AS SUCH!

Moving along to my 30s!  Well 30s was fun!  I had my second daughter at 30 and officially got divorced.  But my 30s wasn’t about any relationship lessons, though I learned some more.  My 30s was really about my kids and raising them.  I learned how observant children are.  With today’s technology, we see kids walking around with cell phones and Ipads.  We encourage it because half the time we are so busy and exhausted, we welcome the downtime we get when the kids are busy engaged in social media.

We believe they are not paying attention! Well, trust me they are. Kids are really SPONGES!  They may be engrossed in their technology and social media, but they are absorbing their environment through their pores- words being spoken, arguments being had, actions of adults, music, people coming and going! They listen as we curse out the jerk who cut us off.  Their ears perk as we sit with friends judging or making fun of someone.  They feel when we are being not so kind and also when we do something good!  Be careful of the things you say or do or who bring around because kids are learning lessons from the people around them and their actions.

And finally to my 40s! Wow this was the age I thought I’d never get to and here I am wrapping this decade up within the next 365 days a year.  One lesson is how fast time flies as you get older.  The years just start to blend and it really blows my mind.  It is also a reminder that there is still a list of things I want to do, places I want to visit, experiences I want to have.

I did a lot of work in my 40s, personally and spiritually!  I’ve come to live by two mantras, one a good friend of mine said one day and has stuck with me – “I want to have experiences, not things!- (tweetable!) and the second one is – “Do all things with love.” (bible quote 1 Corinthians 16:14).

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These both carry me through out my days.  They are part of my gratitude journal writing.  I repeat them several times a day especially when I am teaching to remind myself that every person I encounter, student, staff, parent or stranger on the street needs to be dealt with love.  This past year, I have really, really worked to embrace the now. To not let stress get to me.  To leave work at work.  To stay in the present in all activities and interactions.

And I have to say that my days are easier and more fulfilling.  I focus more on the type of person I want to be rather than being so hard on myself for mistakes made.  I forgive myself quicker.  I reflect a lot.  Even though I’ve been on this spiritual journey for at least 20 years, I can say the most growth has occurred in the last couple of years.  I am so excited to continue the work in my 50s!  To keep learning and growing and living my best life!  I am ready to have more experiences, more travel, more learning, more loving and sharing!!!

I went to a birthday party not too long ago, a 50th, and the birthday person, was basically like “ugh” about turning 50.  They couldn’t figure out why I was so excited and looking forward to it!  I guess to me it’s just another year to do more, be more, be better, kinder, to grow!  And hell, everyone knows I love a good party, so 50 is going to be huge!

♥lolauncorked

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2018: The Start of New Beginnings

2018: The Start of New Beginnings

I am not quite sure why I wanted to start this blog…except for three things….

  1. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and though I’ve had little to no formal training, I’ve written a lot of stuff…now it’s time to put it out there…
  2. As I inch excitedly towards 50, I’ve reached a point in my life where it is IMPERATIVE that I find my truth…I need to find my space in this world and I need to find my purpose…it is a matter of life and death….dramatic, but no seriously. Something has been pulling at me for quite some time and it is time to answer that call.
  3. And lastly, #3 I’ve been on a spiritual journey for the last 20 something years…and I don’t feel I am any closer today than I was then…but that’s me being hard on myself because we are our worst critics.   And though I don’t knock the journey… I started to think that if I started to blog it …I WOULD SOMEHOW BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR IT… by all of you… and so here goes…

          Can I just say this blogging business is not easy!!! I started back in October and am still trying to figure it out.  Purchased books, researched blogs, read a lot of them, hired someone to help me with the layout and all.  What I’ve learned is you need to be consistent with it.  If I stayed away from it for more than a couple of days, when I revisited, it felt like the first time.  

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This me attempting to have my photos taken for this blog….AWKWARD… PC|Geralogy.com

        I googled the top bloggers of 2017 and one of the lists I found gave me the following information: Out of the top bloggers considered by that site – 59 were women, 6 were men, 57 were Caucasian and 2 of color.  Insert eyebrow raised here.  Where are all the Latino bloggers?  Where are all the Latino lifestyle bloggers?  Where are all the Latino lifestyle bloggers for women over 40 (nearing 50)?  Don’t get me wrong.  I follow a few fashion bloggers and I absolutely adore them, but at my age, fashion is not a top priority.  I am more interested in personal growth, health, travel, and being inspired.

     So I guess this is where I come in – because that is what I will be writing about.  I’ll share some of my favorite personal growth authors, articles, musings; even some of the stuff I’ve written. I want to share with you places I have visited and places in my bucket list.  You’ll see lots of pictures and funny stories about my adventures with Max.  You’ll even read some endless streams of consciousness about a little of bit of everything because goodness knows I have a lot of thoughts about a lot of things.  

     My hope is that I can inspire some of you to start on your own blogging journey and be inspired by all of you to keep on keeping on!

      Let the journey begin!

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♥LolaUncorked