Spring is known for the season for blooming flowers, and cleaning (hence the term “spring cleaning”). If you are Catholic, it’s also around/during lent. Forget starting New Years resolutions, this is the perfect time to bloom your ideas and projects. Usually, people give up something for lent that is hard for them to give up for the next 40 days leading up to Easter. Last year, I gave up meat for the full 40 days. It was tough, and decided not to do that one again. If you don’t do lent, that’s fine you can still use spring as a way to get rid of the negative, and bring out the positive vibes.
Instead of giving up something this year, I decided to add good habits to my life for the next 40 days. Good habits that are hard for me to keep up with, and would require some kind of time sacrifice. I don’t know about y’all, but me personally the hardest thing for me to give is my time (even giving myself time). I’m considering that starting these good habits will be a type of “spring cleaning” of my life. Also, one lent two years ago I gave up social media, and came back 40 days later with this blog.
This spring means business for me. I’m going all in. Like I said, instead of giving up something to eat I’m going to add these positive habits in to my routine for the next 40 days and hopefully build a habit enough to keep it for the rest of the year.
Here is my list of good habits I’m adding:
Workout 5x a week (something that does my body good, but requires me to make time for it. Usually after work I’m exhausted, and all I want to do is sleep.)
Read 10 pages on a book everyday
Do a blog post once a week.
Work on my new project everyday to make it available to all of you by the end of this month (top secret right now, but super excited to tell y’all when it gets closer to launching 😉)
I’m looking forward to adding these few positive habits to my everyday life. I know in the long run will become long term positive outcomes.
Here are some ideas of things you can add to your spring:
Surround yourself with positive people
Do random acts of kindness
Tell people you care about you love them more often (life is short)
What positive habits are you adding to your life this spring? Let me know comment below.
I hope to hear from y’all soon,
P.S- let me know of anything you would like for me to post about.
These photographers would not be this beautiful without the following people feel free to follow them on social media:
My last stop, on this year’s Europe trip was Lucerne. Although my time there was short (one day), but saw so much. Everything I saw, and did that day in Switzerland will be memories that will last me a lifetime.
To be honest, my first few hours in Lucerne all I wanted to sight see was a pharmacy. I don’t know if it was what I ate the night before or motion sickness from the altitude, but after trying to use my Spanish as Italian and acting out my symptoms to locals, I got what I needed. European medicine works fast! Once I was feeling better, I was ready to get to see everything Switzerland had to offer. Which is a lot, and I really wish I would have had more time. Also, more chocolate.
The best chocolate I have EVER had. I will order this chocolate to be delivered to me no matter how far it is, because you can do that. You can order the best chocolate in the world to come to you, thanks internet 😉 It might cost you, but it’s so worth it.
Nothing beats being on a boat, enjoying a piece of the best chocolate in the world (to me), and taking in the beautiful sceneries. Especially, when that boat is taking you to a train that will change everything.
Welcome to Rigi a breath taking place that will make you stop, and stare at this beautiful masterpiece called, the alps. I don’t know your beliefs (and no judgement), but to me I was in awe at the natural beauty God has created. Nothing has made me feel like a tiny piece to a giant puzzle, like I did here staring straight out at the clouds, and feeling them on my face. Seeing these giant mountains across from me made me feel like I was in a Bob Ross painting. It was and still (as I have a vivid memory of it) is one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had. No words can describe. You just look out in silence. You don’t try to figure out life, you just savor the moment as you breathe in the fresh air. It feels like a dream.
The night life in Switzerland is so much fun! Especially, when chicken nuggets and fries cost $18 USD, but shots only cost $3 USD. Thats how you know, it’s going to be a great night. Next thing you know you’re on the floor in front of a flower shop trying to get a good picture of you and their flower pots for the gram. Just to realize the next day that they weren’t that pretty, and it was most likely not a flower shop. I wish I could tell you the name of the bars, but I don’t remember. As far as music goes, they had all of my early 2000 jams with new reggaeton jams. I would hear Ozuna songs and a lot of other Latin American artists.
I did not spend much time in Switzerland, but my time there was fun. I also had to say bye to a lot of great people I met along the way. Tonight I will be having a Q&A on my Instagram account in my stories at 9 PM central time. Feel free to ask me anything you want about my trips, and I will answer them. I might have some wine before then to get me ready. I can also share some more behind the scenes pics with y’all, on there. IG: @jenstylehou
Guten morgen! If you have been following my Travel Thursday series, you have made it to the land of beer with me. Not just any beer, but THE best beer. Anyone who knows me, will tell you I used to not be a big beer person. I was always in the search for the one I would like the most. In Houston, I found that I love going to breweries for beer because they have a big selection and has helped me find what I like. After you drink so many though, does it really matter? In Germany, yes! Yes, it does! Augustiner-Bräu is all you need to know about beer. It was founded by monks. Those monks knew good beer! We will talk more about this later…
Oh man, the food was so delicious. Pictures cannot do it justice. To be honest, the food at the Hofbrau house was not my favorite (top left pic) but the experience of being in a place where JFK had drinks was worth it. Hofbräu has it dark history too, but I tried to not focus on that negativity. My sixth sense made it kind of uneasy for me to drink there for long, so I went to my new favorite drinking spot right after to ward of evil spirits with beer blessed by ancient monks. My top favorite eating spot in Munich hands down goes to the Schneider Brähaus, and their pilsner is also very good. I had their seasonal pumpkin soup with a Bayern Ox burger. I wish I had that right now. Now, you see that delicious looking steak at the bottom? Best steak I have ever had technically it’s not in Munich, but it’s still in Bavaria. I wish I could remember the name of the restaurant, but all I know is that it’s in a hotel at the bottom of hill where the Neuschwanstein Castle stands.
Germany is rich in history. Not just by what we’ve learned in history class about WWII, but in general. It’s sad that only some of their monuments are authentic, and the rest is still until THIS day being replicated. There was so damage after the war that they are still trying to recover their original identity. You can see that Germany is turning negatives in to positives. They don’t want people to forget what happened, but as a warning to not let that happen anywhere, ever again. A lot of their recunstruction is based only on pictures they have recovered. It is bitter sweet in a beautiful way, to see how they are conserving their historic architectural art in a modern way.
A good way to get educated on what really happened during that time is to visit the Dachau concentration camp (the first one). I would suggest a tour guide while you are there, I believe our tour guide’s name is Gordon. He will tell you things that were told to him first hand by survivors, and I loved how real he was while telling their stories. I learned so much. I learned that Coco Chanel was a Nazi, and that day I decided to not wear Chanel ever again (which is why I’m looking for a new signature scent if you follow my ig stories). Not saying that everyone has to stop wearing Chanel, or that if you do you’re a racist. I’m just saying it’s my personal choice to not wear or represent the name of someone who was a Nazi. If you’ve known me for a while, you know that I would have never thought of the day I said no to Chanel. That day, I decided to not turn back. The Concentration camp is now a memorial site that helps those who lost loved ones there to pay their respects, and honor their memory.
Germans are fun, kind, and genuine people. I felt at home there. Who wouldn’t love a place that you can drink beer for breakfast, lunch, and dinner without being judged. It’s actually encouraged, and you are protected by law to be able to go have a liter of beer during lunch. You can come back to work, and not get fired. It is beautiful, and has all types of public transportation. Also, don’t ask a German to choose your drink for you if you aren’t really about that life. They are my kind of people.
As I mentioned earlier, I found my favorite beer. It is my favorite one in the world so far. It’s name is Augustiner. I was lucky enough to drink it in Salzburg, and in Munich. As it turns out, it was created by monks. Later, it would become a privately owned and a lot of the money they make is donated to charity. Technically, by drinking there you are doing it for a good cause.
The Castles are not in Munich, but they are in the the same state, Bavaria. Bavaria is a state in Germany (which Munich is in), and some say it’s the Texas of Germany. Which I will make them honorary Texans. Super bad ass people, and they have awesome beer. Oh, and they have castles! Their most famous castle you might recognize as the castle you see in Disney world. It has inspired the Sleeping Beauty castle. It’s name is the Neuschwanstein Castle. The more yellow castle is a castle not a lot of people go to see, but I took a picture of it. I like the underdog. I would live in the sleeping beauty castle, if it didn’t have so many spiral stairs. Anyways, the yellow castle is called the Hohenschwangau Castle.
Well y’all those are some of my highlights from my trip. I will be doing a Q&A after part four on my IG. You can always comment below, and I’ll try to answer you ASAP.
Yay!!! Congratulations, you are all booked!! Now, the important questions come. What should I pack? How do I make everything fit in this suitcase? Should I just take a carry on? I know, I had a whole bunch of those questions too. I tried looking at all kinds of blogs and YouTube videos trying to find the answer.
First thing, is first. Add the cities you are going to visit to your phone’s weather app. You pretty much have to become your own meteorologist, and start predicting the weather. If you’re good at this, then good for you! It would trick me here and there with random rain. That being said pack a light rain jacket (preferably with a hoodie) that you can throw on top of any outfit. Also, a light portable umbrella that the wind won’t break (in case you don’t feel like wearing a rain jacket). Let me tell you, I was not ready. I ended up buying a bright pink poncho just to not get my camera wet. I don’t want the same thing happening to you.
Learn from my mistakes- Unless you are a minimalist or staying on the beach the whole time for your trip. Don’t try to fit everything on a carry on. If that’s your style, maybe I can learn from you. I, on the other hand. I’m a person who likes options. My checked bag was too small. I should have gone all in, and bought the biggest one they allow. Also, invest on good luggage that has all four 360 wheels. You don’t want to be struggling across the world.
Picture above, is not how I ended up packing at all. When it came to the packing part, I watched a lot of YouTube videos on how to pack and after finding out I can’t fold s*it…I decided to buy packing cubes on Amazon and roll everything in my packing cubes. Saves space, and gets you somewhat organized. They even come with extra bags for your dirty underwear and socks. Which, I recommend to also buy arm and hammer baking soda balls that are for shoes, and throwing it in there. Shoes and jackets are the the items that will take up the most space in luggage. I put them in the bottom of the luggage and piled everything else on top. Another reason for a bigger suitcase, souvenirs.
Try to pick clothes that you can mix and match. I didn’t end up wearing these exact outfits together, because I dress according to my mood. I did however end up mixing pieces together and creating different outfits. Take clothes you can layer in case you get hot ( I would) especially when going inside of a place. I traveled in the fall, so for you it might be different. There would be times I didn’t even want to wear pants, and wore leggings and a long sweater instead. Take comfortable shoes, Europe like most Latin America has streets that are stone/brick. Don’t bust your ass trying to do the most. Unless, you’re just a bad B in some heels 👏, or you really know you’re going from Point A to Point B (aka sitting down to sitting down).
“What kind of purse should I bring?”, might be your next question. Sure was mine! I read so many blogs that were helpful, but also put fear in me about pick pocketing that I didn’t even take any of my cute purses. Wear any crossbody purse you like that isn’t too flashy. Try to keep your purse in front of you, and/or where you can feel it. People are going to be able to tell you aren’t from there no matter how you dress. Dress as cute, and as comfortable as you like. As long as you aren’t yelling around that you have money to blow, you will be fine. Just be cautious, like you would back home during holiday shopping. If you walk around looking scared, you will only look crazy to other people and draw attention to yourself.
I hope this helps some of you preparing for your big trip. I probably forgot to mention other tips. If you have any questions, comment below 👇. Remember this site has google translate if you need it.
September is Hispanic Heritage month, so I thought what better time to show y’all my beautiful motherland than now. I’ve always been curious of where I’m from…I know where I was born, and I know where my parents were born. I just wanted to know where my ancestors before them were from, and how did they get here? Now that there are so many DNA ancestry tests available, I decided to take one and find out.
I feel that the picture above is a good description of why I have such a blend of different cultures in my DNA. I am 48% European, and 41.2% Native American. I found out that I have DNA from countries I didn’t even expect! It was very awesome to find out that I am .7% Italian, and that my Maternal Lineage comes from Siberia. That would explain why I’ve always been fascinated with the culture in those countries. The picture above was taken in front of the church El Rosario. It shows Christopher Columbus (most likely why I have European ancestors), and Martyrs/Saints that helped Native Americans in the country during the time of Conquistadores. They also brought Catholicism with them.
The church above is called El Rosario it is located in the department La Libertad in San Salvador, El Salvador. Pictures don’t do it justice. The way the light hits the stained glass windows is breathtaking. It creates a beautiful rainbow inside the church. Filing it with warmth.
El Salvador is a country rich in European, but mainly Spaniard culture. El Salvador declared it’s independence from Spain on September 15th of 1821. When you walk around and take in the architecture you can see the influence Spain had in El Salvador during colonization. This statue is in El Parque La Libertad, and it represents what it means. If you haven’t guessed by now “Libertad”, means liberty. It’s a beautiful monument to look at. Theres just a certain type of way it makes you feel when, you stare at something that has such great meaning.
The part on my ancestry test that put a big smile on my face, was when I saw that 38.4% of what I have as Native American is from El Salvador. I’ve always been proud of my roots, and thought of my parents country just as my own. I spent as many childhood summers there as I have spent in Houston as an Adult. There is so much greenery, and just such a more beautiful way of life. People appreciate the little moments in life, and take every good moment in to make it through the tough moments. They have such a contagious positive attitude, and their vibes make you believe in yourself more. These are all thoughts that go through my mind as I stare at this beautiful waterfall in Perquìn with my family around me.
If you find yourself in Perquín, because you wanted to chase waterfalls. Then, I suggest you stop by El Museo de la Revolución. Where you will get educated on the civil war that was not that long ago. El Salvador’s civil war did not end until the 90’s. The entry is inexpensive. There is a tour guide that will tell you the whole history, and all you do is leave a tip.
Monseñor Romero is the most iconic, and respected in El Salvador’s history. Next month he will be named a saint by the Catholic Church. Learn more about him when you visit the museum, or really anywhere you go in El Salvador someone will be more happy to tell you the impact he’s made to the country. El Salvador is a beautiful country filled with its history, and I thought I would share a few of its light since mostly what is shown to the world is the dark.
La Catedral de Santa Ana speaks for itself. I’m a sucker for architecture, and it turns out we were there right when the the celebration for St. Anne (the patron Saint) was about to start. There is a festival, the streets are filled with people selling all types of food, souvenirs, and there’s local entertainment. These are just a few of the things you can find in my parents country, that is also very much my country. Amo a El Salvador como las Pupusas aman a el curtido 🇸🇻💕
Every once in a while, you get moments in your life where everything is on a roll. It seems like your stars are aligned and the blessings are piling up. When you feed more positive vibes to it, you notice everything is going better (bigger blessings). Then, you get a little voice in your head (negative thoughts/people/situations). Don’t fret.
I get it, it’s hard. They say, “it’s all on YOU”, and “it’s your mindset”. Take control of it. It’s so easy to say, but the truth is…just like all great things in life it takes time. Shit, I’M still working on it. I have gotten to that point where I’m super positive, and things are going SO great that I decide to spread that positivity to others BUT they aren’t ready. They have a comeback to everything, as to why everything you are suggesting wouldn’t work, to what they’ve tried. Don’t let it stop you. Keep your head and vibes up.
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.” ~Dalai Lama
Yes, some might say they aren’t being pessimists, but that they are being realist. That can be true, and trying to change someone’s mind who is determined on sticking to their mindset is only going to drain your battery. Maybe they are just going through a rough patch, and don’t want to hear it. Just let them be. Know this, the positive energy you have in YOU should not stop because of this. Happiness comes from within, and although the mood and circumstances of those we love can change our mood (temporarily) we can’t let that kill our entire vibe.
It took me a VERY long time to even get to a point where I can talk about positivity, motivation, and being inspired again. It took this blog, a detox, and having an inner conversation with myself to get to this point again. I’m not letting anything or anyone stop that from rolling. During lent last year, I gave up social media and read many books about “happiness”. One stood out called, “The book of JOY”. In one of the of the chapters called “Nothing Beautiful Comes Without Suffering”, the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu talk about “how we face the negative in our lives is what determines the kind of person we become”, and that spoke to me.
I’m not saying give up on people, or cut them out of your life. I’m saying, don’t let a series of negative thoughts/circumstances/comments dictate your future/thoughts/moods. Use those as lessons to create something beautiful. Be like the lotus flower that grows in the mud, or like Tu Pac would say, “the rose that grew from concrete”.