May 13 – Unconditional love

I would like to believe that people who are close to me feel unconditional love towards me. Because I do. I do feel love for those who are close to me. And if you are reading this, then you are probably on that list.

Having the opportunity and blessing to be loved by somebody is very unique. Sometimes we don’t really appreciate the people that we surround ourselves with, however, if you are lucky enough to be texting/calling that specific person every day, let me tell you, my friend, you love them.

Like I mentioned, in my previous post, there are different kinds of love, and you can definitely love different people in different ways, but hey, at the end of the day is unconditional love. I don’t even know how to describe it. You just know when you love somebody.

Mothers love their kids, and fathers love their kids too. And I’m not just talking biologically. You can have a mother figure in your life who isn’t really your biological mother, and the same happens with father figures. This proves my point that loving someone doesn’t necessarily mean having a biological tight to them.

We have friends and coworkers who are considered family because of the fact that sometimes we spend long hours with them. Even though we still spend time with our biological family; parents, brothers/sisters, aunts/uncles, etc. As adults have the ability and the option to create and choose our own families and love them unconditionally.

 

 

May 11 – Love

I don’t think there’s a definition of love that fits everyone.

We have felt love and still feel love every day of our lives, however, that feeling for everyone is different. We love our friends, family, parents, pets, etc.. and every person’s love is and feels different. For example, you don’t love your pet the same way you love your parents, right?

I don’t think there isn’t just one type of love, but what I do believe is that as human beings we are very lucky to feel love, to be loved, and to love somebody or something. There are many definitions of Love in the dictionary. Try searching it up. Even I am having a hard time trying to figure out what to write about love.

Love is such a unique and personal feeling that even if I describe to you what I feel when I feel love, I’m sure it will be completely different than what you feel.

I love movies, writing, reading, playing, and listening to music, cooking, eating.

I love my family, friends, coworkers.

I love running distance…more like, jogging.

I think that what we love and how we love is what defines us as individuals.

What is love for you? What are the things that you love the most?

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My inspiration today comes from the WordPress.com writing prompts guide.
https://wordpress.com/dailypost/postaday/ebook-365-writing-prompts/

 

Day 15 – Scent

The smell of freshly ground coffee in the morning.. Or the smell of freshly baked cookies. Both of these scents put me in a good mood.

But hold on, I just don’t talk about food. What about the smell of clean towels? Or when you are going to wear a clean hoodie and you can still smell the fabric softener in it. Doesn’t it make you feel good? Doesn’t it give you a sense of comfort?

What about when someone walks next to you and they are wearing your favourite perfume? Or when a handsome guy or girl uses a perfume that enhances their sex appeal and makes you look back.

Totally unrelated, but what about the smell of gas ? When you are filling your car’s tank at the gas station..I hope lots of people are familiar with that smell. What about the smell of a new car? I’ve always loved that scent. Smells like plastic that has never been touched,  a clean, virgin plastic mixed with leather (sometimes) ..

Anyway, I’m rambling now…

To me, smell is one of the best senses that we can have. We are attracted to each other because of a specific scent, we are also selective of the type of food we want or like because of the smell. But aside from that, we can also recognize rotten food just by using our sense of smell.

So is it safe to safe that smelling can save our life, maybe? 

 

Let’s Go Eat…

I think I’m getting old …

I don’t remember exactly when my love for cooking started, but what I do remember is that I’ve always loved eating. And in order to eat, then I must cook. Both cooking and eating will always go together.

Today with the help of Social Media we don’t really have to think about what to cook. We can just go into google and type what we feel like eating, and we will get a recipe.

When I was still a kid, I remember my mom had cooking books and sometimes she would follow recipes from these books. Technically I am doing the same right now, but instead of going into cooking books, I will just go to Instagram or Facebook and a food video will pop up. I still own some cooking books that I use every now and then. Facebook and Instagram are my go-to pages when I am in need of something quick and not so easy sometimes. Here are some of the pages I follow on Instagram and Facebook for recipe ideas:

Now, the most important part of cooking is going grocery shopping. From my experience, not everyone likes going food shopping. To me, going to the grocery store has become more of a hobby and less of an activity. I enjoy going to the store and choosing carefully every vegetable I’m buying. It sounds a bit annoying, but I do take my time and my shopping list to the store every weekend.

I remember I liked going grocery shopping with my parents when I was little. I would go to the store with them and choose what I wanted. It didn’t bother me as a kid, I enjoyed it then and I still enjoy it now. Grocery shopping for me, other than being a necessity [because I need to buy stuff, so I can cook], it relaxes me. It makes me forget about what’s going on in my head. Cooking does the same for me too.

I think cooking and grocery shopping are good de-stressors because they require a lot of attention to detail and concentration. It does not necessarily mean that you can’t do anything else at the same time, but it does take a lot of energy and effort.

There was one day this week when I was not feeling my best. I did not want to talk to anyone, and I just wanted to come back home and go straight to bed. As soon as I got back, I realized I did not have anything in the fridge and that I had to make lunch for the next day to take to work. Without thinking too much, I started cooking and my mood changed immediately. I was smiling again and full of energy, so much that I went to bed a bit late that night. And it wasn’t because of the cooking, but because my mind was still active, even after the cooking was done.

I had the same feeling after work one day. I knew I had to get some groceries, but I really wasn’t in the mood. I pull out my shopping list from my pocket, grabbed my basket and started walking. As soon as I started looking for my food, I completely forgot about how I was feeling and was walking around the grocery store with a smile [almost]. Once I got home, I forgot that I was tired, I organized the groceries and started cooking. Cooking really is a mood changer for me. But again, you have to enjoy it because if you don’t, then, it will just put you in a bad mood and the food won’t taste as good.

I don’t cook every day, but I do cook every Sunday to have enough food for the next couple of days, at least. I write and plan my meals and based on that, I make my grocery list. Better than having to think on the spot what to cook. It really is about being organized and making the time to cook and shop.

I like eating, and so does everyone, no?

Now, let’s get to cooking.

Tote.

To Follow Or Not To Follow – Instagram

Being a daily Instagram user, I have always been careful about who to follow. And because it is a platform that I use daily, I usually try to stay away from content that won’t provide me any useful information.

The below influencers have taught me about how to keep a balanced lifestyle and stay atop my fitness goals. Aside from providing workout ideas, all of them provide mindful eating tips and even recipes that are easy to make. I say the recipes are easy because I am someone who follows recipes to a tee and they end up looking just like the video, or the picture.

There is a lot of people who would argue that eating healthy or [properly] is expensive and that they can’t keep up with it. I think it is just an excuse to be lazy and order takeout. Because if you are spending $30 on take-out, you can also spend $30 and go grocery shopping. Ordering take out is easier, and I am guilty of doing that too. But at the end of the day, our bodies will feel and work better if we give it food that was cooked at home.

SaschaFitness with 3.2m followers is at the top of the list.

Sascha Barboza @saschafitness – 3.2m followers (content in Spanish)

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Saschafitness. Picture from the website

Sascha has her own line of supplements including protein powder and BCAAs. She published two books that are about recipes and wellbeing that include workouts and tips on fitness. She also has a YouTube channel where she tries to publish weekly videos either promoting her line of supplements or helpful tips on what to eat throughout the day. I have been following Sascha for a good four years now and other than providing fitness tips, she is also focused on her daughters and family.

I like Sasha because aside from being a woman in the industry, I feel like she explains the content really well and is very direct. She will tell you what you should or shouldn’t eat using scientific and medical explanations with lots of background information. I really do like her fitness content, however, the only downside to her Instagram stories is that sometimes she is too focused on her daughters, and I feel like she forgets about what her account is really about.

Kevin Curry @fitmencook – 1.4m followers

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Kevin Curry. Picture from the website

Kevin Curry has published two cookbooks focusing on nutritional recipes for both men and women. He is also a fitness enthusiast and posts workout ideas. He also has a YouTube channel where he provides meal prepping ideas. I have been following Kevin for a good three years now and the main focus for me is the recipes and food videos.

I really like Kevin’s content because aside from being aesthetically pleasing, the food is delicious. I say this because I have tried to make a couple of his recipes. Kevin is really focused on clean eating and his feed is very colorful since he provides tips on how to include whole foods in all your meals, I mean vegetables and fruits.  He also tries to adapt every recipe to be a low-carb meal. As well as provides insight on which kind of spices to add to every recipe.

Ainsley Rodriguez @ainsley – 1.9m followers

Ainsley is an online trainer and fitness model. She provides tips on diet and workouts while focusing on clean eating. She provides online training and posts successful stories about clients who have gotten back in shape after using her personalized programs. I think I started following Ainsley around the same time I started following Kevin Curry. Ainsley focuses on how to stay active even with having a busy schedule. She travels a lot and is always posting about her daily routine and foods. Because she is a fitness model, she keeps her figure all year round.

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Ainsley Rodriguez. Picture from Instagram

I like Ainsley, because aside from being a woman, Ainsley is about the to-go life, which I think most of us identify with. Having a busy schedule is for a lot of people an excuse to not eat properly. However, by following Ainsley I have learned that you don’t really have to be able to cook at home to keep your figure all year round.

Do you follow any of the above-mentioned fitness influencers? Do you like them? Why? Why not?

Comment and let me know.

Tote.

Viviendo Por Un Deseo – Aladdin

Aladdin – La historia de un ladrón y su mascota – el mono Abu. Se enamora de la princesa Jasmine y hace todo lo posible para ganar el corazón de la princesa. Todo esto lo hace con la ayuda del Genio de la lampara.

Pero bueno, ya esta historia la conocemos. Y con la nueva versión de Aladdin que se estrenó hace un par de semanas, recordamos esta hermosa historia que salió a la luz hace 27 años.

El tema para este blog surgió cuando decidí que tenía que ver las dos versiones de la película de Aladdin. Simplemente porque me gusta ser critica, la verdad. Analicé casi cada detalle de cada una de las versiones y descubrí que hay bastantes similitudes. Así que bueno, ya se me cumplió el primer deseo.

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Naomi Scott representando a la Princesa Jasmine. 2019

Primero, vamos a enfocarnos en la Princesa Jasmine. En la versión del 2019, el papel de la Princesa lo toma la actriz Naomi Scott. Además de tener una voz excelente, el personaje de Jasmine en la vida real tiene muchas similitudes con la caricatura. No solamente físicamente, pero también personalmente. La Princesa Jasmine es dulce, inocente e independiente en la versión del 1992. Pero en la versión actual, a mi me parece que la representaron mas como una reina que como a una princesa. Es super independiente y toma decisiones por si sola y no le importa si hiere a los que están a su alrededor. ¿Y qué me dicen de Dalia? En la versión del 2019, Dalia acompaña a la princesa como su sirvienta o ama de casa. Dalia es la que aconseja y ayuda a Jasmine a decidir con quien se va a casar. Y en la versión del 1992 nunca vemos a ningún sirviente en el palacio.

Tengo que admitir que estaba un poco dudosa sobre la actuación de Naomi Scott. La actuación me parecía un poco forzada, pero después de haber visto las dos versiones de la película, me di cuenta de que la actuación de Naomi Scott estuvo mejor de lo que me esperaba. ¡Hizo un buen trabajo!

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Mesa Massoud es Aladdin. 2019

Segundo, vamos con Aladdin. El papel de Aladdin lo toma el actor Mena Massoud. Esto es a lo que yo llamo un Príncipe. Otro deseo que se cumple. Además de ser atractivo, Mena hizo un trabajo increíble al momento de representar a Aladdin. Sus expresiones, manera de sonreír y reacciones son bien parecidas a la caricatura. En las dos versiones de la película, Aladdin es un ladrón que roba para poder sobrevivir, al lado de su mascota, el mono Abu. La diferencia que conseguí aquí, fue que en la versión de 1992, Aalddin y Abu roban mas que todo comida, ya que se enfocan en que ellos están pasando hambre. Y en la versión del 2019, roban joyas y artículos preciosos para cambiarlos por dinero.

Admiro de verdad a Aladdin. No solamente el personaje, pero también al actor. Aladdin porque tiene que pasar por cada obstáculo para poderse ganar el amor de la princesa y de su familia. Literalmente lucho por conseguir el amor. Y admiro a Mena Massoud por haber tenido la suerte de tomar este papel y hacerlo lo mejor posible.

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Will Smith representado el Genio de la lampara. 2019

Por último, El Genio de la lampara. El papel del Genio lo toma Will Smith. La personalidad del Genio en las dos versiones de la película es una de diversión, aventuras y de ayudar a la gente. Además de ayudarte a que tus deseos se cumplan, el Genio puede ser considerado como un amigo también. Aunque esto no le guste a Jafar. El Genio es azul en las dos versiones de la película y la verdad es que eso no me lo esperaba. Pero Will Smith hizo un excelente trabajo en su papel de Genio. Tanto que hasta pudo mostrar las diferentes personalidades por las que pasa el Genio. Por ejemplo, cuando el Genio se presenta a Aladdin, se clona y se convierte en un payaso.

Tenia un poco de aprensión de ver a Will Smith como el Genio. Pero bueno, se cumplió mi otro deseo.

Bueno, ya me quedé sin deseos. Pero nunca sin palabras.

Además de tener unos buenos actores, la historia de la película en general no tuvo muchos cambios. Por ejemplo, en la versión animada Aladdin le muestra el mundo entero a la Princesa Jasmine mientras están volando en la alfombra mágica. Podemos ver Egipto, Grecia y China. Pero en la versión del 2019, la verdad es que no se distingue muy bien por donde es que están volando. En la versión animada, también culpan a Aladdin de haber secuestrado a la Princesa Jasmine y en la versión actual nunca se hace mención de un secuestro.

Lo que si dejaron exactamente igual es que Jafar siempre busca y quiere a Aladdin. En las dos versiones, Jafar busca a Aladdin porque piensa que el es el elegido para entrar a la cueva a buscar la lampara. Y aunque la manera de llegar a Aladdin es diferente en las dos películas, el concepto sigue siendo el mismo.

En mi opinión, la película de Aladdin es sobre luchar por el amor de tu vida y nunca rendirse. Aladdin sobrepaso todos los obstáculos solamente para hablar y poder pasar tiempo con la Princesa. Nunca se rindió y lo consiguió. Aladdin y la Princesa Jasmine terminaron juntos por siempre.

¿A ustedes que les parece? ¿Cuál es el mensaje de esta película? ¿O yo estoy equivocada en pensar así?

Pero bueno, después de todo este análisis, si me gusto la película. Las dos. Y las volvería a ver una y otra vez.

Tote.

Living For a Wish – Aladdin

Aladdin – The story of a street rat and his pet, a monkey – Abu. He falls in love with Princess Jasmine and does the impossible to get to her heart. All of it with the help from a Genie in a lamp.

But we all know this story already. And with the new version of Aladdin, that hit the movie theaters a couple of weeks ago, we remember the story that 27 years ago came to life.

The topic for today’s post came up because I realized I needed to watch both versions of Aladdin since that is just how critical I am. I have analyzed almost every detail of both versions and discovered more similarities than “mistakes”. I guess at the end of the day, one of our wishes came true.

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Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine. 2019 Aladdin

First, we need to focus on Princess Jasmine. On the 2019 version, Princess Jasmine is played by Naomi Scott. Other than having a beautiful voice, real-life Princess Jasmine does have a similarity with the cartoon character, not only physically, but also personality wise. Princess Jasmine is sweet, innocent and independent in the 1992 animated version. However, on the 2019 version, she is represented as a Queen more than a princess, in my opinion. She is very independent and can make decisions for herself even if it will harm anyone else. What’s with Dalia anyways? On the 2019 version, Princess Jasmine is accompanied by a housemaid throughout her decisions of choosing the right Prince. Even though in the older version, Jasmine is all alone with her companion, the Tiger – Rajah.

I must admit, I did not really like Naomi’s Scott acting in the 2019 version of the film. I thought it was too fake and she was trying too hard. However, upon watching the older version, I realized that she did a better job than what I had in mind. Very well done!

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Mena Massoud as Aladdin. 2019 Aladdin

Now into Aladdin. Aladdin is played by Mena Massoud. This is what I call a real-life Prince Aladdin. Another wish coming true.  Other than being incredibly physically attractive, Mena did a tremendous job on playing Aladdin. His facial expressions, smile, and reactions are almost the same as the cartoon character. In both versions of the movie, Aladdin is portrayed as a street rat and hated by the high class. As a street rat, Aladdin, along with his pet – Abu, steal for a living. On the 1992 version, Aladdin is only shown as stealing mostly food since they are most focused on them being hungry. However, the 2019 version shows Aladdin as stealing precious jewels and other artifacts in exchange for money.

I really admire Aladdin. Yes, both the character and the actor. Aladdin because he surpasses every obstacle until he is together with Princess Jasmine. Fighting for love. Mena Massoud for being lucky enough to get this role and making the best out of it.

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Will Smith as Genie from the Lamp. 2019 Aladdin

Finally – The Genie. The Genie is played by Will Smith. The personality for both cartoon Genie and real-life Genie is outgoing and very fun to be around. Other than being able to make your wishes come true, Genie can be considered a real friend. Even though Jafar does not see it like that. Genie is blue in both animated and live action movies. I was not really expecting that to happen, but Will Smith was able to pull it off and, he was also able to play the different characters Genie goes through while showing Aladdin who he is. For example, Genie’s clone during Genie’s introduction to Aladdin.

I was a bit skeptical about Will Smith playing Genie. I really was not sure about what to expect. But guess what, another wish came true.

And now, I’m out of wishes.

Out of wishes, but never out of words.

Aside from having a well-chosen cast, the movie, in general, had some minor changes. For example, in the animated version, Aladdin shows the whole world to Princess Jasmines while flying on the magic carpet. We can see Egypt, Greece, and China. However, on the live action version, we can’t really see where they are going. On the animated version, Aladdin is thought to have kidnapped Princess Jasmine and in the 2019 version, no one mentions anything about a kidnapping.

The only similarity to the 100% that I found is Jafar wanting Aladdin. In both versions, Jafar reaches out to Aladdin because Jafar thinks Aladdin is the chosen one to get to the lamp. And even though the way of getting to Aladdin changes in both versions, the concept is still the same.

To me, Aladdin is all about fighting for what you want and never giving up. And even if Aladdin had to pass as a Prince, so he could talk and spend time with his loved one, he never gave up and he succeeded in getting her love.

Do you agree with me? What do you think is the main concept of Aladdin? What is the hidden message in the movie?

All of this to say. Yes, I really enjoy the movie. And yes, I would watch it again.

Tote.

The Art of Moving Pictures

As previously mentioned, I have a passion for filmmaking and photography. In one of my previous post, I wrote about filming with a Bolex H16. This camera goes all the way back to 1935 when it was first used. This camera had to be loaded with a 16mm film and developed later. It was a very long and manual process because to film with the Bolex, aside from loading the film, the light needs to be measured manually, by using a lightmeter, taking into consideration the aperture of every lens that is attached to the camera.

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Here is what a Bolex H16 looks like

Also, the Bolex did not really have any batteries, but a motor instead that had to be cranked up manually and will only allow for 18 seconds of filming. If you wanted to keep filming, you had to “recharge” the motor again, for another 18 seconds.

We are not in the 1900s anymore and technology has advanced significantly in the last couple of years. This advancement is what brought us the amazing GoPro. For those of you who don’t know, a GoPro is a tiny camera that you can carry with you everywhere, it takes videos and photos and you can control it with your own phone if necessary. The GoPro doesn’t have interchangeable lenses, but the settings can be adjusted, and you can film with a wide or with a standard view. GoPro battery is rechargeable, and you only need to press a button to use it. Has anyone ever used a GoPro? Have you controlled it with your phone? It is very entertaining.

During my trip to L.A, I was always carrying a GoPro with me. I liked it because the camera is so small that you can walk and still be able to see where you are going. There’s no need to be looking at the screen all the time. Another amazing feature is that you can make videos and take pictures at the same. I did not really take any pictures with the GoPro. However, I do have lots of footage of my trip.

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Here is what a GoPro looks like.

Comparing both the Bolex and the GoPro, we can see how film goes all the way back to the 1900s and how people are still fascinated with the idea of moving images. Today, all of us can make a film using our own phones and make it available for everyone to see it almost immediately.

Unfortunately, I won’t be able to share the footage I created with the Bolex H16, however, I can share the footage from the GoPro.

Follow me on Instagram where I will be posting videos of my trip during the weekends. @maritote

What about you? Do you like film as much as I do? Do you like going to the movies? Or making your own film using either a GoPro or your phone?

Tote.

Dear May…

Why do I enjoy the month of May? Throughout the years, May has become an interesting month, at least for me. When deciding what to make of my first come back post, I decided to share it on the first day of May because there are a lot of things to say about this month.

May was named after the Greek goddess – Maia– who is identified in the Roman Era as the goddess of Fertility. Yes, I did some research!

May is the month when flowers and trees start to bloom again, announcing the end of a cold and long winter, at least in Canada.

Cherry Blossoms – common in Toronto during the month of May. Picture from dailyhive.com

It is also when the days start getting longer and the sun starts to shine bright. It all sounds as if May is almost the perfect month of the year. Who would argue, right? Longer and warmer days, while the beauty of flowers follows us everywhere, even at convenience stores.

On the other hand, the month of May also means that a third of the year is already gone. Where did time go? I remember having dinner with my family, wearing a fancy outfit during New Year’s Eve, and it just feels like it happened last week. What is it about time that goes by so fast and we don’t even notice? Back when we were kids, everyone is in such a hurry to grow up and be adults. Today, are we in a hurry to grow older, or do we want to go back in time and be kids again?

Ok, back to May…

May is also the month for Mother’s Day. At the same time, May is the month of devotion to the Virgin Mary. I don’t think this was chosen arbitrarily, because Mary as the mother of Jesus is celebrated when we celebrate and commemorate our own mothers. Now, it really depends on your location, because not every country celebrates Mother’s Day in May. Aside from this, shouldn’t I be honored as well? You know, Maria, Virgin Mary. Yes? No?

Speaking of celebrating and honoring, May’s birthstone is Emerald. Emerald is a precious stone that is worth a lot of money. One carat of Emerald can be worth $500. Emerald and White Gold is a common combination of engagement rings. So, if someone out there is trying to impress me, you can for sure do so with an Emerald and White Gold ring.

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Picture from Glamira.ca

Guess what! Emerald represents love and success. So then, why is there a superstition that May is not a good month to tight the knot? Yes, even if you already got your Emerald and White Gold ring. 

“Marry in the month of May, and you’ll surely rue the day.” -Anonymus

 

Thoughts on May?

Tote.