ANOTHER blog award?! – The 2017 Liebster Award

OMG, I cannot believe I’m accepting another blog award in less than a week! I’m so honored and happy about this, about people thinking my work is good enough to be considered for a nomination…aa3616_c1f345f13b8a4a35b170f67445c25035-mv2

This time I’m accepting the Liebster Award. I was nominated by Allen from The Traveler 196, his blog is awesome please go check it out! He writes about travel and takes really cool photos. Thank you for the nomination, I really appreciate it!

Here are the 2017 Liebster Award Rules:

 The rules are pretty simple. After you receive and accept the award, you basically ‘pay it forward’ by following these steps:

1) Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog on your blog.
2) Display the award on your blog — by including it in your post and/or displaying it using a “widget” or a “gadget”. (Note that the best way to do this is to save the image to your own computer and then upload it to your blog post.)
3) Provide 10 random facts about yourself. (optional)
4) Nominate 5 blogs that you feel that deserve the award.
5) List these rules in your post (You can copy and paste off my post or visit this site.)
6) Answer five questions and think 5 questions to ask to the next nominees.
7) Lastly, inform the people/blogs that you nominated and provide a link for them to your post.

Here are the five question I have to answer:

 1) How long have you been blogging?
I’ve been blogging on and off for ten years now but this is the first time I’m really trying. And I’ve been writing on this blog for 8 months and I’ve been trying to post new content every week.

 2) What advice/tips do you have for new bloggers?
Don’t give up. Do a lot of research before you start. Learn a lot about social media. Engage with other bloggers. Work hard because it takes time but you’ll eventually get there. But NEVER.GIVE.UP.

 3)How do you overcome writer’s block?
I start to brainstorm and to think about possible projects I can do, I go to Pinterest and I like to take long walks to clear my mind. That always helps.

 4) What impact do you plan on having on the world?
Something I would love to do is to be able to forge a new generation with gender equality, less hate and more tolerance. If I can do something to make the world a better place I would definitely do it.

 5) What is your favorite blog post written by you and why?
Well, I have to say that my favorite blog post written by me is “Using your phone is like smoking in the 50’s”. I like it because I feel so strongly about it. I hate seeing people walking on the streets not paying attention to anything or anyone but their cellphones. And I think it’s a severe addiction that we are not taking seriously.

And now I’m going to list 10 random facts about myself:
1) I speak fluent Spanish and English. 
2) I’m currently learning Japanese.
3) I tried learning French for 2 years and I hated it.
4) I love The Vampire Diaries so much (the TV show, not the books).
5) I’ve read every book Dan Brown has ever written and I really enjoyed them.
6) I love to walk, I can walk 6 kilometers in an afternoon and keep going.
7) I love to organize things: parties, events, birthdays… anything, you name it.
8) I love to hip-hop. I’ve been taking hip-hop classes for 7 years now.
9) I love to talk. I can talk for hours!!
10) I did the International Bachelorette and it was hell but I learned a lot so it was totally worth it. 

And here are my 5 nominees:

1) Daily Surprises

2) The Kingsman Journal

3) Adventures and Naps | The Ups and Downs of Living Abroad

4) Simply Saidy

5) Graceful musings

My five questions for the nominees are:
1) What were you looking for when you started blogging?
2) What’s your favorite social media?
3) What’s your favorite TV show?
4) What’s your ultimate blogging goal?}
5) Tell me how your dream life would look like…

Congratulations to everyone! You can accept the award, follow the rules and comment on this post with the link to your acceptance post or ignore this and go on with your life.
And if you weren’t nominated you can answer my questions and leave me a comment with your answers, I would love to read them! If you are new to my blog please feel free to check ITBC out, there’s a lot of stuff to read! And if you really liked it feel free to follow me so you can get an email every time there is a new post!
I guess that’s all. I hope you have an amazing weekend and I hope to see you on Monday!

-L.S.

My first blog award EVER!

I am happily accepting my first blog award EVER! I’m so excited! This blog award is the Blue Sky Tag Challenge Award which is an unofficial blog award given by a fellow blogger. Like any other unofficial blog award, it has some rules upon acceptance.

What is it?

The Blue Sky Tag

The Blue Sky Tag Challenge (a.k.a. Blue Sky Challenge) is given away by blogging peers. This means a fellow blogger in the community has found in my blog or in one of my posts something that caught his attention because it has an attribute he deemed worthy. This particular award seems to have something to do with the number 11 because I have to answer 11 questions asked by the person who nominated me and then I have to nominate 11 bloggers and ask them 11 new questions and they have to do the same thing on their blogs.

But first things first: I have to thank Booferson from Boo’s insane and inane ramblings for nominating me. His blog is really interesting so be sure to check it out (click here)! Thank you for thinking my blog was good enough to receive this award and thank you for your trust.

Now I’m going to answer the eleven questions that Booferson asked me:

1. What is your favorite film or television genre?

I think I’ll have to say drama or comedy. It depends on how I’m feeling. Sometimes all I really need is a good comedy and sometimes all I need is a captivating drama.

2. What reality TV show or game show do you think you’re best suited for?

Mmm… I think I’m best suited for Family Feud. I love that game and when I was little I used to play it on my computer for hours!!

3. What is your guilty pleasure? In other words, what food, song, movie, or whatever do you absolutely love to the point you will drop everything to indulge in it and refuse to give up for any reason?

Oh, this one is easy. I love Inuyasha (it’s an old-school anime) and it means the world to me. Let’s just say I’m not obsessed with Japanese animation but Inuyasha holds a special place in my heart. It’s a masterpiece. I will highly recommend it. It doesn’t matter what I’m doing, I’ll stop doing whatever I’m doing to watch or read anything Inuyasha related.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for all your blog posts?

I observe the world around me. Also, I like to share things that I learn that might be useful to others. I talk to a bunch of people on a daily basis and I try to listen to what worries them.

5. If you had to limit yourself to only one form of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, your blog, etc), which would you choose?

This one is tricky. I’ll say that I will limit myself to Facebook.

6. Why did you make your choice for the previous question?

It’s not my favorite social media, but I find it the most useful one. I use it for college, to see what my relatives are doing, to stay up to date on what’s going on with the world, to see and share photos, to connect with people, to share things…

7. How many other blogs do you read on a regular basis?

I read a lot of blogs, let’s just say that I read 15 blogs on a regular basis but this number can vary from time to time. Sometimes I read more and sometimes I can’t keep up with the updates.

8. Apple, Android, Windows Phone, other, and why?

Android. I’m used to it and I feel I can do more things with it. I think Apple is not for everyone and it makes it so difficult to share anything with someone that doesn’t own an Apple device, it’s frustrating. Android is more friendly and I like it more.

9. Favorite song of the moment?

It’s going to sound unoriginal but whatever: Shape of you – Ed Sheeran

10. Name something you remember fondly from your childhood that the current generation will “never understand”.

Setting up the VCR to record my favorite TV-show on VHS because I wasn’t going to be able to watch it live.

11. What’s number 1 on your bucket list, and in all honesty do you think you’ll ever complete it?

My number 1 on my bucket list is “To be happy with what I’m doing with my life”. I honestly don’t know if I’m ever going to accomplish it, but you can be sure that I’m trying really hard!

Nominations

Now to make my 11 nominations:

  1. A Little Outdoor Therapy
  2. Zen Vandelay
  3. Sparkle Potato Alien
  4. Trending Top 5
  5. Gals Whine Time
  6. Only For Your Information
  7. Lyn Durante 
  8. The Kingdom Style
  9. Island Girl On A Mission
  10. My Yellow Apron
  11. From Dream To Plan

Questions

If you’ve been nominated, here are the questions that I’m asking you:

  1. What is your favorite part of your day and why?
  2. What is your favorite social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc) and why?
  3. How do you feel about ads on your blog?
  4. If you could only pick one superpower: read minds or rewind time, what would it be?
  5. When you are sad, what’s your favorite thing to do to cheer yourself up?
  6. Do you speak another language, if so, what language is it?
  7. What’s your favorite movie of all time?
  8. TV-show that you think is terribly underrated?
  9. What’s your guilty pleasure? That thing that you really enjoy but you are ashamed of? Let your readers know!
  10. Do you have a pet?
  11. Why did you start your blog?

That’s it. Now you can accept and answer these questions (be sure to link your acceptance post in the comment section below) or decline in a comment (or you can send me an email to ideasthatbuildcities@gmail.com, or just ignore this altogether and go on with your life).

If you were not nominated but you feel like answering my questions, feel free to answer them in the comment section, I would love to read your answers! And if you are new to the blog feel free to check out the rest and follow ITBC so you can receive an email every time there is a new update!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA, I had a rough couple of days but things are looking up. I hope to see you next time, bye!

-L.S.

Favorite ways to unwind after a stressful day

Have you ever had those days where everything is wrong, that you feel blue and stressed, that you’ve been working like crazy or binge-studying and you need to unwind? Well, today I’m going to share with you what are the things that help me unwind.

When I have a stressful day I have a lot of things I like to do to unwind.

Dim the lights and listen to some relaxing music

I would go to Spotify and listen to the Playlist “Relax & Unwind”. I’ll try to stay away from bright screens (If I have to use my cell phone I would set the screen brightness as lowest as possible). I would try to stop thinking about all the things I have to do. I like to do this with my boyfriend after a long day. We would cook something nice together and we will sit down and eat it. We can talk about our day and let go of all the stressful things that happened. Wine or beer is optional, but it’s a nice touch!

Relax and read a book

I would lie down on my bed and read a book; nothing’s better than letting your mind wander to other things.  Nothing is better than a good book to take your mind off of things.  After that, I would take a bath, have a nice dinner and go to bed early.

Watch my favorite TV show

After a long and stressful day maybe all you need is a good genuine laugh. And for that my favorite thing to do is to sit down and watch my favorite TV show (and I prefer comedies when I’m stressed). I will sit down and watch Friends, or Modern Family, or Parks and Recreation or Scrubs. Anything that would make me laugh and forget about everything.

Have a dinner date with friends!

If you are stressed nothing is better than let it all out with some friends. Talk about what’s been bothering you over dinner, laugh about it with friends and then go home with a big smile on your face. Eat whatever you want, be happy, you’ve had a stressful day. You deserve it.  Also, you can go to the theatre and watch a movie. Have a great night out.

Well, those are the things I do when I’m stressed. What are the things that you do? Do you do some of these?  Please leave me a comment; I would love to read it! Thank you so much for reading this, if it’s the first time visiting ITBC feel free to check the rest of the blog out!

-L.S.

I don’t know what I’m doing

I don’t know what I’m doing. Honestly, I don’t. Writing this blog is something hard for me and there are several reasons as to why.  English is not my first language. Spanish is, but somehow I feel more comfortable writing in English than writing in Spanish. I’ve carried out a few blogs in Spanish, but I don’t know, they didn’t feel right. But that being said, writing in English is so hard for me and I tend to make mistakes while writing and I am afraid that those mistakes are going to cost me readers. But anyway, I wanted to take that chance.

Secondly, this blog is my baby. My project that I’m working really hard on and I refuse to let it go without a fight. I don’t have much money so it’s hard for me to spend money on my blog. I don’t live in the U.S. so it’s also hard for me to monetize my blog. But I also refuse to focus on all the negative aspects of my blog, I will push so I get the chance to make this blog work. I honestly don’t have a product to sell to you guys and I don’t have a niche:  I only have my feelings, my knowledge and my thoughts on certain topics that I would love for people to read.

And I also go to college. I’m about to get my masters in Biology and it’s so hard to keep up with posting and the social media. But here I am. Sometimes I would say that I am failing, but I’m doing everything I can to make this work.  I won’t stop writing. I know I have to keep going because even though I’m not seeing the light at the end of this dark and mysterious tunnel, the light exists. I’m going to see the light eventually if I keep going. This blog is going to make it.

Also, I’m getting surgery tomorrow. I have something on my left hand that needs to be fixed and that means I won’t be able to write for a while. That’s why I’m on a crazy marathon trying to write a billion posts so this blog won’t end up lost in the internet world.

I honestly don’t know what I’m doing but I know I’m doing everything in my power to make this blog work. Because I believe in Ideas That Build Cities and I believe in myself. I believe I’m capable of achieving great things and I won’t give up no matter how much it takes.

If you have ever felt like I feel right now, please let me know in the comment section below. I would love to read what you think about this. I hope to see you soon…. Bye!

Bet on yourself – Don’t let fear stop you.

Have you ever had that moment where the fear of doing something almost stopped you from doing it? Like I mentioned in my last post, a few months ago I went to El Calafate and I said that I walked on the famous Argentinian Glacier: The Perito Moreno. I can say that I did it because I actually walked on it (even though it was one of the most challenging experiences in my life), but at one moment I almost didn’t do it because I was too afraid.

When my boyfriend and I were booking the excursions we read this excursion called “Big Ice” and we thought “Let’s do it!” because it sounded great. I mean, a three-hour walk ON the Perito Moreno? We had to do it. We made a few calls and asked a few questions about it and we found out that even though there were some specifics requirements, we could do it if we wanted to.  So we booked it and we didn’t think too much of it until we got there.

When we got there everyone was like “Oh… the Big Ice, you had to be ready for that. That’s no piece of cake” and others were like “You are going to do the Big Ice? It’s a little too much; you have to be prepared for that! I heard you have to escalate a few rocks, that it’s dangerous, and you have to listen carefully to what your tourist guide says or you can hurt yourself really bad” and that really got me thinking. Because, well, I exercise from time to time; I’m no couch potato. I’m always moving but I’m not let’s just say… a fit person. I have an extra pounds but it’s not like I’m fat.

Anyway, the day before the trekking on the Perito Moreno, I was so scared that I started to worry my boyfriend. All I could think about was that I didn’t want to be the girl that would hold everyone back; I didn’t want to be a burden.  Besides, we paid a lot of money for it, so I wanted to be able to do it and I didn’t want to ruin it for both of us.

Somehow my boyfriend assured me that everything was going to be ok and I decided that I was going to try it. I wasn’t going to let fear get the best of me. I have to admit: I didn’t sleep well the night before, but the day of the excursion I decided to wake up and do my best. I grabbed everything I needed and we parted.

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When we got there I was really scared and when we started the tour guides warned us that everyone that was the last call to back off, but I was betting on myself and I wasn’t going to quit. So I stayed, and I started to walk. This Big Ice tour consisted of three parts: a 40 minutes trekking on land (it was hard) until a base camp, a 3-hour walk on the Perito Moreno and a 40-minute trekking on land to come back to where we started.

Let’s just say I almost quit during the first part. I was so close to finishing it but I wasn’t able to breathe anymore. We were so high on the mountain that there wasn’t enough oxygen, I had a lot of clothes on (it was really cold outside but I was moving so I started to get hot) and my blood pressure was low, really low. I almost fainted. But I stopped and  I tried to calm down. A good lady and my boyfriend helped me and I was able to recover from it. All I could think in that moment was “They were right, I am not fit enough to do this, it’s too much for me” and I remember looking to my boyfriend and say “I don’t think  I’m going to be able to do it” but he told me to calm down and breathe. And that’s what I did.

After recovering I was able to finish the first part of the tour and the tour guides asked me how I was doing and after eating candy and drinking water I decided that if I was going to die, I might as well die on the Perito Moreno and not right next to it.

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So I got all the gear and we started to walk on the Perito Moreno!! It was amazing, after the worst part (the first one) was over, everything was breathtaking! It was gorgeous, kind of magical! And that’s when it hit me… I almost didn’t see ANY of that because I didn’t believe in myself! Everyone told me I wasn’t going to be able to do it and I almost believed them. Look at all this beauty! And I was able to see it because I made a last minute bet on myself.

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So here is my advice: trust in yourself, don’t let anyone tell you what you can and what you cannot do. Try everything. Push yourself, find your own limits. You are capable of a lot of things, don’t let fear stop you from doing amazing things and from achieving incredible goals.  

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I would love to hear your stories! Have you ever had one of those moments? What happened? I want to know, please leave me a comment in the comment section below!

See you next time… bye!

 

Today I have to say goodbye to 4 of my fish.

Today it’s the day that I have to say goodbye to my fish. No, they didn’t die. Luckily they are in perfect health but they have outgrown their tank and I have to give them away to someone with a bigger tank.

How did this happen? Well, when I started my tank I didn’t know much about this hobby and I asked the guy at the store for help and he told me that a yoyo loach and a pleco can live in a 10-gallon tank. He didn’t tell me about yoyo loaches being schooling fish, they didn’t ask questions about my filtration capacity AND they didn’t give me a warning about the potential size of these creatures.

When I came home I wanted to learn a little more about the fish I just bought and I found out a lot of things that left me in awe: I did everything wrong and my yoyo loach was prone to be stressed all the time because he was alone and my cute little pleco? He was going to be HUGE.  In an attempt to fix that, I went to another shop and they told me that all I had to do was buy two loaches more, which I ended up doing, and that there were going to be fine.

After doing all that and feeling like I dodged a bullet, I sadly found out that a 10-gallon tank was like a closet for these guys and they needed a bigger tank, like ten times bigger.

With all the information I gathered, I made a plan:  I was going to keep them in there for as long as I could (when they were still babies) and then I was going to buy a bigger tank for them. But then life got in the way and when the time for me to upgrade my tank came: I had no money at all. It was so sad, but I had to make the right choice: I was going to give them away.

As I am typing this I’m looking at them one last time before I had to give them to their new owner and it breaks my heart. I don’t want to be selfish, that’s why I’m giving them away, but a part of me just wishes that I could keep them. Because they are so interesting to watch, I love to just sit in front of my tank and watch them swim around…

And this is why, when I wrote  How to set up a Freshwater Aquarium from scratch, I said that you have to do your research BEFORE going to the store. Don’t mess it up like I did. Buy fish that you can keep until the end, otherwise, you are going to end up emotionally attached to some creatures that you are going to give away!! And trust me, it’s awful!

I’m happy because I’m doing the right thing. They deserve better.  It just breaks my heart that I’m not going to see them anymore.

I’ll be twitting today letting you know how the delivery of my fish went. The good thing is that I get to share my whole experience while repopulating my tank with you guys!

Has this ever happened to you? What do you think about sellers that would say anything in order to make a sell? Have you ever had yoyo loaches? What do you think of them? Let me know in the comment section, below!

Anyway, I hope I see you next time… bye!

Wonder Woman is here to save the day!

I just came out of the movie theater and I HAD to do a review on Wonder Woman. I’m not going to spoil anything so you can keep reading. I always hate it when there are spoilers on reviews so I’m not going to spoil the fun for you.

This movie was THE BEST ever!! I know, I know, so far this is hardly a serious review. But trust me, is hard to keep my cool when there is something as amazing as this movie going on.

Let me start this review by saying that it is SO important for us women to have such a strong and badass female superhero out there. In a world where female superheroes don’t get their own movies (I’m looking at you Black Widow) because we are a nice “sidekick” but we are not important enough; having Wonder Woman is a game changer. What’s the message you are sending to every little girl or teenager when they only see a male superhero in charge? Well, it says “you are not strong or important enough” loud and clear. And it hurts, it hurts so bad.

Because yes, I know we now have Black Widow, Scarlett Witch, Harley Queen and a brief Cat Woman in Christopher Nolan’s Batman, but until now women weren’t considered strong enough to have their own movie. And Wonder Woman changes everything, why? Because seeing the Amazonians in Themyscira made me feel like we women can do anything. I’m used to see men fighting with awesome skills, using badass weapons and not missing a beat against the villains and yes, “We can do it too if we try hard enough, nothing is impossible, blah, blah, blah” but when you see an actual woman doing it… something clicks. It’s not just about thinking you can do it, it’s about feeling it. You feel it’s possible that, with enough training, you can actually accomplish anything.

Also I think it’s awesome that guys and kids stop looking at us as sidekicks or as the love interest, and they start to look at us as someone that can actually save the day or even save de world!

I hope Wonder Woman is the beginning of a lot of female superheroes movies and not an exception.

What are your thoughts about Wonder Woman? Have you seen it? Did you like it? Do you think it’s important for women to have a female superhero as the main character in a movie? I would love to read your comments in the comment section below.

See you next time… Bye!

This is a lifestyle blog where I share things that I think are worth sharing and where I ramble about society and life itself!