That time I got proposed to in EPCOT

We’re getting married!

Again!

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If you know our marriage story then you know that we didn’t have a wedding. I wasn’t proposed to, it was more of a decision to get married. We had just bought the house and we were talking about how we wanted to get married and we just decided to do it. We eloped in August and didn’t tell anyone until Christmas. In hindsight, maybe waiting to tell everyone was a terrible decision. No one was really happy for us and the disappointment was weighing on me.

We were happy about our decision but our families made (and still make) it hard on us. To constantly have thrown at me that I excluded them from what’s supposed to be the happiest day of my life made me unhappy. How could we be excited about being married when the people closest to us made us rethink our decision?

Realistically, We wouldn’t have been able to have the wedding we wanted or deserved because WE JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE and its taken over a year to finally recover financially. Neither of us come from families who can help out with paying for a wedding so it would have been all on us to make our dreams come true.

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We had thrown around the idea of throwing a party but it didn’t seem right. We didn’t want a backyard party because our yard and house aren’t exactly ready for a wedding and there are other things that take precedent over landscaping. So we waited and waited and things came up and the party was pushed to the back burner and we just kept living our lives.

Fast forward to present day. We wanted to use our Disney annual passes before they expire so we planned a quick weekend trip to EPCOT for the Food and Wine Festival. It was just Edward and I taking on all the snacks and mimosas we could while the sun blazed down on us making all of our drinking strategies moot. We took refuge from the sun on the Frozen ride. ( I love Frozen, I love Elsa, and can identify with the snow queen on many many levels. Do not hate on me.) The ride was great and may have made me tear up a little because *emotions*.

We exited the ride through the gift shop and made our way outside. There was a waterfall and I was feeling extra cute in my Minnie Mouse Disney bounding outfit. It was picture time. I’m slowly trying to groom Edward into being an Instagram husband and this was the perfect opportunity. I took my place in front of the waterfall and struck a few poses then it was time to move on.
I went to pick up my bag from the planter I left it on and when I turn around my dear sweet Edward is down on one knee. Me being the ruiner of all the good things looks at him and says “Why are you on the ground? Get up”.
(I really am the worst person.)
Then I saw the ring. Then Edward stood up and told me to act natural because people were looking at us and he didn’t want to cause a scene. I’m sure his anxiety had been at about 100 all day long before this and it was just going to get worse if a crowd formed.
All I could do was laugh. Laugh and hug him and kiss him.

My husband had asked me to marry him again. To do it all over the way we deserved. He wants me to look like a cupcake and walk down an aisle and share our special day with our families.

So that’s what we’re going to do!

But, we’re doing it our own way.

We, like most people have debt and we don’t want to add to the pile of student loans and credit cards. We want our dream wedding but don’t want to spend a fortune. So we’re getting married on a boat! A very very big boat. Cruise lines have great packages for weddings and what better way to celebrate our love than with a trip. We love to travel and now we get to share our special day with the people who love us most. Invitations will be going out in the next few weeks and you’ll be able to find all of our cruise information on our wedding website. From there you should be able to book your trip and keep track of the excursions we’ll be doing on the islands.

We are so excited for the year to come and can’t wait for our big day.

FOMO, growing up, and moving on

FOMO

| fōmō |

noun
• A form of social anxiety – a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.

 

I am very familiar with FOMO.

That step into adulthood that most people take was actually a drop. I was 20, living at home, going to school. I had a job that was making me a substantial amount of money for someone my age and an internship that was starting my professional culinary career. Suddenly i was faced with a very adult decision. My parents were moving to Texas and i could move with them or stay in Miami and create a life on my own.

I decided to stay.

Staying meant a lot of things had to change so i could become a stable independent adult. At this time i was interning monday through thursday 6 am – 1 pm, going to school from 2 -6 pm and working weekend serving at your favorite late night spot working 10-12 hour shifts.

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I was the unofficial pastry sous chef for Sra. Martinez and Crumb on Parchment owned by local Miami chef Michelle Bernstein. I say unofficial because it was just me and her head chef doing all the work and I wasn’t getting paid. I was learning and creating and growing and i needed more. They wanted more of me too. They wanted me on the weekends. They wanted me to work in the Sra. Martinez kitchen plating and serving desserts, but they didn’t want to pay me. They wanted to keep me on as an intern and i just couldn’t afford that. I needed to make money to pay my minimal bills and afford my growing shoe collection but i wanted to be a chef. I had a choice to make.

I had to give up baking.

My parents were moving and I needed to support myself. Working for free and getting paid in croissants wasn’t going to cut it. I quit professional baking and started full-time at the bar. I used my small savings that was going to be used on a car for an apartment and then used my friends and family to get around. Oh, and school? I was done, technically. I just needed to turn in my hours for the internship and then i was on my way to my AA. Then i found out that none of my hours counted. They weren’t within the time i was supposed to be officially doing an internship for school. I was devastated. All my hard work was for nothing. Even though i had all the knowledge and experience, i couldn’t get that piece of paper that said “I did it”.

Back to work I went.

There was nothing else I could do but go to work. I was barely making enough for rent let alone saving money for a car. I was baking for friends on the side; cupcakes and cakes for parties and pies for holidays. It wasn’t enough. I was watching the culinary scene from the sidelines. The place i wanted to be but couldn’t get to. Watching food trends pop up saying to myself “I can do that better”. I had all the drive and nowhere to go.

Meanwhile I was just becoming a bartender and being offered staff training and management positions at other stores. I didn’t take them. I stayed in the same spot afraid of change. My lease ended and i moved in with my sister and her family. I stayed there for 3 years. I gave up baking entirely, stopped cooking all together and started going out more. I was staying out after work and drinking until the sun came up. Sometimes well into the next day when i would take a nap before my next shift where i would do it all over again. I was spending all my money on Orlando vacations with toxic friends who were stuck in the same cycle i was.

There lies the problem with being “in the biz”.

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This summer marks nine years at Flanigans. The place that was supposed to be a summer job and a weekend part-time gig became my career. My family says that i “got stuck” here. I don’t agree with that. I’ve been able to do as much as i wanted working here. I take the time off i need, I work the hours i want, i make cash every day. Working here I’ve been able to support myself completely. I finally bought a brand new car, i travel out of state a couple of times a year, and last year we bought a house. Its been a great job where I’ve met and worked with some of the best people. I’ve also learned how to be a good human while testing my patience to the max. Working at a restaurant should be a class you take in high school to prepare you on how to be a respectful adult. Pro tip guys: If you’re not nice to your server, you’re not a nice person.

The problem you face being in the biz is never wanting to leave. Leaving means giving up the people, the small family you’ve created through your bond over hating regulars and sharing a basket of fries because you’re so busy that’s all you have time to eat. Most importantly it means giving up the cold hard cash you take home with you every night. The money you had to smile and flirt for, run drinks and food for, have very very strange conversations for. It’s an experience to physically see what you can earn in a day. It’s also comforting to know that if I’m short on cash I can pick up a shift and get it easily.

This is what makes you stay.

The knowledge that you can sustain yourself on this constant flow of cash and that there’s always going to be someone at work that feel the same way that you do. Someone you can vent to that will help you along the way. People who will stay after work for a drink or a slice of chocolate cake. Something we affectionately call “parking lot pimpin'”. Unfortunately I’ve discovered that none of these things help you grow. You’re in the same cycle of money and drinks and people and you’re never able to grow as a person.

There was a party this weekend that I was invited to but ultimately make the decision not to go to. Normally i would have sat at home, glued to my phone, watching the snaps of the party, beating myself up because i didn’t go. That didn’t happen this time. I did watch the snaps but i didn’t feel the anxiety of missing out on yet another group event. It was the same people doing the same things and I didn’t miss any of it.

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That was my moment of growth.

That was when i realized that this era of my life was coming to an end. I didn’t want to be out drinking until i fell over and i definitely didn’t want it documented on Instagram. I don’t want to be spending my money on 4$ shots at Tootsies because that’s where everyone hangs out. I don’t want to have to pick up an extra shift this week because i spent it all partying. Yes, I’m young and i should be enjoying my life, but i don’t want to be doing it like this.

This epiphany is something my husband has been arguing with me about and I’m sorry to say that he’s been right this whole time. (Love you baby!) I’ve finally come to a place in my life where i can breathe. I can go in a different direction with my life and not be worried about money. I don’t have to kill myself to make an extra dollar. I don’t have to deal with the idiots that think being a Hialeah chico will get them a free drink. I can finally do what drives me and not be so scared of change. Being scared of failure is another thing, but being afraid of change is stupid. Its something that’s been stopping me for a long time from doing the thing i want to do. As far back as i can think of i can remember saying no to change. Things that would have benefited me for the future that i was absolutely against because it would change my life as i knew it. (Ex: braces at 25 instead of 13). Its time for me to adapt a new way of life and step into a new era of being.

I can’t be afraid anymore. I have to let myself grow. Its time for a change.

 

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S’more or less

How many of you have ever eaten a s’more?

I’ve made some bootlegged over a BBQ grill melted marshmallows but I don’t reaaaally think that counts. Hey, I used to toast marshmallows over a lighter when I was little because I wanted some gooey deliciousness. Whatever gets you there is a-ok.

Funny thing is, as an adult I don’t like them as much. I do enjoy vegan ones occasionally on a sweet potato, but to smoosh it with some chocolate on a cracker isn’t really my every day excitement. Especially because I’m not a huge fan of chocolate. Anyway, lets move on from me being a chocolate hating marshmallow snob to the important things.

How to build a s’more

Step 1
Gather your ingredients and arrange on a plate in a way appealing to the eye

Step 2
Without setting your cabin in the woods on fire, ignite a small flame in your fireplace

Step 3
Toast your fully marshmallows until you can no longer tell what they were to begin with

Step 4
In no particular order combine marshmallows, chocolate of your choosing, and graham cracker into a layered sandwich

Step 5
NOM NOM NOM NOM

Fin