Monday, December 15, 2014

Medellin, Colombia


Wow, where to start!
So much has happened in the last week.
I am flying by the seat of my pants, accompanied by incredible people who are happy to show me around!!
This past week, I had the incredible opportunity to go on a 4 day, 3 night trip/tour to Medellin. It’s basically the most “Poppin” city in Colombia.

To give you an idea, how wonderful the people are that I am meeting here are: for the majority of my stay I am staying with my friend’s mother in law, her name is Tilcia. Tilcia booked a trip with 41 other people, that she used to work with. She booked this trip before she knew the dates I was coming out. 
Therefore, their group was full and had no room for one extra person, so she gave up her seat and had me go in her place. She absolutely insisted, saying she had already been there a few times and that I must go.
I am so Grateful she graciously gave up here seat and that I was able to visit such a kickbutt, cool city. It really was really cool!

Here are some of our adventures:
First we arrived at this pueblito, at 5am, and this was our view. We hung out for awhile and took tons of pictures of this beautiful view. (including the first picture)
 
Then we drove some more and had this had a ginormous breakfast! (sorry no pics of it, ill tell you why in a bit) But they many times eat red meat, 3 times a day, in which case I many times left lots of food, left on my plate, because we were fed "food typical of the area." 
What I do absolutely love, is they serve these huge glasses of Hot Cocao for breakfast, not the sugary tasting United States Hot Coco, but Cocao. It’s tasty!

After breakfast, some of the group, climbed this huge rock, called Peirda De Penol. Check out this incredible view. So Incredible oh my goodness!




I feel like there are so many hidden treasures in Colombia and because of the misconceptions of the Country, based off of knowledge from 10 years ago, it’s a rarely discovered place.

After the big climb and long travels, we went to hotel, and the group exchanged gifts, we had a huge dinner. SOOO MUCH FOOD!! They made fun of me, because I don’t eat very much, especially when it’s piles of red meat, fried foods, and carbs! Haha! Saying that “Americans are so skinny”…if they only knew! Haha! 
But here it is cool to be Gordo. Caling some one Gordita, is not an offensive term at all. It’s almost a name of endearment.
Here is a great example.
The next day, we went to Plaza de Botero.
 

Botero is a famous artist, his work can also be found in the United States. He was born in Medellin and in honor of him, the city brought his paintings to life, by turning his paintings into statues. It’s very beautiful.

We also did some browsing for shopping in Medellin, it’s crazy. I could compare it to “the fashion district” in LA, but like 5x’s more crazy. Simply because people are yelling at you from every direction “le orden…le orden” = What are you looking for, what are you looking for! 
Or they pick you up off the street and try and bring you to their indoor store.




That same day, we rode this neat thing, called the Metro Cable. 


What is so neat about this is A. it provides a beautiful view of all of Medellin and B. It’s not just a tourist attraction, it’s actually used as a form of transportation. Super neat.

We also, rode the Metro Linea, where and I will have pics soon of Santa Clause singing and playing the Saxophone for everyone to enjoy.

During this trip, we also visited local malls and this super pretty spot.


They are called Alumbrados, and it is put together OVER the river and beside it! They begin putting together this beautiful attraction, the beginning of the January. The beginning of January, they take one down and put up a whole new set of lights.

This is also the location, where my phone was stolen from my purse!

I was so upset! But sometimes, it’s more empowering to say it was my fault than to be a victim.

There are so many things I could have done different to prevent that from happening. I had bought a real leather purse, in a pueblito called Jerico, they have the highest quality stuff for super cheap. I bought a REAL LEATHER cross body handbag for $15 USA money. Legit.

Anyway, it hung lower, than the one I was previously carrying around..and I was taking lots of photos of the Alumbrados and I was wearing a bright blue tshirt, because the group I was with provided shirts, so that we could find each other always. 
Except this evening, I wasn't with the whole group of 42, I went to look at the lights with me and just two other people. My friend Diana and I were walking, her Tio / Uncle was behind us. I didn’t zip up the pocket of my new bag, and two people came through pushing me and Diana, the next thing I new, I looked down in my purse and they had reached in my purse to take my phone. 
It happened in seconds.
I wish someone would have told me there was a lot of petty crime here. Instead of just saying “Be Careful” because be careful to means, “ I don’t want you to die” haha and I never felt like someone was going to kill me…but I would have rather paid even more caution to my belongings.
I however, can’t help but think, that this happened for a reason. 

So many little things came into place for it to happen:
I brought a different camera, so that I didn’t have to bring my phone around and at the beginning of my trip it stopped working. 
Tilcia had told me to just bring around my phone, it’s fine. She did also tell me not to walk the streets at night though. But I felt like, it was like a once in a lifetime opporuntiy and wanted to live it up. I was wearing a bright tshirt and had just bought a new bag that I couldn’t pass up.

I should have zipped my bag and been more cautious.

Luckily, with icloud, my husband was able to erase all my information, my pictures, apps, contacts, everything and although, unfortunately all my pictures are lost, Gratefully the people I was with, took a lot of pictures! So, we’re good. And although, I didn’t need and reality didn’t even desire a new phone :) I now get an upgrade when I get home and learned the hard way to be more cautious here.

From my perspective, gosh I wish you all could really see, with your own to eyes how Beautiful this place is and the people. The group I was with literally just wanted to take care of me and each other. (I’ll share another article about cultural differences soon)

As for the large amount of petty crime: It’s like the world around many of the Colombian people, is growing, growing, growing but the communities are not. There are so many pueblitos, far from cities and their only income is from each other and when they are able to sell food (tipico…typical to that area) when passer byers stop through. They need to and want to keep up with the evolving world around them, there is just not a lot of opportunity, not a lot of infrastructure or business.

When it comes to learning the language: I had so many opportunties to speak, all the people on the trip had so much patientience and ligitmately showed me so much love. I feel much more confident, than the first week here. I also feel like I have extended my family even more.

And on an even more heartfelt note: Growing up and up until the last 2 years. I didn’t feel like I had family. My father is a drug addict and acoholic, my mother wasn’t apart of my life much, our family was just split. I felt alone. Now, I have a better relationship with my mom and siblings, I have the best husband and in laws ever, they fill my heart, I have the most incredible friends and extended community with the LDS church and community and my new friends here. I feel so much love. I am really grateful.

So, if you’re in an uncomfortable space and you feel alone, just keep swimming and working on becoming your best you, everything will fall into place. It may take longer than you would like, but it will. It will.

I will be completely disconnected for the next few days, Tilcia is taking me to a pueblo to go hiking, parapento…I forget how to say it in English and other things. I was hoping to rest and edit videos but not gunna happen. It’s all good though. I am learning, I am growing, I am experiencing and also helps time go by faster until I see my love again, in Cartegena!

May you have the most incredible week!

Xoxoxoxo

Shanelle

Monday, December 8, 2014

Colombia - The Most Challenging Thing, I have yet to do.

Please excuse, as your weekly #MostlyModest videos are interrupted with updates of my Colombia adventures. Your others programs will continue as scheduled, with the #EasyHealthyRecipes and Mind/Life Hacks! 

With all that being said, venturing out and living in Colombia, is quite possibly, the most challenging thing, I have yet to do in my 26 years on the earth.
In case you are wondering why I am here and didn't catch what I shared earlier this week on FB. 
I will share the post here: 

 (Starting w/ a Roof Top Photo from Bucaramanga, Colombia.) 


Grateful. I am so grateful. I have wanted to visit and be immersed in a Spanish speaking country since I was 19. Here I am 7 years later, finally making it happen and although my original plan was to live here for a year. I am an adult now and with my current life, all I could pull off was 1 month and 1 month, more than likely won't be enough but it is a start and I believe a catalyst for the next phase, with this goal of mine to be fluent in Spanish.

I'm grateful. I am grateful for the many things we often take for granted like hot water, Abundant resources and safe streets to walk at night. I am grateful for so much more but don't wanna get too mooshie or cry, in front of this cute old lady, who I can hardly communicate with ;)

I feel so much love. For my family, friends and followers!

Tonight as I write this, my head spins. I am tired and by the end of the day cranky! 
I miss my comforts of home.
My routine, the foods I eat, my regular exercise, my puppies, my husband.


THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE TO PUSH OUTSIDE OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

It sucks. It's uncomfortable, but ultimately good for us and I know from the bottom of my soul, if I would have never done this, although, it's only a portion of what I had originally planned, I would regret it for the rest of my life.

Because this is something, that I so deeply wanted to do.

Stepping outside of our comfort zone's is essential for growth. I know this to be true..and I have such a BIG comfort zone, I rarely feel uncomfortable..and man oh man, right now I feel it..
End of the days are the worst.
I'm so mentally exhausted. 
My brain is processing so much.
My surroundings.
The language.
Energy of the people
The Culture

I am truly exhausted! haha! But at the same time filled with immense gratitude. When I am out and about. I am soo incredibly happy.
This place is very beautiful.
The weather is a humid 75 degrees Fahrenheit 



I am seriously filled with so much gratitude and emotion, overall.
For everything. It's crazy.

I have only been here 3 days, so there in not much more to say.
In sum, however, I will share, that pushing outside of our comfort zones is profound.
and as I am here, I think to myself, I have only used my current level of Spanish, very little, in the past 3 years.
 Am I even going to use the Spanish I learn..will I be able to implement this experience into my life, later on?

and then I think to myself...Yes, just like a good book...
My sister in law once asked me, if I think we actually retain the information from the books we read..and I told her, I do, I think we retain a lot more than we consciously think.
And so it is with this crazy experience.

I believe I am probably retaining a lot more than I think and I will carry this experience with me, in one way or another for the rest of my life.
I believe every single experience, shapes and molds our perspective and lives, much more than we initially, over even consciously, think.

AND Now for the FOOD! :)


Water in a bag!..
Arroz Con Pollo and a fruit similar to Dragon Fruit
I forget what this is called. I didn't eat the skin though
and it's filled with Potatoes and something else..

Obleas
and now some of the places










That lady right there, is my good girlfriend Michelle's Mother in Law. 
She is so kind to take me out and about.
She literally speaks zero English and it certainly is a challenge sometimes but she tolerates me well :)
She's such a good sport!

I'll share more updates and pictures (I have a lot more) on FB and a little on Instagram
So be sure that we are Friends :)

Also! To be sure to catch all the HotHealthyHappy.TV videos - 

Hasta Luego!

Con Mucho Amor 
-Shanelle 
P.S. I only brought a small carry on and a backpack, so you will probably see the same clothes, quite a few times. I'm working on laying low. :) Additionally the fashion here is not much different than the fashion in the United States. From fun colored leggings, to combat boots..it's not much different.

Besos! 



Wednesday, September 24, 2014

26th Birthday Poem and Slide Show




Not sure if you heard me mention in the poem "A Baby Bucket List" but I'd like to delve into that a bit.
I have not a "bucket list" well I guess, I do have a list of things that I wish to accomplish and see and do in a timely manner, but this "baby bucket list" is just a few things, I would like to do, before we start working to conceive :)
And I feel like I have marked off, a few things already
1. Find my soulmate. "Boom" Done. ;)
2. Travel and Explore ( that's an ongoing one )
It's a short list, really..
3. Live in South America and be able to speak an advanced Spanish (That's My Birthday GIFT! I leave this December, for one month!!)
4. Have a decent foundation for our financial empire (and those are personal goals)

and that's pretty much it :) so that's what a "Baby Bucket List" is, cuz once you have em' you have em FOREVER!! :) We plan to start working towards them, toward the end of 2015 :)

Being Newlyweds is the most fun thing and having freedom is the bomb.com! and Goodness, I love my little brother so much, when he aches, I ache and I love my pups so much, I can't even imagine the love I will have for our children...kind of scares me and totally excites me all at the same time.

Life Update: since I haven't written one in a while. I started working a commission based, toxicology sales gig, where I sell business to business. It's loads of fun, and within my second week, I closed a deal! It's nice because they pay residual, I simply get the account and keep the account happy. :)

So yea, I have so many thoughts and ambitions and man, it feels good to be 26! Life has only just begun! I have only really been, 8 years an adult...and I say, only 5 of those years a functioning adult hahah! :) ...I try and keep it in perspective :)...

I love you guys!

Thanks for Reading!

Happy Birthday TO ME!!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Existential Bummer 8/31-9/6



This post is sooo late haha! But there is a youtube video that I super wanted to share last week, in reference to how I was feeling about life!

For the past two weeks, all I could think about was how much love I feel for everything in my life right now :) My husband, my dogs, our life, it's phenomenal and scary because I love it all so much :)

This short youtube video pretty well sums of This Existential Bummer...

 

The truth is I just need to be busier.
And on another note, I sometimes think, man, I'm not sure if I am emotionally prepared for kids. Business, sales, is safe because you can always create more, but love, love is fleeting and changing and so very unpredictable.
Maybe that is what makes it so awe inspiring and beautiful. We never know what to expect, love is what keeps us alive.
:)
I love this quote, it speaks to my heart

My goal in life is to live Fully, fully in every moment, while I can and enjoy it all fully, with all things I do and with everyone I meet. I want that on my headstone one day. "She Lived Fully and All Out" hahah :)

Oh! We saw James Browns movie, "Get On Up", this week (8/31-9/6) it was insightful and inspiring. He truly was a ground breaker and known for good reason to be the "Hardest Working Man, In The Business" If your into biographies and seeing how people rise to the top of their game, this is an excellent movie to check out. He was by no means a perfect man, but his hustle and story from Nothing to the Godfather of Funk is phenomenal and awe- inspiring!

James Brown and his movie, may or may not have prompted a clip in one of my videos this week! haha
"Get Up Off Of Your Thang...!"



:)

This week has been busy and exciting and fun! and I look forward to blogging about it, this Sunday (fingers crossed, it'll be on time! ;D
  

 

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Xoxoxoxo
Shanelle


Sunday, August 31, 2014

Act The Way You Want To Feel


I feel like :) This saying has been surfacing frequently, most recently.
Wow! How my motivation has eluded me. 
I was on fire before we left, doing all the things, that make me excited and feeling fulfilled and accomplished, somehow balancing it all.
Work, Vlogging, Exercise/ Me Time, Recreation with Hubbs and Friends, etc.

But since we have been back. I can not seem to get focused. 
It eludes me at every turn.

I feel like I am slowly getting back into the groove, but man is it slow.

It may partially be because I really dislike our living situation.
This is the smallest place we have lived in, since we have been married and we have so much stuff. (with stuff still in storage in Cali)
It's so cluttered and crowded (work picked this place, not us) but luckily we are moving into a two bedroom Tuesday and if we play our cards right, we should be in a home, end of this year, early next year. We are however, shooting for early this year.

There's not too much to blog about, other than that. :)
I am just super excited to get into a larger, clearer space and get back to my regular pace :)

We did get callings at church. 
Nursery for me, Primary for Jordan.

I miss my teens in Cali. That was so fun. But I do get to be with some totally awesome 3 year olds, two of whom, are our friends kids. So that is kinda fun.

We probably won't be in this ward when we buy a home, so I am glad, that I get to be with these 3 year olds, cuz the bond I get to have with them, will at least, be carried on, after we leave this ward. :)

To be so frank. This transitional period kinda sucks. Buying a home freaks me out. 
1. Because our original plan was just to come her for 3 months and work..we had no original intention of settling down here.
2. It makes me feel like we are "settling down"....which I want a home but I don't want to settle down, so it makes me kinda shut down.....

What I really need to do, is FOCUS on what I Do Want, not what I don't want, cuz that will get me nowhere fast. There is a great analogy for this, that I read in a book and it goes something like this. "Would you get into a taxi in New York City and tell the driver all the places you don't want to go.."..That'll get you nowhere fast.. So I gotta FOCUS on what I do want and how I want to feel and the vision we both have for our life and Start Acting How I Want To Feel. <<Cuz I know, acting how you wanna feel really works..and luckily I'm used to feeling good, so I know how to act :)

This will be a great week, we'll get back on track and be focused for our goals ahead.

If you read this I love you :) Sorry it's so hum drum, perhaps next week, will be more Fun!
If you would like to send us loving prayers, more love and light, that would be appreciated. I am going through a paradigm shift and it's throwin me for a temporary whirl :) 


xoxoxoxo

Shanelle 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

TBT To The Eiffel Tower


Hi! This is me, age 17. I wish you could see my shoes, I had those colored converse on. One Dark Brown and the other Light Brown. I thought I was cool.
Can you pick out which is me?!

9 Years ago, I boarded my very first plane, train and subway to and in Europe.

I was a determined teenager. I NEEDED to travel the world and felt as though, if I didn't do it NOW, I was never going to do it! 
I often get that feeling now days too! I don't believe in Somedays.
It's Important to me, to set goals and definite time frames, especially for events like this one.

So anyway, I knew I needed to go and the only way, I knew, available for me to travel, at the time, was this Scandinavian Trip, that was put on yearly by the "Scandinavian Club."
So, I joined the Scandinavian Club, which I rarely attended meetings too and saved I believe it was  2 or 3 thousand, could have been less and booked my place for this trip! I'm grateful my parents never second guessed it, they willingly let me go. I don't even remember them meeting the chaperons before I left and at 17, just towards the end of my Senior year of High School, I boarded my Very First, Ever Plane, to fly to Europe.

We visited 7 countries in 10 days, in which we arrived to each location by boat, car (on the autobahn!), subway and train. It truly was a remarkable adventure. All of my pictures are currently in storage but when storage arrives, which will be soon, I'll sift through and post some more pictures!

We visited Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, France, Switzerland and Belgium.

The photo above is my and mah Scandinavian Crew, in front of the Eiffel tower, which I gratefully got to ride an elevator to the top of! and that glass wall pictured directly behind us is "Le Mur Des Je T'aime" (I love you wall) Where "I love you" is written in 250 languages!
How romantical, huh?!

I would love to visit France again!

I ate chocolate in Belgium.
Sweden has amazing shopping.
I bought clogs in Switzerland. 

I am so grateful for that little voice inside that pushes me to "DO IT NOW!" haha! It's annoying, yet inspiring all at the same time!

Setting Time Frames and working towards something not only makes me feel alive, but also makes sure, those things, Do Get Accomplished. 

Travel can be cheap and easy, if want it to be and don't over think it, but rather just do! 
And plan for it, so you can save a little at a time :) 

Have you been to any of these places? What was your favorite thing to do?


Thursday, August 21, 2014

#TBT Our 2 Year Anniversary


In 4 days, Jordan and I will have been married for 2 years and together for 2 years and 10 months.

To My Sweet Husband, I Love You.
Being married to you, has been one of the most challenging, yet fulling things, I have yet to do.
We've both grown so much, in these short 2 years and I can't image my life without you.
The things I love most about you are also the things that drive me crazy! 
As you always say, "you are the Ying to my Yang" because we are so different but in many ways the same. 

You balance out my crazy and I make you crazy! ;)

I was so scared to be married and in reality, had never thought to plan a wedding before, in my life, unlike many of my girlfriends who had been planning their weddings from childhood. 
I had never even pictured myself married, until you.

You insisted we have a reception and not just elope, because "every girl deserves a reception." You have given me the courage to love and love fully and have broken down all my previous beliefs about marriage and love. You've taught me how to more effectively communicate, that "people who love each other, don't yell at one another" that was the most profound thing you have taught me, thus far, and I am grateful we learned that one, so early on. The moment you said to me, "I love you, I don't want to yell at you", completely changed my reality.

I know I have challenged you tremendously and that I can drive you crazy but I like it! haha!
Our life would be so boring without, the struggles, which make us more united and stronger as individuals and a whole.

I still hate excess video gaming but you've totally toned it down and your new found energy and zest for life, is so freshing and inspiring. Thank you for always striving to be better.

Thank You for loving me. For loving me, just as I am. 
You are so supportive, in Everything I do, and you never shut down by thoughts or ideas, but rather entertain them and I am SOO grateful for that because my ideas and thoughts are important to me! haha

You make me feel so confident in my skin and being with you brings a calm to my being.

You've also taught me, patience and stick-to-it-ness.

Thank You for traveling the world with me. Although, I had traveled a bit before, you have unlocked a whole new world of travel and play and shown me that life can be easy, if we allow it to be :)

I love your adventurous nature and your curiosity. I love the little things you do with your mouth when you are fibbing. And your sarcasm is funny and annoying all at the same time.

Thank you for bringing JoJo into our lives, if he is any indication of what our kids will be like, I am excited!! haha

Thanks for your sweet kisses and your sweet love. These past two years have been a struggle to find balance between our individual wants and desires and whats best for the relationship as a whole, but I wouldn't want to struggle with anyone else.

Thank You For Being You and Always Working to Be a Better You (<< that last one is a major turn on!) haha

Cheers to Eternity Babes!