Daily Prompt · Photography · Scenery · Travel · Vacation · Warm Weather

5 Reasons I love warm weather…

Well, I am listing some reasons why I love warm weather. Maybe, you have the same reasons or not. But, if you have other reasons please make sure to share with me in the comments section.

The reasons I love warm weather are because…

  1. I can simplify my wardrobe. ( I don’t have to use layers of clothing to make sure I am comfortable. I don’t have to buy or put on a coat that can, sometimes, be too heavy.)
  2. I can go for a walk or work out outside and do not have to worry about being slippery or too cold to be outside and/or not be wearing the correct outfit for working out/enjoying the outdoors.
  3. I can do gardening. (Even, if I only plant some herbs, it gives me joy to see how it grows. Also, knowing that I can grow some of my own food, makes me feel good.)
  4. I can soak up all the sun I need to make me happy. (I don’t really need to know why but, sunny days makes me happy. Even, when the it is winter.)
  5. I can also simplify my meals by making salads and other cold meals and/or drinks.

Notice I didn’t say summer!

I said warm weather. To me, warm weather is between 70F to 83F, warmer than that can be a little too much for me. But, I can’t predict the weather so I enjoy as much as I can when Spring comes around.

What about you?

Which season do you enjoy the most? And, why?

Thank you for reading. Please share your answers in the comments below.

Sara S.

Parenting · Relationship · Teen dating violence, Information, Violence, Dating Violence

Teen Dating Violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Dating in itself should be a great experience for all of us. However, some experiences are shattered by their significant other. CDC defines dating violence “as the physical, sexual, psychological, or emotional violence within a dating relationship, including stalking”. The most vulnerable when it comes to dating violence are teenagers. They do not share their problems with anyone that can help them, sometimes they even keep it from their friends because they are afraid of retaliation from their partners.

In 2017 the CDC reported that “approximately 7% of women and 4% of men who ever experienced rape, physical violence or stalking by an intimate partner first experienced some form of partner violence by that partner before 18 years of age.”

The following are different ways to describe teen dating violence, according to the CDC:

  • Dating abuse
  • Relationship violence
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Relationship abuse
  • Domestic violence
  • Domestic abuse

Why teens think violence in their relationship is normal?

Most likely they have experienced this type of abuse first-hand with their parents. Either the mother or father was the abuser at home growing up and that relationship has a greater influence on them. Between 11 years old and 18 years old teens are still developing emotionally, therefore, that is when they should have better relationship examples to avoid unhealthy relationships in the future.

Unhealthy relationships have a negative effect on a teen in the long run, which translates into the following:

  • Develop unhealthy behavior such as tobacco, drug use, and alcohol.
  • Involvement in antisocial behaviors
  • Symptoms of depression
  • Thoughts of suicide

When I was in college I was part of a student-run program called “Lifestyles Center”. As a group we used to take turns to walk around campus engaging in conversation with the students and getting some feedback about certain health and wellness topics. Dating and Domestic Violence was just one of the most taboo topic we had to talk about with freshman students. Seniors were a little more open about the topic being that our program runs throughout the school year and talks about this and other important topics every semester.

Teenagers that were victims of dating violence in high school are more likely to be victimized during college years. The victim can be either the girlfriend or boyfriend. That is the reason why some freshman students feel uneasy to talk about the topic. Boys are usually the ones that would not admit they are being abuse by their significant other.

Warning Signs:

When you are in a relationship it is difficult to tell when it is a healthy, unhealthy or abusive one. Take a look at the warning signs shown below (taken from the www.breakthecycle.org website):

  • Constant belittling or put-downs
  • Explosive temper
  • Possessiveness
  • Isolation from family and friends
  • Making false accusations
  • Extreme jealousy or insecurity
  • Physically inflicting pain or hurt in any way
  • Telling someone what to do
  • Repeatedly pressuring someone to have sex
  • Constant mood swings towards you
  • Checking cell phones, emails or social networks without permission

Another way to see the types of abuse/violence in a relationship is shown below with the infographic created by the Break the Cycle organization.

Types of Abuse

Now that you read the signs make sure that you also take the quizzes created by the Break the Cycle following this link: http://www.breakthecycle.org/quizzes.

Break the cycle also mentions that a study made by Tween and Teen Dating Violence and Abuse published in July 8, 2008, shows that dating relationships and abuse starts at an early age of 11.

How to help a friend?

Most people wants to be listened to and sometimes that is all it takes to have someone share with us their problems. But, what do you say to help the person sharing their experience?

Tell them:

“I believe in you”.

“You don’t deserve this. You deserve to be treated with respect”.

“I am here if you need me or ever want to talk”.

“Thank you for trusting me”

“It’s not your fault”.

“This is important”.

“I am glad you told me”.

“I want you to be safe”.

“What do you need?”

This is an important topic that should be talk about more often, that way tweens and teens are aware of this problem and can prevent it. If you are a parent please talk to your kids and set good healthy relationships examples.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month.

Remember teen dating abuse is #notjustphysical and don’t forget that #controlisntlove

I hope this information helps you. If you find this article to be helpful, please make sure to share it with friends and family!

For more information or to find help on this topic in New York, please call: 1-800-942-6906

If the above phone number doesn’t apply to you, please call:

National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline: 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453 (TTY)

National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

National Hotline for Crime Victims: 1-855-4-VICTIM (1855-484-2846)

Thank you in advance for bringing awareness on this topic!

Sara S.

Photography · Scenery · Snow · Travel

Snowy Sunday

Courtyard at one of the buildings at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.

Can you tell me to which building this courtyard belongs to?

Share in the comments.

Overlooking the parking lot in front of one of a building at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York.

On our way home from Syracuse through Auburn this past Sunday.

Road trip is what we do when hubby can’t work outside or play in the snow. 😜

I know it may be too late to ask about your weekend. But, how was YOUR weekend?

Share with me in the comments.

Sara.

freelancing, writer, creative writing

My writing goal

In this post, I will like to share what I am expecting this writing adventure will do for my future self.

Lately, it seems that many people have started writing as means of getting extra income. Even those without a background in writing. Some people write while fulfilling their dreams such as traveling, obtaining and using new products, clothing or services for free. Some of them are either writing part-time to make ends meet. Others write because it is their job, and some of them just write based on their experiences. They also work either full-time or part-time while getting paid exorbitant sums of money.

My goal is to learn more about the English language, since it is my second language, and to become an experienced writer in different topics of interests such as homesteading, fitness, photography and health, among other topics.

How about you?

Are you a writer?

Do you freelance writing?

If you write, what is your purpose or goal? and, how long have you been writing?

Please share your answers in the comments.

Love,

Sara.

Holidays, Family Time

Christmas Day 2017

Every Christmas since 2010, Adam and I found ourselves driving to pick up Super (Krysta) and Duper (Kaila) to visit his mom and grandma in Pennsylvania and my sister and mom in New Jersey. After Christmas 2015, which is also the year we got married, we decided to stay home for the festive days and enjoy being just the two of us. By this time, the girls decided that it was best for them to spent time away from their father, decision that was supported by their mom.

Though we spent quality time together with my husband at our “blue” house, it just wasn’t the same without the girls. The house also didn’t feel homey but we didn’t know it until we moved to our “forever” HOME (notice I capitalize the word home because it does feel like it). Still, it is not the same without one of the girls but this time Duper (Kaila) is with us.

My mom is also living with us so I believe this was one of the best Christmas I have. I do miss my sister and my brothers and their families but distance is our worst enemy. This cold Christmas day I spent the morning with hubby, my mom and my boys (Buck and Chester) in the woods behind our farmhouse. It was cold but memorable and I took some pictures of my mom and boys like the one below. I hope you enjoyed yours like we did.

Share with me in the comments how was your Christmas Day!

Best,

Sara Schrader

Facilitation, Education, Workshop

Workshop Facilitation Tips

I have been facilitating different workshops for a little more than a couple years now. Some of the workshops were about basic nutrition topics and cooking, as well as, some self-management building skills. I know that a little more than a couple of years may not be enough time to make me feel I have experience in this field. However, I am going to tell you why there is a difference between facilitation and presentation. Also, I have seen people’s reaction towards each type of workshops.

The difference between facilitation and presentation is as follows: (1) Presentation it is usually informative. People listen, see your power point and make notes, maybe ask some questions, but that is it. (2) Facilitation, on the other hand, is interactive. The name says it all! You are only there to start the conversation and to help participants come up with ideas to solve the issues they shared earlier in the workshop.

I, personally, love facilitating workshops, rather than, presenting. It is even better if the workshop you are going to facilitate has some guidelines or a script to follow and is an evidence-based workshop.

Below, I am going to list some of the ideas on how to facilitate that I gather from the different workshops I lead and attended throughout the three years I have been leading workshops:

  • Always ask participants to volunteer when presenting themselves or when giving examples or ideas and go around the room from that person. (That way noone feels like you are putting them on the spot.)
  • Always thank participant for sharing ideas. (So, they feel you acknowledge their effort. Remember, not everyone is open to share difficult experiences.)
  • Never use words like…Great idea!, Good job!, or Awesome!, when participants share their ideas. Remember, that if you use these words with some participants you may have to use it with ALL participants to avoid misunderstanding and the idea of having favoritism towards certain participants.
  • When someone brings up a non-related topic to the conversation, please make sure you redirect them kindly to the workshop and topic you are facilitating. (Sometimes participants take advantage of the opportunity to talk and/or share their problems.)
  • Never put someone in the spot. That person will not come back to finish a series of workshops or when you offer another workshop.

These are just a few ideas I have come up with to share with you.

How about you?

Please! remember I am giving some ideas based on my short experience facilitating. If you would like to add to my list, please feel free to do it in the comments. Also, if you do not agree with my list, please share the reasoning behind it in the comments.

Thank you,

Sara Schrader

Relocation, Travel, Life Change

Moving to the States

I was born in Peru and moved to the United States in 2006. When I moved to the States, I left everything I knew behind to start my life all over again. I left my job, friends, and part of my family that still live in Peru, my brothers. I grew up with four brothers that were overprotective, my parents, and my sister, who moved to the States when I was 10 years old. For the most part, I had a regular childhood with some highs and lows, like any other family.

When I attended my second interview with the US consul in Lima, Peru back in April 2006, I was not expecting to receive my passport with the red sticker. The red sticker was, and it still is for some people, like winning the lottery. It meant you met the requirements to come to the United States. You never know who gets it. People can bring all the paperwork needed to apply for a visa and get denied. Some people may not even be prepared or may not speak the language and obtain the visa, regardless.

However, once I got home I realized I will have to leave everything that I work hard to get,to that point, and start my life again in a country I knew nothing about, except for the language, which I have never practice while living in Peru. Although, I was happy I was going to be able to see my sister and parents, who were living with my sister for a couple of years, I have other emotions kicking in. I knew I would have a better future here in the States, however, I was not sure how I was going to get my independence once settled in this country.

Once my plane landed in La Guardia Airport, my heart felt mixed emotions. I was happy to finally reunite with my sister and my parents, but I felt sad I left my brothers behind. They had been looking for an opportunity like this and they had never gotten the chance to receive the visa. One of the things I miss the most is Peruvian Cuisine.

No matter how hard you try to compare Peruvian food prepared here in the States with the one in Peru, the taste is not the same. It is always missing something very important. However, I have adjusted to the culture, food, and customs of the States. I have also improved my English vocabulary and my accent is going away.

I am so thankful for my family support, especially, for my husband, who supported me and encourage me to finish school.

Have you been forced to make changes in your life?

Probably, not as big as the one I did, but do you feel that there are some things in your life that have changed drastically? If so, do you want to share it in the comments?

Love,

Sara