Friday, July 29, 2016

30 Day Challenge Wrap-up

So, it took 60 days, but it happened. I finished the 30 day challenge!!!

I think I did a pretty good job considering I had a work trip and then spent some time in my hometown where it is virtually impossible to get anything done. Of course, getting not one but two puppies, visiting every family member I hadn't seen in months, going to the pool and out for coffee with friends and my parents also had a little to do with that.

But hey, better late than not at all, right? Here's what I learned in the process:

This challenge is hard. Not in that the things you have to do are hard kind of way, but in the fact that writing a post every day, really takes time. I get that many if not most of the blogs out there post every day, but also, most of the bloggers out there are dedicated full time to it, which is not my case. Finding the time during my day to write was hard most days, but others, I was able to write three posts. It really depended on how busy my schedule was, which varies from day to day.

One thing that really helped, was the fact that I didn't need to think about what to write, which is really the beauty of the challenge itself. Honestly I don't know how full time bloggers do it, come up with original content ALL THE TIME. It takes time and patience and a lot of work. Not that I didn't appreciate it before, but I got a small taste of what it's like to be a full time blogger, and it is indeed a lot of work. Plus all big shot bloggers have partnerships and sponsors and go on book tours and meetings in other cities, so my guess is their plates are pretty fool too, which makes me appreciate their work even more.

Overall, I really enjoyed doing this, mostly because I got to write a lot, but also because most days I really had to think about my answers. It made me reflect upon many things, reminisce about others and discover a few I more. It is really a personal exercise that I recommend vastly for every blogger out there.

What do you think? would you take the 30 day challenge? If so, do let me know, I'd love to read some answers!


ps. All #30daychallenge posts are in the June & July archive :)

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Day 30: Why did you start blogging and what is the origin behind your blog's name?

I started blogging in 2004 after spending some time in Mexico City with my boyfriend. I had never spent so much time in a city like that one and was instantly amazed at all the great things to see and places to eat and visit and shop... I was really inspired. I guess that blog started as a way to share that inspiration, which I don't think ever actually happened.

Moreover, blogging for me has always been about sharing bits of my life. How I'm feeling/dealing with certain things more so than sharing DIY projects or outfit inspiration, although there were the occassional posts on that subject.

But as everything in life, times change and so do a few other things. When I started this blog, I felt different than I did when I started the first one. I'm just in a different place in life and I'm hoping that is reflected here.

Also, I've always liked writing, although never for the purpose of it. I used to write stories with characters and situations and jokes and drama, loads of drama. But now I just enjoy writing for the pleasure of it. 

I guess unlike every other blog out there, mine does not have a specific theme or topic. I'm not really into fashion. I'm not dedicated to the kitchen. I can't share tips on parenthood or marriage cause I'm neither a parent nor a wife. I don't have the resources or the time to become a full time DIYer or party planner (as much as I'd like that). I'm not going to share architecture tips cause that would just be boring. 

So instead I share things about my life and favorite things. Some people might find it boring. Others might find it interesting and may even be encouraged to try/visit some places. It's like one friend said 'I may not be perfect, but I never try to be anything I'm not and I am not here to impress anyone else'.

The name of the blog has naturally everything to do with my name. Picking a blog's name is really hard. There are a lot of blogs out there with 'name formulas', but I could never come up with any of those (chocolate&musicals doesn't sound great). And then there are those that describe what the blog is about, but 'I share everything I can think of' didn't have a nice ring either, so I figured 'including' my name so to speak (Gris=Gray) and then the word project (cause I'm an architect and architects work on projects) had a nice ring, since the blog is well, my life's project. I know, right?


Wednesday, July 27, 2016


Day 29: What are some of your fears?

This is as personal as it gets, at least for now. I don't think I've ever spoken out loud about the things I'm going to share here, but something tells me a lot of people share some of these too...

1. Death. I know this is inevitable and the only thing that is certain in life. However, I'm terrified at the thought of it. My own, A's, family, our dogs. Losing someone unexpectedly has got to be the most horrible thing that can happen to their loved ones. I can't imagine going through something like this, moreover, recovering from it. And on the other hand, going through someone else's sickness, watching them suffer as they try to fight it? such impotence, I just can't deal. As for me,  there are so many things I want to do and experience in life before I go, that dying scares the crap out of me, which leads to my next fear.

2. Time. Not having enough time for things I want to do or enjoy. Not spending enough time with my parents, grandparents, family, friends. Not doing things I can, while I can (travel before having to worry about a car, a house, kids...amongst other things). They say there are times in life for everything, but we get so caught up in the day to day sometimes (working, paying the bills...) that we don't realize how time flies. I see it even more now with the puppies. They are getting so big and gaining weight and developing their own personalities. Where are my tongue sticking out puppies?

3. Not being able to have babies when the time comes. Let's face it, I'm not getting any younger. I know times have changed, but by the time my mom was my age, she had two kids and one more on the way. I'm not married, not even enganged. Not that I have to be in order to have babies. However, I don't think the time is right in my life to start pro-creating. I really want to be a mom, and I'm terrified that by the time we decide the time is right for that, it will be hard or dangerous or maybe even impossible. And if I get to have them, back to fear number 2 (not having enough time with them) or fear number 4:

4. The end of the world. How fatalistic, but seriously. I love movies about this topic (Armageddon, Deep Impact, 2012, The Day After Tomorrow, etc), but coincidentally the leading characters always have just the right skill/profession/acquaintance they need in order to be saved/save the planet. That however is not my case. If the world came to an end, neither my architecture degree nor my master would save me from such catastrophes. Every time there was an earthquake (when I was living in Mexico City), small as it may have been, I was terrified. Just the thought of the world ending used to give me panic attacks in a 'waking up sweating in the middle of the night' kind of way. I can't imagine having to witness how humankind ends, whether it is via an asteroid, earthquake, tsunami, alien invasion, zombie apocalypse or mass murder. And so, even if death itself terrifies me as well, I'd rather die before this happens.

I've had these for a long time. Some more than others, obviously. But that's not to say that I have stopped living due to worrying about them. It's just like that quote on the cover image says. You can't stop living. Life's too short to live in fear.

How about you? do you agree with any of this? or is it just me?


*Cover image via here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

All Time Faves: Bands

Day 28: What are your top 3 favorite bands?

What does it take for a band to be considered a favorite? do I need to have every single record they ever made? been to at least one of their concerts? like ALL their songs? If that's the case then I don't have a favorite band, but here's three bands I love:

1. Blink 182. The obsessions started when their hit album Enema of the State came out in 1999 (I'm all about the 90's). After that, I looked all of their older stuff up and continue to follow their career up to their self tittled album. I'm actually really excited that they are releasing a new album this year (California), but before I get that, I need to catch up with what came in between: Neighborhoods. I've seen them live once (they came to Mexico ages ago) and I don't have all their records nor do I like all their songs.I think what I like about Blink 182 is their music over their lyrics. Usually I'm more of a lyrics person, but despite what their songs say, their music just makes me happy. (Image via here)

2. The Ataris. Remember that time (in the 90's, of course) when you'd make friends in online chat rooms? Well, back then I met this guy named Sam. He introduced me to The Ataris and many other bands of the sort. That's how I started listening to punk rock music, when I was in Secondary school. What stood out from The Ataris over the other bands was also their music and occasionally their lyrics too. I felt like their music had messages of love, friendship and family and over all, it made me happy to listen to it. I don't have all their records (just a couple), I've never seen them live,  and I stopped following their career. But we'll always have San Dimas High School Football Rules. (Image via here)

3. Maroon 5. There's more to Maroon 5 than just how hot Adam Levine is. I love their music AND lyrics, possibly more than the music itself. I don't have ANY of their records but I've seen them live once. (Image via here)

Other bands I really like include Imagine Dragons, Mumford and Sons, Green Day, Good Charlotte, New Found Glory, Sum 41, All American Rejects, Simple Plan, Unwritten Law, MxPx, Mest, Coldplay, Keane, One Republic, Lifehouse and Florence and the Machine, amongst many, many more. 

What are your top 3 favorite bands?


*Cover image via here

Monday, July 25, 2016

Messy Pants

Day 27: Are you messy or neat?

I think for housing stuff I'm quite messy (like changing clothes and throwing them around the house, leaving shoes downstairs and things of the sort). On the other hand, I like to keep professional stuff on the neater side (like the office, important documents and stuff).

Here for example: what is a PetCo bag doing on my coffee table along with my makeup bag and a hyacinth bin? oh, and back there you ask? just some Lego Architecture sets I bought TWO YEARS AGO and A's sweatshirt thrown over my chair. But look further and see all those books organized by color, how pretty :)

So what about you? Neat freak or Messy pants?


Saturday, July 23, 2016

Ten Cities

Day 26: Name 10 places you would like to visit

I love traveling, but then again, who doesn't. The choosing where to go, researching where to eat and what to see, the nerve wrecking experience which is buying plane tickets and booking hotel rooms online... 

Here's my list of 10 places I would like to visit, in no particular order:

1. Chicago. The windy city. Chicago is one of those cities filled with great architecture. It's home to buildings by Mies van der Rohe, Louis Sullivan and Helmut Jahn. Hell, it was home for Frank Lloyd Wright and where the Prairie School movement was born. As an architect, how could I not want to go there? (Image via here)

2. San Francisco. Maybe it is the kid in me who wishes was a part of the Tanner family or maybe I've just been watching too much Full House lately, but San Francisco has always appealed to me. It's just such an iconic city and for once, architecture has nothing to do with it (except maybe the Golden Gate Bridge): Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Lombard Street... It seems like the kind of place you could take the time to really see the city without having to worry about missing stuff. (Image via here).

3. LA (and everywhere around it). Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Malibu, Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Anaheim...  God, I think this is the place where I want to go the most. Being such a tv freak, walking around any of the aforementioned places would be like a dream come true, like living in movies and tv shows I've loved for years. Seriously, just walking around Rodeo Dr pretending to be friends with Kelly and Donna would do it, but there are so many great things to do and see in LA: Disney Concert Hall, The Broad, LACMA, and a whole lot more of architecture based picks. Plus the food scene and latin vibes and basically everything. Earth, swallow me now and spit me in LA. (Image via here)

4. Positano. Ahh, the Amalfi Coast. It is one place that seems to be thriving these days, but of course, why woulnd't it? It keeps popping on my instagram feed implanting on me the idea of going there asap. The whole place just looks so romantic and laid back, like the perfect place for a honeymoon or an anniversary trip. (Image via here)

5. Paris. Because no one ever said 'Veracruz is always a good idea'. Although I've been once before, ever since I read that Jordan and her family moved there for a year,  I've been obsessed with the idea of spending a long time there, as in more than four days (like last time). It's the kind of city that has more to offer than touristic attractions. I've run around Champs Elysées and done the eternal lines to climb the Eiffel Tower (not that I would mind doing it again), but I'd like to really spend time in Paris. Sit at cafes, peruse flea markets, drive a vespa around the city, the true Parisian experience. (Image via here)

6. Amsterdam. When I was studying in Sheffield, Amsterdam was supposed to be part of a summer holiday but fell through at the last minute. I'd still like to go some day because I think the Netherlands has such a rich culture and Amsterdam seems to be a beautiful city with the canals and clogs and... windmills? (Image via here)

7. Tokyo. So exotic, right? As you can probably tell by now (except maybe for Positano up there), I'm more of a big city kind of tourist, way more into going to places where there are many things to do and see, over laying by the pool reading (not that I don't enjoy that as well). Plus, again with the culture and the architecture. (Image via here)

8. Shanghai. Those sights, that skyline... that's all I got, but seriously, big city, architecture, what more is there to it? well, of course, Shanghai Disneyland :) (Image via here)

9. Sydney. At some point in my life I was obsessed with the surfing culture (And the Olsen's twins unrealistic traveling movies). But taking that aside I feel like Sydney is a very cosmopolitan city, and one which has it all: beaches, great architecture, culture, art, and the Sydney Harbor Bridge & the Opera House. (Image via here)

10. Rio de Janeiro. A was the one who actually planted this seed on me, but what attracts me of visiting Brasil, other than food, is (you guessed it) the architecture. Actually a trip to Brasil would need to include other cities like Brasilia, Sao Paolo and maybe even Curitiba to check out Oscar Niemeyer and Lina Bo Bardi's work, not that the beaches of Copacabana wouldn't be enough for me ;) (Image via here)

So basically my picks depend completely on architecture and things to see (aka landmarks) which result in quite busy holidays, rather than relaxing ones. Oh, well! Live while you're young!

Other cities I'd love to visit include: Copenhagen, Beijing, Perú & Machu Pichu and everywhere I've been before, except now with A :)


Friday, July 22, 2016

All Time Faves: Disney Character

Day 25: Who is your favorite Disney character and why?

My guess is I've said this plenty times already but this is a tough one. I LOVE Disney. I love everything about Disney. I even worked there for one summer. I love Disney so much that making me chose just one favorite character is practically impossible. Yet, after literally perusing a list of Disney characters, one name stood out for me: Hercules.

To be honest, the movie holds such a special place in my heart. I remember seeing it at the movie theater (oldest one in Veracruz which no longer even exists). For my last year of secondary school my class did a theatrical production (an adaptation) of this movie and presented it in front of the whole school (I was one of the muses). How could I not love it?

But Hercules, man. He was the best. First of all how he is taken away from his home and family, having to grow up without everything he was entitled to. Bummer. Then, I think like most of us, going through a super awkward phase growing up as the weird, clumsy kid. Facing bullying and name calling for 'being different'.

I love that he knew he was special and different and he wasn't gonna let anyone tell him otherwise. I love how he had a dream and went ahead and fought to become who he was meant to be (going the distance, haha), a true hero. I love that he never stopped being that clumsy kid with a big heart, who even chose love over everything he fought for (returning to Mount Olympus with his family). I mean, what's not to love? Plus it does help that he has Ricky Martin's voice in the latin version :)

So there. Hercules is my favorite Disney character. What's yours?


ps. Read about How I became a Disney Cast Member here.

*Image via here.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Current Reads

Day 24: What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read?

The last book I read was 'The Choice' by Nicholas Sparks. I actually bought it without knowing there was a movie... but I'm kinda glad I did. Now I get to watch the movie and judge it since 'I read the book'

I bought it last month at the airport when I was heading to Nuevo Vallarta for work. There's so much time to be killed at airports while waiting to board flights. Then I got to read by the pool in the afternoon while I was away, which was a real treat.

I hadn't read anything in the longest time and had forgotten how much I enjoy reading. I spend too much time on the computer, tv or phone, so it was nice to relax on the couch with a cup of coffee yesterday in the morning to finish the book.

Do you have any good book recommendations? I'd love to hear!


Monday, July 18, 2016

Getting Excited

Day 23: What is one thing that you are excited about?

Right now I'm extremely excited and really looking forward to seeing Adele live in Mexico City! The concert is on a Monday of a long weekend so we're planning to make a trip out of the whole thing. 

My best friend from home is meeting us in Puebla and then we're spending the weekend in Mexico City where we're meeting more friends who are also going to the concert, so it should be a weekend filled with food and drinks and hopefully some culture in there at some point.

We got the tickets in October last year so you can imagine how much we are all looking forward to it.

Other than that, I'm excited to take a holiday with A at some point before the end of the year and maybe sneaking in a quick trip to Playa del Carmen with a couple of girlfriends and visit my brother by the end of summer.

What are you excited about?


*Image via here.

Prized Possessions

Day 22: What is your most prized possession and why?

When asked this question before, my answer has always been the same: my most prized possessions are two stuffed animals my grandmother (my dad's mother) bought for me growing up. She was a professor with a degree in special education whom we lost from cancer way too soon. She was caring and loving and really fun. These bears are a Fozzie Bear from the Muppet Babies and a rattle Teddy Bear. I actually remember getting both of them around the time I was 4-5 years old. The store where we got Fozzie still exists in a really old shopping center in my hometown. As for the other one, it was originally supposed to be for my (then) baby sister (who was actually still on the way) but I loved it so much, I kept it for myself.

My bears at home in Veracruz
There's absolutely nothing special about them, except the fact they were gifts from my grandma. They have both seen better times (Fozzie's nose was bitten off by my first dog, Spanky and the Teddy has had more washes than anyone could count). They are old and ragged, but I love them so much.

For as long as I can remember, they traveled with me around Mexico, the United States, Canada and even got to go around Europe during my time in England. They lived with me through the Disney ICP, my holiday in Puerto Rico and my year in Sheffield. Finally they moved to Mexico City with me after returning, where we lived for almost three years.

Here in a hostel in Dublin (pardon the mess)
About a year and a half ago when I moved here with A, I decided it was time to let go of them. Not in a 'get rid of them' kind of way, but I just didn't think they belonged in my 'adult house' with my boyfriend. And so I keep them in my childhood bedroom back home in Veracruz where I know my mom keeps them safe until it is time for them to meet their new owners (hopefully my kids, some day).

I have plenty of things I love back at home, but these are definitely the ones I cherish the most. What are your most prized posessions?


*Cover image via here.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Five Quotes

Day 21: List five words or phrases that make you laugh

I believe I've talked before about how I'm a TV freak, so here's five lines from some of my favorite shows that crack me up every time:

From Friends:
'Fine! Judge all you want, but married a lesbian, left a man at the alter, fell in love with a gay ice skater, threw a girl's wooden leg in a fire, LIVE IN A BOX!' Monica Geller

From Grey's Anatomy:
'He is alone! All alone! Do any of you even know what that's like? Lives with Cristina, dates the perfect twelve year old, Manwhore!...' Dr. Addison Montgomery

From The Vampire Diaries:
'Stefan's different. He wants the whole human experience. He wants to feel every episode of How I Met Your Mother...' Damon Salvatore

From The O.C:
'Ryan, I was Nemo... and I just wanted to go home.' Seth Cohen

From One Tree Hill:
'You wanna know what I think? I think Nathan likes tutor girl, tutor girl likes Lucas, I know I like Lucas, and I have no idea who the hell you like any more so this has been turned into a one big love... rectangle plus one... whatever that is.' Brooke Davis
(Sorry, I couldn't find a clip for this quote, but it is from Season 1, Episode 6.)


ps. Honorable mentions to every single line of Chandler Bing's, ever.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

One Day...

Day 20: Where would you like to visit or live one day..?

One day I'd love to live in New York City. I think A would agree with my answer. We did meet there after all. We've been there once more since and have made it a point to visit at least once every five years. 

A actually disagrees with that last part there because if it were for him, we'd go once a year. It is such an evolving place that even if you went there twice a year, it would be different and that's kind of why we love it so much.

The thing with NY is... it has EVERYTHING

A gourmet market in the heart of Chelsea
Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum
The center of the universe, Times Square
Central Park
It's just the kind of place where I don't think you could ever be bored. There's always something happening, more restaurants than you could ever eat at, a lot of great museums and many places near enough for day trips and/or long weekends. Broadway/Times Square, Central Park, the Yankees, you get the picture. Plus it has got to be one of the most multicultural places in the world which is awesome.

And the architecture? for geeks like us, it's paradise. But maybe I'll write a whole other post about that.

So, yeah. Without a doubt, this would be THE place where I'd love to live one day, even if just for a year or so. What place would you like to visit or live in one day?


ps. NYC cover image via here. All other images were taken by me.

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Last Splurge

Day 19: Post a photo of the last item of clothing you bought.

That would be the dress I got at H&M for my best friend's wedding. Here's is a pic of me and A on that day.


First Concert Ever

Day 18: What was the first concert you attended?

I can't be too sure about this one. I believe it's between Kabah and Fey. Embarrassing, I know, but hey, it was the 90's. I'm gonna go with Kabah though, because 18 years later I saw them again!!! As part of the 90's comebacks fever, Kabah joined OV7 (another 80's and 90's Mexican pop band) and are currently touring Mexico (and making my 13 year old self's dream come true).

My first Kabah concert was some time in May of 1998. I remember this because my attendance was some sort of birthday present from my parents. Many of my friends were there too and we were psyched. They had just released their 'Esperanto' record which went on to become my favorite. 

When they announced they were joining OV7 for a national tour I told A we HAD to go see them. All my girlfriends saw them in Veracruz and one of them even said she'd come with us to see them in Puebla again. And so my sister, my friend, A and I went on to see them back in February.

I don't have any pictures of that concert in 1998, but here's a bunch from last February :)

We've got tickets to a pop show...
The gang before the gig :)
Put on the boots, take off the sneakers

Kabah in their signature yellow outfit from like 25 years ago
All the girls
Kabah girls and OV7 boys

The end 

ps. We went to lunch before the concert and half of Kabah was there!!! You can see René and Daniela's back and hair. Federica was also there, but out of frame.Best Concert Ever!g.