By Samandra

5 Things I Do to Keep Me From Getting Bored

05 Apr 2020

“I’m bored”, said no Samandra ever.

When BYU canceled classes on campus, one of the first things that came to my mind was, “yay, now I will have more time to work on my side projects!” Because I don’t have to commute anymore from SLC to Provo, that added SO MUCH time to my busy schedule, and finally, now I have some free time to do things that have been for a long time on my To-Do list.

  1. Sleeping well: This is one of the things that we students struggle a lot while taking classes. I have been going to bed around 10:30-11 pm, and waking up around 7:30 am, and that has been amazing!
  2. Having my regular routines: Because I’m not rushing through things anymore, I have time to do my skin routine, make myself a good breakfast/lunch/dinner, and study my scriptures better. Working as a mentor for BYU students and taking online classes keeps me pretty busy as well.
  3. Taking care of my body: Exercising isn’t my favorite and easiest thing to do. So now that I have more time I don’t have more excuses to not do it. I do Yoga through the Daily Yoga app, and I love it! I also have been reading a book about TMJ—I have TMJ problems for a good time. I bought a book to learn how to deal with it, and I have never read it until… this week! I also got the Nia Shanks’ workout program, and I plan to start this sometime soon.
  4. Learning something new: I’m an online class junkie! I love learning from people that I admire, and it’s often an affordable way to learn things than through a credited class. I have been taking some online classes from websites such as SkillShare, Masterclasses, and Coursera (they have a lot of Ivy Schools free classes).
  5. Side hustle: I have been putting more time towards bookbinding, and photography. I want to revamp my website, and this is the time for it!

“The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.” – Dorothy Parker


How I Overcame Social Anxiety

21 Feb 2020

If you have met me, you know already that I love to talk, but believe or not, about 2 years ago I used to have a lot of social anxiety. If you experience this too, let me give you some suggestions that can help you with that. 😊

  1. What you have to say matter: One of the lies that we tell ourselves when facing social anxiety is that no one will care about what we have to say, so we rather be quiet. I have learned that this is a HUGE lie because what we have to say matters! We are all different (thank goodness), and we have so much to add in a conversation. It doesn’t matter how much you have done, how much money you have, or how attractive you think you are. You are YOU, and this is amazing because each of us can uniquely contribute to this world.
  2. Face it until you make it: This is surely one of the best ways to face any challenge that you may ever encounter. By facing your fears you show who is the boss of it all. YOU are the boss and you won’t let your fears prevent you from becoming who you want to be.
  3. Practice it: I know how challenging it can be to start a conversation with someone you aren’t friends yet. I’m terrible at small talks, and I rather have a deep and long conversation, but not all situations allow us to do that. When I moved to SLC, I was in a very social ward where everyone talked with each other, and that was when I learned how to small talk! Lol. Start by asking the person’s name, where they are from, what they do. If you’re meeting that same person again you may ask how their week was, what were the good and bad things that happened in the past days… You can have a good conversation by just asking these simple questions!
  4. Be present: It’s interesting that one of my biggest fears was that if I was getting the person bored, so I was constantly looking for signs if the person wanted to withdraw from our conversation. When I did this, I couldn’t focus on what the person was saying, and I would be brief with what I was sharing. Silly, uh?! So be present!! Give your best in those short minutes you’re talking with someone, and you will see how it turns better than you had imagined.
  5. How to close a conversation: Sometimes I used to not start a conversation because I didn’t know how to close it and it would worry me of how I would do it. Now I have learned that’s really not that bad as I used to think. When you feel that’s time to go, make a pause, and then you can say something like “It was nice talking to you [say the name of the person]!” You can add other things if you would like such as, “I hope to see you again soon”, “I hope you have a good rest of day.”
  6. Try an anxiety medication: I actually started taking anxiety pills because I was having irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but surprisingly it helped so much with social anxiety. I don’t credit it all to the medication though, because although I felt less anxious to talk with people after I started with the medication, I still had to work hard to be where I am today. The medication just gives you the courage to face people, and you still have to do everything else.

I know that it’s easier said than done but trust me, I’m the living proof that these things work! I don’t have social anxiety anymore and now I can easily talk to anyone. It feels great to be who I wanted to, and I hope you can find your way as well to free yourself from social anxiety.

Photo by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash


Green Smoothie Recipe

22 Oct 2019

First thing you may think when someone talks about green smoothies, is “yuckyyy”. But not with my recipes, because I make them all without the “yucky” factor. ;)

The secret for a good green smoothie is to mix a lot of yummy fruits with things that aren’t very tasty such as broccoli, kale, and chard. I usually use a lot of fruits and veggies which I don’t usually like the taste in my smoothies so I can get the vitamins, and adding fruits that you like can mask the flavor of the disliked ones. I love to use green apples, kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, as fruits to bring up good flavor and make it taste good.

Green Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/3 cup broccoli
  • 1/3 cup kiwi
  • 1/3 cup green apples
  • 1/3 cup mixed green leaves (spinach, kale, chard)
  • 1/3 cup pineapple
  • 1 cup of juice (lemonade, apple, cranberry)
  • If you would like, you can add a spoon of flax seed and/or chia seeds.

Blend it all in a high powered blender until smooth.


Good at Naps

27 Apr 2019

Totally unrelated to the pictures, but I wanted to share with you something that happened to me yesterday…

I got home, cleaned the room, and made plans for the evening. But before that, I thought that I deserved to lay down for a bit just to “rest my eyes.” I bet I’m not the first to tell myself this little lie. Lol.

I woke up in the middle of the night, and reluctantly went to brush my teeth and went back to bed. Funny that if I fall sleep without brushing my teeth I ALWAYS wake up during the night to do it. I guess my body knows I don’t like to be without a brushed teeth. haha

Anyways… I woke up from this 12 hour nap this morning and man, that was good!

I haven’t always been this good at naps. I remember while growing up I was the only one who wouldn’t take the traditional “afternoon naps.” My brain was always in full speed that nothing could make me turn it off during the day, even if I wanted. Then, there was I, trying to entertain myself while all others were napping.

But today I’m not just good at naps, because I’m GREAT at it! Lol. What are good at? haha


Strawberry, Peach & Lemon Smoothie

16 Mar 2019

Last year I took a Science of Wellness and Nutrition class at BYU, so I could learn more how to take care of my body. Since then I have been doing a lot of new things such as eating more fruits and vegetables.

I have to confess that eating these two wasn’t an easy thing to me. I’m always on the run, with little time to prepare meals, and often the fruits and vegetables that I bought went bad in the fridge. But I wanted it to change. So I made a list of all the excuses that I used to not eat fruits and vegetables.

My excuses in the past:

  • I don’t have time.
  • I’m lazy to eat something extra (apart from what will make me full) along the day__eating isn’t my favorite thing.
  • I feel overwhelmed by all the things I have to do that I don’t want to add something else.
  • I don’t want to go grocery shop every week, and I don’t like to eat fruits when they are too ripe.
  • I can’t eat all those varieties they say in the same day. It’s too much!

After I found out what were my excuses it was easier to me to make a plan to change it. I encourage you to do the same.

My solution:

  • I have always loved fruit smoothies such as the others we found at Jamba Juice. I would make my own “Jamba Juice” yummy smoothies to make me motivated to consume the fruits and veggies I needed.
  • I started to put all the ingredients (but the juice) in a small Ziplock bag and put it in the freezer. Each morning I prepare one of these bags, and have a fresh and healthy drink to start the day!

What I found out:
My fruit smoothies taste WAY BETTER than the ones at Jamba Juice. After awhile taking smoothies daily, there was a day that I didn’t have time to prepare it so I just grabbed one at Jamba Juice thinking that it would be the same, but… I was wrong.

Jamba Juice’s smoothies have sherbet and frozen yogurt added to it which makes it to not taste like fruit, but much more like something sugary that you don’t want. I also couldn’t feel the texture of the fruits, because they probably don’t add much of it.

I’ll be posting more tips that I have learned along the way with other smoothies’ recipe posts. So stay tuned. For now, get the recipe of this yummmyyy fruit smoothies inspired by the Jamba Juice Surf Rider, but way yummier. ;)

Strawberry, Peach & Lemon Smoothie

3 strawberries
1/2 peach
1/2 lemon
1/2 cup of Simply Lemonade juice.

Blend it all and enjoy this simple and delicious fruit smoothie!


2 things you didn’t know about me…

06 Mar 2019

There are two things which I can’t accept about myself in these past 6 years… my age, and that I’m divorced.

Maybe because I didn’t come from a “perfect” family I tried my all to make my life closer to perfect since I was 17. The lack of rules, while I was growing up, made me eager for having something to follow. I also didn’t have a religion while growing up, and I felt the desire to know what God wanted from me. At this age, I met the Church that was just perfect to what I was looking for.

I got married when I was 21. I thought that finally, I would be able to have that perfect family I have always dreamed about. I had two amazing years of marriage, but the last two other were more challenging as people change, and what’s good for me maybe is not any more to the other person. We were from the same faith when we got married, but later he realized that this didn’t bring happiness to him anymore. These beliefs were important to me so we realized that although we were good friends and got along well, sharing a life wasn’t the best thing to us anymore. Even though things ended up friendly, it still hurt me and I closed myself from this. I came to the USA and here I told myself that I wanted to start again, and no one–except my best friends– would know about my past.

I have realized that keeping this as a secret and not telling people my age has to become a burden to me which I don’t want to carry anymore.

I feared rejection for telling the truth. I feared people judging me as a bad person for being divorced. I feared being judged as “complicated”, “she must have a problem” for being 31 and single. After having suffered the ultimate rejection of the divorce, I tried to protect myself from being rejected, again.
But the truth is, this is me. All these experiences have helped me to become who I am. If someone wants to be my friend this person will have to accept me for what I am. I have been through hell, yet still turned well.

Why do I do this in social media? I do this so I won’t go back from the decision I have made today to accept who I am, and to not hide these two things from people anymore. I decided in 2016 that I wanted to tell everyone the truth, yet I didn’t stick to my word as I didn’t have the courage.

I love this talk from Sister Stephens from 2016: “They suffer from broken covenants, broken hearts, and lost confidence. These experiences, though no fault of their own, have left many feeling guilty and ashamed. Not understanding how to manage the powerful emotions they experience, many try to bury them, pushing them deeper into themselves. Hope and healing are not found in the dark abyss of secrecy but in the light and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Complete healing will come through your faith in Jesus Christ and His power and capacity, through His Atonement, to heal the scars of that which is unjust and undeserved.”

I may have cried all day long because tomorrow is my birthday and I feel like a failure for not being married, having all those four kids, and still be going to school. But these things shouldn’t define me. I still want those things, but things happen at a different time to each of us. Please be kind to others and don’t let your expectations to them make them feel miserable. That’s all.