One last relationship

I began writing a story in 2015 called “Heartbreak Ave” which was about a girl from the San Francisco Bay Area named Gale who is about to get married to the “man of her dreams”. The story begins on the day of her wedding, then it falls back in time to the very beginning when she first fell in love. I was on a roll writing the story until I began to write the last chapter – fast forward, which falls again, on her wedding day. And that’s when I caught a case of writers block: A 5 year case of writers block.

I couldn’t decide if I wanted my story to have a happy ending or a sad one. Whatever the case, I just want my story to end with a message. But what kind of message? Since then, I’ve been in 2 “relationships”. One which lasted for 7 months with Johnny. My recent one, with Angel which lasted for about 4 years. I normally like to take the lessons I’ve learned from my past relationships and apply it to my writings, but I was just blind in both relationships and ignored all the red flags. They were both liars, lacked communication skills, and didn’t hold an ounce of affection at the end of the day. I can’t even remember the last time they held my hand. So yea, that’s pretty much all I’ve learned.

With that said, I have one more relationship in me before I throw in the towel. I think this last one will help me determine the ending of Heartbreak Ave. I know I shouldn’t rely on a relationship to help me complete my story -but that’s pretty much what the foundation of my story is. When I first picked up my pen to write the first chapter, I was heartbroken and struggling to find myself again. That was almost 6 years ago. Now here I am, after learning many lessons, trying to figure out how to end my story. Does Gale find out that her fiance was cheating in the end? Does she have a change of heart? Does she follow through with the wedding and live happily ever after?

Remember that scene in the movie Sex in the City when Mr. Big leaves carry at the altar? I remember how that scene left me in tears. So I definitely don’t want to end my story on that note.

“Cryss, it’s not for you.”

Everything I do in my life has a meaning. Someone told me yesterday “Cryss, why are you doing DoorDash? It’s not for you, you already have a good job, another side hustle etc etc…”

There was a point in my life where I was struggling. This was when my oldest daughter, Deyzha was getting sick. I was taking her to all types of appointments and losing mad hours. When you lose hours and run out of paid vacation and sick time, it really takes a hit to your paycheck. On top of that, I wasn’t qualified for Paid Family Leave yet. Moving forward, one of my close friends, Jenn, I will talk more about Jenn later (Rest in Love 🙏🏽); she put me on Doordash. She was a “Dasher” at the time and to her it was a solution to help me earn some extra money. She went with me to the orientation in Concord, then took me on my first few deliveries because I was too shy and uncomfortable — embarrassed even. I never pictured myself delivering food. But at the end of the day, it taught me how to be humble. I remember going on my first delivery. I asked her to drive because I was nervous. It was a pizza delivery and we had to travel all the way to Lafayette, deep in the hills somewhere. I just remember the long boring drive. We were surrounded by trees and even lost cell phone signal in some areas. We ended up in this super rich neighborhood. The houses were like mansions. I didn’t even know that this neighborhood existed.

Anyway, because of Jenn, I was able to make some extra money to get by until things went back to normal. Taking on this side gig also taught me that I could make extra money ONLY if I got up everyday with that money making mentality. Laziness is not an option.

With that said, this is why I do it. I do it because it reminds me of her. After I lost Jenn, I made a promise to myself to embrace every minute I had with the people I care about. Even if it’s to deliver food in a remote place. Dashing reminds me of our long drive to Lafayette complaining and laughing about how deep the drive was to the customer. It reminds me of how much Jenn hustled when she was still here. So yes, DoorDash is for me. As a matter of fact, I’m going to work this Saturday evening just because I want to. I miss Jenn.

Earn $15-$24 an hour delivering food. The best part, customers have an option for you to hand them the food or leaving it at their door. It’s super easy. Tap on the link to deliver with DoorDash.

Apply here: https://doordash.com/dasher/apply/CRYSTAL-TOLENTINO-0128/

It all started with a packet of Taco Bell Hot Sauce…

Cooking Yellow Spanish Rice and Chicken Enchiladas

I love to cook. I’ve been cooking since I was around 11 years old. While my parents were out and about, they would sometimes leave me at home for a short amount of time to babysit my brothers, Chris and Chad. While my parents were gone, to kill time, I would just go to the kitchen and start cooking for my brothers.

One of the first things that I remember cooking when I was a kid was rice — whether if it was regular rice in the rice cooker, Chinese fried rice or Spanish rice. I was super young at the time so I didn’t know anything about certain ingredients or seasonings. I just used whatever I could find in the refrigerator and on the shelves. Threw it in the pot and if it didn’t work out, I’d throw it out and make it all over again. My parents would probably flip out if they ever found out how much food I wasted experimenting.

One day, I wanted to make Spanish rice for my brothers and since I didn’t have Google at the time, I had to guess the recipe from the top of my head. My mother taught me how to cook rice in the rice cooker so that was my first step but also my first mistake. Everything else, I had to guess. One of the most random ingredients that I added to my rice was Taco Bell hot sauce. I don’t know why I did, but it was either that or a packet of mustard. My brothers, who were 6 and 7 years old at the time, wasn’t too excited with the idea of Taco Bell hot sauce in their rice. I could remember how much they cringed they watched me throw in the packets of hot sauce. But hey, I was a rookie! I wish I could remember all the ingredients that I threw in it. My Spanish rice ended up turning out super greasy (oops) —- yet surprisingly good.

Moving forward, I continued to practice cooking different recipes in the kitchen. From Filipino, Sri Lankan to Latin food. With the help of Google and a touch of love, it’s beginning to become an art for me.

I don’t plan on making this a strictly cooking blog, but just know that I will share a lot of cooking content in the future. And maybe some recipes that I’ve mastered along the way.

By the way, I’m leaving to Chicago, IL next month with my daughter, Kaylee. She is my travel buddy and foodie. I can’t wait to share my experience with you since it’ll be my first time there. I’m so ready for Chicago Pizza. I heard they were the next best thing next to New York Pizza. Maybe when I’m there, I’ll pick something up and do a little giveaway. We’ll see.

Yellow Spanish Rice

Thanks for reading and following my journey.