People are giving up on dating

Lately I’ve noticed a trend going around…people are choosing to remain alone in this world.

Im one of those people.

I get hit on often when I go out and while it’s flattering and the flirting is fun…I never follow through with it. I’m single so I could if I wanted to but Id rather be alone.

Would I love to have romantic moments and hot sex with a hot man who I also have a spiritual connection with? Ok that was a little specific but Ohmygod yes haha…who wouldn’t? It all comes at a price though. That price is too high for me.

Being in a relationship means you could get cheated on and then it’s chaos after that. It also means people want to un-alive themselves when things end. Sometimes they imagine you are cheating on them and they want to un-alive you. Or they could simply want to un-alive you if you no longer feel the connection and want out. It’s risky business.

Then there’s the risk of getting pregnant or STDs. For some people this isn’t a big deal. To me it is. I don’t want anymore babies. Ever. Again. I did it one time and it was traumatizing. I also realize I am responsible for this human for the rest of her LIFE. I’m also responsible for any humans she decides to have (lord please hear my prayers and let it be just one cause I can’t handle more than one grand baby when I’m older, amen.)

I also don’t want any STDs. I realize most people have STDs but I’m just not interested in joining that club. You just can’t trust nobody. You really can’t. People are out there trading STDs like Pokémon cards not telling anyone what they have.

I think that’s really what it comes down to: I just don’t trust anyone in any way. People need therapy. They throw all their insecurities onto each other. Everyone is so messed up from narcissistic parents, narcissistic lovers, narcissistic bosses and cults. Most people haven’t healed and are not interested in healing.

People are really walking around with all their demons hanging out trying to date each other. Chile please. I’m just trying heal and get a deal. I don’t have time for that.

Theres also so many narcissists, psychopaths, and murderer’s out there. Many who look innocent enough. Sadly it’s usually the attractive women who get murdered by jealous exes or rejected suitors.

My life goal is to just exist happily. I want to continue to do what makes me happy: eat good food, dance my favorite songs, make art, and enjoy nature until my time on this earth is up.

I will probably never know what hot sex on a spiritual level is like though. The only reason it makes me a little sad is because I look at myself in the mirror and think “DaMn Denise your fu&$@#% sexy” and well…it’s a waste you know…if I was really ugly and deformed I wouldn’t feel so sad but I’m a sexy mother fu$%#@. So it’s sad.

This is the life many of us are living right now though. We’d rather be alone and safe. The world is just too much of a risk.

When I finish my life on this earth I hope I go to a new earth where things are better and safer.

Even though I realize this earth is full of risks and dangers I do still enjoy living here. I just have to abstain myself from most people.

Thankfully I have my family and my best friend. For how long? Who knows. This life is all a risk. I could lose them or they could lose me at any moment. That’s another reason I don’t want to get attached to anyone or have more kids. You never know when they’ll be gone. So much of this life is getting your hopes up and then just getting heart broken. I’d rather not play this strange game of life anymore. I’d rather keep my inner circle super small.

Sometimes I dream of going somewhere far away with just my family and best friend. I imagine living out on acres of country land surrounded by a community of good people. I imagine horses and fields of lilies. Country curtains and fresh apple pie. Watermelon slices and swings under a tree. A small lake nearby. Books to read. A porch with a swing. Long flow-y dresses. Fire pit nights with laughter and good stories. An idyllic life.

Regardless of what you have to live without…the point is to enjoy what you can while you’re on this earth.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

The Future of Instagram & FaceBook

It’s been half a year since I stopped using Instagram. I still have no desire to go back. Recently I pondered on the future of this app. Everything evolves with time or gets left behind so I thought it would be fun to imagine the future of Instagram evolved.

I know recently Instagram added a new feature where you could remove the “likes” button on your pictures – That’s progress. However, I think Instagram still has a lot of work on its hands when it comes to improving the app. The problem is some users are there for personal reasons while others are there for business and it all gets muddled together. You’re trying to talk to a friend but you end up getting bombarded with ads and people flexing. That’s not exactly how I like it to go when I’m looking to catch up with friends.

Social media constantly promotes a spirit of competition. So many people get caught up in trying to outdo each other. While people have always been this way, it only became enhanced on steroids with social media. Especially with Instagram. I realize the way people flex is different since the pandemic hit but the flexing has continued in its own ways despite it.

For the record, normally in the past (before social media) people tended to only compare themselves with their neighbors or social groups in real life. It wasn’t many people and normally it was within their social class. Since I left social media, I can attest this to be true. I have a few neighbors (I live in the country so we’re a little spread out here) and we are all more or less in the same social class so there’s hardly any pressure to “out do” each other. We country bumpkins just don’t care about that stuff hahaha.

In other words, the pressure is off when you leave social media for most people. You might still want nice things but it’s not to flex. It’s for your personal enjoyment or to share with close friends and family. What a concept eh? Yet some people don’t even feel it’s worth it if others aren’t going to see what they have or where they’re going or what they’re eating. For most though, when you disconnect from social media you realize that needing people to see your happy moments is actually a backwards way of living. You’re happy and whether people see it or not doesn’t matter. Life is meant to be enjoyed inwardly, privately. Without flexing.

I think the future of Instagram will be an app where you can keep up with close friends and family members through photos but without the “social media effect.” There won’t be “likes” or “follows”. People will give access to users to view their photo albums but the owner of the photo albums will decide which albums or photos that person is allowed to view. So you’ll be able to separate what you want friends, family, co-workers, boyfriend/girlfriends, or business prospects to see. They will be sent a notification that they have been invited to view your photos once the request is accepted or the link Is shared. As a result no one will feel like a creep or “stalker” since they were personally invited to view your albums.

As far as a business app where people can advertise their business, let’s be honest: we don’t need to buy a million products. We already consume too much as Americans. Let’s stop spending so much money on things we don’t really need and won’t really use. Over consumption in America is destructive and shouldn’t be encouraged. However, products and services that are needed or highly valued will always be ok. It’s the over consumption of things that hurt our pockets, take up space and then ultimately end up in a landfill that become the problem.

I don’t see a need to develop a new app for business advertising. We already have Yelp!, the Facebook marketplace, and Tiktok small business. I enjoy those three forms of business advertising and the only thing that would be better would be an app that combined aspects of all three features together. Users could choose to see products and services in their city as well as any city or state. You would be able to choose from tabs different businesses to look at such as repair businesses, health and wellness, food, furniture, home goods, ect.

I believe that these changes to social media and business advertising would help improve people’s mental well being and allow for people to interact in more meaningful ways with each other.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Life Without Social Media

I have two fascinations that are really no surprise to anyone who follows my blog. I’m fascinated with the effect of social media on people as well as cult religions. Naturally, I talk about those topics often. I am unplugged from both and so it fascinates me to look at them from an outside perspective or should I say…without the rose colored glasses.

I don’t believe social media should exist. Neither should dating apps. They are both unnatural to the human psyche. Not only is it a terribly unnatural way to connect, but people in general don’t usually put their best foot forward online. We tend to say what we shouldn’t, post things we later regret where we either said too much, showed too much or looked a little too silly. We tend to joke about things only our friends would understand and get upset the whole internet didn’t “get it.” I mean it was just a joke guys. Haha. The truth is there’s a sense of humor that is shared only between us and our closest friends who share our views on life. Inviting everyone else in is usually asking for a train wreck.

Is it wrong to show our true selves on the internet? Not necessarily. We’re imperfect and that’s ok. I love people who are confident AF and comfortable in their skin. However, to truly be loved and accepted by others people usually need to warm up to us first. Not everything we say or do sits well with others specially without warming up to us.

The internet sort of hits everyone’s quirkiness, craziness, and oddness right smack into people’s faces without any warm up session beforehand. I think we should at least be aware that it takes TIME for people to warm up and accept us as we are. While we can aim for a certain amount of people to accept us as we are and love us despite our crazy weird sides, it’s not realistic to believe the whole internet full of strangers will do that as soon as they “meet us.”

I see more down falls to living a life online than positives. A lot of people lose their jobs over their social media accounts, and while that might sound unfair, the truth is not everyone needs to know every thing you do, think and breathe. Sometimes its really better that they don’t because everything we think and do isn’t always the best thing. Many times we are still forming our own ideas and they are still interchangeable. It’s nice to make transitions in private instead of publicly. It’s harder for the public to accept you’ve changed your whole belief system even though that’s natural as we evolve with time and new knowledge.

I think the internet used for movements of justice and freedom is possibly the greatest thing in the world. Justice and Freedom will always be the most beautiful thing we can get together on in person or on the internet.

‘Personal use’ of social media is a judgement zone though. I don’t see why anyone needs that kind of scrutiny into their life. We easily assume things of others that are simply not true based off a few posts. We hate when others do it but we do it too. It’s so easy to misjudge and assume what we don’t know. In fact, I would bet a lot of money that it’s one of the easiest things for people to do.

I’d rather not put my life out there for people to misjudge. If they’re going to get it wrong I’d rather they get it wrong about someone else. They can turn on the tv and watch the Kardashians if they really need to feed their “assuming” tank. They might even be right with the Kardashians.

I know people mostly seek validation from social media but people need to learn how to validate themselves. People need to learn to heal their inner child and fix their self esteem. So many people have shattered self esteem and they depend on social media like a granny depends on her… depends. Sorry. I had to. Haha.

Sometimes I’m driving in my car by myself through the hills and I ponder and meditate about life. I’ve thought about how much I enjoy my life and how no one really knows about it except my family and close friends. I like that privacy. I wouldn’t have said that a year ago. I used to love sharing it all on social media. I’ve come a long way though.

I ponder on how much joy and fulfilment I get from interacting with the locals in the town I live in. They’re wonderful people. The beauty of this small town is breath taking. It looks like a movie scene on every corner.

I’ve thought about how much I enjoy the weather, the views, my car, home, food, family, friends and fun activities. I used to see everything as “post worthy” before and now I hardly reach for my phone except to take a photo for my personal memory. I love that I live a real life, not a social media one.

Ive learned to live in the moment without social media. When my eyes open in the morning I instantly feel happy. I can’t believe I’m me. I feel the soft giant blanket over me, the beautiful light coming In from the window, the stillness of the morning and my room which I’ve decorated to my taste. I love taking in that sweet morning joy as I lay for a while snuggled in my blanket.

When I drive, I really enjoy the views and I drive at the speed limit which ironically seems to be too slow for others. What surprises me is when I’m driving through country back roads at the normal speed limit and everyone starts passing me. It signals to me that everyone else is in a hurry. A hurry for what? To die? So many people forget to live in the present moment and enjoy being alive.

I’ve fallen in love with living a REAL LIFE. I love that I have no social media. It’s a huge weight off my shoulders. I don’t worry about posting, keeping up with anyone, or checking my DM’s. I’m not submerged in anyone’s online drama. I love that people can’t find me online. They would most likely try to form an opinion of me and my life based on incomplete data. I’d rather have people wonder who I am, and what I’m doing. I’d rather be a blank space in their head. The truth is I’d rather live organically, the way it should be.

I still do all the things I did when I had social media: I still go on trips, I still buy cute outfits, test out products, plan parties, work out, enjoy time with friends and family, have fun with my daughter and niece, enjoy delicious meals, remodel and decorate our home, and stay busy with my To-Do list and life goals. I just don’t post it on social media and I found freedom in doing that.

I realized that I really only have time to live my real life. I don’t know how I used to spend hours on social media in the past. I was wasting my time. I think social media is a trap. We weren’t supposed to be bombarded with everyone’s thoughts and posts. The reality is we don’t have time for that. I do allow myself a certain amount of time for entertainment per day though because I believe it’s healthy to be entertained and let out a good laugh but not by social media. Tiktok provides feel good feelings. YouTube provides informational entertainment. A good show provides excitement and insight. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook leave people drained and insecure. We have to use our time wisely and choose the right forms of entertainment.

At the same time I feel that people normally seek social media not just for “entertainment” but also as an escape from their real lives. I’ve re wrote my life to the point where I no longer want to escape from it.

I’ve removed toxic people from my life and I keep my circle small. 2020 started out rough. I left my cult religion, I left a pyramid scheme company, I closed our family mechanic shop, and I dated the wrong person. Despite it all, my eyes were opening along the way. It was a year of transformation. I was removing everything that didn’t serve me. 2021 has been the best year of my life. I feel like I went to a school of wisdom and my eyes opened at once. I’m not entirely sure how it happened but I feel its crucial that I pass on this wisdom to others who can benefit from it.

For the first time in my life I’m happy. I used to hate my life. I used to look for distractions, and people to fill the void. This is the first time in my life I’m not looking for distractions or people to fill a void. I’ve taken the steps in making a life for myself that I actually truly enjoy. It took leaving a cult religion, a legal pyramid scheme (also known as MLMs), a toxic family business, a toxic boyfriend, and finally…toxic social media…to achieve a life I truly enjoy.

I also learned to create my own reality and stay in a happy place instead of living in a triggered state of mind. I learned to manage my emotions and my thoughts. I learned how to get rid of demons and I learned how to love myself more than I ever did.

I remember being in my 20s and being self conscious of my body. I laugh at that because I absolutely love my body now, imperfections and all. I admire myself and can’t believe I’m really me in this young body. Most people never appreciate their bodies until they’re old and gray. I appreciate how the collagen is still there. I appreciate how soft my legs are (when I shave haha!) I appreciate my feminine hands, the shape of my eyes and lips, and on and on. I literally appreciate the wonder that the body is!

I realized recently that I’m still a tomboy. I have a hard time washing my makeup off at night and putting on night cream. I rarely dress up or do my hair or makeup. I don’t diet. I hate taking selfies. I just…don’t really care about being that “hot girl”. I guess I’m still a tomboy at heart. I do however appreciate the wonder that the human body is. I’m so glad I finally see myself with wonder and admiration to be in my body. I’m living a human experience and I love it.

My wish is for people to unplug themselves from everything – social media, cult religions, pyramid schemes, big pharma, and news channels/websites that lie to people like Q-Anon sites and CNN – it’s always a bit of truth sprinkled on lies to keep people dormant and sedated. Dating apps, toxic people, and habitual drug escapes are also traps. This world is full of traps that lead people to meaningless lives. It doesn’t have to be that way. We can unplug from it. There’s a real life waiting for you on the other side. Let’s stop falling straight into the traps. A real meaningful life is waiting for you.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

The Person I Always Wanted To Be

Sometimes I think I’m done growing and evolving. I think I’ve learned “enough” and I become satisfied with that. Complacent. Then all of a sudden – SMACK! Boom! – I’m taken to my next level of growth and understanding.

I said I would become very private and not share anything about my life anymore but I spoke too soon. I’ll be selective in what I share but I don’t think I should completely go off line.

I actually thought I had deleted this blog last month after my last post but a few days later I started receiving new notifications of likes and follows. Apparently I don’t know how to delete a blog haha…What I did was delete my domain name not my blog (insert crying emoji.) I am now trying to recover my previous Domain name. Anyway I hope you guys are happy my blog wasn’t deleted and thank you for showing love.

So for the past year I’ve gone back and forth from being productive to non-productive. I think that’s the struggle for a lot of us. One day we’re on it, the next day we’re not.

Well something strange happened last month. Something…just sort of clicked.

I began to have this insane drive to get everything done. No distractions. Just my dreams and a whole lot of horse power.

The thing is I’ve always had dreams…we all do. The problem for me was not having enough drive and desire to reach them.

Thats no longer a problem.

My daily routine consists of waking up every day around 7 am, I catch up on news, watch self help videos on YouTube, make breakfast, clean up around the house, do laundry, go into our home office where I get work done for a few hours. I’m basically absorbing all the information I possibly can in every possible way right now. I use what’s known as “fast-reading skills” which is something anyone can learn. Videos teaching this technique can be found on YouTube.

Home office – where the magic happens

Ive organized the office filing cabinet which hadn’t been organized in a whole year. I have cleaned my email inbox and organized all incoming emails. I cleaned out all my “favorites” tabs on my computer. All of the videos on YouTube I want to “watch later” are categorized in folders depending what I want to learn about. I have a list of notes for future tiktok videos I want to create as well as a folder of tiktok inspo videos.

I have a folder where I keep notes for future blog posts. I’m also getting ready to launch a new blog called “The Stylish Lives” where I’ll post daily outfits as well as “latest finds” with links. I’ll also be reviewing home goods purchases. I will update you as soon as my new blog is published and live.

The reason I decided on two separate blogs Is because I like a clean silhouette. I want people who are looking for fashion, home decor purchase reviews, style inspo and clothing links to find just that on “The stylish lives” blog. At the same time I want people who are looking for an interesting read to find that on this blog without a problem. I serve “cheeseburgers” on one blog and “lasagna” on the other – I don’t like to mix them up.

Going back to my organization: (I’m super not cool I know) I have all my To-do notes organized in different categories as well as home sheets for cleaning, cooking and expenses detailed and printed. I have all of our home recipes organized in a binder. I also plan our monthly trips and vacations as well as Layla’s homeschool curriculum and sports. I have a schedule for our daily vitamin and health supplement intake since it’s different for each family member. I have lists of which places and people I will call each day, what Mail I will send out, what places I will go to, what things are needed to be bought, and what steps come first in achieving my goals.

Strangely…It doesn’t wear me out and I willingly have no “off days”. I feel motivated every day to chip away at my goals and lists. I don’t feel exhausted or tired. I just feel glad I get to wake up and go after what I want.

So how did this happen? How did I become the person I had always wanted to be? I became my higher self…and part of me is still stunned and confused because I don’t know how it happened.

If I had to pin point it to something I would say…I have 100% laser focus on my goals and no distractions. I also have a very clear vision of what I want and a strategy on how I’m going to get it with different plans of action. It’s not one path. It’s a lot of “paths” with precise planning and strategy. The road to success is never one road. It’s many roads carefully planned.

The fastest way to achieve your goals is to fast-read through information pertaining to your goals. Knowledge comes first. Skills and talent comes second.

By the way, Layla has really been surprising me lately. She downloaded a drawing app on her phone thats similar to Adobe. She’s been making different artwork on there and it’s not only impressively good but I’m surprised she knows how to use all the complicated tools in the app! She’s only 8. Jeez Louise.

She made this drawing using only her fingers…the detail is just wow.
Again the details !! She really puts time into her drawings

Then this morning during breakfast she told me about another app she downloaded. This time it’s a game app where shes building a restaurant business. She told me she’s been working really hard to buy all the things her business needs. Sometimes I just nod and said, “right!” But inside I’m containing how shocked I am. I mean this might be normal behavior for kids these days but I just know I wasn’t downloading any apps at her age or even remotely thinking of owning a business. She’s been talking business since the age of 4.

I’ve been listening to the BlackPink essentials album on Apple Music non stop lately. I’m obsessed with BlackPink. I check Ticketmaster every week to see if they have any concert tours lined up. Sadly BlackPink isn’t touring right now.

Also, I’m gearing up to share some pivotal information on here so stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

PS. Here’s a photo dump from our trip to Joshua Tree recently:

At the Cabazon Dinosaurs 🦖 near Palm Springs Ca. White shirt is Ralph Lauren, striped bathing suit is from a boutique, jeans are from Target and jelly sandals are from Nordstrom rack.
Family picture
Before going in to the Cabazon museum
At the hotel resort about to get in the pool
Drying off in the sun after a nice swim sesh
Swimsuit: boutique store inside princess cruise ship, sunglasses: Quay Australia
I took this photo with my phone on “night mode” at Joshua Tree during the meteor shower. It was an incredible experience.
I love seeing her happy
Ballet babes 🩰

Celebrating My Friends Birthday

After I came back from Napa last week my friend and I were able to finally get ahold of each other and start planning a late birthday outing for her.

She wanted to spend the day together – since we talk a lot and need hours to catch up – so I planned a lunch and dinner for her birthday.

I decided to wear my “Collectif London” red top and “Collectif London” Jean wiggle skirt with my Louboutins.

A Hispanic cashier at the grocery store (where I bought my friend flowers in a vase and balloons) asked me if I’d ever heard the song, “por mujeres como tu” by Pepe Aguilar. I told him yes and then the African American man behind me in line looked at me and said, “Oh yes. Por mujeres como TU.” We laughed about it. It’s a really pretty Mexican song and I was flattered they thought a song like that could be fitting for me.

My friend and I met at the 18hundred – a trendy stylish restaurant with American hand crafted food.

I arranged the whole vase, flowers and balloons – she especially loved the vase and so did I.

Well call my friend Monica (to protect her privacy.) Monica & I had a nice time at the 18hundred. I was glad that nothing much has changed despite the restaurant acquiring new ownership last year. The food is still great, the place is unbelievably adorable and the music selection makes you want to get up and dance.

Interesting fact: The 18hundred building is 109 years old
They had the cutest selfie mirror downstairs by the bathroom

After leaving the 18hundred, Monica suggested we go to a bridal shop and try on dresses just for fun. I had never done that before but it sounded like fun!

We stopped at Dutch Bros coffee because I had a craving to try their cold coffee. It was our first time there believe it or not. I had heard my friends post about it for the last 2 years but had never been.

The drive thru girl standing outside taking orders was really cool and helped us find a drink we would like. She told us about the time she threw up after she drank the anhilator (it has 8 shots of espresso.) I loved how she broke out of work character and was just laughing and vibing with us. We decided on the “Golden Eagle” as that seemed to be a popular choice and she assured us it was one of her favorites.

At the drive thru window the employee and her manager wished my friend a happy birthday after they saw the flowers and balloons. They seemed very caffeinated and were extra excited haha. Monica was a bit embarrassed but I thought it was funny.

Excuse my arm – it’s still peeling from my sunburn. Monica and I LOVED the cute straw colors. Sometimes it’s the little details.

The verdict: the Golden Eagle was AMAZING. Do you know how hard it’s been to find a GOOD ICED COFFEE?? I mean I have searched high and low and now I finally have my place. I will definitely be a Dutch Bros customer from now on.

Isn’t it weird to think Starbucks actually has a competitor? I would’ve never imagined. I always saw Starbucks as the King of Coffee for all time. I guess no one can ever be sure that they’ll always be at the top. The thing is…some places start out strong but end up changing management, owners, etc and the product quality takes a hit. Other times they simply don’t change with the times which is just as detrimental.

Anyway we made it to David’s Bridal. I turned my car off and looked at Monica. “What are we gonna tell them?” I asked her. She said she would tell them she was the one getting married – she raised up her hand which had a fake engagement ring on (she uses it to deter men away.) It had costed her $7 and she asked me if it looked real. I looked at it, raised my eyebrows and said, “No.” We laughed about it but decided to go in anyway.

So we walked inside and one of the consultants greeted us and asked if we had a date set. It felt like she thought we were lesbians which was funny to me. We walked around looking at dresses and Monica never let it show that we were just there for fun. She seemed completely believable about her “upcoming wedding” when she talked to the store consultants who were eager to help her and incredibly friendly.

Monica asked me earlier if I’d ever thought about getting married as shes been thinking about it more often lately. I honestly never have – I grew up not caring much about weddings. As kids, my sister and her friend would look through bridal magazines and talk about their dream weddings. I just couldn’t be bothered to care. The idea of having a wedding just isn’t thrilling for me…except for the pretty wedding dress – you know I love a pretty dress. The dress literally has to be perfect – everything else can crash and burn but the dress…the dress!! I’m kidding I’m kidding haha.

We found a dress Monica liked and went to try it on in the fitting rooms. I didn’t find any I liked in my size. I tried on the tiara crown veil though. In my opinion, the crown veil is EVERYTHING. It’s not even a wedding without a crown veil. Tell the pastor to stay home if the bride doesn’t wear a crown veil. Hahaha…I’m kidding but I do wish I would’ve found a wedding dress to complete the look.

My friend would make such a pretty bride

We had a lot of fun at David’s Bridal – so much that Monica didn’t want to leave but we had dinner reservations at the country club. So we made our way out and as we walked to my car Monica looked up at the sky and jokingly shouted, “God please help us find a good man! We wanna get married! Are you listening??” “Yea God, are you listening?” I added and we laughed.

I hope my friend does meet a good man. In fact, I’m sure she eventually will.

We made it to the petroleum club at Sundale which is a private restaurant on the golf course. You can only get in if you have a club membership. I wanted my friends birthday to be special so I paid for membership just so we could eat there. Needless to say Monica loved the restaurant.

We took an elevator to the top floor where the restaurant overlooks the golf course. We were greeted by the hostess who seemed to be waiting especially for us. She knew my last name and walked us to our table which also had my last name on a placard. The table was elegant and the food was very good. The servers gave exceptional service as well. It was an experience we’d never had before.

I’ve been to many 4 & 5 star restaurants over the years but I’d never been to a private restaurant. Monica whispered how quiet and peaceful it felt in there. There was only one other couple sitting in a table down from us. We both understood the allure to private dining. It was just so…nice.

We had shrimp capellini, creme brulee for dessert and Monica had a Moscow Mule cocktail to celebrate being 21. Later that night she opened her gift from me which was a $200 gift card to Nordstrom Rack. She was so excited. I figured she’d love a little shopping spree because who wouldn’t right??

She then gave me some gifts she had for me from her trip to Africa (she went with her church recently.) I picked out a little wooden baby elephant and some beautiful flower earrings.

Her dog Remy climbed all over me while we talked in my car outside her house and she told me I looked good with a small dog. “Yea-Paris Hilton vibes,” I said rolling my eyes. “Ohmygod YESSS!!” She agreed and we both laughed.

It was the end of the night and her birthday was over but I could tell she had a great time and so did I. Here’s hoping that she has many more birthdays and that we continue to know each other for a long time.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

The Napa Valley Disaster

Last month one of my Best friends told me she wanted to go to Napa for her Birthday and do a girls trip out there. The problem was our other friend wanted to have her birthday In Napa too and said she came up with the idea first.

Oh man. It was the battle of the Napa Valley Birthdays.

After going back and forth about it, my friends decided neither one was gonna go. Well that was “great”…except I had already booked everything since I’m the “event planner”.

I decided I would go by myself since the resort room was non refundable. My best friend changed her mind a week before the trip and apologized about everything and said she wanted to come with me if I still wanted her to. I said “Are you kidding?? Of course! Let’s go!” However a day later I lost my phone at the beach and lost her phone number.

Long story short, we both tried to get ahold of each other but sadly weren’t able to. The day came and I reluctantly left to Napa Valley by myself.

I stopped at my local Burger King before starting my trip and the drive thru girl was really happy to see me. “Heeeey! How are you??” She said.

“I’m good how are you!?” I said. We don’t know each other…but we’ve seen each other enough over the years that it feels like we know each other. I mean she knows what I like to eat hahaha. Anyway she seems awesome.

An hour into my drive a cop saw me on my phone while driving and almost pulled me over. I saw him in the lane next to me out of the corner of my eye. I braked a little hoping to let him go ahead of me but he braked too. Then I braked a little more and he braked a little more too. Oh no. That was a very bad sign. I could feel him looking at me but I told myself not to make eye contact with him. Instead I started praying out loud, “Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ…” I held the steering wheel tightly and looked at the road ahead of me. Suddenly the cop drove ahead, flashed his blue and red lights for a second and then sped off into the sunset.

I didn’t understand what had happened…except: Jesus Christ. It works!

A few hours later I’m finally getting closer to Napa Valley but my cell phone service was gone out of the blue. My phone started acting really weird too. It seemed to be operating on its own. I also noticed the battery was low so I connected it to the car charger but it wouldn’t charge even though it showed it was charging.

I had to get off the freeway and find a McDonald’s to get WiFi from so I could navigate to the Resort. I ended up in the bad side of town at almost midnight. I knew I had to get out as quickly as possible. It stressed me out to think that my phone didn’t work and I couldn’t make a phone call if I needed too.

The road to the resort was long and dark. There was almost no lights and it was empty with not a soul in sight. I drove slowly and gripped the steering wheel peering my eyes around wondering if I was going to die. It felt like I was driving myself to my own doom.

Then suddenly there it was: The Meritage Resort. Its one of the biggest resorts in all of Napa Valley. I felt a little bit better to see so many cars and large condo buildings. Still, it was almost midnight and there was no one around. I parked my car and reluctantly headed to the lobby to check in.

As I walked towards the lobby I felt a weird vibe. Almost as if I was walking into a ghost town. Why did I feel like this? I tried to shake the thought away.

The glass sliding doors opened and I walked into a luxury resort lobby. I looked around wondering if anyone was there. It just seemed so…empty…and creepy.

I’m not one to be easily scared but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was not right.

Suddenly I see two young women behind a counter. They both looked up at me at the same time. They didn’t smile. Then one of them said, “…someone will be with you shortly.” She used a creepy mono-tone voice that I’ve only heard in scary movies.

Then an older man with a bald head and creepy eyes came out of nowhere and in an equally creepy voice asked me what he could help me with. They all looked like characters from a scary movie. I wondered what I had gotten myself into. Where am I? I thought.

I told the concierge I was checking in. He asked for my ID to bring up my reservation and I handed it to him. As I stood there waiting, I restarted my phone and thankfully my cell phone service came back. I called my mom right away and told her I had just made it to the resort and was waiting for my room keys in the lobby. Everyone looked at me when I said that.

I got my room keys for room 3318 but couldn’t find parking and returned to the lobby minutes later. The concierge told me I could park down the street and walk to my room. Except…it was almost midnight, I was alone, and that was a long walk in the dark down the empty street. He sighed then added that I could park close to the lobby and they could have a bellman take me to my room if I wanted.

I agreed to that and the concierge sighed and rolled his eyes saying he would go get a bellman. They weren’t busy. I seemed to be the only guest in the lobby. I couldn’t help but notice though that the concierge didn’t really want to help me. He seemed happy at the thought of me walking alone down an empty street.

A minute later I walk up to the front entrance with my luggage and see a young guy waiting. He’s looking at me but not saying anything. As I get closer I asked if he was the bellman. He nodded but kept a solemn look on his face. He took my luggage and loaded it onto the golf cart. I felt like I was on an episode of The Adams Family. The bellman was just as creepy as everyone else.

I stayed on the phone with my mom though until I got to my room.

Once in my room, I locked my door and got myself settled in. I was sitting on the bed and realized that I still couldn’t shake away that creepy feeling. Something just didn’t feel right.

So I turned on the TV in hopes that some background noise might make me feel better. All the late night news reporters from the area looked creepy. Then the satellite signal seemed to go out and the reporters looked distorted and even more creepy. I changed the channel.

The only movie I could find was “Girl Interrupted.” Its based on a true story about a mental ward. Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in it and Angelina plays a sociopath a little too well…

I watched it for a few minutes but the creepy vibe just got stronger. I turned the TV off and tried going to sleep. Luckily I was able to fall asleep quickly.

That night I had a nightmare. I dreamed my mom was in trouble and in danger of being killed. I had to find her and help her. I never have nightmares but I had a nightmare every night that I stayed in Napa. Go figure.

I got up the next morning and got ready to do a little shopping. I went to the Napa outlets and I have to say, I’ve been to different outlets and this one is top notch. I found some great blouses for my mom at Talbots and a beautiful dress for myself at banana republic.

Next I stopped at Home goods and got Layla and Sophie some heart print blankets (for the fall) and a monkey stuffed animal for my boyfriend.

Later I had dinner reservations at an upscale restaurant called Brix.

It was one of the most gorgeous settings I had ever seen. Yountville, a town just up from Napa really is dreamy. It looks like the setting for a Hallmark movie.

The restaurant was absolutely ravishing and stunning with its modern decor, gorgeous landscaping and outdoor seating showcasing the lush grass, perfectly manicured roses and grape vineyards in the distance.

All the people in the surrounding tables looked so sophisticated and stylish. Thank God I dressed to the nines myself otherwise I would’ve felt completely out of place.

Dress is from Banana Republic, heels are GUESS
They wished me a happy Birthday haha…it was supposed to be for my friend.
The back of the restaurant – they grow their own veggies.
Ribeye steak, Mac and cheese, and spinach
Strawberry short cake biscuit for dessert

I was alone at a table for two but that didn’t bother me. I was enjoying the experience of being there surrounded by the gorgeous nature around me. I really didn’t feel alone anyway. There were so many people around me and everyone seemed to be happy and enjoying themselves. It honestly felt like I was invited to a millionaires backyard party. I loved how happy everyone was.

The food was good but not great. I had a ribeye steak and a strawberry short cake for dessert. The food definitely passes though. I would give it a 3 out of 5. The views were a definite 10.

There was one guy who stared at me as if wondering why I was alone. He seemed so perplexed by it. He stared at me from his table as if wanting to come over and ask me. I wanted to laugh and say, “Don’t worry about it. Jeeez.” Can’t a girl dine alone sometimes? My goodness it’s not a crime. Who knows…maybe he was worried. If he was worried maybe he had a right to be. I really shouldn’t be out all alone.

Anyway I left the restaurant and headed back to my resort room to run myself a nice bubble bath in the big tub. I had started my period and felt crampy and bloated which is probably the worst thing that can happen to a girl on vacation but I tried not to let it ruin my trip.

After my bubble bath, I put on some comfy pjs and I watched some tv in the living room. The only good thing on was Dr.pimple popper. As disgusting as it is I couldn’t stop watching it. She removed an ear growth a man had that looked like two balls hanging from his ear. He had been bullied for it almost all his life.

It was nice to see him gain his confidence back after she removed it. I felt so happy for him.

I went to sleep and the next day I got ready for my Bike Tour through the Vineyards.

I went to the resort lobby in the morning to pay for an extra night at the resort and I overheard another guest telling the concierge that their resort room seemed to be haunted. She said the lights kept flickering on and off the whole night even though they were turned off. She said her friends didn’t get a good sleep.

After I left the lobby that morning I stopped at a gas station to get some Tylenol and a coke for my cramps. It really sucks being on your period on vacation. Anyway after my cramps settled down and I was ready to the join the bike group.

I arrived at the bike shop and the lady there told me I could join the group but I would have to wait for someone to take me in a van to their location.

After around 30 minutes, an older little lady arrived in a white van, loaded my electric rental bike and off we went to join the group at their current location.

I had missed the first two wineries but I didn’t mind. I just wanted to get something out of it since I had already paid for the tour.

The older lady in the van and I were having a good conversation on our way to meet the group but as soon as we arrived she ended the conversation in mid sentence, got off the vehicle and loudly yelled, “Mike! I got one more for ya’!! I got another one for ya Mike! Denise is here!”

I unbuckled my seat belt and looked out the window. Mike our tour guide walked over quickly and eagerly. It felt so strange. It was the first time someone made me feel like I was an object instead of a human being. I kept replaying the older lady saying “I got one more for ya! I got another one for ya Mike!” It just didn’t sound right to me…I’m a person not some cattle being dropped off to the farmer.

Before I knew it Mike and the owner of the winery came up to me and started hugging me and groping me. I had no idea what was going on. They were grabbing me, hugging me and putting their cheek against my cheek. I was sandwiched between these two older men. I was in shock. Then I walked away from them to join the others at the table nearby.

I told my mom about it and she told me I should’ve put them in their place. She was so mad. I wish I would’ve told them to stop but I was too shocked. I thought: maybe they didn’t realize what they were doing? Maybe they were just extra friendly?

I tried to brush it off. There were two couples in our group – an older couple and a younger couple. They were the nicest people and I loved talking with them. Then Mike and the winery owner came over and we began wine tasting which I felt pressured into. I don’t normally drink anything and I’ve never been into drinking wine…but I did it because it was a group setting and I didn’t feel I had a choice.

For the record I still don’t like wine. I wish I did because it seems so fancy and sophisticated but I just don’t like the taste of any wines. Anyway, we had a picnic lunch which was nice. Mike and the winery owner kept smiling at me. I thought maybe they were just extra happy from the wine.

The winery owner decided to give us a surprise tasting last minute that wasn’t on the list…it was a “dessert wine” – extra sweet. The strange part was that he didn’t pour it in front of us like he normally did with the other wines. He brought small glasses out already pre-filled. I normally don’t like to drink anything unless I see them pouring it in front of me. I didn’t think anything at the moment though.

I drank the dessert wine out of courtesy. It was entirely too sweet and at the same time strong. I didn’t like it but I didn’t want to be rude. Afterwards we got ready to leave and Mike helped me with my bike helmet even though I didn’t ask him for help. He said he would put it on me and adjust the straps for me.

Again, I sort of froze. I didn’t want to be rude so I let him put the helmet on me. Selena, the girl from our group, and her husband stopped and stared as Mike adjusted the straps around my face. I knew they thought it was weird. It was weird for me too but I didn’t know what to do or say. I should’ve told him I could do it myself. I’m slowly learning that there’s always a nice way to say it.

We began our trip back to the bike shop and rode by the most gorgeous vineyards, beautiful homes, hills, trees, and landscapes. It truly was an amazing experience. I hadn’t rode a bike since I was kid.

Judy and her husband (from Virginia) rode behind me and Selena and her husband (from Texas) rode in front of me. Judy fell twice from her electric bike but luckily she was ok both times. It’s odd that while I will never see either couple again, they made a lasting impression and I’ll never forget them. They were the sweetest people.

If you’re ever curious about trying out an electric bike I would definitely recommend it. They make it so much easier to go uphill because of the motor assistance.

Group photo: me, Selena & her husband, Judy & her husband

Anyway we got back to the bike shop, took group photos outside and then said goodbye to each other. Afterwards Mike came over to me and whispered that I could still use my bike for two more hours if I wanted to. I was about to decline but he didn’t give me an option. He told me to come with him inside so he could show me a map where we could go.

As he was showing me the map one of the female bike-shop employees overheard and came over. “Mike, are you going to give a private tour?” Her voice was stern. She raised her eyebrows and waited for an answer as if catching him red handed. Mike seemed caught off guard and didn’t know what to say. They stared at each other. I wondered what was going on. Finally he said, “No. she’s going by herself.”

The thing is I hadn’t paid for a private bike tour. Mike was just offering it to me. He didn’t offer it to anyone else in our group and made sure to semi whisper when he told me about it. Everything seemed strange.

He continued to show me the back trail on the map and said, “when you get there you’ll know why I sent you.” I imagined it was a beautiful place but the way he said it seemed creepy. He no longer seemed as excited to show me the map. He suggested I stop at the Chandon winery for wine tasting as my last stop and sent me on my way.

I got on my bike and pedaled away. I couldn’t believe I was doing this…I was going on a bike ride all alone through a back trail…this wasn’t like me but I didn’t want to say no to Mike. I almost felt like I couldn’t tell him no. In a way I felt pressured into it. I told myself it would be fun and exciting though to pump myself up.

As I left the Main Street of Yountville I made my way through a back trail and right away felt happiness as I soared by the gorgeous vineyards and hills. This was great!

…Until I spotted a Prius car parked by a hill where the trail started to bend. It seemed suspicious. The car was parked backwards facing a dirt hill instead of the opulent views around. There was a guy sitting inside waiting…waiting for who?

It could be nothing…but what if it was someone who was waiting for me? It would be too easy to knock me over on my bike and grab me. I started to pedal faster and my heart started racing. There was no one around. No one would hear me scream. I panicked. Why did I do this? Why did I come alone? Would I end up being a “missing person”?

Suddenly I saw a few bike riders pass me and I felt relief. I calmed myself down and tried to think good thoughts. It was nothing. The car wasn’t even coming behind me. It didn’t seem like the guy in the car had even seen me.

The trail was normally lonely with a house only every few miles.

I continued on the trail and enjoyed the gorgeous views. I felt so brave for doing this alone. I mean I was basically risking my life being alone in the middle of nowhere. In a way it felt exhilarating. I kept thinking, I’ve never done anything like this before…How exciting! I might die but how exciting!

The beautiful trail of vineyards and winery’s came to an end and I made my way along the freeway with plenty of traffic.

I stopped at the famous Napa Valley Sign and a crazy rich Asian lady took my photo in portrait mode

I thought about stopping at the winery Mike told me about but ultimately I decided I didn’t want more wine tasting. It looked lonely and hidden up on a hill and I didn’t get the best vibes either. So I pedaled passed the winery and headed back to the bike shop.

What was Mike thinking sending me there alone? It would be too easy to do something to me. Im from out of town and alone – I would be the perfect target.

Anyway, I’m just glad I didn’t end up going to the Chandon winery and I’m glad the Bike shop employee interrupted Mikes plans of going with me for a private bike tour. Who knows what he really had planned…

I have my angels and Jesus to thank for for always protecting me though.

Once I was back in the resort condo I changed quickly and headed to the Spa to get a massage by a female. She was really good and I enjoyed the massage. I noticed though that there was a huge difference in how she massaged me and how my former MT (massage therapist) massaged me. Obviously this women stayed professional. My ex MT? Not so much. My ex MT was basically doing the 50 shades of gray massage on me.

That’s my “I have cramps because I’m on my period” face…so lovely.

By the way…I’ve been back to my Chiros office since the whole Awkward incident happened. I go for chiropractic adjustments every few weeks. It’s a bit awkward and I could tell both the staff and I remember what happened..but at the end of the day it’s not my fault My ex MT pulled the 50 shades of gray massage out on me. So far I’ve had good luck at not seeing him.

Anyway, after my massage at the resort, I headed back to my room, and changed my clothes so I could go see a movie at a nearby theater.

I was really excited to see Peter Rabbit 2. I wasn’t excited to be having an argument with boyfriend though. Why was he doing this during my trip?? Did he want to ruin my trip? Jesus…

He was jealous that I was going on a bike tour with a group of people…and that’s when he said something I’m sure he knew was going to make me upset.

At the same time it was a weird experience for me to have an argument with him. Believe it or not…that’s actually the first real argument I’ve ever had with a boyfriend. It was nothing really bad, we’re both very respectful towards each other but we just weren’t seeing eye to eye on a matter.

The truth is I’ve never been in a relationship long enough to have a real argument. Mostly I always break up with them within the first few months – which is not exactly anything deep. It’s all just butterflies, initial lust and excitement.

Anyway, I never knew what an actual relationship was like. I guess I was a relationship virgin. So in a way it was interesting to have an argument with my boyfriend. I kept remembering the movie where a guy smiled and said, “Ohmygod were having our first argument!” He found it endearing that they had reached that level of their relationship.

Spoiler alert on Peter Rabbit 2: It was not that funny. The rabbits are still adorable as hell, but the movie plot is severely lacking a cohesive plot, it seems all over the place and a lot of it seems to just be for shock factor. A lot of the jokes fell completely flat and no one laughed. I was pretty disappointed. Hell! I tell better bed time stories! Jesus Christ. I almost wanted to walk out of the theater.

Maybe they should hire me for Peter Rabbit 3. I have good ideas. just a thought.

Anyway, things didn’t get better between me and my boyfriend and the next morning I broke it off. I walked out of my condo dragging my luggage to my car, angry that he ruined the end of my trip.

Couldn’t he have at least waited till I got home to pull this crap on me? Jesussss. But no. And did he know I was on vacation? YES. I was so mad.

We ended things on a good note though. Maybe this is just the end of the road for us. Almost a whole year…almost every day…and now it’s over.

Well. Life is funny isn’t it?

Anyway, my final 2 cents on Napa Valley: I found out Napa Valley is Haunted with Ghosts! Other people have said the ghosts like to steal energy from your batteries which would explain my phone going crazy right before arriving in Napa. The battery was almost gone and it wouldn’t charge despite being connected to the charger and showing a charging bolt. My phone was completely acting crazy too. It has never acted like that and it hasn’t acted like that since.

There are soooo many Ghosts stories in Napa. It’s really bizarre. I would’ve never imagined.

So…go at your own discretion. Obviously Yountville, located north of Napa, is GORGEOUS. It’s something out of a movie – a very romantic movie. The views are incredible and there are so many nice activities to do, like bike riding, hiking, hot air balloons, golfing, horse back riding, mud baths and hot springs as well 5 star restaurants. However… I might never go back.

Between the ghosts and possible rapists/sex traffickers, I’m not thrilled about going back.

Sometimes being home is actually really nice.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

3 Reasons I’m not a Fan of Influencers

I can’t stop thinking about how fake most influencers are. I never even understood the word “fake” before…until I got unplugged from Instagram months ago.

Recently I’ve realized how inauthentic and not normal this influencer craze has become.

I cringe when I think about how at one point I actually wanted to become an influencer. I’m cringing again just writing it.

I get it – it’s a way to make money (some make very good money) but the price that comes with it is just not worth it in my eyes.

Here are my top 3 reasons why I’m no longer a fan of influencers:

1. Most of them strive on maintaining a life they don’t even have. The reality is most influencers want people to look at their curated photos and say, “I want to be her. I want her life.” But do we actually want their life? Most of the time their marriage is not as great as they make it seem, they’re not over their ex, they have fake friends, and they’re usually angry trying to get the perfect photo, not to mention their happy moods are usually dependent on alcohol.

As far as the traveling, having cool clothes and nice cars… I have a luxury car and designer clothes and let me tell you…it’s boring after a while. Unless of course your self esteem is low then I imagine material things become an obsession but when your self esteem is good…material things are a bit boring after a while. Your worth doesn’t depend on them.

I only know a few influencers who are completely themselves. One is @RachelParcell from Pink Peonies. Another is @Elizabeth_._Johnson . They will talk to the camera with zero makeup on sometimes and share embarrassing parts of their life but they keep it real! Maybe too real haha but they’re relatable! They’re probably the most humble and gorgeous people out there and it’s nice that the fame hasn’t gotten to their head.

Side bar: Rachel Parcell has a successful line of clothing in Nordstrom so her fame does come from actual talent. She remains very humble though.

Rachel Parcell with her daughter
Elizabeth Johnson

Elizabeth Johnson is a home maker, married to a surgeon. The reason behind her fame is her amazing personality. I have to say if personalities could win Olympic medals hers would win 1st place. Everyone needs an Elizabeth in their life.

I’m sure you know some honest influencers as well.

For the most part though, influencers thrive on making people wish they had their “mostly perfect” life. It’s a “look at me, don’t you wanna be like me?” In an effort to be relatable though, they share some of their bad moments but usually these posts are curated to come off as charming instead of raw and authentic.

2. Most influencers live in a weird reality. It’s no longer …well: real. They have “photo shoots” everywhere and for everything. Especially if they’re being paid to promote products, clothes and places. This usually gets tiresome especially for the family or partner who has to join in or take the photos or simply be part of the “ordeal.” Everything…starts to feel…staged. The influencer will normally stay oblivious to this despite how annoying it may be.

Then there’s the influencer “poses”. Oh my god…the poses. There’s only a few and they range from: a super excited open mouth expression with your hand up in the air (usually seen in vacay pics), the “I’m so cool, you wish you were me” expression, or the “hot squat” pose (again, It’s the “I’m so cool” look) and of course…of course….selfies. Lots of selfies. It’s just not normal.

What…is this? did something get in your eyes, close them, make your mouth open and jolted your arm up with a peace sign? Is this a medication side effect?
Ok so we’re cool…but it’s still cringe sitting on your car seat like that
What in the “I wanna poop” is this pose?? Like…what is that? I’m sorry haha…but no. Just no.

After being off Instagram for so many months I’ve become so unplugged that I can actually see influencers “fake-ness” and cringe now.

I’ve realized that their photos are not normal. Posing the way they do is weird and not natural. After getting back from vacation with my family I realized that Ive started posing for pictures differently than I used to. I no longer do any staged photos or act like I’m in a photo shoot HAHAHA (so cringe.) I just…act normal. I’m honestly relieved I zapped out of the influencer…well…influence.

I think we all need to go back to how people took photos in the 90s. It was simple. It was for the purpose of keeping a memory. That’s was it.

No weird poses, no exaggerated face expressions, just normal people

3. Influencers for the most part get caught up in the fame and money. They don’t really care about others even though they try their hardest to come off as “good samaritans.” In reality they will promote brands they don’t like or haven’t even tried simply because the money offered is good. Of course they’ll tell you they only support brands they “love.”

As far as fame goes, a lot of them are what you call “fake-famous.” Social media fame comes from the connection the fans feel with the influencer while the fame an actor or singer obtain comes from their actual skill or talent. Therefore social media fame can be very fragile because it’s quite easy to piss off your Instagram fans as many have found.

Despite it being “fake fame” it feels almost no different from real fame. Influencers feel engulfed with attention from fans and they begin to believe that they truly are the most incredibly interesting person alive. This often creates a dull person as they now only think of themselves and in order to stay insta-famous they must continue to nurture their narcissistic psyche. Be careful what you wish for, as they say…

I really hope people wake up to this toxic trend of online influencers.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter how you look. You don’t need to buy their skinny tea, or their detox or their “anything” in hopes of looking like them. Do what you want for yourself and for your health but not in hopes of looking like someone else.

I gained some weight a week ago and I honestly didn’t even care. I think I even looked kind of cute. My boobs and butt got bigger – so there’s more to love haha! At the end of the day I know how to lose weight – I just stop eating big portions. What I want to say is: we are love-able no matter what. Our bodies and faces are just a suit. Don’t take it that seriously. I mean sure, take care of it, but don’t obsess over it and don’t compare it to others. The most important part of our bodies is the soul that lives in it temporarily.

Ive also started to wear less makeup recently.

Layla always tells me not to wear makeup – she doesn’t like it on me. Last night Sophie looked over at me on the sofa while watching a movie (I wasn’t wearing any makeup) and she said, “I love you mommy. You look bea-ful.” Then a few minutes later she tells me, “mommy you the pretty.” She stared at me lovingly. I laughed and hugged her.

My boyfriend likes me better with less makeup too.

I think there really is something about being make up less. I think it makes people feel more comfortable because its real…it’s the real you.

My legs and upper body don’t match at all right now – oh well haha – anyway this is me sans makeup

I no longer feel the need to fit into any social media norms. I don’t care if I’m weird. I don’t care if I’m not seen as “cool” or “fit.” All I know is life is better when you’re not striving to look like the influencer selling fit tea.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Disney Land vs. Legoland

I just got back from a week vacation with my family and I have a full review to give. When I say “full review” I mean everything – the good and the bad.

First off, family vacations are crazy. If you have a family you travel with you know exactly what I mean. If something doesn’t go wrong then it wasn’t a family vacation. Unless your family is perfect…then that’s cool…but mine isn’t haha.

We arrived at the Anaheim Hilton (just walking distance from Disneyland) and it was gorgeous, clean with huge ceilings in the lobby and beautiful art work all around. The employees at the reception area were very helpful and very friendly. We made our way to our room which was pretty far from everything. I got a super deal on it though – It was only $150 a night. Layla over heard me telling my mom about the room rate as she walked in front of us. She looked back over her shoulder and said, “OH. That’s why… because it’s CHEAP we have to walk so much to our room.” She rolled her eyes. I just laughed. But yes, actually, “that is why” haha. I was still proud of the super deal I got.

We spent that evening at the pools which was filled with other happy families and their kids. Then I ordered Pizza because is there anything better after pool time? I think not.

I thought it was funny when one of the servers came over with our pizza and addressed me as “Madam”. Sometimes people address me as “Miss” also. I just find it funny that we live in such a modern world but people still address me as if we were in old times. Honestly I want to laugh because it’s so proper but I really appreciate the token of respect and I find it flattering at the same time.

That night we watched the Disney • Pixar movie “Soul” in our hotel room. If that’s not a great movie I don’t know what is. I absolutely loved it.

The next day we got ready for Disneyland. My mom had some issues to take care of which delayed us but we made it to the park at 11 am.

The ladies checking our tickets were older (around 70) and grumpy. They weren’t very nice but they let us in. They weren’t supposed to let us in though because our tickets were only good for California adventure. I wanted to go to Disneyland and didn’t realize how that worked online (there was a huge mix up.)

So in a way I’m thankful to those older grumpy ladies for letting us in.

Once inside Disneyland we went on a train ride which the girls and my mom really enjoyed. Meanwhile I was making food reservations the whole ride. I was told you had to make food reservations on the Disney app or else you couldn’t eat so I was quite busy. I found out later that you really don’t have to as they now accept walk ins. Oh boy. This pandemic has really made things a little confusing.

There is no mask wearing required at Disneyland anymore (unless you want to) so most people were mask-less and while the volume of people is supposed to be at 50% it really felt like it was at 75% capacity. The park was very full that day especially in certain areas like the TIKI ROOM where you can get Dole Whips ice cream.

We did try the famous Dole whip ice cream and it was delicious. However we got it with the pineapple juice and we didn’t like the juice very much. We’ll be getting only the ice cream next time.

I got Layla a tropical Disney dress and tropical Mickey ears as well as some tropical gold fish. She looked adorable but within minutes she spilled the goldfish inside the double stroller I had rented. We cleaned up the mess and we were on our way to our next attraction: Toon Town.

FYI My hair is still short but I thought it would be fun to wear extensions to Disneyland. These are clip in ponytail extensions that I got off Amazon last year.

We made it to Toon Town and the girls were absolutely flabbergasted. They ran around everywhere with big smiles. We have been to Disneyland before but it seems at this age they really enjoy it so much more.

We saw so many characters – Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Winnie the Pooh, etc. as well as so many Disney princesses: Ariel, Jasmine, and Alice from Alice in Wonderland. There is still social distancing with the characters though and you can only take pictures from far away.

Before the roller coaster took off – Layla was scared

We went on a kids rollercoaster in Toon Town and Layla cried. It was a little too scary for her. Actually my mom and Sophie were about to cry too. I was the only one who liked it.

We ate at the Plaza Inn for lunch which was fantastic. Most restaurants are open again except for street food carts.

At the Plaza Inn we had chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans and biscuits. It was incredible- the mashed potatoes with bacon especially. It tasted like crack. Best mashed potatoes I’ve ever had in my life.

Next we went to the Bippity Boppity boutique. We picked out some new princess dresses for the girls. A lot of the Disney clothes are exclusive at Disneyland. I’m huge on fashion so this was a definite stop for me.

Layla was mad because she wanted a Belle dress and so did Sophie but Layla doesn’t like “matching” with Sophie. I decided to get both of them Belle dresses anyway (haha I’m savage.) Sophie’s dress is a limited collectors edition so they were a tad bit different from each other anyway. I also got them matching Belle crowns because they were gorgeous and the only ones that matched with the dresses.

Once at the check out Layla started throwing a mini tantrum. She didn’t want the same dress as Sophie’s. I told her, “Oh they aren’t the same. Yours has red roses and hers doesn’t. Plus yours is the grownup version of Belle and hers is the baby version.” She nodded her head in satisfaction and we were good after that.

The girl at the register asked if it was a special occasion or a birthday. I nodded my head no and smiled. Inside I thought, “Nope…I just love pretty dresses.” I didn’t know most people purchased these dresses for special occasions though. Here I am casually buying them thinking the special occasion will come later haha.

Are these not absolutely stunning? I die every time I see them especially the collectors dress.
The crown is even more amazing in person.

I think I will dress the girls up in their Belle dresses to go to Disney On Ice and then a fancy restaurant afterwards. Maybe I’ll even rent a limo just for fun. Disney on Ice should be reopening later this year.

Anyway back to our Disney adventure: I have always wanted those clear balloons with a Mickey balloon inside of it but for some reason I never bought one in the past. We were on the search for them when Layla spotted them. I made a stroller U turn and ran over to the guy holding them. I bought 5 of them in different colors. Literally one of my dreams came true when they handed me the balloons.

We stopped at the corner restaurant on Main Street to get powerades and fuel up. We got our electrolytes in and Sophie chased a duck around while we rested.

I hardly do rides at Disneyland because I feel that it’s boring to wait in line all day but that’s just me.

We began our walk over to California Adventure which we weren’t supposed to technically be allowed into but under the confusion…they let us in. I was just as confused as they were.

We stopped to get our ice cream cones at “Adorable Snowman” and they were a hit with my mom and the girls. The girls were cold afterwards though so I stopped inside the store next to Adorable Snowman and bought them identical zip up hoodies. Layla didn’t seem to mind and I thought they both looked adorable.

We walked back into Disneyland but we were told we couldn’t re enter since our tickets were only good for one park. I told the ticketing employee that I had made a reservation inside Disneyland and already paid $70 for dinner. Both Disneyland and California adventure employees had been ok with letting me into the parks earlier so I thought the tickets were good for both especially since the online ticketing process confused the heck out of me.

The ticketing employee said she’d have to talk to a manager and left. 5 minutes later she returned and told me it was the employees fault for letting me in to both parks, saying they “dropped the ball” and she would let me re enter just this time. I thanked her and we walked in. So basically I got to go to both parks on accident! I saved about $300. Woohoo!

We stopped at the Mickey Mouse theatre on Main Street in Disneyland and watched a black and white cartoon. Layla laughed while watching the cartoon – which surprised me since it’s a black and white with no voices, and yet it’s so classic kids from today still find it amusing.

We made our way to the French Market restaurant just in time for our dinner reservation. My my my was it delicious. Layla and I had the French dip sandwich with chips and holy moly I will definitely be eating that again next time I’m there! We finished it off with a haunted mansion cake and that was stupendous! It was cherry strawberry flavored and my taste buds didn’t know what to do with themselves.

At the French Market

In between all of this there were many bathroom breaks as is to be expected with kids. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to our last stop which was supposed to be the Winnie the Pooh ride in Critter Country. Normally that’s always our last stop when we go to Disneyland. There’s usually no line and it’s a cute ride to end the night.

We made our way to Main Street which was still open for one more hour. There were no fireworks and no parades – at least not that night (we went on a Wednesday – June 16th.) People crowded Main Street to do their last minute shopping for souvenirs and treats. We decided to go to downtown Disney instead. We got our lollipops, butter cookies, popcorn, and candy apples from Marceline’s Confectionery, our usual stop of the night. There was almost no line and the store was not too crowded. It was perfect.

At the end of the night Layla was still hyped up and Sophie was knocked out.

The next morning we slept in, then got ready to go have brunch and ice cream at the Anaheim Packing District. I used the same Taxi guy from the night before since I was already familiar with him and his rates. He picked us up at the front of the Hotel and this time he played classical piano music on our way to the Packing District. He told me a story about how he got kidnapped in Iraq and held for ransom. Crazy stuff.

I was about to pay him before getting off at the Packing District but he told me I didn’t have to. “Just pay me after I pick you back up,” he said. Well Ok then Taxi man.

The Anaheim packing District was beautiful with its plants growing everywhere. It has a charming feel to it. We tried the Chicken Sandwiches at Sweetbird. The chicken was very tender – almost falling apart.

Next we tried the mini monster drinks and we all loved the cotton candy on top. I got a glass bottle to take home as a souvenir. I will be using it instead of my usual mason jar.

Our last food stop was at the Pop Bar inside the Anaheim Packing District. We got Oreo gelato bars. I had mine dipped in chocolate and almonds. They were SO CREAMY oh my goodness. It was definitely some of the best gelato bars we’ve ever had.

My mom said her favorite ice cream places so far I’ve taken her to are: Bumsan organic Milk bar, SOMISOMI ice cream, Chick-Fil-A ice cream and now PopBar.

We walked across the street to a restaurant called 18 Folds. It has a huge outdoor area with “grass”, chairs to lounge on and a giant heart swing. The girls ran around and played for a while before our Taxi guy arrived. I would definitely try this restaurant out if I’m back in Anaheim.

Our Taxi guy, Ehad, drove us back to our Hotel but this time he had cologne on. It seemed he got a fresh hair cut too. He made it known that he’s a single father and a bit lonely. I told him I have a boyfriend. He asked me about him and when I told him he lives in another country he laughed and said, “You need a boyfriend that lives here! You’re too gorgeous!” He told me that maybe my boyfriend is cheating on me or only pretending to be nice until we meet in person. All I know is I’m happy with my boyfriend. Very happy.

We went back to our room and “grandma” (my mom haha) took a nap for a while, the girls watched cartoons and I sent my boyfriend pictures of our trip. Then we got ready to go to an Angels Baseball game.

I LOVE BASEBALL. SO MUCH. So I was especially hyped about this. Maybe even more than Disneyland. Ehad, our taxi driver, picked us up again and drove us to the baseball Stadium. Since he’s in a taxi he was able to drop us off almost right in front of the stadium. Meanwhile the rest of the cars were stuck in long lines all around.

Once at the Baseball Stadium I ran into an issue. Vivid seats didn’t want to send me my tickets electronically because they needed to verify my identity and weren’t able to with the information I was submitting. “GREAT.”

I went to the customer service office at the stadium and they suggested I buy new tickets and try to get a refund on the other ones as they aren’t able to accept tickets from outside parties.

So that’s what I did – I bought new tickets and we went in because dammit we weren’t about to miss a baseball game!

Since they weren’t able to verify my identity “vivid seats” cancelled my order and refunded me my money. So at least I didn’t have to pay double. Thank you Jesus!!

We had great seats and Layla got to experience her first real baseball game with me.

The stadium was at full capacity (50,000 people) and masks were not enforced. People looked so happy. If anything baseball games are where people forget race, religion and politics. Everyone just wants to have a good time.

I went down and got some Angel gear for me and the girls – T shirts and caps. I also stopped by to get snacks and drinks: popcorn, nachos, m&ms, sodas and waters. The lines were super long but it’s not a baseball game without all of that stuff. Next time I will get there super early to avoid the lines because I literally missed half of the game.

Once back in my seat, I handed everyone their snacks and Angel gear and I happily munched away as I watched the rest of the game.

I’ll be honest: I HAVE NO IDEA HOW BASEBALL WORKS OR WHAT AN INNING EVEN IS but I do know that baseball games are the best thing in the whole entire world.

Also… the Angels won that night. It was amazing. Everyone was so happy!

On our way out we stopped to take pictures and two different guys offered to take family pictures for us. They weren’t the best angles but lord have mercy they tried. Bless their souls.

The next day we hit the Anaheim outlets. We got Cotton Candy, some popit and slime toys for the girls and they got to ride electric motorcycles outside. I also found an amazing little boutique called “Pin Up Bootique” with retro 50s clothes and dresses. I was in love with almost everything but picked a Denim pencil skirt with straps and a red peasant blouse. The girl who worked there was super nice and friendly.

We stopped at other stores at the Anaheim Outlets but they didn’t have anything good. The only store I would come back for is the Pin Up Bootique.

We went to visit some (distant) cousins who live in Anaheim and had the best time at their house. We really do have amazing family on both of my parents sides. We left at night and headed home to unpack and re pack for our next trip to Legoland.

The next day we headed to our hotel in Carlsbad. Traffic heading towards LA was unbelievably bad and I couldn’t understand why until I realized it was Father’s Day weekend and a lot of COVID restrictions in California have just been lifted. Everyone and their neighbor seemed to be out driving.

We were stuck in traffic for hours and don’t even get me started on traffic at the Magic Mountain 4 way stop – that was a disaster. I had taken that exit to get some food but realized that was a mistake. Cars were honking like crazy and crowding each other. I called the sheriffs department just to inform them of the situation. They said they received several calls already and were on their way. I decided to get food elsewhere.

We got Chik-FiL-A – which we’ve been getting a lot lately.

I had to make a stop in East LA because Layla had an accident. She went #2 in the car. She felt really bad and apologized about it but I told her it was ok. We’ve been giving her medicine from Mexico for her constipation and it’s been working really well. While this would normally be a terrible thing (her going #2 in the car) I was actually happy she went again. She’s been so regular lately and nothing makes me happier.

We stopped at a McDonald’s restroom and threw away her soiled underwear and changed her into new clothes. Thankfully nothing got on the seat of my car. I put a blanket over it just in case before she sat down again.

We were ready to hit the road again. My mom woke up from a nap only to realize we were still In LA. I laughed. Traffic was just so slow.

7 hours later we finally made it to our Hotel in Carlsbad: The Sheraton Inn.

We stayed in the Ponto suites which was nice for us since I rarely book a suite room as those are usually just too expensive. I got a good deal on this one at $350 a night. We were all pretty impressed with the suite at first but I was unbelievably angry the next day to find out that they have no cleaning service, the phone in my room didn’t work and the mattresses were crap (my moms mattress coils kept squeaking and she said the mattress hurt her back.)

The front desk girl didn’t seem to care as she just works there so I held my anger in and decided I needed to speak to the right person at the right time.

I wasn’t going to let this ruin my vacation.

That first evening the girls changed into their bathing suits and we headed to the resort. Layla made a friend at the jacuzzi named Lizzie.

The next day we woke up early to get ready for Legoland. It had been on Layla’s bucket list forever. We had breakfast at the hotel resort restaurant and then I got them into our Wonderfold wagon (which I got on albeebaby.com) and off we went to Legoland!

We took the private back entrance into Legoland which was pretty awesome. If you stay at the Westin, Sheraton or Marbrisa inn in Carlsbad you get access to this private back entrance. It’s pretty nice – there are no lines and it’s just a walk down from your hotel.

A sales person for the Hilton Marbrisa greeted us before we went into Legoland and told us about a vacation package special. For $300 we would get 3 nights and 4 day stay at our hotel of choice: Sheraton, Westin or Marbrisa AND we’d get a $100 gift card AND $200 towards Legoland tickets.

I mean… what??? YES PLEASE. I’m saving over $1,500!

The only catch is we have to watch a Hilton presentation for an hour when we come back. Apparently they are trying to promote their new line of hotel: The Marbrisa.

Honey, I will bring my popcorn and watch that presentation!

I signed up, paid for it and it’s a done deal. We have a vacation now that we can use any time in the next 13 months. We also got a goodie bag with an umbrella, mini black flashlight (it’s actually really nice) a wine opener (which I’ll donate since I don’t drink wine) and some cute sea keychains.

We happily made our way into Legoland after that. The park had some guests already but not too many. It felt peaceful.

The attractions at Legoland are quite simple looking compared to Disneyland but kids and parents seem happier. These are just my observations.

I kept looking around at the SMILING parents and kids. I couldn’t believe it. I was honestly kind of shocked.

I thought about it and realized that maybe Disneyland is a bit overwhelming. I mean it’s great and I’m still a HUGE Disney fan no matter what but maybe it’s just a little too much in a way.

Legoland has some rides that are actually so simple it’s kind of dumb (like a slow moving horse that slowly goes around the bushes) but that ride made parents and kids smile the most!

I think that sometimes it really is the simple things in life.

Layla and Sophie were ECSTATIC to be in Legoland. I had never seen Layla happier in my life.

They had fun playing with Legos and building things with them in two different areas. Again, such a simple thing, yet they were having the time of their life. I was still in shock mode haha.

The strap of my cute new Disney bag ripped when we were inside the Lego building area. I told Layla “See my bag ripped but it’s just a problem to solve. That’s life. I just have to figure it out now.” I want to raise her to be a problem solver.

So I walked over to an employee and asked if I could use their stapler to put the strap back on my bag. He said they didn’t have a stapler but he could get me a bag to use. He left and a short while later he came back with mesh Legoland bags with long straps in different sizes for me. I thanked him and told him he was so nice for doing that.

Weirdly enough I think we all kind of match….
Just hanging out with my lego Boyfrend

We took a picture in front of some of the lego sculptures which was fun, except for the Donkey lego sculpture. Layla tried to climb it, but she ended up slipping and hit her chin right on the legos. She started crying. There was no bleeding but I knew that had to hurt pretty bad so I hugged her until she felt better.

We ate at the Knights Smoke house BBQ. There was almost no line since it’s a buffet which was great since I don’t like waiting in a long line when I’m hungry. Also I’m a meat type of girl so this place was perfect.

We decided to go into the water park despite the sky being gray and cloudy. We were a little cold but the water was somewhat warm so it wasn’t too bad.

I went to buy towels and had no idea the chaos that would happen. Apparently my mom lost Layla and freaked out. Meanwhile Layla was going down a slide for the first time alone and she ended up getting water all up her nose as she went down. She started crying loudly and a lifeguard ran over to her, which helped my mom finally see her. Everything was back to normal when I came back with the towels though.

Our favorite attraction in the water park was the Lazy River where we went around in a double tube. The water was set at a warm temperature because of the weather and Layla and I had so much fun here. Normally they have huge legos you can play with while you go around the river but they didn’t have them this time. Either way Layla and I had the time of our life.

Also I think it’s important to point out that there’s lifeguards EVERYWHERE in the water park. I was very impressed. Good Job Legoland.

Layla braved it and went with me on a rollercoaster in the pirate reef inside the water park. I asked her if she was sure she wanted to do this since she cried last time. She assured she was. I was so proud of her for facing her fears.

As we went down my stomach dropped. We were splashed with a huge wave of water but it was over before we knew it. Layla smiled at me afterwards and said, “At least I did it whew! It wasn’t that scary but something did happen in my stomach when we went down! I felt something in my stomach.”

Yea kid. Those are your guts and stomach dropping. Me too though, me too.

We paid $10 to get dried off inside a dryer station. Apparently this is a thing now and I’m living for it. Kudos to whoever invented it.

We stopped to get Layla her first “drivers license” which Is around $20. I think it’s a souvenir that she’ll most likely treasure forever so I feel it’s worth the $20. She got to drive around in a little car with other kids after that.

We watched a live performance by kids Imagine Nation

We loved Mini land USA and wish we would’ve had more time to stay there. The creativity and detail to the most amazing places in the U.S. is really worth looking at. It’s amazing that I’ve been to most places displayed, except for New York.

It was almost closing time and my mom really wanted some apple fries so we were running around trying to get there before they closed. I finally got to the window, all out of breath, when I saw that they were closed and locking up. My heart sank.

The girl opened the window back up to see what I wanted. I asked her if I could buy some apple fries. She said “Ok sure.” I couldn’t believe it. Most of them time people say no when they’re closing.

“I’ll let you get them since I couldn’t even lock the window – so I guess it must’ve been for a reason,” she said as she rang me up on the register.

I couldn’t be happier. I got my two small baskets of apple fries with whip cream dipping. This is basically equivalent to the dole whip ice cream in Disneyland. People go crazy for these at Legoland. The line earlier for these was huge and you could smell the apple fries a mile away.

This is not my hand – picture is from online just to show the apple fries

I lost my mom (she’s a slow walker) so I had to go find her. I decided to go back to where we had been and hopefully I’d find her there. Our phones were both dead so I couldn’t call her.

Luckily a little bit up ahead I found her and we sat down on a bench and ate our apple fries.

I got a lot of moms complimenting me on the wagon that day. I almost felt like a walking commercial. Some dads even asked me where I got it. It just made sense for me to get a wagon since the girls complain about walking but Layla is too big for a stroller. Also it’s nice to put my bags in it as it holds everything. It’s super easy to maneuver and the front handle is nice and easy on the hands.

I noticed a lot of moms at the park using wagons though so I think it is a growing trend with parents.

Anyway, after we finished our apple fries we headed to the back entrance as the park was closed (they close at 6 pm.)

We entered our room to find that it was just as we had left it and it hadn’t been cleaned. The thing is Layla peed on the bed and I thought the sheets would’ve been changed out but they weren’t. Also we had no clean towels or shampoo or conditioner. I was pretty disappointed.

We got ready to go to dinner. We tried out a Mexican restaurant called Miguel’s Cocina in Carlsbad, just a drive down from our hotel, by the ocean. We ordered enchiladas and a coconut flan. The enchiladas, rice and beans were average. The coconut flan was amazing.

That night back in our hotel room, after putting new sheets down, I was trying to pick pictures out from our trip to send to my boyfriend but my eyes were literally closing. I ended up falling asleep without realizing it.

We checked out, and while I was angry that the hotel didn’t have cleaning service I bit my tongue while checking out since it was the same girl who didn’t care. It would be worse if I asked her for a manager and it turned out to be her. I prefer to wait and speak to a general manager or write/call the owner.

After leaving the hotel we stopped at a Bounce House / Pick your strawberries attraction in Carlsbad. The girls were going crazy over this.

They were having fun jumping in the different bounce houses when they got thirsty so I left to go get water. I stood in line at a coffee tent right outside of the bounce house area. I decided to try their cold brew and I had a nice chat with the owner about coffees. I got my cold brew and water bottles and headed back.

After the girls hour was up in the Bounce Land we went to pick strawberries in the field nearby.

Those were some of the sweetest strawberries I’ve ever had. It was also a really nice family activity.

We had shaved ice afterwards which the girls really enjoyed.

Then it was time to head home but we were hungry so we had one more stop to make.

We found a cute restaurant in Oceanside (totally by accident) called “Hello Betty”. It’s right across from the pier and it has the coolest convertible car inside the restaurant that you can take pictures in. I ordered shrimp and chips for all of us.

Since we were across the beach the girls obviously wanted to go…so off we went even though this wasn’t a planned part of our vacation.

We let the girls play in the kids playground next to the pier. My mom and I sat in a bench watching them.

Sigh. That’s where I lost my new iPhone 12 Pro Max.

I must’ve left it on the bench when we got up to take Layla and Sophie down to the water.

I watched Layla happily play in the water and after about an hour we decided to leave. That’s when it hit me: WHERES MY PHONE?? I freaked out. I looked for it everywhere. I retraced my steps. I asked the lifeguards about it. No one had seen it and it was no where to be found.

I started walking back to the car with my mom and they girls. I knew my only other option was to call my cell phone provider and let them know what happened.

Layla looked at me as we waited to cross the street and said to me, “Well, like you always say: life is about solving problems so you just have to figure it out!” I smiled. I’m glad something is sticking to her.

“Yes you’re right,” I told her. “I’m just going to have to get a new phone. At the end of the day it’s a material thing and most things are replaceable.”

Am I happy about spending more money? No but it is replaceable and I have all my photos and notes on my iCloud.

The ride back was silent. I was on wait with my cell phone provider and traffic was slow. My mom fell asleep. Later she told me she was sad for me. I was sad for me too. She woke up when she heard me talking to a T-Mobile rep.

My phone was dead when I accidentally left it on the bench so there was no way to track it unfortunately. So I had my phones IMEI deleted/erased and my line cancelled so no one could steal my information. I had no insurance on the phone because I’ve literally never lost or damaged a phone in the last 10 years so I didn’t feel I needed it. So…that’s great haha. Oh well.

The T-mobile rep must have been working from home because I could hear her cat meowing pretty loudly and at one point she excused herself to take the car out. It made me smile though.

On our way home we passed a 4 car accident that had just happened. It completely stopped all traffic and there were a lot of ambulances and firefighter trucks arriving. We stared in silence but both my mom and I thought the same thing: it was better to lose my phone than to be part of that accident. Some people have worse days.

Once home I realized I got a pretty bad sunburn. I was red all over. Wow haha. Cherry on top – literally. Or should I say Lobster on top? Haha…bad joke. Anyway, I’m putting aloe Vera jelly on it and it’s helping.

So moral of the story: don’t go on a family vacation. Just kidding haha… kind of.

Truth be told though, I will most likely still plan another family vacation because despite things going wrong…there’s always things that go right and seeing your kids happy makes it worth it.

Also I think I just need a girls trip…sans kids haha. Which speaking of…I’ll be going on one next week for my besties Birthday! Napa Valley should be fun!

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Dealing With Bad Moments

I thought I’d make a post to highlight some of my not so great moments lately… the thing is I laugh at my own bad moments. I think having ups and downs is part of our existence and human experience.

So last week I found out my nail salon gave me nail fungus. The owner told me his nail techs left my acrylics on for too long – It had been a little over 3 months. You could see how old the acrylics looked. From what Ive learned, old acrylics create air pockets and air pockets allow mold to grow. I kept wondering why they weren’t changing out the acrylics. I have never had to tell them when to remove them in all the years I’ve had acrylics. I figured they knew what they were doing though.

The good thing is the fungus is at the “mold” stage and it’s clearing up – at least it looks that way. It was green when they removed the acrylics and now it’s a brown yellow spot on my middle finger nail.

The owner admitted 3 times that the fungus came from the acrylics being old but he tried to spin it on me in the end and make it seem like it was my fault. He told me I should’ve told the nail tech to change out my acrylics. I told him “that’s not my job. I’m not a nail tech.” Obviously the nail tech should be properly trained but wasn’t. My job is simply to go in, pay them money and get a service done correctly.

In the end the nail salon owner still wanted to charge me for removing the acrylics. He also told me I should go to a pharmacy to buy fungal medication. Ok. And who was going to pay for that? This was all becoming too much.

I told the nail owner I wasn’t paying for the acrylic removals since they gave me fungus. About 10 other girls were getting their nails done just listening in silence. Some had a look on their face of “that’s so wrong that they’re doing that to you.”

I refused to pay the $15 and the owner said, “Ok. Leave but never come back again to my nail salon.”

Wow. I almost wanted to laugh. What a joke. He gives me nail fungus, runs an incompetent business with negligent and unsanitary conditions, and still expects me to pay him anything ? Including the pharmacy bill. That’s abuse. I got up, looked him in the eye and said, “Fine. I’ll just sue you then.”

He waved a hand and walked away from me as if saying “I don’t care.” He sat down in front of one of his nail techs.

“You’re going to end up paying a lot more money…” I said calmly. It’s weird but I never get too angry… I never bark too loud. I just take action.

The lady nail tech tried to mock me but the nail owner ignored her.

I left and called an attorney who told me it would be good if I got witnesses so I drove back and talked to the girls as they were coming out of the nail salon. One of them had witnessed everything and gave me her number.

I was In my car recording what my nail looked like when I saw the owner come out. He stood outside on his phone. Then I saw a black truck with tinted windows pull up one car over from me.

A big girl put her window down and shouted towards the direction where the nail salon owner stood. She looked like she wanted to fight someone. She kept shouting “Hey Im here!!” But the nail salon owner ignored her.

I wondered who else she could be talking to. The only people around were the nail salon owner and myself.

Me and the big girl looked at each other and I mouthed from my car, “Are you talking to me or him!?” My eyebrows were arched in their full effect. I didn’t mean to give her so much attitude but I just wasn’t in the mood to deal with more nonsense. She looked at me for a second, then put her window up.

I had no idea what her deal was and only later did I make the connection that she most likely was there for me. I laugh about it now because she was most likely there to scare me and I think I scared her instead.

Then the nail salon owner walked over to my car with his phone recording me. When I looked up and realized he was recording me I started to wave and smile in the sweetest way. This threw him off. His face was priceless. His power was gone.

He tried to get my license plates but wasn’t able to get them since I temporarily don’t have any. I was amused watching him and then started to record him as well with my phone. He didn’t like that and started walking away.

Before I drove away, I honked twice. When he turned around I laughed and shook my head at him. His face was priceless. I still smile remembering that moment. He looked so defeated. He wanted to intimidate me and the opposite happened.

I think he grossly underestimated me and what I can do.

I wish it didn’t have to be like this but he thought he could still charge me $15 after giving me nail fungus. Its the audacity for me.

The thing is he has been doing this to other girls for years. I’m not the first one. I hate abuse. I don’t think there’s anything I hate more.

Sometimes I wish I didn’t have to get in the middle of anything and I wish I could just ignore it but I won’t apologize for having a spine.

Do I think it’s ok for other girls to get nail fungus at an overpriced nail salon? No. It’s not just about me. It’s about everyone else. Places like this should be held accountable. Especially since I know not everyone has what it takes to speak up. I read other reviews on Yelp for this nail salon and one girl said she might have to get her toe amputated from the fungus they gave her. It’s swollen and deformed. Another girl is on strong antibiotics.

I can never guarantee the outcome of anything or if justice will take place but I can guarantee ONE thing: I give hell back when they give it to me. I can guarantee that 1000%.

So I sit here with this stupid mold on my finger nail. I shouldn’t be having to deal with this but this is life. People mess up. I have no problem with people making mistakes. It’s when they don’t fix their mistakes that we have a problem.

Also worth mentioning, my pregnant bipolar sister in law had an episode the other day and sent me a hate message. I told her to watch her tone with me because I’m not putting up with it. After all Im not the one who married her. I didn’t pick to struggle with her and I’m not a punching bag.

And last, I had a really amazing sandwich from Chick-fil-A the other day…and it totally messed my stomach up. Hahaha…I don’t know if the kitchen employees didn’t wash their hands or if they didn’t clean their area but an hour after eating that sandwich my stomach was in pain and I still had 30 min to get home with no restroom in sight. Thanks…thanks Chick-fil-A. I made it home ok, but my stomach has been jacked up for two days now.

Again… life happens. There’s no such thing as perfect anything.

Am I worried though ? No. My nail will go back to normal and so will my stomach. I’m honestly not sure about my sister in law though but I’ll pray for her.

Am I happy to have to deal with mold on my nail? No of course not. Its affecting different areas of my life as well as costing me money. I also have pain in my finger that’s radiating down to my elbow now.

On the other hand though I feel blessed as hell. The amount of happiness I feel is unreal. I have things in my life that I never had before. Daily I wonder how I got so lucky. Having bad moments is part of this human experience though. I would never want to pretend my life is perfect. That’s not realistic. Im an open book and I share both the good and the bad.

I understand bad moments happen, and they need to be dealt with but I try not to let those thoughts occupy my every thought. I let myself feel upset or angry for a short amount of time, then I put those feelings and thoughts in a box to revisit later and I continue with my life as if that moment hadn’t just happened because nothing should stop you from dancing. Life is too short.

Favorite song of the moment: “Play Date” by Melanie Martinez.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Did I get the Tickets?

I kid you not my palms were sweaty right before the Coachella tickets went on sale yesterday. I kept remembering the Eminem song “knees weak palms are sweaty.” I hadn’t been nervous like that in a long time. I really wanted tickets though. Right at 10 am (when the tickets went on sale) Layla asked me something and distracted me. I right away said, “sorry babe I can’t talk right now” and quickly hit the link to buy tickets on Coachella.com

I was 30 seconds too late.

They had me wait for 2 hours online in queue just to find out they were sold out.

So I went to vividseats.com and purchased my tickets there. Yes they were absurdly more expensive- as someone who likes to save money it really irks me to pay more than I have to but I felt I had no choice. It’s my dream to go to Coachella and I wanted to make sure that I’m absolutely going.

So YES I GOT TICKETS. Erm…over priced but I got them! Haha.

I could’ve waited for next year in January for their official tickets sale but they’ll most likely sell out in seconds just like they did for their pre sale. I’m sure there’s always someone trying to re sell their tickets at a more expensive rate but I’d rather not wait last minute and have to pay even more money as the tickets only get more expensive the more you wait. Im just happy I have peace of mind now that I have my tickets.

I’m going to invite a lot of my friends and hopefully – fingers crossed – they’re able to get some tickets either through the official sale next year or re-sale.

The line up of singers is still to be announced but it only gets more amazing every year. I’m sure I’ll have a mini heart attack of joy when I see their line up in January. They always bring the best artists, the best food trucks, amazing art sculptures, and they have a Ferris wheel on location. I also want to throw a pool party at our place on one of the nights.

I would invite the whole world if I could but I know I probably shouldn’t haha… Anyway, if any of you are going to Coachella 2022 let me know! I’d love to meet you there.

Thanks for reading,

Denise