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 🩰

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

2021 Is Turning Out Ok

Hello. It’s 7 am.

I am still amazed at the morning light that comes in through my window. I swear to God that it is PURE HEAVEN. Sometimes I really think to myself, “Did I die? Am I in heaven? How is this so spectacular?”

Anyway as some of you might know I’m usually not up at 7 am. I should be ! But the fact of the matter is I’m usually not.

The thing is… COACHELLA TICKETS GO ON SALE IN TWO HOURS. I have to be awake and ready. I have to prep myself and get my fingers ready to purchase those tickets. Ok, so really I just have to wait, but the anticipation is too much so I’m awake.

Years ago Coachella began to gain popularity and it only increased with each year. I remember wishing I could go but I was in my cult religion and Coachella wasn’t something a “good spiritual sister” would attend. So I didn’t go.

I missed out on the 2019 Coachella which was pretty historic. I’m not missing out on it again. At this point Coachella has become the most popular music festival IN THE WORLD. That’s right…in the world.

Not only am I getting tickets to go with my girl friends for the April 2022 dates (more info can be found on the Coachella.com website) but I also reserved an AIRBNB. Let me tell you…this is not your average AIRBNB. It is the most beautiful piece of creation I have ever seen. I cannot believe we’re going to stay there for our Coachella stay. Its a gorgeous house with a pool and the decor is phenomenal.

I feel like a kid. I mean pinch me. Is this my life?

Nothing this good ever happened to me before. Sometimes it feels like I really did die and now I’m in heaven…on earth.

Anyway, I also got tickets to see Maluma this fall and they are right in front of the stage – well, 7 rows from the stage which is perfect for me since I don’t know the words of every song and I don’t want to look like a “fake-fan.” Being 7 rows behind is great because if I don’t know the words to a song I can just sort of hide behind someone.

I once went to a Niall Horan concert and I was in the second row from the stage (I had no idea I would be that close!) and let me tell you… never again. I was the only person who didn’t know every word to every song and I could feel Niall looking at me and um… yea never again. Although me and Niall did have a “moment” when I sang one of his most romantic songs word for word and we looked each other in the eyes tenderly for a few seconds right when the beat dropped. So I guess he forgave me for being awkward and not knowing the words to the other songs. At least I’d like to think so.

Anyway, Im about to go through this box:

It’s my new vlogging camera for my YouTube channel! Ahhhhh. As soon as I have everything set up I will let you guys know my channel name so you can check out my videos.

This month is crazy packed with events I’ll be vlogging about such as:

-a skate park festival – winner gets $100, and there will be free food and a music festival. Heeeey. I’ll be there for sure.

-I’ll be taking the girls to a kids museum. This one is amazing and I can’t wait to vlog about it.

-were going to both Disneyland and Legoland this month just days apart from each other. I prefer going to amusement parks in June because the weather is a little cooler. July and August are so hot. I might still do Six flags in July though.

-were going to a Dodgers baseball game which I’m out of this world excited for. I really do feel I died and went to heaven. All the things I’ve been wanting to do, I’m doing! Whattttt…..

And last but not least, I’m going on a girls trip to Napa valley this month for my girlfriends birthday. I have never been to Napa, and I’ve never been wine tasting, so this will be exciting. We’re going to do a train tour and a hot air balloon ride.

That’s all just for the month of June. There’s more coming for every month for the rest of the year.

I want to live moments that are absolutely outstanding…moments I’ll look back on and smile. Moments I’ll tell my grandchildren about – historic moments of adrenaline and fun.

By the way, I mentioned I might get the girls (Layla and Sophie) Into modeling. Last week I was at the Topanga Westfield mall (this is where the Kardashians have been seen shopping at – I am not a kardashian fan but I have to say it is one heck of a mall decked out with all the designer stores.) Anyway, I was standing in line inside ZARA (I got the cutest outfit and sandals Omg) and I started talking to the lady in front of me.

She was a classy women in her 40s and you could tell she was well off. She talked to me about her kids (who are now grown and successful) and gave me advice on mine. I felt like I was on a “real wives of Topanga” episode. She was even spilling gossip on her friends at one point. I literally felt like I was at the country club having mimosas and talking about how “Patricia” lets her kids do whatever they want – one of her kids hasn’t even gotten married or done anything with her life and – gasp! – whisper: she now has two kids. *Cue the side eye and eyebrow raise. Ohmygoodness what a trip it is to have conversations with people you don’t know.

We had a whole conversation for about half an hour (the line was long but time flew by for us) and we even talked about how cute each other’s outfits were (the ones we were about to purchase), and the vacation she was going on with her husband.

Anyway she told me I should put the girls in print work for Disney – modeling work basically. She thought the girls were really cute and told me she put her kids in when they were little.

She told me she has a niece who works for a modeling agency and can get me in. She gave me the number right before she left.

So who knows… I might just do it.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

A Day In My Life

In Santa Monica

I’ll prefix this by saying every day of my life is different but this was my day today..

I woke up at 5:45 am accidentally as I’ve been doing recently. I’m not sure why I wake up at ungodly hours on my own but I will stay awake for half an hour or so and then drift back to sleep. I do enjoy seeing the sun rise though. I mean I don’t actually get up and see it rise…But I watch the glowy light come through my window as I lay in bed. It’s pretty spectacular.

At around 9 am I woke up, and watched some YouTube videos on past life regression before getting out of bed. Side story here – I paid a professional hypnotist a few days ago to do a past life regression on me. It was such a bizarre experience (which is what I live for in a way.) Anyway, I was able to see quite a lot and it’s still very surreal.

Dr.Elena, the hypnotist, helped navigate me through my past life regression and I’m glad she did because I don’t think it would’ve been the same without her. Especially since it was my first time and I didn’t really know what I was doing.

It surprisingly didn’t even feel like I was “hypnotized.” I just felt my body very heavy and I could feel some type of energy over it but a good peaceful energy. She relaxed me with her voice for a good half hour before we began the journey into my past lives.

I honestly wasn’t sure if it would even work. We were having trouble in the beginning, as images looked blurry, scrambled and at times I didn’t see anything. I wondered if maybe it was a waste of my money. Dr. Elena didn’t seem surprised in the slightest and simply used her soothing voice to direct me.

Then…it started. I saw a boys bright happy face looking at me. I saw us laughing and running around. I had two short black braids and fair skin. We were both 10 years old. I could see the green grass and the river nearby. It was France in the 1500s. I knew who the boy was right away…It’s the person I’m currently talking to in this lifetime.

I saw my mother rushing me in to wash my hands for supper. I knew right away that I loved her and that she was a good caring mother. She was always in a rush, very disciplined and responsible but loving nonetheless. She told me my father would be home soon and sure enough as I was coming back from washing my hands (in a basin) I saw my father walk in. My heart stopped as I was watching this because all of a sudden I felt emotions surface up. I knew my father back then was a good dad and I loved him. As he walked in he turned over and smiled at me in his familiar warm way before sitting at the wooden table we had. His clothes were dirty from work and he looked very tired but his eyes lit up when he looked over at me. He loved me and I loved him.

Our house sort of looked like this but it was a single story with double wooden doors.
This was the dress my mother was wearing but hers was a maroon color

Physically my dad had quite a large belly, a dark mustache and a small gap between his front teeth but he had the most radiant warmest energy. Being able to see this part of my past life was emotional because It was like seeing my dad again after not having seen him in a very long time. When I remember this part of my past life regression I miss him. I miss my dad.

I saw myself run over to the table and sit with my family – my parents and a sister (who was about a year older than me.) Once seated to eat dinner my mother said, “let’s pray” and we bowed our heads to pray. We lived in a small house made of brick and stone with two wooden front doors. We were poor but happy. We had candles lit at night and we were eating what looked like beef stew and bread. My mother told me I shouldn’t play with boys so much as I was always getting hurt. I squirmed around a little and smiled mischievously but said nothing and kept eating my food. I liked playing with boys way too much to stop. I had to laugh when I saw this because it was funny to see how I’ve been a tomboy in past lives as well.

During dinner my parents talked between each other about my fathers job and money matters. We were poor so it seemed money (or the lack of) was always a topic. My sister and I ate our food happily though. We were used to hearing our parents talk about money troubles. It was nothing new.

After dinner my sister and I performed a silly dance for our parents as we normally did most evenings. We sang a song in French and giggled as we danced around. My parents watched us from the table amused as they did most nights. My mother almost had a look of “oh no here they go again” but she was smiling anyway.

Afterwards I played with our family dog. He wasn’t a very attractive dog but he was our dog. I scratched his neck playfully. Later that night once in bed, I thought about how I wanted to see the new boy (I was playing with earlier) again. I couldn’t wait to play with him the next day.

In short, that boy and I grew up, he asked my parents permission for my hand in marriage, my dad was beaming with joy, he clearly approved. My mother was happy but she just worried and wanted to make sure we didn’t fornicate before marriage. Apparently those were religious times and from what I researched there were strict rules around sex, so much that they even had a sex court and you were severely punished for committing sexual acts that were against the law. Even married you could only have sex if it was with the intention to have children. Crazy stuff right? No wonder my mother gave us “the look” that evening.

We celebrated with dinner at home with my family that night and a plain round cake. No frosting. Just a plain cake. This was the best we could do since we didn’t have much money. We were happy though.

My sister teased my new fiancé with, “well you know what this means right? You now have a new annoying sister for life.” We all laughed.

We got married – it was a very simple wedding. My dad was next to me and told me where to sign on a long official paper. I had never done this before so I appreciated his guidance and support. I was only 16. I had a long white dress on with long sleeves – it was nothing fancy but it was white. I also had a simple flower crown on my head.

Once we stepped outside after we had signed documents, the village people were waiting to congratulate us. They wanted to be there and be a part of it. They gathered around us on the grassy hill outside. My husband took my hands in his in front of everyone, looked me in the eyes smiling and said, “I promise to make you happy forever!” People cheered and clapped and the village drunks poured each other wine to celebrate. The village people walked us down the pebble stone road to what would be our newlywed home. Kids ran joyfully In front of us. I felt very happy.

Side note: I had no idea what a peasant wedding was like back then but I looked it up and apparently this was all accurate.

We had kids – lots of them. We had a very happy family, and we laughed often. My husband usually chased the kids around the house playfully while they ran from him laughing. We loved each other. He really did make me happy. I died at an old age of what seemed like bronchitis. I was coughing so much. I had grey and white hair. I was In a bed at home surrounded by my family. They knew I was dying. My husband was sitting in a chair by my bed. We were both old and a lot heavier. He leaned over and kissed my forehead and said “I love you” with tears going down his cheeks right before I passed away.

Side note: I flunked history class all through high-school because I had no interest in knowing about dead people. So going into this, I literally had no idea what life was like in France in the 1500s. It’s surreal that I now have an understanding of that time.

I also saw my previous life before this one which blew my mind. I was 20 years old in 1954. My name was Dolores. I was attractive, slim, with big perky breast’s. I was a little surprised with the breasts. I just didn’t imagine having those on me. I had to do a double take.

Anyway, my dad was white and my mom was Hispanic so I was mixed. We were middle class and I was an only child. My parents worked a lot and were mostly absent. Even when they were around they weren’t very expressive.

I lived in a two story home in California. It was painted white and it was on a Main Street. One of my girlfriends told me not to go with a boy who Invited me out. I didn’t listen to her and went with him anyway. He was a rich boy and had a brand new corvette. It was shiny blue with cream leather interior seats. I really liked the car. What I didn’t like is that he wanted to “park” and make out. He was a moderately handsome guy with very nice blonde hair slicked back but I didn’t actually like him in that way. I especially didn’t like him feeling up on me. So I told him to stop and when he wouldn’t, I got out of the car. It was dark outside. We seemed to be by a park. I stood on the sidewalk near a tree. He got out and came over to me. He was so angry. He kept shouting at me while I stood there annoyed with my arms crossed. He was supposed to have taken me dancing but instead all he wanted to do was park and make out. I asked him to just take me home. He was still angry but agreed. “Oh I’ll take you home alright! If that’s what you want!” He said.

We got back in the car and as he drove, he kept shouting angrily. I wondered if he was going to calm down. I didn’t understand why he was so angry. Then all of a sudden I saw a trucks headlights coming toward us, I heard loud honking, and the next thing that happened is we crashed and died. I saw the police tell my parents the news at our front door step that night. I saw my mother cry into her hands uncontrollably. I saw how my dad tried to pull it together but my mom couldn’t. For years she cried and blamed herself for my death. I got choked up and I wanted to tell her not to cry anymore. I wanted to tell her I didn’t blame her. I’m simply impulsive sometimes and don’t think things through all the way. I should’ve listened to my friend. Anyway I didn’t blame my mom and I didn’t want her to cry. It broke my heart. We weren’t very close but I just couldn’t see her cry like that. It still makes me sad to remember. I could see her sitting in the recliner chair in our living room crying. I had never seen anyone cry like that before. It was painful to watch. She was just so broken over my death for so long…

Dr.Elena asked me how I felt living in that time period before I died. I told her I felt excited. My friends were constantly picking me in their car to go have fun. I wanted to have a career in either dancing or being on television. My friends would encourage me. “You oughta do it Dolores! You’re good at it!” I had so many aspirations and dreams right before I died.

Dr.Elena then had me visit a memory from before I died in that life that was meaningful to me. I wondered what I would see. Then instantly I was there…It was my sweet 16 party. I saw everything – The round cake with frosting and 16 candles, the long pretty pink lace dress I had on, my friends being goofballs, 50s music records playing in the living room, etc. What was memorable though was that after all my friends sang me happy birthday, my parents wanted to say a few words. They told me they were proud of me, and they knew I would do big things. They were also proud of my good grades in school. Then they wished me a happy birthday. I got teary eyed because they had never told me anything like this before. I didn’t even know they thought that highly of me.

I was opening presents and one of my guy friends said, “Dolores if you don’t like mine you can return it.” He was teasing me. He had a big smile on his face. I smiled back and said, “Don’t be silly! Of course I’ll love it.” I undid the ribbon from the brown paper wrapped gift. Then I noticed a boy in the crowd. It was someone I had a crush on from school. He looked at me with big loving blue eyes. That night was simply wonderful for me. I continued to open presents. It was mostly clothes. I held a nice cardigan up for everyone to see. I also was given a thin silver watch. I was about to see more but my past life regression was over after that. Dr. Elena brought me out of hypnosis soon after as our time was up.

It makes sense to me now why I love dancing so much and why I’ve been so fixated on the 1950s era ever since I was a teenager.

This was a bizarre experience as part of me was wondering if I made this all up but the other part knows I simply saw the images and information as it was coming to me. I could’ve never imagined all of it as it was things I had no idea about. Also I never would’ve imagined my name was Dolores. Or that my father was white and my mother Hispanic. I kept rejecting the name “Dolores” but it kept being repeated to me until I finally said, “Ok I guess my name was Dolores.” I thought it was a strange name but after doing some research I found out it was one of the most popular names in that time period.

Past life regression is interesting to me and I might try it again on my own. I want to see more things from my life in the 50s. I also want to explore more memories I have with the person I’m talking to.

Anyway back to today (sorry for the side track) I got out of bed, brushed my teeth and then had breakfast with my mom. My younger brother was helping my daughter with the Nintendo switch he got her for her birthday. He’s staying the weekend with us which is nice since we hadn’t seen him in a while. My uncle came to visit too but he was outside working around the house with his portable radio on. He just turned 76. He has the sharpest memory I’ve ever witnessed and he’s more confident than most people. I love those things about him.

After breakfast I sorted through mail which I accidentally let pile up for 2 weeks but most of it was junk so it’s not a biggie. Then I got ready to go to Valencia. I needed to exchange some lululemon shorts and I also needed to pick up my moms prescription.

I drove through the mountains overlooking gorgeous views for an hour listening to classic oldies. It’s so therapeutic for me to drive, listen to music and think about my life.

The exchange at Lululemon was very easy and simple. I had gotten shorts that were too big and Lululemon let me exchange them even though it was after 30 days from the purchase. Wow. I’ll definitely be purchasing more from them. Anyway the sales lady was amazing and quickly brought a pair of black leggings in my correct size and now I have my first pair of classic Lululemon leggings. I know it’s lame but I see other girls wear them at my Pilates class and I really wanted a pair too.

Anyway, I decided to stop at Lazy Dog, the restaurant to grab something to eat. I was quickly seated and a waiter promptly came over to get my drink order and then my meal order. He was a young man in his 20s. He made me laugh when he told me I couldn’t have dessert with my meal. He looked like he was joking but he really wasn’t. No one had ever told me I couldn’t have dessert with my meal. I’ve always done it that way. This waiter told me I had to finish my food first and then he would bring me my dessert. He had a funny way of saying it and I almost couldn’t stop laughing. I had the wok-calamari which is a favorite of mine now, and eventually he brought me my warm apple pie.

I watched “pitch perfect” on my phone while I ate my food. Once I was done I asked for the check and tipped my waiter $12. He was constantly checking to see if I needed something or if everything was good and he made me laugh so I felt he deserved a tip. He was gracious about it, thanked me and wished me a good day.

Anyway as I was leaving, an older man stopped me and told me, “hey cmere.” so I walked over to him and his friend. They were white men in their 60s wearing cargo shorts and polo shirts. They were sitting at a table that faced the one I had sat in. He Introduced himself and his friend and told me they were both watching me and said “we think you’re the classiest lady we’ve ever seen. I just wanted to tell you that and I hope you have a nice day.” Ohmygosh he was so sweet. I thanked them kindly and then left but wow. What a compliment. I’ll never forget it.

Bathroom selfie at the LAZY DOG restaurant

After that I went to the pharmacy inside Albertsons to pick up my moms prescription for progesterone. It’s what her hormone doctor prescribed her. She’s doing so much better lately now that she’s on bio-identical hormones for her menopause. Ive been taking her to a hormone specialist in Santa Monica.

Once home, I had a little bit of dinner with my mom, uncle, and brother. I had already ate at the restaurant but my family wanted me to have dinner with them so I made myself a small plate of food. My mom made my brothers favorite: chili meat, rice and beans. She also made strawberries and cream for dessert. I forgot I wasn’t hungry once I started eating. Everything was so good.

After dinner my uncle wanted to be taken home so we got in the car to make the drive to his home.

Layla & Sophie – I might be putting them into modeling for Disney print work.

I had no idea that my uncle had declared his love for my mom earlier and my mom turned him down saying she could never date one of her ex husbands brothers. She was nice about it but I think my uncle might’ve felt a bit awkward and that’s why he wanted to be taken home early.

I don’t know if we’ll be seeing my uncle very much anymore. It makes me sad because he’s like a grandpa to me but he made things a little awkward now.

Anyway, I stopped at the Fastrip gas station to get gas. When I walked in all this nostalgia hit me. This was the store I always went into as a kid. I used to buy the hot potato wedges after school… I was happy to see they still had them. My brother and our friends used to play on the arcade machines by the entrance. Now lotto machines were there. We used to get slushees. Now they were in the back instead of in the middle of the store. It was a little different but basically still the same. It was weird but nice to be transported back to those times.

Once we got home, I watched part of a new show “I’m not Ok” with my brother Dion before my other brother Damian and his wife came over. My brothers wife is 3 months pregnant so we talked about pregnancy things at the table for a while. Then my brother Damian joined the conversation and we talked and caught up with each other’s lives.

It’s funny because we didn’t grow up being close. We’ve had to learn to build family patterns we didn’t even have. Our parents were well intentioned but there’s was no “Ohana” bonding in our family. I’m honestly proud of how far we’ve come.

After my brother and his wife left, my mom and I sat on the sofa and chatted for a while about my girls trip to Napa Valley next month with my 2 girl friends. We had an amazing girls trip a year and half ago and now we’re about to do it again for my friends Birthday.

We’re also going to Disneyland, Legoland, and a Dodgers game next month as a family. So far a lot of amusement parks and places are only open to California residents this summer due to Covid. That means this is the first summer we don’t have to worry about Disneyland, Six-flags or Legoland being overcrowded. The Dodgers stadium should be back at its full capacity next month when we go (50 thousand people.) I prefer a full stadium though. It’s more exciting.

At 10 pm Layla and I brushed our teeth and got into bed. I told her I loved her and snuggled with her for a while until she finally fell asleep. Then I wrote this blog post.

Tomorrow we have our first family park day. I got Layla and Sophie bikes, scooters, roller skates, kites, bubbles, frisbees, and a bounce ball. I’ve always seen other families do this but our family never did so I decided to start the tradition. I can’t wait for tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

A Private Life

Lately I’ve thought about how private my life has become and it’s something I would’ve never imagined. Will it stay this way? No. Haha It’s about to be very public since my family and I will be venturing into the world of YouTube vlogging (for Layla and Sophie’s channel – my niece and daughter for those not familiar) but I have been enjoying having this new private life lately.

On our way to my aunts house for a birthday party

Im a weird individual – I love privacy but I also love being an open book and sharing my life. For a while now though no one has really known anything about my life except those closest to me. In this modern world it feels a bit odd when no one really knows what you’re up to.

It takes me back to 2010 when cell phones were the norm and yet I refused to have one. I would tell my friends to leave a message for me on my moms cell if they needed to reach me. Even my mom thought that was weird but I didn’t like being accessible. Eventually my parents forced me to get a phone but I think I’ve always enjoyed moments in my life where no one knew anything about me and my whereabouts.

Currently, my life is great and no one even knows it. Isn’t that weird with everyone broadcasting every flex on the Internet? Yet I’ve just been living my life happily without almost anyone knowing. Thinking back though…my life used to be so horrible that I always contemplated suicide. Now I think back and realize I was basically serving a jail sentence for the past 20 years of my life.

Fast forward to this year and it’s one of the best years I’ve ever had. I finally understand so much about life. I understand and know the answers most people ask themselves – why were really here, what our purpose is and what really happens when we die. I’ve had a spiritual awakening in the past year. It’s one of the most beautiful things that could’ve happened to me. Life finally makes sense.

When I was in a religious cult I was told we had all the answers – we were the “superior religion” – but deep down I know we all still had questions unanswered. I know I did. I would write them down to ask an elder later but I felt that it wasn’t right to ask too many questions so I stopped asking. There was a nervous anxious energy in the congregation as we always expected the worst to happen at any moment. I’m amazed at myself to have come so far from that. I feel at peace to finally have answers that fulfill me.

I used to believe reincarnation was the dumbest thing on earth. My mind refused to believe in it as it went against my religious beliefs. We were taught that we “don’t have a soul” (which is unbelievably absurd to me now that I ever believed those lies) and we shouldn’t even utter the word “soul.” I felt guilty if I even used the word casually. Part of me believed we had a soul but I whole heartedly didn’t want to believe in reincarnation because it would mean my religious beliefs were wrong.

I now know we definitely have a soul (I mean duh) and I believe in reincarnation and past lives. It makes more sense to me than anything I’ve ever learned about. I’m glad to know that most of my friends believe in this too. I hope more and more people begin to understand that the soul never dies. It simply changes bodies through each lifetime like changing clothes. Our bodies are a matter of atoms and cells. Once the soul is gone, the body simply decomposes. The only thing that makes a body move and operate is the soul. That’s the energy that moves it and animates it. We are here to learn to let go of ego, pride, anger and all the negative emotions if we are to ascend higher. Otherwise we keep coming back to pay our karmic debts over and over.

I have no idea what I did in a past life – I would like to know and I plan on doing a “past life regression” (it’s hypnosis to see who you were in past lives) but I can already imagine I probably did some things I might not be too proud of since it seems I was paying back for it in this life.

I had the absolute WORST luck for the past 20 years. I mean it was…shit. Like seriously. I could write a whole book on the hell I lived and people probably wouldn’t believe me because it was way more than the average persons bad luck and I seemed to catch no break. At this point I understand I was most likely paying back for something I did.

I’ve always been the kind of person to defend my brothers from bullies in school, give to homeless people, play with children, give money and extravagant gifts to family and friends, and just generally a good person so for a long time I couldn’t understand why my life was shit. I would pray and ask God why I was being punished if I was a good person. I now realize that while I’ve been an overall good person there were karmic dues I needed to pay.

Something funny happened though. Last year things started to shift in my life. Everything was changing and aligning itself. I felt a weight was being lifted off my shoulders. I was talking to a friend about it and she just randomly said “-that’s because you passed the test.” I did a double look at her. My brain wasn’t computing what she had just said. It was just so random and unexpected. She repeated herself, “you passed the test.”

She told me I handled all the betrayal I experienced the years prior in the right manner. She’s an old soul and spiritual. I was a little dumb struck because I was still new to the spiritual world but I knew she was probably right. My life felt like it had been one long exhausting test. To hear the words “you passed the test” was a welcome phrase that brought me relief.

Lately I’ve been experiencing blessings like never before. People wouldn’t even believe it. Only those closest to me know and smile amazed. I now understand the saying “life isn’t fair.” Some seem to have it good while others don’t. It really isn’t fair and at the same time it is. It’s all karma. Either you’re paying Karma or you passed the test. That’s really what it comes down to when people have “good” or “bad” luck.

Lately I feel I can win the lottery if I played in a Vegas casino…but I don’t like to gamble. I might get lucky investing though. I feel that my spirit guides are wanting me to start Investing lately. Sometimes when you’re meant to do something, you’ll get “gentle reminders” over and over.

I love knowing that life is really about paying your karmic dues and everything gets so much easier after you do. My advice: Repair bad relationships, forgive freely, wish well on others, give, donate, help people. Don’t get revenge. Don’t do bad things. As much as people go to church, most can’t seem to suppress their negative emotions towards those they dislike but until they do, they will continue to pay the karma life after life.

My life lately is very different from how it ever was. I wake up each morning around 10 am after a full nights rest, and later have a beautiful brunch with my mom. She fixes the nicest plates – I call her the “Mexican Martha Stewart.” We talk about everything from spirituality, life events, funny things, our family tree, and my love life. I usually make my mom laugh without trying to. I really love our talks. I love how she proudly fixes gourmet meals for us and looks forward to me joining her at the table. She also makes me a green juice and brings it to my bed each morning in a mason jar with a straw. I could say no to the special treatment but…I’m kind of used to it by now to be honest. I feel my mom feels good doing this and I wouldn’t want to stop her from feeling good haha.

Next I usually do some house cleaning, laundry or office work (I pay bills or buy things we need.) Some days we go out to have fun and other days we stay in and watch a funny movie together. We’ve watched “The Hangover” & “21 Jump Street” lately – two of my all time favorites. Most people have never watched a movie with me except my family and they’re used to my reactions but I do have some pretty wild reactions and weird laughs haha.

I recently booked a vacation to Legoland for next month (which we will be vlogging fully – I finally took the plunge and bought the Canon power shot G7 x mark ll camera so these will be quality vlogs) and we’ll be staying at a ritzy hotel with a beautiful resort and pool. I purchased this high waisted Balmain bikini I really had my eyes on since last year. I found one of the last pieces available in my size at a discounted price. Score!

This bikini is literally everything

I need to get my summer body ready though. I would like to say I will stop eating bread and work out like crazy but the truth is I’ll probably just take a bunch of fat burning capsules. I’m just being honest here. If they work I will update in a future blog. No worries though, they are natural and most people think they don’t work but I have experienced that they do work in the past. Let’s see if they still work this time around.

I’ll still do Pilates here and there though since that work out gave me the best butt and legs I’ve ever had. It’s just hard to not eat bread or chocolate. Those are my vices.

Anyway, I’m just happy lately. It’s a peaceful happiness. After the bad life I’ve had Im pleasantly surprised at what it’s become. I enjoy resting, relaxing, dancing, reading, long talks, and going to one of the most beautiful parks I’ve ever seen with my family. I also thoroughly enjoy the views from our windows at home. My moms roses are in full bloom and they look like something out of a fairy tale. I feel like I’m living in a type of heaven lately. A heaven on earth. Something I didn’t even know was possible.

Before my moms roses bloomed
After they bloomed

I’m glad that as bad as my life was I never actually committed suicide because had I done it, I would’ve been stuck in a realm as a punishment and then sent back to reincarnate in a new body anyway. For anyone contemplating suicide: DONT DO IT. You’ll only be punished for it. If you have karma to pay, you must pay it. The lessons must be learned and there are no “short cuts” to take. Your soul doesn’t “end” just because you think you ended it. Pay your dues if you must. Hopefully you have a pleasant experience on earth.

Bag: COACH, dress: TARGET, heels: GUESS

This is no longer relevant to the subject but I just want to end the blog post by saying that for those wondering why I cut my hair so short the answer is simple: I just didn’t want to look like a stripper. I have nothing against strippers but I don’t want to be over sexualized.

Yet despite cutting my hair so short… men still stare at me like animals looking at a steak meat every time I leave the house. So I guess maybe there was no point in cutting my hair so short. Still I personally like it. I think Its because I really hate the idea of being seen like an object, a sex object. Long hair on me makes me look like a stripper and guys have told me I look like a porn star in the past. So in a way I wanted to look “normal”, “average”, and maybe kind of ugly. It didn’t seem to work but I tried. I think I’ll keep the short hair for a while though. It makes me feel good.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

My mom & Sophie outside of Denny’s
Hat, top, shorts: Target 🎯
My mom looked so pretty
Top: TARGET, jeans: J brand
Hat & sandals: Adidas, T shirt: Disney, jogging pants: Walmart
Cardigan: banana republic, dress: Macy’s, heels: Valentino
Top: TARGET, shorts: Nike, flip flops: Roxy, sunglasses: Gucci
Sunglasses: Celine, t shirt: H&M, shorts: Adidas, sandals: Kate Spade ♠️ bag: Coach
Top: Aerie

6 Reasons Why I Won’t Ever Have an Instagram Again

It’s been almost two months since my Instagram got disabled. In that time I realized some really eye opening things.

1. I like to document my life. I always have. It’s just fun to look back on. I used to document it on Instagram but I didn’t feel that I really got the whole story on there. It’s not really possible since Instagram is mostly a place to share pictures not full blown essays and blogs haha. So many times I felt what was portrayed in my pictures wasn’t accurate with what was going on in my life. I would feel frustrated. It just wasn’t the best way to document my life and invest the time into it. Especially since I wasn’t being paid to do it. It also isn’t good for people to look at pictures and compare their lives without really understanding that persons life. It set up that way though when all you see is pictures, small captions and you’re not actually getting to know someone. I don’t blame people for falling into the trap of comparison. It’s almost unavoidable the way IG is set up. I prefer blogging where I can document a day and write down exactly what I was thinking, feeling, what was said and done.

2. I really believe that you cannot keep up with a hundred friends online. It’s too much to watch everyone’s stories and message each other to stay close. I think the most we can realistically keep up with is about 5 friends. I really don’t have time to give 100 people love and attention. It’s unrealistic. However I felt guilty if I couldn’t. I made so many amazing friends easily on IG but then I couldn’t keep up with their lives and it stressed me out. Now I realize that we’re not built to keep up with 100 friends. The max for me is 5. However being on IG makes it nearly impossible to stay at 5.

3. The content on IG isn’t always ground-breaking. I get better content and information from YouTube and TikTok. The only reason for having an IG for me would be to follow pages that pertain to my hobbies like roller skating, doll houses, reborn dolls, and trends / fashion. Other wise I feel that I’m wasting my time and time is precious!

4. I think it’s odd to share your life the way IG has it set up where you get validated with views and likes. On platforms like YouTube, TikTok and blogging I feel that you are more of an actual creator. You’re showcasing a talent. So having followers like or view your content is fitting. However it feels odd that to be validated in the same way on platforms like FaceBook and Instagram for sharing a picture of your dog or grandma. That means your personal life is being assessed by the public and deemed worthy or not. What in the bull crock… I’d rather share family pictures … with my family. If we have a family event and took photos I will send the photos directly to my family through text or a link. It’s more personal and they get to keep the pictures. They also don’t have to awkwardly “like” the picture along with all your other “followers” as if they were a groupie. Cringe.

5. It’s the worst place for couples. Omg. Don’t even get me started. The things that go on with couples on Instagram and Facebook is insane. I don’t blame the couples. I blame the set up. Instagram and Facebook set couples up for failure. You want a good relationship? One or both people have to be off those platforms.

6. Instagram almost seems like a Red light district. Am I wrong ? We all know it’s where the half naked girls are at. Instagram is like driving a car through a city. You have the middle class neighborhood with the moms and babies, the park with the fitness people, the wealthy neighborhood with the designer clad influencer moms, the ghetto neighborhood with the guns, gold chains twerking and rapping, and then you keep driving, take a left, keep going… ok now were at the red light district. Hello booty pics and everything in between. The thing is normal every girls take it upon themselves to be strippers for free on Instagram. It’s mind boggling. I get that they like the attention and validation but it is just the farthest thing from having self respect. Even strippers know to get paid for taking their clothes off. Instagram really outdid itself in getting people to fall for its set up.

In the end, Im no longer the biggest fan of IG. Sometimes I think that my spirit guides and angels purposely had my account disabled so I could wake up and focus on the things that will actually be beneficial in my life. It was a blessing in disguise.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Birthday Girl Fun

I turned 35 last week. Most people feel different about getting older. I embrace it. Actually I feel young. I feel that I’m at my prime. I still look better than a 75 year old (Im just saying) and I now have a lot more wisdom than I had in my 20s. I’m loving it.

This was actually my first celebrated birthday in almost 30 years. My family joined a religious cult when I was 7 years old. No more birthdays were celebrated after that. I was taught to hate them since “God hated them.” They were “of the Devil.” Jesus Christ… I feel bad for who I was when I believed that.

Anyway, I celebrated the girls birthdays recently but I wasn’t going to do anything special for mine. It just felt funny to plan my own birthday when I hadn’t had one celebrated in so long. Layla wasnt going to let me *not celebrate my birthday though. Days leading up to it she kept asking me what I wanted to do for my birthday. She basically made me plan it. She also made me buy wrapping paper so she could wrap me a gift.

The day of my Birthday I woke up and got ready for my early morning self defense class which was great. I received my white belt that day.

After my self defense class, I went home and got “Birthday Ready”. Before we could celebrate my birthday though My family & I headed to a big park for an Easter egg hunt for the girls. The News station had their cameras set up recording the event. A local church was giving out free baskets for the kids and free lunch as well as pictures with the Easter bunny. It was amazing. I couldn’t believe it was free. God Bless the church who did this for the kids. The baskets were filled with so many goodies, and the lunch was amazing. We had hot dogs, chips, macaroni salad, sodas, and beans – the works. A police officer was also at the park and the girls got stickers. I was so happy that the girls were getting the full “Easter Experience.”

I even made a friend while we waited in line for the Easter Baskets. Her name is Kristina. She’s around my age and was standing in front of me with her daughter. We started talking about the event, then we started talking about our lives and then she invited me to her daughters birthday party this weekend. Its so funny how one moment you’re strangers and the next you’re friends. We’ve been texting each other lately and I even got the gift for her daughter already.

Sometimes I think about the cool girls I’ve met inside SEPHORA and MAC and so many other places. They literally would tell me things like, “we should be friends, we should hang out,” and I would decline the offer (nicely) because I was in a cult and I couldn’t have “worldly friends”. It’s nice that things are different now.

After the park, We headed to Beverly Hills to celebrate my Birthday. I chose to have dinner at THE IVY. I had wanted to eat there for so long. Its one of the most IT places to eat at in Beverly Hills. Celebrities eat there frequently, as well as influencers, and of course your neighborly millionaires. Basically if you’re into a fashionable venue, this is IT. Its also one of the only restaurants that has fresh roses on every table, everyday. The food is also good of course.

As we got closer to the restaurant my heart started to race. OMG this is it…I thought. I could see the Valet in front of the beautiful lush restaurant and suddenly I started to feel out of place. I parked my car and waited for a valet to come over. Just play it cool, I thought. I could feel myself get a little nervous. Jesus, it was just dinner but it felt like I was going to prom. The restaurant was just so …out of this world. It was packed with people. Very fashionable people. Very expensive people. I grew up in a small town and worked in a mechanic shop almost all my life so this wasn’t exactly my every day scene. Sometimes I wonder why I get myself into certain situations.

The Valet quickly came over and opened my door. I gave him my car key, thanked him, and headed towards the restaurant. I was overwhelmed by the fashionable women everywhere. I acted cool though. Then suddenly I remembered that I brought my knock-off Bottega Venetta BAG!! And right in front of me was a girl with a REAL Bottega Venetta bag! I wanted to die. She’s gonna know, She’s gonna know, I thought as I tried to hide my bag. You cant hide a Bottega Venetta bag though. They’re too chunky. The saving grace is that my knock off looks almost identical to the real one so hopefully she couldn’t entirely tell. I saw her looking at my bag though as if admiring it as I walked by. I only paid $100 for mine and she paid $4000 for hers. I walked by more fashionable high class women before getting to the waiters who were dressed impeccably and very efficient. They quickly seated us at a table despite the fact that they were full. I had made a reservation before hand but accidentally made it for two people instead of four. Despite that fact, they were gracious to have us seated at a table right away.

All the people around us looked seriously loaded. The girls from the table across from ours were talking about their maids, their businesses, and their chihuahuas. I couldn’t help feeling out of place. However, I liked the restaurant and I was happy to finally try it out.

The woman on the other table had a lot of plastic surgery and was there with what looked like the entrepreneur boyfriend. On the other table was a family that looked wealthy but it was a “quiet” type of wealth. They didn’t bother with designer clothes but they had the manners and facial expressions of wealth. At a table far across was a very elegant woman with her husband. Old money for sure.

Anyway, I started to relax when I realized no one was alarmed by my presence. Some even admired Layla & Sophie’s outfits. Our waiter took our orders and soon came back with our orange juices served in glasses with straws. WOW. bougie. Then he brought out our plates of enchiladas. They were amazing. I ordered a coffee and it was heavenly. The cup was also fantastic. Then he brought out my birthday plate. It had a thick slice of red velvet cake with a huge candle, and desserts on the side. WOW again. My mom and the girls sang me happy birthday and we shared the big cake slice.

The waiter had messed up on my order a few times, but it was nothing too bad. He seemed really grateful that I didn’t make a big deal out of it and I still left him a $20 tip. As I waited outside for the valet, I turned and saw my waiter. He looked at me and clasped his hands together and bowed down a little. I bowed down a little as well and smiled. It was a nice moment.

Then our Valet showed up with my car and opened our doors for us. He was so gracious and wished me a very good day.

As we drove off my mom and I looked at each other. “Well that was an experience,” I said and we laughed a little.

We continued the Birthday fun by going to the Americana in Glendale. There we saw many more fashionable people. It intimidates me a little but I also love it. We went into Barnes & Nobles – this one in particular has 3 floors and a very amazing selection of books and gifts. It also has a Starbucks on the third floor with a very bougie selection of food items that I’ve never seen at any other Starbucks. We had fun picking new books and some toys for the girls.

Next we went into Nordstrom. I got the girls their first pairs of Native shoes. I had seen them before but I never thought much of them until I saw them in person and Layla really wanted a pair. Now I absolutely love them. They’re adorable and great for the outdoors.

Once home, I opened the presents from Layla, Sophie & my mom. Layla made me a sweet card and a beaded bracelet that spells out “BTS” since she’s knows I’m into them (They’re a K-POP band.) Sophie gifted me a journal and a sweet drawing. My mom was excited to gift me something as well. It was Frankincense oil. I was a little surprised. OIL?? for my Birthday? It just seemed a little strange until she explained that its AMAZING for your skin. After she said that, I was on board. YES, that’s definitely a great Birthday gift. She knows me well. I’ve actually been using it for a week now and I can confirm that it really is amazing. My mom wanted to get me myrrh oil but couldn’t find it so she got the next best thing which was the frankincense oil. They both come from olive plants so you can imagine how good they are for skin.

Then there was a letter from my mom.

I read it when I was alone in my room. In it she wrote how much she loved me and how she only wanted good things for me. I will leave out the rest as its a personal letter but it filled my heart with love and healing.

My brother and his wife came over as well with a present for me. My brother picked out a set of lotion, body wash, and body spray from BATH & BODY WORKS. The crazy thing is that the scent he picked out is actually my most favorite scent ever. I’m so happy with the body spray – I take it with me everywhere. I love it so much. Its interesting to me how sometimes other people can gift you things you would’ve never thought of buying for yourself but you end up really loving. Thank God for Birthdays haha.

The next day my nieces came over for some more Easter fun with the girls. I gave Layla and Sophie the Easter baskets I made for them and they were thrilled. I also made lemon cupcakes with a cheesecake frosting. All in all it was a great Weekend. Praise be to Jesus Christ. All things are possible through him.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Healing from the past – FINALLY

I’ve always been about inner growth, forgiving and moving forward in life. However there was ONE thing that had been bugging me for a few years now. The more I tried to ignore it the more it grew within me showing up in an ugly way.

In my family, I have 6 brothers and 1 sister. If you were to ask them they would tell you upfront that I’m “the favorite.” Well Geez Louise, being the favorite didn’t come with too many bells and whistles in this house, I’ll tell you that.

The funny thing about families is all the secrets that not everyone knows. You can be born in the same family and live together at times and still be unaware of many things that go on between family members.

A few years ago… I felt my moms betrayal. I think it’s somewhat more “normal” or common to feel it from anyone else… except your own mother. That type of betrayal just cuts in the different way.

I brought up how I felt about her betrayals a few times over the years hoping for some sort of apology. It never happened. So this sort of hate started to grow despite still wanting to have a good relationship with her. I didn’t even know I had any bitter resentment towards her. For a long time I was unaware of it.

I found myself using not-so-nice tones with her though, and just generally not being very nice – only with her. Well let’s not sugar coat it: I was a b*#@& sometimes. It was like a tiny bitter feeling that grew day by day. I started to ask myself why I was feeling this way. I pondered over it and started to realize that I had not forgiven her.

I brought it up to my friend over lunch last week and she suggested I have a heart to heart with my mom, adding, “-until things get fixed you’re going to continue to have it affect you and you won’t be truly happy.”

That night when I got home, my mom and I had a heart to heart. It started from an argument – she was upset at how I was making her feel because I was unintentionally taking my anger out on her from what seemed like nothing, and then it escalated into me opening up about the past again.

I told her I didn’t mean to talk to her that way or treat her that way but I felt like I couldn’t help it. I was just so angry at her for what she said and did to me in the past but more than anything I was mad that she never apologized despite all the chances I gave her.

I had never seen her cry so hard in my life. It was literally the hardest thing for her to apologize to me… it looked like the apology was stuck in her throat for a while …but she finally did it. She said she didn’t like thinking about the past because it hurt too much and she knew she should’ve done better as a mother to me. She said remembering the past was so painful that it almost felt like death to her.

She apologized for disrespecting me at work in front of everyone when I was running our family business and providing for her. Looking back she doesn’t exactly understand why she acted that way. She apologized for the times she looked me in the eyes and told me she didn’t love me. Twice. She said she didn’t remember that very well but said she didn’t mean it that way. She also apologized and began crying again when she remembered how my dad used to verbally abuse me and she didn’t do anything about it. She said she had a dream the other day that was extremely vivid, “like a movie”, where she saw my dad verbally abusing someone and as she looked closer she realized it was me. She said she woke up and felt horrible because she remembered a time when I was around 18, my dad was putting me down verbally as he always did back then. I couldn’t take my dads verbal abuse anymore so I walked away from him crying. I didn’t know how to stand up to him, so I tried to get away from him but he followed me to my room. She said I went into my closet, sat on the floor in a fetal position crying my eyes out while my dad towered over me and continued to use all his rage to verbally abuse me. I was basically a child. I had no one. The people who I thought were supposed to love me were hurting me. Some people think verbal abuse isn’t “that bad” but it’s worse….10 times worse… than physical abuse.

I had blocked that memory out but I could tell my body remembered because I started to feel unwell when my mom brought it up. My brain was still searching for that memory but my body was starting to react the way it does when it senses danger and I felt my heart rate go up right away.

Basically my body remembered how I felt in that moment. I was screaming for help on the inside. It felt like an emotional murder was happening. The happy innocent child was dying. Obviously a lot of trauma came from those moments that were repeated weekly for several years. I’ve had to do the work as a grownup to repair all the damage. Most people never do the work but I wanted to break the generational cycle.

Anyway, my mom sat across the sofa wiping away tears, saying that she remembered just standing by the door watching it happen and she feels so awful that she didn’t do anything. “She didn’t protect me.”

“I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” she kept saying while she cried uncontrollably.

I forgave her. I told her we were different people back then. All of us. We acted according to our limitations. We’ve grown since then. We need to forgive each other and who we used to be. I don’t judge my parents on who they used to be. I just needed an apology.

My dad called me years ago out of the blue and apologized. He said spending time away meditating by the beach helped him see how he could’ve been a better father and he was sorry that he hadn’t been. I forgave him. He didn’t get into specifics and I didn’t want him to. He knew and I knew.

His life and his new wife in Mexico have changed him for the better. I never thought it would happen but… he’s changed. We get along well now even if we’re not super close.

My dad came over to visit the day after my mom and I had our heart to heart. He visits us every few months. He brought the girls candy, and we sat around and looked at old photographs for a while. My mom gave him a letter from his mom that he had forgotten about. He cried when he saw it. He loved his mom. She died when he was 17 and what kills him the most is that she had something to tell him and he didn’t make it back in time to find out what it was. One day I hope to find out what that was for him.

I made him lunch to take on the road. I prepared stir fry meat, made a strawberry cheese salad, added refried beans, a croissant bread, 3 home made chocolate chip cookies, a bottle of water and a yogurt. He seemed really happy and thanked me twice. I think my dad and I speak in an unspoken language sometimes.

Well after I had forgiven my mom, I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders. We hugged and said goodnight.

I’ve noticed that I am so much nicer to my mom now. It just comes naturally. I think it would’ve killed her to continue to silently live with the guilt and it would’ve killed me to continue to live with the resentment. I’m at peace now.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

I Got A Make-Over

I have a lot to catch you up on.

First however I want to show you the way light comes into my room in the mornings. It’s kind of amazing.

So last week I did a little shopping and I’m going to share my finds because I found some staple wardrobe pieces. The fashion world calls it a “capsule wardrobe.” Basically they’re pieces that you can wear with almost anything and it’s timeless, classic.

I was shopping for Layla and Sophie’s Easter basket goodies (I like to buy and fill their baskets myself) when I came across the most amazing pair of heels inside Macy’s.

I mean look at them. I literally held them in my hands and said “F@$& these are sexy.” Theres a lot of designers coming out with the thong sandal this spring but GUESS takes the trophy in my opinion. They kept the design sleek, sophisticated, comfortable and yet unbelievably sexy. For $69 you don’t break the bank either. It’s a winner. I definitely had to get them. It’s nice that they come in different colors too.

Then I was walking by White House Black Market and spotted this gorgeous magenta dress in their window display. I did a U-turn and walked straight in to their store.

The magenta dress looks divine with the sun hitting it. It’s flowy, feminine and a real show stopper. It makes me want to sing the song “I feel pretty.” It’s also incredibly comfortable and soft.

The next dress is such a classic. It’s a black button down shirt dress. It feels buttery soft and lightweight – perfect for summer. It says: sophisticated to the max but make it fashion. I would wear this to an art gallery show, museum trip, a nice vacation, or casual shopping.

Both dresses are 30% off online right now. You can buy them in store as well – just tell them to price match the online sale and they will honor it.

Next I stopped at Home Goods to see if they had any Easter baskets or goodies but they had zero at this particular store but I found a round mirror for our entry way by Max Studio and It was perfect.

I had been wanting to re-decorate our entry way into something more minimal and modern. Like this:

Next I needed a cool wooden entry table but it took me a few days to find.

I didn’t get these but it’s worth putting in here because If I had a balcony or porch I totally would’ve picked these chairs up. I really like the design.

I ended up finding everything I needed for Layla and Sophie’s Easter baskets at Wal-Mart this year. I’ll be doing a separate blog post on how to put Easter baskets together. I’ll be posting it tomorrow since I know Easter is soon approaching.

So my aunt Cecilia’s funeral viewing was a few days ago.

The funeral viewing was mostly everything my aunt would’ve wanted. Almost all of her family and friends were there, some shared moments and stories about her that were heart felt, other times funny.

My mom, cousin and I walked up to the casket to see my aunt. Her daughters glammed her up, and my aunt looked nice with her jewelry, make up and hair nicely done.

Still it almost feels like you’re seeing a mannequin. It’s no longer an actual living human being. It’s now a body without the spirit. Our spirit is really what makes the body move and come alive. Without it… we’re just…a mannequin. My uncle cried as we stood there remembering her. We talked about how funny she was and laughed.

Almost everyone remarked how funny she was and what a hustler she was as a single mother. She bought a house when her kids were young even though she was shaking inside, not sure if she could handle the payments. She wanted her kids to have a good life though. She sold tea cup chihuahuas and clothes on the side and she made it happen.

At this point I don’t feel sad anymore about my aunt passing. I miss her and wish I could hear her voice and see her but I know she’s ok and that’s what comforts me. She’s with her other family now. She wouldn’t want any of us to be sad. I feel that it’s a matter of time before we’re reunited. Until then I get to enjoy being with my earthly family while she enjoys being with her spirit family. In a way it’s like the movie COCO… yes it’s a children’s movie and some things are added for theatric purposes but there is a spirit world. My aunt is not gone. We’re just in different places away from each other right now.

I sat there listening to stories being told of my aunt and it reminded me of myself. I usually make people laugh without trying to just like she did. I think I got my dry humor from her.

I’m also a single mother and I have always made it happen one way or another for Layla. I’ve sometimes wondered if Layla knows just how much I’ve sacrificed for her. I designed and made her a dream little girls room, took her on more vacations than most adults ever go on, enrolled her in a summer camp, bought her nearly every toy she’s ever wanted and dressed her fashionably since the day she was born. Did I spoil her? Maybe. Then again so did my parents, my siblings and every person who knew her ha-ha. She was bound to be spoiled one way or another. Still she behaves well in public and at home. My parenting style of discipline is very much “Madea.” If there was a Madea school of discipline for parents I wouldn’t just be passing the class… I’d be teaching the class. Just kidding haha. I do love me some Madea though. I think no matter how much a kid is given the most important thing is to teach kids compassion, the value of money, and hard work.

A little “Madea” doesn’t hurt either.

last night Layla told me she doesn’t want to die and stop having her awesome fun life. She also said she wouldn’t want to have another family that wasn’t “strong and brave” like me. I love that she sees me as someone strong and brave. I’m glad I’m giving her the right example. Im also glad she knows I’m doing my best to give her a good life.

“I don’t want you to die and I don’t want to die…” she said softly as she leaned on her pillow last night. “Well, hopefully we’ll live to be 100!” I said optimistically.

“No. Maybe 70 or 80,” she said, “-that’s a good age because that’s when most people die.” I smiled and said Ok.

I showed her pictures of her dad for the first time the other day. Sometimes she’ll make a remark about him so I thought she might be curious. I remember being so afraid of him. I’m not anymore. I laugh now at how young my mentality was back then.

Was I right to keep her from him though? Yes I still believe I was. He trafficked drugs through airports and was unstable emotionally. However he was a person too. I think it’s important to honor people despite their flaws. I’ve learned that no one is entirely a saint nor a sinner. He had a good side too but that didn’t mean he was safe to be around.

The thing about him is he grew up poor in a bad neighborhood with gangs, and a single mother who worked three jobs and never saw him. When she did see him, she was burned out and tired. One day she told him she wished she never had him. She obviously didn’t mean it like that. She was tired and shouldn’t have said that but that memory stayed with him forever. When we were together he talked to his mom on the phone almost every day and he would always send her money. She was his everything but still…the scar remained. He couldn’t trust anyone and he had a hard time feeling valued as a human being. There’s always a back story but like I said…that didn’t mean he was safe to be around. You can love people and feel empathy but you have to put your safety and especially a child’s safety first.

Would I ever let her meet him? That’s questionable. First I don’t know where he is or anything about him. Secondly, even if I did, I don’t know that I would want to establish a relationship between them. If it’s a one time thing…maybe. A relationship? No. My relationship with him was toxic and I doubt it would be different with Layla. However a one time visit would probably be ok with me one day in the future, as long as he’s changed occupations.

Layla’s reaction to seeing him in pictures was funny. She smiled as if she sort of saw herself in him and then she tried changing the subject by saying “That’s a lame hat.” I rolled my eyes and said “Layla that is a nice fedora hat -what are you talking about??” It was just her way of diverting from making it an emotional moment.

She seemed happy though. I think it’s nice to know where you come from and why you act the way you do.

Anyway, I had been wanting a make over for a little while now. I feel different…and I think differently so I wanted my outward appearance to reflect that.

I went with this hair cut Inspired by the character Adele from the new show “behind her eyes” :

I know long hair is beautiful and blah blah blah…but I wanted something cool, sophisticated, put together, sharp, smart and down-to-business. And this was IT.

This hairstyle is not for every face just FYI. Some women look amazing with long hair and some look amazing with short hair. This just works for me.

Trish, my hairstylist of many years now, is absolutely incredible and does any hair style exactly like the pictures I show her. I love seeing her and catching up. She loves business as much as I do so it’s nice to bounce ideas off each other.

Anyway I went in for a massage with my MT the other day and it was an interesting experience…I almost couldn’t believe it was happening. I mean I’ve heard of it… but I just never really imagined being in that scenario. Basically all the signals a massage therapist can give you to let you know “there’s more where that came from”…well, yes…he did that. The thing is I really like my MT but I had to tell him to tone it down. He’s great at what he does, he’s hilarious, and he’s also been a key stone for my life improvement lately but I just don’t want it to go there. I know my sex life and love life are non-existent but that doesn’t mean I’ll go for it outside of a relationship. In my mind everything has a time and a place and this would be extremely out of place.

Does that make him a pervert? Hardly. He’s a person with hormones just like the rest of us. Hes tall, handsome and has amazing long hair. So I’m not exactly “offended.” Anyway I can’t blame him for getting turned on. I just need him to control himself and tone it down. I’ll see him again in two weeks.

I’ll end this post by sharing the before & after of our new entry way:

I found the entry table at another Home Goods store for $250. It was discounted from being originally $499 because it has a few scratches on the top. Nothing that can’t be fixed with a little stainer. Anyway this Home Goods store is bigger than the last one I went to and oh my goodness the selection was incredible! They have such a huge stock of everything to make your home look modern and fresh. The round mirror with the wooden tables are the IT furniture pieces right now. I just need to add a woven basket from pottery barn underneath, fill it with a throw blanket and presto. I find myself walking over just to stare at it because I love it so much.

Favorite show right now is the Netflix series “Holo” (stands for hologram.) It’s kind of cool to think of having a personal friend that’s a hologram… as long as it doesn’t turn on you because you know it’s kind of hard to trust robots.

Favorite song right now is “Are you bored yet?” By the wallows. It’s not new but I just really love it.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Whats re-opening in Los Angeles

I love going out for adventures (as a true Aries) and if you do too, you might be interested in the following list of places re-opening soon in the Los Angeles area (A quick google search will pop up your county.)

AMC theatres should be re-opening March 19-21 with a list of new studio releases – some being from Disney and Lionsgate.

So we could see theatres re-opening by next weekend. Very exciting!

Next we have state parks re opening such as: Death Valley, Yosemite Park, Joshua Tree (EEEK! MY FAVE) Channel Islands national park (Never heard of but will research!) Palm Springs (Major YES) and San Diego Zoo!

Disneyland CEO announced two days ago: they expect to reopen the parks by late April.

As most of us also know some indoor dining will be re-opening as well.

Last but not least “Build ‘N Play Days” In LEGOLAND is also open as of March 7th, 2021. Its only $20 per child/adult and from a YouTube review I just watched it is very much worth it. They have so many places for the kids to explore and you really cant beat that price for a day of fun. Build ‘N Play Days are open from 10 am to 4 pm most days. Check legoland.com for more information.

OOTD: Bag – COACH outlets, sweater dress – AMAZON, boots – STEVE MADDEN

Thanks for reading,

Denise