Celebrating My Friends Birthday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My friend would make such a pretty bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Denise

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

What I’ve Learned about Healthy Relationships

Last year I had my last toxic relationship. I smile when I think about it because I picture myself kissing it goodbye with a big smile. I learned the knowledge necessary to stop the cycle from being repeated all through out my life.

Many people are born into toxic environments/ families and it’s what they’ve been conditioned to accept and even crave. It’s what’s “comfortable.” I was raised in a dysfunctional family as many people are. In the past year I had to learn to re-program what I’m attracted to.

After that toxic relationship was over I went into a healthy relationship – the healthiest one I’ve ever had.

I ignored this new person at first even though I thought he was nice and handsome – he has amazing green eyes and the sweetest smile. I just wasn’t ready to jump into a relationship though. Anyway, he persisted and eventually after about a month and a half I finally started to see him differently.

The truth is I needed the love and affection he showered me with. I just didn’t know how to accept that love. I also didn’t know what it felt like to be truly adored but once I did…It changed me. Let’s just say you can get used to a good thing.

I was covered in all these warm happy feelings consistently for months – this is “the honey moon” period of healthy relationships. There were no mind games, just love, honesty, friendship, and laughs. Everything was so transparent, and easy…I felt safe with him from the start. I’ve always known that I could be myself around him. If anything he matches my weird haha.

For months we were blissful. At times I felt weird though. “Why is everything so…calm ?” I wondered. “Am I not in love ?” I questioned myself. I almost wanted to end it. I was so used to the highs and lows of toxic relationships. I had to keep doing self work and learn to accept that healthy relationships look and feel different. I had to fight the urge to run.

It’s been over half a year and we still talk every day. I love this person so much…like I “wuv” him ha-ha. He’s one of my best friends but we can’t be together. The factors that keep us from being together are out of our control (religion and distance.) Recently he told me he would propose marriage if distance wasn’t an issue. Religion is a big factor too. Still, he taught me what it is to have a healthy relationship. I can’t ever go back to a toxic one after knowing what a healthy relationship is like.

He taught me how important it is to be friends first. He didn’t rush in, he took his time, and let the friendship blossom. We didn’t say anything about liking each other or sending sexy emojis until months later. We just talked daily and enjoyed our friendship. It was one of the most beautiful experiences I’ve ever had.

We both know the most we can offer each other is friendship and for us that’s good enough. I’m his happiness and he’s mine. The only reason I would stop communicating with him is if I got in a serious relationship or the person Im getting to know wants to be exclusively dating. Otherwise I don’t see a reason to cut off ties with my best friend. I have never cheated on anyone in my life and I never will. So if I had to stop talking to him I would. The thought of not talking to him makes me kinda sad though. I know it makes him sad too. When we went on a little break a few months ago, he nearly lost his mind and didn’t care if I knew it. He sent me the cutest video. I cried while brushing my teeth. We were both heart broken. We’re better when we talk to each other. Life just feels right that way.

I can’t speak for everyone, I can only speak for myself since I’ve already done so much of the inner work which has allowed me to be open to giving men a chance even if I don’t feel that I’m really “into them.” I know that my feelings can change or evolve with time. I realize women who haven’t done the inner work will find it hard to be friends first and that’s really a shame because friendship is the base for everything.

I’d rather enjoy people’s personalities and vibe with them as friends first instead of being so caught up in where a relationship is going or jumping into it too fast. Actually I think the worst thing anyone can do is go too fast.

People (in the U.S. primarily) are so afraid of being “friend zoned” and that’s a legitimate fear because many men and women will ignore someone who is too good to them, due to a dysfunctional upbringing. That’s why it’s important to reprogram our attachment styles and what we’re attracted to. Otherwise the dysfunction keeps going around in loops. We have to normalize being friends again.

I don’t believe you can find love on a dating app because respectable high value people are usually not on those apps. Men (and some women) use them as hook up apps – not “dating apps.” Real love doesn’t start on an app where people are lined up like animal cattle basically saying “pick me, pick me!” Or “swipe right on me!” It’s just not organic. There is always the exception but for the most part these are not dating apps…they are hook-up apps.

So where do you find respectable high value people? Anywhere really. The question is actually more so: Will you be the one to say hello first ? a lot of people have too much pride and fear of rejection to initiate a simple conversation. In reality it just takes saying hello and making a little conversation with people when you go out. Smile. Say something nice. It really doesn’t take a lot to get the ball moving. There’s no harm in wanting to be friends.

Things I think people should stop doing: friends with benefits. Why is there benefits when they haven’t been earned? From what I hear women aren’t even “pleased” properly or at all in these interactions. Are they really even friends? Most of the time: No. it’s the most absurd arrangement I’ve ever heard of. Something my dad told me when I was young was: never take crumbs from a man. Being friends with benefits is definitely crumbs. I can’t think of a “crumb-y-er” thing. No pun intended.

Number two. I wish people would stop idealizing and fantasizing a person before they even really know them. That’s probably the fastest way to “miserable town.” As much as you want to imagine how great your life can be with someone, stop and remember that they are a normal flawed person. Until they prove what they can actually do for you don’t ever put them on a pedestal. I wouldn’t put them on a pedestal even after that…but I would probably give them a hug. I’m kidding I’m kidding. (I have dry humor haha.)

Lastly, don’t kiss anyone right away. The chemicals that get released from kissing will make you think you like that person more than you actually do. You want to make sure you actually like each other.

Also worth mentioning…So many people are frustrated with the dating scene lately and sort of welcome the idea of arranged marriages. These are arranged not forced meaning both people agree to the marriage.

The downside of arranged marriages is obviously that you won’t get to know each other very well until later on in the marriage. For me that doesn’t work. I want to make sure it’s my best friend before agreeing to something like that. I also want them to earn my love and body. I wanna see that work being put in haha.

For a lot of people though, their dating problems would be solved easily if they focused on being friends. Maybe I should start a work shop where I teach people how to reprogram their toxic tendencies, unblock their chakras, and learn to start a relationship as friends.

I hope in the future I can help people with their dating troubles. The world needs it.

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