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

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