Life Without Social Media

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Denise

The Napa Valley Disaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well. Life is funny isn’t it?

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

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

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

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

Sometimes being home is actually really nice.

Thanks for reading,

Denise

3 Reasons I’m not a Fan of Influencers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Parcell with her daughter
Elizabeth Johnson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ive also started to wear less makeup recently.

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

My boyfriend likes me better with less makeup too.

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Disney Land vs. Legoland

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Before the roller coaster took off – Layla was scared

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At the French Market

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We watched a live performance by kids Imagine Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We had shaved ice afterwards which the girls really enjoyed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading,

Denise

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

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

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

Human trafficking & appearing on the News

So it all started last Wednesday. I took Layla with me to run errands. We stopped at the DMV but it was closed due to Cesar Chavez Day. We then headed to Home Goods where I picked up a few essentials for our bathroom. Let me just say my local Home Goods is heavenly. They were overstocked with amazing stuff.

At 4 pm I took Layla with me to my first Yoga class. growing up in a cult religion Yoga was “off-limits.” It was “bad.” Many articles were written from our religious leaders to scare us away from ever trying out such a “devilish practice.” Was it devilish though? Well I tried it and it was not devilish at all. I did not have to put my mind in a blank state. It was soothing, and calming. You are connecting with yourself, your body, your breathing, your emotions. It’s very healthy In so many ways. Sometimes I think back at the things I was made to be scared of and I laugh a little.

After We finished our snacks we walked out through the shopping plaza. Thats where things got weird. I noticed two young guys standing in front of a ROSS store (wearing all black) with an older women whispering something to one of them. She walked away as soon I came by. One of the guys approached me and asked me if I had some money to give him so they could get something to eat. He said that he and his friend were traveling from Jalisco Mexico to Colorado but the lady who was supposed to take them wouldn’t arrive until the next day. Everything seemed suspicious. I told him I didn’t have any cash on me and kept walking.

As soon as we left, Layla and I went to watch The Croods part 2 at the movie theatre. It was such a cool experience to finally see a movie at the movie theatre again. I have to say The Croods 2 was hilarious and visually pleasing. I felt that everyone wanted to clap when the movie finished. You could feel the excitement in the room. I should’ve started the clapping for the hell of it. I mean it’s been a whole year since we’ve done this so Hell Yeah that deserves a clap in my opinion.

Well it seems that the guys from ROSS and that lady followed me. After Layla and I left the movie theatre we headed to Walmart since I needed to get some groceries. That’s where things got weird.

It was about 9 pm when I walked into the Walmart with Layla. I felt drugged… as if I was on some sort of cocaine stimulant. I felt overly energetic and loud. Layla seemed to have the opposite effect. She seemed sedated. I had her lie down inside the main part of the shopping cart.

I then ran through the Walmart racing the shopping cart around while talking really fast. I would break the shopping cart if I saw people nearby as I didn’t want to hit them. It seemed like I was nascar driving it though.

I was at the produce section getting lettuce when the guy from ROSS walks straight up to me. He had no shopping cart or items in his hand. He said “Hi how are you?” I leaned in closer to him, squinted my eyes and said “aren’t you the guy from ROSS??!!” I was really hyper. He shrugged a little embarrassed it seemed and nodded yes.

He then proceeded to give me a story on how the police didn’t let them stay at the ROSS anymore and this “nice lady” who was helping them out gave them a ride and brought them to Walmart.

He only made himself look more suspicious. He then asked me for money again. I told him I couldn’t give him any money because my family needed it more. He asked if I had a husband and when I told him no, he asked for my number. I said “Oh No NO no…!! I don’t hAVe timE for THaT!! I have to look after all of my family – definitely not, no! I don’t have time to date!” I was very dramatic without wanting to be. I also felt that I gave him “crazy eyes” a few times accidentally. I was so hyped up and not like myself. He told me I was pretty. “Oh you can find pretty things anywhere,” I told him matter of factly. Then I told him I had to cut the conversation short because I needed to hurry and finish grocery shopping since I had a long way home. He said he understood. I asked him his name. He said his name was Juan. “I’m Denise” I said as I firmly shook his hand and added, “Well take care and good luck on your trip to Colorado!”

He said thanks and told me I was pretty one last time. “Yes thank you! I mean No- I mean thanks !” I said laughing a little. He looked a little weirded out but smiled and nodded before walking away.

I continued to zoom through the aisles with the shopping cart and talk loudly to myself while Layla seemed completely un phased and sedated. At one point I loudly said “DO I REALLY NEED TOMATOES?! … I DONT THINK SO !!!! ….but I do need CUCUMBERS!!!” A lady passing by with her kids, raised her eyebrows and smiled. One of her kids came over and stood right in front of me. He seemed about 17. I was feeling each cucumber to make sure I didn’t take any soft ones and this young kid just stood there making me feel uncomfortable. I started giving him a disgusted look and he finally walked away. Like honey, leave me and my cucumbers alone! This is private. Jesus. He was making it really awkward.

People seemed to think I was funny though the way I talked and ran around the Walmart. I can say I have never acted like that in my life so it was pretty bizarre. I paid for our groceries and then got my self defense tool out before walking to the parking lot with Layla. I didn’t see the guy from ROSS anymore but when I got to my car I saw one guy in his car behind mine and one guy in his car in front of my car. It seemed a little strange but I didn’t pick up bad vibes. I protected Layla by putting the grocery cart in front of her and giving her the weapon to hold. I then put the groceries in the trunk of my Jeep as fast as I could. Looking back I should’ve just had security escort me to my car. Anyway, I got Layla in safely, as well as myself and I locked the car as soon as we were in. I noticed there was double the normal security outside as well as police officers in tan suits. Then again that Walmart is known for criminal activity at night.

Thankfully we got home safe and I didn’t see anyone tail gating or following me. My brother later told me my car door handles could’ve been laced with drugs while I was at the movie theatre.

This incident made me more aware on ways to protect and defend myself. I will be getting my CCW Permit soon to carry a glock gun on me. I’m honestly excited about it. If anyone tries following me around again they’re going to be saying hello to my little friend.

There is also a keychain from invisawear.com that texts up to 5 contacts your exact location. You can hang it on your pants and it looks like a normal keychain. I also like the alarm keychain that makes an ear piercing noise. There’s nothing like the glock though if you ask me. I’m ready to be Laura Croft: Tomb Raider.

The following day I met my friend at a trendy Hotel restaurant. We met when we were part of a pyramid scheme two years ago. Thank goodness we finally saw through it and left at the same time. I met so many great people though.

My friend Esme surprised me with two gift bags for me “just because.” It was so unexpected but also super nice. I was kicking myself for not bringing her something too. It’s really the little things that make the world go round.

We literally spent 12 hours talking that day. She’s PuertoRican and I don’t know what I am except Spaniard-Mexican…but we both talk a lot.

Well we were sitting at the table talking, enjoying our cheeseburgers and cheesecake, when a news reporter comes up to me and asks me if I knew that the First Lady Jill Biden had spent the night in the hotel and had just left. I had no idea. He asked if I had any words with her or any interaction at all. He asked if I had been at her Cesar Chavez event the day before. I had not and neither had my friend. The news reporter was about to turn away when he turned back towards me suddenly and asked, “Can I interview you?”

I was startled but replied “Sure! I just don’t know what I’m going to say.” He assured me that I didn’t need to worry. He would ask the questions and fix it up so we would look good. He asked me to put the microphone piece on my suit blazer and began recording me. Basically I talked about how I noticed Black SUVs outside on the side of the hotel as well as police cars so I figured someone important was at the hotel but I had no idea it was Jill Biden. When he Interviewed my friend Esme he asked her if she was excited to know Jill Biden had just been in the hotel. She replied, “Honestly I was more excited to see my friend…but she did tell me something about some SUVs and I was like, ‘hmm what’s going on??’”

Those were the clips the news reporter decided to put on the news. My friend and I had a good laugh at what we said and the fact that we happened to be on the news so randomly that day.

Truth is though…I don’t like getting into political things because it’s such a touchy subject. I have friends from both sides. Personally though my friend and I like Trump but we’re respectful of other peoples choices. I feel that people should be able to like anything including mustard on apple sauce and people shouldn’t judge someone on their choices. I don’t like the division politics creates.

I also think that Jill Biden is most likely a very nice woman. It was an interesting experience to be on the news. We were a bit nervous but thankfully you couldn’t tell.

As we continued to eat our food, we noticed secret service and military personnel walking out of the hotel.

Also an interesting fact about the Padre Hotel where we had lunch: they say the 7th floor is haunted. Particularly room 704.

Many tragedies have happened at the hotel including fires and earthquakes trapping young children into their premature death. The hotel was bought by a couple of business men from San Diego and began its remodeling in 2002. It was finished and reopened by 2010. It is referred to as a “boutique hotel” and also known as the “gem” of Bakersfield California. As soon as you step inside you know it’s a luxury experience. It’s not just luxury though. They did an amazing job at combining luxury with a trendy modern feel. I wouldn’t expect anything less from San Diego Designers though.

Despite it being haunted I just might go back for the food. Ugh and the vibe. It’s such a beautiful Hotel. They also have a type of night club that might be reopening later this year. I’m somewhat skeptical of going to a night club because of the things that can happen but at the same time it’s on my bucket list as I’ve never properly partied at a night club before and the young person stuck in me wants to live out that experience. I’ll just take my glock to be safe. I’ll be like an undercover party goer. I would obviously not drink or eat anything there unless I see it being prepared and I would never leave my drink unattended. Party rules 101 right?? Ugh. This reminds me… I want to go to IBIZA so bad. That’s big time on my bucket list. Big time big time. Imagine being on a plane with a bunch of friends and hyped up people ready to party?? One can only dream…

Thanks for reading,

Denise

Is anxiety normal?

Is anxiety and fear a normal part of life in the world we live in? I’ve thought about this and realized that it just might be. Of course for each person it ranges. Personally I hardly feel anxiety or fear but I still have the normal doubts and fears about life just like any normal person.

The thing is no one on this earth has it made. I don’t care if they live in Switzerland with the alpacas or if they’re billionaires in Dubai. No human being has it made. In the back of everyone’s mind there’s the fear that whatever we have could be gone tomorrow.

I’ve realized that our existence on this earth isn’t always the most peaceful one but we have to learn to hone that peace in ourselves while we are here.

How? By connecting with our emotional / spiritual side. By feeling our feelings and reflecting on them. By taking control of them little by little. By taking control of our thoughts. Over the years I’ve done things that have helped me in this area. I’ve cleaned my entire inner body. I’ve detoxed my pineal gland, I’ve done a colon cleanse, a gut cleanse (it’s very important to put the good bacteria back in when done!) and I’ve also taken lithium orotate as well as other supplements like kava-kava for relaxation.

I’ve learned to live with the small anxiety and fear that will most likely always be there. Obviously that’s optimal to have only a small amount but it’s taken years to get to that point. It takes self control to master ones emotions.

Sometimes we think that when we reach a certain life milestone that then we will we be truly happy and at peace. I’ve learned that it’s most likely not the case. There will always be a tiny bit (at least) of uncertainty. However life is still wonderful and worth living. You just have to learn to tell those nagging thoughts to shut – the – front – door =)

Anyway, moving on to another subject: I’ve thought about the situation with my massage therapist and I’m going to tell him (the next time I see him) that I only want my back, arms, and legs massaged. Hopefully we can continue to have normal sessions or I’ll have to end it. The thing is I’m not anyone’s play toy…I know I’m giving up the chance to have a passionate sensual experience for once in my life…and who knows it might be stupid to give this up because I might never have this chance again…after all he’s experienced when it comes to the human body and how it works and very few people can say they’re experienced in that department – most don’t know what they’re doing. Heck I don’t even know what I’m doing but I don’t feel I need to since I’m not active in that department. And then there’s the fact that I never go out and meet anyone. but life is a gamble and I’m not willing to be anyone’s play toy. At least I don’t have to worry about catching feelings, STDs, or pregnancy. I know I know… I’m boring. La-dee-DaH.

Anyway, I’ve been reading a book lately about health and wellness and it’s opening my eyes to something quite interesting…a hundred years ago most people’s diets in rural places consisted of a few main things such as milk, eggs, cheese, butter, meat / seafood and vegetables. More or less however they didn’t have many different dishes to eat as we do now. They didn’t have grocery stores or 5 star restaurants. They had the same items they ate mostly every day. You want to know the truly outstanding part? THEY WERE HEALTHY PEOPLE. They had perfect skin, hair and teeth even after having 26 children. They enjoyed their life… that is until western American food and groceries were brought into their village. Their health slowly crumbled after that.

My parents were raised in Mexico and they remember drinking milk straight from the cows, buying vegetables from the neighbors gardens, as well as chickens. Both my parents were incredibly healthy and had 8 healthy children. Then my parents started to give in to the American diet and healthcare in their 30s. My mom got antibiotics a few times, messed up her gut microbiome, and her health began to decline after that. I will be doing a blog post of how to heal your gut as that is one of the main reasons behind so many illnesses and diseases.

I’ve decided that I want to eat like villagers from the early 1900s. I want real milk, eggs, butter and cheese. I want fresh seafood from the port and grass fed beef (my local deli has the best rib eye steak) as well as home grown veggies. I will still eat out as “cheat days” but that will be more of a treat and not an every day lifestyle.

The real minerals and vitamins are in real fat soluble food according to this book I’m reading. I know many gym goers take mineral supplements to aid in muscle repair and while it definitely does it’s job in giving them gorgeous health (minerals aid in healthy skin hair and eyes) Id rather get the minerals from the real food source. I will most likely still supplement with minerals but my main focus will be actual real food. I will be updating how that journey goes.

I signed up today to get self defense classes from a tae-kwon-do instructor. He’s been Layla’s instructor since last summer. This year, with the job field I’m getting into, I decided I need to have a good self defense technique – just in case. I’ll be going into peoples homes as part of my job, by myself. Mostly I think I should be ok, but just in case I ever get a weird one, I feel better knowing I can defend myself.

I think the instructor has a crush on me though. He’s been giving me free classes since last year, to “try it out” and when the trial period is over he extends the free trial period. I’m just glad I’ll be getting lessons from one of the best instructors in the area. I have my first self defense class tonight and I’m pretty excited.

A few days ago Layla & I ate at Hook Burger and it was so nice to finally dine in again here in California. The customer service was phenomenal as well as the food. definitely recommend.

I’m loving the matching sets right now – this one is from Target and it was $30 for both pant and sweater. The sandals are Adidas (from last summers collection.) with Target you kind of have to get there first because their great items sell out fast and they’re usually limited in quantity. Once they’re gone they’re usually gone. This purple sweat suit set is perfect in color and even more perfect in texture – it’s the softest thing In the world. I will not be putting it in the dryer because it might ruin it. I’ll just run it through the washer machine and hang it up to dry in the bathroom. I want it to last for as long as possible. I’m literally so obsessed with good clothes haha.

Favorite song right now: “Jenny (I want to ruin our friendship)” by Studio Killers

I love music and I pride myself in having the best playlists. I just might share my Apple playlists soon.

Thanks for reading,

Denise