Category Archives: Photography

Summer of Love

IMG_5025 I had no idea I was going to come back from Kauai an engaged women, but here I am here writing about it now. Who knew if it would ever happen I am almost 40 after all! ūüôā I couldn’t be happier and I’m so lucky to have found someone who truly accepts and loves me for me. My craziness and all. ¬†At the half mile mark of the Kalalau trail, Monday June 22nd, the second day of our trip; I said yes to a proposal on bended knee from the love of my life, my best friend Blake.

We were in Hawaii for a family trip to celebrate the graduation of Blake’s niece’s from high school. I have been to Maui once before but this was my first time in Kauai. I wasn’t sure what to expect as several people told me it was pretty laid back with not much to do. I think that’s exactly what I needed because I had a great time! Our first day was pretty chill. We met up with friends at Puka Dog my new favorite, then hung out at the beach for a bit.¬†IMG_4814

Okay so let’s get back to Puka Dog. I’m not really into hotdogs much so I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it. Well, I loved it! The way they cook the “dog” along with the garlic and my choice of relish which I chose coconut ; was amazing. We ate it twice it was so good. As I’m writing this I’m bummed that I can’t have one right now. Please bring this to California asap!

We had an awesome condo in Poipou which was our home for the week. I was afraid of spending way too much money in Hawaii so having a fully stocked kitchen was one of the great amenities they offered. Of course we went for some lunches and dinners out, but it was nice to have groceries at least for breakfast and snacks. Most of our evenings were pretty mellow as everything shut down pretty much around nine. We either played dominos with the family or spent time relaxing and watching movies. Honestly you get so tired from spending a lot of your day doing something in the sun, all you want to do at night is relax.

There were some activities we planned ahead of time but mostly we just wanted to do whatever we felt like doing and not plan too much out.  We were going to a theatrical luau one night and tubing the next day. I was really looking forward to both. The luau was at a Plantation near Poipou and about 1000 people were there. It was such a nice evening and perfect weather with just a little bit of drizzle, but we were under a huge tent anyway. The food was served buffet style along with the pig and all which I did not look at as they brought it outside for everyone to see. Yuck! They had a few jewelry and handbag vendors outside before dinner was served and I found the cutest couple of bags. Score! Oh and every single person at our table was from southern California. All and all it was a great time.

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The tubing adventure through the old sugar canals was a pretty rad time except for the van ride up there. Due to lack of roads, let’s just say it wasn’t a good time for me. I did recover though and ended up having a lot of fun.IMG_5027Many days were spent lying around on the beach, snorkeling, hiking up the Napali coast and taking a few drives and taking in the beautiful scenery. We learned our way around as the island as it’s pretty small anyway, and had our little local market we would visit frequently. I think we got pretty comfortable with our surroundings, rooster and all and it wasn’t easy to leave. ¬†I would definitely visit Kauai again I think it has a lot to offer. It will forever hold a special place in my heart for many reasons and I’m so beyond grateful to my new family that I was included in this family trip and was and always am treated like I’m one of them.

 

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Happy new year! Am I too late?

 

Yeah yeah a little late I suppose but hey; it’s only the beginning of February so not too bad. I don’t make “resolutions” really because I think you’re setting yourself up for failure; but I do want to make some changes this year to better myself. In reality; I think of these things every day but feel like I just don’t have enough time. Or I forget. Either way. I always say I’m going to write more often but yet my last post was long ago. Like my boyfriend says; everyone procrastinate’s in their own way. This blog is something I love to do and something I just need to make the time for. Even if two people read this I’m happy. So whatever you have a passion for…DO IT.

I know my life isn’t over at 40 or anything, but since this is my last year in my 30’s; I want to really make it count and just not let time pass me by. Sometimes I feel like I don’t do much except for work and watch tv, but when I look at all my photos I realize I do have a life! Haha. For this year though I want it to be healthier, happier and explore new and exciting places and do or see things I haven’t seen before. It doesn’t even have to be traveling for example. Though traveling around would be awesome, it’s not reality as I have bills. I work every other weekend and oh I don’t make enough money. Sound familiar? There are so many things my city and state have to offer that I want to begin to take advantage of. I have lived here most of my life and there are so many places I haven’t been to and so many things I have yet to see. The timeless phrase “stop and smell the roses” is what comes to mind. It’s so true. Sometimes we just need to take a breather and realize how privileged we are and to really enjoy this one crazy life we have and make the most of it. Life doesn’t always turn out like you thought it would and maybe you didn’t follow your dreams but it’s never too late. You never know how long you will be on this earth. The sixteenth anniversary of my mom’s passing was on January 30th. She passed away when she was 50 years old. I miss her so much every single day. She was young and full of life. Always happy. She was someone who always lived her life to the fullest. Everyone loved her. I want to be more like her. She was most amazing woman I have ever known. ¬†She motivates and encourages me. Now and forever.

Starting this month I challenge you to do one thing each month for the rest of the year that you haven’t done before. Maybe a hobby like snowboarding or something new like going to an art show. Or take a little road trip to explore new places. Do something out of your comfort zone. Who knows; you may enjoy it and find a love for something new. I started this last month with a few new things and I’m very excited to make the rest of the year a great one!

January was a super busy month. I wanted to start the year off right. New years day we started off by bowling with friends and that’s where my fun new year began! Among other things; the two new things I did was going to Huntington Library and the Freak show in Venice Beach, CA. Yes I watch the reality show on AMC and I really wanted to go. ¬†So I did. My boyfriend suggested it, actually both things. He makes me happy. Anyway; I knew who everyone was there by first name and about their lives. Ha! ¬†So back to the garden…The Huntington Gardens and Library were beautiful although there’s not many flowers blooming in January so another time of the year may be a better time to go. The admission is pretty, pretty, pretty steep. $23. Ok not a ludicrous amount but still. To look at plants and such just seems a little high. I mean there’s no rides or anything not even a tram j.k, but overall it was a great, nice, mellow relaxing type of experience. ¬†Well except for all the walking. I was pretty sore for the rest of the week. Gosh I’m getting old. Let’s add workouts in for this year reminder to self. Ok back to my weekend. We went to Venice Beach the next day to see the freaks and the freaks, and more freaks. Did I say freaks? It was much smaller inside then it looks on tv and they have much less stuff there to look at than I thought but I still loved it. Hey it’s only $5 bucks so that’s a great deal anyway for a little freak action. ¬†I have been to Venice a couple of times in my life and didn’t care for it really but actually had on great time on this day. Watching the kids skate at the skate park and adults roller dance was an entertaining experience. Especially the roller dance dudes.

I generally go to shows often especially to see Skapeche Mode and Slippers. Yeah my boyfriend is in both of those bands so there’s that. They both played last month, twice for Skapeche Mode, which I got to check out at The Echo in L.A. which I have never been too before. They also played at House Of Blues in Anaheim. Seems like they play there every couple of months or so. It always a great time there. Check them out if you haven’t already. The¬†Slippers played at Alex’s bar. We also checked out the Depeche Mode tribute band Strangelove at Slidebar in Fullerton on an early Sunday night. It was a busy month for music!

It was¬†beautiful sister Tiffany’s birthday as well as many of my friends. Kirsten had a rad Goth birthday party. Seemed like every day one of my friends had a birthday. So happy birthday all you January babies! My cousin Drea got married; I couldn’t make it but Congrats Drea and Joe. Oh and I got a haircut for a fresh start! Happy new year everyone. I hope you’ve had a great year so far and continued happiness for the rest of the year.

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Weekend of the crop top.

Since Thursday was my day off; I figured I would start the weekend then, even though I did have to work Friday. I made a decision¬†in the beginning of the week that it was going to be a good one and I was going to have a fun time no matter what, and it all started with a crop top. Crop top you ask. I made a conscious decision that I was going to have a good time and I felt like i wanted to wear what i want and not worry about it. Usually I think too much about how i look, if my tummy looks poochie, if I’m thin enough, too old, etc. Then it hit me. Know one cares. I worry too much. After all I visit Disneyland a lot so I see what a lot of the general public wears and it’s not pretty! Speaking of Disneyland; I was waiting for my good friend to pick me up and whisk me off to our Disney adventure! Both of us have season passes so why not. I usually visit the park at least once a week, sometimes twice. Yes I’m getting addicted. Anyway, so our plan was to get on a few rides, see a few things, eat and go to Downtown Disney to watch Maleficent. I have been wanting to see it for a week now. Seemed like I was the only one who hasn’t. So we did just that. The park wasn’t too crowded, especially since a lot of schools are already out. I thought it would be worse.

After a few rides and a quick meal in Downtown Disney, we sat down for Maleficent at the theatre there. I have to say I was little disappointed but it didn’t think it was terrible. Maybe I expected too much because I heard it was so good from many people. I just thought it was a little slow and they could have done a better job with the story line. I did like looking at Angeline Jolie though as I thought she looked amazing as always. Then I headed home¬†to watch the San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat! What a great day.

Friday after work it was right on to Orange is the New Black season 2. So excited. Fast forward to right this moment and I’m currently on episode 6. I would have been further along if it didn’t stop freezing. Netflix does NOT stream well through my blu-ray player ugh. It’s hard to watch anything! Anyway I got lunch at Mother’s Saturday afternoon with my roommate, then met up with friends for some appetizers and cherry coke’s! Followed by more Orange… I love it so far. It definitely doesn’t disappoint. Two more days and I will probably be finished. And then what?

Sunday funday was spent with my friend Kirsten at Oc Weekly Summer Fest at the Newport Dunes in Newport Beach, Ca. Great bands played like Allensworth, The Debonaires, and The Aggrolites. I ran into a great friends from high school that I haven’t seen in 20 years! Overall it was pretty chill there, not too many people, nice day, good music and some food trucks. I just feel like it could have had a little more. I’m not talking about a huge festival and tons of venders or anything like that. I like the small feel but there was about 5 food trucks which is pretty good for the amount of people there and a few little vendors with some swimsuits and clothing but nothing exciting. There could have been more stuff to do. Something to make it a little more fun. Maybe some type of contest or competition and more stuff to at least look at. Overall, it was a great day. Aside from my Spurs losing to the Heat; but enough about that.

Happy monday everyone and I hope you all have a great week!

 

Here’s to 2014!

Happy 2014 everyone! Yes it’s a little late, I know. Last month was just a bit crazy for me so I just didn’t get a chance to write. Last year had it’s up’s and down’s like I’m sure many of you experienced; but this year looks promising and I’m looking forward for what’s to come. I’m going to be positive and happy and deal with whatever life throws at me. One thing I’m going to change this year is writing more often. I love writing and getting my thoughts out no matter how many or few people are reading this.

I’m going to change it up a bit. Instead of writing about completely random things; I’m going to focus more on skincare, make-up, fashion, beauty and topics for the ladies in general. I hope you guys will post your opinions because I would really love your feedback. I want this to be a place we would are able to share all of our opinions, ideas, where to buy, what products we like, etc.

I’m really happy and appreciative you are reading this and I hope you like and share!

Here’s a look back at 2013. Enjoy.

Que sera sera,

Pony

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No Doubt; Jimmy Kimmel was awesome!

IMG_4059¬†I was pretty¬†bummed when I missed No Doubts seven night stint at Gipson amphitheatre ; so when my friend Katrina invited me to see them on Jimmy Kimmel Live, let’s just say I was ecstatic. This was my 21st No Doubt show and it never gets old. The first time I saw them was in 1992, 21 years ago. Wow how time flies. Anyway, this was the first night in 2013 Jimmy was back after winter break and now beginning at 11:35 to compete with Jay Leno. Jennifer Aniston was the guest and it was her first appearance as well. It was a huge premier and I got to be a part of it thanks to my friend Katrina Kinzler! You’re the best!

I arrived at the show about 4:45 and waited less than ten minutes to get into the green room with no problems. Perfect. There were people who had been waiting outside for about 6-8 hours just to see No Doubt. Luckily I was not one of those people. I’ve done that before and it’s not fun. I waited for hours in 2009 to see Depeche Mode at Jimmy Kimmel Live as well. In heels. Not fun…but, worth it in the end. So back to the green room.. Since I was there alone at this point; hanging around a bunch of people I didn’t know was a little awkward and I felt out-of-place. ¬†I basically just stood against the wall and people watched. None the less; it was cool being there. The green room is pretty small and was very crowded. There’s a few couches, TV’s, a bar, pool table and arcade games. They served finger foods as well which was good because I was starving at that point.

Not long after I was there my roommate arrived so I was no longer alone. Yay me! We hung out for a while, mingling, meeting new people and watching Jennifer Aniston on the TV’s until we were told to go outside to set up for No Doubt. Yay it’s time! As we were walking out Katrina had just arrived and was right there waiting. Perfect timing, let’s go to the show! We were able to watch the show from the stairs. We had a perfect view with no one blocking us as we can see over everyone’s heads. Anywhere you stand there did have a great view though since the area was very small. Everyone was pretty close to the stage no matter where you were. Here comes No Doubt!

Firstly they performed two songs to record for the show, which were Push and Shove, the title track to their new record, and Hella Good from 2002’s Rock Steady. Then they played six more songs for the fans! Sweet, a little mini concert. ¬†They were amazing as always. Super fun! I didn’t want it to end. After the show we went back to the green room to hang out and chat with friends and make new one’s. I ended up getting a picture with one of my favorite people Adrian Young and of course Mrs. Gwen Stefani herself. I also would like to say that the staff at Jimmy Kimmel Live is great and everyone is very nice. Especially my friend Tad! Great night.

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An evening at the DrisKILL

I have always been¬†fascinated¬†by ghost stories so when I got the chance to stay at The Driskill Hotel in Austin, Texas, I couldn’t pass it up. It’s said to be one of the most haunted places in Texas if not the country. What’s weird about it is that I have been afraid of ghosts my entire life. I remember as a little girl I would keep the covers over me as I was going to sleep, sweating, thinking the covers would protect me. I guess it’s just the curiosity and wanting to know if they actually exist. I think most people believe they do but there’s always¬†skeptics¬†of course. There’s always an explanation for everything right? ¬†I watch all of those ghost shows and they never really see or hear much of anything but that’s not the case here. Let me first give you a brief history of the hotel.

The hotel was built by Col. Jesse Driskill, a cattleman who spent his fortune building this hotel. He actually only had the hotel for about a year; losing it in a game of poker to his brother-in-law; the second owner. Originally the hotel was four floors and 60 rooms. Of the 60 rooms there were 12¬†corner¬†rooms with¬†their¬†own restrooms which was not common at the time. The rest of the guests shared a community restroom. Today there are 189 guest rooms with a new 30 story tower that was added in 1930. Well I guess it’s not really “new” but they call it the new tower.

In 1934, future President Lyndon Johnson¬†met his future wife, Claudia Taylor, for their first date at the Driskill dining room. The Johnson’s continued a lifelong love of the Driskill, and stayed there dozens of times for the rest of their lives.¬†It became his campaign headquarters during his congressional career especially during his famous 1948 Senate race, and became a favorite place on return trips to Austin during his presidency. He watched the results of the 1964 presidential election¬†from its presidential suite and addressed supporters from its ballroom after his victory.

So let’s move on to the scary stuff. The Driskill is said to be haunted by many ghosts but there are a few ghosts that people report seeing quite often. When you check into the hotel, they hand you with a fact sheet at the front desk that contains many ghost stories. They are true stories not urban legends. For some reason I didn’t take the sheet home with me. Maybe¬†subconsciously¬†I thought if I took it home the ghosts would follow me there. Or I just forgot. Either way.

One of the true stories on the fact sheet ¬†is about Samantha, the daughter of a senator who was living at the hotel in 1887 while the Texas senate was in session. ¬†She fell to her death while chasing a ball down the grand staircase.¬†Her death was the first at the hotel. Within a week she was seen back running around and playing. Her spirit was the first recorded at the hotel.¬†She is seen and heard bouncing a ball haunting the first floor lobby, the ladies bathroom on the second floor near the bar, and along the stairs leading to the mezzanine. ¬†She has also been seen and heard haunting the hallway where her painted portrait hangs, and shakes the doors of the Yellow Rose Suite which is near the painting. ¬†I personally spoke to a lady at the front desk who has seen her many times. ¬†She says at first she was very frightened but then realized she wasn’t evil and wasn’t going to hurt her so she just got used to it. That’s basically the ongoing theme at the hotel. She is also said to be very mischievous as are the other ghost in the hotel as well.

Another true story is the “suicide bride.” A Houston socialite was left up by her fianc√© ¬†in 1989 ,so she decided to steal his credit cards and head off to Austin for some r&r at The Driskill. She was last seen coming out of the elevator with an armful of shopping bags, heading to her room. Room 29 on the fourth floor. After not being seen for 3 days, the hotel staff went to her room to check on her. They found her in the bathtub. She shot herself by in the stomach through a bed pillow. She is seen often by guest coming out of the elevator with her shopping bags and it’s reported that she actually answered a guest once that asked her a question. They obviously thought she was a “person” not a ghost when speaking with her. The room was closed for years and the bathtub sealed up. They had many problems while trying to restore the room. The walls had to be painted 4 times because the painted kept peeling off. When they un-sealed the bathtub there was crystal clear water. The tub hasn’t been used in years.

While speaking to the hotel manager, he informed me that just a few weeks ago during SXSW, two women checked in and said they heard the hotel was haunted but didn’t want to know anything about it. They didn’t want to read the fact sheet nor did they want to hear any stories from anyone. It made them feel very uneasy. Soon after checking in the girls informed the front desk that there was a man who passed them in the hallway dressed in “vintage” clothing that didn’t say a word and just had a weird feeling. The manager takes out the fact sheet, flips it over and says ” you mean him?” The story about him and his story¬†was right there on the page that they knew nothing about. Also while speaking with a housekeeper, she stated that about a week ago someone checked in the room we were standing directly in front¬†of and was startled when they opened the door to their room and found a man sitting on the sofa. They quickly said sorry and shut the door and went to the front desk to inform then that someone is already booked in their room. They said no there isn’t and walked with them to their room to find nobody there.

After speaking with many of the employees from the front desk to the housekeepers; they all stated they have at least heard things and have seen lights turning on and off. Many of them have actually seen ghost as well. They all say they aren’t scared and it’s no big deal. You just get used to it.

Friday night March 30th, 2012. My friend Markelle booked a room for Saturday and Sunday night, to attend a wedding here. ¬†Friday night she stayed in the Cattle Baron suite with the bride and other guests. This is said to be one of the most haunted rooms at the hotel and right outside of the room are the stairs where Samantha died. She slept about an hour that night. ¬†Her along with about six other people went exploring on the 4th and 5th floor which are the only floors with rooms in the original hotel. As they were walking toward the Yellow Rose Suite where the portrait of Samantha hangs, the double doors of the room began to shake¬†like¬†someone was trying to open them. It stopped then happened again. ¬†Then they heard a girl’s voice say “who is it!” As they were basically screaming, the housekeeper that was walking down the hall was laughing saying, “don’t worry, she won’t hurt you, she’s just playing with you.” ¬†Yeah no biggie… Saturday¬†morning, the shoes left by her bed and the room key left on the corner of the desk were missing. ¬†The group headed to breakfast. When they arrived back to the room, the shoes and the key were in the same spot they left them the night before. As Markelle was explaining this to the manager; he said oh yeah they are very¬†mischievous. They move people’s items around all the time it’s normal. ¬†Normal?! So anyway, we did not stay Sunday night. ¬†They let her cancel with a full refund with no problem! WOW! They said they understand and it happens all the time. The manager said some people are just really sensitive to these things and can’t handle it. I still can’t believe they refunded $350 with no problem. Oh yes this hotel is pricey.

Sunday morning after we checked out we decided to explore and take some photos. We were told most of the activity happens at night but the halls were still very creepy. It’s such a weird uncomfortable feeling being in there. You feel like you’re being watched. It’s hard to explain. It’s just a fear that overcomes you. I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked to because my phone was almost dead but I got some good ones of the fourth and fifth floors. I’m planning on visiting again soon and will definitely take more and post them.

Though The Driskill is not modern or really my style; it’s pretty amazing and something you should check out if you have the chance. You feel like you are stepping into the 19th century. Like I said earlier it’s pretty pricey and I wouldn’t stay there again due the fact that I was too afraid¬†to sleep but get a few friends and go on an adventure. If anything it’s very interesting. The staff is pretty amazing as well.

Comment? Questions? Please ask! Thanks for you support.