A breath of fresh air

I’ve been feeling off for weeks now…lingering chest pain and teeth inflammation scare. I finally made an appt and went to the dentist today. As it turns out, it was nothing serious. I just needed that reassurance. And just like that…a sigh of relief. As always a trip to the dentist…means hanging out with my sister afterwards…cause it’s in Midtown. Going to my favorite clothing boutique, Cuffs, and, of course, getting Jasmine or Roasted Oolong milk tea sans boba at Bober Tea is a must-have! Also took the chance to walk around midtown and taking pictures against the fall foliage and autumn harvest.

I also did some product photography for new items in my shop! Woodland Fox Ornaments!

We all need that…just a day to revitalize our spirit and to enjoy life in its simplest moments.

Trip to Yucatan Peninsula and beyond

Cancun, Mexico has always been on my dad’s bucket list, but never on mine, since it just reminds me of Spring Break. But, when my little brother asked me if I want to go to Cancun for a week at an all-inclusive resort, flight/room/food included, in the price…I was like why not? I was itching for traveling again. These last two years of COVID (and ongoing) has put a damper on traveling. I didn’t realize my passport expires this year, one month after our trip…but phew, what a relief, because I didn’t check before I bought the non-refundable flight tickets lol. We stayed at the Riu, Palace Peninsula in the Hotel Zone of Cancun. I would definitely recommend this place and would come here again to stay. Lots of restaurants to choose from, clean rooms, spa, and beach and swimming pools right in front! On our first day there, we got off the plane at 6:30 am so we headed to our hotel, which is only a 35 min drive from the airport via taxi. It was about $45 (tips included) and three of us…so the best option. We couldn’t check in til 4 pm so just left our suitcases at the bellhop and lounge around the resort. Lol…in hindsight, if we didn’t have to wait around til our room was ready..we wouldn’t have the chance to use the day beds and hammocks that they have outside the hotel! It was so hot and humid there already in the morning. So, that didn’t exactly entice us to use it for the rest of the stay, lol. And that was the first and last time we used the hammock on our trip. Note: the “wading pool” isn’t exactly the place to rinse your sandy toes…they have a shower area for that. LMAO. It’s purely decorative. So we were told after the second time we went there to wade through. In our defense, there were already sand in there and a path that leads to it. LOLOLOL. That will make me laugh for years to come. Stupid Entitled Americans.

Right in front of our resort!
One of my favorite dessert from the Italian Restaurant inside our resort, passionfruit parfait!

The next day was our 12 hour long tour to the Yucatan Peninsula. To Chichen Itza or “chicken pizza” according to our guide, Marco. Our tour started at 6:45 am and we were picked up in front of our hotel. I booked through Viator, but our travel company was Amigos Tours. It was a 3 in 1 tour…Chichen Itza, Tequila tasting and Cenote Swim at Valladolid.

Chicen Itza – One of the last remaining temples of the Mayan Civilization. But those Mayans…(how do I say this?) are INCREDIBLE. Their temples and infrastructures are made to last for ages. Our tour guide, Marco is amazing and so is our group, which made all the difference. Only he can offer insight and profound wisdom of the Mayans. Sound Reflection, Refraction, Amplification, oh my! If you clap at a certain point around the pyramid, others can hear the sound of birds chirping. They once had a concert here and people for miles could hear the music for free. A sobering place, a sacrificial place, blood was spewed, lives lost. In this space I am grateful to be ALIVE. Grateful to experience the immensity of what it is to be FREE.

Our next stop was a lunch buffet at a local place. They had a gift shop there and a shaman to bless you and your purchases. I’m not really sure if it’s a scam…supposedly everything sold there was handmade by the locals…but they look just like the stuff we saw at the temple, where the guide said it was all made from different countries. The food was alright…I guess could be better if I didn’t forget the hot sauce!

Our next stop is Cenote Saamal…which are natural caves, sinkholes that fills up with rainwater or groundwater over time. We had to jump from a little height to get into the swimming hole…which I never done before but didn’t have time to think about it before I just jumped in. Which I’m glad I did. πŸ™‚ There was a place that you could just go in gradually that I didn’t see til afterwards. Ahhhhmazing there! If only I had a swimming pool like that! And that ended our tour! Back to our hotel for dinner! What restaurant to try next?!

At the cenote in the Yucatan Peninsula.

Our last excursion for our Mexico trip was scuba diving in Isla Mujeres! We took a 30 minute ferry ride there. The station was walking distance from our hotel. πŸ™‚ Isla Mujeres is a small island, about 4 miles from end to end that you can rent golf carts for the day to go around. We didn’t have time to do that because we waited for hours to get our covid test at the hotel before we rush here to make our 2pm excursion. We had a little time to walk around the area near our adventure tour. It was so hot out! Colorful businesses/homes dotted the streets! Relaxed at a nearby bar with lemonades on a swing while we wait for our tour.

My kind of hangout place!

Scuba diving time! I was nervous but excited! We had a little practice in the “shallow” end of the ocean. I went down to the ocean floor twice with my scuba gear before I panicked and realized I don’t want to do this anymore. LOL. The constant breathing in and out. And what ifs. I know myself. And when I get to that point, my anxiety wins and there is nothing that will change my mind. My instructor, Karla, was amazing though, I have to say. She took it slow and never pushed me beyond my comfort zone. She and I snorkeled while my brothers scuba dive below. It was amazing to see all the fishes and the underwater museum with the statues (from the safe distance above, lol).

It was an amazing experience and I’m proud of myself for trying and for knowing my limits. I also know I will definitely try it again. Now that I know what to expect. The biggest part is overcoming my mind. At that time, I knew I wasn’t ready…that I wasn’t confident in the basics. Scared of panicking, not knowing what to do when/if my mask gets filled with water and if I’m that deep I can’t just rush up. You have to slowly get up or your lungs, ears can be impacted. All that going through my mind.

Til next time. And I hope Karla will be scuba diving instructor, again! πŸ™‚

Snorkeling in Isla Mujeres. I believe that’s my brothers scuba diving under there! Or maybe it’s other divers. πŸ™‚ The water so blue and beautiful! Wow!

My last morning swim at the beach and swimming pool! I’m so gonna miss that! We had breakfast at our usual place (only place open really for breakfast, lol). Packed our suitcases, checked out and then had our last “iced” caramel macchiato at the cafe bar in our hotel. “Iced” in quotations because every time we asked for it…it came to us, steaming hot. I guess we could’ve used google translate to find the Spanish word for “iced” but I guess every time we thought..yes..she understood. LOL. Got our usual free croissant sandwiches to go for our flight.

And that ends our trip to Quintana Roo, Cancun! Such an amazing trip filled with culture, adventure, history, relaxation, and indulgence. And connection: Karla, our scuba instructor, who is now our buddy on instagram. Reminding us, that the world is so big, we still have lots to see and marvel. Yet, it’s the people we meet, that make it more meaningful. Where to next, my brothers?!?!

Inspired by Target Cloud Island Nursery Collection

Awhile back a customer of mine asked me to create a flower mobile to go with Target Cloud Island – pink floral collection! I love the idea of creating items that people can adorn alongside their Target purchases because their prices are fairly reasonable and great quality too. Recently, I created this wire piece that can also accompany this collection.

SF Work Getaway

Just some images I took from our little work getaway to SF. My sister rented an airbnb for her new venture into Esthiology, which she just finished at Aveda! So she wanted some spa + wellness photos taken for her website. This place has a beautiful outdoor space with all its succulents! It was a relaxing “work” stay where we sipped on lychee green tea and have delicious vegan food at Golden Era. Woke up the next day to a beautiful warm sunrise in the midst of winter. Got some Boba Guys jasmine milk tea and food at Golden Era again, lol, and met up with our cousin Steph and her fiancΓ©, Hugo for a nice, brisk lunch at Fort Mason. There were lots of people out enjoying the sunshine. Nice view of the Golden Gate Bridge and city skyline from this park!

Sometimes you just need a little breather in your routine to recharge and be grateful for what you have! πŸ™‚

Outdoor Living Space

Makeshift living space outside the backyard. πŸ™‚ We have foraged/bought many succulents variety over the year…some from neighbors and families.

Wallflowers

         

This by far is the most standalone flowers I created at a single time for a client! 40 flowers plus 2 extras just because. πŸ™‚ I just love her color scheme and how it turned out! I can’t wait to see what she does with them!

The Curated Boutique Collection – Continued

Fall/Winter 2020 Collection of The Curated Boutique is now available at https://www.thecuratedboutique.com!

I created a makeshift office/closet for my sister’s photoshoot of some of her items in our backyard. Working gals as she calls us! I had a lot fun going around Midtown Sacramento to take pictures of outfits shots in front of these awesome murals! A lot of cute pieces that my sister curated in her first ever collection!

Β Β Β  Β Β 

Launch of The Curated Boutique

The one main thing that my sisters and I shared is our love of FASHION! We love clothes! For the most part we have similar taste, but each one of us have our unique style, I guess styles that works with our different body types. So, recently, my sister decided to launch an online boutique of clothes that she loves and to share with other people a place where they can shop affordable and chic clothing with materials/fabrics that she herself would like/buy. I think a lot of online shops these days have really cute fashion styles but the fabric is sorely lacking. The thing I noticed about my sister is that she would only sell items that she stands behind, even if that means ditching a whole line of clothes that she invested in. Now that’s integrity! I’m so proud of my peeps for just putting themselves out there, going after their passion/dream regardless of the end result! I know I sound like a broken record but if the covid pandemic taught us anything is that LIFE is FRAGILE and PRECIOUS and that we shouldn’t take anything for granted so just LIVE your DREAM, MAKE that JUMP! Who’s with me??! If you are, tell me something that you put off but are now doing it (however small/big it is).

Below are some items from my sister’s online shop, The Curated Boutique, https://www.thecuratedboutique.com! So much fun taking pictures from places, near and far!

My sister wearing the black motorcycle jacket taken in San Francisco. πŸ™‚

Me, modeling the same jacket in downtown Sacramento and slightly (more than) uncomfortable modeling clothes lol. I prefer to be behind the scenes.

Sister, with pink pom sweater, taken in front of a mural in Midtown Sacramento.

Here’s a close up of this beautiful sweater that I bought for myself! I love the poms or whatever you want to call it!

Off the shoulder pink dress, taken at The Stanford Shopping Center, where we drove 1.5 hours each way just for Boba Guys jasmine milk tea and Sprinkles cupcakes! πŸ™‚

Other sister, modeling the white lace peplum topΒ 

 

Sitting down outside my backyard, enjoying the cool morning breeze before the heat sets in and I’m homebound for the rest of the day til the evening when the temperature drops. I have this inkling to write/type but when I sit down on my computer I feel a little bit overwhelmed. Not sure what to write and so much to write about. This pandemic, protests, riots and just this proclivity towards violence and anger is putting me on the edge as I know the rest of the world is feeling. I feel like we are on the edge of doomsday, world ending! I try to take stock and be grateful for my health and family’s health and that I have employment and a roof over my head. Little baby hummingbird that was born here in my backyard, with the nest on top of the persimmon tree, hovers by. Perhaps reminding me the beauty and transient of life. We will overcome this, stronger! Perhaps even with a more stronger desire to embrace life, to not take it for granted. I feel the hardest thing, but most simplest thing that we can do for the world, for humanity is to be kind. That’s it…BE KIND. Treat others as we like to be treated. I finished reading, The Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende, one of my favorite author. I bought this book on Amazon, based on its cover, lol. My sister had it lying around and the cover was blue and green with mermaid scales. If you ever need a reminder that your life, however hard and difficult it can be at times, is nothing compared to what the collective people had to deal with during World War I or II. The brutality of concentration camps, loss of home and family. Just a book recommendation if you want a thought-provoking read. Til we meet again, friends, stay safe!