About Me

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I was motivated to start a blog by reading all the wonderful talented individual's who have blogs out there. So, I want to make this blog about everyone who reads it. My family and God always comes first in my life. I want to share my experiences and in turn, hope to get feedback and ideas from you. I love unique things, I adore anything that sparkles (not over the top though) I love decorating, cooking, gardening, photography and shopping. My number one passion is photography! To me it becomes more than a picture, it can become a piece of art, or a beautiful memory. Decorating, though I am not a professional, and don't claim to be, has been a part of my life since I was very young, and just love searching and shopping for new ideas and incorporate the old, such as Mid-Century Modern and Hollywood Regency with contemporary. Living close to the Gulf of Mexico in Florida, and being of Hispanic heritage, I love cooking Mexican food, and love to share my authentic recipes. Though I live in Florida, my heart is in the desert southwest, and hope that my family and I will return there very soon…keep your fingers crossed that my prayers are answered SOON!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Loss of my Baby Brother....


Three weeks ago on Saturday, my handsome, sweet, loving, Christian, brother and his wife had their second baby, another precious little girl, Kara, she was a big baby around 8 pds 10 oz.  She began losing weight, so had to go back into the hospital, only being home for less then two weeks.  My brother worked 60 hours a week, and was so exhausted from work, being at the hospital and he was back in school for his Masters.  One week ago, last Thursday, he got into an argument with my Mother, for whom he did everything in the world for.  Well, she lived up in this southern state where he did, and one day back in June decided to not tell him, and move back here to Florida for my nephew to take care of her.  She was here not even a month, fell, and was placed into a nursing home.  She continued to call my brother that she wanted to come back up there....she didn't even know they were having another baby.  My little brother, only 42,  was so devastated by what she did, he just never told her.  He was so emotional and he didn't even tell his wife the things my mother said to him, but he was beyond hurt.  She told him to go home...he did, she called me and told me that she was so afraid he would wrap his car around a pole because he was so hurt and exhausted.

Not even ten minutes later, I see her number come across my phone, I froze, so afraid to answer it, but I did and she "yelled, Joni...David has been shot.  I went down, I thought it can't be bad, they only live in a town of about 2000-3000 people, I thought maybe it was just an accident.  His wife was screaming in my ear, that they air lifted him and he was alive...she gave me the local police department's number, they would not confirm anything other than there was a shooting and they would call me back.  Never heard back, I called them, and told me to call the hospital, that he had been taken there...I thought, oh thank you, God, he is alive.  I talked to the ER doctor, not thinking, why was he on the phone.  I asked him how my brother was and he said "NOT GOOD".  I yelled, please save my brother, he is strong, he just had a baby, please do everything you can to save him, please.  He said "you don't understand, your brother passed away".  I totally lost it, I've never screamed, cried and lost it like that, ever!!!  I yelled at him, "NO, TRY AGAIN"...he said the paramedics tried at the scene and he and his staff worked on him for 20 minutes at the hospital, they couldn't save my little brother.

Now...all the calls started coming in, from the police, his wife, you name it.  It was not real, I didn't and still cannot accept it.  The next day, I had to call the police chief, to find out details, then the coroner...never will repeat what he told me...totally horrifying.  My little brother was an organ donor, and two people did receive his cornea's but his major organs could not be donated because it was a crime and they had to make sure the gun to his heart is what killed him. 

What we found out was, once he left the hospital, he was on his way home, a dog ran out in front of him, he is an animal lover from growing up on the farm...he stopped his vehicle got out, and this is where I need to be vague, because of the ongoing investigation and can't say much.  But there was a 17 year old boy in his truck in the driveway, my brother went up to him and said there is a leash law, what that your dog I almost hit...this boy ran over my brother's leg, tearing off one shoe and sock.  My brother went to the neighbor for helped, they said no, and slammed the door in his face.  The 17 year old got out of his truck and came at my brother, he pushed him, my brother pushed back...the father came out of the house and started in, he went back into the home, came back outside and had the 22 pistol tucked up under his shirt, pulled it out, and shot my brother right in the heart.  HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS DOING!!!  My brother pulled up his shirt, to see where the bullet had hit, and went down, he bled out...the man didn't even try to save him, nor the neighbors. There were at least 6 witnesses and all said my brother did nothing wrong, one young girl is in hiding, because she is afraid this man will come after her.  My sister-in-laws parents, live right behind this house, and her mother heard the gun shot that night.  They can't go into their backyard, because they can see where my brother was murdered.  And when they pass the house of the man who murdered my brother, if he is out, he looks up and waves at them, with a hateful look on his face.   How can anyone be that cruel.  You're probably asking, why is he not in jail...because it's a law in this southern state if you are on someones property, you have the right to shoot and kill them.  Explain that to me!!!  All he did was walk up to see whose dog it was and was murdered!!!! 

I can't explain this pain, it is not a human pain, I've never felt it before.  It is the worse pain you could ever imagine, and to know this killer is walking free while my brother will never come back to us - why?  I know I have to go to grief counseling, but I can't think of that now.  I have to get an attorney in that State, and then we are all going in front of the Grand Jury sometime in January or February...I don't have time for me...I am my brother's voice, I have to do this for him.  Though, I don't know how to survive this, I have to stay strong and healthy to do this for him and his precious family.  I know my brother is in heaven with our Lord, and is at peace, but I am totally selfish, I want him here with us.  I feel like I am getting weaker and crying more each day.  I know God will help me through this, but I just want my brother back.  He was such a wonderful man, an artist, chef, and could he bake and decorate the most beautiful cakes you have ever seen...gorgeous beyond words.  I miss him so much.  I hope this post isn't inappropriate, but I just had to put it into words.  The night before my brother was murdered, I found out my cousin had died...he was older in his early 70's.  Well, I've lost three brothers in five years.  I will never forget them...

Years ago, my little brother was lost...his father walked out on him, and he had to take care of my mother, the song I've attached was one of his favorites sites at the top... we had them play it at his Mass, it reminds me so much of how much he loved God.  Thank you for letting me put my pain into words.  Onto the next step of healing.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A little tour of one part of St. Petersburg, FL

Well, I need to start off by saying I had my first job interview in almost 20 years last Thursday!  I think it went very well...BUT, it's a very desired position and though I have the experience, I know there were many who interviewed for it.  Though it's a promotion, that doesn't matter, I just need to get out of my area and start something new and exciting.  I've been doing a lot of praying, and I know that what is meant to happen, will happen by the grace of God, so it's all in his hands.  But, a few prayers from others sure would help!!!  It's been a rough couple of months in my office, but I'm a pretty tough "girl"....

Yesterday was my Saturday date night with my husband.  We didn't want to go out to a sit down dinner, not with this beautiful cool weather that has just come into our area FINALLY...so, we headed off to the Taco Bus in St. Pete and sat outside underneath some table umbrellas....fabulous...what great Mexican food as I've mentioned before.  Then we drove down past Tropicana Field (keep those Ray's in your thoughts as well), and down to the St. Petersburg Pier for a walk along the water and just sitting on some benches taking in the beauty.  The temps were in the low 70's, beautiful sunshine, no humidity and a perfect cool breeze coming in off the water.  My sweet husband said, "it's still early, would you like to go to HomeGoods"...oh please, that's all it took, so off we went to the one in Clearwater.  I was shocked when I walked in...there were Christmas decorations everywhere...now that got me excited.  They of course had many all color coordinated...so much teal this year, oh yeah....loved it, and it's only September cannot wait to see what they put out next month and the month after that...I'm ready!!!

Hope everyone has had a beautiful weekend, and have a blessed Sunday.  And the week ahead is full of great things for you. 

St. Petersburg Pier

Fountain close to the Dali Museum

The new Salvador DalĂ­ museum

St. Petersburg Pier

St. Pete Pier

Park next to the Pier

Helicopter rides...wouldn't have my legs hanging out like that

Beautiful Egrets flying by

Sail boat in just passing the pier

Love the shape of the palms - pier in the background

Unique shaped palms...

Friday, September 23, 2011

Area Rugs with a little extra something....SPARKLE

Though we are “almost” completely done re-decorating, remember, I said almost, we all know it never ends…and I am desperately trying to be ahead of the game for the holidays…I’m still always looking for something unique for our home.  As my family is well aware, I love sparkle.  Whether it’s in crystal chandeliers, jewelry, shoes, or mirrored furniture, I am totally obsessed with sparkle.  So, when I came across these area rugs, you could only imagine how excited I was.  Now, I know they are totally out of my price range, won’t even ask the costs, and I also know that my fur-babies would think the Swarovski crystals are some type of toy…but I must admit, they are stunning.  So, I am hoping to find someone locally that can attach some Swarovski Crystals (purchased through Swarovski Elements)   http://www.swarovski-elements.com/   possible in just one are of the rug to give it enough sparkle but won’t be enough that the fur-babies will want to bother with.  Through Swarovski Elements, they do give so many unique ideas, I may even attempt to do this myself, if I feel it would look well put together and not like a craft project.  I want it with simple lines and not too much, so just maybe, I could do it myself…oh well, there is another project on my list; those lists never end, do they?


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Have been away for awhile, and sure feels good to be back....

To start off, I have some catching up to do with reading all your wonderful posts.  I was not feeling well with some type of horrible late summer flu...everyone I know (well not everyone, but a lot of people), had it, it just lingered on.  I was so run down from it, that I didn't feel like doing anything for almost two weeks.  Then as I began to feel better, the not so smart me, decided to go out all day and work in my backyard.  Cutting the palms fronds, weeding, planting fall flowers, pressure washing the ENTIRE backyard (tile)...and I was feeling so good.  Big mistake, it was just too much...I started not feeling well again.  Went back to my doctor and got my B-12 shot and he told me that this I need rest, I was totally run down.  There is a lot more to this than just the flu...some serious work related stress.  I really don't like to get too personal on here, but this was bad.  About 12 weeks ago, I was physically attacked at work, by a co-worker.  Long story short, she wants my job,  and lost it with just a simple e-mail I sent out, for which is my job.  I'm sure there is an underlying problem with her that would cause anyone to behave such as that in the workplace, but she has done this in another department that she worked in, but  neither her supervisor or mine did anything to protect me.  As she came at me with hands flying and fists in my face, they sat there, two adult men, and did nothing.  I've been with this agency for almost 30 years, and I love it here.  But, I am not a push-over by any means, I guess I try to hard to get along with everyone, try to go out of way to assist where I can, and sometimes that makes you look weak in their eyes, and they feel the strength to attack.  Understand, I work with all men, except 4 woman, and there are a total of 120 employees.  Though she didn't physically hit me...she was within an inch of my face...I had no reaction, I just stared at her, and I didn't back down.  I know, I took the high road, and am glad I did.  As we all know this is called "violence in the workplace", and it is against the law.  To  make matters worse, she made verbal threats.  Now the good part...management has done nothing in the way of discipline.  So, I have had to take it to a legal level through work.  I am a very strong Latina woman, and wasn't going to let this go, it was just wrong.  The next time her anger flairs up, she could physically harm someone and I would feel terrible.  I am so glad that I have a wonderful husband and a very bright daughter, who has been so supportive and has given me the strenght to do what I need to do, and love is the greatest power a family can have.  So, after going to my doctor again last week, and will be getting my B-12 shots every two weeks...I am feeling almost human again.  It is quite amazing how stress can wear one down, I will never allow it to take hold of me again...I do a lot of praying and I know that God is walking with me through this whole process that could take quite some time...but I have faith.  I hope I didn't bore anyone too much, it actaully felt good to put it into words.  The words I tell my husband and daughter is that, I may be quiet and enjoy the beauty in life, and never interfer in others lives,  I am no push over, I will stand up for myself and others, if they are wronged, but not in a violent way, in a peaceful way, with God on my side.  There is too much hate and violence in the world today, we just don't need it in the workplace as well.  I will continue to be me, for I actually like the person I am.  Thank you for listening.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Fall is in the air.....

OK, I know it’s only the second day of September, and I am totally ready for fall.  This has been a really long hot summer here in Florida and though it is slight, there is a change in the air.  The colors of the sunrises and sunsets seem a bit brighter, and the air has a bit cooler feel to it…mind you, it’s not cool out, but you can feel the heat of the summer slipping away.  It’s much more pleasant just to sit in the backyard, or take those long walks along the beach. 
I always love to get a jump on the holidays, with my decorating, planning, and just plain getting excited my family always laughs at me, because I guess I get a little over the top with it all, but it’s such a beautiful time of the year, so many upcoming events, spending time with family and friend, I just want to make it special for them.  So, not to get too far ahead of myself and talking about Christmas, which of course, I could, but I won’t.  I just wanted to share some really cute and unique ideas to do with pumpkins…there’s nothing wrong with the old tradition of carving them, but some of these ideas are definitely going into home as I begin to decorate for fall the first sight of pumpkins being sold, I’m there!!!  Hope they give you some inspiration and excitement for the fall season, no matter where you are. 
I would also like to wish everyone a safe and fabulous Labor Day Weekend ENJOY!!!


Simple yet so pretty

Very detailed, but I think worth giving it a try

Candy Corn Pumpkins...too cute

Now, this says Fall!!!!

Just love them

This has to be my favorite, I love that sparkle

Again, simple but the lighting is so cozy

Gorgeous black Rhinestones - another favorite

These are so cute, I maybe would go with less rhinestones

Love it!!!

Now who would have thought a pumpkin in glitter would be so unique

Party Time

What a beautiful centerpiece this would make

Love the two metallic pumpkins on the ends

Says it all

Such a warm welcoming to your home, so "Fall"

Love them!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tommy Bahama....

What a couple of weeks this has been for me and my family.  First off, getting ready for our huge family reunion was a lot of work...I still didn't get all the family photos put on CD's for everyone, there are just so many photos...I told them, that I would (should) have them done by Christmas and send each family two CD's.  I had to do a lot of pictures for our family cookbook that my cousin put together, so that did take a lot of my time…but the cookbook is wonderful, what a beautiful family heirloom it is, a sweet remembrance of my Grandparents and each and every family member filled with the best recipes and photos, what a treasure she created.  The family reunion was so special, we had it at Ft. Desoto, here on the Gulf Coast…it rained for a few minutes, just enough to cool everything down…it was a hot day, but actually not uncomfortable for an August day…many people did however, go to the beach for a nice swim.  Though most of us live here in Florida, I have some that live in Texas, and a few in Tennessee, that came, how great it was to visit with them too.  I have a very large family, so you can only imagine what a special day that was.  And yes…I took over 250 pictures…

A few weeks ago my washer and drier went…gone, nothing…so we purchased new front loading pedestal units…love them…then, last week our air conditioner, on its last leg…so we had a new unit put in on Friday…then my cousin and her son, which is my daughter’s age, came over Friday evening before the reunion.  I made a taco bar, and we ate, drank and enjoyed some family conversation.  The next day was the reunion…and on Sunday…I did nothing, but rest.  I put some spaghetti on and let it simmer for most of the day, and had a nice quiet dinner…now it’s all back to reality and I’m ready to start taking it easy and preparing for the holidays.

I know, the holidays!?!?  We’ll I love to get a jump on things, and though here in this part of Florida, it still feels like summer until around October or November, just not as hot.  I wanted to show a few beautiful items from Tommy Bahama, to help us hold on to that last bit of summer.  As much as I love the tropical look, I am so ready for fall and winter to arrive.  My daughter and I already have a day picked out and are heading to Orlando for some early Christmas shopping…

It's so nice to be back on the "Blog" again, I really missed ready all the great posts, but still haven't fully caught up yet.  I would say it's time for some lazy days of summer here for me, and get back to "some" normality.  I love Tommy Bahama and hope you enjoy the pictures and what is left of summer no matter where you live.

Aloha Ceramic Sign $14.00

Beach Stones filled with images of nautical beauty $17.95

Ceramic Punched Luminary $45.00

Driftwood Leaf Tray $48.00

Etched Palm Martini Glasses $19.50

Etched Palm Martini Pitcher $58.00

Island Botanical 16" Square Pillow $55.00

Sips & Apps  $19.95

Laguna Sail Tote $168.00

Life is One Long Weekend Cookbook $35.00

Nautical Rope Wall Clock $98

Orange Cay Castaway Pillow $50.00

Palm Desert Wine Tote $38.00

"Relax" Collapsible Duffel Bag (variety of colors) $48.00

Seashell Appetizer Plates, Set of 4 $39.00

Starfish Bowl $128.00