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, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day....

Memorial Day a special day to remember, though it never should be the only day...

I think this picture says it all.  I am so proud that my husband served in the military, and proud that I work for the government who provides care for our veterans who so honestly deserve it.  Let us never forget all those that have served our country, and those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our wonderful country.  This is a day for family and friends to get together for our out-door BBQ's, and our trips to the beach, the mountains or the deserts, but most of all it is to honor ALL THOSE THAT KEEP US SAFE AND FREE.  God Bless each and everyone of them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Keeping it Local...

Shell Island....Florida

Yesterday, my husband and I got up around 5:45 in the morning, packed a cooler with breakfast items, drink, and other snacks along with our beach items, and took my husband's canoe to Ft. Desoto, launched the canoe from there and headed out to Shell Island.  Was a perfect beautiful morning.  We arrived to the island, and found a quaint little shaded spot to set the canoe.  My husband set up the travel grill in a clearing there, did a little fishing as I walked to the other side of the island to do some shelling.  The water was such a beautiful color of teal.  I had the entire beach to myself, not one other person out there, though there were other boaters off shore, it was so peaceful and beautiful, nothing but beautiful birds, the sea, crabs that scurried back into the water as I walked along the waters edge, white sand,  and thousands of shells.  On our way out, saw only one shark about 4 feet long, and about 200 stingrays.  There are certain areas that are very shallow, so that allowed us to see numerous conchs, both small and quite large.  I just love seeing the ocean in it's natural environment from off shore, different that seeing from the shoreline.   My husband made a fabulous breakfast on the grill - we sat around for a while and headed back.  We went through tunnel of mangroves, around various islands, and just took our time getting back.  We thought we would be home by around 11:00, but it was such a beautiful day, we didn't get back to land until almost 2:00...yes, I got a little too much sun.  Though I have lived here almost 30 years, I'm not one to lay out and bake in the sun, I try to always wearing sun protection, but not this time.  You know, being Latina, I thought I could handle it - wrong! I did wear a hat, but my arms and legs got the majority...was actually kind of a nice feeling for a change...nothing better than coming home, taking a long cool shower and have a tall iced Vanilla Chai Tea...perfect ending to the wonderful beginning of a long weekend.

Monday, we are heading a little more south to Sarasota, to go to some beaches, and have lunch at Tommy Bahama's - love it!!!.  Then down south a little further for some shopping and other beaches, trying to find some unique tropical colored pillows that I have in mind along with some tropical colored accessories to go with my new color theme in the great-room.  I located a few boutiques online, that I thought may have some items...I sure hope so, if not, it's off to HomeGoods, I can always find what I want there.  It's always exciting to get out of town and see new sights, even if I don't find anything, I know it will be a nice day, just being with my husband!!! 

Hope everyone has a fun, safe and happy Memorial Day weekend...enjoy!!!  God Bless!!!

Here are a few of the shells I found on Shell Island...I cleaned them well, but you know how hard it is to get all the sand out, will finish that tomorrow...some are broken, but they were still so beautiful, I couldn't pass them up.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

Calming effect...

What in nature makes you relax?  Is it the sound of the waves coming ashore, is it the sound of breeze blowing through palm trees or through a beautiful open desert canyon?  In this hectic world around us, we all need time to just sit back, relax and enjoy the beauty that surrounds us.  I work in a hectic office environment, though I love what I do, there are days that I just need to forget the day, and find a way to put it behind me and enjoy all the good in my life.  For me, it's definitely taking out my camera and taking pictures.  Of course my favorite subject is my daughter, but it's not one of her favorite things...so I go to my second, and that is nature.  Living in Florida, we are surrounded by so much beauty.  Though I am such an amateur and learning more each day, I still get out there and take pictures whenever possible.  On average, when I go to the beach to shoot, I will take over 600 shots...so thankful for DSLR cameras and SanDisk...don't like any of them, one click and they're gone.  Well, that's where I'm heading right after work this evening, the beach!!!

Yesterday was such a beautiful day, we decided to stay home and just relax around the house.  Got the yard work done early in the morning, not much to do, just a little maintaining.   My husband made his fabulous pork chimichanga, and a side of his (could eat the whole dish) black beans - so delicious.  Both the pork and the beans have to simmer for hours, so I made some iced vanilla Chai tea and we just sat out front for a short time.  Since we haven't had any rain in a few weeks, I got out the garden hose and just began to water the plants.  About 45 minutes before the sun was about to set, I noticed the reflection off the water droplets on our Hawaiian Schefflera.  I go into the house to get my camera before the water dried up, and didn't have my macro lens on, but placed the setting on my camera for macro and just took a few pictures.  The first one is probably my favorite with the reflection of the schefflera captured in the droplet of water, but since I am a Bokeh junkie, I loved the natural Bokeh that the sun through the plants created.  Just all very simple, since I wasn't trying for anything, I think they came out OK. 

Sometimes the most simple things in life, like a droplet of water on a plant can be so peaceful, and makes one stop and realize there is so much beauty all around us, if we just take the time to sit back from time to time and enjoy it. 

Hope everyone had a great weekend, and getting ready for the upcoming holiday weekend, I know I am...getting the menu and plans all ready...bring on summer!!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

MAC'S New Surf Baby Collection for Summer....

Who doesn't love MAC cosmetics? Besides the fact that their products work for any age, I love that they recycle, just take in your empty containers, and you get a free lipstick or other item that they are offering at the time. You can't get better than that - look good, and feel good about protecting the planet whenever possible. When I saw this new "Summer Line", I did some reading about it, showed it to my daughter and we are both excited and can't wait to see it in person. And, I must admit...I love the packaging...it's that time of year again, light clothes, flip flops, trips to the beach, sipping on tropical drinks out by the pool, sit under a palm tree and read your favorite book, and listen to the ocean...time to lay back and enjoy the summer and that's just what this collection reminds me of....fun, relaxing, tropical, beachy and maybe a nice long road trip up and down the coast.

MAC are so prolific with their new lines: they’ve just announced a whole new collection for summer named Surf Baby.

The new range’s packaging is completely perfect for its name – the cool Hawaiian-surfer-style yellow, pink and white stripes which are striking in their difference to MAC’s usual plain black packaging.

So, the products: the Surf Baby collection consists of beach friendly items like the waterproof Splashproof Lash Mascara, handy Skinsheen Bronzer Sticks and Suntints SPF 20 Liquid Lip Balm, which give a light sheen of colour along with some much needed protection.

In addition to these, there are in new Surf Baby collection for summer also stacks of metallic pigments in two colourways, which we love – they give a really nice sheen of shimmering buildable colour, which you can wear sheer for the beach and layer up at night (keep an eye out for a swatch soon). Individual eyeshadow pots in five new shades and the pretty coral/gold hibiscus embossed blush, My Paradise Cheek Powder also feature in the collection, which will be available May/June time.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Color Inspiration....the tropics

I don't know if it's just me, but my taste changes in the home decor area every couple of years.  Could it be just an influence from what I see in stores, boutiques, online, Bloggers, I can't honestly say.  Since I was a very small girl, I have always loved palm trees, and anything that was tropical in nature.  In my very early teens, I fell totally in love with the desert southwest, and this love affair for both, has never wavered.  Though I will admit, when I lived in the west, I had very tropical colors and decor in my home, then when I left the West for Florida, I brought the desert southwest flavor with me, and totally had my home decorated with pieces we collected over the years while living out there.  I still cherish all my Indian pottery, paintings, artwork, Mexican pieces, etc. and find a way to incorporate it into my home, it holds so many wonderful memories.

So, here I go again...ready for a change, but it's not really a change, I call it more of an addition.  I guess this is getting a bit confusing, but that is my dilemma.  I not only love the Desert Southwest and the Tropics, but I am totally passionate about the mid-century  modern look, along with Vintage Hawaiian Theme and Hollywood Regency, and that's me.  Some would call my taste eclectic, I call it more a love of different flavors and trying to incorporate those into my home without it looking as though I can't make up my mind and still have a warm inviting flow to it - not an easy task.

Being Latina, I love bright bold colors, but not primary colors, those more in the tropical palette and that of the desert southwest's rich earth tones.  I think a home should be a definite reflection of those places, things and pieces you love, a place when you have family and friends to your home they feel comfortable, happy and that it's a place they like to come and spend special time with you.

Over the last year, I've been picking out wall colors, furniture, and more accessories, placing them in the file on my computer's desk top, and purchasing new pieces that I "couldn't do without" (that's my excuse to my husband - it works).  The other day as I was going through this file and some of my recent purchases, that I have stored safely in the closet of my "Relax" room, that is when I realized,  I am just a mixture of the above and it's what makes me, my husband and daughter happy ...so I'm going to forge ahead and begin the re-decorating process.  Since summer is right around the corner and we've finally decided on the exterior color...my thoughts have been on the warm tropical colors of the ocean, tropical flowers, sand, nature and the desert.  I am not a lover of pastels, other than in clothing, but deeper shades of the tropics.  At the present time our walls in the great room are a shade of olive green, and we love the warmth of it - it's time for a change.  Our kitchen is terra-cotta, and I want to go with more of a Koa (Hawaiian wood) color.  And, I need a lighter shade in the great room and dinning room.  I'm so confused, I have always been bold, but I'm not sure if I am ready for a teal or a medium mango color on my great room walls, but will have them for all my accessories, paintings and other accents in those colors, and of course with a little bit of bamboo.  I love anything earthy, especially in woods and bamboo.  So, I've made up my mind (I think), and my husband and daughter agree...light colored walls in an earth tone shade in the great room and dinning room, Koa brown in the kitchen with opal colored glass tiles for the back splash, and lots and lots of beautiful tropical colors.  It will take several months to complete this project with all the ideas going around in my mind, but hope to show the completed projects by summers end, or at least before Thanksgiving.

I just wonder, is there anyone else out there going through the same decorating dilemma?  I'm not one who likes to copy someone else's designs, but I love other's ideas.  It's so nice to get input and look at other peoples homes and use those pictures as inspiration, I think most of us do.  I found these beautiful pictures on line.  Some of these are going to be in my color palette, especially the teals, blues, mango, greens and sand, and more. I know about the rule of three, but I don't follow that with color, just like in nature, the more color, the more beautiful!!!  I think this is an easy solution, and since my husband and I love doing the work ourselves, when complete, I will be very happy.  Any suggestions, ideas or input, please feel free to jump in and let me know.  All the women I have met through Blogging are so sweet, inspirational and honest, so it would mean a lot to me, even if you're new to my page, feel free to jump in, I would love to hear from you.  I love adventures, and to me, this is going to be one.

First off, I think the colors on this map of Hawaii are beautiful, but maybe a little deeper shades of them, I would prefer
Great Palette of Tropical Colors
Love the Orchid  Green or Honeydew Green Color of the Frozen Cocktail

Just Beautiful, the Blue Green Grasses, Marine Blue Background with the Color of the Flamingo

Love Each One of These Colors Together - doesn't the drink look fabulous!!!

Though This is Not My Photograph, It Is Almost the Exact View We Had From Our Hotel in Lahaina on the Island of Maui with the Beautiful Color Teal of the Pacific and the Cabana Blue on the Beach Chairs,  Along With the Warm Color of the Sand - Just says "Tropical"

Plumeria's Come in the Most Exquisite Tropical Colors, and the Soft Brown of the Coconut Shell...love it!
Deep Tropical Blue Perfect with the White and Yellow Plumeria
Can you say "Tropical"....
Nothing More Beautiful Than God's Wonderful Creations, Such As This

Yummy Tropical with the Latin Flair to it...

Sky and Sand, Maui, Hawaii

The Color of A Sunset....Perfect
The Pure Colors of Tropical Fruits - some of Nature's Best

This Pictures Says it All...Tropical.....

Just a Few of my Inspirational Photos