40 years YOUNG

18 Oct img_0709-1

If you are 40, or passed it, I’m sure you’ve been asked the “mandatory” question…  “so, how does it feel?”

I just got to the “4th level” of life, and was just asked that.

Personally, I’ve always been a kid at heart, and my family and friends embrace it and help me stay young despite the years.

Perfect example was the surprise party my family planned for me.

As a true “forever young” celebration, they gave me, my very own Wonderland!

Whoever saw them planning, probably thought this was a kid’s party, but no, this was a 40th birthday, and the most Wonderful one!

Everyone dressed up according to the theme, including me of course.

They had the Queen’s Court with the Flamingo Croquet outside.

As soon as I walked in, I was transported to a magical land.

Butterflies hanging from the ceiling.

The Mad Hatter’s Tea table, with lots of food and the most AMAZING cake!

The Cheshire Cat, of course, was there too.

Drinks, props for photos, and music to dance to.

This was the perfect way to celebrate!  It’s a “place” I always wanted visit, and they created it for me.

They all went along with my inner kid, and I can’t express how happy I am to have them all share it with me.

So to answer the “mandatory” question:  I felt more like a kid than 40.  I feel happy, loved, and blessed.

Yes, my state of mind and heart keep me young, but also my incredible family and friends, who always make me smile.

Thank you all for celebrating my 40 years YOUNG with me, and being part of my life.

Can’t wait to celebrate many moments more with you all.

Remember, Age is just a number…  and it doesn’t matter. What matters is how you age and spend the time in between.


Acrobats and Aerial Dancers 

3 Oct

A couple of years ago I went to see Cirque du Soleil: Amaluna.  Beautiful show, with a love story in it.

As most of you know, these shows are always filled with acrobats and aerial dancers.  Looking at these people fly and jump, trusting their partners are ready to catch them, made me think about relationships.

I know these people practice day in and day out, and I’m sure they’ve probably  fallen dozens of times, if not more, but they still trust their partners and keep doing these stunts.  

Why is it so hard to do that in a relationship?  Why are we so afraid to trust, to be vulnerable, to open ourselves and jump?

Why with one “fall” we step down and take so long to try again?

While I watched these people “fly” so freely, with a smile on their face, I felt a little envious of that freedom and feeling.

Again, they practice, and their partners reassure them they are ready and reliable…  it takes two to achieve this wonderful trusting relationship.  If one fails everything falls.  In relationships the result  is not a bruise or broken bone but a broken heart, which sometimes takes longer to mend.

I say we work on trusting and being there for our partner.  It’s a give and take, a balance we can achieve together.  Stop being afraid, take the leap, jump!  Hopefully you’re caught in the air and taken on a magical “aerial dance”.

You have to “kiss a lot of frogs”

3 Aug

I recently read an article that warned women of the types of “frogs” to avoid kissing.

Well, I’m sure it’s too late for a lot of us, and even if we had read this before, we would have done it anyway…  :p

The article listed three types (I’m sure there’s more or hybrids):

1.     The bad boy.  This is the one that dresses to impress, has all the right words and knows exactly what to say.  Most (or all) his comments have sexual insinuations because his goal is to have another conquest and not a serious relationship.

2.     The controller.  This one is possessive and wants to dominate you and the relationship.  He has to know exactly what you’re doing at all times…  who you’re with and where, and is extremely jealous.  The article says this type of relationship might be addictive.

3.     The broken boy.  This one says he wants the relationship, but the experience of his last relationship(s) scare him and won’t let him fall in love again.  He will start showing you affection and make all the right moves but when it’s time to commit he will “freeze” and start backing out.

Yes, they say you have to “kiss a lot of  frogs” to find the right one but, how many is a lot?  What if you keep kissing the same one just different face/ name?  What if you have a pattern?  You know about it but can’t seem to break it…  So I ask, when do you get tired of the same thing over and over and change the tune?

I know this is usually where I insert a positive/ inspirational thought or answer but today, I don’t think I can.  I’m still dealing with this one myself and, if I’m honest, think I might keep failing to change it for a while.  It’s tough breaking patterns and habits…  Especially when there’s some good times in them.

You hear your family and friends say, or even think to yourself, you deserve so much better, a “good” guy will come and will make you realize what you need but, truth is, it’s in us to realize that and give that guy a chance.  A thousand might come our way, right in front of our noses, even try to get to know us but, if we’re not ready or still looking at a “frog” it won’t matter.  It’s up to you, and only you, to open your eyes and realize what “good” really is and what really matters.

Huh!  Look at that…  I did give some advice…  now the hard part is following it.  Good luck!!!



San Diego, CA

9 Jun img_6539

What a beautiful place San Diego is…

Must admit, this wasn’t a city I had considered traveling to, when deciding where to vacation next but, they were hosting Yelp Spring Break 2016, and after last year’s one I knew I had to attend.

First thing I noticed was how beautiful it is, even from the little window on the plane.  The view coming in is amazing!

The weather even more!  We went mid-May and it was still low 70’s and high 60’s – no humidity.  Coming from hot and humid Florida, this is a BIG deal!

On top of that, everywhere I looked there were these beautiful purple flower trees (my favorite color) as if they were expecting me all along.  Way to make a girl feel special!  :p

Our Airbnb added to the enchantment of the arrival.  A cute, old, yellow house, surrounded by those same trees.

When you stepped in, you felt like you crossed a timeline, antique décor, dark wood, my favorite part was the third floor… open space, multiple beds, one bath, it felt like a “frat house” or camp house (at least from what I’ve seen on TV).

Our first day there was a short one, since we had several delays at the airports but we still got to attend one of the YSB events and then eat at Juniper & Ivy.  If you haven’t been, this is a must.  It has a romantic but casual vibe to it but best part is the food.  We decided to order “family” or “tapas” style so we could try as many dishes as we could (who know when we’ll have the chance to come back).  Drinks, Devil Eggs, Sea Urchin, Foie Gras Cookies, Gnocchi, Chicken Liver, Duck, and more…  Everything was excellent!

San Diego has a great selection of Craft Breweries.  Even though I was not able to sample a lot of them, we did try some and also a very cool whiskey bar called Seven Grand

Little Italy is another must, for every one visiting San Diego.  Restaurants, shops, nice spot to walk and spend a day outside.  We were lucky to try Landini’s and meet the owner.  His passion for the food they prepare and his restaurant immediately shows.  And their pizzas are truly one of the best I’ve ever had.  So much that we ordered it again, (delivery this time) before we traveled back home.

Also in Little Italy we found iDessert.  Fun place, where you can create your own “stuffed” meringue dessert, completed with liquid nitrogen, making you feel like a mad “sweet” scientist.   Great for kids of all ages.

La Jolla is another great spot to visit.  Beautiful waterfront walkway, with views of the sea lions (you can even walk down to the beach to get a closer look and pictures), and further down the seals (these are lazy – they sleep almost all day).

While walking along the fence, you will also see a bunch of cute little playful squirrels.  Dare you not to take dozens of pictures of these!

Either before or after your walk, stop at Bobboi – this is authentic Italian Gelato.  The owner has worked hard to keep the authenticity of these, making them every morning with organic and pure ingredients.  They will let you sample as many flavors as you like, and it will be tough deciding on just one or two after this.

If you have time, go to Torrey Pines.  This was my first time hiking (Florida is flat) and it was easy, beautiful and fun.  It’s a great place to relax, leave “real life” behind for a couple of hours, and just enjoy the views and fresh air.  At the end you’ll find yourself at the beach, where you can walk some more, or sit and relax for a bit while taking more pictures.

Of course, the San Diego Zoo is a must.  Famous throughout the USA, and one of the biggest I visited – wear comfortable shoes.

Here you can see pandas, polar bears, otters, giraffes, elephants, tigers, monkeys, flamingos, and so much more.

Coronado beach is beautiful, especially during a sunset.

The Air & Space museum was another favorite.  They have 4D movies, simulator rides, observatory area.  Very interesting and interactive museum.

Of course, Tacos a are a must…  We found El Zarape on our last night there and by far the best tacos we had on our trip.

Also, is great to see the local hangout spots and that’s exactly what Waterfront Bar & Grill is.

I know there’s a lot more to do and see in San Diego, and can’t wait to go back.

But for now, here’s my trip in a nutshell and hope it helps you plan yours.

Safe and fun travels!

A couple of “Firsts” in China

20 Apr img_4770-1

Can you believe I “had to” go all the way to China to pick strawberries?

Yup, I’m back from another work trip to the Orient but luckily we always manage to squeeze in some fun.

This time after one of our meetings, the factory owner escorted us to a Strawberry field and we all got to fill multiple baskets with big, beautiful, perfectly red, delicious strawberries.  This was my first time doing it, and it was fun sharing the experience with my China office colleagues and suppliers.  We helped each other pick the best ones, until all our baskets (and bellies) were completely full.

Another fun night, was also after a meeting.  To end the night, they invited us to their beautiful cellar, and we got to do a “private” wine tasting with a really nice view of the HK skyline.  This was (I think) my first time drinking Bordeaux wine, in a private cellar with over 4K bottles of wine. 

Walking the gardens of one of the hotels in the morning, was the most relaxing way to start our day.  Happy birds singing and beautiful flowers all around, overlooking the water.  This was my first time seeing blossoms too. 
I went to a little market where, they told me, I had to try the Vietnamese street lamb.  Very tasty!    

And I saw my very first (Ginseng) Buddha fruit

Learned a new “drinking game” called Big Liar at a pub in Ningbo, and shared many laughs with everyone playing.
Also tried a new hotel (Shangri-La), in HK, after many years staying at the same one, and was a very nice change.  Club level, beautiful view of the bay & HK skyline, and excellent service.  VIP treatment all the way. 
No matter how many times I make this (work) trip, we always mange to enjoy ourselves, do something new, and look forward to the next.

As I’ve said before, it’s all how you see things.  May we never lose the sense of wonder and excitement, even in the “little” things.  This will make life so more enjoyable, happier, and give you many wonderful and memorable experiences.  Happy Journey to All!

Vegas here I come! 

8 Mar

Ah, Vegas! Bright lights, late nights, party and drinks. Sleep an hour or two and repeat…

Yeah, this wasn’t that kind of trip.   :p

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve done Vegas the “right way” and it’s one of the best trips I’ve ever had but, this time, I went for work… by myself.

Stayed off the strip to be close to the convention, up early to work. A lot of walking and networking for 4 days straight.

Still, it would be a sin to go and not have a little fun. So, off I went.  Instead of having dinner by myself in the hotel room, I decided to go out and try some new places.

I’m usually shy but, have noticed that the more I push myself to break out of that, the more opportunities and experiences I get.

For example:

First night I wondered around the strip, at a slow pace, taking everything in. Had time to see a couple of the Bellagio Fountains show (still one of my favorite attractions in Vegas), also got to see their Garden, which this time was dedicated to the Chinese New Year of the Monkey.

I treated the hotels like they were museums, admiring their displays, stores, decorations. When you are not worrying of getting dressed and getting to clubs or pool parties you have more time to enjoy these things.

While walking I saw a place called Beer Bar. It has kind of a balcony seating, perfect for solo dining. I found a spot and enjoyed a really good burger while watching another show of the Bellagio Fountains.

Second night, I decided to go out again. This time went to FireFly. Place was packed, and wait time was approximately one hour. The hostess immediately directed me to their sister restaurant Imperial Tacos & Beer. There I found a seat at the bar and ordered. Bartenders were so friendly I didn’t feel like I was by myself at all. Very attentive, making conversation and jokes. Eventually a guy sat next to me, who happened to be in town for the same convention I was attending. We started talking and, being that I’ve been in the business longer was able to give him some tips on how to grow his business. I felt really good being able to help someone, and very grateful for the fun company that night. I enjoyed it so much I almost lost track of time… I had bought a ticket to see Cique du Soleil: Zarkana.

The show is amazing! And, because I needed only 1 ticket, the seat was great, with excellent view.

Third night, of course, I went out again. This time I got to try FireFly. I had it bookmarked since I knew I was going to Vegas, and so glad I didn’t leave without trying it. First because food and drinks were amazing! Service equally great, and second, because again I had the chance to talk with new people and laugh with them.

I sat at the bar, and not too much later two guys sat near me. Again, because of my shy nature I focused on my food and didn’t pay much attention to them, trying to not call attention to myself but their conversation was funny and could not help but laugh. That’s all it took. They immediately included me in their conversation and it was so entertaining, light and fun. Just like the night before, conversation turned to work.   One of the guys is a dancer. He danced at the show Jubilee, and now that the show is over he’s looking for new opportunities… his dream, Broadway! As is in my nature, I offered some advice and a sincere wish of him making it and hoping to see him again, on stage next time, doing what he loves. I didn’t get their names, but the moment we shared sitting at that bar was enough to make me smile and earned me a hug goodbye.

After this, because of my first Cirque visit, they gave me a discount for a second show and I took advantage of it. Went to see Mystère at the Treasure Island Hotel. Smaller theater so even closer seats. The show is entertaining and funny. And so ended my Vegas trip.


Morning came, early wakeup to make it in time to the airport, beautiful sunrise view form my window and, even though my main focus for the trip was work, I came out of it, as I usually do, with some great food finds, amazing people, sights and photos to share, and the desire to travel more, to experience more, to see more.

Weather traveling alone, with coworkers, family and/ or friend, traveling is always an adventure… It all depends on you and what you make of it.

Don’t close yourself in a hotel room, go and explore!


Florida Renaissance Festival

23 Feb img_3584-1

I love this Festival!

Every year Quiet Waters Park transforms into a land seen a long time ago and far away.

I’ve been going regularly for years now and it never gets old.  It is one of my happy places.  It’s even become an “annual tradition” for some friends and I, who also make this event so much fun to go to.

The Ren-Fest transports you, not to a different era but, to a whole different world, where everyone is happy to see you, they’re joyful, and entertain you with funny shows, where you are guaranteed to laugh.  There’s pirates, there’s wenches, fairies, pixie dust, wings, world travelers, Vikings, and so much more.  Pick a weekend and you can be any one of those, if you chose to dress up.  I started doing this several years ago and the festival became a whole new experience to me.

When you dress up, it’s like you’re part of their world.  They’re always nice there but, now they appreciate the effort you put into it and your excitement to be there.  Patrons also get excited to see you and some even ask to take pictures with you, giving you the opportunity to meet new people.

There’s duels, tight rope walkers, fire eaters, washing well wenches, a mud show, jousting tournaments, all these to be enjoyed by everyone at the fest.   If you want a more interactive experience, sit up front and maybe you’ll be picked to be part of their show.  There’s also giant chess boards, knife throwing, and bow and arrow games, a “spooky” maze, you can throw tomatoes at one of the fest characters, they even have big bubbles to “walk on water” on the lake, and they added zip lining last year too.  There is something for everyone!

I personally enjoy the shows, and love seeing all the vendors, like the wing maker, with beautiful handmade wings in every size and color (one of my favorites there); the moon necklaces, where they show you what moon you were born under and what it means, with a glow in the dark moon charm; all the swords (some showing really nice craftsmanship), knives, and beautiful big dresses with amazing corsets, kilts, leather…  the list goes on and on.  Oh, and the music…  I had the pleasure of listening guy playing bells that were enchanting, and there’s also a lady playing the harp by the water.

Of course there’s food like the traditional turkey leg (imagine a strong man in a kilt eating this…  makes you feel like you’re back in time), gyros, funnel cakes, ribbon fries (these are addictive), and to wash it all down, cider, beer, mead, and some other drinks.  This also will make the fest better and more realistic (hey, wine was thought to be good for health, and Beer and ales were very popular drinks during that era), plus all that walking and laughing works up a thirst  ;)

If for nothing else, it’s a great place to people watch…  See the creativity everyone has put in their costumes, makeup, etc. To some, this might be all weird and eccentric but, to me it’s fun, creative, whimsical, playful,  and full of great imagination.

Go, step back in time, and leave the “real world” behind, let the fairies show you the way, and enjoy your day at the Ren-Fest.

Jousting Tournament (to the death)


Steampunk/ Time Travelers Weekend 

Pirates Weekend 

Vikings & Valkyries Weekend 

Favorite Beer Tent 


Favorite Wing- Maker

Some of the great shows: Iris & Rose

Broon  & Moonie



Cu Dubh