Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
This year and every year I have so much to be thankful for. But most of all, I’m thankful for loving friends and family. The people in my life have truly made this life worth living and without them, I’d be lost. So in honor of them, we’re putting all our regular priced items on sale from Friday through Monday! All phone and tablet cases are $10 off (use promo code BLKFRI) and our stationery is 25% off (use promo code HOLIDAY).
So everyone eat and drink up, cuz I know we will be with our loved ones!
I’ve been back in LA for over a week now, and so much has happened already. I must say, Hawaii transformed my life this time around. Not just because of how much I love it there, but more so about the timing that this trip happened. More about that in a little while.
This Hawaii trip was one of the most stressful yet most rewarding trip for me so far. My family had been going through some extremely tough stuff (more on that later too). My mom and dad had to make a sudden/last minute trip to the Philippines and they were leaving 2 days before me. My mom and I were working tirelessly before we left for our trips to make sure Ninong’s was ok while we were gone. The shop never had me, my mom, or my dad gone for this long. (They did exceptionally well while I was gone, by the way!)
But here we were, leaving for the airport before I knew it and I was getting myself excited for our trip. We arrived with open arms to our friends and family that were there. And we had one of the best trips of my life. We went hiking, went to the beach almost every day, swam in the pouring rain, sipped on delicious cocktails, ate good food…it was a trip to remember.
The best part of the trip? Being with our family and friends. They made this trip the best ever.
We got the chance to visit Ray at the Aulani Hotel in Ko’Olina. I love that place! So peaceful and calm.
We got to see beautiful views.
And ate amazing food!
I was so grateful to have some quality time with my hubby. He’s been my rock through all this crazy and I wouldn’t have been able to be this strong without him!
When it was time for us to go home, I was ready to be back. I missed my pups, missed my comfy bed, and was ready to go to work. Not only that but while I was there, Hawaii truly gave me an outlook on life that I had been trying to achieve for so long. And finally, I can truly say that I am truly where I feel God is where he wants me to be. The beauty of Hawaii helped me to remember that no matter how bad things are, especially bad things that you can’t control, there is always something to be grateful for. The hurt and pain that I feel will never be greater than the happiness I feel. And that’s all thanks to God’s grace. Being truly happy that I am alive is a huge blessing within itself. I’m grateful to have friends and family that care about me, a husband who loves me, and my health. That’s all I need.
So here I am, a week into going back to work and I’ve been a bullet train ever since. Am I still sad? Of course I am. Do I cry? Hell yeah I do. But when those emotions come instead of trying to push them away I embrace them. I take a moment to take it all in, and then remember that life is good, God is good, and He’ll never steer me in a direction that I can’t face. So thank you Hawaii for helping me to remember that. You couldn’t come at a more perfect time.
Hi everyone! We’re here in Honolulu, with 3 more days here and we’re having a great time. :)
I’ll have a full recap when I get back. But in the mean time, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my vacay! Aloha!
Life’s a bitch. Ain’t it the truth.
Once again, my emotions are being put through the ringer. Some days I’m happy and so excited for our trip to Hawaii. I’ve been counting down the days for this trip since we got back from our honeymoon in 2011. So needless to say, I’m excited! Hawaii has always been a place I’ve loved. And who could blame you with a view like these.
But there’s been something I’ve been hiding from a lot of people. Something that has changed my life in a split second. Something that pains me at my very core. Even just typing about it right now brings me to tears. My mom is sick. We found out about a few weeks ago and she needs surgery. RIGHT. AWAY. When she told us, my mouth felt like it dropped to the floor and my heart went with it. I was shattered, speechless, heart broken, and felt absolutely helpless. I’ve never realized how much of a problem solver I truly am until recently. My mind wouldn’t stop turning trying to think of ways to cure my mom and make this go away. NOW. Nothing else has been on my mind except for my family. We’ve been through so much in these last few years but this one takes the cake. It’s my mom, with a possibly serious The last few days I’ve realized that I can’t. I can’t make it go away. All I can do is trust on the Lord’s plan, pray for my mom, and make this easier on her. If I’m struggling with this, I can’t even imagine what she’s going through.
So here I am, making a vow to enjoy my vacation. Instead of feeling guilty for leaving, I’m going to let it go. This is my chance to recharge my batteries so that when I come back I can help my mom in any way I can. :)
OMG, I can hardly contain myself friends! In 7 days, the Ortega’s (and dear friends) are heading to Hawaii for a glorious 10 days!!!!
Hawaii is just one of those places for me. I’m in love with the weather, the people, the food, and the vibe. When I’m there, I feel like I’m on top of the world, like I can do anything, and best of all – I’m not stressed. The first time Charlie and I went, we went for work – still not stressed. The 2nd time we went, we went for the honeymoon. Because we were gone for a glorious 2 weeks and because I’m a small-business-work-a-holic, I did work a little bit. But still, no stress. This third time should be even better! I’ll be there with Charlie, my brothers-in-law, my cousin, and dear friends. And I’m over the moon excited to spend quality time with great people.
Prepping for travel is always hectic for me. I want to “glamify” myself. You know, the woman essentials: mani, pedi, and hair. I start making lists of things I need, I start overpacking…you know, the usual.
Today, I got the mani/pedi. Tomorrow I’m on a search for our new luggage at TJ Max and buying a sleep aid that’ll knock me out during the short 5 hour plane ride. :)
Yesterday’s Apple event was a much anticipated event for CO. Mostly cuz Charlie is ready for a new iPad. I originally got him an iPad 2 for his Groom’s Gift for our wedding back in 2011. Since then the 2 have been practically inseparable. He’s ready for an iPad Mini . The moment I told him they announced the Mini now has retina and the A7 chip, he knew. It was love at first sight. It was exactly what he wanted to hear. He’d been waiting for the Mini’s to get those features before he made his new investment. Charlie and I are very particular in a sense that our phone and tablet should match so I’m guessing Charlie will opt for the Space Gray/Black version.
I was telling myself that I didn’t need a new iPad. I could continue to use my iPad 2 cuz hey! It still works great! But then…hello iPad Air.
Hubba hubba! I’m in love. With all the hardware updates, it’s still 20% slimmer and only weighs 1 lb! Perfect fit for my purse :)
We’re also in the market for a new Macbook. I’m looking for something more compact and mobile that I can take to Ninong’s and has the processing power I need to still be able to do my design work. Looks like we’ll be making a purchase after November! :)
It’s crazy to think that we created our ever popular Composition Case almost a year and a half ago. Our little dream of offering quality made stationery and gift products has grown into the company that CO is today. I’m so grateful for our family, friends, supporters, and customers. Without them, our progress wouldn’t be possible!
Last week, we sold our first Composition Case for the iPad Mini. This cute little beauty is one of the newest additions to our Techsessories line.
We’ve got a new line for Winter dropping at the end of the month, and I’m so excited to share it with you all! Stay tuned for our look book and when our Winter ’14 line will be available in our shop.
Friends, it’s been a while. It makes me a bit sad that posts have been few and far between around here. Things have been hectic, my transition from my old day job to Ninong’s has been quite the journey and adjustment. My sleeping pattern has flipped upside down and I’m usually asleep before the sun goes down. Just kidding, lol. But I’m usually KO’d by 10 pm.
Now that things are starting to settle down a bit, here I am. Ready to share and write. The biggest news is in the headline itself. Ladies and gents – yesterday, I officially lost over 20 pounds since I started my aggressive weight loss journey almost 5 months ago. I never really took a photo of myself at my biggest, probably because I was afraid to and didn’t want to admit it. But here’s a photo from around that time. I hate this photo by the way…
This was right before I started my journey. I was unmotivated, making excuses…I was tired and unhappy. But one day, I was inspired. My boss at my day job shared her low-carb diet plan that she was on and she said it was working for her! She motivated me to start the diet too and 20 lbs later, here I am!
Here’s a picture of me, my mom, and my dad from this past weekend. 20 lbs later, I feel great and I have more self-confidence. Not only confidence about my physical appearance, but confidence in so many other aspects of my life. Here’s another shameless selfie.
Losing that much weight so far has given me that encouragement to accomplish more goals, be more vulnerable, and live a life I can be proud of. It’s been about 4 months and in that span of time I’ve learned so much about myself. I’ve learned so many things that have made me stronger as a woman, daughter, wife, and friend. Here are 10 things that I’ll never forget.
- Don’t just dip your toe in the pool of possibility, DIVE in! Yes, it’s scary. Yes, you might get hurt. No, it won’t be easy. But trust me, it’ll be worth it.
- Tell people you care about that you love them as often as you can. Never take people you care about for granted.
- It’s ok to be vulnerable and weak. We don’t have to be strong all the time.
- Step back and look at your life from the outside in. Are you leading a life that you’re proud of? Are you the person you want to be? Or are you working toward the person you want to become?
- Happiness holds more wealth than actual money. Money isn’t everything. Yes, I’ll admit it’s important but it’s not everything.
- Surround yourself with people that will make you a better person. Your friends are people you should be able to open up to without being judged. They’ll celebrate and be happy for your success, be sad with you when you’re going through a hard time, but also let you know when you’re being an ass.
- Too much of something is never a good thing. Find a life balance that works for your life.
- If you’re unhappy, be strong and make a change.
- It’s better to take baby steps than make no movement at all. It may be overwhelming and scary. But try not to dwell on the big picture. Take the baby steps to accomplish your goals.
- You can achieve anything. Never doubt yourself. Anything is possible. Have faith in your God give abilities.
My dear friends,
It’s been such a crazy month. It’s BEYOND crazy. My life has been twisted and turned upside down. I’ve been faced with a lot of challenges the past few weeks. My emotions have been through the wringer. About 2 months ago, I wrote about how a storm was brewing. How change was coming. Little did I know how much change God was about to throw at me. Through His grace I’ve been able to really dig deep, trust in the good Lord, and let go. And I’m not talking about just letting go, but REALLY letting go and let God being thankful for what I have in front of me. Being able to do this is where all my happiness and all my strength. I can’t predict the future, I can’t control everything that happens in my life, and I can’t be in a million places at once. But what I can do is be present, work hard, accept each opportunity, cut my losses, and spread the love I feel in my heart as much as I can.
Today, I sit here sad and happy all at the same time. Despite it all I feel full of life, appreciative of everything I’ve been given, and blessed to live another day. It’s not all great all the time, and yes I have days where I doubt my abilities. But thanks to the best friends and family a girl could ask for I can be vulnerable and afraid. They’re there to pick me right back up.