The beautiful lights and displays that come with the Christmas season are my absolute favorite Christmas experience. This past Monday I was invited to view Daystar’s Christmas light and excited to find out this experience is free and off HWY 121, only 30 minutes from my uptown Dallas office! I’m glad I attended a vintage pop-up last month I was able to stay warm in this warm double-breasted coat before heading out for #DaystarChristmas.
I was completely floored that I was able to see over 1 million LED Christmas lights from the highway! It was about 5:30 PM when I started to pull into the long drive way from the service road, passed life-size nativity scene and followed the signs till I got to the elf holding a sign that parking was near the back in front of a kid-friendly Christmas town.
Their staff was waiting for me to join in the VIP area where I got to meet their fun photographers and head out into Christmas Town. Their tunnel of lights was a fun walk that many children ran through while their parents were taking cute videos they will most likely send to friends and family. I always do that with my two-year-old nephew, I’m so THAT tia. The grand entrance into Christmas town is a picture that I will have to include in the card I send out to family.
Walking through these wonderful views of this holiday scape here helping me connect with the spirit of Christmas. I have such an imagination as an adult that I was pleased to be able to disconnect from the daily grind and play in these displays while I remember I’m not alone during this joyful holiday. Come join the fun and grab a warm drink from their café.
Bring your friends, family or escape solo like I did! Info: Daystar.com/Christmas
I’ve been reading great ideas for dates, meals, make up, outfits, gifts for Valentine’s Day when I suddenly realized – my entire life is showing bae I care! Of course there are things I do that he takes for granite so here are the top 5 things I do to show I love him.
These are some great idea you can apply to your relationship as well!
- If he wants a quick kiss, I lick his face like a hyper puppy.
- If I break his windshield out with my platform shoe I always make sure to pay to replace it.
- When I see him walking to the door I make sure to grab it open and scream: I LOVE YOU!
- I let him approve of any social media posts I make with him.
- I let him have full control of the music in the car.
Of course I could wear something amazing, have flawless make up or buy him something but I already do all that on a daily basis. This list are things I do for him that he sometimes forgets that I do.
What are ways you show your love that are non-traditional?
Surrounded by my Atrium Obscurum friends last night was the perfect way for me to ring in 2016! I spent this past week visiting with dear friends who have moved to from Dallas so I went to Beauty Bar two nights in a row as well as finishing up year end financials for a consulting I work with. I had a busy week which meant I decided to end the night at 3 A.M.
Do not brunch at Vickery Park. This is ruined. pic.twitter.com/W3fzFaWMM3
— Ally Fiesta (@AllyFiesta) January 1, 2016
Today I had a wonderful day with my close friend. We had a disappointing brunch at Vickery Park; burnt omelet, wrong eggs on their order, the side of lemons was served a dirty dish. Yet it was awesome to be able to watch the Rose Bowl Parade for the first time ever. I need to quit trying to act like a pub has good food. “Go to pub & drink!” I need this tattooed to my hand. This is officially the first New Year’s day in my adult life that I’ve been so productive! After lunch I had the pleasure of being invited to a sweat at the NAC in Red Oak, TX. I haven’t been to a sweat in an outdoor lodge since this past summer so I felt like this was the hottest sweat I’ve ever experienced. It was also wonderful to catch up with the family and regulars who I have not seen in some time. Sweating today was the perfect way for me to reset for 2016. Sending up prayers and being able to sing some songs I thought I had forgotten was the best part.
Balones (mashed plantan bananas), eggs, cafe and la playa. Happy hump day xo A photo posted by Foodie | Naturalist | Blogger (@allyfiesta) on
After we all enjoyed lunch, including black eyed peas, my mom sent me a picture of green bananas with one word: balones YES! Balones de verde is my most favorite snack! Typically balloons are fried but today we baked them. My mom had already bought chicharrones which puts this to the next level. As delicious as balones are they are simply not photogenic! I will have to figure out a way to dress this up.
How does one clean up after a sweat? They have a sweet herbal bath! This what I’m about to fall asleep again. I smell like apples & cinnamon.
I’m fresh and ready to tackle my 5 January goals. I decided to stay away from making broad New Year’s resolutions and break down: be grateful, increase fitness, blog more, learn new hoop dance techniques & make yoga a daily habit.
Journal twice a day I already journal either in the morning or in the evening but this month I want to journal twice. Over the summer I learned that I need to focus on being grateful. Just journaling ONCE a day about my gratitude has made me feel great and stay motivated. I am hoping reading this goal expands my happiness TWICE.
Track meals’ nutrition I have been repeatedly told that I need to track my macro nutrients for at least the past 5 years but I figure I assume that I am getting enough vegetables and fruit as well as estimating the exact sugar. I am committed to tracking with a nutrition with an app & I can also log in online.
Post 3 times a week This has to be my favorite since I’ve had it several times in 2015. The final two weeks of the year are always so busy that taking the time to sit down, write, edit, upload pictures was too much. Next year I need to embrace automation for the last week! However, I have several pending blogs so having 3 posts a week here will give me a strong start.
Just hoop January! Let’s start our new year with a daily hooping practice! Who is in? Just like our last round, I will be reposting videos from those who are participating each day on Instagram with the #hoopingdotorg3030 tag. You can keep accountable here on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Check out the post on hooping.org for more details. 💗
30/30 hula hoop challenge A hula hoop support group on Facebook has posted that Hooping.org is hosting a “hooping for 30 minutes a day for 30 days in January” challenge. I’m already DONE. It feels perfect to be back hooping again. As always, I look forward to seeing what other hooper are going to be doing by searching the #hoopingdotorg3030 hashtag.
January Yoga Challenge Kino Yoga & Beach Yoga Girl are hosting this Instagram challenge which will raise money for Twoloha, a non-profit movement to give help & hope to people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury or suicide.
What are you goals for January 2016? Did you make resolutions to work on the entire year? You can add your link to the Hodge Podge Moments’ party here
This is the first time I have not flown directly into Quito. My favorite part has always been flying down into Quito and seeing all the lights and completely stressing if the plane was going to crash into the side of the city! Since I can remember I always felt like the landing was dangerous after my cousins told me, “YES PLANES CRASH INTO QUITO!” So this year I was glad there was a new airport and it would be a major change from landing in a prison looking airport – even though it would be out of the city. Think how DFW airport is in Irving when you have a party to get to in Dallas minus the insane constant construction.
THIS NEW AIRPORT IS BEAUTIFUL! When we landed in the morning it was so beautiful to be in the mountains. AeroMexico was such a wonderful flight of luxury that I was able to sleep until around 5 AM and saw this
Excitement! I would rather travel at night so I can sleep and wake up to be there, however, my excitement wouldn’t let me. I pulled up a guide for Ecuador and read up on the current political environment and what things there were to. I was so determined to do everything. I have two months here. I have a lot of energy! I. CAN. DO. EVERYTHING!
Beautiful country side and getting to see over Quito made this one the best landing I have ever had.
The airport itself was easier to navigate and there was a bathroom right at International customs so much easier. Now there is a mall area for those who have long lay over. Just cross over the taxies and busses. It has several major brand stores but of course the cost is high in there. The parking garage is on the other side of the mall. Having Wifi at the airport made for a great time to check messages and get new podcast downloads before I left with my friend to the Galapagos Islands.
Found these awesome pictures Instagram. Loved these shots.
Listas para volar. A photo posted by Pablo Fiallos (@psfiallos) on
Off she goes – estoy muy feliz y orgulloso de ti. Vuela alto y cumple todos tus sueños, alcanza cada una de tus metas y nunca te olvides que eres capaz de cosas grandes. Te amo ❤️🐸 A photo posted by Nicolas Echeverria (@nicolasecheverria) on
Of course the best part of landing in any airport is having family to welcome you home.
What is your favorite airport?
Last night I was a part of a ceremony that was years in the making. I am careful about who I pray in ceremony with and who holds the meeting and stress details so that I rarely go. Yet last week I found a trusted healer I know from Texas had moved to Ecuador and I could visit her and go to a ceremony and to Vision Quest!
We went to a sweat on Tuesday night and I realized that I have wanted to have a ceremony in my home country with someone I knew I trusted and felt safe.
Today I spent most of the day reflecting since there are no words to fully explained what happened. The experience was more emotional than visual, although the visual aspect was so intense that I cried since I with gratitude. I still am. I have been thanking everything since then.
I am in the perfect place.
I look forward to all that I am to learn.
I have an accent when I speak Spanish. My accent shows that I am not a native Spanish speaker, however, Spanish is the 1st language I learned. Then I learned German. Then I learned English, eventually I lost my Spanish accent. Having an gringo father will do that, as I lived in gringo neighborhoods growing up with my entrepreneur parents. You would not know this unless you knew since I was born. I have been in Ecuador for a month and have to explain where I am from to people of Ecuador, not to the tourist because they assume I am Ecuadorean.
I am from Ecaudor. I was born here. I moved to the states when I was young and stopped speaking Spanish around 3rd grade. It was a weird situation at home as the person that did not want Spanish in the home was the mother of my dad. She did not want people to confuse my mom, my brother and myself as Mexican. Before she passed away my grandmother did mention she always regretted her opinion of speaking Spanish as she realized that being able to is a real skill in this globalized economy. Strangely enough, since I lived in Texas everyone just assumes I am Mexican. Like everyone, as if the only people in the world with brown eyes and black hair who tan easily are from Mexico. My best friend in high school was Mexican and yes I was able to relate with her family far more than my gringa best friend in middle school. My current best friend is interracial and it is so strange how much we have in common, yet so much more of a relieve to have some that UNDERSTANDS. Do you know how hard it is to meet someone who loves bass music but enjoy the finer things in life?
I have told several people last week that I am from Ecaudor but have lived in the United States for 20 years. Why do I have to include that… oh yeah, my terrible accent. I can speak Spanish enough to get by but it is clear that it is so bad that I am not Ecuadorean enough. Of course I am not American enough. I have stopped trying to fit in anywhere and just say I am from down the street. It is also annoying to have anyone say how cool it is to be interracial. Like it is trendy. It is just something that happened.
It is my funny way of dealing with this constant question that others have about me. I walked down the street and now I am here. Now that I am here now we can do something fun, interesting and get on. Explaining where I am from is not going to explain very much about how I am now, especially right when I met someone. I come from all over. My father has a family that is only 2nd generation American. My mother has family in Europe. I lived in the states for most of my childhood and I am missing visiting the MAC counter right now to even out my sun kissed tan. I was raised to save most of my income and pay for cash for everything and that family is everything and do not take crap from anyone. I come from this country that is bio diverse and friendly and scary AF sometimes too. I also come from a flat land out in East Texas where it can smell like gas but my favorite cousins lives there so I do not mind. I have visited graves of my ancestors from all parts of the world. That is what being international is like. I am really from all over and it it hard for me to explain to anyone who has never even left their state that I feel nostaglic when I am communicating with someone over dramatic hand gestures more than words. I have this great sense of belonging to every moment that I am in because I do not know how long I will be there.
I really do not like explaining where I am from. I am not there anymore, I am not even only visiting, it just part of me. }
I can just tell you where I am now. I am here with family in Ecuador. I am happy to write that.
Finally rested one full day after going to the Galapagos Islands and Banos, Ecaudor while being sick. I had spent a week on the northern coast of Ecuador before taking a 6 hour bus ride to Quito, Ecuador on the first day of having swimmer´s ear. I was lucky to have a pain killer on Sunday but it clearly changed my personality. I was no longer energetic, excited and bubbly person. Even my friend said, “I wish I could film how turnt down you are.” Being sick while in the most beautiful place on Earth was rough but I was extremely fortunately to be with a close friend who knows how to take lemons and make a really good adult beverage out of the sitatuion. Here is how I made it through a week of being sick.
1. Pain medication. Had it, used it and felt when I needed more.
2. Slept. I usually play all day AND GO HARD at local entertainment bars/clubs/pool halls but I just wanted to go to bed after spending time at the beach each day. Sleeping was so important to my recovery.
3. Did not drink at vacation quanities. Thinking about this more and I have not drank more than I typically do at home. In the past, I always drink regularly when I come to Ecuador but this time I just have not felt like it even when I was not sick.
She play too much 😈😇😈😇😈😇 Una foto publicada por AllyFiesta (@allyfiesta) el
4. Review evaluate my attitude. So many times this past week that I just straight up wanted to not do anything. It was horrible timing. Just thinking of the saying: if you want to make God laugh then make plans. I have been planning this trip for months and was in a foul mood because I was feeling horrible. However, I would take moments to just be thankful to be there and then move on.
5. Had a wonderful friend that was compassionate during that time. Even though my friend is compassionate she did not for a single day not allow me to stay in and do nothing. Traveling with someone who has a strong sense of self and has a straight up magical ability to flip the mood is a real gift. I am just lucky in that alone.
I have posted several photos on my instagram of the islands and 5 days was not enough. As for getting over swimmer´s ear, it just takes time and leaving the ear alone – much harder than it sounds. I am so thankful to have spent the time I did there and the over all experience was real treat. Although Athena got me to go rafting, canyoning AND hike to The Virgin in Banos, we are still friends. Just a wonderful person to travel with. Everyone needs a travel buddy like her.
Finally got all 6 of the bags checked in and waiting to aboard a plane for a 3 hour lay over till my mom and I get to Quito.
So why am I flying with 3 bags each weighing 50 lbs each? I’m spending the summer in South America. I regularly donate my clothing; so giving away my clothing makes sense. Every time I read a travel blog they all mention HOW CHEAP it is to visit. None have mentioned how incredibly expensive clothing costs.
My mom & I looked like we were MOVING as we had a porter guide us to the Aeromexico baggage check-in.
Then we spent 20 minutes checking baggage in.
We had used a baggage scale from Stein Mart and we figured that it would be a couple of pounds off. Wishful thinking – so we over packed every single bag of the 6 bags. THAT MEANS WE HAD TO PULL SEVERAL POUNDS FROM EVERY SINGLE BAG! So much work and it was humid and over 95F. Thankful, I was wearing yoga pants and my Two:Tone shirt because this whole repacking thing was a real work out! I ended up having to change out my carry on bag with a Playstation 3 as I know the bag handlers throw bags everywhere. Two years ago the game console that was packed with clothing all around ended up breaking so I had to move my clothing I had planned on wearing out into a small duffle bag.
My mom is trying to negotiate a way to not pay the extra $12 per kilo but in the end we both got our carry on to the limit and had to pay $225 for extra weight. The extra clothing that did not physically fit into any bags cost $125. The cost of not wearing a single outfit twice.
My mom and I had a wonderful flight from DFW to Mexico City. The flight wasn’t full we so each had our own row. Perfect. AeroMexico is luxury in the sky! No issues boarding, no delayed flights, we even got dinner & the flight from Mexico to Quito we had SECOND DINNER!
Then we have to pick up our bags at Mexico City to have check into to head to Quito. That is when it happens. The last bag that I had to pull my carry on from is gone. I’m so tired from going through customs as well as carrying my mom’s carry on as well. I start to realize that my bag is gone. Now anyone reading this can think, “Hello diva, you got 250 lbs of clothing, don’t trip over ONE bag.” Well of course I did, that bag was the clothing that I actually want to keep.
Now I’m about a 6 hour ride away from the Quito airport and still waiting to find out if my bag was ever found. I do not feel bad for myself at all. I did have myself a small pity party from the Mexico city airport’s baggage claim to the gate but I’m fine now. Whatever. I have enough.
Right when I decided it didn’t matter if my clothes came through or not my cousin sends me a picture on Facebook of my bag.
Life is good.
I remember when I wasn’t very good at hula hooping. I could not even keep the hoop around my waist. I was at my friend’s house in Austin, TX and we had just danced all weekend long. Friday. Saturday. Sunday. It was Sunday afternoon and she effortlessly showed me how to rock and forth to keep the hoop up. Frustrated with myself I just watched. Tried again. After HOURS, I eventually got the movement down. Hours. What kept me going is how I would try one angle, switch my feet up, maybe a different would work better. Trying something else out.
I am currently creating Excel templates at my day job and someone was watching me over my shoulder said, “I never learned how to use Excel like this in college.” I was just thinking that neither had I. I was an office manager for my mom’s company when I was 18 years old and she would just tell me that she wanted something and by the end of the day I would need to have it. No instructions at all! I just kept doing what I could then would do an internet search to learn more. Now I’m an advanced Excel user, I am very quick to get hired as a contractor because of my skill.
I used to not be a very good blogger. I started over a decade ago on LiveJournal and I got annoyed how people I knew would use it as a tool to attack me (don’t worry I was bad but still, don’t blast folks on the internet) and this was back when I was 18 so I would get my feelings hurt. I was so shocked anyone could be so rude. Well I’m not going to let anything anyone does make me quite. So I kept posting. Then of course people can be rude on message boards. Well as time went on I just got tough and now I don’t care about other’s opinions. I can tell them what I know and what is going on but it is their choice to pick it up. I waste time getting upset or trying to change someone’s mind. Being online with others with disagreed with me got easier. It is easy. Look, I can be friends with conservative Republicans. I got this!
Even when I started this format of this website as a blog, I didn’t know what I was doing. I just knew people in the states didn’t have much about psytrance and that was my thing so I just started interviewing my friends, then picking up American producers then started spotlighting international producers. I was just asking questions and it is a lot of work to do research and to follow up and then to promote the post. I’m not sure if I’ll ever fully stop doing that because it is fun – just very time consuming. However, now I’m learning how to write with a personal voice and it’s still new to me. I know I’m not amazing at it, but it will get easier.
Now just to put some polish on it. I know I’m terrible at posting about myself so I’m going to keep doing it. I know I’ll get better.
Reviewing photos from a birthday party yesterday at Flag Pole Hill and still seeing pictures from another birthday party at Trinity Park so I’ve decided I really love parks for birthdays. Of course I’ve always been a fan of park parties, I have hosted many since I was 5 years old and it’s the best place to play and accidentally spill a beverage because we are OUTSIDE!
On the 22nd my friend Uhm, had his birthday party there and it was a terrible start to the day. I drove out there bummed but since I was with my mom I couldn’t be too dramatic as she’s very sensitive to my eye rolling and huffing. Already I was disappointed because I didn’t have the time, energy or know how to make this tetrizini. There were like 10 ingredients! Mom came to the rescue and I made a turkey chill. She made her awesome salsa that is blessed by the spicy, flavor filled gods. It will change your life.
So aside from getting food ready and checking my this-weather-needs-to-go-away attitude this is a check list for what YOU need to have to enjoy park celebrations.
1. Bring a trash bag: You are going to get something dirty but still need to take it home. Dirty cup, dirty spoon, your bow feel off and into mud, just bring one to take home to clean. Also at larger parks, it could be there is NO room in ANY of the trash containers. Sometimes I’ll bring a trash bag just for my dog’s droppings. Everyone appreciates a dog droppings free zone.
2. Bring something to play with: Hula hoops, poi, staff, other skill toys, kites, bubbles, you have ALL THIS ROOM TO PLAY so it’s a great time to make big movement and really grind your fun. I also have seen folks bring games, side walk chalk or face paints. I have a silly personality and enjoy taking pictures so I’ll set up a funny concept or play the selfie game. I’ll play in decorations if the set up is correct.
3. Snack and drink: If you party longer than an hour you are going to need to refuel on water and a light snack. I am a major fan of apples & trail mix. I also bring a gallon of water, I’ll leave it in my car but depending where the park is I use a picnic backpack or my picnic case to bring along napkins, cups, plates to share because others bring food and I really hate to create a bunch of trash. If this is a birthday party then off course bring something to share.
4. Say hello to everyone and make new friends: Perfect time to meet new people and connect with others. This is a great way to incorporate those toys or games you brought. Don’t worry if you are not someone’s cup of tea because surely you are someone’s shot of whiskey! Here are tips for socially awkward folks to review if someone doesn’t want to talk to them.
5. Clean up after yourself (also known as Leave no trace)! I can’t stand seeing a party that is trashed because if a place is repeatedly torn up from the floor up that venue could end up no longer allowing events to occur there. It is also not fair to make others clean up after you and will lead to you being UNINVITED to future gathering. It’s gross and unsanitary to be partying in trash. Gross.
I’m looking forward to more gathering in parks and hope that others can make sure to have a good & safe time.