Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mwen Sonje Ou Anpil Encore

It's safe to say that I have allowed too much time to pass since my last blog post and for that I apologize. I have spent the last 2 weeks in Haiti, flew to LA and less than 24 hours later flew to Kansas. Needless to say I don't care to see another airplane for quite some time!

As per usual, I have downloaded my Haiti photos and am attaching some of my favorites here.

Amonese taking a break from cooking in the Haitian kitchen.

After praying for Tahl, I asked her if I could take her picture, she nodded and then
lowered her face and placed her hand on her chest. Such a tender moment.

Gibson standing outside of his house when we came to bring his family
beans and rice.

Momma holding baby while watching a basketball game. (I have a couple
other views of this picture and had troubles deciding which to post here, so
you may be seeing those later). This baby is the snuggliest, most mild tempered baby
I have ever had the pleasure of holding. Plus she was mean mugging it the entire 2 weeks. So cute.

The sweetest little girl you could ever meet, Watialene. 

When visiting the church across the valley, this boy was standing with his homemade
toy outside a neighboring house. He had such a bright smile and I love to see such
beautiful innovations made by children, I had to ask for a photo.

This year, through my friend's company, Elisha C. we were able to award 41 scholarships to children, teens and young adults to go to school next year. Unfortunately we weren't able to hand out scholarships to everyone. During the presentation of the scholarships, some children looked through the slats in the walls. Hopefully this next year we will be able to raise even more funds and find more supporters so children like Batony will be able to be on the inside next time. To check out our scholarship program and how to bring economic stability to Haiti, check out Elishac.org and Elishac.com

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Heartbeat

While having my morning tea I was reading from She Reads Truth and I read something that struck me. It didn't hit like a bolt of lightening but rather sparked inspiration. So I put the quote to a picture of my tea this morning and wanted to share it with you. Hope you have a great day.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Surrogate Family

Like many people across America, I was not able to reunite with my family for Thanksgiving dinner. Which was made even tougher this year than previous because my family was also celebrating my grandparents 60th wedding anniversary (nothing to bat an eye at). I am wildly proud of my grandparents for their unwavering dedication to one another and the example that they have provided throughout the years. I  truly wish I could have been there to celebrate with them. (And let's not forget all the unique family food traditions that we are all accustomed to.)

Fortunately, even though I was not with my family I had a place to go. My bestie from the westie always opens her home and graciously shares her family with me, which I could not be more grateful for. They welcomed me with open arms and shared stories, food and their company. I could not ask for more.

Since my phone is maxed out for some reason, it has been acting weird and won't let me take pictures. So I have been more intentional in taking photos with my camera camera instead of instagram posts or snap shots with my phone. Here are just a few photos that I took at my Thanksgiving with my surrogate family.


We call her the Queen of the Peanuts, and that's her doting gma in the background.


Gpa Vazquez, who was a professional trumpet player for 50+ years.


Momma Vazquez and Gma Vazquez, two funny and beautiful ladies.


This photo sums up how we all felt after stuffing ourselves.


I am so grateful for so many things... thankful that I have a family to miss, grateful for a surrogate family to borrow, and the day to day blessings and people that make up my life. I truly am blessed and thank G-d for all of His provisions and even the things that He purposefully withholds for my good.

I hope your holidays are wonderful and safe.

xoxo
r

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Holiday Spirit

(Due to Thanksgiving, I don't have any official Chi Alpha events this week. No services, no large group meetings, no small groups, etc. So I am taking some of this time to catch up on quite a few things. One of which is updating my blog and giving it new life and sharing with you what I have been up to.)

At the start of fall quarter, I started my new role in the ministry I am part of here in SoCal. Due to my new role, I moved closer to campus. Its bittersweet. My apartment in Koreatown had unique architectural nuances, high ceilings, natural lighting, wood floors, that curved wall, diffused lighting and a pool in the center of a courtyard. It was charming. But so so far from everyone and I was constantly stuck in traffic going back and forth, not to mention the cost of gas. Towards the end of the summer, my amazing roommate told me that she also had to move out for one reason or another. 

By the end of September I was moving into my new apartment, just a block away from campus. It may not be as charming or chic as my last digs and I can't walk to the Korean market anymore, or sit poolside while soaking up the sun (as if I ever really did that, I would've burned for sure, but I at least had the option). Though I can walk to campus on a moments notice, invite more people into my home  without the hassle of getting them here, and of course save all that precious gas money. 

My gracious roommates have also humored me by allowing me to do a majority of the interior design in our home so I feel like I am settling in fairly well. Just this last week I entertained 8 people for our FriendsGiving event at our house. I broke out the gold chargers, my growing Paola Navone dish collection and bought some pumpkins for decor.

Sadly I was more concerned with the food than taking any real pictures, so this is all I have to show for the night. But it was awesome to finally be able to host. I am finally in a place that is both large enough and has the right location to entertain friends.

I might get a lot of flak for what I am about to share with you and rightfully so, but I do have reasons for my actions... but yes, yes, I have put up my Christmas decor before Thanksgiving. 1. I will be leaving for Christmas in Kansas midway through December and I want to be able to enjoy my Christmas decorations as much/ as long as possible before I leave. 2. Due to the fact that I celebrated FriendsGiving a week earlier than Thanksgiving, it feels like I already celebrated the holiday, and it feels natural to put it up now. 3. I actually have free time now to put it up whereas I won't in the near future. 4. Putting them up gives me an excuse to show you my new space.


I decorated a wreath, added some broken snowflakes to the chalk board and added some ornaments to my Lucky Cats.


I bought some cinnamon scented pine cones which makes my house smell dreamy!



Suffix also is getting in the Holiday spirit!

Well hopefully you won't write me off for my preemptive Christmas decor. Talk to you soon!

xoxo
r

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

28

I used to view birthdays as a celebration of a new life and celebrating your sheer existence. A day to be glad that you were born. It wasn't until this year that I started viewing birthdays as a celebration that you have made it this far. It really puts a different emphasis on your age. Before I would be glad I was born and then seeing my new number, my new age would just be a reminder that I have used up that much time since the day I was born, and reminded me that I still haven't accomplished anything and time is ticking away. Though when I think of making it in life this far, for 28 years, it makes me view my age as a badge of honor. I have made it 28 years on this Earth and counting, hear me roar! Today, I  celebrate my being born but I am also proud of my age.

The cake my momma made me from scratch. Mmmmm!
Birthday outfit!

The hat I bought in Cap Haiten.







































xoxo,
r


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mwen Sonje Ou Anpil (I Miss You A Lot, in Haitian Creole)

I really do miss you. I have had so much to tell you about but then I let too much time go and then I have been backed up on things to share and don't know where to start. Things like my turtles and their cute pictures, going to the MadMen event at the Kodak theater, going to Las Vegas twice, finding a junk table on the side of the road and refinishing it for my kitchen, being in my sister's wedding and seeing her off to the Marines (oorah!), getting a much unexpected promotion that is daunting and exciting and completely over my head, dressing up for our final banquet, going to Haiti and traveling to new exciting places I've never been to, among so many other things. So I guess I should just start somewhere and that somewhere is my travels to Haiti and my most favorite pictures I took during that time (minus ones I did for a photoshoot because that would spoil the work I plan to do with them). Then after Haiti photographs I can organically share whatever comes to mind from the past few months. Deal?











As we were driving through Cap Hatien after the World Cup match (Argentine vs Netherlands) fans started to storm the streets.

The first eight pictures here were taken in Fond Doux, Haiti. The rest were taken in or near Cap Hatien, the first original capital of Haiti. The ruins are the ruins of the Sans Souci Palace. The ocean picture was taken at Cromier beach. The last one was taken in Cap Haitien. I have a lot more pictures and stories behind most but this is all I will share for now. 

xoxo,
r




Sunday, March 9, 2014

好久不见 (Long Time No See)

So, its been a while. I've been up to my elbows in yada yada yada. Long story short, I miss you. I think about you all the time. Really. I do. I couldn't bare another minute away so I am pushing pause on everything else to say hello. Since we last talked I have cut 7 inches off of my hair (mainly to get rid of damaged dry bits and start fresh), I have started learning how to write in Chinese (hence the title), went to a fancy schmancy Oscar Awards viewing party to celebrate black nominees at a Haitian Soiree and displayed my photography there, and I have had a full blown flu (or perhaps head cold, still not sure what the difference is and am still in the thick of it). Also I became a pet owner/ turtle-momma just yesterday, which is worthy of a whole post on its own so stay tuned for that.

Oh and one last minor thing, I have given up desserts. You know, for Lent. No bigs, just 35+ more days to go. Just THIRTY-SOMETHING (I am not sure how count downs go, do I count today? Do I subtract it? What if its early in the morning? Also add in the confusion of it being 46 calendar days but only 40 days of fasting ) LONG FULL DAYS of NO DESSERT. I'm not cutting out sugar all together, I add a little agave to my coffee and oatmeal in the morning and I am still eating fruit, but no more desserts. No cupcakes, donuts, cronuts, custards, macaroons, macarans, cookies, ice cream, mochi, lucky fish, chocolate, cinnamon rolls, nothing nada zip.

So far I have done much better than I had predicted. Though I must say, if I am dieting I don't have much resolve but for fasting purposes I have greater self-control. I bypassed s'mores and even made some for others at our beach bonfire. I declined an offer of frozen yogurt, even when they offered to pay. And I have refrained from eating any candies from the candy jar at my house (though I have unconsciously started to reach for it a couple times but snapped back into reality before it was too late.)

This may not seem like much of a challenge for anyone else but I have quite the sweet tooth and a day doesn't go by that I don't normally indulge in something sugary sweet. The past couple years I have dodged the dessert-free-Lent fast, choosing other lesser difficult fasts like going sans makeup or only listening to music without lyrics. But this year it seemed like Lent snuck up on me and I had to decide quickly. So there you go. We shall see how things pan out.

Also I just found out that Sundays you aren't supposed to fast that's why its 46 days from Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday but you observe 40 days, so I could've actually had something today.
-___- Guess I will have to wait till next week. Pewp.

Stay tuned for adorable baby turtle pictures.

xoxo,
r

PS also stay tuned for road trip pictures. I will be heading up north for the week to places I have never been before.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Look Book III

I don't consider myself a fashion guru by any stretch of the imagination. Though I do like making different combinations and expressing myself through clothing. I have seasons of color schemes like those couple years where I wore pretty much all black, I wasn't being goth, I just liked the slimingness simplicity of it all. Occasionally I will choose an urban vibe. Or sometimes an androgynous look. I will "go country" or "artistic." For the past few years I have been into wearing neutral solids, solid gray shirt with a solid camel color motor jacket, solid chambray shirt with a solid army-green jacket, solid black shirt with a purple sweater, etc.

More recently though, I have been drawn to color, unique shapes and patterns. Mixing old and new, mixing cultures (see poncho), working with different proportions and shapes and sizes. Occasionally I will make a post here or there with "looks" I have put together. So here are some of my recent concoctions I have come up with. I have more outfit combinations than are here, but these are what I will feature for now.

(Note: I had my hair up in a ponytail before these pictures and was trying to fluff it up so you can't see the bumps, so now I just look kind of messy. haha)

Top: Goodwill, unknown brand $3 | Jeans: Goodwill, 7 For All Mankind $7 | Shoes: Target $20






Top: Christmas gift/ garage sale find, unknown brand |  Jeans: gift,  It Hottie | /Boots: gift, vintage Neiman Marcus

Dress: Goodwill, handmade $5 | Boots: Goodwill (in KS), leather cowgirl boots $5

Jacket: birthday gift, American Rag | Top: birthday gift, Free People | Jeans: thrift store, Paige $15 | Heels: thrift store, Coach wedge heels $30

Poncho: birthday gift/ thrift store, unknown brand | Shirt: gift, Toki Doki shirt | Jeans: thrift store, 7 For All Mankind $8 | Boots: birthday gift, black leather dingo boots from Nigros


Until later.

xoxo,
r

PS I went to a place called Dumb Starbucks today though the line was too long so I didn't get anything. And now it looks like it is closed down anyways. :/

PPS My roommate and I went to a different coffee place in lieu of that one not working out, and we also stopped by a fun Goodwill shop and I bought a pair of jeans that are a perfect fit for $8.

PPPS My roommate and I decided to make today the New Year so we could have a new new start. So Happy New Year folks!




Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Living Space

I told you a long time ago that I would take pictures of my house and show you my humble abode but I haven't done so yet because I wanted to have everything in place beforehand. But if I wait till then, you will never see my place. So here you go. The work-in-progress home of Rachelle and Frances.

Our apartment is a junior apartment which is a cross between a studio and one room. So we have a "room" that has half walls and no door that open our room into the living room. But it works for us. So in my pictures I am not going to focus on our designated sleeping "room".

Living Room:
Taken a while ago.

Taken just about 5 minutes ago. 
We had plans of putting the books on a bookshelf but haven't gotten anything yet and in order to unpack my books finally from the boxes that were sitting next to the couch for forever I put them on the built-in ledge thing. We want to put like three large pillows next to the couch for extra seating. We like that the wall is curved like the back of my couch is curved, so it was perfect to put the couch there. Also want to put up sheer curtains there.

Note the faux fireplace. 

I won that side table in a white elephant gift exchange party. I was using the stack of books as a side table.


My workspace. And part of our bed room... you can see what I mean when I say it is a half wall with our beds in the room. 

My inspiration board, that reminds me of some of the peoples I love. 

We have great natural lighting in our house because of the windows. I also love our high ceilings and the fact that our artificial light is diffused lighting.

My roomies workspace and our other large window on the other side of our living room. Probably will not be adding sheer curtains to these windows though. 



"Hall" Closets:
We each have our own large closet and then we have another storage closet that you can't see in this photo. This also leads to the bathroom, which I won't really feature because its not that exciting.  
The look into the living room and part of the kitchen. 



Kitchen:

Our fridge is considered a European sized fridge and holds only a handful of items. Disregard the unmopped floors.  Also we want to add a 2-person dining table in the kitchen, because as it stands we either sit at our desks and eat or sit on the couch. 

Note that the cabinets above the sink are actually so high that the bottom of the cabinet is above my head. I can't reach the top shelf and until I get a step ladder I actually have to stand on the counter to grab things from that shelf. The top shelf on the right has nothing on it for that reason. 

Our counter space is a little cluttered but I use all the items shown. Also I love my cobalt blue/white color combo. 

I guess our spice shelf area used to be a fold-down ironing board.

Outside View:

If you look out the window with the wooden blinds, this is what you would see.
It looks great, but the pool is pretty cold haha.

That is our neighbor's door, our front door is to the left of the photo. I hope to put a chair and side table or a little bench under our window.

Well there you have it folks. Will share if anything exciting changes. Hope you have a peaceful and happy day.

xoxo,
r