Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Ode to my grandmother - 1915 - 2012

My grandma (AKA La Loyita) with my cousin Carmen
With my grandma (Mami Elodia) @ her birthday party few years ago.

Buenaventura Elodia Barrios (1915-2012) - she lived 96 years :)

I loved my grandmother. I grew up seeing her every few days since we lived around the block from her. She always made me giggle and squirm because she always wanted to chew our chins with her gums lol. It amused her to no end :) She was always smiling and laughing at something. She was full of love and joy for all to see. She was loud and vibrant right up to her passing this past weekend 3/24/12. The whole family is hurting from this loss. Was it a surprise? No, she had been recovering from constant bouts of pneumonia all stemming from strokes she suffered a few years ago. And she was 96. Her immune system was not strong but her spirit always was. Every time I stopped by for a visit she would tell me a story from long ago. She remembered her childhood in Guatemala, her abusive husband (who always drank and gambled the money away), and her escape from my grandpa to the Capital to start a new life and the struggles that ensued.

She never wished my grandpa any harm. Never really spoke bad about him, even though we all knew he was not very nice to her and she ended up fleeing with only the clothes on her back and the youngest kids with her. She was a mother of 11 so that showed the drive and perseverance she had to make a better life for her and her children.

The oldest children never bore any resentment towards my grandma like you see nowadays for any little thing. They supported her move; they never lost contact. They even took care of their father and in time created their own lives and families. She never looked back and did what she had to do to make ends meet with her kids.

While she lived with my grandfather, she did odd jobs to stay afloat. She was a candlestick maker, a mender of clothes, sold nick-knacks, etc. any job she could find she did. I really wish I had recorded her when she told us her stories. I remember listening intently, fascinated by her life and achivements. She never gave up! She never gave up hope for a better tomorrow. And best of all she never lost Faith.

What makes her passing extra painful is the fact that she was the rock that held our extended family together.  Because of her we all gathered yearly for her birthday making it our family reunion. We all bonded and were able to catch up with each other once a year which was always fun. Our family, all us cousins and aunts and uncles and kids etc all live far away from each other. She was the driving force for us all to unite in Los Angeles to celebrate her life yearly. Don't get me wrong, we all visited with her on our own weekly, monthly etc  but it's not the same. Once in a while you got lucky and got to see an aunt or cousin visiting at the same time but it wasn't the same.

I hurt because I loved her but I feel relieved in her passing because I know she was tired. She cried every once in a while asking why God wouldn't take her yet. That's heartbreaking to hear. I'm at peace knowing she's in a far better place now. Running down the fields and enjoying the cool breeze. She hasn't walked in a few years now due to a stroke. We also had not taken her outside in the yard in the past year because she was very weak now.

I also hurt for my mother, my aunts and uncles and my cousin Carmen, whom my grandma always considered her youngest child. The pain they feel is not the same pain I feel. I know that. It hurt me deeply to hear my mother cry on the phone that she "had no mommy". Nobody should ever feel that but I know that is not realistic.My grandfather Jacinto died in 2001. I had the pleasure of meeting him for the second and final time in Guatemala a few months before his death. My mom and her sisters and brothers cried and mourned his loss then too, the past pain erased, but its not the same pain I see with the passing of Mami Elodia. A mothers love cannot be substituted.

I'm not looking forward to her wake and funeral next week. I don't want to say goodbye. I don't want to see everybody crying. I will feel helpless. I will try to be as strong as my grandma was in life and help my mom with anything she needs. I will be have to be her shoulder, her rock, those days.

Mamita, I love you. I will always love you and cherish the 35 years I had with you. Luckily I took a lot of goofy videos & pictures of you and those around you in recent years and will never forget you. You touched all our lives. Gave us strength and filled us with joy. Your faith in God never wavered and it showed. You were blessed and because of it and so were we.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Look up at the sky!

3/13/12 - Venus-Jupiter Conjunction
Here's my live shot of the Venus-Jupiter conjunction tonight lol. My cell phone has limitations apparently! Some guy driving by pulled over to ask what was in the sky LOL. I told him about the conjunction and he thought it was cool. Except I forgot it was Jupiter and said Uranus LMBO! 

Anybody else find the night sky fascinating? I've been meaning to download an star app to show me what's up there as I see it. Any good suggestions? For a Droid I mean :)

Here's a great article (and real picture) via National Geographic of the conjunction. It will peak on Thursday 3/15.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

New #deals found online for you!

Found a few local deals that are worth buying! 
Top: mar'sel at Terranea<br>Bottom: Deep sea fishing

On Travelzoo:
$18 & up -- Los Angeles Weekend Deals: Stay or Get Away
Check out all the deals Travelzoo posted today! Great deals!

On LA Deals:
$33 for 3 Oil Changes + Bonus Services (reg. $180)
Deal expires in 2 days!


  • 3 full service oil changes
  • Oil filter replacement & chassis lube
  • Bonus services provided as specified per location
  • 11 participating SoCal service centers to choose from (for full list, please see below)

On Groupon:
Deal expires in 2 days!
In a Nutshell
Sprawling, educational event re-creates 16th-century Elizabethan culture through live performances, authentic cuisine & interactive exhibits
I think I wanna try this one too LOL. Never gone!

Expires in 5 days!
In a Nutshell
Portable scanner transforms printed photos into high-resolution digital images, at up to 600 DPI, to be stored on memory card or computer
On LivingSocial:
Expires in 2 days!

Monday, February 20, 2012

My friend's show designs!

My friend, Janine Lam, has the most creative ideas! Her trade show set designs are winning press and awards for her company. Check out one of her most recent designs. Very proud!

Bestfit International 

The booth was advertised on the 

Here's Janine! She looks beautiful!

Her Tea Party design

Just beautiful!

Burgers - $10 for 2 people!


$10 for Burgers and Soft Drinks for Two at Lucy's 51 in Toluca Lake (Up to $35.90 Value)

2 burgers and soda's for $10! Great deal!;utm_campaign=UserReferral_dp&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_source=uu18723165

Friday, February 17, 2012

Geek Chic! New glasses!

Sporting the latest from LensCrafters, D&G, LOL

I finally got my new glasses! After spending a couple hours at LensCrafters, sifting through and trying on every pair of glasses, I finally got them! I love them! I was going for geek chick? What do you think? J I tried some cat eye styles too but they were not flattering so they were gently placed back in their little bins and walked away LOL.

I opted for transition lenses. Have you tried them out? Amazing! Wish I had gotten them before. I was always annoyed at the squinting I had to do when I drove in bright sunlight (in CA it’s year round!) so I love that it’s not as big of an issue now. Yes they are not as dark as traditional sunglasses but they are very close and it works for me! The only downfall is that it does take a minute to go back to normal when you back indoors so I am made fun of for that reason LOL. Just call me “Hollywood!” ;)

I had forgotten how clear new glasses were but I feel like I am wearing HD glasses now! It’s crazy how crystal clear and detailed I can see now!! Glad I opted for the High Resolution 1080p “D&G” brand LOL.
Ok I better stop raving about my glasses. Did I mention I got everything for half off due to my vision plan!! Ok, OK I’m stopping. Until my next new deal….continued upgrading of my beach cruiser…and a possibly new car later this year! Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Need your help! Please vote for us!

We are trying to win a vacation to Cabo via this vacation page. Please "Like" the Page and Vote for us! The picture with the most wins gets a vacation. One random voter get a $500 prize. Win-win baby!

Please vote for us! We need a vacation :) Thank you!
Can't you see us on vacation already? LOL

Monday, February 6, 2012

$99 for a Coby Kyros Touchscreen Android Tablet!

Great deal on Groupon today for a tablet. Coby Kyros MID7015B touchscreen Android 7" tablet (a $179.99 value). Has small internal memory (only 4GB) but has memory slot for optional 16GB. Has HDMI connection :)

Deal expires in 6 days or until sold out!

Coby Kyros MID7015B touchscreen Android tablet;utm_campaign=UserReferral_dp&amp;utm_medium=twitter&amp;utm_source=uu18723165

Monday, January 30, 2012

LA area deals for Valentine's & beyond!

Still need Valentine's gift or just need a vacation? Here's a few more I found online. Get 'em soon. You know this stuff sells out! They all expire within 5-6 days from 1/30/12. Local deals are from Los Angeles area. I'll post new deals soon. :) Share any new sites I should consider as well! I love a good deal!!

Groupon Mexico vacation deal:

$399 Resort Stay Vouchers (7 days!) – Mexico Coastal Resorts

Seven-Night Stay at Choice of 13 Mexico Resorts

 Weeklong Vacation at 1 of 13 Mexican Destinations!


LA Deals, Hawaii:
$309 WAIKIKI GATEWAY HOTEL (expires in 2 days from 1/30)
$309 for 3-night Stay in Ocean View Room for 2 at the Waikiki Gateway Hotel (reg. $520)

Jewelry deal:
Blue Nile $50
$100 (Pay $50) or $200 (Pay $100) to Spend on Jewelry with Shipping Included

Chocolate deal:
Contessa Chocolate Collection $10
Box of Eight Gourmet Chocolates
Pay $10 to receive a voucher for one box of eight gourmet chocolates (a $20 value). 

Photobook Deal:
$10 Picaboo
20-Page Classic Custom Hardcover Photo Book in Large ($10) or Extra-Large ($20) Format

Whale Watching Deal:
HARBOR BREEZE CRUISES $30 for 2 (expires 4 days from 1/30)
$30 for Whale Watching Cruise for 2 (reg. $60)

Random one - In New York! Great deal! (Expires in 94 hours from 1/30)
Broadway Comedy Club $20

$20 for 2 tickets and 2 drinks at Broadway Comedy Club ($60 Value)$20 for 2 tickets and 2 drinks at Broadway Comedy Club ($60 Value)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Valentine Day deals!

I'm always scouring the internet for bigger and better deals for little bit of money.

Here are a few good deals (in Los Angeles/Valley areas) I found today that will work for your wallet!
You may not be able to use them "day of" (read the fine print) but V-day lasts all week...actually it should be every day!

$49 - Zagat Pick: 3-Course Italian Dinner w/Wine, Reg. $124

$29 - Temecula Vineyard Tour & Tasting Class, Reg. $150

This one will be great for "starters" or "appetizers" before a night out.

$20 CA WineRoom – Belmont Shore
Info: $20 for Tapas Package with Sangria, Wine, or Champagne ($40 Value)
One tapas item (valid for items up to a $15 value) served during the evening.
Patrons can select one of the following tapas:
A cheese plank platter
An olives and almonds plate
A meats and cheese platter
One pitcher of sangria (a $25 value) or one bottle of wine or champagne (valid for bottles up to a $25 value)

This one is the pricey side but it's romantic.

$69 - 3-Hour Limo Winery Tour w/Tastings & Lunch, Reg. $195

This one is same as above but Temecula:

$69 - Temecula: Chauffeured Wine Tour w/Tastings, Reg. $140

Need gift ideas?

1. Spa!
2. Massage!
3. Facials!
4. Meal at home!
5. Beauty Salon deals!
6. Free time away from you (and or kids lol)!
7. Beautiful picture Frame, family, you both...etc!
8. Flowers - Daisy's! They are a very sweet, romantic flower that are good "just because".
Bring roses (or insert favorite) flower the following week!

What else did you think I was going to say? Lingerie?? Eh No.
Jewelry? Um, unless it's really cool (think Locket- ok maybe that's just me lol), then it's uncreative.

Spa deals:
$39 - Top-Rated Spa: 1-Hour Hot Stone Massage, Reg. $79

This one on Living Social sounds DIVINE!
Bonita Massage Spa
Info: $59 30-Minute Body Scrub, 60-Minute Massage, and 35% Off Next Equal-Value Massage

Skin Care by Janice Otis
$49 One-Hour European Facial and Microdermabrasion

The Body Shop has wonderful scents for lotions as well. It's not high end but it's a good for daily products.
Info: $10 for $20 to Spend on Products

For your Cigar aficionado's:
Info: $25 for $50 to Spend Online on Cigars and Accessories!

And just in case you're person is a Sports Fanatic!
Get em a new Jersey/Tshirt/Jacket they've been wanting with this discount!

Info: $10 for $20 to Spend on Sports Merchandise

And finally, if all else fails, and you want to celebrate least have their Car Washed! Detailing is a gooooooood gift :)

$17 / $22 GoGreen Auto Spa
Info: Pay $17 (regularly $35) for a Mini Detail, or spend $22 (regularly $45) for a Delux Detail
GoGreen Auto Spa, 14006 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

Happy Valentine's! I'll keep posting deals as they come in.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

These Websites Are Going Dark to Protest SOPA Wednesday

I will not be tweeting, blogging tomorrow in honor as well. It may kill me but I will be quiet as well. I'm sure I'll cheat and check out the sites but I'll be quiet. LOL. Have Mercy on us all!! It really will be a long way. FYI don't forget is included in this list!

These Websites Are Going Dark to Protest SOPA Wednesday

Check out the following companies if you are planning on using any of them tomorrow by , for

sopa dark image

Update: Even more websites have joined the cause. Find the new results below.
Tech companies are getting ready to black out on Jan. 18 to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its sibling the Protect IP Act (PIPA).
Much has been made of Wikipedia’s promise to “go dark,” or shut down the site, for the day as a way of warning what might happen if SOPA became law. The tech protesters say that SOPA would render any site that included links, even if they were user-submitted, practically unoperable and liable to government take-down. Going dark is a dramatic but not entirely unrealistic warning of what the Internet could look like in a SOPA world.
The blackout is a way to get the two bills into the mainstream by showing people outside the tech industry how their everyday lives could be affected by the bills. Wikipedia isn’t the only company shutting its digital doors according to It has a (as far as we can tell) full list of the blackout participants.

Sites Going Dark on Jan. 18 to Protest SOPA

  • Imgur
  • Tor Project
  • Miro
  • iSchool at Syracuse University
  • Wikipedia
  • Reddit
  • Mozilla
  • icanhazCheezburger Network
  • Good Old Games
  • TwitPic
  • Minecraft
  • Free Press
  • Mojang
  • XDA Developers
  • Destructoid

sopa dark list image also has a dizzyingly large list of sites “rumored” to be going dark though take these entries with a grain of salt considering Twitter and Facebook are both on the list despite saying they will stay online. The site also has resources on how to black out your own site including plug-ins and code such as Zachary Johnson’s STOP SOPA.
CloudFlare, a startup dedicated towards protecting and optimizing websites, has rolled out its own Stop Censorship app that makes it easy for website owners to temporarily black out portions of their sites.
Will the black out make any difference to the fight against SOPA? Would it matter if big companies like Wikipedia and Mozilla had dropped out? Sound off in the comments.

SEE ALSO: Where Do SOPA and PIPA Stand Now?

STOP SOPA Code Turns Any Site Dark to Protest Stop Online Piracy Act

STOP SOPA Code Turns Any Site Dark to Protest Stop Online Piracy Act

Get you code here or below via Mashable:

Zachary Sniderman by

Sites such as Wikipedia and Reddit are going “dark” this Wednesday, Jan. 18, to protest the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) which, critics contend, would compromise the ability of any site that includes outside links to carry on current operations.

Feeling left out? A simple piece of code is helping the entire web (from major sites to even the humblest of Tumblrs) go dark in solidarity. The code, called STOP SOPA, replaces any site’s landing page with a black screen. Using your mouse a flashlight uncovers a message explaining the need to kill SOPA and a link to anti-SOPA site

The idea of “Going Dark” is a worst-case scenario protest against SOPA, essentially warning that link-heavy sites such as Reddit and Wikipedia might get shut down, or go dark, if SOPA becomes law.

The STOP SOPA code was created by Zachary Johnson, a developer and Internet enthusiast, out of anger:

I’ve been calling my representatives in Congress, but this gave me another outlet for my frustration with this legislation. I place this code in the public domain. I require no attribution.

You can find the code here and get a sense of what sites will look like before and after application. Make sure you don’t add it until Jan. 18, otherwise your site will prematurely go dark.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Am I old?

My other blog "My Weight Loss Journal" is about my new year's resolution about losing weight and reinventing myself. So far I'm doing great and have managed to lose a little so far. Great for me but as I'm getting back into shape I feel my body, especially my knees, protesting about the walk/jog I'm starting again LOL. Is that due to my bad shape, my shoes or am I getting old? 

Please tell me it's not the latter? The dull pain goes away after I get warmed up and running but it lingers when I'm home stretching. Hmmmm.

Also, we had a party over the weekend and I danced my little heart out. My body ached the next day. I had to refrain from even trying to jog and just kept it to a brisk walk lol. I figure it will eventually go away but it scares me.

Also, I do feel old when it's after 2am and I'm no longer feeling buzzed or drunk but my roommates and bf are and I just want to go to bed. Is that wrong?? LOL. I'm sorry but I'm sooo not with them. I didn't have as much to drink as them since I didn't drink beer and shots like they did. So does that make me the Nana of the group lol. All I wanted to do was go to bed but I wasn't allowed too until 3ish. Oy vey was I sleepy.

All and all though, I had a great weekend. I did have to nap most of Sunday away because again, I can't stay up all night and not pay for it the next day. I'm so going to have to take Monday after Superbowl off for that reason if the Pats make it that far! Good luck to us all in that case :) Crossing fingers!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Bike accessories are in!

Woohoo the last of my bike accessories are in! My beach cruiser is going to look soooooo pretty!!

 I'll add a new pic over the weekend of the completed bike. Tell me if you see any other items I need to add to it!! :)

The 1st "ChasinCaroline" bike is done!
Hello my Hello Kitty!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I need new glasses

Anybody else try this pair out? I'm really interested in this pair Versace Glasses @ Lenscrafters.


My 2nd choice


this last pair might be too cat eye for me?? Any thoughts?

D and G

I get to try them all out late next week. I'm excited for a new pair of glasses! It's such a long ordeal since it can make or break your look LOL. Too many choices!!

Update: My current scratched up glasses!

My current glasses

Friday, January 6, 2012

Dance with me :) La vie en rose - Louis Armstrong

This is an absolutely beautiful song. So pure. Don't know why but it really makes me cry and become nostalgic for future?? Not sure but it haunts me lol. Makes me want to waltz too LOL.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One More Disney Day! 24 hrs of Disney!

Can you really stay for a whole 24 hours at Disneyland? You can on Feb. 29, 2012! Leap Year baby! Disneyland will stay open from 6am 2/29 - 6am 3/1. Madness no? Happy, happy, Joy, Joy is all I'm saying lol.

I've had an annual pass off and on for a few years now since moving back to LA from Boston. Yes, I love going really is the happiest place in the world for me. It's a place that imagination can run wild. Where your daily grind doesn't matter. How magical is that? Luckily my bf and his kids share the same love for this place that I do. They are the reason my pass this time lol. My last reason grew up hahaha.

I'm curious to see how the night will play out. Will it be packed round-the-clock? Or will it die down at 2am?? Should be fun to find out. Let's see how long I can go LOL. Will have to pack lots of snacks and sugary drinks haha.

One More Disney Day!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Social media platforms

Great story for all small businesses that have not started their social media campaigns. This will probably be the main story I hand out to any clients (if I start my business lol) on basic networking needed.

Have we become too Social?

so-many-social-networksTwitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tango, Path (my new favorite), FourSquare, Voxer, and Google +. These are all different social media platforms that many of us take part in on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder how I even keep up with it all. Tweeting one second, while updating my status on Facebook and posting a picture on Instagram the next, it can be tiring. From a consumer standpoint, sometimes I feel like there is too much to choose from in terms of being “social”.
From a small business standpoint, I know this brings up the question; what social platforms should we be a part of?
I see a lot of small business pushing the need to be a part of every social media site available for fear of losing out on potential clients and customers. There appears to be some sort of notion that a business can never be “too social”. I beg to differ.
I think we currently live in a society where we are on social media overload and that individuals can choose whether or not to become a total addict (like me) and be apart of everything.
However, It becomes risky business when companies attempt to do so.
I believe that a lot of businesses risk getting overwhelmed when they take on this approach. That is why businesses, small businesses especially, sometimes have a hard time being successful with social media. Instead, they should look to leverage a few social sites in order to really manage and harness the power that social media has to offer.
Here is a brief list of some of the more popular sites a small business might want to be apart of:
  • Social Networking Sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Google +)
  • Creativity Work Sharing Sites (YouTube, Flickr)
  • User-sponsored Blogs (
  • Geo-locating Services (FourSquare)
  • Online couponing services (Groupon, Living Social)
  • Company Sponsored Websites/blogs
  • Company Sponsored cause/help sites
  • Business Networking Sites (LinkedIn)
  • Collaborative Websites (Wikipedia)
  • Commerce Communities (eBay, Craigslist, iStockphoto)
  • Podcasts (Apple)
  • Social Bookmarking Sites (StumbleUpon,
(List adapted from a Mangold and Faulds research article)
I suggest that a good rule of thumb is to look at all the different sites that are available and only pick one or two sites that best accommodate your small business’ structure and your target audience.
What social media sites have you found to be successful tools for your business?
photo credit: Gavin Llewellyn