A Letter to My Son…

As I sit here on the eve of your 18th birthday, I am overwhelmed with emotion. I did not think I would be, but here I am wiping away a few tears as I think of how quickly you have become a young man. I am so proud of who you have become. You are intelligent, business savvy, talented and creative with the biggest heart.

I am overjoyed by your love for photography. I too have loved photography for as long as I can remember. I only dabbled behind the camera but am much more comfortable as the admirer of art. Knowing you view the world through a lense leaves me excited to see your next piece. Even though you have slowed down on the writing, you are a gifted writer. Perhaps journalism is in your future. I do hope you decide to express yourself through writing again one day.

Your advocacy for your peers is to be admired. I am thrilled when you want to talk about the things going on in your world and the world at large. Your need for social justice and equality reminds me of someone I know very well.  I hope you never lose your passion for these things.

I admire your love of family. The bond that you share with your extended family is something that you will always cherish. Make memories and stay connected.

I put this slide show together and could not help but notice how much you and I traveled together. We had a blast in Italy. Rome was the gift I wanted to give to you and to see the smile on your face was priceless. The train ride to Cortona where we spent the day with an amazing family was the highlight of that trip. Watching you play soccer with the backdrop of rolling hills on the countryside is an image etched into my memory. Who can forget the fun we had with Michelle and Chef Andrea in the cooking class? You will forever know how to make homemade pasta and sauce!

You discovered a temporary love of gelato in Budapest. I am still amazed that we kept going back for more. Spending time at the escape room with the clues in Hungarian was thrilling; and we escaped thanks to our Hungarian connections. We could not have had a better host than Julia. We share a love for travel and I am grateful that you appreciate the different cultures and are open to learning and exploring.  Eight countries, eleven states and counting…

What I would like to leave you with is this: never be afraid, take each challenge as it comes. There will be failures, accept them, learn from them and move on. Most importantly, have fun!

I can’t wait to see what the future has in store for you.

I love you Jaden Miles…


Tea Time, Donuts, and Junk

IMG_5657I was excited to visit my friend Amber in California after her recent move from #Portland. What better weekend to go than when the Great Junk Hunt would be in town? I got a very inexpensive direct flight to Burbank on SWA and looked forward to a packed one and a half day visit! Amber is the hostess of hostesses. I appreciated the reusable water bottles with the refill jug in the back of the car. That’s so #PDX and so something I would do! The guest room is amazing! It all starts with the sheets. I thought my guest sheets were great, I must up my game after staying in Amber’s cozy guest room. She convinced me to use the warming pad on the bed. While I was initially skeptical, it was heavenly! I slept like a baby. Continue reading “Tea Time, Donuts, and Junk”

So Much To Tell!

Trying to keep up with these two! Jalil & Amir

Maybe the title is too dramatic. Let me start by saying I’m not pregnant and I’m not married. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I’ve done quite a bit since my last post, including going to Kansas City to see my nephew Amir, as he turned 5, spent time in Grand Cayman with my friend celebrating her big birthday, and starting an ecommerce store. I’ve been busy having fun and spending time with people I love.


Continue reading “So Much To Tell!”

What Fills Your Cup?

IMG_3804Several years ago, I heard someone speak on making sure your cup stays filled, meaning, make sure you do things in life that make you happy, bring you joy, etc.  In doing so, you have the capacity to pour into others. I feel that lately, I’ve been pouring from a cup that’s almost run dry. Unexpectedly, my cup was recently filled and I was overjoyed.

There’s no question that we live in a world where an incident can cause mass injuries in the blink of an eye. Many victims die from uncontrolled bleeding in as little as five to ten minutes. By learning techniques to control bleeding, any person, including civilians, can save lives. Continue reading “What Fills Your Cup?”

The Face of Suicide

IMG_0742In recent months, the world has lost some big names to suicide including Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. While it’s likely none of us reading this blog knew either of them personally, I’m certain some of us took pause and felt some emotion about the news. My son, 16 years old, lost a classmate to suicide recently. I could tell he struggled with trying to understand what happened and I wasn’t sure how to respond to his sadness.

Continue reading “The Face of Suicide”

Long Time, huh?

Ok, so my last blog I said Jaden was going to be a guest blogger. I’m still waiting on his blog but if I wait too much longer you all may forget about me. Plus, I have so much to tell you!

A few weeks ago, I took a trip to #Cabo. I’ve been there on a cruise ship but this time, I flew in and stayed at a resort. It was one of the most #peaceful and #restorative #vacations I’ve ever had.

Based on my last trip to #Mexico, I was determined not to stay at an all inclusive. This is primarily because the food at the all inclusive I stayed at was terrible. You all know how much I love a good meal and having bad food ruins a vacation for me. So I chose the JW Marriott Resort in #LosCabos. The infinity pools on the website is what got me. I loved it! The team onsite took excellent care of me. Ramon at the adult pool went above and beyond to make sure I was well cared for.

I can’t decide which was the highlight of the trip for me though. My package, which I booked through Costco Travels – my first time using them, came with access to the #spa amenities. I took full advantage. I went from the hot tub to the ice tub and back several times to detoxify my body. Then I went to the sea salt steam room, then the sauna. I finished my spa experience in the mineral pool. After all of that, my body was rejuvenated and I was just ready to lay by the pool and sip on an adult beverage.

Now, the other thing that is competing with the spa highlight is the food! I couldn’t get enough of the #lobster tacos and the #Cajun wings. How in the world is it that the best Cajun wings I’ve ever had were in Mexico? I ordered them 3 times! I also had 2 of the best salads I’ve ever had: spinach & salmon and a citrus grilled shrimp salad. To top it all off, the prices were great. It was well worth not paying for the all inclusive. Well, that’s because I stopped at the duty free store when I arrive to Cabo, so no liquor costs at the hotel.

I took a shuttle to the other side of town and went on the #caboadventures #sunsetcruise . It sucked. I love being in the open water on a boat. However, they advertised an open bar and finger foods. My margarita tasted like Kool-aide and the food was pretty bad. I love ALL types of music but even the music sucked. After all that, the most entertaining time was the shuttle ride back. There were 8 young ladies from the #ATL who were drunker than skunks and they were quite entertaining. It was 30 minutes of hilarity.

Overall, it was a fantastic little get away. My only regret is that the resort is very far from everything. Next time I go, I’ll stay at the Cabo Azul. The location is perfect and there are shops, entertainment, and restaurants within walking distance.

Where to next?

Living life and it’s so good.

By the way, I have a new store: current promotion is 50% all first time orders. Plus free shipping on orders over $50. Check it out! Tell me what you think.


Cajun Food & Good People

Bacon-wrapped shrimp at The Seafood Spot

Over the last couple of months, I’ve continued to try new restaurants in #Houston. I have come up with some favorites (Grace’s, La Griglia, & Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers) I’ve been on a Louisiana-style kick lately and I’ve tried three restaurants recently: LA Crawfish, The Seafood Spot, and Bayou City. While they have similar menus, they were each very different.

Continue reading “Cajun Food & Good People”

A Weekend with the Kid

fullsizeoutput_384bIf any of you follow me on IG @kendradawnrn2002 you know that this past weekend, Jaden was in town. I speak with (rather text) my son regularly and we share quite a bit. When I decided to buy a #Mustang a couple of months ago, it was killing me not to tell him. He’d just started driver’s ed and kept referencing being my chauffeur in my Honda Element when he came to visit. Yes, I drove a Honda Element because it was appropriate for the #PacificNorthwest and I loved that car! Anyway, I was excited to see Jaden’s reaction when I pulled up in the #5.0 at the airport. His reaction was priceless. He didn’t skip a beat in getting behind the wheel to drive me around. This kid had no idea how much engine was under that hood but he did a spectacular job! He’s a safe driver and didn’t let this #Houston traffic get the best of him. It was a proud momma moment. Continue reading “A Weekend with the Kid”

A Wedding and A Cigar Lounge

fullsizeoutput_3841I spent the weekend in #Atlanta to attend my niece’s #wedding. The wedding was at a beautiful venue, The Conservatory at Waterstone, and the outdoor ceremony ended just as a storm rolled in. My niece is pretty unique and my new nephew is too. They balance one another and to be around them is inspiring. Well, in my opinion it is. I don’t know many couples who complete one another. Of course I don’t know the innards of their relationship but I do know enough to know that they really love each other. They are a beautiful couple and I’m happy I had a chance to witness their union. And as the wise old gentle man said during his well wishes: I hope their kids are born naked! (Okay, you had to be there. That’s the funniest things I’ve heard in ages!)

Continue reading “A Wedding and A Cigar Lounge”

39 & Fine as Wine…I like to drink it too.

IMG_4920Another birthday has come and gone and I’m embracing 39. Knowing I’m knocking on 40 boggles my mind and is an ever present reminder that time really does fly. I’m looking forward to what 39 has in store for me.

Part of my birthday celebration was spent in #Shreveport. I played craps for the first time. I’m not sure if it was beginner’s luck or what but let’s just say I came out WAYYYYYY ahead. Oh, I was also introduced to Southern Maid Donuts. Words cannot describe the deliciousness of the perfect donut! I don’t like glazed donuts but I was dying to get back to that place before leaving Shreveport.  Continue reading “39 & Fine as Wine…I like to drink it too.”

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