St Pete/Petersburg Florida ( long weekend )

It has been over a year or so since the last time I was on a plane. We were invited to a wedding in Treasure Island/St Pete Florida and so we decided to add few days to check out the place before the main event. I wanted to share this trip since this is the first time since the pandemic that we were close to having a normal vacay.

Day 1: We landed in Tampa and rented a car for the weekend. We took the earliest flight out from BWI. Our first stop was for brunch at Cassis St Pete and from the airport it was about 25 mins.

This restaurant is 2 blocks away from the new St Pete Pier. They have restaurants, local markets and discovery center for kids. Also a really nice playground and waterpark for free but we didn’t bring our daughter so I was sad cuz she would have loved it here.


I ordered: Pancakes with blueberries, poppy seed and lemon ricotta.

B ordered: Avocado Toast with egg and bacon.

Then after brunch we took a stroll towards St Pete Pier and Downtown.

Lunch: We wanted to eat and have few drinks right by the water. We went to Fresco Waterfront Grill and its located right before you enter the pier. We were seated after a quick 10 min wait and we ordered Ceviche, Mussels and some Moscow Mules/sangria.

Tip: During busy season you can’t make any reservations online.


Dinner: Pia’s Tratoria located at Gulfport Beach Florida and it felt like we were in Italy. The setting and the food reminded me of when we spent few days in Capri. The specials change every two weeks and for dinner they had swordfish lightly breaded on top of pasta. Delicious! Then we also ordered pasture raised breaded chicken on salad. For dessert we had Panna Cotta with cappuccino.


Gulfport Florida is like one of those little towns that you would read in a romcom book. They had restaurants, bars and shops along the beach. It was a really cute place. But like any other beach town everything closes early ( shops I mean).

Day 2: Early day for kayaking. We did a 9am kayak tour with GetUpandGo Clear Kayak to Shell Key Preserve. What a treat for us. Not only was it fun but we did our workout paddling 3 miles. We saw a dolphin and if you love birds.. then you’d be in heaven. They had so much in this preservation. The tour company we used gets pretty booked up in advanced so I suggest to book early and if you can, ask for Jenna to be your guide. She was really knowledgeable about the island ( a pure local).

Shell Key Preserve:

The only way you can access this island is by boat/kayak/ferry. The ferry cannot take you to the shell trees. Only the kayak tour can do that or you can also just rent a boat.

Lunch: The loading dock for our tour was conveniently located in a restaurant so of course right after paddling we ate there. They had really good food and fresh seafood. The view wasn’t bad also.

Billys StoneCrab Grill: $$

Day 3: The wedding day. We didn’t have much time to do anything since the wedding was today. We did have lunch at this famous smoked fish house. Delish!

Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish house: cash only. $$ *They have been open for over 50 years. They got famous with the mullet smoked fish and they recently added mahi mahi/mackerel/salmon.

Wedding: Beach at sunset.

This is the first beach wedding I’ve attended. Ceremony was held on the beach so I made sure my shoes were appropriate. I wore espadrilles in nude to match my hat and bag. It was such a lovely day to end our mini get away and I can’t wait to go home and see our baby girl.

Accomodations: Crystal Bay Hotel: $$ centrally located between Treasure Island and St Pete/Petersburg. It’s a historic bed and breakfast.

Motherhood: The greatest, toughest and the most unexpected Hood you’d ever be in.




The last post I shared on this blog was 2015. The year we found out we were pregnant. I can still remember it like it was yesterday. Everyday before I start my day I would buy a Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks ( I don’t do it any longer cuz it’s about $5 a cup which would add up $150 a month & $1800 a year…. Ludicrous!!! ). Anyway the coffee started to taste real bad; I would think, “Oh, that place must have done it wrong,” or, “They don’t do it as well.” I would return another day and try another Starbucks to see if I was right. Tasted bad again. So it got me thinking…Am I pregnant? My husband and I hastily bought a $1 store pregnancy test. When I took the test, it had 1 dark pink line and 1 very very very very light pink line on the bottom. The box said TWO pink lines = PREGNANT and I only see 1 Pink, so we were like, “Ok, I’m not preggy.” Wrong!!!!! Because no matter how light that damn 2nd line is, if it’s there, it means you are pregnant. Honestly, I was shocked and a tad bit upset because it meant we couldn’t go through with our Iceland trip that was planned for summer of 2016; then I said to myself, “You are crazy to think that way.” I was. I guess I was just nervous. It has always been just B and I for 11 years. The thought of being a mother never crossed my mind. I had no clue how to be good mother. But when the time comes, natural instincts take over and you just do it. B and I never really talked about starting a family until 2015, 7 years after we got married. Then it happened. We were very thankful that we were able to bring Maisey into this world. I was 35 years old when I got pregnant, and 36 when I gave birth. My pregnancy was quite an enjoyable experience and I really tried to relish every moment of it. It’s amazing the type of drastic changes your body is able to endure. What probably helped was the fact that we were living in Los Angeles at the time and the weather in southern California is as advertised. The weather is usually perfect. Everyday single day. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the pregnancy as much if I had to deal with the cold weather of the east coast.
For this post I want to share MY honest experiences as a mom from giving birth to now (Maisey is almost 3).


After we found out we were pregnant, we also found out that we didn’t have really good insurance. I have always been either a Travel Physical Therapist ( 12 weeks assignment at a time) or Per Diem. We always buy our own medical insurance, so I at least had the opportunity to switch my insurance; but the new plan would not take affect until the new year because we found out that we were pregnant in October 2015. I actually had to go to one of those Planned Parenthood clinics. We found one in Beverly Hills and we went to see if we could get an Ultrasound. (which by the way was really cool because I think we only paid $75 OUT OF POCKET for it.) The Dr there did a Vaginal Ultrasound since I was still pretty early in my journey and they couldn’t do regular stomach one. The physician must have been at least 90 years old because he was so slow to take the picture of Maisey, while finding her inside my belly. He eventually got one though! Lol…

I hear so many stories of people losing their babies in the first 3 months. Very tragic and I hear about it more and more frequently. I don’t know what I would have done if it that happened to us. To all the mothers that have ever lost a child, I have no words that could encompass my sympathy for you, nor do I want to pretend I can imagine what it would feel like, because no one could ever imagine that type of pain; but I think you ALL are so strong and brave to be able to stand back up and get moving again after something like that. I know their are many factors that can contribute to losing a baby during pregnancy, but there are some things we did research during our pregnancy and thought I would share them in case anyone had any questions. This is not a complete list of “Things to do and not do,” but rather just some things we paid a bit closer attention to.

List of food I DID NOT eat due to listeria bacteria ( *Listeria infection during pregnancy can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, uterine infection and preterm delivery.)

1. Deli meats

2. Bean sprouts

3. Some Cheeses ( I avoided ALL dairy)

4. Milk

5. Seafood

I only craved bread and vegan butter for the first 2 months. And freshly squeezed orange juice. After the 1st trimester, I started craving saltier foods, and for the last trimester, (which was B’s favorite) all I wanted was the greasy, fatty meats and a lot of cheesy stuff. The only scary part for me was really the 1st trimester in regards of food. I was still very careful with everything I did. One crazy thing I did do at the end of my pregnancy, was go with my Husband to a music video he was shooting out in the desert, in the middle of hot ass June. I was already 8 months at the time.


I was very nervous about being in labor. I hear so many crazy stories about giving birth. Especially about the pain. But when it was time to go to the hospital, I was ready. All that fear about pain went out the window. I just wanted her to safely be out of my belly so we could meet her. I was in labor for about 15 hours and didn’t ask for the epidural until the 15th hour. Not because the contractions were hurting me, it was when those damn nurses would check to see how dilated I was. I feel like they were inserting their whole entire hand. That was pretty painful. So I asked for the needle, which quite surprisingly didn’t hurt considering the size of that thing. Shortly after that, she was ready to come out. I pushed for 3 hours and she was trying her best to come out, but her head was too big and my canal was too small. The doctor monitored my vitals as well as Maisey’s the entire time, just to make sure neither of us was undergoing too much stress. We reached a point when the doctor gave us 3 choices. We could keep pushing a little more and risk the chance of me ripping completely, she could use forceps, or she could cut me open. We opted for the latter. We had an Emergency C-Section. Keep in mind, all of this is happening and I haven’t eaten a single thing. (except for those damn ice chips which I wanted to throw across the room) So, after the doctor cuts me open, I can feel her struggling a bit. I could feel my body shifting left and right as the doc pulled and tugged. The doc had to call in another nurse to actually reach back “down there” and push Maisey back in while the doc pulled her out. Her head was actually caught!! My husband could see the doc on her knees on the operating table while the other nurse was helping her to, “unstuck,” Maisey. After what seemed like a blurry, intense and chaotic few minutes in the ER, Maisey’s voice cut through and we heard her cry for the first time. I was so tired that I wanted to pass out, but the tears just flowed. After I got to briefly meet her, I was down for the count. That was the best 2 days of my life. Being in that little room, just the three of us. I wish our other family could be there with us, but it was also an incredibly unforgettable and intimate experience with just us 3. I gave birth on a holiday weekend (July 4th weekend) so even the hospital was running on minimal staff. It was pretty quiet and empty in there. I feel forever cherish that moment. But the pain after surgery is a whole different topic. That, I DO NOT MISS. I made the mistake of trying to be a supermom and didn’t ask for pain medicine or any initial help from the nurses or my husband. Big mistake. Take the pain meds to manage the pain, recover and let the people around you help. I miss having her in my belly; it’s in incredible experience to feel another human life growing inside you. I especially miss feeling her when she used to punch and kick.

Myths Vs Facts

These list below are my very OWN experiences. So don’t compare yourself with mine and take them with a grain of salt.

1. Breastfeeding is easy and Breastmilk is best for your child .

Yes I do agree with it being the best for your child. But unfortunately I had no milk. She latched on quick but I know I had none. She tried to drink or suck her hardest but nothing was coming out. And the sucky part was that St. Joseph Hospital in Burbank was extremely PRO breast feeding, but I feel like they could have pushed us harder for that. But no one was there to help us or assist us with how to stimulate the lactation process. It may have been due to the holiday weekend, but a lactation specialist did come in on the day we were scheduled to leave, but I feel like she had no real advice since we were already giving Maison formula.

2. Formula is Bad and you should always try to breastfeed.

If I didn’t have her drink formula she would have had jaundice and she would have been even weaker. I think I’d rather feed my baby than trying to breastfeed when nothing is coming out. But I wish I had breast milk. I would have loved to have so much breastmilk for her. But it so happens my body didn’t produce much. And I don’t feel guilty using formula nor should anyone. It’s crazy how some mothers would judge with that. SMH you can shove that judgement up your butt hahaha.

3. You can never take a nap.

Ok this is half and half. I was able to take naps with her. The best when she was less than a month. She would only eat and sleep. She would nap for 1-2 hrs and I would be napping with her. But I’m very thankful for B for this one. He was with us and he was very helpful with the feeding. I think he became a pro with washing those baby bottles. Not just regular baby bottles. We bought the ones that had so many damn pieces so it would take so long to wash them. But having B with me during this made it so much more easier. He was able to take off 2 months work. We saved up our own money to take off 3 months. I had no benefits from work but it was worth every penny to be able to have B with me. That is why I was still able to nap. And even after that, I would always nap when she does and sometimes would read.

4. You will not be able to do what you like after having a baby.

This is not true for me. I love to read. I average on 25-28 books a year. But I read the most after having Maisey. 2018 I reached my goal of 52 books a year which was 1 book a week. So I hate when I hear that from other people. You can still do what you like. If you love it too much you will find a way. I don’t let others tell me what I can or can not do. If I allow that idea clutter my mind I would not be able to do anything.

5. Travel now, before you have kids.

This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. We traveled before we had Maisey and still travel with her. Traveling with her is a lot more fun. Now it’s for sure a lot more work, but we enjoy it. I have to plan our trips but at the same time be flexible. We took her to Iceland for her 1st birthday. Which I will post on my next blog entry. We not only went there, but we actually drove the entire country in 7 days with her. It was one of the best things we’ve ever done. To travel with your kid is so amazing and I would recommend that to anyone. ( Of course if you are able to travel financially, emotionally and physically).

6. Being a mother is the hardest JOB ever!

Let’s define job:

“job which requires the employee to, work regular hours for a consistent wage that often exceeds the provisions of applicable minimum wage legislation. A job that produces a living wage.

I don’t consider being a mother a job. It’s an obligation yes but even then some don’t even feel like they are obligated to do that or else why would we have so many kids in foster care. And if this really was a job, then those people would be fired. Well maybe some are in jail or other places, but I don’t say it’s a job. It is hard. It is tough. It’s tough to be mother. Its a challenge. It’s fun. It’s amazing. But I don’t think it’s a job. I have a job so I know what a job is, and being a mother feels totally different. But do I sometimes need a break from being mommy? Hell Yeah! And going to work gives me that break. Thank God my work is easy and I don’t get stressed with what I do. But being a mother is not a job. It is exhausting, challenging, fun, amazing, a blessing, but it’s not a job.

I love being a mother, but some days I would reminisce about my life pre-Maisey to see If could remember how it felt; how life without Maisey felt. But honestly, it’s hard to even remember that feeling after almost 3 years. I guess I don’t miss it that much. I love having her. It’s so much fun to see how she grown everyday. How she learns. How she plays. What trips me out is when I see things in her that remind me of myself. Now that’s an awesome mom moment; when your kid starts to remind you of yourself.

” mask.” part 2 of ” WITHIN. ” series by BeMoreMedia


” We have the choice of two identities. The external mask which seems to be real…. and the hidden, inner person who seems to us to be nothing. “

– Thomas Merton

This mini collection is called, ” mask.” because at times, whether we realize it or not, EVERYONE  can feel like they have to cover their true identities to fit into what society says is ideal. We admire celebrities, models and socialites because we think that they have it all. But in reality we are all different. We cannot be molded into just one type. We need to embrace our differences and know that we are all beautiful in our own way.




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“bind.” (part of “WITHIN.” series by BeMoreMEdia)

“We are not trapped by our thoughts.

What we generally do, however, is create thoughts that trap us.”

– Joshua David Stone


This past summer, we decided to do another editorial series.  This time, we wanted a darker, edgier, and more emotional look.  We decided to do a series called “WITHIN.” and these pictures are a part of a mini collection that make up the series.

This mini collection is called, “bind.” because we are often trapped within ourselves by emotions that we sometimes create;  and those can be the toughest kind of binds to break away from.

Society dictates what is right and wrong and can often limit us on what we want to say, feel or do.

Continue reading ““bind.” (part of “WITHIN.” series by BeMoreMEdia)”

Goonies never say die!!!!!!!! ( Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park Oregon )


Cannon Beach

If you grew up in the 80’s I know you’ve seen the movie ” Goonies “.  That was one of my favorite movies of all time. I was 8 yrs old when I saw it and I wanted to be one of the Goonies.  Adventure, romance, action and cute Sean Astin.  I loved that movie.  The reason we came to Cannon Beach was because of that movie.  This beach was in the intro scene and ever since then I have always wanted to visit this place.  We had a week off last march and we did a road trip from LA to Oregon. Our last stop of our Pacific Coast road trip was this gorgeous beach.

Continue reading “Goonies never say die!!!!!!!! ( Cannon Beach and Ecola State Park Oregon )”

Sleeping Beauty.. Princess Aurora by TravelAnneStyle and BeMoreMedia


Sleeping Beauty

Princess Aurora was born to King Stefan and Queen Leah.  This is the girl that was cursed by Maleficent on her Christening Day.  On her 16th birthday she would prick her finger from a spindle and would die but was saved by one of the fairies and instead would sleep for all eternity until she is awakened by true love’s kiss.  I loved that Elle Fanning was chosen to play her in the movie Maleficent opposite Angelina Jolie.

** check out our Maleficent shoot



For our last Princess  of our Disney inspired editorial we chose Ms. Sarah Blades to be Aurora.  She is an amazing ballerina and it was such a surprise that she was actually from Maryland.  We wanted someone to have the same look as Elle Fanning; sweet, innocent and youthful and Sarah was perfect.

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The Little Mermaid by TravelAnneStyle and BeMoreMedia

Little Mermaid


 The Little Mermaid is another famous fairytale that Disney recreated in  1989 but the story was originally written by Hans Christian Andersen.  It is a story about a young mermaid who gave up her life at sea to be able to fall in love with a human Prince.  She gave up her voice for a pair of human legs.  Then she has 3 days to win the heart of the Prince.  This is probably my ultimate favorite Disney Princess.  For this shoot we wanted to capture Ariel in our own element.  What Ariel would look like in person.


When we first met Deirdre Barnes with her flaming red hair we knew right then and there that she would be perfect as Ariel.  She was one of the people that inspired us to do this Disney editorial of villains and princesses.  Deirdre is one of the top dancers in LA.  She is also a part of the group The Aqualillies.

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” Snow White ” by TravelAnneStyle and BeMoreMEdia


A girl who is as white as snow, with lips as red as blood, and with hair as black as ebony. They named her ‘Snow White’,

Snow  White is Disney’s adaptation from the German fairytale by the Brothers Grimm.  Snow White is a princess that is living with her cruel and wicked stepmother after the death of both of her parents.   Her stepmother, the evil queen, is so jealous of Snow White’s beauty that she ordered one of her huntsman to kill  her in the forbidden forest.  The huntsman pitied Snow White; so he just left her there hoping that she will not survive the night.   There, she found a cottage and surprisingly met 7  dwarfs.

( ** check out our version of The Evil Queen )


Our very first princess in this series.  My inspiration for this shoot came from the Snow White movie with Julia Roberts and Lilly Collins.  I wanted her to be simple, innocent and young.  We decided to use Brie Doffing as our Snow White.  Its so happens that she has worked with Disney as one of the princesses in the Disneyland in Japan.  Brie is a model/actress and one of the sweetest people you can ever meet.


For this shoot we worked with one of the best make up artists in LA, Albert Elizondo.  He is amazing and really captured what we had in mind for Snow White.

Continue reading “” Snow White ” by TravelAnneStyle and BeMoreMEdia”