Kelly does it again!

Making her third appearance on this blog and hosting numerous shows on the island of Barbaods I’m honored to once again introduce you to my friend Kelly Anne. The creator, owner and dedicated operator of Kelly’s Kloset.

In past posts you can see the entire set up for The Cliff as well as more behind the scenes of what takes place prior to the show. For this read, I’m simply going to put some photos of the action and invite you to visit Kelly’s Kloset Facebook page.

I apologize for the lack of clarity in the photos as they’re a collection from random cameras and photographers.

I was again so fortunate to have the pleasure of doing these gorgeous girls hair backstage. Here we all are prepping for the runway!


Let the show begin!

Find more of Kelly on Instagram @ kellyskloset246. Local girls, she has multiple locations on the island in which requires a scheduled visit… It’s as easy as a phone call! 246-234-9039

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Let freedom ring… from within.

Today is July 4th, a federal holiday recognized in the United States of America. In 1776 the original 13 colonies declared their independence from England and was officially observed as a new nation… “Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Definition of Independence: 

1. the time when a country or region gains political freedom from outside control

2. freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent

Definition of Freedom

1. the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint

2. the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action

My dictionary of thoughts at the moment:

If you are truly independent and living with freedom, I believe you’ve given yourself permission to enjoy life in such a manner…

  • Independent from others emotional demands. 
  • Independent from the programmed way of thinking.
  • Independent of expectations.
  • Independent from inner negative torment.
  • Independent of the need for outward fulfillment.
  • Freedom to live without self induced struggles.
  • Freedom to breathe without the weight of unnecessary stress.
  • Freedom to be exactly who you are without fear of judgement.
  • Freedom to live not only through experiences but beyond your dreams.
  • Freedom to love. Deeply. Truly. Without holding anything back.

No matter what Independence Day means to you (disregarding your countries standards, your families traditions and your friends thoughts), I truly wish you a sense of freedom that ignites a fire within to extend beyond limitations that you may not even know you have.

For more of a proper post on this holiday, I invite you to check out the post 4th of July in the USA

Want a sampler platter of July celebrations? Please enjoy July shenanigans in California

Care to see how Independence Day might be spent in Florida? Check out 4th of July, Santa Rosa Beach style

Witness the good ol’ south celebrating in Fish fry and fireworks and All American holiday – part 2

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Sir fish photo-bomber 

My final post for this round of Florida will bring you to the shore on Panama City Beach. My beautiful company for the day is my ever so popular mom and our dear friend Jeanie. This has now become tradition for each one of my visits. Nothing but us girls, a few chairs, snacks, drinks and tons-o-smiles. 

Look east and you’ll find high rise hotels boasting their view of the sea. Take a gander to the the west and you’ll see a few locals surrounded by the tourists staying in those hotels.

Our little set up was perfect, not to mention able to withstand the winds that others were having such difficulty with!

(I may or may not of giggled a few times watching people battle their umbrellas). 


Since I’ve completely bailed recently on keeping the blog up to date, I’m going to fast forward slightly and catch you up to what’s been rolling along in her happy trails.

First things first, I’ve returned to Barbados!

Arriving back to my home away from home, I was greeted by my guests. That’s correct, my friends from California beat me here but made time to join me for some traditional “must do” activities! This post is all about a cruise on the  Cool Runnings Catamaran! You’ve seen happy faces on this adventure many of times in several past posts. Here we are getting the rules (or lack there of) out of the way. 

A quick sail leads us right to the underwater land of sea turtles, tropical fish and salty smiles. 


By far the best underwater photobomb I have ever encountered! Well done sir fish… well done.

 Captain Orlando, Chad, Brandon, Zack and Sean… Thank you for making it yet another fabulous experience!

On the last evening before they departed back, we met up to enjoy the Oistins popular Friday night fish fry. Denny, Shawn, Ally, Jacob, Steve and Sini… Thank you so much for your company on this magical island and I truly hope it goes into your memory book of an unforgettable vacation! Ps, I’m holding you to the family soup tradition!

                           

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Music for the soul & friends for the spirit

You all should be familiar of the tunes I’ve been sharing (you’re welcome) all over this blog for years now. The band Heritage has made its way on several posts and some of my most memorable ones are Grass bottom dance floor4th of July, Santa Rosa beach style, and the unforgettable opportunity going on tour with them shown in A man becomes what he thinks about! This round, I was lucky enough to score two evenings during my visit to Florida. Check out the scene at Fudpuckers in Destin, Florida!

The second show was at a new outdoor venue on 30A!  The Hub offers a stage, several dining options, indoor/outdoor bars and a welcoming seating area for groups to gather.

Hello friends!

Nightfall just enhanced the mood with well placed lights and a perfect moon to end the evening. 


Not all live music has to come from a big stage to brighten the day. Let’s move on to a Sunday afternoon with some of the vibrant people shown above. Enlightened Studios is. Home based production company that provides an environment to “promote positivity through music production, performance, and education”. With bright colors, happy decor and a variety of instruments, this house shouts as a wonderful gathering place!

With a surrounding like this, how does one refrain from making music? They don’t.

Wander outside and you’ll find the garage turned lounge, ping pong court and art gallery. The fun just doesn’t end! 

Hugs, love and all the good vibes to go with! Thank you Cole for your irreplaceable smiling eyes and always open door. You make a difference in the lives around you!

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Light attracts light 

With a camera in hand and his face wearing an innocent but mischievous grin, he grabs the safety goggles and invites us to follow him. “I thought you said we were going to do some light painting photography?” (Image in my head: us in a studio covered in paint with cool lighting and a few snap shots). “We are… Kind of.” He replies. 

The gentleman I’m speaking of plays a magnificent role in the light attracts light equation of this post. Matt’s desire for an abundant life is shown not only through his artwork but the unmistakable joy he shares for nature, people and all the organic experiences in between. World, meet Matt Stone!

On this clear evening of darkness lit with bright stars, I allowed my trust to follow his footprints in the sand as we headed to the bay shore just over the main bridge in Panama City Beach. 

This is Rob, another brave smile joining us on this fantastic mini adventure.


Allow me introduce to you the art of steel wool photography. 

Step 1: Gather your tools. You’ll need a rope, steel wool, a metal kitchen whisk, a lighter, protective clothing  with goggles and gloves, an open mind and fun loving people. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the camera! No, not your iPhone 12 point two-cool-for-school but a legit camera or as I call it, a “big kid camera”. Matt used a Canon 7D Mark II with an 8 mm fisheye lense. 


Step 2: Find a safe environment with nothing flammable within range and preferably next to (or in our case, directly in) a large body of water. 

 Step 3, 4 and 5: Let the fun continue! Set your camera up properly with a 20-30 second shutter speed. Your partner in crime then gets in place and starts the show. By rubbing a lighter or 9 volt battery against the wool, it will start sparking but won’t really produce any flames (thankfully). This is go time in which the holder swings the rope in circles to create a globe styled design with hot ambers lighting the sky. Bouncing off rocks, sizzling to the water and circling the masters head, the camera captures several strands of the ambers path. A strong enough launch to have me dancing and dodging a few red hot drops on shore!
Here are just a few of the shots we captured that night. If I would have recorded audio along side these episodes, you’d witness a few reactions of amazement, a couple screeches of fire kissing the skin and an abundunce of pure laughter. (Sounds like an entertaining evening to me!)


The following night they returned and created some new angles with vibrant colors under a local bridge. Brilliant!


Another art form is light painting photography. Simply put, it’s just a magical way to enhance a photo with demensional light designs. We had some light-hearted fun with it! Pun intended.


Leave it to Matt to take my “I wonder if you…”  thoughts and turn them into a beautiful reality. I mentioned creating a heart. He did the rest!


Matt, thank you for the beginning of a new chapter to this beautiful book of art, freedom and universal peace. Everyone needs a modern day super hero😉

If you want to check out more of his work please check out his insta @stone_sharp_images.

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7 reasons to ride a bike

1. For the health of it! Cardiovascular stimulation is a peice of the pie of fitness (did someone say pie? Mmmmm). Cycling just 20 miles a week reduces your risk of heart disease to less than half that of those who don’t exercise at all.

2. Breath of fresh air, ahhhh. So we don’t leave plastic bottles in the sun due to the cancer-causing toxins released, but what about the interior of your vehicle that bakes all day in the heat? We climb right into the chemical box and drive for hours.  Not to mention our poor environment and the fumes we inhale by simply starting the engine.  I vote to hit the trail and breathe the green.

3.Care to shed a few pounds?
Riding your bike for an hour burns anywhere from 400-700 calories an hour while sitting in your car or on the couch burns a whopping plate of boredom with a side of time to snack. I wonder how many calories you demolish by carrying your bike?

4. Sexy time! The Harvard University found that men over 50 years of age who cycle for at least three hours a week have a 30 percent lower risk of impotence than those who do little exercise. Keep it up! No pun intended.

5. Money hunny. According to research from the University of North Carolina, people who cycle for 30 minutes, five days a week take about half as many sick days as the lazy-o-man.

6. Light bulb! Illinois University found that a five percent increase in cardio fitness from cycling led to an improvement of up to 15 percent in mental tests. That’s because cycling helps build new cells in the hippocampus (that funny named region of the brain responsible for memory). Say what?!

7. All the cool kids are doing it! Some of my most fond memories traveling abroad involve me, 2 wheels and happy people! 

Hayden, thanks for the unconditional support in my crazy lifestyle. You’re the type of person everyone wishes they had in their life. Champagne forts, bike rides, sushi love, stupid humor, the list goes on. You’re the best! Plus you always let me win shooting pool (side kiss wink face). So grateful you’re my boy… 

Next stop, Florida! 

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Did the bride just arrive in a Uhaul?

World meet Katie, one of my dearest of friends who started this wonderful journey of traveling with me many years ago. Our bus catching, airport sleeping, scary flight surviving, foreign language cherades playing was all prior to this blog. I will say however, it was a huge reason of why it all started. Here’s a fun collage to show you some of our smiles from Vegas to New York, Belize, Mexico and Costa Rica. Although I didn’t think it possible due to her stunning looks and hilarious sense of humor, this incredible woman has found her match. I’m sure Austin, the groom to be, would agree that none hold a candle to Katie’s unconditional way of nurturing those around her and her unstoppable ability to brighten every room. On this day they gathered with family and friends to share their new path as a married couple and I’m so grateful I was there to be a part of it! 

6:00am- Three of us girls arrived to the park with a Uhaul to start the set up. 


A motherly smile is always welcome. Thanks for helping Momma Cathy!

7:30a- I left and returned with a proper coffee for Ms.Katie (Despite the horns, she was one the most angelic Brides I’ve ever worked with). Her wishes: everyone has a good time, there’s enough champagne to go around and to jump in a bounce house with her gown on. 

I asked, “You ordered a bounce house?!” Her reply, “Nope, just something I’d like to do”.

8:15a- The rest of the female crew arrived to help prep the venue. Did I mention that Katie designed and produced her entire wedding from handmade crafts to personalized center pieces? She was so organized that she even drew out diagrams for each tables layout. No stress, just clear instructions made with love. Way to designate girl!

Fun proud fact- Katie asked me to draw her seat holder for the adorable wooden swing. Small job, but I was honored.  

9:20a- Decision was made…what pre-wedding moments would be complete without the offering of bubbles!?

11:15a- All done and heading back to the house for hair, makeup and possibly (most likely) another glass of bubbly.
Noon thirty- Just a quick hour later we returned to the park for all final touches before our bride took the stage. This tent was the official bridal headquarters as well as the starting point for sweet Katie to walk the isle.
  

1:30p- I’m left speechless as I watch this beautifully strong woman walk to expand her well deserved happiness. 


In most weddings, what follows is much rejoicing with food, drinks and (let’s admit) a little awkward socializing with semi-strangers. On this day, I looked around and noticed that all were laughing, smiling and for what I could see, truly enjoying one and another’s company… and the cupcakes.

Pssst (to be said in a whisper) notice that’s Hayden? He’s the one you’ll find in several posts around the world with me and that rugged ol’ blue backpack! 

 3:45p- Magic happened! Call it a gift from the universe, perfect timing, coincidence, a blessing… Whatever you want to classify it as… It happened! After lunch a child’s party unloaded right next to us with none other than a bounce house! Our bride got her wish.

How else does a glamorous woman in a gown and tiara enter a bounce house? Only like my girl would… no shame and head first. Katie, you’re the best!


The walk back was a highlite for me as I got to carry “sis”.  This doll is Katie’s daughter that I’ve unofficially adopted into my future plans of travels. I even bought Ava her first passport as my gift at the baby shower. Diapers? Nah… We have priorities. 

Austin,  I’m so grateful that my amazing friend took that random drink of your beer and even more thankful that not only did you laugh, you welcomed her magnetic charm to capture you for a lifetime. Katie, thanks for allowing us to share this special day. You are both quality energy. Love always!


So here it is. I’ve never been married, but I love love…everything about it! I’ve done uncountable amount of wedding hair, attended a large portion of the ceremonies and cry at about every one whether I know them personally or not. I squeal when my friends get engaged and look forward to the joy found at the receptions. Will I ever be a bride? Who knows. All I know is that here in the now, today… I celebrate what is love and the people around me filled with it! Cheers to the open road, a pure heart and a free spirit.

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New found higher love

I recently visited tornado alley known as Oklahoma with what seemed to be… well, a tornado of a trip. The whirlwind flew by with a few false storm alarms and some quality time with the family. For the sake of me looking back on this blog someday, I’m going to post a couple pics of my amazing siblings to remind myself of the beautiful growth they’ve shown. For those of you who have been following for sometime, you may rememeber these little guys from years past.
 And now… These kids have continued to brighten my life beyond expectations. 

In order from left to right is Hannah, Joseph, Sarah, Rachel and to the right of me Ben. We will also always keep loving memory of little Elizabeth.

A refreshing thought crossed my mind the other day that has filled my heart with all that mooshy stuff and provided some unexpected new feelings. As we all know, I’m not a mother. Yes, I’ve been an “adult female figure” or “role model” when teaching youth sports, working in schools and volunteering in orphanages but to date, I have never adopted or given birth. With all that said, the love I feel for these 5 kids extends beyond the ways of description. I feel aching when I know they’re in pain. To the type of depth in which I’d do anything to remove their burdens. The single thought of any situation that I couldn’t protect them seems devastating.  These feelings are acocompanied with the highest of love from within… Almost beyond my little human ability (if that makes any sense). When they sing for me, it’s everything I have not to allow the tears to roll down my face. At the very sight of they’re smiles, my world seems magically brighter. It’s powerful.

I can express first hand what it’s like to have protective parents (love you guys!). Feeling the intense love can be comforting yet suffocating at times. All in all I’d rather have their concern for me than the other extreme. That topic could be an entire new post but I’d like to stick with the new found love I’ve felt. I appreciate my parents more everyday and now make a conscious effort to try and understand why they do what they do. If I feel this way about my siblings, I can only fathom what one must feel towards their own child. 


So to all the parents out there who have children at a stage in which desire independence or don’t need you as much as before, please remember that for most, the love will just grow as they do. The way it’s expressed will always be changing and in my experience, the comprehension of what you’ve done for them and the unconditional nurturing that comes from within will be acknowledged and honored more in time to come.

On the subject of family…

There’s my dear little grown-up cousin Annie. This young lady has a natural (and you slight Youtube enhanced) skill of makeup artistry. Considering my extent of makeup maxes out at actually putting on mascara, it was exciting to sit down and let her play! Step one: I sit, she giggles and the process begins!




I felt way out of the fashion loop when she busted out tape… Like from a dispenser. Enough said.

 Annie, you are a talented girl with a contagious smile and a magnetic personality. Keep that powerful attitude of yours focused on the right path… your path. Love you cuz!

I’m finally in Instagram! (Thank you Ryan for the helpful push). Find me under herhappytrails. 

#itsabouttime

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Kelly’s Kloset

Kelly’s Kloset is a personal shopping experience that allows you to browse international clothing and jewelry lines without the hassle of crowded fitting rooms or cluttered racks. I love this concept! To expose her newest line from Bali, she held a fashion show in which I was honored to be the hairstylist. The venue was located in St.James Barbados at The Cliff, an open air lounge with multi-level seating that over looks stunning turquoise waters. The ambiance is inviting with a colorful decor and unique design that leaves you with somewhat of an international feel. 
And for the view? Well, take a look!

What you can’t see from your table is all of us preparing for the show. Vibrant girls, beautiful women and my hands in an abundance of hair. Here’s a glimpse of behind the scenes. 

Once the show began, the crowd was properly entertained by a local DJ as they sipped their rosé and enjoyed the fresh west coast breeze.


 

This was such a success that she followed it up with another presentation a few weeks later. I was invited back for another round of curls and hairspray except this time, I was asked to be in the show as well. Say what!? Well, why not…. Right? A new experience outside my comfort zone to add to the list of “Never thought I’d be doing that!”. Bring it on.






Ladies, if you’re interested in any of the designs seen, please check out her page here and take a look around! There’s also good ol’ Instagram @ kellyskloset246.  Local girls, she has multiple locations on the island in which require a scheduled visit… It’s as easy as a phone call! 246-234-9039


 Kelly, thanks for the opportunity and experience working with you and your passion. It’s clear to me that you live a life full of light, color and joy… Looking forward to the next round! 

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A flippin good time

On my first return to Barbados back in 2012 my friend Ryan introduced me to Shane De Freitas and the local adult gymnastics class. For the full flash back of those days see the post called Calories… Love to consume them, love to burn em!

Google Shanes name and what will most likely pop up is his participation in the 1996 Olympics back in Atlanta Georgia as the only gymnasts representing Barbados. Along side that, you’ll read of his success with Bimflip Gymnastics and his link with Power Monkey Fitness amongst other accomplishments. 

World, meet Shane De Freitas.

 
Putting all that boring stuff aside (said with sarcasm) this post is about his phenomenal students and our current Tues/Thurs class that more than likely keeps him grounded… or slightly insane.  Either way, the photos taken by the incredible Mark Harris will hopefully give you a broad idea of our quirky class! 

First task as always, warm up!  Some of you may or may not understand the concept of stretching and its necessity to the body, especially with age. Your hamstrings will thank you tomorrow.

   

Ryan clearly enjoys this stretch. Maybe it’s a hurt so good kind of thing?For the majority of the hour and a half we do random drills according to the events that are desired by the students. Considering we have a huge range of level, it’s always fun to see the variety of skill ability. Since this post isn’t geared towards the sport itself rather just to show how we like to spend our evening, I’ll let the photos do the most the talking. 

  

 

   

  More often than not, you’ll find us upside down… my happy place.  

  

       

Yes, we even brave the bars as most adults would be like, “You want me up where? Doing what?!”  Shy away from the beam?  Nah. Or in Dani’s case, beams. She jumps all three in a row! Out. Of. Her. Mind!Bars, beams and rings… Oh my! Remove the floor, bars, beam, ropes, mats and you’re left with… Air!  Our class loves to take flight.  I seem to have a mental block that suggests I have weights tied to my feet. Notice I handstand around the world… There’s no elevating involved.         Take notice this is a double rotation to a foot landing! I can barely sort out where I am when I roll out of bed.   I wonder what caught her so funny mid flight.  Gotta love a happy gymnast! I’ll end it with a few photos of us having a miserable experience in this self induced torture of a time.   

      
 
If you have any excuses for not doing gymnastics, please see the following who have proven otherwise:

“I’m too tall” –  Andrew, Martin and Max… All over 6ft:)

“You know I just surf, right?” – says Jessica while in her full splits!

“I have a bad knee.” – determination and dedication shown by Abby in a brace.

“I was just a child last time I did it.” – welcome back Ysabelle, Heather, Andy and Melissa!

“I can barely even touch my toes” – …but I can flip, jump, swing and twist like a champ, proves Ryan.

“I’ve never done it before” – most improved with a smile goes to Dani.

“I just had a baby” – watch a press to handstand by new mom Michelle!

“…but I’m a ballerina.” – clearly it helps sweet Lara!

“I only taught the sport, doesn’t mean I can actually do the skills” – till I (me) actually tried!

“Sure I’m the only Bajan Olympic Gymnast, 4 time world championship competitor, 2 time ranking All American and I have a skill named after me… But that was like, 15/20 years ago” – says Shane as he pulls a double front out of nowhere! 

         Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right. 

                                                                                                                                                Henry Ford

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