Jungle hearts tangled
Love is within us
Jungle hearts tangled
Love is within us
I love shooting Instagrammers! Find me on IG @mauiphotogirl OR @stephaniesheveland
The beautiful and stylish Brittany Gori from the amazing blog To B Candid! Check her out!
She's having twins!
In celebration of my boy's 16th birthday I wanted to post a favorite poem of mine.
Shared to me by my amazing blog editor, KC.
It's for a 13 year old but I think it's fitting for all phases of young man.
Happy 16th Birthday Cole.
Be Bold Cole. Be Brave. Be True.
I love you.
The perfect age must be thirteen;
its promise crammed, future unseen.
No longer child, not yet a man,
between two seas, on lonely strand,
the wistful youth, surveys the deep
from whence he came - an infant’s sleep
Happy with sweet, carefree slumber
gromming waves of childish wonder.
He turns to face the deeper’s still
foreboding, churning, beck and call.
A waxing strength and courage now
prepare him well, the truth to show
when crashing waves on him will fall
to beat him back and try his all.
The fittest man is tried this way
who plunges through uncertain days
of teenage angst and its pressure
to seek life’s best, just like treasure.
Your fortune waits, thirteen year old;
the waves swell large, so now be bold.
What a beautiful, lovely family.
Love these beauties from Kauai and can't wait to shoot their wedding. What a special union they have. It's so nice to be surrounded with love. It was an honor to shoot this engagement!
Mele Kalikimaka 🎁
Cole's hair is as long as a wizard's. Maybe Harry Potter or The Hobbit is casting soon in Hawaii, but if not I can be at peace knowing he will blend in well with the local hobo population. It's strong here in Lahaina, where beach showers, and warm weather are plenty and jobs are few. Is his hair too long or is his head too small? Text me with your thoughts and if they’re as strange as mine I'm sure to agree.
He's realized math and science (along with flexing) are his forte and so a career in engineering might be in the cards. He went from almost failing 7th and 8th grade (which is tough to do unless homicide is involved) to graduating 9th grade sorta cum laude. One of his teachers even informed me that one day he paid attention! Yay Cole. So happy you've found your true calling in life: a place where introverts and non team players unite in deep thoughts and quiet work.
Cole drives. Now he can use his new found attention-paying skill to save the lives of many pedestrians who might otherwise perish under the wheels of the old, inattentive Cole.
Adding to my apprehensions about Cole driving are the unique driving customs in Maui where four centuries of driving Aloha style have taught locals to never signal, read signs, or merge in front of someone whose car is more crappy than yours. Sigh.
At Lahaina Intermittent School showing up on sunny days and speaking English put Demi at the head of her class. However, she ate a spam sandwich without offering the teacher a bite and was promptly expelled.
Demi did a very expensive try out with private Catholic school this year but standing for an hour long mass is exhausting so it’s back to cost-efficient generic Protestantism and the happy mediocrity of LIS, where the school motto is “Death to Haoles.”
Modifying my old Suzy Bake Oven for home science experiments, Demi has concocted and commercialized “Lice-Away” and “Floam-Out” (available everywhere Shave-ice is sold) She's yet to turn a profit because her sole client is Cole, and he’s 90 days in arrears.
Anytime I need something nice to wear, I just go to Demi and take it. Back. I see her less like a daughter and more like a clothes rack that wanders off.
Maui does not grant visas to non-ambulatory cats so Sulu was left in storage with a big bowl of food. She escaped to a nail salon where all the superstitious, skinny Vietnamese women put her in a small pagoda and to this day venerate her morbid obesity. It will be years before they know she’s dead. Aloha Sulu.
How old must one get before she stops starting over? This is Fresh Start #9 so I might be over quota.
I made a BIG fresh start four years ago to escape drowsy Maui, an island best suited to the retired and idle rich to create something better for myself and my children. I had many wins and more than a few losses in that time and returned for the same reason I left, to make the lives of my children better.
I also want to make my own life better but first I must make rent. My apartment came fully furnished – with cardboard boxes. You can sit anywhere you want as long as long as you weigh less than thirty pounds. (See Sulu! It was for the best! )
Maui’s last bank closed in ’47 so I had to make a choice: wait for the bank to reopen or sling timeshare. I’m impatient so I now talk professionally. (Is it really “professional” if you’re not making any money?)
Wishing love to you all and to all a good life....
Sometimes you come across a little ditty that changes poetry forever for you.... This was one of them. Thank you to P.M. for introducing it to me.
Leigh Hunt was inspired to write this in 1838 during an apparent flu-epidemic where he recovered and was greeted by a "Jenny" with a kiss.
Maybe love is survival.
I claim to not be a romantic however I have been writing and ready poetry since I was 5 so maybe I should stop living in romantic denial.... :) See poem below.
My last wedding shoot in San Diego. The beautiful Muirragui family who are expecting their first darling baby girl "Topaz" in a week or so.
Of lot of women ask me how to "stay thin" or "lose weight." I can see them cringe as I mention moving their bodies....SO in lieu of telling you to go work out I created my Top Ten Exercise-less Tips to Stay Fit and be Bikini Ready. After all, SUMMER is right around the corner.....
Alcohol is worthless. It's not that I don't enjoy champagne, an ice cold beer or a good old fashioned. But the reality is, from a nutritional standpoint, it's empty. One big black hole of calories. Do you make good decisions while drinking? I don't. Dig waking up hungover? Not me. Without adding any exercise to your day, you can lose weight simply by drinking less or not at all. Don't believe me? Read this: Booze makes you fat.
I don't drink juice. Gatorade. Or any other "fun" looking drink. Soda? Go ahead and put on 5 more pounds if you really want it. Americans drink a TON of their calories. I also made the kids give up the same stuff! (I know they have their treats behind my back) Buy a soda stream and add some lemon. Learn how to make your own Kombucha. Throw your calorie ridden Frappuccinos in the rubbish. (Those things can pack more than 15 grams of fat and 66 grams of sugar...) Still want to hang onto your diet soda? Think again: Diet sodas can make you fatter.
I like salad plates. All my food fits fine on it and I feel full when I've "finished my plate." I don't need a Texas sized plate to feel complete. Think it doesn't matter? Cornell University begs to differ: Big Plate, Big Mistake.
An amazing thing happened when I started reading labels: I lost weight. I realized I couldn't pronounce anything on the label. What on earth was I even eating? And what was I feeding my kids? Gross. Don't think it matters? If you are a Caucasian woman living in the U.S. it's a BIG deal. Read this and you could lose 8 lbs.
Have an ice cream with your kid. Enjoy some pizza with your class on a Friday. I'm not saying you shouldn't have any treats EVER. You will not succeed in losing weight and staying fit by eating so restrictively. That sort of extreme eating can lead to eating disorders and an unhealthy relationship with food. I absolutely will be eating the bread and butter at a special dinner. So you should too. :)
Eating low fat, low cholesterol foods can lead to.....drumroll please.... OBESITY.
An excerpt from the study:
In a damning report that accuses major public health bodies of colluding with the food industry, the National Obesity Forum and the Public Health Collaboration call for a “major overhaul” of current dietary guidelines. They say the focus on low-fat diets is failing to address Britain’s obesity crisis, while snacking between meals is making people fat.
Instead, they call for a return to “whole foods” such as meat, fish and dairy, as well as high-fat, healthy foods including avocados, arguing: “Eating fat does not make you fat.”
The report – which has caused a huge backlash among the scientific community – also argues that saturated fat does not cause heart disease while full-fat dairy, including milk, yoghurt and cheese, can actually protect the heart.
Processed foods labelled “low fat”, “lite”, “low cholesterol” or “proven to lower cholesterol” should be avoided at all costs, and people with type 2 diabetes should eat a fat-rich diet rather than one based on carbohydrates.
The report added: “Eating a diet rich in full-fat dairy – such as cheese, milk and yoghurt – can actually lower the chance of obesity.
Yes Elizabeth Duncan you have been correct this whole time..... :)
I love pizza and bread and pasta like the rest of you. But I don't do it at night. I eat a nice full carb breakfast with steel cut oats and some fruit and raw flax seed oil. It's heavy and gives me lots of fuel for the day. I avoid rice, potatoes and bread the rest of the day. Easy peasy. I challenge you to cut some carbs down and see what happens..... I'm not a fan of the extreme low carb fad diets just one in moderation. You must have carbs but you don't need every meal based on a heavy carb. (Tostitos I will always love you.)
Women get super mad at me when I say this. But honestly, when you are always wearing loose fitting baggy clothes you won't know that you are gaining weight. Put on some booty shorts, yoga pants, A BIKINI, SOMETHING THAT SHOWS YOUR BODY. I promise you it will help you eat better and get moving. Try it. I dare you.
You're beautiful. You're smart. Love yourself. Give yourself some credit. SMILE. Surround yourself with people who love you for you. Sometimes just changing your surroundings can help you on the inside which in turn makes your OUTWARD gorgeous.
It's almost summer. Lets not sit on the porch and sip our wine. Let's get up and run and play and jump and play hide n go seek. It's fun. And maybe you'll lose some weight.......
Life is short.
I can't recoup this time with my babies.
I said it.
Goodbye corporate world.... HELLO TROPICS.
Peace Out California!!!!
It's that time of year which involves warming and informing about the cool and collected. Pillow fights and movie nights have turned into surfing trips and alone time. These are the days....
Cole is now 14 going on 23. Most of his "posse" is also older, some joining AARP. As a freshman at the oldest and most lenient high school in America, he DISCOVERED the two-step secret to a ridiculously high GPA: 1. Complete your assignment. 2. Turn it in some time before your sophomore year. I’m not sure what prompted this spurt of recent academic brilliance - maybe it’s his healthy island diet of bananas and beef jerky.
My Golden Boy's golden locks have now morphed into something he calls "Jew curls” - a tangled mop that makes dreadlocks look hygienic. I tried to do his hair once and the brush exploded in flames. I do believe a litter of kittens may be living behind an ear.
Cole had his first real skateboarding injury, breaking his ankle attempting a double back floppy fakey backside kick-flip. His ankle’s new shape was so amusing we almost wanted to keep it that way but he kept passing out in pain so we got a cast.
Although I miss him every day and pretty much every hour, I take comfort that, for over a year now, my young man has been getting the father time and attention he needs to become a good man himself.
Right next to Cole, emotionally, if not also physically, is this Angel Baby (emoji of an angel baby) we named Demi Lynn. She’s taken well to Maui (emoji of island and a heart) and after a full year has happily rebounded with her cousins and many friends (emoji of happy children) she knew from her younger elementary school days. She’s a 6th grader at Lahaina intermediate (emoji of school and beach) where kids take playground recess on one of America's best beaches and the crossing guards do double duty as shark patrol (emoji of shark eating child).
Based on the number of times she’s told me, “I Knooooowwwww Mom!” I concluded that she’s able to learn faster than she’s being taught. I grew concerned that she was outgrowing the education she was receiving so the principal and I met over at the shave ice shack where he works three days a week and he assured me that all the teachers either have or are working toward their GED. Unsatisfied with this assurance, we’ve turned to online schooling and googling for her edumacation.
Enrolling her in the swim team was expensive but I figured, “so is drowning and a funeral” so we did it. She loved being on the squad and won a medal for the 50 meter butterfly (emoji) all while holding her phone and texting (emoji of any kind). The Doctor (emoji of a fireman) said that the excessive use was the cause of her pediatric arthritis (emoji of old person) and encouraged us to either confiscate the phone or delete the emojis but we backed off once she threatened to call CPS. (emoji of nazis, sad face emoji) :(
In other wallet draining news her set of "California braces" were apparently not in line with the Hawaii style, (something about time zones, teeth growing in three hours later than planned) so we've opted to just have our entire paycheck sent to the ortho on Maui. Demi’s head isn’t the only body part requiring vigilance. Because she slips her slippahs to go “au naturel” as soon as my back is turned I did the practical thing and duct-taped her feet.
Sulu didn’t die. More on her next year.
Between my many trips to Maui to enforce my role as “Thug Mom" and committing random acts of commerce I crashed my black Kia Soul and replaced it with…. another black Kia Soul! RIP Shaniqua, Helllooooo LaQuisha!
Accepting a position as VP of specialty deposits means I have a fancy title and a lot of learning. (Mostly on my handicap.)
"What is it that I do," you ask? Good question!
It probably means something important. CFPB? CRM? OMG! LOL! IDK!
I said I was a "baker” and they must have misheard me. Three years later I'm still banking on the fact that I can make a killer pie!
My reality show, "The Romance" is airing every Friday and if all goes well, I should replace Omarosa as the most hated woman in reality television.
Wish me luck!
My former Husband and I (mostly me) have decided that after a lifetime of wrestling over who is boss (mostly me) it's best we work together and compromise. Who knew the key to a happy divorce was the "C" word???!!! I highly recommend forgiveness with a splash of ADHD-induced forgetfulness for a truly happy life. Some call it denial, I call it my happy place.
Ignorance truly IS bliss. (For me.)
2016 I am ready for you.
And now for the Top 10 Photos of 2015!!
If you are upset you didn't make this year's blog post, it's okay. There's always next year.
Special thanks to my editor, KC. Without him I would just be a speck of dust in the blog world.
We hear it all too often. Especially in Southern California, land of the sunshine, palm trees and botox.
"I hate my ex husband."
"My ex wife took all my money."
Instead of being negative, I decided to go the OPPOSITE way. Never mind that our marriage didn't "last." We still had a decent 13 year run at it and laughed a lot along the way. (Reasons for divorce? Another blog post.)
From the moment I met him at 17 (yikes) he knew he wanted to get married and have a family and own his own businesses. He was clear from the get go. There was no, "well, let's just hang out and cruise." He knew where he was going (even if his internal GPS threw him off the trail!) and no on was going to stop him. SEXY.
I have never laughed so hard then when I was with Brad. Crying, laughing, stomach splitting laughing. He was so self-deprecating and would so easily admit his faults that I couldn't not laugh. I'm positive not everyone else agrees with me, but make me laugh and I'm yours forever...........
And not just an xbox. He had grownup stuff. Furniture. Appliances. Not fancy stuff but stuff that showed commitment.
On Cinco de Mayo 1999, a day after his 33rd birthday I ran into him at Gold's Gym in Lahaina and he told me a story. The previous day he came home from work and his cat was so excited to see him and she ran across the street, got hit by a car right in front of him and died in his arms. But not before she took a serious bite out of his hand while she looked in his eyes. He cried in the middle of the gym with his swollen cat bite hand. He had feelings. He CARED.
He had a knack for green things (hahahaha hence all the comedy) and was able to keep them alive. I cannot keep anything green alive, just small human beings and I'm not great at that. His plants were not dead.
Our first year of marriage was SUPER hard. We barely knew each other, were having a baby and I might as well have been 12. Christmas morning 2000, I phone my Grandpa who goes off on some tangent about how I should have gone to college and blah blah blah. I hang up and can't stop crying. I'm 20, pregnant and super excited for my first Christmas as a married woman. What does my husband do?
Calls the Grandpa.
Tells him off in a kick ass respectful way.
"How dare you ruin my beautiful wife's Christmas morning?!"
By the end of the conversation they are friends and my Grandpa agrees and recants. This is crazy town. My Grandpa NEVER recants. A man that is wiling to stand up for his bride, or in this case WHAT IS RIGHT is a man I want by my side.
Not all men are handy and that's fine. However, if you can fix my flat tire, change my oil, tell me the ins and outs of a diesel engine or what the molecular structure of an atom is... YOU ARE WINNING. Brad was handy. He was loaded with common sense. WAY more than I. I'm loaded with artsy fartsy stuff no one cares about. Logic? Have no clue what that is. This guy though was full of it. He had a knack for common sense and never let the fact that he dropped out of high school get in his way. One of my favorite lines from him was "if people just used their mirrors in cars they would be much better drivers." Hehehehehe
What do all of these things have in common?
Vulnerability. Compassion. Care.
Show me a vulnerable human being and I'll show you an amazing person. If I can show vulnerability in a person thru a photograph, then the image becomes ten times better.
Don't be afraid to be yourself. Put your masks away.
I'm happy I can look back and smile when I think of all the wonderful things he brought to me.
It's a pretty good place to be.
(And I know he NEVER reads this blog.)
(Handy also qualifies you to be in my post-zombie-apocalyptic-caravan)
Warm hearts unite
Thank you to hosts with the mosts Stephen & Douglas.
I highly recommend visiting Healdsburg and doing some wine tasting and basic chilling out. A great vibe.
Great food and wine at Diavola.
This blog post is dedicated to the sweet muppet "Bello" the Airdale featured in this post. Sadly he passed away not long after I visited him. He will be missed greatly!
Eden of garden
Horses secretly nearby
The other night I had a dinner with a friend. During our talk, we discussed kids, work, divorce, new relationships.
Then he said,
"You seem like you are really happy."
"I am very happy" I exclaimed.
"Someday I'll be there" he said. Shrugging his shoulders, wrinkling his forehead.
I put my foot down on my imaginary brake.
"WAIIIIIIIIT a minute. Happiness isn't like a place you arrive to. You know that right?"
He was confused.
And so are a lot of folks.
I'm happy because I make a conscience choice to be everyday. This is no easy task. It's not like I've been giving anything magical or have millions of dollars. No, quite the opposite.
I'm happy because of a choice.
I choose happy. I work hard at being happy. I believe that sometimes if you choose it long enough it BECOMES.
So try it. Be happy.
Rainy thunder boy
Big jeep little boy go play
Crash boom bang away
The time has come!!
AIR DATE for 'The Romance' in San Diego on Cox/Time Warner (Channel 4) is Friday January 15 at 10pm. OC (Channel 3) same date/time. LA on Time Warner/AT&T/Dish Tuesday February 9 at 9pm.
I have no idea what to expect. I could be the villain. Or I could be the villain. Ha!!
Join me and some fun singles in San Diego as we run around town yachting, mansion'ing, and of course....."drama'ing."
Do I fall in love? Do I fall in like? Stay tuned every Friday.
Autographs upon request.
32 degrees today in Sunny San Diego.
Important meetings call for important looking attire. I mix and match less expensive with more.
Looking for a "take me serious" look. Pea coats and slacks are beautiful, especially with a scarf.
I usually buy consignment (except shoes) but I still like to say what I'm wearing. :)
Peacoat Old Navy
Heels Nine West
Jewelry Banana Republic
Fresh new day oh yay
Bright beautiful morning light
Moment of delight
Drove treacherous roads to Grandpa's.
Arrived safely only to have his 50 year old Vietnamese girlfriend back into my car.
Demi called at the 11th hour. "How do you make a thanksgiving dinner? Dad wants to know."
Gramps forced 5 honey buns and a bowl of ice cream on me. Fitness diet out, 95 year old Grandpa diet in.
"Gone with the Wind" was put on and cranked at the highest volume in the history of volumes.
Phrases like "n-word in a woodpile" and "chinamen" frequented our discussions.
"The key to winning in real estate is LEVERAGE, Stephanie!!!"
The electric blanket did not electrocute me like I thought it would.
I forgot that this was a home with home phones in every room. How mod.
"Honey you don't want to be a wife, you're more suited for the business world. You wanna stand around and wash dishes all day? You wouldn't be happy."
The list goes on....
In Hawaii, we say, "Aloha" for “Hello” AND “Goodbye.”
During my latest visit it was apparent that the kids are growing and changing at light speed. (Note to the curious: I did not lose custody.)
Transformations include shifting bone structures, growing muscles, rolling eyes and changing attitudes. Wait… the last two have been going on for about a decade now, I think..
Be still my heart.
Life consists of phases – each of which has its own Aloha.
I've always preferred a more raw, genuine look vs. a posed, "happy" face. If you take your kids' photos for enough years you, too, can achieve this grumpy-cat face. :)