Wednesday, October 14, 2015

WATCH: A Story of Faith, Family, Friendship & where I got my middle name.

IMG_7956

People often ask me why I go by three names - ERIKA GRACE POWELL. Well, other than being a proud South Carolina girl who knows all born and bred "southern belles" go by three names, I am especially proud to have been given the name "Grace" because of the woman after which I am named. My Dad's mother, my "Granny" Grace is the most amazing, selfless, genuine, loving, and Godly woman I know. She is truly the matriarch of our family in every way. She has more wisdom and knowledge than I could ever recall and I am always blown away at how she remembers details, specific stories, and life events even at the age of 94!!! She knows the value of a strong prayer life, the blessing of a large family, a loving marriage, the importance of a southern home cooked "comfort" meal, gardening, canning your own goods, and getting impossibly difficult stains out of clothes.
Why am I sharing all these details about my Granny? Well, my Granny Grace was hospitalized Saturday morning. This is not the first time she has been rushed off in an ambulance, nor the first health issue she has faced in her lifetime, much less in recent months. The concern we are facing is for her heart issues with Afib. The medicines are not controlling the racing and plummeting levels of her aging heart any more and doctors are considering a pacemaker, but she is probably too frail for a true pacemaker surgery at this point, so they are looking at temporary options, but ultimately hoping that the medicines will take control and eliminate the need for surgery. She was transported to specialty hospital on Sunday afternoon for more observation and assessment in a cardiovascular unit.
946705_10152762048085408_746554497_n
(Deborah, Erika, Keith, Emily, Adam, and "Granny" Grace Powell)
My parents, Keith and Deborah, still live close by to my Granny in the upstate of South Carolina, so they are with her during these tests and visits to the hospital. My Mom shared photos and video with our family "group text" on Sunday as Granny was on her way to meet with doctors about her options and this is where the story gets good... grab your tissues!
IMG_6827
(Grace & Mildred)
Granny learned that her sister-in-law and my Great Aunt Mildred, (my late Papa's sister) was also on the same floor of the hospital awaiting transport to her MRI. Granny lost her husband and my Papa in 2005 to pancreatic cancer. She has remained close with his family and siblings to this day. It probably helps that they have all lived on what could be called, "Powell Pasture" - it's a solid couple of miles of family members who built homes and farmed their way through life close to the ones they loved. 
I remember when I was growing up, Aunt Mildred would always stand on the porch of her house across from my Granny and Papa's to look out for my Uncle Brent who always wanted to cross the road to gather the daily mail and deliver it to the right house. Brent is super special to our family as well, and at the age of 63, he has definitely been a motivating reason for my Granny to "keep on keeping on."
Screen Shot 2015-10-14 at 9.55.13 AM
My Great Aunt Mildred is also having a lot of health issues. These two sweet women have been ‘sisters’ in every way and were good friends even before my Granny married into the Powell family. They even went on their HONEYMOON together, but only after they both helped each other elope!!! HA!
Meanwhile, back at the hospital... Aunt Mildred was already in the hallway trying to call out to my Granny, but they couldn’t really see or hear each other that far away, so the nurse came in and unhooked all of Granny’s things and rolled her into the hallway beside Mildred. It was such an ‘above and beyond’ gesture of kindness to these two amazing women.

My Mom only wishes she had captured the full video of them telling each other how much they loved each other, asking for each other’s forgiveness ‘if I’ve ever hurt your feelings’, and telling each other to ‘do what they (doctors) tell you to do’, as well as "‘good-bye’ until we see each other again." It was precious. The two nurses 'driving' the stretchers were crying as well as nurses in the hallway. Needless to say, everyone was a mess.
What an example of true friendship. For a lifetime. What a reminder of how we should live LIFE!
Pouring into and investing in others and relationships... not stuff, not things, not accolades, but others... FIRST.
I pray that one day I can say my life was as full and as rewarding as my Granny's and that my friendships were as strong and as beautiful as this one. 
I hope this has touched you in some small way. Reminded you to take a little more time to make that phone call, write that thank you note, lean into that hug, or say "I Love You" to that person who truly makes a difference in your life.
Thank you for your prayers that each of these special women will get the proper care plan.
- ERIKA GRACE

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! #EGPkitchen

It's NATIONAL GUACAMOLE DAY!!! 


This morning LIVE ON-AIR... I volunteered to make my best batch of Guac @americasmorning !


Lucky for you... you can watch the whole process HERE: https://www.periscope.tv



#EGPkitchen ~ HOLY GUACAMOLE!

Chop the following ingredients and add to a big bowl:
5 avocados
4 tomatoes
2 limes
2 cloves of fresh garlic
2 jalapeños
3/4 red onion
1/2 bunch of cilantro

I do the following ingredients to taste, but it's probably about 1 teaspoon of each: 
crushed red pepper
cumin
cayenne
cracked black pepper

2-3tsp (to taste) Himalayan sea salt

Add some love and chips and you’re good to go! 
Substitute cucumber slices or purple cabbage for carb-free crunch!



ENJOY!!! #EGP

Saturday, August 8, 2015

I'm in NYC with Luke Bryan #killthelights

#KillTheLights!!!



Take a look at what's going down behind the scenes in NYC!!!

Loved getting to spend the weekend with Luke Bryan... #NBD!



Here's a recap of my time on Good Morning America and at Irving Plaza for Luke's pop-up concerts promoting his new album, Kill The Lights! Go download it TODAY!



Friday, July 31, 2015

I LOVE LAMB.

AHHHH! It's been too long since a #foodie post! Totally my fault for not having more time at home with glorious cooking moments to share with friends and with you all. 

I have been on the go VERY consistently the last several weeks and last night I was the FIRST night that I have been home with time for a great grocery run (@traderjoes - of course). 

A glimpse of the finished product, as posted by my dear friend, +Amy D Jones. I was lucky to have her in town from D.C. to visit for the evening and we both agreed that our friendship is complete now that I have served and she has enjoyed a meal in my home!






I found the most perfect cantaloupe and just had to make one of my favorite Italian appetizers to kick off the evening - Proscuitto & Melon with Mozzarella!!! YUMMMMY! So easy, fresh, light, and summery! A wonderful way to start the passing of some tid-bit plates and conversations around the kitchen!






Girlfriends: 

My friend Amy was in attendance of course, and our mutual friend, Tiffany Thompson - a wonderful singer, songwriter and a creative and beautiful person joined as well. My newest friend, Audrey came by after work! We actually work together at NASH and she always starts my day with smiles! My roommate, India was also at home and our spicy little dogs, Ginger & Paprika added some very spirited and lively entertainment to our evening.


Dinner: 


One of my favorite items at Trader Joe's these days is from the Butcher Shop: "Burgundy Pepper Lamb Tips." SO delicious and easy to make. You just need a grill or a pan - I use my Emeril by All-Clad Stainless Steel Pan with a little bit of olive oil on LOW-MED heat until medium-rare. Trust me, you DO NOT want to overcook Lamb! EVER.


One of the best flavors to compliment lamb is mint. Often you will see grilled lamb chops served with a mint jelly or paste. I was in the mood to make a salad because it's the middle of summer and though I wanted a great rich protein, I wasn't in the mood for a heavy meal.


When I make a salad I want several beautiful flavors combined... With mint in mind, I chose mixed baby kale as the greens base and added a little bit of crunch with some slivered almonds. I finely chopped 1/3 of a large red onion, a bunch of mint, and added 1 cup of fresh blueberries. I wanted a cheese that would be tart and soft, so I chose my favorite Trader Joe's FETA in Brine made with sheep's milk. I dressed the total combination with a lemon olive oil and the platinum balsamic vinegar from TJ's.





Drinks:
Amy brought a Malbec for dinner, but I wanted to try a new cocktail to start the evening - bourbon, lemon, rosemary combo w/ ginger ale.

In a shaker combine the following -
2 sprigs of rosemary (pull apart)
Juice of 1/2 of a lemon
1 tsp of brown sugar
1 oz of bourbon
Pour over ice & top w/ ginger ale. Garnish w/ rosemary.









Dessert :
I had a peach crumble or cobbler on the brain, but
pipe peaches were non existent at Trader Joe's and I didn't have time to make a pie crust / forgot to buy one at the store... sooooo.... I made up a recipe! Just eyeball it, ladies & gents! It was amazing!

I used my small Emeril All-Clad pan and added :
1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 pink lady apple chopped
1/4 cup water
2-3 tbsp brown sugar
2 pats of salted butter

Let that simmer for 12-15 minutes until reduction begins and then I added low-fat granola from TJ's on top of the fruit mixture and allowed it to cook in like oats.
Top with vanilla ice cream and for fun - add a splash of Tennessee Whipping Cream. You've got a bangin' cobbler!



To you and your next friend & foodie filled evening... Bon Appétit!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Find your #FUSION


Hey guys, gals, friends, fans, strangers, dangers… you name it! I mean, how do you REALLY find a blog and fall in love with it, right!? Glad you’re here! If this is your first visit to www.ErikaGracePowell.com AKA: my blog, thanks for the click!  

Some background on me... I proudly hail from the great state of South Carolina where we boast both beaches and mountain hideaways within about three hours of one another. 

I am now located and love living in Nashville, Tennessee where I work in none other than Country Radio - living and breathing all things Music City Entertainment! I am frequently found on a red carpet and heard in over 30 markets nationwide on air in the morning on Cumulus Media’s NASH FM – America’s Morning Show @americasmorning !

My new year’s resolution was to blog at least 30 times by the end of 2015. 
30... for my 30th year of life. I figured why hide the number. 
*I’ve been listening to you, Jennifer Aniston… coming for that Aveeno so I can look like a million bucks at 40+!! BAM! Prettttttty sure she’s using more than Aveeno, that's just a guess.

I was trying to decide on a theme for this blog and felt like I could go a dozen different directions. Thinking about topics, I found a common word to describe how I target each theme in my life... I am HUGELY a fan of melding things together, making it work, combining effort and energy, blending tastes, textures, styles and ideas to get something unique.


It's all about...

fu·sion
ˈfyo͞oZHən
noun
noun: fusion; plural noun: fusions
  1. 1.
    the process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity.
    synonyms:blend, blending, combinationamalgamation, joining, unionmarrying,
    bonding, merging, melding, mingling, integration, intermixture,intermingling,
    synthesis
    coalescence



If you know me at all, you know that I am wear many hats. I have VERY diverse friend groups, life interests, skills, hobbies, resume, tastes... I am the one to live juxtaposed to almost everything in life! I am the friend who's least similar to my other friends at varying points in life... off leading and doing my own thing. 

"Where are your pearls? You wear a lot of black." 

Hey... I’m edgy and unconventional but timeless and classic all at the same time. It’s risky, rare, but really doable!
"How are you great at doing make-up and yet, you like to shoot guns or workout?" 

There are four areas of my life where I have gained and garnered familiarity and expertise in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I thought this blog would be the perfect place to talk through some of the bullet points I find in these four areas of FUSION!


FENG SHUI – Décor. Design. Decisions.













Ballin' on a Budget! Be BOLD. Be YOU!
Spray paint is your friend. DIY. Repurpose. Thrift Shop. 

* You will eventually need to purchase a hand-held sander!

* Each item in your house should have two homes! If you buy a killer cowhide rug, think about how it could be used in multiple rooms!

* Designing on TREND is TEMPORARY!

* Create moments of fusion with textures and styles from the decades!




* One of my go-to design ideas is combining crystal and delicate fixtures / features with mixed-metal and rustic items. Like my Longhorn skull above my quilted black and white bed. Or deer sheds (antlers) that I spray painted white tucked around candlesticks on my 1960's vinyl and lucite dining room table!



FASHION – Brands. Basics. Bravery.
Brands: statement – invest – one big ticket item makes a  diff in your outfit (seen or unseen)

Basics: Undies. Bras. Jeans, Shoes. Leather Jacket. Trench Coat.

*Speaking of JEANS... You have to check out - BEIJA FLOR - www.ILoveTheseJeans.com 
One of the things I share in common with Oprah! She listed them as one of her favorite things and they are certainly one of my closet staples! The fit is for a woman's body! They don't stretch out when you wear them, they come in a variety of colors, and they don't gap in the back making for a super comfy wear!

Bravery: do one thing in every outfit that scares you/a pattern/a piece of jewelry
The thing you may debate over in front of the mirror is your IT! Let it stay… It could be a statement necklace, or a bright color, or even make-up add-ons like lashes, or bold lips.

*Dress for your SHAPE, not your size!
I think this is a HUGE misconception especially among women... 
Your shape will not change... your SIZE may! If you're a pear, or an apple, or an hourglass, or a boyish shape "straight"... you will more than likely gain and lose weight down your body... not creating a different or new shape, but a new size.

Girls love to find new "designs/trends" that are in and are quick to adopt 'the look' regardless if it makes them look any better. Find YOUR character. Don’t be a cookie cutter!

* look for less – always
* don’t be afraid to invest!
I have items in my closet from 8th grade because they are quality!




FOOD – Portion. Presentation. Pairing.
Portion: You are what you eat! Life is NOT a diet! It’s LIVING! 
You should never say, "I Can't Eat That!" You can eat anything... just use portion control!

Presentation: This IS everything! You will NEVER regret using linen napkins at a dinner party!

Pairing: FLAVAFLAV! Textures. Temps. Citrus. Salty. Savory. Tart

Don’t measure unless you are baking!
Trust yourself – don't forget to taste!

A great goal for a dinner party... teach each other something!
Wine
Food
Décor tricks
Great knives
Cocktails
Tricks for shopping

Follow my #EGPKitchen for recipes and cooking ideas! One day I would love to have a +Food Network show like Giada De Laurentiis!



#prettyispleasing
#lifestoshorttoeatonpaperplates
#ladieslikelinennapkins




FITNESS – Fun. Fuel. Friends.
FUN: Enjoy the journey! 
The only person you’re competing against is the version of YOU from yesterday! #BeYOUtiful
Soon it won’t feel like a chore, but a lifestyle choice!
BE better for YOU... for your family... for the ONE life you have to live! LIVE FULLY!

FUEL: Achieve your personal best each day! 
Pushing yourself to be the best version of YOU is rewarding and it fuels your determination to give it your all because you reap the results. The pain vs. gain ratio is equal in a fitness environment. What you put in, you will get out of the relationship! Maintain your goals!

FRIENDS: Be accountable!
Working out with friends doesn't seem like work... get accountability from someone who pushes you in an area and you can encourage them as well. When you’re accountable with friends you challenge yourself more! Great convos on hikes are my favorite ways to spend an afternoon. Before you realize it, you've walked 14K steps on your FitBit and you're 1/2 way finished with your words for the day!!!

Commitment is KEY!
PETS & PLAYLISTS help the time pass!

Some of my favorite products:

LULULEMON - I know it's $$$ but holy cow... This brand fits better than any other workout gear I have tried and I have tried a LOT! Sizes are tricky as the number on the tag will most likely be greater than your average store brand size. Their employees are knowledgeable and super helpful, so if and when you have questions about fit etc... don't hesitate to ask!

TARGET - great for athletic socks and undies/sports bras! 

TJMAXX - You can get lucky on name brand gear at TJ's!!! Usually Tuesday is their re-stocking day so come mid-morning for the best and most organized store shopping experience!

When you’re stylish you push yourself harder...

GROUPON - "date around" as I call it... take the plunge on a Barre class, or yoga, or paddle boarding via Groupon! DO IT! It's fun to try something for a short amount of time to see if it's right for you.

CLASSPASS is one of my favorite memberships and it can be found in many big cities and has plans for expansion and growth so it may be in a city near you this next year.

FITBIT - The Charge HR: Track your calories, steps, heart rate, sleep cycles, & workouts.
Find me on FITBIT and let's do this together!

- Erika


Monday, June 1, 2015

THE 2015 BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS!!!


What a weekend! Sorry it's taken me a hot minute to recap my experience at The Billboard Music Awards! This was by far, one of the most interesting weekends at an awards show and in Vegas in a long while!  I am always excited to interview and meet artists outside of the Country format. I love that you never know what you're gonna get! It's like a Forrest Gump quote or something... quite the cast of characters came through #RedCarpetRadio!

Take a look at this recap! #EGPtravel



#ImSoFancy - I had to, no but really. IGGY AZALEA was so nice... AND tall! She came in and did 1/2 a dozen interviews around the red carpet around the same time that Britney Spears arrived to talk about their new hit duet, #PRETTYGIRLS - which did you see the performance? 
(fun fact) : It was taped prior to the show... like weeks ago. Good thing she kept her hair pink!

Had the chance to talk with Veronic of "Veronic Voices" - she's a one woman show with performances at Bally's Las Vegas. She does impressions of well known female singers, artists, vocalists, divas... she is so amazingly talented! Her manager hooked me up with some tickets for Friday night's performance and it was stunning!


Let's be honest. The boys of Forever In Your Mind (FIYM) are SO cute! They joke about me being a perma-prom date for them... like for the next 1/2 decade while they finish school. Don't know if I can last that long. I look young, but not that young.



Sat down with Alan Stone to talk songwriting and sound.... then The Jabbawokeez busted up our party and were a lot of fun talking and demonstrating their amazing dance moves!



Now these two... what to say, Ty Bentli & Kerri Kasem, love you lots! 
Always fun to share the red carpet recap with you both!

I always am a little last minute on the red carpet wardrobe choices, but somehow they all go out with a bang. This was a combo of several purchases made over the last 3 years (believe it or not!) You CAN repurpose and use things already in your wardrobe! 


#EGPstyle ~ GET THE LOOK!

Forever21 skirt (from last year) $28
Nashville Blush Boutique crop top (from last week) $35
White BCBG python & silver studded heels (from last Billboard Awards Vegas shopping) $49
Stella & Dot statement necklace & earrings (from spring 2013, no longer available) $120 




My post on the red carpet was awesome this year. Getting to schmooze with everyone from Harry Styles to Wayne Newton was a dream. Taylor Swift and her entourage passed right down the middle of the #FanZone and the crowd went nuts!

I think the craziest moment of the night was when Iggy and Britney made their entrance (going the right way down the red carpet) only to be met mid way by none other than One Direction (going the WRONG way down the carpet). Britney ended up moving to the side and saying, "You boys go right on ahead!" WHAT??? No bow to Britney? Ha... the 1D boys are seriously the fans' favorite part of the evening. Missing one key member seemed to be forgotten in the sheer volume of mindless cheers, dramatic selfies, and odd autograph requests that ensued! But no sooner had they started to walk the carpet in reverse... but TAYLOR SWIFT got out of her limo and parted the sea with her presence and charisma... 1D was soon forgotten... 

1D who? See, I told you!



By far, the performance of the evening in my opinion, was the tribute that
Imagine Dragons did to honor the late, great, Ben E. King. 


The vocals for the night go to Miss Tori Kelly though. WOW that girl can SING! We were lucky to have her as a guest performer during #RedCarpetRadio interviews on Saturday afternoon. She crushed an acoustic set of her new hits for us during our cocktail party.


And then it's over... As we climb back out of the tight rows of bleachers and chairs now covered in confetti, we head to grab sushi in the casino before packing up and preparing to head back to music city the following morning. Early morning radio... I'll be back with ya soon, bringing you all the scoop from #RedCarpetRadio!

Til then, I'm out! - EGP

Monday, May 18, 2015

ALOHA MEANS LOVE!

It's amazing what a little ALOHA can do!


"From the mountains, to the prairies, to the oceans, white with foam... #GodBlessAmerica my #homesweethome !"


I cannot believe this is my life! You would have thought I teleported into an alternate universe for the last seven days, but I was in AMERICA and it BLEW. MY. MIND.


The beautiful island of MAUI, HAWAII was host and home to a little early #happybirthdayEPG #EGP30 celebration for which I will be forever grateful!


It all started with a little dinner conversation in NYC back in March. My "adopted cousin" Diane and I were catching up and she mentioned she was taking her annual personal VACA this year to Maui.

I was like... "can I catch the wave, crash your playa, fit in your suitcase?" 

She was pretty sure about flights and some resort details from her research and said she would send them my way to take a look at before we pulled the trigger on tickets. I think I mentioned it to my Mom that very night that this looked like it was going to happen. I mean, make your own luck... Everyone says, "you're so lucky you got to ____!" Well, be a "DOER"... just do it! I've always been that way... and obviously I'm very blessed and fortunate to have opportunities and the means to make the magic happen, but seriously. You only live once. Book the flight. Go. Make your life!

One quick convo turned into a flight, a rental car, a LUAU ticket, and a new maxi dress and a little less than two months later we were on our way nearly half way around the world!!! 


"She believed she could... so she DID!" - R.S. Grey, Scoring Wilde


Now, let me introduce the other party present in our MAUI Memories...
She is a LOCAL and gave us the tour of a lifetime in her beautiful home state!

I would have to say the best thing about having competed in Miss America and Miss USA is that I now have at least two friends in every state! My "Miss Congeniality" at Miss America 2006 was Miss Hawaii, Malika Dudley. And I mean really, she would me Miss Congeniality... she lives in HAWAII!!! THE ALOHA SPIRIT is alive and well - everyone is SO SUPER NICE and hospitable - she had nothing but practice!

All jokes aside, my beautiful and accomplished friend has been nothing but one of my biggest cheerleaders and has begged for me to come visit for a decade. That's commitment!





For the last 10 years... (yes, it's been 10 years since we competed together on that Superbowl of a stage in Vegas) Malika and I have stayed in touch via social media, but she has also visited me in NYC and she and her hubby, Kaimi came to see me compete at Miss USA on a babymoon before this guy, Jackson, was born 2 years ago!

Heartthrob... He's a ladies' man for SURE!
The best LEI ever :)




CAN WE JUST... I CAN'T EVEN. 
This was the FIRST of multiple rainbows we saw on the daily!






Our BLUE rental JEEP was the bomb!

We were ready with our #SHAKA signs, fresh Hawaiian air, leis, and obviously... trucker hats! Thanks, +Palm Casual Patio Furniture ) #lethawaiihappen !


~
Our first sunset.
Lahina 
Hyatt Maui Resort & Spa



We spent all afternoon and evening saying, "WOW, WOAH, HOLY COW, OMG!" 
It was breathtakingly beautiful everywhere we looked! It was NUTS! 

~~~


The next morning we were up early and excited about lots of SPF and a good book by the pool at the resort. We took a walk on the beach and grabbed killer pics (surprise) and just enjoyed a variety of fruity drinks and snoozing... I mean, before we become locals, we have to have a vacation! HA!


After plenty of fun in the sun we got ready for our only tourist move of the entire trip...  #LUAU.

The Drums of the Pacific Lu'au on the resort was a spectacular way to end our first full day in Hawaii! I mean you only have one first trip to HI!


~


Ok... so day 2. Time to hit the road! We stopped for coffee at a local place one of my Facebook friends told me about... Maui Grown Coffee! AMAZING samples and some purchases were made and the BEST almond milk LAVA JAVA latte was consumed and celebrated!


I had tweeted to Kip Moore when I started planning my trip to ask him for some favorite spots on Maui since he surfs here all the time!
He quickly recommended PAIA! We grabbed fish tacos at a little place on the corner on Main Street and made sure to have Gelato for dessert before we hit the road.

We experienced both a day trip driving around the massive volcano on Maui AND the next morning we got up early and drove up to the summit for the most spectacular sunrise I've ever seen in my life. It's about 77 degrees F on the road to Hana below the mountain (sea level) at 3pm vs. about 40 degrees at the summit (10K feet) around 5am!!! Diane and I were very glad Malika had winter coats for us to borrow! There were native Hawaiian chants and sun salutations during the sunrise. It was an awesome sight to see the silhouettes of the people on the mountain as a new day was dawning!




  1. Haleakalā
    Mountain in Hawaii
  2. Haleakalā, or the East Maui Volcano, is a massive shield volcano that forms more than 75% of the Hawaiian Island of Maui. The western 25% of the island is formed by another volcano, Mauna Kahalawai, also referred to as the West Maui Mountains. Wikipedia
  3. Elevation10,023' (3,055 m)
  4. First ascent1828
  5. Prominence10,023' (3,055 m)


~
Diane and I were looking forward to nearly 2 full days with all water activities! Surf Boards, Paddle Canoes, Standup Paddle Boards, Snorkeling, you name it! 

We took a tour of some of the nearby beaches with Malika after our morning at Mount Haleakala and ran into a group of Green Sea Turtles just sunning themselves on the Ho'okipa Beach... Of course Malika and I had to be silly and have a little photo shoot.

MERMAIDS ARE FOR REAL! Holy cow... though it will certainly take me a looooot of work to rock the fins effortlessly in the waters of the Pacific, Malika is a PRO!







On our last morning in Maui before our flight (about 6am) we headed out to Makena Beach (also known for it's sharks!) Not to worry, we packed our fins and our "Shark Shields" which are used by the US Military to keep their divers safe. If it's good enough for them, then it's good enough for us. You clip the charged device on your surfboard, boat, ankle etc... and then there's a leach that extends behind you or down from your board into the water and emits electrical pulses that extend a good way into the surrounding water causing fish and sharks to leave that area due to the frequency of the "shock." It's basically a dog's shock collar effect in the open water. Pretty cool.

A full day of surfing = SO. TIRED.
Malika is an awesome teacher. Here's a shot from the go-pro camera attached to the end of my board. We had to juggle catching waves around a LOT of new and beginner surfers, but the morning flew by and we were successfully bronzed and hungry by the time we left the water.
I was able to get up on my knees several times and once or twice I landed a full stand on the board. Till next time...


I cannot begin to express the sentiments felt throughout this entire experience. I am so happy to have pulled the trigger on a trip for ME! I travel all the time and certainly make the most of my time in any new place, but to truly drop a pin on a map for FUN is the most liberating experience. To have no responsibility for work or concept of time, or bullet points to check off on someone else's agenda is freeing and absolutely creates the perfect environment for CELEBRATION! I am excited about this new year of my life and I cannot wait to see what opportunities, relationships, and moves forward come about in my life with another year of learning under my belt.

It's not scary to get older. Remember, age is just a number. Life is worth celebrating!

cel·e·brate
verb
  1. 1.
    publicly acknowledge (a significant or happy day or event) with a social gathering or enjoyable activity.
    "they were celebrating their wedding anniversary at a restaurant"
    synonyms:commemorateobservemarkkeephonorremembermemorialize
    "they were celebrating their birthday"

Web Design: GoHooper Web Design