I looooove celebrating my birthday!  I don’t know why.  Maybe because as a child, my birthday was not celebrated.  And now as an adult, it’s all up to me, I can do something about it.  So I do.  I celebrate it!  Just like a child.  The child inside of me that refuses to come out.

The focus, yes the focus is all on me!  Celebrating the mark of another year of life is absolutely beautiful and I am blessed to have all this unselfish friends that allow it to be all about me!  An excuse for a self present, maybe a new dress or of course new shoes!  Here comes the cards, wishes, gifts and at times a cruises!  Yes, that’s how the celebration went down last year.. in a cruise with the most amazing women I know.  We partied like rock stars… It was a sight to be seen… we rocked the boat more than a few times!

But this birthday is very different from preceding ones!  This time is not about me.  Believe it or not.  This time is about friendships!  I may lack many things… but in the department of friendships I can honestly say, I am blessed above and beyond what I can ask, think or even imagine.  Let me just say that when God was distributing friends, I must have been the first in line, cause I really got the best pick!

God is so faithful and amazing!  I could not be who I am without you guys.  You mean the world to me!  You guys know me more than anybody.  You are like family.  Thank you for all the years you have supported me and loved me.  Oh… how I love the way you love me through it all.  The good the bad and the ugly!

“Lourdes, thank you for being who you are!  We have been through so much together… you have overlooked so much. You are a true sister.  Claudia, I have no words to express how blessed I am by your friendship!  Thank you for taking up the role of a mother in my life… you know I need that more times that I am willing to admit. My love for you goes deep.  Ayo,  thank you for loving me when I am nice and no so nice.  I love you and love the way you love me.  You are there for me at whatever time, 3, 4, 5 o’clock in the morning.  Girl… you rock my world!  Carolyn, your words of wisdom always arrive at the right timing.  I looovee our conversations about politics and end times.  Thank you for your kindness and gentleness.  I am so proud to call you my friend.  Adri!  Thank you for your love and teaching me how beautiful humility looks… you wear it so strikingly!  We have so much in common, it’s crazy, we were destined to be sisters.  Isha, you are the best roommate a girl can ask for!  Thank you for sharing your life with me and bringing youth and laughter to my life.  I admire you Dr. Kothari!  Kelli, my faithful friend, you know the true meaning of friendship, and you show it… always!  Thank you for receiving me with open arms.  I love you, Mao and Dani.  Individually and together.  Your friendship beautifies my life.  Ivette, I am so blessed you are in my life.  You are a gift from above.  God orchestrated it so perfectly.  Thank you for your partnership and love.  I can’t wait to see what our future holds for us.”  then we raised our mimosas in the name of friendship.

And over tea, cucumber sandwiches, fruits, quiches, biscuits and singing celebrated our friendship making memories to last a lifetime, that of course… involved some dancing.

Here are some of the details we got to enjoy…

Photographed beautifully by Ivette Francolla  


Oh what a night!

August 23, 2010

It started like any good night should NEVER start, with a downpour out of nowhere.  But even the rain couldn’t damper our spirits. We were so determined to have a GOOD time. Ok!  Forget the idea of lighting candles along the pathway leading up to the house and large pin wheel decorations in the backyard next to the tiki torches.  Well, then… now we are on to plan B… everything indoors (except the torches of course), get the pin wheels inside… dry please!  Decorate and let’s party!

WooHoo!!!  Birthday girl looked stunning…  she was wearing a RED cocktail dress by Keka Gozalez cut and tailored to compliment her great silhouette.  Laura is a natural beauty with a great sense of style and a heart of gold.  I was honored to be a small part of her birthday celebration.  

The family (from Kansas City) and friends arrived… everyone that needed to be there was there, Tatiana included!  Lulu & Corrado showed off their incredible aptitude for music throughout the night!  What an extraordinary and enjoyable assortment of people gathered together in one place!  We danced, ate, drank, sang, talked, laughed over and over again. Mother nature withheld from any further cloudburst and our night ended just like a GREAT night should end… we had an AWESOME time and memories that will last a lifetime!

I hope you enjoy my creations as much as we ALL did, just a simple touch of color and fun to transform this beautiful home into a party atmosphere.   

Great photos by James Scott Siler.   

When Lourdes called me to help her with a very intimate affair to honor someone, I was so blessed to learn that she was speaking about no other than Anna Panaro!  Now, this is someone who deserves honor!  When I met her over 13 years ago, my life took a great turn, she has touched my life in so many ways through out the years.  This is a lady that knows the true meaning of friendship and she is fabulous.  And for that, I am forever grateful!

Finding the perfect site was not hard!  Sci Sci at Brickell, a sophisticated restaurant with the smooth jazz sounds of Lulu & Corrado and the sensational aroma of fresh Italian cruisine.  Luxurious yet comfortable!  It was there, were everything happened! Daryl Edwards and Renee Rich had a lot to do with it… thank you guys!

Anna was so surprised, she was shocked!  But once she came back to her self, she enjoyed every minute of it.  Our server Kevin dressed up for the occasion and gave us the best service.  Anna, WE LOVE YOU and as I told you, I can not imagine my life without you!

The hand made (by me) birthday card signed by everyone, read like this: (we meant every word!)

A Real Life Story…

Starting ~ Anna Panaro

Did you ever know that you’re my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
’cause you are the wind beneath my wings.

It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I’ve got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you.

   From Lourdes camera
SURPRISE!!! Everyone gathered in front of the pavilion for Michele grand entrance!  Thankfully, her sister in law, Claudia had a gorgeous Hawaiian dress ready for her so let the Luau Celebration begin!  Karen, her other sister in law, had come up with the great idea of the luau theme!  I just came along and made all happened for her.  I was so blessed to be a part of this celebration along with the most special people in Michele’s life.

Michele, you are so loved!  I am not a bit surprised.  When I met you, I fell in love with you too!  

Family & Friends = Love & Laughter

     Lovely birthday girl!