Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Busy, busy bee!

Little Miss Sunshine Esguerra! She is such a crazy lady! And she's like this ALL the time! =)

I sure wish I knew some people having babies...hmmph.

This was a card I whipped together for a wedding Dale and I went to Saturday. I bought the ring stamp for $4 at my favorite stamp store...not knowing anyone getting married. I just liked the stamp. I love my scallop punch from SU! It rocks! Am I the only one who does silly things like this?

I ended up decorating the wrapping paper with the same stamp. Super cute! I got them a scrapbook kit for their wedding and honeymoon pictures. Dale grew up with the groom. He was kind of like a big brother to him. We didn't know the bride other than she is a minister's daughter...so I didn't think my taste in lingerie would have been appropriate for a gift. This seemed safe. =)

Mel =)

Monday, September 29, 2008

More NYC...sorry it took so long!

We went to church! St.Patrick's Cathedral was the most beautiful place I've ever seen! The carvings, the windows, the high vaulted ceilings...oh, and the organ! It was upstairs. The pipes were so HUGE!! It was a very powerful place. If you remember, when I was tagged, one of my "facts" was that my hubby and I had relegious differences in the first few years of our relationship. Not a big deal to us...we both believe in God. We believed in being good people. His parents, being high rank in their church, expected me to convert to their religion. I couldn't lie to them. I went to their church several times, bible studies and conventions...I didn't believe like they believed. So, at 4yrs in, Dale and I were faced with an ultimatum. Step out together, or go our seperate ways. So, for him to plan this vacation with this part in it was HUGE! It was something he knew I would enjoy. It was a selfless act. He's awesome!

Mel =)

My 2nd favorite scrapbook store!

Thanks to an awesome Bella sista, I discovered a store called Green Tangerine in Rocklin, CA. (Sorry Sistah, I don't remember who told me about it.) It is this HUGE scrapbook heaven with tons of "stuff"! My goodness! It took me about an hour and a half to get there, but it was worth the drive. I spent over 3hrs. shopping. It's very modern and clean. Tons of stamps and embellishments...and check this out...I happened to visit on one of their weekend garage sales! Yes, garage sales...fellow scrappers bring the stuff they don't use anymore and sell it super cheap! Ahh...I bought four punches for Sunshine's preschool class for $1! There were tons of idea books and magazines for $1. They had scrapbook kits, stamp sets, cutters...pretty much anything you can think of. I didn't find my Zutter Bind It All though...boo. They sold out. I found a site that featured them...http://kcra.cityvoter.com/green-tangerines-scrapbook-superstore/biz/77161. Make sure if you're in the Sacramento area, you check it out!

There was also a store about 5min away that wasn't worth the drive. Not sure about the actual items in the store, but the service wasn't that great! The moment I walked in, the lady told me they were closing in half an hour. No "hi"..."the baskets are there"...then bash me with "We're closing soon."...nothin! She must not have known how much damage I could do in half an hour. The store was little anyways. It wouldn't have taken that long to go through it...and the prices seemed a little high for what they were offering. She just ruined the thrill...know what I mean!?

Mel =)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the winner is...

I let Kaila pick the number before we started so I couldn't be bias and pick my favorites or change my answer partially through the contest! =) She picked 234,559!! So...the guesser who came closest is...Ms. Katie Shawger aka. Paper Makeup!! Woo-hoo!! Looks like I will have to go shopping for another blog candy soon as I now have almost 800 hits! Go, fight, win!

Katie, please email me privately your address! (melanie.esguerra@sbcglobal.net) I will pop this in the mail as soon as I get it!! Congrats!

Mel =)

The Good 'Ol Days

Sometimes we get older...well, all the time we get older, but sometimes we forget the things that make us truly happy. Know what I mean?

I have been a Polynesian dancer since I was 5yrs old. My grandma (as seen in the picture) was born and raised in Hawaii. She made costumes for the largest dance troupe in this area, Lehuanani. They used to practice in my great grandma's backyard because it was the only yard large enough to fit them. I guess I was just born into it.

Not being the most patient and graceful dancer...well, person...I felt most comfortable Tahitian dancing. I joined my first halau (dance troupe) in 1994. We were a new group to the area, Te Poe O Patitifa, or Pearl of the Pacific. There were 14 of us including drummers. Our Kumu, or instructor, was a former dancer, Ioani Burns, or Uncle Joel. He was a retired dancer that was a judge at the largest competitions here in the States and in Tahiti. He was my second dad.

I competed with the group and we were booked for 3-5 shows every weekend. Hot, cold, raining...it didn't matter. We were a hot party item. Everyone knew who we were and wanted to be with us. In 1998, we competed in San Jose, CA with over 100 dancers and about 15 drummers. We got to travel to Tahiti in 1999 as ambassadors to learn from Le Grande Ballet and O Tahiti E...two of the most prestigious halaus. It was awesome!

However, when we returned, the halau changed. It started to take form of a business. The fun was gone and it was now all about the money. I retired for the first time. I returned in 2001, but left shortly after. It just wasn't the same. Maybe because I wasn't the same. Maybe because my sisters had grown up, gone off to college and another generation was there....I don't know...but it was different. Uncle Joel had moved back to Tahiti and a new instructor had taken over...literally.

I started my own troupe, Haviti Tiare, in 2004 after Sunshine was born. I decided to teach 5 year olds and under students. We practiced in the backyard in the summer and in the garage in the winter. It was really fun.

I went back to Te Poe O Patitifa in 2006 and competed one last time...with Kaila. I was so proud. I wasn't going to dance. I was going to pass the thrill to her. It was her time. She asked me to compete with her. So, 7 of the original dancers including me, got back out there and took some trophies home!! Uncle Joel was there. I dedicated my solo to him. He walked out half way through it. When I asked him why, he said, "Melani, I already know how you dance. I am very proud." I think it hurt him to see the 7 of us again. We were like his children. (And, no, I didn't spell my name wrong. That's how he insisted on saying it! Accent on the "a".)

I miss it. I miss the family spirit. I miss practice. I miss the thrill. One day, I will return...again. =)

Mel =)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This is my card I submitted at my favorite Stamp store in Elk Grove, CA. The theme was buttons. Hopefully I win. You get a $25 gift card to use at their store and I already know what I want! =) It was so crazy...after I went there the first time, I rec'd a handmade card from one of the girls that was working that day to personally thank me for coming in and inside of it was a package of bling. So sweet. I know they probably make it a habit of doing that as customer satisfaction, but, hey...I like it! It's a great idea! Got me to come back! =) I left the card for the lady, Marilea, that sent me the card. She's a sweetheart! Enjoy!

Mel =)

Thank you Auntie Mae!

Just thought I'd let you know I have the best Bella Sistah! She sends me the most thoughtful gifts...and...today...as I was literally ripping my package open because I could smell something good and hear something rattling...my daughters sat eagerly watching. They kept trying to reach their little hands inside. I told them it was for me and I had to read the card first! I received her very first Bella card! Woo-hoo! Super cute. On the card it said there were two goody bags for the girls. Ahh...they were so excited! Thank you Aunt Mae!!

The smell were Cinnamon Bun tea lights!! Good thing because I was running low! The rattling were brads...in one of my favorite colors I might add! Thank you! Thank you!

Mel =)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Debbie tagged lil 'ol me! =) Thanks Deb!


1. Link your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

So...unlike Debbie, I am not shy at all! (...Can that be my first fact? Hmm.)

1. I make a killer Lasagna! (Is that how you spell that?)

2. When I was a kid, my life long goal was to be a nun.

3. I do not watch TV. (I'll rent a movie now and then, but refuse to watch TV.)

4. I am Chinese, Filipino, Mexican, Native American and Portuguese...4th generation American. My hubby says being at family events is like being at the United Nations!

5. I dropped out of college 5 times. (Couldn't figure out what I wanted to do with my life and college wasn't paying for diapers!)

6. I was a secret from my hubby's parents, due to religious background differences, for the first 4yrs of our relationship.

7. I have been a Polynesian Dancer since I was 5. I travelled to Tahiti as an ambassador when I was 19. I taught dancers from age 2-65! Super fun!

Go, fight, win!! That's me in a nutshell!

I TAG...
Mae- sorry, I know you've been tagged already, but I want more!! =) hehe
I wish I knew more Bellas...that haven't been tagged of course! Hey, can I tag-back Debby!? Just kidding!

Mel =)

Monday, September 22, 2008


I am SUPER excited! I only started this blog about a month ago and I already have over 500 hits! Sweet! I want to personally thank you all for the boosts of confidence you each give me with your comments. It's been a weird time for me...called "life", I guess...and the Bellas have welcomed me with open arms. I wish I had enough money to send everyone a blog candy...but I don't...boo. I have a great blog candy to give away. I hope you will all participate!

I don't know how to do any sketches...so we'll keep it simple! First, you must post my blog as a link on yours so more people can participate! Next, I have a number in my head...what a scary place...hehehe...between 1-1,000,000. (I like the number 1,000,000!) The guessing game will begin now and will end September 26th at 12 midnight. Whoever get's the closest will win! That simple. Please scan through the numbers already posted to make sure someone else didn't already pick your number! Clear as mud?? Good!

Mel =)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Bella cards!

A good excuse not to clean the house! =)

New York continued!

This was the best BBQ joint I've ever been to! Yummy!

The Natural History Museum- Kaila really enjoyed this place. She either learned about the stuff here last year or is currently studying it in 6th grade. I wish I could post all the pics, but these are the ones that are right side up.

(I'm not sure who these people are in the picture of my favorite dinosaur.)

Okay, so I was going to post according to the day, but I have Dori syndrom and can't remember stuff too well short-term. (Kinda scary...good thing I have my Long Term Care in place!) I figured I can just group a bunch of pics of stuff we saw instead! Enjoy!

I started the scrapbook today. FYI...I haven't completed a scrapbook to this day, but this time will be different...wink, wink...nod, nod! hehe

Mel =)

New Blog candy FOUND

VISIT www.stardustgemsandribbon.wordpress.com for this blog candy! I love pink...and glitteries...and the super cute stamp! Good luck!

Mel =)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Day 1...The Tourists!

The first day we arrived was September 11th. We got there at 8:30am. I calculated, in California time of course, it would take us about 30 minutes to get out of the plane and an hour to get our bags and get to the taxi. I figured we would be at the hostel at 11am. Well, this was the first time I concluded "I was not in Kansas anymore Toto." We got to the hostel at 10am including the taxi "detour" around Central Park. Dale figured it should have been about a $25 cab fare...turned out to be about $45. Hmmph...lesson learned. Everything seemed to be on fast forward!

We got to the hostel. It had bright pink walls! Interesting. Just so you know...we had our own room, we just had to share a bathroom. It was a different kind of experience compared to the 4 and 5 star resorts we've stayed at. I can't remember why we chose to stay there, but, it was worth the experience. Our room was white with one light blue wall. We had a Mexican woman next door who cooked pork chops at 11pm and flushed the oil down the toilet. She played Mexican music in the early, early morning! I brought earplugs, thank God! =)

We started off on a bus tour. It was about 3 hours long and took us uptown, midtown and downtown. The tour guide wasn't the best, but we did still learn some cool stuff. Sunshine fell asleep half way through. The second tour we took was on a ferry. We got to see the Statue of Liberty and all the city from the water view. It was really neat! Kaila loves the Statue. She was really excited as you can see in the picture.

The third...yes, I said third...tour we went on for the day was a night tour. (I'm not sure the thought process that went through Dale's head when he planned 6 hours of tours in one day, but hey...we're in New York!) The tour guide sounded like Ryan Seacrest from American Idol! He was SUPER great! Lots of trivia and history. It was amazing to see the night life...a true city that never sleeps. Time square was amazing! The bridges lit up were magnificent. And the lights in place of the Twin Towers were overwhelming. We got a great picture. The lights were actually reflecting off the clouds. So pretty! Sunshine, Kaila and I fell asleep in the last tour bus. How sad. I was pooped! We went across the bridge into Brooklyn for pictures. The girls were out for the night.

Hope you like to pics. More tomorrow!!

Mel =)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

New York, New York!

So we're back! And was that a trip of a lifetime or what! Whew...I thought California was fast-paced!! I'll start from the beginning and I'll probably have to complete it in a few days worth of blogs since there were 6 days of non-stop activity and chaos.

So, for those of you who didn't know, my oldest daughter turned 11 on September 4th and she's always had this amazing fascination with big cities...especially New York. There's no real explanation for this obsession, she's had it since I can remember.

In order for you to get the whole story, I have to back up a little and start with how we ended up there. It started off with me making travel arrangements for a convention for our business last year. I, by the way, don't plan ANY of the travel stuff because it seems to go weird each time. Dale does it. This was no exception. I planned our flight returning a day too early. Boo...the airline said I could change the tickets, but it would cost $100 each and I wouldn't get the money back, rather, just a credit I had to use within a year. So February came and I remembered I had to plan our next trip to use the credit before we lost it and there wasn't any place on that list for that airline I wanted to go. Then we saw New York. Dale had promised Kaila we would take her there one day and she is constantly reminding him of this promise. We decided to make it her birthday gift and we would keep it a surprise. (Excerpt: I am the worst at keeping surprises!)

The week before departure I thought I blew our cover. I was on the phone and I forgot she was in the back seat. I was telling a teammate not to schedule an appointment on a certain day because I was going to be in New York...whoops. So, not knowing if she had heard me, I decided to come up with a story...just in case. I told her she might get really mad at me, but that I didn't want to tell her last minute. I told her I might have to go on a business trip to a state she really wanted to see. She said, "YOU'RE GOING TO NEW YORK?!!???!" I said yes. She asked me to bring her. I told her I couldn't because I would be working and she has school. She believed me!! Was totally mad at me, but believed me. Whew!

So, last Wednesday, my sister, who lives in San Fransisco, where we'd be conveniently flying out of, called and asked to spend some time with Kaila since she missed her birthday. Perfect cover up! I told Kaila we would be going to see Yaya since she had a minimum day and arranged for my sister to drop us off at the airport. Kaila still had no idea! =)

We got to SF, went to the Piers, ate crab and shrimp and met up with my sister, Tanya. At 7:30, Tanya was bringing us to the airport. We got out. We had packed in one giant suitcase and one carry on. Kaila was sitting in the backseat. I told her to get out. She got out and gave me a farewell hug thinking I was leaving. Hehehe...sneaky, sneaky! I told her to get her sweater. She asked why. I told her we were all going. She stood there staring at me...very confused. So I said it again. She said, I thought you said you were going. I told her we were taking her to NY. She started hyperventilating!! =P I had to calm her down or I was afraid she was going to pass out! Ahh...it was just the response I was looking for! She was so excited. We don't have pictures of that moment...boo.

Tomorrow...day 1! The Tourists.

Mel =)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A real Super bella!

Thank you to all the Sistahs who answered my cry! And thanks to the Sistahs who liked my last Superbella! This Superbella looks so much better to me. I colored her dress with SU markers and her cape and her boots with Spica glittery pens. I added some pizzaz (probably not how you spell that) by rubbing my ink pad directly onto the background of the image. Fortunately, the background paper I used already had glitter, so I didn't have to do any of that! The Thank You is from SU.

Now on to tackle the New York trip blog entry...this might take a little while!

Mel =)

Please visit this blog!! SUPER BLOG CANDY! http://bevscrafts.blogspot.com/ I hope you win...wait...I hope I win...um...I'm confused! hehe

Mel =)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Whiff of Joy and Scrap Biz

Scrap Biz has 20,000 hits!!! Woo-hoo! Congrats Suzanne! She has a Blog candy from Whiff of Joy (pictured above). She always has really neat stamping ideas! Check it out! www.scrapbiz.blogspot.com and www.whiffofjoy.com (New stuff was added to Whiff of Joy recently! My orders going in shortly!)

Mel =)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Copic Spica markers...a new found love...

Thanks to Shannon, I found these really cool markers...well, they're more like pens, but they color with a hint of glitter! I LOVE THEM!! Check this out...I ordered them Wednesday and they came today...Saturday! Crazy fast shipping!! Here is the link she gave me for anyone who wants it


I made her a thank you card, but I will not post it until she gets it. I did however make a few other cards today. It is extremely hot outside and I just can't bare taking Sunshine out when it's like this. Plus, we went out last night with a bunch of friends and didn't get home til about 5am. I'm still really tired, but never too tired to make something!! =P Dale had to go to work...at 6am...poor patients. "Oh, you can't breathe...zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...oh, sorry...what was your problem again!?" I can only imagine.

Mel =)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

I am a mom of an 11 year old!

My oldest daughter turned 11 today. Memories of "yesterdays" keep flashing as I look at her and how much she's grown in jus tthis past year. Man...I think she's going to be taller than me...not hard to do seeming I'm only 5'0! I made this Bella card for her. She has been drooling over these stamps..."Mom's stamps"...since I got my first one. She hasn't asked to use them, but I know she really wants to.

We planned a surprise trip to New York. She has always had this fascination with the big cities. We thought this would be a great age...not too young where she won't remember, but not too old to say..."Mom, I'm staying!"

I entered this card in the Bella Babe contest, but I really made it with her in mind.
Hope you like it!

Mel =)

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Ms. July

I think her colors came out too dark...what do you think? I was trying to get a 4th of July theme. Anyone have a really cute design I can see?? Hope all is well!

Mel =)


Visit: www.paperimagerydesigns.blogspot.com
posted Tuesday, September 2, 2008
Altered Art Expressions Blog Anniverysary Give-A-Way

Ok here is the prize that you will win if you are the lucky winner picked from my Altered Art Expressions One Year Anniversary blog give-a-way!!

Now I am adding a nice prize to the package! If you post about this give a way with the added stamp prize to your blog and a link back to Paper Imagery Designs and if your name is picked you will receive in addition to the Halloween sheets this sheet of Halloween stamps from the Tim Holtz Collection from Stampers Annoymous!! Now how sweet is that!?

The winner of this Spooky Halloween Package will be chosen Sunday night on September 7th, make sure that you have a link to your site about this post linked back to Paper Imagery Designs and your email address so I can contact the winner!

Monday, September 1, 2008


This is a cool candy! Please visit www.loreenny16.blogspot.com! She is giving away...well, why ruin the surprize!? Check it out for yourself!

Mel =)

Wish Love