July 2023 Newsletters


Cue the music:

Wake me up before you go-go! *insert musical notes amidst head bobbing and slight dancing*

Off we go, as Wham’s iconic beats begin to blast on the car stereo. For me, 80’s music is just the perfect soundtrack for this perfect day as my boyfriend and I go to the beach via the winding picturesque road of Topanga Canyon to the Pacific Coast Highway (aka PCH).

There is nothing like listening to great music while cruising and relaxing on the beach. As I give you some tips for today, indulge me as I share some beloved music from my childhood.

Yes, girls do just want to have fun (right, Cyndi?). While spending the day under the sun is not as simple as having Toto’s “Africa bringing you the mood, you must also bring the goods:

Plan ahead. California’s weather can be a bit bipolar (IYKYK). Check the weather forecast and make sure you pack accordingly. If it’s going to be hot, pack sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. If it’s going to be windy, pack a windbreaker or jacket. 

Know the beach rules. Some beaches have restrictions on swimming, sunbathing, and pets. Be sure to check the rules before you go so you don’t get in trouble. If you know me, or my boyfriend, bringing our dogs is a must!

Be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for rip currents, jellyfish, and other hazards. If you see something that looks dangerous, don’t hesitate to ask a lifeguard for help. Say NO accident-prone possibilities and any potential life-threatening events.

Stay hydrated. I CANNOT REITERATE THIS enough… drink plenty of water! A trusty Stanley 30 oz Quencher is my best friend. Bring sports drinks or electrolyte-rich foods to help keep you hydrated. If you’re like me and are in your 40s (and cannot handle hard drinking anymore), pack some White Claws. What a feeling!! Being’s believin’… woohoooo!!!

Protect your skin, over and over again. Before going outside, apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher and wait for 30 minutes prior. Reapply every two hours or more if you’re sweating or swimming. If you love to tan like me, you can also add a layer of Australian Gold Instant Bronzer with SPF – not only does it smell good, it also gives you that beach glow <3

…and I’m walking on sunshine… oh ohh… and it’s starting to feel goooooddd… oohh yeahhhh

Wear comfortable shoes. Flip-flops are great for walking on the sand, but they’re not the best choice for walking on rocks or shells. If you’re going to be doing any exploring, wear shoes that will protect your feet. Bring a pair of trusty trainers for those off-the-path walks. Right now, Onitsukas are a godsend to my tired feet.

Bring a beach towel. This is a must-have for any beach day. You can use it to sit on, dry off, or even sit on while building a sandcastle. If you are like me, bring a waterproof beach mat so the pesky sand doesn’t make your life hard afterward.

Pack a cooler. Fill it with drinks, snacks, and anything else you might want to eat or drink at the beach. Okay, also bring some cheese and crackers (have you tried Triscuits?!). In addition, don’t forget about the beverages (maybe some White Claws? My personal favorite flavor is peach.)

Bring a first-aid KIT. Need I say more? For this trip, I brought my NO SPOOF, WATERPROOF kit to cover my beach needs.  This is ALWAYS A GOOD IDEA, in case of any emergencies. I always have a kit in my car and another handy one in my tote.

Have fun! That is the whole point of the day. Enjoy the company you are with, the place, the tunes, and the moment. Be present.

Relax, soak up the sun, and make some memories that will last a lifetime. Okay… Photos are a must… but really, enjoy the moment, will you? Also, I want to leave you with a few more tips to further your day…

Get there early. The best beaches can get crowded, so it’s a good idea to get there early to stake out your spot. Like Rocky… RISING UP… back on the streets… – if this beat does not motivate you to start your day bright and early, I don’t know what will!

Bring a book or some other activity to keep you entertained. If you’re not the type to just sit on the beach and relax, bring something to do to keep yourself occupied. Although playing Candy Crush (along with my boyfriend) on my phone has kept me entertained lately, it became more of a bonding session with him – done separately, but together… you know? I’ve recently read David Sedaris’, A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003-2020). It made me laugh, think, emotional, and all sorts of in-between. I highly recommend this diary of literature.

Explore the area. If you’re not the type to only stay on the beach, take some time to explore the surrounding area because there might be some interesting things to see or do nearby. Topanga and its surrounding areas are a treasure trove for the uninitiated. Not only is it a nature lover’s paradise, you won’t run out of quaint places to shop, eat, drink, and just simply have a great day! …She’ll turn her music on you… you won’t have to think twice… she got Betty Davis eyes… – Topanga is very much like Betty Davis’ eyes now that I think about it…

Be respectful of the environment. Leave no trace of your presence at the beach. Dispose of your trash and be careful not to disturb the wildlife. – This for me is close to my heart – please, for the love of… DO NOT LITTER. Have respect for nature, other people, and just life in general. Clean up after yourself. As Sting sings …Every move you make, I’ll be watching you…Oh, can’t you see…

Whew! I know it seems like there are many things to take note of and get ready for, but really, the whole day has just been the best experience for me. It was the best because I love being in nature, spending it with people I love, and learning to enjoy life. Whether the small or the big things, it is truly a beautiful life. Sweet dreams are made of these… whom am I to disagree…

As we drove home, Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up started playing on the radio… it felt fitting. At that moment, I decided that I’m never going to give up this feeling of being a child again such as harking on sentiments, childhood joys, loving nature, and experiencing life as it happens.

Signing off for the day, much love from my 80’s mixtape.

July 2023 Newsletters


I like smiling. Smiling is my favorite.

Things that made me smile this week:

1. Going to my local Starbucks and Sammi always knowing all of my orders by heart (shout out to Sammi!).
Also, when they have matcha back in stock! Ya girl LOVES her iced matcha lattes with EXTRA strawberry cold foam because no matter what people say, MORE is BETTER. YUM!

2. Greeting my boss and colleagues in the morning.
Hi Barbie, Hi Barbie, Hi Ken…

3. When Ayin (the snack queen) at work gives me snacks.
I will never go hangry again.

4. The sound of my colleague, Darlene’s obnoxiously loud shoes when she walks around the office.
Imagine dead silence and that sound being the only thing you hear. It’s FUNNY, ok?!

5. Every time my boss, Geolyn laughs.
It’s pure joy and CONTAGIOUS!

6. Singing along (loudly) to my playlist with the windows down while driving home after work… and getting stares along the way.
I go HARD on “Under the Sea,” accent included.

7. A huge Porto’s bag carrying my equally large order being delivered and handed to me by DoorDash as soon as I get home from work.
I have to treat myself because I love me.

8. After completing my usual 4.2 mile run.
It’s a way of running away from my problems.

9. Singing “Part of Your World” in the shower. I’m on a ‘Little Mermaid’ kick right now and living my best life.

10. Going to Yogurtland, grabbing a good amount of sample cups, sampling EVERY FLAVOR AVAILABLE (sometimes twice), and picking my usual every time.
I’m not even sorry! Hahaha!

11. Reading “Yours Truly” by Abby Jimenez.

Who doesn’t love hot British men in white, flowy shirts (that coincidentally get soaked)?? Swoon.

And Prince Eric… because he’s British and gets soaked in a white, flowy shirt too… you’re welcome…

13. When my coworker, Gina is not paying attention to her playlist that plays in the office and an “inappropriate work song” starts playing.
But when she does notice it, it would abruptly stop.

14. Friday Team Building Games at work.
The best way to start the best day of the week. Don’t get it twisted, EVERYONE is competitive!!

15. Every time I talk to my friend, Savahna (who lives up North). The sound of her voice instantly makes me smile.
It also helps that she’s HILARIOUS too.

16. Whenever I walk into a room where all of my friends are… everyone stops, screams my name, and greets me with the best hugs.
Main Character energy.

17. When I receive packages of stuff in the mail that I don’t remember ordering and pretending it’s Christmastime when I open them.
I lose track sometimes, so Merry Christmas to ME!

18. Facetiming my nieces.
They wanted to let me know that they can sing Encanto songs in both Spanish AND English… and made me listen to them sing both versions. They mostly made up some words in English, but I’m a supportive auntie.

19. Going to Disneyland with my cousins, theme dressing, and taking copious amounts of photos.
We’re THAT family.

July 2023 Newsletters


Well, well, wellll….look who’s back. Yes, it’s ME. Hopefully by now, you’ve read about who we are and what we do (and if you haven’t, y’all better ask somebody). With that said, I’d love to take a minute to chat about our WHY. Our purpose, our drive…why we do what we do. Like, what’s the point? Well, I’m glad I asked. So, go ‘head and grab a cup o’ coffee (or a glass of wine or two or five) and let’s get into it.

Have you ever had a vision so clear that you knew it was your purpose in life to see it through? Like, now that you’ve seen it, you can’t un-see it. Shortly after George started the new business, God gave him a vision that turned into his life’s purpose, which ultimately, became his mission. And his company, TRI, has always been at the forefront of carrying out God’s vision for him. 

The Vision:

Children, families and communities all together, united as one, honoring and praising God.

The Mission:

“To be the most dependable and excitingly innovative manufacturer of First Aid and Emergency Preparedness products worldwide, in all categories of Home, School, Office, Automotive, Outdoors, Sporting Goods, Marine and Farm, for the purpose of spreading the Good News, supporting ministries and missionaries of all nations, in their calling and election to care for orphans, help the poor, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, encourage, comfort and urge everyone to live lives worthy of God.”

The Manifestation:

George and Merlyn Rivera established Vision HIMpossible Ministries 501(c)(3), a non-profit organization in 1996. With the sole purpose of giving back and spreading God’s love, VHM began its missions to support orphanages in Mexico and build schools in the Philippines. TRI’s first aid kit business, together with VHM partnerships, were the instruments that catapulted the brand into a position of selling products to help give back to underprivileged communities around the world… one kit at a time.

The Voice:

In the movement to bring our products with a purpose to life and share our story in retail stores, we had to give our initiative a voice. 

Therefore, our social impact program, Every Kit Cares® was born. A portion of the proceeds from all the first aid kits help build schools, create community feeding and health & wellness programs, support orphanages, lead community outreach and livelihood programs, help rescue victims of sex trafficking, and fund Orthopedic surgeries for children born with deformities.

This is the driving force behind the founders, the company, and brand. Every effort to grow the company is made with the intention to build the brand, so the ministry will continue to grow and expand. Ugh, so good, right? Such forward thinking. Way before it was trending, way before millennials made it a thing to buy products for a purpose and support cause-driven companies. Seeing how the company, brand, and ministry has grown and evolved over the years, it’s evident that God has mighty, mighty plans – which He will continue to reveal in us and through us every single day. And believe me, we’re just getting started!

July 2023 Newsletters


January 17, 2023, “I declare an oath to entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to foreign sovereignty of whom or which I have been a citizen.” After twelve years of stay… that was the day I completed my citizenship exam, passed it, and took an oath. The feeling was overwhelming. I was so emotional. The words, “to entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to foreign sovereignty” hit me hard and felt so real. I had to declare rejection of the place I once called “home.” I needed some time to absorb and process that. I chose to stay in my car for at least 30 mins. Tears just came down continuously. At that moment, all of the “highs” and “lows” of my journey to get to where I am came back.

Low Points: I had a comfortable life in the Philippines. My husband was a doctor, and I worked for a prestigious holding company for food and restaurants. I also had a business on the side. Everything was provided for me in order to run my comfortable life. I gave birth to my eldest son. When he turned 1 year and 7 months, I noticed that his speech was delayed, and he was very hyperactive. He was later diagnosed with Autism. This was the MAIN reason why we chose to migrate because America would be the place to raise him. He could get the best therapies, won’t be discriminated against, and have the chance to excel despite his disabilities.

So off we go…

When I first arrived in the US, I felt stressed out. I became so depressed. I didn’t have a driver, no nanny, no friends, no mom and family to help me. I didn’t have a job or money. I didn’t have a house of my own, and I had to take care of my son ALONE in a place that was FOREIGN to me. I was so pampered back at home, and now I found myself having to learn and figure everything out by myself. The expenses to pursue our ‘green card’ status were too overwhelming. We spent a significant amount of money for it. While I tried figuring out my daily life, I also had marriage issues that needed to be resolved. Because of all these experiences, I can easily say that the beginning of my life in America was my lowest point. In fact, I’ve lost count of how many times I planned to go back home.

High Points: When you’re down there’s nowhere to go but up. At my lowest points, I chose to run and find strength in my relationship with God rather than rely on myself. He has always shown His faithfulness and has provided for me, my son, my marriage, and my family. I found a Church home that encouraged my growth as a Christian. My son was able to receive his therapies for free and flourished in school with his academic achievements. I fought for my marriage, and now we’re stronger than ever. I found a work ministry where everyone has become family. I also created new friendships. Later on, my mom joined us from the Philippines. She filled up all of the emptiness I had. My family was then completed with the birth of my youngest son (a legit US Citizen). Sometimes we need to decrease so that God may increase. I learned to appreciate answered prayers, restored relationships, timely provisions (I need a separate article for this because there was a moment when I had ONE DAY when our family needed to leave, or we would lose our status), and financial blessings—so many things to be grateful for. I don’t think I will learn to cherish and value all of these if I have not experienced those low points. To me, it is evident why God brought me here. It is not because of my son. It is because God needed to reveal Himself MORE. He allowed it because He had a better plan.

Today, I am privileged to be a Citizen of the United States of America. It was definitely an earned success. It was not an easy journey, but it was worth it! Every immigrant that takes a chance may have different reasons for coming, but one thing we all have in common is BRAVERY. It takes strength and courage to leave everything you have ever known, your family, your culture, your job, your loved ones—YOUR LIFE. It takes DETERMINATION to fight the trials and obstacles, and FAITH to understand the will of the Lord. Being an immigrant means more than moving into a new place; it’s more than that. It’s adapting, becoming, and allowing a new purpose into your life. They say America is a “country of possibilities.” In my case, it became possible because, first, God made it possible. Second, I chased the dream.

July 2023 Newsletters


Just so you know, I’m incredibly type-A when it comes to traveling. I’m THAT person who must be at the airport 3 hours before an international flight and I carry everyone’s passports because I don’t trust people with their own… especially my husband LOL.  I also create a spreadsheet for every trip and name it something suuuuper creative like “Summer Trip 2022.” All hotels/houses/Airbnb stays, car rentals, restaurants, and excursions are plugged into my little excel spreadsheet. Yes, this is me. I’m so blessed to have been given opportunities to travel starting at such a young age, and I intend to keep travel a priority in my life. Sometimes it may feel impossible to afford the flight, the hotel, and everything else that comes with planning a trip, but over the years, I’ve curated a list of practical tips for that once in a lifetime vacation:


When I say flexible, I mean with your travel dates. Obviously, you’ll have a certain week or set of days in mind when planning a trip. But if you can base your trip off a good deal on airfare, I highly recommend you do that. I’m currently Eat, Pray, Love-ing Pomelo Travel and Scotts Cheap Flights (these services send you insane deals on some of the best destinations in the world) or Google Flights when looking for tickets. Not gonna lie, they’re not always the best flights – BEWARE OF LAYOVERS – but they do save you money and ultimately, get you to your destination.

2. Two Words: OFF SEASON

Another way to get good deals on flights and hotels is traveling during their “off season.” But keep in mind, there are pros and cons here. PROS: less people, cheaper flights/hotels, potentially better weather (depending where you’re traveling). CONS: some beach cities partially shut down in Fall-Spring (e.g. Capri, Italy), and less enjoyable weather – because mannnn, it is HOT and SWEATY during the summer.

3. STOP over packing!

Look, I get it. We all thought we wanted to look like Emily in Paris in Paris but let’s face it, you’re an American and they can spot you from a mile away. No, you don’t need 2 pairs of socks and underwear for every day… Right? You definitely don’t need a separate carry-on for 8 pairs of shoes. You don’t need to pack every toiletry you’ve ever used. YOU can pack for 2 weeks in a carry-on. I know this because it’s been done, BY ME. Less is more, mix and match, bring what makes you feel good and comfy.  

4. Don’t just WING it

Spontaneity is great until you can’t get tickets to a certain museum or to do a certain activity because it was booked, sold out, not available. No. Bueno. With TikTok, Instagram, Pinterest, and GOOGLE right at our finger tips, there’s no reason to not RESEARCH, people! Find out what people are saying, doing, and eating! Pick the days for scheduled activities and make those reservations accordingly. Then pick the days you want to be schedule-less… roam around, be free, get lost – but just enough so that you can find your way back… in one piece.

5. Don’t be too ambitious

I mean, don’t be too ambitious with your itinerary. Do be ambitious with your life LOL. Yes, you’ll be in Europe or Asia or Africa, and you’ll think to yourself “OMG I’M SOOO CLOSE to _______ I should totally book a flight and go while I’m here.” But should you?? While that’s a beautiful idea and all, be weary enough to see if your itinerary can handle it. Keep in mind, you’ll have to pack everything up again, go to the airport or train station, taxi to your accommodations, and just do it all over again. Geesh, talk about wasted time. I vote to stay in one place, soak in the culture, go beyond the tourist spots, and dare I say… make friends.

6. Don’t be intimidated

Traveling isn’t reserved for the wealthy, the elite, or the influencers. It’s not reserved just for those who are good at planning or can hire a travel agent. Literally, anyone can do it. Make a goal and stick to it. Put money aside every month to fund your travel. Make that excel spreadsheet with your details, budgets, and wish lists. I promise, it’s so worth it.
I could talk about traveling for days, months, years even. There’s nothing that has shaped who I am as a person more (besides the good Lord) than traveling. I’m still waiting on my traveling influencer persona to blow up on social media *eye roll* – but she has yet to arrive. So, influencing my friends and family is a good place to start! I urge you to get out of your comfort zone and go somewhere new. Las Vegas, San Diego, or Disneyworld is fun but COME ON, people – think a little bigger! Waiting until you are “retired” or “have time” is a cop out because tomorrow isn’t promised. Money will return to you, but your time and the experience never will… JUST GO.