The Cinderella Archetype

Since I was a little girl, I’d often forget or leave my shoes behind all over my home. My mom even nicknamed me “Cinderella” since she had to remind me to collect my shoes or slippers wherever I had left them in the house, almost every single day. lol I’ve even left my shoes behind in other people’s homes, cars, & hotel rooms by accident. With this quirk of mine in mind, in the past few weeks, I seem to have watched more & more Cinderella archetype movies. The Cinderella archetype is any storyline involving a person or group of people overcoming unfair cruelty & ultimately receiving a triumphant reward in the end for their perseverance. It’s the universal tale of unconditional love & self-discovery that shows how acting for the greater good with compassion, kindness, & love can overcome all obstacles. 

Here’s a list of my favorites:

  • Ella Enchanted
  • Ever After
  • Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella
  • Crazy Rich Asians
  • Simply Irresistible
  • The Nanny Diaries
  • Maid in Manhatten
  • Princess Diaries
  • The Princess Bride

I have a theory that we’re all “technically” living in our own Cinderella story. It’s just up to us to decide the role that we choose to play in life that ultimately decides when we’re given our happy ending. At an early age, it’s easy to want to always identify with Cinderella, but that’s just not reality. Life & our ego continue to get in the way as we grow older. People will come & go in our lives. We’ll make new friends that turn into enemies, & we’ll hold grudges, keep secrets, & step on other people in hopes of taking a shortcut to our happily ever after.

To find your inner “Cinderella”, learn to surrender to your current circumstances & get out of your lacking mindset. Don’t blame anyone for where you are in life – look for the silver linings. Be thankful that you’re still alive & know that if you’ve hit rock bottom, your life can only go up from there! Love yourself & do good for the greater good of everyone in your life. If you continue to persevere & withstand everything being thrown at you with hope & unconditional love, your happy ending will come when you least expect it.

XO Denise

ace king jack and king of hearts playing cards

No Tarot? No Problem.

Every two weeks, I have a Sunday family dinner with my siblings at my parent’s house. Last month, I discovered that I’m not special at all when it comes to teaching myself how to read Tarot cards. lol In fact, I learned that both my Dad & my grandmother know how to read standard playing cards, which I found incredibly fascinating. Today, I’m super eager to inform you that you don’t need Tarot cards to look into your past, present, or future.

When my Dad was younger, he taught himself how to read cards as well as how to read palms, just like I did when I was in high school. My mom told me about a memory she had that whenever it looked like my grandma was playing solitaire, she was actually reading her own cards. My dad gave me a brand new deck of cards that he got from a casino as a present before dinner, so I could start learning ASAP. I’ve spent this month learning how to read playing cards, & last Sunday, my dad also showed me our family’s most used card spread. I then read my siblings’ & my brother’s fiancé’s cards as practice.

Historians believe that the 52 cards in a single deck of playing cards represent the 52 weeks in a year. The 13 cards per suit represent the 13 lunar cycles in a year, & the 4 card suits represent the 4 seasons in a year. Much like Tarot cards, each face card, card suit, & card number has a meaning. While Tarot card readings take into account reversals, since playing cards are mirror images, there’s no real way to know if a card should be considered “reversed”. Depending on your energy or the energy of the person you’re reading, I suggest using your intuition & knowledge on the current situation or question being asked.


Hearts: Love & Relationships (Cups/Months/Summer)

Diamonds: Financial Issues (Pentacles/Years/Winter)

Spades: Conflict & Suffering (Swords/Weeks/Autumn)

Clubs: Big Life Changes (Wands/Days/Spring)


Ace: New Beginnings, Growth, Potential, & Opportunities (Missed Opportunities, Bad Timing, & Lack of Direction)

Two: Balance & Cooperation (Disharmony & Lack of Planning)

Three: Connection & Sharing (Loss & Unexpected Delays)

Four: Stability & Solid Foundation (Instability & Conflict with Others)

Five: Conflict & Competition (Avoiding conflict & Tension)

Six: Flow, Patterns, & Communication (Ignorance)

Seven: Mystery & Change (Stagnation)

Eight: Harmony, Health, & Time (Imbalance)

Nine: Growth & Wish Fulfillment (Disappointment & Idealism)

Ten: Completion (Resistance)

Jack: Jacks represent immature, young adults, or children. They are similar to a page in Tarot. They can represent small gestures or the start of something new. Jacks can also be considered as a messenger of inner thoughts, similar to a knight in Tarot.

Queen: Queens represent women, divine feminines, karmic partners, etc. of any age. They can represent motherhood & love, as well as nurturing, creativity, & introspection. Queens denote growth & personal power. They’re about emotions, intuition, & healing. 

King: Kings are grown men or younger men who are mature for their age or are burdened by responsibilities. They denote mastery, authority, control & leadership. Kings are protective & commanding, but they can also be demanding, possessive, aggressive & overbearing, depending on the suit & surrounding cards.  


Hearts:  Emotional, creative, romantic, compassionate, generous, sensitive, nurturing, dependable, protective, or moody.

Diamonds: Independent, extravagant, impulsive, impatient, optimistic, dynamic, restless, analytical, intelligent, or high strung.

Spades: Powerful, intense, demanding, controlling, secretive, possessive, charming, mysterious, calculating, or detached.

Clubs: Practical, friendly, reliable, trustworthy, helpful, ambitious, enthusiastic, sensible, stable, or stubborn.

With all of the information above in mind, you can try any card spread, depending on your situation/question. Here are my favorite Tarot spreads to use from Pinterest. I would share my family’s most used card spread, but I’ve decided that it shall remain a family secret that I want to pass down to my own children one day as well as future generations. I hope this blog helps anyone who has been interested in Cartomancy, but hasn’t had the courage to pick up a Tarot or Oracle card deck yet. If you’ve been waiting for a sign from the universe to finally learn, this is it! Grab a deck of cards & let me know how it goes in a comment below.

XO Denise


balance blur boulder close up

The Tower of Babel

One of the most frustrating situations that I come across daily on Twitter is customers who are upset with support agents who are unable to speak perfect English. If you’ve ever been this person, I invite you to take a step back & consider that there are roughly 6,500 languages spoken around the world. If this person who is trying to help you struggles a little bit with English, it’s most likely because they know at least one other language fluently that is not English. If their ultimate goal is to help you solve a problem in a language that is not their native tongue, I ask you to please consistently show compassion & understanding with those who are trying to help you.

Whenever this happens on Twitter, I immediately recall the first job that I ever had as the hostess of a hotel restaurant near the SFO airport. At 5 am every morning, I had to deal with flight attendants & pilots who needed a drip coffee or an espresso drink when they were already in a hurry trying to catch a flight. One morning, a pilot looked directly into my eyes & asked me “Do you even speak English? Because there’s clearly something being lost in translation.” I was completely taken aback & insulted, but luckily, my manager was there at the time, witnessed the entire interaction & handled the situation, defending me & asking the pilot to leave.

On the flip side, when you’re traveling in another country, do you get frustrated when you need help, but everyone around you wants you to speak their native language? That’s a difficult experience when you’re feeling misunderstood as well right?

When I was in Spain in March 2019, I will admit that my Spanish was & still is nowhere near perfect. I almost missed my train to Barcelona from Madrid when I was trying to find the right counter to have my tickets printed & locate the correct train platform. Even though I do my best to always have a traveling knowledge of the native language of the country that I’m traveling in, I must say that Google translate has been my savior on several occasions.

While I haven’t directly read any excerpts from the Bible since I was forced to at my Catholic grade school, & I don’t own a Bible, this reoccurring situation makes me think of the Tower of Babel. In Genesis 11: 1–9, the Babylonians were attempting to build a tower that would reach the heavens. God decided to disrupt their construction & progress by confusing the languages of the workers so that they could no longer understand one another. As a result, the tower was never finished, & the people dispersed themselves around the world, only interacting with those whom they could understand, agreed with, & spoke the same language.

From this story, I’ve come to realize that it’s in our refusal to want to meet in the middle & find ways to better communicate with one another that prevents us from finding harmony & accomplishing our end goals. When you decide to force someone else to confirm to how you want them to communicate with you, nothing gets accomplished in the end. All parties are instead left frustrated & upset by their own expectations & walk away from the situation surrounded by the individuals who act, communicate, & agree with the same beliefs.

It’s safe to say that humanity is more divided than ever. While standing up for your beliefs is good, I believe that cooperating with the opposing side to find understanding for the greater good of all mankind is more important. Be kind, be compassionate, & be understanding to anyone you may not agree with. It’s through trying to communicate clearly with the intent of reaching the best solution for all parties involved that allows us to find the optimum outcome.

XO Denise

heart and zero neon light signage

Social Media & Toxic Positivity

Social media is becoming a hotbed for toxic positivity. Too often, people overly encourage positive behaviors & emotions, while completely condemning anything & dehumanizing anyone who displays even the smallest speck of negativity. While I have definitely been guilty of toxic positivity in the past, with everything that I’ve learned this past year, it’s time to spread the word about the harm it causes & put an end to it.

I have a mug in the cupboard of my kitchen that reads “Good Vibes Only”. This used to be a mantra that I lived by to help me “fake it until I make it.” As humans, we experience a plethora of emotions, both good & bad. Restricting yourself or others to good vibes only is actually detrimental to our growth.

Have you seen the Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out? While I highly recommend you stop reading to go watch it now, I’ll try not to ruin it for any of you who haven’t seen it yet. lol In the movie, each character has five emotions that exist inside their head: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, & Anger. It is through being able to move freely through all five emotions that characters are able to learn & grow as individuals, from staying stuck in a child-like mindset to having a more complex personality as a teenager, young adult, so on & so forth.

You need to be able to accept & feel all of your emotions in order to develop as a human. It’s not healthy to suppress or ignore when you feel sad, disgusted, afraid, or angry. As children, we were much better at showing how we felt & moving through our emotions from moment to moment. But as we’ve grown, we’ve been taught that it’s more important to suppress how you feel inside, suck it up, & always put on a good face for the world. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to not be okay. You are worthy & your feelings are valid.

I mentioned in a past blog post that I’ve always been a Jedi with my emotions. I used to never let my emotions get the best of me, but the truth of the matter is when I was feeling sad or upset, I would still lock myself in my room to cry & rage clean my space until I felt better. Even though I wouldn’t let anyone see me sweat, I still allowed myself to release my emotions in what I considered a safe environment (i.e. my bedroom) & in a productive manner (i.e. cleaning).

I’ll confess that I haven’t done as good of a job of allowing myself to feel my emotions over the past year. I held back my anger, disgust, fear, & sadness from mid-November through the end of December, causing me to get my first 8 white hairs! Yup, that’s right… I didn’t have any grey or white hairs on my head until I was 33. Once I finally let myself feel my emotions, it was like a weight was lifted & my perspective on everything in my life & who I am changed.

Too many people on social media only promote a curated, positive presence through a rose-colored lens. And even though I used to be one of them, I’m over & done with the “fake it until you make it” mindset. It’s time to put a stop to toxic positivity, especially if you’re using it as a way to avoid your emotions, prevent yourself from doing your own shadow work, or healing your past trauma. It’s time to accept that it’s completely normal to not be happy all the time. We’re all going to experience good & bad in our lifetime, so it’s only natural to accept the positive & negative emotions that come along with it.

It’s time to normalize feeling anxious or depressed. If someone’s having a bad day, it’s okay to keep scrolling when they need to vent rather than projecting toxic positivity onto them. If someone’s sad situation triggers you to chime in where your opinion wasn’t welcome, it may be a sign that you have your own anxious or depressing thoughts that you need to address. In order to improve the overall mental health of humanity, we need to allow people to express themselves & their truth, even if we don’t agree with it.

Toxic positivity, forcing your opinions & outlook on others, & silencing whomever you want to classify as the “enemy” isn’t going to bring the world back into alignment & harmony. Allow others to feel their emotions, then listen & try to understand their situation. We need to come together on common ground, without fear of being attacked. Only then can people finally feel empowered to express exactly who they are on social media as well as in real life. It’s through unconditional love & acceptance of who we are as individuals that humanity can truly come back together in peace.

XO Denise

photo lavender flower field under pink sky

Lent & the Seven Deadly Sins

For any of you who aren’t Catholic or Christian, today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the first day of Lent. Growing up, I always looked forward to gorging myself with food & partying on Mardi Gras. lol Then come Wednesday morning, I attend mass & get my ashes on my forehead prepared to fast for Lent. Every year, from Ash Wednesday through the Saturday before Easter, I fast giving up meat on Fridays as well as something that I love dearly for 40 days. In the past couple of years, instead of giving up one thing, such as frivolous shopping, soda, or fast food, I gave up one of the Seven Deadly Sins. If you’re not familiar with the Seven Deadly Sins, they are:

  1. Lust: Extreme sexual desire and/or impulsive behavior
  2. Gluttony: Overindulging in anything to the point of obsession and/or waste
  3. Greed: Extreme neediness for money and/or material possessions
  4. Sloth: Laziness or indifference with lack of drive or focus
  5. Wrath: Extreme anger or rage
  6. Envy: Resentful longing for what another has including their material possessions, qualities, luck, etc.
  7. Pride: Selfishness

Last year, I gave up Gluttony, because I have a weakness for online shopping & overeating. lol I gave up frivolous shopping, which I define as any shopping that is not a necessity, such as groceries or personal hygiene products, & overeating is pretty self-explanatory, no eating more than necessary for survival. Even though I proactively choose to eat clean for majority of the time, I still love dessert & appetizers as well as unhealthy snacks, such as candy or chips.

This year for Lent, I’m going to try my best to refrain from committing any of the Seven Deadly Sins. Since I’m single, I’m not going to act impulsively or jump into a new relationship. I’m not going to shop carelessly, over eat, or over drink. I’m going to limit my social media screen time, be thankful for the existing abundance that I have, & not envy the money, possessions, or circumstances of anyone else. I’m going to create a routine & set daily goals for myself to stay productive, & I’m going to be altruistic, putting the needs of others before myself.

Lent this year is not going to be easy, but I think that’s the point. During Lent, you’re called to give up your vices, not to torture yourself, but to learn & improve as a person. It’s common knowledge in Psychology that it takes 21 days to break a habit, so I think 40 days can help me break a lot of my toxic behaviors. While I know that I won’t be instantly cured come Easter Sunday, I’m optimistic & hopeful for the changes I’ll be proactively working towards during my 40 days of fasting.

XO Denise

Age is just a number

Growing up, adults have always thought that I was much older than I actually was. For example, my parents’ friends & co-workers would often ask me about high school & if I’ve considered what college I wanted to go to when I graduate, when in reality, I had barely started middle school. I’ve also been catcalled by grown men since I was 14, but that’s a completely different societal issue that I won’t get into right now.

Have any of you watched the Justin Timberlake & Amanda Seyfried movie, In Time? (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy Dystopian, Sci-Fi Action movies.) I’m pretty sure that I stopped aging at 25, just like everyone in that movie. lol If you don’t believe me, check out the the picture above. On the left, I’m 22 years young, & on the right, I’m 32 years old. Yes, there is a 10 year difference between those two photos. Personally, I feel that I look & feel better than ever in my 30s. If you’re wondering what my secret is to aging gracefully, I truly believe that it’s SELF-LOVE.

While loving myself hasn’t always been the easiest, being a former Beauty & Fashion YouTube guru, I learned a lot about self-care. When I’m at home, working out, or camping, I prefer to be fresh-faced & natural. But I will not deny that I need to put my “face” on when leading a meeting for work, going to a social event, or interacting with strangers out in the real world. Because of that, I learned to balance my heavy makeup days with thorough skincare evenings including deep cleansing & hydrating face masks. When using hot tools on my hair, I always use heat protectant & deep condition at least once a week. I also take care of my body with love. I eat clean majority of the time & drink lots of water. I have good hygiene & enjoy keeping my skin well hydrated & moisturized. I also pray & meditate, & I stretch & move my body daily.

I have so many friends & family members who fear getting older, but my age really doesn’t phase me anymore, because I know that I’m still young at heart. At the end of the day, when you’re proactively loving yourself every day, time & age is just an illusion. Try to stay present in the current moment. Laugh, have fun, & learn with the same enthusiasm that you had as a child.

If you’re still feeling a bit skeptical, consider Jennifer Lopez & Salma Hayek. These gorgeous women are both already in their 50s, & they still look AMAZING! By taking care of my body & loving myself with all of my heart, I aspire to look just as good as they do as I continue to age.

I truly believe that your soul shines brighter than anything else in the universe. When you choose to embody love inside & out, the love that you exude from your soul into all aspects of your life makes you more youthful & beautiful beyond the measure of time.

XO Denise