You Can’t Deposit Excuses


I received a friendly reminder from a friend that it’s been a month since my last post. #OUCH

Yes, it’s true. I completely let fiesta go by the wayside as I took a trip to NYC (yipee!) and indulged in being offline. Not that I don’t want to keep consistent or have fiesta be unsuccessful, it’s just…I needed a break. At first I made excuses as to why I wasn’t posting: not enough time, no wheaties, no engery, family emergencies, blah, blah, blah. But these excuses weren’t 100% truthful. When I sat down this morning and asked myself “Why, Moni?” it was simple: I didn’t’ want to. This sheer fact made me a bit sad but relieved. I’d finally owned up to myself and it felt goooood!

Take yourself by the hand and roll with it.

Giving myself the room to be real is long overdue. I’m happily one year older and wiser with a spirit that aims to live my life unapologetically. This blog, this tiny space on the internet, lives and breathes upon my will and if I’m not ready or willing to write, it’s ok.

Give yourself room to chill.

I do have some exciting news in lieu of my absence: I’ve decided to move to Austin, Texas. I’m thinking that this step forward will be nothing less than thrilling…hello live music city! Returning to my home (20 years ago) is sort of daunting. Everyone I know there is quite settled and I will be the complete opposite. So, here’s to leaning on opposites attract 😉



Memorial “Decoration” Day 2017


Schoolchildren Gathering Flowers for Memorial Day
30 May 1899, Washington, DC, USA — Schoolchildren gather masses of daisies for Memorial Day, formerly called Decoration Day. — Image by © CORBIS


Beach BBQ’s and family gatherings are on fire this weekend in thanks to one reason: Memorial Day. While I’m not related to anyone that has died while serving our country, I do have brothers who have served, as well as extended family. I’m always in awe of those who enlist willingly, wholeheartedly, and courageously. Where would we be without these men and women who have given their lives in the name of democracy? My 1st amendment rights have been protected by their decision of service and I am grateful—even a little choked up about it. Maybe it’s because I finally get it. The United States of America is something to be proud of despite our current political climate. It is built up and by incredible souls who are ready to fight and protect our liberties.

I don’t even know all these soldiers but I’m humbled by their service.

May everyone who is mourning loved ones who’ve died in the act of service be consoled today. And for those who are still serving, thank you. It takes more than guts or physical strength to do what you do. You’re putting your heart on the line and it’s not going unnoticed.

xo Moni

PS. Click on photos to find source and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Love For All. Hatred For None.

Leon Neal/Getty Images A Manchester United scarf, laid in the shape of a heart, lies next to flowers left by members of the public at a candlelit vigil to honor the victims of Monday evening’s terror attack at Albert Square on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. via
Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images People leave tributes in Albert Square in Manchester, England on May 23, 2017. via

When news broke of a “massacre” in Manchester I first thought, “Wait, what just happened? That [Ariana Grande] concert was probably filled with young girls—teens close to my niece’s age!” And then it sunk, deep down inside, that this horrific news was actually true. I had no words. None. I wanted to hang onto shreds of disbelief but as I flipped through channel after channel, trying to gather greater details, the reality of our world and terrorism became overwhelming. Nothing in these moments could explain how shocked I felt and simultaneously how my mind was recalling recent memories of accompanying my sister to buy Ariana perfume for my niece at Ulta…and plans of surprising her with Ariana concert tickets…and how this could have been us but in a different city…

If you or your family have suffered a loss from this senseless act of evil I want you to know that I am sending my deepest condolences. I can’t imagine what you’re going through or what you’re thinking. Your loved ones did not deserve this and I’m sorry for your loss.

xo Moni


Exposed: Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis

It’s been exactly 15 days since my last post and I feel as if it’s only been 2. Since I’ve written, I’ve visited Austin twice, accepted a 30 Day Squat Challenge, started my volunteer assignment at Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center, and began another MBA course. I also had my very first Blackberry Iced Latte thanks to the folks at Green Light Coffee. Phew! I get tired just writing about two very short weeks but I’m smiling because this time last year I was not moving much. Based upon my iPhoto and video library, early 2016 was still a period of health uncertainty. I’d regained most of my physical strength post chemotherapy but my brain was still healing—“running on fumes” and experiencing bouts of “turbulence” as noted by my doctors. Therefore, if I couldn’t acknowledge my limitations caused by Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis via Ovarian Cancer, neither could my doctors, family, or friends. These moments simply came and went as my brain found new neural pathways for my body to function.

This disease is so rare and at times crippling. It leaves not only you, but your caretakers at a loss of what to do. Everyday is a new day and with it comes memory recall and sometimes short term memory loss. It’s both strange and sometimes isolating. I often feel as if I’m living in some sort of Groundhogs Day that isn’t serving me much except for the fact that I can easily forget the good, bad, and ugly which leaves little room for regret. Seriously, I’m not sure why my life’s plan was set out to be like this but thanks to an ample amount of therapy and prayer I’ve come to know this:

To live in fear is to be crippled beyond your mind and body.

How I cling to these words and thoughts is not because of physical or mental strength. Yes, each day I embrace exercise and diet with trust that I’m not going anywhere, as in dying, and my cancer is in “remission.” I’m no longer scared because of my faith and trust that God wants me in this place, at this moment. A little grace from the man upstairs and a bit of effort on my part has healed me beyond the rounds immunotherapy that are quite hazy and not missed at all.

I’ve wanted to write about this journey but I’ve been too scared to share my feelings and even what little video I’m okay at looking back at with caution. I then reminded myself that this disease and cancer does not rule me! Sure, this digital throwback exposes me beyond my wildest dreams so might as well share, learn, grow, and maybe, just maybe, shed light on a rare medical perplexity that’s living inside of me (or maybe someone you know) everyday.

xo Moni

PS. The video posted above is of me experiencing involuntary movements and tremors due to Paraneoplastic Limbic Encephalitis via Ovarian Cancer – Teratoma. If this looks like you or anyone you know, I urge you to consult with your doctor asap.

Moni - Austin, Texas
Picture of me as of May 2017

Friday Mood


Woke up this morning and made a few inspiration images and self encouragement pics via Canva for me to stare at all day long and then I thought to myself, “Why don’t I share this via fiesta?!” Sometimes I forget that the purpose of my blog is open and real about anything. So, maybe you’ll relate to my dry shampoo secret not-so-much secret or my mental “I’ve got this!” motto that I repeat to myself at least 8 times a day. These routines of mine bring me comfort in knowing that all it takes is just a little self love to get me through the day, especially Fridays.

xo Moni

Riding Or Avoiding The Waves Of New Age Language?

Who Dat?

And the list goes on as to new language waves that have hit our society kin to a tsunami. In all seriousness, as a budding 38 year old I have witnessed at least three decades of language evolution that’s sometimes too much. #SMH

During the 80s we all wanted to be “Pretty In Pink” cool and drop “major” as a noun, verb and even pronoun. The 90s brought out the surfer in us and “dope” or “tight” seemed to take over ideal adjectives. Also, I think OMG was dropping on the scene during the late 90s but had yet to catch a break until “Clueless.” And those 2000s. What a doozy and melting pot. Language pretty much changed in tandem with the dawn of Twitter, hashtags and text messaging. Forget calling someone. Text, text and text.

I’ve never been an English or grammar expert and often struggle to make complete sentences. But within the moments when I’m on point, or in back and forth banter, I’ve most certainly swapped “Moni Speak” during flows of speech. What those words might be fore stand for is always up to questions, especially my use of the word #lit. And now that I’m heavily involved in business coaching words such as “Ninja” are so normal from 9-5 that they trickle down to everyday and I find myself saying to my 10 year old newpher when he reaches level 2 million Wii, “Wow, you are Ninja!.” That may or may not make sense but it does for me. I’m I or you engaging in the demise of proper English or bringing the juice to modern day exchange? I like to think the later. May we look back at these days of using short acronyms-hashtag combos like #SMH and the word like, like, what was I thinking? For sure. But for now, I’m sticking to this wave of radical language ideation and creating and smiling through it. Filter as needed is my motto.

What about you? Do you think English is on a downward spiral? LMK.

PS. Check out this TED Talk from a Lexicographer who breaks down natural language rules and the freedom we embrace in making new words. It’s lit.

10 Healthy Tips On How To Break Up

Breaking up is never easy, plain and simple. But sometimes, it’s what must be done in order for one door to close and another to open. Recently, I had to break up with my past. As in literal past not past-ex. Due to encephalitis, I’ve lost 10+ years of partial memory. Also, I can’t seem to remember details about intimate relationships, family or key friendships during that time. It’s those memories I’ve been mourning and recently had to break up with. So here I am, writing about breaking up with my past and crossing my fingers this advice might serve as mature steps to take when breaking up with someone or something. Here they are:

  1. Spend time with yourself and decide 100% that this is what you want to do. Meaning, don’t do this for your family or friends. Do this for you.
  2. Eat and drink healthy leading up to breakup. A good 48 hours of clean eating will be your saving grace, trust me.
  3. Jot down 2 reasons why this breakup is necessary. For example: I do not share the same lifestyle or I do not see this as a long term relationship.
  4. Do not tell anyone you are going to do this unless they are 100% trustworthy.
  5. Ask your current partner to meet somewhere safe to talk.
  6. When you meet-up, address the topic immediately and respectfully. No pointing the finger or yelling. Also, keep your voice at a constant volume.
  7. Listen to your partner. This may entail hearing things that could potentially make you sad. Understand that these words might be out of shock or hurt so don’t turn aggressive. Stay calm.
  8. After you’ve listened, walk away. Please, do not say “Thank you for listening” as the “Thank you” may be construed wrong. Just say “I appreciate you meeting me and I should go now.”
  9. Go somewhere and hang out by yourself and preferably with no alcohol in arms reach. Try catching a movie with a big bag of popcorn or a baseball game. Anything that can take your mind off of what just happened.
  10. Wait at least 72 hours before you speak to your ex-partner. You’ll both need time to cool-off and whatever you do, stick to your plan. After all, you accomplished step 1 with 100% honesty so surely being at step 10 may be sad but bearable.

The above steps can be dotted lined to confronting your past or even leaving a job. The important thing is that you took the time to confront your life and not ghost, ie. ignore. Let me know what you think in the comments or use #fiesta in your social media comments. xo Moni

PS. Do not post anything negative about your ex on social media. Best to steer clear of promoting toxic energy.

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