My Big Break to Become a Race Car Driver

Everyone asks me, how I became a race car driver. I call it destiny.  Here's my story of how I got my big break.

The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving... I was modeling for a wheel company at SEMA 2003. I had a goal train at Bondurant to get proper training to become a race car driver . After putting stunt driving school & drag racing school on my credit card, I couldn't afford another $5K, so I came up with a plan. Everyday during SEMA, I spent my lunch break trekking across to the north hall in heels, to meet the Bondurant Marketing Director. I did that for the whole week, but the timing wasn't right and he was never there.

On that Friday at 3pm, when the booth was quiet & everyone started packing up their booths, I remember standing at the desk looking down at my stack of posters feeling discouraged & thinking "oh well...at least I tried". At that moment I hear someone say "can I have a poster?" I looked up, and the guy standing in front of me was wearing a Bondurant shirt that said "Marketing Director" and his name.  I immediately perked up, told him I how I was trying to meet him all week & gave him my 1 minute pitch of my driving background & my idea that I become Bondurant's spokesmodel and they train me to become a racecar driver. We exchanged business cards and he left. I just couldn't believe the coincidence! It was all I could think about for the next few days.

Four days later, I got an email from him saying yes to my proposal ! 4 months later I was training with them in Phoenix. Sometimes it just takes one person to change your life. The person who gave me this HUGE opportunity was Greg Fresquez. It set me on the path to achieving my dream of becoming a racecar driver. I am forever grateful for it. Til this day, I stop by the Bondurant booth every year at SEMA to say thank you to Bob and the guys, and finally managed to catch Greg there a few years ago ! My career has been lead by a series of more than coincidental moments like this one. Now, I realize they're not coincidences. This is what I was meant to do...I call it destiny.

Yosemite for the First Time

Does it look like we're having fun?! #LumiaExplorers

Does it look like we're having fun?! #LumiaExplorers

As you know, I love adventure, travel and capturing that priceless moment to share with my friends and family.  So when Nokia invited me to the Yosemite for a photo workshop with landscape photographer, Colby Brown, I jumped at the chance.  It was my first time going to the Yosemite and it was an amazing trip!  They put together a group of 15 awesome people from different walks of life, to capture the beauty of Yosemite on our Lumia phones, for its 150th Anniversay.  We were the #LumiaExplorers!

Next to a Sequoia

Next to a Sequoia

It's very rare that 15 strangers are brought together on an adventure, and click immediately.  But that's exactly what happened. We were like a family in no time!  There's something about being surrounded by nature, that brings people together.  It's like being at camp again when I was a kid. 

This is our normal :)

This is our normal :)

Over the course of our two day exploration, we went on nature walks to see the giant sequoias, a few waterfalls and landmarks.  All unbelievably beautiful.  I captured all my favorite moments with my Lumia Icon.

My favorite scenic photo was this one, taken on my Nokia Panorama app, with the HDR filter from Camera 360.  This is probably the best photo I have ever taken . . . seriously!

Thanks to Nokia US, Yosemite & Visit California for this amazing experience! It's been a month since this trip, and I miss them all! Til next time!   

A Tourist in Vegas

Vegas

Every year I go to Las Vegas for SEMA, an automotive aftermarket trade show.  For me, SEMA is a week of networking, catching up with friends, going to industry parties and making things happen . . . all business.

This trip was different, very different.  I spent a week in Vegas on a family vacation, which was first family trip we've taken together.  I don't know what it is about people from Hawaii, but they all seem to love Vegas.  Maybe it's the allure of the bright lights, gambling (which is illegal in HI - even the lottery) dining and shopping.  I suppose it's like an adult disneyland. 

We walked the Vegas strip from Monte Carlo, to Treasure Island.  We went though every casino along the way and made sure to pass by all the shops in Ceasar's Palace . . . which I didn't mind. We saw the Mirage Volcano show, the dancing waters & the Conservatory at the Bellagio along the way.  

We were a handful of people in the crowds along the strip, not something I would choose, but I went along with it.  I have to admit it was really fun! 

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys

As an extra treat, my sister and I took my parents to see Jersey Boys at the Paris Hotel and Casino.  I LOVE musicals, and I admit, I didn't know what Jersey Boys was about.  I just new that it was awesome and I had to see it.  It's about the story of Frankie Valli and the 4 Seasons.  The show started off slow with the storyline, and I was worried when I saw my dad nodding off, but once the music started, it was AMAZING!! My parents were totally into it, since they remember all of the songs.  It was so much fun! It's now one of my favorite musicals, and a must see if you're ever in Vegas.  It's a small theater, so any seat is a good one, but I still would get orchestra seating, if I went again.

You gotta love a musical that opens with this song! 

Spring is coming . . . I think

How I survived winter in the White Mountains . . .

How I survived winter in the White Mountains . . .

It’s March 31st, the start of spring, but up here in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, there’s still snow on the ground . . . just less of it.

The lakes are thawing, the trees are only dusted in snow, and I can see green in the mountains again.  The biggest difference now, is that I can actually feel the warmth of the sun.  The days are in the 30’s and the snow is melting, so I’m hoping that the cold has finally broken for good.

Snowboarding with the team from Badass Outdoors and Schilling!

Snowboarding with the team from Badass Outdoors and Schilling!

I’ve lived here in the north woods since 2011, but it’s my first full winter here, so I decided to take advantage of living so close to the slopes. Hitting the slopes is one thing I haven’t done here until this winter.  I used to be a snowboarder, but it’s been about 15 years since I’ve even thought about it. Honestly, ever since I’ve gotten into racing I’ve tried to avoid inherently “dangerous” activities.  Now when I snowboard, I wear enough protective gear to resemble RoboCop, and I love it.

March 13th at Brettonwoods.  20" of fresh powder and loved it.  Took this photo while I was stuck in the powder.

March 13th at Brettonwoods.  20" of fresh powder and loved it.  Took this photo while I was stuck in the powder.

I’m one of those people who wishes for big snowstorms, and on the days when snow is coming down hard and everyone has a “snow day”, I’m in my truck heading to the slopes with my snowboard.  I admit, I’m a bit spoiled because I hate crowds, and days without powder, but when the town is covered in snow, you know where I am.  

It’s been an awesome winter for snowboarding, but I’m at the point where I just want it to get warm again so I can run outside in my slippers and dresses and pretend I’m in Hawaii.  One full winter here is just enough to push me out west where the warm weather is calling my name.  We’ll see . . . I do love the summer and fall here . . . now I just have to get through another “mud season” first.

Fall Fashion Week - New York

It’s that time of year again for Fall Fashion Week in NYC!  There’s not many occasions that can compare to a few days in Manhattan with your girlfriends during fashion week. There’s something special in the air . . . the buzz of what’s new, what’s next, how to rock that style, and all the other events aside from the shows.

Last year I was fortunate enough to get tickets for the Project Runway Show, so I took my best friend, Emshika, with me.  That’s when our Fashion Week tradition started.  This year, Emshika stepped it up a notch and I was on board.  Not only did she get us tickets to a show, she got tickets to the Carolina Herrera show . . . and that was just part of it.  We stayed at London NYC, and yes it was the perfect room for fashion week. 

2014-02-10 07.55.33.jpg

Our day started with getting our hair blown out at The Dry Bar . . . amazing concept that I had no idea existed.  I went for voluminous curls, also known as "The Cosmo".  I knew our day was going to be awesome when we started with mimosas while having hair done at 8am. Who knew that even with my super straight hair, that I could have curls in about an hour.

My best friend Emshika was super excited to see Carolina Herrea's newest fall line

My best friend Emshika was super excited to see Carolina Herrea's newest fall line

Then we headed to Lincoln Center, where we were escorted to our seats. If you’re wondering what the Carolina Herrera show was like, it was 20 minutes of fashion heaven.  Amazingly beautiful, simple, and classic.  Even Vouge Editor, Anna Wintour, was in the front row.  That’s how you know it’s a show worth seeing.

My view of the runway

My view of the runway

After the show we were off to our appointment with personal stylist Candace Kristen.  We wanted her help finding stylish affordable clothing and key pieces that make us look and feel like a million bucks!  We stopped at a few stores, but my favorite was Zara.  We had so much fun, trying on different outfits, stepping out of the box and getting some must-haves we both needed. Candace was such a sweetheart and was awesome to hang out with. 

Emshika, Candace and I on a shopping mission in NYC! 

Emshika, Candace and I on a shopping mission in NYC! 

I LOVE my new outfit that Candace Kristen helped me pick out!

It was my 2nd Fall Fashion week, and it was even better than the last, thanks to Emshika!  Traditions are created for a reason, and fun, girls trip is a damn good reason. Can’t wait 'til next year!