Tuesday, May 28, 2013


I have never thought myself to be a jealous person, I suppose no one ever finds themselves to be jealous, but this weekend caused me to analyze my actions.  I asked Stevo the other day if there was anything about me that annoyed him or frustrated him. He looked at me in hesitance and said, “really?”

“Yes, really.”


Although it is never fun to hear the things that you need to improve on, it is always good to try and learn, make yourself better, and through that, grow. Throughout my relationships, I am usually the person that has male friends, that boyfriends become jealous of, and in turn add strain on the relationship.  Stevo is the first time I have had a dose of my own medicine per say.  There is something about that man that attracts a lot of girls.  They like him and they have no shame in showing that.  The logical side of me says, “Ok cool- my boyfriend is attractive, that is a compliment to me.” The irrational side of me says, “Who are these girls- let’s eliminate them.”


A friend posted an article about 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy- it’s great- go read it. (http://worldobserveronline.com/2012/04/25/15-things-you-should-give-up-to-be-happy/) Anyway, it mentions that we cause ourselves to have pain, stress, and suffer, because we hold on to so many things.  Although I feel that I constantly read things, think they are awesome, then 5 seconds later forget what I have read and stress out or get upset about something, this article really makes me want to improve myself.  “The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.” Eckhart Tolle


We create things in our mind that aren’t real.  How powerful the mind can be.  We are self-defeating, and in turn, become insecure.  Last night I told a friend that every time I time a picture, I think it is horrible, I am never satisfied.  She said that was something all artists struggle with. If only we saw what others saw, in ourselves, and in our potential.


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Becoming One.

When Heavenly Father said that we were to leave our mother’s and father’s and become one with our spouse, he didn’t mean combine your Facebook and email address into one.  One pet peeve I have, and yes, I have been married before so I can speak from experience, is when people get married they feel they need to lose their identity, get rid of everything that makes then an individual and become a mesh of one person.

Trust. What it boils down to is trust. I could care less if my husband has my passwords to every account I own, I would never merge my email or any social media for that matter into one.  A. People know you’re married when you’re married, you don’t need a joint account of any means to express that information. B. If your husband or wife is going to cheat/talk to others flirtatiously/ or whatever the heck they choose to do, they will do it regardless if you have a joint account or not.  

What did we do before social media? We enjoyed our friends company, we went on honeymoons without posting the entire time about our outings, and maintained our own set of friends (which is completely healthy).

More power to you if you've chosen to merge your accounts but here's what non merged account holders think of that. It's an opinion, we all have them. 

Happy Wednesday. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Not Like the Movies.

Sometimes I think I will never be happy. That I am doomed to be single the rest of my life. My mind begins to catalog prior relationship issues that I may have had. When I get annoyed or frustrated I begin to think it is me that is the problem. I've been reading my friend Heather's book, Bigger than Texas, she has a line in there that states how nothing is ever like the movies when it comes to relationships. I'd like to think that our reality is somewhat skewed due to movies. Expectations of love and happiness are slightly difficult to meet. Sure, people live happily ever after but it always takes work. There's a talk that I heard once regarding enjoying the journey, I believe it was by Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I fall guilty of not enjoying the journey many times. If there's a plan to go someplace I rush and rush until we get to that place not enjoying any moment of the journey prior to being at the destination. When I step outside of the box and think about these things, it's obvious that I need to do better. I can be just as happy as everybody else, I just have to enjoy the journey. Sure, I could nitpick about everything going on around me or, I could look for the positive aspects of everything around me. The fact is, no one is perfect. Sometimes I believe that it is Satan that tries to get inside of our head and make us believe that another relationship or another job or another whatever it may be will make us happier. Truth be told, every two years I get sick of my job. I reach a point where I'm bored, I find myself stagnant, and think that something else will be better. I've noticed if I stick it out through that time however, I end up enjoying my job and actually growing. I suppose the moral of the story is, you must be happy with yourself in order to be happy with another person,  in a job, or wherever your life may take you. No job will make your life better, sure it may give you more money but I promise it won't make your life better if you're unhappy with yourself. No human can possibly save all of your problems, it is up to you to turn to Heavenly Father and rely upon his hand. I am prideful. It's a weakness. It's hard for me to take fault, it's hard for me to take blame but I know that Heavenly Father can help me overcome these weaknesses.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I hate to talk about Stephen Kellogg two days in a row, but he made a great quote in his Ted talk (I posted it yesterday) that I thought was relevant to my story.

"Sex is like pizza, even when it's bad it's still good." Okay, I know that's not the most modest statement that I could write about but it gets you thinking. Most people would say that pizza is pizza it's good no matter where you get it from. Last night, like every night of my life I came to the question of, "what is for dinner tonight?" As I weighed the options, what I was hungry for, was I willing to go drive, find a place to park, pay to park, wait to sit down, and then drive back to my apartment? Or did I want to sit in the confines of my own home and order pizza? 

Pizza. Who doesn't love pizza? Now that I had decided what I wanted the next question was where did I want it from. They're not that many good places to eat pizza in Los Angeles which is surprisingly sad. I wasn't feeling like the average $5 Little Caesars, or perhaps the $10 Domino's, I wanted something more. While going through different pizza places on yelp, I came across Mulberry pizza. I had it once before and remembered that it was good little did I know the price was astronomical. $30 for a pizza. Was it worth it? My mind started thinking of every single mathematical equation that I possibly could come to terms with...was it worth it to pay $30 for pizza would it be the same as if I were to go out to eat pay for a meal, tip a waitress, would the convenience of staying in my own house and having an amazing pizza worth it? 

The answer my friends is yes ... capital Y-E-S. First off, the pizza arrived in a box that was bigger than my studio apartment. Okay, that may be a bit of a fabrication but the box was large. Imagine a normal large pizza from Domino's or Papa John's and double it. The quality of this pizza was by far the best I've ever had. Was it worth the $30? Indeed. Every single penny.

It then became a question in my mind, I should be on a quest to find the best possible pizza throughout Los Angeles. 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Stephen Kellogg.

I have seen many musicians.

I have listened to many songs.

But there is something about this man that just makes you smile as soon as he opens his mouth up to sing. Much like all the music I have found, I can’t recall how I stumbled upon this gem.  I remember the first time I saw them at the Troubadour in 2009, they had filled the venue and put on one of the most entertaining shows I had ever seen. As I watched Stephen perform, it dawned on me that somewhere along the lines, singer/songwriters have forgotten to put emotion into their songs.  In my opinion, singer/songwriters greatest focus is on their lyrics. As with most pop/rock singers, their focus is more on whatever beat makes your booty shake or can be a number one billboard placer.  When Stephen Kellogg steps on that stage, it is as if you are watching him re-enact each of the stories he is telling within his lyrics. There is passion, there is emotion, and there is soul.


He came to the Hotel CafĂ© and put on yet another great show.  Although he recently went solo, formerly known as Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, or shall I say, he went back to being solo, since he had begun a solo career long before the Sixers were attached, his set was solid. Such an amazing stage presence, engaging the audience with his undeniable talent and originality. Not only is he talented musically, he is such a humble and sincere person.  Watch this TED talk that he recently recorded to get a glimpse at this talented and extremely amazing individual.



Monday, May 13, 2013


The past few days have been a whirlwind and it all began as I stood in the kitchen above the sink and claimed, “That’s it, he just died.”

As I walked away from the sink, Stevo rushed into the kitchen, stuck his hand down the drain, and pulled out Godfrey. That fish sure was a trooper.  Godfrey was one of the goldfish that had survived my 30th birthday carnival. I mention that simply because a majority of the fish didn’t survive. In all truthfulness, I believe Godfrey and one other are the only fish still swimming from an original count of 30. 

In a rush to change his water, that had become a mucky yellow in what seemed like overnight, I was pouring him from one bowl into another. I am not sure what happened but as I went to pour Godfrey, rather than going into the bowl which was intended, he went down the drain. I think the trauma of that alone put me in a mental state of shock, where I didn’t even think to put my hand down the drain and save him. I suppose I figured with blades and whatever else may be down there, he was a goner. ALAS! Prince Stevo saves the day and luckily, the 10 second memory that goldfish have, he didn’t even remember the near death experience he had just underwent.

The next morning, I glanced in the mirror as I was getting ready for Mother’s Day, and Goose’s memorial service. I looked down on my ring finger of my right hand where her wedding ring sat. I dug through a box of jewelry trying to find something of hers that I could wear, placed her locket around my neck, and drove up to the cemetery.  Mom was meeting me there prior to the Mother’s Day brunch.  We were having a service with the entire family but wanted to have a moment to ourselves as immediate family.  Grandpa Doc had been buried since 1983 and to dig up a stone to place Goose inside would have cost thousands. Rather than breaking a piggy bank none of us had, we decided we would dig a hole next to the stone where her death date was freshly engraved, and place the tiny two inch- heart shaped box that was filled with some of her ashes. The small box read: Gloria Orpha Monroe/ Forever in our Hearts/ February 15, 1923- February 3, 2013. Sunk into a hole about six inches deep, I kissed the small box and covered it with dirt. As to not make our recent burial noticeable, we covered the stone with flowers, plants, and a card.  Goose loved cards.  While going through her apartment when we moved her to the assisted living, there had to have been cards dated back to 1930.  It didn’t matter who you were in her life, if you had given her a card, she had saved it. In addition, if she liked the front of the card you had given, she would tear it and reuse the card, that portion I blame on being a child of the depression.

I went over to the trunk of my car to get out my camera and capture a few pictures before heading over for brunch.

Jiminy Crickets! I had ever single lens I own, but no camera. Before causing an alarm to my mother (taking pictures was the ONE thing she really wanted on this day) I reached for my phone to text Stevo and ask if he would drive the 50 miles up just to bring me the camera. I knew it was a longshot, and a large favor to ask, but since he was on a role of being Prince Stevo (with saving Godfrey) I figure he would save the day yet again).  

We headed over to the brunch where we met the remainder of the extended family and enjoyed great Mexican food. And sure enough, Stevo entered to save the day with his delivery of the camera just in time for us to head over to the cemetery.  

Mom had purchased 15 monarch butterflies to do a release at the memorial. She, or rather I, read a few poems with tear-filled eyes, we said  The Lord’s Prayer, released butterflies, and ended with Doris Day’s hit, “A Bushel and a Peck.” The day was amazing and Goose would have loved everything down to the little gift bags filled with oatmeal pies and candy.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

What Dreams May Come.

I used to watch movies like, “What Dreams May Come,” and truly hope that I had that control over my own life. If you haven’t seen the movie, Robin Williams loses his entire family in a car accident which kills his wife and two children, and is left alone.  In his quiet moments he learns that only through his dreams he is able to see his entire family and what if those dreams could be a reality. The movie is quite touching and if you haven’t see it, I highly recommend you add it to your Netflix queue.


I woke up this morning, and thought to myself, “I had some horrible dreams last night.” I couldn’t remember the dreams, I couldn’t remember what they were about, I only remembered that they left me feeling uneasy when I woke up.  Whenever that happens my brain begins to analyze what I may have eaten the prior night to cause such dreams.


It has always amazed me how certain things in life send your brainwaves to recall different memories. As I was standing at the copy machine this morning, my mind began to wonder about a wedding I had just been booked to shoot in July. One thing led to another and I thought about the last time I shot a wedding in San Diego, how Goose loved pictures, was she still alive when I shot that wedding…




I remembered my dream. I vividly remember my dream down to the jacket Goose was wearing. It had purples and golds, accompanied by her black standard pants she wore. It was my birthday and there was a surprise party.  I remember walking into a room and there was Goose, my mom, my friends, and additional family members. Shocked, I looked at my mom and said is this real, Goose is dead. She went on to say that she knew she wanted to have a good surprise for my birthday and the only way she could do that was to tell me Goose had passed away, keep her hidden these past few months, and then bring her to my birthday.


Feelings of shock and anger both crossed my mind. Why would she do something so cruel? I suppose that was my subconscious telling me that she is still here, I don’t want her to be gone. This weekend is Mother’s Day and we are having a ceremony for Goose, something we didn’t have after she passed in February. I pray this weekend goes smoothly and it isn’t a field of waterworks from my eyes.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


The majority of LA can be split into two types of people; those that are famous and those that want to be famous. Those that want to be famous stop at nothing, including embarrassing others, to get there. 

Last night Stevo and I were invited to what we thought was the premier of the Great Gatsby. We were meeting my friend Heather who had the tickets and got all dressed up and made our way to the Archlight theater in Hollywood. I suppose any of us could have googled when the actual premier was to know that this was just a screening, but none of us had. Prior to moving to LA I didn't know the difference so I'll briefly explain. The screening is simply a screening of a movie before the release date. The premier means seeing the movie for the first time with all the stars that were in it.

Like all things, nothing is official until you place it on Facebook. (Sarcasm) I had made a post that Stevo and I were at the premier of the Great Gatsby. This of course was prior to knowing it wasn't. Stevo has this aquaintance I'd say that spends every waking hour trying to figure out where the next star sighting will be and how she can get her picture next to them. While going to the "premier" he had mentioned how she would probably really like Heather. We got there, took a picture, and began to wait. After a few hours we learned it was just a screening but at that point I had already posted it on Facebook and wasnt going to change my verbiage on the post. 

Low and behold deer sweet spirit of this friend who found it necessary to simply post 'screening' on the picture. No other comment. No other words. Just a sly way of saying, "I am better than you I stalk all the celebrities and I know you're not at a premier." Ok, maybe she didn't SAY that but she didn't have to. Her jerk move said it all. 

I woke up this morning to that comment and it really got under my skin. Why? Who knows. It's not like she's anyone to be jealous of and heck, if I took a picture next to every famous person I met I'm sure I could have an album on Facebook dedicated to them as well, but that's not my life. I had to ask myself why I really cared about this girl, her opinion, and her comment. I suppose I just don't understand why people say or do things that are irrelevant and pointless. Something I may never understand but I sure as heck can control how I respond and how I let them affect me. All that aside, the SCREENING was great. Go see the Great Gatsby, you'll relive your dreaded high school days when you were forced to read the large book and can swoon over the great performances of Toby Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Carey Mulligan. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013


I have none. I have come to the horrible realization that I have no self-control in many aspects of my life. I suppose this is a big fat flaw that I am writing down to hold myself accountable. I make goals and can’t keep them. I, Nicole Priest, have a self-control problem.

Food. When it comes to food, if I have a piece of something, say some Chex Mix, if I sit in front of the Chex Mix long enough, whether I am hungry or not, I will eat the entire thing.

Clothing. I keep telling myself that I don’t need to buy anything, I have enough clothes. Then… I go to the thrift store or I see something cute at Anthropologie, or who knows whatever website I may be on and I buy it.

Student Loans. I make goals to save money and pay off my loans and bills and then I see something cute and get distracted and pay for that instead of saving.

Vicious, vicious cycle.

I need to keep a post-it up in front of my face every day or perhaps even a screen saver on my phone that tells me my goals so I don’t forget them. I get so easily distracted and I hate that. I suppose that is all a part of instant gratification, you want something NOW and you forget about all the goals for the future. I need to tell myself that I have enough clothing, that I don’t need to eat an entire bag of Chex Mix, that I want to be free from school loans and debt. The gratification of paying those things down will be much more than the instant gratification I receive from a pair of shoes… yes, I tell myself this now but in the moment, I better be able to remember this blog post!

My world... my thoughts

I can't apologize if you don't like what you read I can only apologize that you stumbled on my page.