The Sleep In

Time for a new story that happened in my life and I wanted this to be a fun one to cheer you up for the weekend, or end this one in great spirits.

Once upon a time on an October day in 2008 in Santa Barbara, CA…

At that time I was working at the Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Montecito. It was a chilly but sunny very early morning. I woke up at my usual time 6:30am to get ready to work, eat breakfast, etc. By 7:15am I was ready to leave and go to work.

As the usual, a few colleagues and I always took the bus to work, and that morning wasn’t any exception. We got on and I turned my iPod on, falling asleep on the way, which generally took about 20 minutes. Big mistake!

For some reason, that day I failed to wake up at the correct bus stop. And none of my colleagues woke me up either. They left me sleeping on the bus! Another 15 minutes passed by when I finally woke up, feeling completely lost in Downtown Santa Barbara. The two girls sitting next to me proceed to laugh when they realized what had happened.

At the hotel, we always had a meeting around 8am prior the beginning of our shift to know what was going on and my bosses wondered what was going on with me that morning. I called them as soon as I got my head straight and told I’d be there as soon as possible. When I got there I said I was sorry but they all laughed! They couldn’t be mad at me due to the facts. I laughed too so much that I cried. Every time I told that story to someone, I laughed, and I still do just remembering.

I became the joke of the day! Half of the hotel staff learned that I had overslept but couldn’t care less. Bottom line is this things only happen to me, so let’s laugh and have a good time!


Four Seasons Hotel & Resort in Montecito, CA
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Happy 2013!

New Year, new resolutions, right? Not for me this year, sort of… My only resolution is that I don’t want any resolution. Not because I don’t follow through but because I decided that what will be the best for me this year will happen no matter what.

So I started Dec. 30st by going to the morning mass as that would be the last mass of the year to thank for all of my blessings. It was so satisfying, so inspiring. And it was there and then that I made that decision. I left feeling so light after it, wanting to do better and the best version of me possible. Results were quick enough to come my way!

As the day went by, I went to work. The work that I begun as “seasonal” for the holidays. At one point, I got called to the office with 2 mangers, and all I could think was “oops, I hope I didn’t do anything that they didn’t like, I hope I’m not in trouble”. In reality, it was completely the opposite! They’re liking my posture and ethic and hard work that they told me they will keep me as a regular employee. Talk about ending the year with great news already! I was very happy and excited with this news.

Once again, to me, not making any “resolutions” is what made my “resolutions” this year. All I want is to make things work for me and thank God and my faith, it already is. Each individual has their own resolutions, things that they want to work for them, make an effort. I seriously hope you accomplish all of them. The year is just beginning, so why not begin with a fresh start?

Happy 2013! May this be the best year to all of you. May you achieve your goals. May you have a prosperous year. That’s my wish from the bottom of my heart to you.


My parents and I when they visited me last year. They’re my inspiration for everything I do. The best in the world.

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The Heart of Christmas

Lately, all I wanna watch is feel-good Christmas movies and yesterday was no different. In search of an easy one, I stumbled upon “The Heart of Christmas”, which caught my attention by the name, and is based on a true story but I didn’t have any idea kind of story. As I was watching, I fully understood what the parents went through, all their struggles. The movie is also uplifting with its message. I truly recommend.

I felt so compelled with the story that this morning, I searched the real parents and found the mother’s Facebook, so I wrote her a message. Later today, she replied. Here it is her reply in full for you all.

  • Julie A Locke
     Oh thank you so much for your sweet message, Mariana. How I love hearing from survivors. You have walked in our shoes and know how hard the battle against leukemia is. I am so thankful for your success and your health and happiness in life. I miss Dax everyday and his memory is always with me; he changed my life forever. It’s amazing to see the impact Dax’s short life has brought to so many people. Each day it seems like I get a message like yours about how Dax has inspired someone. Dax has brought me more joy than I can begin to ever express. I’m so appreciative of all the people who follow me and share Dax’s story. I thank you again for your message it made me happy to read.

    Again, thank you so much for your kind words; remember the preciousness of your loved ones and “Cherish Every Moment”.


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My carnival with Fatboy Slim

It’s time to light up things here! You all know that Carnival is a huge celebration party in Brazil, and I started partying in Carnival when I was 13 years old. Yep, long time ago. This is one of many stories I have…

The year was 2007, February month. Three months before I moved to the USA, my last carnival in Brazil. I spent carnival at the beach with a good friend, Faby. We had tickets to go see Fatboy Slim that Saturday night. We also invited another friend, Fernanda, to join us. It was pouring rain!

Fatboy Slim’s concert was in this ginormous open area. At night, we’re all ready to go, no matter the rain. I wore a cute top, shorts and wedges. Once we got there around midnight, the fun really begun! Since it was carnival, there were people from all over the country, making it a very interesting crowd. We met a lot of new people while we waited for the man himself. Before him, other very good DJs played. The rain just contributed for the whole experience, to the vibe of that night. It was the cherry on top! The only downside? The floor was all muddy.

This pic was taken during Fatboy Slim’s show, all soaked up

I’m a huge fan of electronic music, almost all genres, so to have had the chance to see Fatboy Slim in Brazil was one the best things I’ve ever done. Around 2:30am he came on stage. My friends and I danced, talked, laughed a lot, came up with nicknames of the people we met because they were all from different cities. Those nicknames were given after touristic places from the cities people were from. It is a night I won’t forget ever, especially because of the ending… Fatboy finished playing close to 5am, so we made our way out. By that time, we were all hungry and our feet dirty. Crossing the street, was the beach and we went there to ‘wash’ our feet. After that, we found a street hot dog, like many other cities have it, including Hollywood.

The funny part comes now. When we got home at 7am I took off my shoes, I realized I had lost both soles! I have no idea in which moment that occurred, but my wedges had no soles at all! Plus, those hot dogs didn’t sit well on our stomachs. We fell asleep around 10am only to wake up at 2pm under heavy rain. Since the weather didn’t help, Faby and I stayed in bed all day long remembering the night before and laughing so hard to the point that I cried! We also had to make runs to the bathroom because of those hot dogs.

Finally at night, the rain ceased and we were able to go out for pizza with friends. That was my carnival, one I won’t forget because of my friends, the concert, the people we met. All these experiences make it for one of a kind year.


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Counting my blessings

I consider myself a very blessed person. Yes, you read that right! So many wonderful things have happened so far that I’m here to count them. It’s  my way to be grateful for everything I’ve done and accomplished already.

My first blessing is, of course, my life. Without it, I wouldn’t be here or anywhere else for that matter. I’m not a cat, but I sure do have more than one life. I consider this my ‘second’ one, which means I’m only 18 years old. Joke apart, if you’re wondering why I’m saying this, please vide “An independence shout out”.  That also includes my health. By being healthy, I’m able to chase after my dreams and goals. This is the most precious thing I have and I tend to always make the most of it.

The second one is my family and all their love and support in everything I do. They were there from the beginning, faced very difficult times with me and never let me go. It’s because of them that I’m living in the US. They’re the power that keeps me going on, stronger than ever, fighting for what I want in life. Boy, believe me, I want a lot of things, but the majority aren’t material, just enough to survive. Most importantly, I believe in myself.

Third, my friends. The ones in Brazil, the ones I’ve met all around, the new ones. Thank you for being a part of my life. You’re my chosen ‘family’. We have a lot fun together, we laugh, but we also talk serious when needed. That’s what I love about you all. You’re always there, the distance is just physical, it doesn’t affect our friendship.

Last but not least, my fourth blessing is for everything I’ve done it so far, I’ve done it with a major purpose, which I’m not ready to share yet. My choice of becoming a Journalist, of moving to the US, of studying at UCLA (Music Business), and everything I’ve experienced, all of it fits in my mission. As for right now, my work seems like a puzzle and it is. No worries. One day it will come all together and live.

Just like this gorgeous sunset He gave us, I thank Him everyday for my blessings. I am incredibly lucky to be here and to be doing what I love. Thank you!

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Happy week(end)!

Well, let me start off by saying a big THANK YOU to everyone who read, liked and commented here, on Twitter, on Facebook and through text messages to my first post. It means the world to me. People who know me, know how important the story is, and if you don’t know me, you got a pretty good picture about myself. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about, please read “An independence shout out” and you will understand. Moving on, November 1st marked my fourth anniversary in LA, five and half years in the US. So many things have happened during this time that I will in the future share some of these stories. For today, I want to share Alicia Keys “Girl On Fire” video because it’s the way I’ve been feeling these days – on fire! – with great things happening overall recently. I also want to begin the week on a lighter note after all past week’s events and wish everyone a happy week(end). Hope you like it!

Catch you all very soon!

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An independence shout out

I was born on Brazil’s Independence Day (September 7th) in 1982 in a small town called Jaragua do Sul, in Santa Catarina State. My full name is Mariana de Cerqueira Knabben, but everyone calls me Mary. I had a pretty regular childhood and it was a fun one. When I was 6 years old, my parents decided to move to another city called Joinville in the same state.

Everything in my life was going as normal as it should be, well sort of… When I turned 10, I found out that I had leukemia and in a blink of an eye, my life changed completely. I had to move to Curitiba (Parana state) with my mother for my chemotherapy treatment; my father and siblings stayed in Joinville. Moreover, I had to quit school in october of 1992, only returning after July vacations of the following year. With the end of the treatment, which lasted almost two years, slowly my life went back to ‘normal’. However, since this disease tend to catch us umprepared of any possibility of prevention, I learned several lessons. I matured, without a choice, because I had to understand everything that was happening to me. I learned to value every living minute, appreciate more those around me and even help them whenever they needed, but most importantly to fight for what I want with a strong determination and willingness. This time will always be with me, but I don’t want people to pity me. Thankfully, the worst is gone. I’m telling you this because it’s part of my existence, specially to others to realize that millions of people are affected every year. I know I had a very serious illness, however, I didn’t let it take over, I fought and I won.

The same way was Journalism and I. When I was 15 years old, I already knew what I’d be doing for the rest of my life. I had decided since day one, even though many people doubted my choice. When I turned 17, I decided that I would move to another city to attend university. I wanted to live by myself and conquer my independence. What an irony… Therefore, at 18 years of age, I moved back to Curitiba to attend the Journalism course at the Pontiff Catholic University, where I lived for four and half years. Why did I choose Journalism as my profession? That very same question was in my head for days, months, and years. When I stop and ask myself that question again, many answers arise and all of them sound very convincing. I always liked to write, to chat with people and to read, a lot, anything that I can put my hands on. I even have an interesting passage about it. For many years my father has the subscription of a newsweek magazine, which I grew up reading it. Since for subscribers the magazine arrives on Sunday, father and daughter always competed who could read the magazine first.

I am particularly drawn to special articles, because you have more time to prepare, so that it’s richer and more elaborated. Besides that, I’m ‘addicted’ to TV and internet. The first, I spend hours watching anything that catches my attention, and the latter, I also spend hours connected doing research and reading news. There is my curiosity too, which I guarantee you, is big enough, because since I was a child I wanted to know everything. Last, but not least, my sense of observation, which allows me to be always attentive to everything that happens around me, and out of it too.

In a way, Journalism has always been present in my life for different reasons. It’s interesting to notice looking back that all the signals were already there. All this universe of writing articles, production, interviews, etc. are part of my life because I am 100% sure of the choice I made. I have conviction of my principles and values which I try to showcase them at any work past or new, and above all, with quality.

This is me today, a 30-year-old gal graduated in the profession that already fulfills and makes me proud with its various possibilities of developing a clean, clear and credible work.

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