Weekly Photo Challenge: My happy place


Our weekly photo challenge this week is to showcase a place we are happy at or happiest at. I chose this photo from the waterfalls we went to a few weeks ago. It is here by a waterfall that I feel a piece of home come alive. I could go on an analogy explanation about how it relates to life, but I won’t. It just gives me wonderful memories of my childhood and also of my precious time spent with my mother. Let me explain.

When I was a child my mom would take me to waterfalls deep in the Amazon jungle. It was there that I would play with my friends under the falls and swim about. Sometimes we’d even take a picnic and fry fish over an open fire on a sand dune island. What others may think as a piece of paradise to be swimming in fresh water surrounded by jungle trees, blue butterflies and an abundant amount of sunshine to dry you off, was normal for me growing up. As I grew older and got into my teens, my friends and I would visit our other friend who would then take us to a secret location where another waterfall was.

By the time I was in High School and in my Senior year, we took a 2 week Senior trip all across Brazil, from the tip of the Amazon to Argentina where we saw the amazing “Foz do Iguacu”. If you haven’t been to a World Wonder, you have to go there. I’ve been there twice. Imagine the scene where all the elves lived in the Lord of the Rings trilogy and that is what it’s like when you first see Foz do Iguacu. I was blown away. These waterfalls are not to be messed with, they are hardcore. They are rough! One of the craziest things I’ve ever done in my life and to this day I can’t believe I did it, was to go on a little motor boat with 8 other people and go to the edge of the “Devil’s Throat” waterfall. I suppose I was feeling like a dare devil that day because I didn’t blink an eye when asked to go on the boat. We all wore life jackets, but now that I think about it, if that little motor on that boat gave out we all would’ve gone over the waterfall; I wouldn’t be sitting here writing on this blog to live to tell about it. Here’s a video to show you exactly how magnificent these waterfalls are.

When I came to the USA, my mom and I went to the Canadian side to see Niagara Falls and it was pretty nice, not the prettiest, but definitely massive in the amount of water you witness causing a thunderous sound as it pounds the rocks below.

So you can imagine my delight when I’ve been able to visit two waterfalls here in Colorado Springs (both within half an hour away from where I live), Helen Hunt Falls and this one, Seven Falls that is pictured above. I was so excited to be there at those waterfalls and to just bask in the sun and listening to the water. These falls are in the mountains and this Brazilian girl never experienced hiking and seeing such beauty before, that’s why I enjoyed myself so much that day. Waterfalls in the mountains…. truly a gorgeous experience and one I can see over and over again since I live so close to them.

It’s a piece of home away from home where I grew up. And it’s a great thing.

Dating & Marriage: He seems perfect, now what?


Let’s say you’ve met the perfect person, the one you’ve been waiting for all your life…or so you think. How do you know if you should pursue the relationship farther? Here are some key questions to discuss with your significant other. I’ll answer with what I would say, if I were in a relationship (which I’m not, I’m very single). Let’s say I’m in an “ideal” relationship now (hypothetically), this is how I would answer. These questions are good and really do make you think if it’s a promising future with your loved one.

What are you like when you are mad?
This is key in knowing if you are willing to live with someone who will have outbursts for the rest of your life. Are they cool and collected? Do they walk away and slam doors? Worse yet, do they get physical? Some of these questions remind me of when I would be with my clients and I’d discuss relationship problems with them. I now remember asking them these questions, but this was more of an assessment of a domestic violence situation or warning signs of abuse in a relationship. My last job consisted of Social Work duties with clients.

As for me, when I get angry, I suddenly clam up which is opposite of how I usually am, which is being outgoing. I clam up because I’m thinking over the ordeal. I’m processing what I want to say next. Then I speak and have my say. He would have to give me a few minutes to gather my thoughts. I never shout or yell. That’s just not me. I try to use the words, “It makes me feel…when you do that” instead of using “you” to start accusations because that just puts the other person in defense. It brings the attention to you instead.

-Do you understand each other’s love language?

This just means, do you guys know how each other wants to be shown love and are you comfortable with it? Let’s say your significant other is not the romantic type, but you are. Will you have misunderstandings with that? Will you want him to change? What if he shows you his love in other ways? Find out now, before it becomes a problem, that way you both understand how you show your love to each other and what to expect.

I for one am a very romantic person. I’d prefer someone I like or love to be romantic as well. Maybe the other person writes music or draws to show his love and affection, I need to know this so I can understand how he thinks and shows it. Some people cook to show their affection to the one they adore. I haven’t had anyone cook for me in a very long time, but when that day comes, I’m just going to melt like butter.

-What rules or guidelines do you live by?

People from all over the world believe in many different faiths and rules. Are you willing to live with someone with very opposite rules that you both live by? Or do you want someone with similar rules and faith?

As for me, I go by three rules that I strongly go by. Respect, love and being true to yourself. How can you possibly respect someone you truly care about if you don’t respect yourself first? Respect yourself enough to say, “You know what? I’m a good and decent person, I don’t deserve to be spoken to that way or treated that way by you.” A person without self respect would allow bad things to keep on happening to them. To love yourself is a biggie. Not to be mixed up with arrogance. To love yourself can also mean to nurture yourself when you feel down. Being true to yourself for me means to be who you are-simple. Don’t change for anyone else. If you have certain principles, stick and stand by them. I’d want someone with similar rules such as that that they follow.

-What things are you willing to give up for the other person?

Are you willing to have a long distance relationship? For how long? Are you willing to move to another State to be with someone? Do you want kids? What if they don’t want kids? What if they smoke and you can’t breathe because you have asthma? What if you hate dogs and they have 4 dogs? What if they have a crazy family? Are you willing to put up with them because you love your other half that much? What if they don’t want to get married for the next 10 years?

If someone said I had to give up blogging and stop interacting with my subscribers to spend more time with them, I wouldn’t do it. Blogging is fun and it makes me happy to share my thoughts. To take that away from me would be like ripping my right arm off. If they had a job that made them transfer to another State or country, yes, I would be willing to move in a heartbeat. Just to be near them, I would go to the moon if I had to. Ok, maybe not. I’d get bored up there.

-What happens when trust is broken?

That “T” word. Talk about what would or will happen if someone breaks it-trust. Are you the type who will end all if the other is caught cheating? Or are you the type who will try and work it out? Better to talk about it now then to find out later so that you’re on the same page.

Out of all my past relationships, I’ve only trusted two significant others, Brian and Andreas. Both of these guys had a natural way about them that made me trust them completely and we had no issues during our time together. They both were very open to their female and male friends about me and I never once felt threatened by another female. I had complete trust in them and they with me. Cheating to me is a deal breaker, of course. I don’t give second chances with that.

What else other than love keeps you together?

Yes, having love being the glue that keeps you together is all great, but there is more to that special connection right? At the end of the day, are you both team players and lovers? Do you push each other to be the best that you can be? Are you also friends? Do you have similar life goals?

I’m very competitive and playful, so having someone in my life who has a streak of competitiveness and silliness would be a dream come true. I’m also an adventurer and explorer. Having someone with those traits would be great to have to add more “glue” to the relationship or marriage. Similar life goals & interests is a huge must have for me.

There are just some helpful questions to have answered if you are thinking of pursuing a life long commitment together. I’m not trying to be a psychologist here obviously, just some random late night thoughts of mine to these questions. Some food for thought so to speak.

Until next time my loves!



Amanda’s Midnight Potion (Halloween)


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Hi guys!

I was inspired to make my own version of this fun drink tonight that is family friendly. It’s very simple. All you need are the following items:

– Blue juice
– Black sugar (store bought)
– Yellow, Red and Blue food dye.
– Plain sugar (if you want to make your own black sugar, I highly suggest this instead)
– Honey
– FAKE spiders!
– Funky or stylish glasses (mine were plastic)

To make your own black sugar, put in the amount of sugar you want for how many glasses you will be coating in a plastic cup. Add the red, yellow and blue food dyes to the sugar. Stir. Add more blue food dye to make it darker.

Place the black sugar on a plate. Lightly coat the rims of the glasses with honey to “hold” the black sugar. Dip the rims in the black sugar.

Add the blue juice.

Decorate with fake spiders and voila, you’ve got yourself Halloween party drinks for your guests!

The original alcohol version can be found here: Alcohol version

Weekly Photo Challenge: Change

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This past Sunday we went up to Woodland Park, a cozy mountain town 30-45 minutes from Colorado Springs. As we drove down one of the roads away from civilization, we came upon a long and windy road that snaked up and down fields and trees. The Aspen trees are already showing off their colors, which got me even more excited for Autumn to come. In Colorado Springs, the trees are just taking their time turning colors, but soon and one day, I’ll be blown away by the massive yellows and oranges that will suddenly appear overnight. Anyways, I whipped out my camera and took some shots. In 10 ten days, it will be exactly a year since we arrived to visit Colorado. Now I live here. Welcome to Autumn in my Camelot…

Weekly Photo Challenge: Today was a Good Day


It was a good day because I found this app and I could frame these flowers! I love taking pictures, but I also enjoy framing my photos too. This elegant frame seemed appropriate for these flowers. What is the app? It’s called “Photo Studio” and you can find this exact frame for your photos on there. I’m still discovering all it has, so that’s always fun. I did use Picasa to do a quick green border around the frame.

This picture suggests romance, elegance and perhaps a little wish for the future in my humble opinion. I like to interpret things I see and photograph them, but I also like to see if my viewers also see what I see. Maybe if I take a dreamy picture, does it mean I’m in a dreamy state of mood? Yes! Very much so. I show my emotions through my photography.

So do you have plans this weekend? If you know me well by now, you will probably know that I love theater! In saying that, I’m going to a theatrical dance play called The Warriors: A Love Story. The main characters of said play is about a philosopher and a dancer who were truly in love and survived the war. My kind of play! Those are my plans for Friday night this week, just another excuse to dress up; besides the play is free. Then this weekend it’s off to see the Hot Air Balloon festival here in Colorado Springs!

It’s September already, can you believe it? I hope this month treats everyone of you very kindly.

Until next time my darlings. xoxo

Amanda’s Journal: Getting great news


Dear Journal,

I’ve been riding a wave of euphoria since Sunday night at 8 PM. I can’t stop smiling, I am filled with happiness. I received news from a woman who knows my biological mom down in Brazil. She said my mom is doing well despite having had a stroke and is currently living with my older sister. She sent me a recent picture of my mother and as I stared at her lovely face, I was filled with love and pure joy. In the picture, my mom has the biggest smile and looks like she is about to break out in a huge laugh-it’s fantastic! She has more grey hair since I last saw her, but still retains that very youthful look. My mom (my adoptive mom who raised me) said out of all my sisters, I look the most like my biological mom. So, now that we have a middle woman between us, I can get her address and be more in contact with her. I had lost contact with her, so I wasn’t sure if she was still alive or not. I’m happy as a clam right now! Knowing she is alive and well makes me want to do the best in everything I do; I want her to be proud of me.

So that’s my great news!

As a way to show how news can affect how great news like this affects a blogger as myself, I thought it was the perfect time to change my blog name from JavaGirl’s Life to Amanda’s Camelot. I have my google alerts set for my own blog name and there are some other JavaGirl(s) with questionable intentions that I didn’t want to be associated with. I had wanted to change my blog name since last year anyways, I just didn’t know to what or when. Amanda is my middle name which I love very much. I chose using my middle name because I have a very unique first name and as far as I know I am the only one in the State of Colorado who has this name and one of 6 people in the entire USA who shares this name. So, for privacy reasons, I wanted to use my middle name. Camelot comes from the second definition of the word in the Webster dictionary: a time, place, or atmosphere of idyllic happiness. I like the name camelot because I have a romantic view of life. I love all things royal, castles, old world love and art. Colorado is my camelot. I love this place! I love the mountains, the wild flowers, the air and it truly represents where I live right now. It’s my camelot; where my dreams will come true whatever they may be. Everyday will not be perfect, but they will be better and easier.

Oh and I just got myself a new business partner or is it the other way around? We’re at the beginning phase, but things will move along fast because most of the research and bare bones of the website/store is already laid out.



Sunday with my bestfriend….


This past Sunday took my bestfriend and I to explore Breckenridge and Frisco (Colorado). The trip took two hours to get to Breckenridge from Colorado Springs, but on our way there, we ran into three storms. During one of those storm breaks, we stopped at a place where you could see miles and miles of land before you. I mean, it was one of those moments that takes your breath away. As far as the eye could see, you saw mountains and a big valley below. There was this skinny road that passed through the valley and I asked my bestfriend, “Is that the road we’ll be taking which leads straight into those big mountains?”. In my mind, I felt like I was heading into some Lord of the Rings journey.


The answer was yes. The ledge where we were standing was full of wild flowers and you know how crazy I get about wild flowers. If there is one thing on my bucket list that I really want to do is to lay in a huge field of wild flowers. I’ve never done that. Not just any field of wild flowers, but a mountain field of wild flowers. Well, here, there were wild flowers, but not enough.


We passed through South Park. Yeah, that South Park in Colorado. I’ve never been here before and it was interesting to see what it was like. For starters, it seemed to be a town where time stood still. The town seemed quiet and unassuming. There seemed to be just one main road there as most mountain town have in Colorado.


Once in Breckenridge, we stopped and had lunch. I had made a nice picnic and we munched on our sandwiches as we took in the beauty of the town. Most of the day was cloudy, so I’m sorry if the pictures seem dull. There weren’t many blue skies the day we went. It didn’t stop the towns from looking beautiful though. Breckenridge is a ski resort town, so you could see all the ski trails up in the mountains.


We were surrounded by these flowers as we ate our lunch. So pretty…


Gondolas! They looked so peaceful as they made their way up the mountain. Then this is what followed my thoughts.
Bestfriend: But do you see how high they go?
Me: No.
Me: They seem to go over a certain point and then you can’t see how high they go.
Me: (After much thought and self control of excitement) Will you please, please go on it with me?
Bestfriend: What? Are you kidding me? That looks scary! I’m not going on that thing, nuh uh!
Me: Aw, come on!
Bestfriend: No way. (Their face appeared determined to not go)
Me: Come on! We’ll have fun! I promise not to rock the gondola.
Bestfriend: Look how they sway! Is that normal? They are swaying too much! No way am I going on that!
Me: Uhhh. Maybe the people are rocking it on purpose. I highly doubt it would be the gondola itself.


A miracle happened that day. I was able to convince my bestfriend to come with me to find out how high it went from the ticket booth guy. Luckily, it was a free 12 minute ride and it only went to a certain point. That’s good. We could survive that. I was so proud of my bestfriend because they agreed to get on. I was beyond excited! It was a nice ride and I got some good shots. I video taped most of the ride, but the windows were scratched up, so I only used a few clips that didn’t show the scratches.


We finally arrived in Frisco and checked out the marina. The first time I came here back in October, it was night and I wasn’t able to see all the mountains. Frisco Bay is a place where I want to come back and kayak, but today we were just exploring it.



Some may already know I love marinas! I love any form of water be it lakes, rivers, waterfalls, oceans or even small streams. I love being out in the water and feeling the wind in my face as I ride sailboats, boats or even kayaks. There is something so pure and natural to be so close to water. I just feel so at home by water. I’m working on getting my Safety Boating Certificate so I can legally operate a boat out in the lakes. Maybe one day I’ll get my own boat.




I love using the tilt shift on my camera. It makes the boats look miniature.



This dog was so cute! His owners were throwing a stick for him to go after and he seemed so happy just to be running around.

Here is the video of our day. Unfortunately, my Windows Movie Maker was not working tonight, so I had to use YouTube for my editing. Hope you like the video! Until next time!

Beautiful garden of a haunted castle

Well hello there my loves!

So a few days ago I went again to a haunted castle called Miramont Castle Museum here in Manitou Springs. Now, Manitou Springs is a cool and funky little mountain town that we go to often. There is tons to see and do here and you’ll always find me here most weekends. Anyways, so the first time we went there was to go on the self tour of the castle and during our tour we took over a hundred pictures and some videos. We were all excited with our photographs and what a great day we had when we came home. Unfortunately, for some reason all of our pictures on both cameras were mysteriously deleted during the uploading process. There was no explanation for it either. Someone or something in that haunted castle did not want to be seen. Being totally undeterred and relentless about this and highly disappointed by all this, I figured we will go again and retake all the garden shots. I must say, uploading these pictures took me 4 hours. I had computer problems and I never had such problems with my photographs. They are mostly of flowers, but it’s a cute magical little garden and one to get truly inspired by. It’s like a fairy tale garden of sorts.



The left side of the castle.


The mid section of the castle. A priest lived here and he built this home for himself and his mother. July112015MarimontCastleColoradoSpringsCOJavaGirlsLifeBlog

Being greeted by a lovely sign in case you forgot where you were at or entering.


The picture above is the only picture that survived from inside the castle. I took it with my phone and had posted it on twitter. This staircase was beautiful. It’s almost like the castle beckons you to walk up the stairs to explore all the rooms. Some may find this creepy, mysterious or just another museum. I didn’t find it creepy at all. There were some very dark staircases that lead to unknown rooms, but they were closed off. This castle must look absolutely gorgeous during Christmas time all decorated. I must return then again. There was a couple in front of us, so I waited until they were out of the way to take this picture. Once up the stairs, you go up another flight of stairs to see an art room, solarium, bedrooms etc. A pregnant nun hung herself in the solarium, but I didn’t find anything scary about that room. My hairstylist, who told me to come here, said she felt strange in the room and she and her brother ran out of the room because they just felt frightened. I felt the room to be quite nice and lovely. The sun was pouring through the room. It felt still though….


A gorgeous fountain. The sound was even lovelier.










If there ever was a time I captured flowers looking like they were singing, it would be this one. How cute are these flowers? With their little petals turning up to the sky! They are not perfect with their petals, but they sure reflect personality.


I need some of these in my garden!


The view from the garden overlooking the foothills. So beautiful.


The gate entrance had these leaves hanging all over the fence.


What is it about pink flowers? Love them.


I had to use a flash for this picture. Without a flash, the rose looked black because the sun was behind it.

If you are interested in learning more about the haunted castle museum, check out the website. Type in Miramont Castle Museum in Manitou Springs, Colorado.

I’ll be heading to Breckenridge and Frisco this weekend and I’m so excited! I’ll be taking loads of pictures once again. It will be a lovely car ride. My bestfriend will be driving, so I’ll just be relaxing and enjoying the view.

Stormy skies on a mountain

These pictures were taken Sunday June 28, 2015 at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. We had gone to an area to watch the cars race by, but it was interrupted by stormy clouds coming over the mountain. We were not at the very top, but it was high enough to see all the trees below and feel high enough to be close to “America’s Mountain” at 14,000 feet above sea level. Anyways, so as people were packing up to go home, we hung around instead and hoped for the best not to be hit by lightening. I saw an opportunity for some photos as I saw people walk back and forth on a hill. Here are some shots I took.


This man made a make shift cover for where he was sitting. The poles appeared to be regular branches he might have found on the ground. It looked pretty cool.


I like this photo a lot and the mood it represents. It almost looks otherworldly because the clouds can also look like far away canyons in a different world or a big ocean with huge waves.


This guy kept staring down at me as I snapped pictures. I later realized I was using my flash on my camera, so it was dead giveaway of what I was doing. I thought I was being sneaky, but I was caught red handed. I wasn’t taking his photo because of him, but because he was a subject matter in my photo I was trying to convey, he just happened to walk by.


Just people walking about. This was fun, I have to do this type of photography again.

More on the storm on the mountain. I’ve never experienced a bonafide mountain storm in Colorado and I’m sure it won’t be my last! Being a total newbie to how unpredictable and volatile storms can be up in a mountain, I was a little ill prepared. I should have worn a hat and a waterproof jacket with a hoodie. We forgot the main lunch sandwiches in the car and ended up only eating the snacks we brought along with the water. As we headed for cover, it started to pour rain and the winds picked up. At one point, I looked up at the sky and could have sworn I saw a tornado form. I saw some clouds start to swirl in a circle and I almost started to run for my life. To the hot chocolate stand, of course. Then hail started and we ran even faster to the main starting point of the event. We found a tent and stood under it with 30 people or so as we watched the rain come down. In front of us were the cars under their covers as they were lined up to take their turns to race up the mountains. We were all cold and shivering. My hair was soaked and I was hungry. Despite that, I was still having fun because this was new to me. I love everything about Colorado, but I’m not crazy about the hail storms since moving here, but it’s ok. I just have to carry my umbrella more often when I know it will hail storm and then I won’t feel the marble like pelting from it. More on this later as I edit my photos and video.

Blogger’s Note: I’m working on some pictures and a video of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb this past Sunday that we went to. It was my first time seeing cars, trucks and motorcycles race and I had a lot of fun!

My summer song for 2015

Hey everybody!

I know I’ve been MIA, but I’ve actually been quietly enjoying my life here in Colorado the past months. My car has been showing its elderly age, so I’ve had to stay close to home until things are fixed and the unpredictable weather hasn’t been cooperative on the weekends either to be able to go out. I’ll be out and about hopefully soon with new videos and pictures. Believe me! I know what I’m doing for my birthday, so hopefully that will fall into place next month. I’m so happy about it I can’t contain my excitement! If you follow my twitter page, you might have seen a clue I posted on there of what I’d like to do for my birthday.

Every year around this time I choose a song that I think may capture my summer adventures and this time, I chose a song. It is called “Heart & Soul” by Built By Titan. Fun little song and just hearing it makes me very excited for my first summer here in Colorado. This place is gorgeous and so much to explore for someone like myself. Everyday I can’t believe I’m so lucky to live here and the Pikes Peak mountain so close to home is like living in a postcard. I can’t wait to start showing my friends around here who live out of State. I’m slowly making new friends here and they are so sweet and kind. Perhaps they’ll show up in future blogs and videos. We shall see.

If you are curious, my summer song for last year for 2014 was “The World” by Sean Tyas feat. Lo-Fi Sugar. I chose that song because we went on a 4 country cruise to Bermuda, Puerto Rico, Saint Maarten, St. Martin and Haiti that summer. There was a lot of dancing during that vacation, so this song fit it perfectly.

A huge welcome to all my new subscribers since the last time I blogged! I’ll be making my rounds of people who have stopped by my page, I haven’t had the time and my email alerts are sending all my blogs I follow into my spam folder, so I never end up seeing any new posts from you guys. WP glitch? Anyone else having that problem?

Have a great weekend and be safe! I’ll be back soon! Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day this weekend. I salute all that serve and have served this country.

We’ll be shining, we’ll be shining, we’ll be shining tonight!”