Happy 🎃 Halloween, then and now

First, the history, according to History.com:

Halloween is an annual holiday celebrated each year on October 31, and Halloween 2018 occurs on Wednesday, October 31. It originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain when people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off ghosts. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honor all saints; soon, All Saints Day incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. The evening before was known as All Hallows Eve, and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a day of activities like trick-or-treating, carving jack-o-lanterns, festive gatherings, donning costumes and eating sweet treats.

Some nostalgia:

Tara (a baby) & Emily (a butterfly) 2002 in So. Cal.








Now the current:

I miss my girlz; the way they used to run to the next house their little feet barely touching the ground, and the parties we used to host. This empty nester mom is happy I was able to find two adorable kids in our building to bestow gifts upon. The weather has turned too, reminding me when I used to have to wear a coat over my costume, during the chilly nights in Dallas, TX. I hope everyone has fun tonight, stays safe, avoids tricks, and remembers the old days.

Aloha 🎃,



Mixtures of emotions

A beautiful sunrise, lovely trees changing colors, crisp air, friends.  Reading good news from friends and family who live far from me.  The World Series.  Bike rides. Hikes. Those make me happy.

Hearing about the murders in KY and PA this weekend makes me very unhappy. Actually, that makes me sick: in my stomach and my heart.  I send my thoughts of sympathy and peace to those families.

There’s a cloud over our world…we must be stewards of peace, love, justice, generosity, and tolerance. We must find good in our world and share that, ripple effect.

Aloha 🌺,


The ‘Tolerance’ sculpture outside the Crown Prince’s Diwan was unveiled by Shaikha Hessa Bint Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi. The sculpture consists of nine pieces, each an individual letter in bronze, which together make up the word ‘Tolerance’. The work has been created by artist Guy Ferrer, one of France’s preeminent contemporary sculptors and painters.

Open your door

Opening your heart and hearth to others will bring you joy, or sadness, teach you valuable lessons, and offer you gems of goodness.

Explore the lives of people, as you explore your world. Learn from people, the good and the not so good. Enjoy their photos of adventures, family life, tips for living.

Open your door to share with others: your love, your smile, your lessons, your heart.

I opened my “door” this week and experienced some bullying and volleying of opinions. I learned that not everyone shares my thoughts, and that’s okay. That’s what makes the world go ’round. As my MIL says, “That’s why there are chocolate and vanilla ice cream.” Keeping my heart pure and my intentions clear is the path I choose.

I am flawed, human, and the love I give is pure. Remember, behind everyone’s “door” is their own story.




#TBT= Throwback Thursday

Sharing to reflect on how far it’s come.

Happy Thursday.

Welcome to the alohaness!

Wife, mom, yogi, surfer. Doer of good, righter of wrongs and creator of fun, abundance, and joy. That’s me, Denise Schnitzer.

I’m here to share what I have recently learned. As a wife of almost 26 years, I have a respect and total appreciation for love, honor and dinner plans. My husband and I are high school sweethearts. We’ve been through education, travels, moving and kids together. I know that just thinking “please, take out the trash” will NEVER result in the trash going outside. I must SAY aloud, “please take out the trash.” That’s miraculous! Thoughts create the words and mouths get the job done. I have also learned that making dinner plans avoids dinner dilemmas…more details later.

We have two daughters who are embracing high school. What a fun ride this is…more later.

In June we declared that our lives would look unrecognizable by the end of this past summer. We lived in a rural area of Los Angeles County for sixteen years. On August 9, 2011, my daughters and I moved from there to Honolulu, Hawaii, where my husband accepted the position of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group neurosurgeon and joined us three weeks later….more later.

I have always been active in sports: in school, college, and adulthood. I’ve competed and participated; been professional and novice. I have tips on that too…more later.

The intention here is to whet your appetite for more details. Let me hear from you and how I can offer you insight into your goals.

This is a fun place to chat, learn, share and smile.

Create a GREAT day!





Be creative and create!

Life is all about experiments, adventures, pleasures, pains, education. Remember the adage, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Well, it’s true.

Learning as much as I can about places, people, and new adventures, I explore and ask a lot of questions. Yesterday we spent all afternoon walking up into and down out of fifth-wheel trailers, as recon for our next life adventure. While the purchase of one is still a ways away, we are researching models, manufacturers, and designs. How will our lives look while living aboard a moving home?

Encountering someone you know, who doesn’t greet you by name, and neglects to inquire about your life, is someone with their own story, baggage, and thoughts.  Give them grace, smile, and move on.

Create the life you want. If I ask you the question, “what do you love about your life?” What will you say? What’s on your vision board? What are YOU creating?

Think about that.



Follow your own bliss

“Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” — Joseph Campbell

My bliss includes my family, my friends, my yoga mat, coffee, my bike, my suitcase, sunrises and sunsets, and my ice cream maker.

On this journey of life, finding FUN every day is my mission. Today’s sunrise filled my heart with warmth (with the day starting in the low 50ºs F) and my eyes with pleasure. I will seek something great today, and you can too. Seek and you will find.






Here in St. Charles, we really didn’t have a Fall…we went right from Summer to Winter. I like the slower progression, but I am enjoying wearing my scarves and snapping pics of leaves.

Wherever you are, have FUN today. Find your bliss. Share a hug.



Sun’s out, FUN’s out there!

The clear blue sky beckons me outside…. the sun is shining and no displays of wind. What to do? Explore!

Walking is a great way to see things, at street level. Take in the trees’ leaves changing colors. See the yard art in the neighborhood. Say “hello” to other walkers.

Trust me, household errands are much more enjoyable in the sunshine.

Driving to a new area also adds FUN to your day. Make a Road Trip Day and explore a new place, restaurant, shops, parks, and monuments.

Happy Wednesday and Happy FUN day.



Another full day the “Schnitzer way”

We all have 24 hours in a day, and “The Schnitzer way” is to maximize those hours and seize the day!

And so, we began with an early morning bike ride, followed by a breakfast of champions (eggs, bacon, coffee).  Heading to The Central West End of St. Louis, a lovely, walking area with shops, restaurants, and gorgeous old buildings, we ducked into the Candle Fusion (https://thecandlefusionstudio.com) to create individual hand-made candles from a mixture of our chosen scents.

Waiting for our candles to cure, we walked to my new favorite restaurant, The Taste of Lebanon, (http://tasteoflebanonstl.com) for over-the-top-delicious lentil soup, baba ganoush, and dolmades. We also perused an old bookstore, a soap-making place, and the three levels of exhibits at the World of Chess (https://worldchesshof.org) where the largest chess piece stands proudly at the front door. Yes, it has a Guinness Book of World Records certificate! Our candles turned out wonderfully.

Soon after, we headed to a team appreciation party, hosted by the Bike Stop Café, (https://www.bikestopcafes.com) where we met new friends and ride sponsors, as well as indulging on delicious wraps, guacamole, and hand-made muffins. To shower appreciation upon the team members, the owners gifted us goodie bags filled with wonderful ride-related gifts (in mine: Untapped pure Vermont maple syrup, Chamois Butt’r, Golden Bicycle Soap by the Slice, and a bumper sticker).

Our final stop of the busy day was the Scheidegger Center    (http://www.lindenwood.edu/j-scheidegger-center-for-the-arts/) where we loved our first experience of Postmodern Jukebox (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodern_Jukebox), an enormously talented group of musicians, singers, and dancers.  After their long encore, we headed home to relive the day in conversation.

Tip: get the most out of every day, as if it’s a good cup of coffee: good to the last drop. I shared links to help and inspire.