How do you define yourself?

A few days ago I cut my hair shorter than I think most women would ever  consider cutting their hair.  I have done this often in my life, I am not afraid of having short hair.   But the reason I write this today is because it got me thinking about how much we let things define us.  I have heard throughout my life “I would never cut that short”, “how could you”, “I don’t think women look good with short hair”, etc. etc. etc.   This time I cut my hair because frankly I was tired of having it up in a bun for days and undoing it to find so much hair broken.  I have thinning and fine hair so losing any is a big deal.  Now with short hair, I can take better care of it continuing my scalp oil treatments and hair masks.

I journaled, with the question in mind, who am I?   I don’t let my hair define me but what other things might I be allowing to define me?  My glasses… for instance.  So I wrote a list of questions to guide me in my explorations of defining who I am.   In this train of thought that led to this post I also got thinking about how 2018 taught me so much about myself.  I am so much wiser on my own rhythms and flow and so much strength comes from knowing it.  If we just lived in a place of knowing ourselves more, we wouldn’t be in a state of resistance that sometimes leads to stress, anxiety, low self-esteem, etc.   This year I also came to really appreciate “adulting” because “adulting” truly is just having a better  sense of self.  “I’m going to pack my lunch and get to bed early because I know myself and don’t want to rush in the morning”  “I’m going to pack the diaper bag today so that tomorrow I’m not frustrated trying to get out of the door”  So many times when we are “adulting” we are just being better informed of ourselves and all too often “adulting” is seen as a bad thing.

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I can’t believe this!!

This was completely a manifestation of mine.  When @alegriamagazine announced they were going to have this festival in one of my favorite places (Palm Springs) I knew I wanted to be there.  But expenses are tight and it didn’t seem possible.  But I held on to the idea that I would be there.  I turned on post notifications to stay up to date and lo and  behold…. I was invited to speak about essential oils.

Visions of 2018

I don’t remember the first vision board I made. I know that I didn’t use it to it’s full potential. The idea is to have your vision board in a place you see often. The more you see the images of things you want, the more they are present in your conscious and subconscious and *boom* manifested. Remember when The Secret was trending? I feel like vision boards are the update from that.

Side story: My mom first introduced me to manifestation. She watches a lot of gurus on YouTube. Every time she goes to the thrift stores she finds exactly what she was looking for. Never a coincidence, she would say, because she manifested it. I would joke and tell her to manifest me a baby monitor.

Last year I was invited to a vision board party and I was so excited because normally I’m the one hosting those kind of things. I went with a stack of magazines and made a vision board with half a dozen other people. I really focused on making a vision board I believed in. I loved what I made but still most of 2017 I didn’t have it somewhere I could see everyday. That is until I finally declared (in my head) that I needed to put it somewhere in our bedroom. It has lived next to my bed for months now. I see it every morning, every night, every time I’m in my room. It has 4 quadrants and a center. The quadrants are for: home, travel, body and business. The center speaks to me so much because one, it’s in a gold frame, and two, “among the giants” is something I need to remind myself when the imposter syndrome sets in. When I see other mommas or oil advocates or whatever it is doing it, finding success, making sh*t happen, something inside screams “you don’t belong, they’re already doing it, stop where you are“. But no longer am I giving that voice any space in my mind. I belong and there is plenty of room for me.

Here we are in 2018 and I’m making ideas move (in Cardi B voice). Vision boards don’t have an expiration date. I imagine this vision board is 3-5 years in the making, and I’ve got one year down. I thought about sharing my vision board last year but I didn’t because exposing yourself is scary. When you have big ideas people get critical. Imposter syndrome is real. But I’m not letting it stop me anymore. I’m saying goodbye to that fear. If you’re reading this also see: New Year, más chingona if you haven’t already.

The irony of Olive carrying my vision board is too real. Haha. With little ones, our life is no long our own, right mommas? If Olive is having a bad day, more often than not, I’m not getting anything done. But I’m here to say it is possible (with support from your friends and family, o sea your village) to start big things with a toddler. It’s not easy, but it pushes you so much more to find success.  As I was snapping pictures of Olive and the vision board, she dropped it and then walked over it to play in the yard. 😆

Here is to big, big things this year.

Olive Blues: My Postpartum Experience

I’ve been meaning to share this post for quite some time.  Maybe I kept avoiding writing it because I didn’t want to think about the fourth trimester, or, first three months after having Olive— they were rough.   Having a baby is a beautiful experience, the magic in our biology never ceases to amaze me.  But that aside, I didn’t feel like anyone adequately depicted what postpartum would be like.  People assume you are the happiest person in the world because you have this bundle of joy, when in reality you’re kind of miserable all of the time running on no more than 2 consecutive hours of sleep.   I needed someone to tell me that it was ok to feel the way I was feeling.  I also wanted to tell someone “I hate this” without being judged.

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Gifts on a Budget & Shop Small Gift Guides

I have dreams of one day being a minimalist.  Don’t get me wrong, I will never be a true minimalist like “The Minimalists” and I see the privilege in minimalism, but I hope to at least own less, consume less and produce less waste.   I say this because peak consumerism season is here with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and holiday sales the push to buy everything and anything for Christmas is here.  I know sometimes Black Friday deals are hard to pass up (John and I were on a tight budget the year before our wedding but wanted to upgrade our TV and did so on Black Friday), but consider shopping small and local this holiday too.   Shopping local and small businesses is great for the local economy and you are directly supporting a real person and their family.  Sometimes our budgets are tight so along with sharing some handmade and small shop items that I’m loving, I also want to talk about alternative gift giving.

The last few years I’ve more and more been giving alternative gifts.  One year I decided I didn’t want to give things but instead give activities or experiences.  So I subscribed my nieces and nephew to the Kiwi crate and Tinker crate and a membership to the local zoo.  Another year I was on a budget, instead of finding different gifts for everyone, I purchased downloadable art on Etsy and different frames for everyone.  It was less than $15 for each person and everyone loved them.

Last year I had just had Olive and was not in a place to Christmas shop so we didn’t give gifts.  This year we’re on a very tight budget, life on one income requires some adjustments, but there are alternatives if you’re into it.

A great way to do gifts on a budget is to pick a theme.  Not having to focus on so many different gifts and price points saves you time and energy but also lots of money.

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I love shopping vintage and second hand stores.  You can find cute vases, baskets, coffee mugs or so many unique finds.  If you like shopping thrift stores, consider checking out your local Goodwill or Salvation Arm, you might be surprised with what you find!

On to the gift guides!

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