As much as you like to think you make the rules, you’re just fooling yourself — at least when it comes to the playroom.
When I come to town, it’s “game over” organized bins, clean walls, and fully dressed dolls. A new sheriff has arrived and I have a fresh set of laws.
*Big ole vulnerable dose of myself.
I’m a shy extrovert. These two aspects of myself are in constant battle. My shy, introverted self pulls me back to my shell of WiFi and Netflix, while my extrovert self pushes me to connect with real-life people and find work that requires me to talk in front of people for hours. It’s tricky.
I enjoy my extroverted tendencies, but find my shyness leading the way most of the time. And it usually leads into a quiet room with snacks, my laptop, and a bed. Shyness can be a true struggle, and here’s why.
To grow in a professional (and personal) sense, I need to connect with fellow writers, professionals, hypnotherapists, and general human beings. This means going into a room of strangers, awkwardly going up to people and saying something at least slightly interesting without stuttering.
Hot off the Feng Shui Mommy Newsletter press.
Adult coloring books are all the rage right now. While I usually shy away from trends, purely because they’re trendy, I’m all over this fad. Actually, I was all over this before it was even a “thing.” I was that mom in the restaurant trying to keep my son from scribbling over my color-in-the-lines masterpiece. Now I just bring my own coloring book.
Initially, I thought I could only partake in this extracurricular indulgence on the weekends, or the rare moments when all my “important” work was complete- coloring seemed frivolous.
“Shouldn’t I be writing? That’s my thing– my soul’s work.”
What I noticed after a week of partaking in this delicious frivolity every day, was my writing got better! And, I got better at that whole “living in the moment” trend. Interesting.
Stepping out of my creative bubble, made it burst, and let in some pretty juicy newness.
What’s your creative medium of choice? The activity that feeds your soul and injects a hearty dose of purpose into your day?
What would it be like if you tried something outside your creative wheelhouse? Something that you’re not a pro at, and would be exploring just for the sake of dipping into something different.
This newness may stir up latent insecurities, fear of change, and guilt that you’re not doing something you’re “supposed” to do. How fabulous.
Dipping into those seemingly negative areas of your being is the only way to release them. It also produces fabulous material for your primary creative work.
When I realized I wasn’t so great at coloring within the lines (and should really be washing those piles of dishes and clothes instead of sitting at my son’s mini-table with colored pencils and a coloring book) I felt really insecure, and questioned myself.
Then, I sat down to write that evening and had so much fresh material. I had gently loosened pieces of myself I didn’t like to look at, but were so interesting when I allowed them to come out and play.
On the days I pull out the colors, and then transition into writing, I end the day feeling emotionally free, mentally clear, and spiritually accomplished- it’s pretty cool. All this from flipping back the cover of a 5 by 7-inch coloring book.
You don’t need to jump on the coloring bandwagon, but consider the places some of the other creative bandwagons may take you. Likely, somewhere fresh and exhilarating.
Sending you love and encouragement for investing in something new, just for you.
Children have the beautiful skill of tapping into and expressing their emotions, but face challenges when it comes to effectively and peacefully processing these emotions — even the fun ones!
My husband, who is a transitional kindergarten teacher (he has 20 four- to five-year-olds in his class!) was recently brainstorming activities that can enhance emotional intelligence and communication in children, especially when they’re dealing with stress or conflict.
As a certified hypnotherapist, who primarily works with pregnant women and children, I jumped in to add my ideas on how to best guide these fresh and vulnerable minds (and hearts!) through the journey of understanding and communicating their emotions, that often change every few minutes (much like pregnant women!).
Here are our favorite exercises to raise emotionally intelligent kids …
It’s Sunday! Perfect day to do nothing but watch movies and take naps.
Summary: This film should have won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature it was nominated for. It is simply the best. It is magic. It’s impossible for me to label this film as an “adult” or “children” movie because it expertly blends components that appeal to all ages- at least all ages that enjoy beauty, humor and unexpected emotional exploration.
The film follows the journey of Ben, an Irish boy who discovers his mute younger sister Saoirse is a selkie (half human half seal) who must discover her voice and song to free (cheeky) supernatural creatures from a spell placed on them by a Celtic goddess. The movie is layered with mystical Celtic folklore and song.
Mood: Crying. This poignant and whimsical movie will put you in the mood to cry- but you’ll be smiling while you cry. As the movie sucks you in it begins to feel like a spiritual experience (or maybe a psychedelic one.)
Food: Irish fare. Cook up some Sheppard’s pie, beef stew, potato pancakes, or bangers and mash (sausage and mashed potatoes) and hunker down in your coziest couch.
Drink: Guinness or an Irish coffee for the over twenty-one crowd, and some bubby apple cider would be a fitting liquid treat for this film.
Company: Your kiddos and loved ones! Just make sure everyone you invite into your film-viewing nest are peeps you feel comfortable crying in front of. The heart-string-pulling devices woven into the film will make you feel deep love and appreciation for those around you- don’t be shy to dole out hearty amounts of hugs and kisses throughout the film (and tissue, dole out lots of tissue.)
Yays!: This is one of the most visually appealing movies I’ve ever seen. Each frame of animation is a work of art that could easily be framed and hung on the wall. The detail is exquisite, and each time you view the film (and you will want to watch it more than once) you’ll discover more details and hidden layers of meaning. This movie will change you for the better.
Nays: The tissue bill- so many tissues. This is not a film that is delicate with your emotions- it makes you feel so deeply. If you’re not in the mood for riding an intense (but spiritually cleansing) emotional tilt-a-whirl, don’t watch this film. But really, you should watch it.
Where do you live? Do you love it? (Even just a small piece of it?) If so, take a moment to sit in that space and feel the love.
Ode to my little love bug. (You’re a lot of freakin’ work!)
I’m toying around with uber-short video blogging. The first three posts will be a little schmaltzy, because I’m currently in a schmaltzy mood. But I promise, I will be infusing more humor and shenanigans into future video posts.
Thanks for reading/watching my ramblings- you rock.
When I gave up the screen-feed, my life woke up.
I was addicted to the constant eavesdropping into the lives of people I loved, envied and loathed. My days were a series of mini-searches for something salacious, inspiring, engaging, endearing or so stupid I would feel righteous I hadn’t been the one to post it.
The more entrenched I became in the networks of social media I swam in, the less I had anything valuable to contribute. I was so busy living in other people’s pseudo-lives, I had stopped living my real one.
If I was writing an article and got to a difficult sentence, I would switch over to Facebook, hoping for “inspiration” that would spiral into my son and me watching two otters cuddling — then I would give up on my writing for the day.
The magic of Mickey is not just for the three to ten crowd. I believe the true magic of Disney is that it helps all ages return to that delicious space of wonder we all lived in as children.
I had forgotten about that lighthearted goodness until Disney kindly invited my husband, toddler, mother-in-law, and myself on a #DisneyGrandAdventure.
Before we flew across the country (from Ojai, CA to Orlando, FL in not-fun turbulence) I spent three hours exploring the My Disney Experience website where the little (sometimes neurotic) planner in me was in heaven.
First off, I got to choose characters to represent myself, and each of my guests. I was Sleeping Beauty, the hubs Buzz Lightyear, the toddler a little squishy alien from Toy Story, and the mother-in-law Mrs. Incredible.
Next, I was able to pre-schedule our Fast Passes, which familiarized me with the rides and attractions at the four parks, reminding me that they really did have something for everyone. Roller coasters for husband (and sometimes me), flying elephants and rocket ships for my son, themed boat and pirate ship rides for myself, and all of the above for my mother-in-law (she’s a versatile grandma.)
My Disney Experience served as my one-stop-shop trip planner.
Navigating this site got me totally hyped up for the trip. I used to feel overwhelmed by the prospect of a Disney vacation because there was so much to plan- I never knew where to start. This site allowed me to suss everything out pre-touchdown, so I could spend my vacation enjoying instead of planning.
My level of neurotic-planner-excitement bumped up a level when I realized the My Disney Experience had a phone app! Whoop whoop!
The app included all the information listed above, plus GPS enabled maps of all the parks (including an insta-Restroom locator), the ability to make dining reservations or find restaurants in close proximity, locate the home of your favorite characters, and access up-to-date wait times for rides. Let me repeat that, instead of walking all over a park trying to find the shortest line, you can pop into your app for the approximate time you’ll have to wait. #GameChanger
If you choose to pay a little extra, you receive access to the Memory Maker feature which allows you to have unlimited professional photos taken at all the photo stops in the parks, including the always-attractive photos taken on select rides.
Expert Tip: Don’t forget to check out the strangers in your photos from the roller coasters- their facial expressions are often classic.
Just like Disney World, the site and app were colorful, easy to navigate, and fun.
Let’s break it down.
6 Months Before Vacation
3 Months Before
One Week Before
My next #DisneyGrandAdventure post will explore the different personalities of five of Disney World’s best resorts. They’re all full of adventure, thoughtful detail, and sass. Lots of sass.
Hey Party People! (Or, Netflix and Chill people?)
I love movies. If it was socially acceptable to lay on the couch all day and watch movies, I would. My son wishes I would give in to this proclivity more. He inherited my movie mania.
Once a week, I’m going to do a straight shootin’ movie review that quickly let’s you know whether this movie is for you or not. I’ll lay out the summary, mood of the film (or the mood it will put you in,) food pairing ideas, drink ideas, the ideal company for the cinematic journey, and the general pros and cons.
The film choices will be a mix of adult movies (not the dirty ones), kid films, old films, and new films. Gone With The Wind, Titanic, and Lonesome Dove may eventually make it on the list because I want an excuse to make my husband watch them with me- thanks!
First stop, The Revenant.
Starring my first love Leo, this film is big on visual splendor and realistic gore, is packed with underlying social commentary, and only speaks when it has something really important to say.
Summary: The movie follows frontiersman Hugh Glass in 1823 as he explores the United States with a hunting team who leave him for dead after he suffers a brutal bear attack. He pulls himself from the dead to track one particular individual who deeply betrayed him. The movie also shines light on the injustices Indigenous peoples and communities have suffered.
Mood: If you’re in the mood for a heart-wrenching, brutal, awe-inspiring, graphic, and moving experience, this is the film for you. This movie will make you feel- bring some tissue.
Food: This is a meat and potatoes type of movie. Grab your hamburger (or veggie burger!), potatoes wedges, and a kale salad for good measure and enjoy the dark ride.
Drink: If you want to do as the frontiersman would do, throw back some beer or whiskey. And have a side of ginger ale in case some of the scenes make you queasy.
Company: This is no “chick flick.” Grab your partner, or your buddy who enjoys deep, dark, and gritty films to hold your hand through this experience.
Yays!: I want to bow down to the cinematographer of this film- it is GORGEOUS. They even make the blood and horse innards look beautiful. And Leo is of course beautiful, even beaten and battered.
Nays: There will be moments you’ll be inclined to close your eyes. They don’t hide the blood and violence that was laced through the collisions of Indigenous peoples and the new settlers. This violence serves a powerful purpose in that it fully immerses you in the danger of the wild these men were traversing, but can be difficult to stomach.
When I’m daydreaming, I dream of sleep. It’s that sweet elixir that evades most homes with children between the ages of 0 to around 7. Beyond sleep, parents struggle to offer their children tools for stressful situations at school and other anxiety-producing activities.
The first seven years of life is when the foundation of the subconscious mind is laid. This is the mental landscape where all of our inbuilt beliefs, behaviors, and feelings live.
What if we gave our children one simple tool to help them navigate all the newness and challenges of these early years of life? A tool that would lay a solid and positive foundation in their subconscious mind. A tool they could take with them into adulthood, helping them blossom into a well-adjusted, calm, compassionate, and thriving adult.
That tool is self-hypnosis.
People have laughed at me when I mention the word childbirth and bliss in the same sentence.
I’ve also seen multiple women have orgasmic births. Blissful, right?
The belief that childbirth is “painful, scary, and dangerous” is deeply embedded in our society. This ghost story originated in the days (a long time ago) when women in need of assistance during childbirth were denied needed care because they were seen as the “undeserving ill.” This is no longer our reality, yet the fear attached to it has persisted.
There is another way, a more gentle, comfortable, and joyful way.
As a mother, I used the steps below to have a challenging, yet (blissfully!) comfortable natural hospital birth. I’ve also seen many of my hypnobirthing and doula clients use the following techniques to have blissful medicated hospital births, home births, and everything in between.
I was nominated for a Liebster Award by the lovely ladies over at Betrothed Babies! Yippee!
The Liebster Award is an award that is passed from blogger to blogger in order to help readers find new blogs to follow! When you’re nominated for the award, you have some rules to follow:
11 Random Facts
1.I have such a deep love for Christmas lights I leave up icicle lights in the bedroom all year long, and I wrapped a strand above my desk. They make everything better.
2. I can eat embarrassing amounts of anything with mint chocolate in it.
3. If it was socially acceptable to lay in bed and watch movies all I- I’d be all over that. (OK I do this- I just wait for my husband to go to work, and my son and I find some Disney goodness, and a hopefully mint chocolate chip something.)
4. I camped through two tornadoes and lived to tell the tale.
5. I have a compulsion to close all the open apps on my iPhone every few minutes.
6. I’m a shy extrovert and #TheStruggleIsReal. Part of me always wants to be in bed with my laptop, Christmas lights, mint chocolate chip cookies, a remote, (and I guess my son and husband can come too), while my other side wants to party hop (usually to three-year-old birthday parties) and connect with real life people.
7. I’m desperately in love with my husband (I know, I know, yack yack, barf barf) but I’m smitten. He thoroughly pisses me off sometimes, but looks so cute doing it. And he helped me make the creature below, so there’s that.
8. The feel of prickly legs drives me insane. When we’re camping, I could care less about washing my hair or pits, but give me a wash bin, razor, and bar of soap or I will lose my mind.
9. I have recurring nightmares of being eaten by monster waves, and my husband has a dream of sailing across the Pacific.
10. If I don’t get to weave some words every day I feel a mixture of anxiety, irritation, and verbal diarrhea (it has to come out somewhere.)
11. I adore the eavesdropping Facebook allows me.
Questions from Betrothed Babies
1.If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sushi and mint chocolate ice cream. And yes, it can be at the same time (so that counts as one food, right?)
2. What is your favorite childhood memory?
Camping in Hawaii for a month with my parents, aunt, uncle, and cousins. It was in the middle of the school year, but I was five, and my Grandmother had just passed away- so we deserved a month living in Lanai.
3. Describe the best vacation you’ve ever been on.
Costa Rica with my husband, son (he was one!), parents, brother and his best friend, cousins, and sassy aunt (she’s amazing.) We stayed in a teak house on the beach, and had a badass motorcycle driving chef and tour guide that took us to secret beaches and waterfall hikes. He could bake bread and brownies, and fill a five gallon jug with fresh coconut water in under ten minutes, only using his hands a machete.
4. Are you a dog or a cat person?
I love me some dogs if they don’t jump all over me, and cats if they know how to go outside to use the bathroom. I grew up with a cat and German Shepard who would snuggle, so we can all be friends.
5. If you had to change your career, what would you pick?
An intuitive healer or Pixar animator- preferably both at the same time.
6. Which famous person (living or dead) would you like to have lunch with and why?
Iris Apfel. Haven’t heard of her? Look her up, she’s queen.
7. What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Ambivalence. “Make a decision already!” (Often, I’m yelling that at myself.)
8. If you could have one super power, what would it be?
Flight, BUT, when I fly my jet stream is a rainbow.
9. You had the worst day at work – what’s the one thing that will make you feel better?
Reality television, pajamas, and a margarita, by myself on the couch. With the Christmas lights on.
10. If you had to lose one of your senses, which one would you pick and why?
Smell- my husband knows how to let one rip.
11. What’s the first thing you would do if you won a million dollars?
Invest half (BORING, but smart), give a chunk to Every Mother Counts (because the birthing culture needs to be transformed), do a trip around the world (with emphasis on Bali), and buy a bunch of lottery tickets! (Just kidding, don’t do that.) With the remainder, I would spend a month being ambivalent as to what to do with it.
Questions for Nominees
I’m currently in a love affair with Honest Co. baby-mama products. (And they have not payed me to say this!) All these words are being written of my own volition.
They source natural, organic, sustainably harvested, renewable, pure raw materials for their products, ensure all the electricity used in their headquarters and warehousing is from 100% renewable sources (they use 100% renewable California Solar), their packaging is made entirely of plant-based materials, and so much more.
Because I love them, you, and giving gifts I’m going to choose (at random) five email address from my newsletter subscriber list for the month of February. The people behind those email address will receive an Honest Co. Happy Home gift set, Mini Diaper Cake, or Discovery set (will give out three of these).
I will reach out to the selected five on March 1st and have their goodies shipped to them.
If you want to throw your name into the pot, sign up for the newsletter here. Beyond a chance to receive Honest Co. prezzies, you’ll receive a weekly newsletter focused on fun and easily digestible ways to live a more simple, holistic, and happy life.
In case I did not have enough clear links for the sign up —> Sign up here!
Have a beautiful day loves!
*Added March 1st
And the winners are!
Agostina, Arie, Diana, Alexandria, and Valerie! Congrats ladies 🙂