Living Aloha: A Brilliant Philosophy

While in Hawaii, I was greeted and treated by the most wonderful people. They were open and wonderful to a stranger (me) and was unconditional with their kindness. Not to mention my brilliant sister and my brilliant brother-in-law… they are truly an example of the best people I have ever known. There is one thing that has really stayed with me: Aloha. Continue reading

Tending My Garden: Nutrition

Food. For being such a small word, it certainly is complicated. There are allergies, and syndromes, illnesses, and preferences — all affected by something as tiny as food.

Food – in genereal – has been an enemy of mine since I was young. I remember my ma telling me stories of how my dad would tell her, “I will not have a fat kid.” Also, she used to poke my thighs and tell me, “That’s not supposed to do that.”

The fucked thing about it was that my father was heavy. Continue reading

Co-parenting a bday party

I want to tell everyone that when you don’t communicate well with your kids’ father, shit sucks.

I try not to ask him for anything. Like at all. I haven’t been working, I have a minimal income and even am on food stamps for groceries. I want to be able to have my kids enjoy their birthdays though.

You KNOW it was KICK ASS. ​

I had tot get a little creative when it came to the entertainment of the party. Normally, I would just rent a bouncer and be done with it. This time I opted to have my kid’s birthday at my ma’s, who has a pool in her backyard. It helped too that her birthday was going to have 100+ degree weather.

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you KNOW I have a deep love for Hawaii and Polynesian culture. I have been collecting vintage and retro things since I was 19 (I’m not telling you how long ago that was), so I was able to turn this into a hawaiian party pretty cheaply.

The raffia that I used on the tables and things I already had. I would buy them when Party City starts the summer stuff sales. I usually clean up there. And the lilies there on the table were a Michael’s on-sale buy. 🙂

What’s a pool party without a hawaiian coconut bra?

Here’s another table with the raffia. The little jars are actually cleaned out salsa jars, spray-painted lids, with small shells in the bottom. On top of the shells is a battery operated candle and a drink umbrella on top of that. It looks so cute!

Some more raffia because that table wouldn’t even scrub clean…..

Way hot out, I put out a pot filled with my parasols (vintage, remember?) for people to use who needed shade. They came in real handy. I don’t have a picture of it but I also had a bowl  in the walkway that had waterproof sunscreen in it. 🙂

Balloons! Latex free – my middle daughter is allergic.

Here’s the pool. Filled it with rafts my ma already had. She did buy 2 new umbrellas just to make sure there was enough shade.

More raffia….

My older sister filled up like 200 water balloons for the kids to toss around. It was great fun for everyone… until we saw the dogs trying to eat them. After cleaning that up, we decided no more water balloons.

We had out about 5 life jackets just in case there were kids who needed them.

My oldest doesn’t like chocolate (I know, right?) so instead of chocolate candies, we do rice krispie treats. No, I do not make them. I buy the big pack of them, take them out, stick them in baggies (that I already had) and tie them with a nice ribbon. I got everyone fooled. 😉

What? I like pineapple…. This isn’t just about her!

They had a great time.

We must have had 40 people there and 15 or 20 of them kids swimming in the pool.

At dusk, we lit a bunch of floating candles in the pool. This is a little misdirection: My ma blew a fuse in the pool electric box so there was no light in the poor or spa that worked. No one knew the difference. 🙂 Sneaky!

All in all, it was a great time. However, I did it alone. There are no friends who come over to help – even when they say things like, “Just let me know when you need help, I’ll be there!” I have determined that’s just a polite lie. My ma did a lot. My older sister did a lot. I got no help from their dad. I packed everything up plus all 3 kids the day before and headed to my ma’s. I cleaned that day, and the morning of the party. He showed up over an hour late and he was supposed to bring the ice – so all the drinks were hot. Then he didn’t help cook the hot dogs or help entertain or refill anything. He didn’t help clean up and left with 2 of the kids. I stayed the night to help clean up, spent most of the following day cleaning up, get back to the house to a DISASTER of a house only to spend the time I wanted to rest with, cleaning that fucking mess.

Same shit when I got back from Hawaii – I had all 3 kids with me, I get in at like 10:30 pm and the house was a FUCKING PIG PEN! What the bloody fuck?!

Anyway, that’s what happens when you allow it. You better believe that if you allow someone to treat you like shit, it’s going to continue until YOU stop it. Don’t be fooled: THEY will never change.

Thank you so much for reading my blog! It’s your support that keeps me chasing my passions and writing about it. With your contributions, you’re helping me pursue not only my true self, but 25% of the funds raised are donated to the SurfRider Foundation. It’s the small contributions that will also help fund the next trip to Hawaii in October 2017 as so to start connecting to our future there. Thank you all again so very much!

Depression Crafts: The Timer

I’ve been fighting depression for years now. There were times where I wouldn’t shower for weeks. I was a zombie. Though I am on Prozac now, I still struggle with some stuff. I shower now – on a regular basis (yay me) – and I take the kids out to the park pretty often. The Prozac really is pulling it’s weight here with me, but I still struggle with motivation, consistency, and what I call the ‘fuck it’ solution.

In this time, as I’ve been getting mentally stronger, I have been making a list of things that make me happy. I don’t mean like funnel cake happy, but little things that I can do every day to remind myself that life doesn’t suck, it’s mostly the depression. One thing I always enjoyed was doing my make-up.

In this case, I have to thank Jeremy Renner for the inspiration for today’s craft. What you may not know is he used to be a make-up artist. I didn’t know either! Then he was on Ellen… THEN this beautiful meme came out and found it’s way to me.  Continue reading

Introducing: Tending My Garden

I don’t want to hate everything; I want to feel like myself.

Have you looked in the mirror only to be like, “How the fuck did I get here?” I do believe that your physical life is just a reflection of what kind of state your inner self is in. I don’t know what you call that – or even if it has a definitive name – but that’s what I think.

I also know that fighting depression is one of the hardest things someone can do. Drugs, drinking, are both things that are very difficult to fight. I have come to understand those things are used as ways to self-treat mental conditions, depression for instance. See what I did there?

Well, I want to fight back. I’ve been on prozac for 5 months now and I’m feeling pretty strong, emotionally. I want to move forward with my life. I have a long road ahead of me but I’m going to set things in motion today. I cannot wait. I’m going to start making this a regular subject in my blog. And if there is someone (or someones) who want to do the same thing, cheers! We’ll do that together.

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And to make it a little more interesting, I’m going to add in little prizes here and there for weekly goals. I thought tthat I would share that with everyone. I’m calling it: Tending My Garden (TMG). 🙂 Really, you reap what you sow and what better investment to make than in yourself.

I’m not just talking about physical health – I mean, that’s part of it for me, at least – but I’m talking about growing yourself into your best self.

I’m going to focus on 3 major points:

  1. Nutrition – what’s the point of taking care of yourself if you’re just going to abuse it with food?
  2. Working out – I am going to use a combination of weight training and cardio.
  3. Meditation – I don’t mean just sitting in a quiet room thinking. Mediation can happen while you’re doing anything that makes  you completely wholey happy.

I’m not an expert. The only thing I can tell you is how I’m going to do it. Everyone is different and what I’m doing for me may not be good for you. But I think we can all agree that eating a bit better, moving a bit more, and spending time doing things we like are all good ideas.

Unless you like doing heroin. I don’t think that is a good idea.

Anyway! Over the next couple days I will be banging out my little plan for everyone if you’re curious or if you want to participate just comment below. I am excited!

Thank you so much for reading my blog! It’s your support that keeps me chasing my passions and writing about it. With your contributions, you’re helping me pursue not only my true self, but 25% of the funds raised are donated to the SurfRider Foundation. It’s the small contributions that will also help fund the next trip to Hawaii in October 2017 as so to start connecting to our future there. Thank you all again so very much!

How My Sister Makes Me A Good Parent…

Or at least better than I was yesterday.

My kids are a little nuts. Something that’s a problem in our home is consistancy. I say one thing, their dad says something else and then the kids learn (have learned – and well) to go to him when they want easy and go to me when they want emotional support. I hate that.

My sister (who is a briliant family therapist) turned me onto a program made by a doctor called 1-2-3 Magic! and it makes one hell of a difference. Continue reading