Life update: As You Wish Pottery, BABIES, and ShiftCon!

I blinked — and suddenly my newborn is two months old, I’ve become acclimated to sleeping about 6 broken hours each night and it seems to be sunset right after the sun rises. Such is life with two kids, haha! I’ve been wanting to write this blog post for a solid eight weeks but at the end of the night there are bottles to wash, bills to pay, and Reddit posts to catch up on — so it’s been waiting impatiently in the corner of my brain for a night like tonight. Baby is currently bundled up in her Rock n’ Play (seriously, best invention ever. Get all your friends one (yep, that’s an affiliate link, so if you click it, I make a penny), Holly is dreaming of shoes and string cheese, and Matt is sleeping, preparing for his day on set. I’m wearing leopard leggings and just came back from Yoga. It was my first exercise class in a looooong time and let’s just say I have some work to do in terms of getting back in shape. But anywho, I digress. Let’s talk about two things I’ve had on my mind lately.

I was invited to a girl’s night out at As You Wish Pottery here in Valencia. I had just had Hadley six days earlier – and while people were surprised I was out, I had a great time taking a break from babying and nursing, and painted an adorable stemless wine glass. Several of my blog buddies were there too, and the class was lead by the awesome Marketing Director, Liz, who was a very talented artist (she used to create all the display pieces) and a patient and fun teacher.One thing I loved about the class was that it was structured yet there was still plenty of opportunity to be creative and make the piece my own. One trick we used was to trace the lettering with a sharpie on to the pot through tracing paper, and then filled it in with the glaze. I felt like a real “Artiste” (say it with a French accent to add some flair) and I loved getting to be creative. Liz kept telling us the theme of the night was whimsy – something I felt as I learned how to make puddle flowers, which is where you puddle the paint in one area to create an abstract, round flower shape. Isn’t it so cute?!

I’d definitely consider bringing girlfriends here for a girl’s night out, and I’m thinking this might be a fun Mother’s Day activity to take my mama to. (Fun fact: Mother’s day is on my birthday this year!) I also want to take Holly and let her just go wild on one of the cute cat statues or plates they have. There’s a HUGE variety of things to choose to decorate, with prices starting as low as $6. Be sure to check out As You Wish near you – here in Southern California, we have three locations: Valencia, Simi Valley, and Palmdale. If you happen to be in Arizona, you’re in luck because there are many more locations in Arizona, too! When Holly is older I may very well host a birthday party here for her – prices start at $175 for eight kids and they each get to paint one item. Thinking about it now, I think I actually might take my bestie this weekend so we can catch up and gab while also unleashing our inner artistes. Thank you so much to As You Wish for hosting me and my blogger friends!

One thing that’s quickly approaching is the end of my maternity leave (Waaah!). While I can admit I’m in some ways looking forward to getting back to work because it feels good to use my brain in ways other than mothering — (I’m doing a little freelance work here and there in product naming and it’s been refreshing to get creative with words again (yep! fun fact: I name toys!)), I am sad to leave my little Haddie. (But – our daycare is just a mile away and she’s with her sister Holly, so that will be great). However, one thing that will soften the blow is attending Shiftcon the last weekend in January! Shiftcon is a conference founded by my friend and business-savvy social media pal, Leah Segedie. Leah is a pioneer in the green wellness space, and her conference is a really cool medley of social media and tech workshops, health and wellness presentations, and an expo with hundreds of natural and organic care leaders. While I’m “light green” in that I’m not super educated in green stuff like non-GMO and chemtrails and stuff, I am interested of course in learning how to adapt my lifestyle and keep my children’s diet and environment as natural as possible.

Kia, me, and Leah rocking our Twitter skillz at Shiftcon 2016!

I’m attending Leah’s conference as a volunteer, and I am really looking forward to some of the workshops like “Exploring the Hidden World of Fragrance” and ” Old School Promotion–How to Get a Book Deal & Media Coverage.” One thing that’s really awesome about Shiftcon is all of the meals are non-GMO and organically sourced. I volunteered at Shiftcon last year in New Orleans, and had a blast leading their Twitter Party, taking photos, and helping organize the mannequin challenge in a gigantic expo hall. Can’t wait to have fun and learn in February! Interested in joining me? The conference is in Irvine from February 1-3, and there’s just a few passes left!

Ok – little miss just woke up for her nightly feed, so I better tend to my child. Hopefully I’ll be back soon and hope your 2018 is off to a swimmin’ start!

xoxo

 

Things I’m grateful for.

On Thanksgiving (well, everyday, really), I try to think about what I have in my life that I’m grateful for. They’re not all deep, profound heartwarming things, for example, I’m grateful for my body pillow, the longer battery life on the iPhone 7, and It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In Hair Conditioner. Here’s a list of things that make me super grateful.

What things can you think about that you’re grateful for, too?

(Side note: I’ve been focusing on gratitude a lot the past few years. It’s an excellent way to move past feelings of anxiety or stress. Try it sometime — when you’re freaking out about say, your car having to go to the shop for another crazy fix (yes, it sucks – my AC is out), be glad you have a (usually) running car and access to a good mechanic. It can feel a little bit Pollyanna, but gratitude and the reminder that someone is ALWAYS unfortunately struggling more than you are can really help you turn around a sour mood.)

  • Holly and Matt. These two are my sun and stars and my biggest fan club. Baby giggles can turn me from Grinch to shiny sunflower, and my hubby is pretty much the kindest (and smartest) person I know. It’s been awesome turning into a parent with him as a partner. Plus, he has a great butt.
  • My parents (Lynn, Bill, Mike, and Angel Shirley). Seeing these three become grandparents has been a great source of joy. (And I know my MIL Shirley is around somewhere, watching over us.) Our parents are always hooking it up with babysitting and baby clothes and gifts, advice, and love. It takes a village to raise a baby and thank goodness we have supportive, loving parents.
  • My siblings April and Tommy. April would give you the shirt off her back with no questions asked in freezing weather, and Tommy is always the first to tell you he loves you and why. My parents did good… they have some amazing kids.
  • My bestie Katelyn. We’ve been pals since the sixth grade. She’s the funniest person I know! Even though I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like, we never struggle with reconnecting when we finally get together on the phone.
  • My dear friends. I am blessed to have several close friends (and I’m not calling them out by name because knowing me I’ll forget someone). These people have made our transplanted home in Los Angeles truly feel like HOME and for that I am so grateful.
  • My mommy tribe. I couldn’t have gotten through pregnancy and year one without the help of my girlfriends. There’s nothing in life like someone saying “Oh yeah? Me too!”. Plus, it’s nice to have people to text in the wee morning hours when your kid won’t go back to sleep and you’re four minutes away from losing your sanity.
  • My job. I’m approaching three years at Event 360, and being out on our 3-Day event in San Diego this past weekend was a heartwarming reminder that the work I get to do is not only super fun, it MATTERS. I work with a group of kind, talented individuals, and for that, I am grateful. I’m also grateful that I found a career path I love. Social media and copywriting are the bee’s frickin’ knees.
  • My blog. Blogging and social media has opened up so many doors for me, in terms of opportunities, endeavors, and padding my bank account. I never dreamed these little blogs would be a small source of income, and that’s awesome. THANK YOU for reading. You guys clicking links and reading just helped me pay for a root canal. (Nothing like a good cause, eh? Haha.)
  • My health. I’m always a work in progress, but despite some annoying small things like a heel spur, needing a root canal, and the persistent weight problem, I’m healthy. Working with a group of people afflected by a devastating disease is a sad reminder that health is usually taken for granted until it’s gone. This body of mine though imperfect, works, walks, moves, and celebrates life.
  • The Internet. From Reddit to cat memes to safety pins to mannequin challenges to Lightning deals, I frickin’ love the Internet. Yes, deep, dark harbored secrets and horrible things happen on the Internet but… for the most part, this is an incredible communication and information tool that has changed the way we live.

So those are the big things. I have A LOT to be grateful for.

Here are some of the smaller, sillier things I’m grateful for, too.

  1. PG Tips Tea. I fell in love with this tea on a trip to London in 2000, and I’ve had a cup every morning since. It’s strong. Super strong. And it’s awesome.
  2. The smell of orange blossoms on a summer day.
  3. When you get in a tunnel with a bunch of other cars in traffic and all the cars start honking just because.
  4. Slippers.
  5. Purring cats.
  6. The Pantsuit Nation Facebook group.
  7. My blogging mastermind group.
  8. A good yoga class.
  9. Writing.
  10. When your jeans feel a little bit looser.
  11. Freshly washed sheets with freshly shaved legs.
  12. When people you don’t know start liking your comment on a friend’s Facebook post.
  13. Plums.
  14. Allergy medication.
  15. Busting the mental health stigma.
  16. Gel manicures
  17. Sunshine
  18. Sarcasm
  19. Back Up Cameras in newer cars. (I’ve been driving a lot of rental cars lately, and man, this is nice. Makes me want a new car… but not a car payment.)
  20. Browsing real estate apps for my future house. (Yep — hopefully this is happening in 2017!)
  21. Getting real mail.
  22. Extra percent off clearance sales
  23. Baby hats
  24. Tubing Mascara (You literally just pull the mascara off your lashes in the shower. Perfect for sensitive, runny eyes like mine, and no mess to have to rub off with soap or anything. This one is only $8.)
  25. My personal trainers who were mean yet simultaneously awesome because they demoted me from mayor of Excuses Village and got me into shape.
  26. Sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar and marshmallows.
  27. Silicon Valley (the show.)
  28. My neighbors
  29. The beach
  30. Baby babbling
  31. Clementines
  32. State Parks
  33. Doing a good parallel parking job
  34. That feeling of reading a book so good you can’t put it down.
  35. Dark chocolate chips with a cold glass of milk.
  36. The person reading this blog post right now.

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving, friend. Thank you so much for being you, for putting out into the world who YOU ARE and your own individual contributions. You rock.