My dear, sweet L’Amour Art Car….is no more! After 7 months of fading by the blistering Texas sun, she started to look pretty shabby – only the quotes written in black remained in full force while all the rest had faded completely or were looking very weary. I gathered the supplies I would need to get her back to her ‘white canvas‘ and set to work. Lots of people on the internet said acetone was the key to getting sharpie off of a car’s exterior, but I had the best luck with non-acetone nail polish remover. It worked much more quickly and easily than the acetone.
Non-acetone nail polish remover aka the magical Sharpie remover.
So two hours of scrubbing and wiping later, she was gloriously white again!
Now she’s just waiting for me to get to work on L’Amour Art Car 2.0. Stay tuned! 😉
In today’s art adventure: experimenting with watercolor! I didn’t get ‘grown-up’ watercolors until I was in my late 20s so this is still a very new medium for me. I set up my daughter with her Crayola watercolors and I set up my ‘grown-up’ watercolors and we set to work. This is the result:
It’s my first post of 2018! Woohoo! How’s your 2018 going? Mine has gotten off to a rocky start. Things always seem to fall apart for us after the holiday rush of Christmas and New Year’s is over. So I decided to revive and revamp some old reminders on my refrigerator. I had put them up sometime last year and then taken them down months later as they seemed like they were no longer needed. Ha! I was incorrect. For me, personally, these reminders are helpful with my daughter who is in the throws of the terrible (or terrific as my mother-in-law likes to say) twos. The first two are to help keep me grounded:
So often problems with my daughter arise when I haven’t been taking my time to meditate and breathe or because I’m trying to move at my adult pace. Granted, sometimes moving at an adult pace is necessary, but often times it is not and it’s important for me to remember to s l o w d o w n. For me, I find that something magical happens when I slow down and move at my daughter’s pace. I’m able to see the world from her eyes and be fully present and connected. And really, what’s the rush?
The second two reminders are mostly in regards to my daughter but are also applicable to me:
I have a strong aversion to mess but life and toddlerhood and art and a myriad of other things can be quite messy! So this is a reminder to myself to allow messes to happen. Throw a tarp down and let the kiddo paint a cardboard box and get covered in paint from head to toe. Let her dig in the mud and pour water in her sandbox. Let her play and be messy. And also, don’t be afraid to get messy yourself – with the kiddo, in your art, in your writing, in your music, in the kitchen, anywhere!
The other reminder is a crucial one. Get outside. Last year, when I had this reminder on fridge and I was having a bad day, it helped me to remember to take the kiddo outside. To a park or just in the backyard. On days when I have very little to give her, going outside always seems to help both of us. I get to recharge (being outside does that to me) and she gets to play happily as she tends to entertain herself very easily outside.
I’m happy and grateful to have these reminders back up on my refrigerator and I can see that they are already helping. What reminders do you have (or want to have) on your fridge? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
10 EASY STEPS TO KILL YOUR CREATIVITY 1.Be so afraid to make a mistake that you never begin.
2.Compare your work to the works of others, especially the most successful ones.
3.Hold yourself and your work to impossible standards of perfection.
4.Try to please and not offend anyone with your work.
5.Doubt yourself at every step and at every choice.
6.Quit because it’s crap anyway.
7.Don’t listen to yourself; listen to everyone else, especially those that discourage you.
8.Be motivated by money, fame, and fear.
9.Neglect your life, relationships, other interests and overall well-being to focus on this one thing.
10.Ignore your heart.
10 EASY STEPS TO REVIVE YOUR CREATIVITY 1.Just begin.
2.Stop comparing yourself and your work to others. You and your creations are original and, therefore, beyond comparison.
3.Embrace your mistakes. Embrace imperfection.
4.Not everyone will like your work and that’s okay. Trust that it will reach those that need it.
5.Trust yourself. Listen to that wise little voice inside of you. The more you listen, the louder it gets.
6.Keep going. You’re in the muck of it now. It might not be pretty but don’t give up. Keep going.
7.Surround yourself with a support system of believers and cheerleaders. But, more importantly, listen to and believe in yourself.
8.Be motivated by love and hope and joy and fun.
9.Take care of your life, your relationships and yourself. Explore other interests as well.
10.Above all, listen to your heart.
Well, I missed Earth Day in April and I’m a little early for next year, but as my favorite baseball cap says “Every day is Earth Day.” This is the 12th installment of myLove Series and how the woman in the picture looks is how I’m feeling today – full of love for our Earth.
I’ve recently been watching the newCosmos with Neil Degrasse Tyson and reading the original Cosmos by Carl Sagan. And I must admit, it fills me with awe for this Earth, humanity, and the entire Cosmos. Those great works have also reminded me of how precious and unique (as far as we know) our Earth is and how we must care for it because, right now and for the foreseeable future, it’s the only one we’ve got.
So maybe go and do a small thing for the Earth today. Plant a tree. Pick up that piece of trash (yes, I know you didn’t leave it there, but someone has got to do it – why not you?). Volunteer for a beach clean-up. Give a little extra effort to recycle that (fill in the blank here). Start composting. Hug a tree (it’s not just for hippies). Or go do a naked gratitude dance in the woods (this one might be just for hippies). I don’t care what you do as long as you do something. One small step. One small act for thispale blue dotwe call home.
This 10th installment of The Love Series is dedicated to breastfeeding aka Booby Love. 😉 I drew this picture only a couple weeks after my daughter finished weaning so it’s a bit bittersweet. My goal was to make it to at least 2 years old and we made it to 2 years and 3 months. Did you know that there is a such as thing as post-weaning depression? I had no clue (despite many La Leche League meetings and breastfeeding blogs) and was a little blind-sided when I decided to reduce my daughter’s free-for-all nursing schedule to only one nursing session in the morning. I wasn’t even ‘weaning’ in my mind, just putting down some boundaries. But not long after we made the change, I felt awful. I was moody, crying all the time, anxious and depressed. I had no idea what was going on and was obsessing about why I was feeling this way and how I might ‘fix’ it when I stumbled upon post-weaning depression online.
After knowing why this was happening to me, I was able to relax and just accept that this was a temporary hormonal shift and to give myself a little break. A few months later, when I decided to wean fully, I was prepared. Thankfully, going from a 5-minute nursing session per day to no nursing wasn’t as large of a hormonal shift (I’m assuming) as I didn’t have such severe symptoms – only mild depression and anxiety that lasted a couple of weeks.
While I was pregnant, I’d heard many women recount their experiences of postpartum depression and anxiety, but I’d never heard a woman discuss post-weaning depression. So this is my little PSA. Post-weaning depression is a thing. Maybe if you know it’s a possibility and that it could be coming, you’ll have a better system in place to cope until it passes.
These 2 years of breastfeeding have been quite a journey. Those first couple of months of figuring breastfeeding out were complete hell (the postpartum depression and anxiety didn’t help either!) but I’m glad we persisted.* There have been some truly wonderful moments – one of which is captured in the drawing below. It was in those first two months of hell that my daughter was nursing and laid her hand upon my chest with her pointer finger, pinky and thumb extended forming ‘I Love You’ in sign language. The significance of this is that my husband and I had made that sign to each other since first saying “I Love You” to one another. We still make that sign to one another and now my 2 year old daughter does too.
*This statement is not meant to judge, criticize or shame any mother who could not or didn’t want to breastfeed. Every person fights their own battles and must do what is best for them and their baby and I 100% recognize that was is ‘best’ for me may not be ‘best’ for you. You do you. I’ve got your back.
This is the 9th installment of The Love Seriesand it’s a celebration of the love a mother feels for her child. I did this painting when I was pregnant with my daughter and in complete awe of how much love I felt for someone I hadn’t even seen with my own two eyes.
My love for her now is the same as it was then: powerful, fierce, and deep. Any person is capable of feeling this kind of love whether they are a biological parent, adoptive parent, step-parent, animal parent, grandparent, auntie, uncle, or friend. May we all know the joy of giving and receiving such a love.
P.S. This post happens to coincide with the e-book release of my new book of poetry – Hummingbird Heartbeat:Poems of Pregnancy and Beyond. You can find it on amazon.com for $3.99. It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited and the Kindle Lending Library. I hope you enjoy it. <3
Amidst all the flooding, rain, and chaos, Houston and it’s surrounding areas as well as many across the nation have united to help those who have suffered the most during this record-breaking storm. As I watch the news and social media and see the stories of citizens and first responders saving and caring for one another, my heart breaks open again and again. I’ve essentially been crying for the past 4 days.
So this 9th installment of The Love Series goes out to Houston, it’s surrounding areas and all the citizens, civilians, officers, fire fighters and first responders who are spreading the love any way they can.
If you’d like to give a little love to Houston, there are many ways to do so. Here are just a few:
1. JJ Watt of the Houston Texans is raising money to get direct aid to the victims of Hurricane Harvey. You can donate HERE.
2. Over 160 police officers have had their homes flooded but have still been working. To help officers whose homes have been damaged, consider donating to Assist the Officer HERE.
3. Brene Brown, author, UH professor and all around badass, has suggested donating to Undies for Everyone on her Facebook page. It’s an often overlooked area. You can donate HERE.
4. Lastly, if you are here locally, consider volunteering your time, your washing machine (so much needs to be washed), or resources to shelters, neighbors, family and friends in need. So, essentially, keep doing what you’re doing Houston. #HoustonStrong
This 8th installment of myLove Series came to me during my morning meditation. As I was imagining myself as a big ball of love, spreading love to each person I met, this image popped into my head. I like it because it helps to remind me that each small act of love I do ripples out and reaches much farther than I can see.
How Love Works: The Ripple Effect. (Also, how infectious diseases work just FYI.)