Love + Love = Love

Art, Attachment parenting, confidence, empowerment, Marginalized individuals, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Publishing a children's book, Small Business

If I’ve learned anything it’s to pass on love to my child. My husband and I don’t spend any time explaining who should love who with Z. To us, love is love. 

My parents divorced at a young age and went their separate ways. Dad remarried and mom, well, didn’t. 

I’ve never been asked why my dad remarried but believe me I’ve been asked why mom never remarried. 

I used to lie about why.

  • She isn’t interested in dating
  • She doesn’t really want to be in a relationship 
  • She doesn’t have time! Hello, 3 kids, single mom! 
  • She likes being alone-  duh, doesn’t everyone just want to be left alone!?
  • She’s overweight, maybe when she loses weight
  • She wants to focus on herself

Lie. Lie. Lie. Lie. Lie. Lie. You get it.

Truth? 

She’s a Lesbian.

That’s right. I said it. I’m not a lier anymore. Man, that feels great. 

I’ve lied to everyone in my life until I met my husband. Oh, yea, and the drunken night with some of my college besties and our need to share all. Yea, that happened. Anywho……

Why the lies? “No one cares.” People would tell me. 

Oh, yea. Sure. Tell the world as a teenager that is coming into herself- I could barely contain my period let alone the fact that my mom was a lesbian. Then, I got so used to all the lies that I never went back to those people and corrected them. I just brushed it under the rug. 

Until now. I just took a leap of faith. I wrote a children’s book about Z’s two grandmas. 

Loving My Grandmas

I’m so proud a publishing company invested in me and my family story. I’m absolutely thrilled that Z gets to have representation of his two grandmas. TWO grandmas in love.

In love and that’s okay. It’s really, okay!

He will never have to lie. He won’t have to make up stories about Noni & Grandma. He won’t have to feel ashamed. He will just be able to love and enjoy them. Isn’t that what having grandparents is all about!? 

We think so. 







You can buy the book and support the movement! Equality for all. 

Buy here! Loving My Grandmas

Support my passion and advocate for marginalized couples all over the world! 



You’re Beautiful & Those Lashes! YOUNIQUE

Attachment parenting, Beauty tips, confidence, empowerment, Family, Mother, Small Business, Younique

I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me, “are those your real lashes!!?”

YES! I’ve always used pretty good mascara and I have my favorites for sure! I really think mascara is the key to a woman’s heart, good mascara!!

So, my drop-dead, wish I had all the money in the world, mascara, is Estée Lauder Magnascopic. Now, that bad boy girl runs about 28$ or so. Wayyyyyy too much for my budget since I use it so often!

My go-to mascara now is MAC volumizer…

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It’s a bit cheaper (around 18$) and is pretty close to Estée. Now, I know you’re thinking… Ahem, that’s still pricy! But, I don’t spend money on myself often and it’s my one treat- good mascara!

Now. This does give me an everyday “OMG those lashes look” and it keeps me pretty happy… But it’s not going to give you the WOW, falsies!?

So when I was approached by Lisa from Younique OMG lashes to try her products I thought, why not! I’m always on the look out for something new and I can share it with my readers!

Also, my neighbor and good friend get false lashes and pay UP TO $150!!!! Holy smokes! I mean, they look amazing but $150 is $150!

So, here’s the process & my thoughts!

This is me before anything on my lashes:

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First, you apply a thin coat of your own mascara. So, here’s a thin coat:

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Then, you apply Younique transplanting gel; before the gel dries you apply their fibers. Lastly, you seal the deal with the transplanting gel!

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The product looks like this…

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I went to her site to check the price. I was expecting around $50. I felt that would be reasonable. NOPE. I was pleasantly surprised!!!!

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The other benefits? ALL NATURAL!!!

Recently, a reader emailed me… Wahoo!!! First reader email. Anyway, she asked about my mascara and asked if I had a suggestion for a natural mascara. I didn’t. NOW, I do!

I seriously suggest this product! I haven’t seen anything like it in the stores. Although, I have to admit I live under a rock these days. But, even if there are comparable products I bet the prices are much higher!

Here are the deets:

Guaranteed Products!
No shipping on purchases over $100
Naturally based products- no crap inside!

I’ve embedded the link to the site multiple times; but, one more can’t hurt!!

Younique OMG lashes!

Now, I can’t leave you without a few moments of my little man. He is turning 2 freaking years old on November 4th. TWO! TWO! How did that happen?

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When It Rains, You Know The Story

Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage, Mother, Small Business

Alright, my friends, one day I’m going to blog about how perfect my life turned out and how thankful I was that I went through the most struggling times of my life.

But, today, the difficult times
do not seem like lessons as much as extreme set backs.

As of today, all of my very important bills are late, as in: credit affecting, stress eating, pit in your stomach, late.

Oh, you know the feeling? Nice. Keep reading then. No? Never been there? F-you, then. No really, f-you, you lucky, lucky SOB.

Hey, I have to let my anger out some way, right? Now, when tensions are high and bill collectors are relentlessly calling you can imagine the stress level in the household. I’d say we {Marvell & I} try our best not to discuss/argue in front of Z. It’s not our poor baby’s fault his parents are a fucking joke & shit show.

Speaking of Z. He is loving this beautiful Arizona weather! He runs out every morning and plays outside while the dogs go out. He says, “side” “side,” with those big eyes and cute little smile! I mean, how much more perfect does it get?

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As I let the dogs out this morning, Z pushed his way through the doors to the “side” and I definitely did not have time for him to play outside; I needed to get ready for work and deal with my broken down Jeep. Oh, YEA, my Jeep broke down last night. There was not enough time for him to enjoy the “side” this morning. BUT. I stopped. And I just watched him run & smile & laugh. And I thought to myself, he has no idea his parents are a shit show. All he knows is that we love him, kiss him, read to him and take him places.

So, I let him play. I let myself be in his happy moment (because my moments are definitely not as happy). And, for a moment, I felt better.

I haven’t blogged much lately because I’m so disappointed in our financial situation and its felt unbearable. I really didn’t think I had much to offer you. Then, I thought, I wonder if I could read about a couple that went through this stress successfully… And how they managed through… And thought, well, maybe that’s me!? Maybe I’m writing my woes so another couple can learn from our setbacks and stresses and see that we came out of this. For the best…

All I know is I’ve felt like giving up —multiple times these past few weeks. I’ve felt lonely and scared. I’ve also felt that I couldn’t bear another setback. But, as life happens, we’ve had yet another set back. And sadly, it won’t be our last. But, I’ve always said- with Weight Watchers that I’ve learned to be successful and kept my weight off because I’ve learned to over come set backs.

Ahhhhhhhh! Goosebumps.

Man, that is a good connection for me.

I thought I had a mini business plan in order but that fell through; or, I got cold feet. None-the-less, I am not moving forward with this exciting plan…. But, I really think I have an opportunity to personally help people with some of my skills and talents! So, I will begin brainstorming on how to make money through my passions and skills!

Until then, I’m financially struggling but need to keep it together- for myself, my family and that little toddler that loves me unconditionally… Even if I am a shit show parent.

Xoxo,

Am

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Oh, hello, Ocotober

Attachment parenting, Family, Marginalized individuals, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Small Business

Where the hell did September go!? I’m pretty sure it was the shortest month ever! My bank account can confirm that. It’s been an extremely stressful month financially and at one point I’m pretty sure I hit my breaking point.

I should have broke something to feel better, damn.

Mostly, I’m working my ass off and getting out of muddy, thick ass water. No. More like sludge. Isn’t this thing called life funny? And when I say funny, I mean: utterly exhausting and depressing at times. Now, I can never say I’ve been clinically depressed – so you don’t need to worry about me in that way – but I’ve had my bouts with feeling sorry for myself here and there.

Yesterday was my day. It started when I was strong enough to check my checking account (downhill from there). I’m pretty sure the bank is enjoying their overdraft fees and return check fees they have been collecting from me! Then, systems were not working at work and text from friends come through about awesome things going on in their lives and I just wanted to lose it! PS… I love my friends and all their awesome things, but at the moment it felt very crippling.

Meanwhile, 800 numbers are calling me like lost EX boyfriends that have finally found their way! I considered answering them and using my communication skills to get the caller to pay my monthly bill. Nah, no time for that.

Anyway, you’re getting the gist of the financial stress. BUT, in good faith and measure, I NOW have a plan of attack. Sort of. I have a small little business plan that will give me money up front and help immediately. It came about so fast that I’m not even sure I prayed long enough for it to happen! But, here we go- I’ll enjoy the ride. I’ll post all about this little business venture in my next post over the weekend. For now, just know I have a financial plan to help my family.

Because if I get another freaking call, “Hello, this is Chase calling to discuss your bill.” I’ll scream! Or, “this is ATT calling to discuss your payment on your wireless bill.” Grrrrrr. Sadly, these recordings are memorized and very much avoided!

I never meant to be a shitty-ass borrower, but here I am.

Now, on the up and up. I’m healthy, smart and beautiful and have so much to offer this world!

How did I turn it around and not bring my shitty attitude home to my husband and child? That’s the important question.

I had a meeting with an executive at my company and she and I drive the same passions, advocacy and forward thinking. We talked and talked about change and community improvement. We deeply connected and planned a 2015 travel “mission” together. ME! The EXECUTIVE! TRAVEL! TOGETHER! Well, there was one slight agreement… She wants to co-parent Zaccai. I said……… deal! 😉

Seriously, I was energized. I came home with the best happy-go-lucky attitude and enjoyed my family.

What a day! It went from terrible to the best- because of one conversation. Seriously, people, be the change you want to see in the world.

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Happy Birthday, here’s to twenty nine

Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Publishing a children's book, Small Business, Uncategorized

It’s the real twenty nine, just in case you were wondering.

This post is going to be completely about me. Let’s hope I can stay true to that promise!

Often I blog about Zaccai, work, life challenges, and my husband/marriage. But, I haven’t spend much time just focusing on ME.

As a partner/lover and even friend, I create so much positivity/energy and dump 100% into these people. But, what about ME?

I often forget I have needs, desires and even dreams.

So, here today, I’m going to share these with you. And, I’ll be completely honest {even share my life’s fears}.

From infancy to 29, I’ve always been fabulous. Even when I was 55 pounds overweight, I was fabulous. Maybe not to the rest of the world, but I knew better.

Some moments in my life that shaped who I am today:

My parents first nasty fight. I was probably about 3 or 4. I heard them arguing and knew I needed to get them to see eye to eye, at 3 or 4. I went into the kitchen, stood in the middle and yelled, “stop!!!!” They quickly sent me back to my room; hey, a girls gotta try.

At 6, my parents separated and my dad moved us kids to Japan. No mom. Who knows the complete story, if there is one…? My dad has his side, my mom has her side and the rest of the family has a side. Who cares, at this point I was without a mom and I raised my 2 brothers. At 6.

Ages 8-12 my parents fought over custody and I was in the middle. Literally. The boys wanted to live with my mom and I wanted to keep the peace. I felt bad telling either parent who I really wanted to live with. Dad won. Then, mom won. We cried. Tears of joy, mostly, but, my heart broke for my dad. Divorces are hard on everyone.

During the custody battle time my mom came out of the closet and Linda became officially known as mom’s girlfriend. We loved Linda.

Age 14. Linda and mom broke up after years and years of being together. I said to my mom, “why does everyone we love leave us.” At that moment, I didn’t want anyone else to come close to our family for fear they would leave, abandon us.

Age 16. I moved in with my grandmother and my mom lived in Chicago for work. My mom met an amazing woman, Norma. My dad, stepmom and brothers lived in Japan.. and I enjoyed the freedom my grandmother gave us… She was the cool granny!

Age 17. I went to college. I never thought I’d make it that far.

Age 21. I joined WW and lost 55 pounds. Where did that come from!?

Age 23. I graduated with a master’s degree. 102 k debt, thank you.

Age 25. Married my sweet husband.

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Age 26-27 Baby on the way!

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Age 27. Zaccai.

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Age 28. Our life has changed forever.

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What’s in for 29!? I’m publishing a book and hoping for some funding- next post I’ll share. I’m hoping for an exciting new position at work, maybe! I’m hoping for a stronger year of marriage and debt pay-off… Please, please, please, debt pay-off in my future!

Isn’t life a journey? It’s insane and I want things to quiet before they get insane, again! #ellen2015

5 second rule, makes sense.

Attachment parenting, Cloth diaper, Family, Mother, Publishing a children's book, Small Business

This past weekend little Mr. Z and I met a girlfriend on her layover and brought her to our favorite lunching spot. La Grande Orange AKA LGO or as my mom likes to call it, “Grange.” It always makes me smile when she says that.

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Well, I have to admit, terrible twos set in at LGO. Zaccai was crawling all over the ground (I hear reverting to baby stage can be normal…???) that was a statement as well as a question. To “distract” him I gave him (what I think is) the most amazing cupcake EVER… And that little shit threw it on the ground. Now, my gf was there and I’m not 5….
So, when she asked me if we can just throw it away, I wanted to exclaim “5 second RULE!!” Duh. But, sadly, we tossed it.

How can this sweet little boy turn into the gremlin monster and terrorize my life!? It only lasts about 15-20 minutes max but MAN are tensions high during the melt downs.

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Not only is he experiencing mood swings (lord knows these aren’t going away anytime soon) but he also refuses to GO TO SLEEP! Oh, my, goodness! For the love! This kid isn’t in bed until 12-1AM! Now, he’s a night owl and I’ve gotten used to 10PM bed time routine but all of the sudden, it’s into the wee hours of the morning. This week has been worse than the first three months- sleep wise. I am NOT an advocate for CIO or sleep training- don’t even suggest these methods… But, sadly, I’ve questioned my parenting- YET again. This. On. Paper. Is so easy. This. In. Real. Life. Is a shit show.

Then, he smiles. And, my tired, grumpy eyes smile too.

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Don’t get my wrong, I’ve lost it. He’s cried. I’ve cried. I have tried to have crucial conversations with a TWO year old. btw- to all my colleagues, that doesn’t work. shit. I’ve called/texted my girlfriends and our discussions are something like this: Is this normal? He hit me and I tried to redirect, then he hit me over and over and I spanked him back. I said I would NEVER spank. She scratched me. She pulled my hair. Then, after the tantrum, our sweet children come back.

I’ve become a parent I never thought I’d be. It’s like that adult phase of finally liking (maybe loving) garlic and onions….. I said I would NEVER do these things. But, remember, on paper………

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Sweet cloth bum.

The newest with my book: we are in “book” format and illustrations are underway next week. It should be a three month process! How exciting. In the meantime, I’m working on amping up social media & getting the word out. I’m manifesting being on Ellen as well. She has to WANT me on her show!!!!!

Just another day in Paradise

Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Small Business

Okay, you know that’s a lie. But, hey, a girl can dream- riiiight?

Marvell and I went to Kona, Hawaii for our honeymoon in Oct of 2010. Gosh, it seems like ages ago.

So young,
So wild,
So free.

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Or so it seems. Looking back I can’t help but reminisce; our life seems so complicated now. House. Cars. Bills. Careers. Small Business problems. Baby. Baby Toddler.

Speaking of toddler, Marvell and I should have bought these helmets for ourselves. I could have used it tonight.

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This was us zip-lining through the forest of Kona. So cool!

Meanwhile, present day, Zaccai is becoming a terrible–almost two– night monster. It’s Iike he saves all his pinned up frustration and anger until 30 minutes before bedtime and then let’s it unleash! Screaming, crying, pulling hair, scratching! YIKES! It makes me feel like a horrible mom! I have “punished him” and that temporarily works but then he’s back at it… Until he finally goes to bed.

Maybe I should buy a helmet. Red is a good color.

Do all toddlers go through this phase? Is this really the terrible twos? Should I run for the hills now?

Yes. Yes. & Yes.

Shit. I knew you’d say that.

I just want my sweet loving boy to be sweet!

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Your Purpose in Life…..?

Art, Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage, Mother, Parenting, Small Business, Uncategorized

I met with one of my mentors on Sunday. We went to Lo Lo’s Chicken and Waffles ! Haha, if you’ve never visited Phoenix you’ll think I’m a nut-head telling you to drive here. It’s in the smack-dab middle of the ghetto. Oh, well, probably the best chicken and waffles you’ll find west of the Mississippi.

But, I’m not here to tell you I’m a secret meat eater: I claim to be vegetarian (ha!) But, when the opportunity arises to try staples in the meat world- who am I to turn down a once in a lifetime event? It was goooood, too.

My mentor is amazing. She’s infectious. Seriously, when people meet her they want MORE. More time to listen to her speak, more time to breathe in her passion for people and more time to hear they deserve to follow their dreams.

Her message for me: don’t fall into the trap, Amber. The trap: holding your husband accountable for the things you are naturally amazing at and expect him to be that good.

That’s your gift, not his.

Stop there. My gift? I thought everyone does “this.” It’s just so easy…..!

That’s it. Your gift is easy because it’s yours! You cultivate it, you perfect it, you know it. It belongs to you.

My job, then, is to hold him accountable for his gifts: art and T-shirts. Shoot. I’ve been doing this all wrong for years now… F-it all. (I like how I pretend I never say the”f-bomb” on this blog; I’m such a lady!)

Crap. I’ve been wrong and most likely have been driving this man nuts for years. Let’s be honest, I’ll most likely get this wrong a few different times in a few different ways; but, she gave me the resources to motivate him… Because, without him, I’m not whole.

So, cheers to mentors.

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This week is emotionally better but financially a wreck! My husbands truck has broken down a few times and it’s cost us $$$… we (of course-sigh) were not prepared for that expense. All I can say is we’re still ticking & tomorrow is another day. Money will come and go- our family is what’s important to focus on, right?

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A New Perspective

Attachment parenting, Family, Marriage, Mother, Small Business

SIGH

As I’m sitting here thinking of how to describe my feelings of utter frustration and deep intense irritation I have to sigh.

I’ve worked hard. Each job I’ve added to my plate has not lessened the load on my plate; instead it’s just piled the mashed potatoes up high. In theory: I thought, if I made more money, I’d pay off more bills. However, as I make more money larger and larger expenses pile up. Most my fault and I get that.

However, at times, I feel very alone. My husband has a dream of starting this small business and we’ve been in the “starting” phase for too long. Every time we think we have extra money to get it going, something happens. Law of gravity? Karma? Lack of persistence? I don’t know.

Another deep, deep sigh.

To be a mom & a breadwinner means we [women]are pioneers in our own right. We’re writing history. [HER]story. There’s so many HOW TO books on being a mom, being a caregiver, being a lover… But not many on being a woman in charge of financial expenses, budgeting, child care, nursing, making meals, cleaning… cleaning being a lover to your partner & a soft place to land for your baby. Forget about you time. And good sleep, forget about that too.

So, perspective you say?

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Some days, I’m sure I am not communicating my needs to my husband. Mostly, I think he doesn’t care to listen to them. I know, that sounds harsh & maybe it is- but that’s how I feel. I always ask him how his day is… I seldom get the same question from him. I always make sure he’s eaten or has options of food he’d like… Etc.

This week has been exceptionally hard. His truck broke down [after paying 1,000$ a few weeks ago] and he’s been on edge. The strain of financial responsibility is intense! Just knowing that if something goes wrong- it’s up to me to figure out.

I’m a pusher. Yes, just like Mean Girls. I pushed to get married, I pushed to buy a house, I pushed to have a baby & I pushed to create this “perfect” life. So, here’s where my perspective and responsibility comes in.

I made my bed & choices

What will I do? Sit here and sulk?

If you know me, I’m not capable of just giving up. Although, the thought of me sitting in a room with loads of chocolate, wine and designer handbags has crossed my mind a few times… I’m still not willing to just give up.

I’ve finally reached out to my best friend to help me with budgeting. For real help. I also quit my part time Saturday gig (which I loved so much but it no longer fits into my family plan) and I’m seriously helping my husband with his business.

Marriage is hard. It’s not for the faint of heart. Interestingly enough no one can define that or tell you how/why it is: it just is. When people say marriage changes everything… damn it, why are they right!? It logically makes no sense. NONE! But, it’s so true.

I love that man deeply.

My perspective is: at the end of the day, if you take away a checking account, cars, houses, clothing, jobs, money… Who will you be? Do those things define you? I don’t want them to define me… But, this week, they’ve consumed me. If I can take a deep breath and know I can only control what I can control, it will all be okay, it will all work out.

Please, consider this a wake up call if you’re hurting and stressing over material possessions. It’s just not worth the time or effort.

Be in love. Be free. Be happy.

My sweet moments this week make me smile with tears in my eyes. Such love and joy.

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Sharing Your Passions

Attachment parenting, Family, Marginalized individuals, Mother, Parenting, Publishing a children's book, Small Business

Today I shared a little about myself my colleagues didn’t know. Do you share personal information at work? If so, are you comfortable being vulnerable? I’ve gotten feedback I “over-share.” So, I’ve truly worked on this for the past few weeks. However, today, we had a team lunch that forced us into an intimate space of open dialogue. And, well, I couldn’t help myself.

Someone mentioned they shop at Walmart, I remarked, I boycott them. Someone else brought up Hobby Lobby and I shared that I boycott them as well. Everyone laughed and said, “what else do you boycott?” So, I shared a list and gave them all valid reasons for not supporting those businesses.

Since I was a child I always wanted to stand up for marginalized individuals. In 5th grade, I stood up for Bobby. Everyone made fun of him. Kids are mean. One day at the lunch table kids were picking on him and treating him like dirt. I, on the other hand was well-liked. So, I took it upon myself to stand up on the benches and tell the lunch room they needed to stop making fun of Bobby. And they DID! Bobby later thanked me.

Some days I think I was a stronger individual when I was 10. I didn’t care what people thought of me when I was standing up for marginalized individuals. (Of course, I had no idea I was being an advocate). All I wanted was to give everyone a voice. We all deserve respect. We all deserve rights.

My sweet boy stirs up those “old-school” emotions. I’m a passionate advocate looking for my next opportunity to advocate, boycott or represent. I have one in mind. Stay tuned. It revolves around my children’s book.

Until then, I posted about my friend and her stolen bike. I raised $250.00 and purchased a gift card and she bought a bike! Here is a picture of her shinny purchase! I should have posted this a while ago but I was caught up in life!

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That smile.

My sweet boy grows! Look at him.

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