3 Ways I Manage Stress with a 2 year old

Not going to lie my patience sometimes is at 0 with my daughter. As a single working mom I’m stressed more than I’d like to be. This of course causes me to be less patient with my high strung toddler and tense. Here’s 3 Ways I destress and find a lil selfcare for myself throughout the day.

1. Yoga

And I’m not talking about yoga as an exercise. I’ve learned quite a few poses over the years (when it was an exercise for me) and in the morning I sometimes put on nature or meditation music and just allow myself to sit and flow from pose to pose for however long I feel. Being aware of my breaths. And getting out of my head a little.

2. Showers

I’ve always had this weird gravitational pull to water (I’m not a water sign so this is why I say weird). Water calms me all the way down. And if my daughters particularly intense one day I will either make her take a midday bath or I’ll take one myself for some me time or we’ll take one together if we both need to chill out. For some extra relaxation I sometimes add epsom salt and oils to the bath too.

3. Listening to Music

When my daughter was a newborn I had a record player and one of the ways I’d get her out of a crying fit was to play records. I even had made a playlist called Sage’s Morning on my SoundCloud. Music chills me out cause it again gets me out of my head space. And for Sage she likes to dance so it keeps her occupied even if only for 5 minutes.

What are your tips for keeping cool and calm through the day with your toddlers? (or kids) let me know in the comments!

November Playlist

I know I said last month I wasn’t going to make a playlist for Novemeber because they take a lot of work (I like the vibe to be just right) but I made a playlist for this month anyway and its all my favorite throwback songs from middle school and older. So, Brittany Spears, nsync, Christina Aguilera, Sisco, B2k. You guys know. Back when music was really fun. I’ve just been feeling really nostalgic lately. Time is moving really fast it seems. I can’t believe its already holiday season again. Every year seeing how much Sage is growing just reminds me that I’m getting older. Things are changing. I’m no longer in my early 20s and the 90s was almost 30 years ago. It honestly makes me so sad and anxious for what’s next. But I’m trying my hardest to just take it easy and reminisce without getting stuck. Celebrate my age and the things that made me happy in childhood.

So, yeah check out the Novemeber playlist and ill have a playlist in December which will be all my favorite bops from 2018.

November Playlist

november playlist

And in honor of me feelin so nostalgic here’s a throwback flash too bright photo of me and my mom from 1995.

Sage’s Halloween

Wanted to do a small recap on here of Sage’s Halloween because it seems like her favorite holiday as much as mine. And talk about some problems that came up for us concerning trick or treating.

When we woke up Sage first asked me for candy as soon as we got up and I said its Halloween so later and its like she knew cause she was like Elsa so I told her to go get her dress and she wore it all day long. Even got syrup on it from her pancakes in the morning. We of course went about our day normally went grocery shopping, went by the tag office. Then we went to Chipotle for $4 burritos (which mine was wrapped so badly it fell apart and yes I’m being a brat about it cause I literally talked about this burrito all day long). One of the girls who worked there was so nice though and gave Sage candy because she brought her bucket inside with her and put it up to the counter.

After we were trying to figure out what to do because my older sister had invited us to go trick or treating with her in her friends neighborhood. We tried trick or treating in our own neighborhood last year but because we live in a apartment its a little different plus we don’t really know our neighbors its not a tight community. We were at Chipotle waiting for my sister to respond back and she was taking so long – she had tried to share her location but it wasn’t working. So, we (myself and Sage’s father) decided to drive around and see if we could find a neighborhood and or just see if anyone in the apartment complex was giving out candy. But we began to argue about it cause he was saying we should have went earlier before it got dark and it was creepy (obvs never trick or treated as a kid) it was only creepy because I never trick or treated in neighborhoods I didn’t know and we didn’t see anyone out trick or treating because where we went weren’t large typical neighborhoods but just like clusters of houses.

As we were debating on what to do be said he would just go to the store and buy her some candy. I wanted her to have the experience. It was 7:30 and I turn around to look at Sage in the backseat and she’s asleep.

So, next year I will definitely have to plan more for trick or treating (we’ll also more than likely be in a different apartment complex and hopefully it’ll be a more community friendly one).

Do any of you have tips on trick or treating? Or wanna share what you and your little ones did for the holiday. Let me know in the comments!

Also the Novemeber playlist will be posted Friday.

halloween 2018 2

halloween 2018 3

halloween 2018 4

 

Crystal of the Month

Orange calcite is this months crystal as I’m currently focusing on my sacral chakra and using my orange crystals to tune into this second chakra. I’ll also touch on carnelian which is my other sacral go to crystal. And mookaite jasper which is another crystal I’ve been meditating with currently. Orange calcite is this translucent colored crystal that is mostly grown and harvested in Mexico I have been sleeping with orange calcite under my pillow the past couple days. It really is gently easy flowing energy. And I’ve already started painting again I painted yesterday for a little bit and I don’t paint consistently (at all cause of stress & things) but I’ve been feelin a creative “spark” since using the orange calcite. Just wanting to not let fear eat at me and go for it. Orange crystals are perfect for confidence, joy, creativity, fertility, abundance, inventiveness, independence, self-esteem, strengthening identity, happiness, and creative / artistic ventures. Orange calcite is a powerful yet gentle stone and even my 2 year old is attracted to it and always wants to hold it. It’s warm energy.

The sacral chakra which is associated with the color orange is one of the three “lower” chakras and is the second chakra above the root. It’s area on the body is the lower abdomen. It deals in your sense of pleasure, abundance, joy of life, well-being, sexuality (and sexual energy) and creativity.

Orange Calcite is gentle restorative and revitalizing energy. Helps improve the flow of chi,creativity, and sensuality. Clears blocked energy in the sacral chakra, improves digestion, and strengthens the immune system. For a more relaxed state wearing orange calcite can help. Orange calcite also helps bring your emotional energy back into a state of balance. If you have trouble with mood swings or dramatic shifts in mood and temperament (my Gemini self does at times) then orange calcite can gently moderate this imbalance while you can seek out the cause of the moodiness. Meditating with orange calcite and carnelian (another sacral chakra stone I’ll talk more in depth about in its own post) can help you to feel more pleasure about life- if you are feeling unenthusiastic or blocked from experiencing pleasure in any form.

Element: fire.

Planet: Sun

Helps in balancing sexual energies. As well as removing any and all creative blocks one might be feeling. Though I got this crystal just to work on my sacral chakra it is really helping me to heal and clear creative blocks and fears I’ve had this year. I’ve began writing my manuscript for my book of poetry and painting again – finding my own creative style and not looking and envying what other artists are doing.

This is a good stone to have if you’re a beginner in crystal healing. Or if advanced. If you’re a creative. Or just as a chakra crystal stone.

okay, so let’s touch on mookaite jasper and carnelian a bit. Carnelian is passionate, determined, fiery energy. Excellent for creatives. Helps with empowerment and boundary issues, modified destructive impulses, increases feelings of confidence and self-worth. Mookaite Jasper helps relax you and surrender to the natural flow and rhythms of the earth and of your body. Improves sleep patterns. And feelings of being grounded and connected to earth. Both of these crystals would also be excellent for the sacral chakra in opening it and balancing it and if you just want certain qualities to stand out in your personality more.

Got this chunk from @wildandfreepeople on Instagram they also have an Etsy where they sell lots of crystals. I have a physical store I love to buy crystals from in Atlanta but I can’t always get there. So, having online alternatives is good for me.

if anyone knows of woc online sellers of herbs and crystals please send me their info!

Vegan Loaded Potato Soup

I love soup. I’ve said already how I love fall well I was even eating soup this summer in 90 degree weather. I love comfort food if I’m eating it needs to be enjoyable it needs to bring me comfort. So, I told myself this fall instead of buying canned soup I would make my own from scratch so  I found a recipe online for loaded potato soup and just veganized it – I’m sure there are vegan loaded potato soup recipes out there but I didn’t want to just follow a vegan one but see if I could make the changes and still make a delicious soup. I honestly haven’t had potato soup since I stopped eating meat. I remember when I was vegetarian in high school I went to O’Charleys with some friends and ordered the loaded baked potato soup and asked for no bacon (it came with cheese too but I wasn’t vegan) and it came to the table …. with bacon. Yup, and I sent it back. That was the very last time I had this filling soup. Since then being vegan/vegetarian I don’t think is as hard now. As a soup person I don’t think soup is just an appetizer to the main course but that it is the main course and I don’t necessarily need a sandwich or bread with it either. Potato soup is definitely a filling soup. It’s creamy. It’s thick.

When thinking about doing this soup I wondered if I should just skip the bacon part. If I should just crisp up some maple tempeh or if I should do coconut or eggplant bacon and not use anything processed. I also knew I wanted a “cheese” and I wanted a creamy soup there are tons of plant based diary products out there now – I tend to always go to almond based ones but thought maybe I should try oat milk for this soup for a creamier thicker consistency. I thought about making my own cheese too but then realized this recipe was getting complicated. So, cause I didn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen and for the sake of this soup being toddler and mom time friendly I decided to make the cheese sauce from scratch but to just do the maple tempeh for a topping.

Here’s the recipe:

a bag of potatoes I used red potatoes roughly 6-8.

Roast them first I roasted them for 45 mins

Then cook onions (about 1/4 a cup) tempeh garlic and carrots in a skillet in some oil till tempeh is crispy onions are translucent, garlic is browned, carrots are soft.

Add this (tempeh, onion garlic,carrot) and the roasted potatoes to blinder with veggie stock and water I used about a cup of both

Keep some of your tempeh to top soup

Also add in coconut milk unsweetened in a can is better for that creamy thickness. Keep some of the coconut milk to swirl across top of soup (if ya want)

Blend until creamy (I also added nutritional yeast)

Top with whatever toppings you want. Sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, tempeh a green (I used the carrot tops as mine)

Btw I wanted this soup to last a couple days. So if you don’t like leftovers I suggest cutting the recipe in half.

Also I’m not one of those cooks (I’m not even a cook lol) who measures things out perfectly but I cook to taste. So I’m constantly tasting as I cook and adjusting so I would advise you to do the same.

Happy fall everyone! I’m looking forward to making and sharing more soups. 🍵

Mom Talk #3

Hey everyone!

Today’s mom talk is all about the creative mom struggles. One of the biggest/hardest things about becoming a mom for me was that my time wasn’t as free as it used to be. I have always been very selfish with my time. And I guess I took it for granted. One thing that being a parent teaches you is that your time isn’t necessarily yours anymore. Without having a partner who lives with you or shares the same amount of time with the child in a co-parenting situation – being a single fulltime parent can be very overwhelming. As a painter and writer I found myself very lost – not being able to create when I wanted to because my daughter needed my time and attention. Feeling too tired to create and unmotivated because of stress. There were and are a lot of factors that contributed to my inner struggles of being a parent and a creative. I tried working during her nap times when she was a newborn (and still do this) as its the only time I really “get time to myself” besides being at work which I don’t think counts. But I quickly began to feel burnt out from using her nap times trying to get things done. There’s that saying when you first become a parent to “sleep when the baby sleeps” but its like so when do I get the million things I need to do done. It was like I racing against the clock trying to hurry and get as much done during her hour and half naps and anyone who is a creative knows you cannot rush art especially not watercolor. And rushing myself to get as much done with my paintings in such a short amount a time led me to making lots of mistakes and feeling like a failure as both a parent and an artist.

This also led to me resenting my daughter only cause I couldn’t create when I wanted to and couldn’t give myself the time to fully immerse into my work. I still struggle now with this and Sage is 2 I don’t resent her now though I’ve come to the realization that life has changed and I just needed to get on board with it. I am going to enroll her in school next year and I know this will free up some hours during the week (when I’m not working) to devote to creating. It doesn’t help that most of the people I know are creatives and don’t have kids so I started to begin to compare myself to where I was and where they are in developing creative careers, recognition and how many shows they were doing. This ultimately made me feel worse and insecure like I wasn’t doing enough. Comparison is I think the worst thing that can happen to a creative it creates doubt and fear and I had a lot of that when it came to my work.

There is this big myth that artists of any kind make terrible partners and husbands/wives. That we are selfish and only care about ourselves our work that our relationships come second and I guess in away this serves both people in relationships (the artist and the partner) when things don’t work out. There are even more myths about working mothers that we cant have it both. Be successful and be a good mother. Add that to a “job” or whether “jobs” that never stop – there is no clock out for a parent or a creative and it seems impossible. How to be a successful creative and be a successful parent. A woman looses a lot of her identity becoming a mother much more than a man does in becoming a father- even now in the 21st century there is so much weighted on the mother. I read in the article that I linked below that the reason that parenthood is in conflict with being an artist is because ” Because the point of art is to unsettle, to question, to disturb what is comfortable and safe. And that shouldn’t be anyone’s goal as a parent.”  And it made me stop and think that there might actually be a real reason to why I myself have struggled with making art and being a mom for the last 2 years. “Oscar Wilde said it is the most intense mode of individualism the world has ever known.” I had my daughter at 24 I got pregnant at 23 and immediately I could see in class and in my friends faces that I was not the same I of course did not feel the same but it was mirrored back to me in countless ways – I had a ceramic teacher the first full semester I was back in school who everytime I brought up my daughter I knew it made her uncomfortable what I didn’t know then was with what. She is young – maybe a year older than me and I think she knew and felt through my own struggle what a struggle being a mother and a creative can be. To devote time and space to parenting or creating? That’s where the struggle is. Do I give my daughter the phone for a couple hours to work on a poem? Do I zone out? Do I neglect her? Do I plop her in front of the TV? Or do I stop do I mother and work to pay the bills and find away to be satisfied with that. Or do I try and find some balance? Do I wait till she’s older? Do I step back for a couple years. But the question should be why do I have to choose. I know that there will be days I give more to motherhood and days I give more to creating and I also know I never want creating to mean I neglect my daughter.

On days when Sage goes to her father’s I always make these long lists of things to get done. I go to work and I have the night to work creatively whether that’s paint or work on my book of poems and not get my toddler ready for bed. But rarely do I use the whole time to work before I feel anxious and I cook or I take a bath then I tell myself I deserve a night off cause I do. Its rare. So, I watch Netflix and then feel guilty for being happy that I have time alone but I’m not creating. I’m unsure what the answer is here. Maybe a little bit of me has given up on creating and said mothering is a lot (cause it is) and I’m no longer driven or motivated. Or I decided to believe in society and thought I cant have it all. I think writing this will (hopefully)get me back to creating consistently. Motherhood isn’t just one thing. And it doesn’t have to look like it either. That’s what I want these mom talks to be about. Go out and resist and prove people wrong. Motherhood is powerful and badass and I’m over feeling inadequate as a creative because of it- when in fact I’ve created the ultimate creation.

I still haven’t been able to find this balance between parenting/working to pay bills/ and creating. I would love to get to the point where my creations pay my bills but until then I’ll be trying to find some sort of normalcy with it all. Create when I can and be thankful and present in the creation.

There’s this story that I think is in Woman Who Run With Wolves (but I can’t find it and believe me I’ve looked but also this book is amazing and I highly recommend it to all women but especially to mothers) about a woman who loves to dance but doesn’t anymore cause she’s a mother and wife. She takes care of her kids her home and I can’t remember if this happens once her kids are grown and gone or not – but she would sneak into the city and dance on the weekends until one day she stops. She cleans the kitchen and she takes out a gun and kills herself. The story was about the death of the woman because she becomes other things. Mother. Wife. Nurturer. Home maker. Maid. And she has little tome for herself for the things she loves. She is drained. And tired. A shell of a woman until she can no longer take it. So, if you feel this way tired and drained and not yourself. Let the woman in you come out. You do not always have to be all things to your kids to your husband to the life you’ve chosen. Make time for the things you love for the creative you. For the you who likes to go dancing with friends. Whatever it may be that makes you feel alive do it.

How do you other creatives who are parents balance being a parent and being a creative?

Also check out this article if parenthood and being a creative is something you struggle with: https://www.thecut.com/2016/04/portrait-motherhood-creativity-c-v-r.html

Diary #1

I had a planned blog post for today. It was going to be recipe for cabbage stir fry with all the veggies. But for reasons that post has been postponed. But because I want to hold myself accountable and stick to my schedule of posting every Monday I thought let me tackle some questions and thoughts that I have here to create dialogue in diary/journal posts. So, here’s my question for today.

Are we really defined by our things and not who we are? Or do our things that we own (clothes, where we live, our cars, our phones) do they measure success? Is there value greater than our own?

I think about this a lot. Mainly cause I’m in no position (yet) to afford a lot of things that people measure as forms of oh that persons successful or cool or worthy. Last year for the whole year basically I had an iPhone 4 yes an iPhone 4 I had a iPhone 5 but had broken it and didn’t want to pay for a new that would’ve been $500 because I wasn’t eligible for an upgrade. So, I opted not spend a whole lot of money on a phone because it wasn’t important to me. Instead I bought a refurbished iPhone 4 off amazon and that was that.

Having an iPhone 4 didn’t bother me but it seemed to bother other people. I went out a couple of times with friends and of course would pull out my phone to take pics to show them something whatever and on occasion this one friend would say things like you need a new phone. It’s not that my phone didn’t work it was cause it wasn’t the latest model.

So, this of course would make me feel some type of way like maybe I did need a new phone maybe I wasn’t cool enough cause I didn’t have an iPhone 6. (Or whatever this is just an example) But then I realized none of the things we have should really mean anything.

What is value? What is success?

Is it only measure by how much money I have in my bank account and if I have the latest and greatest thing. Is it the model and make of my car? Or a fancy apartment with a $1500 rent bill. Is it being able to afford things you want?

Of course I’m not saying that things are bad. I know we’re human and wants and desires are natural. But why is it so important?

Social media has turned value and success into showing off. And there’s a difference.

I don’t think owning things and having things is wrong. I just think it’s become a sense of status to have certain things and I’m not sure if I want to give value to things that much over people and relationships.

I don’t know. What are your thoughts on what success looks like to you? Does having certain things help you feel good about yourself/life? And why.

I think success will look different to everyone but I think it’s mainly a feeling not so much a surplus of things. Not a nice house not a fancy car. But being able to take car of yourself really take care of yourself. Your mental health your emotional health. To be able to pay your bills. Not struggle not be stressed about money.

It’s more of abundance of the spirit and not an abundance of things.

It’s the libra new moon today and I’ve just been thinking about my relationship to things and to “status” social media and what it means to me.

I hate that social media has become a popularity contest a numbers game. Aesthetics. For myself I just want it to simply be about connection. Connecting to others and sharing parts of myself and that’s it.

My Capricorn moon the past couple of months had me feeling upset. Sad, ungrateful, anxious for all the things I want. New clothes, jewelry, shoes. And not being able to afford these things. Overlooking that I have so much to be thankful for. I can pay my bills. I have an apartment. I have a healthy daughter. And if I continue there will be a break where I can really start to save money and afford some of the things I want. But if I can’t afford them now there’s no reason to feel negative feelings about that.

I’ve had to be really patient with myself and my feelings and figuring out why I felt so upset about not having the latest fashion or being able to buy those really cute boots I want. But looking at all I do have and saying I’m good where I’m at and being satisfied. Life is not about always chasing the next thing. I know with social media and instant gratification seeing how celebrities live that it can be daunting seeing all these things people show off but they are just things. I’m abundant. Maybe not by society standards (or even my own financial dreams) but I’m abundant in love and understanding and those things matter too.

And I’m ok. I’m more than okay.

October Playlist

Hey hey!

It’s my favorite month of the year, I love October. Halloween’s my favorite holiday. Falls my favorite season. I’m happy I’m feeling it. This playlist is probably the most “alternative” playlist I’ve made. Lots of “soft” rock. Some Jimi. Some 6lack. Some trap mixed in too. I definitely got into the Halloween spirit with Santana’s “black magic woman”. I’m so ready for Halloween. Sage wants to be Elisa *rolls eyes* but I’m excited to take her trick or treating. It’s the first year she vocally could say what she wanted to be. And I’m of course excited for Halloween parties I still dress up. There’s way more alcohol involved in my festivities though and I’m hype to say the least.

Anyways, hope y’all enjoy this playlist I know the songs won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. But it’s a-ok. I’m going to be jamming out to these songs all month long. 🎃

October Playlist

p.s.

thinking of doing something different for November and posting my fav SoundCloud mix (or mixes) for y’all to listen to instead of making a playlist myself but I’ll be back with a playlist in December ♥️

Artwork @serpentfire

Sage’s Favorite Books

Hey everyone!

Wanted to highlight some of Sage’s favorite books right now and ill probably do this every so often as I’m always getting her new books and her favorites are always changing. I can tell when a book is her favorite when I tell her to go get a book off the bookshelf and its always the same one. So, here are 3 of her favs at the moment. And at some point ill do a version of this for myself too.

I am Enough by Grace Byers: Sage loves this book and honestly I do too. There’s only about a sentence a page accompanied by beautiful illustrations by Keturah A. Bobo – that show representations of girls from all races. The author also threw some self-love affirmations in this book (I mean look at the title), that I think its a great way to start teaching your kid to love themselves.09bce39c-488d-4d5e-b8d0-4eb6063269d52. Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal: This cute little book is all about a pea that has to eat candy to grow big and strong. Sage of course likes looking at the illustrations by Jen Corace and naming all the colors of the candy.

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3. I’m not Sleepy! by Jonathan Allen: This cute funny book is all about an owl whose sleepy but won’t admit it. The whole story he’s grouchy and yells at neighbors that he isn’t tired. Sage is a night owl herself and this book is perfect for her. She won’t go to sleep at night no matter how late it is unless I lay her down and turn everything off.

That’s the end of Sage’s favorite books right now. If you don’t have these I recommend buying them for your little one. What are some books your 2 and 3 year olds love? Leave a comment or email me with your favs! I’m always looking for new books for Sage.

Crystal of the Month Shiva Lingam

Shiva Lingam is this little spherical stone that I’ve been using lately. I have been using it for grounding mostly as the seasons at about to change. I usually sleep with the stone under my pillow and try to meditate with it at least once during the day. Shiva Lingam balances the masculine and feminine energies. Increases intuition and mindfulness ( I need help with this one). Grounding. Promotes fertility improves feelings of strength, stamina and power. Shiva Lingam also aids in boosting energy and can give you an “afternoon boost” – we all tend to fall in energy ruts after lunch so if this is something you really struggle with hold this stone in your receptive hand (opposite of YOUR writing hand which is your dominant hand). Shiva Lingam is an earth element stone and I will talk about how shiva is formed later in this post. Shiva Lingam helps restore and replenish your natural energy – if you are feeling drained from stress or the everyday things of life. Shiva Lingam also aids in helping with drowsiness if you tend to fall asleep or get sleepy while meditating hold a lingam in both hands to feel more present and energized.  Shiva Lingam is also good for improving ones sex drive naturally.

The Shiva lingam I have and the ones I’ve  seen are perfectly spherical or phallic like. This is because Shiva Lingam a sacred stone of the Indian Hindu religion only comes from one place, the Narmada River in western India. This is one of India’s most holy sites – the villagers gather these stones from the river and hand polish them so they are smooth and rounded in shape. Usually a tan color with brown, red or gray spots or stripes on the stone. Shiva Lingam is important to the devotees and is apart of their daily worship.  The stone is all about the whole. They are purposefully shaped to the symbolic shape of a phallus of the Hindu God Shiva and his union with Kali (masculine and feminine energy). Within the form is also the cosmic egg out of which all creation has emerged.

I have also seen the stone come in different sizes small, medium and large. I currently only have a small one pocket size. But I have made a conscious decision to start buying only medium-large crystals as I believe the energy is more potent in larger crystals (I’m not an expert though I think smaller crystals are great for passive healing like holding while watching TV or walking or at work and of course for sleeping with but that larger crystals are better for active usage like meditating and long term healing).

Shiva Lingam is a stone I would recommend working with if you need grounding work if you’re easily scattered mentally or if any of the things mentioned above are things you personally want to work on or need help with. Shiva Lingam is a root chakra stone aiding in creativity but is also a sacral chakra stone. I am doing this chakra healing for my personal healing every month a new chakra and working with crystals that help open and heal things associated with each chakra hence the reason why I’ve been leaning on my Shiva Lingam and why its the crystal of the month.

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