Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Movies are Magic

Some of you may know that in my "spare time" (like a mother of three who works FT has spare time), I write. I've currently written two scripts, one a dramatic short (30 min or less movie) and a comedy sitcom pilot. I've always wanted to be a writer, but just got into screenwriting in the last two years. I've always loved movies and am an avid movie watcher, but writing movies is a bit like creating magic (if it gets made) and this video pretty much sums up why I want to make movies.

#wheretowatch
This post contains sponsored links from the MPAA. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Maintaining the Pretty: Skincare at 35 (and beyond)

Although, I'm always told I can pass for someone who's straight out of college and still get carded when I order a drink, it doesn't mean my skin isn't aging. When you're in your twenties you can wake up and look almost flawless with ease, but in your thirties those sneaky little signs of aging start to creep in. For me it's been in the form of more noticeable pores on my cheeks and a little bit of *GASP* wrinkling under my eyes. So in order to keep my skin looking as young as possible I've heightened my skincare routine.

In my late teens and twenties my skincare battle was keeping acne at bay (Proactiv was the only thing that did it consistently and didn't wreck my non acne-covered skin), but in my thirties I'm dealing with the double whammy of acne and aging, AGHHHH!

Anywho, one of my goals for myself is to take better care of myself, that means my skin, diet, health (mental & physical), and style. So for my skin I went to Make Up Artist's Choice (MUAC) for my new skincare regimen. I'd bought some of their products in August and really enjoyed them, but I wanted to step up my regimen to minimize the appearance of my pores, but if you don't have that issue then my old regimen should be sufficient.



Old Regimen:
Blemish Buster Cleanser (daily)
Gly-Luronic Acid Serum (daily)
Green Tea & Pomegranate Moisturizer (daily)



New Regimen:
Mandelic Acid Cleanser (daily)
Mandelic/Saliclyic Peel (weekly)
Green Tea & Pomegranate Moisturizer (daily)
Acne Oil Control Gel/Pore Minimizer (daily - when I remember)

If you're looking for good quality products for your skin (no matter your age or skin type) I highly recommend MUAC. You can get 25% using the following affiliate link - http://go.referralcandy.com/share/S3R7HQM 



ETA: I was not compensated for this post, I wholly believe in these products.


Friday, October 17, 2014

The Capsule Wardrobe - Dressing With Intention

I am a HUGE fan of Jess Lively and her podcast, The Lively Show. She always has such great guests and last week was no exception, when she featured blogger Caroline of Unfancy. Caroline is a self proclaimed "unlikely fashion blogger" who documents her outfits that she creates with ONLY 37 PIECES on her blog! That's INCLUDING shoes! She calls it her capsule wardrobe and you can read more about that here.

So, I'm all about trying to live with intention and trying to live a minimalist lifestyle, so I too am attempting to create a fall/winter capsule collection and pare down my own closet. I started by downloading her FREE WORKSHEET that aims to get at the heart of your fashion personality so you can reduce your closet AND buy things you love.

I started last weekend and the first thing that happened was I got really overwhelmed. Why do I have so much shit, but still feel like I have nothing to wear! Well it's because I buy stuff that's not "me" and then keep it around in my closet because I bought it. Then I begrudgingly wear it, but never feel like it's something I love. So after losing my mind for a minute. I started divying up things and I still am, but I feel better about the direction my wardrobe is heading in. I'll update you all when I've completed my collection (I'm giving myself a $600 budget).

*My cheat: I've signed up with Le Tote where I am able to rent unlimited clothing and accessories over the internet. So, I'm able to supplement my wardrobe for a monthly fee and/or buy items I love for a discounted price!


 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

How do you do it all... I don't. A lesson from Shonda Rhimes.

    I love my life. I have three TV shows at work and I have three daughters at home. And it’s all amazing, and I am truly happy. And people are constantly asking me, how do you do it?
    And usually, they have this sort of admiring and amazed tone.

    Shonda, how do you do it all?

    Like I’m full of magical magic and special wisdom-ness or something.

    How do you do it all?

    And I usually just smile and say like, “I’m really organized.” Or if I’m feeling slightly kindly, I say, “I have a lot of help.”

    And those things are true. But they also are not true.

    And this is the thing that I really want to say. To all of you. Not just to the women out there. Although this will matter to you women a great deal as you enter the work force and try to figure out how to juggle work and family. But it will also matter to the men, who I think increasingly are also trying to figure out how to juggle work and family. And frankly, if you aren’t trying to figure it out, men of Dartmouth, you should be. Fatherhood is being redefined at a lightning-fast rate. You do not want to be a dinosaur.

    So women and men of Dartmouth: As you try to figure out the impossible task of juggling work and family and you hear over and over and over again that you just need a lot of help or you just need to be organized or you just need to try just a little bit harder … as a very successful woman, a single mother of three, who constantly gets asked the question “How do you do it all?” For once I am going to answer that question with 100 percent honesty here for you now. Because it’s just us. Because it’s our fireside chat. Because somebody has to tell you the truth.

    Shonda, how do you do it all?

    The answer is this: I don’t.

    Whenever you see me somewhere succeeding in one area of my life, that almost certainly means I am failing in another area of my life.

    If I am killing it on a Scandal script for work, I am probably missing bath and story time at home. If I am at home sewing my kids’ Halloween costumes, I’m probably blowing off a rewrite I was supposed to turn in. If I am accepting a prestigious award, I am missing my baby’s first swim lesson. If I am at my daughter’s debut in her school musical, I am missing Sandra Oh’s last scene ever being filmed at Grey’s Anatomy. If I am succeeding at one, I am inevitably failing at the other. That is the tradeoff. That is the Faustian bargain one makes with the devil that comes with being a powerful working woman who is also a powerful mother. You never feel a hundred percent OK; you never get your sea legs; you are always a little nauseous. Something is always lost.

    Something is always missing.

    And yet. I want my daughters to see me and know me as a woman who works. I want that example set for them. I like how proud they are when they come to my offices and know that they come to Shondaland. There is a land and it is named after their mother. In their world, mothers run companies. In their world, mothers own Thursday nights. In their world, mothers work. And I am a better mother for it. The woman I am because I get to run Shondaland, because I get write all day, because I get to spend my days making things up, that woman is a better person—and a better mother. Because that woman is happy. That woman is fulfilled. That woman is whole. I wouldn’t want them to know the me who didn’t get to do this all day long. I wouldn’t want them to know the me who wasn’t doing.

    – Excerpted from Shonda Rhimes’ Dartmouth College commencement address, June 8, 2014

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fixed vs Growth Mindset: What it means for You & Your Children

 -




I don't know where the phrase, "If you think you can or you think you can't, either way you're right." came from and I'm not going to Google it either, but it's something that has always stuck with me. Now science is backing that adage up with the new study that shows that the brains of successful people vs unsuccessful people actually looks different.


CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENLARGE - Image Credit: Brain Pickings  

A person with a "fixed" mindset tends to view themselves with static traits and a deterministic outlook. For these people, intelligence, character and creative ability all cannot be changed in any meaningful way, while success is seen as affirmation of those given abilities and traits. The fixed mindset views the human almost like an already-completed spreadsheet, with things like intelligence and personality operating as unchanging, fundamental characteristics. Thus, "striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled."

A person with a "growth" mindset, on the other hand, sees challenges as things to overcome and views failure as an opportunity for growth and personal development.


Source: News.Mic

So, the point of all this?

If you're a parent praise your children for their effort no matter the outcome instead of giving out empty praise of "you're smart", so that they will always strive to do better. And for yourself, keep persevering you're an ever evolving and growing person and your success or skill is not a fixed point.


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Bye-bye Email Clutter

So, I've tackled my FB addiction as a way to simplify my life as well as make myself more efficient and so far, so good. I've gained at least an hour a day (more like 4 hours to be honest). So, now I'm in the midst of tackling another virtual mess, my Inbox.

I regularly open my Gmail to a whopping 1000 emails, which makes getting to the important stuff super hard. This is even with Gmail's newest efforts to compartmentalize our e-clutter with the primary tab, the promotions tab, and the social tab, which has helped tremendously, but still not enough. So, last week I went through a good chunk of my emails and UNSUBSCRIBED to all these automatic emails I've been getting that's been cluttering up my inbox. Democratic Committee, see ya in Nov. Change.org, I'll go to you when I want to sign a petition. Ebay alerts, I don't need a weekly reminder about wrap skirts, thank you very much. You get the point. So, although I'm not down to where I want to be, slowly, but surely I'm conquering the e-clutter!

All of this is an attempt at becoming more of a minimalist as a way to make room for the important things in my life. A great resource is 6 Reasons to Embrace Minimalist Living 

 




Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Facebook Made Me Lazy AKA I Deactivated My FB Account & Haven't Gone Crazy



Yesterday I deactivated my Facebook. Anyone who knows me well, knows how MAJOR that is! It is MAJOR, MAJOR! I love social media, I love all things online (except comments sections, NEVER READ THE COMMENTS SECTIONS!!!), but my love for the online world has been inhibiting my ambitions.

There is a buttload, BUTTLOAD I SAY of things I want to accomplish for 2014 and here it is almost half the year is gone and what have I done! What have I done, I ask you??? Well, I've done some things, but not nearly enough on my barometer of success. And one of the things that's been sucking up my time and energy has been FACEBOOK aka THE DEBIL, THE DEBIL, THE DEBIL!

Okay, maybe not the debil, but I've found myself getting drawn into the time suck that is Facebook instead of banging out my 2014 goals. So, I said to myself, Self, get your ass off of Facebook and continue kicking ass in the real world. Then I replied to myself...just kidding, only crazy people REPLY to themselves. Talking to yourself, fine. Replying, one way ticket to crazy town.

Now here's the paradox of Facebook, Facebook is a GREAT marketing tool. How will you market all your kick ass stuff if you're not on Facebook? Well, I've kept my Facebook Pages for my "stuff" and used one of my business accounts to be the administrator while deactivating my personal account. This way I can take advantage of the good parts of Facebook, while not engaging in the Vampire like aspects of it.

Will I miss Facebook? I don't know yet. I think the biggest thing I'll miss about Facebook is being connected to my family and friends through that medium. But the relationships that really matter will be fostered offline...like the OLDEN DAYS of the 80s and 90s. So, although you won't see me on Facebook, you can always e-wave at me here by posting a comment on any post, I read them all!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Busy as a Bee, but it's Spring!


I've missed "talking" to you all on my blog, but I've been super busy planning my upcoming event for FemPowerMovement, the Love Your Life Tour, DC. Did you get a ticket? After it's over, I'll make sure to post pics and a recap here as well as the official blog. But I wanted to stop in and talk a little about what's been on my mind lately.

 1. Hair! I want a new hairstyle for the spring & summer. I'm not sure what to do, but I'm leaning towards something like this.

2. Easter! OMG, where has the time gone. I need to do baskets for the boys. I'd like to make something like this, but I'll probably just buy a pre-made one this year.

3. Spring! It's been here, it's gone away. It came back, it went away again. I'm just ready for consistent seventy degree weather.

4. Vacation! I need one. I need a break from my dayjob. I'm starting to get a headache almost every day.

5. New Clothes! I need new clothes for spring since my old spring clothes I couldn't fit anymore and I gave to Goodwill. On my list some light and airy pants like this

What's been on your mind lately?


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

This Mom's Indulgence

As a busy working mom of three, it's rare I get time to myself, but when I do my guilty pleasure and personal indulgence is taking in a movie by myself or with a friend.With all of the choices of things to do with my time, why do I choose to spend those two precious hours in a dark room with strangers?


Movies have the power to transport you anywhere and you can immerse yourself in the main character and be anyone you wish. Exotic locales, swoon worthy leading men, action, drama, laughs, it's all there for the price of a movie ticket.

When my husband and I first started dating we went to the movies every single weekend and that tradition continued until the birth of our first child. Nowdays if we catch a movie it's probably some Disney-esque musical with a talking car, princess, or a group of animals looking to make their way back to the zoo they call home. But when one of the 'rents are doing grandparent duty, we always sneak out to take in dinner and a movie.

What's your indulgence? 


This post was part of a campaign by Raise.com. All content was solely my own opinion.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Live Your Best Life, a Life of Connection

One of my passions is connecting people to one another and helping people. I'm the person at the party that will meet someone, talk to them for a while, and then leave them with the name and number of the perfect hairdresser, restaurant, or counselor for them. Earlier this year I thought about how I could use some of my talents (event planning - 5yrs for companies and non-profits) to connect women to other awesome women and the Fem-Power Movement was born. I'm holding my first event in the DC area and I have an awesome line up of speakers that will empower those attending to live their best lives in the areas of relationships, personal style, and personal finance.

When I sought to choose speakers for this event, I thought about the women online that I go to when I want inspiration or information. So, we have author and entrepreneur Alex Elle speaking on relationships, we have Keri Henderson speaking on personal style (she was trained by What Not to Wear stylist Stacy London), and Ginger Dean founder of Girls Just Wanna Have Funds, the #1 Personal Finance Website for women. Pretty damn impressive, if I do say so myself.  These are the type of women that inspire me daily and I wanted them to inspire you as well.

I hope you'll join me on this journey and come out to our event if you're in the DC Area.





Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Happy Mama Movement

Everything is perfectly summed up in this quote and the post on The Dude Mom's blog.


Join us! 


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Minimalist Momma or How to Declutter Your Life with Babykids


Looks Peaceful, Doesn't It. Totally Not My Home!
Okay, I'm not a minimalist momma, but I yearn to be one. I yearn to look on the landscape of my home free of clutter and JUNK! I am slowly suffocating under the weight of all our STUFF! Now, it seems like being a minimalist with children is an oxymoron, they seem to need a million and one things to be happy...or do they?

If I'm honest with myself, my kids only play with a few of their MANY toys and all the DVDs that we have for them, well now we have Netflix. Their books? They like to read the same ones over and over again and if they're done with it, why not sell it at the used book store or on the list of Craig?

I like to think that I don't have an attachment to most STUFF yet my house is continually filling up, why is that?

#1: The hand me down syndrome. 
With three boys I always figure that one of them will "catch" something that the other has out grown, but at the expense of my sanity? No mas! I vow to whittle down the hand me down collection to a manageable few which will then be promptly stored and placed in our storage area and out of our living spaces.

#2: The can I have a toy malaise. 
When we're out the boys get so excited about having this or that toy or something from the Tar-jay $1 aisle (curse you $1 aisle) and I impulsively just throw it in the cart. And all is well and good until I discover no one is playing with said toy and it has just added another minute to my cleaning routine.

#3: The I might need this disorder. 
Well, I might! But probably not, if I haven't worn it or used it in the last three months, what are the chances that I will? I need to carefully edit the things I have and only keep what I absolutely love.

Here's where I'm going for some help on my Clutter Conundrum:



 






Monday, January 13, 2014

Monday's Musical Motivation - F.U.T.W. Jay Z

"Don't be good my [brother] be great." - F.U.T. W. Jay Z


Too many of us are satisfied with being mediocre and getting by. But mediocrity is the enemy of excellence. Mediocrity sidles up to you like an old familiar friend when all the while it's trying to keep you where you are and not allow you to grow. 

I understand the siren call of mediocrity because it dresses itself up like safety. Oh yeah, why push myself and it not work out when I can keep doing what I'm doing and be alright. Well, who wants to just be alright? Will you tell your children to settle for alright? Because that's what being mediocre is, it's settling.

Don't be happy with settling. You can grow yourself through change. And those changes don't have to be big (at first). Start small. Research that business idea you've been thinking of. Start saving a dollar a day for that trip you want to take. Once you start making small changes and seeing that the rug hasn't been pulled from underneath your feet, you'll be empowered to make bigger changes. And before you know if you've left Mediocre Lane and are pulling into Excellence Drive.

Now, you're saying, but what if I change and my spouse (friend, sister, brother, mother, whoever) doesn't change? What will happen then? Oh, sure some people will resist your change, they'll want you to waddle in mediocrity like they are. Why? Because every time you attempt to be great it's a subtle reminder that they're still stuck in their own mediocre lives. And they get afraid, will you love me if you change, will you leave me if you change, they wonder. Well, that's up to you and them, but here's the silver lining. When you change you will inspire change in others. People that want to love you and be with you will stretch to meet you. It might be a little painful during that stretching period. A little like your first time doing yoga, but the benefits, like yoga, are worth it.

So today I say to you, "Don't be good, be great!"


Thursday, January 2, 2014

Lost & Found

My Old Blog Profile Pic - Yup, Bad Ass!
OMG, I've been trying to incorporate more of my voice into my writing (that includes this blog) and was struggling with that. I even read a great article on finding your voice. But lo and behold, I Googled my name and found my old blog from when I was 26.

I was young, newly married, and I had a big mouth. But not in a bad way. Reading my old blog was proof that I have written in my authentic voice before, but somehow I'd lost that boldness to do so. I don't know if it's because the years in between beat me up a little or if having children made me feel I had to be more reserved. I don't know what tampered my voice, but I will say that I've been gaining it back in the past couple of years, but I need it to show up all the time (well maybe not at the office, LOL!). But I miss that girl, she was a bad ass. Shit, I still am a bad ass and I don't have to be afraid of that anymore.

Which is why I might need to rethink the whole name of this blog. Not necessarily what I post because I am a mom and a wife, but I'm so much more. Am I limiting myself, by entitling the blog, This Mom's Life?  Maybe I should just rename it to Lost & Found: A Glimpse into the Life of a Modern Day Superwoman. I kind of like the ring of that...

Love me or leave me alone. 


Planning The Year Ahead

For those who may not know, I'm doing a social media fast for a week. My week started yesterday, January 1st, 2014 and I'm not breaking out into a cold sweat at the moment, so I'd say I'm doing well so far.

My main reason for doing this fast is to get myself ramped up for the goals I want to accomplish for 2014. I've already spoken about my accomplishments last year, but I want to do MORE this year! So, the best way to do more is to get rid of the time wasters or web black holes that suck up your time when you could be checking off a goal that you've set for yourself.

Right now as I type, I'm listening to the At the Helm Podcast on Planning for 2014. You should definitely listen to the podcast, but I'll give you a bit of a breakdown on the podcast and how it will apply to my 2014.

STRATEGIES ON HOW TO PLAN FOR 2014:
  1. Review 2013
  2. Personal SWOT Analysis
  3. Creating a Word of the Year
  4. Setting Goals
  5. The Value of Networking 
  6. Create an arsenal for 2014 

1. Reviewing 2013:

  • What Worked: Writing. I put out THREE short stories and wrote TWO scripts! AMAZEBALLS, esp since I did that mid-year! Imagine what I can put out in a full year. IMAGINE I SAY!
  • What Didn't Work: Deadlines, or should I say, not setting deadlines. When I set a deadline and announce it, it does two things. 1. It gives me a concrete goal line to head for. 2. Accountability, once I announce it I have to do it or I come off as a big FAILURE.
  • Satisfaction Score for the Year:  B- I give myself a B- because although I accomplished a lot it took me to mid-year to get off my ass. Although some of my stories I did start earlier without having a deadline I meandered to the finish line instead of sprinting like a BOSS!
  • Review Your Mission & Vision or Create One for 2014: My mission for 2014 is to Create Meaningful Things.

2. Personal SWOT Analysis
  • Strengths: Writing, Creativity, Ideas
  • Weaknesses -Accountability, Deadlines, Follow Through
  • Opportunities -Writing Groups, Conferences, Online Submission/Publicity vehicles
  • Threats - ???


3. Creating a Word of the Year:

This is my word for 2014. I chose this because what I want to do most this year is create. Create literature, screenplays, art, clothing, jewelry, and opportunities!


4. Setting Goals 
  • Write a second story for each of the stories I published in 2013.
  • Write one original story for publication by Valentine's Day.
  • Finish my three current feature scripts in progress.
  • Write two more original feature scripts.
  • Write one original hour long television script and series bible.
  • Purge my home of unnecessary things.
  • Sew at least two outfits per clothing season.
  • Make at least five items of jewelry.
  • Create at least one piece of art for my wall.
  • Teach my 2nd son to read.
  • Read one book a month.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Cook a home cooked meal three days a week.

5. The Value of Networking:
Be intentional about networking in 2014, find out who you want in your network and who you don't want in your network.

6. Create an Arsenal:
(suggested in the podcast)

(my personal suggestions)

So how are you planning your year ahead? Leave your answer in the comments, I'd love to hear what you're doing!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year, New Look!

Hello 2014 and hello This Mom's Life readers. I decided that a new year deserved a new look. How do you like the new design? This aqua color is one of my favorite colors. This is the second home I've had and I always find a way to come back to this color for my walls in one iteration or another. In my first home the walls were a darker turquoise and in my newest abode it is Sherwin Williams SW6737 Kiwi Paint. So, when I thought about what colors to use in my new blog layout I knew that it was time to go for my favorite go to color. There's something so serene and soothing about this palette, I think because it reminds me of the ocean. Oh well, I hope you like the new look and I can't wait for all the fun that the new year brings!

 


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