Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Mission of Giving

Tis the season for trying to figure out what to purchase as gifts for our loved ones.  The truth is, this holiday season of 2014 has left many full of discontent, opposition with our fellow countrymen and robbed of our holiday spirit.  I can't fix this.  I can offer a suggestion for a purchase that will leave you feeling like, not only did you purchase something cool and stylish, but you also helped someone in need while doing it. 

Isn't awesome how many companies are coming forward to help those in need?  Isn't it great when you stumble onto one and it fits your needs both as a fantastic gift and you contributed to a charitable organization while doing so? 

It's called, Mission Belt Co.  If you would like to read about their history, you can find that here. Basically, they take $1 from every belt they sell and they contribute that to a micro lending fund.  Here's a better breakdown because I'm much better at fashion discussion than the logistics of business.  I'm not trying to dumb myself down, I'm a writer, not a mathematician.

So, now to the fashion.  These belts are awesome!  They don't have holes, which is perfect.  They are genuine leather and my husband says it reminds him of his Military Class A belt he wore in the Army.  He likes the way it cinches, because instead of having a hole in just not the right spot, you can make this belt as tight as you want, for the perfect fit. No stretched out belt holes.

This belt is so amazing it will make you sexier than a Superman in a row of diapers.  Ok, I took this at Toys R Us, I was taking photos of him in the belt all day but they really have the best lighting. 

This is him in the park, pushing a stroller, because my man's man is a really awesome Dad.

Ok, my husband does have a head but he's a little shy so I didn't take any face photos.  This was his first modeling assignment and I promised I would only shoot the belt...this time.

Men love belts for Christmas and this one is stylish and the company is socially responsible and gives back to the world.  For more info on that and who they have actually helped with a breakdown of numbers, click here.

After all the darkness we have seen ourselves through in the past month, I think it's nice that there is a company we can shop and know that our money isn't going to support any cause that will continue to cause distension in America.  They do ship outside of the US as well.  They are also taking part in cyber Monday so make sure you get your price reduced belt before Tuesday.

Thank you for reading this post sponsored by Mission Belt Co.


Friday, November 28, 2014

Final NaBloPoMo Prompt

This is my last post for Blogher's NaBloPoMo and one of my first times in awhile, outside of pregnancy, I have completed through to the end!

Today's prompt is funny.  Because today's prompt is something that could actually happen in my life.

"If you could be a cast member on any show, which one would it be?  Tell us about your character?"

This is easy.  If I could be a cast member on any show I would be Mindy Lahiri's not quite as professional best friend.  I would be just as fab but not a gynecologist.  Perhaps a stay at home mom in NYC with a nanny.  I think I could play that part.

I would want to be this character for two reasons.  One, because that production provides work to actual pregnant women and I think that's really dope and two, because Mindy Kalin, the real person is awesome and has built a successful show.  Also, the show has a quirky style of humor and I love that.  There is no canned laughter, just a show where I can laugh if I want and I think they plan that you will, at all the inopportune times and that is brilliant.

Thank you for sticking with me through this month of November!  Next month I go back to drink and food recipes, in addition to my little stories and I'm beginning a section on going Boho.  Tomorrow I will be back with a great tip on what to buy the man in your life for Christmas.  It not only contributes to a great cause but is also a cool accessory.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

A Look Into the Future

It's funny to do these prompts back to back when they were supposed to be a day apart.  I just wrote about something that happened when Cora wasn't even sitting on her own and now I'm jumping into the future for NaBloPoMo.  Only one more November post after this and then I may do some December prompts.  I haven't decided on that yet.

So, where do I see my blog a year from now?  Blogging has been such an interesting journey of reflection.  I'm still a relatively new mom.  I am not seasoned.  I have been doing it just shy of a year.  A year from now I see my blog as more consistent.  I hope to be a daily writer of all things that interest me.  Perhaps 3 posts per day.  I know that I am taking it more serious because today I purchased a starter camera that is not my iPhone and I purchased editing software for my videos because I just cannot figure iMovie out.  Perhaps by 2016 I will be ready to attend a blogging conference, but for now, I'm content with the mom stuff and living here in Los Angeles.  I want to write more about my experience here instead of wishing I were closer to family.  I'm right next to my family, I made one here.  But, yes, I miss my Oklahoma people.

Where do I see my blog in 5 years?  I see myself making a living off my writing.  Every single day I come across more opportunities and with great humbleness and humility, I watch my numbers grow.  What started off so small, (like my current vlog), has become something that I'm starting to be proud of.  I hope to be able to write about acting in five years.  I know I will be ready to go back by then.  I will begin acting class soon and plan on just studying for a solid year before I even attempt to crack back at auditions.  I only get one shot to be with my lovely Cora at this age and I want to savor every single second.  Even the tough ones.

As we wrap up 2014 and move into 2015, I look back and I'm amazed at the woman I am now.  The reflection staring back at me is no longer a stranger.  The support of my amazing husband and the amazing responsibility of being a mom have changed me for the better.

To those of you who keep coming back for my posts, thank you.  As an actor, I love to tell stories.  I want to tell stories.  I hope my upcoming posts will allow me to step out of my fear of judgement and be honest about the life I have led.  It's my life, nothing to be ashamed of, only moments to be relished, even the moments that embarrassed the hell out of me.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

A Different Point of View than Before

Awhile back I wrote about a day Cora and I went to a learning center.  You can find the post here.  I had thought I was the asshole, but in retrospect, I no longer feel that way.

I feel as a new mom there is the possibility that I am oversensitive.  So, wouldn't you think a woman who had decided to make her life about teaching and helping women with their newborns might be a little more understanding of that?  I left that class that day feeling like a horrible mother, and when I look back on that day, I think I did all I could do.

In hindsight, a woman standing over a circle of new moms how to talk to their children is weird.  As I wanted to comfort her in the way I knew how, I observed this teacher chastising other mothers for saying the words,  "you're ok."

I have told her that since she was born and that day I was told I was wrong for that, and as I participated and watched the other mothers struggle with the fact none of us could tell our children they were ok, I thought I was failing as a mom because I didn't have another way to comfort her.

I'm okay.  Cora is okay.  We never went back to that class.  I was excited about it too.  It was geared to help brain development but I think it's just a strange mommy and me class in a mall next to a shop with overpriced stray cats.  I realize that sentence sounds like something from a strange dream.

 I have learned how to play with Cora on my own.  And you know what, she's okay.  She is close to walking, she speaks her own baby babble and loves when I read to her and show her the pictures.  So, I know longer think that some days I'm the asshole.  I'm pretty sure that day I wasn't.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Wouldn't it be nice if there was a social media networking site that was devoted solely to peace and the uplifting nature of man?  Currently I see a few dystopias running and I have found myself searching for other networking sites.  I have a found that, outside of Facebook and Twitter, that there are some really cool spots to hang out.  I still like Facebook and Twitter, but I am also enjoying finding different types of people to connect with.

Social media has changed the world we live in.  I like to think of the good side.  I can see a photo in an instant of something my Mom is looking at in Oklahoma and she can see what I see out here, and eight other members of my family can see it at the exact same time.   I love being a click away from people.  What I do not like is the angst, hate and negativity that I run across.

If I had unlimited funds I would create a Utopian Social Networking site.  There would be stipulations to joining.  No trolls allowed.  No negative.  No mass hysteria.  No conflict.

There would be educated discussions of how we can better our respective real life communities.  We would look at the cause of our problems and avoid the continued focus on the results of the problems.  I would think if online media can spark such mob mentality, perhaps it could spark mob tranquility.

There is so much wrong in the world today.  I feel we are being robbed of our Thanksgiving somehow.  I am sorry a young man died but I am also sorry the mass hysteria of people want to see another punished, even if the possibility exists that he did what he had to do.   I'm on neither side but I do think we need to confront the issue that cops and criminals are running the place and the average person isn't.  I would like to create a mass social networking that would put the world into the hands of the people to build each other up rather than scream their beliefs down each others throats.

I would enjoy reading about a person who launched a new business, take part of the journey whether it succeeds or fails and learn from each other how to be better next time.  I would love to interact with mothers who may be having the day like I had with my daughter today, and instead of passing judgement, we could offer encouragement and guidance when the going gets tough.

I would love for every group of people eager to live a positive life, to have a place they could go to discuss current events and not be attacked but elevated.

I have decided I will call this website

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

What's in a Title?

Today I was kicked out of my apartment for four hours for the annual annihilation of the bugs.  They spray the whole building.  They chose the Monday before Thanksgiving, because the management office is under the assumption that Thanksgiving was cancelled this year due to the fact that everyone has been decorating since before Halloween.  In fact, I think most pumpkins had Christmas trees carved into them.

 Since I was a temporary refugee this morning I decided to take shelter at my friend's house for a few hours. This is an old photo of my last visit to her place.

I call this, The Tourists.

As I was walking, I felt tired from not enough rest and cranky for the temporary transplant.  Yes, I was happy to see my friend, but, I don't like being rushed out of my place to do so.  But, as I was walking up Beachwood Canyon I stopped for a moment to think about where I was.  I was walking toward the historic Hollywood sign surrounded by quaint apartments on both sides with flowers that bloom all year round.  Beyond the foothills you move up to the Hollywood Hills, to some of the most beautiful houses you can imagine, all nestled within view of this ever motivating sign.  While pushing Cora toward it I wondered if this sign will have any significance to her like it did to me.  I grew up in Oklahoma and Los Angeles or rather Hollywood was such a far off, magical place where dreams happen and great moments are made.  

This place won't be the mystery to her that it was to me.  She's in the thick of it and we aren't leaving.  

Today's prompt from BlogHer is: What is your favorite headline/blog post title you have ever written?  What was the hardest post to title?

My favorite to title was Job Hunting in my Fat Pants.  It also continues to be one of my top hit blogs so I'm not even going to link it here as you can look to the left and find the link.  My toughest to title was definitely the tea tree oil one.  I still haven't given that product the justice it deserves and I will, soon.  

For me, coming up with titles isn't that hard.  In fifth grade I came up with the school motto.  We were the Eagles so I submitted Fly High with the Eagles Eye.  The public school superintendent came to meet me the morning after I won the contest for best motto, but in true Christy fashion I was late.  At the time I didn't give a shit, not sure if I would now either.   I thought school was a prison I had to attend until I was 18.  I had no desire to meet the warden.

Later, in college, I studied Journalism.  So, coming up with headlines or titles actually feels pretty natural to me.  I don't like click bait though.  It's upsetting when you find that the title of someone's blog is "something horrible happened to me today," and you click because you're concerned, only to find out they just wanted you to click so they could tell you about the harrowing experience of eating a burnt cookie or something.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ode to my Fridge

Sitting in the corner sometimes I even forget you are there.
I can hear you breathing, perhaps 15 minutes at a time.
As you open yourself up to me, it's a chill to the touch.

Every morning, noon and night we do the same dance.
I open your door and see what you will offer me.
How will you satiate my desire?

Will you deliver the things I need for sustenence?
Or stare back with a cold blank emptiness?
Offering nothing.  A condiment in the corner.

Or will you pour out the love you contain?
Cold sweet fruit?  Crisp dill pickles?
Sweet chocolate almond milk, nectar of the Gods.

As I look up to see what's at eye level, I know.
Sweet cold ice cream.  Frozen water.
A cold love swept up my gaze.

I agree I take you for granted.
Cursing the sky if the electric goes out.
For that brief moment I have lost you.

But then we know all is well,
when you begin to hum again,
in the corner, where you stoicly hold your ground.

Clearly today's prompt was, What is the one appliance you can't live without?  Can you guess what I'm writing about here?

NaBloPoMo November 2014

A Book in Me

Yesterday's prompt was do I have a book in me?  I don't know why that makes me giggle.  I'm imaging a square tummy, kind of a spongebob look.  Me as a book.  Anyways, this prompt is relevant because I have found myself wanting to write a book but short on the time available to do it.  I have friends who have published and I believe it is part of the blogging journey.

Short post.  No one said I had to write a book for a blog.
NaBloPoMo November 2014

Funny thing is...

I took a few days hiatus.  I am finding it difficult to mommy, wife, work, blog and keep my home in order while trying to shop and figure out my acting career.  (giggling inside about trying to revive my social life)  This week I decided to put the cleanliness of my home first and looking around, it looks like that has blown up in my face.  I'm taking two weeks off from vlogging to figure out my proper balance.  I think it will come easier after I'm done with the prompts.

Now, on with Nablopomo prompt for last Wedensday... Are you the funny one in most groups?  What kind of things do you find funny?

For me, funny depends on the group.  Sometimes, when I'm with a group of comics, the anxiety is so high in everyone to out funny the other that I can't enjoy a good laugh.  Or when I'm with a comic who is a pro I find myself at a loss for funny and I fall flat on punch lines as I try unsuccessfully to keep up.  I love most improvisers.  Those people can be insanely funny.

If I'm in a group of conservative people I find that I am misunderstood and my jokes fall flat.  I find that as I get older the conservative crowd gets it a bit more, but most of them, I'm talking red state conservative, don't understand why I would be making jokes at a time like this, and it is always a "time like this."  To the pretentious bar crowd sometimes I'm not funny until they get drunk because it takes a while to lube that stick up their ass enough to loosen up a bit.

I can find humor in almost anything.  Except sadistic things.  I'm not a sicko.  So, there you go.  This is part 1 of my blog binge for the evening, so sit back, grab a glass of wine and see what comes out of my brain next!

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Kindness of Strangers

Tonight Brian and I went clothes shopping.  We went to this great consignment store in the valley.  In high school I worked retail in the mall and I have a hard time shopping when I know the shelf life on items is so short before they are marked down, and I love second hand shops, especially out here, because in L.A., they truly are treasure shops.

I tried on a few items and I was not happy about the roll in my belly.  I mean, I have jelly belly rolls.  So, needless to say, I'm doing yoga this evening and running tomorrow.  I have decided to add a workout routine each day until I'm up to 5x per week.  I think that's fair.  Last week I ran, this week I run and do a yoga sesh.  So, after this blog, I will do a yoga practice while Cora and Brian sleep.

Today's NaBloPoMo prompt is, tell about the time you benefited from the kindness of strangers.  I read the prompt this morning and have thought about it most of the day.  I mean, out here I have basically lived my life off the kindness of strangers.  In fact, I have, in my life, encountered more nice strangers than jerks.  I remember I told a guy in high school that and he told me that was actually more dangerous.  I disagree.  But since I have my mind on my fat belly, I remember a time when I didn't have such a fat belly, and that's the time I will discuss now.

Seven years ago I was a very sad mess.  I had become so skinny my boobs looked like tube socks with tennis balls in the end and my body was rail thin.  I was extremely depressed and had passed the point of being able to eat.  I wasn't anorexic, I was just extremely depressed.  I was lonely.  I hiked a lot with my dog but even that didn't churn my appetite.

One day I was up in my apartment depressed and bored and I heard a knock on my door.  I remember what I was wearing.  I had on a ribbed tank top and seven jeans, size 26.  My hip bones were jutting out and my little body was very frail.  I had on a sports bra and I was basically a stick with sad breasts.  Anyways, back to the knock on the door.  I answered and it was my neighbor from downstairs who I barely spoke with.

At the time, I wasn't a vegetarian and he was standing there holding a McDonalds bag.  I thought that was strange, he was married, two daughters and he was a vegetarian.  I asked what was going on and he said he wanted me to eat a Big Mac.  Most people say that in jest to skinny girls but he meant it.  He told me his wife knew where he was and that he had two little girls and if they ever get this sad he hopes someone will sit with them while they eat so they know they are loved.  I had money to eat, I just couldn't.  So, he sat with me and told me sharing a meal is important and I should share more meals with people who care about me.  So, I ate it.  It was the best damn burger I had ever had.

I can also say that was a moment in my life where I started to see that I deserved love.  That I didn't deserve to sit and feel regret and loneliness for mistakes I had made in the past.  A man had made a non-romantic gesture toward me and he didn't threaten me or want to hurt me.  That was an extreme kindness extended by someone who later became my friend.

Now, I'm not going to lie, I do wish I could be a little closer to that size than this one.  But I can tell you I am definitely happier and ready to ease into some yoga poses in the hopes of having a slender waist, but not one to warrant a stranger bringing a Big Mac to my door.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Did I Offend You?

I'm back to writing this Monday evening after a busy weekend slinging drinks on the pier.  The house is clean through diligent work on both Brian and my part.  We have final word that we are staying in California so I guess I'm done watching Pioneer Woman or Hart of Dixie in the hopes of moving to a small town.  Every time we contemplate moving we seem to hear Hotel California by The Eagles and know that "you can check out any time you want but you can never leave."

I'm continuing with NaBloPoMo this evening and the prompt is, have you ever written anything on your blog that is controversial and what made you write it?

I don't think my blog is very controversial at all but I have pissed off some trolls on Twitter.  When the fappening was happening I posted something along the lines of, if you look you are as gross as a peeping tom.  Well, apparently I pissed off the women who hate feminists.  I mean, wow!  I think those women hate women, not just feminists and it hurt me for all women everywhere to see a few ladies so angry at their own kind.  I tried to reason, to be kind but the trolls attacked and I had to block them and delete them from my life.

I mean in terms of the internet, it's the world we create for ourselves online.  You do have the power to block and delete someone who maliciously tries to hurt or offend you.

So that's it.  That's as offensive as I get.  I'm the girl who stuck up for my own sex and according to the trolls I got owned.  It isn't the first time I have been attacked by trolls.  I was attacked by some trolls on IMDB who told me to do a sex tape.  I'm sure, through blogging and vlogging I will come across more trolls, but that's all they are, trolls.

Isn't it quite strange that we have modern day trolls?  I know I have gone off subject and I reserve the right to do that because I'm typing as a tired mom.  Brian and I were looking at elementary schools in the area and we found a school that actually teaches blogging and is an anti-bullying school.  I wonder if they teach those little nuggets about trolls online?  I could say the word trolls five or six more times because I'm so exhausted it's making me giggle.

Trolls, trolls, trolls...the end.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Our Day Trip

Earlier this week Brian and I went to San Luis Obispo.  It was Veteran's Day and he took Monday off so we could dash away for a couple of days. 

I made a YouTube Video of the event.  Here it is.  I can't say I'm getting better at these but the more I mess around with it the more I know it will just eventually gel.

San Luis Obispo

The weather was overcast those couple of days but it was still a pleasant trip.  In fact, I enjoyed it more because it felt like fall!

Here are some photos from our trip.

It was in our bathroom.  Yes, I used it.

I love it when Lavender is in bloom.

The Hotel Exterior

Because Wine.

Lights by the bed.

Vacation is exhausting.

Those are just a few really random photos but we also stopped in Solvang.  I love it there.  I want to spend a couple of days there!  We just stopped for lunch on the drive home.

 Windmill at the restaurant.

So, it looks like I have began my love affair with California again.  Since we are staying on not headed back to Oklahoma any time soon I am going to allow myself to fall back in love with this place again. 

The Age "Old" Question

My recent game changer is that I had a baby.  Before I had Cora, I shopped in the junior's section, enjoyed a very extended young adult stage and was pretty oblivious to the fact my body and face were aging but my maturity level and emotional stage was stuck somewhere around 23.

Then I left Los Angeles.  Then I met Brian.  Then I had Cora.

Somewhere in there I moved back to L.A.  I recently tried to jump back into acting by taking a commercial class and I hated it in the first 20 minutes.  I realized, I don't give a shit about commercial acting.  So, I made the immature decision to quit the class and the mature decision not to feel bad about it.  I'm not ready to audition.  I would rather take a legit acting class with a top rated coach and study for awhile until Cora begins school.

The prompt for Nablopomo today is, Do you enjoy growing old or do you fight against it?

I have been on both sides of the fence with growing old.  I have written about my 30th birthday before.  The day before was like a death march.  I thought, for sure, my life was over.  I made fun of 30 year olds when I was in my teens and twenties.  I thought 30 meant old.  Then I turned 30.  Not only did I not feel any different, I sure as hell didn't feel old.  This is how I looked at 30.

What I thought was granny age.

Even as I look at this photo now I am sad that I had been so conditioned to believe I was over the hill that I had zero self confidence.  In fact, this was a point in my life when I was making a living as a tradeshow and promotional model, staying at wonderful hotels and touring California and Vegas and my confidence was at an all time low.  I was suffering with severe depression and if I didn't have work lined up, I would lay in bed, smoke pot and stare at the ceiling and wonder why no one wanted me to represent their product that week.  I would cry openly in public and I was miserable all the time.  

Then, as I continued into my 30s, and continued to rep products, people felt it was ok to explain where I was flawed.  Sun spots here, a wrinkle there, perhaps that mole on your back should be removed.  I was no longer a person but a doll to be carved on until I was perfectly 22 again.  

I left that world eventually.  I began acting again and supplemented my income with bartending.  I had a baby and I'm now easily 30 lbs heavier than in the above photo.  I have deeper lines on my face, the coconut oil has helped with the sun spots and now I look like this at 38.  

Now I'm a wife and mom.

I realize what turned me off in that commercial class is that I was told to think about my hair, my image,  and who I am marketing to.  I don't really want to do that.  And that's ok.  And for those who do choose that path, that's ok too.  It just wasn't for me.  In fact, it threw me so far out of my acting game I was afraid to come back.  But, through these prompts this month and the question about what do I do for writer's block, I realized, I'm ready.  I'm enough.  Writing has gotten me through my actor's block!

I notice the difference now in aging is that since I let go of aesthetics, I smile more.  I laugh freely.  I find it very hard to cry but I do cry at inappropriate times due to hormones post childbirth.  I'm heavier but I welcome the weight loss challenge now that I have the energy to exercise.  

I guess I would have to say, I enjoy aging.  I only fight the greying part.  I am happier the older I get.  I am more patient and kind.  When someone tells me I'm too serious, I just smile now and say fuck it, who are you in my life?  The cool thing is, no one really says that anymore.  So, with age I have found it is much easier to be me, Christy.
NaBloPoMo November 2014

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Inspiration from Other Bloggers

Today's prompt from Nablopomo with Blogher is, 'What is the one skill I see in other bloggers that I wish I had?'

Well, there are a few but if I had to chalk it up to one...I suppose I am inspired by layout, good photography and interesting stories.  Ok, that's three.  I get it.  But I really feel they all compliment each other. 

I know with these prompts I haven't been including photos.  I am just sticking with the goal of accomplishing something I set out to do.  It's been a long time since I have followed through with anything outside of carrying my little nugget Cora full term. 

I love looking at great photos inside a story laid out on a great website.  So, I suppose, after this month, I will begin gearing my blog more toward that direction. 
NaBloPoMo November 2014

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Writer's Block

After the last few posts you are probably wondering why I would write a post about writer's block on a night when I am literally spewing words out like nobody's business, but I have been hit with writer's block.  More to the point, I am currently hit with actor's block and I'm using my blog to distract myself from the fact that I don't want to bother with acting right now.  Also, it's today's prompt with Nablopomo.

So, what do I do to get myself out of a creative block?  I usually try to start a 12 week program of Julia Cameron's or I just wait it out until it's over.  At first I would fall into that, oh my gosh, I have to blog everyday or people will forget about me!!!  Then I realized, meh, it's the internet.  It's there and it isn't going anywhere and the cool thing is, you will randomly get read and discovered in the same way you randomly read and discover stuff.

I have found that when I stop worrying about what I'm going to write, and just allow myself to post what's on my mind, which is what a blog is for, I am more inclined to speak from the heart.  I spent some time recently trying to figure out what my blog was for.  Am I trying to be a fashion expert, foodie, drunkie, fitty, or crafty?  Then I realized, I'm all of those things on different days so why should I worry about just being one every day?

So, goodbye writer's block and hello life!  I think the best way to combat any block is to be honest.  Listen to the voice inside, not the inner critic, but the good voice.  Give yourself space to create and discover and most importantly, have fun!  When burnout occurs it probably means it's time to step back and experience something different for awhile.

This advice is coming from a free spirit so take it with a grain of sand... wonderful beach sand that slips through your fingers and is impossible to grasp!
NaBloPoMo November 2014

The Desire to Rid Myself of this One Worry

Does anyone ever have enough money?  Why do I have a hard time with it?  When I have it, I balance it nicely, but money is this elusive thing that I cannot seem to grasp. 

Perhaps it's because I can't ever follow through on a project, therefore I haven't really began a career.  The only thing I have found myself interested in lately is blogging and of course, over all of that, being a family woman.  Is it possible that I didn't find success in anything else because this is what I was meant to do? 

I would love to not worry about money.  I would love to focus only on my child, my husband, my acting, my writing and my strong desire to travel.  If money weren't needed I would do all of that.  Then I ask myself if that is a self-limiting belief.  Maybe I wasn't successful because my goals didn't interest me as much as I thought they did.  Or perhaps it was a combination of other things.  I would like to stop the limiting belief that I don't have enough. 

Even now, as I have enough to eat, a place to live and my credit rating continues to rise and my credit limit goes higher.  I think, what if I don't have enough?  I wish I could stop that.  I'm trying.  I truly am.  I am learning to say thank you for the things I have.  But still, that little voice in my head now says, how will you pay for pre-school? clothes for elementary school? dance? gymnastics? wushu? plus everything you want? 

I'm just going to stop trying to do everything at once or trying to figure out where the money is going to come from.  Tonight my goal was to catch up my blog and follow through on this Nablopomo challenge, then after that I have a few more goals set for myself.  I think if I focus on my goals and not the money, then I will reap the rewards.  It's when I focus on money that I get all screwed up and feel bad about myself for not having enough.

My first goal is to finish posting on all the prompts for the month of November while continuing to vlog once a week.  I'm doing it so far and I took a trip to San Luis Obispo!  One more post, then a few blogs to read and comment on and I am caught up with writing, then onto editing my vlog!

NaBloPoMo November 2014

10 Ways to Keep your Relationship Alive

I'm plowing forward on my writing this evening.  This is my sixth entry in the Nablopomo and I'm feeling pretty good.  I have been instructed to write a how to post on something I know how to do.  So, I'm going to write a post on how to enjoy your spouse.

Here are 10 ways to keep the flames alive in your relationship.  Please Cosmo, don't copy this.

1.  Be thankful.  Find a reason to thank your partner, no matter how small.  I believe that appreciation begets admiration and it's fun to love and admire the person we have chosen to have a long lasting relationship with.

2.  Be intimate.  I know, you don't always feel like it especially with kids, work, social life, etc.  But it's important to reconnect physically.

3.  Speak highly of your partner behind their back.  If you can't, you are in the wrong relationship.  I have been there and it sucks.  Once you get married though, you really need to honor your spouse and love them to their face and behind their back.

4.  Leave a little love note every now and then.  I love getting notes from my husband.  I also love leaving them stuffed in a pocket for him to find later.

5.  Change up dinner with a new recipe.  Who cares if you fail!  Sometimes the journey is more fun than the destination.

6.  Take each other on adventures.  Even if it's small, you can find something to do that you both enjoy.  Have kids?  Bring them along!

7.  Don't take each other for granted.  Life is precious.  Hug and kiss your partner like you mean it.  You never know when the cruel hand of fate may steal them from your arms. 

8.  Convey your love even when you're angry.  I know that right now, with an infant, I am so exhausted most of the time that sleep is precious when I finally settle down into it.  When my husband interrupts it, I say, "I hate you right this second but I love you every other second."

9.  Have a sense of humor.  We once fought about money.  Once.  Then I laughed and said, "we don't have any!  What are we fighting about?  I believe this is something we should probably agree on!"  and we never fought about money again.

10.  Finally, once again.  Be thankful.  Be thankful you found your someone.  If you have found yourself in a troubled spot of your relationship, keep a thankful list.  You don't have to share it with your partner.  Write 10 reasons you are thankful this person is in your life and you will find peace with each other.  Unless your partner is an asshole, then disregard this entire piece. 
NaBloPoMo November 2014

Not my Ideal Vacay

I'm sitting at my computer with homemade hot cocoa painfully churning through my belly, laundry in the machine and I'm four posts behind in the November blogging challenge.  Maybe I catch up tonight?  Maybe I don't.  Either way, I'm going to try.

The prompt I was given for last Friday's blog was "Where is one place you never want to go on vacation that other people love?"

That's easy... a cruise.  Next!

Ok, I will expand on that but luckily this is going to be a short post.  I refuse to cruise for various reason, the main one being that I am incredibly, unbelievably, totally, overwhelmingly terrified of the ocean.  And yes, I work on the pier. 

It's not just the movie Titanic that has driven me to this fear.  It's the fact that miles under me is water.  Tons and tons of water.  I can't breath under water.  I would freeze in the water. 

I don't like flying much either but I will do it.  Cruising over water.  Forget about it.  I won't be adventuring out on a glass bottom fishing adventure anytime either.

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Friday, November 7, 2014

Professional Blogger

Well, I just uploaded my second YouTube video and as I was hitting send, I decided to download the iMovie book to my Kindle, so hopefully I will be able to cut some interesting things together soon.  Can you imagine reading the above sentence 10 years ago?  You'd be like...what?

Here's the video:

My latest prompt for Nablopomo is:  Do you consider yourself a professional blogger?  What does that mean to you?

Well, to me, professional means, making a living at.  Do I consider myself a blogger?  Yes.  Am I able to jump off the pier and step away from bartending in paradise?  Nope.  Not just yet.  Also, the fact it took me until day 4 to figure out how to spell Nablopomo may mean I still have some work to do!

I believe that things take time.  I have learned that overnight success as an actor takes years of success, and since I haven't found my professional niche as a blogger then I will happily post stories about my family and random stuff until I stumble onto my calling.  

I enjoy writing.  Since I can't pursue acting right now, it's a way for me to creatively continue to put myself out into the world.  Now I know there are people who have children in the entertainment industry and I have spoken before about the effort and dedication it takes to be an actor, and I'm just not willing to do that right now.  I want to hang out with Cora as much as possible.  I'm not shaming anyone else who still has the hustle going.  I just can't.  I like to sleep when I can get it right now.  

NaBloPoMo November 2014

My Voice as a Writer

I have fallen behind on my posts due to family circumstances but I'm using Cora's nap time as a moment to catch up.  The place I tend bar is under new management so we are actually busy!  Normally I can get some blog time in after a slow Thursday but last night I came home and melted into bed.

Well...kind of.  Apparently Brian had a hard time getting Cora to sleep so the whole family shared the bed last night.  I often found myself awakened by a tiny foot in my face as my restless baby moved in every direction to try and get comfortable.  Before the American Pediatric Association comes at me for co-sleeping, I will just say, there is a warning attached to co-sleeping.  Be very careful and don't follow my lead just because you may like my blog.  You have to do what's right for you.

So, back to my prompt, finding my voice as a writer.  Do I think I have found my voice?  Nope.  I think finding my voice is something I have always had a hard time figuring out to be completely honest.  In a land of cooking, fashion, mommy, DIY  blogosphere of  experts in every field, I think I may be rather boring.

I'm a girl, from Oklahoma who moved to Los Angeles to be an actress.  Then I married a petroleum engineer.  If you look back in history, I'm pretty cliche.  Except I convinced him to come here instead of the other way around.  We will see how long that decision holds!  I have lived a fun life but I'm not over dramatic about it.  So honestly, trying to find my voice in the blogging world is tough.  I know that vocally I'm a mezzo alto, acting wise, well, I'm a dramatic actress but I like wicked dry comedy too.

Lately, when I sit down to blog or vlog I try to repeat the mantra, be honest.  I feel if I come from a place of sincerity, then my blog will take the shape it's meant to.  Even if two years down the road it's gardening and driving a bio-diesel classic Mercedes that I fuel from goat poop and leftovers.

The point I'm trying to make is, I have learned as an actor that the point of life is to grow and evolve.  I know blogging is a money making business for moms out there and I think it's an amazing opportunity for us at this time, but the truth is, I'm not ready to fit into a genre.  I don't know that there is one for me.  I'm not snark.  I'm not Martha Stewart.  I'm not sweet nor am I bitter.  I'm quirky and happy and fine with that.  I cook sometimes.  I organize hardly ever.  I had a kid late in the game of life so maybe older lady parenting will be my thing.  I shake a mean cocktail but don't want to influence women to drink when they should be doing something else.  I could write in my bartender voice...but I don't.  I'm just not comfortable but I will be giving cocktail recipes, don't worry.

I don't like labels so for now, I'm just going to follow these prompts for November then continue blogging and vlogging to record my memories to share with Cora in the future and for your eyes to read now. 
NaBloPoMo November 2014

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Holiday Memory

I just spent nearly two hours trying to get Cora down to sleep.  I would shake my fist at the sky and curse the full moon, but I love the full moon and I accept that my daughter will probably be a little more energetic when it comes around just like I am.  My husband, on the other hand, passed right out and slept peacefully through the entire ordeal. 

Tonight the prompt from BlogHer is about my favorite holiday memory.  This is so hard for me because I have so many.

One of the memories that stands out the most for me is my last memory of my Papa.  I had come back to Oklahoma from Los Angeles and we went out for what I think was Easter.  His health was in decline at this point and I tried to squeeze as many moments with him as I could.  I was in my early 30s and had made the decision to never marry or have children.  Everyone knew this.  The family had accepted it, or so they said.  Papa was dancing a jig near the car by himself.  I remember he was smiling and had passed that point of giving a shit of what anyone thought of him.  I walked to him and as the warm Oklahoma breeze rustled the leaves and we both enjoyed the music only we could hear, I smiled up at him and he said,

"I'm proud of you."

I needed to hear those four words so bad.  After all the time I had spent away from them, after not giving my parents grandkids and my brothers and sisters the niece or nephew they thought I would have.  After not having a lot of success as an actor but living a full life nonetheless, my heart burst open when he said that to me. 

He went on to say,

"It doesn't matter to me that you picked a different way to live.  What matters to me is that I know you did what made you happy."

I asked him to not be so final, that we will see each other again and he told me, we may not and if we don't, to remember that always. 

That was the last time I saw him, that warm spring Oklahoma day, standing outside of my parents place, with the wind blowing up what little hair he had, the twinkle flashing in his eye and his frame noticeably smaller and frail.  His spirit was so big and for some reason everytime my Nana gets around Brian, she just wants to tell him about Papa.  I'm glad she does that.  I wish they could have met and he could have bounced Cora on his knee. 

I'm a late bloomer in the mommy department.  The only regret or wish I have is that he could have met my Cora.  But that he had the foresight to give me love that would stretch past the time he had here on earth makes him a genius in my eyes. 

NaBloPoMo November 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Ideal Brand

As I mentioned in my last post, I will be following Blogher's NaBloPoMo prompts this month on my blog.  This is challenging in that I will be asked daily about things that I don't normally think about, but after reading today's prompt, maybe I should.

Today's prompt is to describe an ideal brand or organization you would like to work with, imaginary of course.  This reminds me of exercises we would do in acting class when we would dream up our ideal role.  Sometimes I would get carried away in imagination other times I would ho hum it, yawn and go for a bike ride or hit a yoga class instead.  Today, I have decided to embrace this exercise with as much exuberance as a mother of a teething nine month old child can muster.

The happier part of a slobbery, uncomfortable, pain in the gums kind of day.

So, who is my ideal imaginary brand?  I suppose it is a company that respects my voice and wants to work with me as an individual.  Someone who believes in an evolution of brand and who isn't afraid to shake things up and change them around sometimes.  Not only would they send me samples of their product, they would compensate me handsomely as well.  They would utilize me as a blogger, a vlogger and a paid spokesperson under SAG Guidelines since I put in the work and would love to book a national commercial or two, three or heck, a series of them off my writing as well as my talent.  They would be environmentalists, humanists, kind and non-offensive...the ultimate Meta brand.  

So, yes, that's the gist of it.  I feel like my 14 year old self just wrote a list of all the things I wanted in a boyfriend when I was in 9th grade.  I distinctly remember these things being on the list:

he will have dark brown hair,
brown eyes,
be kind, 
love animals,
like the cure...

This describes Brian, the guy pictured above, my husband.

Perhaps there is something to this NaBloPoMo prompt after all.

NaBloPoMo November 2014