What Would I Do Without You?
Allow me to introduce you to the reason I do most things one-handed: Melvin. Even now, I am typing with my right hand and holding my tiny assistant with my left. Most of the time, people don't understand why I can't just put him down or why he won't lay down on his own, and that's okay. What works for us may not work for others. However, since shifting to working from home exclusively (mainly for Melvin), I think it's important to explain where I'm coming from more than ever.
The Seals of La Jolla
When I was a kid, my family used to take yearly vacations. Most of the time, we went to California. Where else would two little girls want their parents to take them? California has Disneyland and Disneyland is where all of our favorite people live. So, from the time I was three until I hit high school the four of us (eventually five of us) hit the road to the most magical place on Earth. While we were in California, we always went to San Diego for some beach time and to go to Sea World. My mom's favorite part of our trips was always going to seal beach in La Jolla just north of Sand Diego. Really it's La Jolla Cove, but it's always been seal beach to us. I'll admit, as a kid it wasn't as exciting to me. Playing in the ocean and ordering room service seemed like a much more fun time than standing around looking at seals from afar. On my most recent trip to San Diego, however, I finally got it.
Do What You Can, If You Can
I remember the moment I first became concerned about the state of our oceans. I was six and had just seen a commercial on Disney Channel about recycling plastic and they mentioned that you should be cutting up your six pack rings and showed how a dolphin's mouth can get stuck in one. Twenty years later and I still credit that commercial for why I insist on breaking every six pack ring to pieces. Looking back on this girl, it's not surprising that I am the way I am now. Environmental activist at six, vegetarian at nine, marine biologist wannabe by twelve; I definitely had a certain vibe growing up.
Let It Out
I’ve decided that life is about moments of happiness. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if it’s possible to be happy for longer than a moment. I don’t think I’ve experienced it and perhaps I never will. That’s okay. I’ve found solace in the little moments. Since I was a teenager, a lot of those little moments have existed when I’m painting. There is so much comfort in creating a piece that represents exactly where you are right now. Paint doesn’t judge, it doesn’t talk back, it doesn’t tell you to get over it or talk about itself instead. It allows you to feel all you need to feel and maneuver your way through the fog at your own pace.
The Worst of You Made the Best of Me
It’s strange writing a piece about honoring your mother while being estranged from my own. I contemplated not writing anything at all, but felt compelled to share my story. Not all mothers do wonders for their children just as not all children appreciate what their mothers have done for them. My relationship with my mom has had more downs than ups, and there isn’t much that I would say with certainty that I loved about our relationship. What is important is that I learned a lot from her although it’s not the typical mother/daughter life lessons. Of all the things I’ve learned from her, there is one lesson that is most potent in my mind; survival. I’ve learned that I alone can survive anything life can throw at me because, unbeknownst to her, she was the first thing I had to survive.
Sweet Treats But A Version That I Like
I've been vegan for about 10 years. I became a vegetarian when I was 12 and in my teen years ventured solely into veganism. In that time, I had to learn to adjust what I ate more or less alone. I grew up surrounded by meat eaters and quickly learned that if I wanted to eat a vegan diet, I had to cook it myself. A major bonus for this, however, was I learned how to make vegan meals and desserts that everyone will eat. Even my brother who is the pickiest eater known to man. I'd like to share three of my favorite desserts that will please even the pickiest of meat eaters.
If I Buy This, I’ll Be Happy
One year ago this week, I was laid off and introduced to the quar. Like many other people, I took this as an opportunity to better myself. Or at least told myself I was going to better myself because, let’s be real, I’ve spent the better part of the past year horizontal with my dog on one side and a bag of sweet chili Doritos on the other. None the less, my intentions were good. And like, I’m sure, so many other people out there social media made me even more blindly confident in this. That inspiration was always fleeting, but for a solid 3 or 4 days a month I was committed to this new healthy lifestyle! I spent many a 3 a.m. on Tik Tok inspired to begin my new life the following morning! Cut to waking up at noon, seeing there’s a Roseanne marathon on, and grabbing those Doritos instead. In some small ways, though, these influenced purchases were helpful and did help me become a better version of me who now doesn’t judge myself for eating a Little Debbie brownie for breakfast. Let’s get into it!
The Ultimate Homemade Deodorant
For years I have been on the hunt for the perfect natural deodorant. I had such a hard time finding one that 1. lasts all day and 2. doesn't irritate my skin. The problem that I was having was that every time I would find one I enjoyed and lasted all day, it would always make my under arms break out or itch. After doing some research, I discovered that it was the baking soda in these deodorants that was making me break out and that other people were having the same issue. So, once again, I was on a quest to find a natural deodorant that 1. lasted all day, 2. doesn't irritate my skin, and 3. was baking soda free.