Most recently published stories in Viva.
Nothing prepares you at 41 years old to jump from being woken up at night to feed your last-born baby to being woken up by a night sweat a few days later and nothing really prepares you to being diagnosed with perimenopause a few months later when you realise those symptoms are here to stay and needs to be addressed.
Best Yoga Poses to Improve Menstrual pain
I'm not the only one who has menstrual pain; I have menstrual pain, but I have to put up with it. Menstrual pain is painful, but have you given up?
This Stay-at-Home Mother Needs her Fantasy Romance Novels, OK?
People read for so many reasons; I read for many reasons—To learn, for fun, under duress… but mostly, I read to escape. Escapism has been my coping method of choice for as long as I can remember. Be it film, television, music or books, I always found ways to ensure my mind was absorbed in anything other than reality. If none of those sufficed, I’d slip into the depths of my imagination and make something up.
Thoughts While Stoned and On An Elliptical
“I’m the only person in here wearing a mask. Why aren’t these people wearing masks? Doesn’t everyone feel exactly like me and now that they have been introduced to the power of wearing a mask they don’t think they could ever let it go? No? Just me?”
Tamara de Lempicka
Tamara de Lempicka, a prominent female artist of the Art Deco era, was famous for her expressive and sensual female paintings. Her interwar artwork earned her the nickname "The Baroness with a Brush."
After spending two weeks visiting family in small town BC, fishing, 4x4ing, and chopping wood, I’m finally back in the city and confronting a difficult dilemma. How do I indulge and explore my femininity, without abandoning who I am? Can I practice being elegant and sultry and seductive without falling into the trap of believing “the feminine is just about receiving”? Can I have Carrie Bradshaw energy, without freaking out every time I leave the city?
Piece of Me
It was still dark outside as the small boy stretched in his bed. He didn't want to open his eyes just yet as he curled into his blanket. It smelled of his abuela (grandmother); cigars, Maja soap, and a hint of a soft floral off- brand perfume. He smiled as a tiny tear rolled down his cheek. Today was Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and he wanted to get an early start to make his abuela proud. 'Time to get up. Move your body, muevete (move), let's go,' he thought as he slowly sat up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. As his feet touched the floor he smelled fresh bread baking. He gave a quick stretch and headed towards the bathroom. He held back tears as he saw the bar of Maja soap but decided to use it to wash his face. "Macho! Are you awake? Come eat breakfast mijo (son)." He walked in the direction of his mother and she greeted him with a smile identical to his abuela's. He didn't know how he was going to make it through the day. His abuela passed away only months ago and this would be the first Dia de los Muertos that had a family member he actually knew. Abuela Yolanda was his favorite abuela. He loved his abuela Gloria but she was strict and chanclas (house slippers) were her weapon of choice when he misbehaved. Abuela Yolanda never got upset with him and was always patient with him. She made sure to get involved with all of his interests and even dressed as a luchadora (wrestler) one time when he was sad because he wasn't old enough to go to a Lucha Libre match (wrestling match). He stiffened his chin and hugged his mama as she handed him a plate of eggs and rice. His morning routine seemed to drag on forever. He did his chores and helped set up the ofrenda (remembrance altar) with marigolds, sweet bread, candy, candles and the offerings his mom entrusted him to handle. Lastly he set up his favorite photo of abuela Yolanda right next to the photo of abuelo (grandfather) Miguel. Once he was done helping his mother set everything up she allowed him to wander off into town for the celebrations. He always used to love the celebrations but today he only half-heartedly enjoyed seeing all of the spectacular parades and costumes. He sat down at the children's table and asked the face painter to add his abuela's favorite flower as she skillfully turned his face into a skull. "Aye hijo (child) you look so guapo (handsome)! You'll make your familia (family) so proud! Who will be visiting you tonight?" The face painter looked at him so lovingly while she awaited his answer. He shuffled his feet and looked down as he said, "Mi abuela Yolanda (my grandmother Yolanda). She loved the flower that you painted on my face. Do you really think she will visit me tonight?" Her smile reached her eyes as she assured him that she would. He thanked her as he walked toward another children's activity. Her words made him feel a little better and he enjoyed the rest of the festivities. The day was turning into evening as he decided to make his way home to join his mother for the night procession to the cemetery. "Mijo (son) are you ready? I have candles and marigolds, bread and water. Am I forgetting anything?" He shook his head no as he helped his mother carry her items. He didn't know if he was going to be able to keep his tears from falling as they walked through the town. The reality of her not being with him was hitting his heart like a fist to his chest. He tried not to think of her as they walked on. He watched his feet as he stepped on the marigold petals wondering if the dead were walking alongside them. They finally reached the cemetery and headed to their family plot. He helped his mother decorate all of their family's headstones and lit candles next to each of them. They saved Abuela Yolanda's headstone for last. "Mama, I miss you so much. Thank you for everything. Te quiero (I love you)." He listened as his mother silently wept. She started to set up the bread and cups of water near the headstones while he stayed at his abuela's. He dropped to his knees as the tears fell from his eyes. "Abuela, I miss you so much! Life is not the same without you. I can't do this without you! How am I going to do anything without you? I need you!" He pleaded with her to come back to him and pounded the ground in frustration. A single marigold floated down in front of him. He sniffled and wiped the snot from his nose as he picked it up. A breeze hit his face, filling his nostrils with the sweet smell of his abuela's perfume and cigar smoke. "Macho, no llores (do not cry). Javier, mi Machito (macho) you must not be sad. I am here with you, always." He heard her words but could not see her anywhere. Suddenly he felt her warm embrace as if she was in front of him hugging him. He closed his eyes as he cherished this moment. When he slowly opened his eyes he gasped in shock as he saw abuela Yolanda right in front of him. "Macho you look so handsome! I will always be by your side whether you can see me or not. Thank you for my ofrendas (offerings). The marigolds are so beautiful! You got the biggest ones I see! Look at the colors! So vibrant! You always had an eye for the best flowers. I love you so much Macho!" He smiled as his heart filled with so much love, "I love you too abuela. I am sad I don't have you here anymore. I'm going to miss your hugs and your laughter. Will you visit me every Dia de los Muertos?" She laughed, "Of course Machito. You don't have to worry about that. I will always come to visit you. I must go now but please do not be sad. Anytime you need me, I will be there. I promise mi amor (my love)." He watched as she slowly faded away as the breeze blew through her. "I love you abuela." He closed his eyes once more, replaying her words in his head. As he opened them he saw his mother walking towards him and he smiled at her. He had a new sense of calm as he met up with her, "Mama, I love you." She smiled down at him and wiped the tear from her cheek. "Let's go home mi amor." He nodded his head and hugged her. He took her hand as they headed home, "Mama you don't have to miss abuela. She said she will always be with us." She squeezed his hand as they walked silently the rest of the way home. He was finally at peace with his abuela's passing.
Review of A Portrait of a Lady on Fire
This is a rather beautiful love story between two women, set in the 18th Century. While I truly loved the main plot of the growing love between an artist and her subject, it was not the part of the movie that I found the most poignant.
We Need to Talk About the Emotional Labor of Raising Adult Men
My family frequently forgot my mother's birthday. If she failed to remind her husband or her children about the upcoming big day, we would completely ignore them. Remembering everything - from important dates, our favorite foods, allergies, to what was in the basement pantry - was her 'motherly' duty. As well as keeping everything organized and making sure everyone was happy and healthy.
This Women’s Handball Team Was Fined for Rejecting Bikini Uniforms
It shouldn't be news to anyone that female athletes' wardrobes are often strikingly sexist. If you've ever watched the Olympics or any other sports event including women, you must have noticed that.
Imagine We Had Grown up Seeing ‘Real’ Bodies like These
This year's Sports Illustrated swimwear showcase in Miami was the brand's most inclusive yet. Stunning models of different ages, body types, and backgrounds walked the runway in bright and colorful swimsuits.
The Endurance of Women
I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and I have come to the conclusion that women are the most amazing "beings" on the planet...look at what we endure as women! Men are pretty great too, I mean lets be fair we would not be able to build the world family wise without them because without sperm there are no babies...fact! But I feel like they got it easy compared to us...just look at what we as women go through in our lifetime.