Faith

#MusicMonday: B-b-beating hard times

This is my theme of the year! Little did I know that 2017 was going to be a year full of HUGE surprises. I’ve always been so focused on my career, even if it meant 60-70 hour weeks with a baby (and even working till 12am when I was in labor!). So when I found myself out of work I quickly had my horse blinders on trying to find another job in my field.

But, I wasn’t thinking outside of the box! I didn’t contemplate every option until God opened my eyes through an awesome little testimony you can read up on here. What is so great about this is God did bless us (just 2 days after we tithed, actually!) – and I am able to stay home with BabyCoolJ through at least the rest of 2017. Never knew I’d want to be a SAHM, but I am feeling very fortunate to do so – my toddler is so fun right now!

With my personality though, and career focused attitude, I can’t sit still long. Having a full calendar of playdates, mommy & me classes and Bible studies isn’t quite enough – so now that I have room to breath I am able to think outside of the box! And you bet I’m gonna b-b-beat these hard times!

Amerytina - Ruby Ribbon & Forever21+
Excuse the wrinkles – this was after lunch on a HOT day at the Alamo!

This weekend I hosted by first Ruby Ribbon trunk show. I’ve never been one to like this sorta thing, I always avoided parties and the such, and I remember being really jaded after going to a Mary Kay party in high school someone dragged me to. But I had an epiphany recently after chatting with a lot of network marketing friends – these products are better than what you find on the shelf. So while it may seem shady to some, you can’t deny how awesome something may be, especially after you try it for yourself.

My best-kept fashion (and confidence) secret has been Ruby Ribbon for more than a year. My mom introduced me to it, and while she never pushed me to get involved, I saw the potential and decided to join this weekend after hosting my first trunk show! I am actually really pumped about my new adventure and hoping to make it lucrative enough to stay home with BabyCoolJ into 2018 and beyond. (Join my private #DitchYourBra Facebook group here!)

Frolic Creative

And, because this girl is all about the (work) hustle, I also launched my own PR, marketing and social media consulting gig: Frolic Creative. I just can’t sit back and not to what I do best! I’ve added a few clients already and am having a blast donating my social media skills to Created Woman.

So, here’s to 2017 and to Run DMC…”Like the cream of the crop, like the crop of the cream B-b-beating hard times, that is my theme.”

 

Advertisements
Faith

40 gifts for his 40th!

40 gifts for his 40th birthday

 

I discovered a few years ago what I always pretty much knew – gifts are my love language. The good thing is it is not just receiving (although I love that too!). I love to give – I find true joy in finding a thoughtful, perfect gift for those I love. So it was a super easy decision to give Mi Amor 40 gifts for his big milestone of turning 40!

20170522_173510-01

While gifts are not really important to Mi Amor, I think he truly appreciated the fun of opening all the gifts, plus many were practical or things he loves. There was no way I could do 40 expensive gifts, so it was a big mix! I gave him the choice of when to open the gifts, and h20170523_094249-01e settled on 10 every day we were on our getaway in San Antonio (we were there 4 days!).

To help inspire anyone else who may want to do a lot of gifts, I thought I would share what I gave him. There was no order behind my strategy, but I tried to include a lot of random stuff he loves. Also, none of these are sponsored, but I did link anything I could to help others out. Here goes!…

 

  1. 12-pack of Dos Equis with Michelada mix
  2. Billboard Top Hits: 1977
  3. Keurig reusable coffee filter
  4. Sprezzabox
  5. Cassette tape sticky notes
  6. COZILIFE silicon popcorn maker
  7. Harry’s men’s shave gel
  8. A box with 40 dark chocolate Hershey’s kisses
  9. Merona anchor crew socks
  10. Mead canvas planner
  11. Leaf liner socks
  12. Party in a box (birthday boy badge, birthday plates, cups, party hats, blowers)
  13. Smurf Pez dispenser
  14. Puma boxer briefs
  15. Swago on-the-go cologne wipes
  16. Beef jerkey
  17. Artwork with Jeremiah 29:11
  18. 40 memories written on 40 heart-shaped cards and envelopes
  19. Trail Mix
  20. Grillin’ & Chillin’ outdoor sign
  21. KONOV men’s faith bracelet
  22. Shutterfly photo cube
  23. Organic basic tee
  24. Star Wars pen
  25. Mini bottle of champagne
  26. DIY painting by our toddler
  27. Starbucks GC
  28. Cuisinart BBQ thermometers set
  29. Old Navy Oxford shirt
  30. Cap
  31. Birthday card with lotto tickets and a hand written letter
  32. Pack of gum
  33. Whataburger gift card
  34. Then, 7 individually wrapped items from the Amazon Men’s grooming sample box (which made 40 gifts!)

20170525_102524.jpg

Needless to say, it sure made for a fun surprise! The rest of our trip was amazing – totally relaxing! We didn’t make any official plans, other than eating some good food, so we were able to spend a lot of time in our room just laying in bed (as you can see from the messy photos!). It’s a luxury we remember all too well pre-baby!

I’ll also add that our stay was incredible, and I recommend the Drury Plaza to anyone staying in San Antonio. We were able to walk everywhere, it was clean and the amenities were fantastic. In addition to free breakfast (which we only made once) they host a “kick-back” where every guest is given up to 3 free alcoholic drinks, unlimited snacks, soda and coffee. It was our best hour spent daily!

The hotel also had an indoor pool with a nearby balcony facing the San Fernando Cathedral, as well as an outdoor pool and jacuzzis on the 23rd floor. That was the best way to soak after a long day, and we took full advantage on day 1!

20170522_193852-01

Have you ever done any creative gift giving? Let me know in the comments!

Faith

Vacation mode starts now!

Blog (6)When I lost my job in March we quickly canceled our annual vacation, adjusted our spending and started living in survival mode. It was such a scary time until just this week.

I’ve taken on some consulting work, we’ve moved around a few things and we were blessed with some surprise funds. Now I finally feel like I can breathe again! And I am so excited about growing my business and spending at least the remainder of the year staying home with BabyCoolJ. Not to mention I can search for my dream job in the process! God is so good.

7290078While we would be packing right now for Mexico (oh, I’ll miss the white sand beach, unlimited drinks and food…not to mention hammocks!) we have found ourselves overly grateful for the gift of TIME. There is no measuring time with my 20-month-old!

But, now we get to plan for something else! Mi Amor’s birthday is the 25th, and while we won’t spend it with drinks at the beach, we may be enjoying drinks by the pool! We are taking a mini-getaway just down the road San Antonio so we can sleep in, relax and eat unapologetically. It will be an awesome few days!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI also planned something special for Mi Amor. Seeing that it’s his 40th, and my love language gifts, I made/bought/threw together 40 gifts! It was super challenging seeing that I had no money to spend, but with our blessing this week I’ve been able to pull a few last minute items together. I’ll share those 40 items in a blog post next week to help inspire others!

Have a beautiful weekend, everyone! I know I will – I’m kicking it off tonight with a girl’s night!

Faith

#MusicMonday: Yo, I’ll solve it

I love this lyric for a few reasons. While I know both men and women are problem solvers, I see this as a quote ending with “mom.”

Seriously, ladies, we can solve anything! As a girl growing up, I always felt invincible. I could do anything I wanted, solve any problem that came my way. I was strong and determined. Then, I became a mom.

Problem-solving has never looked so unglamorous, yet impressive. Like, last Monday, I stopped at Sprouts with BabyCoolJ and kept him in his stroller with a reusable bag strapped to the handlebar. There I go, filling it up while bribing my kiddo with snacks to keep his cool. Well, they had a few sales so I ended up filling up the bag, placing items under his seat, carrying 3 large pizzas and a box of something. After checking out, I carried four full bags (including the heavy reusable one) while pushing his stroller. Loaded him up, loaded the food, put the stroller away, then caught my breath.

Funny thing is it wasn’t THAT challenging, but just the same week I had a memory on Facebook that went like this: “Nothing like running through the rain in heels with bags filled with 15 bunches of bananas….and a Starbucks coffee.” And I remember how accomplished I felt! Nothing compares to my challenges in life now…just ask a mom of a 1-month-old! But no matter the season of life, girls can do anything.

Regardless if you’re a mom, married or single, I encourage you to remember that you can solve anything. YES, you can. So just do it. Get it, girl.

Faith, Family

Celebrating moms

20170513_160256-01Yesterday, Mi Amor and I took BabyCoolJ to Little Land to have some fun and let out some much-needed energy. It was really empty, except for a large Latino family, and two other (white) dads with their kids. Mi Amor and I began chatting about culture, and where we grow up, and how they play such an influence on our lives. I’ve seen moms post that they are doing spa days, getaways and girls nights. Such a different world to what we grew up knowing. Moms, at least 3 generations, would gather together over large meals and celebrate with their full families. If we were back in our hometown, we would have 4 generations celebrating on my side, and 3 generations on my husband’s. It is a beautiful thing!

But, because I refuse to travel with a 20 month old, we will celebrate in our little family of 3. We will celebrate together, through the tantrums, fighting the naps and each and every “mama” and hug. (although, I could totally go for a spa day, too!)

My son is my world! I can’t believe how many memories and how much LOVE #babycoolj has filled me with, all in under 2 years! I cherish every moment, and I am grateful to God for the blessing it is to be this kiddo’s mama. And what a blessings moms are. Thank YOU for all you do. The sleepless nights, the selfless acts, sharing your food, your bed and all your space. Giving up your time, your body and your night outs. I never quite understood it, or appreciated my mom as much, as I do now that I am a mother. YOU all are amazing. 20170514_123615-01.jpeg

And, on the note of amazing, I have to add what an amazing God we have! Today our pastor preached about faith. It tied in so perfectly with what God told Mi Amor and me to do this week. Seriously, perfect timing. In fact, he shared the story of Isaac in Genesis, and how Abraham’s servant was told to go find him a wife. How perfect was it that he trusted in God when he met Rebekah (see verse 12), and that God provided such a clear message for him. He did that for us too, and he was showing us once again that we were to walk in faith. We closed it up with moms praying for our children, faithful prayers of who they will become and who they are created to be. Everyone else prayed for the mothers in the room. Perfect start to my Mother’s Day!

Be blessed everyone!

Faith

Walking out in faith …

Y’all, something huge just happened last night!

So, let me preface this by saying I am currently reading “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” by Lysa Terkeurst. I have faith and trust in Him, however I struggle with discerning on His vs. my thoughts/desires/ideas. Lots of crazy stuff enters my mind and I don’t know where it is coming from!

After my bible study on Wednesday evening, I was talking with a friend from the study and she told me to stop and listen. Spend some time in His Word and open myself up to His desires for me.

So, just a few hours earlier, I was working on bills. There was a short season when my husband (aka Mi Amor) and I were getting back on our feet after I switched from one job to another, and we missed church and therefore didn’t tithe a couple of weeks. On my spreadsheet, I had written “Owe $$$ on tithe.” Knowing that I am out of work and we are figuring out how to make ends meet, I deleted that and moved on the to rest of the bills. “God understands….” I thought.

Now, back to later that same evening, after bible study and this conversation with my friend. I thought (or felt God tell me) that I needed to give $1,000 in tithe to our church. “WHAT! Are you crazy?!!” I said out loud, to myself. Remember…we are struggling here! My parents are actually gifting us a few days away for my hubby’s 40th birthday week, how can I give money when I am accepting money??

I chalked it off to more of my own crazy thoughts. But I remembered, be still…listen…who is making me think this? DOES IT GLORIFY GOD? (Thanks, Lysa!). So, adding more stipulations to me vs. God, I thought “okay, if Mi Amor confirms my thoughts, then we will give the money.” I didn’t bring it up, though.

So, Thursday came and went and I hadn’t even put any thought back on this moment. Like I mentioned, I am all over the place. Mi Amor leads a men’s group on Thursdays, so I was working on my consulting gig in the bedroom. When he got home, he came to the room, laid on the bed and opened his bible. We did the normal casualties, “how was bible study?” “How was your day?” “anything exciting come up?” “any good job applications?” ….followed by a few moments of us doing our own thing.

Then, BOOM. Mi Amor tells me, “There’s something I read in Acts 5 and I’m struggling with it; it’s bothering me for some reason and I don’t know why.” He began to read it to me, and here’s an except for dramatic effect:

Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.” When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. Acts 5: 3-5

Then, in verse 9, Peter speaks with Ananias’ wife and says:

How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.

Y’ALL. I started sobbing. Like, more than just pretty tears. I asked Mi Amor, right before the tears came, “what does this mean to you?” and he even responded, “not the scripture, but to me personally?” He added that he couldn’t pinpoint it but he felt guilt. BOOM. God has spoken. And, dropped the mic.

Guess who’s getting a $1,000 check this Sunday?

God keeps humbling me. And you know what? I am so thankful. I know He is full of blessings, and I believe He has something incredible in store for us. I can’t wait to share once we figure it all out!

How have you said YES to God lately?

Faith

#MusicMonday: dance it out

I slacked off a little today with finding the lyrics that spoke to my soul. Nothing like being exhausted from a super active toddler to keep me from getting stuff done! But then, in the midst of a tantrum, I remembered…turn on some music and dance!

I love reggae. The music just speaks to my soul. I spent a year in New Zealand right after college and learned about Katchafire there. I hadn’t really been exposed to much reggae at that point, but I loved Bob Marley and was a fan of popular reggae. In NZ, I didn’t have an opportunity to see Katchafire live, but I did get in a Black Seeds show.

I love these lyrics because they resonate so well with me. Ever feel like the world is crumbling around you, only to hear an awesome song that totally gets your heart pumping? Next time that happens, DANCE! Dancing brings joy to my heart, and even if you don’t care for it I bet it would totally brighten your mood. Why more offices don’t do this I will never understand – talk about a productivity and mood booster!

Curious what song we danced to? My kiddo is addicted to Itsy Bitsy Spider, and because mama loves reggae, we groove to the sounds ofBasho & Friend’s version. This is my favorite kid’s CD…win-win cause we’re both happy!