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A date night is a rare occasion for us. We haven’t done one in about 3 years, that was way back when I was pregnant with our youngest so I don’t even think that counts. We didn’t even get to go on nighttime dates, we got away during the day when Duke was in school. We would get cute, go out to lunch, catch a movie or look at art… it was my absolute favorite escape. No kids, no worries, just us. Our biggest issue has been living away from our families. They are all living in Texas and we had no one to watch the littles. Now that the baby is a toddler, we can slowly start going on dates again. All I want for Christmas this year is to go on a date night with my husband. I’d love to have him all to myself for a few hours. That would be the perfect gift for me.
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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #FastDrySaveTime
And at the top of my most hated chore list is laundry! I would rather do dishes. All that hate stems from not having my own washer and dryer. I can’t just throw in a load of clothes in at my leisure and check on it. We have to lug 10,000 loads and a wild toddler to the local laundromat. Only kidding, maybe 6 loads if I really put it off. And ya my son is enjoying the terrible twos phase of his life and making trips anywhere and everywhere a little nightmare. So anything that can speed up the process is a lifesaver. One of my laundry tips is the best fabric softener – Suavitel Fast Dry! The bottle boasts that clothes dry 30% faster and I honestly didn’t believe it but instead of being there 40something minutes, we were out by 30 minutes. Hello new friend!
Find it right in Walmart’s Fabric Softener aisle!
Disclosure: This post is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with Allstate Foundation® and Latina Bloggers Connect. All thoughts are my own.
I always thought of myself as one of those girls who would dread turning 40 but I’m not. I started to fall in love with myself in my 30s and at 39, I’m finally in love with me. Loving yourself sounds like an easy concept but it took work. I had anger issues when I was a teenager and finally worked through them in my late-20s. My anger stemmed from having strict parents combined with them moving away from our family, being a latchkey kid and growing up in badass Long Beach, CA in the 90s.
Reading The Four Agreements changed my life. It is simple: be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions and always do your best.
I was hiding out for a couple weeks. July was ugly for us and I didn’t want to go anywhere. It was all good, I needed time to mourn and time to heal. The only important date on my calendar was the 24th. Kogi BBQ Truck founder Chef Roy Choi (his resume is deep yall but he’s most famous for that) at OC Fair. I was inspired by seeing him as a Top Chef judge and making no apologies for who he is. Straight up street, real and obviously ethnic – all things I struggle with as a blogger. But seeing him in person, in his element and beloved by a diverse crowd in ethnicity and age motivates me to continue finding my voice in this industry.
The thing is we all go to conferences, we all sit in on sessions. Some topics are repetitive, some I’m fighting to keep my eyes open. For the most part, I’m picking up what their putting down. But none of those speakers had an impact on me like Roy Choi. I sat there watching him make kalbi and kimchi but was focused on the obviously deeper message specific to me – be who you are and own it. I’ve evolved through the years like Queen Latifah in Set It Off to Queen Latifah on her daytime talk show. (Not really but how’s that for a visual) I say that with pride, I’m proud of who I was and who I’ve become but I need to get my voice back. It got quieter and edited for general consumption.
I’ll be hitting a milestone this year. 10 years with my husband. It doesn’t feel like ten years though! I still adore him! We were in TX last month on vacation and every time I watched him with our boys, I thought to myself, this is as good as it gets. A lot can happen in 10 years: Having two more kids, starting college in my 30s (actually we both did college while working!), getting married, buying a car, getting laid off and starting new business ventures. All of which Chris was totally present for. He has been my shoulder to cry on, mastermind to bounce ideas off on, my rock.
We got home from our once-a-year family vacation at the end of June and it has just been disaster after disaster. I don’t know how it started but getting off the airport parking lot shuttle to find a flat tire on our truck was not the business. It was hot, we were all tired and hungry from traveling all day. After Chris and Ty powered through changing the tire out, we found ourselves stuck in LA traffic for two hours and one dose of our truck’s check engine light coming on. But I maintained, I was positive.
Only two aunts have my number. My mama’s sisters. They mostly text me so when my phone woke me up and I saw Auntie Lulu on my screen, I immediately thought something happened to my grandpa but it was about my cousin Franklin. He died after being in a persistent vegetative state for over 14 years. He wasn’t born that way, they were on a family trip in Colorado when the high altitude triggered a heart condition that my Auntie Babe and Uncle Davy didn’t know about. After being in a coma for over a week, July 9th, 2000 was when my Auntie Babe pulled the plug and July 9th, 2014 is when he finally passed away. It weighed hard on me, the loss of her child. I knew he was finally at peace. I wanted to be okay with it but I wasn’t. Death is death is death. There is no easy button.
I started working when I was fourteen but my first real world job didn’t officially start till my late 20s. I was a newly single mom with two sons, sharing custody with my ex and living at my parents’ home. I didn’t plan for it to work out this way and I was set on starting out again. I carefully crafted my resume, uploaded it online and started applying everywhere I could, every chance I got. I devoted all my free time to finding something. I didn’t want to live at home and I promised myself I would have a place of my own by 30. And then I got a bite in San Diego. I would be two hours south. Away from my sons. I decided I would do the phone interview. I got a call back requesting an interview. I was so so nervous, it was moving too fast but I was determined to see where this was going.
I remember it like it was yesterday. My dad dropped me at the train station, the ride wasn’t so bad, I got to San Diego and grabbed a cab to the hospital. It ended up being a panel interview, the first time I ever did one in my life. The best memory of that day (and would shape almost all my future work decisions) was when I was waiting in line for the train back and a random lady in her 50s told me that the best thing she’s done in her life was changing careers. Not once but five times. Three days later, I was offered the management position. I said yes and started looking for an apartment. I didn’t realize the background check would take forever and the day I signed the offer letter, I decided I would celebrate in Las Vegas with my brother and sister.
2014 is turning in to a banner year for me and my son Tyler. I feel incredibly close to him and he’s definitely opening up to me. This is all important for me because I was not close to my parents. At all. I came to terms with my issues with them years ago and have forgiven them for being so so strict with me. There really isn’t any rhyme or reason how they parented though – I couldn’t do certain things and if I did want to go out with friends I had to take one or both of my siblings. Looking back at it, I can’t believe my parents trusted me as a 16 year old and let me drag my 3 year old sister around. Best believe that everything I went through made me who I am today and the parent I am now. For my oldest son to share his life with me is freakin’ amazing.
I wanted to write this post after the tattoo post because I finally met his girlfriend. We got to attend a soft opening of the new Farrell’s in my city (which is open now so go!) and I told him he could bring her. She’s quite lovely. And she didn’t bat an eye at our conversation and warped sense of humor. Boys are hard but she handled it like a champ. I like her.