Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.

Source: Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying.

The Haps Over at Casa Unfluff

As you all know, my crazy family of 4 up and relocated from Chicago to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in December of 2014. Since then, we have been living a crazy and unpredictable life. First I came to MKE with just my kids and a few suitcases of clothes and the three of shared a bed at my mother in law’s house so I could start my new job while mancakes stayed in our apartment in Chicago. We’d go to Chicago on the weekends, be a family and then the kids and I would return Sunday night and start all over again. Then, we got our own apartment in December and our big move happened just one week before Christmas. After the holidays mancakes started commuting to Chicago via Amtrak 4 days a week. That meant 4:45 am wake ups so we he could catch the 6 am train and return at almost 7 pm each night. That went on until early July! We finally reached a point as a family where we could not continue this crazy schedule emotionally, physically and financially, so my brave husband resigned from his position and has been driving Uber and making tamales and keeping the kids home to make it work!

Well the craziness ends today, mancakes starts a new, Milwaukee-based job in the morning and we are giddy with excitement! I joked to him that it feels like he’s going into his first day of school tomorrow and I’m so thrilled that not only will he be working we live but he’s also making a career change from higher ed to talent acquisition and a great firm. We have been holding on for so long as a family and holding our breaths that these huge leaps of faith we were making would finally work out and it has and I’m not only relieved, I’m ready to get back to our new normal.

It hasn’t been easy function like we have been and I haven’t felt like I could really start a new fitness routine in my new city. Between the expensive multi-city commute, the crazy early mornings and just the stress of the unknown, fitness has been very far from my mind. Last week, having come back from vacation with the news that my husband had a job, I managed to get 2 lunch hour work outs in, joined a new blog as a contributor and finally cleaned the house like I haven’t cleaned it in so long! It was like the weight of worry was lifted from my shoulders and I felt like I could really “get shit done” again!

And thank goodness because this meme pretty sums up where I’m at these days:

11053318_1049710925059629_4516586861167187134_n

Lord have I been eating my feelings since December! You know how you never really notice how bad things are until they get better again and you come to and you’re double-fisting tacos and coffee cake? That’s me right now. In the last few weeks, I thought I was just “bloated” lately when my pants were in reality just getting tight again. I’ve been living outside of myself during this transition, looking down at a tired and stressed woman just trying to cope with lots of coffee, pastries and meals she would only touch once in a while when she was in Unfluff mode. I haven’t been able to really care like I did before because I was just trying to survive this whole arrangement.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t change a thing! I’m so happy we chose to move to Milwaukee. I really love this city. I’m slowly but surely making new friends and finding ways to connect with other moms and Latina women in the city. That is why I jumped at the chance to become a contributor for Milwaukee Moms Blog! We launch the site on September 21st and I will be contributing 2 posts a month for the next 6 months. So I will have to start getting out there more and with us finally getting back on track as 2 full-time parents and professionals, I feel like I’m the eager kid on the sidelines ready to get back in the game. PUT ME IN COACH!

So here’s what I’m shooting for this week:

  1. A minimum of 3 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruit a day.
  2. Refuse one “extra” a day. As in if someone rolls in with donuts tomorrow at work, I won’t be having one of those AND chocolate/latte/candy later in the day. Or perhaps I don’t have chips with my sandwich just because I’m having a sandwich.
  3. Try one new workout routine this week (I’m thinking HIIT)

Considering I did this stuff in my sleep not too long ago, I think I can handle it! Who wants to get in on this with me? Happy week!

❤ M.

A Ten-Month-Old’s Letter To Santa

The Ugly Volvo

Dear Santa,

 I am a ten-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my “Christmas List” to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want.  I could give two s#*ts about receiving stacking cups.

And I know you’re ready to make the joke about ten month-old babies and how all we want is the wrapping paper and the boxes.  Touché, SantaTouché.   We do, of course, want those things.  But I have a number of additional things I want very badly.

My list is enclosed below.  Have a lovely holiday.

-Ten Month-Old Baby

*          *          *

A Comprehensive List of The Things I Want For Christmas:

*          *          *

1.) This Laptop Cord

IMG_3109

I want this laptop cord more than I have ever wanted anything.   Please.  I also want the power strip with…

View original post 609 more words

The 6 Most Shockingly Irresponsible “Fitspiration” Photos

Reembody

The Reembody blog, up to this point, has been a thoughtful exploration of human movement, a subject about which I am extremely passionate.

Today, however, I’m mad and I’m going to tell you why.

I have been planning a blog post for a while on fitness misinformation, and it was originally going to be the same kind of thoughtful deconstruction found in my other installments. But then I read this and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever found in my newsfeed: so beautiful, in fact, that the rest of the health and fitness propaganda floating around Facebook like turds in a pool started to really, really piss me off.

So thoughtful deconstruction has been postponed for another day. Instead, we’re going to take a good look at a few of those turds and get pissed off together because, when someone preys upon your insecurities in an effort…

View original post 1,993 more words

(Insert Hashtag Here)

It’s been a while I know, I’m sorry interwebs. I started a new job 3 weeks ago and I’ve been busy-kins ever since! I now work as a graduate school enrollment advisor for one of the larger schools in Chicago. So far, I love it! I’m really happy to be working again and being challenged in new ways. I have also been adjusting to commuting on public transportation which has been an adventure and a half so far. Let’s just say, I have run more the last 3 weeks than I have in about 9 years only to battle out 1/2 a square of standing space amongst at least 50 high school students.

Meanwhile, I have also joined Weight Watchers. It’s time I get a little more serious and structured about my weight loss goals. I have been doing the online version and I have already seen and felt some changes but next week I’m switching to the weekly meetings, in hopes that doing the group thing will help boost my results and my motivation. The one thing I still haven’t quite figured out is exactly when in my day I will work exercise back into my routine. I suspect the best option will need to be either at 5 am or after 8 pm so as to not miss out on fun times with babycakes. I’m not much of a morning person so the 5 am option might be tough but the thought of dragging myself out of the house after babycakes’ bedtime when I could hang out on the couch with mancakes would be even tougher. In the meantime, I have been taking walks on my lunch breaks to make up for missing out on workouts during this time of transition.

And what a transition it has been! So much is happening all at once that normally I would shut down with so much but I am so energized by having some professional and financial stability again! Not to mention having a new place to go and new colleagues and friends. I’m pretty ecstatic about what this new chapter will bring both professionally and physically (more on this soon!).

Master of All the Things! #gradstudent #projectnewchapter

It’s been a hot minute word press! Education will do that to you.

Yesterday, I graduated with my Master of Education, folks! I am officially an M.Ed.! That means that after 3 years of classes and over 700 internship hours I get to walk around knowing my email signature ends in “, M.Ed.” It’s pretty awesome.

But in all seriousness, I am done! I get about 75% of my brain power back. Think of the possibilities, people! I could invent the next facebook. Or dorito taco. Or bounce dryer bar. Watch for me on Shark Tank!

It’s an incredible feeling to not have to think about being a student anymore. For the time being until I find a full-time job once again, I can just be a mom. I can get our home back on track. I can manage our everyday, our budget, our menu….I can read stuff for fun (I’m a romance and just plain fiction junkie) and I can be excited about my job search again. Not to mention I can get back to #projectunfluff too! Nothing ruins a health revamp like trying to finish a grad program and internship! But now I’ve been hooded, the party has been thrown and cleaned up, the little lady has been put to bed and I’m sitting peacefully next to my partner with literally nothing else on my mind. 3 years of school, planning a wedding, planning for a baby and then raising said baby has meant that at this time every night, I went to bed with an endless amount of things on my mind. Tonight, however, I am calm, relaxed and my brain feels light and fluffy. Well not too light and fluffy, it’s a Master brain now so it’s got more stuff in it than it did 3 years ago, mmk?

Most importantly, now that this chapter of my life is complete I’m astounded by the outpouring of love  over these last few days. Those of you who have reached out to me to congratulate me, thank you. I know I’ve always been very vocal about this journey and to know that you’re just as excited as I am to have graduated only encourages me more to keep working just as hard in everything else I do.

So now it’s on to the next chapter for me! At first, I was terrified because for the first time in my life, the next step is truly unknown. In these last couple of weeks I have experienced a huge range of emotions, from fear, to sadness, to anxiety and then finally excitement. I am starting to see the other side of all of this uncertainty and I’m excited that I don’t know what’s next but that there’s so much potential for it to be new and awesome! I certainly don’t see it as a vacation as the wee one keeps me gainfully employed at home. But it’s a privilege to be able to have this time to hang out with my kid and apply for the positions that are most compatible to my skills and interests. I’m looking forward to what will probably be the last time I get this kind of time off.

That being said, if you have any book suggestions, let me know! Babycakes and I are hittin’ the library hard this summer! Woo!

Versatile Blogger Award! #awwwwshucks

My very kind and supportive new interweb buddy, Ms. Emily Skinner who writes the Ah-mahzing blog My Journey Through Thick and Thin has nominated little ‘ol me for a Versatile Blogger Award! This award is given by bloggers to bloggers who deem certain blogs or specific posts as noteworthy. More about the Versatile blogger award here.

I am honored to receive this award considering I have only written 7 (now 8) posts thus far and I feel as though it’s way too early in the game for me to be getting any such praise but those who know me know I’ll certainly take it! Holla!

One of the rules after receiving this award is to tell my nominator 7 things about myself so why not share this with all of you as well? Ok, here goes nothing.

1. When I was in the second grade, I made up a dance to the Lion King’s “I just can’t wait to be king”. I wore the same overalls and flower hat (think Blossum) whenever I would perform said dance in front of family and friends. My aunt still talks about this little performance to this day.

2. I did my undergrad at the University of Michigan and will forever bleed maize and blue. My siblings went to Ohio State. I disown them one day a year when our alma maters play each other in football. It’s ugly. And awesome.

3. I used to keep a diary in high school  but was so embarrassed by my terrible writing that I threw it out. I started a journal a few years ago and also get embarrassed when I read those. I guess by having an internet audience I create what I think is much more digestible bits of writing.

4. My partner is a poet and I an super jealous of his mad skills.

5. I talk to myself when I’m alone, often “rehearsing” upcoming conversations, especially if they involve confrontations.

6. Since the invention of e-books I’ve been able to get away with my obsession for trashy romance novels in public.

7. I tried to measure the length of my daughter’s eyelashes when she fell asleep in my arms the other day.

Another rule of the VBA’s is to nominate 15 blogs/bloggers I have recently discovered for follow regularly. I would say I probably have quite the mix of blogs that interest me, particularly female/feminist writers and people who make desserts.  So here goes!

1. blue milk

2. The Interesting Existence of Danez Smith

3. The Triple Dish

4. Eric Mata Poems

5. Kicks + Flutters

6. Tenderloin Textiles

7. Chocolate Covered Katie

8. Blooming on Bainbridge

9. Six Sisters’ Stuff

10. New Nostalgia

11. Frugal Girls

12. Navigating the Mothership

13. Baby Making Machine

14. Women In Student Affairs

15. Crunk Feminist Collective

Well. That was a lot of work but well worth it! Be sure to nominate any fellow bloggers in your life too!

#projectunfluff

I’m sitting at my desk at work staring at a bright, green, granny smith apple and thinking to myself “how did I get here?”. Just a month ago that apple would have been a cookie. or a cupcake. or a mocha latte frapo crappo delight. After a poor physical with my new doctor and a serious sit down with myself, I’ve managed to snap into 2012 and take a look in the mirror. Not that I don’t like what I see, let’s get one thing straight, I’m a beautiful woman, mmkay? BUT, and it’s a big but(t) <– (see what I did there? always joking…) after years of poor eating habits and terrible decision-making, it occurred to me that I don’t even know if this is my true self I’m seeing. I don’t know what that self looks like because I’ve never made a conscious effort to make any real changes. No, let me re-phrase that: I’ve never made a conscious effort to do the things I’m supposed to do.

My relationship with food goes way back. At some point in my elementary school years, my mom went back to school for her masters and I became a latchkey kid. With that came a lot of convenience lunches and cafeteria garbage. That later turned into fast food while juggling a hectic school/colorguard/choir/part-time job schedule. Over time, I started to actually get that there are good foods and bad foods but I never really cared much for these “facts” or whatever (sarcastic much?). By the time I left college, I had gained 15 lbs…a year. And I just kept moving on. I fell in love (gained love weight), started my master’s degree, got married (gained then lost then gained stress weight), then had a baby (you get the idea).

And so here I sit, thinking back on all of the moments when I could have changed but didn’t. The gym memberships I payed for but never used. The bags of produce that went bad in my fridge while I went out for pizza/burgers/thai/ice cream/death on a stick. Oddly enough, I’m no longer angry or ashamed. I’m past all of that at this point. Now, I’m just scared. And suddenly very aware. So aware that when I “relapsed” yesterday (as in, had dinner at Wing Stop), I couldn’t stop thinking about the terrible things I was actively consuming. I dare say, it wasn’t all that enjoyable. I guess after a month of counting calories, limiting portions and cutting back on sugar/snacks/gunk, I’ve managed to retrain my brain and my body (talk about a churning post-wings stomach-apolyse!).

The funny thing is, I feel like deep down inside, there’s been this little vegetarian exercise enthusiast all along. When we go out to eat now, I’ve started going for the meatless options or a side salads and fruit instead of fries. Last week I made brussel sprouts and quinoa. My carnivorous husband, bless his heart, graciously takes a bite (sometimes) even though I know he’s secretly cringing on the inside. But I’m enjoying this, I feel like instead of being passive about what I eat, I make myself a part of it by really studying ingredients, looking up calories, analyzing recipes and finding ways to substitute the bad stuff for the good stuff. I even made granola at home the other day, people! I am grinding flax seeds and saving up for a personal smoothie blender for goodness sakes.

Over the weekend, I walked for several hours. HOURS. Instead of sitting on the couch, I cleaned the kitchen, baked and crawled on all fours with my 10 month old (who loved it, btw). I looked up healthy recipes and stored them on pintrest. I’m even trying to figure out what my schedule would look like when I incorporate Zumba into my week. what? who? huh? I know.

#projectunfluff is underway folks, there’s no way around it anymore. I plan on hopefully not ever looking back on a life once full of apathy towards nutrition and disdain for exercise. And I have a deadline. Children start making memories at age 2. I need to make like fluffy mami never even existed by May of 2013. Let’s get to it!

#helloworld!

It has finally happened. I have created my own teeny tiny universe in which I can do two very opposite things: write long elaborate narratives about what is supposed to be summed up in a hash tag line. You see, I’m a big fan of the hash tag concept. What better way to sum up thoughts and/or situations than a bunch of smushed up words that take a good minute to seperate by reading them aloud a few times? Stop it, you know you do that.

I love the hash tag idea but I’m a bit backwards in how I’ve been using it. I’m what you would call that annoying chick on Facebook who uses hash tags like she’s on twitter. If she actually logs into, twitter she gets so overwhelmed by all the tweets in her feed that she shuts down and/or only retweets stuff instead of coming up with anything original on her own. Yeah, uh, that girl.

Sidenote: here’s a brief and very official (i.e. wikipedia) explanation of what a “hash tag” is:

Hashtags

Short messages on services such as Twitter or identi.ca may be tagged by including one or more hashtags: words or phrases prefixed with the symbol#,[9][10] with multiple words concatenated, such as those in:

#Wikipedia is my favorite kind of #encyclopedia

Then, a person can search for the string #Wikipedia and this tagged word will appear in the search engine results. These hashtags also show up in a number of trending topics websites, including Twitter’s own front page. Such tags are case-insensitive, with CamelCase often used for readability.

Definitions for some hashtags are available at hashtag.org. Hashtags were invented on Twitter by Chris Messina.[11]

One phenomenon specific to the Twitter ecosystem are micro-memes, which are emergent topics for which a hashtag is created, used widely for a few days, then disappears.[12]

Other sites, such as Hashable, have adopted the hashtag to use for other reasons.

The feature has been added to other, non-short-message-oriented services, such as the user comment systems on YouTube and Gawker Media; in the case of the latter, hashtags for blog comments and directly-submitted comments are used to maintain a more constant rate of user activity even when paid employees are not logged into the website.[13][14] Real-time search aggregators such as Google Real-Time Search also support hashtags in syndicated posts, meaning that hashtags inserted into Twitter posts can be hyperlinked to incoming posts falling under that same hashtag; this has further enabled a view of the “river” of Twitter posts which can result from search terms or hashtags.

Anyway. It is my personal belief that the concept of using smushed-up-words-preceded-by-a-hash tag is really great and it should pretty much just be adopted by the English language as a whole (This is my way of getting out of the fact that I’m Twitter-lazy). But in all sincerity, what better way to categorize the happenings of life? I mean, my life in particular needs quite a bit of categorizing if I’m even going to get by. I’m a new mom (#mamifail, #mamiwin, #adventuresinparenting, #overitpregnantedition (easy kids, this will be written about as FLASHBACKS, I’m not knocked up currently. I repeat, NOT currently bakin’ baby buns.)), a full-time graduate student and (unpaid) intern (#gradintern), and an all around snarky, witty, sarcastic, ENTP (MBTI, holla! #gradintern joke…) woman who always has a lot to say (#icanhas(blank)?, #imjustsayin, #getchusome).

Oh and to go along with #myhashtaglife I have dutifully created a Twitter account just for this little gem in the blogosphere. Don’t say I’m not willing to change! Oh and uh, like, totally follow me @myhashtaglife. Yeah. That felt weird.

#wordtoyomotha