Let's Talk About - Body Positivity

Alright, now I know that many of you are probably tired of me rambling on about all of this "plus size" stuff this past week... but bare with me. This isn't just about being plus size or not. This applies to every woman, of every age, of every race, and every size. Listen up because I want you to hear this: YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL.

I want you to tell yourself right now: "I AM BEAUTIFUL."

And mean it. Believe it.

Maybe you are 65 years old and reading this, thinking "long gone are the days of my beauty". Maybe you are 19 and just went through a breakup, telling yourself that "you aren't as pretty as that other girl" thinking "I'll never be good enough." Maybe you are 42 and noticing things starting to change and wish "If only I could get that 20 year old glowing skin back". Maybe you are 27 and are a new mom, feeling in a slump of body changes, never ending diaper changes, feedings, sleepless nights and haven't had a shower in days and wonder "will I ever feel beautiful again?"

Wherever you are in life, if you are reading this, I want to take today and motivate you to feel whole, confident and content, just as you are today.

One thing about body positivity, it doesn't come easy. You don't wake up one day, tell yourself "I'm beautiful" and Tadah!* Problem solved! No. The confidence fairy doesn't all of the sudden fly down out of no where and take away years of insecurities. I wish it did work that way! But it doesn't.

Building self confidence, body positivity and contentment is a daily choice, and takes a lot of forcing before it will come naturally. It's stopping yourself every time you want to put yourself down, it's re-training yourself to wake up in the morning and say "good morning gorgeous!" in the mirror, rather than "oh gosh, look at those bags and wrinkles!" It's allowing yourself the grace to not compare yourself to the woman next door who at the age of 50 looks 35, the mom in the pick up line with full makeup and hair done with a cute outfit to boot, or that "perfect" one on Instagram that is gorgeous, always put together and her "excuse the no makeup guys" posts are literally flawless. Yep. No comparing ladies. Because I guarantee you, that each one of those women have their own body image issues. We all do. 

We were born this way. And what the media has taught us growing up, makes it even harder for us to love ourselves as we are. 

This past year, I have gone through my own body positivity journey. And my motivation behind it all? My daughters.

I have 2 daughters, one is 6 years old and the other is just about to turn 2. While my youngest has no clue, my oldest is very aware of body image already. She comes home and tells me of girls making fun of other girls because of their size. Right then and there I knew that the best example I could give my girls of inner beauty, self confidence and self love, is from MYSELF. How could I show my girls to be confident no matter what someone else has to say about them, without being their example?

I will never forget, shortly after my oldest turned 2, we had taken her to the pool, but I refused to get into the water around a crowd of people. I forced my husband to go in with her as I sat on a chair beside the pool, fully clothed in jeans and a t-shirt in the dead middle of summer heat. This wasn't the first time I had done this, and it also want the last. There were so many times that I allowed my own body image get in the way of having fun as a family or allowing myself to fully enjoy the moment. 

Fast forward to last summer, I took a road trip with just myself and my daughters, from Georgia all the way to California and back again. Along the way, we stopped at many different hotels, all of which had pools. I knew this summer, I had to face my body image issues head on. I had to get into that bathing suit and get in the pool with my girls. Want to know the ONE AND SINGLE THING THAT MOTIVATED ME TO DO THIS? I knew that my oldest daughter would look back and remember this vacation one day, I knew that she would remember one of 2 things:
1. My mom sat by the pool by herself and with my baby sister while I played in the pool alone.
2. My mom got into the pool with me, went swimming with me and my baby sister, went down the water slide with us, splashed around and had fun! My mom is so cool.

I chose number 2.

So you know what I did? I got in the dang pool. And I had the best time of my life last summer, creating memories that I will never forget. 

Want to know what came after pushing past all of that insecurity? I found freedom. Freedom from what others thought of me. Freedom from what I thought of myself. I was living my life to the fullest, regardless if I was the size I wished I could be, regardless of my body imperfections and cellulite. I was LIVING and not sitting on the sidelines.

This doesn't just apply to being in a bathing suit. It applies to everything in our life that our insecurities hold us back from. Don't let that insecurity and negative body image rob you of your best life.

So today, take from this and start LOVING YOURSELF. It's a daily choice to either love or hate, and I hope that you chose love.

We all are different, we all are BEAUTIFUL. 

And if you pass a woman in your travels today, compliment her, spread the body positivity love around.

Until next chat my friends...

The Spring Home Tour

Spring is in the air and flowers are blooming... well, sort of. While I am a floral lover and a wannabe plant lady, I am admittedly a serial plant and flower killer. I can however, work my magic with some faux florals! And this year, it is ALL ABOUT the florals. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, or heck, even a glass of wine and come take a tour of our spring home!


31 Things You May Not Know About Me

31 things you may not know about me:

Well friends, today I am officially 31 years old; I am over the hump and am sailing into my 30's... I thought it might be fun to share a little more about myself and well, what makes me, ME! So, here I'm going to kick off 31 things you may not know about me:

* Yes, today is April 22nd, and my birthday happens to be on Earth Day. Being a Taurus, which is an earth sign, does being born on Earth Day make you extra "earthy" and down to earth? I'd like to think that I'm pretty grounded and reasonable. I'm calm, easy-going, and am open to talking about almost any thing to anyone. Earth day/ birthday or not, I would say that I for sure am a true Taurus. Strong willed, stubborn, yet sensitive, creative, indulgent, and down to earth.

* I am a night owl. Always have been. When I was little, I would stay up all night reading books, drawing and writing out stories that I wish would come true. I guess you could say not much has changed since then! I still stay up until midnight (sometimes later) either reading, sketching up ideas or writing what is on my heart. 

* I failed my first driver's license test. And before I ever even left the parking lot. Yup. I was pulling out of the DMV parking lot when a car came from the opposite lane into the one I was supposed to turn into and I had to swerve out of the way, so they failed me. If you ask me, I'd say I had a grumpy instructor that day... Nevertheless, I was able to come back 2 weeks later and pass with flying colors.

* The first concert I ever attended was the Spice Girls. And yes, I wore my hair exactly like Emma's, platform sneakers, and a spice girl t- shirt and I still know the words to every song nearly 15 years later!

* I lost my momma to cancer on September 17th, 2011. I was 24 years old and 8 months pregnant with my first child. What should have been the happiest time of my life suddenly became the most traumatic. I spent my first year of marriage and first pregnancy, caring for my mother and all that she needed through her treatments. I am so thankful for every single last moment with her in those months. While, it's not how I ever expected my life to look like, I am thankful for those 24 years that God gave me with her. Losing her has been the biggest marathon that I have ever had to fight through. Even now, I have days where I want to hide away and break down. Birthday's were no longer a time for celebration after her passing. I suddenly felt guilty for feeling happy on the day that SHE brought me into this world. This day wasn't about me anymore, it was about her. The woman who gave me this life and labored to bring me into it. I want each birthday to honor her and her sacrifice and love for me. My mother never was able to watch me become a mother, but as soon as the doctor placed my baby girl in my arms, just as I was placed in my momma's arms as her first child, I knew right then and there the love that she had for me my entire life and what a birthday truly means. It hurts every day that I didn't get to fully understand and know that love until after she was gone.

* I have one younger brother, he and I are total opposites and we were born, 1 month shy of 2 years, 1 day, 1 hour, and 1 minute apart. Oh and he was born 1 room away from where I was born. Kinda crazy.

* There is a past on and off relationship that had in my early 20's which I still regret making wrong choices with. I do believe everything happens for a reason, but that person will always be apart of my story

* My favorite food is pasta. Give me all the pasta

* My started working my first job at 15 years old, at a local taco shop in Encinitas, California called Rico's.

* In high school I was the only girl on the drum line. Yes, marching band geek here! 

* Because of being involved in music, I was given the opportunity to do a 2 week musical foreign exchange program and traveled to stay with a host family in England when I was 13 years old. It was the most amazing experience!

* I traveled for 2 weeks through Russia with my grandmother shortly after graduating high school in 2005. 

* My family has a homestead in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. As a kid we spent many summers and family reunions there. Some of my best memories are on that farm.

* I was born and raised in San Diego, California. Specifically Encinitas. I grew up as the typical Southern California kid. Tony Hawk, Shaun White and all the guys from Blink 182 are just a few that came from of my hometown! (Yes, I've met all of them)

* I always thought one day I would grow up to teach elementary school.

* After having my first daughter, we went through 3 years of infertility and a loss before receiving our rainbow baby girl.

* Mint chocolate ice cream is my favorite.

* I drive a minivan. And I love it. 

* I learned everything I know about building and DIY's from my parents. They were always working on something around the house and were a wealth of knowledge. I still call my dad all the time to ask for help!

* My dad owns a commercial janitorial company in San Diego. I grew up going to work with him as far back as I can remember. I learned to vacuum and dust before I could run and earned my allowance scrubbing a whole lot of toilets! 

* A place I would love to travel to is France and Italy some day.

* My grandmother is where nearly all of my creativity stems from. She is the one who pushed me to use and explore my talents. She was the most amazing woman. She played piano, organ, painted, sewed, decorated greeting cards, and could craft up anything. 

* I started out working as an invitation designer while still in high school for a large wedding invitation company. 

* I also worked as a full time nanny for 8 years before having my own children. 

* I have done everything from invitation design, to making diaper cakes, photography, sign making, and interior decorating. 

* When I'm overwhelmed, I shut down. I retreat from all social media and hide away. 

* My biggest fear is not just death, but leaving this world before I feel my purpose is complete. 

* I value being real more than anything. I would rather have someone hate me and know it, rather than someone pretend to like me and talk bad about me behind my back. I love being able to relate to others on a deeper level, knowing their real self and in return, sharing mine too. 

* I am a total introvert. Going out and being social is physically exhausting for me. After one day of interaction, I need literally 3 straight days of staying home and doing nothing to re-charge. Thank goodness for social media where we can be "social" yet stay in our comfy pants!

* I listen to all kinds of music. Everything from country to pop, to rock, christian, even hardcore metal. The only thing I can't stand is rap. Oh, and I'm not afraid to bust a move when driving the mom mobile.

* Truth. Turning 31 has been even better than 30. Last year I was literally terrified of transitioning into my 30's, but this year I am more confident, happy & just plain content with who I am. I guess that's what they talk about when they say "with age comes wisdom" or "a year older, a year wiser"? I'm excited to see what this year brings

I hope you have enjoyed getting to know me a little better! It was fun for me to think back to all of these memories and little things that make me Jennifer. Here's to a a new year full of fun adventures, here's to 31!


Dress from KERVOLOGY
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