Monday, August 20, 2012

Taking Back My Life!

Sounds rash, doesn't it...?
It isn't. 

It's just me realizing that although school is great, Leilani is wonderful and I have weekends I need to take back MY life during the week.
This Summer has been AMAZING! I got to travel to Boston, New Hampshire AND Florida! I was fortunate enough to spend some much needed time with family, make new friends and start new endeavors.

I have also had to-more times than one- realize that I HAVE to choose making a few dollars over spending more time with Leilani. This kills me. 
What also saddens me is the zero amount of "me time" I actually have. I am either always in class, working, working at home, 'doing homework', being a mom and daughter or in and out of meetings. I don't have time where I can just be still and breathe. A "Me day", a moment of silence, a chance to say yes when a friend invites me out to get a slice. 

So this semester I AM CHANGING THAT! 
First I am changing it by my school schedule:
I have made my schedule to where I can go to the gym for two hours in the morning 3 out of the 7 days of the week. 
I have decided that I want to actively experience COLLEGE: 
Being on this years Undergrad Student Government has really provided me with an outlet to do so. 

So... what does this all mean? It means that unlike the past where I was going straight from class and into work I am going to ONLY WORK TWO DAYS OUT OF THE WEEK! Sounds INSANE right? Especially with me always talking about how limited my bank account is. 

Well you know what I AM SICK AND TIRED of putting a LOW dollar amount on my time, my mental health and the limited amount of time I can spend with Leilani. $21 is NOT worth me NOT socializing with friends, NOT  making new friends, NOT being able to go to club meetings and NOT being able to pick Leilani up from school one extra day out of the week. 

Trust me I have done the math and an extra $21 a week adds up to $84 a month, which translates to 2.8 weekly unlimited Metro cards for the subway. But it also means me MISSING OUT ON LIFE! Me missing out on TIME THAT I WILL NOT GET BACK! Me missing out on COLLEGE that I fought dam hard to get into and to STAY IN!

You're probably reading this and thinking: wow she's selfish. Thats fine if you do because in my heart I feel we ALL have to be a LITTLE bit selfish. No one else is going to come up to us and say 'oh look I changed your schedule so you can get some free time or say here's all the time back that you spent working.' So i'm doing it for my self. 
I'm giving myself my own break. I'm choosing to use my ability to CHOOSE and in the process i'm helping MY mental health, my physical health and the relationships I have with the people in my life and most importantly Leilani. 

So how am I going to pull this all off? By working SMARTER, HARDER and exploring different ways to make an income. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The 8 Stages of Blogher12

The 8 stages of Blogher12

Tweet, Tweet, Tweet
HELL YEAH!!! I'm going to Blogher12! I'm going to rock it! Everyone is going to know who I am. I'm going to be fearless and get to meet all the people I follow on Twitter, Facebook and blogs!

Oh crap! I'm going to meet all the people I follow on Twitter, Facebook and blogs! What if I say something dumb? Is approaching them too much? How do I approach them? What if they are totally different then what they are on their blogs? What do I wear, WHAT DO I WEAR?!

Game face:
How you feel when you see someone you have been following for a long time. 
You got this! All you have to do is be yourself. You're awesome! You are going to get to learn, network, experience new things and meet wonderful people. Don't be nervous and just wear that cute outfit you've been meaning to wear. You know the one that you keep saying you wont get rid of because one day there will be an occasion to wear it. Oh and remember, there is no need to buy new shoes.

You get there
Holy SHIT: 
I'm I breathing fast? 5,000- 5,000 PEOPLE! Where do I even start?! What session did I say I was going to go to first. Is it hot in here! So many people. What if I don't recognize the people I want to finally meet face to face? This is the line for the bathroom AND food?
Do I really need 7 drink tickets?
Um.. excuse me, where do I get one of those Blogher12 bags? Over here? Oh, thank you!

Wait... there's MORE
I'm so overwhelmed!
At this point you have been to two sessions, the luncheon- So... you're telling me that I can have as many of these adorable and delicious desserts as I want?- and lost yourself about three times. Then you find the Expo Hall.

After the Expo Hall
I'm just going to find a plug, plug my phone in and sit down. After that i'll feel better. My shoulder hurts from all this free stuff. My eyes are heavy and I want some food. I don't know if I'm coming to the next Blogher. All of this is just so overwhelming and can be nerve wrecking.

YEAH 7 drink tickets! 
When you see the Sparklecorn cake for the first time
Today was tougher than I thought, I totally needed 7 drink tickets!

Then after all that you realize that this past weekend was great! Sure you were overwhelmed, stressed and questioning why you came but then you realize that you met inspiring people, made friends, found new blogs to follow, new stories to share and you are no longer a Blogher virgin. 
See you in Chicago! 

All images are originally from Hyperbole and a half
I was sponsored by Young Urban Moms to attend Blogher12 but all views and opinions are my own.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

#SMLatins Kick Off Your Heels Event!

The first week of August was nothing short of amazing for me and I know for a fact that the Stiletto Media Kick Off Your Heels Event at Pio Pio is the reason for this!

Stiletto Media's event was, in short, about celebrating Latina bloggers. However, it was SO MUCH more than that for me. The event helped motivate me, encourage me and let me RELAX after such a stressful and long day!

Alexandra from Alexandra-, former Teen Mom and Me!
Upon arriving to Pio Pio and walking into the beautiful venue I was greeted with a big hug from the Founder of Stiletto Media, Magdalia Rivera. Magdalia is also a single mom who is on a mission! From that point on I knew this was going to be a great and welcoming event.

Let me stress that this is the first time I met any of these women and with in an hour and a half we laughed, drank AMAZING Sangria, shared stories and inspirations with one another and left the event friends! The atmosphere in the room was welcoming, inviting and joyous all because of the amazing women there. These women become my team to attend Blogher12 with. Without them I would have been LOST!

I also have to thank you wonderful sponsors that made the event even more joyous.

Glitter Tattoo NY was there doing wonderful and very sparkly glitter tattoos, Covergirl Outlast All Day Lipcolor, which it really does last ALL DAY, Avocados from Mexico, the classic Sweet Pickles books were in the house as well with a FREE EBOOK DOWNLOAD and HP had was giving away a free HP Faux Canvas voucher to decorate our homes with.

The Kick Off Your Heels event was the perfect opening to what would become a wonderful week with my girls:  Alexandra-what a time we had, Sili whom has a huge heart and legs that never stop dancing, my piercing buddy Maria, Lisa who encouraged me so much in a short amount of time, Monique and Rachel who has found the fountain of youth just to name a few!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Group for Teen Moms in NYC

Briefly introduce yourself
My name is Gaiana, I am seventeen years of age.  I am an avid reader and lyrical dancer.  I looooveeee playing sudoku and taking pilates is what prevents me from not going insane. 

Although you are not a teen mother what compelled you to start a group for teen moms?
I've always wanted to do something different. I've realized that I don't want to just exist, but I would also want to live my life in a way that also helps others.  In the fall of 2011, I started volunteering with the Sisters of Life.  They are an organization of sisters who service women in difficulty and spread the pro-life message.  I was inspired by these sisters and I wanted to help.  Since I'm not trained for life counseling or anything, I made it my mission to start something new, something that I didn't already see in our community.  I noticed there weren't many teens reaching out to the young mother community.  I gathered up some of my friends, Chayanne, Amber, and Tiffanie. They are members of the Sixteen Candles for Life board and they help in making decisions for Sixteen Candles.  Without these girls, Sixteen Candles for Life would not have been possible. 

Why did you choose the name Sixteen Candles for Life?
Many people ask me about our name.  "Sixteen Candles for Life" is suppose to take away any negative connotation between the number 16 and pregnancy.   Candles represent light, life means life.  We are a group that cherishes life and celebrate the young mothers who despite all odds upheld life and its importance. 

What type of things will your group offer teen and young mothers?
We provide them with a safe, judgement-free environment where they can share their feelings, where we can have open discussions about anything they may have on their minds.  We offer spiritual support, if anyone has any special prayer requests or anything.  We offer academic support and emotional support.  It's all about support from young women their own age. 

Does the media’s perception of teen mothers have an impact on how you or your generation view teen moms?
Shows such as "Sixteen and Pregnant" and "Teen Mom, Teen Mom 2" are truly a disappointment to most of the people to which I have spoken.  They embellish the struggles of young mothers in a way that is anything but positive.  I bothers me that there was an odd transition from "Sweet Sixteen" to "Sixteen and Pregnant." The media's priorities have shifted from focusing on celebrating this milestone in a girl's life to gaining economic growth through the hardships of girls in tough situations.  The media does not accurately portray teenage mothers so I think that makes it difficult for the teen community to fully understand and empathize with teen moms.  This makes it difficult for teens to help young mothers stay in school and reach their goals because there is no relationship being built among one and other. 

When and where will Sixteen Candles For Life meet?
We meet at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Community center: 34 West 134th street, New York, NY 10037 the first and third Fridays of every month from 4pm-6pm.

Wonderful! Is there anything else that you would like attendees to know? 
We do not judge our moms if they have had any previous abortions.  We are not here for abortion counseling, we do not force the pro-life message on these mothers in any way, shape or form.  We only celebrate and congratulate them on making such a tough, but rewarding decision to keep their child.