Monday, February 23, 2015

5 low commitment ways to help cope with stress

With the weather being so terrible, looking for a steady job, expanding the work I want to do, homeschooling, and LIFE I'm stressed as hell. Which is not shocking at all because I'm a high stress person (I work better under stress) and I am not where I need to be in terms of reducing stress and getting a better handle on my stress (who is?).

All that being true I have found some super simple and low commitment stress relievers that help me cope.

5 low commitment ways to help cope with stress 

Spray your bed and pillow with a lavender oil water mix. Go to your local 99 cent store and pick up a cheap spray bottle then go to you local discount department store (Marshalls, TJ MAXX, Burlington, and the likes)and go to their bath and body section to find some lavender oil at a discounted price.
I got my bottle of lavender oil for about $6 and my spray bottle at Bath and Body Works (where you can also sometimes find oils) for $1. Not only does it help me relax and sleep well it works great for kids too.

Light some candles. There is something about candle light that is just instantly calming and can change the mood of a room very quickly. The candles don't even have to be the amazing smelling ones that can be kind of pricey. I have tiny little tea lights I use and they help me relax just as much. Light some changes turn off the lights and just lay there for a bit.

Play some calming music. YouTube has a wide selection of relaxing music you can choose from to play while you're working, cleaning, reading, or just need some background noise that isn't Netflix.
One of my favorites is tibetan singing bowls.

(Lazy) Meditation. While you're laying in bed trying to go to sleep but your brain is keeping you up using a guided mediation can help calm your thoughts and drift into sleep is the best type of lazy meditation.  The reason I call it "lazy meditation" is because there is only so much time in a day and while I would love to say I meditate in a candle lit room with cushy pillows and beautiful aromas I don't. In fact half the time I want to meditate is right before bed when I'm just laying there and need to calm my thoughts. One of my favorite lazy mediations:

Listen to positive statements (and start believing them)! 
My head can be a very negative place sometimes where I feel like everything terrible is going to happen and should happen. Listening to positive affirmation statements like "I create my own destiny, I have the help of many people, I can create my own reality" and others really help make me feel like I'm capable of doing anything. Here is one of my favorites:

Do you have some low commitment ways to help reduce and cope with stress?
Let me know in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chicken Noodle Soup books are looking for stories and PAY

Chicken Noodle Soup books are looking for stories and PAY $200 per story. 
think it would be great to see some powerful, free of regret, and free of shame stories from pregnant and parenting teens. 

From there website:
Submit Your Story
Welcome to the Chicken Soup for the Soul submission form. We’re excited you’re here, and we look forward to reading your work. We welcome your stories and poems, written in English, from all over the world. We are always looking for new talent, so don’t be shy!
If this is your first time visiting us, please visit our Writing Guidelinespage, which will answer many of your questions about subject matter, length, and style. Following our guidelines will give you the best possible chance of being accepted.
For a list of our new topics, complete with descriptions and deadlines, please visit our Possible Book Topics page.
Please complete all fields in the form below. Even if you are a past contributor and we have your information on file for a past book, we need your complete information again. If you have changed your contact information and you have a submission still outstanding for a book that is in process, please let us know your new information and the book you submitted for by alerting our
Some perks are said to be:
If we publish your story or poem, you will be paid $200 ($100 for devotionals) one month after publication of the book and you will receive ten free copies of the book your story or poem appears in. You will also become part of the Chicken Soup for the Soul family, you will receive our exclusive contributors’ communiqué and you will be entitled to buy cases of books from us at a discount.

Click here to get more information.  

Monday, February 16, 2015

Barack Obama states his teen mother is the most inspirational person to him.

To all the people who say that the children of teen parents are doomed and that we are failures that can not inspire our children.

Straight from the mouth of the President of the United State, Barack Obama.

Post by Humans of New York.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Reasons every teen mom should watch Gilmore Girls

I watched the Gilmore Girls a little bit when I was younger and the show was on air however, now that all the episodes are available on Netflix I'm watching it all over again.

I remember watching it when I was younger and thinking it was so cool the mom and daughter got along so well, that the town was cute, and that the quick dialogue was hard to keep up with but refreshing at the same time. 

Years would pass before I realized the mother and daughter were so awesome because Lorelai (the mother) had her daughter (nickname Rory) when she was a teen! Lorelai was a teen mom! Watching the show can be kind of therapeutic, reassuring, and refreshing all at once. To express how much I like the fact that a show has a teen mom and her awesome kid having a perfectly "normal" life I give you:

 5 Reasons Every Teen Mom Should Watch Gilmore Girls!

A non reality show TV about (teenage) parenting. With so many of the shows on air featuring teenage mothers in super dramatic and exaggerated editing life situations it's nice to have one sitcom that had a story line of a teen mom living her life after having her child. I think one of the great things about a television show is being able to relate to it- and even though I can relate to very few things in terms of the lives of the Gilmore Girls- being able to relate to having a child in your teens is enough for me. 

They're doing just fine! Seeing a teen mom and daughter doing just fine makes me feel like Leilani and I can be doing great in the future (even more great than we are now).
I'm always thinking about the future, how Leilani and I will be in the future, what our living situation will look like, and on and on. I feel I think about these things so much because I had Leilani at 15 and despite hating all things that society says about teenage mothers it gets to me sometimes. Seeing Rory going off to college, Lorelai working hard and being independent makes me feel like Leilani and I can have our own version of that some day. 

The emotional residue of being a teen mom. No one in my family was happy that I got pregnant and became a mom at 15. It was hard for all of us and in many ways the pain some of my family members felt was taken out on me (and sometimes still is). Seeing Lorelai as a grown woman still dealing with the emotions of her childhood, the emotions of being a pregnant teen, and the emotions of being a single teen mom outside of her parent's home and how it affected the whole family in many different ways makes me feel less alone in my struggle. 

Mother and daughter relationship that isn't terrible.  In just about every show/movie moms and daughter seem to hate one another. Most of Disney moms are dead or the mom figures are terrible people and manipulate the daughters in several ways. Leilani and I don't hate one another. And watching shows where the mom and daughter hate one another worries me that that is the ONLY fate for Leilani and myself. Seeing a teen mom and her daughter love each other, like each other, and trust each other is refreshing and hopeful. 

It'll make you happy. It'll make you happy because it makes you feel like there is a future that is beautiful, healthy, and bright for women who had their children in their teens. One that includes loves, laughter, independence, magic, and a great kid who loves and likes you.

Despite what society, family, strangers or "friends" say to you that you can "make it" too. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Dressers, organization, and friends

Thankfully because of the power of friends and asking for help I was able to get Leilani the desk she's been wanting and the dresser I have been NEEDING for a very long time.

It was the most magical and amazing purchases I have made in a long time (besides the plane tickets for our recent travels). 

Getting together with my friends to just talk, catch up, and fantasize about what out future homes would look like while strolling around the Ikea show room was great. I almost felt like I knew what I was doing with my life. 

When I got home with my new pieces of furniture I was so excited that Leilani would finally hover over her own desk and I would have my dresser and our lives would be that much more organized and less physically chaotic. 

The dresser! Link to it at
I put the dresser and the desk together and the whole time was thinking about the joy we are going to feel when we have out own place together. 

When I was finished I stood my dresser up, stood back, looked at it, and almost cried because I could not remember the last time I had a dresser! My very own dresser that I could organize anyway I want. I put my drawer organizers in and was so happy to see shirts folded in neat piles, leggings all in one section, skirts in another, and my make-up and jewelry all having their own place to themselves. 
Look! Everything has its place! 
I know, it sound silly but you try not having a dresser or an organized space for your things for YEARS and then finally having a space for it all. 
Seeing Leilani pull a chair up to her desk and smile and tell me she finally has somewhere to draw that is not on the floor and a place to put away her papers made me so excited.

Leilani at her desk- Link to "desk"
(which is actually a shelf
but it's what she wanted) 

Knowing that this was all made possible because of friends, asking for help, and the need for organization made me feel even more happy.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Overwhelmed ramblings

I am overwhelmed and a bit less disorganized.

I am currently working from home (but still not making enough money to actually thrive), trying to find a decent paying remote job(s) since I'm homeschooling Leilani, while I'm planning things for the year ahead and planning my life for at least the next month, and trying to find time for MYSELF in the middle of it all (tries to catch breath).

I'm doing a lot and having no breaks is really hard.

Most  ALL of my baby sitting team has either moved, is going to college now, or can not watch Leilani for me ever because they're working and going to school.

I have so many things I want to do, so many things I'm doing, and trying to find some sort of possible middle ground with them all, which shouldn't be hard because they're not that different, but it's just NO WORKING.

Not to mention it WONT STOP SNOWING or being 15 degrees outside and I'm kind of getting sick of going to the same museums every other day.

I think I need a nap.

Monday, February 2, 2015

JOB: Sadie Nash Leadership Project Dean Leadership Training Program 

Sadie Nash is currently accepting applications for their temporary PAID summer positions.

The Dean Leadership Training Program is a skill-based internship opportunity to gain hands-on youth work and facilitation experience. Deans should demonstrate clear leadership experience, as well as, an interest in women’s and girls' leadership, social justice, youth development, education, feminism, and non-profit work. The position offers a unique and exciting learning experience, which is fun, dynamic, and challenging.  

Eligible dean applicants must be young women who are either:Recent college graduates
Current Juniors/Seniors at 4-year colleges
Graduates of 2-year colleges
3-4 years out of high school

We are seeking applicants for 2 separate programs/sites:
(Full-time, Stipended summer opportunity)Summer Institute - Newark, NJ & New York City, 6 weeksReady S.E.T. Go! - New York City, 4 weeks
Deadline to apply: All information should be sent as soon as possible but no later than MONDAY, FEBRUARY 17th 2014 (5:00pm EST via email). Only completed applications will be considered. 

Find out more information about the Summer paid positions here:

More Terrible "Prevention" ads

Recently the United Way of Greater Milwaukee released the newest "teenage pregnancy prevention ads" they have been working on. 

These ads are being celebrated as "innovation" "new" "thought provoking" but being that ads using and disrespecting teenage parents have been around for DECADES I'm not sure how any of those adjectives actually apply.

I have SEVERAL problems with these ads.

They are shaming, disrespectful, full of stigma, non factual, not thought provoking, and again WHY ARE WE USING MY FAMILIES likeliness as a scary story to share with youth and society at large.

I wrote some more of my feelings over on
While ads that use these tropes are usually celebrated as being "head turners" or "innovative" or "groundbreaking," they aren't. These ads use the tired and false tropes of shame and stigma, and further the false idea that becoming a teenage parent is the worst possible thing that could happen to a teen.What always troubles me the most about "prevention" ads is that they do very little to nothing about providing prevention information and always use teenage families as shock value while further shaming and stigmatizing teenage families.

Furthermore, how does the United Way's Greater Milwaukee branch not see the dissonance between the United Way's Vision — "a world where all individuals and families achieve their human potential through education, income stability, and healthy lives" — and its several troubling prevention ad campaigns that infantilize teenage parents as toys instead of depicting them as the leaders of families that they are and belittle parenting as a baby's ploy to "control" one's life.
Read the rest of 

United Way Milwaukee's teen pregnancy prevention campaign falls flat. 

Learn more about #NoTeenShame