Positive Vibes

Here are a couple things that you should know about yourself…………

  • You are awesome, just because you think you are.
  • You are capable, whether or not you think so.
  • You were born, despite the statistics. Therefore, you are already winning.
  • You make a positive impact on this world.
  • Your life means something wonderful!
  • You are worthy.
  • You might think you smell bad, but to someone else… it could be sexy.
  • You aren’t alone.
  • Your brain isn’t the same as anyone else’s. Uniqueness is your power!!!
  • You are more of a badass than you think.
  • Everyone fails. It’s literally the first step to success. Even if you fail over and over. (Worst case scenario… write a book at how much you failed, and make millions of people happy or make some money.)
  • You are more attractive than you think.
  • You will probably accomplish what you set out to do. If not, something either needed to be learned before hand or gave you the clarity of where you needed to be heading.
  • We all can relate at some level. Even if we don’t disclose. You’re normal.
  • Don’t compare yourself, it’s not realistic! We are all different. That’s fucking fantastic.
  • Be the person you want to be. If people don’t like it, then that’s their problem.
  • You don’t suck. More likely, you suck a lot less than you think.

Why I Write.

Ever since I was a little girl and could write, I wrote. I poured my little heart out in tiny little love letters, to boys I was so hopelessly in love with in Kindergarten. I kept Diary after Diary, in elementary school to express my feelings about everything any anything. In middle school, as my awkwardness hit a peak, it was a saving grace. In high school, it was notebooks. I went through so many 5 subject notebooks, scrap books, loose leaf papers, and filled them with poems, songs and my inner daily monologues. (Man, did I feel deep. Ha!) I wrote short stories about fantasy, my future life, failed relationships, teenage angst against my parents, or the raw honesty of emotions that seemed overwhelming at the time. Writing has always allowed me to express myself in a way that was safe, honest and freeing. As I grew older in my 20’s, I stopped. It was as if I couldn’t write about anything anymore as my belly grew with children, and my marriage became the focus of my life.

In a sense, a part of my identity had been sacrificed to focus on these tiny little beings who soley depended on me for their care. I forgot how creative and artistic I was. I was consumed with reading article after article, obsessing about how my children were being raised. I think a lot of mothers do this out of a nurturing instinct. However, it wasn’t until the birth of my second child that I rediscovered who I used to be.

It was 2013, and I had reluctantly enrolled in a college level english class. I was apprehensive at first because my 3 month old daughter Penelope was still breastfeeding and I had a very rambunctious two, going on three year old little boy. I put in minimal effort at first and made peace with the 73% grade my first assignment garnered. However, It was my husband who pushed me to do better. Obviously, in my foggy moments of early motherhood, it was the last thing I wanted to do. I admit, I succumbed to my former ambitions of tenacious writing and found myself.

My English teacher was a true hero. Herself a mother of three, encouraged and unlocked within me a new sense of purpose. After submitting compelling essay after essay, it awoke the writer inside of me and led to a fit of lengthy, well worded Facebook posts dedicated to persuasion. Some of my favorite works of wordsmith-ery, is etched into my timeline as a response to inspiration in the moment. After sometime, I decided to develop this blog. It’s still a work in progress. I’m constantly stifled by several life events and experiences. However, It’s a slow movement of passionate progression, committed to expressing…. me.

As I approach my 32nd birthday, I can reflect on this random little adventure of short literary works and hope others enjoy it as well. Please feel free to comment, send me an email, or just tell me about yourself! I would love to know what inspires others to do what they love!

Sincerely sending peace, love and joy,

The Pink Flamingo Mom

Panama City Beach

Carillon Beach, FL

Panama City Beach Florida is where my family and I called home for three months. My Husband was attending dive school in 2011, and we only had one child then. It’s famous for it’s spring break shenanigans and the military presence there, for their specialized dive training facilities. However, They also have great family friendly little alcoves tucked off of 30A.

This past year it was hit by Micheal in October. Homes were destroyed, business lost their signs, roofs, trees fell, schools were destroyed and there wasn’t much anyone could do. They have started to rebuild, but that has its challenges. Due to the shortage of livable conditions of property rentals and some smaller hotels, they have a worker shortage. This has impacted them greatly.

I chose to take the kids down there to visit their father, who is was finishing and advanced dive school in January. The long car ride from Virginia was about 14-ish hours. I don’t recommend it. I was happy to see that some of the town still stood! Witnessing the still present devastation myself, had me extremely curious about what I could do while I was down there.

I spoke to the locals, one particularly in depth about what it was like after the hurricane. She owned at a local shop in Carillon, and has been open since we lived there. Recalling some of the events was seemingly traumatic for her. Her family lost their home, and the kids had to be driven an hour in the morning to school. The aftermath of a natural disaster often impacts the lives of many, long after the danger is over. This surprising former Virginia Beach native, stood there telling her story about all of the years living in Florida and never seeing a disaster like this. The local economy has been hit hard. The restaurants have extremely long wait times due to off season and the worker shortage. The restaurants have been offering a sign on bonus of up to $1000 and $15 hr. due to the ripple effect of Micheal. The sweet store owner expressed to me that she, “Wished someone would come in and develop this town.” It’s needed and the town could use the help. Being part of the local culture she is seeing a shift in need for more diverse restaurants and worldly culture. As it now enters Panama Cities busy tourist season, I truly hope this is an opportunity for them to rebuild and revitalize.

Despite the somber vibe the town emanated, we were determined to relive some of the old days and show the kids where we started out! It was freezing cold being January, and the one day it was warm it rained the entire time. However, that didn’t stop us from having an adventure. All hail the blankets!! I teach my kids that when circumstances are not “ideal” and difficult, that a little bit of creative thinking can make their day better. We got a great chance to recreate an old family photo and add on some more to the memories!


If you would like to DONATE to help the families that are still affected by this, VISIT http://unitedwaynwfl.org

Follow your Passions, trust yourself.

Photo Credit and Media Content:
Distinction Magazine

Distinction Magazine

I’m happy to announce that this months issue of Distinction Magazine has featured, the hard work of the amazing community I’m involved in. Distinction Magazine itself, is such a community driven, awe inspiring, entertaining/beautiful content driven publication and the team behind it does an amazing job. *For the full article please subscribe or purchase a copy of this wonderful magazine.

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The company I work for,(a.k.a. have adopted as my baby) Origin Wine Social located in The Freemason/Downtown area of Norfolk, VA is a new small business that’s knocking out it of the park. It’s a small locally owned Wine shop, Which is run and owned by a level 2 Sommelier Matthew Emorski, Your’s truly Director/Manager of most things, Brianna Farias and our amazing Event facilitator/Assistant Manager Derek Koel. Together as team Origin, we have accomplished so much more than we envisioned when we started. We run the Wine Club at the ICON apartments in Downtown, Our own wine club in house, we have branched out to private events (In store and out), we teach wine classes, have movie nights, and are featured in several local publications. Not only do I love working there, I love the community support we get as well. We also love to support our community, and love visiting, promoting and helping other small business strive. The best part of it all, is that each and everyone one of us involved in Origin are passionate about wine, and are a tight knit family.

This Specific Event was part of Distinction Magazine’s Secret Supper Series. *Contact Distinction for more info on how to about entry into one of these awesome events.

The cuisine was absolutely a heavenly experience. Spruce Home + Design owned by the lovely Allison Whitmore hosted the guests for Hors d’ouvres and wine paired by Matt. Their gorgeous space was a perfect start to the night.

Chef Ross Riddle has worked in some of the best surrounding area restaurants with experience in various styles of cuisine. He launched his own food truck called Hashi Chow. Hashi has now evolved into a ridiculously cool pop-up, Private event and Private Chef by request. Definitely check him out on Facebook.com/Hashichow or his IG @hashichow to see the beautiful work he has done. However, as any good event has the support team was stellar and crucial to pulling this event off. Another ridiculously awesome chef Ian Hock, who runs his own pop-up style restaurant Codex @codex_va out of Pendulum Fine Meats @pendulumfinemeats, busted out these amazing dishes along side Ross. Rowena’s Kitchen @ Rowenaskitchen offered their space to help make this event come to fruition, and Chef Ross implemented their famous pound cake into the dessert course. I wish I could tell you more, but you’re just gonna have to buy the magazine to get all the juicy details. 🙂

Moral of the Story: Follow your passion and see where it takes you.

There’s Wine in Here.

Okay.. So it’s been a minute since I’ve posted anything. Life is freaking crazy you all. One minute you’re on a path, knowing exactly the direction you want to go in and then, it just throws you off the back of a pick up truck. Seriously. When you aren’t going on a course that the Universe/God/Destiny or whatever you call it, “IT” brings circumstances to force change. I was so set on getting into law school. So focused. Yet here I am. I haven’t graduated yet. My life, is totally crazy!! I’m in the middle of growth and some days I stress cry in the bathroom. While other days, I meet amazing people, and have the time of my life! My mantra lately, has seriously been YOLO. As “Millenial” as it may sound, I’ve found a rich, deep sense of spirituality in the meaning. You only live once. That’s it. You can plan out the perfect life, with the utmost attention to detail and it will straight up be like… NOPE. So, do what makes you happy. For me, that’s wine and food. I had zero street cred, or references in the food and wine scene six months ago. Now, I’m the Director of private events, and a manager of a wine shop in Downtown/Freemason area of Norfolk, Virginia. I still wake up sometimes like… What?! How did I get here?! It’s so surreal. My job has introduced me to amazing chefs, photographers, magazine editors, movie producers, sommeliers, wine makers, engineers, politicians, musicians, actors, etc… It’s absolutely insane. It has changed so incredibly fast, that I think I’m just gonna go with this YOLO for a minute and see where I end up. To end this, I’ll say this, My job………………….is to throw parties, drink wine and hang out with really cool people. So, if you’re currently stuck doing something you aren’t particularly happy about… let the YOLO take over and enjoy your life! AND.. if you are a Mom, like me. Don’t fret. Mom’s can do cool stuff too!

Let’s talk about plants baby, let’s talk plants and things, let’s talk about plants… Let’s talk about plants.

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Alright, so summer has arrived in Virginia and boy oh boy are the plants in bloom! The Norfolk Botanical Gardens is one of my favorite places to go here. I know, I know.. Plants? Boring!!! I’d have to object. The grounds of this place are amazing. There is simply no other word that I feel like writing down to describe it. The gardens are a non-profit museum for plants. However, this place is so much more. Its an amazing date location, a peaceful place to collect your thoughts, and in their children’s garden a blast for kids! Seriously, the kids zone will be enough to buy a membership… ehem, parents.  Weddings are conducted here, because it has some of the most romantic locations I’ve ever seen. That’s saying a lot. I grew up in Southern California. We had every landscape available to us in that state. They recently added a carnivorous plants exhibit, which is awesome! It’s very tiny, but how often do you see exotic carnivorous plants? I’ll post some photos below to give you an idea of the wonders of this garden. This is .0001% of what you will experience. If you are ever in Norfolk, Va give this place a try. It’s wonderful!

Truth, Justice and The Pink Flamingo Mom way.

This year I’ve met so many incredible people and I had the opportunity to do some incredible things. I started this website as a way to find myself again, and it’s becoming so much more than I could’ve imagined. I found something rewarding in addition to promoting my life. I found a way to give back. Through my journey into “adulthood” (I turn 30 this month, which I consider to be quite an adult number. I’m sure when I’m 60 I laugh at my young self. Then laugh at my 60 year old self when I’m 80.), I realized there is so much joy in promoting other people and their businesses as well, that why haven’t I been doing this the whole time? What the heck old me?! What were you doing for 1/3 of your life? I don’t get paid for it… yet. I just use my skills in writing to highlight how awesome people and places can be. I also use them to highlight issues and create topics of discussion. Ever since I adopted this positive attitude, I’ve been experiencing more success in life than ever. I recently got accepted into a program for academic success in applying to law school. I’ll be heading to a college of law founded by two women, in July.  I’ll get to participate in this exciting opportunity, and it was something I think I’ve been wanting for a while. It’s an opportunity to give back, through knowledge and empowerment. Plus, It will be an Awesome weekend in our Nations Capital!!!

Sometimes life can take you in unexpected directions. Some good, and some bad. The ability to bounce back or resiliency is a strong predictor of what determines your success in life. Then again You could also just live a “perfect” life from birth to death. That could happen… I guess.  If thats the case with you, I’d seriously question whether or not you were a robot, put on this earth to make people feel incredibly inadequate about themselves. I firmly believe no one is perfect.

I’ve come to realize that you may perceive an event that has happened as wholly bad. That can happen. What I’ve learned is that it may suck at the time, but given the right attitude anything is possible. I mean that literally. You might just need to find out what your definition of success is and jump on in. Some wonderful lessons I’ve learned along the way are……..

#1.) Never let fear stop you from doing something that could be amazing.

#2.) Don’t take no for an answer. If you want it, go get ’em tiger. The worst thing someone will say is.. “Please stop contacting me.” At that point, you could get sued for harassment. So….. probably take that lesson to heart.

#3.) Always, push yourself beyond what you think could be possible. Hater’s are hater’s for whatever reason. You know who you are, if they don’t see the value you have to bring to the table then it sucks for them. Let me tell you, that YOU, (person reading this right now), are capable, connected and your potential is off the charts!

#4.) Aim high, and fall from there. For me, my goal is to be the president someday. If I don’t achieve that, then I’m sure I’ll end up somewhere pretty successful with a big dream like that. Call me naive, and I’ll slap a story down that you probably weren’t expecting.

#5.) Have a back up plan and if you don’t, you’ll be okay too and you’ll figure it out.

#6.) Don’t settle for rational, unless you want to. Life’s not rational or predictable, so go for it!

#7.) Live your life the way you want to.

#8.) When opportunity appears, seize it.

#9.) Try to lift others up in the process and make amends when you can, if needed. Don’t leave any bad blood.

#10.) Try to let things go. You may not always be capable or able to, but a willingness to try, will make all the difference.

And finally lets leave it off with an even number… Cue the mom joke.

#11.) Surround yourself with people who are doing what you want to be doing, or people you’re just curious about. Contact them, ask them questions, get to know them, and even see if they’ll meet with you. The world is full of possibility and I think a good way to live a full and rich life of success, is to explore that possibility!!

So, the moral of this story is… what are YOU waiting for? Go kick some butt!

Dirty Dancing at Lake Lure

“Nobody puts baby in a corner.”

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         The Rumbling Bald Resort in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, is an incredible place. The resort overlooks Lake Lure, (A popular vacation spot in the summer), and sits neatly tucked between the hazards of their well kept golf course. The white sand beaches and children’s water park make this an excellent option for all ages. They host a Dirty Dancing festival here to celebrate the fun the movie brings in mere mention. It’s probably useful information to note, that the original movie was filmed here as well. They offer a tour to the guest of the grounds before the festival starts, fun film themed food fare and the after party is quite the scene! Be prepared to dress up in flowing dresses and be dazzled by the spectacular show they put on. It’s needless to say, but….

I had the time of my life.

It was so lovely catching up with one of my childhood best friends from Southern California! Love my Brandi-kins!

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The views home were outstanding and so lush! 

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There were so many cool places that we passed by. Too bad we couldn’t stop at them all!

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Th honor system applied at this cute little pit stop.

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Travel tips for the festival:

1.) Get there early if you don’t want to miss out on the fun of the tour.

2.) If the food options aren’t to your liking at the festival, they do have a quaint little restaurant located on the main property to grab a quick bite.

3.) Be sure to save time for a fun dip in the lake and soaking up the suns rays, with a cool drink in tow!

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4.) Watch out for Bears!!!

5.) Make sure to have the time of your life!!

The Pink Flamingo

The rebranding of myself started at my lowest point. So here’s the story behind that.

The iconic pink flamingo lawn ornament that decorated the lawns of the 1990’s was seen as tacky and unappealing to some. I think they’re beautiful. I was “just a mom” for quite sometime, at least that’s what I thought. I felt tacky and unappealing. So I can totally relate to those flamingos.  I think I’m beautiful now. I’m stronger than ever. I believe I can accomplish the path that is set out by my vision. I am woman. Hear me roar!

The Pink Flamingo Mom:  A rebranding project of taking charge of your life and seeing all of the possibilities you have, just by recognizing the skills you already posses. Once you hone in on that power, you become unstoppable. “Get it Girl!”

Within this past year I started to noticed pink flamingos, almost everywhere. They’ve been rebranded as a cute and stylish design on everything from leggings to pillow cases. Whoever brought them back, thank you. They changed my life. When I’m stuck in a rut, for whatever reason, I follow the pink flamingos. Seriously, I find them in random places that my life has taken me. It’s very mystical. I take it as a sign that I’m going in the right direction. It’s also odd to note that they seem like they are everywhere, not just clothing. I took my children to the dentist office one day and looked up. Low and behold in brilliant 90’s neon colors was a pink flamingo with killer shades on. It was just hanging out, on a beach, on the ceiling of the dentist’s exam room. Totally random. That’s when the idea for this whole project kinda fell into place and I knew, that I KNEW what I was doing. A special friend of mine set this entire movement into place with her positive motivation. She is an amazing coach in life and fitness. Without her, I never would have started to discover my vision for the future. Thank You Danielle Griffin!

Check out Danielle’s extremely inspirational ability to change lives through lifestyle and fitness. Her positive approach to motivation helped me through my toughest time. Do good without expectation of reward and it will come back to you in ten fold. In other words, be kind for no reason. You never know whose life your about to change. Paying it forward!

If you’d like a to transform your life through Danielle’s positive approach to your fitness and wellness journey click below. Schedule a consult and choose to live the happy life.

our story

www.Mamafitforlife.com

Pick a place.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have unlimited resources, no responsibilities, and just pick up and go? I think it’s safe to say, that most people have. As an overloaded over-achieving American mother, I drift off to this fantastic mental oasis of mine and dream of the day I’ll be free to do whatever, whenever. This dream became somewhat of a reality, when the husband and I just decided to do it. We don’t have unlimited resources, we have tons of responsibilities, but we just did it. It wasn’t without the help of our family. Without these amazing people our break from “adulthood” couldn’t have happened. Our week started off with a surprise from the In-laws. While most people cringe at a thought of their mother in law paying a surprise visit, I really enjoy her company. ( Hi Mom! 🙂 )  I hit the jackpot with my In-laws. They flew across the country, took excellent care of our babies and kept the house extremely clean! The stress of school, the impending absence of my significant other (travel for work) and juggling three individual tiny little lives with separate schedules, had me loosing hair at an amazing rate. Even writing that sentence now, makes my head spin. We all could use a break from our routine. I think it really helps me appreciate all of the pleasures life has to offer.

These are some photos of the beginning of our trip. We left late Thursday night in pursuit of adventure. Our passports were up to date and ready to go. Our bags were packed and we hurried out to the car as fast as we could. This was a much needed vacation. It was such an amazing feeling to get in the car ALONE, without our children and say, “Where do you want to go?” We decided to head to the Nations Capital, as international travel was on our minds. We arrived at about 9 pm to the Cambria Hotel, in DC. We hit a snag with our reservation, but the staff was extremely accommodating and we managed to snag the last room!! We decided to wing it for breakfast the next day and found this amazing Ethiopian restaurant. The food was exotic and pleasantly unexpected. If you never tried Ethiopian food, you might want to. I find that venturing out of my comfort zone, usually brings good things in the form of exciting new experiences!

Check out this amazing restaurant at the link below!