Oh hey, it's me

she remembered who she was

and the game changed.

-lalah deliah

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

I have spent  S O  M U C H  T I M E scouring Instagram and blog posts and websites looking for inspiration and motivation.  Some messages and signs that maybe would help things just “click” for me...in life, in business, in motherhood...  And yesterday…the click just happened.

In the morning, I was strugglin.  I was tired, unmotivated, and just had the Monday Meh’s.  I pushed my way through a workout and came home to make myself some food.  When I walked in the door I had the crazy rush of anxiety and overwhelm-ness and the feeling that I needed to do SOMETHING.  To clear my plate but fill my cup.  It’s actually really hard to put into words what that felt like and the clarity that came from it.  But here’s what I figured out:

 

In order to live my life intentionally, I need to get rid of STUFF

I have read, researched, and watched all things minimalism.  I’ve started to declutter and then found myself at Target buying something else that I don’t need.  But as I looked around me at all that I needed to clean up and tidy, I’ve just decided that I’m done with all the crap.  I want to get rid of the things that don’t bring meaning and joy to my life.  So I’m starting to de-clutter.  As I move from room to room, if there’s something I see that doesn’t make me smile, or that I can glance over without a care, then it’s no longer serving a purpose in my home.  With one exception…the kitchen.

I have a lot of kitchen stuff, dishes, pots, pans, cups an wine glasses.  An Impressive and slightly embarrassing collection of bowls.  But you know what- an immeasurable amount of joy comes from cooking for and feeding everyone who comes into my home.  I want people to be able to eat home cooked meals out of real dishes, off of real plates with real silverware.  Everything in my kitchen belongs there.  If you’re hungry, don’t want to cook, need a place to have a meal- COME TO MY HOUSE.  I’m ready for ya <3

 

I freakin love plants.

This is no secret.  If you walk into my home you will notice plants in every room.  I talk about them ALL THE TIME.  I will stop and touch them no matter where I am.  I am amazed at their colors, resilience, strength, and originality.  I want more and more and more of them.  Plants give me life.  They satiate my desire to care for things, nurture them, and watch them grow.  They are so incredibly beautiful.  They are life.  They are happiness. I want to be surrounded by them always.

 

I am attuned to my body.

The past couple of years, the last year especially, I have spent a lot of time experimenting and listening to my body.  Playing this little call and response, trial and error.  I have learned to listen to my mind, my intuition, my heart, my gut, and my physical form.  I spent such a long time giving myself some sort of label.  What diet I was following.  What workout plan I was following.  My roles in life.  Nah.  No mo’.  I’m just ME.  I’m always evolving.  Learning.  Transitioning through phases as gracefully as I can (hence my moon logo).  Transforming into a better, more authentic version of me.

 

I’m a damn good mom AND SO ARE YOU

I was going to write out an all original long sappy paragraph about this, but Karen Johnson of The 21st Century SAHM hit the nail on the head over and over and over.  

She wrote:

“My house is never clean. Like ever. I have friends (with kids) whose houses are spotless. Are they better mothers than me? Nope. Am I a better mother than them? Nope.

I work out every day. I have mom friends who don't exercise. (I mean other than running around like crazy people after their kids). Does that make either of us a better mom? Nope.

I have a friend who gave birth in a pool in her living room. I pushed mine out in a hospital bed after receiving a gift from the epidural fairy. Both of us are good moms.

I drink a beer or glass of wine (sometimes in front of my kids!) on occasion. I'm a good mom. My neighbor and good friend doesn't drink. Also a good mom.

I'm a yeller. I have a good friend who is quiet and extremely patient. I envy her. But we are both good moms.

I have friends who are super organic, chemical free, and dye free. My kids sometimes eat popsicles for breakfast. The cheap kind that are 50 for $2.00. Are either of us better than the other? Nope.

I swear, but not in front of my kids. Are you a bad mom if you do? Hell no.

I'm involved with my kids' school but I don't volunteer and live there every day. Are the moms who volunteer daily any better than those who never do? No. Am I incredibly grateful for the moms who volunteer every day and help the teachers? YES.

Are stay-at-home moms better than working moms? NO.

Are working moms better than stay-at-home moms? NO.

Are married moms better than single moms? NO.

Are you a better mom if you take your kids on exotic vacations? NO.

Can you be a good mom if you the closest thing you get to a vacation is the park? YES.

Can you be a good mom and have a super scheduled summer with lots of planned activities? Yep.

What about if your summer is lazy with no plans? Yep.

Do good moms let their kids watch TV? Yes.

Play video games? Yes.

What about if you say no? Also fine. Your choice. You're the mom. And a good one.

I'm a Christian. My friend and neighbor is Muslim. Another friend practices no religion at all. WE ARE ALL GOOD MOTHERS.

My other friend is gay. Her kids have TWO mothers. They are both good moms. 

I breastfed. My kids barely had formula. Am I better than moms who feed their babies formula? NO.

So can we all climb down off judgment mountain & give each other some grace? And all support one another? Just say Hey, motherhood is hard. You're doing a good job. You got this. 

Good shit, RIGHT?!  

You ARE doing a good job.  YOU GOT THIS.  And when you're feelin like you don't, hit me up and I will lift you up and compliment the shit out of you until you do.

 

Coaching is my calling.

Y’all.  This is a big one.  I’ve been talking about “launching” for so long now.  People keep asking me what I want to do as a Coach.  I have my answer memorized and rehearsed.  It comes out the same every time.  But I was never really happy with what I was saying… it wasn’t conveying what I really meant and felt.  The moment when all of the clicking into place happened, I decided that I am going to confidently go forth with MY version of Health Coaching.  The certification program that I did through Integrative Nutrition gave me extensive knowledge on nutrition and diet.  So I felt that that’s what I had to lead with.  But, if you’ve been following me for a little while now you know that most of my focus is on self love and authenticity and being your best version of you.  I felt guilt for not leading with nutrition. Like I’m some kind of phony or that most people are going to come to me hoping that I can quickly change their eating habits or help them lose weight fast.  But, nah.  That’s not how I want to do things.  I want to help people get to KNOW themselves.  To tackle the topics we all like to pretend don’t exist, or things that we sugar coat because we don’t want others to know just how much we’re struggling.

-Body image

-Motherhood/ pregnancy and cllllll of the feelings/emotions/worries that come with

-Relationships/ marriage

-Money

-Autonomy

-Self-care

-Authenticity

-Emotional health

-Eating habits

These are things we don’t TRULY and CANDIDLY talk about.  Or we can talk about them online or on social media, hidden behind the safety of a screen.  Where we're able to see and read what we want and to delete and scroll past what we don't like or don't want to hear. But we don't want to have these conversations in real life.  It's too scary.  Too much.  Too honest.  We apologize for our feelings, for who we are.  I want to help women stop doing that.  So.  If any of those topics resonate with you, P L E A S E reach out to me. 

Email me. 

Message me through the blog. 

Comment on this post. 

Find me on Instagram or Facebook.  

I’m no expert on these topics- quite the opposite, actually.  But I’ve struggled with each and every item on that list.  Every damn day I work hard towards fine tuning my relationship with each of them.  And I live for the magic that happens when women work together and build each other up.

 

WHEW. 

 

Yah.  All of that clarity literally happened in a matter of seconds.  

 

It’s pretty random.

Kinda out there.

Weird AF.

Still needs work.

 

But that’s me.  

 

What about you?

 

xoxo

Candice

love you. love, me

observe.  accept.  release.  transform.

-yung pueblo

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

Three weeks ago I did one of the scariest, nerve wracking, disarming, beautiful things... I did a boudoir shoot.  

The word boudoir means "a woman's bedroom or private room".  When we hear the word we automatically think lingerie and boobs and nakedness and racy poses.  And often times that's exactly what it is.  But, not in my own case.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

I had known a few women that did boudoir shoots and when they were done had nothing but amazing things to say about the experience.  How much fun they had, how sexy they felt, how empowering the whole thing was.  Little signs and reminders kept falling in front of my face until finally I said "FINE!  I get it!  I'll do it!"  So I called up Chelsea, one of the most empowering, gracious, loving lady photographers I know, and asked if she'd be up for doing the shoot and she was ECSTATIC.  Immediately the plans were set in motion.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

I scoured the internets for sexy outfits, things that I thought would make me feel beautiful.  I looked at all different women in all different poses.  And then it hit me- these women are not me!  That isn't my body!   I needed to remember that this was me doing this for me.  Everything I was going to feel comfortable and beautiful in was already in my closet.  And I didn't want to pose.

 I just wanted to feel beautiful as me being me.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

Fast forward to the day of the shoot.  7am at South Congress Hotel.  Lots of coffee.  Four badass, beautiful, real, hilarious women in one tiny room.  Let me tell you- you will get real intimate real fast when you're getting to know people in your underwear.  

It.  Was.  Fucking.  Awesome.  

Three hilarious hours flew by and when we were done we went out by the hotel pool and ordered 10am cocktails, a burger, and fries.  We took selfies, swam, shat the shit and it organically became one of the best Tuesdays of my life.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

When I was in my late teen's I developed my fascination and amazement at the beauty of women, both inside and out, but specifically our bodies.  We are all so different and so beautiful yet society, men, and other women are always trying to convince us that we're not.  We're conditioned to take any criticism we receive, keep it to ourselves and not let anyone know how much we're hurting, and to change x,y, and z things about us if we want to look and feel beautiful.  This creates a crazy competition between all women.  To "look better" than everyone else.  To have better hair, flawless skin, bigger boobs, toned abs, not too skinny but not fat, manicured everything, sexy outfits but not too sexy cuz you don't want to be a ho.  Y'all.  This hurts my brain.  We gotta let all that go.  We have to feel beautiful from the inside out for ourselves, not for anyone else.  Your people will find you beautiful no matter what simply because you are you.  Unsolicited opinions, while they can hurt, mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.  Your body is first and foremost a gift to you.  It is then a gift to others you choose to share hugs, cuddles, kisses, and love with.

So this shoot was for me to take a further step into loving me.  To allow other women to shower me with love.  And I highly highly HIGHLY recommend that at some point in your life you give this experience a shot.  There is no word in the english language that can describe the experience of loving your body down into the core- it's just something you've gotta find out for yourself.

 Photo by Chelsea Francis

Photo by Chelsea Francis

The biggest thank yous to Chelsea, Janelle, and Cynthia for holding my hand, my dress, and my heart through that experience.  I have seriously never felt more wholly beautiful.  Love you guys forever and ever <3

xoxo

Candice

Life 101: A Beginner's Guide

The best advice I’ve ever received is, ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either’

-Ricky Gervais

 Photo by Mel Christina Photogaphy

Photo by Mel Christina Photogaphy

I’m just gonna come right out and say it… For most of my adult life, I’ve had no clue what I was doing.  At 18 I moved across the country with no plan except to live and find happiness.  I worked any job I could find.  I took a long time to get my degree.  I went through a few failed relationships.  I learned A LOT of hard lessons.  I went to counseling every week for 2+ years to try to get some direction for how to do life.  I got married and became a wife.  Very soon after I became a mother.  Five years after assuming these roles I’ve figured out that I’ve just DONE life without a clue of what I'm doing and how to do it.  Every little teensy bit and every monumental of it.  There are times when I’m insanely insecure and there are times where I pull courage and confidence out of my ass and marvel at my capabilities afterwards.

With the popularity of social media where everyone can hide behind a screen, a mask where we can make ourselves to be the people we want other’s to see us as, it’s easy to think that other people have it all together.  They have a passion (e.g. fitness, food, photography, looking damn fine) and they’re good at it so they also must be good at life itself.  If they have thousands of followers and thousands of likes then they must be doing it all right.  We pay so much attention to what’s going on on the outside- how nice is their car, how big is the house, how many diamonds and brand name clothes, nice boobs, nice butt, skinny waist, lots of friends… we just automatically assume that some people have THE equation to life.  And maybe some people do.  But everyone has their own story that we don’t know.  Struggles and insecurities that none of us want to talk about.  We’re all fighting our own internal battles whether we’re aware of them or not.

As I venture into new territory in my life starting a business as a Health Coach, I take a lot of comfort in knowing that ‘No one else knows what they’re doing either’.  It calms me and reminds me to step into everything with a beginner’s mind.  

When I make eye contact with someone and want to say hello but get nervous, I reming myself that they’re probably nervous too- the thought of rejection is scary!  But who wants to miss out on the opportunity of making a new friend?  

When I have to make a speech or talk in front of a group of people my heart starts racing and I feel like I’m going to throw up and tinkle my pants and my sweat glands go into hyper-super-overdrive.  But most people go through the SAME EXACT THING.  And you know what?  I survive it every time.

And the toughest of all situations- when Cameron is being his toddler self in public, at home, or around a group of people I internally start freaking out.  I want to start controlling the situation because I want him to be a “good” kid in front of other people because his behavior is a reflection of me and my parenting skills, right?  Hahahaha wrongggggg.  If you’ve ever tried to get a toddler to behave then I hope you’re laughing along with me.  As parents we’re all taking things moment by moment and doing what we can to make it to the next as smoothly as possible.

The point of all this gibber-gabber is to say that we’re all doing what we can in the moment.  I sure as hell don’t know what I’m doing most of the time and I’m not ashamed to say it- I hope you aren’t either.  It’s easier to breathe and connect with people when we step down off our high horse and recognize that we’re all human.  We’re all making mistakes throughout our days.  Mistakes that are small and some that are huge but they’re important because through mistakes you learn and you grow and you become a little more human.

 

Be gentle with yourself during hard moments

Speak kindly to yourself

Cultivate self-forgiveness

Treat yourself with kindness

Find a tribe who will do the same with you and for you

 

These are things that you would do to your best friend, so why would you not do them to yourself?  

Be mindful of that little tidbit of advice in your interactions and observations because, life is hard and can get messy but we’re all doing what we can with what we have.  And know that I've got your back. 

xoxo

Candice

Let's Talk About Food, Baby

There are two topics I want to cover in this post:

1. A "healthy" kitchen

2. Intuitive eating

These are two things we subconsciously tend to over-complicate.  I'm gonna start with the latter: Intuitive eating.  

Let's take things a few step back first.  Raise your hand if you listen to the cues your body is giving you. 🙋🏻 Do you rest when you're tired or do you drink another cup of coffee and charge through the day?  When your stomach is hurting do you stop to take a break and think about why, or do you pop a tums and hope for the best?

Read More