Goodbye Kisses.

One of the toughest things I face as a single mom is wondering if Mila has enough love.

It’s hard being away from her during the days, but I have to be to give her the life she deserves. When we’re together, we play, read stories, and create. I tell her I love her every chance I get and she does the same.

We’re happy in our own little world.

But, it’s the days I have to go away. I question if she forgets about all our fun. There are some times I wonder if the love I instill in her stays. Or if she’s just made at me when I’m gone.

A few nights ago, I realized I shouldn’t put any thought into those fears.

I picked her up one afternoon after school. She sat in the car as my mom told her goodbye. As usual, she asked for a hundred goodbye hugs and kisses. Then kept saying bye. As my mom walked away, then started the goodbye kisses.

She blew them and for awhile they were reciprocated. Mom had to go back inside, but Mila did something that made me smile.

As the door shut and we backed out of the driveway, I saw her continue blowing goodbye kisses.

Between each kiss, she yelled, “goodbye! I love you!.”

She didn’t stop when we backed out. Or when we went down the street. Or even parked in our driveway. Outside our door, she kept saying goodbye and how much she loved her Gigi.

That’s when I realized, Mila has all the love in the world. She knows what love feels like and how to feel it towards others.

All those worries about if I’m doing good enough ease.

The next morning, when it’s hard to go away again. I see her goodbye kisses in action. It made leaving a little easier.

Because, I know those goodbye kisses never end and that love travels where ever we go.

Toddler Activity: DIY Nail Salon

Mila can be such a girly girl.

One thing that she absolutely loves is painting nails. No matter if it’s her nails or someone else’s, she always asking.

I saw this activity last year and figured now was the perfect time.

All you need is:

  • Cardboard
  • Marker
  • Paint
  • Paint brushes

I had everything had home and used old cereal boxes to draw the hands. To hold the paint, I used the caps of milk containers.

Next, I traced my hand and then drew finger nails.

To get her used to seeing her name, words, and numbers, I wrote them on the cardboard too. Before she painted, we counted all the fingers, told her which one was right and left, and spelled her name. She tells me her name is ‘la,’ which always makes me smile.

Then, I let her paint these nails.

She enjoyed mixing the colors and practicing painting nearly, at first. It switched from near to a little wild soon after.

This is a quick activity to put together, but it gave me enough time to do some work on the computer. Sometimes you just need five minutes of peace and this did the trick.

I will continue doing this activity with Mila. To help her with her pre-writing, I’ll make dotted lines that she has to trace for bracelet and rings. It would also be fun to do color recognition or teach the order of the rainbow here too.

Either way, this is DIY nail salon is fun and toddler approved.

Weird Things My Toddler Does: Part Eight

I think every kid takes a few toys in the bath, but the amount my toddler brings… might be a little weird.

Last night during Mila’s bath, I counted: ten ponies, seven Barbies, a Barbie boat, six empty bottles, two bath books, a play broom, countless numbers, countless blocks, and all the bubbles that could fit.

To top it off, she asked me to get in the bath with her. Unless we took half of them out, there was no room for me to fit. She ended up chooses all her toys instead.

The amount she brings in is strange, but at least she has fun… right?

Toddlers are just weird.

Mom Fail: Fall Edition

My literal top of the world for this story.

Sometimes you feel like you’re close to the top of the world. Just when you’re right at the top, you come tumbling down.

That was metaphoric, but yesterday that’s sort of what literally happened.

With a day off and a long to do list, I was running all over the place. I worked, planned a lot of things, and wanted to take pictures for my plant page. The latter is what got me.

There was something missing for my picture, but it was on the shelf over my bed. I had just grabbed a few things off of there and didn’t even think twice about doing it again. So, off I went.

When I stepped up, I put my foot between the bed frame and the mattress. Then, I lifted my other foot up…

Obviously my footing wasn’t as good as I thought.

I fell, heard a crack, and then felt pain and numbness all throughout my ankle and foot.

Mila witnessed it all and I felt so awful. I got my phone and told her to call Gigi (my mom) because I I needed help. She did so amazing.

After evaluating it and not being sure if it was broken, I went to the ER.

Four hours and a few X-rays later, I found out there was, thankfully, nothing broken. I did tear some ligaments though.

It hurts so bad to walk. I’m stuck on the couch today with ice and two amazing nurses. They’re not professionally trained, but they know where the snacks are and love to help.

My mom fail this week was literally the fall, but also thinking everything needed done in twenty-four hours. It was a painfully, humble reminder not to overwork myself.

To every mom who feels like she’s failing, you’re doing the best you can.

Toddler Activity – M&M’s and Diversity.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

To honor that, I wanted to have another diversity talk with Mila. I figured to keep her full attention, I’d use her biggest motivation: m&ms. The girl loves them and always sneaks them. I guess I can’t blame her for that.

Anyways, m&m’s are a perfect way to showcase different skin colors, but we’re all human on the inside.

I lined her m&m’s up and asked her what colors they were. She told me all of the colors and I mentioned how all of them were all different. I talked about how people all have different skin colors too.

Then, I asked her if she would be sad if I told her she couldn’t have certain colors of m&ms. Of course she was. She told me she liked them all.

With that, I told her in the past, boys and girls who were black weren’t allowed to play with boys and girls with white skin. She seemed upset by this. Yet, i explained that some people judge others by their skin color.

Without giving her much more thought, I cut an m&m in half.

She seemed a little shocked, but I asked her if she thought the other m&ms looked the same on the inside. With a quick nod of her head, she pointed to another one and I sliced it in half too. It may be aggressive, but she liked it.

I told her that even thought people look different on the outside, we’re all humans on the inside. We have differences, but we still have the same emotions too.

Of course, as she gets older, these conversations will get more complex.

I’ll never claim to know what racism is like to experience. The only thinks i can do is teach my daughter to see people’s differences, but love them for their character.

Kids will change the world, but it starts with teaching them about diversity, even with m&ms.


Here’s some videos about Martin Luther King Jr. that Mila enjoyed this morning:

Cheesy Beef Quesadilla Recipe

As you all know, Mila and I love Mexican food. It helps that it’s quick and easy to make too.

One of the things I have issues with in making Mexican is folding the tortillas. I either stuff it too much or mess it up in ways I don’t even know how.

Recently though, I found a new way to fold it!

All it took was one cut and three folds. It’s simple enough for everyone. I knew I had to try it out ASAP.

What you’ll need:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • Taco seasoning
  • Beef broth – 2 tablespoons
  • Tomato paste – 1 tablespoon
  • Shredded cheese (I used taco)
  • Flour tortillas

First, add ground beef and spices into a hot pan. Cook through and then stir in tomato paste and beef broth. Then cook one or two minutes more.

After the ground beef is cooked, drained excess oil and put beef in a bowl.

Next, prep your tortillas. To do this, follow the steps in the pictures below.

Simply, make a cut, spread sour cream, add cheese and meat, then fold. It’s pretty simple. I added extra cheese to the non-meat portions.

After it’s folded, heat up on a pan until the outside is cooked.

This recipe is seriously tasty. I love all the cheese and Mila ate a full quesadilla.

You could add any toppings with this such as guacamole or salsa. Or feel free to add them on the inside too.

If you try this recipe or fold technique out, let me know in the comments.

Self Care Sunday: Plants and Masks

No matter if you’re stuck watching football, having a lazy day, or are needing a minute to yourself, self care is essential. Moms, especially, need a minute to themselves.

Finding out what calms your soul and clears your head is the self care for you. If you can nourish your body too, then it’s even better.

During the first few months after COVID hit, I got really into plants and helping our environment. They sort of go together, so that makes sense.

I found that taking care of plants and learning about them eased my anxiety so much.

Somehow a few plants has turned into a mini, indoor jungle, but I love it. They’ve also helped me want to take care of myself better too.

Hello self care.

Today, I want to share a little face mask recipe and give a plant recommendation and tip. This way, you can see one part of my self care journey. Maybe you’ll even want to try this self care moment.

Two things Mila and I are constantly running out of is avocados and honey. She will sit and just eat both.

They’re also pretty awesome for your skin too!

To make a mask, mash up half an avocado and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey. Mix them up and apply. Use the other half for avocado toast the next morning.

Make sure to save the avocado seed too! I’ll make a post about what you can do with those.

Apply the mask to your face and keep it on for 15 minutes. After, wash off and do your normal skincare routine.

During the 15 minutes is a perfect time to do planty tasks.

If you don’t have any plants, snake plants are perfect beginner plants. You can get them at Lowe’s or the one pictured is from Lively Root.

They’re such easy plants. Snake plants tolerate low light, are drought resistant (which means you don’t have to water them constantly), and do well in household humidity.

Plus, snake plants were one of the plants that NASA found as top air-filtering plants. Pretty cool right?

Anyways, while waiting for my mask to do work it’s magic, I dusted my snake’s leaves. Dusting helps make sure your plant gets as much sun as it can. Even though this is a low light plant, it still needs to get as much as it can.

Self care is something everyone should make time to do. Mila put our DIY mask on too and helped me with our ‘planties.’ She just refused to take a picture.

Find something you love. Maybe it’s plants and masks or maybe not. Either way, you deserve self care on Sundays or any day.

Single Mom Probs: Part One

Single mom problems…

When a quick trip to run some errands turn into making sure all their favorite toys have to go with us. Then then insisting said toys cannot stay in the car by themselves.

Oh, the horror of that possibility.

Once you’re inside of said errand spot, holding the toys becomes quite boring. They start to play on the floor.

As it’s time to leave, they forget one on the ground. But there’s no man left behind here.

You’re five minute trip, easily becomes thirty minutes. They only want to take one toy inside, so you’re arms are fuller than before.

But nothing beats that smile.

Full of You.

This morning was full of you.

It was so early, that I felt like I was the only person awake in the whole entire world. I didn’t feel alone though. You were with me. I felt your presence all around my body and inside my mind.

Some days I miss you more than any thing else. Those days, my grief runs deeply. It’s hard to have your child, that you love so much, be gone for so long. Other days your energy shines so bright. It’s like you’re not physically here with us, but your love and light is. Whether it’s while Mila plays, when we light your candle, or mornings like these, you’re always with us.

I drank hot tea from your ‘J’ cup. It warmed me and helped the calmness you bring spread throughout.

As I sit here, that warmth feels like you’re hugging me.

Even almost five years into this grief journey, I ache for everything I missed with you: your deep breathing while you slept, the look in your eyes when you saw me, and the sound of your voice. That’s the funny thing about grief. It doesn’t matter how far you’re out, it’s always right there.

In the calmness of the world and in myself, I can imagine all the things I wish I knew of you. It’s not the real thing, but it’s all we have.

I love you and miss you. I’m so thankful for this morning, full of you.

Toddler Activity – MLK Day Artwork

With Martin Luther King Jr day quickly approaching, I knew I wanted to do an activity with Mila.

Plus, I thought it’d be fun to share beforehand in case you have your child home from school and want to do a productive activity with them.

Mila and I talk about race a lot. It’s important to me that she grows up anti-racist, especially in the world we live in now. It’s never too early to start those conversations. She has black barbies and dolls, books with diverse characters, and watches shows with people of all races.

Still, talking about MLK with her was a must. During this activity, I mentioned his name and talked about how people have different skin color. We also talked about how she would play with anyone, no matter what they looked like. She seemed shocked when I told her some people don’t like others because of the color of their skin.

Back to the project though!

This is an easy art project that actually took less than five minutes. The conversation we had before, during, and after spanned beyond that though.

Things you’ll need:

I started off by asking Mila what she thought her skin tone was between the three colors. She chose the middle color which was called “Territorial Beige.” It was interesting to see her perception of her skin tone.

This shade went in the middle because I wanted an ombre affect. Of course, you can do whatever color sequence you want.

I took a paint brush and painted her hand. Then we pressed it on the canvas. When pressing their hands down, make sure to get all of their fingers too. If not, it’ll be really faint. Finally, I cleaned her hand off and did the process two more times.

That part really is that easy.

After her handprints, or she calls them paw prints, dried, it’s time for the words. I ended up painting the phrase, “small hands change the world.’

You can use any quote or phrase here. There are a ton of MLK quotes that would work perfectly.

I have some more ideas to do for Black History Month that I want to share. They’ll be posted in the second half of the month. I have a few special activities for Valentine’s Day that I know you’ll love just as much!

If you like this activity or try it, let me know in the comments!