Where do we even begin with all the reasons we admire this mama here?! She's one of the many gems you may come across in the mommy community on Instagram. She has the most honest, down to earth vibe and a feed full of beautiful pictures sharing all things love, life, and empowerment. We're so happy she agreed to open up and share a bit about herself to our community. Read on and be INSPIRED!
Where are you from and/or currently reside?
I am originally from Columbus Ohio (A very proud Midwestern girl) however we just relocated to Orange, California last November for my; then fiancé, now husband's new position.
What do you consider to be your raw talent ?
Dancing, Writing and Healing would be my three most raw natural talents. My friends always call me Oprah or Ayanla. I am the friend that everyone calls to talk about their problems and get their life together, I can say I give really honest real advice, I think people appreciate that. I’ve also always been vegetarian-vegan and I am always teaching people ways to eat better and to learn how to cook healing food. I’ve always been very passionate about mental and physical health. Being a dancer my whole life I became instantly aware of the impact food can have on your physical strength. Writing is something I’ve done since childhood and it has naturally manifested its way into writing for children once I became a mother.
When did it spark (when did you recognize your talent and realized it was something to pursue):
I would say as a young girl when I was about five years old. Even though I was my mother’s youngest daughter and fathers middle child, my siblings always looked to me for advice and protection. I am just a natural born protector and I learned very early the power of my words, written and spoken. I decided to major in journalism and originally wanted to write for XXL back in the day, and moonlight as a photojournalist. I spent a lot of time ghost writing for magazines and contributing content to blogs. I decided to start my own website where I began interviewing women who I admired and eventually started focusing on children’s books and my Beautiful Me campaign that turned into a book. I love working with women and for women, my Beautiful Me campaign is my baby. I have traveled to schools doing workshops on self -love, self-esteem, diversity and basic life skills. I love helping everyone but as a woman I am most passionate about helping young girls grow into amazing women by recognizing their own power.
The history (every journey has a story, what’s yours)?
Well we could be here all night with that story lol, but I’ll try to give you a short version. I am a very honest person, I have flaws like others but lying is not one of them. I despise when people are dishonest in love and life. I fell in love at 15 with my high school sweetheart and dedicated my entire youth to him. We dated from 15-21, it‘s a part of my Capricorn nature to be very committed in love and life. The flaw in that is that sometimes I hang on to things way to long for the sake of “not giving up”. He cheated on me probably 90 percent of the time we were together but I refused to leave him because I was emotionally insecure; at the same time being strong for everyone else. I had to have several reality checks that involved me crying on the floor after he got another girl pregnant a month after my sister died. At that point I knew it was time to let go and move on with my life. I moved to NY and pursed my dance career and taught ballet at a public school in downtown Brooklyn. It was an amazing eye opening experience that taught me to love myself first. The reality of struggle is that everyone has to go through it; the ones that allow the process to happen naturally are the ones that move on faster. I allowed myself time to hurt and heal and was really honest with myself about what I wanted in a spouse but most importantly what I wanted in my life. I decided to live my life organically and with love and once I did that I was able to find true happiness.
What does being a "BOSSMOM" mean to you?
It means being a woman who is not afraid to be a mother, a caregiver, and a nurturer, at the same time following your own dreams and aspirations. It represents balance in womanhood.
How has motherhood changed your perspective for life?
I believe that being a mother to a daughter was the biggest life changer for me. It was like having God stare me right in the face and say “ This is you, how do you want to treat yourself” I became so much more aware of how I loved myself and how important every single thing I did/do contributes to my daughter's self esteem. She is my reason to be even better than I thought I could be because she keeps me accountable. I also realized that nothing else really matters when you are a mom, life can have serious moments, but it’s really not that deep. I don’t worry about half the things I use to.
In what ways does your daughter inspire you the most?
She inspires me to be great and to love myself and to honor myself. She inspires me to never give up and to create from the heart organically. My daughter is such a free loving spirit. She is a total hippie love child deep in her core. She loves nature and helping others and she loves to create. She inspires me to just be me and to be completely comfortable with whom I am.
How do you manage time to focus on your family as well as your passion?
My husband and I waited seven years to get married because we wanted to focus our time on cultivating our talents selfishly. We have always been partners in everything and we both knew what expectation we had for marriage so we were comfortable just dating and raising our daughter while building our families foundation. This has helped me create a balance between being a spouse, mother and creative. The most important thing is having a partner who respects and honors your creative needs. We allow one another the time and space to have that balance.
You wrote an AMAZING book called "Beautiful Beautiful Me" share with us a little bit about the inspiration behind the book and how you started the process.
A conversation with my daughter actually initiated the process of me writing my book, My daughter Amirah was about two years old and she came to me crying because we did not look alike. I am Hispanic and black, her father is Cambodian and white. Her skin tone is closer to her fathers and she wanted to be darker like me. So I researched books that could help me explain this better to her and I couldn’t find any. So I decided to write a series of books that celebrated diversity and self-love verses just focusing on her being biracial. I wanted something that all children could relate to because even in some houses where they are all the same race, people have different features. Educating children is one of my passions; I often refer to Dr. Seuss as a prophet. I want my career to be like his, I want to create content for children that when their parents are reading it to them they both learn. I want children to begin to think more and challenge hatred at a younger age. I was inspired by my daughter and have many more books I’m working on with her about many forms of diversity and self-love.
Coffee or Tea? Green Tea all day every day!
Summer or Fall? Fall fashion, summer weather.
Heels or Flats? Sneakers, I hate heels and I hate flats lol, I’m a sneaker head.
The perfect wardrobe staple? (the one item currently in your closet you cannot live without)...My friends call me Doug Funnie because I wear the same thing every day. I literally have 20 of the same Grey shirts in slight variations from madewell and jcrew. I cannot live my life without a well made cotton grey shirt.
A Perfect Sunday...Laying in the bed writing while the record player is playing reggae, Jasmine candles burning, my daughter painting and her father working on one of his many projects.
I feel inspired the most when...when loved or loving, hurting, or in nature.