Feeling all the feels this Christmas

Christmas time is a strange but beautiful time of year, I’m always chasing that Christmas feeling and I’m sad some years when it never comes. Being on the South West Coast with the possibility of snow at zero doesn’t help much either. 

My husband never celebrated Christmas before me, as he grew up without them. So he tends to take my lead on just how festive we’ll be for the holidays. Considering how sick he’s been this past month, this year has been a ‘not even mailing Christmas cards’ kind of year. I’m trying my best for New Years cards, but it’s looking mighty slim. It’s just been tough keeping up with everything to be completely honest. My energy is depleted and I’m tired. I’m milking the fact that this is the last year I can get away with my minimalist approach to Xmas. Next year, Mia’s presents will need to be kept in a specific hiding place other than the car and we will probably indeed have to go visit Santa for her first time. I hope though when she’s 25 she won’t be shaming me for her not having her own ‘screaming baby on santa’s lap’ photo before the age of 3. I just don’t have the heart or enough caffeine or time for all 3 of us to stand in line at The Grove for an hour+ to meet the bearded man that my husband still doesn’t like and Mia will definitely hate. He asks me why we have to lie to our daughter about this fucking jolly guy in the first place and I tell him “just because!” That’s why. 

I think about my family so far away this Christmas and the people who tried their hardest to keep traditions alive for me. It was truly all the women in my family. My aunts, my grandmothers, and my great gramma. My maternal grandmother, now just shy of 90 years old, raised my two younger brothers… And every year she did presents and stockings for not only them, but for me as well. She always made sure I had a stocking to open because she didn’t want me to feel left out. She’s seriously the most amazing woman for many reasons, but for loving us so much is number one. I see her getting older now and it hurts. She’s worked so hard her whole life, never being able to rest. She raised 4 children of her own, 3 of which were adopted and then when things got rough for my own mom, she became a mother again and raised my brothers. She’s a literal saint in my book. And she’s my hero. 

We went home to Massachusetts last month to visit & Mia helped her put the ornaments on the tree. It was one of my absolute favorite parts of our trip. Some ornaments well over my mother’s age of 55. There were more than we could even fit on the tree. We literally ran out of room. What a beautiful problem to have. Mia was in heaven learning from her great-grandmother how to open the loops and put the ornaments on each branch.

In my motherhood now I know that the magic won’t simply come to me anymore, I am the magic. Such as the amazing women of my family, I must keep the magic going for my own family. I hope I can live up to how fucking great they are. xo Merry Christmas 🎄

Severing Ties

… Not ‘toes’ like I first wrote. But if you want a toe, hell, I can get you a toe by 3:00 o’clock this afternoon… with nail polish. 

No but in all seriousness, man have I been going through some shit lately… I mean, we all have right? 2016 has been a year of just wtf. What a crazy year it’s been. But right now I want to get a little more personal. My own little journey these past few months has been a ride, let me tell you honey ✋🏻 And not a fun ride, like at a theme park. A scary ride, like when you get picked up by the weirdo Uber driver.

Anyway, I got through this what-the-fuck ride and by the end of it, ended up somewhere good. 

I started making some shifts in my life and at times I felt unsure about a lot of them honestly. Anxiety has a way of confusing you when it comes to gut instincts… but I made the changes anyway. I did the things I felt but weren’t sure were right and now I’m grateful for the uncomfortable. And although it isn’t quite the new year yet, I’d like to label 2016 THE YEAR OF SEVERING TIES… I severed THE FUCK out of these ties and damn, it feels good. I mean seriously, my middle name should just be ‘Machete’

I’m almost 30 and I’m just now realizing that I’m a fucking powerhouse. And you know what? You are too. The sad thing about women is that we almost never know just how fucking great we are. We’re so quick to notice it in others but rarely acknowledge it in ourselves. Cutting ties makes me remember that I actually have wings. I’m not tied to anyone’s opinion of me.

 

MY number one thing to sever this year is: Resentment… Because honestly, who the fuck needs it? Resentfulness in itself is so greedy. We don’t mean for it to be, but it is. If you’re resenting someone or something, you’re attempting to hold back how you really feel for the aide or comfort of others. We always want to spare other’s feelings don’t we? But we never notice the imaginary tally we’ve created of all their wrongdoings. We expect people to read our minds and when they don’t, we’re disappointed with them. 

At the end of the day, who’s watching out for your feelings though if it’s not you? Who’s speaking up for you? Who the fuck is filling your cup homie? No one, because you gotta do that for yourself. Literally NO ONE can fill your cup for you BUT you. Sometimes it’s uncomfortably akward and it’s anxiety inducing and it hurts and it can make you angry… but hell, good. Get fucking angry. Get ripshit. Get good and mad and then afterward go home, cry your eyes out or sip some wine or take a bath and right click your mouse… or do all three. There’s nothing wrong with bleeding hearts. Move through what you’ve got to move through: the mad, the sad, the uncomfortable. But move through it. Acknowledge it. Don’t try to surpass it. Grow from it. And then change the fucking world. Change the world by speaking your truth. 

Ladies, aren’t you done with being nice? I’m so fucking done with being nice at the expense of my own feelings. Kindness is one thing, spread that shit like butter! But nice? Eh, nice can fuck off.


I’ve had & have so many ties to cut, it can feel overwhelming. Ties to useless but overbearing guilty feelings, to an outdated version of myself, to who I thought I’m supposed to be, to ideas of what I thought I knew, to never asking for help, to not being good enough, to never feeling worth it, to certain family members, and to a lot of ‘friends’. I ripped out those hooks and I dug out those claws and I grew my own fucking claws instead. From an outsiders point of view, it may look selfish. To the people I’ve directly cut off, I know it looks very selfish. But that’s okay. I’m okay with letting go of bad for me and wishing it the best. I’m too fucking old for bad for me… 
And in letting go of all my heavy, I’ve attracted the light… Some straight up badass people, things, and ideas into my life. I’ve rekindled old friendships that were worth rekindling, I’ve made new friends that by all means seem worth keeping. Ive gotten better at my job, I’ve significantly eased my own mind, I’ve started learning to accept my body for what it’s become, I’ve allowed myself to know that I can attain more, and I’ve accepted the fact that I’ve attained so much already. Most importantly I’ve absolutely become a better mother, wife, and woman (self). 

Self awareness, acceptance and love is a life long journey though. I’m not ignorant to the fact that what I’ve learned so far is just a pebble in the ocean. Just because I’m in a good place right now, doesn’t mean the waters won’t become rougher in the future (what is up with these ocean comparisons right now? I can’t stop). Shit is going to happen and nothing in this world ever stays the same. But at least now I’ve learned how to fucking float. All I needed was a life jacket made up of SSRI’s haha… No but seriously, cutting ties with the shit that was keeping me drowning was all on me. And I did that. And I’m doing that. And holy shit, it feels good. 

xo Love to you mamas. Sever those fucking ties.

Mommyhood in LA

 I’m not from LA. I mean, how many people do you know that are actually from out here? This crazy city? We now call it home though, my little family of 3. And we do our best. My husband & I work really hard to build a better life for our daughter than what we had. We wake up every day and work towards nourishing the little future that shares our bed with us every night (co-sleeping for the win). We say I love you a lot. We give a ton of kisses. We give an innumerable amount of hugs throughout the day. We argue. Sometimes with each other, sometimes with the smaller version of ourselves about why she shouldn’t jump off the couch like she’s trying to crowd surf. We’re teachers and students everyday. We try. We try hard just like you try. And we get it wrong sometimes. But I’d like to think that we’re doing the important parts right. I hope we are. We all want our kids to be better than us. We want better for them.

That’s why I was so upset the other day when we were in a park full of children and none of them had any interest in playing with each other. We look at our kids as our hope in the future but in those few hours after that day, I instead felt hopeless. I obviously took it more personal than most because my daughter was the one facing rejection over and over again… But how could I not take that personally? She’s my little me, she’s a smaller version of myself with feelings the size of me. I know what rejection feels like in this city and it hurts. I never want her to feel that way, specially not at such a young age. I want to protect her from all the shit life has to offer. I want her to be able to believe in magic and sweet fuzzy things and nice people so much longer than I was able to.

That’s why it hurts to see. Too young for too much truth about this city and possibly about the world.

But luckily children are resilient. Seriously, they’re little powerhouses of well, power. They are the wisest and strongest beings on the planet and they simply do not get enough credit for that. That’s why I’m sitting here, typing this up over a situation that happened days ago and my daughter is in the bedroom sleeping late on a Friday… Because she doesn’t give a shit about what happened the other day. It happened and now she’s forgotten about it and moved on with her badass little life. We’re teachers and students, but today I’m definitely the latter.

xo mamas

Awesome Clients



Sometimes East’s clients are parents too and Mia gets a cute little gift. It’s really such a cool thoughtful thing when a parent goes out of their busy way to do something to make another little baby happy, specially one that they’ve never met before. Small gifts are not small at all to us, they’re a representation of a deep kindness and of precious time. Thank you so much for that Pearl aka Halo’s mama.

xo Alyssa’s Roses

The “Is she going hiking?” Starter Pack

 

Backpack – Saint Laurent Hunting Rucksack in Black Canvas and Leather. This bag is sleek, comfortable, and of course looks good with any outfit. Working out or not.

Shoes – New Balance 574 Paint Chip Sneakers. I love these sneakers! Comfy & cute.

Shirt – Anthony Thomas Mellilo (ATM) The Sweetheart Tee in White. I am obsessed with how comfortable this well fitting tee is. Perfect on the go mommy or non mommy shirt. 

Pants – Nike Dri-Fit Leggings in black. Nike pants.  Always.

A Happy Meal

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He’s a good hand model, don’t you think?

On the fast food school of thought, there  are two extreme categories of moms :

  1. The moms that only feed their kids organic food and look down on other moms for not doing the same.
  2. The moms that feed their kids fast food very often whether it be by choice or because that’s all that they can afford, such as my childhood.

Then within those two extremes are what I like to call “the norms”:

  • Those that feed their kids organic foods but don’t give a crap what you feed your kids.
  • Those that try their best to just feed their kids healthily, whether it be organic or just regular home cooked meals, but every once it a while they see no harm in getting their kids a happy meal.
  • The moms that are the same as the last one listed but rather than being okay with it, they feel a bit of shame when they buy their kids fast food.

I’m guessing that the majority us fall into the latter because we know that in this day & age it’s considered a bit of a mommy faux pas amongst the masses. As mothers, we’re shamed for absolutely everything. Public breastfeeding, not breastfeeding, dressing too frumpy, dressing too scantily “for a mom”, not wearing enough make up, wearing too much make up “for a mom”, staying at home, working full-time  and having to use daycare, drug free birth, drug assisted birth, being too skinny, not being skinny enough…  And towards the top of the list WHAT WE FEED OUR KIDS.

In 2016 there’s both a hunger for convenience as well as education. We’re now the most aware we’ve ever been of what’s being put into our foods and we’re not happy about it. We try to protect our children the best that we can… But that DOES NOT make us bad mothers if we decide to go to a drive through and give our kids a happy meal every once in a while.

Fast food chains have been given a terrible name but the truth of the matter is, the choice of whether or not to eat it is pretty much ALWAYS THERE. No one is forcing you to go, wait in line, order, pay for your food and eat it.

When we went through the McDonald’s drive through and bought our daughter her first Happy Meal recently, I felt a tinge of guilt for buying her all the greasy goodness in a small box… Oh that deep rooted mommy guilt, you get me every time. My husband, however, did not feel the same way. He reminded me that we both have our own history with fast food, for him particularly McDonald’s.

My husband East is a humble man. He’s worked extremely hard to get to where he is today and it definitely wasn’t always easy. When he first arrived in California from Singapore 12 years ago, he had $300 dollars in his pocket and a backpack full of clothes. Through his quest to become a better tattoo artist, there were a lot of days that there just wasn’t a lot of, if any money left over after buying supplies he needed for work and paying for his hostel. He’d be left with close to nothing but if he had $3 to his name he knew he could go to McDonald’s and order 3 chicken sandwiches (off of the then dollar menu) and go to bed that night with a full belly. For him, looking back on that, he’ll always be forever grateful to McDonalds. The place that so many choose to very openly hate.

For me, as I mentioned before, my family grew up struggling so most of my meals as a kid were comprised of either: Dinty Moore beef stew, frozen lima beans heated up in a bowl, or fast food. I’m grateful I had the last option in those days because stew gets real old, I’ll tell you. But now just having the choice of ordering fast food as an occasion as opposed to a means to live, is a luxury in my mind. It’s an accomplishment to me that it’s no longer a necessity and a reminder of how far I’ve come. And that is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed of.

I remembered seeing this eye opening post written by a former McDonald’s employee a few months ago that I HIGHLY recommend everyone take a moment to read. It too, made me feel better about no longer shaming myself for simply living my life and feeding my child a damn happy meal with a cute little toy in the box.

I’m not here to advocate for Mickey D’s or even for fast food chains in general. I am here however to advocate for YOU mama. I’m here to remind you again that your choices are your choices alone and life is all about finding a balance. Screw what society accepts or doesn’t accept about you as a mother, you’re doing just fine. I’m writing this post because it started off as a joke between my husband & I. I wouldn’t normally admit to more than the nice little homemade fresh fruit smoothies I make every other day for my daughter, but if anyone’s going to speak openly about the mommy faux pas, it’s certainly going to be me. We have to start giving each other and ourselves a break. We’re working too hard and stressing too much not to.

Chill mama, you’re doing an awesome job.

xo Alyssa’s Roses

All Black Everything.

 

outfit details below

 

The act of women taking selfies is inherently feminist, specially in a society that tries so hard to tell women that our bodies are projects to be worked on and a society that profits off of the insecurities that it perpetuates. Selfies are like a ‘eff you’ to all of that. Selfies open up deep issues about who controls the image of women –

Lindsey Bottos, Peggy Phelan


Bag: Givenchy Antigona in Goatskin Leather, Black. – I love this bag. I can’t stress enough how important it is when you’re a mama to chose the textured look as opposed to smooth with every and any bag that you purchase. Unless you plan on only breaking out that bad boy out once a year for a special occasion, always go with textured leather. You will thank me for this.

Pants: Rag & Bone Plush Legging Jeans, Black – The most comfortable ‘jeggings’ you could own. Stretches out slightly throughout the day but overall maintains a very nice fit. Rag & Bone has my heart.

Shirt: Zara sweater, Black.

Shoes: Converse by John Varvatos Double Zip All Stars, Black. – These shoes are so damn comfortable. Normally towards the end of the day after wearing converse, my feet are in agony. But these…are…the only exception (cue Hailey Williams), they fit like a glove.

Coffee: Coffee Bean… Because screw you Starbucks. Your coffee tastes like burning.

Nike clothing in the corner: Oh that’s just my Nike obsession, nothing to see here. I can be found in the fitting room trying on new workout clothes at least once a week.

xo alyssasroses