What is Forgiveness?


Or should I call it ‘early morning SCRAMBLED thoughts from the Cold Coffee Club? Ha!

Honesty has always been an easy concept for me to grasp. At times I’m honest to a fault and it gets me into a lot of trouble. But honesty paired with forgiveness is a different story. I think of the two as oil & water.

I think it’s all too easy to say “Forgive, it will set you free”. I’ve heard this most of my life, I think most of us have… But my question is, what if it doesn’t? What if you’re too quick to forgive and then forgiveness just feels a lot more like being numb? What if you’re taught from when you were small that it’s your obligation to forgive to relieve the other party the pain of feeling guilt? It’s your responsibility to put your feelings on the back burner, for everyone else’s sake? And maybe it becomes that the only way you know how to forgive is to associate it and get it mixed up with ‘forget’. You make yourself forget and you never have to acknowledge that you were ever hurt at all. Like your own feelings never existed.

What if you’re sitting in adulthood and realizing you don’t know a damn thing about forgiveness or what it’s true definition is? You’re only just beginning to realize the weight of resentment, and the only reason you’re becoming aware is because it’s far past the point of painful. Forgetting isn’t real, no matter how badly you want it to be. There’s no such thing as an able minded person truly forgetting. The truth of your feelings seep down into your cells and build homes until you chose to acknowledge their existence. These are the vagabonds of our bodies, of our spirits, and of our minds. If you’re willing to absorb everything you’re not ready to ‘give’ but are forcing yourself to forgive, you’re poisoning yourself with your own thoughts and feelings. Hanging onto anger may feel like a hot coal at times, but not allowing yourself to be angry and instead being consumed with all of the things you never said, feels a lot like drowning.

I’m unlearning so many things in my life that I thought I knew for certain since childhood and I’ll tell you, this one isn’t going to be an easy lesson to undo. But as I grow as a mother, as a daughter, as a wife, as a woman, as a human being I’m becoming more aware of the fact that forgiveness is a one man show.

It has absolutely noting to do with the other person involved or their feelings at all. Maybe forgiveness is not an obligation but a beautiful hard earned gift to yourself. It’s a gift I’m learning that I deserve as much as anyone else.

Marriage & parenthood pull these things out of you though. Things you never knew existed. The will to be better, to be there, to be present… And to be truthful. When you’ve spent so much of your life walking away, but you neither have nor want that option any longer. As a mother,  I cannot possibly teach my daughter her worth and the worth of her feelings without first acknowledging my own. I cannot possibly teach her to forgive when she’s good & ready, if I myself am not able to do so. I look at my toddler and I see that she gets upset and she gets frustrated because she can’t vocalize what she wants yet, but she never questions her own anger. She never questions why she cries or why she’s upset or if it’s justified. She never questions how long she’s ALLOWED to feel what she’s feeling. She doesn’t need to. And that’s the amazing thing about children, if you’re willing to listen they can teach you the secrets of life. She doesn’t question her emotions because she doesn’t need to. She’s only 1.5 years old and she knows better than us about the ways of the world. As she gets older, I never want to stifle her wisdom… Only help her build upon it. I want her to know that being strong does not need to mean bottling things up. Being strong does not mean self sacrifice. She’s my daughter but I don’t need her to bear the weight of my world. I need to help her create her own and in the best way I know how. Every day I’m trying my best to do right by her, but at the end of the day that begins with learning how to do right by myself.

Here’s to another day of being teachers and students.

Love to you all xo


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



 Anyone else having a hard time watching their littles transform into toddlers with all their independence? No matter how many times other moms tell you how fast the time goes by, you never know until it does.

Motherhood is joy & heartbreak all at once. It’s cheering at every milestone and it’s gratitude for every single day.

But it’s also the realization that if you’re doing your job right, you’re raising your child to become her own person. It’s both the hugest reward as well as the hardest thing you’ll ever do. Everyday, you’re investing into the biggest part of your being, her. Motherhood is a reflection into your past, as well as your hope into the future. It’s loving someone more than you could possibly begin to explain. And it’s unity amongst other moms, as you know you don’t need to. No matter how much you give your kids, it will always be FAR more take. They’ll never have any idea of how much they’re giving you. They have no idea the degree of impact on your every single molecule. Motherhood is joy & heartbreak all at once. Now excuse me while I go cuddle with my big girl. 

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


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

A Few Of My Favorite Little Things 

1. Personalized stamped cuff bracelets by GageHuntley.com – these are awesome, you can get anything that your little heart desires! Mine says my daughter’s name… But I’m tempted to buy 50 more with different stamps, specially now that she’s got skinny cuffs!

2. Cape Cod Bracelets – Not normally available online but not something I hardly ever take off, partially due to who gave them to me (my late grandma and my best friend) and also partially due to hometown pride. You can spot another Cape Cod girl a mile away if she’s wearing one of these bad Larries.

3. Passion Planner – Helping out procrastinating hearts seeking organization since 2013. They’re well worth a check out here.