Categories
#badassmom

Mothers Day Gifts: the sh*t she really wants

I have compiled a list of mothers day gifts for those of us lucky enough to have our mothers around. My mom is one of those super bad ass moms that not only birthed me, raised me and loved me- she continues to be my number one fan in life. She supports me and my family more than I can even describe into words.


As a mother myself, I approve every single one of these Mothers Day gifts. LOOKING AT YOU, FAMILY. While I appreciate the pinky ring my son purchased for me, (still sporting the $1 price tag,) it does not actually fit on my pudgy finger. I love it and keep it in safe keeping, and will cherish it for the next 50 years. So now that I have such a heartfelt trinket, as your mother also probably does- heres the shit moms really want.

The sh*t we really want

Subscription box

We’re not talking jam of the month. Im saying wine of the month for the lady who likes to throw them back. Try IPSY for make-up lovers, or Fab Fit Fun for moms who love a little bit of everything. I reviewed the IPSY GLAM BAG for April 2019- see it here. They even have snack subscriptions for people with dietary restrictions. Is she KETO AF? Try Keto Crate. Is she gluten free? Try Urthbox.

Why celebrate Mom the for one day when you can celebrate her one day every month? Bring a smile to her pretty face each month when she opens the mailbox and receives a gift. I did this for my parents a few years ago when my parents were newly on the keto diet with a keto crate. They were sent snacks to try every month and they appreciated the unconventional gift idea. I think this would make a great Mothers Day gift.


Car detailing

If your moms anything like mine she has empty DP bottles floating around in her car. There’s also probably mud and old fruit snacks from my kids. Since you can’t afford to call XHIBIT and PIMP THAT RIDE, a certificate for a detailing will probably do. Groupon typically has some great deals, as well as people in your community with a small business. Strapped for cash? Just be child of the year and get out there and do that shit for her!

Write a poem

Its super cheezy and you’re gonna feel lame doing it, but i promise your mom is gonna cry. Not the kind of cry like she did the first (or second) time you got arrested, but like the time she realized she raised a thoughtful and (semi) responsible adult.

If you’re not so good with words, try a handmade card. I recently purchased a Cricut and had high hopes of making beautiful cards for Mothers Day. Once out of my manic state, I realized fancy cutting machines are not for me, so I returned it to get my $250 back. I then spent $7 on card stock and pretty stickers. My mom likes innappropriate humor so I’m gonna make something funny. She’s gonna love it.


Shutterfly photo gifts

Try a puzzle with a picture of something cool, plaques, mugs the super basic stuff. I make my mom puzzles every year with cool scenery photos from something special that year. Last year she went on an anniversary trip with my dad and had a bunch of beautiful sunset photos from Punta Cana. I went through Shutterfly and made a puzzle that ended up being extremely difficult to put together. My mom loved it, and we got to spend 7 hours working on it together.


Amazon Prime subscription

If she still runs to the store for batteries or paper towels this is what you get her. Let me tell you, as a mother of 3 boys, I am always running out of necessities, and our Amazon Prime membership is something that we value in our home. Did you know? You can even add accounts onto your prime, it may be worth investigating if you know she’s always strapped for time. Give her the gift of time with prime. See what I did there?

Your time

Speaking of time- how about some of yours. Your mom loves you. And she misses you. And she wants to spend time with you. Whether this is tickets to a comedy show or a play she has always wanted to see, or a pottery or calligraphy class, make it a date type thing. Go grab coffee or dinner and just be present. Check Groupon or your local church or community center. They’re always offering classes to check out, and they can be fairly inexpensive. My mom and I love to go thrifting, we can spend hours looking for scores. Hang out with your mom for a day and I bet she smiles.

Spa day

The only thing mom loves more than spending time with you- is spending time alone. This mostly applies to those of us who are constantly wiping butts and don’t get out much. I love my kids so much, and I think I am a better mother when I miss them just a wee bit. A trip to the salon, or a massage can be that self care time we need to feel refreshed.

As a hairstylist myself, I can confidently say that your Mom loves going to get pampered. To come into a salon, and not have to care for anyone other than herself is such a treat. The woman in your life deserves this time to herself. A relaxation massage, a moisturizing pedicure, or haircolor to brighten up her look. These services are geared at making women feel f*cking fabulous.

Clean house

The number one thing moms want: a clean house. Whether you pay a company to do this or cut out little coupons like you did when you were 7. this. is. the. gift. OKUURRRT

bad ass mothers day gift ideas

I hope you got some good ideas for Mothers Day gifts this year. It really is the shit we want (still looking at you, family.) Do you do Mothers Day gifts for your mom? Do you do them for your wife? Share below in the comments what you’re planning on this year.

Categories
thoughts

Where I’ve been. To blog or not to blog.

I haven’t posted in a while, I’m not sure why. Lack of inspiration? Fear of judgement? Chaotic days that roll in to each other and no motivation to do anything more. Maybe I’m just batshit crazy and start a bunch of things never to follow through with them.

A few people have asked me if I’m still doing this, the answer is yes, I actually discovered writing is a fun creative outlet for me, yet the time and motivation does not come as easily.


It’s been a long two months, full of pee and vomit, a trip to Vegas, ending my breastfeeding journey, my work as a hairstylist has been busier than ever before, my baby started crawling and has 2 teeth, and the death of someone who has impacted my life more than he ever knew.

Opinions are annoying- but I want you to read mine.


Organizing my thoughts is sometimes a difficult task, as I am perplexed as to how I actually feel most of the time. I’m extremely indecisive when it comes to forming my own opinions, and I realized that that’s basically what blogging is- forming opinions and sharing them with the whole world wide web in text form. Opinions are like assholes, and yes, we all have them, and most of them stink.


There are days I feel like I’ve really got it going on- like yesterday. I joined the IPSY makeup subscription and received my first glam bag, full of fun new makeup that I most likely would not have purchased myself. As I was getting ready for work, I used each of the 5 things they sent me. As I finished my makeup I realized I hadn’t put a whole face on in quite sometime- and I felt pretty. I even busted out my giant hoop earrings because I just DGAF.


Kevin noticed me coming out of the bathroom, looking all fly and shizz and mentioned how I must be feeling myself because I had makeup on and my fancy unnecessarily large hoops in.


These are going to be referred to as “the pee days”

I feel like the past 2 months have dragged on, and I’ve just been barely getting by. My laundry mountain has peaked several times, I’ve been in this disgusting cycle of cleaning piss, shit, vomit, more piss, cracked raw eggs on my carpet (4 times!), more piss, more shit, more fucking vomit. These days are hard, and I’m just going to refer to them as the “pee days.” I know this is just a “season,” it won’t always be this hard, or smell this bad, and I won’t always second guess every decision I make regarding my discipline style, or lack there of.


I clean just to have to clean again. I scrub the bathroom floor just to have my kid miss the toilet and have to do it over again. I say no milk in the car just to give my kid milk in the car and him pour it all over the window. I’m fighting a constant battle that I feel I’m slowly losing.


My 2 year old discovered a new hobby- throwing raw eggs on the carpet. That was fun. He did it 4 times in 1 week. Then when he was in time out he would stare me in the eyes while peeing on the time out rug. Super fun. I’m guessing he is an alpha, confident in his behavior, basically fearless, and trying to figure out his place in the world. But it also causes me extreme frustration. I’m not gonna “beat that ass” because I’m just not fucking going to, and I don’t think it’s beneficial. I don’t want my kid to be afraid of me- I am his mom and his protector, here to nurture and love and guide him through life. I feel like I’m constantly searching for a discipline method that works for us, and respects our values. I will say we have not had an egg-cident (see what I did there) in a week and a half so that’s good.


Gabagoool

We have started doing this funny thing while my kids are whining about how they like Cinnamon Toast Crunch better than the generic Aldi version where I yell back “Gabagoool” or “Shmargendardon” or some other random nonsense. My fiance and I think this is funny and it provides comic relief to the ridiculous complaining and screaming.


This parenting thing is hard, this relationship thing is hard, this friendship thing is hard. All of this adulting that we do is really fucking hard. I know everyone is out here, trying their best, all of us just became grown ups one day. I can’t believe I wanted to grow up so bad, and now my 7 year old is constantly telling me how he wants to be a grown-up and I’m so sad for him. He has no clue the freedom he has being a child. To him it feels like he has none- can’t walk to the park alone, can’t watch tv all night, can’t have a cell phone. I remember those days, and the absolute terror that I was to my parents, and I reflect on that trying to develop my own parenting strategies.


Being a mom in todays technologically advanced world, scared my kid is gonna get abducted, hit by a car or bullied is tough. I want my kids to enjoy childhood and actually enjoy being a child. When I was 13 I wanted nothing more than to be an adult, I wanted to do things grown ups did, and I did just that, I started acting like a grown-up, without all of the responsibility that adults actually had.


I’m now 27 and have 3 kids, I’m forever engaged to someone I love so dearly, but am constantly complaining to him because I’m not where I wanna be in life. I want to plan a wedding but it seems too hard. I want to buy a house, our house is small and we rent and it’s frustrating to feel so close to buying, but so fucking far away– we’re almost financially ready, we have built our credit over the last 3 years, we’re adulting in a lot of adultish areas, and trying to make decisions that benefit our family. I work on the east side and my family is here, he works on the west side and his family is there. The school districts in the middle either suck, or the area is too expensive for us currently. These stressors are something I didn’t even know about until I got to this stage of life.


I imagine that’s how the rest of my adulthood is going to go- not knowing how hard it is until we get there.


How do you make time for your relationship when your partner works 80 hours a week, and your kids pee everywhere, and you’re wiping butts all day long, and then when he gets home- dinner was 4 hours ago and the kids have been screaming all day and you didn’t even change out of your pajamas? Asking for a friend.


Really though, I am asking for myself, because this shit is hard, and the last couple months have been challenging in just about every area of my life. I want to take me time, I want to take time to care for myself- ya know, shower, laundry, quiet time for reflection. I know, these struggles are super tiny in the eyes of big problems- war, death, family tragedies, but in the moment when we are experiencing it- they feel big, and that’s why I am sharing. Mostly because I don’t talk to a lot of people, I am introverted to the extreme and don’t feel comfortable reaching out most days, I typically go at it alone because it’s what I’ve always been comfortable with.


My fiances best friend passed away unexpectedly a couple weeks ago- it was devastating. This man was charismatic and charming, and loved his friends so much. He was there for my fiance when he needed it most, and left an impact on the way he carried himself, and for that I am so, so grateful. When he died, I have never ever seen my fiance so sad, he was heartbroken and I didn’t know how to comfort him. I’ve never lost a close friend, I can’t pretend I know how it feels. A few of my friends reached out to me, and I am so thankful- they care about my family, and they care about me.


It is pretty obvious to me that my fiances friends care about him- his phone is always ringing, group texts, whatever. He’s had a lot of the same friends for over 10 years, he’s social and charming and really intelligent. He’s good at being a friend. He cares and is always willing to help people when they need it. It’s part of the reason I was so attracted to him. To witness him grieving is heartbreaking. I know it hurts. I know he has so much on his plate, and to top it all off he deals with me and my irrational outbursts or crying, screaming and being a nutcase.

Adult-ish


I don’t want to be the way that I am, I joke with him that if he thinks I’m annoying, he should just be happy he’s not stuck in my head. But it’s really not a joke, there’s so much crap I filter through, unsure of what to say, what to do, how to feel, how to act- I get it all jumbled up and sometimes melt down. I think that’s what I noticed when I was actively writing- it took a bit of that away.


I’m gonna keep blogging, sometimes about dumb stuff like how I save money, because I get really excited about saving a few bucks on things I was already planning on buying ( I am my fathers daughter,) or thrifting (I am my mothers daughter) and maybe more “dear diary” posts like this one- because it feels good to get my thoughts out, and put them somewhere.


I’m gonna continue this adult journey with as much patience as I can possibly muster up. It’s not coming easy, and a lot of days I feel like I am failing. I don’t want to live life by “just getting by,” I want the things I do to serve a purpose, and produce positive results, I don’t want to second guess every fucking thing I do because of fear. I don’t want to constantly yell at my kids because they’re just being kids. I want to share love and live with passion. I want to be grateful, and be subconsciously aware that these are the “good old days” and while they’re hard (and covered in piss) they’re also really sweet and my kids are the cutest and they are loved so, so much.


So I guess I’ll just keep climbing Mt. Laundrypile and buying vinegar in bulk to keep funk at bay. I’ll do my best to remain calm, and continue to hug my kids and smell their hair. I’ll let my partner know I love him and appreciate him, even when he leaves dirty socks on the floor. I’ll make a point to get my kids outside each day as the weather is warming up, and I’ll continue schooling them in hide-and-seek. I’m gonna let my friends and family know I love them, because we really never know what the future holds- and what the fuck is actually holding me back from expressing appreciation to those that are always there no matter what?


There is hope in the Spring

The sunset gets prettier, the air feels better, and gratitude seems easier to come by. I will do my best to live in this mindset more often. Things aren’t as bad as they feel, and I truly believe there is always hope.


And as always, I’m gonna continue being weird and unapologetically me– for there is no one else I’d rather be. (except maybe Beyonce before she married Jay-Z.)


What’s been up with you dudes?

Do you have any tips on adulting that I can benefit from? Or any tips how to get raw egg or vomit stains out of carpet? Or how about keeping giant carpenter ants out of your house?

Seriously, leave me a comment and share with me your best adulting advice!

Categories
frugal

What to Buy at Thrift Stores: the 8 things I always look at

Now that you know how, let’s talk about what we’re buying for pennies on the dollar. Here you will find the best things to buy at the thrift store.

Of course, if I need something super fast, I buy new. But why pay full price for anything when I can get it for less than the price of a skinny caramel macchiato with an extra shot? YOU FEEL ME?

Here are some of the things I purchase frequently at the thrift store. The hunt is part of the fun!

  1. Clothing
  2. Picture Frames
  3. Books
  4. DVDs
  5. Muffin Tins
  6. Serving Dishes
  7. Holiday Decor
  8. Cool Coffee Mugs/ Dishes

Missed the last post on how to thrift? Don’t worry, find it here:

5 minute guide to Thrifting

In this post, I’ll share the 8 best things to buy at the thrift store.

8 best things to buy at the thrift store

This post may include amazon affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. Thank you for your support XOXO

Clothing

You can find some real scores here. Of course, it’s hit or miss if you’re looking for specifics. For me, I love getting cool old T-Shirts and hoodies for myself. Sometimes I find great ones, and I do a little DIY to them and make them slouchy and off the shoulder.


I love thrifting for kids clothes, my kid was really into Minecraft for a while and I found a bunch of shirts for him. At my local thrift, there’s usually plenty of Nike, Under Armour and Adidas kids shirts that are in excellent condition.


Worried about smell? I use this Funk Away laundry detergent BOOSTER alot when doing laundry ( I live with 4 boys) and it does the trick of actually removing any weird smell, not just covering it up. No, seriously, I actually use this stuff on a daily basis.

Picture Frames

Who wants to pay $25+ for a picture frame that’s basic AF. I usually grab frames at 2-3 bucks. Make sure to check the glass for cracks, and the backing to make sure you can change the picture out and hang/ display how you want. If you find one in a color that’s not your jam, grab some spray paint and make it work for you!

Books

I almost never pay full price for books. I’ve purchased childrens books in perfect condition, self-help and novels. There are so many cookbooks, romance novels and spiritual books to be found at the thrift store. I’ve also found a few coffee table books that are interesting and like new! Flip through the pages to make sure it hasn’t been highlighted and all pages are still intact.

thrift store book shelf. best things to buy at the thrift store

Worried about funky smelling books? This Funk Away Spray is great for removing odors, not just covering them up! Use it on so many other items such as sporting equipment and shoes!

DVDs

We cut the cord to cable years ago, we rely mostly on Netflix and Hulu for our television viewing pleasure. We don’t keep a large movie collection, but every now and then we find some good DVDs for $1-5. I just picked up a Diary of a Wimpy Kid movie for my son who has been loving reading the books. Don’t forget to check for scratches on the back!


Muffin Tins

I’m not a big baker, but who doesn’t love fresh blueberry muffins? I found my muffin tins in new condition at my thrift for $3. I also found a recipe for banana muffins I wanted to try, but I didn’t have a loaf pan. Snagged one up for a buck, and now I can have banana bread whenever I want. Check for staining/ use, I go for things that are nearly new.


Serving Dishes

You would be amazed at the abundance of old (vintage) serving dishes you can find. I have spotted a few old Pyrex dishes, and remember those old mint green serving dishes, I’ve seen them too. Get the Ebay app on your phone if you’re looking to see how much something is worth- you’d be shocked at how much some of these things go for!

tomato serving dishes. best things to buy at the thrift store.

Holiday Decor

One of my favorite things to look at the thrift store are seasonal decor. Depending on your style, you can find some really great items. I purchased a few mantle decor pieces for Christmas, along with our stocking hangers. Remember PartyLite? I have found so many fun candle holders in different holiday themes for so, so cheap.


Cool Coffee Mugs/ Dishes

I have an inappropriate coffee mug collection and I’m proud of it. Every now and then I find one I just can’t pass up at the thrift. If you’re into “sets” they usually have those too. I am a mix match mug kind of gal, and the thrift store keeps my collection ever-changing.

A little disinfectant can go a long way when purchasing used items.

I use lysol wipes for a number of things, wiping down used goods is one of them. Pick them up here. While you’re at it, grab a few extra containers and send them into your kids classroom, their teacher will be appreciative and you lessen your families risk of catching strep throat. Win, Win!

Make sure you check out my quick 5 minute guide to thrifting that details where to begin.

You now know the 8 best things to buy at the thrift store and you can be on your merry-way. Grab a friend, a super fancy coffee and get out there and find some scores!

Do you thrift? What are your favorite finds? Share them with me in the comments below!

See my latest posts:

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Categories
frugal

5 Minute guide to Thrifting: Where to begin

In this quick guide to thrifting I’ll share everything you need to know about thrift stores, items to buy and how to find scores!

Everone is all Marie Kondo-ing their house right now, as am I. It’s great to reduce clutter and find those things of ours that spark joy. But where does it go when it no longer serves us? Many people donate really great things that are still in excellent condition, and maybe those things that no longer serve them, can begin to serve you. Here is my 5 minute guide to thrifting: what you need to know.

I am not saying go buy up all the junk you think you need, because that is not what thrifting is about.

guide to thrifting: everything you need to know

This post may include Amazon affiliate links.. At no additional cost to you, when you make a purchase, I may make a small commission. Thank you for your support XOXO

I’m saying, some great, useful, even purposeful items can be found for pennies on the dollar at your local thrift store.

This is a 5 minute guide explaining how to thrift.

First, I’ll briefly share with you my why.

My Mom started my love of thrifting at a young age. She started when she was a child with her mother, it’s basically in my blood, ok? My Mom is the coolest person I know, so anything she does, I wanna do. This includes thrifting (and being a Browns fan, there’s always next THIS year, we love you Baker Mayfield!)

Back to my humble thrift beginnings.

I remember I could pick out anything I wanted, price was no issue and as a child, that was really cool. As a kid, brand names did not really appeal to me, but camping, and beach houses did. I appreciate that my parents spent money on things like vacations rather than that really cool shirt at Limited Too I was probably asking for.

Throughout my life, I have had different “why’s”. Before I had all these kids, I had so much time to craft, I love repurposing and redecorating, paint and mod-podge. Crafting is my stress-reliever, and I used to have so much time to do it. I would hit the thrift store up and buy ugly things with plans to make them beautiful and useful. I once bought a couple kitchen chairs for $25, gave them a fresh coat of paint, and they lasted us 4 years.

These days, as a mother of 3 growing boys who seem to only fit into clothes for like, 2 months, it just makes sense to thrift. Every item I buy is in great to excellent condition, and I save so much money!


It’s not always easy, and it can be time-consuming, if you’re searching for something specific such as matching Easter outfits for your fam, I don’t recommend holding out to find it at Goodwill.


The hunt is fun to me, it actually helps reduce my anxiety. I focus on the items I look at, evaluate the ones that catch my eye, and most importantly: assess if it fits our needs. This guide to thrifting will help you decide if thrifting is right for you and your family, and how to go about it.


Ok, now that you know my why, here is how to be successful on your thrift trip.

Know the lingo: things you find that bring you so much joy are called SCORES!

My Mom coined the term, I use it, my son uses, it, I think everyone should use it. We celebrate when we find something cool, or odd, or that we totally needed and were gonna pay full price for anyway.


This one is important, so listen up.

I only buy if it serves a purpose for my me, or my household.

I used to just buy things because I liked them, the print, or the shape of something, but those days are over. It’s really easy to buy a vase or 9 (yes, I went through a thing where I kept buying odd shaped vases to put my pretty dried out flowers in.) It can get out of control, and you could start a dead flower cemetary on top of a bookshelf, but that’s a conversation for a different day.


If you absolutely have to have it, but have no place or purpose for it, buy it and gift it to a friend.

Once, I found a Dunder Mifflin shirt in a size way too small for me that I could not pass up for 3 bucks. It brought me so much joy as I was flipping through the racks and came across this gem. I knew I would never be a size small, so I sent it snail mail style to a friend who loves The Office almost as much as I do. It made her smile too.

Worried about pre-owned clothes? Check out my guide of what to buy at the thrift store where I share how to properly clean and disinfect items I buy at the thrift store.

Everytime you make a trip, be sure to bring a bag of things from your home to donate.

This should be taken seriously. As a rule, for every new “score” I find, and bring home, I get rid of whatever it’s replacing. That sweater thats scratchy, but so cute-ditch it. Those toys that end up all over the floor everyday, but never get played with- toss them in a bag and turn them into the donation center. Some stores will give you a coupon to use on your next purchase, mine does 20% off every time you donate. SCORE!


This brings me to my next tip.


Get a loyalty card.

I know, I hate having a bunch of little tags on my keychain too, but how am I supposed to find them without all of those little tags to spot out? If your thrift store has a loyalty program, it’s beneficial to have a loyalty card. Mine offers 30% off a total purchase once a month, and for every $100 you spend you get a 20% off coupon. They can even look me up in the system so I can ditch that little blue tag.


Get the scoop on half off days.


Many thrift stores offer some major discounts. Take these discounts to the next level by shopping on half-off days. There’s a store near me that does everything 50% off on Mondays, or a certain color tag 75% off on specific days. Become familiar with these sales as they can save some serious dough.

Inspect everything!

  • Looking at clothes?

Be sure to check all lining, buttons, zippers, and look closely for stains. Once I bought an Under Armour hoodie that was in perfect condition, or so I thought for 4 bucks. I got home and discovered there was a tear on the sleeve cuff, not noticeable, but I wouldn’t have bought it had I paid more attention.

clothing aisle at the thrift store
  • How about accessories

These are another thing to inspect meticulously. You can find a great purse, or wallet, or belt. Just be sure to check every pocket and compartment for wear and tear. (Or money, once I found a 10 spot in a pocket, heeyyyyyy!)

  • Shopping for house wares?

Inspect for nicks, scratches and imperfections. you can find some great things, I have found quite a few fun coffee mugs that I love, but not every trip is one full of fabulous finds.

  • Appliances

Appliances that work can be found. I highly suggest plugging that lamp in before you buy, and if you absolutely have to have that cake pop maker, you risk it not working in proper fashion. But, cakepops. AMIRITE?

  • Furniture

This can be total hit or miss, the only real furniture I have ever purchased from the thrift is a bookshelf. A big, sturdy, very heavy bookshelf. I was getting ready to purchase a very expensive, low quality bookshelf online out of necessity (our old one fell apart, and we had books covering our kitchen table.) This was something I was not going to wait around for, I needed it. I ended up finding one at the thrift store near my house for $24. Bonus, it was half off that day, so I got a very nice, large bookshelf for 11 bucks. Major SCORE!

Take your time!

I know, time is hard to come by, I can spend 2 hours easily, just browsing my thrift store. I imagine these tiny little teacups in a tiny grandmas house, while serving pie on this pretty pie plate that has the recipe printed right on it. And it’s oh-so-vintage and fabulous. I don’t need it, but I like looking at it. It can be a time-consuming activity if you’re not focused.

There’s alot of junk in these stores, so be prepared to hunt! What are your best thrift store finds? Share them with me in the comments!

Now that you know HOW, take a look at what the best things to buy at the thrift store are with my guide: 8 BEST things to buy at the thrift store!


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Categories
#badassmom thoughts

Hugging Meditation: Give a meaningful hug

Today, I will remind myself, and you of nice little meditation that is simple, effective, and only takes a few moments. Hugging meditation, made famous by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, is rooted in the belief that a good hug can have transformative effects, making us happier.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Have you felt the deep connection a hug can spark? Try this hugging meditation.

I know, you already know how to hug, but do you fully experience the moment you are embraced with someone? Your child or your partner, your mother or father?


I was introduced to this meditation a couple years ago by my partner, he has a large collection of meditation books, and one of his favorite authors is Thich Nhat Hanh. We practice this hugging meditation on a pretty regular basis during times of chaos and of pure joy. There’s always time for a hug.

The first time we practiced this, I’ll admit it was a bit odd. Not unpleasant at all, it was just different. Here’s how it went.


When he approached me for a hug, I gladly embraced, but something was different. He didn’t let go. I felt the strong, yet gentle embrace of someone I loved. His chest was slowly taking deep breaths that my own chest started to mimic. I felt warmth and gratitude for the moment I didn’t even know was purposeful. When we parted, we were both calm, sharing how good a mindful hug can feel, if only for 3 deep breaths. It truly was a deep, intimate, relaxed feeling.


If you want to try this at home with your loved ones, here’s how.


It is suggested that before the embrace, we take a few deep breaths to ourself, to fully center us and be in the present moment. We embrace, and hold the other person in our arms for three deep breaths.


It’s recommended that the first breath should be dedicated to you honoring your presence in the moment. The second breath should honor the other person, while the final breath should be focused on feeling happy and grateful for your togetherness.


This is a small, powerful way to connect, and bring forth happiness, gratitude, and focus.


I practice this with my children on a daily basis, once I read we should never be the first to let go in a hug with our children, for they are seeking comfort and warmth when we are embraced. To be fully present in the moment we are wrapped up with our children is such a beautiful thing. I love this, and I always hold on a little longer.


Now get out there and give all the hugs! Who knows, you may find something like serendipity while you’re at it.


Here are a few of our other favorite meditation books, Notes From The Song of Life being my absolute favorite book I’ve ever picked up.

hugging meditation, giving a meaningful embrace

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thoughts

Pregnancy and Labor: epidurals, an induction, and delivering my own baby in the car.

Yes, I have a baby that I pushed right out on the front seat of my dads pickup truck. My advice, LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, WOMAN!

Babies. I love babies. I am convinced that my Facebook knows this and is constantly popping up birthing videos on my feed. I have zero self control and always go down a rabbit hole of beautiful, intimate birth moments. I can literally feel my body rejecting my IUD as I watch.

The moment a baby is born is the most beautiful moment I have ever had the opportunity to experience, and I’ve been lucky enough to have 3, all different and beautiful in their own way. People are always amused when they hear I delivered my own baby in a car.

My first pregnancy was unplanned and scary. I was 19 and single. I was a wild girl with a couple boyfriends and no real responsibility. When I found out I was pregnant, I was terrified. I had never even held a baby let alone loved anyone other than myself.

My pregnancy was lonely, my best friend was my cat, Action MF Jackson (RIP I love you so much.) I spent most of my time in bed watching The Office and conspiracy documentaries while eating gigantic bowls of cereal.

My mom was my best support, loving me and going to appointments with me, excited for the birth of her first grandson (even though she was too young to be a grandma.) We cried tears of joy together at the 20 week anatomy scan when we found out I was having a boy. Thank you God I will not have to deal with a teenage daughter like myself. Yet, my whole pregnancy I had a hard time connecting with my unborn baby, it didn’t feel real, I felt like there was an alien in there rolling around, making my mind crazy. I felt like I shouldn’t feel that way, I was supposed to already love this tiny baby I didn’t even know, it made me feel bad that it was not natural for me.

I went into labor two weeks early. My first epidural experience was fine, nothing bad happened but it didn’t exactly work. It eased the pain for about an hour until it was time to push.

There was a moment about an hour into pushing where I wanted to give up, it was too hard and hurt too much. It was a little late for that. Before my last push I reached down and felt his hair, his tiny body still inside mine, holyfuckingshit he is a real baby, its a real little person with a real human head (a very furry one.) I grew a baby and I pushed him out. In one moment I fell in love. That was 7 years ago and I still remember the day and the way the room was dim, the sound my baby made when he immediately started sucking on his fingers. The feeling of hope and love and a bit of fear I had that day.

Pregnancy number two came 4 years later, you could say I was living my #bestlife having fallen in love with a man who loved me and my son, we had our own place, we went on adventures and traveled around the country on frequent vacations (ehhh selling tshirts on phish tour.) Our life felt perfect, and I loved my son, I loved my boyfriend and I really loved our life. I concieved my second baby about an hour before a Dead & Co. show, probably TMI but I don’t really care. I think its cool to know that as my fertilized egg started to split and divide and grow I was there with John Mayer singing ‘brown-eyed women’ while I danced with the love of my life.

When I read the positive result I was overcome with fear, my 4 year old son was so perfect that I truly felt I could never love anyone as much as I loved him. I told my boyfriend over the phone, I broke down in tears and didn’t know how to feel. I’ll never ever forget how he came home, walked in to the house with flowers and big eyes and a smile, and came to squeeze me tight. He knew we would be ok, it was something like serendipity.

About a month after I found out I was pregnant we went on vacation to Mexico. It had been planned for months, just the two of us- on the beach, relaxing, exploring and of course dancing in the ocean. A couple days into our trip I came across a warning urging pregnant women not to visit Mexico. Well fuck, I was pregnant and in Mexico. The concern was the Zika virus, carried by mosquitos and very dangerous to babies growing in their mothers womb. At this point in our trip I had about 22 mosquito bites on my legs and ankles and anxiety struck again. I was terrified I would contract zika and possibly infect my baby.

On that vacation he proposed, I honestly had no fucking idea he was gonna do it. I mean, yes I knew we were going to get married and grow old together and I would never ever let him leave me, but we hadn’t even looked at rings! I was shocked when he got down on one knee on the beach, I of course said yes, knowing with every ounce of my being that the universe had shifted to get us here, and we were in it together, now with the promise of forever.

This pregnancy presented its own difficulties, I had a real fear that there was no way I would love another baby as much as I loved my first. It sounds crazy, but it was real in my mind.

The day before my due date I started experiencing what felt like real contractions- they were pretty steady and frequent, and increasingly became uncomfortable. I called the nurse line for L&D and they advised me to come in when my contractions were about 5 minutes apart for an hour. Ok, fine. I called my fiance and told him we were gonna have a baby, but take his time coming home because it would be a few hours. I called my dad to come pick my son up so I could head straight to the hospital when my fiance’ got there.

My dad got to my house to pick up my kid, I asked him to stay with me for a little bit, I was getting very uncomfortable with contractions being about 7 minutes apart and very strong. In a matter of about 30 minutes they had jumped to every 3 or 4 minutes and were almost unbearable, I told my dad he would have to drive me to the hospital and I would have Kevin meet us there. This baby was coming.

My dad got my son and I loaded into his pickup truck and drove really fast as I screamed in pain next to him (I love my dad so much, he was trying so hard to help me remember to breathe and keep me calm.) Five minutes into our drive my water broke, it scared the shit out of me because there was no internal warning it was going to happen, I swear I heard it POP, and it terrified me. The next thing that happened was a moment I consider the single most badass thing I’ve ever done.

I pushed him out right there in the front of my dads pickup truck. I delivered my own baby in the car. I had heard of women not making it to the hospital and pulling over on the side of the road and plopping it out, but I never imagined it would be my story. I thought I knew my body, and the nurse on the phone said I had time.

I was holding my baby in my arms, so scared, and so relieved. My dad was scared but calm. The baby was crying and we pulled over into a parking lot where he immediately called 911. My 4 year old was in the back seat shouting I WANNA SEE!

The ambulance got there very quickly, they came and cut the umbilical cord right where I was sitting, and immediately transferred him into a foil blanket to make him warm, he for real was a baby burrito. The paramedics handed my dad a few paper towels to clean up the mess.

I remember staring at him while in the ambulance, taking in his scent and feeling so full. I felt like an animal, I was made to do this, and my confidence was soaring. I recovered from that birth in like 2 days, minimal pain and no tearing.

I was convinced that if I ever had another baby that I would want a water birth or something minimally medical. Seriously, how do I top that experience?

When I found out I was pregnant with number three, I was in a weird funk of depression that all of the sudden made sense, pregnancy hormones do that to me. I had a pretty normal pregnancy- super sick and dehydrated, energy level at zero, all the typical first trimester stuff. I experienced my first kidney stone, where I literally thought I may be dying, I am so sorry for people who experience them regularly.

At an anatomy scan we found out our baby had only one kidney, I didn’t know what that meant or what to do, or was it my fault? Did I absorb it and turn it into my kidney stone? I still don’t know why it happened, but the doctor told us he would probably be fine.

Hearing my baby had a birth birth defect was one of the most terrifying, confusing moments of my life. It was completely out of my control, I felt like I had done something wrong. I had to trust the process and know that whatever challenges would be presented, we would work it out together, as a family.

At about 32 weeks at another ultrasound it was discovered I had polyhydramnios, which is basically a buildup of amniotic fluid. It could be harmless, but could present issues if my water broke on its own, the umbilical cord could come out before the baby and cause alot of issues. Well, fuck, my water broke with vengeance the prior pregnancy and I was scared. They wanted to closely monitor, so I had to go for an ultrasound weekly to make sure he was ok in there.

The medical team I worked with decided it was best to induce a week before my due date, with my history of rapid delivery and all this fluid.

I was induced and labor took a while for me, compared to my previous births. When it was go-time, it took three good pushes. The NICU doctors were present in the delivery room and quickly assessed that he was ok. They handed me my new baby boy and all felt right, our family was complete.

It still blows my mind I have three beautiful, healthy boys. For anyone fearing pregnancy or labor- just know your body is strong and beautiful, and biologically made to experience it.

Yours will most likely be different than your mothers, sisters and friends. Every pregnancy and delivery is different and special and beautiful in its own way.

Trust your partner. Trust your medical team. Most importantly, trust yourself.