Month: August 2015

The Final Tell All: My interview with Amber Padilla

So some of you requested that I do a ‘part 3’ to my already 2-part long post Getting off the tech pedestal…for a brush and canvas. So I thought I’d share a few of the things that I had to edit out of my posts originally, and paint (pun intended) an even more dynamic picture of my friend Amber Padilla (who recently started a Facebook page called Candymistakes by the way, so you can follow her progress as an illustrator/comic book artist). Her story is one I really don’t mind losing sleep over writing. Humble beginnings For those of you who already read my first 2 posts, you would have known that she was one of the few people out of her high school to make it to college.  And for Amber, like many college students in this country, the financial struggle and burden of pursuing higher education hit her hard. When I asked her what her biggest struggle in life or her career was, she said it was financials. “I remember having to learn how to really make a dollar stretch. I …

August Feature Post Giveaway!

  Did you read my August Feature Story? If not, you can still take a look at the 3-part post: Here, Here and Here. If you liked what you saw of Amber Padilla’s work, here’s a chance for you to win one of her amazing art pieces! In collaboration with her, I created this giveaway. It’s so easy to enter! The giveaway will begin taking entries THIS MORNING Saturday August 29th at 7:00am PST and close in 2 weeks on Sunday September 13th at midnight PST. 1 Winner will be chosen at random and contacted. The Prize… One of these adorable original water color prints of hedgehog mother and child on cold press paper! Perfect for your child’s bedroom or as a collectors piece!   How to enter Eatsleepplayblog’s Giveaway? It’s super easy and fun so why not give it a try! Just click on the link below and confirm: Eatsleepplayblog’s August Feature Story Giveaway If you have any further questions, feel free to contact me in the comments or by email nicole@eatsleepplayblog.com GOOD LUCK! *This giveaway has ended.

First day of preschool jitters: thoughts of a mom

Monday is your first day of preschool. I can’t believe you’re starting school. This is new for me too. I’m frantically running errands the week before but it never feels like enough. I hope you’ll have everything that you’ll need. I know you won’t eat, I know you won’t nap. I know you’ll miss me. I know you’ll be mad at me. But a part of me knows you can’t be my baby forever. So I’m going to start letting go, and try to stop the worrying. I hope you’ll have everything you need. I hope a teacher reaches out to you, feeds you, helps you take a nap. I hope a teacher will love you even though there are 17 other little ones to love. Maybe one of them will be your friend too. I hope you won’t cry too long. But a part of me knows you won’t be my baby forever. And there’s no slowing it down! So let’s just do this together. You and I. We’ll both get through it.

A family reunited?: What happened after my husband returned

About 2 months ago, my husband returned from his year of fellowship in Manhattan. A year that almost tore apart this family. At least, that was how we felt at the time. I had written a post prior to his return about our 1 year long-distance marriage and what I had learned from it. Now it all but seems like a distant…nightmare. When I wrote that post, I probably left a lot of readers hanging, largely because I was unsure as to how things would turn out after he returned. We could all only imagine and hope that things would be better and that we would work together as a couple to re-strengthen our marriage. Well, I wanted to briefly share and update you on how things have been. Close friends can probably already tell that things have been going well. But I wanted to share more deeply the impact that it has had on us and for me individually. My husband’s return changed more things than one. I should also mention that he had the …

Video: Toddler’s Footwork to Sandstorm

O’s dad created a video montage of O’s fancy footwork. He said that while he was filming these short clips, it looked like O was dancing. So he put them all together and slapped on some music. See what he ended up with here:   I think this will be one video I’d love to go back to whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed. It just cracks me up.    

A hack for looking more awake even though you’re dead tired

Answer: Sleep or Coffee. Or try this. If any moms are reading this, you know that when you’re out with a toddler, traveling with a toddler or just at home with a toddler, you’re going to look a little tired, unless you make a real effort (and you’d have to care that you look tired). And since I was traveling with O this week, I thought it might make for a helpful post. In the past, on the occasions I’ve travelled with O, I’ve cared enough to bring a large make-up bag that takes up space and weighs a brick, with a tonne of products that I don’t end up using. And I’ve also not cared at all and just bared it all, make-up free, usually daily, and no one really cares. But some days, I’m just tired of looking tired. So I’ve found a way to care enough, to hide the fact that I’m so tired and look a little more put together. AND I can do this on a daily basis or while I’m traveling with O, because …

Getting off the tech pedestal…for a brush and canvas (Part 2)

The new ‘home’ The first thing you notice, when you enter the Firehouse Art Collective studio space, is an amazing array of color and art mediums. Each artist sharing the space has their own little area displaying their beautiful creations and works in progress. There’s no shortage of inspiration. It is worth mentioning, that The Collective, a non-profit, is directed by Tom Franco. Does the name ring a bell? Well, Tom Franco, happens to be the (middle) brother of the actors James and Dave Franco. Tom is a painter/sculptor, and together with his life partner Julia Lazar, they founded the Firehouse Art Collective, “a space for artists of all disciplines to co-create community and culture, and for art patrons and collectors to buy cutting edge art of lasting value”. Sadly Julia passed away last year from cancer, before Amber had a chance to meet her. It was this community that Amber claimed as her new ‘home’. Her space, one of my favorites (though I’m probably biased), showcases her creative process and interests. And because I know her, it just made more sense to me when I …

App: YouTube Kids

Before we get into a debate about screen time, lets just face and agree on the reality, our kids are sitting in front of screens at an earlier age. Based on our experience so far, I can rule out whether he can learn from it. Now without having to do the research, I can say that screens are very useful learning tools. O learned the whole alphabet, how to count to 30, shapes, colors, adjectives and nouns, by the age of two and a half, through the iPad (and a lot of repetition and reading with mommy). But, naturally I am concerned about his eye-sight, aspects of development like social skills, attention, emotional regulation and other cognitive processes. But all these things will not be clearly brought to light until he is a little older. So while I can worry, I can also be mindful of the fact that he is doing other things besides watching a screen. At some point, teaching him to take responsibility of his screen time will become something I’ll have to work …

Getting off the tech pedestal…for a brush and canvas (Part 1)

We met 12 years ago at a christian college fellowship in the heart of LA’s westside. She was at Otis College of Art and Design and I was an undergrad at Pepperdine University. And while I may be dating ourselves, it seems like only yesterday we were in LA, and now 12 years later, find ourselves both married and living in the Bay Area. Our journeys from LA to the Bay Area are not so different. We both moved up here to be with our significant others and to take the next step in our careers. I had just graduated from graduate school and began my career in psychotherapy. And she began working at a start-up…that got acquired by Google (You know, no biggie!). It was almost like a fairy tale/science fiction story: Amber Padilla, an exuberant young woman from the far away lands of Orange County, set off to the promise land of Silicon Valley to pursue her dreams; a hope for something greater. She landed her first job in a small company that developed apps for the golden Apple, and before long, …