Back to Fall fashion. It's such an exciting time! The change of seasons is so amazing for new fashion styles. I think that Fall is one of my favorites.
I am digging the plaid, and it is coming in all forms. I love the plaid pants that are coming out, with a funkier style boot.
This Fall, feel free to mix your plaids.
Photo credit: Glowsly.com
Just check out the fabulous mixing of plaids and how awesome they work together.
Don't go overboard, however. Use big pieces sparingly, use silhouettes that are flattering. You don't want to have a "where's Waldo" sort of thing going on, where people cannot find you under all of the plaid.
The hardest part of this Keto 177 diet is the fasting. I have to change habits that are ingrained deep. I've always eaten first thing in the morning. Not a lot, but at least a Zone Bar. I've been on a fast from about 6 or 7pm to 10 or 11am (14-17 hours). Then, during the day I am getting used to being so hungry. I've learned that I need to increase the amount of fat intake. I'm learning. I'm changing habits. I am changing choices. It's a process. This is Day 8 of using the Keto 177 drops.
My Journey To Self Love:
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The weekend went by and my spouse was calling and asking when I would be back. I had to tell him that I wasn't coming back. I wouldn't let him see our baby, my baby. I was not going to allow him to abuse us any more. Sure, I was protecting myself. But, the main person I was protecting was my infant. He was the most important part of the equation.
Those calls turned into threats, which turned into attempts at blackmail. I had to start recording his phone calls so that I would have things to back up what was happening. During those phone calls, he would admit to the abuse, to the illegal things he had done, to being illegal (including all of his family and extended family). The information was extremely valuable.
Then came the divorce papers. We knew they were coming. It was going to be a long, hard fight. I would fight to the death if I had to, in order to save my son from abuse and from living in a home with that kind of parenting. I was not willing to repeat the pattern. I was afraid for my life and for the life of my child.
In the midst of this stress came the knowledge that I would have to find a job and put my son in daycare. It was a very hard thing to do. I didn't know how I was going to leave my infant with someone else for the whole day.
I went and sold my ring and my soon to be ex-spouse's ring for $1500.00. That helped me buy diapers and formula.
Time for a job search and a search for a place that would be safe for my son for while I am at work. This was going to take some doing. The main issue was getting my mind in a space where I could leave my son and go back to work. There was a serious shift even further into survival mode.
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I am sure that you have noticed that styles have been recycled since around the 60's. Various aspects of those time periods have moved in and out of the fashion world, and this year is no different.
We are seeing colors from the 70's, styles from the 80's and 90's, and pattern mixing that seemingly shouldn't go together.
Take a look at this blazer. The colors are so 70's, but the shape is so 90's. Take a look at the shoulder pads. The look is very 1990's!
Photo credit: SF Style
The pleated skirt has been making a come back, coming back out of the shadows. It's a fun piece to pair with pumps or with athletic shoes. You can pair it with a tee or a silk top. It's way more versatile than a lot of other pieces. However, be sure that it's lined for modesty.
Photo credit: DH Gate
More Fall fashion in future posts. I love all of the colors that are so popular. It's an exciting time.
Photo credit: 123rf.com
Day 7 on Keto177 is a day where I have a mix of a little bit of Keto Flu and some dizziness. Yesterday evening, I felt so hungry, like SO hungry. I guess I need to increase my fat intake so that I am better satiated. I am down 4 pounds. It's nice to be slowly getting out of the Keto Flu and back to my normal hyper task oriented self.
Photo: Me as a senior in high school, 1988
MY JOURNEY TO SELF LOVE:
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My spouse had gone to work at a project site. His family was at our house and didn't speak and English. I had packed a few things in boxes and had put them up on top shelves of the closet. In the process, I found my spouse's wedding ring on a shelf and it was dusty. He had not worn it in a long time.
That morning, while he was gone, I felt an urgency to take my precious infant and "the hell out of dodge".
Getting together all that I was working on at work, I put it in a box and left it near the front door. I called a friend from work and let her know where it was so that they could take it. I didn't give many details because I didn't know what was going to happen. I just had a gut feeling that I needed to give the office everything that I had been working on.
I packed enough stuff for a weekend trip, went to the bank and withdrew all of the money I could get, and called my mom. With her permission, I drove to Utah with my few month old infant.
On the way, I called my spouse to say I was leaving to visit my mother. He didn't really say much about it. At the time, it was just for the weekend.
However, my mother knew that I needed to stay. She told me "you know, you don't have to go back". I just cried and cried. The relief of my mother saying that was what I needed. What an angel! She had only been married for a short time to her new husband, still had other kids at home, and now was inviting a daughter with her infant to stay.
What happened as this process unfolded was miraculous and changed who I was forever. The value I put on myself would change from feeling the need to end my life, to knowing that I deserved someone who would treat me with kindness and respect.
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Dressing simply, modest, and with simple accessories is what I think is the most classy, and is actually sexy.
Being an "influencer" on Instagram and other social media outlets, I see a lot of people that dress in skimpy clothes, showing all they've got, leaving nothing to the imagination. This is at the same time as we see the "Me Too" movement. Now, I know that there are people behaving badly, slimy people, taking advantage of other people and doing quite inappropriate things. However, dressing in a manner as to show all of your assets, does not help to keep that behavior from happening to you.
I may get backlash for saying this, but cover up like you love yourself.
Did you know that you look more beautiful when you dress modestly? I mean, leaving something to the imagination is a tool that allows others to behave more classy around you, treat you with respect, wonder about you, find you more interesting, and may provide you with opportunities...opportunities that you want, and may need.
What do you think when you compare this skimpy picture (left) with this proper, modest picture (right)?
Do you feel differently about the left picture, versus the right picture? I think you can now see what I mean.
Parents, help your girls learn that dressing well will help them have success now and later. Parents, set the example for your children. Dress well. They will learn more by how you dress and behave than by what you say.
Meanwhile, I am starving. It's the 6th day of my Keto diet with the Keto 177 drops. I get to eat in a few minutes, but my impulse of grabbing something first thing in the morning is driving me crazy. My stomach is growling. I cannot step foot in my kitchen without feeling like I need to grab a granola bar. It's the intermittent fasting that is hard today. However, I think that I am getting past the Keto Flu, which is great relief. I am see results already, which is really surprising to me. I've had to increase my water intake because, when your body is in ketosis, you lose a lot of water...
"Dehydration is a known side effect of ketogenic diets, for a couple reasons. For example, on keto, you excrete more salt (more on this below). The more salt you lose, the less water you retain. ... Basically, people eating keto need to drink more water to stay properly hydrated than people on other diets." Paleo Leap
Using a derma roller is super beneficial to increasing your collagen and elasticity. This one is perfect and isn't painful. Check it out by clicking on the picture.
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So, my oldest was born. He was perfect. What a special boy. I enjoyed having him inside of me, his movements when I would sing, the beautiful pregnancy. Now, I needed to keep him safe in the outside world. But first, to get home and settled in.
My spouse asked family to come and see the baby. It would have been great, except he had me cooking and making their coffee the second we got home.
My mother came to help. She could tell things were not good. It was really hard for her to be there and I will forever be grateful for her coming right down as soon as she could. I enjoyed her company, helping me with my son's first bath, making sure I had some time with help. What a blessing.
I remember that first bath. Those little feet. Those little hands. That crying baby, not knowing what was going on, arms and legs splayed out.
After my mother left, I fell into depression and pushed hard to get out of it. It would be a daily battle. I had to work hard. Daily walks, multiple daily walks.
My spouse told me I needed to get back to work and I was not ready to leave my baby, especially with my spouse's family. I was still breast feeding. I was still healing. Plus, my instinct to protect my child was in play...big time.
I went into my office and spoke with my boss about working from home. I wouldn't be able to do what I was doing, but I would be able to get leads for the other account executives. My boss was one of my angels. He was decent. He was respectable and respectful. He could tell that I was desperate and in need. We set up parameters and agreed. I was to go ahead and work from home.
While working at home, I would be taking more time with my son than on work. I felt my place was to be taking care of him. I had to be watchful that my spouse had limited contact, due to factors I will not discuss here. Let's just say that he was abusive to both my infant and to me.
As time went on, there were more and more issues that set off alarm bells in my head and my body. It became more and more hard to tolerate the behavior, and to protect my son and myself from the behavior and the poor decisions.
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First off, I need to recognize 9/11. There is no better emotional tribute than the video below. Just stunningly beautiful.
Has anyone else experienced the Keto Flu?
I believe that is what is currently happening to me and it is awful, BUT my body is adjusting to something wonderful. I'm getting migraines as well, but they may be induced by the Keto Flu and the fact that I am due for my Botox for Migraine.
Discovering Keto 177 drops on Amazon is amazing, and have been taking them for about 5 days now. I'll have to check back on my notes. I'll be posting these on social media soon, with an update on how much weight I have lost and the effects. One thing is for sure, they are working.
It takes intermittent fasting to make Keto effective, so I don't eat after a certain time, and try to get around 15-17 hours between meals, so that usually takes me to 10am before I can eat again following dinner. It's effective because it puts your body in a state of using fat for fuel instead of muscle. There is a ton of science behind it. Take a look at the video below for more on the science. It's pretty interesting for a geek like me;)
Knowing that there are a ton of people out there, like me, who are addicted to carbs, I felt the need to get a handle on mine to show that it can be done. Sugar is extremely addicting. Carbs in general are extremely addicting. Me? I have a sweet tooth like no ones business. Once I have a taste, I need more. It becomes a vicious cycle of an addict. A serious sugar addict. So, it's pretty much all or nothing.
Something else I tried is Sheer Miracle WIDE AWAKE concealer. I have not been so amazed by a beauty product in a long time! This stuff is the stuff of miracles. Seriously miraculous! Just take a look at the process in my video below. If you click on the picture above, it will take you directly to this product. Just use code SIMPLYBYNATASHA to get $5 off $18 or more. It take so little product to make such an amazing difference! Just watch...
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There were child birth classes that my spouse never attended, or would come to late and after a few drinks. He didn't acknowledge me as his wife as I grew in size, and would take longer at business meetings and installations, or would not come home at all.
There were 3am calls that he would get while I was "sleeping". He would leave and then come home early in the morning, or not at all.
He bought a gun, started not wearing his ring, had his brother move in without making me part of the decision, had long discussions with his brother only in Spanish, again leaving me in the dark.
The day came. I was at work and had a feeling that I was going to give birth that evening. So, I told everyone at work what to do with my accounts during my time out of the office. I think they probably thought I was crazy to be saying that I was going to give birth that evening. I just knew, like I have so many other things.
I went home and took a nap. At about 6pm my water broke. I got my stuff together to go to the hospital and my spouse didn't believe that I was about to give birth. It took some time to get him to take me to the hospital.
Finally, I got to the hospital and they saw that my water had broken, so they admitted me. It was about to be a long ride. 17 hours of labor.
I wasn't dilating, so they had to induce me. When they did that, my spouse wasn't even there. A friend came and was by me when I was delirious and in pain. The hospital had given me all kinds of pain meds, but not an epidural. They said that it would make it so I wouldn't dilate as fast. The other pain meds just made me feel out of it, which made the experience worse.
Also, they had to turn my baby while inside of me so that he would not be breach. That was so painful!
Finally, the epidural. Right after that, I dilated fast and had my baby within a 45 minute period. I think that the epidural made it so I could relax enough to dilate. The same thing would happen with my second, but a totally different experience.
My spouse showed up just in time to see my son come out. He actually acted excited at that point. But, that would not last. It was a short time of happiness and hopefulness.
However, having my son changed my point of view on everything. I had someone that was my own now. He was part of me and I have cherished having him ever since I was pregnant with him. Blessings come in these kinds of life-changing packages. This one would steer my life so that it was so much more on track than I could have ever expected on my own. Amazing changes were about to take place, but I had to go through hell to get to the other side and then realize my blessing and the changes that they would create for my life.
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It's funny how we get stuck. So many people are just stuck in a job they don't love, pretending every day that they are someone they really are not. It seems to me that there needs to be a change in how we teach our children. They should be taught that they can do something they love and that they should love themselves enough to give themselves that gift. They should be taught that if they are not happy where they are spending most of their time (i.e., a job), that they can work to get to something else. It will make them and their families so much more happy. We need more happy people in this world.
“We must reinvent a future free of blinders so that we can choose from real options.” --David Suzuki
You can do what you want, be who you want. Don't let anyone tell you that you cannot change your current circumstances. Reinvention is available to anyone. Don't pretend to love something that you really don't like at all. You have talents that the world needs. You are an individual. You don't have to be like your parents, like your teacher, or like you were in your 20's. Contribute to the world in a way that make a difference to society, and most importantly, makes a difference to you.
Reinvent yourself in a way that models your future success. Realign your existence to become the person you need to be to achieve your goals and become your best you.
“Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” --George Bernard Shaw
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From Mexico City, we drove through Mexico to the little town where my spouse's family had a home. The town had only dirt roads, and there were interesting churches and other historical architecture. This experience of going to Mexico was the most interesting I have ever had. Mind you, I still didn't speak much Spanish, but everyone around me was speaking only Spanish. Even my spouse would talk to me in Spanish...which was more than frustrating.
We went to another town that was a bit bigger, got hitched in a hotel ballroom, had to sign a bunch of stuff with the Mexico government stating that we were married, and then were finally able to go to Cancun. I was so glad when that wedding was done! I'm probably still married down there. I have no idea and don't really care. It seems it's the perfect place to lose your head these days anyway;)
Cancun was beautiful. The water was so clear. You could see the fish and there were so many beautiful fish. We swam in the Caves in Tulum. We swam in remote beaches by ruins near Belize. We road on a bus where gorilla fighters came on to patrol. We went to a special show at an amphitheater where all of the states of Mexico were represented in song and dance. We went into the non-touristy part of Cancun to shop and look around at the real life there.
Once that trip was done and we got back to Las Vegas, the honeymoon was definitely over. I was starting to show my pregnancy. He was unengaged. It was the long end. The torturous end.
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This week was going super slow. I think it's because my oldest has started school and is living away, in the dorms. I have been having a hard time with the new normal of both of my kids being in college, kind of mourning. Then, things have started to get a bit better as the week has gone on, and now I cannot believe it’s Thursday...afternoon?!
I decided to pamper myself today, with mud. I am serious about keeping the aging to a minimum (body and mind), and things like using this Dead Sea mask by Annie Baby, (a little shop on @Amazon) help to take good care of my skin so that I can age more gracefully. It's kind of like playing in the mud, or in finger paints. Kind of like when I was younger.
Its minerals are sourced directly from the Dead Sea...pretty cool, if you ask me. It's something I use to minimize my pores and to deep clean my skin. It's also moisturizing. My skin tends to feel tighter, more elastic, after I have used it. I think that's why I like it so much.
Click on any of these pictures to get to the shop that has this amazing facial Dead Sea mud mask, by Annie Baby.
What do you do to fight the signs and symptoms of aging?
I've been trying supplements, special water, and other things, as well as beauty products like this one. I've also been adjusting my diet and have been super consistent with exercise and meditation. Laughter helps a lot as well. We get plenty of that around here!
Get 40% off this awesome Dead Sea mud mask with code ZQ614CO5. Give this little shop some
I don't know why it has been so hard for me to process that my kids are becoming independent. Is this something that everyone goes through?
It's not like I am not super proud of them. They are amazing and are going on to do amazing things for themselves and others. People will know that these boys have been on this planet. They are NOT ordinary, but are EXTRAordinary.
I think that it is my need to figure out what my role is now, and luckily I have been working for a while as an influencer/content creator for brands, so I have had my own thing and have it now to lean on, which keeps me very busy. It's processing this new normal and getting okay with it.
Lucky for me, my oldest has called me a bunch and we have had some amazing conversations. It still makes me cry though, as I am typing this, that he is living away from home. My family just brings me sooooo much joy. My little tribe is amazing and we have become quite a close-knit team over the trials of the years. I love them so much!
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We were going about our business of living, getting better acquainted, being married.
Our trip to Cancun was not for a few months, so we were back at work. My new husband worked from home and I worked at the furniture and design facility. The plans for Cancun kept us pretty busy.
It wound up being the plan that we would get married again in Mexico. I just prayed that my wedding dress still fit by then. I would be about 1/3 of the way to delivery by that point.
I wouldn't convert to Catholicism so we were going to participate in a wedding ceremony in a town near where his family had a home, and we would stay in the home for part of the two week trip. Between when we got married in the Salt Lake area and when we went on our trip from Nevada, to Mexico City and drove throughout Mexico, and finally to Cancun, nothing of super great importance happened, other than my finding out that I was pregnant.
My spouse did not talk about the baby or anything related to it. I just thought it was because he was so busy with his business.
He had a partner that he worked with and they did planning and installation of fire code sprinkler systems. His partner was quite a drunk and I hoped that didn't affect his business, but that was his and I figured I should not say anything about it. Of course, at this point, I didn't feel important enough to say anything anyway.
I had lost a ton...a TON of weight because of being pregnant, sick, and stressed. I wasn't fat before I got pregnant either. People would tell me that they didn't recognize me. These were people that I had as clients who had maybe not seen me for a couple of months. People I knew were worried.
I was doing everything around the house, not taking it easy one bit. That is my normal temperament anyway, but it was also out of being submissive to this very dominant male, who obviously had a different idea of how the world should work than I did, but at that point I just thought that there was an adjustment period.
If I remember correctly, we went to Tijuana to fly to Mexico City. It was a horrible flight because it was such a small plane. When we got off of the plane in Mexico City, I could taste the pollution. It was sickening!
That city is in a bowl of a valley. It's amazing how they have built homes on top of homes on top of homes. It looks like they could just tumble down the mountain. It's amazing the number of people that live there!
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I am so grateful for things like fans, air conditioning, and heating, as well as hot and cold water. It's amazing how far things have come and how much we might take these things for granted. No, nothing happened to have these things break, for me. However, my son didn't have air conditioning in a packed bus today and it just made me think.
When I was extremely sick for all of those years, with late-stage Lyme disease, I started to practice daily gratitude. It became very basic. I was grateful for being able to get out of bed. I was grateful to breathe. I was grateful to be able to walk to the bathroom. I was grateful to be able to remember my own phone number. Very basic.
Over the years, as I have been on my road to recovering from this disease, I have continued to practice this. It has happened often on my daily walks, as I see blue sky, see and hear birds, see bees flying around flowers, and realize how far I CAN walk.
Daily gratitude removes (or at least reduces) the influence that negative things have on me. It surrounds me with positive energy, which is at least twice as powerful. It adjusts my reality so that my perception of things is not tainted by interactions with negative and manipulative people, or negative media.
I am grateful for positive energy and the practice of gratitude.
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It was the night before the wedding. We were staying at my parents house. I was in one bedroom, my fiance was in another. He came down to say goodnight and that is when the nightmare started.
He started to lay on some new rules in our relationship and ask things of me while I was under pressure. He wanted me to convert to being a Catholic and denounce the faith that I was born into. I would not do that. I told him no. He said that I had to so that we could be married again down in Mexico. I still told him no. He got brutally mad and started talking down about my religion. No, I was not active at that point, but I knew I wasn't done belonging to my religion.
He bad mouthed my parents, saying that they had been teaching me wrong all of these years. That my religion didn't matter. That his religion (which he never actually attended meetings for) was all that mattered and that what his family thought was all that mattered.
More taking advantage of me and manipulation. He said that his family was staying in my apartment while on their way up to Utah from California. I had not given permission for that. When I tried to counter, he said my opinion didn't matter. He had an apartment also.
My fiance had also said things about his father paying for our honeymoon to Cancun in a couple of months, but that never happened, and I doubt his father even knew about that. He said that he had houses in California that were rentals. I would find out that those were really owned by his parents.
He didn't tell me that he had been married before and that he already had a kid. I would later find that out on my own, and because his brother planted the seed for me to think about whether the same situation had happened before.
So it began. The lies and lies and lies. The manipulation became stronger and more threatening. The motives became more and more evident.
After the wedding, I found out that he was not actually legal to the United States, and neither was his family. I found out that his social security number and birth certificate were purchased on the streets in Los Angeles California. I found out that he fenced stolen goods. I found out that his "degree" from a California university was not legitimate.
It was not long after the wedding that I found out that I was pregnant. At first, I thought the symptoms were mono again. But, I kept having dreams of having a baby, and kept hearing my name clear as day, as if I was being given a message of sorts.
I had always been very sensitive to spirit and to knowing things before they happened. It was the same with going home to help my mother during her divorce. I had repetitive dreams of a map leading me back to the Chicago area, and that my parents were getting a divorce.
This situation was no different. I was being given this major blessing, this gift. This child was the Universe correcting my path. This child (who has been a blessing to me throughout his life) would make me see things so differently than I had previously seen them.
But first, I had to go through hell. This would be a trial by fire.
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We got my son moved in at BYU this last Saturday and I cried. Not as much as I did the first time round, but I did cry. The funny thing is that he came home for the day on Monday;) So, I guess it's just a mourning of sorts. It's that my kids are grown up. They are both adults. I have to accept that the time has gone by where they mostly need me. Now, they still need me, but I have to let them come to me, instead of trying to fix every little thing, trying to make their road easier than mine.
I think there are a lot of parents who are in my situation. You've been a hands on parent for so long that you now have to abruptly change your role. It is like a death has occurred, except it's your children thriving (which is awesome). I mean, isn't it amazing that you are privileged to be a parent, and that your kids turn out so awesome and amazing anyway?! It's not my doing, that is for sure! At least, I don't feel that way. How many times did I screw up? Probably a ton. Wow! My kids have turned out amazing!
I want my kids to always know how proud of them I am. I am the luckiest mom on the face of the planet to have these two boys!
Now it's time for my husband and I to back away from hands on parenting and enjoy the love we have, spending time with one another. That's our favorite past time.
The picture above is for Healthy Solutions Spice Blends. Anyone can be a great cook with these. I'm just trying to decide which one to use next.
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Remember that in every relationship, there are two people. That means, that in every relationship, when things go wrong, both parties are part of the equation. I should have learned that with my parents' relationship. But, I didn't. I didn't learn that it was up to me to break the cycle. I would have to learn the hard way...the very hard way.
This young man who had moved in above me, in my apartment complex, was very charismatic. He said things that I wanted to hear, needed to hear. He preyed on my vulnerabilities. He stalked me, and I didn't have any idea that this was going on.
After only a few dates, this man asked me to marry him. I had not met his family. He had not met mine. We didn't really know anything about each other (at least I didn't know anything about him). But, I said yes, because I had not ever been married before, and I was bored. Really? Yes. In my head, that is exactly what was going on. I was purposeless and wandering. In my head, I was just saying, 'okay. I've never done this before. Let's give it a go.' Seriously. My logic was so careless, carefree, I just didn't care.
So, the getting to know you started. It was slow. We were very "surface". He never spoke English, except to me (he spoke Spanish). I didn't know much about him because he could keep his secrets by speaking a language I didn't know. I had no idea what I was supposed to ask. I had no idea what I was supposed to know. Those types of things would have been taught to me as a young person, but I only saw the violence and the lack of love between people who made six children together, but who hated each other's guts. I may have been taught some of the things I should have known to ask and to learn. However, parents teach more with their actions than they do with any other method. My parents' actions were LOUD.
I still didn't really talk to my mother that much, but I had started to get warmed up to it again and was starting to talk more. It also helped that phone rates were changing, so long distance didn't mean so much money got spent.
When I told my mom that I was engaged, she didn't really do much but ask the details. She didn't talk about how displeased she was, but I could hear the worry in her voice. After all, she was my mother and that is what mothers do. She helped us plan the wedding and let us have it in the back yard of my parents' house in the Salt Lake area.
My mother took me wedding dress shopping, doing a trade to get the dress for me. It was a trade with my step-father's accounting business. This wedding dress shop was his client. It was a lovely and generous thing to do. I will always be grateful for the time she spent with me and the bonding that occurred because of it. I felt I was being accepted for who I was and that felt warm and satisfying.
The details were being taken care of for us. My parents and family were working together, for me. Me! They were all doing this for me. I don't remember ever feeling so special in my whole life. It was like a dream come true. Like a fantasy.
My older sister (who I have not really ever had a close relationship with) took me to a shop to get my hair done before the wedding. It was an amazing day. The fun conversations I had with her were amazing. I felt like her equal. I felt like she actually approved of me. I felt like I was part of her life. It was amazing!
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