SOLD!

Front door views

Through the months of March, April and May, Eddie, the kids and I went on a couple of road trips – North Carolina (twice) driving through Georgia. Sometime before the trip we had this grand scheme to purchase a fixer upper house….oh you know, because we have a lot of time and money on our hands. Thinking back; what the hell made this sound like a good idea? We couldn’t afford a new couch but suddenly we were buying a house? Saying this out loud makes me sound insane.

Through the 2000 miles that we drove like a ping pong up and down I95. We stopped at several house viewings, let me tell you most were pretty horrific. I had Champagne taste on a beer budget but I was determined.

Almost perfect

The first one was almost perfect; just a little too small. We almost went back for a second look. It was a great start.

2nd: The realtor had some issues getting a key to let us in, after the fiasco she brought this angry man who cursed her out in front of us – it was really bad and embarrassing for all of us. The house was not worth all that hassle. The kitchen was disgusting and tiny. I just wanted to leave. Because the realtor had gone to so much trouble and abuse we rode it out for her.

3rd: Beautiful land, and neighborhood. Just stunning. The house had a massive wrap around deck, which was a little rickety but salvageable. The realtor let us in and all the beauty stopped at the front door. This place should not have allowed people to be in the house. The second floor was more rickety than the deck. I was expecting little hand prints made of blood on the walls. Not only was it not safe; it felt like kidnapped children had been stored here….the vibe was not good.

3rd House, view from the rickety deck

4th: This was such a waste of time; we get there and it was basically looking up the butt hole of a mechanic shop; the drill noises and all. Badly uneven floors and badly executed extension – they even had a rocking chair at the front….yes, looking up the butt hole of the open gates of the mechanic shop. NEXT.

Beautiful house in Crack Central

5th: For this viewing, we flew to North Carolina and rented a car. We had a good feeling about this one. The photo of the house was stunning. We get there and it was EXCEPT the neighborhood was the worst. I mean crackhead central, this is the worst neighborhood I’ve been to in a long time. Not only that, when we pulled up – a Funeral Home was conveintiently next door. Ughhhh. I was ready to cry.

6th: In the same trip in NC, we drove to the realtor and she was unaware that we came to look at a house – WTF?? Anyway, she flirted with Eddie and then we were off on our own without the realtor – who honestly should have been Dorothy’s girlfriend in the Golden Girls. We stopped by the “house” she should have shown us which backs up to a cotton field. The house had just gone to contract that morning. The house next door (no fence) was a sight; half the house was burned to the ground and the other half just there, wide open. Who on earth bought this house? Lucky it wasn’t us. The tiny town kind of reminded me of a place that Lightning MCQueen and Mater would have driven through.That was the end of an unsuccessful trip.

Disheartened, Sunday morning after the fiasco NC trip Eddie saw some listings and followed up on them. We were connected with a realtor and finally we were talking to someone who gave a shit. Professional and followed though; not to down play his efforts but you would think the others would have simply even called us back for a follow up, no? Not one person had. Anyway this was our man – Dusty; Dusty Sweat is his name, and what a great name it is. He and Eddie set up several viewings. Eddie went alone on this trip, zoomed back up to Georgia he went.

To make this story as short as I can from this point: HE FOUND US A PLACE. He liked it so much; we drove up together 72 hours later. Six hours each way. We placed an offer immediately and were accepted! On the Friday of Mother’s Day we closed : ) I was ecstatic that I did not have to look at another damn house!

The next several posts from me you will see some of the renovation tips, DIYs, what not to do (a lot of those) and just us getting our hands dirty.

For now; I will just show you some of my fave photos of the house….coz you’re going to see the good, the bad, the ugly soon enough inside the house. This is Waycross, Georgia!

See you soon,

Alessa

Meet the proud mama and daughter duo of Justy Bae Shop.

I met Kitty a couple of months ago, and immediately it felt like I’ve known her all my life. She has this amazing, contagious, full of good vibes personality that just draws you in and immediately you want to be her friend! Without further ado, here’s Kitty and her little queen Justice Rae. xoxo Elisa.

Tell us a little bit about yourself:

Hey! My name is Kitty, I’m a new mom of Justice Rae (2 yrs old) and I have another on the way! I grew up in New Jersey, moved to Miami 7 years ago and I LOVE IT HERE! I met my husband 4 years ago, we got married and now we’re growing two businesses and a family all at once. It’s magical and I love it.

How did the idea of having a baby/children store come about? How was the beginning of Justy Bae?

Justy Bae started because our first business (a food truck) had to close down abruptly during the pandemic. I used to take my daughter out for midday strolls and put pictures of her on my social media stories and everyone started asking me where I got her clothes! I created the store originally just to make it easier for my friends to shop her looks but it grew into something bigger pretty quickly. The beginning was filled with a lot of learning curves but it’s been an incredible experience, and I love how precious this line of work is. I mean working with baby girls! It’s the cutest job ever!

Many people around the world have reinvented themselves last year. Anything new you have learned? How did you cope with the quarantine?

The entire experience has been new for me. It honestly helped me cope with quarantine because I was able to work with my daughter and my husband to help grow the brand. It made some days stressful, but most days very very special

What do you like to do on your free time?

Family days! I love taking my daughter to the beach and the park. I love watching her grow and learn new things. I work pretty much every day so my free hours are pretty much dedicated to spending as much time with my family as possible, I know this won’t last forever! 

What are your plans for 2021 and the years ahead?

In 2021, we plan on bringing in older kid sizes (right now we have sizes up to 4T) and we plan on adding a line for boys clothes! I also want to open a store for luxury kid’s clothing next year that will be somewhat similar to our current brand, but a little more upscale.

How do you balance business and personal life? 

I wake up early! If I don’t get up early I’ll be in reaction mode all day long and it makes planning very difficult. I also have a very supportive husband who takes care of most of the responsibilities at home so as long as I get up early, we can coordinate a plan. I try to schedule the fun stuff into my schedule so I still have lots of play dates with the family during the week! 

Any tips you can give to women looking to own a business? 

If you feel the need to do it, just start! Today! There will never be a perfect time and you will never have a perfect plan. Your intuition will guide you, your failures will turn into wins, your determination will take over your fear. Just get started so you can see what it’s all about, make whatever changes you need to make, and climb to the top! You only fail when you stop trying ❤️

Thanks so much for thinking of me! I’m honored to be able to share my story ❤️

Follow, Like, and Shop!!! Instagram Justy Bae, Facebook Justy Bae Shop, Website Justy Bae

Memorial Day – honoring and remembering our fallen soldiers.

Memorial Day is a holiday were lots of people travel to cities like Miami to have a good time. But, we cannot forget the meaning of this day, which is to honor and remember the fallen soldiers of the United States military. Many people will visit cemeteries and memorials on this day. How this day came to be is uncertain, however it’s believed to come from the tradition of placing flowers on the graves of the soldiers who died in the Civil War. It was only after the world wars where it became more generalized.

About 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to live in London for one year. While there I travelled extensively, since it’s so easy and relatively inexpensive to travel from the UK to other countries in Europe. I took a few days off from work and took the ferry from Dover, England to the Normandy region in France. Normandy is so beautiful and with so much history everywhere you go. One of the most important and largest seaborne invasion in history, D-Day, took place in this coast.

The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is located overlooking Omaha Beach in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France. It is the most visited cemetery in the world. Most of the soldiers buried there, 9,388 in total including 307 unknown, were killed during the invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operation in WWII. The cemetary is divided into ten plots forming a Latin cross with a chapel in the middle. In the center of the memorial, there’s a 22-foot bronze statue named, The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves by Donald De Lue.

Walking along the beaches and visiting the cemetery, personally, was incredibly sad. Seeing all those crosses and knowing that so many soldiers, and most of them young men and women, lost their lives, is heartbreaking. Even now as I write this post my eyes fill with tears just remembering the day I visited. All I could do was sit down by the memorial overlooking the cemetery and pray for the soldiers and families and hope that something like this never happens again.

On this Memorial Day, please take a moment to remember those who were lost in battle. If you have military family members who lost their lives, go visit them or go to a memorial. Or whether you know one or not, just take a moment of silence at 3pm for the National Moment of Remembrance. Be thankful to all fallen soldiers and extend you thoughts and prayers to their families.

Thank you for your service! ….. Elisa.

Out and About – Manolo Valdés Outdoor Exhibition

Art lovers flock to Miami in huge masses every year during the world-famous Art Basel week. But, locals get to enjoy museums, sculptures, and street art all year long. In recent years, plenty of public art displays have been popping up in places like the Design District and the City of Coral Gables. Due to the pandemic, some museums decided to display their art outdoors. From this decision came the partnership between the City of Doral and the Doral Contemporary Art Museum.

Manolo Valdés is one of the most celebrated Spanish contemporary artists. His award-winning works have been displayed in museums all over the world, including the Guggenheim in New York City. His influences include Rembrandt, Matisse, Picasso, amongst others. The colors and lighting express a sensation of tactility in his large scales works.

Manolo Valdes The Legacy sculptures are all over Doral’s public parks. These particular sculptures can be seen at Downtown Doral Park.

And since I don’t go anywhere where food and drink is not part of the trip, I made sure I went to Bachour, located right across from the park, as they have a great Happy Hour!

CHEERS!!

‘Till next time! … xoxo Elisa

Choosing your Pump

 

I’m back to share some tips for how to choose your breast pump! Consider me your breastfriend! Choosing a pump can sometimes be overwhelming and intimidating for most- as if you’re not stressed enough welcoming a new bundle of joy! I, myself, went through 4 different pumps until I found what worked for me. I hope today’s blog can help some new mommas to be in choosing a pump that works for you! 

Pumping itself, whether you are doing it exclusively, while you are away from baby, or as a way to include your partner with night time feedings, is extremely time consuming. It requires dedication and patience. It also requires support— this is something most times gets over looked. Did you know that breastfeeding for a year is the equivalent of working an average of 1800 hours? Having a supportive partner is crucial especially during the first few weeks when time is precious.

Every mom pumps for different reasons. Depending on the reasons and your personal breastfeeding journey, your choice of pump might differ. I began pumping the second day Baby V was born. He was born a little bit jaundice- a condition that causes the yellowing of the skin due to red blood cells not being broken down properly. It’s actually one of the most common conditions babies are sometimes born with that most times can be remedied with constant feeding or with photo therapy light. This condition also makes the already sleepy newborns even sleepier! Baby V would constantly fall asleep at the boob and would not properly eat. As a result, he lost 10% of his body weight in 2 days. Cue in the dreaded constant pressure to formula feed instead of trying to supplement with your own breastmilk- or at least being given the option and support to do so.

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I had a nurse who encouraged me to begin pumping to see if any colostrum or milk would come out. I actually had harvested my colostrum prior to birth which helped me have some peace of mind while we helped him gain weight with my own breast milk. If you’re interested in harvesting colostrum, hopefully you stick around long enough and we can discuss the benefits in the next post!

So how do you choose your pump? Most importantly how do you size yourself for a flange that is just right for you. For one, WAIT….wait until you have given birth and have had a couple pumping sessions to measure yourself for correct sizing. I always knew every woman’s nipples were different but it never occurred to me that the diameter would have to be taken into consideration when getting measured for a flange. Did you also know that incorrect flange sizes (whether too big or too small can affect the effectiveness of proper milk removal? Amazon sells cheap rulers you can buy, and most LC (lactation consultants) will be able to measure you as well. A well fitting flange will make a world of difference. Remember breastfeeding and or pumping should never be painful. Let’s talk about the four different styles of pumps I tried and how I arrived to the one I currently use and cannot live without.

My Favorite

I first began pumping with the Spectra S2 breast pump and easily found myself filling my bottles and being left with sore nipples. Since the Spectra S2 is not wireless, it meant I was constantly at a wall outlet every 2-3 hours for 15-20 mins. In other words I felt stuck! This was the first time I had ever considered the option of wired vs wireless pumps. I found a portable battery that allowed me to move from room to room but it was still way to bulky to take in the go. Although I did lug around a some trips in the car because you know… a momma HAD to pump. If you are looking for a hands free option you can look into the S1 version, although I will say, if you keep reading, I will discuss my absolute all-time favorite hands-free pump!

I hadn’t done much research prior to breastfeeding so I wasn’t sure what I wanted in a pump, but I knew I needed some freedom. The power suction on the Spectra is great, it is a hospital grade pump after all, so as far as suction and power I would say it’s a 8/10. It has a closed system which means milk will not flow back and the flanges are somewhat comfortable, even though they are not cushioned. However, the box only came with 24mm flanges and 28 mm flanges. I had no idea these both were way too big for me and for weeks pumped and dealt with soreness before I learned about sizing. Regardless of the incorrect sized flanges I was producing milk …. and a lot! I am an over producer which means my body makes 2-3 times what my baby needs. As the weeks progressed I began noticing my needs as a pumping mama were changing and I had to start taking these preferences specific to my breastfeeding/pumping journey into consideration!

I researched and knew I wanted to be hands free so I ordered the Elvie. Now the Elvie is a hands free pump that’s runs for about $500 . Yikes. Before I describe my experience with the Elvie, I will say if you are an over producer like myself, or produce more than 4 oz per boob, this may not be the pump for you. I also will say that I pump everywhere I go! One my way to work. At the zoo. In laws house. Sitting in traffic. So choosing a pump that would correctly empty me out was essential.

Now the pros were amazing: hands free, NO CORDS, easy to pop on and off, and semi-discreet and pretty stylish. I also did enjoy having the little collection bottles come with caps for easy storage and having an app that tracked the ounces collected was nice. The cons, however, made me only use this luxury and highly priced pump a total of about 10-15 times (if that). Some of the cons I found were the following: the app and ounce sensor was never accurate. The pump would stop automatically signaling it was full when it was not. Another downfall for me, was the positioning of the nipple. Although, the device itself was easy to put in and off, positioning the flange correctly was extremely important. If the nipple was not correctly inserted- proper milk removal was affected. The suction was at most a 4/10 for me and I found myself constantly having to use my spectra after sessions to empty out. I did however find a hack with the Elvie using Legendairy Milk flanges which were soo comfortable! I will say if you do buy these cushioned flanges DO not block the two tiny openings that control the suction on the top center of the pump. It found this pump helped in situations where I was on the go and needed a quick relief, but never fully did the job for me. And lastly, as I mentioned before, I had to constantly stop pumping, pour some out and continue to pump because of my over production. Cute concept, ineffective in my opinion due to my over production. However, if you produce overall between 3-5 ounces per session combined, which by the way, is considered normal— with a little cushioned hack you might find this pump is the one for you!

I was still on the hunt for a pump that emptied me out and was friendly on the go! A friend who had previously given birth a couple months before me recommended the Baby Buddha (cue in singing angels). This pump is AMAZING, let me tell you why. The pump itself is smaller than my iPhone but the power is stronger than my Spectra, even on level 12. I’ve actually never really ventured past level 6 on my Baby Buddha because it is that strong.

This pump also comes with cushioned flanges! Such a huge plus! It also has two collection bottle sizes- 5 ounces and 8 ounce bottles. Guess what this girl got? The 8 ounce bottles of course. Finally a bottle that I didn’t have to pump and stop! What sold me the most, as side from being hands free and powerful, was that it cut my pumping time by 20-30% I was removing MORE milk in LESS time! It’s priced at around $180 which makes it even more attractive. If I had to mention a con, it would have to be the lanyard it comes with to hang on your neck. Pay close attention mamas, DO NOT hang it around your necks! We’re already dealing with back pains from breastfeeding/pumping and carrying our little bundles of joy. Luckily, like most situations now a days, nothing Amazon didn’t have! Get yourself a belt clip and voila neck pain gone!

The last pump I experimented with was the Medela manual pump. The name says it all. You manually have to pump out the milk with your hands. The flange is not the most comfortable but in emergency situations like loss of power, forgetting your pump at home (mom brain) or a quick night out , it gets the job done!

The pros to manual pumping is that you control the suction, the rhythm and overall output. It also is easily stored if you already have the Medea storage bottles by just pumping and popping in a screw-on lid. The con couldn’t be more obvious… there’s a lot of labor involved and after some time your hands cramp up if you try to use a manual pump to replace an entire session. However, was pleasantly surprised.

Regardless of the pump you choose, here are some tips that helped my pumping journey. Lubricate. Yes you heard correct, lubricate, the tiniest bit of coconut oil works wonders. Legendairy Milk also has a great pumping spray. Let those nipples glide instead of rub! Buy more than one set. I’ll repeat it again, buy more than one set. As if washing, sterilizing and drying bottles all day was not enough. Don’t drive yourself crazy washing the same set 4-5 times a day. Get multiple sets of flanges and collection bottles if you can. This way you always have a set ready to go. Replace your duck valves! If your valves are starting to become lose, it’s time to change them. Every 2-3 months usually is a good time frame. Loose duck valves equals infective suction.

Lastly, remember that what may work for one momma may not work for another. Do your research, make a list of your preference and when in doubt, order the Baby Buddha! I have yet to recommend this pump to a mom who has not loved it.

‘Til next time! … Grace.

Un embarazo difícil pero muy special.

Este embarazo me encontro con 40 años, diagnosticada con trombofilia, medicada, con una hija de 4 años, en medio de una pandemia, desempleada, sin tener la menor idea de como se daria todo con tantas condiciones que creia que me limitaban.

Miedos, ansiedad me superaban día a día, pero encontré muchas herramientas gracias a talleres que venían a mi como señales y no dudaba en hacerlos, por ellos pude manejar esas emociones que me desbordaban.

Cuando como mujer te diagnostican algo que sabes que atenta contra tu bebe, como la trombofilia, el pánico a que sucedan cosas que no puedes manejar son infinitos.

Tuve la fortuna de sentirme en las mejores manos de doctores. Y cuando comprendí eso, en ese momento, sentí seguridad, lo entregue todo al universo, y confíe. Era eso o pasármela mal siendo amiga de mis inseguridades.

Este embarazo esta llegando a su final en dos semanas, y es todo gracias a la medicación. Desde el día uno, me tuve que inyectar cada noche con Levonox, un derivado de bajo grado molecular de la Heparina, el anticoagulante mas usado en el mercado. 4 semanas antes se cambia a Heparina, dos veces al día. La noche antes del parto se deja y se continua la noche siguiente por 3 meses mas.

La primera noche del comienzo de mi tratamiento, fue durísima, pero comprendí que las mujeres somos extremadamente fuertes y podemos con cualquier obstáculo que se nos ponga en el camino. Estoy muy orgullosa de haberlo logrado y de ser mujer.

El objetivo de contar mi historia de este embarazo tan especial, es decirles que por mas de que existan obstáculos para que seas mama, confíes y entregues todo al universo, todo será perfecto para ti. Por mas de que tengamos que atravesar por situaciones difíciles, y con finales trágicos, jamas bajes los brazos porque todo llega en el momento perfecto.

Me encantaría que me pregunten cualquier duda con respecto a la trombofilia, desde ya les brindare todo lo que este a mi alcance.

Los mantendré update, muchos saludos, cariñosos para todos.

Gisella.

Furniture Flipping

Furniture flipping is the new trend. Buying second hand furniture, stripping the old grime and shine and paint the piece with a fun bold color topping it off with new or treated hardware. Voila, you have a fun new piece of furniture. This my friends is not as easy as it looks, because you know me, I gave it my first try to get you the DL. You need time and patience then multiply your time and patience by 10.

Hubby and I found a cool 2nd hand furniture place in Waycross, Georgia on one of our road trips last month. I think I would have bought half the store had we been in a truck instead of my Prius. If you’re in that neck of the woods go see them ‘The What Not Shelf’. Not only do they carry furniture, they can customize the piece/pieces for you or they can make a new custom piece altogether.

I saw a pair of wood framed mirrors. Dusty and dirty but I saw the potential. They were meant to be free standing mirrors and had a pole in the back to hold itself up, like a tripod. I knew that this would be my first flipping project.

Finials

First I took off the finials and its 3rd leg stand thing. The finials were black and a little corroded, though in some spots I saw a beautiful greenish patina. I was tempted to leave them this way. I figured if I’m gonna flip, I’m gonna flip all the way, right? Eddie had suggested I soak them in Bar Keeper’s Friend (he took over this part for me). The four finials soaked for a few days (see photos below) while I worked on the mirrors. I had fine 150 grit sand paper (which I think was too fine) and started sanding away. Music, nice morning weather and mosquitos. I sprayed myself with repellent but those mozzies were not forgiving. Kept sanding, then at this point I was getting hot. Hot and bothered I took a break. I came back and thought that I should have taped the mirror to protect it incase that I scratched the mirror with the sandpaper. So I taped it with blue painter’s tape and called it a day. Repeat second day. Sanding, mosquitos and sweat. I had seen in one of the Youtube furniture flippers use liquid sand paper. Music to my ears. Home Depot was the next stop. I lathered that liquid sand paper all over the wooden frame. I brushed the whole frame with an old toothbrush and wiped it clean with a clean cloth. And wiped again and again. I felt I had done enough prep to get to the next stage.

The Stuff
Progress

I had heard of this miracle additive called BB Frosch where you add their powder to any paint and you don’t need to sand or prime. However after watching a 100 different Youtube videos I was not sure about its miracle-ness, hence all my sanding and liquid sanding prep. I poured some of my pint of Behr Ultra Scuff Defense in Aspen Valley paint into a container, separately I followed the instructions for the powder – a couple of heaped tablespoons and a little water then mix that solution to the paint. Stir, stir, stir. Now we paint. Hmmm after finishing coat one on the first frame I see a ton of flaws. Tiny nail holes and hairline crack in the wood. FML back to Home Depot. I bought a wood filler, it’s pink while wet but dries just like wood, I filled in the flaws with my finger. Once dried I had to go back with the sand paper and sand down any wood filler that wasn’t flush to the wood, you don’t want any ugly bumps under the next coat of paint. What concerned me at this point was that the paint with the “miracle” additive kind of sanded off a little too easy. It made me think twice – did I sand it enough in my prep? Is this really a miracle powder? Did I do something wrong? Anyway, I was already into my second coat so I kept going. Three coats and for good measure I added a matte clear top coat spray. One mirror was complete.

For the second one I did it a little differently, I added a light grey primer. I wanted to see if this would help paint the hold on more. I could see the nail holes and more hairline cracks that I could not see without the first layer of paint. Here I added the wood filler and sanded again. Two more coats of paint and a spray of top coat. Not sure if the additional primer was necessary, but oh well. I painted two layers of my colored paint with the added BB Frosch. I had poured enough in my first batch to last me both mirrors.

Eddie reported back with the finials. Holy cow what a difference! A little soak and a little scrub with a toothbrush. Adding the finials back on as the cherry on top, we’re done! A little wipe to the mirrors with Windex and I think I’m happy with my first attempt…….what do you think?

Any questions or anything I should have done differently, please let me know because more flipping is coming!!

I’ll report back to see if either of them scuffed easily and if it really is the miracle powder.

I have very exciting news for my next post. Really exciting…..promise.

Alessa x

Reference Youtube Video and Instagram:

Perfectly Imperfect Furniture

Furniture Flipping Teacher

Just Paint it! by Dani

Young Entrepreneur Aurora : Zoo Bandanas

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aurora Baldovini and I am a 15-year-old small business owner of Zoo Bandanas in South Florida. I live with my mom, Corbie, and my sister Stella. I love traveling to visit my family who live all over the country, but also my family that lives in Italy. I like to sew, paint, and watch any new show on Netflix. I currently attend Miami Arts Charter School where I can participate in my passion for technical theatre. I also have a passion for animals and I want to start volunteering and donating bandanas for my local animal shelter next year. 

Do you have pets? What are their personalities?

Yes, I do, I have 4 pets. I have 2 dogs named Dexter and Draper and I have 2 cats named Jinx and Jules. Dexter is my first pet and he is the oldest at 10 years old. Even though I try not to choose, I think Dexter is my favorite pet because I practically grew up with him. He likes to sleep for the majority of the day and I love snuggling with him on the couch. Then comes Jinx who is six years old. Jinx is the alpha of the house and honestly, he acts more like a dog than a cat. He is also my superhero when it comes to catching bugs. Then it’s Draper who just turned a year old and is our quarantine puppy. He is a very high-energy dog and it’s very exciting to take him to the dog park and see whom he will make friends with this time. Lastly is Jules who is our rescue cat. A month after we got Draper, somehow, I convinced my mom to rescue Jules from this shelter. He is very skittish and he loves cuddles and treats. My mom likes to say we live in a zoo which is what inspired the name for Zoo Bandanas. 

Describe your product?

I make bandanas for dogs, cats, or just any pet owner who wants to add a little flair to their pet. All of my bandanas are made with fabric that I have purchased from my local fabric store and I sew all of them myself. I add a little tag on the side of each bandana so you will always know where you got them. All of my bandanas are snap-on which means that they have little pieces on the end of them that connect and are easy to snap on and off. I also make scrunchies, which is a type of hair tie, with any available bandana fabric so any pet owners can match their pet’s bandana. All of my products are machine washable and the bandanas are easy to iron, excluding the snaps of course!

For the next young entrepreneur; what were the steps you took to get where you are?

It all starts with an idea, but before you start anything it takes a lot of planning and organizing how you want to make your idea come alive. Once I told my mom about my idea she completed supported me and she helped me research ways to learn how to sew. Because of coronavirus all of the sewing classes offered nearby were shut down, so my mom found an online course on the basics of sewing. At the time I borrowed a tiny sewing machine from a family friend and I got to work. I started learning how to thread and just how to use a sewing machine in general. I practiced sewing straight lines and from there I practiced making bandanas. After months of practicing, I finally had my idea of the perfect product. Around the middle of my sewing practice, my mom surprised me with my heavy-duty sewing machine. I made an inventory of all of my bandanas and I tried opening my website, but in the end, I found Etsy easier to use. I purchased my shipping materials and started an Instagram account for my business. After that my business has been progressing accordingly.

What has been your proudest moment with your product?

The proudest moment of my product has been my first order from someone that I didn’t know. When I first launched my business the people in my family who have pets were the first people to order, but when someone that I didn’t personally know purchased my product I felt a moment of pure excitement. I was so overjoyed that when I got the notification I ran out of my room and started screaming. My mom thought I was insane, but when I finally explained even she was as excited as I was. It was one if not the greatest moment of quarantine. 

What makes you happy?

A lot of things make me happy, but if I had to list a few they would be riding roller coasters, traveling, and thunderstorms. My first roller coaster was when I was six years old. I went to Disney World for my birthday and I rode Space Mountain first row and this moment will always be a core memory for me. I love traveling and my mom has taken me on planes since I was 3 months old. I like experiencing new things and traveling is also very important to me because it’s the only way I would be able to spend time with my family. My favorite places I’ve been to are probably Italy, New York, and Illinois. I love thunderstorms probably because of living in Florida my whole life, it’s a very comforting sound and it just instantly helps me fall asleep. 

What is your future vision for your product?

My future vision for my product is probably to be able to donate my bandanas to my local animal shelter. I love making my bandanas and I think that donating them to the dogs and cats who don’t have a home would help them get adopted. One of the jobs for volunteers at the animal shelter is to assist them by taking adorable pictures of the pets so they have a higher chance of adoption. With an extra pop of color to their fur, I think my bandanas could help with the pictures.

How did you decide that this will be your product?

I first saw this idea when I had made an Instagram account for my dog Draper. I saw how people had started their bandana businesses for dogs and I was inspired. I was bored for most of the quarantine, but sewing was my outlet. I was able to focus on something else other than what would happen next to the world. After watching a few Youtube videos I knew that I could do it and I spoke to some family friends who knew how to sew to help me. After that, I was hooked on researching everything I could about sewing.

Is this a stepping stone to what you want to do in the future?

The best way I can answer this is sort of. I don’t want to make this small business my career, but I would like to continue using it as a side business. I love sewing and making bandanas so I want to continue doing it and donating as much as I can to animal shelters. 

Find Zoo Bandanas:

IG: @Zoobandanas

Etsy: Zoo Bandanas

LAS FLORES EN LOS DIFERENTES PROCESOS DE LA VIDA.

Si algo esta claro es que en la vida pasamos por diferentes procesos que son indispensables para evolucionar, sanar, y avanzar. Pero si tenemos al alcance las esencias florales, es una ayuda indispensable que no deberiamos de dudar en tomar.

Hoy me voy a enfocar en dar opciones para aquellos procesos que se dan en la edad adulta, comencemos.

FLORES PARA LA ANSIEDAD:

COREOPSIS: Miedos arraigados en vivencias colectivas inconscientes, miedo a salir al mundo, exposición publica, catastrofres, epidemias, guerras, pandemia, ansiedad, cansancio físico, calma, seguridad, paciencia, equilibrio, alegría, armonía, vitalidad, autoestima, confianza, aplomo, conciencia, conexión espiritual. Conexión con el ángel guardián.

FLORES PARA EL CONTROL:

AROMO: Las cosas son como son, dejar el control, fluir, relajación, alegría, tranquilidad, optimismo, fuego interior, asumir la propia vida y el poder personal.

FLORES PARA EL STRESS:

CIRUELO: Miedo al descontrol, compulsiones, tensión mental, calma en situaciones de stress, permite fluir en calma.

DIENTE DE LEON: Afloja tensión muscular por esfuerzos físicos, dolores corporales, stress, contractura, tensión corporal, relax, bienestar, para escuchar el cuerpo.

TREBOL AMARILLO: Confianza en uno mismo, autoestima, valoración, aceptación, stress, agotamiento por exceso de responsabilidad, estar a la altura, merecer, pies sobre la tierra.

JACARANDA: Conexión cielo tierra, recordar elecciones del alma, decidir, organizar, salir de la duda, temor, apuro, dispersión, desorientación, stress, frustración, equilibrio, orden, foco, rapidez mental, orientación vocacional, tomar un camino, terminar un proyecto, escuchar los mensajes del cielo.

FLORES PARA EL PERDON:

FLORIPONDIO AMARILLO: Calidez en el espacio personal, distancia justa entre unos y otros, dejar ir prejuicios, barreras, omnipotencia, creencias erróneas, quitar etiquetas, conflictos familiares, temor social, aceptar lo diferente, perdonarse y perdonar.

ROSA AMARILLA: Perdón, liberación, alegría, comprender sin juzgar, ni condenar, ver las faltas de amor, reír, soltar, la luz del sol en el corazón.

ROSITA VIOLETA: Soltar, suavizar, sanar, perdonar, disolver recuerdos dolorosos, enojos rencores, permite que nuestras almas encuentren el amor, la paz y el reconocimiento del ser.

FLORES PARA LA CALMA:

CATALPA: tranquilidad, estado de relajación, fortaleza, mente en calma, disuelve el temor a lo desconocido, alivia, armoniza, y libera emociones que subyace detrás de las migrañas.

FLOR DE LIZ: La fuerza de lo femenino, orden en el amor, calma, sosiego, y tranquilidad, silencio, equilibrio y certeza, observación, descanso, intuición, aceptación, voluntad y sabiduría a travez del amor, equilibra el chakra cardiaco.

GARDENIA: Centra, calma, serena las emociones, da objetividad, armoniza, y alinea los chakras y los cuerpos inferiores, serena la mente, quita los miedos, despierta la fe y la confianza, representa el abrazo y la protección de Jesus.

FLOR PARA CERAR CICLOS:

HEMEROCALLIS: Cerrar ciclos, trae luz a la conciencia, dejar ir, volver a empezar, soltar lo que nos ata, nuevos proyectos, creatividad, descubrir talentos, avanzar, adaptación escolar, mudanzas, momentos de cambio.

ELIXERIS PARA LA DEPRESION:

CUARZO CRISTAL: Eleva la energía, limpia y potencia los órganos, refuerza el campo energético, ayuda a salir de la depresión, la indolencia la preocupación.

FLOR PARA LA UNIDAD FAMILIAR:

PALO DE AGUA: La unidad en el amor, el padre, la ley dentro de acda uno, escucha, firmeza ,autoridad, determinación, fortaleza, temple, confianza, unidad familiar y grupal, pertenencia, arraigo, centramiento, alegría, sostén, temas de la columna.

FLOR PARA LA UNIDAD DE PAREJA:

CEIBO: Dirigir correctamente la energía, bajar la impaciencia, equilibrar los elementos aire y fuego, reconocer y equilibrar las emociones que generan dolor de cabeza, confianza seguridad, equilibrio y armonía, autoafrimacion, temas de pareja, menstruacion, temas relacionados con la sangre.

FLOR Y ELIXIR PARA LA AGRESIVIDAD Y LA IRA:

ROSITA CARMESI: Transformar la hostilidad, el estar a la defensiva, la ira y la agresividad en dulzura y suavidad, armoniza los vínculos, trabajar la paranoia, la irritabilidad, el sentirse invadido y la tendencia de invadir.

GRANATE RUBI: Paz, serenidad, equilibrio, trabaja la agresividad, egoísmo, celos, conecta con la tierra, y la provisión, limpia y re energiza los chakras.

ELIXIR PARA LA AUTOESTIMA:

CUARZO ROSADO: Amor incondicional, simpatía, tolerancia y gratitud, autoestima, aceptarnos a nosotros mismos y a los demás. Chakra cardiaco, corazón.

FLOR PARA SITUACIONES DE SHOCK:

ZEPHYRANTES: Consuelo, sanadora de los dolores profundos, limpieza emocional, situaciones de shock, traumas, duelos, golpes y perdidas, equilibra, restaura, armoniza la energía, calma, paz.

Aquí entonces le dejo una guia de las flores y elixires, para esos procesos y poder atravesarlos de la mejor manera a acompañados de las flores que siempre es mejor y ayuda al alma a saber procesarlos sanamente.

Cualquier duda o preguntas pueden consultarme por DM @milagritos_floweressences por Instagram.

Saludos y muchas flores para todos.

Gisella

Super Woman

How it began.

On October 25th, I began one of the hardest yet most rewarding journeys I have ever embarked on. Breastfeeding and becoming a mother has allowed me to understand just how amazing the human body is.

Women are the most powerful human beings on this earth. Imagine this, you grow a human from scratch, birth them with all the strength you have and continue to nourish them with nutrients your body carefully crafted for your little one to thrive.

Baby V was born at 38 weeks, and barely allowed me to get to the hospital on time- now my birth story is a story for another time. When he was born I requested for delay of cord clamping because of the wide range of benefits that come with it. After all, at least 30% of the blood supply they lived with still is attached to the placenta 1-2 minutes after birth! I had asked the nurses that once they checked him if his Apgar score was above 8 I wanted to delay all traditional interventions for the first hours known as the ‘Golden Hour’. Immediately he was placed on my chest to begin skin to skin. We shared our first breastfeeding moment in a dark dim light room just as everyone was cleaning things up and we were about to be left alone for the next couple of hours. Due to covid, personnel was limited and no lactation consultant came by.
I was filled with overwhelming joy but despite all the research I had done on the Thompson Method for breastfeeding, putting things to practice seemed a lot harder than explained.
The Thompson Method, is a method that was created by Dr. Robyn Thompson which encourages immediate uninterrupted skin to skin after birth while allowing baby to naturally crawl up to the nipple and breastfeed on his or her own.
Since baby V had been born what they considered early term he developed a bit of jaundice which is common in a lot of newborns. It is the yellowing of the skin due to the break down of red blood cells not being able to effectively be filtered by the liver, and is most commonly treated by photo therapy light or simply feeding. The more the baby ate, the more he was able to pee and poop the excesses bilirubin in his body that was causing the change of color in his skin.
When it was time for the pediatrician to do her rounds she came by and was concerned he had already lost 10% of his weight within the first 36 hours. As a first time mom this terrified me and the first word that spat out of her mouth was FORMULA. There was little regard to how I felt about it and quite frankly no encouragement to try to get him to gain weight with my own breast milk. I cried for hours, the excess bilirubin aside from changing the color of their skin also causes them to be sleepy. He would latch and fall asleep. How was I going to feed a sleepy baby? Manual expression.

I began manually expressing my colostrum in a cup and spoon feeding him. Sounds insane right? Spoon feeding a newborn? But believe me it worked! Their tummy’s are so tiny they only need a little bit of colostrum at a time to get full. I began tracking his wet and soiled diapers and soon met the pediatrician’s expectations however they still wanted me to supplement with formula.

My nurse saw how distraught I was and came in with a breast pump and told me to try pumping to see if I would produce anything, and I did! Almost 1 ounce of liquid gold… this was just the beginning of the next beautiful months to come! I now happily pump 12-14 oz per session. I cannot wait to share the rest of my journey with tips and recommendations for you all.

Grace