SELF-LOVE, CONNECTING TO THE DIVINE, TAROT CARDS & MAKEUP: AN INTERVIEW WITH KEVIN GARCIA | SELFIE, EPISODE 65

We are chatting with Kevin Garcia about self-care, crystals, emotional attunement, tarot cards, spirituality, serums, and makeup. Kevin is a speaker, creative, musician, and host of the podcast, A Tiny Revolution.  He is also a fierce advocate of LGBT rights and while he’s got a woo-woo side (he’s a fan of tarot cards and crystals) he is also pursuing a Masters of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary. He’s smart, interesting, and thoughtful, and he can also rock a red lip better than we can. We loved chatting with him about all aspects of self-care.

In this episode we talked about:

Gixo is on a mission to make great, live workouts accessible to everyone so that we all live longer, healthier lives. They have live and on-demand workouts that you can access on your phone 24/7. It’s designed for busy schedules with 15, 25 or 40-minute workout classes, and they’ve got everything from walking, strength training, yoga and pilates. They want fitness to be accessible, so memberships start at $14.99/mo (billed at $179.99/year) or $19.99/mo. You can download the app and create an account to start a 7-day free trial, and use code SELFIE to save 20% off either an annual or month-to-month membership.

BLACK DOLLS: special order only | On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

Some days, I think we are living in a new era, in a world that doesn’t see color, in a world more and more like the one Martin Luther King dreamt about.

And some days, I remember that we’re not.

There were a myriad of reminders about this for me today, most of which I can’t really disclose on my blog. Let me just say this: in therapy, the filter comes off. And some people say stuff to me having no idea that I have an African American son. (or that I would be completely offended even if I didn’t). It’s all cool until one of them wants to date your daughter. Nuff said.

Even though it’s complete ignorance, that stuff sinks my heart a little.

After work I made a Target run, because I wanted to grab a few stocking stuffers for the kids. I thought it would be cute to get them some High School Musical dolls that they could play with on our plane ride.

One of the things I LOVE LOVE LOVE about High School Musical is the racial diversity of the cast. So it was a little surprising to find that Target was only carrying dolls of the white members of the cast. Where was Chad? Where was Taylor? Not at my local Target. There were at least 20 versions of Troy, Gabriella, Sharpay, her brother, and the random White girl who plays piano. Rows and rows of these kids, but no representation of the African American cast members.

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Now, it would tempting, and maybe even reassuring, to think that a bunch of race-conscious parents had swept up the minority dolls already. But given the fact that there are very few African Americans living in Orange County, somehow I doubt that.

Which leads me to conclude that Target just didn’t order them, because they figured they wouldn’t sell. The same way last time I visited Pottery Barn at South Coast Plaza, the blonde-haired Harrington Family (Caucasian) was full-price and almost sold old, while the nearly idenitical but ethnic Thompson Family was drastically on clearance. Hmmm . . .

So this Christmas, I ask you: Are there dolls under your tree? Are any of them representing a minority race? What message does it send to our children when minority dolls are cast aside, or not even available at the store? Or when parents show racial preference in their toy selection? Something to think about as we all strive to move towards racial acceptance.

 

Wednesday’s Child: Alex

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.

KRISTEN AND SARAH’S INTENTIONS FOR 2019 | SELFIE, EPISODE 64

New Year’s Resolutions? Word for the year? Setting intentions? Or just skipping it? Sarah and Kristen chat about how they are approaching the new year and what (if any) resolutions they have for themselves.

In this episode we talked about:

Barefoot Dreams Robe

Tarte Shape Tape Concealer

Shortcake Albums

American Biotech Silver Gel 

Gixo is on a mission to make great, live workouts accessible to everyone so that we all live longer, healthier lives. They have live and on-demand workouts that you can access on your phone 24/7. It’s designed for busy schedules with 15, 25 or 40-minute workout classes, and they’ve got everything from walking, strength training, yoga and pilates. They want fitness to be accessible, so memberships start at $14.99/mo (billed at $179.99/year) or $19.99/mo. You can download the app and create an account to start a 7-day free trial, and use code SELFIE to save 20% off either an annual or month-to-month membership.

Care/Of is a monthly subscription vitamin service made from effective, quality ingredients personally tailored to your exact needs. For 25% off your first month of personalized care/of vitamins, visit takecareof.com and enter the promo code SELFIE.

Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Life Lately

On my first flight ever on @flyfrontier. Please send up the prayer chain. Also there are two children behind me who are already playing “flip the tray table” which, listen, I get happens, but the mom has not corrected them once and so I did it and they stopped. 😬 When I say that all children are our children I mean that globally and politically but also on airplanes. 😂

 

A huge thanks to @angellimousineoc for driving the boys around in style today (and for allowing me to drive separately, alone in my own car, in blissful silence.)

The teenager version of parallel play at @playlive_nationmv. They had a blast playing fortnite all in the same room. So much smack-talk. And I especially appreciate the enthusiasm of the staff took in making “happy birthday” as embarrassing as possible. 👍🤣

 

Jafta’s great birthday adventure started at @arrowtag OC. They had a blast shooting arrows and teaming up against each other. A great teen party option though I might have to come back with friends …

Home safe and sound and feeling so grateful for this experience with my kids. Don’t let the breezy photos fool you … it was hard work. We had long flights and jet lag and a tiny room and every one of us was exhausted. We got lost a lot, we were cold, we had long days and walked until our feet hurt. Everyone had a meltdown at some point. But overwhelmingly, we had a blast. There is nothing I love more than experiencing new cultures and places with my kids. It stretches and grows each of us to be in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar habits and norms. We can take what we like and apply it (collectivism was an apparent cultural difference and made quite an impact) and we can discuss what we appreciate about our own norms in contrast. My kids loved the experience and we are already dreaming about how cool it could be to visit a new country every year. My kids are troopers and they rose to the occasion on this trip despite the fatigue and lack of personal space. I am so glad to be home and sleeping in my own room but so glad for this bonding experience with my crew.

 

 

Our last morning in Tokyo spent at the red gates at Hie Shrine.

Jafta’s Birthday Adventure

Jafta spent his 14th birthday on a plane en route to Tokyo and it was the shortest birthday of his life . . . because of the time change and travel time, it was only his birthday for about 6 hours. Hopefully the fun we had in Tokyo made up for it, but his actual birthday was kind of a dud. So I promised him we would do something fun when we got back.

I think there is no one harder to throw a party for than teenage boys. They are difficult to impress and finicky and even amongst a friend group, they all like to do different things. Jafta wanted to do a skate party tour but I knew that some of his friends would not enjoy that as much, so I planned a day of fun games and competitions for him, ending at the skate park so that the kids who don’t skate could end early.

Jafta’s great birthday adventure started at Arrowtag OC. They had a blast shooting arrows and teaming up against each other. A great teen party option though I might have to come back with friends …

I decided to rent a limo to shuttle the boys around. I couldn’t fit them all in my car and it was a reasonable option that made it feel really special for the boys. I ended up renting the limo through Angel Limousines, based on their stellar yelp reviews. I got to know the owner a bit as we were chatting about the party and it definitely felt like one of those unique connections. John also has a 14-year-old boy, but he is terminally ill. John has dedicated his business to other kids with chronic illnesses and volunteers driving for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Our second stop was at PlayLIVE Nation, which is a gaming center full of both video and board game options, from Fortnite to Magic to Smash Brothers. The boys decided to play Fortnite. And while it’s a game many of them play at home, they had a blast playing Fortnite all in the same room. So much smack-talk. And I especially appreciate the enthusiasm of the staff took in making “happy birthday” as embarrassing as possible. We did cupcakes and pizza in their party room before heading to the last stop.

And our last and final stop – the skatepark!

The Christmas Letter || On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

On Thursdays I post from the vault. This post is from December 2008.

One of the things I love the most about the Christmas season is getting all of the Christmas cards in the mail. I love catching up with friends this way, seeing photos of everyone’s growing families, and reading about what everyone is up to. Over the years, I have heard a few people mock the tradition of Christmas letters, wondering who really reads them. Um, I do. I read every one of them. I love them. I’ve always been a fan of mail correpsondence, and took my pen-palling VERY seriously growing up. This is just a fun little extension of that.

I also love keeping the Christmas photos and looking back at them over the years. I have a big scrapbook where I crop and glue each year’s Christmas photos, starting in 2001, and it is so fun to pull it out every year with the rest of the Christmas stuff. I love looking at the pictures and seeing how much everyone has changed, and also reflecting on our longstanding friendships that we value so much.

There was a period, though, when I wasn’t in love with the Christmas letter thing. When Mark and I were going through a tough time building our family, it was actually a little painful to get pictures of new babies and growing families year after year, as we remained the “childless couple”. It became more and more difficult to compose an update for our own family that didn’t seem to be a screaming announcement of our lack of children. So . . . I did what I usually did, and turned to sarcasm. I started writing a Christmas letter of the perfect life, with footnotes that clafiried our actual reality. I called it The Howerton’s Fabuluos Fabulous Lives. While I’m sure a few people found it mocking of all that is holy, most people found it pretty funny. So I continued every year, and every year more and more people would tell me they read it at a friend’s house, or had someone read it to them on the phone, and ask to be put on the list.

It’s become a fun little tradition, but like all things with expectations attached, I also kind of dread writing it every year. What if I let people down?? I start getting asked about it in early December, and usually find that I have absolutely nothing funny or interesting to say. And then I stress about it for several weeks, and avoid it, and then somehow every year I finally get the thing done.

So I am happy to say that, with a whole 6 days to spare before Christmas, I have finished my Christmas letter. Then came the assembly line of stamping, labeling, sealing, and sending. We got everything off to the post office, and I am finally DONE.

Now, on to this present-wrapping issue I need to tackle . . .

Wednesday’s Child: Tommy

Every Wednesday I feature a child recently highlighted by a local Wednesday’s Child newscast to share the stories of children from around the country who are waiting for a family. My hope is that this can broaden exposure for the children highlighted, but also serve as a reminder that these children represent thousands of children currently in the foster-care system. Perhaps their stories will inspire you to consider opening your home to a child needing a family. For more information and to learn about other waiting children, visit AdoptUsKids.