The Bacelorette Post Host

Posted on May 15th, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

The Bachelorette Post Host!

I will be reviewing the weekly episodes of this season’s The Bachelorette with Emily Maynard on California Mom Bloggers!Miz Meliz The Bachelorette Post Host

If you have questions or comments, leave them here, or there, or anywhere you find me!  I’m looking forward to dishing with you about Emily and the hot babes on this season’s #Bachelorette!!

Check out the recap each week after the show at http://californiamomblogs.com/

Creative Evolution

Posted on May 10th, 2012 by & filed under Be Inspired

“Adapting is the stepping stone to flexibility. Flexibility is the doorway to creativity. We explore, we create, we invent, and we grow. Creative evolution. We change without really noticing it, just notice that our art is getting easier. More satisfying. More natural. Until we have fully leafed out and ideas come to rest in the shadow we cast on the earth.”
-Quinn McDonald

Creative Sparks

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz

AYWM 15: Journal Prompt – Bright Ideas: Cultivating and Capturing Good Ideas

by C. A. Kobu on April 9, 2012

In last week’s post, we talked about fearless living and looked into ways for working our courage muscles.

(See my response to the prompt here:  http://mizmeliz.com/2012/04/20/what-does-fear-look-like/ )

This week, on the other hand, is all about ideas and creative sparks.

The exciting theme of this module is “Bright Ideas: Cultivating and Capturing Good Ideas.”

As Michael Michalko says,  (I found this to be poetic and profound. . .)

“When you surround yourself with images of your intention—

who you want to become or what you want to create—

your awareness and passion grows.”

My awareness and passion grows. . . yes!  I recall my mantra . . .

“I commit my passion to my cause, knowing that passion is the power that creates new life, new joys, and new accomplishments for myself and others.”

And ideas are the marrow of creative intention.

At the same time, they are the wild horses of our minds.

They hate to be fenced in. So if you want to capture them and help them grow into beautiful projects, you have to use other methods.

This week, I got together with Dyana Valentine, who is a fiery instigator and idea midwife, and Tom Evans, who is known as the wizard of light-bulb moments. We discussed methods for sparking creativity, capturing ideas and turning the right ones into projects.

I’m Not Sorry

By Dyana Valentine

There is something I really want to say to you about the way that we could decide to move through the world.

We could decide that today we would not apologize for who we are.

We could decide that every time we say, “I’m sorry,” today, we say, “Wait, wait let me think about that. Am I really sorry? Or did I mean excuse me? Or did I mean I’m afraid?”

Let’s clarify what we mean by that.

And lets move through the world without apology where it’s not due.

What is your story of “I’m not sorry”? Write about it.

(See my response to this prompt here: http://mizmeliz.com/2012/04/23/i-am-fat-and-i-am-not-sorry/ )

Think about the creative ideas you’ve executed (or thought about executing) so far and those you are cultivating today. Which ideas are you not sorry about? Express your feelings by writing or painting about not being sorry about your ideas and sticking up for them.

The rest is me. . . Okay, here I go!

I feel the need to expand on the creativity portion of the prompt.  I wrote about not being sorry which was empowering and sustained me for awhile.  But to move forward with the A Year with Myself exercises, I wanted to discuss cultivating my creativity and following through on my ideas.

Here is one example that comes to mind of how I was not sorry for my idea and for sticking it through.  The way my husband and I recently celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary came about in a somewhat unusual process.  There were many options and we discussed it from time to time over the past year.  We talked about going on a trip, taking a romantic holiday, going out to dinner, taking the family out to dinner, hosting a dinner for a larger group at a restaurant, lots of things.  We finally made a decision that turned out to be a great idea, one that became a creative gift for me. 

My husband suggested that to cut costs we could have a small dinner party at home with our family and a few friends.  I think my eyes lit up because I could almost see my excitement reflect on his face.  To him a small dinner party is no big deal.  Friends, family and food.  Fantastic!  To me, there is no such thing as small, and “dinner party” has the word party in it, it’s implied.  I am having a party!  Yay!  I love parties!

I starting cooking up some creative ideas right away.  I bounced some thoughts around with my most creative cohorts.  My best friend, Chef Holly Markman (of http://hollyshomemade.com ) and I talked about what could be served and she agreed to help. My brother-in-law, who dabbles in decorating and is an event coordinator, asked me my all time favorite question. . . (cue the dramatic music!)

“What is your theme?” 

(Hee, hee – of course I have already thought about this!!) 

“I want either Parisian or Tuscany.”  I answered.

He was in.  We decided on “A Tuscany Dinner Party.”

The rest of the family offered their support and promised to help clean up and set up so we could have the sit down dinner in our back yard. I immediately started making the guest list, working out a menu, the whole routine.  I’ve got this down and I couldn’t be happier!  My all time favorite creative outlet is event design.  I’ll get an image in my mind of how I want it to look and feel and I don’t stop until I’m there. 

This dinner party idea had been a wild horse in my mind for a very long time.  I pictured our family and our closest friends all together, sitting outside in our backyard at a beautifully dressed table, under a canopy, aglow in candlelight, eating a delicious meal.  It was not what my husband was imagining when he uttered the words, “dinner party.”  Perhaps he just said, “dinner at home.” I heard dinner party because that was my heart’s desire.  And he was fine with it.  My design came to be with a lot of help from our loved ones and it was a wonderful way to celebrate our anniversary!  My celebration started the moment I started planning!  I may have spent too much time, money and effort on what was supposed to be simple and cost efficient, but. . . I am not sorry!

Christopher Taylor Lopez, photograhy

What is in Your Diaper Bag, Baby?

Posted on May 8th, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

Here is a question for those of you with babies. . .

“What’s in your diaper bag?”

You may be asking yourself, why does she want to know this – her kids are teenagers!??

That’s it exactly!  My kids are way, way, way out of diapers and well on their way out of high school and I am out of touch on the new stuff for babies.  When I get invited to a baby shower, I have no idea what a new parent wants or needs.  Most of the stuff I thought was cool when I had babies has been replaced by newer products.  But, I wonder, are they better?

I asked my friend at work, Jeff Beam, a few questions.  Jeff’s beautiful wife, Kelly, had just given birth to their baby girl, Lynnox, a few weeks prior.  I had a lovely conversation with this sleep-deprived first time father on his first week back to work.  He gave me some insightful, however sleepy, answers.

MM:  What were your first impressions of becoming a parent?

JB:  I was blissfully ignorant.  I felt ready, for sure.  I thought, “this really isn’t that bad, my baby is great!”  Then, the sleep deprivation set in.  I went from thinking; this is magic to what the hell is happening?

MM:  Have you found any baby item particularly helpful or useful at this point?

JB:  We were given a small backpack with compartments from the hospital, a good supply of diapers and a changing pad.  So far, that has been very helpful.

MM:  What is your favorite gift you have received for baby? 

JB:  For me, it’s the Boppy.  We use it constantly.

MM:  They still have those?  I loved mine!

JB:  It’s great!  We also received a rocking chair that is perfect for Kelly.  She sits in it as she is breastfeeding.  My wife’s comfort is most important.

MM:  What is the best piece of advice you received when you were expecting that has proved to be most helpful?

JB:  I can’t remember right now, everything is foggy!  But my friends have told me that taking care of a baby is easy.  When they cry, they need something.  It is like I am putting together a puzzle.  It’s just a matter of figuring out which piece of the puzzle I am missing.

MM:  Do you have any advice, based on your experience so far, to give to other new parents?

JB:  Always have a change of clothes and plenty of diapers! (MM – for those “explosions!” Right!  I’ll never forget that!)  To new fathers, I would tell them what I do is remember my responsibility is my wife.  Making sure Kelly is okay is my job.  We are a tag team.  I am ready to step in.  Take the time off and stay home from work for those first few weeks.

MM:  Is there anything you need now, other than sleep?

JB:  We could use some help with meals, we are both exhausted and too tired to cook!

My (unofficial) advice to Jeff. . . if you think you are too tired to cook now – wait until you have three teenagers!!!  Seriously, have you heard of ordering in?  It’s great!

Officially, it was an honor to talk to Jeff.  He was in love with fatherhood.  He was in love with baby Lynnox and most importantly, even more in love with his wife.  He is a wonderful father (and diaper changer!)

I was glad to hear that The Boppy is still a favorite for new parents.  It is a great product.  Way better than using a pillow.  That’s what we did back in the day, you know.  When my nephew was born, he was the first grandchild and there hadn’t been a baby in the family for about 15 years.  We all passed that child around on a pillow like he was going to break if we touched him!  It was symbolic because he was precious and we cherished those moments.  It was useful because a baby needs to be propped up and cushioned.  They are hard to hold on to at all times.  The Boppy helps and is comfortable for the adult as well as the baby.

I used my Boppy for feeding and holding my babies when they were very little.  They come in cute designs.  Mine was black and white.  That was big back then.  Now they have them in pretty patterns or you can get a plain one and they have slip covers you can buy separately.  I went to The Boppy website and found they have lots of products besides just the pillow and you can order online.  http://Boppy.com  The prices range from $19.99 for a slip cover to $44.99 for a travel pillow.  They also have those cute play gyms and mats that are a great and useful gift for $24.99 – $74.99.

There are many new products and some variations of the standard product and all are useful and make terrific gifts.  My favorite is and always will be The Original Boppy.  Every family should have one!  In fact, I wish I had one now.  I would still use it!  It could be helpful for my aching back!  Seriously, I was very impressed that The Boppy company thinks everyone should have a Boppy, too.  And they are doing something to make that happen.  They have a goal of donating $20,000 worth of Boppy® Pillows to moms in need with Nurse-Family Partnership.

In case you haven’t guessed . . . if you invite me to your baby shower, you’re getting a Boppy!

This article was written as a Guest Post on Stuff Parents Need

http://stuffparentsneed.com/2012/05/whats-in-your-diaper-bag-guest-post-from-mizmeliz-com/

by Melissa Reyes

May 7, 2012

Costume Design

Posted on May 7th, 2012 by & filed under Everything Miz Meliz

The play is based on a game called Grim Fandango (a guy who was a bit of a wise guy when he was alive is caught in a limbo-type place trying to work his way into heaven, but in order to do so, he has to help save other souls…not as heavy as it sounds). It’s in an old Hollywood type of setting. The costume pattern is for a 50s roller waitress (short circle skirt with tulle petticoat and a little hat), but we will be styling them to look like art deco bell-hops. The costumes are for the dancers.

These are the guidelines I was given to make skirts for the middle school play:

I found a pattern we would like to use for our skirts. It is on a blog site that I have included below. We will be needing 8 skirts total. (Turned out to be 14 skirts which took me four nights to make.) The material, ribbon (for trim) and the elastic should be coming in the next few days. I don’t think I have enough time to see you today, but I will definitely stop by on Monday to talk and show you what we want. It’s basically a black circle skirt with a simple 2 inch, exposed elastic waist band. There will be a trimming of ¼ inch silver ribbon about 1” above the edge of the skirt. If you have a surger, you could just surge the edge or perhaps just zigzag it if you’re using a regular machine. That way, we can avoid making hems. Whatever it takes to make it easier and faster for you.

So, here’s the link. Looks easy and fast.

http://www.danamadeit.com/2008/07/tutorial-the-circle-skirt.html

It was! Once I got the hang of making the pattern it was a piece of cake. I actually used math! It was fun figuring out the circumference for the waist from the measurements of the girls.

The skirts came out really cute! I loved making them! I don’t have a surger and I did turn the edges to make a hem. I also used the trim at the very bottom and sewed it on at the same time when I sewed the hem.

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