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  • 52 Lists for Calm Is A Creative Journal That Will Help Soothe Your Anxiety

    *FYI: I was given a complimentary copy of the 52 Lists Calm for the purpose of this post. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

    52 lists for calm

    This week has been crrraazy for me so I’m really happy to be sharing with you Moorea Sea’s latest journal release, 52 Lists for Calm. This Moorea’s second release this year as her 52 Lists Planner dropped during the summer.

    If you’re not familiar with Moorea she’s a Seattle boutique owner and the author of the bestselling 52 Lists series. You may have seen her journals floating around here a time or two or three. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since her first journal, The 52 Lists Project. It was the first creative journal I’ve ever purchased, and I’ve been buying them ever since.

    52 Lists for Calm was created cause Moorea could see my life and knew I needed help calming the fuck down. Okay, maybe she can’t see me personally but she did see there are women like myself who are stressed and gave us a way to get peace of mind and serenity through the art of mindful list-making. Split into four sections (Be Present, Look Back, Move Forward, and Release) this journal features prompts, exercises, and strategies for soothing anxiety and placing you in a relaxed state.

    But don’t mistake it, this journal is NOT about diagnosing anxiety it’s about providing you a space to find your own meaning of calm. It’s to help you develop a positive internal voice, teach you how to live in the present, and release your thoughts each week you start a new list or activity.

    4 Things I Love About 52 Lists for Calm?

    First, transparency. Moorea doesn’t beat around the bush on how this journal came to be. She talks about her struggles with anxiety and shares a little about her past and what lead up to her being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. She also talks about how there is no one reason why someone develops an anxiety disorder.

    Moorea wants you to take the time ground yourself in the present so that you can get to know the world around you on a deeper level. This is what I, and you need. I don’t know about y’all but I’m always running and I can honestly say I am hardly connected to the things around me. This journal will force us to slow down to enjoy the people and things around us.

    52 lists for calm

    Second, it’s undated. Y’all know how much I love an undated planner. This means that you don’t have to work in order. If you want to start List 1 then jump to List 20 it’s fine the choice is truly yours. There are no rules here, with the exception of enjoying yourself.

    52 lists for calm

    Third, I love the design. The journal is very peaceful with its combination of images and simplistic illustrations. It’s made to put you in a relaxed mood. It makes you wanna settle in wherever you are so that you can thoroughly and truthfully answer the questions and complete the exercises.

    52 lists for calm

    Lastly, like all Moorea’s journals, you can decorate it in whatever way you want. Want to make a list? Cool. Make a collage of images and drawings? That’s fine too. This journal is yours and yours only for you to express yourself how you see fit. Here are some examples of different ways you can work in ANY of the 52 Lists journals.



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    A post shared by Moorea Seal (@mooreaseal) on



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    A post shared by Michelle Durheim (@creativemish) on



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    A post shared by J e a n i n e ( N E E N ) (@love.neen) on

    I’m really excited to add Moorea’s 56 Lists for Calm journal to my growing Lists collection. I recommend making it a first in the start of your collection or adding it to your ever-growing pile of journals. It’s on sale now on Amazon for $11.89 and you can get it the next day with Prime.

    52 Lists for Calm

    Are you a fan of Moorea’s 52 Lists series? Would 52 Lists for Calm be something you would buy for yourself or a friend?
  • Women+Patterns+Plants Is Your New Favorite Self-Care Coloring Book

    self-care coloring book women+patterns+plants mommyrandr

    I was in my local bookstore not too long ago just browsing, as I usually do. No title or author in mind. Just me in the store walking slowly letting my eyes scan around for covers to jump out at me. This is how I shop for books sometimes. Nothing special grabbed me from the stacks so I wandered over to the planner section, the last section I always visit before I exit the store – and I saw it.

    I could only see a small corner of it. It was the color of a beautiful sunset. I knew this was a newly added item cause I know that section like the back of my hand. Let me tell you when I pulled this book out from it’s hiding spot, my gawd. I was standing still but I stumbled. I was holding Women + Patterns + Plants a self-care coloring book by Sarina Mantle (@wildsuga).


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    A post shared by Artist Designer Sarina Mantle (@wildsuga) on

    This was the most gorgeous coloring book I’ve ever laid eyes on. I couldn’t believe this beautifully illustrated Black woman was staring back at me. I thought to myself, “this is too good to be true”. Books can be funny, you know. The cover can be one thing and the insides another. This was not one of those times. As I flipped through the pages I could tell this was a self-care coloring book made FOR US by us.

    About Women + Patterns + Plants self-care coloring book

    This book is simple, it’s a self-care coloring book made up of women, patterns, and plants. Sarina wants you to immerse yourself in divine feminine energy and wonderful natural imagery, as a way to rekindle your creativity as you work your way through empowering images. There are also question prompts and statements that allow for self-reflection as you color.

    self-care coloring book women+patterns+plants mommyrandr

    I’m telling y’all right now I didn’t color that. Only in my dreams would I be able to perfectly execute something like this. But I’ma try tho. I first gotta get me some high falutin color pencils cause these Crayola’s my kids got ain’t gonna cut it.

    self-care coloring book women+patterns+plants mommyrandr

    Believe me when I tell you I’ve never purchased anything so quickly. And you should too, cause quantities are limited. So get off social media (after you’ve read this post and bought the book) and take a few moments for yourself to color in some happy little plants.

    BUY $10.13
    Do you enjoy adult coloring? What do you think of Women + Pattterns + Plants? Is this a self-care coloring book you would consider buying for yourself or a friend?
  • 10 Tips For Taking Care of Yourself This Summer as a Stay at Home Mom

    Taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom is just as important for yourself, as it is for your family. When you have a kid, your life may seem like it revolves around your child, and on some level, it does, especially during the summer months. Your schedule might be a little more hectic as you’re taking kids from one outdoor activity to another, or you start to go a little bonkers from staying indoors to beat the heat. And as a result, you may forget to take care of yourself.

    Here are some tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home parent

    Be sure to give yourself 6-8 hours of sleep

    Real talk, your sleep is important. It’s recommended that you get between six and eight hours of sleep a night, but as a parent, you’ll be faced with times when you’ll get less. Much less. So what’s the key to getting a good night’s rest? The most important thing (and I swear by this) is you must have a solid bedtime routine.

    This routine is more than hopping into bed at the same time every night and pulling up the covers. I’m talking about the steps you take that will send a signal to your body that it’s bedtime. My routine lasts about an hour cause I like to take my time. By the time I”m finished and get into bed I’m asleep in less than ten minutes.

    Another way that I make sure I’m well-rested is naps. Let’s face there are times you can get all the sleep in the world and still be tired during the day. I make no bones about my afternoon nap. It makes me feel refreshed. An hour to an hour and a half of sleep is a good way to make me feel like a new woman. So do yourself a favor and take yourself a nap whenever you can. Your mind and body will thank you for it.

    Make sure to eat and stay hydrated

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Your health is just as important as your child’s health. Making sure to eat three meals a day to keep your energy up so you can keep up with your kid(s). It’s really easy to skip a meal when times get hectic, trust me I have and there wasn’t a time where it worked out for me. Missing a meal left me with headaches, not feeling like myself, and just plain ole angry.

    I also know during the summer you might not want to cook cause the heat outside and the heat in the kitchen isn’t fun. But Good Housekeeping has 60 quick summer dinner recipes that will have you in and out of the kitchen.

    And while you’re in the kitchen, make sure you’re drinking plenty of water. It’s summertime and you’re gonna be outside a lot more which means you need to prevent dehydration. How do you know you’re dehydrated? You’ll start to feel any number of things from thirst, headache, dizziness, and tiredness. You’ll also notice that your skin will feel super dry and your urine will be darker. To avoid this you should make sure you’re drinking at least eight or more 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

    Do an activity that would be considered good exercise

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Exercise can help keep you in shape. If you’re stuck at home, you can do simple things like floor exercises or walk around the neighborhood. This can be especially helpful if you cannot afford a gym membership right now.

    But just because you’re exercising at home that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are tons of fitness videos you can follow right in your livingroom like yoga, pilates or even kickboxing. You can even involve your children too which might even lead to a nap afterward – although I can’t make any promises.

    As an additional tip, with it being summertime be on the lookout for any local free outdoor classes you can attend. But if you can afford a gym membership check out Classpass. This is my personal favorite as it allows me to attend different fitness classes all over the city. It’s my go-to for everything from candlelight yoga, barre class or a relaxing steam. Oh, and please before you start any workout regiment make sure you have the proper running shoe and don’t forget an SPF moisturizer of 30 or greater while outdoors.

    Take a family staycation

    Everything isn’t about venturing off to faraway lands. You and your family can have blast together at a nearby hotel. Make lasting memories with a little weekend poolside fun and rediscovering your neighborhood. It’s a great way for everyone to have a little escape without the big-ticket travel price.

    Keep your skin clean

    During the summer months, it’s imperative that you keep your skin clean. Sweat and dirt will clog your pores and can cause skin irritations or in worse cases infection. So you have to make sure your skin is cleansed and moisturized daily, or even twice a day.

    Now the thing to remember with your shower is that you don’t want the water too hot. I love hot showers year-round they soothe my body and make me feel rejuvenated. However, while hot water opens your pores to help you clean your skin but if it’s too hot water it will dry out your skin and can aggravate existing skin issues.

    Make it a good mix of hot and cool water. Taking a cool shower also has its benefits like increasing blood circulation and can even promote weight loss as you burn calories as you try to keep warm in the shower.

    Plan and delegate tasks to not overwork yourself

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Feel frazzled and don’t know what day it is or can’t remember why you have a 9:30a appointment? Then it’s time to get yourself a planner. Mom brain is a serious thing. One minute you can remember your entire shopping list and the next minute you can’t remember where you left your coffee. This is why I suggest getting a planner. You don’t have to go crazy like some planner lovers unless you want to. It’s a fun hobby – but that’s another conversation. But you can get yourself a simple weekly planner to help you keep track of your appointments and other notes.

    Now that your day and week is planned out you can start to delegate other things around your home. It’s okay to want to be the super parent, but sometimes, a little help can reduce your stress, and also allow time for family fun. If you’re married or have a partner, get them involved if they aren’t already. Get them involved by bathing the kids or taking them to the park. If you have a child that is old enough assign them some chores.

    Remember, the key to running a household and raising children is to never overwork yourself.

    Log off the internet

    Social media can be addicting. It’s important for you to take breaks from time to time. Log off for a couple of hours, a day, a week, a month. It’ truly up to you. But the point is to reconnect with yourself, your family, those in your inner circle outside of Facebook. Also, while social media can be a fun place for laughs and memes it can also be very toxic, and that can lead you to feel sadness, frustration or even anger. It’s not healthy to have any of that in your life.

    Now, what happens if you have a hard time logging off social media? Well, there are plenty of apps that will monitor your social media usage and set timeframes when you can and can’t use it. The apps work as long as you don’t go tinkering with the settings or uninstalling altogether. You have to want to take a step back.

    Take up a hobby

    Now that you’re spending less time on social media you now have time to take up a new hobby or revisit a hobby you used to indulge in. I would recommend taking up a hobby that you’ve never done before as a way of trying new experiences. You can either take a local class as a way to meet people in your area with the same interests as you or you can watch how-to’s on Youtube in the privacy of your own home.

    Take some you time once a week without the kids

    Taking Care of Yourself This Summer valerie pierre mommyrandr

    You can’t always be cooped up in your house, and you can’t always have your children attached at the hip. Having your partner spend time alone with the kids or getting a babysitter will allow you to have a little bit of time to yourself. Even if it’s just an hour to yourself. As much as you may not think you need the alone time, trust me you do. The benefits of spending time alone will prevent burnout, stress, headaches, and losing patience just to name a few. You need time that is spent on you doing what you enjoying doing.

    Spend time with your partner

    For those in relationships spending time with your partner is crucial. Yes, I’m all about getting you time in but you also need to consider your partner and make some us time. I know you’ve had a long day of being with the kids and they’ve had a long day at the office. Both of you are tired. But as a couple, making time for one another is important. By fitting in a date night (it doesn’t have to be romantic, although it can be) you’re telling each other that you want to be together and are doing all you can to prevent the relationship from becoming strained over time.

    Do you have any tips for taking care of yourself this summer as a stay at home mom?
  • I Went on a Solo Date to See Swan Lake Now I’m Hooked on the Ballet

    If you live in Bed-Stuy and wondering who’s been playing Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake at max almost volume daily for the last serval months, it’s me. I cannot tell you when I became such a huge fan of classical or what prompted me to even give it a listen, but what I DO know is classical is awesome and I can’t make it through the day without it. It centers me and keeps me sane.

    So how’d I go from blasting Swan Lake at home to having a near front row seat to the ballet? I’ll tell you. It all started with a Facebook post. Some people talk about how folks share too much on social media. But let me tell you if it wasn’t for a friend sharing that she and her husband were going and the particular performance they were attending was starring Misty Copeland I would have never known.

    As much as I enjoy listening to Swan Lake, Op. 20 on repeat daily it never dawned on me to get tickets to actually see it. So you see social media has its useful moments.

    What is Swan Lake about?

    I’ma give you the short version with no spoilers. It’s about Prince Siegfried coming of age and finding a bride so he can become ruler of the kingdom. There’s a ball (isn’t there always a ball?) and the most beautiful women from near and far attend to grab his attention and his heart. None do. During the party, his mother, the queen gifts him a crossbow. As he sees his carefree single days coming to a close he hauls ass out of the party and into the forest.

    While in the woods, he sees a swan but before he can shoot it with his crossbow it turns into a beautiful woman. He approaches and learns her name is Odette and that she’s under an evil spell cast by von Rothbart. The only way to break the spell is to declare his love and fidelity to her. From there, things happen and shit gets wild as we see the lengths two people will go to break the spell and be together.

    Getting my ticket

    After reading about my friend’s excitement I knew I had to try and get a ticket for myself. This is, after all, Misty Copeland. The first Black woman in 2015 to be appointed Principal Dancer at the prestigious American Ballet Theatre. I had always been a fan of hers and as a Black woman, newly in love with classical, I understood the importance of seeing her in this particular production.

    Now in my mind, I thought the ballet was something that rich people did because they were the only ones who could afford it. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was shocked to see so many affordable seats. I grabbed a seat to the far right of the stage with a slightly obstructed view in row N for $75. This was the closest I was going to get without blowing my budget, cause like most things where you sit determines what price you pay.

    Once I had my ticket I was hyped. I finally put my planner to use and marked the date which was exactly three months away on June 26. This was a night that I would take myself out on a solo date to see my very first ballet.

    Why did I go to the ballet alone?

    I’m always down to go somewhere alone with Jeff. It’s our time to reconnect with one another and do things that we want to do as opposed to the kids dragging us all over. But, there are times where I want to be alone to reconnect with myself. Yes, I’m home alone all the time with the kids in school, but I’m not really going anywhere besides Target and the market. I spend most of my days in the house and while I’m quite happy about that there are days where I want to dress up just a little and indulge in something that’s going to bring me joy. Not that Target doesn’t bring me joy, but let’s face it there’s no comparison between Target and The Met Opera.

    The Opera House

    swan lake misty copeland valerie pierre mommyrandr

    Since this was my first time at the ballet I was worried about what to wear. Thankfully, I didn’t have to worry too long as I learned the American Ballet Theatre has no dress code. The only exception to that rule is for galas and special events, obviously. Allowing people to come as they are leads me to believe they want you thinking less about you’re gonna wear and more about the performance you’re going to experience. I couldn’t agree more.

    When I arrived at The Metropolitan Opera the lines were outside the door and almost at the iconic water fountain. It seemed like all of NYC turned out for this performance and I was ecstatic to be a part of it.

    I’ve never been to an opera house and it was unlike anything I’ve ever seen. From the rich red carpeted floors and thick cushioned seats to the stunning snowflake like chandeliers and brass accents. I was not prepared for this kind of luxury. I had to restrain myself from looking like deer in the headlines, which I probably did anyway since I can’t control my facial expressions. But for real, this place is breathtaking. Those private donations be large, okay.

    swan lake misty copeland valerie pierre mommyrandr

    swan lake misty copeland valerie pierre mommyrandr
    The performance

    As the lights dimmed and the orchestra began to play, I felt the tears well up inside me. I had to tell myself to get it together but then Misty glided across the stage and I lost it. There I was weeping thug tears in the darkness and Act 1 wasn’t even 30 seconds in, and I would remain emotional throughout all four acts. It was magnificent. What parts? ALL. OF. IT.

    I looked at these performers captivated as they beautifully executed intricate routines on their toes with perfect posture. I wanted them to teach me their ways despite my arthritic knees and achy back. And when I wasn’t watching the performers I closed my eyes to take in the sounds of the orchestra. It’s one thing to listen to Swan Lake at home and quite another to be in the room with it truly hearing it. It was an otherworldly experience, one that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

    swan lake misty copeland valerie pierre mommyrandr
    Photo Credit: Misty Copeland in Swan Lake by Gene Schiavone
    Getting tickets to my next ballet

    Now that I’m hooked I gotta get my coins ready for the fall season. Tickets go on sale starting July 22. I’m not gonna play around cause I know they will sell out. I’m not trying to be so far on the right side of the stage again. I need to see EVERYTHING. Right now I have my eye on the 2019 Fall Gala even though I really wanted to see The Nutcracker but that’s in Cali. But honestly, it really doesn’t matter to me what I see I’m just trying to go again to bathe in the beauty of the ballet.

    Have you seen Swan Lake at The Met or at any other location? How did you like it? What other ballets do you recommend? Share with me in the comments.