‘I Look To You’

This morning while trying to get somethings done for my social media accounts, I decided to put on some background music. And I decided on this song, ‘I look to you,’ by the late Whitney Houston. I don’t normally work while listening to music, it’s really distracting and I get nothing done. My work area needs to be quiet and in order. But the calling was there, for me to go back to this song, and it lifted me.

I’ve been connecting with others with Chiari and although I’m grateful, it also tends to try to pull me down. On one hand I’m happy there others experiencing what I’m going through, but on the other, it’s incredibly sad to know there are others trying to get through their day with chronic pain.

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I get asked a few questions when someone realizes my diagnosis, and one that always sticks out is, ‘how do you do it?’ I understand because it’s almost dumbfounding to see this mother of six living with chronic pain. And there is no one answer, there is no perfect answer, actually there is no answer other than Him. He gets me out of bed when my body isn’t able to, He reminds me I am loved when I feel I’m a failure, He helps me take the steps when I’m in too much pain to walk, He holds my head when I feel it’s going to explode in pain, He helps me care for my children when I feel too ill, He reminds me to take my medication because He knows how much I dislike them, it’s Him, that’s how I do it – daily.

If you’ve never heard this song – or haven’t heard it in a while, I invite you to listen. It’s an amazing song, full of hope, because what you’re going through today you will get through by looking up to Him.

My favorite verse in the song, ‘After all my strength is gone, In you I can be strong.’ 

I Look to You
As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I’m lost without a cause
After giving it my all
Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I’ve been through
Who on earth can I turn to
I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
Yeah
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song
I look to you
After losing my breath
There’s no more fighting left
Sinking to rise no more
Searching for that open door
And every road that I’ve taken
Led to my regret
And I don’t know if I’m gonna make it
Nothing to do but lift my head
I look to you
I look to you
Yeah
And when all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
Oh yeah
And when melodies are gone
In you

A-

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When You Lack Motivation

I came across this picture and it gave me a great perspective on how big things have come from the modest of places – like a garage. How amazing is this picture?! What more motivation does one need?! I’ll be honest, I stared at it for quite some time.

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If there’s one thing you and I have in common is that there’s always something that is holding us back. We want to do something, great or small, but we create excuses that keep us from getting it done.

What do you want to do?

Where do you want to go?

How will you get there?

… What’s holding you back?

What’s holding me back? …. It’s either my illness, my family or some other excuse that I allow to convince me, that now is not the time.

I was once in a place where I felt stuck, frozen and hesitant about taking the next step.

I was ‘thinking’ about creating a YouTube channel, if you are too, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Or ‘thinking’ about creating a blog, if you are too, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Or ‘thinking’ about creating an online store, if you are too, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Or say an Instagram account, if that’s you, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Because the growth will probably be slow and the learning will take some time, but all that matters is that you’re doing what you’re passionate about – continue to grow, continue to learn, and let’s be honest eventually the money will come.

Lastly, if you’re living with chronic pain like I am, be patient. Our bodies are not what they were before our diagnosis, your body will guide you, get things done when you can – or pain levels allow, prioritize things, create a schedule for yourself – even if it’s one task a day. You’ll see that slowly but surely things will come together and things will get done.

Do you struggle with staying motivated? What keeps you moving?

A-

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Unapologetic and Living With Chronic Pain

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It’s been with me for so long that I forget who I was before my Chiari diagnosis. The pain-free, care-free days are behind me. I have enough pain meds too embarrassing to say. There are days I want to go on without them – and feel human.

As time has gone by I’ve realized how much time I’ve spent trying to make others understand the depth of my chronic pain. I can’t change the way people perceive my illness, my diagnosis, my feelings, my physical limitations, nothing! The ‘ole ‘but you don’t look sick’ gets old quick. I know myself, what my day to day looks like, and I, myself know exactly what I have to live with – and that is enough.

There’s are certain feelings of guilt that come with chronic pain. The guilt of not being the mom I want to be, the wife I want to be, the daughter, friend, etc. and not living to peoples expectations of who they want me to be.

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I am not physically able and available and that is nothing I should continue to be ashamed of. I can’t be present in others lives as much as I’d like – or at all. I am physically unable to do many things, and only desire to push myself to my limits for my children, my family – no one else. Others expectations should not affect me, the Instagram worthy pictures of family outings should no longer tug at my heart, yearning those days to return to my own life. This is my perfect life, I am perfectly chronically in pain and will continue to be until my days end. I’m not sorry for others not understanding what I live with. I’m only sorry I’ve spent so much time convincing them my words and behavior are due to the constant struggle of battling with chronic pain while being positive. I will not allow others to cut me with their words. There is no need for excuses, I’m struggling and I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my absence.

Because no one is worth allowing them to break me down.

Happy Saturday.

A-

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Nail File Friday’s: White and Neon Pink

I think there’s always a good time to wear white, maybe you think wedding, but I also think on your nails. It’s such a pretty and classic look to wear on your nails. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to incorporate neon pink in the everyday classic white nails.

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Also, my YouTube channel is now on Instagram – follow me there @simple_naildesigns and  visit my YouTube channel and subscribe for easy nail art tutorials.

Happy Friday!

A-

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Nail File Friday’s: Easy Flower Nail Art

I’m so excited to share this weeks nail art tutorial as it’s something I had yet to try. The flower trend is ongoing especially this time of year, although it seemed a bit intimidating I gave it a go! And it turns out it’s easy and you can try the flower in your own favorite color, or as I did here, in pink. The trick to doing a flower – layers, layers! And a thin brush wouldn’t hurt either.

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Quick Tip for Brushes: have a brush that’s too thick for nail art, simply dip in acetone to shape and trim the sides to make it thinner.

Also, you can now follow me on Instagram @simple_naildesigns Be sure to follow me for more weekly nail art tutorials!

Happy Friday!

A-

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Reblog Wednesday: I’m more than just a Mom — Momma Meets World

This reblog comes from Momma Meets World where she speaks on asking herself, who she is, who she is as a whole, as a person, as an individual. It struck a cord with me as Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching. As a stay at home mom often times I feel defined by just that, a stay at home mom. And nothing else. I’ve too often felt like there’s a certain shame behind being a ‘stay at home mom.’ As if there’s nothing interesting, nothing exciting, nothing substantial behind the title. I’m not even speaking solely on mom’s, perhaps you’re a single dad, or single mother, or someone going through anything that has a title attached to it that has a negative cognition.

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Why has society placed a negative stigma over parents wanting to raise their kids at home?

And why are some stay at home parents – as myself, seeking to put more on their plates then what they already have? 

Are we trying to prove something? And to whom?

Truth be told, stay at home moms are not at home eating Dum Dums (lollipops) all day – I know, shocker! In my quest to put my ‘stay at home mom’ title on the side somewhere, I realize I’ve done just that, fill  my plate – to the rim. And you can see more here, on the different things I have going on aside from caring for my kids at home. Yes, granted, because of my diagnosis I do these things from home, however they do  take up my time nonetheless. Also, I’ve realized that there’s no other title more important to me than that of a parent, of a mother and that of a stay at home mom.

If you’re on this quest to redefine yourself or rediscover yourself, know that your kids don’t see a title, but rather a loving parent.

In your own quest to find yourself, don’t lose who you are for the sake of proving society wrong, or anyone else wrong, do things for yourself, for your family and know that at the end, all will be well.

A-

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It’s taken me a very long time to realize that I’ve lost who I am. Who is Monica? A few weeks ago I woke up feeling numb. I’m not sure if I felt sadness, or darkness, or anything for that matter…I just felt blank.

via I’m more than just a Mom — Momma Meets World

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Nail File Friday’s: Instagram + New Tutorial

Are you on social media, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? The idea of branching out on social media has been daunting for me to say the least. I’m a self proclaimed introvert and I am most happy keeping to myself. However, if you’re a YouTuber like myself, have a blog, a small business owner, have an online store or work from home and would like to promote your brand, there’s is without a doubt the need to be on social media. The ease of being on social media for marketing has worked so well for many people and the best part of it all, it’s free.

After much thought, I decided to join Instagram for my YouTube channel. You can follow me @simple_naildesigns. I’m excited and eager to learn more on the program – do we call it a program? Do we not?

If you’re on other social media outlets to promote yourself – company, let me know which one and how it’s working out for you.

Are you content with the results or are you having doubts about it? Are you on Instagram, any tips you can give me as I’ve just embarked on this new outlet.

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Happy Friday!

A-

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