Friday, April 4, 2014


Do you know what exhaustion really feels like? I thought I know that "newborn" stage where you loose track of which day it is, when you showered last, if you ate or when you slept last? 

Ya...I remember those days. I feel like I'm back there...hence the lack of blog posts for the last month.

^^ That's an old photo because I thought I looked cute, a days...I'm looking like a hot mess. If you follow me on Instagram you can get in on the hot mess action...@newlife88

I've been BUSY. I know everyone uses the word busy like it's going out of style, but since starting school...which by the way was a mid-quarter start up---what's normally 11 weeks is jammed into 5 weeks ,I've been going crazy. Next week is my last week of the quarter then I'll have a week off before going back...but I've switched to days...this night school stuff is nuts. After working all day, trying to spend some time with my girly, rushing to class until 10pm...I just can't do it.

I'm exhausted.

On top of that craziness...I quit my job and started training this week for a new one! I'm going back to hair...

It's all very exciting. So many changes. So many good things coming my way.

I'm exhausted but I'm excited!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

the beginning of my new life...

Ironically my blog is named "Me and My "new" Life" I've tattooed "new life" on my arm...I'm constantly trying to live this new life I've struggled with for the past three years. 

I say struggle loosely. 

When I look back on everything that has happened over the last three years, my struggles are nothing compared to others.  I've had support, I've had a job, I've had money, I've had my child, we've had our health and we have love. Lots to be thankful for...and I am. But the last three years---a baby, divorce, debt, moving, a car accident, moving to a new city, struggling to find a job, moving back...all while being a mother...that's a lot for one person to take on. Those are my struggles. Among those struggles I've struggled with fear. Fear of taking a chance, fear of chasing a dream, fear of trying something new...

Fear of failing.

This is where the beginning of my new life starts---

I've enrolled in SCHOOL! COLLEGE! Yes, I can proudly say I'm a college student at Heald, studying to be a Medical Assistant with plans at not stopping there...but that chapter of this story will come another day. One dream at a time...


I replay the last three years over in my head a lot. What could I have done differently, am I doing everything right now? I can sit and wonder and stress myself out with the past or I can put the past behind me and live in the now.  I don't want to say I've wasted the last three years because I've been doing the most important job ever imaginable...I've been a mother. But in the bigger picture, I've wasted a ton of time all because of that one powerful word: 


I'm terrified of failing...failing more than I already have---although you may not look at me or my life as a person that's failing, to each their own, I know I'm capable of much more than I have been doing over the last three years. I've been in a standstill. I haven't wanted to jump in fear of getting no where, the fear of trying and failing, simple as that.

But I've finally realized---

The easiest way to fail is to never begin.

A few weeks ago I was at a girlfriend's house, the kids were playing and we were catching up on life, chatting about what's new. It was just like any other time...until she looked at me and said, "I think you should go to school, I'll help you if you need it." That simple normal, conversation, changed things for me quickly. I've had many people tell me I should do this or that, but somehow this was different. She knows my story, she knows my situation, she knows it won't be easy and she knows I'm scared of taking steps to improve on things...or even starting college after being out of school for 12 years. But the fact that she took the time and offered help if I ever needed it...somehow that made my decision for me. I have a support system weather it's family or friends. I know people want me to succeed just as much as I do. I'm not sure if she even knows how much that conversation in her kitchen meant to me or how much I appreciate her offer...but she helped change my outlook on my future. 

A few days later I was enrolled in college. 

The beginning of my new life started on Monday March 3, 2014. 

I decided to let go of fear. I'm realizing I'm not the only one to ever return to college after being out of school for a million years. It's ok to ask for help with my daughter and not feel guilty for wanting to better life for myself and her. It's amazing to chase a dream no matter how hard it will be or what challenges I may face. 

I've wanted to go back to school for a very long time, I just believed it was impossible. 

How can a single mother that works full time go to college? 

The exact same way I am, you just do it and everything else will fall into place.

I'm here to tell you:

If I can do it, you can too.

Yes, I'm scared out of my mind. Yes, I'm only three days in and I've already questioned if I made the right choice.  I've already felt the guilt of needing more help with my daughter. I've already wondered how am I possibly going to work, go to school and raise a child? How am I going to find the balance...

I don't have the answers, but I know I'm not alone. I know I'm not the only almost 30 year old single mom that works full time that was taken on college...and I won't be the last.

Neither will you.

 I decided to go back to school for myself. For my daughter.

That's all.

Although I've had a million thoughts of  wanting to prove people wrong who have ever doubted me, but they're not important. What's important is my future with my daughter. My future career. My new life.

If I've learned anything over the last three years it is:

Life keeps going.

You're the only one who can make a change.

I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone, get out of your fearful bubble. Chase that dream big or small...

If I can do it, you can too...



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

craft-modge podge...

 A few weeks ago I had my first experience with modge podge...

My life is forever changed.

My sister had saved some wine bottles and we removed all the labels. Next up was tissue paper heaven. It was almost Valentine's Day so I stuck with reds and pinks...of course.

I highly recommend you make yourself a crown out of tinsel and pipe cleaners for your modge podging experience...

Actually, I just recommend a crown in your everyday life...whatever the occasion. It makes for a very happy heart.

Back to the topic...

It's so simple! Just paint on the modge podge, stick your tissue paper or whatever goodies you choose and paint again!

And waaaaala....

The top wine bottle is mine and I'm currently using it to hold bracelets! Great idea right? The bottom jar is my sisters...

Super cute! Super fun.

I dream of modge podging everything in my life..

Expect more crafting to's such a stress relief!

Friday, February 28, 2014

blog forward challenge 1...

Hey all!

I'm taking part in a fun challenge called Blog Forward by ZonePerfect! I'm super excited and honored to be part of such a fun program. 

I've been thinking of "New Years Resolutions" for awhile now...obviously I'm a tad bit late considering we're almost into March now. But I didn't want to take this lightly. I wanted to challenge myself this year, make 2014 the best, most rewarding year yet. I've struggled a lot over the last three years with trying to make changes for the better and sticking to them. I didn't want to pick resolutions that I knew I wouldn't keep up with, I wanted to pick things that will improve my life for not only 2014 but the rest of it...

My first resolution is to be completely debt free...this alone is a HUGE challenge for almost everyone. I've had a huge amount of credit card debt that's been EATING me alive. Like that anxious feeling, that feeling of "this is never going to end..." When I say completely out of debt...for me I mean credit cards alone. I'm ok with a car payment and possible student loans. I just want to have more finical freedom and begin the process of saving again. Of simply breathing again.

Speaking of student second resolution is to start school. GASP...what! I haven't been in school basically since high school. Which is about 12 years ago. Whoa. Just the thought of going back to school can stop me in my tracks and scare me to the point to changing my mind constantly. I wasn't all that great in school WAY back then, who says it'll be any different at nearly 30? But I'm a single mother with no future career...I NEED to take this challenge, not only for myself but for my daughter. I want her to see that anything is possible, it's ok to be scared, it's ok to try, and it's never too late to make something for yourself and your future no matter how hard it might be. 

In order to accomplish the first two resolutions I need to stay healthy and fit. I LOVE working out. Mainly running as you've seen in past blog posts. I belong to the gym and chicky and I love loading up the stroller for a run outside. My third resolution is to make working out and healthy eating a priority, not just something whenever I have time for it.  With ZonePerfect products they definitely help with providing quick and easy on the go snacks...not just for me either they make kid friendly snack bars too! I'd like for 2014 to be my fittest and healthiest year ever! I need to have a clear head if I want to accomplish my first two goals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is key.

Dear 2014 Dani...

This is YOUR YEAR! You've overcome many struggles over the last three years only to end up in the exact same spot. Wondering when you'll catch that break you deserve. BUT, the reality of it're the only one that can make the changes you need to better your life. You're the only one who can take the first steps. You can run from your dreams and your goals but you'll just live with regret and with wonder. You'll question yourself, you'll waste time. If you don't start now you'll be in the same place this time next year. MAKE THE CHANGE. The only failure is not trying. Do this for yourself but for Makena. Show her your strength and that anything is possible. YES it will be hard, yes you'll need extra help, yes you'll have to work harder...but think of the end result...a happier you overcoming obstacles and challenges you never thought possible!

You got this girl! Stay focused!


**I have entered this program and received complimentary product and ZonePerfect promotional items, I am free to comment about ZonePerfect in a positive, neutral or negative fashion.

Monday, February 24, 2014

monterey part two...and a little rant...

Happy Monday! I've been having major bloggers block lately. I've been focusing on what direction I'm going with my life, with my career, even thoughts on going back to school... besides all that though I've been seeing all sorts of posts on blogs and Facebook about working moms vs. stay at home moms, husbands writing about just how hard being a mother on and so forth...

My question is...what's it like to be a mother who's married or with a partner vs. being a single mother? 

I couldn't say what it's like to be a stay at home mother nor can I say what it's like to raise a child with a partner. I can read about other peoples views, I can wonder...but I'll never know....well, never say never.

I look back at the past three years of parenting and sometimes wonder what it would have been like to share the firsts with someone...first smiles, first foods, first words, crawling, walking...I wonder what it would have been like to share all the milestones. To texts photos to someone of a silly face or a sleepy babe. I wonder if I would have had the opportunity to be a stay at home mom?

What about sharing the parenting duties? The household duties? The you do this and I'll do that. The end of the day conversations. The good and the bad. The working out schedules, family adventures. The "I'll cook dinner, you clean up, I'll do bath." Family photos...not just selfies. Being able to run to the store after 7:30 without having to get a baby sitter? Crazy talk.

I've been a single parent basically since day one and I'm 3.5 years in. It's all I know and when I truly think about the pros and cons...I don't think I'd really change it. YES it's hard, YES the pressure lands on YOU and only YOU.  Decision making, errands, house keeping, bills, budgeting...etc. etc. It's all you. There is no break, there are no timeouts or sneaking away for a minute to catch your breath. Your night ends at 7:30 when she's asleep, there are no late night Target runs. The decisions you make for yourself are not just yours...they'll affect her as well. You're alone in your thoughts, there's no one to hash out the "what ifs and what about this." Every step you think about taking you constantly weigh the good and the bad. A new job, starting school...what will the schedule be like? Can I make this work? Who can help me if I need it? What if I FAIL?

It's so easy to be at a afraid to take a chance. I live with constant guilt (as I'm sure many mothers and parents do). I have the fear of failing, of cheating her or myself out of something we both deserve. My heart breaks every other weekend when I have to let her go to her dads, a situation that I never would have imagined would be my life...our life. It's something I'll never accept or get used to. I feel guilty over not being the one to pick up or drop off at school, of having to ask for help, of being stressed, of working late, of wondering if the way I'm raising her is right? The pressure and thoughts can easily take over...but, this is my life...I'm alone in the daily life with my girl and I'm honestly ok with it...every things ok.

So yes...I wonder and yes, I sometimes wish I had a partner to be on this journey with. I sometimes wish I could run to the store alone...not selfishly but realistically. I wish I didn't battle with "my life" vs. "my momma life" finding a compromise between the two, blending the two.

I can wonder all I want. I can compare single mom life vs. life with a partner. I can wonder and I can assume things would be so much easier...but would I change it? No. I like my life just as it is. I like not having to depend on someone, answer to someone...I like my little family I'm creating. Of course I wish for Makena that she had the family life like others...but she's loved with me and when she's gone. Honestly that's the only thing I'd change---not having to give up time with her.

Life as a single mom isn't ideal for a lot of people...but it works for me. Possibly because it's all I've known. One day I might not be alone, for now's life and I'm ok with it...we're ok with it.

Life for me is an unfinished puzzle...its a constant work in progress. It would be easier with someone I'm sure, but I'm creating a life for her and I that we can be proud of, that I can be proud of knowing I've done it all on my own.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

monterey---part one...

A few weeks ago after dealing with well, life in general, I decided I needed an escape. Just some breathing room, an escape from routine. Unfortunately a vacation isn't exactly in the cards for me or my wallet but I remembered I had those handy credit card points collecting...ding ding ding...a hotel was in my cards. Monterey was the destination. It's only about 2.5 hours away and by far one of my favorite little towns. 

We packed it up and headed for another road trip. 

 ^^She crashed quickly^^

We arrived to the prettiest hotel with the most amazing view. Someone was beyond excited to be staying in a hotel...her, not me. Well I was too. But it was a first for Makena which made it even more exciting for this momma's heart. 

^^View to the left of our patio^^

^^Cannery Row was the view to the right^^

We wondered the beach and searched for Ariel...of course we didn't find her because she's not supposed to come up to the surface...but the ocean through a three year old's eyes. A new experience. A memory made.

It's what I live for.

If I could travel around and be in a little bubble with just my girl and I...I would. Hands down I could live life just exploring with her in momma mode.

 ^^How can you not visit the candy store while on vacation^^

We'll be back for more of our adventure tomorrow!

Friday, February 7, 2014

bikes and beaches...

Back when we took our road trip we took a detour on our way home for a pit stop at the beach...

You can't go to SoCal without seeing the ocean...right? So Venice beach it was. 

I decided what better way to see the beach and the strip than by bike? Bikes it was...

First, let me tell you...I hadn't ridden a bike in YEARS. Second, I for sure haven't rode a bike with a child on the back...and yes I clearly pictured me being that mom falling off a bike with my baby attached...not cool, at all---and I've really seen that happen, the LAST time I rode a bike.

But we held it together and had a BLAST.

We biked thru Venice Beach and stopped along the way, listened to the sounds, took in the sights, breathed in the fresh beach air. Ahhhh...take me to the beach any day and I'd be a happy gal. I need more beach in my life...we need more beach in our life.

Beach. Bikes. Sun. Fresh air. Palm Trees. Sand...Yes please, give us more.

Our whole adventure was unplanned and spontaneous just the way I want life to be in the future...

Simple, relaxed, happy, fun...carefree.

Obviously that's not reality, I have responsibilities. But I think we can get a little more beach and a little more adventure mixed in with all the serious life stuff.

Happy Friday to ya!

We're off for an adventure with Auntie Jess to find snow this weekend!