Introducing Art by Eliana M.K. on the Esty Shop!

I might not do some of the things other moms do with their kids to spend quality time with my kid, but I'm learning to embrace and celebrate the things that we do together that make our relationship unique. Mama's ADHD and kiddo's high functioning autism means we do things our own way. 

We read together, either to each other or in bed together with pillows all around us while we read our own books silently. We write together and she travels with me when I attend events for public speaking. And art. We do so much art. Sometimes, I have to remind myself not to be stingy with the "good" materials, like when Pentel sent me a giant box of amazing supplies, because I think she values what she creates more when she knows I value the fact she is creating enough to let her use the materials I use in creating my own art. 

And now, we Etsy together. 

I just created an Art by Eliana M.K. section on my shop. The idea is to list notecards, postcards, and prints of a few special pieces and more to come as we clear up moving boxes in the apartment to get creating even more! Right now, she is saving up to pay us back for her new Nintendo 3Ds, mainly because she's 9 and an only child and that means we have to start focusing on teaching the value of a dollar and all that happy stuff. For every sale, I've told Eliana she will receive 50 percent of the profit. Since she currently owes us for the 3Ds and her new Pokemon game, her profits are mine until The Husband and I are paid back, and then she can use her Etsy money to save for her next big want (Wireless Cat Headphones from Brookstone!). Money doesn't grow on trees and I'm sure Santa's time is limited in our home, so I think this is a good way to go. 

Besides, the look on her face when I showed her the first listing last night? Worth. Every. Minute. Creating. Her. Art. Section.

She's a real artist now. 

She always has been.

Click here to check out Eliana's current listings featuring her Beautiful Skies art prints on my etsy shop. We have notecards and postcards! Thanks for reading! 

 

Cyber Monday on the Etsy Shop

I had major plans for Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales on the Etsy shop, but life got in the way, so it's on to Plan B: and that's 25 percent off all prints, notecards, and original art listed (Sorry, commissions are not discounted.) Bonus? I'm running this sale through December 31! 

No, I'm not crazy. I am, however, planning a big move with my family and need to lighten the load. That means one goal is to sell completed art before it's time to load the moving truck! 

Before I share the coupon code with you, I want to show you something I just worked on for my writer friends, Alica. She wanted a few original art pieces with inspirational writer quotes on them to use for postcards she plans to give away at events. After a little bit of back and forth to get the ideas flowing, Alica settled on two quotes (one by me and one she came up with herself). I came up with a few original backgrounds for Alica to choose from, and once she chose her faves, It was time to combine art with inspirational words. That part I did digitally.

What do you think?

This one is mine. The cool part is that with a new background, I can offer a print on my shop and Alica's image is still unique to her! 

This one is mine. The cool part is that with a new background, I can offer a print on my shop and Alica's image is still unique to her! 

Alica came up with the inspirational quote and asked me to create a background to show it off. I am so proud of the final product.  

Alica came up with the inspirational quote and asked me to create a background to show it off. I am so proud of the final product. 

Now that Alica has her digital files (and is already ordering her first set of postcards!) I am working on the next projects. My friend, Heiddi, commissioned a monogram, which I am very excited about. And then there's the two journals I'm hustling to self-publish on Amazon in time for Christmas gift giving. I'll tell you about those soon. For now, though, stop by the Etsy shop for 25 percent off all non-commissioned art with coupon code HAPPYHOLIDAYS. That means that if you haven't had a chance to order Christmas cards yet, you can score Joyful Snowman cards at a sweet discount and get them in time to send out to your friends and family!! 

Happy Cyber Monday! 

 

Full Stop: Tales of an ADHD Adult in Maine

This is one of those times where I am wondering if I should be saying what I am about to say because people may talk and and all that jazz, but I'm writing it anyway because stigma is bullshit and not talking about it only adds to the shame so many of us deal with when it comes to mental health issues. It's one thing to tell someone we love to be proud of themselves for talking about the hard stuff, publicly or not, and quite another to believe of and for ourselves. 

I stopped writing here and talking about mental health and body image issues and even the funny stuff a while back. I know why, and the short story is that I need to verify that the jar of fucks I've got is empty again. For a while, it wasn't. And that sucked. 

Let me give you the cliff notes version: I am a life-long recovering bulimic, will always have body image issues, and have severe ADHD with anxiety and depression wrapped up in that pretty little package. This is reality. It's as real a part of my identity as are my kinky curls and my fear of spiders. Please don't tell me that labels are bad because to me labels are roadmaps helping me navigate the unfamiliar terrain that comes with each new day. I like my labels. Labels are answers to questions I didn't know I had for far too long. 

ADHD. Anxiety. Depression. Bulimia. Recovery. Me. That's the nutshell. My anxiety and depression are controlled, for the most part, when my ADHD is controlled. All hell breaks loose when that first domino falls. That's me knowing myself. Plain and simple. 

Moving on...

Here's the deal. I'm here. But I'm not. I'm unmedicated and have been for a very long time. My therapist asked why I'm not on medication when she says I should be, and then confirmed its very hard to get treated as an ADHD adult in the state of Maine. This makes me sort of sad I sucked at chemistry in high school while highlighting a very probable cause for why Maine is in the running for Meth House Capital of America, necessity being the mother of invention, and all that. 

I'm A big advocate of natural remedies, but sometimes it's not enough. You can't tell a depressed person to try harder at not being sad any more than you can tell a person with cancer to walk it off and stop being such a fucking pansy. And I can't make my brain work the same way a non-ADHD brain works just because I want it to. (And trust me...I really, really want it to.) Thankfully, my therapist pays attention and has recommended a psych evaluation with the hopes that said evaluating doctor recognizes what she has. Doctors are gun-shy about prescribing any controlled medications with tight state regulations, which makes me jealous of my ADHD friends living Not in Maine, but there is still hope with this route. This means that I can only dream about being able to stop a panic attack in its tracks until I get a new prescription for anxiety medication, and that sucks. 

The thing about ADHD is it's not just a punchline. It's not just forgetting things. It's not just being flighty and late for everything. The doctor who diagnosed me, who also has ADHD, told me that the condition is very similar to bipolar in that we have ups and downs, but on a much lesser extreme.  My up is creativity and short bursts of focus and the ability to not only put the laundry in the washer, but to take it out, load the dryer, fold, and put it away. My down is depression and sensory overload and Full Stop. I can't focus so the little things pile up and the pile doesn't stay little for very long and then it's big and bigger and biggest and because I can't focus on any one thing, I don't do any of it. And that sucks.

I'm not blogging. I'm barely writing. I can't stay focused. I don't have many friends up here. It takes everything to do the smallest thing and I'm weeks and months behind myself on everything. I'm adding supplements and working out and avoiding alcohol and sugar and everything I can find I'm supposed to do outside of medication and it's helping... but it's not enough. It hasn't been for a year now. 

If I owe you something, I'm trying to get it done. If I promised you something, I intend to follow through. I'm just everywhere right now instead of able to focus on the things I'm supposed to get done. I'm really trying. I may be behind. But I haven't forgotten. 

So. That's what's up. 

(Also yes, I'm wearing a jacket. It's 31 degrees and snowing in May. Because Mother Nature can't get her fucking mood stabilizers up here, probably.)

(Also also my hair is fabulous. But thanks for saying so, anyway.)

(Also squared, I just looked. My jar of fucks is, indeed, empty. This is good. Fucks (read: the noun form) always fuck (read: slang verb form) a good essay.))

That hair, though...

That hair, though...

Pass the Boxed Wine, Please: Moments in Parenting

I deserve a cookie. Or wine. 

Okay, forget the cookie. My friend Issa told me that a glass of red wine is now proven to be as effective as an hour at the gym, so... fuck the cookie. I deserve to put on a pair of yoga pants, crack open a new box of wine, and sit my classy ass on the couch with my new favorite work out. That's what you do when you make it, straight-faced, through the following conversations with my offspring.

Conversation Numero Uno:

Me: (on the way to church): Dammit! I forgot to put on my rings. 

Her: Your marriage rings, mama?

Me: Yes. I left them sitting on my nightstand. I'm not turning around though. Oh well.

Her: Well, it's okay. If someone asks you today while we are out, just tell them you're not available. 

Me: I'm sorry...WHUT?

Her: You know, if someone asks you to marry them today, just kindly tell them that you are already engaged and married and you left your rings at home. But thank them for asking you because it's nice of them to ask.

 

Conversation Number Dos

We are sitting in church for Sunday mass. We happen to be sitting front and center because of course that is where we would be sitting on a day like today. Father's homily is about the visitation of Mary to her cousin, while they were both pregnant with Jesus and John the Baptist, respectively. 

(Note to self: Tell the Husband when we get home how I just know my dad would be laughing his ass off if I could call him right now to ask him if John started calling Jesus Chui when they were both babies.)

Father: Blah Blah Important Religious Message Blah Blah Blah and so a child was to be born of Mary, a peasant girl who had not had relations with a man; the miracle of a child born of a virgin.

Congregation: (Reverent silence)

My kid: WHAT'S A VIRGIN!?!!?!?

Me: (Choking)

Father: (Eyebrow twitches)

Congregation: (Reverent Silence is broken by muffled snickering)

Friend sitting one pew behind us: PEASANT. It means Mary was a peasant!

Me: (No words. It's not possible to speak when your face is contorted from the physical pain resulting in trying to not burst out in hysterical laughter.)

 

Rush Shipping for the Christmas Save with Collage.com

Fine Print: You're about to read a sponsored post, which means I was compensated in exchange for sharing about my experience. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. But I figure you already knew that. 

Okay so if you're the devoutly religious type, maybe you'll think I'm off my rocker and Jesus trumps rush shipping at this time of year on the Level of Importance scale, but let's just pretend that I'm on to something for a minute here.

I used to be the chick who bragged about finishing my Christmas shopping by Halloween and having every gift wrapped and placed under the Christmas tree while the Turkey was roasting on thanksgiving day. I know...I know...I kind of hate Past Pauline right now, too. What a bitch, right? 

Don't worry, Karma evened things out in the end. I'm older now. I've got a kid and too many things to do on my to do list and I'm sitting here finishing my Christmas shopping on December 14 because Life. That's where rush shipping is my new favorite phrase and collage.com is my new Happy Place. 

Living so far from family means that they miss out on a lot when it comes to seeing Eliana grow up. Photo gifts are always a win in this case, and that's exactly what my mom, in-laws, and a few close aunts and uncles are getting: a beautiful 16x20 wrapped canvas print featuring one of my award-winning photographs of my favorite little muse.

It's easy enough to create the perfect gift on Collage.com, and your not limited to canvas wraps. You've got options like photo books and fleece blankets to choose from, too! And just so you know, you've even got plenty of flexibility with the canvas wraps themselves. I may have opted to go with a single image here, but you can upload more than one image for a wonderful collage someone on your gift list is sure to love. 

Just keep in mind that Rush Shipping isn't going to make Christmas happen if you wait too much longer. As of right now, this is what you're looking at if you get your order in tonight...

I know I am not the only one on the internet running around in circles screaming that the sky is falling because I am so unorganized when it comes to holiday gift-giving this year. There's no shame in scrambling at the last minute. I would even venture to say that the grandparents wouldn't mind if something special made just for them showed up a day or two late if you'd like to stick to the regular shipping rates. Whichever route you take, I'm pretty sure you're on the right one with collage.com. 

Happy Last Minute Christmas Shopping! 

I received free products in exchange for my post. All opinions are - and always will be - my own. Thank you to Collage.com for sponsoring this post. 

Trick-or-Treat with Zazzle

Disclosure: The following is a sponsored post. Although I have partnered with Zazzle and am receiving compensation for my work, any and all opinions remain my own. 

Twenty-five dollar gift certificate to shop on Zazzle.

Remember the printed garbage bag “costumes” with the masks with the cut out eyes and the elastic to hold the mask on your face? I had one of those and was Cinderella when I was six. Another year, I had the brilliant idea of taking advantage of my naturally kinky curls and asked my mom to help me put a clown costume together. Too-big, unmatched shoes, a baby clown suit, a honking nose, and my mdxi-fro in all it’s circus rainbow sprayed awesomeness decided clowns are assholes after an entire evening of Girl Scouts trying to yank my “wig” off. No one believed me when I said it was my own hair until after they tried taking night scalp off with the fistful of hair they were holding on to. So, it’s entirely possible that maybe Halloween turns me into a crazy eight-year-old. 

Last year, I didn’t even try. I was the mom holding the various costume parts that had seemed like a brilliant idea AT THE TIME while my kid went house to house trick-or-treating herself into a sugary coma. As much as I’d like to not dress up at all, I am realizing Eliana is growing up on me, which means it’s Put Up or Shut Up time. I want to be able to look back and high-five the nearest person to me and say, “Look! Look At This Picture! I didn’t entirely suck at motherhood!”

When Zazzle approached me about highlighting their new DIY Halloween page, I said yes in the hopes of putting together an easy costume for myself that would show my kid I am trying. Hell, maybe I can get out of Pack Mule status this year and be The Fun Parent for once. I searched through This is My Costume tees and baseball caps, Zombie Killer tees, and waffle knit bearded beanies. I even contemplated a pair of cat’s eye fashion glasses that would make for a quick and easy costume with black felt ears on a headband and a DIY- cat tail. Since i was still “iffy”, I decided to keep looking and that’s when I saw it…a superhero cape complete with an eye-ask and wrist cuffs on both child and adult sizes! It checks all the boxes since ADHD is my superpower. I’m kinda hoping I can talk Eliana into being my sidekick while she’s still young enough to make me melt when she asks for a sleepover with me in the guest room. Or tells me I’m her best friend. That's when I feel like a superhero.

Now it's your turn. I'm keeping it simple this time around. To enter to win one $25 gift certificate, click here to do your own browsing. Find YOUR favorite Zazzle DYI and leave a comment here sharing what you like!One winner will be ramdonly selected from the comments and announced on Monday, 10/25. Happy Halloween! 

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Zazzle.  Although I and am receiving compensation for my work, any and all opinions remain my own.