Monday’s Mama is Inspiring AF.

**This month I’m dedicating all of the Mondays to Mamas in Colorado. Hey, y’all, hey. Let me infiltrate, please and thank you.**

Please meet Shabana Waheed of Fierce Living. Shabana lives in Denver, Colorado, and she is pretty freaking cool. Shabana is married to her very first match on eHarmony, and they have one daughter and she’s currently knocked up with another sex tbd. (Congratulations, Shabana!!) Also, check out that title picture. This chick can wing her eyeliner like WHOA.

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Shabana really does live her life fiercely. She has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Celiac disease, both autoimmune diseases, but they do not stop her from pursuing her fitness goals and staying active. She has lost seventy pounds so far which is AMAZING. She’s currently growing a person using only her body, but still hopes to stay active and healthy during her pregnancy.

And because everyone likes a before and after pic, check this out.

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Also check out that super fly unicorn hat. WANT.

Shabana is all about fitness (obvs), health (double duh), product reviews (she is also a HUGE contributor to Guidance Guide), electronic dance music, dancing, and staying as fierce as possible. Fierce Living encompasses most of this, though I haven’t seen any videos of her dancing at a rave yet. Maybe next week.

Shabana was nice enough to  answer some questions from this Colorado newbie. Thanks, girlie!

1. What is the coolest thing about Colorado? What is the most annoying thing about Colorado? What is the Colorado-est thing about Colorado?

The coolest thing about Colorado is that we have the mountains not that far from Denver. There are so many Winter and Summer activities to do. Our weather changes a lot but most of the time it is sunny, which is great. But again the most annoying thing about Colorado can also be the weather as well. It can be 75 degrees one day and snowing blizzard the next. It’s crazy but cool. The most Colorado-est thing about Colorado is people who are from Colorado are proud to be from Colorado. We love our state flag, displaying it, stickers on the car, shirts, hats… we love it all, we are proud!

(Darlene here. Note to self — gotta get a flag.)

2. I love the name of your blog. I love the idea of living fiercely. What is something we mamas can do everyday to live fiercely?

One thing that moms can do to live fiercely is to remember to take care of themselves. So often we treat ourselves last or forget about ourselves altogether and we are left feeling empty. I believe in taking time for yourself. Whether that’s going to Target alone and leaving the kids with your husband or partner or tag teaming with another Mom friend. I like to get my hair dyed, go out with friends or just relax in bed alone. Making sure you get “me” time to recharge is a way to stay the fiercest version of yourself! You are important! Take care of YOU!

3. Everyone outside Colorado wants to know: are people here walking around high all the time? What are your thoughts on the legal weed?

Are people walking around high all the time? Well, I’m not. I mean, there are definitely people who are but I haven’t really seen a huge difference in my interaction with the public. I am not opposed to legal weed use. I do hope people are being responsible but you know there are always those few who make everyone else look bad. That comes with the territory, I think. I did vote yes for the legalization. I have seen it help people in their day to day lives and I believe more research needs to be done on the benefits of  cannabis. There are huge possibilities, I believe.

4. It’s the PTA Bakesale: homemade, store bought, or NOPE?

I’m usually a nope mom but I LOVE TO BAKE so I’d probably bake some gluten free cupcakes that are decorated. I particularly love decorating cakes and cupcakes, so that’s my jam.

Darlene again. OMFG I love the phrase ‘nope mom.’ We should all strive to be ‘nope moms.’

Read her blog or follow her on Instagram. Get some Fierceness in your life.

Monday’s Mama is TWINNING!

This Monday, I am pleased to introduce Nadia Gabriel. She is the mama behind The Non-Adventures of a Stay-at-Home-Mom. Like me, she has been spending most of January moving. (That is the extent of our twinning. We don’t even live in the same hemisphere.) Unlike me, Nadia is moving BOTH her physical home and her, um, metaphysical blog space. Way to shake it up in 2018, Nadia!

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Nadia lives in South Africa so she is warm right now. If you are reading this in literally any of the United States, think about that for a minute. (Shhh, not you Hawaii and California. Just sit there and be pretty, ok?)

Nadia is a SAHM to two amazing little girls and makes time to write in between changing nappies and making a million snacks a day. She is currently in the process of rebuilding her personality back to the point where she is no longer just ‘Mummy’. (Girl, PREACH.)

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The Non-Adventures of a stay-at-Home-Mum is everything: hilarious (like when she takes down common fairy tales), informative (like when she reviews products), deep (like when she delves into the challenges of raising a super sensitive child), and uplifting (like when she profiles local momprenuers who are TCB). I always look forward to her posts because Nadia is above all insightful.

And kind. Kind enough to answer my questions.

1. I love the candor in your writing. I know you just ‘came out’ to family and friends as a blogger in the last few months. Have you found that you censor yourself now?

Going public has been great with all the encouragement and positive feedback but YES, I do feel restricted at times now, which is a huge bummer. Especially when it’s something that I NEEEEEEEED to get off my chest or process on (digital) paper. I even went back and deleted entire posts ‘just in case’. I feel it does stifle me somewhat because my writing is very much in the moment and full of raw emotion but I would never choose to hurt anyone’s feelings. So yeah, it sucks. But I can deal.

2. What sucks the most about SAHM life?

The housework!!!! Omg the housework. I hate it! Cleaning bathrooms (gross), washing dishes (ugh does that sink ever get empty???), vacuuming (every damn day because of our cats), washing clothes (how do we use SO MUCH clothes?), ironing (just kidding! I don’t bother) and cooking. I count cooking as a chore now because I no longer get any enjoyment from it. Now its just a case of ‘what can I make that’s quick and relatively healthy?’ So yeah, if it weren’t for the housework I feel as if I would have much more time to really enjoy my kids. 

I’m going to be cheeky and add another on here. What really gets my goat is that people don’t get what I do all day. Every time I am asked ‘so what do you do all day?’ I want to scream. I literally want to throw my head back and scream. The thing is, even if I listed everything I did, the person asking the question still wouldn’t get it. It really is a job that has to be experienced to be understood. I understand that some people are just curious and I can usually tell by the tone of the question whether it’s curiousity or assholism driving the question. Usually.
3. Facebook or Instagram?
Facebook. I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook. It’s a real timewaster but is such a great way of staying in touch with people without actually having to talk to them. Plus it’s a great way to store photos. I’m currently more in the Love phase at the moment since I made my blog public.
4. It’s the PTA Bakesale (is that a thing in SA?): homemade, store bought, or NOPE?
You know, I actually have no idea if that’s a thing here. I know there’s usually a few parents on the School Governing Body but I haven’t heard of bakesales the way you guys have in the States. I think the closest alternative would be Bakerman where every kid gets a Friday each term to be said ‘Bakerman’ and their parent has to stay up past midnight in the kitchen the night before, baking something according to the theme of the week. It’s pretty cool (for the kids) who end up with Frog Prince cupcakes or Incey Wincey Brownies but it’s kind of a pain in the ass to be honest. I’m just gonna outsource the next one.

 

You should totally subscribe to her blog. (I’m pretty excited to see the new 2018 version myself!) And follow her on Facebook. And Instagram.

Also, I mentioned that I really wanted to visit Cape Town and apparently it is the coolest place ever: “PLEASE save up and book that flight to Cape Town! Sooner rather than later. You will not regret it. South Africa is ridiculously beautiful, but if you’re planning your first trip then Cape Town is the place to be. We lived there for a year and not a day went by that I didn’t feel like I was on holiday. It’s gorgeous. Like living in a postcard. Plus there’s a crazy amount of kid friendly places there. And THE FOOD!!!! Omg the food 😍 I love it!!!!! Plus I feel that if you go to Cape Town you will definitely want to see other places in South Africa. So many gems.”

So. Nadia lives in paradise. But I like her anyway. I think you will too.

Monday’s Mama is Fit AF.

Are you looking for a New Year’s Resolution? Look no further.

This Monday I want to introduce Emily from The Mom Grind. I have been following Emily on Instagram for almost a year now. This woman is awesome. She somehow manages to work out all the time with a toddler (and now another baby on the way!!) and be a total badass and STILL not make me feel bad about watching her exercise on Instastories while eating ice cream.

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She’s very ‘you do you, but this is what I’m doing’. I love her. You might also love her. You should follow her if you need inspiration to work out with and around and sometimes literally underneath your small children this New Year. Or even if you just like nice people.

Oh. She’s super nice. I wonder if it’s all that adrenaline from being healthy and stuff. Is that how adrenaline works? I wouldn’t know.

In fact, she is SO NICE, that she answered a few of my questions. Thank you, Emily!

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1. Your Instagram is completely inspirational. I love that you work out with your toddler. And I guess you will be working out with a new baby soon!? Please share your secrets. Time management? Wizardry?
Thank you! It started off by me being inspired by other Moms to be honest. I realized there wasn’t any real secret to it — anything worth doing isn’t going to be easy. Now I love to workout because it has become time where I can be selfish and only think about me — think about the things bugging me, how strong I feel, goals I need to reach, how my workouts going to go, or how proud of myself I am for just getting to the gym that day. Whatever it is, that hour is mine. I carve it out of my day, and I’m a better wife, Mom, and friend for it.
It’s finding YOUR reason — make it deep so it takes root in your life. Also make it work for you. It’s only a couple small hours in your week — so be selfish about it! 
2. How long have you been such a badass? Was this a natural continuation of your pre-kid life? Or did you just decide to Awesome It Up after becoming a mom?
Haha- badass! Thanks! 😂
I think it happened because I was carrying so many burdens (that I was putting on myself).
I felt like a failure as a woman because I had a horrible labour that ended up in emergency cesarean section. It took months of recovery and I lost my identity in that time. I decided to stop making excuses for myself, and with the help of an amazing trainer who made me realize my potential, I just kept moving forward and getting stronger. Now I just want to keep moving that way. It might look different, but always forward, always stronger. 
3. What is the last movie you saw in the theater?
I saw Justice League in the theater! It was awesome, and all those badass women in the movie fired me up for a wicked workout the next day!
4. It’s the PTA Bakesale: homemade, store bought, or NOPE?
I’m definitely not above store bought- but if I have the time I’ll make a simple cookie or Rice Krispie square.😉
Ok, I’m not gonna lie. Emily may have sold me on this whole work-out thing with that whole ‘time to be selfish’ thing.
Hey Emily, does hanging out in the sauna at the gym count as a workout? JUST KIDDING MAYBE.

We Get Around.

Toddlers have a lot of energy. SO. MUCH. ENERGY. It is exhausting. How on earth did I do this with TWO kids twenty years ago?!

Oh right. I was twenty years younger.

Babystar and I go on Little Adventures all the time. We love to take picnics to playgrounds, because picnics at playgrounds are free. But sometimes we have to switch it up.

We took Babystar to National Harbor for ice cream back when it was warmer (November because wtf is wrong with the weather). I spent $23.66 at Ben & Jerry’s and it all goes on the Toddler’s Tab because we wouldn’t have even gone if Babystar didn’t need to run out some energy. Parking was $12 and the playground was $7. Yes. National Harbor charges seven freaking dollars per kid to access to the playground. It’s such bullshit. They get away with it though, because they put a really cool carousel in the fenced in playground area. And the seven dollars comes with unlimited carousel rides. But still. Jerk move, National Harbor.

We paid $1 for a ride on the tiny carousel at Potomac Mills recently. We also paid $8 on that same trip to rent a gigantic fire truck shaped two person stroller thingy. I think we could have gotten fifty cents back if we had returned it but we left it at the door to the mall because we are terrible people. No. Wait. We are JOB CREATORS. Someone must make a living collecting those things, right?

We rode the train (AGAIN) at Springfield Mall. The mall trains are all $5, but it really cost $10 because the guy in the conductor hat at Springfield Mall charges for adults too. More bullshit. Springfield Mall also has a soft play room with a bunch of bouncy houses. Babystar was a bit scared, but I think she was just too young. We basically paid $7.42 for her to sit at the table with us and watch the big kids play. Whoops.

We went to Tyson’s Corner Mall recently and rode the train there too. The train guy only charged us $5 for Babystar and let me ride free, so there is still SOME kindness in this world.

We went back to Scramble today. ($10 plus $8.75 at the snack bar.)

We paid $11 to park at the zoo (member discount) to see ZooLights. And another $7 for the carousel that night.

Are you noticing a carousel trend? Last week, Babystar stopped nursing, and looked up at me and said, “I love milk. And water. And carousels.” And then went back to her milk business.

RAISING BABYSTAR: $24,672.98