Soledad y café

An early fall morning, while in the 2nd grade, she poured it in a little white foam cup and handed it to me along with a chorizo burrito wrapped in a paper towel. She watched me from the dirt in front of the bushes that surrounded her corner house as I walked to the bus stop.

The kids at the bus stop asked if I had hot cocoa in the Styrofoam cup. When I said no, they insisted on tasting it because they thought I was lying.

It was coffee. She loved coffee. She drank it every day from breakfast to dinner. Sometimes she’d put cracked cinnamon sticks in the grounds before brewing. That was always my favorite.

She had a huge collection of coffee cups & mugs on a shelf in her home. One from every place she traveled. Betty Boop cups because she collected Betty too. Coffee cups that were gifts for all her birthdays over the years. That shelf must have housed over 100 cute java mugs in different colors. Some with jokes on them, pictures and quotes. She had me dust that shelf sometimes. A huge task but gratifying to complete. I’d ask her to tell me their stories. She was always happy to.

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She told me stories about her life and often mentioned coffee. When she lived in the desert she still drank her coffee hot. During the summer, after working in the produce fields in 100+ degree weather in California, they gathered for coffee after work, in the heat.

The smell of coffee filled the air every morning before I opened my eyes since I was a babe. It’s nostalgic smell makes me feel like I’m home. My mouth salivates when I walk down the coffee isle at Fred Meyer. Sounds of coffee brewing sends feelings of excitement through my body.

I enjoyed her company and had some of the most important conversations of my life with her over una taza de café.

Now, since she’s in heaven, my love of this fabulous, little bean makes me feel more connected to her then ever.

I miss her.

Happy National Coffee Day.

Little mama Middleton, a little more about me

Hola! I live in the rainy outskirts of Seattle, WA. Married to my handsome husband Jared Middleton for 9 years. I’m mommy to 3 boys, Oliver is 3, Forest is 2, and sweet baby Clive is 4 months. Yes, 3 children under 4! We’re doing it. Exhausted, emotional & rarely have any time to myself. (but thank you Jesus for essential oils & coffee!) And yes, as all the strangers tell me when we go out, “mama, you have your hands full”. I finally know what to say in response, “you should see my heart”.

I worked in beauty & fashion before, during and after I went to cosmetology school. The past 17 years I’ve done freelance makeup and worked for some pretty cool brands i.e., Chanel, Sephora, Shiseido, Aveda, True Colors (does anyone remember them?) and in the Gottschalks and Nordstrom cosmetic departments.

It’s a very superficial place to work. But I LOVE makeup! Always have, always will. I love painting faces, before & afters & seeing people light up when they look into the mirror. The goos & creams. The potions & lotions. I love perfumes, scrubs, oils & sprays. The thoughtful packaging, luxurious bath bubbles & salts & fancy limited edition collections. The way a beautiful cosmetics makes you feel when you first buy it, bring it home and try it on. Anyone who knows me knows. I’m obsessed. I get butterflies. And I truly LOVED what I did.

6 years ago I became interested in learning how to live a more natural & healthy lifestyle. Three years ago, after having my 1st son, Oliver, the health and well-being of my little family became more important to me than ever before.  Going into crazy mama bear research mode, I had to face the truth. No más mentiras.

You probably know as well as I do that I worked with poison. Toxins. Carcinogens. Fillers. Dyes. Synthetics. Every. Single. Day. It’s dangerous. I’ve done great at feeding my family healthy foods and trying to make better choices in what we put in our bodies. Reducing toxins & chemicals in our humble abode has been a “no duh dude” (again, thank you Jesus for essential oils!) My problem has been finding beauty products that are healthy for me, body products & hair care products that aren’t going to put all that junk into my system but still give me the butterflies!

Yes, there are tons of “natural” “organic” “pure” products out there but do you trust them? Regulations have gotten so out of control companies can put whatever they want on a product to sell it. “Green Washing”, they call it.  Not to mention as far as makeup goes, most of it sucks! yeah it’s “healthier” than my Shiseido, Dior, Nars, Loreal…but it sucks! The color pay off, blendability, texture, longevity, and lasting power just down right sucks. (most of it anyway) I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what is she getting at?” Well, honestly, I’m not sure. haha I try to cut the junk out of the rest of my life so I won’t feel so guilty about slathering poison on my face, hair and nails daily.

Over the years, in my research to find the good stuff for The Middleton’s, I’ve found great things that I like to use for myself, babies and husby. But I am always looking for better and best.

This is not all I blog about. I blog as an outlet. I blog to journal, to create, to express, to teach, to learn, to inspire, to love, to vent, to rave, to review. Recipes, crafts, essential oils, stories, truth, photos, …this is my life. All of it.

Thanks for hanging out with me.

Now please, tell me about you.

2014 Recap

Thinking about 2014 and all the blessings, burdens, hurts and accomplishments. Last year was good to me. It flew by. All of a sudden it was Fall and I looked back and wondered how.

God answered many prayers, mainly my fear and anxiety struggles and healing my baby. I’m in awe of Him and pray with thanks and gratitude as I feel so unworthy of what I have. My husband and my children. Ugh. I still can’t believe it.

I continued to seek healthier home/food/lifestyle options. I turned 33, gave birth to my second son, quit my job at Nordstrom, started my business, officially became a work from home momma, lost my baby weight, chopped off all my hair, walked away from a toxic friend, became even more in love with coffee (if that’s even possible), strengthened many friendships, (the friends who are fellow coffee addicts, ya know what they say, “birds of a feather”) A lot of highs and lows. Wins and losses. Successes and Failures. Too many to mention but they all continue to make me feel like me. I know who I am. I feel good in my skin and I’m confident in my choices and my future planning. That’s something that I thought I had in my 20’s but realize now that I have it, that I was wrong.

The highlight of last year for me, I mean THE highlight was our 8 year wedding anniversary. My husband took me shopping and helped me pick out an ensemble. He surprised me with a romantic dinner date in a beautiful restaurant that served mouth-watering, delicious food. I ordered the fish and couscous and he got the wild boarSchnitzel. It was our firstSchnitzel and it wasgoooooood. Dirty martini’s with a giggly, flirty conversation. Afterwards we had a special salsa dance lesson before we danced the night away. As I type this I feel all warm and giddy. This was the first date that Jared planned and executed from start to finish and that he surprised me was the cherry on top. I LOVE surprises. We don’t get out much just the two of us and it felt so good to let loose and see each other in that light again. It had been too long. That night was the most romantic night of my life. I’ll remember it forever.

Thank you babe for sweeping me off my feet. I love you.

 

JANUARY ONE TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN

2015

It’s weird to see it, say it, read it, write it. I think about how weird it was to read, write and type the year 2000. Now it’s 2015 and my life is a completely different proposition than it was then. I’m married with children. Yes plural. These years are flying by and I don’t like it. I want more time and I want to slow it down. Since that’s impossible I pray that God help me live His purpose so that even though it’s fleeting, it’s not wasted.

I’m joining the Domestic Princess in Training in Bloguary. I’ll be blogging several posts a week for the entire month of January.

If you’ve been following me over the last 5 years and 3 blogs you know that I’m incredibly inconsistent. I truly love writing and blogging but I tend to put my hobbies and interests on the back burner of the daily grind. This year I’m going to try to do more of what I love and find fulfilling and I figured Bloguary is a great way to start.

Cheers to 2015! (weird)

 

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL

As most of you already know, (and if you don’t I’m about to tell you) I work in the cosmetic industry. I have for the past 16 years. I now work in a high-end department store selling cosmetics. I have a love/hate relationship with this industry. I LOVE my work. Truly. Doing hair and makeup is a form of expression, creativity and even therapy for me. I love sharing knowledge, tips, tricks, and my opinions on which brands have the creamiest lip liners, most rehydrating eye creams, non-orange self tanners, fastest make up removers, anti wrinkle anything… I’m a wealth of knowledge in this area and can go on for days. (tooting my horn) sorry…

Since deciding a few years ago to try to live a more “clean” life eating “whole foods” and trying to cut the use toxins and chemicals in our home it’s left a burden on me knowing that what I’m using on my face everyday is deadly! With the knowledge that I have and all the research that I’ve done over the last several years in this profession, I know too much. It’s bad. Real bad. And my friends, it’s very, very sad. Cancer causing poisons for lack of a better description. I’m poisoning myself daily. I’m assisting others in poisoning themselves. And for the longest time I didn’t care. I was young and I felt immortal. Living in the moment. Being free. Feeling great and beautiful.

Things have changed. Now I’m a wife and mother of two precious little boys. Ugh, my boys…now I care. I care about being healthier for me and them. I care about raising them and feeding them healthy, organic foods and I’d like them  passionate about keeping those same traditions in our family for generations to come.  And that, I feel, is attainable. Something to strive for. But these “beauty products”, they’ll be the death of me. Of many of us! Like I’ve said before I’m trying to buy cleaner, green, safer hair, skin and nail goodies but most of the “natural” stuff simply just doesn’t cut it. And let’s face it, nothing is really natural unless I go outside and pick aloe vera that I grew myself with uncontaminated soil, no pesticide or miracle grow used and smooth it on my face!  Can I go to a bride and pull out some fresh raspberries to stain her lips? NO! Well, maybe some brides here in Seattle…haha #crunch

All that to say that I’m on the hunt for healthier beauty. Beauty with a smaller price tag. Beauty that doesn’t cost us our lives.  I invite you for the ride. And please, if you know of safe, clean options for personal care or great girly treats that are easier on our precious bodies, leave a comment and share the wealth! Inquiring minds want to know. You could save lives! I’ll be trying out products and making my own goodies and posting photos and reviews.