How Becoming A Mom Turns You Into A Health Freak

Parenthood, Photography, The Fierce Life

Hi Fiercelings,

Disclaimer: 2 hours before writing this I gave my 2 year old a banana popsicle (we all know yellow is the best flavor)…and then she asked for another so I gave her another…I’m not perfect or legalistic.

Disclaimer: I use the pronoun mom in this article but dad could just as easily apply.

 

Before you become a mom you didn’t know what bisphenol A was but now you make sure that any plastic you buy is free of it. Before you were a mom you didn’t know what might be genetically modified food but now you look for the GMO free label. Before you were a mom you weren’t concerned about how much sugar you consumed but now you hate all junk food. Before you were a mom you weren’t worried about eating a handful of m&ms but now you think your child is sensitive to red 40 and you’d rather be safe than sorry. Welcome to motherhood in the 21st century. This is crazy. We are crazy…or are we?

When you become a mom I think there’s some switch in your brain that changes and you suddenly become hyper aware to how many chemicals are in household goods and to how much sugar is in well, EVERYTHING. Sure, I cared about being healthy before I was a mom but after I became a mom I realized how unhealthy everything is that is readily available in any American grocery store. It’s shocking. It’s angering. Why is it that so much of everything in our society is bad for you? I’m not the crazy one here. Our world is crazy.

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I didn’t set out to be a health freak when I became a mom. I didn’t set out to be hyper vigilant to check labels when I became a mom. I don’t even have children with allergies or special needs. I just want raise my kids without having their constitutions ruined. I want their little bodies to have good stamina. I want them to view food as a way to nourish their body and not as an addiction or an emotional crutch. But everything geared toward children is sugar loaded or chemical loaded. Everything geared toward children is addictive. Everything geared toward children is going to give them a high followed by a crash. Which is insane because five minutes later we will demand that they sit still, be quiet, and listen.

So for all my other moms out there being health freaks with me for our kids, keep it up. Every so often I see a child throwing a fit at the grocery store and mom/dad tells them to be quiet while reaching for a soda and gives it to them. That makes want to scream. That’s insane. And I say that fully realizing I have given my child plenty of soda. You can’t expect your child to be level headed and calm while fueling their sugar and chemical addiction. You just can’t. And that’s why becoming a mom has turned me into a (mostly) health freak.

fiercely,

alexandria

alexandriafierce

Fierce Beliefs. Fierce Ideas. Fierce Art. Fierce Life.

Photographer, Blogger, Artist, Entrepreneur

Email me at alexandriafiercephoto@gmail.com for photoshoot and wedding bookings

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Anti-Niche

Art, Fierce, Philosophy of Life, Photography, The Artist Life

Hello Fiercelings,

One thing I have noticed while being in the creative world is that everyone encourages you to find your “niche” to the point that I hate that word! Seriously, everytime I’m reading some creative forum, blog, group post or listening to a podcast everyone is niche, niche, niche. So I have something slightly shocking to those that worship at the ground of the niche:

I am anti-niche.

Did I just say that? Oh no. I guess in order to be more specific (no pun intended) I think I am anti niche. Here’s why; when it comes to photography I love shooting weddings, couples, children, babies, seniors, heck I’d probably enjoy shooting a funeral. I love fashion photography and I love fine art photography. I love it all. And that’s just photography. When it comes to paining, I’m all over Monet but then the next moment I’m looking at a Warhol. I’m currently working on an art piece myself that is definitely more abstract and modern but I’m just as likely to start a still life landscape next week. One could argue that I am testing and experimenting with my artistic whims and I just haven’t found the thing that I’m great at…but I don’t take that view. I think I genuinely love it all. And I don’t think I need to apologize for wanting to dabble in or pursue art in 100 different directions.

Moi feet

The beach we were at had millions upon millions of tiny seashells like these that you had to walk over to get to the water. Walking on eggshells takes on a whole new meaning!

 

You may remember that a few posts ago I wrote about Leonardo Da Vinci here and here. Since those posts I have thought of the Renaissance man some more. I won’t pretend to be a know it all about who Da Vinci was because I’m not, I know about as much as anyone who’s watched The Da Vinci Code knows. I know he painted the Mona Lisa which is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world, I know he painted the Last Supper which is also very recognizable. I think most people would recognize the drawing of the Vitruvian Man. All this to say was Da Vinci just a painter? Of course not! He was THE Renaissance man afterall. He was fascinated by human anatomy as the drawing of the Vitruvian Man shows, he also studied the fetus’ heart and was very much a scientist in his own right. Wikipedia actually titles him as an engineer which I think is both fitting and surprising. He was interested in flying and created lots of blue prints for machines to fly, I believe there is one in particular that we would recognize today as a parachute. My goal in sharing this is not to give you a summary of the works of Da Vinci, although the historian in me is loving this! But to simply show that artists have never been niche oriented. I’m not necessarily saying that’s bad. I mean Margaret Mitchell only wrote one novel but it was Gone With The Wind. Did she need to do anything else? Nope. In Da Vinci’s case though did he need to do anything after painting the Mona or the Last Supper? Probably not. Are we glad he did go on to do more though? Absolutely. He’s a fascinating person in history, his work is proof of that and generations after him are happy to be able to study him and enjoy his works of art.

Another person who is proof that artists do not have to settle or focus on one thing is…drum roll! Michelangelo. A contemporary of Da Vinci’s, Michelangelo is of course best known for the Pieta, David and for painting the Sistine Chapel. Thank the Lord that there wasn’t anyone during the Renaissance whispering in Michelangelo’s ear saying “You can’t be a painter and a sculptor, you need to find your niche.” You can see how preposterous the whole “niche” concept is when you apply it to great artists. However, Michelangelo wasn’t just a painter and a sculptor he was also an architect and poet. I find it fascinating that Da Vinci was messing around studying human anatomy and Michelangelo was designing buildings, most famously St. Peter’s Basilica. Anatomy and architecture are more commonly seen today as science subjects or at least not very artistic pursuits which angers me to no end. I love art and I also love learning science stuff. One thing I am really looking forward to is when I am homeschooling my daughter is all the science experiments we can do!

Izze doing yoga

Izze doing yoga on the beach! 

I am anti niche because I want to be a photographer, painter, musician and writer and chances are I’ll add pottery someday! I look to great artists like Da Vinci and Michelangelo, who were accomplished in multiple arts and get inspired. I understand that the niche speakers are attempting to encourage people to focus on something specific but I don’t want to focus on just one art medium, I want to pursue them all. That’s fierce to me. I want to be a triple threat. Heck, I want to be an octruple threat!

Be fierce!

alexandria

 

 

I am an Artist

Being an Artist, Philosophy of Life, Photography, Quotes, The Artist Life

As a creative person seeking to make a way in the world as said creative person one of the challenges that I believe you must overcome is thinking of yourself as an artist. When you think of the term “artist” what comes to your mind? Leonardo Da Vinci? Monet? Van Gogh? Maybe starving? That’s what I think of when I think of Van Gogh anyway, he is the definition of a starving artist. Do you think of the person playing the guitar that you pass on your way to the subway? Do you think of some eccentric character? Whatever you think of when you think of the title “artist” can you apply that title to yourself? Recently, I have.

sea shells

For awhile now I have been tagging blog posts “The Artist Life” because ultimately, I believe that’s what this blog is about. I express thoughts and opinions on various things but the main idea connecting all of them is art, being an artist and living life as an artsy/creative person. However, I am taking that even a step further by saying ‘artist’ now. I have always thought of myself as an artsy person. From a young age I was always interested in music, acting, primarily the performing arts but eventually that led into painting (which I am not very good at) which then of course led me to photography because even though I may not be able to paint what I see/want I can attempt to capture it in photography. Which is wonderful. Ahh….I love photography. But all of those could be considered hobbies. But they’re more than that for me, they’re apart of who I am…I am an artist you see.

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I don’t like the idea of identifying yourself by your occupation or job. What you do is not necessarily who you are. Perhaps, I put the term “artist” up on a pedestal because at one time I didn’t feel worthy of calling myself an artist. But that is what I believe I am. A person is a lot of things and I don’t like the idea of putting all your identity into one thing but I guess it’s different when you’re an artist. Creative people see the world differently and by claiming that I am an artist I think it’s a sign to everyone that hey I don’t think like you do. This sounds like a mystical thing which on one side maybe it is – afterall, why do artists see the world differently? But I don’t actually think it is. I think it makes perfect sense. To help clarify this, I of course turned to a quote! Surprise.

“I think the definition of an artist is not necessarily tied into excellence or talent; an artist is somebody who, if you took away their freedom to make art, would lose their mind.” ~ Richard Price

Oh. My. Gosh. I think I can just end this blog post right here and now! I think I’m fairly talented, but there are people more talented than me for sure and I love this quote because it says hey, someone who is extremely talented, that’s not what makes them an artist. What makes someone an artist is that they would go crazy if they didn’t make art. I think that is actually why artists are viewed as eccentric or crazy in general, they have this insatiable desire to make art and so they’re viewed as odd because art is always on their mind, creating is always running in the background. It can be aggravating sometimes because you can’t turn it off. It can be frustrating sometimes because you don’t have time to pursue art as much as you’d like to. So, let me step on my tiny soap box and say if any of this rings a bell in your mind firstly, call yourself an artist. And then, once you’ve done that, don’t lose your mind, go create art. Afterall, you’re an artist and how fierce is that.

Driftwood

Fiercely,

alexandria

Life, Simplified

Fierce, Fierce Photography, Philosophy of Life, Photography, Quotes, The Artist Life

I have been pouring and drooling over Lenonardo Da Vinci quotes. I have long loved the original Renaissance man.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Having moved from an apartment to a condo to halfway across the country I definitely have had opportunities to go through all of my stuff. There is something about moving that makes you go “why do I have this?” “I don’t want or need this anymore but I don’t want to throw it away” “Do I give this away?” and then when you go to Goodwill to give it away you see everyone else who has given away their junk. I remember when I dropped off some clothes at Goodwill how the room was fillllllled with stuff. Pointless stuff. I hate stuff. I love it when I go to someones house that seems a little sparse. This is one of those things that living in American culture that just seems to happen. I don’t think anyone really intends to accumulate so much stuff but if we’re not intentional about what we have we end up having an absurd amount of stuff.

multi colored flower 2

You may have heard of the idea of a “capsule” wardrobe. It’s an idea about dressing that has floated around the blogopshere. The main idea is that you have a small amount of clothing that you absolutely love and makes you feel great. How many times have you walked into your closet or opened your drawers and lamented “I have nothing to wear!” A capsule wardrobe let’s you wear your favorite pieces over and over again but in a different way. It’s about simplifying your life right down to what you wear.

When I read Leonardo’s words on simplicity I think of our homes and what we have in them, I think of what we put on our backs and keeping these things simple. It’s ultimately one of the most sophisticated ways for us to live according to Da Vinci. And it’s fierce =D

When you think of living simply what do you think of?

Fiercely,

alexandria

P.S. More Da Vinci quotes coming!

 

 

Change & Create

Personal, The Artist Life

It seems 2015 is a year of change for me. Changing and creating. While I was visiting my sister and her family in Maryland my husband calls me and is emphatic about moving to Florida to be with his dad. I tell him, I’m game – I can pursue my photography, art and creative identity near the beach =D plus I really want to learn to surf. The “good” job that my husband had just landed at the beginning of the summer turned out to be a a “good” job for the summer and not much else so our thought process is that if we want to pursue our own businesses (because we really don’t like bosses) we can easily do that in Florida, once again near the beach. My daughter has yet to meet her Papa so this is a great opportunity for us to spend some much due quality time with my husband’s family and be near the beach. Hehe are you getting the beach theme yet? So I’m happy to state we are moving in less than 2 weeks now (gulp!).

Here are some shots I took in DC while on the Metro. I REALLY want to create more photographs like this. They feel so moody and pensive. I keep feeling drawn to fine art photography versus being a family photographer/ wedding photographer. I am…evolving in my taste as a photographer and becoming more precise with what I like, don’t like, consider good/bad photography. I’ve always been an opinionated person and I am happy that what I want my style to be as a photographer is becoming more defined. Changing and creating. every. single. day.

Rain window sepia rain window Train reflection 2 Train reflection

Fiercely,

alexandria

“Day by day nothing changes but pretty soon everything is different.” ~ Bill Watterson

Quote Day

Philosophy of Life, Quotes, The Artist Life

“Let the beauty we love be what we do.” ~ Rumi

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Awww, this is lovely! This is beautiful. This is so inspirational. Let the beauty we love be what we do. Ahh, yes I completely agree. Is what you find beautiful what you do? Are you doing what you love? I found this quote on a calendar and fell in love. In case you don’t know Rumi was a Persian poet and Islamic scholar in the 13th century. He is buried in Turkey. He believed that music, poetry and dance were ways to reach God. I love his quote that I found and find it very encouraging to pursue photography and my other endeavors.

Working on owning my employment.

Be fierce,rumi quote

Alexandria

Life & Death 

Philosophy of Life

You know that joke that people die in threes? Well, I guess it is true, and then some. In the last month I’ve known 3 people directly that have passed away. And then I know about 5 people by one degree of separation that have passed. I feel like it’s a season of death. But it’s Spring and since I was gardening the other day I feel like this isn’t right. I planted a few tulips and lilies and geraniums so in my mind it is officially Spring – it even felt hot a few days ago! Spring is supposed to be a time of life and blooming. Not death. A few posts ago I stated I wanted change but I didn’t mean I wanted someone to die. 

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Two weeks and a day ago I got one of those dreaded phone calls. The one where someone asks you what you’re doing? This person has died. I need you to meet me at their house. My husband called to tell me that his mom was dead and he needed me to meet him at her house. One of those phone calls. So I get to her house and find police cars and a medical examiner truck outside. The least I can say is I’ve had a bad 2 weeks life wise (business wise I am doing well!) and I’m trying to recover, reflect and make sense of what’s occurred. I’m trying to make peace with this change. I am trying to find a way to be in the land of the living with some levity while dealing with death which can be weighty. I wasn’t close with my mother in law and my husband wasn’t close with her either so it’s not as if I just lost my best friend but you don’t realize the importance of someone’s role in your life, regardless of their level of significance they play, until they are gone. My daughter has lost her grandmother. I have both of my grandmothers living as of now and I adore them and the relationship I have with them. So I’m making peace with the fact that the possibility of that relationship with my daughter is gone. No more. I like change, I desire change. But I didn’t mean it like this.

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Have you ever put your hands in a spinning fan? Like this windmill I feel like I have gotten spun in one of life’s wheel that it spins you through and hopefully it’s done spinning me because I am dizzy but things are getting clearer.

Fiercely reflecting and rejoining the land of the living,

Alexandria

The Importnce of Being a Yes & No Person

Philosophy of Life

My boss texted me a few days ago asking me if I would come work for a few hours. I immediately responded that I couldn’t because my mom was out of town, therefore I didn’t have anyone to watch my baby. Even if I didn’t have my sweet little bundle of joy I probably would have said no anyway because over the past few months I have increasingly worked toward spending my time investing in things that I truly care about.

Roughly two years ago I read a book by the pastor of the church that my husband and I attend. The book’s name is Chazown. It is a Hebrew word meaning dream, revelation or vision. The book is all about finding God’s vision for your life. Throughout the book I remember something to the effect of, “We say no to things we love, so that we can say yes to things we love more.” I give the example of me saying no to go work for a few hours because for one thing I love working and I love getting paid. But I am saying no to working somewhere that doesn’t help propel me toward my dream job and saying no to getting paid now so that the pay off later will be worth so much more.

I have always worked toward being a “Yes Person.” Growing up I remember hearing no a lot. Now, as an adult and new parent I recognize that you tell a child no quite frequently but I didn’t desire to always tell someone no. “No you can’t go outside,” “No you can’t play video games,” “No you can’t go see that movie,” “No I’m not driving you there,” “No you can’t have ice cream,” et cetera, et cetera. I realize that I was looking at that through a child’s eye but at the same time there were times that you can just say yes. You can stop what you’re doing and go outside or go get ice cream. However, whatever horror I saw in saying no as a child I took to an extreme as a young adult. I worked too much. I said yes too much and, yes, I love working but, “We say no to things we love, so that we can say yes to things we love more.” So now I am learning to be a “No Person” and saying no to things that I may even love so that I can say Yes to things that I love more. I am currently working part time at a fast food joint, cleaning two houses because I’m running my own little cleaning business. When I’m not taking care of my sweet little girl I am devouring photography information. I am eating it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus a midnight or 2am snack. But I am working toward reworking my schedule so that I can focus on my businesses alone.

In conclusion, I just want to state that it’s important to say yes and to say no. Say yes to the things you want to and say no so that you say yes later.

Fiercely,

alexandria