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Monday, January 28, 2013

You Are Great!

The kids had finally gone to bed, and I was enjoying a quiet, Sunday evening with myself.  I was unwinding with the aid of my Smash book.  (And oh-me-oh-my, have you heard of K&Company's Smash books?  They are a party in a binder, a hip new way to scrapbook and journal.  And I WILL be posting about the art of smashing soon.  So...uh...I guess...stay tuned!)

So there I was, working on my Smash book, basking in the long overdue silence that only seems to come at nighttime at my house.  I turned to a fresh, unmarred new page and was met with the most delightful, polka-dot scrapbook paper.  There, smack dab in the middle of the page, was a doll-like image of a girl.  Beneath her feet were the words, "A is for......."

Hmm?  What to do, what to do?  What to do with this page?  A is for....?  Hmm?

Then it smacked me (kind of like how Cam did when he smacked me in the face with my checkbook...but this is figurative, of course...):  A IS FOR ALEISHA!

I'll devote a whole page to myself, I thought.  I'll list nice words that describe me; adjectives for my awesomeness!  WAIT!  WHAT?  No!  That's silly.  A page all about me and my characteristics!?  Why would I do that?

And then, my friends, an epiphany smacked me again:  Why WOULDN'T I do that!

As women, we are superfluously hard on ourselves.  We are our own worst critiques.  We bombard our extraordinary selves with negative thoughts of...well...crap.  I'm not good enough.  I'm not thin enough.  I'm not smart enough.  I'm not as good of a mother as she is.  I'm not as talented as she is.  I'm not pretty.  I'm not this and that and blah, blah, blah!  Why?  Why, why, why do we do that?  Why do we beat ourselves up?  Why are we so fastidious in our quest to mangle our self esteems?  When in actuality, we are inherently glorious and amazing.  WE ARE!  We are women!  We are creatures of love, compassion, selflessness, and beauty.  We can walk tall knowing there is no one else like us, no one better than us, no one who can take our necessary places in this beautiful world.

You bet your sweet bippy I dedicated a page to myself in my book!  I thought long and hard about the adjectives I wanted to use to describe myself.  I searched my heart, reminded myself of who I know I am, and started to write.  Here are some of my words:

creative kind funny romantic quirky sensitive poetic smart well-read 
nice friendly silly happy talented loving sassy spiritual sentimental 
thoughtful loveable fun hilarious goal-oriented good compassionate 
real faithful authentic strong interesting brave unique witty loyal 
artistic spunky religious sincere sweet eccentric well-rounded motivated 
special grateful crafty bubbly divine joyful memorable WORTHWHILE 

I AM worthwhile, and YOU are worthwhile.  Sometimes--and always at low times--we need to remember that.  We need to remember how great we truly are.

Here's my "Mama Leisha" challenge for you (and if you didn't know I was issuing a challenge when you started reading this post...well, then....SURPRISE!):  Write down the adjectives that best describe you.  Use good words.  Be kind to yourself.  Put it down on paper and make it tangible.  Believe what you write.  Refer to it often.  I know it will bring sunshine into your life when the clouds of self doubt and loathing start to roll in.  It will make your heart happy.

What are you waiting for?!
Stop reading!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dress Up And A Makeup Tip!

When I was a little girl, I loved to play dress up.  (Okay, okay!  Confession:  I still love to play dress up.)

A couple of times a year, my parents would load all of us into the family mini van for a road trip to my grandma's house.  We would would drive for hours and hours across some of the ugliest, most barren, most desolate land (that some people call Idaho) until we reached the small, beautiful city of Emmett.  (Kind of like the Emerald City, but with no wizard and LOTS of potatoes.)  The long drive, the carsickness, the obnoxious siblings, and Mom's awful, "slow sounds/light FM" radio station was all worth it.  Because a road trip to Grandma's house meant two things (besides me getting to eat all the Mambas and Cheetohs I wanted):

It meant I would get to see my grandma!  (And hug her and kiss her and squeeze her and snuggle her!)

And, I would get to play dress up with the old costume jewelry in her cedar box.

I loved that box--the smoothness of the lid beneath my hand, the sweet and slightly woodsy smell of it, the satisfying snap the lid made when the box closed.  I loved the jewelry contained inside.  Strands of pearls and cameo brooches.  Colorful, beaded, "old lady" clip-on earrings.  Gold lockets on chains and rings missing rhinestones.  I never hesitated to adorn myself with everything in the box!

I inherited the beloved box when my dear grandma passed away.  It was the only thing I wanted.  Monetarily, it's not worth much.  But to me and my sentimental heart, it's priceless.  Whenever I start to miss my grandma, or yearn to hear the sound of her laughter, or wish I could hug her again, I pull out my box and smell the inside.  I close my eyes and breathe in the cedar wood and the old perfume.  It smells like her.  It smells like childhood memories.

Surely, it delights my heart beyond measure to see that my daughter also relishes "the art of the dress up!"  She has a passion for makeup, jewelry, and nailpolish, and as much as it terrifies the jeebies out of my husband, I adore it.  We have periodic "spa days"--complete with manis and pedis.  She has a large box full of princess gowns, tutus, and crowns, that she loves to play with.  If she asks me to wear one of the crowns, I'm much obliged! 

Last week, she wandered into the bathroom while I was doing my own makeup.  Bangles graced her pencil-like wrists and pearls hung around her neck.  She was wearing a fluffy pink dress and was carrying a purse underneath her arm.  Her pretty little face was done up in purple eyeshadow and rosy blush--"play" makeup from her Hello Kitty cosmetic case.  She watched me a moment, then asked, "Do you need any help with that?"

I smiled and said, "No, Lil.  I think I got it.  But...I see you've done your makeup like a pro!  I HAVE to ask...what is your best makeup tip, dahling?"

She thought about my question for a moment, then replied, "You can't forget to draw on more eyebrows.  Maybe with a pen?  That is important!"       

Monday, January 21, 2013

Valentine Card Holder and 25 Shmacks!

When I was little, I loved receiving Valentine's Day cards from my classmates.  I couldn't wait to get home to go through all of them.  I'd dump out my decorated box, look at each "Be Mine" adorned card, and eat all the conversation heart candy.  I loved it!  (Confession:  I still love to receive Valentine's Day cards!)

But what do you do with them?  What do you do with the valentines you're given?

Never fear, Mama Leisha is help you showcase your love notes!  I have an adorable project/tutorial I'm sharing at my beloved Wood Connection's blog today.  I'm sure it will make your heart flutter!  Check it out here:

A big THANK YOU to the Wood Connection for allowing me the opportunity to guest post!  (And of course, thank you for being my Valentine!)  The Wood Connection has generously donated a $25 gift certificate to be given to one lucky "Mama Leisha" reader.  Entering the giveaway is easy:

1.)  Simply follow Mama Leisha via GFC!  (Google Friend Connect on the right side bar!)  If you already follow, THANK YOU!
2.)  Like "She Calls Me Mama Leisha" on Facebook.  (You can click the "F"circle on the sidebar!)  If you already "like," THANK YOU!
3.)  Leave a comment stating you are a GFC and FB follower, and that you'd like to win.  (And who wouldn't want to win this, right?!)
BONUS ENTRY:  Follow Mama on Twitter!
The drawing will close Thursday, January 24th at 10:00pm MST.  The winner will be notified via email.  There is one caveat:  The Wood Connection is located in Murray, UT.  They do not ship their products.  The drawing would most benefit Utah residents, people who visit Utah often, or readers willing to travel to Utah to claim their prize!  (Thanks for understanding, and if you're willing to travel I'll take you out for a cheeseburger!) 

Happy "Watch Out For Cupid's Arrows" Day and Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

On Falling In Love!

Have you ever laid eyes on someone or something and just knew, irrevocably and undeniably, that you were in L-O-V-E, love?  The poets, the romantics, and the "big screen" call this "love at first sight."  Have you experienced this heartwarming, twitterpating, awe-inspiring phenomenon?


The first time I saw the beautiful black and white stripes of a Sephora.  The first time I went to Smashburger and laid eyes on their rosemary fries.  The first time my babies were placed on my chest after their births.  The first time I saw my McHubby; a goofy, nineteen-year-old kid with a nice smile and a great laugh.  The first tube of red lipstick I ever bought.  The first time I walked into "The Sweet Tooth Fairy" and had a red velvet cupcake.

And the first time I met Kristine McKay.  Founder and owner of a video production company, My Craft Channel.  Mother, product designer, craft industry royalty, and all around hoot!

I was asked to come to the My Craft Channel studio and film a segment with Kristine, for her show, "My Craft Studio."   I did the only reasonable thing I could do.  I said, "heck yes," promptly bought a new cardigan for the occasion, and hit up Forever 21 for some accessories to match.  As I drove to the studio I felt nervous and excited.  (But mostly I just prayed I wouldn't look and sound like a complete goober!)

The moment I walked through the doors and met Kristine, I realized I was going to be okay.  She greeted me with a warm smile and a friendly hug; winning me over with compliments of, "Aleisha, you're darling."  When I saw that she was wearing leopard print shoes, I knew the cosmos had brought us together!

Everyone was nice and welcoming; the vibe was fun.  Kristine's incredible team worked to make me feel comfortable in front of the camera.  (Because, dudes!  I'm not!)  Kristine was very easy to talk to and fun to laugh with.  (Her sense of humor is spot-on fabulous!)  As I left the studio to head back home to my babies, I thought to myself (with a chuckle), "Well...I think I just fell in love with her!"

And if there was any doubt in my mind (which I'm pretty sure there wasn't) of my adoration for Kristine, it was immediately extinguished the moment I received this picture from her, via Facebook:      

Yep.  This pretty much "seals the deal" for me.

It's love!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Hop, A Hop! I'm Cohosting A Hop!

Happy Hump Day!!
...and rest assured, because its all down hill from here. In a good way! Welcome Back to a Mid Week Link up where you can link up everything you got, including your giveaways. Make sure they go on the right linkies below.
How does it work? Every time you link up your button below, you have a chance to be drawn as a co-host the following week. As long as you did not co-host the two previous weeks, you may co-host again and again if you like. Linking your button up on the first linky below means that you agree to host the blog hop on your blog the following week if you are drawn.  We have decided to make this change because we feel that it will be more successful in the long run and reach a wider audience for everyone!
Your Hosts this week: 
1. Follow your hosts  Mommy Only Has Two Hands, She Calls Me Mama Leisha, and Chaos, Commotion and Emotion
2. Tweet This Hop: 
3. It would be nice if you displayed the button in your post or blog sidebar to help spread the word.
And Most of All, have a Happy Hump Day!

Follow: Co-Host She Calls Me Mama Leisha Chaos, Commotion & Emotion *Please note, everyone who links up below will get an email reminder for next week's hop. You may always unsubscribe from this option after the first reminder.

Add your giveaways here:

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"People...People Who Need People..."

I cannot sing.  A fact that is sad to me, as I have always desired that talent.

I've wanted to be a singer ever since I saw a stage production of My Fair Lady, as a very young girl.  I've wanted to be a singer ever since I watched Funny Girl and discovered I could do a really terrific impression of Barbara Streisand...minus the pipes!  I suppose when God was handing out lovely singing voices to the heavenly angels who wanted them, I was absent.  I was probably off somewhere, doing my hair. 

Twinners?  Maybe.  Kooky noses?  YES!

Here's the thing...  I rarely sing in front of people.  If I try to sing alto, I'm usually as flat as my chest.  If I try to sing the high notes, I sound like a screeching bald eagle.  Not pretty!  (I should also mention that every note above a G is a high note for me!)  I've mastered the art of lip syncing, people!  I'm great at it, especially during the congregational hymns in church.  And this is exactly why I would sound "terrible, horrible, and no good" singing the infamous, "People"---I'm plain awful!  It's tragic.  *sigh*  What a heart breaker for a girl who just wants to serenade Omar Sharif.

Hello, you tall, dark, handsome, smoldering, sexy man...with a hair part that starts on the side of your head!

I admit I have my moments when I cut loose, let my hair down, toss caution to the wind, and sing my little heart out.  In the kitchen, while listening to some tunes and mopping my sticky floor.  In the shower, while shampooing my hair.  In the tub.  In the laundry room.  In the car, when a good jam comes across the radio airwaves.  I'll pretend I'm Adele, or that hip, blond chick from The Ting Tings, and throw my head back and sing like I was born to do it!  I envision myself taking center stage; the audience breathless with anticipation.  The spotlight is on me.  The music starts, the crowd roars, I open my mouth and... I.  Am.  Awesome!  It's wonderful and freeing and fun to pretend...

Until a certain someone very dear to me brings me crashing, brutally, back to reality.

Friday, January 4, 2013

I Don't Need Thor's Hammer!

My little brother is a nut.

A couple of weeks ago, on a chilly, Sunday afternoon, the whole family congregated together to celebrate the blessing of my new niece.  We attended a church meeting, then met up for lunch afterwards.  In the midst of the laughing and the eating and the "oohing" and ahhing" over all the desserts, my little, nutty brother produced a hammer.  A big, wooden mass-of-a-hammer.  A honkin' huge hammer.  A THOR HAMMER!

You might be asking, "Why?  Why would he have a Thor hammer?"  

Well, first of all, he made it.  (NERDY!)  And second of all, he is a nut.

Being none-to-shy and a bit "nutsy" myself, I picked up the Thor hammer and used it as a photo prop.  As my brother laughed and took my picture, he teasingly asked, "Are you going to put this on yourrr bloooog?  Are you going to write about this?  Hmm?  Find some way to make this a blog post?!" 

Actually...yes!  Yes, I am, little brother.  Challenge met!  Here you go:


Real superheroes come in all sizes and shapes.
They wait at school bus stops,
and decorate cakes.
They run to work,
they run to the store,
they run to soccer games,
until they can run no more.

They wear comfy sneakers.
They don pretty heels.
They scrub their kitchens,
where they make all the meals.
They heal the boo-boos,
with a kiss on the head.
They don't need a "magic hammer,"
they carry band-aids instead!

They fix broken toys.
They help out with Math.
They play in the sprinklers.
They unwind with a bath.
They serve in their communities.
They serve on the PTA.
The stay up all night when a child is sick,
and tackle laundry the very next day.

Sometimes they wear red lipstick,
or go days before washing their hair!
They laugh, they cry, they sing, they pray
for the ones who are in their care.

Real superheroes come from near and from far.
And you can spot one wherever you are.
They are the women who are courageous.
They are the ones who are strong.
 They fight hard and love hard,
standing for right, combating wrong.

In hard times they strive to be happy,
In chaos they strive to be calm.
They are beautiful,
They are amazing.
They answer to the call of, "MOM."