Hello, Universe, TMS readers and marshmallow-lovin’ friends!
My last blog post was published on May of 2017…. uhhhh, it’s now November of 2020. What just happened?!
What happened was LIFE. I went into semi-retirement after my contract ended with KRAFT. My priorities shifted completely and I evolved personally and professionally. Although my love for marshmallows, creativity, and entrepreneurship continues, I’ve decided to take a step back from The Marshmallow Studio until I find my new purpose that aligns with who I am now.
So who am I now? Welp…. let me tell ya.
When my contract ended, I decided to take a little break from the blogging world. To be honest, I was exhausted and my family life was increasingly demanding. My husband’s career was taking off at Disney Imagineering and needed to travel more, dedicate more uninterrupted time at his desk so it was my time to support him. Our kids were now at an age where they needed to be driven around to various activities, they had playdates, and I finally had time to get involved at their school. Plus, we had moved to a 5-acre property that if let go, the forest would take it back. It needed constant maintenance and love which is fine and enjoyable if you don’t have the pressures of a job. I jumped right into making our house a home, making our island our community, and making local “friends”. That friends and school involvement part didn’t quite work out as planned but no need to revisit the negative. Our house definitely became a beautiful home. I will forever LOVE our little slice of paradise we had there. Part of realigning priorities and choosing the lifestyle you want, we knew Camano Island no longer fit our needs so we decided to move. We still live in Washington State and will probably stay here for the foreseeable future. I am so happy with our new city, it fits us in general much more!
I learned in late 2017 that I had a sky-high rocketing cholesterol level and that I was 90% guaranteed to develop Celiacs disease based on immediate family inheritance. Instead of letting that tear me into a health downward spiral, I chose to take control of my diet and fitness. I cut out gluten and began weight lifting. That took care of the digestive system damage that was already starting to show on my skin but didn’t do much for my cholesterol. Two years later I made the decision to immediately cut out all animal products from my diet as well. (Thank you Trader Joe’s for making vegan marshmallows!). I started by educating myself on all plant-based info and researching meals, available products, and resources. After a few weeks, my family jumped on board. Now we are all vegan, lean, and healthier than ever. I strongly recommend ditching anything that crawls, slithers, climbs, walks, swims, jumps, or hops from putting it in your body.
Another huge change was my online presence versus my real-life presence. I was way more active and involved in my social media channels than I was with the people around me including my own family. It’s an easy-to-fall-into hole when you’re a social media manager, you work from home and have recently moved to a new location. I didn’t know anyone on our island, I hardly left my house and I was supposed to be available online 24/7. After some deep thinking and analyzing, I knew that was not healthy or how things should be. I slowly began to set boundaries and distance myself from that. I tried to make in-person connections, I limited my phone usage, and relearned to snap photos to capture the moment rather than for “Instagram worthiness” images. That was also a real eye-0pener when I was so obsessed with taking the perfect photo instead of soaking up the joy and blessing it was to be living that memory with my loved ones or indulging in that delicious bite. I want life to be REAL not just staged photographs. Whenever I have the opportunity to have someone else in charge of photography, I do it. It’s extremely important to me to be in the pictures along with my kids and husband.
A surprising change that came with my “temporary retirement” was the way I planned and hosted my kids’ birthday parties. From my amazing mother, I inherited the desire to make all of our gatherings extra lovely, special, detailed, etc (you get the picture). Since starting The Marshmallow Studio, I turned every event into an extremely stressful project because it wasn’t just a party, it was a blog entry. I had to have everything WOW & PERFECT! I would kill my family and myself to have it all setup and perfect about an hour before guests arrived in order to be able to photograph all the details. Although everyone including us absolutely loved the parties, they did become too much. I wanted to simplify, I wanted to enjoy the process and the actual event more, I wanted to do less, I wanted to spend less, I wanted to relax more, I wanted more to be less (if that makes any sense). Slowly but surely our events downsized, the fun upsized and we added special outings and travels as part of our celebrations instead of going all-in into a party.
This Pokemon Party for my son, Keiran, was the last blog-worthy I styled. My husband and I dressed as Jesse & James, the villains hahahaha. You can tell I stopped worrying so much about the lighting. My house had horrible lighting in most of the downstairs, making photographing a nightmare.
After that, the parties got BIGGER with more friends and more FUN. It was easier to handle the volume when I didn’t have to spend so much time on little details and making everything so picture-perfect.
I think our guests enjoyed these parties more too!!
I would be lying if I told you I didn’t miss the excitement and hustle of being an entrepreneur. The fun in engaging with fellow food, creative and designer bloggers that allowed me to keep my game strong haha. I mostly miss having time to play with marshmallows. But I am a strong believer that life has stages and we must embrace change in order to achieve progress.
Fortunately, we still receive book orders for our mARTshmallows book. Yay for ordering extra copies 🙂 That keeps me connected to TMS here and there.
You can still order yours for only $10 hardcopy and $5 ebook version in English or Español.
The changes above allowed us to travel more, to dive into some fun adventures, and to prepare for the future. We had the opportunity to go to Disney World three times, Disneyland, Hawaii, California, Chicago, Canada, camping plus do several local staycations. Sometimes taking a few steps back allow you to take big jumps forward. We had a few more big trips planned for the upcoming years – Caribbean, Costa Rica, Japan, and Europe. Buuuuutttttt…..
2020 happened. No one saw it coming or knew it was possible. You know what I’m talking about!
We’ve been staying to ourselves in isolation mostly since March which in retrospect has allowed the transition into our new lifestyle, veganism, and the new city much easier. Everything happens for a reason and everything is going to be okay eventually (hopefully, LOL).
Sending you all virtual marshmallow hugs!!!!
Signing off for an extended period of time,