Kid Style Stepmomming Style

Love Taught Me Who Was The Boss

Style with kids at the park in Lake Arrowhead

What I’m Wearing…

* I’m Gonna Win t-shirtThe I’m Gonna Win Collection is inspired by an iconic photo of Diana Ross wearing a t-shirt with the same phrase…. (which I LOVE!) from The Phenomenal Woman Action Campaign, inspired by Maya Angelou’s “Phenomenal Woman” poem, and is a female-powered organization that brings awareness to social causes supporting the critical work that’s being done for women’s rights on the ground by fearless organizations every day. All net proceeds benefit their non-profit partners. It’s a WIN-WIN 🙂
* MOTHER The Insider Crop Jeans in black. I’m so obsessed with these jeans that I just bought another pair in a light wash denim (that were somehow over $75 more than the black pair… and look like they fit a little looser. I’m hoping I love them the same because I don’t have a good pair right now in a light wash… which sounds nuts because I have a million pairs of jeans)
* Black hat
* Vintage red neck scarf (actually I think this was from an old blouse)
* Vintage Chanel Surpique bucket bag
* Phillip Lim sunglasses
* Old skool vans

* Title: Diana Ross The Boss… for so many obvious reasons 🙂

It’s funny… I feel like there’s more going on in my life now than ever, giving me ample topics to cover, yet I’m having the most difficult time blogging and sharing about it all. In fact, throughout my blogging career (over 10 years now) there have only been a handful of instances where I’ve been at a loss for words, which I deemed a “creative low”, and in retrospect I’d realize those had been times where I’d been a little depressed or going through low points (admittedly, mostly due to sadness about infertility and whatever had just triggered it). And then, sure enough a few weeks later, I’d be feeling like myself again and back to it. I’m definitely not feeling blue or in a low point at the moment but I do feel like so much has changed in my life that I’m not even sure where or how to start sharing about it all I guess.

And then I took a moment to think about it all and realized that it’s not so much a lack of creativity I’m feeling, it’s that SO MUCH is going on in my life that I have very few moments to think and reflect on it all… and to me, that quiet reflection time falls under self-care and it’s supremely important for my mental health to make it a priority and do it. It’s something that I’ve always just kind of done, like journaling and writing. It allows me to feel a greater sense of gratitude for all that is and figure out what areas may not be working so well and how to solve those issues and to also think about the future and what that may look like.

When you’re go-go-going and not taking those moments to yourself to sit and reflect on your current life situation, it’s hard to actually, truly – grow. It’s difficult to be creative and think about future and work on dreams and goals when you don’t give yourself time to do so. If you’re in a constant state of Go-ing and Go-ness, it also becomes a great distraction to the sort of harder work that goes into listening to your heart and intuition and dreaming and working on “what’s next” and it also sort of keeps you in a constant state of NOW.

And as much as “they” say BE IN THE NOW, I find that being in the now all of the time kind of sets you up for the NOW to be your forever. Does that make sense? Like if I’m so busy in the now and never allow a second to stop and ponder, then NOW will always BE and that makes it hard to actually go anywhere else (metaphorically, mentally and physically too). If I’m constantly caught up in the chaos that is and are my current circumstances (good or bad), then there’s no real reflection of how I can change to create the future I want. On the other hand, if there is contentment in the NOW and happiness in a place you’ve always wanted to be, then I suppose that’s all the matters.

But that’s a sort of odd place to be for me, since I have a BIG okay, what’s next? kind of mentality, creatively speaking. It’s not that I’m not content or happy even, I am, but I also LOVE working on new projects and turning ideas into reality and when I’m not then I sort of feel like I’m “stuck” rather than moving forward. And honestly, the only way I can tell the difference is that I don’t find that I have (or maybe don’t “make”) time for creative thinking, and that’s something I enjoy immensely. SO as content as I may be, if I’m not making time for that, then something just feels lacking, tugging at me all the time.

I also suppose that I could be overthinking it all…

On the other hand (and bear with me, there are a LOT of other hands) I recently moved in with the man I’ve been seeing for a while, who yes, also happens to be one of my business partners (though our relationship actually happened well after we collaborated and built Dogwood Tavern) and I’ve been thrown into stepmomming Monday through Thursdays each week (Summer vacay) and it’s been a wild ride, to say the least. It’s fun and frustrating and scary and crazy and lovely and wonderful all wrapped up in one package. I’m sure that’s a normal feeling for any parent (right?) but I’m learning and growing and focusing creatively on this huge new chapter in my life, and clearly not seeing the progress I am making (personally) on that level. I may not be growing in the ways I’ve always been accustomed to in the past, but I’m certainly growing in a new stepmom role at a very rapid rate. And maybe my fear is that if I don’t work creatively on my own projects (and this blog, for instance) then will I lose myself completely?

Probably overthinking it all for sure…

I’m a sort-of nurturer by nature and so I expect it all (parenting) to come easy and on some level, much of it does, but I have so much still to learn. One thing I’m kind of adamant about though is making sure I’m helping the girls learn and develop and grow as well… especially mentally and in their emotional development, which I find so many of us lack as we enter into adulthood and oftentimes well after we’re adults. And I feel if I can impart some wisdom on them at these young ages then they will grow up with some mental coping tools and skills that are so important to healthy development.

Not to sound entirely rigid because there is definitely pure fun and joy and playfulness that is had, but I think every moment is a learning experience for children. They watch everything and mostly, they watch us react to life and to them and even in those moments, they are learning how to react to life and when brains aren’t fully developed, those moments can mean many different things. The way we interpret life and what emotions we attach to our experiences creates our identities, our confidence, our insecurities and fears, our dreams and general outlook on life and obviously I just want to make sure I’m doing what is right for them at all times.

Again, I’m overthinking it all most probably, but on the other hand (I told you, lots of hands) I’d like to be a positive role model to them and when you have two little girls looking up to you, everything you do is under speculation really.

I’m definitely up for the job, but it’s a lot of pressure. And I think I’m using my creativity in new ways which benefits them instead for myself only, and that is also more personal growth I should be proud of I suppose.

These two beautiful little girls have the sweetest little hearts and my mama bear instincts to protect them from harm (physically and mentally) are on red alert at all times. I think the words BE CAREFUL, I DON’T WANT YOU TO HURT YOURSELF come out of my mouth more than anything else, which now that I think about it, may instill a type of fear in them that I’m totally not intending. Interesting how our best intentions can be completely harmful and we’re all just doing the best we can.

But what do I know? I’m clearly no expert and I’m clearly overthinking the whole thing and it’s still all new and I love it and I have little moments where I’m filled with love and gratitude and I get all teary-eyed because how did I get so lucky??? … and yet I am still trying to figure it all out. But maybe you just never do? Maybe there’s no such thing and I need to get out of my thinking brain and more into my feeling brain (thanks Mark Manson) on this matter? Or maybe I’ve missed the point entirely? Who knows.

All I do know is that I love these kids more than I ever thought I was capable of loving any other human beings – with all my heart, and I honestly don’t quite fully understand the feelings and emotions that are swirling through my being on the regular now… but as per usual, I hope that I can share it all here with you, Lovecats 🙂

So… all THAT said

I’d like to officially introduce you to Peyton (8) and Allison (almost 6) (nicknames: PeyPey and Allie)… who are currently obsessed with Billie Eilish (who isn’t?) and enjoy playing with LOL Dolls, Barbies, and their Baby Alive (and my “old fashioned” Cabbage Patch dolls), playing in the lake and at the park, telling me stories and showing me their reading skills, and doing my hair and giving my mom beauty makeovers and they also LOVE getting dressed and doing “photoshoots” with me. We choose outfits together (mostly) and they accessorize (lol) and we have a LOT of fun, though I’m still working teaching them how to follow direction as far as the photos (another skill that is actually a good life lesson as well (lol))… and this “look” was a black and white theme.

I’m still a little protective about sharing too much, but each week they ask if I put the photoshoot pictures on which makes me smile… and I finally had to get over my little fears about it and just do it.

I’ve also created a photoshoot binder where I print out the best 4-6 photos from the shoot that they can look at whenever they want and I add new ones after each shoot. When they arrive on Mondays, they’re super excited to look through the book and see our “photoshoot” and then we get to think about what we’re going to wear for the next one. It’s a sweet and fun little ritual we’ve created and are loving.

Peyton (the oldest) wants her own youtube channel. I’m on the fence about it, but she’s already walking around the house with an iPad filming herself on the regular with more ease in front of the camera than I could ever hope to have and just awaiting the day we let her upload them 🙂

So I guess, as much as I feel like I haven’t been growing personally because I have far less time for reflection, the learning curve with the kids and being in a mom role is a high arc. So obviously I’m growing, just in different ways than what feels normal to me so sometimes I feel a little stagnant in my own creativity, but in time, I’ll find my rhythm again. And it seems as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard, they’re off and running and I feel completely at ease and at home in this space… So I’m not even sure why I doubt it in the first place?


Peyton is working on her “serious” face here 🙂

Happy Tuesday Lovecats!

* Find all my Style Posts here

Maegan Tintari

LA native & lifestyle blogger Maegan Tintari writes daily at sharing beauty & style secrets, including fashion DIYs, how-to nail art manicures, hair tutorials, recipes & home decorating ideas, as well as a look into her personal life, her journey & battle with infertility & recent relocation to the mountains by a lake in search of a better life with her adorable French Bulldog brothers, Trevor and Randy.

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