Creatively inspiring you to follow your dreams.

Tag: Moms in Hawaii

A Healthy Alternative to Soda

A Healthy Alternative to Soda

Tweet A few days ago, I ordered a drink from one of my favorite restaurants on Oahu called Up Roll Cafe. While I had my regular salad bowl that tastes like sushi, I also ordered a “healthy soda.” The owner there said it had vinegar […]

Spiritual Lessons in the Parenthood Trenches

Spiritual Lessons in the Parenthood Trenches

Tweet There are things you learn as a parent you couldn’t possibly learn without kids. Funny things. Gross things. Things that if you allow yourself to be fully open and awake, can change your world forever. Things like… Thou Shall Feel Guilt but do it […]

Q & A with Mom and Revel Designs Owner Vashelle Nino

Q & A with Mom and Revel Designs Owner Vashelle Nino

vashellerevel-design-logo_final

Vashelle Nino is a mom friend I met while she was living in Hawaii. She is genuine, kind and super creative. In a word, inspiring. I’ve been stalking her jewelry on Facebook and had to know what inspired her. Here’s what she had to say about her business Revel Designs and life in Maryland with her husband, three kids and “feisty pooch.”

How long have you wanted to create jewelry?

I have been creating jewelry for myself for as long as I could remember. It is sort of the perfect hobby for me for a number of reasons. First, since I have always been thrifty and not one to spend a lot of money on myself and my appearance, I use accessories as an inexpensive way to look put together. I truly believe it is one of the cheapest ways to feel good about what you’re wearing! Second, I have always liked creating and working with my hands. Beading and braiding and working with wire and pliers is like therapy to me. It has a focused, calming effect the same way that yoga and meditation does. Third, it is one of the only things I am good at! Ha! I love creating just about anything, but I don’t think anyone would purchase one of my paintings.

How did you first learn how to do it?

I taught myself jewelry-making techniques long ago just by getting in there and trying it! I’m still learning so much, and there is actually a lot I have yet to learn. Recently, a friend made a custom order with materials I had never used before—real gold and real Tahitian pearls. It was so nervous making this fine jewelry, and I had to do a little bit of research on the materials beforehand. I enjoyed the process and am always eager to learn new things.

What’s your inspiration?

Cost of materials is what drives and inspires me 80% of the time. I love shopping for beautiful beads, stones, charms and accents when they are at their best price. It allows me to sell my finished pieces at a reasonable price. Again, I believe great style can be achieved through accessories—affordable ones at that—and I love being able to contribute to that. The other 20% is when I see materials so beautiful I cannot resist using them in a piece. I get an image in my mind of how I want to use it and I go for it.

That is my creative process.

But what inspired me to open my own jewelry shop to begin with is this: I met a lovely lady in 2014, back when I was living in Hawaii. Her name is, ahem, Brandi. She was a fairly new mom, a kindred spirit, and I saw her striving to live an inspired life doing what she was passionate about. It made me ponder, what do I love? What am I passionate about? And why am I not doing it? It took a while for me to figure it out. I had just had my third child and was about to embark on a cross-country move from Hawaii to Maryland. I did not have the time or stability to focus on that sort of thing right away, but once we settled down in our new home I was able to reflect on what I was good at creatively. I will always be thankful for the sweet serendipity that brought Brandi into my life and what her presence did for me.

Did you have any fears or challenges about creating it initially? If so, what helped you get through these obstacles?

I cannot say I was fearful of anything. I have failed enough times at other things not to care about my ego or embarking on another failure. I had gotten to the point of thinking what is there to lose so I pretty much jumped in!
My biggest challenge when it comes to creating is time. As a mother of three, spanning an age group of 2 to 14 years old, I have very little time set aside to create. I often pine for there to be more hours in a day, but don’t we all!

I often hear from friends, “How do you do it all so effortlessly?”

And I often reply: “I don’t! Would you like to see the mold in my shower, or the three baskets of unfolded laundry hiding in my laundry room, or the Easter wreath still on my front door even though it’s October?”

I think the idea of having it all or doing it all is an illusion. We parents are busier than ever—and I don’t believe that is a good thing. Did your mom do with you as much as you are doing with your kid(s)? Was she as sleep-deprived? Did she worry about the 762,983 things the media tells us to worry about? I doubt it. And I think we should let some things go for the sake of our own sanity.

What do you see for your creative future?

I hope I will still be creating jewelry and perhaps some other things. My love for creating is REAL. I am happiest when I am using my hands and getting messy. I love colors and shapes and textures and all mediums, and I have referred to myself many times as a “sensory whore.” Ha!

I hope to continue selling on Etsy, as it is a comprehensive, reliable and credible platform for my shop. I have had nothing short of a great experience using it.

I also hope to do more craft shows in my area. Incredibly, I moved to the most appropriate place to embark on my new creative venture, as the community in Harford County, Maryland celebrates and values local art and business. The opportunities to showcase my work are plentiful.

What are you most proud of thus far?

Sticking with it and not giving up too soon. My family and friends were the bulk of my customers at the beginning. While I am immensely appreciative of their support I knew they did not sign up to support my business forever, nor did I expect them to! So I remember how excited I was when I got my very first non-family/friend customer through Etsy. I was like What! Someone found my shop, actually liked something and bought it! It was an incredible feeling. And even though I’ve had many non-friend/family customers since that first one, I still get very giddy and humbled. I love the transaction process, knowing that many Etsy shoppers believe in supporting artisans. Even though it is a modernized process using technology and postal services, it gives me the wonderful feeling of being a craftsman vending at an exotic bazaar. I love that.

vashelle vashelle-ninohttps://www.etsy.com/shop/RevelDesignsbyShelly
Instagram: @revel.designs.by.shelly

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From Monday Mom Blues to Monday Blooms

From Monday Mom Blues to Monday Blooms

Tweet A mom friend told me as a stay at home mom you have oodles of time to think, but do little else. To be honest, it’s made me dread a whole fresh week of nothingness. When I first started as a full-time stay at […]

Mourning Motherhood

Mourning Motherhood

Tweet Motherhood strips everything away. You leave humility behind in pregnancy and there’s no going back. The person you are now is a thin shadow of who you thought you were. You may have spent a substantial amount of your adulthood figuring out your identity. […]

Surviving Airplane Travel With a Toddler and an Infant

Surviving Airplane Travel With a Toddler and an Infant

Payton drawing

I’m fresh off of my ten day trip and wanted to share what helped ease the pain of traveling with two babies.

I scoured the internet for weeks before my vacation. I found information on air travel with a toddler and air travel with an infant, but none for both. Maybe because many parents would rather avoid traveling until their babies are older. But I’m glad I took a risk. It turned out way less scary than I imagined.

Prepping + low expectations + luck = pretty painless trip

While I’m no way close to being an expert, I did learn a few things that may help you tote your tots:

  1. Read Busy Toddler Happy Mom’s Traveling with Toddlers by Gayle Jervis and Kristen Jervis Cacka. This short travel book packs a punch. Mine is full of tabs and so valuable I packed in our already packed luggage. It’s not only helpful for traveling, but for those rare times when you go out to eat.
  2. Make “surprise” eggs. I don’t know about you, but my toddler loves watching those surprise eggs videos on youtube. I tried to mimic the action by filling eggs with things like play dough, capsules that turn into animals when you drop them in water, and jelly rings that light up. While I had to keep my 9-month old away from the tiny toys, he was pretty excited with the plastic eggs themselves.
  3. Pack new novelty books. Scratch n’ sniff books were a hit with my baby, toddler and me too.
  4. Wipeable workbooks. Who knew workbooks could be fun? The dry erase workbook that helps toddlers trace and draw was a lifesaver keeping my three-year-old busy for about an hour.
  5. Bring on the carseat. This is a secret tip shared by my flight attendant cousin. I believe it was the biggest reason for the ease of this trip compared with the hell ride we went on a few months earlier. He was so comfortable, he even fell asleep.
  6. Toddler safe scissors. Since I never gave my three-year-old scissors before, he was fascinated with using them to cut play dough.
  7. Build a fun bag. I read about how others mom created play kits out of makeup bags. Genius! Now why didn’t I think of that? Basically you fill these clear folders or binder pencil cases with things like antibacterial wipes, new toys, books, and snacks. This saved me a huge amount of time since it eliminated the need to dig through my carryon.
  8. BYOT(rash)B(ag). A flight attendant complimented me on this, but I have to give credit to one of the moms who wrote about it. The benefit of toting a trash bag? I didn’t have to wait for an attendant to take our cups, napkins, and everything else overflowing the seat pockets.
  9. Bring snacks they both can eat. Cheerios were a popular treat for both my kids.
  10. Dress your infant in socks. This is great for babies that are walking, standing or cruising. You can plop them on the ground and not worry about their feet getting dirty. Their hands? That’s another story.

Bonus tips:

  1. *Let them play on your phone or tablet. If all else fails, save those really tantalizing age appropriate iPad games for the trip. It’ll give you a little time to either entertain the baby, read (I actually got to do this!) or rest.
  2. *Prep them beforehand. For weeks before our trip, my toddler and I practiced our airplane voice. I told him that we had to be quiet on the airplane, other people would be on there and if he’s too loud he might get scolded by the flight attendant. Your child may not need a little warning, but doing so seemed to help mine.
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The Things They Teach Us

The Things They Teach Us

Tweet If anyone told you that one day you would endure hours of physical pain, mindless work and emotional struggle all with little hope of continuous sleep, you would think they were talking about imprisonment or self-torture. But many of choose this life when we […]

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