Please enable javascript in your browser to view this site!

I’M A MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTIST & MOTHER BASED IN OJAI, CALIFORNIA.

I work in many mediums, all so dear to my heart. Writing, food, fiber, and illustration are the things I do most these days. No matter what medium I’m working in, the core message is the same. I focus on creating humble luxury with an essentialist mindset.

HUMBLE LUXURY | It’s taken a long time for me to distill what I do into an easy to digest phrase. Humble Luxury is idea that luxury, pleasure, and safety aren’t exclusive experiences for those who can buy it. These are feelings that live within us and are available to all of us. No matter what medium I’m working in, this idea is singing it’s song through me.

ESSENTIALIST MINDSET |Essentialism is about learning to prioritize what’s most important and essential to you right now. It’s about doing less and doing those few things better. With greater focus and fewer tasks needing attention, greater impact can be made in life & work, with more time for the things that matter most.

In everything I do, I value emotional intelligence, integrity, inclusivity, impact, and joy.

lemonvnm.jpg

1. I USED TO BAKE PROFESSIONALLY

My passion was in allergen free baking. I loved knowing that I could help someone celebrate a special moment even if they had a restricted diet. I baked in New York City, San Francisco, and my hometown of Buffalo, NY.

The first bakery I worked at specialized in cake - which has always been my favorite. At the bakery we had a ‘build your own cupcake’ cake bar and I love working it. It was like working in a normal bar but instead of serving alcohol, being uncomfortably hit on, and hearing shitty breakup stories, I got to serve cake, watch people light up with joy, and hear stories of falling in love.


2. I GOT A SEPTIC BLOOD INFECTION DURING POSTPARTUM.

There are so many pieces to this story that I still don’t quite have words for. Eight days after giving birth safely (by the skin of my teeth) at home, I was rushed to the hospital with a fever of 105.5F/40.83C. It was a scary and physically painful experience that I think will take many years to integrate. In one week I gave birth and almost died. It was quite an experience to touch these extreme edges of being human in such a short time. You can hear me tell more of the story here on the Expectful Podcast.

And for those wondering how this happened, we still don’t know. The theory is that the infection was already dormant in my body and my immune system dipped too low to fight it off after 2 days of labor and many more days of not hitting a REM cycle in sleep. Once I stabilized, the doctors said it was better to focus on the results rather than run a bunch of tests to determine how it happened.

3. I’VE EXPERIENCED A LOT OF TRUMA.

(Trigger Warning) I guess you could say the abuse I experienced started all the way back when I was in the womb. It did, but the boundaries around what parts of that story are mine to tell feel fuzzy as best. The obvious abuse for me began when I was 2 years old and lasted for years. I experienced rape/incest, physical, mental, and emotional abuse at the hands of other people. I also dealt with internal abuse - drug addiction, eating disorders, and debilitating shame, fear, & anxiety that made even simple tasks difficult.

You’ll hear me talk about the experience of living in the ripples of trauma, as that’s a very important aspect of my reality today, but I choose to not talk in detail about what I experienced. Retelling the what of it all over and over forces me to stay in the experience in a way that doesn’t serve my mental health. Perhaps someday I’ll write it all out to share, but for now I choose to talk details with only my therapist & partner, and share the experiences of living with trauma here.


4. I VALUE CONSISTENCY.

People used to say I change my mind like the wind. It’s true that I like a lot of different things, I’ve always liked a lot of different things, and, if I do say so myself, I’m good at a lot of different things. I can’t pick one medium to work in and, I think if I did, it would be a disservice to myself and everyone around me. But I do value consistency. That’s not something I would’ve said even 3 years ago, but it’s a point of pride for me now.

I also now know when to deprioritize things (even if I love them) and that helps me be more consistent too. The essentialist perspective of less but better shapes the way I do everything now and my life is significantly better because of it.

lemonvnm.jpg

5. ONE OF MY LIFE GOALS IS TO SPEAK AT LEAST 3 LANGUAGES FLUENTLY.

It seems like a ridiculous goal since I currently only speak one language fluently, and 2 others really poorly, but hopefully I have lots of years to practice. I think our stories are the most valuable currency in this world and I love communicating with people. I want to listen to people and speak with ease when I travel. I want to hear people’s stories in the language that they know best. I think language makes the world smaller. It builds bridges. It connects us. It helps us relate to each other. And I think that kind of connection makes the world a safer place for all of us.

6. I GREW UP WITH A SINGLE MOTHER.

This experience shaped who I am in ways that I’m understanding more and more as the years pass. I don’t know what it’s like to be a single parent myself, but I do remember what it was like being a child to a single parent. This window helps me shape content and support differently because it gives me a view I wouldn’t otherwise have. The feelings and memories I have as the child of a single mother definitely help me make better work today

7. I HOSTED MY FIRST FUNDRAISER WHEN I WAS 15.

It took me 1 year to plan. I organized over 60 volunteers, curated a lineup of bands, raffles, and food, wrote my first press release, did interviews with all of the local news stations and newspapers, and shaved my head for the first time. The money I raised went to the children’s wing of local cancer hospital, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, in my hometown of Buffalo, NY. The goal was to raise money to buy more toys for the kid’s playroom in hopes that a little joy might make the experience of being sick a bit less scary. I also donated my hair to Locks of Love.

Unfortunately, Britney Spears also shaved her head the night before the event. After 1 years of dedicated planning, all of the news coverage introduced my fundraiser by saying things like, “Well, we don’t know why Britney Spears shaved her head, but we do know why one local teen did…” Ayyyy.

8. I FRACTURED MY BACK WHEN I WAS 12.

The jury is still out on what happened here. Specialists at the time said my spine didn’t develop properly in the womb and couldn’t support all of the physical stress of dancing (I was a competitive dancer then, working towards pro). Perhaps that developmental issue had to do with the physical abuse from when I was still in the womb? Or maybe my back broke because I was carrying too much metaphorical weight on my shoulders from all of the abuse I was dealing with. In any event, my L5 was fractured with a bulging disk above and I continued to dance full time with the injury for 6 months. (You can hear me talk more about this too on The Expectful Podcast.)

On the bright side, the process of rehabilitating lead me to yoga, meditation, and ultimately to the tools of healing that set me on the path I walk today. Plus I learned to sew and express my creativity in other visual ways since I couldn’t get on stage anymore.

9. I FOUNDED AND RAN AN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF ENERGY MEDICINE WHEN I WAS 24.

In some ways it was a success, in some ways it was a massive (productive) failure. I built this school in a way that was really unsustainable for myself and ended up burning out after a few years of teaching. I learned a lot in the process, had the honor of witnessing incredible growth in my students, and met some truly phenomenal people along the way. Looking back, I’m so grateful for the experience and the trust that was offered to me by my students. The program I developed was a year long certification program designed to guide students into themselves. We focused on self trust, boundaries, and listening as the foundation for being a practitioner of any form of energy work.

lemonvnm.jpg


10. I’VE LIVED OFF GRID, IN TINY HOMES, AND IN COMMUNITIES MANY TIMES.

I’ve lived without running water and without electricity. I’ve lived in a van with my husband and dog. I’ve lived in ‘conscious’ communities that were anything but. And I’ve lived out of a backpack, on the road, without a proper address so many times. Up until my 25th year, I had moved more times than years I was alive - and I’d been living on my own since I was 17.

I thought for a long time I was chasing fun & adventure, but really I was learning what home was by experiencing everything that home wasn’t.