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You are worth the quiet moment

“You are worth the quiet moment. You are worth the deeper breath. You are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.” 

Self-care has recently become such a popular topic and I’ve recently embraced it full force these past couple years. We are asked, in a spiritual point of view, to love our neighbors, to love our parents. But, do we love ourselves? Do we love ourselves as passionately as we love those around us?

I’ve watched close loved ones literally love their loved ones to death. They give and give till they are empty themselves with nothing left to give anymore. Their other loved ones who need it the most have been put to the wayside. They are an empty shell and have lost their true purpose and spark who made them who they once were in the first place. 

One of my favorite analogies is the oxygen mask on the airplane. When an airplane experiences distress in an emergency, oxygen masks pop out from the ceiling to assist breathing. We are instructed to place the mask over ourselves before helping our loved ones. In life, if we can’t take care of ourselves first, we will not be able to help the people next to us. 

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.” 

If we do not take the time to fill our cups, we will have nothing to pour out. 

One of the main things people struggle with giving so much, is that there are no boundaries set with the people around them. They want to help so much that they forget that they need help too. Here are ways to set boundaries in your own life:

  1. Name your limits—You can’t set boundaries if you don’t know what you stand for. What do you tolerate and accept? What makes you feel uncomfortable and stressed? That will help list your limits. 

  2. Tune into your feelings—There are two feelings that come from letting go of boundaries (discomfort and resentment). When someone makes you feel uncomfortable, that’s a cue that they’re violating a boundary. When someone is imposing their expectations on us, we will feel guilty and resentment sets in.

  3. Be direct—Be direct with how you want to be treated, what makes you tic, and what you won’t stand for. You’ll know the toxic relationship by who takes these things personally.

  4. Give yourself permission—Boundaries aren’t just a sign of a healthy relationship; it’s a sign of self-respect.

  5. Make self-care a priority—put yourself first for a change. It’s recognizing the importance of your feelings and wellbeing. 

Putting yourself first gives you the energy, peace of mind and positive outlook to be more present with others and be there for them. When we’re in a better place, we can be a better wife, mother, husband, co-worker or friend. 

“You owe yourself the love that you freely give to other people.” 

In my second book, The Love We Found, my main character wants to help someone with a life-threatening illness, only to get herself in trouble too. This concept is called “Save the Savior”.  If we put ourselves in danger by helping someone, we are no use to anyone. We actually cause more damage in the process. 

I whole heartedly agree with helping and loving others. But sometimes we get so caught up in other people’s needs, that we forget our own. Why do we get caught up in other’s needs? Because of guilt and shame? Grief? Sincere selflessness? To impress? When will you put your needs first? Do you know how to put your needs first? 

Everyone deserves self-care, self-respect and self-reliance. You owe yourself that. You are a person with passions, dreams, hobbies, personality, diversity, quirks and gifts. You deserve to harness and spend time crafting those things just as much as you push your loved ones to do. 

The term self-care has been around for centuries. But it’s just come to terms with younger generations for whatever reason. Self-care can look different for different people. Self care is defined: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

I have anxiety. I’ve always had it. I think it stemmed from my parent’s divorce from an early age. I never did anything about it till my second daughter came along. With the help of medication, my anxiety doesn’t control me anymore, even though I still struggle. And the help of self-care has even put me at lower dosage of meds. How does one practice self-care? 

Here’s some things that I do:

  1. Workout for 30 minutes everyday

  2. Less screen time (television and phone)

  3. Taking a long, hot shower 

  4. Going on dates with my husband

  5. Going to bed at the same time every night (10pm) 

  6. Reading 

  7. Eating well (and indulging too)

  8. Drinking plenty of water

With these things, I’ve noticed that I’m happier, I’m living more in the moment, I am invested in my children and husband, I am overall a better person not being acted upon. 

Again, self-care is different for everyone. What works for me might not work for you. It also doesn’t have to be doing something. Lying in bed and meditating in the quiet will be enough! 

And I also want to point out that SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH. It’s important. It’s integral.  

I can’t help but to believe that we were put here on this earth to just be idle. We should be giving our loved ones and ourselves the best version we can be. Don’t get so lost in others that you lose yourself. Everyone deserves to be taken care of—including YOU! 

“It’s important to do what’s best for you, whether people approve of it or not. This is your life. You know what’s good for you and remember, self-love takes strength.” 

Morgan Flores is the author of young adult books including The Love We Lost and upcoming release sequel, The Love We Found. You can follow her on Instagram @morganized_living for all updates on minimalism, self care, organization and book updates! 

Cleaning Cards

All YOUR questions answered about my most requested and asked about…cleaning cards!

Before I get into it, I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due: Toni from @abowlfulloflemons. I found her account and saw she had done these cards, but I put my own spin on it and made it SIMPLE. Hers works for her, but I’m minimal and don’t have that much to clean. So I broke it down into simplicity, which is why I think everyone likes it. It’s especially kid friendly.

Here are the questions I got:

  1. What does OAW mean? It means Once A Week. The things NOT starred are things I do in my daily reset (strictly just putting things away–not cleaning!) But, I’m not liking how it looks on my card because it’s actually confusing me–ha! So I’m going to be making new cards.
  2. How did I decide what was worth daily vs weekly cleaning? My daily cleaning are things usually in my reset (picking up toys, loading the dishwasher, wiping crumbs off the counter). The rest, I decided was weekly (dusting, mopping, deep cleaning my sink, etc.) So basically the more time consuming jobs are weekly.
  3. Do I use a card a day? Yes! Thanks to minimalism, I’m able to be very flexible. The least I’ll do is one card. If I’m in the mood, I’ll do two cards. For example, I’ll do my kitchen card and my dining room is the easiest room, so I’ll just move into there and combine the cleaning cards.
  4. Do I do all the ‘once a week’ things in one day? No. I only do the once a week for that specific card. And that’s what’s making me confused. So I’ll be making new cards so I don’t confuse myself–or you!
  5. How often do I deep clean? I consider my cleaning cards deep cleaning. There are some specific things I only clean once a month (under the couch, my vacuum, the car)
  6. How do I pick which card to do for the day? Again, I’m flexible. Sometimes I work in rotation. After I’m done with the card, I’ll put it behind in the back. But, sometimes I’ll notice that a room needs cleaning more than another one. Like my guest room. We have a lot of guests and I’ll clean it right after they leave even if my bedroom card is next.
  7. Do I go by time or until it’s done? I go by till it’s done. Some rooms take more than others like the bathrooms. But, they usually take me about ten minutes, if that. But, my daily resets, I time and that is 20 minutes. So my total cleaning time for the day is about 30 minutes.
  8. How did I decide what to put on them? I literally went room to room and wrote down what I thought needed to be done. For example, the dining room: dust blinds, clear off and wipe down table, wipe down trash can. Since I don’t have much in the room, means I didn’t have much to clean. That’s a benefit of living with only things that I want to take care of.
  9. Is that my main cleaning of the day? Apart from my daily reset, yes!
  10. Where do I keep them? I have a paper file box magnetized on my fridge. I put them there for easy accessibility and to remind me.
  11. Do I rewrite them everyday? No. Not bringing things into my house has allowed me to not have to add things to my list.
  12. What platform do I sell my things on? Mainly Facebook Marketplace and sometimes on Poshmark.
  13. How did I make them? I used notecards and an ultra fine point Sharpie. And once I am sure of everything on the list, I’ll laminate them!
  14. Does my husband and kids help? I do the cleaning during the day and my husband is gone, so no. But, he does help with the nightly reset. And if the cleaning spills into the weekend, then he’ll help. My girls help pick up their toys when cleaning their room. And I like them seeing me clean the house. It teaches them to keep a clean environment too!
  15. Do you clean on the weekends? Sometimes. It depends. I like to get everything cleaned by Friday so that we can enjoy the weekend relaxing. But if we have company coming, I’ll take the time to do something extra.

Whew! I think that’s it. I had so much more, but I combined them to make the most impactful post. I love answering questions so if I didn’t answer your question, message me!

Love,

Morgan xx

 

Oceanside Property

After she died, and I finally had my millions, I planned on burning my scrubs. The old broad, who only watched Wheel of Fortune all day, treated me like trash. No one could stand her. And people wondered why she never married or had kids? The only reason I sacrificed my precious time was for her hefty inheritance.

“Ms. Shuemauker, can I get you some more water?” I asked from our matching recliners.

She was dying of lung cancer. She had an oxygen tank and a lit cigarette constantly hanging from her lips. One wrong twitch of the Pall Mall and we’d be blown to bits.

She held out her empty glass. “It’s about time, you twit,” she said in her froggy smoker’s voice. I’d rather listen to nails on a chalkboard.

The colors of sickly mustard, repugnant brown, and olive covered every inch of the kitchen. I filled the ambered colored glass with warm water. I left the ice cubes out. Her medicine bottles sat on the counter: Remeron, Glumetza, Digoxin to name a few, a practical pharmacy. What if I just mashed them all together? I tipped the bottles into my hand, emptying them. Was she ever going to die? Did I have to take this into my own hands?

All I thought about at night, in my bed down the hall from her, was how I would spend the money. Plane tickets to Miami, vanilla vodka martinis poolside. I would buy a high-rise condo on South Beach and watch the sunset from my bedroom overlooking the Atlantic. A maid would make me pancakes with hand-whipped cream. I’d take Spanish classes and learn about the rich Cuban culture. I’d hop from tapas bar to tapas bar.

“Amelia!”

That damn voice. It would soon be silenced.

No more cleaning the bedsheets when she wet herself, no more watering down the food so she could chew better (I wish she’d choke), no more hearing her damn bell in the middle of the night.

I handed her the water with a professional smile. I watched as the water touched her shriveled lips. She swallowed. I sat back down, squeaking the chair as I waited. There was silence from her end.

Had she died already?

But then, “You’re so stupid you don’t even know how to make a proper glass of water.”

I could almost feel the ocean breeze on my face.

Terminating My Publishing Contract

A couple new things happening in my author world and both are equally exciting!

I terminated my contract with the publishing company I was with. This decision could not be better for me. It got to the point where I was losing too much and gaining very little in return. They were nice people and I own all my rights, but it just wasn’t for me.

I’m officially now just on Amazon instead of being in Barnes and Noble AND Amazon. With leaving this company, I’m now allowed to set my own pricing and I felt like my prices were way too high.

So I’m now offering my paperback at $14.50 (instead of $18.95!) and my ebook at .99 (instead of $2.99). I’m really happy and comfortable with this decision. I also have all control of advertising myself and even giving away my writing for FREE.

You can find the book for a lower price HERE: Prescribed

The other new thing isn’t as exciting, but I formatted a new website to help start my branding. I’ve realized that my writing is on the darker side (who knew?) and I needed to have a website/social media to reflect that.

So if you haven’t already, make sure you’re following along with my website and are signed up for my newsletter 🙂

–Morgan xxcropped-mrf-35.jpg

Flores Reunion

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This past week was the annual Flores Family reunion up in Cloudcroft, New Mexico. It’s always so fun to go and get away from “the world” and the heat. Especially when we left Tucson, the high was a whopping 115 degrees! Ouch.

It takes about 5 hours to get up there but Scarlett is potty trained now. We got to know the side of the highway pretty well. Once we got up the mountain, the temperature dropped to 65 degrees and overcast. That’s my kind of weather!

Scarlett got to meet all her primas y primos and her tios y tias. We’re trying to get her to pick up on Spanish and that’s basically all they speak up there so I loved that she was immersed in the language.

The food is downright delicious. Each family group is assigned a meal for the week and it never fails to disappoint my taste buds. We had Zuppa Toscana, Abuelita’s homemade hot chocolate, Taco Salad, mi suegro’s famous Biscuits and Gravy and a lot of chocolate that we stock pile in the pantry.

The campsite is so good to us with its kickball field, volleyball court, zipline, and picnic benches under a patio to cheer on a game of Washer’s. You can find everyone coming together to play. My favorite is after dinner and we get a big group together to play a board game. You haven’t seen competitiveness until you play with the Flores family.

I think the greatest thing I love though is watching my husband interact with his family. There isn’t really anything better than watching someone you love spend time with the people they love. Since I’m 34 weeks pregnant, I didn’t get to participate in most of the activities so I was really just an onlooker. It was so fun to watch Dante speak Spanish and joke around with the people he gets to see once a year.

I’m not a camper. I don’t like getting dirty and sharing a bathroom with 50 other people, but I make the effort because my husband loves it and that’s what makes a marriage survive, right? Compromise and sacrifice.

Marrying into the Flores family, I’ve learned one thing: there’s nothing more important than family ties. Family is everything and you only get one. I’m so blessed I got to marry into a family that upholds this tradition and values one another.

8 Week Reno

There are 8 WEEKS until baby N is here and the nesting phase is no joke. I want to paint ALL THE THINGS!

This past weekend we painted Scarlett’s bedroom and hung some new artwork. We also made a spot for baby N and her crib. It’s amazing what a simple paint job can do to completely transform a space.

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Our house is a fixer upper and we are currently juggling projects on the weekends. We plan to paint the whole house this color (whitish grey). The color that’s on our walls right now is a shade of tan that’s way too dark (I feel like I’m living in a cave).

Since there are 8 weeks till baby, I’m hoping that each weekend will be a painting party and by the end of 8 weeks, we’ll have a completely different house!

I’m excited to show before and after pictures!

 

Writer’s Retreat

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This past week I was able to go on my annual writer’s retreat with the association I belong to.

We spent five full days in the mountains writing, editing, eating chocolate, avoiding home responsibilities and basking in camaraderie. We were so lucky to have stayed at Stone Haven Lodge which is priced at $1 million dollars! Insane!

We also got to meet James Owen, an author and illustrator who turned an old church into his writing studio. He doesn’t let people come and tour the place, but he opened it up for just us ladies. His studio was like a dream come true with first editions of books, artwork dating back to the Titanic, and collectibles that are worth their weight in gold (Star Wars memorabilia from the set themselves). He also just had a movie producer approach him to make some of his books into movies. He also knows Stephanie Meyer and is on a first name basis with her. It’s cool, whatever. We’re now friends on Facebook so you can say I’m friends with a famous person…

I was able to successfully write more than 10,000 words and start working on the bones of my second book. I’m hoping to have that bad boy out by the beginning of next year. It will be the second book that picks up where my first one left off. I’m so excited to have started working on it and I’m looking forward to fleshing it out and being even better than the first.

I’m looking forward to going next year and the tears were happy when we left because I will be seeing these awesome ladies again in September when we meet for our blowout conference in Phoenix.

Love,

Morgan xx

Your children are watching you

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The other day I was mindlessly scrolling through Facebook when I saw this picture on my friend’s feed.

What a powerful photo.

I’ve learned, through my daughter’s eyes, that our children are watching our every move. They are sponges at such a young age and they mold into who we make them as they grow up. Whether it’s actions or words, they will be your parrot.

The reason I love to read so much is because I grew up watching my parents read. It’s the very same reason why my husband has to drink milk with his lasagna–his mom does the same thing.

If you find yourself asking “why does my kid do that??”…just look at what you do. Do you do the same thing? Then you’ll find your answer 🙂

–Morgan xx

Quitting My Day Job

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I quit my job.

And it’s not because I’m 30 weeks pregnant in the middle of summer.

It’s because I’m finally taking this writing thing seriously. And guess what? It can be a full time job. There’s a stigma that writing is just a hobby and it doesn’t bring in cash.

This is where I want to tell people they’re wrong! Between writing the actual book, editing, formatting for publishing, designing a cover, and keeping up with all the countless ways to market–you can easily clock in 40 hours a week (if not more).

And you can make money. My book has been out for roughly a week and I’ve made double what I thought I would by this time. And I’ve only sold to friends and family. Who knows what I’ll be making when strangers decide to buy it.

We have a guest bedroom where I converted half of the room into my office. I bought a desk calendar, a whiteboard the size of a Cadillac, fancy pens, artwork that gives me inspiration and a chair that molds to my spine. My dad even built custom bookshelves for my unhealthy addiction (books, not drugs). If that’s not being serious about a job, I don’t know what is.

I consider myself really lucky to have a skill I’m good at that can allow me to be at home with my daughter and my soon-to-be newborn. I’m probably not going to be writing as much as I’d like, but I at least have something to market. And I’ve heard from countless people that it’s possible to write while wrangling children. I just have to decide how committed I want to be.

And isn’t that that beauty of any job from home?

I’m so excited to market this new baby of mine (the book, not my actual baby) and write the ones I have that are currently on backlog.

-Morgan xx

 

Buy My Book Here 🙂

 

 

Prescribed

Tristan

Flagstaff, Arizona

The lights were off in my mom’s room, but we didn’t need a light to see the mess. The lamp that usually sat on the nightstand was smashed on the ground. Picture frames that sat on the dresser were broken into pieces. The bed sheets were tangled into a heap on the bed. How did I not hear all of this?

Cory and I stood motionless, observing the chaos.

“Tristan talk to me. What’s going on?” The dispatcher asked.

I looked down on the ground.

“Mom?” I cried out and dropped down to my knees.

The phone fell from my hand. Red, almost-black blood fountained from her chest. Duct tape covered over her mouth. My hands shook.

“Mom.” I cupped my hands around her face, but it lolled to the side. I carefully peeled back the tape from her mouth.

“Don’t touch her,” a deep, husky voice spoke. I’d recognize that voice anywhere. Jay emerged from the bathroom.

“What did you do?” I lashed out.

“What have I told you about putting your noses into other people’s business?” Jay dangled a gun to his side. He wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

I wiped and wiped at her chest, my hands trying to fix her, to clean up the blood, but my mind spun.

Cory’s face turned dark. My brother charged him, knocking the gun out of his hand. Jay took Cory by the back of the shoulders and slammed his head into the edge of the dresser. He fell to the ground in a pile of dead weight.

“Cory,” I yelled, trying to get up.

I went for the gun, but before I could reach it, Jay’s arms shoved me down to the hardwood floor. I shimmied on my butt out of the bedroom, making it to the stairs. My foot clipped on something, and I fell down the stairs. I hit the landing with a thud. I quickly got to my feet, but Jay wasn’t far behind.

I saw the flash of the gun. He shoved me with his hand, and my back slammed into our large hanging glass mirror. The glass shattered, some pieces jutting into my back. The pain from the glass pricked, and I cried out in pain.

His hand firmly wrapped around my neck while the barrel of the gun pointed straight at my forehead.

“Please,” I begged. If my mom was dead, maybe I was begging for him to get it over with. “Please,” I said again.

“You can escort your mother to hell, golden boy.”

I winced at the metallic sound the gun made, but I heard only a dry click. Both mine and Jay’s eyes widened at the fact that no bullet entered my brain. The gun jammed. I seized my opportunity and used all my effort to knock the gun out of his hand. It flew across the room, smacking the floor with a clunk.

Jay grabbed my shoulders and drove into my body, forcing me to the ground. My head hit the floor, and for a second, I saw black and yellow spots. He held something shiny in his hand, a glass shard from the broken mirror. It swiped across my face, splitting the skin of my eyebrow. I covered it with my hand to try to dull the pain. I couldn’t see anything as the blood covered my eye, dripping down my cheek to my neck.

I tried to wrangle him, but his weight was too much for me to handle. I couldn’t breathe. His knees hugged my torso. I was pinned like a helpless animal. His forearm pressed across my throat, choking me. His nails dug into the soft part of my jugular. I started to lose consciousness. His other free arm gripped the shard of mirror. It rose above to sink into my neck. I flinched hard, preparing myself for the end once again.

But the pressure of Jay’s weight disappeared. My eye was shut from the gushing of blood. I wiped it out of my face and saw Cory. I scrambled to my feet and saw Jay on his stomach. My brother clenched the metal bat in his hands again. A stream of blood gushed from the back of Jay’s head.

I was on my feet, ready for the next round, but still paralyzed from fear. “You knocked him out,” I spat through blood. “Are you okay?” My chest heaved up and down.

A bump had already formed on Cory’s forehead. “So much for sending me to basic training.” He looked at me. “It didn’t work for shit. He almost blinded you.”

“He almost killed me,” I huffed.

A sea of red and blue lights lit up through our living room windows.

We looked at each other.

“Mom,” we whispered.

We sprinted up the stairs, knocking into each other on the way up.

Her top was so drenched in blood I couldn’t see where the bullet entered. Cory started CPR. I just kneeled there, dumbfounded and scared as hell.

“Mom?” I cradled her head in my hands as Cory pumped her chest. “I’m so sorry,” I cried. “I’m so sorry.”