Monday, December 03, 2007

OK, God... You Can Let Up Now!

Mother Theresa was quoted as saying, "God never gives me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."

I have to say, right now I'm going through the Ironman of challenges and I wonder if maybe God left her desk and is missing my messages that the challenges can stop for a while.

Let's start with my husband.

He's a diabetic, always has been since I've known him. Convinced that the western medical establishment was out to get him, he conveniently evaded doctors for many years. He'd go to a doctor when things got bad, but would shortly slip and neglect any advice he'd been given.

The recurring buzz was always "You need to eat less carbs, more protein and green veggies."

He's a vegetarian who didn't like vegetables. Most of his day was spent eating really healthy things- just in questionable quantities. Brown rice is good, right? Well, how about 8 servings in one sitting?

Whole wheat pasta anyone? Sure, if you have enough sauce to go over the entire package.

We had major blow-outs over his food choices and eating. Diabetics with high blood sugar are just as crabby as people on low sugar crashes. Impatient, ill-humored, you name it.

So a few years ago, I made a move for my own serenity and decided to detach from his diseases and inability to manage them. I knew that if I tried to manage his health, it would be more resentments piling up against me. So I let go.

I did what I could to stock the house with healthy choices, but ultimately he was the one lifting the fork to his own mouth.

A few months ago he developed a sore on his toe that wouldn't heal. It looked pretty bad and several people saw it and warned him that it could lead to some major concerns. I'm not here to bash him, but let's just say it wasn't cared for with the utmost concern.

Aside: I'm a super achiever, he's.... well, not as much. He's a super achiever when it comes to collecting reggae music and buying books on spirituality and philosophy, but other things aren't as well tended to. If I were in his position, I'd have done a zillion things to save my health. He took the ostrich approach, sadly. Who knows why. I think after so many years of frustration of high sugar, he gave up the battle and said "f--- it".

Back to the sore toe.
It festered. Then he started getting fever and chills and then it was time to get intervention. While I was at the park having Citlalli's 5th birthday party, he drove himself to the ER.

The doctors took one look at it and realized it needed to be amputated.

Hi mom and sister came to the hospital the night before his surgery. We joked that if they wanted to operate on his foot, they'd need to go through his mouth (last place he left it... ha ha!!). My mother in law prayed extensively for him as did many others.

The day of the surgery I sat in the hospital lobby with my mother in law, my two stepdaughters, and their kids. He did really well in the surgery and was up eating and talking an hour later.

My mother in law motioned for the surgeon to come to her. She grabbed his hands and said a prayer over him. He looked a little embarassed, but getting a prayer said over you by the 13th Apostle (Paco's nickname for his mom) is a huge honor.

While Paco was recovering that week, he had some realizations, both spiritual and physical.

He realized he took his body for granted and needed to change his eating habits.
He realized that he loved his mother so much and that her prayers and spirituality were just what he needed.
He realized that he wanted to be less of an outcast and more of a member of society.

The next day, his sister came over and cut off his waist long dreadlocks. He asked me to bring him a Bible. He said he was interested in volunteering in the community after he got better.

Huge change from the Paco everyone had gotten to know, he of the recluse variety.

When you're in the hospital facing your own mortality, things happen. He had a spiritual awakening and saw the he was being given a second chance.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with him still in the hospital, I received a phonecall at midnight. His mother had suffered a massive aneurism and was being rushed to the hospital.

I had just spent the morning with her at the hospital, we just went to lunch while we waited for him to wake up. She just sat with him on Friday, watching in amazement as his hair was cut.

Now it's Saturday and she's in a coma.

I went to his bedside Sunday morning to tell him in person. I spared no details, he needed to know that her chances of survival were 2%.

I saw him take the news with spiritual calm. Having experienced an awakening and with her to witness it, he felt like God was taking care of everything.

A few days later, she passed.

With him in this condition it's one thing. That's a lot of stress.
Then with his mother passing, it adds this layer of sorrow.

The beauty lying beneath reveals itself in each day. Family relationships that before were distant or strained, show signs of healing. People are saying "I love you" easily and without fear.

The gift left by my mother in law, Jessie, is the gift of unwavering faith. A few weeks ago I'd called her to tell her my mom was going to the oncologist for the word on her colon cancer.

"Tell your mother the Lord spoke to me and said she is healed."

Sure enough, my mom went to the doctor and was declared cancer free.

Was it from chemo or prayers? Well, let's say it was a divine combination of forces.

This is a heavy time for us here in my family. Yes, awakenings and reuniting are happening, but still we have sorrow and recovering.

I haven't posted anything on my blog for while and now you can see why. Just way too much going on.

But I have to hearken back to Mother Theresa's words and remember, I'm not in this alone and with my Creator's help, nothing is too great or too tragic.

All my relations.

Rest in peace Jessie.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Southern California Wildfires- Breathing Through It

Last Friday I picked up the local paper and read that areas near my home were to expect winds up to 85 miles per hour by Sunday. With a drought that seems to never end and impossibly dry hot weather, I knew this could be disastrous.
Early Sunday morning came the first one: Malibu. My cousin's daughter is at Pepperdine and the news showed the fire surrounding the campus.

Sunday evening, I talked with my friend Kristen and as we looked on the horizon, a huge black cloud came creeping towards us. We wondered where it came from. When I got home, Kristen called.

"Remember that black cloud we saw? Well, it's right behind my house. We're evacuating."

Four years ago we had terrible fires here in Southern California, with smoky air choking us and ash dusting our cars. It's going on again, although reports are that this year is even worse.

San Diego has been hit the hardest, and everyone I know in San Diego is out of their home. I don't know where they all are, I just hope they're safe. My friends who live in the rural canyons of Orange County, once home to mines and outlaws, are safely out of the area and staying with family and friends.

A woman evacuee, speaking from a makeshift living space in San Diego's QualCom stadium, spoke to the news. Her attitude was so upbeat, so focused on the positive she gave me chills. "I'm grateful that I have this place to go, and I know everything is going to work out."

Here she was, out of her home, staying in a football stadium, and she was focused on gratitude. She inspired me to count my blessings:

1. I'm in my home, not evacuated.

2. I have windows in my home that shut, keeping the smoky air out (sort of) from my house

3. I have a couple of little portable fans in my house that are circulating the soot in the air

4. Our humidifier works, and my child can sleep through the night without coughing

5. I have a car that runs in case I need to pack up and go

6. I backed up my computer and can easily grab my data should we ever need to get out.

7. If I can't get my computer stuff and my house burns, I trust that the Universe will take care of me. Between my webmaster, my bookkeeper, and my assistant, I'm sure we've got copies of the really important stuff.

8. My family is safe

9. Our water is drinkable

10. The winds have died down.

My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected on a larger level than us. I think of the people who the media doesn't always cover: the many Indian Reservations of San Diego County, asthma sufferers, and the infirm.
Here is a link to a listing of places where you can be a part of the gratitude and recover:

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Keeping Up With the Locas

Dang, have I NOT been posting on this blog! I made a big decision to slow things down quite a bit last year when my mom was diagnosed with cancer (she's doing better now), then I rebranded and created Viva Visibility, husband got sick, traveled some... and found myself less inclined to blog about it all and post pics.

I put a lot of non-essentials off so I could focus on bigger items. Sometimes we have to make decisions like that to stay sane and I'm living proof. Time for self care may have turned out fewer blog posts recently, but my head and heart are happy. But here are some things I've been wanting to share for the longest time.

This summer I started my new Platinum VIP coaching programs. These are custom designed coaching packages that combine my services with the services of others such as marketing specialists and image consultants. Here I am with client Joanne Chen before she met with image consultant Flavia Manconi of Project Image. Joanne is a public speaking coach and also a specialist in the area of accent reduction. She's really a funny woman too, with a background in theater and improv. I love my clients so much!

Here you see Joanne and gorgeous Flavia getting ready to spend several hours doing Joanne's colors, editing her wardrobe, creating what Flavia calls "wardrobe capsules". It was an incredible day for both.

This picture is a little grainy (I took it with my new camera phone), but it's noteworthy because I was in the dj booth at a big LA radio station! Host and morning drive time anchor Josefa Salinas interviewed me on her Community Affairs show and the interview turned out really great! I had so many emails from people saying they were inspired. We had an entire hour together and she asked me questions no one has asked before in interviews (family, growing up, etc). That was a surprise and I think questions you aren't prepared to answer always come out with the most honesty.

This is me with artist Laura Lopez Cano, posing with the coolest little cell phone purse she painted. It perfectly matched my purse and had a hand painted image of the Virgin of Guadalupe. (Just can't get enough of my Lupita!) We were at the VIP reception for the Hispanic Women's Corporation conference in Phoenix. The temp outside was over 100 degrees F and it was evening. Gotta love Phoenix!

Same Phoenix conference, here I am with fellow presenter Marie Diaz, founder and CEO of Pursuit of Excellence HR. Marie and I met a year earlier when we both won the Anna Maria Arias Award. She is such an amazing woman, her life story brought me to tears. Talk about a woman who has overcome obstacles and came out ahead! We had a great presentation called "Beyond the Business Plan" where we shared our advice and tips on business.

Aliana Apodaca was another presenter at the Phoenix conference, and turns out to know both my old client Linda Bannan and colleague Suzanne Falter Barns. What a small world! Aliana and I trolled the Expo Hall and paid $1 to get glitter eyeliner applied. She was on her way to Vegas to meet her husband so it was perfect timing. I looked particularly glamourous flying back to Anaheim where my daughter got to enjoy Mommy looking marvy and sparkly.

My comadre and Chicana hybrid sistah Jamie Martinez Wood celebrated the launch of her new book, Latino Writers and Journalists with a fiesta at Martinez Books in Santa Ana, CA. The book launch party was a labor of love with help and support from comadres and members of the community. When I arrived I said, "Put me to work, I'm here to help!"

Jamie said, "See if Glenda needs help with the food", so I promptly went into the kitchen and emerged carrying platters of Cuban Sandwiches, Gazpacho, and Pan Dulce. Once a waitress, always a waitress! Glenda is the Executive Chef of Granville Cafe in LA and a longtime friend and comadre.

Also at Jamie's book launch, I got to reconnect with comadre Yasmin Davidds, who is now such superstar material it's unbelievable. Yasmin is the Hispanic spokesperson for L'Eggs hosiery, AOL Latino, Verizon, and a whole bunch of other companies. She is all about empowerment, you just feel braver and better after talking to her. She came with her daughter who is so cute and her sister Judy with kids.

Here we have writers Josefina Lopez (Real Women Have Curves), Mary Castillo, and award winning reporter Yvette Cabrera chillin on the couch. Josefina and Yvette were part of the panel of writers featured in the book.

You may think I have some sort of rock star social life, but mind you I work from home and am a fully devoted mom. On these occasions that they do let me off my tether, I really have to have fun and take lots of pics!I don't get out nearly as much as it looks like, but I do enjoy myself when I do.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Stand Out, Get Noticed, Get More Business with

Drumroll please!

I’m extremely happy to announce my newly launched website,

If you’re an entrepreneur, author, speaker, or business owner, then this new opportunity will show you how to increase your visibility and stand out from the crowd.

Over the years, I’ve had more and more clients ask me to coach them on increasing their visibility, positioning themselves as experts, and gaining more exposure for their businesses. We all know that expertise and visibility give us credibility, and credibility opens doors.

More importantly, it’s ESSENTIAL that you stand out from the pack and portray your credible expertise as unique, authentic, and genuinely yours. (I say you need to add sizzle to your visibility, what I call “Sizzibility”).

Visit right now and get started with my free audio course, 7 Quick and Simple Tips to Stand Out and Sizzle as a Sought After, Recognized Expert.

Discover how easy it can be to get increased visibility and how there is a perfect visibility plan for you.

Here’s the link again, I’d be so honored to have you stop by and check it out!

There is an audio player on the home page with a really cool message I made up- even has swingin’ background music! Don’t miss it, come on over and see for yourself.

Love and Success,

Nancy Marmolejo
The Entrepreneur’s Visibility Expert

Monday, September 10, 2007

"Beyond the Business Plan"



Nancy Marmolejo, CEO Comadre Coaching
Phone: (714) 777-1216
Fax: (309) 410-4227

Beyond the Business Plan: Award Winning Business Woman to Share Success Secrets at Nation’s Largest Latina Conference September 13-14 in Phoenix.

Anaheim, CA, September 10, 2007 - Nancy Marmolejo, owner of the award winning Comadre Coaching, will share her success tips “Beyond the Business Plan” with fellow Latina entrepreneurs in Phoenix this September 14 at the National Hispanic Women’s Conference. This event is the largest Latina conference in the United States and draws speakers and attendees from across the nation.

The conference includes plenary sessions designed to address topics such as money, careers, health, business, literature, and political power. Marmolejo will speak on creative ways to grow and market a business in the workshop, “Beyond the Business Plan”.

Known for her creative and spirited style, Marmolejo will stress the importance of :

• Thinking outside the box to remain competitive and confident in any field

• Maintaining a high level of visibility and how to use that to leverage your marketing efforts

• The magic of standing out and getting noticed with do’s and don’ts for entrepreneurs and career women alike.

For conference registration and itinerary, go to

About Nancy Marmolejo: Founded in 2003, Comadre Coaching has helped hundreds of women entrepreneurs start, improve, and expand their businesses. Founder Nancy Marmolejo is the recipient of several awards including the 2006 Anna Maria Arias Award, Entrepreneur of the Year, and was named one of the 100 most inspiring and influential Latinos in Orange County, CA. Nancy has also been nominated for several other community and business awards both in her local area and nationwide.

Get free resources and tools to help you in your business by visiting

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

My Mom is Back! Sassy Comments and All

Last year my amazing mom Bunny was diagnosed with colon cancer. Months of chemo and radiation, followed by surgery and more months of chemo have been hard on all of us.

After 9 brutal rounds of chemo (which left her sad and weary, very un-Bunnylike traits) she was released from chemo and now awaits yet another surgery in a few months.

When your energetic mom who everyone thinks is your sister loses power and enthusiasm, you begin to miss the little quirk and habits that you appreciate so much.

I spent this past week with my mom as she recuperated and I was given the gift of seeing her regain her strength, her humor, and her uncanny ability to comment at just about anything.

You see, Bunny is a commenter extraordinaire, especially on physical qualities of strangers walking down the street. (Perhaps this is tied into some of my own paranoia, but we'll talk about that in another post. Just know that when you cross the street anywhere in Alameda County, California you're open to Bunny's observations)

Here are some classics:
Weary looking bum crossing the street in a haphazard manner:
"He looks like he's high on booze, dope, and God knows what else!"

Shirtless man crossing same street:
"You get one hot day and suddenly everyone's a muscle man."

Shapely woman pushing a shopping cart in a parking lot:
"Now that's what I call CURVACEOUS!

Sullen teenage girl with too much mascara, smoking in public:
"I just think that's CHEAP." (This is usually followed by a reference to some wardrobe mistakes I made as a teen- the woman has the memory of an elephant)

When my mom started chemo, she slowly began to lose her life spirit. All those comments dried up, as she had no energy except for to survive the pain. Her usual vim and vigor went into hibernation, her zeal and zest to sleep.

When I arrived to my mom's last week, she was doing so much better. Her voice sounded like her again, her smile was back. Most importantly, her appetite returned. To celebrate, we went to lunch.

On our way back, we passed a woman with a rather large backside.

"Now THAT'S what I call JUNK IN THE TRUNK" exclaimed my mom from the passenger seat of my car.

In that moment I celebrated: My mom is back!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Raw Until Dinner: My Testimonial

Here I am with the world famous Karen Knowler, aka The Raw Food Coach. Karen and I are both members of a Platinum coaching group and she is also a member of my Spotlight U program. What an inspiration she is to come into my life at this time of dietary revolution.

For the past 5 years or so, my husband and I have tinkered with eating raw (vegan living foods).

We were looking for balance, something doable in the time starved society we find ourselves in. 5 years ago, I really tried to do this right but it was too complicated. Every raw food recipe I had required soaking or sprouting something that you couldn't eat for a couple days. My raw food motto became, "If you want to eat raw on Tuesday, start preparing on Sunday". But did it have to be so difficult? Defaulting to the pot of frijoles was too easy when your choices seemed so limited.

Just eating salads and raw fruits and veggies was boring and unsatisfying, and by 4pm each day I'd be a ravenous monster circling wild eyed for some fresh flesh to gnaw on. Paco would cave in the minute he saw some pan dulce or a plate of fries. (In his mind he was still obeying his decision to be a vegetarian).

I decided at some point that balance would be my guide, not vowing to be all raw or all cooked or all anything for what that's worth. (As an Austrian-German-Mexican-Aztec-American cultural hybrid, I've never been one to say I'm 100% anything, although if you catch me on the right day and ask me what indigenous tribe I am, I could glaringly answer "I'm a full blooded cabrona")

Meeting Karen Knowler this year renewed my interest as did my work with Dr. Elena Esparza who helped me greatly with her detox programs. If I could detox my system and get the gunk out, then Elena's herbs could do a better job. And eating raw was a great complement to the detoxing. So between Karen and Elena I've had some great incentives and support.

Another great resource was Natalia Rose's book The Raw Food Detox Diet. It's really good for someone who is a beginner and doesn't want to swear off animal food for good. You take a little assessment in the beginning of the book to see which level you are (1= ready for hardcore raw à 5=Standard American Diet). I scored a 2 meaning I was allowed to go Raw Until Dinner.

The concept of going Raw Until Dinner was music to my ears. The first week I counted down til dinner then popped some salmon and brown rice in my tummy. Halfway through the second week, I stopped to realize I'd already eaten 100% raw for a few days. Hmmm, not too hard.

I'm now on week 6 of Mostly Raw Until Dinner (hey, don't ask me to be 100% anything, remember?) With the exception of some amazingly succulent birria in East L.A. last week, I haven't really had the desire to eat meat anyhow.

So why am I doing this? What results am I looking for? Here is a checklist of differences I've noticed:

  • For the past 2 years I've suffered from insomnia. NOTHING has helped: herbs, pharmaceuticals, acupuncture, energy work… nothing. By eating raw (and doing Dr. Elena's detoxes) my body can now absorb the healing properties of the herbs and I CAN SLEEP. If that alone isn't cause enough to celebrate, I don't know what is.


  • My eyes are literally changing color. I kid you not. They are turning green. The detoxing is amazing. Who knew I had green eyes? My dad had green eyes, my grandmother had green eyes, now I get to have them too! (There is still plenty of brown in my eyes so it's not like I just popped in some green contact lenses and look like a totally different person)


  • Skin has cleared up AND my formerly sensitive skin can now use regular skincare products.


  • PMS symptoms pretty much nonexistent, however I reserve the right to use it as an excuse to get righteously pissed off once a month. (Don't tell my husband I said that, OK?)


  • More energy during the day, no crashes late afternoon.


  • I am so conscious of what is ALIVE and what is not. I can actually TASTE the difference. Raw foodists speak of this often, I thought they were full of BS, but it's true. The living enzymes in the food give off energy and you can feel and taste that life.


I'm not on a bandwagon to get everyone to do what I'm doing. You could be chomping on a donut as you read this and that doesn't faze me one bit. However, since my mom has been suffering from colon cancer this past year, I find it extremely important to make wise choices about my food. When I find something to get excited about, I get into it and then share my findings.

If you are interested in giving any of this a try here are some quick and easy resources:

Karen Knowler, The Raw Food Coach

The fastest and easiest place to start with free resources, instant downloads, video and more. Karen's approach to raw isn't spartan or dull. She's a vibrant beautiful woman who prances about her kitchen in stiletto heels, not Earth shoes.


Natalia Rose, The Raw Food Detox Diet

After you check out Karen's info, supplement it with this. Great for anyone looking to lose weight or simply get rid of the gunk.


Dr. Elena Esparza, Just Breathe Healing

If you're in the LA area, try to see her. If you're not in LA make a trip out there! She's a traditional healer with modern credentials who is the best in my opinion. Otherwise, get her herbal remedies online.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Radio Capicu- Hear Me Share on Releasing Your Inner Loca!

On Wednesday August 15 I had the funnest time on my compadre George Torres' new show, Radio Capicu. Radio Capicu is the first Latino themed show on, and includes open mic poetry, culture, and cool guests (like me!)

Talking with George, Javier and "La Chica Que Pica" Latin Jazz was great. Right before I came on, they had a nice debate about "El Cantante", the subject of my last blog post.

On the program I share 5 Tips to Release Your Inner Loca, that wildly creative spirit within you. Whether you need a boost in business or in life, check it out for a creative charge!

Turn up your speakers and click this link!

Monday, August 13, 2007

A Scathing Review of El Cantante!

I have not seen El Cantante yet, starring Marc Anthony and his esposa J-Lo. After reading my comadre Jennese "La Diva Latina" Torres' ferocious review, I may wait for it to come to DVD.

Jennese is a die-hard J-Lo fan, in fact she lined up at 5am to see her icon in the Bronx earlier this year. But hijole did she rip into this movie. BIG TIME. I could feel her disappointment with the whole project.

You have to read it yourself- you'll love it. I just wish she had a comments link on that page so we could join her on the dialogue of WHY Hector Lavoe's drug addiction was the focus of the movie rather than his musical talent. She derides Marc Anthony for playing stereotypical roles of gangsters and drug addicts.

Here's a great snippety snippet which I TOTALLY agree with:
Latinos have enough drug addicts on mainstream media. We don't need to portray ourselves in such denegration. You don't see red-blooded Americans saying "Elvis Presley - the King - the drug addict. Wasn't he the biggest druggie? No. We just hear about his rock and roll music, how he changed music forever, and that's what made him KING. Not the drugs, not that he died on the freakin' toilet bowl. (Read the bios of both LaVoe and Presley on wikipedia and see what I'm talking about. Elvis was the KING. La Voe was strung out.)

So let's turn this conversation to codependency and enabling. I admit, I haven't seen the movie yet, but from the trailers it looks like J-Lo's character's unhealthy codependency defines her character as a "good woman". Am I off base? For those who've seen it, can you enlighten me? Because I am tired of movies that portray the long suffering woman, especially the one who allows the disease of addiction to reduce her identity to that of caretaker and enabler. I know that J-Lo and Ben Affleck got engaged right after he completed rehab, a big no-no in the philosophy of healthy recovery. So is she an untreated codependent and that is coming through yet again here?

Food for thought.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Radio Capicu to Get Bien Loca on Wed August 15

My NY compadre George Torres (of Sofrito for Your Soul fame) recently invited me to be a guest on his new radio show, Radio Capicu. First I had to learn what Capicu meant! Contrary to popular belief, not all Latinos use the same phrases. Turns out it’s a word you say in dominoes when you do something really amazing. Perfect name for his show as he celebrates poetry, culture, and topics of interest to the Latino/Urban community worldwide.

I get to talk about my favorite topic: How to Release Your Inner Loca! (Or “loco” for you vatos out there. Do they say vato in NY, I wonder?)Learn my 5 favorite ways to unleash your bold, creative self with fun, irreverence, self love, and empowerment.

Date: August 15, 2007
Time – 6:30 pm Eastern , 3:30pm Pacific Time

Go online to listen:

Saturday, July 28, 2007

My Web Launch Fantasy: The Brand Baby Shower

Yes, Viva Visibility, my new website and pet project will launch August 1, "God willin' and the river don't rise", as my Louisiana friend J.M. says.

I really thought it would have been up by July 15. What was I thinking? My goodness, let me tell you that launching a new website is like having quintuplets.

You see, I'm feeling like I did when I was 9 months pregnant. You're like, "Come on, come out would you!!! For the love of God, come out!!!" I passed a mirror and I was actually waddling, I kid you not. This web baby of mine needs to birth so badly!

OK, so here's my idea: A Brand Baby Shower.

You sit in a chair and friends come to visit you for cake and party games, just like a regular baby shower. But instead of layette sets and yet another wall hanging with a giraffe, you get...

Stuff for your new brand!!

This is my fantasy. Here is how it plays out:

I open a gift. I pull back the tissue to reveal: THE PERFECT LOGO!

"OH! It's just perfect! Look how balanced and sophisticated it is. It has energy and i bet will look great on a T-shirt!"

My friends blush.

Next gift:

"Wow! A new website. This is awesome, I am so going to need this. Oh how cute, you even figured out the perfect words to put on the navigation buttons! Thanks so much!"

What can be better? Next gift please...

"Stop it, you guys are spoiling me! This is the best web copy I have EVER seen. Oh my gosh, you even allude subtly to some upsells. Wow, that is going to be amazing when it goes live."

"Thank you so much everyone" I say sheepishly.

"Nancy, that's not all! Here is something we all chipped in on..."

They wheel out a huge box. What can it be? The suspense! The drama!

"We know how much this site means to you, so we all took time out of our schedules and compiled this list of the BEST KEYWORDS AND KEYWORD PHRASES FOR YOUR SITE!"

I begin to weep tears of joy.

"I don't know how to thank you for all this work, all this caring, all this devotion".

At this point my fantasy blurs back into reality and I see my computer screen fall into focus. Rather than write another page of web copy, it seems I have found myself on this blog stretching my imagination muscles a bit.

I could really use a baby shower like that about now, though!

And by the way, come see my baby Aug 1 when hits the web!


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Out and Visible: Latina Style Business Series a Huge Success

Friday June 29, I got the great honor to be the luncheon keynote speaker at Latina Style magazine's Business Series seminar held in Los Angeles.

I'm pictured here with (left to right) Rodri Rodriguez, President of IRDOR Entertainment; then there's me that hard to spot tall chica; next is Maria Contreras-Sweet, President of Promerica Bank and one helluva woman; on the far right is TV personality Elizabeth Espinosa of Fox TV 11. She is really funny.

Seated at my table were Barbosa Polverini, president of SoCal Development (the lady owns a construction company- how cool is that!), and the Honorable Rosario Marin. Take out a dollar bill and look for her signature, it's on there.

This event was filled with movers and shakers, trailblazers, and even a movie star!

My big sis Zan (Suzanne) joined me for the day. She looked fabulous as always in her white suit. She is the mother of the two talented artists Kati and Julia.

And here I am with my good comadre and mastermind partner, Alicia Maciel. Alicia and I understand each other so well. She gave me a pep talk before and after the speech. She gave me a huge hug after the keynote and said, "Girl, you have ARRIVED!".

Talking to a large crowd of Latina leaders and entrepreneurs was inspiring and my words to them were about stepping out of our limiting beliefs and truly embracing the roles of trailblazers in business and in life.

Much thanks to Robert Bard and the staff of Latina Style magazine for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful event!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

BFF- Bling Friends Forever at Handmade Galleries

On my way to the Handmade Galleries artist benefit last week, I stopped in a mini mart to get gas and saw the most blingiest dollar sign necklace on a display above Blow Pops and next to the trucker caps. Handmade owner Andy Spyros is a longtime client and good friend. I knew she'd love the necklace so I plunked down my cold hard cash and paid the five ninety nine. (Now is that $5.99 or $599? You decide.)

Andy, awesome person that she is, LOVED the necklace, got a good laugh and promptly put it on. It looked really good with her outfit and she and I both agreed that she needed more accessories.

That day not only had a great party at the store, but Citysearch was there doing a 1 minute clip with Andy as the star of the show. With bling, she dazzled.

I got to play the role of The Enthusiastic Handmade shopper. After preparing hours and hours for my Citysearch debut, powdering my nose, finding my motivation and all, I stood in front of the camera and gushed on why I love Handmade.

"The customer service can't be beat. And there's always a surprise here to delight you when you walk in. I love Handmade! It's Melrose without the attitude."

"Ooooooooooh, good line" exclaimed Joe the cameraman/interviewer.

I pushed a stray hair aside and returned to my trailer. :-)

So after that we took our kids, plus my sister Zan and soon to be 21 year old niece Kati to the Amazon restaurant on Ventura Blvd.

We went there a few months ago when Kathy Murillo came to town. I had the same thing (Night Shrimp) and our children (fueled by lemonade and a pre-dining stop at Coldstone where my other niece works) promptly began to tear the place up and run wild. This photo was taken mid-kid-insanity. I sincerely believe the staff and patrons were delighted to see us go. (Fortunately we got there early before the rush)

Handmade Galleries got about 30 people to sign up as bone marrow donors, they raised close to $3000 for Jack, the kids were happy, and we did an awesome job on Citysearch!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Serious Law of Attraction Karmic Ka-Ching!

I am soooooooooooooooooo on a roll it's just exhilirating.

A week ago, I met with the most wonderful healer, Dr. Elena Esparza of Just Breathe Healing in L.A. She is a chiropractor, herbalist, energy work expert, and a life coach without calling herself that.

She recommended as part of my treatment that I do the following each day:
1. Practice gratitude
2. List my basic accomplishments for each day (even if it's just making my bed)
3. Adopt the persona of The Serene Queen and give myself nightly foot baths.

I was feeling stressed out when I saw her, so this advice was taken to heart. I REALLY focused on gratitude througout the day. Here is a report out of the week's karmic ka-ching as a result:

1. My livingroom was painted by two amazing professional artists and a friend and I never once lifted a paint brush.

2. I was invited to speak at a business seminar.

3. I was invited to deliver the keynote presentation to the Latina Style magazine Business Series on June 29 in LA.

4. My website was offline Thursday morning so I alerted my webmaster, Anita. Turns out all of iPower Web (soon to be my former web host) was out. Anita was so grateful that I notified her (and apparently saved her lots of headaches) that she gave me a year of free hosting. Wow!

5. While my website was offline, I took advantage of the non-cyber world and attended the end of year luau (complete with Polynesian dancers) at my daughter's pre-school.

6. After the luau, the director of the school offered to take Citlalli the next day (a day she normally doesn't attend) FREE OF CHARGE so she can enjoy the luau again.

7. I went for a consultation with a person and the topic got around to her business and she ended up giving me the entire consultation and perks for free because our business conversation gave her so much value.

8. Dell computers, who I have this dislike/hate relationship with, sent me a check for $90. Turns out I overpaid them for something related to that piece of plastic they sold me in March.

9. At Handmade Galleries' fundraiser, Citisearch was there filming a short clip on the store. They needed someone to play the role of an enthusiastic patron. Andy (the owner, also my friend and client) asked me to do that. My wow line: "Handmade Galleries is like Melrose without the attitude!" Great, cut, print, ka-ching!

I am keeping my heart, soul, and mind on gratitude. If this isn't Law of Attraction in action, then I don't know what is!

Friday, May 25, 2007

God Wants Me to Dump Vista

I won't whine and bitch about how much I hate Vista. I have already shared those thoughts and don't want to be known as some kind of chronic belly acher.

However, all around me are signs that Vista must cease and I'm taking it as spiritual permission to dump this puppy and move on.

I was pretty pissed at Dell computers, Bill Gates, whoever invented Vista, and the PC world in general, but I worked hard at battling this evil force with grace and dignity. Yes, I admit, I wanted to tear the hair out of Dell's customer service department and worse, but I'm over it.

I am tracking comments by other people and taking their lead. A few weeks back I commented on Suzanne Falter Barns' blog while she was having hellish times with Vista. I sat on the fence deciding whether I should stick it out with Vista or go Mac. Different people told me different things. Then today I read Suzanne's blog and she's gotten rid of her Vista and is snuggling happily with her Mac.

Well world, I'm ready to make the jump. I have someone who wants the Vista (God bless her) and it's a win-win for us all. I know there will be a learning curve and also that the Mac version of QuickBooks is funky, but I have a PC laptop for all that.

Losing this PC will be like leaving an emotionally abusive relationship. I deserve love. I deserve a Mac.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Spiritual Sandpaper: Lessons Learned from People Who Rub You the Wrong Way

The other evening, right after dinner, the doorbell rang. My husband answered the door and it was a political canvasser. When he started into his spiel, my husband said, "Let me get my wife. She may know more about this."

(was that a ploy?)

I greeted the man and instantly noticed the blue tooth phone in his right ear. I don't care how far we go technologically, those things freak me out. If it's not the electromagnetic fields penetrating the brain it's the whole Cyborg look. Then he plopped down a portable bar stool and looked like he was setting up a new mobile office.

My friend Kristen had just shared her concept of Spiritual Sandpaper. These are people who come into your life to rub you the wrong way so you can learn compassion, tolerance, or just the ability to walk away with your serenity intact.

I remained very polite despite my trepidations with my doorstep guest, then discovered we did not see eye to eye on the petition he wanted me to sign. It's a hot local issue, complete with mud-slinging and expensive mail out campaigns. They were even hosting a free festival in the park with free food and entertainment. OK, so bribe my vote with hot dogs and line dancing?

He gave me a "up yours" kinda look and walked away to my neighbor's door, shouting a parting opinion of what he thinks will happen because I didn't sign his petition.

Note to the public: if the city of Anaheim, CA goes to hell in a handbasket you can thank me.

I'm feeling very Molly Ivins-ish at this point. Who woulda thunk?

Well, life dishes out its lessons to me in groups of three, so I knew 2 more challenges awaited me.

Not 24 hours later did I get an email from a guy (NOT a client) who was having a bad time with his marketing. Problem is, he didn't want to take any form of responsibility for it whatsoever. It was everyone else's fault, not his. It was a litany of bitterness, blame, and negativity. I had to step back and see underneath it all: it was about HIS fear, sense of failure, and zero humility. I just wished him well and advised him to stick with what he knows best. Hopefully he'll get busy with other things and leave me alone- the caustic whining was pretty vicious. I had to remind myself that ultimately sandpaper will smooth the surface.

And finally, to finish the list, I got a call from a friend on the East Coast who left a toxic job situation only to discover a dagger in her back. Ouch. Her replacement was far less qualified and now positioned herself as ALL THAT. Both the replacement and the former boss were making up ridiculous stories about my friend. That really bothered me and it reminded me that sometimes a whole ream of sandpaper can get at you at once.

Now let's get to the lessons learned part:

1. Spiritual sandpaper will enter your life when you least expect it. You can do like I do and try to find a pattern. For me the pattern was about me detaching. I had to detach from other people's frustration and anger and not get caught up in it.

2. Engaging in defensiveness never amounts to much. Know when to walk away, however keep your mouth shut when you walk away.

3. Stand by your friends. Believe in them but don't be afraid to ask if they had a part in anything.

4. Get rid of those blue tooth phones! You look like a freak wearing one and it's a health risk.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Microsoft Vista: The Hand of Evil

"Why didn't you get a Mac?"

My voice froze. My fingers went numb on the phone. No sound could come out of my mouth except for a mumbling response to the question.

"I... I... I... forgot to think about that?"

I wasn't even sure if I was answering a question or asking a new one.

I was talking to my brother, a dyed in the wool Mac lover, about the new bane of my existence: Windows Vista.

My friend Suzanne Falter Barns summed it up nicely on a recent blog post: Why Vista Sucks.

The highly intelligent and literate Suzanne really summed it up in the most poetic way possible. In fact, let me add some multilingualism and dare say that Vista is pura caca. Straight from the burro's behind, 100% crap.

I'm actually fearful of uttering such words after seeing The Secret a hundred million times because I don't want the Law of Attraction goon squad to come back at me with more PC misery, but I feel compelled to share this tale of woe in order to forewarn my fellow users.

A while back I bitched and moaned about my computer and how it needed to be replaced. So after tax time, I decided to take the plunge into the 21st Century with a computer that could keep up with my needs.

My friend's husband, an IT geek, highly suggested I purchase a Dell. So I called Dell and the nice guy on the phone walked me through a long assessment of what I needed and proceeded to ring up my order. I was just nodding yes to whatever he said, and just wanted a computer that worked.

"You really want to have Vista installed on this", he emphasized.
"OK, whatever", I replied. Little did I know!

We got the new computer and Vista was a nightmare from the get go. Internet explorer would just stop working all of a sudden. Then it would restart. In MS Office, I'd go to open a Word doc and a message would pop up saying that the document couldn't be found. Then I'd click again and it would appear. Crazy stuff like that.

Dell recommended I go through their knowledge base which was confusing (geeks writing for geeks), and I called tech support for help. Even the tech support guy told me he was having the same problems with his new Vista system!

The learning curve was fierce, the malfunctions rampant, so I made a major decision. I wanted to return the computer to Dell and start over from scratch. Get my money back, put it towards a Mac and all would be well. I even called Mac and they were happy to set me up.

So I called Dell and waited forever on hold to talk to someone in the return department. Finally I spoke with a woman, told her my story, and waited for her to gladly tell me all would be well and that a return would be no problem.

Her voice took on an overly empathetic tone.
"I'm so sorry you have had to go through this. Please know that I understand your frustration."

Red flag alert, red flag alert! I feel a "too bad you're stuck with the piece of crap" coming on.

I agreed that yes, I am frustrated and what could she do about it?

She continued to empathize. "Oh yes, I can understand how frustrating this must be."

In my mind I'm thinking, why isn't she answering my question? When will I get my money back?


OK, here it is. The stroke job. The total too bad-so sad- your dad response.

"... our return policy is 21 days and it appears you've gone over 21 days."

I think I was at day 31. She didn't seem to care.

I could go on and on, whine and cry some more, but here's the score so far:
Dell got my money. I got this crappy system.

I either have to learn to live with this evil Vista, or find a way to sell my computer. I could donate it to charity, but then some organization would be stuck with the bane of my existence.

Personally, I think it's really unfair. Vista is full of bugs and by the time you get over the first hump of many learning curves, your 21 day return time is up. That's lame.

Can't they make a Lemon Law for computers? Must we be at the mercy of Microsoft? Why is Dell being so damn rigid?

I think I'm going to dump PCs forever and get a Mac. Figure out what to do with this creature I'm now on and try to bless whoever it goes to. Maybe the kinks will work out eventually but me personally, I have better things to do than wait around.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

MySpace for Business and Marketing- Radio Interview

Blogging and Beyond with The Blog Squad, Patsi Krakoff, Psy. D., and Denise Wakeman
With Guest Expert: Nancy Marmolejo, Author of Make MySpace Your Space

Thursday, April 26th 20073:00 p.m. PT (6 p.m. ET)

Blog Talk RadioUsing MySpace as a Business Building ToolMySpace is the second most visited site on the Web. But, is MySpace a smart way to get found online and market your business? Or is it just a social gathering place for musicians and teenagers? Learn how professionals and small businesses are using this social networking tool to boost their marketing power and meet clients and colleagues online.

Visibility expert Nancy Marmolejo of Comadre Coaching talks about how marketers can create a credible business strategy and use MySpace as a lead generating tool, without wasting time.Use this link to find out how you can listen live on line and access archived shows.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A Lifetime of Checking the "Other" Box

I'm a person who has spent her entire life checking the box "other".

You know, the forms and surveys that ask you to succinctly describe a major aspect of your personality, beliefs, values, or habits in a single check box. Seems my daughter is following in my footsteps, which we'll get to after I opine a moment on boxes.

From voting ballots to religious surveys to race to you name it, I always seem to veer towards checking "other", especially when they limit your choices to "pick one box only". I'm not a box checker, I'm the person who needs a large text box so I can write a little story behind why I choose to be "other".

"Well you see, I was born Catholic, baptized Catholic, my mother prays the rosary daily and calls me on all Holy Days of Obligation to remind me that it is indeed a Holy Day of Obligation and she went to Mass and prayed for me, I have Virgen de Guadalupe all over the place in everything from sequins to keychains, I consider myself culturally Catholic and the guilt has followed me through life and would you be any different if you had 12 years of Catholic school, but then I found my indigenous roots and made a major turn in my 20's and here I am 42 years old filling up this friggin' box trying to explain why I don't fit into any of your categories!!!"

Or maybe you'll find me filling in this text box in the voting booth:
"I refuse to align myself with any political party because my heart has been broken too many times by lies, prejudice, two-face double talkers who made promises they never intended to carry out. For my sanity I've had to divorce myself from even the 'good' ones. I vote my conscience, not a party anymore." (but let me make it clear I did not vote for our current regime nor his ilk)

Fortunately the 2000 census allowed us to check more than one box, Latina/German/Azteca mutt that I am finally could find a place but they don't consider Mexican American to be of native ancestry so I could rant on that...

Anyhow, the impetus for this verbal fallout had to do with a recent assessment of my 4 year old's readiness for Kindergarten in the fall. Technically she qualifies because California's policy is the child must turn 5 by December 2. That's pretty darn late, I'm not sure who decided December 2 when most every other state has July 1 or Sept 1 as cut off dates. So I'm given the chance to either throw the kid into the grind at age 4 or give her the gift of a year.

Yes, we're going for the extra year, but when I read the assessment, I saw the telltale box:

Citlalli defies description in some areas but this one made me laugh. In describing her social emotional qualities it listed a number of positive traits then the OTHER box popped up:
STRONG WILLED, it said in teacher perfect cursive.

Duh, I thought to myself, tell me something I don't know.

Of all the boxes in the world, I can't believe they didn't have one for strong willed! Even I, checkbox hater that I am, would have made a box for strong willed. In a 4 year old? C'mon people, isn't that the 4 year old credo to do the absolute opposite of what your mother wants you to do? Harumph!

So when I become the benevolent dictator of the world, one of my first decrees will be an end to all check boxes, except on sandwich menus. But on anything personal, I swear it's out!

OK, my next decree will be changing kindergarten entry dates, and I must do something about Holy Days of Obligation. Could we do a national broadcast of my mother reminding everyone? We could get Vatican funding but then it might get political...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Signs of Spring: Bears Awakening, Snakes Shedding

The sleeping bear in me has awoken and is hungry for spring berries and tasty snacks. The snake in me is shedding her skin and is ready to emerge as a refreshed creature.

My creativity has awoken after spending winter focused on ways to deal with a sick mom, sick kids, and other things that life pops your way. So much energy went into worrying about Bunny (my mom) and the colon cancer she is dealing with, I didn't realize how much it took out of me.

Wisely, I went into hibernation in December. I really laid low, and slowly emerged in January finding the loving mentorship of Kendall Summerhawk, my coach. Her "How to Charge What You're Worth... And Get It" product helped me see my business in a whole new light.

So lately I'm grappling and the waking bear and skin shedding snake are restless but know that they are in transformation.

When I first started Comadre Coaching, I considered myself a life coach. Creativity was my focus and helping you release your inner loca my mission.

Then as I grew and developed, I discovered a love of marketing and how creative and wonderful that line of coaching is. So more and more my business transformed into marketing for creatively wonderful and often quirky women entrepreneurs. I learned in the last 18 months that creatively quirky and wonderful must also be accompanied by the willingness to commit to the coaching process, and the value of what I do.

Last year around this time, my awakening animal spirits gave me the courage to let go of my bottom 10%, the clients who took more than they gave both emotionally and financially.

This year I am looking at how my being a comadre ties into marketing.

Comadre Coaching really has a nice ring to it and explains a lot (if you know that comadre means trusted friend, advisor, confidant).

But how do I translate that to helping business owners establish themselves as experts? How do I make it work with a marketing and visibility focus?

So my shedding skin and bear growls of today have to do with my own branding. Do I need to rebrand myself to clearly communicate to smart business owners that I can help them get noticed by the right people? That I have the "It" factor and can teach you to have it too?

I'm obviously thinking aloud here. I've thought aloud on a few entrepreneurial message boards and mused this over with my mastermind partners.

I'm writing this so that people know there is a real human being behind this business. That we all face challenges. That our animal spirits call us to do things we wouldn't normally do.

I'm grateful to this restlessness and insatiable curiosity, I truly believe it will take me to the next level. How that will happen is not currently in my control.

all my relations
noxtin nomecoyotzin

Friday, March 02, 2007

Blog Tag: Why I Blog

Thank you comadre and fab chica Laura Young for inviting me to play blog tag with her. Laura was asked why she blogged and wrote an amazing post on it. Laura is such a damn good writer! This woman needs a 6 book deal, that's my opinion.

Blog tag is when one blogger asks a question to other bloggers. When the new players answer, they need to do a link back to the post. Easy breezy.

I write 2 blogs, this one and The Savvy Comadre. Each one has a great "Why" attached to it, but I'm choosing to work from this one as it's my longest running blog and the place where my brain gets a good workout.

Now I get to answer the question: Why Do I Blog?

1. It's The Newspaper Column I've Always Wanted to Write
I am not a professional writer by any means, but have had a couple articles that people paid me to write. Writing was so much fun... but the editors drove me batty! So in my perfect little world, I have complete editorial control and am not asked to change things here and there that made no sense to me.

2. Because I Love Instant Results
As a coach, people pay me good money to be patient with them - and I love being able to do that for them. But after a full day of being patient, it's nice to do something that yields instant results! Instant global presence... it doesn't get any better than that.

3. I Never Caught Knitting Fever, Guess I'll Stick to Blogging
This echoes the sentiment of #2. So many things take precision, correcting, studying, laboring (name any needle craft) and I was the type of person who'd make a mistake early on, but didn't want to deal with it by ripping it out and starting over. My knitted scarves always had strange shapes to them evidence of my Speedy Gonzalez DNA. With a blog, you can mess up and fixing things is no biggie.

4. I Don't Need to Focus or Niche Myself Here
My website has a specific purpose: to generate business, build name recognition, grow my prospects, and offer resources. What I put on my website fits into those general categories. My blog, however (this blog in particular) has no parameters. It is my life as it happens. Ultimately it does reflect my business because my personality is part of both. But no one wants to read about me losing my car keys when what they're looking for are great marketing solutions for their small businesses.

5. Sometimes I cuss, complain and vent. Yes, I admit it. But here, you'll still love me.
It's all in context, right? Remember what a stir the "f" word caused in Catcher in the Rye? Well, he was just reading it off a wall, it wasn't said to be vulgar. In context, it all makes sense (the book burners never actually read CITR, they just heard it had a bad word and needed to ban it.)
I do, however, try always to tie a positive lesson to each harrowing event.

6. I can be real here.
The ongoing serial of my life as outlined on these hallowed pages creates a complete picture. So yes, if I lose my damn keys you'll see how it ties into a string of events and lessons learned. When my dad died, I blogged about it and got support from people all over the world. In front of you, I've laughed and cried. I can be real here.

If it's not fun or authentic I don't want it. This blog lets me have both of those by giving me an outlet to tie business, life, you, and me into one beautiful big picture.

Now I'm tagging these awesome bloggers and asking them to answer the question, "Why do I blog?" Don't forget to link back to this post when you put your answers up.

Crafty Chica c'mon down!
by Kathy Cano Murillo, goddess of glitter and the crafty lifestyle

Latina Lista c'mon down!
great blog by Marisa Treviño, who is unafraid to speak the truth about Latino issues

Marta Acosta let's hear from you!
Marta is an author, gardener, journalist... if it can be put in words, she's the one to do it (and with added sass and sabor!)

Bookseller Chick whatzup!
This is a great blog about writing, selling books in the real world, etc.

La Tertulia, ven pa'ca!
Being bilingual never sounded as cool and musical as presented by Ruth K on her awesome blog.

Sexy Spanish Club, shake what your blog mama gave ya!
A bona fide group of locas learning Spanish and romance in Buenos Aires. Can you hear the tango music as we speak?

SandiaFria Bloggeria, let's see what you got!
Maria Sanchez is a great artist and commentator on the beauty of life.

Carol Finds Her Way
Mid-life never had it so good! Carol is funny, honest and imo the funniest woman over 40 since Erma Bombeck.

Idea Flow
I love all things creative and this blog always gives me a great place to see creativity married to the tangible. Renee, the author, doesn't even know I exist but I love her blog and why not take this moment to properly introduce ourselves???

The Idea Midwife
Laura Lind Blum is a creative mind extraordinaire. Her blog delivers playful strategies for birthing your creative contributions...without so much pushing

The game is on!

Sunday, February 25, 2007

The $296 Car Key and Other Fun Expenses

All I can say is that this period of Mercury in Retrograde has kicked my ass and emptied my pocket book. And that's the bright side!

If you read my last post, you caught me mid-saga of losing the keys to a rental car. Long story short: don't ever do that.

I thought it would cost me the quoted $100 which was outrageous, but I made peace with it. So imagine my ... ahem... delight when I picked up the car and it cost me $296 for the replacement key. $150 for labor. $146 for assorted odds and ends. They could have at least washed the bugs off the windshield, but nooooooooooooooooooooooooo. Flipping back to gratitude, I had to say thank you that we had transportation and we got home safely.

After the long drive home from the Bay Area to Southern California, my husband informed me that our computer monitor blacked out. I am not a techie, but for some reason I am our household fixit person and nothing seemed to help. It was clearly a case of "monitor death", so I went out and purchased a new computer monitor. Do you hear the cash register ringing in the background?

The very intelligent and super tech savvy salesperson at the store was great. She steered me toward a fantastic 19" monitor that dwarfed our old one. Wow! What resolution! What clarity! I took it home, hooked it up... hmmmmm, why isn't it looking like it did in the store?

Well, maybe because my computer is a 3 year old obsolete donkey of a machine. These new snazzy monitors are made for computers that have (Mom, if you're reading this, please close your eyes) huevos. My computer lacks that quality. It is the castrated ox in a world of bulls.

This all reminded me of a time when I bought a fantastic pair of shoes that made me feel like the coolest, sassiest, hottest thing alive and but didn't go with anything I owned so I had to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe to match these new shoes.

$80 shoes turned into $500 worth of clothes.

So I have this Cadillac monitor hitched up to my Pinto computer. They don't like each other. The Pinto computer is copping attitude big time and taking forever to do relatively simple tasks. The Cadillac monitor is playing Princess and not delivering all the bells and whistles she promised in the store.

Flip to gratitude: Oh well, at least I have an internet connection and can function (even at a basic level).

After talking to my friend's husband who is a bonafide tech geek, I am going to get a whole new computer set up. It was planned for this month anyhow, it just didn't happen on my time.

But not all is downtrodden. Through all this, I started working with some new clients who are absolutely amazing women and I am very excited to work with them. They value the work I do, and are committed and ready. A longtime client gifted an employee of hers with a year of coaching with me (let's nominate her for Boss of the Century). The flow of money in counters the flow out, so I'm not crying too hard in my suds.

I'm just counting the days til March 9 when Mercury goes out of retrograde. But then there are these 2 eclipses in March that are supposed to have funky effects... OK, we'll cross those bridges when we get to them.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Lost Keys on Vacation

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you lost your keys to a rental car while on vacation?

Well, I'm not actually "on vacation", I'm visiting my mom in the Bay Area for the President's Day long weekend. My sis and I rented a car and drove up (w/ little Citlalli of course) and all was well.

Need an opinion on the 2007 Pontiac Grand Prix?
Hauls ass. Loved it.

But today I lost the keys. ARGGH! I was wearing sweats and had no pockets. I got something out of the rental and went over to my sister JL's car and put my keys on the roof while I was putting stuff in her car. I made a mental note to get the keys off the roof, but something distracted me and I totally forgot.

A couple hours later I was looking for the keys and after piecing it all together, I realized what had happened.

OK, so I'm sure you want to know what happens. I hope you don't have to deal w/ this ever again.

1. You call the rental company's roadside assistance dept. You try to tell them the story as succinctly as possible. "Hello, I lost the keys to my rental. No they're not IN the car, they're lost." In my mind, I'm swearing between every 3 words or so.

2. Rental company finds a dealership near you that can make a new key. They send a tow truck to get your car and take it to dealership.

3. Dealership can't make key without proof of title. Oops, I happened to pick a rental office that closed early on Saturdays and is closed on Sundays!

So long story short, we have to wait another 2 days before we know the fate of our plight. I have to foot the bill on the new key which I don't even want to think about right now.

Lessons learned:
1. Always have pockets, regardless how cute you look in your little sweats, have a pocket.

2. Write notes on paper, not on brain cells.

3. Rent your car from an office that has long weekend hours!

I'm sure this will all be water under the bridge soon, and we're just dealing with it. Life goes on and yet again my Higher Power is teaching me something. What that lesson is, I have no idea but maybe I'll figure it out when I'm zooming down Highway 5 Monday with this whole ordeal behind me.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Daddy Yankee Keeps Following Me

I know I'm irrestistible, but Daddy Yankee is just taking things a little too far. Dude, I'm married with a kid, so are you! Why do you keep showing up on the cover every time I'm in Latina magazine?

Hmmm.... you decide.

Clue #1:
March 2006, I am a featured expert in an article about stress reduction. I give tips on how making a gratitude list can relieve stress in 5 minutes or less. And look who's on the cover? You got it. Reggaeton hot shot Daddy Yankee. I didn't see a pattern, but who would be looking for one?

Clue #2:
February 2007, I am once again giving expert advice, but this was in the form of a story about how the suckiest job from hell led me to start my wonderful business that is the source of infinite joy in my life. And who is on the cover of Latina Magazine February 2007?
You guessed it. Daddy Yankee.

Perhaps he's following me to pick up a tip or two on work life balance, marketing with less effort, running a well oiled machine of a business. He may even be a Pocket Comadre subscriber and enjoy all those tips and tidbits I share with cool entrepreneurs like himself.

Or maybe he's just stalking me, I don't know.

Daddy, if you're reading this I just want to say that it's great collaborating with you and anytime you or your entourage would like some strategizing on making this superstar business and life of yours even more super, just drop me a line.

If you want to read my synopsis of the Latina magazine article, you can dig deeper into the dish on my a-to-the-hole ex-boss at my other blog, The Savvy Comadre. The title of the article is "Getting Over Being Fired"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

How to Maintain Serenity When They Evacuate the Airport and Everyone Around You is Freaking Out

Nothing like a good old fashioned Red Alert security breach at the airport to cap off your holiday season.

On Friday January 5th, my brother graciously agreed to drive Citlalli and I to the Oakland Airport for our 1:50pm flight. It was about 12:30 when we got off the freeway and since we were checking lots of baggage, I felt pretty good about being on time.

As we headed down the main road into the airport, traffic slowed to a standstill. For the first 2 or 3 minutes we figured it was due to construction until we saw a news van and a reporter. Hmmmmm, better switch on the radio.

An unidentified man ran past the security perimeter at Oakland International Airport at approximately 11am this moring. All operations have been halted, including the grounding of all flights and the evacuation of all passengers, numbering over 1000.

There we were in my brother's van, my 13 year old niece reading a book in the front seat, Citlalli and I in the back. We noticed people around us were turning their cars off, some even getting out. Two women were running down the lanes of stopped traffic, suitcases in hand. They didn't look serene.

Our key to serenity was tied up in the mood and joy of our 4 year old passenger. Being stuck in traffic with a preschooler requires creativity and patience from the adults, not unlike taking a long road trip with kids. Keep the kid happy and we'll all be happy, was our unspoken motto. So we started on an alphabet game, everyone got a turn to say a letter and an animal that started with that letter. We cut major slack for Citlalli, but overall she did pretty well.

Over 30 minutes passed, then we turned on the radio one more time. A spokeswoman for the Oakland airport was making a statement.

"No one will miss their flight today." She said a few more sentences, but that was all I needed to hear. Cool, I thought, no one will miss their flight today! Hey let's play another round of animal alphabet!

At 1pm the airport was reopened, and with that thousands of people converged upon the Terminals for their flights. I saw impatient people losing their cool left and right, but I kept the words of the spokeswoman in my head: No one will miss their flight today. I need to get spiritual in stressful times so I told myself that it was my higher power letting me know all would be well.

For whatever reason (I think it was because we didn't fly Southwest which was a total fluke), there was no line at the counter. All of our Christmas gift loaded suitcases made the baggage limit, we got ticketed without a hitch. The woman behind the counter looked at me. "You have missed the scheduled check in time for your flight and there's no way you're going to make it in time." Awww, uninformed pessimist that she was. I looked her in the eye. "No one is going to miss their flight today." (Just then her co-worker clued her in that the computers weren't updated yet and she exhaled a "Hmmmph") I think she still wanted to see if we'd crack.
"See that huge crowd of people over there?"

I nodded.

"That's the security line. Good luck."

No worries mon! I kept the mantra flowing, "No one will miss their flight".

We walked for ages trying to find the end of the line and finally got there. A young woman with a backback was obviously distressed; her face red with worry. I didn't know her, I wasn't asked for a comment but I simply turned to her and said, "No one will miss their flight today. You're fine." She looked a bit marveled at my comment, but just then a security agent yelled out numbers of flights and she was yanked out of line and taken to the front of the pack so she could get on her plane. Coincidence? Hmmmmmmmmm.

Hey this spiritual approach rocks, I thought to myself. Citlalli was being such a great sport, too. She had a stuffed kitty to play with and was beyond content. She barely noticed we were standing in line. I made a game out of it and when I sensed impatience, managed to get her mind back on our fun game.

The security line lasted forever, but we made the best of it. I saw how hard the airport staff was working and when one was nearby I'd tell them what a great job they were doing. "Thanks for helping us all out", I said. You should have seen them beaming! Most other people were raising their voices and getting stressed out. (I don't think they heard the "no one will miss their flight" part)

Citlalli and I now had an important job in this event: we had to be ambassadors of gratitude and joy.

Eventually we made it to our gate, and of course the flight was delayed but that was fine. Our 1:50 flight became the 4:00 flight but that gave us time to grab a bite. The young woman at the gourmet burrito stand was really exhausted from all this. We chatted a bit and she said it was the most awful day of work. "You're doing such a great job. All of you are! Thank you so much."

If you've ever seen a person's energy rise, you'd know what I'm talking about. Simple words of thanks truly brought people up. And each time I shared my gratitude with someone, I felt better too.

We ultimately made it onto our plane, met a charming college student named Clare, and next thing you know we're on the curb waiting for our ride home.

When I got home, I found lots of unopened mail. The first envelope I opened was a Christmas card from my friend Laurel. In it she attached a pin. It said "Gratitude Attitude".

Now wasn't THAT the perfect topping to an unusually awesome (yet spiritually rockin) day.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Thanks for Praying for Bunny

In a recent issue of my ezine The Pocket Comadre, I shared with readers that Bunny (my awesome mom) was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. She is undergoing chemo and radiation, and despite all that has a great attitude.

I asked people to keep her in her prayers. These are some responses I got back- many from total strangers- wishing her well. The kindness and love poured out amaze me. I am so full of gratitude right now. If you think the world is filled with horrible people, read these notes and think again. People are beautiful, the world is beautiful.

From Andy in LA
I am sending lots of love and healing thoughts to your Mama!

From KK in Malaysia:

Dear Nancy,

Warmest greetings from Penang, Malaysia! May your mum be in the best of health ... always ...


From Ibis:
Dear Nancy's mom,

Prayers have a tremendous power to heal. I will pray for your health and well-being. I know you are going through some challenging times but from reading Nancy's description about you and learning about her love towards you I get the impression that you possess an impressive inner strength. Que Dios la Bendiga. Ibis

From Leyden in NYC
Hi Nancy,
Please send your mother my very best wishes for her good health. Tell her that I will pray for her quick recovery and send her waves upon waves of positivity.


From Ali in Florida
Estimada Señora y Mamá de mi querida Nancita,

Siento mucho los problemas de salud que se les ha presentado. Cuando Nancy me dijo que la enviaron al Hospital yo hice oraciones especiales para que todo saliera bien. También llamé a mis amistades para que todas rogáramos por usted a las cuatro de la tarde del DIA cuando usted fue hospitalizada.

Aunque no nos conocemos, sí conozco muy bien a su hija Nancita, la cual es un Ángel enviado de cielo y a la cual le tengo mucho cariño y respeto. Me imagino que Nancita salió a usted. Quiero que sepa que continuamos pidiéndole a Dios por una recuperación rápida

Y que el Espíritu Santo la mantenga protegida bajo su manto omnipotente.

Que Dios la bendiga y le aporte con mucha salud, dicha y bienestar…y mucho, mucho amor.
Bendiciones y abrazos,


From Diane G.
Nancy's Mom
So sorry to hear of your recent diagnosis. Please know that you will be included in my thoughts and prayers...your strength and vibrancy can only help in your fight. Between all the benefit of the recent medical advances made in fighting cancer and all the love and prayers that are coming your way, your chances are great! Good luck!

From Gloria U.
Nancy, I wish you and your mom the very best and will include you all in my prayers.
God Bless, Gloria

From Gloria H.
I pray your mom gets a total healing. Share this scripture with her.

Mark 16: 17
And these signs will accompany those who believe: they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.

And this one is for you:

Take delight in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

From Ruben in Orange County
Have a great year and I send prayers for your mother. RUBEN


Dear Nancy,
Thanks for your new year greetings.

I am so sorry to hear about your mom's recent diagnosis.

My father was diagnosed with cancer 4 years ago. He has something
called multiple myeloma which is basically bone cancer. Without
treatment, he would not have much hope, so of course he decided to have
the treatment.

Now treatment for this rare type of cancer is very complicated. Not
only did he go through the strongest chemotherapy treatment but he also
had to have a stem cell transplant. When he was diagnosed, his kidneys
had failed and he was told that he had to have dialysis for the rest of
his life. All in all, it wasnt' very good news. And it wasn't an easy
time at all. My dad spent 8 months in hospital due to a crazy amount
of complications. And me and my mom spent every day with him. and we
laughed and cried and talked about life and death and jeopardy and how
was it possible for the champion to have such a big brain!

My father was very close to death a number of times. He had 2 blood
infections, his heart stopped for 6 minutes, and he had dangerously
high blood pressure...but in the end he is still with us and he is
doing much better. About a month ago, the doctors said that they
didn't want to see him for a year..which is amazing considering he went
every two weeks to see them!

When my dad was sick, i organized something that i called the kindness
of strangers letter writing campaign. I sent out emails letting
everyone i knew what was happening to my dad. I asked everyone if they
could send this to all they knew and if they could continue passing it
on. Basically i asked if people could write some words of peace, love
and kindness to someone going through a rough time. Well, we ended up
with about 75 letters from many different places! Heck, we even got
some letters from japan and israel!

I put all of the envelopes in a box and delivered them to my mother and
father who were incredibly touched. My mother found these letters very
meaningful and she looks at them often.

If you feel so inclined, i would urge you to do the same. Simply put
out one email asking people to send this out to friends who might be
willing to participate and ask them to forward it along. Provide a
mailing address and see what happens. A friend of mine did it and she
recieved about 75 letters of love and support.

When my dad was diagnosed he said that he wasn't going anywhere cause
he had too much love to give! My father has fought this disease and
has been the most stubborn guy ever. I think that having a strong
spirit really helps, but from what i gather your mom is probably a very
strong woman!

much love to you and your familia!