This is my story....
It begins with dogs....
My passion for storytelling begins with dogs. An Old English Sheepdog and a Golden Retriever to be exact. Those were my childhood pets. Whenever my parents would fight, I would go down in my basement and read a book to my dog at the time. It drowned out the yelling and brought me a sense of comfort.
Writing was equally therapeutic for me. I kept a notebook of poems in which I vented things like the evils of alcohol—which I unfortunately had to experience first-hand growing up with an alcoholic father, who more than once walked out on my mom, brother, and I and refused to help my mom pay the bills. Reading and writing were my way of managing a traumatic childhood.
As I got older, I transitioned from writing poems in a notebook to creating “books” on a typewriter. I typed my story and then cut out advertisements from magazines and glued the photos of models throughout the pages of my story. They became my characters.
Then, therapeutic writing drove my dreams...
During high school, my love for writing and photography led me to study journalism. As Photography Editor of the school paper, I got to snap photos and interview people. My teacher said I was the most outgoing shy person she ever met. My best friend and I even applied to be News Team reporters for Teen People magazine and were chosen out of thousands to be among their 35 teen reporters! I credit our clever video submission in lieu of a letter, on which we declared, “We have a dollar and a dream!” That was my first experience with the national media.
Come college, I was immersed in pop culture and music, and spent each semester as the Music Editor at the paper. I also launched an environmental section to help raise awareness of important issues like the treatment of circus animals (I did a backstage investigation at Ringling Bros and was whiskers away from my beloved, endangered tigers!) and helped launch the campus music TV show. And then, summer came and I had no creative outlet. So, I started my own! I launched a music ‘zine, which I ended up self-publishing for about 10 years and eventually transiting to a blog (back before it was cool for everyone to have one) and one of the first Internet TV shows. We boasted an all-female staff of writers, hosts, photographers, designers and editors and brought our audience “What’s Hot and What’s Important.” I worked at Starbucks for years instead of getting a corporate job, in hopes of taking this platform to the big time. But, it didn’t happen (and that’s OK!). Eventually we all had to move on and get real jobs—and for me, get married.
And then my world fell apart when I got married and divorced in my 20s...
I started working at a music company and married one of my Starbucks customers. A year into the marriage, we got divorced and my life fell apart at age 28. But the big “D” gave me a big idea.
I turned it into a positive experience and connected with others.
I felt like the only divorced twenty-something on the planet, so naturally, I wrote about it. One of my Huffington Post Divorce blogs was named among the most controversial posts of that year. I met hundreds of other young divorced women around the world. I was no longer a lone wolf—I had a pack! This group of women helped my dream of publishing a book become reality. I interviewed 70 women from across the world on the reasons why they got married and divorced at a young age, and most importantly, how they moved on from their divorce and celebrated their new lease on life. I self-published Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s and continue to unite and inspire young, divorced women through an online community at www.trashthedressmovement.com and a private, safe Facebook support group that members can only be invited to join through an email invite from me after they send me a request. Trash the Dress: Stories of Celebrating Divorce in your 20s, has been featured in Huffington Post, Glamour UK, Yahoo! Health, Cosmo Middle East, SheKnows, International Business Times, The Globe and Mail, and more.
And I began to live the life I was meant to live!
I gave birth to Trash the Dress literally after I gave birth. By the time the book was ready to be published, I had spent two years contracted to a literary agent who didn’t return my calls, and also met Frank, my husband. Frank and I met at a concert when I interviewed his best friend’s band. Pursuing my love of music didn’t make my career dream come true in the way I hoped it would, but it led me to love. Frank and I got married and then pregnant. I knew I had to self-publish Trash the Dress and get it out into the world before I became a mom and life with an infant would leave me sleepless and exhausted. The day I approved my final proofs to go to print, my water broke and our baby girl. Genevieve, arrived the next day.
Motherhood is a dream come true. It took me years to get adjusted to life as a full-time working mom with chronic fatigue, running on limited sleep. My personal passions took a backseat for a few years, even with many failed attempts at starting a mommy blog.
In 2019, when Genevieve turned 5 and our son, Luca (who arrived 2.5 years after G, and is my post-miscarriage rainbow baby), began sleeping through the night, I started to gain some more “me time” and energy!
I've overcome some struggles along the way...
I declared 2019 as my year of self-care. I was pretty selfish and I mean that in the best way possible. I started to apply all the lessons I’ve learned with my new, dream-come-true career as a work-from-home book publicist for self-help experts, life coaches, and business leaders. We must be the best version of ourselves in order to properly care for our families and also to achieve our dreams.
I brought my passion for creating inspiring content back into the spotlight of my life. I started to blog again. And then, for Genevieve’s princess-themed 5th birthday party, I got the idea to write a storybook about her as a favor. Every princess needs her own story!
I accomplished another dream and published a children's book, to share valuable life lessons with every young girl (and boy!)
The idea for Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power began as a book to celebrate my daughter and her favorite things at 5-years-old and evolved into a whole new movement, that is already beyond my wildest dreams. It’s already 2020 and many months past her 5th birthday party and that book never made it as a party favor. It’s going beyond the gift bag and into the hands of young girls everywhere, as I teamed up with an illustrator to bring my vision into a beyond adorable children’s book to self-publish.
Princess Genevieve: The Hero with Girl Power was partially fueled by my anxiety to ensure that my kids always remember important life lessons if heaven forbid anything stops me from being able to teach them myself. Hey, I’m an anxiety warrior / not worrier but it’s always an evolution in progress! But Princess Genevieve was also fueled by my passion to empower girls to chase their dreams, live life to its fullest, and focus on what’s really important- like helping animals, making friends with all different types of people, and unplugging from technology. Like I write in the book, “Life is a fairytale starring you! And girl, you have the power to write your own story and be the hero of it, too!”
I expanded my girl power community (to everyone!)
I formed the Hero with Girl Power movement, not only to raise awareness for Princess Genevieve, but also to empower girls of all ages and life stages. I’m by no means an expert or life coach, but as you have read, I’ve been through a lot in my life and not once did I let any of those circumstances lead me down a dark path. I always chose to believe there are rainbows after the storm, everything happens for a reason, and we will all end up where we are meant to be—it just might take longer and include some unexpected twists and turns. We’re in a world where we worship “influencers” with social media posts that are carefully crafted with the help of marketing teams and sponsored payments. Why is it that the people we follow the most and want to emulate are the ones that may not be the most authentic?
That’s been my plan since 2021. Be real. Live in gratitude. Follow my dreams. Inspire others to do the same. Show my kids that there’s no such thing as an invincible Super Mom, but they sure as heck can fly in their own capes.
I have a message for girls of all ages and life stages.
To the single mom….
To the college student working two jobs while studying for her Masters….
To the woman battling an invisible illness or other serious health matter…
To the mom of a child with special needs…
To the woman who isn’t married but purchased her own house…
To the little girl entering kindergarten…
To the woman who wants to expand her social circle so she joined a class by herself….
To the transgender woman….
And everyone in between—
YOU ARE A HERO WITH GIRL POWER!
And I hope to inspire you and spread positivity in your life with my writing.
Thanks for reading.
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I look forward to meeting you and hearing your stories!
Always remember how strong you are,