24 Jun Maya’s Q & A
Maya Frank hosts her original blog, My Life as Maya, where she writes about fashion, food, fitness and mom life with creativity and candor. Whether she is sharing recipes for all the remarkable ways to prepare a cauliflower (it’s a Paleo thing), talking about Little C (her daughter, Chloe) and mom life, or putting together an outfit that will make you look fabulous and not spend more than you should….Maya shares it with the world and makes us all feel just a little bit closer.
I asked Maya some questions about how she got started doing what she does, where her inspiration comes from and the details of being a busy wife, mother and worker-amongst-workers….this is what she had to say:
Honestly, no. Growing up we were pretty poor so shopping was out of the question except for birthdays. I always looked forward to that one day a year where I got to go to Macy’s or JC Penny and pick out something new. The majority of my clothes were either hand-me-downs from my older cousins or Goodwill and thrift store second hand finds; I wore baggy jeans and crew neck t-shirts with mountain lions on them. So fashion really wasn’t on my radar for a long time. Of course, I wanted to be fashionable like my peers but since it wasn’t possible I tried not to entertain the thought of actually wearing cute clothing. Around the time I turned thirteen I started making money from babysitting and chores so I began to be more interested in fashion and style. I was finally able to purchase clothes that I thought were cool, and thus began my love affair with fashion. I do think that thrift store shopping gave me a unique viewpoint on what fashion was and how to shop for a great deal.
Who did you consider a fashion guru growing up and what was your favorite outfit as a teen?
Since fashion never even crossed my mind until I was in junior high, I didn’t have a fashion guru that I looked to for inspiration early on. But once I got older I looked to Jennifer Love Hewitt for style inspo, and in high school I was all about Mary Kate and Ashley Olson’s vintage boho grunge look. My favorite outfit as a teen was pretty much anything Abercrombie and Fitch; Abercrombie was the jam. I had a favorite white lace tank top that I paired with super distressed boot-cut jeans and platform heels. Classy.
Whose style do you revere today?
Oh my gosh, where do I start? I love Victoria Beckham’s style, she is classy and effortless and chic. Alexa Chung, Nicole Richie, Olivia Palermo, Cara Delevigne, Rachel Bilson. I have a million style inspos today, but they do tend to all have similar styles.
Do you thrift shop and where?
I do! Can’t forget your roots, right? I will shop at anywhere from Crossroads and Wasteland to Goodwill. It depends on what I’m looking for and what my price point is. Loooove thrift shopping! Some of my favorite pieces have come from second hand stores.
What fashion trend absolutely makes you cringe – any era?
Ooo, I have a lot. I think that the mid 90’s produced a ton of miserable trends. The smiley face icon that was on EVERYTHING still makes me cringe to think about, or the baby tees with super baggy Jinco jeans. I have always hated those Adidas slide sandals with the massaging nubs in the sole and single velcro strap. I hate them even more when they are worn with white crew socks. Anything Tevas makes me nauseous. Jeans with running shoes… I’m currently struggling with the return of Birkenstocks and how crazy trendy they are all of a sudden. Clearly I have a lot of opinions about what makes “good” fashion.
Is there something in your closet you just can’t ever seem to get rid of, even though you may not wear it anymore?
Yes! I have a hard time getting rid of stuff because fashion is so cyclical. Generally trends recycle throughout the years, so when I’m cleaning out my closet I can always find a reason why I should keep every single item of clothing. I still have some of my Abercrombie jeans that I haven’t worn in years because I just cannot seem to part with them. I also have this pink thermal long sleeve shirt from Primp that I just will not let go of, for what reason I could not tell you. The thing that I do love though about cleaning out my closet is that it makes room for new things! I love to sell my old clothes on Ebay though because there is always someone out there who wants the stuff you no longer do. Plus, then I can justify buying new gear with the money 😉
What do you think of excessive tattoos and piercings?
I had tons of piercings growing up. Seriously, like a LOT of them. I think I had nineteen piercings at one point. My nose, all over my ears, my tongue, bellybutton… I think that at my age excessive piercings are not terribly appropriate, but that is a personal style preference. I still wear some of my earrings from time to time when the mood strikes but it’s generally my cartilage piercings, I don’t like to wear earrings in my lobes. As far as tattoos go, I have a lot of those as well, the majority of which if I could go back in time I wouldn’t get again! I’m not a huge fan of excessive tattoos, but again that’s just a personal preference. I do love a good sleeve though.
Why did you embark on the Paleo Foodie Lifestyle?
Growing up my family essentially followed a paleo-style diet. My mom has ulcerative colitis, which is triggered by gluten and sugar, and I have some mild gluten intolerance as well so eating breads, pastas, etc. was never really a part of my lifestyle. So I guess that you could say that I sort of fell into being paleo, not intentionally but simply because it followed the way that I eat. I also don’t do well with sugar, if I have too much sugar I get sores in my mouth and feel pretty sick for a few days. It could be that I’ve lived so long without much processed sugar that my body just can’t handle it anymore. For example, I would never be able to eat a Jolly Rancher or a Slurpee. I would probably go into sugar overload and keel over. I haven’t had a soda in years, but I do have a weakness for chocolate. Benefit wise I just feel better, healthier.
Do you pray and meditate as part of living a healthy lifestyle?
Meditate – yes, pray – not nearly as much as I should. Meditation for me doesn’t always mean sitting in silence and breathing though, sometimes my meditation is my gym time. I have always struggled with the ‘God concept’ so praying isn’t something that comes naturally to me.
Have you always wanted to be a mom?
Honestly, no. I always thought I wouldn’t have kids. I am not a super maternal type, I was never the kind of person who saw babies and drooled over them or dreamed about one day being a parent. It took some convincing on my husband’s part to get me on board to start a family. However, I am so, so glad that we had our daughter, Chloe. She is the light of my life and my heart. I adore her. That being said, I’m pretty sure I only want to have one child.
If you realized something about your own mother and her job as a mom only after you had Chloe, what was it precisely?
Honestly I just never really knew what a full-time job it was to be a mother until I had Chloe; I never understood the intricacies and the planning and the exhaustion involved in parenthood. I never truly comprehended how hard my mom worked to ensure that we were fed, clothed, educated, cared for. I didn’t realize the kind of pressure we put on ourselves as mothers, the standards that we expect from ourselves. I put my mom through a lot growing up, and I’m grateful that she never gave up on me.
How does fitness fit into your busy lifestyle being a wife, mother, an employee and a woman with a blog?
Fitness is the key to my success in life. Without workouts I get anxious and antsy, cranky and physically uncomfortable. I know that without physical activity my sanity, sobriety, and overall happiness can be compromised, so I make a very concerted effort to ensure that I get to the gym no matter what. That means that during the workweek, I take my lunch break in the gym, which luckily is just a block away. I set my alarm on my phone and for those next 50 minutes I get to just do me. I go back to work ten times more focused, awake and ready for the rest of my day. On the weekends my husband and I take turns going to the gym so that we both can get in our exercise. What it comes down to is priorities. You figure out what your priorities are and then you make time for them. For me, fitness is one of my main priorities; so I make time for it…it’s simple for me.
What tip/s for relaxing can you offer the young working mom who has a full life like you?
You HAVE to make time for YOU. If you don’t ensure that you get even thirty minutes or an hour a day that is just for taking care of you, then you will burn out and I say that from experience. There is no trophy for martyrdom, no badge to be won for giving up 100% of your needs in place of your families. If anything, what I have learned is that the family functions best when mom feels her best. If I’m exhausted and burned out, things tend to fall apart. So if you have a hard time, like I do, taking time just for yourself, think of it as still taking time for your family. They benefit much more from a rested and happy mommy than an over-stressed and exhausted one.
What have been the most useful things you have learned about yourself?
I have learned that I am strong, capable, and driven. I’ve been tested and I’ve been through times where I was sure that there was no way that I would come out on the other side, but I have. I’ve walked through pain and fear and because of that I know that I can do anything that I put my mind to. I know now that I don’t need anyone to hold my hand, that I can do it all.
If you could have any super power, what would it be and why?
Oooo if I could have any super power, I think that I would want the ability to see into the future. Most people say that they would never want to know what lies ahead of them in life but I am far too scheduled and planned to pass up that power. I don’t particularly like surprises…even when I read books half the time I skip to the end just so that I know what happens because I can’t stand the not knowing. So the power to know exactly how my life will be is what I would want; again not fun for most people but perfect for me!