Category Archives: Parenting

Single Mom Life Travel

Travel Journal: On My Way to Italy

*Here’s an entry from my actual travel journal on my way to Italy, dated Oct 3rd 2016

“Dear Journal,

I’m on a plane high above the ocean. Its dark and we’ve just had dinner; little petite trays with mini servings of salad, grilled chicken pasta, bread with cold butter, and a brownie. I’m sitting across the aisle from the kids, and keep craning my neck around to see their faces light up as they coo over how “darling” the servings are.

Every now and again Kanen gives me that excited look; the one where his whole body gets caught up, and he’ll mouth; “Mama we are going to wake up in VENICE!”

Travel JournalI return the look and my body covers in little goosebumps and tears beg to blur my vision. I push them back and smile at my three children. They are filled with a joy I’ve rarely seen in them. An excitement that is contagious and it feels like most of the passengers in our wing of the plane, have begun to keep their eyes on us as we get closer to our destination. Maybe it’s because mine are the only kids besides a baby on this flight, or maybe because everyone is seeing in them the joy they must feel deep down at the prospect of waking up in VENICE!

I can’t believe it. Like I don’t think it’s set in yet that in just a few hours I’ll be watching the sunrise as we descend over a city I’ve longed to meet, like no other on earth. KEEP READING

 

Hustle.Believe.Receive. Single Mom Life Travel Vision Boards

How I Manifested My Dream Vacation to Italy!

This is the formula with which I manifested my dream vacation to Italy, the same one I’ve used for years to manifest an entirely new life for myself and my family. #HBRMethod 

How I Manifested My Dream Vacation to Italy!
Live your dream, Izzy in Rome Italy

If you’re a regular reader of my blog you know that I’ve had a burning desire to go to Italy since I was a teenager (#DreamIT).  I’ve talked about going for twenty years (#SayIT), I’ve had it on my #FutureBoard (vision board) for the past ten years (#SeeIT), I’d tried unsuccessfully several times in my life to plan a trip (#WriteIT), even going so far as to map out my exact route and pick a date (#ThinkIT), but I’d always lacked the balls to buy my ticket. (lacking #DoIT and #BelieveIT)

Well, this June I had a thought…. Even if I could go to Italy alone (as I’d always imagined I would) it would not be as meaningful if I couldn’t share it with my kids. I envisioned coming home all excited to tell them every detail, but them not wanting to hear about all the fun I’d had without them. Then I imagined that one day I would take them, and we’d travel the same route I’d done alone, and I’d point out all the things I loved; but by then they would be teenagers rolling their eyes with sighs under their breath of, “Oh mom!”

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Single Mom Life Travel

Why My Kids Are Planning Our Italy Adventure

5 Reasons why my three young kids are planning our Italy adventure this fall. 

Why My kids are planning our Italian Adventure

Going to Italy is not just a vacation for me, it’s the realization of a life-long dream, and what some might call a near obsession. Since my teens the allure of discovering Venice; driving the winding roads of Tuscany, and eating pasta in Rome, has pulled at the very core of me. It’s almost a spiritual, attraction I feel, as if it’s the one place I’ll feel most at home in the world.

For this reason I didn’t want to just take my kids to Italy, I wanted them to understand it’s magical spell and help me discover it for the first time; together as a family. But how can I make two nine-year-old’s and a thirteen-year-old, really get it?

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My Stories Single Mom Life Travel

Single Mom Globe Trotter


Venice Italy #SingleMomGlobeTrotter

I’ve had a life long dream to travel the globe. But more specifically… to go to Italy.

If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, or a personal friend of mine, then you already know this. It’s been my obsession since I was eighteen years old. That’s when I fell in love with it for the very first time, in the film Only You with Robert Downey Jr. I’d just graduated high school and when the footage of Venice came on the big screen I was transfixed. The footage of Tuscany left me with lifelong fantasies of getting lost in a tiny janky car roaming around the Tuscan villages, drinking wine from a bottle. And the scenes of the Amalfi Coast… we’ll… I have no words to do them the justice they deserve.

 

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Single Mom Life Travel

Single Mom Road Trip Survival Guide

I grew up going on long road trips, when my family would drive from Oregon to California to visit relatives or friends several times a year. Back then we’d all pile into an old beat-up station wagon, pack some sandwiches and pray we wouldn’t end-up broken down on the side of the freeway (which we almost always did).

So when I became a parent it seemed logical that driving would be the way to go if I needed to take my family less than a thousand miles. I made a few such trips back when I was married with one child, but when I became a single mom with three kids… that’s when it became interesting!

Travel matters to me, a lot. I think as parents, one of the most important things we can do for our kids is show them the world, even if it’s just a few hundred miles from home. And so I committed to sharing this experience with my children from the very start of this single parent journey. Over the past eight years we’ve made an annual road trip as part of our summer vacation, and I’ve learned a few tips that might help you make traveling with your kids a little less scary and hopefully fun!

 

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Single Mom Life

Dear Donald Trump This is Our America #RiseUp

*In disgusted reaction to yesterday’s comments about banning Muslim’s from entering the US.

 

 

Dear Donald Trump,

You can try to divide us. To stir up hate, ignorance and intolerance. You can try to single out our friends, neighbors, and classmates, telling us to live in fear.

But that is NOT our America.

The America I’m raising my daughters Mira, Izzy and my son Kanen, to become proud citizens of, DOES accept each other. My children DO NOT see race, religion, or sexual orientation, they see PEOPLE.  They see their friends.  Not because they are special, but because these are the values they have learned from birth, values that are part of their DNA.

Their world does not see your darkness.

You may say that’s idealistic, and maybe it is, but as parents we have a choice. We can either feed into racism, bigotry, hatred, profiling, fear and the like, or we can create an entirely new generation of future leaders, who will lead with the values that America was built upon.

I for one will #RiseUp

 

Sarah Centrella

Proud American Mom.
#RiseUp Our America

Parenting Single Mom Life

10 Ways to Avoid Being a Single Mom Trainwreck.

Being a single mom (or parent) is hard. I think that’s a pretty universally known fact. But you know what makes it waaaay fucking harder? Trainwreck single moms. They give us all a bad name! They’ve created stereotypes that make an already difficult life, feel like a constant uphill battle.

Brittany Spears single mom train wreck
I’m definitely NOT a perfect single mom in any regard. I’ve had to learn some of these lessons the hard way. But I’ve always consiously tried to live by these rules and defy the stereotypes. I’ve wanted to be an example for others, who like me, want to be taken seriously in business, as parents and in our personal lives.
This list is for all you hotmess single moms… get yo shit together! For real. And this is for all you brand-new single moms, or those going through a recent divorce. I wish someone had told me these rules when I was first starting out!

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My Stories Single Mom Life

My Hustle

I talk a lot about #TheHustle.  In fact I’m even writing a book about it! It’s kinda my shit to be honest. But for those of you who don’t know what the hustle is all about I thought I’d share with you what my daily hustle looks like.

This is what #RelentlessPursuit of your dream looks like in real life. The behind the scenes version.  What does it take to get a book published and attempt to launch a brand, while holding down a full-time job and being a single mom? This is my day, basically every day for the last year. Maybe it will help give a little perspective on the hustle it takes to make your dreams a reality.

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2:10 AM My phone rang.  It was my office manager for my day-job in New York wanting to make sure we had everything lined up for the deal we’d spent the last 24 hours trying to close, which had a 9:00 AM EST deadline. I walked her through the plan and double checked everything, lights still off, head still groggy, eyes glued shut.

 5:55 AM My alarm blasts next to my ear, I ask Siri to call the number for my morning conference call with my New York sales team.  This call happens every single morning, at 6:00 AM.  Today I have to lead the call, and I’m still so exhausted I have no idea what day it is. I rack my brain trying to clear it and remember what I’m supposed to say, I sit up in bed and open my eyes hoping that will help.  But there’s no way to sound alert at this time of the day for me.

Mornings are my nemesis.

7:00 AM I wake the girls, pulling them out of bed. Packing lunches, making breakfast, making a pot of coffee. I push, I pull, I prod, some mornings I yell. It’s impossible to get these girls out the door in time, and I notice that I’m still in my robe when they are finally ready to go. I rush to throw on some sweats and drive them the four miles to school. I’m careful not to speed as I’ve already gotten a ticket once, trying to beat the last tardy bell.

8:15 AM I’m back home making Kanen breakfast, and lunch and getting him off to the bus stop.

8:30 AM Finally I’m ready to sit down and catch up on my emails, check in with work. My office is in my bedroom, and I feel claustrophobic.

From 8:30-12:00 I work, making calls, setting meetings, following up on deals. Grinding on my day job.

12:00-1:00 On a good day I get to go to my Barre3 workout.  On normal days something comes up and I can’t.

The rest of the afternoon I finish up work, scheduling upcoming trips, booking meetings for them. Hosting or listening in on conference calls.  All the things a sales rep with a national territory has to do to keep their job and make money.

4:00 PM I leave pick the kids up from their after school program.  On my way I check the mail.  In it is a notice saying I forgot to show up for my speeding ticket court date, and what could have been a free online class is now a $600 judgment.

I want to cry. Or kick a tree.

I’ve been carrying that fucking ticket in my purse for three weeks, with my to-do list a mile long, saying every day that I’d drop it off and take the class. But I’m always just one step behind the eight ball.

I start the car, and the light reminds me that I’m now two quarts low on oil instead of the one I was a few weeks ago.   And oh yeah, my breaks need replacing, my car’s warning message tells me I should drive it to the shop, that it’s late for a service. I pound my head on the steering wheel and take a deep breath. I need to be in a good mood when I pick up the kids, so I try to shake it off. Someday’s it works, others not so much.

5:00 PM Is dinner, than practice, or dance class, or Kanen’s basketball game, or homework depending on the day.

8:00 PM Sharp is bedtime, because on most nights I have an 8:00 Pm coaching call or book interview.

From 8:00 PM-1:00 or 2:00 AM I grind. I hustle like a motherfucker.

  • I have two months left on my book deadline, and 24 stories to write.
  • I catch up on social media, and try to keep my 900 profiles up to date.
  • I conduct book interviews.
  • I edit and rewrite the book.
  • I do coaching calls.
  • I respond to coaching clients homework assignments.
  • I work on my business plan, and my documentary movie pitch.
  • I research the best way to hire interns. Then learn I don’t have the money to pay them.
  • I review my list of 400 things that need to be done in the next 6 months before my book launch.
  • I plan and stress about my book launch party.
  • I market.
  • I try to learn Photoshop so I can design my own logo. Then resist the urge to throw my laptop across the room.
  • I chase down the people in my book for edit notes and approvals, schedule interview times. Coordinating 52 uber successful people is harder than it looks.
  • I respond to messages. Email, Facebook, Instagram, contact cards, texts…hundreds of messages a day.
  • I blog. Or try to.
  • I scream at my blog and wish I had a web designer because it’s a technical nightmare.
  • I create websites for my brands. And then recreate them.
  • I plan my trip to San Francisco next week, then the one to LA the week after that, then the one to DC the week after that.

The days blur together… There is no night. No day. No rain or sunshine. Right now… in this crunch hour, there is only #TheHustle.

I think I’m going crazy most days. Hanging on by a thread, like if one of these balls I’m juggling falls, the whole  lot will come crashing down. When you work this hard, and in such an isolated manner (working from home all day every day), you take rejection harder.  You notice when your friends don’t respond to your text. You take it personal. You question if it’s worth it, you question your sanity.

My kids are my saving grace. When they are home, the phone turns off. The laptop closes. And they rejuvenate me.

And when I look backward, there’s no way in hell I’ll go back to what you used to know.  And then I look forward and it’s everything that burns inside of me.  I want it so bad the taste is always in my mouth.

You thank God every day for the small signs that come, and they do come, even on hard days.  They let you know that its’ going to all pay off.  That one day it will be worth it, and that you are making a difference. Those rays of light fuel you like nothing else could. You hold on to them and keep moving forward.

No matter what you keep moving forward.

How bad do you want your dream?

 

 

Sarah Centrella is the author of the book Hustle Believe Receive which teaches you how to apply the #HBRMethod to change your life and live your dream.

Follow on social media: Instagram | Twitter | Snapchat | Pinterest | YouTube |Periscope @sarahcentrella

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