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I’m So EGGcited. I Just Can’t Hide It! (Plus A Quick Update)



I’m not one to share my spiritual beliefs publicly. Much less blog about it. I’ve intentionally omitted things like how…

  • I went to an all girls Catholic school.
  • I have big issues with institutionalized religion.
  • I love our new Pope Francisco because he makes me smile + gives me hope.
  • I believe human design is influenced by the stars.
  • I have a San Benito medal in my wallet to protect me from evil spirits.
  • I mostly pray on airplanes, specially when I think it’s going to crash.
  • I believe we are bound to each other, past + present.
  • I don’t think this is my first time here, nor my last.
  • In a hundred lifetimes, in a hundred worlds, my heart would always find David. And marry him!
  • I sense there are hairy hands underneath my bed that only come out at night.
  • I think we reincarnate as lizards or barracudas when we are mean to each others.


It’s complicated. Which is precisely why I don’t bring this up. Ever.


(Wait. What am I doing? I can’t stop writing. Someone tie me to a chair please!)


That’s not to say I don’t think about this things, because I do. A lot, actually. I think about faith. About destiny + hope + compassion. And karma.


I think about chocolate cover Easter bunnies + Jesus, and how I cannot find one single connection between the two.


I think about how the sun always rises. Always. And it is always beautiful. Always.


I think about the life that’s growing inside of me + I can’t help but smile eighteen hundred different ways because impossible is proven possible every time she kicks + spins inside my belly.


I think about miracles. And I’ve noticed these sneaky little mysteries disappear when I’m reading gossip magazines + being a cynic, and descend outta of nowhere when I’ve got my arms wide open to catch em’.


I think about coincidences + I know it’s the Universe saying, “YES!”


I think about breathing because it reminds me to turn off everything with an “ON” button. One Mississippi. Two Mississippi. Three Mississippi. The breaths. They talk. The silence. It speaks. The hearts. It knows.


I think about magic + trees that can grow through rock + every penny I’ve ever thrown into a fountain, and I know it’s all true.


I think about the words I speak + how they become the house I live in.


I think about all those times I worried + then… nothing happened. I didn’t die. The world didn’t come to an end. My life wasn’t ruined. I’m still here.


I think about these things a lot, the massive concepts that my brain can’t always explain with logic. Maybe more so on days like today, when there is so much chocolate involved.


I guess all I’m trying to say is (no matter who you worship or what you believe is hidden inside your closet): I wish you have an EGGcellent weekend filled with joy + wonder. 




A Quick Update About Books

As you might have heard, Life is Messy Kitchen (THE BOOK) arrived just a few days ago. I’m processing orders as quickly as humanly possible in the order they were pre-ordered since it’s soft launch back in November 2014. Of course, with the help of my entire family to Speedy Gonzalez the process.


Please remember parcels are traveling all the way from Panama. It takes approximately 3-4 weeks for international orders to arrive at their destination, give or take depending on customs in your country. You can plan to stalk your mailman accordingly.


I hope you’ll take a #bookie (selfie with your book) when you get it, so I can make a collage + hang you in my studio + smile knowing we did this, together.


Get Your Copy

Haven’t ordered your Life is Messy Kitchen copy yet? Click here to get your book today!


This passion project was 100% self-funded, so only a limited number of books were printed. If you know you want a physical copy of your own for your coffee table or kitchen counter, don’t wait until you get your acceptance letter to Hogwarts. It might be too late.


I’m so thrilled to see this book in hands others than my own. Thank you endlessly for supporting the projects that keep this tiny creative empire running.


I’ll be back next week to share pictures of the Life is Messy Kitchen Book Launch Party.


In the meantime, if you love behind the scenes + don’t want to miss out on all that happens in between blog posts, my Instagram account is @mayicarles so you can follow me over there.



Mayi Carles

My HOLA Interview

HOLA Cover


When I found out HOLA had put us on the cover of their February Edition, I immediately texted my granny, “Abuelinis look look LOOK, right next to George + Amal Clooney. Her reply, “What else could The Clooney’s ask for?” That’s my granma’.


I wonder if George Clooney called his granny + said, “Granny, look! Right next to Mayi!!!!!”


Mayi Carles 4

Mayi Carles 2

Mayi Carles 3

Mayi Carles 1


Feeling so immensely grateful to the entire HOLA Team for the chance to share the ups + the downs + the in-betweens of creating Life is Messy Kitchen, and the love story behind it.


You can click here to read the full interview! Psst, it’s in Spanish.



Mayi Carles


Photography Credit

Abdelito Troy



Too excited about tomorrow. What happens tomorrow? Well, tomorrow is the day I finally receive the boxes filled with Life is Messy Kitchen books.


Tomorrow I officially become a book author, like Dr. Zeus, except I don’t think I can pull off the Dr. Mayi thing. Mayi Carles will do for now.


Tomorrow I will dance on top of carton boxes + sing all the victory anthems I know, at least well enough to say some of the lyrics. The rest I can always make up as I go. I’m a master at inventing lyrics + fooling everyone buahahaha.


Tomorrow I will recall all those times I thought about quitting when it got too hard, but I didn’t.


Tomorrow I will take a bookie. That’s a selfie but holding my book. And I will send it to my granny + say, “Look look look granma’. I did it!!! You were right all along.”


Tomorrow, since I can’t have champagne, I will probably pop open a carrot cake. All to MYSELF. And Olivia, of course!


Tomorrow I will think of you. You did this. I just helped.


You can pre-order your copy at www.lifeismessykitchen.com or purchase the book at full price after March 27, 2015.


And just in case you’re a tiny bit curious, today feels like Christmas multiplied by my birthday, but BETTAH!!!


CLICK TO TWEET: Can’t wait to get my Life is Messy Kitchen copy – http://bit.ly/1sYOukm @mayicarles


CLICK TO TWEET: Life is Messy Kitchen is coming!!! Have you pre-ordered your copy? http://bit.ly/1sYOukm @mayicarles



Mayi Carles


Video Credit

Video Direction: @shootsarahtyler @joeyloreto

Art Direction: @kipf

Hair and Make-Up: @dorinaszabokelly

Jingle: @faridehceaser

The Evolution of the Life is Messy Kitchen Cover

I’ve been making + talking about Life is Messy Kitchen for quite some time now. It truly feels like forever. Thanks for been with me through the ups + the downs + the in betweens. I could have never pulled this off without your encouragement. I mean it!


Today, I wanted to share with you a little sneak peek behind the making of the cover – front + back + bind + flaps + inside jacket. It was messy. And it was beautiful.


I’ll walk you through the evolution of the cover with images, cuz it’s the best way I know to show this collaborative project’s progression.


Life is Messy Kitchen Cover test_4

Photo for the cover

LIMK copy

LIMK Cover copy 2

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And that was just the cover for the digital launch. Then came ze REAL BOOK!!!



Back Cover copy

Back Cover-mockupv1.jpeg

Flap Back

Cover 1

Pattern copy

Cover 2

Cover 3


A standing ovation to Marbel Canseco, my mad hatter designer for bringing this baby to life. And a special thanks to my super talented photographer Marcela Macias, for making me drool each time I look at my cover. It’s everything I dreamed + more!


Fun facts:

  • This was truly a team effort – we’ve got Marcela’s photos + Marbel’s wicked design moved + my illustrations and hand-writing. Talk about a triple threat!
  • The original photo that was shot for the cover, didn’t make it.
  • One of the first things I told Marcela upon hiring her as the official photographer for this mission was: “I want NO HANDS in the pictures. I repeat, NO HANDS.”
  • The only picture Marcela sent with hands was the photo that made the cover.
  • When Marcela found out I had picked that picture for the cover she laughed.
  • Then she nearly killed me because she worried her nails weren’t cover ready.
  • Marbel came to the rescue with a pink French manicure. Marcela loved it. I nearly had a hard attack. I hate French manicure.
  • Marbel had to find a compromise between natural nails + fancy nails to make us both happy. Reason #483 why we love her.
  • One of the first things I told Marbel upon hiring her as the official designer for this mission was: “I want FEW TYPES + ONE PANTONE GRAY. I repeat, FEW TYPES + ONE PANTONE GRAY.”
  • I have never been happier with disobedience.
  • I learned that when you hire freaking PROs + learn to let go of perfectionism (ahem ahem which is often camouflaged as “micro-managing”), you don’t always get what you want. You get something BETTER. Much BETTAH!!!
  • All the illustrations for the cover (and book) where sketched by hand with a 0.5 mechanical pencil + painted with Americana acrylic paints + scanned with a CanonScan LiDE210 + retouched in Photoshop + vectorized in Illustrator.
  • The internal jacket is the very first time I’ve taken a stab at pattern-making. I think I did pretty good.
  • It was Marbel’s idea to incorporate some “uncolored illustrations” elements within the jacket pattern. She’s a genius, isn’t she?
  • The pattern background was originally gonna be white. We went with an vintage wedding white instead. Made everything pop!
  • I posted a lil’ glimpse of the internal jacket pattern on Instagram (you can follow me @mayicarles) a couple of weeks back. As a result, a cool company contacted me + I’m now working on a secret project I can’t wait to tell you about. (Hint: It involves kids + mess, a lot of mess).


Update: We are a little backed up with the shipment of the book, but I just got a confirmation from the printers that the boxes filled with Life is Messy Kitchen books will be in my studio Tuesday, March 17. And of course I start shipping them out the next day. Pre-order your copy today, unless you like paying full price for things.



Mayi Carles

Tips For Using Your Planner (Messy Tabs Inside)

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All our lives we’ve been told the things we should + shouldn’t do:

  • Paint inside the lines.
  • Eat your veggies.
  • Memorize poems.
  • Put your opt-in box at the right hand side of your website
  • Follow the recipe.
  • Read the instructions before assembling.
  • Brush your teeth.
  • Call your mom.
  • Comb your hair.
  • No rollerblading inside the house.
  • Elbows off the table.
  • Stop crying.


So when my Life is Messy Bootcamp alumn, Karen Lema asked for assistance on how to best use her Life is Messy Planners, I really debated whether or not I should hand out a manual.


I decided to put together this blog post instead. Hopefully I’ll provide enough guidance to kickstart your best year ever + leave enough wiggle room for your big juicy creative imagination.


Keep on reading if you care to steal my black belt planning moves. Ka-POW!


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Getting Started

First things first. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a robust system you can trust – a calendar where you can collect all your “I wills” + turn them into “I dids”.  This is not only the place where you jot down your action items, but also track your big picture landscape. Be sure to pick a calendar system that you like + goes well with your style and personality.


Today, I’m gonna talk specifically about how to use my Life is Messy Planners, but you’re welcome to use these guideposts + adapt them for your own management workflow. No judgement.


To tell you the truth, from the very beginning (my gosh, has it really been 5 years since I first conceptualized these planners?) there hasn’t been an official rule book to operate my Life is Messy Planners, and I did that up purpose.


Traditional planning has always felt quite artificial to me + irrelevant to real work, which is why I’m guessing most people drop their New Years resolutions by the time February shows up. Sad. I didn’t want to create another calendar solution people feel chained to. No way Jose!


I envisioned more like a roadmap, a lighthouse that provides just enough direction for your journey to the top of your metaphorical Mount Everest:

  • Enough structure to take your brilliant ideas from light bulb to done without becoming a correctional facility.
  • Enough wiggle room to unleash your unique gifts + honor your most valued forms of currency freedom + happiness.


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That being said, here are some humble tips to get started that don’t make you feel like a military sargent is shouting in your ear that your lack willpower:

  • Go to www.lifeismessyplanners.com to purchase your planners, if you want to (wink).
  • You’ll get an instant e-mail with your link to download your planners.
  • Set your printer to fit the entire page.
  • For your visual delights, use a color printer.
  • Preferably, print on 8.5 x 11 inch paper or cardstock.
  • Fill in directly on your computer, or
  • Fill in with your fave writing + coloring instruments.
  • To keep your sheets tidy, use a ring binder.
  • Hole punch your sheets.
  • Divide your sections with cool tab dividers.
  • Get your hands on fun washi tape + stickers.
  • Pin your urgent sheets to a corkboard for easy reminding.


Now let’s jazz it up!


Getting The Tools You Need

Over the years, I’ve gathered a short but might powerful list of my favorite supplies + tools + equipments to use alongside my planners. And here they are. Mayi’s favorite thing (that are not expensive at all):




I mean, you don’t really need any of these, but then again you don’t need a superhero cape + yet you kinda want one, don’t you? With your initial n’ all. I know!


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Organizing Your Planner

This is how I intuitively categorize + organize the sections in my Life is Messy Planners, in case you’re curious:




Yearly Calendar


Big Picture:

  • Goal Generator
  • Goal Getter
  • Habit Tracker
  • Resolution Tracker



  • Daily To Do Planner (2)
  • Weekly To Do Planner
  • Monthly To Do Planner (12)
  • Month At A Glance
  • Yearly To Do Planner
  • Mental Detox



  • All Out Of
  • Chore Chart
  • Don’t Forget Contacts
  • Happy Birthdays
  • Home Improvement
  • In Case of Emergency
  • Oh Happy Day
  • Party Planner
  • Password Keeper
  • Personal Avatar
  • Recipe Cheat Sheet
  • Shopping List
  • Trip Planner
  • Weekly Fitness Planner
  • Weekly Meal Planner



  • Blog Planner
  • Customer Avatar
  • Idea Picker
  • One Page Business Plan
  • One Page Project Planner
  • One Page to Newsletter
  • Super Power Finder
  • Sweet Spot Finder



  • Yearly Money Tracker


Creative Brainstorming:

  • Brainstorm
  • Creative Brainstorming Pages (5)
  • Journal
  • Quotes



  • Decision Maker
  • The Stop List
  • Things To Do
  • This is a Checklist


If you dig my method, you can totally borrow my Messy Tabs to help keep things tidy. You’re very welcome!


Messy Tabs

Download Banner


Tips To Rock Your Planners

You may wonder how I maintain my system up n’ running. How I keep at it, in spite of the day-to-day resistance. Well, it’s not always as pretty as I would like, (please ignore the tower of dirty plates in my kitchen sink) but here are some tips I’ve found trigger all sorts of success fairies:

  • Buy a planner that you absolutely LOVE – the style + the size + the shape + the format + the colors, so that you take pleasure each time you use it. Your planner should make you smile, not cringe into a fetal position.
  • Put EVERYTHING into your planners – names + dates + notes + appointments. Consider it information central. Your brain isn’t stupid, if it knows you don’t keep everything there, it will not take your planner seriously.
  • Have a place where you open your planner + work on your planner – a workstation with the appropriate furniture + tools to serve as a central cockpit of control.
  • It doesn’t hurt to designate a special pen to be your companion during this mission. Every time I get out my Hello Kitty pen, I know it’s time to conquer the world.
  • Maintain ONE, and only ONE planner.
  • Recite the mantra, “If it’s not schedule, it doesn’t exist.”
  • In your planner, keep schedule of appointments, including appointments with yourself.
  • Block out time each day to work on your planner + plan the next days Daily To Do Planner sheet.
  • Take your Daily To Do Planner (or your Oh Happy Day sheet) with you EVERYWHERE you go.
  • Use tabs to organize your sections + stickies to mark important items that need your attention.


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Now, that’s what works for me.


What is working for you? Do you have a magical marker to scribble your tasks? Do you spill pancake syrup on your sheets for good luck? What is it? Tell me how you set yourself up for epicness, in the comments below.


See you in the chat!



Mayi Carles


Life is Messy Bootcamp 2015 Ad