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Oh 2014, We’ve Been Through A Lot This Year, You + I

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As 2014 comes to a wrap, I see a lot of people making BIG plans for 2015. Hold your horses Rocky Balboa. Let’s do a little goodbye ceremony first, shall we? Talk about the lessons we learned in 2014, as opposed to focus on all the stuff we were “supposed to do” + didn’t get done.


I realized, focusing on the negative is easy. I can tell you in a hot flash some of the stuff that didn’t happen this year without blinking:

  • My Life is Messy App never happened.
  • I didn’t get into Anthropologie.
  • Holiday cards to loved ones… yeah those will not get check-marked either.
  • Ellen hasn’t called. Yet.
  • I’m not sure I ever took my multi-vitamins.
  • Killed all our house plants. Not even Valentina, our beach cactus made it.
  • I feel I kinda abandoned my Friday Video Time show.
  • Set out to write the perfect cookbook that would give you a bikini body in 10 days + solve all your problems in one swoop. Yeah Life is Messy Kitchen ended up being the antithesis of that.
  • I didn’t have a baby.
  • I never got around to learning how to make raviolis from scratch.


And that’s just the beginning.


To put it light, everything that could have stood in the way of my 2014 goals, did.


I looked at my scars in the mirror this morning + BOOM it hit me: Yeah, I was run over, but I’m much stronger than everything that tried to beat me. These war marks are here, they exist to remind me that I am a warrior. Proof that I survived an extraordinary adventure.


And that fact that you are here means that you survived an epic voyage too. Know it.


We are modern day Yedi’s you + I. The only time we might have been a little helpless was when our nail polish was drying up. Other than that, WATCH OUT. We’re FIERCE!!! Ka-pow!


Of course, it’s easier to focus on rock bottom – the pain point + the tears + the frustrations + the destructive self-talk + the people that tried to hurt us. That shit is loud. And rude. It pops up uninvited anytime, anywhere. Like cockroaches. What’s hard is allowing the good stuff to step into the mic. Be heard. And kill their karaoke performance.


Today I challenged myself to make a list of all the beautiful things that happen to me this year + the great lessons I learned:

  • I discovered I actually love eating breakfast + that skipping it only leads to me eating the entire fridge later.
  • Wrote our family’s mission statement. What it means to be part of a Larrinaga-Carles. Our core values. Our dreams. Brought David + I even closer + more deeply in love with one another. I learned that the most important business plan of all is the family business plan.
  • I found out that if you love life, life loves me back like ten times more. Try it.
  • If it weren’t for my fantabulous sidekick April Bowles-Olin, I would be locked up in a mental institution. I learned that behind every successful woman there is a best friend turning meltdowns into belly laughs.
  • I discovered The Cronut. And my world has never been the same.
  • Did you know that a good morning kiss can help prevent against stress-related illnesses + it triggers hormones that help a person deal with pressure? Well, David took good care of me, I’ll say that much, which makes me feel like the luckiest woman in the planet.
  • I didn’t realize how much my body loved me. It is always trying to keep me alive. It’s making sure I breathe while I sleep + stop cuts from bleeding + fix broken bones + find ways to beat illnesses. It took a while, but I’ve finally learned to love my body exactly as it is.
  • Learned than sometimes life doesn’t give you what you want. Not because you don’t deserve it, but because you deserver MORE.
  • Hagrid came into our lives + we learned to play frisbee, well, by ourselves cuz Hagrid still eats it as opposed to retrieving it. Silly lil’ puppy lab.
  • I got myself a onesie + freedom blogging in pajama to a whole new level.
  • Not so voluntarily ceased my need to control everything + do it all myself +micro-manage. Stopped hiring kids. Hired professional – Marcela Macias as my photographer + Marbel Canseco as my designer/project manager + Lindsay McGuire as my web developer + Sarah Tyler as my videographer + Kris with a K as my copy editor. Best freaking move I have EVER made for my business ever. And I lived happily ever after without ulcers. The End.
  • Substituting the weekend to-do list for a hammock is the solution to everything. Lesson learned.
  • I painting 75 illustrations in a weekend. Batman better watch it. Learned I’m capable of much much more than my mind would let me think possible.
  • I learned that I don’t want to be known as a a creative business coach anymore. I don’t want to be a guru of any sort. I don’t even want to be the super successful expert that tell you the three simple steps to making it on Etsy, or whatever. No. I want to be Mayi, flawed + fabulous, and I want to build a lifestyle brand that doesn’t tolerate quirkiness, it celebrates it. That’s what I want, to build a beautiful messy nation.


There is something wonderfully liberating about choosing to reframe every ordeal into a story of triumph, ya know?


I have never felt more vulnerable + more uncomfortable + more scared, than now. But at the same time, I have never felt happier + more alive + complete.


The day I finally relinquished my attachment to control + perfectionism was the day I discovered that I was already EVERYTHING. Mighty powerful.


In 2015, I vow to take each day at a time. To treat myself kindly. And self-love will be my word. My North Star.


In 2015, I vow to trust the mess. To not let the seeds stop me from enjoying my watermelon.


In 2015, I vow to go on only one diet, the Toxic People Diet. To have the courage to fire every whiny + pessimistic + energy sucking person in my life who is dimming my glittery eyes. They might call me Captain Pajama Pants, but that doesn’t make me a lifeboat for people who don’t want to be rescued.


In 2015, I vow to stop trying to make everyone happy. I’m not Nutella. 


In 2015, I vow to meditate everyday I can’t find my answers in a Google search + jump on the yoga mat when I get angry for being hungry + drink green smoothies when… Hmmm, okay, I think I’ve gone too far. Let’s leave it at Nutella.


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Now I turn the microphone over to you.


I know you’ve been throw a lot this year too. Roller coaster, the upside down kind. So tell me, any lessons big or small that you’d like to share? It’s safe at our cafeteria table. Let it out girlfriend!


Get ready. Things are shifting. Believe 2015 is your year for acceleration + radical happiness.



Mayi Carles


Photo Credit

Sarah Tyler


Ad 4

The Mess Behind the Book



Friday Video Time is BACK!


My hair is still in crazy launch mode anymore, but we’re getting there. (Everything that’s not my pajamas is progress.)


This week marked the culmination of a 15-month in the making creative project: Life is Messy Kitchen. On Tuesday, thousands of people visited the site. Crashed it after one hour. We were back shortly. Then Europe woke up + crashed it again. Doubled our bandwidth. Doubled it again last night after receiving an alert that the domain www.lifeismessykitchen.com was about to exceed its bandwidth limit. I have never been prouder of my community hehehe. That’s what I call an avalanche of love. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.


What people get to see is the end, the final product, the editor’s cut, the proofread edition, the gorgeous book behind the mess.  Showing off perfect it easy. Sharing what happened before the story of triumph is what’s hard.


I have so many glossy things in my archives to show you. All those happy testimonials from clients. All the doors that have already opened for me + my team. All the tweets. All the recipe recreations that have started to pour in. It’s always a good time to share those. But today is not that day. Today, I’m here to talk about the messy parts people don’t see.. don’t talk about.


Click play to watch the most vulnerable I’ve given myself permission to get!



CLICK TO TWEET: Rock bottom prepares you for extraordinary adventures – http://bit.ly/1F8PqZj @mayicarles


CLICK TO TWEET: When we are brave enough to show up, we will discovered the infinite power of our light – http://bit.ly/1F8PqZj @mayicarles


CLICK TO TWEET: Mess exists to help you craft the most epic story of triumph EVAH – http://bit.ly/1F8PqZj @mayicarles




join us

Hoping to hear all the inside secrets behind the making of Life is Messy Kitchen? Like, what it was like to work with a professional photographer? The recipes testing + finding (or not finding) the ingredients? The crazy process of designing the cover? The meltdowns? The stuff that went utterly wrong, like that time we killed a dehydrator… TWICE?


Well, you’re in luck, cuz I’m hosting a Life is Messy Kitchen Launch Party this next Tuesday, November 25 at 3PM ESTClick here to RSVP + save your seat!


And you wanna be there because we will be giving away signed copies of the book + the cutest kitchen props ever. AHHHH!!! It’s true.



Mayi Carles


Photography Credit

Susana Aramburú

Case Study: Kiehl’s Unorthodox Marketing

If you’ve been wondering if the world really needs another blogger + another photographer + another coach + another bakery + another yoga instructor + another designer + another skin care line + another jewelry brand + another (insert what you do here), the answer is, well, yes. You bet!


But you can’t expect to make money + have an avalanche of raving fans coming in stampede to buy your stuff + save the world, if you’re like everyone else.


Of course it’s easier said than done, that’s why today I’m taking you inside a brand that’s been WOWing it’s clientele for shifting the cosmetics industry paradigm since 1851. I’m talking about Kiehl’s, my favorite skin/hair/body care line. Have you tried their lip balm? You must!


In contrast to its perceived market competitors, Kiehl’s is distinguished for its unorthodox marketing approach + old-school apothecary concept + neighborhood charm. And when I heard they don’t even pay for advertising, I knew I had to pay them a visit.


I hope that this case study will inspire you to inject more spunk into your witch cauldron, so no matter how saturated your niche is, you can leave the same old same ol’s miles behind.


Click play to watch!



let’s recap

What are some of the strategies that differentiate Kiehl’s from the herd? Here are some of my favorites:

  • They don’t believe in “one size fits all”, so Kiehl’s lab-coated staff offers free personalized skin consultation to everyone who walks in.
  • For decades, Kiehl’s has relied solely on non-traditional advertising through word of mouth of happy clients + their extremely generous free sampling program.
  • Kiehl’s might be an internationally-renowned brand, but they make you feel like you’re family through their local community boards, like the baby wall or doggie wall (awwwww).


your turn

Tell me ONE thing that makes your brand different from the competition. In other words, what makes you unique + stand out from the rest? Drop it like it’s hot, in the comments below.


If you loved today’s Friday Video Time episode, it would mean so much if you could help me spread the world. Every time you use the cute social media buttons below, you allow this tiny Panamanian artist to keep living the dream + continue putting out great content like this week after week, for which I will be forever + ever grateful.


big thanks

To Gretel Troetsch, for letting me camp at Kiehl’s Panama @kiehlspanama for an entire morning + making me feel at home.


To Uber Shop @ubershopper, for my floral backless maxi. I’m in love + hubby is too (wink).



Mayi Carles


PS: Speaking of popping amongst thousands of sellers, my biz sidekick April Bowles-Olin has a class coming up in November called Make Your Creative Business Uniquely Irresistible. If you’re ready to be your ideal customers excitedly + confidently choose, no matter how many other options they may have, this course is a must. Click here to RSVP for this FREE live workshop!



World Domination Starts Here!




I was that kid who watched one too many episodes of Pinky and The Brain. Do you know the type of damage that does to you? The type where you rationalize, “If a little white rat can do it, so can I. So can we.”


Permanently on my to-do list:

  1. Wait for tonight.
  2. Try to take over the world.


They say it’s irreversible.


Today’s episode of Friday Video Time offers a starting blueprint to plot WORLD DOMINATION. In case you’re interested in empire building + saving the Universe from evil + that sorta’ thing. Hint: It doesn’t require a laser death ray masterplan.


Click play to watch!



let’s recap

World domination starts at home. Stop waiting for an unicorn to fix all your problems. Invest in your most precious asset, your family! Here’s a good place to begin:

  1. Create a family mission statement.
  2. Share your family history.
  3. Hold weekly family meetings.
  4. Eat together as a family.


your turn

I want you to set aside time. Tonight. This weekend. Jam the Netflix with a hammer if you need to so you can (1) create your family mission statements OR (2) tell a tale about your great great grandfather OR (3) hold a family board meeting OR (4) have a lovely dinner. Your pick.


I believe that happy families will change the world. I really do.


Share this post with your crazy fam. Start a conversation. Try it + tell me how it’s going!


If you’re totally, like, fan-crushing on this episode, be sure to use the cute social media buttons below to spread the love. You da best!



Mayi Carles



Happy 100th Birthday Panama Canal (Challenge to ALL Artists Inside)

Panama Canal


Today’s special. Why else would I wear my giant party bow? You think I’d waste it on an ordinary occasion? Not a chance!


Today’s muy importante. Why else would I make a Friday Video Time episode in the middle of ku-raaaa-zy pants cookbook deadline?


Today the Panama Canal celebrates 100 years. ONE HUNDRED YEARS is a big deal you guys!


And this got me sentimental. And this got me teary eyed. And this got me thinking about art-making + world domination + legacy + party horns. I even made a one-women toast with a Watermelon Smoothie, too embarrasing to share. But I did manage to record a challenge for all citizens of the world – Panamanian or not. Hit play to get it!



your turn

What seed will you plant today that you want your kids, your grandkids + your great great grand kids to see way beyond your time, way beyond mine?


May all that your create with love live to be 100 years + beyond!



Mayi Carles

Come on in! Yes you, in your paint stained pajamas if you wish. This is your space to dream up + spill open your splendidly messy life in progress. You're bound to leave here feeling happier + super empowered + most certainly loved.

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