My Story - Origins of IZZAROO and Mindful Moms Movement - Podcast EP002
On this episode, I share background about my family and the evolution of how IZZAROO and Mindful Moms Movement started. I talk about my tough transition from a working mom to a stay at home mom and my honest testimony around how I felt like a failure and how community pulled it out of it.
In This Episode Mary Discusses:
- About her family
- Making a cross country move
- Transitioning from a working mom to a stay-at-home mom
- Her testimony around how she felt like a failure and how having community pulled her out of it.
Mentioned in This Episode:
- Dad's Edge Alliance Mastermind Community
- Mindful Moms Movement Free FaceBook Community
- Mindful Moms Movement Mastermind Community
- Mary's Instagram
What Did You Think?
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Welcome to episode 002 of the Mindful Moms Movement Podcast.
On this episode I'll be sharing a little background about my family and the evolution of how IZZAROO and Mindful Moms Movement got started. Even if you've been following me and my family for years on this journey of intentional living, I'm sure you'll discover something interesting on this episode you didn't know before. So let's get started...
My name is Mary To-Saturnio. I am married to Chris for 12 years and we've been together for almost 17 years. We have two amazing kids, Zander 8 and Zoey 6.
We have lived in North County San Diego, CA for the past 11 years. I'm originally from Northern Virginia and my husband is from the San Francisco, Bay area of California. The story of how we met is interesting and I'll share that in another episode.
When we got married we were living in Maryland. Before we had kids we had to make a decision, stay close to my family in Virginia or move close to his family in the Bay Area, or move someplace neutral - so that's what we did.
We were both lucky enough to work remotely from home for the companies we worked for on the east coast prior to moving. So here we are, a single couple, living in a big single family home with 5 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. Soon enough, we had two kids to help fill those rooms.
When our second child was born, my daughter, I made one of the hardest decisions of my life. had the ideal work situation. I was a marketing designer doing work that I really enjoyed, for a company that I adored, making good money, in the convenience of my home. My son was getting older and would enter preschool soon and I just felt like my time with them at this age was fleeting and I was missing so much. That was when I made one of the hardest decisions of my life, I stopped working to be a full-time stay at home mom.
That transition was hard. I felt like I lost my own identity in some ways. My days were spent caring for them all day, every day. I was so busy taking care of them that I didn't take care of myself. I was overwhelmed by all the duties as a mom, wife. I was mentally and physically drained of all my energy. That that point, I knew I had to do something for myself, to gain back my identity. I've always identified myself as a creative, in my past job, I was a designer, and I just love being creative and making things. That's when I started blogging as my creative outlet. I wrote DIY tutorials for all the things I made from kid crafts, to holiday gifts/ornaments, party themed decor, home decor, halloween costumes, we've been making our own themed costumes for the past 10 years. And all of our tutorials are up on our blog. I'll link to them in the show notes. But hands down, my favorite creative pastime is sewing. When Zander was born, one of my neighbors gave me some handmade gifts, a burpie and boppy cover she sewed by hand. I was completely in love with how thoughtful that gift was. It sparked my passion to learn to sew. From that moment on, I taught myself how to sew and made everything for my kids from head to toe. I made reversible hats, shirts upcycled from our old t-shirts, crib shoes, reversible hooded jackets, pants with kneepads when he started crawling. I even screenprinted tiny onesies with tattooed sleep prints to match my husbands tattoos. My favorite part was seeing them wear something I made with my own two hands. If you're into sewing, I'll be sure to post links to the tutorials in the show notes.
Blogging was such a great outlet for me to inspire others in a creative way. So at this point, I was juggling being a stay at home mom while trying to make time for myself to create and blog. When I first started to be stay home with my kids I thought, YES, I'll have SO much time to play and make all these great memories with my kids because I"m not working. Then I made this scary realization that my days were flying by with all the errands, chores, responsibilities and wasn't stopping to play and connect with them during the day. I was really shocked and embarrassed about how many days went by like this. I realized that if I wasn't intentional with how I spent my time, even if I was "with" my kids all day, I won't truly connect with them and build the close bond I wanted when I made the decision to stay home with them. I was overwhelmed and disappointed by how I was showing up (or not showing up) as a mom and wife. I knew something had to change.
From that point on. I started letting the dishes pile in the sink and opted for more dance parties instead. I started being okay with the house looking like a disaster and prioritized scheduling date nights with my husband. I started reading books on self-development and incorporating self-care.
I loved this new lifestyle of intentional living. That was when I realized I'm probably not alone. I'm sure there are other moms out there feeling the same way. So I decided to change my blog from purely DIY tutorials to one that promotes create AND intentional living. That was when IZZAROO was born. Because my kids were the inspiration for this lifestyle of creative and intentional living, I named the company after them. IZZAROO is a combination of Zander and Zoey's names.
On the blog, we love tons of DIY tutorials like I mentioned as well as blog posts that promote intentional living and fun ideas to connect as a family. There's everything from travel tips, to ways to cultivate gratitude, to date night ideas, to lots of free printables for conversation starters, kid-friendly jokes and so much more.
To help spread this movement of intentional living, I created graphic tees with empowering messages to encourage us to play more, create more, explore more and Be The Good, which is our mission. We have adult tees and kid tees. With every kid tee, I add a special touch. I hand sew pockets to them to encourage them to get outside, explore, be curious and collect treasures during their adventures.
As part of our mission to Be The Good, we donate part of our proceeds to organizations that help underprivileged youth. We donate to three organizations. One is located in the inner city skid row area of LA, they offer art education to the kids and teachers there. The other one is located here in San Diego and they offer outdoor experiences like rock climbing, rafting, camping and hiking to underserved minorities in the area. The last one is an organization that builds playgrounds in areas of poverty. I love that IZZAROO has developed into a brand that is creative, intentional AND compassionate.
So this is the point in the story I'll get super vulnerable and honest with you. After a couple years, it was really hard to continually motivate myself and my audience to live an intentional life because my business was not getting the traction I had hoped for. In a lot of ways, I felt like I was alone in this journey and that no one else understood my struggles and desire to live an intentional life.
I was feeling like a failure as a mom, wife and entrepreneur.
Around this time, my husband became hooked to listening to the Dad Edge Podcast. Within a short period of time, he joined their Dad Edge Alliance, which is an incredible community for Dads to support, encourage and learn from one another. Through this community, he developed incredible bonds with the other Dad's, learned and implemented practices into our family and marriage that transformed our lives. I thought our life was good before, and now I realize how exponentially better it can be.
To be honest, I was so jealous. I wanted deep, meaningful, authentic relationships with other moms I could lean on, too. I wanted to learn from them and their experiences. I wanted to be part of a community that lifts me up when I needed it most. AND I wanted to be a source of inspiration and encouragement for other moms. I needed community. This is how Mindful Moms Movement was born.
I created a free FB group for Moms to have a space to share in all the highs and lows of motherhood and feel like they are not alone in this journey. Although this community is great, it was lacking deep connection, growth, and accountability. That's when I decided to create MMM Mastermind Community.
This is a place of ultimate self-care for Moms. A place for Moms who are ready to take the action needed to improve their lives. We have deeper, vulnerable conversations, create intimate bonds, have high levels of accountability, we meet face to face, weekly, through virtual calls. We learn from each other through perspective and through expert guest speakers to improve our physical and mental health, relationships with our kids and husbands, finances, organization and so much more that leads to a happy and fulfilled life. In the community there are moms from all walks of life, including some that are coaches in health, relationships and finance that you will have personal access to.
There is one thing that I want to mention that is really special and different about this community. In this community, we don't just value growth, we value fun, because let's face it, life is more fulfilling when it is fun - am I right?!
Especially as Moms, I feel like we can be so serious and ridge when it comes to managing our lives - gotta make sure the kids are fed, dressed, school work is done. In this community, we put the smile and fun back into moms. We encourage intentionality AND fun. Throughout each month, we sprinkle fun and creative challenges to encourage silliness, vulnerability and trust. So if you're listening to this right now and you want to be the best mom and wife possible, create wildly fun memories and leave a legacy of intention I cannot wait to have you part of this community! Just head to MindfulMomsMovement.com for more details on how to join.
Thank you so much for listening. Developing IZZAROO and Mindful Moms Movement have been an incredible journey and it makes me so happy to be sharing my story with you today. If you have friends who you know would enjoy and benefit from this, be sure to take a screenshot and share it on social media to spread this movement of intentional living. Tag me @MindfulMomsMovement so I can personally thank you.
All the show notes and links to where you can find me to connect will be on izzaroo.com/podcast. That's IZZAROO.com/podcast. When you have a moment, head on over to Apple Podcast and leave a rating and review, that would help us out so much. Until the next episode, keep creating a legacy of intention and fun. I appreciate you so much. See ya next time!
I hope you enjoyed this episode the Mindful Moms Movement Podcast. You can find all the show notes at izzaroo.com/podcast/001. Did you know that we have an exclusive community with Moms from around the world to have conversations just like this. Conversations that are vulnerable and authentic about motherhood. It's total free and I want you to join, go to Facebook.com/groups/mindfulmomsmovement.Before you go, I want to tell you about something I am super proud and excited for. If you are really ready to up-level and take real action on creating an abundant, joy-filled, and intentional life - I created a community just for us Mommas, that's right, I'm very active in there and I want you to come hang out with me. It's called Mindful Moms Movement Mastermind Community. In there, we have moms from all walks of life forming authentic relationships that support and inspire each other to be the best mom and wife we can be for our family.
We have a private community filled with supportive members eager to share their own experiences. We meet each week virtually to connect face-to-face to share in the struggles and joys of motherhood and also learn concepts that we can apply in our life to improve our health, relationships, and home. In the group, we have accountability and access to experts to ask questions of and help us along the way.
And here's something unique and special about our group. As much as we want to grow, we believe that life is more fulfilling when it's fun. Especially as Moms, we can be really serious and ridge when it comes to managing our lives - gotta make sure the kids are fed, dressed, school work is done. In this community, we put the smile and fun back into moms. We encourage intentionality AND fun. Throughout each month, we sprinkle fun and creative challenges to encourage silliness, vulnerability, and trust. So...If you want to live your life with purpose, create wildly fun memories and leave a legacy of intention I cannot wait to have you part of this community! To find our more details and join the community, head to mindfulmomsmovement.com.Thanks for tuning in. If you have a minute, it would help us so much if you left us a rating and review, it really helps us get found and be able to serve more people. I appreciate you guys more than you know. Until the next episode, keep creating a legacy of intention and fun. See ya next time!
Hey Momma, I'm here to serve you! Let me know how I can best do that by asking me any question you have. You might have the same question has another Momma AND you might hear the answer to your question on a future episode.