Birthdays, Blogging & Floods: It’s Time to Press Pause

At the age of “48” I decided to no longer age in double digits but rather I decided to age as the updated, improved versions of me!! Thus the 4.8 version of “me” launched last September & the 4.9 version launched TODAY! 

Some people get annoyed with computer, app & software updates while others are excited by them…as with birthdays. I tend to find updates full of promise & hopefully filled with enhanced features & bug fixes….also like aging with a great attitude. 

So, today the 4.9 version of “me” was released & automatically updated & installed when I awoke up this morning. However, I must admit it was released sooner than I expected. It seems like I just installed the 4.8 version a few months ago. Time really does fly when you get older. 

Thankfully the 4.8 version ran quite well and brought new features such as being able to take a year off work after 9 years of traveling to and from New Orleans for my job; getting to stay home with my son for his Junior year & do lots of college & career prep; picking up photography again; learning to blog & exploring the world of blog social media & YouTube; a year of digging deeper into natural & organic, eco-friendly & green living, plus enrolling in aromatherapy school & re-discovering the color “pink” & how much I love being a girl!!! 

Raising an only child, a boy child, now a teenage football player with a sports-minded husband means the girly stuff in my life has been long gone but this year I rediscovered it & it came in the color “green”! Green Beauty & Green Living!! I’m so in love with “green” living & making our home, health & world better as you can tell from most of my blog posts & YouTube Channel.  

So…what new features are found in the 4.9 version of “me”? Well for starters, I am working again but only part-time since it is my son’s senior year. I am making steady progress towards completing my Aromatherapy Certification & then I will tackle my French Aromatherapy Certification. The biggest upgrade will be an increase in regular exercise so that the 5.0 version of “me” is the best release possible. I’ve got 12 months to get it done! 

But on a truly serious note, as much as I love to celebrate my birthday, it’s hard when my heart is broken & my soul is weary over the devastation across South Louisiana communities, and with so many friends & clients affected on so many levels. There’s so much grief, loss and impact here from the Great Flood of 2016. The need is nearly indescribable & still overwhelming. But the outpouring of prayers & love from local neighbors to individuals, churches & groups nationwide is beyond meaningful & ever so critical. 

Although my home is fine, our community & so many I know are not. Blogging about green beauty & socially minded shopping just seems a bit insensitive & irrelevant right now. 

With that, the 4.9 version of “me” is going to press the pause button on my Urban Cajun Girl blog for a bit to spend more time helping my community & loving on my own family too. We can never take anything for granted & we’ve all surely learned that stuff…even the fun “pink & green” stuff is just that….stuff!  

The national media has given a bit of coverage but not much. For those wanting to stay abreast of the impact, recovery & needs, our local news channel WAFB Channel 9 & WBRZ Channel 2 are the best sources as well as the Louisiana Office of the Governor.


There are many funds being set up both privately and through non-profits, churches and more. For those wanting to help through cash donations, I encourage you to do your due diligence before giving to any “go fund me” accounts unless you know the families. Consider giving directly to local non-profits like the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, St. Vincent DePaul & churches that have boots on the ground and help everyday families & the needy of Greater Baton Rouge year round. If you feel led, my church has a flood relief fund set up at Calvary Christian Fellowship under the “want to help” tab & we have an incredible team of folks from Crisis Response International that have come to help as long as they are needed. You may choose to donate to them also. They will definitely be here for months to come. 

Thank you so much for being a part of my life & blogging journey and your wonderful words over the past year. I’ll not be posting any new blog articles, YouTube videos or social media for a little while just to give me time to focus more balancing these new endeavors & my communities needs.  

Prayerfully, Louisiana’s communities, families & businesses will recover & rebound soon and be better than ever. At that point, I’ll look forward to the release of the 4.9.1 version of “me” and seeing what new features it brings! 

XO, Hope Maria


2 thoughts on “Birthdays, Blogging & Floods: It’s Time to Press Pause

  1. Happy “update” my friend. Loving your blog and recommending it to others. Thank you for the salt therapy hints. I bought a salt lamp for my bedroom and no longer wake up with my eyes feeling itchy and watery. I seem to sleep better too. I leave it fully on my room all day and dim the light to a pleasant soft glow at night. Thank you again and I pray 4.9 is the best update ever.

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    1. Thank you so much. I’m glad you are finding some relief & feeling better. Just a few days ago I was working on a salt lamp video to post. We now have 7!!! We love them too. It was infact that project that made me realize how much time & work goes into blogging although initially you think it’ll take only 15 minutes ….LOL.

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