Friday, December 30, 2011

"Occasion"ally Stylish: Date Night

There are times in your life that stand out in your memory-first crush, first day of high school, first date, first kiss, first heartbreak.  It's been so long since I've been on a first date, not that I'm bragging, but it's nice to be able to eat whatever I want (no salads over here!) and not have to make nervous chit chat with a perfect stranger. Seriously there are times when my husband and I just eat out in total silence because we have run out of things to say to each other. The familiarity is nice, but sometimes I miss those butterflies in my stomach. I miss primping and trying on outfits. 

My first date with my future husband. No we weren't total fashion victims! We
were attending a 70s' themed Valentine's Banquet in 1998. He was John Travolta
in Saturday Night Fever. I was a long lost Brady Bunch sister, maybe?

A reader recently revealed she was going on a first date and wanted some outfit ideas.

So I headed over to my favorite store Old Navy (natch) to put together some first date looks on the cheap. I didn't focus on purses and accessories (because, frankly, I change purses like once a year and I usually forget to wear my wedding band so I'm a little accessory challenged).

I am calling this post "Occasion"ally Stylish (because I'm all about puns) and I'd love to make it a weekly feature here on the blog in 2012. This is the first time I've done anything like this on Hems for Her, but I had SOOOOO much fun doing it, so if you like it tell me, and if you need some outfit inspiration for every day or a special occasion let me know!

First Date Perfection

I love red jeans with cream and neutral tops. The satiny tie on this tank and the pumps make this dressy, yet still very comfortable.
Rock Star Jeggings~ $34.94
Satin Tie Shoulder Tank ~ $11.99
Snakeskin Platform Pumps~ $32.94

Is there anything sweeter than this striped skirt!? Yellow, navy and gray is one of my favorite color combinations, and this is the perfect match of flirty and comfortable.
Mixed Gauge Cardigan~ $29.00
Pleated Chiffon Tie Belt Skirt $34.94
Shooties~ $19.99

What's more comfortable than a tank and cardigan with some blue jeans? Maybe some sweats, but we are on a date here! Dress it up with trouser jeans and a printed chiffon tank. Add a pop of color with a bright cardigan and pair with flats or boots or heels. Perfection!
Trouser Jeans~ $34.50
Chiffon Top~ $26.94
Cropped Cardigan ~ $22.00

This might be too sexy for some girls' first date but I love a sweater dress and this obi style belt is to-die-for. Pairing it with boots covers more leg and makes most women feel more comfortable. Still nervous? Add leggings or thick tights!
Tall Boots~ $18.99
Dolman-Sleeve Sweater Tunic~ $19.00 
Obi Belt

I want all of these outfits, but this one is my favorite! I'm wild about chiffon dresses, and the green color of this one is universally flattering. I've got it paired with this beautiful lace-sleeved top and a pair of pumps.
Chiffon Ruffle Dress $ 29.00
Lace Dolman-Sleeve Top~ $29.00
Snake-Skin Platform Pumps~ $32.94

On second thought... maybe this one is my favorite. Another chiffon dress this time paired with a coordinating cardigan for keeping warm on cool nights and a bright belt to complete the look. Love it!
Printed Chiffon Flutter-Sleeve Dress~ $39.94
Perfect Cardigan~ $24.94
Patent Leather Narrow Belt~ $12.94

The last look is another more casual style, but still dressy enough for a first date. I love cardigans and I've paired this bright turquoise one with skinny jeans and a bright scarf. Slide on a pair of flats and you are ready to make a great first impression!
V-Neck Cardigan~ $16.99
Rock Star Leggings~ $34.94 
Printed Burnout Jersey Scarf~ $14.94

So I hope you enjoyed my first edition of "Occasion"ally Stylish!
If you have any suggestions or wardrobe issues, find me on Facebook or Twitter!

Happy Dating!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

And Now For Something Completely Different....

Sometimes when I write a really serious blog like yesterday's post, that gets so much positive feedback, I really struggle with what to write about the next day. Do I continue writing in the same vein and tell you about how we didn't celebrate Christmas for two years because we were so poor (Nah, I'll save that for next Christmas)? Or do I just get really mundane- the weather is great; I had yogurt for the third time this week?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. I have one day left in my Christmas break from my glamorous life as a high school teacher. I am dealing with this with some mixed emotions. I really don't want to go back, but I know once I get back in the swing of things, I'll be just fine. I am trying to sweeten the sting of being forced to sleep normal hours and bathe regularly and speak to people by taking my new Keurig coffee pot to my classroom. But will that be enough?

The second semester always flies by, so I have no doubt that this one will follow suit.  But I'm really struggling to find the motivation right now amidst sleeping in and taking naps and being even more lazy than usual! At the same time, I'm trying not to complain because I am saving my whole lecture on how being a teacher is not this cushy 8AM-3PM, no nights, no weekends, summers off for the END of the school year.

It's amazing how quickly we get out of a schedule. A couple of days of sleeping in and suddenly everything's flipped over and you (or is it just me?) are ready to run away to Never Never Land and live the happy, carefree life of a Lost Boy. Who wants to run away with me?

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Little Red "HIDING" Hood

I spent so many years of my life trying to blend in with the crowd. I wanted to disappear. To become invisible. I was picked on terribly in high school. I moved in ninth grade, which is already a pretty hellish time in a teenager's life. My family was poor and lived on the wrong side of the tracks both literally and figuratively. The four of us and two dogs shared a camper for nearly two years. It was cramped; there was very little privacy.
Pretty much this was home for two years

We shopped at the thrift store, not because it was the "cool" thing to do, but because we couldn't afford to shop anywhere else. Every day was a new torture. I was especially tormented for my bucked teeth and my bad skin.  One of my bullies' favorite taunts was that I was a "zit-faced vampire" (way before vampires were cool), and they had no problem calling me that behind my back or to my face. So, you kinda understand why I wanted to disappear. 

I remember in English class one day the teacher rearranged desks and asked if anyone wanted to sit next to me. While it was probably only a few seconds, as my face burned with shame and tears pricked behind my eyes, it felt like hours. I wanted to die. Then from the back, like an angel from above, a guy spoke up, "I will." He moved his belongings to the front and sat down. As he sat, he whispered, "Cool jacket." I remember thinking that he was making fun of me because the jacket I had that day was my stepfather's dirty leather bomber jacket because I had no jacket of my own, and it was cold.

Alex became a dear friend. Truth be told, he wasn't much better off than me on the hierarchy of popularity. Looking back I realize how much he was also bullied, and how much he must have hurt too, but he handled it in a much better way (at least outwardly). I buried myself in reading books and writing angsty poetry and listening to angry music, and when that wasn't I started cutting myself- something I would continue to do for nearly three years. He excelled in being the class clown and being sarcastic and abrasive. 

We all have coping methods.

Life gradually got better. My heart breaks for students I see in pain or being bullied. I've interceded more than once and threaten bullies far more than I probably should. But I just will not tolerate it. I feel sick to my stomach because it takes me straight back to the hell that was ninth grade. I try to tell my students that high school is nothing in the grand scheme of life. That the very people bullying them now will end up being the biggest losers in life. To be the bigger person. To ignore the bullying. That they are beautiful and smart and creative.

I spent so much time trying to hide and disappear and blend in as a teen. I spent years embarrassed of where I lived and how I looked and what I wore. Today I got to spend time feeling beautiful and glamorous and sexy. Today I am glad I can stand out. Today I wear a red coat in a sea of black coats.

Linking up to

pleated poppy


Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Chaos and Post-Christmas Depression

I don't want to sound ungrateful because I'm totally not, but Christmas is always such a let down. You spend all this time looking forward to the big day, planning and wrapping and imagining, and then the day comes and it's awesome. Then you come home and it looks like a bomb of wrapping paper, cardboard boxes, and little toy pieces exploded in every room of the house. And you've got all this new stuff and no where to put it. I told Curtis we needed to donate half of Sean's toys to charity before he got all the new ones, but he decided to not listen to me (big surprise) and now Sean cries for an hour every time we ask him to clean up or threaten to get rid of his toys. Merry Christmas to us.

Al in all it was a great holiday with family. I got three things I really, really wanted, and my super generous relatives gave me enough money to pay off a speeding ticket I got a month ago. Not exactly what I want to spend it on, but when you act like a child you have to pay like an adult. Sometimes being an adult sucks!

My handsome (and not angry about the speeding ticket) husband

We were stupid enough to get out in shopping traffic to eat lunch the day after Christmas. Dumb, dumb, dumb. But I hadn't taken photos in days. And my future sister-in-law had given me a beautiful scarf and the background was awesome, so I asked my husband to shoot a few.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Eve Eve {in Instagram}

I rarely use the Instagram App on my iPhone, but today when my camera battery went dead, I decided to try to out. I see many blogs who use Instagram successfully (Rockstar Diaries immediately comes to mind), so I guess I am trying to emulate her fun, carefree, un-posed moments.  Bear with me, please.

It's been days since I've taken any outfit pictures, because, well, I'm super lazy (can't see what happens to this blog once I'm on summer vacation.... But the other reason was, truth be told, I've pretty much been in this same once outfit. I've showered daily (more or less) and changed unmentionables, but since I've really only had to be presentable for a few hours a day- why mess up three or four outfits.

Nothing but glamour over here. Quick, on-the-sly gas station photo shoot. Classy with a capital C ;)

I discovered we needed to hit town for a few last minute gift cards, so we ate dinner at a BBQ joint, and because I'm such a great mom I bribed Sean that if he'd eat all his dinner, we'd take him to Yogurt Mountain (more on that in a minute). I was concerned that eating all his food might make him too full for dessert. But he assured me, while pulling up his t-shirt for all to see, that there was a spot "right over here" in his stomach for yogurt. As if his dashing good looks and rotten attitude weren't enough, now I know he's my kid because I always insist that dessert go to a different part of my stomach because no matter how full I am, I always have room for a little dessert!

As expected, he loved Yogurt Mountain (one of those super popular chains where you are charged by the ounce and get to pick your yogurt and toppings).  He ate all of his and insisted he had room for more. But I'm not that great of a mom!

My handsome husband has a blog, and it's way funnier than mine. Have you read it?

No more pictures!

Okay, off to sweet talk my cat in preparation for elf mischief tonight... I don't want to give too much away, but I will say it involves a bath tub, food coloring, and paintbrushes. Please don't complain of animal cruelty. This is the most attention these cats have had since Hurricane Sean blew into our lives.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

"Reality" Keeps Falling on My Head

Lots of movies (of the "chick flick variety, of course) romanticize rain. Oh, let's run to each other in the pouring rain, confess our undying love for one another, and make out passionately while trying not to drown by accidentally inhaling the torrential downpour.

Examples include:

Need further proof? Here's a website dedicated to Romantic Rain Kisses. Still not enough? Ok, fine. Here's Part ONE of EIGHTEEN in a film montage tribute to rain kisses.

Women can't get enough of this crap. And that might be sexist, but let's face it. Men really don't find things romantic. Well, maybe having "relations" in a shower is acceptable but making out in the rain? No self-respecting man is going to gush about how he can't wait to find a woman to kiss passionately in the rain. I promise. If he says he does, run as fast as you can!

Now my husband is fairly indulging, so early in our courtship, after watching some romantic rain kiss scene, I presented my fairy tale fantasy to him (during a rainstorm, naturally). He guffawed a bit and probably rolled his eyes, but he did give me my rainy kiss. And what can I say? It was absolutely, positively, unbelievably.....

WET... and cold. And wet. And dumb. It was one of those, "Well, alrighty then. Are we finished yet?" Just one of the many times in life I've been let down when reality wasn't nearly as romantic as the movie. Now as I've gotten older, and some may say cynical or prudish, I've grown to realize the romantic movies are a crock of crap. If I wanna watch some completely unrealistic and made up, I'll waste my time and money on horror movie sequels or An Inconvenient Truth (ah, see what I did there? I made a political joke that might have been funny, what six years ago?). I just can't even deal with romantic movies anymore, and Nicholas Sparks? I'm pretty sure he's either a woman or... well, a woman. Seriously, dude?! Are you an eunuch? I bet men really hate you.

Top~ Wal-Mart
Skirt~ Mark
Belt, Tights, and Heels~ Kohl's

My main problem, besides being jealous that I'll never get to make out with Ryan Gosling, is how unrealistic romantic movies are, especially for young, impressionable girls like me 15 years ago. Have you ever been in the rain? If it's raining, I devise as many ways I as I can to stay out of the rain. I steal my husband parking spot in the driveway. I unbuckle Sean before I get out and then tell him to run for it. Heck, in college, I didn't go to class when it was raining because I didn't want to sit in wet clothes for the entire class meeting (and no, Mom, it's not because I think I'm made of sugar and might melt. Hardy har har...).

Until next time- stay dry and no kissing in the rain. You'll just end up with pneumonia!

Linking up to 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Over the River and Through the Wood to Grandmother(s') House(s) We Go

So the fabulous husband and I were bickering today about the encroachment of the holiday season. I tend to smush (nice English teacher word there) together Thanksgiving and Christmas into one big month-long celebration of eating and decorating and gift-giving. I mean I remember the "Reason for the Season", but still how important is it to celebrate Christmas on December 25, when we know technically that's not even really Jesus's birthday ( I mean, at least, that's what Wikipedia told me...) ?

As a child and grandchild of divorce, this extended holiday was a necessity and, frankly, a treat. Three or four Thanksgivings, three or four Christmases, a veritable smorgasbord (yep! English teacher strikes again) of  toys and turkeys and the "gimmies". My parents worked odd shifts at both the phone company and the hospital, so it was not unusual at all to celebrate Christmas the week before or the week after with some section of the extended family. In fact I've always aligned the familial celebration of Christmas with the Jewish tradition of Hanukkah (minus the potato latkes, dreidels and menorahs)- eight crazy nights of good times.

In college I worked at a pharmacy that was obliged to be open on Christmas Day (you know for all the sick people, and the people wanting to get a jump on the after Christmas markdowns on cheap off-brand candy and Christmas lights). I usually worked Christmas Day. After all, my parents usually worked, so it wasn't that big of a deal. And the triple time pay (which meant I could bring in over $20 an hour for sitting around playing Trivial Pursuit) was truly irresistible for a college student making rent and car payments). My mom, whom I love dearly and think is the best mom ever, always said Christmas Day was "just another day." Not in a sacrilegious way, more in a pragmatic, unsentimental way. Endearing, really. And I am inclined to agree with her.

Being raised in a secular home, it's no surprise that little attention was paid to the whole Jesus's birthday aspect of Christmas ( I know some of you will be gasping or praying or shaking your head at the very heathen notion of a Christmas without Jesus, well just wait till I get to blog about Easter- you are really gonna flip your lid). Sadly, some habits, while I'm not proud to admit it, die hard and I often have to remind myself that Christmas is not just about Santa and getting all the gifts I want and having Petey the Elf out do his mischievous deeds every night.

But the question remains. Does the day of celebration really matter?

My family is not one made up of traditions. Again this isn't necessarily a bad thing. I think in a way it has made me a pretty flexible person, but in other ways it has made me terribly inflexible- a complete contradiction, I know. We just did things whenever the times worked out. Of course, I was dealing with multiple family gatherings- my maternal grandmother, my fraternal grandparents, my maternal grandfather, and my stepdad's mother. On the other hand, aforementioned husband came from a family with traditions passed down from year-to-year. His was a much smaller, non-fractured family- literally both sides of the family gathered together under one to celebrate. This would have been unheard of in my family, unless we wanted someone to die ;)

They relish in family time, while in my family it was always a big pain in the butt or a point of contention. They keep the same stockings from year to year, and exchange ornaments each year. They celebrate on Christmas, preferably all day. At first I was very resistant to this. I'm not sure why. It's not like I was doing anything else! I was insistent that we were going to make our own traditions and celebrate "our" way. But as we get ready celebrate our seventh Christmas as a married couple (WHAT!?!?!?), I've come to discover, and appreciate, that our traditions are these traditions- even my own non-traditional traditions. We still run all over God's green Earth at all kinds of random times (Sunday before Christmas? Check. Christmas Eve morning breakfast? Check.), then we celebrate Christmas morning at home- just our little family with Santa's gifts and our presents to each other, and finally we cap off Christmas day at my in-laws for an afternoon of food and fellowship and "traditional" Christmas.

Sweater~ Kohl's
Skinny Jeans~ Kohl's
Boots~ Old Navy
Tank~ Old Navy
Belt~ New York and Co.

Each year we create our own traditions in the interpretations of our past. We adjust and expand. We are flexible and inflexible. We love and we are loved.  We celebrate Christmas as a family- in our own special way.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The "DIRT" on Me

Two weeks of blissful winter vacation started Friday for me, and while I intend to blog throughout this break, I have a gut feeling you will be seeing LOTS of casual outfits. I am pretty honest about my many flaws (at least I think I am), and one thing I never lie about is my extreme laziness. I'm not proud of it, I promise, but I'm also not going to deny it.

I am lazy. Super lazy. Like lie on the couch all day, surfing the web, and still will take a nap- lazy. Like wake up, eat breakfast, and then take a nap at 8 in the morning lazy. Like rarely clean or cook lazy. It's pretty pathetic. If not for the job that requires me to bathe regularly and look presentable, I'd probably be a walking disaster most of the time. I love pajamas and have NO problem spending days at a time in the same pajamas. Disgusting, I know.

I've been reading so many great blogs lately, and someone suggested I start sharing these gems with you... and I will, as long as you promise not to abandon me to read their (far superior) blogs. I truly credit Pinterest with getting me started. I would pin all these awesome outfits and hair tutorials and I didn't quite "get it". I didn't realize that it would link me back to the original source. I didn't believe there could be so many awesome blogs out there.

So I'm browsing one day and I find this beautiful photo.

 I am totally in love with the hair; the girl is adorable, so I click on the link and discover she's got an awesome blog Little Miss Momma. I was hooked. LMM is a great example of a great blog. It's really a lifestyle blog, meaning she blogs about everything -food, fashion, family, crafts, etc. She has wonderful advice for beginning bloggers, and she has a affinity for mustaches... what's not to love?

Happy Monday :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Little Black "DRESS"Mas

Holiday parties are upon us and today I am excited to share with you one of my favorite (and so simple) recipes to bring along to a holiday potluck.  Now I can't take credit for this recipe; in fact, my sister-in-law introduced it to me over two years ago at a football party (and my awesome sister helped me make it for today's blog), but I do love it and can vouch for how delicious it is!

Here's what you need:
2 cups of cooked and chopped/shredded chicken breasts
2 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 1/2 cup of Franks Hot Sauce (more or less depending on how spicy you want it to be)\
2 cups of Ranch Dressing (more or less depending on how spicy you want it to be)

Mix everything together and spread evenly into a casserole dish. Pop into a 350F oven for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubbly and melty. Serve with tortilla chips.

I am making a double batch in the hopes that I will have some leftover to nosh on this weekend!

This is really the only Christmas party I am attending this year, so I decided to dress up. I got the dress from Mark and I love it. Super stretchy, DEEP pockets, bow detail, under $45! What's not to like? I dressed it up with some awesome Vera Wang tights from Kohl's (on sale for $7.99 and they FIT!!!), a pair of classic black pumps, and simple pearls! I am ready for some partying!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Best Laid Plans... Part Three

...Continued from The Best Laid Plans...Part Two...

I want to save my teaching story for another time, mostly because I think it's so special,  and I don't want to bore you with turning this into 15 or 20 "To Be Continued"s. Suffice to say, I received a call with an offer I could believe (or refuse) at just the right time.

My entire life I have been too afraid. I get stuck in the familiar and same-old and find myself crippled with fear, but this one time nearly five years ago, I took a chance. And my life has never been the same. I remember it clearly. Sean was born in October 2007, and I struggled with postpartum depression and anxiety for months. I remember the first day I was left completely and utterly alone with my newborn son. I was beyond terrified. I called the pharmacy and spoke to a precious co-worker. I was nearly hysterical. I was scared to dress him (didn't want to break his neck) and change him (didn't want to accidentally touch his healing umbilical stump). I will forever be grateful to that pharmacy. As soon as she hung up, they sent her to my house to stay with me.

Time passed and I got more comfortable with him, but I still struggled with my own self-worth. Then the principal at my alma mater called and asked me if I had ever thought about teaching. And my life changed forever.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Best Laid Plans... Part Two

Continued from The Best Laid Plans... Part One.....

....I interned at a newspaper in college, and promptly discovered that I... HATED it. The pay was awful. The hours were worse. I discovered I was allergic to the paper the news was printed on. After touching it so much for so many days, my fingers would itch till I cried at night and the skin would peel off leaving bright red angry welts in its absence. 

Thinking back on it, I probably should have given newspaper a fair shot, but I redoubled my efforts back in school. I would work for a  magazine, no doubt. Better hours, better pay, no newsprint. But magazine jobs are hard to come by down here. Not to say I didn't try. I applied to multiple places for internships, but the competition was stiff and while I'd like to be prideful and say the one thing I lacked was the ability to kiss major butt (which seemed to be required of my department to get a glowing recommendation) and that I WAS as good of a writer as the others applying for and receiving the internships, in reality I went from being the big fish in a small pond to just another fish in an ocean of potential.

There were bills to be paid, cars to be bought- a life (and student loans) can't be put on hold while you what for dreams to come true and wishes to be granted. I stuck with what I knew- retail pharmacy- and worked my way through mindless jobs of repetitive dullness. Count, label, bag. Count, label, bag. I lost a job, then I quit a job. Each month that passed found me further and further removed from my dream, and more and more scared to try to pursue another job. I knew that I wasn't living up to my potential. That knowledge is depressing and disheartening. I wanted to die. And not in a "Ha ha, shoot me now" kind of way, but in a "I can't climb out of bed and face another day of this" kind of way. I knew I had to find something better and fast.

I did. Another pharmacy, but this one was small and personal (and mail-order- very little customer interaction!). I even got to write some for their website. I moved up the ranks quickly and proved myself to be dependable and loyal and intelligent. I had great hours, no nights or weekends or holidays, and a cubicle of  my own. I decorated with personal belonging and pictures. But eventually, I grew dissatisfied again. We joke that I have a three-year expiration date.

Sometimes we get stuck in the familiar. We are afraid to try something else because the unknown is scary. We find ourselves in jobs or lives that leave us unfulfilled because the alternative terrifies us. But sometimes we close our eyes and jump in a complete leap of faith...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Best Laid Plans... Part One

Clearly yesterday's blog post hit a nerve with several people (in a good way), and I can't even begin to describe how great it feels when someone is moved or touched by what you say. I started this blog two months ago knowing that I had a few faithful friends who would humor me on occasion and it has turned into a wonderful outlet for me and hopefully others.

It still feels slightly shallow and vapid (what a great word!) to say I write a fashion blog. I guess it's probably more of a lifestyle blog. I hardly consider myself to be up on all the newest or craziest fashions. I think it is fun for people to see what other people wear ( I mean that's why I read the 20 or so fashion blogs that I love so much), but I think I really shine when I get to write.

 I've loved to write as far back as I can remember. I clearly remember my sixth grade teacher, turned life-long friend, encouraging me to write and follow my dreams. This is a woman who became my summer pen pal and has attended a graduation, a wedding and a baby shower, even though I never showed up that one Halloween like I was supposed to (still sorry about that Mrs. Fulton).

In high school I was blessed with  so many wonderful English teachers- Mrs. Raughton, Mrs. Lawley, Mrs. Brown, Mrs. Buzbee- each recognizing the gift within me, even when I didn't believe in myself. They put their necks out on the line for me time and time again- encouraging, praising, naming me editor, writing letters of recommendation, mentoring, and so on. Everyone should be so blessed to feel so special. 

I remember for high school graduation, Mrs. Lawley gave me a Waterman pen, the creme de la creme of writing utensils, for the the next "chapter" of my life. I never used the pen. I was saving it for a special occasion. The only time I remember using it was to have one of my favorite authors autograph a book for me. I remember telling him how much I loved writing and how I wanted to be a writer myself.

I held my breath as he signed the book, and waited until I was a good distance away to open the book and read the inscription. "To the best writer I've never read... yet."

Somewhere along the way, life got in the way of dreams. Bills had to be paid. Pharmacy paid better than newspaper. I struggled to break into writing, but as the years passed, the dream became more and more distant and unattainable. I always imagined at this point in my life I'd be a features writer for Mademoiselle (R.I.P my most favorite magazine EVER). But sometimes life has other plans. To be continued....

Monday, December 12, 2011

Do You Kiss Your Mother with that Mouth? Self-Hate and The Problem with Pinterest

"If you talked to your friends the way you talk to your body, you'd have no friends left"- Martha Hutchinson

I love Pinterest. I mean who doesn't? Pinterest is filled with amazing recipes (some of which I've tried, many of which I want someone else to make for me), cool crafts (some of which I've tried, many of which I want someone else to make for me), and amazing styles (Pinterest is one of the main reasons I decided to create a daily blog). But Pinterest is also filled with something much more sinister. Something that gets pinned more than recipes, crafts, and styles. Some people think it's innocuous. Some think it's inspirational. A very small section think it's disturbing and dangerous.

Thinspo. You've seen it. Even if you didn't realize what is was called. Images of skinny girls and "inspirational" sayings like, "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels." That's thinspo. And while you may find it inspirational, like a modern version of taping a swimsuit picture to your refrigerator, often times these photos link back to pro-anorexia websites. I'm not knocking skinny people- I used to be one. In fact, if I could just get my motivation back in the right place, I could probably be that way again. But I'm also not going to hate my body or myself for being what it is.

See that quote at the beginning of the blog? Think about it. Read it again. Replace the word "friends" with the word "mother."

"If you talked to your mother the way you talk to your body, you'd have no mother left."
 Replace "mother" with "daughter."

"If you talked to your daughter the way you talk to your body, you'd have no daughter left." 

We would NEVER allow someone to verbally abuse us the way we abuse ourselves every time we eat too much or step on the scale or button a pair of pants. We would never judge our daughters based on what size dress they wear or their BMI. We would never call her fat or disgusting. We would never starve her. We would never hate her.

 So do me a favor. Stop pinning self-hate and calling it inspiration. And love yourself. All of yourself.

Friday, December 9, 2011

'Til the "FRIEND"

I am a terrible friend. I mean it. I forget birthdays. I'm self-absorbed. I don't respond in a timely manner to phone calls, texts, or emails. I promise to never lose touch, and then, indeed, I lose touch. Terrible friend.

Last night at a holiday party, I ran into a former co-worker/friend whom I hadn't seen in two years or more. As we caught up on life- jobs changes, weddings, work gossip- I felt so guilty for ever losing touch in the first place. Sometimes life just gets in the way of things. But this friend was talking about how everything happens for a reason, and I can't help but agree.

My entire life has been a series of happy accidents and serendipitous events of happenstance. If I had never moved to a new high school I would have never met the love of my life. I would have never gotten a crappy job at a CVS in my college town, which turned into an ever crappier pharmacy job in another town, which turned into an awesome pharmacy job. That awesome pharmacy job led to my current teaching job (a LONG story for another day). At this job I met my dearest and bestest friend. And even though I haven't seen her in  weeks because of our crazy schedules, I know I'm going to be a life-long friend. I'm going to return calls and remember birthdays.

Because things don't just happen, they happen for a reason.

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