Saturday, May 21, 2011

Over the "mommy blog" world? me too.

{click image for source}

Maybe it is just me, but i've never been into the "mommy" blogs. I do not enjoy reading about people doing the same things i am doing everyday with my own kid. If i want to get advice, i seek PROfessional advice or advice from people i know and trust, not some random blog writer. If i read a blog it is because it goes outside of my life... it is full of adventure, beautiful things being created, amazing photography, and people writing about full spectrums of life.

And there are so many "mommy bloggers" out there these days. And although i do enjoy a cute kid photo, i am not really a fan of reading about other people's kids in mass DAILY doses.

{click image for source}
If i know you, then i might care about little Johnny going poop finally in the toilet. If i have never met you, who gives a crap {no pun intended} if your kid finally went poop in the toilet? Do you really need to write up an entire blog entry that equates to 2 pages about how little Johnny finally pooped? No. You really do not need to write about it. Being a mom doesn't make you an expert on anything other than your own child. Unless there is a "Dr." in front of your name... when you write about your trial and errors in raising your kid, you only have the advice that worked on YOUR kid. All children are created differently, so your telling your story is no different than Mr and Mrs Jones telling their story... heck, it might even be the very exact same story! Every kid has issues with pooping, it is why they write books about helping parents with helping their kids poop. So yeah, your blog story might be cute for your mom to read about their grandchild, but save it for an e-mail to them personally. Trust me, when little Johnny grows up, he will appreciate that you didn't tell your mass blog following about him finally going poop in a toilet. Your kid isn't special, like the book says, "everyone poops."

And the photos... Yes, i like to think of myself as an amateur photographer in training. I have much to learn and miles to go before i would coin the phrase "i am a photographer" to any kind of a business card or website listing. But every mom/dad/sister/brother/grandparent/uncle/etc thinks they have the most beautiful baby/toddler/child/grandchild in the world. It's how it works, we adore our own family members. But unless your kid is truly a beauty and unless you've managed to take the most adorable of adorable photos of your kid - really, Do you seriously need an entire blog full of photos of your kid standing there with a dumb look on their face? Do you think the world needs to view every aspect of your child living their life on your blog about them? Will it help them be better kids if you can convince yourself that people love your child because they read your mommy blog? Nope. It might make you a few creepy strangers friends who love kids, in a bad way! You aren't helping your child become the next big thing in the world of blogs by plastering their face in every entry... in fact you are probably harming them by giving them an EGO the size of a Buick before they can even enter school to understand right from wrong and fame and normal.

Can you imagine... The kid goes to school thinking they are hot shit because mommy has a blog and tells the kid, "you're famous... look at all those people who follow mommy's blog and love to read about you!" so the kid goes off to school actually thinking they are famous. Reality sets in that no one in their classroom reads mommy's blog, not even the teacher... they realize, *gasp* they aren't actually famous! nope, they are just an average kid, going to an average school, along with other average children.

I hope the trend of mommy blogging goes away soon. I love me a good blog to read, but i'm tired of running into mommy blogs that aren't about anything other then the blog owners kid. Having a kid doesn't make you any more special then any other mom. Women on crack have babies all of the time. Women in China squat out babies in the middle of fields. Women have been having babies and raising them since Human's came to be... so please stop fooling yourself into thinking that you have the corner on being the perfect mom just because you have a blog and can put words together to form a story. Trust me, spending time with your baby/toddler/kid instead of coming up with stories for strangers... that will mean more to them when they grow up than realizing they need therapy for their mom issues and ego issues; all because their Mom wanted attention for herself and used them from birth to adolescence to write stories about them.


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

World Water Day 2011

If you watch an old movie and take notice of the little things that happen in each scene... you will notice one huge difference between pre-1980 movies and movies of today. Water bottles + plastic bottles of other drinks "on the go." It seems that people can't go too long without taking a drink of something, so they carry plastic bottles around everywhere they go.

Since today is World Water Day i am focusing on water.

How often do you grab a bottle of water? How often do you see people walking around with a bottle of water {park, gym, mall, sporting events, etc.}? If you answer never, you are either blind to the world around you, or you live in a place that doesn't have bottled water available {an Earth friendly utopia of sorts}. Everywhere i look, someone has a bottle of water in hand. It seems that the human body has "evolved" into something that can't go even an hour without hydration. We cling to our bottles of water like a baby to their favorite blanket. We rarely use a re-usable bottle or glass/plastic cup when we are on the go {how many starbucks cups do you use and toss each week?}. Most people that i know drink bottled water even in their own home, instead of using a cup. This baffles me a lot about the human psyche. What is it about a bottle? Why can't people grab a cup/glass and sit down at their desk?

I do not remember having a drink on the go when i was a really little kid. Our soda came in glass bottles, so we didn't take them out of the kitchen. Instead, we poured ourself a cup. If we wanted water, we turned on the sink, filled up our cup, and got our drink on. If we were out and about and thirsty, we drank out of a water fountain, or on rare occasion we would buy a drink that came in a paper cup {still not the best option}. There were many times when we would just wait until we got home or wherever we were going to grab a drink. We might be really thirsty by the time we got somewhere, but we learned to deal with it. When playing sports we had a plastic cup with our name written on it and the coaches brought giant water containers and we would get a drink in our cup when needed. If you look around at a sporting event today, every kid on the field has their own bottle of water to drink. I can't remember the last time i saw the giant water container in youth sports. Instead you see the individual bottles; even the parents in the stands have their own bottle of water.

I admit that the ease of water bottles keeps people more hydrated. There are probably less incidents of heat stroke and dehydration due to sports or over heating while being outside. But for the most part, the bottles of water aren't truly needed. Just as they were not needed back when we were kids. If you are not being over-worked, grab a drink before you go to keep you pre-hydrated and then refuel your hydration once you get back home. If you MUST take water on the go with you, invest in a reusable bottle {they come in BPA Free plastic, metal, and/or a mixture of the two}. They aren't that expensive. If you do the math... they are actually cheaper than the continued buying of bottled water.

If you are at home... use a cup! Drink from the sink or a filtration system if you aren't comfortable drinking unfiltered water. Nothing has changed since you were a kid. The use of a cup has not changed at all. They still hold liquids. It isn't as if cups have changed to no longer have bottoms or sides; trust me, they work the same as they have for thousands of years. You can still walk around the house with them and not spill it everywhere. If you are worried about spilling, invest in a "coffee" mug with a lid to take from room to room in your house. Clean water is available in all of our homes in America. We are blessed, super lucky, amazingly well off, and we should be humbled by the thought that we are lucky enough to have CLEAN drinking water at our fingertips.

* Fact: 8.8 BILLION gallons of bottled water were consumed in the USA in 2007.
* Fact only 12% of the plastic bottles from that water used were recycled.
* 63.4 BILLION plastic bottles are dumped into landfills and oceans each year, and growing to more and more being dumped each year.

Two quick things i want to add:

1. Charity: Water Water Day 2011. I've talked about this amazing charity before. They bring CLEAN water and education to other countries around the world. If you are able to donate to a charity, i urge you to check out Chairty: Water's website and give what you can, when you can.

2. The trash in our world due to water bottle use.
          a. MSNBC Article on Plastic Trash in America.
          b. Mother Nature Network: 5 Reason not to drink bottled water.
          c. Youtube Video about plastic in our Oceans.
          d. Youtube Video {commercial} for water filtration {brita}
          e. Youtube Video {commercial} "if you could see the real impact" of bottles {brita}
          f. Youtube Video {ethical Water} "Confessions of a plastic water bottle"

Now, go and get yourself a BIG cup/glass of water from your sink. Go on. You'll feel much better about yourself and the way you are treating the planet.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Vegan is now cool because Oprah say's so...

As most who know me know, i have been a vegetarian since i was 11 years old. In February of this year i had a really bad allergy attack and truly thought i was dying or something. I felt horrible for 3 days. On day 2 i removed ALL animal products from my diet. Slowly i started feeling better and better. By day 4 of feeling bad i was actually starting to feel... good. It could be coincidence, or it could have been something i was eating + combined with my other allergies = major allergy attack. I have went totally VEGAN, for now. {more on this at the bottom of this entry}

People have always treated me weird because i was a vegetarian. I've gotten everything from eye rolling, gossip behind my back {that gets back to me} calling me odd, and people have even called me crazy to my face. I do not push my ideas onto others. My husband and my child both eat meat, cheese, chicken, fish, etc. This is something i do only for me.

We do not have cable Tv in our house. And even if we did, i am not one to sit down and watch Oprah. I have had quite a few people address me differently than in the past because of some show Oprah did about being Vegan for a week. And truly i am grateful for the change in attitude from many people who i associate with. But it frustrates me just a bit. I've been eating this way since i was 11. No meat at all, and limited dairy intake. All of a sudden because Oprah says it isn't weird... it isn't weird? Wow. that changes my entire view of the populous of people i know. They are sheep. They drink the coolaid. Or however you want to phrase it; they are followers. If they are told something is cool, it's cool. If they are told something is odd, it is odd. But i digress... i am extremely happy that people are more open to my lifestyle choices because Oprah now say's its cool to be Vegan/Vegetarian.

It started off as a means to an end. I needed to feel better. Now that i am feeling better, the addiction of the dairy industry has gotten to me just a bit. We do not realize how much dairy is in the foods that we eat. Simple things like a breakfast bar contain Whey. Until i started reading labels more carefully last week i was simply satisfied with cutting out the main dairy in my life. No cheese on top of my pasta/salad, or my vegetarian tacos. No sour cream. No milk in my drinks {i.e. no frappuccinos from starbucks}. No eggs in my cakes. No cheese cake! No salad dressings {did you know that they ALL have animal products in them? no? me either!} And so on.

It has been over a month since i have went totally Vegan. And truthfully i have been finding that the more i read, the more i am aware of what is in the foods that i have been eating. So much of the foods that we eat contain a multitude of products that we aren't even aware of. Many of these foods contain things that are not good for us at all. I do not just mean the animal products. Back to my favorite breakfast bar, they add blue dye to make the blueberry color "pop." I mean really, does it need to scream BLUEBERRY blue in order for me to eat it? It is wrapped inside of a shell so until i bite into the bar, i do not even see the color of the blueberry mush. By that point, i'm full on eating it and don't care what the color is, nor would i have cared from the start. I find it hard to believe that people have become so wrapped up in appearances that it translates into the color of our foods we eat.

I admit that i am missing quite a few things. I eat a black bean dish with rice, and i use to top it with a spoonful of sour cream. It gave it a "moist" feeling that it now lacks. I've been drinking more water than i had before because my foods seem less "creamy" and more dry. I watch my daughter drink her frappuccino and want to snatch it out of her hands and devour it! I miss ice cream. I miss being able to go out to eat. There are very few items on a menu that can actually be called vegan. Plenty of vegetarian items, but none that are Vegan. And, I can't believe i am saying this, but i actually miss pizza!

Although we are not Catholic, i find the giving up of an item that is bad for you to be truly helpful in life. I've encouraged my daughter to give something "bad" for her each year as well. This year i wanted to continue on with my Vegan challenge, so i gave it up for our version of "Lent." It is proving to be a really hard challenge to keep up with. It has made me think a lot about the foods that are going into my body and the body of my child & husband. I can not say that once Easter weekend comes around that i will stay 100% Vegan... but i would like to keep up with trying to avoid adding too much dairy back into my life.

It's like the old expression goes, "everything in moderation..." and that is how i will live with a world full of dairy. i will accept that i live in an overly powerful dairy world. I will continue to avoid it as much as i can, but i won't indulge unless i absolutely have to.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

As you like it.

Many life times ago...
Many moons ago...
That was a life time ago...
Once upon a time...

There are many ways to say that we are talking about our past. Although i do not believe the theory of "people can change" in the way they truly are in their personality {once a liar, always a liar}, i do believe that we do all live many lives inside of our one life that we are given at each time.

Throughout our life we go through tiny changes and drastic changes to shape who we are in the end. In a given lifetime you are lucky if you've lived only one same existence... but you are truly blessed if you have seen many lifetimes inside of your own life. If you let your life take hold of you and keep you locked in place, then you might be the same person you were when you were 3, only much older. If, on the other hand, you embrace each section of your life as a new adventure and a new way of thinking, then you might be the same person... but you have let yourself live many lives inside of your own.

I've proudly lived the lives of infant, child, pre-teen, teen, college student, early 20's, mother, friend, family member, care giver, volunteer, and beyond.

The changes in our life do not always mean we change as a person. Some people stay the same and create memories of being the same person, only in a different role. I like to embrace the changes and treat them like a chance to live a whole new way of life while still being me.

All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. - Shakespeare

Sunday, March 13, 2011


watch this video. 
Take the 10 minutes. 
see how much was impacted by the Earthquake and following Tsunami. 
Then, if you can, donate $10 to help aid the Japanese in their recovery.

Japan had a great tragedy happen the other day. One that makes you sit up and take notice of the world around you. It reminds us that we are all on this planet together. We are all at the mercy of this place we call Planet Earth. Be it a hurricane, Typhoon, Earthquake, Volcano, Tsunami, or any number of destructive forces... we are but tiny, meaningless creatures to Mother Earth. We were not the first ones to claim this planet as our own {i speak of the Dinosaurs}, and we certainly won't be the last. Cherish the moments you have and love the ones you are with.

Please, if you have the funds, donate to the American Red Cross today. If you do not have funds, take up a collection at work or with friends. Give time... even the simple act of posting the information about donating on your twitter, facebook, or blog can do amazing things to get the word out there to HELP in the need of others.

Text REDCROSS to 90999 or contact your local Red Cross agency to see how you can help.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hollywood Celebrities are not actually "winning" anything that i want

When my daughter was 3 she came to me with her tiny toddler voice and said, "mommy, i wanna be on  Tv!" Although she was only 3 and saying it so cutely i still laughed it off as just a kid saying they wanted to be on Tv. Then she went to Disney for Christmas when she was 3 1/2. Her big eyes stared up at the stage and you could see the glitter sparkle in her eyes as the costumes went spinning on the beautiful princess' twirled and danced around. After that moment i never heard the end of her wanting to be famous via acting. I, however, was not ready for my 3 year old to be the next thing or even have her think that she could become the next big thing. She did some theatre and went on auditions for bigger things. She got a few call backs, but after awhile i put a stop to it all. I figured there was plenty of time later in her life for her to get her hopes up only to be crushed by not getting a part. Plus, Hollywood tends to destroy people. And i want better for my daughter. Once she is 18 she can make that choice for herself, for now, i want to keep her grounded in the reality of the midwest lifestyle.

Over the years, if you were paying attention, you have seen celebrities from all ages go from the top of their career to the bottom of the barrel. Just a few that come to mind, Britney Spears, Lindsey Lohan, and now Charlie Sheen. All three got their start in the industry as children. Charlie's father was an actor so he was born into it, which should have meant he wouldn't dive off the deep end because of starting off in the industry young, right? Not true it seems.

If you have been watching Tv, reading the newspaper/magazines, or checking up online at all in the last week, then you are watching Charlie Sheen fall apart at the seams and losing his day job. Although i never saw him as a huge celebrity figure, in the eyes of many, Charlie Sheen was a pretty big thing. And as the old saying goes, "the bigger they are, the harder they fall..." And so it seems with the way Hollywood works. The public will build up people {celebrities} and then sit back and watch them fall. As hard as they pushed to make their way to the top and have their fans love and adore them, celebrities seem to push just as hard to manipulate the truth of what they turn into. And it seems the advancements in the internet mean we all have a front row seat to their chaos.

The truly sad thing about celebrities falling down, is that no one really cares to pick them back up again. Once they fall, people turn their backs and move onto the next great thing. And as it stands in Hollywood today, the next BIG thing is always right there to pick up the slack for the ones who fall. That being said, the harder they fall the more attention these celebrities get for falling down. They then realize their career in the mainstream as a "normal" celebrity is all but over, so they ride the wave of their spiraling down and continue on doing crazy bad things for the attention. And the public eats it up. They watch the TMZ videos, they scour the internet for more juice, they tweet all about it, facebook their friends, come up with t-shirts that carry the persona or catch phrase of the downed celeb, and they even laugh and make jokes at this celebs misfortune. Catch any late night Tv show and you will know exactly what i am talking about.

Hollywood is a place where dreams come true, and dreams are broken. It is a place where the ordinary person can become an overnight sensation, and the uber famous can become a loser in the span of a night. Just ask Mel Gibson after not just one, but two crazy events. After he made the movie Passion of the Christ, Mel Gibson was seen in the eyes of many as a great Holy person. The Christian community adored him and many friends of mine thought he was a "hero" for making that movie. Once his tirade took place, just two years after this "glorious" movie made him amazingly famous around the world, these same friends of mine claimed they never actually liked Mel Gibson.

So are hollywood celebrities "winning" as Charlie Sheen puts it? Unless you are able to keep your level head, stay grounded in reality and stay clean {no drugs & no hard core drinking} then the answer is... NO! With tabloids, interviews, magazine covers, paparazzi following their every move, and people throwing themselves and free items at these people; {sarcasm ahead warning...} with all of that going in in their life, i can't imagine why they are unable to stay grounded in how the real world lives. They create a celebrity bubble around the famous of the famous and treat them like they can do no wrong. Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock is an over the top character, but it is how i think many celebs truly act from time to time. Have you ever seen a rider for some of the band/singers/actors? the shit they ask for is Cra-Zay! It's stupid that just because they are "famous" they get to have a dressing room with all pink or green, or whatever color they choose... All because they say so.  There are few celebrities out there able to stay somewhat grounded. Matt Damon comes to mind as one of the few people who have had hit movies, yet they have a non-celebrity wife, kids, and a home outside of LA where they keep it somewhat real. And sure, NYC isn't exactly like living in the middle of corn county America, but it is much better than LA any day of the week.

Don't let this happen to another Celebrity!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The height of sophistication is not always my height

A favorite word of mine is Sophistication. I had a blog that i ran for about 3 years called "enjoying a simple sophistication" because of a favorite quote of mine: 


Once in awhile it is nice to sit back and think about the future. To Day Dream about what your life would be like if you had millions billions of dollars to do whatever you wanted to do, whenever you wanted to do it. To think about having a posh, sophisticated life; where you eat at fancy restaurants, go to art shows, stay at fancy hotels, and get invited to parties where people say things like "cheers" or "indeed." Living among people who wear fancy clothes, drive expensive sports cars, and have homes that look like they belong on Tv. Then the bubble pops and you look at your IKEA furniture, sitting in your low cost home, with a tiny yard, in the middle of corn country... and you realize that even if you had the money, you might not ever fit into that kind of a life.

When you grow up living in a low income family, you get use to being who you are in life. It is hard to switch roles from low income to low-medium income, I can not even imagine going from low income to extreme income. It kind of makes sense when you hear those stories about people down on their luck winning the lotto and then blowing it all on junk in a year or two. People go over board in a lot of areas in their life, money is no different.

I would be lying if i said i didn't want to have more money, to truly have it all come easier to me, but keeping up with the high class lifestyle i could probably do without. I enjoy wearing my old hoodie when i go to the mall/store. I truly love wearing jeans and t-shirts and eating at low brow "high class" places like the Olive Garden. When i stay at a hotel and get up the next morning to eat the FREE breakfast, i want to be able to walk in the breakfast room with my hair still wet and not feel like the entire room wants to throw me out the window for looking not perfect.

While living in California i experienced a tiny taste of the fancy life. Not the extreme fancy life, but a higher class then anything i had every experienced living in the midwest. It took me months to just feel comfortable in my good clothes, and i never felt like i belonged when wearing my older t-shirts. The food was always odd in the fancier restaurants. And part of that could be that i am a vegan, so to everyone else, my food choices are odd. I could never get use to the meal costing $100 and then being served a wedge of lettuce with water chestnuts soaked in oil and then a salad on the side with nothing on it because i didn't eat the meat or cheese that came with it. Often when walking into a business i felt like Julia Roberts character in Pretty Woman when she was shopping for clothes on Rodeo Drive. People looked at us differently and i noticed on more than one occasion people giving us the stink eye. I'm not sure if my having more money would have made me any more comfortable in the lifestyle that we were thrown into in California.

One day i hope to be debt free. I hope to have enough money to send my kid to a good college without going into debt again. I hope to have just enough money to live happily. If one day i find myself with more money than i know what to do with, then i will adjust my thinking accordingly... but i can not currently see myself being comfortable with living a really fancy lifestyle. Just researching hotels for Spring Break and adventuring into the posh 5 star section is making me nervous... just from the photos online of the nice hotels! One step at a time, comfortable in my own financial life style, then maybe we'll step it up and stay in a fancy hotel where the hotel dining room looks like Buckingham Palace.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The masks i bare, like the clothes i wear

I try not to wear a mask for each person i know,  metaphorically speaking of course. It becomes very tiring changing into a new character every time i change the company that i keep. Yet we all do it to some degree. When you are at work you wear a mask to be more grown up. When we are with our siblings, we revert back to a time in our life that reminds us of who we use to be, and so we put on our family mask. Truly the masks we all wear in layers of ever changing spirit... they are no different than the clothes that we wear. They change by setting, or even by the change in our mood.

I've met some real mask wearers over the years. You know the type, a perfect answer for everyone they meet. They might tell you that they love something, and ten minutes later tell someone else that they hate the same thing they just raved about loving to you. These people wear so many masks and tell so many lies that they forget who they said what to. They tend to forget what mask they wear around you until 10 minutes into the conversation. They become masters of acting quickly underneath their masks. All the while trying to figure out which mask belongs with the person they are speaking with. So that each time you are around them the mask might change 20 times before the conversation is over. They aren't exactly bad people, these mask wearers, because like i said, we ALL do it. It is just that some of us only change our masks when we become nervous or truly want to hide from certain people in our life that make us uncomfortable. {like wearing a work mask around our boss to hide how immature we really are} These people are the exception, they aren't trying to hide from anyone in particular - no, they are trying to hide from every one they know because the real person beneath the mask is not a good person.

It would be nice if we could all just be ourselves at all hours of the day. There shouldn't be a need to change who we are just because we change the person we are talking to. But this is where life gets most interesting to those of us who can truly wear a single mask with just a few added features. To show everyone we meet our true colors, our true self, our true nature of being right from the start... this is something that i personally strive to become. To put away the few extra masks that i wear and just be me at all times, but perhaps with a few extra twists. Because life wouldn't be life without a little bit of give and take in who we are in our ability to act in any given situation. Just do not let the masks change who you really are deep down inside.

We all wear masks, and the time comes when we cannot remove them without removing some of our own skin.  ~André Berthiaume, Contretemps

Monday, March 7, 2011

Changes are a validation of the reality of living

Each day we live, we grow, and as we grow we change. You can not stop the cycle of life and the manor of how each day brings about changes. There are some changes that come and we revel in their power to make us into better people. Often times the changes that come and go do so without notice, or without speculation on what that change will mean to us.

The past few years i have had numerous changes in my life, so many that it would be foolish to sit back and count them all as life altering. The few that make me take grand notice of how my life has changed drastically are the ones that matter the most inside of me. For years i have kept them hidden, or guarded inside me. Fearing that if i spoke too much or too often of these changes, that perhaps they would disappear or change the way that i saw them.

Fear is something that we all live with as well as change. We often fear great changes because the unknown factors in change are so great. Many of us let changes pass us by because we let the fear take over, and so we choose to do nothing. I too am guilty of this inaction when it comes to grabbing hold of change and letting life take me to places i am unfamiliar with. Even in not acting on or following change, we change. These changes can sometimes lead to greater things coming our way, or they can change the way that we see the place we are at and then question where we are at in life. By not taking a chance on change, we direct our life onto a different path. And that could be the greatest change of all, the non-change, change.

I have learned a lot about myself by letting life change all around me. I've leapt into the change head first, and i've also sat back and changed with my inactions. Some of my greatest adventures were when i jumped in head first and let the change take over me. Other times, i regret pushing changes to come my way. Especially when my wanting change effected other people in my life.

This blog {name change} is a change for me. Pushing into my 36th year of life next month, i have been starting to take a long hard look at where i am and where i want to be at in my life. i have a lot to say on many subjects, but i often hide behind the mask of the internet. Mostly fearing who might be reading what i have to say online. And truly, there are those that i do not want in my life or reading what i have to say on a personal level. From now on, when i write in blog form... i will avoid the over personal and just speak my mind in a way that leaves much to the imagination of who i am, or what i am trying to get across to those who do not know me {or even those who do know me, or perhaps just those who think that they know me}.

*Note* entries before this day were written on my previous blog, Swing Carousel.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Growing up and changing the people we hang with

Ellie on Cougar Town

Do you ever watch a movie or a TV show and feel like you could almost be watching your own life in some small ways? I can relate to several TV characters, but a few of them i kind of don't like that i relate to them. It would be nice if i was exactly like Mary Poppins or Laura Petrie... but i'm not. Although i do have an overly perky side, that side is more like Monica on Friends or Liz Lemon on 30 Rock. It doesn't come out that often and when it does it comes off as a bit spazish.

One of our favorite TV shows is Cougar Town. We were watching THIS episode the other night on and Claire said, "you're kind of like Ellie, mom." At first i was like, "what the what?!" because Ellie is a mean spirited person who lives to cut people down and says mean things to people's faces. And this is totally NOT who i am at all. I might make snide comments about people i do not like, but only to my husband and never to anyone else and certainly never to their face. So I inquired a bit more, and it wasn't because Ellie was mean, but it was because Ellie cuts people out of her life when she no longer likes them.

This made me think... is it wrong to cut people out of your life when things go wrong? I for one think it makes life much more pleasant. It is much easier to spend your time with people you love, then people you just have to tolerate because they annoy or offend you. So i guess in this way, i am just like Ellie.

But the thing about cutting a friend out of your life is this... if you have mutual friends or people who know that you were friends with a certain person, you always get that question, "hey, do you ever talk to {insert name of friend here}? how are they?" To which you can either answer: a. No. and leave it at that. b. no, have you? OR C. Nope, they were a cold hearted bitch, so i cut them out of my life.

The problem with friendships breaking up is that most people in society think it is wrong. That friends should last forever and bend over to make the friendship work. Unlike boyfriend breakups, with those you just have to say "we broke up" and most people will just tell you they are sorry and let it go. Some might dig deeper and ask why, but you normally just have to say, "he was a tool" and they will agree and move on. But with friendships, people don't understand when you say you moved on or grew apart or even when you say that the person was a user. They always will say, "oh, i'm sure you can still work things out. you guys were such good friends" As if to say it is OK to have a continued hurting if it is a friendship, because again... friendships are suppose to last forever.

Ok, i'm putting out there people who i have cut out of my life and the reasons why. Just like Ellie did in the end of that episode:

pre school:
1. her mom wouldn't let her play with Barbies, because her mom was a feminist. so i didn't have her over for play dates anymore. i was 4, and i liked playing with barbies.

elementary school:

jr high:

high school:
1. turned her back on me when i was dealing with being Anorexic and also sided with my ex-boyfriend when he was stalking me and making my life hell.
2. same as 1 + she was a horrible liar and gossip who had her head stuck far up 1's ass.


1. 100% crazy. she stalked a guy i was working for. When i found out i confronted her and she went off the deep end. At the time i had a 3 year old, and i didn't need a crazy lady in my life.
2. pushy, clingy, and the more i learn, she's a bit off her rocker.
3. i was lied to a lot and felt like i was being used on many, many occasions.

If i were to compare that list with boyfriends that i dated {during the same span of my life} and then cut out of my life... the boyfriends by far beat out the friends. But it is perfectly acceptable in society to remove a boyfriend from your life once things go wrong. It is not however seen as perfectly acceptable to remove a friend. No matter how crazy they were or how much your feelings were being hurt... people still place a negative spin on removing friends.

what do you think? is it unacceptable to cut a person out of your life when they are your friend? Or should you just smile and keep up appearances for the sake of society telling you to do so? I think life is way too short to put up with dealing with people if they aren't on your side. If they do not truly have your back, or if they only see an opportunity in you... to use you for something other than friendship - then cut them out and don't worry about what society thinks. If it is a small squabble or things can actually be mended... then mend them. Figure out for yourself if your time is better spent with people you enjoy and enjoy you back or if it is better to just put on a fake smile and put up with people who you do not enjoy. In the end, the choice really is yours.

i happily take the persona of Ellie when it comes to living life for me, and not to please society's socially acceptable lifestyle choices.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


some beautiful found white images...

{above images by Susanna Vento}

{above images by Beth Galton}

Monday, February 21, 2011

Are American's full of themselves?

Without having cable Tv anymore in our house, i heavily rely on the internet to give me my information. Many other Americans do the same by use of their iPhone, blackberry's, and even their office computers. We can not sit around getting updates via the Tv like we use to... we are more mobile than ever before in our history. And knowledge is on the go with us.

Which brings me to why i think American's are a bit full of themselves and have no idea what it means to protest for things that they truly need. Don't get me wrong... protests for women's equality and the right to vote in the 1920's, the civil rights movement in the 60's, and even the protests for the War to end in the 60's. All good and nobel things. Without those movements, our country might very well be stuck just like the countries in the middle east... stuck treating women like they are less than equal. Judging people by the color of their skin, their religion, and etc. We've come a long way in our country... but some of those advances in equality have made people feel like they DESERVE to get something for nothing. These people equate having Freedom with their right to have it all.

Imagine how the people in Egypt feel seeing the people in Wisconsin protest and claim all over the news that they are a revolt just like those happening in the Middle East and Asia. What exactly do those in Wisconsin have to protest for? The ability to earn more money? And while they are all protesting... they still have the use of their phones, their twitter, their facebook, and their internet usage on their phones... unlike in Egypt and Bahrain, Iran, and China, and many places around the globe who have been protesting over the last few months. The protesters in America aren't being shot at, they aren't being pushed or shoved by police, they aren't being arrested for just being there... they have their freedom to protest and they are taking advantage of it for something most Americans already live without and do not even care about. There are doctors in the crowd handing out excuses to get people out of work so that they can protest. I'm not certain, but i'm pretty sure that would only happen in America. Most other countries hide who they are when they protest so they are not harmed, and to keep their families safe.

Would these people protesting in Wisconsin still be there if they were being shot at? What if they were being beaten by police? What if their families lives were put in the line of danger all because of their wanting to protest for their ability to earn more money? I mean, who protests for money? I can see protesting for civil rights, the right to vote, the right for clean water, the right for freedom and any other human right... but Union rights? i've never understood Unions or their bully tactics. There is a reason why throughout history and in movies people who are the heads of Unions are related to Mob's or Crime syndicates. Unions are not the answer, they are the problem.

I am all for standing up for what is right in the world. I support many causes that promote a healthy way of protesting and getting things done to make the world a better place. But there is something wrong in the way that the people of Wisconsin are going about doing what they are doing. There is something not right with the people of Wisconsin being compared to the people of Egypt and Morocco, and Iran, and China, and all of the protests that are taking place around the globe for true reasons.

i think this is a great example of why the people around the world look at Americans and say we are Selfish, arrogant, full of ourselves kind of a nation. We have been taking advantage of our own free system for so many years that we have forgotten what it means to not be free. To not have the things that others go without daily in their lives. it makes me kind of sick, and a little sad to think that people all over the world are being denied basic human rights... and we have people in our country who are fighting over some really stupid things.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

a generation lost inside of technology advancement

Not too long ago in our history families lived together. If not together in the same house, they most often lived close by one another. They relied on each other to survive and to thrive as a unit. Children knew their grandparents as more than someone they saw a few times a year {or once every few years}. They knew to respect their elders. They understood that with age comes wisdom and with that wisdom should come respect. With age comes more responsibility until a certain age and then age meant enjoying time with family.

I am always aware of my surroundings. I notice who is near me, behind me, in front of me, etc. If i notice an elderly person looking at an item that is on the top shelf of the store, i will go up to them and ask them if they need help getting an item down. Most of the time they are gracious and will make a joke about not being as young as they use to be. I always hold the door open for someone who is older than me {younger than me too}. Ok, i pretty much hold the door for anyone i see walking in behind me.

Whenever i help an elderly person my kid will ask me, "do you know that person?" to which i will say, "nope." and then she will respond, "oh. then why did you help them?" and i will explain to her that it is polite to help those who are elderly.

We have engrained in our children "Stranger Danger!" and they have taken it to the extreme. There is a valuable lesson in explaining to them to not talk to or trust strangers, but it also means they will never communicate with pretty much anyone they do not know. They will never help anyone, or take a chance to be overly nice to people they do not know. They are, for lack of a better word, afraid.

On a whole, most children of this generation have minor relationships with their grandparents. There are a few lucky ones who will spend time making lasting memories with their grandparents on a simpler level doing things that mean more than just seeing them for a few minutes at a time during the holidays. Unfortunately most children will come to know their grandparents through the use of technology. And admittedly i am glad for the technologies that we have now, but i think that it does harm family relationships...

People do not get together like they use to because they see every second of someone's life on Facebook and/or Twitter. If you know every detail of your families life, what is the point in getting together with them to "catch up" all the time? When you do get together it isn't very exciting to share news, because they already know the news. And yes, there are pros and cons to letting people keep up with you online. They are able to be more in your life then perhaps they were before. Families are busy and the use of online communications is a big help for making sure everyone knows everything at the same time. My main issue is the grandparents keeping up with the grandkids with the use of FB. It just seems un-natural to me on certain levels.

Kids should communicate with their grandparents, this is true, but the way they communicate has changed to a way that i do not agree with. I appreciate that grandparents are trying to keep up with the younger generation, but i do not recall my grandparents calling me up on the phone to "chat" when i was growing up. On a birthday or holiday we might have passed the phone around for a few seconds at a time to say hello to the ones that lived out of state... but on a whole we communicated during visits. We would sit down and have a long talk to catch up. It was laid back, it was fun and it was memorable. Now that the grandparents know every detail of the grandkids lives from online social communities.... what's to talk about come visit time?

nothing. there is nothing left to really talk about. which makes the visits less interesting for the kids, less memorable, and they feel less of a close relationship with their grandparents.

This is one of the main reasons i gave up Facebook. Everyone knew my entire life, my daily life, my minute-by-minute life, and all the news i had to share. There was no joy in telling people things anymore. And it turned visits with people into kind of boring trips of just sitting around. The same goes for photos. i use to print out my photos and take albums and sit and talk about what things were in my albums. Now people just go online and see everyones photos and it just isn't the same.

times are changing, and although i enjoy these changes for myself, i think it is changing the dynamics of the family... and not at all for the better. The generation of our children being born today - the last 15 years are being lost in the online world. And the generation of their grandparents are being lost because of a lack of real, and lasting communications with their children and grandchildren.

Hilary Walker photography

it is always nice to stumble upon wonderful photography. i always have to stop and look around websites that have pretty images of homes. There is a lot to say for blogs & websites with good solid content to read... but i happily admit to being a visual girl! The more beautiful photos, the longer i will stick around and read what you have to offer. Photography websites are not exactly full of text to read, but boy do they sure drag me in with their pretty pictures! LOVE!

The above images were taken by and these and more can be found on Hilary Walker's website.

Monday, January 24, 2011

bring on the rain of today, it's what i've been saving for, right?

saving for a rainy day use to be a term used a lot when i was a kid. We had a "swear jar" and we had piggy banks and everything. i have been saving for a new camera for over a year now, but that money keeps moving into other funds {like putting food on the table} and i'm just waiting for the rain {needs} to stop so i can save up for that new shiny camera. While i'm waiting, i do enjoy a rain photo, so here are a few for you to enjoy too!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Vintage has never lost it's style in Americana

You know how they say, "everything comes back into style..." well, that is very true. Check out the fashion magazines each year and your mom and/or grandmother will say that they wore that when they were younger. The world of Vintage has been very much alive for many years now. Some people are new to the trend, others have been doing it their entire lives, and some are just going with what they think is popular at the moment.

There are many amazing blogs and articles out there that help you figure out vintage and how to buy it, but the truth is, most of the people who buy vintage and sell it online... they do not truly want you knowing their secrets because they want you to buy items from their shops online {and some have real actual shops too}. And it makes sense to hide their secrets to a point; you don't expect people who run shops to tell you the wholesale shop they purchase their items from to give you such amazing prices. If they did that, it might put them out of business. Luckily for us regular people who do not run our own vintage stores, we do not need an "in" or any "secret codes" to shop for Vintage. It really is as simple as going out there and doing it! If you are shopping for yourself, and not to sell online, then there is no trick. If you see it and you like it, buy it! It is pretty much the same thing you would do when you went shopping in a regular store. You wouldn't need any major tips or tricks to shop at Target. The same is true for Vintage shopping. If your town has a Goodwill, a Salvation Army, a Flea Market, or any store that sells "gently used items" then you are on your way to shopping for Vintage items!

There are no set rules unless you are a hard core Vintage shopper. Anything over 10 years old can be considered "one of a kind" because chances are there are not too many of its kind around. the older the item, the less chance you have to walk down the street and bump into someone wearing the same thing you are, which is a huge draw for people to shop Vintage. Same thing with furniture... the older the item, the more rare it is that you will have the same thing in your house as your neighbor.

Do not forget about the Eco Friendliness of buying Vintage. If you buy something pre-owned and pre-loved, you will not need to buy something brand new. Reducing the need to produce more waste in the world by making new items.

I've put together a list of a few websites that give some tips on Vintage shopping that might help those who enjoy shopping and want to branch out into the Vintage shopping world, but are not sure how to do it.

1. A Beautiful Mess is a wonderful blog to follow even if you are not a fan of buying Vintage items. The blog owner runs her own shop selling Vintage items online and in another store in the real world. A while back they described how to shop for Vintage clothing.

2. Frecklewonder is another great blogger. She has listed out some tips on how to thrift while you have little ones with you.

3. Bleubird {aka Miss James} did a guest blog spot on Candimandi's blog giving some wonderful vintage tips.

4. A big concern of mine is cleaning Vintage clothing. someone who wore it before could have just been a nasty person, not to mention the item was probably sitting in a box or attic for awhile, then it was hung amongst other clothes in a thrift shop before you purchased it. Here is a nice article explaining cleaning Vintage clothes.

5. Maybe you aren't hip to buying used clothes, but you would love to get your hands on some Vintage pyrex dishes that you loved when you were a kid? You need to know how to clean it properly! Most recommend that you DO NOT put vintage pyrex into the dishwasher for fear of removing the pretty details on the outside of the dish. Here is an article explaining how to clean up your pyrex before you use it.

6. Maybe the thought of using old dishes is beyond your thought process, as is wearing old clothes. fear not, there are still many things you can buy at a Thrift store that you won't use in a personal way. Like vases, old jars to hold beautiful items to display, art sculptures/statues, and etc. But you'll still want to clean up your newly purchased item. Here is an article explaining how to clean vintage glassware's.

7. And lastly there is purchasing furniture. Thrift stores, as my kid puts it, "smell like old attics that are dusty and stinky..." so you will want to clean up your items. Unless you enjoy that vintage smell... then you are welcome to skip cleaning it for the smell part, but you might want to consider it just for sanitary reasons. Here are a couple of articles that explain how to clean thrifted furniture items: article 1, article 2, article 3 {articles 3 & 4 help explain the bed bug effect that took over NY, and still takes over areas every year!}, article 4.

Basically when you thrift, you need to take into account many things. But if you are willing to put in the time and effort... you will find many amazing deals out there!

If you think you are just too freaked out by buying used items, not to worry... there are many, many, many places out there who specialize in selling throwback items that are made brand new, but I'll tell you all about those another time!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

you have a blog? me too! oh, but you have no idea who i am, do you?

There are so many amazing blogs out there. It is always hard for me to focus on a favorite blog, they each offer a wide variety of facets. I have party decorating blogs, fashion blogs, cooking/recipe blogs, interior design blogs, family blogs, friends blogs, and too many to sum up! I have been known to blog hop around. You might wonder what this means.... you start on a blog and wonder around, while on there they either have a sponsor or an entry about another blog, so you end up on another blog and then it happens again and again and again! Before you know it you are off task, off topic and 20 blogs down the line. It's truly a maze of blogs in the blogosphere.

But oddly enough, it is very common for me to come upon a blog that is linked in one way or another to a blog i am already familiar with and love. It is a close knit community of bloggers out there. I often feel like quite the outsider over here in my own little blog. I talk with many bloggers on twitter, but i do not broadcast my blog to the world. I kind of like being in my own little corner of the blog world... just me and my thoughts. No worries {or not a lot anyway} of people attacking what i say because they do not agree with me.

That being said, i'd love to one day be a part of the blog world. Go to a conference and meet some of the amazing people that i love in the blog world.

*** beauty found online ***
{Click image for source}
{ah! jumping photos, we love doing jumping photos in our house!}

happy blog viewing!